12.22.10

Links 22/12/2010: Red Hat Net Income Up 59 Percent, Linux 2.6.37 RC 7, Nautilus 3.0

Posted in News Roundup at 5:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Report on the International Status of Open Source Software 2010

    The CENATIC Foundation, in keeping with its objective of raising awareness about open source technologies, regularly releases research reports that study the different aspects of open source software.

  • 2010: The Year in Free and Open Source Software

    Peter Brown, the executive director of the Free Software Foundation, suggested to me that Oracle has still to develop a coherent free software policy, but the decisions made by individual corporate units have caused shockwaves throughout FOSS in the last year — everything from a campaign to prevent Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL by Monty Widenius to the forking of LibreOffice from OpenOffice.org (see below). Such reactions leave little doubt that the community lacks confidence in Oracle as a steward for its FOSS acquisitions.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla to unload Firefox 4 spit and polish beta

        Firefox is due to release an eighth Firefox 4 beta. Not to be confused with a fourth Firefox 8 beta.

        The latest test version of Firefox 4 – due for an official debut next year – was scheduled to go live on Tuesday. Mozilla hasn’t added any new tools, but according to the release notes, the open sourcers have polished a few things, including the browser’s Sync service, which synchronizes bookmarks, history, and other setting across multiple devices; its WebGL 3D rendering tech; and its add-ons manager.

      • ‘Do Not Track’ Coming to Firefox 4

        Hard on the heels of Microsoft’s decision to offer “do not track” functionality in its upcoming Internet Explorer 9 browser comes word that Mozilla is planning a similar move for its Firefox 4.

      • Revised Mozilla Public License — Beta 1

        In March of this year we kicked up a process to update the Mozilla Public License. We recently released the first beta of the MPL 2.0 and we believe that this beta is now feature complete, meaning that it addresses all major known issues. Of course if there are policy changes that come up and need to be made we will address them. We’ve kept both OSI and the FSF appraised of our efforts. We’ll be submitting the final versions for approval, and we believe that the MPL 2.0 meets all requirements for approval of these organizations.

  • Google

    • Google open sources ‘$5m’ in Java Eclipse tools

      Google will open source two of the Java Eclipse coding tools it acquired with its purchase of Java-obsessed outfit Instantiations.

      Less than five months after paying an undisclosed sum for Instantiations, Mountain View has announced that it will donate the source code and IP for Instantiations’ WindowBuilder and CodePro Profiler tools to the open source community via the Eclipse Foundation. According to Google, the code and IP is worth more than $5m.

    • Google launches open source YouTube channel

      Google has launched an official YouTube channel for its Open Source Programs Office (OSPO). According to Google Open Source Team member Ellen Ko, the new channel is aimed at organizing videos related to Google and other open source projects in a single place.

  • Databases

    • Facebook: Why our ‘next-gen’ comms ditched MySQL

      The winner was HBase, the open source distributed database modeled after Google’s proprietary BigTable platform. Facebook was already using MySQL for message storage, the open source Cassandra platform for inbox search, and the proprietary Haystack platform for storing photos. But in the company’s mind, HBase was better equipped to handle a new-age messaging system that would seek to seamlessly juggle email, chat, and SMS as well as traditional on-site Facebook messages.

    • Draft MariaDB trademark policy

      For the curious: the MariaDB project has posted a draft trademark policy. They try hard to cover all the bases.

    • Proposal for MariaDB trademark policy

      We wanted to make something that should work well, both for open source and commercial usage (and yes, I know that in some cases these are one and the same), which is not very common with many other trademark policies. My belief is that by having a very liberal trademark policy we will create a bigger ecosystem around MariaDB which will help all of us.

  • Oracle

    • gbuild: Meet the new boss (Same as the old boss)

      Checking that nothing (or almost nothing) needs to be rebuild is faster. On a sample system (Notebook with Core2Duo, 2 GHz) on Windows XP (anti virus software installed), rechecking that nothing needs to be done for module sw takes 7 sec with a warm cache. On the same machine build.pl/dmake took 210 sec with the same “full” header dependencies.

  • CMS

    • Drupal 7 to be released on January 5th (with one ginormous party)

      Drupal 7 has been a multi-year effort on behalf of over 1,000 contributors. Since February 2008, we’ve manged to make enormous improvements; it is a true metamorphosis for designers, developers, and administrators.

      The last months we’ve seen Drupal 7 getting steadily closer to its release and critical issues dealt with one by one. Release management is not always easy, and I’ve always based my decisions part on data, and part on my “gut”. Both are indicating that it is time to release Drupal 7. It is important to all of us in the Drupal community.

    • Drupal 7, the cocoon and the butterfly

      I feel the same way about Drupal 7. Seeing Drupal 7 getting steadily closer to its release, is like watching a cocoon grow into a butterfly: the inevitable results are going to be spectacular. Release management and fixing bugs is hard work, the work of a determined caterpillar. However, I think Drupal 7 will be quite a metamorphosis relative to Drupal 6. Not only will it look different, it will function differently — making users and developers feel like Drupal spouted wings.

  • BSD

    • Allegations of OpenBSD Backdoors May be True, Updated

      In further developments, de Raadt said yesterday that Angelos had worked on the cypto stack in question for four years when accepting a contract at NETSEC. Angelos “wrote the crypto layer that permits our ipsec stack to hand-off requests to the drivers that Jason worked on. That crypto layer ontained the half-assed insecure idea of half-IV that the US govt was pushing at that time. Soon after his contract was over this was ripped out.”

      de Raadt further said, “I believe that NETSEC was probably contracted to write backdoors as alleged.

      If those were written, I don’t believe they made it into our tree. They might have been deployed as their own product.

      If such NETSEC projects exists, I don’t know if Jason, Angelos or others knew or participated in such NETSEC projects.”

      [...]

      Audits and overall basic cleanup of code continues.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Free Software, Free Society

      It feels like every day this past year, we woke to news of an assault on our freedoms engineered through software: companies pilfering from our free software commons, device manufacturers remotely deleting ebooks behind readers’ backs, Big Media hatching new schemes for digital restrictions and spying, and governments around the world conspiring to expand and coordinate their digital subjugation of citizens.

      The word “community” gets bandied about, but in these times, it really is important that we build professional and social solidarity around a core set of ideals. It’s critical that we hang together, both to advance our positive ideas for a better world and to stop those trying to turn software against its users.

      From its beginnings, free software has been about community.

  • Project Releases

    • OpenDJ 2.4.0 Release Notes

      OpenDJ is a new LDAPv3 compliant directory service, developed for the Java platform, providing a high performance, highly available and secure store for the identities managed by enterprises. Its easy installation process, combined with the power of the Java platform makes of OpenDJ the simplest and fastest directory server to deploy and manage.

  • Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Welcoming Cathy Casserly as the new CEO of Creative Commons

      As we come to the end of this year’s fundraising campaign, I asked the organizers to let me write you to tell you about an extraordinary birthday present that Creative Commons received on its 8th birthday last Thursday.

      You probably know that for the past two years, Creative Commons has been incredibly fortunate to have the pro bono leadership of our CEO, Joi Ito. Joi is a successful internet investor. He has been at the birth of companies such as Moveable Type, Technorati and Twitter. For the past 7 years, he’s also been a key leader on our board. But by far his most important contribution began two years ago when my own commitments made it necessary for me to step down as CEO. With the organization in a pinch, he volunteered to take the lead, again, as a volunteer.

      Everyone recognized at the time that this sort of sacrifice could only be temporary. Yet from the time he stepped up, my biggest fear was that when he could no longer make this sacrifice, we would have no one comparable to tap. Last Thursday, I was proven wrong.

    • An open plea to video content providers

      So what does that have to do with video delivery? For starters, we’re seeing a similar reluctance to give consumers easy access to shows. What’s worse is that the video industry is even more ripe for monetization than the record industry of 1999. Media convergence devices and software such as Boxee (Linux-based), GoogleTV (also Linux-based), and others are attempting to bring together all video content on the web in one device.

Leftovers

  • Christmas Carols From The London Sewers
  • India thinks Western software technology is ‘bugged’

    INDIA IS STILL PLANNING to develop its own proprietary operating system (OS) rather than use “bugged” Western systems.

    [...]

    “Second part is software. Most of us use commercial software available in the country. We have got Windows and some use Linux. These software packages are likely to be bugged.”

  • Now Yahoo Says Delicious Will Live On…Somewhere Else

    Yahoo! just posted a statement on the official blog of Delicious, the popular social bookmarking service it was reported yesterday to be in the process of closing down. The blog is hard to reach due to traffic, so we’ve posted the full text below.

  • Bloomberg Plans a Data Service on the Business of Government
  • Bloomberg Government as D.C.’s Daily Racing Form

    Bloomberg’s operation, Bloomberg Government, which will have 150 journalists and analysts on staff by the end of 2011 and a complete staff of 300, will charge $5,700 per user. The Bloomberg Government unit joins a Bloomberg News bureau of 175 journalists. Politico Pro intends to charge on a sliding scale, the New York Times reports—”$1,495 to $2,500 a year for the first topic and $1,000 for each subsequent topic.” The Times was silent on whether the Politico Pro subscription would include a sluice box, pan, and dry washer. Meanwhile, one of the granddaddies of high-price policy journalism, Atlantic Media’s National Journal, has used buyouts to dismantle and rebuild itself into a Web and print harvester of free and premium Beltway news across its brands—NationalJournal.com, National Journal Daily, National Journal, National Journal Hotline, and more. Meanwhile, CQ Roll Call, owned by the Economist people, keeps on keeping on with its own lucrative Chinese menu of data services and publications for observers of official Washington.

  • Science

    • Spintronic memory gets a breakthrough

      An international group of researchers has figured out how to encode information within the spin of an electron, a technique that may one day lead to smaller, faster memory for computers.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Tuesday
    • Keeping an email address secret won’t hide it from spambots

      But I’ve had a published email address for more than a decade. It’s pretty much the only email address I use (more on this later), and yes, I get a lot of spam there. But I’m not convinced that keeping an email address secret is anything but a fool’s errand.

      The main reason to keep one’s email address secret is to hide from the spambots – those nefarious snafflers of unguarded email addresses that act as input for all the unsolicited email that unscrupulous huxters and scammers firehose over our inboxes.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Police officer charged with Adam Nobody assault

      A Toronto police constable accused of assaulting G20 protester Adam Nobody has become the first and only officer charged in connection with allegations of excessive force at the June summit.

    • Officer charged by SIU in Adam Nobody G20 case

      The Special Investigations Unit has issued an announcement that “Constable Babak Andalib-Goortani has this morning been charged with assault with a weapon” in connection with the arrest of protester Adam Nobody during the G20.

    • SIU charges Toronto police officer with assault during G20

      The G20 protester whose violent arrest was caught on video and caused controversy when no officers were initially held responsible said he’s glad a police officer has been charged.

      But protester Adam Nobody and his lawyers called on Toronto’s police chief on Tuesday to help identify other officers who were involved in the case.

      Toronto police Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani was charged Tuesday with assault with a weapon in the takedown of Nobody at the Ontario legislature during the June summit.

    • Police officer charged in G20 beating
    • US Pressured Italy to Influence Judiciary

      The CIA rendition of cleric Abu Omar in 2003 turned into a headache for Washington when a Milan court indicted the agents involved. Secret dispatches now show how the US threatened the Italian government in an attempt to influence the case. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was apparently happy to help.

    • Recording the Police

      This is all important. Being able to record the police is one of the best ways to ensure that the police are held accountable for their actions. Privacy has to be viewed in the context of relative power. For example, the government has a lot more power than the people. So privacy for the government increases their power and increases the power imbalance between government and the people; it decreases liberty. Forced openness in government — open government laws, Freedom of Information Act filings, the recording of police officers and other government officials, WikiLeaks — reduces the power imbalance between government and the people, and increases liberty.

    • Feds want reporting for high-powered rifle sales

      Moving to crack down on gun smugglers, the federal agency that monitors weapons sales is asking the White House for emergency authority to require that dealers near the Mexican border report multiple purchases of high powered rifles.

    • Passport is not acceptable ID?
    • The NYT spills key military secrets on its front page
  • Cablegate

    • Lessons from WikiLeaks: decentralize, decentralize, decentralize

      Whether or not Wikileaks turns out to be a watershed in politics, there’s another question of more immediate interest to the open source world: can the latter learn a key lesson from the measures taken against the Wikileaks operation?

    • Sweden’s case against WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

      In an interview with CNET, attorney Claes Borgström said, “I’m getting e-mails where people ask me how much the U.S. administration pays me to pursue this case.”

      He denies any connection, emphasizing that his clients are two ordinary Swedish women who have no motive to interfere with WikiLeaks document-sharing activities, which have increasingly irked the U.S. government. “In fact, both my clients are supporters of WikiLeaks,” he said.

    • Julian Assange sees himself as “A martyr without dying”

      Speaking from the mansion in south east England that he is forced to stay at under the terms of his bail (or “Hi-tech house arrest”, as he described it in the interview), Assange discussed what WikiLeaks had achieved and how he sees himself. It appears he views himself as a martyr and is still perfectly happy with himself and the actions he’s taken following his recent jail time.

    • Speak Out Against the Inhumane Imprisonment of Bradley Manning!

      Please take action TODAY to speak out against the intolerable conditions of Brad’s imprisonment. A press release we sent out today detailing some of those conditions and pointing to other reporting on the topic follows.

    • Daniel Domscheit-Berg Denies Rumor of Assange-Israeli Deals
    • WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS for Tuesday, the Day 24 Blog

      2:25 Hypocrisy Alert: Sarah Palin in new op-ed for USA Today hits Iran by citing cables leaked by man she has attacked strongly — Julian Assange. Goes on and on about it in key opening paragraph. Two weeks ago she wrote on Facebook that he should be hunted down like Osame bin Laden, adding: “He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands.” Today: Hey, Julian, baby, thanks for the cables on Iran!

    • Flanagan again

      Am I the only one angry that the current administration of the University of Calgary doesn’t think Tom Flanagan has done anything wrong?

      In case you missed it, Tom Flanagan, formerly a mentor/adviser to our sitting Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, currently a Political Science professor at the University of Calgary, broke the law while on the CBC news program “Power and Politics with Evan Solomon” when he “counsel[ed] other persons to commit offences.” The indictable offence he advocated was the assassination of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

      [...]

      Tom Flanagan was a chief of staff and policy adviser for the Prime Minister of Canada.

    • WikiLeaks critic Sarah Palin now citing leaked cables

      The Nation’s Greg Mitchell, who’s been blogging obsessively on WikiLeaks, points out that Sarah Palin is now citing revelations from the leaked cache of State Dept. cables just weeks after condemning Julian Assange.

    • Assange: “Already… we have changed governance” [Updated]

      Later, in response to a question of whether he sees himself as a “messianic” figure, Assange replies with what’s sure to become a widely quoted line: “Everyone would like to be a messianic figure without dying.”

    • Wikileaks ACTA cables and US secrecy demands

      The Guardian has posted two Wikileaks cables that focus on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The first is from Italy in November 2008. It provides a useful reminder that the U.S. at one time hoped to conclude the ACTA negotiations by the end of 2008 (and the George Bush term).

    • Doug Casey on Wikileaks

      Doug: The whole idea of Wikileaks is terrific. They’ve become one of the most important watchdog organizations on the planet, helping to expose a lot of government action for what it really is.

    • WikiLeaks continues to fund itself via tech startup Flattr
    • Article 13 and PFC Bradley Manning

      Military courts have consistently asserted Article 13 protection broadly to protect servicemembers awaiting trial. Illegal pretrial punishment can take many forms. The most common examples are unreasonable or harassing restraint that creates an appearance that the servicemember is guilty and onerous pretrial confinement conditions. Article 13 provides that pretrial confinement should not be “more rigorous than the circumstances require to insure” the servicemember’s presence at court. “Conditions that are sufficiently egregious may give rise to a permissive inference that an accused is being punished. . . .” United States v. King, 61 M.J. 225, 227-28 (C.A.A.F. 2005); see also United States v. Crawford, 62 M.J. 411 (C.A.A.F. 2006). Arbitrary or purposeless conditions also can be considered to raise an inference of punishment. King, 61 M.J. at 227-28 (citing United States v. James, 28 M.J. 214, 216 (C.M.A. 1989)).

      A defense motion for Article 13 credit is generally made before pleas are entered. As such, the first time this issue can be raised is once the case is referred to a court-martial. The issue of whether there is a violation of Article 13 is litigated in a pretrial motion hearing. At this hearing, the defense may call witness and the accused may testify concerning the nature of the pretrial confinement conditions. The defense carries the burden by a preponderance of the evidence to show a violation of Article 13.

    • Assange’s rape charges (grabbing the third rail)

      On Twitter I see random messages making broad statements about men re the rape charges against Julian Assange. I think we’re going into dangerous territory, and there’s a good chance we’re being manipulated, and before it goes too far, I want to try to moderate it, and talk about what we know and what we don’t know. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

      1. As far as I know there aren’t any charges against Julian Assange, in Sweden or elsewhere. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

      2. What I’ve read in the Guardian about the charges sound to me like he might not be a very nice person. But where I come from, that is not a crime — nor is it in Sweden, which seems like a fair country. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

      3. Rape is awful. But I think it’s almost as awful to falsely accuse someone of rape, because that’s going to radically change an innocent person’s life, for the worse. And it’s so easy to do, it’s one person’s word against another’s. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

    • Wikileaks: All 250,000 cables reported leaked in Norway

      According to a report today in Norway’s top business publication, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has managed to get a hold of the entire “Cablegate” database of some 250,000 diplomatic cables—Wikileaks has not granted any news organization this access, and has instead been providing access to relatively small batches, one at a time (what the Herald Sun calls “drip-feeding”). How did Aftonbladet get access? They won’t say, and Wikileaks won’t either, but one guess could involve the database being stored on a server within Norway.

    • We Open Governments: WikiLeaks for Beginners (Part 1 of 3)

      Love him or hate him, Julian Assange has become the (rather handsome, if a bit pasty) face of the global movement for government and corporate transparency. Through WikiLeaks, Assange has, arguably, helped release more classified information than the rest of the entire world press combined. Assange says this reveals the “perilous state of the rest of the media” and rightly asks how a team as small as his could accomplish such a feat in just four years of existence. WikiLeaks has hit all the bases – the media, governments, and corporations are all scrambling to address the consequences of the leaks. Beyond the damage control and the dirty tricks, a radical and fundamental shift in the balance of power is underway. Let’s just say that folks aren’t calling Assange an anarchist for nothing. But what is the rationale behind WikiLeaks, its methods, its goals? Don’t expect an answer from the media. The reasons behind the project have long been overlooked by the mainstream press, captivated as it is with its own sensationalistic ‘hit pieces’ on Assange month after month and its alarmist or just plain misguided attempts to explain how and why WikiLeaks presumes to “open governments” as only it can.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • That snow outside is what global warming looks like

      The weather we get in UK winters, for example, is strongly linked to the contrasting pressure between the Icelandic low and the Azores high. When there’s a big pressure difference the winds come in from the south-west, bringing mild damp weather from the Atlantic. When there’s a smaller gradient, air is often able to flow down from the Arctic. High pressure in the icy north last winter, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, blocked the usual pattern and “allowed cold air from the Arctic to penetrate all the way into Europe, eastern China, and Washington DC”. Nasa reports that the same thing is happening this winter.

  • Finance

    • This Bonus Season on Wall Street, Many See Zeros

      Bonus season is fast approaching on Wall Street, but this year the talk does not center just on multimillion-dollar paydays. It’s about a new club that no one wants to join: the Zeros.

    • Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch Accused Under RICO

      Perrenial warrior against naked short selling and Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne has amended a previously filed lawsuit against Goldma Sachs and Merrill Lynch to include charges under New Jersey RICO laws.

      The original lawsuit, filed in the California superior court in San Francisco, alleged that Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit engaged in a “massive, illegal stock market manipulation scheme” that involved so-called naked short-selling.

    • Why Is CNBC Trying So Hard to Defend Insider Trading?

      I have an opinion about CNBC. I believe this network comes to the aid of Goldman Sachs, other major Wall Street firms, and the insider trading syndicate. I believe that this company has an interest in luring retail investors into the investment trap that is the stock market. This is purely my opinion, but there are some tell tale signs that my opinion may be true. No one is accusing CNBC of taking money from Goldman Sachs. No one is accusing Jim Cramer, or CNBC editor John Carney (formerly of Clusterstock), or Erin Burnett of taking money from the TBTF banksters or anyone else directly.

  • PR/Murdoch

    • EC OKs News Corp’s Sky Bid, Saying People Don’t Want Bundled Media Anyway

      The European Commission’s antitrust investigators say competition would not be weakened if News Corp (NSDQ: NWS) buys the 60.9 percent of UK satcaster and telco BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) it doesn’t already own (case notes).

    • What Vince Cable said about Rupert Murdoch and BSkyB
    • Vince Cable to stay on as Business Secretary

      Business Secretary Vince Cable will stay in cabinet despite “declaring war” on Rupert Murdoch, says Downing Street.

      But he will be stripped of his powers to rule on Mr Murdoch’s bid to take control of BSkyB, which will be handed to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

      Downing Street said David Cameron believed Mr Cable’s comments about Mr Murdoch were “totally unacceptable and inappropriate”.

    • Fox News Chyron Identifies Elie Wiesel As “Holocaust Winner”
    • Venezuela: Who Dominates the Media?

      As can be seen from the table, as of September 2010, Venezuelan state TV channels had just a 5.4 percent audience share. Of the other 94.6 percent of the audience, 61.4 percent were watching privately owned television channels, and 33.1 percent were watching paid TV.

    • Vince Cable: I have declared war on Rupert Murdoch

      Vince Cable’s career was hanging in the balance today after it was revealed that the business secretary told two undercover reporters he had “declared war” on Rupert Murdoch and said: “I think we are going to win.”

      His Labour shadow, John Denham, said the business secretary’s comments, which referred to his intervention on public interest grounds in News Corporation’s bid for full control of BSkyB, should raise “grave doubts” for the prime minister, David Cameron, over Cable’s integrity and judgment.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Queen set to outlaw ID cards today

      The bill abolishing the National Identity Scheme is expected to gain royal assent later today.

      The Home Office said that it expected the identity documents bill would be passed into law on 21 December. As a result, existing ID cards will be invalid for use in a month’s time.

      Home office minister Damian Green said the bill’s passing will also allow work to begin on the secure destruction of the National Identity Register. “Photographs, fingerprints and personal information that were submitted as part of the application process for an ID card will be destroyed within two months,” he wrote in an article for Guardian.co.uk.

    • Japanese woman sues Google for displaying images of underwear

      A Japanese woman is suing Google for displaying images of underwear hanging on her washing line on its Street View function.

    • Bite-Size Privacy and Anonymity

      # Privacy is the lifecycle of secrets once you have chosen to share them. Anonymity is where an act is publicly known but the actor is not.
      # Privacy is the duty to respect the data that has been disclosed to you. Anonymity is the right not to disclose the data in the first place.

    • The smartphone that spies, and other surprises

      The use of mobile management tools can help, as they can disable cameras and so forth on several popular devices. The catch is that the devices have to be actually managed — a person who brings in a personal device and never accesses the corporate network won’t ever get managed by IT’s mobile management tool. Plus, even for managed devices, the tools today aren’t sophisticated enough to, say, disallow use of the camera within the employer facilities but allow it elsewhere, to prevent only problematic photo-taking.

    • 2010 Trend Watch Update: Location Privacy

      Looks like we hit the nail on the head with this one. As we recounted just last month in the post “Location, Location, Location”, location privacy was a huge issue this year both in the courts and in Congress. It’s also been a big focus of our work here at EFF, where we brought home two major court victories that strengthened your rights against location tracking by the government, whether through your cell phone or a GPS device attached to your car.

    • European Blog Action against Censorship in Hungary

      On January 1st, Hungary will take over the Presidency of the EU Council. On the same day, a controversial new law will come into force that even the OSCE’s media freedom representative has openly criticised – arguing in a recent report that “regulating online media is not only technologically impossible but it exerts a chilling, self-censoring effect on free expression.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Why is international data roaming so expensive?

      How high are international data roaming rates? I have direct evidence from two providers: an Italian provider TIM charges about $10 per megabyte; a U.S. provider T-mobile charges $15 per megabyte. The typical business user uses receives about 15 megabytes per day of email. My smartphone uses about four times this. By way of contrast, you can buy a SIM from Vodafone UK with 30 megabytes of data for about $30. Wifi at the airport or a hotel runs about $10-$60 per day. Over-the-air prices charged to local customers is much lower: TIM charges $25 per month for 5 gigabytes of data, of which probably about 2 gigs is actually used, so the effective rate is about $0.0125 per megabyte. T-mobile in the US charges a similar amount for similar service.,

    • Estonian shops started selling e-books
    • Obama FCC Caves on Net Neutrality — Tuesday Betrayal Assured

      Late Monday, a majority of the FCC’s commissioners indicated that they’re going to vote with Chairman Julius Genachowski for a toothless Net Neutrality rule.

      According to all reports, the rule, which will be voted on during tomorrow’s FCC meeting, falls drastically short of earlier pledges by President Obama and the FCC Chairman to protect the free and open Internet.

    • Steve Wozniak to the FCC: Keep the Internet Free

      I have always loved humor and laughter. As a young engineer I got an impulse to start a Dial-a-Joke in the San Jose/San Francisco area. I was aware of such humor services in other countries, such as Australia. This idea came from my belief in laughter. I could scarcely believe that I was the first person to create such a simple service in my region. Why was I the first? This was 1972 and it was illegal in the U.S. to use your own telephone. It was illegal in the U.S. to use your own answering machine. Hence it also virtually impossible to buy or own such devices. We had a monopoly phone system in our country then.

    • FCC: We didn’t impose stricter net neutrality regulations on wireless because Android is open

      Now, we obviously love Android, and there’s no doubt that Google’s OS has been part of some wonderfully furious competition in the mobile space recently. But we’re not sure any of that has anything to do with net neutrality — it doesn’t matter how open your OS is when you’re stuck with a filtered and throttled connection, and it’s a pretty huge stretch to think Android’s openness (however you want to define it) has anything to do with network access itself.

    • Today will define the Internet

      THE IRONICALLY TITLED LAND OF THE FREE today will decide if people and companies with money should have better and faster access to the worldwide web.

      Giant Internet service providers (ISPs) like Comcast and Verizon want to offer better access to corporations that can afford to pay for it. Standing in their way is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which has the power to issue regulations to protect net neutrality.

      Like we mentioned yesterday, unfortunately for the US the FCC has been keen to listen attentively to corporate interests, and draft regulations written by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski suggest that the telecoms and ISPs will win almost all they wanted.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Rise of the fashion trolls

      A funny thing happens as a Congressional session comes to a close. Priorities, whether political or policy, rocket to the surface. It becomes a war of attrition, of who can keep things ‘out of sight, out of mind’ before people get tired and want to go home.

      But, there are always numerous pieces of legislation that don’t get much love either way. The problem is, although they technically “go away” for now, the ideas behind them aren’t dead.

      One we could easily miss is this year’s “Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Act.” Its focus? Bringing copyrights to fashion design. This legislation (S.3728) has been around in some form or another since 2006.

      Now, I never thought I would be writing about fashion and government on opensource.com, or anywhere else, but here we are. Planet Money brought this whole issue to my attention in a short, but worthwhile piece.

      Clearly, clothing and accessories, however utilitarian or avant garde, aren’t software. But, their design is still a creative endeavor, and likewise one that borrows heavily from previous works.

    • Govt asks businesses for views on intellectual property

      The Government has asked businesses how it can help them to make more use of intellectual property (IP) assets. It has also published details of the review it will hold into IP growth.

      It said that it wanted to focus particularly on the use of IP by small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) and what it could do to help them to derive greater benefit from creative or inventive work.

      The Intellectual Property Office, part of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), has published the call for evidence to support its review into IP growth.

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