08.20.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 20/8/2010: PlayStation 3 Allegedly Hacked, MeeGo-based Nokia N9

Posted in News Roundup at 11:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • GNU/Linux Share of Minds

    A recent survey of IT decision-makers leads to the inescapable conclusion that FLOSS on the server will soon take many mission-critical roles that it has not already taken. Competitive forces will do the rest. Business is about making money and if your cost/performance is better with GNU/Linux you have the potential to compete well against others who cling to the old ways. About the only thing soon left to the monopoly will be managing its own clients. FLOSS can do everything else much better. Eventually the last barrier will fall, acceptance of that other OS on the client as the standard.

  • PlayStation 3 Security Foiled by Jailbreak USB Stick?

    Sony’s PlayStation 3 was long popular with the homebrew and tech-savvy gamer crowd, in part because Sony initially supported running Linux on the console. However, Sony removed Linux capability in a firmware update earlier this year, allegedly to staunch game and content piracy, and since then PlayStation 3 security has been garnering more than a little attention from enthusiasts and console modders eager to get back inside the console.

  • Rumor: Playstation 3 Has Been Jailbroken

    Hopefully Playstation 3 users won’t lose more functionalities (like Linux) because of this.

  • Sony PS3 gets jailbroken to run Linux

    According to PSX Scene a bunch of open source hardware hackers have released a dongle called PS Jailbreak that will turn the PS3 back into a Linux machine.

  • Poll: One in five plan to buy Apple Mac

    The remaining 7.7 percent answered ‘Linux system’.

    “I’ve been using Linux for too long. I can see no good reason to switch to Windows,” commented octal.

  • Desktop

    • Dell, Let Me Help You With the Maths

      but it took in only $2.9 billion for consumer PCs. Imagine if those PCs had shipped with GNU/Linux and they had been able to pocket another $50-$100 per PC. That would have been another $100-$200 million revenue. Compare that to a $21 million loss.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Google

  • Kernel Space

    • The 2010 Linux Storage and Filesystem Summit, day 2

      The summit was widely seen as a successful event, and the participation of the memory management community was welcomed. So there will be a joint summit again for storage, filesystem, and memory management developers next year. It could happen as soon as early 2011; the participants would like to move the event back to the (northern) spring, and waiting for 18 months for the next gathering seemed like too long.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Open-Source 2D, 3D For ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series GPUs

        AMD continues to abide by their commitment to provide open-source support for their graphics cards and as proof of that this afternoon they have released their initial hardware acceleration code that supports the ATI Radeon HD 5000 “Evergreen” family of consumer grade graphics processors. While this Evergreen support isn’t yet finished and for the time being is targeted towards Linux developers and enthusiasts, you can now play around with your ATI Radeon HD 5000 graphics processor on an open-source driver while having 2D EXA, X-Video, and OpenGL acceleration.

        The ATI Radeon HD 5000 series family launched back in September of last year with the Radeon HD 5850 and Radeon HD 5870 graphics cards, which was followed by the launch of other GPUs like the Radeon HD 5750, Radeon HD 5770, and Radeon HD 5970. Following those product milestones, in December there was the release of some Evergreen shader documentation and by this February, there was finally Evergreen KMS support for utilizing kernel mode-setting and other basic functionality with your new ATI Radeon hardware. This initial KMS support was merged into the Linux 2.6.34 kernel, but it went without any X-Video or 2D EXA acceleration support. In April there was another AMD code drop for Evergreen and it implemented the command processor, interrupts, and graphics initialization support along with providing new microcode for these ASICs.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Choosing a Distribution of GNU/Linux

      3.

      There are many more factors than 7 that could have been tested. Updates, local services, games, etc. all may affect choices. Installing and trying things out from several distros is an option users of that other OS lack. Installing using a package manager is cool. It’s fast and you use the same tool to install the OS as the applications. Be sure to visit Distrowatch.com to help choose your distro.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Pursuing Certification For RHEL 6, Hypervisor

        Red Hat is pursuing a certification for its Linux OS and virtualization, paving the way for government agencies to use the technology to create secure, virtualized IT environments and private clouds.

      • GARM Technologies Partners with Cloud Linux Inc.

        Cloud Linux Inc., a software company dedicated to serving the needs of hosting service providers, today announced that GARM Technologies, a hosting provider, will add CloudLinux to its shared hosting infrastructure. The company says that GARM Technologies specialize in shared and VPS hosting and selected CloudLinux for its new Lightweight Virtual Environment (LVE) technology that will deliver substantial performance improvements to its hosting customers.

      • Support of Red Hat Enterprise Linux extended by 3 years

        Red Hat has added an additional 3 years to support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) via its new “Extended Life Cycle Support” (ELS). Available as a paid subscription, the added package prolongs the support of the Linux distribution for corporate customers from seven to ten years; this of particular interest to customers who are currently still using RHEL3, which was released in October 2003, as the regular support for this distribution will expire at the end of October.

      • Oppenheimer Reiterates Outperform Rating on Red Hat (RHT)

        Oppenheimer is out with a research report this morning, where it reiterates its Outperform rating on Red Hat (NYSE: RHT); it has a $40.00 price target on the stock.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Massive Changes Coming to Ubuntu 10.10 ‘Maverick Meerkat’ Installer

          Proposed welcome screen looks pretty, readable and non-intimidating. Thats more like it. As a long time Ubuntu user, I really know how far these changes can help a newbie trying his luck in the new found Ubuntu world.

        • Ubuntu’s SPARC & IA64 Ports Have Been Killed

          A few months back we reported that the IA64 and SPARC versions of Ubuntu were in trouble and would be decommissioned if no individual(s) were to step-up and maintain these ports of Ubuntu Linux for these architectures that are much less popular and common than x86 and x86_64 hardware. Well, there still is no one backing the Intel IA64 and Sun SPARC versions of Ubuntu Linux so they are being dropped completely.

        • Canonical Teaches Ubuntu to Phone Home Every Day

          No user-specific data is sent, Phoronix notes; rather, the package reportedly transmits only the operating system version, the machine product name and a counter.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Release Schedule

          The release schedule for Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) operating system has been published on the Ubuntu wiki. The distribution will be released at the end of April 2011.

        • Reasons to switch to Ubuntu from Microsoft Windows

          It’s hard to say why features are left the same or barely upgraded, but it is most likely done to familiarize the general public with Microsoft Windows itself. Interestingly enough, it comes in many forms and with different features, and the price seems to always be somewhere in the clouds, large price to pay for something so stale.

          Perhaps one of the worst features of Microsoft Windows are the fact that users are extremely bound by computing law, even if they haven’t noticed it because of customizable features. For example, Microsoft Windows cannot match the customizing abilities of Mac and Ubuntu, and it never will.

          One should find it hard to believe that developers would even consider working with Microsoft Windows to create new applications and games if it wasn’t for its popularity. The operating system itself is extremely unstable, one rouge application could crash the whole system or at least freeze the screen.

        • Canonical discontinues Itanium and SPARC support in Ubuntu

          Ubuntu 10.10, code-named Maverick Meerkat, will not be ported to the Itanium and SPARC platforms. The Ubuntu developers were already dissatisfied with the quality of the two ports in the recent 10.04 LTS release, because the two processor platforms have been without a dedicated maintainer for some time.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Unison Ultra Tiny Linux OS Now Available for Actel SmartFusion Devices

      Actel Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTL) and RoweBots today announced the immediate availability of Unison, an ultra tiny Linux® compatible OS for SmartFusion™ devices. Developers now have the option for Linux-based embedded design when using SmartFusion intelligent mixed signal FPGAs. With continued broadening of its ecosystem, Actel continues to provide ease of adoption of SmartFusion devices for embedded designers.

    • ChipWrights Stacks Linux Application Development Kit with Major Enhancements for IPTV Set-Top Boxes and IP Cameras

      ChipWrights, Inc.’part of AD Group’New Linux Application Development Kit for the CW5631 System-on-Chip provides the components to develop low-cost IPTV set-top boxes and IP cameras and significantly improve time to market. The Kit’based on the OpenEmbedded build system’leverages thousands of open source packages.

    • Phones

      • Programming for Androids with App Inventor

        Other open source mobile platforms are available, including Maemo on the Nokia N900 and the LiMo platform. Palm’s WebOS is also worth keeping an eye on, which is Linux based even if closed source. That said, none of these make programming quite so easy as Google have just done for Android.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Android

        • Symbian popularity drops as Android advances

          “The software giant will have a difficult time maintaining its market share above 5 [per cent] as the launching of its new Windows Phone 7 OS has been delayed to the fourth quarter and sales of Windows Mobile smartphones [are] still showing no signs of rebound.”

          We have hand it to Digitimes for showing such diplomacy. A more frank version would be that the Vole is sinking without a trace, Windows Phone 7 will be late and nobody wants its current crop of phones, but then again not everyone displays our lack of tact and sensitivity.

        • Android App Roundup: 75 of the Best Mobile Linux Downloads

          Unlike the rigidly controlled Apple App Store, the Android Marketplace is a bit freewheeling. It can be hard to tell the gold from the dross. To help you find the gems, here’s a list of 75 of the best apps the Android Marketplace has to offer.

        • Google’s Tablet to Run Android or Chrome OS?

          When Google first briefed the media last November on its plans to help spawn a new generation of Chrome OS-powered netbooks, the company said the first set of devices would be released this fall.

          Despite some analyst’s skepticism that the effort is on track, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), as recently as last week, said it expects Chrome OS netbooks to be available later this year.

        • Acer may delay tablet PC launch for another quarter to wait for Android 3.0

          Acer’s ARM/Android-based tablet PC is expected to be delayed to the first quarter of 2011, from the fourth quarter of 2010, as the company plans to wait until Google launches Android 3.0, which will feature support for larger display resolutions, according to sources from notebook players.

    • Tablets

      • Google Chrome OS tablet headed for Verizon?

        HTC is building a Chrome OS tablet for Google, set for a Verizon launch on Nov. 26, an industry report claims. Meanwhile, Pandigital released its second seven-inch Android-based e-reader tablet, with more memory than before plus a smaller, lighter design.

      • Google targeting Apple iPad with Chrome tablet?

        Google Android was always going to be the heart of many Linux-based iPad like devices. That’s not news. What is news is that Google and Verizon appear to be working together to create a Chrome operating system-based tablet.

        According to a report from the Download Squad, HTC is building the Chrome OS tablet. The device will be sold in partnership with Verizon starting on November 26th. That date is already engraved in every retailer’s heart as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and usually the biggest shopping day of the year.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Waiting out FLOSS

    Some proprietary software businesses assume that FLOSS projects/businesses will die from lack of income. They expect they can buy up the projects and convert them to proprietary products or kill them. They don’t get FLOSS. It’s the licences that keep FLOSS free, not the price. FLOSS can be forked and escapes the trap. The current suit by Oracle to capitalize on Java or to kill it will fail both because there is no legal basis for the suit and because even if Java is killed, FLOSS can work around the problem. If Oracle wishes to become a patent troll, its days are numbered as everyone will know it is risky to do business with them. They cannot sue the world as SCOG found out.

  • Ready to be an open source contributor but don’t know where to start?

    OpenHatch is a place for developers who want to be involved in open source but don’t know where to start. You can go to the site and search for a way to contribute based on a language you know or a project you like. You can even search for “bite-size bugs,” the bugs that have been tagged by a project as being specifically good for new contributors.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla: Firefox Security Bug Won’t Fool Users

        A bug in the Firefox browser that can be used to bypass an alert for obfuscated URLs is unlikely to trick users, according to Mozilla.

      • Firefox 4 beta 4 adds hardware acceleration

        Mozilla hopes to release its fourth beta of Firefox 4 on Monday, adding hardware-accelerated graphics for some Windows users but leaving it turned off by default.

        Also coming is a major user interface change called tab sets, formerly known as tab candy.

  • Databases

    • CUBRID vs. MySQL: SSD Performance Test Results

      The test confirmed that TPS levels of CUBRID and MySQL database systems increase on SSD equipped machines. During the I/O Bound workload CUBRID had 4.2 times increase in TPS, while MySQL had 2.8 fold improvement.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle’s anti-OSS stance

      The next to fall victim was the PostgreSQL database. Although not owned by Oracle, the open source database software is a competitor to MySQL, now owned by Oracle. Sun Microsystems was contributing servers for the development of PostgreSQL, but at the end of July Oracle shut these down, leaving PostgreSQL work in limbo, and raising further questions about Oracle’s commitment to open source.

    • Is Oracle building its own software stack?

      I begin to wonder if Oracle is beginning to build its own stack. What brings this to mind is the announcement by Edward Screven, chief corporate architect, that Oracle wants to give companies access to a world where data centers have become “service centers.”

      Oracle has long had many of the parts: an operating system, Unbreakable Linux, and now Solaris; a DBMS, of course; and with the acquisition of Sun, Java and all the middleware you could ever want.

    • Is Oracle Taking OpenOffice.org Closed-Source?

      I have written many articles in the past about how much I love OpenOffice.org. In fact OpenOffice is one of the applications that first gave me the confidence to switch to GNU/Linux six years ago. Today I downloaded and installed the latest stable version of OpenOffice, version 3.2.1. This is the best version of OpenOffice that I have ever used from a technical standpoint. However, there were a few things that I noticed that gave me great reason for concern. Based on what I saw, I have serious doubts as to whether OpenOffice.org will continue to be free software/open source in the distant future. Oracle seems to be allowing forces that could be seen as hostile influence, or at least interact with, the OpenOffice community. Perhaps more disturbingly, they appear to be trying to distance OpenOffice from the free software license under which it has propagated for so many years.

    • Is Oracle going after Google because Ellison is buddies with Jobs?

      I can think of all kinds of reasons why Oracle is suing Google over its use of its Java IP (intellectual property) in Android. Making money from its Java patents strikes me and most experts as the most likely reason. But, I’ve also heard suggested, time after time, that the real reason is that Larry Ellison, Oracle’s CEO is buddies with Steve Jobs, aka Mr. Apple and he wanted to help Apple fight Android.

      Could that be the case? Here’s the logic that supporters of this theory use. First, Google and Apple are competiting head-to-head in the smartphone space. The iPhone certainly has more users, but the Android phone family is quickly catching up.

  • Healthcare

    • VA sees problems in open-source development for VistA

      The Veterans Affairs Department sees advantages in using open-source software to modernize its Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) system, but it anticipates several problems if it takes that step.

      The VA issued a request for information Aug. 11 asking for industry to deal with anticipated concerns related to open-source development for VistA.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • The State of Free Software

      * Free Software has come from being ignored and ridiculed to being required by everyone. The world of IT now depends on Free Software.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Launchpad programming with Linux

      Mike wrote a guide for programming MSP430 microcontrollers using the TI Launchpad under Linux. It makes use of the open source compiler MSPGCC rather than using a code-limited proprietary IDE.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Coder cooks up Java-built Flash Player

      A version of Flash is being built using Java, two years after Adobe Systems opened the player’s closed formats to external inspection.

      Programmer Joa Ebert has demonstrated a Java build of Flash executing SWF. The player is apparently called JITB, and it was recently unveiled at an event in San Francisco.

    • Venezuelan press ban on crime pictures

      The leading Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional printed the word “censored” across a white space on its front page today.

Leftovers

  • Connecticut AG Conducts E-Book Price Fixing Investigation
  • The Government’s License To Steal

    Almost none. This weekend, the Indianapolis Star ran a front-page article looking at where all the forfeiture money is going. I’d like to link to it, but in an apparent effort to keep the paper as irrelevant as possible, the Star has lately adopted a policy of not putting its most important pieces online. But as it turns out, Indiana attorney Paul Ogden actually beat the paper to the story by several weeks. Last month, Ogden put up a post on his blog that came to many of the same conclusions the Star published this weekend. Here’s what Ogden found:

    * Of Indiana’s 92 counties, just five have paid any forfeiture money into the school fund over the last two years. Three of those made just one payment. One county made a single payment of $84.50. Only one county could arguably be seen as complying with the law: Wayne County made 18 payments totalling $38,835.56.
    * The total amount of forfeiture money paid into the account from all 92 Indiana counties over the two-year period was just $95,509.72.
    * To put that figure into perspective, Ogden notes that attorney Christopher Gambill—the private attorney who, as I noted in my article, handles civil forfeiture cases for three Indiana counties and argued the case for Putnam County to keep Anthony Smelley’s money—made $113,145.67 in contingency fees off just a single forfeiture case.

  • Superman Lawyer Claims Warner Bros. Lawsuit Is A SLAPP

    Earlier this year, we wrote about the odd decision of Warner Bros. studio to personally sue Marc Toberoff, the lawyer who successfully represented the heirs of the creators of Superman to win back some of their copyright, by using copyright’s termination rules. Toberoff is making a career of this, and has been helping numerous other content creators start the process of reclaiming rights using the termination process — which makes him somewhat… disliked in the entertainment industry. Still, to sue him personally seemed quite extreme. As we noted at the time, the lawsuit seemed to be based on the idea that Toberoff is a jerk and a savvy business person. As we noted at the time, that doesn’t appear to be illegal.

  • OMG! My Job is Threatened

    I was horrified to read, “The days of DIY system administration are rapidly coming to a close.” All those lovely GNU tools about to be replaced by automatons. Sigh. Change is a given in IT. Fortunately my system is small enough my home-made configuration works well and it will take some effort to implement puppet or one of the other automatic systems.

  • Autotune The News Becomes A Billboard Hit

    From a cultural perspective, though, this whole story again shows how culture is changing in very interesting and powerful ways. When we talk about things like “remixing” and “mashups,” we tend to hear from a chorus of folks who brush off such things as mere copying and not worthy of being considered art in itself. But there’s a lot more to it than that. What makes culture culture is the shared experiences around that work. This song is not only musically interesting, but also calls attention to a horrible incident that happened as well. And, again, some will brush it off as being meaningless, but the power with which it has interested so many people is not something that should be ignored.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Council’s CCTV Spy car on double yellows again

      Medway Council’s CCTV spy car has once again been captured parked on double yellow lines.

      The all-seeing camera car, one of two operated by the council, was parked in a cul-de-sac outside Blockbuster’s Chatham town centre store, off Best Street, on Saturday, July 31.

    • Ex-soldier forbidden from cutting grass around mother’s grave

      Derek Evans started tending the cemetery where his mother is buried after noticing the grass needed cutting.

      The Army pensioner bought a £300 lawnmower and within a year was helping spruce up the gravesides for more than 70 grateful owners.

    • Ciggy Busters

      Gutsy students from Medway have been snatching shoppers’ cigarettes, in an effort to persuade them to kick the habit.

    • Feds: No charges in Philadelphia school laptop-spying case

      Federal prosecutors will not file charges against a school district or its employees over the use of software to remotely monitor students.

      U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger says investigators have found no evidence of criminal intent by Lower Merion School District employees who activated tracking software that took thousands of webcam and screenshot images on school-provided laptops.

    • US combat forces pull out of Iraq

      Sources say that the final section of combat troops in Iraq, the United States Army’s 4th Stryker Brigade, based at Fort Lewis, Washington, have made their way across the border between Iraq and Kuwait, formally ending combat operations within Iraq.

    • Iris Scanners Create the Most Secure City in the World. Welcome, Big Brother

      Biometrics R&D firm Global Rainmakers Inc. (GRI) announced today that it is rolling out its iris scanning technology to create what it calls “the most secure city in the world.” In a partnership with Leon — one of the largest cities in Mexico, with a population of more than a million — GRI will fill the city with eye-scanners. That will help law enforcement revolutionize the way we live — not to mention marketers.

    • Facebook login page still leaks sensitive info

      Facebook’s login system continues to spill information that can be helpful to phishers, social engineers and other miscreants attempting to scam the more than 500 million active users of the social networking site.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Biotech Beets Banned

      Last week, a federal district court judge in northern California issued an injunction against planting biotech sugar beets next year. Why? He accepted the activist argument that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) must issue a full environmental impact statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act before permitting the improved sugar beets to be grown. An EIS is required when a federal government agency engages in actions that might be “significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.”

    • Rising temperatures reducing ability of plants to absorb carbon, study warns

      Rising temperatures in the past decade have reduced the ability of the world’s plants to soak up carbon from the atmosphere, scientists said today.

      Large-scale droughts have wiped out plants that would have otherwise absorbed an amount of carbon equivalent to Britain’s annual man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Environment needs Muslim support

      In early March, just days after the Kingdom of Morocco announced plans for a landmark environmental charter called “the first commitment of its kind in Africa and the Arab world”, Mohamed Attaoui was sentenced to two years in prison in the Atlas mountains. His crime? Speaking out against illegal logging of shrinking cedar forests and corruption among the ranks of the forest service and local government officials.

    • Activists set up Climate Camp at Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters

      Hundreds of climate activists have occupied land at the Royal Bank of Scotland’s headquarters in protest at its multi-billion pound loans to the oil and mining industries, including firms involved in exploiting Canadian tar sands.

      The protesters cut through a perimeter fence on Wednesday night, erecting scores of tents and marquees on landscaped meadows a few hundred metres from the headquarters building.

    • BP oil spill: scientists find giant plume of droplets ‘missed’ by official account

      A 22-mile plume of droplets from BP’s Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico undermines claim that oil has degraded

  • Finance

    • Barclays settles ‘data stripping to beat sanctions’ case

      Barclays – which is settling criminal charges of breaking US sanctions by effecting wire transfers with Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma – was accused of stripping out identifying data in the transfers, it has emerged. The bank is awaiting court approval for the $298 million (£190 million) settlement.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • San Francisco’s Free “Organic Biosolids Compost” is Toxic Sludge, and Not Good For You!

      Independent testing commissioned by the Food Rights Network found toxic contaminants in San Francisco’s sewage sludge “compost.” In the sludge product given away free to gardeners from 2007 to March 4, 2010, are contaminants with endocrine-disruptive properties including PBDE flame retardants, nonylphenol detergent breakdown products, and the antibacterial agent triclosan. The independent tests were conducted for the Food Rights Network by Dr. Robert C. Hale of the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences.

    • USA Today Drinks the Tea

      USA Today’s article emphasizes the decentralized nature of the Tea Party movement, reinforcing the idea that it is solely a grassroots movement. That has been far from the case. USA Today doesn’t mention that, unlike other “grassroots movements,” the Tea Party benefits from major media sponsorship by Fox News, and receives financial backing from corporate lobbyists. The article also fails to describe the many factions of the movement and their origins, which are confusing to many: the Tea Party Patriots (arguably the least well funded and most “grassroots” faction of the movement); the for-profit Tea Party Nation (a domestic for-profit business entity that sells baubles like bejeweled tea bags for $89.95 apiece) and the Tea Party Express, which is basically a professional PR campaign sponsored by FreedomWorks, which is headed by former Republican Majority Leader-turned-lobbyist Dick Armey.

    • Big Farmers Use PR to Boost Their Image

      Documentary movies about the American food industry, like “Food Inc.,” “Fast Food Nation”, “King Corn” and “Supersize Me” for the first time gave millions of people a hard look at modern food production practices, including distasteful realities like factory farming. As a result, more people have become skeptical of modern farming practices and mindful about where their food comes from. But big farmers are starting to fight back.

    • Target Gets “Flashmobbed” for Supporting Right-Winger

      Last month, it was revealed that Target contributed 150,000 to the gubernatorial campaign of conservative, anti-gay candidate Tom Emmer. Agit-pop activists have something to say about that: “Target ain’t people so why should they be, allowed to play around with our democracy!” Watch:

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Google rattles Germany

      Google Inc.’s plans to launch its “Street View” mapping service in 20 German cities by year’s end has ignited a debate in Germany over how to reconcile the country’s cherished privacy laws with the realities of the digital age.

    • Ten ways to protect your privacy online

      9) wi-fi – if you’ve got wi-fi at home, give it a good password (see above). Otherwise it allows intruders in with few barriers to overcome.

    • Julian Assange wins Sam Adams Award for Integrity

      The award is judged by a group of retired senior US military and intelligence personnel, and past winners. This year the award to Julian Assange was unanimous.

    • Michael Moore praises suspected WikiLeaks source

      Filmmaker Michael Moore is praising an Army private suspected of releasing classified war records to WikiLeaks and said he would contribute to his defense.

    • North Korea Twitter account banned in South Korea

      South Korea has blocked access to the official North Korea Twitter account, a matter of days after the secretive state started posting messages.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Pirate Bay Typo Squatter Applies For US Trademark On Pirate Bay As Well

      It should be no surprise that various malicious typo squatters have targeted The Pirate Bay with fake sites that try to install malware, however Torrentfreak looked a bit deeper and found that one of the typo squatters, a company called BladeBook, appears to be trying to trademark the actual name, as well. Apparently, BladeBook’s Craig Pratka first filed for the trademark the same day that it was announced that The Pirate Bay had been sold to GGF, a deal that eventually fell apart (as did the initial trademark application).

    • Copyrights

      • The High Cost of Copyright:

        In my classes in IP law and copyright, I sometimes have difficulty conveying to students the “cost” side of the copyright regime. That is, though we often make reference to implementing the right copyright “balance” in our law, I think students (and others, for that matter) are often uncertain as to exactly what is being balanced against what. The benefits of a copyright regime are pretty obvious — if you give people a property interest in their creations, they’ll be able to work out market arrangements to receive compensation for them; knowing that in advance, they’ll create more works of art than they otherwise would absent that protection, and we’re all better off as a result. That’s easy enough to see. What’s harder to see is why that principle should ever be limited — if protection yields more creative works, why won’t more protection yield more creative works (to the benefit of all)? Why not make copyright perpetual, and copyright rights as broad and as deep as possible — won’t that get us even more creative works to enjoy? [That’s a viewpoint that many in Congress apparently share, as copyright protection has indeed gotten longer and longer and deeper and broader over the past 50 years or so — helped along, I suppose, by those stacked bundles of unmarked hundred dollar bills left in Congressional anterooms by representatives of the “copyright industries” — hey, don’t sue me, that’s just a joke).

      • Shameful Moments In American History’s Copyright Censorship

        Here is one of the nation’s most prominent television critics at the time effectively admitting that a single copyright suit prevented countless of creative comedic works from being produced at the time – a shameful fact that is surely ignored in most law school and history classes today.

      • Grooveshark Pulled From Apple App Store Amid Record Label Complaints

        After several months of battling App Store reviewers, the on-demand music service finally released its official iOS app last week. The reason for the app’s removal? According to the Grooveshark blog, Apple received a takedown notice from Universal Music Group UK.

        In February, UMG filed a lawsuit against Grooveshark over the service’s use of IP. Grooveshark has also battled — and settled — with the music label EMI.

      • Professor Says News Should Get Special 24 Hour Protections So No Aggregator Can Link To It

        We’ve seen all sorts of really bizarre and downright dangerous plans to change copyright law to favor newspapers, but a new one, posted at Henry Blodget’s Business Insider may be the most ridiculous of all. It starts off with a bunch of really bad assumptions, and then suggests special copyright protections for publications against aggregators, including that no one could repost (even fair use reposting) any content from a daily publication for 24-hours or a week for weekly publications:

        A first suggestion would be to provide newspaper and other journalistic content special protection, so that no part of any story from any daily periodical could be reposted in an online aggregator, or used online for any use other than commentary on the article, for 24 hours; similarly, no part of any story from any weekly publication could be reposted in an online aggregator or for any use purpose other than commentary, for one week.

      • Las Vegas Review-Journal Thinks Suing Sites Over Copyright Will Mean More People Link To It

        Amusingly, the article also has the Righthaven folks admitting some “kinks” that need “to be worked out,” such as the time it sued the very source for an article (apparently, this has happened more than once). In the one case that we wrote about, after that came to light, Righthaven dropped the lawsuit. I’m guessing that after some more lawyers start fighting back against Righthaven, it’s going to discover quite a few more “kinks” in its system.

      • Rocker John Mellencamp likens Internet to A-bomb

        Rocker John Mellencamp said on Tuesday that the Internet was the most dangerous invention since the atomic bomb, although new technology could paradoxically delay the inevitable demise of rock ‘n’ roll.

      • Felicia Day’s Success With The Guild Highlights The Importance Of Authenticity With A Community

        This is a key point that often gets lost in business model discussions. When we talk about different offerings, it’s amazing how much people discount the importance of authenticity as a scarcity. We see it all the time with companies who want to sponsor something, and then have tremendous level of control — losing all of the authenticity and, with it, much of the value (and, eventually, audience). It’s nice to see a situation where a company (in this case, Microsoft) properly recognized when not to get too involved.

      • Our shrinking commons

        “Federal law provides severe civil and criminal penalties for unauthorized reproduction, distribution or exhibition of copyrighted motion pictures.”

        What’s with the many movies we watch at home launching with this threat? You can’t even fast-forward past it! And what’s with day-care centers being threatened for decorating with Mickey Mouse images? And club proprietors who must caution open-mike artists against strumming published songs? Are rockers who fold in a few seconds from some popular work, and visual artists who quote commercial imagery, really thieves?

        It wasn’t always that way. Such cultural expression was, for centuries past, sharing, not theft. We’ve moved radically far in a long process of intellectual enclosure, privatizing and shutting down a vigorous cultural commons.

        Lewis Hyde, MacArthur Fellow and professor at Kenyon and Harvard, offers a brilliant and absorbing account of the development of restrictive and enduring private ownership of shared experience. “Common as Air” develops, in Hyde’s own words, “a model and defense of our ‘cultural commons,’ that vast store of unowned ideas, inventions and works of art that we have inherited from the past and that we continue to create.”

Clip of the Day

Microsoft The Embarrasing moments


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