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01.03.11

Links 3/1/2011: KOffice 2.3.0 Released, New View for Activity Journal

Posted in News Roundup at 5:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Why I Use Linux

    Diversity: Don’t like something or anything about your computer? Change it.

  • Evangelistic Linux
  • Desktop

    • System76: Bringing Linux to the desktop, 1 stupid-fast computer at a time

      The netbooks were perfectly nice,and represented a solid choice for schools because of their abundant free software and competitive prices when compared to other netbooks with similar specs. However, System76 also sent me a high-performance, consumer-oriented laptop to evaluate in the broader context of desktop Linux.

    • How to choose the best Linux distro for laptops

      The smart mobile user shouldn’t overlook Linux. The question is, which distro should you pick?

      You’ll get a different answer depending who you ask. You’ll probably be pointed in the direction of Arch for performance, Debian for stability and Ubuntu if you want easy access to the biggest collection of apps.

  • Server

    • Excito B3 and Internet Freedom.

      As far as the power requirements go for this ARM-based Linux server, the power consumption ranges between 8 and 13 Watts, or as low as 5 Watts if using the SSD-equipped model.

    • Hackers obtain PS3 private cryptography key due to epic programming fail? (update)

      The group intends to generate a proof-of-concept video tomorrow, and release the tools sometime next month, which they claim should eventually enable the installation of Linux on every PS3 ever sold. Catch the whole presentation after the break in video form, or skip to 33:00 for the good stuff.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Thanks to You, Dan Will Be at FOSDEM 2011!

      So today, on a hunch, I set up a crowdfunding site to get Dan to FOSDEM. The site I used has a minimum target of $500, but I estimated $400 would suffice to fly Dan in, pay his accomodation, all the fees and fly him back again. I set the end of the campaign to January 20 and only advertised this on identi.ca and in less than twelve hours, we not only met our target, but well exceeded it. As I write this, the fund sits at an amazing $555. Once again, the absolutely unbelievable generosity of the LO community totally floors me! Even better, while all this happened, Dan was in studio with the band, totally oblivious to what was happening. I can only imagine he was pretty amazed as well when he eventually found out.

    • Linux Outlaws 183 – Darkfield Lasers (The Year 2010 in Review)

      In the longest Linux Outlaws episode ever (by far!), Dan, Fab and guest-host Ade Bradshaw discuss Linux and open source in the year 2010 and celebrate the move to the new year with loads of beer.

    • FLOSS Weekly 146: Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware

      Hosts: Randal Schwartz and Simon Phipps

      Tiki is a tool to build and maintain your Website/Wiki/Groupware/CMS/Forum/Blog/Bug Tracker or any other project you can run in a browser window.

    • Podcast 87 Openbox + Xorg 1.9 -hal

      In this Podcast an ozmart tip, dvtm, fun with openbox, and xorg 1.9 without hal.

    • Full Circle Side-Pod Episode Seven: The End of the Shortbread Biscuits

      This is an extra, irregular, short-form podcast, which is intended to be a side-branch of the main Full Circle Podcast. Somewhere to put all the general technology, non-Ubuntu news and opinions, hobby-horses and kruft that doesn’t fit anywhere else. Be prepared for a healthy dose of British sarcasm.

  • Google

    • Will Chrome OS fail or be the next big thing? Depends who you ask

      A quick scan of Google News this morning revealed alternating headlines about Chrome OS. Some pundits say “Google Chrome OS Faces Serious Risk of Failure.” Others say “Google’s Chrome notebook will succeed.” I’ve certainly had great impressions of the notebook in educational settings and it works well for a lot of what I do.

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung confirms Galaxy Player, will showcase at CES 2011

      Samsung has announced a new Android-based Galaxy Player that will be showcased next week at the CES 2011. Samsung says the new music player takes inspiration from its successful Galaxy S phone and is spec’d similarly sans the cellular connectivity.

  • Kernel Space

    • [kernel] Linux Kernel with BFS

      So, after reading all this, I downloaded the patch, spent some good 30 minutes playing with the kernel configuration (as always :p), enabling the BFS feature and compiling it into the kernel. The compilation took a little more than an hour, while sitting at FOSS.in, giving me the bzImage which I immediately put into my GRUB configuration. Rebooted and ta-da, it was BFS running on 2.6.35 vanilla.

    • The BeagleBoard [part 1]

      Execution of the ARM kernel begins in the inferred standard location of arch/arm/kernel/head.S, at the place very obvious labeled with “Kernel startup entry point”. At this point, the MMU must be off, the D-cache must be off, I-cache can be on or off, r0 must contain 0, r1 must contain the “machine number” (an ARM Linux standard assigned number, one per machine port, passed from the bootloader code), and r2 must contain the “ATAGS” pointer (a flexible data structure precursor to things like fdt and device trees that allows a bootloader to pass parameters). First, the processor mode is quickly set to ensure interrupts (FIQ and IRQ) are off, and that the processor is properly in Supervisor (SVC) mode. Then, MMU co-processor register c0 is copied into ARM register r9 to obtain the processor ID. This is followed by a call to __lookup_processor_type (contained within head-common.S, the common file for both MMU-enabled and non-MMU enabled ARM kernels – the latter are not covered by this document).

    • The differences between Linux IO Scheduler

      The Linux kernel input/output scheduler (IO Schedulers) controls the way the kernel handles read/write to disks. Different I/O schedulers may have different impact on certain workloads. Here are the list of available Linux I/O schedulers:

      1) Noop
      Noop scheduler is the simplest IO scheduler available in the kernel. It does not perform sorting or seek-prevention. It is intended for devices that has no mechanical parts or is capable of random access such as SSD or flash-disk.

      [...]

    • Graphics Stack

      • Happy New Year! A Big Linux GPU Comparison!

        This comparison is being done not only to satisfy requests from our Phoronix Premium subscribers, but to also test some of the new OpenBenchmarking.org features. [Yes, besides OpenBenchmarking.org tests causing a large FirePro driver comparison, it's also caused this large cross-GPU cross-driver comparison, new Amazon EC2 benchmarks (the new benchmarks of all Amazon cloud instances using the Amazon Linux AMI will be here by mid-January), and other yet-to-be-announced articles that are very exciting for early 2011.]

      • Broadcom CrystalHD Decoder support for FFmpeg and MPlayer

        At the end of last year, Broadcom released open-source drivers and a library for their CrystalHD hardware video decoder; You can read the details about that at Jarod Wilson’s blog if you’re interested.

        The hardware is particularly attractive because it’s low cost and can be added to any system, regardless of the GPU it uses. It provides MPEG1/2, H.264 and VC-1 decode capabilities in all hardware versions, and the latest 70015 part also adds MPEG4 Part 2 / DivX / XviD support – and, if you care about such things, it does so in a way that means all the infamous patent issues are handled in hardware.

      • Intel Sandy Bridge Linux Graphics? It’s A Challenge

        This week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (I’ll be there again looking out for Linux), Intel will officially launch their next-generation Sandy Bridge micro-architecture and CPUs. The NDA though expired at midnight on these first CPUs so there is now a stream of reviews coming out. Is there any Linux graphics test results for the Core i3 2100, Core i5 2400, Core i5 2500K, and Core i7 2600K? Unfortunately, there is not.

      • Sandy Bridge is the biggest disappointment of the year

        That said, what am I talking about? If you try to use Sandy Bridge under Linux, it is simply broken. We tried to test an Intel DH67BL (Bearup Lake) with 2GB of Kingston HyperX DDR3, an Intel 32GB SLC SSD, and a ThermalTake Toughpower 550W PSU. At first we tried to install vanilla Ubuntu 10.10/AMD64 from a Kingston Datatraveler Ultimate 32GB USB3 stick. The idea was that it would speed things up significantly on install.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KOffice 2.3.0 Released

        The KOffice team is happy to announce the 2.3 release of KOffice. This release brings many small improvements to all the KOffice applications, but not as many large new features.

      • KDE SC 4.6 RC1 – Another Look

        Looking forward to the final release, which must be due out in a few weeks.

    • GNOME Desktop

    • Xfce

      • Xfce 4.8pre3 Released

        Today we are pleased to announce the third and hopefully final preview release of Xfce 4.8 which is set to be pushed out to the public on January 16th, 2011. Compared to Xfce 4.8pre2 this release mostly features translation updates and bug fixes.

  • Distributions

    • Updated: Ubuntu And Fedora Wallpaper Pack [Official Wallpapers]

      Ankur has updated the wallpaper collection we’ve mentioned a while back that includes all the Ubuntu and Fedora official wallpapers in the 4:3 and 16:10 formats. The update includes the Fedora 14 and Ubuntu 10.10 wallpapers along with 10 extra wallpapers (from Linux Mint, Mandriva and the latest KDE 4.6 wallpaper)…

    • Get Slack!

      How I started with Slackware?, Well I’m using Arch Linux for about two years now. In the Arch Linux Wiki, there is a comparison of Arch Linux with other distributions, one of them is Slackware.

    • Archie

      It has been over two years since I first switched from a mighty popular “Linux” distribution to ArchLinux. And two fine years it has been.

    • New Releases

      • Pardus Linux 2011 RC Overview/Review
      • Wary Puppy 5.0 Available For Download

        Wary Puppy is a project of the Puppy Linux developer, Barry Kauler, to develop a linux distro which provide support for older hardware. Puppy Linux is already a very light weight distro and runs well on many older systems. However, Puppy Linux is moving to a new software base and it may no longer run so well on the older hardware. To maintain the support for the older hardware Wary Puppy has been introduced.

        Wary Puppy uses the older Linux kernel 2.6.31.14 because it provides better support for older hardware. Other components in Wary are a mix of old and new software. X.org which comes in Wary is quite old, Mesa is also fairly old and GTK, gcc etc. are fairly new. Wary also includes the latest releases of applications like SeaMonkey, Abiword, Gnumeric etc. and the latest drivers for printers, scanner etc.

      • New applications land in Parted Magic 5.8

        Parted Magic 5.8 is released, this new release comes with new software and many bug fixes. The following programs have been updated:partedmagic clonezilla-1.2.6-40, plpbt-5.0.11, psensor-0.4.4, linux-2.6.36.2, busybox-1.17.4, nwipe-0.03, simpleburn-1.6.0, syslinux-4.03, clamav-0.96.5, e2fsprogs-1.41.14, gparted-0.7.1. These are the new programs that were added: zerofree-1.0.1, cmospwd-5.0 ( A password recovery tool), open-iscsi-2.0.871, hfsprescue-0.1, gscite223.

    • Debian Family

      • This Week in Debian Episode 13

        Interview with George Castro, discussing Ubuntu as a Debian derivative.

      • Debian: Force users to use more secure login password with pam_cracklib

        One of the factor that makes your system easily crackable is the weak password. PAM cracklib forces users to choose stronger password by analyzing the password strength, length and entropy.

        To enable pam_cracklib in Debian / Ubuntu operating system, you need to install libpam_cracklib:

        sudo apt-get install libpam_cracklib

      • Happy New Debian GNU/Linux Release

        Squeeze is not officially released yet but the bug-count is in the same ball-park as the last release, Lenny, and the bugs I have examined are pretty narrow. With the additional available manpower on the weekend I would not be surprised that Debian Squeeze could be released within a few days. That will start 2011 off right.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Official Ubuntu keyboard for sale… with a Windows key?

          A new officially branded waterproof keyboard has gone on sale in the Canonical store.

          Made from silicon, the keyboard is flexible and can roll up for easy travel.Waterproof too it can withstand most liquid spills (I.e. and not fry), weighs a relatively light 204 grams and, best of all, has a whacking great Ubuntu logo on it to scream out your OS of choice.

        • What we should really be working on December 30, 2010

          It’s hard to get new users when the new users can’t use what you’ve made to a effective degree. If Ubuntu is going to be competitive with the rest of the operating systems out there (mainly Windows and Mac OS), then we have to first ensure that it works on the user’s computer to the highest degree that we possibly can.

        • I Love Ubuntu – And Here Are the Reasons Why

          In the meantime, I will continue to love and support the development of Linux and Ubuntu, even if it doesn’t get the respect that I feel it does.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Linux Desktop Edition Few Week Review

          In Summary, using Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat has been a great experience since it is fast, simple, and reliable to use as an everyday operating system for my web browsing, Linux gaming,watching video files on my computer or YouTube, listening to music and online radio, and office/school related tasks like e-mail, word processing, making slide presentations, and spreadsheets.

        • FCM#44 is HERE!

          This is it folks, the last issue of Full Circle…

          … last issue of 2010 that is!

        • Ubuntu Bug Fix Wishes for 2011

          Both are responsible for a disruptive desktop experience for many users. I also wish that the effort for the new “consistent user experience for desktop” does not keep or increase our current inability to fix such severe open source problems.

        • Ubuntu and the Boy Scouts of America

          In short, Eagle Scout candidate Raymond Westbrook of Boy Scout Troop 534 from Chicago, IL built a computer lab from 6 recycled PCs and running Ubuntu 10.04.

        • Ten worst things about Ubuntu
        • Why I use (and love) Ubuntu

          Since my inspiration to write has been rather dry the past couple of months, mostly due to work and work, I thought it would be cool to re-ignite my writing by sharing some reasons why I use (and love) Ubuntu. So here goes.

          There are many reasons why my partner, my son and I use Ubuntu but here is just a few.

        • Ubuntu Is The Rich Man’s OS X

          This is an awkward thing for me, because I do enjoy my expensive gadgets, and I’m not actually decided on Ubuntu – I might go for a Hackintosh instead – but there’s no question in my mind after reviewing the relevant research that choosing Ubuntu over OS X is the rich man’s (or woman’s) move.

        • Linux Ubuntu

          I am seriously thinking of making the switch from Windows to one of the Linux Operating Systems.

          [...]

          We got ripped off being forced to buy Vista, now Vistas flaws pressure us to spend more buying Windows 7. How much is Windows 7? Too freakin much.

        • Thinking About Ubuntu And 2011

          So here I am, and it is the night before I go back to work for my first day back in 2011. I have had some wonderful and frankly much needed time off work. Towards the end of 2010 I was pretty bushed and was ready to spend some time with my wife and family, my guitar, and my Playstation. The time off was worth every second and I am now rested and raring to go…raring to contribute to making Ubuntu a success in 2011.

        • Ubuntu’s fundamental flaw: Frozen full-screen apps
        • Ubuntu and the price of Unity

          Canonical’s decision to go with the Unity shell on GNOME may be a game changer for Ubuntu, but it doesn’t come without risk. Mark Shuttleworth’s declared aims are to unite design with free software. He hopes to blur the line between the web and the desktop, to create an intuitive Linux desktop that is a thing of beauty, and to make Ubuntu and free software popular among the kinds of user who have never heard of free software before.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • 5 reasons to try Zorin OS Linux

            One of the best features of the open source Linux operating system is that there are so many distributions to choose from.

            Ubuntu gets by far the lion’s share of the media’s attention, it’s true–largely by virtue of its top ranking at the top of DistroWatch’s popularity list–but there are hundreds of other options out there as well, many tailored to particular kinds of users and situations.

          • LMDE 201101 32-bit re-spin

            As re-spin of the LMDE 201012 32-bit ISO was made available under the name “201101″.

            The new ISO comes with an up-to-date live kernel which addresses the following issues:

            * “Black screen of death”, live session hanging with a black screen.
            * Installer hanging while configuring Grub.

          • Mint vs. LMDE: Sudden weight gain
          • Linux Mint vs Pinguy OS Review

            Linux Mint is one of the oldest, and arguably one of the best-developed, spin-offs of Ubuntu. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been seeing more articles talk about another similar spin-off of Ubuntu called Pinguy OS, and I thought, “Another Ubuntu derivative? How many more does the world need?” But then I saw that these articles were placing Pinguy OS on the same level of Linux Mint. I figured this warranted a full-on comparison test.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • The parable of the the PDA: predicting the smartphone’s future

        When reading the comments disputing the possible end of the voice-phone era I’m reminded of similar comments disputing the end of the PDA era.

        Although the Apple Newton pioneered the market in 1992 and John Sculley came up with the acronym, the Newton did not sell in significant volumes. It wasn’t until 1997 with the Palm Pilot that the PDA market took off. Microsoft quickly followed with a licensed OS based on Windows CE. In 2001 Microsoft launched the Pocket PC brand to cement its attack on the PDA market. The first phones using a Microsoft OS were using something called Pocket PC Phone Edition. The first Nokia smartphones (Communicators) were built like mobile PDAs.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • [maemo-developers] Qt Mobility 1.1 for Fremantle
        • The Rabbit Game for the N900
        • Team behind WebTab Tablet launches Widget Developer Tool; Now available for Download

          WebTab also features 11.6-inch display and a custom Linux operating system based on MeeGo Linux. The tablet features a custom user interface that offers a sidebar that lets you navigate through apps, web pages and widgets that are on the home screen.

        • MeeGo 1.0 Mobile Application Development Cookbook
        • Qt experts talking to you almost 50 hours on videos! Irresistible!

          In the year 2009 we started to spend dedicated effort in recording of Qt Developer Days and got very positive responses from Qt users. Surprisingly, even archived records from the years 2005-2008 found a large audience. People even voted against removing old videos! Sure, we will not do this!

        • MeeGo 1.1 running on HTC’s HD2

          While bored today, I decided to take a look at getting MeeGo running on the HTC HD2.

          The HD2 is very similar to the Nexus One hardware-wise, and MeeGo is already known to run on that, but as far as I know, nobody had ever got it running on the HD2. I set to work, and a few hours later we were up and running!

        • MeeGo-Harmattan Is Handling FreeDesktop.org X

          While Intel is looking to use Wayland on MeeGo Touch for their mobile/embedded purposes, the Nokia side is still focusing upon X for the time being. But rather than using X with KDrive, developing all of their X support out of the mainline trees, or going down any other messy paths, they are working towards using the mainline X.Org Server as found on FreeDesktop.org along with the other X libraries.

        • MeeGo’s Community Woes: Improvement in 2011?

          When one open source developer complains about corporate influence on a project, it’s not necessarily a danger sign. It’s a big community full of a diverse range of opinions, and some folks are easily agitated or provoked to anger when things don’t go entirely their way — and generally do a good job of broadcasting their displeasure. So I take it with an enormous grain of salt when one developer complains about a project.

          But in this case, the drumbeat is loud and coming from several projects. MeeGo has done a pretty good job of alienating most of the downstream projects that would re-package it and help MeeGo gain some traction in the developer and FOSS user community.

      • Android

    • Sub-notebooks

    • Tablets

      • Archos 101 Internet Tablet Review: Part 1 – hardware

        The Archos 101 Android based internet tablet is now available for $299 in the U.S.. I’ve had mine for about a week now and have some initial likes and dislikes. First I want to discuss the hardware. Can a sub $300 device compare well with an Apple i-Pad or Samsung Galaxy Tab? Surprisingly yes. Archos has been in the media player business for some time now and in general their devices are well thought out and ergonomic.

      • Notebook vendors seeing R&D delays for Android 3.0 tablets

        Notebook vendors have expressed concerns about the launch schedule of their Android 3.0 tablet PCs as Google is currently giving priority for Android 3.0 support mainly to smartphone players such as Motorola, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, High Tech Computer (HTC) and Nokia, leaving notebook vendors facing delays in their R&D schedules.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Free software seen as way to resolve many of Lebanon’s economic woes

    Free Open Source Software (FOSS) may seem to many to be more of a catchphrase than a reality, since it is not immediately clear why anyone would produce software without charging a price. But around the world, it is a widespread enterprise that saves consumers $60 billion a year in software expenditure, according to a 2008 study by Boston-based Information Technologies consulting group, Standish Group. It is also highly profitable, many proponents of free open source technologies have argued.

  • 6 Free Linux-Friendly Office Suites For Getting The Job Done

    Many people install Linux on their machines for its simplicity, believe it or not. Distributions like Ubuntu and Mint target the curious inexperienced user and provide a complete suite of free software to tackle most PC-related tasks.

  • Is Netflix a Friend or Foe to FOSS?

    “Like most businesses, [Netflix has} to struggle with the balance between contributing to open platforms and protecting their business models from upstart competition," said Slashdot blogger Chris Travers. "Doing this in an all-FOSS manner is rather difficult, but it's not impossible." In any case, Netflix, "like Microsoft, should be complimented on the things they support, and encouraged to support more."

  • Free Software: the road to a Universal bundle, a powerful app store, and world domination

    Apple is doing it again: they are releasing an app store for OS X on the 6th of January. Just like the iPhone app store, and the Android app store, this is going to be a hit: the OS X ecosystem will get a giant boost from it, and we are left — once again — with a lot to learn. Before you mention that GNU/Linux doesn’t need an app store because it’s free software, and before you even say that GNU/Linux already has an app store through one of the many software managers (Synaptics, Ubuntu Software Center, apt-get), please read this article.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Tsinghua University, Mozilla Launch Browser For IPv6

        Tsinghua University and Mozilla China have jointly developed a new Internet browser product that is specially designed for IPv6.

        Based on the core of Firefox, the widely-used browser by Mozilla, the new browser product, with the help of IPv6 tunnel technologies, enables smooth access to some IPv6, Facebook, and Google services, which are usually unstable. Facebook, at the present moment, is blocked in most areas of China. At present, this browser mainly targets the campus network of Tsinghua University with initial V1.0.6 version. It also has a "green download" edition which is about 16MB.

      • Mozilla Says Its Time To Create Firefox 4 Add-Ons Now

        Firefox 4 is nearing its final release date. Another milestone was reached when Mozilla confirmed that developers can now create add-ions for the new browser without having to be afraid that future Firefox 4 versions will bring further changes.

  • Oracle

    • And Then Along Comes Larry….

      I am not defending Oracle’s undermining of Open Source nor do I support it, but the company is at least being clear about its intentions and convictions. Customers like that.

    • The H Year: 2010's Wins, Fails and Mehs

      Meh – Oracle took over Sun – With the completion of Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems, a new regime of Oracle's "special" brand of communications took over from Sun's bloggy, chatty style. The Oracle brand of communications mostly involves Oracle not saying anything or so little that the community is left to fill in the blanks.

  • CMS

    • Drupal 7.0 RC 4 Released
    • New Drupal 7.0 Book: Foundation Drupal 7

      The primary audience for this book is web site designers interested in using Drupal to build web sites. The audience may have previous experience using Drupal but do not consider themselves proficient. They are familiar with coding a basic HTML/CSS web site, although these skills are not required to benefit from the book.

  • Funding

    • Wikipedia Raises $16 Million to Remain Ad-Free

      The Wikimedia Foundation announced this morning that it has reached its goal of $16 million in record time, more than doubling the $7.5 million the organization raised in 2009. The foundation, which is the non-profit parent organization of massively collaborative online encyclopedia Wikipedia and a multitude of other wikis, says that more than half a million people from all over the world donated to the effort this year.

  • BSD

    • Announced: FreeBSD 8.2-RC1 and 7.4-RC1
    • Considering FreeBSD Jails

      The jail does not boot its own kernel, and does not run a full version of the operating system. A jail is comprised of a filesystem, a hostname, an IP address, and an application. Jails can be seen as the logical successor to the older chroot environment, which restricted an applications access to the filesystem by providing the application it’s own root. Jails expand on this concept by further separating the host operating system and the application they are running. The difference between virtual machines and jails can be summed up by saying that virtual machines are for operating systems, jails are for applications.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • 2010 Dramatic Growth of Open Access

        2010 was the strongest year for open access growth so far. In 2010, 1,401 journals were added to DOAJ for a total of 5,936 journals. The Electronic Journals Library now records over 27,000 journals that can be read free of charge; over 3,500 were added in 2010. 1,037 journals actively participate in PubMedCentral, an increase of 313 over the past year, and more than half of these journals contribute all articles as open access. PMC now provides access to over 3.2 million free articles, an increase of over 300,000 this year. OpenDOAR lists 1,817 repositories, having added 257 this year. A Scientific Commons search encompasses 38 million items, an increase of over 6 million since last year. There are 261 open access mandate policies, an increase of 83 this year.

  • Programming

    • Report on the Tel Aviv Perl Mongers Meeting

      In the meantime, other people arrived there, and we talked about how to get more people to contribute, about making use of CPAN modules in projects and about which versions of Perl are used in the enterprise. Then the talks began.

Leftovers

  • Anti-Corruption Officials Laud the Internet

    After another year in which prominent corruption scandals and embarrassing controversies were brought to widespread public attention on the Internet–despite an intensifying clampdown on information by the government–you might think the government isn’t a big fan of the Internet’s role in the corruption issue.

  • No category of digital content has attracted payments from more than 33% of American Net users

    Pew Internet reports that 65% of American Net users (75% of the people they contacted) have paid for online, digital content. Ever. And there’s no category of goods in which more than one third of the respondents have ever paid for content.

  • DVD touted by Glenn Beck stirs up archaeological spat

    But, Lepper said, "The evidence is overwhelmingly that they are a fraud. And the premise that the Smithsonian or anyone made an effort to cover this up is not factually based."

  • How Much Copyright Infringement Can You Cram Into a Single Tweet?

    Chilling Effects says it received records of 11,500 total takedown notices in 2010, as of Dec. 15. Major contributors include Google, Yahoo and Digg.

  • Facebook Close To Naming Sun Microsystems Campus As New Headquarters

    It’s been less than two years since Facebook moved into its 150,000 square foot office space at 1601 South California Ave in Palo Alto, but the rapidly growing company is already itching for a new home. Now we’re hearing from multiple sources that Facebook has chosen the site for its new headquarters: the former Sun Microsystems/Oracle campus in Menlo Park CA, just off the Bayfront Expressway at 1601 Willow Road (map). The campus is around six miles from Facebook’s current home, and is bordered by Menlo Park and East Palo Alto.

  • Why waste money? Free software just as wonderful
  • Science

    • The Joy of Stats (Video)

      The Joy of Stats is an hour long BBC documentary by Professor Hans Rosling, in which he illustrates the beauty and importance of statistics as a means of understanding the world and society in which we live.

    • Top 10 Things Science Fiction Promised Us That DID Happen in 2010

      1. Walk through X-ray airport scanners — Who can forget the classic scene in Total Recall where Ahnuld walks through the scanner at the space port and we get a full x-ray of his body? Well, for some reason, people didn’t think this technology was quite as cool when it was brought to an airport security line near them this year. Maybe it was the the thought that someone in a dark room is looking at virtual nudie pictures of us. Maybe it was the increase in radiation bombarding our bodies. Whatever it was, many want to leave this advance behind in 2010.

    • Top 10 Things Science Fiction Promised Us That Didn’t Happen in 2010
  • Health/Nutrition

    • What Is in Fast Food? A Newly Discovered Reason to Avoid Fast Food

      According to Madbury, regulators who approved these chemicals for use with food and other products made three assumptions, which have now been proven wrong:

      1. The chemicals won't migrate from paper into food.
      2. The chemicals won't become available to your body.
      3. Your body won't process these chemicals.

  • New Year

    • Federated Social Web: Top 10 of 2010

      Here are a few of the FSW developments that I think have been important in 2010. The list is in order from least important to most important, and all opinions come from yours truly only. My criteria for inclusion were influence on future uptake of federation technologies – positive and negative. I didn't exclude events or developments that my company or I personally was involved in; it would be a pretty short list in that case.

    • Reasons to be Cheerful

      Our computers are about ten times faster in clock speed than they were circa 2000, but have vastly more (and faster) storage, are cheaper, and are crawling into everything from hotel room doorhandles to automobiles and TVs. My mobile phone today is significantly faster and more powerful — and has a higher resolution display and more storage! — than my PC in 2000. And my broadband today runs roughly 32 times as fast as it did in 2000. (Whether this is good or not is a matter of opinion, but at least it's available if you want it.)

      There's been enormous progress in genomics; we're now on the threshold of truly understanding how little we understand. While the anticipated firehose of genome-based treatments hasn't materialized, we now know why it hasn't materialized, and it's possible to start filling in the gaps in the map. Turns out that sequencing the human genome was merely the start. (It's not a blueprint; it's not even an algorithm for generating a human being. Rather, it's like a snapshot of the static data structures embedded in an executing process. Debug that.) My bet is that we're going to have to wait another decade. Then things are going to start to get very strange in medicine.

    • 2010 Trend Watch Update: Online Video
    • The Best Internet Memes Of The Decade: Chuck Norris, Rickroll, Lolcats And More From 2001-2010
    • A Road Less Traveled

      Amid the planes, trains and automobiles of the holiday season comes a surprising finding from transportation scientists: Passenger travel, which grew rapidly in the 20th century, appears to have peaked in much of the developed world.

    • A Dozen Copyright Predictions for 2011

      Here are a dozen copyright predictions for 2011, mostly but not solely of interest to Canadians...

    • Linux and open source prognostications for 2011

      So…what exactly is in store for Linux and open source in the upcoming year? Will it FINALLY be the “year of the Linux desktop”? We’ve been saying that for, what, three thousand years now? Let me don my Nostradamus cap and reach into the future and find out what is in store.

    • Geek&Poke's Predictions For The Next 20 Years
  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Document - Belarus: Further information: Opposition activist tortured in detention

      Andrei Sannikau, an opposition activist in Belarus and presidential candidate in the 19 December presidential election, has been tortured while in detention. Andrei Sannikau’s lawyer reported that his legs appear to be broken and the way he speaks and holds himself indicates that he may have brain damage. He needs urgent medical attention.

    • China's new netizens voice suspicions over death of village chief

      An activist decapitated, a journalist killed, a lawyer beaten, a magazine closed and an embarrassing legal case mysteriously settled out of court. In the past few days China's netizens have dug their claws into a smorgasbord of crimes and controversies in which the only constant is a reluctance to believe the official version of events.

    • Labour moots using speed cameras to reward law-abiding drivers

      The new shadow transport minister has suggested that the country's network of average speed cameras could be used to monitor and reward careful drivers with prizes, cheaper car tax, or by deducting penalty points from their licence.

      Conscious that her party was perceived as anti-motorist when in government, Angela Eagle suggested such uses for the cameras "might make people understand there is a point to [them]” she told The Daily Telegraph.

    • Revealed: The full shambles of the ID card trial in Greater Manchester

      Civil servants were urged to sign up their own families for ID cards as the controversial scheme flopped, it can be revealed today.

      Confidential reports into trials of the controversial £30 cards, obtained by the M.E.N., expose for the first time the chaos that surrounded their introduction.

      The £1bn scheme was launched in Greater Manchester in November last year but proved a hugely expensive failure, with only 13,200 people signing up.

    • Justice Department Refuses Cooperation With Polish Prosecutors Investigating Torture at CIA Black Site

      Polish prosecutors looking into the torture (including waterboarding) of prisoners held at the former CIA black site in northeastern Poland near Szymany air base turned to the U.S. Department of Justice with a request for help in collecting information relevant to the case.

    • Russian fifth-generation fighter: high hopes

      Under secrecy, Russia’s first fifth-generation PAK FA fighter jet has successfully completed a test flight. Its appearance has now been revealed by Sukhoi, the plane’s manufacturer, which released footage of the flight.

  • Cablegate

    • Wired.com: Lamo/Manning Wikileaks chat logs contain no unpublished references to Assange or private servers (Updated)

      Wired.com’s Kevin Poulsen and Evan Hansen have confirmed key details concerning unpublished chat logs between whistleblower Bradley Manning and informant Adrian Lamo. Responding to questions on Twitter, Poulsen wrote that the unpublished portion of the chats contain no further reference to ‘private’ upload servers for Manning, while Hansen indicated that they contain no further reference to the relationship between Manning and Wikileaks chief Julian Assange.

      U.S. Army Pvt. Manning, who allegedly sent 250,000 diplomatic cables and other secrets to Wikileaks, awaits trial in Quantico, Virginia. Wikileaks, working with newspapers in Europe, has so far published about 2,000 of the cables, with minor redactions.

    • Messenger refuses to be shot

      This highlights an issue that also came up with WikiLeaks. The US government used a system for holding its confidential communications that was intrinsically insecure (a unified database with something like two million officials authorised to use it). When its insecurity is finally revealed by Bradley Manning (and then WikiLeaks), the response is to rage against the breach whereas the rational thing to do is to rethink the security architecture. Governments are entitled to keep some secrets. But if those secrets are important, then they ought to be seriously protected, not put at risk in such a clueless way. So exposure fulfils a vital function, however annoying it may be at the time.

      One wonders, though, if anyone in the UK Cabinet Office is paying attention to all this. As far as I know, the Coalition is still committed to the computerisation of NHS medical records embarked upon by New Labour. This means that the UK is constructing the same kind of intrinsically-insecure system as that breached by WikiLeaks. If the NHS system is built, the UK will have a centralised database of highly confidential documents — the medical records of every citizen — to which upwards 100,000 people of different organisational grades will have routine rights of access. Imagine the fuss there will be when the News of the World pays some bent geek to access the medical records of Cabinet ministers, celebrities and the like.

    • Bankers fail to censor thesis exposing loophole in bank card security

      A powerful bankers’ association has failed in its attempt to censor a student thesis after complaining that it revealed a loophole in bank card security.

      The UK Cards Association, which represents major UK banks and building societies, asked Cambridge University to remove the thesis from its website, but the request was met with a blunt refusal.

    • From Wikileaks to OpenLeaks, Via the Knight News Challenge

      Back in 2009, Daniel Domscheit-Berg applied to the Knight News Challenge in the name of Wikileaks for $532,000 to fund a project to “improve the reach, use and impact of a platform that allows whistle-blowers and journalists to anonymously post source material.” At the time Domscheit-Berg was known to the world by the pseudonym “Daniel Schmitt” and made frequent appearances on behalf of Wikileaks alongside its editor-in-chief Julian Assange (including at the October 2009 Personal Democracy Forum Europe conference in Barcelona). Now, as is widely known, he and Assange have parted ways and Domscheit-Berg is part of a group organizing the launch of OpenLeaks.org, which is being described as more of a technological service provider to media organizations than as a central hub for leaks, and which is promising to roll out a detailed description of its organization and plans in January 2011.

    • Good Leak, Bad Leak: Why Wikileaks Matters

      There is more to fighting for freedom than simply picking up a gun.

    • Wikileaks: Crowdsourcing Cables and Coverage of the Cables. Nothing Else.
    • Assange: I’ve got the names of Arab officials spying on their own countries for the CIA

      The Internets are buzzing about an interview Julian Assange gave to Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel Wednesday, in which the WikiLeaks frontman reportedly threatened to release cables showing that various Arab officials were working with the CIA.

    • Rig owner refuses to honor oil spill subpoenas

      The owner of the rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico is refusing to honor subpoenas from a federal board that has challenged the company’s involvement in monitoring the testing of a key piece of equipment that failed to stop the oil spill disaster.

      Transocean said the U.S. Chemical Safety Board does not have jurisdiction in the probe, so it doesn’t have a right to the documents and other items it seeks. The board told The Associated Press late Wednesday that it does have jurisdiction and it has asked the Justice Department to intervene to enforce the subpoenas.

    • Just Weeks After Cutting Off Wikileaks, Amazon Brags About How US Federal Gov’t Is One Of Its Biggest AWS Customers?

      Again, no one is saying that Amazon has no right to deny service to whomever it wishes, but it does seem a bit odd from a PR standpoint, and raises questions about how much anyone should trust working with Amazon web services. I know it’s making me reconsider my own use of the platform for various projects.

    • 8 Smears and Misconceptions About WikiLeaks Spread By the Media

      As Glenn Greenwald has argued, mainstream news outlets are parroting smears and falsehoods about the whistleblower site and its founder Julian Assange, helping to perpetuate a number of “zombie lies” — misconceptions that refuse to die no matter how much they conflict with known reality, basic logic and well-publicized information.

    • Ministers must ‘wise up not clam up’ after WikiLeaks disclosures

      The government should take the WikiLeaks revelations as a lesson that civil servants and ministers can no longer assume they operate in private, and “wise up” to a world where any official communication could be made public, according to the information commissioner.

      Christopher Graham, the independent freedom of information watchdog, told the Guardian that the website’s disclosures had profoundly changed the relationship between state and public, in a way that could not be “un-invented”. But he warned against “clamming up,” saying the only response was for ministers to be more open.

    • WikiLeaks reveals State Department discord over U.S. support for Canadian tar sands oil pipeline

      A diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks has revealed that a U.S. diplomat warned the Obama administration about significant environmental impacts stemming from Canada’s controversial tar sands oil production program.

      The language in the cable contradicts recent statements by U.S. State Department officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, that underplay the environmental impacts of tar sands oil while defending a proposed pipeline that would bring the extremely polluting oil from Canada to the U.S.

    • WikiLeaks’ Assange: 2,000 sites now have all documents

      In the event of his untimely death or long-term incarceration, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would make public all the leaked documents his group has, the activist reiterated Thursday in an interview with the broadcaster al Jazeera.

      “If I am forced, we could go to the extreme and expose each and every file that we have access to,” he said, according to media groups reporting on the interview.

    • One tip enough to put name on watch list

      A year after a Nigerian man allegedly tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner, officials say they have made it easier to add individuals’ names to a terrorist watch list and improved the government’s ability to thwart an attack in the United States.

      The failure to put Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on the watch list last year renewed concerns that the government’s system to screen out potential terrorists was flawed. Even though Abdulmutallab’s father had told U.S. officials of his son’s radicalization in Yemen, government rules dictated that a single-source tip was insufficient to include a person’s name on the watch list.

    • Bradley Manning/Wikileaks Timeline

      Private First Class Bradley E. Manning was arrested and charged with the unauthorized use and disclosure of U.S. diplomatic cables to Wikileaks. He has been held in solitary confinement at the Marine Corps Brig, Quantico since sometime in May 2010.

    • Half-formed thought on Wikileaks & Global Action

      It’s possible that the plain meaning of the Pentagon Papers case will clear Assange and Wikileaks, full stop, and the era of self-restraint of the press in response to extra-legal constraints is over, at least in the US context. It’s possible that the Pentagon Papers case will be re-adjudicated, and the press freedoms of the traditional press in the US will be dramatically constrained, relative to today. It’s possible that new laws will be written by Congress; it’s possible that those laws will be vetoed, or overturned, or amended. Whatever happens, though, this is new ground, and needs to be hashed out as an exemplar of the clash of basic principles that it is.

    • Julian Assange Given Press Freedom Award

      A Romanian online publication known for its editorial independence is honoring Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for his service to press freedom, which it warns is under threat in Eastern Europe.

      Cotidianul.ro said Saturday Assange was given the “Free Dacia” award for exposing the “duplicitous behavior of some democratic countries.”

      Wiklieaks has begun publishing some 250,000 classified U.S. State Department cables.

    • Wanted [IMG]
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Italian shops to bin plastic bags from New Year’s Day

      The window of New Market on Via Antonio Cantore in the Prati quarter of Rome was crammed with the delicacies that go into a traditional Italian New Year’s Eve feast – lentils, zamponi (stuffed pig’s trotters) and hyper-calorific cotechino sausages from Modena.

      Tomorrow’s cenone (literally, “big dinner”) will usher in not just a change of the year, but a revolution for shoppers and store owners. From 1 January Italy’s hundreds of thousands of retailers will be banned from giving their customers plastic bags.

  • Finance

    • Interview: How Bitcoin Created a Decentralized Crypto-Currency

      Bitcoin is an open source, peer-to-peer electronic currency created by Satoshi Nakamoto and maintained by a small team of developers. As part of what’s turning into an ongoing series on the distributed Web, I talked to contributor Gavin Andresen about how the software works. This is a technical overview. If you’re interested in an economic or political look at the software, you can read the Wikipedia entry or Niklas Blanchard’s essay on the project.

    • Vatican enacts laws on financial transparency

      The Vatican, whose bank is the focus of a money laundering investigation, enacted laws on Thursday to bring it in line with international standards on financial transparency and the fight against funding terrorism.

    • Support the Dominant Paradigm

      Democracy has been rendered a quaint exercise in which we are asked to select which robber baron will loot our resources, which moral entrepreneur will pander to us, and which corporate elitist will decide our fates.

    • Western Union: Stop the crippling fees!

      As the new year starts, millions of hard-working men and women gather the money they have saved throughout the year, go to a local Western Union office and wire it to their relatives throughout the developing world. But up to 20% of these savings are taken in transfer fees, allowing companies to make billions of dollars in profit on the backs of the world’s neediest.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Triangulating Murdoch

      UK media and political watchers and workers continue to be captivated by Rupert Murdoch’s every breath and word. Owning five newspapers that regularly boost or end politicians’ careers with editorial endorsements and slant as well as controlling a hugely successful television franchise News Corporation has undisputed clout. With zestful assurance News Corporation, through its subsidiary News International, announced its intention to acquire shares in pay-TV company BSkyB it doesn’t already own within minutes of Conservative Party leader David Cameron, endorsed by News Corporation newspapers, becoming UK Prime Minister after parliamentary elections.

      [...]

      Sky News, which operates under News International, drew heat from some quarters fearful it would morph into something like News Corporation’s veracity -challenged, teabagger-supporting US all (sort of) news channel Fox News.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Fidesz: The story so far

      FIDESZ, a right-wing party, was elected to government in Hungary in April with a stonking majority and a large popular mandate for change following what it saw as eight years of misrule and corruption under the Socialist Party. In office, Fidesz, led by the belligerent prime minister, Viktor Orban, has interpreted this mandate in a liberal fashion, extending state control over independent institutions and appointing party men to roles of authority. With Hungary about to take up the rotating presidency of the European Union, some observers are concerned about what they consider to be a growing trend of assaults on the country’s independent centres of power. Our interactive chart chronicles the events of the last eight months.

    • Boycott Amazon.com

      They removed another one of my books from their list and are still ignoring me.

    • 2010 Trend Watch Update: Global Internet Censorship

      At the beginning of this year EFF identified a dozen important trends in law, technology and business that we thought would play a significant role in shaping digital rights in 2010, with a promise to revisit our predictions at the end of the year. Now, as 2010 comes to a close, we’re going through each of our predictions one by one to see how accurate we were in our trend-spotting.

    • VoIP decision means Skype now illegal

      The Chinese regulator has declared Internet phone services other than those provided by China Telecom and China Unicom as illegal, which is expected to make services like Skype unavailable in the country.

      The decision was criticized as a measure to protect the duopoly of state-owned telecom carriers, media reports said yesterday.

    • Leaving Facebook

      Facebook is like a casino: garish, crowded, distracting, designed to lure you in and keep you there far longer than you ever intended. (The same is true of its predecessor, MySpace.) Status updates—not only by actual friends and acquaintances but also from companies, news outlets, celebrities, sports teams—jockey for space with videos, ads, games, chat windows, event calendars, and come-ons to find more people, make more connections, share more data.

    • YouTube Legally Considered a TV Station In Italy

      Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that YouTube and similar websites based on user-generated content will be considered TV stations (Google translation of Italian original) in Italian law, and will be subject to the same obligations. Among these, a small tax (500 €), the obligation to publish corrections within 48 hours upon request of people who consider themselves slandered by published content, and the obligation not to broadcast content inappropriate for children in certain time slots.

    • Censorship In The United States – WARNING – Avoid U.S. Hosting And TLDs

      TorrentFreak obtained a copy of the affidavit filed by the DHS agent. It makes an interesting read.

    • The visionaries

      Tim Wu in the Meat Packing district in Manhattan, NY on December 19, 2010. Tim Wu specializes in telecommunications law, copyright, and international trade. He is the co-author of Who Controls the Internet?— Jimmy Jeong for The Globe and Mail

      ‘This is not about selling wristwatches or sweaters,” says Tim Wu, the Columbia Law School professor considered one of the world’s leading thinkers on technology policy. “This is information – information is power.”

      Raised in Toronto and a graduate of McGill University, he argues in The Master Switch, his new book, that information empires from radio to the modern Internet have a standard “cycle.” They begin with intense and extremely positive innovation but eventually lead to the rise of monopolistic entities that stray from their roots and, in some cases, stifle progress rather than foster it.

    • Websites Black-out as Drastic Internet Censorship is Introduced in Hungary

      A new media law in Hungary creates a powerful censorship authority without oversight and excessive powers under control of the governing party, which endangers the freedom of speech, the Internet and journalism as a whole. Citizens are called to black-out the Internet from the 5th January – when Hungary is taking over the EU presidency on the 6th January 2011.

    • Home Internet with Anonymity Built In

      Many political activists, nonprofits, and businesses use an anonymity system called Tor to encrypt and obscure what they do on the Internet. Now the U.S.-based nonprofit that distributes Tor is developing a low-cost home router with the same privacy protection built in.

      The Tor software masks Web traffic by encrypting network messages and passing them through a series of relays (each Tor client can also become a relay for other users’ messages). But using Tor has typically meant installing the software on a computer and then tweaking its operating system to ensure that all traffic is routed correctly through the program.

    • 2010 Trend Watch Update: Global Internet Censorship

      U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton staked out clear a position for the American Government in favor of global online freedom and against Internet censorship. But subsequent developments have been much less encouraging. In fact, as 2010 draws to an end, the United States has veered dangerously towards becoming a significant Internet censor itself.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Intel’s Sandy Bridge sucks up to Hollywood with DRM

      CHIPMAKER Intel has cut a deal with Hollywood in its Sandy Bridge chips to put digital restrictions management (DRM) in them.

    • Amazon Kindle Now Lets You Loan Your E-Books (Sorta)
    • Hack turns Nook Color into Kindle

      As soon as Barnes & Noble released the Android-powered Nook Color, one question that many people were asking was would you be able to run the Kindle app for Android on the device. Of course, Barnes & Noble wasn’t going to authorize it, but it was only a matter of time before people started “rooting” the Nook Color to run a customized flavor of Android that would allow you to download Android apps, including the Kindle app.

    • The Struggle for Net Neutrality

      Will Net Neutrality fare better? As the last frontier of press freedom, it gives consumers access to any equipment, content, application and service, free from corporate control. Public interest groups want it preserved.

    • Net Neutrality 2011: What Storms May Come

      When the Federal Communications Commission passed its first binding network neutrality rules earlier this month, it brought a sort of closure to a long-running, raucous debate that had left nearly all participants exasperated, if not exhausted.

      But one would be hard pressed to find an observer who really thinks the FCC’s Dec. 21 order will be the final word in the net neutrality debate. So what happens next?

      FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski billed the rules as a compromise that would establish some baseline prohibitions against service providers blocking lawful content on their networks, while shielding them from the heavy-handed regulatory oversight cable and phone companies had long fought against.

  • Monopolies

    • Despite Promises That Franchise Reform Would Lower TV Rates, The Opposite Has Happened

      For years, the telcos pushed for cable franchise reform, which was sorely needed to some extent. Basically, for decades, various local municipalities would offer a “franchise” for cable TV providers, so that residents really only had a single choice. When I was growing up, if you wanted pay TV you had one option and one option only. The reason for this did make some sense at the time. Laying infrastructure for cable was disruptive and expensive, and towns didn’t want multiple providers to dig up everyone’s lawn or whatever. On top of that, with a single franchise managed by local government, that local government could put conditions on the franchise that helped local residents (for example, here in Silicon Valley some franchises required super high speed broadband connections between schools, government building and a few other facilities). However, with it also came the downsides of a monopoly.

      [...]

      I think the real turning point on pay TV prices (contrary to the claims of some) won’t come due to franchise reform, but as more people ditch pay TV altogether and cut that cord to go internet-only.

    • When Sending A Bogus TM C&D, Don’t Send It To A Lawyer Who Understands TM Law

      Of course, using a logo in such a manner is not trademark infringement in the slightest, but it doesn’t stop Olson from making claims that it is. The letter claims that this is “misappropriating Career Step’s goodwill… and confusing the public. This will damage and likely has damaged, Career Step.” Of course, I’d argue that having its lawyer send out such a cease & desist would likely do more damage than the original post.

    • New Year’s Message: From Pessimism To Optimism… And The Power Of Innovation

      A couple months back, I had a really fascinating experience. I had two meetings in a row, each with incredibly successful content creators — people who have embraced new business models and new technologies to amazing results, both creatively and monetarily. We were discussing the state of the entertainment industry today, as well as additional strategies for navigating what’s coming next. What I found amusing, however, was how at some point, in the middle of each of those meetings, the person I was talking to sat back, laughed, and said “you’re such an optimist about these things!” I was amused, since both of these individuals had already shown an ability to thrive in these new, often unchartered waters, but they still weren’t completely convinced of their own success.

      But the part that really struck me, was that immediately following these two meetings, I went to check on Techdirt, and was reading a series of comments about how reading Techdirt each day was making people more and more pessimistic — what with new, more draconian copyright laws, domain name seizures, free speech violations and the like happening. And the juxtaposition of the two things struck me as odd. Yet, it seems to happen quite frequently.

    • Firms fight move to obtain cheap anti-blindness drug Avastin

      The NHS has moved a step closer to obtaining a cheap drug to prevent the leading cause of blindness, in spite of attempts by drug companies to block it.

      The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), which decides which drugs may be prescribed on the NHS, has decided to move towards an official appraisal of a drug, Avastin, that has been widely and cheaply used to prevent wet age-related macular degeneration – even though the drug companies that make and market it refuse to seek a licence. They have a licensed version which is many times more expensive.

    • Copyrights

      • Dilma announced new minister of culture – and the end of the copyright reform?

        In the media interviews so far, the new minister, who is not a member of the PT, points out that she had been approached about ten days earlier and received the invitation to head the ministry only two days before her appointment. Nevertheless, as a professional artist and someone who has worked in the public culture administration, her initial statements are astonishingly clueless. The direction in which she is set to go, however, seems to be already clear. One of the first interviews, published by O Globo (in a DRM format that prohibits copying of the text) is headlined “Culture Minister will review the new Law on Copyright” (Ministra da Cultura vai rever a nova Lei do Direto Autoral, André Miranda, O Globo, 23.12.2010)

      • Radiohead Charity Pay-What-You-Want DVD On BitTorrent

        In January 2010, in response to the emerging tragedy from the earthquake in Haiti, Radiohead performed before a limited audience at a charity concert in the United States. Since that performance, footage of the event has been painstakingly compiled by fans and now a twin DVD has been released, endorsed by the band. All proceeds are going to charity and the fastest way of acquiring it? BitTorrent of course.

      • Only one of over 7,000 Batman XXX P2P defendants remains

        Holy downloads, Caped Crusader—the judge that has been kneecapping copyright troll suits right and left has done it again. This time, West Virginia United States District Court Judge John Preston Bailey has “severed” 7,097 out of 7,098 Joe Doe defendant subpoenas in a lawsuit alleging that they illegally downloaded copies of Batman XXX: A Porn Parody.

        Bailey’s reason for the dismissal? Same as the massive smackdown he dealt to a host of porn movie infringement suits earlier this month. Bunching them all together in one big case made no sense, since the defendant’s actions weren’t related to each other.

      • ‘Tis the season… to sign petitions

        But the card also comes with an inserted petition, urging people to sign to protest Bill C-32, the Harper government’s proposed copyright legislation. The petition says the legislation would tamper with existing copyright protection for artists and musicians.

      • China’s Ministry Of Culture To Clear Illegal Music Websites

        China’s Ministry of Culture has published a notice stating that it will further clear the Chinese online music market and shut down irregular and illegal music websites.

      • Waiting for ‘Waiting for Godot’

        Current US law extends copyright protections for 70 years from the date of the author’s death. (Corporate “works-for-hire” are copyrighted for 95 years.) But prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (which became effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years (an initial term of 28 years, renewable for another 28 years). Under those laws, works published in 1954 would be passing into the public domain on January 1, 2011.

      • Pirate Party Leader Rick Falkvinge Resigns on 5th Anniversary

        Five years ago the first Pirate Party was founded in Sweden. In the years that followed the Party shook up the political climate in its home country and the European Parliament where it holds two seats. Now, five years later, founder and chief architect Rickard Falkvinge is stepping down as leader. He will focus on promoting the Pirate position internationally, while Party deputy Anna Troberg will take over the reins.

      • 5 Anti-Piracy Strategies Designed to Hurt Torrent Sites in 2011

        In 2011 the war against BitTorrent and other file-sharing sites will reach a new level. Since sites such as The Pirate Bay have proven that no amount of litigation or criminal sanctions against their operators can take them down, the focus will switch to undermining their infrastructure. Companies and organizations providing file-sharing sites with essential services are set to face the glare of the spotlight and attempts to hold them accountable for the actions of their customers’ users.

Clip of the Day

Google Demo Slam: Streetview Road Race


Credit: TinyOgg

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    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  20. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  21. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  23. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  24. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  25. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  26. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  27. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  28. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  29. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  30. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?


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