According to this new article, the price of Vista Phony 7 is negative; “they say Microsoft is paying vendors to use WP7,” summarises our regular gnufreex and to quote the original:
Yes, Microsoft is competing with free and open software on price, not the smartest thing to do if you are a for profit company. According to my source, it isn’t a one time thing either, not just a temporary launch price to get their foot in the door. He indicated that if MS tries to back off on their pricing model, they will find out exactly how much phone makers think of Windows Phone 7. He strongly hinted that tepid sales more than adequately reflect the love felt by OEMs for the OS.
This ‘pricing model’, basically kickbacks in a legally palatable form, are nothing new in the industry. A good recent example of the breed came out in the Intel/AMD settlement a bit over a year ago.
Windows Phone 7 update is ‘bricking’ some handsets
A minor software update for Windows Phone 7 is causing problems for owners of some handsets, according to posts made on Twitter.
The software — which does little but get the Windows Phone 7 updater ready for future upgrades — started rolling out to users on Monday but some handset owners quickly started reporting problems with it on Twitter.
This whole platform has been a disaster and the NoWin deal [1, 2, 3, 4] can’t do much to change this. An analyst which ha[s|d] Microsoft as a client has published this analysis which confirms Nokia cannot do much:
Q: What does this mean for Android?
A: In the short term, very little. A partnership with Nokia would have made the platform an even more formidable competitor to iOS, but volume is at present not a major problem for the Android ecosystem. In the longer term, if this deal energizes a Windows Mobile ecosystem that has largely been treading water since its launch, it could mean increased competition for Android and iOS both.
Given that the market share of Vista Phony 7 is somewhere around 0.1% (Windows Mobile still has more), there is so much that’s needed to be gained for it to qualify as “competition”. At the moment, it’s somewhat of a joke almost comparable with the KIN. But with so much money spent on advertising it may be hard to notice that advocacy of the platform is largely fake. Vista Phony 7 will never be a contender, not even with Elop’s entryism (this video of “Nokia Plan 0″ is apt). █
[O]f course, where “obvious” and “internet” meet, there are almost always patents to get in the way. Mike Wokasch alerts us to the news that a company called Carlson Marketing Worldwide is suing beermaker MillerCoors over its “Miller High Life Extras Loyalty Program.” The patent in question, 6,039,244 is incredibly short… and broad, and covers a form of creating a database for a loyalty program. It’s only three claims long, with the first claim being the only one that matters. Read that claim and explain how this patent was ever found to be legit.
Patents are the lowest form of competition. They are the fake ‘products’ which companies use when they lose. Microsoft mobbyists are hitting hard with Oracle’s anti-Android case, which keeps going on without settlement reached. Microsoft meanwhile seems to be after Nokia's patents (also see [1, 2, 3, 4]) for more anti-Android attacks (speculative at this stage) and in addition to it there are Novell patents in CPTN (deal not withdrawn, contrary to the claims in the video shown below). As a recap see:
Summary: How companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple exploit the restrictions in their software to do bad things
SO HERE we have Facebook again (partly owned by Microsoft) — the site which exploits a lot of Free software such as GNU/Linux, PHP, and just about everything else that’s in the Web stack. What does Facebook deliver back? Privacy violations, OOXML, Silver Lie, and just about everything else that’s considered bad faith on the Web. Our reader Stefan has just posted the following screenshot, asking: “Is this some sort of contest? #facebook #adspam As seen on ur.ly/Epgo << I mean really? Are they serious http://ur1.ca/3b9m8"
Right now, the ecosystem vendors are tailoring payment systems to their needs, not really to the needs of developers and certainly not to consumers. That will change. It must.
When the “ecosystem vendors” are vending licences to rent some proprietary software, it is them who totally control everything. As the former COO as Canonical, Asay ought to understand that a respectful solution needs to involve Free/libre software. Facebook too will carry on abusing its ‘consumers’ (who ‘generate’ ‘content’ and ‘consume’ ads) as long as it has a complete monopoly over the platform. That’s why Diaspora was conceived.
Free software is about control (for the user, not the vendor), it is not about price. █
But let’s face it, most of you reading this article aren’t hardcore PC gamers. You (like me) spend your time playing those goofy little time-management games in your web browser. Similarly, you’re probably not using Quickbooks for your personal finances – and if you are, you can do that directly on the web now.
If I had to guess, your most used program on the computer in front of you now is a web browser like Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer. Your second most used program is a music manager like iTunes. The funny thing is, there are Linux programs that accomplish the same things and usually do it better.
The two parties, both big implementers of Linux-based technology, confirmed savings targets of 300 million (£255 million) from IT and other operations, as technology is merged, as well as highlighting increased scale for selling data services to clients. A name for the new group, in which Deutsche Borse shareholders will own 60% of the equity, has not yet been given.
Displex is an appindicator initially designed to provide similar functionality to the well-known “fusion-icon”, but using an Ubuntu Indicator. However, Displex progressed and now provides a lot more features: it can be used to control the window decorations, screen rotation through Xrandr, switch between Metacity or Compiz compositing, provides AcerHK support and more.
A lot of times when you’re making your own graphics, you might need the help of scripts or plugins to reduce steps to achieve something you constantly find yourself doing. If you’re into making your own drawings and digital paintings, you will probably be excited to find out about GIMP Paint Studio.
Exaile is a pretty decent music player for GNOME written in PyGTK which comes with features like tabbed playlists, lyrics fetching, radio support, file browser, support for dynamic and smart playlists, cover support, 10-band equalizer and more. The latest version was released a few days ago and comes with several bug fixes and minor issue fixes.
MagicTree is a penetration tester productivity tool. It is designed to allow easy and straightforward data consolidation, querying, external command execution and report generation. In case you wonder, “Tree” is because all the data is stored in a tree structure, and “Magic” is because it is designed to magically do the most cumbersome and boring part of penetration testing – data management and reporting.
You can emulate different vintage photo effects in GIMP, but usually this is a rather laborious and time-consuming process that requires some editing chops. Fortunately, the Film Imitation Lab (FIL) script lets you turn plain snaps into eye-popping vintage photos with a minimum of effort.
Greedy Car Thieves is a new Linux game in development inspired by on of the most popular game series – Grand Theft Auto. The game is free as of now and developers have released a beta version for users to test.
The game is played from top down perspective that brings old school nostalgia along with fast paced action. As of now only multi-player mode is available but a single player mode will be available soon. In multiplayer mode, you can face real players in various game types, shootouts, car thefts, pursuits around the cities etc.
* Work on the CSV importer in KMyMoney
* Work across the board in Calligra, including improved PPT format support
* Work on video and sending/recieving files with the Yahoo protocol in Kopete amongst other changes
* Work on search history support in KDevPlatform
* New Booksmarks Manager (including support for importing bookmarks) in Marble, amongst many bug fixes
* Much work throughout Kst including optimisations
Not that I know a lot about Artwork or Wallpapers… For those, I am mainly a ‘customer’ most of the times, and things get easy for… either I like it, or I don’t. There’s a lot of stuff available out there, and initially I loved the snake (I still do), but since I couldn’t distribute it due to licensing, I’ve spent a couple of hours looking for Artwork with a compatible license and contacted a few artists about licensing and the possibility of using/distributing their work.
Andrea Azzarone, who’s also behind the menu integrated in the window titlebar Unity mockup we’ve posted last week has created a patch that provides an option to change the Unity launcher (“dock”) icon size.
It seems that so far, Ubuntu is going to be the only GNU / Linux, among the most popular, Unity will use the desktop in the short term. Adam Williamson, Fedora , and Nelson Marques on openSUSE were working on the adaptation of Unity for their respective distributions . For different reasons have been forced to halt its work.
Adam Williamson commented on his blog that his work in adapting to Fedora Unity had been since the voluntary principle. Argues lack of motivation to continue with it, your job responsibilities and the non-resolution of Unity bug that had resolved at this stage by its maintainer.
Thanks to the nice folk at LeanKit Kanban, we’ve now got a guest account set up so that anyone can our kanban board. The board shows all of the high level features that we are working on (those are the green ones), the infrastructure projects we’re doing (those are the blue ones) and all of the community-driven work that we know about (the yellow ones).
Over the next few years, Shuttleworth continued to stress the advantages of coordinated releases, arguing that it would allow centralized bug tracking, and suggesting that the cooperation might extend to common training materials.
With great power comes great responsibility. No, I’m not talking about Peter Parker and superpowers by spiderbite, I’m talking about the control that vendors have over platforms like iOS, Windows, and Ubuntu. While Canonical may not be quite as powerful as Apple or Microsoft, the company still has a lot of power when it comes to connecting users to open source applications and choosing defaults in Ubuntu releases. How is Canonical using that power? Less heroically than one might hope.
Its not often I bump into someone almost as cool as me, but I got to Interview Peter Biddle who is the General Manager of Product and Services for Intel about MeeGo and its great to meet someone with a real fire in their belly.
Intel is attracted to MeeGo as it is a Development Open Source Operating System as they have been investing in the Linux Kernel for over four years now. They are now shifting their focus onto two additional layers, the development platform including Qt and also Great development services. They are looking forward to a slick and sexy user interfaces powered by MeeGo.
The initial plan for this week was continue working on kinetic scrolling support for GtkScrolledWindow, however I decided to take a look at the other bugs to give some more time to get review/feedback of the kinetic scrolling work in progress patch.
Nokia’s recent bombshell announcement that it would team up with Microsoft has generated much brow-furrowing in the free software community. The Finnish mobile giant claims that it still plans to launch some kind of MeeGo-related product this year, and that Qt has an important role to play in it. But can we really believe that? Will Qt be alive and healthy 12 months from now, or is it really destined for the dustbin when the Micronokia deal gets into full swing?
At Mobile World Congress 2011, HTC announced its long-rumored Android tablet – the HTC Flyer. Running an Android 2.3, tablet-optimized version of Sense UI, the Flyer is a one-of-a-kind device. But after seeing the Flyer following close contact with the first crop of Honeycomb tablets, I couldn’t help but wonder if the Flyer’s rare qualities would also be its undoing.
Mobile World Congress featured several devices running Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), the official version of Android sanctioned by Google as being ideal for tablets. There were also demo’s of apps that will require Honeycomb to work, or at least provide more features for 3.0-capable devices. Factor in Google’s own improvements like a new YouTube app and Movie Studio for editing videos, and the Flyer looks far less impressive than it would had the device been announced just four months ago.
U.S. Cellular recently took home Best Wireless Carrier (US) by Consumer Reports’ and it’s easy to see why. The carrier consistently comes up with great ideas and promotions that other providers can’t touch. And like your favorite radio station, the hits keep coming.
Starting today and running through March 10, any customer who picks up a Samsung Mesmerize (Galaxy S) for $99.99 can get up to five additional LG Optimus U smartphones free of charge. Yea, that’s a BOGF (Buy One Get Five) deal. Further, they are also doing the same with the Optimus U in that buying one at $29.99 will allow for five more for free.
Governance is the word for open source in 2011. Governance breaks down to two topics, structures and process.
The same elements that make for a stable democratic system also make for good open source governance. This doesn’t mean you need a balance of powers, or a judicial branch. It means you need the rules of governance clearly stated, and a process that will allow the best ideas to get prompt action from those running the project.
This is true regardless of the type of project you’re running, assuming you care about getting something out of your community. Not every project cares. If you see open source as a feature, something that just lets you distribute free and gain customers by dialing downloaders for dollars, then governance and process may not matter to you. On the other hand, community-driven projects badly need a process to give everyone a chance to participate fully. Corporate communities need process negotiated so the companies involved have their prerogatives protected.
I can’t quite remember that we have been so excited about any other bug list ever. Mozilla is getting very creative in keeping the focus on eliminating every single hard- blocking bug from the Firefox 4 code and has, to our knowledge, posted the first-ever bug countdown for a significant public software. Can we ship yet?
The City University London’s Centre for Health Informatics (CHI) launched Health Informatics research programme and policy challenge paper to identify how NHS information technology (IT) services can be improved and made more cost-effective.
For years, the VA has run the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), which is their Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. Turns out it was written by clinicians themselves, and has served well over years. However, the VA believes it might be time to use open source methods in a kind of public/private partnership. This is a really big deal, novel in government, which might also improve the health record systems we all use. This could become the basis of a jointly developed health records platform.
The nation’s biggest telco Telstra has made the open source software components used to build its T-Hub next-generation home telephone system publicly available, after it was criticised for keeping them private by an Australian software developer last year.
In November, local software developer Angus Gratton pointed out that a number of new Telstra products introduced throughout 2010, namely the T-Hub, T-Box media centre and potentially its T-Touch Tab tablet device, were based on the Linux operating system, which has substantial portions licensed under the GNU General Public License.
For nearly a decade, I have espoused the view that every artificial scarcity shall be met, and ultimately overcome, by an appropriate abundance. I think it’s time to view this statement in the context of platforms and “leakage”. Let me explain what I mean.
Everyone else might have pretty much abandoned the Itanium processor, but Intel and Hewlett-Packard – who co-designed the 64-bit processor – remain firmly committed. That’s mainly because HP has a captive audience of HP-UX, NonStop, and OpenVMS customers that spend billions of dollars a year on systems and therefore make it worth Intel’s financial while.
The future “Poulson” Itanium processor will close out the Monday sessions devoted to enterprise processors at the IEEE’s International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco, but to keep the Poulson Itaniums from getting lost in the CPU news shuffle, Intel gave press and analysts a sneak peek at some of the details it will divulge at ISSCC.
Python 3.2 is a continuation of the efforts to improve and stabilize the Python 3.x line. Since the final release of Python 2.7, the 2.x line will only receive bugfixes, and new features are developed for 3.x only.
In response to the recent one year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which overturned bans on corporate cash in elections, many friends on the progressive side of the aisle are drawing attention to this issue, talking about the impact in the 2010 elections, and discussing solutions to the problem. I promise to do none of those things here.
If you’re reading this article, you probably already know most of the story of Citizens United and know that it’s a bad thing for our democracy. The question is how to talk about Citizens United in a way that convinces other people to realize this too. So, a few fellow message gurus, wordsmiths, and myself put our heads together and here’s what we came up with.
The suit claims that GSK wrongfully and illegally marketed, priced, sold and promoted the diabetes medication rosiglitazone maleate under the trade names Avandia®, Avandamet®, and Avandaryl®, violating Louisiana’s Medical Assistance Programs Integrity Law (MAPIL), the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protections Law and other state laws.
Anonymous is a child of technology, specifically Disruptive Technologies. Computers. The Internet. Automobiles. Airplanes. And many other technologies, all of which combined to offer Anonymous options that the generations before would not have had. And all of these technologies were written about in Science Fiction long before they could be implemented in a practically.
Three hours outside Bucharest, Romanian National Road 7 begins a gentle ascent into the foothills of the Transylvanian Alps. Meadowlands give way to crumbling houses with chickens in the front yard, laundry flapping on clotheslines. But you know you’ve arrived in the town of Râmnicu Vâlcea when you see the Mercedes-Benz dealership.
One interesting little organisation to come to the attention of the information security industry since HBGary Federal got popped is a US-based company named Endgame Systems.
It’s a slightly shadowy information security company based in the US that appears to offer its services almost exclusively to the US military and intelligence apparatus.
It was founded in 2008 by a bunch of senior ex-ISS execs and founders like Chris Rouland and Thomas Noonan.
Well, thanks to the “liberation” of HBGary’s e-mail by Anonymous and the leak-sifters over at Cryptome, we’ve now all got access to everything from a high-level overview of Endgame’s “capabilities” to its pricelist and a sample report.
Women in Libya are free to work and to dress as they like, subject to family constraints. Life expectancy is in the seventies. And per capita income – while not as high as could be expected given Libya’s oil wealth and relatively small population of 6.5m – is estimated at $12,000 (£9,000), according to the World Bank.
U.S. authorities were keeping a close watch on Libya’s rapidly unfolding political crisis Monday in part to see what possibilities might exist for meaningful reform, a senior Obama administration official said.
“We, the undersigned staff of the Libyan embassy in Stockholm, condemn the genocide that is taking place in Libya against civilians as a consequence of the legitimate demands for a life of dignity and without the despot Qaddafi’s continued misrule and corruption.”
The statement was written by three staff members of the Libyan embassy in Stockholm — translator Sayed Jalabi, receptionist Hamid Kassem and secretary Abdelali Mahfouf, says The Local.
10.32am: A Libyan political refugee from Manchester has gone on hunger strike and says he won’t stop until the British government “gets firm” with Muammar Gaddafi.
Saad Amer, 52, spent seven years in prison in Tripoli during the 1980s for protesting against the regime. Amer, who now lives in Cheetham Hill after fleeing Libya in 1995, told the Manchester Evening News: “It is very important for the British government to say Gaddafi must step down now. I am not happy with the statements coming from here. There needs to be stronger language.”
Louis Susman, the US ambassador to London, suggested moves to repair relations with the Libyan dictator had only served to give him “greater stature” on the world stage while campaigners condemned the rapprochement as a failure.
Up to 300 demonstrators are thought to have been killed after forces loyal to Col Muammar Gaddafi attacked them with sniper fire, knives and heavy artillery.
The eastern city of Benghazi was said to be in a state of “civil mutiny” after forces, believed to be African mercenaries, attacked crowds attending mass burials of the dead from earlier violence.
# Salaries in Libya are governed by law number 15 which sets the average salary of Libyans at 200 dollars per month. To make things worst it is customary to have this low wage paid intermittently.
# Law number 4 caters for the confiscation of private and commercial property, practically passing such stolen properties to the members of his family and of its so called revolutionary committee members who are in charge of security.
# The burning down of the land registry building in Tripoli to destroy any reference of legal ownership of property.
The British author Ian McEwan launched an eloquent attack on Israeli government policies in his speech accepting the Jerusalem prize for literature, saying “a great and self-evident injustice hangs in the air”.
Texas is preparing to give college students and professors the right to carry guns on campus, adding momentum to a national campaign to open this part of society to firearms.
More than half the members of the Texas House have signed on as co-authors of a measure directing universities to allow concealed handguns. The Senate passed a similar bill in 2009 and is expected to do so again. Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who sometimes packs a pistol when he jogs, has said he’s in favor of the idea.
In an interview co-founder Rebecca Chiao said that managing the project on a volunteer basis is a very difficult task. Rebecca says, “we don’t have any money, so we have to be creative. We love working on a volunteer basis, but it also means we all have other commitments like jobs and families, so it takes a lot of effort from us all to coordinate our little bits of free time to work together and make things happen.”
Amazing. Inspiring. This is what people power can do.
When Republican Governor Scott Walker attacked state workers and threatened to call out the National Guard if they protested, it sparked a popular uprising in Wisconsin. And now the extreme proposal to take collective bargaining rights away from public employees is temporarily blocked as a result of mass protests.
I just read a very disturbing Haaretz article, An inside look at the WikiLeaks revolution, in that the author assumes facts not in evidence.
Bradley Manning has been charged but not heard. The word “alleged” is traditionally used in real journalism to describe charges laid but unproven. Under American law, that means that Bradley Manning is innocent– it’s called “The Presumption of Innocence.”
Haaretz’ writer Yossi Melman should consider writing novels where flights of fancy are acceptable, even admirable. Writing fictional accounts in the guise of reportage is certainly not admirable, and in fact is generally considered unacceptable. Fraudulent, even. The point to remember is that the news is generally about real people. What one says or writes can have real repercussions.
Wikileaks has published a series of cables from 2006 highlighting significant failings in the Justice and Peace Law (JPL) that led demobilized paramilitary fighters to return to arms.
In November 2006, Sergio Caramagna, the director of the OAS Mission to Support the Peace Process (MAPP/OEA), visited Colombia and identified 14 neo-paramilitary organizations with a possible eight more. These groups, he said, consisted largely of narco-traffickers along with paramilitaries who had refused to demobilize despite benefits offered by the government. There was also a small percentage of paramilitaries who had already purportedly demobilized.
2011 is the International Year of the Forest and never before have they been in more danger, or more essential. Forests supply the needs of 1.6 billion people who depend on them for income, they store over 25 gigatons of carbon while 15% of greenhouse gas emissions come from destruction of forests. Equally importantly, they are mini-factories in the web of life, and clean air, crop pollination, medicine, healthy soil and fresh water are all produced due to the interaction of forest ecosystems.
The 10 forest hotspots most threatened have already lost 90% of their habitat but are home to 1,500 plant species found nowhere else in the world. Join me in a closer look at each of them.
Canada is using Alberta’s dirty tar sands as an excuse to bully the European Union (EU) into watering down its climate change policies, leaving the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) in serious doubt.
This brewing transatlantic dispute over the tar sands stems from the likelihood that the EU could officially block the sale of Alberta oil in Europe given its high carbon content.
Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel prizewinning economist and so-called father of microfinance, faces being ousted from the bank that he founded to help poor people in Bangladesh and across the developing world.
Yunus, the managing director of the Grameen Bank, which has lent small sums to millions of deprived people to help them start or run their own businesses as a first step out of poverty since being created in 1983, has been caught in a bitter political battle in his homeland of Bangladesh.
The campaign to remove Yunus, mounted mainly by politicians, is to intensify this week ahead of a key board meeting next Monday, which his supporters believe will involve an attempt to force the 70-year-old to quit as managing director.
Oil prices jumped 7% Tuesday, spiking as high as $98 a barrel, as the crisis in Libya sparked concern that the turmoil roiling the Middle East could spread to other producing countries — including Saudi Arabia.
For better or worse, my first post here is going to be a rather urgent call to action. I’d like to encourage everyone who reads this blog to register their support for this petition. Entitled, “Say no to the GAC veto,” it expresses opposition to a shocking and dangerous turn in U.S. policy toward the global domain name system. It is a change that would reverse more than a decade of commitment to a transnational, bottom-up, civil society-led approach to governance of Internet identifiers, in favor of a top-down policy making regime dominated by national governments.
If the U.S. Commerce Department has its way, not only would national governments call the shots regarding what new domains could exist and what ideas and words they could and could not use, but they would be empowered to do so without any constraint or guidance from law, treaties or constitutions. Our own U.S. Commerce Department wants to let any government in the world censor a top level domain proposal “for any reason.” A government or two could object simply because they don’t like the person behind it, the ideas it espouses or they are offended by the name, and make these objections fatal. This kind of direct state control over content-related matters sets an ominous precedent for the future of Internet governance.
The 1950s were a time of high tension. The US and Soviet Union prepared themselves for a nuclear war in which casualties would be counted not in millions but in the hundreds of millions. As the decade began, President Truman’s strategic advisors recommended that the US embark on a massive rearmament to face off the Communist threat.
The day after Hosni Mubarak finally stepped down, I was at a Starbucks in Long Beach, Calif., reading The New York Times while waiting for my Americano. A woman came up to me and mentioned how amazing it was that the protesters had used Twitter and Facebook so much that they brought down Egypt’s Internet infrastructure.
“Um, not exactly,” I said. In fact, it was the other way around: Mubarak ordered the country’s Internet service providers to shut down Web access, hoping to thwart social communication among the marching mob.
A European Parliament majority this week approved a free trade agreement with Korea with strong provisions on intellectual property rights protection, according to Robert Stury, rapporteur of the lead EP Committee on the dossier.
The FTA, linked here, and welcomed by the conservative, socialist and liberal parties, carries expectations of creating new trade in goods and services worth €19.1 billion for the EU and save EU exporters €1.6 billion a year. It is the first of a series of FTAs passed under the Lisbon Treaty with additional scrutiny from the EU Parliament.
And here we go with another really dumb publicity rights case, that may result in yet another book burning in the US. This one involves the notoriously overprotective estate of JRR Tolkien, the famed Lord of the Rings author. An author by the name of Stephen Hilliard has written a bit of historical fiction, that includes a bunch of historical characters and a fictionalized version of Tolkien. The book is supposed to be a historical novel and a form of literary criticism of Tolkien — though I would imagine it’s partly called that in order to aid with any potential “fair use” claims.
Over the past several years many BitTorrent search engines have claimed in court that they’re “just like Google”, another search engine that allows users to find information scattered around the web. All this time Google itself remained silent on the issue, until now. The search giant has involved itself in the MPAA vs. isoHunt case recently, but not completely to the delight of isoHunt’s owner.
While the folks at Homeland Security refused to even admit that they had totally screwed up and seized a domain with 84,000 (mostly legal) websites last week, apparently someone at Homeland Security finally realized that the press wasn’t going to keep accepting them refusing to answer questions about it. So, it’s finally come clean and admitted they seized all of mooo.com, despite the vast majority of it being legal.
Following their recent legal victory over Usenet portal FTD, anti-piracy group BREIN have been using this momentum to scare even more file-sharing related sites into submission. The Hollywood-linked outfit has just announced that it has forced the closure of a further 11 Usenet-related sites servicing 900,000 members although reports suggest the damage could be even deeper. The question is, however, were they even illegal?
Lawyers who advocate maximization of the copyright monopoly can sometimes be heard complaining that if the monopoly is abolished or weakened, there will be no culture or knowledge to fill our precious gadgets with. Derogatorily, they call this culture and knowledge “content”.
Claiming that there will be a shortage of culture if the copyright monopoly is weakened is so definite a state of denial, going way beyond a dimension of mere faith, that it probably deserves its own psychological diagnosis.
People create more than ever. All of us create so much culture and knowledge — text, music, images, video — that there is more created now than at any time in history. And this doesn’t happen because of the copyright monopoly; it happens despite the copyright monopoly. The growth is not in the previous elite; it is with everybody else.
I might have found the right answer in the Navisurfer II. It is a full-blown Linux-based computer, with touchscreen monitor and 3G HSDPA modem all built in. Oh, and as the name implies, it also has a built-in GPS receiver with the Navit navigation system.
Though I probably don’t need another credit card, this one’s a little different. Instead of racking up points for me, my new MasterCard sends a portion of each and every purchase I make directly to The Linux Fund — supporting projects…
I thought you’d be interested to know what’s been happening in the litigation against Sony filed by customers upset that Sony took away the OtherOS capability on their PlayStation3′s. Sony Computer Entertainment America, or SCEA, filed a motion to dismiss [PDF] the lawsuit.
The misconception that one OS acts just like another makes me crazy. It’s like me going from a Toyota Prius to a sixteen wheeler “big rig” and expecting it to handle exactly the same.
The fact of the matter is that the Linux desktop has no singular way of presenting itself. That’s the power behind Linux on the desktop. It can be customized for different needs and distributions, while relying on a variety of desktop and software packages to make it work a certain way.
Windows, on the other hand, has a “here it is” approach that works well enough for its intended audience.
After nearly a year of futzing around, Dell and Canonical are tag-teaming to sell and support a mix of Dell servers and Canonical’s Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud hypervisors and management tools to customers who want to build private or public clouds that are clones of Amazon’s EC2 service.
Back in March 2010, when Dell took a bunch of its servers that were custom-designed for hyperscale data centers by its Data Center Solutions unit and mainstreamed them as the PowerEdge-C servers, it said that its cloud strategy involved selling half-rack and full-rack configurations running Joyent’s cloud management tools, and added that it was partnering with a bunch of third parties to stand up hardware/software combinations on those machines.
A port scanner is a utility which probes a server or host to verify if the virtual ports of a system are open or closed. Ports allow different applications on the same computer to share network resources simultaneously.
This article overviews five image viewers available for Ubuntu and also includes at the end a list of another five ones which either are no longer maintained or are based on older libraries (KDE3 for example).
You can emulate different vintage photo effects in GIMP, but usually this is a rather laborious and time-consuming process that requires some editing chops. Fortunately, the Film Imitation Lab (FIL) script lets you turn plain snaps into eye-popping vintage photos with a minimum of effort.
Although often classed as light-weight, Xfce qualifies as a medium weight amongst the Linux front ends. It’s heavier than, say, LXDE or Window Maker but it uses less resources than KDE or Gnome. However, it is a desktop environment rather than simply a window manager, and as such, it comes with a set of associated utilities.
Actually obtaining and installing Xfce 4.8 proved to be a bit of an adventure in itself. At the time of writing, the Xfce devs haven’t released any binaries, instead leaving this to the distributions themselves and other third parties. When I looked, all I could find was an Ubuntu 10.10 PPA that was 64 bit only. Compiling from source is daunting as it involves downloading and unpacking a collection of tar files and then building them in a special order. In the end, I installed a beta of Zenwalk, an Xfce orientated distribution. Take into account that I am therefore not basing my observations on plain, stock Xfce 4.8.
Linux is a free and open source operating system. However, Linux (and other open source operating system) can use and load device drivers without publicly available source code. These are vendor-compiled binary drivers without any source code and known as Binary Blobs.
Did Debian have a contest to redesign its graphics and it wasn’t made public? Did a third grader win that contest? Oh, the hallowed Debian developers must have had a fashion faux pas moment when deciding on a new look because this one makes me think it was designed for children or by children. It’s a good thing that once you’ve installed the operating system, you can change that horrid desktop background to something less kitchy. Other than the graphical goofs, Debian 6 is Debian and that’s a good thing.
But how does their 6.0 release measure up? My first reaction to Debian’s latest was one of disappointment. The graphical installer feels like it’s about ten years behind the other big-name distributions, the issue with the package manager giving up when it couldn’t find the installation DVD struck me as something which shouldn’t have made it through testing. Most of my first day was a series of these sorts of little issues which I’d expect from beta software, not from a distro that had been in feature freeze for months. And that’s why this review is appearing two weeks after the official release, because after such a poor start I wanted to give the distro a chance to win me over. After a few days Debian’s virtues did shine through. For instance, the project’s implementation of GNOME is very light, putting the usually heavy desktop environment about on par with the mid-weight Xfce. The system is fast and responsive, boot times are quick and the presented software is stable without being terribly out of date. Apart from the early quirks with the package managers, adding and removing software went smoothly.
And I went back into my past entries and found a couple of reviews of previous Ubuntu alpha releases that … actually were functional, and Ubuntu Natty at this point in time running a desktop window manager (is that what it is?), Unity, that is untried, barely tested and not terribly functional does not bode well for a release in under three months time.
Generally speaking, crawlers are used to find and bring in the content that interests you. Often the reason is that you want to make that information searchable by indexing it. The use case and context for crawling can vary greatly depending on the task at hand. For example the most popular web search engines, like Google and Yahoo, deploy a web crawler that primarily finds content that is publicly available via the web. The main challenge for such a generic web crawler is obviously scalability. The crawler architecture needs to be efficient because the amount of content to crawl is enormous and growing all the time at ever increasing speeds. Another example, of a completely different kind of use case, is a price comparison site where users are presented with products and their price information from various online shops.
A colleague had sent her the file, but apparently this colleague was using a different version of Microsoft Office. When she tried to open the file, an important table was missing in the document.
I told her that I hadn’t used Microsoft software in more than a decade, but she insisted that I have a look at her file.
So I opened her file in Abiword, without a problem, and to her surprise the table appeared exactly in the right place of the document. Consequently, she urged me to give her a copy of Abiword, which I gladly did.
For some time now, I have been meaning to write a series of blog posts setting forth my views on best practices in forming and governing open source foundations. Why? Because despite the increasing reliance of just about every part of our modern world (government, finance, defense, and so on) on open source software (OSS) and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), there has been very little written on the subject.
That means that neither a community nor a corporation has much to refer to in creating the kind of governance structure most likely to ensure that the intentions of the founders are carried out, that the rights of contributors are respected, and that the code upon which end users will rely is properly maintained into the future.
I started pondering what qualities would define an open source city a few months ago when my friend Tom Rabon mentioned it to me one day. I was curious how the city I live in, Raleigh, NC, could attract other open source companies and be the world’s hub for open source and a leader in open government. How could Raleigh be the open source capital of the world, similar to what Silicon Valley is to technology and Paris is to romance?
I think the answer can be found in both the government and the people. First, our government has to be willing to embrace the open source way of doing things. They need to be transparent in their handling of business and foster citizen participation. Citizens need to be willing to participate and contribute their time and knowledge. Both need to embrace rapid prototyping to explore new ideas and innovative solutions.
In the open-source movement, the forking of a project is often a contentious matter, and can lead to the demise or mothballing of the applications that spawn from the original software. In many ways, it’s a “nuclear option” as developers choose their allegiances and take their skills with them. Often, the result is the loss of momentum as well as mindshare for all the spawned projects. But it’s not an inevitable one: the January release of LibreOffice 3.3 shows that sometimes forking can lead to a positive outcome.
Another item to address with respect to the application itself are the fonts. This is a good chance to introduce non-Linux users to some of the great fonts that are out there. I think that Libre Office should use the Liberation Fonts for its default values.
The Java* track at FOSDEM 2011 started off on the right foot by dealing with the state of the OpenJDK head on – both politically and technically – with a talk from Oracle’s Mark Reinhold. There were quite a few speakers at Java DevJam and lots of Java tech over the two days, but this talk was needed to start to clear the air, hindsight suggests.
In this article we are looking at how Linux, OpenSolaris, and FreeBSD scale across multiple cores. Benchmarked are CentOS 5.5, Fedora 14, PC-BSD/FreeBSD 8.1, and OpenIndiana b148 as we see how the performance differs when running on one, two, three, four, and six cores, plus when Intel Hyper Threading is enabled.
To do this comparison the Intel Core i7 970 “Gulftown” processor was used, which boasts six physical cores plus Hyper Threading. With the ASRock X58 SuperComputer motherboard, from the BIOS the number of enabled cores can be adjusted as well as toggling Hyper Threading. CentOS, Fedora, PC-BSD, and OpenIndiana were tested in their stock OS configurations, aside from building GCC 4.5.1 on each of these operating systems to have a similar compiler across platforms.
If you don’t know what HTML5 is or how crucial it is to the whole future of the Internet ecosystem, you need to check out our previous article featuring 15 incredible HTML5 demos showcasing prowess of HTML5 over Adobe Flash. Here is another nice and interesting HTML5 experiment that generates a DNA structure on the fly.
Over at the Department of Defense, they’ve got lots of robots. Most of them aren’t scary and glamorous like the lethal Drones you read about all the time. Perhaps the most useful land-based bot is the Tanglefoot, a short, roving critter that sneaks up on Improvised Explosive Devices, then graciously allows itself to be blown up for its trouble. Then there’s the Autonomous Platform Demonstrator (APD) a nimble, 9.3-ton, unmanned ground vehicle that can turn on a dime and accelerate to a top speed of 50mph.
According to the Chicago Tribune, a wrongful death lawsuit filed Monday alleges that a woman was driving and updating her Facebook status when she hit a 70-year-old man who had stepped out of his car. CNET hasn’t yet been able to get a copy of the lawsuit, but we have confirmed its existence with the Cook County Circuit Court and double-checked party information.
The WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team has learned that Baltimore police and transportation officials are trying to correct a problem with about 2,000 red light camera citations that may bear the signature of a police officer who is dead.
The I-Team learned that the citations were issued over the past few months.
If you want to be on TV, don’t go to Los Angeles or New York. Come to Chicago, where your wish is certain to be fulfilled. In fact, you couldn’t avoid it if you wanted to, thanks to the nation’s most extensive network of police surveillance cameras. Anytime you walk out your door, you may find an audience.
This is one of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s proudest achievements, but the estimated 10,000 devices now in operation are not enough for him. He once expressed his intention to keep adding cameras until there is one “on every street corner in Chicago.”
When cameras are used, common-sense restrictions should apply. The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois recommends that police show probable cause that someone has committed a crime before they use facial-recognition software or conduct nonstop video tracking of an individual. Another proposal is to delete images after seven days unless there is reason to think they document a crime.
In other words, the NYT knew about Davis’ work for the CIA (and Blackwater) but concealed it because the U.S. Government told it to. Now that The Guardian and other foreign papers reported it, the U.S. Government gave permission to the NYT to report this, so now that they have government license, they do so — only after it’s already been reported by other newspapers which don’t take orders from the U.S. Government.
It’s one thing for a newspaper to withhold information because they believe its disclosure would endanger lives. But here, the U.S. Government has spent weeks making public statements that were misleading in the extreme — Obama’s calling Davis “our diplomat in Pakistan” — while the NYT deliberately concealed facts undermining those government claims because government officials told them to do so. That’s called being an active enabler of government propaganda. While working for the CIA doesn’t preclude holding “diplomatic immunity,” it’s certainly relevant to the dispute between the two countries and the picture being painted by Obama officials. Moreover, since there is no declared war in Pakistan, this incident — as the NYT puts it today — “inadvertently pulled back the curtain on a web of covert American operations inside Pakistan, part of a secret war run by the C.I.A. ” That alone makes Davis’ work not just newsworthy, but crucial.
Worse still, the NYT has repeatedly disseminated U.S. Government claims — and even offered its own misleading descriptions –without bothering to include these highly relevant facts. See, for instance, its February 12 report (“The State Department has repeatedly said that he is protected by diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention and must be released immediately”); this February 8 article (referring to “the mystery about what Mr. Davis was doing with this inventory of gadgets”; noting “the Pakistani press, dwelling on the items in Mr. Davis’s possession and his various identity cards, has been filled with speculation about his specific duties, which American officials would not discuss”; and claiming: “Mr. Davis’s jobs have been loosely defined by American officials as ‘security’ or ‘technical,’ though his duties were known only to his immediate superiors”); and this February 15 report (passing on the demands of Obama and Sen. John Kerry for Davis’ release as a “diplomat” without mentioning his CIA work). They’re inserting into their stories misleading government claims, and condescendingly summarizing Pakistani “speculation” about Davis’ work, all while knowing the truth but not reporting it.
So desperate has been the US effort to get the US government killer Raymond Davis sprung from police custody in Lahore, Pakistan following his execution-style slaughter of two Pakistani intelligence operatives in broad daylight in a crowded commercial area, that the government trotted out President Obama to declare that Pakistan was violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations by holding “our diplomat,” whom he insisted had only been defending himself, and should in any case be entitled to absolute immunity.
Now both the Guardian newspaper in the UK over the weekend, and the Associated Press today are reporting that sources in both the Pakistani and American governments are confirming that Davis works for the CIA. The AP is even reporting that he is a “CIA security contractor,” which is something less and a little more amorphous than a CIA employee, and that means he has no claim on diplomatic immunity whatever, and that raises the added question of who he actually is and who he actually works for. But more on that later.
In an outrageously ill-timed visit, British Prime Minister David Cameron arrived in Cairo to meet with the new military ruler, General Tantawi – the defense minister and head of the ruling military council – on a mission to sell arms.
Yes, Cameron actually flew to Cairo to see if Egypt’s armed forces, sans a president, might be willing to buy weapons from the UK.
Reuters, on the violent crackdown against anti-government demonstrators in Libya: “Military aircraft fired live ammunition at crowds of anti-government protesters in Tripoli, Al Jazeera television said on Monday.”
What do you do when your friend is blind drunk, slurring, staggering and boisterous as they fumble for their car keys? Do you cheer them on, slap them on their back and hand them another shot of whiskey? Of course not, no matter how much they may protest. And when it comes to America’s friendship with Israel, what is true for the ethics of bars holds true for international politics as well.
Israel is America’s obnoxious drunk friend. And for over half a century, America has been Israel’s bartender and enabler: each year dumping billions of dollars in military aid that is used to oppress Palestinians, handing out bribe money to Arab tyrants in exchange for the suppression of their people’s outrage and, most importantly, protecting Israel from the UN Security Council despite repeated, flagrant violations of international law. On Friday, America did it again by vetoing a Security Council resolution that would have declared Israel’s settlements illegal… all other members of the council, longstanding friends of Israel included, had voted in favor of the reprimand.
More power to him! Except Rumsfeld, of course, only posted the information that he wanted to flow freely. The other stuff—like his callous attempts to keep John Walker Lindh from getting speedy trial, his effort to whitewash the Pentagon’s detainee policy, and the friendly op-eds he tried to plant in newspapers—he left out. Luckily, we were able to get a hold of some of the papers from his days as defense secretary that Rumsfeld reviewed and deliberately withheld from the archive.
“I don’t really care what happens to Walker at this stage.” Here is Rumsfeld in January 2002 arguing that John Walker Lindh, an American citizen who had been wounded in battle and captured in Afghanistan three months before, should be sent to Guantanamo Bay instead of handed over to the Justice Department for a civilian trial—even though the military had concluded he couldn’t provide any more intelligence and wanted to get rid of him. “[T]he military doesn’t want him anymore,” Rumsfeld wrote. “We could put him in Guantanamo Bay until we are absolutely sure we are not going to get anymore information about him or from him.” A few hours later, in another memo, Rumsfeld acknowledged that Lindh should eventually go to the Justice Department, but said he still wanted to hold on to him a little longer and couldn’t understand why everyone wanted Lindh to get a speedy trial: “I am curious to know what the rush is.”
Some 2,000 demonstrators again challenged the ban on protests in Algiers on Saturday. “On a marre de ce pouvoir” (we have had enough of this government!), they cried. An older man in the crowd told me, “What we want is a change of the system not a change in the system.”
Five years after Britain deployed forces to Helmand province in Afghanistan it is becoming clear that British and US policies in the country are not helping but setting back development prospects.
Although more children now go to school and health services have improved, it is remarkable how little Afghanistan has progressed, given that it is the world’s most aid-dependent country, with 90% of its budget financed by donors. One in five children die before the age of five and one in eight women die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
Yesterday, 15 Feb, Baraqqi said: ‘ My hope and expectation is that we’re going to continue to see the people of Iran have the courage to be able to express their yearning for greater freedoms and a more representative government, understanding that America cannot ultimately dictate what happens inside of Iran any more than it could inside of Egypt … What’s been different is the Iranian government’s response, which is to shoot people and beat people and arrest people … Each country is different, each country has its own traditions, and America can’t dictate what happens in these societies ‘ 
I live in Iran and I can see how Iranians feel anger at Obama. I feel anger too, and now I should try to control my own anger.
First minister Alex Salmond crowed that the Scottish fish-farming industry may need to double salmon production to satisfy Chinese demand. The announcement a few days later that China was halting the import of Norwegian farmed salmon (China’s retaliation, according to the Norwegian press, for the awarding of the Nobel peace prize to the imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo) lays Scottish government open to the charge that it is in effect supporting repression.
Poverty, repression, decades of injustice and mass unemployment have all been cited as causes of the political convulsions in the Middle East and north Africa these last weeks. But a less recognised reason for the turmoil in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen, Jordan and now Iran has been rising food prices, directly linked to a growing regional water crisis.
Of course, “everyone knows” that OPEC is sitting on lots of oil. However, as has been discussed here, at The Oil Drum, and elsewhere it remains decidedly unclear whether Saudi Arabia can indeed turn on extra taps at will. But the problems for world supply of oil do not merely end with production capacity. Even if OPEC is indeed sitting on 1-3 mbpd of spare capacity, it’s not clear for how long they can both increase production, and export that production to the world. Not only has Saudi Arabia’s production not increased in the past five years, but, Saudi is increasingly using its own oil for its own population. The result? Flat, to declining exports of oil from Saudi Arabia.
This story about Scott Walker and Biddy Martin’s efforts to dismantle the University of Wisconsin-Madison. To complete the corporatization of the public’s university is an important piece of what is happening both in Madison and nationwide. This story must be told before it is too late to save the university that belongs to the people of Wisconsin, and while democratic momentum is still on our side at the University, in Madison, and in the state of Wisconsin. Although seemingly specific to the UW, this is a case study about the future of public college education nationwide.
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, in a February 20, 2011 appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, exposed Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s disingenuousness in linking restrictions on collective bargaining to a need to cut the state’s budget. Wisconsin’s unionized workers have declared they are ready to start contributing to their pensions and health care to help resolve the state’s budget problems, Granholm pointed out
Even though the fight in Wisconsin is not really about the budget — a crisis manufactured by Governor Walker’s tax cuts and funny numbers — and not about government employees refusing to make sacrifices (for weeks they have said they will agree to concessions), the scapegoating of public servants as the 21st century’s welfare queens is particularly unfair given that they are compensated less than public sector employees.
And just who is the likely recipient of no-bid state sales of publicly-owned heating, cooling and power facilities? That would most likely be companies controlled by the brothers David and Charles Koch, owners of Koch Industries, and big financial supporters of Governor Scott Walker. The Koch brothers have also funded groups that are attempting to create a crisis atmosphere over the state’s budget, leading up to the attempt to pass this bill that could result in the low-cost transfer of state assets to their company.
There are many questions raised by the connections between Governor Walker and the Koch brothers and their company and this emergency “Budget Repair” bill. The likely handing of state assets to the Koch brothers at a low price raises even more.
Richard Kirk, 22, and from the Sherwood area of Nottingham, raided the PayPal accounts of 303 eBay users, transferring the money to accounts under his control. He used the stolen funds to buy a variety of goods, including laptops and bars of gold bullion.
The only countervailing force on the left came from the public employee union American Federation of State, County, and Municipal, Employees (AFSCME), who spent $87.5 million in 2010, a relatively small number when compared to the numerous and coordinated corporate-funded interest groups on the right. As we wrote before last November’s election, unlike the right-wing groups funded by a small number of large, secret donations, “the vast majority of labor union funding comes from member dues, which are applied towards advocacy for member interests … when an ad ends with “brought to you by AFSCME,” viewers know what is motivating the message — the interests of the union and its employees. … In contrast, the innocuously-named conservative groups give no indication whatsoever about what is motivating the advertisement.”
The AP’s headlines overall emphasize heavily the GOP’s point of view, although some of the stories are fairer than others. Three of the stories in this time frame involving the Wisconsin or national budget, however, feature only the GOP’s talking points, while none feature only union or Democratic talking points. So who is writing the AP’s headlines these days, and why are the AP’s editors putting stories on the wire for papers across the country that quote talking points interviews by only one political party in some instances, as with the Ryan and Palin pieces? Especially with online services like Yahoo’s, listing only the AP stories as the entry point for readers, the AP’s headlines need to be better and in this case not look like they were written by one political party or to favor one side. (The AP, unlike CMD, does not acknowledge having a point of view regarding unions or the corporate agenda as part of its coverage.)
Koch-funded groups like Americans for Prosperity, the Reason Foundation and Competitive Enterprise Institute have all been openly hostile toward public sector unions. For those who still doubt that what is happening in Wisconsin is part of a coordinated, national attack on unions, on February 18, the executive director of the Wisconsin Public Workers Union sent a message to Governor Walker’s office saying the union agreed to the cuts in pensions and benefits Walker seeks in his “budget repair” bill. The governor’s response? No, not good enough. He is still holding out for nothing less than an end to collective bargaining rights for public unions. Why are the Koch brothers so keen on Wisconsin?
The Americans for Prosperity group, a Tea Party group that is a Koch Brothers front, has put up a website and petition called www.standwithwalker.com. The website attacks all collective bargaining – not just for public employees’ unions. Americans for Prosperity is also organizing a rally tomorrow in Wisconsin to support Gov. Walker.
A company called “Javelin Marketing,” which in turn operates a business called “Prospect Match” that generates and sells insurance leads, recently tried to suppress criticism of its business practices on several pages of Insurance Forums web site by threatening to sue the host of the forum. Trying to get around the forum’s section 230 immunity, Javelin’s lawyer, a self-proclaimed Internet law specialist named Richard Newman, included claims for “false advertising” and “trade libel” under section 43(a) of the Lanham Act. Newman compounded his error by threatening to sue for copyright infringement if the operator of Insurance Forums posted his demand letter. That demand letter is posted here.
So let’s back up. What’s this all about? The 21-year-old Emory posted a video of himself on YouTube singing a sexually explicit song to elementary school students. Before you take the side of law enforcement, it’s not as raunchy and inappropriate as it sounds. The video was only edited to make it appear as if young children were in the classroom, even though they weren’t. Emory posted two disclaimers on the video that elementary school students were not exposed to the explicit lyrics.
If Emory is charged with the count of manufacturing child sexual abusive material he is facing, he could spend 20 years in prison for what he says was just a joke. Muskegon County Prosecutor Tony Tague said Michigan law ‘provides penalty’ for those who actually manufacture child sexual abusive material ‘but also has a provision for those who make it appear that the children were actually abused.’
In 1959, Wisconsin became the first state in the union to guarantee collective bargaining rights for public employees by enacting a law that protects municipal workers from being fired or otherwise discriminated against for engaging in union-related activities. That law was further strengthened in 1963 to give either the union or the employer the right to call in a “fact finder” to help resolve bargaining disputes. In 1965, Wisconsin’s state employees won a limited right to bargain collectively, and those rights were further broadened over the next six years.
“This census is a monumental waste of time and money. A large number of the questions duplicate data already held by the authorities on databases such as the electoral register, school records, tax returns and GP information.
“It also makes the entirely hollow but nevertheless bullying threat of fines of £1,000 for non-compliance.
“Back in 2001, 3 million people refused to comply. Given that there were fewer than 100 prosecutions for not filling the census in, it’s clear that non-compliance comes pretty much entirely without repercussions.
“Last time, 390,000 people declared their religion as Jedi. There’s no reason to think people will take the census any more seriously this year”.
The American Civil Liberties Union has taken up the cause of a Maryland man who was forced to cough up his Facebook password during a job interview with the Department of Corrections in that state.
According to an ACLU letter sent to the Maryland Department of Corrections, the organization requires that new applicants and those applying for recertifications give the government “their social media account usernames and personal passwords for use in employee background checks.”
If you are a parent of a teenager, ask yourself a simple question. Would you allow your son or daughter to lock you out of his or her bedroom? Even though you own the house, your teen’s door is always closed . . .and you never get to come in.
Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Calpers (D-DE) introduce a revised version of their cybersecurity bill this week, entitled the “Cybersecurity and Internet Freedom Act,” which they say prohibits any possibility of an Internet ‘kill switch” — they swear.
Like the original bill, which was introduced last month, this version is intended to establish an office within the Executive branch that will handle the “coordination” of governmental responses to a “catastrophic” cyber attack against the United States infrastructure, according to a statement by Sen. Collins.
“Duff Beer” is the trademark for the beer favored by “Homer Simpson.” Just as “Homer” is a fictional character, “Duff Beer” is a fictional trademark. But does that mean that “Duff Beer” isn’t protectable – that anyone may use the mark for anything? Fordham law student Benjamin Arrow tackles this question in Real-Life Protection for Fictional Trademarks in the latest issue of the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal. By the way, the “Duff Beer” question is not hypothetical. “Duff Beer” was used, without authorization, by a brewery in Australia; and Twentieth Century Fox did sue, successfully.
Startup ReDigi will be opening “the world’s first online marketplace to legally recycle, buy and sell, used digital music files” this summer. On the ReDigi Marketplace, music “owners” can “manage their music libraries by selling their unwanted digital music, or purchasing the music they do want, at drastically discounted prices”.
Meanwhile, it is suspected that Microsoft wants Nokia’s patents (maybe it wishes to ‘pull a CPTN’ on Nokia, just like it did on Novell). The deal may be about more than just Vista Phony 7 [1, 2, 3, 4], which cannot do anything but harm to Nokia. What an appalling deal that was. To quote some bits from that deal’s statements, “Nokia’s history of innovation in the hardware space, global hardware scale, strong history of intellectual property creation and navigation assets are second to none…”
Combined with this article, it sure seems like Nokia has malicious plans that involve patents, with Microsoft on the side. “There are other mobile ecosystems,” the article says. “We will disrupt them.”
Disrupt, eh? Elop also said: “I am not a Trojan horse.”
It is ‘[s]ad when you have to say something like, “I am not a Trojan horse,”‘ claims Groklaw. ‘It’s sort of like Nixon’s “I am not a crook.”‘ Microsoft booster Matt Rosoff [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] based his analysis on this report (the source and focus of such an article is Elop boosting Vista Phony 7) when he showed that Elop sold all his Microsoft shares. The Microsoft camp is quick to jump to Microsoft’s rescue and hide evidence of entryism. What the boosters won’t show is that Elop buys Nokia shares only well after he crashed the stock, as more of a symbolic gesture. Chris Ziegler from Engadgetspoke to Elop. “He seems to say MeeGo is the Nokia future,” Groklaw points out, surprised. “See what you think he means in this video interview.”
“The FSF should be commended for the work that it does to protect software freedom from software patents.”In relation to another article (“IBM’s post-Jeopardy Watson plans”) Groklaw asked: “Could you ask it who is behind all the legal attacks on Linux? What? Too simple?”
Let us remember Nokia’s lobbying for MPEG-LA*, which is attacking VP8, if not yet by actions then by words, as documented by the FSF-funded swpat.org. The FSF itself has just called for a Boycott of any company that signs onto the MPEG-LA patent pool. The FSF’s statement says: “we’re asking everyone who values a web free of restrictions and threats like this — and especially everyone who values the publication of audio and video files on the web — to sign a pledge that they will boycott any and all companies who sign onto this patent pool.”
Andreas K. Foerster (AKF) added the suggestion that the FSF “should also ask companies with patents that read on vp8 (if there are any) to set a good precedent and set them free!”
Software is not just ones and zeros or math, they said. The binary code is representative of the underlying electrical impulses being used to run a computer device, and that control is just as important and unique as the device itself. Both parties had agreed that new forms of hardware were patentable.
A Web site which to a large degree is steered by Microsoft people (TalkStandards) keeps exploring ways of harming Free software using laws, e.g. how to put patents inside standards so as to poison everything for Free/open source software. Roberto Galoppini says that they now organise a forum to push these ideas under the fake umbrella of ‘standards’:
EU Standardization – From Formalism to Pragmatism? – Talkstandards.com will host an online open forum to discuss the recent EU policy developments related to Standardization.
It won’t be fair and balanced. It will be all tilted, based on the known convictions of the source. Speaking of convictions, Glyn Moody mocks this new advocacy of patents in relation to “Web M” [sic]. Apple is no better by the way as it also attacks/snubs WebM and the same goes for ODF. This new article from Cult of Mac is not just pro-software patents; there is OOXML in the bragging/rave image:
Now Apple has been awarded a software patent for a new OS X feature that could be an integral part of their future remote computing plans: it describes a way for users to secure vital files in a virtual ‘safe deposit box’ which would then encrypt them and possibly even upload them to the cloud.
Apple was not the first to implement such a thing. But Apple loves patents because they create bogus scarcity. Without such a scarcity, Linux and Android win easily, aided by open standards.
Microsoft mobbyists not only mock patents-free and possibly DRM-free formats like VP8 (or WebM) but they also bring a lot of attention to Oracle’s case against Google [1, 2, 3], probably because it can put a tax on a leading Linux-based platform named Android. Alas, Google may have found a workaround:
Re-examinations can actually take three or four years, and even longer, Daniels said in an interview Friday. “There have been re-exams in there for 10 years.”
Meanwhile, the re-examination process could potentially cause a substantial delay to the actual trial, as Google could ask the judge to issue a stay while the USPTO does its work, according to Daniels.
Over in France, Microsoft has been greasing up top politicians, so it recently saw Android copyright tax introduced (not applying to Windows for truly bizarre reasoning). The French president, Sarkozy (Sarko for short), was having a good time with Microsoft executives last week (yes, yet again, as he has been spending years with them). Here is an Ogg version of the video where Sarko is legitimising the Microsoft bully by giving him a medal.
In our new episode of TechBytes we made some fun of that by mentioning the medal’s relation to Napoleon, who sank vessels. Here we have another receiver whose main contribution is the sinking of rivals, using patents for example. Sarko should be ashamed for this. His friendship with people like Bill Gates and his vacationing in the house of a Microsoft executive also help explain why he lobbied for OOXML in France, even though he is not a technical person. █
___ * It’s said to be the case because Nokia profits from it. It is also worth noting that the person from Nokia who opposed Ogg had come from Microsoft (he did contract work with them).
Summary: Tim and Roy talk about the subjects above and apologise for irregular show releases
IN THIS belated recording of the show, Tim and Roy talk about a plethora of subjects ranging from Free/open source software to matters of law and economics. Due to Tim’s busy schedule at work and around the house we have not released many new episodes recently, not even show notes for the previous episode (Tim is hopefully catching up by now). Gordon was absent when Tim had returned online and we hope he’ll be back for the next show.