IRC Proceedings: October 22nd, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 11:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Microsoft is Killing Its Own ‘Open Source’ Projects as .NET Camp Loses and Resorts to Slog/FUD

Posted in FUD, Java, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 12:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft dirty tactics

Summary: FUD against Java is on the rise (Microsoft partly accountable), Miguel de Icaza receives another role from Microsoft, and more Microsoft projects which are complementary to .NET are now dead

SEVERAL weeks ago we wrote about signs that .NET is suffering, not Java. There are some new Microsoft hires that throw FUD at Java and Microsoft boosters who work as journalists lend their pen to this Slog, too (we prefer not to give examples as they would feed the FUD). Frankly, however, Oracle has supplied a lot of ammunition to those who are trying to injure Java. It’s not deliberate and it’s why Oracle is making a strategic mistake.

“IronPython and IronRuby get kicked out into the cold by MSFT.”
      –Jan Wildeboer
Anyway, this post is not so much about Java. It’s actually about IronRuby dying. We saw the writings on the wall back in August [1, 2, 3, 4] (also see recent posts about IronPython, such as this one) and now there is almost a funeral. Jan Wildeboer from Red Hat writes: “#IronPython and #IronRuby get kicked out into the cold by MSFT. #RIP? http://is.gd/gcCON thinks so, http://is.gd/gcCQn doesn’t. We’ll see ..”

The nymshifting CodePlex Foundation (this Microsoft front is now called Outercurve [1, 2]) has been used as somewhat of a basket for Microsoft in which to put projects ‘externally’ (it’s about impression and appearance, not practice). Microsoft's MVP Miguel de Icaza has been part of it and at sight of the situation with Java at Apple he already throws FUD at Java using the news, as well as other recent Java news. According to this Microsoft employee, de Icaza et al. are supposed to try and rescue IronRuby and IronPython for the sake of greater .NET relevance. This is another Microsoft job for Miguel:

Today signifies a big step in Microsoft’s commitment to open-source: Jason Zander announced new leadership for IronRuby and IronPython, namely Miguel de Icaza, Michael Foord, Jeff Hardy, and myself. Since Microsoft has officially put the project in our hands, both languages will be open to contributions from the community, not just the core team members. Also, any previously unreleased work as been released, include the IronRuby tools for Visual Studio and groundwork towards IronPython 2.7 and 1.9. You can find the appropriate releases on both IronRuby and IronPython’s CodePlex sites.


Also, Miguel is a big-shot at Novell, but I’ll let him comment on how his company is supporting the projects. =)

He is a big-shot to Microsoft. They groomed him (e.g. with interviews and other publicity like this recent example) so that he can help Microsoft from outside Microsoft. His job at Novell (it’s a team effort) is to promote Mono/.NET and apparently demote Java in the process (also with FUD in his blog and in Twitter).

“In Twitter, de Icaza speaks quite a lot with the mobbyists; like them, he pretends to be pro-FOSS whilst actually doing a lot of harm to software freedom.”Who is this man kidding? Just watch him blogging about Microsoft folks this week (Ozzie in this case [1, 2]). If he loves Microsoft so much, maybe it’s time to reapply for that job he wanted.

It would be so much more appropriate if he just worked directly for Microsoft. In Twitter, de Icaza speaks quite a lot with the mobbyists; like them, he pretends to be pro-FOSS whilst actually doing a lot of harm to software freedom.

Anyway, based on this post from Microsoft MVP Jeff Hardy, we are adding IronPython to our list of dead projects from Microsoft (if someone continues it outside Microsoft, then that’s not a Microsoft product, still). It symbolises the continued collapse of .NET, which also relates to Moonlight and other cancelled/failing parts of Microsoft’s stack.

Well, the shoe has finally dropped: IronPython and IronRuby have been axed.

In weeks to come we’ll be covering a lot more stories about Apple. Microsoft is just growing irrelevant like Novell. The upsurge of FUD, the lobbyists, and the mobbyists are just a symptom.

Apple Makes New Enemies Among Mozilla, Battelle, Linux/Android Developers

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Radiation area with Apple

Summary: Developers and media people have grown weary of Apple’s ego-system and Steve Job is specifically being shown for his arrogant vision of monoculture with Apple in charge

MR. JOBS has been making some enemies recently because he spends too much time slamming his competition (Linux included) [1, 2], which no CEO should ever do. It is counter productive, but then again, Apple rose to glory by marketing itself with ego tactics (psyche), based on insulting its competition. Just look no further than Mac versus PC ads.

Despite loads of Mozilla developers using a Mac, Mozilla’s Beltzner is now joining the group which slams Apple’s CEO. Here is one summary:

Mozilla man accuses Jobs of ‘bypass the web’ scheme

On Wednesday, as Steve Jobs went “Back to the Mac”, the fanbois of the world enjoyed their usual collective orgasm. But for Mozilla director of Firefox development Mike Beltzner, the reaction was decidedly different.

“I wonder when Apple will stop shipping Safari,” Beltzner tweeted in the wake of Jobs’ press event. “It’s obvious already from today’s keynote that they’re looking to bypass the web.”

A day after Mozilla unveiled a prototype for an “open web app store” – a browser-agnostic store offering access to standards-based web apps sans Jobsian gatekeeper – Beltzner was less than pleased with the predictably draconian setup of Apple’s new Mac App Store.

To quote John Drinkwater (today in Identi.ca), “if this is Apple with 20% of US market, how would they behave with 80%? leveraging above their own weight atm.”

John Battelle, probably best known for Federated Media, is already growing uncomfortable with Apple. He writes:

Today Apple announced a move that, on first blush, seems to push the Mac, its seminal and defining product, into the iWorld. You know, the world of Apple-controlled, closed, manicured gardens a la iPhone, iPod, iPad, and iTunes.


But given the trajectory of Apple, which is now driven far more by iWorld than by Mac, I’m not holding out much hope for the Mac continuing to be a computer in any real sense of the word. You know, where a computer means you have choices as to what apps you run on it, what apps get developed for it, and how you express yourself using it.

Apple offers no software freedom, either. No choice, no freedom, no affordability. Apple is also downplaying source code, even though it is exploiting so much source code which other people wrote. Developers are rightly striking back at Jobs:

In his Back to the Mac event keynote speech on Wednesday, Steve Jobs said nary a word about competitors. This was in stark contrast to Apple’s earnings call on Monday, when he came on the line and let loose on competitors, with Android in particular bearing the brunt of his remarks.

In a nutshell, Jobs tried to reframe the Android-iPhone “open versus closed” debate about developer access to open-source software to what he called “fragmented versus integrated” — with Android exemplifying “fragmented” and, of course, Apple leading “integrated” access.

When we think of open-source software, it has many meanings, but as I see it, it means the code is available to developers and they can modify it and contribute to its development.

Yes, Apple is against many things, even choice, not just freedom. “Jobs argues for Soviet command philosophy” is this headline which takes it a step further (“Soviet” as dog whistle) and the article states:

For Jobs Android is not open software because it has many versions out in the market, making it “very fragmented”, and this is a situation made worse with operators adding proprietary interfaces to it. For Apple’s founder this leads to many app stores and many Android apps that won’t work on Android phones. He mentioned four Android app stores Google’s, Vodafone’s, Verizon’s and Amazon. Actually Jobs forgot to mention the app stores Archos and Toshiba have set up for their tablets.

Yet most people would imagine that a free and open source OS that has many versions on many handsets just means that it’s popular. Each mobile network operator can choose the best version for its customers and many mobile users with unlocked handsets can change to whatever version they like.

Jobs gleefully mentioned that Android 2.2 ‘Froyo’ was no good for tablets and it’s true, as Google has said so. But when the tablet specific Android OS comes out, like for the phone handsets it’s not a stretch of the imagination to realise that those existing tablet products will also be able to upgrade.

For Jobs these different versions for different products and the need to upgrade all leads to an unacceptable reduction in apps because his Itunes store has 300,000 and they all operate on the monolithic Iphone and Ipad operating system that is IOS. But will the fanboi who wants to spend their annual income on most of its 300,000 apps please step forward?

The x86 monopoly is an example of a “natural” monopoly people can justify using excuses like “convenience” (the whole “industry standard” PR). To some, it’s the same with Windows. It was never justified at all. What the world needs is code freedom and standards. Software freedom overcomes both issues (hardware and software).

Links 22/10/2010: Linux 2.6.37 Preview, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 10:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • LPI recognized by UK education authorities

    The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization, announced that the LPIC-1 certification program for Linux professionals has been accepted as a nationally recognized IT accreditation for college students at secondary schools and technical colleges in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. LPI’s affiliate, LPI-UK worked in co-operation with e-skills UK to ensure this initiative. In addition, the two organizations are working in partnership with the Scottish Qualifications Authority to recognize LPIC-1 as a nationally accepted award and SCQF Credit within Scotland.

  • From Noob to Ninja – Your Guide to Mastering Linux

    Every Linux user has been new at some point, and unless you’ve got a history of UNIX administration, the transition was likely a bit daunting. Many people began learning Linux before sites like Google and StackExchange made it easy to find answers, and ended up having to figure everything out in their own. While inconvenient, this approach can force you to challenge yourself and learn things about the system that you might otherwise never find out.

  • Is Mac OS Lion More Advanced Than Linux?

    I just wanted to make a point that no, Mac is not the most advanced OS in the world. On the contrary it appears to me like one of the least capable OSes from among Windows, BSD and Linux.

  • The Network is Down, and other things you don’t want to hear in a disaster.

    If you are a Systems Administrator, the refrain the network is down is routine. Depending on the sophistication of your users, it might be a more specific lament, such as the Internet is broken or email is unavailable. If you have really sophisticated users, you might actually get a real error message to work with. And if you work in a large organization, the level of sophistication could be all over the map.

  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung’s Galaxy Tab gets $600 U.S. price, scaled-down Japanese variant

      Verizon Wireless will launch the Samsung Galaxy Tab on Nov. 11 at a steep $600, says eWEEK. Meanwhile, Samsung unveiled a seven-inch “SMT-i9100″ Android tablet aimed at Japan, MSI is postponing a Windows-based tablet in favor of an Android model due in 1Q 2011, and Lenovo is postponing its “LePad” tablet until next summer, waiting for Android’s “Honeycomb” release, say reports.

    • Samsung Blames Canada For Your Monitor Problems

      Miguel writes that his Samsung monitor stopped working, but it has a 3-year warranty. He contacted Samsung to see if they could help him. They could not, but not for any mundane reason. Samsung insists that his monitor is from Canada, and they can’t provide warranty service to Miguel because he doesn’t live in Canada. Where did he buy his monitor? Um, a Sam’s Club store in Missouri.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel 2.6.36 Gets AppArmor

      After years of being outside of the mainline, the AppArmor security system is now finally part of the main Linux kernel.

      Linux founder Linus Torvalds formally released the 2.6.36 kernel this week nearly three months after the release of the 2.6.35 kernel.

    • Three Things That Won’t Be In The Linux 2.6.37 Kernel

      While the Linux 2.6.36 kernel was released yesterday, we already have our eyes towards the Linux 2.6.37 kernel to see what new features this next kernel will bring, any performance changes that may come as a result (we continue to benchmark the kernel everyday), and this will likely be the kernel version used by Ubuntu 11.04 and other early 2011 Linux distributions. While we have already reported on some of the features that should be merged into the Linux 2.6.37 kernel, there’s at least three major features we have been looking forward to that will be sadly missing from this kernel.

    • Linux Kernel Update Adds Brawn Without Bulk
    • OpenLogic Joins The Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that OpenLogic has become its newest member.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Radeon HD 6800 Series Graphics Cards On Linux?

        This evening AMD has officially launched their Radeon HD 6800 series, which currently includes the Radeon HD 6850 and Radeon HD 6870 graphics cards. These are just two of several next-generation graphics cards to be launched over the coming weeks and months for consumers while next year the FirePro derivatives for professional/workstation customers should come around too based upon this architecture. How though does the AMD Radeon HD 6000 series play with Linux?

      • Intel X-Video Sandybridge Support Arrives

        While Intel has not even rolled out their Sandy Bridge processors yet, their OSTC developers have been working on support for this next-generation micro-architecture with integrated graphics core under Linux for many months. It was back in February when we originally reported on Sandy Bridge GPU support coming to Linux.

      • AMD Radeon HD 6870 & 6850 Graphics Cards Debut
      • Pixman Has Improved Gradients, Is Much Faster

        While Cairo is frequently mentioned on Phoronix, mentioned less but used by Cairo (as well as the X.Org Server) for pixel manipulation is the Pixman library. Soeren Sandmann announced a new release candidate of Pixman 0.19.6 this afternoon and it has a few interesting changes worth noting.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Thomas Fischer on KBibTeX, the KDE Reference Manager

        While they are not busy doing (crazy) research, most scientists do a lot of technical writing: papers, presentations, posters, reports. Such writing is usually accompanied by large number of references; managing them by hand can be tedious and long. That is why scientists use bibliography managers. In the FOSS world, a popular choice is BibTeX, a complement to the LaTeX typesetting system. Along with BibTeX, front-ends are used to simplify addition, modification and removal of bibliography.

      • Using the KDE Netbook Desktop

        In this last (for now) post about the KDE Netbook Desktop, I want to focus on what it is like to actually use it on a typical netbook. I will be using my Samsung N150 Plus, running PCLinuxOS 2010.7. This is a very typical netbook, with an Atom N450 CPU, 1 GB memory, 10″ display, 1024×600 resolution. It is only important to note here that, unlike the Ubuntu Netbook Edition, this is not the only netbook configuration that KDE Netbook will run on. It does not require enhanced graphic support of any kind, and it does a pretty good job of detecting on its own what kind of video capability your netbook has, and adjusting its desktop effects accordingly.

      • Is KWin getting too complicated?

        Want some more fun? Did you know that Special Window Settings are infinitely recursive? You can set Special Window Settings on the Special Window Settings “Special Window Settings” window! It’s do-your-head-in stuff and not particularly useful, but it brings me back to my original question: is KWin getting just too complicated for the average user?

      • 10 KDE tools you need to try

        I’ve been impressed with the advancements the KDE development team has made with version 4.5. Not only is the desktop environment light-years ahead of where I expected it to be (after the abysmal 4.0 release), it’s has turned out to be a desktop that any Linux user would be happy to use. It’s as stable and as responsive as GNOME and as flexible as just about any desktop.

        But beyond the desktop itself, KDE has a number of excellent tools. If you’ve never tried, you don’t know what you’re missing. So I thought I’d highlight some of these tools and maybe pique your interest. These tools vary in topic and task and should appeal to a wide range of user types.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • TinyMe Linux For The Win

      I was running Unity Linux 2010.2 with KDE 4.5 for around the last month. I really like what has been done there but it seemed a bit heavy for my Gateway M250…the CPU fan was always on which told me it was always in high use.

      I checked out Gnome 2.30 on Unity and found it to be delightful on my resources; however, Gnome doesn’t make me feel warm and tingly when I use it. I find myself frustrated with its lack of configuration options…specifically, right click menu. So I rolled my own using the base install of Unity. That worked quite nicely but lacked much of the polish I became accustomed to when using KDE. What I wanted and needed was a happy medium. I found that happy place with TinyMe Linux.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Close to Support
      • Red Hat Releases Enterprise Linux 6 Beta

        Red Hat took another step closer to the delivery of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 with its recent delivery of the release candidate of the operating system.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Events: OpenRheinRuhr 2010 – Oberhausen, Germany
        • Fedora 13 sailing along

          Even though I’m actively testing Ubuntu 10.10 (installed to a 4 GB USB flash drive) and find it extremely compatible with my current hardware (Lenovo G555), I expect I’ll be sticking with Fedora 13 for at least the next few months.

          Things I’ll be looking for include return of a working open-source ati/radeon driver (not exactly holding my breath, am I), newer kmod-catalyst packages from RPMFusion (who knows when/if this will happen) and seeing how everything involved in this Fedora 13 build works the next time there’s a kernel update (and there hasn’t been one for awhile).

    • Debian Family

      • The secret plan behind the “3.0 (quilt)” Debian source package format

        When I started working on the new source package format, I set out to get rid of all the known limitations and to integrate a patch system in dpkg-source. I wanted to clear up the situation so that learning packaging only requires to learn one patch system and would not require modifying debian/rules to use it. I picked quilt because it was popular, came with a large set of features, and was not suffering from NIH syndrome. This lead to the “3.0 (quilt)” source format.

        I also created “3.0 (native)” as a distinct format. “1.0″ was able to generate two types of source packages (native and non-native) but I did not want to continue with this mistake of mixing both in a single format.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu’s Netbook Edition: Now With More “Unity”!

          In many ways, though, this release is pretty cool. The visual effects are pretty cool, but not so over-the-top that they distract. Click the desktop icon; see all your desktops.

          There are a lot of cool things to this interface; more than I can mention. I love using it, even though I dislike certain things about it. It’s certainly a better interface than Jolicloud’s monstrous HTML5 experiment. I’m not sure whether I’m going to switch back to Ubuntu’s desktop mode anytime soon, but I’ll be sure to let you all know of any quality changes.

          The Ubuntu team is trying out a lot of new things here, and a lot of it works really well. Some of it is pretty slow, which may frustrate those of us with lower-grade netbooks, but overall the design shows a lot of promise. I’m going to use this as long as I can, and am very excited to see how the interface progresses. If you’re interested, head over to Ubuntu.com and download the Netbook version. You might like it.

        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Nokia’s First Meego Device Now Confirmed for 2011 Launch?

          MeeGo utilizes the Qt (pronounced “Cute”) application development environment. Nokia has announced that it has streamlined its development environment across multiple device platforms. From now on all development for Symbian and Meego should be based on Qt.

          The most important aspect of this announcement is geared around developers. When you develop an application within the Qt development framework it can easily be deployed to Nokia devices running Symbian and/or Meego. This should lead to many more applications being available for both platforms, richer user interfaces and more visually engaging applications.

        • Nokia’s first MeeGo device will arrive in 2011
      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source-Friendly Smartphones For the Small Office?
  • FrostWire – Best Free Alternative For Limewire For Windows, Mac, Linux

    Frostwire is a powerful P2P file sharing program which is the supposedly the best free alternative for Limewire for Windows, Mac and Linux OS.

  • Open source keeps fueling global exchange

    We continue to see evidence that open source software is helping vendors expand and grow globally. The latest announcement from
    French BPM vendor BonitaSoft, which is establishing U.S. offices in Boston and San Francisco, is a prime example. We covered BonitaSoft’s expansion and approach in July, which leverages more than 300,000 downloads of the software and presence in more than 20 countries.

    Another example of an open source vendor expansion and growth in North America is OTRS, a help desk and ITIL service management software and support vendor from Germany that is also growing its presence in the U.S. and rest of North America.

  • VMB_ware

    • Gmail vs. Zimbra Desktop 2.0

      Since Zimbra Desktop supports IMAP, I went ahead and configured it to connect to my Gmail account and put it through its paces. The verdict? It has some improving to do.

    • VMware angles Spring as premier Java development tool

      Oracle may own the Java trademark, but VMware is touting its own Spring framework as the best programming model for enterprise Java developers.

      “In the innovation of the Java programming model, I think Spring really plays a leading role there,” said Rod Johnson, who is senior vice president and general manager of VMware’s SpringSource product division, as well as the creator of the first version of Spring.

    • Statement by the ASF Board on recent Java-related events

      As reported recently in the news and elsewhere, there are two issues currently facing the Foundation that merit a response from the ASF.

      At the last JCP Executive Committee meeting in Bonn, Germany, Oracle announced that it will not offer a TCK license for Java SE (for the Apache Harmony project) without the so-called “Field of Use” (FOU) restriction. We believe that this is a final decision from Oracle and that there are no further opportunities for productive discussion on this topic.

      To that end, the Apache Harmony project is evaluating its project goals and future, as Oracle’s decision blocks Harmony from achieving the original community goal of a TCK-tested, spec-compliant, Apache-licensed implementation of Java SE. The ASF fully supports the Apache Harmony community as it moves forward, past this regretful decision on the part of Oracle. With respect to the many other projects in the ASF that implement JSRs, we remain committed to those projects as they are, and any new projects that wish to implement JSRs that have appropriate TCK licensing terms.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chromeless: Build your own Browser UI using HTML, CSS and JS

      The “Chromeless” project experiments with the idea of removing the current browser user interface and replacing it with a flexible platform which allows for the creation of new browser UI using standard Web technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

    • Firefox 4.0 beta 7 to get native SVG support

      For those not in the know, SVG is a family of 2D XML-based image formats that can be created as either static or dynamic images, similar to what you can do with GIFs.

    • demo slam opera trophy?

      Why is the Google’s Demo Slam trophy a golden Opera logo?

    • Mozilla

      • are we fast yet?

        Last week we moved ahead of Apple’s Nitro engine and today we move ahead of Google’s V8 engine. That gives Mozilla’s Spidermonkey JavaScript engine (including the Tracemonkey and JägerMonkey JITs) the fastest Sunspider scores on the planet!

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL vs. MySQL: How to Select the Right Open-Source Database

      To properly evaluate the strengths of PostgreSQL and MySQL, the two leading open-source databases, one must look at the history and pedigree of each, and their feature functionality and performance. By comparing and contrasting PostgreSQL and MySQL here, Knowledge Center contributor Jim Mlodgenski guides you to a more informed decision about which open-source database is right for your enterprise deployment.

  • Oracle

  • CMS

    • Drupal Rises Over the Horizon

      Drupal is a battle-hardened soldier that has faced its enemies, looked them in the eyes, and defeated them with relatively minimal effort. Drupal ranks amongst the elite of the elite, like Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong, and Charlie Parker. Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress tower like titans over all other content management systems: does ANYONE still use Mambo? I love Joomla and WordPress, but my favorites CMS, by far, is Drupal. As most of you know, I use it on both of my websites. I am excited by the fact that the upcoming version, Drupal 7, is coming ever closer to becoming a reality. In this article, I will give a brief history of Drupal, and I will relay what I know about the upcoming release.

  • Business

  • BSD

  • Project Releases

    • Asterisk 1.8 Released with Support for Google Voice, Calendaring, and More

      Open source telephony vendor Digium released the newest version of its popular free VoIP software Asterisk today, and it’s packed with more than 200 enhancements, security updates, and new features — including calendar integration and support for Google Voice and Google Talk. Asterisk’s fully- featured PBX includes call waiting, hold and transfer, caller ID, and other useful tools so it’s a great option for small businesses that need to watch costs.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Quixote: Computational chemistry; We made it! Please join us.

      For the last month we have been developing an Open, distributed, automated Knowledgebase for computational chemistry. Millions of valuable data files are created each year – almost none are published. Yet they are amongst the best, the most reproducible science in any discipline. The give believable results about the real world.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Texas High School Kicks Cheerleader Off Squad For Refusing To Cheer For Her Rapist
  • Liberals will open government to Canadians

    To create a new era of accountability for government spending and to spur innovation and economic growth, a Liberal government will launch the single largest effort of government openness and transparency in Canadian history through the Liberal Open Government Initiative.

  • Court Rejects Probation Rules On Teen That Ban Him From Using Social Networks Or Instant Messaging Programs

    As for the oddities in banning him from using computers with viruses, trojans or keystroke monitors, which he could potentially violate without even knowing it, the court changed the terms to say that he can’t knowingly use a computer with any of those things on it. Unfortunately, they still include “encryption” on the list. I find it troubling that the court is okay with demonizing encryption (and, to a lesser extent, “hacking” tools) when there are plenty of legitimate reasons to do so. Does that mean he can’t even encrypt his email?

  • China unveils state-run online mapping site
  • Libel and the Holy Man

    Let me introduce you to His Holiness Sant Baba Jeet Singh Ji Maharaj.

    His Holiness is the “Third Holy Saint”.

    This is apparently very important.

    He is not the second Holy Saint; not the fourth; and fifth is right out.

    And what does His Holiness do?

    He is suing a journalist for libel.

  • When Bedbugs Became News, the Bedbug Registry Became a Debated Source

    At the beginning of the year, Ceglowski’s website might have had 3,000 visitors a day and 20 reports of bedbug sightings. Now, the site gets up to 40,000 visitors and 100 new reports a day. (That’s down from a peak of 50,000 visitors a day in August.)

    Intended or not, bedbugregistry.com has become a source of news. For some, it’s an example of the potential of crowdsourcing, where thousands of anecdotal reports come together to identify clusters of bedbugs in cities around the country. That relies on the assumption, though, that the information reported is accurate. And that gives some people pause.

  • NY Times Sues Kachingle Over Publicity Stunt… Making Publicity Stunt That Much More Effective

    Last week, we wrote about The NY Times threatening Kachingle, over a silly publicity stunt that Kachingle pulled. As we explained, Kachingle, which is a voluntary micropayment-type solution (somewhat similar to Flattr), for blog and journalism content, had put up a site where it encouraged the NY Times not to set up the paywall it’s planning. To “convince” the NY Times not to bother, it wanted people to contribute to the various NY Times’ bloggers via Kachingle, and Kachingle would use the amount raised to try to let the NY Times know there were alternatives. Of course, no one really believed that the NY Times would stop its paywall because of this. It’s just a silly publicity stunt.

  • UK stops Kernel distribution at stadium

    UK officials have prohibited the Kentucky Kernel from distributing newspapers at Commonwealth Stadium before football games, a move First Amendment lawyers call unconstitutional.

    On Sept. 18, UK Athletics officials stopped eight Kernel advertising staff members who came to the stadium’s parking lot before the game against Akron to distribute issues of the free student publication, Kernel Student Advertising Manager Sarah Geegan said.

  • IPv4 Net addresses now 95 percent used up
  • Washington Post editor: no responding to critics on Twitter

    What happens when a Post staffer uses the official Twitter account to lash out at a critic? A memo.

  • Verizon To Charge You $3.50 To Pay Your Bill

    Starting October 16, all Verizon Communications landline, FiOS, and DSL customers will have to pay a $3.50 fee if they pay their bills by credit or debit card. (Currently there are no plans to apply to same to wireless customers). The only way to get around it is to sign up for auto-billing. Verizon says the new fee is because they have a new vendor for processing credit and debit transactions, and they’re passing on the lack of savings to you.

  • Canadian gov’t scientists protest gag order, go straight to public with own website

    Alan sez, “It looks like the Canadian government is making life harder for scientists who want to talk to the media about their work. Presumably the science is inconvenient for those in power. In response, the scientists’ union has put up a web site to inform the public directly.”

    Canada’s Tory government is notoriously hostile to science (especially climate science, which poses an existential threat to their power base in the planet-killing tar-sands). But a state-imposed gag-order on scientists, putting their ability to communicate to the press in the hands of petty bureaucrats, is beyond the pale even for them. Why is it that so many “small government neocons” love big government solutions to their embarrassing little problems?

  • Cal State Bans Students from Using Online Note-Selling Service

    As an undergraduate at Sacramento State, Ryan Stevens founded NoteUtopia in order to provide a mechanism for students to buy, sell, and share their university course notes. Stevens graduated last spring and NoteUtopia officially launched in August. But less than six weeks into the startup’s history, NoteUtopia has received a cease-and-desist letter from the California State University system, charging that the company violates a provision of the state education code.

  • Science

    • India to build observatory to study neutrino particles

      India’s Department of Atomic Energy has been given clearance to build a multi-million dollar underground facility to study particles called neutrinos.

      The environment and forests ministry gave the go-ahead for the observatory to be built in the Bodi West hills on the coast of southern Tamil Nadu state.

    • Moon Blast Reveals Lunar Surface Rich With Compounds

      There is water on the moon … along with a long list of other compounds, including, mercury, gold and silver. That’s according to a more detailed analysis of the chilled lunar soil near the moon’s South Pole, released as six papers by a large team of scientists in the journal, Science Thursday.

      “We thought the moon was bone dry,” said planetary geologist Peter Schultz of Brown University, lead author of one of the studies. “All the books on the moon say that the moon is dry, and now we have to rewrite that chapter.”

    • How Wet the Moon? Just Damp Enough to Be Interesting
    • China Halts Shipments to U.S. of Tech-Crucial Minerals

      A nasty trade dispute appears to have prompted Chinese customs officials to block shipments of rare earth minerals to the U.S.

      The move underscores a deepening U.S. vulnerability because of its dependence upon China for tech-crucial rare earth minerals (also known as rare earth elements). Small but significant amounts of the minerals go into creating everything from PCs and cellphones to wind turbines and hybrid cars, as well as U.S. military technologies such as missile guidance systems.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Visiting Australia? Make Sure You Tell The Customs Officials About The Porn On Your Hard Drive

      We’ve discussed, a few times, the issues with border patrol/customs officials in the US searching laptops at the border. The reason it doesn’t make much sense is that the purpose of border patrol is to make sure nothing bad gets into a country, but the content on your laptop can easily get into the country via the internet, rather than at the border. And even bigger concern, of course, is that people store everything on their laptops. If you’re packing your suitcase for a trip somewhere, you pack only the things you want to take. Everything you bring is effectively “opt-in.” However, on your laptop, you already have everything. If anything, you might (though I doubt many people do) delete some stuff to avoid having it searched. In other words, unlike your suitcase, the data on your laptop is more of an “opt-out” situation.

    • From “ciggy busters to “eco detectives”

      Rather than simply encouraging a considerate approach to the environment, school children are being actively encouraged to sign up as “eco detectives” in order to identify and personally harrass individuals who have failed to clean up their dog’s mess, dropped litter or such like.

    • What happened when one pilot refused to submit to “naked” backscatter scan

      In an online forum for pilots of the private jet charter service ExpressJet, Houston-based pilot Michael Roberts relates the disturbing tale of what happened when he recently refused to consent to an “Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) system” (aka “backscatter scan,” aka “naked scan” aka “the porn machine”) at the TSA checkpoint. He also refused a manual pat-down from TSA agents, after already going through a metal detector, if I’m reading this correctly.

    • Pilot Not Allowed Through Security After He Refuses ‘Naked’ Backscatter Scan
  • Finance

    • Obama Hires a Hustler

      One day as Wall Street was crashing, President George W. Bush had the temerity to plaintively ask his treasury secretary, Henry Paulson: “How did this happen?” Paulson, who headed Goldman Sachs before taking the Treasury job, remarks in his memoir: “It was a humbling question for someone from the financial sector to be asked—after all, we were the ones responsible.”

    • Google 2.4% Rate Shows How $60 Billion Lost to Tax Loopholes

      Google Inc. cut its taxes by $3.1 billion in the last three years using a technique that moves most of its foreign profits through Ireland and the Netherlands to Bermuda.

      Google’s income shifting — involving strategies known to lawyers as the “Double Irish” and the “Dutch Sandwich” — helped reduce its overseas tax rate to 2.4 percent, the lowest of the top five U.S. technology companies by market capitalization, according to regulatory filings in six countries.

    • Technologically clueless Russian spy hired as ‘IT innovator’ for bank

      Russian spy Anna Chapman is making headlines this week for posing provocatively in a photo spread in the Russian edition of Maxim magazine, but she equally deserves notoriety for landing a job as an IT security official in a Russian bank despite glaring gaps in her technical knowledge.

    • Debt collector broke the law by using MySpace photo to intimidate consumer

      Plaintiff fell behind on her car payments. The lender turned the debt over to a collection agency that used technology and some remarkably poor judgment in an attempt to get paid.

      The first bad decision was to use a caller-ID spoofer to make it look like the collection call was coming from plaintiff’s mother in law. The next not-smart use of technology was to access plaintiff’s MySpace page, learn that plaintiff had a daughter, and to use that fact to intimidate plaintiff. There was evidence in the record to suggest that the collection agency’s “investigator” said to plaintiff, after mentioning plaintiff’s “beautiful daughter,” something to the effect of “wouldn’t it be terrible if something happened to your kids while the sheriff’s department was taking you away?”

    • Norwegian traders convicted for outsmarting US stock broker algorithm

      Two Norwegian day traders who hoodwinked a trading system in the US for their own financial gain, have been handed suspended prison sentences.

      The Norwegian traders, Svend Egil Larsen and Peder Veiby, were handed suspended prison sentences and fines for market manipulation after outsmarting the trading system of Timber Hill, which is a unit of US-based Interactive Brokers.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • You’re doing it wrong: Sending material and calling it embargoed before an agreement doesn’t make it so

      You can probably guess quite easily, but if not: These emails were all from PR people I didn’t know and contained material that was supposedly embargoed.

      Except that I had never agreed to any such embargo.

      If your inbox is anything like mine, it is full of embargoed releases. (So full, in fact, that I have to spend time most days cleaning it out so I don’t exceed my corporate email quota.) Most of them are from journals, societies, institutions, and companies with which I have had some relationship or agreement.

      Then there are emails like the ones above.

      Sorry, folks, but that’s not an embargo that deserves to stick. It happens that we wouldn’t cover any of the stories being pitched in those three emails, but what if we had wanted to? I would have felt no obligation to follow them.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Google Engineer Builds Facebook Disconnect
    • Why Facebook is selling you out — and won’t stop

      Facebook and its developers could bring in as much as $1 billion this year; only a bozo would think that Mark Zuckerberg will give that up to protect the privacy of his users

    • U.S. Government Prepares to Regulate Internet Privacy

      There are at least five U.S. government efforts to regulate data and online privacy, according to a new U.S. government internet policy official, who said that some kind of privacy regulation appears likely.

    • Stop the Internet blacklist

      The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act would create a blacklist of domain names that the government thinks are involved in copyright infringement. Internet service providers and others would be required to block any domains on the list.

    • Google Street View broke Canada’s privacy law with Wi-Fi capture

      Google violated the privacy of thousands of Canadians when it inadvertently collected personal information about them with its Street View mapping cars, the country’s privacy commissioner has ruled.

      In the wake of the finding, influential privacy groups expressed concern that no legal action had yet been taken against the search giant.

    • EU court rules Spain’s “digital copyright tax” illegal

      The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) today declared illegal any digital canon which is being imposed indiscriminately on all equipment and materials used for reproduction and not only that which presumably can only be used for private copying , as applied in Spain. Spain imposes a “canón digital”, a small tax on all digital media (CD’s, tapes, DVD’s and associated equipment) which is given to the General Society of Authors for copyright payment in case the media is used to copy work.

    • Former model gets court to order Google to reveal identity info on nasty YouTube commenters YouTube ordered to reveal commenter info

      A Supreme Court judge in New York City has given Google 15 days to provide the court with whatever identity information it has on commenter(s) that left a defamatory comments on YouTube videos of Columbia Business School grad and former actress and model Carla Franklin, including the word “whore”.

    • Tyranny Goes Global

      The plight of Iranian “blogfather” Hossein Derakhshan, known by his online handle Hoder, is a chilling reminder that there are still places where the exercise of one’s freedom of expression could be a capital offense. According to officials in Iran, Canada is one of those places.

      Derakhshan, an Iranian-born Canadian citizen, has been in prison in Iran for the past 22 months, after being arrested shortly after returning to his country of birth under suspicious circumstances in 2008. Late last month, it was reported that Derakhshan had been sentenced to 19 years in prison. One activist who wished to remain anonymous told me that this is the longest prison sentence given in Iran for a speech-crime since the post-election crackdown that began in June 2009. But the sentence is still a victory of sorts: There were credible rumors that prosecutors had been pushing for the death penalty.

    • EOF – Waving Goodbye to Facebook

      The company is far more interested in making you into better bait for advertisers and visitors who click on ads. A side benefit is “a smarter, personalized Web” that is not the Web at all, but rather an indoor commercial habitat with some nice conveniences.

    • EFF’s Cohn fights copyright’s ‘underbelly’ (Q&A)

      An unmistakable strain of compassion runs through Cindy Cohn’s voice when she talks about the plight of Internet users she says are wrongly accused of copyright violations or tech companies she believes are being abused by large entertainment conglomerates.

    • Facebook games maker sued in privacy flap

      The lawsuit alleges that Zynga, maker of six of the top 10 Facebook games, collected and shared the IDs of 218 million users, in violation of federal law and terms of service. It seeks unspecified monetary damages and an injunction preventing the alleged practice from continuing. The suit was filed in US District Court in San Francisco on behalf of Nancy Graf of St. Paul, Minnesota. It seeks class action status so other Facebook users may also be represented.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Google testing high-speed fiber network at Stanford

      Google has reached an agreement to build its first ultra-high-speed broadband network near Stanford University, the search giant announced on Thursday.

    • In Defence of ISPs

      Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Britain are having a bad year. First, the Digital Economy Act passed into law requiring ISPs to monitor and pay for part of the illegal downloading prosecuting process. Then, Net Neutrality is gaining steam and if an expected decision is made by the EU shortly it will require ISPs to fundamentally change the way they do business. And now, as of yesterday, ISPs will be forced to retain all of our digital data on behalf of the Coalition Government.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Why Would Attorney General Eric Holder Cite Debunked Stats About ‘Piracy’?

      As part of the latest effort by the US to get China to respect US patent, copyright and trademark laws, it’s apparently sent Attorney General Eric Holder to Asia to make speeches that are blatantly ridiculous. You can read the text of the speech that Holder recently gave in Hong Kong, and try not to gag at the claims he makes that are either blatantly misleading or simply outright falsehoods. The Attorney General is supposed to enforce the law — not lie to protect the interests of a few companies.

      After kicking it off with (yet another) conflation of serious counterfeiting issues (that actually put people’s lives in danger) with file sharing of music, movies and software, he simply parrots the totally debunked BSA’s stats on unauthorized software…

    • Twitter Hands @NFLLockout Handle Over To NFL Union, Despite No Trademark

      Case in point, Elan Arbitsman points us to the news that Twitter simply handed over the username @NFLLockout to the NFL Players Association. Some other folks had registered the name and used it to discuss a possible NFL lockout. After they had done so, the NFLPA had registered the domain name NFLLockout.com, and then sought to get the Twitter handle from the guys. They offered to give them some stuff (apparently a life-sized poster or something). When the guys turned this down, the NFLPA went to Twitter, and Twitter just handed them the username. Even worse, Twitter implied that one of the reasons they did so was because the guys tried to “sell” the username — though they say they didn’t try to sell it, they just listened to offers from the NFLPA.

    • How Intellectual Property Hampers Capitalism (Transcript)

      State ownership of natural resources. Is that capitalist? That’s what we have in America. On state lands—and I used to be an oil and gas lawyer before I went to the dark side—unlike anywhere else in the world that I’m aware of, minerals underneath land are privately owned, as it should be. In every other country, and even outside the states in America, like offshore where the BP accident happened, the MMS, the Minerals Management Service, the federal government basically claims ownership of the minerals under the ground. Then they grant leases and they take a cut. So actually the landlord of the BP disaster was the federal government, but you don’t see them taking the blame for it.

    • List-makers battle to keep football fixture lists protection

      Everyone thought the question of what rights exist in football fixture lists was settled back in 2004 when the European Court of Justice concluded that the then-new database right did not protect football fixture lists. But a judge has just ruled that they are protected. What now?

      As many in the gambling industry will know, this decision did not stop Football Dataco Limited (and others) from sending out demands for payment for use of football fixture lists.

    • Blizzard Sues Starcraft II Cheat Creators Under Dubious Copyright Theory

      Video game company Blizzard often appears to be a study in contrasts. At times, it seems to recognize the changing nature of the technology landscape, embracing scarcities, giving people reasons to buy and even coming out against DRM. But, at the same time, it tried to retroactively ban anonymity in its forums, and has been notoriously litigious, even going after organizations who promote its games.

    • When A Humor Site Understands The Implications Of Abundance Better Than The ‘Experts’…

      A whole bunch of you* sent over the article from humor site Cracked, all about scarcity and abundance in economics. Wait, what? A humor site? Yeah, a humor site. Of course, they don’t officially claim it’s an article about scarcity and abundance in economics (though, they come close). Instead, in true linkbait-fashion it’s called “5 Reasons The Future Will Be Ruled By B.S.” Nicely done. Then, it focuses on the idea that the future can be described as FARTS: Forced ARTificial Scarcity.

    • Copyrights

      • Comic Book ‘Pirated’ On 4Chan, Author Joins Discussion… Watches Sales Soar

        The basic details are that comic book artist Steve Lieber discovered that folks at 4chan had scanned in and uploaded every page of his graphic novel Underground. Now, the typical reaction is to freak out, scream “piracy,” whine about “losses” and demand that “something must be done.” But, in a world where obscurity is really a much bigger issue than “piracy,” another option is to actually engage with those fans who liked his work so much that they put in the effort to share it with the world.

      • Pirate Parties Plan to Shoot Torrent Site Into Orbit

        It is almost four years ago that The Pirate Bay announced they wanted to buy the micronation of Sealand, so they could host their site without having to bother about copyright law – an ambitious plan that turned out to be unaffordable. This week, Pirate Parties worldwide started brainstorming about a similarly ambitious plan. Instead of founding their own nation, they want to shoot a torrent site into orbit.

      • Righthaven Loses First Lawsuit; Judge Says Copying Was Fair Use

        We’ve been following, with great interest, the antics of Righthaven, the company funded by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which has been suing all sorts of random websites for copyright infringement after posting articles (or even snippets of articles) on their sites, often with a link back. A variety of different defenses have been raised by those sued, with almost all of them claiming fair use — which seemed like a credible claim to us (though, of course, others have disagreed).

        Now, in a pretty big setback for Righthaven’s entire strategy, the first ruling on this question has been made, and… the judge dismissed the case, claiming that it was fair use. As Eric Goldman notes in the article linked here, it’s a bit surprising that the judge ruled fair use so early in the process: “Because the case so clearly lacked merit, the judge prudently is trying to end the case early rather than letting it drag on for months and years, wasting lots of time and money in the process.”

      • Ad Firm Pays Up To Studios, Promises Not To Work With ‘Pirate’ Sites Any More

        Earlier this year, we wrote about a lawsuit filed by Disney and Warner Bros. against Triton Media, an ad firm that apparently helped place ads on sites that linked to infringing content (hosted elsewhere). We noted that the lawsuit seemed like a huge reach for a variety of reasons. Nothing in the complaint seemed to indicate that what Triton had done had violated copyright law. Instead, it focused on the various sites for which it provided ads. And, even those sites seemed like a stretch on claims of copyright infringement. The sites didn’t host any infringing content. They just allowed people to post links to content (authorized or not) that was hosted elsewhere. To go after the ad provider for a few of those sites, claiming some fourth or fifth party form of contributory infringement seemed pretty crazy.

      • ECJ outlaws private copying levy

        Private copying levies on blank CDs, MP3 players and other digital media are allowed under EU copyright law but only when charged on goods sold to individuals and not those sold to companies, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has said.

        Some European countries allow the unauthorised copying of material that a person legitimately owns, as long as that is for private use. The European Copyright Directive says that this is permitted as long as there is ‘fair compensation’ to the copyright holders.

      • Belle And Sebastian’s Business Plan: Open A Taqueria In Glasgow

        I have some ideas that I might have to act upon. One of them is to open a taqueria in Glasgow. There’s no decent Mexican food in Glasgow. And I’ve had this idea for a while, to open a Belle & Sebastian taqueria. You’re laughing, but I’m about to get serious about this. Because this could be the thing that allows me to carry on doing music — to serve a decent taco.

      • MPAA Urges Japan to Adopt “Three-Strikes”

        Motion Picture Association of American President Bob Pisano refers to rising online copyright infringement as an “epidemic,” and that only by disconnecting file-sharers from the Internet can countries “slow the spread of the disease.”

        I always find it fascinating when the MPAA stands before a crowd of bright, intelligent, and critically thinking individuals and proceeds to try and convince them that a wildly successful industry is under immediate threat, and that without decisive and robust action it may be gone forever.

      • Golan Appealed To The Supreme Court; Important Case About The Extent Of Copyright & The Public Domain

        We’ve been covering the Golan case for a while now. It’s an important case in determining the contours of copyright and the public domain. Many details of the case involve a lot of legal specifics, but the general point was to question whether or not taking works out of the public domain, and putting them under copyright violated the First Amendment. Now, there’s a lot more to it than that, and it would take way too much time to get into all the details. But, basically, due to a trade agreement, certain works that had been considered in the public domain in the US, were put back under copyright. Whether or not that, alone, is that big of a deal wasn’t the key point. Realistically, the point of the case was to get a court to finally admit that there were ways in which Congress could change copyright law that violated the First Amendment.

      • RIAA, Chamber Of Commerce: Censorship Via COICA Is Okay, Because Other Countries Censor Too

        While the COICA bill introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy and Orin Hatch was initially designed to be rushed through Congress, after people pointed out that it pretty clearly violated due process and prohibitions against prior restraint, the Senators realized they needed to hold off for a bit. Everyone has expected that it will be back on the agenda after the midterm elections, and now a bunch of companies and organizations, including the RIAA and the Chamber of Commerce have asked Leahy to move forward with the bill, immediately following the elections.

      • Attorney Engelberg blocks Yale publisher’s use of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe photos

        More than a decade after Joe DiMaggio’s death, his friend and attorney Morris Engelberg is still playing hardball with anyone seeking to exploit the Yankee Clipper’s love for Marilyn Monroe.

      • Gene Simmons Directly Threatens Anonymous With Legal Action, Jail Time

        Gene Simmons, frontman of the band KISS, is hardly impressed with the DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack on GeneSimmons.com – and indirectly – SimmonsRecords.com. In fact, according to a news post made to his site yesterday, Gene is threatening legal action against the perpetrators, along with posting their names and pictures online.

      • Understanding the legal sleaze behind the bulk copyright lawsuits
      • English Heritage claims it owns every single image of Stonehenge, ever

        SteveMars sez, “Every photo image library got this by email today. ‘We are sending you an email regarding images of Stonehenge in your fotoLibra website. Please be aware that any images of Stonehenge can not be used for any commercial interest, all commercial interest to sell images must be directed to English Heritage.’ Here is one image library’s response:”…

      • Are F.B.I. Warnings on DVDs Really Necessary?

        Why, why, why is it still necessary for every single DVD that I buy to have the F.B.I. warning at the beginning? Why can’t they just put the warning on the DVD box? Oh wait— they already do. So why, EVERY TIME I want to watch a movie or TV show that I legitimately purchased, do I have to spend 30 seconds being told yet again that, if I choose to copy the DVD, the F.B.I. is going to come after me?

        It’s an odd way of saying, “Thanks for buying this DVD.”

      • Choruss Goes From Vaporware To Nowhere

        Well, well. Back in 2008, we noted that Warner Music had hired Jim Griffin to put together a sort of skunkworks project to create what sounded like a mandatory ISP tax to allow file sharing, which was eventually dubbed Choruss. We say “sounded like,” because (as you will see), any time we tried to describe the project, we started getting angry emails from Griffin about how we were wrong. Later that year, someone sent us a presentation that Jim was pushing on universities, asking them to sign up for a “voluntary blanket license” that would let students share files. Initially, upon seeing the presentation, my problem was the fact that (from the details presented) this did not sound particularly “voluntary” for the students — and it felt like yet another situation where the real stakeholders were being left out of the discussion.

      • Authors Do Not Create Content In A Vacuum… So It’s Too Bad Copyright Often Pretends They Do

        That line: “Authors do not create value in a vacuum,” is a good one, and deserves to be repeated. So much of the debates we have on copyright and related issues seems to center on this belief that they do. In that patent realm, it’s the whole “flash of genius” concept, but it certainly applies in copyright as well.

      • Digital overhaul hatched

        The Associated Press is overseeing the creation of an organization to help newspapers and broadcasters make more money as more people get their news from mobile phones and other wireless devices.


        In creating the clearinghouse, the AP is drawing upon research that began in 2007 to establish an enforcement and payment system loosely modeled after the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. ASCAP collects and distributes royalties for more than 390,000 songwriters and others involved in the creation of music.

      • ACTA

        • Article 207 TFEU

          The legal base for the Commission’s DG Trade negotiations of ACTA is Article 207 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

        • Filip Kaczmarek asked the Commission about a digital impact

          Consequently, the Commission can assure the Honourable Member that the EU’s position is that ACTA should not create new requirements for telecommunication operators, such as the obligation to remove Internet access from customers without judicial process or the obligation to monitor the information they transmit.

Clip of the Day

Obtener WEP con ubuntu 9.10 (aircrack-ng)-imagen con comandos en la descripcion

Credit: TinyOgg

Eye on Novell: Identity Manager 4 and Only More Proprietary Software

Posted in Identity Management, Novell, Security, Virtualisation at 2:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Novell lost its identity as a “Linux vendor” and the news shows reluctance to do anything to change this

NOVELL HAS had virtually no news to tell this week, the only exception being a press release about Identity Manager 4. At this stage, Novell is just floating, waiting to be acquired (that’s what probably occupies the management right now). Based on this week’s financial news about NOVL [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16], there have been no major shifts. News about Novell was very scarce and casual mentionings of the company were made in light of historical things like Novell’s IPX:

PCs with documents to fax often “spoke” to their servers over proprietary protocols (eg: Novell’s IPX) and telephone carriers were the most common intermediary between those and other servers (and fax machines as well).

More about Novell’s past:

Microsoft on Wednesday reached a deal with New York City to supply software directly to local government but which avoids the controversial practices of earlier years.


Unbundling is a rare step for Microsoft, which has usually preferred mandatory licenses for its software whenever making a deal. The strategy helped marginalize Corel/Novell WordPerfect over the past two decades and also sparked some antitrust concerns, especially when Microsoft charged a per-computer Windows license even for systems that didn’t have Windows installed.

The Economist ponders verbing Novell like people have verbed “Google” and this one article from the Middle East says something odd:

Novell, the leader in Intelligent Workload Management (identity)…

The thing about Novell’s “Intelligent Workload Management” (not identity) is that it owns it, so it’s not the “leader” in it. Some other new articles from the Middle East cover similar grounds [1, 2]. Novell tries growing its market there. It is mostly about proprietary software though, as articles name Identity Manager 4 and WorkloadIQ. Novell has been spreading self-promotional/self-serving ‘studies’ recently and these are being used to market Fog Computing, which Novell wishes to control using proprietary software like WorkloadIQ.

Another piece of proprietary software from Novell is GroupWise and this one too received some coverage this week, even though it was very minor, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4]. GWAVA announced a keynote speaker for GWAVACon. Additionally, “LiveTime and Novell Announce the Launch of Novell Service Desk Software” says this item:

LiveTime Software, a California-based provider of Web, Software-as-a-Service, cloud-based ITIL 3 Service Management, and Service Desk software, announced a partnership with Novell, for worldwide distribution of LiveTime as Novell Service Desk.

Novell’s marketing type Grant Ho has just had a placement at ZDNet. It’s for identity management, which Novell has a new release of [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Novell’s identity management bags this new partner:

Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions (ECS) has deepened its relationship with Novell by bagging distribution rights to the software vendor’s identity and security line-up.

People with history at Novell are being mentioned in some releases and articles this week, for example:

Bradford served as CEO of Fusion-io and was senior vice president of Novell. He is now chairman of Fusion-io’s board, “giving me a little more time for LDS.biz.”

Lastly, Novell was mentioned in the following couple of items (minor significance):

i. HP ExpertONE Targets Cisco Training with New Certifications

They never mention Cisco by name, but it does seem a little late to be targeting Novell CNEs as a major source of pre-trained candidates.

ii. Swicon360 set to shine as Silver sponsor at Saphila Conference

Swicon360, in association with partners Vodacom Business and Novell, will be represented as a Silver sponsor at the event, which is co-hosted by The African SAP User Group and SAP South Africa.

Up to a point this year we were publishing Novell news on a weekly basis. News about Novell has become very scarce though, so we stopped. The company is now on the verge of being no more and given its focus on proprietary software, a takeover won’t be loss to FOSS. In some ways it will help demote/eliminate a distribution which Microsoft unfairly extracts revenue from (dubbed “Ballnux”).

EMC/VMB_ware Still in “Exclusive Talks” to Buy Novell’s SUSE

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, VMware at 1:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shaking hands

Summary: VMB_ware and Novell reportedly still negotiate takeover of SUSE (the issue may price) and why OpenSUSE should prepare to become independent

YESTERDAY we covered some of the latest about VMB_ware, which is owned by EMC and is run by former executives of Microsoft. EMC was Microsoft’s partner of the year a while back and in the New York Post there is this new article about EMC buying Isilv (not confirmed yet). It also talks about Novell as follows:

Besides pursuing Isilon, EMC through its majority owned VMware, is still in exclusive talks to buy Novell’s division that develops and delivers Linux systems, a source said.

Resultant coverage claims that the Novell buyout is still on. Coverage from a Microsoft booster says:

The report also says that EMC-controlled VMware (VMW) is in “exclusive talks” – there’s that phrase again – to buy the Suse Linux business from Novell (NOVL).

From Murdoch’s rag:

The report also says that EMC-controlled VMware is talking to Novell about buying its SUSE Linux business.

This is also mentioned in one of Murdoch’s other rags and right here:

Also there are reports that its server virtualization hand VMware is in talks to acquire Novell, which adds to its software stack and allows it to move to the cloud.

And lastly:

Also there are reports that its server virtualization hand VMware is in talks to acquire Novell, which adds to its software stack and allows it to move to the cloud.

As we wrote yesterday afternoon, OpenSUSE ought to make exit plans because VMB_ware is not a company of communities. OpenSUSE folks wrote about OSB and OSC earlier this week (Sebastian’s coverage of OSC is here and more OBS coverage is in [1, 2]), but in these times of uncertainty and apathy from Novell, why keep so closely tied to it? As we’ll show in the next post, Novell is increasingly a proprietary software company.

Apple — Like Microsoft — Compromises the Future of Java

Posted in Apple, Java, Microsoft, Oracle at 1:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Coffee beans

Summary: Apple is discontinuing Java in Mac OS X despite the inter-personal connection with Oracle

Oracle and Apple are unlikely to ever sue each other over patents because of the relationship between Jobs and Ellison [1, 2, 3]. It is hard to figure out why Apple seemingly phases out Java then, as claimed on a speculative basis in several places like this one: [via]

Scant months since beginning a public spat with Adobe over its decision not to support Flash on iOS devices, Apple now also appears ready to abandon Java in Mac OS X.

If true, what might Apple be trying to achieve? It’s not about patents, is it? To Apple, removal of Adobe Trash (at least temporarily, until antitrust scrutiny) was arguably a matter of control.

As people may already know, Apple benefits from Oracle’s lawsuit against Android/Google, which is a lawsuit over Java patents. The Economist has this new article titled “The great patent battle” and it’s about the many patent battles in the mobile arena:

Hardly a week passes without a new case. Motorola sued Apple this month, having itself been sued by Microsoft a few days earlier. Since 2006 the number of mobile-phone-related patent complaints has increased by 20% annually, according to Lex Machina, a firm that keeps a database of intellectual-property spats in America.

Most suits were filed by patent owners who hail from another industry, such as Kodak (a firm from a bygone era that now makes printers), or by patent trolls (firms that buy patents not in order to make products, but to sue others for allegedly infringing them). But in recent months the makers of handsets and related software themselves have become much more litigious, reports Joshua Walker, the boss of Lex Machina.

Could patents have anything at all with Apple’s treatment of Java (assuming those rumours bear substance)? That seems unlikely. Either way, Microsoft too has been attacking Java with FUD recently.

Postscript: at the time of publishing it turns out the speculations are true as Apple “threatens Java” by deprecating its release and Steve Jobs talks about it.

Stephen Elop Says No New Linux Phones From Nokia This Year, Talks About Cross-platform Qt

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 12:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mee gnu

Summary: The mobile Linux stack which it true to standards/LSB is alive and well, but no phone release date has yet been given by Microsoft’s former president who became Nokia’s CEO

NOKIA is one of the biggest developers of Linux right now. Its number of patches exceeds that of many other companies. That’s why having a new CEO from Microsoft concerned us somewhat (see links at the bottom). Well, Nokia has just published the following from Stephen Elop:

There have been various comments made at various points in time about the anticipated availability of our first MeeGo device and versions of the MeeGo software. My first impressions of our MeeGo work inspires both confidence and excitement, however it is also clear to me that our first MeeGo device will be a 2011 event.

Intel said something similar a few weeks ago. It would be nicer to have commitment to dates.

There are some Symbian- and Qt-related announcements as well [1, 2]:

Nokia has announced some new plans to refine its mobile platform strategy. The company says that the current Symbian versioning scheme will be dropped in favor of a more rapid and incremental approach to development. The company also affirmed its commitment to the open source Qt development toolkit, which will become the “sole focus” of Nokia’s application development efforts across both Symbian and the Linux-based MeeGo platform.

There has been no talk of Vista Phone 7 [sic] at Nokia for a while, despite rumours. Maybe it won’t be so bad for Linux after all. It’s too early to tell because of repeated cases of procrastination. No future device with MeeGo (especially phone) has yet been named or properly introduced.

More on Nokia:

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