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01.31.11

Links 31/1/2011: London Stock Exchange Report Cyberattack, Fudcon 2011 Starts

Posted in News Roundup at 4:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Don’t Let ‘Microsoft Trained Brain Syndrome’ Happen to You

    Windows users have many, many reasons to consider switching to Linux, as I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions already. For many, however, there’s one big, fat obstacle standing in the way: “Microsoft Trained Brain Syndrome.”

    That’s right: It’s the simple fact that most of us “grew up” on Microsoft products and so have trouble imagining any other way of doing things.

  • Welcome to Linux city

    Which is why I would like to welcome you to Linux city. This city is not a new one it has been and still is being built up. The best thing about this city is that it’s supporting structure is so simple, yet so strong that the largest computer cities ever built, ie. the worlds fastest supercomputers, use Linux.

  • Desktop

    • PirateBox: an “artistic provocation” in lunchbox form

      Inside the PirateBox sits a Free Agent Dockstar, an Asus WL330GE wireless router, and a SanDisk 16GB flash drive. The software, including Debian Linux and the DD-WRT open-source router firmware, is all free. The total build cost is under $100, not counting the lunchbox enclosure and the optional battery pack (the PirateBox can alternately run on AC power).

  • Server

    • Network attacks (allegedly) ravage London Stock Exchange

      The London Stock Exchange and one of its counterparts in the US are investigating attacks that hit their networks last year and were intended to disrupt their operations, The Times reported on Monday.

      Officials for the LSE are investigating a possible breach of the open-source trading system last year that may have led to the wild Flash Crash last summer. On August 24, the share prices of five companies collapsed, prompting the exchange to shut down trading early. BT alone lost £968 million in market value in the SNAFU. Up to now, officials have blamed the crash on incorrect prices entered on a large number of stock orders.

    • London Stock Exchange under attack during Linux switch

      The London Stock Exchange’s new open source trading system may have been hacked last year, according to a report.

      The alleged attack came as the LSE began the switch over to the Linux-based systems, according to the dates referred to in the Times newspaper.

      The continued threat of cyber attack has resulted in the LSE keeping a close dialogue with British security services, which this year branded cyber attacks as one of the biggest threats to the country.

    • London Stock Exchange ‘under major cyberattack’ during Linux switch
  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel C Extras in a Linux Driver

      Enthused by how Pugs impressed their professor in the last class, Shweta wanted to do so too. And there was already an opportunity: finding out where the output of printk had gone. So, as soon as she entered the lab, she grabbed the best system, logged in, and began work. Knowing her professor well, she knew that he would have given a hint in the class itself. Recalling what had been taught, she remembered the error output demonstration from “insmod vfat.ko” — running dmesg | tail. She immediately tried that, and found the printk output there.

    • Linus Torvalds Never Imagined the Current Linux Ecosystem

      In open source, the idea that the endgame for a project won’t necessarily closely resemble the origin is a given, not a surprise. It’s part of the point of open source. If you look at what’s going on the Linux scene now, you see this concept being played out all around.

  • Applications

    • WordNet+Artha: A great Linux thesaurus combo

      I am a writer. I write loads of technical documentation as well as novels (check out my fiction on Smashwords and Autumnal Press). Because of my trade I am always seeking out tools to aid in my own process. And although the web has made everything so much easier, it is still good to have a few dedicated tools around to make everything easier.WordNet+Artha: A great Linux thesaurus combo

    • A Linux Compiler Deathmatch: GCC, LLVM, DragonEgg, Open64, Etc…

      Started by one of our readers more than a week ago was a compiler deathmatch for comparing the performance of GCC, LLVM Clang, PCC (the Portable C Compiler), TCC (Tiny C Compiler), and Intel’s C Compiler under Arch Linux. This user did not stop there with compiling these different x86_64 code compilers, but he also went on to look at the compiler performance with different compiler flags, among other options. The results are definitely worth looking at and here are some more.

      [...]

      Overall these results are not too surprising compared to our previous Linux compiler benchmarks. Though with the addition of the Open64 compiler we see that in a number of benchmarks its able to produce incredibly fast binaries that are dramatically faster than those produced by GCC. We’ll be monitoring Open64 more closely, but for now be sure to also see the original compiler deathmatch thread with those separate test results, including of compiler tuning options.

    • Preview of Simplicity an Upcoming XBMC Skin from the Creators of Shade!

      Shade is my absolute preferred skin for XBMC Media Center (and is to be featured in my upcoming XBMC Install, Setup and Configuration Guide for Linux Mint and Ubuntu). It combines the best features and views as popular skins (as well as some found nowhere else!) like Alaska, Confluence, and Aeon (and their mods and variants) while having a higher level of polish and professional aesthetic over the lot. (This conclusion has been researched and reached first hand over many hours of trying and configuring the various skins as well as demonstrating for others and getting their opinions on the aesthetics and appeals of the various skins.)

    • Proprietary

      • Linux Remote Support Software – Bomgar

        Do you use both windows and Linux? Wish you could remote into Windows from Linux and to other Linux distributions? Well, you can. Just like when using a Remote Desktop Connection between Microsoft platforms (or remoting between Linux machines), you can bring up the desktop of the other platform. You can click around the desktop and run applications just as if you were sitting in front of the computer.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Linux Games Icon Pack

        A reader has put together an icon pack for various popular Linux games (thanks SeanW!):

        http://half-left.deviantart.com/art/Faenza-Games-Icon-Pack-189876623

      • The Legend of Edgar 0.76

        The Legend of Edgar has been updated to 0.76:

        * Fixed a crash when killing a centurion
        * Corrected the makefile version number
        * The fish in the Left Tower no longer become stuck if the player falls in the water
        * Fixed a bug when the player becomes frozen in ice
        * Fixed a bug where the player could not turn into a Slime if standing on the ground
        * Added Spanish translation

      • 35 Great Open Web Games

        Game On 2010 is Mozilla Labs‘ first international gaming competition. Game On is all about games built, delivered and played on the open Web and the browser.

      • Entanglement – Browser based HTML5 fun!

        Ive always maintained that there is a market for those simple, addictive games on any platform. You might be waiting for a download to finish, an email to come through or a message to pop up in IRC. Whatever it is though there are always a few minutes of void to fill and this is where the traditional “little game” comes into its own. On the Linux desktop I think users are sick to death of solitaire or mine sweeper and Entanglement fills that slot nicely.

  • Desktop Environments

    • How to save your Linux screen space

      You probably already know that a tiling window manager is one of the alternatives often provided by distributions alongside the standard Gnome or KDE desktops.

      Instead of floating windows, with their ability to move anywhere, and stacked applications that overlap one another, a tiling window manager locks applications to the display, splitting as necessary to run applications side by side. When you run enough applications together, your desktop can start to look like a tiled bathroom, which is presumably why they’re called tiling window managers.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Review: Sabayon 5.5 KDE

        Sabayon uses KDE 4.5.5, though it is possible to start using KDE 4.6 (which was released a few days ago and which I hope to review relatively soon) through updates. No part of KDE ever crashed, which is great news. I think it’s safe to say that the issues I had with Sabayon 5.4 KDE were due to VirtualBox, not due to either Sabayon or KDE.

      • Reviews: First impressions of Chakra GNU/Linux 0.3.1

        Having tried Chakra I find myself in a bit of a reviewer’s dilemma. The reason I tried Chakra was I had people telling me it was stable, despite the alpha branding, and that it was a wonderful fast, reliable, usable system. My experience was quite the opposite. Chakra failed to remain stable enough to launch applications, or sometimes even to finish booting, on my desktop machine. The installer either refused to complete or would crash, the Bundle application didn’t work and the project lacked documentation in a key area. I was further put off by emoticons on the website and in my status messages. I realize these are hobbyists and Chakra isn’t a professional distro, but I’m wary about handing my hard drive over to a product that writes messages akin to those found in the average Twitter feed. On the other hand, any criticism I can aim at Chakra can be swept aside with the project’s “alpha” designation. The project plainly warns it’s still in the early development stages and one should be prepared for bugs, crashes and hasmtericide. It’s probably best to wait until Chakra is pronounced stable before giving it a try.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fudcon 2011 day 1

          Today started way too early (after going to sleep late). Breakfast was in the hotel food area. I had a nice chat with Dave Malcolm about python and packages and so forth, then off to the main event.

          Lots of folks in the main opening talk. Lots and lots of barcamp pitches. Max wearing not one, but _two_ silly hats. A nice “state of Fedora” from Jared. Then over to the barcamp area where I had a nice chat with jlaska about AutoQA. I wish we had a better way to get people involved there, but it’s hard. I suggested a few new tests and suggested it might be easier to get folks interested once some of the tests are actually active.

        • Fedora FUDcon Tempe: Meet the Anaconda Team

          David Cantrell and Chris Lumens started the session by going around the room and introducing everyone on the team. They talked a bit about their storage testing framework (Chris did a separate session on this), and how Anaconda is pretty hard to get started with as a contributor, but the testing framework is an easy way to get involved – submit test. This can be even more helpful than submitting code patches and the test system is easy to contribute to. I didn’t catch how exactly / where to submit tests though; I didn’t catch Chris’ session on that.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 6.0: Stability and Power to the People

        Debian official releases are more rare than releases of other distributions, but tend to matter less to users. Judging by the second release candidate, Debian 6.0 will be no exception. In other words, the new release should deliver the usual ultra-reliability, and serve as a solid basis not only for Debian itself, but also the countless other distros that will depend upon it, including Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

        [...]

        With this support, the installer can offer an impressive set of choices for those who want them. Packages can be selected according to the intended function of the installation — for instance, desktop environment, or file server or laptop. While dropping ReiserFS, partitioning includes both a choice of ext2, ext3, ext4, btrfs, JFS and XFS filesystems (sensibly defaulting to ext 3 as the best combination of mature features and stability), and multiple partitions (either placing /home on a separate partition, or sub-dividing a drive into root, /home /usr, /var, and /temp partitions.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • 11 Killer Features That Make Ubuntu 11.04 Worth the Wait

          Ubuntu 11.04 dubbed Natty Narwhal will bring some major changes to the traditional Ubuntu desktop. As the conventional desktop gets a major overhaul, the spanking new Unity interface is busy preparing itself to replace the time-honored Gnome interface. Furthermore, some well-known default applications are getting replaced by newer and more feature-laden ones. While many users have welcomed these changes with open arms, a few disapproving nods have raised doubts over their success. Nevertheless, Ubuntu 11.04, which releases on 28th April 2011, promises to bring a burst of freshness to the Linux desktop along with a slew of new users.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Thinkpad T410 and Kubuntu

            Laptop refresh time is here, thanks Canonical. Faced with the prospect of finding a computer to spend a grand on I took the bus trip to Fry’s in Dallas. Fry’s is a large computer supermarket, I don’t recommend it for the cafeteria but they do have a large selection of laptops to browse. The staff are annoyingly keen to help you, until you start asking about the finer details of processor ranges and mention Ubuntu. All their laptops have glossy screens, a phenomenon I do not understand.

            [...]

            Pleasingly Linux just works. Wifi is fine. Compositing great (Intel i915). Suspend is all good. External video works. Volume buttons works. Only wee issue is that mute button turns off hardware and software mute, but if software is already mute then it turns it mute off and hardware mute on.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Why Apple Fears Honeycomb

          Unless you miraculously found a way to live under a rock on the moon for the past 25 years, you’ve had a pretty good chance of seeing the Apple Macintosh 1984 commercial [below], the one directed by Ridley Scott, the one with the woman running through hallways of automatons ultimately to toss a hammer through a screen, smashing an image of Big Brother. This commercial was made to announce the release of the Macintosh personal computer. Today we’ve been treated to an ad spot made by Motorola to promote their upcoming tablet computer XOOM, featuring the new Google Android mobile operating system Android 3.0 Honeycomb, made specifically for tablets – this commercial directly targets the 1984 commercial for Apple Macintosh. Yesterday a massive article by creative director Steve Hayden detailed his work on and knowledge of the 1984 commercial, celebrating its excellence.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • 2011: The Year of Women in FOSS

    Is it the be-all and end-all to ending sexism in FOSS? No. Is there a significant way to go in gaining gender equality, both in attitude and practice? Yes. Do you hate it as much as I do when people answer their own questions? I hope so.

  • The True Spirit of Open Source

    When people talk about the merits of Open Source software vs closed source/proprietary software, one of the most common advantages listed for open source is “you have the source, you can modify it, you can change it”. This is my worst favorite argument, and I even catch our own sales guys saying it now and then when they’re prepping for a presentation they’re giving. This is a great argument in some instances. But I hear it being used in a lot of situations where it doesn’t apply. For example, without a lot of coding experience and time, a network administrator can’t modify or change something like Snort. So why market Snort to them that way? It doesn’t apply. I’ve got a different opinion of what being “open source” does for the network admin (or security admin, if the company in question makes that distinction), and I recently got a chance to experience exactly this in real life.

  • Patrons vexed by glitches in new library software

    The King County Library System’s switch to nonproprietary software put the system at the forefront of a national movement to free libraries from the poor service and high costs some feel they are getting from commercial vendors.

  • Events

    • Pesce sorry for raunchy pics at Linux.conf.au

      Sydney-based writer and futurist Mark Pesce has apologised for using sexy images during his keynote address at the annual Linux.conf.au (LCA) open source conference in Brisbane last week.

    • ABLEconf CfP extended two weeks for FUDcon

      While ABLEconf has already recieved many great proposals, it overlooked FUDcon: Tempe 2011 taking place the week after the close of ABLEconf’s Call for Presentations. For this reason, ABLEconf is extending the Call for Presentations two weeks: until Saturday, February 6th, 2011.

    • Linux Professional Institute Hosts Exam Labs at SCALE and Indiana Linux Fest

      The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization, announced promotional exam labs for their Linux Professional Institute Certification (LPIC) at SCALE 9x (Los Angeles, California: February 27, 2011) and Indiana Linux Fest (Indianapolis, Indiana: March 27, 2011).

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google pushes ahead with Chrome 10

        Google is clearly going to continue its headlong dash into the browser market in 2011, having just released version 10 of its Chrome browser. Just last month users were getting used to the stable release of Chrome 8 and already version 10 is popping up in the development channel.

    • Mozilla

      • 12 Thunderbird Addons You Shouldn’t Be Without

        I have seen many people and companies shy away from Microsoft products recently. Whether they are moving to a Mac or just want to save costs initially. There are a host of freeware products out there to fit your needs.

      • Mozilla pays out US$40,000 for web bugs

        Mozilla, developers of the popular Firefox web browser, has paid out US$40,000 in the past month for bugs on its websites and in its apps.

        Last month, the open-source developer said it would extend its bug bounty program beyond its Firefox browser to include other web tools.

      • Mozilla sprints to improve developer documentation

        For the last six plus months, Mozilla developers have been focused on building Firefox 4. That’s not the only effort that Mozilla is now sprinting to complete, developer documentation at the Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) is now also being completed.

        Instead of a ‘code sprint’, MDN is having a doc sprint – starting Jan 28th and running for 34 hours until Jan 29th.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNUPlot—Plotting is fun

      While strings and pages of data seem cryptic, a plot reveals the entire data flow at a glance. Interpretation suddenly seems much easier. Understanding that maze of numbers is just a glance away. Scientists, mathematicians, engineers, statisticians etc. rely heavily on plots. While OriginLab, an expensive commercial plotting software, is heavily used among university researchers or those blessed with bulging purses, GNUPlot doesn’t lag behind, and is much used by scientists at the IITs, IIScs and universities. In fact, knowledge and skill in GNUPlot is one of the requirements for some of the posts for Senior Research Fellow at the IITs!

  • Government

    • Open source access unchanged under revised Oz law

      Enterprises or individuals that purchase software which uses open source components are entitled to demand access to the relevant source code despite recent changes to the law, according to Australian technology laywer Brendan Scott.

      In mid-2010, Scott completed an analysis of the now-superseded Trade Practices Act for Linux Australia, and concluded that consumers were entitled to demand access to source code used in any hardware or software products under that act.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Al Jazeera Offers Up Egypt Coverage To Anyone Who Wants To Use It Under Creative Commons License

      If you’ve been following the goings on in Egypt over the past week, it’s likely that you at least saw some of Al Jazeera’s rather comprehensive coverage. The Egyptian government was so annoyed by the coverage that it “shut down” Al Jazeera’s Egyptian offices (and Egyptian politicians are calling for trying Al Jazeera correspondents as “traitors”). Of course, it’s worth pointing out that most of us in the US have no options for watching Al Jazeera via a regular TV channel either, since almost no US TV companies are willing to carry the channel.

Leftovers

  • Processor Architecture, Linux, and the Future

    Twice in the past week I have gotten into discussions with friends about the topic of processor architecture. One of these discussions was about the cell processor. The cell processor is a Power-PC based, micro-processor that was designed to bridge the gap between traditional 64bit processors and GPUs. The second discussion was about another type of processor architecture most of us use everyday – the ARM processor (as of 2007 an approximated 98% of mobile phones use an ARM chip).

    The topics of the discussions were fairly similar – why is it with all these other architectures have to offer x86/64bit processors still dominate our desktop computers? Cell processors are incredibly powerful and ARM chips use an extremely low amount of energy for the processing power they provide.

  • Clarence Thomas should be INDICTED

    Violations are punishable by a fine and 5 to 8 years in prison. Thomas could be charged with separate counts for each year he falsely stated that his wife had no “Non Investment Income”

    The Department of Justice publishes a handbook to provide guidance to prosecutors.

  • Science

    • Biometric Recognition Systems Not as Infallible as Many Believe

      Popular movies and TV shows often portray advanced fingerprint, voice, or retina recognition systems as a foolproof means of identification. In fact, governments increasingly are looking to biometric technologies as a better way to track terrorists at borders. And some companies have started using biometrics to control access to buildings or information. What does the scientific evidence say about the effectiveness of these systems for security or surveillance?

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Dutch parliament to be lobbied to legalise all ‘recreational’ drugs

      The petition is being promoted by the Netherlands Drugs Policy Foundation, and has high-profile support from former EU commissioner Fritz Bolkestein and former deputy prime minister and scientist Dr Els Borst-Eilers.

      It is a sign of the economic times in the Netherlands that the argument in favour of legalising drugs has moved from one of principled opposition to prohibition to one which highlights potential savings to the state of about €20 billion a year.

    • Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness

      The insurgency against the DSM-5 (the APA has decided to shed the Roman numerals) has now spread far beyond just Allen Frances. Psychiatrists at the top of their specialties, clinicians at prominent hospitals, and even some contributors to the new edition have expressed deep reservations about it.

    • Opinion: depleted uranium, child cancer and denial

      It was recently reported that doctors had advised women in Fallujah not to give birth. There are many medical reasons for infertility which might shatter the dreams of a young woman. It is not difficult to imagine how heartbreaking it must be for a woman who is advised that she can never bear children.

  • Security

    • Anonymous: a net gain for liberty

      This Thursday, as thousands of Anonymous activists continued their two-week campaign of assistance to the successful revolution in Tunisia and the nascent pro-democracy uprisings in Egypt and Algeria, the governments of the US and UK scored a victory of their own, with the arrest of three teenagers and two young adults who are accused of participating in distributed denial of service attacks, or DDoS, against the websites of MasterCard, Visa and PayPal.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • The Sri Lankan army is selling vegetables

      The Sri Lankan military is getting a makeover. Now that the war with the Tamil Tigers is over it is time to wash off the stains and spruce up. Military personnel may be spotted painting public buildings or engaged in projects to beautify Colombo, with defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa personally overseeing the transformation and development of the city.

    • Cabinet should have been told of attorney general’s doubts, Iraq inquiry hears

      Civil service head Gus O’Donnell suggests Tony Blair breached ministerial code by not providing full text of legal advice

    • Chinese dissident Wu Yuren faces ‘fake’ charge of assaulting police

      A dissident artist accused of assaulting police told a court in Beijing that the case was “all fake”, his wife said today.

      Wu Yuren denies obstructing public service with violence and says it was officers who assaulted him when he went to a police station to report stolen property last May. His companion that day has said he heard Wu screaming in pain after police dragged him away.

    • It’s time for parents to stand with their children at the student protests

      Major student protests are planned tomorrow in Manchester and London and already police are warning that they plan to increase the severity of their tactics. I was at two of the protests at the end of last year, and the change in tactics was striking. Whereas on the 10 November demonstration no one was hurt, on 9 December there were large numbers of protester casualties – and a smaller but still significant number of less severe police injuries. The casualties seemed to be a direct result of the change in police tactics. If these now become even more extreme, there will no doubt be more violence and more people hurt. On the 9 December protest my son, Alfie Meadows, received life-threatening injuries in an incident that is now the subject of an Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation.

    • Civil Society Demands End to State of Emergency

      The lifting of the state of emergency that has been in force in Algeria for nearly 20 years has emerged as a rallying point for groups united for democratic change.

    • The New Islamic Republic of Iraq

      Last week, the Iraqi government shut down social clubs that serve alcohol in Baghdad, enraging the educated class who demonstrated against the extreme Islamic-inspired order. Today, Iraqis woke up to hear a far worse order; the Iraqi Ministry of Education has banned theater and music classes in Baghdad’s Fine Arts Institute, and ordered the removal of statues showcased at the entrance of the institute without explaining the move.

    • Facebook Owned 42% of Egyptian Web Traffic Before Blackout

      How important a role did Facebook play in the popular revolution that swept Egypt last week? According to data from security firm zScaler: it was very important. Fully 42% of the country’s Web surfing on January 27, the day before Egypt’s main ISPs abruptly severed ties to the Internet.

      Activity on Egyptian Web servers monitored by zScaler surged by 68% on January 26th as the popular protests against the government of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak gained steam, as Egyptians looked for news coverage of the protests and leveraged Facebook and other platforms to spread the word about civil actions. Data from zScaler shows that traffic to social networking sites account for around 39% of all Web surfing on January 27th, while traffic to news sites accounted for another 27% of overall Web surfing activity.

    • Why Military Spending Remains Untouchable

      In defense circles, “cutting” the Pentagon budget has once again become a topic of conversation. Americans should not confuse that talk with reality. Any cuts exacted will at most reduce the rate of growth. The essential facts remain: U.S. military outlays today equal that of every other nation on the planet combined, a situation without precedent in modern history.

    • Lebanon’s return to Syria-backed rule is likely to keep Hezbollah in check

      The toppling of the pro-western March 14 alliance in Lebanon by its pro-Syrian adversaries – including Hezbollah – has led to a worldwide media scare. Many western news organisations portrayed it as some sort of Islamist takeover.

      Even the BBC reported that the “Hezbollah nominee”, Najib Mikati, won the most votes to succeed Saad Hariri as prime minister. Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News went further in that direction, reporting: “Hezbollah gain control of Lebanese government”.

      The fact is that they are all missing the point. Syria, and not Hezbollah, won control of Lebanon’s government. In the past year, many articles have shown Syria recovering its political weight, and the latest developments in Lebanon are testimony to this.

    • We’ve waited for this revolution for years. Other despots should quail

      And Arabs from the Mashreq to the Maghreb are watching, egging on those protesters to topple Hosni Mubarak who has ruled Egypt for 30 years, because they know if he goes, all the other old men will follow, those who have smothered their countries with one hand and robbed them blind with the other. Mubarak is the Berlin Wall. “Down, down with Hosni Mubarak,” resonates through the whole region.

    • The Aljazeera Scandal

      Recently, the Turkish flotilla scandal centered around the question: was it a good idea for commandos to slide down ropes onto the ship, or should another form of attack have been adopted? Almost nobody asked: should Gaza have been blockaded in the first place? Wasn’t it smarter to start talking with Hamas? Was it a good idea to attack a Turkish ship on the high sees?

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • No, clean energy is not a substitute for climate change

      I was going to let this go after my last post, but it keeps coming up in email and on Twitter: “Obama talked about clean energy. Isn’t that the same as talking about climate change?” Add to that the characteristically smug posts from Innoventioneers congratulating themselves on winning the future, and it looks like I need to take one more run at this.

    • Climate Benefits of Natural Gas May Be Overstated

      The United States is poised to bet its energy future on natural gas as a clean, plentiful fuel that can supplant coal and oil. But new research by the Environmental Protection Agency—and a growing understanding of the pollution associated with the full “life cycle” of gas production—is casting doubt on the assumption that gas offers a quick and easy solution to climate change.

  • Finance

    • Face of Mideast unrest: young and hungry for jobs

      Just days before fleeing Tunisia, the embattled leader went on national television to promise 300,000 new jobs over two years.

      Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak did much the same Saturday as riots gripped Cairo and other cities: offering more economic opportunities in a country where half the people live on less than $2 a day.

    • A Bank Crisis Whodunit, With Laughs and Tears

      TRULY startling revelations were few in the voluminous report, published last Thursday by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission on the origins of the financial panic. This is hardly a shock, given the flood-the-zone coverage and analysis of the crisis since it erupted four years ago.

    • Goldman Sachs Gives Blankfein a Big Raise

      Lloyd C. Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, had a rough 2010. But at least he got a raise: his bonus increased by $3.6 million, according to a regulatory filing.

      The company’s board granted restricted stock valued at $12.6 million to Mr. Blankfein and other senior executives, including Gary D. Cohn, the president. The board also approved a new annual base salary of $2 million for its chief executive, up from $600,000. Mr. Cohn and others will see their base salaries increase to $1.85 million, according to the filing on Friday.

    • Goldman Sachs’s Josh Birnbaum

      Josh Birnbaum’s “Prepared Remarks of Ex-Goldman Sachs Executive Joshua Birnbaum” for the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (April 27, 2010) can be found on Dealbook here.

    • Cutting the Corporate Income Tax

      I listened to the State of the Union speech. What I heard, though, was not President Obama’s string of irritating platitudes, but the sound of a nation bent on self-destruction.

      I don’t say this lightly. Intellectuals have been talking about the fall of the new Rome for decades, and mostly it has been hyperbolic nonsense. This time feels different. It even makes the darkest days of the Bush-Cheney administration seem like some distant, bygone utopia.

      The reason for this change is the emergence of two extremely powerful groups that have not the slightest interest in any notion of the public good and are willing to put all of it in jeopardy to satisfy the shortest of short-term interests.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • NYT Promotes Destructive Myths About Aristide

      Ginger Thompson wrote in the New York Times on January 19 that former Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide “rose to power as a champion of Haiti’s poor but became notorious for his violent crackdowns of political dissent.” [1]
      The “political dissent” that Thompson refers to is a campaign that included murderous raids into Haiti by rebels comprised of former soldiers and death squad leaders. The rebels were given a safe haven and a base for operations in the Dominican Republic. They were audacious enough to mount an assault on Haiti’s National Palace in December of 2001. After a gun battle, they were chased back into the Dominican Republic. The rebels were led by Guy Philippe and Jodel Chamblain, a man responsible for the deaths and torture of thousands of people during Haiti’s military rule of 1991-1994 (after the first US backed coup ousted Aristide in 1991). [2]

  • Censorship

  • Civil Rights

    • Save Hungary’s Archive

      A proposed law may lead to the destruction of Hungarian secret police documents preserved by the Historical Archives of Hungarian State Security

      In what serves as a very disturbing development for anyone with an interest in Hungary’s Cold War history, the Hungarian government is preparing to enact a new law which may lead to the blatant, politically-motivated sanitization of the country’s communist past. Allegedly out of a concern for privacy rights, citizens who were spied upon or observed by the previous regime’s state security officers may now not only ask to view their files at the Archives of Hungarian State Security in Budapest, but may also remove these preserved archival documents from the reading room, take them home and have them destroyed.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • NewsBytes: Google, Bittorrent, ACS:Law and Sony’s Android app.

        There has been numerous reports on the attempts by ACS:Law to drop its 26 outstanding cases whilst they are still under scrutiny by Judge Birss. Andrew Crossley appears to have more than a few issues to deal with after perusing what many call “speculative invoicing” in respect of alleged unlawful file sharing. Firstly he has to contend with a reported group action of harassment in respect of the letters he sent out to those alleged to be sharing copyrighted material, secondly he has Judge Birss scrutinizing the cases he is trying to drop, making some rather damning comments on how both Andrew Crossley and Media-cat have conducted these cases. Next he has the information commissioner looking at the ACS:Law email leak, that whilst Mr Crossley claims was as a result of hacking, its reported that whilst a Ddos attack brought his site down, it was incompetence of an admin that exposed the ACS:law emails to the world. All this and Mr Crossley has to yet again answer to the SRA at a later date as a result of numerous complaints he has received. Let’s not also forget any other cases that may be brought against him by disgruntled recipients of his letter campaign.

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