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10.23.10

IRC Proceedings: October 23rd, 2010

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

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Bill Gates #3 Man in United States Government, Permanently?

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft at 4:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

From villain to tyrant

Direct link to deposition video | Full set of the deposition videos (including Ogg Theora versions)


Footage from the Gates deposition (quotes for humour’s purpose only)

Summary: The co-founder of Microsoft is quickly establishing a place for himself as a patron of the United States (and beyond), who is never elected by the population and may stay in power for decades to come

THE Gates Foundation has grown rather influential thanks in part to a huge PR campaign (probably multi-billion-dollar) which has gone on for years. As we’ll show in later posts, the Gates Foundation is buying publications or journalists so that they publish glamourising pieces about the Gates Foundation. It’s an abuse of power and the media along with its audience will suffer as a result.

Here is an example of Microsoft PR with “Child Exploitation” as the subject. It’s not just Gates who uses such tactics. It’ partly political, too.

Watch this new BusinessWeek headline which goes like this (listing Gates as though he is third in the US chain of command): “Obama, Biden, Gates Focus on Community Colleges for Job Skills”

President Barack Obama holds the first White House summit highlighting the role that community colleges play in educating workers, an effort boosted by a $35 million donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In his quiet attempt to run more monopolies and control parts of the world using his wealth, Gates also attends another G-20 summit [1, 2]. Let’s remember what he did with Harper in the Canadian summit and what Gates did with Clinton back in March.

“Why would a politician wish to associate herself with such an offensive company?”Is Gates powering/bending governmental decisions like he is a cross-border president now? Nobody elected him. He is just buying his way into politics and he never needs to go through the same process. We warned about Microsoft influence in government many times before and we see it again now that White House Speaker Nancy Pelosi goes to Microsoft. Why would a politician wish to associate herself with such an offensive company? To quote the Microsoft-friendly TechFlash: “Hang around Microsoft’s Redmond campus long enough and you never know who might show up. Today’s visitor will be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is set to tour the futuristic Microsoft Home — a series of rooms inside Microsoft’s conference center — and answer questions from reporters this afternoon.”

Such government lobbying and commercial entanglements are particularly disturbing because Microsoft sends jobs overseas and avoids tax; and yes, according to another TechFlash headline, “Nancy Pelosi visits Microsoft, thanks company for creating jobs” (bias noted).

This has got to be some kind of black humour. Bill Gates and his father (tax exempt) are responsible for the loss of many American jobs. And as a reader of ours pointed out some days ago, “Preston Gates is about to make a killing throwing people out of their houses. Got to love those philanthropists Gates people.”

From the original article:

To keep up with demand, K&L Gates has launched a U.S. foreclosure task force designed to aid clients in addressing questions related to potential lawsuits, hearings and foreclosure moratoriums.

Laurence Platt, a mortgage banking partner in the firm’s Washington office and a leader of K&L Gates’ financial services practice, wouldn’t comment on specific clients the firm is representing, but he said they include national banks, loan servicers, and other public companies. K&L Gates also recently served as examiner in the New Century and WorldCom bankruptcy proceedings.

The Gates club is still having private meetings and trips to China. We have covered this before. It’s a bunch of publicity/rave trips to China [1, 2] and few people do manage to see through the PR. Buffett is a major part of this PR. He too is trying to launder his reputation.

A lot of what’s promoted by Gates is generally tied to patents and to banking*, as we repeatedly explained in the past. Bill’s friend Nathan Myhrvold (from Intellectual Ventures) is also making money from it, or at least trying to. From The New York Times:

In 2007, Bill and Melinda Gates — whose foundation now sets the agenda in global health — announced that they intended to end malaria, an ambition that both the interagency Roll Back Malaria Partnership and the World Health Organization affirmed. Funds for the job have zoomed from $100 million a year in 1998 to nearly $2 billion by the end of 2009.

The Gates Foundation has given vaccine researchers $150 million since the late 1990s. There are dozens of experimental malaria vaccines in labs across the globe, with the most clinically advanced, Mosquirix, appearing to reduce the incidence of illness from malaria by 65 percent.

Oil companies such as ExxonMobil, plagued by malaria in West Africa, have bankrolled genomics research at Western universities in search of new drugs. Even venture capitalists such as the former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold have joined in. He showed his laser mosquito-zapping system at a highly publicized lecture in February.

All hope to find a simple, permanent cure.

The new findings, however, challenge this dream. That is because eradicating a disease is, in several important respects, a goal diametrically opposed to controlling one.

Intellectual Ventures too has a PR machine going and to cite an old example:

I enjoyed Levitt & Dubner’s “Freakonomics”, and picked up the followup “Superfreakonomis” recently at an airport. The last chapter, however, was astonishing. The entire chapter was devoted to a glowing advertisement for Intellectual Ventures, pointing out that they own 20,000 patents “more than all but a few dozen companies in the world”, but of course “there is little hard evidence” that they are patent trolls.

But this bunch of wacky genius billionaires have solved global warming (much of which they dispute anyway) and can control malaria and prevent hurricanes from forming. Unlike the rest of the book which covers analysis of well-known facts and disputes them with insightful economic research, this chapter is so breathless and gushy that it makes me question the rest of the author’s work.

I first came across Intellectual Ventures when The Economist reversed their 100-year opposition to patents, and the only reason I could find was a similarly cheerleading piece about this company. (I had naively expected new research revealing some net positive of patents, or some such revelation).

Intellectual Ventures is lobbying and bullying, it is not doing research and producing any products. It’s just PR which ever suggests otherwise. We’ll say a lot more about PR tomorrow when many more examples from the news will be given, including those which relate to education.
_____
* The micro-payment gig of Gates [1, 2] and the Grameen Foundation [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] comes to Cambodia now.

DRM Video

Posted in DRM, Videos at 2:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Anti-DRM video which is circulating today


Direct link

Credit: TinyOgg

Latest Examples of Mobbyists and Failed Microsoft Attempts to Co-opt Open Source Mind Share

Posted in Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, FUD, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Red Hat at 11:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“FOSS” agenda hijacked by fakers who are on Microsoft’s payroll

AstroTurf Zuck concept

Summary: A few more old mobbyists are back to trashing Red Hat and Free software in general; Microsoft is unable to take the voice of Free software or to attract Free software developers to Microsoft-controlled substitutes

HAD Free software not been an increasingly big threat to proprietary software, then it would just be left alone. Some of the worst attacks on software freedom appear to come in the form of software patents, which are a rather effective weapon because they compete with software based on litigious grounds as opposed to technical grounds. It’s no coincidence that many of the mobbyists (including Microsoft Florian) specifically hammer on this one aspect or this one vector of attack on FOSS. The patent lawyers already use those mobbyists to justify what they do, as evidenced by this new pro-software patents piece from lawyers that use Microsoft Florian to promote their point of view:

Anti-software patent campaigner changes his mind

[...]

It seems to me, though, that while Mueller’s welcome stance is bang on the money, he still has a little further to go until his journey reaches its logical end. Because surely if software patents are “a fact of life”, doesn’t it also make sense for there to be absolute clarity about what they cover and the limits of patentability? Surely the answer to that question has to be yes. And if that is the case, shouldn’t Mueller – the good European that he is – now come out in support of European legislation that does just that? I know, we could call it the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive, or maybe the Software Directive for short.

Microsoft Florian says: “I didn’t change my mind on sw patents, just the angle: back then legislation, now enforcement/competition.”

Based on his words and his actions, he is in favour of software patents now, but he is still trying to keep the mask on. This is a guy whose career is campaigning for companies that pay him to do this. Microsoft Florian has the same positions as the BSA and he is just like ACT, whose Microsoft-funded staff is faking SMB voices (complete reversal). They both promote and lie about RAND. Watch out as Microsoft Florian still introduces and advertises himself, e.g. when he mass-mails journalists or puts up public profiles, as an opponent of software patents (citing something from many years ago) and a friend of Free software, even though nearly nothing which he does signifies this; quite the contrary in fact.

The number of mobbyists we find out there appears to be growing now that Jeff Gould is back with his attacks on Red Hat’s business (Microsoft Florian also slams Red Hat’s business) and Dennis Byron is back too, having done a lot of the same a few years ago. This time too he attacks Red Hat’s business (see the comments from unimpressed readers). We gave more example of such FUD attacks a few days ago and earlier today the following observations were made in IRC:

oiaohm gnufreex: so you are not noticing the increased attempts to trash linux. Oct 23 01:09
oiaohm It everywhere. Oct 23 01:09
gnufreex I am noticing. Oct 23 01:09
cubevector it’s been like that since the Halloween documents though Oct 23 01:10
cubevector probably it’s getting worse since Linux is doing well Oct 23 01:10
gnufreex Now is more problematic, becaue community is more diverse. Shills get some undecided people on their side. Oct 23 01:10
oiaohm The media thrush is natural progression. Oct 23 01:11
oiaohm Nothing really to worry about at this stage. Oct 23 01:11
gnufreex For example, not all Mono apologists are paid to trash other langauges (Python, etc). They do it because they think De Icaza is right. Oct 23 01:11
gnufreex They are missled. Oct 23 01:12
twitter heh, they need people to buy Vista 7. Oct 23 01:12
cubevector they’re not really buying it by choice Oct 23 01:12
cubevector they just end up with it when they buy a new box Oct 23 01:12
cubevector it’s a multi-faceted battle Oct 23 01:13

As Microsoft’s AZune [sic] plans go awry with the departure of Ray Ozzie [1, 2], they now try to embrace the open source Fog Computing competition. “At OSCON,” claims Simon Phipps, “I told Microsoft’s cloud guy that supporting OpenStack was a no-brainer. They’ve done it, at least a bit…”

Well, the last few times they tried to embrace open source to promote Windows (and .NET) it rarely worked. IronPython and IronRuby have officially failed (now passed to Microsoft fans at Novell, those who also help Novell’s Banshee with all its patent problems and other worrisome entanglements of Microsoft APIs). Here is what happened to the original leadership:

Microsoft has turned over the leadership of its IronPython and IronRuby dynamic language projects to the open source community. Jim Hugunin, who led IronPython, leaves for Google.

Regarding Microsoft influence, Google gets filled with some, which leads to issues we demonstrated before (DirectX and ActiveX usage for example, even inside Google). It has been funny to watch mobbyists dismissing their critics as “Google shills” or something along those lines. It’s a case of reflection of self justification. Watch out and be careful of mobbyists; report them if we’ve missed any (other than stalkers whose accounts are solely dedicated to smearing Techrights because we just ignore these psychopaths).

Exploring Audio

Posted in Site News at 10:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Techrights audiocast may be coming soon

OWING TO growth of this Web site we have begun looking into the possibility of making an audiocast (Ogg, MP3, and maybe YouTube) to complement both OpenBytes and Techrights. Stay tuned for details.

My appearance on TWiT TV (video below) was poor and we can do a lot better than that if the panel and the topic are set differently. Thoughts on the subject are welcome as a regular show will require an investment of time. If there is no interest in it, then maybe another idea can be considered to take this site into the next level.


Direct link (MP4) (or MP3)

From Copyrights to Patents: How Software Patents Became the Top Linux Issue

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Patents, SCO at 9:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Disaster codes

Summary: An overview of news about SCO (copyright challenge) and software patents, which are increasingly being used to threaten the legality of Free/libre software

Microsoft’s and Apple’s #1 weapon against software freedom appears to be software patents. More and more people recognise this, especially now that SCO is passé. Groklaw still organises some old SCO texts, including some which got unsealed and now reveal:

[T]he judge’s instructions to the jury later that same day, the last day of the trial.

We also learn more on why Novell’s slander of title counterclaim was tossed, basically on a legal technicality, because of a lack of specific evidence of special damages Novell suffered, but note the plain-spoken judge on the matter and on Darl McBride’s behavior:

THE COURT: Mr. Jacobs, again, the proposed instruction in this case — and we have spent the better part of the last hour plus looking for any kind of case law to help us — would indicate the types of damages contemplated by a scienter title case are narrow and focus almost exclusively on the types of things that are described in the jury instruction. And absent anybody finding anything to the contrary, the Court feels that it is going to have to grant the Rule 50 motion because of the absence of the types of damages that are required.

I would note on the question of constitutional malice, our analysis of the evidence would be that the Court could not grant it on that basis because we believe there is evidence that indicated that Mr. McBride was aware of the fact that his company may not own the copyrights, he persisted in making public statements, and a jury — a reasonable jury could conclude that there was constitutional malice.

But in the absence of any finding of damages, the Court is going to grant the motion and we’ll just have to do the work overnight that we must in order to exclude the counterclaim, any reference to the counterclaim during the course of — and what will result is tomorrow morning I will give you another packet. I’ll have to ask if you could use your fellow attorneys here to go through that to make certain we’ve done it properly.

So, he reluctantly felt bound by law, not finding the highly refined type of damages slander of title cases require, while at the same time noting that had they been presented he believed a jury could find constitutional malice on SCO’s part, because McBride knew there was dispute over the ownership of the copyrights but he persisted with his public statements otherwise. Interestingly, SCO initially had the same damages issue with its slander of title complaint, lo these many years ago, but it was allowed to revise the complaint to replead better. Novell much later in the process was not, probably because it was now an issue of evidence.

Well, a SCO bankruptcy hearing gets cancelled again and SCO files notice of cure amounts again. Groklaw also publishes new objections to this cure notice by SCOracle and by EMC (which works with Microsoft and owns VMB_ware).

We have found no mainstream news about the SCO case. It sometimes seems like Groklaw regulars and Pamela Jones are the only ones (except the trial’s lawyers plus jury) who keep track of this lost case. Techrights never had much SCO case expertise, but our area of focus is software patents and with informants from the FFII we shall continue to share some analysis, mostly an assortment of existing analyses. It goes without saying that we do not always agree with opinions that we quote or cite here. We try to be comprehensive by presenting all sides and forming an opinion about each. One point made by the FFII’s president last night, for example, is that news about Google’s tax avoidance* is in some way related to its policy on software patents. A reference to the news was put here earlier on in our list of links, but the suggestion that “Google is using its software patents to evade US taxes” is one we could not substantiate. I asked the FFII’s president: “Patents?”

“Yes,” he said, “intellectual property”. It would be nice to see the correlation, if any, between software/business method patents and shifting of tax processing to other countries. Some banking tricks are actually patented (c/f In Re Bilski). The FSFE, which is based near the FFII, recently exposed the latest hostile behaviour of the BSA [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], which TechDirt now accuses of sending “Ridiculously Bogus Letter To European Commission” (it’s the same BSA which lies about software patents).

Is it just me, or is the BSA becoming a bigger and bigger joke each time it does just about anything these days? For years, the organization has put out its yearly bogus stats on “piracy,” which have been debunked over and over and over again. They’re about the only trade group that still has the gall to equate a single unauthorized copy to a single lost sale (even the RIAA and MPAA have moved away from that claim). They’ve also been known to simply make up survey numbers, rather than actually ask people in certain countries. And then, even on news stories, they seem to make it clear that they have no clue what’s going on — such as last week’s announcement that ACTA was a treaty already signed by 37 countries, when it’s neither a treaty, nor has it been signed by anyone.

The BSA is not any better than the Murdoch-funded Chamber of Commerce. On behalf of big business it attacks the rights of citizens.

Jamie Love has just explained what the EU must do about ACTA in order to eliminate or mitigate the patent-related ramifications:

Jamie Love has been one of the key people writing about and fighting the worst aspects of ACTA. He’s just posed a good question on Twitter:

Why haven’t the EU civil society groups done more on patents in ACTA? It is quite possible to get patents out at this point.

Michael Geist quotes Jamie Love as saying/writing:

Only countries that want patents in ACTA are Japan, Switzerland & EU. Strongest EU voice on patents is Germany.

TechDirt has another decent new post where the idea gets pushed that “Patents Create Incentives For More Patents, Not Innovation” (needing defence against patent attacks, for example, just like nuclear weapons). From this post:

While many people (especially politicians and the press) like to equate patents and innovation (often falsely suggesting that fewer patents means less innovation), studies have shown that patents are actually a really bad proxy for innovation, in that there’s simply no direct link between the two. And that’s a problem, considering that the patent system is supposed to be about creating more incentives for innovation. In fact, however, it often appears that the patent system is actually creating incentives to get more patents.

[...]

Incentives are funny things. If you actually believe that patents are correlated to innovation, then such strategies make sense. But if the reality is that patents are simply correlated to patents, then it’s a huge dead weight loss to focus so much on patenting, rather than actual innovation.

Openuniverse speaks about the 4 freedoms and software patents in his blog:

free software license: any license that gives the user of the software all 4 freedoms.

strong license: a free software license designed to keep those 4 freedoms, even for users down the line, through copyleft- a requirement that users also grant the same freedoms for derivative works.

permissive license: a free software license that doesn’t worry about how strong it is, just that it gives the 4 freedoms.

the problem with permissive licenses is not always an issue- lots of projects will not be high profile enough (or even useful or innovative enough) to end up in the crosshairs of the competition- however, what constitutes “high-profile” varies- you may have never heard of tomtom, but it became a victim of software patent abuse by larger software companies (tomtom is a dutch company that makes gps devices.)

Here is another new post about wireless routers with embedded Linux. Red Hat’s Haish Pillay calls it “more evidence on the failure of software patents” and it goes like this: [via Slashdot]

Optimum Path is now suing basically everybody making an embedded Linux based wireless router for infringing on patent #7035281, filed September 13, 2000. This patent covers many features of the WRT-54G series (first shipped in Dec, 2002), and related products, from multiple other manufacturers, features that were built into the Linux mainline code, long before the patent was filed. Optimum Path now also holds a second patent – filed in 2005 – granted in July 2010 – which covers not only the ground covered by the first patent but includes content filtering (!?). I’m told this latter patent is not currently the subject of litigation, but it bothers me as much as the first – we were doing content filtering in Linux in 1999, also… Everybody was doing it.

In looking back on the heady years of 1998-2002, I’m now nearly certain that back in July of 1998, we actually created the first recognizable “embedded Linux wireless router”. PLEASE: Note the word choice, there – embedded, Linux, wireless, router. Eliminate any of those words and you end up with a different product, from a different person.

Here we have another illustration of software patents as the top threat to Linux. SCO ceased to be a problem several years ago. Thanks to the trial we now know that Linux has no copyright issues, but software patents are a different story because infringements need not be willful. Software developers defend copyrights, not patents.
_____
* Legalised but by no means ethical or acceptable — a point that’s made clear in films like “Oh Canada” and a point we covered in reference to Microsoft, which also uses tax havens in Europe.

Java Founder Calls Steve Jobs a Liar, Gets Attacks by Apple’s Mob

Posted in Apple, Java at 7:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

James Gosling in 2008

Summary: Mr. Java is the latest among many to criticise Apple for its behaviour this past week

YESTERDAY WE NAMED some of the latest people and groups who criticise Apple after it made some very tactless (and demonstrably incorrect) remarks, as well as selfish design decisions that may harm developers. There are exceptions, however, such as a Gentoo developer, “flameeyes”, who wrote: “I don’t understand… Apple is trying to get us rid of two techs we ranted on for years (Flash and Java) and yet they are doing it wrong?”

In the eyes of Java developers (of which there is a huge number), Apple is doing plenty of wrongs.

“Gosling calls Jobs a liar,” says Simon Phipps, Gosling’s former colleague. From the post in question:

Macrumors has an article on the fuss about Java on the Mac. They quote Jobs as saying:

Sun (now Oracle) supplies Java for all other platforms. They have their own release schedules, which are almost always different than ours, so the Java we ship is always a version behind. This may not be the best way to do it.

It simply isn’t true that “Sun (now Oracle) supplies Java for all other platforms”.

Our readers have talked about this in IRC, alleging that Mac fans attack Gosling like he insulted their religion (see the comments). “Well, Apple is rather rotten to it’s open core,” wrote David and gnufreex replied with: “I saw how Apple fanboys blasted Gosling on one of his posts earlier. He said something about Google trying to compete with Apple which is “borg-wannab-be”. Apple fanboys attacked him one after other. Sick zealots. Church of Apple.”

What’s truly rotten at Apple is not necessarily people who merely admire the company. Apple is not accountable for the behaviour of its customers. But Apple itself is killing computing and anyone who still cares about any morsel of openness should pay attention to posts which say:

Apple doesn’t want you use your computer to control an Arduino, write custom printer drivers, run a game server or control your house lights. They want you to shut up and consume. Us nerds? We’re fine with our Space Station Control computers. But everyone else? Apple wants them to have their iPad, bag of Cheetos and credit card handy. You want to watch 30 Rock on your iPad? Apple gets 30%. You want to buy the latest BedazzleMyAngryBirdGemLoop game? Apple get 30% and could not be happier.

Danny Pickle remarks:

Apple has announced it’s bringing the App Store to the Mac. How long until MacBooks need jailbreaking too?

Danny links to this latest call for action from the Defective by Design campaign:

Well, it’s official. Apple has now announced it’s bringing the App Store concept to the Mac and it looks like they’ll be restricting apps with FairPlay DRM too for good measure. When we first began talking about the problems with the App Store on the iPhone and iPod Touch, people wanted us to drop it and stop talking about the DRM tricks being pulled by Apple on the grounds that the iPhone wasn’t a general purpose computer (it is, and the iPad is too) but rather an appliance.

Presumably, Apple won’t (yet) be stopping the Mac from installing software from other sources as they have with the iPhone, at least not just yet. But consider this: just like the original iMac shipped without a floppy drive, the MacBook Air (recently updated) was the first Mac without an optical drive — will this have the effect, intentional or otherwise of making the App Store the only place to buy certain software, including its own iLife suite of ‘lifestyle’ applications?

For the sake of software freedom and for people to control their computers (unlike telephones, which tend to be very rigid) it is important to educate people and to discourage buying products from Apple. Do not allow one Microsoft to be replaced by another because Apple is no better, it’s just different. The company is clearly not interested in technology, it is obsessed with total control*. It even openly mocks those who do try to give customers more control. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result” — that is a relevant quote often attributed to Benjamin Franklin. Apple needs to lose because its goals are antisocial.
____
* Microsoft too was used by Gates for world domination (to the extent he could attain it).

Links 23/10/2010: Wiimote on GNU/Linux, Mint Raves

Posted in News Roundup at 6:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • [CiviCRM:] Amnesty International

    CivicActions has worked with Amnesty International since 2007 both on their Drupal based website, Amnesty.org and their CiviCRM installation. We first implemented version 1.8 with Drupal 5 and earlier this year upgraded the website to Drupal 6 and CiviCRM to version 3.1, they are now running version 3.2.x.

  • Girl Scouts’ Digital Media Class, Day 1 & Day 2

    This evening I taught the second class session of a 9-week program to teach ~14-year old Girl Scouts how to work with digital media using free software tools. Our first class was last Friday. The classes are two-hours long, on Friday nights (these girls are dedicated!), on a weekly basis.

    [...]

    As I did with Red Hat’s earlier Inkscape class, I’m going to try to make a blog post per session to keep you updated on how the class is going, and hopefully to also be a resource to other folks who might be interested in teaching a similar class. I’d like to document any issues we run into and the solutions we come up with as well as the successes we stumble upon to that end.

  • Open Source Skills: The Road to Riches?

    Open source software occupies half of the list. This is very promising for individuals who focus on short-term and project-based work.

    Although, some open source technologies, like Linux and Apache Tomcat, have become so prolific they are now mainstream, most will not. Enthusiasts argue all technologies start as the technology newcomer trying to win converts from a well-established leader. Java was in this position with C++ nearly a decade ago.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Open-Source Vendor Battles VMware Lock-in No One Else Sees

      Open-source developer Cloud.com announced this morning it is now possible to run Microsoft’s hypervisor with an open-source cloud-computing platform in order to combat the homogeneity and vendor lock-in that would go along with cloud solutions from leading virtualization vendor VMware.

      Cloud.com Chief Marketing Officer Peder Ulander said the company started work on an abstraction layer that would allow Hyper-V to work with the OpenStack cloud platform at the request of a user who was concerned that VMware’s vCloud platform would be too limiting for a large corporate IT operation.

  • Oracle

    • Leaving the OpenOffice.org project

      Today is a special day. I feel both sad and relieved, happy and somewhat disgusted. I have officially resigned from all my duties, roles and positions inside the OpenOffice.org project. My resignation is effective immediately and I am leaving the project. I will now be contributing to the Document Foundation, while of course continuing to work at Ars Aperta and at the OASIS as a member of its Board of Director, eGov Steering Committee and ODF Committees.

    • To: JCP Executive Committee Members
    • FireFox FireOffice

      So, I was thinking about this, maybe we need to port openoffice as a firefox plugin, fireoffice. To use firefox as the platform and enable a simple office that runs in the browser.

  • Education

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Alfresco drops LGPL’d Hibernate for iBatis

      He says that this was the “primary reason” for removing Hibernate and would allow the company “more freedom and flexibility to make some decisions”. Once LGPL’d jBPM has been replaced with Activiti, there will be no LGPL components in Alfresco’s ECM platform.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Will Pay For Some KMS & GEM Love

      Chris Wilson of Intel back in July had written a branch of the Intel X.Org display driver (xf86-video-intel) that added back user-space mode-setting support to their open-source driver that did not need the Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) within the kernel to function. This code was previously stripped away from the driver previously since KMS+GEM is the future they wanted to head in, but for those with vintage Intel i8xx-era graphics hardware using these newer code paths frequently resulted in lock-ups and other problems. Rather than trying to solve the actual problem at hand of GEM and KMS for this old hardware, the easier solution was viewed to just add back non-GEM UMS support.

  • Government

    • End lock-in by suppliers says Government CIO

      EU procurement rules say that public sector buyers cannot specify an ICT product or brand. That means the big suppliers, usually systems integrators, select the products, the brands, and the architecture.

  • Programming

    • Taco Bell Programming

      The more I write code and design systems, the more I understand that many times, you can achieve the desired functionality simply with clever reconfigurations of the basic Unix tool set. After all, functionality is an asset, but code is a liability. This is the opposite of a trend of nonsense called DevOps, where system administrators start writing unit tests and other things to help the developers warm up to them – Taco Bell Programming is about developers knowing enough about Ops (and Unix in general) so that they don’t overthink things, and arrive at simple, scalable solutions.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • W3C updates HTML5, makes math easy

      The W3C has updated its MathML standard for rendering mathematical notation on Web pages to better portray basic math symbols, as well as render mathematic symbols in more languages.

Leftovers

  • Square Enix Sends C&D To Developer Creating OpenCarmageddon

    Whatis42? writes in to let us know that Square Enix has sent a cease and desist letter to a guy who’s been developing an open source version of the game Carmageddon. Now, it’s almost certainly the case that this version does, in fact, violate the original copyrights (and potentially trademarks) of Square Enix, but should it really matter? The game is well over a decade old and not for sale anywhere anymore. The re-creation of the game appears to be a pretty cool learning experience for a developer and fans of the game.

  • Bible.com investor sues company for lack of profit
  • Chief Justice Roberts Admits He Doesn’t Read the Computer Fine Print

    Answering a student question, Roberts admitted he doesn’t usually read the computer jargon that is a condition of accessing websites, and gave another example of fine print: the literature that accompanies medications, the AP story reports.

    It has “the smallest type you can imagine and you unfold it like a map,” he said. “It is a problem,” he added, “because the legal system obviously is to blame for that.” Providing too much information defeats the purpose of disclosure, since no one reads it, he said. “What the answer is,” he said, “I don’t know.”

  • Why IPv6? Vint Cerf keeps blaming himself

    Are you struggling with or dreading the thought of IPv6?

    If so, Vint Cerf, much-decorated “Father of the Internet,” wants you to know that it’s OK to blame him. He certainly does so himself. In fact, he does so time and time and time again.

  • The incredible growth of the Internet since 2000

    It doesn’t feel like 2000 was all that long ago, does it? But on the Internet, a decade is a long time. Ten years ago we were in the era of the dot-com boom (and bust), the Web was strictly 1.0, and Google was just a baby.

  • Laurel L. Russwurm: NaNoWriMo is …

    NaNoWriMo began as a small group of people who wanted to try their hands at writing a novel, but it quickly exploded into an International Internet novel writing extravaganza. Now it is a very large group of people all over the world who want to try their hand at writing a novel. (Love that Internet!)

  • Science

    • Building a Giant Lab to Test Disasters

      The insurance industry is doing its best to create a tempest in a teapot.

    • Synthetic DNA makers warned of bioterrorism threats

      TO MAKE it harder for bioterrorists to build dangerous viruses from scratch, guidelines for firms who supply “custom DNA” are being introduced in the US.

      The US and other countries restrict who can work with certain germs, but it might be possible to build some viruses from their genes. A number of firms supply DNA sequences to order. A 2005 investigation by New Scientist raised alarms when it found that only five out of 12 of these firms in North America and Europe always screened orders for sequences that might be used in bioweapons.

    • Mass Can Be ‘Created’ Inside Graphene, Say Physicists

      The amazing properties of graphene now include the ability to create mass, according to a new prediction.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Consumers Win Important Battle Over How Health Care Reform Will Be Implemented

      The new MLR regulations might indeed cause a few inefficient health plans to either improve the way they do business or close up shop, but why is that a bad thing? Because it will “reduce choice?” One of the main objectives of reform is to reduce waste and ensure Americans get the value they deserve when they send in their premium payments every month. If the health plans that take our money but give us lousy coverage in return are forced out of the marketplace, I say good riddance, even if their departure means that the bigger and more efficient plans that offer better value pick up the customers they leave behind.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • This Week in Review: Hard news’ online value, a small but successful paywall, and the war on WikiLeaks

      Greenwald asserted that part of the reason for the government’s rhetoric is its fear of damage that could be caused by WikiLeaks future leaks, and sure enough, it’s already urging news organizations not to publish information from WikiLeaks’ Iraq documents. At The Link, Nadim Kobeissi wrote an interesting account of the battle over WikiLeaks so far, characterizing it as a struggle between the free, open ethos of the web and the highly structured, hierarchical nature of the U.S. government. “No nation has ever fought, or even imagined, a war with a nation that has no homeland and a people with no identity,” Kobeissi said.

    • WikiLeaks plans ‘major’ announcement in Europe

      The WikiLeaks website appears close to releasing what the Pentagon fears is the largest cache of secret U.S. documents in history — hundreds of thousands of intelligence reports compiled after the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

    • EXCLUSIVE: WikiLeaks Prepares Largest Intel Leak in US History with Release of 400,000 Iraq War Docs

      We speak to the nation’s most famous whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the secret history of the Vietnam War in 1971, just before he heads to London to participate in the WikiLeak press conference.

    • Iraq war logs: secret files show how US ignored torture

      A grim picture of the US and Britain’s legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.

    • Tibetan student protests spread to Beijing

      Protests by Tibetan students in western China over plans to restrict the use of their language have spread, according to state media and a campaign group.

      A source in Beijing said between 200 and 300 Tibetan students at the capital’s Central University for Nationalities held a peaceful demonstration this afternoon.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Malarial mosquitoes turning into new species

      Two strains of the mosquito responsible for most malaria transmission in Africa are evolving into different species, meaning that techniques to control them may work on one type but not the other.

    • Tea Partiers Hold Fossil Fuel Industry’s Views on Climate Change

      Only 14 percent of Tea Party supporters believe global warming is a real environmental problem compared to 49 percent of the rest of the public, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll. Global warming skepticism is an article of faith among Tea Party adherents, some of whom say they rely on the teachings of scripture and conservative opinion leaders as sources for their information about climate science. Tea Partiers’ beliefs on global warming agree with those of the fossil fuel industry, which funds the Tea Party movement. Following in the footsteps of the tobacco industry, the fossil fuel industry has carried on a longstanding, pervasive campaign to raise doubts about global warming science and undermine policies that to address it.

    • Climate Change Doubt Is Tea Party Article of Faith

      At a candidate forum here last week, Representative Baron P. Hill, a threatened Democratic incumbent in a largely conservative southern Indiana district, was endeavoring to explain his unpopular vote for the House cap-and-trade energy bill.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • More Action in America from the Network of Billionaires

      In the Center for Media and Democracy’s break-through article on the American Action Network, we highlighted the resumes of the billionaires, corporate executives, and right-wing political operatives behind the group. Americans have a right to know more about who these guys really are, starting with AAN board member Robert Steel.

      A few weeks ago, we broke the story of the grossly misleading American Action Network attack ad accusing Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold of creating the federal deficit. We pointed out how such claims are preposterous considering that those behind AAN and the anti-Feingold ads helped destroy the economy, and that some of AAN’s board members benefited personally from the Wall Street bailout spearheaded by the Bush Administration. The Washington, D.C.-based group, a 501(c) organization that receives anonymous corporate funding, has already spent $750,000 attacking Senator Feingold in television ads. Now, AAN is at it again, airing another misleading attack ad making similar claims.

    • James Bopp’s Committee for Half-Truths in Politics

      But many do not know that one man is particularly responsible for Citizens United and other challenges to fair election rules, and that his ironically-named “Committee for Truth in Politics” is one of the many groups fronting corporate dollars while pretending to be just like ordinary folk.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Take a stand for your freedom on the internet
    • What is Activism?

      Of course, you can’t always believe what you read. Just because something is in print does not necessarily mean it is true or accurate, whether in a book, a newspaper or a web page. Wikipedia is certainly in error in conflating “violent revolutionary activities” with Malcolm X, who was himself non-violent like the majority of activists. It was only after Malcolm X was assasinated that his followers turned to “violent revolutionary activities.”

      I’ve never met Byron Sonne, and only heard about him recently. The publication ban means what I know about it is limited to what has already been published. Which may or may not be true. Still, there is enough there in the public record to cause me concern, which is why I’ve written a couple of blog posts about it.

    • Police Refuse To Speak On Camera After Dropping ALL Charges On More Than 100 G20 Protesters
    • Networks Block Web Programs From Being Viewed on Google TV

      ABC, CBS and NBC are blocking TV programming on their websites from being viewable on Google Inc.’s new Web-TV service, exposing the rift that remains between the technology giant and some of the media companies it wants to supply content for its new products.

    • NDP PUSHES FOR FAIR TRADE AND TRANSPARENCY IN EU DEAL

      New Democrat International Trade Critic Peter Julian is criticizing the Harper government’s lack of transparency surrounding the latest round of trade talks on a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU.

    • Creating stronger privacy controls inside Google

      In May we announced that we had mistakenly collected unencrypted WiFi payload data (information sent over networks) using our Street View cars. We work hard at Google to earn your trust, and we’re acutely aware that we failed badly here. So we’ve spent the past several months looking at how to strengthen our internal privacy and security practices, as well as talking to external regulators globally about possible improvements to our policies. Here’s a summary of the changes we’re now making.

    • Tony McNulty and civil liberties

      There was a time in the summer of 2008 when one could barely turn on the television without seeing former Home Office Minister Tony McNulty’s sturdy defences of the Labour Party’s approach to law and order. A stronger supporter of ID cards and ninety day incarceration it was impossible to find.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • China pledges to crack down on pirated software

      Citing comments made at a State Council meeting at which Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao presided, the Xinhua News Agency reported this week that the goal is to clamp down on both the import and export of phony software, DVDs, publications, and other products that violate trademarks and patents.

    • Statement of the Holy See at the WIPO

      On the part of rich countries there is excessive zeal for protecting knowledge through an unduly rigid assertion of the right to intellectual property, especially in the field of health care. At the same time, in some poor countries, cultural models and social norms of behaviour persist which hinder the process of development.”

    • The Case for Flexibility in Implementing the WIPO Internet Treaties
    • Rethinking Intellectual Property: History, Theory, and Economics

      Those already convinced by the general argument against IP thus have much to learn in this course, which will deepen and extend their understanding of not only IP theory but also libertarian theory and economics. The course is also ideal for those who are on the fence, or who are confused, about IP; no intellectual conformity is required. Libertarians who think there are good arguments for IP are also welcome — at the least, they can test their arguments against the best we critics have to offer, and perhaps strengthen, modify, or deepen their own views about the nature of ideas, government, and property rights.

    • Copyrights

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

        So it’s okay for the US government to censor the web, because other countries censor as well? I recognize that their argument is that this won’t change how other countries view censorship, but even that’s wrong. The US is pressuring other countries not to censor the web by claiming a moral high ground. It seems particularly hypocritical to undermine that moral high ground by blatantly censoring the web as well, and then saying “but it’s okay for us, because it’s about protecting these companies.” That just makes it easy for those other countries to respond, “well, then it’s okay for us, because it’s about protecting our government/way of life/etc.”

      • Piracy domain seizure bill gains support

        Dozens of the largest content companies, including video game maker Activision, media firms NBC Universal and Viacom, and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) endorsed the bill in a letter to the U.S. Senate. So did Major League Baseball and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

      • Piracy trumps obscurity again
      • If Google TV Has To Pay To Make Hulu Available To Viewers, Will Mozilla Have To Pay To Access Hulu Via Firefox?

        Admittedly, Hulu is apparently getting pressure from the TV companies to do these blocks, but it still makes no sense. All things like Boxee and Google TV are doing is providing a browser. As Danny notes, if I just hooked up my laptop to the same TV, I could watch Hulu just fine. Why is it a problem if it’s using a different piece of hardware? It makes no sense.

      • Message which brought hope now copyright of Chile miner

        The message that announced the trapped Chile miners were alive and well is now the copyright of the man who wrote it.

      • French Anti-Piracy Scheme’s 25,000 Daily Reports

        Three weeks after the first warning messages were sent by email to online infringers, French body HADOPI remains quiet on the process and its results.

        However, Billboard.biz has learned that rights-holders are reporting 25,000 music related copyright infringements to HADOPI every day. HADOPI was launched by the government to handle the three-strikes anti-piracy system.

      • ACTA

        • USTR’s implausible claim that ACTA Article 1.2 is an all purpose loophole, and the ramifications if true

          The October 2010 version of the ACTA text is inconsistent with several areas of U.S. law, and proposals for new laws in the areas of the reform of patent damages and access to orphaned copyrighted works. In particular, the obligations in the ACTA text do not incorporate many of the areas of limitations and exceptions to remedies found in U.S. law, and in the statutes of some other countries.

        • ACTA – outstanding issues (E-8295/2010)

          Observations:

          * The second part of her question goes to the heart of the criminal chapter. The Criminal chapter of ACTA corresponds to the proposed Criminal Enforcement Directive (“IPRED2″) under Art 83 legal base which failed to reach Council consensus. Recently the European Commission has withdrawn the IPRED2 proposal and thus terminated the IPRED2 directive process.
          * Comparison:
          ACTA Criminal Chapter: Negotiated behind closed doors by the Council Presidency with external Trade partners. Parliament(s) may ratify ACTA. No corresponding Acquis existing.
          IPRED2: Legal base Art 83 limits the extent of EU harmonisation. Ordinary Legislative Process. Full democratic scrutiny by Parliament. Adoption would make the act part of the Acquis.
          * Result: Council attempts to circumvent the new Lisbon powers of the European Parliament under Art 83 via Art 207. It is a highly sensitive constitutional question if a circumvention is permissible.
          * No Acquis for criminal enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights is available as the MEPs stress, not even a pending proposal anymore. For clarity, Acquis Communautaire = “body of law accumulated by the European Union”. Acquis is EU level law. Even an identical legal status quo in all EU member states would not constitute the Acquis. Neither does the EU competence under Art 83 qualify as Acquis unless an act is adopted under that legal base.

        • Help to debug the European Commissioner

          The list of directives above indicates what parts of the Acquis (body of adopted EU level law) would be affected by an adoption of ACTA. The Commissioner says that the Acquis won’t be affected at all, no change of the EU legal environement was required. Many civil society and industry groups claim ACTA has effects on the internet. Many Members of Parliament don’t believe the Commission because it would make ACTA pretty baseless. And ironically in other nations they tell the public the same tales, that it won’t change their law. Check the facts!

Clip of the Day

The Digital Prism Screencast – Introduction (learn more)


Credit: TinyOgg

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