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09.22.10

Novell Does Not Want GNU/Linux Choices

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Novell, Oracle, Red Hat at 7:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linux gives blood to Novell

Summary: Very poorly-put PR response from Novell, which fears Oracle’s attempt to sell its own ‘version’ of Linux

ORACLE has just done something really sneaky. It bashes Linux (yes, the kernel) in order to sell its own ‘improved’ version of Linux and Red Hat’s PR response is as follows:

  • Leading With Red Hat Enterprise Linux

    With Red Hat Enterprise Linux, we continue to provide an industry-leading application platform, all based on open source technology, designed with the goal that end customers are and should continue to be the largest benefactors of Red Hat and our product offerings.

Novell’s former manager for the OpenSUSE community (Zonker) has posted the most widely-cited response so far:

Now, watch the tactless response from Michael Applebaum (Novell’s director of Linux and Appliances), who decided to say that “we don’t need a third Linux distro” (i.e. choice is bad and duopoly is good):

  • Guest blog: Why we don’t need a third Linux distro

    Ultimately, the market just isn’t demanding a third Linux distro. The presence of two strong players – Novell and Red Hat – keeps the market extremely competitive, and our respective R&D teams along with the talent of the open source community drive exceptional innovation in areas like virtual appliances, cloud computing, high availability clustering and systems management. While it’s certainly in Oracle’s interests to play in the Linux space, its market uptake has lagged.

This is Novell’s PR response. They try to tell companies to stay out of their way. If that’s not arrogance, what is?

In any event, the bad company in this case is Oracle. What it’s doing will in no way be beneficial to the Linux ecosystem. But Novell too has its own Linux kernel, so there is room for claims of hypocrisy.

Links 22/9/2010: Linux 2.6.36 RC5, Gallo Threat

Posted in News Roundup at 7:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Anatomy of a Linux System
  • Desktop

  • Fog Computing

    • Amazon: Death by Cloud for Traditional Software

      So, today, Amazon is increasingly competing with the open-source vendors who sell support for a variety of open-source components of its Amazon Web Services offering. In the future, I expect we’ll see Amazon building out its AWS product portfolio in ways that make just about everyone in the traditional software market uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable.

    • SAP Moves an OnDemand Service to Amazon
    • A run on your cloud?

      The problem occurs when everyone tries to use their compute resources fully with an overbooked provider, just like everyone trying to get their money out of a bank. The provider is unable to meet its obligations and partially collapses. The likely effect will be compute units being vastly below their specification or some units which have been sold are thrown off the service to make up for the shortfall (i.e. customers are bumped).

  • Ballnux

    • Chrome OS Replacing Android on the next galaxy tab?

      Samsung’s much hyped Galaxy Tab hasn’t even been released yet and people are already speculating on the future of the device. Many are reporting that the next update for the current Tab or the next model will be sporting Chrome OS instead of Android 2.2. It all depends on what Google has in store for Android 3.0 (Gingerbread) if it’s more tablet friendly then it would be the next update. However, if it is still not built with a tablet in mind, like Google has stated was the case for 2.2, then Samsung may consider Chrome OS.

    • Samsung Galaxy Tab Offered By Amazon UK Starting November 1st, £599

      Amazon UK’s updated their listing for the Samsung Galaxy Tab to include a lower price and a hard date. According to their new listing, the device will definitely be released November 1st and will be offered for £599. That’s down from £799 we’ve all seen before. It’s still quite the investment, but at least it’ll be a bit easier to swallow for those of you who were going to be picking this one up anyway. This will be the version with both WiFi and HSDPA support for connectivity.

  • Kernel Space

    • Stable kernel updates

      Greg Kroah-Hartman has released three stable kernel updates: 2.6.27.54, 2.6.32.22 and 2.6.35.5.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.36 (Part 2)

      2.6.36 offers VFS optimisations, has returned to integrating Ext3 file systems with “data=ordered” by default and can store data from shared Windows or Samba disks in local cache to improve performance. Numerous new and improved drivers enhance the kernel’s storage and network hardware support.

    • Linux 2.6.36-rc5 Kernel Released; Fixes 14 Year Old Bug

      The Linux 2.6.36-rc5 kernel is now available after Linus Torvalds has got back on track with the weekly release candidates after being at LinuxCon in Brazil. Of course, this later release candidate just targets correcting bugs and other issues, including a fix for a 14 year old kernel bug.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

    • Radio Tray – Online radio streaming player

      Radio Tray is an online radio streaming player that runs on a Linux system tray. Its goal is to have the minimum interface possible, making it very straightforward to use.

    • CADuntu project has been started

      Development No, it’s isn’t an Ubuntu flavour for computer-aided drafting. It’s a fork of a well-known community edition of QCAD. And thus the month of CAD on Linux continues :)

      It’s hardly news that open source version of QCad long ceased to update, with proprietary version not being financially successful. The CADuntu project is a little over a month old, and the name of the project was picked just for fun and has nothing to do with Ubuntu per se.

      The point of this project is in updatiing source code to use QT4, much newer version of QT — a crossplatform development kit, and to improve the actual application.

    • Yet Another Music Player for Linux: Foobnix

      When it comes to music players, Linux evolved heavily during the last three or four years, and new players are announced on a regular basis. I remember that in 2006, when I was starting up with Linux, there were only a few applications to choose from, like Amarok, Rhythmbox, Listen or XMMS, and a few more less popular and not so full-featured. But times have changed and now the Linux platform benefits from players of all kinds: there are replacements for XMMS for both GNOME and KDE (Audacious and Qmmp), collection-oriented players like Amarok, Banshee, Exaile or Rhythmbox. There are less-known players like Quod Libet, Guayadeque or Jajuk, or the client-server oriented ones like MPD. And the ones I just listed are only the ones which came to my mind at the moment. Some would say having so many players for a single task is a bad thing, but I say it’s not. Having enough options to choose from is a great advantage. If you don’t like one style, try the next player, if you don’t like its approach either, try the next one, and so on.

    • Ohso Quicklaunch Chrome/ium web app
    • PDFMod

      I always do my presentations in PDF because it’s a common format. Sometimes however I want to add in a slide or remove a slide when I find out I messed something up but don’t have time to go edit the presentation and re export it.

      For Maverick’s Featured Apps we now have PDFMod, for quick an easy manipulation of PDFs.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine

      • Direct3D 10/11 Is Now Natively Implemented On Linux!

        It’s a pity Luca Barbieri or any Mesa / Gallium3D developers are not at Oktoberfest as they are deserving of more than a few Maß of Augustiner. In fact, today a new Gallium3D state tracker was pushed into Mesa and it’s perhaps the most interesting state tracker for this open-source graphics driver architecture yet. It’s a state tracker that exposes Microsoft’s DirectX 10/11 API on Linux! And it’s already working and can be hooked into Wine!

    • Games

      • S2 Games Calls Their HoN Linux Port A Big Success

        During the summer we were giving away free beta keys for Heroes of Newerth, a game developed by S2 Games that had a native Linux client. During that time we gave away more than 1,000 keys, but since then the retail version of the game was launched to much excitement for both Linux and Windows gamers. This week we learned from S2 Games about how they view their Linux port.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Qt/K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Qt Is Now Drawing On Wayland

        Last week in Toulouse I learned just how much interest Intel has in Wayland and the active role they are playing in its development. Wayland and related work to bring it up is not limited to just Kristian Høgsberg, who switched from being a Red Hat employee to Intel during Wayland’s development, but Jesse Barnes and other Intel OSTC X developers are also contributing to different areas. Jesse Barnes has been working on the Qt support within Wayland and that’s hit a new milestone.

      • Qt 4.7.0 now available

        After many months of designing, coding, reviewing, testing and documenting, Qt 4.7.0 is finally ready for the big time!

        Although it’s a little more than nine months since Qt’s last feature release (4.6.0 on December 1st, 2009), the seeds of some of the new stuff in 4.7 were sown much earlier. Indeed, many of the ideas behind the biggest new feature in Qt 4.7.0, QtQuick, were born more than two years ago, not long after Qt 4.4 was released. We hope you’ll benefit from the effort and care that went into bringing the implementation of those ideas to maturity.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME.Asia Committee 2010

        One of the main objective of the GNOME.Asia Committee, and the summits we’ve organized every year since 2008, has been to build a stronger GNOME community in Asia. Thanks to the COSCUP / GNOME.Asia 2010 event in Taiwan this year, we’ve moved a step closer to our goals and recruited five more members from various Asian countries to join our Committee.

  • Distributions

    • UberStudent -A Linux distribution for Students

      For those looking for OS perfect for higher education environment, UberStudent – a Ubuntu-based Linux distro should be the first choice. It has Ubuntu-like functions but has been modified for Students and contains student-friendly tools helping in research and writing, studying and self-management.

    • Security

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Google Summer of Code 2010 Debian Report

        This is indeed the 4th time we had the privilege of participating in the Google Summer of Code and each year has been a little different.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Announcing the Ubuntu Application Review Process

          Are you an application developer who would like to see your application appear in the Ubuntu Software Center and available by millions of Ubuntu users? Today we are announcing a new process we are trialing which is easier and more accessible for application authors to get their apps in Ubuntu.

        • Ubuntu Application Review Process announced, restrictive rules galore

          Ubuntu has this wicked content delivery system built into the operating system, something that Apple and Microsoft don’t have on their desktops. It’s obvious that having a lot of fresh applications constantly landing is a boon for platforms, and this would be the perfect area for Ubuntu to whip out a feature that its competitors lack. So what do Canonical do? Make it as hard as possible for developers to get content into the system, of course.

        • Did you know?

          While browsing Ubuntu Software Center, have you ever wondered:

          * how it displays screenshots?
          * who uploads the screenshots?
          * why some of the screenshots are totally outdated?

          Ubuntu Software Center pulls these screenshots from screenshots.debian.net. Anyone can upload screenshots to this site.

        • Some personal thoughts on the Ubuntu Application Review System

          In my personal opinion, it would be better for developers to implement their free software in the Universe repository. Universe has a good and working Stable Release Update policy and process. There are problems with actually getting new packages in to Universe because the package review system, called REVU often doesn’t have enough people paying attention to it and reviewing packages. However, it’s still possible to get packages into Universe without much trouble.

        • Canonical Announces Ubuntu Application Review Process, No Room For Closed Source Applications!

          In yet another attempt at making it big with Ubuntu Software Center, Canonical announces new Ubuntu application review process. Canonical claims that the new process will make it easier and more accessible for application authors to get their apps in Ubuntu.

        • How scalable is open source?

          At the moment, Ubuntu is venturing into unknown ground. Never before has an open source operating system attempted to win over the hearts of the mainstream. In fact, with the exception of a few medium sized projects such as Firefox, Moodle, GIMP, Drupal, WordPress et. al., we haven’t really tested how the mainstream would react to open source projects as large as Ubuntu.

          As we grow, there will be more people contributing, more people adding comments to bug reports, more people getting annoyed at changes and voicing their opinion. In proprietary software, companies generally develop behind closed doors and then release a product. Consumers either like it or they don’t – in open source, they can have a say during the development of a product.

        • Make Ubuntu Look Like Mac OSX In Seconds Using Macbuntu

          Although I am not a fan of copying an entire OS look (even though Ubuntu does some of it by default), I’m sure some of you want to get the entire Mac OSX look in Ubuntu. For that, you can use a script called Macbuntu which is very easy to use and can make your Ubuntu desktop look like Mac OSX in seconds.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 211

          In This Issue

          * Welcome New Ubuntu Members
          * Welcome New Ubuntu Developers
          * Ubuntu Open Week, request for instructors
          * Ubuntu App Developer Week
          * Archive frozen for preparation of Ubuntu 10.10
          * Fixing Community Processes
          * Reflections on Ubuntu, Canonical and the march to free software adoption
          * Alternative UDS Accomodation
          * Ubuntu Cowntdown 10.10
          * Ubuntu Stats
          * LoCo News
          * Launchpad News
          * Ubuntu Forums News
          * My role in Ubuntu
          * Helping improve Ruby on Debian and Ubuntu
          * Ubuntu Server Guide Retrospective
          * This week in design – 17 September 2010
          * In The Press
          * In The Blogosphere
          * Canonical announces provisional Ubuntu Developer Summit tracks
          * A Canonical Controversy
          * Why Red Hat should fear Amazon Linux
          * Bazaar team: want to work on Bazaar?
          * Canonical ISD: Ubuntu Pay is open for translations
          * Ubuntu Hardware Summit in Taipei 11 days away
          * Featured Podcasts
          * Weekly Ubuntu Development Team Meetings
          * Upcoming Meetings and Events
          * Updates and Security
          * UWN Sneak Peek
          * And much much more

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Lubuntu Screencast: Shape Collage

            In this Screencast I show you how to create a photo collage easily with shape collage.

          • Edubuntu makeover

            I haven’t been involved with Edubuntu development for a year now. While I miss the work and especially the great people, I’ve come to see that the project is in great hands (better than mine for sure). Edubuntu made some really important strides in 10.04 with the enhancements made to the DVD installer and live system. One of the neat things that has happened a little more recently was a complete revamping of the edubuntu.org website. The work was done by Edubuntu community members Jonathan Carter and Stéphane Graber.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Adobe Updates Flash For Android; AIR Coming October 8th?

          That security hole that no one got fidgety over has been patched up by Adobe today. You can find the now-should-be-more-secure version in the Android market as version 10.1.95.1. There’s really no changelog to be had as this is only a quick fix for that critical flaw. Some other bit of news might have squeaked out of Adobe’s camp, however, and it concerns AIR for Android. According to a tip by one of AC’s forum members, Adobe AIR will be out October 8th in the Android market for users to download.

        • Orange San Francisco budget Android phone unveiled [Video]

          Orange UK has outed its latest Android smartphone, the somewhat bizarrely named San Francisco, and they’re targeting the budget-minded masses this time. The Orange San Francisco will cost £99 on the carrier’s “Dolphin” pay-as-you-go plan, which gets you a 3.2-megapixel camera, capacitive touchscreen and Android 2.1 Eclair.

    • Tablets

      • Slatedroid community firmware brings the £85 Android tablet to life

        Back in July I wrote about an Android tablet computer that I picked up on Amazon for £85. This is a really interesting device and seemed to do quite a lot. A couple of things really let it down though, its speed and the fact that you could not use Android Market with it, making obtaining most Android applications quite difficult. Fortunately a group of enthusiasts have formed a community around this device, the Eken M001, and similar devices over at Slatedroid.com. A couple of people there have put together a new firmware image which is still in beta but I’ve been trying it out and I am impressed so far! The tablet now has a working Market and feels much more responsive.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 6 Open Source Projects for 802.1X Network Authentication

    The 802.1X authentication protocol plays a major role in Wi-Fi security of business networks. It enables the Enterprise flavor of Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA and WPA2) encryption for wireless networks, and can also provide authentication on the wired side. Here are six open source projects that deal with 802.1X authentication…

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Hadoop and MapReduce: Breaking records in the cloud

      Last week, a team of Yahoo researchers creating a long version of pi set a new record in the field of mathematics using the Yahoo cloud. According to Engadget’s report, “The team, led by Nicholas Sze of Yahoo!, used the company’s Hadoop cloud computing tech to break the previous record by more than double, creating the longest Pi yet.”

      The researchers leveraged Hadoop for this project. The widely distributed nature of Hadoop brought clear advantages by taking a divide-and-conquer approach. It cut up the problem into smaller pieces, then set different parts of the computer to work on different sections of the project.

  • Databases

    • Facebook open sources live MySQL makeover

      Facebook has open sourced a new MySQL utility that lets the social networking colossus update its database indexes and juice query times without staging the changes on test servers. With the tool – known as Online Schema Change for MySQL, or OSC – it can update indexes on live servers.

      In the past, according Facebook MySQL guru Mark Callaghan, the company needed a good six months to roll index updates across its sea of MySQL servers. Now, it needs no more than a few days. “This lets us make schema changes much, much faster,” Callaghan tells The Register. “And the benefit from the changes is that database queries will be faster.”

  • Oracle

    • Oracle silent on Java independence initiative

      While Java founder James Gosling has campaigned for Oracle to place Java under the jurisdiction of an independent foundation, Oracle is declining to comment at all on the notion.

      Asked about Gosling’s efforts during a press question-and-answer session at the Oracle OpenWorld conference Tuesday in San Francisco, Oracle’s Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of product development, simply declined to comment.

  • CMS

    • Open social networking: Diaspora tested

      For pre-alpha software Diaspora is surprisingly functional and feature-rich.

      At the moment Diaspora allows adding and organising friends into what it calls “aspects,” posting and receiving messages and uploading photos.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • The Anthropology of Hackers

      Perhaps one of the most important political interventions made by hackers is through the production of Free and Open Source Software (such as the web browser Firefox and the GNU/Linux Operating System). We start with the intellectual progenitor of Free Software, uber-hacker Richard Stallman. We read the “GNU Manifesto” published in 1985 where he proposes his philosophical and practical vision for Free Software. To get students up to speed about the fraught three hundred year history of intellectual property law, we read Carla Hesse’s magnificent “The Rise of Intellectual Property, 700 B.C – A.D. 2000: an Idea in Balance” — a gem for its ability to convey so much in such economical terms. Finally, we rely heavily on Chris Kelty’s excellent account: Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software.

  • Project Releases

    • Totem Arte Plugin 0.9.1

      The Totem Arte.tv plugin project is still alive. After Arte changed their video streaming platform we had to switch from WMV to RTMP streams. RTMP support is finally available in the latest (version 0.10.20) gstreamer-plugins-bad release. Nicolas Delvaux added many additional features like GNOME proxy support and asynchronous thumbnail downloading.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Inside the culture of Wikipedia: Q&A with the author of “Good Faith Collaboration”

      7. Q: What advice would you give companies who want to apply Wikipedia’s cultural principles when working within communities both inside and outside of company walls?

      A: I conclude the book by writing I don’t believe there is any such thing as “wiki pixie dust.” Wikis do permit asynchronous, incremental, and non-brittle contributions (i.e., it is easy to revert a mistake), but using them is not a guarantee of success. Similarly, there is much to learn from Wikipedia’s collaborative culture, but one shouldn’t approach this as a simple cultural graft or transplantation. The idea of Neutral Point of View doesn’t necessarily make sense for businesses, or even other wikis. Ward Cunningham’s original wiki was not neutral: it advocated for software patterns. However, I do think that there is a general lesson: we should look for ways to facilitate fast and flexible collaboration that is forgiving with respect to what the technology enables and in our attitudes towards our peers. For example, we might conceive of process as being less about reactive strictures and more as a sharing of best practices among collaborators.

    • Will the Internet of Things Be Open or Closed?

      At some point in the future, many more everyday objects will have tiny embedded chips that can communicate with networks. But just as we’re debating net neutrality and the value of the open web vs closed client applications, we will have to decide who will control the internet of things, too.

      Lines are already beginning to be drawn. Ashlee Vance, writing for the New York Times’ Bits blog, profiles chipmaker ARM’s efforts to bring the internet of things to the masses with its mbed project.

    • Open Data

      • Open source mapping tech goes global, helps women fight back

        Chiao said HarassMap offers victims “a practical way of responding, something to fight back with; as someone who has experienced sexual harassment personally on the streets of Cairo, I know that the most frustrating part of it was feeling like there was nothing I could do.”

      • Does your Government (and thus you) actually own its data?

        The problem is, this isn’t actually open data. As I argue in the three laws of open data (and the good folks at Berkman seem to share my sense of humour) crime data for cities that contract with Public Engines Inc isn’t open. You can look at the data, but you can’t touch it. Worst still… don’t even think about playing with it (unless you are doing so ON crimereports.com website, in a way that their license lets you – its all quite constraining stuff).

    • Open Access/Content

      • MIT OpenCourseWare teams up with OpenStudy to help OCW users connect and study together

        MIT OpenCourseWare and OpenStudy are are teaming up to help OCW users connect and study together. MIT has been publishing the core academic materials—including syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams—from the Institute’s courses since 2002, but since inception, the site has been a static presentation of MIT materials with no opportunity to interact with the MIT community or other users of the site.

    • Open Hardware

      • The Hardware Hacker Manifesto

        My name is Cody and I’m a hardware hacker. It started at the age of five, taking apart a toy computer to figure out how it worked. I live for that thrill of discovery and rush of power that I feel when I figure out what makes something tick, then figure out how to bend it to my will. This has led to me hacking everything from game consoles to phones.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • European Parliament wants Open Document exchange format for electronic business

      Today the European Parliament plenary adopted a report on completing the internal market for e-commerce prepared by Spanish rapporteur Pablo Arias Echeverría (EPP). The reports highlights the importance of an open document exchange format for electronic business interoperation and calls on the European Commission to take concrete steps to support its emergence and spread.

    • IETF approves customised version of e-crime reporting format

      An Internet standards group has approved an electronic crimes reporting format, which may eventually give security researchers a cohesive, broad set of data to gauge online crime.

    • SCAP: computer security for the rest of us.

      If you’re read this far, you’re probably sold on the value of SCAP. There are a few ways to get involved, and move this standard forward.

      First, check out NIST’s SCAP website. There’s a lot of great content there, and there are a bunch of mailing lists you can join.

      Next, the OpenSCAP project would welcome your help. It’s a low-level library that handles some of the rude mechanics of the SCAP protocol. There’s a wonderland of opportunity for folks who want to create a GUI, a web interface, or otherwise build on the excellent work that’s already been done. The secstate project is a good place to start.

Leftovers

  • British Chip Designer Prepares for Wider Demand

    Near the southeastern edge of Cambridge, where this idyllic university town gives way to fields of green, sits the headquarters of ARM Holdings. Neither the modest three-building campus nor its surroundings evoke notions of a thriving hotbed of computing.

    [...]

    “Our customers sell about 4 billion chips a year,” said Warren East, the chief executive of ARM, during a recent interview.

  • Scribd Puts User Docs Behind A Paywall Without Them Realizing It

    Last year, I wrote about some issues I had with the way Scribd tried to avoid liability by suggesting that public domain documents couldn’t be hosted on the site or that fair use was not allowed. To the company’s credit, it responded quickly and fixed the situation, but soon after that I switched to (mostly) using Docstoc to host documents. Doctstoc has its own problems as well, but for the most part has worked well for me. Still, in my experience Scribd is still quite popular among folks — especially for uploading and hosting legal documents. Apparently, the company recently made some quiet changes and it’s seriously pissed off law professor Eric Goldman, who has relied on the site for quite some time.

  • Bus driver seen ‘reading Kindle at the wheel’

    “When I departed the bus, he asked if I took his picture while he was driving,” the passenger who recorded the video told local news channel KGW.com. “I said I had, and he responded that I was not allowed to take his photo while he was driving.”

    A lawyer for the bus driver told KGW that although he had the device on the dashboard, he “would not be reading such a thing while engaged in traffic”.

  • Netezza buy further defines IBM’s analytics bent
  • Mapping Stereotypes
  • Science

    • Digital Agenda: €5 million EU funding helps turn the ancient Silk Road into ultra-fast research and education highway

      The European Commission today helped to increase the internet capacity available to researchers in the Central Asia region (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan). With the Commission’s €5 million contribution to the Central Asia Research and Education Network (CAREN), the ancient Silk Road has been upgraded to a 21st century high-speed internet highway for research and education. Researchers, academics and students in the region now have access to high-capacity internet connections, offering them unrivalled opportunities to play a major role on the international research scene. With Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan also candidate countries to join the network, CAREN will link over half a million users at more than 500 universities and research centres

    • Workers unearth huge fossil cache in California

      Workers building a substation in California have discovered 1,500 bone fragments from about 1.4 million years ago.

      The fossil haul includes remains from an ancestor of the sabre-toothed tiger, large ground sloths, deer, horses, camels and numerous small rodents.

      Plant matter found at the site in the arid San Timoteo Canyon, 85 miles (137km) south-east of Los Angeles, showed it was once much greener.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Easy Money And Why We Must Resist

      Tell a friend. Your less tech-savvy friends need to understand what spam is (and is not) and how to deal with it, much the way they deal with blood-sucking telemarketers drinking up their cellular minutes. They need to deal with it themselves, not depend upon you, because their actions can help starve or feed a spammer.

    • The Twitter hack: how it started and how it worked

      The original discovery of the weakness, known as a “cross-site scripting” (XSS) hack, seems to have been made by a Japanese developer called Masato Kinugawa. He says that he reported an XSS vulnerability to Twitter on August 14 – and then discovered that the “new” Twitter, launched on Tuesday 14 September, had the same problem.

      At about 10am BST (the afternoon in Japan, where he is based) he set up a Twitter account called “Rainbow Twtr”, which showed how the XSS weakness could be used to make tweets turn into different colours.

    • NHS IT manager guilty of snooping on patient records

      According to his lawyer, Trever denied copying, printing or altering any medical records. He is due to be sentenced next month.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Ozone layer stable, on the way to recovery

      And it’s worth remembering that, when the Montreal Protocol (the international agreement that phased out ozone-depleting chemicals) was being debated, conservative extremists and industry spokespeople in the U.S. and U.K. said first that there was no need for it, then that it could never work with so many nations involved, and finally that it would destroy the economy if ratified. You might note that these are the same arguments made against climate action in these nations.

    • The Clean Air Act by the Numbers

      Forty years after the passage of the Clean Air Act, it is extraordinary to look at the numbers.

      Numbers like 200,000 — which is the count of premature deaths the Clean Air Act prevented in its first 20 years. Over the same period, the Act prevented 672,000 cases of chronic bronchitis and 21,000 cases of heart disease. It avoided 843,000 asthma attacks and 18 million child respiratory illnesses.

      1.7 million is the number of tons of toxic emissions removed from our air every year since 1990. In the last two decades, emissions of six common pollutants dropped 41 percent. Lead in our air is down by 92 percent since 1980.

    • Serengeti wildebeest spectacle under threat from development

      The world’s greatest migration spectacle – the annual charge of nearly 2 million wildebeest, zebra and other mammals across the Serengeti national park in east Africa – is under threat from plans to build a road across their route.

      Twenty-seven conservation experts from around the world have signed an article in the journal Nature condemning the plan, adding to growing international concern that includes thousands of signatures on petitions opposing the Tanzanian government project.

    • Commission sued over biofuels as suspicions mount

      Europe’s biofuels policy could cause unwanted side-effects equal to as much as 1.5 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases – roughly the annual emissions of Russia or India, official reports warn.

    • Systemic Risk Arising from a Financial System that Requires Growth in a World with Limited Oil Supply

      The point I try to make in the essay is that the financial system requires economic growth, but oil supply seems to be flat, or even declining in the not too distant future. Because of the many benefits oil provides, this loss can be expected to constrain economic growth. If the economic system cannot grow, there are likely to be widespread debt defaults and other problems similar to the 2008 crisis. These problems can be expected to affect all types of financial institutions, including insurance companies.

  • Finance

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Librarians Gone Wild: Violating Netflix Terms of Use!

      Whoops. Turns out Netflix isn’t actually cool with libraries using the service and doesn’t want early adopting librarians to be encouraging others to do so. Netflix doesn’t offer institutional subscriptions and expects its services to be limited to personal consumption.

    • Censorship of the Internet Takes Center Stage in “Online Infringement” Bill

      Senator Patrick Leahy yesterday introduced the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” (COICA). This flawed bill would allow the Attorney General and the Department of Justice to break the Internet one domain at a time — by requiring domain registrars/registries, ISPs, DNS providers, and others to block Internet users from reaching certain websites. The bill would also create two Internet blacklists. The first is a list of all the websites hit with a censorship court order from the Attorney General. The second, more worrying, blacklist is a list of domain names that the Department of Justice determines — without judicial review — are “dedicated to infringing activities.” The bill only requires blocking for domains in the first list, but strongly suggests that domains on the second list should be blocked as well by providing legal immunity for Internet intermediaries and DNS operators who decide to block domains on the second blacklist as well. (It’s easy to predict that there will be tremendous pressure for Internet intermediaries of all stripes to block these “deemed infringing” sites on the second blacklist.)

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • France Starts Reporting ‘Millions’ of File-Sharers

      This week the controversial French three-strikes anti-piracy law Hadopi went live. Copyright holders are currently in the process of sending out tens of thousands of IP-addresses of alleged infringers to Internet service providers, and this will increase to over a million in a few weeks. The ISPs have to hand over the identities of the associated accounts to the authorities within a week, or face a fine of 1500 euros per unidentified IP-address.

    • Copyrights

      • SXSW: Announcing Accepted Interactive Panels on September 20
      • Companies spark Gov’s Creative Commons movement

        Government 2.0 Taskforce member Bryan Fitzgerald today credited the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for setting the stage for an open government.

        In an overcrowded room at the World Computer Congress in Brisbane, Fitzgerald described Australian efforts to license public sector data under the Creative Commons license.

      • Lawmakers want power to shut down ‘pirate sites’

        A group of senators want to hand the U.S. Department of Justice the power to shut down Web sites dedicated to the illegal sharing online of film, music, software, and other intellectual property.

        “The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act will give the Department of Justice an expedited process for cracking down on these rogue Web sites regardless of whether the Web site’s owner is located inside or outside of the United States,” according to a statement from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and committee member Sen. Orin Hatch (R-Utah).

        Under the proposed legislation, the Justice Department would file a civil action against accused pirate domain names. If the domain name resides in the U.S., the attorney general could then request that the court issue an order finding that the domain name in question is dedicated to infringing activities. The Justice Department would have the authority to serve the accused site’s U.S.-based registrar with an order to shut down the site.

      • Intellectual Monopolies, the Open Net and ACTA

        But there’s worse: the US wants to arrogate these powers to itself even if the Web sites are outside its territory. Since much of the Internet’s infrastructure is run from the US, that’s a real threat. It’s also the strongest argument so far why we need to decentralise the Internet further, and remove it from the influence of any one country – including the US.

        There’s another important aspect, too. One of the constant refrains during the ACTA negotiations is that the latter won’t force the US, say, to introduce new laws. It looks like that will be true – because the US is introducing them anyway. But make no mistake, this kind of censorship lies at the hart of ACTA.

      • Support on instruction? – ACS:Law, its latest comments & the fall out of 4chan

        Receivers of these letters who have claimed innocence and subsequently had the matter dropped may want to look towards a civil case themselves. Receiving a letter like this can be extremely upsetting for some. Unlike the Police force who by way of their job have the powers in law to arrest/interview people under suspicion, that is not the case for ACS:Law. They are a business which is effectively in my view, interviewing you without caution (if you respond to these letters) and even worse than that you are then signing up to an agreement for future conduct which you may not have control over. The letters state you should seek legal advice, but how many people would look at that as an extra expense if they are already worried about a possible court case.

        They are an admittion of guilt and from reports many people have signed them out of fear of going through and expensive court case, not out of guilt.

      • New 4chan DDoS Targets Hated Anti-Piracy Law Firm

        After all-out assaults on the web presences of the MPAA, RIAA and later the BPI, last night a new company was targeted in a new 4chan DDoS attack. Anti-piracy lawyers ACS:Law, one of the most despised and complained about law firms in Britain, had their website taken offline last night and it remains down “Account Suspended” this morning. TorrentFreak has spoken to one of the key figures in Operation Payback for the lowdown.

      • Creative Commons Mashup Contest!

        To celebrate the great collection of Creative Commons tracks on SoundCloud, we’re holding a remix contest… CC style! So in the spirit of “some rights reserved”, upload your best CC samples and loops and then get remixing them into brand new pieces.

      • Supreme Court could take its first RIAA file-sharing case

        The US Supreme Court is weighing in on the first RIAA file sharing case to reach its docket, requesting that the music labels’ litigation arm respond to a case testing the so-called “innocent infringer” defense to copyright infringement.

      • Moral Rights, Endowment Effects, and Things in Copyright

        Some time back, I planned to post a short review of Bobbi Kwall’s recent book, The Soul of Creativity. The book summarizes a lot of recent thinking (including her own) about the law of moral rights and copyright and offers a new framework for adapting US copyright to international moral rights norms. But Jacqui Lipton beat me to it, and I’ve had to wait for an opportunity to post something distinctive about the book — and about what bothered me about it, despite its abundant strengths.

        The opportunity recently presented itself: a pair of outstanding recent papers by Chris Sprigman (University of Virginia) and Chris Buccafusco (Chicago-Kent). One is “Valuing Intellectual Property” ; the other is “The Creativity Effect.” Both are studies in experimental economics. The question that the authors explore, via cleverly designed games, is how “creators” identify and value the “works” that they create. In different respects, both papers suggest that “creators” tend to value their “creations” more than purchasers or third parties do. That finding has important implications for the design of an IP rights system, at least if that design is premised on creating conditions for efficient transactions in IP rights.

      • Google Wants You To Tell Them Which Books Are Public Domain

        There are two or more threads at the Google Book Search Help forum on the topic of making more books “full view” accessible.

        Full View is only available for books that are “out of copyright, or if the publisher or author has asked to make the book fully viewable.” The Full View allows you to view any page from the book, and if the book is in the public domain, you can download, save and print a PDF version to read at your own pace.

      • In Brazil, “File Sharing Is Cool!”

        Following a lengthy public consultation, a consortium of academics, educators, and musical and digital cultural organizations, known as the Network for Copyright Law Reform in Brazil, recently put forward a list of proposals on domestic copyright reform in Brazil. The most exciting of the 15 contributions proposed to “make sharing legal” (“Compartilhamento legal!”) by collecting a small levy from all Internet subscribers in exchange for legalizing noncommercial file-sharing.

        The global access-to-knowledge movement has often looked to Brazil as an ally in intellectual property reform. Back in 2004, Brazil launched one of the first country-specific Creative Commons licenses. That launch received the high-level endorsement of the then Culture Minister, Gilberto Gil, a man who since his appointment in 2003 has successfully married the Brazilian national ideal of “cultural cannibalism” (which he himself embodies as a forerunner of the Tropicalia sound), with the “remix” message of American intellectual property reformers like Lawrence Lessig.

      • ACTA

        • PIJIP Research Paper Series

          Submissions from 2010 2010

          ACTA: Risks of Intermediary Liability for Access to Medicines, Brook K. Baker

          WIPO and the ACTA Threat, Sara Bannerman

          ACTA and the Specter of Graduated Response, Annemarie Bridy

          Flouting the Elmo Necessity and Denying the Local Roots of Interpretation: “Anthropology’s” Quarrel with ACTA and Authoritarian IP Regimes, Alexander S. Dent

          Public Interest Representation in Global IP Policy Institutions, Jeremy Malcolm

          ACTA and Public Health, Peter Maybarduk

          ACTA, Fool: Explaining the Irrational Support for a New Institution, Gabriel Michael

          Navigating the ACTA Shoals to a Future Safe Harbor: Library and Hotspot Internet Access Liability in a Post-ACTA Universe, Michael R. Morris

          Collateral Damage: The Impact of ACTA and the Enforcement Agenda on the World’s Poorest People, Andrew Rens

          Welfare Implications of Intellectual Property Enforcement Measures, Xavier Seuba, Joan Rovira, and Sophie Bloemen

        • ACTA is…

          I have written a lot about ACTA mostly in my other blogs. But this little film distills it’s into an easily digestible morsel which beautifully explains what the fuss is all about.

        • Anti-ACTA
        • ACTA to meet Sept 23: Locking out civil society?

          It is hard to conclude other than that the negotiators of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, with the Obama Administration in the lead, do not want meaningful civil society input into the negotiation of the agreement.

          The latest evidence broke late yesterday afternoon when the USTR announced that the Tokyo round of ACTA negotiations is starting this Thursday September 23, not on September 27 as most had thought. This morning, the Japanese Embassy stated in a personal phone call to me (I don’t know who else they are calling) that there will be a civil society meeting on Friday Sept. 24 in Tokyo at noon to 1pm.

      • Gallo

        • Deadly Copyright Repression Threatens EU. Act Now!

          A resolution of the European Parliament calling for more repression of file sharing will be voted upon on Wednesday. European conservatives, led by a pro-sarkozy rapporteur and helped by a diversion from the liberal group, are pushing for the adoption of the Gallo report. If they succeed, blind repression and private copyright police of the Net will become the official position of the European Parliament. Our fundamental freedoms are at stake. In just 5 minutes, you can help rejecting it.

        • European Parliament Votes on Controversial Anti-Piracy Report

          Tomorrow, the European Parliament will vote on the Gallo report that deals with the enforcement of intellectual property. Drafted by a partner of the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the report paves the way for draconian anti-piracy measures to be introduced across Europe, potentially affecting the lives of millions of Internet users.

        • Not Just ACTA: Stop the Gallo Report

          One of the slightly depressing aspects of fighting intellectual monopolists is that they have lots of money. This means that they can fund their lobbyists around the world in multiple forums and at multiple levels. So, for example, we have the global Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which is being negotiated behind closed doors by the representatives of rich and powerful nations. But we also have a threat at the European level that must be fought just as doggedly.

        • Gallo report contains scandalous lies!

          On Wednesday you are going to vote on the report on enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market by Marielle Gallo, the so called Gallo report.

          It has come to our attention that the authors of the petition supporting the Gallo report, Eurocinema, uses fake signatures to support it. They want to give the impression that copyright holders are united to enforce more repressive legislation, that will affect our lives and communications in the future. However, their support is rather empty, and what is left is nothing more than yet another industry smokescreen to convince you to support ideas that jeopardize the fundamental rights of EU citizens as well as the open and neutral character of the Internet.

Clip of the Day

Intel Core i5 Penguin Commercial


Credit: TinyOgg

New Video Explains What ACTA Means

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly, Videos at 5:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Uploaded to YouTube earlier this week and now converted to Ogg, too


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