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12.20.10

Links 20/12/2010: Red Hat Upgraded, Net Neutrality in Great Danger

Posted in News Roundup at 12:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • Thanks partner! A year of pair programming

      With the above setup I just use my usual coding environment, which is emacs plus a bunch of GNU screen sessions in a gnome-terminal.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Clutter Picks Up An EvDev Input Back-End, Helps Wayland

        Development work towards the major Clutter 1.6 stable release has been progressing nicely within the Clutter 1.5 development branch. These recent development snapshots have brought performance improvements, a GLSL generation back-end, greater usage of OpenGL FBOs, new API functionality, and even a Clutter Wayland back-end. A new development release of Clutter (v1.5.10) is now here and it brings an evdev input back-end.

        What good is an evdev input back-end for Clutter? Well, this provides support for input devices on Linux when using EGL-based back-ends rather than just a traditional X Server, etc.

  • Applications

    • DockBarX Theme Pack For Avant Window Navigator / Faenza Users

      “DBX big dock” pack is a DockBarX theme package especially created for those that use DockBarX with Avant Window Navigator and comes with updated “Unite” themes (Unite_v and Unite_h) with new blink attenton effects as well as versions for these themes without backgrounds and bigger icons for Faenza icon theme users (the themes are called Faenza_Unite_v and Faenza_Unite_h). The pack also includes a mod of the DockBarX “dock” theme with nice colors and attention effects.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Upstream vs. Downstream—Clash of Visual Identities

      In the past eight years or so, Gnome Desktop enjoyed more or less small yet steady improvements that have brought it to where it is now—IMHO one of the best desktop environments. However, along with the side push from the over-hyped release of KDE4, there has been a growing number of people who wished for a major change, instead of steady improvement. Their efforts are to be realized in GNOME 3 which will most likely be in Fedora 15. Let alone, for now, the tiny problem that this messes up my workflow in a way that it is much less efficient albeit much more eye-candy-ish. That’s not the point of today’s post. Today I want to focus on the problem of visual identity.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Install XBMC Media Center 10 on Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat and LinuxMint 10 Julia | PPA repository

          XBMC 10 “Dharma” is released, this new release comes with many new features and support to many new media formats, now XBMC play all of the current media formats available, including the new WebM/VP8 codec that is the latest buzz. Hardware acceleration has been added in windows (Vista or 7) via DXVA2, CrystalHD has been added for all platforms (best supported in OSX and Linux), VDPAU support has been improved in Linux, and VAAPI support has been added for the hardware that supports it in Linux. This new version comes also with 11 different skins , all with distinct looks and personalities. There are far too many improvements to list here, so check out the changelog for a full list.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Tweet revenge: Italians bombard EU summit wall with Silvio Berlusconi insults
  • Ukraine Yulia PM Tymoshenko charged with misusing funds

    The Ukrainian opposition leader, Yulia Tymoshenko, has been charged with misusing state funds while serving as prime minister, her spokeswoman says.

  • Science

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • The Swedish Pimpocracy

      Many intelligent women (including the European group Women Against Rape and one of my favorite bloggers, Furry Girl) recognize the pursuit of Julian Assange for what it is: A politically-motivated persecution of a man who embarrassed several of the most powerful governments on Earth, using rape as an excuse in order to win the support of silly, gullible women (including, apparently, a number of the staff at Jezebel). As Katrin Axelsson points out in the linked Women Against Rape article, this is no different from the old Southern practice of lynching uppity black men for looking at white women. It’s not a defense of women, but rather an exploitation.

    • Daniel Ellsberg on Bradley Manning

      Explaining the parallels between WikiLeaks and the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg compares himself to Bradley Manning, and Julian Assange to the New York Times.

    • WikiLeaks: the emperor wears no clothes

      Sites have been removed by their hosting companies, servers seized by police or other governmental authorities, take-down requests issued under the rule of law: none of these prevented information spreading.

      But the issues run deeper than this. As former US president Thomas Jefferson once stated, “information is the currency of democracy”. Democracy – the rule of the people – as currently understood and practiced is, and has long been, severely restricted.

      Power is abused in our name by governments and transnational corporations around the world: they fight illegal wars; abuse and kill people; pillage property and planet. The powerful accumulate wealth and force the majority – the rest of us – to pay for it: with our health, our freedom, our time, our money and with our lives. For a long time, we have been deceived about the reasons for this: it is our right for the truth to be known. Without that right, democracy cannot and does not exist. The current assault on WikiLeaks is yet another instance of democracy-hating by elites.

    • WikiLOCs

      Libraries are institutions with important values regarding information. They have their codes of ethics, which are derived from the broad field of information ethics and varies between countries.

      35 Countries have official professional codes of ethics for libraries and the US is of course one of them, with American Library Association (ALA) codes of ethics.

    • Wikileaks and 21st Century Statecraft

      Back in more innocent times, in January of this year, Hillary Clinton gave a speech at the Newseum (a 250,000-square foot monument to media complacency) in which she introduced the concept of “21st Century Statecraft” – a term referring to the recent State Department push for the use of social and new media for diplomatic and geopolitical ends. In this speech she affirmed the US’s commitment to the “principles of internet freedom”, a new Human Right for the 21st Century. Clinton waxed lyrical about the ethical, financial, political and practical reasons why freedom of access and use of the internet should be considered an absolute right – noting that America “stand[s] for a single internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas”. The State Department, it seemed, was committed to a comprehensive and open approach to online freedom and engagement, a new stance for a government which had hitherto tended towards a more iterative approach to interaction with the modern world.

    • Assange in respect for himself

      Assange offense to tabloid reporters sleazy questions.

    • Cartoon: Thanks a Bunch, WikiLeaks
  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Netizens Force Fang Binxing, Father of the GFW, Off of Sina Microblog

      On Monday morning, Fang Binxing, the President of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications who is known as the “father of the Great Firewall,” opened a Sina Microblog account. Within the first three hours, over 3818 netizens followed him, and despite rapid deleting of comments to his posts by Sina editors, many comments still appeared, the vast majority of which made fun of or cursed him. At 12:55 pm Beijing time, about three hours after it opened, his original tweets and all the comments disappeared.

    • All internet porn will be blocked to protect children, under UK government plan

      THE UK Government is to combat the early sexualization of children by blocking internet pornography unless parents request it, it was revealed today.

      The move is intended to ensure that children are not exposed to sex as a routine by-product of the internet. It follows warnings about the hidden damage being done to children by sex sites.

      The biggest broadband providers, including BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk, are being called to a meeting next month by Ed Vaizey, the communications minister, and will be asked to change how pornography gets into homes.

    • Broadband firms urged to block sex websites to protect children

      Internet service providers are to be asked by the government to tighten up on website pornography to try to combat the early sexualisation of children.

      Ministers believe broadband providers should consider automatically blocking sex sites, with individuals being required to opt in to receive them, rather than opt out and use the available computer parental controls.

    • Belarus: Gmail, Twitter, LiveJournal, Facebook and other Sites Blocked
  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Editorial: A UN Controlled Internet Should Never Happen

      When I first heard about UN members wanting to regulate the internet, the first thing that popped in to my mind was, “will never work”. However, the second thing that came to my mind was that even if control was successful, one name – Galileo, the famous astronomer of the late 1500s to early 1600s.

      Galileo put forth a theory that said that the Earth was not the center of the universe. The prevailing theory at that point in history was that the Earth, not the sun, was at the center of the universe. Unfortunately for Galileo, this drew controversy from the church and he came under significant pressure to denounce his theories.

    • Deep Packet Inspection Firms Trying To Turn Net Neutrality Satire Into Reality

      This, of course, implies that ISPs are somehow unfairly carrying the burden of the services people access online. It may sound nice, but the problem is that it’s almost entirely false. Individuals pay for their own bandwidth, and companies pay for their bandwidth. What the ISPs are hoping to do is to effectively double and triple charge both sides in an effort to squeeze even more money out of the system than they already do. What’s ignored is that broadband services are already quite profitable, and they’re already getting paid for this stuff. What’s really happening is that — just as content providers “overvalue” their content, this story is about ISPs overvaluing their own contribution, and wanting a larger piece of the pie concerning money made online. What they ignore is that the reason there are so many useful services online, that make it worthwhile to buy internet access in the first place, is because of the lack of such tollbooths.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The politics of downloading

        But some years ago I was in this position with what I consider one of the top television programmes of all time. Aaron Sorkin’s ‘ The West Wing’. Scheduling in the UK (on Channel 4 and its cable channels) meant one season was being broadcast at the same time as the succeeding one and, very clearly, not only would watching both spoiler me without any external interaction, but we were also somewhat behind my friends in the USA and elsewhere who, like myself, were deep in discussion about the series’ storylines and arc.

        So I torrented it to catch up.

        And, whilst I admit that fact let me also add that I bought the DVD box sets for every season as soon as they became available (as well as re-watching it on UK television once it arrived here). No studio or artist lost out, indeed they profited over and above what they would have received had I solely watched it on the local services. I could also keep up with discussion online about the story arc of the show at the time it was happening. Even now I have an annual ‘re-watch all seven seasons from the start’.

        And The West Wing isn’t the only show this applies too. Buffy, Angel, Dark Angel, Firefly, and others too have seen me buy the DVDs once they are available.

        So I’m left wondering what the answer is. Where a television programme is going to be available to me and everyone else in the country to watch for free, is there any actual financial loss incurred by anyone if I were to download it ahead of broadcast?

      • The New Rock-Star Paradigm

        Succeeding in the music business isn’t just about selling albums anymore. The lead singer of OK Go on how to make it without a record label (treadmill videos help)

      • MPAA/RIAA Lobbied Extensively In Favor of Domain Seizures

        The recent action by US authorities against so-called rogue websites comes on the heels of significant lobbying efforts by two well known anti-piracy groups. In the last quarter the MPAA and RIAA together spent a total of $1.8 million on lobby efforts in Washington. Public records reveal that the industry groups focused heavily on legislation and authorities involved in domain name seizures.

Clip of the Day

Assange in respect for himself


Credit: TinyOgg

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