Links 1/2/2011: Android 3 Comes, World’s First 3-D Phone Runs Android

Posted in News Roundup at 7:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Keyboard PCs

    The full-sized keyboard makes this a better tool for those who can and do type on the web or locally. That’s most of us, folks. The one I particularly like in specs is a small cheap computer, $99 including GNU/Linux.

  • Post-Christmas Review: Tech Toys and GNU/Linux Compatibility

    Well, Christmas 2010 is over, and all the little tech toy devices have been connected, installed, and played with (or returned to the store from whence they came if they didn’t clear those hurdles). This year was an amazing success. Three major computer-linked devices worked on the first try without a hiccup. And I have to at least say a word or two about Mattel’s new Computer Engineer Barbie — a purchase I must admit was a little silly, but my daughter does play with it.

  • Desktop

    • Where is the Linux Desktop’s Aim?

      By a very definition, it seems that working for the Linux desktop is like shooting darts in the dark. Obviously, one would not be able to see where the dart goes, neither if you are hitting the target. However you are definitively hitting something, but you do not seem to know what.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Consistent names for network interfaces

      Future distributions will use a consistent, predictable scheme to name network interfaces, using names such as “em1″ and “pci2#1″ instead of “eth0″ and “eth1″ to provide more transparency for server administrators. As various new kernels have recently been introduced, the Kernel Log will provide an overview of the most important Stable and Longterm kernel series.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE at FOSDEM Next Weekend
      • KDevelop 4.2 Supports Latest KDE Releases

        Only three months after the last feature release, the KDevelop hackers are proud and happy to announce the release of KDevelop 4.2. As usual, we also make available updated versions of the KDevelop PHP plugins.

      • KRunner Position Trick

        First, launch system settings and open Window Behavior. Second, switch to the Window Rules control module, and click ‘New…’. Third, click ‘Detect Window Properties’, click the krunner applet window, and click ‘OK’. Finally, go to Geometry, check Position, choose force, click ‘OK’ and click ‘Apply’. Tada, all done.

      • KDE 4.6 For Fedora 14 Is Here

        KDE, the sexiest, desktop environment has reached version 4.6, which brings some cool features. However it’s a bit hard to get your hands on it while it’s still hot, especially on the distro of your choice.

        Fedora is one of the most popular GNU/Linux distros and there is no point in keeping Fedora users, who enjoy the luxury of bleeding edge software, away from 4.6. Rex Dieter has created unofficial builds of KDE 4.6 for Fedora 14 for the daredevil types.

      • Fedora Goes to the Dogs – Hot Dogs That Is

        There has been some contention over the upcoming artwork for Fedora 15 this cycle, but no on saw this coming. Most either predicted that the upstream GNOME 3 background would be the basis for the whole of Fedora 15′s artwork, or GNOME 3 would be a bit out of place with the rest of the overall theme. Perhaps as a reaction to this controversy, Lumens said, “Recent releases have focused on artwork that is too abstract, too focused on looking shiny. While the result look professional, it lacks a certain sense of the absurd. I propose creating a complete set of Hot Dog themed artwork that is used by default.”

      • Trying to love KDE 4.6
      • Bretzn results released into the wild

        Apart from being a tasty Bavarian bread-snack, Bretzn is a code-name for a collection of technology aimed at solving a problem which has existed in software development for a very long time: “How do you get your applications to your users?”

      • Bring Your KDE Application to the Masses with Bretzn
  • Distributions

    • ArchBang Linux 2011.01 brings new look

      The ArchBang project has released the 2011.01 edition of its ArchBang Linux distribution, code named “Symbiosis”. Like Arch Linux, upon which it is based, ArchBang is a simple and lightweight Linux distribution for i686 and x86-64 platforms aimed at Linux users who want to create “their own ideal environment” and install only what they need. However, ArchBang uses the minimalistic Openbox window manager with support for its pseudo-tiling functions.

    • Reviews

      • Pardus 2011

        I was very happy to see the inclusion of LibreOffice in this release.

    • New Releases

      • Linux, Open Source & Ubuntu: Linux Distribution Releases to Watch in 2011

        Owing to its open licensing and decentralized style of development, there’s never a shortage of new Linux-based operating systems releases poised for release. Looking ahead at the rest of 2011, eWEEK Labs has compiled a list of Linux distribution releases worth watching for in the months ahead.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Strengthens its Focus in India with Executive Appointments

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that it has strengthened its India operations with two key executive appointments, further reaffirming its commitment to deliver innovation to enable Indian businesses, telcos and government agencies to take advantage of the current shifts in the datacenter around virtualization and cloud computing. Red Hat appointed Anuj Kumar as the new Country General Manager and Jagjit Singh Arora as Director, Enterprise Sales.

      • Red Hat Brings New Executives On Board

        Red Hat has strengthened its India operations with the appointment of Anuj Kumar as the new Country General Manager and Jagjit Singh Arora as Director, Enterprise Sales.

    • Debian Family

      • Countdown to Debian Squeeze

        There’s lots of great software in Squeeze. I just touch the tip of the iceberg with 1630 packages on this notebook out of 28K+ in the repository. Some of my favourites are LyX, LibreOffice, GIMP, InkScape, vlc, Dia and mplayer on the desktop and Apache, MySQL and PHP on the server. For making my own software I use vim, FreePascal and BASH usually. So much software. So little time.

      • Cross Platform Application Installer Meeting Could Mark A Milestone: Debian Project Leader

        While initiative likes Free Desktop have gone a long way to produce cross-distribution standards, per-distribution packaging policies still differ and in that differences we find the distinguishing traits of individual distributions. Losing those difference will not necessarily be good for Free Software, so I think that a single “App Store” might still be a red herring.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Natty Alpha 2 Coming Feb 3

          Ubuntu 11.04 aka Natty Narwhal is going to be a rocking and ‘rock-solid’ release as we can see from the work going on behind the ‘open’ doors. Apart from few bugging things like making Mono-based Banshee as the default music player, Natty is going to be a ‘revolutionary’ (if I can borrow the over-used adjective from Apple PR team) release.

        • Main frozen for Natty Alpha-2
        • Technology hero

          Since 2004, there have been 13 releases of Ubuntu, maintaining for the most part Shuttleworth’s target of a new version every six months. In that time, Ubuntu has become easier to use and more visually appealing, two attributes that were generally absent in early Linux distributions.

          To me, Shuttleworth is a technology hero because he has used his considerable talent to help develop, maintain and popularize a Linux-based operating system that is second to none in terms of stability, security and ease of use, and made it available to everyone free of charge. I began using Ubuntu in 2006 and have never felt the need to go back to Windows, and today, the only thing I still use my Macbook for extensively is Keynote, Apple’s presentation software, which still blows away anything available on Linux today.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • MadBox 10.10 Review – An Ubuntu Based Openbox Distro

            MadBox is a relatively new Ubuntu-based Openbox distribution. It tries to cater to CrunchBang (“#!”) Linux users who want an Ubuntu-based Openbox distribution (as #! switched to a Debian base almost a year ago), as well as to users who want a fast and lightweight OS or one that will work on a slower computer without sacrificing polish.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Get Pinch And Zoom Feature On Your NOOKcolor

      Linux powered eBook reader NOOkcolor gets pinch and zoom functionality in the browser through a firmware upgrade.

    • Phones

      • Sound of Footsteps

        Smartphones sold about as many units as the world shipped other personal computers in 2010Q4. One-third of those smartphones were shipped with Android/Linux.

      • Android

        • Release of Android 3 Tomorrow

          Android 3 is having a coming-out party tomorrow. Having achieved 22% share of tablet PCs with Android 2, a smart phone release, Android’s share should go critical with the availability of Android 3. Several manufacturers have delayed releasing new product until Android 3 was final and one has released new product with 2 with an upgrade to 3 promised.

        • Want to learn how to program on Android?

          Tomorrow, February 1st, the Linux Foundation, the non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, will be announcing six new training courses dedicated to the development of Linux-based mobile operating systems Android and MeeGo.

        • Want To Become Android Programmer?
        • Android enthusiasts hack Honeycomb to run on Nook Color

          The unofficial port of Honeycomb to the Nook is still at a relatively early stage of development, but it already has working support for hardware-accelerated rendering on the Nook hardware. This is a highly significant revelation because it demonstrates the potential suitability of Honeycomb for lower-end devices.

        • Keep Your Android Phones, Ubuntu Netbooks Safe With Prey

          Prey, the popular free and open source software which allows tracking lost mobile devices, has hit version 0.5.2. If you are concerned about losing your phone or netbook, you would want to get Prey protection for your mobile devices.

        • Linux Becomes The Leading Mobile Operating System: Courtesy Android

          Android was by far the largest smart phone platform in the US market in Q4 2010, with shipments of 12.1 million units – nearly three times those of RIM’s BlackBerry devices. Windows Phone 7 devices appeared too late in the quarter to take full advantage of holiday season purchasing. As a result, Microsoft lost share in the United States, from 8% in Q4 2009 to 5% in Q4 2010.

        • World’s First 3D Phone Will Run On…Linux, Android

          At this year’s Mobile World Congress, LG will unveil the Optimus 3D, the world’s first 3D smartphone offering consumers a full 3D experience right in the palm of their hands.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Attacks on FLOSS

    We have seen it all:

    * astroturfing all over the web,
    * trolls specializing in FLOSS, trying to make Freedom seem a flaw,
    * pronouncements from high and low that FLOSS is patent-encumbered or is a copy of non-free software, and
    * serious attacks on the infrastructure of FLOSS, and
    * European Commission decides to renew M$’s contract for 36K PCs…

  • Don’t fear the fork: How DVCS aids open source development

    Every once in a while, some extremely popular open source project faces what is generally regarded as one of the most painful, frightening experiences for such a project and its user community: the fork. An argument can be made that divergent evolution for purposes of specialization — such as when Knoppix burst onto the scene, based on Debian but customized for use as a LiveCD — is not a “true” fork. A fork, one might argue, is only what happens when the codebase is copied and taken in a slightly different direction because it is intended to replace (or at least compete with) the original project due to disputes between people who have different visions for it, rather than being intended to complement it by filling an otherwise empty niche.

  • 3DMagix and IllusionMage, scam or open source leeches?

    The companies IllusionMage and 3Dmagix resell via their websites Blender under their own name. Both websites are probably managed by the same person or company.

  • Where 3 times 3 is 8.

    OOo is truly the most powerful and user-friendly office application suite out of those three tested in this overview: OpenOffice.org, KOffice and GNOME Office. It has all-round functionality which can be used by everyone who is comfortable with Microsoft Office products. Migration from MS office to OOo is not an issue at all.

  • Events

  • Oracle

  • CMS

    • CMS and blog software without databases

      I was reading the Splitbrain.org blog, which I quite like by the way, and when I see a blog that I like, both content-wise and design/execution-wise, I try to figure out whether or not the software behind it is WordPress, Movable Type, Drupal, etc.

      Well, it turns out that Splitbrain.org is done with DokuWiki, which is a wiki platform that doesn’t rely on a database, with all the data stored in regular files on the server.

      I like simplicity.

      DokuWiki isn’t exactly a blogging platform, but you can turn it into one with plugins.

  • Healthcare

    • VA wants help modernizing health records system

      The Veterans Affairs Department is looking for expert help in developing an open source software model for modernization of its long-standing VistA (Veterans Health Information and Systems and Technology Architecture) health records system.

  • Business

    • Can Open Source Make ERP Better?

      Derek Singleton at SoftwareAdvice.com has written an interesting article entitled Can Open Source ERP Succeed? He brought up some of the hurdles for the adoption of open source ERP software.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Intel warns of $1bn cost of chip fix

        The chipmaker Intel has halted shipments of hardware incorporating its new “Sandy Bridge” processors and says it will have to spend a total of $1bn (£600m) fixing a fault, delaying hundreds of new PC models for up to three months and potentially stifling growth in the personal computer market.

        Launched early in January, the Sandy Bridge chip combines standard processing and graphics units on a single die. But Intel said today it had found flaws in a support chip, called Cougar Point, which would have led to failures over time in connections to hard drives and DVDs.


  • New homes burn faster

    It’s never been more dangerous to be a firefighter.

    Our homes and the stuff inside them are nearly six times more flammable than they were 30 years ago.

    What that means for firefighters is the amount of time they can safely be inside a house on fire has dropped from about 17 minutes to three minutes or less.

  • Salvation Army under fire over tycoon’s profits bonanza

    The Salvation Army is facing calls to explain how it allowed a private businessman to build a multimillion-pound personal fortune with profits from its charitable clothes recycling scheme intended to be used for good causes.

  • Newspaper Reporter Talks About Criminal Complaint Filed By Sheriff

    The Shelby County Sheriff has prepared a criminal complaint against a newspaper reporter for asking him questions.

    Embattled Sheriff Dean Kimpel, who was already under fire for allegations of sexual assault, is now accusing a writer from the Sidney Daily News of telecommunications harassment.

  • Flickr Accidentally Deletes a User’s 4,000 Photos and Can’t Get Them Back

    Major, major stumble from Flickr today—a Zurich-based photoblogger says Flickr deleted his account by mistake and lost his 4,000 photos.

  • Science

    • How to read a paper

      This is a tricky problem to solve on a handheld device, or indeed anywhere. There is a press release on the Lancaster University website explaining that this device has been studied and found to work. I asked for details. The methods and results of this study are secret. No paper has been submitted for publication.

    • Training teachers to take on the creationism/evolution battle

      In a recent issue of Science, Berkman and Plutzer focus much of their article on that 60 percent of cautious teachers who, for one reason or the other, fail to fully support evolution. The authors propose that it is possible to persuade those timid teachers to become advocates of evolution, as the teachers do not exhibit strong conservative markers like believing that the universe is only 10,000 years old. Berkman and Plutzer suggest that the main cause of the problem is that these teachers lack confidence in their grasp of evolutionary biology.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Ayn Rand and the VIP-DIPers

      Despite persistent rumors, Rand Paul was not named in honor of influential conservative thinker, Ayn Rand. His name is Randall.

      It’s good he was not named for Ayn Rand because her real name was Alisa Zinovievna Rosenbaum which she changed honoring her Rand typewriter.

      Miss Rand, famously a believer in rugged individualism and personal responsibility, was a strong defender of self-interest. She was a staunch opponent of government programs from the New Deal and Social Security to the Great Society and Medicare.

    • Federal judge says healthcare law is unconstitutional

      A federal judge in Florida dealt President Obama’s healthcare overhaul a sweeping blow Monday, ruling the law unconstitutional because of its requirement that Americans have health insurance starting in 2014.

    • Minnesota issues list of toxic chemicals in children’s products

      The Minnesota Department of Health identified the presence of lead, cadmium, Bisphenol A and six other toxic chemicals in children’s products, such as jewelry and textiles. Advocacy group Healthy Legacy urged government agencies to require companies to disclose if such chemicals are present in their products.

  • Security

    • Amazon.com Security Flaw Accepts Passwords That Are Close, But Not Exact

      For example, if your password is “Password,” Amazon.com will also let you log in with “PASSWORD,” “password,” “passwordpassword,” and “password12345.”

      Wired has been able to confirm the flaw, which was first reported on Reddit. It appears to affect only older Amazon.com accounts, which have not had their passwords changed in the past several years.

      Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Police use CS spray on tax protesters

      Tax avoidance protesters needed hospital treatment today after police used CS spray to break up a demonstration on Oxford Street in central London.

      Hundreds of people staged peaceful sit-ins at high street stores around the country as part of the latest UK Uncut day of action, designed to highlight companies it says are avoiding millions of pounds in tax.

    • Guardian Davos journalist’s sinister encounter with the Swiss riot police

      My day began listening to George Osborne debate the fragility of the global economy. It ended sitting on the floor of a freezing underground car park, hands bound behind my back, in the custody of Swiss riot police.

      A peculiar ordeal in ostensibly the world’s most peaceful nation began when, leaving Davos after four days covering the World Economic Forumsummit, my taxi to the Swiss resort’s railway station got clogged in traffic caused by an anti-capitalist demonstration. I hopped out and walked past a line of police to reach a platform where an uneasy mixture of demonstrators, skiers in full gear and WEF delegates were milling around. There were a few yells and chants – and the tinkling of glass being broken somewhere nearby.

    • The imperial war presidency

      Progressive groups have made so much noise cheering for the elimination of this or that weapon, that the overall increase in the military budget each year has been missed, just as it will be missed by any casual viewer of this week’s speech. But a group of hundreds of prominent activists, authors, and academics has recently released a statement outlining Obama’s militarist record and committing to oppose his candidacy for the Democratic nomination next year unless he changes course.

      Nearly two thirds of US citizens believe that our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq should be ended and that overall military spending should be dramatically reduced. Since he became president, Obama has had three opportunities to work with Congress to reduce military spending, but instead, has championed increases in that spending each time, despite the fact that this spending represents a clear threat to the economic future of our country.

    • Jordan protests: King Abdullah names Marouf Bakhit PM

      King Abdullah of Jordan has dismissed his cabinet and appointed a new prime minister amid large street protests.

      New PM Marouf Bakhit has been charged with carrying out “true political reforms”, but the Islamist opposition rejected the appointment.

  • Cablegate

    • Protect Your Friends — Protect Julian Assange

      Prof. James Duane, of the Regent University School of Law, explains how stating even a harmless fact to the police can enable them to convict you of a crime that you did not commit. (The second part too.) I didn’t refer to these on video.google.com because you need to run non-free/libre Javascript code to view the videos there, even if you use the free Gnash player instead of Adobe’s nonfree player which implements digital handcuffs.)

      During the present witch hunt, it’s worse. Innocent-seeming information they get from you could give them the opportunity to convict you or your friends, and Assange, even if you had nothing to do with the leak and neither did they.

      Suppose that federal agents believe that Bradley Manning knew J. R. Gensym. Suppose they find out that you met J. R. Gensym. They could try to pressure you into testifying that you helped Julian Assange communicate with J. R. Gensym and Bradley Manning (even if you didn’t). With that testimony, they can condemn Assange to a life of solitary confinement. Whatever they threaten you with, it won’t be as bad as the shame of knowing you were their tool to destroy Assange.

      If they don’t see a good way to use you against Assange, they might try to use your friends or acquaintances instead.

    • WikiLeaks And The Double Edge Of “Internet Freedom”

      Those new facts and accountability, as driven home by WikiLeaks’ information bombshells from the Afghan War Diaries to Cablegate over the past year, cut both ways. And no one has felt those cuts more strongly than the State Department itself.

      That paradox of U.S. Internet freedom policy has long been on the radar of Evgeny Morozov, the visiting scholar in the Liberation Technology Program at Stanford University. His new book The Net Delusion, published this month, takes on the State Department’s simplistic rhetoric on the Internet and authoritarianism, arguing that dismantling dictatorships around the world is a far more complex affair than piping in uncensored bandwidth.

    • Wikileaks: Libyan ‘frogman’ sent to train in Rome couldn’t swim

      One of the dispatches from Feb 17 2009 and titled “The frogman who couldn’t swim: a co-operation cautionary tale”, recounts how the Italian Government funded a Libyan to attend “a training program in Rome on underwater explosives detection and demolition”.

      It continues: “After several days of classroom instruction, the candidates – it was a regional course and included students from several countries – were taken to the pool for their first practical session in the water.

      “The instructor directed the students to don their masks and regulators and enter the deep end of the pool; however, after several minutes, the Libyan student had still not entered the water.

    • WikiLeaks: 9/11 gang with pilot uniforms fled to London

      Pilots’ uniforms, laptops, a smashed mobile phone and lists of air crew names were hardly typical holiday luggage, but nor did the hotel workers feel it was enough to merit calling the police.

      But the day after the guests checked out of the hotel, their odd behaviour suddenly seemed to make sense, to the horror of those who had witnessed it.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Papier-mache milk bottle arrives in UK supermarkets

      But now, inspired by a papier-mache balloon that his son made at school, Martin Myerscough believes he has come up with the answer. The GreenBottle, which looks remarkably like the conventional two-litre plastic bottles on supermarket shelves, comprises a sturdy paper shell with a plastic liner to keep the milk fresh.

  • Finance

    • Fresh Rules on Banks Could lead to More Crisis: Goldman President

      The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos saw Goldman Sachs President, Gary Cohn issuing a warning against the initiative to implement fresh regulations on banks. Such a step, said he, could lead to the next crisis by pushing risky activities towards hedge funds and other lightly supervised entities.

      The Goldman Sachs executive also criticized the regulators for their focus on traditional institutions.

    • Treasuries climb as official says Obama to seek spending freeze

      Demand for Treasuries as refuge eased as Al Arabiya television reported that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will announce plans to step down at the end of his term, renewing demand for higher-yielding assets such as stocks. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory data came three days before the Labor Department is forecast to report that the U.S. added jobs for a for a second consecutive month in January.

    • The Paradox of Corporate Taxes

      But Carnival’s biggest government benefit of all may be the price it pays for many of those services. Over the last five years, the company has paid total corporate taxes — federal, state, local and foreign — equal to only 1.1 percent of its cumulative $11.3 billion in profits. Thanks to an obscure loophole in the tax code, Carnival can legally avoid most taxes.

    • Citigroup Takes Over EMI

      Citigroup has taken over EMI, the British music label of the Beatles and Radiohead, under a restructuring of its debt, EMI announced on Tuesday.

    • Who Are the Biggest Corporate Welfare Queens?

      Tonight’s Open Thread: Who are the biggest recipients of Corporate Welfare?

    • Factory activity grows, hiring outlook brightens
    • Egypt’s Economy Is Near Paralysis

      International companies closed plants and sent workers home or out of the country; food staples went undelivered to stores; and banks remained closed during a week when many Egyptians, who are routinely paid monthly, would receive their paychecks.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Media Fights Propaganda Masked as News

      A coalition of journalist and civic organizations is waging a campaign to rid the Taiwan media of government propaganda masquerading as news, and signs are that the campaign has taken “the first steps” towards victory.

      The coalition said it will continue protesting government’s practice of “news buying” and the sharp rise in “embedded advertising” by agencies of the People’s Republic of China.

      In mid-January, Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan amended the Budget Law to prohibit the use of government funds to “buy” news. The government also issued an executive order requiring that official policy explanations in media “be identified as advertisements and news as news.”

  • Censorship

    • China micro-blogging sites censor ‘Egypt’
    • Parents Sue Expert Witness Who Made Fake Child-Porn of Their Kids

      An Ohio lawyer who serves as an expert witness in child pornography cases might be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in civil damages for Photoshopping courtroom exhibits of children having sex.

      Attorney Dean Boland purchased innocent pictures of four juvenile girls from a Canadian stock-image website, and then digitally modified them to make it appear as if the children were engaged in sexual conduct. Boland was an expert witness for the defense in half-a-dozen child porn cases, and he made the mock-ups to punctuate his argument that child pornography laws are unconstitutionally overbroad because they could be applied to faked photos.

    • The Terminator vs. the Constitution

      Does a zombie count as “an image of a human being”? What about an android or a shape-shifting alien? If his arm regenerates when you hack it off, does that still amount to “maiming”? Are you “killing” him if he comes back to life after you incinerate him with a flamethrower?

  • Privacy

    • Major privacy study signals a worrying increase in surveillance across Europe

      The UK improves its privacy performance since 2007 but France is catching up as Europe’s “worst surveillance society”

      A landmark EU-wide study of national privacy safeguards published today shows a decline in privacy protection across Europe and a steep increase in state surveillance over the lives of individuals.

    • Senator Calls for Privacy Protections for Device Location

      The increasing ability of mobile service providers to track customer locations raises “serious issues” for law enforcement and intelligence agencies, Wyden added. “This is a policy area where the law has not kept up with the times,” he said.

  • Civil Rights

    • Buzek on the developments in Egypt

      The entire world is watching what is happening in Egypt tonight and will hold the authorities accountable for any inappropriate use of force or any innocent death.

      In a democratic country, where the rule of law prevails, citizens are allowed to move freely, to talk to each other and to communicate with the rest of the world.

    • Egypt Lies I Read on Twitter: Debunking Rumors and Misinformation on the #Jan25 Uprising

      I’ll be honest, my Arabic isn’t perfect. But from what friends tell me, it makes no direct reference to looting. It does however, encourage security forces to go about in civilian attire and harass protesters.

    • Internet Freedom: CDT Statement on Egypt’s Internet Shutdown

      The Center for Democracy & Technology took position in response to the news that Egypt had cut Internet access and mobile services, below their press release.

    • Photographers: You’re Now Officially Free To Shoot In Public Places And Outside Federal Buildings
    • Is the Fourth Amendment Relevant in a Technological Age?

      This work will be a chapter in a forthcoming book in The Future of the Constitution series, edited by Jeffrey Rosen and Benjamin Wittes and published by the Brookings Institute. Over the past 200 years, the Fourth Amendment’s guarantees have been construed largely in the context of what might be called “physical searches” – entry into a house or car; a stop and frisk of a person on the street; or rifling through a person’s private papers. But today, with the introduction of devices that can see through walls and clothes, monitor public thoroughfares twenty-four hours a day, and access millions of records in seconds, police are relying much more heavily on what might be called “virtual searches,” investigative techniques that do not require physical access to premises, people, papers or effects and that can often be carried out covertly from far away. The Supreme Court’s current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence – specifically, its “knowing exposure,” “general public use,” “contraband-specific,” “assumption of risk” and “special needs” doctrines – has both failed to anticipate this development and continued to ignore it. This article describes this jurisprudence and how it can foster law enforcement abuse, mission creep, mistaken seizures and physical searches, and an oppressive atmosphere even for the innocent. It then outlines a more technologically-sensitive Fourth Amendment framework.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Ottawa enters dispute over higher Internet feesOttawa enters dispute over higher Internet fees

      The Harper government is stepping into a contentious debate over just how much Canadians should pay for Internet service, as Industry Minister Tony Clement says he will review a federal regulator’s decision that will raise prices for consumers and businesses.

      As people access increasing numbers of documents, video, software and other large files through the Internet, major communications providers such as Shaw Communications Inc. and BCE Inc.’s Bell Canada unit have begun to regulate how much their customers can download – charging them extra when they exceed monthly limits. Many consumers have responded by turning to smaller Internet providers that lease space on networks such as Bell’s and offer popular “unlimited” plans without such caps.

  • DRM

    • Hotz Will Ask Judge to Reconsider TRO Order – Updated

      Wired’s David Kravetz reports that George Hotz’s lawyers plan to ask US District Court Judge Susan Illston to reconsider her recent temporary restraining order and the requirement to surrender all his computers and peripherals and retrieve from the Internet any information he put there about hacking Sony’s Playstation 3 to allow running unsigned code and to restore OtherOS functionality.

    • Sony Trying To Play Whac-A-Mole Over PS3 Hack
    • Official PS3 firmware v3.56 has a rootkit
    • One Of The Earliest Computer Viruses Was Really DRM Gone Wrong

      Author William Gibson has a nice little opinion piece claiming that we’ve now hit the 25th anniversary of “digital vandalism” in the form of computer viruses. I’m pretty sure he’s wrong about that, as just a few years back there were all those news reports about how Rich Skrenta (who later went on to found the Open Directory Project, Topix and Blekko) created the first widespread computer virus in Elk Cloner back in 1982. That said, Elk Cloner was more of a prank. The virus Gibson is talking about was more malicious, in that it locked up files. So, if Gibson’s point is that this was the first malicious virus, perhaps that’s more accurate (though, I would imagine there are some other claims to the throne).

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Snail-like politics and the digital age

        If ever there was an unwanted stepchild of government policy, surely copyright reform would be it. But not for the expected reason — that, on paper anyway, it’s a subject that bores elected officials to tears.

        Quite the opposite, actually. Over the past two years, copyright reform has become a lightning rod that few politicians seem to want to touch.

        It’s not surprising therefore that the DVD-watching, internet-downloading world — from consumer advocates to artists and entertainment industry lobbyists alike — are frustrated with how slowly the legislative committee hearings on Canada’s proposed new copyright law, Bill C-32, have been going.

      • Hulu Owners Looking To Make Hulu Even More Useless

        It’s been almost two years since we suggested it might be impossible for Hulu to survive, given that it was in a bit of a “rock and a hard place” situation. The only way for it to really succeed long-term online was to disrupt the existing TV business. Because, if it didn’t do that, others could and would kill Hulu. However, Hulu is owned by the existing TV business, and that means the company can’t do what it needs to do.

      • Francis Ford Coppola, copyfighter

        In this interview with The 99%, Francis Ford Coppola says some extremely thought-provoking and sensible things about creativity, mastery, copyright, the business of the arts, collaboration, and life.

      • MPAA, BREIN take down more torrent sites; Internet barely notices

        At least 51 torrent sites have been taken down this month thanks to joint efforts by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and its dutch counterpart BREIN—12 in the US and 39 in the Netherlands. The two groups say they were able to work with the sites’ hosting providers to take them offline, though the names of the affected sites have not been released.

      • iTunes films break copyright laws

        Russian films are being made available through Apple’s iTunes service without the consent of the copyright holders, the BBC has learned.

        The popular films, dating from the Soviet era, are being made available to download as smartphone apps.

      • Porn industry goes after filesharers

        DOWNLOADING pornography over Bittorrent looks to be the easiest way of finding yourself fingered by lawyers for filesharing.

        A chap who wants to remain anonymous has collated publically available data on US cases against alleged filesharers during the period from 8 January 2010 through 21 January 2011. Some of the plaintiffs include such silver screen luminaries as Dogfart Productions, New Sensations and Hard Drive Productions.

      • Just Under 100,000 Sued In Mass Copyright Infringement Suits Since Start Of 2010

        We’ve been covering the mass copyright infringement lawsuits being filed in the US over the past year or so. Most of them aren’t designed with the idea of actually taking anyone to court, but mainly to threaten people into “settling” (i.e., paying up) to avoid the lawsuit. A “concerned citizen” hoping to remain anonymous has taken the time to put together an amazingly detailed spreadsheet cataloging all of these lawsuits. He claims that he will continue to keep it updated. One stunning point from the data? Between January 1, 2010 and now, 99,924 “John Does” have been sued in this manner. If I don’t hurry up and publish this post, I imagine we’ll have already passed 100,000.

      • ACTA

        • Triangulation 2: Michael Geist

          Columnist and law professor at the University of Ottawa, Dr. Michael Geist, who exposed the details of ACTA to the public, is this week’s guest.

        • ACTA: Negotiations May Be Done, But Debate Continues

          Next week, the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage will begin hearings on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The hearing are long overdue as many other countries have held hearings or other consultations on the agreement. The ACTA hearings come just as the issue heats up around the world:

          * An ACTA analysis conducted by European law professors that concludes the agreement is not fully consistent with EU law.

Clip of the Day

Police attack praying Egyptians

Credit: TinyOgg

FSF to Challenge Software Patents While Microsoft Uses Them to Extort GNU/Linux

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 4:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Microsoft’s products are running on empty, so the company is using patents as a form of tax imposed on the competition which is winning

TECHRIGHTS covers patents more than just about any site which focuses on Free/open source software. The issue of software patents ought to be widely recognised as the #1 barrier to adoption of GNU/Linux and the many patent lawsuits against Android — including several from Microsoft and its allies — should provide concrete evidence of this. The FSF will soon take part in a patents-focused discussion of the Churchill Club (which recently held a Wikileaks debate). The FSF’s Web site informs followers about this event:

FSF operations mananger John Sullivan and license compliance engineer Brett Smith will be on a Churchill Club panel discussion to argue against software patents.

For those who view software patents only as a prospective threat, one ought to serve a reminder about Microsoft profiting from Linux through companies like Novell, LG, Samsung, and others. When one buys Linux from these companies, Microsoft will be paid for it. This is rapidly becoming more of a cash cow to the monopolist and as Tim suggests, it may increasingly compete with Microsoft Office as the #1 ‘product’ of the company:

Today I’m looking at figures produced which allegedly show the amount of money Microsoft is losing online and ask the question based on those figures, is it only Office and patents which are keeping Microsoft alive?

We brought up the subject on the TechBytes show, so I thought it would be nice to elaborate on some of the sources I used for that particular section.


In my opinion, Microsoft has very little to offer. They have grown so large, that sustaining themselves with the products they do make returns on is no longer viable. For me it comes as no surprise that Microsoft would seek to get revenue from patent maneuvers. In the past I’ve made predictions, one of which being Ballmer will be gone come mid 2011, I also said that whilst Microsoft will not simply shut up shop, I think the Microsoft of the future will be far smaller and humble than the bloated monster it is today. What worries me are the products/companies it will bring down with it as it desperately tries to keep its position of power.

One way for Microsoft to further spread its patents and push them into GNU/Linux devices/distributions would be Mono, which is still intruding Ubuntu, including parts of Mono that Microsoft deemed uncovered by the "Community Promise". To quote a news item from a site that's apathetic towards Mono issues (part of the so-called “Mono lobby”: “The Sound Menu of Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha sees the return of play list support – an easy way to access your favourite track line-ups in Banshee without needing to open the app itself.”

This is Mono intrusion which may be going into panels in Ubuntu. The distinct problems associated with Novell’s Banshee were previously covered in :

Mono is partly developed by Microsoft now. It contains Microsoft code, licensed under Microsoft licences. This is not a “gift” — no more than the Greek bearing gifts. Watch out for new spin from the ‘Microsoft press’, courtesy of the company’s longtime booster, Kurt Mackie. It is just yet more deception and misdirection — some propaganda about “interoperability” and not open standards, where interoperability may also involve patent agreements like Novell’s. Microsoft executives are trying to spread some Trojan horses like Mono (.NET) and OOXML because they failed to embrace the community of Free software and failed to make their proprietary formats the ‘standard’ (OOXML, for example, is very scarcely used at all). Unless or until software patents are vapourised, Microsoft APIs are unsafe and are better off avoided (unless approached passively, e.g. Wine).

“The patent danger to Mono comes from patents we know Microsoft has, on libraries which are outside the C# spec and thus not covered by any promise not to sue. In effect, Microsoft has designed in boobytraps for us.”

Richard Stallman

Microsoft is Just a Skin

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Search at 3:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Google is peeling Microsoft’s ‘search/decision engine’ off

Peeling wall

Summary: Google alleges that underneath Bong [sic] there is just a lot of scraping of Google search engine results pages (SERPs)

Microsoft copying others is not news at all. There are so many examples of it, some more blatant than others (not to mention many products that are simply rebadged “Microsoft” or get acquired by Microsoft). But the following new accusation suggests that Microsoft is simply ripping off Google not by copying what they do but by literally copying their output, their product, almost verbatim:

Google has run a sting operation that it says proves Bing has been watching what people search for on Google, the sites they select from Google’s results, then uses that information to improve Bing’s own search listings. Bing doesn’t deny this.

As a result of the apparent monitoring, Bing’s relevancy is potentially improving (or getting worse) on the back of Google’s own work. Google likens it to the digital equivalent of Bing leaning over during an exam and copying off of Google’s test.

“I’ve spent my career in pursuit of a good search engine,” says Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow who oversees the search engine’s ranking algorithm. “I’ve got no problem with a competitor developing an innovative algorithm. But copying is not innovation, in my book.”

Giving Microsoft the benefit of the doubt for the time being, Tech Radar asks, “Is Bing copying Google’s search results?”

Bing has come under fire after Google claims that the Microsoft-owned search engine has been plagiarising Google’s own search results.

Google has been running a ‘sting operation’ to try and catch Bing in the act of copying Google’s search results and thinks it has succeeded.

Laurel says: “If Bing wins the market and Google goes under, THEN what do they do if Google isn’t around to copy?”

5 years ago, Steve Jobs said that Microsoft “spend[s] over five billion dollars on research and development and all they seem to do is copy Google and Apple.” He probably did not mean “copy” in the sense that we see above. Assuming the allegations turn out to be truthful, Microsoft has gone way too far in this case. It has turned Yahoo! search into a Bong [sic] skin, which is in turn just a front end to Google, at least on the face of it. No shame, eh? And speaking of Yahoo!, Microsoft blames Vista Phony 7 [sic] failure on this marionette it got. And if that’s not bad enough, watch what Microsoft adds to its allegedly scraped-from-Google search results: it adds anti-features to them, essentially introducing more surveillance and spying on users, then bragging about it:

Researchers from the University of Washington and Microsoft Research have found that cursor movements and cursor hovers can detect the relevance of a search result and whether a user may abandon the search.

Whose results are these anyway? Is Bong [sic] just a massive ripoff of Google? And if so, why ever use Bong? To be tracked by Microsoft, even at the level of mousing? By the way, Microsoft makes no computer mice, it just sticks its logo/brand on some. Skin indeed!

France is Ambivalent on Microsoft’s Monopoly Abuse

Posted in Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 3:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

French text

Summary: While rulers of France are presenting themselves as buddies of Microsoft, the people of France work towards eradication of this monopolist

WHAT IS going on in mighty land of the French? In France, Sarko et al. (even François Fillon) are serving Microsoft, whereas the people actually seem to be genuinely interested in software freedom. It is sometimes discovered that no country in Europe has embraced Free/open source software as much as France has. So how do Microsoft’s lobbyists (including Bill Gates) manage to distort this country’s policies? Recently we saw the outrageous 'Linux/UNIX tax' in France and earlier today we wrote about despicable remarks from François Fillon. Glyn Moody is now pointing at this report (‘French Govt: Illegal Downloading is Like “Stealing from a Shop”’) as he asks, “how can a magistrate be so ignorant of the law?”

Magistrate with Hadopi, the govt organization tasked with overseeing the country’s controversial “three-strikes” legislation, says that “stealing a copyrighted movie or music file isn’t legally different from stealing a book or DVD from a shop,” and that even though the country’s “three-strikes” law is having a limited effect it’s still delivering the message that “illegal downloading is wrong.”

“Stealing”? Really?

Kaspersky, which was mentioned here before, is also being accused of “source-code theft” right now. That’s not stealing though, it’s copyright violation. We discussed the misuse of such words earlier this week in the TechBytes audiocast. The words “theft” or “steal” get repeated endlessly in this article, e.g.:

Kasperesky Lab says the anti-virus source code that one of its employees stole three years ago and distributed online cannot harm customers of the company’s current products.

The code was stolen by a worker who had access to 2008 code for the company’s consumer products and who tried to sell it over the Internet. He was found guilty of the theft in Russia and received a three-and-a-half-year suspended sentence.

To the credit of the French, while there is legal action in Italy over Vista 7 bundling (refunds are already becoming possible in Denmark, in Portugal, and in Brazil, with more articles coming from Brazil about Windows refunds throughout this past week), not much has been done recently in France (there was a major case a few years back)… until now:

French Court of Cassation threatens bundled software

The French Court of Cassation says European directive regarding unfair commercial practice must be considered when judging bundled software issues. That should help consumers all over Europe to overthrow bundled sales of software with hardware.

China's Windows preinstalls rates are slowing, probably signalling a quiet rise in GNU/Linux usage. It sure seems like the end of Windows dominance on the desktop (or desktops in general, as a principal form factor). The days of operating system monopolies are fast approaching now that Android becomes the leading mobile operating system, followed by other platforms which are not Windows (it had dropped rapidly).

Links 1/2/2011: Android Leaps to #1 Spot; Git 1.7.4, Bangarang 2.0 Released; Fudcon 2011 Reports

Posted in News Roundup at 2:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Open source group preps Linux computer for Lunar X-Prize glory

    A group of Australian and New Zealander open source space enthusiasts collectively called Lunar Numbat is contributing Linux-based technology to the White Label Space team and its attempt to win Google’s $20 million Lunar X-Prize.

  • A monospace font beauty pageant

    I got a note the other day from Sam Block about the Tamsyn font, which is a beautiful little arrangement in a nice array of small point sizes.


    But I think I’ll stick with Terminus for now. If Tamsyn picks up line-drawing characters I might jump ship, but for now this is the best for me.

  • Desktop

    • Why We Insist on Linux on the Desktop

      The title to this article could just as easily have been, “Why We Don’t Use Windows.”

      Besides being inflammatory,…well, that’s reason enough.

      Far be it from me to ever publish anything controversial.

      The fact remains, we do insist on installing Linux with every computer we give away.

  • Server

    • Three Excellent Linux Router Distros + 1 BSD

      Special purpose appliance distributions are one of the things that Linux does extremely well. You can find any number of task-specific appliances from either Turnkey Linux or on the VMware Virtual Appliance marketplace. Another option is to roll your own with a service like Novell’s SUSE Studio. In this article we’ll take a look at four different specialized distributions targeted at the job of an Internet firewall or traffic router. Our list of candidates for this job includes Clear OS, m0n0wall, Untangle and Vyatta. We’ll give you a quick introduction to each along with some context to help steer you in the direction that makes the most sense for your application. Each one has its own set of features and distinctive, and we’ll try to highlight those for you.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Ballnux

    • 2 Million Galaxy Tabs Sold? Not Quite, Consumer Purchases Much Lower

      Samsung has been known to fudge the reality of their sales figures a bit, quoting units shipped to retailers as units “sold.” This is nothing new or all that suspicious; the implication is that if retailers are buying up items like the Samsung Galaxy Tab at a rate of 2 million units in the first four months after launch the Android tablet must be moving quite well from shelves. Not so, it turns out.

  • Kernel Space

    • Git 1.7.4
    • An Update On Reiser4 For The Mainline Linux Kernel

      In November of 2009 we reported that the Reiser4 file-system may go into the mainline Linux kernel in late 2010. We’re now into 2011 with the merge window having closed earlier this month for the Linux 2.6.38 kernel and there’s no sign of this open-source file-system designed to succeed the popular ReiserFS. So what gives? Well, we have another update from its lead developer.

    • Kernel Switcher Arrives | GDM/KDM/LXDM Support

      This is beta yet and if you have any ideas to implement, feel free to drop us a line. This is going to make our rolling release better. We will keep you posted of future changes of course.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Review: KDE 4.6

        A couple days ago, KDE 4.6 was released for the world to enjoy.


        Overall, I’m quite disappointed with KDE 4.6; more precisely, I’m disappointed with how it treated me today.

      • User Revolts

        That, I suspect, is why some users continue to be unreconciled with current KDE development. Technically, the innovations in KDE in the fourth release series are brilliant; they include easily changed multiple icon sets, enhanced searching and improvements to virtual desktops.

        But the only trouble is, a sizable chunk of users didn’t care about these improvements. For one thing, such improvements take time to learn, and may require the changing of old habits.

        Even more, importantly, though, the discontented users saw no need for these extra features and the slightly different ways of working and thinking that the extras imply. They were content with what they had, and many probably didn’t use many of the features that they already had.

      • Finding the unloved, 2011, part I

        So this is your chance to get involved and get maaany kudos for helping out in one of those areas. If you think your skills could fit or if you are just interested what those tasks would involve just take the necessary step and use the contact details.
        Do us a favour and let’s reduce this list to zero!

      • Bangarang 2.0 Released

        I’m happy to announce the release of Bangarang 2.0.

      • KDE 4.6 to be included in Linux Mint 10 KDE

        I know many people have been waiting for the KDE edition of Linux Mint 10 for a while now. This edition includes KDE 4.5.5 and both its 32-bit and 64-bit ISO were successfully tested about a week ago. After a discussion with Boo, we decided to upgrade KDE to the recently released 4.6 version. Because of the importance of this upgrade, the current ISOs are being rejected and the release will have to go through another cycle of testing again.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3 live CD / USB test image

        to help as many people as possible to test the (not yet released) GNOME-Shell (and GNOME 3), I’ve been working on a test image, which can be easily burned on any CD or dump on USB sticks, without the hassle of compiling the entire GNOME 3 stack with (the excellent) jhbuild.

  • Distributions

    • Linux and the Great App Store Agenda

      Are Linux’s current package managers really just overly complex clunkers, especially in a the age of App Stores and quick, no-brainer software installations? OpenDesktop.org’s Frank Karlitschek has called for a nice, cross-distro application installer system for Linux, and his supporters say it’s about time. Critics, however, point to many unified standards in the Linux world that have tried and failed in the past.

    • New Releases

      • Computer Lab International Announces New Linux Operating System

        Computer Lab International (CLI), a leading provider of thin client technology, today announced a new Ubuntu based thin client optimized operating system, adding to CLI’s specialized product portfolio. The goal was to develop a highly efficient Linux offering that is simple and flexible, while still providing strong performance.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2011 Delayed Due to Major Changes

        The Mandriva 2011 Technology Preview showcases some of the planned features of Mandriva 2011 currently available in Cooker and the upcoming Alpha. This includes native systemd, Networkmanager support, KDE 4.6.0, Linux 2.6.37, Firefox 4 beta 10, X.org X Server 1.9, Clementine 0.6 and lots of software updates. Most significantly, today’s preview introduces the new ISO image version.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Open source policy pleases Red Hat, Linux Australia

        Open source organisations Red Hat and Linux Australia have both welcomed the Federal Government’s revised approach to dealing with open source software, which will see a more active approach taken to the technology than that used in the past.

        Withdrawing from its 2005 declared position of “informed neutrality” on open source, late last week the Federal Government announced government agencies would have to consider open source software equally alongside proprietary software when buying products worth more than $80,000.

      • LCA Talk on Video

        I won’t spare you the video of my talk about systemd at linux.conf.au 2011 in Brisbane, Australia last week…

      • Red Hat Training Garners Top Results in IDC Analysis

        Red Hat training and certifications are highly respected across the industry as enterprises, governments and other organizations continue turning to open source to meet mission-critical IT needs. With the growth of open source, it’s becoming increasingly important for organizations to have a workforce that is trained and savvy in open source solutions.

      • Red Hat debuts deal registration

        Open-source software vendor Red Hat has launched a deal registration initiative for its Advanced and Premier partners in the UK.

        The rebate scheme will see partners rewarded with a financial incentive for each Red Hat product they sell to customers registered in the programme.

      • Fedora

        • GNOME 3 Test Day #1: Come try the new hotness

          Of course, GNOME 3 is one of the big new features of Fedora 15 – and the free software desktop in general. Fedora will be running three Test Days to aid in the final polishing and stabilization of the GNOME 3 release, and make sure Fedora 15 provides a good desktop experience. This is a great opportunity to help both GNOME and Fedora development and help make sure you can work effectively in GNOME 3 when it lands on your desktop. Even though these are Fedora events, you don’t have to run Fedora to join in, and since GNOME 3 will land in all the distributions soon, the testing will be just as valuable to your distribution: all the feedback will go to the GNOME developers for the benefit of all distributions. The first Test Day is this Thursday, 2011-02-03. You can participate just by visiting the wiki page, and following through the instructions you find there – it’s really easy! There will be other testers, Fedora QA team members and GNOME developers in the IRC channel – #fedora-test-day on Freenode IRC – all day long to help out and discuss issues with. If you don’t know how to use IRC, no problem – you can use WebIRC. If you click that link it will open the IRC channel (which is like a chat room) in a web page in any good browser.

        • FUDcon Tempe Day 1
        • Fudcon 2011: Day 2
        • FUDcon Tempe Day 2
        • An anthropologist’s view of an open source community

          In the first session of FUDCon talks this past weekend, Diana Harrelson reported on her anthropological study of the Fedora community, which she used to find ways to sustain and grow an open source development community. She studied the group from the Fedora 12 launch through the Fedora 13 development cycle while she was a master’s candidate at the University of North Texas. (She now has that degree and is working towards a PhD in human computer interaction.) Here’s are a few of her findings, much of which certainly apply across open source communities, not just to Fedora.

    • Debian Family

      • Oldest bug closed ever

        A few days ago, I closed two bugs in the #17xxx range and I found that pretty cool already. But a few hours ago, I closed #6734, which is the oldest bug I ever closed! It took more than 14 years for somebody to reply, oops…

      • Debian Project News – January 31st, 2011

        Debian 6.0 “Squeeze” to be released this weekend

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Developer Day!

          A long awaited blog post about the Ubuntu Developer Day. Jorge has been saying ‘PICS OR IT DIDNT HAPPEN!’ for a while now. Anyway, I got all the pictures today morning finally. I don’t remember how I first heard of Ubuntu Developer Day, but I remember registering within minutes of it being announced. I got a text the previous night reminding me that the registrations would start at 8:15 am and the sessions would start at 9 am.

        • AskUbuntu reaches 7000 questions – 15000 answers – 9800 users – 70000 votes

          Less than 4 months after the successful launch as permanent Q&A site in our new Ubuntu design, we have reached the 7000 question threshold. Those 7000 questions have been asked and answered to 90% more than 15000 answers by 9800 users. 70000 votes have been cast for the questions and answers.

        • Unity Places Files/Applications Is Back, Changes To Ubuntu Classic Desktop [Natty Updates]

          For now they are quite buggy and don’t always populate with apps/files, their icons are missing and so on, but this is the initial Unity-Places-Files and Unity-Places-Applications in Ubuntu 11.04 so they should receive a lot of updates until Ubuntu 11.04 is out.

        • Create Your Own Ubuntu Packages with GiftWrap

          Most applications that you want on your Linux desktop are available as ready-made binaries. Distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora have become popular enough that most package developers have started shipping their packages as rpms and debs. However, there’s always that one package that you want to install on your computer that is only available as a source release. For advanced users, installing a source release of an application is not a big problem. But, for novices it can be quite a daunting task. Also if you need to install the app in question on several computers it is easier to use a deb or rpm release.

        • File and Application places land in Ubuntu 11.04

          A new release of Ubuntu 11.04′s Unity Application places and File places has landed in the Natty repository today.

        • Ubuntu Aims to Make Open-Source Development ‘Personal’

          The ongoing Ubuntu Manual project is one facet of the broader campaign to promote Ubuntu development, while Canonical’s recent creation of a position for a “Developer Relations Advocate” represents a concrete commitment on the part of the company to engaging more independent contributions to the operating system. The portal at http://developer.ubuntu.com, which remains under construction, also caters to Ubuntu contributors.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint 10, Ubuntu 10.10, and Kubuntu 10.10

            Linux Mint has this nice new feature (to me at least) that has it start the installation while the user enters installation options such as user details, location, etc. The menus and graphics (including icons and window decorators) are stunning. Setting up dual-head in Ubuntu without proprietary drivers was easy, in Kubuntu it’s still not as easy (getting twinview). Overall, since both share the very same base (even same packages for the most part, except those which are preinstalled), comparison in this case ought to rely on what’s above the hood, mostly user experience.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Turn your old laptop into a photo frame

      Erik Pettersson has taken a 14-inch ThinkPad T42 running Ubuntu, switched on remote control software VNC, taken out all the unnecessary bits and pieces, and mounted it within an Ikea frame.

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

      • Android

        • First look: Honeycomb APIs power tablet-friendly Android apps

          Android 3.0, codenamed Honeycomb, introduces a completely new user interface suitable for tablet devices. Google has also extended the platform’s APIs so that third-party developers can make their applications work better on large form factors.

          The Android 3.0 SDK preview, which was released last week, offers an early look at some of the new features available to developers. We’ve been scouring the documentation and looking at the source code examples to see how all the pieces fit together. In this article, we will give you a concise overview of several key new features.


          We would normally provide links to the code examples described above. Unfortunately, Google hasn’t published the Android 3.0 documentation or code samples on the official Android reference website yet, but they can be obtained by downloading the SDK.

        • Canalys: Android overtakes Symbian as world’s best-selling smartphone platform in Q4 2010

          One day somebody will write a book called “The rise and rise of Android” and this moment will be highlighted in bold. Canalys’ latest smartphone sales figures show that Android phone makers managed to shift a cool 33.3 million handsets in the last quarter — more than any other smartphone platform out there, including the previous leader, Symbian, which sold 31 million units.

        • Google’s Android becomes the world’s leading smart phone platform

          In Q4 2010, volumes of Google OS-based smart phones (Android, OMS and Tapas) were again boosted by strong performances from a number of vendors, notably LG, Samsung, Acer and HTC, whose volumes across these platforms grew 4,127%, 1,474%, 709% and 371% respectively year-on-year. HTC and Samsung together accounted for nearly 45% of Google OS-based handset shipments.

        • STATS: Android is now “the world’s leading smartphone platform”

          It’s time for Google’s Android team to crack open a bottle of organic carbonated California apple juice, as the latest stats from market research outfit Canalys have Android as the number one smartphone platform around the world.

        • Brainchild Shows Off Kineo: Android Tablet with a Focus on Education

          Today at the Florida Educational Technology Conference Brainchild unveiled their new Android tablet, the Kineo. The Kineo features a 7-inch 800×480 touchscreen, 800MHz CPU, and 2GB of storage. Wi-Fi and HDMI out round out a tablet that would otherwise be forgettable if it wasn’t for a special focus on primary and middle school education. The Kineo is designed to be distributed in the classroom, and in addition to educational applications sports some pretty solid security features to prevent students from accessing unapproved content.

        • Android captures 22 per cent of the tablet market

          THE OPEN SOURCE Android operating system from Google was loaded onto 22 per cent of tablet devices sold in the last quarter of 2010.

          Figures from research outfit Strategy Analytics showed that 9.7 million tablets were sold in the final three months of 2010 and that Android was loaded on 2.1 million of those devices. The figures also showed what everyone already knew, that Apple’s Ipad still commands a healthy lead in the tablet market, taking over 75 per cent of sales in the last quarter of 2010. However things are not looking all that great for Apple, according to the market research firm.

        • Prediction: In Two Years, Apple Will Have Less Than 50 Percent of the Tablet Market

          With tablets running the Google mobile OS beginning to proliferate now, those days of Apple’s easy dominace of the market are winding down. Shipments of Android devices in the quarter, for example, leapt to 2.1 million units from about 100,000. “Apple’s volumes will continue to go up, but market share will inevitably go down,” Strategy Analytics’ director Neil Mawston told Bloomberg . “Even at $500 retail, based on some of the research we’ve done, that’s probably two or three times more than what most mass market consumers are expecting to pay….If you were to ask me in two years time will Apple have less than 50 percent of the global tablet market, I think that’s a certainty.”

        • Android Tablet Sales Narrow The iPad’s Lead (UPDATE)

          Android’s gains on the iPad may not have been as significant as Strategy Analytics initially reported in Business Week. According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung shipped two million Samsung Galaxy Tabs, rather than having sold two million devices. The WSJ transcript includes an exchange with a Samsung exec, who when pressed on an earnings call, said that actual sales were “quite small.”

        • Researchers enable mesh WiFi networking for Android smartphones

          An Australian research group from Flinders University has found a way to apply WiFi mesh networking onto the Android operating system, allowing phones to act as access points over radio waves to transmit voice calls as data. While the system currently only works between phones relatively close together, the researchers hope the use of transmitters will extend the service to remote areas for emergency use.

        • Tablets: Apple Loses 20 Percent Market Share To Android In Just One Quarter

          Someone at Samsung must have been a little red-faced today, when the mobile giant got called on how it reported its figures for the Galaxy Tab. What was originally portrayed as two million units sold turned out to actually be only two million devices shipped—a big difference in terms of how many of those devices were actually getting into the hands of consumers. Yet some would argue that the number of shipped devices can be an adequate enough gauge of market demand. If so, Android has made some incredible headway into this still-new market—with volumes growing 2,000 percent sequentially—even if Apple’s iPad is still on top with a 75 percent market share.

        • Netgear CEO says ‘closed’ Apple is doomed

          Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ insistence on a closed iOS platform is dragging his company down, dooming it to be overtaken by Google Android, according to the chairman and CEO of… Netgear.

          “Once Steve Jobs goes away, which is probably not far away, then Apple will have to make a strategic decision on whether to open up the platform,” Netgear co-founder Patrick Lo told a Sydney, Australia, gathering on Monday, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

          “Ultimately a closed system just can’t go that far …” he said. “If they continue to close it and let Android continue to creep up then it’s pretty difficult as I see it.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • Definitions: media, freedom, web.

    The kind of freedom I am talking about: The openendedness of digital things. Bulding things we can build on.

    Loosely, I’m talking about software freedom here. In 1986, Richard Stallman declared that software should have four freedoms. Paraphrased they are: the freedom to use, study, remix and share. While many people don’t buy into the four freedoms per se, the basic ideas are widely accepted. Some rough approximation of use / study / remix / share is what most people mean when they say ‘free’ or ‘open’ in relation to technology.

    Freedom in this sense is useful conceptual frame that not only helps us understand the web but may also give us tools to reinvent the media of the past. It’s use / study / remix / share that make the web openended. The same frame offers a useful set of design tools as we start to reinvent media more widely.

  • 12 open source books

    Open source is very dedicated to sharing information, comparing and learning, then in this article i will recommend some readings of open books that you can download, read and if you want print freely.

  • Open-source software on the menu for FOSS Fair

    Students interested in learning more about free and open-source software can sign up for the Feb. 12 FOSS Fair.

    Red Hat is sponsoring the Free and Open Source Software Fair. Students on campus utilize open software on a daily basis at computer labs that allow them to use certain programs to complete assignments. The FOSS Fair is an initiative to educate others about the open source community through discussion.

    Jack Neely, a Linux specialist with the Office of Information Technology and this year’s FOSS Fair Organizer, said the event is supposed to be a fun, informal affair for attendees.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • MDN doc sprint was a huge success

        More than 30 contributors from at least a dozen countries, touching approximately 300 documentation pages.

        Those are the results from the documentation sprint that started Friday, January 28 at 14:00 UTC. While the sprint was scheduled to end at midnight UTC on Saturday, some participants were still making updates on Sunday.

      • Mozilla slips ‘Do Not Track’ header into Firefox nightlies

        Mozilla has uploaded a working prototype of its “Do Not Track” http header into the Firefox nightly builds.

        Anyone interested in testing the header can do so by downloading a pre-beta version of Firefox, but it won’t have any real effect until websites and advertisers chose to recognize the thing.

      • Why Firefox 4 Will Never Pass The Acid3 Test

        Mozilla has responded to complaints that Firefox 4 is not scoring 100/100 points in Ian Hickson’s Acid 3 web standard compliance test. Firefox 4 stands at 97/100 and is unlikely to improve its score.

  • Oracle

    • Looking Ahead to Java SE 7 and 8: A Discussion with Oracle’s Java Language Architect, Brian Goetz

      We caught up with Oracle’s Java Language Architect, Brian Goetz, to get his thoughts on concurrency, Java SE 7 and 8, developments in the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), and more.

    • Re-booting OpenJDK governance

      After IBM and then Apple joined the OpenJDK Community it became clear that it was time to revive the effort to create a written set of rules by which the Community will operate.

      I’m happy to report that, since last November, I’ve been doing just that: Drafting a set of Community Bylaws in collaboration with John Duimovich and Jason Gartner of IBM, Mike Milinkovich of Eclipse, Prof. Doug Lea of SUNY Oswego, and Adam Messinger of Oracle.

  • Project Releases

    • Version 5.50 of the Nmap network scanner released

      After more than a year of development, the Insecure.org developers have released version 5.50 of Nmap, their popular open source network scanner and mapper. According to the developers, the primary focus of this second stable update since Nmap 5.00 is the Nmap Scripting Engine (NSE); this “has allowed Nmap to expand up the protocol stack and take network discovery to the next level”.

    • Teiid 7.3 Final Released

      We are pleased to announce Teiid 7.3 is now available.

  • Government

    • EC prefers open source for new IT systems deployed by contractors

      The European Commission prefers to use open source software for the development of new information systems if it plans to deploy these outside of its own datacenters and premises. That is one of the new commitments in the EC’s policy on open source, that was published on 15 December.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • The road to individual voter registration will be paved with data sharing

        An electoral services officer there told me how officers used to loudly proclaim how registering to vote wouldn’t lead to the data being shared with tax, immigration or any other parts of government. Now that’s all gone, the officer said, and in the small print on the back of the form you are told that it is (quite legally) shared across local and central government, as well as with credit agencies, of course.

      • Open Public Data: Then What? – Part 2

        One may believe that one of the three scenarios for the future of Open Public Data that I discussed in my previous post is more likely than the other. The problem is, why? What actions, decisions, or conditions, are more likely to get us going along one road rather than the other? Can we go wrong on one count, and right on another? I believe we have hardly begun to figure that out.


  • Free Metro Can’t Stop Making Money

    But it would not surprise me in the least if it made the best part of £30m in its last financial year and, quite possibly, even more.

    An executive at one of its publishing partners told me yesterday that she thought it might “north of that”, adding: “It’s had one helluva year.”

    Though Metro’s managing director, Steve Auckland, is tight-lipped about the figures, he is more than welcome to talk about the rising fortunes of the free paper that is ranked third in terms of national daily circulation (after The Sun and the Daily Mail) with an ABC-audited distribution of 1.38m copies a day.

  • Science

    • Making quantum memory from an almost-classical system

      It’s an understatement to say that quantum computing is a hot topic in physics right now, and we’ve seen many demonstrations of qubits and toy computers—or, rather, registers—performing example computations. If you were slightly cynical, you might note that quantum implementations of algorithms, which are supposed to run faster than in classical computing, are all very, very slow. But that’s how research goes.

    • Google Docs and LaTeX

      Google Docs is a great way to collaborate on documents and for a lot of people can probably replace large, expensive office suites with a free, online solution. When I first started using the service, the features were pretty basic. I noticed today that there was a link to a list of new features. A couple of these were particularly interesting. Since some of these features have been around for a while without me noticing, I thought it might be worth a blog post.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Egypt: The Epic Fail of the New York Times’ Op-Ed Page

      Remarkably, the New York Times still (as of Jan. 30) has not run a single regular column or guest column focused on Egypt since the protests against the Mubarak dictatorship arose over the past week. This epic negligence and evasiveness speaks volumes about the poverty of public discourse in America. As the free will of editors and columnists from our national paper coincides with Mubarak’s censorship, we are witnessing further confirmation of what Chris Hedges has called “the death of the liberal class.”

      The Obama administration appears to have been caught totally flat-footed by Tunisia and Egypt. It has struggled to articulate a coherent position: first remarking that the Egyptian government is stable and that Mubarak is not a dictator; then urging restraint on all sides before finally advocating democracy and free and fair elections — though refusing to point out that this cannot be achieved until Mubarak and hand-picked successors leave the scene.

    • G20 Defendant Alex Hundert Released from Prison, Actions of Crown Widely Condemned

      After having spent three consecutive months in jail without trial, G20 defendant Alex Hundert was released from the Toronto West Detention Centre on January 24th.

      His release came after he signed a plea bargain with the Crown that he was guilty of being in breach of his “no protest condition” for being present during one portion of the panel at Ryerson University. The plea found him not guilty of breach for speaking on a panel at Laurier University, nor did the plea establish that speaking on a panel was equivalent to a public demonstration.

    • Exclusive: Tunisia Internet Chief Gives Inside Look at Cyber Uprising

      When Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s dictatorship began unraveling here last month amid violent street protests, Tunisia’s internet administrators saw a massive spike in the number of sites placed on government block lists. But, in contrast to the embattled Egyptian government, the Ben Ali regime never ordered internet and cellphone communications shut off or slowed down, the head of the Tunisian Internet Agency says.

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Global fish consumption at record high: UN

      Global fish consumption has hit a record high, an increase largely attributable to a booming fish-farm industry, a UN report says.

      In a report released Monday, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said the global per capita consumption of fish reached a “new all-time high” in 2008.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • A News Corp. Digital History Lesson For The Daily

      My enduring image from that time is of Murdoch himself, his hand bandaged and in a sling following a sailing accident on Larry Ellison’s boat. The iGuide team was gathered in a standing circle at our trendy downtown Manhattan offices as Murdoch rallied the troops in his gruff Australian accent. Everything was going great, he assured us, and Ellison was coming on board to help foot the bill for our extravagant operation. But, in the end Ellison, wasn’t in—and maybe six weeks later we were all out.

  • Censorship

  • Civil Rights

    • EFF Uncovers Widespread FBI Intelligence Violations

      EFF has uncovered widespread violations stemming from FBI intelligence investigations from 2001 – 2008. In a report released today, EFF documents alarming trends in the Bureau’s intelligence investigation practices, suggesting that FBI intelligence investigations have compromised the civil liberties of American citizens far more frequently, and to a greater extent, than was previously assumed.

    • Republican Congressman Proposes Tracking Freedom of Information Act Requests

      Representative Darrell Issa calls it a way to promote transparency: a request for the names of hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens, business executives, journalists and others who have requested copies of federal government documents in recent years.

    • Know Your Rights: What To Do If You’re Stopped By Police, Immigration Agents or the FBI

      - You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud.
      - You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car or your home.
      - If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave.
      - You have the right to a lawyer if you are arrested. Ask for one immediately.
      - Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you have constitutional rights.

    • 2010 — the Uyghur Human Rights Year in Review

      At the conclusion of 2009, the outlook for Uyghur human rights looked very bleak indeed. In December of that year, 20 Uyghur asylum seekers were deported from Cambodia under intense Chinese pressure. The deportation capped off a year of human rights reversals in East Turkestan (also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) that stemmed from an outbreak of unrest in the regional capital of Urumchi on July 5. In the following months mass detentions, reports of torture, enforced disappearances, trials that fell short of international standards and swift executions marked a period of extreme difficulty for the Uyghur people. Although 2010 brought the reestablishment of Internet and international communications, as well as the removal of the unpopular Party Secretary Wang Lequan, there were few indications that the economic and social issues underlying the 2009 unrest were being addressed.

    • Supreme Court to revisit DNA retention

      The UK is still to put an end to the breach identified by the ECtHR, the obligation of cessation. Back in 2008, in Don’t delay: Delete your DNA today, I suggested that no legislative change was necessary to comply with this obligation, a simple amendment to the Association of Chief of Police Officers (ACPO) regulations would have sufficed. The police took no such action and still retain, for an indefinite period, DNA of as many individuals – innocent and guilty alike – as they can collect.

    • Brazilian Communications Agency Moves Towards Surveillance Superpowers

      January is the month when the Brazilian version of the popular TV show Big Brother returns to the air. For three months, a bunch of people are locked inside a house and their lives are broadcast 24/7. A TV show premised on nonstop surveillance might sound like fun to some people, but it is disturbing when governments engage in similar practices. The Brazilian national communications agency (aka Anatel) announced a few days ago a plan to implement 24/7 surveillance over the more than 203 million cell phones in the country.

    • EU Commission Pushes For Private “Cooperation” Against Our Freedoms

      Since 2009, the EU Commission has been convening regular meetings at the Internal Market Directorate General. This working group supervised by Margot Froehlinger involves Internet Service Providers and the copyright industries. The goal is clear: to require ISPs to police their networks and online services so as to “decentralize” the war on sharing through so-called self-regulation.

      Last September, PCINpact leaked internal documents showing that network-based filtering methods had been considered as a way to prevent people from sharing cultural goods on peer-to-peer networks. Other items of discussion includes the unauthorized collection and processing personal data on file-sharers as a way to identify and, eventually, punish them. Such “cooperation” could therefore result in access restrictions being imposed on alleged infringers as “HADOPI-style”, extra-judicial sanctions.

    • 3 Projects to Create a Government-less Internet

      In Cory Doctorow’s young adult novel Little Brother, the protagonist starts a wireless ad-hoc network, called X-Net, in response to a government crack-down on civil liberties. The characters use gaming systems with mesh networking equipment built-in to share files, exchange message and make plans.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Canadians Just Became World’s Biggest Internet Losers

      YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, iPad. . . and whatever else is about to take the world by storm, making all of those digital breakthroughs seem old news. Surely it’s obvious by now that Canadians are going to be better off if we foster digital media creativity, rather than leaving it to people in other countries.

      But tell that to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the body supposedly responsible for regulating electronic media for our well-being. The CRTC has decided to allow Bell and other big telecom companies to change the way Canadians are billed for Internet access. Metering, or usage-based billing (UBB), will mean that service providers can charge per byte in addition to their basic access charges.

    • My UBB complaint to Canada’s Competition Bureau.

      Instead of lodging a general complaint about usage-based billing I thought I’d make mine a bit more personal. Read on to see what I mean…

    • Cash, please! A Nordic change of heart on net neutrality

      Telenor, one of the largest Internet providers in Norway, used to love net neutrality; back in 2009, it voluntarily signed on to a net neutrality code of conduct. So imagine Norwegian surprise this week when Telenor bosses went public with their hope to charge sites like YouTube and state broadcaster NRK.

      In an interview with the business daily Dagens Næringsliv, a Telenor exec made the usual case: YouTube uses too much traffic and it needs to compensate ISPs for it.

  • DRM

    • Wal-Mart DRM reminder: The nightmare returns

      This afternoon, an e-mail popped into my inbox that–at first glance–looked ripe for immediate deletion.


      Of course, I suppose it’s nice that Wal-Mart has the courtesy to remind its customers how they can still listen to that music (and continues to provide support). Still, the e-mail serves as a brutal slap in the face as to how far off the music industry was just a few short years ago.

    • The PS3 Hack Injunction Shows The Problems Of Judges Who Don’t Understand Technology

      Furthermore, the judge has ordered Hotz to “retrieve the code” that has been distributed. Yes, think about that for a second. Retrieve the code. As if it were a dog that went out for a saunter. You don’t “retrieve” code once it’s out there on the internet. It doesn’t go away. You would think that anyone alive during the whole AACS debacle would recognize the pointlessness of trying to suppress released code that is already of great public interest.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • P2P Site Operator Appears in French File-Sharing “Show Trial”

        The owner of a file-sharing site active more than 5 years ago went on trial today in the French capital, Paris. Vincent Valade is accused by entertainment companies of profiting heavily from the unauthorized distribution of more than 7,000 movies. If convicted he faces up to 3 years in jail, 300,000 euros in fines and compensation settlements running to millions of euros.

      • Copyright is a Limitation of Property Rights

        Copyright is not a property right. It is a limitation of property rights. Copyright is a government-sanctioned private monopoly that limits what people may do with things they have legitimately bought.

        When I buy a chair, I hand over money and I get the chair and a receipt. This chair has been mass-produced from master data at some sort of plant. After money has changed hands, this particular chair is mine. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. I have bought one of many identical copies. The receipt proves it.

      • Ironic That Xerox Wants Laws To Break The Copying Machine On The Internet

        We’ve already discussed the list of companies that have come out in favor of censoring the internet via domain name seizures and laws like COICA which extend the ability to censor the web through breaking the basic DNS system.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Rights Holders Alliance To Defend Digital Economy Act

          A coalition of rights holders including the Premier League and trade bodies representing the music, film and TV industries is lining up to intervene against internet service providers in the judicial review of legislation to tackle illegal downloading.

          The Premier League and eight other organisations, including the Producers’ Alliance for Cinema and Television (Pact), the Motion Picture Association and music industry body the BPI, have been given permission by the high court to defend the Digital Economy Act’s provisions for policing internet piracy.

Clip of the Day

Building Web Applications with Java EE 6

Credit: TinyOgg

ES: Francia es Ambivalente sobre el Abuso Monopolico de Microsoft

Posted in Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 1:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

French text

(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: Mientras los gobernantes de Francia se presentan como amigotess de Microsoft, la gente trabaja en Francia para la erradicación de este monopolio.

¿Qué está pasando en la tierra de maravillas de los franceses? En Francia, Sarkozy et al. (Incluso François Fillon) están sirviendo a Microsoft[http://techrights.org/2011/02/01/francois-fillon-and-microsoft/], mientras que el pueblo francés realmente parece estar interesado en la libertad del software. A veces se ha descubierto que ningún país en Europa ha adoptado libre/software de código abierto tanto como Francia. Entonces, ¿cómo los grupos de presión de Microsoft (entre ellos Bill Gates) logran distorsionar las políticas de este país? Recientemente vimos los escandalosos “Linux/UNIX impuestos” en Francia y en el día de hoy hemos escrito sobre los comentarios despreciables de François Fillon. Glyn Moody está señalando en este informe[http://www.zeropaid.com/news/92415/french-govt-illegal-downloading-is-like-stealing-from-a-shop/] (“Gobierno francés: la descarga ilegal es igual que a “El robo de una tienda””), como el mismo se pregunta, “¿cómo puede un magistrado ser tan ignorante de la ley?”

Magistrado con Hadopi, la organización encargada de supervisar Gobierno del país controvertida “tres strikes” la legislación, dice que “robar una película o archivo de música con derechos de autor no es jurídicamente diferente de robar un libro o DVD de una tienda”, y que a pesar de que del país “tres strikes” la ley está teniendo un efecto limitado esta dejando el mensaje de que “las descargas ilegales están mal.”

“Robo”? ¿En serio?

Kaspersky, que se ha mencionado aquí antes[http://techrights.org/2010/03/16/eugene-kaspersky-and-patching/], también está siendo acusado de “robo de código fuente[http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/013111-kaspersky-antivirus.html?source=nww_rss]” en este momento. Eso no es robar, sin embargo, es violación de derechos de autor. Hablamos sobre el mal uso de palabras tales principios de esta semana en el audiocast TechBytes. Las palabras “robo” o “robar” se repiten sin cesar en este artículo, por ejemplo:

El laboratorio Kasperesky dice que el código fuente de anti-virus que uno de sus empleados robó hace tres años y distribuidos en línea no puede dañar a los clientes de los productos actuales de la empresa.

El código fue robado por un trabajador que tenía acceso a 2008 Código de productos de consumo de la empresa y que trató de vender a través de Internet. Fue declarado culpable de robo en Rusia y recibió una sentencia de tres años y medio de duración en suspensión.

Para el crédito de los franceses, mientras que hay una acción legal en Italia[http://techrights.org/2011/01/25/carlo-piana-vs-bundling/], en Vista 7[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Vista_7_Reality_Log] bundling (restituciones ya se están haciendo posible, en Dinamarca[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Vista_7_Reality_Log], en Portugal[http://techrights.org/2010/12/09/portugal-win7-refunded/], y en Brasil[http://techrights.org/2010/11/23/discriminatory-bundling-challenged/], con más artículos provenientes de Brasil sobre los reembolsos de Windows a lo largo de la semana pasada), no mucho se ha hecho recientemente en Francia (hubo un caso importante hace unos años) … hasta ahora[http://racketware.info/news/french-court-of-cassation-threatens-bundled-software]:

Tribunal de Casación francés amenaza paquete de software

El Tribunal de Casación francés, dice la directiva europea sobre prácticas comerciales desleales deben ser considerados al juzgar los problemas de software incluido. Eso debería ayudar a los consumidores de toda Europa para derrocar a las ventas de paquetes de software con hardware.

Preinstalaciones de Windows en China[http://techrights.org/2011/01/31/decline-in-windows-business/] están disminuyendo las tasas de Windows, probablemente, señalando un tranquilo crecimiento del uso de GNU/Linux . Seguro que parece el fin del dominio de Windows en el escritorio (o de escritorio en general, como un factor de forma principal). Los días de los monopolios del sistema operativo se acercan rápidamente asu fin, ahora que Android se convierte en el principal sistema operativo para móviles, seguida de otras plataformas que no son Windows (que se ha reducido precipitosamente).

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

ES: La Influencia de Microsoft Sobre el Gobierno Francés en Medio de los Impuestos contra Linux y Apple “Violaciónes” de Derecho de Autor

Posted in Apple, Europe, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 1:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

François Fillon
Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen

(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: A la luz de la evolución preocupante de un impuesto sobre Android y IOS dispositivos, la relación de Francia con Microsoft se compara con la de Microsoft y el gobierno de Estados Unidos.

François Fillon[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_Fillon], Primer Ministro de Francia, acaba de decir algo indignante que ayuda a confirmar que la influencia de Microsoft está generalizada en el gobierno francés. Una traducción automática de este artículo[http://www.framablog.org/index.php/post/2011/01/29/fillon-microsoft] dice que “según François Fillon, Microsoft es el futuro de la economía mundial” (título) y:

No sólo Microsoft “Representa el futuro de la economía mundial”, sino también que Microsoft “simboliza muchas de las prioridades de la política económica del Gobierno”!

Recordemos el Sarko papel en el escándalo de OOXML (y otros)[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Nicolas_Sarkozy] y, más recientemente, el impuesto sobre Android[http://techrights.org/2011/01/12/french-android-tax/] que sale de Windows en el claro. ¿Esta Nicolas Sarkozy, tomando algunas instrucciones directas de Bill Gates? En general, las patentes y de patentes impuestos (o en este imposición de derechos de autor caso) se adapte a Microsoft muy bien y dado todo lo que la Fundación Gates[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Gates_Foundation_Critique] y el Gates|Abramoff lobbyism[http://techrights.org/2008/12/22/microsoft-gates-abramoff-connection/] (Gates también está financiando la más grande del mundo troll de patentes), este es el tipo de ambiente creado y conservado por aquellos a quienes el sistema está a la venta. La Fundación Gates también está pagando millones a NPR ahora, con el fin de servir mejor a su programa. Como el Dr. Gene Nelson se puso ayer en un correo electrónico enviado a su servidor, “desde que Gates se convirtió en un importante donante NPR, ellos no cubren la historia de las Visa H-1B no más. Fui entrevistado en dos ocasiones en los artículos que aparecieron en la crítica de H-1B antes de que Gates se haga cargo de la NPR.”

Microsoft es también uno de los grupos de presión importantes de patentes, junto con la Fundación Gates, que financia las patentes y hace que los contribuyentes pagan por patentes que no sirven al público. El Presidente de los EE.UU. también – después de haber pasado demasiado tiempo con los ultra-ricos de la nación[http://techrights.org/2011/01/14/gates-buffett-politicas/] – se hace eco de sus puntos, habla de los monopolios de patentes. Críticos de hacer una sugerencia a Obama en materia de patentes[http://techrights.org/2011/01/28/uspto-prominently-broken/], pero escuchará?

Matt Yglesias ensarta limpiamente al Estado de la Unión de Obama en su alusión autocomplaciente de nuestras patentes: “Ningún país tiene empresas de más éxito, o si concede más patentes a los inventores y empresarios.”

He aquí un nuevo ejemplo[http://www.medindia.net/news/US-Stem-Cell-Research-is-Being-Hindered-by-Rush-for-Patents-79959-1.htm] en las patentes pueden estar costando vidas. Es como los carteles RPX[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/RPX] que ayudan a defender sólo las familias ricas y las grandes empresas, mientras que los pequeños son en su mayoría incapaces de ponerse al día y aquí es la defensa de un abogado de patentes de la misma[http://gametimeip.com/2011/01/31/why-is-rpx-going-public-ask-willie-sutton/]:

La semana pasada, aprendimos que RPX Corporation (que significa Intercambio “Racional” de Patentes) pronto tendrán una oferta pública inicial, que ofrece hasta $ 100 M de acciones al público. Mucho se ha escrito por bloggers y periodistas, en referencia a RPX como Adquirente Defensivo de Patentes , Agregador defensivo, y de Patente Risk Manager. Otros explican que RPX va a aprovecharse de “arreglar el lío de patentes.” La descripción no es más desconcertante que la denominación de “Troll Aseguradora de Patentes .” Maureen O’Gara RPX escribe que es “aparentemente haciendo riqueza por la venta de seguros troll.” Techrights tiene una opinión diferente, que describe la organización como un cartel.

La naturaleza de la misma es similar a eso. Para citar una definición de “cártel[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartel]“, que es “un formal (explícito) el acuerdo entre empresas competidoras.” El acuerdo está hecho de tal manera que sólo aquellos con una gran cantidad de patentes y un montón de dinero en efectivo se permiten en el club a fin de que – a diferencia de otros – se les permite competir en el mercado. RPX es sólo parte de un problema más amplio en este caso. La raíz del problema es el sistema de patentes, que está diseñado para reforzar el monopolio en lugar de recompensar la innovación. Barnier se compromete a globalizar este problema [1[http://techrights.org/2009/12/18/eu-commission-for-michel-barnier/], 2[http://techrights.org/2010/10/28/community-patent-and-barnier/], 3[http://techrights.org/2010/11/06/eu-system-unified-wrt-uspto/], 4[http://techrights.org/2010/12/13/excluding-italy-for-swpats/]].

Nicolas Sarkozy and Bill Gates
Screenshot of last week’s news (Nicolas
Sarkozy and Bill Gates shake hands)

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

Microsoft’s Influence Over the French Government Amid Linux/Apple Copyright Violation Tax

Posted in Apple, Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 1:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

François Fillon
Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen

Summary: In light of disturbing developments involving a tax on Android- and iOS-powered devices, France’s relationship with Microsoft is compared to that of Microsoft and the United States government

François Fillon, the Prime Minister of France, has just said something outrageous that helps confirm Microsoft is pervasive in the French government. An automated translation of this article says that “[a]ccording to François Fillon, Microsoft is the future of the global economy” (headline) and:

Not only Microsoft “Represents the future of the global economy” but also Microsoft “Symbolizes many of the priorities of the Government’s economic policy” !

Let us remember Sarko’s role in the OOXML scandal (and others) and more recently the Android tax which leaves Windows in the clear. Is Nicolas Sarkozy taking some instructions from Bill Gates? In general, patenting and patent taxing (or in this case copyright taxing) suits Microsoft very well and given all that Gates Foundation and Gates|Abramoff lobbying (Gates is also funding the world’s biggest patent troll), this is the type of environment created and preserved by those to whom the system is for sale. The Gates Foundation is also paying millions to NPR now, in order to better serve its agenda. As Dr. Gene Nelson put it yesterday in an E-mail sent to yours truly, “since Gates became a major NPR donor, they do not cover the H-1B Visa story any more. I was interviewed twice in items that appeared on NPR critical of H-1B before Gates took over.”

Microsoft is also one of the major patent lobbyists, along with the Gates Foundation which funds those patents and makes taxpayers pay for patents that do not serve the public. The US President too — having spent too much time with the nation's wealth (ultra-rich people) — is echoing their talking points about patent monopolies. Critics make a suggestion to Obama regarding patents, but will he listen?

Matt Yglesias does a neat skewering of Obama’s State of the Union self-congratulatory allusion to our patents: “No country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs.”

Here is a new example where patents may be costing lives. It is cartels like RPX that help defend just rich families and big companies while small ones are mostly unable to catch up and here is a patent lawyer’s defence of it:

Last week, we learned that RPX Corporation (which stands for “Rational Patent Exchange) will soon have an IPO, offering up to $100 M worth of stock to the public. A lot has been written by bloggers and journalists, referring to RPX as Defensive Patent Acquirer, Defensive Aggregator, and Patent Risk Manager. Others explain that RPX is going to profit by “fixing the patent mess.” No description is more puzzling than the description “Patent Troll Insurer.” Maureen O’Gara writes that RPX is “apparently making a killing selling patent troll insurance.” Techrights takes a different view, describing the organization as a cartel.

The nature of it is akin to that. To quote a definition of “cartel”, it is “a formal (explicit) agreement among competing firms.” The agreement is made such that only those with a lot of patents and a lot of cash are permitted into the club so that they — unlike others — are permitted to compete in the market. RPX is just part of a broader problem in this case. The root of the problem is the patent system, which is designed to reinforce monopoly rather than reward innovation. Barnier promises to globalise this problem [1, 2, 3, 4].

Nicolas Sarkozy and Bill Gates
Screenshot of last week’s news (Nicolas
Sarkozy and Bill Gates shake hands)

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