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09.14.10

Links 14/9/2010: Kubuntu 10.10 [P]Reviewed, Transcript of Zuckerberg Cursing His Clients

Posted in News Roundup at 5:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • TurnKey Linux Create a Smart Backup and Migration Tool

    As someone without a technical background, I’m often skeptical of promises like “one-button setup” and “installs in 2 minutes.” Just because it’s easy or obvious for the developer, doesn’t mean it’s easy for the end-user. “Turnkey” isn’t always “turnkey.”

  • Old School Monday: Linux Manifesto

    He’s been listed as one of The 100 Most Influential Inventors of All Time, and was a 2008 inductee to the Computer History Museum.

    In 2004, he was called one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine. In 2000, he ranked #17 in Time’s Person of the Century Poll.

    That same year he was awarded an honorary dotor status at the University of Helsinki, a Lovelace Medal and an Award for Industry Achievement by Infoworld.

    But back in 1998, Linus Torvalds was a man with a manifesto and he sat down with boot to discuss the future of open source software and Linux.

  • Does the Linux desktop matter?

    When it all boils down, does Linux on the desktop really matter? Last week, I touched on the problems counting the number of Linux desktops, but the real question is does it really matter?

    Over the weekend I made my annual pilgrimage to Columbus, Ohio for the Ohio LinuxFest (OLF). While I’m skeptical that the Linux desktop has more than 5% of the market (all desktops in use) in the general population, the Linux desktop had about 95% of the OLF-attending population. Yet at least two of the talks, including Stormy Peters’ keynote, asked the question “does the Linux desktop even matter?”

  • Server

    • Do the Webminimum

      Learning to administer a new operating system is intimidating. We are expected to combine home experimentation, job experience and vendor certifications to get any real understanding of how operating systems, applications and devices work. With a few exceptions, education programs provide little more than a cursory overview of operating system admin. Major strains of Linux place files in different locations, use different configurations for fundamental tools and are based on different package managers. Many of the skills learned in one major strain will port to another; but coming to grips with the differences is not easy.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Security update for Samba 3.5

      The Samba developers have released version 3.5.5 of Samba, a security update that addresses a buffer overrun vulnerability in their open source file and print server software. According to the developers, the vulnerability affects the sid_parse() function and the related dom_sid_parse() function which do not correctly check their input lengths when reading binary versions of a Windows Security ID (SID); a file share connection – authenticated or unauthenticated – is needed to exploit the issue.

    • Audio Player Review: Qmmp

      Final conclusion: if you like XMMS and use KDE, then Qmmp can be a perfect choice. On the other hand, for those used with collection-oriented players like Amarok will probably not like this player.

    • Instructionals/Technical

  • Distributions

    • Tuesday’s security updates
    • Red Hat Family

      • Piper Jaffray Downgrades Red Hat (RHT) to Neutral; Sector Call & Current Valuation

        Piper analyst says, ” Shares have appreciated 394% in the past 22 months, versus 49% for the S&P 500, and we believe they are now fairly valued…We remain optimistic on near-term trends and believe the company is well-positioned for continued growth…However, our sector-wide analysis indicates growth rates for the current cycle are peaking in 2H:10, and as such, deceleration is likely to develop in the subsequent 3 to 6 months.”

      • Mid-Day US Stocks Alert! (Hologic, Inc., Red Hat, Inc., NWL, CDII)
      • Fedora

        • Re: Broadcom wifi drivers in F-14?

          That’s still true of the b43 firmware for older (pre-802.11n) devices, but the firmware to go with their new driver is now in linux-firmware.git.

          Their *original* offering of that new firmware had a stupid licence — you could only distribute it if you promised to indemnify and defend Broadcom from all related third-party lawsuits. They fixed that though, and I merged it.

    • Debian Family

      • Resolution: welcome non-packaging contributors as Debian project members

        Of all those topics, one topic *might* have consensus already: accepting as DDs contributors which have contributed a lot to Debian doing non-packaging work, which intend to continue doing so, and which are ready to uphold our Foundation Documents. My feeling of consensus on that builds upon: in person feedback, private mails, and a growing number of requests on that direction hitting Front Desk (which FD has kindly shared with me). I do have an impression of consensus, but I don’t have any “quantitative” evidence.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Getting physical

          During a small exploration we did internally few months ago, we thought about how Ubuntu could behave if it was more aware of its physical context. Not only detecting the tilt of the device (like iPhone apps) but also analysing the user’s presence.
          This wasn’t really a new concept for me, in 2006 I experimented with a user proximity sensitive billboard idea. I reckon there is a value on adapting the content of the screen based on the distance with who is watching it.

        • Looking back over the past few months…

          I’m pretty new as a Canonical employee overall, only having been with the company for about 7 months, but I must say I’m really thrilled to be part of a large gang of people so involved in making Ubuntu great; with so much pride in all the work accomplished. If there’s one thing that has been constantly motivating me, it has to be the prospect of working every day with the community and with other Canonical employees on making Ubuntu better.

        • The new Ubuntu 10.10 default wallpaper

          After the rather luke-warm reception that greeted the first ‘default wallpaper’ for Ubuntu 10.10 (through no fault of the Design team, more on that here) the latest iteration – and a much more pleasing one at that – has been revealed.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 210

          In This Issue

          * How Ubuntu is Made
          * Daily Dose of Scribus Trunk
          * Edubuntu Gets a New Installer
          * Magic Trackpad Drivers Land in Ubuntu Maverick and Upstream!
          * Making Usability Part of the Development Process
          * Ubuntu Stats
          * Free Banner for Approved LoCo Teams
          * OLF Day 1: Ubucon
          * Recent posts from Planet Launchpad
          * Measuring the Value of Canonical’s Launchpad
          * Cleansweep Updates
          * GTK Impression – Nautilus Breadcrumbs
          * New in Quickly for Maverick
          * Ohio Linuxfest 2010
          * Ruby packaging in Debian and Ubuntu: Mythbusting and FAQ
          * Running Ubuntu on an Amazon “micro” Instance
          * Some progress on Daily Builds
          * This week in design – 10 September 2010
          * In The Press
          * In The Blogosphere
          * Canonical’s Attention to Detail Starting To Show Up Big Time
          * Fluendo DVD Player For Sale in Ubuntu 10.10
          * Linaro Beta Released !
          * OMG! Ubuntu! interviews GNOME co-founder, Frederico Mena
          * TurnKey unveils a new kind of smart backup/restore system, powered by Amazon S3
          * Weekly Ubuntu Development Team Meetings
          * Upcoming Meetings and Events
          * Updates and Security
          * Sneak Peek
          * And Much Much More

        • Apple Magic Trackpad drivers land in Ubuntu 10.10 – even supports 10 finger touch!
        • Flavours and Variants

          • A Quick Look at Kubuntu 10.10

            While Kubuntu received some polish this time, the latest version of KDE that powers it (version 4.5.1) might actually work against it. During my testing of KDE 4.5, I found it to have severe graphics problems with certain video cards (this laptop’s Intel card being one of them). The problems I had with KDE 4.5 include window thumbnails being so bright they cannot even be read, slow repainting of the panel (over ten seconds), distortion within transparent objects, and a complete plasma lock up when changing some settings under System Settings. Unfortunately, Kubuntu inherited all of those problems by adopting KDE 4.5, though thankfully the Kubuntu developers somehow fixed the thumbnail issue. I’m hoping that Kubuntu includes the upcoming KDE 4.5.2 release (which might fix these issues) but considering the timeframe for release, I doubt it will. Another downside is that the Plymouth splash screen (which is showed during boot) still doesn’t show anything other than a blinking cursor for me. I hope this gets fixed before release.

            Although Kubuntu 10.10 isn’t out until next month, it’s already a very stable release from what I’ve seen so far. The only problems that Kubuntu has are those caused by using KDE 4.5, and as a result you may experience glitches in graphics, unless KDE 4.5.2 is included or the developers include some of their own tweaks. Other than that, it appears that Kubuntu may finally be on the right track! I’m excited to see how this release turns out come October 10th.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Competition nears for upcoming Apple TV from Google, Roku, Boxee

      Apple’s drastically updated Apple TV won’t ship until late this month. But home viewers looking for simple ways to enjoy Internet video and audio on their HDTVs will get a few other new options soon afterward — or in one case, maybe before Apple TV’s retail rebirth.

Free Software/Open Source

  • “Free” as in Free Software

    I’m constantly amused (and always slightly disappointed) when an Open Source proponent is dismissive of Free Software, or even worse, hostile towards Free Software. Team Apologista may harbor and encourage the worst of the group, but they are not the only ones.

    Just a methodology

    Consider this: if you think Open Source is “just a development methodology” and Free Software is “too idealistic”, it seems quite absurd to get all excited and promotional about Open Source.

    I mean I know some bass players that get a bit preachy about how playing with a pick (instead of fingers) is a terrible affront, but:

    1. No one is really that serious about it
    2. Who cares what bass players think anyway?

    If something is just a methodology or technique — even a far superior one — what is there to get so all fired-up about?

  • Open Source Groupware Comes To Japan

    Open-Xchange, provider of business-class open source collaboration software, announced today an exclusive distribution agreement with Next IT for hosted and on-premises Open-Xchange products in Japan.

    Next IT will expand its portfolio with Open-Xchange by offering customers either: Open-Xchange Hosting Edition to web-hosting companies, ISPs, telecommunication companies and IT service companies; or an on-premises version to be installed and run on the enterprises’, educational institutions’ and government authorities’ own computers.

  • A Call For Open Source

    Bloglines includes an API that could be extended to provide these services. Even if the main interface, the thick reader part of Bloglines was not used, the API could be installed anywhere, on any server, like WordPress. That is, of course, assuming that Bloglines was written with open source tools, as most modern web services are. Ask.com has made a big decision to shut down Bloglines after all these years, but with that decision comes an opportunity to ensure that the code they worked so hard on remains relevant, useful, and popular. Ask.com should release the code to Bloglines as open source.

  • 8 Stunning Blender Made Short Films And Animations

    Blender is a free open source 3D modelling and graphics software widely used for making animated movies. Here is a nice collection of 8 short films and animations made using Blender which I think will give you an idea on Blender’s capabilities. Enjoy the ride.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla renames Firefox 4 Beta 6 to Beta 7

        Firefox 4 Beta 6 will reportedly address a number of issues found in previous development releases, including a critical stability issue on Windows systems. Beltzner notes that a problem related to plugins on Mac OS X that caused rendering and keyboard/mouse focus issues, that left key presses ignored or overlaid grey panels that obscured web pages, has been corrected. Beta 7 will be considered to be the “feature freeze milestone” and is tentatively planned for the “2nd half of September”.

      • Firefox 4 may not get silent updates after all

        Firefox will still download updates automatically as it does now, and offer to install them prior to launching the browser. A silent method would have been nice, since it remove the possibility of a user simply clicking cancel or deny and running an out-of-date version. That system has certainly worked well for Chrome, though Chrome does have one advantage over Firefox when it comes to being “silent.”

  • Databases

  • Government

    • NPfIT – business as usual?

      With only hours notice the Department of Health called a press conference at its HQ in Whitehall. It said there was to be “an announcement on the future of the National Programme for IT”.

      At about the same time a ministerial statement was laid in Parliament; and by lunchtime the media was reporting the death of the NPfIT. The Department’s press release said a review of the National Programme for IT had “concluded that a centralised national approach was no longer required”.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Twitter kills the password anti-pattern, but at what cost?

    I’ve also long embraced the principle that motivates OAuth. You should never have to give your name/password credentials to a third-party application or service so that it can impersonate you. This so-called password anti-pattern is profoundly wrong. When legitimate applications and services ask for permission to impersonate us, we learn that it’s OK to do things that way. It isn’t. Malicious actors can and do exploit our willingness to give up our credentials.

  • Violent Video Games Are Good for You After All

    A new British study of lads (and lasses?) who play shooting video games suggests that all that virtual spatial-navigation improves ability in driving, multitasking, and “reading the small print.” Sure you’re a dehumanized, sociopathic monster, but you drive so well!

  • Award-Winning Haystack Security System Could Risk Iranian Lives

    The naive enthusiasm of an American marketing graduate, hyped by the world media, may have risked the lives of Iranian activists through over-reaching claims for an inadequately understood software system

  • EFF Says ‘Stop Using Haystack’
  • Don’t Let The Facts Get In The Way Of A Good Story

    Humanizing the need generated roughly twice the amount of money as the case made with statistics (which I suppose explains those Sally Struthers commercials on late night cable TV).

    But the study didn’t stop there.

    It created a hybrid pitch that centered on Rokia but also included facts and figures.

    Now, what do you suppose happened to the donations?

    As you can see in the chart below. combining factual information with the child’s story actually lowered the donations compared to the money that came in from pure storytelling.

  • Damning Zuckerberg IMs confirmed
  • Steve Jobs Stopped at Japan Airport Over Ninja Stars, SPA! Magazine Says

    Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs said he’ll never return to Japan after officials at an airport barred him from taking Ninja throwing stars aboard his private plane, SPA! magazine reported in its latest issue.

    A security scan at Kansai International Airport, near Osaka, detected the weapons inside the executive’s carry-on luggage in July as he was returning home to the U.S. from a family vacation in Kyoto, the Japanese magazine reported, citing unidentified officials at the airport and the transportation ministry.

  • Civil society: only the clampdown is transparent

    World leaders will be meeting at the UN in New York later this month to review progress towards the UN millennium development goals (MDGs) and to chart a course for accelerated action between now and 2015. Today, with just five years to go, there are fears that the goals may not be achieved, due to a lack of will by governments to acknowledge the role of other stakeholders and to work in partnership with them.

  • Science

    • Digital Agenda: EU grid project unlocks processing power of 200,000 desktop computers for European researchers

      EU researchers will have sustainable and continuous access to the combined processing power of over 200,000 desktop computers in more than 30 European countries thanks to the European Commission funded European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) project launched today. The Commission is contributing €25 million over four years to the EGI-InSPIRE project to link the processing capacity of desktop computers when they would otherwise be idle and so give researchers the processing power needed to tackle complex problems in environment, energy or health. The EGI, the largest collaborative production grid infrastructure for e-Science ever created, will enable teams of researchers in different geographical locations to work on a problem as if they were in the same laboratory

    • Quantum Catfight

      Newton sought a deeper understanding of gravity in the concept of an Aetherial Medium with faster than light waves as illustrated in the quote from Opticks above. So too, the explanation for quantum mechanics may lie in some sort of faster than light waves that transmit signals between entangled particles. Another possibility is a “hyperspace” that connects all points in space-time together, bypassing normal space-time. Even more exotic possibilities may exist. Mathematically speaking, one is looking for a deeper, more fundamental equation or equations from which Schrödinger’s Equation can be derived.

    • How galaxies are born inside computers

      The next time you feel like your computer is struggling to keep up with your workload, spare a thought for the physicists at the Institute for Computational Cosmology (ICC).

      The researchers at the institute, based at Durham University, are tasking their machines with nothing less than recreating how galaxies are born and evolve over the course of billions of years.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The “Indian superbug”: Worse than we knew

      Just about a month ago, the disease-geek world was riveted by news of the “Indian superbug“: common bacteria carrying a newly recognized gene that confers profound multi-drug resistance, and that was linked to travel between Europe and South Asia, especially for medical tourism.

      The gene, which directs production of an enzyme called NDM-1 for short, was briefly Bug of the Week, the spur for alarmist headlines in every Internet echo chamber and the target of denunciations by Indian politicians, who vilified the discovery as a Western “pharma conspiracy” spurred by envy of lucrative medical tourism.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Florida woman jailed, strip-searched after being mistaken for thief who stole her identity

      This is an amazing and scary story: Kimberly Shields, a 23-year-old-manicurist, was mistaken for the woman who stole her identity, locked up in jail, strip-searched, and deloused before the bureaucratic mixup was resolved and she was set free.

    • White House Talk on Mexican Gun Violence Is Cheap

      It’s good to see the White House begin to acknowledge the seriousness of the drug gang violence in Mexico — especially in the cities and towns that border the United States — and which some observers consider a national security threat. But as long as our government officials fail to adopt, strengthen, and enforce laws that could help protect brave men like Edelmiro Cavasos, along with countless everyday Americans, the risks increase for all of us.

    • Another Paris-Mexico flight barred from US airspace

      Despite being a party to international aviation and human rights treaties guaranteeing free passage through international airspace, the US government claims the right to require prior government permission (granted or withheld in secret, without due process, judicial review, or publicly disclosed standards) not just for travel to or from the USA but for transit through US airspace — even on nonstop flights that aren’t scheduled to land in US territory.

      Most such overflights of the US between other countries are to and from Canada, where US control and surveillance of overflights have provoked continuing controversy and opposition.

    • British servicemen suspected of murdering Iraqi civilians
    • US courts must lift lid on torture

      In his decision, Judge Raymond Fisher described the case as “a painful conflict between human rights and national security”. In the UK, we have seen some politicians conflate “national security” with “national embarrassment” – seeking to keep information secret not because its disclosure would create a risk to the nation, but rather because states do not want the details of their illegal activities revealed. Thankfully, British courts have proved relatively effective at policing this.

    • 9/11 anniversary: New York Muslims insist that they are American too

      New York City woke up yesterday to a 9/11 anniversary like no other. Blue skies hummed with the buzz of helicopters as police conducted a major operation to patrol two rival midday protests about Park51, the planned Islamic centre close to Ground Zero. The noise of the aircraft mingled with the sound of church bells ringing across Manhattan, marking the exact time that the first plane struck the World Trade Centre.

    • Robert Fisk: Nine years, two wars, hundreds of thousands dead – and nothing learnt

      Indeed, on this grim ninth anniversary – and heaven spare us next year from the 10th – 9/11 appears to have produced not peace or justice or democracy or human rights, but monsters. They have prowled Iraq – both the Western and the local variety – and slaughtered 100,000 souls, or 500,000, or a million; and who cares? They have killed tens of thousands in Afghanistan; and who cares? And as the sickness has spread across the Middle East and then the globe, they – the air force pilots and the insurgents, the Marines and the suicide bombers, the al-Qa’idas of the Maghreb and of the Khalij and of the Caliphate of Iraq and the special forces and the close air support boys and the throat-cutters – have torn the heads off women and children and the old and the sick and the young and healthy, from the Indus to the Mediterranean, from Bali to the London Tube; quite a memorial to the 2,966 innocents who were killed nine years ago. All in their name, it seems, has been our holocaust of fire and blood, enshrined now in the crazed pastor of Gainesville.

    • Barack Obama to authorise record $60bn Saudi arms sale

      Barack Obama is to go ahead with plans to sell Saudi Arabia advanced aircraft and other weapons worth up to $60bn (£39bn), the biggest arms deal in US history, in a strategy of shoring up Gulf Arab allies to face any military threat from Iran.

      According to the Wall Street Journal, the administration is also in talks with the Saudis about possible naval and missile-defence upgrades that could be worth tens of billions of dollars more over five to 10 years.

    • MoD silence raises fears of custody deaths in Afghanistan
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • GOP fills candidate slate with climate zombies who deny science

      A comprehensive Wonk Room survey of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate finds that nearly all dispute the scientific consensus that the United States must act to fight global warming pollution. In May, 2010, the National Academies of Science reported to Congress that “the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change” because global warming is “caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for — and in many cases is already affecting — a broad range of human and natural systems.”

    • Your role in wildlife crime

      WHEN 23 people drowned picking cockles on Morecambe bay, UK, in February 2004, it gave us a grim insight into the murky and frightening world of people trafficking.

      The cockle pickers had been smuggled into the UK from the Fujian province in China by transnational criminal networks and used as cheap labour to extract lucrative shellfish from the sands. They were working at night in dangerous conditions, paid just £5 per sack of cockles while their gangmaster Lin Liang Ren received three times as much from the seafood companies at the shoreline. The people who died had hoped that two or three years working in the UK would provide a better life for their families back home. How wrong they were. The case shocked the world.

      As well as highlighting the practice of people trafficking, the tragedy also revealed some stark realities about the international wildlife trade – how it is driven by wealth not poverty, and how it is inextricably linked with organised crime.

    • Green groups press Barack Obama for 60MPG fuel efficiency standard

      Environmental campaigners focus on more modest goals as hopes of US climate legislation dwindle ahead of expected Republican gains

    • Fireball tragedy in California suburb brings gas industry under scrutiny

      The natural gas industry is coming under intense scrutiny today, after a massive fireball ripped through a ruptured pipeline in a suburban town near San Francisco, killing at least four people, injuring dozens more, and burning more than 50 homes to the ground.

    • Scientists investigate massive walrus haul-out in Alaska

      Researchers from the US Geological Survey (USGS), who have been tracking walrus movements using satellite radio tags, say 10,000 to 20,000 of the animals, mainly mothers and calves, are now congregating in tightly packed herds on the Alaskan side of the Chukchi Sea, in the first such exodus of its kind.

  • Finance

    • The Mysteries of the Goldman Sachs Partnering Process, Revealed

      Like an emotionally distant lover, the less Goldman Sachs gives us, the more we want. In today’s New York Times, a Goldman spokesman declined to comment on the process by which the firm annually selects its partners, leading the Times to describe the process as “secretive” and driving us wild with curiosity. What kinds of sick things do they make potential partners do, for the firm to decline to speak about it entirely? What secrets lurk in the hearts of the hordes streaming in and out of the building on West Street? We asked a former Goldman Sachs partner to describe how this mysterious ritual works.

    • Misreporting Venezuela’s economy

      The bulk of the media often gets pulled along for the ride when the United States government has a serious political and public relations campaign around foreign policy. But almost nowhere is it so monolithic as with Venezuela. Even in the runup to the Iraq war, there were a significant number of reporters and editorial writers who didn’t buy the official story. But on Venezuel, the media is more like a jury that has 12 people but only one brain.

    • IMF warns of the ‘human cost’ of public spending cuts

      The International Monetary Fund undermined the main thrust of the UK coalition’s economic strategy today after it warned western governments that they risked holding back the recovery and creating a massive pool of disaffected labour if they pursued draconian cuts in spending.

      IMF director general, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, told a conference in Oslo that governments needed to identify ways to generate employment to prevent a generation of workers losing their skills and joining the long-term unemployed. He said cuts in public spending had a “human cost” and could result in “tragedy” for millions of young people.

    • The bankers’ victory dance

      This week it is two years since the US bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, setting off a wave of panic that almost brought down the entire financial sector. It is a truism that the two most important forces in the world of money are greed and fear. For years, during the boom, greed had dominated; now, in the aftermath of the Lehman implosion, fear kicked in, and the world’s banks stopped lending to each other, and to us. The result was the banking crisis, which in turn triggered the recession, which in turn triggered the collapse in the public finances that is going to be the dominant issue in this country for years.

      Given what a big deal the collapse of Lehman turned out to be, you would think that it makes sense for there to be a whole fat book of legislation on the statue books designed to prevent a repetition of the crisis by making banks smaller and safer and more focused on their wider public function. Well, you might have thought that; but if you had, you would have been wrong, because there have been exactly no new laws targeting the causes of the crash. The systemic risks are the same as they were two years ago.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • For sale – one set of Accounts Software: One careful owner, FSH, MOT

      Reading a physical book, giving it to a friend or selling it to a secondhand bookseller doesn’t involve any copyright-restricted acts, so the copyright owner has no control over those acts. An eBook is entirely different: even reading it involves copying, and copying (generally) requires authorisation under the Copyright Act, (like all legal points, it’s not quite as simple as this, as there are some exceptions in the copyright legislation, but their scope is still open to argument) so the copyright owner has a lot more opportunity to intervene and control usage.

    • The HDCP master key: game over, HDMI digital restrictions management

      Why? Simple: using this key — the secret piece of the puzzle — people can now build hardware and free software compatible with HDMI, that can decrypt the encrypted video traversing between HDMI-compliant equipment, without having to obey the restrictions imposed by the HDMI oligopoly. Game over — pirates 1, digital restrictions management AACSholes 0. One more note: using this key might be illegal in some parts of the world — but whoever cares about what’s right can’t afford to care about what’s legal.

    • HDCP MASTER KEY
    • Claimed HDCP master key leak could be fatal to DRM scheme
    • HDCP ‘Master Key’ Found? Another Form Of DRM Drops Dead
    • Why Broadband Prices Haven’t Decreased

      After a new technology is introduced to the market, there is usually a predictable decrease in price as it becomes more common. Laptops experienced precipitous price drops during the past decade. Digital cameras, personal computers, and computer chips all followed similar steep declines in price. Has the price of broadband Internet followed the same model? Shane Greenstein decided to look into it.

      Since there are no public data on what has happened to broadband prices over the last decade, Shane Greenstein, a professor of management and strategy at the Kellogg School of Management, and his co-author Ryan McDevitt, a graduate student at Northwestern University, analyzed the contracts of 1,500 DSL and cable service providers from 2004 to 2009. They found evidence of only a very small price drop, between 3 and 10 percent, nothing like the rates of price decrease that characterize the rest of the electronic world.

    • HDCP Compromised, Time To End DRM?
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Why It’s Important Not To Call Copyright Infringement Theft

      This is important. If you are seeking to understand what is happening and how to respond to it, calling it “theft” immediately shuts the door on a variety of important points. It closes off a path to understanding both what’s happening and how one might best deal with it. I find that incredibly dangerous from the perspective of a content creator. Calling infringement theft or not isn’t just a semantic argument from people who like to argue. It’s about actually understanding what’s going on, and that’s simply not possible when you put up a wall to understanding.

    • Seeing Like a Movie Mogul

      Because libertarians reflexively (and correctly) favor strong enforcement of property rights, we need to be careful about too credulously accepting the “property rights” frame for proposals to create or expand legal privileges. Such arguments can be found in a wide variety of fields, including gene patents, the recording industry, and spectrum policy. Clear and predictable property rules are a tremendous engine of economic growth and individual liberty. But Seeing Like a State reminds us that the creation of new property rights can sometimes be a process of expropriation, with the state inventing new rights to transfer wealth to parties with political power.

      Reasonable people can disagree about whether the new property rights whose creation Scott describes in Seeing Like a State had positive consequences in the long run, but it’s hard to deny that some of the short-run consequences were deeply illiberal, transferring wealth from ordinary peasants to those who had the closest ties to the state. When large firms deploy the rhetoric of property rights in defense of creating new legal privileges for themselves, libertarians especially need to employ an appropriate degree of skepticism.

    • Copyrights

      • Artists Make More Money in File-Sharing Age Than Before It

        An extensive study into the effect of digitalization on the music industry in Norway has shed an interesting light on the position of artists today, compared to 1999. While the music industry often talks about artists being on the brink of bankruptcy due to illicit file-sharing, the study found that the number of artists as well as their average income has seen a major increase in the last decade.

      • Gandi.net supports CC

        Some time ago, prompted by truly horrifying customer service and useless web interfaces of certain domain registrars, I decided to move all of CC’s domains to Gandi.net. I had had my personal domains with Gandi for quite some time, and had been very happy with the customer service and web management interface. Also, other people on the tech team at CC commented on the good experiences they had always had with Gandi.

      • How IP Enforcement Can Be Used To Suppress Dissent

        The NY Times ran a bombshell article over the weekend in which it reported that Russia has been using the pre-text of intellectual property enforcement to seize computers from NGO groups involved in advocacy and dissent. The article notes that the authorities have been receiving active assistance from Microsoft, which had been delivering statements describing the company as a victim and asking for criminal charges against the NGO groups. While human rights groups had been pressing Microsoft to address the issue for months, it only responded yesterday after the article’s publication. The company now says it will offer free blanket licences for its products to NGOs to prevent actions under the guise of IP enforcement. It will also establish a new legal assistance program to assist NGOs who need to respond to enforcement actions.

      • GooGoo Dolls Frontman Admits To Using Limewire; Says He Likes Fan-Made Video More Than His Official Video

        Stories like this always amuse me, because, of course, it wasn’t that long ago that all we heard was how evil such “infringers” were, in creating their own videos “using music that doesn’t belong to them.” It’s always nice to see musicians realize that fans making videos are fans making videos, rather than threatening them with infringement claims.

      • Everything is a Remix, Part 1
      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Coalition pledges free appeals for filesharers

          People accused of unlawful filesharing by the music and film industries will have access to a free appeals system, the coalition government said today.

          Tory broadband minister Ed Vaizey said there will be no cost for the public to appeal against Digital Economy Act (DEA) copyright infringement notices, at least initially.

          However, the Department for Business will closely monitor the free appeals system, and reserve the right to introduce “small fees” later, because it “risks the possibility of large numbers of unnecessary appeals”. Appeals will be heard by a new tribunal.

Clip of the Day

Michael Moore: ‘We Should Always Stand Up Against the Angry Mob’


Credit: TinyOgg

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