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08.30.10

Links 30/8/2010: Militant Red Hat Board, Rails 3.0, OLPC Healing, OpenOffice.org Conference in Budapest

Posted in News Roundup at 3:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Bootability

    My advice? Don’t dual-boot. If you need to run that other OS, do so in a virtual machine so that it can clobber its virtual boot-loader and not yours. VirtualBox makes this very easy and you get the added benefit that you can run both OS simultaneously without having to re-re-reboot.

  • Are these actually PC problems?

    Those in the list are not PC-bound issues, but OS problems. The press should start reporting them as what they really are: the intrinsic flaws of Windows, not of PCs. My Mandriva desktop has none of those. Nor does my Mandriva netbook. As far as I have heard, the other members of the Linux family (Mepis , Pardus, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, Sabayon, Arch, and the rest) that run on PCs stand solid against viruses.

    However, before you migrate to Linux, you must know that, as in any change of OS, a successful migration depends on intelligent choices and understanding of the situation.

  • There IS a Linux for you.

    You can be assured that no matter how many people around you are using Linux, your computer is a reflection of yourself and not of some faceless marketing mogul. This is because Linux is open source and open source is all about freedom. Freedom is choice and anything which tries to limit our choice is trying to reduce our freedom.

  • Kernel Space

    • Benchmarks Of ZFS-FUSE On Linux Against EXT4, Btrfs

      For those not familiar with the GPL-licensed Linux FUSE module, it is a Linux kernel module that has been living within the mainline kernel since the Linux 2.6.14 release and it allows non-privileged users to create their own file-systems in user-space with the FUSE module then providing a bridge to interface with the Linux kernel. FUSE is also available for BSD, OpenSolaris, and Mac OS X operating systems too. With FUSE file-systems living in user-space, they do not need to comply with the GNU GPL since only the FUSE module is loaded against the Linux kernel, but there is an overhead associated with this approach. Besides ZFS-FUSE, there are dozens of other FUSE file-systems including ClamFS, httpFS, ChunkFS, vmware-mount, and GnomeVFS2 FUSE. The most recent release of ZFS-FUSE is version 0.6.9 and is based upon Zpool version 23 (much better than Zpool 18 being used by LLNL/KQ Infotech at this time, with post-18 revisions adding features like de-duplication support) and supports NFS sharing, PowerPC architecture, a multi-threaded ioctl handler, and other improvements. ZFS 0.7.0 is the release presently under development and is expected for release in early October. For our testing of ZFS-FUSE, we used both the latest stable 0.6.9 release and a 0.7.0 Git snapshot as of their latest official code in their Git repository as of 2010-08-28.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • I am part of the game!

        There are several ways of being part of the KDE game: you can develop, translate, be an artist, help users, take care of our infrastructure, organize developer sprints. A lot of ways right? But some people just lack the time to join the game in any of the areas that I just listed but still want to contribute in some way to the project.

        [...]

        And you? What are you waiting for? Help KDE and be part of it: Join the Game!

      • KDE and NVidia

        The above combination was never a painless experience, still at some point in past it seemed to be better to have a NVidia card on Linux then anything else, so I continued to buy them whenever my system was upgraded. Lately although it started to make me rather bad.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Under these rocks and stones

        Of the three distributions mentioned here, I don’t think any of them are likely to become mainstream in the Linux community. Puppy is well established in its niche and seems happy there. The Me-OS project, I feel, has some potential if the developer can keep up with the work which goes into maintaining a distro. Like Puppy, Me-OS is taking a slightly different path and it’ll be interesting to see where they end up. ImagineOS felt like the odd one out of these three. It doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, I didn’t find anything in its approach to be eye-catching. It sits on a strong Slackware base, but I think the project needs to add something if it wants to attract new members.

      • A bit about Parted Magic 5.3 and UnetBootin

        Today I want to talk about a specialist Linux distro which has saved me from pretty nasty situations more than once, Parted Magic 5.3. I believe that the best introduction to this fabulous distro is its feature list (extracted from the Parted Magic Official SITE).

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Making a Statement without Saying Anything

          Creating the default wall paper for Ubuntu is not an easy task. No matter the outcome there will be some who like it and others who won’t.

          So why does it matter? Throw something together and call it good.

          The answer is the default wall paper in many cases is the first expression of quality. To illustrate; if I am viewing a high quality automobile but hate the color or some other design detail what impression do I walk away with?

        • The joke that is Maverick’s default wallpaper

          As many of you know, I tend to be the first to criticize anything in this community of people who are often afraid to voice their opinion about something. This time, however, I’m not going to do the talking, I’m just going to share some comments.

        • [Full Circle Magazine] Issue 40

          This month we begin using the new Ubuntu font and a new FCM logo created by Thorsten Wilms!

          * Command and Conquer.
          * How-To : Program in Python – Part 14, Virtualize Part 3 – OpenSolaris, and ADSL Modem As A Switch.
          * Review – SOFA Statistics.
          * Top 5 – Favourite Apps.
          * plus: MOTU Interview, Ubuntu Games, My Opinion, My Story, and now with all new LoCo and Translation Team interviews!

        • Incredible Stories Of Free Software and Open Source

          A story I share at every Ubuntu Developer Summit is that when I started working as the Ubuntu Community Manager I got a lovely email from a kid in Africa who would walk two hours to his local town where he would spend his own money to buy Internet time in an Internet cafe to contribute to Ubuntu and then walk two hours back home. This story was powerful to me. It told me that my job is to help that guy get the most out of his hour, to justify his investment of energy and expense to just get involved in the first place. His story was inspiring, encouraging, and an impressive example of commitment. I always share this story at UDS as an inspiration for us to get the most out of each one-hour session.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Kindle hardware vs Kindle app: What’s the better reading experience?
    • Phones

      • Android

        • My Droid Incredible Video Review on Steroids

          Incredibly, I got the incredible** chance to review the Droid Incredible and see if it lives up to its reputation of incredibility of putting out incredible video, picture quality, sound and more. I was incredulous, so you will see how the Incredible fared by after my incredible amount of video scrutiny. Incredible!

    • Sub-notebooks

      • XO Laptop Helps Healing

        Haiti Partners participated in a pilot with Waveplace and OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) of 200 xo laptops in April and May of this year. Last week I (John Engle) visited with about 20 students from our various partner schools to see how they’re progressing. Respecting one of OLPC’s principles, all students in our partner schools keep the laptops so that they can continue learning.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Three Open Source Ticketing Systems

    If open source folks know anything, and they do, it’s how to build tools that enable collaborative development. Case in point: ticketing and issue tracking systems. If your shop needs a reliable, flexible, and scalable ticketing system take a look at Bugzilla, Request Tracker (RT), or Trac to find the best tool to keep your projects on track.

  • Michael Tiemann Opens Up

    Michael Tiemann is the brain behind Cygnus, the first company to offer support to Linux and other assorted Free Software programs. He is now involved in open source ‘affairs’ at the OSI. Swapnil Bhartiya discusses the past, present and the future with Tiemann in this exclusive interview.

  • Oracle OOo

    • ♥ Thinking of OOoCon

      My best wishes to all my friends attending the OpenOffice.org conference in Budapest this week.

    • OpenOffice saves a company budget

      The installation is painless…now the true test will be time. If the end-users can get used to a different office suite to handle their templates. But ultimately what this little experience taught me was that as much as people like to claim how cheap the TCO of MS products are to business, there is always a situation that begs to smack that assumption upside the face. This was one of those. Not many business have 10,000 dollars to drop on a software update – especially one that will only serve to solve a printing issue. Yes the printing was a critical aspect of the users’ jobs, but not enough to force the hand to upgrading to Office 2007 on terminal server.

  • CMS

    • Diaspora Clarifies: Open Source On September 15, Consumer Alpha In October

      A few days ago, we noted that Diaspora was three weeks away from unveiling their open-source Facebook alternative. But a small update today clarifies one important point. On September 15, Diaspora will release the open source code for the project. But it won’t be until October that the first consumer-facing alpha is available.

    • Drupal on the rise in government with ALRC website win

      The Drupal community has notched up another win with the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) joining the ranks of organisations implementing the open source content management system (CMS) for its web presence.

  • Project Releases

    • Rails 3.0: It’s ready!

      Rails 3.0 has been underway for a good two years, so it’s with immense pleasure that we can declare it’s finally here. We’ve brought the work of more than 1,600 contributors together to make everything better, faster, cleaner, and more beautiful.

    • [Durian] Nearly finished!
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Meet Apertus, The Open Source HD Cinema Camera

        A while back I listed 10 of the most promising real world Open Source projects on this blog, and today I want to add one more contender to that list: Apertus, an Open Source cinema camera project.

        Led by Oscar Spierenburg and a team of international developers, the project aims to produce “an affordable community driven free software and open hardware cinematic HD camera for a professional production environment”. Let’s take a quick tour of the hardware and software components that constitute Apertus, before moving on to address some concerns about the overall viability of the project.

  • Programming

    • Managing Developers 101

      Of course, as Luke Welling, Web Team Lead at Message Systems, a digital messaging management company and co-author of the “Bible” of commercial PHP/MySQL programming, PHP and MySQL Web Development, pointed out at an OSCON seminar in Portland, OR, that’s true of many corporate programming projects.

      So what can you, as IT management, do about this? Well, for starters, Welling suggested that managers fight the attitude that sloppy programming is acceptable because IT can always “throw more and faster processors” at any performance problem. Sometimes, you can’t fix performance problems with hardware. You need to convince developers and their team leaders that writing to the minimum hardware requirements, rather than the maximum, is the smart thing to do.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • On HTML5 killing Flash

      The other issue to keep in mind are the “Hollywood” interests. They saw what an open format like MP3 did to their music buddies and are not interested in that kind of disruption. People who own movies and TV are going to want as much DRM as possible, and new video formats that don’t satisfy those requirements are going to be tough to spread. Sure, there’s piracy, but once Hollywood gets it’s act together and figures out a Netflix/Hulu model, I think most people will pay. Most people already pay $80+ a month for cable which a bunch of crap no one wants to watch, so there’s a tolerance for a subscription budget, esp. if it’s for shows you actually want to watch.

    • Lightspark Flash Player Continues Marching Forward

      It was just earlier this month that we were talking about Lightspark now rendering faster and supporting H263/MP3 video when the first Lightspark 0.4.3 release candidate was made available. This open-source project that only reached beta in May aims to provide a completely free software implementation of Adobe’s Flash/SWF specification, continues to advance rapidly. Lightspark 0.4.3 was already released and this morning the 0.4.4 release has even made it out the door.

Leftovers

  • Weird Science votes all the useful people off the island

    You’ve been extremely helpful, so bugger off: What started out as a routine study of group behavior ended up turning a bit surreal. According to the authors of a new paper, they started out trying to find out how long a group would tolerate members that abused the common good. In the process, they found that members who put the most into the common good were quickly expelled from the group. Not entirely believing it, they replicated the findings—twice. Some of the hate comes from the overly officious group members, who viewed those who gave more than they needed to as breaking the rules. But some of it also comes from people who think that altruistic behavior like this simply raises expectations unnecessarily.

  • Paul Weiss and Lowenstein Ordered to Pay $1.96 Million for Filing Frivolous Suit Against Ron Perelman’s In-Laws

    Bergen County, N.J., Superior Court Judge Ellen Koblitz doesn’t seem too worried about sparing the reputations of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Lowenstein Sandler. In June, you’ll recall, she found that the two firms had filed a frivolous suit on behalf of billionaire Ronald Perelman in a family dispute over hundreds of millions of dollars. On Friday she issued a final opinion (pdf), rejecting the firms’ arguments for mercy and ordering them to pay $1.96 million in legal fees to the defendants, Perelman’s former father-in-law and brother-in-law.

  • Traditional Offshore Outsourcing on the Skids

    U.S. H-1B, L-1 visa reform under a new border security appropriations act also discriminates against offshore outsourcing providers, critics and advocates alike say, as it penalizes Indian IT service providers while ignoring US IT service providers who are also heavy users of H-1Bs like IBM, Accenture and UST Global.

  • Conrad Black Case Targets Net Defamation Jurisdiction Standard

    Conrad Black’s ongoing legal fight in the United States has attracted considerable attention in Canada, yet my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) there is a side courtroom battle at home over alleged defamatory content on the Internet that merits closer attention. The case, named Black v. Breeden, involves postings such as press releases and reports on the Hollinger International, Inc. website that Black claims were defamatory. Several Ontario media organizations published the allegations contained in those releases.

  • Gov’t loses case for citing Wikipedia

    For going to court with an argument referenced from Wikipedia, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) lost an appeal to reverse a decision nullifying a couple’s 19-year marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity.

    “The Republic, with all the resources and manpower at its disposal, has all the means with which to counter the expert testimony offered by [the ex-wife]. Most certainly, the Republic has access to government institutions, i.e., National Center for Mental Health, which has qualified psychiatric experts whose opinion it could have sought to evaluate [the woman] and her spouse,” the Court of Appeals special 15th division said in a 13-page decision.

  • Blockbuster Bankruptcy, Yet Again, Highlights How It’s Not Easy To Just Copy The Disruptive Innovation

    Late last week, there were a ton of press reports about how Blockbuster was preparing to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September. It’s not shutting down, but just trying to restructure its debt, get out from under a bunch of store leases and try, try again. That said, this is yet another example of the fallacy of the claim of many that if you have a good idea some big company will just come along, copy it, and be successful. It also demonstrates the huge difference between idea and execution.

  • Why Online Won’t Kill the Radio Star

    Vivian Schiller, president and chief executive of NPR, came to the public-radio organization in 2009 after 25 years in media, including stints at NYTimes.com and CNN. She talked with Kara Swisher about the rise of Internet radio, getting programs on Apple Inc.’s iPad and forming partnerships with other nonprofit news organizations. Here are edited excerpts of their conversation.

  • Will Cisco Swoop in to Buy Skype Pre-IPO?

    This wouldn’t be the first brush with big cap tech interest, as Skype had been operating under eBay’s (EBAY) ownership from 2005 to 2009. eBay bought Skype in 2005 for $2.6 billion and sold most of the company at an estimated valuation of $2.75 billion to a group of private equity investors in 2009. Ebay, to this date, maintains a 35% ownership interest.

  • How the Washington Shakespeare Company came to offer Shakespeare in Klingon

    Don’t you love that remarkable moment when roSenQatlh and ghIlDenSten exit the stage and Khamlet is left alone to deliver the immortal words: “baQa’, Qovpatlh, toy’wl”a’ qal je jIH”?

    No? Well, it always kills on Kronos. That’s the home planet of the Klingons, the hostile race that antagonizes the Federation heroes of “Star Trek.” We learned back in ’91 in “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” that the Klingons love them some Shakespeare. Or as he’s known to his ridged-foreheaded devotees in the space-alien community: Wil’yam Shex’pir.

  • Science

    • Use of rare earth metals outstripping supply

      Those of you who have spent time staring at a periodic table are undoubtedly aware of the large insertions that are typically stuck below the chart, since they’d make the table unreasonably wide otherwise. The top of these two rows is typically called the Lanthanide series, and it contains the rare earth metals, like dysprosium, holmium, and praseodymium. Although these exotic-sounding metals find their way into displays and lasers, they’re primarily notable for their use in powerful magnets that appear in everything from electric motors to disk drives. And, according to a new Congressional analysis posted by the Federation of American Scientists’ Secrecy News blog, the world is using them up faster than it can produce them.

      The report itself doesn’t really have much information that couldn’t be obtained elsewhere, but it puts it all together in a very readable package. Right now, we’re using about 134,000 tons of rare earth metals a year, but mining only 124,000 tons; the difference is made up using ore stocks that have been mined but not yet processed.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • NIH Orders Immediate Shutdown of Intramural Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

      Responding to a court order issued a week ago, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) this morning ordered intramural researchers studying human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to shut down their experiments.

      NIH’s action—probably unprecedented in its history—is a response to a preliminary injunction on 23 August from U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth. The judge ruled that the Obama policy allowing NIH funding to be used to study hESC lines violates a law prohibiting the use of federal funds to destroy embryos.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Indian E-Voting Researcher Freed After Seven Days in Police Custody

      FLASH: 4:47 a.m. EDT August 28 — Indian e-voting researcher Hari Prasad was released on bail an hour ago, after seven days in police custody. Magistrate D. H. Sharma reportedly praised Hari and made strong comments against the police, saying Hari has done service to his country. Full post later today.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Coffee threatened by beetles in a warming world

      The highlands of southwestern Ethiopia should be ideal for growing coffee. After all, this is the region where coffee first originated hundreds of years ago. But although coffee remains Ethiopia’s number one export, the nation’s coffee farmers have been struggling.

  • Finance

    • KPMG Accounting Malpractice Verdict Affirmed but $38 Million Damage Award Vacated

      In a half-empty/half-full ruling for KPMG, a New Jersey appeals court on Thursday found sufficient evidence that the accounting giant was negligent in its audits of the books of a ceramic collectibles company but inadequate proof to support a $38 million damages award to another company that acquired it.

    • Bernanke Tries to Manage Expectations of Fed Role

      “Central bankers alone cannot solve the world’s economic problems,” Mr. Bernanke said in what became a theme of the annual Fed policy symposium here, organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

    • Bankers Told Recovery May Be Slow

      The gathering, at a historic lodge in Grand Teton National Park, brought together about 110 central bankers and economists, including most of the Federal Reserve’s top officials. In 2008, the symposium occurred weeks before the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy nearly shut down the financial markets. At the symposium last year, officials congratulated themselves on weathering the worst of the crisis.

    • It’s Not Over Until It’s in the Rules

      The question is this: Will regulators give Wall Street’s big dealers what they want in a second bite of the apple?

    • Policy Options Dwindle as Economic Fears Grow

      THE American economy is once again tilting toward danger. Despite an aggressive regimen of treatments from the conventional to the exotic — more than $800 billion in federal spending, and trillions of dollars worth of credit from the Federal Reserve — fears of a second recession are growing, along with worries that the country may face several more years of lean prospects.

    • Tax Reform, Yes! VAT, No!

      The federal budget is in worse shape than Roger Clemens’s reputation.

      It ran a deficit of $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2009 and is on track to nearly match this red ink in 2010. Going forward, there is no relief in sight.

    • Vacation Travel Recovers, but Frugality Is Focus

      With couples like the Kordasiewiczs taking advantage of incentives like free breakfast, restaurants and shopkeepers selling items like T-shirts, taffy and jewelry say travelers seem to be thinking twice before opening their wallets, if they do at all.

      “They are coming in the door more,” said Belinda Schmitt, the manager of Guertin Brothers Jewelers on Main Street in Hyannis on Cape Cod. “But I am finding that tourists are not interested in buying jewelry as much. We have started carrying jewelry that can maybe more meet the needs of people on a tighter budget.”

    • Beware That New Credit-Card Offer

      Amid all the junk mail pouring into your house in recent months, you might have noticed a solicitation or two for a “professional card,” otherwise known as a small-business or corporate credit card.

      If so, watch out. While Capital One Financial Corp.’s World MasterCard, Citigroup Inc.’s Citibank CitiBusiness/AAdvantage Mastercard and the others might look like typical plastic, they are anything but.

    • Wall Street’s Big Win

      Cue the credits: the era of financial thuggery is officially over. Three hellish years of panic, all done and gone – the mass bankruptcies, midnight bailouts, shotgun mergers of dying megabanks, high-stakes SEC investigations, all capped by a legislative orgy in which industry lobbyists hurled more than $600 million at Congress.

    • Obama’s Old Deal

      The president proudly called the new law “the toughest financial reform since the one we created in the aftermath of the Great Depression.” What Obama left unsaid was that his administration had argued against many of the toughest amendments in the bill. And Wall Street, in the end, didn’t complain about it all that much.

    • Ben Bernanke calls for help to revive the stuttering US economy

      What did the chairman of the Federal Reserve say in Jackson Hole? According to much of the reaction, Ben Bernanke said the “Fed stands by to boost US growth” (FT), or that the “Fed is ready to prop up economy” (NYT) or even that the “Fed stands ready to support recovery” (WSJ).

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Comcast Gets Static on Net TV

      The Justice Department is focusing in on how Comcast Corp.’s bid to purchase control of General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal television and movie unit could affect the emerging Internet video market, people familiar with the matter say.

    • Hulu Explains Why Hulu Plus Shows Ads, Has Limited Content

      If customers don’t find Hulu Plus is worthwhile at $10 a month, especially with Netflix offering considerably more streaming content at $9, maybe Hulu Plus needs more commercials to drive the price lower.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Yet Another Study Says Counterfeit Products Aren’t Really A Problem

      It looks like we’ve got yet another study highlighting exactly the same thing — and this one coming from a guy who is an advisor to the UK government. Gautam John points us to this new bit of research by Professor David Wall which was funded by the EU, which found that counterfeiting isn’t really that big of a problem. The findings were quite similar to the study we reported on last year. It says that there’s a consumer benefit to buying knockoff designer goods, and that the “losses” claimed by companies are way out of line with reality. Furthermore, perhaps most surprisingly, the report says that law enforcement should not waste their time trying to stop the bootleggers. The report also debunks the popular claim from the industry that counterfeit goods fund terrorism and organized crime.

    • In Defense of Links, Part One: Nick Carr, hypertext and delinkification

      There is, I think, nothing unusual about this today. So I was flummoxed earlier this year when Nicholas Carr started a campaign against the humble link, and found at least partial support from some other estimable writers (among them Laura Miller, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Jason Fry and Ryan Chittum). Carr’s “delinkification” critique is part of a larger argument contained in his book The Shallows. I read the book this summer and plan to write about it more. But for now let’s zero in on Carr’s case against links, on pages 126-129 of his book as well as in his “delinkification” post.

    • Copyrights

      • The Beautiful And Talented Janis Ian – The Internet Debacle:An Alternative View

        Janis had posted a long article on copyright titled ‘The Internet Debacle: An Alternative View‘. In this article, and it’s follow up, ‘Fallout: A Follow Up To The Internet Debacle‘, Janis covered many of the same arguments I and others had been making since the copyright debate in Canada started to heat up (note that I am not claiming to be the first to have made these arguments – in fact I came late to the game).

      • The Beautiful And Talented Janis Ian – Fallout: A Follow Up To The Internet Debacle
      • Corporate Copyright Scofflaws 0006 – The RIAA Member Companies

        The largest copyright pirates are the large corporations, particularly in the content distribution business. Yes, those companies who scream the loudest that their customers are ‘pirating’ movies, songs, books, etc. In this series, we are going to look at cases where these companies have engaged in large scale copyright infringement, or in other ways have been ripping off artists.

      • Supreme Court told P2P users can be “innocent infringers”

        wo prominent lawyers in the fight against RIAA P2P lawsuits have taken their battle to the Supreme Court. Today, Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson and “Recording Industry vs. the People” blogger/lawyer Ray Beckerman joined with a few other law professors to ask the Supreme Court not to gut copyright law’s “innocent infringer” defense.

      • Free That Tenor Sax

        The most significant issue for art like the jazz recordings is that they are considered “orphan works,” still under copyright but for which the artist can no longer be located. In 2008, the Senate passed a bill that would limit the copyrights on such orphaned material. Under the bill, if a good-faith but unsuccessful effort is made to locate the owner, someone else can publish the work. An artist who later steps forward is entitled to reasonable compensation but not the heavy damages now in the law.

      • Judge questions Righthaven over R-J copyright suit costs

        A federal judge on Thursday questioned Las Vegas copyright enforcement company Righthaven LLC about the litigation costs it’s expecting defendants to pay.

        Righthaven since March has retroactively sued at least 103 website owners around North America after determining copyrights to Las Vegas Review-Journal stories were infringed on, and then obtaining the copyrights to those stories from the Review-Journal’s owner Stephens Media LLC.

      • Google Wins Dismissal of German Suit As YouTube Battles Over Music Videos

        A court declined to issue an emergency order forcing Google Inc. to block German access to some music videos on its YouTube website in a dispute over monitoring files on the Internet.

        Still, the Hamburg Regional Court said it might ultimately rule in favor of a group of music-collecting societies, including the German agency GEMA, if a new suit was filed under standard court procedures.

        The case is part of a dispute over who is responsible for detecting illegal files on YouTube. Google, the owner of the world’s most popular search engine, in June won dismissal of a $1 billion suit brought by Viacom Inc. in a U.S. court for unauthorized use of content from programs on YouTube.

      • Another ISP bucks ‘Hurt Locker’ subpoenas

        In federal court on Monday, Midcontinent Communications filed a motion to quash a subpoena received from Voltage Pictures, the film’s producers, who allege some of the ISP’s customers used peer-to-peer services to pilfer unauthorized copies of its movie. Voltage seeks to require Midcontinent to identify those customers as well as turn over their home addresses, phone numbers, and other data.

        Midcontinent’s lawyers told the court that the subpoena was improperly issued and doesn’t offer to compensate the ISP for gathering the information. In addition, Midcontinent, which has 250,000 customers in North and South Dakota and parts of Minnesota, is skeptical that a U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., where the subpoena was issued, has jurisdiction over it. Midcontinent told the court that its own policy prevents it from providing “customer information to third parties without a valid court order.”

      • Form letter from Heritage Minister James Moore.

        On August 5′th I received an email that was “From: min.moore@pch.gc.ca”. It had no content, but two file attachments – one HTML and one GIF. Thunderbird warned that it was most likely a scam, given this is a common technique used by spammers to avoid SPAM detection software.

        I extracted the file attachments, and I wasn’t all that surprised to learn that it was a form letter originating from the Heritage Minister’s office. This isn’t the most technologically literate Minister or department in Canada, and it was unlikely that ensuring emails wouldn’t be confused as SPAM or scams would be something they would know much about.

      • Mark Waid Defends Pirates, Gets It On With Sergio Aragonés – Oh And Harvey Awards Results Announced

        Mark Waid’s keynote speech at the Harvey Awards at Baltimore Comics Con last night started by pointing out that copyright was all about putting work into the public domain, rather than preserving it for company ownership, and the concept of public domain should be embraced again. That illegal downloading is inevitable leading to a new culture of sharing. Lines such as “culture is more important than copyright” and “there are more ideas in one week at your comic shop than three years in Hollywood.”

      • College Starts With a Fresh Textbook Torrent Site

        Nicely timed at the start of the new college year, a new BitTorrent site dedicated to sharing knowledge in the form of textbooks has surfaced. Torrent My Book – a project run by two college students – aims to become the world’s largest BitTorrent index of textbooks, following in the footsteps of the late TextBookTorrents.

Clip of the Day

YouTube SUCKS…again, and such


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    Links for the day



  6. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  7. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  8. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  9. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  10. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  11. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  12. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  13. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  14. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  15. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  16. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  17. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  18. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  19. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  20. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  21. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  22. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  23. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  24. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  25. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  26. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  27. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas



  28. Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Software Patents

    The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina



  29. Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

    Links for the day



  30. Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony's Firefox OS Port

    Links for the day


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