08.13.10

Novell Employees and Boosters Start to Promote Proprietary Software and Fog Computing in Novell.com and ZDNet

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Novell, SLES/SLED at 6:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Foggy morning

Summary: Ron Miller and Richard Whitehead from Novell promote Fog Computing rather than something like SUSE or Free/libre software

IF PEOPLE still think of Novell as a GNU/Linux and open source company, these people ought to rethink this because Novell has clearly changed its strategic focus. In order to promote proprietary software like GroupWise (still in the news [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]), other vulnerable software like Sentinel, and even to promote Fog Computing in its “communities” site using Ron Miller (did Novell hire him to do this? Look at his constant promotion of Novell products and Fog Computing at novell.com) Novell could really use a media blitz. To quote Miller’s latest:

“Chances are the cloud–whether public, private or a combination–is going to have a place in your company at some point in the not too distant future (if doesn’t already), so let’s get past the smoke screens and the silly debates and have a reasoned discussion about the best approaches for any given technology challenge.”

A Novell employee got a placement in ZDNet, in which he is promoting Fog Computing right now. Notice the disclosure:

Richard Whitehead is director of new market strategies at Novell.

Add to this the 'Microsoft press', which is spreading the myth about Microsoft being the main/only VMware competitor despite the existence of Free/libre options such as KVM. The writing addresses and tackles the old Novell-VMware analogy, which is interesting given their extended agreement which we wrote about yesterday.

Novell/Mono Could be Sued by Oracle; Taleo Puts Sun’s Former CEO and Former Novell Employee in the Board

Posted in Mono, Novell, Oracle, SUN at 6:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Court gavel

Summary: Next target for Oracle could be Novell; Sun’s outgoing CEO gets a part-time job alongside a former Noveller

MAKER of Mono Novell Inc. is now at risk of lawsuits from Oracle, not just Microsoft (which was also sued by Salesforce for patent violations in .NET). Bruce Byfield mentions Novell’s Go-OO in his latest article, which is about OpenOffice.org 3.3. Novell has been trying to fork OpenOffice.org, which upset some people at Sun. Now that Oracle owns Sun and is also getting litigious against similar works, what is the probability of Novell being sued by Oracle (which uses RHEL and Solaris, not SLES)? Novell has been poaching Solaris customers recently, which would anger Oracle.

According to this, Jonathan Schwartz (who very much dislikes extortion with software patents) enters the board of Taleo along with Jim Tolonen, who used to work for Novell:

Tolonen was CFO for Business Objects, a software maker, until it was acquired by SAP AG in January 2008. Taleo said he has also worked at Novell Inc., IGN Entertainment Inc., and CyberMedia.

The new Sales VP of InsideSales.com turns out to have some Novell history as well.

Novell’s Sellout Options: “Private Equity-backed Company, a UK-based PE Firm and a Joint Bid Between a Publicly Traded Tech Company and a Buyout Shop.”

Posted in Deals, Finance, Novell at 5:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The 451 Group provides insight into Novell’s situation

NOVELL INC. is still up for sale. According to the 451 Group (regarding a sale):

While the process initially attracted a number of parties, we understand that there are only three left at the table: a private equity-backed company, a UK-based PE firm and a joint bid between a publicly traded tech company and a buyout shop. It’s not clear that any of the three will actually close a deal for Novell. (The process has already run past two deadlines, we gather.) Without a deal, shares of Novell would be left to trade on the company’s own merits, which probably wouldn’t do much for shareholder value.

That seems like a significant short report. What is this mysterious “publicly traded tech company”? Maybe Microsoft? There are many more new articles which mention Novell's inability to keep up with expectations (this is still the main news about Novell), e.g.:

i. Software Stocks Losers (MSFT, ORCL, ATVI, NOVL)

Novell, Inc. (NASDAQ:NOVL) is trading 3.01% lower to $5.64. Novell, Inc. develops, sells and installs enterprise software that is positioned in the operating systems and infrastructure software layers of the information technology (IT) industry. The Company operates in four segments: Open Platform Solutions, Identity and Security Management, Systems and Resource Management, and Workgroup.

ii. Trading Update for Novell Inc. (NOVL)

Shares of Novell Inc. slipped $0.23 (-3.95%) to $5.59. The stock closed at $5.82 in the last trading session and today the shares of NOVL opened at $5.73.

iii. AgFeed Industries, Fossil, Novell, Netflix: U.S. Equity Preview

Novell Inc. (NOVL US) slumped 2.7 percent to $5.85. The maker of Linux operating-system software lowered its third- quarter sales forecast to a range of $197 million to $199 million. Analysts were expecting $206.5 million on average in a Bloomberg survey.

iv. “Wall Street regains some ground after Fed remarks

In earnings news, MBIA surged 4.5% after it registered a 45% jump in earnings in the second quarter. Software manufacturer Novell plunged 3.2% after it cut its third- quarter revenue outlook.

Amid negotiations about sale of Novell, sales will continue to disappoint. The official report from Novell is just a couple of weeks away.

Novell, Patent Lawyers, and Gartner Group a Major Part of the Software Patents Problem

Posted in Deception, Law, Novell, Patents at 5:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hungry Reindeer

Summary: Novell continues to feed the longtime software patents proponents from Gartner; lawyers promote software patents regardless of their impact on the market

Novell has just attended LinuxCon where it had a lot of influence, as usual (snatching seats in panels). Being a proprietary software company which brags about its software patents it’s not surprising to see its PR people citing Gartner/Burton, which are software patents proponents.

For those who do not remember, Gartner bought Burton and it has expressed support for software patents on numerous occasions [1, 2, 3, 4]. It usually comes from Brian Prentice but not always. He represents and makes up Gartner’s views. He is no mere peon there. “Brian Prentice is a research vice president with Gartner’s Emerging Trends and Technologies Group,” says his own profile (the ‘open’ core crowd loves feeding him and inviting him too). Here he is once again promoting software patents in his blog; Simon Phipps responded as follows:

I don’t agree with Brian for a moment that we should accept the imposition of software patents in this sort of quid pro quo, but his warning to heed the risks of trade secrets and non-competes should be heeded.

Clients of Prentice include many companies with software patents. To him, this position is also a matter of paying the bills. We explained this before. Similarly, patent lawyers benefit from software patents and in response to a new post from Neil Wilkof, selfishness as seen in the comments:

I’m a patent attorney. I do a lot of work in software and consider it something of a speciality. I’ve acquired that speciality in response to demand. [...] I’m not saying software patents are a good thing. I’m not saying they are a bad thing. I’m saying they are. Fact. And there are plenty of companies, from start-ups through to mega corporations, who want them.

They don’t want to think about the consequences. They don’t care. They are self-serving agitators. Over at LWN it is pointed out that “Attorney Gene Quinn [...] calls those who oppose software patents “ideological buffoons”.

Well, that’s not so polite. Then again, Patent WatchTroll has always been rude and arrogant; maybe that’s why he got sued.

Failure of Microsoft’s KINect Could Kill Xbox 360

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft at 4:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Person with a plush dog
“Go Fanboy” has tough words for Microsoft

Summary: “Say Goodbye to the Xbox Brand if Kinect Fails at Retail,” says a new piece which more or less concurs with previous ones

LAST week we showed that "KINect" may end up in Microsoft’s pile of dead products, just like KIN. “KINect” (formerly known as “Natal” but rebranded tactlessly) has been receiving bad reviews and it’s the only thing capable of saving the Xbox brand, according to this new article:

Say Goodbye to the Xbox Brand if Kinect Fails at Retail

[...]

Now the company is launching a new peripheral called Kinect (formerly Project Natal) which aims to compete head-to-head with Sony’s own Playstation Move motion controller. The hitch to this little endeavor however is that it’s for a console that many developers feel is nearing its peak performance already. Another problem is that the best market for the Xbox brand, North America, has already been saturated with the Xbox 360. That might sound like a good thing at first, but the downside is that once your best market has purchased your product, they’ll eventually move onto another product. This has proven to be true with the recent surge of the Playstation 3 in the Western markets.

As argued by Goblin from OpenBytes: “Microsoft have to think of ways to drag out the 360 for a few more years…they’ve only just started to make money on it.”

“Agreed,” Chips B Malroy responded to him, “they want to keep selling Xbox360′s, as this is the only way they will get back some of their early loses on it.” Malroy also identified this old treasure trove of “Microsoft Gripes”.

Microsoft Downgraded Again, This Time by Jim Yin; Bill Gates Dumps Microsoft Shares

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 4:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Downtown New York

Summary: Another blow to Microsoft as its cash cows remain tied to a stagnant market; Gates sells 2 million shares of the company he co-founded

M

ICROSOFT is having some hard times with growing debt and a series of negative long-term projections from analysts. “[T]he big slump in PC sale for MS is about to happen,” wrote Chips B Malroy last night. He linked to Microsoft Gavin, who is doing/airing Microsoft’s ‘damage control’ in the face of slumping desktop sales (Vista 7 is quite irrelevant outside desktops/laptops). Microsoft’s stock has just fallen following reports of desktop demise.

Standard & Poor’s equity analyst Jim Yin lowered his rating on Microsoft stock Wednesday to “hold” from “buy,” and cut his price target from $35 to $31. MSFT was trading at about $24.60 as of 10 a.m. PDT.

“We are concerned about a slowing global economy and think PC unit sales growth will moderate after rising over 20 percent in the first half of this year,” Yin wrote in a research note, as reported by Barron’s. “Inventories of some PC components such as hard disk drives have been rising, indicating to us that some PC manufacturers have already seen weaker demand. Slower economic growth will most likely delay a PC refresh cycle.”

Bill Gates, who uses a so-called ‘charity’ as an investment vehicle, is already dumping more of Microsoft (MSFT). Even Gates does not consider it to be a good investment.

Microsoft (MSFT) Gates William H III DIR 2,000,000 $51,145,40

As Microsoft struggles it will also sue more.

‘Team Microsoft’ Uses Oracle Action Against Google to Promote C#

Posted in Java, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents, SUN at 4:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“As if you could kill a dolphin by swallowing the ocean…”

Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL (about Oracle)

Larry Ellison eats dolphin

Summary: ‘Team Microsoft’ or ‘Team Apologista’ — including Florian Müller — already touts Oracle’s lawsuit against Google as a reason for C# (implicit recommendation)

OH, how predictable. Mono boosters are already using Oracle’s action not to denounce Oracle but to promote C# at Java’s expense. To quote Carlo Daffara, “Miguel de Icaza claims that “The Java specification patent grant patent grant seems to be only valid as long as you have a fully conformant implementation”, but that applies only to the Standard Implementation of Java, not OpenJDK. Sorry Miguel – nice try. More luck next time.” Here are parts of Daffara’s analysis of this case:

On the first point: in the complaint, Oracle claims that “The Android operating system software “stack” consists of Java applications running on a Java-based object-oriented application framework, and core libraries running on a “Dalvik” virtual machine (VM) that features just-in-time (JIT) compilation”. On copyrights, Oracle claims that “Without consent, authorization, approval, or license, Google knowingly, willingly, and unlawfully copied, prepared, published, and distributed Oracle America’s copyrighted work, portions thereof, or derivative works and continues to do so. Google’s Android infringes Oracle America’s copyrights in Java and Google is not licensed to do so … users of Android, including device manufacturers, must obtain and use copyrightable portions of the Java platform or works derived therefrom to manufacture and use functioning Android devices. Such use is not licensed. Google has thus induced, caused, and materially contributed to the infringing acts of others by encouraging, inducing, allowing and assisting others to use, copy, and distribute Oracle America’s copyrightable works, and works derived therefrom.”

[...]

As for patents, a little reminder: patents cover ideas, not implementations (let’s skip for the moment the folly of giving monopoly protection on ideas. You already know how I think about it); so, if in any way Oracle had, now or in the past, given full access to those ideas through a licensing that is transferable, Google is somehow protected there as well. And – guess what? That really happened! Sun released the entire Java JDK under the GPLv2+classpath exception; granting with that release full rights of use and redistribution of the IPR assigned on what was released. This is different from the TCK specification, that Google wisely never licensed; because the TCK license requires for the patents to be transferred to limit the development to enhancements or modifications to the basic JDK as released by Sun.

This case is more complex than it may first seem. We’ll write about it later. Jan Wildeboer from Red Hat told me that “SUN tried to “sell” JDK to Google, didn’t like Dalvik, claims it hurts JAVA. Now Oracle sues.” [...] maybe @webmink [Simon Phipps] knows more. But I am not surprised. Will be painted as “defending” JAVA by Oracle.” Later he pointed out that “The patents in the ORCL v GOOG case are 6,125,447, 6,192,476, 5,966,702, 7,426,720, RE38,104, 6,910,205 and 6,061,520″

Wait for more and more Mono boosters to take advantage of this.

Microsoft apologist Florian Müller (see last week's post, titled “Florian Müller Unofficially Joins Microsoft’s ‘Team Apologista’”) is already promoting C# along with the trolls who harass this Web site “[a]nd the fud goes on” the FFII writes in relation to Müller’s latest bit of FUD (he asks, “is Java less open than C#?”). Well, Müller is bombarding Twitter with at least 3 links to his blog right now, using provocative statements like “Shame on Oracle”, “A lawyer affiliated with the FSF Europe supported #Oracle ‘s takeover of Sun”, and “FFII and FSFE should draw the appropriate conclusions from Oracle’s patent aggression against FOSS.”

He also uses this to attack OIN, saying: “One Open Invention Network licensee (Oracle) sues another (Google) over patents. Another #fail for the OIN.”

We’ll write about this later as more details continue to emerge.

Links 13/8/2010: Many New Linux Devices, Apertus Project

Posted in News Roundup at 3:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Bedside PC features capacitive multi-touch

      Poindus announced a panel PC designed to be a bedside terminal for hospital patients. Ready to support Fedora Linux, the “VariCura” has a 15-inch capacitive screen with multi-touch, a 1.3 megapixel camera, a phone that supports either POTS or VoiP, plus an optional barcode scanner, MSR (magnetic stripe reader), and smart card reader, the company says.

  • Kernel Space

    • Google’s Android fork defended, debated, dissected … again

      The topic hit fever pitch again later in the day, when panelists from Google and Novell sparred a bit about the so called Android fork.

      Ted Ts’o, a Linux kernel maintainer who joined Google in January 2010, said both Novell and Red Hat ship patches that were rejected by the Linux kernel but no one describes their distributions as Linux forks.

      It’s nothing new,” he said. “Novell has a number of patches and SUSE ships with code somebody rejected but no one says Novell forked the Linux code. Red Hat ships SystemTap and no one says Red Hat forked the kernel.”

  • Applications

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tiny ARM9 module ramps up to 400MHz

      Bluewater Systems is shipping a $145 computer-on-module (COM) built around an ARM9 Atmel AT91SAM9G45 processor clocked at 400MHz. The Snapper 9G45 module measures only 2.7 by 1.0 inches, offers 128MB SDRAM, 1GB NAND flash, a wide variety of interfaces, and a Linux 2.6.33 BSP.

    • Plug Computer gets Amahi server and a developer camp all its own

      The Amahi Plug Edition is free software based on the Fedora-Linux-based open source Amahi Linux Home Server software for desktop computers. In May of last year, Amahi and Intel demonstrated an embedded version of the software called the Home Digital Assistant (HDA), which runs on devices running Intel Atom N270 processors.

    • COM Express modules ride the Atom bandwagon

      The second was last month’s release of the Linux-only COMX-P2020 and COMX-P4080, claimed to be the first COM Express modules based on Freescale’s PowerPC-based QorIQ processors.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Tactical handheld runs Android on Cortex-A8 SoC

          The device is one of the first tactical field handhelds we’ve seen that runs Android, although other Linux variants have been used in such devices (the TAG TC-100 Commander, for example) in a number of such devices over the years, as has Windows CE and Windows Mobile. In May of last year, SDG Systems shipped a version of its ruggedized, military-ready Trimble Nomad PDA that ran Android 1.5.

        • Android Big Winner as Smartphone Sales Increase 50 Percent
        • Android Overtakes Apples in World-Wide Market Share According to Gartner
        • HTC hits top 10, Android surges
        • Sprint announces second 4G Android phone

          Sprint announced that it will start selling the Samsung Epic 4G for $250 with rebate and contract on Aug. 31. The Samsung Epic 4G is one of several variations of Samsung’s Galaxy S line of Android 2.1 smartphones, and offers a 1GHz Samsung “Hummingbird” system-on-chip, four-inch Super AMOLED display, a 4G radio, and a QWERTY keyboard.

        • Nexus One respun as Android Developer Phone

          Several weeks after announcing the phase-out of its HTC-manufactured Nexus One phone for the consumer market, Google says that it has recast the phone as the official Android 2.2 Developer Phone. The Nexus One Developer Phone is being offered unlocked for $529, runs Android 2.2 on a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, and offers a 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen and five-megapixel camera.

        • Xperia X10 Android phone comes stateside

          AT&T announced that it will sell the Sony Ericsson Xperia 10 starting Aug. 15, giving the high-end Android smartphone its first U.S. debut. The Xperia X10 offers a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon system-on-chip (SoC), 8GB of internal flash, a four-inch display, a 8.1-megapixel camera, and other high-end features, but debuts with Android 1.6.

        • Motorola goes glam with Korea-targeted Android phone

          Motorola says it’s now shipping a smartphone running Android 2.1 for SK Telecom in Korea. The Moto Glam is equipped with a 3.7-inch, 854 x 480 pixel touchscreen, a five-megapixel camera with dual LED flash and 720p video recording capabilities, plus Wi-Fi, GPS, and an HDMI output, the company says.

Free Software/Open Source

  • How the open source community could save your life

    Karen Sandler is a lawyer at the Software Freedom Law Center. She’s also an activist, and–as almost all of us are at some time or another–a patient. More specifically, she discovered about a year ago that her heart is much larger than usual, a condition that may lead to sudden cardiac death. The recommended, life-critical treatment was a pacemaker/defibrillator.

    The next thing she wondered about this technology seemed simple: What runs it? She asked three companies involved whether she could see the source code. Each was surprised at the request and sent her to technical support. In every case, she eventually reached a block. The dreaded, “No. It’s proprietary.” She offered to sign an NDA to simply see the code that was supposed to keeping her alive. The companies questioned why she would be concerned. Of course they’re making software that won’t fail. Of course.

  • Forrester Analyst Says Open Source Has Won
  • Events

    • Highlights from Day 1 at LinuxCon 2010

      If LinuxCon 2009 was all about the desktop, then the underlying theme of LinuxCon 2010 is the desktop is dead, at least as we know it and the new desktop meme will be a mobile device. But, as pointed out by Rob Chandhok in his keynote, the mobile platform has a long way to go, both in terms of hardware standardization and software. The problem is there are simply too many choices.

      And while many will argue that choice is a good thing, unlike the desktop, where the core pieces such as CPU and memory are pretty standard, the mobile market, reduced to a couple of vendors and a couple of flavors, is still very much the wild, wild west, which makes developing support, even at the core OS level, difficult. The end result is a number of distributions that are also wildly separate from each other, and have led to debates in the Community about the very nature of what Linux on the mobile platform will look like. The upshot of all this is that while your next phone will most likely have a dual core processor in it, and more functional power than the computers that put men on the moon, it will also most likely be running Linux, and that Linux will have its papers in order from a licensing stand point, even if we are still arguing whether or not the mainline has been forked or not.

  • SaaS

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Apertus Project Building an Open Course Cinema Camera for Filmmakers

        There is already a project that’s trying to develop an open source digital camera, so it only makes sense someone would try to create a full-featured open source cinema camera for filmmakers. The Apertus project aims to crowdsource upgrades to the existing Elphel network camera and turn it into a free and open HD camera cinematographers can use to create their next movie.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Rethinking Peer Review As The World Peer Reviews Claimed Proof That P≠NP

      We recently discussed how incredibly broken the traditional scientific journal system is, in terms of how they tend to lock up access to information. However, that left out a much bigger concern: the peer review system they use doesn’t always work very well. There is, of course, the famous case of Hendrik Sch&oumln, who was the toast of the physics world, until it was discovered that his “breakthroughs” were frauds — even though they were peer reviewed. But that, of course, is an extreme case. Even outside of that, though, peer review has always been somewhat questionable, and many have warned in the past that it’s not particularly reliable or consistent in judging the quality of research.

    • Calgary microchip ‘talks’ to brain cells

      The neurochip is able to monitor the electrical and chemical dialogue between brain cells, and to track subtle changes in brain activity. Accessing those areas means researchers could test drugs to treat several neurological conditions accurately and quickly.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Cars hacked through wireless tire sensors
    • Police: Breach affecting credit card users at restaurant chain

      A security breach for credit and debit card purchases at a local restaurant chain is causing headaches for some Austinites, police say.

      A police spokesman said thieves have hacked into an accounting network between Tinos Greek Cafe and its New Jersey-based credit card clearinghouse, Heartland Payment Systems, triggering fraudulent charges for some customers of the locally owned restaurant chain in recent months.

  • Finance

    • Maxine Waters Seeks Speedy Ethics Review

      Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, frustrated that the start of her ethics trial has not even been scheduled, urged the House ethics committee on Wednesday to formally release a list of charges that have been filed against her and to accelerate any trial so that her case can be resolved before the November election.

      Ms. Waters, the ethics committee announced on Monday, has been charged with a still unannounced set of ethics violations, following a nine-month investigation into allegations that she had improper communications with executives from OneUnited Bank, a Massachusetts-based institution that her husband owned stock in and had once served on the board of directors, as the bank sought bailout funds from the federal government in late 2008.

    • LARRY’S CORNER: The Latest Folk Hero Cries Out -ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

      Many of us follow the behaviors of Goldman the company as well as the many Goldmanites that work there starting with their CEO, Lloyd Blankfein and working our way down the ladder. We seem to revel in the idea that they are a “vampire squid”. We love to hate them for the attitude that they are above us all including the government. We hate them for the money they make which they take from the economies of nations (the people) and we hate them for their justifications for doing so (doing God’s work).

      But hating them is simply not enough. We all need to get “mad as hell” and say we are not going to take it any more. We need to DEMAND of our elected politicians and our law enforcement system to stop giving us lip service and begin serving us justice.

    • Market Drop Signals Fears About Global Recovery

      Concerns about flagging global growth weighed heavily on Asian stocks Thursday, while European markets opened flat. Japan’s Nikkei index dropped more than 2 percent Thursday before recovering some of those losses, which came after steep declines Wednesday in American and European equities.

    • Jobs picture dims as unemployment claims rise

      The economy is looking bleaker as new applications for jobless benefits rose last week to the highest level in almost six months.

      It’s a sign that hiring remains weak and employers may be going back to cutting their staffs. Analysts say the increase suggests companies won’t be adding enough workers in August to lower the 9.5 percent unemployment rate.

    • Could “crowd-sourcing” help resource-starved SEC detect fraud?

      The SEC failed to catch Madoff largely because they are understaffed (a fact the SEC itself has admitted), under-funded, and simply lacked the resources to adequately investigate his activities. Undoubtedly, there were other smaller incidents of fraud that have gone unpunished because of this deficiency.

      To solve this egregious issue, NERA Economic Consulting proposed crowdsourcing, the concept behind Wikipedia’s existence. Proving financial fraud is essentially an exercise in finding numbers that do not match. Through crowdsouricng, regulators would make financial data publicly available to the masses, who would do the ‘grunt work’ of sifting through them to find discrepancies.

    • Debt After Financial Crisis

      In case you thought America’s current debt worries were unusual, here is a chart that might sober you up. It shows that financial crises are basically always followed by explosions in public debt…

    • U.S. Plans More Aid for Jobless Homeowners

      In an acknowledgment that the foreclosure crisis is far from over, the Obama administration on Wednesday pumped $3 billion into programs intended to stop the unemployed from losing their homes.

    • How to jump-start American manufacturing

      President Obama observed last week that the U.S. manufacturing sector has “been hit hard for as long as folks can remember.” In fact, the last time so few Americans worked in manufacturing was April 1941. Since the Great Recession began in December 2007, America has lost 16 percent of its manufacturing payroll jobs. While there has been a slight uptick in manufacturing jobs in the last seven months, only 11.7 million Americans work in this sector, down from 17.3 million 10 years ago. That’s barely 9 percent of total U.S. nonfarm payroll jobs. More Americans now work in the leisure and hospitality industry.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • A Review of Verizon and Google’s Net Neutrality Proposal

      Efforts to protect net neutrality that involve government regulation have always faced one fundamental obstacle: the substantial danger that the regulators will cause more harm than good for the Internet. The worst case scenario would be that, in allowing the FCC to regulate the Internet, we open the door for big business, Hollywood and the indecency police to exert even more influence on the Net than they do now.

      On Monday, Google and Verizon proposed a new legislative framework for net neutrality. Reaction to the proposal has been swift and, for the most part, highly critical. While we agree with many aspects of that criticism, we are interested in the framework’s attempt to grapple with the Trojan Horse problem. The proposed solution: a narrow grant of power to the FCC to enforce neutrality within carefully specified parameters. While this solution is not without its own substantial dangers, we think it deserves to be considered further if Congress decides to legislate.

      Unfortunately, the same document that proposed this intriguing idea also included some really terrible ideas. It carves out exemptions from neutrality requirements for so-called “unlawful” content, for wireless services, and for very vaguely-defined “additional online services.” The definition of “reasonable network management” is also problematically vague. As many, many, many have already pointed out, these exemptions threaten to completely undermine the stated goal of neutrality.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Clip of the Day

Firefox 4 Beta 3 – Multitouch demo


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