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01.09.11

Links 9/1/2011: OLPC With ARM and Fedora on Two Watts, Mac Asay Claimed Disrespectful of Freedom

Posted in News Roundup at 6:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • The GPL/LGPL App Store For Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, BSD, and Solaris

      What if someone ported a graphical version of Apt and/or Yum to the two proprietary operating systems, and used to it distribute GPL/LGPL applications? There would be certain costs involved, but by using the original projects repositories, the costs could be limited. This is the sort of project that the Free Software Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation would both have strong philosophical reasons to back. And there’s no reason that it couldn’t cover both Desktop and Server applications.

    • ‘MusicMe’ media player forced to change name, goes Tolkien

      The change, the result of a trademark dispute with a European company, led to the the developers turning their ears towards the linguistic worlds of Tolkien for some inspiration.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • GameTree Linux Is Trying To Be Its Own Steam-Like Platform

        This morning we reported on the soft announcement that TransGaming would be replacing Cedega with something known as GameTree Linux. Not much information was available at the time, just that it was built upon Cedega technology, would replace the subscription-based Cedega Gaming Service, and would be distributed as a free program. Now though a few more details have come to light.

        TransGaming hopes to rejuvenate itself by offering GameTree as a centralized game distribution/management platform for Linux PCs and like systems, including set-top and mobile devices. Basically it’s set to be similar to Valve’s Steam Content Delivery Platform or the new alternative, Desura. Steam is still coming to Linux with the Source Engine, which will immediately jump to the front, and Desura is also looking at possibly offering a Linux client too of its digital distribution system.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Party Time!

        It has been several months now since the previous set of major releases by KDE and it is time for some more! KDE’s Plasma workspaces and the KDE Platform will all reach version 4.6 on 26 January and many of KDE’s application teams will also be unveiling new versions of their software on that day.

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Magic scheduler patch coming to your Natty desktop?

          The bad news is that it is currently default off, so unless Ubuntu changes that default this enhancement remains hands off for Natty users out of the box even if 2.6.38 makes it into Natty (PPA solutions likely to become available though).

        • Five ‘new’ screenlets for Ubuntu: Gmail, Clock and more

          Screenlets, the desktop widget framework for Linux, was once the apple of eye-candy fans everywhere. Sadly over the last few years a lack of development and direction has lead to the project falling out of favour with users.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Live from CES 2011: Pelagicore demonstratws Genivi Meego cross platform in-car solution

          Rob Wray, from mp3Car, speaks with Mikael Soderberg, from Pelagicore, to discuss two new vehicle hardware setups.

          First, the ARM processor of the Beagleboard C4 is paired with a daughterboard from Pelagicore to enable easy communication with systems in the vehicle including the MOST, CAN, & LIN protocols. AM/FM radio integration, Bluetooth and power management capabilities are also integrated.

    • Sub-notebooks/OLPC

      • OLPC on Two Watts

        Finally, OLPC has realized that ARM uses less power than x86… They are producing XO-1.75 that can be recharged with a couple of hours on the crank. Still, their price is about $165, too high for many of its target-users. I expect by next year they could be within the original $100 range. The next model, XO-3 should run for 1 watt.

      • XO-1.75 Laptop Innovation: OLPC Goes ARM and Touchscreen!

        Edward McNierney, chief technology officer of One Laptop Per Child showed off the XO-1.75 XO laptop at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, according to ComputerWorld. The XO-1.75 has two innovations:

        1. The XO-1.75 is the first OLPC laptop to use ARM chips, an 1GHz Armada 610 chip from Marvell Technology, reducing power consumption by half – to just 2-watts
        2. The XO-1.75 will have a 8.9-inch touchscreen, so children can use their fingers instead of a jumpy mouse or delicate keyboard to interact with the XO

      • Rise of ebooks threatening children’s traditional Google skills

        Academics are worried that the surge in popularity of ebook readers could lead to a catastrophic loss of children’s basic Google search skills. According to a report published today, a whole generation is becoming seduced by the convenience and reliability of ‘books’ available on their Kindles and iPads, meaning that many have only the vaguest understanding of the learning methods used by their parents.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Matt Asay Does Not Get Freedom

    According to Matt Asay setting the world Free amounts to “losing”. My pet market is the desktop. It may be a mature market but forever there will be a market for personal computing where individuals partake of creating, finding, modifying, storing and presenting information. Freedom in that market is important for billions of humans and their software and hardware. How is freeing that market losing? It is lazy business that insists on operating in a growing market only. Real businesses that work for a living can succeed in a mature market.

  • Apache to steward NASA-built middleware

    The Apache Software Foundation is extending its breadth of open-source software projects to include a package of data-management middleware developed by NASA.

    The Apache Object-Oriented Data Technology (OODT), first developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL, is now an Apache Top Level Project, the organization announced Wednesday.

  • SaaS

    • Clouds and Freedom

      RMS warns that clouds (Software As A Service) can be non-free. SaaS can essentially subvert Free Software by exploiting Free Software but because software is not distributed, cloud services are exempt from freeing the modified source code. For example, Google, which uses and contributes a lot to Free Software, does not reveal its code for search, kernel tweaks etc. So, using Google’s services switches us to using what is essentially non-free software, all the modifications Google has made to Free Software but has not been forced to reveal by the GPL.

  • Business

  • Government

    • A Walled Wide Web for Nervous Autocrats

      At the end of 2010, the “open-source” software movement, whose activists tend to be fringe academics and ponytailed computer geeks, found an unusual ally: the Russian government. Vladimir Putin signed a 20-page executive order requiring all public institutions in Russia to replace proprietary software, developed by companies like Microsoft and Adobe, with free open-source alternatives by 2015.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • House.Resource.Org

      For the past 5 years, I’ve haunted the halls of the U.S. Congress with a geeky ask: broadcast-quality video from all congressional hearings should be posted on the Internet. I gave a tech talk at Google, drew up business plans (pdf) to start a new nonprofit, enlisted the help (pdf) of the Public Printer, and harassed my friends in the mainstream media and my friends working for the former Speaker (pdf).

      My motivation has been a deeply felt belief that one should not have to live inside the Washington, D.C. beltway in order to observe the proceedings of the U.S. Congress. No matter what our political beliefs, no matter how much we disagree on the issues, we must all agree that the business of the Congress is the business of the People. Today, that means that business must be conducted so that it is visible on the Internet.

    • Open Access/Content

      • PLoS ONE: now the world’s largest journal?

        This post explores data strongly suggesting that open access journal PLoS ONE is now the world’s largest journal. According to Pete Binfield (personal correspondence), in 2010 PLoS One published 6,749 articles. Based on listserv discussions in 2008, the world’s largest journals at that date were PHYS REV B (5782 articles) and APPL PHYS LETT (5449 articles). As of today, a search for 2010 articles at the APS website yields 6,206 articles. A search for 2010 articles for APPL PHYS LETT in IEEE’s xPLore service yields 4,381 articles.

    • Open Hardware

Leftovers

  • Why Inequality Matters

    The U.S. social and economic landscape is rapidly changing. Inequalities in wealth, which began an upward ascent back in the 1980s, accelerated in the 1990s. Now they are flying off the charts, thanks first to the tax cuts ushered in by Bush II and second to Obama’s recent continuation of those tax cuts, plus more, which have the effect of taking from the working class and poor in order to give to the rich.

  • The State of IPv6 in Canada

    Two weeks we published this article, in which we looked at the status of IPv6 deployment worldwide. We saw that by looking at the number of networks (Autonomous Systems) that announce both IPv4 and IPv6 prefixes, the global IPv6 deployment rate is around 8%.

  • The Web Is a Customer Service Medium
  • 5 Satirists Attacked by People Who Totally Missed the Point

    One editorial note before we begin: The Onion and South Park are not on this list. Both are fine practitioners of satire, but I couldn’t find an example from them that fit neatly into our theme. After all, morons who actually believe Onion stories to be true usually just get outraged by the events rather than hating the paper. South Park has certainly pissed people off, but those who were angered were typically the people being satirized. When South Park satirized Islamic militants for threatening death at the depiction of Allah, and then received death threats from Islamic militants, no one missed the point.

    These following satirists, however, were confronted by those who simply didn’t get it.

  • Science

    • Study reveals secret ingredient in religion makes people happier

      An article published early this month in American Sociological Review confirms what many in the religious community have known for some time: participation in religious organizations may lead to a more satisfying life.

      Active church-goers report they are more satisfied with their lives than those who do not regularly visit churches.

      This sense of satisfaction comes more from the interactions that church-goers share than the actual theological activities and discussions that occur at churches, the article says.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Repeal health care? Give up your own first!

      For 2 years, GOP leaders in Congress fought tooth and nail to oppose health care reform. They did their best to keep tens of millions without coverage, decrying any effort to help citizens as “socialist,” “fascist” or some other equally baffling “ist.”

      And incredibly, now that they are the majority, their first act will be to vote to repeal health care reform that gives affordable care to 32 million Americans.

    • Fluoride levels in water too high, U.S. agency says

      Fluoride in drinking water — credited with dramatically cutting cavities and tooth decay — may now be too much of a good thing. Getting too much of it causes spots on some kids’ teeth.

      A reported increase in the spotting problem is one reason the federal government will announce Friday it plans to lower the recommended levels for fluoride in water supplies — the first such change in nearly 50 years.

  • Security

    • Mobile security outrage: private details accessible on net

      THE personal details of millions of Vodafone customers, including their names, home addresses, driver’s licence numbers and credit card details, have been publicly available on the internet in what is being described as an ”unbelievable” lapse in security by the mobile phone giant.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • OAS Diplomat’s Words Rattle Haiti’s Occupation Regime

      As the one-year anniversary of Haiti’s earthquake approaches, a brutally frank account of the plight of its people has been delivered by a highly placed diplomat. Ricardo Seitenfus, the representative to Haiti of the Organization of American States, delivered a hard-hitting assessment of the foreign role in that country in an interview published in the December 20 edition of the Swiss daily Le Temps. i

      The interview also appeared in the right-wing, Haitian daily, Le Nouvelliste. For his words, he was immediately recalled from his posting.

    • Knesset approves investigation of Israeli human rights groups

      Commission of inquiry into groups monitoring activities of the Israeli military in occupied West Bank denounced as ‘McCarthyite’

    • Bil’in protester dies after inhaling tear gas

      A Palestinian woman died Saturday morning after suffering intense tear-gas inhalation during an anti-wall rally in Bil’in on Friday, medics said.

    • Soldiers raid house of Beit Ummar popular committee member

      Soldiers from the Karmei Tzur settlement/military base invaded a civilian house this afternoon in Beit Ummar using live ammunition and sound bombs. During the raid, woman and children were injured as the soldiers harassed one of the Popular Committee leaders of the village.

    • Israel-bound submarines banned from testing in Norway’s waters

      Israel-bound submarines will no longer be allowed to undergo tests in Norwegian territory, as part of the country’s ban on security exports to Israel, Norway has informed a German shipbuilder.

    • Shin Bet grills Haaretz reporter Uri Blau over leaked IDF papers

      Blau returns to Israel from London this week after signing an agreement with judicial authorities committing him to present himself for questioning.

    • Florida Professor Arrested for Having a “Suspicious” Bagel on a Plane

      A Florida professor was arrested and removed from a plane Monday after his fellow passengers alerted crew members they thought he had a suspicious package in the overhead compartment.

      That “suspicious package” turned out to be keys, a bagel with cream cheese and a hat.

      Ognjen Milatovic, 35, was flying from Boston to Washington D.C. on US Airways when he was escorted off the plane for disorderly conduct following the incident.

    • Habib to sue US and Egypt over torture case

      FORMER Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib will use the money received from an out-of-court settlement with the federal government to start an international lawsuit against the US and Egyptian governments.

      Mr Habib, who reached an agreement last month in which he received a secret sum in exchange for absolving the government of liability in his torture case, says he has fresh evidence, including film footage.

    • Politics of Fear

      Put things into perspective. In the 1970s, hardly a day went by in Britain without the threat of bombing campaigns by the Provisional IRA. Reacting to the 7 February 1991 Downing Street IRA attack, British Prime Minister John Major said coolly, “I think we had better start again, somewhere else.” Somehow Britain survived without the paranoia and fear characteristic of our time. Today, the extensive security apparatus in place cannot even tolerate a joke sent over Twitter. Paul Chambers was arrested for the tweet: ‘Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!’, which was deemed to constitute a bomb threat to Doncaster Sheffield’s airport in the UK.

    • U.S. teenager tortured in Kuwait and barred re-entry into the U.S.

      Gulet Mohamed is an 18-year-old American citizen whose family is Somalian. His parents moved with him to the U.S. when he was 2 or 3 years old, and he has lived in the U.S. ever since. In March, 2009, he went to study Arabic and Islam in Yemen (in Sana’a, the nation’s capital), and, after several weeks, left (at his mother’s urging) and went to visit his mother’s family in Somalia, staying with his uncle there for several months. Roughly one year ago, he left Somalia and traveled to Kuwait to stay with other family members who live there. Like many teenagers who reach early adulthood, he was motivated in his travels by a desire to see the world, to study, and to get to know his family’s ancestral homeland and his faraway relatives.

    • Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot in Arizona, was on Palin’s infamous “target” map (Updated)

      Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was among the estimated 15 or more victims of a shooting outside a Safeway store in Tucson, Arizona within the past hour. So far, 15 are reported wounded, 6 dead. Details are still coming in, but what has been reported so far: she was “shot point blank in the head,” the assailant(s) fired some 15 or more shots into the crowd, and this took place at a “town hall” sort of event during where Giffords was speaking to her constituents. One shooter is reported to be alive and in custody.

    • Giffords Opponent, Jesse Kelly, Held June Event to “Shoot a Fully Automatic M16″ to “Get on Target” and “Remove Gabrielle Giffords”
    • Judge John Roll Dead: Killed In Arizona Shooting

      Arizona Central talked to Gonzales in 2009 after Roll allowed a $32 million civil-rights lawsuit to proceed against a local rancher. The case was filed by illegal immigrants and drew the ire of local talk radio hosts, who “spurred audiences into making threats.”

  • Cablegate

    • Bradley Manning, Solitary Confinement and Selective Outrage

      A few of the writers who champion Manning have, to be fair, mentioned in passing the widespread use of solitary confinement in the United States. A very few have gone further: One powerful piece by Lynn Parramore on New Deal 2.0, for example, uses the Manning case as an opportunity to document and denounce the brutal realities of solitary confinement. She urges readers to “remember the thousands of people being tortured in American prisons, including Bradley Manning, and let us send our own message back to our government: We are Americans…Most assuredly, we will not accept torture in our name. Not of the accused. Not of the mentally ill. Not even of convicted criminals.”

    • Icelandic MP fights US demand for her Twitter account details

      A member of parliament in Iceland who is also a former WikiLeaks volunteer says the US justice department has ordered Twitter to hand over her private messages.

      Birgitta Jonsdottir, an MP for the Movement in Iceland, said last night on Twitter that the “USA government wants to know about all my tweets and more since november 1st 2009. Do they realize I am a member of parliament in Iceland?”

    • The Best of Cablegate: Instances Where Public Discourse Benefited from the Leaks

      Since late November, the whistleblower website Wikileaks has been in the process of releasing in waves over 250,000 leaked United States diplomatic cables. Known as “Cablegate,” this is the largest publication of confidential documents by any organization. (Catch up on Wikileaks developments by reviewing EFF’s page on this issue).

    • Icelandic MP fights US demand for her Twitter account details

      A member of parliament in Iceland who is also a former WikiLeaks volunteer says the US justice department has ordered Twitter to hand over her private messages.

      Birgitta Jonsdottir, an MP for the Movement in Iceland, said last night on Twitter that the “USA government wants to know about all my tweets and more since november 1st 2009. Do they realize I am a member of parliament in Iceland?”

      She said she was starting a legal fight to stop the US getting hold of her messages, after being told by Twitter that a subpoena had been issued. She wrote: “department of justice are requesting twitter to provide the info – I got 10 days to stop it via legal process before twitter hands it over.”

    • DOJ subpoenas Twitter records of several WikiLeaks volunteers

      Last night, Birgitta Jónsdóttir — a former WikiLeaks volunteer and current member of the Icelandic Parliament — announced (on Twitter) that she had been notified by Twitter that the DOJ had served a Subpoena demanding information “about all my tweets and more since November 1st 2009.” Several news outlets, including The Guardian, wrote about Jónsdóttir’s announcement.

      What hasn’t been reported is that the Subpoena served on Twitter — which is actually an Order from a federal court that the DOJ requested — seeks the same information for numerous other individuals currently or formerly associated with WikiLeaks, including Jacob Appelbaum, Rop Gonggrijp, and Julian Assange. It also seeks the same information for Bradley Manning and for WikiLeaks’ Twitter account.

    • DOJ sends order to Twitter for Wikileaks-related account info

      The U.S. Justice Department has obtained a court order directing Twitter to turn over information about the accounts of activists with ties to Wikileaks, including an Icelandic politician, a legendary Dutch hacker, and a U.S. computer programmer.

      Birgitta Jónsdóttir, one of 63 members of Iceland’s national parliament, said this afternoon that Twitter notified her of the order’s existence and told her she has 10 days to oppose the request for information about activity on her account since November 1, 2009.

    • US DOJ subpoenas my twitter account info

      It’s a warm and fuzzy feeling to know that somewhere, far away, people are thinking about you. Last night I received this rather interesting e-mail from twitter…

    • Twitter Informs Users Of DOJ WikiLeaks Court Order, Didn’t Have To

      The US Department of Justice has served Twitter with a 2703(d) court order to reveal information about accounts related to people associated with WikiLeaks.

    • Julian Assange hires PR team

      He’s appointed London public relations firm Borkowski, owned by master publicist Mark Borkowski – which has a four-member team dealing with media enquiries about him – and an online weekly media conference to deliver messages from him and WikiLeaks.

    • WikiLeaks demands Google and Facebook unseal US subpoenas

      WikiLeaks has demanded that Google and Facebook reveal the contents of any US subpoenas they may have received after it emerged that a court in Virginia had ordered Twitter to secretly hand over details of accounts on the micro-blogging site by five figures associated with the group, including Julian Assange.

      Amid strong evidence that a US grand jury has begun a wide-ranging trawl for details of what networks and accounts WikiLeaks used to communicate with Bradley Manning, the US serviceman accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of sensitive government cables, some of those named in the subpoena said they would fight disclosure.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Bees in freefall as study shows sharp US decline

      The abundance of four common species of bumblebee in the US has dropped by 96% in just the past few decades, according to the most comprehensive national census of the insects. Scientists said the alarming decline, which could have devastating implications for the pollination of both wild and farmed plants, was likely to be a result of disease and low genetic diversity in bee populations.

    • Forest of Dean protesters fight big woodland selloff

      There’s been nothing quite like it in the ancient Forest of Dean since the last time a Conservative government tried to privatise Britain’s largest oak forest.

    • India’s hidden climate change catastrophe

      Naryamaswamy Naik went to the cupboard and took out a tin of pesticide. Then he stood before his wife and children and drank it. “I don’t know how much he had borrowed. I asked him, but he wouldn’t say,” Sugali Nagamma said, her tiny grandson playing at her feet. “I’d tell him: don’t worry, we can sell the salt from our table.”

      Ms Nagamma, 41, showed us a picture of her husband – good-looking with an Elvis-style hairdo – on the day they married a quarter of a century ago. “He’d been unhappy for a month, but that day he was in a heavy depression. I tried to take the tin away from him but I couldn’t. He died in front of us. The head of the family died in front of his wife and children – can you imagine?”

    • Sustainable fish customers ‘duped’ by Marine Stewardship Council

      The body which certifies that fish have been caught sustainably has been accused of “duping” consumers by giving its eco-label to fisheries where stocks are tumbling.

      The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) manages the labelling system that tells consumers which species of fish they can buy safe in the knowledge they aren’t destroying stocks.

    • Huge bluefin tuna fetches record price in Tokyo, but whale is left on the shelf

      At a market in central Tokyo this week, a bluefin tuna the size of five Japanese men fetched £250,000 at auction. It was partly a show of New Year ostentation but proof, too, that Japan has not lost its appetite for an endangered species.

      Whales, however, are no longer so popular. At refrigerated stores across the country, thousands of tonnes of whalemeat lies unsold.

    • Scientists say dolphins should be treated as ‘non-human persons’

      Dolphins have been declared the world’s second most intelligent creatures after humans, with scientists suggesting they are so bright that they should be treated as “non-human persons”.

      Studies into dolphin behaviour have highlighted how similar their communications are to those of humans and that they are brighter than chimpanzees. These have been backed up by anatomical research showing that dolphin brains have many key features associated with high intelligence.

  • Finance

    • A Profound and Jarring Disconnect

      According to the latest poll conducted by CBS “60 Minutes” and the magazine Vanity Fair, 61 percent of Americans want to raise taxes on the wealthy as the primary way to cut the budget. The same poll finds that the second most popular first choice for cutting the nation’s budget deficit, at 20 percent, is cutting the military budget. That is, 81 percent of us–four out of five–would cut the deficit by taxing the rich and/or slashing military spending.

    • World food prices enter ‘danger territory’ to reach record high

      Soaring prices of sugar, grain and oilseed drove world food prices to a record in December, surpassing the levels of 2008 when the cost of food sparked riots around the world, and prompting warnings of prices being in “danger territory”.

      An index compiled monthly by the United Nations surpassed its previous monthly high – June 2008 – in December to reach the highest level since records began in 1990. Published by the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the index tracks the prices of a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, and has risen for six consecutive months.

    • Hungary’s new media law puts EU presidency in doubt

      Hungary is due to assum the six-month rotating presidency of the EU on Jan 1, the same day that the government plans to reintroduce state censorship for all media.

      But several European nations have voiced concerns over the sweeping new laws, taking the unusual step of publicly criticising a fellow EU member.

    • Bank charges 200,000 customers twice

      Hundreds of thousands of people may have been charged twice by taxpayer-backed Lloyds TSB for items they bought with their credit and debit cards on Hogmanay, it has emerged.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Amazon withdraws ebook explaining how to manipulate its sales rankings

      The author of an ebook that gives details on how easily Amazon’s bestseller rankings can be manipulated has accused the online retail giant of “hypocrisy” after the title was temporarily removed from the website over the new year.

      In The Day the Kindle Died, Thomas Hertog claims it is possible to get your own book to the number one bestseller spot in its category on Amazon simply by posting fake reviews, voting on them favourably and downloading copies of the Kindle ebook yourself.

    • A pharisee on the Hungarian Presidency

      Everyone is fast to make judgements about Hungary although no translation of the Hungarian law was available, just the angry curses of Hungarian civil society groups and the laughter of rapper Ice-T, the first “victim” of their “illiberal” media regulation

    • Three Baha’is, jailed for humanitarian work, begin fourth year in detention

      Despite compelling evidence that they never committed a crime, three Iranian Baha’is today begin their fourth year in captivity.

    • Arm Release 1.4.1

      Hi all. A new release of arm is available, including enhancements targeted at performance and cross platform compatibility.

    • Free Binayak Sen Campaign Appeal for food materials to feed the Homeless

      The month-long initiative is meant to help homeless citizens of Delhi to tide over the coldest part of the winter with additional nutrition. Many homeless people die every year in Delhi and other parts of northern India due to severe malnutrition during winter months.

      The initiative is part of a larger campaign calling for the immediate release of Dr Sen, who has was unjustly sentenced on 24 December 2010 by a local court in Chhattisgarh to life imprisonment for ‘sedition’ and ‘conspiracy’.

    • Classifying The Unclassifiable: R18+ And The Bigger Picture

      “It has become increasingly clear,” claimed Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor, in a statement released last month, “that the system of classification in Australia needs to be modernised so it is able to accommodate developments in technology now and in the future.”

    • Hungary’s new media law shows contempt for democracy, the separation of powers and core European ideals

      “Europe whole and free” owes a great debt to the decision by a courageous Hungarian government to open its frontiers to Austria in the summer of 1989, allowing thousands of East German refugees to escape. Twenty-one years later, and just as it takes over the rotating European presidency, Hungary is a frontrunner once more. The difference is that this time it appears determined to reverse its course. And the risk is that it might take Europe with it.

      Normally, the six-month EU presidency is a staid and low-key affair, all the more since the creation of a full-time European President and a foreign-policy czar by the Lisbon Treaty just over a year ago. Few Europeans even noticed that Belgium, Hungary’s predecessor, didn’t have a government for the duration of its tenure. But that is clearly too tame for the pugnacious government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Budapest chose to open the year with a display of political fireworks, featuring two showstopping zingers: a set of new laws restraining the media, and a “crisis tax” on investors.

    • UK Library: Cryptome Blocked for “Criminal Activity”

      We are sorry for any inconvenience caused. Webpages may contain pornographic, racist, violent or unlawful material. However, this may not be the case. Some file types are also blocked in order to protect users of the network. Please check that you are not breaking this agreement, as your internet session may be cancelled. If you are trying to view or access unlawful material, sites or images, it may be reported to the police.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Biggest Ever BitTorrent Piracy Settlement is Intriguing

        After being tracked as the original uploader of at least six pornographic movies to various torrent sites, an East Coast man found himself in the middle of a lawsuit last month. Then, just four days later, it was all over. Without putting up any kind of a fight he agreed to pay a record settlement of $250,000. Unusual? You bet. But the devil, as they say, is in the detail.

      • Soundcities Lets You Remix the World

        The British painter and video artist “Stanza,” has spent a couple of decades traveling around the world. Every place he’d stop, he’d grab audio tape (then digital recordings) of the sounds of that place. In 2000, he started posting sound-maps online and in 2004 he made the database available. Now, Soundcities is an extensive, open-source sound and mapping site that users can freely take from and contribute to. There are even on-site mixing decks to allow anyone with a computer to remix the world.

      • RIAA Admits P2P Not Solely to Blame for Decreased Music Sales

        Says that “comparing sales numbers only reveals part of the story,” and notes that in 2010 the music market “saw enormous growth” in online streaming music services like Vevo and Pandora where music fans don’t make any music purchases at all.

        The music industry has long made it seem that P2P is solely to blame for the overall decline in legal music purchases, but by its own recent admission this isn’t true, there are many more reasons why revenues are still in decline.

      • Breaking: Multiple Activists and Members of the Pirate Party Arrested

        ZeroPaid has just learned that multiple web activists and members of the Pirate Party have been arrested in the midst of free speech protests in Tunisia recently. The arrests come as the war over free speech heating up in the country.

        In the midst of the Tunisian government crackdown on online dissent, multiple members of the Pirate Party, along with free speech activists within the country, have been arrested. Al Jazeera recently profiled the online wars detailing some activists being hit with phishing sites, hacking and government censorship.

Clip of the Day

OLPC XO-1.75, ARM Marvell Armada 610 version of the XO Laptop!


Credit: TinyOgg

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  3. European Patents Are Eventually Being Revoked. But at Great Expense to Everyone Except Law Firms.

    European Patent EP2724461 is revoked; but the cost of this chaos, which included an invalid embargo, could well be measured in billions, not millions



  4. Team Campinos Will Try to Make It Difficult to Go on Strike (But Won't Manage to Prevent It)

    The European Patent Office has a long and growing tradition of failing to respect staff's rights, including the right to go on strike (over violations of other rights of staff)



  5. Links 25/5/2019: Wine 4.9 Released, FreeBSD 11.3 Beta, Telegram Launches Fift

    Links for the day



  6. Links 24/5/2019: PostgreSQL 12 Beta 1 and Rust 1.35 Released

    Links for the day



  7. EPO Strikes Further Diminish Chances of UPC Ever Materialising (in Any Shape or Form)

    The EPO crumbles under the weight of its own corruption while an increasingly-insane Team UPC pretends all remains normal and a patent trolls-friendly system is ready to take off



  8. EPO Allegedly Becoming Insolvent (Pretext for Cuts), So Staff Gets Punished While Management Takes the Jackpot

    The corporate 'logic' at the EPO follows the "shareholders' value" propaganda line as if the EPO is a private company looking to maximise revenue rather than serve the public



  9. EPO President Still Not Obeying Courts' Rulings

    Federation of International Civil Service Associations (FICSA) sent a message to António Campinos yesterday (the same day SUEPO publicly made a call for strike)



  10. António Campinos Has Run Out of Time and EPO Staff is Going on Strike (Skipping Mere Protests)

    European Patent Office strikes are to resume; as SUEPO recently put it, people have come to accept that EPO leadership has not really changed and none of the underlying issues is being tackled



  11. Links 23/5/2019: Elisa 0.4.0, OpenSUSE Leap 15.1 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Links 22/5/2019: Mesa 19.0.5, Huawei and GNU/Linux, Curl 7.65.0, End of Antergos, Tails 3.14, ownCloud Server 10.2, Firefox 67.0

    Links for the day



  13. Quality of Patents is Going Down the Drain and Courts Have Certainly Noticed

    Uncertainty or lack of confidence in the patent system has reached appalling levels because heads of patent offices are just striving to grant as many patents as possible, irrespective of the underlying law



  14. EUIPO and EPO Abuses Growingly Inseparable

    'Musical chairs' at CEIPI and the EPO/EUIPO (Battistelli, Archambeau, Campinos) as well as joint reports never fail to reveal the extent to which EPO abuses are spreading



  15. Links 21/5/2019: China's GAFAM Exit, DragonFlyBSD 5.4.3

    Links for the day



  16. Links 20/5/2019: Linux 5.2 RC1, LibreOffice 6.3 Alpha, DXVK 1.2.1, Bison 3.4 Released

    Links for the day



  17. South Korea's Government Will Show If Microsoft Loves Linux or Just Attacks It Very Viciously Like It Did in Munich

    Microsoft's hatred of all things GNU/Linux is always put to the test when someone 'dares' use it outside Microsoft's control and cash cows (e.g. Azure and Vista 10/WSL); will Microsoft combat its longstanding urge to corrupt or oust officials with the courage to say "no" to Microsoft?



  18. Links 19/5/2019: KDE Applications 19.04.1 in FlatHub and GNU/Linux Adoption

    Links for the day



  19. The War on Patent Quality

    A look at the EPO's reluctance to admit errors and resistance to the EPC, which is its very founding document



  20. Watchtroll, Composed by Patent Trolls, Calls the American Patent System “Corrupt”

    Another very fine piece from Watchtroll comes from very fine patent trolls who cheer for Donald Trump as if he's the one who tackles corruption rather than spreading it



  21. Unified Patent Court Won't Happen Just Because the Litigation Microcosm Wants It

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) hopefuls are quote-mining and cherry-picking to manufacture the false impression that the UPC is just around the corner when in reality the UPC is pretty much dead (but not buried yet)



  22. Links 17/5/2019: South Korea's GNU/Linux Pivot, Linux 5.1.3

    Links for the day



  23. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 4: Happy Birthday to the Kötter Group?

    This year the Kötter Group commemorates the 85th anniversary of its existence. But is it really a cause for celebration or would a less self-congratulatory approach be more fitting? And does it create the risk that a routine tendering exercise at the EPO will turn into Operation Charlie Foxtrot?



  24. Links 16/5/2019: Cockpit 194, VMware Acquires Bitnami, Another Wine Announcement and Krita 4.2.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  25. The EPO's Key Function -- Like the UPC's Vision -- Has Virtually Collapsed

    The EPO no longer issues good patents and staff is extremely unhappy; but the Office tries to create an alternate (false) reality and issues intentionally misleading statements



  26. Stanford's NPE Litigation Database Makes a Nice Addition in the Fight Against Software Patent Trolls

    As the United States of America becomes less trolls- and software patents-friendly (often conflated with plaintiff (un)friendliness) it's important to have accurate data which documents the numbers and motivates better policy; The NPE (troll) Litigation Database is a move towards that and it's free to access/use



  27. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 3: “Ein kritikwürdiges Unternehmen”

    A brief account of some further controversies in which the Kötter Group has been involved and its strained relations with German trade unions such as Verdi



  28. EPO Had a Leakage Problem and Privacy of Stakeholders Was Compromised, Affecting at Least 100 Cases

    The confidentiality principle was compromised at the EPO and stakeholders weren't told about it (there was a coverup)



  29. Links 15/5/2019: More Linux Patches and More Known Intel Bugs

    Links for the day



  30. False Hope for Patent Maximalists and Litigation Zealots

    Patent litigation predators in the United States, along with Team UPC in Europe, are trying to manufacture optimistic predictions; a quick and rather shallow critical analysis reveals their lies and distortions


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