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10.09.10

English and Spanish Versions of FSF Post on Vista Phone 7

Posted in FSF, Microsoft at 11:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

International flags

Summary: The Free Software Foundation (FSF) explains why Vista Phone 7 [sic] is restrictive, belongs to an abusive company, and should therefore be worked against; Techrights has a translation into the language spoken in the highest number of countries

A READER and contributor of Techrights has kindly provided us with a translation of the new post from the FSF, which can be found below in two languages and should be spread as far as possible to ensure the product fails almost as badly as “KIN” did.


Windows Phone 7: the best choice for Patent Trolls.

USA flagPosted by Matt Lee

On Monday October 11, 2010 Microsoft will release Windows Phone 7 software, backed by the largest phone marketing campaign in history: reports estimate costs at between 400 and 500 million dollars.

Why does Microsoft need to spend so much money promoting their latest proprietary software? Clearly they face strong competition, but marketing, especially for high end mobile phones, is about creating an image in the consumer’s mind; an image that they want to identify with.

And that’s the problem that Microsoft has. Who wants to be identified with Microsoft? Who wants to be identified with a corporation run by Steve Ballmer?

Microsoft has a long history of unethical behavior in the software
industry, abusing competitors and its customers alike. Steve Ballmer has long been recognized as the leading force behind this behavior at Microsoft. Yet amazingly he was promoted to lead the corporation when Bill Gates stepped down.

Microsoft’s growth was tied directly to the growing popularity of personal computers. Normally you’d expect a fledgling company in a new industry to grow through customer goodwill. So how has Microsoft been able to mistreat customers every step of the way without losing them?

The tool Microsoft uses is what the FSF has been fighting against for 25 years: proprietary software. The problems with proprietary software are part of the reason free software is such a growing force today.

Proprietary software keeps users divided and powerless. If you are dependent on a proprietary software company for the software you run — and so many people are — you lose your freedom, and open yourself to abuse. Today, many people’s reaction to Microsoft is based upon the abuse they have suffered because the software they used was proprietary.

A history of abusive behavior

When you read a news report about a terrible Internet security problem, what you’re really hearing is a Windows problem. Why do you need to have virus protection software on your computer? Why isn’t the software safe to use as is?

When you can’t open a Microsoft created document using another piece of software, what you’re experiencing is Microsoft’s deliberate action to stop interoperability. You can use more than one browser to read web pages, or more than one music player to listen to your collection; why can’t you use different software to read office documents? Why won’t Microsoft tell other developers how to work with these files?

When the software you use doesn’t have the functionality or feature you want, or a bug is causing your computer to freeze, your only prayer is that Microsoft will release an update or a fix. Why can’t you tell the developers directly about the problem? How can Microsoft be so unconcerned about the issues that affect your work?

These are good reasons to avoid proprietary software in general, and Microsoft and Windows Phone 7 in particular. But Microsoft and Steve Ballmer aren’t satisfied. They also want you to buy a Windows Phone 7 to reward them for becoming the most dangerous patent troll imaginable.

Microsoft are suing mobile phone companies that use competing products like Android: products based upon free software. Microsoft is aiming to remove them from the market entirely or have them pay a patent tax for their availability.

If you haven’t heard anything about software patents yet, you can learn the sad tale here. In summary: there are hundreds of thousands of them, and you can’t write or distribute a meaningful piece of software without the threat of being sued. In particular, everyone in the software industry knows that the patents Microsoft is threatening others with are junk.

Software patents are the most important anti-competitive, anti-software-developer tool available. And right now they are being used to crush freedom.

On Monday and beyond, you can help by raising awareness for Microsoft’s actions.


Teléfono de Windows 7: la mejor opción para los Trolls de Patentes.

Spanish flagsPublicado por Matt Lee el 08 de octubre 2010 17:40

El lunes 11 de octubre 2010 Microsoft lanzará Windows 7 el software del teléfono, el respaldo de la campaña de comercialización telefónica más grande de la historia: los informes de estimación de costes de entre 400 y 500 millones de dólares.

¿Por qué Microsoft necesidad de gastar tanto dinero en la promoción de su más reciente software propietario? Es evidente que se enfrentan a una fuerte competencia, pero la comercialización, especialmente para los teléfonos móviles de gama alta, se trata de crear una imagen en la mente del consumidor, una imagen que quieren identificarse.

Y ese es el problema que Microsoft ha. ¿Quién quiere ser identificado con Microsoft? ¿Quién quiere ser identificado con una empresa dirigida por Steve Ballmer?

Windows 7 Teléfono de la serie: Otro dispositivo patentado diseñado para eliminar todos sus derechos.

Microsoft tiene una larga historia de comportamiento no ético en la industria del software, los competidores y abusar de sus clientes por igual. Steve Ballmer ha sido reconocida como la principal fuerza detrás de este comportamiento en Microsoft. Sin embargo, sorprendentemente, fue promovido para dirigir la empresa cuando Bill Gates se retiró.

El crecimiento de Microsoft estaba directamente relacionado con la creciente popularidad de las computadoras personales. Lo normal sería esperar una nueva compañía en una nueva industria a crecer a través de la buena voluntad del cliente. Entonces, ¿cómo ha sido capaz de Microsoft para maltratar a los clientes en cada paso del camino sin perderlos?

La herramienta de Microsoft utiliza es lo que la Fundacion de Software Libre ha estado luchando contra desde hace 25 años: el software propietario. Los problemas con el software propietario son parte de la razón del software libre es una fuerza creciente en la actualidad.

El software privativo mantiene a los usuarios divididos e impotentes. Si usted depende de una empresa de software propietario para el software se ejecuta – y hay tanta gente – usted pierde su libertad, y abrirse a los abusos. Hoy en día, la reacción de mucha gente de Microsoft se basa en el abuso que han sufrido porque el software que utilizaron fue de propiedad.
Una historia de comportamiento abusivo

Cuando se lee una noticia acerca de un problema de seguridad en Internet terrible, lo que realmente audiencia es un problema de Windows. ¿Por qué necesita tener un software de protección antivirus en su equipo? ¿Por qué no es el software seguro para su uso como es?

Cuando no se puede abrir un documento de Microsoft creado con otro software, lo que estás experimentando es una maniobra de Microsoft de dejar de interoperabilidad. Usted puede utilizar más de un navegador para leer las páginas web, o más de un reproductor de música para escuchar su colección, ¿por qué no se puede utilizar diferentes programas informáticos para leer documentos de oficina? ¿Por qué no dicen los desarrolladores de Microsoft otra forma de trabajar con estos archivos?

Cuando el software que utiliza no tiene la funcionalidad o la característica que desea, o un error que está causando bloqueos en el ordenador, su única oración es que Microsoft lanzará una actualización o una revisión. ¿Por qué no te puedo decir que los desarrolladores directamente sobre el problema? ¿Cómo puede ser tan indiferente Microsoft acerca de los problemas que afectan a su trabajo?

Estas son buenas razones para evitar el software privativo en general, y Microsoft y Windows 7, en particular de teléfono. Pero Microsoft y Steve Ballmer no está satisfecho. También quieren que usted compre un teléfono Windows 7 para recompensarlos por ser los trolls de patentes más peligrosas.

Microsoft está demandando a empresas de telefonía móvil que utilizan los productos competidores como Android: productos basados en software libre. Microsoft está tratando de sacarlos de la totalidad del mercado o hacer pagar un impuesto de patente para su disponibilidad.

Si usted no ha oído nada acerca de las patentes de software, sin embargo, usted puede aprender de la triste historia aquí. http://patentabsurdity.com/watch.html En resumen: hay cientos de miles de ellos, y no se puede escribir o distribuir una parte significativa de software sin la amenaza de ser demandado. En particular, todo el mundo en la industria del software sabe que las patentes de Microsoft está amenazando a otros con correo no deseado.

Las patentes de software son los más importantes contrarias a la competencia, la herramienta anti-software para programadores disponible. Y ahora se están utilizando para aplastar la libertades de los usuarios -LEE MIS LIBERTADES.

Desde el proximo lunes y el más allá, usted puede ayudar mediante la sensibilización de las acciones de Microsoft boycottenadolos.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 license (or later version)

IRC Proceedings: October 9th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 11:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Massive Implosion at Microsoft: Another Business Unit Dies

Posted in Microsoft at 6:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sunken ship

Summary: Massive, which Microsoft spent a lot of money buying, is finally being buried

THE list of Microsoft’s deprecated services, dead products, and discarded divisions grows at a fast rate and it is not deniable that Microsoft suffers a lot right now. Maybe its investors didn’t quite get the memo because Microsoft spends a lot of money making promises and showing/alluding to vapourware. The truth is, the core of the company is stagnating and Microsoft just cannot find good ways to evolve.

The next wave of destruction within Microsoft is Massive, which previously suffered layoffs.

Microsoft Nick has covered this:

Despite saying in May that the effectiveness of in-game advertisements blew away expectations, Microsoft reportedly is shuttering its Massive video-game advertising unit four years after acquiring it.

Here’s more:

An online report suggests Microsoft’s in-game advertising unit, Massive, will be shut down before the end of the month.

Ad industry trade publication Adweek cites “sources close to the company” and “insiders at Microsoft” in reporting that Massive General Manager J.J. Richards has been seeking new employment with other unit members reportedly being reassigned throughout the company.

The report suggests that Microsoft had been shopping around a Massive buyout in the past few months, reportedly seeking a high six-figure or low seven-figure sale to rival ad network Double Fusion.

At this rather alarming shrinking rate, all that may remain of Microsoft is Windows and Office, which are sold only because of inertia and somewhat unlawful exclusion (bundling, formats, and so on).

Microsoft Live Labs is Dead

Posted in Microsoft, Search at 6:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

House on fire

Summary: Microsoft rushes to put out the fire by claiming that a death of this whole unit (Live Labs) is just a part of reorganisation

THE high pace at which Microsoft products get axed makes it reasonable to expect more layoffs (those working on dead products or in dead business units).

Tim from OpenBytes told us yesterday that Dr. Gary William Flake had quit Microsoft. “I have resigned from Microsoft,” he wrote. Who is Dr. Flake? It’s this guy, the Research Leader of Microsoft’s Live Labs. He’s out.

The leader of Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT) Live Labs research team resigned on Friday, the latest in a series of high-profile departures from the software giant.

Later on it turned out in the Seattle blogs/sites (Microsoft boosters in both these cases) that “Microsoft kills Live Labs” and for Microsoft to claim that it just “folds Live Labs into Bing” is a silly coverup. The company just wants to make it look “not as bad”. We gave many such examples before (“reorg” is a famous word they use for damage control). Bong [sic] too is being abandoned to a certain extent as Microsoft’s staff runs over to Yahoo! and grabs what’s left of it. We gave an example just days ago.

“The only part of Yahoo that is safe is Yahoo Japan, thanks to Jerry Yang and the rest of the Yahoo Japan board of directors resisting MS Bing and going instead with Google,” says our reader ‘Chips’. “Yahoo under Carol Bartz is like the mouse being eaten by the snake, not a pretty sight. [he added this news link]

“The big layoffs and cutting back, however, will not come until Ballmer leaves.”

Cringely believes that Microsoft should lay off up to half of its staff. There are not many products at Microsoft which actually make a profit.

“I was out with a couple of Silicon Valley software guys in New York the other night and got their view of Microsoft’s finances. Microsoft makes 60 percent of its profits on Windows, 60 percent on Office, and minus 20 percent on everything else, they said. “

Technology & Finance

Employees of Microsoft Lose Rights as Debt Grows

Posted in Site News at 5:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Broken car

Summary: As another sign of Microsoft’s demise comes the claim that health insurance/benefits are being removed by Microsoft, which still struggles to adapt to change

Microsoft “is cutting back more benefits to employees, cutting expenses… tightening the belt,” said a reader of ours this morning, showing the news from Murdoch’s press in a couple of sources.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software company, said on Friday it will trim its generous healthcare benefits for employees starting in 2013 because of rising coverage costs.

Also:

One of the perks of working at Microsoft: Health care costs that were 100% covered by the employer. Until now.

Microsoft announced to its employees Friday their “gold-plated” health care coverage would end in 2013, at which point the company would require employees to begin contributing to their own health care plans.

We will be seeing more of that in months to come based on some of the posts which will be published later in the weekend. Microsoft has already tried several rounds layoffs and word on the street is that more layoffs are coming shortly [1, 2, 3, 4]. Sometimes they just fire in the West and hire in Asia where it is a lot cheaper.

“Yes,” said our reader (informal, IRC), “in India they (MS) probably do not have any benefits, or they are lots cheaper there if they do. [..] Times are tough at MS, even Ballmer only made half his bonus for ‘good’ work. The worker bee’s are going have to do without so many health benefits.

“What’s next for MS Employees? Layoffs, and wage cuts? Most likely. If Kinect and WP7, either or both are flops, it could be worse for them. Especially for Ballmer, they can toss him. Chrome OS coming out is the wild card. Even the smaller iPads can hurt MS. The competition could cause more problem for MS and Ballmer than even the flops will.”

Links 9/10/2010: GNOME Shell Highlights, Release of Ubuntu 10.10 is Imminent

Posted in News Roundup at 4:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Brilliance Of Linux Package Management

    As this article rightfully points out, Linux package management is brilliant. Best of all, the process of installing or updating can be as simple or as complex, as you’d like to make it. For most people, updating is a matter of setting it and forgetting it. Others might perfer to do this manually from a CLI instead.

    However you care to slice it, today’s modern Linux distros make software and update packages brain-dead simple. Anyone who still makes the claim that Linux relies on the user being able to compile stuff, is not being entirely forthcoming. In all of the years I’ve used Linux, I have had to compile a package four times. Each time it was for a very new driver module. Nothing more.

  • Desktop

    • What Do Broadcom Drivers Mean for Linux Uptake?

      The early to mid 2000s were good years for Linux. The influx of cash and general interest from major enterprise players like IBM, Oracle and Novell gave the flagship free software operating system an incredible boost in terms of popularity and — more importantly — adoption.

      But there was a dark side to Linux in those days. It was not spoken of widely, save for whispered mutterings in back-room Birds of a Feather meetings at LinuxWorld. It was something That Was Not Spoken, yet everyone who dealt with Linux for any length of time knew the penguin’s dark secret.

  • Server

    • HPC Past and Present: Remembering the i8087

      The Portland Group has implemented a high level interface to NVidia GPUs, which could possibly work for all types SIMD units and even CPU cores. Eventually, compilers may get smart enough to do this automatically. Recently, Portland Group also announced CUDA support for X86, which should greatly extend the reach of the popular NVidia CUDA model.

    • Cloud Computing and Open Source: The Next Generation of Apps

      The survey found that open source is more widely used and is now considered an acceptable input into enterprise compute environments. Perhaps surprisingly, cost is not one of the main drivers for using open source; rather, security, control, and ability to affect the direction of a product are cited as primary reasons for open source use. Joe implied that one of the drivers for this turn to open source is the unhappiness many organizations feel about commercial software vendors and how users have fared in the dizzying industry consolidation that has occured over the past decade.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • From the land of Shell

        Obviously, the devil is in the detail – not to talk about some gross hacks used – so I wouldn’t expect the branch to land soonish. But there it is, for fellow hackers and ancious users to give it a try …

      • Gnome Shell: From Mockups To Reality

        I don’t know about you, but I for one am really glad we’ll finally have some sort of window list (dock, launcher or whatever is called) in Gnome Shell, although the above screenshot looks like the Activities view – hopefully the window list will be displayed in any view, not just here. What do you think?

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • What kind of software do you miss in Debian

        Debian holds a great amount of software, for everything from web servers to desktop wikis, but there’s always something missing.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Who setup ubuntunews?
        • More Zeitgeist integration in Software Center shows recommended apps based on usage

          As some of you may know, Seif has been working closely with the Software Center developers to integrate Zeitgeist into the Software Center. We blogged about the Software Center using Zeitgeist to display app usage a couple of weeks ago, and naturally the next step would be for that information to be translated into recommendations, which is very, very cool.

        • Interview: Jono Bacon, Ubuntu Community Manager

          Jono talks about the inspirations and challenges of community management.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition Offers Revamped User Interface

          Canonical announced today, October 7th, the upcoming availability of the new Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) operating system for download on Sunday, October 10th.

          The Ubuntu 10.10 release introduces various offline and online applications for the Desktop Edition, and a brand-new user interface for the Netbook Edition, called Unity. The Server Edition of Ubuntu 10.10, as well as the Enterprise Cloud EC2, also introduces new features.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • What to expect from Google TV

          Future Google TV software updates could fill in some of those gaps and add other new features. One interesting possibility would be simple video calling.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache Shindig Gets Social

    For developers, including social networking technologies into modern Web applications is often a key priority. The OpenSocial standard, originally developed by Google, is one mechanism that developers can leverage for social networking applications.

    But standards are one thing, and implementation is another. That’s where the Apache Shindig project comes into play. Apache Shindig is an OpenSocial container that enables developers to handle OpenSocial application content and gadgets. The project recently hit its 2.0 milestone as it continues to track the latest OpenSocial standardization efforts.

  • Gallery online photo album – cropped

    After two years of development, version 3 of the popular Gallery online album software, code named “Santa Fe”, has now been completed. Compared with its predecessor, the new version is said to offer improved performance and stability and require fewer resources. The developers have also drastically trimmed down the program package: instead of the previous 14 Mbytes, the standard installation is now only about 4 Mbytes in size.

    The program’s comprehensive slimming down has brought about various functional and flexibility reductions. For instance, users’ access rights are now managed on an album level, but no longer on an image level, which also benefits the program’s usability. Another discarded option is the availability of multiple, differently scaled image versions. Gallery 3 only offers three versions of every image: a thumbnail, a downsized image suitable for online use and the original non-scaled version. However, the developers point out that this relatively popular feature can be reintroduced via a plug-in.

  • The easy way to go open source in BI-DW: slipsteaming

    I’d like to propose a slightly devious strategy for getting open source Business Intelligence & Data Warehousing into your company. You’ve probably heard a lot about open source BI / DW offerings in the last few years. You’re kind of self-selected into that group by simply reading this post! However, just in case, I’ll wrap up a few of the leading lights for you. This is by no means comprehensive, consider it an invitation to do some ‘googling’.

  • Digital Reasoning and Riptano Advance Cassandra-Based Analytic Solutions
  • Events

    • Notes from the Open Source Analysts Summit 2010

      Having had the chance to chair the Open Source Analysts session at the Open World Forum I want to share here some takeaways. Matthew Aslett, senior analyst at the 451 group, opened the session anticipating some results from the upcoming revision of the “Open Source is NOT a business model” report, due between the end of October and the beginning of November.

    • Andalusia regional government on the lookout for alternatives to 6th Open Source World Conference

      Due to the budget adjustment Andalusia regional government is undertaking in order to improve the economic situation.

    • Open Source Business Research at OWF 2010

      To survey the research space, I’m breaking it up along the lines of involved actors or key roles these actors play. I see three main types of actors:

      * Producers
      * User/customers
      * Laborers

      Software developers are part of the producers category as long as it is volunteer work; they are part of the laborer category when it comes to non-self-determined work.

  • SaaS/Search

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • OpenOffice.org is Dead, Long Live LibreOffice — or, The Freedom to Fork

      We fear this, because it’s wasteful. If it happened all the time, free software development would disintegrate into zillions of tiny pockets with no room for large organized projects — it’s kind of like the fear that absolute democracy will result in “mob rule.”

    • MySQL price hikes reveal depth of Oracle’s love

      Oracle has repeatedly declared its intent to invest heavily in MySQL technology in its effort to up-end Microsoft’s SQL Server business.

    • Oracle wishes LibreOffice the best, but won’t directly cooperate

      Oracle has said that it will not be working directly with The Document Foundation and its LibreOffice fork of the OpenOffice.org office suite. In an email to ComputerWorld’s Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols from Oracle’s public relations office the company said that it believes that OpenOffice.org is the most advanced and feature rich implementation and encourages the OpenOffice community to contribute directly to it.

    • Oracle shows lacklustre support for LibreOffice

      Oracle has all but confirmed that it will not be joining the list of contributors for the new OpenOffice offshoot LibreOffice, established by the newly formed Document Foundation.

  • CMS

    • Acquia Hosting adds memcache support

      For those that don’t know memcache, it is a high-performance memory object caching system. Oftentimes it’s used to speed up database-driven websites by caching data and objects in RAM. This is very effective in managing the load on your database, which for most web applications including Drupal, is the biggest performance bottleneck and risk to scalability.

  • Business

  • Java

    • Is it time to fork Java?

      This year’s JavaOne was a dismal affair. Crammed into the Hilton hotel and Parc 55, the feeling was that Oracle had ruined the conference. And the dual conference idea also caused Java people problems: those that tried to attend the key note at Moscone with JavaOne passes were turned away – instead needing to go to the Hilton ballroom to see it televised.

    • Time to Fork Java? si vis pacem, para bellum
  • Project Releases

    • XenClient 1.0 Released

      On behalf of the entire XenClient product team I’m thrilled to announce general availability of XenClient 1.0 and the Synchronizer for XenClient 1.0 as part of XenDesktop 4 Feature Pack 2. XenClient has been more than a year and a half in the making with countless late nights and weekends dedicated to creating this ground breaking bare metal client hypervisor.

    • ActiveState Launches Komodo IDE 6
    • MuleSoft Releases Major Upgrade of Tcat Server, Enterprise Tomcat Made Simple

      Tcat Server is the leading enterprise Apache Tomcat application server with critical features for production deployment, allowing administrators to manage Tomcat seamlessly on-premise and in the cloud. Tcat Server addresses key gaps in “plain vanilla” Apache Tomcat, with capabilities such as performance monitoring and diagnostics, application deployment, and server and configuration management. Based 100% on the Apache Tomcat binaries, with zero changes to the core code, Tcat Server allows IT teams to migrate from legacy platforms such as Oracle WebLogic and IBM WebSphere to the lightweight and open source Tomcat.

    • Mercury Releases OpenSAL – Open Source Version of Scientific Algorithm Library

      The release of OpenSAL further underscores Mercury’s strategic commitment to industry standards, open architecture, and open systems solutions. An earlier example of this commitment is the OpenVPX™ specification effort led by Mercury to enable interoperability for VPX systems, ratified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in June 2010. Like OpenVPX, the introduction of OpenSAL is also a response to customer and Department of Defense (DoD) requirements to migrate towards open architectures and systems for portability, reducing time to theater, lowering cost, while leveraging higher technology readiness levels (TRLs). OpenSAL is an initial step towards enabling the user community to add the values of open architecture to today’s ever expanding compute engines.

    • GoAhead Announces Release of OpenSAFfire Version 6.0

      GoAhead® Software today announces that it has shipped the general release of OpenSAFfire 6.0, the company’s commercial distribution of the recently released Version 4.0 of the OpenSAF project. OpenSAF is an open source software community with projects focused on high availability middleware. This new version of OpenSAFfire builds on OpenSAF 4.0 with an impressive range of technology, services, and partner programs.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Free Culture’s Worst-Case Scenarios

      Assuming the network will never deign to correct its mistake, I think one of the most important things to do is use the internet connect the song and show back to the artist. If the song really brought that many people to the show, they are likely to start searching for it online. Something like a post on the artist’s website will show up clearly in search results, and it gives the artist an opportunity to direct new visitors to free downloads of the song, concert dates, and his other reasons to buy (perhaps tweaked to appeal to fans of the show). It’s also a good idea to have a way for people to send donations.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Open Access Journals – A Major Problem

        I am seriously considering deleting many of the open access journals or even entire groups of them that are part of the “Freely Accessible” collections within Serials Solutions.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • Atlassian acquires BitBucket

      Atlassian, the Australian-based provider of Collaboration and Software Development Tools to some of the world’s largest organisations, has announced that it has acquired BitBucket, the maker of the Mercurial Distributed Version Control System (DVCS) and its 60,000+ users.

    • Desperation or direction? Geeknet sells off Ohloh.net to Black Duck

      You have to give the company credit for not being boring. In 10 years it’s changed identities and strategies more than David Bowie. Also with fewer hits. SourceForge started as VA Linux Systems, then VA Research, VA Software, SourceForge, and now Geeknet. The company tried to sell Linux servers, then enterprise project control, and all manner of open source related Web sites — some of which it acquired from Andover.net, plus its big dollar purchase of Linux.com during the early tech boom.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Escape the tyranny of file formats

      In recent years, they have made attempts to allow for plug-ins that allow compatibility with other documents (like documents created with Unix, Mac, etc), such as a plug-in for the international standard OpenDocument format (ODF) (ISO/IEC 26300:2006).

      But there is a very simple way around all this madness. It’s called RTF (Rich Text File), and Microsoft Word and every other word processor on the planet knows how to work with, read, open, edit and create RTF files. The Rich Text Format is a proprietary file format, as I said, which was developed by Microsoft in 1987. If you have ever used WordPad, you’ve used RTF.

Leftovers

  • U.S. Acts to Quiet Blaring TV Ads. Welcome to the 1960s

    The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a bill (S. 2847) requiring that the FCC ban the decades-old practice by which broadcasters pump up the volume on ads so they are much, much louder than the programs they sponsor. It’s very attention-getting, which is the idea. It’s also extremely annoying, which isn’t.

    The CALM Act (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation) would require the FCC to enforce “internationally accepted standards of television advertisement volumes” within a year of becoming law. A version of the act had already passed in the House of Representatives, where it will return for reconciliation with the Senate bill. Supporters hope for a final vote next month. It’s hard to imagine President Obama not signing it.

  • Facebook spammer fined $1 billion

    A Montreal man who sent more than four million spam e-mails to Facebook users over a two-month period was ordered to pay the social media giant more than $1 billion in compensation.

    Adam Guerbuez did not admit to sending the spam. But he also did not contest the Sept. 28 Superior Court ruling, which upheld an earlier decision by a U.S. District Court judge in San Jose, Calif.

  • How to Slash the State

    Yet loud critics of big government—especially but not only Republican politicians—are often reduced to an awkward stammer when put on the spot by the all-important question, “So what would you cut?” Well, stammer no more.

  • How the Left Hemisphere Colonized Reality

    If we are to believe the latest conclusions of Tony Wright (speaking above in a National Geographic documentary) the left brain hemisphere has not simply dominated a more passive right; rather, over time, it has changed our neurochemistry and neural structures to support its own ascent. In his new book, Left in the Dark, Wright argues that “humanity is suffering from species-wide brain damage” and this damage is the “root cause of our obvious insanity.”

  • Science

    • Lightweight Exoskeleton Gives Paraplegics New Legs

      The implications of exoskeletons in the health field go beyond giving paraplegics robotic legs. They could also teach people to learn how to walk on their own again. Currently, rehabilitation centers use much larger, stationary and extremely expensive devices to assist with temporary walking. (Wired.com’s Tim Carmody points out that “Getting time on these devices is like getting telescope time for an astronomer.”)

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Exclusive: Blackwater Wins Piece of $10 Billion Mercenary Deal

      Never mind the dead civilians. Forget about the stolen guns. Get over the murder arrests, the fraud allegations, and the accusations of guards pumping themselves up with steroids and cocaine. Through a “joint venture,” the notorious private-security firm Blackwater has won a piece of a five-year State Department contract worth up to $10 billion, Danger Room has learned.

    • A phone application that threatens security

      It also shows the airline, flight number, departure point, destination and even the likely course-the features which could be used to target an aircraft with a surface-to-air missile, or to direct another plane on to a collision course, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

      The programme, sold for just 1.79 pounds in the online Apple store, has now been labelled an ‘aid to terrorists’ by security experts and the US Department of Homeland Security is also examining how to protect airliners.

    • Trickle Down Surveillance

      The Pennsylvania spying scandal reveals a deeper problem with homeland security.

    • Don’t punish dad for defending daughter

      The world is upside down. The act of children bullying the vulnerable has become so common that many adults no longer seem to notice or care, much less do anything to stop it. But when a video clip on YouTube shows a father defending his daughter from bullies, some people go ballistic.

      What used to be considered unacceptable is now thought to be normal, and what used to be normal is now unacceptable.

      Jones is facing two misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and disturbing a school function. He was released from jail after posting a $2,000 bond.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • What a scientist didn’t tell the New York Times about his study on bee deaths

      Few ecological disasters have been as confounding as the massive and devastating die-off of the world’s honeybees. The phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) — in which disoriented honeybees die far from their hives — has kept scientists, beekeepers, and regulators desperately seeking the cause. After all, the honeybee, nature’s ultimate utility player, pollinates a third of all the food we eat and contributes an estimated $15 billion in annual agriculture revenue to the U.S. economy.

    • Canary Wharf is a ‘petrol station’ for some of the most rare migrating birds

      In fact, bird-watching enthusiasts consider the financial district to be a haven for some of the rarest migrating birds in the UK.

      Over the last 10 years, species such as the nightingale, the red-backed shrike and the song thrush have all found their way to the bright lights of the city.

  • Finance

    • U.S. House of Representatives Proposes Ban on For-Profit Home Resale Fees

      The Coalition to Stop Wall Street Home Resale Fees applauds Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Co-Sponsors Sherman, Sires, and Gwen Moore for introducing the Homeowner Equity Protection Act of 2010 to ban private transfer fees and protect consumers from a new predatory scheme that forces homeowners to pay for the right to sell their own properties.

    • The Return of Debtor’s Prison

      Part of the problem stems from the way the debt buying industry has evolved over the last 20 years. As recently as the early 1990s, many credit card issuers made little effort to collect on their past-due accounts. If a cardholder missed a payment or two, in-house collection efforts would generally follow. But when a cardholder hadn’t made a payment in 180 days, issuers tended to “charge off” the delinquent account against earnings, settle for the tax break, and pursue collection efforts no further.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Why is This GOP House Candidate Dressed as a Nazi?

      An election year already notable for its menagerie of extreme and unusual candidates can add another one: Rich Iott, the Republican nominee for Congress from Ohio’s 9th District, and a Tea Party favorite, who for years donned a German Waffen SS uniform and participated in Nazi re-enactments.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Winemaker Charles Smith Sues Over Anonymous Blog Comments

      As Salmon notes, the entire 29 comment thread died out within a week, and most people would go on with their lives hardly knowing a thing about it or about the claims concerning Charles Smith.

      Instead, Smith decided to sue the anonymous commenters for libel, and since Gray’s blog is hosted by Google, it received the subpoena, and has agreed to hand over the names, unless Gray tries to quash the subpoena — something he does not appear to be interested in doing. Now, reading through the original comments, there might be stuff in there that’s defamatory — though, it seems like a long shot. For the most part, it’s clearly just people venting, and I would imagine that anyone reading those comments would take it as such. However, by filing the lawsuit, and calling that much more attention to the issue and the lawsuit, just in an attempt to “out” the commenters, it seems that Smith is now calling a lot more attention to what people think of him and (at the same time) making it clear that he also reacts in a legalistic way when someone doesn’t like him.

    • Can The ‘Gist’ Of A Book Be Defamatory, Even If Nothing Is Proven False?

      With the trial now underway, Main’s lawyers are pointing out that the book is “political and social criticism,” and that Royall has not proven she got any facts wrong. Royall’s response is somewhat stunning. His lawyers seem to be indicating that even if there’s nothing factually wrong, the “conclusions” drawn from those facts are defamatory. In other words, there may be nothing wrong with the book, but the analysis of those facts, as a whole, is somehow defamatory. This sounds an awful lot like “well, I don’t like what she said, and it makes me look bad — even if based on fact — and thus, it must be defamatory.”

    • Rockstar vs Daily Star: a landmark moment in games coverage?

      But of course, no such game existed. The reporter responsible for the piece (which can be viewed here) appears to have seen a crudely mocked-up cover of an imaginary game entitled Grand Theft Auto Rothbury – no doubt posted on a chat forum by some sneering teenager with a crude sense of humour and limited Photoshop skills. Without contacting Rockstar for clarification, it seems the decision was swiftly reached that this was a legitimate source.

    • Seventh Circuit Tosses Beverly Stayart’s False Endorsement Claims–Stayart v. Yahoo

      I have previously blogged about Beverly Stayart’s lawsuits against Yahoo and Google for apparently sploggy (and possibly cloaked) objectionable search results delivered when she searched on her name. Whatever sympathy I might otherwise feel for her is overridden by the lawsuits’ complete lack of merit.

      Yesterday, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of her false endorsement claims against Yahoo. My prior posts on the district court opinion and her initial complaint. The court efficiently points out that she has not made a use in commerce of her name sufficient to trigger Lanham Act protection, and therefore she lacks standing for a false endorsement claim.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • EA Victorious as Court Denies Injunction Against Publisher for ‘Edge’ Trademark

      The litigation against EA over the use of the term “Edge” has finally come to a conclusion, IndustryGamers learned in court documents we received today. Tim Langdell, founder of Edge Games, has been on a suing spree over the past several months, and it seems as though he has now failed to win against Electronic Arts.

    • Politician Tied Up In Warez Scene Piracy Investigation

      Following last month’s chaos as police around Europe moved to take apart the higher levels of the so-called Warez Scene, an interesting individual has become entangled in the investigation. In Sweden, a suspicious IP address was linked to an account operated by a “top politician.” Although he has apparently denied any involvement, yesterday a court ordered his computers to be sent for examination.

    • Copyrights

      • Bomb threat as US Copyright Group sues 2,000 more file-swappers

        After filing its high-profile infringement case against Hurt Locker file-sharers back in May, the US Copyright Group went quiet. While the lawyers moved against the 14,000 anonymous “Doe” defendants they have accused of sharing films online this year, US Copyright Group appeared to suffer a summer drought. No new cases were filed.

      • Historical Audio Recordings Disappearing; Copyright Partly To Blame

        Recently, we pointed out that various film archives were disintegrating, and noting that perverse copyright laws were partly to blame. Now, Copycense points us to the news that experts are also quite worried about audio recordings degrading and disappearing — including recent recordings, such as from 9/11 and the 2008 election.

      • Porn studios’ copyright lawyer: ‘I will sue’ (Q&A)

        Considering you are collecting some highly sensitive data and since a law firm in Britain just lost a whole mess of the same kind of information, can you tell us how you protect your records? Do you encrypt? Have you hired an expert security firm?

        Ford: We do the settlements by hand and scan the papers. All that we accept online is credit card information through a third-party processor. So the computer with the information about who downloaded what is not connected to an external source and there is no risk of the information being hacked.

      • Gene Simmons Says Sue Your Fans, Take Their Homes; So Why Hasn’t He?

        Kiss’ Gene Simmons apparently was bored of not getting enough coverage in the blogworld lately, and so he’s cooked up another “controversy.” He does this every year or so, making a big stink about “piracy” or new business models, and I’m pretty sure at this point that he only says this stuff because he knows people will write about it. In 2008 he claimed that Radiohead was destroying the music industry with its “pay what you want” experiment — even though it made the band more money than all their previous releases.

        [...]

        But here’s the reason why I think Simmons is making all this up for the attention and the press. He notes that he has a record company, and he screams about the industry not having the balls to sue people. So… um… Gene… where are your thousands of lawsuits against file sharers? After all, I would imagine that KISS songs are downloaded all the time. What’s with all the talk and no action? Where are all the lawsuits that drove kids out of their homes and cars? Oh right. They didn’t happen.

      • Commerce Seeks Comment on Protecting Copyrighted Works on the Internet

        The U.S. Commerce Department’s Internet Policy Task Force today issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking comment from all interested stakeholders on the protection of copyrighted works online and the relationship between copyright law and innovation in the Internet economy.

      • More Comics About Copyright

        We recently wrote about how James Boyle, along with two other law professors, was putting together a comic book about copyright. It looks some others are thinking along the same lines (and, nicely, using Boyle’s recent book as part of their inspiration). Someone sent over a link to the Jolly Roger comic book, which goes through the history of copyright in about 60 pages. Apparently, the original comic was in French, but this version has been translated to English.

      • Meet the US copyright lawyers planning a denial-of-service attack on the US courts

        Ars Technica’s Nate Anderson follows up on his excellent work analyzing the practices of ACS:Law, the UK law firm that uses “legal blackmail” (as the House of Lords termed it) to shake down accused copyright infringers on behalf of the porn industry; now Nate gives us a rundown of ACS:Law’s US equivalents — the handful of lawyers who are set to send legal threats to tens of thousands of accused downloaders this year, offering them a “settlement” if they simply cough up thousands of dollars rather than asking a court to rule on the evidence. So far this year, there have been more than 24,000 lawsuits filed against “John Doe” downloaders in order to get names and addresses for these shakedown letters — that’s not a business model, it’s a denial of service attack on the judicial branch.

      • The DMCA vs. Political Speech

        Transbot9 recently alerted us to the news that the NFL had complained about Senator Russ Feingold’s use of an NFL clip in his latest TV commercial:
        Apparently Feingold folded like a cheap suit and quickly re-edited the commercial to heed the NFL’s special interest. Ironically, the whole commercial is about Feingold’s willingness to stand up to corporate special interests. Yeah. Nice one.

      • Dear Righthaven…

        Now, I’m sure Righthaven CEO Steven Gibson’s super-secret, proprietary method of finding offenders (translation: Google searches) have carried this process this far, but I’m highly doubting that it’ll pick up on reuses of copyrighted artwork. So I’m here to help.

      • CBC decision highlights Creative Commons drawbacks

        One big story that broke yesterday was that the CBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, has come out with a new policy prohibiting the use of Creative Commons-licensed music in any of its podcasts. Predictably, the conspiracy theorists came out in force, especially where the story was reported on BoingBoing and Slashdot.

      • ACTA

        • MPAA loves ACTA, but European Parliament “alarmed” by it

          The motion picture business likes (PDF) the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). After a few tough years of record-setting box office receipts, the industry welcomes new legal enforcement tools that will “protect the jobs of the millions of men and women working in film and other creative industries.”

          But the European Parliament isn’t convinced yet. After all, there’s not even a text to view. And despite official statements expressing peace, love, and harmony, it’s clear that ACTA hasn’t actually been finalized and that some real issues still remain.

        • Surprise, Surprise: MPAA In Favor Of Current ACTA Text Before Anyone’s Supposed To Have Seen It

          That said, Jamie Love points out that the MPAA has already released a statement endorsing the outcome of the latest round of negotiations (pdf). Now this raises a bunch of important questions. Considering that the document is still secret, either the USTR has already provided the MPAA with a copy of the document before letting everyone else know — or the MPAA is simply assuming what ACTA says. Neither possibility says much good about either the USTR or the MPAA, but neither is all that surprising either.

        • ACTA Negotiators Still Claiming Secrecy Is Needed; Turn Off WiFi At Briefing

          EU’s ACTA negotiators apparently held a briefing about the latest draft, and apparently they ordered the WiFi in the room turned off, to stop real time reports from “leaking” to sites like le quadrature and Wikileaks. Apparently, EU negotiators are unfamiliar with mobile data and sites like Twitter, where reports of the meeting were posted in real time by folks like David Hammerstein.

        • ACTA is worthless without Chinese involvement

          COPYRIGHT HARPIES are alarmed that a lack of Chinese involvement will hamper the effectiveness of ACTA, the international Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

          We suspect that the protection of western media producers’ intellectual property rights and economic survival is pretty off-topic in Chinese government meetings, and it seems equally unlikely that China’s population will opt to pay ‘a lot’ for a piece of media when before they had paid ‘not much’, so this comes as no surprise to us.

Clip of the Day

Linux Native Game: Bridge Building Game


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 9/10/2010: More Android Tablets, Drupal in Tablet World, Joomla! 1.5.21 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 6:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • As Goes Chrome OS, So Goes Google’s Chrome Browser

      If you happen to think, as I do, that Google Chrome is emerging as the very best browser available, it’s worth noting a point that we’ve made many times on OStatic: Chrome’s evolution will have everything to do with the ongoing development of Google’s upcoming Chrome OS. Chrome OS, Google’s first operating system aimed squarely at computing desktops, is an ambitious project for Google, and, from the outset, it’s been clear that because the Chrome browser interface–and much of its plumbing–form the UI and guts of Chrome OS, the fate of the operating system and its sibling browser are inextricably tied.

  • Server

    • OpenStack: An Open Source Cloud for VARs and MSPs?

      Within the next few weeks, Rackspace is expected to announce key milestones for OpenStack, the open source cloud computing standard. But how will VARs and managed services providers potentially benefit from OpenStack? The VAR Guy went straight to the source, interviewing Jim Curry, chief stacker for Rackspace’s OpenStack effort. Here’s the conversation, recorded at the Rackspace Partner Leadership Summit in San Antonio, Texas, earlier today.

    • NAS device speeds up, adds storage and sync options

      Data Robotics announced a new member of its Linux-based Drobo network-attached-storage (NAS) storage family that adds a Drobo Sync application for offsite backup. Compared to the earlier Drobo FS, the DroboPro FS boosts capacity to eight bays (16TB), adds a second gigabit Ethernet port, and increases performance by 15 to 20 percent, the company claims.

      The DroboPro FS is a larger, turbocharged version of the Drobo FS announced in April. As a result of its greater speed, capacity, and replication capabilities, the DroboPro FS is aimed at the small business market instead of the Drobo FS’ broader SOHO (small-office, home-office) focus.

    • SingleOS To Host Cloud Hosting Lab During cPanel Conference 2010
  • Ballnux

    • Samsung Galaxy Tab vs Apple iPad

      The Samsung Galaxy Tab is the poster child of the Android Tablet movement. This being the case we’ve put its specifications and features head to head against the current king of the hill – the Apple iPad. As you can see it raises the bar in several key areas including processing power, pixel density, system memory and storage among others…

    • T-Mobile MyTouch Android phone upgraded for 4G, HD video

      T-Mobile announced an upgraded version of its HTC-manufactured MyTouch that is said to support the carrier’s 4G-like HSPA+ network. The MyTouch is equipped with Qualcomm’s new 1GHz, 4G-ready Snapdragon MSM8255 processor, and offers a 3.8-inch, WVGA screen as well as a five-megapixel camera with HD video recording, says T-Mobile.

    • Sprint readies three Android phones with new custom skin service

      Sprint annouced Android phones from Samsung, Sanyo, and LG, all offering a new “Sprint ID” service for downloading UI skins. Sprint is readying a $150 Samsung Transform 3.7-inch QWERTY slider with front- and back-facing cameras, plus the previously announced 3.5-inch Sanyo Zio ($100) and 3.2-inch LG Optimus S ($50) — the latter also coming from T-Mobile as the Optimus T.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE and GNOME Desktop Summit 2011 from 6 to 12 August
    • Best places to get Ubuntu (Linux) wallpapers

      So you’ve managed to download and install Ubuntu, and now the customization features are calling. Don’t be alarmed, Ubuntu has always been nearly fully customizable due to having open source coding. However, there are plenty of options for the average user to utilize when giving the PC its own personal feel.

      The typical user will most likely only customize wallpapers, fonts, and the icons on the desktop. With wallpapers being the easiest of Ubuntu customization options, finding the websites to obtain them from is the tough part. There are thousands of websites on the Internet dedicated to downloading wallpapers for Ubuntu, a version of Linux.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KPresenter Template Contest Winners announced

        The KPresenter Template Contest was over on September 15. We are really happy with the number and the quality of the entries, and the fact that they came from all over the world. KPresenter 2.3 will be the first version of KPresenter 2 to ship with some cool templates to base your presentations on. Thanks to these templates it’s easier than ever to wow your audience, your customers and your colleagues.

      • Jesús Torres Talks About Bardinux, Spain’s Biggest Deployment of KDE Software

        Michael: The KDE community is very large and vibrant, would it help Bardinux to have an affiliation with KDE, such as a logo? We now have a series of labels you could use…

        Jesús: Yes, I think it could help Bardinux. KDE is a very important project which has a large community, so affiliation would be very interesting. I also think it would be very useful for students of the Free Software Bureau to have more contact with the KDE community. In any case, I did not know about those labels but will include some in the version of Bardinux that will be released soon.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • IPCop 1.9.16
      • Chakra 0.2.3
      • Clonezilla 1.2.6-28
      • Clonezilla 1.2.6-28
      • Toorox – Linux Live System – 09.2010 “GNOME”
      • http://www.slx.no/
      • 2010-10-02: CRUX 2.7 released

        We have released CRUX 2.7! Please check out the ChangeLog, the Release Notes and the Handbook, and download CRUX 2.7 right here.

      • NST 2.13.0
      • ArchBang Linux 2010.10 READY!!!

        ArchBang Linux 2010.10 is out in the wild! Grab it while its hot from the download section. Reported issues have been addressed. It comes with vesa video driver. To install your video driver, remove vesa by running as root “pacman -R xf86-video-vesa” & then run “pacman -S yourvideodriverpackage“. If you have a recent nvidia card (greater than GF FX), run “pacman -S nvidia” and run “nvidia-xconfig” and you’re done. For other video cards, simply run “Xorg -configure” after you have installed your video driver and “cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf”. Last step, edit /boot/grub/grub.cfg and remove xorg=vesa & nomodeset! Don’t forget that you can always build Arch Linux w/ OpenBox from scratch if you want by following my guide. Enjoy & report any bugs you could find on this thread!

      • Calculate Linux Desktop 10.9 released

        After five months of development released the new version of the distributive Calculate Linux Desktop 10.9. There are three ISO images for download with desktops KDE (CLD), GNOME (CLDG) and XFCE (CLDX).

      • OpenXange 2010.10 Live DVD

        the Xange team are proud to anounce the release of Open Xange 2010.10:

        * Open Xange Live DVD > Minimal release for production and enterprise environments.
        * OpenOffice 3.2
        * Firefox 3.6
        * Java and Adobe
        * KDE 4.4.3-1

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Maverick Meerkat’s Personal Cloud for Ubuntu, Mac, and Windows

          The Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Linux distribution is set to debut on Sunday (fittingly: 10/10/10), and with it will come a renewed vision for the idea of the personal cloud.

          In contrast to the public cloud, where applications are served, the personal cloud is all about user data, content and synchronization. With Ubuntu 10.10, the Maverick Linux distribution will also take aim at improving the way users view their desktops and acquire new software.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition Offers Revamped User Interface

          Canonical announced today, October 7th, the upcoming availability of the new Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) operating system for download on Sunday, October 10th.

          The Ubuntu 10.10 release introduces various offline and online applications for the Desktop Edition, and a brand-new user interface for the Netbook Edition, called Unity. The Server Edition of Ubuntu 10.10, as well as the Enterprise Cloud EC2, also introduces new features.

        • Ubuntu Server 10.10 rides distributed file systems

          Canonical’s work on the “Maverick Meerkat” Ubuntu 10.10 development effort has been mostly about polishing the desktop, but the commercial Linux distributor has not forgotten about the server business that increasingly pays the bills.

          And for those bleeding-edge shops who want the latest, greatest Ubuntu features, it could turn out that the Meerkat is a better fit for servers and their workloads than the Ubuntu 10.04 Server Edition Long Term Support variant that came out in April — especially if they are building private clouds using the built-in Eucalyptus framework that’s embedded with Ubuntu Server, deploying on Amazon’s EC2 cloud, or both.

        • Canonical prepares for a Sunday Ubuntu

          Canonical has pre-announced the release of the desktop, netbook and server versions of Linux distribution Ubuntu 10.10 for Sunday 10th of October (10/10/10). Of particular note are the enhancements to the server edition of 10.10 which focus on cloud deployment.

        • Ubuntu Extends Cloud Service to Smartphones
        • Ubuntu 10.10 Server Edition Makes Cloud Deployment Easier

          “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.”

          Already one of the most popular operating systems on Amazon EC2, Ubuntu 10.10 Server Edition gets kernel upgrades, more configuration options at boot time, and the ability to run the AMI (Amazon Machine Image) off-line on a KVM-virtualised machine. The latter feature means users can test and develop on local servers before pushing to the public cloud – true hybrid cloud computing.

        • Latest Ubuntu, Perfect For Home Users

          Unity is a new interface for Ubuntu that is making its debut in Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition. It is designed for highly mobile computing, making the most of precious screen space on mobile devices. The Unity interface also supports touch and gestures for the increasing number of devices that will support it, with larger icons and a more touch-intuitive interface.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 almost ready for you

          Canonical announced the availability of the only release candidate and the last developmental release before the Meerkat goes gold. Ubuntu 10.10 is due for release on October 10. Design has been the watchword around Canonical this cycle, resulting in lots of cosmetic changes. Will they be celebrated or spurned?

        • Ubuntu 10.10 to debut on 10.10.10

          The chief improvement of the Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition is the new “Unity” user interface, which is optimized for smaller netbook screens and mobile computing.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Server Edition: free cloud power for an hour

          Canonical, the company that provides engineering services to the open source Ubuntu operating system community is whetting our mid-week appetites this morning by letting us know about the upcoming availability of Ubuntu 10.10 Server Edition, which will be free to download this coming Sunday.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Peppermint OS Ice- A lightweight, user-friendly distribution with built-in cloud technologies

            The latest release is Peppermint-Ice-10012010, it is the first respin of Peppermint “Ice” release. This new release “offers a fully updated system as of October 1st, 2010 and comes with a number of bug fixes, some new features, and some other miscellaneous goodies. The default Linux kernel has been updated to version 2.6.35. In an effort to continually try to offer the best possible hardware support, we felt this was a good move for the Ice release. A number of lower-level updates, such as Grep 2.7.0, Samba 3.5.5, File 5.04, FreeType 2.4.2 and others have been implemented in order to offer a more up-to-date system while remaining on the Ubuntu LTS code base.” Read the complete release announcement for further information.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • 4G Linux networking platform features real-time support

      Wind River announced a collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent to develop a common Linux development platform for the latter’s wireless network base stations, optimized for the Freescale QorIQ P4080 multicore processor. The platform is based on Wind River Linux and the recent Linux 2.6.34, plus the latest version of the PREEMPT RT real-time Linux technology, says the company.

    • Logitech launches Google TV-powered STB

      Logitech announced an Android- and Atom-powered STB (set-top box) that employs Google TV software. The Revue includes HDMI I/O and 802.11a/b/g/n wireless networking, may be controlled via smartphone apps or a choice of keyboards, and, with an optional camera, provides 720p videoconferencing, the company says.

    • QNAP to Launch VioStor Pro Series NVR with High-definition Local Display

      World’s first Linux-based NVR for PC-less network surveillance

    • Android hijacks in-flight entertainment

      Thales announced the Touch Passenger Media Unit (TouchPMU), an Android-based in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) handheld with an ARM Cortex processor and a 3.8-inch touchscreen. Meanwhile, rival Panasonic is planning its own Android-based seat-back IFEC system, says reports.

    • Linux-based flying robots use swarm AI for rescue ops

      Swiss university EPFL has demonstrated a swarm of Linux-based semi-autonomous “Flying Robots” designed for rescue communications. Each winged drone in the “SMAVNET” project is equipped with a Toradex Colibri PXA270 module, plus Wi-Fi, ZigBee, and GPS wireless communications, used to log location and trajectory and communicate with both ground communications and other craft.

    • Cortex-A8 modules get five megapixel cameras

      The e-CAM50 OMAP Gstix is said to include Linux camera drivers, with full source code. The drivers include support for the V4L2 (Video for Linux 2) buffer management interface, as well as close integration with TI’s IVA 2.2 (Image, Video and Audio Subsystem) accelerator subsystem on the OMAP35x SoCs.

    • GPS-equipped ARM processor hits the road
    • 4G Linux networking platform features real-time support

      Wind River announced a collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent to develop a common Linux development platform for the latter’s wireless network base stations, optimized for the Freescale QorIQ P4080 multicore processor. The platform is based on Wind River Linux and the recent Linux 2.6.34, plus the latest version of the PREEMPT RT real-time Linux technology, says the company.

    • Phones

      • Why The OS No Longer Matters

        Regard Palm. The sine qua non of handset makers saw that their PalmOS couldn’t be fixed, so they pressed the restart button and created WebOS, a Linux derivative.

        Android? It’s based on a Linux kernel. Nokia’s MeeGo? Ditto.

        The list goes on. We have the spiritual children of Unix living inside the Cloud, powering the millions of Linux servers running at Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.

      • Android

        • Verizon’s new Mot Android line-up includes biz-ready Droid Pro

          Motorola announced two Android phones for Verizon Wireless: the business-oriented, QWERTY-enabled Droid Pro, featuring Android 2.2 running on a 1GHz processor, plus a more modest three-inch “Citrus” phone. Meanwhile, Motorola announced a three-inch QWERTY slider with Android 2.1 called the Spice, and says that plans are going forward to split the company in 1Q 2011.

        • Sun (Now Oracle) VirtualBox: An Observation

          I accept that. And to ensure that I can fill out my time sheet, and track all those changes in MS Word documents, I run Windows in a virtual machine. (As an aside, I also use Open Office, have done so for years, but OO is not 100% compatible with MS Word. It’s also not always too swift with track changes, and I cannot count the hours I have wasted trying to make an OO Presentation look like anything other than the dog’s dinner when viewed in MS Power Point.)

        • Google reports >30% of Android devices now running 2.2

          Google has published an updated breakdown of the number of active devices running a given version of its Android mobile operating system. According to the Platform Versions device dashboard on the Android Developer portal, more than one third of all Android devices in circulation are now running version 2.2 of the OS – an increase of nearly 30% over early August of this year.

        • Android sign of a more businesslike Google

          Google’s Android might be the most successful thing the company has ever done that fails to completely live up to one of its original principles.

          Lots of companies have mission statements, core values, or publicly stated ideals that are supposed to put a pretty bow around the fact that they’re mostly in it for the money. Google, of course, made quite the splash in 2004 with its famous declaration that you can make money without being evil.

        • Android Top Smartphone OS in the U.S.

          Google’s fast-growing Android operating system picked up significant bragging rights this week. According to the latest research from Nielsen, Android was the most popular operating system among U.S. consumers who bought smartphones in the past six months.

          Apple’s iOS and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS came in tied for second in a statistical dead heat at 25 percent and 26 percent, respectively, about the same as the previous month.

        • Nielsen: Android is Most Popular Among Recent Smart Phone Buyers

          According to their data, roughly one in three (32 percent) smart phones sold over the last six months were powered by Android.

        • Android surges in traffic, developer confidence

          Android ad requests increased 39 percent month-over-month in August and 996 percent during 2010, says Millennial Media.

        • HTC’s Online Management and Remote Wipe Site Goes Live for Latest Androids
        • Motorola Droid 2 Global Boasts 1.2GHz Processor

          Motorola today published details about the Droid 2 Global handset, intended for Verizon Wireless. According to the specs posted on Motorola’s web site, the Droid 2 has a 1.2GHz processor and can access both Verizon’s 3G network and WCDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA networks of carriers in Europe.

        • Wind River updates dev tools for Froyo

          Wind River announced the release of a version of its Wind River Platform for Android that supports Android 2.2 (“Froyo”) and Adobe Flash Player 10.1. The company also announced a design win with train manufacturer Bombardier for a computer system that will run on London Underground trains.

        • Virgin Mobile sells Android slider without contract

          Virgin Mobile USA has started selling the Samsung Intercept Android slider at Target stores nationwide for $250 without a contract, available with a prepaid plan. The Samsung Intercept is equipped with a 3.2-inch touchscreen display, a 3.2-megapixel camera, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and an optical joystick, says the company.

    • Sub-notebooks

    • Tablets

      • Tablet boots Windows 7 or Android

        The Australian firm Tegatech announced a tablet PC that can boot into either Android 1.6 or Windows 7. Offered with available 3G cellular or WiMAX, the “Tega v2″ includes a 1.6GHz Atom N455 processor with 1GB or 2GB of DDR3 memory, a 32GB SSD (solid state disk), and a 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, the company says.

      • Galapagos tablets to launch with multimedia e-reader service

        Sharp announced two color e-reader tablets set to ship in December, along with an electronic bookstore that will offer 30,000 books and periodicals with automated scheduled delivery services. The “Galapagos” is available in 10.8-inch and 5.5-inch versions, offers 802/11b/g Wi-Fi connections, and according to one report, runs Android.

      • Seven-inch Android tablet starts at $130

        MP4nation has opened preorders for a seven-inch, Android 1.5 “Rocktab” tablet from Nationite that costs approximately $130, featuring a 600MHz Rockchip RK2808 and GB of memory. Meanwhile, the retailer is also preparing to ship another batch of the 800MHz “Nationite MIDnite” seven-inch tablet, selling for $209 with Android 2.2 and an ARM Cortex-A8 CPU.

      • Two low-cost Android tablets take on U.K. market

        Irish consumer electronics manufacture Disgo has begun selling a seven-inch, 1GHz Android 2.1 tablet, called the Disgo Tablet 6000, for 180 U.K. Pounds ($285). The release follows the announcement from British fashion retailer Next that it has begun selling a 10-inch, 1GHz ARM11-based “Next 10″ Tablet” running Android 2.1 for the same price — but an early review dubs it “dreadful.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache Maven 3.0 is open to domain-specific languages

    In a post on the Sonatype Blog, Maven’s chief developer Jason van Zyl has made version 3.0 of the popular Java build tool sponsored by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) available to download. The developers have completely reworked the central build infrastructure. While migrating Maven development projects from version 1.x to version 2.x was a very laborious process, the new release aims at being decidedly more compatible than its predecessor. Where necessary, the contributing developers made use of compatibility layers.

  • ‘open source ICT Centre’ launched

    The Kofi Annan ICT Centre in collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission has launched an open source ICT centre for West African countries.

    The Centre is to help shift attention from the mere consumption of technology, to sharing ideas and expertise on the internet.

  • Mercury Releases OpenSAL – Open Source Version of Scientific Algorithm Library
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox for Android beta ships with focus on performance

        Mozilla announced a beta release of the Firefox 4 for Mobile (“Fennec”) web browser, initially supporting Android and Maemo Linux (Nokia N900). The Firefox 4 Beta for Mobile aims to increase performance, adding a new “Layers” technology claimed to streamline scrolling, zooming and animations, but an early review says it still needs to get faster.

      • Firefox for Android beta ships with focus on performance

        Mozilla announced a beta release of the Firefox 4 for Mobile (“Fennec”) web browser, initially supporting Android and Maemo Linux (Nokia N900). The Firefox 4 Beta for Mobile aims to increase performance, adding a new “Layers” technology claimed to streamline scrolling, zooming and animations, but an early review says it still needs to get faster.

  • SaaS

    • Basecamp alternatives

      Applicom: please, release Apollo under the GPL

      My love for Apollo is cursed: Apollo is not free software. The arguments are the same as with any Software As A Service:

      * If Applicom stops developing Apollo, I will no longer be able to use it
      * If Applicom’s servers stop, I will be locked out of my data
      * Nobody can look at the code, and improve it

      This is the same problem I have with Google Documents, and any proprietary Software as a Service. Yet, I’m addicted to Gmail and Google documents as well!

    • The New Type of Programmer: DevOp

      The Hadoop hoopla is generating increasing numbers of announcements from more and more vendors. From startups to large established players, new products and partnerships are emerging which confirm the emergence of a vibrant Big Data ecosystem evolving around Apache Hadoop.

  • Databases

    • Send in the (MySQL) clones

      Amazon is making it easier, and cheaper, to roll out copies of MySQL for very large websites across its cloud.

      On Tuesday, the company announced an update to its Amazon Relational Database Service that will let users create and delete multiple Read Replicas of MySQL instances in minutes, via a point-and-click interface.

  • LibreOffice

    • More freedom for OpenOffice

      Open source community splits off new version of office suite to ensure future

      Most users have heard of OpenOffice.org, the open source alternative to Microsoft Office. Now there is another name to add to the list: LibreOffice.

      LibreOffice is a version of OpenOffice.org (OOo) that has been “forked” from the original code. The new LibreOffice version will now develop at its own pace and in its own direction under the guidance of the newly formed Document Foundation.

    • Install and Switch to LibreOffice in Ubuntu

      OpenOffice.org’s main development community has split off and founded LibreOffice, freeing the alternative office suite from Oracle supervision. If you’d like to make the switch on your own Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or Debian system, it’s not too hard.

    • Michael Meeks talks about LibreOffice and the Document Foundation
  • CMS

    • Joomla! 1.5.21 Released

      The Joomla Project announces the immediate availability of Joomla 1.5.21 [senu takaa ama wepulai]. This is a security release, and we recommend users upgrade immediately.

    • Drupal in a tablet world

      A few years ago, computer tablets similar to Apple’s iPad were props in science fiction films. Only a couple of years from now, tablets might be among the most popular consumer electronics ever.

      It took less than three months to sell the first 3 million iPads. This has made the iPad the consumer electronics device with the fastest adoption rate of all time. Compare that with the 1 million iPhones sold in the first three months of its release, and the 350,000 DVD players sold in the first year of their mass production.

  • Films

    • Sintel Introduces the Next Generation in Animated Films

      When I think of (a) Blender, I think of a device for making slushy adult beverages, not an Open Source tool for rendering images, despite coverage in Linux Journal by Ben Crowder, Robin Rowe, Dan Sawyer and Dave Phillips to name a few. In fact, I am surprised I do not know a lot more about Blender. But if you, like me, feel like you have been living under a rock, let me introduce you to Sintel, the third Open Movie by producer Ton Roosendaal.

    • Applying the open source software model to the world of filmmaking

      Michelle offered one final goal for open source filmmaking: To drive creation of a new type of storytelling. One where audiences can participate and interact, creating new hybrid forms of art. One potentially fruitful genre for this, as pointed out by the moderator, Elenore, is documentaries. They are especially opportune for being open because they generally involve a point of view. With an open source documentary, you can see all of the raw footage that went into it. You can use it to tell your own story, maybe even one that doesn’t agree with the original.

  • Healthcare

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Alfresco Community 3.4 arrives

      Alfresco has issued version 3.4 of its open source enterprise content management system (CMS). The latest release is aimed at making it easier for users to collaborate and and share their content as quickly and easily as possible. Discussing the release, Alfresco Software CTO John Newton said that, “The demand for collaboration and social sharing around enterprise content is rising – and content that was once meant just for the intranet is now being re-purposed for the public web, external portals or even to destination sites across the web”.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • MINIX 3 3.1.8
    • FreeDiams v0.5.0 beta available

      FreeDiams prescriber and drug-drug interaction checker is the result of FreeMedForms prescriber plugins built into a standalone application. FreeDiams is a free and open source application, GPLv3.

  • Government

    • MEPs go 2.0

      It is great to see the European Parliament getting into digital spirit with a MEP 2.0 workshop this week. The trend is for more and more public officials to go 2.0, so it is good see this in the EU institutions. Even better that Jerry Buzek is supporting it – thanks Damien!

    • Racing To An Innovation Union

      For example, the Digital Agenda is all about new ways of working. Partnerships such as European Innovation partnerships (EIPs) help to get innovations into the hands of ordinary people and businesses as quickly as possible. They do this by concentrating our resources: bringing together innovators from both the public and private sectors, entrepreneurs, procurers and other interested parties. The partnerships are aimed at our grand challenges such as aspects of climate change, energy and food security, or supporting an ageing population.

    • UK Government goes open source

      The Government has made an important move towards opening its data for public use with the launch of the Open Government Licence, its answer to Creative Commons.

      Currently running in a beta phase, the Open Government Licence – part of the UK Government Licensing Framework – aims to make public sector data, which would ordinarily be covered under Crown Copyright and Crown Database Right, available for all to remix and reuse.

      The idea behind the Open Government Licence is to give the government a legal licence which it can publish its data and software under while retaining the copyright and database rights under Crown Copyright rules. Described as being “interoperable with the latest versions of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, and the Open Data Commons Attribution Licence,” the OGL offers those who want to use and derive UK public sector information a free licence to do so.

    • Euro 2012 qualification day #5 and the sick man of Europe

      FSFE president Karsten Gerloff recently wrote a blog post about the situation in the UK. He writes “Britain is the sick man of Europe in terms of Free Software adoption.” The results below agree with this. I think there are more – too many – sick men in Europe who suffer from the same disease. That’s why Wales is able to get a draw against Bulgaria.

  • Programming

    • Google Summer of Code report: WorldForge

      For the third time in a row, Worldforge participated in Google Summer of Code, with three students completing the program this year. Worldforge is the original open-source Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) project, so it’s great at getting students who are interested in games into open source.

      This post showcases some of the work done by one of our students, Tiberiu Paunescu, to implement a series of improvements to the Ember UI. These improvements were all end-user focused and meant to provide a better and more streamlined user experience.

    • Of Forges and the Enterprise: Should Your Business Use External Project Hosting?

      Thinking about starting a new open source project? Great! Thinking about hosting it yourself? Hold on there, sparky. Whether it’s an individual project, or something your company is behind, I’ve got at least four good reasons you should start the project on an established hosting site instead.

      Free and open source software is all about not re-inventing the wheel. Yet one of the first things many companies and projects want to do is re-invent the wheel when it comes to project hosting. Overcoming that is a good step towards success, for many reasons. Here’s the top four.

    • Komodo 6 Brings HTML 5, CSS 3 to the IDE

      Building HTML 5 and CSS 3 capabilities into modern Web applications is about to get easier for developers, thanks to the release of ActiveState’s Komodo 6 IDE .

      Komodo 6 also includes support for the latest iterations of development languages, including Python 3, Perl 5.12 and Tcl 8.6. Improvements to remote server connections, database connectivity and project flow also make their debut in Komodo 6.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Are There Too Many Consortia?

      Companies that participate in hundreds of standard setting organizations (SSOs) often bemoan the continuing launch of more and more such organizations. Why, they are wont to ask, are so many new ones being formed all the time? And indeed, the aggregate participation costs for such companies in terms of membership dues and personnel are very high.

    • HTML5: The jewel in the Open Web Platform

      The power of this platform is that it is so comprehensive. The challenge presented by HTML5, which I mentioned a month ago, is the need to test, refine and mature certain aspects of the specification in order to support the early adopters, the innovators and the engineers who are embracing this technology today.

Leftovers

  • The New Type of Programmer: DevOp
  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Paid-to-snoop service launches

      As previously discussed on this blog, the new paid-to-snoop service which will allow members of he public to monitor CCTV cameras from their own home and alert business owners to shoplifting and anti-social behaviour has now been launched. Upon alerting business owners to a crime taking place, a text message will be sent to the business owner alerting the of the alleged crime.


    • Iris Scanning Set To Secure City in Mexico, Then the World

      The million-plus citizens of Leon, Mexico are set to become the first example of a city secured through the power of biometric identification. Iris and face scanning technologies from Global Rainmakers, Inc. will allow people to use their eyes to prove their identify, withdraw money from an ATM, get help at a hospital, and even ride the bus. GRI’s eye scanning systems aren’t more secure than others on the market, but they are faster. Large archway detectors using infrared imaging can pick out 50 people per minute, even as they hustle by at speeds up to 1.5 meters per second (3.3 mph). The first phase of the Leon iris and face scanning project has already begun. It is estimated to cost around $5 million and focuses on law enforcement agencies’ security check points.

    • CSA know how much is left on my credit card

      A POOLE father has told of his shock at discovering that the Child Support Agency could see how much money he had available on his credit card.

      Stephen Bailey, 49, pays child support for his son direct from his Sunseeker salary.

      But, after a recent reassessment, he was told by the agency that he owed arrears of almost £300 and needed to pay straight away – or see his monthly payments increase.

    • 4D face scans for students

      The technology is so advanced that it can distinguish between identical twins.

      The scanner works by measuring distinguishing features such as the distance between eyes and the length of the nose.

      About 200 sixth formers are having their faces scanned when they ‘clock in and out’ at Sir Christopher Hatton School, in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, along with pupils in schools in Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

    • MoD labels Facebook Places a ‘targeting pack’ for terrorists

      Security chiefs have cautioned army, navy and RAF personnel to disable Facebook Places, over fears it could be used by terrorists to identify and track targets.

      The new service could act as a “one stop shop targeting pack”, particularly in Northern Ireland, they warn.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Bank Of America Stops Foreclosures In All 50 States

      Last week the bank, the country’s biggest by assets, announced it was halting foreclosures in the 23 states where foreclosures are processed in court, saying it needed to review foreclosure documents for potential errors. Now, the bank has extended that moratorium to all 50 states as it has decided to stop sales of foreclosed properties, blocking a major step in the foreclosure process.

    • Is Geithner Planning a Stealth Attack on the Wall Street Reform Bill?

      Rumors are rampant in Washington, D.C. that Tim Geithner’s first act as the new head of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), the high-level body created to bring stability to the financial system, will be to blow a hole in the Dodd-Frank law. Evidently, Geithner is interested in exempting the $24 trillion – that is trillion with a “t” – foreign exchange (or forex) market from the clearing and transparency requirements of the act.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • New Film Shows How Corporate America is Faking a Grassroots Revolution

      The documentary film “(astro)Turf Wars: How Corporate America is Faking a Grassroots Revolution,” explains the bizarre situation we face as America drowns in fake, corporate-funded “grassroots” movements. The 2009 “Tea Party Movement”, for example, came out of nowhere, and through a string of well-funded activities, became a huge roadblock to reforming health care, financial services and more. Leaders portray the tea party “movement” as made up of hard-working, mom-and-pop patriots who love their country, but well-heeled players representing some of the biggest and most lucrative businesses in the country are really funding and organizing it.

    • Filmmaker Goes Undercover to Expose Corporate Links to the Tea Party (VIDEO)

      While AFP have been getting a lot of press lately for their ties to billionaire oil man David Koch, (Astro) Turf Wars take this to a whole new level. Of particular note are the revelations that in a previous incarnation both AFP and FreedomWorks were paid by tobacco companies to kill the Clinton healthcare reforms in 1994, mobilizing their grassroots army to fight a ‘government takeover’ and ‘socialized medicine’.

    • Exclusive: Foreign-Funded ‘U.S.’ Chamber Of Commerce Running Partisan Attack Ads

      The largest attack campaign against Democrats this fall is being waged by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a trade association organized as a 501(c)(6) that can raise and spend unlimited funds without ever disclosing any of its donors. The Chamber has promised to spend an unprecedented $75 million to defeat candidates like Jack Conway, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Jerry Brown, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), and Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA). As of Sept. 15th, the Chamber had aired more than 8,000 ads on behalf of GOP Senate candidates alone, according to a study from the Wesleyan Media Project. The Chamber’s spending has dwarfed every other issue group and most political party candidate committee spending. A ThinkProgress investigation has found that the Chamber funds its political attack campaign out of its general account, which solicits foreign funding. And while the Chamber will likely assert it has internal controls, foreign money is fungible, permitting the Chamber to run its unprecedented attack campaign. According to legal experts consulted by ThinkProgress, the Chamber is likely skirting longstanding campaign finance law that bans the involvement of foreign corporations in American elections.

    • Foreign-Funded “U.S.” Chamber Spends Big to Influence U.S. Elections

      By September 18, the Chamber had already aired over 8,000 ads on behalf of Republican candidates.

    • Kudlow to Corporate-Backed Groups: Disclose Your Funding

      Yesterday, Think Progress dropped a campaign finance bombshell when it reported that the US Chamber of Commerce, which is spending tens of millions of dollars this year to run ads supporting GOP candidates in federal elections, is collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars from foreign owned businesses, including companies owned by foreign governments.

      Reliable clean elections proponents, like Minnesota senator Al Franken, spoke out immediately for the FEC to investigate the Chamber’s finances. But the voices in support of campaign finance disclosure haven’t been coming only from the left.

    • Larry Kudlow Calls for Campaign Ad Funding Disclosure

      The Act would prevent foreign influence in elections, enhance financial disclosures for advertising, and make CEOs and other leaders take responsibility for financing political ads.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • FBI Drive for Encryption Backdoors Is Déjà Vu for Security Experts

      Back in the 1990s, in what’s remembered as the crypto wars, the FBI and NSA argued that national security would be endangered if they did not have a way to spy on encrypted e-mails, IMs and phone calls. After a long protracted battle, the security community prevailed after mustering detailed technical studies and research that concluded that national security was actually strengthened by wide use of encryption to secure computers and sensitive business and government communications.

    • Faking the Pledge

      The Republicans think expenditures related to “security” deserve the same exalted status, presumably because a government that is bumbling, wasteful, and ineffective in every other endeavor could not possibly display those characteristics when protecting Americans from terrorists. Yet defense is, among other things, a fiscal issue, consuming a fifth of the budget. The Republicans’ grandiose goal of “bringing certainty to an uncertain world” is inconsistent with their goal of “a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government.”

    • Illinois Mayor: Bloggers are Terrorists, Creating History’s Greatest First Amendment Crisis

      Joseph Werner, mayor of Mokena, Illinois, who compared bloggers attacking local officials to terrorists who fly planes into buildings, killing innocent people, and he believes blogs have given rise to the greatest First Amendment crisis in this country’s history.

    • Study Shows That Web Blocking Ignores Real Problems, Doesn’t Solve Anything & Is Used As A Political Tool

      We’ve been hearing a lot about politicians trying to restrict access rather than actually dealing with the root causes of problems a lot lately. From the horrible COICA censorship bill, to various state attorneys general pressuring websites to block forums, rather than having those AGs actually do their job and go after those responsible, it seems that politicians keep looking to put up a wall, rather than deal with real issues.

    • Miliband & Balls must apologise for trampling on civil liberties – Brake

      “Ed Balls, just like Ed Miliband, voted for all Labour’s attempts to steal our hard won civil liberties, not least ID cards and 90-day detention without charge.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Regions The Key To Broadband For All

      I’m 100% committed to 100% broadband coverage – now we need to get all the available funds used (there’s no point in not using the funds!) and get all implementation costs and barriers down. See my interview with the Committee of the Regions here.

    • Well done BT, now ISPs have to ensure that methods of collecting evidence are tested

      Congratulations to BT and Sky for opposing Norwich Pharmacal Orders following the ACS:Leaks.

      It’s good news that they have learned from the massive data protection breach from ACS:Law and opposed further orders by Gallant Macmillan, as we and others advised.

    • GOP leader puts kibosh on Net neutrality bill

      Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the senior Republican on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, said he would not support a Net neutrality proposal put forth earlier this week by Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • ‘The Social Network’ and the case against intellectual property rights

      In their film about the history of Facebook, David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin found a way to make computer programming a little sexier: play up the rivalries, the parties, the relentless pursuit of fame and fortune, and add Justin Timberlake to the cast. But “The Social Network” should also be celebrated for casting an intellectual property dispute as its central conflict — and in doing so, chipping away at the legitimacy of modern intellectual property protections.

    • Why Imitation Gets A Bad Rap… And Why Companies Need To Be More Serious About Copying

      Overall, the book is definitely a worthwhile read, though, at times it gets a little too caught up in the idea of “copying” vs. “innovating.” As the details of the book make clear, true innovating is really a combination of copying the best ideas of others, adding new things (tweeks) to them, improving on them, learning from the mistakes of others, and continually experimenting. It’s all really a part of the same spectrum. The problem is that we have such a negative association with the concept of “copying,” even though every company does it, and the end results are often really important and beneficial to society.

    • Copyrights

      • The Copyright Wars in Comic Form
      • RIAA Takes Down Music Downloading App Mulve

        Last week an impressive new music downloading application hit the mainstream. Mulve became hugely popular and demand was so great that the site’s servers couldn’t handle the pressure and fell over. Today the site is down again, not through excessive demand, but thanks to the lawyers at the RIAA.

      • EveryScape hits Adobe with copyright infringement lawsuit

        Newton firm EveryScape Inc. is going after Adobe Systems Inc. in court, asserting the San Jose, Calif.-based software company copied a plug-in that EveryScape founder Byong Mok Oh had developed for use with Adobe’s popular Photoshop image editing software and began passing the technology off as its own.

      • Magnet Madness: Legal Threats, DMCA Takedowns & Goofy Videos & Photos — But No Actual Lawsuits

        Now, Bronstein appears to be admitting that he sent the takedown notice, because the video includes a few photos of him (ever so briefly). That seems like a pretty clear abuse of the DMCA takedown process, as it would be difficult to argue that the use of those photos was not fair use. Of course, at the same time, Bronstein also admits that his voicemail “was off the Douche-o-meter” and sent Gizmodo a photo of him holding a trophy for the “Douchiest Voicemail of the Year.”

      • Antipiracy lawyers pirate from other antipiracy lawyers

        Sure, going after file-swappers has the potential to be hugely lucrative, but there are problems. Problem number one: someone needs to write all of the warning letters and response letter templates and all sorts of other legal miscellania. Sound simple? It’s not, and even anti-piracy lawyers aren’t above (allegedly) nicking the letters drawn up by other antipiracy lawyers.

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