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10.09.10

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

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  6. Microsoft is Going Into the Anti-Whistleblowing Business, Dodges Criticism Over 19-Year Bug Door in Windows

    With Aorato acquisition Microsoft helps protect the criminals (from whistleblowers) and with lies about .NET Microsoft distracts from a bug that has facilitated remote access into Windows (by those in the know) for nearly two decades



  7. Reaffirming Microsoft's Long-Known Hostility Towards Net Neutrality, Microsoft Crashed Juniper

    Steve Ballmer is ranting against net neutrality and Juniper's business is in trouble after a lot of executives from Microsoft took over most top positions there



  8. Another Massive Step Towards Elimination of Software Patents as Even CAFC Rules Against Them

    After SCOTUS gets involved in the Ultramercial case, the CAFC finally decides to actually serve justice rather than dogma



  9. The GOP's Patent Reform Plan Not Effective Enough to Stop Massive Patent Trolls Like Microsoft/Nokia

    The corporations-serving GOP says that it wants a patent reform, but another reminder is needed of the futility of the suggested changes



  10. How the EPO's Executive Branch (Battistelli and Topić) Banned Scrutiny and Created Authoritarian Model of Control: Part X

    A look at highly dubious moves by EPO President Battistelli and his right-hand man Topić, whose abuses are becoming hard to oversee or even report



  11. Links 15/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1 Release Candidate, Popcorn Time 0.3.5

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: October 26th, 2014 – November 8th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  13. The Terrible Joke Which is Microsoft 'Loving' Linux: Nightmares With UEFI 'Secure' Boot (i.e. Windows Monopoly Imposed) Continue to Affect GNU/Linux Users

    A reminder of Microsoft's sheer hostility towards GNU/Linux and long-reaching sabotage of GNU/Linux installations



  14. Patent Lawyers Worry About Section 101 in 'Alice' (and Other Patent News)

    A quick roundup of news of interest regarding software patents



  15. Will Write for FUD (Against FOSS)

    Black Duck rears its ugly head again, serving to show that it is in the business of changing perceptions and not in the information or analysis business



  16. Debunking Several Days of Never-Ending Lies About Microsoft and .NET

    .NET is not "Open Source", it cannot be forked (there remains patent threat), Visual Studio is still completely proprietary and it is expected to come to other platforms only because Windows has lost its dominance and Microsoft wants to perpetually control APIs (with software patents) and hence reign over developers



  17. Links 14/11/2014: LibreOffice 4.3.4, Ads Now in Firefox

    Links for the day



  18. Links 14/11/2014: GNOME 3.14.2, PulseAudio 6.0

    Links for the day



  19. Microsoft Windows is Still Designed as a Paradise of Back Doors, Intrusion, Wiretaps, and Interception

    At many levels -- from communication to storage and encryption -- Windows is designed for the very opposite of security



  20. Forget the FUD About Bash and OpenSSL, Microsoft Windows Blamed for Massive Credit Cards Heist

    Home Depot learns its lesson from a Microsoft Windows disaster, but it stays with proprietary software rather than move to software that is actively audited by many people and is inherently better maintained (Free/libre software)



  21. Windows 'Update' and NSA Back Doors, Including a 19-Year Bug Door in Microsoft Windows

    The back doors-enabled Microsoft Windows is being revealed and portrayed as the Swiss cheese that it really is after massive holes are discovered (mostly to be buried by a .NET propaganda blitz)



  22. Revealed: Microsoft is Trying to Corrupt the UK in Order to Eliminate Its OpenDocument Format-Oriented Standards Policy

    Microsoft interference with Britain's preference for ODF is now confirmed, thanks to a valuable news report from Computer Weekly; OOXML lock-in is being unleashed by Microsoft on Android users



  23. Links 13/11/2014: Ubuntu MATE 14.04.1 LTS, New KDE Plasma

    Links for the day



  24. .NET is NOT "Open Source", But Microsoft's Minions Shamelessly Openwash It Right Now

    The openwashing of .NET continues with yet another publicity stunt that is intended to lock in developers



  25. Links 11/11/2014: GNOME Trademark Dispute Settled, Mozilla Embraces Tor

    Links for the day



  26. Patent Reform Subversion After Republican (GOP) 'Win' in US Senate

    The Grand Corporations Party, or the political party which serves large businesses that are funding it, continues to just focus on a mirage of a 'reform' rather than tackle the real issues where culprits include very large businesses such as Microsoft and Apple



  27. Microsoft-Armed Patent Troll MOSAID (Now Conversant) Wants to Sweep up More Patents for Litigation

    Reports about patent trolls and scope of patents serve to show what the foes of Free software are up to right now



  28. When Courts in the US Attack the Right to Reuse APIs

    Challenging the clueless ruling from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the United States (very pro-software patents and anti-computer science), notable programmers write to the highest court



  29. Links 10/11/2014: 2015 GNU/Linux Forecasts, Debian Shakeup

    Links for the day



  30. Links 7/11/2014: War Thunder on GNU/Linux, KaOS ISO 2014.11

    Links for the day


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