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02.03.11

Links 3/2/2011: Enea Joins Linux Foundation, GNOME 3 in Headlines

Posted in News Roundup at 9:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Why Linux is a perfect fit for charities and non-profits

    I have a friend who works for an art therapy institute that is run by the city I live in. That foundation has taken donations for quite some time, is (obviously) not for profit, and all of their computers are Linux computers. Why? It doesn’t hurt that their sole IT staff member is a big Linux fan (and understands how the FOSS operating system can help the organization in more ways than just budgetary). But after chatting with this friend for a while about his job, I understand very clearly how Linux and open source can really benefit charities and non-profit organizations.

  • 10 Windows annoyances (that Linux doesn’t have)

    3: Mysterious slowdowns
    Quick: Think about the last time your Windows computer mysteriously slowed down. What eventually was the cause? Fragmentation? Virus? Malware? Operating system hogging too much resource? Or were you ever even able to discern the problem? With Linux, those slowdowns (especially of the mysterious types) are next to nil. This is especially true on a Linux server.

  • Linux with badram Saves the Day!

    So, if you are looking at some misbehaving RAM in your own PC consider using the badram patch before you toss out otherwise good RAM. Of course if you are not using Linux I suppose you will just have to throw out that flakey RAM and buy new RAM … or you can send it to me. :)

  • Server

    • New York City getting data centers under one roof

      New York City is working with IBM to migrate more than a dozen city agencies into a consolidated and modern data center environment, in an effort to provide a unified shared set of services to a broad range of city entities, according to NYC officials.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Enea Joins Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Enea is its newest member.

      Enea is a leading supplier of highly reliable operating systems and multicore software technology. A longtime supplier of Linux software and consulting services, the company expects to expand its efforts by providing both stand-alone Linux development environments and integrated, heterogeneous solutions blending Linux, realtime operating systems (RTOS) and hypervisor technology to support multi-core processors that are pushing the limits on performance in the areas of telecom, mobile, medical and automotive, among others.

    • Graphics Stack

      • New Version Of VIA DRM TTM/GEM Patches

        Thanks to James Simmons, an independent developer in the open-source community, last month a patch was published that adds TTM/GEM memory management support to the VIA DRM Linux kernel driver. This was after VIA basically admitted defeat for their Linux / open-source strategy. Over the weekend the second version of this TTM/GEM patch was published by James.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE 4.6 Review: It’s Full Of Awesomeness

        In general Plasma feels snappy and fast. Even on my desktop computer, I used to notice a slight lag in effects such as the shelf widget icon highlighting. Those are now lightning fast. The same applies to just about every other plasma and KWin effect.

      • Disillusioned by the Community

        If you truly want to know what KDE 4.6 is like, you need to go with a KDE specific distribution like Mandriva and ride that cutting edge.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Is GNOME 3 going to melt your laptop?

        In GNOME 3.0, we’re defaulting to suspending the computer when the user shuts the lid, and not providing any preferences combobox to change this. This is what the UI designers for GNOME 3.0 want, and is probably a step in the right direction. We really can’t keep working around bugs in the kernel with extra UI controls.

      • GNOME3 Power Settings

        Richard Hughes recently posted about the recent GNOME3 Power Settings design that got a lot of people (myself included) hot and bothered. As I said in my comment, I think that a lot of people prefer that their laptop stay on when the lid is closed. There are clearly other who, like myself, would prefer to maintain the normal behaviour when an external monitor is plugged in.

        [...]

        While Nirbheek’s version looks decidedly prettier, I think the meaning of the icons is not absolutely obvious. This might be solvable by some explanatory text above and mouse-overs.

      • Will I be prevented to close my laptop lid with GNOME 3?

        I tried to comment on Richard’s post but for some reason my comment is still awaiting moderation 1h later while 4 new ones have been posted so I’ll comment here too.

      • Fedora GNOME 3 Test Day #1 coming tomorrow
      • Slingshot: A New Launcher Created By The Elementary Team

        Besides Slingshot, the video above might also be revealing the Elementary OS look – an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that will be released in March. The video is not that great but for now I couldn’t get Slingshot to work myself.

      • The emerging Elementary experience

        Today saw ‘Slingshot’ – a new application launcher project headed up by the elementary team – leak in to the wild. But just what is it and what does it form part of?

  • Distributions

    • Freedom or Ease of Use? A Note on Torvalds’ Strange Remarks

      I’ve just stumbled upon a disappointing interview with Linus Torvalds which left me utterly confused about Mr. Torvalds views on GNU/Linux distributions. He is certainly a prominent figure and I always look up to him but I think he is much misunderstood about the goal of distros and especially about the role of Debian.

      [...]

      I’m pretty much still a GNU/Linux newbie(5-months of experience at the outside); yet when I’m tying to choose a distro I look for those that are more about freedom and choice rather than prettier interfaces. If Mr. Torvalds want to praise a particular distro I think there are much better ways to make his point rather than making controversial remarks about respectable distros.

    • Why I Use Gentoo: Development Environment

      Since Gentoo is a source-based distribution, packages are compiled directly on the user’s computer.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • A Technology Preview Of Mandriva 2011

        Mandriva 2011 migrates over to using RPM5, utilizes systemd, now supports NetworkManager, provides KDE 4.6.0, and has other key improvements. Some of the main packages include Firefox 4.0, X.Org Server 1.9, the Linux 2.6.37 kernel, and Clementine 0.6.

    • Debian Family

      • No Debian for the Clueless

        At any rate, Debian is not for newbies who don’t have someone to hold their hand.

      • A down-under talk on the role of Debian, A.D. 2011

        I’m back from LCA 2011, which I’ve attended to share some thoughts about the role that Debian plays in the Free Software ecosystem, 18 years after its inception (yes, we are that old^Welder).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Unity Shortcuts, let’s document them…
        • Ubuntu Weekly Q&A Sessions Announced

          According to the Ubuntu wiki pages there will be a weekly question and answer series to be lead by manager of the community leaders and Canonical managers.

        • Nelson Continues Importing Ubuntu to openSUSE

          Nelson Marques began by importing Ubuntu Indicator Applets to openSUSE, he said, to make openSUSE more familiar to his fellow countrymen that are more accustomed to Ubuntu. Well, that soon led to Unity. Now he’s importing Synapse.

        • Bugs in Ubuntu Pre-releases

          Every time there’s an Ubuntu release or pre-release is tested, it is logged on the Ubuntu QA team ISO tracker.

        • Interview with Silvia Bindelli

          SB: My first contact with the Ubuntu Community was through the Ubuntu-Women Group, in late 2007. I joined it since I was so happy with this Operating System I was willing to give my contribution to spread its use. I knew the percentage of women using it was really low, and I thought this is mainly due to a certain “ignorance”: it’s hard to use a software you don’t know, or you have a lot of prejudices about. Joining this group I was willing to give my contribution to promote Ubuntu, starting from women. Far later, through this group I got in touch with Flavia Weisghizzi, the first (and still the only!) Italian female Ubuntu member. She introduced me to the Italian Loco Team, which I belong to since December 2010.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Peppermint OS – Uninspiring

            Peppermint OS is a Ubuntu, or rather, Lubuntu derivate, focused on cloud computing. The distribution is supposed to be very lightweight, running the simple yet should-be elegant Openbox desktop, which you’ve encountered in my Crunchbang review, while providing users with the wonders and marvels of the cloud.

            [...]

            Overall, there’s nothing wrong with Peppermint. It’s a decent distro, within the self-set limitations. That said, it does not escape the lethal trap of boredom. Peppermint is not exciting. It does not make you gasp or growl with pleasure.

            Then, you will be annoyed by its repertoire of programs. Not only does it not suit everyone, it contains several programs broken by geographical design. There’s also the tricky question of whether you want your stuff in the cloud. The programs are not really useful for daily use, unless you’re only into music and streaming video and chatting to your imaginary friends. Throw in an archaic theme, and you get a bland, uninspiring desktop.

            If you’re looking for cloud stuff, try gOS or maybe Jolicloud. If you’re looking for lightweight alternatives, you may want to check Crunchbang or Vector Linux. As it is, Peppermint needs a serious overhaul to become fresh and useful, especially considering its mission statement. That would be all for today.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Stream Music To Your Android Device Using MPD And MPDroid

          MPDroid is a really cool Android application (MPD client) that not only lets you control MPD remotely, but also lets you stream music to your Android device. Here’s how to set it up.

        • Google releases Android 3.0 SDK preview, Honeycomb details revealed

          Today Google released a non-final preview of the Android 3.0 SDK to allow developers to test their applications with the upcoming tablet OS, inherit the new “Holographic” theme, and work on providing alternative layouts for extra large screens. The Android Developers Blog notes that applications developed with the Android 3.0 Platform Preview cannot be published on Android Market, but they will be releasing a final SDK in the coming weeks.

        • Honeycomb is here: Google unveils Android 3.0, new Web-based Market

          Google held a special event this morning to launch Android 3.0, codenamed Honeycomb. The latest version of Google’s mobile operating system introduces a new user interface for tablet devices and brings a number of other compelling features such as pervasive hardware accelerated rendering and stronger support for multicore processors.

        • New Merchandising and Billing Features on Android Market

          Following on last week’s announcement of the Android 3.0 Preview SDK, I’d like to share some more good news with you about three important new features on Android Market.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Selenium Joins the Software Freedom Conservancy

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

  • VideoLAN project celebrates 10 years of open source

    The VideoLAN project has announced that it is celebrating its tenth anniversary of open source as 1 February marks the tenth anniversary of the organisation’s switch to the GPL license. To celebrate, the developers will be posting ten days of “surprises, ideas and stories” to the 10 years of open source events page – the first day provides a history of the VideoLAN project.

  • Quora’s Technology Examined

    # Components Of Quora
    # What’s Cooking Under That Hood?

    * The Search-Box
    * Webnode2 And LiveNode
    * Amazon Web Services
    o Ubuntu Linux
    o Static Content
    * HAProxy Load-Balancing
    * Nginx
    * Pylons And Paste
    * Python
    * Thrift
    * Tornado
    * Long Polling (Comet)
    * MySQL
    * Memcached
    * Git

  • Top 10 free open source tools for network admins

    Routing issues, slow network applications, DNS resolution problems — a network administrator has to deal with a host of network nuisances on a daily basis. How do you survive when you’re constantly under the gun to fix the problems? Like any other professional, you need a solid set of tools.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice: Meet the New Office, (Almost) Same as the Old Office

      What’s the difference between OpenOffice and the new LibreOffice? Not much. What I found was a small list of improvements and embellishments. I expect this list will grow and the LibreOffice project grows. Like OpenOffice, LibreOffice suite is not perfect. Some functions seem to slow performance a bit. But I can say the same things about OpenOffice, which I have used for years.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Government

    • Open Source Procurement: Copyrights

      As I wrote last month concerning indemnity, I constantly encounter both governments and companies claiming they have policies permitting or even favouring open source software. Yet there’s still a huge amount of proprietary software being procured by them.

      A policy alone is not enough. To implement it, legacy procurement rules have to be changed, especially in government. While these rules may provide both protection and value for procurement of products and services the enterprise has seen before, they typically discriminate against new approaches. Legacy procurement rules stifle innovation.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • GreenXchange, a commons for the global commons, turns one

      You might already know about GreenXchange. It’s a specialized sort of commons specifically for innovations (or yet to be applied innovations) for environmental sustainability. For now, that means an on-line space to post patents and supporting materials under one of three pledges.

      Where many are familiar with Creative Commons providing the legal structures and tools to help people transparently promise to others restrictions or non-restrictions on using content like text or visuals, GreenXchange facilitates the sharing of patents by businesses and other holders in a similar, tailored way. And, in fact, Creative Commons is a partner.

    • Telling the open source story – Part 2

      A: The original work with Wikipedia was undertaken as a partnership between my studio and Sea Change Strategies and Fenton Communication. We were asked to assist with the 2009 fundraising campaign.

      I was drawn to Wikipedia because I believe it’s the best example of the Internet’s amazing potential–people cooperating to share knowledge and build something for all of us to share. Wikipedia is an amazing tool, but maybe even more powerful as an idea.

    • [BPR01] Dumbo Gets Mad – Elephants At The Door LP

      We’re thrilled and proud to announce the debut LP by Dumbo Gets Mad and our first physical release!

    • Open Data

      • Open Shakespeare Annotation Sprint

        This weekend we’re holding the first Open Shakespeare Annotation Sprint — participate and help change criticism forever! We’ll be getting together online and in-person to collaborate on critically annotating a complete Shakespeare play with all our work being open.

    • Open Access/Content

      • DOIs are not copyright! What about Bibliographic Data?

        I do not need to waste any more time on it. I can do something else with my time. I do not need to live in fear of the lawyer’s letter. We can add DOIs into OpenBibliography!

        By contrast I spend much of my time in wasted attempts to get clear factual answers from publishers. I’ve been waiting for 4 years from one on data. I’ve been in intense discussion with another about text-mining of data for 18 months. They’ve now relayed it to their legal team. I wait with expectation.

Leftovers

  • Outplacement cowboys screw the recently unemployed

    The WSJ reports on the slipshod cowboys who’ve rushed in to fill the demand for “outplacement firms” who are meant to help laid-off employees find a better job. Some of these firms assign their “coaches” 15 clients per day, send out amateurish, typo-laden job applications on behalf of job-seekers (without their knowledge, signing their names to the cover letters, no less), and generally make a piss-poor hash out of their charges’ future employment prospects. Laid-off workers are wising up and asking their former employers for cash instead of “counselling.”

  • No more IPv4 addresses

    The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) assigned two of the remaining blocks of IPv4 addresses – each containing 16.7 million addresses – to the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) on Tuesday, as predicted.

  • How IPv6 will work as IPv4 wanes

    As I write, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (Iana) has just allocated the IPv4 prefixes 39/8 and 106/8 to the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Registry (Apnic). Ordinarily, another couple of blocks of IPv4 address space disappearing off the shelf isn’t headline news. This time, it’s different.

  • Supreme Court welcomes tweeters

    The UK Supreme Court has released guidance on the use of “live text-based communications” from the court. Put simply, tweeting will be allowed in most instances.

    The UK’s highest court of appeal has sensibly said that since its cases do not involve interaction with witnesses or jurors, subject to limited exceptions “any member of a legal team or member of the public is free to use text-based communications from court, providing (i) these are silent; and (ii) there is no disruption to the proceedings in court“.

    The guidance also emphasises that WiFi is available throughout the building, just to make broadcasting those live text-based communications that bit easier.

  • Science

    • Cosmos At Least 250x Bigger Than Visible Universe, Say Cosmologists

      When we look out into the Universe, the stuff we can see must be close enough for light to have reached us since the Universe began. The universe is about 14 billion years old, so at first glance it’s easy to think that we cannot see things more than 14 billion light years away.

      That’s not quite right, however. Because the Universe is expanding, the most distant visible things are much further away than that. In fact, the photons in the cosmic microwave background have travelled a cool 45 billion light years to get here. That makes the visible universe some 90 billion light years across.

    • Data Shows Disastrous GPS Jamming from FCC-Approved Broadcaster

      Representatives of the GPS industry presented to members of the Federal Communications Commission clear, strong laboratory evidence of interference with the GPS signal by a proposed new broadcaster on January 19 of this year. The teleconference and subsequent written results of the testing apparently did not dissuade FCC International Bureau Chief Mindel De La Torre from authorizing Lightsquared to proceed with ancillary terrestrial component operations, installing up to 40,000 high-power transmitters close to the GPS frequency, across the United States.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Massive Health: Raised Money, Spending On New Hires

      This blog post is by my cofounder Sutha Kamal, who is Massive Health’s fearless CEO. He is by the smarter of the two of us. He has previously sat on the other side of the VC table and most recently was the acting-CTO for Fjord, which is the mobile design firm responsible for making the a lot of the mobile experiences you have every day as good as they are. As a side note, the best gift I’ve ever received is having the funds we raised for Massive hit our bank account on the day I turned 27.

  • Security

    • UK Hacker Faces Jail After Stealing Virtual Poker Chips

      A computer hacker from the UK has admitted stealing $12 milion worth of poker chips from social gaming site Zynga. Ashley Mitchell of Paignton transferred 400 billion virtual chips into his account and sold them on the black market at a rate of £430 per billion – which meant he stood to make around £184,000, having already made £53,000 when he was arrested.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Egypt unrest: Barack Obama urges power transition now

      US President Barack Obama has said an orderly political transition “must begin now” in Egypt and lead to free and fair elections.

      His statement followed the announcement by Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak that he would not stand for re-election.

    • Bill would require all S.D. citizens to buy a gun

      Five South Dakota lawmakers have introduced legislation that would require any adult 21 or older to buy a firearm “sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense.”

      The bill, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2012, would give people six months to acquire a firearm after turning 21. The provision does not apply to people who are barred from owning a firearm.

    • Google executive, Wael Ghonim, vanishes in Cairo; family desperate after Twitter account goes silent
    • Egypt: Connected to revolution

      Instead, Egypt may simply have reached a tipping point. Its citizens, having witnessed the events in Tunisia, came to realize they were no longer atomized and uncoordinated in the face of a police state. They could self-organize, connect with one another, share stories and videos, organize meetings and protests. In short, they could tell their own narratives to one another, outside the government’s control.

      These stories can be powerful.

      In Egypt, a video of an unknown protester being shot and carried away has generated a significant viewership. In Iran, the video of Neda Agha-Soltan dying from a gunshot wound transformed her into a symbol. In Tunisia, videos of protestors being shot also helped mobilize the public.

      [...]

      The events in Egypt are a testament to the opportunity of the times we live in. Connectivity is changing our world, making us more powerful individually and collectively. But ultimately, if we wish to champion freedom and openness abroad — to serve as the best possible example for countries like Egypt — we must be prepared to do so at home.

    • Mandatory Name Tags Remain For Toronto Coppers

      Apparently the Toronto Police Association had appealed the rule forcing police officers to wear name tags while working, and now has lost the appeal. The Toronto Police Association is the union that represents police officers working for the Toronto Police Services.

    • Awakening Freedom’s Allies: Thoughts on Egypt, Youth Bulges and Economic Growth

      There has been much concern recently that some observers have overstated the role of the Internet in promoting freedom and democracy around the world. Evgeny Morozov rightly points out that “Tweets don’t overthrow governments; people do,” noting that social networking sites can be both helpful and harmful to activists operating from inside authoritarian regimes. Morozov points out that secret police increasingly gather incriminating evidence by scanning the photos and videos uploaded to Flickr and YouTube by protesters and their Western sympathizers. “They might even serve as an early warning system for authoritarian rulers,” he says.

    • The View From Tahrir

      In my area of Tahrir, the thugs were armed with machetes, straight razors, clubs and stones. And they all had the same chants, the same slogans and the same hostility to journalists. They clearly had been organized and briefed. So the idea that this is some spontaneous outpouring of pro-Mubarak supporters, both in Cairo and in Alexandria, who happen to end up clashing with other side — that is preposterous. It’s difficult to know what is happening, and I’m only one observer, but to me these seem to be organized thugs sent in to crack heads, chase out journalists, intimidate the pro-democracy forces and perhaps create a pretext for an even harsher crackdown.

      I have no idea whether this tactic will work. But the idea that President Mubarak should make the case that he is necessary for Egypt’s stability by unleashing violence and chaos on his nation’s youth — it’s a sad and shameful end to his career. And I hope that the international community will firmly denounce this kind of brutality apparently organized by the government.

    • As an Israeli, I want the Egyptians to win

      I want our neighbors, the people of Egypt, to show us how it’s done. I want you to show us the last thing we expected to see. Because it is only when we see our best consensus assessments proven dead wrong, when the wholly unanticipated stuns us, when the inconceivable turns overnight into the inevitable, that change comes to this place.

      [...]

      Israelis were not always slow learners. It may be difficult to imagine this now, with a government here whose only actions, apart from the normal commerce of corruption, are taken in the service of inaction.

      The race to concoct laws to legitimize repression and inequality, the deep kowtowing to buy off the settlers and the ultra-Orthodox – all of it is fundamentally aimed at cementing in office an unpopular, unwieldy government whose only campaign platform, at this point, is that any alternative would be worse.

    • Blocking Internet cost Egypt at least $90M, says OECD

      The Egyptian government’s five-day block of Internet services cost the national economy at least US$90 million, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said Thursday.

      The Paris-based organization said telecommunications and Internet services account for between 3 percent and 4 percent of Egypt’s GDP, so the daily loss amounted to around US$18 million.

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • 11 percent of American homes are vacant — UPDATED
    • The Rise of the New Global Elite

      This widening gap between the rich and non-rich has been evident for years. In a 2005 report to investors, for instance, three analysts at Citigroup advised that “the World is dividing into two blocs—the Plutonomy and the rest”:

      In a plutonomy there is no such animal as “the U.S. consumer” or “the UK consumer”, or indeed the “Russian consumer”. There are rich consumers, few in number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption they take. There are the rest, the “non-rich”, the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie.

      Before the recession, it was relatively easy to ignore this concentration of wealth among an elite few. The wondrous inventions of the modern economy—Google, Amazon, the iPhone—broadly improved the lives of middle-class consumers, even as they made a tiny subset of entrepreneurs hugely wealthy. And the less-wondrous inventions—particularly the explosion of subprime credit—helped mask the rise of income inequality for many of those whose earnings were stagnant.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Killing the Internet Not Just a Problem in Egypt

      It’s very much an American concern, in that a US-based company seems to be the maker of the Internet off-switch. As Tim Karr of Free Press notes, the US company Narus was founded in 1997 by Israeli security experts. Based in Sunnyvale California, Narus has devised what business fans call a “social media sleuth.”

    • Kill The Internet ‘Kill Switch’

      Censorship: Virtually the first thing an authoritative Egyptian government did to quell dissent was to shut down its Internet. So why are we debating a bill to give our government the same power?

      In George Orwell’s classic “1984,” the control of information and its flow was critical to Big Brother’s maintaining his grip on the people and manipulating their passions. Authoritarian governments and dictators worldwide know that lesson well.

      The ability to see how others live and to exchange ideas is a catalyst to dissent and unrest. The ability to choke off that flow is a necessity for authoritarian governments. The Internet and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have helped fuel democratic movements from our own Tea Party to the Iranian dissidents.

    • UPDATED: Egypt lifts blockade on Internet service

      (Update 2, 9:36 a.m.: I’m reading some reports indicating that social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, the original targets of the Egyptian government, are still being blocked.)

    • Egypt, Net Neutrality, and the Ethics of Internet Suicide

      Governments like this don’t explain how they do these things, so it’s unclear exactly how this might have happened. Sending Egyptian police around to manually smash everyone’s routers wouldn’t have been practical. Nor would the government have the ability to simply shut down all addresses with an .eg domain, which they do not own. But the government does own the country’s two major ISPs. In all likelihood, reports GigaOM’s Bobby Johnson, officials closed down the major routers which direct traffic over the border, shutting the country out from the world, and switched off routers at individual ISPs to prevent access for most users inside.

    • I’m being sued by Benihana

      I’ve personally been threatened with lawsuits a number of times before, I know another popular blog recently got threatened with a lawsuit from a restaurant as well and I am sure there must be other bloggers who at one point in time have also been threatened. If blogs were recognized like newspapers or magazines we would all be protected from lawsuits like this but at the moment we aren’t. I find this unfair and if I end up losing this case what will it mean to all the other bloggers? Should bloggers be afraid to say anything negative about a company? Should all our posts just be happy happy joy joy?

    • Letter to Secretary Clinton One Year After Historic Internet Speech

      One year ago, in a groundbreaking speech, you declared the “freedom to connect” to be a Fifth Freedom, as important to human liberty as the Four Freedoms Franklin D. Roosevelt championed 70 years ago this month. The Internet will be what we make of it, you said, and you challenged governments and companies alike to ensure that a person’ s access to information and opinion does not depend on where she lives. At the time of your speech, Google was skirmishing with Chinese authorities over its ability to offer its search services uncensored. They were not the only company experiencing government-initiated interruptions of service. Turkey had blocked YouTube on and off since 2007. Iran had blocked Twitter just before its June 2009 presidential elections. And now Egypt has taken the extreme step of cutting off all Internet and telecommunications access in the country in the midst of pro-democracy protests against the Mubarak government.

      As you rightly pointed out, “[t]his issue is about more than claiming the moral high ground. It really comes down to the trust between firms and their customers. Consumers everywhere want to have confidence that the Internet companies they rely on will provide comprehensive search results and act as responsible stewards of their own personal information. Firms that earn that confidence of those countries and basically provide that kind of service will prosper in the global marketplace.” You challenged companies-particularly American companies-to lead the way: “censorship should not be in any way accepted by any company from anywhere. And … American companies need to make a principled stand. This needs to be part of our national brand.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB (Canada)

    • Clement Confirms Plans to Overturn UBB Decision

      Industry Minister Tony Clement has confirmed that the government intends to overturn the CRTC’s usage based billing decision.

    • CRTC will rescind ‘unlimited use’ Internet decision – or Ottawa will overturn it

      The Harper government will overturn the CRTC’s decision that effectively ends “unlimited use” Internet plans if the regulator doesn’t rescind the decision itself.

    • The Cost of Bandwidth: Canada versus the World

      Usage based bUsage based billing (UBB) was recently introduced as “an economic Internet traffic management practice (ITMP) whose purpose is to manage Internet traffic on an incumbent carrier’s facilities.” (CRTC 2011-44) illing (UBB) was recently introduced as “an economic Internet traffic management practice (ITMP) whose purpose is to manage Internet traffic on an incumbent carrier’s facilities.” (CRTC 2011-44)

    • Grandfathered UBB

      If there is a legitimate reason to increase the cost, we should all have to pay it.

      But there isn’t.

      Since I’ve been writing the Stop Usage Based Billing blog I have yet to hear a single reasonable justification for imposition of UBB.

      In fact, I have learned that usage costs almost nothing. Less than a penny a GIGABYTE. The same gigabyte of bandwidth that will now cost some Canadians DOLLARS.
      The real cost of the Internet is in the Infrastructure. Canadians have been paying very high rates for mediocre service. For a long time. We have already more than paid for state of the art infrastructure with plenty of profit left over, but it has not been implemented by Canada’s Internet Carriers.

    • Metered Bandwidth Isn’t About Stopping The Bandwidth Hogs; It’s About Preserving Old Media Business Models

      For years, we’ve spoken about why metered broadband stifles innovation, by adding serious additional mental transaction costs and limits to anything you do online. If you look at the history of various online services, you know that AOL didn’t really catch on until it went to a flat-rate plan from an older metered (by time) plan.

      [...]

      Not only does it stifle basic innovation, but it also protects the legacy media/entertainment industry and their business models.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Another copyright troll throws in the towel
      • Copyright Troll Gives Up in Porn-Downloading Case

        Mick Haig Productions dropped the case just 48 hours after EFF and PC demanded that it withdraw subpoenas Mick Haig’s lawyer apparently issued while the question of whether the court should allow the subpoenas at all was still under consideration by the court.

      • The Awkwardness Of Cutting Out The Middleman

        We’ve talked in the past about the idea of musicians doing “house concerts” or in-home shows (all the way back to 2003), highlighting how folks like Jill Sobule successfully offered up the opportunity for fans to pay $5,000 to have her perform at their home. She had a handful of fans take her up on this offer and said they went great.

      • NBC Universal Study Shows That It’s Hollywood’s Own Damn Fault So Much Content Is ‘Pirated’

        All week people have been submitting variations on the news that a study commissioned by NBC Universal, and promoted by the MPAA, shows that 24% of web traffic involves “piracy.” If you look through the actual methodology, done by research firm Envisional, there are all sorts of problems with it, including the fact that they seem to bootstrap these findings based on research done by others. Another problem is that the source Envisional used, the PublicBT tracker, does not include many of the legal BitTorrent uses, meaning that they may have significantly undercounted legal usage.

        [...]

        So, the real lesson of this study is that the large amount of unauthorized access in movies online is the MPAA and NBC Universal’s own damn fault for failing to adapt and to offer legitimate services to the market when they want it. Thanks for sharing that information with the world…

      • Will Homeland Security Domain Seizures Lead To Exodus From US Controlled Domains?

        With Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) group now seizing domain names of perfectly legitimate foreign companies, one of the “defenses” of this action is that what those sites do may violate US laws (the lack of an actual court deciding this is conveniently overlooked, but we’ll let that slide for now) and thus since the domains are managed by US-based registrars, it’s technically property in the US, and thus open to seizure.

      • ICO drops BT, ACS Law probe

        The Information Commissioner’s Office has ended an investigation against BT for handing over customer information to file-sharing-chaser law firm ACS:Law, which then leaked online.

        ACS:Law’s speciality is sending letters to suspected file-sharers threatening them with expensive legal action unless they send the law firm money for supposed copyright infringement.

      • Will the Music Industry Ever Learn From Its Mistakes?

        EMI’s sad story shows that it’s suffering the same problems as the wider music business: It went into the networked era as a huge and well-known brand with a roster of big name artists and ownership of incredible catalogue of recordings. It was home to acts like the Beatles and Coldplay, and was the owner of iconic brands like Parlophone and Virgin. Yet despite its natural advantages it had built up over the years, it fell to pieces in the face of changing consumer behavior and aggressive new distribution models enabled by the Internet. Outpaced, outgunned and outmaneuvered, it has now handed its success over to the likes of Apple and its future to a bank that’s trying to hawk it to the highest bidder.

      • EMI: under new management

        As anyone who’s bothering to follow the death throes of Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music probably already knows, Britain’s EMI now has a new owner.

        And no, it isn’t Canada’s Edgard Bronfman jr.

        Not yet, anyway.

        “Guy Hands mistook his banker for a friend”, said p2pnet late last year, quoting a Telegraph headline to the then “latest installment in the EMI is Up Shit Creek drama”.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

Clip of the Day

Wikimedia – nice people


Credit: TinyOgg

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