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11.19.10

Links 19/11/2010: GNOME Outreach Program for Women, Rainbow 0.2

Posted in News Roundup at 4:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Supercomputing Top500 brews discontent

      Like Hollywood’s Academy Awards, the Top500 list of supercomputers is dutifully watched by high-performance computing (HPC) participants and observers, even as they vocally doubt its fidelity to excellence.

      “The Top 500 [uses] an artificial problem — it doesn’t measure about 80 percent of the workloads” that are usually run on supercomputers, said John Hengeveld, director of technical compute marketing for Intel’s Data Center Group, speaking on the sidelines of the Supercomputer 2010 conference this week. “It is not a representative benchmark for the industry.”

  • Kernel Space

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Nepomuk is not fast, is instant!

        Everybody that has been a KDE user for the last 2 years knows Nepomuk and its bad reputation, maybe it was desired in the past, but no more. This morning I decided to get my Nepomuk up and running again, and I have to say that it is impresive! just take a look at this video…

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome 2.32.1 released – Here’s looking to 3.x!

        I’ve always loved the Gnome Desktop Environment – and it’s certainly loved by many others.

        After its first release in 1999 it’s certainly come a long way. I have flirted over the years with a few other DE’s (mostly light weight ones) though I always came back to the Gnome, maybe it’s because what I have chalked up the most time with it and therefore feel most at home. One thing is for certain, I never liked KDE and the specs of my PC really never required me to look at a lighter DE out of a necessity.

      • GNOME Outreach Program for Women plans

        This is my first post after I was added to Planet GNOME (although some of my very old posts have already been displayed on the planet), so, hello planet readers!

        I will be part of GNOME Outreach Program for Women working on Cheese and I will have Thiago Souza Santos as a mentor. I’m really happy about this opportunity. I would like to thank GNOME Foundation, Google and Collabora for sponsoring this, Marina for organizing it and Daniel Siegel for helping me through application and giving me the great ideas to work on.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Android

        • Woz: Android will eventually beat the iPhone [Update]
        • Steve Wozniak: Android will be the dominant smartphone platform
        • Did Google Arm Its Own Enemies With Android?

          Google was surely celebrating recently when Gartner reported that Android handsets outshipped Apple’s iPhone by close to a 2:1 margin. Given Apple’s head start in the market, it certainly is an impressive feat. But Google may regret the strategic choices that have led to this victory over Apple. To achieve the “win,” Google may have unwittingly created and trained a mercenary army of hardware manufacturers, willing to sell themselves to the highest bidder—whether that be Google, Baidu or Bing.

          There is no doubt that Google understands the importance of the mobile web. A large part of Google’s future will rely on advertising revenue driven by mobile devices, which is likely a key reason why Google decided to go into competition with its one-time ally, Apple.

        • It’s Gonna Be an Android World and We’ll Just Live in It

          While it’s been dawning on us for some time that Android is a beast, each day seems to bring new confirmation that the monster shows no signs of letting up. Android mobile ad impressions drew even with iOS for the first time, according to Millennial Media (PDF). The largest independent ad network said Android OS is tied with iOS with a 37 percent share of ad impressions. That’s a big change from last month, when iOS represented 46 percent of impressions while Android grabbed 29 percent.

        • Did Google Arm Its Own Enemies With Android?

          Google was surely celebrating recently when Gartner reported that Android handsets outshipped Apple’s iPhone by close to a 2:1 margin. Given Apple’s head start in the market, it certainly is an impressive feat. But Google may regret the strategic choices that have led to this victory over Apple. To achieve the “win,” Google may have unwittingly created and trained a mercenary army of hardware manufacturers, willing to sell themselves to the highest bidder—whether that be Google, Baidu or Bing.

          There is no doubt that Google understands the importance of the mobile web. A large part of Google’s future will rely on advertising revenue driven by mobile devices, which is likely a key reason why Google decided to go into competition with its one-time ally, Apple.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Free Software Parable

    “What’s in this food?”

    “You’ll like it. Just eat it.”

    “I want to know what’s in it.”

    “That is none of your business. It’s healthy. Eat it.”

    “Healthy? By whose standards?”

    “Our standards. Trust us.”

    “I trust my judgement, not yours. I demand to know what I’m putting in my body. I paid for the food. It belongs to me. I will analyze it myself.”

    “We have patents on the chemicals, machines, and processes that made the food. We have copyrights on the formulas and algorithms needed to make the food. You cannot examine it without our consent, which we do not give.”

  • Open source ‘community’ doesn’t exist

    Unfortunately, this is a sub-culture that won’t go away. The result is that there’s no real community, and this is because ‘community’ is too loose a term to describe the many different kinds of people who use open source software.

    It’s a word that may help the open source propaganda machine, but it doesn’t help the sustainability and growth of free software. There is no such thing as a single, homogeneous Linux group.

    It’s a term that implies a shared goal and some kind of kinship, when there is none. It’s a term that implies cooperation and cohesion, when there’s just too much conflict and disagreement for this to happen.

    Instead, there are disparate groups of individuals, businesses and enterprises, as with any other operating system.

    Each group may contain those noble elements of kindness that have helped to make Linux such a success, but to describe the entire collection as a community is wrong.

  • Open thread: How do you describe open source to the uninitiated?

    It happens all the time. You’re at a party, someone asks about your work, and yet again, you have about 45 seconds to describe one of the greatest innovations in human history.

    There’s the public utility metaphor. The shared infrastructure “like a bridge or a road” idea. Waterworks. Rural electric co-op’s.The car with the hood welded shut. The Wikipedia analogy. The scholarly tradition. Libraries. The scientific method. Bucket brigades, quilting bees, and barn raisings. Seed banks and sustainable agriculture.

  • First user test data synchronization between CiviCRM and Oracle transaction system at De Goede Woning

    For our project at De Goede Woning we have been developing a data synchronization process between CiviCRM and their main transaction system in Oracle (comparable with an ERP). Some data for a contact (first name, middle name, last name, gender and birth date), phones, emails and addresses will be common between the two, so a change, create or delete in CiviCRM will have to be synchronized with the main transaction system and vice versa.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Rainbow 0.2 is here!

        In the spirit of releasing early and releasing often – we are proud to bring you version 0.2 of Rainbow – an experimental Firefox add-on from Mozilla Labs that exposes audio and video recording capabilities to web pages.

      • Mozilla Open Data Visualization Contest – Data is Now Available!

        Two weeks ago the Mozilla Metrics Team, together with Mozilla Labs and the growing Mozilla Research Initiative, announced our first Open Data Visualization Competition. Today, we are excited to release the data sets for this competition!

      • Mozilla Open Data Visualization Competition – Data is Now Live!

        Two weeks ago Mozilla Labs, together with Mozilla Metrics team and the growing Mozilla Research Initiative, announced our first Open Data Visualization Competition. Today, we are excited to release the data sets for this competition!

        These data sets come from Mozilla’s own open data program, Test Pilot. Test Pilot is a user research platform that collects structured user data through Firefox. Currently, over 1 million Firefox users from all over the world participate in Test Pilot studies, which aim to explore how people use their web browser and the Internet in general

      • Mozilla Open Data Visualization Contest – Data is Now Available!

        Two weeks ago the Mozilla Metrics Team, together with Mozilla Labs and the growing Mozilla Research Initiative, announced our first Open Data Visualization Competition. Today, we are excited to release the data sets for this competition!

      • Community interviews: Tom Ellins (TMZ)

        At Mozilla we have an amazingly strong community that really makes up the core of the project. However, the incredible work of our core contributors is often not visible to the rest of our community. At SUMO we want to change that. Inspired by Matthew Helmke’s great interview series, we started to interview different members of our SUMO community to give you a glimpse into their life and work. In this installment we will hear from Tom Ellins, also known as tmz on IRC. Tom is a long time contributor, helping countless of Firefox users in live chat sessions.

      • The State of Mozilla

        Total assets as of December 31, 2009 were $143 million compared with $116 million at the end of 2008, an increase of 23 percent. Unrestricted net assets at the end of 2009 were $120 million compared with $94 million in 2008, a 28 percent increase. The restricted assets remain the same as last year: a “tax reserve fund” established in 2005 for a portion of the revenue the Mozilla Foundation received that year from the search engine providers. As noted last year, the IRS has opened an audit of the Mozilla Foundation. We do not yet have a good feel for how long this process will take or the overall scope of what will be involved.

      • State of Mozilla and 2009 Financial Statements
      • Mozilla Labs Night “Gaming Special” – Agent 008 Ball Presentation

        October’s Mozilla Labs Night “Gaming Special meetup was a fun and informative evening to learn more about how to build games with Open Web technologies. One of the speakers at the event was Kevin Moore from Pixel Lab. Here is the video we captured of him talking about Agent 008 Ball, an HTML5-based game.

  • SaaS

    • Cloud Computing 101, p2

      A different categorization of clouds is private vs public. Private simply means that the cloud infrastructure is built in-house behind the firewall. For example you could turn your corporate datacenter into a private cloud. The benefits being, you gain better efficiency and datacenter utilization across different departments as well as being able to provide an elastic and fast response to your enterprise’s departmental IT needs. Should you want to start playing with a private cloud solution, Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud is a good start.

  • Databases

    • Comparing MySQL and Postgres 9.0 Replication

      Replication is one of the most popular features used in RDBMS’s today.

      [...]

      As was previously stated, for many application use cases, both Oracle’s MySQL and PostgreSQL replication will be an equally good choice. The best way to determine which is right for you is to download both and put each through a comprehensive evaluation.

  • Education

    • Frontiers in Education: A recap

      A number of folks from the Teaching Open Source community had a panel at the Frontiers in Education 2010 conference, which is attended by college and university professors interested in improving engineering education. The panel’s main thesis was that participating in FOSS communities was one way to give students a better educational experience.

  • Licensing

    • Contributor Agreements Say Your Contribution Is Unwelcome

      The conversation around LWN’s coverage of Michael Meeks’ talk at the Linux Plumbers Conference (sadly paywalled until now but available today and worth reading all the way through) provoked interesting comments. The subject of the discussion is LibreOffice and the code ownership issues which provoked the fork.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Law, the internet and society

      Changes in law and technology, largely invisible to the general public and widely misunderstood by policymakers in the public and private sectors, are having a fundamental impact on our society. The aim of this unit is to provide an appreciation of how the internet paved the way for an explosion of innovation. You will explore some of the changes in the law and internet technology that have resulted from the reaction to that innovation. You will also consider the implications of these changes for society.

    • Open Data

      • Developers

        The blockers are:

        * closed public data
        * procurement
        * change

        Developers are indeed talented, and worthy of enormous academic respect – such as people reserve for scientists or those people on CSI. And yes, there are some developers who are so excited and driven by their talent that they will more than happily talk for hours, or work for a while – for free – explaining why they love their subject and how they could revolutionise the way the world works. Just as there are those who know how to code and do that as a day job, are brilliant and talented but it is a job and no more, and those who push and grow their talent to become super-developers, world-renowned futurologists and/or billionaires.

      • The British Library’s National Bibliography is Open! Join in the party.

        Open Streetmap has 250,000 volunteers. There are already lots of volunteers creating openly accessible bibliographic entries [1].

        How many books do YOU have on your shelves? Are they in the catalogue? Let us know if this excites you.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Tippr Proposes “Open Deal Format”, A Standard For The Group Buying Industry

      Tippr, which provides white-label services for group buying, is proposing a new potential technology standard for the group buying industry today, dubbed the “Open Deal Format” or ODF. The company is inviting interested parties, which include group buying service providers, publishers and social networks, to a meeting in Seattle next month.

Leftovers

  • Twitter’s @Ev: Ad Money Good, Facebook Blocking Bad

    Twitter’s Evan Williams reminded the Valley Wednesday that Google isn’t the only company being stymied by Facebook’s stranglehold on user identity.

    Journalist John Battelle publicly asked Williams if Facebook would ever import Twitter’s firehose of data.

    Williams shot back, “You’ll have to ask Mark that. You missed your opportunity,” referring to Batelle’s interview with Zuckerberg just 24 hours earlier on the same stage in San Francisco at the Web 2.0 Summit conference.

  • Twitter Calculates Reputation Scores for Each User
  • Twitter Has A (Secret) Reputation Score For Every User

    Whoah. Onstage at Web 2.0 Summit, Twitter founder Evan Williams revealed, when asked by interviewer John Battelle “How do you pick ‘Who to Follow’?,” that Twitter has a private reputation score for every user.

    According to Williams, Twitter’s “science and math people” have systems which gauge who you follow and who the people you follow follow and try to find ‘Who to Follow’ relevance in that overlap. He didn’t make it clear how individual user reputation score was measured.

  • A Look at the Kind Heart of One of the Most Influential Communities on the Internet

    Reddit.com, the popular news aggregator and social media site owned by Condé Nast Digital, has become quite a powerhouse of social and cultural clout in recent years. Founded in 2005 by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, the site was originally intended to be much like other social news forums. Contributors submit links to stories, or they can post original content. Other users then comment on the stories, and discussion ensues.

  • O’Brien: A dark trend runs through this year’s Web 2.0 tech summit

    The names of the culprits are familiar, and include Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon.com. Each has assumed a dominant position in their respective markets — mobile, search, social networking, e-commerce — and are focused on how to defend their turf while infiltrating their rivals’ territory.

    We, the consumers, are caught in the crossfire. We’re likely to see fewer new products (like Twitter) and more services aimed mainly at locking us into the new Internet titans (I’d count Facebook’s new message service in this category).

  • Have we lost common sense over social networking sites?

    When Bill NyeBill Nye popularly know as Science Guy collapsed, witnesses tweets. Bill Nye, collapsed on stage before reaching the podium at a presentation at the University of Southern California, witnesses instead of coming to his aid pulls out their electronics and tweets it.

    Have we became so infatuated with electronics and the social networks until we forget common sense, helping someone in trouble?

    Reports show Twitter revealed a virtual play-by-play account of the incident. One student wrote, “Bill Nye tripped on his computer cord while speaking at USC, was out for abt 5 secs, got back up, spoke w/ slurred speech and fainted.”

  • Fox News outs Beatles as ‘Manchester’s favorite mopheads’

    FoxNews.com has got its knickers in a twist about the birthplace of some pop band called the Beatles.

  • Top Trends of 2010: Content Farms

    The Web has always rewarded quantity more than quality, but over 2010 this truism became even more pronounced with the growth of Content Farms. These are companies which create thousands of pieces of content per day. Much of it is in the form of how-to articles and is often referred to as “evergreen” informational content, because it’s relevant for much longer than news.

  • Will China’s 1999 Moment Bail-Out Some Valley VCs?

    Yes, China is taking over the world. Or at least the Internet.

  • How China swallowed 15% of ‘Net traffic for 18 minutes

    In a 300+ page report (PDF) today, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission provided the US Congress with a detailed overview of what’s been happening in China—including a curious incident in which 15 percent of the world’s Internet traffic suddenly passed through Chinese servers on the way to its destination.

  • China denies ‘hijacking’ internet traffic

    US report claims Chinese telecoms company had access to 15% of global traffic, including military emails, for 18 minutes

  • Some numbers from the Sita Distribution Project
  • Some Stats on Sina Weibo

    Sina’s popular Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo (Weibo means microblogging in Chinese) is becoming one of the most exciting product to Sina, and also to China’s app developers. In first China Weibo Developer Conference held in this Tuesday, over 2000 people attended it.

  • Science

    • Squealing on My Bacteria and Virus Overlords

      I hope I don’t get into trouble squealing on my bacteria and virus overlords. For reasons I will show later, I think that bacteria and viruses control our bodies even more than our brains do.

      Consider first that bacteria make up between 2 and 9 pounds of our body weight. This number doesn’t fluctuate that much.

      Viruses fluctuate more. When you have a cold, obviously there are more viruses than when you don’t. So we can’t say exactly how many pounds viruses add to this equation.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • How to Fly Without Airport Security!

      The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have recently imposed new methods of inspecting travelers. These new methods include full body scans and intrusive pat-downs that some liken to being molested or groped. If a traveler refuses to have high resolution nude images taken of their body, their second option is to be inappropriately touched. This new groping technique includes children, the elderly, the injured, and even pilots. These rules and the TSA’s methods have made air travel a painful reminder that George Orwell’s 1984 was only off by 26 years or so.

    • TSA plans modest changes to ‘virtual strip searches’

      An Internet-fueled backlash against air traveler screening is growing amid signs that the Transportation Security Agency will consider slight changes to its controversial new procedures.

      TSA administrator John Pistole said today that the agency will be “announcing some new policies” in the “near future” that will change the screening process for pilots, who have protested being forced to choose between a “virtual strip search” or an invasive pat-down a few minutes before they’re handed the controls of a 975,000-pound kerosene-fueled missile in the form of a jumbo jet. (See our previous coverage.)

    • The TSA: Stupid, Owned, or Complicit?

      I have long been in Bruce Schneier’s camp, thinking that the TSA is a joke: nothing but security theater.

    • White House Says Child Soldiers Are Ok, If They Fight Terrorists

      The phenomenon of child soldiers, like genocide, slavery and torture, seems like one of those crimes that no nation could legitimately defend. Yet the Obama administration just decided to leave countless kids stranded on some of the world’s bloodiest battlegrounds.

      [...]

      A thumbs-up for child soldiers from the pen of President Obama? Whitehouse spokesperson P.J. Crowley explained it was a strategic decision to ease the 2008 law. The rationale is that on balance, it’s more effective for the U.S. to keep providing military assistance that will help countries gradually evolve out of the practice of marshaling kids to the battlefield, rather than isolating them.

    • Lawsuit: Airport search indecent

      An Amarillo woman is suing the federal government for intentional infliction of emotional distress after Transportation Security Administration agents allegedly humiliated the woman when her breasts were publicly exposed during an “extended search” two years ago at a Corpus Christi airport.

    • Another TSA Outrage

      It’s probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons. Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240B machine guns. Of course, the weapons weren’t loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs.

      The TSA personnel at the airport seriously considered making us unload all of the baggage from the SECURE cargo hold to have it reinspected. Keep in mind, this cargo had been unpacked, inspected piece by piece by U.S. Customs officials, resealed and had bomb-sniffing dogs give it a one-hour run through. After two hours of sitting in this holding area, the TSA decided not to reinspect our Cargo–just to inspect us again: Soldiers on the way home from war, who had already been inspected, reinspected and kept in a SECURE holding area for 2 hours. Ok, whatever. So we lined up to go through security AGAIN.

      This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols.

      So we’re in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they’re going to confiscate his nail clippers.

    • ‘Naked’ scanners fooled by creased clothing

      Controversial “naked” body scanners currently being tested at Hamburg’s airport are constantly malfunctioning due to folds in passengers’ clothing, broadcaster NDR reported on Tuesday.

    • Jimmy Wales: “If I Had Some Information, The Last Thing I Would Do Is Send It To Wikileaks”

      There is definitely some bad blood between Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Wikileaks, the controversial organization which posted thousands of pages of classified Iraqi War documents. On the Charlie Rose last night, towards the end of his interview, Wales says, “If I had some information, the last thing I would ever do with it is send it to Wiikileaks.”

      He prefaced that remark by noting that he has “mixed feelings about Wikileaks.” People with information about wrongdoing in open societies should have the opportunity to make that information public. His concern is the way that Wikileaks chose to do that without regard for the safety of people “who are not the wrongdoers.” ” I think they should be slower in releasing things,” he says.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Oil shock warning to government from UK business

      An industry taskforce has called on the government to act to protect the UK economy against a new threat of rising oil prices.

      A consortium of British business, including retailers Kingfisher and transport group, Stagecoach, say the UK must prepare for the next oil shock.

    • New Zealand Orcas Captured Surfing in Gigantic Waves

      The newest Giant Swell that arrived to the shores of New Zealand Brought unlikely visitors.

      The Orca Whales came into the waves along the coast and rode them like a veteran surfer.

    • Feds’ Transgenic-Salmon Review Ignores Big Picture

      When the Food and Drug Administration announces the fate of the AquAdvantage salmon, the first genetically modified (GM) animal ever considered for commercial consumption, they may have considered only a fraction of their decision’s consequences.

      So far the FDA has focused on whether or not the salmon are safe to eat or might escape and breed with wild fish. They haven’t yet considered how GM salmon could affect, for better or worse, public dietary habits or the fallout of a boom in fish farming.

  • Finance

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • MPAA Dismisses COICA Free Speech Concerns

      MPAA chief Bob Pisano wrote an op-ed piece that appeared in today’s TheHill.com, evangelizing the highly suspect legislation “The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act”. Slyck has covered the potential perils of the COICA, as have many other pro-democracy organizations (such as the EFF), as the details of a potential Internet and free speech filter come to the United States.

      The big problem with COICA is that it gives tremendous amounts of power to the US Attorney General to shut websites down with little more than filing a complaint with the local district court that has jurisdiction over the registrar’s address. Sure, there’s some judicial review, but how often will the courts disagree with the Department of Justice when they wave the banner of copyright infringement? We just don’t know, which makes this bill all the more frightening.

    • Judiciary Committee Approves Internet Censorship Bill
    • MPAA Boss Defends Censorships With Blatantly False Claims

      What the First Amendment does protect is speech. The law does already allow takedowns of infringing content. But COICA goes beyond that. Rather than — as the First Amendment requires — narrowly tailoring any takedown or injunction to the actual infringing content, it orders the entire site taken down prior to any trial. That’s a classic situation of prior restraint, where the specifically infringing content is not specified and narrowly taken down. Instead, it’s using a shotgun to try to remove a bandaid.

    • Wyden Threatens To Block Online IP Bill

      Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Thursday threatened to block legislation aimed at curbing piracy and counterfeiting on foreign Web sites, saying the bill is a heavy-handed solution to the problem.

      “It seems to me the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act as written today, is the wrong medicine,” Wyden, the chairman of the Finance International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness Subcommittee, said during a hearing on international trade and the digital economy. “Deploying this statute to combat online copyright and infringement seems almost like a bunker buster cluster bomb when really what you need is a precision-guided missile.”

    • Giving Every Person A Voice

      When I started blogging back in 2003, I would tell everyone how awesome it was. A common refrain back then was “not everyone should have a printing press.” I didn’t agree then and I don’t agree now. Everyone should have a printing press and should use it as often as they see fit. Through things like RSS and Twitter’s follow model, we can subscribe to the voices we want to hear regularly. And through things like reblog and retweet, the voices we don’t subscribe to can get into our readers, dashboards, and timelines.

    • Long Live the Web

      The Web is critical not merely to the digital revolution but to our continued prosperity—and even our liberty. Like democracy itself, it needs defending

    • Guest post: Clegg re-affirms his commitment to Civil Liberties

      In a keynote speech at the Political Studies Association/Hansard Society Annual Lecture on Tuesday evening, Nick Clegg spoke of the protection of civil liberties as being one of the core elements of the modern British Constitution.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • UK regulator Ofcom lobbies Brussels against net neutrality

      Lobbyists from the UK regulator Ofcom have been active in the European Parliament, against net neutrality. How can this be consistent with their role as regulator, and their duty to promote the ability of citizens to access and distribute content, applications and services?

      According to sources in the European Parliament, lobbyists from Ofcom have been calling in person on MEPs recently to discuss the issue of net neutrality. In particular, it is understood that Ofcom opposes a principle of net neutrality being built into EU law.

    • Internet Neutrality Principle
    • The Next Front: Net Neutrality

      There was good news for Digital Britain last week when the High Court agreed to review the Digital Economy Act following a petition by BT and TalkTalk. After the legislation was rushed through Parliament in the wash-up this spring and seemed to be moving inexorably toward enforcement, this was an encouraging development for those of us who believe that the Act’s copyright infringement provisions are both disproportionate and detrimental to technological innovation in the UK. Enforcement of the Act will now be delayed for at least a few months (rumour has it that Ofcom will even delay publication of its Initial Obligations Code, which was expected in the last few weeks, until after the judicial review process has taken place), and depending on the outcome of the review it’s very possible that the whole Act will have to go back to Parliament and, with our and others’ pressure, receive due consideration this time around.

    • Peter Gabriel joins voices backing net neutrality in UK

      The UK government’s plans to abandon net neutrality threaten British business startups and if taken up elsewhere could undermine democracy, says Peter Gabriel, the influential musician and technology entrepreneur who has backed a number of successful internet companies.

      “I feel very strongly about it,” said Gabriel, who has invested in a number of companies, including Bath-based The Filter and On Demand Distribution (OD2). “Freedom of access [to information online] is going to be an important battleground. It’s vital to a free and open democracy: [net neutrality] serves everybody.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • James Murdoch: Hoping All Media Businesses Act Like Pay TV

      The more the interview went on, the more I realized that Murdoch appears to view much of the media world through that lens, and seems to saying that, in the end, the media world will end up like a giant pay TV system, with a big subscription. I think this is more wishful thinking, rather than where the internet is actually heading, and treating the internet that way will almost certainly result in failure — such as with his paywall experiments.

    • Copyrights

      • Legal Attack on Internet Music Storage Threatens ‘Safe Harbor’ Rules for Online Businesses

        New York – In a legal battle over Internet music storage that could impact innovation and free expression on the Internet, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Public Knowledge, and other public interest groups asked a federal judge in an amicus brief Tuesday to protect the “safe harbor” rules for online content in EMI v. MP3Tunes.

      • p2pnet talks with Operation Payback

        In a world where there’s no honour or pride, where lies, bribes and deceit are the normal tools of daily business and politics, an assembly of Anonymous netizens is saying We’ve had enough.

        Under the Operation Payback banner, they launched a series of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against the the US Copyright Office, Hollywood’s MPAA, Big Music’s RIAA and BPI and other ‘trade’ groups, and the jackal-like lawyers using copyright to extort ordinary people.

      • Anti-Piracy Lawyers Knew They Targeted Innocent Victims

        Davenport Lyons, the law firm which pioneered the lucrative file-sharing pay-up-or-else scheme in the UK, will head off to Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal proceedings next year. According to details just made available, among other things Davenport Lyons partners were responsible for knowingly targeting the innocent and relied on unreliable evidence in doing so.

      • Canadian Heritage Minister inadvertently damns his own copyright bill

        Michael Geist sez, “Canadian Heritage James Moore appeared on public television yesterday to defend his copyright bill and to oppose a new levy system. In doing so, he made the case for why the digital lock provisions in the bill are so problematic. According to Moore: ‘When I buy a movie, I’ve paid for the movie. To ask me to pay for it a second time through another device – and to assume that I’m doing illegal copying, to assume that I’m being a pirate, to assume that I’m thieving from people because I happen to own an MP3 player or a BluRay player or a laptop, I think treats consumers unfairly.’

        “While Moore was thinking of the prospect of additional payments through a levy, the words apply equally to the digital lock provisions that make it an infringement for consumers to circumvent locks in order to watch the movie they’ve purchased on a second device. In fact, in some instances – for example, DVDs with non-North American region codes – it involves infringement for merely trying to access the content for the first time.”

      • Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore on How Copyright Can Treat Consumers Unfairly

        According to Moore:

        When I buy a movie, I’ve paid for the movie. To ask me to pay for it a second time through another device – and to assume that I’m doing illegal copying, to assume that I’m being a pirate, to assume that I’m thieving from people because I happen to own an MP3 player or a BluRay player or a laptop, I think treats consumers unfairly.

      • ACTA

        • A Peek Inside the EU’s Digital Inner Circle

          Another area I explored with Whelan was ACTA. Although this didn’t come under the Digital Agenda umbrella directly, it obviously has major implications for it. Not surprisingly, he offered the standard EC line that ACTA won’t require any changes in EU laws, and it’s true that some of the more peremptory language in the drafts has been replaced by phrases that give more leeway to the signatories. But he did point out that there are several copyright initiatives underway or imminent whose thinking may well be influenced by ACTA, so we will need to make sure plenty of input is provided when these are announced.

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2 Comments

  1. NotZed said,

    November 20, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Gravatar

    “Open source community doesn’t exist”

    I think this is a fair statement. But people seem to love labelling themselves and belonging to a select group for some strange reason. Either a popular group to feel like a ‘winner’, or a marginal group to feel like a ‘martyr’ – nobody wants to be just a plain human being.

    Pity the article just seems to be a narrowly disguised ad-hominem attack on all open saucers though. First likening them to a flock of birds and then continuing with this gem seeming to suggest the ‘saucers have yet to grow up like everyone else:

    “It feels more like ‘C64 versus Spectrum’ and ‘Atari ST versus Amiga’ than the furtherance of an open source operating system.

    This might be news to Windows, OS X and general PC users, who thought his kind of thing disappeared years ago. ”

    Yeah, well, that’s just human nature. You get the same rabid fanbois and group-think bullies in the microsoft windows and apple macintosh circles and it’s absurd to suggest this isn’t happening there too. If not more-so. At least in general the ‘saucers are not just marketing products for billionaires (hmm, then again, ubuntu …).

    Labelling is the real problem here. Its just another form of division politics, just as it is with religion. e.g. once you label someone you can then contest their position based on the label alone and create conflicts which divide society. This is one reason I find dress codes such as kippah, taqiyah, hijab, or turbans quite distasteful – they are just a political tool designed to separate one part of society from another.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The link came to me via AgentSmith, who thought it was trolling because the headlines chosen by that site are deliberately provocative (and inaccurate).

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