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Links 21/2/2011: Wine 1.3.14 Released, Firefox 4 Beta 12 Delayed

Posted in News Roundup at 9:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Eprints Institutional Repository Software: A Review

    Setting up an institutional repository (IR) can be a daunting task. There are many software packages out there, some commercial, some open source, all of which offer different features and functionality. This article will provide some thoughts about one of these software packages: Eprints. Eprints is open-source, and the software is easy to modify. This presents clear advantages for institutions will smaller budgets and that have programmers on staff.

  • Events

    • CeBIT in Hannover, Germany: the trade show I hate to love

      Fortunately CeBIT has an affiliate “Hannover Fairs USA”, and they offered a turn-key booth scenario at a reasonable price that allowed Linux International to have a presence, and to investigate what other things could be done at CeBIT in following years. CeBIT also had other “country pavilions” to make it easier for foreign companies to exhibit.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • 15 Killer Google Chrome Features You Might Not Know About

        Google Chrome has been steadily gaining in the browser market share since its launch 2 years ago. It’s not without its flaws but it definitely falls in the “kinda cool” category. Its simplicity and minimalistic, yet feature-rich, interface caused a lot of users to ditch their old and trusted browser in favor of this new tool.

    • Mozilla

      • Using Mozmill to Test Firefox Extensions

        Recently I’ve been working on a Firefox extension, and needed a way to test the code. While testing code is always important, it is particularly important for dynamic languages where code that hasn’t been run is more likely to be buggy.

      • Mozilla delays Firefox 4 beta 12, option for beta 13 on the table

        It’s slow progress over at Mozilla with regards to Firefox 4 beta. The next beta, which will be the twelfth, has been delayed.

      • Firefox 4 Final Beta Delayed – March Release Appears Likely

        In the gaming world it’s quite typical for a developer to tell the media they will ship “when it’s ready”, but another delay over at the Mozilla campus has pushed the Firefox 4 release out at least another month, and will likely pit the new browser up against some stiff competition from Internet Explorer 9 and Chrome 10 by the time it’s released. According to Christian Legnittom, Manager of Firefox releases, the final planned beta probably won’t ship for several more days while they try to iron out at least five major bugs on their “hard” blocker list.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Update: Google legal move could alter course of Oracle trial

      Google’s decision this week to ask the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to re-examine a number of the Oracle patents at issue in the companies’ ongoing intellectual-property case could have a significant effect on how the dispute plays out.


    • Eben Moglen: A free world needs free software

      Electronic rights activist, Eben Moglen, Executive Director of the New York-based Software Freedom Law Center, made an impassioned stand for the importance of free software, not just in the context of computers, but for political freedom and the future of a free society.
      “Software is what the 21st century is made of,” said Moglen to a packed lecture hall at the Université libre de Bruxelles campus, “What steel was to the economy of the 20th century, what steel was to the power of the 20th century, what steel was to the politics of the 20th century, software is now. It is the crucial building block, the component out of which everything else is made, and, when I speak of everything else, I mean of course freedom, as well as tyranny, as well as business as usual, as well as spying on everybody for free all the time.”

  • Licensing

    • Google has “no plans” to ban copyleft

      Both Apple and Microsoft have blocked the distribution of copylefted Free Software through their App Store and Windows Phone Marketplace respectively. Though there’s no indication or reason to believe this might happen with Google’s Android Market, I wrote their Open Source Programs Manager, Chris DiBona, asking him about the possibility.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Sintel, 4k edition (and why it’s useful)

      This week brings us another open movie milestone: a 4k release of Sintel! This super-high definition version (4096 x 1744 pixels) is being hosted by the fine people at xiph.org. As mentioned in the article, there will be some screenings, though you can also download the files yourself. Be aware however that the files are very large.


  • [Canada] Memo altered to signal direct decision from Oda: Conservatives

    An aide to International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda stamped her automated signature on a bureaucratic memo in 2009 because she was travelling and scribbled the word “not” on it to signify she was rejecting the advice from her bureaucrats, the Conservative government says.

  • The bigger Clarence Thomas scandal

    It’s been a rough few months for Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, Ginny.

    First, in October, Ginny left a bizarre, early morning phone message for Anita Hill asking her to apologize for the sexual harassment accusations she leveled at Thomas 20 years ago. Then, in January, the good government group Common Cause revealed that Thomas claimed “none” for “spousal noninvestment income” on a disclosure form during years where his wife pulled in six figures working for two conservative organizations, the Heritage Foundation and Liberty Central. Having a wife who worked for a group that opposed healthcare reform raised the question of whether Thomas should recuse himself in future cases on the law’s constitutionality. (74 House Democrats think so and they sent Thomas a letter saying as much).

  • Robber baron justice in the 21st century

    When Scalia and Thomas went to the Kochs’ events, they left behind the appearance of impropriety for the real thing

  • Top 4 Victories Handed to Corporate America by the Supreme Court — So Far

    One of the great works of American political literature is Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary, first published in 1906. From A-Z, Bierce offered about a thousand irreverent definitions of political, legal, and cultural terms, getting much closer to the truth of what the words really mean than the formal definitions you’ll find in Webster’s. For example, consider this stinger: “LAWFUL, adj. Compatible with the will of a judge having jurisdiction.”

  • Journalists Facing Extinction

    Perhaps the problem is that most of the news industry employers fit this bill, so getting paid work in an honest environment is next to impossible. If that’s the case, then perhaps it’s time for journalists to rise up to save their own industry, and demand to be able to report facts as accurately as they can before the label “journalist” loses all credibility.

    People are often accused of unfairly labelling all journalists and politicians as scumbags. The problem is that many of them are, and the handful who are not don’t speak out about it in their chosen profession. They refuse to tackle the issue, to try and do some good and get it addressed for the better. Of course this is about keeping their job, anyone who rocks the apple cart is marked as a troublemaker and soon finds themselves ignored at work, then dismissed under some dubious grounds followed by being marked as a pariah in their industry meaning that no other company will employ them.

    The alternative is that they stay slient, knowing the rancid nature of their industry, and colluding to keep that train on the tracks. They are part of the problem, all the while their readers increasingly see the problem and the solution; avoid traditional journalists, they can’t be trusted.

  • 10 Fascinating YouTube Facts That May Surprise You

    The founding trio didn’t come up with the YouTube concept straight away. Legend has it that YouTube began life as a video dating site dubbed “Tune In Hook Up,” said to be influenced by HotorNot. The three ultimately decided not to go that route. The inspiration for YouTube as we know it today is credited to two different events. The first was Karim’s inability to find footage online of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction,” and the second when Hurley and Chen were unable to share video footage of a dinner party due to e-mail attachment limitations.

  • The Value Of Expertise

    How many times do we complain that some political party or politicians are trying to introduce some laws covering technology that are completely unworkable and show the people promoting and suggesting them are completely clueless on what they’re talking about? They get their aggregated knowledge from advisers, who all come from special interests with their own agenda, and never let facts or reality get in the way.

    It does not help when the political system favours loyalty to the leader over competence. Where politicians only experienced in fooling the electorate are suddenly deemed fit to be put in charge of the nations education service. They may only be there for a year while the nations children see no new benefits and the politician decides to rearrange the deck chairs just for the sake of short term self interest in showing that they are in fact “doing something”. Often this is detrimental, and accumulating and compounding long term problems, which is the opposite of what they’re supposed to be getting paid to do.

  • Kidnapped toddler found by China internet campaign

    The six-year-old climbed out of the car and the crowd swept forward to see him. His grandfather picked him up, hugged him tight and wept.

  • Ex-Leader of Charity for Disabled Gets 10 Years in Prison, Must Pay $65 Million

    Yesterday, a judge sentenced the former CEO of an El Paso charity to 10 years in prison and $65 million in restitution for corruption and embezzlement involving the federal government’s biggest jobs program for the disabled.

    The sentence is the result of a federal probe launched after a 2006 investigation by reporters Les Zaitz, Jeff Kosseff, Byan Denson and photographer Faith Cathcart at The (Portland) Oregonian. Examining charities that hired the disabled nationwide, they found non-profit executives were cashing in huge paychecks while their disabled workers made pennies an hour.

  • Science

    • New fossils push algal origins back to 600 million years

      A recently published paper describes some fantastic fossil finds from China that date to the earliest era of multicellular life. The fossil deposits date from the Ediacaran, a period in which the first multicellular life was evident. Most of the Ediacaran fossils we’re aware of come from a bizarre and extinct group called the rangeomorphs (PDF), The new fossils appear to be even older than the rangeomorphs, but include forms that could be mistaken for modern algae.

    • How the Human Brain Retains Information

      The manner by which humans retain and retrieve information is an area widely explored and as of yet not completely understood.

      The human brain consists of about one billion neurons. Each neuron forms about 1,000 connections to other neurons, amounting to more than a trillian connections. This amounts to quite a large storage capacity.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Getting a grip

      Problems caused by smoking and obesity leave Akst dumbfounded. ”More than 400,000 Americans die from smoking cigarettes every year. Hundreds of thousands more die from obesity and its implications – diabetes, high blood pressure and so on.

      ”It’s absolutely astounding. To put that number in perspective: the number of Americans who die every year from smoking cigarettes exceeds the number of Americans who died fighting in World War II.”

    • Castro Pot Bust Goes Awry and a Law Professor Threatens to Sue

      When narcotics officers appeared at a Castro home shortly after 7 a.m. on Jan. 11, they had permission from a judge to search for “proceeds” from an illegal marijuana grow.

    • 03ROME5149, ITALY/BIOTEC…

      A describes Italian Agriculture
      Minister Alemanno’s latest gambit to effectively ban biotech
      crop cultivation in Italy by pushing through an extremely
      restrictive coexistence decree-law. Given the likely
      negative consequences of this proposal, not least upon U.S.
      seed exports to Italy, Ambassador Sembler raised strong
      objections to Alemanno’s approach in separate meetings this
      week with Foreign Minister Frattini (Nov. 10), with PM
      Berlusconi’s top advisor, Prime Ministry Under Secretary
      Gianni Letta, and with the Prime Minister directly in a phone
      call from Letta’s office (Nov. 11). Letta and the PM
      assurred the Ambassador that, either at the technical level
      or the political level, the draft Alemanno decree-law would
      be blocked.

    • House Votes to De-Fund Planned Parenthood, 240-185
  • Security

    • Web Browser Insecurity

      With open sourced software, you can easily say to someone “Firefox 2 is no longer supported, you need to remove it and install the latest Firefox 3.6″ they don’t have to let money factor into the decision. “Microsoft Office Word XP isn’t being patched to prevent X exploit, you’ll have to go get Microsoft Office 2010″ involves forking over a LOT of cash, and often has the cascade effect of “not supported in this version of Windows, you need to go buy the new version of Windows too” which can cascade down the various applications you use. Proprietary software companies use the EOL (End Of Life) abandoning support as a stick to push people into forking over more cash for new versions of their software, the last thing they want is to give up that stick.

      Again, those who can’t afford to splash out for Microsoft Office 2010 are left with an unpatched Microsoft Office XP, either knowing or not knowing that the exploit is being increasingly used by people who will seek to harm them and their data. Constantly changing proprietary file formats are another stick used to force people to splash the cash for little to no benefit, where a version of .doc won’t open in another version of Microsoft Office Word.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Don’t Mess with Saif Gaddafi. He Carries Guns.

      Following our story about two of Colonel Gaddafi’s sons treating America as their playground a magazine reports that Saif has been shooting up parts of Europe recently too, along with some intriguing playmates.

      British magazine The Spectator is set to report tomorrow that Saif went on a shooting trip with Peter Mandelson (who has about a million government titles but is pretty much the power behind British Prime Minister Gordon Brown) and Cherie Blair (wife of former PM Tony) at the Rothschild estate in Buckinghamshire. He brought his own guns in, through the airport.

    • Libyan protesters and security clash in capital, as Gadhafi’s son warns of civil war

      One witness says snipers opened fire from rooftops. Two others say gunmen in vehicles with photos of Gadhafi sped through, opening fire and running people over. The witnesses reported seeing casualties, but the number could not be confirmed.

    • Libya turns off the Internet and the Massacres begin

      First, Libya blocked news sites and Facebook. Then, beginning Friday night, according to Arbor Networks, a network security and Internet monitoring company, announced that Libya had cut itself off from the Internet. Hours later the Libyan dictator’s solders started slaughtering protesters. As of Sunday afternoon, U.S. Eastern time the death toll was above 200 in the city of Benghazi alone.

      Welcome to 2011. While dictators in the most repressive regimes, such as North Korea and Cuba, have long kept Internet contact to the world to a bare minimum, less restrictive dictatorships, such as Egypt and Libya left the doors to the Internet cracked open to the public. Now, though, realizing that they could no longer hide their abuses from a world a Twitter tweet away, the new model autocracies, such as Libya and Bahrain have realized that they need to cut their Internet links before bringing out the guns.

    • Libya protests: 140 ‘massacred’ as Gaddafi sends in snipers to crush dissent

      Snipers shot protesters, artillery and helicopter gunships were used against crowds of demonstrators, and thugs armed with hammers and swords attacked families in their homes as the Libyan regime sought to crush the uprising.

      “Dozens were killed … We are in the midst of a massacre here,” a witness told Reuters. The man said he helped take victims to hospital in Benghazi.

      Libyan Muslim leaders told security forces to stop killing civilians, responding to a spiralling death toll from unrest which threatens veteran leader Muammar Gaddafi’s authority.

    • UPDATED: As Arabia Protests, Libya Blocks Internet Access

      In light of the ongoing battle of citizens against corrupt and unjust regimes throughout the Arab world (more on Wikipedia), protestors have been increasingly reliant on social media websites to rally their numbers and organize their meets.

      Over the past two days, protests have flared up considerably in Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain resulting in mass casualties at the hands of government security. We now have reports from friends of NeoSmart Technologies in Tripoli, Libya (stay safe, guys! Please!) that the government has ordered ISPs to block access to most websites. Currently, most websites are unavailable and internet access is, by and large, being blocked.

    • If Libya Shuts Down the Internet, What Happens To .ly Domains?

      As we all know by now, there is unrest in the Middle East. You can read about the latest news from worldwide journalists located in all of the countries. The stories are amazing to read and watch. From an Internet perspective, the AFP is reporting that access to Facebook was cut earlier today in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. The AFP notes, “From early evening it was impossible to access the popular Facebook site, and connections to other sites were either very slow or not possible, they said. The state of Internet connections in the rest of the country was not known.”

    • Libya Begins Internet Shutdown — Will Bit.ly Be Affected?
    • What will happen to http://bit.ly links if Gaddafi shuts down the Internet in Libya due to protests?
    • Libya forces ‘open fire’ at funeral

      At least 15 mourners reportedly killed in eastern city of Benghazi, as anti-government protests continue unabated.

    • Journalists targeted in Bahrain, Yemen, and Libya

      The Committee to Protect Journalists called on authorities today in Bahrain, Yemen, Libya to cease their attempts to prevent media from reporting on anti-government demonstrations. Bahraini authorities used live ammunition–including fire from a helicopter–against peaceful protesters and journalists, according to news reports. Pro-government thugs attacked at least two journalists in Yemen, and the Libyan government appeared to be shutting down Facebook, Twitter, and Al-Jazeera’s website as a means of silencing reporting on protests.

      “Security forces firing on journalists from a helicopter is a dangerous escalation in Bahrain’s attempt to censor media coverage of the political turmoil,” said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “The authorities must cease all hostile acts against journalists immediately and allow the press to work freely and securely. “

    • Anonymous warns Westboro Baptist Church to stop with the hate

      Anonymous is at it again. The controversial hacker collective made headlines two weeks ago when it broke into the email accounts of computer security firm HBGary. The hackers released a number of documents, including some that revealed the firm was plotting to destroy Wikileaks, in part by targeting journalists such as Salon’s Glenn Greenwald.

    • Open Letter to Westboro Baptist Church

      We, the collective super-consciousness known as ANONYMOUS – the Voice of Free Speech & the Advocate of the People – have long heard you issue your venomous statements of hatred, and we have witnessed your flagrant and absurd displays of inimitable bigotry and intolerant fanaticism. We have always regarded you and your ilk as an assembly of graceless sociopaths and maniacal chauvinists & religious zealots, however benign, who act out for the sake of attention & in the name of religion.

    • Anonymous delivers ultimatum to Westboro Baptist Church

      Anonymous, a notorious collective of unnamed Internet activists, has put the Westboro Baptist Church on notice. Tuesday, the group Anonymous released an open letter to Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church (WBC). The letter is nothing short of an ultimatum: a cease and desist order against the Westboro Baptist Church.

      The letter states “Rather than allowing the deceased some degree of peace and respect, you (WBC) instead choose to torment, harass, and assault those who grieve.” After chastising the WBC for “preaching your benighted gospel of hatred” and deploying “tactics and methods of intimidation and mental & emotional abuse,” Anonymous makes it clear that the church will soon be a target of attack.

    • Morocco: Thousands March for Reform

      Thousands of Moroccans in cities across the country demonstrated in favor of political reform on February 20, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. Mostly peaceful demonstrations and marches took place in towns and villages largely without interference from police, who in some areas were barely in evidence.

    • Hundreds protest in Iraq, TV station torched

      Hundreds of protesters inspired by unrest around the Arab world took to the streets of the northern Iraqi city of Sulaimaniya on Sunday and at least 48 people were injured.

      A police official said security forces fired in the air when demonstrators chanting against corruption tried to approach the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, where clashes on Thursday killed two people and wounded dozens.

    • Chinese Government Responds to Call for Protests

      Skittish domestic security officials responded with a mass show of force across China on Sunday after anonymous calls for protesters to stage a Chinese “Jasmine Revolution” went out over social media and microblogging outlets.

    • China tries to stamp out ‘Jasmine Revolution’

      Jittery Chinese authorities staged a show of force to squelch a mysterious online call for a “Jasmine Revolution,” with hundreds of onlookers but only a handful of people actively joining protests inspired by pro-democracy demonstrations sweeping the Middle East.

    • China police break up ‘protests’ after online appeal

      Police in China showed up in force in several major cities after an online call for a “jasmine revolution”.

      Calls for people to protest and shout “we want food, we want work, we want housing, we want fairness”, were circulated on Chinese microblog sites.

      The message was first posted on a US-based Chinese-language website.

    • “Jasmine Revolution” in China starting Sunday? — Another Facebook “Revolution”?
    • President Saleh Threatens to Cut Off ‘Genitals’ of Yemen Opposition
    • U.S.-Taliban Talks

      That was the first and last time that Omar spoke to an American government official, as far as is known. Before September 11th, some of his deputies had occasionally spoken with U.S. diplomats, but afterward the United States rejected direct talks with Taliban leaders, on the ground that they were as much to blame for terrorism as Al Qaeda was. Last year, however, as the U.S.-led Afghan ground war passed its ninth anniversary, and Mullah Omar remained in hiding, presumably in Pakistan, a small number of officials in the Obama Administration—among them the late Richard Holbrooke, the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan—argued that it was time to try talking to the Taliban again.

    • Protests continue throughout the region

      Clashes in Yemen turn deadly and Algerian police push crowds out of May 1 Square. Maryam Ishani reporting.

    • Amazing Photo: Egyptians Turn Out to Support Wisconsin Counterparts

      Few things help unite disparate peoples and disparate struggles like hard times. The Egyptians recently conquered one major hurdle and are now moving onto the next challenge. Wisconsin’s unionized laborers, however, who are currently fighting state Republicans to keep their collective bargaining rights, have just begun their fight.

      Here, a young man in Egypt today shows his solidarity with his Wisconsin comrades, reminding us all that our problems, like our supporters, are often universal. “One world, one pain.”

    • Democracy Welcomed, but Risk Remains

      The Op-Ed columnist Nicholas D. Kristof on the withdrawal of security forces from Pearl Square and Bahrain’s democratic future.

    • Boycott the UK census over links to Lockheed Martin, protesters say

      People are being urged to boycott next month’s UK’s census because the US arms manufacturer responsible for Trident is involved in gathering the information.

      Protesters say they are willing to break the law and face a £1,000 fine and a criminal record by refusing to fill in the 32-page questionnaire. Resistance to the decennial census is growing as a coalition of anti-war groups, pacifists, religious organisations and digital activists begin raising public awareness about the role of Lockheed Martin, America’s largest arms manufacturer.

    • Ottawa police on the beat

      It seems that a member of Ottawa’s finest was of the view that whipping his children was the fatherly way to enforce compliance. One child was lashed so severely on one occasion that he couldn’t walk. His ex-wife finally called police after his assault on the toddler, which left “large red whip marks.”

    • Ex-FBI Agent Still Missing in Iran after almost 4 Years

      A State Department cable released by WikiLeaks has bolstered the contention that former FBI agent Robert Levinson has been held in Iran after vanishing on March 9, 2007, while working as a private investigator on Kish Island, a popular tourist resort in the Persian Gulf.

      The diplomatic document cites an informant who told American officials he spent time in a secret jail operated by Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards. There, the political prisoner saw the words “B. LEVINSON” written on the frame of his cell, beneath three lines of English which he assumed to be a “plea for help.”

    • Bahrain, Libya and Yemen try to crush protests with violence
    • Mousavi offered his apologies

      Mousavi has understood that the people would abandon him and his group if they want to be more stupid. This a good sing and shows the real power of the people. Mousavi could act as a catalyst for revolution and real change. The people could accept his apologies, but should show him and his group that they could not accept any further stupid acts. Apparently Mousavi has learned his lesson of 14 Feb, and we could give him one more chance.

  • Cablegate

    • Japan rebuilds foreign intelligence service to spy on neighbours

      FOR the first time since World War II, Japan is establishing a secret foreign intelligence service to spy on China and North Korea and gather information to prevent terrorist attacks.

      The spy unit has been created under the wing of Japan’s peak intelligence agency, the Cabinet Information and Research Office, or Naicho. It is modelled on Western intelligence services such as the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, Britain’s MI6 and the CIA.

      The existence of the new Japanese espionage capability is revealed publicly in a leaked US diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks and provided exclusively to The Age. Japanese military and naval intelligence, together with the infamous secret police, the Kempeitai, ran extensive spy networks throughout east and south-east Asia up to the end of World War II.

    • ANC a ‘complete mess’: Wikileaks

      According to the cable, the ANC’s Gauteng spokesman Dumisa Ntuli told a US diplomat that crippling divisions were plaguing the ruling party, the City Press newspaper reported on Sunday. The newspaper obtained the cable through the whistleblower website Wikileaks..

      Ntuli, who has denied discussing internal ANC issues with the US embassy, did not mince his words about the party, according to the cable, which is dated October 29, 2009.

      He reportedly said the party was deeply divided not only between supporters of Zuma and former president Thabo Mbeki, but “along multiple other lines”, City Press reported.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Recycle Your Old Computers

      Recycling old computer equipment is the only real option, but only around 10-15% of old computers are being recycled. The rest are either being stored in homes, garages, expensive office space or even worse being dumped in landfill sites.

    • Planet could be ‘unrecognizable’ by 2050, experts say

      A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an “unrecognizable” world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday.

      The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, “with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia,” said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council.

    • Demand for uranium threatens Grand Canyon biodiversity

      The natural beauty and unique species of the Grand Canyon are “in the crosshairs” because of renewed interest in the region’s uranium reserves. That is the warning from critics of the mines, ahead of the release of a government report on Friday on the potential impact of fresh mining.

    • House votes 244-179 to kill U.S. funding of IPCC

      Just before 2 a.m. on February 19, the war on climate science showed its grip on the U.S. House of Representatives as it voted to eliminate U.S. funding for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The Republican majority, on a mostly party-line vote of 244-179, went on record as essentially saying that it no longer wishes to have the IPCC prepare its comprehensive international climate science assessments. Transcript of floor debate follows.

    • Tough action on climate change is ‘cost-effective’, EU report shows

      Proposals to raise Europe’s ambitions on tackling climate change have been strongly boosted by a new analysis showing tougher action on greenhouse gases is “cost-effective” and already achievable in practice.

      Europe’s existing targets will be easily surpassed on current policies, according to the analysis. This means that taking on a higher target now is more efficient in the longer term.

    • Eat more anchovies, herring and sardines to save the ocean’s fish stocks

      We should consume less of the fish at the top of the food chain and more of their prey to rebalance the marine ecosystem, says fisheries scientist

    • Tar sands pipeline poses health risks, campaigners claim

      In a new report released yesterday, NRDC and several partner groups demonstrate that tar sands oil is more difficult and dangerous to transport than conventional crude. Known as DilBit, short for diluted bitumen, it’s thick as peanut butter and more acidic, highly corrosive, and abrasive. Yet the NRDC report says that pipeline developers and operators are using the same designs, operating practices, and materials to transport DilBit that work for conventional crude.

  • Finance

    • The Republican Strategy

      The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class – pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don’t believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class.

    • Liberty PAC Announces Presidents’ Day Money Bomb!

      2012 offers our movement a tremendous opportunity. Our nation is beset with crippling debt, an out of control federal government, and a foreign policy that weakens our national defense and isolates us from the world.

      But with hard work and determination, we can change course and turn our country back toward Liberty and all of its rewards.

      Quite frankly, we need to elect a President in 2012 who will do a lot less: less meddling in the economy, less spending, less warrantless ransacking, less bailing out of Wall Street, less inflating, and less foreign aid and overseas intervention.

    • Fannie, Freddie’s Legal “Feeding Frenzy” Costs Taxpayers $434 Million

      Taxpayers have covered $434 million in legal fees for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and their highly-paid executives since the federal government took over the wounded housing giants in September 2008, according to data (PDF) provided to Mother Jones by a congressional source.

  • Censorship

    • ProspectMatch Threatens Forum That Hosts Negative Reviews; Says It Will Bury Forum Owner In Legal Fees

      Paul Levy alerts us to yet another case of companies looking to abuse the legal process to shut down negative reviews and opinions. In this case, amazingly, someone involved in the company even seems to admit this in writing to the site being threatened. The situation involves a company called Javelin Marketing, but which is doing business as ProspectMatch.com — a company that supposedly sells leads. Over at InsuranceForums.net, a site run by Melnet Media, there are a few different threads where multiple people give negative reviews of ProspectMatch, which the Javelin Marketing/ProspectMatch folks weren’t very happy about.

    • European Commission shows a weak hand to Hungary

      Hungarian Media Law – commission amendments – web-based media are still required to register, under threat of a fine for non-compliance.

      The European Commission struck an eleventh hour deal with Hungary whilst the Commissioner herself was in the air between Milan and Brussels, and only minutes before a vote in the European Parliament criticising the Hungarian government’s media law. Commissioner Neelie Kroes, still a little breathless it seems, after rushing from the airport, told the Parliament that she would not shy away from defending media pluralism.

      Nevertheless, it seems the Commission’s strong stance has weakened since Mrs Kroes first wrote to the Hungarian government in December. And after Mrs Kroes’ dash from the airport, the European Parliament failed to vote on its Resolutions – apparently after some confusion as to what it should do.

  • Privacy

    • Tor Open Hackfest: February 19, 2011

      We’re holding a Tor hackfest on Saturday, February 19th. The bulk of the Tor developers are in town and coming to this event. Unlike last time when snow kept 75% of them outside the US.

    • When will Wapping tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth

      Just in case the full import of today’s story gets overlooked… a single piece of devastating evidence in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal has emerged.

      The central point of the story is in the headline, Phone hacker ‘passed information to several News of the World journalists’.

      That’s ‘journalists’ plural.

  • Civil Rights

    • “Democracy Uprising” in the U.S.A.?: Noam Chomsky on Wisconsin’s Resistance to Assault on Public Sector, the Obama-Sanctioned Crackdown on Activists, and the Distorted Legacy of Ronald Reagan

      World-renowned public intellectual Noam Chomsky discusses several domestic issues in the United States, including the protests in defense of public sector employees and unions in Wisconsin, how the U.S. deification of former President Ronald Reagan resembles North Korea, and the crackdown on political activists with anti-terror laws and FBI raids.

    • Live Reporting from the Wisconsin Protests

      Recalls in the Works: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Wisconsin Democrats and labor leaders are plotting recall elections for several Republican senators as soon as lawmakers push through Gov. Scott Walker’s budget plan to curb collective bargaining rights and require public employees to chip in part of their salary toward their health care and pension costs. “Those are options people are looking at,” said Marty Beil, director of the largest state employees union. Even more emphatic was Rich Abelson, executive director of AFSCME Council 48, which represents county and city employees in the Milwaukee area. “This is not a Plan B,” Abelson said Friday night. “This is going forward irrespective of how the vote turns out. Oh, yeah, we are going to make a full-court press.” Among the targets, Sen. Alberta Darling, a River Hills republican.

    • Under the U.S. Supreme Court: Using Twitter to build WikiLeaks case

      As the United States tries to build its case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, prosecutors are seeking Twitter messages sent by supposed WikiLeaks supporters — and possibly message information from Facebook, Skype and Google.

      At stake in the legal fight — beyond placing criminal responsibility for thousands of classified U.S. documents being posted on the Internet — is how much privacy Twitter and other social network users can expect or whether such messages are considered private at all.

    • Twitter account closed – Identi.ca Ftw

      There was a mass Twitter closing spree on identi.ca started by Reality the other day and it made me think about whether Twitter really is useful or not.

    • Building the Technology Stack for Internet Freedom

      Hillary Clinton called for the U.S. to promote Internet freedoms earlier this week and introduced a $25 million fund for technology companies that might help with the task. The New America Foundation has already applied for a grant under the program, which includes a $3.5 million proposal, of which $500,000 will be funded by the New America Foundation itself. The mission? To build the technology stack for a distributed, open-source telecommunications system.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Authors Guild argues in favor of censorship (also: they don’t know shit about Shakespeare)

        The Volokh Conspiracy’s David Post shreds the Authors Guild editorial in this week’s NYT. In it, Scott Turow and James Shapiro argue that America should introduce COICA, an official censorship law that blocks websites that large companies from the entertainment industry don’t like. It’s alarming to see authors arguing in favor of censorship, but the argument put forward in the editorial, “Would the Bard have Survived the Web?” is also profoundly ignorant account of how Shakespeare wrote his works…

      • Man sued for posting official Sarah Palin picture on his website

        When a New York City restaurant owner decided to advertise the airing of a 2008 Presidential debate he carefully chose a picture of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and one of Joe Biden and posted them on his business website, two-years later he was sued.
        Writers, bloggers and website owners beware – using a picture what appears to be “an official” photograph may not be so official and could be protected by copyright infringement laws, according to the War Room at Salon.com.

      • Swedish Courts Coming To Senses: €200 Filesharing Fine

        Swedish courts may be slowly coming to their senses regarding noncommercial violations of the copyright monopoly. In a verdict yesterday, a 26-year-old in Uppsala, Sweden was sentenced to pay a €200 fine for actively sharing 44 copyrighted works in classic filesharing.

      • Why The Name “Pirate Party”?

        Quite simply, we believe in copying and in civil liberties. Some people brand us pirates for that. Well, then we are pirates, and we stand tall and proud about it.

Clip of the Day

Hillary Clinton interrupted by protester heckler 15.02.2011

Credit: TinyOgg

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