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12.09.10

Links 9/12/2010: KDE SC 4.6 Beta 2, GCC 4.5.2 Release Candidate

Posted in News Roundup at 10:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Google

    • Not All Chrome Glisters

      Because Chrome OS is open source, it has been available for people to explore for some time, which means that it’s not really possible for any elements of it to be a surprise, rather deflating any attempt to launch it in the traditional sense. But in yesterday’s, er, confirmation, there were a number of new announcements separate from the underlying operating system.

  • Kernel Space

    • Speeding Up The Linux Kernel With Transparent Hugepage Support

      Last month we reported on the 200 line Linux kernel patch that does wonders for improving the desktop responsiveness of the system. There was certainly much interest (over 100,000 views to both of our YouTube videos demonstrating the change) but this patch really didn’t speed up the system per se but rather improved the desktop interactivity and reduced latency by creating task-groups per TTY so that the processes had more equal access to the CPU. There is though an entirely different patch-set now beginning to generate interest among early adopters that does improve the kernel performance itself in compute and memory intensive applications and it’s the Transparent Hugepage Support patch-set. Here are our initial tests of the latest kernel patches that will hopefully be finding their way into the mainline Linux kernel soon.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Comments On Its Linux Driver Architecture

        What Andy basically said is that they do have some plans for “larger scale architectural projects”, but there isn’t anything specific to mention or when we might see such changes. Some of these larger projects for the proprietary NVIDIA driver include improving video memory usage, rendering synchronization, and improving the window system interacitvity. Though due to the size of the NVIDIA Linux team, they are uncertain when such advancements may arrive.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE’s KOffice Forks Internally As The Calligra Suite

        The KDE community has announced the formation of the Calligra Suite, as a “continuation of the KOffice project” to reflect the larger KOffice package rather than just being an office and productivity suite. Calligra is meant to breath new life into the contained KDE programs after an unresolvable dispute by KOffice developers.

        Making up KDE’s Calligra Suite are productivity, management, and graphics applications. On the productivity side this includes Words (formerly KWord), Tables (formerly KSpread), Stage (formerly KPresenter), Flow (formerly Kivio), and Kexi. Calligra’s management application is Plan to replace KPlato and on the graphics side there is Krita and Karbon.

      • KDE Software Compilation 4.6 Beta 2

        Two weeks after the Thanksgiving Day release of KDE SC 4.6 Beta 1, the second beta is now here for this desktop environment update to be officially released next month. KDE SC 4.6 Beta 2 has fixed nearly 1,200 bugs while more than 1,300 bugs were reported in the past two weeks.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Unity: An Ancient African Word Meaning ‘Rocking’

          This is Unity running, and a recent addition is intellihide in the launcher. This is where the launcher will only show if a window is not obscuring it (just like in GNOME Do). As such, in the screenshot above we can see the launcher as Gwibber is a smaller window, but if I maximize Gwibber so it takes up the full space of the desktop, the launcher slides into the left of the screen so I can access the Gwibber window easily. To then access the launcher I just hover over the Ubuntu button and it slides into view. It looks and feels really fast and sleek. :-)

        • Mock up: Application overview in Unity

          Could Unity’s application over-view look better for Natty?

          Discussions currently taking place on the Ayatana mailing list certainly think so and the mock-up below is one such proposed solution.

        • Events are like Signals

          What do I mean by a Signal? If you’ve done any programming in Qt, GTK+ or even just used D-Bus you’ll probably already know exactly what I mean. They’re pretty much like good old fashioned UNIX signals too, except that they’re not predefined. If you’ve done programming in ObjectiveC, the analog is Notifications.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Corporate change: Contributing to open source

    About five years ago I was hired by a software company that specialized in database security. Some of our software was used to protect databases in military assets and major banks. But a lot of development was very remote from top-secret weapons or classified information. For example, we wrote a small command line utility for driving virtual machines for integration testing. It helped us eradicate failures during installs and upgrades. Was I going to have to write that again at my next job? How could I share it with my friends working at other organizations?

  • The State of Open Source

    This month’s Computing Now theme compiles a variety of articles that show the many current faces of open source. “Choosing an Open Source Software License in Commercial Context: A Managerial Perspective” provides some useful perspectives on how an enterprise should be aware of and properly use open source licensing (for both the components it might use in developing software and the release of software it produces). “Security in Open Source Web Content Management Systems” is an excellent overview (and reminder) about keeping up with plugging the known exploits in commonly used open source CMS tools. Don’t let the title of “Open Source Software Considerations for Law Enforcement” stop you from discovering principles, concepts, constraints, and ultimate uses of open source that are applicable to any organization. “Open Source Data Collection in the Developing World” is a wonderful article about an actual (and very influential) use of the Google Open Data Kit in saving lives in Africa. It might provide inspiration on how to solve data collection challenges you may be facing. If you’re looking for a strong overview of open source use outside of the US, “A Comparative Analysis of Open Source Software Usage in Germany, Brazil, and India” will give you a solid perspective on how three leading nations are employing open source in government, business, and education. “Commodification of Industrial Software: A Case for Open Source” provides some interesting theories, concepts, case studies, and visual models on how to properly value and employ open source in various business contexts. Lastly, “A Stage Model of Evolution for Open Source Software” discusses the 3 generations of open source evolution through the maturity curve (IEEE login is required to view the full text of this article). In addition to these articles, we’re providing a few links to open source sites to extend your research and learning on open source.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Who is Eating IE’s Lunch?

        When Chrome was launched, everybody termed it as Firefox killer (after all, Google used to fund Firefox development). But then, IE turns out to be the biggest loser. I decided to share Pluggd.in’s browser usage statistics and compared the current data with last year’s data (December 2009).

      • Please Participate in the “State of Mozilla” Survey

        Recently we posted our annual “State of Mozilla” which describes what we have been working on and plans for the immediate future. I want to make sure that the plans laid out in the State of Mozilla reflect and inspire the people who identify themselves with Mozilla and our mission. I am asking that you help me make sure of this.

  • Oracle

    • JCP Executive Committee loses independent Java expert

      Tim Peierls, one of two independent Java experts on the Java Community Process (JCP) Executive Committee (EC), has announced his resignation from the standardisation body. His decision to resign was taken shortly after the committee rubber stamped Oracle’s plans for the forthcoming Java 6 and Java 7. Peierls’ vote was one of three to oppose Oracle’s proposal. Google, the Apache Software Foundation and Peierls all voted against, in response to Oracle imposing restrictions on the availability of Test Compatibility Kits (TCKs) for Java.

  • Education

    • Why can’t Penguins enter Federica square?

      In 2008 the Linux User Group of Naples had already defined Free Software in the Federico II University “a missed opportunity”, because “students are forced to buy expensive proprietary software and… there are online service like the ESIS exam booking website that are only accessible with Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer… A partial compensation is given by the academic tradition of the CSI (the University ICT service) of adopting Free Software for the main University services” (Note from Marco: that’s good, even if in November 2010 the CSI still called “Free Software” what is simply gratis proprietary software from Microsoft, while we all know that Free is about freedom, not price).

      In 2010, according to a press release issued on March 13th, 2009 “inside the Federica Campus visitors are free to stroll around the tridimensional spaces of the virtual University”.

    • Jeff Mao and Bob McIntire from the Maine Department of Education: Open Education and Policy

      Maine has been a leader in adopting educational technology in support of its students. In 2002, through the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI), the state began providing laptops to all students in grades 7-8 in a one-to-one laptop program. In 2009, Maine expanded the project to high school students. The one-to-one laptops paved the way for open education initiatives like Vital Signs, empowering students to conduct their own field research in collaboration with local scientists, and make that research available online. Recently, Maine has been engaged in some interesting and innovative projects around OER as a result of federal grant funds. For this installment of our series on open education and policy, we spoke with Jeff Mao and Bob McIntire from the Maine Department of Education. Jeff is Learning Technology Policy Director at MLTI, and Bob works for the Department’s Adult & Community Education team.

  • Project Releases

    • GCC 4.5.2 Is Near With A Release Candidate

      While GCC 4.6 is nearing release, Ubuntu 11.04, Fedora 15, and other H1’2011 Linux distributions will continue shipping with GCC 4.5, which was released in April and so far has been succeeded by just one point release. A second point release, GCC 4.5.2, is however being prepared for release shortly.

    • Python 3.2 eases concurrent development

      The next version of the widely used Python programming language will offer greater support for writing multithreaded applications, a challenging duty for an increasing number of programmers in this age of multicore processors.

      This week, the developers behind Python have released the first beta version of the 3.2 version of the language. For this version, they have concentrated on bug fixes and general improvements while maintaining the language syntax and semantics defined in Python 3.0.

    • Java SE 7 and SE 8 specs move forward amid protest

      Official specifications for upcoming releases of Java have been approved by an executive committee of the JCP (Java Committee Process), although the votes were not unanimous.

  • Programming

    • Software CEOs talking fluent dork: its the developers, stupid. New Kingmakers

      Apart from conflating Ruby on Rails the development framework with Ruby the programming language, something which many Ruby developers hate, but which its easy to slip into (so easy i slipped into it yesterday) Benioff was clearly not talking the language of the line of business, but rather of technology.

Leftovers

  • The Internet’s IPv4’s Clock is Ticking Down

    We all know that the Internet’s supply of Ipv4 addresses is running ever lower. What you may not know is that IPv4 exhaustion, when we’re completely out of available IPv4 addresses, is approaching even faster than the experts expected.

  • Verizon launches IPv6 transition services

    Verizon’s professional services arm has introduced a service to convert networks to IPv6, anticipating that large organizations will soon need help with such projects.

  • Kindle for the Web: Sounds Like…The Web, Only For a Fee

    Amazon’s Kindle books will soon be readable as content embedded on Web pages and Web page publishers will be able to land affiliate fees for Kindle books they sell to their own audiences, the company announced today.

    You too can now pay $9.99 to read text on a Web page, in Amazon’s proprietary format, with the graphically limited format of a printed text-only book of yore. Sure, your bookmarks and notes will carry over from the Web pages you’re reading on to other devices – but could that possibly be enough to warrant paying for Web-embedded eBooks? I don’t think so. Once it hits the Web, premium content is only sellable because of scarcity or a superior user experience. I don’t see either of those being true in this case.

  • Chinese Nobel boycott divides EU’s ‘inner circle’

    EU candidate country Serbia and four other nations on the Union’s periphery – Ukraine, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco – have disappointed the European Commission by deciding to boycott a ceremony awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

  • Pew Research: 8% of US adult Internet users are on Twitter, 2% use it daily

    In “the first-ever survey reading from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project that exclusively examines Twitter users,” the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has found that 8% of US adults that use the Internet use Twitter.

    The survey found that Twitter users are more likely to be young (18-29), African-American or Latino (“twice as likely to use Twitter as are white internet users”) and are twice as likely to be urbanites. Women and college-educated are also slightly more likely than average to be using Twitter.

  • Science

    • Republican Congressmen Crowdsource Attack on Science

      Under the guise of keeping federal spending under control, Republican congressmen have launched yet another attack on the basic scientific research that could lead to useful, potentially job-creating discoveries.

      House majority leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) announced last week that the YouCut Citizen Review, a crowdsourcing tool for identifying “wasteful spending that should be cut,” would make its very first target the National Science Foundation.

      One would expect science-targeting politicians to have learned caution from Sarah Palin’s fruit-fly debacle, in which the 2008 vice presidential candidate mocked the methodology of research into neurological disorders like Down syndrome and autism, both of which afflict members of her family.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Over a million EU citizens finally have their say on GM crops

      Can you imagine how it feels to cross the finishing line of a marathon race… the smile, the thrill, the excitement, the urge to hug the fellows athletes, and also the exhaustion, the feeling of just sitting down to take several breaths before articulating a word? Well, this is exactly how I feel because we just finished an amazing race to get 1 million people calling for safe food and stopping genetically modified (GM) crops in the EU. But this is not your average petition. For the first time we’re using our citizens rights under the EU Lisbon Treaty.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • ‘Witness Management’ training for Special Constables

      The most interesting thing I learned that day was that if we had to hit anyone with an asp (a metal extendable baton which is more commonly used than the side-handled batons) it was best to do it as hard as possible on the first occasion, as repeated strikes “look bad on YouTube”.

    • Khloe Kardashian: TSA Screenings Are Like ‘Raping You in Public’

      She’s not the only bargain basement celebrity to seek some sort of currency from the whole TSA body scanning thing. Former Baywatch meat model Donna D’errico claims she was subjected to a full-body scan simply because she is attractive, and that agents were laughing and whispering as she went through. Which, if that happened, it is awful and those employees should be fired. If D’errico is just exaggerating for an excuse to bring attention to how pretty she is, well she was fired by the court of public opinion many years ago, so who really cares.

    • FBI plant banned by mosque – because he was too extreme

      The spying game wasn’t all it was cracked up to be for Craig Monteilh, a convicted criminal recruited by the FBI to investigate the march of radical Islam into Southern California. His endless talk of violent “jihad” so alarmed worshippers at the local mosque, that they took out a restraining order against him.

    • Met Requests For Oyster Data At Record Levels

      The number of requests from the Metropolitan Police for Oyster data have reached new highs this year, according to the Green Party. As any good tinfoil-hatter knows, this data can be used to track an individual’s movements and while it’s great for catching criminals and those seemingly omnipresent terrorists, concerns have been raised over the passing of sensitive data.

  • Cablegate

    • PayPal Releases Funds to WikiLeaks as Supporters Strike Back

      The release of funds follows a number of denial-of-service attacks earlier this week that were aimed at the document-leaking site’s providers. Most of the providers are now refusing to work with WikiLeaks after the U.S. government accused it of being in possession of documents that were provided in violation of U.S. law.

    • Facebook and Twitter Slam the Door on Would-Be WikiLeaks Avengers

      Both Facebook and Twitter have closed accounts corresponding to Anonymous, a formerly 4chan-linked group organizing a string of DDoS attacks on organizations that refuse to work with WikiLeaks.

    • Wikileaks Has Committed No Crime

      Since August, when Wikileaks first published 91,000 classified documents relating to the Afghanistan War, and in October, when they published approximately 400,000 more relating to the War in Iraq, many conservative commentators have been clamoring for the Justice Department to prosecute Wikileaks for publishing classified information.

      But in the United States, generally publishing classified information is not a crime.

    • I am Julian Assange

      I want information so that I can hold my government accountable. If my country acts improperly and in my name, I want the proof. I want to know if there actually is no evidence proving weapons of mass destruction. I want to know if America is working with Israel to overthrow Iran’s leadership. I want data that has not been spun by reporters that work for publishers and broadcasters with political and business goals that conflict with the facts. I want to know.
      I am Julian Assange because I know unfettered information is valuable to democracy and a peaceful world. I can make the best decisions with the most knowledge. I can vote for the best candidates. I can support the smartest policies to help my country and the world. I am not naïve; I know that not every operation can be transparent but I have a right to know its outcome and how it has affected my country and me.
      I do not believe Julian Assange has done anything wrong. The cables that have been published have all been printed in newspapers and redacted to protect individuals at risk. I do not want my country to prosecute a man whose actions are changing the way we get information and how we make critical decisions. I now know that my president and my country’s military have not been honest about the war in Afghanistan. I know that my country has killed civilians and that we have refused to acknowledge our mistakes. I have learned that our allies are secretly consorting with our enemies.

    • 4chan rushes to WikiLeaks’ defense, forces Swiss banking site offline
    • Tom Flanagan and Ezra Levant

      Also calling for an assassination? Mr. Evangelical, Mike Huckabee! Oh, and of course Sarah Palin.

    • Why WikiLeaks Is Winning Its Info War

      There was a time when WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s voluntary surrender to the British authorities might have put an end to the crisis created by the Internet provocateur’s dissemination of tens of thousands of state secrets. But in the upside-down world of transnational crowdsourcing unleashed by WikiLeaks, in which thousands of activists around the globe can be rallied to defend and extend its work, Assange’s arrest is a win, not a loss, for his organization.

    • PayPal Busted for Bogus Wikileaks Excuse

      Facing a booing crowd in Europe, a PayPal executive tried to explain why his company blocked donations to Wikileaks. He cited a letter from the State Department calling the secrets-sharing site illegal. Sadly for him, no such letter exists.

    • WikiLeaks cables: Lockerbie bomber freed after Gaddafi’s ‘thuggish’ threats

      The British government’s deep fears that Libya would take “harsh and immediate” action against UK interests if the convicted Lockerbie bomber died in a Scottish prison are revealed in secret US embassy cables which show London’s full support for the early release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

      Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, made explicit and “thuggish” threats to halt all trade deals with Britain and harass embassy staff if Megrahi remained in jail, the cables show. At the same time “a parade of treats” was offered by Libya to the Scottish devolved administration if it agreed to let him go, though the cable says they were turned down.

    • Libya made threats to U.K. over Lockerbie bomber: WikiLeaks

      Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi threatened to cut trade with Britain and warned of “enormous repercussions” if the Lockerbie bomber died in jail, Britain’s Guardian newspaper said on Wednesday, citing U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks.

    • Meet The New Public Face Of WikiLeaks: Kristinn Hrafnsson

      But there’s a second spokesperson for WikiLeaks who has been coming into the spotlight over the last few months: Icelandic investigative journalist and WikiLeaks staffer Kristinn Hrafnsson. Hrafnsson has been working with the whistleblowing group since April, and as Assange has become more reclusive and had his travel restricted by legal threats, Hrafnsson has become an increasingly visible spokesperson.

    • Julian Assange and the Computer Conspiracy; “To destroy this invisible government”
    • Defend WikiLeaks or lose free speech

      Journalists cover wars by not taking sides. But when the war is on free speech itself, neutrality is no longer an option.

      The WikiLeaks releases are a pivotal moment in the future of journalism. They raise any number of ethical and legal issues for journalists, but one is becoming paramount.

      As I said last week, and feel obliged to say again today, our government — and its allies, willing or coerced, in foreign governments and corporations — are waging a powerful war against freedom of speech.

    • IRONY: “You’re either with us, or you’re with WikiLeaks”

      Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were the intrepid young reporters working for The Washington Post when they broke the Watergate scandal which brought down the Nixon administration.

    • The Internet Society on the Wikileaks issue

      This further underscores that the removal of a domain is an ineffective tool to suppress communication, merely serving to undermine the integrity of the global Internet and its operation.

    • Diplomatic Source Code

      What Wikileaks has done is provide us with plenty of examples where the political and corporate elite will do anything and everything to maintain the status quo. We see various suspicious compiled binary announcements from companies who claim to spot “Wikileaks broke the terms and conditions of our product or service”. What we do not see is the source code, which many rightly suspect to include calls from US officials threatening everything from tax audits, blacklists from governmentt circles and contracts, being painted as “unpatriotic” to lose them money from “patriotic” consumers and so on. Those same companies like to claim on one had that they do not judge their clients, while several have deemed Wikileaks guilty without any trial. Both Mastercard and Visa happily allow the KKK as customers, but not Wikileaks for example.

      Given how governments and corporations are desperately trying to silence and smear Wikileaks, it simply adds fuel to the fire, it spreads the motivation of free thinking people around the world to stand up and defend what Wikileaks is doing against it’s detractors. Whilst I do not agree 100% with everything Wikileaks put out, I am 100% behind the need for them and others like them to exist. They are playing the role that the news outlets are supposed to play and all too often fail miserably at.

    • Canadian firm caught up in Wiki wars
    • They got the wrong person

      Then there are many war criminals who ought to be in jail and who are not. Most prominent of these are Bush, Blair, Cheney, Straw and their crew.

    • True to its word, WikiLeaks releases more cables despite founder’s arrest

      WikiLeaks shrugged off the jailing of its founder by publishing a new tranche of secret diplomatic cables on Wednesday, heaping more embarrassment on the United States and some of its closest allies.

      After Julian Assange spent his first night behind bars as a remand prisoner in London, his website revealed Washington had branded Australia’s ex-premier Kevin Rudd as a “mistake-prone control freak” and that the British government was relieved when its Scottish counterparts freed the Lockerbie bomber.

    • Does WikiLeaks damage the brand image of wikis?

      Instead, I want to explore the impact that the WikiLeaks brand name is having/will have on brands closely identifying with the word “wiki”, and analyze whether WikiLeaks will impact the acceptance of collaboration and transparency initiatives within corporations.

    • Are we starting a full-out war on the Internet?

      I watch my friends root for the attackers and think this is the way wars always begin. The “fighting the good fight” spirit. Let’s go over there and show them who we are. Let’s make a symbolic statement. By the time the war is underway, we won’t remember any of that. We will wonder how we could have been so naive to think that war was something wonderful or glorious. People don’t necessarily think of wars being fought on the net and over the net, but new technology comes to war all the time, and one side often doesn’t understand.

    • What Is LOIC?

      LOIC (“Low Orbit Ion Cannon”) is an application developed by 4Chan-affiliated hackers designed to—when used en masse by thousands of anonymous users—launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on websites. Like Visa.com and Mastercard.com, for instance.

    • Pundit calls for development of magical anti-Wikileaks computer virus

      It’s hard to even begin to summarize coverage on Wikileaks-related stuff today. But if you read one thing, read Marc Thiessen’s fresh item at the Washington Post.

    • PayPal VP On Blocking WikiLeaks: State Department Said It Was Illegal

      Bedier also said that PayPal’s decision was influenced by the fact that the State Department deemed WikiLeaks illegal in a letter sent on November 27th, a statement that was not followed up on by Yiannopoulos. It is still unclear what exact US laws WikiLeaks is breaking.

    • Woman felt threatened by Flanagan email

      A Toronto woman says she felt threatened by an email she says she got from a former Stephen Harper adviser concerning WikiLeaks.

      Janet Reymond says she was “outraged” after Tom Flanagan recently suggested the founder of WikiLeaks should be killed.

      Flanagan, now a University of Calgary professor, has since apologized, but Calgary police are investigating the comment.

    • Feds hint at charges for WikiLeaks’ Assange

      The U.S. government indicated today that WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange could be in legal jeopardy for disclosing classified information because he is “not a journalist.”

      When asked whether “traditional media” organizations that republish secret documents could be prosecuted, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said that the administration applauds “the role of journalists in your daily pursuits.”

    • Join EFF in Standing up Against Internet Censorship

      Over the past few weeks, we here at EFF have watched as whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has fueled an emotionally charged debate about the secrecy of government information and the people’s right to know. We have welcomed this debate, and the fact that there have been myriad views is the embodiment of the freedom of expression upon which this country was founded.

    • WikiLeaks: Moving Target

      If nothing else, the massive amounts of traffic they are attracting, and the efforts of actors unknown to shut them down, have created a unique laboratory for studying Internet resilience.

    • US declares Wikileaks off-limits to government researchers

      The US government is clamping down on scientists’ ability to discuss and surf freely as part of its response to the release of classified cables by Wikileaks.

      Today at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, moderators who run an environmental science discussion group called Coral-List have begun deleting any posts that make reference to Wikileak documents. On Friday, at Fermilab in Chicago, access to Wikileaks was blocked by the IT department to “help prevent someone from inadvertently downloading a classified document to a machine on our network” The same day at NASA, employees were told not to use their computers to download information from Wikileaks.

    • ‘Dangerous precedent’ set over Wikileaks ban
    • Why Wouldn’t Google Mirror Wikileaks?

      Consider: Your mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.” You thumbed your nose at Wall Street, and you proved them wrong. You’ve stood up to the entire media industry by purchasing YouTube and defending fair use in the face of extraordinary pressure. You’ve done the same with the political and economic giant that is China*. And you’re hanging the entirety of your defense against European monopoly charges on the premise of free speech.

      So why not take a bold step, and stand with Wikileaks? The world’s largest Internet company taking a clear stand would be huge news, and it’d call the bloviating bluff of all the politicians acting out of fear of embarrassment, or worse. The Wikileaks story may well be, as pointed out by many, the most important and defining story of the Internet age.

    • How State Dept. Knowingly Put People At Risk

      Below is the text of the U.S. State Department’s letter to Wikileaks’ attorney – which includes/groups Wikileaks’ founder (or the well known of its founders) Julian Assange, together with his attorney Jennifer Robinson. The mere act of treating attorney and client together as one (guilty) party, according to international law, is subject itself to legal ramifications. Good job State Department. You’re nothing if not consistent – and we know this from the cables don’t we?

    • Silencing Wikileaks is silencing the press

      Silencing Mastercard.com with pingfloods or malware isn’t going to do much to advance the cause of liberating those who would be silenced. But what exactly should be done? Normally I’d dismiss tweets describing this as “the world’s first great infowar” as hyperbole. But this time, everything really does feel unprecedented.

    • Wikileaks FAQ

      According to the Associated Press, Wikileaks gave four news organizations (Le Monde, El Pais, The Guardian and Der Spiegel) all 251,287 classified documents.

    • Report: Wikileaks cables show Texas company “helped pimp little boys to stoned Afghan cops”

      In the Houston Press, an extensive blog post untangling an alarming story from the state department cables: “another horrific taxpayer-funded sex scandal for DynCorp, the private security contractor tasked with training the Afghan police,” and apparent proof that the company procured male children for bacha bazi (“boy-play”) parties.

    • Berkeley Considers Honoring Private Suspected In WikiLeaks Case

      Berkeley City Council members are considering a resolution that would declare the Army private suspected of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks a hero and call for his release.

      The council is expected to vote on the resolution in support of Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is being held in a military brig, on Tuesday.

      It has already been approved by the city’s Peace and Justice Commission.

      Bob Meola, the peace and justice commissioner who authored the resolution, tells the San Francisco Chronicle that Manning is a patriot and should get a medal.

    • Julian Assange extradition attempt an uphill struggle, says specialist

      A former extradition specialist for the Crown Prosecution Service today predicted it would be “very difficult” for Sweden to get the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, sent back to face sexual assault allegations.

      Raj Joshi, a former head of the European and International Division at the CPS, said Sweden’s lack of a formal criminal charge against Assange increased his lawyers’ chances of success in blocking the extradition attempt.

      Assange’s lawyers are scheduled to visit him tomorrow in prison for the first time since he was jailed on remand yesterday after Sweden requested his extradition.

    • So WikiLeaks Is Evil For Releasing Documents… But DynCorp Gets A Pass For Pimping Young Boys To Afghan Cops?

      One refrain we keep hearing against Wikileaks is that the cable releases aren’t really “whistleblowing,” because they’re not really revealing anything. However, it seems like each day there’s another big revelation of rather horrible things being done (and covered up) by the US government. The latest, pointed out by Boing Boing, involves a report from a cable that US-based private security contractor DynCorp, who was hired by the US to train Afghani police, was apparently supplying drugs and young boys for a sort of sex party.

      The details are horrifying. The Afghani interior minister apparently went to US officials to warn them that reporters were sniffing around this story, and urged them to try to kill the story. He specifically warned that this would look bad if the connection to DynCorp was made clear (he called them “foreign mentors”). Apparently, US diplomats told him not to worry, and the eventual story was in fact watered down greatly (until now, of course) calling the whole thing a “tribal dance,” rather than a party where young boys wear “scanty women’s clothes” and “dance seductively” before being “auctioned off to the highest bidder” for sex.

    • Assange accuser may have ceased
      co-operating

      Anna Ardin, one of the two complainants in the rape and sexual assault case against WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, has left Sweden, and may have ceased actively co-operating with the Swedish prosecution service and her own lawyer, sources in Sweden told Crikey today.

    • Why Leaks Are Scary

      Leaks hurt. Truth hurts, too. But always bother to check who it hurts the most. Therein lies the answer regarding the ethics of a leak.

    • WikiLeaks

      1. Encryption isn’t the issue here. Of course the cables were encrypted, for transmission. Then they were received and decrypted, and — so it seems — put into an archive on SIPRNet, where lots of people had access to them.

      2. Secrets are only as secure as the least trusted person who knows them. The more people who know a secret, the more likely it is to be made public.

      3. I’m not surprised that these cables were available to so many people. We know that access control is hard, and that it’s impossible to know beforehand what information someone will need to do their job. What is surprising is that there wasn’t any audit logs kept about who accessed all these cables. That seems like a no-brainer.

    • UN rapporteur says Assange shouldn’t be prosecuted

      The United Nations representative for freedom of opinion and expression says he is now working on a new report on free speech and the internet.

      Frank La Rue says he doesn’t think that the United States Government will be able to make a case against Julian Assange. But he warns it would set a very bad example for free speech if it did take action against him.

    • Lawyers demand protection for Assange

      THE Australian lawyer for WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange has written to Attorney-General Robert McClelland asking him to take formal action against prominent North American figures calling for Mr Assange to be harmed.

    • Parsing the impact of Anonymous

      The current chapter in the WikiLeaks saga has finally forced me to come out of my blogging semi-retirement! While I’m still trying to make sense of everything that has happened in the last ten days, here are some analytical notes on Anonymous and the challenges facing the Obama administratio as it mulls an appropriate response to WikiLeaks.

      The impact of the recent wave of cyber-attacks launched by Anonymous on a handful of companies that dropped WikiLeaks as their client – Amazon, EveryDNS, MasterCard, Visa and others – is hard to gauge. I’m certain these attacks won’t make any of these firms to reconside, strike peace with WikiLeaks, and offer them some vouchers in compensation. But could the attacks serve as a deterrent to other firms that have been considering dropping WikiLeaks?

    • Stop the crackdown on WikiLeaks

      WikiLeaks has not been charged with a crime related to the release of documents, yet the site’s access to the Internet has been disrupted and major efforts are underway to block credit card processing of donations to keep the site running.

      Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have called WikiLeaks a terrorist organization. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a leading Democrat, has proposed that Julian Assange be prosecuted under the Espionage Act — potentially setting a precedent that could expose any journalist working on national security to a credible threat of imprisonment.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate pledges are 9 gigatonnes short

      The “gigatonne gap” looms large as UN climate talks in Cancún, Mexico, enter their final days without new commitments from big polluters to cut their carbon dioxide emissions. A five to nine-gigatonne gap, to be precise. That is the gap between what has been pledged and what is needed to avoid dangerous global warming.

      To keep the world on track to cap global warming at under 2 °C by mid-century, rising CO2 emissions should be kept below 44 gigatonnes a year in 2020, more than a third higher than today. But the UN Environment Programme warned here today that current national pledges would leave 2020 emissions anywhere between 5 and 9 gigatonnes too high.

  • Finance

    • Want To Know Why Visa & Mastercard Cut Off Wikileaks? Because Its Latest Leak Was About Them…

      Visa’s slogan used to be “Everywhere you want to be,” but apparently one place it did not want to be was on Wikileaks. We’ve already covered how both Visa and MasterCard cut off Wikileaks quite quickly, with MasterCard even going so far as to claim that it did so because of illegal activity by Wikileaks — despite no charges or convictions for any actual illegal activity.

    • Daily Show: The Big Bank Theory

      Americans outsmart themselves with fancy security measures to the point where their money is committing suicide on the press.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Hyperlink libel fears heard by top court

      “Hyperlinks are vital to the expression and use of the internet,” said Harvey Delaney, one of two lawyers representing the respondent in the case, B.C. resident Jon Newton.

    • Brazil’s largest newspaper sues independent blog and begins a new era of censorship

      As we saw during Obama’s election and in others all over Europe, the internet also developed an important role during the 2010 presidential campaign in Brazil, which culminated in the election of President Lula’s candidate Dilma Roussef. While most blogs gave support to left-wing candidate Roussef, most TV networks, radios, newspapers and magazines took the side of the José Serra and his strong political-religious-didactic conservative coalition (who ended up losing the election). If there were any questions about the importance of the internet in Brazil, it is undeniable as of November 24th 2009, when Lula gave, to blogs only, the first online interview in the history of the Brazilian presidency, in a demonstration of respect for the important contrast that they had created against the traditional press.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Google To Make Video Services More Annoying After Buying DRM Company?

      You would think that the folks over at Google would know by now what a joke DRM is — especially after the company’s disastrous foray into server-based DRM on its original Google Video platform that required users to “check in” before they could watch videos they thought they had “purchased.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Wikileaks Cable Shows US Involvement in Swedish Anti-Piracy Efforts

        A yet to be released cable from the US Embassy in Stockholm will reveal that the United States Government was very concerned about file-sharing related issues in Sweden. The US Embassy actively worked with the Swedish authorities to reduce file-sharing related threats, which included The Pirate Bay which was raided in 2006 following US pressure.

      • ACS:Law come unstuck

        Default judgment is a speedy way for claimants to obtain judgment without a trial. In most cases a defendant served with a claim form and particulars of claim is supposed to acknowledge service and then file a defence. If not acknowledgement or defence is forthcoming the claimant can ask the court to give it judgment in default.

        This is where ACS:Law start to come unstuck. In 3 of the cases a defence had been filed in court. So default judgment does not apply. In a further 3 of the cases there was no evidence on the court file that the claim form and particulars of claim had been served on the defendant. It is ordinarily the court’s job to serve these documents, but there’s no presumption that it has. In my practice I have come across situations where some administrative mistake has been made and the court has failed to do so. Whatever the reason, it is bad practice to issue requests for default judgment without checking with the court that no defence has been filed. A slap on the wrist for ACS:Law in my view. As the judge said “The requests for judgment should never have been filed.”

      • Truly Decentralized BitTorrent Downloading Has Finally Arrived

        BitTorrent is a great technology to share files both quickly and efficiently, but like all other P2P-technologies it has an Achilles’ heel. The download process relies in part on central servers that can crash or go offline for a variety of reasons. To address this vulnerability the first truly decentralized BitTorrent/P2P client has been developed, meaning that no central trackers, or even BitTorrent search engines are required to download movies, software and music.

      • MPAA Reminding Universities They Need To Crack Down On File Sharing — Leaves Out How It Lied To Get The Law Passed

        Back in 2008, we wrote about how the MPAA convinced Congress to pass legislation to make colleges and universities responsible for reducing copyright infringement on campus or lose federal funding. The law was really a trial run of sorts — an attempt to see how this could work for making ISPs responsible. Of course, in order to get the law passed, the MPAA flat out lied. It made up numbers, saying that 44% of “losses” from file sharing came from college campuses. This number was so ridiculously wrong that the MPAA later claimed “human error” before saying the number was really 15%. But even that was dubious — and when the GAO asked the MPAA to support these numbers, the MPAA refused to provide the data. Pretty telling.

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Rooted NOOKcolor with FDroid / FOSS


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2 Comments

  1. saulgoode said,

    December 9, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Gravatar

    For the first story in Web Browsers section, the link appears to be misdirecting to an unrelated page. I suspect that the desired target is on pluggd.in

    http://www.pluggd.in/browser-war-india-297/

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, thank you. I’ve just fixed it.

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