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12.10.10

IRC Proceedings: December 10th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Links 10/12/2010: Mandriva Wallpaper Contest, Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) Near $50.00

Posted in News Roundup at 6:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Geeks.com Gives Full Refund When New Ubuntu Distribution Breaks Netbook

      Adam ordered an older netbook from geeks.com. When it arrived, the wireless Internet didn’t work, so he upgraded the version of Ubuntu Linux from 8.04 to 10.04. This just broke almost everything else on the computer. He returned the netbook to geeks.com, but didn’t expect them to offer a full refund of the purchase price and shipping — which goes against the stated return policy.

      A few weeks ago I bought a netbook laptop as a special from geeks.com. It was $199.95 plus $9.95 shipping — total of $209.50. It was an off brand and an older model, but would suit my needs…if it worked. It came installed with Ubuntu linux 8.04, a version that was two years out of date.

    • 20% CAGR for GNU/Linux

      W3Schools.com has released their Browser OS shares for November. GNU/Linux is at 5% starting from 2.6% in November 2003. That is 13.3% CAGR in share over 7 years. In those years the number of PCs has increased 7% per annum (10% CAGR of shipments – 3% deaths) so the number of PCs received/installed of GNU/Linux has increased 20% per annum.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 2 Episode 23

      In this episode: The KDE team rebrands KOffice into the Calligra Suite. OpenSUSE unveils a rolling release version of its distribution and Google’s Chrome OS has been delayed until next year. This time, we remember our discoveries, and ask whether next year might really be the year of Linux on the desktop. Also, would you like to be part of the team?

    • Chrome OS – All the Advantages of Thin Clients and No Need for a Server

      Thin clients have many advantages. One barrier to adoption has been that one needs special knowledge to set up a server to run them. Even with the availability of GNU/Linux installers that create a server, one needs to know stuff about networking or configuration to change or add things to the system.

      see

      * Skolelinux
      * Ubuntu, from the “alternate” CD
      * Debian GNU/Linux, using the package manager, APT
      * EdUbuntu

  • Google

    • Google announces first Chrome OS notebook, beta testing program

      Google announced more details about its web-centric Chrome OS operating system, including a new 12.1-inch “Cr-48″ reference notebook that will be provided to beta testers. The first commercial Chrome OS notebooks will ship in mid-2011 from Acer and Samsung, and will be available with free cellular connectivity provided by Verizon, the company added.

    • The Five Best Chrome Webapps That Aren’t Just Bookmarks

      To be honest, there’s a lot in the Chrome web store that is underwhelming; many apps are essentially links to popular webapps. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing—it does still provide a place for you to search out and find good webapps for what you need, and many of today’s webapps are pretty fantastic thanks to new technologies like HTML5. Once you find them, however, you’re left with something pretty similar to a custom start page from the likes of myfav.es—or just Chrome’s new tab page, but more customized. If you’re looking for the Chrome web store to provide something that isn’t already in your bookmarks bar, these five apps are sure to impress.

    • Chrome 8 shines

      Also built into Chrome 8 is support for the forthcoming Chome Web Apps store. The store, which is still to be launched, will allow users to download paid-for and free applications for the Chrome browser.

      Synchronisation has been improved as well and all settings can be accessed from the Google Dashboard, with links to the Google Dashboard provided in the Chrome browser’s Options dialogue box.

      Performance wise, Google says that Chrome 8 should perform two to three times faster on most platforms than the version 7 release.

    • Chrome’s new “Crankshaft” optimises JavaScript at runtime

      Optimisation only makes sense if the code in question is used a lot – this seems to be the philosophy followed by the compilers of the latest incarnation of Google’s free V8 JavaScript Engine. The new “Crankshaft” compilation infrastructure for V8 uses runtime information to see which parts of the code would benefit the most from optimisation. The developers say that the technique is mainly useful in large JavaScript programs; short scripts, such as those used by the SunSpider benchmark, do not benefit much.

    • Useful extensions for Google chrome | Week49
    • I signed up to be a beta tester of the new Google Chrome notebook

      I signed up to be a beta tester of the new Google Chrome notebook

    • Chrome OS Notebooks Will Be Windows-proof

      The Chrome OS Notebook appears to be a rather basic system that’s almost the perfect definition of a netbook. Like the early netbooks, the Cr-48 runs a non-Windows operating system and its primary purpose is to run a browser.

      While Chrome OS aims to make things quite a bit more user-friendly compared to the early day 7-inch netbooks, there is always going to be the case where a user will ask where the start button is to find solitaire.

    • Google Shows Off Android ‘Honeycomb’ Tablet

      Google Mobile Platform vice president Andy Rubin literally arrived with a bag full of tricks at the D: Get Into Mobile Conference, showing publicly for the very first time an Android “Honeycomb” tablet.

      The roughly 10-inch Motorola device was sleek, black, thin, and sported an Android interface unlike any we’ve seen before. There was a very clean homepage, but the app page looked almost Apple iPad-like. Plus, when Rubin brought up the Gmail app, it looked almost exactly like Gmail on the iPad.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • [Neary:] Curing “Shy Developer Syndrome”

        It is one thing to have engineers answer questions when they have the knowledge to do so. It is another thing to have them submit their plans and patches to a community forum and have them exposed under the harsh light of peer review.

        On more than one occasion, I have heard a hiring manager say that he didn’t have time to have a developer go through peer review of specs or patches – after all, he was hired because he was competent to do the job, and what are we paying him for if he’s going to be second-guessed by “the community”? After a first job or internship, peer review is more an exception than the rule for professional software developers (regrettably, I might add).

  • Distributions

    • Sabayon to Bring Christmas Surprise

      The holidays are upon us and many are running around trying to get loved ones shiny boxes to open Christmas morning. Oftentimes, Linux users get a cute plush penguin or a cool book. But sometimes surprises come from the most unexpected places.

      This is what will happen this year, only now it’s no longer a surprise. Despite being guilty of letting the cat out of the bag, Sabayon is planning a Christmastime Gaming Edition release. Fabio Erculiani, Sabayon founder and lead developer, said, “We can show the world that Linux is a valuable, performant Gaming platform.” This is sure to include a long menu of popular games native for Linux and demonstration versions for several commercial offerings.

      [...]

      So, be sure to hit the hay early Christmas Eve so Santa can leave your shiny new Gaming Edition under your keyboard.

    • Linux New Media Awards 2011: Readers Choose Your Favorite Linux Distribution

      Readers are asked to decide who deserves to win the 2011 Linux New Media Award for Favorite Linux Distribution.

    • Reviews

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Enter Mandriva’s Wallpaper Contest

        As with previous version, Mandriva is holding a contest to bulk up its wallpaper choices in the upcoming release, Mandriva 2010.2. This is the second update to 2010 Spring due out around Christmas. This time though, you get to vote for which you like best. But hurry, contest ends December 16.

    • Red Hat Family

      • UBS AG (NYSE: UBS) Boosts Price Target on Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) to $50.00

        Equities research analysts at UBS AG (NYSE: UBS) boosted their price target on shares of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) from $44.00 to $50.00 in a research note to clients and investors on Wednesday. The analysts currently have a “buy” rating on the stock.

      • Red Hat gets rating boost from RBC Capital Markets

        Linux software developer Red Hat Inc.’s stock could rise 20 percent over the next year on better-than-expected revenue, an RBC Capital Markets analyst predicted Wednesday.

      • Red Hat rises on upbeat report
      • Red Hat Releases Next-Gen Business Rules Management System

        Red Hat, Inc., a provider of open source solutions, has announced the next generation Business Rules Management System, JBoss Enterprise BRMS 5.1, as part of its open source middleware portfolio, JBoss Enterprise Middleware.

        In a release, the Company said that JBoss Enterprise BRMS is an open source business rules management system that enables active decisions with easy business rules development, access and change management. This functionality allows businesses to quickly change the rules and active decisions that underpin enterprise applications to respond to market dynamics and competitive positioning.

      • Notable Analyst Rating Changes by SGW: Red Hat, Dominion Resources, Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., Netflix

        The 52-week range of the stock is $26.51-$49. An analyst at RBC Capital upgraded shares of Red Hat from Sector Perform to Outperform this morning. The firm also boosted its pricetarget by nearly 43% from $40 to $57.

      • Red Hat Joins Brief Filed with U.S. Supreme Court Opposing Expansion of Standard for Inducing Patent Infringement

        Red Hat, Inc., a provider of open source solutions, announced that it joined in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking correction of the standard for inducing patent infringement.

        According to a release, the “friend of the court,” or amicus brief, submitted by Red Hat and others seeks reversal of a lower court decision that threatens to expand patent litigation. The brief argues that the law requires that only those who actually know of the specific patent at issue and know that it covers the alleged infringing activity can be found liable.

    • Debian Family

      • Testing MEPIS 11 Alpha 4!

        It certainly is faster compared to Mepis 8.5 on my old desktop box, which by the way does not allow pretty effects regardless of the distro I use.

      • The new Debian wallpaper just rolled onto my Squeeze desktop

        The desktop-base package just updated on my Debian Squeeze desktop, and it brought with it the new wallpaper for the distribution’s soon-to-be-stable release. What do you think? (Click the image for the full 1366×768 view).

      • Debian Squeeze updates gdm3 today, and goofy spaceship theme is on the login screen too

        I wrote yesterday about the “whimsical spaceship” (that’s a good name, don’t you think?) theme coming to the Debian Squeeze desktop and Grub screen and wondering why the login screen still was so Lennyish.

        Today a new gdm3 package rolled into Squeeze, and once it installed (I’ve been using Aptitude on the command line to do the updates) I logged out and saw yet more spaceship whimsy.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.10: A Couple of Gripes

          To be sure, every release of Ubuntu — just like every other operating system out there, open-source or proprietary — has its bugs, some of them quite serious. Ubuntu 10.10 is not a standout in this respect.

        • Ubuntu Certification: 101

          The Ubuntu Certification Programme has been around for a while. I think now is a good time to start sharing more on this activity with the community and invite participation. We have created a wiki with the following content to start the conversation.

        • Ubuntu One Music Supports AirPlay on iPhone

          Ubuntu One Music has now support for iPhone’s new AirPlay technology, which allows users to stream audio, video and image files stored in your Ubuntu One account directly to your Applet TV, stereo device, or any other AirPlay-compatible hardware. The AirPlay technology was made available by Apple via the new iOS 4.2 software update.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint 10: A Perfect 10?

            Recently I said that Ubuntu 10.10 is really not a compelling upgrade. Linux Mint 10, though it’s based off of 10.10, is (in my opinion) worth the trouble. Like 10.10, Linux Mint 10 is not a revolutionary update, but the changes here are not focused on the Canonical services.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • 1.8 Billion ARM CPUs

      That’s how many one FAB, TSMC, might produce in 2011. TSMC expects to produce about 1.8 million wafers for Qualcomm in 2011 and each wafer can hold about 1000 ARM CPUs. These CPUs will go into iPads, smart-phones, smart-thingies, and a variety of personal computers, few of which will run that other OS, certainly not “7″.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • I’ll Take Gingerbread and Honeycomb Over Fruit

          Thankfully, Google has started the release process for their latest and greatest Android version — Gingerbread. I’m looking forward to installing CyanogenMod’s spin of 2.3 as soon as it’s available. The big frustration for me, however, is that Gingerbread turned out not to be the tablet killing OS we all hoped for. Oh sure, there are some Android tablets available, but until Google allows regular access to the Marketplace, tablets running Android are going to be a kludge.

        • Is Rubin’s 300,000-Androids-a-Day Tweet on Target?

          There’s no doubt that Androids are swarming, but 300,000 activations a day, as Google VP of Engineering Andy Rubin tweeted? “Seems like a stretch,” said Frost & Sullivan analyst Michael Jude, who added the figure “may represent the number of phones being shipped from manufacturers, many of which end up in warehouses rather than in people’s pockets.”

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Jolicloud 1.1 update released today will “reinvent the computing experience”

        The Jolicloud team have today announced their intention to release Jolicloud 1.1 for download later today with updates rolling out to current Jolicloud users during this week. Click through for more details…

        The message from today’s announcement is clear – with Jolicloud 1.1 the French developer is offering its users an experience one step ahead of what Google, Apple and Microsoft are announcing. “While everybody talks about HTML5 as the future, we deliver it today, now and for everyone,” explains the blog post. “But here is the trick, you should not be forced to buy an expensive device to benefit of these technologies. With Jolicloud, you just need to recycle any computer.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • Ex-Goldman Programmer Found Guilty in Code Theft

    Mr. Marino contended Mr. Aleynikov simply made a mistake in trying to download open-source code from Goldman, but didn’t steal proprietary information from the investment bank. He said Mr. Aleynikov made no efforts to sell the information he took and didn’t share it with Teza.

  • OStatic’s Superguide to Free, Open Source Tools

    On a regular basis, we at OStatic round up our ongoing collections of open source resources, tutorials, reviews and project tours. These educational toolkits are a big part of the learning mission we try to preserve at the site. We regularly collect the best Firefox extensions, free online books on open source topics, free tools for developers, resources for working with and enjoying online video and audio, Linux tutorials, and much more. In this post, you’ll find an updated set of more than 45 collections and resources. Hopefully, you’ll find something to learn from here, and the good news is that everything found in this post is free.

  • LibreOffice 3.3 RC1 is released ! With Installation instructions -Fedora, LinuxMint, Ubuntu & Debian | PPA Ubuntu

    LibreOffice RC1 is released, this new beta release comes to fix some known issues, now the Linux and MacOSX builds are English builds with the possiblity to install language packs. Find bellow the release notes in details, also the installation instructions for Fedora, Debian, LinuxMint and Ubuntu.

  • opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM Update

    opentaps In The Cloud with Amazon EC2

    Want to get up and running quickly and easily on enterprise-class open source ERP and CRM?

    Want to run it on demand on world class infrastructure and pay by the hour?

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • WebSockets disabled in Firefox 4

        Due to a vulnerability in the design of the WebSocket protocol, the Mozilla Foundation has decided to disable support for this protocol in the forthcoming Firefox 4 Beta 8 release. The vulnerability in the code for transparent proxies can potentially be exploited to poison the proxy cache and inject manipulated pages.

      • Firefox 3.6.13 Update Available

        Just like promised Mozilla has delivered an update to the stable branch of the Firefox web browser. The update, which is released on the same day as the Mozilla Thunderbird update, fixes several security and stability issues in the web browser, making it a recommended update for all Firefox 3.6.12 and earlier users. Firefox 3.6.13 is currently in distribution to wordlwide mirror servers to ensure that updating Firefox users will not experience lags or slowdowns during the rush once the update has been announced officially.
        The official update notification can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, it is hard to say at this point.

      • Mozilla’s new CEO explains his love-hate relationship with Google

        Browser-maker Mozilla still has a tricky relationship with Google, judging from statements made last night by its new chief executive, Gary Kovacs.

        Reporters had a chance to ask Kovacs a few questions at the Mozilla open house yesterday, when the company invited us into its Mountain View, Calif. headquarters to preview some of the new features in its Firefox browser. The gathering came just a day after Google held its own press event, where it announced some improvements to its Chrome Web browser, as well as a pilot program for Chrome OS, its netbook operating system that’s built around Chrome.

  • Databases

    • MariaDB 5.1.53 And 5.2.4 Released

      This past Monday updates in both the 5.1 and 5.2 series of MariaDB were released. It’s a pretty big deal, as some issues have been solved that affect a large number of users. You should read the release notes for MariaDB 5.1.53 and for MariaDB 5.2.4 as well as the release announcement. The annoucement contains download links from worldwide mirrors.

  • Oracle

    • Apache is being forced into a Java Fork

      Everyone who follows Java knew that the Apache Software Foundation was going to resign from its nominal Java Community Process leadership position. Apache had given fair-warning that it was not going to rubber-stamp Oracle’s Java plans in November. Then, when Oracle rolled over Apache and Google’s objections to its Java plans in December, the scene was set for Apache to leave and, eventually, force a Java code fork.

      There’s a long story behind why Apache, a four-time JCP “Member of the Year” is going with its own Java-related plans. The story actually doesn’t start with Oracle, but with how Sun handled the “open-sourcing” of Java in 2006.

    • Oracle Prepping for Server OS Domination

      Oracle is planning to take over the world. Or, at the very least, the server OS world. That’s the logical conclusion to reach after hearing the recent comments of Larry Ellison, Oracle’s bombastic CEO. “Solaris is clearly the No. 1 Unix, and we’re working very hard at making Oracle Enterprise Linux the number one Linux,” InfoWorld reported he said at a company event last week.

      [...]

      When it comes to security, the upgraded Unix server OS will include secure boot, so applications and data are secure as they start. The OS will also enforce role-based root access and encrypt ZFS datasets to provide extra security to stored data.

  • CMS

    • Navigating the open source CMS selection process

      The popularity of open source content management systems, and the number of open source CMS options have grown exponentially in the last three years. However, it has become increasingly difficult for users to separate the good from the bad, in a market where–irony of ironies–even proprietary options are trying to look more like open source projects in order to get buyers’ attention.

  • Business

  • Project Releases

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Want to present your thesis? Please be compatible with Windows

      Last week I had a weird experience. I went to the Department of Communications and Social Research of the Faculty of Communication Sciences of La Sapienza, the first and biggest University in Rome. The reason I went there was to attend the presentation of the Italian Manifesto for Open Government, on which I’ll report soon in another article. The promoters of the Manifesto spent the whole morning explaining in detail all its ten articles, including the fourth and fifth that strongly assert the importance of opening public data, that is publishing them without restrictions in open file formats.

    • A nail in Flash’s coffin: YouTube is running an HTML5 Beta

      Even though Adobe won’t produce a Flash Player for Linux on PowerPC, it still maintains the player for Mac OS X on PowerPC. Nice for the Mac users, shitty for the Linux users.

      Aside from all of that. Why should video — a growing component of information-delivery on the Web — be funneled through Flash?

      Luckily HTML5 is there to save us from all of this. Once it’s totally rolled out, video will come into Web pages through standard tagging that enabled web browsers understand, and the video will be presented in codecs that are already part of that browser’s collection of viewable formats.

      And if/when the biggest video site around, and that would be YouTube, dumps Flash for HTML5, look the #$$ out.

    • Upgrading China’s ITC Standards Strategy

      To my mind, the biggest variable that will determine whether China will reap the largest benefits from its participation in global ICT standards activities will be whether it decides to only participate in the traditional “Big I” standards organizations, or whether it will also fully engage in participating in, and more importantly founding, standards development and promotional consortia. Least effective of all will be continuing to form inward-looking consortia limited to domestic companies. From this route I can see only institutionalizing antagonism, standards wars, and lost opportunities.

Leftovers

  • Ghosts of Unix past, part 4: High-maintenance designs
  • Security

  • Cablegate

    • Ron Paul Vigorously Defends WikiLeaks

      Distancing himself from Republican Party orthodoxy (as he’s prone to doing), Texas Congressman Ron Paul gave a rousing speech on the U.S. House floor in support of WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. “Why is the hostility directed at Assange, the publisher, and not at our governments failure to protect classified information?” asked Paul. He went on to compare WikiLeaks to the Pentagon Papers, explaining how both exposed American wars that were based on “lies.” He also asked his colleagues which events caused more deaths, “Lying us into war, or the release of the WikiLeaks papers?”

    • Un-Civil War on the Internet

      The nominal trigger for this was the denial of service to WikiLeaks by PayPal, Visa and MasterCard, supposedly for “illegal activities” although the USA has stated that the USA has not charged WikiLeaks with any illegal activity. PayPal was caught in a lie that it claimed PayPal had received a letter advising them of illegal activities by WikiLeaks. In fact, PayPal and other such services are only too glad to serve businesses such as porn and gambling regardless of their legality. Thus many see this action as a smoke-screen.

    • The Stupidity of Locking Up Assange

      The stupidity of locking up a guy who voluntarily turns himself in to a police station and refusing him bail on questionable charges as a flight-risk is beyond belief. His lawyers have been unable to communicate with the Swedish prosecutors for months and yet the court in the UK took the matter seriously. This is clearly a case of judicial harassment and the UK legal system is being jerked around by the Swedish authorities.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Save as WWF? No, thanks!

      In spite of all this, as of December 3rd, 2010, the official “Save as WWF, Save a Tree” website says that this “green” format…is only usable with some version of Mac OS, will soon be usable with some versions of Windows… but no mention of Linux, which is the most environmentally conscious operating system around.

Clip of the Day

Operation Payback – Anonymous Message About ACTA Laws, Internet Censorship and Copyright


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 10/12/2010: Google Chrome Notebook, Canonical Hires Kernel Developers

Posted in News Roundup at 2:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Brazilian Ministry of Education Plans Mandriva Deployment

      The Brazilian government education authority is set to deploy Intel-powered classmate PCs running Mandriva.

      Mandriva is partnering with Positivo to deliver this large-scale, low-cost, open source solution for educational use in Brazil. Including hardware, operating system and other software applications, the per-student cost is estimated to be approximately US $200.

  • Google

    • Google previews Chrome OS: Cloud computing, but without touch

      An operating system reduced to and optimised for the web browser – that’s the idea behind Google’s Chrome OS. While, at first glance, this doesn’t promise to be of much use, Google has incorporated technologies in Chrome OS which allow users to work without an internet connection and to install certain types of apps that can be used when offline. However, Google isn’t planning to present an alternative to Android, at least for now, touch screen tablets and smartphones are not supported.

    • Google Chrome notebook unboxing photos and first impressions

      Today was Google Day in the Stokes household, as the same FedEx truck brought both a Nexus S and Google’s newly announced Cr-48 Chrome OS notebook. Below are some unboxing photos and very quick hands-on impressions of the unit.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: An analysis of Linux kernel development

      With the next kernel version, Ext4 will reach new levels of performance and use a trick to increase its storage media formatting speed. Other new features include a discard function that is interesting for slow-trimming SSDs, the “Rados Block Device” for cluster devices, bug fixes and optimisations to Btrfs.

    • Hurry! Win a $50 Gift Card to Linux.com Store.
    • Self-Assessment Checklist: First Impressions After Release

      The Linux Foundation’s Open Compliance Program published its compliance self-assessment checklist on November 1 right on schedule. My blog last month, Self-Assessment Checklist: A Measuring Stick for Open Compliance Efforts | The Linux Foundation, described the organization and goals of the checklist. Over 500 company downloads at Self-Assessment Compliance Checklist | The Linux Foundation later, initial feedback has been gratifyingly positive. I’d like to share with you some observations based on comments received so far.

    • Stable kernel updates
    • Graphics Stack

      • Improving Video Streaming With GTK+ 3D Surfaces

        Within the open-source world, code examples and documentation can be particularly important in ensuring a lower barrier to participation. One developer, Jose Commins, has worked on creating demos, such as how to use OpenGL within GTK+. One of his projects is GtkGLApp, but now he’s working on a new one involving real-time video streaming to GTK+ 3D surfaces.

  • Applications

    • Happy Birthday Scribus

      It is hard to believe Scribus is almost an adolescent. Just yesterday, Scribus turned ten years old, with the first bits of code written by Franz Schmid in December 2000. A few months later, it was linked on Freshmeat and then, well… it kind of had a life of its own. I googled DTP and Linux and stumbled across the link to Franz’ home pages. Of course it would not compile… (User error on my part.)

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Linux Game Publishing Is Back Online

        Now it’s a matter of whether they can regain customer confidence seeing as this completely brought down their Digital Rights Management platform for most of this time, among other problems and damaging reputations. I guess we will have to see what their unannounced titles end up being.

      • Another Humble Indie Bundle Is Coming

        Earlier this year there was the “Humble Indie Bundle” where anyone could purchase a set of four Indie computer games (that are Linux compatible) for any price they wanted. The games included World of Goo, Aquaria, Gish, Lugaru, and Penumbra Overture. This ended up being such a success with the game developers that they ended up open-sourcing the games after raising quite a bit of money off this bundled deal. Now it appears the developers are working on a second Humble Indie Bundle.

  • Distributions

    • FSFLA’s petition for Canaima GNU/Linux to be Free

      The Venezuelan Presidential Decree 3390, specifically in articles 2 and 7, explains and backs up the reasons why the Venezuelan state should develop a Free Software distribution. Canaima GNU/Linux is this distribution, so it ought to be a Free distribution, without parts that threaten its users’ freedoms.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat mulls offers to relocate corporate HQ

        Red Hat has offers on the table from multiple cities and developers, including some who are willing to build a new office tower for the Raleigh-based company if it decides to move its corporate headquarters, according to multiple sources.

        Raleigh faces keen competition for Red Hat, which sources said is looking for as much as 300,000 square feet of space. Red Hat currently occupies well under 200,000 square feet in two buildings on N.C. State’s Centennial Campus.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Workstation review

        Verdict: Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux 6 Desktop and Workstation operating systems are a real option for enterprise deployment. We had no problems setting up the applications bundled in with version 6. The only driver/inhibitor for corporate rollout is how savvy firms’ workforces are with Linux, and the depth of Microsoft infrastructure they already have in place.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Canonical Hiring More Kernel Developers

          According to a recent email exchange departing COO Matt Assay stated that Canonical has 400 employees right now. In addition to this there are about 50 open positions on Ubuntu Jobs.

        • Orta Theme Gets An Ubuntu PPA (And A New Version)!

          Orta theme finally got a PPA so it’s now easily to install and update.

          Before adding the PPA, make sure you have removed any previous instance of the theme!

        • Ubuntu Certified Hardware

          Canonical maintains a list of hardware that is certified for Ubuntu. Victor Palau, Platform Services Manager at Canonical wrote a blog post about Ubuntu certification which caused me to wonder if my Dell, XPS M1330 laptop, running Ubuntu 10.10 was Ubuntu certified. Below are the screenshots and steps I took to find the answer that question.

        • Ubuntu to Drop GDM for LightDM

          Currently in the Natty Blueprints there is a blueprint to drop GDM (Gnome Display Manager) for LightDM a new multi-platform Display Manager.

        • Launchpad Finally Gets PPA Usage Stats; Might Also Get A PPA “Heat” Metric

          The Launchpad API was updated yesterday, finally bringing PPA statistics. For now, the stats can only be accessed by using a Python script, but they will probably be implemented on the actual website soon, especially since Mark Shuttleworth is also interested in these stats.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Andy Rubin: over 300,000 Android phones activated daily

          Cast your mind back to the ancient time that was this August and you’ll recall Eric Schmidt telling you, with no lack of pride, that 200,000 Android phones were being sold each and every day. Skip past Steve Jobs’ snide remarks about what’s included in that tally, and fast-forward to today, where Andy Rubin is blowing minds with the latest, very nicely rounded, total: 300,000 daily activations.

        • Google Instant now available in 40 new countries

          Last month’s beta launch of Google’s new “Instant” mobile search tool was a sadly US-only affair. But that’s been rectified today, with Google putting its predictive system onto smartphones in another 40 countries and 28 languages. You need Android 2.2 to make it work, though.

        • Android: 300,000 Activations a Day

          That’s right folks, Andy Rubin has tweeted his second tweet. Our “Early Adopter Platform” has been growing like gangbusters. We all knew that Android was growing but this is pretty phenomenal growth. I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around the numbers. That means that there are 2.1 million activations a week. That’s amazing. As you can see below, over the course of the last 8 quarters Android has shipped a disproportionately large number of units compared to our unfriendly fruit competition.

    • Tablets

      • Motorola Tab Running Android 3.0 Honeycomb Makes A Buzz

        With Christmas almost here, manufacturers and developers are doing their best to keep the public interested in their work, even if they’re not announcing products that are going to come out this year. This is why Android Chief Andy Rubin teased fans with a Motorola Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablet set for a release date sometime in 2011. Although exact release dates haven’t been announced yet, some technical specs have been made public and if they are going to be implemented as presented, the tab seems to be out of a new and better generation.

Free Software/Open Source

  • ’10 CG Shorts You Must See’

    3D World Magazine features ’10 CG Shorts You Must See’. Big Buck Bunny is on it!

  • California’s safety codes are now open source!
  • Events

    • GPG Keysigning at FOSS.in 2010

      I will be attending the FOSS.in event from December 15-17 in Bangalore, India.
      As part of the Fedora participation at the FOSS.in, I will be running a GPG keysigning party.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Thunderbird 3.1.7 and 3.0.11 Updates Are Here

        Thunderbird 3.1.7 and Thunderbird 3.0.11 updates are now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux for free download from www.GetThunderbird.com. These releases fix several problems with large email folders stored on the user’s computer as well as several fixes to improve performance, stability and security.

  • Oracle

    • The ASF Resigns From the JCP Executive Committee

      The Apache Software Foundation has resigned its seat on the Java SE/EE Executive Committee. Apache has served on the EC for the past 10 years, winning the JCP “Member of the Year” award 4 times, and recently was ratified for another term with support from 95% of the voting community. Further, the project communities of the ASF, home to Apache Tomcat, Ant, Xerces, Geronimo, Velocity and nearly a 100 mainstay java components have implemented countless JSRs and serve on and contribute to many of the JCPs technical expert groups.

    • Apache resigns from Java community

      Protesting what it perceives as Oracle’s undue control of Java, the Apache Software Foundation has resigned its seat from the Java SE/EE Executive Committee, the organization announced Wednesday.

      “The commercial concerns of a single entity, Oracle, will continue to seriously interfere with and bias the transparent governance of the ecosystem,” an unsigned blog entry from the foundation states.

    • Apache quits Java governance group in protest of Oracle abuses

      The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) announced today that it is resigning from the executive committee of the Java Community Process (JCP), the governance body responsible for managing standards related to the Java programming language. The move is a response to Oracle’s ongoing failure to comply with the intellectual property policies established by the JCP.

      The heart of the issue is that Apache can’t certify that its open source Java implementation—called Harmony—conforms with the Java language standards because Oracle refuses to supply the necessary test suites under a suitably open license. Oracle’s position on the issue falls afoul of JCP policies, which stipulate that standards and other relevant materials must be freely redistributable and made available under terms that are conducive to enabling third-party open source implementations.

  • CMS

  • Project Releases

  • Government

    • Whatever Happened to the EU Interoperability Policy?

      As readers of this blog will know, interoperability is a key issue in Europe at the moment. We are still waiting for the imminent version 2 of the European Interoperability Framework, where we will find out whether true restriction-free open standards will be recommended, on deeply-flawed ones based on FRAND licensing that for practical purposes exclude many free software projects.

      [...]

      Aside from the fact that open source doesn’t seem to have been given a fair chance in this procurement process, there is also the matter of transparency. As far as I can tell, there are precious few details available about what exactly is in this 189 million Euro mega-contract. At a time when governments across the world are rightly beginning to open up all stages of procurement for public scrutiny, the EU’s old-fashioned “trust us, you little people don’t need to know the details” attitude is not just outdated and misguided, but positively insulting. After all, we are not only paying for all this proprietary software, but also footing the bill for the not inconsiderable salaries enjoyed by members of the European Commission.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • CERN Library releases its book catalog into the public domain via CC0, and other bibliographic data news

      CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research that is home to the Large Hadron Collider and birthplace of the web, has released its book catalog into the public domain using the CC0 public domain dedication. This is not the first time that CERN has used CC tools to open its resources; earlier this year, CERN released the first results of the Large Hadron Collider experiments under CC licenses. In addition, CERN is a strong supporter of CC, having given corporate support at the “creator” level, and is currently featured as a CC Superhero in the campaign, where you can join them in the fight for openness and innovation!

    • Promote Free Culture
    • Open Data

      • Open Data and Public Sector Debt

        The volume of public domestic debt issued in developing countries has grown substantially in recent years, but consistent data on the domestic debt of developing countries have not been generally available until now. As part of the Open Data Initiative, the World Bank is launching an online, quarterly, Public Sector Debt database developed in partnership with the IMF, which will allow researchers and policymakers to explore questions about debt management in a comprehensive manner. The database promotes consistency and comparability across countries by standardizing the treatment of public sector debt, valuation methods, and debt instruments, and by identifying, where possible, the debt of central, state, and local governments as well as extra-budgetary agencies and funds.

Leftovers

  • Seemona Sumasar spent months behind bars after ex orchestrated elaborate frame-up to silence her

    A Queens businesswoman has been to hell and back and it all started when she accused a former boyfriend of rape and, prosecutors say, he framed her for armed robbery.

    Seemona Sumasar, 35, spent nearly seven months in jail for a crime she never committed, the Nassau County district attorney now admits.

  • Inside Saudi Arabia’s party scene

    As a general rule, I will click on any WikiLeaks cable titled “Underground Party Scene in Jeddah.” And this account of a Halloween party at a prince’s residence in the coastal Saudi city does not disappoint.

  • WikiLeaks cables: Saudi princes throw parties boasting drink, drugs and sex
  • De Trop! French Is The Official Language For 2012 Olympics

    Stone the crows! Or, rather, sacre bleu: the Telegraph has obtained a copy of the Olympic “technical manuals”, the IOC’s guidelines for hosting the Games, which reveal, amongst other stringent requirements, that the main language for 2012 will be the sexy tongue spoken by our Gallic neighbours, with English finishing in second place.

  • Scratch the Salvation Army off your charity lists, everyone

    I used to always give my spare change to the Salvation Army at this time of year — there they were, ringing their bell outside the grocery store, so sure, I’d give a little. That changed when I learned about their anti-gay policies, though…and now there’s another reason to spurn the Salvation Army.

  • Salvation Army Statement on Toy Donation and Distribution
  • OAP poisoned police with sandwiches

    Food safety officials said 70-year-old Muriel Morris received a four-month jail term, suspended for a year, and was ordered to pay £16,482.70p in costs.

    Birmingham City Council, which prosecuted Morris for four breaches of food hygiene law, launched an investigation into the poisoning outbreak after nine officers were taken to hospital during an English Defence League demonstration near New Street station in July 2009.

  • AMD, Intel, PC builders plan to drop VGA by 2015

    AMD, Dell, Intel, Lenovo, Samsung and LG on Wednesday said they plan on focusing on putting digital DisplayPort and HDMI connections into their computer products. They hope to drop analog VGA and LVDS connections in AMD- and Intel-based products by 2015, the chipmakers said. VGA technology is over 20 years old, uses up more power, and supports lower resolutions and less colors than the digital alternatives.

  • The Best, Most Disgruntled Ink Cartridge Description You’ll Ever Read

    I don’t know the name of the man responsible for the product description of Remanufactured HP 300 – (CC640EE) Black, but I do know that he’s an anonymous hero. Just a sample from the above:

    Do you know what? I really can’t be bothered with writing these description anymore, it’s a printer cartridge! What am I supposed to write really??? It’s a cartridge that prints ink on to paper, you could print some work stuff or a colouring in page for the kids that they’ll half do and then leave laying around on the floor or a poster of the horrible Jonas Bothers for your teen daughter hoping that she might stop listening to there [sic] pathetic attempt of music so much.

    And so on.

  • Czechs Blasted for Asylum “Arousal” Test

    The European Union’s human rights agency has criticized the Czech government for using a “sexual arousal” test to determine whether applicants who seek asylum on the basis of sexual orientation are genuinely gay.

    According to the BBC, the Fundamental Rights Agency said the Czech Republic was the only E.U. country that continues to use the test, which could violate the European Convention on Human Rights.

  • A New Nursing Home Population: The Young
  • I’m Having Unexplained Coordination Issues

    Those who speak to me on Identi.ca and IRC may have noticed more typos than usual from me in the last day or so; this is why. Please take this into account. When I write static pieces like blog posts I always check and fix my typos, “live” chats such as IRC and Identi.ca don’t get the same retouching. It’s taken quite a while to type this post.

  • Core expands into network vulnerability testing

    With the latest release of its flagship Core Impact Pro, Core Security Technologies has expanded its application penetration testing software to scan and test network devices as well.

    Core Impact Pro version 11, released this week, also includes improved tools for scanning Web applications as well.

  • Science

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Walmart Partners with DHS on “If You See Something, Say Something” Campaign

      Janet Napolitano, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that retailing giant Walmart has joined the agency’s “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign.

    • Flower arranger forced to resign after refusing criminal record check

      Annabel Hayter, the 64 year old chairwoman of Gloucester Cathedral’s Flower Guild, has been forced to resign from her post as a result of her refusal to submit to a criminal record check. As a result of her stance, five other elderly flower arrangers have also resigned in protest.

    • TSA subjects India’s US ambassador to public grope because of her sari

      The TSA is refusing to apologize to India’s ambassador to the USA, who was flagged for an extended public grope because she was wearing a sari.

    • Exposed: TSA’s X-rated scanner fraud

      Physicists who led the development of today’s most sophisticated medical imaging technology believe the federal government’s X-rated airport x-ray scanners are useless. Leon Kaufman and Joseph W. Carlson, both former professors of physics at the University of California-San Francisco have been described as the “scientific genius” behind the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines used in hospitals. The pair turned their considerable experience to investigate what the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is using to virtually undress millions of American travelers.

    • Security Theatre [IMG]
    • Thousands Of Students Gather In London

      Thousands of students have gathered ahead of a march on Parliament as MPs prepare to vote on trebling university tuition fees.

    • Cleared, the father accused of leading Ryanair jet revolt

      Unable to get water for his two children and frustrated at the lack of information from staff, Mr Wilkie tried to disembark, followed by 30 fellow passengers.

      After being persuaded to stay, however, the rebels were stunned when police arrived and arrested their ‘ringleader’ for causing a security alert on a flight.

      In court, Mr Wilkie, 36, admitted the charge. But a Scottish sheriff refused to punish him after receiving dozens of letters from passengers supporting him. Instead, the sheriff called on Ryanair to apologise for its ‘ridiculous’ behaviour.

    • Chinese hackers ‘slurped 50 MB of US gov email’

      The Chinese government may have used its access to Microsoft source code to develop attacks that exploited weaknesses in the Windows operating system, according to a US diplomatic memo recently published by Wikileaks.

  • Cablegate

    • DNS Provider Mistakenly Caught in WikiLeaks Saga Now Supports the Group

      A DNS provider that suffered backlash last week after it was wrongly identified as supplying and then dropping DNS service to WikiLeaks has decided to support the secret-spilling site, offering DNS service to two domains distributing WikiLeaks content.

      EasyDNS, a Canadian firm, was attacked last Friday after media outlets mistakenly reported it had terminated its service for WikiLeaks. The company sent an e-mail to customers Thursday morning letting them know that it had begun providing DNS service for WikiLeaks.ch and WikiLeaks.nl, two of the primary domain names WikiLeaks relocated to after WikiLeaks.org stopped resolving.

      “We’ve already done the time, we might as well do the crime,” Mark Jeftovic, president and CEO of EasyDNS, told Threat Level about his decision.

      DNS service providers translate human-friendly domain names to IP addresses, so when someone types www.Amazon.com into their browser, for example, they’re properly connected to 72.21.211.176, the address of the host.

    • The crux of the WikiLeaks debate

      WNYC’s Brian Lehrer has spent the last week hosting one WikiLeaks critic after the next on his program, and it seems rather clear that he, too, is a fairly emphatic critic of the group and its founder, Julian Assange.

    • Why Wikileaks Will Never Be Closed Or Blocked

      Last weekend, rather than read stories about the US diplomatic cables that Wikileaks has released, I decided to read them directly myself. In doing so, I better understood why no one — certainly not the US State Department — is going to shove those cables back into the darkness.

    • Save Julian Assange: Don’t outlaw WikiLeaks!
    • Assange’s Poison Pill

      I am in the process of downloading a file that contains all the unedited cables that Wikileaks has obtained. You can do the same by downloading this link using a program like Vuze. This is a 1.4GB file so it may take a while. As far as I know it is not illegal to download it as it is not copyright material. In any case it is probably not illegal because you cannot read whatever it is that you are downloaded as it is encrypted. What this file is is a Poison Pill. Assange goes, this file is open for humanity to see.

      I am downloading this file for two reasons. One is because I believe that if it was so easy for Wikileaks to obtain this information whoever our enemies are probably have it as well. Secondly because while I had mixed feelings on what Julian Assange was doing, I am so disgusted about how Western democracies are reacting towards a person who has not been formally accused of any crime that I think it’s time to stand by Wikileaks to defend freedom of the press.

    • Julian Assange cast as common enemy as US left and right unite

      The outcry against Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is intensifying in the US, drawing a rare degree of consensus from politicians and pundits who have collectively cast him in the role of a common enemy.

      In the past few days the calls for action against Assange have grown steadily louder and more shrill, with leading Republicans labelling him a terrorist, and top liberal Democratic politicians, albeit in more moderate language, also calling for his prosecution.

    • Why Julian Assange Is 2010 Person Of The Year

      He said he wouldn’t mind prison. Julian Assange sort of looked forward to it, even. He’d read a nice, long book in peace. And he’d get to sleep in the same bed for the first time in years.

      Assange got his wish when he surrendered to British authorities Tuesday. He is charged with allegedly sexually assaulting two women during a lecture stop in Stockholm this August. The first court appearance was predictably messy. He refused to be photographed, finger-printed, or DNA swabbed. And that was before the judge asked Assange for his current address. He gave some post office at first. Then some place in Australia he hadn’t visited in four years.

      To be fair, you can’t really ask Julian Assange where he lives. He moved 34 times by the age of 14. A quarter century later, he is even more nomadic. The most connected man in the world lives a rootless existence. He says he resides in airports and has virtually no material possessions, save for his Australian passport and a laptop.

    • Assange Lawyers Prepare for U.S. Spying Indictment

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the man behind the publication of more than a 250,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables, could soon be facing spying charges in the U.S. related to the Espionage Act, Assange’s lawyer said today.

    • England: Reliability And Longevity Of UK-US Relationship Confirmed
    • Pro-Wikileaks hacker group’s DDoS tool downloads top 40,000

      Imperva, the web security specialist, has reported that the tool released by the Anonymous Hacker Group for would-be Wikileaks protesters has been downloaded over 40,000 times, with the majority of downloads occurring in the US.

      [...]

      Amichai Schulman, chief technology officer at Imperva, said, “The tool was originally developed as an open-source network stress-testing tool. It was recently tweaked to include a central command-and-control module.

    • wikileaks samba
    • Wikileaks donations going well despite Visa, Mastercard shutdown

      After both Visa and Mastercard stopped allowing donations to the whistle-blowing website, DataCell started helping people to donate directly by bank transfer. “The credit card companies are just not a part of the transactions. There are just as many donations as before, if not more, but they are just transferred direct,” Sigurvinsson told DV. “We have assisted some 2,000 people with that just today.”

      [...]

      DataCell has indicated that it intends to start legal proceedings against both Mastercard and Visa in Europe and Sigurvinsson says the company has received a lot of offers from lawyers wanting to take the case on for free. He said that the company’s own lawyers have written formal letters to the credit card giants and that other volunteer lawyers will arrive today to discuss strategy.

    • Assange supporters rally in Brisbane

      About 100 protesters have rallied in Brisbane in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

      Assange remains in custody in the United Kingdom, facing extradition to Sweden for alleged sexual assault.

      Rally organiser Jessica Payne says the Federal Government is trying to stifle the democratic right to freedom of information.

    • Pro-WikiLeaks protest rally draws 1200 supporters in Sydney

      HUNDREDS of people have taken to Australia’s city streets to pledge their support for detained WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange.

    • WikiLeaks cables: Shell, Operation Payback and Assange for the Nobel prize – as it happened

      7.52am: MasterCard, Visa, the Swedish prosecution authority, Joe Lieberman, Sarah Palin, PayPal, Twitter, PostFinance, Amazon and EveryDNS.net. It is an very eclectic mix, but their websites are all under attack, or threat of attack, by supporters of WikiLeaks.

    • Bye bye PayPal

      Paypal has been reported closing Wikileaks’ account through which it obtained donations. This is unacceptable and arbitrary. This is derogatory towards the associations and the thousands of common people who cared enough of their Freedom of Speech to spend money on this. This is why I have decided that if they don’t want Wikileaks’ money, they do not want mine either, and I have closed my account with them.

      [...]

      Meanwhile, as also Visa and Mastercard have been reported fiddling with Wikileaks’ account without having received any court order compelling them to do so — and this is tantamount to stealing other people’s money if they have blocked incoming payments — I have decided that in protest they will not have the chunk of my not irrelevant Chrsitmas shopping, as I will only use other payments means. If they don’t listent to people’s voice, they will listen the language of money.

    • EasyDNS to host Wikileaks

      At my company, we use EasyDNS to do our external DNS hosting (building a real, high availability DNS server infrastructure is outside of the scope of our financial resources, so we have them do it for us), and I’ve always been very happy with their service.

    • Check Out The Greatest Hits Of Operation Payback, The Hackers That Took Down Mastercard
    • Editorial – Statement on DDOS attacks

      Wikileaks is aware that several government agencies and corporations, including the Swedish prosecutor, Mastercard, PayPal and State.gov have come under cyber-attack in recent days, and have often been driven offline as a result.

      The attacks are of a similar nature to those received – and endured – by the Wikileaks website over the past week, since the publication of the first of 250,000 US Embassy Cables.

      These denial of service attacks are believed to have originated from an internet gathering known as Anonymous. This group is not affiliated with Wikileaks. There has been no contact between any Wikileaks staffer and anyone at Anonymous. Wikileaks has not received any prior notice of any of Anonymous’ actions.

      Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said: “We neither condemn nor applaud these attacks. We believe they are a reflection of public opinion on the actions of the targets.”

    • U.N. rights chief slams China, defends Assange

      Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, pressed China to release this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, expressing hope that China will “come to recognize” the positive contribution the pro-democracy activist can make on Chinese society.

      In a rare, wide-ranging press conference in Geneva, Pillay presented the U.N.’s strongest public criticism of China’s imprisonment of Liu, who is serving an 11-year jail sentence for drafting the pro-democracy Charter 08 manifesto. Pillay also scolded China for placing Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, under house arrest “that in my view is in contravention of Chinese national law.”

    • China cracks down on activists ahead of Liu Xiaobo Nobel prize ceremony

      China today launched its most prolonged and severe crackdown on activists and dissidents in recent years ahead of tomorrow’s Nobel peace prize ceremony honouring the jailed writer Liu Xiaobo.

    • What If There Were An Application For Dot Wikileaks?

      What would happen if the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the domain name system oversight body, received an application for a .wikileaks top level domain name (TLD) next year, under its new system of opening up the internet for domains? It could make an interesting example of how well the complex system to apply for new TLDs works and how much political intervention is possible in the system. At the 39th ICANN meeting in Cartagena, Colombia this week, the self-regulatory body is trying to finalise issues in the published Final Applicant Guidebook – and it is governments and trademark owners that are calling for more time and more procedures.

      The hot issue discussed by the worldwide internet community, the witch-hunt against Wikileaks by commercial service providers in the US and various countries, is no topic for the private DNS self-governance body, according to ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom. “We have not been approached by governments on this,” Beckstrom said in answer to questions from Intellectual Property Watch at an ICANN press conference.

    • Radio Berkman 171: Wikileaks and the Information Wars

      So today we pull together some of the brightest minds at the Berkman Center to talk about Wikileaks, with Jonathan Zittrain and Lawrence Lessig moderating.

    • WikiLeaks, Free Speech and National Security

      EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston joins Declan McCullagh, chief political correspondent for CNET, Niles Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation, and and Victor Davis Hanson, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and author of “The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern” in a discussion on “Wikileaks, Free Speech and National Security.”

    • UN rights boss concerned at targeting of WikiLeaks

      U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay voiced concern on Thursday at reports of pressure being exerted on private companies to halt financial or Internet services for WikiLeaks.

    • “Anonymous” Posts Video Describing “Operation Payback” In Defense Of WikiLeaks

      For those unfamiliar with the depths of Internet sub-culture, “Anonymous” is a hard concept to understand. Simply put they are an anonymous crowdsourced set of vigilantes responsible for puling off some of the most newsworthy stunts in Internet history. But past projects like punking Scientology of flooding YouTube with porn fail in comparison to their recent attempts to disrupt the established entities who they deem to have alligned with the wrong side of justice over the WikiLeaks story. Now, in eerie and awesome fashion, a new video has been posted that describes their agenda in the most historic terms.

    • WikiLeaks cables: Oil giants squeeze Chávez as Venezuela struggles

      Venezuela’s tottering economy is forcing Hugo Chávez to make deals with foreign corporations to save his socialist revolution from going broke.

      The Venezuelan president has courted European, American and Asian companies in behind-the-scenes negotiations that highlight a severe financial crunch in his government.

      Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, PDVSA, is the engine of the economy but buckled when given an ultimatum by its Italian counterpart and has scrambled to attract foreign partners, according to confidential US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks.

    • MultiBox.be mirrors WikiLeaks

      Freedom of speech isn’t a privilege, I posted a little while back.

      It’s a right, I said, and that includes having free access to everything which involves us, concerns us and affects us.

    • Russian Premier Putin Criticizes U.S. Over WikiLeaks Arrest

      Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin criticized the U.S. over the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

    • Dutch cops arrest Operation Payback suspect
    • Holder Says U.S. Probes WikiLeaks-Related Web Attacks

      The U.S. Justice Department is examining cyber attacks that have been blamed on WikiLeaks supporters, Attorney General Eric Holder said.

      “We are aware of the incidents,” Holder said at a news conference in Washington today. “We are looking into them.”

      Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, speaking at the news conference with Holder, said the U.S. is coordinating with the “private sector” on cyber issues. Separately, a Department of Homeland Security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the agency is working with companies to limit damages from the attacks.

    • DDoS: How to take down WikiLeaks, MasterCard or any other Web site

      I can’t tell you who’s attacked first WikiLeaks and more recently MasterCard, PayPal, and Visa with Distributed Denial of service (DDoS) assaults , but I can tell you it wasn’t hard. It wasn’t even, as such things go, that bad. Just ask Google if you want to know what a real DDoS attack is like.

    • Is Twitter Playing Whack-a-Mole With Pro-Wikileaks Hacktivist Accounts?

      Distributed denial of service attacks, of the kind pro-Wikileaks hacktivists have been aiming at PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard, are not particularly complex to pull off.

    • “Some Questions To Consider” Ron Paul Defends WikiLeaks “Killing The Messenger For Bad News”
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Brazilian farmers are unlikely climate heroes

      Here is the good news from Cancún. Brazil, so often demonised for its destruction of the Amazon rainforest, is turning over a new leaf. In the past year it has transformed a sketchy promise made in Copenhagen to cut emissions to 36 to 39 per cent below business-as-usual by 2020 into a detailed science-based plan. And much of the work will be done by the industry most responsible for trashing the Amazon – cattle ranching and commercial agriculture.

      World-wide, agriculture is directly responsible for roughly 15 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions – a figure that does not include emissions from the deforestation is causes. Yet the climate talks in Cancún, Mexico, have so far failed to address this industry’s contribution to global warming. Against all odds, Brazil is now bidding to go from the bad boy of forestry and agriculture to their poster child.

    • Blue whale’s gigantic mouthful measured

      A blue whale’s mouth cavity is so vast and stretchy that it can engulf a volume of water equivalent to its own body mass, say scientists.

      The whales – the largest animals on the planet – filter the krill they eat from these huge watery mouthfuls.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Ex-ministers face Commons ban in lobbying row

      Three former Labour ministers face being barred from Parliament after being rebuked for breaching lobbying rules.

      The Standards and Privileges Committee ordered ex-defence secretary Geoff Hoon to apologise and said his Commons pass should be suspended for five years.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • The link between free WiFi and the future of roaming

      The next stage of the digital revolution is clearly the combination of mobile internet, cloud computing and billions of sensors to deliver a new generation of “smart” services. These technologies really will be a passport to a better way of living. But Europe will end up playing the second league of these markets if we don’t make good use of open platforms and standards to drive up competition. If we do embrace openness – the systematic use of generic and standardised technologies to create a level but elevated playing field to trigger cutting-edge innovation on top – I think we will be well placed to capitalise on our current leadership in mobiles, telecom, hardware and embedded software. And that means Europeans will take a bigger role in internet innovation.

    • Chairman Genachowski’s Next Net Neutrality Proposal: What to Watch For

      EFF has been monitoring the net neutrality debate with an eye to two main concerns, both stemming from our conviction that however laudable the goal of neutrality–and it is a laudable goal–the regulatory and legislative paths that get us there must not amount to a “Trojan horse” that we’ll all regret:

      First, we have a well-founded fear of an open-ended grant of authority to the FCC to regulate the Internet, and attendant worries, especially about regulations that could create barriers to entry for the next generation of garage innovators.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • “Read all about it!” Court rules web is permanent, newspapers are ephemeral

      Grisbrook had provided photographs for MGN for a number of years, without a written contract, being paid when his photographs were used. MGN archived the photographs it used; any subsequent use by MGN entitled the photographer to a further fee. It was conceded that Grisbrook licensed MGN to use his photos in this way while retaining copyright in them, though there was some dispute as to how far this licence extended. In particular, did it extend to the use of Grisbrook’s works on MGN’s websites?

    • Copyrights

      • Record Labels Dismiss Lawsuit Against Porn Company

        The record industry has dropped its lawsuit against a porn company accused of featuring copyrighted music in its videos. The dismissal may be the result of a confidential settlement, although neither side will comment on the case.

        RK Netmedia, which describes itself as the “World’s Best Reality Porn Website,” hires adult actors who perform sexual acts at exclusive nightclubs and parties. As the actors “perform” their lewd acts, popular recordings from artists like Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson and Katy Perry provide the soundtrack accompaniment. Videos are allegedly named after songs, and actors are encouraged to lip-sync to the lyrics.

      • No harm, no foul? P2P user says $1.5M award should be zeroed out

        Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the first US citizen to take her file-sharing lawsuit all the way to a verdict, has been hit with three separate damage awards: $222,000, $1.92 million, and recently $1.5 million. The judge has made clear that these figures are absurd; after the second trial, he declared $54,000 the most that he could possibly allow.

      • Consumer Focus claims legally naïve are being abused in an anti-consumer copyright court system

        Consumer Focus has entered the debate on the proposed reform of the Patents County Court (PCC). The PCC, soon to be renamed the Intellectual Property County Court, handles most small and medium-sized non-criminal copyright infringement claims.

      • Irish ISP offers free music, “four strikes” to subscribers

        Here’s the good news for Ireland’s millions of music lovers. Eircom, one of the country’s biggest ISPs, has launched a new streaming music service free of any additional charges to its subscribers. Eircom’s MusicHub will offer four million music tracks to the company’s customers without any restrictions or advertising (sorry Ars readers, unless you currently reside in the Republic of Ireland, you probably won’t be able to connect to that link).

      • Copyheart: Encouraging People To Copy

        Occasional Techdirt contributor Nina Paley, who has pointed out some problems with Creative Commons in the past, is pushing an interesting solution: the Copyheart. It’s not a huge license or anything like Creative Commons, but just a basic suggestion: where you might normally put a © symbol, instead put a ♥ — and perhaps an explanation.

      • 3D, Simultaneous Release Don’t Prevent Piracy, Paramount COO Says

        He identified a four-pronged strategy of consumer awareness, fine-tuning business models, technology and legislation to fight online piracy. However, a campaign to raise consumer awareness on online piracy might take decades, which he likened to anti-smoking or drunk driving.

      • Digital Garage ♥ CC

        Digital Garage, long time friend and supporter of CC, has just donated $100,000 to our annual campaign! According to Joi Ito, Digital Garage Co-Founder and Board Member and CC CEO – “Digital Garage considers Creative Commons to be a key piece of infrastructure for our global society. As a cutting-edge business that invests in internet companies and incubators that help facilitate this global society, it’s imperative that Creative Commons remains as strong as possible.”

      • CC’s Contribution to Welfare, Field-by-Field: The Separate Contribution to Art

        Last time on the CC blog I was sharing my thoughts about the evaluation of CC’s contribution to Collaboration and Sharing. There was a part there in which I was making the point that it is an impact which is distinctly challenging for estimation. Well, my full hearted belief that that analysis is, in fact, the pinnacle of prospective hardships can explain why when I first came to engage with CC’s contribution to the field of art, I was feeling lighthearted. After all, most of the characteristics which made sharing and collaboration such a tough domain to gauge, are not properties of art. So, I can begin by reporting that it was definitely light-minded to be lighthearted; the contribution to art is a completely independent pandora’s box.

Clip of the Day

Videos in The Board


Credit: TinyOgg

Microsoft’s C# Chosen to Perform DDoS Attacks

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Security, Windows at 3:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sites associated with payment methods are down due to a program written in C#

Sale

Summary: C# program is used maliciously by Anonymous and gives Wikileaks a bad name by association

A TOOL called LOIC turns out to be what’s used by the Anonymous group [1, 2], which is linked to 4chan, not Wikileaks. Some people support what they do, but that’s another story altogether. To quote:

LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon) is a network stress testing application, written in C# and developed by “praetox”. It attempts a denial-of-service attack on the target site by flooding the server with TCP packets, UDP packets, or HTTP requests with the intention of disrupting the service of a particular host. The program was exploited during Project Chanology to attack Scientology websites, and is currently being used by Operation Avenge Assange (Organized by Operation Payback) to attack the websites of companies and organizations that have opposed WikiLeaks.

Here comes an opportunity for Mono. More seriously now, here is another new article about Windows botnets that are used for DDoS attacks. Without these, DDOS attacks are hardly possible, regardless of what code one has:

Researchers are tracking a new botnet that has become one of the more active DDoS networks on the Internet since its emergence early last month. The botnet, dubbed “Darkness,” is being controlled by several domains hosted in Russia and its operators are boasting that it can take down large sites with as few as 1,000 bots.

The Darkness botnet is seen as something of a successor to the older Black Energy and Illusion botnets and researchers at the Shadow Server Foundation took a look at the network’s operation and found that it is capable of generating large volumes of attack traffic.

It is actually Microsoft Windows that’s the most vital ingredient for network disruption. Many crackers happen to use GNU/Linux themselves just because it’s a better desktop to work with in general.

Richard Edelman — Like Richard Berman — Destroys Society for Profit

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft at 3:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Edelman’s antics increasingly resemble those of “Dr. Evil” (common name for Richard Berman, shown below)

Rick Berman

Summary: Richard Edelman is trying to silence his critics after he was caught conspiring with the insurance cartel to harm ill people by deceiving the public

WE PREVIOUSLY wrote here about Berman [1, 2, 3], who is quite the destroyer of society. Competing with the likes of Berman there’s Edelman, which is working on behalf of clients when it is crashing workers’ unions (they are organising unions, then the employer allegedly hires Edelman to break them), bribing bloggers, lobbying for policies that lead to deaths of people, and so on. But hey, some thousands of dead patients here and there are not a big deal when there’s a big PR contract on the table, right? That’s where Richard Edelman comes in. Mercilessly he would tell any lie he needs to and never mind the consequences. That’s just how a lot of the PR industry basically works. It operates closely and often in alignment with lobbying, which is a form of legalised corruption of the system. Edelman has already faced boycotts or was threatened with boycotts. It’s one’s own action which simply begs for this type of treatment.

On the face of it, Richard Edelman and his minions were recently hired to deceive the public and thus perpetuate the deaths (preventable deaths) of somewhere around 40,000 Americans every year — those who die needless due to lack of a health insurance. Wendell Potter, a true hero in this area, comes out swinging right now. He is replying to the disinformation campaign which is run by Edelman and Richard Edelman is trying to silence him. See the following from PR Watch:

  • Shame on Richard Edelman

    On November 22, Richard Edelman, President and CEO of Edelman, “the leading independent global PR firm,” posted a blog criticizing Wendell Potter for his tell-all book, Deadly Spin, about deceptive corporate public relations techniques that are hurting this country so badly and costing Americans their health, and in some cases even their lives.

    Edelman portrayed his firm as being on the side of truth. He took exception to Potter’s portrayal of big PR firms as engaging in public deception.

  • Edelman’s Glass House

    Over Thanksgiving week, the head of the global PR firm, Edelman, publicly complained about my tough critique of the damage the PR industry has done through campaigns that deceive consumers.

    On the one hand, I was a bit surpised by Edelman’s rather absurd claim that I had “no right to say” that big PR firms have a reputation for deceiving people, and that I should not have called into question the (profit) motive of PR practitioners who are really just “interested in the truth and in educating stakeholders about the issues of our time.” After 30 years in the PR industry, I most certainly do have a right to call out the deceptive campaigns PR firms have orchestrated to obscure the truth and deceive the American public in the debate over health care reform and beyond. I detail these campaigns at length in my book, Deadly Spin, which is based on my own participation in just these practices.

If this sounds familiar, it should. “Der Spiegel Hits a Nerve,” says Wikipedia about Richard, stating:

In response to an article in Der Spiegel reviewing the work of the PR industry, including examples of the work of Burson-Marsteller, Edelman and other major companies, Edelman let fly. [4] “This article is basically a conflation of cinema-induced fantasy, anti-Americanism, anti President Bush, anti-capitalism, and fear of propaganda stemming from World War II,” he claimed.

There is a very good programme on the subject of PR and is origins. What does it have to do with software? Well, Edelman is bribing bloggers on behalf of Microsoft, it is a candidate for spreading advertisements for the Gates Foundation (disguised as news articles), it is behind an anti-Google AstroTurf (possibly funded by Microsoft), and we complained to the FTC about Edelman almost a couple of years ago.

In a civilised society, Edelman would be severely fined for crimes against society and then decommissioned.

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