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]
“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.”
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).
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.
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. █
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 Lancetslamming 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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?
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.”
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.
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).
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.
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
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
‘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.
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.
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.
Puddletag is a Linux audio tag editor similar to Mp3tag (a popular Windows audio tagging tool) that supports ID3v1, ID3v2 (mp3), MP4 (mp4, m4a, etc.), VorbisComments (ogg, flac), Musepack (mpc), Monkey’s Audio (.ape) and WavPack (wv).
4Pane is a multi-pane, detailed-list file manager for Linux. It is designed to be fully-featured without bloat, and aims for speed rather than visual effects. In addition to standard file manager things, it offers multiple undo and redo of most operations (including deletions), archive management including ‘virtual browsing’ inside archives, multiple renaming/duplication of files, a terminal emulator and user-defined tools.
VortexBox 1.7 has been released. This release is based on Fedora 14 and comes with many new features and improvements. The big new feature for the latest release is the possibility of ripping DVDs along with audio CDs for streaming. This feature has been highly requested and is now included in VortexBox 1.7. The new version also brings an updated SqueezeBox server 7.4.2 along with the usual array of fixes and smaller updates.
Linux fans are second only to Appleheads for their undying, and often blind, support for their beloved operating system. So, how can these two warring factions peacefully coexist in the same support space? If you can turn your attention away from Angry Birds for a moment, you might learn that your iPad is more than an expensive slab of electronic crack and that it’s possible to work with and manage Linux systems by tapping and raking your digits on its fingerprint-prone surface. This article describes how to do just that using SSH and VNC.
A user of the limbo repository that is helping test limbo packages that is. Some big updates in limbo lately and we would like to hear from those that are using the limbo repository. Any issues, such as graphical, like the screen isn’t refreshing properly or as Joost says, painted artifacts or x freezing? If so, we would like to know what your hardware is. I’m not noticing any problems with my nvidia card yet on the gnome side. I just finished updating my KDE x86 install, 534 updates for that install. It doesn’t matter which kernel you are using. Joost noticed things with .36 and .37.
In a previous article in which i’ve show some uses of tar, I made an example of how to use it to move large amounts of data between two computers, but many people have said that it is better, or at least they prefer to use rsync, others prefer to use netcat. I remain convinced that a tar+ssh is faster than rsync+ssh is correct then do a test on the field and see some numbers.
This week-end, after passing too much time to try to understand contact management in KMail (which was workign quite well in KDE 3.x but is completely flawed IMHO in KDE 4.x), I decided with my wife it was time after 8+ years to try another mail reader.
On the right, Tyrian, which is a top-down shooter in the vein of Spy Hunter or 1942 or Ikaruga or … there are too many to mention.
I’ve played both of them before, probably because BASS is in the repositories for Ubuntu, and because somewhere along the line I heard about the OpenTyrian project. And the game has been freeware since 2004, I believe.
The funny part is, since one runs via scummvm and the other via dosbox, “installing” the games through the gog.com installer means you can run them directly from within Linux, using those tools straightaway. Kind of wacky.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
The great part about this new feature is that if a bug like the one in “add-apt-repository” occurs (the bug adds a “n” on a line in the .list file), the line causing the error is disabled but the repository is not so everybody using Ubuntu Tweak should be “n” error free from now on.
If you’re fed-up with first person shooters and mid-aged graphics games, then searching for a decent free game for your Ubuntu can be quite difficult.
This compilation of five quality, free of charge, Ubuntu games may help you finding some. No detailed descriptions, just some screenshots to make your drool, along with installation details. Enjoy
Ubuntu Tweak 0.5.10 is released, this is a bug fixed version of Ubuntu Tweak 0.5.x., 2 new features were added to this version of ubuntu tweak: The source validation feature and the option to make the Launcher hide automatically, this will give you a wider screen space.
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.
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.
So, looks like the Nexus S can run MeeGo too ) 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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.