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01.19.11

Links 19/1/2011: Cybercom Enters Linux Foundation, Qt in Canonical

Posted in News Roundup at 9:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Foursquare Releases Two Open Source Development Tools

    Today Foursquare released the code for two applications on GitHub: Rogue, a MongoDB query domain-specific language written in Scala, and Full-Loaded, “a caching image loader for iOS.”

  • Of China, Piracy and Open Source

    As news stories prove every day, China is more than capable of creating technology that matches that of the West – think of maglev trains or stealth fighters. It could easily knock up its own operating system and applications to replace the proprietary ones that are pirated across the land. But in fact it doesn’t even need to go to all that trouble.

    For some years, the China government has been quietly supporting and promoting the use of free software within its borders – conscious, no doubt, that it forms a handy insurance policy against the day when it might not want to be so dependent on Western proprietary products.

    [...]

    It’s sad to see a serious newspaper like the Corriere della Sera spouting the kind of unrealistic nonsense; it bolsters the erroneous view that software piracy is a serious problem around the world, and that vast sums of money are involved. When you look closely at the details, neither turns out to be true. The real sums involved in developing countries are relatively small, and in any case, as Gates himself admits, companies like Microsoft actually prefer piracy to the alternative: a world running on open source.

  • In defence of hackers and open source

    With open source code, you have various objective metrics – speed, size, portability etc. When it comes to designing interfaces, it’s very subjective – and hence hard to ensure that things always improve through iteration. But these problems are not about “openness” or the “collective” approach as such: top-down, centralised efforts have just as much difficulty determining what is “progress” for areas where judgement matters, and just as little problem when there are clear metrics.

    [...]

    The fact that he trots out the old FUD about open source being unable to innovate – maybe he’s heard of this thing called the internet, which was created almost entirely using open protocols and open code – is perhaps an indication of the tiredness of his arguments.

    Similarly, the idea that the middle class have fewer opportunities to finance content creation overlooks the fact that people are now creating unprecedented quantities of content for *free*, purely for the love of creation – you know, that “l’art pour l’art” thing again. It’s true that not every one of them is a masterpiece, but guess what? That’s always been the case: the vast majority of creation has *always* been mediocre. The difference is that today we are more aware of how much rubbish there is because we have unparalleled access to it.

    [...]

    In other words, hackers and open source are precisely the forces that Lanier should be praising, since they are closely aligned with his desire for an allegiance to people, not machines. It’s a pity that someone with his pedigree doesn’t recognise that.

  • If it sounds mad

    I’ve just been reading Glyn Moody’s article on the defence of hackers and open source. And no doubt I fully disagree with any notion that Free and Open Source is as relatable to some mass anarchistic insensible process.

    I thought to myself that there probably is a quick test to see if what someone is saying about open source makes sense. A quick and dirty litmus test for checking if the author understands open source in principle and in practice.

    If you replace “Open Source” with the word “Science” and set the date of the article or book back to 1650, does it sound like it’s totally mad?

  • Open-Source Projects Are Getting Ripped On Amazon

    It’s been brought to my attention today by a Phoronix reader that several major open-source projects are being ripped off and sold for-profit on Amazon by a small company out of the United Kingdom. FlightGear, InkScape, and Scribus are among the free software projects being affected right now and Amazon apparently has yet to catch onto this or act.

  • The Butterfly-Amazon Open-Source Saga Continues

    It’s also been discovered by Phoronix readers that this company is passing off GnuCash as “Small Business & Personnel Finance Manager”, the Ardour music application is called “Music/Audio Editing Tool-kit”, PDF Creator is resold as “Create Your Own PDF”, and DVD Flick is “DVD Studio.”

  • Being a Free/Open Source Software Catalyst : Part I

    This is no time for Holy War. If you have a chance to switch to Apache, switch! Your Boss may not know it’s Apache (I can’t believe it’s not butter!), or he may be fully aware. In either case, he’s coming to you with a golden opportunity.

  • 50 Open Source Replacements for Storage Software

    Here are 50 noteworthy open source replacements for commercial storage-related tools.

  • Open Source in GSM Could Breed Mobile Mayhem

    The open source code for GSM base station programming could allow malicious hackers to set up rogue base stations and grab control of peoples’ cellphones, according to security researcher Ralf-Philipp Weinmann. He’s raised particular concern about such activities near places like airports and embassies, but other researchers have questioned the seriousness of the threat.

  • Five open source network management projects to watch

    Open source software has a long history in lower-level network software so it’s not surprising there is a healthy range of free tools available for network and systems management.

  • Events

    • LPC 2011 Call for Track Ideas

      The organizers behind the Linux Plumbers’ Conference have put out a call for track ideas for this Linux conference taking place in Santa Rosa in early September. Jesse Barnes asks that anyone interested read the below message.

    • [LCA2011-Chat] lca2011 venue update

      The conference venue is now officially confirmed as being at the Qld. University of Technology – Kelvin Grove campus. Unfortunately due to the damage sustained by the recent floods in Brisbane, the original buildings located at QUT – Gardens Point campus will not be available for the week of the conference.

  • Web Browsers

    • Midori vs Epiphany Review

      In the last couple months I’ve been seeing a lot of articles concerning the Midori web browser. It’s a lightweight GTK-based browser that uses the WebKit rendering engine also used by browsers like Chromium and Safari. At version 0.2.9, it’s relatively new (it’s still a ways away from a 1.0 release), but it’s included as part of the Xfce “goodies” package. It’s also the browser of choice of the Elementary project. I’ve tried Midori before and like it because it isn’t too much of a system resource hog, and it faithfully displays the webpages I visit.

    • Mozilla

      • School of Webcraft Charter (draft)

        For about a year now, Mozilla has been working with Peer to Peer University to set up a School of Webcraft. The vision is simple enough: a free, community run school for web development. It’s going well, with almost 30 courses on offer for the January term.

      • Firefox Mobile – Managing Profiles

        Last week we were talking about the need for private browsing, or something like it, in Firefox Mobile. Even though you might not share your phone with other people, you might share a tablet – especially the “family tablet”, sitting there on the coffee table. Private browsing is an obtrusive system, at least as implemented in Mozilla, and it’s doubtful we could add it for Firefox Mobile in time for the upcoming release. Also, private browsing doesn’t really satisfy the sharing use case for tablets.

      • Threads and Workers for Add-ons in Firefox 4

        The upcoming Firefox 4 includes a ton of significant changes, many of which have a direct effect on add-ons. The majority of these changes are just new and different ways of doing things. Unfortunately, there are a couple of changes that offer no alternative and add-on authors will just need to cope with them. The stability changes that were introduced in the threading model for Firefox 4 are an example of this.

      • Firefox Mobile- The Good and the Ugly

        Firefox mobile is also the first mobile browser to support addons. There’s a handy collection of really cool ones already available. Then finally, it really does render pages just like they were designed.

  • Databases

    • Cassandra service company Riptano changes name to DataStax

      Founded last April, Riptano, a company that provides training, advice and support for the NoSQL database Apache Cassandra, has been re-named as DataStax. Riptano was founded by Jonathan Ellis, chief of the Cassandra Project and Matt Pfeil. Both were previously employed by the cloud provider Rackspace, and Rackspace supplied the seed capital for Riptano.

  • Oracle

    • More LibreOffice Mockups: Citrus UI

      Speaking of LibreOffice, WebUpd8 reader Nathan Moos mentioned some refreshing mockups called Citrus UI (please note that these are not official mockups!).

      Citrus tries to remain somewhat familiar while brining more logic by reorganizing things differently – such as the File menu which currently holds commands that are in no way related to the current file. Further more, the menus are contextual meaning you won’t get any grayed-out menus and instead, they are hidden by default.

    • OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice Release Candidates Duke It Out

      Oracle-owned OpenOffice.org and independent LibreOffice are both nearing their freely available 3.3.0 versions and show their wares with recent release candidates. Commercial OpenOffice.org 3.3 was released by Oracle last month at a licensing fee starting at $49.95 for the Standard Edition, but has yet to release the freely downloadable version for home and small business use. That version has reached RC9, which is said to probably be the last development release before final. On the other side of town, LibreOffice has been releasing development versions as well with the latest being RC3 on January 13, which is rumored to be its last before final as well. LibreOffice has gained popular support probably primarily due to breaking from Oracle control and ownership while offering largely equal functionality.

  • Business

    • Open source status report reveals good health and profits

      2010 marked the 25th year of the Free Software Foundation, founded by Richard Stallman to promote the universal freedom to create, distribute and modify computer software. In that time the use of free software has become pervasive. I thought it might be interesting to take a look at some open source software usage statistics today. It’s truly amazing the size of the open source software community and the levels of participation in them.

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • Backdoors in OpenBSD? Reply hazy, try again

      On Dec. 11, OpenBSD founder and lead developers Theo de Raadt received an email from Gregory Perry, CEO of GoVirtual Education, a Florida-based VMWare training firm, in which Perry told de Raadt he was “aware of the fact that the FBI implemented a number of backdoors and side channel key leaking mechanisms into the OCF, for the express purpose of monitoring the site to site VPN encryption system implemented by EOUSA [an acronym for the US Dept. of Justice], the parent organization to the FBI.”

      [...]

      History may show otherwise, but right now this incident seems to be a story of missteps, and not maliciousness.

  • Government

  • Licensing

    • Gevent Joins the Software Freedom Conservancy

      Today, the Software Freedom Conservancy welcomes Gevent as its newest member. Gevent joins twenty-four other Conservancy members, who receive the benefit of aggregated non-profit status available to all Conservancy member projects.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Work is not the opposite of play!

      HR and legal are going to have to give up some reflexes biased against greater transparency on employee performance.

    • Can open source reinvent the music business?

      Under the traditional music model, bands create an album, sign their distribution rights to a record label, and the label distributes the music and benefits from the majority of sales. Recent economic problems and the advent of digital distribution and file sharing have squeezed labels for cash, which has limited distribution and marketing. Consequently, bands have suffered by losing their distribution rights to companies that no longer have the funds to effectively distribute their music.

      This poses a few unfortunate outcomes for bands. First, they lose control over their distribution, and if a label is not doing a good job, this can cripple a band’s ability to spread awareness of their material. Second, labels typically provide tour support if a band sells a certain number of units. However, low investment in distribution translates into limited sales, meaning bands won’t get to tour and raise that awareness. Finally, bands usually make money through tours and merchandise sales. With the labels not providing adequate marketing and distribution, bands are not sent on tour, so they don’t make much money. The net result is that the romantic dream of a record deal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

    • Open Data

      • Launch of the Principles on Open Bibliographic Data

        The initial idea for something like the Principles on Open Bibliographic Data dates back to May 2010 and originated in the German OKFN chapter. Originally, they were directed at the library world. It was not before July 2010 that the OKFN Working Group on Open Bibliographic Data started work on the principles – taking ideas (and text) from the Panton Principles for Open Data in Science.

  • Web Standards

    • An HTML5 Logo

      W3C unveiled a logo for HTML5 today. HTML5 in the broad sense covers many different technologies at varying degrees of standardization and adoption. Commercial sites have begun to take advantage of some of the technology, and we are excited that this logo will help raise awareness about HTML5 and W3C. Please check out the logo home page for information about free stickers. We are also selling T-shirts and part of the proceeds will support the HTML5 test suite effort.

    • W3C Introduces an HTML5 Logo
    • W3C’s new logo promotes HTML5–and more

      Underscoring the confluence of technology, politics, and marketing, the World Wide Web Consortium today unveiled a new logo for HTML5.

      With the logo, the W3C wants to promote the new Web technology–and itself. The Web is growing far beyond its roots of housing static Web sites and is transforming into a vehicle for entertainment and a foundation for online applications.

Leftovers

  • Facebook’s 3rd Biggest Advertiser is (Allegedly) a Bing Affiliate Scam (With Updates)

    Matt Cutts is the head of Google’s anti-webspam team and tonight he came across what looks like a huge trove of scammy, spammy spam – on Facebook. And it involves Microsoft. Advertising publication AdAge reported tonight on findings from advertising analysts that Facebook sold an estimated $1.86 billion in worldwide advertising for 2010, an amazing sum. Who’s spending all that money on Facebook ads? A long, long tail of self-serve advertisers for sure – but near the head of the tail is someone that should have raised a whole lot of red flags.

    At the end of the AdAge article is a passing mention that the 3rd largest advertiser across all of Facebook, after AT&T and Match.com, is a mysterious company listed as Make-my-baby.com.

  • Legal Thuggery, or Law as Transaction Cost

    There are two great things about this. First, the BoingBoing post isn’t even about Academic Advantage: it contains those words, but is utterly unrelated. Second, the allegedly bad part (which L, A, & Y complains about) is the use of the term “scam.” But: the term “scam” was put up by a poster. That means that BoingBoing is immune from any tort action – like defamation – under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Any lawyer admitted to the bar should know that – this is Internet Law 101.

  • Audio slideshow: On the map

    Until recently, what is often billed as one of Africa’s largest slums – Kibera, in the Kenyan capital Nairobi – was a blank spot on official maps. But a group of volunteers have been training young people living there to create their own digital map of the area.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Whitehall chief blocks release of Blair’s notes to Bush on Iraq

      Britain’s top civil servant, Sir Gus O’Donnell, is preventing the official inquiry into the Iraq invasion from publishing notes sent by Tony Blair to George W Bush – evidence described by the inquiry as of “central importance” in establishing the circumstances that led to war.

      O’Donnell, the cabinet secretary, consulted Blair before suppressing the documents, it emerged tonight. The Cabinet Office said: “There is an established convention covering papers of a previous administration whereby former ministers would normally be consulted before release of papers from their time in government.” The prime minister’s spokesman said David Cameron had not been consulted.

    • The Real Domestic Extremists

      Who threatens us most – peaceful campaigners or a private militia run by police chiefs?

    • Clean-up of covert policing ordered after Mark Kennedy revelations

      The government said today that a private company run by police chiefs should be stripped of its power to run undercover spies in the wake of a Guardian investigation into the police officer Mark Kennedy, who spent seven years posing as an environmental activist.

      The Home Office minister Nick Herbert and senior police officers acknowledged for the first time that “something had gone very wrong” in the Kennedy case, which led to the collapse last week of the trial of six people accused of planning to invade a Nottinghamshire power station.

    • FBI Issues Death Threat in U.S. Citizen Interrogation

      An FBI agent reportedly issued a death threat against a U.S. citizen traveling abroad, according to the January 13 New York Times. The American, 19-year-old Gulet Mohamed, also alleges beatings and sleep deprivation in his interrogations since his arrest by Kuwaiti authorities in late December.

      After he was detained by Kuwaiti authorities, “Mr. Mohamed said the agents began yelling the name ‘Anwar al-Awlaki’ at him,” the Times reported, “prompting Kuwaiti officials to intervene and request that the agents end the interrogation.” New Mexico-born Anwar al-Awlaki is an American citizen and Islamic cleric who has emigrated to Yemen and advocated jihad against America, and President Obama has reputedly put him on an assassination list of U.S. citizens for when he is found.

      Making a death threat against a defenseless prisoner is a crime of felony torture under the U.S. criminal code, and the jurisdiction of the crime for federal agents is anywhere in the world. The U.S. Code, Title 18, Section 2340 defines felony torture as follows: “torture means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control,” including “the threat of imminent death.”

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Sales of sustainable seafood soar in UK supermarkets

      Sales of “alternative” species of fish and seafood have soared after being championed in Channel 4′s newFish Fightcampaign, the UK’s leading supermarkets reported today.

      Consumers are favouring coley, dab, mussels, squid and sardines over the staple salmon, cod and tuna following the programmes last week, which highlighted the wasteful use of “discard” in fishing practices while encouraging shoppers to take the pressure off popular fish stocks by being more adventurous in what they eat.

  • Finance

    • Executive order: Gov. Haslam throws out income disclosure rules

      Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has signed an executive order that eliminates a requirement for the governor and top aides to disclose how much they earn.

      Under the order signed after Haslam took office on Saturday, the disclosure rules applying to himself and senior administration officials will be the same as those for members of the General Assembly. Those only requires them to list sources of income, but not how much they make.

    • Ex-Swiss banker says he’ll hand files on alleged tax evasion in offshore havens to WikiLeaks

      Elmer said he would not reveal what specifically was in the documents, and said that he personally would not disclose “individual companies or individual names” of the account holders.

    • Tax havens and the men who stole the world

      Shaxson has compiled a remarkable dossier: part analysis, historical and contemporary, part expository, part anecdote and gossip, wholly revealing, shocking and, yes – entertaining. His publisher’s proof copy for reviewers suggests that he has written a thriller, and certainly his often over-written narrative strains for that effect. For me it is possibly the most important political book that I have read since The Spirit Level.

      The scale of abuse is staggering. More than half of world trade passes, often just on paper, through tax havens. More than half of all banking assets and a third of all multinational corporations’ foreign direct investment is offshore where the assets and revenues escape not only tax, but also the rule of law and democratic regulation. UK Uncut’s estimates of lost tax revenue come to some £100 billion over four years. Shaxson quotes a National Audit Office finding in 2007 that a third of the UK’s biggest companies paid no tax at all in this country in the previous boom year. It is of course not only developed nations like the UK that lose out. Developing countries lose some $160 billion annually just through manipulative price fixing that drains tax revenue out of poor countries – as well as sustaining corrupt rulers in power.

    • Ex-Banker Gives Data on Taxes to WikiLeaks

      Rudolf M. Elmer, who ran the Caribbean operations of the Swiss bank Julius Baer for eight years until he was dismissed in 2002, refused to identify any of the individuals or companies, but he told reporters at a news conference that about 40 politicians and “pillars of society” were among them.

      He told The Observer newspaper over the weekend that those named in the documents come from “the U.S., Britain, Germany, Austria and Asia — from all over,” and include “business people, politicians, people who have made their living in the arts and multinational conglomerates — from both sides of the Atlantic.”

      Mr. Elmer handed two computer disks to Mr. Assange at the news conference, the first significant public event the WikiLeaks founder has held since he was arrested in London in early December after Swedish prosecutors sought to have him extradited on charges of sexual crimes there. He has denied the charges but was briefly jailed last year before bail was granted.

      Wearing the same dark blue suit he has worn through his legal battles, Mr. Assange said that WikiLeaks would verify and release the information, including the names, in as little as two weeks.

    • Would More Education Reduce Unemployment and Income Inequality?

      Some people argue that education is the answer to some of the big current problems the U.S. economy faces. Want to fix the unemployment problem? That’s easy: just provide additional educational opportunities for those having difficulty finding jobs. Want to lessen income inequality? That’s easy too: if more people have college degrees, they’ll qualify for higher wage work. While these arguments appear to make sense, looking at the data over the past several decades provides the opposite answer: more education would solve neither problem.

      Lawrence Mishel of the Economics Policy Institute makes this argument in a new paper. While he agrees that a better-educated workforce would ultimately help U.S. growth, he shows pretty convincingly that these two current economic problems can’t be solved with more education.

    • Conservatives Ruined the Economy and Now They’re Blaming Liberalism

      Really? Reagan and “vigilance about big government and balanced budgets” in the same sentence? Time for a reality check:

      Reagan made big government bigger; he never submitted a balanced budget; and his deficits piled up more government debt than in all the United States’ prior history, due precisely to low taxes and the bloated defense budgets underpinning “peace through strength.” Bottom line: conservatives’ combination of “low taxes” and “strong defense” during the Reagan and Bush II administrations produced huge fiscal deficits to be passed on to future generations. Wait until they find out all those Reaganomics tax cuts were, in fact, future tax increases on them. To add insult to injury, the revenue hole left by the Reagan tax cuts was filled by loans from Asia and OPEC, suddenly prosperous thanks to huge trade surpluses. During Reagan’s watch, therefore, the United States swung from being the world’s largest creditor to the world’s largest debtor nation, undermining America’s financial sovereignty. “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?”

    • 85-Year-Old-Woman Arrested for Bank Protest — 6 Revolts the Tea Party-Obsessed Corporate Media Overlooked

      Some of the most undercovered stories of 2010 were actions taken by ordinary people standing up for a more just and equitable society. People are taking to the streets on a regular basis across the country, but unlike the corporate-sponsored Tea Party — whose spokespeople can’t answer basic questions about the deficit they claim to be so worried about — those who believe in health care, affordable housing, economic justice, education, a living wage, and a better life for all rarely, if ever, get the attention they deserve. Instead, the media, even the alternative media, spent the better part of last year obsessing over the Tea Party and manufactured personalities like Sarah Palin, while ignoring people like 85-year-old Julia Botello.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • FCC gives green light to Comcast’s merger with NBC Universal

      The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday gave the green light to Comcast’s proposed acquisition of a majority stake in NBC Universal by a vote of 4-1.

    • Indoctrinating Children To Hate Freedom Of The Press?

      I just listened to a recent podcast from This American Life with the theme of “Kid Politics.” As per usual, it’s an entertaining hour, but the First Act struck me as especially interesting, given the current debates about Wikileaks and free speech. In that story, reporter and TAL regular Starlee Kine visits the Ronald Reagan library, where a bunch of school children visit and run through an exercise in which they get to simulate the invasion of Grenada and get to make all the decisions just like Reagan did. They’re prepped for this with a bit of laughably propaganda-filled version of history (e.g. if we didn’t invade Grenada, then Grenada, Cuba and Nicaragua would have invaded the US and made us communist). Then, they go through this simulation — in which they’re told there are “no right or wrong answers.” However, it later turns out that if you answer differently than Ronald Reagan actually did, an angry buzzer buzzes and the students are told they’re wrong — if you answer the same as Reagan, a bell dings, and the students are told they made “the correct choice.” In most cases, of course, the students are lead to the “easy” answer being exactly what Reagan did.

      Then, suddenly, in the middle of the exercise, the evil press ruins everything, by revealing that two US carriers have been rerouted to Grenada, ruining the element of surprise. To be honest, if you look through historical reports of the invasion of Grenada, the press leaking this bit of information is pretty hard to find. Yet, in the Reagan Library, it’s the key to the whole story. The element of surprise has been blown, and now the faux-Reagan needs to decide whether to move forward with the invasion.

    • The Alexis de Tocqueville Institution

      However ADTI had first become publicly noticed a few years prior, when as part of the 1998 Tobacco Settlement Agreement, the Philip Morris corporation released millions of pages of documents concerning their operations. In them was evidence that Philip Morris had hired ADTI to campaign against tobacco regulations.

      It’s a rather curious that an institution dedicated to the ‘ideas and ideals’ of Alexis de Tocqueville, on the extension and perfection of democracy would be working as hired guns for the tobacco industry. And if they worked as hired guns for the tobacco industry, who else have they worked for? Microsoft was suggested immediately after the UPI article was published.

      In May of 2004 our questions were answered. ADTI put out a press release stating that Linux could suffer from patent issues. The original press release has vanished from the ADTI site, but a copy is here. The press release appeared to have only one reason for existence, to push users away from Free and Open Source Software, and towards using proprietary software.

      The final capstone was a week later, when ADTI put out another press release in which they questioned whether Linus Torvalds really wrote Linux, which Pamela Jones deconstructed at the time.

      Later Ken Brown, the staffer who supposedly was writing a book exposing Linux, was exposed as a liar. Ken made claims about what certain people, including Andrew S. Tanenbaum, the man who designed and programmed the Minix operating system, said, and curiously every single person that he quoted disagreed with his quotes. Such a total repudiation is unusual to say the least.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Righthaven extends copyright lawsuit campaign to individual Web posters

        Las Vegas copyright enforcement company Righthaven LLC is now suing individual message-board posters, not just website operators.

        Righthaven, which files copyright infringement lawsuits over unapproved online postings of material from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post, filed seven infringement lawsuits Tuesday and Wednesday in U.S. District Court for Nevada, lifting its lawsuit total since March to at least 203.

      • Senior Judge ‘Astonished’ By Actions Of ACS:Law in File-Sharing Cases

        Following on from our article detailing ACS:Law’s no-show at the directions hearing for their 27 active file-sharing cases, today we take a closer look at yesterday’s proceedings. Judge Birss QC said that he found ACS:Law’s actions both “remarkable” and “unprecedented” and was “frankly astonished” by their behavior, while defense lawyers made serious allegations concerning ACS:Law’s conduct.

        Following a review of all outstanding active ACS:Law cases, last month Judge Birss QC found that a total of 27 had been filed, many of them displaying what he described as “unusual features”. In order to decide how to progress these cases he ordered a directions hearing to take place at the Patents Court in London yesterday.

      • No Ads, Domain Seized and No Anonymity For Pirate Site, Judge Rules

        A U.S. District Court judge has issued a preliminary injunction against two advertising networks and a Whois protection service of a site that offers pirated e-books. Advertising networks Clicksor and Chitika are now prohibited from serving advertisements to the site, while Enom’s Whois Privacy Protection Service was ordered to hand over all personal details of the site’s owner and make the site inaccesible.

        Just a few days ago we discussed several strategies that can be employed to take down or hurt sites that are associated with online piracy. One of those strategies is pursuing the ad-networks of these sites, in order to cut off their revenue streams. Another is to target domain registrars and push these services to disable access to the sites.

      • MPAA trumpets new filesharing ’study’

        “Expect to see this ’study’ quoted ad nauseum in ‘findings’ emanating from various entertainment cartel disinformation units”, said p2pnet in a post on a new ’study’ underlining the supposed horrors to the entertainment industry’s bottom line.

        Constructed for the US Chamber of Commerce, it’s “about counterfeiting and ‘piracy’ in general terms”, we said, going on, “But, big surprise, file sharing gets most of the attention.

Clip of the Day

How to Root and Install a Cyanogenmod ROM


Credit: TinyOgg

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    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  13. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  14. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  15. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  16. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  17. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  18. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  19. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

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



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

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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



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

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



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

    Links for the day



  25. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

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



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

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



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

    Links for the day



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

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



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

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



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

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


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