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01.10.11

TechBytes Episode 24: Android, Microsoft’s President Departure, and Privacy

Posted in TechBytes at 7:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TechBytes

Direct download as Ogg (1:51:18, 43.3 MB) | Direct download as MP3 (51.0 MB)

Summary: Tim, Gordon, and Roy struggle with coughs and connection difficulties and yet manage to produce another episode filled with news and discussion

TODAY’S show covers many topics including the new Linux release, Android, Microsoft’s latest departures and failures, and of course Wikileaks. This is the first episode in about a week due to lack of time for the three of us to regroup and record. Our new IRC channel and new official Web site will be announced quite soon. [Update: the show notes are up]

RSS 64x64Today’s show ends with the special track for TechBytes, courtesy of Marti who can be reached via this Web page. We hope you will join us for future shows and consider subscribing to the show via the RSS feed. You can also visit our archives for past shows. If you have an Identi.ca account, consider subscribing to TechBytes in order to keep up to date.

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Our past shows:

November 2010

Show overview Show title Date recorded
Episode 1: Brandon from Fedora TechBytes Episode 1: Apple, Microsoft, Bundling, and Fedora 14 (With Special Guest Brandon Lozza) 1/11/2010
Episode 2: No guests TechBytes Episode 2: Ubuntu’s One Way, Silverlight Goes Dark, and GNU Octave Discovered 7/11/2010
Episode 3: No guests TechBytes Episode 3: Games, Wayland, Xfce, Restrictive Application Stores, and Office Suites 8/11/2010
Episode 4: No guests TechBytes Episode 4: Fedora 14 Impressions, MPAA et al. Payday, and Emma Lee’s Magic 9/11/2010
Episode 5: No guests TechBytes Episode 5: Windows Loses to Linux in Phones, GNU/Linux Desktop Market Share Estimations, and Much More 12/11/2010
Episode 6: No guests TechBytes Episode 6: KINect a Cheapo Gadget, Sharing Perceptually Criminalised, Fedora and Fusion 14 in Review 13/11/2010
Episode 7: No guests TechBytes Episode 7: FUD From The Economist, New Releases, and Linux Eureka Moment at Netflix 14/11/2010
Episode 8: Gordon Sinclair on Linux Mint TechBytes Episode 8: Linux Mint Special With Gordon Sinclair (ThistleWeb) 15/11/2010
Episode 9: Gordon Sinclair returns TechBytes Episode 9: The Potentially Permanent Return of ThistleWeb 17/11/2010
Episode 10: Special show format TechBytes Episode 10: Microsoft FUD and Dirty Tactics Against GNU/Linux 19/11/2010
Episode 11: Part 2 of special show TechBytes Episode 11: Microsoft FUD and Dirty Tactics Against GNU/Linux – Part II 21/11/2010
Episode 12: Novell special TechBytes Episode 12: Novell Sold for Microsoft Gains 23/11/2010
Episode 13: No guests TechBytes Episode 13: Copyfight, Wikileaks, and Other Chat 28/11/2010
Episode 14: Patents special TechBytes Episode 14: Software Patents in Phones, Android, and in General 29/11/2010
Episode 15: No guests TechBytes Episode 15: Google Chrome OS, Windows Refund, and Side Topics Like Wikileaks 30/11/2010

December 2010

Show overview Show title Date recorded
Episode 16: No guests TechBytes Episode 16: Bribes for Reviews, GNU/Linux News, and Wikileaks Opinions 3/12/2010
Episode 17: No guests TechBytes Episode 17: Chrome OS Imminent, Wikileaks Spreads to Mirrors, ‘Open’ Microsoft 5/12/2010
Episode 18: No guests TechBytes Episode 18: Chrome OS, Sharing, Freedom, and Wikileaks 11/12/2010
Episode 19: No guests TechBytes Episode 19: GNU/Linux Market Share on Desktop at 4%, Microsoft Declining, and ChromeOS is Coming 16/12/2010
Episode 20: No guests TechBytes Episode 20: GNU/Linux Gamers Pay More for Games, Other Discussions 18/12/2010
Episode 21: No guests TechBytes Episode 21: Copyright Abuses, Agitators and Trolls, Starting a New Site 20/12/2010
Episode 22: No special guests TechBytes Episode 22: Freedom Debate and Picks of the Year 27/12/2010

January 2011

Show overview Show title Date recorded
Episode 23: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 23: Failuresfest and 2011 Predictions 2/1/2011

Quick Mention: Microsoft President Quits

Posted in Microsoft at 1:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Muglia is out

GREAT day for software freedom. Muglia is out. More details soon…

“There is a substantive effort in open source to bring such an implementation of .Net to market, known as Mono and being driven by Novell, and one of the attributes of the agreement we made with Novell is that the intellectual property associated with that is available to Novell customers.”

Bob Muglia, Microsoft President

Bill Gates Pays National Television (This Time PBS) for Self-Serving Propaganda

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception at 1:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

PBS logo

Summary: Public Broadcasting Service (US) becomes another instrument with which Bill Gates is advancing his personal goals after a large sum payment

IS THERE any major television channel left which was not paid by Gates for some timely bias? Any list of such channels sure is running short. It’s not only a US issue by the way. In Britain too Gates pays The Guardian, for example, to do this. As for Microsoft UK staff, let us not forget what they did in the national broadcasting company. The MSBBC keeps getting more Microsoft-biased and Channel 4 too becomes captive. In the US, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is the latest victim of Gates’ PR offensive, which got covered in a lot of sites including this one which calls it “Gates Foundation Grant” rather than what it actually is. Some critics call it a bribe and since Gates also paid NPR (public radio) for similar work, trust is voided even in the national media.

PBS has received a nearly $500,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create new, educational multiplatform digital content to advance math achievement in partnership with New York City Department of Education’s experimental School of One (So1). New content will be created specifically for the personalized classroom instruction platform pioneered by So1 and distributed through the PBS Digital Learning Library (DLL).

Here is a site which calls it an investment:

Government budget-cutters may be hungrily eyeing funds for noncommercial TV and radio, but Bill Gates is investing in the service.

There is growing “[u]nease about the Gates Foundation support of media” and Paulson does it again, as we mentioned in the previous post:

Tom Paulson ‘gets it’. And a few others in Seattle ‘get it’. The development-philanthropy complex was not mentioned by Ike in his farewell address. How could he have imagined it? But now that it is a reality, there are a few critical and dissenting voices. Here is one.

Paulson’s writeup about the PBS funding was noted in the previous post and later on he discussed ABC News in a separate new post about old news. “Gates-funded ABC series raises concerns about global health … and media” says the headline and to quote parts of his article:

But what may trouble others more were all the many references on the ABC web site to the Gates Foundation — including numerous video clips of Bill and Melinda Gates. Also, much of this series actually sounds like — and is — a pitch for donations to numerous charitable causes.

You may well ask: So Mr. Cranky, why are either of these a problem?

Well, for starters, not everyone agrees with Bill and Melinda when it comes to identifying either the primary problems or the best solutions in global health. That’s inevitable, and fine, but journalists have an obligation to remain independent of anyone’s agenda.

[...]

The Gates Foundation steers clear of such hot-button political issues and we’ll see if ABC News does as well. Another example of a potential “blind spot” is the Seattle philanthropy’s tendency to favor technological solutions — such as vaccines or fortified foods — as opposed to messier issues involving governance, industry and economics.

Will these messier issues get covered and, if so, will the Gates Foundation’s critics believe they are being represented fairly and adequately by independent observers?

When a “Public Broadcasting Service” becomes a Gates-funded service it’s easier to explain who runs the country.

Gates Foundation Pays the Lancet Journal — Now Distorts Academic Literature Too

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Patents at 12:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Lancet cover

Summary: The literature which covers health issues criticises Gates and then gets paid by him, whereupon the tone may suddenly change

THE Gates Foundation loves to conduct ‘studies’ by commissioning others to do so. It tells them what they’re instructed to achieve and then the results arrive, helping the lobbying of the Gates Foundation. Needless to say, that’s not research. When it’s intended for a business purpose and the conclusion is fitted to the requirement rather than hypothesis then it ceases to be an exploration and becomes more akin to marketing. A few months ago we showed The Lancet slamming Bill Gates, but not to worry. Mr. Gates can address the issue like he always does — by paying his critics.

Let us begin with some news about Gates’ business in medicine, which to a large degree involves patents also of the world’s biggest patent troll (and Gates’ close mate), Nathan of Intellectual Ventures. We gave examples of that last year, so we’ll leave that aside for today and deal with news instead.

First of all, here is the impact of biased media (or cowardice owing to the PR, which makes criticism of Gates frowned upon): “Open letter opinion piece on vaccines and the media”

The mainstream media have opportunities to call their editorials and opinion pieces “open letters”. Will we only read good news stories about immunisation in the future?

The above leaves out the fact that “news stories” are to a great degree funded by Gates. He specifically targets circles whose readership/audience his ventures are targeting. This includes the area of vaccination and we gave examples before. Tom Paulson provides what Gates Keepers calls “coverage of the mass media bribes by the Gates Foundation.” Read his “[t]houghts on the Gates Foundation paying media to cover global health and development”:

I had to laugh at the article’s title (based on the title of a talk given by Suarez in Seattle a while ago). Fortner’s answer is Suarez and PBS Newshour got the bug after they received $3.6 million from Gates to cover global health issues.

Fortner, who wrote about the Gates Foundation for Crosscut, said he quit in 2009 because of his unease with publisher David Brewster accepting funds from the Gates Foundation. Brewster told me he had not been aware that this was the reason Fortner left.

The latest Gates media partnership was what the New York Times called “an unusual financial agreement” between ABC News and the world’s biggest philanthropy aimed at promoting greater coverage of global health issues.

This mentions PBS, which we’ll cover in the next post. This also mentions Crosscut, which the previous post covers. And who is the New York Times to comment or complain given its own deeds as of late [1, 2]? The corporate press is disgracing itself, but blogs too are being distorted by Gates’ money. So where can a person turn to for real medical/vaccine coverage encompassing facts and not spin? Remember that we speak of particular areas that Gates is targeting. It’s likely that news coverage and blog posts about climate, for example, will be mostly targeted by oil giants which strive to ensure uncertainty. The Huff & Puff (Huffington Post), for example, amplifies signal from Fox ‘News’ (where anchors are instructed to deny global warming), but then again, Huffington is a rich oil family. Gates invests in Exxon Mobil by the way [1, 2]. To wit, no apple falls far from the tree. “A Lancet issue is funded by the Malaria Elimination Group which is almost completely funded by the Gates Foundation and Exxon Mobil” says Gates Keepers in a November post:

The Lancet has a new themed issue on malaria elimination, a modest goal compared to the global eradication goal that Bill and Melinda unexpectedly sprung on the world three years ago. The Lancet issue is funded by the Malaria Elimination Group which is almost completely funded by the Gates Foundation and Exxon Mobil —

It appears that the Lancet received no direct Gates Foundation funding for the series. There is a bit of a disclosure statement in the leader of the series by Pamela Das and Richard Horton:

“Writing in 2009, Richard Feachem and Allison Phillips concluded that “we have many reasons to be optimistic”. Together with others in the Malaria Elimination Group (MEG), which is partly funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Series in this week’s issue of The Lancet now puts malaria elimination under the microscope.”

This is followed in the Executive Summary by:

“This Series in The Lancet, supported by the Malaria Elimination Group (MEG) and convened by the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco, …”

The Malaria Elimination Group is almost completely funded by the Gates Foundation and Exxon Mobil.

Gates Keepers can find no other reference to Gates Foundation or Exxon Mobil financing of the Lancet themed issue. They hope nothing is being hidden. The Lancet uncovers many financial scandals.

The Gates Foundation buys journalists in the mass media but one hopes that content in the Lancet cannot be bought.

Watch what Paulson says about World AIDS Day:

It may be difficult for many to appreciate just how much of a difference these advances in prevention promise to make in the years ahead, Bertozzi said. An effective HIV vaccine is years away still, he acknowledged, but not that long ago many were despairing if it was even possible.

“A Deadly Misdiagnosis” is an article from New Yorker which also covers this area but does so independently*. “No Gates Foundation money needed to write this excellent article” remarks Gates Keepers:

The New Yorker and the author received no funding from the Gates Foundation to publish this article. It is possible to write about public health, and even the activities of the Gates Foundation, without taking money from the gorilla in the room.

The New Yorker was later being criticised and Gates Keepers tried to figure out if the critic was connected to Gates.
____
* The results in a search engine will be littered with Gates-funded press, which is constantly posting puff pieces that reduce signal and elevate PR.

“Gates has created a huge blood-buying operation that only cares about money, not about people.”

AIDS organisation manager, December 2009

Gates Foundation Pays More Blogs Like GOOD, Blog4GlobalHealth, and Crosscut to Promote Its Agenda

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Microsoft at 11:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

History

Summary: Bill Gates changes historical records about Microsoft offences and also ensures that blogs tell his own false stories, all by simply paying some money to bloggers (and very strategically so)

THE Gates Foundation is on a roll. Why do good when you can simply pay for channels of communications to claim that you do good, even when you just do business and make a profit? The behaviour of Gates troubles us greatly because it’s a repetition of the Rockefeller plot, where over time plutocratic villains are being cast as heroes. This partly relies on the passing of generations and people’s lack of taste for history classes. It is so easy to ensure when one also controls schools (translated into Spanish).

So, Gates is still distorting not only news sites like the one shown in the previous post but also blogs, which some perceive as more trusted than corporate media. We have given examples before where Gates paid blogs to cover things in his favour and we also showed examples where these bloggers deleted old text which was critical of Microsoft shortly after Gates had paid the bloggers. History is being rewritten as people are essentially being bribed and nothing gets said about the conflict of interest when Gates-funded Web sites sing praises about him and his business. “A Grade for the Gates Foundation from one of its grantees” says this item from two weeks ago:

Here GOOD, which is funded by the Gates Foundation, says that the Gates Foundation gives itself an A. Anyone see a conflict of interest here?

“Even Gates Foundation boosters cannot help notice a growing influence of the Gates Foundation on the media” points out the same Gates watcher, which links to “The Top 10 in 2010 Global Health Communication” (site allegedly funded by Gates). Here is what it says:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation upped its growing influence in global health communications considerably: In August, it transferred its “Living Proof” campaign to the ONE Campaign. In September, it helped The Guardian newspaper launch a new global development website. And in October, it helped ABC launch a global health series, “Be the Change; Save a Life,” that aired its first episode on ABC’s 20/20 on Dec. 17.

We have so much more to say in response to the above but not enough time. The spin from this “Gates Foundation booster” turns negatives into positives. There is a conflict of interest there.

Last but not least for today, there is also Crosscut, a Gates-funded site which deleted its criticism of Gates and Microsoft to ensure the writers get funding from the same source (Bill Gates) in the future. We mentioned this site several months ago in relation to this, we repeated this by quotation some days ago, and we also gave examples of Gates worship from this site. Going back 3 years ago the site criticised Microsoft for not paying tax [1, 2]. Everything changed when Gates put a wad of cash on the table. It’s media distortion.

“If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”

Bill Gates, Microsoft

Bill Gates Pays Millions to AllAfrica (“Largest Electronic Distributor of African News and Information Worldwide”) to Push His Agenda

Posted in Africa, Bill Gates, Deception, Patents at 10:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Truck on highway

Summary: The Gates Foundation poisons the little press that exists in Africa using another cash injection which tilts coverage and yields self-censorship

THIS MORNING we wrote about Gates' use of AGRA, which he contributed to creating in order to advance his investments in Africa (seeds with patents, expanding a monopoly to more continents). On previous occasions about a year ago we also showed that Bill Gates had paid a lot of money for African journalists to cover his work the way he likes it. The veil of “training” was used and James Love mentioned this rather recently, in a very comprehensive summary of his.

We are saddened to find that Mr. Gates just cannot let journalists do their work independently. Using his tax-exempt bank account (Gates Foundation) he targets a very major channel of communication in Africa:

A $2.3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will enable AllAfrica to move from periodic to consistent coverage of development issues and to increase institutional capacity to support future projects.

To African journalists that is a lot of money. Just how much coverage will that pay for? Will AllAfrica risk this funnelling of money (at present or future) by criticising/challenging/questioning AGRA, Gates, or Monsanto? Will there be self-censorship? Gates worship? Our readers are smart enough to decide, but what about those who will read AllAfrica without knowing that Gates pays it millions of dollars? Techrights is extremely concerned about this and so should everyone in Africa (many are unaware of the situation and therefore trust the media, unlike in Russia for example).

A journalist whose work we admire has has highlighted the problem in his article titled “Gates Foundation partners with African media group AllAfrica.com“, starting with:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has entered into another media partnership, this time with AllAfrica.com, to enhance international and African coverage of global health and development issues.

AllAfrica.com describes itself as the “largest electronic distributor of African news and information worldwide,” a multi-media content service provider, systems technology developer and a mega-aggregator of news publishing an average of 1,000 stories a day.

Gates Keepers explains that “The Gates Foundation buys a part of AllAfrica dot com“. As we explained some days ago (also in Spanish), Gates need only pay the journalists who cover areas which affect his business, so it is an affordable injection of bias.

Here they go again. The Gates Foundation funds AllAfrica dot com. Now this African media giant will not criticise the Foundation.

Is there an African organisation that can take on an ‘AllAfricaWatch’ watchdog role by counting AllAfrica stories praising the Gates Foundation and the stories criticising it?

When you control the channels of communication/information, you control people’s minds. Does Gates control yours?

“In the fall of 1982, Pam Edstrom [of Waggener Edstrom], a diminutive woman with piercing blue eyes, was recruited by Microsoft. [...] In modern-day business, flacks were responsible not only for avoiding bad press, but for spinning the good. [...] Hanson and Edstrom would spin a whole new image for Gates himself. They would tap the best and worst of Chairman Bill, changing his clothes, his voice, and his allegiances, driving him to become not just the boss, but, essentially, the company mascot—a sort of high-technology Colonel Sanders.”Pam Edstrom’s daughter

Open Source Community Harmed by Acquisition

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 10:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shopping

Summary: Friends and offsprings of Microsoft keep shopping for some of the pillars of the Open Source community, which also weakens the Free software community

Black Duck, a proprietary software group with Microsoft roots, is slurping up a lot of open source firms, this time Olliance Group. It’s “more of a Black Ostrich [than a duck] given its size,” remarks Dr. Glyn Moody, who cites a press release that says:

Black Duck Software, the leading global provider of products and services for accelerating software development through the managed use of open source software, today announced it has acquired The Olliance Group, a privately-held independent open source business and strategy consulting firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Andrew Aitken, Founder of the Olliance Group, and Greg Olsen, Senior Partner, will join Black Duck. Olliance Group will be managed as a wholly owned and independent business within Black Duck Software. Aitken will serve as General Manager of the Olliance Group business unit, and also will continue to independently organize and manage the Open Source Think Tank, the industry’s premier event at which thought leaders from around the world gather to discuss the future of commercial open source.

The growing intersection between Microsoft/proprietary software and the “Open Source” world worries us because it dilutes what remained of Free software and gives Microsoft more control, as currently acknowledge also by this long analysis of Mono. It credits much of the criticism to us:

As first thing i want to say that i’m not so well informed about the background of the Mono project, his licenses model and possible implications, and I’m trying to get an idea after reading a few posts on techrights.org.

The principal problem with Mono is not the patents, it’s the control by Microsoft and circles it employs, such as Novell. Leverage can be (mis)used in all sorts of ways. Patents just add ‘teeth’ this this leverage, which embodies APIs.

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable on persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” –George Bernard Shaw

Links 10/1/2011: Multi-touch on GNU/Linux, Linux 2.6.37 Already Built for Distros

Posted in News Roundup at 10:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Buying a cheap laptop without Windows: Is it worth it?

    ‘The low-end laptop market in particular is so hard fought that manufacturers will grab for any dollars they can save,’ explains Elmar Geese, chairman of the Linux association in Berlin. In place of Windows, the laptops come either without an operating system or use a pre-installed variant of the typically no-cost alternative operating system Linux.

    For the user, that means a bit of extra work and acclimation. Simply installing Windows from the old computer is generally not an option. Most Windows installations are tied by license to the computer with which they were sold.

  • Multi-touch madness: Ubuntu table PC [Video]

    CES 2011 saw a veritable armoury of Ubuntu powered devices all ready to make a serious impact amongst competitors.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Outlaws 184 – Thankruptcy

      In the first Linux Outlaws for 2011: Our listeners make it possible for Dan to fly to FOSDEM, the PS3 is resoundingly cracked, Google open sources Eclipse tools, Paul Allen sues the world again and Vladimir Putin orders Russia to adopt free software.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel 2.6.37 Is Available for Download

      Eariler today, January 5th, none other than Linus Torvalds, the father of Linux, proudly announced the release of Linux kernel 2.6.37.

      Among the new features includes in Linux kernel 2.6.37 we can mention support for PPP over the IPv4 protocol, lots of enhancements to various important file systems, such as EXT4, XFS and Btrfs, support for I/O throttling, Perf probe improvements, and a Ceph-based network block device.

    • Linux 2.6.37 Kernel Promises to Unlock OS
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Quarterly Report – GNOME Foundation

        First of all, the GNOME Foundation board of directors would like to express a huge thank you to all you volunteers who help to make the GNOME community possible. To all those who use the GNOME desktop and understand the value of free software on the desktop, it is you that makes the GNOME community both rich and rewarding. Thank you to our advisory board members and sponsors for providing much valued direction for the community.

      • How to make your favourite GTK+ theme ‘borderless’
  • Distributions

    • Five tips for choosing the right Linux distribution

      I have, on a number of occasions, stressed to new Linux users how crucial the right distribution is. Choosing the distribution that suits your needs is the single most important key to success when attempting to migrate from another operating system. But how do you know which one to choose out of the hundreds of variations? Believe it or not, there are some key questions to ask yourself when making this decision. It has been my goal for more than a decade to help prospective Linux users make the plunge with ease and success. Let’s see if I can do the same for you with these five tips.

    • The best Linux distros you’ve never heard of

      Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. Before this wisdom dawned on the Linux community, Red Hat, Debian and Slackware had spawned several dozen distros. Some died a single-release death, but a lot survived and a vibrant community grew around them.

      That, along with all the distros designed to meet specific needs, means there’s a lot of variety in the Linux world. While community is key to a good desktop distro, it also needs thorough documentation on wikis and blogs, and ample support.

    • What You Can Expect From a Linux Distribution

      There are some things that you can expect with a new installation of a Linux distribution such as Ubuntu or Fedora that you would not get with an OS such as Windows 7 or OS /X.

    • Linux Mint 9 LXDE: The Experiment Begins

      I got a call from one of my amateur radio associates who wanted help reinstalling the OS on his old Compaq desktop. I offered to download a distro for him to try. I only installed the first: Linux Mint 9 LXDE. And therein lies a (short) tale.

    • Skolelinux interview: Arnt Ove Gregersen

      Inspired by the round of interviews that Raphael Hertzog has started with people in the Debian project, I wanted to do the same with people in the Skolelinux project . The hope is that those who every day helps to promote free software in schools and develop a Linux distribution designed specifically for skolebruk may be better known and perhaps inspire many to contribute to the Skolelinux project.

      First is the newly elected leader of the association FRISK that organizes the development of the Skolelinux distribution.

    • One More Look at Pinguy – on Netbooks This Time

      I’ve had ten days or so to look at Pinguy now, so I want to write a sort of “wrap-up” for my own purposes at this time. I will not be using it as the default or preferred distribution on any of my systems, because there are a few too many things about it that I don’t care for. The biggest of those is the fact that it is heavily dependent on Mono, for the “docky” package and a few others. By the time I extract mono and the packages that depend on it, I’m left with something that is certainly no better than Linux Mint, PCLinuxOS or SimplyMEPIS. That is not to say that it isn’t a very good and very interesting distribution, and those who do not have moral or philosophical objections to Mono could very well find it extremely attractive. However, another area where I think it falls short is netbook support, so that is what I will examine here.

    • Reviews

      • Pardus 2011 RC, impressions from a common user

        Linux is commonly de-famed as an operating system for computer gurus and, in the Linux world, many people believe that the only user-friendly distribution that exists is named after African fauna. However, there is a very nice Linux distribution that, despite being relatively unknown (as it comes from Turkey), can spare users many a headache: Pardus 2011.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • January 2011 Issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine Released

        The PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is pleased to announce the release of the January 2011 issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor, and Assistant Editors Andrew Strick and Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license, and some rights are reserved.

      • Drupal 7 is Officially Here!

        Drupal 7 will be the most user-friendly version of Drupal yet as a result of tremendous amounts of work overhauling the user interface to create a far more intuitive user experience. Among the goals of this redesign was to minimize the notorious Drupal learning curve and make Drupal site building more accessible to a larger number of people.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • F-ing around on the Web

          This discussion started when someone related a story where a person approached the storyteller and mistook a Fedora button on a backpack for a Facebook button. I thought it was fairly innocuous at the time — yeah, they’re both F’s, but still, you have to be kind of — oh, I don’t know — lacking some basic observational skills to confuse the two.

    • Debian Family

      • Is the Debian 6.0 “Squeeze” Release Upon Us?

        The long anticipated and oft delayed Debian Squeeze just might be ready for release. Last year those in the know predicted that Squeeze could be ready by Christmas 2010. Well, that time period recently passed, but eagle eye Sid users have just seen another clue that Debian developers might be preparing for release.

      • Mintifying Debian

        Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) has finally got a 64-bit version. And it’s pretty good, actually. In fact, that’s the distro I am going to recommend to GNU/Linux newbies from now on. It has all the advantages of Linux Mint Ubuntu Edition (LMUE) such as being simple and GUI-oriented and having most things working out of the box, but less bloated and with Debian’s superior stability (yes, even if it is based on the testing branch) and performance.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • When Real Phones are Objects of Change

        The real value of a mobile phone is not the shiny icons that comes with it, but it’s ability to transform lives, add value to the lives of the less fortunate. The following videos show when real phones, not expensive iPhones or Androids, but very low cost phones, help transform lives.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Install Kubuntu Mobile on the N900

          The N900 has a Texas Instruments OMAP3 microprocessor with an ARM Cortex-A8 core. Unlike all of the Nokia models which preceded it – 770, N800 and N810 – the N900 has full phone functionality (quad-band GSM and 3G UMTS/HSDPA). It is quite interesting therefore to get Ubuntu running on it. Be aware though that Kubuntu Mobile is *not* yet ready to replace Maemo on an N900. Unless of course you really know what you are doing or even better you really know what you are doing and want to help out – either upstream or with the actual distro itself. Our current target is to have Kubuntu Mobile fully working on the N900 in time for the 11.04 Natty release.

        • Nexus S + MeeGo

          So, looks like the Nexus S can run MeeGo too :o ) have a custom kernel going and booted the OS from a rootfs image on the internal memory (didn’t have to flash!), but as you can see the display output is fscked (maybe due to the AMOLED?) and the touchscreen isn’t working either.

      • Android

        • Hands-on: Motorola’s Atrix Android phone leads secret double life as a netbook

          Motorola unveiled its new Android-based Atrix 4G smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week in Las Vegas. The device has extremely impressive hardware specifications and a strong feature set, but its most compelling characteristic is the ability to provide a desktop-like computing experience when it is docked in a unique netbook shell.

        • Android-based Headphones? What?

          We always joke about how Android can and will be used for any and every thing – who doesn’t want to look forward to rooting toasters and microwaves for whatever reason? This year more than ever, we’re seeing more of these whacky combinations. This time, Nox Audio has introduced an Android-based set of headphones – dubbed the Admiral Touch.

        • Dolphin Browser Mini V1.0 for Android Released Today!

          Back a week or so ago when you saw us running through the leaked Honeycomb Music player, you may have noticed a couple of aquatic sea creatures popping up on a list of possible options for searching for a music track: Dolphin Browser HD and Dolphin Browser Mini. Both of these apps are super fantastic web browsers, and today the mini version comes out of Beta for a full release. This lovely little lady is officially titled Dolphin Browser Mini V1.0, it’s free, and it’s available in Android Marketplace now!

        • Sony hopes for Smartphone success – A guess at Xperia

          The combination of the Android platform and the gaming catalogue of Sony seems like a good idea, but then consider the titles already available on Android and ask, is the average Android Smartphone user wanting a pull out keypad?

        • Asus spins Android 3.0 tablet, two convertibles

          Asus unveiled three Android based tablet devices running Android 3.0, due to ship this spring. The tablets include a Snapdragon-based, 7.1-inch “Eee Pad MeMo” tablet, and two 10.1-inch keyboard convertible tablets running on dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processors: the Eee Pad Slider, which offers a slide up design, and an Eee Pad Transformer with a fold-up, detachable design.

          The Asus (Asustech) tablet announcements were tipped last week via a leaked Asus video and other reports, but with minimal details. Specs are still pretty basic, but one stands out loud and clear: Android 3.0 (Honeycomb).

    • Sub-notebooks/OLPC

      • Marvell-powered OLPC XO 1.75 only draws two watts of power, finally charges via hand crank

        Other than the fresh ARM CPU, the new model is identical to the previous versions — it has an outdoor readable PixelQi display, Flash storage, a rubber keyboard, and runs Sugar OS.

      • Marvell Confirms OLPC Tablet For First Half Of 2012

        A spokesperson for Marvell Technologies has confirmed that the OLPC tablet, which is known as the XO-3, will be available in the first half of 2012.

        Speaking to ITProPortal.com, Reuben Caron said that the device would move away from the current VIA Nano processor architecture to adopt a Marvell system-on-chip, the Armada 610. Swapping the x86-based Nano to the Marvell ARM-based architecture, will cut power consumption to around 1W during use.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Dreaming of an Open-Source CES 2012

    To be sure, we did see plenty of Android innovations in the smartphone and tablet realms, in particular–more, in fact, than I’ve been able to keep track of. But Android is only partly open, of course, and–as it was recently noted–most Android tablet devices fail miserably at complying with the GNU Public License.

  • Is there still a place for the open source “maverick”…?

    Commercialisation in the open source space appears to be spreading downwards by virtue of the big vendors’ OSS interests at the moment doesn’t it? Yes Oracle is publicly pushing certain open initiatives (at the same time as it is severing others), yes Microsoft has been very vocal on open interoperability with the likes of Novell and others of late — but the weight of the “paid for services and management” element of open source has become more visible than ever during this past year.

  • We Love Open Source, We Believe that Work is About Way More Than Just Making Money

    Envato is a startup based out of Australia with people around the world and sites serving pages every second. We started in a living room in 2006 and have been steadily working to build our company into a world-class contender. Our background is creative, we love open source, we believe that work is about way more than just making money, and we’re totally committed to making products that are awesome!

    Our mission is to help people to earn and to learn, online. We operate marketplaces where hundreds of thousands of people buy and sell digital goods every day, and a network of educational blogs where millions learn creative skills.

  • 10 open source applications for Windows

    10 – Gimp

    Although it is obvious, no list of open source software would be complete without Gimp. The Gimp is an image editing tool that looks and works like Photoshop but doesn’t cost a cent. If you’re a professional graphic artist you probably already use Photoshop, but for the rest of us Gimp does more than enough to meet our daily image editing needs. Which is not to say it is underpowered. It’s not. If you take the time to learn all of Gimp you could be producing professional-quality graphics in no time.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Firefox : The all new Mozilla Firefox beta 8 to top the browser league

        Firefox 4 beta rain continues full throttle. Only 1 week after 5th beta version Beta 6 released.

        Beta 6 did not have any extra changes apart from getting rid of few bugs that the previous beta release embraced. One of the most important of these bugs was the problem of crashing that windows users encountered.

        Majority of us thought that Mozilla would only bring out another beta release and then announce the final release. However now that Mozilla Firefox beta 8 is out that Firefox is going to guarantee its place at the high end of the browser league.

  • Education

    • School’s in for open source advocates

      An impression that schools and even tertiary institutions are not producing the software developers New Zealand needs has led Wellington open-source specialist Catalyst IT to pilot an “Academy”.

      This aims to give a limited number of school students a basic grounding in ICT and some experience of real program development.

      The Academy’s initial intake comprises 17 students from nine Wellington schools. They will spend the latter two weeks of January at Catalyst attending classroom-style workshops and applying what they have learnt to some real open-source projects.

      “We do place an emphasis on encouraging young women into IT careers, and we’re please to have eight female students participating,” says Catalyst director Mike O’Connor.

      The students will learn some of the basics of IT, including how to set up a development machine and how to participate in an open-source project. They will be working on some of Catalyst’s own projects, using an environment including PHP and MySQL on Linux – which Catalyst describes as “the sort of software that got Facebook off the ground.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • “Open” UK Rail Data: Media Coverage & Broken Appeals Process

        While my web app was completely free, contained no adverts, existed solely as a public service to commuters and was written carefully to follow NRE’s instructions on querying their service, National Rail Enquiries assert I was using the data illegally.

      • Canada ranks last in freedom of information: study

        A new study ranks Canada dead last in an international comparison of freedom-of-information laws — a hard fall after many years being judged a global model in openness.

        The study by a pair of British academics looked at the effectiveness of freedom-of-information laws in five parliamentary democracies: Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Canada.

    • Open Access/Content

      • There is no such thing as an „open access commons“: Open Access is a rule

        Hence, the term „open access commons“ leads to confusion and misunderstandings, since it can easily be construed as an open-access common pool resource as described by Garrett Hardin who coined the famous metaphor of the Tragedy of the Commons („Imagine a pasture open to all…“). This metaphor is deeeeeply rooted in (neo-)classical political economics and in people’s minds. Despite it’s numerous analytical errors.

      • How Amsterdam was wired for open access fiber

        The city of Amsterdam has been involved for several years in building Citynet, a partnership between the city and two private investors to wire 40,000 Amsterdam buildings with fiber. And it’s not just fiber, it’s open access fiber—any ISP can sign up to use the infrastructure and deliver ultra-fast Internet access.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Dive into 2010

      My big accomplishment of 2010 was finishing the first edition of Dive Into HTML5 and working with O’Reilly to publish it on paper as HTML5: Up & Running (as well as several downloadable DRM-free formats). I also accomplished a few minor personal things, but in this post I’m going to focus on the book.

Leftovers

  • European Nationalisms: Forestalling an E.U. Central State?

    Ask a European if the E.U. government could ever consolidate power from the state governments and you would probably get a “nope (or nein, or non), we identity with our respective countries.” The problem is, such attachments can change. Europeans would do well to look at the first hundred or so years of the U.S. to get a sense of how the E.U., too, could change.

  • If you have lofty ambitions for your legacy, head for the attic

    The inescapable fact of life is that we die. Yea, even Facebookers: one estimate puts the number of US Facebook users who die annually at around 375,000. What happens to all those photographs and wall-posts and status updates? Will their authors have given their password to someone close to them? Or taken out an account with Entrustet, which will enable them to specify which of their digital assets will be preserved and which destroyed?

    Again, the answer is: probably not. Some people may not be all that bothered by the thought that no personal records of them will endure.

    But many of us would regard it as intolerable. Think of the pleasure we get from old family photographs or the delight that comes from clearing out an attic and finding boxes of love letters, school reports, our first exercise books and old appointment diaries. The contemporary versions of these personal documents are mostly stored either on obsolescent PC hard drives or on the servers of internet companies, protected by a password.

  • Digital Detox – Mother banned the net for 6 months…and sells a book.

    Setting aside my views on a journalist putting her family through a temporary ban of the internet and writing a book, I think this highlights perfectly the commonly held view that in someway the Internet is bad. The Internet is not bad, it’s some services/products that make it so. There is no “Digital Detox” since the Internet can be an excellent learning tool and a great social experience, it’s called responsible parenting and instead of banning something, maybe a better approach to parenting is to encourage ones children into other interests (both on and off-line) rather than letting them getting totally engrossed in an online world then taking it away.

  • Twitter isn’t the new Cronkite – it needs the new Cronkite(s)

    The conflicting reports upset many people, blaming Twitter/reporters/people sharing the news that they messed up. That, to me, wasn’t the case – news organizations were doing their best to get the story as straight as quickly as possible, and many on Twitter were also doing their best to constantly pass on the correct and most up-to-date information. In fact, if anything, it reminded me that news of John F. Kennedy’s assassination was handled in quite a similar fashion by Cronkite – trying to sort through all of the conflicting reports as an anxious world watched in the real-time of the day.

  • Facebook hype will fade

    At the very same moment, Facebook’s only real competitor –NewsCorps’ waning social networking site, MySpace — is shedding employees and expenses, most likely in hopes of a fire sale.

    But appearances can be deceiving. In fact, as I read the situation, we are witnessing the beginning of the end of Facebook. These aren’t the symptoms of a company that is winning, but one that is cashing out.

    Indeed, 11 years ago this week, when AOL announced its $350 billion merger with Time Warner, I was asked to write an OpEd for the New York Times explaining what the deal between old and new media companies really meant. I said that AOL was cashing in its over-valued dotcom stock in order to purchase a stake in a “real” media company with movie studios, theme parks and even cable. In short, the deal meant AOL knew their reign was over.

    The Times didn’t run the piece. Of course, the merger turned out to be a disaster: AOL’s revenue stream was reduced to a trickle as net users ventured out onto the Web directly.

    Likewise, Rupert Murdoch’s 2005 purchase of MySpace for $580 million coincided pretty much exactly with the website’s peak of popularity. People blamed corporate ownership for the social network’s demise, but the cycle had already begun.

  • Pearls Before Swine

    However, after listening to my two illustrations, my friend shook his head and said that I was going about it the wrong way. Using my numbers of 15 minutes a day lost for 1.25 billion people currently using desktops, it means that for a world economy it is like 39,062,500 people had died due to software bugs and poor service. “This”, he said sadly, “is about half the number of people that died in World War II, but unlike the number of World War II dead, this number keeps growing.”

  • Science

    • The supersize skyline: Why 2011 will be the year architecture takes a giant leap upwards

      Brute bigness will be a defining feature of architecture in 2011. The way large buildings occupy space, and even the way architecture will become the threshold to outer space (thanks to Norman Foster and Richard Branson) has put supersizing firmly on the menu.

      Last year, the hot news was that the vilified ex-banker Fred “the Shred” Goodwin was going to turn the Edinburgh-based practice RMJM into a Godzilla of world architecture. But now we learn that the equally hard to pronounce Aecom has acquired more than 30 practices and, with a jumbo-pack of 1,488 architects, has become the biggest practice in the world, after a mere 20 years in the business.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • PalinPAC Site Puts Cross-Hairs On Dems
    • Palin controversy after Giffords shooting

      The shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has prompted an outpouring of sympathy from politicians, including Sarah Palin.

      In the hours after the shooting Saturday, Palin issued a statement in which she expressed her “sincere condolences” to the family of Giffords and the other victims.

    • Egypt’s Muslims attend Coptic Christmas mass, serving as “human shields”

      Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside.

      From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as “human shields” for last night’s mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife.

    • Privacy In The United States – Or The Total Lack Thereof

      Today we found out that the Department of Justice is conducting a secret investigation (you can download the document in PDF format here). One of the targets of that investigation is a member of the Icelandic Parliament, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, and the only reason she is aware that Twitter was served the subpoena, is that Twitter actually had the guts to argue the subpoena in court, and get permission from the judge to tell her about it!

    • G20 protesters demand Blair quit

      It’s been seven months since the surreal G20 weekend that saw nearly 1,000 citizens arrested, most of them unjustly, but answers and accountability seem to be nowhere in sight.

      And some Torontonians are now demanding the city’s top cop, who was at the helm of the debacle, do the honourable thing and resign.

      “Hey-hey, ho-ho, Bill Blair has got to go!” roared a throng of protesters in front of Toronto Police Headquarters Saturday afternoon.

    • Judge orders police, SIU to hand over Adam Nobody records

      A judge has ordered Toronto police and the special investigations unit to produce all records pertaining to two officers investigated in the alleged beating of G20 protester Adam Nobody.

      On Friday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Clark ordered the two organizations to hand over by Jan. 31 all their material, “however recorded, arising indirectly from the complaint by Adam Nobody” in which either Det.-Consts. Luke Watson or Todd Storey are mentioned.

    • John Burns’ “ministering angels” and “liberators”

      In this week’s New Yorker, Peter Maass — who was in Iraq covering the war at the time — examines the iconic, manufactured toppling of the Saddam statue in Baghdad’s Firdos Square, an event the American media relentlessly exploited in April, 2003, to propagandize citizens into believing that Iraqis were gleeful over the U.S. invasion and that the war was a smashing success. Acknowledging that the episode demonstrated that American troops had taken over the center of Baghdad, Maas nonetheless explains that “everything else the toppling was said to represent during repeated replays on television — victory for America, the end of the war, joy throughout Iraq — was a disservice to the truth.”

      Working jointly with ProPublica on this investigation, Maass describes the hidden, indispensable role the U.S. military played in that event — which has long been known — though he convincingly argues that the primary culprit in this propaganda effort was the Americans media. That is who did more than anyone to wildly distort this event. As usual, the Watchdog Press not only happily ingests and trumpets pro-government propaganda, but does so even more enthusiastically and uncritically than government spokespeople themselves.

    • Jo Yeates murder case: MP backs DNA testing

      Police have said they received new leads after questioning people at a number of locations around Bristol on Friday night, but have not yet indicated if they are considering a mass DNA screening.

    • Special Public Podcast: Intv w Rebecca Mansour

      Rebecca Mansour joins me for a 30-minute special podcast addressing the horror in Arizona today, and the obscene efforts by many of the left to politicize mass murder by a clearly deranged individual.

    • Philosophy of an alleged killer?

      Jared Lee Loughner has now been formally charged for the Saturday afternoon shooting in Tucson, AZ. Many tips are showing this may have been a premeditated event with clues leading up to it.

      In a series of disjointed thoughts, videos on a YouTube account registered to a Jared Lee Loughner of Tucson, AZ, take aim at the national government and refer to a “new currency.”

    • Israel demolishes historic hotel

      Bulldozers have demolished a hotel in east Jerusalem to make way for a new Israeli settlement, the latest in a wave of new buildings globally seen as an obstacle to the now stalled peace process.

      The Shepherd Hotel was razed by three Israeli bulldozers, early on Sunday, as part of a plan to build a new settlement of 20 units in the heart of the occupied city.

  • Cablegate

    • Iceland blasts US demand for lawmaker’s details in WikiLeaks probe

      Icelandic politicians have blasted US demands for Twitter to hand over a member of parliament’s account details. Birgitta Jonsdottir faces investigation as one of several people connected to the website WikiLeaks.

      Politicians in Iceland have hit out at a US request for Twitter to hand over details of a member of the country’s parliament because of her connections with WikiLeaks.

      A subpoena for parliamentary representative Birgitta Jonsdottir’s details was issued as part of an investigation involving several individuals associated with the whistle-blowing website.

    • Thoughts on the DOJ wikileaks/twitter court order

      4. Twitter. The bigger story here, IMHO, far more interesting than the government request for wikileaks related info, is the fact that Twitter has gone out of its way to fight for its users’ privacy. The company went to court, and was successful in asking the judge to unseal the order (something it is not required to do), and then promptly notified its users, so that they could seek to quash the order. Twitter could have quite easily complied with the order, and would have had zero legal liability for doing so. In fact, many other Internet companies routinely hand over their users’ data in response to government requests, and never take steps to either have the orders unsealed, or give their users notice and thus an opportunity to fight the order.

    • Wikileaks” MP: American Authorities are Desperate

      Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Member of Althingi for the Movement, says that the request for information about her from the web-service Twitter shows how desperate the American government has become by trying to dig up personal information on MPs in other countries. She says on pressan.is that she has received a thousand e-mails and dozens of phone calls.

    • Feds subpoena Twitter seeking info on ex-WikiLeaks volunteer

      Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is suspected of leaking the Army video to WikiLeaks earlier this year. In chats with former hacker Adrian Lamo, who turned him in to authorities, Manning indicated that he had first contacted WikiLeaks sometime in late November 2009. This corresponds with the time period mentioned in the government’s request for Jonsdottir’s tweet history.

      Jonsdottir was instrumental in getting the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative passed in Iceland’s parliament that supports creating legislation to make Iceland a legal haven for journalists and media outlets.

    • RE:Twitter Subpoena

      Society finds itself at a crossroads. In our increasingly connected world, many seem to think that our constitutional rights are fit for reevaluation. As was demonstrated by Jessica Yellin’s performance on CNN, even some journalists seem to think that is now a crime to publish confidential information, ignorant not only of the important role that documents such as the Pentagon Papers have had in shaping modern government, but also of the First Amendment.

    • Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Talks Palin Cross Hairs
    • Iceland summons US envoy over WikiLeaks probe

      The American ambassador to Reykjavik has been summoned to explain why U.S. investigators are trying to access the private details of an Icelandic lawmaker’s online activity as they try to build a criminal case against WikiLeaks.

    • US subpoenas Wikileaks tweets, and why this could affect you

      The order asks specifically for names of those attached to selected accounts, user and screen names, and any registered mailing or postal addresses. It also asks for email addresses, credit card details where possible, and even content relating to connected mobile phones.

    • 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.

    • Iceland summons US envoy over demand for MP’s Twitter details
  • Finance

    • Rob Ford: Government is for the Wealthy

      Who needs sound public policy, when we can depend on the generosity and largesse of the elite? Who needs a social welfare system, when we have charitable giving from the wealthy? This attitude permeates virtually all elements of the Fords’ policy approach — whether then–mayoral candidate Ford’s offer to personally help buy street drugs for a sick constituent, his belief that an arts and culture plan can be replaced by selling tickets to galas, or the belief (articulated at a Latino-organized mayoral debate) that youth-oriented social programs could be replaced by football teams and cheerleading squads.

    • David Cameron warns RBS over bonuses

      Royal Bank of Scotland should not be “leading the way” when it came to bankers’ bonuses, the prime minister, David Cameron, said today.

      However, Cameron warned against “banker-bashing”, saying it was too easy to make banks the scapegoats for the recession.

      His comments came after it was reported that the RBS chief executive, Stephen Hester, will take home an estimated £6.8m in bonuses, salary and other payments this year.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Tunisia’s bitter cyberwar

      Anonymous has joined with Tunisian activists to call for end to the government’s stifling of online dissent.

    • Tunisia: “Please tell the world Kasserine is dying!”

      Tunisian netizens are working around the clock to show the rest of the world the ongoing carnage in their country. What started as a protest against unemployment when a 26-year-old Tunisian man set himself on fire in Sidi Bouzid last month has ignited the country, sparking a wave of protests across it.

    • Timothy Leary on the Culture of Secrecy

      Secrecy is the original sin. The fig leaf in the Garden of Eden. The basic crime against love. The issue is fundamental. What a blessing that Watergate has been uncovered to teach us the primary lesson. The purpose of life is to receive, synthesize and transmit energy. Communication-fusion is the goal of life. Any star can tell you that. Communication is love. Secrecy, withholding the signal, hoarding, hiding, covering up the light is motivated by shame and fear, symptoms of the inability to love. Secrecy means that you think love is shameful and bad. Or that your nakedness is ugly. Or that you hide unloving, hostile feelings. Seeds of paranoia and distrust.

    • Obama wants Internet IDs for the masses

      The US Commerce Department is reportedly preparing to assume authority over a nascent cybsecurity initiative that would create a unique Internet ID for American citizens and residents.

      According to White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt, the department is “the absolute perfect spot in the US government” to build an online “identity ecosystem.”

      However, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke insisted that the initiative would not result in the mandatory assignment of a national ID card.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright comes a cropper in the digital age

        Copyright law is subject to international variations. In Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan, the term of copyright runs for 50 years after the author’s death; in the Yemen it’s 30. In the UK, which has a fairly standard ruling (complicated occasionally by EU directives), copyright applies for 70 years from the death of the author. In America, the copyright term is also 70 years, but this only applies to works published since 1978.

        Even so, in the age of “free content”, not everyone accepts these norms. In California, there’s a radical movement that regards copyright law (of all kinds) as a grotesque – even sinister – restriction on the unfettered traffic of knowledge. Led by James Boyle, author of Shamans, Software and Spleens: Law and the Construction of the Information Society, the Free Culture Movement wants to toss copyright legislation into the dustbin of history.

      • Busting Out of Musical Lockdown

Clip of the Day

CBC Explains Usage Based Billing


Credit: TinyOgg

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