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02.15.11

Links 15/2/2011: Mageia’s First Alpha Released, Mandriva Hiring, New Linux Mint 10 RCs

Posted in News Roundup at 3:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Re: FLAMING RETORT – Cooling the friction when Linux meets anti-virus

    What has Paul’s piece really shown us? Three things, mainly. One, even senior executives of software companies can be lured into a flame trap. Two, statistics are overrated. Three, when you are so desperate to champion your cause, you actually scare people away.

    Additionally, we also learn that Linux malware can be brandished like a weapon in all kinds of arguments. And for all the wrong reasons. Because malware itself is nothing important, just a symptom of a much larger phenomenon. Today, a user may execute a stray binary on his machine. Tomorrow, that user will wipe his files off the hard disk. It has nothing to do in how the code manifests, it has everything to do with granting unskilled people with the power to destroy.

    We also learn that arguing online is absolutely pointless. People do not need reason, logic or hard facts to believe in their imaginary ideas and promote them. If someone is convinced they are not supposed to be saving their Windows buddies, there is no amount of numbers, graphs or technical explanations that could convince them. And the other way around. Some Windows users will prefer the shackles of fear to the terrifying liberty of boredom.

    I don’t know who Paul is and have never heard of him until his last article. So if his hidden agenda was to carve his name in the wider consciousness of Linux users worldwide, he has definitely succeeded. Whether his flame retort helps promote Sophos is questionable, even if it is not explicitly stated in the article, which makes it insidiously cunning. One thing is sure, if you know that Linux users will never use your product, then you might as well give them a good fight.

  • Save your PC: bootable Linux rescue tools

    Linux is now a respected, mature operating system that’s free and open source, so it shouldn’t be surprising that it has a generic role as a platform for tools for the repair and rescue of both Linux and Windows operating systems.

  • Linux scores big in large-format printing

    Recently I had to take care of a fairly sizable client’s printing needs. This wasn’t just some small-time printer, this was a multi-location, multi-million dollar industry, large format printing client that does one thing and does it in vast quantities. They print. They print everything from business cards to banners that fly behind planes. And this printer relies upon multiple platforms and multiple printing software. When something goes down…work stops.

  • City Of Raleigh Working To Address Complaints About New Website

    The City of Raleigh says it is making efforts to address concerns brought up by citizens about its recently launched website.

    Some people said it’s difficult to find information on the site, which launched last summer.

    Gail Roper, chief information officer for the City of Raleigh, said she understands some of the complaints about usability.

  • Love

    • How Do We Love Linux? Counting the Many Ways

      While Slashdot blogger Barbara Hudson loves Linux for introducing her to the open source ecosystem, she didn’t want to carry her ardor too far. “For Valentine’s I prefer chocolate and and dinner with a few drinks,” she said, “but my COMPUTER sure loves linux, and not just on Valentine’s Day. And unlike humans, it will never have to do the ‘walk of shame’ the next morning.”

    • Geeky Valentine’s Day Roundup

      So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I give you a geeky romantic roundup:

      * Open Source is for Lovers
      * Map Your Valentine
      * Geekiest Marriage Proposals of All Time
      * How do we love Linux? Counting the many ways
      * US Patent Illustration Cards for your geek sweet on Valentine’s Day
      * 10 Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Special Geek in Your Life
      * Geeky ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day
      * 10 Last Minute Valentine Gift Ideas For The Geek You Love
      * Darwinian Valentine’s
      * Declare Your Love for Free Software!

    • Linux I love thee – users count the ways

      Open source technologies like Linux wouldn’t be so successful if it weren’t for the developer love. One developer, Piotrek Tomiak, Eclipse Technologist said, “Linux is designed for programmers: it’s highly-customizable, fast, and has an outstanding console.”

    • Open source is for lovers

      It’s true. If you think about the characteristics of open source and the qualities of a successful relationship, you will find a lot of overlap.

  • Server

    • Qatar Exchange dumps IBM and Microsoft for Linux
    • Qatar Exchange turns to Red Hat for reliable, scalable and high-performance trading platform

      With reliable performance and security criteria in mind, Qatar Exchange’s team selected Red Hat as its trusted technology partner, building its mission-critical trading platform and back-office systems on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Network Satellite and Red Hat clustering technologies.

    • QE migrates to Red Hat applications
    • Meet the Man Behind the Jeopardy Super Computer at End User Summit

      Valentine’s Day: chocolate hearts, love and super computers! At least this year my Valentine’s Day will take a decidedly nerdy turn as I celebrate by watching the IBM Super Computer Watson compete on Jeopardy against two past champions. Creating a computer that can compete in a game show like this takes incredible technical achievement from many areas (from processors to understanding natural language). As Wired Magazine said, “When it comes to American technology innovation over the last hundred years, IBM is unparalleled.”

      Of course Watson runs Linux, and we’re thrilled to feature the Principal Investigator of the Watson team, David Ferrucci, as the keynoter at our upcoming Linux Foundation End User Summit. Our End User Summit is a small event designed to advance collaboration between architects and senior operations people pushing the limits of Linux and the core developers of the kernel. Last year Bob Evans of NASDAQ OMX brought the house down with his detailed account of how they use Linux and what they’d like to see. This year, we’re thrilled to feature details of Watson.

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 unveiled at Mobile World Congress

      The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is officially official! Samsung unveiled the new Honeycomb tablet at this evening’s press event in Barcelona. The new Android tablet is powered by a 1 GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor from NVIDIA and features a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 (WXGA) TFT capacitive display, 8 megapixel rear camera with LED flash which is capable of full 1080p video recording, 2 megapixel shooter on the front for video calling, and either 16 or 32GB of internal storage. The Tab 10.1 features HSPA+ 21Mbps connectivity over 850/900/1900/2100 and EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900, in addition to Bluetooth® technology v 2.1 + EDR, USB 2.0, and WiFi 802.11 (a/b/g/n). The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 measures in at 246.2 x 170.4 x 10.9mm and weighs 599 grams which is pretty surprising since it comes equipped with a 6860mAh battery.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • 14. February 2011: Come and talk Kolab with us at CeBIT 2011

        Personal Information Management (PIM) is at the heart of your business but you do not want it to dictate all your platform choices? You would like your staff to remain fully productive while on the road and even when connectivity is not “always on”? You would like to be able to equip your staff with the latest in tablet PCs and are looking for a solution that brings you a touch screen capable yet fully functional groupware client? You’re looking for a network of professional companies that will be able to satisfy virtually your every need around IT?

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Commit-Digest: Issue 121

        This week… 2386 commits, in 214 projects, by 225 happy hackers (and 474 were translation commits).

      • GNOME 3 User Day Kicks off Tomorrow

        GNOME 3 User Days are a great opportunity for users to find out about GNOME 3 and to talk to members of the GNOME project about the new release. Everyone is welcome to get involved and ask questions about GNOME 3.

  • Distributions

    • The Joy of Remastering your Own Linux Distro

      How customized do you need your Linux-powered enterprise experience to be? Are we talking about graphics, software and a little bit of a lock-down with the employees?

      Perhaps instead, you’re in the market for a distribution completely built from the ground up so you know that each and every piece of code passes a security audit. Whatever the need, the flexibility of customized Linux translates into solid solutions for any market or need. All that is required is the desire and the software to make it all come together.

      For most enterprise situations, I believe that remastering is the way to go. It’s likely cheaper (in man hours) and simpler, as there are tools that make this easy. You also get the benefit of making changes later without much thought.

    • Arch Steps Up – Debian Takes a Backseat

      As a result of all this deep thinking and philosophizing, I decided to install Arch as my official secondary operating system. I spent the past three days installing and setting it up. I’m using it now to post this article.

    • [Sabayon] Several things in my agenda, maybe too much

      # Sabayon Website major redesign (now that all the parts of the original portal have been modularized, this will be very straightforward)

    • Effy does CrunchBang

      I enjoy listening to the TuxRadar podcast, I think it is witty and insightful. If you have not listened to the podcast before, it is well worth a download. Anyhow, the podcast has a “You Dare Us” feature, where the presenters take on a new challenge to perform, before talking about it on the next episode.

    • Reviews

      • A look at Sabayon Linux 5.5

        After using Sabayon for the past five days I’m not quite sure of what to make of the distribution. There are some aspects of the project I very much enjoy. For instance, I like the many options provided on the DVD at boot time, making the live disc very flexible. There is a good compilation of software provided out of the box. I like that Fluxbox is offered as a possible session on the login screen for people who want a lighter environment and, though I don’t use them myself, I like seeing the PPP clients available in the application menu. Items I wanted were easy to find, there’s a handy update notification app next to the clock to help keep users secure and I didn’t find unwanted network services running.

        On a completely subjective note, I appreciated Sabayon’s slightly dark theme. Many designers seem to want to paint everything white or shiny and I find the darker shades easier to look at for long periods of time. On the flip side I ran into a handful of issues. Hardware being an important one, with audio not working properly on my desktop machine and wireless not working on my laptop. Performance on the desktop machine was poor and, on both computers, using the package manager was tedious. The crash I experienced on my first install and the way the folder view widget kept reappearing every few logins makes me think Sabayon 5.5 could have benefited from more testing before being released. There are a lot of options and editions available from the Sabayon project and I think the price is some overlooked bugs. If you have a modern machine, want a lot of options and don’t mind a rolling release that stays on the cutting edge, Sabayon might very well be for you.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia .iso released!
      • Mageia Announces First Alpha Release

        Anne Nicolas has announced the first alpha release of Mageia (code name Cantine). The 32-bit or 64-bit DVD should be landing on mirrors very soon. In addition, Nicolas said that package RPMs are also being made available for those that wish to update Mandriva installs.

        Nicolas warns this release isn’t production ready, but also adds it’s not “reviewer” ready either. But there’s little doubt the name Mageia will cross the title of many blogs in coming days. Further, she states there will probably be little there to impress even end-users and this release is directed primarily for developers. Their first goal is “to have a rock solid factory and system.”

      • Mandriva 2011 Alpha 1

        I am pleased to announce to you that the iso of Mandriva 2011 Alpha 1 just went out, and should be available in devel/isos/2011 directory on your favorite mirror shortly!

      • Mandriva is seeking a security engineer

        The Mandriva Security Team is seeking a new member for dealing with security vulnerabilities within the Mandriva products portfolio. You will be part of a small team responsible for triage, investigation, and tracking of security vulnerabilities reported to Mandriva on the Mandriva products. You will work in Paris, France.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 6 review

        Because of the Debian Free Software Guidelines, a Debian distribution is never going to meet your desktop computing needs out-of-the-box. You will have to spend sometime adding alternate repos to your sources.list file, and installing several non-free packages. Nothing I write or suggest here is going to change that. There are, however, a few aspects of a new Debian 6 installation that could be improved, which have nothing to do with software licensing. If implemented, these suggestions should make a default installation of Debian better than it is now.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • A few new updates to Unity in Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha

          As well as the ‘always hide’ option comes ‘Dodge Windows’ – an option which, no shocks, dodges windows regardless whether the ‘active’ window is touching the launcher or not.

        • Happy Valentine’s Day
        • Ubuntu 11.04 Preview: run-one Improves Automated Tasks

          It’s a safe bet that cron doesn’t rank highly on most Ubuntu users’ priority lists — in fact, I’d be surprised if a majority even know what cron is. For those who do, however, the Ubuntu 11.04 release in April promises some notable new features for cron in the form of the run-one wrapper script. Here’s the scoop.

          Cron, of course, is the daemon on a Linux computer that lets users run commands at specific times on a regular basis. It can update software, back up data or send out reminders for important things such as Fido’s birthday. It can be quite handy, especially for people who aren’t good at remembering things.

        • Putting Your Brick In The Natty Wall – Jono Bacon

          I believe that Natty is going to be a real game changer for Ubuntu.

        • Twofolds Joy of using Ubuntu

          Frequent inhibitors to migrating to Ubuntu are what if something goes wrong, where will my windows go, what if I don’t get everything working and topmost is I have only one partition what to do now don’t wish to risk any partition magicians. A quick fix to all this rests in using Windows-based Ubuntu Installer (Wubi). If something goes wrong you don’t lose windows, hard disk space and top of all your patience with Linux-derivatives.

        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Linux group hopes to gain from Nokia-Microsoft pact

        Wireless Linux group LiMo hopes to benefit from a tie-up between Microsoft and Nokia as this should push smaller phone makers to seek alternative software platforms, its head said on Monday.

        Computer operating system Linux has started to win traction in mobile with Google Inc’s Android rising to the No. 1 spot in global smartphone rankings last quarter, helped by a wide array of models from many vendors.

      • LiMo Foundation Unveils LiMo 4

        LiMo Foundation, a global consortium of leading mobile operators, device and technology vendors, today announced the launch of LiMo 4, the latest release of the LiMo Platform. LiMo 4 makes broad use of leading open source technologies and is positioned to support the realisation of openness and choice within mobile consumer propositions.

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • Nokia CEO Clarifies Battle Against Android, Clears Up Misconceptions

          Indeed, there was such a laser focus on Android during the presentation that Elop did not even mention other major mobile ecosystems, such as Research In Motion’s Blackberry and HP’s webOS.

        • Nokia Autopsy on MeeGo – One last look back, Before we look forward on the New Nokia

          Clearly the Board approved the death of MeeGo when Elop was hired. Elop delayed the pending MeeGo launch from October 2010 to sometime in 2011, which was announced in public on October 22, but was probably internally communicated to the stunned MeeGo team on October 5. That was the day MeeGo’s project leader, Ari Jaaksi suddenly resigned ‘for personal reasons’. Elop also killed the N9-00 Meego handset project which was first reported in January to have been killed. MeeGo is now being turned from a mass market operational OS project, to a ‘hobby’ project where Nokia will bring one handset to it (expect it to be a mild and simple version of N9-00) sometime towards the end of the year, just to fulfill its obligation.

        • Open source groups attack Nokia’s divorce of MeeGo

          Nokia has left Intel and Meego out in the cold as it divorces them to begin its new affair with Microsoft.

          The Linux Foundation, which according to Intel is the primary product leader of MeeGo, has called Nokia’s stab in the back “disappointing”, while other open source groups have said Stephen Elop has “jumped his company off the burning platform” and “straight into the fire.”

          [...]

          Eric Raymond, president at the Open Source organisation also had a few choice words claiming that Stephen Elop had “failed to resolve Nokia’s drift and lack of a strategic focus.”

        • [Old] Microsoft beware: Stephen Elop is a flight risk

          After he had been working at Adobe for about six months, Elop told the company in June 2006 he’d be leaving, setting his departure date as Dec.5, one year to the day since he had been hired. For his year of service, Elop was paid a $500,000 salary and $315,000 bonus. Oh, and got a $1.88 million severance payment, on top of that. And all of his restricted shares vested when he left, despite the original performance strings that had been attached to them.

          No, we’re not making this up.

          At Juniper, where Elop resigned on Wednesday — also one year to the day from when he started — he was guaranteed $200,000 in additional “relocation reimbursement and benefits” plus “reimbursement of travel costs between his current home and Juniper’s offices in Sunnyvale.” That was in addition to his $540,000 salary.

        • MeeGo Tablet User Experience Detailed Walk Through (Video)

          Nokia might be walking away from QT and MeeGo but its clear that MeeGo is not going anywhere. Just because Nokia thought twice it doesn’t mean that the train still isn’t moving ahead a full speed.

          MeeGo early version 2.1 was being shown on the Pegatron 11.6 tablet which we’ve seen before on with the ExoPC and the WeTab. Quickly if you’re not familiar its running the Intel Atom N450, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a 32GB or 64GB SSD and a multitouch screen that isn’t currently supported. No on ever said that building a cross platform OS would be easy, Intel has definitely lined up its share of adversity this week. But hardware wise for all of these software pitfalls I do however wish that they’d shown MeeGo off on at least the Oaktrail.

        • Nokia shares fall further after Microsoft deal
        • I’m not a Trojan horse: Nokia’s Elop hits back at neigh sayers

          The first non-Finnish president of Nokia confirmed that he’s not a plant for Microsoft and that he intends to sell his MS shares. This is after a heckler asked CEO Stephen Elop: “Are you a Trojan Horse?” after the Canadian’s keynote speech at Mobile World Congress. Elop was then questioned about his share-holdings in both Microsoft and Nokia.

        • Angry Birds Now On Meego (Updated with Video)

          I guess its no surprise right? Angry Birds are everywhere and Meego is not missing out on the action. Video later but for the proof, see the images. It works well. Hey, someone needs to test it!

        • Announcement of strategic partnership with Microsoft leads to sharp falls in Nokia stock in Helsinki
        • Qt’s future: Bigger than Nokia

          Elop shouldn’t mind too much, since it was also revealed over the weekend that Elop owns no Nokia stock and happens to be the seventh largest non-institutional holder of Microsoft stock. To be fair, Elop may have been prevented from owning Nokia stock due to Finnish securities regulations.

          According to a story in The Register today, Elop was heckled by an audience member during his Mobile World Congress keynote.

        • Burning the ships at Nokia

          It’s one of those moments like when Cortez burned his ships to concentrate his conquistadores fully on their job of subjugating the Yucatan. Elop is burning his software development capability, betting on Microsoft. Sure, Symbian will be around for awhile in Nokia products, but two years from now it should be gone. And in that interim period, between lower development costs and Microsoft subsidies, Nokia will look better to investors even if its smart phone market share continues to fall.

        • The Giant is falling…

          I was in high school when Bill Clinton’s administrator rightfully attacked Microsoft. At the time it was in violation of anti-trust laws. This giant had grown too fast for comfort. At the time, I was frightened. If the United States Government split up Microsoft, what would happen to PC standards?

        • A requiem for Nokia: I really should have seen this coming…

          You may have heard that MeeGo is pretty much dead. I put the blame for this squarely on Intel; where MeeGo had the chance to quell some of Android’s explosive growth in 2010 the nascent mobile OS was held back by their partner’s agenda — to get Intel chips onto mobile phones.

      • Android

        • VLC on Android

          A lot of people are asking about the status of VLC media player on Android. We usually answered that we are working on it. Now that some good progresses has been done, lets look at the current status of VLC media player for Android.

        • Condé Nast Launching Digital Editions For Android

          Condé Nast is prepping digital editions of The New Yorker and Wired magazines for Google’s Android 3.0 (aka Honeycomb) system this spring. While both titles have been available on Apple’s iPad for several months, publishers such as Time Inc. (NYSE: TWX) are hopeful that Google’s greater flexibility on managing digital and print subscription packages will ultimately tilt the balance of power back in their favor.

    • Tablets

      • Hands on with MeeGo Tablet 1.2 UX pre-alpha on ExoPC

        I was lucky enough to get an early version of the pre-alpha MeeGo tablet User experience, so I thought I’d share my experience. I’m drafting this post almost a week before it comes out, so the version I’m testing may be a version or two behind the actual release of the alpha. Note, I’ll add notes to my post for any changes once this launches. It’s important to put this release in context. This is an alpha release for developers. When a consumer tablet goes to market it will benefit of a future beta version and eventual gold code. It will also have an OEM UI that may add or deviate from what Intel & MeeGo are providing in this pre-alpha version. The purpose of this release is to get a tablet user experinece in the hands of developers to start creating and testing apps for MeeGo tablets. So there is much more to be done here before there is a consumer ready product. However the core functionality and working APIs are in this release and you can get a good idea of how a MeeGo tablet will work from this release.

      • MeeGo Tablet UX Evaluation Software License Agreement
      • Intel launches MeeGo Tablet User Experience – Hands-On and Info.

        Remember that cool-looking Tablet user experience we saw back at Computex?, well it’s back and it’s official. It’s now the official Tablet User Experience for MeeGo.

        We’ve had a close look at the demonstration, seen below on an ExpoPC, and talked to Intel’s Michael Richmod, the marketing manager for this product. Developers attending the Applab this week at MWC are going to get a pre-configured Meego Tablet to walk away with and the Meego image, built with the latest 1.2 beta, will be available for download later this week.

      • SmartQ announces Ten, an Android tablet packing IPS display with piezoelectric touchscreen

        OK, before y’all haters state the obvious in the comments below, there’s actually something noteworthy about this familiar-looking Chinese slate. What we have here is the SmartQ Ten (or T10, as referenced above), a forthcoming Froyo tablet that’ll feature a juicy Cortex-A9 chip plus a Mali 400 GPU, as well as 512MB RAM and a 9.7-inch 1024 x 768 IPS display. This wouldn’t be the first Android device to get the IPS goodness, though, as its predecessor R10 — launched with Android 2.1 and a 720MHz processor back in December — also has the same LCD panel within a seemingly identical form factor. In fact, we stumbled upon an R10 earlier today, and the prettiness of the screen did surprise us.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Ⓕ ForgeRock Starts Year Two With A Bang

    To start year two with a bang, I’m pleased to announce that ApexIdentity will be joining ForgeRock effective today, bringing their expertise in identity and access management to the projects that comprise ForgeRock’s I3 platform. In particular, their great work on OAuth 2.0 will be adapted and contributed to the OpenAM project, maintaining its reputation as the leading open source system for access management. Founders Jamie Nelson and Paul Bryan will join ForgeRock’s leadership team with responsibility for the overall I3 platform vision.

  • Looking forward to a sweet new year selling open source

    Even now, after class is over for the year, many of the students keep coming back. Some pursue independent studies or co-op credit to continue work on class projects. Others join existing FOSS efforts. Some volunteer their time on FOSSBox projects or simply hang out.

    Both the larger open source world and the smaller community they’ve built for themselves on campus provide a metaphorical and physical home. FOSSBoxers have brought in students from programs across the University, technical and not, to participate in our hackfests for open government, OLPC projects, and others.

  • Focus Group Open Source: Migration
  • Web Browsers

    • The 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards: Web Browsers

      The Best Major Desktop Browser category accepted nominations for desktop browsers that are considered to be mainstream. Although “major Web browsers” is technically a grouping reserved for those released by well known browser makers, lesser known offerings that boasted a relatively significant user base were considered for inclusion.

    • Chrome

      • Google man open sources Chrome build system

        Google Chrome developer Evan Martin has open sourced the custom-designed build system he uses to build the browser’s Linux port.

        Martin calls the system Ninja because it “strikes quickly.” According to Martin’s Ninja manual, he previously used a customized system based on the old GNU Make build-automation system, and while this needed 10 seconds to start building the open source Chromium browser after a file change was made, Ninja takes under a second.

      • Blog from your desktop with GNOME Blog

        With my on-going search for making my life ever-easier, I have turned to using smaller applications to keep my readers and fans informed. This can get to be an overwhelming problem when you are tweeting, facebooking, blogging, and – oh yeah – writing. So instead of adding to my already-large collection of tabs in Chromium Browser, I have found smaller tools that are one-trick ponies that tackle the task at hand with simplicity and speed.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox’s Director to Leave the Consumer Tech World

        Mike Beltzner, the man in charge of the development of open source browser Firefox, announced this morning that he’ll be leaving Mozilla once the 4.0 version of the popular browser launches and he’s helped transition the team towards developing 5.0 without him. You’ll never guess where he’s going next. Apparently he’s joining a company called Dug Software, a 70 employee provider of geological exploration software.

      • Mozilla losing Director of Firefox, Mike Beltzner
      • Developer Engagement at Mozilla

        In November I joined the Developer Engagement team at Mozilla. We are working to make sure web developers every where know and use open technologies.

        Mozilla’s mission is to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the web. On the developer engagement team, we work to make sure web developers can use open technologies to help create open and innovative opportunities for everyone around the world.

  • Databases

    • NoSQL Benchmark Open-Sourced

      Earlier this month Belgian computer science student Dory Thibault posted a slide deck with the surprising results of a benchmark comparing Cassandra, HBase, MongoDB and Riak. The benchmarks are a part of his mater’s thesis, and the slides were difficult to interpret without the accompanying oral presentation.

    • Bug fixes for MySQL 5.5

      Version 5.5.9 of the free MySQL database has been released. Apart from making minor changes to the mysqladmin and mysqldump tools, improving their operation with authentication plug-ins by allowing which authentication plug-in to use, most of the changes were bug fixes. One change flagged as incompatible is the stopping of auto_increment wrapping for increments greater than one.

  • CMS

    • World leaders using Drupal

      I’m happy to share another gigantic win for Drupal; the World Economic Forum (the Forum) has launched their internal collaboration platform on Drupal. The Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders. It is best known for its annual meeting in Davos. Their World Economic Leaders Community (WELCOM) is where they will engage online to address the most pressing business and global challenges.

  • Education

    • Is Microsoft planning to upgrade ICT in our schools for free?

      Microsoft announced a 1000 apprenticeships for youngsters in London last week signalling that they remain committed to education. What will follow will be the Perfect Storm of software upgrades.

      I don’t want to depress anyone out there more than usual but I must point out that in education computer software is well overdue a complete revamp. Three years ago schools were told by the Government not to upgrade to MS Vista or Office 2007 and the accompanying soundtrack was one of the brakes screeching on.

      We now know that to make matters worse we face four years of spending cuts which do not bode well for school ICT … but even so does anyone really believe that in 2016 we will still be using Windows XP as the OS in the majority of schools?

      [...]

      Schools have antiquated ICT but have simply to do nothing but wait … It’s perfect marketing, Microsoft are the archetypal ‘catch up corporation’ and schools the archetypal ‘catch up’ users.

      I am so sorry schools but I think the die is cast. It’s free but not as in beer.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • I Love Free+Libre Software Campaign , #ilovefs, I love LibreQt

      Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, and it’s a great day to declare your love and gratitude to the people behind every Free Software initiative and organisation. Why not make this February 14th a very special day and show them that you appreciate their work?

  • Government

    • IT: Updated law presses public administrations to share software

      An update of Italy’s law for e-government, Codice dell’Amministrazione Digitale, (CAD) urges public administrations to share software applications. DigitPA, a governement IT resource centre, should act as a clearing house, enabling public administrations to share and re-use applications and software.

      “Taking re-use into account should be done from the beginning, including the drafting of contracts”, explains DigitPA in a introduction on CAD, published on the centre’s website.

    • US: Government instructs its procurers not to discriminate against open source software

      On 7 January 2011, the US Government issued a memorandum instructing its information technology (IT) procurers not to discriminate on the basis of whether the software is proprietary, open source or mixed source, but to base their purchasing choices solely on the merits of the products.

      The ‘technology neutrality’ memorandum from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) urges Government agencies to “analyse alternatives that include proprietary, open source, and mixed source technologies. This allows the Government to pursue the best strategy to meet its particular needs.” The memorandum also emphasises several key open source factors, such as interoperability and re-use in the selection of IT. The economic implications of this might be considerable, given that currently US Government agencies spend almost $80 billion (approximately €59 billion) to buy IT.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Five questions about open source and branding with Alina Wheeler

      ALINA: I am eager to learn about new brands that are co-created with the customer or end-user. I believe that open source is the most meaningful and relevant methodology that will help us prepare for a new world: i.e. build communities that matter, collaborate more effectively toward outcomes that matter, and innovate because for survival, that matters.

    • Man decides to open source his genetic data using GitHub

      There are many services popping up on the Internet allowing you to store data about yourself or the projects you are working on. One of the most popular among the development community is GitHub: a distributed version control system mainly for software development allowing you to share and collaborate with others online.

      While GitHub can be paid for as a service for private projects, open source projects get hosted for free. So there is a general mix of both types of project and over 1.7 million repositories currently stored on the service.

    • Open Access/Content

      • The Ghent Declaration

        Seizing the Opportunity for Open Access to European Research: The Ghent Declaration initiated by the reviewers of the EC OpenAIRE Project.

        The Ghent Declaration was submitted to the European Commission last January as a follow up to the launch of OpenAIRE on December 2nd.

        SPARC Europe, who led the panel discussion at OpenAIRE, very much welcomes the Declaration and is happy to make it publicly-available via its website as to encourage further debate on the important matters affecting greater than ever access to Europe’s research publications.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • MPEG-LA targets Google’s VP8 Video Codec

      First, Google opened up its VP8 video codec. Then, Google removed built-in support for the MPEG-LA patent encumbered H.264 video codec from its Chrome Web-browser in favor of VP8. After that it was only a matter of time before the MPEG-LA patent consortium came gunning for Google VP8.

      As a MPEG-LA representative told ZDNet’s Ed Bott, “Yes, as we have said in the past, we believe VP8 uses many patents owned by different parties. To the extent VP8 includes technology owned by others, then a pool license which removes uncertainties regarding patent rights and royalties by making that technology widely available on the same terms to everyone would be beneficial to the market.”

    • IEEE spec aims to ease mobile congestion

      The IEEE is drafting a standard that aims to help strike a difficult balance between the needs of carriers to ease rapidly growing congestion on mobile networks with the needs of users who want better download experiences.

      The P2200 specification is a protocol for stream management in client devices supported and to some extent managed by a new ad hoc industry group called the High Quality Mobile Experience (HQME) Steering Committee.

    • Document Freedom Day on 30 March

      This year Document Freedom Day (DFD) is set for 30 March. DFD is a day that focuses public attention on the importance of free document formats and on open standards in general.

    • Adobe open source code backs – gasp! – HTML5

      Adobe believes in Flash on mobiles. But it believes in HTML5 too, and it would like the world to know that these two beliefs are not mutually exclusive.

      On Thursday, at a press event in San Francisco, the company announced that over 20 million smartphones now ship with Flash Player 10.1, and that it hopes to push the player onto another 112 million devices, including tablets, by the end of the year. But it was quite careful to point out that it’s working to facilitate the development of HTML5 applications as well.

Leftovers

  • [Same pose, different times]
  • Managing Nerds

    Ten years ago, the world was collectively freaked out by the Y2K bug. The idea was that when innumerable software-driven clocks flipped at midnight from 1999 to 2000 that the digital shit was going to hit the fan. I blame the origin of the world-wide freak-out on the nerds.

    Y2K collectively freaked out the nerds because every single software engineering nerd has had the moment where he looked across the table at someone important and said, “Yeah, I fixed that problem, but I have no fucking clue why it’s working. It’s a total mystery.” Nerds have been repeatedly bitten by previously dismissed and seemingly impossible edge cases that we believed there was no possible way for a regular human to encounter.

  • Twitter dismisses reports of Google interest

    He declined comment on a follow-up question on Facebook, which has also been reported to have held low-level takeover talks with Twitter.

  • Bev Oda’s admission fuels howls of secrecy against Harper government

    A Conservative cabinet minister risks being found in contempt of Parliament over accusations she lied to MPs and doctored a document to hide the fact that she was overruling her department.

    ‬International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda rose in the House of Commons Monday to admit that it was on her order that the word “not” was inserted in a memo drafted by senior public servants recommending she approve new funding for the church-backed aid group Kairos.

  • Apple Now The Most Valuable Tech Company By $100 Billion; Google Closing In On Microsoft
  • Science

    • Singularitarianism?

      Ray Kurzweil is a genius. One of the greatest hucksters of the age. That’s the only way I can explain how his nonsense gets so much press and has such a following. Now he has the cover of Time magazine, and an article called 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal. It certainly couldn’t be taken seriously anywhere else; once again, Kurzweil wiggles his fingers and mumbles a few catchphrases and upchucks a remarkable prediction, that in 35 years (a number dredged out of his compendium of biased estimates), Man (one, a few, many? How? He doesn’t know) will finally achieve immortality (seems to me you’d need to wait a few years beyond that goal to know if it was true). Now we’ve even got a name for the Kurzweil delusion: Singularitarianism.

    • New nanomaterials are good news for next-generation electronic devices

      In recent years, topological insulators have become one of the hottest topics in physics. These new materials act as both insulators and conductors, with their interior preventing the flow of electrical currents while their edges or surfaces allow the movement of a charge.

    • Societal Security

      Humans have a natural propensity to trust non-kin, even strangers. We do it so often, so naturally, that we don’t even realize how remarkable it is. But except for a few simplistic counterexamples, it’s unique among life on this planet. Because we are intelligently calculating and value reciprocity (that is, fairness), we know that humans will be honest and nice: not for any immediate personal gain, but because that’s how they are. We also know that doesn’t work perfectly; most people will be dishonest some of the time, and some people will be dishonest most of the time. How does society — the honest majority — prevent the dishonest minority from taking over, or ruining society for everyone? How is the dishonest minority kept in check? The answer is security — in particular, something I’m calling societal security.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Why some gonorrhoea bacteria are a little bit human

      There’s nothing like a personalised gift to make your lover feel extra special this Valentine’s day, but perhaps not this one: a little piece of human DNA wrapped in the genome of gonorrhoea bacteria.

      Hank Seifert and Mark Anderson at Northwestern University in Chicago analysed the genome sequences of 14 samples of Neisseria gonorrhoeae – the bacteria that causes the sexually transmitted disease. When the pair ran the sequences through a computer to look for contamination, they found a human fragment of DNA present in three of the isolates.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Spy games: Inside the convoluted plot to bring down WikiLeaks

      When Aaron Barr was finalizing a recent computer security presentation for the US Transportation Security Administration, a colleague had a bit of good-natured advice for him: “Scare the sh*t out of them!”

      In retrospect, this may not have been the advice Barr needed. As CEO of the government-focused infosec company HBGary Federal, Barr had to bring in big clients—and quickly—as the startup business hemorrhaged cash. To do so, he had no problem with trying to “scare the sh*t out of them.” When working with a major DC law firm in late 2010 on a potential deal involving social media, for instance, Barr decided that scraping Facebook to stalk a key partner and his family might be a good idea. When he sent his law firm contact a note filled with personal information about the partner, his wife, her family, and her photography business, the result was immediate.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Pressure on to freeze Mubarak’s assets in UK

      The British Government was under growing pressure last night to copy its Swiss counterpart and freeze any assets belonging to the Mubarak family following accusations that vast sums of money have been illicitly smuggled out of Egypt.

      Anti-corruption campaigners have called on foreign governments to automatically seize any assets held in their countries by the former president Hosni Mubarak or his family until it can be ascertained whether they are legitimate or not.

    • food for thought

      Like, well, probably just about everybody, I’ve been following the events in North Africa and the Middle East with interest of late. But here’s what I do: Finding the regular English-language media’s coverage of Africa and the Middle East to be wholly inadequate, I rely as much on Al Jazeera English and the French-language media for news and analysis from those regions of the world. Still far from perfect, but I do find a get a far more rounded-out, complete picture of what’s going on. I was reading of troubles in Tunisia and Algeria in the likes of Le Monde, Liberation and Le Figaro days before I saw anything written on the subject in English (which is certainly not to say English-language articles hadn’t been appearing. There are only so many hours in a day), and I’ve found the French-language coverage to go into considerably more depth than anything I’ve seen in English. Perhaps that has something to do with France’s colonial past in Africa – and especially, in this case, the Maghreb – and continued deep involvement in African affairs?

      And finally, today, I find the kind of analysis of the situation I’ve been waiting some time to see, published, of course, in Le Monde. “Post-Islamist Revolution”, the headline screams.

    • Live-blog: Iran – 25 Bahman – February 14, 2011

      This is a live-blog report of events in Iran on February 14, 2011 (25 Bahman). The majority of the reports in this blog are sourced via social media. With regards to the videos and images in this live-blog, we are not affiliated with the people or groups that produced them. In order to follow this report in chronological order, it must be read from the bottom up. The newest entries will be at the top.

    • Iran opposition planning protests

      Amid reports of a low turnout for the annual march commemorating the anniversary of Iran’s Islamic revolution on Friday, there are calls among opposition leaders for nationwide marches against the government on Monday.

      Protesters, including university students, lorry drivers and gold merchants are said to be organising marches across the country under the umbrella of the country’s Green movement, apparently inspired by recents demonstrations in Egypt and Tunisia.

    • Tehran Beats Back New Protests

      Iranian police used tear gas and electric prods to crack down on the country’s biggest antigovernment protests in at least a year, as demonstrators buoyed by activism across the Middle East returned to the country’s streets by the tens of thousands Monday.

    • Iran Live Blog: 25 Bahman / 14 February

      The regime’s security forces tried, with some success, to choke off access by protesters to the primary march route and gathering sites in the capital.

    • Iran LiveBlog – February 14 (25 Bahman)
    • 100-ft-long drug-smuggling, Narco-crafted submarine discovered in Colombia

      Members of the Colombian Navy stand guard on top of a seized submarine built by drug smugglers in a makeshift shipyard in Timbiqui, department of Cauca, February 14, 2011. Colombian authorities said the submersible craft was to be used to transport 8 tons of cocaine illegally into Mexico.

    • FBI Releases File On the Anarchist Cookbook

      An anonymous reader noted that the FBI has released its file on The Anarchist Cookbook, the 1971 manual of mayhem. It’s a pretty long PDF that isn’t actually OCRd but there’s some crazy stuff in there. But my personal favorite is the scanned in images of 3.5″ floppy disks.

    • Why Egypt’s progressives win

      On 6 February 2011, Egypt’s hastily appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman invited in the old guard or what we could call the Businessmen’s Wing of the Muslim Brothers into a stately meeting in the polished rosewood Cabinet Chamber of Mubarak’s Presidential Palace. The aim of their tea party was to discuss some kind of accord that would end the national uprising and restore “normalcy.” When news of the meeting broke, expressions of delight and terror tore through the blogosphere. Was the nightmare scenario of both the political left and right about to be realized? Would the US/Israel surrogate Suleiman merge his military-police apparatus with the power of the more conservative branch of the old Islamist social movement? Hearing the news, Iran’s Supreme Leader sent his congratulations. And America’s Glen Beck and John McCain ranted with glee about world wars and the inevitable rise of the Cosmic Caliphate.

    • More Guns=Less Crime! You Know, Except at CPAC

      More guns less crime. It is the mantra of those who don’t really believe in such wacky things as statistics, empirical evidence and common sense.

      Some because they have blissfully become the NRA’s ever-willing Manchurian Candidates, prisoners of ideology, where facts are uninvited house guests and certainty is superior to truth. Others, because they are known as the NRA leadership, made up of arms dealers and those, like NRA head honcho Wayne LaPierre, who gets paid $1.281 million per year by arms dealers. Not gonna be much wiggle room at that table at The Palm.

    • Defector admits to WMD lies that triggered Iraq war

      The defector who convinced the White House that Iraq had a secret biological weapons programme has admitted for the first time that he lied about his story, then watched in shock as it was used to justify the war.

      Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed Curveball by German and American intelligence officials who dealt with his claims, has told the Guardian that he fabricated tales of mobile bioweapons trucks and clandestine factories in an attempt to bring down the Saddam Hussein regime, from which he had fled in 1995.

  • Cablegate

    • Program Transcript

      JULIAN ASSANGE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, WIKILEAKS: Of course the title is absolutely correct. It speaks about very specific incidents.

      If you go to collateralmurder.com you will see the exact incident it’s talking about when a man is crawling in the street completely unarmed, wounded and he is killed by a 30 millimetre cannon from the air very intentionally, and his rescuers.

      DANIEL ELLSBERG, FMR US MILITARY ANALYST: I watched the Apache helicopter attack in the video with the eyes of a former marine infantry officer. I was a platoon leader and company commander and I was also a battalion training officer who had trained troops on Nuremberg in the laws of war.

      It was very clear to me that what I was looking at was a war crime, was murder.

    • Kloppers ‘offered secrets to the US’

      BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers fears espionage from China, his business competitors and partners, and even the Australian government, but is eager to trade secrets with the United States, according to a secret cable released by WikiLeaks.

      Mr Kloppers has also described doing business in Melbourne as being like ”playing poker when everyone can see your cards”, the cable says.

    • 09GUATEMALA106, UNDER NARCO THREAT, RULE OF LAW COLLAPSING IN COBAN

      Confronted by the threat from three narcotrafficking
      groups, including recently arrived “Zetas” from Mexico, the
      local Rule of Law (ROL) apparatus in the northern city of
      Coban is no longer capable of dealing with the most serious
      kinds of crime. What is happening there is typical of many
      rural areas of Guatemala. Sources tell us that Coban’s
      police are corrupt and allied with traffickers, and sometimes
      even provide them escort. Some judges and prosecutors are
      too frightened to do their jobs properly; others are in
      league with the traffickers. Asserting that security is not
      his job, the mayor is turning a blind eye to the
      narco-violence in Coban’s streets. Wholesale restructuring
      of the ROL apparatus — not mere personnel changes — would
      be required for the state to adequately reassert its
      authority.

    • BHP chief offered secrets to US: WikiLeaks

      BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers was willing to trade secrets with the United States and feared espionage from the Chinese, Rio Tinto Ltd and the Australian government, according to an American secret diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks and reported on by Fairfax Media.

      Beginning in a June 4, 2009 meeting between Mr Kloppers and US consul-general Michael Thurston and in subsequent discussions, Mr Kloppers asked US diplomats for insights on China’s intentions and said he would be willing to trade secrets in order to obtain information on China, according to Fairfax reports on the secret US cable.

    • Motion on possible abuse of European Arrest Warrant in Assange case – Gerard Batten MEP
    • Interview with Glenn Greenwald [02•14•11]
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Revealed: how energy firms spy on environmental activists

      Three large energy companies have been carrying out covert intelligence-gathering operations on environmental activists, the Guardian can reveal.

      The energy giant E.ON, Britain’s second-biggest coal producer Scottish Resources Group and Scottish Power, one of the UK’s largest electricity-generators, have been paying for the services of a private security firm that has been secretly monitoring activists.

      Leaked documents show how the security firm’s owner, Rebecca Todd, tipped off company executives about environmentalists’ plans after snooping on their emails. She is also shown instructing an agent to attend campaign meetings and coaching him on how to ingratiate himself with activists. The disclosures come as police chiefs, on the defensive over damaging revelations of undercover police officers in the protest movement, privately claim that there are more corporate spies in protest groups than undercover police officers.

    • BREAKING: Chevron Guilty of Amazon Rainforest Destruction, Judge Issues $8 Billion Fine

      Amazon Watch and Rainforest Action Network just announced a major victory for the Amazon rainforest. An Ecuadorean judge today found Chevron guilty of one of the largest environmental crimes in history and ordered the company to pay a whopping $8 billion to clean up its damage in the Amazon.

    • Brits to David Cameron: Save Our Forests!

      Back in October, I wrote about how the British government plans to sell off a large chunk of the country’s public forests. But like Birnim Wood rising up against Macbeth, the British public has so savagely attacked the plans that it now looks like the government might back down.

  • Finance

    • Rwanda: Africa’s newest stock exchange

      Africa’s newest stock exchange is the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE), launched on 31 Jan to start trading the shares of brewer Brasseries et Limonaderies du Rwanda BRALIRWA (www.bralirwa.com).

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Bald disinformation about Scientology critic

      An anonymous commenter’s missive in response to yesterday’s post on Hugh Spencer’s Master’s thesis on the Church of Scientology and science fiction is some of the dumbest disinformation I’ve seen yet.

  • Censorship

    • About The Calyx Institute

      The Calyx Institute safeguards fundamental rights and promote freedom of speech on the Internet by educating the public, through legal advocacy and defense, by conducting research into privacy technology, and by providing a ‘test bed’ environment for the development and deployment of secure Internet and telephone services.

  • Privacy

    • NoDPI meets the ICO to discuss TalkTalk

      Just before Christmas, four representatives of NoDPI met Dave Evans of the Information Commissioner’s Office. Dave sees groups such as NoDPI as being valuable in providing expertise which the ICO can harness. However, he set expectations by reminding the meeting that on each issue the ICO has to make a judgement call. Where could it have most influence? Would it win were the case to be brought to a tribunal? He gave the example of the October 2009 appeal court judgement over deleting records of criminal convictions.

      The meeting then moved on to its main topic, the anti-malware system proposed by TalkTalk. TalkTalk trialled this system in July 2010 without informing their users.

    • Privacy in the Wake of Olympic Security: Wikileaks Sheds Light on How the U.S. Pressured Brazil

      Privacy advocates have observed for years that countries hosting the Olympic Games introduce increasingly heightened security and surveillance measures for the event, but rarely cut back on public surveillance after the games are finished. Because these expanded surveillance measures are often made permanent, we noted with interest a report released by the whistle-blower website Wikileaks that detailed how the United States lobbied Brazil about security and information-sharing strategies after the latter was chosen to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

      Despite lengthy diplomatic cables on this issue, the cables from the U.S. that have been made public did not address the very serious privacy, civil liberties and public accountability implications of the widespread use of surveillance technologies. It remains to be seen what types of security and privacy protocols Brazil will be implement in the coming years. But history shows that the Olympic Games often result in increased security and public surveillance measures that persist long after the games end – to the detriment of privacy.

    • Online Idiocy Kills

      Steven Sumpter has written an excellent introductory guide to why you should run Tor and has not shied from explaining some of the minor risks inherent in doing so.

      Tor enables people in repressive regimes to access more of the internet than their nations’ censors allow them. There is one risk for users of Tor not covered in the article, however, that I want to highlight. Since anyone can run a Tor node, what is to stop the bad guys from doing so?

      In practice this happens a lot and these are known as hostile exit nodes.

      Karen Reilly at the Tor project pointed me to a post on their blog that covers this danger.

  • Civil Rights

    • The internet, oppressive regimes, and Tor

      A common feature of oppressive regimes is control of information. In Egypt recently the government not only blocked television signals from the likes of Al Jazeera, but they actually resorted to almost completely shutting down the internet across the whole country in an effort to prevent protesters from organising. In China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and many other places, the governments block access to sites that they consider a threat to either the government or to the moral values of the people. This usually includes social networks like Facebook and Twitter and news organisations like the BBC and Al Jazeera.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • The Hidden Rationale for Usage Based Billing

      ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is an international agreement to protect intellectual property and guard against piracy. It was hammered out by a handful of countries and requires signatories to have civil and criminal law that complies with it. Canada may have bargained away our ability to create independent legislation simply by being a party to ACTA, with terms allowing Canada to pass laws more stringent than required, but depriving us of the authority to create laws that contravene ACTA. This clearly undermines Canadian sovereignty.

    • TekSavvy Reintroduces Unlimited, Bumps Caps – ‘We Are Extending The Savings On To You, The Clients…’

      On the heels of the Canadian government’s decision to force the CRTC to review their throttling practices, ISPs like Primus have frozen their metered billing plans completely, while companies like Shaw have promised to work with consumers on fair pricing before moving forward. In a letters to customers posted to our forums, Canadian ISP TekSavvy says that in the wake of the CRTC’s forced retreat, the company is re-instating their unlimited usage plan — and the cap on their 200GB package is being raised to 300GB.

    • CNOC on the CRTC UBB Review: It’s Re-Arranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic

      The letter makes it clear that CNOC is seeking nothing less than a complete overhaul of the regulatory framework for broadband competition in Canada. The organization argues that “incumbent wholesale high-speed services, including the last-mile access, constitute the broadband platform that competitors need to offer almost all telecommunications and broadcasting services to consumers.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • History of Copyright, part 5: Moral Rights

        Paradoxically, the copyright and patent monopolies were forgotten when free market laws were enacted across Europe in the mid-1800s. Patent law still talks about “prevention of disloyal competition” as justification for its existence, which is a remnant from when guilds dictated products, craftsmen, and prices; if a business practices loyal competition in their industry segment today, we raid them at dawn and haul their ass to court. The copyright monopoly is a similar remnant from the printing guild of London.

      • DMCA Copyright Policies: Staying in the Safe Harbors While Protecting Your Users

        One of the less-heralded issues in a series of prominent cases (here, here, and here, for example) testing the limits of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) safe harbor provisions is the question of when and how service providers must terminate the accounts of “repeat infringers.” As a condition of safe harbor eligibility, the DMCA requires that service providers “adopt and reasonably implement” a repeat infringer policy that provides for termination of users’ accounts “in appropriate circumstances.” But what does this requirement mean? How does one “adopt and reasonably implement”? Who are “repeat infringers”? What do service providers need to do to comply with the law and protect their users’ rights to post lawful content?

      • RIAA ‘Protects’ Radiohead’s In Rainbows

        In 2007 Radiohead sent a shockwave through the music industry by allowing fans to download their new ‘self-released’ album ‘In Rainbows’ for whatever price they wanted to pay, including nothing. Fast-forward three years and the RIAA and IFPI are sending takedown notices to people who share that album online. What happened?

        After sitting out their contact with EMI, Radiohead self-released their latest album ‘In Rainbows’ and gave fans the option to download it for the price they felt comfortable paying. Not only was this one of the best promotional campaigns of the last decade, it also brought in serious money.

      • Screaming Justin Bieber Fans Using Camera Phones To Capture Snippets Of Movie Premiere Berated For Piracy

        We’ve pointed out many times that the laws, especially around things like copyright, simply don’t match up with the basic cultural norms of what it means to be a kid today. Remember, for example, the woman who was arrested and spent two nights in jail because she used a camera to capture a few very short segments of the movie Twilight, because she was trying to capture her sister’s birthday party (with the movie showing being a part of the event). Now, TorrentFreak points us to an unintentionally hilarious article written by a woman who appears to make her living as a Marilyn Monroe/Anna Nicole Smith impersonator, complaining about how a bunch of Justin Bieber fans were thieves because they dared to film snippets of his new movie (wait, Justin Bieber has a movie?!?) at a special VIP Premiere ($30 a ticket!) with their camera phones.

      • Court confirms: IP addresses aren’t people (and P2P lawyers know it)

        Wrapping up the last of the United Kingdom’s notorious copyright infringement “pay up” letter cases, a UK patent and copyright judge has had a major revelation. Just because some lawyer cites an Internet Protocol (IP) address where illegal file sharing may have taken place, that doesn’t mean that the subscriber living there necessarily did the dirty deed. Or is responsible for others who may have done it.

      • Radiohead To Release “World’s First Newspaper Album”

        The band announced that its new album, King of Limbs, will be available for download February 19, on its website this morning. Described as the “Newspaper Album,” King of Limbs comes in the form of two 10-inch vinyl records in a “purpose-built record-sleeve,” a CD and “many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-colour piece of oxo-degredeable plastic to hold it all together.” The price for the hard copy: $48 when sold with an MP3 download of the album, and $53 when sold with the WAV download. The discs and vinyls will ship May 9, while the digital downloads will be available February 19. Customers also have an option to purchase the album in download-only form.

      • Weak Copyright Laws? Recording Industry Files Massive Lawsuit Against isoHunt

        As the debate over Canada’s copyright reform legislation, Bill C-32,continues to rage before a legislative committee, one of the most frequently heard claims is that tough reforms are needed to counter Canada’s reputation as a “piracy haven”. The presence of several well-known BitTorrent sites, most notably B.C.-based isoHunt, is cited as evidence for Canada’s supposedly lax laws that the industry says leaves it powerless.

        When the bill was first introduced last June, the Canadian Recording Industry Association stated that “stronger rules are also needed to rein in Canadian-based peer-to-peer websites, which, according to IFPI,have become ‘a major source of the world’s piracy problem’.”

      • ACTA

        • USTR’s Request for Comments on ACTA

          USTR has issued a request for comments on ACTA. The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2011. The notice gives very little guidance regarding the issues the USTR would like addressed in the comments.

Clip of the Day

MeeGo Tablet User Experience


Credit: TinyOgg

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  25. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  26. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  27. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  28. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  29. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  30. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?


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