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10.08.10

Links 8/10/2010: Linux Tablet Price Goes Down Under $200, Fedora 14 Beta Preview

Posted in News Roundup at 3:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Case # 2010-5052271. Here be Scum

    Their TV was stolen as well and they will be able to use their computer for entertainment until they can get another television.

    [...]

    If you are interested in helping me get these folks a year’s Internet connection, let me know via email…helios at fixedbylinux dott kom. We’re also looking for a TV card that will work well in Linux. If possible, we could use some local help in setting up a mythTV box. This way, the computer can replace a television.

  • Legacy hardware for new age code-monkeys

    If you’re stuck with a dated machine in Austin, Texas, just call on your friendly neighbourhood Ken Starks (and the entire HeliOS team). Ken doesn’t just put old hardware to good educational use, he upgrades the machine thanks to (tax-deductible) monetary donations.

  • Desktop

    • Planning to Migrate to Linux? BEWARE!!!

      1. Your computer may become dull or stop working:
      Windows is a happy, efficient world where computers respond promptly and just work. They work and work even when you don’t know. They work as zombies and botnets, sending spam mail (in the best of the cases) for some hacker out there who rightfully earned control over them. Just last year, there was an estimate of twelve million zombies. That is four times the whole population of a small country like mine. Imagine! A whole country made of zombies!!! That is a happy country! Windows is a happy world in which you (if you’re a hacker) command and computers react. They react promptly to Trojans, worms and malware of all forms under the sun. If you install Linux and use it as your main OS, your computer may stop reacting to the Trojans, worms and malware that took cyber-criminals a lot of time and effort to design. Of course, if you engage into irresponsible security behavior, your PC may still be responsive to them, but not as it was with Windows. Are you sure you want a dull computer like that? Who wants a computer that fails to respond to malware by default? What? Your computer has never been part of a botnet, you say? Are you sure? Then, why is it that some users complain that their PCs still download updates regardless of their preferences? They are part of the biggest botnet in the world, that’s why!

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME and KDE 2011 Desktop Summit dates confirmed

      Supported locally by the TSB Innovation Agency Berlin GmbH and the Berlin Senate, the 2011 event is expected to bring together more than one thousand core contributors, open source leaders and various representatives from government, education and corporate environments. In addition to simply co-locating the events, as they did in 2009, GNOME Foundation board Member Vincent Untz says he hopes the projects can “actually plan a combined schedule in 2011 so KDE and GNOME contributors have every opportunity to work with and learn from each other.” Both of the projects say they hope the event will be the largest to date.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • The Marvel of Marble

        Many might be thinking about Google Earth as a similar, probably more popular application that offers similar features, and they wouldn’t be far from the truth. Of course, there are differences in what each offers, but most importantly, Marble is and encourages the use of open source software and maps.

  • Distributions

    • In two flavors: AntiX at 150Mhz, 32Mb

      A long time ago I tried Feather Linux, came back to it a week ago, and found it just as useful even on a machine with considerably weaker guts.

      I have a similar experience to report … more or less … from AntiX, in its full M8.5 rendition and from the base version.

      I tried both, using the X60s as a surrogate and once again writing the system across USB1.1 for the complete, JWM-driven desktop and the lighter variant.

    • Wanted: Acer Aspire 5551 seeks distro

      Still on the list of distros to test are Archbang and Sabayon. What are your thoughts? Which distro works for you? Any tips on the above issues? Keep them coming.

    • Reviews

      • BLAG Review

        It came preset with a microblog and a blogging client, for example. Basically BLAG is a cool distro if you’re not into debian/ubuntu based distros, but still want something easy to use. You do have to watch out for nonfree, like I said, but that’s probably going to be cleared up by the stable release.

      • Distro Hoppin`: Trisquel GNU/Linux 4.0

        I was more than pleasantly surprised with how gracefully Trisquel managed to bury my preconception about 100% free OSes being more of a creed, a philosophy than a practical operating environment, either at work or at home. Add that functionality to a polished, professional look and you have a project that is worthy of admiration and anticipation for future releases.

      • Arch Linux 2010.05 [Review]

        Arch Linux lets you be in control of your own system. But as always, with great power comes great responsibility. We will only recommend Arch Linux to those who have used Linux for quite a while, and have used from the console as well. If you want to download a Linux distro which installs a fully functional graphical environment ready for use, then Arch Linux is NOT for you. Arch Linux is for those who want to configure and set up their system with an intimate understanding and control over each aspect. If you are someone who wants to jump into Linux with both feet, and learn by possibly screwing up their system, Arch Linux is perfect for you.

      • Tiny Core: Ultralight DIY distribution

        When reviewing a lightweight distribution, the term Swiss Army knife is sometimes employed to indicate that it’s packed with features despite a diminutive size. However, at 11MB for the ISO, Tiny Core is more of a blank-slate distribution, as when booted from a CDROM or a USB stick, it presents the user with a simple desktop consisting merely of a task launcher and a package manager. It contains some good ideas and it’s already perfectly usable, but I think it needs a few more refinements in order to become great.

        Tiny Core can be installed to a HD like a traditional distribution but the process is relatively complicated and not the main focus. Instead, a typical Tiny Core installation would be portable and booted from a device such as a memory stick. The end result is a kiosk-like environment.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat and the Cloud

        These days I’ve talked with Red Hat about their Cloud strategy. It was an interesting and, in some areas, somewhat surprising conversation. It is not that surprising that Red Hat doesn’t focus on becoming an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provider themselves, e.g. directly competing with Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure and other environments isn’t on their agenda at that point of time. Red Hat focuses on providing the technology some of these provides (not Microsoft, for sure) require – but not mainly the very big ones, but all the others like Telcos, large MSPs (Managed Service Providers), and so on.

      • Analyst affirms Red Hat a ‘sell’
      • Red Hat Getting Killed (RHT)
      • Option Pros Looking for a Big Move in Red Hat (RHT)

        Heavy volume in both puts and calls suggests that traders are expecting a big move but are unsure of direction.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 beta review

          All in all, Fedora 14 is shaping up quite nicely. Although it’s unlikely that Fedora 14 will sway existing Ubuntu or openSUSE users, the new release offers enough to keep developers and power users alike happy.

        • Fedora 14 Well On Its Way to a Desktop Near You

          Red Hat’s Fedora remains one of the most popular and versatile Linux distributions available today. In fact, it has few equals. And Fedora 14, which is due for final release November 2, saw its one and only beta release on September 28 with some exciting feature previews. Being based on Linux 2.6.35, that was released on August 1 and received its latest stable update on September 29, it will offer goodies like Btrfs direct input/output, better power management, expanded video and Ethernet hardware support, and memory cache de-fragmentation. Of particular interest to Red Hat and Fedora developers and users are the improvements in KVM virtualization, which include enhancements of the timer and emulator code that result in higher performance as well as improvements in performance tracing and monitoring.

    • Debian Family

      • Simply Mepis 8.5 challenge: the first four days

        To sum up, my experience as a Mandriva user handling Mepis is satisfactory up to this point. SimplyMepis is not simply a disappointment. I think that it rivals Mandriva in its KDE handling…maybe a simplified experience than the one I am used to with Mandriva, but Mepis had given me little to complain about.

        What’s next? The following days I will try a multimedia class. This will let me assess the video display and the sound quality.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • What Will Be Talked About At The Ubuntu 11.04 Summit

          Besides talking about performance at the Ubuntu Developer Summit later this month in Orlando for Ubuntu 11.04, there will also be discussions and tracks for hardware compatibility, Ubuntu as the project and community, application selections and defaults, how to empower application developers, cloud infrastructure, and multimedia.

          The tentative blueprints for what is to be talked about at the development summit for Ubuntu 11.04 is laid out on Launchpad. Some of the tracks that interest us for this Natty Narwhal summit are listed below.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 final ready to roll

          Canonical’s Ubuntu project announced the release candidate for Ubuntu 10.10 (“Maverick Meerkat”), with the final stable version ready for download this Sunday, 10/10/10. In addition to a revamped Software Centre, a new sound app, and a Netbook Edition overhauled with Canonical’s “Unity” UI stack, Meerkat’s final will feature new fonts and an Android-compatible Ubuntu One Mobile service.

        • The new Ubuntu is netbook and Windows friendly

          When you think of Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux, what do you think of? Well, you probably think of a smooth, easy to use desktop Linux. You also wouldn’t be surprised to know that it came designed to work and play well with netbooks. I bet you would be surprised to know though that part of it, Ubuntu One, the personal cloud service for Ubuntu users, will soon work with Android, iPhone, and Windows.

        • How to get Free ubuntu 10.10 CD (Maverick Meerkat)

          The ShipIt service can be used by users with low-bandwidth…

          [...]

          The costs involved with providing access to Ubuntu for those unfortunate to get access to the swift and easy online downloads are great.

        • Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

          After over a year’s worth of feedback from users like you and a clear view of where we want to take Ubuntu One in the future, we’ve just made some changes to the Ubuntu One service offering and pricing plans.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 to feature Windows, iPhone & Android syncing…

          Maverick Meerkat Ubuntu One users will be able to sync contacts and stream music direct to their iPhone or Android smartphone via a free app. The Ubuntu One Mobile service will cost $3.99 per month, but will be offered free if you choose to subscribe Canonical’s 20GB (or more) Ubuntu One paid subscription service.

        • Ubuntu Linux upgraded for netbooks, desktops, and servers

          Canonical on Thursday took the official wraps off Ubuntu 10.10, the latest version of its Linux-based operating system, and confirmed that it will be available for download starting on Sunday.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • My new #! CrunchBang desktop

            Here’s the current looks of my CrunchBang 10 “Statler” Alpha 2 desktop. Simple and dark.
            Openbox is great, but once you start customizing it, you keep finding all those little things you can change, adjust etc. …few hours later… you have a nearly perfect desktop. And then you start again….

          • Differences Between Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, etc.

            Gobuntu is an Ubuntu derivative that is intended for users with a level of ability as developers and system developers, who intend to make their own free software distribution based on Ubuntu. In accordance with the disasarnya user segment, only the Ubuntu open source software provides non-restricted in Gobuntu and include full source for all firmware, drivers, and applications that are installed in it. The purpose of the inclusion of full source is clear, namely to give an opportunity for developers to modify and redistribute the program results.

            Gobuntu require the same hardware specifications with Ubuntu (min. 4 GB hard disk capacity), and also available in two architectures, the PC 32-bit and 64-bit.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux dev platform takes on embedded multimedia UIs

      Timesys has expanded its LinuxLink development platform for embedded Linux devices to offer a subscription for higher-level multimedia and interface functions. The LinuxLink Rich Multimedia User Interfaces (Rich MUI) subscription incorporates the Qt framework, GStreamer, and many other components, initially targeting Texas Instruments’ DaVinci, OMAP, and Sitara system-on-chips, as well as Freescale’s i.MX51, says the company.

    • Phones

    • Tablets

      • CherryPal Announces 7-Inch Android 2.1 Tablet with Sub-$200 Price Tag

        CherryPal has announced their new 7-inch Android 2.1-powered CherryPad today. Rather than setting their sites on the iPad and trying to take it on, CherryPal sees more benefit in the low-cost tablet space. Priced at only $188 per unit, the CherrpPad features an 800MHz processor, 256MB RAM, 2GB Flash memory, microSD card reader, and an 800×480 resolution screen. Other details include WiFi support (802.11 b/g), USB 2.0, 3.5mm headphone jack, speakers, and a microphone. The 3200mAh battery is said to provide around 6-8 hours runtime. Full press release after the break.Anyone interested in sub-$200 Android tablet? Worth dropping the money on one while waiting for a tablet from the bigger players?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Interview with Hugh McGuire, Founder of Librivox.org

    There were some philosophical reasons, and some practical reasons for the creation of LibriVox, which “launched” in August 2005. On the philosophical side, I was fascinated by Richard Stallman and the free software movement, both in methodology and in ethic. I was equally excited by Lessig’s work with the Creative Commons movement and the idea of protecting public domain, including projects such as Michael Hart’s Project Gutenberg. Brewster Kahle’s vision at the Internet Archive of Universal Access to All Human Knowledge was another piece of the puzzle, as was Wikipedia, the most visible non-software open source project around at the time. Finally blogging and podcasting revealed the possibility that anyone could make media and deliver it to the world. It was a potent cocktail.

  • Get More Out Of Your Home Wireless Setup With Open Source Apps

    Want better performance out of your home Wi-Fi setup? Most of us are now so dependent on Wi-Fi around the house that we do want that, but not everybody realizes that there are open source tools that can help improve your wireless experience. Since we last covered them here, dd-wrt and Tomato have both come to support for more routers and added functionality. They’re open source firmware replacements for the intelligence built into routers, and they can juice your wireless performance and extend your range, in addition to other features.

  • Events

    • My day @ SVIT

      Today I was at Swami Vivekananda Institute of Technology to take a session regarding installation of GNU/Linux and System Administration. The distribution I have selected is Ubuntu 10.10, Since it is widely popular and easy for the beginners. I was remembering the time when I had to install GNU/Linux with a great effort. Now its as simple as installing a windows :-) The students were enthusiastic to learn every bit of it. The seminar was part of a two day Industrial Training Workshop conducted by Swecha a free software organisation.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Update on Statistics Problem

        Last week we blogged about a problem with add-on downloads going to the wrong subdomain and said that counts would be repaired soon.

      • Firefox in Thailand – 2010 update

        15.25% on Firefox (from Mozilla’s internal data, 83% on Firefox 3.6, 13% on Firefox 3.5, yes I know that does not add up to 100%)

      • Crowdsourcing Project – Team 1 & 3 / Phase 2
      • Firefox 4 Beta for Android and Maemo is Now Available

        Our first Firefox 4 beta for mobile is now available to download and test. It’s built on the same technology platform as Firefox for the desktop and optimized for browsing on a mobile phone. Firefox beta for mobile comes with many of your favorite Firefox desktop features like Firefox Sync, Add-ons and the Awesome Bar.

      • Ars examines Chrome and Firefox bookmark sync protocols

        In a recent announcement, Xmarks revealed that it can no longer afford to continue operating its popular cross-browser bookmark synchronization service. Although Xmarks attracted a significant audience of users, the company was never able to build a sustainable business around the software. Xmarks cofounder Todd Agulnick says that the lights are scheduled to go out in 90 days unless the company can come up with a successful freemium strategy or a buyer emerges.

      • Refreshing the Firefox Search Bar
  • Databases

    • Thank you, everyone behind MySQL AB!

      MySQL AB opened the doors for learning to know many brilliant minds. Co-chairing a GPLv3 Committee with HP senior counsel Scott K. Peterson, I experienced Software Freedom Law Center’s Eben Moglen first-hand. Through a combination of intelligence and diplomacy, he tamed a conference-call-ful of the seniormost US corporate counsels, who all bought into Eben’s plans for the next generation of free software licenses. In 2005, I supported Florian Müller’s successful efforts to (at least for a while) save the EU from the software patents. I think Eben, Florian and I all agree swpats are obsolete legal tools, used to protect incumbent players against having to innovate. Sadly, Eben and Florian have since had some disagreements. Speaking of brilliant minds, the SAP negotiations in 2002 and 2003, and MySQL AB’s subsequent relationship with SAP AG, introduced us to people like Shai Agassi and Rudi Munz. Other memorable events was introducing MySQL Conference guest speakers, such as Guy Kawasaki and Mark Shuttleworth. I left the stage for Mark and his Ubuntu presentation on a MySQL conference by cheering him with “Поехали!” (Poyechale, Off we go!), a retired cosmonaut as he is.

  • CMS

    • eBay deploys Joomla for analytics portal

      Bypassing a number of commercial portal packages, eBay has started using the Joomla open source content management software as a framework to provide its employees with analytic tools, the online auction giant said.

      The Joomla Web framework will be used to stage a set of internal analysis tools for the company’s 16,400 employees. The company claims that it runs the largest commercial data warehouse in the world, and this software will provide a base for a set of eBay-built extensions to analyze some of this data.

    • Examiner.com Execs Push for Quality, Refute ‘Content Farm’ Tag

      Tell me how the integration with NowPublic has gone at Examiner.com?

      Rick Blair: We purchased NowPublic about this time last year, and we’ve used their platform to launch our Drupal 7 platform, or Examiner 2.0, which is the largest consumer-facing Drupal platform in the United States. Everything’s gone quite well. We have the normal slip-ups that you have with any technology platform where you’re serving over 20 million readers a month, and 60 million page views a month. We just released a new publishing tool for our writers, and within a week, 75 percent of them are working with it and are happy with it.

    • Teach.gov using Drupal

      The U.S. Department of Education just launched a new micro-site built on Drupal: teach.gov. At teach.gov you can learn what it’s like to be a teacher and get the tools you need to launch your own career in education.

    • University of Washington at Tacoma adopts Drupal

      I recently got an e-mail from a member of the UW Tacoma web team, who explained that they migrated to Drupal from a home-grown system running on IIS and mostly based in ColdFusion. Their system often required manual editing of HTML for even the simplest of content updates, and synchronizing between development and live versions of the site was (as we all know) an ever present problem.

  • Education

    • A K12 Educator’s Guide to Open Source Software

      There’s a very cool project I am very lucky to have the opportunity to work on, this coming month. It’s pretty exciting to me, because it involves introducing elementary school children to free & open source software, particularly creative tools such as my dearly beloved Inkscape and Gimp.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • Open Source Software Licenses

      In this article we are going to talk about the open system/open source software licenses.As most of you are aware(if not please read and understand)how those licenses intend to do then apply them as you like.So lets meet those licenses that made an impact on open source development.Being an GNU/Linux consultant my one of the prime job to explain the licensing issue to my clients so they can understand what they adopt into their infrastructure.And as my second role as an GNU/Linux administrator I am very curious about the licensing factor to implements something into the production base.So what I will suggest please give yourself sometime and go through the below mentioned licenses to accustomed yourself better for deployment.

    • New Open Compliance Resources Now Available

      When we launched the Open Compliance Program in August at LinuxCon, we committed to providing additional free educational material. At launch, we had three info-packed papers you could view here or at our publications page.

      I’m pleased to report the fourth paper in the series is now available. “A Glimpse Into Recommended Practices in a FOSS Compliance Management Process” by Ibrahim Haddad can be found here.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Wikisource for Manuscript Transcription
    • The Next Social Networking JuggernauT

      Here’s a restatement of the opportunity to turn Facebook into the equivalent of AltaVista/Yahoo of social networking:

      * Software that makes grouping easy… from initial recruitment, first member recognition, rules for behavior, enforcement, goals, and reward allocation. Everything you need to build a group that operates as a club, a tribe, or a company.
      * Open MMOG (massively multiplayer online game) functionality. Basically, a set of functionality that enables people to build their own games on the network. As in: You get points for…. Your quest is.. Your reward is…. This gets even more interesting if you believe, as I do, that all real world social networks (like the global economy) are just poorly written MMGs (massively multiplayer games) with obscure/hidden/rigged rules.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Zuckerpunched! Maybe those tech nerds aren’t so harmless

    But perhaps most distressing for the Internet mogul must have been the leaking of the script for The Social Network, a $60-million movie based on Zuckerberg’s early years as an undergrad hacker at Harvard University, on the Web.

    Why would it be distressing for a young Internet visionary to be lionized in a big-budget Hollywood biopic? Because the script – which I managed to peruse this week – is unflattering at best and a public-relations disaster at worst for one of the world’s most eminent supergeeks. It’s also a fantastic read.

    Zuckerberg is said to be distinctly unpleased. He reportedly cancelled his birthday celebration in the Caribbean last weekend in order to hold a series of emergency meetings in California to discuss how to rehabilitate Facebook’s (and by extension his own) tarnished image. According to The Times of London, the software genius told colleagues that he wants to establish himself as “a good guy.”

    But it’s hard to imagine how he’s going to do that once The Social Network is given wide release this fall.

  • It’s not easy being Justin Bieber [lnxwalt140: "A man called Justin Bieber got kicked out of Facebook and other networks for sharing the name with the teen idol"]
  • Why the Internet Isn’t Making Us Stupid
  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • PATCO riders undergo search

      A swarm of DRPA police officers, uniformed screeners from the federal Transportation Security Administration and an explosives-sniffing K-9 greeted commuters at the Lindenwold PATCO station Tuesday morning, the first of what will be routine random searches of riders, their bags and vehicles.

      After a lazy three-day weekend, the commotion took Kevin Greczyn, a regular PATCO commuter into Philadelphia, by surprise.

    • Burma activists say hands up for democracy

      Two years ago Aye Min Soe was known the world over, star of Oscar-nominated documentary Burma VJ, the shot-in-secret story of Burma’s 2007 Saffron Revolution. Today, the former political prisoner leads an anonymous existence, stateless, penniless and vulnerable, on the Thai-Burma border. Mired between UN and Thai government bureaucracy, his application for refugee status has stalled. He has no documentation allowing him to be in Thailand, he cannot work, and is regularly threatened with deportation back to Burma.

    • Germany Shocked by ‘Disproportionate’ Police Action in Stuttgart

      A hardline police operation against demonstrators protesting against a new railway station project in Stuttgart has shocked Germany, after more than 100 people were injured by tear gas and water cannon. German commentators argue that the police went overboard and warn of more violence to come.

      The controversial Stuttgart 21 railway project has been the focus of increasing protests in recent months. But Thursday seemed to mark a turning point as the conflict between the authorities and protesters escalated dramatically.

    • Don’t Post Pictures of an FBI Tracking Device You Find on a Car to the Internet

      On Monday, a guy in California posted pictures of an FBI tracking device his friend found on his car to the social news site Reddit. Tuesday afternoon the FBI showed up at his friend’s house and demanded it back.

      [...]

      It’s amusing how the tables were turned on the FBI on this one as the surveiller became the surveilled. But next time, don’t help the creeps out by posting evidence of their shoddy work to the Internet.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Business is changing the landscape of the climate battleground

      Over in California the vested interests are less hidden. On the one hand you have the oil industry who have been bankrolling a campaign to get rid of climate legislation, that would otherwise begin introducing caps on emissions and challenging targets for renewables in 2012. The infamous Koch brothers, who have no direct interests in California, have also weighed in because this is the new battle ground: what happens in California will ripple out across the States. There is a big fightback from other businesses and fortunately California is home to a burgeoning clean tech industry and to Silicon Valley where, as well as ruling the digital world, companies like Google have been ploughing their millions into trying to solve big problems like climate change.

    • Brazil election sees breakthrough for Greens and environmental agenda

      Environmental campaigners and Green party activists heralded a breakthrough today after a former rubber-tapper from the Brazilian Amazon who rose to be a world-famous rainforest defender became the central figure in the second round of the country’s presidential election.

    • Human waste turned into renewable gas to power homes

      Next time you flush the toilet, you could be doing your bit for green energy. After being stored for 18 days, human waste will from today be returning to homes in the form of renewable gas.

  • Finance

    • U.S. bank industry entering new crisis: analyst

      The U.S. banking industry is entering a new crisis where operating costs are rising dramatically due to foreclosures and defaults, a well-known analyst said Wednesday afternoon.

      “We are less than one-quarter of the way through the foreclosure process,” said Christopher Whalen, managing director at Institutional Risk Analytics at an American Enterprise Institute event.

    • The great American suburb gives way to rising poverty

      The American suburb is no longer the getaway from the city core that it used to be. Amid the loss of millions of jobs in the recession, home foreclosures and eroding wealth, poverty rates are rising in the U.S. suburbs, the Brookings Institution said in a study today.

    • Prospects for US economy either ‘fairly bad’ or ‘very bad’, warns Goldman Sachs

      Signs that the economic recovery is flat or dipping has pushed the dollar to record lows against the yen while gold continues to climb. Last week, controversial star hedge fund manager John Paulson predicted that gold would rise a further $1,100 to $2,400 an ounce – and could go as high as $4,000.

    • Ohio Attorney General Sues Ally Financial Over Alleged Foreclosure Fraud, First In A Possible Wave Of Lawsuits

      Ohio’s attorney general is suing Ally Financial Inc. and its GMAC Mortgage division, alleging the company violated state fraud laws in handling foreclosure cases.

    • Deutsche Bank Names Goldman’s Kuppenheimer Co-Head of Equity Structuring

      Deutsche Bank AG hired Greg Kuppenheimer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as a managing director and co-head of equity structuring for North America, at least the third senior-level hire from its U.S. rival in two months.

    • Goldman Sachs Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Two CDO Securities

      A financial fraud lawsuit has been filed against Goldman Sachs over its Hudson Mezzanine securities, claiming that the company created collateralized debt obligation (CDO) securities that were doomed to fail so that it could profit from short positions it had taken on the funds.

    • Why did Merrill Lynch Fail? “Goldman Sachs Envy,” Says New Book

      The death of Merrill Lynch in a 2008 fire sale was tied to a key flaw at the brokerage: jealousy of crosstown rival Goldman Sachs, according to an excerpt of a new book, “All the Devils Are Here,” slated to be published next month.

    • Goldman Sachs May Be Losing Influence in Washington

      When it comes to visibility and influence, Goldman Sachs is as noticeable on Pennsylvania Avenue as it is on Wall Street. But that may be changing, as a result of the firm’s recent legal and public relations problems.

    • Dollar set for sharp decline, Goldman forecasts

      The investment bank expects the dollar to drop to $1.79 against the pound in six months and $1.85 in 12 months. Sterling closed at $1.5891 in London yesterday. The euro won’t be spared either, with the dollar’s slump forcing it to $1.50 six months from now and $1.55 in a year’s time.

    • SEC meets with Goldman Sachs, Wall Street CEOs behind closed doors

      Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) met with top brass at Goldman Sachs at the Willard Hotel to discuss implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform. So what happened? We wish we could tell you. When The Examiner called the SEC to ask for comment or for any notes from the meeting, they said that they would not comment and could neither confirm nor deny a meeting with Goldman. “But we know it happened,” I told the press officer. “No comment.”

    • German bank sues Goldman Sachs over toxic mortgage losses

      Goldman Sachs was in the firing line today after a German bank slapped it with a $37 million (£23.3 million) legal action over losses on a toxic mortgage product it sold before the credit crunch.

      German state-owned bank Landesbank Baden-Württemberg is suing Goldman and asset manager Trust Company of the West, according to documents filed in a Manhattan court.

    • Goldman Sachs International’s First Half Profit Falls by 53%

      Goldman Sachs International, the London-based unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said first-half profit fell 53 percent after the European sovereign debt crisis cut deal making.

      Net income dropped to $944 million in the six months ended June 30 from $2.01 billion in the first half of 2009, the firm said in a statement on its website. Goldman Sachs said trading profit at its European arm fell to $4.42 billion, 40 percent lower than the year-earlier figure.

    • German Bank Sues Goldman, TCW Over CDO Losses

      Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg has sued Goldman Sachs and Société Générale unit TCW Group over the German bank’s $37 million loss from an investment in a collateralized debt obligation.

    • Who Gets the Cash: Goldman Execs or Stockholders?

      In that bearish view, maybe Goldman’s single-digit p/e and double-digit earnings yield are actually warnings signs of worse times to come, rather than a clue that the stock is super-cheap.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • China’s Fifty Cent Party for Internet Propaganda

      China is not the only country in the world to employ cyber police. However, the scale of China’s efforts is staggering. The social media now comprises the dominant online activity for the Chinese. Currently, user-generated content provides the greatest component of China’s online content. Noticing these trends two years ago, President Hu called on the CCP’s members to “assert supremacy over online public opinion, raise the level and study the art of online guidance and actively use new technologies to increase the strength of positive propaganda.” After Hu’s speech, the State Council advertised for “comrades of good ideological and political character, high capability and familiarity with the Internet to form teams of Web commentators… who can employ methods and language Web users can accept to actively guide online public opinion.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Syria accuses teenage blogger of spying for a foreign power

      Syria has accused a young woman blogger of spying for a foreign power after human rights watchdogs raised her case as an example of unjustified restrictions on freedom of expression.

    • Is your private phone number on Facebook? Probably. And so are your friends’

      Uploads from iPhones using the Facebook app will push all your contacts onto Facebook’s servers – where they’ll be matched against any and everyone. Worried at all?

    • Interview with Chiranuch Premchaiporn of Thai Netizen Network

      Chiranuch Premchaiporn, known as Jiew, is the Director and webmaster of Prachatai, an alternative Thai news website, and is a founding member of the digital rights group Thai Netizen Network. News of her arrest upon her return from an Internet freedom conference spread quickly – a blog and #freejiew tag, a legal fund, news and opinion articles, condemnation by human rights institutions, a journalists’ campaign, and critical analysis of the case and the Computer Crime Act under which she was charged. Now out on bail, Jiew now has two criminal charges against her, for which she faces a possibility of an 82-year sentence.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ASCAP Tells Artists It’s Cutting Their Payments As It Brags To The Press How Much More Money It’s Collecting

        ASCAP feels like the gift that keeps on giving to those of us covering it. If you’re an artist… not so much. We’ve covered many examples of how ASCAP’s aggressive efforts to shut down venues from hosting up-and-coming singers is harming local musicians. And, we’ve also pointed out how they use a system to overpay large acts at the expense of small acts. Now it’s getting even worse. Just as ASCAP is attacking groups like Creative Commons, EFF and Public Knowledge — who help artists find more ways to take control over their own careers, it’s also cutting back on payments to many of its artists:

        ASCAP cut payments to some members of it’s ASCAPlus program by 20-30%. “Unfortunately, because of the fiscal climate, less money was available this year for the award program,” ASCAP said in a letter to those receiving checks.

      • MPAA: Piracy Will Always Be With Us

        In a rare interview session two of the MPAA’s top executives gave an interesting insight into the movie industry’s view on copyright in the digital age and the anti-piracy hunt that accompanies it. The pair say that their organization will continue to fight against copyright infringements, but admit that piracy will never be completely defeated.

      • Copyright Abuse in Ohio Governor Election

        With just weeks to go before Ohio votes on its next governor, the contest has devolved into a copyright squabble that is keeping a political video off YouTube on the basis of a bogus copyright claim.

        A couple of days ago, Congressman John Kasich put out a commercial that featured a man dressed as a steelworker discussing Governor Ted Strickland’s record. It turns out that the steelworker depicted in the commercial wasn’t an actual steelworker, but paid actor Chip Redden.

      • ACTA

        • Global Copyright Accord Is Scaled Back After Google Led Push for Changes

          A counterfeiting agreement aimed at stepping up international enforcement of copyright protections has been scaled back after objections from Internet content providers led by Google Inc.

          The text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which would set joint rules for cracking down on the pirating of copyrighted materials, was released today by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. The deal would be the first major trade accord reached under President Barack Obama.

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