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09.17.10

Links 17/9/2010: The ZFS Linux Module, XDS Toulouse Reports

Posted in News Roundup at 6:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

Offbeat

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • The 1% Linux Market-Share Myth: Who Cares?!

      If you have paid attention to virtually any IT news site over the past few weeks, you’ve likely noticed an argument between several blogs. The topic is in regards to whether or not Linux actually has 1% market-share. This argument has been debunked and counter-debunked as of late, and no side seems to be gaining any traction in this debate. My view? I couldn’t possibly care less. Neither side between the Windows and Linux camps will ever be able to post accurate adoption numbers, and they never will.

    • Only design can save Linux

      Linux needs to be saved? Of course not, but: Linux adoption is often criticized because it’s not popular amongst the common users, anyway, most sysadmins will tell you that they’re using Linux on their servers. Linux (or Unix-like) servers are running very succesfully all around the world.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • The ZFS Linux Module Goes Into Closed Beta

      We reported last month that a native ZFS module was coming to Linux and would be released in mid-September. Rather than using ZFS-FUSE that runs the Sun/Oracle ZFS file-system under the FUSE module so that it lives outside the Linux kernel (and runs rather slowly as our benchmarks show), this new ZFS module is native to Linux and open-source but due to the CDDL license it’s being distributed as a module and will not be included in the mainline Linux kernel. This module has now entered a closed beta testing process.

      KQ Infotech has been working on this native ZFS module that in turn is based on the work of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. KQ Infotech has now announced their ZFS work with a few details on their Linux kernel module and to apply to be part of the beta testing process.

    • Die-hard bug bytes Linux kernel for second time (Register)
    • Die-hard bug bytes Linux kernel for second time

      The oversight means that untrusted users with, say, limited SSH access have a trivial means to gain unfettered access to pretty much any 64-bit installation. Consider, too, that the bug has been allowed to fester in the kernel for years and was already fixed once before and we think a measured WTF is in order.

    • Hole in Linux kernel provides root rights

      A vulnerability in the 32-bit compatibility mode of the current Linux kernel (and previous versions) for 64-bit systems can be exploited to escalate privileges. For instance, attackers can break into a system and exploit a hole in the web server to get complete root (also known as superuser) rights or permissions for a victim’s system.

    • Graphics Stack

      • A Few Notes From Day 2 Of XDS Toulouse

        More details will come later along with the audio/video recordings that ended out the X.Org Developers’ Summit in Toulouse, but here are a few random bits from so far today:

        - For those that have become interested in coming up with a new logo for X.Org, Alan Coopersmith issued this mailing list message today. Coming up with a new logo for the X.Org Foundation has been on their agenda for many years, but now it may finally materialize thanks to Phoronix readers.

      • Luc Calls For A Dead Linux Desktop If Keith Gets His Way

        Back in February at FOSDEM in Brussels, Luc made a presentation on modularizing Mesa and DRI drivers, which ended up in a very heated discussion but ultimately his ideas fell on deaf ears. With X.Org Server 1.10, Keith Packard of Intel has expressed interest in merging the drivers back into the server, or in other words de-modularizing the X.Org Server after it was modularized a few years ago as being a feature.

      • Bringing D-Bus Into The Linux Kernel

        Alban Crequy, a Maemo developer, for the past several weeks have been working on bringing D-Bus directly into the Linux kernel. Why? Huge performance improvements.

        Alban’s kernel D-Bus work is based upon the previous work of Ian Molton did for Collabora with KDbus for prototyping a kernel implementation so that D-Bus cuts down the number of required context switches that are needed compared to running the D-Bus daemon in user-space.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • rekonq: KDE’s Webkit Browser Continues To Come Of Age

        As many of you no doubt know, and a few might not, rekonq is KDE’s Webkit-based browser. Under heavy development for a while now, we can see this super-fast browser coming of age in a hurry. For users of Linux Mint 9, the version in the repositories mirrors that of what was installed by default on Kubuntu 10.04 Lucid – 0.4.0.

      • In Search of the Perfect KDE4 Distro – Disqualifiers

        This was just a short update to the series – KDE4 still has a lot of good points, and computer users learn to live with the flaws in their chosen desktop environment.

      • Okular: Universal Document Viewer For KDE 4

        One of the new applications introduced with KDE 4 was Okular. KDE 3 had a PDF viewer named KPDF, but Okular aims to be a complete document viewing solution, supporting many different file types. Okular is fast-loading and works in any operating system and desktop environment that can run KDE applications.

    • GNOME Desktop/Novell

      • Interviews from GUADEC, Part 5

        This week we have the last video in Jeremy Allison’s series of interviews from his trip to GUADEC, the GNOME conference. In this video, he talks to Michael Meeks, early GNOME hacker and OpenOffice.org developer. Jeremy and Michael talk about collaboration, malware, and how Michael started his involvement with GNOME. For those who are new to open source, Michael gives tips for those who want to get involved in the GNOME community, developer and non-developer alike. For non-developers, Jeremy also gives translations of geek-speak throughout.

      • OSC2010 Sneak Peaks – Vincent Untz: Explaining GNOME 3
      • Fundamental Round Gnome Theme 2.1 Adds 6 Color Schemes

        Johan has updated his beautiful Fundamental Round 2 theme which we featured in our “5 Beautiful Elementary-ish Gnome Themes” post. The new version – 2.1 – comes with 6 color schemes, each with and without Nautilus breadcrumbs.

  • Distributions

    • Security advisories for Friday
    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Why Red Hat should fear Amazon Linux

        While Red Hat’s leadership in the enterprise Linux market is without question, the cloud tells a different story altogether. Red Hat’s cloud strategy has thus far focused too narrowly on customer retention, opening significant opportunities for Ubuntu to gain traction in the cloud — and gain traction it has, according to EC2 cloud market statistics.

      • RedHat gets cloud-evangelical

        We caught up with Gordon Haff, Red Hat’s Cloud Evangelist, on the floor of VMworld last week and grabbed a short interview with him. In the discussion, we touch upon what the cloud really is, and where it makes the most sense in terms of enterprise use.

    • Debian Family

      • Linux Mint based on Debian installation screenshots
      • Look out Ubuntu, look out Arch: Linux Mint Debian

        Ubuntu, look out: This one offers more, and eats up less. And Arch, look out, because this one can do much the same, with a lot less time spent setting up.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • This week in design – 17 September 2010
        • Canonical partners with AMI, Dell & Intel

          Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company is meeting with engineers and product managers from many top device and computer manufacturers in Taipei, Taiwan on September 24, 2010.

          The commercial sponsor of Ubuntu will be hosting its second annual Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs) and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) at the Ubuntu Hardware Summit. Companies confirmed as attending include: American Megatrends Inc. (AMI), Phoenix, Compal, Dell, Foxconn, Intel, MSI, Marvell, and Quanta. In other words many of the leading PC, laptop, and tablet players will be there to learn about how to work with Ubuntu on boot time optimizations, hardware enablement, debugging, multi-touch, networking and more.

        • Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat Review + Screenshots Tour

          For Ubuntu enthusiasts, you should know that the next iteration of Ubuntu – Maverick Meerkat is set to release on 10 Oct 2010. For those who are keen to find out what’s new in this release, here is the full review (and screenshots) of Ubuntu Maverick.

          This review was done on Ubuntu Maverick beta. While most of the features should be finalized, the artwork might still change prior to the final release.

          When you run the LiveCD, it will first boot up and show you the option to choose “Test Ubuntu” or Install Ubuntu. In the past, this is usually done before it boots, but now, it has been moved to after the boot.

        • Ubuntu Software Center on Cranky Geeks

          As many of you know I enjoy listening to podcasts during my commute to and from work. One that I regularly listen to is Cranky Geeks featuring John C. Dvorak and guests. It’s also no secret that I’m a massive fan of Ubuntu. So today was a double-whammy when Ubuntu got a mention on the show.

        • Nautilus Review in Ubuntu 10.10 Beta

          There is always a lot of debate whether which file manager is the ‘best’ for the Linux desktop. Some would argue for Dolphin because they are KDE users, or Dolphin because it’s KDE but also offers a more simplistic interface, other prefer GNOME and use Nautilus, and still, some will like Krusader because of the many features or PCManFM for it’s simplicity, or Midnight Commander due to its TUI interface. So, even though you may have heard this many times before, I’m going to repeat: the best application for a specific user is the one which fits him better and helps him get the work done, in an easy fashion.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 moves towards completion

          Some of the features we are seeing in Maverick are, as usual, newer versions of applications. This release potentially has a larger jump in versions, as Lucid synchronised and merged from Debian Testing; but Maverick reverted to the usual practice of importing from Debian Unstable, which has higher version numbers. One of the surprises that came out of Debconf (the Debian conference) was the announcement of their feature freeze, which meant that Debian stabilisations commenced mid-cycle for Maverick in preparation for their next stable release.

        • More on Canonical’s Contributions

          Shuttleworth continues to list how hard the Ubuntu team works for the idea of free software and how important their work is. He points to the Papercuts Project, which formed to simplify the interface and fix as many bugs as possible. He mentions their cutting-edge design department and how they (and he) are shaping the desktops of tomorrow. He points out that Ubuntu is where the action is.

          In conclusion, Shuttleworth again praises projects from each corner of the community and urges members not to argue with each other because that is counterproductive.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Could Euro Carriers Be Planning Their Own OS?

          An interesting piece in the Mobile Business Briefing points to the possibility that European carriers like Orange, T-Mobile, and Vodafone could be working together to build their own OS, possibly following the China Mobile model of creating their own flavor of Android far-removed from the official Google code.

        • StatusNet for Android Available in the App Market

          I’m happy to announce that the StatusNet client for Android recently hit the App Market for Android systems. I think it’s a really nice piece of software. I’m proud that the hard work of our great development team — especially Zach Copley who’s led our client development, Brion Vibber who’s worked on the client platform, as well as Sam Doherty’s excellent UI design — has paid off so well.

    • Tablets

      • Motorola Planning a Tablet Device for Early 2011, Jha Says

        Motorola Inc., maker of the Droid smartphone, is aiming to introduce a tablet device early next year to challenge Apple Inc.’s iPad, said Co-Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Jha.

        “Just as Droid was competitive I think with iPhone, we want to make sure that any tablet that we deliver is competitive in the marketplace,” Jha said yesterday at a technology conference hosted by Deutsche Bank AG in San Francisco. “We will only deliver that when that occurs. Hopefully that’s early next year.”

      • Augen brings $190 Android netbook to Kmart

        Following up on its $150 Android-powered tablet called GenTouch78, Augen has now brought a netbook with Android to Kmart and priced it at $190. The 10.2-inch device has a 1024×600 display and uses Android 2.1, which should now be legally sanctioned rather than a pirated copy. Processing is kept light even relative to smartphones with an 800MHz, ARM11-based chip and 256MB of RAM.

      • Philippine government to make $75 tablet PC for schoolchildren

        Unlike the iPad, Galaxy Tab and Kindle, the XO-1 is not a touchscreen device and runs on the free operating system Linux.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenIndiana project first screenshots
  • On Writing, Funding, and Distributing Software to Activists Against Authoritarian Regimes

    Writing software to protect political activists against censorship and surveillance is a tricky business. If those activists are living under the kind of authoritarian regimes where a loss of privacy may lead to the loss of life or liberty, we need to tread especially cautiously.

    A great deal of post-mortem analysis is occurring at the moment after the collapse of the Haystack project. Haystack was a censorship-circumvention project that began as a real-time response to Iranian election protests last year. The code received significant levels of media coverage, but never reached the levels of technical maturity and security that are necessary to protect the lives of activists in countries like Iran (or many other places, for that matter).

    This post isn’t going to get into the debate about the social processes that gave Haystack the kind of attention and deployment that it received, before it had been properly reviewed and tested. Instead, we want to emphasize something else: it remains possible to write software that makes activists living under authoritarian regimes safer. But the developers, funders, and distributors of that software need to remember that it isn’t easy, and need to go about it the right way.

  • FLOSS Manuals Continues to Deliver Great Documentation

    Every so often, we here at OStatic compile guidance resources for popular open source platforms and applications, and one of our favorite ongoing projects for producing documentation is FLOSS Manuals. It’s an ambitious effort to produce free, online guides for open source software that we initially covered in this post. FLOSS Manuals is an excellent learning and reference resource for titles such as OpenOffice, Firefox, Audacity, Blender, Inkscape and more. There are now quite a few titles available there that are worth taking note of, and that you can get for free. Here is our updated guide to the site.

  • Events

    • Eclipse Summit Europe 2010 program published

      The Eclipse Foundation has published the program for this year’s Eclipse Summit Europe (ESE), which will take place from the 2nd to the 4th of November in Ludwigsburg, Germany. This fifth annual summit will feature several workshops, lectures and demonstrations.

  • Web Browsers

    • Five Web Browsers: Which is the Fastest?

      Given that I benchmark PC hardware on what seems like a daily basis, benchmarking a slew of Web browsers felt both strange and familiar at the same time. After all, the process of benchmarking isn’t far different, and interestingly, it was actually kind of enjoyable. It’s interesting to see just how vastly different the performance is in various areas from browser to browser, and unless you actually see results on “paper”, you may not ever realize the differences.

      It’s clear that Opera is the big winner here, topping both of our performance tests, and also scoring a perfect 100/100 in Acid3. Google’s Chrome comes in a close second, and after that, there are large gaps between the others. Safari performed quite well also though, especially with regards to Acid3 and Peacekeeper (though it still was only half of Chrome and Opera in the latter).

      Firefox 4 is good competition also though. Its Mozilla Kraken results topped the charts, and its Acid3 results are closing in on perfect. Plus, it also closes the gap with Safari in Peacekeeper, but again, it still comes nowhere close to Chrome and Opera. Those two browsers are the ones to beat right now, it goes without saying.

    • Mozilla

  • Oracle

    • A Rebuttal to “Goodbye, OpenOffice. Nice Knowing You.”

      First of all, he made some very good points. Many people expect software to just work right out of the box. They expect the spell checker to just work, for example. Unfortunately, proprietary software has bred a certain laziness and culture of dependency in people, in my opinion. If you use a piece of proprietary software such as Microsoft Office, the proprietor will always be there to hold your hand. They hope that you decide to stay locked in to their product so that the state of dependency continues from cradle to grave so that they perpetually profit from you. This is the point that I think that Mr. Yegulalp may have missed. The whole point of free software is that if you find an inadequacy in a piece of software, you have the freedom to change it yourself!

  • CMS

  • Diaspora

    • Code for open-source Facebook littered with landmines

      Four New York University students who raised a bundle of cash to build a privacy-preserving alternative to Facebook sure have their work cut out for them.

      The release of pre-alpha source code for their Diaspora social Website was only a few hours old on Wednesday when hackers began identifying flaws they said could seriously compromise the security of those who used it. Among other things, the mistakes make it possible to hijack accounts, friend users without their permission, and delete their photos.
      Click here to find out more!

      “The bottom line is currently there is nothing that you cannot do to someone’s Diaspora account, absolutely nothing,” said Patrick McKenzie, owner of Bingo Card Creator, a software company in Ogaki, Japan.

    • A Brief Look at What Diaspora Will Do
    • Diaspora review – first experiences UPDATED

      So this is the first developer release! Can’t wait for alpha, beta & stable releases!

    • Facebook Competitor Diaspora Revealed: Sparse, But Clean; Source Code Released

      A post has just gone up on Diaspora’s blog revealing what the project actually looks like for the first time. While it’s not yet ready to be released to the public, the open-source social networking project is giving the world a glimpse of what it looks like today and also releasing the project code, as promised.

    • Diaspora puts out Developer Release — source code is here!
  • BSD

    • FreeBSD’s Summer Highlights

      FreeBSD is a modern open source operating system for servers, desktops, and embedded systems, based on over 30 years of continuous development. The FreeBSD Project has participated as a mentoring organization in Google Summer of Code each year since the program’s inception in 2005. This year, FreeBSD mentored 18 students with a final success rate of 89%. The cumulative total over 6 years has been 117 students improving FreeBSD. This participation in the program has brought many new features into FreeBSD, several new long-term committers to the project, and many of the former students have by now joined some of the mentors as colleagues at their respective companies.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Celebrate Software Freedom Day

      All around the world people will be celebrating Software Freedom Day on Saturday. The idea is of course to both celebrate and raise awareness of Free Open Source Software issues.

      I believe the first software freeing license was the GNU General Public License

      Free Software Foundation is probably the heart of the Free Software movement which is defined by Richard Stallman’s Four Freedoms.

  • Government

    • Cenatic report: “Europe leading in development and use of open source”

      Europe is leading in the development and adoption of open source, according to a report by Cenatic, Spain’s national competence centre on this type of software, published yesterday at an IT conference in Palma de Mallorca. “Government support is key for the adoption of open source.”

      Government IT policies that promote open source have made Germany, France and Spain the three countries were open source software is used the most, Cenatic writes in its report “Informe sobre el Panorama Internacional del Software de Fuentes Abiertas. 2010″ (International overview on Open Source Software, 2010). The report is currently only available in Spanish.

    • Government ‘committed’ to open source

      Open source software will be favoured where there are no significant cost differences between open source and proprietary solutions, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has said.

      Responding to a parliamentary question, Maude said the Cabinet Office and the Office of Government Commerce are working on ‘guidance for procures’, which specifically covers open source software.

    • Government favours ‘flexible’ open-source software

      Francis Maude has said that when costs are similar, the government will buy open-source rather than proprietary software.

      In a parliamentary written answer on Tuesday, the Cabinet Office minister said that even where there are no significant overall cost differences between open and proprietary products, open source will be selected “on the basis of its additional inherent flexibility”.

  • Licensing

    • Managing Open Source: New Tools and Techniques

      Open source has now become ubiquitous, yet management of its use remains uneven. The recent Forrester Research report at LinuxCon notes that 2010 was the year of using open source to improve business process execution speed and company growth. The adoption of open source has decreased in importance because open source is now so widely adopted.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open chocolate: Saving $800 million through collaboration

      Triple yields of cocoa crops. New lives for 6.5 million poor farmers on small farms in developing nations. More sustainable chocolate for you. Those are the goals of a collaborative team crossing public and private organizations that has been working to improve the cocoa growing process to benefit the world’s cocoa farmers and help lead us to a more sustainable world cocoa supply.

      They’ve also finished three years ahead of schedule. And after only a little over two years of work unlocking the Theobroma cacao genome, the team didn’t call the patent office. Instead, they released their first findings into the public domain. They say that by opening it up to the public, it will help breeders grow more robust, higher yielding, and drought- and disease-resistant trees.

  • Programming

    • Programming Lessons From Linux Geeks in the Trenches

      Before learning such lessons, “I was always frustrated and rarely accomplished much,” Masover admitted. “I would instead rail about the state of languages, frameworks, OSes, and so on.

      “Now, while my Ruby scripts aren’t as fast as if I’d done them in C, and my C programs aren’t as elegant as if I’d done them in Ruby, and I haven’t come up with the perfect language that’s the best of both worlds … the fact that I can live with that means that I do actually have C programs, Ruby programs, Java programs, and so on, instead of no programs,” he pointed out.

      Dziuba “makes a good argument for not just jumping to new technologies that are supposed to make things easier,” Montreal consultant and Slashdot blogger Gerhard Mack opined. “People are always looking for the magic ‘make my app regardless of my programming ability’ switch, and there just isn’t one.”

    • GTK Impression – Making Sense of Metacity

      Metacity is a window manager for the Gnome desktop. By window manager I mean it controls the placement and appearance of windows on the desktop. A window may be described as the header, footer, and borders which contain content. Metacity does not format content, that job belongs to GTK.

      During the Lucid development cycle the decision was made to change the placement of the Metacity window control buttons which resulted in many folks expressing their opinion pro and con. The desire was to free up space on the right for new functions expected to arrive in subsequent releases and these themes adhere to this design.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Google’s Chief on Social, Mobile and Conflict

    He described another rivalry — the one between Google and Apple over mobile phones — as different than the one with Facebook. By increasing competition, that rivalry benefits both companies and both can do well, he said.

  • Science

    • Lies, damn lies and Chinese science

      Zhang Wuben is a 47-year-old nutritional therapist from Beijing, whose best-known claim, elaborated in his book Cure the Diseases You Get from Eating by Eating, is that consuming half a kilogram of mung beans every day can cure diabetes and short-sightedness, while eating five times that amount improves a patient’s chances of surviving various cancers. A frequent guest on television talk shows, his clinic was so popular that regular 300-yuan (£29) consultations, which lasted ten minutes, were booked up until 2012. Patients who wanted a fast-track service could pay 5,000 yuan (£483) for an emergency appointment with the health guru.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Security a Concern as HTML5 Gains Traction

      From animated logos to Web videos for hip, independent bands, HTML5 is getting buzz and gaining traction. But concerns about the security of features in the new version of the Web’s lingua franca persist.
      Every technology innovation has its coming out party, and Google Inc.’s recent “dancing balls” logo experiment was widely interpreted as a high-impact debut for the next version of HTML, dubbed HTML5. But web security experts are warning that the sprawling new Web standard may favor functionality over security, enabling a new generation of powerful Web based attacks.

    • Most common SSH passwords revealed

      New computer users are often criticized for weak username and password combinations which can create significant security vulnerabilities in any organization.

      Many companies have even imposed strict password policies which may include regular forced password changes, automated password generation and ‘strong password’ validation before accepting a new password.

      While strict password policies may work well in theory, their value is often undone by something as simple as a post-it pasted on a computer screen to help an employee remember his newly generated strong password.

  • Finance

    • Wall Street Ends Mixed as Data Reflects a Sluggish Recovery

      Stock prices were little changed on Thursday as investors reacted cautiously to data suggesting that the recovery remained halting.

      The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s survey of regional business conditions showed that manufacturing activity was nearly flat in September, while claims for unemployment benefits dropped to a two-month low but still remained high.

      The mildly reassuring data reduced investors’ expectations that the Federal Reserve, which meets on Tuesday, would renew quantitative easing in the form of large debt purchases aimed at stimulating the economy.

    • Basel rules for riskiest trading could further raise bank’s capital requirements

      The measures also stand to shape the behavior of bank executives in undetermined ways, with some analysts suggesting the rules could lead to steep price hikes for some business and consumer services or push financial firms to pump more cash into government bonds and other low-risk investments.

    • Elizabeth Warren: The Right Appointment At The Right Time

      Some of Ms. Warren’s supporters think this move is something of a half-measure – they would have preferred a conventional nomination, with all the fanfare of a classic confirmation battle in the Senate. There is something to be said for that, but the interim appointment route is by far the best way forward for three reasons.

    • Senate GOP looks to compromise in tax debate

      Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and his House counterpart, Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), are locked in a standoff with President Obama over the fate of tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 during the Bush administration. Those cuts, scheduled to expire at the end of this year unless Congress acts, lowered the tax burden for every taxpayer – but helped to drive the federal deficit to record levels.

    • Obama to name consumer advocate to new post Friday

      President Barack Obama is naming Elizabeth Warren a special adviser to oversee creation of a new consumer protection bureau, dodging a fight with Senate Republicans who view her as too critical of Wall Street to be confirmed as the agency’s chief.

    • Secret funds flow into races

      Ever since the 1973 Federal Election Campaign Act passed, public disclosure of the money used to influence elections has been a cardinal rule of U.S. politics.

      Voters’ right to know who is behind the money spent trying to sway them was firmly established by the Supreme Court’s 1976 decision in Buckley v. Valeo, which upheld the constitutionality of campaign finance disclosure laws.

    • SEC eyes new rules on banks’ debt-level disclosure

      Federal regulators are set to propose new rules that could make it harder for financial firms to disguise their level of debt.

      The expanded disclosure requirements would apply to banks’ practice of temporarily trimming their debt at the end of quarters to make their financial statements appear stronger. The practice is legal but regulators say it can give investors a distorted picture of a bank’s debt and level of risk.

    • White House defends stimulus, highlights projects

      Rehabilitating New York’s Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Cutting a new highway through Nelsonville, Ohio. Building a trio of battery factories in Michigan.

      In a report being released Friday by Vice President Joe Biden, the White House pushes back against criticism of its $814 billion stimulus program and highlights 100 projects that it says are creating jobs and growing the economy.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Canada “Fox News North” Campaign — Attempted Sabotage, Avaaz Responds

      Yesterday Avaaz experienced an attack on our “Stop ‘Fox News North’” petition consisting of fraudulent sign-ups of targeted individuals.

      There is evidence of a deliberate and illegal effort designed to discredit Avaaz and violate an important form of democratic expression for Canadian citizens. If this is confirmed we will request a full investigation, and help to bring the perpetrators to justice.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Afghan women join fight for election

      Despite death threats and intimidation a record number of women are contesting seats in this month’s Afghan parliamentary elections. But Channel 4 News International Editor Lindsey Hilsum, who travelled to Bamyan earlier this year, says women there still live in fear of the Taliban.

    • California Ban on Violent Videogames Violates First Amendment

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and The Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF) urged the United States Supreme Court Friday to protect the free speech rights of videogame creators and users, asking the justices to uphold a ruling throwing out unconstitutional restrictions on violent videogames.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Internet must remain neutral, says Sir Tim Berners-Lee

      *

      Mobile operators and internet service providers must not be allowed to break the principle of “net neutrality” – that there should be no favouritism for connecting to certain sites online – Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, warned today.

      He also said that low-cost mobile phones with a data connection were essential to ensure that the 80% of people who are not yet connected to the web could benefit from its ability to bring new information.

      Berners-Lee suggested that concerns over privacy and the sharing of personal data will mean that businesses will have to improve their ability to segment the use of user-specific data such as addresses and where people are using their phones.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • The Significance of the Huge European Warez Scene Raids

      At the behest of Belgian authorities, two weeks ago police around Europe conduced coordinated raids on so-called Warez Scene topsites. Hailed as some of the most important raids of their type in recent memory, the action generated hundreds of headlines. But just how significant were the raids? To find out that, first we should look at how the Scene is organized.

    • British Library plans for a digital future

      “If we in the UK are going to safeguard our intellectual heritage and ensure it can be used by future generations of researchers, it is essential that we make a step-change in the amount of digital content that we collect, store and make accessible for the long term,” she said.

    • Copyrights

      • Stallman calls for file-sharing to be legalised

        Stallman was giving a talk at the RMIT University in Melbourne today on “Copyright vs Community in the Age of Computer Networks”, one of the lectures he is giving during a six-week stay in Australia.

        At the end of his talk, Stallman auctioned what he called “an adorable GNU” (pic below) – a soft toy – saying, “if you have a penguin (the Linux mascot) at home, you need a GNU because the penguin is useless without the GNU.” This was a dig at people who refuse to acknowledge the contribution the GNU Project has made to GNU/Linux distributions.

        Stallman said file-sharing should be made legal to allow people to share files on a non-commercial basis as they had done during earlier eras.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

GULMAtrix


Credit: TinyOgg

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    A long series of abuses in CAFC may as well suggest that this court has become broken beyond repair



  4. The Latest From Microsoft Patent Trolls and Patent Partners

    Microsoft-linked and Linux-hostile trolls continue their relentless attacks (albeit with little or no success) while patents as a weapon lose their teeth owing to a Supreme Court ruling



  5. Microsoft Proves That Its Massive Layoffs Are Not About Nokia

    Microsoft is laying off a lot of employees who have nothing at all to do with Nokia



  6. Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

    Links for the day



  7. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  8. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  9. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  10. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  11. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  12. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments



  13. Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

    Links for the day



  14. Italy is Cracking Down on Microsoft's Monopoly Abuse While Gradually Moving to GNU/Linux

    Italy is not only moving to Free/Open Source software but also to GNU/Linux while at the same time barring Microsoft from forcibly tying Windows to new PCs



  15. OpenSUSE's 'Assurances' Are Classic MBA School Hogwash

    OpenSUSE is not part of any commitment, except for SUSE's; the impact of the Novell/SUSE acquisition casts uncertainty on the project's future



  16. Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

    Links for the day



  17. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism



  18. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  19. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  20. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  21. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  22. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  23. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  24. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  25. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  26. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  27. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  28. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  29. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day



  30. Suspicion of High-Level Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO): Part I

    The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President has a background of corruption and his appointment to the EPO too is believed to be reliant on systemic corruption


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