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09.09.10

Links 9/9/2010: Debian-based Linux Mint in Review, Android Passes 80,000 Apps

Posted in News Roundup at 4:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • The Key to a Successful Linux Conversion

      People are resistant to change. This is a fact and it is not going to change any time soon. Because of this they will not want their entire computer to change on them all at once. An important fact that a lot Linux Advocates miss is that the conversion to Linux starts on Windows or OSX.

  • Server

    • HPC meets cloud computing with Dell’s new server

      The company announced the PowerEdge C6105 rack-mount server, which can accommodate up to 48 processor cores in a 2U box. The server can create large clusters to run scientific or math applications, and can also scale performance in densely packed cloud-computing environments, company officials said.

    • PCI DSS Standards 2.0 Means Good News For Linux Xen VPS

      Of the 12 new changes to the standards, the best part of the new PCI DSS rules is a change to rule 2.2.1, which specifically allows for virtualization. Such as using a VPS running Linux with Xen. Instead of having just 1 function per server, they now specify you can have multiple virtual servers on one physical server, each performing separate functions. Prior to this the Payment Card Industry, didn’t specifically allow or disallow the use of VPS, and their rule on it, was open to interpretation, and your security team would need to make a judgement call if they thought you will still be in compliance by using Xen, or any other VPS. You will still need at least 2 physical servers, as your database server must be behind a hardware firewall, but you can have web on 1 VPS, email on another, DNS on a third, etc.

      Some people argue that using a VPS is less secure, because you risk having the main server hacked, and then in turn all the VPSs running on it are compromised. However SSH is probably the only port you would have open on the main server, plus that should have an ACL denying all traffic except from one or a couple IPs, it would really be very very rare if were to happen, and it seems like the PCI DSS Council realized that too.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • How to Oxidize KDE 3.5

        As far as putting current software on old computers, this is something to look out for, and (if I say so myself) the theming of KDE 3.5 to look like KDE 4 looks pretty convincing to the untrained eye and makes the desktop (in terms of speed, stability, and appearance) look thoroughly modern.

      • KDE 4.5 Desktop Activities Bring New Meaning to Organization

        KDE 4.5 brings to the table plenty of useful, functional, innovative features. One of those very features is the Desktop Activity. Although many scoffed at the idea (even tried to get the feature pulled), those same naysayers are (hopefully) glad their requests were not followed. Why? The KDE Desktop Activities feature is a great new desktop metaphor that takes the Linux desktop to new levels of organization.

        Prior to Desktop Activities a user could have multiple desktops (thanks to the ever-present KDE pager). You could use one desktop for productivity, one for networking, one for graphics, one for fun, or whatever categories you needed. This was a great way to keep yourself organized. The KDE team saw something that no one else seemed to see — that the Pager idea could be greatly improved.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Chakra Jaz (0.2.1)

        Chakra Linux is a new distribution based on Arch Linux. Chakra Linux comes from the people behind the KDEmod(Modularized KDE). Arch Linux is one of my favorite distribution as it offered a fast, stable distribution with the latest packages(rolling release). I used KDEmod with Arch as the customizations and modularization was better than the vanilla KDE provided by Arch.

        [...]

        The developers of Chakra have done a great job with their custom scripts. Chakra Linux is still in early stages of development, and it needs some improvements especially in the following areas.

        * Package Management (GUI, packages and dependencies)
        * Installer(Partitioning)

        If you are looking for an easy way to setup a Arch based distribution, then Chakra would be an ideal way. If you have a fair amount of experience with Arch, then I would highly recommend Chakra. If you are a basic user then you may need to wait for a little longer for a perfect Chakra experience.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • HeliOS Store opens to fund the HeliOS Project

        We recently received a huge donation from Dell. It wasn’t computers or monitors but boxes and boxes of stuff we probably will never use. But that’s not to say that it isn’t valuable to someone else. With that in mind, The HeliOS Project has established a presence on Amazon and Ebay. Since Ebay and Paypal are joined at the hip, our preferred way of doing business is through Amazon.

      • yes we can

        There is no way to have an official Debian Facebook page and pretend that we are not, de facto, endorsing Facebook. That’s why I believe having official Debian presence on Facebook, or on any other non Free Software platform, will just weaken our cause. It will send out the message that Free Software it’s something which is good for others to use, but not necessarily for Debian as a project.

      • Can Debian achieve world domination without being on Facebook?

        Facebook is not very popular among free software hackers. When I announced my Facebook page on identi.ca (see here) I got a few replies suggesting it was odd for me to use Facebook.

      • Freedom Box Project
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Charactersets
        • UbuntuOne gets better

          Cloud storage services offers Ubuntu users an ever increasing range of features

          Most users have heard of Dropbox, the online storage application which makes it easy to save files in the “cloud”. As far as consumer-facing cloud storage solutions Dropbox is about the best there is.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint (Debian)

            Summary: An excellent alternative version of Linux Mint for those who prefer a rolling distro to the usual Ubuntu based versions of Linux Mint.

            Rating: 4/5

          • Linux Mint Debian Edition – 1st Impression

            So without further delay, let’s talk about Mint…

            1 – Boot Time – Nothing new, fast as hell…
            2 – Kernel – 2.6.32 – Same as Ubuntu 10.04
            3 – Speed – same as 1
            4 – Update Manager – ok, not very intrusive with all the updates and the wonderful Mint level for update, very nice for beginners
            5 – My samba share appeared on Nautilus and network
            6 – Software: F-spot, Gimp, Thunderbird, Pidgin!!!!!, VLC!!!!!!, MintNanny (it would come very useful for me soon), Giver (file share), root terminal, Openoffice….. Yes, they are better than Ubuntu at choosing packages
            7 – Well, everything else, just like regular Mint, very very nice……

          • Linux Mint Based On Debian Released – And It’s A Rolling Distribution!

            Rolling release means you won’t have to upgrade / do a clean install each time a new Linux Mint Debian version is released to be able to use the latest software versions. As an example: Ubuntu 10.04 shipped with VLC 1.0.x and you cannot and will not be able to install VLC 1.1.x in Ubuntu 10.04 from the official repositories. The only way to install VLC 1.1.x in Ubuntu 10.04 is to use a PPA or upgrade to Ubuntu 10.10. That will not be the case with Linux Mint Debian – you will get updates for all your applications without having to install the latest Linux Mint Debian version.

          • Review: Kubuntu 10.04 Trinity “Lucid Lynx” (Idea by Candid of Linux Today)

            I think Trinity will be able to find a home on many old computers as a viable alternative to LXDE and Xfce; it’s fast, and it’s customizable enough to be quite a looker (as I don’t particularly care for the default look). I wish the developers the best of luck regarding the project’s progress; more choice is always better. I would certainly recommend this to anyone who wants some way to stick with KDE 3.5 or some way to bring KDE onto an older computer.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Wind River board partners spin Intel-based embedded kits

      Wind River announced a series of Wind River Linux-ready development kits developed in partnership with eight different embedded board vendors. Embedded Development Kits are now available from Emerson Network Power, Eurotech, and Kontron, with more kits due in the fourth quarter from Advantech, Adlink, Curtiss-Wright, GE Intelligent Platforms, and RadiSys, says Wind River.

    • Phones

      • Do Users Care Much About Mobile Operating Systems?

        Google’s Android initiative likewise is part of Google’s awareness that the mobile market is strategic and crucial for its future relevance.

      • Android

        • Android Now at 80,000 Market Apps

          In case you didn’t catch it late last night in T-Mobile’s press release for their G2, Andy Rubin had some words to say for the successor to the first phone to carry his beloved operating system, Android, and had a quick fact to throw out to us: we’re nowsitting at 80,000 apps. It’s an increase of only 10,000 from the last time we caught word of any official number. In May, it was announced that the market was housing 50,000 apps. At this rate, it’s sounding like we’re approaching the roughly 10,000 apps per month AppBrain had predicted a while back (even if their numbers were unofficial and somehow inflated).

        • Android Market Growing Exponentially – Now with more than 80,000 apps
        • This Little App Went to Market, Part 1

          Reality indicates that most developers don’t make back their investment by publishing an application to the App Store or Android Market.

        • Google Faces Tough Fight Against iTunes
        • More Android tablets break cover

          Navigation device manufacturer Rydeen Mobile Electronics announced a seven-inch, Android-based tablet called the “gPad GCOM701″ at last weekend’s IFA show in Berlin. Also at the show, Foryoudigital demonstrated its five-inch, Android-powered MX10, and Enspert announced that it built the “Identity Tab” Android tablet recently released by Korean carrier KT.

        • Learn your history, the Android way
    • Sub-notebooks

      • UNR – Ubuntu Netbook Revisited

        I’ve spent the last couple of days distro hopping on my netbook and ended up with a pretty impressive UNR (Ubuntu Netbook Remix) 10.04. It had been happily running Linux Mint 8 XFCE with full Compiz effects before that.

        A couple of weeks ago I installed BackTrack as a live USB distro, but got a bit of an awakening when I found I was lost in KDE3.5. It was hunting around the interface for things, as if I’d never seen Linux before, despite KDE3.5 being the first full time Linux DE I used. It was time to branch out a little if only to brush up my skills and not feel so lost when sitting down at another Linux PC. I have a P3 and P4 desktop, neither of which are capable of running anything beyond XFCE, so the netbook was the obvious target.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Inequality, Choices, and Hitting a Wall

    Have you read the Evil HR Lady’s article called Illegal Gender Discrimination in Tech? Hardly.? Suzanne Lucas, a.k.a. Evil HR Lady, says, “Everyone wrings their hands and frets, ‘what can we do about the inequality in X?’ Well, first stop and see if people are making different choices.”

    Ok, so far I can follow what Lucas is saying. I’ve reevaluated my own choices over the years and plugged holes where I found them. I’ve learned the art of salary negotiation, am improving my self-promotion prowess, and am known to be aggressively assertive. But then she loses me… and annoys me.

    Lucas writes, “I know, I know, there is a presumption of discrimination because women are so down-trodden that that they think they wouldn’t be able to succeed because all those men who control the money wouldn’t let them anyway, so why try?”

    Where exactly is this presumption of discrimination? Did she say ‘down trodden’? Really, Lucas does a fabulous job of illustrating what so many of us think keeps women out of tech careers – they don’t feel welcome.

  • SetiQuest Project Could Bring The Goodness of Open Source to Our Search for Alien Life

    SETI or Search for Extra Terrestrial Life is a project that started some 50 years ago. SETI is one of those science projects that had caught the public’s imagination like no other. But with the escalating costs and dwindling manpower, SETI needs a new vision. And if things happened during SETIcon, a weekend conference organized by the SETI Institute to honor SETI’s 50th anniversary, are any indication, the new vision could just be ‘Open Source’.

  • Events

    • OrangeHRM clamors to join million-dollar club

      Open source human resource management software vendor sees quality of service and mobile technology as two key areas to exploit to become a US$1 million company by 2011, reveals CEO.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4 Set to Improve Security

        The race to accelerate browser features continues as Mozilla developers race towards the finish line to get the finished version of the Firefox 4 Web browser out the door.

        The first Firefox 4 beta was released in early July of this year and the final release is due by the end of the year. Along the way to its final generally available release, Mozilla developers have been issuing milestone releases with new features and bug fixes. Firefox 4 development is occurring at a time when rival browser vendor Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is updating it Chrome browser to version 6 and Microsoft is working on Internet Explorer 9.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • My introduction to open source

      Co-production first became a solid term when used by a team of scholars at Indiana University in the early 1970s. They were looking at the provision of public safety by examining the structure and operations of police departments. Key here was their precursor idea demonstrated well before that study: a distinction between the provision of a public good (or outcome) and the production of a service.

      Government may be responsible for the provision, or be in charge of it, but it doesn’t have to be the sole producer (the one involved in physically bringing the good into existence). In the case of this public safety study, police performance didn’t vary in expected ways when it came to prime suspects like funding levels. The team suggested the local community was responsible for a lot of producer-like qualities, that in the end, had an effect on the provision of public safety.

      It was a new concept, to scholars, at least. They termed it [and this is a later definition] “co-production”—“a process through which inputs used to produce a good or service are contributed by individuals who are not ‘in’ the same organization.”

  • Business

    • Open Source Microstock Agency: How Stock Photo Agency YayMicro.com was Created Using Only Open Source Technology
    • Open Source Microstock Agency

      The enterprise-class linux distribution was chosen because it has proven to be one of the most reliable and stable distributions. It’s one of the most popular server distributions, meaning it is easy to find solutions and support online. YayMicro is currently running CentOS release 5.5 (Final) that was released in May this year.

      CentOS was an easy choice for Yay, since the developers had experience from RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). The community around CentOS provides the support needed, and the functionality is just as good as RHEL. In fact, CentOS can be regarded as the free edition of the same software that makes Red Hat an enterprise solution. It is incredibly stable, efficient, and secure. It provides the same level of security as other enterprise Linux versions. All updates also coincides with a release of RH, ensuring consistent compatibility.

  • Project Releases

    • NetRecon 1.78

      Taking inspiration from the dnet utility netrecon has undergone a lot of redesign. The dnet utility a rather cool test program that can be found with libdnet. Yes a shameless plug on my part. Nevertheless, the way the dnet code plugs in each smaller test program proved to be the best way to change netrecon. All of the programs in netrecon have been merged into a singular front end. As such the syntax has changed drastically. However, the speed is the same and duplication of code, mainly between elements that use libpcap has been commoned up. There is likely still some deduplication of effort to be done. Lastly, for some odd reason, it seems to execute a lot faster too. I can’t really account for that but I am not complaining.

    • GRASS GIS 6.4.0 released 3 September 2010

      We are pleased to announce the release of GRASS GIS 6.4.0, the first in the new line of 6.4 stable releases. As a stable release 6.4 will enjoy long-term support. The next release (6.4.1) will introduce a few new features which are still undergoing final testing, but after that all further 6.4 releases will be bugfix-only. Due to our highly conservative stabilization policy this is the first official version of GRASS to introduce new features since October 2006 and supersedes the previous stable line of GRASS 6.2. As such the floodgates are open and there are many new features to explore and many new structural improvements to be found in the software.

    • Uniform Server is available for CUBRID 3.0

      Once in our previous video trainings we have already introduced the Uniform Server for CUBRID, which included CUBRID 2.2, Apache 2.2.9, and PHP 5.2.12. Today we have updated the CUBRID Database Server to 3.0. So, now you can download the Uniform Server for CUBRID…

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Free thinking

      Why expensive consultancy firms are giving away more research

    • Do Open Educational Resources Increase Efficiency?

      One of the questions people often ask about Open Educational Resources is “do they really increase efficiency?” Creative Commons has worked with many OER innovators, and their stories indicate that it does. We thought it would be useful to gather pointers to some of these examples. Please read on, and leave a comment with other great examples of how CC-enabled OER can increase efficiency for teachers, students and self-learners. Note of course that increasing efficiency is only one benefit of OER.

  • Programming

    • Google Summer of Code 2010 is over

      Google Summer of Code is over now, and we have mixed results. Unfortunately we lost two students at midterm evaluation in July, and another student at final evaluation in August. On the other hand, we have two very successful projects.

      The first project, by Krzysztof Kosiński, was about porting the whole rendering to Cairo, which resulted in a considerable performance boost itself. But Krzysztof also implemented support for multiple cores/processors to use multiple threads for rendering SVG filters. He is also planning to implement SVG filters in OpenCL, so that rendering could be delegated to GPU where available. The second project, by Abhishek Sharma, was about C++ification of SPLayer and privatization of XML nodes which is also going to help parallel processing.

    • Trivial Lists
    • Subversion vs. Git: Choosing the Right Open Source Version Control System

      As with everything in the open source world, version control systems (VCSs) come in several flavors. The grandfather of open source VCSs is CVS, a tool that was the de facto standard in the industry for several years until the likes of Subversion came along and made it almost obsolete.

Leftovers

  • Bullying Busybody for Senate

    Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal may never have served in Vietnam (despite his recollections to the contrary), but he is a hero in the war on prostitution. Armed with nothing but sternly worded letters, indignant press releases, and a seemingly inexhaustible store of self-righteousness, Blumenthal played a key role in pressuring Craigslist to shut down its “adult services” section, which he called a “blatant Internet brothel.”

    On Friday night, the online classified ad service replaced the hyperlink to the controversial section with a black rectangle labeled “censored.” If Blumenthal has anything to say about it (and you know he will), no one will ever pay for sex again.

  • Apple relents on Flash-derived iPhone, iPad apps

    Four and a half months after an Apple license change led Adobe Systems to scrap a project to bring Flash-derived applications to the iPhone, Apple has reversed the ban.

  • Crookes vs p2pnet fund raiser

    Should Wayne Crookes, owner of Vancouver company West Coast Title Search, be allowed to inspire a new law which would effectively kill online freedom of speech in Canada, ultimately echoing around the world?

  • System for appointing judges ‘undermining international courts’

    A “toxic” system for appointing the world’s most senior judges is fundamentally undermining the legitimacy of international courts, a new study claims.

    Unqualified judges, in some cases with no expertise on international law and in one case no legal qualifications, have been appointed to key positions because of highly politicised voting systems and a lack of transparency, the Guardian has learned.

    Critics say that the practices threaten the future of the international criminal court, which deals with cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and the international court of justice, the UN court which deals with disputes between nation states’ courts.

  • Science

    • Matt Cohler Leads Funding for Scientist Social Network

      ResearchGATE, a social network for scientists aimed to facilitate their collaboration on research, has raised an unspecified amount of money in its first institutional round of funding. The round is notable in part because it was led by Matt Cohler of Benchmark Capital, the early Facebook and LinkedIn executive who’s only made a few venture capital investments so far. Berlin-based ResearchGATE was founded by a group of German scientists including Dr. Ijad Madisch, a medical doctor who is currently conducting research in radiology at Harvard. The site has amassed 500,000 members in the last two years, with strong contingents from biology and medicine, followed by computer science.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Pregnant Traveler: TSA Screeners Bullied Me Into Full-Body Scan

      Pregnant Consumerist reader Mary was recently going through the security checkpoint at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. When she realized that she would be going through a full-body scanner, she told the screeners she wanted to exercise her right to a pat-down — even if it meant experiencing the TSA’s new, icky “enhanced” pat-down. But instead of the screeners doing as she requested, Mary claims they proceeded to bully her into the scanner.

    • £114 fine for getting off train two stops early

      A COUPLE told yesterday how they were fined £114 by a ticket collector – for getting off a train EARLY.

      Emma Clark and her fiance Davyd Winter-Bates had bought discounted single tickets for £6 each on a website.

    • New research suggests general public support CCTV
    • WALTHAM FOREST: Borough’s CCTV “obsolete”

      MOST CCTV systems in Waltham Forest are defunct due to a lack of investment, it has emerged.

      A cabinet report says the equipment used by police and the authority is “significantly past recommended life expectancy”.

      The method of camera control and image recording is described as obsolete and soon to be beyond repair.

      The report, which will be considered by cabinet next Tuesday (September 14) seeks approval for the “urgent” replacement of CCTV systems at a cost of £312,000.

    • School uses thumbprints to register all children as part of hi-tech overhaul

      A SCANNER system that reads thumbprints has been installed at a Plymouth “school of the future” during a multi-million-pound facelift.

      The 1,280 pupils at Estover Community College saw the amazing technology in action as they started a new academic year this week and they said the school has got the “wow factor” with its new buildings, technology and equipment.

    • Sri Lanka’s parliament boosts presidential powers

      Sri Lanka’s parliament voted today to allow the president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, to seek an unlimited number of terms in office and to tighten his hold on power by giving him total control over the judiciary, police and the civil service.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Koch-funded oil rally calls global warming a “hoax,” dismisses oil spill, and attacks Democrats

      What was billed as an organic grassroots jobs rally quickly descended into attacks on three things the Kochs most oppose: global warming science, oil safety regulations, and Democrats. One of the speakers, Sgt. Dennis Bartow, called global warming a “hoax.” He was joined by Karen Wright, CEO of the gas company Ariel Corporation, who ridiculed climate change as “questionable science” and referred to pollutants as “so-called carbon dioxide emissions.” Wright went on to rail against “so-called green jobs” that were “dubious” and “phony.”

    • ENVIRONMENT: Astroturfing a regional greenhouse gas program

      A conservative action group is coming after a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program organized by northeastern states.

      The group is Americans for Prosperity, and the program in questions is the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. RGGI – “reggie,” as it’s often called – sets a power-sector carbon cap for the participating states. (New York is one of them.) Then the allowable emissions are publicly auctioned off. At the next auction, scheduled for Wednesday, Americans for Prosperity will protest. It claims that the auctions are secretive, which they aren’t, and that the program will result in drastically higher energy bills. A state environmental group counters those claims here.

    • Koch-Funded “Americans for Prosperity” Astroturfs Regional Greenhouse Gas Program

      AFP also calls the program a “stealth energy tax” and claims that the program will lead to drastically higher energy bills. The cap will actually account for between 0.4 and 1 percent of energy bills. RGGI calims that investments in energy efficiency will eventually lead to reductions in energy bills of 20 to 30 percent, and the program will create new jobs in renewable energy. AFP tries to keep the appearance of being a grassroots organization, but a recent article in the New Yorker magazine revealed the group is bankrolled by billionaire oil company owner David Koch, who has a history of campaigning against climate change legislation and funding climate change deniers. Koch Industries is also one of the nation’s top ten polluters, and fossil fuels are the company’s mainstay.

    • Bees stung by ‘climate change-linked’ early pollination

      Climate change could be affecting pollination by disrupting the synchronised timing of flower opening and bee emergence from hibernation, suggests new US-based research.

      Declining numbers of bees and other pollinators have been causing growing concern in recent years, as scientists fear that decreased pollination could have major impacts on world food supplies.

      Previous studies have focused on pollinators and have linked falling populations to the use of pesticides, habitat loss and disease.

      However, a 17-year analysis of the wild lily in Colorado by scientists from the University of Toronto, suggests other factors may be at play. The study revealed a long-term decline in pollination, which was particularly pronounced earlier in the season.

  • Finance

    • Declare a Jobs Emergency on September 15!

      Job cuts have a way of sneaking up on you — a few teachers here, a police officer there and another fire department that is not open when you need them. In some areas it is a slow bleed, but as every Emergency Medical Technician knows, a thousand small cuts can still kill the patient.

      One group is pushing back against the drip, drip, drip of disappearing jobs and relentless cutbacks in public services. Jobs with Justice (JwJ), the broad-based coalition of faith groups, labor unions, students and grassroots organizations located in 47 communities across the nation, says it simply will not accept a jobless recovery.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Target’s Falling Buzz Score

      The Internet-based market research agency YouGov compiles a weekly report called the Brandweek BrandIndex, that measures “buzz,” or consumer perceptions of the most talked-about brands. A big loser in the agency’s September 3, 2010 report is Target, which drew fire after the retailer donated $150,000 to the Republican-leaning political action group, Minnesota Forward.

    • Dove World Outreach Center: Where Does the Money Go?

      Terry Jones, the controversial pastor behind the recent call to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11, runs a church that spends most of its money on administrative expenses and operates a furniture business out his church in Gainesville, FL.

      According to the 2006 tax return—the most recent tax return available on Guidestar.org—filed by Jones’ church, the Dove World Outreach Center, “program services” accounted for 30.5 percent of the church’s expenses, while “Administrative costs” accounted for 69.5 percent.

    • Faux California pol dupes Washington Post journalist

      Washington Post editorial writer Jonathan Capehart had a bone to pick with Jack Kimble, a Republican congressman representing California’s 54th district.

    • The Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” Decision Threatens the 1964 Civil Rights Act

      Libertarian conservatives are motivated to overturn the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision may give them the tools to do so. The Act must be maintained in the face of the threat posed by the Citizens United precedent.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Judge tosses out privacy claim against Michael Moore over ‘Sicko’ segment

      A federal magistrate judge in Tacoma has thrown out key claims in a lawsuit filed against controversial filmmaker Michael Moore and his Academy Award-nominated documentary “Sicko,” the first use of a state law that bars lawsuits targeting conduct associated with free speech and the First Amendment.

      Judge Karen Strombom last week granted Moore’s motion to dismiss claims of invasion of privacy and “misappropriation of likeness” filed by Hoquiam resident Ken Aronson, ruling that Moore’s use of 71 seconds of video belonging to Aronson was based on Moore’s exploration of an issue of significant public concern — health care — and that its use was protected by the First Amendment.

    • ACLU sues DHS over border laptop searches

      Privacy advocates including the American Civil Liberties Union are mounting a legal challenge against the Department of Homeland Security’s policy of searching travelers’ laptops at the border without reasonable suspicion.

      The ACLU announced Tuesday it has filed a lawsuit along with the New York Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) on behalf of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), alleging the policy violates Americans’ First Amendment rights to privacy and free speech.

    • Rackspace Pulls The Plug On ‘Burn A Koran Day’ Church’s Web Site

      Surely by now you’ve heard of the Dove World Outreach Center, the Florida church that plans to hold a “Koran burning day” on September 11, the nine year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Pretty much nobody think it’s a good idea, from Palin to Obama, from Gen. Petraeus to the FBI. Now involved: Rackspace. Yes, the popular Web host has pulled the plug on the church’s Web site, citing a violation in its service’s “hate-speech provision of [its] acceptable-use policy.”

    • Internet cafe lets police browse your web history

      The latest submission to our Guerrilla Sticker Campaign gallery is taken from outside an internet cafe in East London.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Prying Loose the Grip of Broadband Giants

      Recent data on Internet use in Canada suggests that most people reading this subscribe to broadband services and that virtually all those subscribers are with a major telecommunications or cable company. Indeed, the 2010 Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission report on communications in Canada found that the incumbent telecommunications and cable companies control 95 per cent of the residential broadband market, a figure that has remained virtually unchanged for the past five years.

      Injecting greater competition into that market lies at the heart of last week’s CRTC decision to require incumbent telecom companies — such as Bell, Bell Aliant, and Telus — to provide independent ISPs with speed-matched open access to their networks (speed matching enables competitors to offer Internet services to their retail customers at speeds that match the speeds provided by the incumbents to their own retail customers).

    • Net neutrality: UK taking first shots at the open Internet

      They were opposed by groups like La Quadrature du Net, ORG and BEUC, alongside Internet companies like Yahoo, Skype and Google. After all, both Google and Skype already understand what can result from closed networks: Skype believe they have suffered from network discrimination on fixed ISPs, and have applications blocked on closed mobile networks.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • U2 – Stick to the Music!

        Back in January 2010, we criticised U2 front man Bono for warning all creative types to beware of the evils of the Internet and especially us greedy ISP types when it came to illegal file sharing. We recommended Bono should stick to singing.

      • Righthaven: saving the newspaper industry, one lawsuit at a time

        The Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) of Southern Nevada is a nonprofit that sends trained volunteers to the site of severe accidents, suicides, fires, and violent theft. The volunteers comfort family members, witnesses, and bystanders—traumatized people who can’t be helped by anything found in an ambulance.

        TIP might seem an unlikely target for a federal copyright lawsuit, but it found itself hauled into court last week for posting 14 local newspaper articles about TIP and its volunteers to the group’s website. In most of the articles, TIP volunteers are the main sources for the reporters, providing plenty of quotes and (sometimes jarring) anecdotes about their work.

      • Jimmy Page’s autobiography: £445 is a whole lotta money to pay

        There are only three things necessary to be a Jimmy Page superfan: access to the internet, a sturdy coffee table – and £445 in spare cash. Put the three together and you too could be the proud owner of the leather-bound, silk-wrapped and autographed 512-page collector’s edition of Jimmy Page By Jimmy Page, the long-awaited autobiography by the famously secretive guitarist of Led Zeppelin – one of the most popular and influential bands in the history of rock music.

      • ACTA

        • MEP demand fundamental rights for citizens in ACTA deal

          MEPs yesterday passed a motion strongly criticising the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and urging the European Commission to ensure it respects fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and privacy.

          This is an outstanding success for MEPs and a great victory for European citizens and ORG supporters who joined the lobbying. The ACTA process badly needs strong opposition because of these threats to fundamental rights of citizens.

          Only about a third of British MEPs signed Written Declaration 12/2010 that also called for an immediate publication of all documents related to the negotiating process.

          In a debate in Parliament today MEPs hailed the success of the Declaration and repeatedly criticised the lack of transparency in the ACTA process and demanded to see the final text of the agreement before it is signed.

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