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02.23.11

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

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 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.

Leftovers

  • 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

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