EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.22.10

Links 22/11/2010: Venezuelan Government Distributes Another 350,000 GNU/Linux Laptops, Firefox 4.0 for GNU/Linux Gets Unified Menu

Posted in News Roundup at 7:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Bringing Up Hardware First In Linux, Then Windows

    After reading the Linux 2.6.37-rc3 release announcement on the Linux kernel mailing list, another interesting thread was found and it’s about getting hardware vendors to do their initial hardware bring-up under Linux prior to any Microsoft Windows or Apple Mac OS X support. A number of reasons are provided why hardware vendors should support their hardware first under Linux and also why they should foster open-source drivers along with its challenges.

  • M$ Needs GNU/Linux

    Don’t re-install that other OS. Pave it over with GNU/Linux and be free of malware. I recommend OEMs distribute GNU/Linux installation CDs with their machines to improve customer satisfaction.

  • Venezuelan Government Begins Distribution of 350,000 Laptop Computers to School Children

    The laptop computers run on the open source operating system Linux, and the educational programs and software included in them is designed by Venezuelan engineers at the Ministry of Education and the National Center for Information Technology (CNTI).

  • Server

    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the Trickle-Up Effect

      The announcement of a royal wedding is a cause for excitement among loyal subjects, but it’s also an opportunity for assorted tea-towel vendors, commemorative plate makers and many other people to make a great deal of money off the back of it.

      And so it is with enterprise server operating systems. Last week’s release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.0 generated much excitement from its loyal customers. Many of Red Hat’s partners are hoping the release will provide them with an opportunity to make a great deal of money off the back of it, too. Although the RHEL 6.0 server OS includes numerous significant new features — a new hybrid 2.6.32 kernel; support for more cores and memory; better reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) capabilities; the ext4 file system by default; and so more — it was hard to discern that from the clamor of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) hardware partners preparing to make money by selling more of their lovely server boxes and associated services.

    • 6 Secure Linux Wi-Fi Authentication Servers
  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Ballnux

    • Why Samsung’s Bada Could Win Big

      Tomi Ahonen always shares interesting data in his quarterly updates on the smartphone space, and his latest offering includes this little nugget: Samsung’s Bada OS claimed 1.3 million users, or 2 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, during the third quarter.

    • Samsung Galaxy Tab review

      In terms of form factor, chassis design and manufacturing, the Galaxy Tab is a winning formula. Sadly, Samsung’s lacklustre attitude towards widgets, and Google’s non-existent efforts for the form factor at large, makes for a lukewarm user experience. Make no mistake – it has real potential, but £552 is a whopping deposit to put down in the hope of future fixes.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Nouveau Now Supports Overclocking Your GPU

        While the Nouveau driver may not yet have a stable Gallium3D or DDX driver release nor does it have capabilities like stabilized power management or OpenGL 3.x, if you want to overclock your NVIDIA graphics card with this open-source driver, you can now do so today. Martin Peres who has been working on Nouveau power management support and timing management, has produced a patch to support custom clock manipulation of the NVIDIA graphics card’s core clock, memory clock, and shader clock speeds. The voltages can also be manipulated too whether you are manually overclocking or underclocking your GPU with this Linux kernel DRM driver.

        [...]

        While some may not like the abilities to control the graphics card in a way that can potentially overheat or kill your graphics card, Martin wants this patch merged (it would go into the Linux 2.6.38 kernel) if there are no major objections.

      • An Update On The OpenGL 3 Support In Mesa

        While the Mesa software stack has made some steps towards supporting OpenGL 3.x, this free software library used by open-source graphics drivers is still a ways from supporting this industry graphics API thats years old and has already been surpassed by OpenGL 4.x. There hasn’t been too much major progress lately on GL3 support, but some think it could be achieved next year. When there is OpenGL 3.0 support in Mesa, it will be released as Mesa 8.0. Regardless, the OpenGL 3 status document for Mesa has been updated.

      • Thank You, Linus

        He’s writing about the surge in DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) modifications which include mistakes, regressions and duplications and make debugging and analyzing faults much more difficult. This is sound practice: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). It takes patience and discipline to keep things simple. Linus asks developers to reflect on what they do wrong and improve. Good for him. I have compiled/built the 2.6.34 and 2.6.36 Linux kernels hoping that the black screens would go away but still they persist.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Documentation Update

      I’ve taken over the Gentoo Documentation Project as the project manager. I’ve been the de facto lead for a long time now, since previous manager Xavier Neys has been MIA for a couple of years.

      I’m pretty much the only person that updates the English documentation these days. We have a constant flow of pending updates, revisions, and reviews — the job is too big for one person, especially if that person also has to wear the “operational” and “strategic” manager hats. So we need committed, skilled volunteers to do some of the work!

    • Reviews

      • grml, the No-Frills Linux Rescue CD–USB

        You want a good end-user live CD? Go with Knoppix. You want an admin’s toolbox with minimal fluff and maximum usability? Go with grml, a Debian-based live CD/USB that packs in more than 1,700 applications and utilities.

        [...]

        grml is not for everybody, but it’s handy to have around as a rescue CD, or as a set of portable admin tools when you’re on the road. For example, if you happen to be heading home for the holidays and want to be able to repurpose (or fix) the family computer rather than carrying your laptop.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Reporting bugs in Fedora 14

          Reporting bugs used to be a hassle that few really wanted to bother with. The user would have to try to obtain a stack trace of the buggy software and then copy/paste that stack track into a a web-based bug reporting, email the trace, or install a tool like Bug Buddy.

          Included with recent Fedora operating system releases is a bug reporting tool like no other. The tool is called ABRT (Automatic Bug Reporting Tool) and it is one of the easiest tools you will ever experience for bug reporting.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Aims For Government-Ready Security

          During Red Hat’s official launch event for their new Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL 6) release, executives from the company focused heavily on new performance gains. While performance and scalability are key elements of RHEL 6, so too is security.

          With RHEL 6, Red Hat is debuting a number of new features into its enterprise Linux, including new virtual security services as well as the System Security Services Daemon. Security services aren’t the only area of RHEL 6 built for security, as all RHEL 6 packages now benefit from a new 4096-bit RSA hardware signing key as well.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Squeeze Approaches

        It’s not a particularly smooth upgrade as the firmware blobs for some drivers are not included by default because they are not Free Software and there are big changes in udev that prevents use of the new kernel with the old udev. Still it takes much less time and fewer reboots than the restoration I used to install “7″ yesterday and the performance is magnificent.

      • Apt-Fast Accelerates Your Apt-Get Download Speeds

        If you have ever wished for a much more faster software downloads in Ubuntu, well, apt-fast could possibly make your wishes come true. Apt-fast is a simple bash script that accelerates apt-get download speeds coinsiderably.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Canonical Boosting Linux Kernel Contribution

          Canonical has been criticized for not contributing enough to the Linux broader Linux ecosystem. A report in 2009 didn’t mention Canonical anywhere in their list of top kernel contributors [source]. Instead Canonical’s strategy has and still continues to focus on adding polish to the desktop.

          But last week Canonical put up a new two new job offers for kernel developers . The two new positions don’t equate to a huge boost in kernel contributions. Yet, it does mean a few more bugs fixed every release cycle. These developers will mostly be working with the upstream Linux community to improve key parts of the Ubuntu experience.

        • Some simple Natty sound menu updates

          Caution: Don’t get overly excited. We’re not even at Natty Alpha 1 yet so the updates below will change over the coming months.

        • Is Ubuntu running off a cliff?

          Recently, it was hinted/announced that Gnome would be dropped as Ubuntu’s default desktop, and x.org dropped as the x server. The mint Distro has forked itself to produce a pure Debian distro, which was what Ubuntu was supposed to be (sort of) when I signed up for it, which I take to be a reaction by the minters of Mint to Ubuntu’s increasing non-Debian-ness. At the same time Ubuntu is trying to be all forward moving and stuff, yet it is unable for some reason to provide non GPL but free and legal drivers so that when Ubuntu is installed on grandma’s laptop in an environment where there is no plug-in LAN, the user is SOL and has to do what to most is tricky hacking stuff just to get a single, simple switch thrown so their computer will work (same with some video drivers).

        • Tensions Between Ubuntu, Fedora Mount Over New Website
        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Embedded Linux platform ships for MIPS multicore SoCs

      Mentor Graphics is shipping a version of its Mentor Embedded Linux development platform supporting networking applications developed on NetLogic Microsystems’ MIPS-based multicore, multithreaded system-on-chips (SoCs). The Mentor platform, which is available in a free “Essentials” version as well as a commercial version, supports the XLR and XLS families today, with support for the newer XLP processors planned shortly.

    • Phones

      • Nokia’s former MeeGo chief confirms new role as Senior VP of webOS at HP

        Ari Jaaksi, the former head of MeeGo Devices at Nokia, has confirmed reports from last month identifying HP as his new employer. According to the latest update to his LinkedIn profile, Ari is now enjoying the mild temperatures of the San Francisco Bay Area and does indeed hold the title of Senior Vice President at Hewlett-Packard.

      • Android

        • Next Android Version Includes E-Wallet for Real World Purchases

          Google’s newest iteration of its Android phone OS will include a wallet that lets you use your phone to make payments by tapping it against a cash register, CEO Eric Schmidt revealed Monday.

          “This could eventually replace credit cards,” Schmidt said.

        • Hands-on: Motorola’s Droid Pro wins as a business smartphone

          The iPhone’s great and all — it’s got a first-class ecosystem, lots of apps and great audio/video. But until 2008, if you wanted a phone phone, the Treo was the bee’s knees. It wasn’t so hot with music, movies or games, but it was brilliant at what it was supposed to do — let you make phone calls, send texts and e-mails, and create schedules and notes. It even synced with your computer. You could even buy one unlocked, so you could make calls anywhere in the world. In fact, until the old Palm blew up, nothing touched it.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Constructive Cambodian

    Besides computer technology and culture, open source extends its influence to areas such as education, health and science and journalism, along with arts, digital content and more. As a way of illustration, open source software, which is different from the commercial software one has to pay for, was built on the concept of making everything free for all the people.

    The source code of open source software is “published and made available to the public, enabling anyone to copy, modify and redistribute the source code without paying royalties or fees”, wikipedia states.

    Open source code evolves through community cooperation in a collaborative manner in which software developers from all over the world come together online and develop a code to make any programme better.

    These communities are also comprised of very large companies which believe in free access to free software for everyone. Where does the idea come from? In fact, open source existed even before computers when it was called the spirits of sharing.

    At Foss Asia 2010, I learned that open source software technology has been taken to a new level in Vietnam, where many people have turned to open source programmes for use rather than the commercial software that many cannot afford.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4.0 For Linux Finally Gets A Unified Menu

        Even though the Mozilla developers initially said they wouldn’t do it, here it is: Firefox 4.0 (nightly build) finally gets an unified menu button. But not the way it’s integrated in Windows (in the titlebar), but next to the tabs.

      • Petition To Bring The Old Firefox Status Bar Functionality Back

        Firefox users who are currently running version 3 of the browser will experience many different changes in the currently developed version 4 of the Internet browser. As always, some changes are welcome by almost every user, while others cause controversy, or in this case a petition to not go ahead with the change.

      • Mozilla Plans A “Mobile Device Independent” App Store

        Mozilla wants to make it big in the Mobile world and has revealed it’s plans about an unique mobile app store in it’s annual report – “The State of Mozilla” which was released recently. Mozilla has already brought the desktop Firefox experience to mobile devices long back as the Fennec browser which was initially launched for the Maemo platform on Nokia N900. We have also told you about the new Fennec for android.

      • F1 – New Firefox Extension to Share Links Fast and Easy

        Mozilla Labs has always been a really interesting place to explore. They created ripples across the web by showcasing brilliant Seabird Mozilla Concept Phone a month ago. Now here is another quite useful Firefox extension to share links fast and neat by Mozilla Labs.

  • Databases

    • A report from OpenSQLCamp

      What do you get when you put together 80 to 100 hard-core database geeks from ten different open source databases for a weekend? OpenSQLCamp, which was held most recently at MIT. Begun three years ago, OpenSQLCamp is a semi-annual unconference for open source database hackers to meet and collaborate on ideas and theories in the industry. It’s held at various locations alternately in Europe and the United States, and organized and run by volunteers. This year’s conference was organized by Sheeri Cabral, a MySQL community leader who works for PalominoDB.

    • How To Set Up An Active/Passive PostgreSQL Cluster With Pacemaker, Corosync, And DRBD (CentOS 5.5)
  • Oracle

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Bikera, a simple public transportation concept
    • Abundance and the Generative Logic of the Commons
    • Open Source Jihad

      Given this successful demonstration attack, we should expect to se many more attacks that employ systems disruption in the future as open source jihadis adopt the method.

    • Exploring Art Data 3

      First of all we’ll need the data. That’s available from data.gov.uk under the new CC-BY compatible Crown Copyright here. It’s in XLS format, which R doesn’t load on GNU/Linux, but we can convert that to comma-separated values using OpenOffice.org Calc.

    • Open Data

      • Government suppliers may be ordered to open up data

        Private companies may be required to open up data and make their activities answerable to Freedom of Information (FoI) law when they are contracted to work for the public sector.

        A Cabinet Office Review of the proposal, a Liberal Democrat manifesto pledge, is being conducted by Nigel Shadbolt of Southampton University for the Cabinet Office transparency board and local public data panel.

Leftovers

  • Erasing A “Friend”: An Examination of “Friends” On the Internet

    I remove people from Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks on a daily basis — not by choice, but because there is too much information — but I never thought of the consequences. I always just assumed that there is an understanding between people in the digital age. But one day changed everything for me: I had removed someone who didn’t take it so lightly, and he made me feel guilt and pain that I had not felt since high school. What was I becoming?

    He was nice to me. He engaged me in conversation, retweeted articles that I posted, and joined in on conversations that really got me thinking. It seemed like a genuine connection. Sounds like the perfect online friend, right? Well, there was something off.

  • The Twagic Tweets of Twitter

    I’m on eight lists so far. Lists went into a flurry of activity for about two weeks after they announced the feature, and then nothing has happened with lists since. Some lists flatter me – Skypost109-Bloggers describes itself as “Blogs I try to keep track of, funny yet right down snarky at times.” Hey, thanks, now I know I’m hitting the mark I was going for. Others are disparaging – BoycottBoys is for “BoycottNovell shills and minions.” I guess I must be one of those simply because I use Linux, and so does Roy, Q.E.D.!

  • If Twitter removed the 140 character limit from DM’s. Would we have an email killer? Twitter. A potential email killer?

    As many of you will be aware of, Facebook recently revamped its email-killing messaging product claiming it’s not an email killer but if it were to one day kill email they’d be ok with that. Facebook messages is essentially a unified inbox combining email, SMS, chat and Facebook messages into one. Personally, having now tried it, I think it leaves a lot to be desired but lets assume for a moment Zuckerberg is onto something and the future of messaging is no email addresses, no subjects, but conversation like messages…is twitter essentially a couple of minor feature tweaks away from it?

  • This Video Will Blow Your Mind (Probably)
  • Generation misled by the great lie

    WHEN US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Melbourne this month a youth forum was held where she prefaced her answers with comments such as “that’s a great question” and “that’s another terrific question”.

    So now generation Y gets validation for simply asking a question? Is this what we’ve come to?

    The same logic applies with Twitter feeds that scroll across the television during ABC1′s Q&A: “Great question.”

  • Government shines light on spending over £25,000

    A £26,000 bill for training Cabinet Office staff to have “difficult conversations” is among revelations of Whitehall spending since the election.

    Details of about £80bn of spending on items over £25,000 have been published online as part of what ministers call their “transparency agenda”.

  • Dispute Over Dead Sea Scrolls Leads to a Jail Sentence

    A man convicted of impersonating a New York University scholar in a debate over the Dead Sea Scrolls was sentenced on Thursday to six months in jail and five years’ probation.

  • Science

    • Into the abyss: The diving suit that turns men into fish

      Humans have proven themselves remarkably adept at learning to do what other animals can do naturally. We have taught ourselves to fly like birds, climb like monkeys and burrow like moles. But the one animal that has always proven beyond our reach is the fish.

      The invention of scuba diving has allowed us to breathe underwater but only at very shallow depths.

    • Space observatories find baby black hole

      Evidence for a 30 year old black hole has been uncovered by an armada of space orbiting observatories, including NASA’s Chandra and Swift satellites, ESA’s XMM-Newton and the German ROSAT observatory

    • The U.S. Approach to Supercomputing May Be a Dead End

      Regardless, those machines are running up against the limits of current technology in terms of operations per watt. Incremental improvements can be wrung from further shrinking of the “process technology” — literally, the size of the individual features on the chip, which is now approaching 22 nanometers in the lab.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Furrygirl’s sexy stripdown protest in Seattle airport mocking TSA security theater (NSFW video)

      Self-described pornographer, sex worker, and sex blogger Furrygirl (Twitter, blog) opted for a patdown instead of the pornoscanners at the TSA checkpoint at the airport in Seattle, citing health concerns about radiation emitted by new devices.

      To protest the TSA’s invasive new “enhanced” screening procedures, she stripped down to see-thru, sexy underwear prior to her “grope-up,” and videoblogged the whole thing (well, what the camera could capture from its vantage point on the little tray traveling down the conveyor belt).

    • TSA pulls pants off 71 y/o man with knee implant
    • Young Boy Strip Searched By TSA
    • TSA security groping leaves 61-year-old bladder cancer survivor soaked in own urine

      61-year-old Thomas Sawyer is a retired special education teacher, and a survivor of bladder cancer. He says he was “absolutely humiliated,” broke down in tears and soaked in his own urine, after a degrading and invasive TSA “pat-down” at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on November 7 caused his urostomy bag to rupture.

    • Girl Talk and Intellectual Property

      Conservatives — and especially libertarians — seem like a cheap date on this issue. You’d think libertarians would have been in the forefront of objecting to governmental intrusions into our lives at the behest of a special interest — let alone the creation of a new class of quasicriminals, defined as more or less everyone who entered high school after 1996, who can be investigated and prosecuted whenever the government or some member of industry decides that they are too troublesome.

      But no. For a lot of libertarians, judging by the comments to David’s post, all the RIAA has to do is call its new government-created entitlement a form of property, and, presto bingo, it’s sacrosanct.

      Come to think of it, maybe I can persuade readers here that TSA’s new enhanced security measures are just fine — as long as we enforce the rules by giving all the passengers on the plane a “property” right not to travel with people who refuse body imaging and enhanced patdowns. Instead of relying on oppressive government regulation, we’d just let the passengers collect millions in “statutory damages” from noncompliant travelers.

    • Israel troops get suspended sentence on Gaza abuse

      An Israeli court-martial handed down suspended prison sentences on Sunday to two former soldiers who forced a Palestinian boy to search for suspected booby-traps during the Gaza Strip war, the military said.

    • TSA Investigating ‘Don’t Touch My Junk’ Passenger

      The TSA has launched an investigation of a passenger in San Diego who left the airport after opting out of an invasive body scan and criticizing the proposed alternative pat-down.

    • NSFW: Sarah Palin – How’s That Promotey, Embargoey Stuff Workin’ Out for Ya?

      On Thursday, I suggested that Sarah Palin’s kids’ ill-judged behaviour on Facebook could be traced back to their mother’s attitude towards online critics.

      The post garnered a range of considered and thoughtful responses from commenters, ranging from warnings that I should expect to be shot, to the suggestion that (I quote) “PAUL CARR PROBABLY ABORTED I.E. MURDERED ALL OF HIS OWN ILLEGITIMATE SONS & DAUGHTERS.” One helpful commenter even suggested I “go home and talk to [my] children. Tell them your a traitor to your country and your fellow Americans” – which, given I’m a Brit, was somewhat wrong-headed and, given I apparently killed all of my children, was remarkably insensitive.

    • No Art Please, You’re Not British

      But the problem is really deeper than this simple loss of these earnings. What is really disturbing is the crass way the UK Borders Agency equates artistic creation with work: if you act as an artist – even if you are not paid – you are theoretically doing something that should have a price on it. This is really part and parcel of the thinking that everything should be copyrighted and patented – that you can’t do stuff for free, or simply give away your intellectual creations.

    • The Banalization of Torture

      teps toward the banalization of torture. On Monday night, it was former President George W. Bush on television, acknowledging his personal responsibility for ordering the waterboarding of Al Qaeda suspects in CIA custody.

      On Tuesday, it was the Department of Justice, announcing that Acting US Attorney John Durham would not pursue criminal charges for the CIA’s destruction of videotapes showing the abusive interrogation of terrorism suspects.

    • All-Seeing Airport Scanners Sparking Litigation and Protests

      That decision may soon get answered in court. Yesterday, two airline pilots filed a federal suit alleging that airport scanners and aggressive pat-down procedures constitute unreasonable searches in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

      The new security measures force travelers to decide “between the lesser of two evils: submit to a virtual strip search, or suffer the indignity of allowing an unknown officer to literally place his or her hands in your pants,” according to the suit, filed by law firm Drinker Biddle and The Rutherford Institute.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Protecting Europe’s last remaining lowland forest

      The last remaining European lowland forest can be found at the junction of two countries: Poland and Belarus. The Białowieska Forest is all that remains of an ancient forest that once stretched between the Ural Mountains and Spain. A lowland forest refers to forest growing at low elevations, typically having many tiers of canopy, growing taller and more diverse than forest at higher elevations. The value of the Białowieska lowland forest has been recognized by UNESCO, which has included it in The World Heritage list. Today the eight thousand-year-old ecosystem has been shrunk to 800 square kilometres, out of which the Belarusian part is a National Park and the remaining 17% lies within Polish borders. Every year in the Polish part of the forest 100,000 trees were cut down, meaning the whole ecosystem was gradually being destroyed. Thanks to a Greenpeace Poland campaign this extraordinary region stands a better chance of being preserved.

    • Nothing but paper tigers in Indonesia? If APP has its way.

      Greenpeace published a report in July showing how the last wild Sumatran tigers are threatened with extinction by the practices of Indonesia’s biggest pulp and paper producer, Asia Pulp and Paper, (APP). We thought that was reason enough to give APP a ‘Golden Chainsaw Award’ to mark the International Pulp and Paper Awards in Brussels. No applause please.

  • Finance

    • Estonian Economist Suggests Abandoning Cash
    • How Are the Kids? Unemployed, Underwater, and Sinking

      Currently, even after a slight boost in jobs growth, unemployment for 18-24 year olds stands at 24.7%. For 20-24 year olds, it hovers at 15.2%. These conservative estimates, using the Bureau of Labor Statistics U3 measure, do not reflect the number of marginally attached or discouraged young workers feeling the lag from a nearly moribund job market.

    • Trying to Put a Price on Bank Errors

      KUDOS to the Congressional Oversight Panel for publishing a thoughtful and thorough report last week on the mortgage documentation mess. It argued that, yes, in fact, these paperwork problems may have significant implications for banks, investors and the stability of the financial system.

    • A Forecast That Obama Could Love

      ou might not think so, given the flow of news lately. His foreign policy has met with limited success, at best. And, back home, unemployment is mired at 9.6 percent. Earlier this month, in a major political blow, Democrats lost more than 60 seats and control of the House of Representatives.

      So what is there for Mr. Obama and his supporters to cheer about?

      Try this: Based on the facts at hand right now, Mr. Obama is likely to win the 2012 election in a landslide. That, at least, is the prediction of Ray C. Fair, a Yale economist and an expert on econometrics and on the relationship of economics and politics.

    • Silent partners

      Two years after the economy careened to the brink of Armageddon, a key question remains: How did so many smart economists miss the financial crisis?

      Was it too much math, and not enough focus on real-world problems, as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has argued? Or did economists simply put too much faith in the power and wisdom of markets, and ignore the flaws that ultimately led to them to crash?

      Two University of Massachusetts researchers suggest another possibility: The vision of economists may have been clouded by their own financial interests.

    • Irish Bailout approved by EU and IMF

      The amount of the aid still hasn’t been determined. Apparently the loans will be from the IMF, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), and possibly from the UK and Sweden directly.

    • Welcome to the Casino

      Two of our finest business journalists have written a thorough account of the origins of the financial crisis of 2008. More than offering just a backward look, it helps explain the most troubling business headlines of the moment, as well as those that are certain to come. For starters, there is the unfolding foreclosure-paperwork fiasco. Next up will be a clash over whether big banks should be forced to take back billions of dollars in contaminated mortgages they sold. Down the road, we will no doubt confront the danger of the next asset bubble inflating as a result of the Federal Reserve’s use of extreme monetary policy to stimulate the economy. These continuing and future problems are all symptoms of a larger syndrome whose origins Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera ably chronicle in “All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis.”

    • Report: Feds conducting big insider trading probe

      Federal authorities are examining whether multiple insider-trading rings reaped illegal profits totaling tens of millions of dollars, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter.

    • Barack Obama: The Federal Reserve is Laundering Money

      Well done, amusing and informative in an easy to understand way. Why printing more money, now called “quantitative easing” is really a way of laundering money. Watch and listen.

    • Stein: Goldman Sachs’ power ‘phenomenal’

      Actor, economist and conservative commentator Ben Stein describes Goldman Sachs’ “phenomenal” power to discourage scrutiny of the Wall Street banking titan’s role in the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE2) plan to print money and buy $600 billion in Treasury bonds.

    • Throw Goldman Sachs Off Campus

      Goldman Sachs is a criminal money factory with a vast network of alumni who occupy the most powerful positions in the financial-regulatory world, effectively protecting the bank from any economic threat — governmental or otherwise — such that the bank is free to suck every bit of profit out of every corner of American life, regardless of collateral damage, like an impossibly large vacuum cleaner whose belly fills not with dirt and hair destined for the garbage, but dollars and cents destined for the already bulging pockets of the upper-class. This we can all agree on.

    • The Newest Millionaires- Goldman Sachs names 110 New Partners
    • Goldman Sachs Changes 110 People’s Lives

      In a basement at 200 West late last night, Lloyd Blankfein named the firm’s new partners. Blindfolded and naked, they pledged their devotion to the firm and promised to share in its huge-ass profits. At the stroke of midnight, as a baby seal barked in the corner, they were inducted into the Brotherhood of the Sach. If you see one of the following people on the street, setting off metal detectors within a 5 mile radius with the gold rods in their pants, ask them if they need anything– be it a mint, a fluffer, a mouth to stuff and discard bills in denominations of less than 100 in or a body to walk across so they needn’t dirty their shoes by letting them touch the street. And for god’s sake, BOW DOWN– you are in the presence of greatness.

    • Goldman Sachs just won’t learn when it comes to bankers’ pay

      The “great vampire squid”, as Rolling Stone magazine branded the financial services powerhouse, is investment banking’s torch-bearer and standard-setter.

      Goldman can legitmately be blamed for the latest backlash against the banks. In July last year – with western economies in recession, workers losing their jobs in droves, house prices plummeting, and governments trying to fend off the threat of a 1930s depression – Goldman set aside $6.65bn for staff pay and bonuses for just three months work.

      On top of the $4.71bn allocated from the first quarter, the bumper second quarter pay round put staff on course for a record $900,000 (£540,000) each in 2009. Goldman bosses hadn’t just missed global sentiment, they hadn’t even bothered to take its pulse.

    • Report: U.S. to lift lid on ‘pervasive insider trading’

      U.S. officials are preparing insider trading charges against a host of financial players, including investment bankers and hedge fund managers, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter.

    • How Did Goldman Sachs Know That The Housing Market Was About To Collapse?

      A five-month McClatchy Newspaper investigation reveals how Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs peddled billions of dollars in shaky securities tied to subprime mortgages on unsuspecting pension funds, insurance companies and other investors, then dumped its risky investments and placed secret bets against the housing market right before the mortgage bubble burst. Somehow, among Wall Street investment firms, only Goldman Sachs knew that the housing market was about to crash! Is it merely a coincidence that Goldman Sachs President and CEO Henry (“Hank”) Paulson happened to be serving as US Treasury Department Secretary while this was going on????

    • Goldman In Insider Trading Probe?

      News leaked out today that the feds will soon be herding a whole pen full of Wall Street firms into court on insider trading charges, including, reportedly, our old friends Goldman, Sachs.

      The basic charge here is that investment banks and other firms were leaking insider info about things like mergers to closely-allied hedge funds, who in turn placed the requisite bets on or against the companies in question.

    • No Life Insurance for Bull Riders

      If an ETF is comprised of large cap stocks like Microsoft and Dell, that’s fine, but if the index is composed of smaller companies like the Russell 2000 index, those companies with very few shares outstanding are in for a wild ride. One ETF, IWM-Russell 2000, is the largest shareholder for more than 800 of the companies in that index. If the ETF goes up then the ETF has to buy more shares of the underlying securities or issue more shares of the ETF, itself. If the ETF goes down then it may have to sell shares. And none of this has anything to do with the fundamentals of those particular underlying stocks.

    • Legal twist forces foreclosure redos

      Zepheniah Taylor lost his Dorchester three-decker to foreclosure two times in 17 months. Now the 59-year-old grandfather has returned home to stay. The scenario, once implausible, is becoming more common in the crazed and fast-changing world of foreclosures.

    • SEC: Hedge funds must open up their books
    • U.S. in Vast Insider Trading Probe
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Competition Bureau Takes Action Against Rogers Over Misleading Advertising

      After a two month investigation, the Competition Bureau has begun legal proceedings against Rogers Communications Inc. to stop what the Bureau has concluded is misleading advertising of Rogers’ Chatr discount cell phone and text service.

    • FDIC Sues Bryan Cave Over Bank Records

      The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation sued Bryan Cave in federal court in Atlanta on Tuesday, charging the firm with failing to hand over records related to the collapse last month of Overland Park, Kan.-based Hillcrest Bank.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • NHS.uk allowing Google, Facebook, and others to track you

      The NHS is allowing Google, Facebook, and others to track your http://www.nhs.uk/ browsing habits, regardless of the fact that people use the page to seek medical advice. It was recently pointed out to me that the NHS Choices website’s social features include the Facebook Like button (see e.g. the page on Testicular Cancer). Due to the fact that the standard method of Facebook Like button deployment is intrusive to say the least, I thought I would look into identifying which third party companies have been given permission to track users on NHS Choices, and my results are rather disconcerting.

    • Google’s wi-fi data to be deleted

      The UK’s information commissioner has said that wi-fi data accidentally collected by Google’s Street View cars will be deleted “as soon as possible”.

      Deputy information commissioner David Smith told the BBC that there would be no further enquiries into the matter.

    • Chinese woman jailed over Twitter post

      A woman in China has been sentenced to a year in a labour camp after posting a message on the social networking website Twitter.

    • Class Accuses Media Giants of Hacking Cell Phones to Create ‘Zombie Databases’

      Ringleader Digital, an advertising company “hacked the mobile phones of millions of consumers” to create a database of customers’ demographic information for the benefit of major media networks such as Fox News and CNN, according to a federal class action.

    • Election won by Mandela ‘rigged by opposition’

      The South Africa election which spelt the end of apartheid and brought Nelson Mandela to power was marred by vote tampering in favour of the white regime and ANC detractors, it has emerged.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Why iambik doesn’t use DRM

      We decided early on not to use digital rights management (DRM) at iambik audiobooks. Here is our explanation, adapted from what we sent to partner publishers who asked us about it. (*see below for a definition of DRM).

    • Bill C-32 and the Environment
    • US to free some federal spectrum for wireless broadband use

      In its zeal to provide more spectrum to the mobile broadband sector, the United States government will tap into its own considerable spectrum holdings, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced on Monday.

    • FCC Chief Genachowski on Net Neutrality: Trust Me

      FCC chairman Julius Genachowski now finds himself caught between unfulfilled promises made to the tech community to keep the internet open, and a Republican Congress ready to portray any new rules on broadband ISPs as heavy-handed, economy-killing regulation.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Image rights: England v Germany and Philip Woolas’s mug

        Now of course the designs were offensive — in the sense that someone could be offended by them — that really was the idea. If there were a law against being offensive Private Eye could never be published. Spreadshirt’s Terms and Conditions say nothing to forbid offensive material; nor could the designs possibly seen as discriminatory (except perhaps against MP’s who lose election courts) or glorifying violence. What of the “legal regulations” that Spreadshirt thought might be infringed.

        [...]

        It seems to me that neither of the mugs could possibly be defamatory (“Phillip Woolarse” doesn’t come close), no-one coudl think that the mugs implied that Mr Woolas endorsed the Wardman Wire or that they were really the same business as him. The photographs were taken from election leaflets, criticised by the election court, and so are hardly an invasion of Mr Woolas’s privacy and, arguably, they are “art” and so defensible against a Data Protection Act 1998 claim.

        So much for England, but spreadshirt is German based. Now as an English lawyer, I known next to nothing about German law, but as I understand it the German KunstUrhG (law on the copyright of works of visual arts and photography) recognises a right known as Recht am eigenen Bild, usually glossed as “right in their own image” which I will refer to as “image right”. Section 22 of the KunstUrhG prohibits the distribution or public exhibition of the image of an individual without that individual’s consent. A right to control over the use of one’s image is also derived from Article 2 of the German Basic Law.

      • Man Fined For Publishing Links To Legal Sports Broadcast

        A man who linked to two hockey games streamed live by broadcaster Canal Plus has been found guilty of copyright infringement. The 32 year-old found unprotected direct URL links to the games on the channel’s official website which would ordinarily cost money to view. A District Court decided that publishing those links on his forum amounted to an infringement of copyright.

      • Actors reading Copyright fiction from a script + a fact based alternative position

        In theory these actors were talking about Canadian copyright and the modifications proposed in C-32, but you couldn’t tell that from listening. They got nearly everything wrong in understanding current Canadian law and the modifications.

        They were reading fiction from a script, just as they do in their regular jobs.

        The script they were handed by ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) clearly said to push for an extension of the private copying levy to devices, without clarifying that the private copying regime only applies to recorded music. It has nothing to do with television, the medium that these two actors work in. It was clear from the interview that they were not even aware of that basic fact.

      • French deal may break deadlock between Google and publishers
      • Content is ‘made available’ in jurisdiction where server is located, rules High Court

        “I have come to the conclusion that the better view is that the act of making available to the public by online transmission is committed and committed only where the transmission takes place,” said Mr Justice Floyd. “It is true that the placing of data on a server in one state can make the data available to the public of another state but that does not mean that the party who has made the data available has committed the act of making available by transmission in the State of reception. I consider that the better construction of the provisions is that the act only occurs in the state of transmission.”

        The Court based its reasoning in part on laws that cover similar ground in the satellite broadcasting industry.

      • Copyright troll Righthaven retreats on infringement suit

        As the holiday season approaches, the Righthaven law firm has opted to give peace a chance. The scan-for-content-and-sue outfit has extended an olive branch to one of its latest targets—the Democratic Underground web site. Like the law firm’s previous victims, DU posted some text from Righthaven’s main client, the Las Vegas Review Journal, and was consequently sued for cash under the claim of copyright infringement.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Government services to be online-only

          Britons will be forced to apply online for government services such as student loans, driving licences, passports and benefits under cost-cutting plans to be unveiled this week.

          Officials say getting rid of all paper applications could save billions of pounds. They insist that vulnerable groups will be able to fill in forms digitally at their local post offices.

          The plans are likely to infuriate millions of people. Around 27% of households still have no internet connection at home and six million people aged over 65 have never used the web.

        • Digital Society vs. Digital Economy Act

          And that, of course, is a bit of a problem when the ultimate sanction of the Digital Economy Act is to block people’s access (even if the government tries to deny that it will “disconnect” people – it amounts to the same thing, whatever the words.) If, as this suggests and I think is right, the Internet becomes an absolutely indispensable means of exercising key rights (like being able to communicate with the government) then it inevitably makes taking those rights away even more problematic.

Clip of the Day

My TSA Stripdown: Nov 21 at Seatac


Credit: TinyOgg

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 1/9/2014: Poettering on systemd, ITNews on DBMSs

    Links for the day



  2. Moving Away From Windows to GNU/Linux and the Abandonment of Windows as the Modest Proposal These Days

    Morale of GNU/Linux and an embrace of GNU/Linux is very high, despite recent propaganda from Microsoft MVPs and boosters (primarily security-themed and Munich-themed FUD)



  3. Korean Press Slams Microsoft Over Patent Extortion Against Linux/Android as New Abuses Resurface

    Harsh words from the national press of South Korea as Nokia's role in Microsoft's anti-Linux tactics becomes more apparent



  4. More Good News About Patents and Their Demise in the United States

    A roundup of news about software patents and patent trolls in the land where these thrive



  5. Links 31/8/2014: Linux 3.12.27, Akademy 2014

    Links for the day



  6. Links 30/8/2014: Jailhouse 0.1, *buntu 14.10 Beta

    Links for the day



  7. Links 28/8/2014: Many New Games, CTO of Red Hat Steps Down

    Links for the day



  8. We Are Gradually Winning the Battle Against Software Patents

    The once-elusive war on software patents is finally leading to some breakthrough and even the Federal Circuit reinforces the trend of software patents' demise



  9. Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) Companies Versus FOSS Moles (VMware, Sonatype, Xamarin)

    A look at three entities which pretend to be pro-FOSS but are actually FOSS-hostile and very much determined to replace FOSS with proprietary software



  10. Links 27/8/2014: GNU/Linux in Space, China, LinuxCon

    Links for the day



  11. FUD Against Google and FOSS Security Amid Microsoft Windows Security Blunders

    In the age of widespread fraud due to Microsoft Windows with its back doors there is an attempt to shift focus to already-fixed flaws/deficiencies in competitors of Microsoft



  12. Microsoft Spin Watch: IDG Turns to More Microsoft Propaganda, Hires Microsoft Boosters

    Media in Microsoft's pocket is telling Microsoft's lies and deceives the public for Microsoft's bottom line



  13. Microsoft's Massive Tax Evasion Becomes Better Known

    A new report about Microsoft's admission that it plays dirty tricks with tax (sometimes using moles in government) is increasing awareness of Microsoft's criminal aspects



  14. Links 25/8/2014: China's Linux Revolution Imminent

    Links for the day



  15. Links 24/8/2014: GNU/Linux Specialisation and Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  16. Links 23/8/2014: GNU/Linux Growth

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft-Funded Attacks on Android Security and Patent/Copyright

    A look back at examples of people who smear Android and are receiving (or received) money from Microsoft



  18. Blowback in Chile and Munich After Microsoft Intervention

    Microsoft's attacks on the digital sovereignty of countries involves lobbying, corruption, an attack on standards (e.g. ODF), an attack on FOSS policies, and even an attack on accurate reporting (truth itself)



  19. The End of Microsoft is Nigh

    A look back at a tough year for Microsoft and a not-so-promising future



  20. Links 22/8/2014: Linux Foundation LFCS, LFCE

    Links for the day



  21. UPS Burned by Microsoft Windows, Gives Away Massive Number of Credit Card Details

    UPS is the latest victim of Microsoft's shoddy back door with software on top of it (Windows); attempts to blame FOSS for data compromise actually divert attention from the real culprit, which is proprietary software



  22. Microsoft's Funding of ALEC and Other Systemic Corruption

    Microsoft role in writing of laws by proxy, via groups such as ALEC



  23. Microsoft is Still Preying on British Taxpayers, Playing Politics

    Some news from the UK showing how Microsoft uses politics to extract money out of taxpayers, irrespective of their preferences



  24. Microsoft's Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as 20% of Staff Laid Off

    More good news regarding the demise of patents as Microsoft's leading patent proxy is collapsing more rapidly than anyone ever imagined and software patents too are collectively doubted



  25. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  26. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  27. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  28. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  29. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  30. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts