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Links 21/8/2010: X Server 1.9.0, Droid 2

Posted in News Roundup at 5:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • “Public Software”: a serious symptom of the crisis in the Free Software Social Movement

    “Public Software? The so-called Public Software is a political project which aims to remove the Free Software main feature: the Freedom. It tries to put the people in the role of mere “viewing public”. The Free Software Social Movement historically called the participation of the entire society for the transformation of the surrounding reality, it aimed to create PRODUCERS of free culture, free software, free computer networks and free hardware in order to achieve a freer society .

  • I, open source robot

    It is common for market laggards to go open source. It is less common for market leaders to do so.

    Thus we need to celebrate the Affero GPL 3.0 version of Urbi, software that powers (among others) the Segway RMP and Lego Mindstorm.

  • Bringing Some Harmony to Open Source Development

    When Amanda Brock joined Canonical two and a half years ago, she discovered something rather surprising about open source.

  • Commercialization of volunteer-driven open source projects

    Within the Drupal project, we don’t have a paid staff to advance the software. However, many of the developers who contribute to critical parts of the Drupal code base make their living by building complex Drupal websites. Some Drupal developers are paid by customers to contribute their expertise to the Drupal project or are employed by companies “sponsoring” Drupal development.

  • Telecommuting

    I’ve been working as a freelancer for almost a year now, and I cannot help noticing how free software helps making this possible. Working in an international setting, most of the work is done from my home office. This requires techniques to get the work done. Small motivational “rewards” (or really fun customer assignments so that one forgets lunch…) The other half is the communication with the customers itself. This is where free software enters the picture.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle

    • Enterprise Java: Oracle’s real reason for suing Google?

      By now you’ve read that Oracle has sued Google for patent and copyright infringement related to the Android platform. Google has responded that the claims are baseless and counter to the open source community movement. In all the hullabaloo, the press, pundits, Oracle, and Google seem to have ignored the impact on enterprise Java.

  • Healthcare

    • VA approaches open source day of reckoning

      Long before open source entered the lexicon, the Veterans Administration (VA) was known to techies for VistA, an electronic medical record (EMR) program written in MUMPS that was developed in an open way and published as a public record, freely available.


  • L.A. Times Ranks City Teachers by Effectiveness

    Do parents have the right to know which of their kids’ teachers are the most and least effective? That’s the controversy roaring in California this week with the publication of an investigative series by the Los Angeles Times’s Jason Song and Jason Felch, who used seven years of math and English test data to publicly identify the best and the worst third- to fifth-grade teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The newspaper’s announcement of its plans to release data later this month on all 6,000 of the city’s elementary-school teachers has prompted the local teachers’ union to rally members to organize a boycott of the newspaper.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Friday Notebook: The New Simon-Ehrlich Teaching Story

      Indeed, for Transitionists who dream of moving quadrillions of BTU demand, currently supplied by oil in global transport, over to a new electrified grid it behooves us to think harder about resources such as Copper. Like Kedrosky, and surely some of my readers, I have marveled over the possibilities of material upgrading and other technological wonders of resource substitution–the kinds of methods that often appear in presentations from places like MIT’s Solar Group. That said, we need to confront the fact that in conjunction with new lows in global copper ore grades, the price of copper–just like oil–has entered a new regime. Expecting a miracle of substitution in copper, or a price reversal downward away from the current regime, is certainly not realistic if we are on the threshold of hitting hard global copper resources to electrify world transport. Simon-Ehrlich recasted is another important step, therefore, towards the realism we need to actually solve the challenge of energy-transition.

  • Finance

    • Why Goldman Sachs is expecting to make as much money as ever

      If you’re expecting the new financial reform law to cut into Goldman Sachs’ profits, think again, says Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that Goldman executives are privately — and with conviction — assuring analysts that they won’t make any less money than they did before. Goldman appears to be “seriously preparing for some major changes,” since the new rules bar banks from engaging in proprietary trading, or investing the firm’s own money. The idea is to prevent federally-insured depository institutions from “engaging in high-risk speculation,” but apparently there are enough “loopholes” in the new law to “allow the bank to continue gambling as before.”

    • Goldman Sachs economists: No double dip (probably)

      What to make of their latest research note? It is something of a glass half-full, glass half-empty story. Here are excerpts from the report, by Ed McKelvey, issued Thursday. Make your own call on whether to view this take on the U.S. economic outlook as fundamentally optimistic or pessimistic.

    • Forbes: Goldman Sachs to profit from FrankenDodd fake financial reform bill
    • Lawsuits Against Goldman Execs Over Abacus Merged

      A New York judge has combined two shareholder lawsuits against executives and directors of Goldman Sachs Group Inc and put the case on hold pending progress on resolving it and 16 related federal lawsuits.

      All of the lawsuits concern Abacus, a transaction that led to Goldman’s agreement in July to pay $550 million to resolve a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission civil fraud lawsuit.

    • Bloomberg’s McCracken Discusses Goldman’s Role in GM IPO: Video
    • Goldman: A Self-Analysis Likely to Surprise

      That’s not the way Goldman handled its image, though. With few exceptions, Goldman dismissed the verdicts of its critics. That just created more of them, culminating in an ignominious Securities and Exchange Commission fraud charge and settlement. It all tarnished the firm’s stated goal of unparalleled client focus.

    • Mortgage Bonds Slump on `Mega-Refi’ Concern: Credit Markets

      Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Bill Gross urged government officials today to allow all borrowers who haven’t missed payments on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans to get lower-cost mortgages. Dachille, who oversees about $8 billion of fixed-income investments, supported the idea yesterday in a telephone interview, saying such financing should be offered without consideration of homeowners’ incomes or house values.

    • Paulson’s Hedge Fund Acquires 1.1 Million Goldman Sachs Shares

      John Paulson, the hedge-fund manager who became a billionaire by betting against U.S. mortgage markets, bought 1.1 million shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in the second quarter.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • German Guy Wants to Photograph Those Buildings People Want to Exclude from Google Street View

      Spiegel reports that German photographer and IT consultant Jens Best wants to personally take snapshots of all those (German) buildings which people asked Google Street View to remove. He then wants to add those photos to Picasa, including GPS coordinates, and in turn re-connect them with Google Maps. Jens believes that for the internet “we must apply the same rules as we do in the real world. Our right to take panoramic snapshots, for instance, or to take photographs in public spaces, both base laws which determine that one may photograph those things that are visible from public streets and places.”

    • Sweden drops warrant for WikiLeaks founder

      “I do not consider there to be any reason to suspect that he has committed rape,” chief prosecutor Eva Finné said in a statement explaining her decision.

      The statement was issued at 4.30pm on Saturday to confirm that Assange was no longer a suspect and is thus no longer required to contact the police.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • RIAA: Google/Verizon deal needs yet another gaping loophole

      Plenty of people are worried that the Google/Verizon net neutrality proposal has too many exceptions. The recording industry is worried that it doesn’t have enough.

      In a letter sent today to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, the RIAA and other music trade groups expressed their concern that the riddled-with-gaping-loopholes policy framework nevertheless might put a damper on ISP attempts to find and filter piratical material flowing through the Internet’s tubes. Failure to allow for this sort of behavior would lead to an Internet of “chaos.”

    • Telenet ISP: One of our customers downloads 2.7TB every month

      Posting on the userbase.be forums, the ISP was kind enough to share data on its top 20 subscribers (with their permission). In the top spot was a user who managed to transfer 2.7TB of data in a single month. 2nd to 5th spots counted 1.9TB, 1.4TB, 1.3TB, and 1TB of data transferred. After that the numbers fall quickly.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • ACTA Round Ten Concludes: Deal May Be One Month Away, Updated Text To Remain Secret

          Round ten of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations in Washington concluded on Friday with countries confirming progress on all fronts and hopes to reach agreement on all remaining substantive issues at the next round in negotiations in Japan in late September. While the joint statement is not yet online, Reuters reports that the U.S. believes the remaining issues – including the U.S. – E.U. divide over geographical indications – could be resolved at the next meeting. The statement repeats earlier assurances about the impact on fundamental rights, cross-border transit of generic medicines, and iPod searching border guards.

Clip of the Day

Ps3 hack by Modchip with Jailbreak [ps3club]

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