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09.27.10

Links 27/9/2010: PlayOS GNU/Linux is Coming to PS3, Canonical Cooperates With Taiwanese Hardware Companies

Posted in News Roundup at 1:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 6 More Blender Made Movies and Animations You Probably Haven’t Seen Before

    Like two weeks ago, we featured some of best and most popular blender made short movies in our 8 stunning blender made short films and animations post. Now, let’s take the road less traveled. The blender movies we are going to showcase here are those rare ones which you guys probably haven’t seen before.

  • The open source organization: good in theory or good in reality?

    Most likely, these new employees will rebel with their feet. They’ll join a new breed of organization designed from scratch, like Red Hat, Google, and 100s of other yet unknown companies, built from the ground up to operate efficiently in an open world.

    Old-skool companies will have a tough time attracting the best young talent. And if they are losing the race for top talent, they be hard pressed to stay competitive.

    So this is why I love to talk about applying the open source way in organizations, even when I know that many of today’s corporate cultures would chew open source principles up and spit them out.

    I’m just running with the wind.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle aims to boost client-side Java with JavaFX improvements

      At the Oracle OpenWorld event, the database giant revealed some details about its Java roadmap. Oracle unsurprisingly wants to continue improving Java Enterprise Edition, but the company also highlighted its commitment to improving client-side Web support and mobile application development with JavaFX.

      The Java programming language plays an important role in facilitating third-party mobile application development, but the standard J2ME stack is increasingly being displaced on smartphones by custom frameworks or native toolkits because it doesn’t enable developers to create competitive user experiences. Java has long since lost to Flash for client-side Web development for similar reasons.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The benefits of publicness

      I’m reworking an early but foundational section of my book, Public Parts, arguing the benefits of publicness, a list I presented at the PII conference in Seattle a few weeks ago. I’d like to bounce my thoughts off you and ask for your views of the value you get from being public, the value that also accrues to groups, companies, government, and society as a whole. I won’t go into great detail in this list because I’m eager to hear your thoughts.

    • Learning to Share, Thanks to the Web
    • Open Data

Leftovers

  • The Grumpy Editor’s Twitter experience

    Your editor, being the grumpy, older sort that he is, must confess that he has never quite understood the allure of services like Twitter. 140-Character broadcasts look an awful lot like a combination of the worst features of cellular short messaging and Usenet; it’s conversation via bumper sticker. A local disaster recently pushed your editor to spend more time on the site; what follows are some observations, somewhat tenuously tied to the world of free software.

  • Keynote at the Coffee Party’s Mock Constitutional Convention

    25 September, 2010, Louisville, KY: Keynote given at the Coffee Party’s Conference, launching the “mock constitutional convention” that I hosted with Mark McKinnon. This extends the argument for Citizen Funded Elections, linking the movement to what I have elsewhere called “neo-progressives.” ;

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • A Tale of Two Root Exploits, and Why We Shouldn’t Panic

      “The article is alarmist,” said Slashdot blogger Barbara Hudson, referring to a warning about a kernel bug. “It was ONE shared-hosting public-facing server at iWeb.com, among their tens of thousands of servers. “Are you running a publicly-facing shared-host server? No? Then don’t worry about it, and when your distro comes out with a new kernel, just update.”

    • Man gets 10 years for VoIP hacking

      A Venezuelan man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday for stealing and then reselling more than 10 million minutes of Internet phone service.

      Edwin Pena, 27, was convicted in February of masterminding a scheme to hack into more than 15 telecommunications companies and then reroute calls to their networks at no charge. He must also pay more than US$1 million in restitution, and will be deported once his sentence is served.

      Pena was sentenced by Judge Susan Wigenton in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on computer hacking and wire fraud charges.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Obama argues his assassination program is a “state secret”

      At this point, I didn’t believe it was possible, but the Obama administration has just reached an all-new low in its abysmal civil liberties record. In response to the lawsuit filed by Anwar Awlaki’s father asking a court to enjoin the President from assassinating his son, a U.S. citizen, without any due process, the administration late last night, according to The Washington Post, filed a brief asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit without hearing the merits of the claims. That’s not surprising: both the Bush and Obama administrations have repeatedly insisted that their secret conduct is legal but nonetheless urge courts not to even rule on its legality. But what’s most notable here is that one of the arguments the Obama DOJ raises to demand dismissal of this lawsuit is “state secrets”: in other words, not only does the President have the right to sentence Americans to death with no due process or charges of any kind, but his decisions as to who will be killed and why he wants them dead are “state secrets,” and thus no court may adjudicate their legality.

    • Blackwater’s ‘black ops’ for European multinationals

      Here’s a question: what do Monsanto, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Deutsche Bank, Barclays and the Netherlands police have in common with the US Military’s European Command?

      The answer, as Jeremy Scahill – author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army – explains in The Nation, is that they have all availed themselves of the services of one of the most controversial private security companies on the planet. Here’s most of the article…

    • U.S. Is Working to Ease Wiretaps on the Internet
    • Sept. 26, 1983: The Man Who Saved the World by Doing … Nothing

      A Soviet ballistics officer draws the right conclusion — that a satellite report indicating incoming U.S. nuclear missiles is, in fact, a false alarm — thereby averting a potential nuclear holocaust.

      Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov was duty officer at Serpukhov-15, the secret bunker outside Moscow that monitored the Soviet Union’s early-warning satellite system, when the alarm bells went off shortly after midnight. One of the satellites signaled Moscow that the United States had launched five ballistic missiles at Russia.

    • ‘The Only Option Left for Me Is an Orderly Departure’

      In an interview with SPIEGEL, Daniel Schmitt — the 32-year-old German spokesman for WikiLeaks who is also the organization’s best-known personality after Julian Assange — discusses his falling out with the website’s founder, his subsequent departure and the considerable growing pains plaguing the whistleblower organization.

    • Small Change

      Shirky considers this model of activism an upgrade. But it is simply a form of organizing which favors the weak-tie connections that give us access to information over the strong-tie connections that help us persevere in the face of danger. It shifts our energies from organizations that promote strategic and disciplined activity and toward those which promote resilience and adaptability. It makes it easier for activists to express themselves, and harder for that expression to have any impact. The instruments of social media are well suited to making the existing social order more efficient. They are not a natural enemy of the status quo. If you are of the opinion that all the world needs is a little buffing around the edges, this should not trouble you. But if you think that there are still lunch counters out there that need integrating it ought to give you pause.

      Shirky ends the story of the lost Sidekick by asking, portentously, “What happens next?”—no doubt imagining future waves of digital protesters. But he has already answered the question. What happens next is more of the same. A networked, weak-tie world is good at things like helping Wall Streeters get phones back from teen-age girls. Viva la revolución.

    • U.S. should be able to shut Internet, former CIA chief says

      Cyberterrorism is such a threat that the U.S. president should have the authority to shut down the Internet in the event of an attack, Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said.

      Hayden made the comments during a visit to San Antonio where he was meeting with military and civilian officials to discuss cyber security. The U.S. military has a new Cyber Command which is to begin operations on October 1.

  • Finance

    • DMCA As Censorship: Citibank Doesn’t Want You To Remember What It Said About Obama’s Bank Reform Policy

      We’ve been discussing quite a bit lately how copyright law is often used not as a tool to provide incentive to create, but as a tool for censorship. Here’s the latest example. John Bennett points us to the news that Citigroup filed a DMCA takedown request with WordPress.com over the site LBO-news’ 18-month old post that presented a copy a Citigroup analysis of Obama’s (then new) bank reform plan, which noted that it was actually quite bank-friendly. The key quote in the report: “the US government is following a relatively bank-friendly, investor-friendly approach.”

    • The Open University’s Patrick McAndrew: Open Education and Policy

      At the beginning of this year we announced a revised approach to our education plans, focusing our activities to support of the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement. In order to do so we have worked hard to increase the amount of information available on our own site – in addition to an Education landing page and the OER portal explaining Creative Commons’ role as legal and technical infrastructure supporting OER, we have been conducting a series of interviews to help clarify some of the challenges and opportunities of OER in today’s education landscape.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • U.S. Wants to Make It Easier to Wiretap the Internet

      In an effort that raises fresh questions about privacy, officials are preparing to seek sweeping new Internet regulations, arguing that they are losing their capability to track suspects.

    • PI appeals to European Parliament to reconsider blocking measures

      In an open letter to the European Parliament, PI calls on MEPs to reconsider proposals to introduce internet blocking measures.

    • Privacy International launching legal action against ACS Law

      Privacy International (PI) has announced that it is planning legal action against controversial solicitors ACS: Law Solicitors (ACS Law), alleging a breach of the Data Protection Act (DPA).

      ACS Law, which is already under fire for sending letters to people alleged of copyright infringement, had its website hit by a denial of service (DoS) attack last Tuesday.

      The firm quickly suspended the site, but soon afterwards a file alleged to contain an archive of the firm’s email was uploaded to file sharing websites.
      Advertisement

      PI said this has led to the exposure of personal information of around 10,000 people alleged to have been involved in illegal file sharing.

    • Adult video-sharing list leaked from law firm

      The personal details of thousands of Sky broadband customers have been leaked on to the internet, alongside a list of pornographic movies they are alleged to have shared online.

      The list, seen by BBC News, details the full names and addresses of over 5,300 people thought by law firm ACS:Law to be illegally sharing adult films.

      It appeared online following an attack on the ACS:Law website.

      The UK’s Information Commissioner said it would investigate the leak.

      Privacy expert Simon Davis has called it “one of the worst breaches” of the Data Protection Act he had ever seen.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • FCC approves white-space use for unlicensed ‘Super WiFi’

      When the Federal Communications Commission issued its press release about the approval of additional unlicensed spectrum in what are called “white spaces,” it referred to the coming technologies as “Super WiFi.”

      In reality, it’s not clear that this previously unavailable set of unused frequencies will necessarily become anything that resembles WiFi. As the FCC points out in its statement, this is spectrum space that’s going to be available to a wide range of technologies, of which wireless broadband is only one. Even if this turns out to be a significant use of these white space frequencies, it’s not clear whether WiFi (or something like it) will be related in any way.

    • The Carriers’ Rebellion

      Before the Steve Jobs hypnosis session, AT&T ruled. Handsets, their prices, branding, applications, contractual terms, content sales…AT&T decided everything and made pennies on each bit that flowed through its network. Then the Great Mesmerizer swept the table. Apple provided the hardware, the operating system, and “everything else”: applications, music, ringtones, movies, books… The iTunes cash register rang and AT&T didn’t make a red cent on content.

    • Revenge of the Titans 1.52, and Very Cool DRM

      Since the year 350BC, Puppygames have all had DRM. Oh noes!!11!! Shock! Horror! Puppygames have DRM! Boycott all their shitty games! Find inferior open source / Flash alternatives and say you’d rather play them all day than give evil Puppygames a single cent of your filthy lucre! Use DRM as an excuse to install Trojan riddled spyware installs of Puppygames!

      Well, except Puppygames DRM is a bit different to other flavours of DRM.

      Nasty Big Corporation Ltd’s idea of DRM is that you are all thieving piratey scum who shouldn’t be trusted alone in a shop without being closely monitored by a big hairy security guard. Nasty Big Corporation Ltd likes to install rootkits on your PC. They like to insist on always-online validation to a server that sometimes goes titsup and stops you from playing. They’re pretty insistent that if you install the game on a couple of PCs that you’re probably just a filthy pirate, and that if you want to install it on your kid’s computer upstairs as well that you owe them another $59. Certain ones also reckon if you’re dissatisfied with a game in any way and want your money back you damned well can’t have it, and if you then go to the trouble of extracting the money back out of your credit card company, they erase all your games without any comeback, because unfortunately the small print dialog box you clicked through to get to your game said you agreed to this.

      Puppygames does it completely the opposite way around!

      Firstly and foremostly: if you don’t like our games, or they don’t work, we always refund you. Although we say no questions asked, we do like to ask anyway :) But we’ll never say no. Though we’d like to point out a couple of things: if the demo works, so does the full game, so you’d be kinda daft to buy the game without trying the demo first; and if you honestly didn’t think the full game was worth the cash, don’t be expecting to play it after asking for a refund, because it will mysteriously turn back into a demo again. What! You have a back door! I hear you cry. No, it’s a front door, and here’s me telling you about it. If your game is refunded because it doesn’t work or you don’t like it, it’ll connect to Puppygames, and find out, and turn back into a demo. Which of course should be just fine with you. Can you ever imagine a position where we’ll abuse this ability? No, because we’d look like total dicks.

      To date, only 18 customers have ever asked for a refund in 7 years. Because we use BMTMicro as our payment provider we’ve never had a single chargeback issued to us either, because we always refund.

      Secondly, we want you to share the full game with your friends and family. Yes, that’s right. We encourage you to spread the love to the people you care about. A Puppygames registration has your full name and email address encoded into it from your order (we’ve got your full postal address too, but that doesn’t get sent to the client any more). We think that anyone you care to share this information with, you probably trust enough to share your CDs and books with too, and so we also think you’d share your games with them. Your name flickers up on the title screen for a few seconds when the game starts just to remind everyone whose game it is, and then it fades away.

    • BBC DRM response from Ofcom and intial thoughts

      So the key confidential arguments that the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 used to convince Ofcom to permit DRM on the HD Freeview signal are to be kept secret because there is no public interest test to compel disclosure of that information under sections 41 and 44 of the Freedom of Information Act.

    • DRM In (and Out) of Schools

      There are two major reasons why Kindles and iPads have no place in schools, both of which are related to DRM (Digital Restrictions Management).

      1. DRM prevents learning. It’s the information that is a resource. The access to this information is provided by tools. DRM actually makes it illegal for students to keep learning past a certain point, by preventing them from looking closely at how the devices work or from making their own methods for accessing, using, and sharing the information.
      2. DRM is, in the words of a guy I almost knew, “jus’ morally wrong.” Forcing DRM on people, even more so.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Leaked Emails Reveal Profits of Anti-Piracy Cash Scheme

        Friday night the anti-piracy law firm ACS:Law accidentally published its entire email archive online, effectively revealing how the company managed to extract over a million dollars (£636,758.22) from alleged file-sharers since its operation started. On average, 30% of the victims who were targeted paid up, and this money was divided between the law firm, the copyright holder and the monitoring company.

      • Streaming video introduces a new wave of Internet piracy

        University of Southern California student Elizabeth watched the season finale of HBO’s lusty vampire drama “True Blood” along with about 5.4 million television viewers.

      • Pirate Party Elects New Leader

        The election initially had 4 candidates – Peter Brett, Loz Kaye, Graeme Lambert, and Eric Priezkalns, however Erc and Graeme withdrew before the end of the nominations period, meaning voting was between Peter Brett, Loz Kaye, and the Re-Open Nominations option.

      • High-Profile, High Damages File-Sharing ‘Conviction’ Was a Farce

        In 2008, lawyers Davenport Lyons courted the mainstream media with the news that a court had found a woman guilty of sharing the game Dream Pinball 3D, an action which cost her around £16,000. Anyone with an understanding of these cases knew that something was wrong and now, thanks to yet more information from the leaked ACS:Law emails, we learn that this ‘conviction’ was built on foundations of sand.

      • In Copyright’s Future (IMG)
      • Copyright law needs a digital-age upgrade

        Did you ever imagine you could be held liable for copyright infringement for storing your music collection on your hard drive, downloading photos from the Internet or forwarding news articles to your friends?

        If you did not get the copyright owner’s permission for these actions, you could be violating the law. It sounds absurd, but copyright owners have the right to control reproductions of their works and claim statutory damages even when a use does not harm the market for their works.

        The statutory damage rule of U.S. copyright law originally was designed to provide some compensation to copyright owners when harm from infringement was difficult to prove. U.S. law authorizes judges and juries to award such damages in any amount between $750 and $30,000 per infringed work – and up to $150,000 per work if the infringement is deemed willful – without proof of any actual harm. The statute says the award should be “just” but provides no guidance about what this means. In one extreme case, a jury ordered an individual file sharer to pay nearly $2 million in damages for illegally downloading 24 songs. Is that really “just”?

      • Esther Wojcicki becomes CC’s Vice Chair, focused on learning and education

        We’re excited to announce that Esther Wojcicki, current Chair of the Creative Commons board, esteemed and award-winning teacher, and leader at the nexus of education and technology, will become CC’s Vice Chair focused on learning and education. CC’s current CEO, Joi Ito, will step into the role of both Chair and CEO.

      • The Pirate Bay Appeal Starts Tomorrow

        Last year The Pirate Bay Four were sentenced to a year in prison, and each ordered to pay $905,000 in damages. Tomorrow the appeal of the trial will start, but unlike last time there is is an awkward silence in the media, blogs and even on The Pirate Bay. Is this the proverbial calm before the storm, or perhaps a change of course?

      • ACTA

        • IPRED2 pulled

          Ironically the IPRED2 failed to get Council consensus but the EU is negotiating via the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade agreement criminal measures with third nations which go beyond IPRED2, for instance include patent infringments which were explicitly excluded in the IPRED2 process. The ACTA criminal chapter also does not get the European Parliament involved in the legislative process and includes no fair use clause.

Clip of the Day

Matthias Wachs – “Low level transports and transport selection in GNUnet”


Credit: TinyOgg

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