03.02.11

Links 2/3/2011: Early Look at GNOME 3.0, Mandriva 2011 Alpha 2 Screenshots

Posted in News Roundup at 9:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • GNU/Linux in Turkey

    Here is a country where you can buy GNU/Linux and that other OS on PCs side by side. Turkey has its own GNU/Linux distribution, Pardus.

  • Getting Started With Linux: Why Install Linux?

    Curious about Linux, but not ready to dive in head first without a little background? We’re on it. As part of our our Night School series, we’ll be detailing, troubleshooting, and taking a deeper swim into the open-source OS this week. Today, we’re offering some encouragement for the hesitant.

  • Splashtop: Linux for Windows users

    Ever just want to turn on your laptop and get right to work on the Web without any delay? If that’s you, even if you’d never consider switching from Windows to Linux, you might want to give the new release of Splashtop a try.

    Indeed many Windows users, especially those with newer laptops have already been using the Linux-based Splashtop-they just haven’t known it. On Dell laptops, it’s called Latitude ON; on HP laptops, it’s known as QuickWeb; and on Lenovo IdeaPad netbooks, its Quick Start 2. Whatever the name, it’s actually an embedded Splashtop Linux variation designed for quick and easy access to the Web. On each of these laptop lines, and many others, Splashtop is there to make it fast and easy for “Windows” users to check their Web-based e-mail; look up information, write a document in Google Docs, etc., etc. without waiting for Windows to boot up.”

  • On Linux, Software Patents, Shakespeare & the Web

    Great programming is an art form. When you see it, the first thing you ask yourself is this: Why didn’t I think of that? Just four lines of code can match and outperform 200. When we read a great passage from Shakespeare or Keats, the effect can be the same. They can make the poetry look effortless and inevitable. The same could be said for music. Johann Sebastian Bach, my favorite composer, (in another time and place) would have been a programmer of unrivaled genius. He sets forth his musical ideas with precision and develops them with such a sense of simple inevitability that one could be forgiven for thinking that his music wrote itself. Bach was God’s sewing machine and his cloth was sound.

    What’s so unique about the Linux ecology (and without getting too specific) is the licensing under which the software is circulated.

  • Ballnux

    • Mobilecity puts LG G-Slate 4G pre-order at $699

      Mobilecity has put up a pre-order page for the LG G-Slate with a listed “Retail Price” of $799, but their price at $699.?Of course, this is not an official price announcement by LG or T-Mobile, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it verified in the coming weeks.

      Just about everyone has been balking at the price of the Motorola Xoom, which is selling for $799 for the 3G model (upgradeable to 4G) off-contract. Luckily, T-Mobile loves to undercut Verizon, so I’m willing to bet this price will hold. Interestingly, the pre-order page doesn’t have a release date listed, even though we’ve seen leaked T-Mobile documents which put the G-Slate release date at March 23rd, just about 3 weeks away.

  • Kernel Space

    • 2.6.32.30-longterm review
    • OpenBenchmarking.org Launch Statistics

      OpenBenchmarking.org and Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 “Iveland” were released over the weekend (press release) from the Southern California Linux Expo during our talk entitled Making More Informed Linux Hardware Choices. Here’s some statistics as of this morning that OpenBenchmarking.org has been public for a few days.

    • Kernel prepatch 2.6.38-rc7

      Linus has released the 2.6.38-rc7 prepatch. “There really isn’t a lot to report here. Driver updates (random one-liners and some sound soc codec and smaller dri updates) and a few filesystem updates (in particular btrfs fiemap and ENOSPC handling), but most of it really is pretty tiny. Regressions fixed, hopefully none introduced.” Full details can be found in the long-format changelog.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The Nouveau Driver Is Moving Along Slowly But Surely

        The Nouveau Companion, the newsletter by the Nouveau driver developers about the progress on their NVIDIA reverse-engineering challenge for creating an open-source NVIDIA Linux driver, has its first new issue in nearly two years.

        It Is Nouveau Companion 44 and can be found on the Nouveau Wiki. Sadly it’s not too overly exciting if you pay attention to the Phoronix news posts pertaining to this community project

      • A Glide State Tracker For Gallium3D Is Talked About

        A student developer has written to the Mesa3D development mailing list about creating a Gallium3D state tracker for the Glide API. Yes, the 3Dfx that hasn’t been used in more than a decade.

        Blaž Tomažič has expressed interest (mailing list message) in creating a Glide state tracker for Gallium3D so that any ancient applications still relying upon this once proprietary graphics API intended for 3Dfx Voodoo hardware can seamlessly run with a modern open-source Linux graphics stack. But there is barely any major software around that still uses Glide, let alone Linux software.

      • X.Org Server 1.11 Release Planned For Mid-August

        It seems as if the X.Org project has finally formed a habit of wanting to release on time. In years past, even point releases have been more than 200 days late and there hasn’t been much to their release schedules that were actually executed on time. It’s something I had long pointed out and have received jabs back in turn, but the past few X.Org Server releases have been tagged on time, plus or minus a few days. It looks like X.Org Server 1.11 may be another on-time release, it’s at least being planned right out of the starting gate.

      • A Restart For The Botched RandR 1.4

        Besides laying out the plans for releasing X.Org Server 1.11 in August, Keith Packard has restarted the discussion surrounding RandR 1.4 so that it will hopefully be readied for integration into this next X Server release. It was part of X.Org Server 1.10 until the last minute when it was pulled from the server and caused a last minute video ABI break.

  • Applications

    • The other apps

      MANY people still don’t realize it, but Linux has long been a viable free alternative to desktop operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS X. The version of Linux that I use, Ubuntu, has improved dramatically in both features and ease of use since it was introduced in 2004, but many other distributions are well suited, too, for everyday home and office use.

      One of the best things about Linux is that it already comes with many of the applications you need installed, such as OpenOffice, which gives you word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and database software that’s compatible with MS Office. There’s also Gimp, a sophisticated image editing program (though Ubuntu has stopped including it as an installed program, which means you’ll need to download and install it on your own, if you want it). Like the operating system, the applications are free, too.

    • Audacity: The Free Dimensional Sound Editor, Part One

      Audacity is a free, open source, cross-platform sound recorder and editor program that allows you to perform simple and advanced sound recording and editing tasks. If you’re into recording, sound effects, mixing, or editing, Audacity takes you there and beyond. Audacity offers a huge (and growing) list of features found in expensive and proprietary sound software. Can you imagine the audacity of developers who would create and maintain software of this caliber? Alas, that is but one of free software’s primary pillars.

    • Sanity Check

      Running your scanner from the command line offers greater control of tasks. We show you how to get started.

    • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The Humble Indie Bundle: Leaving no customer behind

        Linux users seemed particularly grateful for the support — when the first bundle concluded after racking up $1,273,613, Linux users had spent the most with $14.44 on average. “If you reach out to them, they want to take care of you too,” John Graham said.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Bogdan Vatra

        We had heard something about it but few people took it seriously. Yet last week we were surprised by a very nice announcement: the Qt SDK has been ported to Android and the first release is available. We were immediately interested in knowing more.

        This time, in the Behind KDE Platforms series, Pau Garcia i Quiles talks about Qt on Android with Bogdan Vatra, the lead developer behind it.

        [...]

        What do you do these days in Qt Android?

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Where did the buttons go?

        Minimise and maximise buttons were recently removed from the window titlebars in GNOME 3. Discussions of the change have been ongoing for some time, but the decision only just happened, and the change came as a surprise to many. Personally speaking, I think the removal of the buttons is a definite improvement, and it’s a move that I’ve been in favour of for a while. Though Owen gave a really excellent account of his reasoning for the decision, some people are still wondering why the buttons have been removed, so I thought I’d try and explain why I think it’s a positive change. As with most major design decisions, the removal of the buttons is an attempt to balance a number of factors: there isn’t a single reason that you can point to.

      • An Early Look at GNOME 3.0

        GNOME 3, the first major-version revision of the popular desktop environment in eight years, is slated for release in April. The good news is that you can now easily take the new release for a test spin with a spare USB key, and provide some real-world feedback to the project before the final code gets released into the wild.

        To test GNOME 3 for yourself, you can download 32-bit and 64-bit ISO images built by Frederic Crozat. Crozat updated the first builds for FOSDEM, and said he plans to do so periodically; the underlying system is based on openSUSE. The images can be burned onto a bootable CD or DVD, but if you install them onto a USB flash memory stick instead, you can take advantage of persistence to preserve changes, documents, and additional packages you install. There are also Fedora-based images created by the distribution, and Ubuntu repository packages for GNOME Shell, the desktop user interface, although it is not clear how often either of the latter are updated.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2011 Alpha 2 Released, Screenshot Tour

        Mandriva, through Eugeni Dodonov, announced on the last day of February the immediate availability for testing of the second Alpha version of the upcoming Mandriva 2011 Linux operating system.

        Mandriva 2011 Alpha 2 is now powered by Linux kernel 2.6.37.2, it features an up-to-date NetworkManager, the iBus input framework replaced the old SCIM one, lots of updates and bug fixes.

      • March 2011 Issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine

        The PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is pleased to announce the release of the March 2011 issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor, and Assistant Editors Andrew Strick and Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license, and some rights are reserved.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Close to Support

        Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) are trading very close to calculated support at $39.42 with current price action closing at just $41.28 places the stock price near levels where traders will start paying attention.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Mistakes made, lessons learned, a principle clarified and upheld

          Money is particularly contentious in a community that mixes volunteer and paid effort, we should have anticipated and been extra careful to have the difficult conversations that were inevitable up front and in public, at UDS, when we were talking about the possibility of Banshee being the default media player in Ubuntu. We didn’t, and I apologise for the consequential confusion and upset caused.

          The principles from which we derive our policy are straightforward:

          The bulk of the direct cost in creating the audience of Ubuntu users is carried by Canonical. There are many, many indirect costs and contributions that are carried by others, both inside the Ubuntu community and in other communities, without which Ubuntu would not be possible. But that doesn’t diminish the substantial investment made by Canonical in a product that is in turn made available free of charge to millions of users and developers.

        • Righthaven Sues Radio Giant For Hosting Caption Contest On Denver Post Photo

          (standard junk: this is my personal opinion and i’m possibly ethically compromised because i’m currently on contract working for canonical, etc. etc. blah)

          canonical does a lot of things that i would classify as pretty boneheaded in terms of their relationship to various free software communities. they have an interesting and colourful history with quite a lot of projects and our project is pretty close to the top of that list.

          it’s my opinion that canonical takes a more pragmatic approach than most free software projects have. they have a bit more of a “…and damn the consequences” attitude. they’ve made a lot of decisions that have put them at odds with a lot of people. i’ve found myself on both sides — defending their choices when i agree and calling them out when i don’t.

          binary drivers so that it “just works”? win. copyright assignment? not such a win. this mess with banshee? ya. that’s pretty lame.

        • Welcome to Righthaven Lawsuits

          This website is dedicated to gathering together and posting for Righthaven Defendants and the public information about Righthaven LLC — the Las Vegas “technology company” that has been filing copyright infringement lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada (and South Carolina and Colorado) against numerous unsuspecting website owners (almost always without notice) for copyright infringement of news articles originally published in the Las Vegas Review Journal (and Denver Post) and purportedly assigned to Righthaven (sample assignment here) which subsequently registers the copyright to such articles with the U.S. Copyright Office in order to then file suit in federal court.

        • Ubuntu Live CD Will Let You Upgrade To Newer Ubuntu Versions [Ubuntu 11.04 Development]

          Because this has just landed in Ubuntu 11.04 (and because Ubuntu 11.04 is still in alpha!), it’s best not to try this feature yet as it may break stuff (I didn’t tested it).

        • UDW: Day 1 over, day 2 to come

          I simply love Ubuntu Developer Weeks. They’re sometimes a tad hectic, but they’re just so full of energy, it’s awesome! Yesterday we had 320+ people attending, which is fantastic. Thanks to everyone for bringing so much fun to the sessions and thanks to all the speakers and helpers. You all ROCK!

        • First Ever Ubuntu Cloud Day

          I am very excited to announce the very first Ubuntu Cloud Days! UCD is an online event that is designed for everyone interested in cloud computing, as well as someone who is already using Ubuntu server and who’s thinking about “that cloud thing” everyone is talking about. If the words “virtualization”, “cloud”, “server”, “scalability” or “automation” intrigue and amuse you, then you should definitely attend! It’s a chance to learn a lot, get your questions answered as well as share your experiences and have fun with the rest of the cloud community!

        • Unity 3.6.0 Comes With Option To Maximize Dash, Lots Of Bug Fixes [Ubuntu 11.04 Updates]
        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • China Unicom plans to dominate China with its own mobile OS

        The Wall Street Journal reported that the wireless operator is developing a new mobile operating system known as “WoPhone.” The new platform is based on Linux and is aimed at smartphones and tablets. Phone manufacturers that are on-board include China’s ZTE, Huawei Technologies and TCL, as well as South Korea’s Samsung, US’ Motorola and Taiwan’s HTC. There’s no official release date yet but the company said that it is “imminent.”

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • Qt Creator 2.1.0 released

          Today we release Qt Creator 2.1.0 as well as the Qt SDK 1.1 beta and Qt 4.7.2 .

          [...]

          So grab the Qt SDK 1.1 beta release (includes Qt Creator 2.1.0) or get the Qt Creator-only binary packages from our download server.

      • Android

        • BlackBerry’s Android?

          In the Mirror, Mirror universe, Research in Motion (RIM) uses Android instead of QNX for its next generation of BlackBerry smartphones and its PlayBook Tablet. Now, there’s a rumor that RIM may well add support for Android applications to its BlackBerry line on top of its forthcoming QNX operating system.

        • Bringing Qt applications to Android – a quickstart video

          If you want to try it out, first note that Necessitas currently supports only Linux. Also, you currently need to install Necessitas into /opt/necessitas. More information can be found in the Necessitas Wiki. If you encounter technical issues with Necessitas or just want to send the well deserved kudos to the team, just visit the android-qt Google Groups.

        • Atrix 4G cranks up Android with Tegra 2, HSPA+, says review

          Motorola’s Atrix 4G smartphone provides a solid AT&T answer to Verizon Wireless’ Droid lineup and the various Samsung Galaxy S Android handsets, says this eWEEK review. With features like a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor and HSPA+ support, the Atrix 4G is dubbed the best Android phone from AT&T yet.

        • Things overheard on the WiFi from my Android smartphone

          What options do Android users have, today, to protect themselves against eavesdroppers? Android does support several VPN configurations which you could configure before you hit the road. That won’t stop the unnecessary transmission of your fine GPS coordinates, which, to my mind, neither SoundHound nor ShopSaavy have any business knowing. If that’s an issue for you, you could turn off your GPS altogether, but you’d have to turn it on again later when you want to use maps or whatever else. Ideally, I’d like the Market installer to give me the opportunity to revoke GPS privileges for apps like these.

        • Motorola Working on 7-inch Tablet to Compliment XOOM

          Among the many other tidbits Sanjay Jha dropped during today’s talk with Stanley Morgan investors was the revelation that Motorola is already working on a 7-inch Android tablet for release by the end of the year. The company just released their first tablet, the Motorola XOOM, during the final week of February, but Jha sees exploring various size options as beneficial.

        • Honeycomb statue arrives at Google, immediately rooted

          For those of you who may have grown tired with proper news, analysis, and commentary, you’re in luck, because we have a fluff piece! The Honeycomb statue has finally made it to the Google campus. You can all stop holding your breath now.

          Google tradition had informally been that the new statue for each Android version would be planted in the yard before the official release of the OS SDK. The Froyo statue was unveiled five days before the SDK release. The Gingerbread statue landed a full six weeks before the SDK, which made quite a few people anxious. Perhaps it is in response to that anxiety, Google has planted the Honeycomb statue six days after the Honeycomb SDK release. Although even that plan had its flaws in that there was a small number of people who were worried that the Honeycomb statue hadn’t arrived.

        • Android 2.3.3 supports screen shot apps on non-rooted devices

          That Android doesn’t support screen shot apps might have come as a surprise to some people when they first started using Google’s OS, since other smartphone platforms feature such utilities. Android users with root access have enjoyed the option to take screen grabs with applications such as the excellent ShootMe, but so far we haven’t been able to capture screens directly from an Android without rooting it first.

          However, users of Android have always been able to capture its UI with a PC and the SDK. By enabling USB debugging from Settings > Applications > Development, installing the Android SDK, connecting your Android device to a computer, and then launching ddms.bat from the android-sdk/tools folder, you can quite conveniently capture your phone’s user-interface in action. And some custom ROMs, such as MIUI, let you take screen shots just by pressing a hardware key combination.n

        • F4A [Freedom 4 Android] 1.4 released

          The new F4A version comes with the spring and includes a new wizard for newbies, a nice wallpaper for your viewing pleasure, some internal tweaks and increased USB and virtual disk images size (to 512 MB) – so you can have lots of persistent data between reboots.

        • Android Honeycomb Sculpture Arrives at Google Building 44 | Android Community
    • OLPC

      • VIA DRM Kernel Mode-Setting On The OLPC

        While the group behind the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) child ended up writing their own VIA Linux graphics driver, which is further fragmenting VIA’s nasty Linux situation, James Simmons now has his OpenChrome-based VIA DRM kernel mode-setting driver working from the OLPC hardware.

    • Tablets

      • ECS 7 and 10 inch tablets launched at CeBIT

        Elitegroup Computer Systems or just ECS is making a splash at the CeBIT in Germany with quite a few tablet PCs. The tablet from ECS can be classified into two broad categories – 7 and 10 inch displays with both Android and Windows coming in as the operating system of choice. Further, when it is about the core of the tablet PCs, it’s both the Intel Atom Oak Trail as well as ARM-based chips from Marvell that comes into the picture.

        Coming to the larger tablets with 10.1 inch display, the tablets comes with either 1366 x 768 or 1024 x 600 pixel resolution. With an Intel Atom Z670 Lincroft heart, the tablets run Windows 7 Home Premium and are able to support up to 2 GB of RAM and solid disk drives or 1.8 inch hard drives. The tablet will have WiFi, Bluetooth, as well as 3G as an optional extra and are expected to weigh around 1.8 pounds.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 10 terms and concepts related to open source

    Despite the proliferation of open source projects, some people are still fuzzy on the terminology and basic open source concepts. Susan Harkins put together this list to help clear up some of the confusion.

  • Implementing Open Standards in Open Source

    Industry standards morph into functional computer software. I use the word “morph” on purpose to avoid any term that can be found in US copyright or patent law. Morphing is a special effect in motion pictures and animation to turn one image into another through a seamless transition. Wikipedia shows an image of George W. Bush morphing into Arnold Schwarzenegger, and so too the morphing of an industry standard into software can result in something that looks entirely different at an expressive level and that potentially does useful things.

    In the case of software industry standards, morphing transforms a written specification into working code through a mental process conducted internally by programmers and engineers. The end result – functional software – is a created outcome of human intellect that starts with a written specification and ends with a working implementation.

  • Wanted – Open Source Organisations

    Google’s is now in the process of recruiting mentoring organisations for its 2011 Summer of Code. Sign up now to get help with your open source project.

    Google’s Summer of Code is a global program in which student developers are paid stipends to write code for open source software projects over a three month period.

  • 10 industries that would benefit from using open source

    Open source solutions are gaining popularity across a wide spectrum of businesses — but its adoption is slow in some sectors. Jack Wallen lists the industries he thinks should be using (or using more) open source software.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Thunderbird 3.1.8 Update is Now Available
      • What’s New in Thunderbird 3.1.8
      • Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1.8, Firefox 3.6.14, 3.5.17 Updates Released

        Mozilla Messaging has released a new version of the desktop email client Thunderbird. Thunderbird 3.1.8. is a security, stability and performance upgrade for the stable version of the email software. Not all pages have been updated yet to reflect the new release.

        Bugzilla lists a total of 56 bug fixes of which 13 have a severity rating of critical. Among the critical fixes are memory leaks, crashes and security issues.

        The download link at the official release notes page links already to the newest version of the browser. Existing Thunderbird 3.1.x users should receive update notifications in the email client shortly. Those who do not want to wait can download the new version and install it manually instead.

      • Tumucumaque Park

        While you’re enjoying the web like you never have before with Firefox 4, you can also help protect the diversity of Tumucumaque with your donation to World Wildlife Fund today. The Mozilla community is raising $25,000 to support WWF’s conservation efforts in the Amazon, and to help them harness open web technology to keep places like Tumucumaque protected and diverse. Do your part today.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The first LibreOffice Conference will be in Paris!

      First, apologies should be made here: The choice of Paris for this conference is a story in itself, and the real issue here is that there was minimal community discussion on this. It all started with yours truly announcing that the OOoCON 2011 would take place in Paris…

    • LibreOffice Conference to be held in Paris this October – First annual project meeting from October 12th to 15th

      The Document Foundation today announced the first annual LibreOffice Conference, which will be held in Paris from October 12th to 15th. Carrying on the tradition of previous OOoCon conferences, the LibreOffice Conference will be the event for those interested in the development of free office productivity software, open standards, and the OpenDocument format generally.

    • The Death Of Hudson? Oracle Shows Its True Colors

      As PJ says, “It’s all about the money, honey.” Oracle has just admitted that all of the excuses that they’ve provided up till this point have been a smoke screen. It doesn’t matter that Kohsuke Kawaguchi founded the Hudson project. It doesn’t matter that the Hudson project has done well under his leadership, gaining an 80% share of the continuous integration market for Java (whatever that is).

      What matters is that Oracle thinks it can make more money, and since Oracle managed to trademark the project name, it thinks it can control it. Thought. Kohsuke Kawaguchi has already proved that Oracle can’t control the project by forking it, and naming his fork Jenkins.

      So Oracle ends up with little of value, and probably won’t be able to keep up with the Jenkins release schedule, any more than they’ve been able to keep up with the Libre Office release schedule.

    • Who Contributes the Most to LibreOffice?

      Red Hat, who also contributed to OpenOffice.org, has chipped in as well. With usually two contributions per week, Red Hat developers have provided 39 patches since the fork.

      The newest known name to join the contributors list is Canonical. They contributed the Human theme and a later fix, but more Ubuntu integration code is likely. Björn Michaelsen contributed 2 patches in the last few weeks so far.

      Bosdonnat says there are 133 new coders and 55 localizers since the fork. There seemed to be a slight dip at the end of last year according the graph and Bosdonnat attributes that to the festivities of the holiday season.

  • Education

    • Education reform wars: Caricaturization, not disagreement, is the problem

      Wake County Public School System is the eighth largest school district in the United States, and one of the mostly highly regarded. But lately it’s not been our graduation rate or test scores that make the headlines. It’s the school board’s decision to end a highly regarded socioeconomic integration program.

      One of the few urban school districts in the United States that is truly racially and socioeconomically integrated, Wake County is also an extremely fast-growing area with residents largely adverse to paying taxes for the local infrastructure.

      As you may imagine, this has created a rather untenable situation for the public schools, as many are bursting at the seams with children packed into classroom trailers. Oh, and let’s not forget the economic recession, which has further reduced funding for building new schools.

  • Healthcare

    • Whitehall to launch son-of-NPfIT scheme within weeks

      No mention of the Cloud, open source or innovation

      There is no mention in the CfH procurement plans of open source software, open data standards, G-Cloud or data centre rationalisation. There are no references to the announcements by Downing Street and the Cabinet Office on new open standards and procurement rules for IT.

      There is no mention either of the government “skunkworks” that Downing Street has announced to “assess and develop faster and cheaper ways of using ICT in government”.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Software Freedom Is Elementary, My Dear Watson.

      I’ve watched the game show, Jeopardy!, regularly since its Trebek-hosted relaunch on 1984-09-10. I even remember distinctly the Final Jeopardy question that night as “This date is the first day of the new millennium”. At the age of 11, I got the answer wrong, falling for the incorrect “What is 2000-01-01?”, but I recalled this memory eleven years ago during the debates regarding when the millennium turnover happened.

      I had periods of life where I watched Jeopardy! only rarely, but in recent years (as I’ve become more of a student of games (in part, because of poker)), I’ve watched Jeopardy! almost nightly over dinner with my wife. I’ve learned that I’m unlikely to excel as a Jeopardy! player myself because (a) I read slow and (b) my recall of facts, while reasonably strong, is not instantaneous. I thus haven’t tried out for the show, but I’m nevertheless a fan of strong players.

      Jeopardy! isn’t my only spectator game. Right after college, even though I’m a worse-than-mediocre chess player, I watched with excitement as Deep Blue played and defeated Kasparov. Kasparov has disputed the results and how much humans were actually involved, but even so, such interference was minimal (between matches) and the demonstration still showed computer algorithmic mastery of chess.

      [...]

      I don’t think I’m going to convince IBM to release Watson’s sources as Free Software.

  • Government

    • EU Governments United Against the Knowledge Society?

      With the upcoming revision of the 2004 “Intellectual Property Rights” Enforcement Directive (IPRED), the European Union is getting ready to toughen up the war on sharing of culture in the digital environment. The Member States, gathered in the EU Council, have set up a working group to work on the revision of IPRED. An internal document dated February 4th clearly suggests that the Council is also taking the side of the patent, trademark and copyright lobbies, who want to push for even more extremist measures to deal with online copyright infringements. If nothing is done to stop them, freedom of communication on the Internet, the right to privacy and access to culture will be durably undermined in the name of baseless policies.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • What would you do with Open.org?

      That was the question put forth by members of the Linux Fund organization last night during a Birds of a Feather session at the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE 9X).

      The domain name was recently acquired by Linux Fund from the City of Salem, Oregon for an undisclosed amount. Salem’s public library was using the domain for a kids-to-Internet program entitled the Oregon Public Education Network. The Linux Fund purchased the domain at public auction.

    • Santhosh gets a seat in Wikipedia Language Committee
    • This one goes out to the fence painters

      It seems like many people approach community strategy with this Tom Sawyer thinking (see: crowdsourcing). How can I get people to paint my fence for me?

      Why is the default reaction of most people and organizations usually to create a new community with them at the center? Why instead don’t more people look for and join a community that already exists with a purpose or goal similar to their own?

      I’ve even seen this Tom Sawyer thinking creeping into the business book world. How many times have you read a great new book, only to be greeted at the end with a plea like this one: “If you like the ideas in my book, please come join the discussion on my website, [yetanotherbookcommunity.com]”? (Sidebar: I have a new book coming out this fall. It’s called The Ad-free Brand. I mention this because, instead of starting Yet Another Community around my book and asking you to come join, I’m going to try my best to use my ideas to help paint fences that already exist. Promise.)

    • Neighbors helping NeighborGoods

      Since we launched 6 months ago, NeighborGoods has quickly become the leading online community for local resource sharing. With NeighborGoods, neighbors can borrow, lend and rent anything from bicycles to camping gear to baby clothes in a safe and fun community. By working together to share resources, neighbors save money, live more sustainably and strengthen their local communities in the process.

    • Learn how to get your Creative Commons project funded

      If you are serious about a Creative Commons project idea, you may be interested in the free, online course, “Getting your CC project funded,” set to run in April. The course consists of a series of workshops and seminars that will take you through the steps from an initial idea to having a finished project proposal for submission, including assistance in identifying and finding funding bodies and collaborations relevant for your project. You provide the idea; the course provides the guidance to turn it into a proposal that can’t be refused.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Canada is lone bidder for 2015 Women’s World Cup

    FIFA says Zimbabwe has withdrawn its bid to host the Women’s World Cup in 2015, leaving Canada as the only candidate.

  • German Defence Minister Guttenberg resigns over thesis

    German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has stepped down after he was found to have copied large parts of his 2006 university doctorate thesis.

  • Perfectionism in the “Tiger Mom” and “The King’s Speech”

    You’ve probably heard about Amy Chua, the so-called Tiger Mom. A few weeks ago she had a firestorm of publicity around her book, The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, in which she boasts of her authoritarian and coercive parenting methods, which include not only insisting that her daughters follow a narrow course of “success-oriented” classes and activities, but punishing them harshly – via withholding, threats and insults – when they don’t toe the line or achieve top-level success. (For instance, she deprives them of bathroom breaks, threatens to burn their toys, and calls them “garbage.”) She got a major boost when conservative bastion The Wall Street Journal featured her in an admiring article. No surprise there – conservatism and authoritarianism go hand in hand.

  • Ebay – Paypal relationship scrutinized by MEP

    Obviously that does not answer the question of the MEP and seems to contradict the single market objective. It is odd to watch the protectionism of the Luxembourg company from competition enforcement and their borderline consumer relations and service practices without sanctions by the Luxembourg authorities. All this in the context that the European Union says they want to tighten rules on financial services. At least this provider of cross-border services seems to receive special treatment which enables them to contravene the usual modes of operation.

  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) in 34 languages

    Last June, we introduced the ability to upload documents into Google Docs using Optical Character Recognition (OCR). OCR analyzes images and PDF files, typically produced by a scanner (or the camera of a mobile phone), extracts text and some formatting and allows you to edit the document in Google Docs.

  • The Reputation Economy is Coming – Are You Prepared?

    Last week, I hit a nerve when I wrote about how your online presence will replace your resume in the future. I believe that in order to compete in the global economy, you have to have an online personal brand. After you create that presence, you have to maintain it throughout the course of your entire life, before someone else does it for you. We are living in a world now where visibility creates opportunities and reputation builds trust. Submitting a resume to a job board, or cold calling randomly, will increasingly become ineffective until it simply doesn’t work at all. On the other hand, building an online presence and managing your reputation (like a brand) will become increasing effective and yield strong results.

  • The best fail compilation in existence

    When a video reduces us to tears, we bring it to you. What follows below is a solid 8 minutes of slips, falls, mistakes, poor decisions, crashes, burns, and of course, fails

  • Schoolgirl strip-searched by principal

    “The wheels of justice have flat tyres. But sometimes, they do turn, as they did for Savana Redding, who, when she was a 13-year-old honours student at the Safford Middle School in Arizona, was strip-searched.

    “But it took six years for SCOTUS, the Supreme Court of the US, to rule the school was, in effect, guilty of serious misbehaviour.”

    The above quotes from a 2009 p2pnet story centering on Savana Redding, strip-searched for presumed possession of Advil.

  • Science

    • The Positive Balance of Technology
    • Facebook Linked To One In Five Divorces in the United States

      If you’re single, Facebook and other social networking sites can help you meet that special someone. However, for those in even the healthiest of marriages, improper use can quickly devolve into a marital disaster.

      A recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that Facebook is cited in one in five divorces in the United States. Also, more than 80 percent of divorce lawyers reported a rising number of people are using social media to engage in extramarital affairs.

    • Plague scientist dies of… the plague

      It must be a recurrent nightmare for researchers who work with deadly microbes: being killed by your own research subjects. Microbe hunters know better than anyone else just how nasty infectious disease can be, and they spend much of their professional lives wielding bleach and maintaining stringent lab protocols to keep the objects of their fascination at bay. But sometimes one jumps the fence. Just such a tragedy caused the death in 2009 of Malcolm Casadaban, aged 60, a respected plague researcher at the University of Chicago. But how it did so was a mystery, until now.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Healthcare for People, Not Profit

      If you think you’re covered by health insurance, think again. According to a 2007 study in the American Journal of Medicine, illness and medical bills caused 62% of all bankruptcies and most of those people were insured and middle class. Meanwhile, “the five largest health-insurance companies racked up combined profits of $12.2 billion, up 56 percent over 2008”, according to a report by Health Care for American Now based on SEC filings.

      In CNN’s analysis of the Fortune 500, “The star of 2009 is undoubtedly health care. The sector’s earnings jumped to an all-time high of $92 billion. Health-care earnings rose by $23 billion, or 33%…from two groups, one surprising — medical insurers — and the other more predictable, pharmaceuticals. For the drug industry, it’s as if the recession never happened. The sector’s earnings surged by one-third to $64 billion.”

  • Security

    • Undercover agent slips through TSA naked body scanner multiple times with handgun

      The “enhanced” screening procedures now used by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at the nation’s airports has once again been demonstrated as a total failure, this time at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). According to a high-ranking, inside source at TSA, an undercover agent was successfully able to smuggle a handgun through the naked body scanner — and she did so not only once, but several times.

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • After dealing with Anonymous, HBGary Federal’s CEO resigns
    • Aaron Barr Falls On His Sword – Anything To Protect The Company!
    • HBGary Federal’s Aaron Barr Resigns After Anonymous Hack Scandal

      “I need to focus on taking care of my family and rebuilding my reputation,” Barr told Threatpost. “It’s been a challenge to do that and run a company. And, given that I’ve been the focus of much of bad press, I hope that, by leaving, HBGary and HBGary Federal can get away from some of that. I’m confident they’ll be able to weather this storm.”

    • Morgan Stanley hit by same attackers that breached Google

      Morgan Stanley was hit by a “very sensitive” breach to its network by the same attackers who penetrated computer systems maintained by Google and dozens of other companies, according to leaked emails reviewed by Bloomberg News.

      The emails came from California-based HBGary, which suffered a major compromise of its own at the hands of hackers from Anonymous. After being hired by Morgan Stanley in 2010, HBGary members found that the world’s top merger adviser fell prey to the so-called Aurora hacks, which siphoned source code and other sensitive data from the victim companies over a period of many months.

    • 19 vulnerabilities – Chrome 9 update proves expensive for Google

      Google has released version 9.0.597.107 of its Chrome browser, which fixes a total of 19 security vulnerabilities, 16 of them rated as high risk. It was, for example, possible to crash the browser using JavaScript dialogues and SVG files, or to use the address bar for URL spoofing. Also fixed is an integer overflow when handling textareas. As ever, Google is keeping full details of the vulnerabilities under wraps until the bulk of users have switched to the new version.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Aid crisis on Libya’s west border

      The situation on Libya’s border with Tunisia has reached crisis point, as tens of thousands of foreigners flee unrest in the country, the UN says.

      Aid staff are battling to cope with an exodus that has seen some 140,000 people crossing into Tunisia and Egypt.

    • Sometimes One Picture Says It All
    • How Egypt Can Help Libya

      The Libyan people deserve help in their fight against Gaddafi’s butchers, but direct U.S. or European military intervention would have several drawbacks. Western troops, not speaking Arabic, would make deadly mistakes. Even if successful, this intervention would diminish the sense of local and Arab ownership of the revolt.

      I suggest that the UN Security Council invite Egypt to intervene, if Libyans approve. A small part of Egypt’s army would dwarf Gaddafi’s forces. Without even having to fight, it could join and support the Libyan rebel forces that have already liberated eastern and southern Libya. This would change the situation completely.

    • Libyans in “Liberated” Eastern Cities Balance Self-Government with Supporting Tripoli Resistance: Anjali Kamat Reports

      As anti-government rebels close in on the Libyan capital city of Tripoli, we get the latest from Democracy Now! correspondent Anjali Kamat. She has just returned to Egypt after spending five days in eastern Libya, where popular uprisings have liberated the area from pro-Gaddafi forces. “There’s a sense that Gaddafi can do anything to people [in Tripoli], and there’s a real sense of fear,” Kamat says, “but I think people are also trying to see what they can do to manage their city and to also support their friends and families in Tripoli, who continue to be under siege.”

    • Nelly Furtado To Donate $1 Million Received From Gadhafi

      Things are falling apart in many ways for longtime Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. With his countrymen in uproar and demanding that he step down after more than 40 years in power as part of the freedom wave rushing through the Middle East, the dictator is also getting push back from one of the pop stars who’ve performed for his family over the years.

    • In U.S.-Libya nuclear deal, a Qadhafi threat faded away

      In late 2009 the Obama administration was leaning on Col. Muammar el-Qadhafi and his son, Seif, to allow the removal from Libya of the remnants of the country’s nuclear weapons programme: casks of highly enriched uranium.

      Meeting with the American Ambassador, Gene A. Kretz, the younger Qadhafi complained that the United States had retained “an embargo on the purchase of lethal equipment” even though Libya had turned over more than $100 million in bomb-making technology in 2003. Libya was “fed up,” he told Mr. Kretz, at Washington’s slowness in doling out rewards for Libya’s cooperation, according to cables released by WikiLeaks.

    • Dictators and their sons: Col Gaddafi’s billionaire children

      Seen as the natural successor to his father before the wave of protests across the north African nation, the 38 year old Saif al-Islam presented himself as a reformer. He was welcomed in the West as the acceptable face of the regime, and claims the Duke of York, Peter Mandelson and Tony Blair among his “good friends”.

      In 1995, he received his degree in architecture and engineering at Tripoli’s al-Fateh University, and then went on to obtain a management degree from the International Business School in Vienna before gaining a doctorate at Britain’s London School of Economics (LSE).

    • UN: Libyan refugee ‘crisis’ tops 140,000

      Violence and chaos in Libya have triggered an exodus of more than 140,000 refugees to Tunisia and Egypt, a U.N. official said, as aid workers warned the situation at the Tunisian border has reached crisis point.

      Officials say the situation has been made even more volatile by humanitarian aid workers being blocked from reaching western Libya, patients reportedly being executed in hospitals, or shot by gunmen hiding in ambulances

      At the Libya-Tunisian border – where authorities say up to 75,000 people have gathered in just nine days – “the situation is reaching crisis point,” U.N. refugee agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming warned Tuesday.

    • NATO’s Afghan night raids come with high civilian cost

      A few minutes and a few bullets were enough to turn Abdullah from an 11th grade student with dreams of becoming a translator to the despairing head of a family of more than a dozen.

      His father and oldest brother were shot dead last August at the start of a midnight assault by NATO-led troops on their house in Afghanistan’s east. Abdullah himself was hooded, handcuffed and flown to prison, where he was detained for questioning and then released.

    • Thuraya satellite telecom says jammed by Libya

      Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Co’s services are being jammed by Libya, the UAE-based firm’s chief executive said on Thursday, as a revolt continued against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

      “Unfortunately there is deliberate jamming by Libya … which is illegal,” CEO Samer Halawi told Al Arabiya television.

    • Tunisian prime minister Mohamed Ghannouchi resigns amid unrest

      Tunisia was thrown into turmoil once more after Mohamed Ghannouchi resigned as prime minister of the post-revolution government amid further clashes between police and protestors. The interim president, Fouad Mebazaa, named the former government minister Beji Caid-Essebsi as Ghannouchi’s replacement.

    • Rebels’ gains threaten return to all-out war in Ivory Coast

      Rebels controlling northern Ivory Coast have seized a town in government territory and said yesterday they were still advancing, raising the prospects of a return to open war.

      Forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, who is still clinging to power after an election most of the world says he lost, confirmed the fall of Zouan-Hounien in an overnight attack and said they would fight to take it back.

    • Mass arrests stopped further Djibouti protests

      The planned resumption of mass protests in Djibouti this weekend was hindered by massive police presence in the capital and arrests of about 300 opposition and civil society leaders.

      Friday 18 February saw an estimated 30,000 Djiboutians protesting in central Djibouti City. Their main demand was for President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh to step down, or at least refrain from standing candidate in the upcoming April elections.

    • Urgent: Mousavi is in Jail

      Shame on Mousavi’s webstie, kaleme.com, that we should receive Mousavi’s news form the CNN. The CNN has said : Iran’s two opposition leaders, their wives are placed in ‘safe house’ they have added: “Moussavi, Karrubi and their wives were placed in a “safe house” for their own welfare !!!!!!!!!!! , but they have not been arrested !!!!!!!!, Iranian government sources told CNN Saturday !!!!!! …. The human rights organization also pointed out that “a ‘safe house’ is considered a place for the secret detention of high security-value detainees, which is not under the control of the judiciary or any other monitoring mechanisms.

    • 2011-03-01 French, English and US Special Forces Enter Libya to Reinforce Uprising

      10:00 PM The Pakistan Observer reports that French, British and US special forces have entered Libya, to train and assist rebel groups to overthrow Gaddafi. The article also outlines how naval vessels from India are underway for deployment in defense of the Libyan uprising. The vessels will presumably join the USS Enterprise, which is also on its way into the Mediterranean via the Suez canal. This follows US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s admission on 28th February that preparations for military assistance for the Libyan pro-democracy movement were underway.

    • Olivia Chow in Question Period: Call a public inquiry now

      Ms. Olivia Chow (Trinity—Spadina, NDP): Mr. Speaker, it is unbelievable.

      When free speech is denied in the only designated free speech zone, when women are aggressively strip-searched in a warehouse, and when an amputee is dragged off without his leg, Canadians know there is something desperately wrong.

    • Violent suppression of protest at Toronto’s G20 – CBC documentary
    • (FULL MOVIE) G20 -CBC The Fifth Estate ‘You Should’ve Stayed at Home’
    • G20 RE-EXPOSED: Toronto Inquiry Now (Documentary)
  • Cablegate

    • Raila’s family was involved in maize scandal, claim US cables

      Wikileaks claim Prime Minister Raila Odinga attempted to suspend former Agriculture Minister William Ruto to divert attention from his family’s involvement in the Sh2 billion maize scam.

      Secret cables sent by US Ambassador, Michael Ranneberger, to Washington and now released by WikiLeaks allege Raila wanted to create confusion when he said he was suspending Ruto and Education Minister Sam Ongeri. It claims Raila wanted public debate to focus on the two, and not his family’s role in the scandal.

    • Kenyan president’s mistress linked to mercenaries

      In 2006, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Kenya’s current vice president and an opposition leader at the time, told U.S. Embassy officials in Nairobi about an unfolding political scandal in which he was involved, according to a State Department cable released yesterday by WikiLeaks. Although the story itself is a bit banal — involving a rivalry between Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki’s first and second wives — Musyoka’s allegations against the Kenyan president’s family are serious, including an accusation of links to “Eastern European” mercenaries used in a 2006 media crackdown.

      The story goes something like this: In 2006, the Standard Media company, one of the country’s largest, published a story alleging that Musyoka, as opposition leader, had cut a deal with Kibaki. The story, which Musyoka denied to embassy officials, was a bigger blow to his political prospects than to the sitting president’s. But the government unleashed a wave of raids against the Standard Media group anyway.

    • 07NAIROBI4246, KENYA – DOING BUSINESS THE CHINESE WAY

      Chinese firms selling into Kenya’s information
      and communications technologies (ICT) sector are throwing a lot of
      money around, according to industry contacts. Indeed, Chinese
      influence may be so great that it is distorting important investment
      decisions in the country. Putting aside corruption, Chinese ICT
      vendors are difficult to beat on price and quality, and therefore
      often win government procurement tenders. However, companies that
      buy Chinese equipment often find that they end up paying the piper
      later due to poor after-sales service.

    • Julian Assange™ applies to trademark himself
    • Divided With No Clear Aim While the World Is Burning
    • WikiLeaks, Internet in record Nobel Peace field

      Anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, the Internet and a Russian human rights activist are among a record 241 nominations for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.

      The Norwegian Nobel Committee said on Tuesday that the 2011 field includes 53 organizations and tops last year’s 237 nominees.

      Known nominees also include Afghan rights advocate Sima Samar, the European Union, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya Sardinas, Russian rights group Memorial and its founder Svetlana Gannushkina.

    • WikiLeaks Shames the Old News Media

      If there were ever a doubt about whether the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, is “a real journalist,” recent events should erase all those doubts. Indeed, they should put him at the forefront of a movement to democratize journalism and empower people.

    • WikiLeaks at the Forefront of 21st-Century Journalism

      If there was ever doubts about whether the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, is a journalist, recent events erase those doubts and put him at the forefront of a movement to democratize journalism and empower people.

      The U.S. Department of Justice is still trying to find a way to prosecute Assange and others associated with WikiLeaks. A key to their prosecution is claiming he is not a journalist, but that weak premise has been made laughable by recent events.

      The list of WikiLeaks revelations has become astounding. During the North African and Middle East revolts, WikiLeaks published documents that provided people with critical information. The traditional media has relied on WikiLeaks publications and is now also emulating WikiLeaks.

    • Wikileaks Cables on Raila And Uhuru
    • In 2006 State agents and hirelings raided Standard but…

      According to the classified embassy cables, former US ambassador William Bellamy claims that Gichugu MP Martha Karua, then the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, told him “Kenya had a rogue press and something had to be done to bring press practices into line with laws and regulations.”

    • 10NAIROBI11, Kenya: Inadequate Witness Protection Poses Painful Dilemma
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • 100,000 oil disaster claims may never be paid by BP

      Not that it comes as much of a surprise. Louisiana officials thought they had an agreement with BP to pre-fund critical projects to rebuild the fishing industry but the terms there have also changed.

    • BP reneges on deal to rebuild oyster beds, repair wetlands, Louisiana officials say

      Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority chairman Garret Graves and Department of Wildlife & Fisheries director Robert Barham said the state will instead scramble to find millions of dollars to begin the work itself, then bill BP for the costs.

    • What the frack? US natural gas drilling method contaminates water

      A controversial new method of natural-gas drilling, embraced rapidly across the US, has contaminated water supplies with radioactive waste, according to an investigation by the New York Times. The paper said internal documents from the Environmental Protection Agency and state regulators showed that the dangers to the public from the drilling method – hydraulic fracturing – were greater than previously understood.

      Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, uses huge volumes of water, chemicals and sand injected into rock at high pressure to release natural gas. Its development has unleashed a natural gas boom in the US and around the world. But the NYT said the waste water contained dangerously high levels of radioactivity. It was being sent to treatment plants that were not designed to deal with or being discharged into rivers that supply drinking water.

    • Thick foam found in Mobile Bay — Orange substance in many areas (PHOTOS)
    • The dogs who listen to children reading

      Danny received five months of training to become a Read dog. Greyhounds are particularly well-suited because they do not bark and their short coat is less likely to trigger allergies.

    • Government attacks EU fishing rules

      The government has launched a new attack on controversial EU fishing rules which force fishermen to throw millions of dead fish back into the sea.

      Fisheries minister Richard Benyon, attending a special EU summit to tackle the problem, said: “Everybody wants to see an end to the disgraceful waste of huge amounts of fish having to be dumped back overboard, and the UK is leading the way in efforts to tackle the problem.

    • BP fund lawyer to refuse 100,000 Gulf spill disaster claims

      Upwards of 100,000 claims arising from the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico may never be paid, the beleaguered administrator of the oil company’s compensation fund has acknowledged.

      A defensive Ken Feinberg, under fire from the Obama administration, Gulf leaders and local business for the slow pace of payouts for losses due to the BP spill, said the vast majority of the 130,000 unsettled claims did not have adequate documentation.

      “Here is the problem that I continually have to address … roughly 80% of the claims that we now have in the queue lack proof,” Feinberg told foreign reporters in Washington. “That is a huge number.”

      Feinberg did not rule out settling claims in the future, but he added: “The claims that were denied had woeful, inadequate or no documentation to speak of.”

      He indicated that BP is unlikely to pay out more than the initial $20bn (£12.3bn)agreed for the compensation fund in a meeting at the White House last summer. “I am cautiously optimistic that $20bn will be enough,” he said.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs’s Adam Storch

      In the Scribd. document embedded below entitled, How Goldman Sachs Made Tens of Billions of Dollars From the Economic collapse of America In Four Easy Steps, Adam Storch is mentioned in the third step (on page 4), as one of the “[e]x-Goldman executives in key positions of power in the US government….”

    • Will banksters get away with it?

      Hats off to Matt Taibbi for staying on the Wall Street crime beat, asking in his most recent report in Rolling Stone: “Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?”

      “Financial crooks,” he argues, “brought down the world’s economy — but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them.”

      True enough, but that’s only part of the story. The Daily Kos called his investigation a “depressing read” perhaps because it suggests that the Obama Administration is not doing what it should to reign in financial crime. Many of the lawyers he calls on to act come from big corporate law firms and buy into their worldview.

    • Fine Gael banking strategy in meltdown

      Our masters have now gone off to high ground and are shouting at us through a loudhailer to keep that finger in the hole. We’re tired and cold and starving and we don’t want to do it any more. So how do we get this message across? There’s only one way – threaten to pull our finger out of the dyke. Nothing else will get more than a few cosmetic concessions.

      Fine Gael is now on course to form a single-party government. Voters need to know whether the party is at all serious about facing up to the immorality and impossibility of the official approach since September 2008. (The money still at stake is €75 billion of debt securities held by Irish banks, including €7.3 billion in subordinated bonds and €17 billion in senior unsecured bonds.)

    • It’s the Inequality, Stupid
    • The Real Cause of High Budget Deficits: Corporate Tax Dodgers

      The protests in Wisconsin over workers’ rights and state budget cuts are sparking national action. While not every governor will recklessly attack collective bargaining, all states are facing major budget constraints.

      Now is the strategic moment to dramatically juxtapose the pain of local budget cuts with the scandal of corporate tax dodging. While states must close combined budget gaps of over $102 billion, U.S.-based corporate tax dodgers are costing us over $100 billion a year. Every time a politician complains that “there is no money” or “we must make these cuts,” we should be pointing to the corporate tax dodging that could immediately close our budget gaps.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Leading article: A dishonest campaign that deserves to lose

      The organisation making the case for a No vote in May’s referendum on voting reform has launched a series of adverts that are desperate and cynical in equal measure. These adverts focus on the supposed cost of the transition to the Alternative Vote system. The campaign asserts that the bill would be £250m and that “our country can’t afford it”.

      Yet that figure is entirely spurious. It apparently includes the £82m that will be spent on the referendum regardless of the outcome and £130m for the purchase of electronic vote-counting machines. The problem with this line of argument is that no new vote-counting machines will, in fact, be needed. Votes would continue to be counted by hand, as they are at present. It displays a staggering disregard for honesty for the No campaign to rely so heavily on this confected figure.

    • Democrats call for an investigation of law firm, 3 tech companies

      A group of House Democrats is calling on Republican leaders to investigate a prominent Washington law firm and three federal technology contractors, who have been shown in hacked e-mails discussing a “disinformation campaign” against foes of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

      In a letter to be released Tuesday, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and more than a dozen other lawmakers wrote that the e-mails appear “to reveal a conspiracy to use subversive techniques to target Chamber critics,” including “possible illegal actions against citizens engaged in free speech.”

    • SCOTUS: Corporations Not People (at least with respect to one FOIA provision)

      Today the Supreme Court handed down a decision in FCC v. AT&T (decision here [PDF]) in which the Court decided that corporations do not have “personal privacy” for the purposes of FOIA exemption 7(C). Our former law clerk wrote about this case earlier this year.

  • Privacy

    • Supreme Court Says AT&T Has No Right To ‘Personal Privacy’

      Last year, we wrote about an important case in which AT&T bizarrely claimed that it had personal privacy rights over information the FCC collected in an investigation concerning AT&T overbilling the government. An organization had made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on the info, but AT&T protested that, as a corporation, it had a personal right to privacy. As we noted, that seemed like a pretty ridiculous claim, but the appeals court accepted it.

  • Civil Rights

    • The folly of CCTV in schools

      There has been much concern recently about CCTV inside schools. As ever BBW has been at the forefront of the issue with articles such as “Rising number of CCTV cameras in schools”, “CCTV in York Schools (and new research which says it’s a total waste of time)” and others. One school has 113 cameras, and several have them in the pupils toilets.

    • Analysis: DHS plans on scanning DNA at checkpoints

      Just when you think the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has enough wonderful toys to keep them busy, they go out and add another. Get ready to have your DNA screened by the DHS.

      According to The Daily, DHS has plans to begin testing a portable DNA scanner. The device has not been revealed, but it reportedly resembles a desktop printer. It is expected to make genetic tests far more common, especially in cases related to refugees, human trafficking and immigration. Experts think it will soon make its way into everyday medical and law enforcement usage.

    • Euro court slaps down insurers over gender risks

      Euro court slaps down insurers over gender riskszThe European Court of Justice has ruled that insurers should not treat gender as a risk factor when assessing premiums, clearing the way for higher costs for women. And probably men.

      A Belgian consumer organisation had brought the case, which centred on exemptions from the EU’s anti-discrimination directive that allowed insurance companies to take gender into account when setting premiums.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • ICANN: No government veto over controversial top-level domains

      Less than two weeks away from ICANN’s conference in San Francisco, representatives from the organization’s Government Advisory Committee have rejected a US Department of Commerce proposal that would give GAC members veto power over new domain endings.

      The Department of Commerce plan would have allowed governments to object to a generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) “for any reason.” On top of that, “if it is the consensus position of the GAC not to oppose objection[s] raised by a GAC member or members, ICANN shall reject the application,” the proposal added.

    • House plans first vote to overturn Net neutrality rules

      The Federal Communications Commission’s controversial Net neutrality regulations may soon vanish.

      A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee is planning a vote Wednesday morning on whether to rescind the agency’s Internet regulations that it adopted by a 3-2 vote in December.

  • DRM

    • Tell Sony to stop harassing hackers

      This month we’re focusing our attention on Sony. Sony has been in the news a lot recently: suing developers for figuring out how to run free software on their PlayStation 3 consoles.

      Both George Hotz (geohot) and more recently, Graf Chokolo — operator of the PS3 Hypervisor Reverse Engineering blog have been harrassed by Sony, with Graf Chokolo having his home raided on Feb 23rd.

    • Forensic Analysis Of Geohot’s Hard Drives In Dispute

      Earlier this month, we reported that the court hearing Sony’s case versus Geohot, had ordered the New Jersey based hacker to turn over all of his hard drives to a third party. According to Geohot’s attorney, the court did not allow Sony or the third party to make copies of the hard drives, but only store them. The company holding them, known as TIG, is now recommending to Sony that backups of Geohot’s hard drives should be allowed by the court. Sony has submitted that request to the court and also is demanding that Geohot turns over any keys or p***words used in decrypting the drives.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • New Legislation ‘To Protect Farmer IP’ Would Make It A Felony To Photograph Farms

      An awful lot of you sent in this story about a proposed law in Florida that could put people in jail for taking a photograph of a farm without permission. Seriously. Not surprisingly, the “excuse” for this is that it is “needed to protect the property rights of farmers and the “intellectual property” involving farm operations.”

    • Copyrights

      • Warner Music Mutes MP Angus’ Radio Documentary On Youtube

        In recent years, Warner Music has become infamous for “muting” the sound on hundreds of YouTube videos that include music over which they hold copyright. While takedowns of full copies of songs is their prerogative, the effect of muting user-generated content that may have a snippet of a song as background for a non-commercial work is precisely why the Canadian government introduced the so-called YouTube exception into Bill C-32.

      • CRIA Continues Fight Against Industry Canada Sponsored P2P Study

        Ever since Industry Canada released an independent study it sponsored on the impact of peer-to-peer file sharing in late 2007, the Canadian Recording Industry Association has worked overtime to try to discredit it.

      • Pandora founder decries Canadian barriers to entry

        The industry group steadfastly believes their proposed rates represent the fair market value of their content. However, Pandora has argued those rates are actually several multiples of the standard licensing rates set by the United States and the United Kingdom.

      • Righthaven Sues Radio Giant For Hosting Caption Contest On Denver Post Photo

        For the most part, Righthaven has been careful to sue individuals and smaller sites who would have a much tougher time fighting back. However, in its mad dash to sue a ton of websites for using a viral photograph of a TSA agent searching a passenger, it appears to have gone after Citadel Broadcasting, a radio giant, for running a “caption contest” on the photo.

      • U.S. Government Stings Chinese Websites Baidu.com, Taobao.com As “Notorious Markets”

        Chinese search engine Baidu.com and an e-commerce subsidiary of Alibaba, Taobao.com, have just been placed on the United States Trade Representative’s “Notorious Markets List”.

        USTR states: “The Notorious Markets List identifies selected markets, including those on the Internet, which exemplify the problem of marketplaces dealing in infringing goods and helping to sustain global piracy and counterfeiting. These are marketplaces that have been the subject of enforcement action or that may merit further investigation for possible intellectual property rights infringements.”

        No official response from either Taobao.com or Baidu.com has yet been issued via their respective websites.

      • U.S. Government Targets Large BitTorrent Sites And Trackers

        The US Government has classified some of the largest players in the BitTorrent scene as examples of sites which sustain global piracy. Indexing and search engines The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, isoHunt, Kickasstorrents and BTjunkie all make appearances, with Demonoid, OpenBitTorrent and PublicBT described as trackers which have become “notorious for infringing activities.”

        In its “Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets”, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has listed more than 30 Internet and offline physical ‘markets’ which it says exemplify “key challenges” in the fight against piracy and counterfeiting.

      • ICE Boss: It’s Okay To Ignore The Constitution If It’s To Protect Companies

        While the folks at Homeland Security keep telling me that they simply cannot speak publicly about the seizure of various domain names — and specifically the numerous mistakes they’ve made that appear to clearly violate both the First Amendment and Due Process rules — it seems they have no problem talking about the domain seizures to folks in the press who don’t bother to ask tough questions.

        ICE boss John Morton did an interview with Politico, where he trots out a bunch of highly questionable statements about the domain seizures, including claiming that it’s all okay for them to do this because they’re trying to “protect U.S. industry” rather than “regulate the internet.” But that’s not the role of Homeland Security or ICE. And there are limits on what ICE is actually allowed to do, and Morton’s technically clueless agents seem to have ignored many of those rules.

      • Rosetta Stone Says Google Is A ‘Gateway For Criminals’; Urges Congress To Make Google Liable For Infringement Via COICA

        However, we noticed that Rosetta Stone was one of the companies that had signed a letter in support of COICA, and assumed it was just about trying to stop sites from offering unauthorized versions. However, it appears that Rosetta Stone actually would like the censorship law to go much further, specifically suggesting that COICA include making Google liable for any infringement found via the site.

        [...]

        Google correctly responded that Rosetta Stone’s “exaggeration doesn’t belong in a serious conversation.” Of course, it really makes me wonder what the folks at Rosetta Stone are doing and thinking. Promoting and supporting censorship and blaming third parties for infringement is no way to run a business.

      • Massachusetts Apparently The First State To Let You Officially Register As A Pirate Party Member

        I’m not a member of any political party. I even hate the term “independent.” When I was first eligible to register to vote, oh so many years ago, the voter registration form told me to check off “Democrat,” “Republican” or “Independent.”

      • Kill Copyright, Create Jobs

        The copyright industry’s lobby has — again — claimed that unless strong measures are taken to enforce copyright, jobs will be lost across Europe. This claim is false, deceptive and misleading, as it only focuses on copyright-dependent sectors while ignoring the copyright-inhibited sectors. It turns out the latter account for ten times more of the economy.

        Executive summary: for every job lost (or killed) in the copyright industry due to nonenforcement of copyright, 11.8 jobs are created in electronics wholesale, electronics manufacturing, IT, or telecom industries — or even the copyright-inhibited part of the creative industries.

      • ACTA

      • Digital Economy (UK)/HADOPI

        • ORG files Judicial Review intervention

          Early last week Open Rights Group filed and served its intervention into the Judicial Review of the Digital Economy Act. You can read our intervention here.

          It is an important step for us to be intervening in the Judicial Review. We are aiming to contribute an important bank of expertise and evidence to the considerations of the court that might otherwise not be heard. This is not just a ‘me too’ exercise – we believe we have information that can be useful to the court. And we haven’t said everything we could have, focusing on what we saw as the gaps in the arguments being put forward that we could help fill. Our perspective is one of the likely impact on individuals of legislation about digital issues, which is informed by an understanding of the relationship between technology, human rights and civil liberties.

Clip of the Day

Boron (open source REBOL clone) OpenGL 3D demo – Karl Robillard (by proxy done by Kaj de Vos)


Credit: TinyOgg

IRC Proceedings: March 1st, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 12:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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