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Links 4/11/2010: Red Hat in Dubai, Unity on Wayland

Posted in News Roundup at 5:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • China Is A Major Linux Market, Contributor

    In recent years, China has played an increasingly important role in Linux. Chinese developers have contributed to Linux kernel development, and Linux has been widely used in commerce and education in China. According to a research report jointly issued by Springboard Research and Spiceworks, the utilization rate of Linux servers among SMEs in the Asia Pacific region now exceeds 25 percent, which is higher than the world average.

  • Updated Windows Vs. Ubuntu hardware requirements

    I have updated the Ubuntu vs Windows Hardware requirements to include Ubuntu 10.10 and Ubuntu 10.04, memory requirements still remains a humble 256MB which hasn’t changed in the last 10 releases :-)

  • New Linux software targeted at schools

    Based on Ubuntu, Userful MultiSeat offers the ability to turn one Linux computer into 11 independent computer stations, while providing users with the same set of features as Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server 2010.

  • Desktop

    • Why can’t we get Linux on the desktop right?

      To be honest, I think the problem with Linux at the moment is that it’s a desktop operating system solution looking for a problem. Most users are happy either with the stability and style of Mac OS X, or Windows 7 with its vastly improved stability and its top-level application compatibility. There really isn’t much reason to switch at the moment.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Activities


        So, work on activities has been so overwhelming that I’ve had no time to do anything else lately (KDE-related).


        First, the kded module and the nepomuk service that were present in KDE SC 4.5 are no more – they are now merged into one application called kactivitymanagerd (KDE ActivityManager Dæmon). The reason behind this rewrite was to have a more stable system (no crashing kded on dbus locks etc.) and to make it easier to maintain.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Red Hat not worried about Ubuntu Unity for Linux

        As far as Ubuntu’s decision to abandon GNOME Shell, Smith sees it as a matter of choice.

        “Different distributions will do different things and I think that’s a healthy part of the open source way – people get lots of choice,” Smith said. “That may influence some people not to participate in GNOME Shell and it may encourage others to step up and do more.”

  • Distributions

    • Top 5 Best Popular Linux Distributions

      Interestingly, a large number of Linux distributions are available, may be cause it comes free of cost and there are a lot of unique reasons to like them. Well, why not try reading this and figure out for yourself as to which open-source operating systems inspired our readers to provide our biggest Hive Five response to date.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat (RHT) Approaches New Upside Target of $43.37
      • Above Resistance – Red Hat
      • Trading Alert for Red Hat
      • Hilal Computers hosts Red Hat seminar

        Guest speakers from Red Hat in Dubai and Europe delivered keynote presentations on topics including the operational and cost benefits of Red Hat Linux; and Red Hat Virtualization and JBoss Enterprise Middleware solutions.

      • Linux software offers advantages to users

        Top IT professionals from large enterprises in Bahrain gathered yesterday at an exclusive high-level seminar to hear the latest updates of Red Hat Enterprise Linux open source software.

      • Fedora

        • What’s new in Fedora 14

          For virtualisation of desktop PCs, Fedora 14 includes SPICE, originally developed by Qumranet, the company behind KVM. “Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments” offers numerous functions for efficient communication between virtualised systems and computers displaying guest system desktops. This should allow thin clients to display GUIs for virtualised RHEL and Windows systems sufficiently quickly to allow HD videos to be replayed fluently and to allow bi-directional audio and video communication. It should also permit the use of multiple screens and of client-side USB devices in the guest system. This is know as Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD) or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and is a component of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) for Desktops 2.3.

        • Linux users excited about Fedora 14 features

          The Fedora Project announced the release of Fedora 14, codenamed Laughlin, on Tuesday, November 2, 2010. A week later than originally scheduled, the release is packed with bleeding edge features that have Linux users pretty excited. You can download the live CD now.

        • At Work with Linux: VirtualBox 3.2.10 and Fedora 14

          The only nit I have with the distribution so far is that it came with Firefox 3.6.10. I need to update to 3.6.12 due to a security issue.

          Other than that, Fedora 14 runs just fine, without any drama. And that’s the way it should be.

        • My First Experiences With Fedora 14 and LibreOffice

          I upgraded my IBM T40 laptop to Fedora 14 today using the “preupgrade” command. I may post an article a little bit later with more of the technical details of the upgrade. Today, I just want to share some of my first impressions. I also tried to unsuccessfully run Libreoffice. I was able to get Libreoffice installed, but it will not run. It crashes every time. I will look for solutions to this problem because I REALLY want to switch to Libreoffice as soon as possible. I am even willing to run a beta version of Libreoffice once I can get it to run reliably.

        • Fedora 14

          Pros: Solid desktop; relatively easy to install; stable and reasonably fast.
          Cons: Software manager needs to be updated to match the Ubuntu Software Center and Linux Mint’s Software Manager. Installer needs to be tweaked just a bit to be more intuitive.
          Suitable For: Intermediate and advanced Linux users.
          Summary: Fedora 14 remains a solid choice for those with prior Linux experience. Newbies would be better off with a more consumer-oriented distribution.
          Rating: 3.5/5

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 11.04 alpha 43% slower than 10.10
        • Weathering the Ubuntu brainstorm
        • Ubuntu Bug Reporting
        • Ask Ubuntu Review
        • Natty free culture showcase to have theme, gets schedule
        • Am I going to have to abandon Ubuntu?

          I see in the news that Canonical has decided to ship the next version of Ubuntu with the Unity desktop instead of Gnome.

        • Comparing Netbook Desktops – Part 1, Ubuntu Unity

          At this point I was just about ready to send my beloved Samsung netbook out the window, so I decided to stop. I would summarize my investigation of the Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 Unity desktop by saying it is maddeningly inconsistent to use, amazingly inflexible and un-configurable, it does not make the best use of the limited screen space on a netbook, and in fact seems to specifically waste quite a bit of space, and it still seems to have quite a lot of bugs in it. I honestly could not use it as a notebook desktop at this time, and I would not recommend it or install it for anyone else. I hope that they are able to make a lot more progress with it over the next six months, not only in fixing the bugs that I came across but more importantly in making it more consistent, more intuitive and a lot easier to use.

        • Don’t Underestimate Ubuntu

          I see users who dismiss Ubuntu as a lightweight distro for newbies only. I see them disrespecting its leader and founder. It has become a bit of a pastime for some.

        • Unity on Wayland

          The next major transition for Unity will be to deliver it on Wayland, the OpenGL-based display management system. We’d like to embrace Wayland early, as much of the work we’re doing on uTouch and other input systems will be relevant for Wayland and it’s an area we can make a useful contribution to the project.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linx offers a wallet friendly Android tablet

      The Linx Commtiva N700 touchscreen tablet has 512MB of RAM and a 4GB microSD card and comes with the Android 2.2 ‘Froyo’ mobile operating system. Although relatively cheap at £329 it is “cutting edge and chic”, according to the firm.

    • OLPC’s $75 tablet debut delayed by 45 days

      Nicholas Negroponte, chairman of One Laptop Per Child said that the XO-3 tablet computer will debut sometime in February 2011, about 45 days later than originally planned.

      Negroponte said that he wants the screen to be flexible so that it is more resistant to breaking, but that it doesn’t need to roll up.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Toshiba AC100 Android smartbook

        And here is the archetypal ARM-based “smartbook” so many of us have been waiting for for more than a year now. Other vendors’ efforts stumbled at the first, iPad-shaped hurdle, but here we have, at last, an Android-running netbook.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Comparing open source and proprietary software markets

    So there you have it. My initial estimate of a generic FOSS Intangible Market Factor (FIMF) is 21. To be accurate you’d need to estimate the FIMF for each open source offering within a given market.

    Then again, I’m a code jockey, not an analyst. Maybe they can estimate each of these factors more accurately.

  • Multimedia, Education, and Free Software

    I was surprised today. A colleague showed me a CD that someone gave her in a course related to the Ministry of Education of my country. According to her, the CD contained “software for audio activities.”

  • November Project of the Month: Gutenprint
  • Control and Community – and the future of commercial open source strategies

    In comparison, the formation of vendors using the strategies associated with multi-participant open source projects has been increasing since 2002 (non-copyleft licences, distributed copyright ownership), 2004 (single open source licensing), 2006 (community development model), and 2007 (bazaar development model).

  • Events

    • Linux Plumbers Conference In Cambridge

      Plumbers conference consists of two plenary opening and closing keynotes, with the rest of the time being divided amongst three concurrent tracks: One track of traditional presentations and two tracks of MicroConferences.

  • Oracle

    • Scott McNealy defends Oracle CEO from criticism

      Asked about Oracle’s patent infringement lawsuit against Google over its use of Java in Android, McNealy said he finds it ironic that Oracle used to ask Sun to loosen its licensing terms for Java. But he said he’s also a “raging capitalist” and defended Oracle’s right to protect its intellectual property. “I’m giving Larry a little grief but there are copyright laws, there are patents and I believe in patents,” McNealy said.

  • BSD

    • First PC-BSD 9.0 Alpha Snapshot Available for Testing

      Kris Moore has just announced that the first testing snapshot is available for download (both 32 and 64 bit versions). You can help us make 9.0 an awesome release by trying out the snapshots (there will be many between now and the first beta some time next spring) and providing feedback about any bugs you find. Since these are testing snapshots, it is recommended that you try them out on a spare system or using a virtual environment such as VirtualBox. If you’re planning on trying out all of the new desktop environments, you should use a virtual machine of at least 20 GB.


    • Anti-FSF Sentiment: Truth Not Relevant

      I find the current VLC in the App Store discussion quite interesting on a number of different fronts, but there is a specific one I’d like to point out here for the Gentle Reader’s edification:

      Anti-FSF People Don’t Care About The Truth

      Bold claim? Not really, because there are 2 ways we can come to this unassailable conclusion. People that are interested in finding the truth of the matter, and then acting accordingly do NOT:

      1. Resort to illogical arguments
      2. Come right out and say “this is not about the correctness” of the situation

      You see, people that DO resort to illogical arguments and people that DO attempt to put aside the question of “correctness” have already come to a conclusion – they are simply attempting to rationalize their position.

      In fact, one can see by the embrace of falacy and rejection of “correctness”, not only are they not interested in changing their position – but the position itself must be founded in illogic and incorrectness. It is a doubly bad position to be in, which brings to mind one of my favorite quotes: “you can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.”

      The best one can hope for in such cases is to point out the illogic of the position, and hope to innoculate the innocent.

    • GCC 4.6 Leaves Stage 1 With New Features

      Novell’s Richard Guenther has just announced that GCC 4.6.0 has now left stage one of development and has immediately entered the third stage. This means no new features or other major work aside from bug-fixes will be accepted into this next major release of the GNU Compiler Collection.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Homeland Security Giving Extra Political Scrutiny To ‘Activist’ Groups FOIA Requests, Singles Out EFF

      When President Obama first came into office, one of the things he pledged was greater transparency, including in responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. As we’ve seen with things like ACTA, where the USTR refused FOIA requests with a totally bogus claim of “national security,” the administration has regularly failed to live up to that promise and at times appears to be even worse than previous administrations.

    • Government Withholds Records on Need for Expanded Surveillance Law

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed suit against three agencies of the Department of Justice (DOJ) today, demanding records about problems or limitations that hamper electronic surveillance and potentially justify or undermine the Administration’s new calls for expanded surveillance powers.

    • Contribute your expertise to an open source textbook

      The textbook itself is licensed under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike license, and needs contributions compatible with that license. If you are an open source software development expert, or at least a decent writer who is good at researching instructional materials distributed under permissive licenses, this could be a good way to get your name into the credits for a book and “give something back” to the open source communities that provide the software you use.


  • Vans drive themselves across the world

    Four driverless electric vans successfully ended a 13,000-kilometre test drive from Italy to China which mirrored the journey from East to West carried out by Marco Polo in the Middle Ages.

    The four vans, packed with navigation gear and other computer software drove themselves Across Eastern Europe, Russia, Kazakhstan and the Gobi Desert without getting lost.

  • Geeky Songs
  • UK

    • Cameron ‘red carpet’ offer to foreign entrepreneurs

      In Thursday’s speech, Mr Cameron also promised to work to help London’s East End become a “world-leading technology city” to rival Silicon Valley in California, announcing that Google, Facebook and Intel were among the firms investing in the area.

    • NY Company Threatens 800Notes Via UK In Legal Comedy Of Threats & Errors

      We’ve recently had our own run-in with a ridiculous threat of a libel lawsuit from the UK, in what appeared to be a clear attempt to intimidate us, rather than an action with any serious legal basis. As we mentioned in that post, thankfully, the US recently passed an important and broad anti-libel tourism law that protects US websites against overreaching foreign libel claims that go against US laws, such as Section 230 safe harbors for service providers.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Adobe Reader browse-and-get-pwned 0day under attack
    • The unvarnished truth about unsecured Wi-Fi
    • Cybersecurity and National Policy

      Those with either an engineering or management background are aware that one cannot optimize everything at once ­ that requirements are balanced by constraints. I am not aware of another domain where this is as true as it is in cybersecurity and the question of a policy response to cyber insecurity at the national level. In engineering, this is said as “Fast, Cheap, Reliable: Choose Two.” In the public policy arena, we must first remember the definition of a free country: a place where that which is not forbidden is permitted. As we consider the pursuit of cybersecurity, we will return to that idea time and time again; I believe that we are now faced with “Freedom, Security, Convenience: Choose Two.”

    • Russian-Armenian botnet suspect raked in €100,000 a month

      Avanesov allegedly rented and sold part of his botnet, a common business model for those who run the networks. Other cybercriminals can rent the hacked machines for a specific time for their own purposes, such as sending a spam run or mining the PCs for personal details and files, among other nefarious actions.

      Dutch prosecutors believe that Avanesov made up to €100,000 ($139,000) a month from renting and selling his botnet just for spam, said Wim De Bruin, spokesman for the Public Prosecution Service in Rotterdam. Avanesov was able to sell parts of the botnet off “because it was very easy for him to extend the botnet again,” by infecting more PCs, he said.

    • Russian spammer is in the slammer

      Igor Gusev, the general director of Despmedia is being accused of sending out emails advertising Viagra. Despmedia is a partner of the Russian pill pusher Glavmed, which authorities allege managed to rake in $120 million over the last three and a half years by flogging pills over the Internet.

    • Palin email hacker asks judge for leniency

      The man convicted of breaching then vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s Yahoo Mail account has asked a federal judge to spare him a prison sentence and instead put him on probation.

      David C. Kernell’s request for a downward departure comes six months after a federal jury found him guilty of felony obstruction of justice and a misdemeanor count of unauthorized access to a computer. The same jury acquitted Kernell on a felony charge of wire fraud and deadlocked on a charge of identity theft.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • 419ers threaten terrorism charges

      Advance-fee fraudsters have joined the fight against international terrorism, worried Reg reader Guy reports.

    • Silver Tail Systems Receives Strategic Investment from CIA’s Venture Capital Arm

      Silver Tail Systems, a provider of fraud prevention solutions for Web sites, received solid validation of its products and business model this week. The company has entered into a strategic investment and development agreement with In-Q-Tel (IQT), the not-for-profit, venture capital arm of the CIA.

    • The Online Threat

      The Navy’s experts didn’t believe that China was capable of reverse-engineering the plane’s N.S.A.-supplied operating system, estimated at between thirty and fifty million lines of computer code, according to a former senior intelligence official.

    • How The Defense Department And NSA Is Hyping Cyberwar To Better Spy On You
    • Despite Scare Talk, Attacks on Pentagon Networks Drop
    • Privatized prisons in Arizona helped draft laws to send people to prison

      The story of industries paying lobbyists to influence legislation that benefits their business is nothing new—but what about when that industry is a privately-owned and operated prison system?

    • For the First Time, the TSA Meets Resistance

      This past Wednesday, I showed up at Baltimore-Washington International for a flight to Providence, R.I. I had a choice of two TSA screening checkpoints. I picked mine based on the number of people waiting in line, not because I am impatient, but because the coiled, closely packed lines at TSA screening sites are the most dangerous places in airports, completely unprotected from a terrorist attack — a terrorist attack that would serve the same purpose (shutting down air travel) as an attack on board an aircraft.

    • Season of the Regulator

      Nonetheless, authorities around the country have fought the phantom threat in a variety of ways, up to and including rounding up all the sex offenders in one Texas county and storing them in the Adult Probation Office for the evening. In Maryland, offenders have been required to post a paper pumpkin on the door with the message “NO CANDY AT THIS RESIDENCE.” More frequently, jurisdictions have told offenders not to put up anything Halloween-related at all.

    • When, not if, will full-body “naked scans” become mandatory in the USA?

      Travel blogger Christopher Elliot has an informed post up about the odd timing of the latest terror scare, and a theory that this might be “just another cleverly-timed event that pushes us toward mandatory full-body scans at the airport,” just like the underwear failbomber conveniently ended a lively debate about the privacy issues posed by “strip-search machines.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The importance of Indonesia

      As a result, Indonesia is the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and many of its species – the ones that Wallace studied – are losing their territories and even habitats terrifyingly quickly. Some – the Sumatra tiger and the orang-utan, for instance – are at risk of extinction. That’s not to mention the tens of millions of Indonesian people who depend on these disappearing forests for their livelihoods, including indigenous communities who rely on the forests for everything: food, shelter, medicine and identity.

    • Japanese Government Lagging at UN Biodiversity Summit

      I briefed the journalists on the Japanese government’s role, as chair of this enormous meeting, and how biodiversity conservation is a huge challenge for them at the moment. Just recently, the Japanese Ministry of Environment announced that they will make a list of endangered marine species, a step forward, yes, but not yet action to save said endangered species.

    • A win on Trident?

      Yesterday’s Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) gave us the welcome news that plans to replace Trident have been put on hold and reductions will be made to our existing nuclear weapons. “Five year delay” shouted the papers who widely interpreted the move as a compromise to keep the coalition government together.

      The reality is that in the face of military cuts and a National Security Review (which concluded the threats we face are cyber crime, terrorism, a foreign crisis “drawing in Britain”, and natural disasters) it’s hard to imagine how David Cameron could have ticked the yes box on spending £97bn replacing Trident. Particularly as there was already a joker in the SDSR pack in the shape of the aircraft carriers.

    • Game for Change: Fate of the World

      A British company has developed a new computer game that allows players to save the planet from the effects of global warming — at least in a simulated setting.

    • Energy Past, Energy Future

      That low price per watt scares the crap out of BP and will change the geopolitical balance in the world within a decade, making the Middle East maybe a little less important.

    • Gold, Energy, and the Problem of Capital Storage

      One of the reasons that gold retains its competitiveness as a capital-storage unit is the rather slow and plodding rate at which supply is brought to market. Since 1900, compound annual growth of world gold production comes in at 1.098%. That is below the increase for a number of other natural resources but in particular it’s well, well below the rate of credit production–the “resource” which now plagues the developed world. Indeed, the over-production of credit the past twenty-five years has once again driven capital back into hard assets such as gold.

    • Food and Energy Clarion Call from India
  • Finance

    • Obama Economic Team Passes Out the Kool-Aid

      In case they had not noticed, Democrats across the country were getting hammered on the charge of exporting jobs to China via the stimulus package. It does not matter that the charge is false and that Democrats jumped into action to block U.S. companies who were considering ordering wind turbines from their subsidiaries in China. The Republican ads, which ran in key races nationwide, cleverly turned a Democratic advantage on fair trade for some candidates into a Republican advantage nationwide.

  • Hacking

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • “Secret Money from God Knows Where”

      Democratic donors are catching up. The biggest special interest donors on the Democratic side have long been public sector unions. While the National Education Association has dominated the Democratic donor list for years, in this cycle the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) blew past the teachers, giving a total of $87.5 million so far, including taking out a loan to give another $2 million as the race barrels toward the finish line. That total makes AFSCME the biggest outside spender of this election cycle. And no matter what Obama and Pelosi imply, those millions aren’t going to Republicans.

    • The Incumbent Protection Racket

      California exemplifies the disconnect between voters who want to exercise authentic self-government and elected officials who prefer not to let a little thing like democracy deprive them of their livelihood. The latter group is very good at stifling competition at the polls.

    • Corporate campaign ads haven’t followed Supreme Court’s prediction

      Reporting from Washington —
      The Supreme Court sent a wave of corporate and union money flooding into campaign ads this year, but it did so with the promise that the public would know — almost instantly — who was paying for them.

      “With the advent of the Internet, prompt disclosure of expenditures can provide shareholders and citizens with the information needed to hold corporations and elected officials accountable for their positions,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in January. “This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages.”

    • Can We Really Call the AFSCME the “Big Dog?”

      First, although AFSCME may be the single biggest spender, the “big dog” title is a little disingenuous, as the corporate-funded interest groups supposedly outspent by the union are numerous and coordinated. Karl Rove’s organization, American Crossroads, is spending $65 million, and it shares office space and harmonizes its activities with American Action Network, which is spending $25 million.

    • The Illicit Action Network

      Our past articles have suggested that AAN is attacking Russ Feingold as revenge for his votes for financial reform, and against TARP and the Wall Street bailout. We have demonstrated that some of AAN’s board members benefited personally from TARP and the Wall Street bailout, and are trying to convince voters to support corporatist candidates who will do their bidding and stall needed financial reforms. We’ve also noted how the Washington, D.C.-based AAN operates under a veil of secrecy, collecting over $25 million from anonymous corporate donors. American Action Network Chair Fred Malek is well versed in punishing those considered “disloyal” and carrying out acts of deception.

    • Voter Intimidation in Wisconsin

      The progressive advocacy group One Wisconsin Now has uncovered a plan by the Wisconsin Republican Party, Americans for Prosperity, and local Tea Party groups to engage in what One Wisconsin Now is calling a “voter suppression” scheme. The GOP and Tea Party groups have denied the existence of such a plan, instead claiming that their efforts are aimed at preventing alleged “voter fraud.”

    • Juan Williams: Busted
    • Malicious RoboCalls Aim at Suppressing Election Day Turnout

      Nefarious operatives apparently intent on deterring certain voters from casting their ballots on Tuesday have distributed flyers and robocalls disseminating misinformation about the date of the election and how they should cast their ballot.

      According to the Election Protection Coalition, which has received more than 10,000 calls to its national election hotline, Latino voters in the Los Angeles area have been targeted by so-called robocalls — recorded messages — reminding them to vote Nov. 3, instead of the real date, Nov. 2.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Your Rooms Smell, and I Hate Them

      24grille isn’t alone in pursuing legal action. According to the Times, hundreds of hotels are planning to sue TripAdvisor over negative reviews. They say the site—which hosts millions of reviews of hotels and restaurants around the world—has failed to aggressively police potentially libelous reviews that accuse hotel staff of serious criminal activities. Chris Emmins, a founder of the British “reputation management” company that is organizing one lawsuit, tells the paper that “the world of the Internet and particularly social media has pretty much outstripped ethical guidelines, and some legal ones as well.”

    • Judge Halts Massachusetts “Harmful to Minors” Law

      A federal judge today halted the implementation of a Massachusetts law that would ban certain works from the Internet and punish distributors of works deemed to be “harmful to minors,” deeming it overly broad and in violation of the First Amendment. U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel said the law, Chapter 74 of the Acts of 2010, was too broadly written because it did not require that materials in question be “purposefully sent to a person the sender knew to be a minor.” Signed into law this past April, the statute made anyone who operates a Web site or communicates through an electronic listserv criminally liable for nudity or sexually related material deemed harmful to minors, and subjected violators to a $10,000 and to up to five years in prison.

    • Facebook app developers sold user info
    • Free speech battle over ‘Girls Gone Wild’ lawsuit

      A lawsuit filed by four women against Joe Francis, producer of the “Girls Gone Wild” videos, has prompted an unusual free speech battle over whether the identities of the four should be kept under wraps.

      Attorneys for the women, who were between 13 and 17 years old when the footage was shot, asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday to allow them to press their civil suit against the Girls Gone Wild chief executive without being named.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • [Canada] Where The Parties Stand on C-32′s Digital Lock Provisions

      Yesterday’s opening debate on Bill C-32 gave each party the opportunity to outline its specific concerns and perspectives on the copyright reform proposal. The comments from the lead critic on digital locks provides a good sense of the broad opposition to the current C-32 approach to the issue…

    • Linux and borrowing library ebooks

      This was the most difficult part, for you can’t download the acsm file using Linux, since you get the whole Unix-Dos text file incompatibility thing. For those that want to download to their reader (for me Sony PRS700), you are again screwed since DE can’t handle the DRM crap right to the sony. You have to do something Linuxy! I don’t want to tell, but it’s quite simple, involving installing Python 2.7 on wine, installing the xp binary for Pycrypto, and running 2 magic ‘inept’ scripts to ‘D-DRM’ the epub file. Then just use your standard sony usb disk connection to put it in the ‘books’ folder. Nobody’s out of pocket since you are just reading the book! Don’t put the clean epub on the internet, since I like it for authors to eat and write new stuff! and erase the book after the lending period.

      The principle of the drm is fascinating in its stupidity. DE requires you to ‘register’ with your email and password. You are only allowed to do this on 6 machines (or OS versions), and if you screwed up a lot, you can’t read old books you bought. From this registration, DE creates a powerful RSA encryption key, which on the surface seems unbreakable. It communicates with the library, which pays big bucks for a DE server. But, the program must have the ability to store the key, and de-en-crypt. This is held sloppily, and the scripts extract it.

      When you buy books, the same drm works, and you can lose the key, so you can’t access them anymore, even though you paid for it! So, I would always clean the epub for bought books for archival purpose, and you can put them on any reader, since the epub standard is common and open.

    • Comcast Redefines ‘Cord Cutter’ So Trend Is Easier To Ignore

      As we noted this morning, Comcast lost 275,000 video subscribers during the third quarter. It’s further evidence of the more statistically relevant TV cord cutting trend we began to see last quarter, when cable providers collectively lost 711,000 subscribers, and six out of the top ten cable operators saw their biggest subscriber drop ever. Why? High cable prices and bi-annual rate hikes during a recession. Comcast’s 275k lost subscribers was higher than Wall Street analysts estimated, forcing Comcast to try and argue that people dropping cable due to cost aren’t cord cutters…

    • Verizon Strikes $25 Million FCC Settlement Over Bogus Fee

      For years we’ve been tracking how Verizon socks wireless customers with a bogus $1.99 per MB data access fee — incurred even if the user’s phone is off or the battery was dead. Even users who had data access on their phones blocked were socked by the fee — given that the message sent to users to tell them they couldn’t get data consumed 0.06 kilobytes of data — resulting in a $1.99 data fee.

    • UPD UK Government Wants to Make ISPs Responsible for Third Party Content Online

      The UK governments Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey, has ominously proposed that broadband ISPs could introduce a new Mediation Service that would allow them the freedom to censor third party content on the internet, without court intervention, in response to little more than a public complaint.

    • Publisher sells DRM-free ebooks to libraries

      German publisher Springer Verlag decided not to infect the 40,000 ebook titles it sells to libraries with DRM — though the booksellers that carry Springer titles still insist on DRM for their proprietary stores. As a result, “once libraries have paid for the content, the e-books are available without charge to everyone at these institutions, so there’s no need to repost or redistribute it online. Once the e-book is downloaded from the library, no return is necessary.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Study with the Leader of the Resistance

      I am very happy that Stephan Kinsella is finally teaching a class on intellectual property, which is surely one of the most important issues of our time. We need desperately to spread education about this topic, which is a difficult one. It is not one of the “armchair” issues that you can solve without much thought or serious study.

    • Etsy’s crafty balance: Fans vs. trademark holders

      For legal reasons, Etsy’s Feingold declined to comment on these reports or on which specific brands’ trademark holders have called up the company with takedown notices, and Summit representatives did not respond to a request for comment. But considering Summit’s history of filing suit against unofficial Twilight media, it’s not surprising.

    • One Congressional Loss That Hurts: Rick Boucher

      This is bad news for copyright and for consumers. Not that he was all that successful in passing the laws that mattered on that subject, but he was one of the few who would ask the key questions, and actually try to fix those broken laws — such as his repeated attempts to fix the DMCA and support fair use, as well as more recent attempts to stop the massive boondoggle that is the Universal Service Fund.

    • EXCLUSIVE: Fox Sued Over Upcoming Celebrity Prank Show

      Now, however, the Morabito Picture Company has stepped up claiming that the new show rips off a format from its Italian show entitled Indovina Chi Viene Cena (Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner), which premiered in 2001. That show also features people bringing home celebrity boyfriends and girlfriends to their family’s surprise.

    • Copyrights

      • No NZers will have internet access terminated in Copyright Bill

        Let’s be very clear about this. If Labour and the National Government had not agreed on a compromise around the temination clause in the Copyright Bill, we would have a piece of legislation coming back to the House which could cut off NZers internet accounts for six months.

        Labour would have opposed the Bill. It might have been a high moral stand but it would have resulted in a bad law.

      • The Bill C-32 Debate Begins: Locks, Levies & Misinformation on Fair Dealing

        Second reading of Bill C-32 kicked off yesterday with hours of discussion from MPs from all political parties. Six months after the bill was first introduced, the debate offered the first opportunity to get a sense of where the various parties stand and which issues will be most contentious when the committee tasked with review the bill begins hearings within the next couple of weeks (coverage from PostMedia).

      • Zaptunes Gets Killed, Claims Site Wasn’t A Fraud

        After three short months, Zaptunes, a site claiming to offer users unlimited music downloads, died. Their take on these events are quite amusing. Apparently, many of their users thought the site was “the best service” they had ever used. It gets even better. Their PR agent claims that angry music bloggers despised all the attention the site received and went as far as accusing the site to be a fraud – without any “proper evidence”. Why would they do such a thing? Because, they argue, we were determined to “ruin Zaptunes popularity.”

      • The $105 Fix That Could Protect You From Copyright-Troll Lawsuits

        Call it ingenious, call it evil or call it a little of both: Copyright troll Righthaven is exploiting a loophole in intellectual property law, suing websites that might have avoided any trace of civil liability had they spent a mere $105.

        That’s the fee for a blog or other website to register a DMCA takedown agent with the U.S. Copyright Office, an obscure bureaucratic prerequisite to enjoying a legal “safe harbor” from copyright lawsuits over third-party posts, such as reader comments.

      • Elastic Wristband Maker Sues Walmart For Copyright Infringement

        You know those silly elastic wristbands that kids wear? Yeah, well, apparently the company BCP Imports makes the (apparently?) popular brand of them called Silly Bandz, and has somehow copyrighted some aspect of the bands.

      • Oprah Sued For Copyright Infringement After Quoting A Book On TV Without Credit
      • Irony: Book About Recording Industry’s Mishandling Of Digital Priced Higher As Ebook Than Physical Book

        A few weeks back, we noted that book publishers apparently simply did not learn from the mistakes of the recording industry — specifically pointing to DRM and (more importantly) the fact that they’ve started pricing ebooks higher than physical books. Now, in a moment of supreme irony, Copycense (who has been highlighting various ebooks priced over corresponding physical books) is noting that Steve Knopper’s excellent book Appetite for Self-Destruction (subtitled “The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age”) is one of those books. Indeed, Amazon shows the ebook priced at $17.99, while the paperback is $11.53 from Amazon (and available new from others at $7.50 or used at $4.42).

      • Thank Copyright Infringers For Still Being Able To Hear Great Moments In World Series History
      • Good Morning to Happy Birthday for All

        One of the English language’s most recognized and performed songs is Happy Birthday to You (HBTY), which likely first appeared between 1893 and 1912 as new age-grading standards in American schools increased the need for a common celebratory song.


        “Good Morning to All” sheet music

        Good Morning to All sheet music

        Today, after a series of mergers and acquisitions the Warner Music Group claims copyright on HBTY, and current law states it will remain rightful owner in the U.S. Until 2030.

      • EFF Defends Former Prosecutor From Righthaven Copyright Suit

        In September, the EFF decided to defend Democratic Underground, which Righthaven is suing for a user of the site posting four paragraphs and a link to a 34-paragraph Review-Journal story. In both cases, EFF has counter sued.

        What’s more, EFF attorney Kurt Opsahl said the group is fighting Righthhaven’s bid to require forfeiture of its targets’ domains.

      • YouTube Star VenetianPrincess Silenced By Music Publishers Claiming Parody Isn’t Fair Use

        Danny points us to yet another story of copyright being used to stifle creativity, rather than enhance it. It’s the story of Jodie Rivera, better known as VenetianPrincess, for years “the most subscribed to female on YouTube.” She creates video parodies of famous pop songs, such as the Lady Gaga parody below, which has nearly three million views…

      • DMCA: Restricting college radio without benefit
      • Colgate accused of toothpaste recipe theft

        A LEGAL dispute between the US and India over a herbal toothpaste is leaving a bitter aftertaste between the two countries, with Colgate Palmolive accused of filing a bogus patent.

        Colgate, the world’s largest producer of toothpaste, patented a toothcleaning powder in the hope that it would take the multibillion-dollar Indian oral hygiene market by storm.

      • Sharron Angle Gets Cease And Desist Letter From Hasbro Over ‘Harry Reid’s Amnesty Game’

        Toymaker Hasbro has sent Sharron Angle’s Senate campaign a cease and desist letter, saying the Nevada Republican never received permission to use the rights to Monopoly for its “Harry Reid Amnesty Game” website.

        “The MONOPOLY image that you are referring to was used without permission — and our legal department sent a cease and desist letter via fax to Ms. Angle’s offices on Friday,” said Hasbro spokesman Pat Riso in a statement to The Huffington Post on Monday.

      • ACTA

        • How ACTA Turns Limited Secondary Liability In Copyright Into Broad Criminal Aiding & Abetting

          We’ve noted that one of the serious problems with ACTA is the fact that it locks in this idea of secondary liability in copyright law, making it such that third parties can be liable for actions of their users’ infringement in certain cases. Secondary liability in copryight law is caselaw driven. Congress had a chance a few years back to put “inducement” into copyright law with the INDUCE Act, but chose not to. So I find it strange that the courts have simply interpreted copyright law to include such an inducement standard anyway. One of the problems with ACTA is that it takes this highly dynamic part of the law, and effectively locks it in, such that Congress cannot tell the courts it made a mistake, should it decide to do so.

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A Single Comment

  1. satipera said,

    November 4, 2010 at 6:16 pm


    Red Hat not worried about Ubuntu Unity for Linux.

    Floss may have started as a reaction to the software capitalist, but has become a confluence of capitalism and those of us who believe in the benefits of cooperation. Canonical have nailed their self interested colours to the mast, they are not interested in the wider floss good, they are the MUFC of the GNU/Linux movement.

DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day

  2. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023

  3. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"

  4. Not Tolerating Proprietary 'Bossware' in the Workplace (or at Home in Case of Work-From-Home)

    The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.

  5. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software

  6. Debian 11 on My Main Rig: So Far Mostly OK, But Missing Some Software From Debian 10

    Distributions of GNU/Linux keep urging us to move to the latest, but is the latest always the greatest? On Friday my Debian 10 drive died, so I started moving to Debian 11 on a new drive and here's what that did to my life.

  7. Stigmatising GNU/Linux for Not Withstanding Hardware Failures

    Nowadays "the news" is polluted with a lot of GNU/Linux-hostile nonsense; like with patents, the signal-to-noise ratio is appalling and here we deal with a poor 'report' about "Linux servers" failing to work

  8. Microsofters Inside Sirius 'Open Source'

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has been employing incompetent managers for years — a sentiment shared among colleagues by the way; today we examine some glaring examples with redacted communications to prove it

  9. Links 29/01/2023: GNOME 43.3 Fixes and Lots About Games

    Links for the day

  10. The Hey Hype Machine

    "Hey Hype" or "Hey Hi" (AI) has been dominating the press lately and a lot of that seems to boil down to paid-for marketing; we need to understand what's truly going on and not be distracted by the substance-less hype

  11. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 28, 2023

  12. Unmasking AI

    A guest article by Andy Farnell

  13. The ISO Delusion/Sirius Corporation: A 'Tech' Company Run by Non-Technical People

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ was hiring people who brought to the company a culture of redundant tasks and unwanted, even hostile technology; today we continue to tell the story of a company run by the CEO whose friends and acquaintances did severe damage

  14. Links 28/01/2023: Lots of Catching Up (Had Hardware Crash)

    Links for the day

  15. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, January 27, 2023

  16. Microsoft DuckDuckGo Falls to Lowest Share in 2 Years After Being Widely Exposed as Microsoft Proxy, Fake 'Privacy'

    DuckDuckGo, according to this latest data from Statcounter, fell from about 0.71% to just 0.58%; all the gains have been lost amid scandals, such as widespread realisation that DuckDuckGo is a Microsoft informant, curated by Microsoft and hosted by Microsoft (Bing is meanwhile laying off many people, but the media isn’t covering that or barely bothers)

  17. This is What the Microsoft-Sponsored Media Has Been Hyping Up for Weeks (Ahead of Microsoft Layoffs)

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan

  18. [Meme] António Campinos Wants to Be F***ing President Until 2028

    António Campinos insists he will be EPO President for 10 years, i.e. even longer than Benoît Battistelli (despite having appalling approval rates from staff)

  19. European Patent Office Staff Losing Hope

    The EPO’s management with its shallow campaign of obfuscation (pretending to protect children or some other nonsense) is not fooling patent examiners, who have grown tired and whose representatives say “the administration shows no intention of involving the staff representation in the drafting of the consultant’s mandate” (like in Sirius ‘Open Source’ where technical staff is ignored completely for misguided proposals to pass in the dark)

  20. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 26, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 26, 2023

  21. Sirius Relegated/Demoted/Destined Itself to Technical Hell by Refusing to Listen to the Technical Staff (Which Wanted to Stay With Asterisk/Free Software)

    In my final year at Sirius ‘Open Source’ communication systems had already become chaotic; there were too many dysfunctional tools, a lack of instructions, a lack of coordination and the proposed ‘solution’ (this past October) was just more complexity and red tape

  22. Geminispace Approaching Another Growth Milestone (2,300 Active Capsules)

    The expansion of Geminispace is worth noting again because another milestone is approached, flirted with, or will be surpassed this coming weekend

  23. [Meme] Cannot Get a Phone to Work... in 2022

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ wasted hours of workers’ time just testing the phone after it had moved to a defective system of Google (proprietary); instead of a rollback (back to Asterisk) the company doubled down on the faulty system and the phones still didn’t work properly, resulting in missing calls and angst (the company just blamed the workers who all along rejected this new system)

  24. [Meme] Modern Phones

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is mistaking “modern” for better; insecurity and a lack of tech savvy typically leads to that

  25. The ISO Delusion: Sirius Corporation Demonstrates a Lack of Understanding of Security and Privacy

    Sirius ‘Open Source’, emboldened by ISO ‘paperwork’ (certification), lost sight of what it truly takes to run a business securely, mistaking worthless gadgets for “advancement” while compelling staff to sign a new contract in a hurry (prior contract-signing scandals notwithstanding)

  26. Links 26/01/2023: LibreOffice 7.4.5 and Ubuntu Pro Offers

    Links for the day

  27. Links 26/01/2023: GNU poke 3.0 and PipeWire 0.3.65

    Links for the day

  28. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 25, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 25, 2023

  29. Companies Would Collapse Upon Abandoning Their Original Goals (That Attracted All the Productive Staff)

    Staff with technical skills won't stick around in companies that reject technical arguments and moreover move to proprietary software in a company that brands itself "Open Source"

  30. [Meme] Listen to Your Workers, Avert Disaster

    Companies that refuse to take input from staff are doomed to fail

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