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01.22.11

ES: El Dr. Glyn Moody Refuta el Libro ‘Estudio’ financiado por Microsoft Contra el Software de Código Abierto

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 1:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Annual report by Microsoft

(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: Muchos errores de facto que se encuentran en el libro financiado por Microsoft que menosprecia “código abierto” y ayuda a Microsoft lobby los gobiernos.

El pelotón sin ética de Redmond ha vuelto a sobornar a los profesores, como parte de un modelo de negocio tan notorio que pensamos que había sido enterrado. Ya sabemos que la Fundación Gates [http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Gates_Foundation_Critique] mantiene la compra de las noticias para hacer una cobertura más favorable a sus objetivos (y con el fin de silenciar a sus muchos críticos vocales). Microsoft está más o menos lo mismo (pero más sutil) y al igual que la Fundación Gates, que financia los profesores que se convertirán en sus testaferros.

Para repetir lo planteado en los últimos dos posts sobre este tema [1[http://techrights.org/2011/01/19/professors-sponsored-by-microsoft/], 2[http://techrights.org/2011/01/18/controlling-minds/]], Microsoft había pagado a Josh Lerner y Mark Schankerman, que en la literatura a su vez produce que se haga eco a los grupos de presión de Microsoft y da a los grupos de presión algo académico citar más adelante. El modelo de Microsoft podría ser algo, como el pago de algunos profesores para poner su nombre detrás de un texto particular, con un sesgo particular, para a continuación, asegurar la compra de algunos ejemplares de ese texto por un precio considerable y enviar por correo copias a los CIOs o de quien necesitan ser persuadido por un informe que sólo al parecer proviene de expertos “independientes”. No hay nada que un monopolio corrupto abusador no vaya a dejar de hacer para asegurar su monopolio y la poca evidencia de este abuso es difícil de obtener. Dr. Glyn Moody muestra por qué es como esconderla detrás de un paywall[http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2011/01/theres-no-fud-like-an-old-fud/index.htm]:

Como yo no he leído el libro – y prefiero no pagar £ 25.95 para el dudoso placer de descubrir de dónde vienen los errores – Voy a limitarme a hacer frente a los argumentos expuestos en la revisión economista en lugar de preocuparse sobre dónde su origen.

Microsoft no es una organización benéfica que financia libros para ser más “objetivo”, está obligado a servir a sus accionistas, es decir, a promover su agenda con su dinero. Por lo tanto, la refutación detallada de Moody’s (titulado “No hay FUD Como un FUD Viejo”) es necesaria y para dar sólo una muestra de ello:

Pero mi principal preocupación aquí es con la siguiente sección:

“Sin embargo, la constatación que los defensores de código abierto que menos le gusta es que los programas libres no son siempre más barato. Para estar seguro, el costo inicial del software propietario es más alta (aunque los programas de código abierto no son siempre gratis). Pero las empresas que utilizan este tipo de programas gastan más en cosas como aprender a utilizarlos y hacerlos trabajar con otro software.”

Sí, es una vieja variante que Miedo Incertidumbre y Duda FUD de edad que el software libre no es realmente libre (oh Dios mío, ¿verdad?) Es lo mismo que Microsoft trató de hacernos creer hace unos diez años y luego abandonó cuando se dio cuenta de que nadie dijo que era cuando se tiene en cuenta todos los factores como el pago de los salarios. Pero dejemos esto de lado también, que no es novedad para nadie, veamos la idea central de esta encarnación actual de ese Miedo Incertidumbre y Duda FUD:

“Las empresas que utilizan este tipo de programas gastan más en cosas como aprender a utilizarlos y hacerlos trabajar con otro software”

Asi que ocurre lo mismo con la primera parte significa que aprender a usar una nueva pieza de software de código abierto es inherentemente más difícil que aprender a usar una nueva pieza de software propietario? Yo no he visto una sola pieza de la investigación que sugiera esto. Lo que he visto ampliamente documentado es que las personas que actualmente utilizan Microsoft Office, por ejemplo, les resulta más difícil aprender a usar OpenOffice, por ejemplo, que seguir utilizando Microsoft Office. ¿Lo cuál es, por supuesto, un pedazo de sabiduría firmemente ubicada en el corazón mismo de la Tierra de los Sangrantes.

Por lo tanto, pasando rápidamente de la esperanza de que puede haber una cuestión de fondo aquí, tenemos la segunda afirmación: “que las empresas gastan más en hacer trabajar el código abierto con el “software”. Pero espera, ¿qué podría ser, a que “otros programas” se refieren? Ya que no es de código abierto (porque es “otro”, no el de código abierto) es claramente software propietario, de modo que el problema se reduce a hacer trabajar los programas de código abierto con el software propietario. ¿Y por qué podría ser eso?

La buena noticia es que cada vez más personas tomen conciencia de lo que Microsoft realmente hizo aquí. “Lloro por Slashdot,” escribió Gordon, “cuando se considere digno de informar…”

Gordon se refiere a este tema [http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/01/19/1613258/Open-Source-More-Expensive-Says-MS-Report] que muestra que Slashdot fue capturado en esto también y no dejó de lado la conexión a Microsoft. Como dije en mi respuesta a Gordon, “seamos justos con Slashdot, que dejó muy claro en el título y el resumen que Microsoft pagó por este Miedo Incertidumbre y Duda FUD. Indudablemente esto daña su relación con el software libre. ”

Microsoft está tratando de decirle a todo el mundo (por encargo) que el “código abierto” es malo. Entonces ¿por qué iba alguien a defender las incursiones de Microsoft en “código abierto”?

“En el día de la sentencia, los pandilleros [ejecutivos de Microsoft] respondieron que ellos no habían hecho nada malo, diciendo que todo fue caso fue una conspiración de la estructura del poder blanco para destruirlos. Ahora estoy bajo ninguna ilusión de que estos sinvergüenzas se darán cuenta de que otras partes de la sociedad los ven de esa manera.”

Juez Jackson US Corte Suprema de Justicia

Many thanks to Eduardo Landaveri of the Spanish portal of Techrights.

TechBytes Episode 27: Linux Phones, Pardus, Trusting One’s Government-funded Distribution, and Much More

Posted in TechBytes at 1:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TechBytes

Direct download as Ogg (1:29:28, 26.8 MB) | Direct download as MP3 (41.0 MB)

Summary: Tim, Gordon, and Roy talk about items of interest from the past few days’ news

LAST NIGHT’S show covered a broad range of subjects including some of the above. Corresponding articles will be linked in OpenBytes’ show notes. (Update: show notes are up)

RSS 64x64The show ends with “Casino Beach”, which is a track Tim selected. We hope you will join us for future shows and consider subscribing to the show via the RSS feed. You can also visit our archives for past shows. If you have an Identi.ca account, consider subscribing to TechBytes in order to keep up to date.

As embedded (HTML5):

Download:

Ogg Theora
(There is also an MP3 version)

Our past shows:

November 2010

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

December 2010

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

January 2011

Show overview Show title Date recorded
Episode 23: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 23: Failuresfest and 2011 Predictions 2/1/2011
Episode 24: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 24: Android, Microsoft’s President Departure, and Privacy 10/1/2011
Episode 25: Tim and Roy TechBytes Episode 25: Mono, Ubuntu, Android, and More 14/1/2011
Episode 26: Tim and Roy TechBytes Episode 26: £98 GNU/Linux Computer, Stuxnet’s Government Roots, and More 18/1/2011

Links 22/1/2011: Pardus 2011, Red Hat’s Andreas

Posted in News Roundup at 1:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux time… again

    I’ve recently turned to looking at lighter weight distros with lower impact on on the limited resources. After some research I found an excellent article on Tuxradar which attempts to answer the question What’s the best lightweight linux distro? I’ve seen a few excellent options and after further reading the distro I’m particularly interested in trying is Lubuntu. All I need now is time, hopefully I will be able to try Lubuntu over the next few days. I will of course be posting a first impressions followed by a review.

  • Linux lovers riled up over Sony PS3 lawsuit, Firefox woes

    The Linux blogosphere is “all shook up” these days, skewering Sony for suing a hacker for jailbreaking the PS3, and hammering Mozilla for skimping on hardware acceleration in the Linux Firefox 4 beta. Meanwhile, Google’s decision to drop H.264 from its Chrome browser for open source alternatives received praise from the open source world, but also a surprising amount of criticism.

  • Home Computer – Green, Palm Sized Computer For Rs 5000

    elLoka Techsolutions Pvt Ltd a Hyderabad based product design and manufacturing company that delivers Ultra Low Cost Computer Platforms(ULCCP), has come up with a palm-sized computer that is very cheap and consumes very little power.

  • Search is One of the Strengths of GNU/Linux

    Searching is one of the five major functions of computerized information processing: searching, creating, modifying, storing and presenting. In the early days of PCs one could keep a scrap of paper or such with a list of floppies and a directory listing would get you close to your data sooner or later. Now, one can keep track of stuff on many terabytes of storage in an instant.

  • Tux Planet, an awesome source for Linux wallpapers

    I recently stumbled with this great French site, which contains some of the most amazing Linux wallpapers I have found. Many Linux distributions are featured, including the usual suspects, like Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Fedora, but also some other distros that are perhaps not as popular yet, such as CrunchBang or Pardus.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Revisited: 3 Newbie-Friendly KDE Distributions

        Pardus 2009.2 “Geronticus Eremita” Live CD
        This one’s going to be short. I selected Pardus, saw a little bit of boot text, and then…nothing. I was stuck at a blank screen. I tried again, this time waiting for 15 minutes — still nothing. I find it slightly ironic that Pardus won the last comparison test considering that it couldn’t even start here. Then again, I have a strong suspicion that it’s an issue with MultiSystem and that MultiSystem doesn’t support Pardus nearly as well as its (MultiSystem’s) developer(s) thought it would. Oh well. That was the end of that.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Mutter: window and compositing manager for GNOME 3 based on Clutter.

        GNOME 3 is the GNOME project’s ambitious effort to take its desktop into the future. A key component of the desktop is the window manager, which defines much of the overall feel of the system. Thomas Thurman, the maintainer of Metacity—GNOME’s current window manager—is looking ahead to “Mutter” as the window manager for GNOME 3. Metacity 2 will gradually be phased out in favor of Mutter; in GNOME 2.28 it will be an alternative window manager, while in GNOME 3, it will take over the reins from Metacity.

  • Distributions

    • Why I Use Gentoo Linux

      I’ll admit it right here: Gentoo is my primary operating system and remains my favorite distribution of Linux.

    • PARDUS 2011 is here!

      For those of you were waiting for Pardus 2011, the waiting is finally over!

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Waiting for a Break Out?

        Latest price action range, defined by a peaks and troughs algorithm places calculated support at $45.50 and calculated resistance at $48.78. These levels will be closely watched by traders, as they provide great insight into the latest price dynamics defined by Red Hat shares.

      • Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) 6 Released

        Kevin Fenzi, one of release-engineers for Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) and long time member of the EPEL Fedora Special Interest Group (SIG) discusses the EPEL 6 release.

      • Introducing Andreas

        Andreas currently detects bugs in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 cases, and is expected to quickly expand to include additional products, including earlier versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and our JBoss Enterprise Middleware product suite.

    • Debian Family

      • Myths and Facts about Firmwares and their non-removal from Debian

        Debian’s announcement to release “Squeeze” with a completely free Linux kernel caused quite some attention, which is actually a good thing. However, it also seems to have caused quite some uncertainty and was often partially misunderstood and miss quoted.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal – First Impressions

          At the time of writing this article, Ubuntu 11.04 codenamed “Natty Narwhal” is still very much in its nascent stages of development. I really wanted to take it for a spin and write about my first hand impressions on latest build Ubuntu Natty. I installed Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Alpha 1 in my USB drive and things went pretty smooth from the word go.

        • Ubuntu Business Model – A Misunderstood Concept

          Canonical, the business arm of Ubuntu, has one of the most promising business models in the Linux world, and also the most misunderstood. First of all, Ubuntu is in a market termed by economists as a perfectly competitive market. This means that it cannot charge any price beyond that which is determined by the market. The only way to make profit, as has rightly been identified by Canonical is to create an ecosystem of products and services around Ubuntu, which would complement the functions of the OS.

          This is model of making profit is not new. There are other companies that make money from this method. Give the primary product for free but then create other value added products and services that complements this primary product. To make profit from this kind of business model takes time and a lot of investment. Mark Shuttleworth, the financial backbone of the Ubuntu project rightly knows so and is doing exactly that. Most critics of the Ubuntu distro, are convinced that it’s only a matter of time before Ubuntu also capitulates like its predecessors for lack of funds. They couldn’t be further from reality.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 switches to LibreOffice in latest daily builds
        • Ubuntu Unity Adds 2D Support

          Honestly, I’m not surprised by this. We’ve been down this road once before, with the original Ubuntu Netbook Remix requiring advanced graphic support, and in subsequent releases it was adapted to work quite adequately without the fancy graphic bells and whistles. If there is anything surprising about it, it is that Canonical/Ubuntu didn’t learn the lesson the first time. If you are going to start dictating hardware requirements to your users, and demanding that they have nothing but the absolute latest, greatest and most powerful systems, then you might want to consider changing your name to “Microsoft”.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Getting Enlightened with Bodhi Linux

            Much of E17′s functionality is contained in modules.

          • Bodhi Linux is Blossoming

            I am also especially pleased to welcome Christopher Michael (devilhorns) to our team. Christopher has been working with the Enlightenment development team for nearly ten years. He is working hand in hand with the Bodhi team and community to get any issues that occur with the desktop corrected ASAP. He will also be coding some new things that will allow Bodhi to provide a better desktop experience for everyone.

Free Software/Open Source

  • When “open source” software isn’t truly open source

    Once the term “open source software” was coined, it was also defined. The official Open Source Definition is clear, and explains how software must be licensed to qualify as open source software. The specific points of the Definition address issues related to:

    1. Redistribution
    2. Source Code
    3. Derived Works
    4. Integrity of the Author’s Source Code
    5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
    6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor
    7. Distribution of License
    8. License Product Specificity
    9. License Restrictions on Other Software
    10. License Technology Neutrality

  • Pirates: Good for Microsoft, great for open sourcers

    Perhaps for that reason, since 2008 Cisco Systems, EMC, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, SAP, and others have dropped off its membership rolls, as pointed out on TechRights.

    These companies may recognize the PR hit they take each time the BSA succeeds in nabbing an alleged pirate. But perhaps they also recognize that there are better ways to policy piracy.

  • Development of FFmpeg under new management

    With over 100 audio and video formats, FFmpeg is at the heart of countless multimedia programs, and it is one of the show-piece projects on the open source scene. Originally founded by Fabrice Bellard, Michael Niedermayer started maintaining the project in 2004. However, a team of 18 developers has now ousted him and appointed seven new project maintainers, among them the main x264 developer, Jason Garrett-Glaser (“Dark Shikari”), and Ronald S. Bultje. Some of the most active FFmpeg developers had been dissatisfied with Niedermayer’s project management and had accused him of slowing down the development of the codec library, which is licensed under the GPL / LGPL, by focussing on unnecessary details and causing superfluous discussions.

  • 5 open source security projects to watch

    Data security is always top of mind for CIOs and CSOs, and there is no shortage of challenges when it comes to picking the right tool for the job.

    With network and software vulnerabilities growing at a perpetual rate, good security software can help defend against many of the large-scale threats that occur locally and from all over the Internet.

  • Events

    • Everything you need to know about Linux.conf.au 2011

      The annual conference is one of the largest Open Source conferences in the southern hemisphere, and one of three major international grassroots Linux conferences worldwide, the other two being Linux Symposium and Linux Kongress.

      Originally founded in 1999 by Linux Kernel Hacker Rusty Russell under the acronym “CALU,” the conference changed its name to linux.conf.au in 2001, when it was held in Sydney.

  • Databases

    • MySQL: Drive Your Performance Problems Away!

      You’ve just heaved a sigh of relief after the latest release of your online system—but you can already see troubled times ahead, with performance issues cropping up after adding on just a few concurrent users. You don’t have time for elaborate load or scalability testing, since the user count will grow rapidly in the next few weeks. As the solutions architect, you know that you’ll get the maximum returns on your investment of effort by taming the database. Will you start scrambling for tools, hoping they will help you? Or will you simply decide to throw more powerful hardware at the system, to postpone solving the problem?

      The approach we advocate is to tune your MySQL database system for the most efficient performance before you begin throwing new hardware at the problem, or begin re-designing the very solution itself. Let’s learn to use some very effective tools—most of which are included in your MySQL installation—to make this process a pleasure. We can start right away if you are ready to take the plunge.

  • Oracle

    • Sun’s open source legacy

      Colbourne later recounted that “Shortly after the merger I spoke to a Sun employee who was now employed by Oracle. Their view was that Oracle had no idea what they had really bought with Java. The meaning was that Oracle did not understand the role of the wider community in the success of Java”. Since then, a specification for Java SE 7 has been released, but Oracle’s intransigence on the IP issue has led the Apache Software Foundation to leave the JCP.

  • CMS

    • So long, Drupal 5.x (End of Life Announcement)

      When Drupal 7 was released that meant that Drupal 5 was no longer supported. This announcement is merely a reminder of that fact. It is the policy (and, to large extent a matter of pragmatics) of the Drupal community to support only the current major release of Drupal (currently Drupal 7.x), and the previous release (currently Drupal 6.x). See Drupal’s version info for more details on this policy.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Call for IceCat developers

      The GNU Icecat project is a web browser built to deal with the influx of threats to freedom and privacy on the web from traps such as nonfree plugins and nonfree JavaScript.

  • Government/Transparency

    • Legal advice on enhanced cooperation kept secret

      The European Council has some difficulties to apply the TURCO judgement of the ECJ which clearly mandates a disclosure of legal advice unrelated to court proceedings. Legal advice concerning the enhanced cooperation on an unitary patent, they think they are permitted to keep it confidential. I strongly doubt so.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML Versioning Eliminated

      There will be no HTML version 6 or version 6.2.3, or any other numbered version. Instead, HTML will just be considered a “living document,” one that will be updated on an ongoing basis, said Ian Hickson, a member of the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG), in a blog post Wednesday.

Leftovers

  • Student protester who threw fire extinguisher from roof jailed

    A student who admitted throwing a fire extinguisher from the roof of Millbank Tower during November’s tuition fees protests was sentenced to 32 months in jail today by a judge who warned those who abuse the right of peaceful protest to expect lengthy custodial sentences.

  • Italian court waters down Berlusconi immunity law

    Italy’s constitutional court has opened the way for Silvio Berlusconi to be put back on trial, throwing out crucial parts of the law that represented his latest attempt to shield himself from prosecution.

  • Haiti earthquake: Corruption kills, not tremors

    Buildings kill people, not earthquakes. The seismologists’ saying has never been more true, with deaths from tremors continuing to rise despite advances in earthquake resistant design.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed

      In the first part of a special BMJ series, Brian Deer exposes the bogus data behind claims that launched a worldwide scare over the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, and reveals how the appearance of a link with autism was manufactured at a London medical school

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Mark Kennedy knew of second undercover eco-activist

      The undercover police officer whose seven-year infiltration of the green protest movement has sparked widespread controversy is said to have named another eco-activist as a fellow police spy, the Guardian can reveal.

    • Police spy who married activist suspended from duty

      One of three police officers revealed by the Guardian to have infiltrated the green protest movement has been restricted from duty pending an investigation into his professional conduct.

      Jim Boyling, who carried out covert surveillance for five years while undercover as eco-activist Jim Sutton, was accused of engaging in sexual relationships with targets. It emerged this week that Boyling had married an activist and had gone on to have two children with her before divorcing two years ago.

    • Mark Kennedy: secret policeman’s sideline as corporate spy

      The undercover police officer whose unmasking led to the collapse of a trial of six environmental protesters on Monday apparently also worked as a corporate spy, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

    • The state’s pedlars of fear must be brought to account

      So “Mark Stone” was not acting alone. The most extraordinary feature of the police penetration of the green movement was the alleged presence of a woman constable, “and others … lots of others.” I looked again at the picture of the Ratcliffe Six, who appeared to be “greens” from central casting. It recalled Chesterton’s satire on the early Met police special branch, The Man Who Was Thursday, in which all the members of the “supreme anarchist council” turned out to be policemen. So, are the greens all policemen, and if so what is their game?

    • US gun crime: death for sale

      “The endurance of the gun in America is not about nostalgia for a golden past,” says Sugarmann. “It’s about political fear. Politicians have abandoned their moral responsibility to ensure public safety because of the perceived power of the gun lobby.”

    • Thought experiment

      To the extent that any liberals have talked like number 2 about conservatives, that is beyond the pale and unacceptable. I don’t think I’ve done it. I use big words and I snarl and I sneer and I call people idiots and liars and so forth, but I don’t say things like let’s have open season on right-wingers, or don’t retreat, reload. I don’t use that kind of imagery. If I have, I am sorry. But I don’t think I have. Guns aren’t part of my life, so it’s just not the imagery that comes to mind for me.

    • Tomgram: William Hartung, Lockheed Martin’s Shadow Government

      If one giant outfit gives war profiteering its full modern meaning, though, it’s Lockheed Martin. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you read today’s post. As much as any robber baron of the nineteenth century, that corporation has long deserved its own biography. Now, William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation, has written Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex, the definitive account of how that company came to lord it over our national security world.

    • Israeli Court Extends Jail Term for Abdallah Abu Rahma, Anti-Wall Activist

      UPDATE: Today, the Israeli Military Court has accepted the military prosecution’s appeal to extend Abdallah Abu Rahmah’s sentence. Abu Rahmah was supposed to be released on November 18th 2010, but was kept in detention at the military prosecution’s request despite having finished serving his term. He will now serve an additional 2-3 months in prison, making his serving time a total of sixteen months.

    • Shameful imprisonment

      Jonathan Pollak, an activist against the occupation and a leader of the group Anarchists Against the Wall, is due to enter Hermon Prison this morning to serve the three-month term to which he was sentenced for illegal assembly. In January 2008 Pollak took part in a protest by bicycle riders in Tel Aviv against the siege of the Gaza Strip. Some 30 riders participated in the demonstration, but Pollak was the only one arrested, tried and punished. His arrest should trouble every citizen who cares about human rights in Israel.

      Pollak had participated in a peaceful, non-violent demonstration, which is not merely the right of every citizen, but also the duty of everyone who wishes to fight against wrong. In similar demonstrations that took place on highways, such as that of the motorcyclists against raising insurance rates or the demonstration by firefighters, no one was arrested. The fact that Pollak was the only one arrested in the cyclists’ demonstration raises serious suspicions that he was being singled out by police and the courts because of his long struggle against the occupation.

      [...]

      Pollak’s incarceration is a dark day: not only for Pollak but for all those who fear for democracy in Israel.

    • Hundreds displaced in village demolition

      Three-hundred Palestinians were displaced Wednesday afternoon when their homes outside a village were torn down by Israeli military order, and witnesses said parts of a schoolhouse were also destroyed.

    • Ivory Coast: Stop Conflict Chocolate

      Ivory Coast is on the brink of civil war, and chocolate companies could play a critical role in saving lives and bringing peace.

    • Palin to be prosecuted for inciting violence if she visits Australia, attorney says

      Under Australian law, inciting violence is a serious crime: an offense which could even trigger the prosecution of members of the US political class and mainstream media who called for the assassination of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to his attorney.

      Comments by Robert Stary, Assange’s Melbourne-based lawyer, were carried in the US by a Friday broadcast of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Conservationists unveil plans to save coral from extinction

      Conservationists have unveiled plans to preserve and protect the world’s most important species of coral, in a response to increasing threats that they say will lead to “functional extinction” within decades.

      Led by scientists at the Zoological Society of London, the Edge Coral Reefs project has identified 10 coral species in most urgent risk of becoming extinct.

    • BP Gulf oil spill final report backs British safety model

      The final report from the presidential commission investigating the causes of BP’s Gulf of Mexico disaster is expected to recommend today that the US oil industry adopt the North Sea approach to safety.

      The US government is expected to radically overhaul its discredited regulatory regime covering offshore operations, which had merely required companies to fill out uniform box-ticking safety audits. It is also expected that the commission will recommend the setting up of an independent safety institute responsible for auditing companies’ plans.

    • BP oil spill: Colombian farmers sue for negligence

      BP failed to observe proper environmental safety procedures during construction of an oil pipeline in Colombia, according to allegations in a case lodged by a group of farmers at the high court in London.

      The case comes at the worst possible time for BP as it deals with the fallout from the new report into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the shutdown of the Trans-Alaska pipeline on Saturday after a leak.

    • Don’t look to North Sea oil
    • Congress must act on oil spill commission recommendations

      On January 11, the oil spill commission released its final reporting. The report offers a sweep of reforms that would protect taxpayers and make offshore drilling safer for workers, while also protecting the environment and Gulf Coast businesses from future oil spills that damage wetlands and hurt the region’s fishing and tourism industries.

    • Forbes’ rich list of nonsense

      While it is no longer surprising, it remains disheartening to see a blistering attack on climate science in the business press where thoughtful reviews of climate policy ought to be appearing. Of course, the underlying strategy is to pretend that no evidence that the climate is changing exists, so any effort to address climate change is a waste of resources.

      A recent piece by Larry Bell in Forbes, entitled “Hot Sensations Vs. Cold Facts”, is a classic example.

    • Last year was joint warmest on record, say climatologists

      The year of devastating floods, freak snowstorms, forest fires and heatwaves that was 2010 has tied for the warmest on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced today.

      The Earth’s temperature was 0.62C (1.12F) above the 20th-century average of 13.9C(57F), tying 2005 for the warmest year since record-keeping began in 1880, the analysis by the National Climatic Data Centre showed.

    • Tagging penguins limits survival chances, study shows

      The researchers found that the survival rates for king penguins with flipper bands dropped by 16% and the birds produced 39% fewer chicks. The finding raises serious questions about the ethics of banding penguins for research and casts doubt on years of data produced by tagging the birds in this way.

    • Green investment bank could help to build nuclear reactors

      The government’s Green Investment Bank could fund the building of new nuclear reactors, it has emerged.

  • Finance

    • Banks given go-ahead to pay unlimited bonuses

      Britain’s banks have been given the go-ahead to pay unlimited bonuses, drawing to a close a two-year political battle to rein in the City.

      After months in which a series of government ministers of all parties have threatened a toughening in the stance over City bonuses, Downing Street said the government did not intend to intervene in the pay of the UK’s top bankers.

    • The Market and Inequality

      Paul Krugman joined a debate on the morality of markets, arguing that the United States has not met the fundamental condition of equality of opportunity that libertarian conservatives agree is necessary for fairness. While this is true (only in looney tune land does a kid growing up in Anacostia have the same opportunity as a kid growing up in Chevy Chase), this argument wrongly cedes the main point to the right.

      It is ridiculous to argue that the inequality in the U.S. is simply the result of free markets. Markets are structured by governments, and the rich have used their control of the government to structure the market in ways to make themselves richer.

      The mechanisms for upward redistribution can be seen everywhere.

    • The Ibanez Effect on Past, Future Foreclosures

      The Ibanez case ruled against the lender in a lender-borrower dispute over the validity of a foreclosure proceeding is not just a highly political homeowners’ protection issue. It sets a precedent expected to greatly affect the mortgage industry in the future.

    • The Golden Ticket at Goldman Sachs
    • Investors to take hit when gov’t dismantles banks

      Creditors and shareholders will now have to absorb some of the losses when the federal government steps in to dismantle large failing financial firms.

    • Credit card problems ebbed in December

      Fewer credit card accounts slipped into default in December than in any other month of 2010, and signs point to further improvement ahead.

    • Study Points to Windfall for Goldman Partners

      Goldman Sachs executives have long been among the most richly paid on Wall Street in the best of times. They are now poised to reap a windfall that was sown in the dark days of the financial crisis in 2008.

      Nearly 36 million stock options were granted to employees in December 2008 — 10 times the amount issued the previous year — when the stock was trading at $78.78. Since those uncertain days, Goldman’s business has roared back and its share price has more than doubled, closing on Tuesday at nearly $175.

    • Obama Asks for Review of Rules Stifling Jobs

      President Obama on Tuesday ordered “a governmentwide review” of federal regulations to root out those “that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive,” but he exempted many agencies that most vex corporate America.

    • Business lauds Obama’s call for review of ‘excessive’ regs

      The White House announced a new government-wide review of regulations Tuesday, heeding the call of business groups.

      In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, President Obama said the country’s “excessive” and “inconsistent” regulations have sometimes had a “chilling effect” on job growth and — in a nod to the priorities of the new House Republican majority — observed that small businesses often bear the burden.

    • Europeans Vow to Get Tough on Bankers Pay

      The European Union finance ministers vowed Tuesday to closely monitor rules governing bankers’ compensation while promising that new banking stress tests would be stricter than the ones conducted last year.

    • Elizabeth Warren faces first inquiry

      The chairman of a financial services oversight panel sent a letter to Elizabeth Warren, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, saying he is skeptical of the new bureau’s very existence and demanded details about how it will operate.

      Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), who chairs an oversight panel of the Financial Services Committee, said in the letter sent Tuesday that he thinks Warren is “tasked with executing a fatally flawed plan.”

    • Citigroup dips into reserves to post 4Q profit

      Citigroup Inc. was profitable in the fourth quarter, but only after reaching into reserves that it no longer needed for loan losses. Revenues from trading stocks and bonds fell sharply.

      The New York bank reported fourth-quarter income of $1.3 billion Tuesday, or 4 cents a share, falling short of the 7 cents expected by analysts surveyed by FactSet. Citi’s stock fell 6 percent to $4.82 in heavy trading.

    • Why Did Goldman Blink?

      Goldman Sachs’s decision to offer shares of Facebook only to offshore investors is simple risk management. The risk here can be attributable to the scrutiny that this transaction, and Goldman Sachs generally, are now under.

      About a week ago, I discussed the legal issues associated with the Goldman-Facebook share sale. One of the items I noted was that in order to make sure that the full registration requirements of the securities laws were inapplicable, Goldman could not engage in a “general solicitation” of shareholders.

  • Politics/PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Why Won’t Obama Meet With the Left? (By RALPH NADER)

      The sentiments expressed in this letter may have more meaning more for you now that the results of the mid-term elections are clear. You have seen what can happen when a number of your supporters lose their enthusiasm and stay home or do not actively participate as volunteers.

      In your first two years, you have developed a wide asymmetry between your association with Big Business executives and the leaders of national civic and labor groups whose members are in the tens of millions. You have met repeatedly at the White House and other locales with corporate officials, spoken to their gatherings and even traveled abroad with them to promote their exports.

      Recently on your trip to India with a covey of business leaders, you vigorously touted their products, some by brand name (Boeing and Harley-Davidson’s expensive motorcycles). Your traveling companions could not have been more gratified as you legitimized their view that WTO trade rules were a net plus for employment in the United States as well as India. Imagine—the President as business agent.

    • Guantánamo at nine and Obama’s broken promise

      His story is one of many that reflect the callous nature of the ordeal several returnees have had to face: continued isolation and enforced separation from their families. Lahmar and his wife and children, the youngest of whom he’s never seen – an all too familiar consequence of the Guantánamo experiment – continue to live apart, as he has no way of getting to Bosnia, nor they of coming to France.

    • Lawyer: FBI Illegally Interrogating Gulet Mohamed

      FBI agents are taking advantage of an American teenager’s detention in Kuwait to illegally harass and interrogate him without counsel, the teen’s lawyer said Wednesday. Gulet Mohamed, a Somali-born American Muslim, says he was tortured and interrogated after he was detained by Kuwaiti security officials last month. He claims that Kuwaiti interrogators asked him questions about his travels, his past, and his family that he and his lawyer believe were fed to the Kuwaitis by US officials.

    • Obama’s Drone Memo Dilemma

      Sometime during Barack Obama’s term in office, there’s a good chance an American citizen will be killed on the president’s orders.

    • State Denies Request for Info on TransCanada Connection

      The Department of State has denied a Freedom of Information Act request that environmental groups filed seeking a record of correspondence between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a former member of her campaign staff who is now lobbying for an international oil services company. The company is seeking approval from the State Department for a massive oil pipeline that would run from Canada to Texas.

      Friends of the Earth, Corporate Ethics International and the Center for International Environmental Law submitted the request last month, seeking any communication between Clinton’s office and the top lobbyist for TransCanada, Paul Elliott, who served as her national deputy director during the 2008 campaign. The ties between the two have drawn scrutiny, as the State Department is in the process of deciding whether to approve TransCanada’s proposal for the Keystone XL pipeline. Clinton raised ire among environmental groups and some senators when she indicated last October that the pipeline would likely be approved despite the fact that the evaluation of the proposal is still underway.

  • Censorship

    • Miami’s World Erotic Art Museum Fraudulently Uses the DMCA to Take Down Items in Their Collection From the Web

      Unfortunately, a set of mine with hundreds of photos in it has now been almost entirely deleted on Flickr. Oddly Flickr deleted every single photo in the set (except for the ones that I’d manually marked as “moderate” or “restricted” content) in conjunction with this notice on my account. I suspect those will be the next to go.

    • Communists Gag the Web

      By clamping down on the Facebook.com social networking service, Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party is revealing its discomfort with the rapidly expanding avenue for free expression even as it pushes to transform the once poor agrarian nation into a modern industrial society by 2020.

    • UPD UK and EU ISPs Bash European Proposals to Force Blocking of Child Abuse Sites

      The European Internet Services Providers Association (EuroISPA) has called on the European Parliament to consider permanently removing internet based child sexual abuse content at source, which would be instead of forcing EU and UK ISPs into merely filtering out (blocking) such material. The latter would only provide a merely cosmetic appearance of having done something useful and is easily circumvented.

  • Civil Rights

    • ‘Evil spirit’ sweeping over Israel, warns opposition leader Tzipi Livni

      Israel’s opposition leader, Tzipi Livni, today said a wave of evil was sweeping the country, characterised by legislation to investigate the funding of civil and human rights organisations.

      Her party, Kadima, would oppose the establishment of a parliamentary commission of inquiry into groups such as B’Tselem and Physicians for Human Rights, she said. Her comments followed an attack by the foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, whose party sponsored the bill, on rightwing opponents of the measure. He said they had “bleeding hearts” and were harming the “national camp”.

    • Israel’s Assault on Human Rights

      Imagine a college student returning to her university after spending Christmas break at home. At the airport she logs on to the Internet to double check some of the sources she used in her final take-home exam for the course “Introduction to Human Rights.” She gets online and begins to surf the web; however, she soon realizes that the websites of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are blocked. She calls the service provider’s 800 number, only to find out that all human rights organizations’ websites have indeed been restricted and that they can no longer be accessed from the airport.

      This, you are probably thinking, cannot happen in the United States. Such practices are common in China, North Korea and Syria, but not in liberal democracies that pride themselves on the basic right to freedom of expression.

      In the United States students can of course access human rights websites, no matter where they surf from. But in Israel, which is also known as the only democracy in the Middle East, human rights websites as well as the websites of some extreme right-wing organizations cannot be accessed from Ben-Gurion, the country’s only international airport.

    • Hi, Joe!

      In your time, you succeeded in infecting all of the US with hysteria. You detected a Soviet agent under every bed. You waved a list of Soviet spies in the State Department (a list which nobody was ever shown). In a hundred languages around the world – including Hebrew – the name McCarthy, McCarthyism, has become a household word. Yes, you made your mark alright.

      But you were, after all, only a plagiarist. Before you, the House Anti-American Activities Committee terrorized the country, destroyed careers, hounded people into suicide and tarnished the reputation of the US throughout the democratic world. It “investigated” intellectuals and artists and branded many of them as “anti-American”.

    • ACLU Lens: Citizenship At Birth Under the 14th Amendment

      Today a group of state legislators announced they will introduce bills in their state legislatures intended to deny Americans the fundamental protections of the 14th Amendment by requiring states to deny standard birth certificates to many U.S. citizen babies born in the U.S. to immigrant parents. The proposed legislation directly contradicts the long-standing 14th Amendment guarantee that all people born in the U.S. and under its jurisdiction are citizens of the U.S. and the state in which they reside and subject to equal protection under the law. If enacted, the bills are unlikely to survive legal scrutiny since the Constitution can only be changed by amendment, not by state or federal statute.

    • Don’t Put Your Trust in “Trusted Identities”

      The involvement of the private sector in this non-centralized or “federated” identity scheme is of course preferable to a direct, centralized government-run identity system. That kind of a system would be a non-starter. But we would also have questions about what the private sector will do with this system. The interests and values of large companies tends to push toward stability, security and predictability — not toward the raucous freedom that online privacy and anonymity makes possible. Once a standard is in place, will people have to start identifying themselves everywhere online — even when it’s totally unnecessary. This has happened all too often in the offline world. It could be driven by the need for legal due diligence (we need to know you’re over 18 or we can’t market to you and our lawyers say if we don’t use this system we could be liable; we need to track you in case you later turn out to be a hacker) and the opportunity to collect reliable personal data for online advertising and other purposes.

Clip of the Day

Symphony of Science – ‘The Big Beginning’ (ft. Hawking, Sagan, Dawkins, Shears, Tyson)


Credit: TinyOgg

IRC Proceedings: January 21st, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 1:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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