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Links 7/10/2010: Software Freedom Law Show Ends, Canonical Won’t Complain to EU About Microsoft Bundling

Posted in News Roundup at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux New Media AG Launches English Language LPI Training Portal
  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Episode 0×00: Goodbye and Ahoy Hoy

      Bradley and Karen announced that the Software Freedom Law Show is over. Karen and Bradley announced a new show, called Free as in Freedom, that will not be unaffiliated with any specific organization (although Bradley and Karen keep all their various affiliations themselves. :).

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • A Linux Program To Overclock Your AMD CPUs

        Announced by one of the members in our forums is a new open-source program called TurionPowerControl. The TurionPowerControl program supports both under-volting and over-clocking of AMD CPUs. Currently supported by this program are AMD K8L (11h) and K10 (10h) CPUs, which includes the Turion RM, Turion ZM, Phenom, Phenom II, and Athlon II brands. Originally the developer just designed this tool to support the mobile Turion processors for under-volting, but support was added for these desktop CPUs too. The K8L support is considered the best at this point while the K10 support is still a work in progress.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Software Compilation 4.5.2 Released

        The KDE team has just announced the maintenance release to the KDE 4.5 Software Compilation. KDE SC 4.5.2 is a minor update, focusing on bug fixing and updated translations.

        KDE SC 4.5.2 is the second in a series of monthly bug fixing releases to the KDE Software Compilation 4.5 series and it brings various translation updates and improvements. Everyone should update their existing KDE SC machines running version 4.5.1 or earlier (see a short tutorial below).

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Trisquel 4.0 LTS

        Pros: Comes with free software only; based on Ubuntu. Easy to install and manage.

        Cons: Lacks potentially useful proprietary software.

        Suitable For: Beginner, intermediate and advanced Linux users.

        Summary: Trisquel is best suited to those who truly want a free software only system. Others with a less political point of view might be better suited using alternative distros instead.

        Rating: 4/5

    • New Releases

      • Salix KDE Edition 13.1.1beta5

        Salix team has announced the release of a KDE flavor of Salix, featuring KDE 4.4.3. The OpenOffice.org suite is included and the corresponding locale packages depending on the installation mode can be download after installation from the”Office” submenu cliking on the “Get openoffice” option.

    • Debian Family

      • New branch on Debian?

        Today I have read a post from Raphael Hertzog, taking about the possibility of a new Debian branch to be created.

        Debian already has three branches for those not familiar with it, O.K. maybe four branches.

        * Old-Stable
        * Stable
        * Testing
        * Unstable

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Bruce Byfield on ‘Ubuntu’s real contribution to free software’

          He points out that Ubuntu isn’t Red Hat, and that while the latter contributes to desktop development despite not having much of a dog in that fight (commercially speaking), Ubuntu is really pushing for more desktop users and a better desktop experience.

        • Public Ubuntu Font Family PPA For Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx And 9.10 Karmic Koala

          Like I said, the PPA currently holds packages of the Ubuntu Font Family for Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx and Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala but on request, I can also upload packages for Ubuntu Jaunty (do we have readers still using Jaunty?).

        • Ubuntu: we won’t moan to EU about Microsoft

          The company behind the Ubuntu Linux distro says it has no plans to follow Opera’s lead and file a complaint against Microsoft to the EU.

          As Canonical prepares to make Ubuntu 10.10 available for download this Sunday, the company claims the latest version of the OS is the most consumer-friendly release to date.

          Yet, Ubuntu continues to struggle against the immense marketing muscle of Microsoft in the consumer market. Even high-profile supporter Dell has dropped Ubuntu machines from its website in recent months, while continuing to remind visitors that “Dell recommends Windows 7″ at the top of every PC page.

        • Latest Ubuntu Version Puts Focus on Consumers and Mobile

          Canonical today announced the upcoming availability of Ubuntu 10.10 Desktop and Netbook Editions for download on Sunday, October 10.

          Focused on home and mobile computing users, Ubuntu 10.10 introduces an array of online and offline applications to Ubuntu Desktop Edition with a particular focus on the personal cloud. Ubuntu Netbook Edition users will experience an all-new desktop interface called ‘Unity’ — specifically tuned for smaller screens and computing on the move.

        • On First Experiences

          Everybody agrees how important the Out-Of-Box experience is for a product. If the users’ first experience with any kind of product is frustrating it is very likely that they’ll return it and never look back.

          On Operating Systems, usually, this first experience is turning on the computer and reply to some basic questions. For all the major OS like Windows or Mac OS, the software comes preinstalled in the computer. For many users, therefore, that’s the computer itself: something that you turn on and it starts working.

          For Linux is quite different. Despite the efforts that some companies (including Canonical) are doing in order to be easier and easier to buy a computer with a Linux distribution preinstalled, nowadays, the first experience a user has with Linux is, most of the times, a CD and an installation process. Well, if you then want to have one of the best first Linux experiences ever, wait until Sunday and install the brand new Ubuntu 10.10.

        • Latest Ubuntu 10.10 Server Edition makes cloud deployment easier than ever

          Canonical today announced the upcoming availability of Ubuntu 10.10 Server Edition for download on Sunday, October 10 — making it easier to configure, update and run both in development and deployment environments of public clouds.

          “With Ubuntu 10.10 Server Edition we continue to make Ubuntu the default open-source choice for cloud computing,” said Neil Levine, VP of Corporate Services at Canonical. “We are adding features and functions that extend our lead in the public cloud and bridge the gap to hybrid and local computing environments. The infrastructure layer is the enabler of cloud computing and Ubuntu 10.10 is leading the way to put open source at the heart of those efforts.”

        • Is Ubuntu 10.10 yet another chance to ditch Windows?

          But then there’s Ubuntu. There are plenty of other Linux distributions with the whole FREE thing going for them, but Ubuntu is fast, powerful, easy, flexible, and particularly well-suited to education. And the release candidate for the latest versions of Ubuntu and Edubuntu (their education-centered version of Ubuntu) is just plain awesome. Unless you’re 100% wedded (for either religious or technical reasons) to Windows or OS X, it’s hard not to like Ubuntu//Edubuntu with their huge array of free software, snappy performance, elegant interface, fast installations, and ultra-fast boot times.

          As if that weren’t enough, there’s a robust server version, a newly-redesigned netbook/tablet-optimized interface, 32- and 64-bit support, and the chance to support a great community-driven, quintessential 21st-century project. Whether you need a web server, an LDAP server, a snappy interface for those netbooks running Windows XP Home, or a desktop upgrade from Windows XP without the price of Windows 7, Ubuntu can provide not only a viable alternative, but a really competitive OS.

        • Ubuntu Linux upgraded for netbooks, desktops, and servers

          Expanding its efforts to bring Linux to the desktop, Canonical on Thursday is announcing upcoming availability of upgrades to Ubuntu Linux for desktop computers and netbooks, featuring interface and application installation improvements.

          The server version of the Ubuntu will be upgraded as well, with features tuned for cloud computing.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • What Google Did Right with Android

          In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Alan Murray, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said he still saw a big role for Google in traditional search, but he recognized that applications were changing the game on the Web. He explained that when it came to mobile, Google was placing its bet on open systems and open platforms.

          That’s why Google decided to open-source Android. By making it free, Google got instant entree into the burgeoning mobile market by enabling a developer community to create these apps very rapidly. At the same time, it got multiple carriers and handset makers involved.

        • Android Paid Apps Now Live In India
        • Google TV partners, features unveiled

          Google announced some major content partners for its Google TV platform and revealed some more information on the Android-and Intel Atom-based IPTV platform. New Google TV content partners include Turner Broadcasting, NBC Universal, HBO, Twitter, and Amazon.com, says the company.

        • Android Powered Motorola Bravo

          BRAVO offers the power of Android, an 800 MHz processor and a large screen all in a compact design. The device features a 3.7-inch full WVGA touch screen experience, enhanced Web-browsing and entertainment while on the go.

    • Tablets

      • iPad Killers?

        The Android devices can also target some of the iPad’s weaknesses. While the iPad is an impressive piece of kit, it isn’t without its flaws. And the biggest omission, without doubt, is the lack of Flash video support for web browsing – something that isn’t likely to be addressed by Apple, according to Steve Jobs: “Sometimes you have to pick the things that look like the right horses to ride going forward. And Flash looks like a technology that had its day and is waning. And HTML5 looks like the technology that is really on the ascendancy right now.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • Build Your Own Liquid Galaxy With Google Earth

    Google has open sourced yet another project – Liquid Galaxy, the Google Earth environment composed of eight 55-inch LCD screens showing Google Earth in a unified, surround view.

  • OPEN SOURCE GOD: 480+ Open Source Applications

    Open source software is booming: here we round up over 480 open source applications for you to use or build upon.

    Feel free to add more apps in the comments. And don’t forget to subscribe to Mashable for the latest web news and resources. Also see the other entries in this series: ONLINE PRODUCTIVITY GOD, WORDPRESS GOD, ONLINE MEDIA GOD and FIREFOX GOD.

  • Three Forks in the Road for FOSS

    “LibreOffice is the result of Oracle’s (or Larry’s) failure to be open about FLOSS strategy,” said blogger Robert Pogson. “FLOSS being distributed is about sharing.” The OpenOffice.org community “saw how OpenSolaris was left to wither and took pre-emptive measures. The steps needed to be taken anyway. … There was not a large enough group of developers contributing to be healthy.”

  • Twitter reveals new search architecture to handle billions of queries per day

    Twitter has finally left the old Summize architecture out to dry (it started working on the new architecture 6 months ago), and instead has built the new search on the open source Lucene platform…

  • Democracy requires Free Software

    Throughout history technology has influenced society. Reading, writing, arithmetic, agriculture, printing and radio are all examples of developments that changed the way we interact through trade, art and science. The most important cultural technology of the 21st century is software. The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is committed to ensuring that people in our society have the right to shape this technology as they see fit.

    Today it is impossible to imagine daily life without software. The majority of us can’t spend a single day without using it. People use software in the workplace, on laptops, and on mobile phones. Software is also found in less obvious places however: in trains, cars, televisions, washing-machines, fridges, and many other devices. None of these devices could function without software. Without software we couldn’t write e-mails, make phone calls, go shopping, or travel as we are accustomed to. Software is our society’s central tool.

  • Events

    • #possesa day 3 – let me fix your Ubuntu, Michael

      Day 3 of POSSE is where the actual nwork in Open Source communities takes the front of the stage. So we discussed which projects to pick on, what to do. This lead to a more general discussion on South Africa and Open Source. What can we do, what is needed? We captured everything in a nice looking whiteboard – a true collaborative work!

    • Blender Conference 2010 speaker line-up

      The Blender Foundation has announced the speakers for the Blender Conference 2010. They include several well-known Blenderheads such as members from the Durian team, Andrew Price, Jonathan Williamson, Nathan Letwory and Mike Pan.

    • Back to the Future Again: 2020 FLOSS 3.0

      Yesterday I wrote about my experiences last week at the Open World Forum. As I noted, the two-day event closed with the presentation of the latest edition of the 2020 FLOSS Roadmap. Even though I’d not been to the Open World Forum before, I have written about the two previous versions of the Roadmap (still available.)

  • Web Browsers

    • Ars examines Chrome and Firefox bookmark sync protocols

      When I started working on this article, my goal was to unravel the bookmark sync APIs so that I could start making my own client applications and possibly roll my own custom cross-browser solution to fill the need left by Xmarks. What I discovered is that such an undertaking isn’t really within the realm of weekend projects at this point. The APIs just aren’t there yet. It’s important to remember that both the Chrome and Firefox synchronization services are still under development and will likely be more supportive of interoperability in the future as they mature.

  • Databases

    • Amazon Announces Read Replicas To Scale MySQL Deployments

      Amazon Web Services has announced Read Replicas, a new feature for Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) that the company claims makes it even easier to scale MySQL database deployments to meet the performance demands of high-traffic web applications.

  • Oracle

    • Fork You, Oracle!

      LibreOffice is off to a great start already, and I think it will be a harbinger of even greater things to come. If you want to check out LibreOffice, you can download a beta version of it right now. There are versions out for Linux (32 bit and 64 bit), as well as Windows and Mac versions. You can even download the source code if you want.

      Hopefully we’ll start to see LibreOffice appear in various Linux distros soon, so it’ll be even easier to get it. I look forward to seeing it available for every distro I review on Desktop Linux Reviews. The sooner that Oracle and OpenOffice.org are history, the better off we’ll all be.

  • BSD


    • The LilyPond Report #21

      This short, informal opinion column is about the GNU LilyPond project: its team, its world, its community. It is not meant to be an exhaustive documentation resource. Reader comments are, of course, welcome (see at the bottom of this page).

  • Project Releases

    • Firebird 2.5 (final) released
    • PLplot Release 5.9.7
    • CUBRID 3.0 Stable has arrived!

      We are proud to announce the final stable release for CUBRID 3.0! We have been working very hard to bring this most advanced and bug-free version of CUBRID Database System. We highly encourage everyone upgrading from previous versions to CUBRID 3.0.

    • GNU uCommon 4.0 and beyond social key verification

      I finally got around to doing a 4.0 release of the GNU uCommon library over this past weekend while away for family reasons. This was however mostly to clean up the API. What I am thinking of and I am working on is moving beyond Phil Zimmermann’s ZRTP to create a more general purpose foundation for secure communication sessions that is applicable to automated communication tasks as well as to realtime communication.

  • Government

    • What are we supposed to do with citizen inquiries such as this?

      Wed, May 20, 2009 at 9:55 AM
      subject OET questions.

      I am just inquiring as to whether as part of the budget cutting process, the State of Minnesota has considered a transition to OpenOffice.

      I am wondering how many Microsoft Licenses are currently being paid for?

      What are the total costs of these licenses?

      How many of these licenses are for Microsoft Office?

      What the total costs of these licenses are?

      How many new licenses OET plans to be purchasing during the new budget cycle?

      Whether the state of Minnesota has considered making a transition to OoO?

      It appears to have saved the French police some money, has such an option been considered in Minnesota?

  • Openness/Sharing

    • NSF Data Sharing Policy Released

      The National Science Foundation has released its revised NSF Data Sharing Policy. As of January 18, 2011, NSF proposals must include a two-page (or less) “Data Management Plan” in accordance with the Grant Proposal Guide, chapter II.C.2.j (see below excerpt).

    • Content management and the open source way with CEO of NIXTY, Part 2

      We have consulted with many open education experts. Many of them see the value in NIXTY and have helped us spread the word to others. We are very fortunate to have several experts on our Open Education Advisory Board (forthcoming announcement soon).

    • Open Data

      • Transport data roaming

        When I’m writing code I’m quite regularly distracted by what-ifs… For instance: what if I’m on a train towards Spain and I boarded in Belgium. As I have a smartphone with an application installed (let’s call it BeTrains for iRail) which gives me real-time information on my trajectory, I don’t want BeTrains to be useless once I cross the border. BeTrains should automatically switch to the trainsystem of that country.

        This seems like a pretty good and easy-done concept. However we want to do it the right way: we don’t want other application developers to deal with the same hassle of implementing each country for which it wants to work for. We don’t even want to think about that. Every country should have the same standard for bringing its data to the public. To do this for the EU is a nice start since in Europe transport data is open by law.

      • Open transport data

        As we want ta achieve open data roaming, and as we’re keen on open standards, we were wondering if the UK has something like a standard for open transport data. If not this should become a European discussion and maybe a consortium should be started. We want to implement a standard that works for different types of vehicles (trains, boats, metros, buses, …), is real-time (we want to report delays, changes of platform, …) and that works internationaly (a client in Spain should not change its code to work with Belgian transport schemes).


  • .Ly Domains At Risk As Libyan Government Shuts Down Site Without Warning

    The domain Vb.ly was revoked and the site taken offline by NIC.ly, the “domain registry and controlling body for the Libyan domain space ‘.ly’”, writes Vb.ly co-founder Ben Metcalfe on his blog, explaining that his site was found to fall “outside of Libyan Islamic/Sharia Law.”

  • Serious.ly Dangerous Situation for Bit.ly and Other .ly Domains

    According to Ben Metcalfe, the Libyan government is cracking down on their .ly domain space. On September 23rd, NIC.ly (the domain registry and controlling body for the Libyan domain space .ly) deleted the ‘vb.ly’ domain with no notice or warning. This domain was co-owned by Ben and his partner @violetblue. You’ve probably seen the .ly domain used most prominently by Bit.ly, but it’s also used by a plethora of other services like Hootsuite (ht.ly and ow.ly) and Ad.ly.

  • Citizen journalists? Spreading like a cold

    Ido not believe in “citizen journalism.”

    Yes, I know that’s heresy. Yes, I know the old model has changed: the monologue is now a dialogue. Yes, I know ordinary people with cellphone cameras now “report” newsworthy events and bloggers are indispensable to the national dialogue.

    Yet I remain convinced that, with exceptions, citizen journalism is to journalism as pornography is to a Martin Scorsese film; while they may employ similar tools — i.e., camera, lighting — they aspire to different results.

    So I’ve had it up to here with people calling James O’Keefe III a journalist.

    Last year, you may recall, O’Keefe was lauded by political conservatives for “investigative journalism” that helped bring down ACORN, the financially-troubled group whose sinister works included advocating for poor and middle-income people. O’Keefe, in a hidden camera sting, posed as a pimp and filmed some of the organization’s employees advising him on how to facilitate his supposed illicit business. It made him the toast of the blogosphere and earned him the admiration of Fox News. A resolution honoring him was even introduced in the House of Representatives.

  • E-Car Scheme to Tackle City’s Permanent Congestion

    The French capital is notorious for its traffic jams. Now the mayor of Paris has come up with a bold new plan to rid his city of tens of thousands of cars. If he pulls it off, the e-car sharing scheme may become a trailblazer for other congested cities around the world.

  • Games: Why Zynga’s Success Makes Game Designers Gloomy

    A specter is haunting gaming… the specter of FarmVille. Every day, tens of millions of Facebook users surf over to the lo-res virtual world to milk cows, send magic eggs to their friends, and shell out real money for limited-edition Swiss chard seeds. The game, which has 75 million regular players, is made by developer Zynga, which also makes Cafè World and Mafia Wars. Zynga just scored a $100 million to $200 million investment from Google. But some traditional game developers think the rise of Zynga is a sign of the end of days—at least in terms of game-making. We asked some skeptics to explain their concerns; you decide for yourself whether this is the game-pocolypse.

  • After firefighters watched home burn, Obion County expands subscription-only fire service to more towns

    As ThinkProgress reported yesterday, South Fulton Fire Department firefighters from Obion, Tennessee, last week stood by and watched as a family’s home burned down because their services were available by subscription only, and the family had not paid the $75 fee. Immediately, right-wing writers at the conservative movement’s bulkhead magazine, The National Review, leapt to the defense of the county and argued in support of the notion that firefighting should not be a public service available to all, regardless of ability to pay.

  • Roman helmet sold for £2m

    In just three minutes at a Christie’s auction, the most hauntingly beautiful face to emerge from the British soil in more than a century slid out of the grasp of the museum desperate to acquire it when the Roman helmet was sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for £2m – dramatically higher than the highest pre-sale estimate of £300,000.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Human impact on world’s rivers ‘threatens water security of 5 billion’

      The world’s rivers are so badly affected by human activity that the water security of almost 5 billion people, and the survival of thousands of aquatic species, are threatened, scientists warned .

      The study, conducted by institutions across the globe, is the first to simultaneously look at all types of human intervention on freshwater – from dams and reservoirs to irrigation and pollution. It paints a devastating picture of a world whose rivers are in serious decline.

    • Putting a price on biodiversity – what are species worth?
    • North America’s risky race to exploit oil sands and shales

      The 2,500-mile route has quickly become an essential supply line for the energy industry. With astonishing speed, U.S. oil companies, Canadian pipeline builders, and investors from all over the globe are spending huge sums in an economically promising and ecologically risky race to open the next era of hydrocarbon development. As domestic U.S. pools of conventional oil and gas dwindle, energy companies are increasingly turning to “unconventional” fossil fuel reserves contained in the carbon rich-sands and deep shales of Canada, the Great Plains, and the Rocky Mountain West.

  • Finance

    • We’ve got to stamp out modern slavery

      The re-emergence of slavery on ships off West Africa is profoundly shocking but it is not a surprise. Last week slavery its modern form came to light in cases of forced labour uncovered on trawlers fishing for the European market. In a haunting echo of the 18th century triangular trade, west African workers were found off the coast of Sierra Leone on board boats where they lived and worked in ships’ holds with less than a metre of head height, sometimes for 18 hours a day for no pay, packed like sardines to sleep in spaces too small to stand up, with their documents taken from them and no means of escape.

    • Middle-Aged Columnists Think America Is In Decline. Big Surprise.

      Government debt is not the same thing as individual debt. The collective pursuit of new pleasures and luxuries can create economic benefits that have no real individual equivalent. Attempts to impose stringent discipline on behavior on a national scale can backfire spectacularly. But the psychological impulse to see the country in decline leads writers again and again to neglect these differences, and to cast the story of a huge, complex nation as a simple individual morality play.

    • Iceland’s politicians forced to flee from angry protesters

      Protesters took to the streets of Reykjavik today, forcing MPs to run away from the people they represent as renewed anger about the impact of the financial crisis erupted in Iceland.

    • Trapped in the eurozone

      Only a brave person, or an appropriately paid official, would be optimistic about the future of the eurozone at present. Austerity has spread and there is a risk of long-term stagnation with high unemployment across Europe. Social tensions are on the rise, and frictions among member states will probably intensify. A taste of things to come was given by the marches and strikes organised by trade unions across the continent this week.

    • On Eve of President’s Export Council Meeting, Report Shows U.S. Export Growth Lags With Free Trade Agreement Partners

      A new report from Public Citizen reveals that the growth of U.S. exports to nations with which the United States does not have Free Trade Agreements (FTA) has outpaced the growth of exports to the 17 U.S. FTA partners, with both services and goods FTA exports lagging. This comes as the corporate interests that dominate private sector representation on the President’s Export Council, which meets Thursday, have reframed their support for more NAFTA-style trade pacts as critical to promoting the president’s goal of doubling exports over the next five years to create two million new American jobs.

    • China warns EU off yuan pressure

      Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has warned the European Union against pressurising China on its currency policy.

      In a speech to top EU officials, Mr Wen said a big change in the value of the yuan could cause “social and economic turbulence” in China.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Taxpayers Funding Pro-Pesticide PR Campaign

      The Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF), a California trade association, wants you to have less information about pesticide residues on the fruits and vegetables you buy. That’s not too surprising; since the Alliance represents more than 50 large produce growers and marketers and the suppliers who sell them pesticides and fertilizer.

      What is surprising is that taxpayers are now on the hook to fund the group’s pro-agrichemical PR campaign.

    • Taxpayers Fund Pro-Pesticide PR Campaign

      A California group that represents large produce growers, marketers and the suppliers who sell them pesticides and fertilizer, is getting $180,000 in federal funds for a PR campaign to combat critics of the pesticide industry.

    • News Corp Gives $1 Million to U.S. Chamber of Commerce

      News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News, has donated $1 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the powerful business lobbying group that was recently accused of tax fraud and money laundering by two national watchdog groups.

    • News Corp. gave $1 million to pro-GOP group

      News Corp., the parent company of Fox News, contributed $1 million this summer to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the business lobby that has been running an aggressive campaign in support of the Republican effort to retake Congress, a source close to the company told POLITICO.

      It was the second $1 million contribution the company has made this election cycle to a GOP-aligned group. In late June it gave that amount to the Republican Governors Association.

    • Tell the DOJ: Investigate the Chamber of Commerce’s campaign spending

      The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the poster child for corporate corruption of our electoral system.

      This year alone the Chamber has pledged to spend $75 million on ads attacking candidates who don’t meekly bow down to the biggest and wealthiest corporate interests.

    • Strange Brew From the Republican Governors Association

      The television ads, set in what appears to be a normal Wisconsin bar, posit that the bar’s patrons are split about whether Barrett’s tenure as mayor of Milwaukee is worse because of “more taxes!” or “less jobs!” The ad accuses Barrett, a Democrat, of losing jobs as Mayor of the City of Milwaukee, implicitly endorsing his opponent, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, a Republican for Wisconsin governor.

    • Fake News Invasion

      Fake news is invading our airwaves, and the Federal Communications Commission is standing idly by as it happens. In an age when consumers can mute and fast-forward commercial breaks, advertisers are looking for ways to sell you products where you’re least expecting it: Embedded into your local news.

      A recent Los Angeles Times exposé revealed that paid spokespeople are hawking their wares on local news stations during what appears to viewers as genuine news segments. The stations never identify the spokespeople as paid shills for companies, but rather present them as experts. They’re misleading viewers, and they’re getting away with it.

      This week, Free Press filed a letter asking the FCC to take action to put an end to fake news. The letter urges the FCC to investigate new instances of fake news, conclude its review of pending complaints and put new rules on the books that would require stricter and more prominent disclosure of paid spots.

    • Pick your poison: Beer distributors oppose Prop. 19

      The folks who deliver beer and other beverages to liquor stores have joined the fight against legalizing marijuana in California.

      On Sept. 7, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors gave $10,000 to a committee opposing Proposition 19, the measure that would change state law to legalize pot and allow it to be taxed and regulated.

      The California Police Chiefs Association has given the most to the Proposition 19 opposition with a contribution of $30,000, according to Cal-Access, a website operated by the secretary of state’s office.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • No takers on digital Olympic radio station

      Despite being given six months to respond, it seems no one is interested in running a digital-only radio station during the London Olympics – so Ofcom has shelved the idea.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACS:Law part three – the private data police

        It’s a recipe for disaster. The law regulating internet surveillance is a shambles and there’s a growing army of unregulated private firms watching our actions and gathering evidence against those who share music and video online.

      • Porn BitTorrent Lawsuits Run into Serious Problem – Lawsuits Must be Filed Individually

        You know, there’s this funny issue called joinder – which in essence means that additional defendants can be added to a single complaint. This has been a hot button issue in the Far Cry and Steam Experiment lawsuits, where Judge Rosemary Collyer is currently pondering whether to order the US Copyright Group to file each lawsuit independently. Considering that the Far Cry lawsuit currently has over 4,000 defendants clinging to one complaint, a ruling in favor of the John Does could have a detrimental effect on the USCG’s effort to create an alternative revenue stream.

        Beside the USCG lawsuits, which mainly focuses on small, independent producers creating mediocre movies (yet wondering why they don’t sell), there is another genre of file-sharing lawsuits against those supposedly sharing adult movies. Following the same playbook as ACS:Law, Gallant Macmillan, and the USCG, a law firm called Steele Law has filed nearly 1,400 lawsuits against suspected porn file-sharers. One of their clients is First Time Videos, LLC, and as luck would have it, they might be the first time losers.

      • French ISP Refuses to Send Out Hadopi File-Sharing Warnings

        During the last week, French Internet users have been starting to receive letters as part of the graduated warning system built in to the controversial Hadopi anti-piracy legislation. The email warnings are being sent by Hadopi via France’s ISPs. But even at this early stage at least one ISP is refusing to forward them to their customers prompting complaints from rivals that they are seeking to achieve a competitive advantage.

      • ACTA

        • Final ACTA puts Europe under more pressure for graduated response

          The US may have failed to export the DMCA, but ACTA will put Europe under more pressure to implement graduated response measures. In the wake of the Telecoms Package, it seeks to re-inforce the copyright provisions in the Package, and to squeeze the EU position a little further. The test is for the European Parliament to once again stand up for citizens rights.

        • Repression or Enlightenment?

          Just how powerful do you want corporations to get? To be at least equal to, and ideally superior to, human beings? To have control over mankind’s culture? To have control over mankind’s technology? To be so enriched and empowered that they have control over ‘democratically elected’ governments and tax funded infrastructure and services?

        • Mexico votes to dump ACTA as it stands

          ACTA is a desperate step taken by the heavily-industrialised, planet-killing nations to clamp down on copyright, trademark and patent issues, in recognition of the fact they don’t really make much any more, yet still expect to live in the lap of luxury by shuffling bits of e-paper about.

          The Mexican Senate hasn’t rejected ACTA per se but passed a non-binding resolution that seeks to reject international agreements cooked up in secret.

          The resolution, promoted by Senator Carlos Sotelo from the PRD party, was passed unanimously, according to openacta.org.

        • ACTA Ultra-Lite: The U.S. Cave on the Internet Chapter Complete

          The approach on ISP liability is largely unchanged from the last leaked draft and involve two provisions.

        • ACTA Anti-Piracy Treaty Not As Horrible as Feared
        • ACTA Analysis: You Can’t Craft A Reasonable Agreement When You Leave Out Stakeholders

          So… what’s in the actual document? We’ll go through a few different reviews that highlight some of the differences in the document, and where many of the problem areas are. Michael Geist points out that the anti-circumvention stuff that sought to effectively export the US’s draconian DMCA anti-circumvention clause has been greatly watered down and provides much more flexibility in how countries set their anti-circumvention plans. It’s still ridiculous that anti-circumvention is in this thing, but at least it’s not as bad as it was, and it leaves open the possibility of setting up anti-circumvention rules that recognize fair use (unlike the DMCA currently). This seems like a clear case where the US caved to other parties.

          On injunctions and damages, there still appear to be serious problems with the text, and seem to go beyond current TRIPS requirements, and at certain points appear contrary to US law (despite claims from US officials that no changes to US law will be required). Once again, it’s a case where ACTA tries to export the enforcement side but ignores the safe harbors and consumer protections. On injunctions, for example, TRIPS has some key protections for those who infringe unknowingly or for totally non-commercial use.

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