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IRC Proceedings: February 23rd, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Links 23/2/2011: GNOME Shell 2.91.6 is Out, Linux Mint 10 KDE is Also Out

Posted in News Roundup at 6:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 On Linux

        In this review today at Phoronix we are testing out the Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 Vapor-X 1GB graphics card to see how this popular AMD Radeon graphics processor is performing under Linux.

  • Applications

    • Openshot 1.3.0 is a major step forward

      In my experience, earlier OpenShot versions were somewhat unreliable, but most of the functionality was there. Effects worked as expected for the most part, and while the interface was a bit awkward to work with at times, most of what the application was offering was there to be used. Having said so, my main problem with OpenShot was performance. Even when working with videos well below HD quality, the application would choke on them. Simply trying to add a single audio track to a single video track was a nightmare, for the preview render would be useless, thus leaving me editing blind.

    • Audio Players For Linux

      Best of the best – Amarok

      Nothing on any other platform even begins to approach the raw power of the Amarok media player. Not even close. Scripts, add-ons, smart playlists, Amarok provides the kind of jukebox experience that actually made me want to switch to Linux full time years ago. I was using Linux back then anyway, but when I first saw everything Amarok could do…there was NO contest. The only thing lacking is access to a mainstream music store. Alternative artists are well supported here though.

    • GTimelog: A Beautifully Bare-Bones Approach to Time Tracking

      GTimelog is a simple task-tracking tool that doesn’t make you adjust your own work habits in order to conform to the way it works. It’s not exactly pretty to look at — there isn’t much going on in the GUI department. But it’s easy to learn, and for users who want to maintain strict control over a time-management app, its lack of full automation is actually an asset.

    • Instructionals/Technical

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Shell 2.91.6 released

        GNOME Shell provides core user interface functions for the GNOME 3 desktop, like switching to windows and launching applications. GNOME Shell takes advantage of the capabilities of modern graphics hardware and introduces innovative user interface concepts to provide a visually attractive and easy to use experience.

      • Want To See How Gnome Shell 3 Is Progressing?

        Gnome is going for a major makeover with version 3 which will hit this summer. There is a lot of talk around the new Gnome Shell 3 which will redefine the user interface for Gnome, the way KDE did with KDE 4.x. Gnome Shell 3 and KDE 4x also show how progressive and innovative GNU/Linux based systems are as compared to Windows or Mac.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Squeeze: about relevance and visibility

        Coming back to Debian, our famous distribution seems to be slowly drifting toward invisibility. It’s not loosing relevance, since many important and popular distributions are based on Debian, but ever less people install Debian on their computer because they find a derived distribution that better fit their needs. Debian is becoming a sort of framework to build distributions where the invisible features like security, reliability, and coherence in licenses are ever more important.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Review: Hands on with the Boxee Box

      Everywhere you look these days, there is a new device for sale designed to get music, movies, and entertainment to your TV without the hassle of old-fashioned delivery systems like cable or satellite. So when media-center maker Boxee announced last year that it was adding a Linux-based set-top hardware device to what used to be a software-only product, it took on a decidedly tougher market.


      But in addition to the design, the navigation itself is also improved. I’ve used several generations of Boxee on Linux, and previous versions fell into what I call arrow-key-traps — where you can use (for example) the right-arrow key to move the cursor into some particular menu, but then the left-arrow key can’t get you back out. MythTV themes are riddled with these problems. On the Boxee Box, the arrow keys always move the direction they look like they should, the “pause” button always pauses, and “menu” button always brings up the menu — even if what you’re currently doing is watching a Flash-powered video via the built-in browser.

    • Rugged alternative for SO-DIMMs makes its debut

      The Small Form Factor Special Interest Group (SFF-SIG) has comes up with a ruggedized alternative to SO-DIMM that offers more flexibility in memory sizes compared to memory soldered to a CPU board. The RS-DIMM Rugged Memory Specification, supported by two upcoming Swissbit and Virtium Technology modules, defines a rugged, DDR3 mezzanine memory module with a pin-and-socket connector optimized for small CPU boards.

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • Community SSU- Keep Your N900 OS Constantly Updated Without Nokia

          Seamless Software Updates is a term coined by Nokia to refer to the pain-free method of updating the OS of your Nokia Internet Devices like the N900.

          With the company now defecting to the Windows camp, the maintenance of Maemo 5 has virtually fallen on the shoulders of the community. To enjoy continous updates of your OS from the Maemo Community, you’d need to install the Community Seamless Software Updates or CSSU.

      • Android

        • Free Android Apps: 50 Top Downloads

          Free Android apps are wonderful things. If you’re on the hunt for yet more free Android apps for your phone, here’s a list of 50 free apps you should consider.

          1) SlideScreenThis app replaces your traditional home screen with one that shows summary information for SMS, Gmail, phone calls, Calendar, Google Reader, Stocks and Twitter, making seeing all your important information at once a snap.

    • Tablets

      • How to root a Nook Color to transform it into an Android tablet

        Barnes and Noble launched the Nook Color last year with the aim of enabling a more interactive user experience and tighter Web integration than conventional e-book readers. The device’s color touchscreen and assortment of Internet-enabled applications help differentiate it from Amazon’s increasingly ubiquitous Kindle.

        The Nook Color is an intriguing product, but its most compelling feature isn’t listed on the box. Beneath the e-book reader facade, the Nook Color runs Google’s powerful Android mobile operating system. Barnes and Noble intends to eventually expose more of the Nook’s Android functionality to end users in future updates, but Android enthusiasts have already gotten a head start.

      • 5 iPad Alternatives You Could Be Seeing in the Enterprise Soon

        Motorla Xoom

        Motorola made a splash with a big Super Bowl ad for this device, but this machine is also reportedly loaded and ready for enterprise use. Like the bigger Samsung, it will sport a 10.1 screen and run Google Honeycomb. At a reported price tag of $800, it’s going to be more expensive too. It could be available as soon as this week.

      • Motorola Xoom Android 3.0 Tablet Computer: The iPad 2 Killer?

        I believe no mobile OS could beat Android 3.0 Honeycomb at the moment. But since we haven’t seen the next version of iOS (to be released around Q2) yet, I will just keep my mouth shut and won’t make any comparison in the scope of operating system being used.

      • Android 3.0 SDK officially released ahead of Xoom launch
      • Here Comes SDK For Android Honeycomb

        Google has announced the availability of the full SDK for Android 3.0. Good news for developers is that these APIs are final so they can start developing apps for this new platform. The new API level is 11.

        The SDK has been timed well as Honeycomb running tablets are about to hit the market with Motorola Xoom leading the pack.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Software: Top 59 Sites

    Frequently, Datamation puts together lists of top open source software. This time we’ve done something a little different and made a list of top open source Web sites.

    Of course, literally thousands of sites and forums provide news and information about open source software. To narrow things done, we focused on sites that provide a lot of links of open source applications – the top places to download open source software.

  • Events

    • Open Source System Integrators Forum

      Monday 21st February 2011 saw the first ‘Open Source System Integrators Forum’ held by the Cabinet Office and I’d like to share a few modest bits of news with you all…

      Firstly, the occurrence of the event itself is news! The Cabinet Office assembled all the big System Integrators who make up the majority of UK Government and Public Sector IT spending, currently running at between £16billion to £21billion every year. I was there too, not due to the proportion of this spend which comes Sirius’ way I hasten to add, but simply to provide some Open Source expertise..

    • National Leadership Conference Opening Opportunities, Freeing Learning

      This conference has been designed by school leaders and others in the Open Source Schools’ community to showcase to school leadership teams the best of educational free and open source software, whether used alone or blended with proprietary software.

    • Interview with Todd Miller – SUDO Maintainer

      Todd Miller will be presenting at SCALE later this week on the latest developments in the upcoming SUDO 1.8 release. We took a moment to connect with him to learn about his work at Quest Software on the upcoming release, and his presentation “Extending Unix Command Control with Sudo 1.8″. Quest Software will be on our exhibit hall floor as well demonstrating their identify management solutions for Linux.

      SCALE: For our readers who aren’t familiar with you, can you share a little about your background?

      Todd Miller: I’ve contributed to various Open Source projects since the early 90s including Sendmail and ISC cron. I’ve been a member of the OpenBSD project since 1996, focusing primarily on the userland libraries and utilities. In a former life I was an upstream maintainer for the SELinux toolchain. I’m probably best known for maintaining Sudo for the past 18 years.

  • Databases

    • Multiple Firebird Servers on Ubuntu

      In this tutorial I will show you how to install multiple separate Firebird 2.1 servers on a single Host, lets just say you are short on budget and you want to have your testing/integration database running on the same environment as your production database, which is usually not preferable, but in some weird cases you find yourself needing such a setup. Or for instance you have a number of production environments and you want to have them a bit seperated from each other saying you want to be able to kill all open sessions of a certain production environment, sometimes this can be very useful but like I said usually you shouldn’t really do this. But anyways I was asked once to do exactly such a setup and I wanted to share my knowledge on how to do exactly this with Firebird 2.1, the same procedure should also be adaptable to other versions of Firebird as long as you want to use Classic Server. Mixing different version should also work cause the required libraries will all be isolated in single directories.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Open source is not always free (of charge)

      A contribution to The Foundation Document shall not be considered as a price for using LibreOffice. LibreOffice is free to use! But a contribution is to be considered as a recognition of the many volunteer hours that are being used around the world.

      In Magenta we use LibreOffice, and we make money by providing service to our customers. Were it not for open source software – including OpenOffice and LibreOffice – we could not lift the tasks for our customers as we do. We have therefore chosen to donate an amount of money to The Document Foundation. Also because we think that LibreOffice is a healthy and reliable project.

    • Matrix notation in OpenOffice.org Writer

      OpenOffice.org math formulas can similarly be added to other document types including as Impress (like PowerPoint) and Draw (somewhat like Visio).

      OpenOffice.org’s math editor is sufficient for math homework and casual math use, but if you are writing a scholarly paper, TeX is the de facto standard.

    • LibreOffice Is Now Integrated in Unity for Ubuntu 11.04

      Bjoern Michaelsen from the Canonical’s development team managed to integrate Ubuntu’s 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) default office suite, LibreOffice 3.3, with Unity’s global menubar.

      The Document Foundation write a post on their blog a couple of days ago, welcoming Canonical‘s contributions to the LibreOffice development. In particular they are welcoming Bjoern Michaelsen’s LibreOffice improvements.

    • LibreOffice 3.3.1 is available now

      LibreOffice 3.3.1 brings new colored icons and eliminates various problems to improve stability

    • LibreOffice 3.3.1 Is Now Available for Download

      A few minutes ago, The Document Foundation company launched the first maintenance release of the LibreOfficeb 3.3 open source office suite for Linux, Windows and Macintosh platforms. LibreOffice 3.3.1 brings stability improvements, bug fixes and new colorful icons.

      LibreOffice 3.3.1 is available now (see download links at the end of the article), for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, and ready to be included in the upcoming Ubuntu 11.04 operating system. It updates several language versions, it is much stable than the previous release, and it brings new colorful and beautiful icons based on company’s branding guidelines.

    • LibreOffice 3.3.1 Available, Gets Colorful Icons

      The Document Foundation has announced LibreOffice 3.3.1, the first micro release which brings new colorful icons based on The Document Foundation branding guidelines, and includes updates to several language versions.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 3.1, lots of fun

      The long-awaited fourteenth release of WordPress is now available. WordPress 3.1 “Django” is named in honor of the jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. Version 3.1 is available for download, or you can update from within your dashboard.

  • Licensing

    • A New White Paper, Two New Training Classes, and Other Compliance Resources

      The Open Compliance Program continues its mission of making it ever easier for companies to achieve compliance with FOSS license obligations. I am pleased to announce the publication of our sixth white paper, titled “Keys to Managing a FOSS Compliance Program,” which can be freely downloaded (along with all our other white papers) from the Linux Foundation’s publications website. Our new white paper examines the managerial practices needed to plan, coordinate, and control a successful compliance program. Managing a FOSS compliance initiative requires establishing a plan, gathering sufficient resources, allocating the resources where they will do the most good, tracking accomplishments to plan, adjusting the plan as needed, and so on. This white paper focuses on a handful of the critical project management techniques needed to assure a successful compliance outcome, namely resource estimation, progress tracking, metrics collection and analysis, and use of management tools.


  • Rogers’ new ambient TV: Rotisserie chicken

    Forget 24-hour news or sports: starting Feb. 28, it will be all chicken, all the time on channel 208 for Rogers digital subscribers in Ontario. At launch, the Rotisserie Channel will feature non-stop footage of glistening chickens turning on a spit.

  • US Paid Millions For Bogus (Patented) Intelligence Software; Now Trying To Cover It Up Claiming ‘National Security’

    First off, the crux of the story is that a guy named Dennis Montgomery seems to have concocted an elaborate con on the US government that worked for years. He created some software, supposedly originally designed to help colorize movies, but it was later pitched for its capability to (I’m not joking) read coded messages in the “crawl bar” on Al Jazeera which (it was claimed) provided clues to planned terrorist attacks. Various US government agencies basically kept handing over millions and millions of dollars to Mr. Montgomery and partners. Some of those former partners now admit that Montgomery’s technology was a hoax, and his presentations included doctored videos and test results.

  • Science

    • Losing the Brains Race

      In November the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released its Program for International Student Assessment scores, measuring educational achievement in 65 countries. The results are depressingly familiar: While students in many developed nations have been learning more and more over time, American 15-year-olds are stuck in the middle of the pack in many fundamental areas, including reading and math. Yet the United States is near the top in education spending.

      Using the OECD data, Figure 1 compares K–12 education expenditures per pupil in each of the world’s major industrial powers. As you can see, with the exception of Switzerland, the U.S. spends the most in the world on education, an average of $91,700 per student in the nine years between the ages of 6 and 15. But the results do not correlate: For instance, we spend one-third more per student than Finland, which consistently ranks near the top in science, reading, and math.

    • Launching a Space Station to Other Worlds

      Imagine strapping a giant rocket engine on the International Space Station (ISS), inflating a few balloon-like structures to hold your luggage, and adding a spinning carousel-wheel for artificial gravity.

      This ungainly-sounding assemblage, dubbed Nautilus-X, (“Non-Atmospheric Universal Transport Intended for Lengthy United States eXploration”) has been proposed by the NASA Technology Applications Assessment Team at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The group is chartered with examining key technologies that can advance space exploration in a timely and affordable manner.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Chinese authorities crush online call for Middle East-style revolution

      Chinese police staged a show of force yesterday to stifle a mysterious online call for a “Jasmine Revolution”, apparently echoing pro-democracy demonstrations in the Middle East.

      But the campaign did not gain much traction among ordinary citizens and the chances of toppling the Communist government remain slim, considering Beijing’s tight controls over the media and the internet. Police detained known activists, increased the number of officers on the streets, disconnected some mobile phone texting services and censored internet postings about the call to stage protests in Beijing, Shanghai and 11 other major cities. A student-led pro-democracy movement in 1989 was crushed by the military and hundreds – perhaps thousands – were killed.

    • Wife of jailed Chinese Nobel peace prize laureate ‘is a hostage’

      The wife of the jailed Nobel peace prize laureate Liu Xiaobo said she and her family are “hostages”, according to a friend. The comment is thought to be her first contact with the outside world for four months.

      Supporters have been unable to reach Liu Xia since shortly after October’s announcement that her husband had won the award. It was initially thought she was under house arrest at the couple’s home in Beijing, but it is now believed she may be being held at her parents’ house.

    • Germany sent five undercover police officers to G8 protests

      Five undercover police officers from Germany were sent to the G8 protests in Gleneagles to infiltrate activist groups, German police have privately admitted.

      The officers took orders from the UK’s National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), the secretive police division that employed Mark Kennedy to spy on activists across Europe, said Jörg Ziercke, head of Germany’s federal police.

    • Ugandan leader wins again, but critics say vote was fraudulent

      Uganda’s long-serving President, Yoweri Museveni, has won another term in office, the country’s election commission said yesterday, but the main opposition leader claimed the vote was fraudulent and vowed to reject the results.

      The electoral commission said Mr Museveni won 68 per cent of the votes cast in Friday’s poll, allowing him to extend his 25-year hold on power. The commission said challenger Kizza Besigye – the President’s former doctor – took 26 per cent of the vote. Badru Kiggundu, the electoral commission chairman, said 59 per cent of voters in the East African nation participated.

    • Palestinians plan ‘day of rage’ after US vetoes resolution on Israeli settlements

      Palestinians are planning a “day of rage” on Friday in response to the US wielding its veto against a UN security council resolution condemning Israeli settlements.

    • Pirates Kill U.S. Hostages, So U.S. Forces Kill Pirates

      U.S. forces uncovered a gruesome scene Tuesday off the Somali coast: Four Americans who had been taken hostage by pirates aboard their yacht were shot fatally by their captors. That prompted a deadly U.S. response.

      A raiding team came aboard the captive vessel Quest after pirates shot at U.S. forces from the yacht at about 1 a.m. local time. According to a statement from U.S. Central Command, the team killed two of the pirates, detained another 13 and found the corpses of two others, dead from a different incident. The command assessed that 19 pirates were involved in the capture of the Quest on Friday, though it’s not clear what happened to the final two.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Canadians more likely than Americans to believe in global warming

      A new survey – the first explicitly to compare US and Canadian attitudes to climate change – has found that Canadians are vastly more likely to believe in global warming.


      The differences in opinion between the US and Canada are also reflected by people’s willingness to pay a bit more for renewable energy. Only 55 percent of Americans said they’d be prepared to pay an extra $50 per year, compared with 73 percent of Canadians.

      More than one-fifth of Americans said they thought the Federal government had no responsibility at all to try to reduce global warming, compared with just eight percent in Canada.

    • Green economy needs 2% of every nation’s income, says UN

      The United Nations will call on Monday for 2% of worldwide income to be invested in the green economy, a move it says would boost jobs and economic growth.

      The call is expected to be matched by statements of support for low-carbon investment from heads of state including President Barack Obama of the US and Hu Jintao of China, and several chiefs of multinational companies.

  • Finance

    • The real reason for public finance crisis

      Nothing better shows corporate control over the government than Washington’s basic response to the current economic crisis. First, we had “the rescue”, then “the recovery”. Trillions in public money flowed to the biggest US banks, insurance companies, etc. That “bailed” them out (is it just me or is there a suggestion of criminality in that phrase?), while we waited for benefits to “trickle down” to the rest of us.

      As usual, the “trickle-down” part has not happened. Large corporations and their investors kept the government’s money for themselves; their profits and stock market “recovered” nicely. We get unemployment, home-foreclosures, job benefit cuts and growing job insecurity. As the crisis hits states and cities, politicians avoid raising corporate taxes in favour of cutting government services and jobs – witness Wisconsin, etc.

    • David Cameron to end ‘state monopoly’ in provision of public services

      David Cameron is to “completely change” public services, bringing in a “presumption” that private companies, voluntary groups or charities are as able to run schools, hospitals and many other council services as the state.

      Writing in the Daily Telegraph about the plans, to be published in a white paper in the next fortnight, the prime minister says he is seeking to end the “state’s monopoly” over public services, with only the security forces and judiciary exempt.

    • Can Someone Explain How Sponsoring NASCAR Is A Good Use Of Taxpayer Funds, If Funding Sesame Street Is Not?

      I’m sort of amazed at the silly and childish political games being played concerning attempts to cut funding here and there, but, seriously can anyone give me a logical explanation why the same folks who are so quick to demand that we stop funding NPR and PBS are so vehemently in favor of sponsoring NASCAR?

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Koch Denies Interest in No-Bid Deals; Opens New Lobby Shop

      Madison, Wisconsin — The Capital Times reported on Tuesday that Koch Industries had quietly opened a lobby shop in Madison. This news comes amid concerns about the influence of the company and the billionaire brothers who lead it ,and the bankrolling of multi-million dollar ad campaigns like the one that helped sweep controversial governor Scott Walker into office. The company’s political action committee was also one of the largest PAC donors to contribute directly to Walker’s election, giving his campaign $43,000, second only to the realtor PAC. Amid controversy swirling around a provision in the budget bill Walker introduced that would allow his administration to sell off state heating, cooling and power plants or their operations “for any amount” in no-bid contracts and without any external oversight, Koch Industries denied last night that it was interested purchasing power plants here to go along with its pipeline, refinery, and coal companies in the state.

    • General Strike Looms if Walker Signs Union-Busting Bill

      Wisconsin’s South Central Federation of Labor is getting ready to call a general strike if the state’s legislature passes Governor Scott Walker’s bill to curtail collective bargaining rights. The Federation, which represents 97 unions and more than 45,000 workers in six counties, on Monday voted to endorse work shut-downs by both union and non-union workers around the country if the bill passes and the governor signs it.

  • Civil Rights

    • Who Knew Cairo Was This Chilly?

      It’s midnight Monday. A quiet snow is falling outside the Wisconsin State Capitol, and clean-cut fire fighters are rolling out their sleeping bags and getting ready to sleep on hard marble floors with students who looked a bit shaggy after five nights of the same. Since Tuesday, February 15, tens of thousands of Wisconsin residents have been flooding the State Capitol in Madison in protest of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s proposed budget “repair” bill that would savage Wisconsin’s 50-year history of collective bargaining for state, county and municipal workers. Tuesday, February 22 will be a critical day in the fight. The Wisconsin Assembly will take up the bill, introducing over 100 amendments, starting at 11:00 a.m. and the Republicans in the Senate will attempt to lure their Democratic colleagues back into the state from their undisclosed location by scheduling votes on the bill the Democrats deplore. (Watch floor action on the Wisconsin Eye website).

    • Walker’s M.O. and Past Privatization Disaster Revealed

      Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker did not campaign for office calling for the destruction of public unions, but a closer look at his past actions shows that he acted rashly toward union workers before, with disastrous and costly results.

      In early 2010, when Walker was Milwaukee County Executive, he fired 26 union security guards who worked at the Milwaukee County Courthouse. They were public employees and were represented by a union, but he fired them anyway, in favor of hiring private security guards. The county board opposed Walker’s security-outsourcing move, but he pressed ahead with it anyway, claiming the action was needed due to a budget crisis, to help ameliorate a potential 2010 year-end deficit of around $7 million. After firing the guards, Walker hired private security contractor Wackenhut G4S to provide security services at the Courthouse, as well as two other venues in the county, under a $1.1 million contract.

    • Should Public Sector Unions Exist?

      Governor Scott Walker’s budget repair bill effectively dismantles over 50 years of public sector collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin. While bill supporters have obscured the reasons that hundreds of thousands have been protesting (acting as if the controversy is really about pension and healthcare contributions rather than union-busting, and claiming the fiscal gaps created by Walker’s tax cuts leave the state with no choice but to crush unions), others recognize the attack on collective bargaining rights but nonetheless support it as applied to taxpayer-funded public servants. Should public sector workers be allowed to organize?

    • Indiana Conducting “Immediate Review” of Official Who Called For Using “Live Ammunition” on Wisconsin Protesters

      This morning, Mother Jones reported that Jeff Cox, an Indiana deputy attorney general, had called for using “live ammunition” against Wisconsin protesters. Cox’s bosses have issued a statement noting that they are conducting an “immediate review” of the prolific tweeter and blogger and that the state attorney general will take “appropriate personnel action” when the review of the “serious matter” is complete.

    • Indiana Deputy AG Fired For Suggesting Use of ‘Live Ammunition’ Against Protesters

      It turned out that lawyer, Jeff Cox, is a deputy attorney general in the state. And — perhaps unsurprisingly — he’s left a long online trail of controversial statements and diktats.

      “[A]gainst thugs physically threatening legally-elected state legislators & governor?” he tweeted back at Weinstein. “You’re damn right I advocate deadly force.”

      Six days ago he opined, “Planned Parenthood could help themselves if the only abortions they performed were retroactive.”

      And on his personal blog, Pro Cynic (now deleted), he compared former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich to a Nazi, and concluded that George W. Bush’s words to the Iraqi people — “Your enemy is not surrounding your country, your enemy is ruling your country” — are appropriate for citizens of America under Barack Obama, among other inflammatory statements.

    • PirateBox vs. FreedomBox

      This fits squarely with what the American government has been saying about the importance of open communications platforms to the cause of democracy. Yet the inspiring words of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are seemingly at odds with other administration and legislative efforts to expand the government’s powers to combat intellectual property infringement. (The Department of Homeland Security has its ICE web domain takedowns; there’s also a bill in Congress that would expand Department of Justice powers to do much the same.)

    • Feds Appealing Ruling That Said Warrantless Wiretapping Was Illegal; Will This Backfire?

      A year ago, a lot of folks were quite surprised when a court ruled that the federal government had violated wiretapping laws with its warrantless wiretapping campaign. The government had fought hard against the lawsuit at every turn, and went to ridiculous lengths to stall and even ignore the judge. The whole case revolved around the one situation in which the government revealed that it was wiretapping some people without the required warrant. Previous lawsuits over the program had been dropped, because without specific evidence from someone being spied on, no one actually had standing to sue. Yes, this is a bit Kafkaesque when you think about it. Basically, so long as the government keeps its illegal spying activity secret from those it’s spying on, no one can take legal action to stop it.

    • Alaska state rep refuses TSA grope of her mastectomy scars, drives home from Seattle

      Alaska State Rep Sharon Cissna, a breast cancer survivor who has had a mastectomy, was barred from flying home to Juneau from Seattle by the TSA when she refused to allow a screener to touch the scars from her operation.

    • Seattle-Area Restaurant Refuses To Serve TSA Agents

      Fed up with what he views as crappy treatment from the TSA, the owner of a restaurant near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has decided to put all TSA agents on his No-Eat List.

      “We have posted signs on our doors basically saying that they aren’t allowed to come into our business,” one employee tells travel journalist Christopher Elliott. “We have the right to refuse service to anyone.”

    • Feds Appeal Warrantless-Wiretapping Defeat

      The Obama administration is appealing the first — and likely only — lawsuit resulting in a ruling against the National Security Agency’s secret warrantless-surveillance program adopted in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks.

      A San Francisco federal judge in December awarded $20,400 each to two American lawyers illegally wiretapped by the George W. Bush administration, and granted their attorneys $2.5 million for the costs of litigating the case for more than four years.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • Scope

      Last week, the CRTC called for comments on whether it should expand the scope of its Review of Usage Based Billing (more formally known as: Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-77: Review of billing practices for wholesale residential high-speed access services).

    • Cerf: Future of Internet doesn’t include an IPv7

      Vint Cerf takes his title of Chief Internet Evangelist for Google seriously, and is knee-deep in several projects to bring the next versions of the Internet into being. These projects include pushing for worldwide IPv6 adoption, but they don’t include plans for an IPv7.

      Cerf sat down with Network World’s Cisco Subnet editor, Julie Bort, at the annual Digital Broadband Migration conference in Boulder, Colo., to discuss the future of IP, home networking, the Internet of Things, preventing the so-called Internet “kill switch,” and other topics. Here is part one of the edited interview.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Stronger IP Rights In EU-Korea FTA: Precedent For Future FTAs?

      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.

    • How Lawyers For Settlers Of Catan Abuse IP Law To Take Down Perfectly Legal Competitors

      So I was interested a few weeks ago when Michael Weinberg, a lawyer at Public Knowledge, put up a discussion about whether or not there was an IP violation in doing 3D printings of Catan pieces. He explained why there actually was no actual violations there. In reading that, I realized that most of the same arguments would apply to software as well… and like magic, someone popped up in the comments to that post, noting that he had written an Android clone of Catan, and their lawyers had forced it down. Weinberg has now written a detailed explanation of why the lawyers for Catan are flat-out wrong and are abusing intellectual property law to stifle competition.

    • Trademarks

      • A Chicken War in New York, Where Afghans Rule the Roost

        He has armed himself with an unwritten secret recipe that he claims allows him to fry the best bird in town. His main weapon, he says, is ownership of the trademark for the Kennedy Fried Chicken brand, which has spawned hundreds of imitators as far south as Georgia, and has become to oily drumsticks what the ubiquitous Ray’s name once was to New York pizza.

        That Kennedy, named after the former president, was itself a deliberate imitation of Kentucky Fried Chicken, down to those familiar initials — and that it had its own trademark battle a generation ago — seems to make little difference to Mr. Haye, 38. A wired and wiry resident of Whitestone, Queens, he began working as a chicken fryer when he was 17, soon after he immigrated in 1989, and describes his rivals with ire similar to that he reserves for the Taliban.

    • Copyrights

      • Goodbye, HD component video: Hollywood hastens the ‘analog sunset’

        Listen—do you hear that creaking sound? Don’t be too alarmed. It’s only the coffin lid slowly closing on your ability to get high-definition video via the analog component-video connections on your Blu-ray player.

        After decades of effort, Hollywood is finally “plugging the analog hole,” as it’s inelegantly been called, thanks to new restrictions imposed by the licensing administrator for the AACS, the copy-protection scheme used in Blu-ray players.

      • Report: Dodd on verge of becoming MPAA chairman

        Dodd’s hiring comes after reports that several candidates turned down the chance to represent Hollywood on K Street.


        But the MPAA is optimistic about its legislative prospects this Congress, thanks to the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last year before stalling in the full Senate.

        The MPAA is among the strongest supporters of the legislation, which would give the Justice Department expedited authority to shut down domains found trafficking in counterfeit or pirated content.

      • Google Finally Gets Involved In Torrent Search Engine Lawsuit… But Just To Reject ‘Red Flag’ DMCA Violations

        TorrentFreak is noting that Google has, perhaps for the first time, waded into any of the lawsuits concerning torrent search engines, filing an amicus brief in the ongoing IsoHunt appeal. In the past, other torrent search engines have been somewhat upset that Google has stayed quiet, noting that many of the arguments used against them could equally apply to Google. Google, of course, has stayed away because it goes to great lengths these days to avoid any appearance of “supporting piracy.”

      • ICE Confirms Inadvertent Web Site Seizures

        A child pornography investigation led to the unintentional temporary shutdown of thousands of lawfully operating Web sites last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has confirmed.

      • CRTC denies AUX-TV right to air more music videos

        Three months after the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission told MuchMusic it can’t air fewer music videos than it already does, the same federal agency has denied a request to play more of them on a cable music channel that’s become a launching pad for dozens of independent Canadian artists.

        The CRTC ruled last week that AUX TV, a specialty music channel owned by GlassBox Television, can’t allow music videos to account for more than 35 per cent of its broadcast content under its current licence because that could make AUX “directly competitive” with MuchMusic.

      • Did Scott Turow Keep The Copyright On His NY Times Op-Ed About The Importance Of Copyright?

        We were among many different commentators who mocked the recent op-ed in the NY Times by Authors Guild boss (and best selling novelist) Scott Turow, in which he seemed to suggest that to incentivize the next Shakespeare, the world needs much stronger copyright laws. The day after that op-ed was published, Turow was at the Senate speaking out in favor of censorship in the form of the COICA law. This is somewhat startling, and if you’re a member of the Authors Guild, you should be asking serious questions about an organization that supports censorship.

      • How to Control (and Cash In On) the Sarah Palin Brand

        Adding Sarah Palin to any event makes it bigger, more high profile and, for one restaurant owner in Manhattan, more litigious.

        Padriac Sheridan wanted to draw customers into his restaurant, Murphy & Gonzalez, on Waverly Place near NYU, by showing the 2008 Vice Presidential debate, featuring Palin and Senator Joe Biden.


        On September 13, 2010, Sheridan received a letter from an attorney representing a company claiming that Sheridan’s web site stole their photograph of Palin, and they wanted him to pay for it.

      • Court Not Impressed With ivi’s Legal Loopholes, Shoots Online TV Broadcaster Down

        The thing is, the more I read the details, the more I actually think that ivi’s legal argument makes sense, even if the court disagrees. The problem here is the way the laws are written. A strict reading of Section 111 certainly suggests that ivi probably qualifies and can rebroadcast network TV with a nominal payment to the Copyright Office.

Clip of the Day

GNU Parallel 20110205 – The FOSDEM Release

Credit: TinyOgg

ES: Cuando los Monopolios Intelectuales se Conviérten en Criminales

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 2:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Handcuffs on camouflage

(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: La Unión Europea toma la pendiente resbaladiza de la aplicación excesiva, mientras que Microsoft se vuelve más militante sobre las patentes.

El presidente de la FFII (Fundación para una Infraestructura de Información Libre) nos advirtió a principios de este mes en el que la Unión Europea parece tener previsto tipificar como delito violaciónes de patentes y en la actualidad la FFII nos muestra este documento titulado “Hacia una más eficaz aplicación de sanciones penales de los derechos de propiedad intelectual”[http://register.consilium.europa.eu/servlet/driver?page=Result&typ=Advanced&cmsid=639&fc=REGAISEN&srm=25&md=100&lang=EN&ff_DOCKEY=%22ST18259/10ORI%22]. Para el tratamiento de las infracciones como un delito sería absolutamente irracional y hasta peligrosa. Y aquí es otra historia escandalosa de patentes[http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110216/02040613124/lawsuit-claims-miller-high-life-loyalty-program-infringes-patent.shtml]:

Si por supuesto, donde “evidentes” y “Internet” se encuentran, casi siempre hay patentes en el camino. Mike Wokasch nos alerta sobre la noticia de que una empresa llamada Carlson Marketing Worldwide está demandando a la cervecera MillerCoors más de su “Programa de Lealtad High Life Miller Extras.” La patente en cuestión, 6.039.244 es muy corta … y amplia, y abarca una forma de crear una base de datos para un programa de fidelización. Es sólo tres reclamaciones de largo, con la primera reivindicación de ser el único que importa. Lea que dicen y explicar cómo esta patente se encontró nunca a ser de fiar.

Las patentes son la forma más baja de la competencia. Ellos son los falsos “productos” que las empresas utilizan cuando pierden. Los mobbyists de Microsoft está golpeando duro con el caso de Oracle contra Android que sigue adelante sin un acuerdo alcanzado[http://www.itpro.co.uk/631294/oracle-vs-google-java-case-to-continue]. Microsoft Mientras tanto parece estar atras de las patentes de Nokia[http://techrights.org/2011/02/22/toxic-swpats-tactics_ES/ (ver también [1[http://techrights.org/2011/02/13/microsoft-boosters-love-nokia-microsoft/], 2[http://techrights.org/2011/02/11/elop-pours-gasoline/], 3[http://techrights.org/2011/02/14/legal-action-and-nokia/], 4[http://techrights.org/2011/02/15/nokia-swpats-strategy/]]) para más ataques contra Android (especulativo en esta etapa) y además de que existen las patentes de Novell en CPTLN (acuerdo no retirado, en contra a las reclamaciones que el video demuestra a continuación[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1uaHAGhcQo]). Como un resumen, véase:

* CPTLN Muestra Microsoft convertirse en un agitador de Patentes Al igual que Kodak, cuyo tiempo pasó[http://techrights.org/2010/12/20/kodak-and-microsoft-strategy/]
* El Cartel de Microsoft se retira de Patentes Después de denuncia oficial, pero ¿Por qué? (Actualizado)[http://techrights.org/2011/01/11/cartels-and-escapes/]
* Cartel de Microsoft de Patentes (CPTLN) Esquiva la Oficina Federal de Cárteles de Alemania[http://techrights.org/2011/01/13/germany-investigation-hindered/]
* Orndorff Benjamín de Microsoft / Gates y Ellis Representa el Cartel CTPN Patentes[http://techrights.org/2011/01/19/hard-evidence-re-cptn/]
* OIN es muy diferente de CPTLN y Riesgo UNIX es Revisited[http://techrights.org/2011/01/19/cptn-and-attachmsft-over-unix/]
* En defensa de la OIN y Android[http://techrights.org/2011/01/21/why-oin-and-android-are-good/]
* SCO, CPTLN, y UNIX[http://techrights.org/2011/01/22/unix-safe-hands/]
* De las Batallas UNIX a las Batallas NET[http://techrights.org/2011/01/26/reasons-to-sue-linux/]
* Fundación para el Software Libre en la Declaración de Microsoft/Novell/Ataque de Patentes CPTLN contra la Libertad de Software[http://techrights.org/2011/02/05/fsf-re-novell-swpats/]
* Un Punto de vista Paralegal en las últimas de Microsoft contra Google (y la Lucha contra el software libre)[http://techrights.org/2011/02/05/fsf-re-novell-swpats/]
* Novell Acumula más Patentes de Software, Alimentando a un falso Sistema[http://techrights.org/2011/02/21/more-swpats-novell-utah/]

En el próximo post vamos a tratar con el triste estado de Microsoft en el mercado móvil. Lo único que queda son las patentes y que también es una batalla que esta perdiendo.

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

ES: Microsoft Està Contaminando El Espacio Codec y Móvil Con Las Patentes de Software

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 2:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

(ODF | English/original)

Resumen: Junto con nuevos socios como Nokia, Microsoft està tratando de garantizar que el vídeo en el Internet y el mercado de teléfonos inteligentes sean lo más tóxicos posible para Linux.

Hace unos días escribimos acerca de la prohibición de Licencias de Código Abierto por parte de Microsoft[http://techrights.org/2011/02/18/wp7-forbids-the-use-of-mono/]. Despues de algún control de daños (muy esperado), nos enteramos que Microsoft EXCLUYE las licencias que estan en CONTRA DE LAS PATENTES DE SOFTWARE[http://www.itwire.com/business-it-news/open-source/45259-some-open-source-licences-banned-from-windows-phone-marketplace]:

En concreto sí prohibió la GPLv3(Licencia Pública General v3), Affero GPLv3 y LGPLv3(Licencia Pública General Menor v3). Cualquier código que se distribuya bajo los equivalentes de ESTAS tres licencias tampoco están permite en el Mercado de Microsoft (Marketplace).

Como era de esperar, él refuerzo de Microsoft Peter Bright[http://techrights.org/2011/01/19/ars-technica-misdirection/] lanza un ataque a la GPL (Licencia Pública General)[http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2011/02/windows-phone-marketplace-bans-the-gpl-and-the-app-store-should-too.ars]. Si es malo para Microsoft, ‘entonces’ es malo para Peter también. Estan en el Mismo equipo.

Mientras tanto, se sospecha que Microsoft quiere las patentes de Nokia, (tal vez su deseo es “Tirar un CPTLN” de Nokia, al igual que lo que hizó con Novell). El acuerdo probablemente puede ser algo más que Vista Phony 7 [1[http://techrights.org/2010/10/21/ina-fried-pseudo-journo/], 2[http://techrights.org/2011/02/11/elop-pours-gasoline/], 3[http://techrights.org/2011/02/14/legal-action-and-nokia/], 4[http://techrights.org/2011/02/15/nokia-swpats-strategy/]], Que no puede hacer otra cosa que perjudicar a Nokia. Lo que fue sin duda un acuerdo terrible. Para citar algunos fragmentos de las declaraciones de ese “acuerdo[http://www.businessinsider.com/nokia-heres-why-we-jumped-off-the-burning-platform-into-the-frigid-north-sea-chose-windows-phone-7-2011-2]” “La historia de Nokia de innovación en el espacio del hardware, en la escala del hardware a nivel mundial, su fuerte historia de creación de propiedad intelectual y sus activos en navegacion de primera…”

En combinación con este article[http://www.techeye.net/business/swingin-stephen-elop-confirms-nokia-ms-deal-is-about-patent-protection], seguro que Nokia tiene planes maliciosos que incluyen las patentes, al lado de Microsoft. “Hay otros ecosistemas móviles”, dice el artículo. “Los vamos a interrumpir”–La única manera de hacerlo no es con mejores productos pero con patentes de software- muy ala Microsoft.

Interrumpir, ¿eh? Elop también dijo: “Yo no Soy un caballo de Troya”.

Es muy triste cuando usted tiene que decir algo como, “Yo no soy un caballo de Troya”, afirma Groklaw. Es algo asi como Nixon dijo : “Yo no soy un ladrón.” El refuerzo de Microsoft Matt Rosoff [1[http://techrights.org/2010/10/21/ina-fried-pseudo-journo/], 2[http://techrights.org/2010/10/12/msft-october-disaster/], 3[http://techrights.org/2010/10/12/msft-october-disaster/], 4[http://techrights.org/2010/11/03/pile-of-dead-microsoft-products/], 5[http://techrights.org/2011/02/08/ballmer-wants-to-reorganise/]]. Su análisis se baso en (y la fuente y foco de ese artículo es Elop mismo para impulsar Vista Phony 7)[http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/18/us-nokia-ceo-idUSTRE71H1BE20110218]. Cuando demostramos que Elop vendio todas sus acciones de Microsoft[http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/02/18/businessinsider-nokia-ceo-elop-sells-all-microsoft-shares-buys-nokia-2011-2.DTL]. El campo de Microsoft se apresuro para ir al rescate de Microsoft y ocultar pruebas de entrismo. Lo que los refuerzos de Microsoft no muestran es que Elop compró Acciones de Nokia sólo mucho despues de que estrello sus acciones, fue nada más que un gesto simbólico. Chris Ziegler de Engadget hablo con Elop[http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/15/the-engadget-interview-nokia-ceo-stephen-elop-talks-microsoft/]. “El parece decir que Meego es el futuro de Nokia”, señala Groklaw, sorprendido. “Que piensa usted cuando vea lo que quiere decir en this entrevista en vídeo”.

“La FSF (Fundación de Software Libre) deberia ser elogiada por su trabajo para proteger la libertad del software contra las patentes de software.”En relación con otro artículo (“IBM despues de los planes de Jeopardy/Watson”) Groklaw pregunto: “¿Se puede preguntar quién està detrás de los ataques contra Linux? ¿Qué Demasiado simple?

Recordemos la presión de Nokia por MPEG-LA*, que esta atacando VP8, aunque todavía no por acciones, al menos por palabras, de como esta demostrado por la FSF-financiada swpat.org[http://news.swpat.org/2011/02/mpeg-las-attack-on-vp8-video-highlights-need-for-software-patent-abolition/]. La propia FSF acaba de convocar un boicot de cualquier empresa que firma en el Consorcio de Patentes MPEG-LA[http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/mpeg-la/boycott]. La declaración de la FSF dice: “Estamos pidiendo a todos los que valoren un Internet libre de restricciones y amenazas como esta- y especialmente a todos los que valoren la publicación de archivos de audio y vídeo en la web- firmar un compromiso para boycotear todas y cada una empresas que se inscriban en Este consorcio de Patentes.”

Andreas K. Foerster (FRA) agrego la sugerencia[http://identi.ca/notice/64871996] de que la FSF “agregar una nueva notificación también para pedir a empresas con patentes que lean VP8 (si hay alguna), que las hagan libres para sentar un buen precedente”

La FSF (Fundación de Software Libre) deberia ser elogiada por su trabajo para proteger la libertad del software contra las patentes de software. En un reciente debate sobre el tema[http://techrights.org/2011/02/18/fsf-oin-au-nz-iponz/] (la FSF estuvo allí[http://techrights.org/2011/02/01/swpats-debate-and-extortion/]), se dice que los proponentes de las patentes de software han ganado[http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/enterprise_apps/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=229218910&pgno=1&queryText=&isPrev=] – Una “victoria” que según Satipera, simplemente significa “que los abogados y los trolls de Patentes defienden su modo de ganarse la vida”:

El software no es sólo unos y ceros o matemáticas, dijeron. El código binario es representante de los impulsos eléctricos subyacentes que son usados para ejecutar una computadora, y que el control es tan importante y unico como el propio dispositivo. Ambos estuvieron de acuerdo que las nuevas formas de hardware son patentables.

Un sitio web que en gran medida està dirigida por gente de Microsoft[http://techrights.org/2010/11/12/pseudo-standards-rand-lobby/] (TalkStandards) mantiene la forma de hacerle “daño al Software Libre usando leyes, por ejemplo, como poner patentes dentro de las normas con el fin de envenenar a el Software Libre/Código Abierto. Roberto Galoppini dice[http://robertogaloppini.net/2011/02/17/upcoming-open-source-webinars-continuent-coverity-talkstandards/] que ahora organizan un foro para impulsar estas ideas bajo el falso paraguas de “normas”:

Normalización en la Unión Europea – ¿De el formalismo al pragmatismo? – Talkstandards.com organiza un foro en línea abierto para discutir la evolución reciente de las políticas relacionadas con la normalización de la Unión Europea.

No va a ser equilibrado y justo. Va a ser inclinada, sobre la base de las convicciones conocidas de la fuente. Hablando de convicciones, Glyn Moody se burla de esta nueva promoción de las patentes[http://broadstuff.com/archives/2428-During-the-Web-M-vs-MPEG-LA-smack-down-dont-forget-the-argument-for-patents-even-software-patents.html] en relación Con La “Web M” [sic]. Apple no es mejor por la forma en que ataca/desaira WebM y lo mismo va para ODF. Este nuevo artículo[http://www.cultofmac.com/apple-awarded-patent-for-digital-safety-deposit-box/83010] de el Culto de Mac no sólo es en favor de las patentes de software, hay alarde/delirio de OOXML imagen:

Ahora Apple ha recibido una Patente de software por una “nueva” función del OS X que podria ser una parte integral de los planes futuros de computación: describen una nanera para que los usuarios protejan sus archivos vitales en una caja fuerte virtual que los cifra e incluso las sube a la nube.

Apple no fue el primero en poner en práctica una cosa semejante. Sin embargo, Apple quiere las Patentes, ya que crean una escasez ficticia. Sin tal escasez, Linux y Android ganan con facilidad, ayudados por los estandares abiertos.

Los mobbyists de Microsoft no sólo se burlan de los formatos libres de patentes, posiblemente los formatos libres de DRM[http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/02/20/1642222/Will-Google-Oppose-DRM-On-HTML5-Video] como VP8 (o WebM). Pero también traen mucha atención al caso de Oracle en contra de Google [1[http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/17/google_wants_reexamination_of_oracle_java_patents/], 2[http://blog.internetnews.com/skerner/2011/02/google-claims-fair-use-of-java.html], 3[http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Google-requests-re-examination-of-Java-patents-1192849.html]], probablemente por que pueden implementar un impuesto sobre la principal plataforma basada en Linux llamada Android. Para su desgracia, es posible que Google haya encontrado una solución[http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/220119/google_legal_move_could_alter_course_of_oracle_trial.html]:

Las re-evaluaciones en realidad pueden tomar tres o cuatro años, y aún y más, Daniels dijo en una entrevista el viernes. “Han habido re-evaluaciones que han durado los últimos 10 años”.

Mientras tanto, el proceso de repasar podria causar un retraso sustancial al juicio propiamente dicho, ya que Google podria pedir al juez que emita una estancia, mientras que la USPTO (Oficina de Patentes y Marcas de los Estados Unidos)hace su trabajo, segun Daniels.

En Francia, Microsoft ha engrasado políticos de alto nivel, por lo que hace poco vimos impuestos de Derechos de autor introducidos en contra de Android (se aplica un razonamiento verdaderamente extraño[http://techrights.org/2011/01/12/french-android-tax/]). El presidente francés, Sarkozy (abreviar Sarko), tuvo un buen rato con los ejecutivos de Microsoft la semana pasada[http://techrights.org/2011/02/17/association-with-thugs/] (sí, una vez más, como que ha estado pasando años con ellos). Aquí hay Una version del vídeo Ogg donde Sarko està legitimando al matón de Microsoft: Ballmer, dándole una medalla.

Direct link as Ogg or Flash

En nuestro nuevo episodio[http://techrights.org/2011/02/22/techbytes-episode-32/] de TechBytes hicimos un poco de diversión al mencionar la relación de la medalla de Napoleón, que se hundió buques. Aquí tenemos otro receptor, cuya principal aportación es el hundimiento de los rivales, por el uso de patentes, por ejemplo. Sarko debería avergonzarse por ello. Su amistad con gente como Bill Gates y sus vacaciones en la casa de un ejecutivo de Microsoft también ayudan a explicar por qué presionó por OOXML en Francia, a pesar de que no es una persona técnica.
* Se dice que es el caso porque Nokia se benefició de ello. Es también digno de mención que la persona de Nokia que se oponían a Ogg había venido de Microsoft (hizo un trabajo por encargo con ellos).

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

An Empire Crumbles

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 2:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shipwreck - nice angle

Summary: Microsoft is borrowing more money while IIS is gradually dying and a Microsoft PC gaming alliance falls apart

Microsoft has gone through some bizarre financial situations. Either it is stashing money in some tax-free haven or it is simply running out of money because its borrowings are exceeding what was once allocated for debt: (thanks to “twitter” for the information)

Earlier this month, Microsoft borrowed $2.25 billion in unsecured debt. What in the world possesses a company with $40 billion in cash and short-term securities to go out and borrow money?

The above comes from Murdoch’s biased & unfair press, which also has this article that says: “Software giant Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) hit the market Thursday with a $2.25 billion, three-part debt offering–its third ever–and was met with a whopping $6.5 billion of orders.

“Although the company paid more to borrow than on previous issues because of a recent rise in Treasury yields, to which corporate debt is benchmarked, current rates are still attractive historically.”

Isn’t that odd?

Meanwhile, writes Răzvan Sandu, “Microsoft IIS webserver is dying, netcraft confirms it http://is.gd/sUguLi” (see the graphs/plots which complement the following text):

Apache saw the largest increase in terms of both market share and absolute growth this month, with 9.6M new hostnames equating to a 1 percentage point increase in market share. This continues the general upward trend seen for Apache since January last year. The most significant increase occurred in the United States, where 7M new Apache hostnames were recorded. Once again, significant contributions to Apache’s increase were seen at AmeriNOC (4.6M) and Softlayer Inc (1.3M). Apache also made a net gain of 817k hostnames in the Netherlands as the result of a 1.3M increase at Axoft Group.

It has been a rough time for Microsoft recently and many managers left. There were layoffs, too, especially in units that are associated with hardware/consoles-related products like Xbox 360. PC Authority says that “Microsoft and Nvidia abandon PC Gaming Alliance”, noting that it’s not just Nvidia:

Industry body grows smaller and weaker as two more major players leave altogether, while AMD reduces involvement

Microsoft may no longer be worth so much attention because its impact on the industry is limited and it appears to be declining as the days go by. The principal issue is proprietary software or monopoly abuse (there is a correlation); wherever it appears this becomes an issue.

Links 23/2/2011: Intrinsyc Becomes Linux Foundation Member, Dries Buytaert Defends Free Software

Posted in News Roundup at 8:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Year of Linux (Unix)

    Today, I will dare say that it is the year of Linux (and Unix, for that matter).

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Can you run your own SOHO E-Mail Server?

      I’ve been running my own e-mail servers for decades. After all, back in the 80s I was helping run NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s e-mail systems and let me tell you in those days it wasn’t easy! Today, thanks to easy e-mail servers such as CapeSoft Email Server, hMailServer, and Zimbra pretty much any tech savvy user can run an e-mail server. Heck, if you’re a step above a power user you can even run OpenExchange and fully support Outlook users without breaking a sweat. If, that is, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will let you do it.

    • The meaning of Watson

      But Watson can’t really play Jeopardy! -not without a human puppeteer pulling strings behind the scenes. Even if we say that Watson knows how to talk (it’s a stretch), Watson doesn’t know when to talk. An operator is placed offstage, playing the crucial role of sending commands that prompt Watson when to speak, when to answer, when to choose a category or clue, and when to place a bet. It is the human puppeteer who, with our imaginative co-operation, creates the illusion that Watson is playing a game with humans. Without the subterfuge of human intervention, Watson remains a computational instrument -not a Jeopardy! contestant.

    • Still Think Linux Is Just for Start-Ups?

      Start-ups very rarely build themselves supercomputers, and certainly not the sorts of heavy duty number-crunching machines that make it on to the TOP500 list. But a quick glance at the latest list, from November 2010, shows that well over 80 percent of the fastest 500 machines in the world use a Linux server operating system. There’s a few UNIX machines in there too, and an handful of Windows HPC boxes — if one can call a supercomputer a box — but by and large it’s all Linux, Linux, Linux.

    • When in doubt, reboot? Not Unix boxes

      Rebooting Windows boxes is a way of life, but rebooting by default can you get you nowhere fast when running Unix

  • Kernel Space

    • Intrinsyc Joins Linux Foundation

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

      Intrinsyc provides software design and services that help its customers compete in today’s high-stakes device market. Core to its strategy is the development of high-quality software while accelerating time-to-market for the world’s leading device makers. Intrinsyc achieved notable success with the development of the first Android-based e-reader and has followed up with several software and services agreements to support Android mobile device development.

    • Intrinsyc becomes Linux Foundation member

      The foundation has seen a steady growth in company membership of the non-profit organisation with several other companies having joined this year.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Try This Great Looking Conky Lua Configuration For Ubuntu, Fedora Or Linux Mint

        Despot77 posted a great looking Conky Lua configuration at Gnome-Look that displays some beautiful rings for the cpu, clock, ram, swap, disk, net and also comes with an easy way to display the weather that doesn’t involve you register to any website, work with API keys and so on. Another thing I like about this configuration is that it comes with various color themes and distribution logos: Fedora, Linux Mint and Ubuntu (update: the package also provides Debian and openSUSE configurations).

      • I thought we had deprecated regedit

        Why TF is regedit still used in Gnome? I’d switch to KDE, if only I wasn’t so lazy.

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Introducing Debian GNU/Linux 6.0, the Universal Operating System for your Computer.

        Debian and I have an unusual relationship — I respect the work the Debian team does, I admire the huge amount of packages, infrastructure, coordination and testing which goes into the project. Quite often I find myself using the children or grandchildren of Debian for work and on my home machines.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Car computer runs Ubuntu 10.10, offers GPS and HSDPA

          Vic has begun selling an Ubuntu Linux-based, double-DIN car computer with GPS and 3G HSDPA for approximately $410. Based on an Intel Celeron M processor with 2GB of DDR2 memory, the NaviSurfer II Ubu-3G offers a 250GB hard disk drive, a seven-inch, 800 x 480 touchscreen, and extensive connectivity including multiple camera inputs, says the company.

        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Review: Boxee Box

      Shawn reviews the Boxee Box from D-Link. Oddly enough, it’s not really box shaped.

    • 10 Cool Hacks For Your NookColor

      If Android doesn’t do it for you, how about Ubuntu Linux? Inspired by similar Ubuntu-on-a-smartphone hacks, an XDA Developers member managed to install Ubuntu on the e-reader. There are still a few bugs and lag when using Ubuntu, but there is plenty of input into the hack’s coding currently to change that.

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

      • Android

        • All about Android

          The Android software has all the basics of an operating system, and developers can use a supplied “software development kit” to build applications that draw on any of the phone or tablet’s core functions, such as the ability to take photos, make calls and send texts.

        • 10 Android Apps for Linux Server Admins

          The Linux server admin on the go needs a good remote administration toolkit. Here are 10 useful remote administration apps for Android devices.

        • The Most Important Women in Mobile Tech 2011

          Before Google’s mobile operating system came along, Motorola aggressively pursued Mobile Linux on phones. But once Android entered the public’s consciousness, Wyatt spearheaded a change in course.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • The-M-Project: new HTML5 Framework for Mobile Apps

    The M Project is a new open source HTML5 JavaScript framework. With The-M-Project, M-Way Solutions – a specialist in mobile enterprise software – has provided developers with a means to write cross-platform HTML5 applications for almost all smartphone platforms. So far iOS, Android, Palm webOS and BlackBerry OS are the operating systems supported.

  • OpenGeo and Farallon Geographics Announce Partnership to Offer Open Source Geospatial Solutions

    Farallon Geographics, a San Francisco GIS services firm and OpenGeo, a global leader in open source geospatial solutions, announced that Farallon Geographics has added the OpenGeo Suite Enterprise Edition to its product offerings and now provides support to local OpenGeo Suite users.

  • Brandon Regional Health Authority Partners with ByWater Solutions for Koha Implementation

    ByWater Solutions, an open source community supporter and official Koha support company, announced today that the Brandon Regional Health Authority, of Brandon, Manitoba, has partnered with them for their implementation and support of the Koha ILS.

  • Mentor builds its open source tool support with UVM

    Mentor Graphics continues to regcoginse the growing importance of open source software in the design industry.

    It has now announced support for Accellera’s Universal Verification Methodology (UVM) across many of its design tools.

  • Qualys Launches Open Source Web App Firewall Project

    Qualys last week unveiled IronBee, a new open source Web application firewall (WAF) project. The goal of the project is to leverage the open source community to build a high performance WAF that can protect users against the latest security threats to Web applications. The software will feature a liberal license, and will be free to anybody.

  • SaaS

    • Yahoo building cloud-serving engine for internal use, plans to use open source

      Yahoo intends to release the code that the company is currently developing as part of its internal cloud-serving engine. Todd Papaioannou, Yahoo’s vice president of cloud architecture described Yahoo’s cloud capabilities as akin to Amazon’s well-known EC2 platform, but with a higher level of abstraction for ease of development. Written in Java and C++, Yahoo’s cloud-serving engine is based on the LAMP and Java stack, and will support PHP and JavaScript on the front-end. Other languages could conceivably be deployed on top of it.

  • CMS

    • One on One with Dries Buytaert of Acquia

      DB: Yes, I think the open source label still matters. Organizations need a technology that provides the flexibility and freedom to customize it to their individual needs. Proprietary solutions can be customized but with a high price tag and long lag time. In the open source world, more often than not, plug-ins or customizations you need to build have already been created and are available for use. This is community-powered innovation, something that Drupal is great at and that provides a real benefit compared to proprietary solutions.

  • Healthcare

    • Open source and standards encouraged in the NHS

      Chelsom claims that the National Health Service Programme for IT (NPfIT), has wasted a decade in the development of its clinical information systems, and says that his paper is in response to the NHS itself seeking opinions about how it can move away from the centralised approach to IT development. He makes the case that the earlier use of open source software in the NHS was not successful because of certain perceptions: “the myth that it’s mainly programmed by hackers; the legal implications of its licensing models; and the degree to which open source implementations can be supported and maintained.”

    • An open source approach to Veterans Affairs medical info

      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.

  • Business

  • Funding

  • Government

    • The government gets really serious about open source

      My favourite announcement of the day is the Government skunkworks project, where reusable solutions will be built from Open Source components. It’s live now, and headed by the CIO of the DCLG and DCMS. This time it’s serious…

      The move to Open Source is being driven both from No 10, and from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. You will hear the Prime Minister talking about Open Government quite a bit over the next few weeks. Open Government consciously includes Open Source as well as Open Standards and Open Data, and this is being driven directly from the top of the Coalition Government.

      Sirius will continue to bring Open Source Software to the UK Public Sector… We challenge the big SIs to join us and help reduce the UK’s IT bill…

    • Clicking Through Drupal 7′s Features

      When looking for examples of enterprise applications where open source products have competed effectively against expensive and complex commercial products, a good place to start is content management.

    • Review: Drupal 7 Simplifies Web Content Management
  • Openness/Sharing

    • “Open Source” at Carroll Square Gallery
    • Open Data

      • Reactions to the Nationwide Broadband Map
      • Gavin Newsom

        As former mayor of San Francisco, Newsom ignited transparency efforts with open source platform site DataSF.org, a clearinghouse of city and county data sets that residents can use to create innovative applications.

    • Open Access/Content

      • [Canada] Spectrum Consultation Could Form Cornerstone of Digital Policy for Next Decade

        Third, the government asks if it should establish “open access” requirements, mandating certain openness standards in the use of this spectrum. For consumers tired of the “walled garden” approach of current providers that use both contracts and technology to lock-in consumers, open spectrum policies would spur new innovation and heightened competition by facilitating greater consumer mobility and promote the introduction of new services not tied to a single wireless provider.

    • Open Hardware

      • Solid state drives refuse to delete data

        The first time I was briefed on developments that would lead to solid-state hard drives for laptops I thought it was such a great idea I couldn’t wait to get one. Improve speed, extend battery life and eliminate all that complaining when I close the lid and sling the laptop around before the disk stops spinning? Oh yeah.

        Unfortunately former colleague Galen Gruman was in the same meeting, and managed to shoot the idea into my “maybe someday” file before I got back to my desk. (Galen is wildly enthusiastic about technology himself, but has annoyingly accurate reasons for it when his enthusiasms conflict with mine.)

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Sencha Labs releases open source framework for WebGL development

      Sencha Labs has announced the availability of a new open source framework for WebGL development. The framework, which is called PhiloGL, makes it easier for developers to adopt WebGL and integrate its functionality in Web applications. The framework is distributed under the permissive MIT license.


  • Pa. judge guilty of racketeering in kickback case

    A former juvenile court judge defiantly insisted he never accepted money for sending large numbers of children to detention centers even after he was convicted of racketeering for taking a $1 million kickback from the builder of the for-profit lockups.

  • Judge Convicted in Pennsylvania Kids-for-Cash Scheme, Faces Long Prison Term and Class Action Lawsuit

    A federal jury has found a former Pennsylvania judge guilty of participating in a so-called “kids for cash” scheme, in which he received money in exchange for sending juvenile offenders to for-profit youth jails over the years.

  • Hardware

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • [Old:] Colonel Qaddafi—A Life in Fashion
    • Right-left symmetry photos of Qaddafi
    • Monopoly and Tyranny: Two Faces of Evil

      Libya earns $billions from oil and their few million citizens earn an average of a few dollars per day. All the wealth goes to the few and the rest are slaves, working cheaply.

    • Libya prepares for the last battle in Tripoli
    • Gaddafi family values

      As Libya spiraled further out of control today, WikiLeaks posted two new cables from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli detailing the family squabbles of strongman Muammar al-Gaddafi’s family. Both are from March 2009, and both are signed by U.S. Ambassador Gene Cretz, the United States’ first ambassador in Libya since 1972, who lost his job last month following the release of the infamous “voluptuous blonde” cable (and/or other more serious dispatches) he had signed.

      The cables date from an eventful period in the life of the Gaddafi family. The previous July, Hannibal al-Gaddafi, the Gaddafi son best known for getting in trouble in Europe on a semi-regular basis, had been arrested in Switzerland for beating his servants at a Geneva hotel. Meanwhile, Saif al-Islam, Muammar’s heir-apparent and the best-regarded Gaddafi outside of Libya, was fuming over the growing closeness between his father and his brother Muatassim (above, with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in April 2009), the elder Gaddafi’s national security adviser and Saif al-Islam’s only real competition for the family business. According to the cable, “Saif reportedly bridled at the fact that Muatassim accompanied Muammar al-Qadhafi on the latter’s visit to Moscow, Minsk and Kiev last year…, and played a key role in negotiating potential weapons contracts.”

  • Cablegate

    • Ellsberg: WikiLeaks Helped Topple Despots

      WikiLeaks revelations helped topple despotic regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg told Newsmax.TV. The former Marine and Pentagon employee also characterized WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as principled, idealistic, and a friend.

  • Finance

    • JPMorgan Grants Stock Bonus To CEO James Dimon

      JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM: News ) has granted restricted stock units and stock appreciation rights worth $17 million to its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Dimon, just a month after the New York-based financial services giant reported higher fourth-quarter earnings.

    • Sure It’s Legal… But Is It RIGHT?

      Now, THE largest expense for any financial company is SALARIES. So when banks and financial companies lobbied to have their leverage limits increased (or any number of other changes that were made in the ‘90s and ‘00s), they did it for one reason: to collect HUGE payouts.

      These folks were driven by greed and nothing more. They didn’t want more people to own homes. They didn’t care if folks lost money buying the AAA rated garbage they pawned off on pension funds and the like. They didn’t care if their OWN balance sheets were cesspools of crap loans no one would ever pay back. Heck, they weren’t even looking after their shareholders (leverage of 50-to-1 makes it extremely likely you’ll end up wiping out ALL equity sooner rather than later).

    • Goldman Sachs-Robbing and Thieving The American Sucker-AGAIN
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Expert: Copyright bigger threat than patents to OpenSim

      After ReactionGrid announced plans to patent a process for deploying and managing OpenSim earlier this month, the open source community responded with dismay.

      In comments on the initial announcement, and in ReactionGrid’s follow-up clarification, and in the OpenSim discussion list, open source advocates worried that patenting processes might hurt the development of OpenSim.

    • Copyrights

      • Presumed Guilty

        The argument is so strange it is hard to know where to begin. The problem is not simply that Shakespeare flourished without copyright protection for his work. It is that he made liberal use of the work of others in his own plays in ways that would today almost certainly generate a lawsuit. Like many readers, I found myself wondering whether Shakespeare would have survived copyright, never mind the web. Certainly, the dense interplay of unidentified quotation, paraphrase and plot lifting that characterizes much of Elizabethan theatre would have been very different; imagine what jazz would sound like if musicians had to pay for every fragment of another tune they work into a solo.

Clip of the Day

Deepak Chopra answers a question.

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 23/2/2011: Linux 2.6.38 RC6, Fedora Adopts Sqlninja, HP’s Linux-powered TouchPad Scheduled for April

Posted in News Roundup at 4:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Localising GNU/Linux to Telugu.
  • The iPhone Verdict + Ubuntu 10.10

    The road test on the new Ubuntu continues and I will soon be venturing into the world of the netbook which will be exclusively Linux.

  • Judge guts suit against Sony for killing Linux in PS3

    A federal judge has dismissed all but one of the claims leveled against Sony for dropping Linux support from its PlayStation 3 game console, but gave the plaintiffs permission to refile an amended complaint that fixes the deficiencies.

    A complaint seeking class-action status on behalf of all PS3 owners was filed in April and claimed that the disabling of the so-called OtherOS violated a raft of civil laws, including those for breach of warranty, unfair competition and computer fraud. Sony had touted the feature, which allowed users to run Linux and other software on their consoles, in interviews and presentations, but later dropped it after a well-known hacker figured out how to exploit OtherOS to jailbreak the PS3.

  • Desktop

    • HeliOS Rocks at Rock A Charity

      And really, what we do at HeliOS is perfectly suited for such a presentation…there’s not a lot of fluff here. We simply do what we do.

      The evening progressed at a busy level. We rarely found ourselves alone and between Skip Guenter, Diane and me, we took turns giving the presentation.

    • Paving the Last PC with Debian GNU/Linux

      So, today, we are truly free of that other OS. Two PCs run Ubuntu GNU/Linux and three run Debian GNU/Linux.

    • Amazon.com Includes Linux Users in new Movie Streaming Service

      Linux users have long searched for a way to legally watch premium movies on their computers with little luck. Netflix, Cinemanow, (and the now bankrupt Blockbuster) strictly forbid anything other than Windows or Mac systems. Even local video rentals or delivery services require the use of software that isn’t legal in the US. Well, Amazon.com has come to the rescue by allowing the streaming of recent premium movies to Linux machines.

    • The OpenPC project: Ready-made GNU/Linux Machines

      The Open Desktop communities Open-PC project is now offering three different models of open computers with turn-key GNU/Linux and KDE installations based on OpenSUSE (or Ubuntu). These systems could provide real competition with pre-installed Windows or Mac computers, overcoming some of the most frequently-cited problems with GNU/Linux on the desktop. The systems are now available from vendors in Europe and the USA.

      It’s not that uncommon to come across brave plans for GNU/Linux-based computer systems, ranging from games to netbooks to desktops, but they often turn out to be vaporware that never makes it to market. One thing that’s exciting about the Open-PC project is that it actually has hardware in stock now — so if you think you’re actually in the market for a low-cost “nettop” computer with GNU/Linux/KDE branding and a totally-configured operating system pre-configured for newbies (maybe for a gift?), then do read on, this is the real deal.

  • Server

    • How to build your own Watson Jeopardy! supermachine

      Because Linux is the fastest operating system on IBM’s Power platforms (at least according to the SPEC family of benchmarks), Big Blue chose a variant of Linux to run on the Power 750 nodes.

    • Jeopardy computer only uses a bit of its memory

      If you’ve been following the human vs computer Jeopardy shows on TV in the US recently, you’ve met the IBM supercomputer that is winning games. To make the humans feel better, it might be nice to know that the computer’s responses are supported by 90 servers and a network-attacked storage cluster with 2.16B of data (I read this in CIO).

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Two Awesome Tray Icon Sets for GNOME

        I had never experimented with tray icons alone in my Ubuntu before and this was my first experience with different try icons for GNOME. There is a dark and light version of the tray icon theme for GNOME and both of them looks very neat(and a tad too small to my liking). Give them a try and find out for yourself.

  • Distributions

    • New Linux OS-based service delivery platform for Indian telecom industry

      Donjin Communication Technology (Donjin Tech), a provider of multimedia communication platform technology and Contarra Systems, a worldwide telecommunica­tions software company, have launched Cameleon XR 1.5, a service delivery platform based on Linux Operating System for the Indian telecommunications industry.

    • New Releases

      • RIPLinuX 11.4 Ready

        Recovery Is Possible (RIP) Linux 11.4 is a boot, rescue, backup, maintenance, as well as general purpose system on CD or USB.

      • First Zentyal 2.1 beta available for download!

        The Development Team of Zentyal, the Linux small business server previously know as eBox Platform, is glad to announce the availability of the first packages and installer CD images for Zentyal 2.1! The new installer is now available for download at the Zentyal Beta Downloads page. Furthermore, the 2.1 packages can also be installed on an existing Ubuntu Server 10.04 following the instructions of the Installation Guide.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora to include hacking tool Sqlninja after all

          As recorded in the minutes of the most recent meeting of the Fedora board, the Fedora Project is to integrate hacking tool sqlninja into its Linux distribution. The minutes record that Tom ‘spot’ Callaway, member of the Fedora board and Fedora Engineering Manager, met with Red Hat’s legal team who said they considered there was no risk involved in including sqlninja. The Fedora board voted unanimously to lift the block on the application.

        • Test Day:2011-02-22 Nouveau
    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • LoCo Directory 0.3.1

          A new version of the Ubuntu LoCo Teams Directory was released this morning. It now includes interactive Google maps showing the locations of upcoming events (major props to Ronnie for this!). Make sure that your team’s venues have longitude and latitude values so they will appear and be counted on these maps!

        • Easily Support the Sound Menu in Python

          An important part of integrating with the Ubuntu desktop is ensuring that your application is using all of the appropriate indicators. In this entry, I explain how I added support for the Ubuntu Sound Menu to the sample application “Simple Player.”

        • UDS Diversity – Accessibility/Disability Version Meeting TODAY
        • Document Foundation Welcomes Canonical
        • Indicators and Accessibility

          With all the major user interface changes that are coming in Ubuntu Natty, its easy to get lost in exactly what is changing, how, and why. Things like how you access your most frequently used applications, files, and devices, are all changing. If not in Natty, then in the very near future with Natty+1 and beyond. With all these changes, there is one change that hasn’t been heavily talked about, at least in the Ubuntu accessibility community, and the change that I am about to talk about has been around since Lucid, if not longer.

        • The Most Important Women in Mobile Tech 2011

          A little less than a year ago, Jane Silber stepped into the CEO role at Canonical, the privately backed company behind the popular open source Ubuntu Linux distribution. She has to maintain the delicate symbiotic relationship between the corporation and the operating system’s community of open source developers. In an interview, she described the company and its ecosystem as being “like a living animal.” Thanks to Silber’s leadership, Ubuntu continues to grow both as an enterprise/server solution and a viable OS for the desktop with developments such as the Ubuntu One cloud syncing program, Unity interface for netbooks, Ubuntu Light for instant-on, dual-boot installations, and the introduction of multitouch capability in the OS.

        • The Most Important Women in Mobile Tech 2011
        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • Nokia and Microsoft: Match Made in the Twilight Zone

          “Elop is either a Trojan horse or completely incompetent,” consultant and Slashdot blogger Gerhard Mack opined. “If the last 30 years of computing history has taught us anything, it’s that partnerships with Microsoft tend to turn out really badly for the partner that’s not Microsoft.” Elop’s “bewildering” assertion that the telcos want a third market player, he added, is “just madness.”

        • Renee James, Senior Vice President, Intel speaks about MeeGo – MWC

          They discussed the MeeGo tablet experience and how Intel views it and what are the unique selling points, the Growing MeeGo ecosystem and also other companies that support MeeGo.

        • Peter Biddle Talks MeeGo and Intel AppUp

          Peter explained that Intel has big plans for MeeGo…

        • Where now for MeeGo?

          The industry will now wait and see whether Intel has the resource or the incentive to to continue to develop silicon for MeeGo in the face of the rising popularity of Android.

        • Another CSSU (community update) now available

          Seamless Software Update (SSU) is the term Nokia used to brand the over-the-air updates of Maemo.

        • First Alpha of Qt For Android Released

          An anonymous reader writes “In the wake of Nokia’s announcement that it will be cheerfully throwing its existing developer community under a bus by not offering Qt for Windows Phone, a project to implement Qt on Android has announced its initial alpha release. Necessitas project lead Bogdan Vatra writes, ‘I had a dream that one day, I’ll be able to deploy existing Qt software on any Android platform. I had a dream that one day, all Qt applications will use system wide shared Qt libraries. I had a dream that one day, all Qt applications once compiled and deployed to one android platform, will run on any other newer android platform and will last for years without any recompilation. I had a dream that one day, I’ll be able to create, manage, compile debug and deploy Qt apps using a first class citizen IDE. Now, those dreams become reality.’ The Necessitas wiki offers some documentation on Qt for Android. A demo video of Qt for Android in action is also available.”

        • SeriesFinale version 0.6.6 released

          Since last night, SeriesFinale version 0.6.6 should be available for those who have the extras-devel catalog.

      • Android

        • It’s Way Too Early to Pronounce the Tablet Wars Over

          What you have to remember is that Android itself provides the best example of how rapidly a competitor to the iPad could be taken very seriously. As recently as March of 2009, everyone was questioning why there weren’t more smartphones running Android, including us. And what happened before March of 2009? Mobile World Congress did. This is the conference where everyone decides what is going to succeed and fail each year on the mobile front, but in 2009, people who saw few Android phones and pronounced Android dead were dead wrong. Android is flourishing.

        • MWC 2011: Android Mania

          “Android is poised to absolutely dominate the entire smartphone market. It has reached the point of penetration where consumers may not even really want or be aware that they are buying an Android phone,” said Ben Cull, entrepreneur and founder of development company TBODA.

        • VLC-Shares Streams Any Video to Your Android, AirPlay-Style
        • Comic Book Reader Graphicly arrives on Android

          Graphicly Comics has titles from more than 150 publishers, including familiar names like Marvel and IDW. It has a store that can be browsed by publisher, title, or paid and free comics. Once a user has a collection, he or she can then view the digital copies formatted for the device. When testing on an EVO, Atomic Robo #1 loaded after a few seconds and I was able to turn pages by swiping left or right. Each page turn featured a delay of about 1 second or less, but pinch-zoom was fairly quick and allowed me to focus on certain panels.

          A strong web connection is ideal because Graphic.ly browses comic books that are stored in the cloud. However, users have the option of download a list of books if they want to read their collection offline or store it locally. The Android app also features an Activity Stream that shows comments and recommendations from friends or other Graphic.ly members (I can’t say much about it because my phone force closes every time I open the tab).

        • Android: The Open Mobile Choice

          In the future, MeeGo, like Android a Linux-based mobile may offer developers and users alike a similar array of choice.


          An iPhone or WP7? If you’re like me and you don’t like dealing with control freaks, just say no.

        • AirAttack HD is a great top down air combat shooter – and it’s free

          Fans of classic top down air combat shoot ‘em up games such as 1942 will likely love a new game in the Android market called AirAttack HD Lite. Despite the “lite” label, there is currently no full version of the game, but the free release has plenty of features.

          AirAttack HD has apparently generated more than one million downloads on iOS, and the Lite version for Android includes two missions, 16 types of enemies and two different planes. Overall, the game feels very professional and polished with slick 3D animations, lighting effects and lush orchestral music.

    • Tablets

      • HP TouchPad reportedly launching in April

        The TouchPad will ship with the newest dual core 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor. It will also feature a 9.7-inch XGA (1024×768) display and will be 13.7mm thick, packing 1GB of RAM and will come in 16GB or 32GB models.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Is Your Community a Community?

    I’ve been a community leader in the open source world for the last eight years. Before that, I was a community member. You cannot be a community leader without being a community member. To understand what a community leader does, you have to understand what a community is.

    1. A community is self-governing. Community members are empowered to decide the direction of the community. If you’re telling people what to do and how to do it, you don’t have a community. You have a workforce.
    2. A community is social. I don’t mean it’s on Facebook or Twitter. Community members might use Facebook or Twitter, but they might use something old-school like mailing lists or IRC. What’s important is that people are talking to each other, getting to know each other, and making decisions together. Without social interaction, you just have a random group of contributors.
    3. A community has a common interest. Community members will have differences on many topics, but there has to be something that brings and keeps them together.

  • Towards a Permission-based Web. Wherefore Net Neutrality? Or: Maybe Open Source Wins After All

    Apple didn’t make the list in 04, but it would now. Tim seems surprisingly passive in his analysis. But I think Open Source and open standards and neutral networks are worth fighting for – because of the potential for transparent development. Learning and pedagogy: “view source”. We need to agitate for open. So much of what makes open source great are the social aspects of the technology. Lower barriers to participation.

  • Sometimes ‘Piracy’ And Freedom Look Remarkably Similar

    I’ve complained in the past about The Pirate Party’s name, which I think does the party a serious disservice. It may work in the short-term, but I have my doubts about its long-term efficacy. While the Pirate Party’s leaders continue to defend the name, I still think it gets people focused on the issue of copyright much more than basic freedoms — which really does seem to be the core of the Party’s agenda. Still, there are times when I can see the reasoning, because all too often “piracy” looks quite a lot like “freedom.” Take, for example, this nifty contrast highlighted by Casey Rae-Hunter, from the Future of Music Coalition (hardly a “piracy defender”), where he notes that two separate projects, the PirateBox and the FreedomBox appear remarkably similar.

  • Can Montreal Become an Open Source Startup Hub?

    Seth Godin, in his great book The Dip, points out that the only place that’s worth being, in business, is first place. When power laws and network effects are involved, the first place in line is the only place to be. You need to be “best in the world” at something, or you need to quit and start doing something else.

    Technology ecosystems – most business markets, actually — have network effects. And that means that the only rank to have, as an ecosystem, is first place. Best in the world.

    Who’s best in the world in Web startups? The San Francisco Bay Area. Who’s second? Probably New York City. Who’s third? Who cares? Third prize is you’re fired.

  • Web Browsers

    • Web browser Midori ditches menu bar by default

      The latest development release of Midori follows the recent trend of web browsers downsizing their menu cruft in favour of ‘Google Chrome’ style single-button menus.

    • Chrome

      • 15 Google Chrome Extensions to Help You Save Time and Become More Efficient

        Google Chrome extensions have always been a great way to extend the functionality of Google Chrome in tune with the needs of each and every individual. We have featured here before incredible collection of Google Chrome extensions for enhanced security and privacy while browsing and now here is another collection which are going to help a lot among you to manage time better and become more productive and efficient in the process.

      • Extending the Omnibox

        One of the most powerful aspects of Google Chrome is the omnibox, also known as the address bar. You can type URLs and searches into one unified place and it all just works. With the new omnibox API, extension developers can make the omnibox even more powerful.

    • Mozilla

      • Why Firefox Could Still Be the Browser Story of the Year

        As we’ve noted, Firefox is rapidly being tuned for mobile devices, and smartphones and tablets represent a huge market opportunity for the browser. We’ve also noted Mozilla’s charge that Internet Explorer’s latest revision is “two years too late.” But perhaps the biggest news on the Mozilla front is that the company has committed to a rapid development cycle, where it never had one before. Specifically, Mozilla plans to release a whopping four versions of Firefox by the end of this year. That is definitely an answer to the rapid-fire release schedule that Google Chrome has been on.

      • Firefox 4 improves appearance in Ubuntu

        The latest nightly build of Mozilla Firefox 4 is looking rather dapper in Ubuntu of late, reader Sjoerd mailed us to say.

      • Outreach to get people to join the Firefox 4 Launch team

        We’ll be creating a project group on Basecamp (a web-based service) and hosting two sessions this coming week (Thursday) to debrief on campaign ideas and plans, as well as gather feedback. If you’ve already signed up, I’ll be giving you access to Basecamp as soon as you sign up.

      • Update your add-on in time for Firefox 4

        Firefox 4 is gearing up for full launch! We’re really excited about Firefox 4, with a streamlined Add-ons Manager, and numerous other performance and UI improvements.

        Firefox 4 Beta is now API frozen, so if you haven’t already done so, please make sure your add-on is compatible. Firefox 4 is a significant upgrade that may require a little more work to be done to make sure your add-on works than in previous Firefox releases.

      • Mobile Testday, F1, ReMo and more…

        In this issue…

        * Mobile Firefox 4 beta testday on Feb 25th
        * Moving forward with F1
        * Finding … ReMo
        * The Next Million Mozillians
        * Tracking Firefox UI response time
        * Thunderbird at CeBIT 2011
        * Upcoming events
        * Community calendar
        * About about:mozilla

      • Update add-ons to enter Firefox 4 collection competition

        Firefox 4 is just around the corner and the updated version of the Firefox API has been frozen for some time now. The Add-ons blog is reminding add-on developers to Update your add-on for Firefox 4.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • VirtualBox 4.0.4 supports Ubuntu 11.04 alpha guests
    • Google must continue to fight Oracle’s copyright claims

      Google had requested that it be allowed to move the copyright component of the Oracle vs. Google case to summary judgement. The judge has now denied it leave to file the motion, saying “good cause has not been shown”, until more evidence has been gathered.

      Google’s request noted that Oracle had “only identified twelve files” from the fifty one “Android API package specifications”; Google says that this was not a substantial part of the Oracle code. It also made the case that any copying it did would qualify as “fair use”, as there were so few things alledgedly copied and where this has happened, the use was to enable interoperability. On this basis, Google said it should be free to file a motion for summary judgement.

    • Oracle responds to Hudson/Jenkins split

      So remember how some of the Hudson community got fed up with hosting the continuous integration server on Java.net, decided to chuck the whole thing and move Hudson to GitHub, which sparked an internecine fight that ended up with those team members splitting off from the mainline Hudson project to form Jenkins?

  • CMS

    • How Movable Type Lost With Open Source

      I say this as a Movable Type user, which is why it pains me to say these things. I’d hate to think my loyalty was misplaced, because in the time I’ve used it I watched as one fellow user after another defected to competing products — mainly Automattic and WordPress.


      It was how they went about doing it.

  • Education

    • Advancing student achievement through labor-management collaboration

      About 150 school districts from 40 states sent teachers and administrators to the summit so that school labor and management could talk about student achievement and learn from the successes and challenges of others, rather than to rehash the nuts and bolts of labor contracts.

  • Healthcare

    • Open source, a healthy choice

      “In 2004, six months after suddenly losing my father, I became a single dad. I was forced to give up my travelling position as an application specialist for a large ERP software manufacturer.”

      Aaron Nursoo first became interested in open source software because it was free. He saw in it an opportunity to teach himself skills that would help him to restructure his life and allow him to support his family.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open/Closed Data

      • Quebec ‘chooses’ to charge for public information

        An article that ran as part of The Gazette’s recent Secret Society series -which explored the difficulties in obtaining information from publicly funded bodies in Quebec -noted that while the salaries of senior civil servants and heads of public corporations in Quebec do appear in a weekly publication of cabinet decrees called Gazette Officielle, a subscription costs $258 a year, or $223 for access to it online.

  • Programming

    • Amount of profanity in git commit messages per programming language

      Last weekend I really needed to write some code. Any code. I ended up ripping just under a million commit message from GitHub.

      The plan was to find out how much profanity I could find in commit messages, and then show the stats by language. These are my findings:

      Out of 929857 commit messages, I found 210 swear words (using George Carlin’s Seven dirty words).

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Why You Need Document Freedom

      It seems everything has a special day. Among all the various red letter days, you may not have run into Document Freedom Day, which this year is being celebrated on March 30th. Don’t for a second underestimate the importance of document freedom. It sounds dull – not just mundane, but the forgotten esoterica of the mundane – but it’s a crucial driver in the dominance of major software vendors. If the other elements of our Digital liberty are to be allowed to unfurl in their natural order, we need document freedom.

    • The semantic Web gets down to business

      Cobb credits much of these gains to his company’s deployment of Endeca Technologies Inc.’s online retail platform, which uses semantic technology to analyze shoppers’ keyword choices and clicks, and then winnows down results from categories to subcategories and microcategories. The end result? “Guiding the shopper to the perfect bag very quickly,” Cobb says.


  • Alibaba And The Curse Of Chinese Manufacturing

    A fairly unnoticed story percolated through the interwebs this weekend about Alibaba’s CEO and hundreds of employees being implicated in what amounts to a payola scandal. Alibaba is a site that allows you to buy the worst junk imaginable. They represent over 500,000 factories in China. It is a sourcing site full of fake laptops, poorly made clothing, and potentially life-threatening auto parts. And, best of all, it was acting as a middleman to actual criminals.

  • Judge Rules Against China; ‘Green Dam’ Suit Heads to Trial

    About a year after Cybersitter sued the Chinese government and several Asian OEMs for allegedly copying its code to create the “Green Dam” software, a U.S. federal judge has allowed the $2.3 billion suit to proceed.

    Judge Josephine Staton Tucker, a California district judge, entered a judgement of default against the People’s Republic of China on Wednesday, after PRC officials failed to respond to the ruling. Although the PRC’s embassy sent a letter to the U.S. State Department protesting Cybersitter’s suit, such a letter did not qualify as a formal response.

  • Mother Suspended From Work For Taking Deployed Son’s Call

    When loved ones are deployed, communication is precious—and sometimes few and far between. With her son only able to call once or twice a month, answering her cell phone when that rare call from Afghanistan came in was a no-brainer for one Tennessee-based mother. But by doing so, she nearly put her job in jeopardy.

    On Valentine’s Day, Teresa Danford, an employee of Crane Interiors in Woodbury, Tenn., was suspended for three days without pay for answering her son’s phone call. Danford told CBS-affiliate WTVF that her managers informed her that she would be fired if it happened again.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Tuesday
    • Anonymous 101 for journalists
    • Empty suit: the chaotic way Anonymous makes decisions

      On February 16, the freewheeling hacker collective decided to take on the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, best known for its “God Hates Fags” protests. The Anonymous hivemind, the “Voice of Free Speech & the Advocate of the People,” has had enough of this sort of free speech and has decided to fight the church’s “assembly of graceless sociopaths and maniacal chauvinists & religious zealots” who issue “venomous statements of hatred.”

      The manifesto contains the trademark Anonymous prose style, one that might be summed up with the words “florid bombasticism.” (Case in point: “Your demonstrations and your unrelenting cascade of disparaging slurs, unfounded judgments, and prejudicial innuendos, which apparently apply to every individual numbered amongst the race of Man…”)

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Crews of 2 Libyan warships mutiny

      The crews of two Libyan warships have mutinied and are refusing to obey Muammar Gaddafi’s orders to attack the eastern port city of Benghazi.


      Pundits say the Libyan regime’s heavy-handed clampdown on the people seems to have seriously backfired since the anti-government demonstrations have actually gained momentum across the country.

      At least 1,000 people were killed in Tripoli on Monday by airstrikes conducted by the Libyan military in a desperate move meant to quell the popular uprising, according to some reports.

    • Libya: Col Gaddafi vows to die a ‘martyr’

      Gaddafi, swathed in brown robes and turban, spoke from a podium set up in the entrance of a bombed out building that appeared to be his Tripoli residence hit by US airstrikes in the 1980s and left unrepaired as a monument of defiance. The speech, which appeared to have been taped earlier, was aired on a screen to hundreds of supporters massed in Tripoli’s central Green Square.

      Shouting in the rambling speech, he declared himself “a warrior” and proclaimed, “Libya wants glory, Libya wants to be at the pinnacle, at the pinnacle of the world.”

    • Qaddafi’s Grip on the Capital Tightens as Revolt Grows

      Vowing to track down and kill protesters “house by house,” Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya tightened his grip on the capital, Tripoli, on Tuesday, but the eastern half of the country was slipping beyond his control.

    • Operation “Libya White Fax”

      This document helps people in Libya learn how to connect to dial-up internet, and route around the government-ordered communication blocks. In a time like this, that can make all the difference in the world.

    • Mystery behind two Libyan fighter jets landing in Malta, revealed

      Two Libyan fighter jets and two civilian helicopters landed unexpectedly. The office of Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said at the time it was not clear whether the two fighter pilots intended to ask for asylum—they later did. They initially had asked to refuel.

    • Latest Updates on Middle East Protests
    • Using Fax Machines to Route-Around Internet Censorship in Libya

      As we’ve reported, Libya is facing an Internet crack-down similar to the one faced in Egypt earlier this month. As the organization did for Egyptians, French Data Network is offering free dial-up Internet for Libyans. But, if the Internet is offline, how are Libyans supposed to learn how to connect to the Internet? It turns out landlines are still up, so one group is using faxes to pipe information into the country.

    • MI5 decided not to follow lead that would have identified 7/7 ringleader

      MI5 could have identified the ringleader of the 7 July attacks as a trained jihadist four months before the bombings, it has admitted, but for reasons that it refuses to disclose it decided not to investigate a crucial piece of intelligence.

    • Imran sees ‘change’ in Pakistan this year

      He said that the people, who are ruling Pakistan, are nothing but puppets in the hands of their American masters. America asks them to bomb their compatriots and they obey. They show the Americans that they had dropped so many bombs on their compatriots and ask to reward. The Americans tell them ‘this is not enough. Do more’. This is the lowest level of humiliation that so-called leaders kill their citizens, he lamented.

    • Yemen Students Attacked at Sanaa University by Men with Knives, Guns, and Pistols

      Tom Finn, stringer for The Guardian in Yemen, reports that students were attacked by men carrying pistols, knives and guns. One student was shot dead on the spot. Another was shot in the head and is

    • Hiding Details of Dubious Deal, U.S. Invokes National Security

      For eight years, government officials turned to Dennis Montgomery, a California computer programmer, for eye-popping technology that he said could catch terrorists. Now, federal officials want nothing to do with him and are going to extraordinary lengths to ensure that his dealings with Washington stay secret.

    • Anti-government protests around the world (big photo gallery)
    • Navy senior chief in hazing case to retire with full pay

      A Navy senior chief petty officer censured over hazing and other serious abuses that allegedly took place under his leadership at a military working-dog kennel in Bahrain will retire with an honorable discharge and without a reduction in pay grade, the Navy said Thursday.

      Senior Chief Petty Officer Michael Toussaint, now based in Virginia Beach, will not be allowed to re-enlist in the Navy because he “did not meet the standards expected of senior enlisted leadership in our Navy,” according to a written statement by Juan Garcia, the Navy’s assistant secretary for manpower and reserve affairs.

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks Release Draws Attention In Peru’s Presidential Election

      A series of United States diplomatic dispatches, released by WikiLeaks, are drawing heated attention during the current election campaign in Peru.

      The dispatches mainly date to the period around the 2006 general elections, but they are casting a light, not always flattering, on some of the main players running in April’s presidential elections.

    • Does Sweden Inflict Trial by Media against Assange?

      Svenska dagbladet, a main Swedish newspaper, illustrated its 17 Feb 2011 article “Idyllic picture of Sweden is darkened” with a montage showing the notorious criminal Göran Lindberg — a world-reviled, convicted serial rapist (including the rape of a 14-year old child) – portrayed together with Julian Assange and his lawyer Mark Stephens. A conspicuous columnist of the newspaper Aftonbladet refers 13 Feb 2011 to Julian Assange as “a paranoid idiot who refuses come to Sweden to confront trial”.


      As an overview, the aim of the analysis was to test the notion “trial by the media” in the official case of Sweden against Assange. This is a serious complaint because it involves issues of human rights violations. In Sweden, this allegation of human rights violations has not been specially commented upon and is ignored by most of media. But it is widely discussed in the rest of the world. The Australian Ambassador has recently conveyed a letter to the Swedish government containing a plea on that Assange’s human rights should be respected in the case of an extradition to Sweden. This alleged public media trial together with top-government statements, as expressed by Assange lawyers, would have generated a nationwide, hostile situation for Julian Assange, who has not yet even charged, heard or prosecuted by any Swedish Court.


      Petro-Canada has signed a series of 30-year contracts with Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), bringing its old agreements into line with Libya’s preferred EPSA-IV contract standard. The new deals stem from Libya’s ongoing efforts to secure tougher terms from foreign oil companies, and mark the growing importance of Libya to Petro-Canada. End Summary. DONE DEAL – AT LAST 2. (SBU) On June 19, representatives from Petro-Canada and the NOC signed a total of six contracts covering all of Petro-Canada’s acreage in Libya. The contracts were crafted under the NOC’s EPSA IV agreement template, which has become the preferred framework for all international oil companies (IOCs) working in Libya (reftel). An agreement signed by the NOC and Petro-Canada in December 2007 was recently ratified by the General People’s Congress, paving the way to sign the actual contracts. 3. (SBU) Under the new deals, Petro-Canada has committed to pay a $1 billion signing bonus and invest $3.5 billion in the redevelopment of several large producing fields, and $460 million in oil and gas exploration. Petro-Canada will pay 50% of all development costs and 100% of all exploration costs. The company had to accept a lower production share (a flat 12% for all six contracts, regardless of location), but hopes to double its current production levels to at least 200,000 barrels of oil per day over the next five to seven years. LIBYA OF GROWING IMPORTANCE TO PETRO-CANADA 4. (SBU) As the latest company to renegotiate its presence in Libya, thereby extending its presence to 2038 (its existing deals were set to expire in 2015), Petro-Canada has now opened up new opportunities in both exploration and redevelopment projects, with a predominant focus in the prolific Sirte basin region. According to local contacts with the company, the renegotiation of the contracts is consistent with Petro-Canada’s efforts to re-position itself globally. Petro-Canada had not previously regarded Libya as an area central to its operations, given the company’s exposure stemming from its Alberta operations and gas production in Syria. This new deal elevates Libya to a priority area of operations for the company, with prospects for substantial growth. 5. (SBU) Comment: Petro-Canada’s re-negotiation is the latest in an emerging trend of contract extensions/renegotiations (reftel). The NOC is waging a concerted campaign to re-negotiate or extend existing contracts under better terms, principally with respect to production share. For their part, international oil companies – mindful of the high price of oil and limited venues for new exploration and production – have so far swallowed hard and signed up.

    • ‘Assange Is a New Kind of Journalist’

      Alan Dershowitz has recently become part of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s legal team. He spoke with SPIEGEL about what the First Amendment has to say about WikiLeaks and the legal implications of social media’s role in the Arab uprisings.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Scientist finds Gulf bottom still oily, dead

      Oil from the BP spill remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, according to a scientist’s video and slides that demonstrate the oil isn’t degrading as hoped and has decimated life on parts of the sea floor.

      At a science conference in Washington, marine scientist Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia aired early results of her December submarine dives around the BP spill site. She went to places she had visited in the summer and expected the oil and residue from oil-munching microbes would be gone by then. It wasn’t.

  • Finance

    • Back to bank bonuses: crisis survivors

      America’s banks rake in bumper profits just six months after they were on the ropes, begging for government bailouts. Faisal Islam went to the US to find out what the legacy of the banking crisis is.


      But with four million Americans facing repossession and unemployment surging to almost 10 per cent, anger with the banks continued to grow.

    • Janitors in Helmsley Building Pay Higher Tax Rates Than Millionaire Residents

      Tax Analysts Martin A. Sullivan (Tax Analysts) has published At the Helmsley Building, the Little People Pay the Taxes, 130 Tax Notes 855 (Feb. 21, 2011)…

    • Egypt freezes Mubarak’s assets

      Egypt’s top prosecutor requested on Monday the freezing of the foreign assets of ousted president Hosni Mubarak and his family, announced state TV.

      Security officials said that the prosecutor general asked the Foreign Ministry to contact countries around the world so they can freeze his assets abroad. The president’s domestic assets were frozen soon after he stepped down, they added.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Tea Party Leader Urges “Agent Provocatuer” Plan to Disrupt and Discredit Protests

      In an email sent this week, the “Tea Party Nation” urged members to impersonate SEIU organizers at upcoming labor rallies in an attempt to embarrass and discredit the union and the protestors. Former Tea Party leader Mark Williams urged the plan, according to Think Progress.

    • CMD Denounces Latest Andrew Breitbart Smear Campaign against Groups Challenging the Kochs

      Online provocateur Andrew Breitbart and his allies are trying to manufacture a new scandal, this one aimed at good government groups that dare to challenge David and Charles Koch and their corporate/political empire. It is a scam, of course, but the Breitbart effort is a reminder of his relationship with the Kochs.

      The centerpiece of Breitbart’s attack is a video smear, directed at Common Cause and other good government groups that held an “Uncloak the Kochs” rally in Rancho Mirage, California, on January 30, 2011. The Kochs and about 200 other corporate executives, TV talking heads and elected officials were meeting to plot political strategies at a resort across from the rally.

    • Tea Partyers gone wild!

      Global warming is good!

      A legislator in Montana has introduced “an act stating Montana’s position on global warming; and providing an immediate effective date.” Under the bill, the Legislature would make an official finding not only that ” global warming is a natural occurrence and human activity has not accelerated it” but also that “global warming is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana.” There is no elaboration in the bill on that final claim.

    • The Glenn Beck Conspiracy Generator

      For some “fair and balanced paranoia,” check out the Glenn Beck Conspiracy Generator at About.com’s Political Humor page. When you know there has to be a progressive plot somewhere but you can’t figure out which one.

  • Privacy

    • Deirdre G. Martin Memorial Lecture on Privacy Law

      Spurred by revelations in mainstream media of surreptitious monitoring, much of it spurred by the ascent of behavioral advertising, there has been a resurgence of interest in online privacy among government agencies and the general public. Despite its acknowledged failure, in the United States, notice-and-consent, fortified in one way or another, remains the fallback mechanism for privacy protection. In this talk, I will outline an approach based in the theory of contextual integrity that calls for a different starting place. I argue that notice-and-consent can function only against the backdrop of context-based substantive norms constraining what websites may do; what information they can collect, with whom they can share, and under what conditions. As a first step, however, it is useful to understand the role commerce has played in setting the agenda and how this influence should be contained.

    • The privacy industry: Scare and sell

      At two privacy conferences—one in New York, the other right now in Victoria, B.C.—I’ve watched the growth of privacy’s regulatory/industrial complex and seen its strategy in action: scare, then sell.

    • What “Do Not Track” Is and Why It’s Important

      What “Do Not Track” Is and Why It’s ImportantWhat’s so bad about ad tracking on the web, a.k.a. behavioral targeting? Nothing, if you don’t mind being a living stereotype. No, seriously—that’s what much of the fuss over “Do Not Track” browser options and opt-out options is about. Ad companies watch what you do online, and they make bold assumptions about you. How you feel about that is up to you.

    • Google and Facebook: Protect Our Privacy!
  • Civil Rights

    • Facebook, Unfriend The Dictators!

      Facebook should be congratulated and condemned in one go: they’ve built a revolutionary platform that’s catalyzed the political change sweeping the Middle East and beyond, but Facebook has also become a treasure trove of information for dictators, allowing them to identify and track down those who oppose them. In fact, under the existing Facebook platform all our photos, details, and contacts are at risk from identity thieves and hackers. While Facebook is reevaluating its policies, please sign the petition to protect our privacy and others’ very security.

    • Maryland Corrections Agency Demanding All Social Media Passwords Of Potential Hires

      You may recall back in 2009 that we wrote about how the city of Bozeman, Montana was requiring people who applied for jobs with the city to cough up all of their social networking usernames and passwords, so that city employees could log in and look around. Beyond being positively ridiculous, this seemed like a huge invasion of privacy. After an awful lot of public ridicule, the city (wisely) decided to drop the requirement, and claim the whole idea had been a “mistake.”

    • TSA cheat sheet: know your rights!

      …along with leaked excerpts from the TSA standard operating procedure manual.

    • St. Rep. Cissna objects to airport search demand

      She says Cissna will now travel by ferry from Seattle to Juneau.

    • TSA Source: Armed Agent Slips Past DFW Body Scanner

      An undercover TSA agent was able to get through security at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with a handgun during testing of the enhanced-imaging body scanners, according to a high-ranking, inside source at the Transportation Security Administration.

      The source said the undercover agent carried a pistol in her undergarments when she put the body scanners to the test. The officer successfully made it through the airport’s body scanners every time she tried, the source said.

    • Wisconsin Draws the Line on Austerity Opportunism and Class War.

      As a Chicagoan, I’m often lead to believe that the Upper-Midwest is the only place of sanity in this country. So I’m proud to see Wisconsin be the place where people draw the line and call BS on the attack on public workers, state budgets, and austerity amidst a financial, foreclosure and economic crisis where the government’s response has had the protection of banks, bondholders, creditors, Wall Street and the top 1% at all costs as the driving tenant, a class war driven by the rich. Here are some other things I’m reading on the protests.

    • Scott “Hosni” Walker blocking access to pro-union Web site

      Another parallel to Egypt and one that’s not good for Gov. Walker. Sounds like in addition to food donations, the Wisconsin protesters could use some broadband cards or mifi hotspots to get around this latest dictatorial act. Or Walker could recognize that, while he wants to be a dictator, that wasn’t what he was elected to be.

    • Journalist Returning from Abroad Has Notes, Computer and Cameras Searched and Copied by US Authorities at Airport

      Independent journalist Brandon Jourdan recently returned from Haiti after being on assignment documenting the rebuilding of schools in the earthquake-devastated country. However, when he returned to the United States, he was immediately detained after deboarding the plane by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. He was questioned about his travels and had all of his documents, computer, phone and camera flash drives searched and copied. This is the seventh time Jourdan says he has been subjected to lengthy searches in five years, and has been told by officials that he is “on a list.” Jourdan joins us in our studio. Catherine Crump, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, says that Jourdan is not the only one facing such treatment by the Obama administration. Crump says many journalists and lawyers who often work abroad have also experienced similar interrogations—and the ACLU believes the First and Fourth Amendments must be honored within U.S. airports.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • 10 myths from usage-based billing supporters

      The usage-based billing fracas has calmed down considerably over the past few weeks, but a few people continue to beat the drum in support of it despite the fact that it’s looking dead in the water. UBB is, if you’ve forgotten, essentially an increase in prices by big internet providers on a wholesale service they provide to smaller rivals. The increase means it’ll be a lot more expensive, if not impossible, for smaller ISPs to offer the large internet usage buckets they’ve been selling.

    • Telecom needs a dose of foreign money

      Canadian policy around telecommunications and culture is bordering on incoherence, with regulation being relaxed in some areas, but maintained or increased elsewhere. That makes the Federal Court of Canada’s scathing broadside, in overturning a Cabinet decision around the licence approval for the wireless operator Globalive, quite understandable; it said the federal government was “misdirected…in law…. It is for Parliament not the [cabinet] to rewrite the [Telecommunications] Act.”

    • AllVid Battle Lines: Google, Best Buy, Sony Ally Against Big Cable

      Can you think of any high-profile consumer product that is just dying for this new standardized gizmo to become a fact on the ground? That’s right: Google TV. The HDTV system integrates internet and pay TV content, but Google, Sony and the gang don’t want to spend years coaxing suspicious broadcasters, content providers and cable networks into content deals. They want a device standard in which internet and cable content are interchangeable now (or relatively close to now).

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Art is Stupid
    • UK Independent Review of “IP” and Growth

      A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the UK’s ”Independent Review of Intellectual Property and Growth”, which is currently soliciting submissions from interested parties. The corresponding Web site is very helpful, providing background information and an entire section that seeks to explain what exactly the review is looking for.

      In particular, it offers two very useful sets of questions, one about patents, and the other about copyright. There’s also a page that deals with “enforcement” issues.

      As I noted in my previous blog on the subject, what’s striking is how frequently the word “evidence” is used in these. This really is about showing hard evidence about intellectual monopolies, not just stating opinions or beliefs.

    • Trademarks

      • Riding the Fences of the “Urban Homestead”: Trademark Complaints and Misinformation Lead to Improper Takedowns

        A leading candidate has emerged for the next EFF Takedown Hall of Shame induction: the Dervaes Institute, which is claiming broad ownership rights over the term “urban homesteading” — a term commonly used to describe a social movement dedicated to achieving more self-sufficient, sustainable living in cities. Last year, the Institute managed to register the term as a trademark (in connection with “educational services” such as blogging) and it is now sending takedown requests and warning letters targeting individuals and organizations that have been using the term for years.

      • EFF takes on trademarkers of term “Urban Homestead”

        The EFF has stepped in to represent the publisher and authors of the book Urban Homesteading, who have been harmed by the Dervaes’ accusations.

    • Copyrights

      • Music Publisher’s Takedown Strikes The Wrong Chord

        My weekly law and technology column (Toronto Star version, Tyee version, homepage version, BBC version) focuses on the recent battle over the IMSLP. In February 2006, a part-time Canadian music student established a modest, non-commercial website that used collaborative wiki tools, such as those used by Wikipedia, to create an online library of public domain musical scores. Within a matter of months, the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) featured over 1,000 musical scores for which the copyright had expired in Canada. Nineteen months later – without any funding, sponsorship or promotion – the site had become the largest public domain music score library on the Internet, generating a million hits per day, featuring over 15,000 scores by over 1,000 composers, and adding 2,000 new scores each month.

      • Free Trove of Music Scores on Web Hits Sensitive Copyright Note

        Humanity’s musical treasures — Beethoven piano sonatas, Schubert songs, Mozart symphonies and the like — come to life in performance. But they truly survive as black marks on a page, otherwise known as scores. Now a Web site founded five years ago by a conservatory student, then 19 years old, has made a vast expanse of this repertory available, free.

      • The Changing Geography of Pop Music

        The top ranked city is Nashville, which is literally off the chart. LA is second, Montreal third, Toronto (where Grammy nominated artists Justin Bieber and Drake hail from) fourth, and Vancouver fifth (home to Michael Buble, winner of the award for traditional pop vocal album), followed by New York in sixth.

        Nashville has become a major force in the music business. Miranda Lambert was nominated for three Grammys this year and took one home for best female performance for her record “The House that Built Me.” Alison Krauss, who won the 2009 Grammy for her record “Raising Sand” with Robert Plant, has won 26 Grammys, the third most in history after George Solti and Quincy Jones. Taylor Swift, last year’s Grammy Queen, has a home in Nashville.

        Over the past several decades, Nashville transformed itself from a rather narrow country music outpost in the 1960s and 1970s into a major center for commercial music. By the mid-2000s, only New York and Los Angeles housed more musicians. Nashville’s rise is even more impressive when you look at its ratio of musicians to total population. In 1970, Nashville wasn’t even one of the top five regions by this measure. By 2004, it was the national leader, with nearly four times the U.S. average. Today, it is home to over 180 recording studios, 130 music publishers, 100 live music clubs, and 80 record labels.

      • Chris Dodd Breaking Promise Not To Become A Lobbyist Just Weeks After Leaving Senate; Joining MPAA As Top Lobbyist

        One of the worst kept secrets in DC and Hollywood over the last month or so is the news that former Connecticut Senator and failed Presidential candidate Chris Dodd is set to become the MPAA’s new boss (salary: $1.2 million per year). This came after a failed attempt to get former Senator (and failed presidential candidate) Bob Kerrey to take the role last year.

        Assuming Dodd takes the role, he’s already proving himself to be perfect for a Hollywood job, because it makes him a blatant liar. Last summer, Dodd insisted that he would not become a lobbyist. He made this abundantly clear. When asked what he would do, he was explicit: “No lobbying, no lobbying.” Yeah, apparently a million dollar plus salary makes you a liar barely a month after leaving the job. Of course, technically, Dodd is also barred from becoming a lobbyist for two years after leaving the Senate, but there’s a kind of *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* trick that Dodd and others use to technically claim they’re not lobbyists while merely running one of the bigger and most high profile lobbying organizations around.

      • Lady Gaga Goes Gooey & QED re Canada’s Proposed UGC Exception in Bill C-32

        Wherein Lady Gaga goes all gooey and confirms the wisdom of C-32′s UGC exception and the notion that many types of unlicensed uses can seriously benefit copyright owners.

      • High quality music downloads coming to iTunes, but do we really want them?

        I do wonder if many of us simply don’t care that much about sound quality any more. When I bought Radiohead’s new album last week, I had the choice between a standard MP3 download for £6, or a high quality version for £9. Despite the tiny three pound price difference, I knew that I’d mainly be listening through tinny laptop speakers or a cheap headphones so I opted for the lowest price option.

      • Capitalism Under Attack – Bill C-32 And The Digital Millennium Copyright Act

        So why are the American companies that are members of the RIAA and MPAA complaining so much about Canadian copyright?

        A total lack of ethics appears to be a big part of the complaints. It’s not that Canadian laws don’t provide the tools that they need, it’s rather that they are trying to block competition. We’ve heard a series of complaints also aimed at the Creative Commons licenses. They don’t want artists to be able to choose the license that they use.

Clip of the Day

Video Editing in Linux – Cinelerra Masks

Credit: TinyOgg

IRC Proceedings: February 22nd, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 12:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




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