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01.17.11

Links 17/1/2011: MeeGo/Maemo Apps, Unigine Engine Comes to Android

Posted in News Roundup at 10:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Will The Free Software Desktop Ever Make It?

        In something not too far off from where he said the Linux desktop will be dead if Keith Packard got his way in merging graphics drivers back into the X Server, his new blog post is entitled “This way, the free software desktop is never going to make it.”

  • Applications

    • Weather Indicator Lives On, Gets A New PPA

      Weather Indicator is an Ubuntu appindicator that displays the current weather. Its development stopped a while back and the PPA was removed but Vadim Rutkovsky brought Weather Indicator back to life – for the past two weeks he’s been fixing bugs for the old Weather Indicator and also, he has created a new PPA for easy installation.

    • The weather indicator project revives; what might have been

      The indicator-weather project has kicked back into life this week – meaning none of us need to go without ‘weather-info-at-a-glance’ on our desktop panel come Ubuntu 11.04.

    • Proprietary

      • WebM Decoder in Flash using Alchemy

        Ralph Hauwert has been posting on twitter about work he’s done on getting WebM decoding to work in Flash by compiling the libvpx source code using Adobe’s Alchemy technology.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Simple, Easy To Use Facebook Batch Uploader For Ubuntu: Starry Hope Uploader

        Starry Hope Uploader is a simple, easy to use Facebook batch uploader. To use it, all you have to do is drag and drop some photos to the uploader drag-n-drop area, select the album (or create a new one) and click “upload”. In the preferences window you’ll also find an option to upload high resolution photos. For now, these are all the features but expect more in future releases!

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Muon Suite 1.1.0 released

        After six months of development, I’m proud to announce the release of the Muon Suite, version 1.1.0. The main focus of this release has been to add additional package management utilities to help further round out the package management experience. More specifically, Muon Suite 1.1.0 introduces the Muon Update Notifier, Update Manager, and Software Center.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Orta Window Applets Theme

        Window Applets is a package that comes with two Gnome panel applets: Window Title and Window Buttons which are controls for windows that are placed on the Panel instead of the window. They provide a clever way to increase vertical screen space. See THIS screenshot to understand what this is about.

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • So Canonical ported Unity to Qt…

          To me it seems very weird, though. All that replacing and porting over and over again (UNR port to EFL, later a rewrite of UNR as Unity for Clutter/Mutter, then porting Unity from Vala/Mutter to C++/Compiz and now from Clutter to Qt with whatever window manager) makes me wonder if there are people in charge at Canonical who don’t change their mind every few months…

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Is Prepping For Mesa 7.10, X Server 1.10

          The Ubuntu X developers are getting ready to push the Mesa 7.10 graphics library and X.Org Server 1.10 into the Natty Narwhal repository for Ubuntu 11.04. Due to API/ABI breakage, this also results in new driver builds going into Natty, and for a period of time at least where the ATI Catalyst driver will no longer be compatible with the xorg-server (though the NVIDIA binary driver should properly support Linux 2.6.37 and xorg-server 1.10 right now).

        • Firmware Test Suite for Ubuntu 11.04

          Most of the key features for Ubuntu 11.04 are now in the Firmware Test Suite, so now seems an appropriate time to mention them.

        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Tablets

      • A Tablet Conundrum

        Microsoft makes much of its money by selling software licences in bulk; specifically most of its profits are generated by software sales, with a large proportion of that being OS licences in massive quantities. But in the current tablet market there seems little opportunity for charging for an OS. Apple’s pricing certainly has a premium, but that is accounted for by the brand; the Android tablet market is highly competitive on both price and design innovation, as will be the desktop Linux tablet market, while RIM will sell to RIM users with, maybe, a slight premium based on their unique proposition.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Tomcat 7 finalized

    The volunteer developers behind Apache Tomcat have released version 7.0.6 of the open-source Java servlet container.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • The Next Major Version of Firefox is Ready to Test

        The latest Firefox 4 Beta is available to test the cool features and improvements in the next version of Firefox. As we continue to refine features and performance in Firefox 4 Beta, this release includes faster start-up time, bookmarking and makes complex animations smoother.

        Firefox 4 Beta is built for the way people use the Web today, offering more control over the browsing experience. It introduces a fresh new look and features like App Tabs and Panorama to make it easier and more efficient to navigate the Web. Firefox 4 Beta also includes performance enhancements to make everything faster from start-up time to page-load speed and the performance of Web applications and games. Firefox Sync is integrated into the browser with Firefox 4 Beta, giving you access to your Awesome Bar history, bookmarks, open tabs and passwords across computers and smartphones.

      • Firefox Developers Have Issues With Linux GPU Drivers Too

        Mozilla Firefox 4.0 will feature GPU hardware acceleration using OpenGL (or Direct2D/Direct3D under Microsoft Windows) acceleration for WebGL content and even HTML5. This support is there for Windows and Mac OS X, but for Firefox 4.0 the Linux support has been disabled and WebGL is also blacklisted for most drivers. Why? It’s the problematic GPU drivers, of course.

      • [Canonical] Application menu support update for Thunderbird

        Due to the work done on Firefox support, it wasn’t long before Thunderbird would follow…

  • CMS

    • WordPress 3.0 Surpasses 30 Million Downloads

      WordPress 3.0, the most recent self-hosted version of the world’s most popular blogging platform WordPress has surpassed 30 million downloads today, crossing the barrier earlier this morning.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • A Decade of Thanks!

      People throughout the world are gathering at more than 450 events in 120 countries to celebrate Wikipedia’s 10th birthday. I’m amazed and thrilled and humbled by the significant support Wikipedia has in every corner of the world. When I started Wikipedia a decade ago, I never imagined that everyday people in places like Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Bolivia, Ethiopia and Algeria would come together to celebrate Wikipedia in such an extraordinary way.

    • Wikimedia India Chapter takes shape

      Wikimedia India Chapter, an independent organisation that will support and promote Wikimedia, a collaborative project of Wikipedia, the world’s free online encyclopaedia, has been formally established here.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Happy 25th birthday, IETF

      The Internet’s leading standards body – the Internet Engineering Task Force – turns 25 on Jan. 16.

    • More about the Chrome HTML Video Codec Change

      There has been a lot of discussion regarding this week’s announcement of upcoming changes to HTML video codec support in Chrome. The future of web video is an important topic, we welcome the debate, and want to address some of the questions raised.

    • Video Wars

Leftovers

  • Europe’s Babel, America’s Moral Divide

    The Wall Street Journal dislikes Europe as much because of what it accomplishes as for its inefficiencies. America mumbles about improving infrastructure, Europe invests in it massively and redevelops infrastructure to transcend (and remove as sources of discord) national and regional boundaries. America turns to off-shore drilling to ensure energy security, Europe turns to energy efficiency. America talks about being a land of opportunity, Europe ensures equal access to education, housing, and health, the real basis for meritocracy. The US bails out banks, Europe bails out entire countries so as not to abandon the security of multi-national community.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • GM chickens created that could prevent the spread of bird flu [patented chicken?]

      Scientists have produced genetically modified chickens that appear to prevent the spread of avian influenza. Though the chickens can themselves become infected with flu viruses such as H5N1, say the researchers, they cannot pass on the virus to any other birds with which they come into contact.

  • Security

    • Montra TeK: The most famous hackers in history

      The news about computer attacks are becoming more frequent and the threat of cyberwar hover over the claims of various countries, among which include Iran and South Korea, who recently complained about these practices.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Local talk radio host Bob Durgin pulls no punches in wake of Arizona shootings

      “God, I hate the liberal media,” Durgin said Monday during his highly rated afternoon show on WHP580. “It’s like, if you don’t follow Obama and believe in Obama’s policies, then you are a potential terrorist.”

      In talking about The New York Times, often seen as queen of the left by conservatives, Durgin added, “Somebody ought to burn that paper down. Just go to New York and blow that sucker right out of the water.”

    • Mary Fallin Suffers Constitution Oath Fail At Swearing-In Ceremony

      Mary Fallin was sworn in Monday as Oklahoma’s first female governor, but in reciting the oath of office she really didn’t promise to “support, obey and defend the Constitution.”

      At an outdoors ceremony in bone-chilling and teeth-chattering cold, Fallin told Oklahoma Chief Justice Steven W. Taylor that she would “support, obey and offend” the U.S. and state constitutions.

    • DHS cancels virtual border fence

      Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced on Friday her department is canceling a $3 billion program to erect a problem-plagued, high-tech, virtual fence along the U.S. border with Mexico.

    • Residents Allege Police Violations

      Some residents tell 9NEWS NOW that the increased police patrols following the murder spike in Prince George’s County has led to some questionable activity.

      “The yanked me out of the car, put a knee on my back, and checked my rectum several times,” said a 20 year old man who did not want to use his name.

      Police said cavity searches are never allowed in public and with 16 officers present, as alleged, it is “very unlikely” an officer violated that policy. Still, police encourage the young man to file a complaint with the civilian oversight panel. A spokesperson told 9NEWS NOW police are “committed to constitutional policing.”

    • Sacked teacher falsely accused of groping girls

      A TEACHER falsely accused of groping four schoolgirls has fought a seven-year battle to clear his name after being subjected to what he calls a “witch-hunt”.

      Science teacher Robert King, 45, was acquitted of sexually assaulting four girls by a jury – but was still sacked by Handsworth Grange Community Sports College and has been effectively barred from teaching ever since.

    • Leaderless and Under Pressure, Firearms Agency Keeps Gun Tracing Records Secret

      Following the mass shooting in Arizona, elected officials have put forth new proposals to curb violence by preventing guns from falling into the wrong hands. One of those proposals called on Congress to at last approve a director for the federal agency responsible for regulating the gun industry and cracking down on gun crime.

      The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—better known as the ATF—has gone without a permanent director for four years. The Obama administration, while stating its commitment to doing “all that we can” to stop the flow of U.S. weapons to Mexican drug cartels, waited more than a year and half to even nominate a director—and when a nominee was named, the National Rifle Association was quick to oppose the nomination. The administration re-nominated Andrew Traver last week.

    • Arizona shooting victim blames Palin, others
    • What the “right to bear arms” really means
  • Cablegate

    • How The Press Attacks WikiLeaks, Julian Assange
    • Do We Have Ahmadinejad All Wrong?

      Is it possible that Iran’s blustering president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, long thought to be a leading force behind some of Iran’s most hard-line and repressive policies, is actually a reformer whose attempts to liberalize, secularize, and even “Persianize” Iran have been repeatedly stymied by the country’s more conservative factions? That is the surprising impression one gets reading the latest WikiLeaks revelations, which portray Ahmadinejad as open to making concessions on Iran’s nuclear program and far more accommodating to Iranians’ demands for greater freedoms than anyone would have thought. Two episodes in particular deserve special scrutiny not only for what they reveal about Ahmadinejad but for the light they shed on the question of who really calls the shots in Iran.

    • What’s Happening in Tunisia Explained
    • Not Twitter, Not WikiLeaks: A Human Revolution

      Beginning this afternoon, shortly after (former) president Ben Ali fled Tunisia, I started getting calls about the effect of social media on the Tunisian uprising. I answered a few questions, mostly deferring reporters to friends in Tunisia for their side of the story, and then settled in for the night…only to find rantings and ravings about Tunisia’s “Twitter revolution” and “WikiLeaks revolution” blowing up the airwaves.

    • Tunisia, Twitter, Aristotle, Social Media and Final and Efficient Causes

      A debate has been raging on the role social media—especially Facebook and Twitter— played in the apparently successful uprising in Tunisia. Most of the discussion seems to be centered around the use of the term “Twitter Revolution.”

      Ethan Zuckerman responds that “the Internet can take some credit for toppling Tunisia’s government, but not all of it.” When you read Ethan Zuckerman’s great piece –and he is, along with Jillian C. York—among the few people participating in this debate who were in touch with Tunisian dissidents on the ground not just through this crisis but over the years, it becomes clear that being able to disseminate information using social media was key in multiple respects…

    • ‘First Wikileaks Revolution’: Tunisia descends into anarchy as president flees after cables reveal country’s corruption

      Events in Tunisia have led to it being called the ‘First Wikileaks Revolution’.

      Although there has long been opposition to the corrupt rule of President Ben Ali, protests gathered pace when US embassy cables were published by Wikileaks.

    • Tunisia and WikiLeaks

      Raise your hand if, before the street protests started, you had focussed very much—or at all—on what the WikiLeaks cables had to say about Tunisia. Does any one person know enough about all of the countries mentioned in the cables to say for sure how significant they are? Unless someone does, it is rash to keep talking about how they add texture but “no great revelations.”

    • Wikileaks disclosures play key role in Ben Ali’s outing

      First of all I would like to say that I am sorry for the repression and the people who have died in Tunisia but excited about the unexpected overthrow of Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali by its own people.

    • Secrecy is the problem, not leakers

      Ukrainian activists cover their mouths with US flags during a rally in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in front of the Swedish embassy to Ukraine in Kiev on December 22 2010.

      [...]

      In some ways WikiLeaks is a traditional investigative news operation. It gets its information from a source and the journalists decide what they will publish. It needs a platform, an audience and revenue just like any other newsroom. It can also be sued, censored or attacked. But because it is trying to operate online outside of normal national jurisdictions it is harder to hold to account. It can use mirror sites and multiple servers to avoid physical restraint.

    • Death Threat Domain Names: Registrar Says Killjulianassange.com Will Not Be Removed

      BoingBoing has a quick post up today claiming that “Registering death threats as domain names is the hot new thing in psychopathic anti-Wikileaks action!”

      According to vivantleakers.org — a new site created to track “cyber-bullying domain names of wikileaks associates” — multiple death-threat domain names have been registered going after Wikileaks director Julian Assange. Killjulianassange.com and julianassangemustdie.com are recently registered examples, although they have no content on them at this time.

      Go Daddy, the site which registered both killjulianassange.com and julianassangemustdie.com said there is nothing that can be done about either site while they are contentless. Go Daddy registers a domain name every .8 seconds — any domain name can be registered and there is no human intervention.

    • Treasury Dept. Won’t Put Wikileaks On Terrorist List; Tells Rep. King It Doesn’t Meet The Criteria

      Following the request by Rep. Peter King that the Treasury Department list Wikileaks and Julian Assange on various terrorist/organized crime lists, which would prohibit US companies from dealing with them, the Treasury Department has, quite reasonably, said it will not do that.

    • Miss America 2011: “Wikileaks was actually based on espionage.”

      But I bet she could locate South Africa and The Iraq and the Asian Countries on a map. Anyway, I demand video and a remix, STAT.

    • Wikileaks Protest San Francisco 1/15/11

      Scenes from the January 15 event in San Francisco titled “A Media Intervention for Wikileaks” (http://goo.gl/lh8RM). The speaker is conscientious objector Justin Kauker.

    • January 15, 2011 Global Freedom of Information Rallies

      Istanbul, Turkey:Wonderful video of Anonymous in Istanbul.

      Sydney, Australia: More than a thousand in attendance. Here are some Photos. In addition, there is a video of the Pirate Party’s own Rodney Serkowski speaking: Video. (Stick around for the written message from Phillip Adams–you won’t regret it!)

      Our own JLo, who was on the scene, has now covered the Sydney protest, and provided a gallery of photographs from the event.

      Vancouver, Canada: The number of protesters was much lower than in Sydney, but rest assured that their passion made up for their numbers. Read about it!

    • Libya’s Gaddaffi pained by Tunisian revolt, blames WikiLeaks

      Libyan President Moammar Gaddaffi said he was pained by events in Tunisia surrounding the overthrow of former president Zine al-Abedine ben Ali, Libyan television reported Sunday.

    • Qaddafi’s View of the Internet in Tunisia
    • WikiLeaks Contributes $15,000 to Bradley Manning’s Defense

      WikiLeaks has finally made good on a months-old pledge to contribute financially to the defense of 23-year-old Bradley Manning, according to a group raising money for the imprisoned Army private suspected of providing WikiLeaks its most important U.S. releases.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Sweden cries wolf – and faces European court

      The European Commission is preparing an infringement procedure against Sweden, after it allowed a cull of 20 wolves by 6,747 hunters on Saturday (15 January), in defiance of a request by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik.

    • BP and Russia in Arctic oil deal

      BP has signed a joint venture with Russian energy firm Rosneft to exploit potentially huge deposits of oil and gas in Russia’s Arctic shelf.

      The “strategic global alliance” will see the firms exchange expertise in exploring the region.

      As part of the deal Rosneft will take 5% of BP’s shares in exchange for approximately 9.5% of Rosneft’s shares.

    • BP Targets One of the World’s Last Unspoilt Wildernesses

      The Arctic is to become the “new environmental battleground”, campaigners warned yesterday after BP announced plans to drill in one of the last great unspoilt wildernesses on earth.

      Greenpeace and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have vowed to confront BP’s American boss, Bob Dudley, over the agreement with the Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft to explore the Kara Sea, north of Siberia. The British energy firm was branded the world’s “environmental villain number one” by Friends of the Earth (FoE) yesterday in response to its move to exploit potential oil reserves in the remote waters.

    • False Prophets And The Green Dragon

      In the United States there is, and has been for a while, a movement to close the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The Agency does add some costs to businesses. However it lowers costs to the general population.

      Consider Tetra-Ethyl Lead. Banning it’s use in gasoline caused extra costs to the oil companies, COSTS THAT THEY PASSED ALONG TO THEIR CUSTOMERS. In other words, they recouped the costs. At the same time removal of Tetra-Ethyl Lead from gasoline, caused a drop in environmental lead poisoning, especially in communities along highways.

      One of the symptoms of Tetra-Ethyl Lead poisoning is a lack of judgement caused by neurological impairment. About five years after the ban of the use of Tetra-Ethyl Lead in gasoline fuel, there was an apparently unconnected drop in crime rates. The drop continued until about 25 years after the ban came into place, at which point the crime rate leveled out, at a new, far lower level.

    • Angry Progressive Coalition to Protest Billionaire Gathering Hosted by Koch Brothers, Major Tea Party Funders

      Increasingly, Democrats, liberals and progressives are coming to understand that the Koch brothers, a secretive right-wing billionaire family that pours limitless money into virtually every destructive anti-democratic initiative affecting tens of millions of Americans, are “Public Enemy Number One.”

    • Fearing high gas prices, Sean Hannity proposes re-invading Iraq and Kuwait to “take all their oil”

      Friday’s Hannity on Fox News featured a discussion by the Great American Panel about high gas prices, which host Sean Hannity claimed are “now gonna go up to three, four, five dollars a gallon again.” The panel ruefully noted that Arab sheiks possess great amounts of oil, and pointed out a recent statement by Kuwait’s oil minister that he believes the market can withstand $100-per-barrel oil. After noting that Kuwait is a country that “would not exist [but] for us,” Hannity angrily offered his remedy…

  • Finance

    • Swiss whistleblower Rudolf Elmer plans to hand over offshore banking secrets of the rich and famous to WikiLeaks

      The offshore bank account details of 2,000 “high net worth individuals” and corporations – detailing massive potential tax evasion – will be handed over to the WikiLeaks organisation in London tomorrow by the most important and boldest whistleblower in Swiss banking history, Rudolf Elmer, two days before he goes on trial in his native Switzerland.
      British and American individuals and companies are among the offshore clients whose details will be contained on CDs presented to WikiLeaks at the Frontline Club in London. Those involved include, Elmer tells the Observer, “approximately 40 politicians”.

    • Swiss Whistleblower Rudolf Elmer Plans to Hand Over Offshore Banking Secrets of the Rich and Famous to WikiLeaks

      Elmer, who after his press conference will return to Switzerland from exile in Mauritius to face trial, is a former chief operating officer in the Cayman Islands and employee of the powerful Julius Baer bank, which accuses him of stealing the information.fd

    • Chinese tycoons trawl UK antiques market for treasures

      When Bainbridges, a firm of auctioneers in West Ruislip, Middlesex, made international headlines last year for the £53m sale of an imperial Qianlong vase to an anonymous Chinese buyer, many assumed that it was an isolated – albeit glorious – coup for Britain’s suburban art market.

      But that wasn’t the end of the story. Chinese art collectors are now buying antiques in UK auction houses at an unprecedented rate, transforming trade across the country as millionaires trawl low-profile stocks for stunning treasures. Regional sellers, who used to strive to reach an annual turnover of a few million pounds and hardly ever sold anything for more than £1m, have never seen anything like it, as single items go under the hammer for as much as auction houses once made in a whole year. Ivan Macquisten, editor of the industry weekly Antiques Trade Gazette, told the Observer the “staggering amounts of money” were a “phenomenon”.

    • Bill Daley and associates are already Plotting the course for a Second Bailout

      Incoming Obama chief of staff Bill Daley was formerly a board member for Third Way, a pro-Too Big To Fail think tank that exists solely to perpetuate the corporate-welfare guzzling policies that landed America in this horrible recession, so you know that the group’s ideas will carry weight in the Obama White House.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Today’s Award for the Silliest Theory of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

      …goes to the arguments made by Sony’s lawyers in a complaint and motion for a TRO in a recently-filed civil case: Sony Sues PS3 Hackers. The argument: You’re guilty of felony computer hacking crimes if you access your own computer in a way that violates a contractual restriction found in the fine print of the licensing restriction of the product imposed by the manufacturer.

    • French ISP Throttles Direct Download Website Megaupload

      In what might be the first of many, French Internet Service Provider Orange has been caught throttling traffic to one of the world’s biggest direct download websites, Megaupload.

      The site, which also operates Megavideo, states that Orange, which is owned by France Telecom, is preventing its users from accessing its downloading and video streaming service freely and says that it can prove it.

    • Dealing with Bittorrent traffic shaping/blocking by your ISP

      So, here’s a guide several people have been asking me to write. Let’s just put a big fat disclaimer above it first: I’m just writing this because I think all internet traffic should be considered equal, and I find it downright wrong for an ISP to prioritize certain connections or deny access to an arbitrary number of sites because they can be used for copyright infringement. Take care of our internet roads and crossings, and leave it to the end user’s responsability to pick the destinations.

    • A tangled web

      These details are important, but the noise about them only makes the omission more startling: the failure in America to tackle the underlying lack of competition in the provision of internet access

    • There are no bandwidth hogs

      There has been an ongoing effort made to convince consumers that bandwidth consumption is expensive.

    • HOWTO break Kindle book DRM

      Most of the Kindle owners I know love their gadgets, but I always wonder how they’ll feel about them if they decide to switch devices and can’t bring their books — dozens? hundreds? thousands? — with them because of Amazon’s use of DRM.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Barry Sookman Puts Foot In Mouth Again – Doesn’t Read Articles He Links To

        Tonight I’m picking on my old friend Barry Sookman again. Yes, I’m being sarcastic. Barry doesn’t like me, because I catch his mistakes, and it appears that he thinks that I shouldn’t do that. Hell, I wouldn’t do that, if he didn’t screw up so often.

        And now he’s done it again. I was nice. When I caught the mistake, I posted a note telling him about it. Now, 24 hours later, he hasn’t done anything to fix the problem. He hasn’t even sent me a note saying he was going to look into the issue.

        So I’m going to tell the world about it. Barry won’t be happy, but since when have I ever cared about whether Barry is happy?

        Spooftimes is one of the funniest sites on the internet. With a site name like Spooftimes and article titles like Local man in war of attrition over toilet roll with flatmate even a lawyer with no sense of humor should be able to tell that anything posted there isn’t serious. But not Barry. In his Computer and Internet Law Updates for 2011-01-13 column, Barry included one of their spoofs as true.

      • Irony Alert: NYC’s Anti-Piracy Propaganda Campaign Using ‘Free’ YouTube

        A few weeks back, we wrote about the anti-piracy propaganda campaign that NYC has been running, paid for by taxpayer dollars, which spreads typical MPAA FUD, and concludes with the line: “There’s no such thing as a free movie.” However, in looking over the campaign, I just realized that the videos are hosted on YouTube… for free. In other words, while NYC and its Hollywood friends are claiming that if you get something for free, it must be illegal, they’re making use of free online services themselves. Without YouTube, they’d have to pay for the hosting, bandwidth, streaming software, etc. themselves. But this way, they get it for free.

      • Police Arrest 18 Alleged Movie, Music and Software Uploaders

        This week, Japanese police have been carrying out raids all over the country against individuals alleged to have uploaded copyright works to the Internet. In total, 18 people were arrested for sharing movies, anime, music, games and software.

      • Anti-Piracy Outfit Unplugs Warez Topsite ‘Swan’

        Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN managed to pull one of the largest warez scene topsites offline yesterday. The servers of Swan, formerly known as ATS, were unplugged by their hosting provider WorldStream. The provider acted based on evidence provided by BREIN, and also handed over the servers to this private outfit. The police were not involved in the takedown, but instead it was the result of information allegedly provided to BREIN by a rogue member.

      • Paying Users To Report Fake Torrents is Illegal, Anti-Piracy Outfit Claims

        TorLock, a torrent site that claims to be virtually free of ‘fake torrents’, is offering $1 to users for every fake file that they can find. The offer was put in place by the site’s owner since he’s confident that the site’s collection of 140,738 torrents is as clean as it gets. However, the Indian anti-piracy outfit Aiplex Software is determined to put an end to the offer, claiming it is highly illegal.

      • Scan to notify illegal sharers

        Beginning Tuesday, computers accessing the Internet in residence halls will automatically be scanned for file-sharing programs.

        The Network Access Control service will scan for file sharing programs such as BitTorrent and LimeWire. If the service detects a file-sharing program, a pop-up message will notify him of the dangers of illegal sharing and ways to securely use the program.

      • P2P Lawsuits Gone Wild

        Thousands of file sharers have been sued in recent months for downloading movies like The Hurt Locker and Avatar XXX. U.S. rights holders model these lawsuits after similar litigation in Germany, where P2P piracy has led to hundreds of thousands of cases in recent years. The goal of this type of persecution isn’t so much to stop piracy, but to profit from it — and new statistics from Germany show that the strategy could be working, with P2P litigation becoming a multimillion dollar business.

Clip of the Day

Motorola Droid X: Unboxing and First Boot


Credit: TinyOgg

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  7. Tweets Are Not Journalism But Succinct Unverified Hearsay; Time to Treat Them Accordingly

    Childish public discourse can be attributed to SMS-sized nonsense posted in a hurry by career provocateurs, not grown-ups (becoming a waste of time for actual reporters who spend hours/days correcting the record after these go 'viral'); this is killing responsible journalism, necessitating a rethink



  8. The Web is Not JavaScript

    Simple sites respect visitors; rather than and instead of exploiting them or passing burdens to user-end browsers we should focus on text and links — the very core components of hypertext as opposed to bells and whistles



  9. Links 21/7/2019: DXVK 1.3.1, GameMode, Mutter 3.33.4

    Links for the day



  10. Links 20/7/2019: Weston 7.0 Alpha, Nageru 1.9.0

    Links for the day



  11. Companies That Collapse Because the European Patent Office (EPO) Gave Them Fake Patents in a Hurry

    False hopes and false promises won’t do any favours to European Patents, whose legal certainty suffers because Campinos and Battistelli measure nothing but ‘production’ (quantity) rather than quality of patents



  12. Slack Committed a Very Major Crime That Can Cost Many Billions If Not Trillions in Damages for Years to Come

    The inevitable has happened to Slack, which no longer deserves to exist as a company; moreover, the people who ran the company must be held criminally accountable



  13. Demand for European Patents Will Continue to Decrease If a Lot of European Patents Turn Out to be Invalid, Worthless

    The EPO's abandonment of patent justice and quality (in pursuit of so-called 'production' targets) is likely to doom the Office as the whole or render it vastly less relevant to the rest of the world



  14. 35 U.S.C. § 101 Still in Tact in the United States and Software Patents Rot Away

    The United States, where the number of granted patents decreased last year, becomes more productive; there are more signs that patent maximalism (patent litigation, patent scope etc.) has receded



  15. Links 19/7/2019: Deepin 15.11 and GNU/Linux Back on GPD MicroPC

    Links for the day



  16. Violence is Not Free Speech and Laws Exist Against Violence

    Free speech is certainly under attack and the debate is being framed within the context of Nazism; but this overlooks the fact that there are actual death threats and calls for genocide in the mix



  17. Links 19/7/2019: Oracle Linux 8.0, Latte Dock 0.9 Beta and PCLinuxOS KDE Darkstar 2019.07

    Links for the day



  18. Why Does Jim Zemlin Publicly Congratulate Microsoft?

    The signs aren't particularly encouraging when one considers that the leadership of the Linux Foundation is a fan of Microsoft and sometimes connected to Microsoft



  19. 2 Days Later (Case in Progress) and Still Media Silence About G 2/19

    The very legitimacy of years' worth of rulings and the EPO's abusive attacks on judges are under the microscope; but the media isn't paying any attention, perhaps deliberately



  20. The 'Linux' Foundation is Acting Like a Microsoft ISV Now, Commitment to Linux and FOSS Deteriorates Even Further

    The Linux Foundation has just announced a new Microsoft-funded initiative that's pushing GitHub and CLAs (passing copyrights on code to corporations)



  21. Links 18/7/2019: OPNsense 19.7, Krita 4.2.3 and KDevelop 5.3.3 Released

    Links for the day



  22. Index: G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)

    G 2/19 (Enlarged Board of Appeal, EPO)



  23. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 4: G 2/19 - Faites Vos Jeux…

    "Josefsson needs to bring in the “desired result” for his political masters in the Administrative Council if he wants to be in with a chance of reappointment."



  24. Media Not Interested in G 2/19, Which Demonstrates Patent Justice is Nowadays Impossible at the EPO

    The EPO spreads patent injustices to other countries and courts; the media is miraculously enough not interested, almost as though there's a coordinated blackout



  25. Librethreat Database Updated

    Database which keeps track of variants of attack vectors on Free/libre software now includes two more forms of threat



  26. A Look Back (and Forward) at Friendly Programming

    Historical perspective on computer languages and how to do better



  27. Red Hat's Freedom Reduced to Just Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN) and Microsoft as a Close Partner; Canonical's Ubuntu Just an 'App' for Windows?

    Free software is being snapped up by proprietary software giants and patent bullies that treat it as little more than an 'add-on' for their proprietary offerings



  28. Linux Foundation Apparently Celebrates Sysadmin Day With a Microsoft Windows Site!

    The Linux Foundation shows ‘love’ to actual GNU/Linux (the real thing) by apparently rejecting it and badmouthing it



  29. EPO Looney Tunes – Part 3: The Legal Line-up for G 2/19

    The deck appears to have already been stacked for G 2/19, a decision on EPO judges' exile to Haar (veiled disciplinary action/collective punishment by those whom the judges are supposed to 'oversee')



  30. Links 17/7/2019: VirtualBox 6.0.10 and Mageia 7.1 Releases, Mint Betas

    Links for the day


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