Summary: A weekly roundup with special focus on hands-on experience and impressions of the latest major release of GNU/Linux, namely Fedora 14
THIS is the sixth episode, which has just been recorded by Tim and Roy. This was done right after today’s testing of Fedora and Fusion 14. I installed it permanently on 2 boxes, whereas Tim tried Fusion on his side and, as usual, his site OpenByteshas some show notes. As we’ve both had a chance to test it on some machines, we may also post detailed reviews soon (c.f. our first show, which was a Fedora 14 special that covered Fusion too).
“Plasma-desktop in KDE (4.5) is very pleasant and it provides a good-looking desktop and brilliant experience.”To summarise my experience in textual form, it was a KDE-only experience and an especially wonderful one. Having just installed Fedora 14 on another box and encountered very few difficulties (ClaudioM and other people who spoke back to me were generally happy with it as well, only with minor pet peeves). I spent many hours on it, getting a feel for what’s installed, what works, and what is harder to use. Among the installations, the first, on a desktop, went smoothly, but the second, a notebook, had the same issue as Mandriva had with it (built-in microphone not detected, so external one needed). There is a lot to be said about the startup speed and about Plasma, which has nonetheless given me a hard time today. Plasma-desktop in KDE (4.5) is very pleasant and it provides a good-looking desktop and brilliant experience. Unfortunately it decided to repeatedly crash on the laptop and it’s possibly simple to resolve (will retry tomorrow).
As time goes on, TechBytes manages to become more focused, concise, and also incorporate a logical structure which makes it easier to follow. We also intend to end every show with a song from now on. This show closes with “On My Kees” from Aqualung (freely obtainable via SXSW 2009 Showcasing Artists).
If you wish to be on the show or know someone who ought to be on the show, please let us know. Marti spoke with us for a long time today, but we are trying to sort out recording difficulties which will hopefully be overcome soon. We are eager to have him on a future show.
Ubuntu-dedicated hardware company System76 have announced plans to begin shipping internationally.
The announcement, which will see orders sent to the UK from the end of this month onwards, is fantastic news to everybody everywhere. The more easily-accessible channels for people to acquire solid and well-designed Linux-running machines the better.
This week on the show: Telstra violating the GPL, Ubuntu wants to move away from X, FSFLA says the Linux kernel is open core, Google sues the US government, Apple finally kills the Xserve and much more…
The much-anticipated Samsung Galaxy Tab has arrived, giving the Apple iPad a high-profile rival with which to compete. How do the two devices measure up to each other? The Galaxy’s smaller screen has its advantages and drawbacks. Galaxy trumps iPad in terms of Flash video support, but will consumers care? And how long will Galaxy’s advantages in areas like cameras and multitasking really last?
There’s a new Wine development release out this Friday afternoon that incorporates a few new features that have been brewing within the development community over the past two weeks. This release is Wine 1.3.7.
A month ago there was the 1.0 beta release of the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries, which are the software libraries created to help in the development of the E17 desktop. EFL 1.0 also marks a point of API/ABI stability and is being used by projects outside of E17 proper, such as with Samsung’s Enlightenment usage. Today the second beta of the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries is now available.
In the Ubuntu Desktop team we’re currently packaging GNOME 3 components for Ubuntu as per the blueprint decided at the last Ubuntu Developer Summit.
If you’re already brave enough to be running Natty, then you can additionally try some new GNOME 3 applications by adding the GNOME3 builds PPA into your sources. Expect the usual – the packages may not work perfectly, and it’s non-trivial to downgrade, so be warned!
These days some people have started to ask about the current GNOME Shell accessibility status, probably a collateral effect of the Boston Summit, as Joanmarie Diggs and Alejandro Leiva (Orca maintainers) were talking there with GNOME Shell developers, mainly about the current Universal Access UI and how fit Orca on the new ui experience.
Linux Mint 10 “Julia” has been released today. “Julia” is based on Ubuntu 10.10 and among the significant changes in this version, are:
New version of the Mint Menu (available in the MintMenu WebUpd8 PPA for Ubuntu users) that highlights newly installed applications, finds and installs software from the repositories, includes search engines, now supports GTK themes and more.
As has been previously announced OLPC is planning on moving to an ARM processor to advance the XO platform. The major advantage is similar computing power while having a massive reduction in power usage so as to maximise runtime.
Just as with nature, we have cyclical changes within the Fedora Project as well. I think it’s both useful and healthy to point out a few of those changes, for a couple of reasons. First of all, I want to point out that every person in the Fedora community is a potential leader. Our policies of rotating leadership help ensure that everyone who is so inclined has a chance to lead and serve. Second, I’d like to personally thank those people who have diligently served the Fedora community, and wish them success as they move on to other endeavors.
In recent days we have been talking a lot about Ubuntu’s plans to deploy the Wayland Display Server and the new Wayland activity, NVIDIA’s plans to not support Wayland, and John Carmack’s interests to support Wayland, but that isn’t the only solution in the world. Red Hat’s Adam Jackson has addressed the Fedora plans to support Wayland.
We started officially the process of BoxGrinder inclusion into Fedora. I created a BoxGrinder feature page. Check it out and tell me what you think about it! We hope to have BoxGrinder included in Fedora 15 as a feature. This means that after Fedora 15 will be release BoxGrinder will be highlighted in release notes and therefore more visible to users.
Fedora, a Linux-based operating system, is sponsored by Red Hat (News – Alert), the world’s most trusted provider of open source technology, and the Fedora Project, is a worldwide community of people who use and build free software from all over the world. They want to encourage the creation and spread of free code and content by collaborating together.
Fedora’s refusal to accept the SQLninja tool into its repositories has met with considerable criticism. The tool attempts to penetrate Microsoft SQL Server-based systems via SQL injection attacks in order to open a back door on these systems. What is an evil hacker tool for hijacking computers to some, is a useful tool for testing their own servers to others. The Fedora project leaders chose the former point of view and unanimously voted against adding the tool in a (virtual) board meeting.
However, the issue was discussed at length, and various pros and cons were considered. In the end, the Fedora board decided against the tool to prevent potential legal claims against Fedora – even the sharing of hacker tools is an offence in some countries.
Flame wars are a part of open source development and communities. A new effort called openrespect.org wants to try and change the tone of cross-distribution name-calling, but I think they’ve really gotten off on the wrong foot.
Openrespect.org is founded by Ubuntu Linux community manager Jono Bacon, as a way to encourage mutual respect across Linux distributions. Apparently though that mutual respect didn’t fully extend to Red Hat’s community Fedora Linux distribution.
You may have noticed the heated discussions on Ubuntu and Canonical lately. The decision to move to Unity as the main desktop shell for Ubuntu 11.04 and Canonical insisting on developers assigning their copyright to them hasn’t made them many new friends. Whether you agree with Canonical or not some people seem to speak very harshly of their latest actions and deviate from a well-mannered debate. There seems to be an increase of rudeness in the open source / free software debate. To counter these tendencies Ubuntu’s community manager Jono Bacon launched openrespect.org.
Ubuntu 11.04 a.k.a. Natty Narwhal alpha is scheduled to be released on December 2nd: (see the complete release schedule, here).Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal daily ISO files are available to download (Note:Don’t install it on production machine), but you can test in VirtualBox.
This page summarizes many of the outcomes of the event, and for each track there is a link to further detailed notes. Please note: these are proceedings and plans, and some of these things may not get completed as planned for whatever reason. As such, please read this list as a set of goals, and not a promise of what Ubuntu 11.04 will include.
Want to show off your Ubuntu desktop in the cloud ? Perhaps you want to demo it to some Windows or OSX friends. Perhaps new users at your loco event want to play with Ubuntu for a bit. Well, look no further. In this article I will create an Ubuntu maverick 10.10 desktop in the Amazon ec2 cloud, connect to it using the x2go terminal server, which leverages the excellent NX remote display libraries
Yesterday in the ARM world there was not only a major milestone in that of unveiling the ARM Mali T-604 GPU for embedded devices with much faster graphics and even OpenCL GPGPU capabilities, but it was also marked by the first Linaro release. Linaro was formed less than a year ago but out now is their first engineering release, a.k.a. Linaro 10.11.
Linaro 10.11 marks the completion of their first engineering cycle and consists of tools and software for the latest ARM Cortex-A9 / Cortex-A8 processors. Celebrating this milestone was a press release that indicates there are now 70 open-source developers on Linaro’s engineering team (a collection of Canonical employees and from other ARM stakeholders), and signals there is momentum gaining for the Linaro 11.05 as their second engineering release.
Not-for-profit engineering firm Linaro has released a 10.11 version of its open source Linux code and tools for ARM Cortex processors. Meanwhile, Samsung, ST-Ericsson, and Texas Instruments are showcasing multiple Linux distros — including MeeGo and Ubuntu, running on Cortex-A9 SoCs — using Linaro-related code or tools.
Linaro, a nonprofit organization that aims to accelerate embedded Linux development for the ARM architecture, has announced its first software release. Version 10.11 of the group’s software stack quietly debuted this week. The group appears to be attracting interest and making steady progress.
French citizens have been enjoying webOS 2.0 with their morning baguette for over two weeks, but it’s one step closer to home today — Pocket-lint reports that the Palm Pre 2 will launch in the United Kingdom this Friday.
Despite the fact that the Nokia N9 was supposed to be the first MeeGo handset to be launched by the Finnish phone maker, it appears that the new mobile platform might be first appearing on the Nokia N900.
Intel is pushing their apps market for Atom based devices (called the AppUp) which targets netbooks and now developers have been approached to push development on the new SDK for MeeGo app development for mobiles that Intel has outed. The Intel SDK is in association with Nokia and allows “using Qt* development framework from Nokia to create MeeGo application”. This would take off the constraint of building apps only for netbooks and bring smartphone app makers to the platform.
Linpus , one of the leading Linux installations on open source solutions across platforms will be bringing out a Multi Touch edition of the popular OS with its basis in the MeeGo OS. Linpus announced today a full Meego-based multi-touch solution which is not just an operating system, but also includes a comprehensive suite of key applications including: an ereader, browser, media player, photo viewer, virtual keyboard and webcam.
I would like to document my process for getting Meego Handset to run in a Maemo chroot on the N900 using Easy Debian, so you don’t have to multi-boot your phone.
But I can’t document everything in one post, and I’m documenting as I go, so this first post will be the just first steps: how to get an Easy Debian compatible image out of the raw Meego images that the Meego project is posting.
MeeGo has been created by Nokia and Intel together to begin a shining new era in mobile computing.They created MeeGo, a Linux-based open software platform with a vision that all kinds of hardware devices viz. Mobile computers, PC tablets, media-based phones, Tvs and infotainment systems of vehicle. MeeGo is an open platform and can be used in new Nokia phones. Nokia N10 and Nokia E5x are those mobile phone which will launch in later 2010 or 2011 with Meego operating system.Thus, applications developed for this OS would easily sell Nokia’s Ovi Store.
The browser wars have extended to mobile devices, and that’s good news for consumers.
Last week, Mozilla released a second Firefox beta for Android. Yesterday, Opera released its first Opera Mobile beta for Android. Neither is ready for prime time, much less used on more than a tiny fraction of phones, but already I see them as a step forward.
Why? Because now there’s an important new front in the browser wars.
And while that means more stress for browser makers and more testing for Web developers, it holds the potential to dramatically improve browsing for the rest of us.
Today marks the 6th birthday of the popular Mozilla Firefox internet browser. Taken up from the source code of the Netscape browser, Firefox powers on through today to serve more than 400 million (and 45% of The PC Report’s readers) in performing just what it’s built for.
Throughout its run, Firefox has aimed to come first in the browser wars by providing unique features such as browser tabs, anti phishing technologies and of course, the several themes and extensions created by third parties.
Firefox 4 will come with better support for HTML5 forms. In the latest beta we are experimenting with a set of new features: more inputs types (email, url, tel, search), new attributes (placeholder, autofocus, list), decoupled forms and different validation mechanisms. This is thanks mostly to the hard work of Mounir Lamouri.
With the release of Firefox 4 Beta 7, Mozilla returned to near the top spot in browser performance rankings.
On Wednesday, Mozilla launched Firefox 4 Beta 7, a preview that includes all the features slated to make it into the final, polished version next year.
One of the most significant changes to the user interface for Firefox 4 was the rolling of the old menu items into one button, something we have called on this blog the “combined menu.” We’ve addressed the impact of this change in other posts, such as this one. We thought of one obvious follow-up: how often do people ‘bounce away’ from the combined menu before clicking something in it?
We define the bounce rate as this: given a user clicking the combined menu button, what is the proportion of instances where users do not click on one of the menu items? We built a small NumPy library to help us analyze the sequence of user-browser interactions.
Just a few weeks ago, we got word (by way of a few Tweets) that Jolicloud was seemingly — if the images were any indication — in the final stages of developing a netbook of its own. Well, we’ve just gotten some official news on just that topic.
As we reported earlier today, Cloud OS startup Jolicloud has confirmed the “Jolibook” Netbook is coming this month, although we don’t know the price. Well, we may not know the price, but strolling round the Monaco Media Forum today I button-holed founder Tariq Krim, and got him to reveal where the Jolibook will appear first: the UK.
A European Commission study found that “The existing base of quality FLOSS applications… would cost firms almost Euro 12 billion to reproduce internally.” That study was in 2006 and estimated the code base doubles every 18 to 24 months. There may not be much in the way of a knowledge economy right now, but there’s no reason to start from where everyone else did.
“Defined broadly, FLOSS-related services (in the EU) could reach a 32% share of all IT services by 2010,” continues the EC study. Not every line of code has to be monetized as strictly a line of code; KAUST could early on work with others to demonstrate that open source can be a viable business model option.
To facilitate this means some basic investments in connectivity. ITU data shows Saudi Arabia with 31.3 Internet users per 100 people, whereas the US has 75.8. By encouraging open standards and understanding the birth of the Internet as a platform for innovation, we start to find some ways to guide investments and policy.
In the past, Microsoft used to be willing to admit that unauthorized copies helped the company, as it helped establish its software as a near-monopoly in certain areas, and kept competitors out. But, in the past few years, the company has become more adamant, not just about denying any possible “benefits” to unauthorized copies, but in trying to crack down on them at any cost. The NY Times has an article highlighting Microsoft’s “fight” against unauthorized copies, and does so with dramatic (and cinematic) claims about how organized crime groups are turning to software copying, as an alternative to drugs.
One of the conferences was FSCONS 2010 – the Free Society and Nordic Summit. Despite its rather vague name, this was actually a meeting of a decent proportion of the free software world in the Scandinavian, Finnish and Icelandic worlds, with a goodly dollop of free content people thrown in for good measure.
* Careening toward feature completion.
* Please file bugs for string changes ASAP so we can get the new strings on Verbatim.
* Please keep testing and filing bugs.
* Test Day on Friday.
* Michael to file a bug that all articles are marked as “for Firefox 4″ when imported
Firefox 4 beta 7 is out, and now is the best time to evaluate your add-on’s compatibility with the next major Firefox release. This is the first “feature frozen” release, meaning that there will be no more major changes performed to the UI, APIs or features in Firefox. Other than bug fixes and stability improvements, this the Firefox that will make it to the public, and you should be able to upgrade your add-on to work for this beta without having to worry about something being broken in the following betas and release candidates. Firefox 4 is coming! If you want your add-on to be compatible, the time is now.
This project seeks to develop an application programming interface (API) for publishing Open Education Resources (OER) to remixable repositories. An API will provide developers a roadmap for navigating the education highway of OER repositories and and make it possible for the wider community to create services and tools to support wide-scale adoption and production of OER.
Look at this, though. Google also says Oracle’s Exhibit J [PDF] attached to its amended complaint, Oracle’s side-by-side comparison of Java (J2SE) and “Android versions of PolicyNodeImpl.java” that seemed to establish copying, isn’t accurate, in that Oracle “has redacted or deleted from the materials shown in Exhibit J both expressive material and copyright headers that appear in the actual materials, which are significant elements and features of the files in question.” Wow and double wow. If that proves true, it reminds me of the 300 lines of code “proof” from SCO in the SCO v. IBM case, when IBM showed the judge at a hearing that Sandeep Gupta’s exhibit to a declaration he’d filed for SCO had “juxtaposed” code in such a way as to “give the appearance of similarity when, in fact, no similarity exists.”
But there’s more. Lots more, including a defense of misuse, alleging that Oracle, and Sun before it, has “impermissibly expand[ed] the scope of the Patents-in-Suit by requiring licensees to license items not covered by Oracle’s alleged intellectual property in order to receive a license to Oracle’s alleged intellectual property.”
One of the most shocking aspects of Oracle’s lawsuit against Google alleging patent and copyright infringement was its unexpected nature. The assumption had been that Google was a big company with lots of lawyers and engineers, and had presumably checked out everything before proceeding with the Android project. And then suddenly it looked as if it had made the kind of elementary mistakes a newbie startup might commit.
According to golem.de, a German IT news magazine, the Document Foundation has announced its first goals for the office suite LibreOffice. The dependency of Java shall be reduced and a general refactoring of all components is in the plans.
The number of developers has risen to over 90, which is far more than OpenOffice had.
According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses account for 99.7 percent of all U.S. businesses and employ about half of all private sector employees. This makes sense, since the definition of a “small” business is pretty big: “an independent business having fewer than 500 employees.” Have you ever been in a crowd of 500 people? Living in NYC all my life, I have, and I can tell you it’s pretty nerve wracking at times (think crammed train during rush hour).
So how do you get your “big” small business working effectively together? Well, with enterprise technology, of course. But although small businesses may have strength in numbers, their IT budgets usually fall short on the financial spectrum. The technologists in these companies, usually a one to two man crew, look for bargain-basement-priced technologies that have the punch of their larger-priced cousins.
Yuvi tasked one student with creating a release of GTKJFileChooser, a file chooser dialog that has contributed to OpenJDK. The student created a patch to bump the version number, wrote some release notes, and created distribution files.
Four other students were unsure what project to work on, so I suggested Firefox. I pointed them at a Mozilla Education wiki page with a tutorial on altering Firefox’s XUL code. One of the attendees already knew Mercurial; he worked quickly, and was the first to discover that the article pointed at a revision that does not compile.
My original motivation was to support annotation of texts in http://openshakespeare.org/ so we can collaboratively build up critical notes but since then I’ve seen this need again and again — in drafting new open data licenses, with scholars working on medieval canon law, when taking my own notes on academic papers.
Burg Manager is an application to easily install Burg (along with the default Burg themes and a Burg emulator) and change most of the Burg settings such as the timeout, download and install new themes, remove Burg and restore Grub 2, set the default operating system and many advanced options.
As some of our regular followers know, Fusion Garage has been asked to release the portion of our joojoo OS that falls under GPL guidelines, and we are in the process of finalizing the software for public distribution. This is not a case of avoiding the issue. We will be releasing the GPL-related portion of our original OS shortly Given the size of our code base and given that we are still a small team working on several things at once, we are still in the process of filtering the Fusion Garage code components from the open source components, but we have every intention of following through on our commitments in this area.
This white paper, It Will Be Awesome if They Don’t Screw it Up: 3D Printing, Intellectual Property, and the Fight Over the Next Great Disruptive Technology, examines how intellectual property (IP) law impacts the rapidly maturing technology of 3D printing, and how incumbents who feel threatened by its growth might try to use IP law to stop it.
3D printing means turning images into solid objects.
Not too long ago, the idea was the stuff of sci-fi writers. But in the digital 21st century, 3D printers exist. And since they’re open source, anyone with the right skills and knowledge can make one.
When mixed with just the precise amount of moisture and deposited appropriately by a 3D printer, you’ll get yourself a near-rock-hard mold suitable for sloshing in a hot metallic liquid of your choice. What will your first cast be? We know what Open3DP’s will be (see image above).
Last week, while unloading my dishwasher, I had a “eureka!” moment in which I suddenly understood why the machine had not been adequately cleaning up the cups and baby bottles in the upper rack: a small rubber tube had split open, and much of the water meant for the upper rack was spilling over the plates below instead.
In the dark ages before the Internet, this might have meant an expensive house call from an appliance repair company. Today, it means going to the manufacturer’s website, digging up the complete parts list for a decade-old appliance, and then placing an online order for the small rubber part, which will arrive in a box on your doorstep within the week. Magical!
Sharing becomes a slippery slope when it comes to genomics: we need massive amounts of data in order to understand the human genome, but issues of privacy, abuse, and the distrust of institutions stand in the way. So how do we resolve this?
We talked to Robert Cook-Deegan, the director of the Center for Genomics, Ethics, Law & Policy at Duke University, about how the field of genomics is poised for takeoff, the challenges it faces as it scales, and how CC can step in as a neutral institution that will save the day.
My interpretation is this. “We are a commercial company who wishes to decrease our costs/increase our profits by getting rid of traditional copy editors (whose job is to improve the language and style of papers). We have outsourced almost all our production to companies who are not in a position to do copy-editing. We are therefore trying to get graduates to do this job for free so we can maximise our profits. By the way if you wish to publish in some Open Access Springer journals it can cost thousands of pounds.”
I would like to feel that publishers are part of the value added to scholarship. However it is becoming clear day by day that many (not all, but many) publishers are only in it for money and their primary effect is to restrict and cripple the publication process.
I am at a RLUK meeting where some of the keynotes have addressed the impossibility of continuing with the current publication process. I hope that people actually DO something instead of talking. “Reclaim our scholarship”.
A year or so ago, we invited DIY enthusiasts from Instructables , Ravelry , Adafruit , Craftster , Dorkbot , and Etsy to fill out our survey on DIY communities, projects, and cultures. We received 2600+ responses in just a few weeks. Many many thanks to everyone who contributed!!
In this ‘Instructable’, we share some of our findings. We explore DIY as a broad cultural movement, spanning many domains and materials. This is just one way- and one starting point- for understanding DIY communities, motivations and practices. We would love to hear your feedback!
ODFDiff is an OpenOffice extension for comparing ODF documents. It supports text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. The differences are show using tracked changes, except for presentations. It also comes as stand-alone Java program for those that want to try it without installing OpenOffice. ODFDiff is fast and accurate.
On Tuesday the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit research organization based in Washington, D.C., debuted its first HTML5 project, designed to make lengthier stories more palatable for readers using desktop and mobile browsers.
This post is about expanding some thoughts and discussions I’ve been having on Identi.ca this morning around the epub format and the new Amazon Kindle 3. Calibre does convert a great many formats, it also optionally manages your collection, lets you edit metatags, transfer ebooks to and from your device. Converting epubs to a format the device accepts is no problem. It’s about registering a preference for me.
When I buy an mp3 player, I want it to play ogg, as much as converting it from ogg to mp3 is very easy, I’d rather it plays ogg natively. I make a point of checking reviews, comments etc on devices for ogg compatibility, and all else being equal, I use my choice as a user and consumer to buy the player which plays ogg natively. Why? I want my preference for ogg to be counted. It’s really that simple.
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the successor to the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme 2007-2013 (CIP). The CIP is the main EU budgetary instrument targeting competitiveness outside the research and skills areas. Its main priorities are SMEs, access to finance, innovation (including eco-innovation), take-up and use of information and communication technologies (ICT), energy efficiency and renewables. Through the consultation, the public is invited to have its say on what the priorities of future competitiveness and innovation EU funding should be. The consultation will remain open until 4 February 2011.
Jimmy Wales likes to describes himself as a “pathological optimist”, so it’s no surprise that he’s extremely enthusiastic about the longevity of wikis, the group publishing tool epitomised by the mighty Wikipedia, which he founded in 2001.
Dennis sent over an interesting story by a guy who helped Sal buy the dot com from the cybersquatter. It’s an interesting story of how buying domains works (with a lot of questionable things happening in the background). In the end, they were able to purchase the domain for $2,988. They actually paid $5,000 initially, but the company running the auction later said it detected fraudulent bidding, and lowered the price.
The reason copyright management was a “solved problem with Xanadu” was because of something called “transclusion”, which basically meant that when you quoted or copied a piece of text from elsewhere, it wasn’t actually a copy, but the real thing *embedded* in your Xanadu document. This meant that it was easy to track who was doing what with your work – which made copyright management a “solved problem”, as Pesce says.
I already knew this, but Pesce’s juxtaposition with the sloppy, Web made me realise what a narrow escape we had. If Xanadu had been good enough to release, and if it had caught on sufficiently to establish itself before the Web had arrived, we would probably be living in a very different world.
Many entrepreneurs idolize Steve Jobs. He’s such a perfectionist, they say. Nothing leaves the doors of 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino without a polish and finish that makes geeks everywhere drool. No compromise!
“HTML5 provides good reason to believe that the Web will remain the main platform for new services, while apps remain secondary. And this matters because the health of the Web is vital for creativity and entrepreneurialism.”
Bill Gates didn’t invent the PC. Steve Jobs didn’t invent graphic operating systems. Marc Andreessen didn’t invent the web browser. Permanent link to this item in the archive.
Mail lists existed long before Craig Newmark started Craig’s List. Ward Cunningham implemented the first wiki, but Jimmy Wales built it up to world scale with Wikipedia. Permanent link to this item in the archive.
Remember in March when we shared with you that more than 24 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute? Well, you continue to amaze us: you’ve increased the amount of video uploaded to YouTube to 35 hours per minute. That breaks out to 2,100 hours uploaded every 60 minutes, or 50,400 hours uploaded to YouTube every day.
Many CEOs have admirers. Robin Li—the 41-year-old, American-educated chief executive officer of the Chinese search engine Baidu—has a fan club. And each year at the Baidu (BIDU) World conference in Beijing, the members of the Robin Li fan club come out to get close to the object of their worship.
Gerald Marzorati, the New York Times’ assistant managing editor for new media and strategic initiatives, doesn’t know why people pay for subscriptions to his paper.
Marzorati made the surprising claim during a panel discussion at the Digital Hollywood New York conference. He pointed to the fact that only 0.01 percent of subscribers canceled home delivery after the paper hiked prices five percent during the recession as evidence that his readership doesn’t realize that they’re overpaying for news that’s available for free online.
“We have north of 800,000 subscribers paying north of $700 a year for home delivery … I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that they’re literally not understanding what they’re paying … That’s the beauty of the credit card,” said Marzorati.
“What we see are two gamma-ray-emitting bubbles that extend 25,000 light-years north and south of the galactic center,” said the phenomenon’s discoverer, Doug Finkbeiner, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “We don’t fully understand their nature or origin.”
Everything from industrial equipment to the human body loses some of the energy it uses to things like heat and vibrations. The ability to harvest some of this energy is usually pretty limited, as small heat differences and weak movements are difficult to concentrate into significant amounts of useful energy. But even an inefficient conversion can be sufficient to provide power for small energy-efficient devices, such as medical implants and short-range transmitters, so researchers are working on developing materials that can convert environmental noise into small amounts of useful energy. In a recent example of this work, researchers have demonstrated that they can print a bio-compatible device that can harvest the stress created when it’s flexed to produce over 10 nanoAmps of current.
Street lights are an important part of our urban infrastructure — they light our way home and make the roads safe at night. But what if we could create natural street lights that don’t need electricity to power them? A group of scientists in Taiwan recently discovered that placing gold nanoparticles within the leaves of trees, causes them to give off a luminous reddish glow. The idea of using trees to replace street lights is an ingenious one – not only would it save on electricity costs and cut CO2 emissions, but it could also greatly reduce light pollution in major cities.
Alcohol, like caffeine, has an enormous reputation but loose understanding in popular culture. Learn how it’s absorbed and how fast, why it’s essential to reality TV altercations, its paradoxical sexual effects, and its life-lengthening potential, whether red wine or Bud Light.
In the march towards Total World Domination, with the recovery of its stock and explosion of Android, Google seems to be in the driver’s seat. But what captures this march? If Microsoft is the Beast of Redmond or the Borg, then what is Google? For two years I’ve called it the Monster of Mountain View, but it is only rarely used.
Perhaps the “Borg” metaphor is more appropriate nowadays: not because it’s relentlessly crushing enemies, but the way that it’s inhaling raw talent. Particularly over the last two years, Google has the pick of Silicon Valley when it comes to recruiting as most IT companies are fighting the relentless march of commoditization. It’s #4 on the latest Fortune list of best places to work — the only Silicon Valley firm in the top 10 and one of three in California (the others being DreamWorks and Qualcomm.)
In 1972, after a month of deliberation, Congress launched the nation’s most ambitious experiment in universal health care: a change to the Social Security Act that granted comprehensive coverage under Medicare to virtually anyone diagnosed with kidney failure, regardless of age or income.
It was a supremely hopeful moment. Although the technology to keep kidney patients alive through dialysis had arrived, it was still unattainable for all but a lucky few. At one hospital, a death panel — or “God committee” in the parlance of the time — was deciding who got it and who didn’t. The new program would help about 11,000 Americans, just for starters. For a modest initial price tag of $135 million, it would cover not only their dialysis and transplants, but all of their medical needs. Some consider it the closest that the United States has come to socialized medicine.
In the era of instant blogging, microblogging and social networks we can share our ideas and thoughts of the day will millions at the click of a mouse, but what do we do for our private thoughts of the day? Before the internet, many people would have private diaries where they’d share their inner thoughts knowing nobody would ever read them. This is where you can be truly honest and write without being judged.
Looks like we’re about to see lots more ENTIRELY FICTIONAL news stories about malware and virus attacks on Android, thanks to a deal between popular PC anti-virus maker AVG and a company called DroidSecurity.
Presumably AVG think there’s some merit in the product, probably because people are happily paying $9.99 for it.
Despite its reputation for secrecy and technical expertise, the National Security Agency doesn’t have a set of secret coding practices or testing methods that magically make their applications and systems bulletproof. In fact, one of the agency’s top technical experts said that virtually all of the methods the NSA uses for development and information assurance are publicly known.
How often should you change your password? I get asked that question a lot, usually by people annoyed at their employer’s or bank’s password expiration policy: people who finally memorized their current password and are realizing they’ll have to write down their new password. How could that possibly be more secure, they want to know.
The answer depends on what the password is used for.
The total volume of spam hitting our collective inboxes continues to decline. According to the latest data from Symantec, the global spam volume in October declined by 22% month-over-month and over 47% since August. This reduction can be attributed to the shutdown of major spam networks like spamit.com and the Bredolab botnet. Even with this decline, though, spam still made up 86.6% of all emails in October. This is the lowest number Symantec has reported since September 2009.
On Thursday night, the Fox News host asked, as part of a show that would be seen by 5.5 million people: “Does sharia law say we can behead Dana Milbank?” He then added, “That was a joke.”
Hilarious! Decapitation jokes just slay me, and this one had all the more hilarity because the topic of journalist beheadings brings to mind my late friend and colleague Danny Pearl, who replaced me in the Wall Street Journal’s London bureau and later was murdered in Pakistan by people who thought sharia justified it.
The ACLU of Pennsylvania recently filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of a couple whose newborn baby was kidnapped by Lawrence County Children and Youth Services (LCCYS) because her mother recklessly consumed an “everything” bagel from Dunkin’ Donuts the day before the birth.
Sen. John Ensign, a Nevada Republican, has proposed amending the Espionage Act specifically to target WikiLeaks and other media organizations that “publish the name” of anyone “helping in our efforts against terrorism.”
The man convicted of “menace” for threatening to blow up an airport in a Twitter joke has lost his appeal.
Paul Chambers, a 27-year-old accountant whose online courtship with another user of the microblogging site led to the “foolish prank”, had hoped that a crown court would dismiss his conviction and £1,000 fine without a full hearing.
But Judge Jacqueline Davies instead handed down a devastating finding at Doncaster which dismissed Chambers’s appeal on every count. After reading out his comment from the site – “Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!” – she found that it contained menace and Chambers must have known that it might be taken seriously.
The question of freedom of speech online has been doubly in the news this week, with the parallel case of Tory councillor Gareth Compton, who posted a joke tweet suggesting that the world would be a better place without columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in it. It was an offensive joke with upsetting sexist and racist overtones, and the Tory party were arguably justified in suspending him from office – public figures are always required to be more careful with their language than private citizens. But this wasn’t just a party matter: police arrested Compton under the Communications Act 2003.
A European Union prosecutor has named seven suspects in connection with an international organ trafficking network, BETA, EurActiv’s partner in Serbia, reported today (12 November). According to press reports, at least one of them held a high position in Kosovo’s health ministry.
And yet, it must necessarily overcome an entrenched group of powerful leaders in corporations / politics / government organizations on the local, state, and national level / non-profit and advocacy groups / labor unions whose power and wealth depends on keeping individuals, families, and small, locally-owned businesses subservient to and dependent on the big guys who run the system.
We made some good choices in the late 1700s. For example, we sided with debtors against foreign creditors in a way that did not repudiate foreign-held debt, but made it uncollectable. We allowed people who got into financial problems or wanted adventure to disappear and take up new lives in the untamed West. We tried a national bank (twice, if I recall) and gave it up as a failure, leaving nearly all our banking in the hands of smaller local banks. And we (for the most part) expected that parents would take a leading role in directing their children’s education.
Between 1994 and 2006, European fishing vessels were paid €3.4 billion in subsidies under the EU’s Financial instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG). €2.3 billion of this was from the EU budget, and a further €1.1 billion was paid from national budgets under the FIFG’s co-financing rules. 48 per cent of the money was spent on building or modernising vessels. 40 per cent was spent on scrapping vessels. A total of 39,174 subsidy payments were made.
A few weeks ago, Nik Garkusha, Microsoft’s Open Source Strategy Lead and an open data advocate asked me: “are there any cool apps you could imagine developing using Canadian federal government open data?”
To spread the word about Koch Industries and its long history of working to deceive the American people about climate change, we’ve launched a new website: www.KochIndustriesFacts.com.
Three weeks ago, we asked our members to nominate the worst corporate polluters of 2010. Our goal was to identify organizations that have hijacked our democracy, devastated our environment and denied the science of climate change — all while reaping massive profits. The response was overwhelming. In just a few days, more than 4,000 people submitted their nominations, many of which were passionate and articulate. The next week, we introduced the top four nominees: Koch Industries, the American Petroleum Institute, BP and Massey Energy. A few days and 13,000 votes later we had our winner: Koch Industries.
Secret internal company documents from the oil giant Shell show that in the immediate aftermath of the execution of the Nigerian activist and writer Ken Saro-Wiwa it adopted a PR strategy of cosying up to key BBC editors and singling out NGOs that it hoped to “sway”.
The documents offer a previously hidden insight into efforts by the company to deflect the PR storm that engulfed it after the Nigerian activist was hanged by the country’s military government. Shell faced accusations that it had colluded with the government over the activists’ deaths.
The Home Office has been forced to take action to change UK law, following the Phorm case, to ensure that citizens are properly protected against private interception.
Phorm attempted to sell technology to BT and other ISPs that intercepted web traffic and digested it to find keywords to create advertising “channels”. When complaints were made, citizens found there was had no official body that would investigate.
The Home Office have this week published a consultation to change RIPA to take account of the EU’s complaints.
The Federal Communications Commission is investigating whether Google Inc. broke federal laws when its street-mapping service collected consumers’ personal information, joining a lengthy list of regulators and lawmakers probing what Google says was the inadvertent harvesting of private data sent over wireless networks.
Key Republicans and Democrats in Congress have indicated that the privacy issues raised by Google’s Street View data collection could be a factor when lawmakers consider new Internet privacy legislation next year.
Since its incorporation just over five years ago, Facebook has undergone a remarkable transformation. When it started, it was a private space for communication with a group of your choice. Soon, it transformed into a platform where much of your information is public by default. Today, it has become a platform where you have no choice but to make certain information public, and this public information may be shared by Facebook with its partner websites and used to target ads.
Back in February we wrote about Facebook’s secret Project Titan — a web-based email client that we hear is unofficially referred to internally as its “Gmail killer”. Now we’ve heard from sources that this is indeed what’s coming on Monday during Facebook’s special event, alongside personal @facebook.com email addresses for users.
At the beginning of 2007, “Abdel Kareem Nabil (right), 22, the Egyptian blogger convicted of insulting Islam and president Hosni Mubarak, has been sentenced to four years in jail, says the Free Kareem! site”, said p2pnet.
He also blogged about discrimination against women ” and the Sunni University of Al-Azhar where he studied law until he was expelled and sued by his professors”, says Reporters Without Borders. noting he was also arrested for the same thing in 2005.
As Industry Minister Tony Clement prepares to provide an update on Canada’s digital economy strategy later this month, the state of competition within the Canadian wireless sector promises to play a prominent role. Consumers have bemoaned the dominance of the big three carriers for years, leading to complaints about limited choice and high prices.
I had the privilege of being an invited delegate at the EU Summit on ‘The Open Internet and Net Neutrality in Europe’ in Brussels yesterday. The morning sessions were held at the Commission’s Charlemagne building and the afternnoon sessions at the EU parliament.
The sad thing about the simple “there is no problem, do not regulate” corporate message is that they are selling such a simple story to keep the policymakers out of their hair, yet the devil is in the details and the Jean-Jacques Sahels and Robert Peppers of the world know this. But when the debate is dominated by the stories being told yesterday I reserve the right to maintain my concerns about the direction of travel on the whole notion of net neutrality in the EU.
Screwball uses of the patent and copyright system are occurring with increasing frequency both at home and abroad. Here is today’s link here. The South Korean Army has applied for a patent on “the camouflage pattern on its newly developed combat fatigue, which would ban unauthorized use and sales of the same-patterned civilian attires and accessories. The military has been developing the new combat uniform since 2008. It will be distributed from next July to replace the current uniform within three years.” The army with its political clout in the South has every reason to believe the patent will be granted.
Artist Gwenn Seemel’s post, “How I make sure my art doesn’t get ripped off on the Internet” is a wonderfully calm, sensible and practical approach to living as a 21st century artist in an age where reproduction is a given.
In the university phase, the Braille books disappeared totally and were not available at all. The only way to access knowledge for a blind person was to get someone to read to him, as all the university text books were printed in the normal way. Even in the printed exams, I had to get someone that I dictated my answer to and he would write it. It was very difficult to find someone to read who would be available whenever I needed to study. Another problem was that the curriculum was extensive, with many books to read.
So this is why other blind students and I used to use a tape recorder to record the person who was reading for us so we could listen to those tapes later.
Thank God I passed this phase (the undergraduate) successfully so I could go on to another phase and fulfil my ambitions. I got an LLB [a law degree], and went on to my PhD.
In the PhD phase it was very difficult and very complicated, because how could I read and review the material I needed for my PhD in and endless amount reference books in different languages.
Negotiators from GRULAC and other supporters of a treaty for the visually impaired wanted to see movement on the project as fast as possible, fearing the loss of momentum that often happens in complex WIPO negotiations. In May of 2009, Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay submitted to the SCCR a proposal of the World Blind Union for a Treaty for Improved Access for Blind, Visually Impaired and other Reading Disabled Persons [pdf], and this was later supported by India and then other developing countries.
European Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has warned copyright middlemen and content gatekeepers that they risk being sidelined. The restrictive systems they have set up irritate the public and leave “a vacuum which is served by illegal content,” said Kroes, who added that a new approach to copyright is the answer. One which looks beyond “corporatist self-interest”.
While I definitely disagree with how Charlie Nesson conducted Joel Tenenbaum’s defense in his file sharing case, Nesson has been posting some rather interesting posts on his blog lately, including his recent post highlighting the history of statutory awards for copyright infringement, as written by Pamela Samuelson and Tara Wheatland. While he (oddly) does not say where the writeup is from, you can find the full 2009 paper if you’d like.
The “first sale” doctrine in copyright law limits the rights of copyright holders to sue for infringement after they’ve sold their work—it allows for used and re-sale markets in books and DVDs, as well as library lending. In Costco v. Omega, a Supreme Court case argued earlier this week, the high court will decide whether the first sale doctrine applies to copyrighted goods sold abroad. So why is a case involving a retailer’s re-sale of luxury watches getting the attention of book publishers, the recording industry, and Hollywood? Because the case has everything to do with whether content industries will be able to control their international pricing.
In the past year, news agencies have grown accustomed to re-broadcasting content posted on Twitter to help cover breaking news. But a lawsuit over photos of the Haiti earthquake may prove to be an early test of what kind of rights users of Twitter and related services retain to their content. The Agence France-Presse wire service has insisted that it has the rights to use Daniel Morel’s photos of the Haiti earthquake without Morel’s approval—all because the photographer used the TwitPic and Twitter services to try and sell his work.
Clearly, Whitacre has no qualms about people being able to hear his music for free, since he knows that this is by far the best way to get the message out about it and to encourage people to perform it for themselves. The countless comments on these pages are testimony to the success of that approach: time and again people speak of being entranced when they heard the music on his web site – and then badgering local choirs to sing the pieces themselves.
“The Arthur Rubinstein Collection is a 94-CD set containing 106 hours of music documenting this seminal pianist’s entire recording history. Rubinstein was one of the pivotal pianists of the 20th century, with his life spanning from 1887 through 1982. This collection will be central to the teaching and scholarly examination of the development of piano performance, the piano repertoire and Rubinstein’s own musical idiom. This Collection features includes all studio recordings made by Rubinstein, four previously unreleased recordings and over 200 recordings on compact disc, and also includes two live recitals and two special discs, which contain unreleased recordings and interviews.” – introduction from musicweb
Regardless of what else the Recording Industry Association of America has done, most of us know them for fighting illegal music downloads by suing college students and sometimes grandmothers into bankruptcy. That made us wonder what the world would be like if other industries cared as much about money, and as little about horrifically bad PR.
Once a year, the US government engages in an odd exercise: calling out the world’s “notorious markets” for copyright infringement and counterfeiting, often without any evidence that the markets in question are breaking either local or US law. Instead, the list is compiled from rightsholder complaints, and the US government then puts its imprimatur on them. And this year, the “notorious markets” list will be more prominent than ever.
Georgia’s Valdosta State University has updated its network with software that can pinpoint students who use P2P software. The university is committed to stop file-sharing on its network even if that results in prison sentences for students. Offenders will be disciplined by the school and then handed over to the police, the university has announced.
The largest copyright pirates are the large corporations, particularly in the content distribution business. Yes, those companies who scream the loudest that their customers are ‘pirating’ movies, songs, books, etc. In this series, we are going to look at cases where these companies have engaged in large scale copyright infringement, or in other ways have been ripping off artists.
In all cases I will be working with published information. It is possible that this information may not be up to date, or may not accurately reflect the current status of the situation. If I am supplied documentary evidence which shows a different status, I will publish an update. In cases where a lawsuit ensued, and the settlement was sealed, I will not update the published information, unless I am provided with:
1) A copy of the settlement
2) Permission to publish the settlement
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) criminalises ordinary companies and individuals, according to the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII). In an open letter to the European Parliament, the FFII urges the Parliament to obtain the opinion of the Court of Justice as to whether ACTA is compatible with the EU Treaties.
As the negotiations on ACTA come to a close, it is important to stress once more time the basic flaws of this dangerous anti-counterfeiting agreement, which compiles outdated and very controversial provisions from the United Stated and the European Union in the field of “intellectual property rights” (IPR). ACTA’s bias and lack of legitimacy should compel the legislative bodies of the negotiating countries to strongly oppose its ratification and acknowledge the necessity to reform patent and copyright law.
New revelations on ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a secretive global copyright being privately negotiated by rich countries away from the UN: ACTA will require ISPs to police trademarks the way they currently police copyright. That means that if someone accuses you of violating a trademark with a web-page, blog-post, video, tweet, etc, your ISP will be required to nuke your material without any further proof, or be found to be responsible for any trademark violations along with you. And of course, trademark violations are much harder to verify than copyright violations, since they often hinge on complex, fact-intensive components like tarnishment, dilution and genericization. Meaning that ISPs are that much more likely to simply take all complaints at face-value, leading to even more easy censorship of the Internet with nothing more than a trumped-up trademark claim.
The most nauseating aspect of the Digital Economy Act for me is the responsibility shifted onto ISP subscribers (essentially, the person who pays the bill) for any copyright infringement that occurs via their internet connection.
To the layman this might make some sense – it’s often impossible to trace infringement to the actual person copying the film or song, and we live in a civil society where someone must take responsibility, right? Not quite, as I’ve explained in the past.
Obvious issues arise in any household with 3 or more occupants – notwithstanding the security of WiFi – and these problems are magnified many times over when considering larger organisations offering casual internet access to members of the public.
Intermediaries – organisations who are not ISPs but offer internet access to multiple persons; eg employers, schools, universities, libraries, café owners, etc will soon be forced to consider the consequences of what people do with this internet access.
Summary: This is the longest show so far and it covers a wide range of topics with no specific item of focus
THIS is the fifth episode, which was recorded last night. OpenBytes has some show notes and the structure of this show has improved somewhat (the show is still not scripted in any way, as a matter of preference).