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01.24.11

Links 24/1/2011: Linux 2.6.38 RC2, Alienware Survey About Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 6:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Outlaws 187 – Let Me URL-Shorten That for You

      On this episode: L33tm33t at FOSDEM, Pirate Party member becomes Tunisian government minister, the FSF joins Google in fight for open video on the web, Sony tries to sue PS3 hacker Geohot, Ballmer fires another top Microsoft executive, Jobs on another medical leave and Arnie says bullshit!

  • Google

    • [Marc Fleury:] ChromeOS and Android: there can be only one

      Since I dived into Android and started thinking about ‘what it could be’, it is obvious that a lot of what android does is supposed to be delivered by ChromeOS.

      First, I had to freshen up on ChromeOS. The Google OS that is supposed to be a windows killer is a web-browser centric view of the world has ‘cloud’ written all over it. The net-centric PC has been in the making for 15 years. There is nothing earth-shattering in there but yet another Linux kernel. Of course, where google could really kill it, is if they replicated the success of MacOSX. After all the rebirth of apple included “leveraging” open source and providing a closed source UI on top it. And what a great job they have done at it. A part of me hopes Goog will deliver on the UI front. It could be enough for me to try it.

  • Kernel Space

    • That Was Quick: Here’s Linux 2.6.38-rc2 Kernel

      The Linux 2.6.38 kernel is shaping up to be very exciting even though it’s first release candidate arrived just four days ago. Tonight, however, the Linux 2.6.38-rc1 kernel has already been superseded by the Linux 2.6.38-rc2 release.

    • Linux 2.6.38-rc2
    • Kernel prepatch 2.6.38-rc2
    • Graphics Stack

      • An Open-Source GLES Driver For Samsung’s Galaxy GPU

        Embedded Linux GPU driver support is a great big mess. There’s no doubt about it. There’s some partial open-source driver code, but nothing that’s been quite popular or welcomed for integration into the mainline Linux kernel. There might be an open-source PowerVR SGX driver later in the year, but that’s still months out. However, with more mobile Linux devices emerging that utilize these closed-up ARM GPUs, clean-room reverse engineering to write open-source drivers is going to be inevitable unless the vendors step up their Linux support game.

  • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Remove old mails automatically in Thunderbird
      • Five tips for migrating from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice

        Many small businesses are migrating from Microsoft Office to alternative solutions to save money and sidestep the Ribbon interface that arrived with Office 2007. There are plenty of alternatives, but none of them stacks up to Microsoft Office as well as LibreOffice.

      • Support the newbies: A very important initiative

        In this weekend, I planned to write some lines to Neutrino Project, because there’s to much job to be done, and so little time. But one thing have changed my plans completely: a user requested me help to install Fedora in his PC, and remove Windows. He wanted some light.

        The doubts wich he had, were the same wich many of us had in the beginning: he wanted proprietary codecs installation, Nvidia’s 3D driver installation, wanted to know how to configure his 3G network and if he’ll need to run text mode commands to all these things. I answered all his questions, and the installation and configuration of Fedora was complete sucessfuly.

    • Games

      • Alienware conducting a survey about linux systems

        Alienware is conducting a survey about the possibility to sell their system with Linux preinstalled, the more manufacturers that embrace Linux, the more popular it becomes and the better hardware support we all get, so why not help out?

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Orta 1.4.0 Released – The Best GTK Theme for Ubuntu Just Got Better

        We have discussed about Orta GTK theme in length before and also about the impressive Orta GTK theme + Faenza icon theme combination, which in my view is the best theme I have used with Ubuntu in a long time. Its so simple and eye-pleasing at the same time. The recent release of Orta 1.4.0 version brings in a number of important changes.

  • Distributions

    • Pardus 2011: KDE SC 4.5.5 With A Pinch Of GNOME In One Of The Best KDE-Based Linux Distros

      Pardus is a Linux distribution funded by the Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey. Even though it uses KDE, Pardus tries to make every user – including those who come from a GNOME Linux distribution – feel like home and in which the user is in control of how his desktop looks like right from the start.

    • New Releases

      • The Gentoo-Based Calculate Linux 11 Has Arrived

        Version 11.0 of Calculate Linux has been released. This release of the Gentoo-based operating system, which we benchmarked last August, brings many improvements to this promising distribution that — like Sabayon and others — makes it easier to run Gentoo on desktops and servers.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian frees up the kernel again

        The Debian project has now announced that from the release of Squeeze (Debian 6.0) their GNU/Linux kernels will be available without the non-free blobs.

      • Living on the edge with the Liquorix kernel, which offers out-of-the-box sound fix for Lenovo G555 (Conexant 5069)

        I’ve been good. I’ve been running the 2.6.32 kernel that powers Debian Squeeze since I did the installation in November.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • The Dash Has Landed

          User visible changes to Unity have slowed down quite a bit until this week. There have been things like bug fixes landing, and the nm-applet getting indicatorized, and then that getting fixed up. But essentially, Unity has been just the launcher and the panel with indicators for weeks.

        • WebUpd8 PPAs Updates: Jupiter 0.0.48, Haguichi 1.0.4

          Jupiter is an applet which allows you to switch between maximum and high performance and power saving mode, change the resolution and orientation, enable or disable the bluetooth, touchpad, WiFi and so on. But most importantly it allows your Eeepc netbook to take advantage of SHE (Super Hybrid Engine).

        • Other ways to integrate with web apps
        • Notify-OSD on scroll wheel volume change [Video]

          Volume in Ubuntu; always one of the first things I hammer my keyboard volume keys to reduce after a fresh install. It’s so loud!

          Notify OSD, also know as Ubuntu’s pretty pop-up bubbles, helpfully appear the second I hit my volume keys, allowing me the chance to gauge the level of audial change without the need to open the Sound Menu itself

        • Will The Catalyst Driver Work On Ubuntu 11.04 At Launch?

          For the past few years there’s been a tradition where AMD supplies Canonical with an early snapshot of their very latest Catalyst driver prior to the next Ubuntu release. This hasn’t been done to ensure Ubuntu ships with any magical graphics driver features (in some cases though it can provide a glimpse of what’s to come), but rather is provided so that there is actually a Catalyst driver that works on the given Ubuntu Linux release. There’s an unfortunate tradition where by the time the next Ubuntu release rolls out that the latest publicly available Catalyst driver does not support either the latest Linux kernel and/or the X.Org Server used by that release. The Catalyst snapshot provides that belated support.

        • Ubuntu 11.10 naming

          Is it possible to make proposals for the Natty+1 Ubuntu codename ?

          If so, I propose Ozzy Osbourne.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • T-Mobile’s Galaxy S Vibrant Getting Froyo Now

          While Nexus One users are busy trying to get their hands on Gingerbread, there are an awful lot of people still waiting for upgrades to previous versions of Android. However, it seems Galaxy S Vibrant users are about to join the steadily increasing number of Froyo users.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • [Gimp-developer] GIMP icon “stolen” by commercial Symbian software on sale at Nokia app store
  • Oracle

    • LibreOffice To Be Released On January 25th

      The Document Foundation will release the first stable release of LibreOffice on January 25, 2011.

      In an exclusive interview with Muktware Italo Vignoli of TDF had told us that the first stable release of the office suite should be made available by the end of November 2010.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

    • OpenERP vs Lotus Domino

      I spent last week out in Belgium, the home of fine chocolates, waffles and Open Source Enterprise Resource Planning applications. I was lucky enough to sample all three as I was on a training course in the OpenERP head office. OpenERP 6 has just been released and it is an amazing thing to have a full ERP system that is Free Software and has Ubuntu as the preferred platform (we were all given an Ubuntu VMware/Virtualbox virtual machine for the training course).

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Fellowship interview with Anne Østergaard

      Anne Østergaard is a veteran of the Free Software community, and attended the first Open Source Days, back in 1998. She holds a Law Degree from The University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and after a decade in government service, international organisations, and private enterprise, she has become a devoted Free Software advocate. Her interests lie in the long-term strategic issues of Free Software; in the social, legal, research, and economic areas of our global society. A former Vice Chairman at GNOME, she’s heavily involved in political lobbying, and has been fighting for changes in software patents and copyright for a number of years.

  • Project Releases

    • Fragmentarium: a new GPU-side generative art tool

      Mikael Hvidtfeldt Christensen released first version of Fragmentarium — his new cross-platform IDE for exploring pixel based graphics on the GPU which, we have no doubts on that, many people interested in generative art will fall in love with.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • W3C Launches RDF Working Group

      W3C today launches the RDF Working Group, whose mission is to update the cornerstone standard for the Semantic Web: the Resource Description Framework (RDF).

    • Google submits documentation for VP8 video codec to the IETF

      Shortly before announcing its decision to remove H.264 support for HTML5 video from Chrome, Google’s codec developers submitted an Internet Draft (I-D) of its VP8 Data Format and Decoding Guide to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) with a request for comments. The document provides a detailed description of the bitstream format and the decoding mechanism used for the VP8 video codec, developed by On2 Technologies. Google took over the codec-lab just under a year ago and released the codec under an open source license as part of its Web Open Media Project (WebM) shortly thereafter.

    • Anniversaries & Ideologies

      The IETF · That stands for Internet Engineering Task Force. I’ve been to some meetings and co-chaired a working group and written text that’s ended up in this RFC and that.

Leftovers

  • BBC anonymous briefing on Surveillance Orders planned replacement for Control Orders

    The phrases “the BBC learns” or “the BBC understands that” or “Whitehall sources” etc. are euphemisms for an “off the record” a “leak” / briefing by a Whitehall spin doctor, not for revelations by a worried whistleblower.

    The BBC and other mainstream media should refuse to publish such anonymous briefings about changes to Government policy. There should be a named official Government spokesman and Minister who takes the credit or blame for the policy announcement. If the final details of Government policy have not yet been decided, then they should say so and invite comment and advice from the public and outside experts, who know at least as much as they do about the issues.

  • Tribe’s $500M Fall River casino plan dead

    Mayor William Flanagan, who last year touted the site as the perfect location for a $500 million resort-style casino, has told the tribe that the city will stick with the original plan for a biotechnology park on the land.

  • Tunisia’s Inner Workings Emerge on Twitter

    “The first conflict with the old RCD-ists,” Mr. Amamou, 33, told his 10,000 Twitter followers from the closed-door cabinet meeting, along with the rest of the fly-on-the-wall details reported above. “I like the minister of Justice,” he wrote on Twitter a few days later. “I am going to wear a tie just to please him.”

  • Silvio Berlusconi’s party gaining support despite scandals

    It has shocked and titillated newspaper readers the world over, but it would seem that the latest scandal over Silvio Berlusconi’s riotous private life has done nothing to undermine his supporters’ faith in him.

  • AOL Is In Talks To Acquire Outside.In, Save It From Near Certain Death

    AOL is talking to local news aggregator Outside.in about a possible acquisition, we’ve heard from multiple sources.

    One source close to the deal told us that it would be “premature” to report that AOL has acquired Outside.in, and that another party may be involved in the negotiations.

  • Bring me the head of Eric Schmidt!

    No, Eric Schmidt didn’t step down from being CEO of Google to take Steve Jobs’s position at Apple. I’m fairly certain Schmidt was demoted. Or if he wasn’t, then he should have been.

  • Science

    • Insert <discovery> here: the role of placeholders in science

      The comments appear like clockwork every time there’s a discussion of the Universe’s dark side, for both dark matter and dark energy. At least some readers seem positively incensed by the idea that scientists can happily accept the existence of a particle (or particles) that have never been observed and a mysterious repulsive force. “They’re just there to make the equations work!” goes a typical complaint.

    • Quantum Entanglement Could Stretch Across Time

      In the weird world of quantum physics, two linked particles can share a single fate, even when they’re miles apart.

      Now, two physicists have mathematically described how this spooky effect, called entanglement, could also bind particles across time.

      If their proposal can be tested, it could help process information in quantum computers and test physicists’ basic understanding of the universe.

    • Danger: America Is Losing Its Edge In Innovation

      I’ve visited more than 100 countries in the past several years, meeting people from all walks of life, from impoverished children in India to heads of state. Almost every adult I’ve talked with in these countries shares a belief that the path to success is paved with science and engineering.

      In fact, scientists and engineers are celebrities in most countries. They’re not seen as geeks or misfits, as they too often are in the U.S., but rather as society’s leaders and innovators. In China, eight of the top nine political posts are held by engineers. In the U.S., almost no engineers or scientists are engaged in high-level politics, and there is a virtual absence of engineers in our public policy debates.

      Why does this matter? Because if American students have a negative impression – or no impression at all – of science and engineering, then they’re hardly likely to choose them as professions. Already, 70% of engineers with PhD’s who graduate from U.S. universities are foreign-born. Increasingly, these talented individuals are not staying in the U.S – instead, they’re returning home, where they find greater opportunities.

    • My Experiences as a Female Software Engineer

      It’s no secret that females in Computer Science, both in academia and industry, are scarce. While the percentage of females in other male-dominated fields has been on the rise, that of females majoring in computer science has been on a downward spiral in the past few decades, currently sitting at about 12% to 20%. When I was at Princeton, it was on the lower end, with the class of 2007 having 2 women out of about 20, and the class of 2008 having about 5 out of 50. I don’t claim to know why the numbers are so low, though I think much of it has to do with the culture of Computer Science and the type of people that go into the field. I thought I’d share some of my experiences both in school and in industry.

      In high school, I took two computer science courses– Intro to Computer Science using C++, and AP Computer Science. Had it not been for these courses and the confidence they instilled in me (due largely in part to my excellent teachers), I doubt I would have had the guts to major in Computer Science in college. I had some female friends that took the standard intro course in college, and liked programming, but never really considered majoring in it. I can understand why–if you’ve never programmed before, that course is really very difficult. It is also very intimidating to take classes where it seems like most people know all the material already and have been programming since middle school or earlier, especially when they are very vocal about their technical knowledge.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Parents who won’t vaccinate their kids should pay higher insurance premiums

      Writing on CNN, pediatrician Rahul K. Parikh suggests that parents who allow the irresponsible lies of publicity-mongers like Jenny McCarthy to scare them into not vaccinating their kids should have to pay higher insurance premiums.

      I think this sounds like a good start, but I’d go further: I think that kids should have to show a certificate of vaccination to use public schools — because vaccinations don’t confer resistance on all people, we have to rely on “herd immunity” (that is, a preponderance of people taking vaccination) to keep all of us safe.

    • Portugal: 10 years of decriminalized drugs

      Here’s a good Boston Globe report on the first decade of Portugal’s bold experiment with drug decriminalization and increased treatment. Ten years ago, Portugal — whose drug problem had been spiraling out of control — decided to treat drug addiction as a public health matter, not as a criminal matter. They decriminalized possession of drugs, and increased treatment available to addicts, and experienced an immediate, dramatic and sustained drop in negative effects from drug use — though the use of some drugs went up.

    • Who is to blame for the dioxin scandal in Germany?

      The recent scandal was uncovered one day before Christmas, when one feed producer informed the authorities that he found dioxin in his feed. Six days later a feed production site in northern Germany was closed and at beginning of January dioxin was found in eggs and later in pigs. Almost 5,000 farms in Germany were closed down for precautionary reasons.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • New Navy Jammer Could Invade Networks, Nuke Sites

      When China’s stealth-fighter prototype took to the air two weeks ago, it intensified what was already a heated debate in Washington over which, and how many, new fighter planes to buy.

      Lost in all this noise was the U.S. Navy’s real plan for winning any future air war with China or another big baddie. Rather than going toe-to-toe with J-20s and other enemy jets, the Navy is planning to attack its rivals where they’re most vulnerable: in the electromagnetic spectrum.

    • Peace Corps Gang Rape: Volunteer Says U.S. Agency Ignored Warnings

      More than 1,000 young American women have been raped or sexually assaulted in the last decade while serving as Peace Corps volunteers in foreign countries, an ABC News 20/20 investigation has found.

    • The BBC’s Nick Robinson can’t spell dictatorship (nor can Coulson, Cameron etc)

      Over on his blog the BBC’s chief political correspondent Nick Robinson posts a revealing PS about Blair’s second appearance before the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war.

      [...]

      This is appalling. The word for government being one man’s judgement is dictatorship. This is not a mere “clash of cultures” (as in ‘do you prefer a sofa to a table?’). And Blair has made it clear it is not a matter of judgement. Judgement demands a larger process such as the assessment of evidence and a demand for different options. What Blair has always fallen back on is the sincerity of his belief or gut instinct; again an attribute of dictatorship.

    • The aforementioned diatribe..

      3) The sad state of affairs we regressed to during the G20 summit in June of 2010. There are still hearings and things dragging on regarding abuses of powers and denials of civil rights during the event. Recently, this story went to the figurative presses of the interweb. I dont rightly know if it made it to paper copy, but my lovely friend Andrea’s facebook post was kind enough to direct me to the webpage. To summarize, a video surfaced of police telling protesters that they must surrender their backpacks for search, blocks from the protected ‘Redzone’. When one of the protesters quipped back that they were in Canada, he wasnt breaking any law, and had the right to deny unreasonable search and seizure, the officer replied that “this ain’t Canada right now”.

    • Interview: ‘Authoritarian Governments Have Immensely Benefited From The Web,’ Author Says

      Evgeny Morozov, a noted specialist on the use of new communications technologies to promote democratic values, has a new book titled “The Net Delusion: The Dark Side Of Internet Freedom.” In it, he argues that hype about “Twitter revolutions” and the enormous potential of the Internet to promote open societies and roll back authoritarianism is naive and overblown.

      What’s more, Morozov warns, authoritarian regimes such as Russia, China, and Iran have adapted quickly to devise new ways — often modeled on commercial Internet-monitoring tools used by Western corporations — to track and neutralize Internet activism.

    • [Satire] Congress Honors 9/11 First Capitalizers

      In an act that many are calling long overdue, Congress passed legislation this week to honor those Americans who were first on the scene to profit from the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001.

    • The Shawna Forde trial: Will the mainstream media bother to notice?

      There’s another infamous shooting of a nine-year-old girl that is making headlines this week in Tucson. This time, we wonder if the rest of the media will bother to cover it.

    • Intelligence agencies go to supreme court over ruling on secret evidence

      MI5 and MI6 will argue in a test case before the supreme court tomorrow that in future no intelligence gathered abroad, even if initially obtained through torture, should ever be disclosed in a British court.

      Last year an appeal court dismissed what it described as an attempt to undermine a fundamental principle of common law: that a litigant must see and hear the evidence used against him or her.

    • Police State Watch Canada

      Let’s consider the case of Alex Hundert, which I first heard of yesterday. I’d heard of Byron Sonne, who is also being held, but I hadn’t heard of Alex, who by the descriptions may have been railroaded.

      Who else is still in jail? Who else is being penalized for what the Ontario Ombudsman André Marin has declared the greatest mass violation of rights during peacetime.

  • Cablegate

    • Activists Trying to Visit Bradley Manning Detained by Military Police

      Earlier today David House and FireDogLake publisher Jane Hamsher were detained at Quantico when they tried to check on Bradley Manning and deliver a 42,000 signature petition demanding an end to the inhumane conditions of his arrest. Manning remains locked up in solitary confinement, despite claims that his brutal treatment — 23 hours a day in a cell, no exercise, no pillow or comfortable blanket — has led to his physical and mental deterioration.

    • Lawyer for Bradley Manning, Army figure in WikiLeaks case, alleges prison mistreatment

      The lawyer for alleged government secrets leaker Bradley Manning is accusing military authorities of using punitive measures against Manning at the Marine Corps jail in Quantico, Va.

      Manning, a 23-year-old Army private suspected of passing thousands of classified documents to the online site WikiLeaks, was placed on suicide watch for two days this week – against the recommendation of the jail’s forensic psychiatrist, attorney David E. Coombs said.

    • BREAKING: Military Harassing David House, Jane Hamsher for Visiting Bradley Manning

      Jane Hamsher is with David House who is trying to visit Pvt. Bradley Manning at Quantico today while carrying a petition with 42,000 signatures requesting humane treatment for Manning. The military isn’t making it easy at all and detained Jane and David for two hours.

    • Breaking news: Manning Supporters Detained by Quantico

      Beaking news: David House, supporter and personal friend of Bradley Manning, traveled to Quantico with journalist Jane Hamsher to visit Manning earlier today. Though House is an approved visitor, he was prevented from seeing Manning. They were detained for over 40 minutes. House and Hamsher communicated their detainment via Twitter status updates.In addition to visiting Manning, House was planning to deliver a petition with 42,000 signatures calling for the humane treatment of Bradley Manning. Military officials demanded Hamsher’s Social Security number and prevented her from leaving the base. Their car was then searched and impounded. House was unable to visit Manning.

    • Activists delivering Bradley Manning petition held at Quantico

      Activist reporters who tried to deliver a petition protesting Bradley Manning’s treatment by the US military were blocked from seeing Manning and held against their will at Quantico on Sunday, while their cars were towed on seemingly flimsy pretenses, the reporters say.

      FireDogLake blogger Jane Hamsher told her Twitter followers that she was detained at the gate to the US Marine base at Quantico when she showed up to deliver a petition signed by 42,000 people, demanding that the US military take Bradley Manning — the alleged source of the State Department cables released by WikiLeaks — out of solitary confinement.

    • WikiLeaks lawyer vows to prosecute Palin if she goes to Australia

      In a Facebook post in December, Sarah Palin wrote that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be “pursued with the same urgency as al-Qaida and Taliban leaders.” Robert Stary, an Australian lawyer for Assange, tells National Public Radio he’ll pursue a “private prosecution” of Palin if she ever sets foot on Aussie soil. Her remark is essentially a call for Assange’s execution, Stary says.

    • So Much For The NYT Investigation Of Bradley Manning’s Confinement Conditions

      I guess we should be glad The New York Times is checking up on Bradley Manning at all. Between August 9 and December 16 they published exactly zero articles about the man Julian Assange called “the world’s pre-eminent prisoner of conscience.” Meanwhile Bradley has been in the brig at Quantico Marine Corps Base since July. Supporters have become increasingly concerned that he is being mistreated, perhaps to pressure him to testify against Mr. Assange.

      The Times piece begins with the obligatory caricature of the Wikileaks founder. Although Assange has about 90% name recognition, it felt nonetheless compelled to remind readers that he is the “flamboyant founder of WikiLeaks, [who] is living on a supporter’s 600-acre estate outside London, where he has negotiated $1.7 million in book deals.”

    • WikiLeaks founder Assange slams Swiss banker arrest

      The founder of whistleblower site WikiLeaks attacked Switzerland on Sunday for arresting a Swiss banker on suspicion of breaching banking secrecy instead of investigating the tax evasion he said he had uncovered.

      In an interview published in the Swiss weekly Der Sonntag, Julian Assange, whose website has angered Washington by releasing confidential U.S. diplomatic cables, said Switzerland’s actions were drawing renewed international attention to its controversial banking practices.

    • streisand.me

      This is how it works: A known phenomena on the interwebs is the Streisand effect. Whenever something important or popular gets blocked, withdrawn or censored, the internet finds a way of keeping it online. This is because of the fact that the internet consists of humans that refuse to keep their mouths shut just because some authority tells them to. Which often results in a fast propagation regionally or even globally and a wide spreading of the surpressed information in digital form on the internets.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Oil drilling is getting even more extreme and dangerous

      You’d think that blowback from the Deepwater oil disaster would make companies more cautious about drilling deep into the Earth in search of black gold. But a terrific article by Discover’s Mac Margolis reveals drilling is only getting more extreme.

    • Britain Ignores Tyndall Centre Report Urging Shale Gas Moratorium At Its Own Peril

      Despite the evidence of significant potential risks presented in a recent report by the Tyndall Centre, the British government says it will forge ahead with plans for shale gas development in the UK. The Tyndall Centre’s study, “Shale gas: a provisional assessment of climate change and environmental impacts” [PDF], urged the UK to place a moratorium on shale gas in light of serious risks associated with shale gas development, including the contamination of ground and surface waters, the expected net increase of CO2 emissions, and substantial monetary costs which could delay major investments in clean energy technologies.

    • Canadian Government Wasting Taxpayers Money On The Oil Sands

      We’ve seen a lot of gasoline filling stations close over the last 40 years, as the old companies have tried to maximize profits. Fewer stations mean less costs to them, both operating, and delivering fuel.

      Now assume I’m right, and that 50% of the vehicles sold in the 2015 model year are electric. Typically older vehicles are driven less. People who put high yearly mileages on their vehicles usually try to drive newer vehicles for reliability reasons. Most owners of vehicles that are five years old or older, use the vehicles as second cars.

    • Last chance to see? Bearing witness.

      Bearing witness is one of the founding principles of Greenpeace, up there with Direct Action. Unlike direct action however it doesn’t rely on directly stopping something bad from happening. Its power comes from the story it tells, and poignantly for me, the empowerment it brings to those who see the story and then feel compelled to act. So while it doesn’t offer the instant gratification for the activist chained to the bulldozer – its affect can be broader, quicker and more powerful – inspiring millions of people who simply look at a photo and are awakened to something that they didn’t necessarily know even existed. Once they know they usually act and often in numbers.

    • Is breaking the law always illegal?

      Early in the morning of 17 December 2001, a group of intruders penetrated the area inside the perimeter fence surrounding the Lucas Heights nuclear plant, Australia’s only reactor.

  • Finance

    • Senior MEP warns of ‘scam’ targeting EU businesses

      Senior MEP Malcolm Harbour has alerted European businesses to be on their guard against a “scam” thought to involve hundreds of thousands of euros a year.

      Under the “deal” businesses receive an invitation to appear in a “business directory” for free.

    • Facebook Completes $1.5 Billion Fund-Raising Round

      The investments include $500 million from Goldman Sachs and the Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies, as well as $1 billion from wealthy Goldman clients based overseas.

    • Goldman Sachs Changes Its Facebook Deal To Avoid Scrutiny

      Looking to side step scrutiny, Goldman Sachs is changing the terms of its recent transaction with Facebook. Under the initial deal, Goldman Sachs created a “special purpose vehicle” to allow many of its high-end clients to invest up to $1.5 billion in the social network and still be treated as one shareholder. That, however, drew broad accusations that the company was trying to do an end-run under SEC regulations that mandate that private companies with more than 500 investors have to disclose their finances.

    • The NYT’s Hallucinations of a Business Investment Led Recovery

      The New York Times was touting the prospect of renewed spending by business leading the recovery. There are two major problems with this story. First investment in equipment and software has already been growing rapidly. Over the last four quarters it has grown at almost a 20 percent annual rate. People who have access to the Commerce Department’s data on GDP (a group that apparently excludes employees of the NYT) are aware of this fact.

    • S.E.C. Study Recommends More Oversight of Brokers

      Investment advisers and stockbrokers should be subject to the same fiduciary standard of conduct — putting a customer’s interests above their own — rather than the different governance regimes that currently apply to the two groups, the Securities and Exchange Commission recommended on Saturday.

      In a report closely watched by Wall Street, the commission’s staff said retail investors “generally are not aware” that stockbrokers and their firms are subject to a lesser legal standard, one that requires brokers to make sure the products that they sell are suitable for their clients. Investment advisers are already subject to the higher fiduciary standard.

    • Jerry Brown takes a big risk

      After spending nearly 20 years working his way back to the pinnacle of California politics, Jerry Brown is risking it all with an opening gambit that will either lead his distressed state to solvency or leave him in political ruin.

      Brown’s bet is that the fear over California’s enormous $25 billion budget hole will give him a six-month window to unite the state’s many powerful warring factions for the greater good – even as each of them takes a major hit.

    • California treasurer warns of IOUs, if no cuts

      State Treasurer Bill Lockyer says California could be forced to issue IOUs as early as April or May if state lawmakers don’t cut state spending soon.

      Lockyer, a Democrat, said Saturday that California could run short of cash as it faces a $25.4 billion deficit through the end of June 2012, including an $8.2 billion gap in the fiscal year that ends in July.

    • Foreclose on the Foreclosure Fraudsters, Part 1: Put Bank of America in Receivership

      After a quick review of its procedures, Bank of America this week announced that it will resume its foreclosures in 23 lucky states next Monday. While the evidence is overwhelming that the entire foreclosure process is riddled with fraud, President Obama refuses to support a national moratorium. Indeed, his spokesmen on the issue told reporters three key things.

    • How Goldman Sachs Helps Keep the Economy in Limbo

      Accounting practices should be cleaned up rather than permitted to exist in order to hide huge losses. Is the Federal Reserve promoting such accounting? The banks helped destroy the financial system and are now being supported by the political system and the highest reaches of the financial system.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Jeremy Hunt announces review of 2003 Communications Act

      The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt, has announced a review of the 2003 Communications Act.

      The Act was responsible for replacing Oftel with communications regulator Ofcom and setting up a regulatory framework for ISPs, telecoms and television.

  • Censorship

    • A misguided approach

      EU measures to block access to websites which host indecent child images threatens both our freedom and privacy, and is not the most effective way to combat child abuse

  • Privacy

    • Census 2011 press release on Lockheed Martin – ONS still pretending that they will not hand over your Sensitive Personal Data to anyone else

      There are only 69 days left before the mandatory United Kingdom Census on Sunday 27th March 2011

      The Office for National Statistics has issued a misleading Press Release which seeks to allay the understandable public fears about what the risks are to their Sensitive Personal Data in regard to the involvement of he massive United States defence contractor Lockheed Martin.

    • Facebook Agrees to Change ‘Friend Finder’ Feature

      Under pressure from the German government, the social networking site Facebook has agreed to make a major concession due to privacy concerns. The company says it will no longer automatically e-mail invitations to join the site through services like Google Mail when a person uses the controversial “Friend Finder” feature.

    • TalkTalk or StalkStalk?

      TalkTalk’s trial took place in secret, reminding many people of the controversy caused by BT when they trialled the now-abandoned Phorm advertising system, also based on interception of their cusomers’ communications.

  • Civil Rights

    • Early Lessons from the Tunisian Revolution

      Last week’s post about the increasingly draconian and desperate measures the Tunisian government was taking to censor bloggers, journalists, and activists online was rapidly made irrelevant by subsequent events. Over the next few days, Tunisian dictator El Abidine Ben Ali promised not to run for re-election in 2014, then offered widespread reforms, including freedom of expression on the Internet, and finally stepped down from power and fled the country. The steps that EFF called on Facebook, Google, and Yahoo to take in order to protect the privacy and safety of their Tunisian users soon lost their urgency. For now, Tunisians are experiencing unprecedented freedom online after years of extensive government filtering and censorship of websites.

      [...]

      Even so, Zuckerman credits social media with giving Tunisians a view of the protests that they did not get through heavily-censored government television, radio, and newspapers.

    • Reversing the Erosion of Civil Liberties

      As many Americans embraced the illusion of “perfect security” – even at the cost of their freedoms – government agencies stepped in with ambitious “counterterrorism” programs that soon were targeting innocent citizens, a problem that former FBI officer Coleen Rowley says must now be addressed:

      Who has not yet awoken to the fact that we have been sailing since the 9/11 attacks into a perfect storm? Here are just some of the turbulent winds blowing and pushing officials in the wrong direction…

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The end of the net as we know it

      ISPs are threatening to cripple websites that don’t pay them first. Barry Collins fears a disastrous end to net neutrality

      You flip open your laptop, click on the BBC iPlayer bookmark and press Play on the latest episode of QI. But instead of that tedious, plinky-plonky theme tune droning out of your laptop’s speakers, you’re left staring at the whirring, circular icon as the video buffers and buffers and buffers…

    • Public and Political Concern Over Usage Based Billing Gathers Steam

      The increasing use of bandwidth caps and usage based billing models among Canadian ISPs may enjoy support from the CRTC, but the practice has begun to attract increasing critical attention in both the media and at the political level. Yesterday, the NDP issued a release lamenting that “Canada is already falling behind other countries in terms of choice, accessibility and pricing for the Internet.” NDP MP Charlie Angus, who will be appearing at a net neutrality town hall on the weekend, noted that UBB could be used to limit third-party services such as Netflix.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Gibson Can’t Resist, Sues Another Video Game For Infringement, Despite Being Smacked Down By Court Last Time
    • The Times thinks piracy is our big trade problem!!

      Finally he totally ignores the effect of China’s intervention to weaken its currency, in leading other big Asian exporters to keep their currencies low. The list of such countries includes Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, all of which add to the US trade deficit.

      The response to a drop in foreign currencies will not be instantaneous, because it will take time for US producers to expand output. Thus, it is unlikely to have a rapid impact on current unemployment, but our exchange rate is important in our current large job losses and in worsening our income distribution.

    • Copyrights

      • Lies, damn lies, stats, and newspaper stories

        The entertainment cartels regularly and routinely hijack local governments and media to present their specious ‘file sharing’ and ‘copyright violation’ statements.

        Then, national and international print and electronic outlets jump right to it, either ignoring, or misrepresenting, what’s happening, publishing unbalanced and completely inaccurate reports as though they’re based on factual information, coming from credible and reliable sources

        In Canada, the Globe and Mail in particular consistently carries not only biased, but incorrect, reports on the war between ‘consumers’, as they’re called disdainfully, and the corporate music and movie cartels, which are using legislation originally drawn up to protect citizens, to attack them in the name of the bottom line.

      • Francis Ford Coppola On Art, Copying And File Sharing: We Want You To Take From Us

        He’s saying it shouldn’t be presumed that they automatically must make money — or that if they are to make money, that it needs to come from the film directly.

      • How YouTube became the place to go for music on the Web

        One of the more interesting trends to emerge in the world of digital music in recent times has been that of YouTube seemingly becoming one of the most popular, perhaps even the most popular, means of experiencing music online.

      • Belgian and Israeli Courts Grant Remedies to CC Licensors

        In the Belgian case, Lichôdmapwa v. L’asbl Festival de Theatre de Spa, a theater company used 20 seconds of the song “Abatchouck” in an advertisement. The song had been released by the Belgian band Lichôdmapwa under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND (Attribution, NonCommerical, NoDerivatives) license. Lichôdmapwa brought suit, claiming the theater company violated all three license conditions when it failed to provide attribution, used the song in a commercial advertisement, and used only a segment of the song.

      • Russian Music Uploader Faces Criminal Copyright Charges

        Russian prosecutors have filed criminal online copyright infringement charges against a 26-year-old accused of posting 18 tracks on Russian social network Vkontakte, Agence France-Presse reported.

        [...]

        If convicted, the accused uploader faces up to six years in prison, and copyright infringement damages in the amount of $3,600.

      • today in school, I learned that I’m an “extortionist”

        Why would CAUT publish such a one-sided, unbalanced non-review promoting a highly politicized view of copyright reform? Do they have a stated position on copyright reform in Canada?

      • The Music Bay: Pirate Bay Crew Instill More Fear Into The Music Industry

        For years The Pirate Bay has been a thorn in the side of the music industry, but things could be about to take a turn for the worse. Over the past days rumors of a new project titled “The Music Bay” have been circling, and now a Pirate Bay insider has just confirmed to TorrentFreak that the major record labels have good reason to be afraid, very afraid.

      • The Best Music Infographics

        Infographics, Venn diagrams, and flowcharts: They are hard to avoid these days and data visualization is a hot topic. Therefore, HaveYouHeard.It did some research for you and selected the best music related infographics. Enjoy!

      • CRTC asks the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council to review decision to ban Dire Straits song

        The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission today wrote to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) asking it to review its determination that the unedited version of the song “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits was inappropriate for Canadian radio. On January 12, 2011, the CBSC’s Atlantic Regional Panel found that the use of a derogatory word in the song breached broadcast codes.

      • Reading between the Lines of Bill C-32
      • So-called ‘sequel’ to ‘Catcher in the Rye’ effectively banned in the U.S. as part of copyright lawsuit settlement agreement.

        The unauthorized ‘sequel’/commentary on J.D. Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye can be published and sold around the world, EXCEPT for the U.S. and Canada.

      • ACTA

        • Ad hoc meeting – Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

          DG Trade is organising a meeting to inform and consult civil society about the plurilateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

          [...]

          Ms Ancel-La Santos Quintano, European Patent Office

        • ACTA Inconsistent With European Law, Legal Experts Say

          The recently completed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is not fully consistent with European Union law and goes beyond international law in some of its aspects, concluded a group of intellectual property law experts from universities in Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France and Spain.

          In an open declaration, they point, for example, to criminal law sanctions not yet harmonised in EU law, but also to border measures extended to simple trademark infringements “based on mere similarity of signs, risk of confusion and even the protection for well-known trademarks against dilution.”

Clip of the Day

Police in Hungary Tracy Chapman : Last Night (Behind the Wall)


Credit: TinyOgg

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