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Links 11/11/2010: Linux-2.6.36-libre, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Posted in News Roundup at 2:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • It’s clamfs chowder time!

    Even though windows viruses do not effect Linux systems those same Linux systems can harbour and transmit viruses to windows clients connecting to them. So it is important to make sure that these systems are kept clean. Especially if you are using the system as a Samba file server.

  • Desktop

    • I’ll Show You Mine, You Show Us Yours

      We are looking forward to seeing your screenshots. Hopefully we get lots of entries, because if my screenshot is the only option, it will make for a sad winner’s circle in our magazine.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Free as in Freedom: Episode 0×02: Needs of the Few

      Karen and Bradley discuss Stormy Peters’ departure from the GNOME Foundation, an issue of deep confusion regarding copyright licensing, and references to Spock in a recent court decision.

      This show was released on Tuesday 9 November 2010; its running time is 00:39:56.

  • Google

  • Ballnux

    • Android 2.2 For Samsung Galaxy S is Now Available

      It seems that finally Android 2.2 Froyo is available for Samsung Galaxy S.This is a good news for the owners of Samsung Galaxy S.For owners of the Samsung Galaxy S waiting for Android 2.2 Froyo is now over. The firmware was finally released yesterday for download. Who Legend in possession of HTC’s is happy because, according to HTC,Froyo will certainly be rolled out in the foreseeable future for the smartphone.Samsung Galaxy S wwill be a much better smartphone than iPhone 4 with this new Android 2.2.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux-2.6.36-libre: turning Linux’s Free Bait into Free Software

      Linux hasn’t got any Freer between the Linux-2.6.33-libre announcement, back in March, and the present announcement, that marks the release of Linux-2.6.36-libre. Linux now contains more non-Free Software, and more drivers in its Free core that require separately distributed non-Free Software to function. The welcome news is that Open Source advocates have joined the Free Software Movement in denouncing the practice of Free Bait or Open Core.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Some Small Progress On Linux GPU Laptop Switching

        A few weeks ago we reported that notebook hybrid graphics switching on Linux still sucks. For these newer laptops that boast dual GPUs — an integrated low-power IGP and a more performance-oriented discrete GPU for demanding environments with switching between the two being done “seamlessly” in real-time based upon usage or via a hot-key — the support under Linux is still virtually nonexistent. There is a crude form of Linux GPU switching, but for the most part it’s not nearly up to par for what’s available in Microsoft Windows 7 or Apple Mac OS X. The situation remains that way, but some small progress has been made.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Recent Activity… uh.. activities

        There’s one unfortunate thing here – the guy who was planning to actually create a set of templates for 4.6 is busy, and the freeze is thursday, and all we have right now is one ugly demo template I threw together in a few minutes. So if you want to create some – well, come pester me to document the process. ;) Hopefully I’ll have time to add a GHNS button to the UI too, and then more templates can be downloaded – but it’d be nice to have more than one shipped with 4.6. :)

      • One plasmoid 3 platforms

        I already extensively talked on this blog about the new QML declarative AppletScript that will be present in the upcoming 4.6 release of the KDE Platform and how is important especially in the light of the QtComponents project.


        But wait, there are 3 rss readers shown in that video!

        The other two, shown as standalone windows, they have a very similar and coherent behavior compared to the one on the desktop, but they look completely different and have some important differences in their behavior.

        They are a version targeted to MeeGo Handheld and MeeGo Tablet (the one with a two column layout, that is possible in a larger screen)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Linux Plumbers Conference/Gnome Summit Recap

        Last week LPC and GS 2010 took place in Cambridge, MA. Like the last years, LPC showed again that — at least for me — it is one of the most relevant Linux conferences in existence, if not the single most relevant one.

      • Epidermis theme Manager – Change the Look and Feel of Ubuntu

        Epidermis theme manager is an open source GTK application for managing, automatically downloading and installing themes of various types, in order to transform the look of your Ubuntu desktop, from the moment you turn it on until the moment you turn it off.

      • ‘A New Start’ GTK Theme is Incredibly Cool!

        If Equinox and Elegant GNOME were not good enough themes for you, may be it’s time for something new like ‘A New Start’ GTK theme. It is a little too bright for my taste but still worth mentioning. Check it out.

      • Gnome Panel
      • Browsers in GNOME

        Xan opened the session by surveying the history of browsers in GNOME: Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox, Chrome. The status of these browsers in GNOME has varying levels of integration but–of those remaining–they have vastly more resources than Epiphany currently does.

      • Setting Goals for GNOME

        Owen opened the session by saying that historically we have relied on the Board and Marketing Team to articulate our goals and that that hasn’t been fair to either of them. The motivation for this session was to set goals as a community.

        He set some guidelines for goals: motivational, realistic, determinative.

    • Xfce

      • Xfce 4.8pre1 is released

        Today the Xfce team released the first official pre-release build of what will later become Xfce version 4.8.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Sabayon 5.4 E17 “Experimental Spin” Review



        * Sharp Desktop look
        * Support for installing propriatory Video drivers
        * Very stable system underneath
        * Great support via documentation, forums, and live-chat
        * Advanced Sulfur Package Manager has many options
        * Installer is similar to Ubuntu’s Ubiquity and works great


        * Overall package manager seems slow at times
        * E17 is still buggy in some ways
        * No legacy video driver support
        * Expand the software repositories as 10K packages might not be enough
        * Package management/updates are spread across more than one app and should maybe be combined into one.

    • New Releases

      • Clonezilla Live open source clone system updated

        Clonezilla developer Steven Shiau has announced the release of version 1.2.6-40 of Clonezilla Live. Clonezilla is an open source clone system (OCS) with features similar to Symantec Ghost Corporate Edition and Partimage, and is designed for hard disk partitioning and cloning.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enables Expanded Deployment Flexibility and Application Portability with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6 hits Beta as RHEL 6 looms

        Red Hat today announced the first beta for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6 — on the eve of a major Red Hat event in San Francisco, where we could be hearing about the release of RHEL 6.

        But first we’ve got RHEL 5.6 (beta) today, providing some updated apps.

      • Red Hat releases RHEL 6

        Red Hat on Wednesday released version 6 of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) distribution.

        “RHEL 6 is the culmination of 10 years of learning and partnering,” said Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s president of products and technologies, in a webcast announcing the launch. Cormier positioned the OS both as a foundation for cloud deployments and a potential replacement for Windows Server.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 Installation Process

          After that was date/time setting and Smolt. I’m not going to take a look at Fedora 14, that’ll come when I upgrade my main system. This installation was, as I mentioned at the top, in preparation for another blog post. You’ll get to hear about that when I get to it. Overall, I think the installation process is very good although it is definitely a bit more technical than other installers I’ve looked at in the past. Is that the direction we’re going with Fedora? It’s OK if the answer is yes – that’s why it rocks that there are so many Linux distros out there.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Daily ISO Available For Download

          Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal daily ISO files are available to download starting today.

        • New UbuntuForums.org Design On The Way

          The Ubuntu website and basically all the official Ubuntu related websites have been upgraded to use the new Ubuntu branding, except for Ubuntuforums.

          But that’s about to change. Mike Basinger create a blueprint @ Launchpad regarding this matter which has already been accepted, so it looks like we’ll be getting a new Ubuntuforums design soon (I’m not sure when).

        • First Look At Ubuntu 11.04 aka Natty Narwhal

          Natty Narwhal, as we know it, is going to be the most awaited Ubuntu release ever. Introduction of Unity in the desktop version of Ubuntu could also be a ‘make or break’ situation for loyal Ubuntu users.

          If the transition and expectations are not met, a huge chunk of user-base might move to Linux Mint, which has made clear in an exclusive statement to Muktware that they are neither going for Gnome Shell or Unity.

        • Video: Ubuntu 10.10 + Wayland + Compiz
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Get a $300 Drone and Fly It Using Ubuntu

      Oregonbob from Ubuntu Forums has been successful in compiling an example control on Ubuntu and it works great on his system as he posted a note about it on Ubuntu Forums. Check out the video in a link posted by him. The video includes instructions for compiling and running flight control program on Ubuntu.

    • Matrox Imaging announces Linux support for Matrox Radient eCL Camera Link frame grabber

      “The introduction of Matrox Imaging Library (MIL) support for the Matrox Radient eCL on Linux® gives system developers–who use the open-source operating system–access to this high-performance Camera Link® frame grabber,” explains Michael Chee, Product Manager, Matrox Imaging. “Linux® system developers can now take advantage of the Matrox Radient eCL’s high-bandwidth image capture–up to four Base or two Full mode Camera Link® cameras on a single board–and high-throughput FPGA-based processing capabilities”.

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo Progress Report
        • The MeeGo Progress Report: A+ or D-?

          [Eight months after the announcement of the MeeGo project by Intel and Nokia, guest author Dave Neary analyses the progress made to date in MeeGo Handset, and the project's prospects for the future]

        • Symbian Foundation to Transition to a Licensing Operation

          “I’m immensely proud of the work we’ve done at the Symbian Foundation. Perhaps most notably, in the last year we’ve delivered the biggest open source project ever in releasing the entire Symbian codebase under an open source license, and we did it four months ahead of schedule.”

          The first phase of the foundation’s transition will involve a reduction in operations and staff numbers. By April 2011, the Symbian Foundation will be governed by a group of non-executive directors tasked with overseeing the organisation’s licensing function.

        • Nokia reabsorbs Symbian smartphone software

          Nokia has taken back control of the Symbian operating system, 18 months after it set up a non-profit foundation to oversee its development.

      • Android

        • 10 Amazing Android Photographs

          Take a look at our 10 fantastic hand-picked photos snapped on Android handsets, and, as always, please do share your thoughts — or any great pics you’ve snapped on your Droid — in the comments below.

        • How to get shell on your Android phone from Ubuntu

          If it’s Linux, you should be able to telnet/ssh to it, right? So yes, Android does have a shell (albeit really limited), which you can access from the phone by installing a terminat app. If you want to type from a real keyboard and you want to be able to copy-paste commands from the net, you can also “telnet” to the device from your computer, by plugging in the USB cable and following some pretty simple steps.

        • Vodafone stormed by Androids

          For quite a while the TV channels are bombarded with commercials (good thing I only watch very little TV) for various phones which have touted as ultimate feature the Android operating system but today I saw something that made me smile: received from Vodafone a quite spammy-but-not-realy-spam presentation (I am the official contact inside our company, they are a big communications provider for us) about they introducing the Samsung Galaxy TAB in the offer.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Laptops Work

        When I started One Laptop per Child (OLPC) in 2004, I said that owning a connected laptop would help eliminate poverty through education, especially for the 70 million children who have no access whatsoever to schools. I still believe this. But what I have learned since—with two million laptops in 40 countries—is that reducing isolation is an even bigger issue, and that goal will be achieved with technology and only with technology. And not just Microsoft’s: the technology I have in mind is free and open software; no-cost, ubiquitous communications; and laptops or tablets that use so little power that you can charge them with a shake. (By the way, all of our two million laptops in the field today can run Windows, but fewer than a thousand do; the buyers or users have chosen Linux instead.)

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source education still needed

    This is according to the general manager at the Linux Warehouse, Shannon Moodley, commenting on the results of the Open Source Survey which attracted 499 IT professionals across various sectors in SA. This survey was carried out by ITWeb in partnership with Linux Warehouse.

  • Lessons learned from Symbian’s journey to open source and back

    With word that the Symbian Foundation is transforming again, this time away from an open source nonprofit to a licensing operation of Nokia and other Symbian developers and backers, there are indeed some lessons for how commercial open source communities work, and how they don’t.

    First, we’ll cover some of the meaning and implications for what remains of the Symbian Foundation, the Symbian OS and its primary backer Nokia. There is no question it is rightfully being viewed as a failure in terms of open source. While Symbian had some of the ingredients for a vibrant open source project — significant developer, manufacturer and user penetration, commercial backing, open source Eclipse Public License and community structure — it also struggled from the start to address one of the greatest challenges for open source projects: balancing control and community. As we’ve seen with other cases in the past, it seems it is difficult for a software project or community to succeed and grow beyond its roots and original supporters if it was not open source from the start. Even when open source from the start, it can be particularly challenging to benefit from corporate interests, investment and participation while still maintaining community independence and enthusiasm among open source developers. We also see continued evidence of this challenge and struggle with Oracle and its ongoing stewardship of and interaction with open source software projects and products that were part of Sun Microsystems, including Java, OpenOffice, and OpenSolaris.

  • The Promise Of Open Source

    Linux and open source technologies have started gaining acceptance and momentum with a host of technologies associated with FOSS having reached levels of maturity that are comparable with the best the proprietary software world has to offer. A perceived lower cost of ownership has been pushing enterprises and SMBs to switch to open source-based solutions.

    According to Springboard Research, Linux on the server platform has grown its way to a prominent position in the Indian server OS market with its adoption rate increasing from 7 percent to 8.1 percent (and rising) over a 13-month period since April 2009.

  • Document Foundation

    • LibreOffice: Document Foundation Steering Committee Public Phone Conference 12-Nov-2010

      The Document Foundation’s steering committee will hold a public phone conference on November 12, 2010, 1400 UTC.

    • ROSE Blog Interviews: The Document Foundation’s Jacqueline Rahemipour

      On October 31, Jacqueline Rahemipour posted a letter on the dev@native-lang.openoffice.org mailing list called Every end is a new beginning. The letter, which was signed by Rahemipour and 32 other OpenOffice.org contributors, addressed Oracle’s response to the recent creation of The Document Foundation. The letter says, “Oracle’s official response to the announcement of The Document Foundation was clear – Oracle will continue OpenOffice.org as usual. The result is now indeed the lately postulated conflict of interest for those community members who are in charge of or representing project, but to whom it is not enough ‘to continue working as we always did’.” The letter ends with the contributors announcing that they are leaving their positions with the OpenOffice.org project: “The answer for us who sign this letter is clear: We want a change to give the community as well as the software it develops the opportunity to evolve. For this reason, from now on we will support The Document Foundation and will – as a team – develop and promote LibreOffice.”

  • Web Browsers

    • World, Meet RockMelt

      Any intro to RockMelt wouldn’t be complete without recognizing all the tremendous work that came before us—and which we’ve built upon. We’re based on Chromium, the open source project behind Google’s Chrome browser, which in turn is based on WebKit, the open source HTML layout engine used by Apple, as well as a host of other projects from Mozilla and others. These projects, which we contribute to, represent the best browser technology out there. RockMelt wouldn’t be possible without these projects, as well as the open APIs, help and support we’ve received from Facebook, Twitter, and others. We’re proud and deeply grateful to be able to build on the shoulders of these giants. Thanks friends!

    • Mozilla

  • Oracle

    • It’s not Apache vs. Oracle; it’s Oracle vs. open source

      Apache is stuck between a rock and a hard place. It can’t certify that its open-source Java, Harmony is Java compatible. Oracle, like Sun before it, won’t release the needed certification tests. Without that Apache can’t certify that Harmony is really Java for legal purposes. Adding insult to injury, IBM, which had been Harmony’s biggest backer, moved away from the project to support, with Oracle, OpenJDK.

      What’s an open-source foundation to do? It can try to force Oracle to co-operate by using its seat in the Java Community Process (JCP) Executive Committee, the group that, in theory, runs Java to vote against approving Java 7 when it eventually comes up for approval. By itself, Apache can’t stop it, but it’s calling on other JCP members to also vote against it to protest Oracle’s refusal to work with Apache on certifying Harmony.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Is the source of open source the root of all evil

        Most open source software does not come from open source companies, or the open source community.

        It comes from proprietary companies. It comes from folks wanting to sell stuff by connecting their wares to the power open source provides.

  • Project Releases

    • MythTV 0.24 Available

      When we released MythTV version 0.23 in May, we promised you a number of exciting new features and improvements. Today, we deliver. MythTV version 0.24 is now available for download, and it includes the brand new OSD, all-new HD audio support, Blu-ray support, and countless other features and fixes.

  • Licensing

    • Telstra promises GPL fix, if necessary

      The nation’s largest telco Telstra has promised to fix any open source licensing issues associated with its new batch of branded products, in response to developer claims that its T-Hub and T-Box products weren’t compliant with the terms of the popular GNU General Public License.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • RLUK and the Democratization of Knowledge

        I’m talking later this week on the Democratization of knowledge to the RLUK conference. RLUK is the professional body for Research Libraries (i.e. mainly University Libraries) in the UK.

        I don’t yet know what I shall talk about. I had hoped that we could generate a bottom-up activity in the domain of libraries which would excite people about the new possibilities and help to grow new activities. I had thought that the Open release of the BL’s catalogue data would excite librarians and give rise to community activities, but I can’t find interest by blogging and tweeting. I’d hoped we could arrange a mini-bookathon in 30 minutes using this as a focus. I wanted at least 15 minutes of the session as constructive but tough discussion.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • ODF Plugfest presentations published

      The 12 MB Zip contains all presentations of the Brussels Plugfest, jointly organized by the Belgian governments on October 14 and 15. Both closed and open source products were presented.


  • Carphone Warehouse sells 99p mobile phone

    The Carphone Warehouse has started selling a mobile phone for just 99p – which might come in handy for businesses looking to provide back-up phones for their workers.

  • How To See New York’s Secret City Hall Subway Stop

    New York’s famous City Hall subway station, one of the most gorgeous gems in the world of mass transit, has been closed for decades. Now it can be viewed again by in-the-know riders of the 6 train. Here’s how.

  • Ask retreats from web search market

    Ask.com is abandoning its search technology to concentrate on answering questions using third-party engines.

  • Wikipedia sister Wikia undergoes major redesign

    Wikia’s two million registered users have created over 165,000 wikis since the site was launched.

  • Science

    • Preserving science: what data do we keep? What do we discard?

      In part one of our series on scientific data preservation, we spent some time discussing the challenges of making sure the samples used to generate scientific data get kept around. It might seem that there’s an obvious solution to that issue: document things, digitize them, and take advantage of the rapid increases in hard drive capacity. After all, that’s what we do with data from one-time events, like earthquakes and astronomical events. It’s a nice thought, but two recent developments point out that it’s little more than wishful thinking.

      The first is that, as the LHC has ramped up the pace of its collisions, software filters have kicked in that are starting to determine which events actually get archived. Instead of a “preserve everything” approach to scientific data, the people running the LHC are now taking a “preserve the interesting stuff and a random sample of the rest” approach. As collision intensities continue to ramp up, that random sample will be an ever-shrinking slice of the full complement of events taking place. At full beam intensity, three levels of filtering will take place, each of which will discard all but one of every 10,000 collisions recorded.

    • McMaster scientists turn skin into blood

      In an important breakthrough, scientists at McMaster University have discovered how to make human blood from adult human skin.

      The discovery, published in the prestigious science journal Nature today, could mean that in the foreseeable future people needing blood for surgery, cancer treatment or treatment of other blood conditions like anemia will be able to have blood created from a patch of their own skin to provide transfusions. Clinical trials could begin as soon as 2012.

    • What Are Vectors, and How Are They Used?
    • ‘Gooooooo Science!’

      Olson filmed the squad as they performed at the US Science and Engineering Festival two weeks ago. What the world needs even more than education, Olson says, is the “motivation” to go out and learn. The Science Cheerleaders help do that, he adds.

    • The importance of stupidity in scientific research

      I recently saw an old friend for the first time in many years. We had been Ph.D. students at the same time, both studying science, although in different areas. She later dropped out of graduate school, went to Harvard Law School and is now a senior lawyer for a major environmental organization. At some point, the conversation turned to why she had left graduate school. To my utter astonishment, she said it was because it made her feel stupid. After a couple of years of feeling stupid every day, she was ready to do something else.

      I had thought of her as one of the brightest people I knew and her subsequent career supports that view. What she said bothered me. I kept thinking about it; sometime the next day, it hit me. Science makes me feel stupid too. It’s just that I’ve gotten used to it. So used to it, in fact, that I actively seek out new opportunities to feel stupid. I wouldn’t know what to do without that feeling. I even think it’s supposed to be this way. Let me explain.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Tom Lubbock: a memoir of living with a brain tumour

      For art critic Tom Lubbock, language has been his life and his livelihood. But in 2008, he developed a lethal brain tumour and was told he would slowly lose control over speech and writing. This is his account of what happens when words slip away

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Wikileaks Mutineers Create Rival Organization

      Domscheit-Berg is one of the leaders of the new whistleblower undertaking. The group’s personnel looks to possibly number between half a dozen and a dozen people so far.

      The new organization would not be the only alternative to Wikileaks, as the Wall Street Journal points out. The most prominent rival is probably Cryptome, who have leaked documents concerning Wikileaks.

    • More Stansted shenanigans: scanned 7 year old now afraid to fly

      Hot on the heels of the story of a woman forced to go into a private room to expose scars from her hip-replacement surgery to Stansted Airport security officials, a BBW supporter has written with news of yet another case of intrusive scanning at the airport.

    • UK.gov plans net surveillance by 2015

      In its departmental business plan, published today, the Home Office said it aims that “key proposals [will be] implemented for the storage and acquisition of internet and e-mail records” by June 2015.

    • US senator wants war on Iran

      Iranian officials have warned that any act of aggression by the US and Israel against Iran’s nuclear facilities would be firmly responded to and could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.

    • Conned by Democracy: The Middle East’s Stagnant ‘Change’

      Democracy in the Middle East continues to be a hugely popular topic of discussion. Its virtues are tirelessly praised by rulers and oppositions alike, by intellectuals and ordinary people, by political prisoners and their prison guards. Yet, in actuality, it also remains an illusion, if not a front to ensure the demise of any real possibility of public participation in decision-making.

  • Finance

    • How Obama Saved Capitalism and Lost the Midterms

      If I were one of the big corporate donors who bankrolled the Republican tide that carried into office more than 50 new Republicans in the House, I would be wary of what you just bought.

      For no matter your view of President Obama, he effectively saved capitalism. And for that, he paid a terrible political price.

      Suppose you had $100,000 to invest on the day Barack Obama was inaugurated. Why bet on a liberal Democrat? Here’s why: the presidency of George W. Bush produced the worst stock market decline of any president in history. The net worth of American households collapsed as Bush slipped away. And if you needed a loan to buy a house or stay in business, private sector borrowing was dead when he handed over power.

    • What I’ve Learned, By Skype’s Niklas Zennstrom

      That’s why Niklas Zennstrom is such a role model to entrepreneurs this side of the Atlantic. Not only did he co-found and run Skype, the London-based internet-phone start-up which eBay bought in 2005 for $3.1 billion — a venture more than two dozen venture capitalists turned down flat. He also, with business partner Janus Friis, created the game-changing peer-to-peer software Kazaa, launched the online video-sharing service Joost, and now runs a Mayfair-based investment firm called Atomico which recently raised $165 million.

    • Google scares Aussie banks

      Managers from Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, GM Bank, Rabobank and Spain-based Bankinter chaired a panel discussion at FST media’s Future of Banking and Financial Services conference last week where they were challenged by members of the financial sector on their apparent slack innovation efforts.

      RaboDirect general manager Greg McAweeney told an audience from the finance sector in Sydney last week that companies such as Google and PayPal are more responsive and trusted than banks.

    • Why High-Speed Traders Should Set Up Shop in Siberia

      Ultra-fast computer-assisted trading make up about half the trades in many markets. It’s a realm in which a minute might as well be a day; the smartest trades are made by being milliseconds faster than anyone else. For this reason, many firms set up shop near market exchanges, for the simple reason that being closer translates into getting information quicker. “Even money can’t move faster than the speed of light,” as New Scientist puts it, and our world of ubiquitous digital communications still must obey the laws of physics.

      The insight of the MIT researchers, Alexander Wissner-Gross and Cameron Freer, is that some automated traders–or at the very least, their server farms–will be best positioned in-between certain exchanges. Since some trading strategies capitalize on price fluctuations between separate exchanges in different parts of the world, the optimally located server will receive information from those exchanges at precisely the same moment, gaining that millisecond advantage over the competitor. In some cases that pefect location is the midpoint between the two exchanges, but not always–it depends on whether the exchanges’ prices move at the same speed or not.

    • Government cuts will put legal action out of reach of the poor

      I doubt many Observer readers understand either. To be educated and middle class is to know how to raise your voice without losing your temper; how to ask in an icy tone for a bureaucrat’s name and the contact details of his superior, while leaving the question: “Do you know who I am and how much trouble I can cause you?” hanging in the air.

    • Co-operatives UK in negotiations on new accounting rules that undermine the dividend

      Co-operatives UK is contesting proposed changes to international accounting standards that will result in payments of dividends being treated unfairly, warning that the sector may need to campaign if the standard is not amended.

      The new standard, which is being proposed by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), if implemented, will require co-operatives to treat dividends as refunds and therefore deduct them from their revenue, which in turn will have a significant impact on their accounts and reporting.

    • Colorado DA drops felony hit-and-run charges against billion-dollar financier because of “serious job implications”

      Colorado District Attorney Mark Hurlbert has dropped felony charges against Martin Joel Erzinger, a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney wealth manager who controls $1 billion in investments, because financial rules would require Erzinger to notify his clients that he was charged with a felony, and this would have “serious job implications” for the financier. Erzinger is facing charges for allegedly rear-ending cyclist Dr. Steven Milo, and then leaving the scene of the crime. Milo, a liver transplant surgeon, has spinal and brain injuries, disfiguring scars, and will likely be in pain for the rest of his life.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Protest Works. Just Look at the Evidence — And Start to Fight Back

      There is a ripple of rage spreading across America. It is clearer every day that the people of the United States have been colossally scammed. Everyone can see the bankers who crashed the economy are richer and fatter than ever, on taxpayers’ cash, and the only people the political class is hurrying to help are the super-rich fund who their campaigns. Yet the rage is being directed by a minority in a totally wrong direction – towards building a Tea Party that is dedicated to stripping away even the pathetically puny regulations on the banks and the rich introduced by Obama.

    • The Information Super-Sewer: The Internet Is Hijacked By Corporate Interests

      Interesting article from Chris Hedges on Global Research earlier this year. Author Jaron Lanier is quoted in this article as saying, “Funding a civilization through advertising is like trying to get nutrition by connecting a tube from one’s anus to one’s mouth.”

    • EU: Close The Revolving Doors

      Top European Union politicians are rushing from their public positions to become corporate lobbyists. The rules to prevent such abuses are ridiculously weak.

      EU decision-making is being corrupted by these practices, but the European Parliament has now threatened to withhold EU budget money until a new code of conduct is introduced.

    • Nadine Dorries and her blog

      Once upon a time, what happened in social media stayed in the social media.

      What was said on blogs and on Twitter was inconsequential. It didn’t really matter; nobody would notice, nobody would care in the real world.

      However, the astonishing abuse of her blog by an elected member of parliament is challenging such complacent assumptions. For there are now grave questions to be raised as to the weird and worrying conduct of Nadine Dorries, the Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire.

      First, a confession. I used to admire Dorries’s blogging in her early days (see my comment here). Accordingly, what I have now to report cannot be dismissed as the smears of some long-time opponent. Instead, it is tinged with the sadness one has when witnessing any decline and fall.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • TV Tropes Self-Censoring Under Google Pressure

      The popular wiki TV Tropes, a site dedicated to the discussion of various tropes, clichés and other common devices in fiction has suddenly decided to put various of its pages behind a ‘possibly family-unsafe’ content warning, apparently due to pressure by Google withdrawing its ads. What puzzles me most is the content that is put behind this warning. TV Tropes features no explicit sexual content, and no explicit violence.

    • Security or student politics

      Is Tom Harris MP correct on civil liberties?

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Audience control, and why net neutrality is no longer about supporting the innovative little guys

      But don’t be fooled into thinking supporting network neutrality is about standing up for internet entrepreneur David against incumbent Goliaths of the technology world.

      Fifteen years ago, sure. Ten years ago, maybe. Ten years ago the internet was still dominated by the telcos and equipment manufacturers. But the real service operators – not the ISPs but the companies providing services via the internet – were already on their unstoppable march to supremacy.

      Whilst the established giants of the software world were figuring out what to do with the internet a new breed of tech companies started to colonise cyberspace. Amazon.com formed in 1994 and launched in 1995. A mere 15 years later and only two other retailers – Wal-Mart and Home Depot – were larger in terms of market capitalisation.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Ethics of intellectual monopolies
    • [Glyn Moody's] A Tale of Two Conferences
    • Throwing the Book Against Intellectual Monopoly

      Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine have now engaged Cambridge University Press to publish their book Against Intellectual Monopoly, which is, hypocritically, subject to the artificial reproduction monopoly of copyright. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether this indicts the authors for their selection of publisher, or the reputedly academic publisher for failing to educate themselves with the words they lay claim to and neutralise their monopoly – or both.

    • The Innovation Delusion

      In the United States, innovation has become almost synonymous with economic competitiveness. Even more remarkable, we often hear that our economic salvation can only be through innovation. We hear that because of low Asian wages we must innovate because we cannot really compete in anything else. Inventive Americans will do the R&D and let the rest of the world, usually China, do the dull work of actually making things. Or we’ll do programming design but let the rest of the world, usually India, do low-level programming. This is a totally mistaken belief and one that, if accepted, will consign this nation to second- or third-class status.

    • Copyrights

      • New Zealand internet disconnect

        The New Zealand government signed on as an official record label corporate copyright enforcement agency last year, in the process becoming the, “first country in the world to implement a graduated response [three strikes and you're out] system,” as Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music’s IFPI (International Federation of Phonographic Industry) announced.

      • MPAA Lists Major Torrent, Usenet and Hosting Sites In Submission To U.S. Government

        In a response to a request from the Office of the US Trade Representative, the MPAA has submitted a list of “notorious markets” for pirated goods located outside the United States. Among them are some of the world’s leading torrent sites including BTjunkie, Demonoid, isoHunt, KickAssTorrents and The Pirate Bay. Usenet service UseNext makes an appearance alongside file-hosters MegaUpload and RapidShare.

      • 5 Torrent Files That Broke Mind Boggling Records

        BitTorrent was first released by Bram Cohen back in 2001, but it took two years before the new file-sharing protocol gained a notable audience. In the years that followed millions of torrent files were downloaded and shared billions of times. In this article we will discuss five memorable torrent files that each broke a unique record, from the largest in size to the oldest that’s still alive today.

      • The Guardian and The Web

        Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation this week released some figures on the success or otherwise of its experiment in paid online journalism, the project which has put the London Times and Sunday Times behind a paywall.

        It’s being watched around the world by newspapers desperate at the double decline of their sales and advertising revenue. Papers like the Sydney Daily Telegraph, Melbourne Herald Sun, Brisbane Courier Mail and Adelaide Advertiser are expected to go behind a paywall next year.

      • Why The Book Business May Soon Be The Most Digital Of All Media Industries

        Consider it an inauguration of sorts, a celebration of the e-book industry becoming a member of the major media club just as digital music and online video have before them. When you influence a billion dollars, people have to take you seriously. In the book business, it means that traditional publishers can no longer live in deny-and-delay mode; meanwhile, digital publishers get invited to better parties and people in other media businesses like TV and magazines look over and wonder if they could cut a slice of this new pie just for them.

      • eBook Sales to Hit $1 Billion By Year’s End, $3 Billion by 2015

        With the holiday season just gearing up and sales of eBooks and eBook readers likely to go into overdrive, analyst firm Forrester is predicting that 2010 will finish with just under $1 billion in eBooks sales.

      • Should we have fair use in the UK?

        Just to outline some thoughts on introducing a fair use style exception to UK copyright law, especially as it has seemed to pop back up again in the news. One wonders though how one can be prepared to make our IP laws “fit for the internet age” yet still be the land where we have the Digital Economy Act, but one digresses…

        In discussing UK fair use proposals, I assume most people mean introducing the US concept of fair use.

      • Links: Copyright Reform; Who Will Benefit?
      • Oh Look, More Cord Cutters: Time Warner Cable Loses 155,000 TV Subscribers

        Back in August, we wrote about a NY Times article insisting that the cable companies had beaten the internet and the idea that people would “cut the cord” and get their TV from the internet was something of a myth. The centerpiece of the story was a single anecdote of a guy who tried to just watch TV on the internet, but went back to cable. Because, you know, a single anecdote must represent a trend. We noted the irony that the day after that article came out, reports broke that cable TV had suffered its first ever decline in subscribers.

      • EC lobs grenades at copyright’s Ancien Régime
      • BPI file sharing evidence: we ask for a yes or no answer

        At the end of September, we wrote to Geoff Taylor of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) to ask about what we believe to be inaccuracies on their website about their “standards of evidence”. Specifically, the BPI are continuing to claim that their evidence has been accepted by the courts as conclusive evidence. We have not as yet received a reply from the BPI.

      • ACTA

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Net providers get Digital Economy Act judicial review

          TalkTalk and BT have been granted judicial review of the Digital Economy Act by the High Court.

          A judge will now scrutinise whether the act is legal and justifiable, and could make wide-ranging recommendations.

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