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05.18.11

IRC Proceedings: May 18th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Links 18/5/2011: Open Virtualization Alliance, Wine 1.3.20

Posted in News Roundup at 6:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • LPI Announces New Training Partners in China and Philippines

    The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization, and its affiliate, LPI-Asia Pacific announced new LPI-Approved Training Partners (LPI-ATP) in the region: Beijing Shenghao Boyuan Technology Company of mainland China and Concentrix of the Philippines.

  • Cheat Sheet collection
  • JavaScript: Now powerful enough to run Linux

    Step aside, Google Docs, there’s a new JavaScript tour de force in town.

    I’m talking about the latest project from programmer Fabrice Bellard, a JavaScript program that emulates an x86 processor fast enough to run Linux in a Web browser.

    The JavaScript PC Emulator can do the work of an Intel 486 chip from the 1990s, but doesn’t have a built-in floating point unit for numeric processing, Bellard said. Happily, Linux itself can emulate that, and a version of the operating system’s core–2.6.20–runs on the foundation.

  • Intel invokes Linux to calm fears of Windows 8 on ARM

    James displayed projections for the server market that show Linux adoption slowly eating into Microsoft’s market share and she made even bolder statements, claiming that most datacenters run Linux, that open source software leads the high performance computing market and that most embedded devices, such as smartphones, run Linux.

  • ChromeBook Debuts as Ubuntu Developer Summit Maps Out the Future

    Will 2011 be the year of the Linux desktop? That’s a question some people on the Linux Planet have been asking for a decade, but with new developments in the past week, that dream maybe closer to reality than ever before.

  • Server

    • IT Majors Create Open Virtualization Alliance

      BMC Software, Eucalyptus Systems, HP, IBM, Intel, Red Hat, and SUSE announced the formation of the Open Virtualization Alliance, a consortium committed to fostering the adoption of open virtualization technologies including Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM).

  • Kernel Space

    • The Linux Kernel Is Still On A Power Binge

      It’s been about three weeks since last mentioning the major power consumption problem in the Linux kernel (actually, there’s more than one power regression) and it’s affecting distributions like Ubuntu 11.04. The lack of mentioning the power regression in recent weeks isn’t though because the regressions are addressed, they are still outstanding with the about to be released Linux 2.6.39 kernel.

      The power regressions just haven’t been mentioned recently since I’ve been out of the office since late last month due to UDS Budapest, LinuxTag 2011, and beer drinking with Phoronix readers in Bavaria and around Germany. Now that I’m back to the usual workload, I’ve run some more kernel tests to verify the increased power consumption is still there with the latest upstream kernel. Sadly, the issue is still there.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE 3.5 is now Trinity

        I used to run a desktop search program called Beagle, to index all my documents, text files, and emails for quick search. It ran unobtrusively in the background.

        The KDE 4 developers decided to improve on this, by adding the strigi indexer, integrated with the Nepomuk “semantic desktop.” Alas, “unobtrusive” was not in their mission statement. My desktop spent all day accessing the hard drive, at 100% CPU utilization, and according to the task monitor this activity was all to update Nepomuk’s database. This is probably why my system was so slow.

        [...]

        Better still, a later comment told me that KDE 3.5 is still alive and well! Since the KDE project dropped 3.5, it was “forked” into a new project called Trinity.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Advancing with GNOME:Ayatana repository

        Last week I’ve received an email from Bruce Byfield asking a few questions about this project. I’ve replied honestly as I would to anyone, I’ve faced several issues, and it sounded wise to me to hold a bit this. Since the Beta release of Natty that I’m following a technology forum in Portugal (over 150.000 users) and making a few notes on what peoples perceptions are about Unity and Natty.

  • Distributions

    • Arch Linux Review

      That being said, it has to be noted that Arch Linux is not meant for users just migrating to Linux from Windows or MAC OS. That is because Arch Linux is targeted at users or developers who know what they are doing and have at least some experience with Linux.

    • Guest Post: Introducing Zenwalk Linux 7.0 Live CD Version

      A few days ago the Zenwalk project released its Live CD of Zenwalk Linux 7.0. Currently Zenwalk offers the main Xfce edition, a Core edition which foregoes the X windowing system and is intended to be a starting point to building a custom desktop or server system, an edition with Openbox as window manager, an older Gnome version that is still at version 6.4, and the Live CD version of the edition based on the Xfce desktop environment. In this guest post, Bernhard Hoffmann walks us through the Zenwalk Live CD version.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 1 RC Available, Final Not Far Off

        Mageia 1 Release Candidate was announced today right on time. Final is expected on June 1, so developers are anxious for final bug reports. They are particularly interested in the upgrade process from Mandriva 2010.x. I tested the upgrade this time, but from Mageia 1 beta 2.

        From the beta to the rc, the upgrade process was quick and easy. The installer requires a lot less input than with a full install. As far as I can tell it went off without a hitch. I got a new kernel and new theme. KDE was updated to the latest stable release. NVIDIA drivers were updated and the boot glitch from beta 2 seemed to be cleared up (or rather “nokmsboot” was added to the boot options by default now). All hardware seemed to be supported properly. It could have just been my imagination, but the performance seemed very good, perhaps improved from last release. Even with desktop effects enabled, it just seemed to fly.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Customer Portal Recognized As A Top 10 Best Web Support Site

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that its global customer portal has been recognized by the Association of Support Professionals (ASP) as a top support website in its fourteenth annual “Ten Best Web Support Sites” competition. Red Hat was recognized in the Open Division among five other technology leaders, including Red Hat partners Cisco Systems and Hewlett Packard.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – May 17th, 2011

        DebConf10 Final Report is out

        The DebConf organization team released the final report of the 2010 Debian Conference, which was held in New York City, USA, at Columbia University. According to the DebConf blog entry, “It’s a 46-page document which gives the reader an idea about the conference as a whole. It includes descriptions of talks, DebCamp and Debian Day activities, personal impressions, attendee and budgeting numbers, the work of various teams, social events, funny pictures and so on.” There are two PDF versions of the final report available, which can be downloaded from the DebConf Media website.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Developer Community Losing Faith In Ubuntu?

            Ubuntu Natty aka 11.04 was released on April 28, 2011. The release had several bugs, one being the inability of a user to mount a drive during installation. Which mean that if you are running DLNA servers or if your are using applications which needs access to different partitions during start-up you are in big trouble.

          • Canonical considering removing LibreOffice from default CD installer of Ubuntu 11.10

            Canonical considering removing LibreOffice from default CD installer of Ubuntu 11.10

            Online sources are reporting that the next edition of Ubuntu might not include LibreOffice by default in the CD installer.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu Studio, the podcaster’s distro.

              As a Linux user I’ve endured a fair amount of jabs on the podcast that I co-host every week. First my microphone sucks, then my levels suck, then my bandwidth sucks. Well, no more. Time to take these freedom-hating fools to school, and what better way to do that than with a 64-bit Linux distribution and a real-time zero latency kernel?

Free Software/Open Source

  • The 451 Take on the Future of Open Source

    The 451 Group’s research has previously shown that the benefits of open source software are many and varied and The Future of Open Source Survey highlights the fact that multiple factors are driving the increased adoption of open source software, including freedom from vendor lock-in, greater flexibility and lower cost.

  • Sendmail Releases Update to Sendmail Open Source MTA

    Sendmail, Inc., the leading provider of message processing appliances and applications for enterprise messaging infrastructures, and the Sendmail Consortium (http://www.sendmail.com/sm/open_source/), today announced the availability of the latest version of the popular sendmail open source MTA (Mail Transport Agent). This new version addresses many of the requests that have been reported by the large community of sendmail open source users and developers around the world.

  • Selecting Open Source: a Practical View

    Summary: In the past few years, free open source software (FOSS) adoption has enjoyed tremendous growth in the IT industry. In the geospatial arena, growth is evidenced by the popularity of many tools and applications, and the emergence of a vibrant community of developers and users. Ignacio Guerrero, an IT consultant and former software director at Intergraph and Rolta, takes a look at the decision to evaluate and choose FOSS versus proprietary software from the standpoint of a typical GIS program manager.

  • Survey Reveals Open Source Growing Quickly in Mobile and Cloud Development

    North Bridge Venture Partners today announced the results of its annual Future of Open Source Survey. Conducted in partnership with The 451 Group, the 2011 survey involved more than 20 industry collaborators and polled a wide variety of members of the open source community on the important issues, opportunities and expectations of the industry for 2011 and beyond. The results of the survey, now in its fifth year, reveal that open source is now fully embraced by both the public and private sectors, and is being implemented across a wide variety of markets and applications such as social publishing and big data. Additionally, user confidence in open source continues to grow dramatically, represented by the fact that users are much less concerned with historical impediments to adoption such as licensing or conforming to an organization’s internal policies. Survey responses also show that the future is bright for open source. Emerging technology segments such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), private cloud, public cloud, and mobile are driving growth in open source.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Software Freedom and the Cloud

      Does this mean no-one should use cloud solutions? While there are some extreme voices that assert abstinence, I think that’s an untenable position. Cloud computing offers so many benefits – many resonant with what people have historically sought from software freedom – that it’s sure to be used. Listening to entrepreneurs and investors here at OSBC, there’s no doubt that the future of software has a substantial dimension in the cloud.

    • Open Source Cloud Computing with Hadoop

      Have you ever wondered how Google, Facebook and other Internet giants process their massive workloads? Billions of requests are served every day by the biggest players on the Internet, resulting in background processing involving datasets in the petabyte scale. Of course they rely on Linux and cloud computing for obtaining the necessary scalability and performance. The flexibility of Linux combined with the seamless scalability of cloud environments provide the perfect framework for processing huge datasets, while eliminating the need for expensive infrastructure and custom proprietary software. Nowadays, Hadoop is one of the best choices in open source cloud computing, offering a platform for large scale data crunching.

    • New OpenNebula Pro 2.2 Cloud Platform Targeted at Telcos, Hosting Providers and HPC Centers

      C12G Labs announced today the availability of OpenNebulaPro 2.2 for customers and partners with an active subscription to OpenNebula.pro. This is the third major release of the commercially supported, enterprise-ready distribution of the OpenNebula open-source toolkit, which is used by thousands of organizations worldwide.

  • Databases

    • EnterpriseDB Announces Postgres Plus Advanced Server on HP-UX

      EnterpriseDB, the largest independent PostgreSQL open source database company, today announced its commitment to support the HP-UX operating environment on Itanium-based HP Integrity servers. EnterpriseDB will introduce full support for HP-UX via Postgres Plus Advanced Server in June 2011. A beta version is available for download here.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • VirtualBox 4.0.8 Improves 3D Support For Gnome 3

      Oracle has announced the development release of VirtualBox. The version 4.0.8 brings numerous bug fixes including enhanced 3D support for Gnome 3. The release fixes a potential crash when resizing the guest window. It also fixed GNOME 3 rendering under Ubuntu 11.04 and Fedora 15.

    • Letting dogs bark and answering real questions

      These days I started to see some questions arise here and there, about why we’re not proceeding as fast as we could with the setup of the legal entity, why we sometimes fail to communicate a vision for the project, etc. These are all good questions. Ultimately, we have to react to them by acting on the issues that are raised. Yet it is important to keep in mind that the light at the end of the tunnel is growing fast. I hope (I know) we will soon see several announcements pertaining to the community and the project. We’re working hard at making the foundation a reality, but we’re also working hard at securing the Document Foundation’s financial future and at improving our community processes. Questions that arise about these matters are legitimate, and if you feel we’re not answering them, then it means we’re either swamped or are currently not able to answer them (because of various constraints). But we do read them, we do hear them. And they will be answered, either in writing, or in solid fact, usually expressed by an announcement. You can help make many things a reality by contributing to the LibreOffice project. It’s fun, it’s even exhilarating and it’s a formidable human adventure alongside being technically exciting and challenging.

  • Funding

    • Georgia Tech Research Institute Leads $10 M Open Source Initiative

      The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate has named the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) to lead implementation efforts for the five-year, $10 million Homeland Open Security Technology (HOST) program. The HOST program will investigate open source and open cyber security methods, models and technologies, and identify viable and sustainable approaches that support national cyber security objectives.

      “The strategic objective of the HOST program is to lead efforts of discovery and collaboration, seeding development in open source software and practices that produce a measurable impact for government cyber security systems,” said Joshua Davis, associate division head at GTRI’s Cyber Technology and Information Security Laboratory and principal investigator for the HOST program. “The collaborative nature of open source and open technologies provide unique technical and economic value and opportunities for government users.”

      [...]

      Open technologies are not a panacea for all challenges, Davis added. HOST will reach out to government, industry, academic and open source community representatives to learn where and how open technologies have been successfully adopted within public and private systems and where the challenges still remain.

    • Kleiner Perkins Leads $9M Round In Apache Hadoop-Based Analytics Platform Datameer

      Datameer, a startup that offers a big data analytics solution built on Apache Hadoop, has raised $9.25 million led by Kleiner Perkins with participation from Redpoint Ventures. Kleiner partner Ellen Pao will be joining Datameer’s board. This brings the startup’s total funding to $12 million.

  • BSD

    • Embedded BSD: FreeBSD & Alix

      In order to download the magazine you need to sign up to our newsletter. After clicking the “Download” button, you will be asked to provide your email address. You need to verify your email address using the link from the activation email you will receive.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Libidn2 0.5

      Libidn2 is a free software implementation of IDNA2008. Libidn2 is part of the GNU Libidn project. Libidn2 is in beta testing, but is believed to provide complete IDNA2008 functionality (i.e., both lookup and register).

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • DE: Launch of the Open Source Integration Initiative

      Several Open Source German companies cooperate in the newly launched Open Source Integration Initiative (OSII) in order to develop a modular ‘stack’ solution for open source business solutions. The Initiative is supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and backed by Lisog, the largest open source network in the German-speaking world.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • PLoS ONE Publishes its 20,000th Manuscript!

        Today we are happy to announce that PLoS ONE has published its 20,000th manuscript! We could not have gotten here today without the help and support of our authors, reviewers, academic editors, and the OA community. Thank you for helping us to achieve this incredible milestone!

    • Open Hardware

      • Aldebaran to open source Nao robot

        Aldebaran Robotics is planning to release a significant proportion of its proprietary source code. This was announced at the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation and the details are still far from clear.

  • Programming

    • Perl 5.14 Improves IPv6, Unicode

      Perl 5.14 is now available, marking the first major release of the open source development language since Perl 5.12 in 2010.

      The new release provides improved Unicode support and expands IPv6 capabilities. While Perl 5.14 is now generally available, the release follows 12 incremental releases in the development tree.

      “Like Linux, Perl follows the even/odd versioning convention that has an odd minor version number [e.g. '13' in 5.13] indicate it is a development release that will become 5.14,” Jeff Hobbs, Director of Engineering at ActiveState told InternetNews.com. “There were actually 12 releases [through to 5.13.11] for 5.13 that were used to experiment with, test and harden the new features that became part of 5.14.”

    • A Functioning Stand Alone Python Program

      In the last tutorial we created a file using our text editor and saved a function to it. This file was called trivia.py and in it was the module “trivia”. We then started Python in a console and import()ed the trivia module. Once imported, it created a “namespace” and we could access the askQuestion() function from within the trivia namespace by using a dot – trivia.askQuestion(). In order for the module to work properly we had to include an import statement within the module itself so that everything that the module relied upon was imported within the module. We then manually loaded our data from a pickle file we created and, manually, ran the askQuestion() function on the first question in our data store. Finally we added docstrings to the function and the module.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Got Health Insurance? Pray You Won’t Get Purged

      The purging of less-profitable accounts through intentionally unrealistic rate increases helps explain why the number of small businesses offering coverage to their employees has been declining for several years and why the number of Americans without coverage reached a record high of nearly 51 million last year. According to the National Small Business Association, the number of small businesses that provide health insurance to their employees fell from 61 percent in 1993 to 38 percent in 2009.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • BAHRAIN: Activist describes electroshock, torture by government forces

      After reports this week of security forces in Bahrain torturing detainees, particularly medical personnel, Babylon & Beyond spoke with Mohammed Maskati, president of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights who has been working to document human rights abuses in the capital, Manama, and throughout the Gulf nation with international partners such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Victory! Scholastic Pulls Its American Coal Foundation Curriculum

      Last week I wrote here that Scholastic’s coal curriculum distributed to 66,000 fourth grade teachers, was sponsored by the American Coal Foundation, meaning that it somehow failed to mention any of the downsides of coal production: no negative effects of mining and burning coal, no toxic wastes, no lung disease, no greenhouse houses.

  • Finance

    • Taibbi: Justice Dept Has No Appetite To Take ANY Cases Against Wall Street Executives

      With most Asian stock markets rallying overnight with the Shanghai index at a one week high (Indian Sensex in contrast at a fresh 8 week low), commodity prices are bouncing with copper in particular back above $4 and a touch above its 200 day moving average. With respect to Greece, the rhetoric is getting more heated between the ECB and other EU members over what to do next. ECB member Stark said a Greek debt restructuring “would create a catastrophe” as he believes that it “would wipe out part or all the capital of the Greek banks.”

    • Goldman Sachs Wins: EuroZone Endorses Draghi to Become Next ECB President

      The ministers from the 17 nations that use the euro endorsed former vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs Inteernational, Mario Draghi, 63, to take over as head of the European Central Bankin November, Luxembourg’s Jean- Claude Juncker, who leads the group, told reporters in Brussels late yesterday. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet’s eight-year term ends on Oct. 31.

    • Mario Draghi and Goldman Sachs, Again

      In its previous response to us, the Bank of Italy pointed out that Mario Draghi (its current governor) did not join the management of Goldman Sachs until 2002 – hence he was not there when the controversial Greek “debt swaps” were arranged.

      We agree that he joined Goldman only in January 2002 (this was in our original post). But the latest revelations regarding the Goldman-Greece relationship (on the Senate floor, no less) clearly indicate that Goldman was a lead manager of Greek debt issues in spring 2002, i.e., when Mr. Draghi was on board.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Websites Skew Views of the News

      The efforts of Google, Yahoo, Facebook and other major websites to tailor our online experiences to our supposed interests can affect our ability to get a view of the world the way it really is.

  • Civil Rights

    • No Exemptions for Wisconsin Firefighters and Police

      The fact that they were exempt from from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s collective bargaining bill never prevented Wisconsin’s firefighters or police from stepping up to protest Walker’s union-busting agenda. Walker said the unions were exempt from the bill not for political reasons but for reasons of public safety (strikes and burning houses are not a good combination), but the police and firefighter’s unions knew that their rights too could soon be on the chopping block.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • New copyright bill to duplicate C-32: Tories

        Canada’s new copyright reform legislation will look a lot like its earlier versions, Conservatives say.

        Tory MP Dean Del Mastro said Tuesday the copyright modernization bill the Harper government pledged to pass in its election platform would essentially be a duplicate of the previously introduced ­ and controversial ­ Bill C-32.

      • UK IP Report Recommends Creating New Copyright Exceptions, Warns Against Over Regulation

        The much-anticipated UK Independent Review of IP and Growth, typically referred to as the Hargreaves report, was released this morning. The report focuses on how intellectual property laws can stifle innovation and urges the UK government to enact reforms that remove legal barriers to economic growth (James Boyle, who served as expert advisor to the review, gives his take here). For example, it notes:

        Because IPRs grant a form of monopoly, an overly rigid and inflexible IP framework can act as a barrier to innovation. When a firm has acquired exclusive rights over its innovative technology or content, other firms will be able to learn from that technology or see the content, but may be unable to use them for further innovation unless licensing can be agreed. IPRs can constrain third parties wishing to access or innovate on top of this protected knowledge or content, with potentially serious economic and social costs.

Clip of the Day

FFXI – Linux gameplay through Wine (Shadow Lord)


Credit: TinyOgg

At Microsoft, Linux/FOSS is Like Zune

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 5:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Interesting choice of blog theme

Check out Microsoft’s OSS blog theme:

Zune theme

We’ve added the Zune bit for comparison.

Microsoft must be hoping that Linux and FOSS will suffer the same fate as Zune.

Beware Fog Computing/Proprietary Software Peddlers Disguised as ‘Open Source’

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Red Hat at 9:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“My definition of Cloud Computing: “the Fine Art of Separating People from Their Software””

Fernando Cassia

Matt Asay in clouds

Summary: Criticism of OSBC and Future of Open Source, which only help redefine the goals of F/OSS so as to be nearly meaningless

BE CAREFUL of this not-so-new trend where proprietary software companies use the words “open” and “cloud” to portray themselves as something that they are not. OSBC shows many of the symptoms we have drawn attention to before; some are trying to paint the conference “cloud” or something along those lines, completely diluting the content of the conference and turning people’s attention away from freedom. The word “business” in OSBC need not exclude freedom because freedom and business are not at all opposites. We covered all of this before, so readers can be spared the explanations.

More importantly, beware of Microsoft spin at OSBC and watch out for deception from IDG’s “Microsoft Subnet”, whose most blatant Microsoft booster (Robert Mullins, not Jon or Julie) is at it again. It was only yesterday that we wrote about IDG spinning OSBC to its own clients’ advantage. Mullins at least notes that:

Microsoft hasn’t won over everyone in the open source community given comments to Gupta’s Sunday blog post on the subject.

Well, given the money Microsoft has extorted from F/OSS using software patents, given the effect of the FUD campaigns, and given the many families and developers who lost income due to Microsoft’s brutality, Mullins oughtn’t expect Microsoft to be accepted by “everyone in the open source community”. Heck, many will not even tolerate Microsoft and some will ostracise the company. In order to issue some sort of reparations for the damage Microsoft has done to the developers (not to mention damage affecting everyone due to insecurity and elimination of choice), Microsoft would need to sell and liquidate all of its assets, including the executives’, then distribute these back to the victims. The damage Microsoft has done is well documented and those who pretend that some self-serving patch somehow makes amends are extremely unrealistic. Need it be added that Microsoft currently has multiple patent lawsuits against Linux (Motorola and B&N for starters)?

Microsoft has been pouring money not into compensating victims or helping F/OSS. Instead, Microsoft just been investing in PR and funding of F/OSS conference (like Future of Open Source), with the intention of changing the agenda of them along with so-called analysts (who are essentially funded by Microsoft in this way). The Gates Foundation uses the same tricks. Jay Lyman from the 451 Group writes about “Community Linux love from Microsoft” and notes:

It seems Microsoft understands that unlike pirated Windows, which it considers a loss, the use of free, unpaid Linux — particularly by large enterprise, government and other organizations — is a big opportunity for it.

Yes, it is an opportunity to harm GNU/Linux, by putting a cost on it in the form of proprietary software, even if the GNU/Linux part is free of charge. What a nerve Microsoft has. Well, Scientific Linux is said to have just added another developer for the cloning of RHEL. Scientific Linux receives backing from some of the world’s leading research labs, so it need not be paid to change the agenda for Microsoft or anybody else.

hypePhone Developers Should Blame Apple for Lodsys Patent Attack, for Funding Nathan Myhrvold’s Cartel

Posted in Apple, Patents at 8:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Another reason to dump Apple and its hyped up platforms

Nathan Myhrvold

Summary: Why developers who carried water for hypeOS (iOS) should berate Apple for encouraging patent aggression, not antagonising it

So, we’ve been writing about Lodsys recently [1, 2, 3] and yesterday we finally found out who was behind the patent troll’s ammunition (here is news summary of eclectic nature). It turned out that it was the world’s largest patent troll, which is interesting to say the very least. Yes, the patent comes from IV (Intellectual Ventures), which was partly funded by Apple and is part of the same patent cartel which Microsoft and Apple share. Therefore, those hypePhone developers who got sued might as well point their finger at sleazy Apple, which pools its patents with Microsoft (not just through CPTN but cross-licensing too). It is not too shocking that Apple was not sued because it cannot be sued by members of the same club, including Microsoft. Moreover, Apple cannot possibly get credit for indemnifying or defending from the same threats it has been breeding. But with yet more Apple spin and hype, anything is possible. Apple is said to just be “looking into Lodsys patent claim”. Well, maybe Apple should also take a look at Intellectual Ventures, which provided the basis for this lawsuit. Apple did, after all, help create Intellectual Ventures.

What we are witnessing here is an appalling monopolisation using patents, which are controlled by companies that just plundered and pillaged others. “I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems,” Bill Gates famously said. “We’ve always been shameless about stealing great ideas,” said Steve Jobs.

Google says that it has sold over 100,000,000 Android devices. Why would anyone want to develop for Apple’s shop/platforms now? Does Apple deserve the free labour anymore? That only strengthens an enemy of software development — be it free or proprietary.

Links 18/5/2011: SAP Walks Back to Red Hat, 100,000,000 Android (Linux) Devices Sold

Posted in News Roundup at 5:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux PC in a browser

    French hacker Fabrice Bellard has demonstrated how JavaScript can do much more than simply animate web sites and process server data by creating a PC emulator written in the scripting language. JS/Linux emulates a 32-bit x86 compatible CPU, a programmable interrupt controller, a programmable interrupt timer and a serial port – taking just over 90 KB to do so. It lacks a mathematical co-processor and MMX commands, making it roughly on a par with a 486-compatible x86 CPU without FPU. It can, however, be used to run older Linux kernels (2.6.20), as they include an FPU emulator.

  • Some Statistics about my Linux Box

    Seven months ago, I posted the first statistics of my Linux box. Now it’s time to check again on it to see how it has behaved in these seven months. I’m not counting the old figures.

    A. Number of attacks by trojans, spyware, or malware: 0. AGAIN!

  • Linux job portal launched: LinuxCareer.com

    As a demand for Linux-related jobs has jumped unexpectedly high in the last couple of years, LinuxCareer.com as a new Linux related job portal attempts to compensate for this sudden surge in demand for Linux skilled professionals and will surely accommodate both employers and job seekers. LinuxCareer.com is not affiliated with any local or international company, nor is it a recruitment or employment agency and it is specialising only in Linux based careers and closely related Information Technology fields.

    LinuxCareer.com offers tools such as application tracking, job alerts, login and syncing resumes with facebook.com and linkedin.com accounts as well as screening questionnaires for employers and resume uploads for job seekers.

  • The People Who Support Linux: Unbridled Play, Uncompromising Innovation

    Jared possesses the same passion for knowledge, collaboration, and continual improvement that sparked the Linux revolution two decades ago—and that keeps it moving forward today. “I have the greatest admiration for Linus Torvalds and the team of skilled engineers that continue to evolve the Linux kernel,” he says.

    “When I first started using Linux, installation was difficult, and it wasn’t easy to find drivers for the hardware. But times have really changed! Now, Linux is as easy to install as Windows, and it does everything that the average computer user needs to do.” Of course, it also does much, much more. And for ambitious developers like Jared, it’s the foundation upon which a whole world of innovation is built.

  • Linux for AEC Industry

    Its nearly a year after that and I’ve been scheduled to present a follow-up to his talk. Yeah, I know, that’s a lot of time-lapse for a follow-up but that’s how it is. In two days time, on the 19th of May 2011, the heat will be on during the Technical Session, as I do my best to convince my colleagues that Open-Source Software is adequate for Nigerian AEC professionals. The presentation is titled: Linux for Nigerian AEC Industry. My predecessor is an Ubuntu guy so its not surprising he showcased examples using that Distribution. I am a Fedora Guy, and I will be showcasing my examples on Fedora (Laughlin), better still, media will exchange hands. His was broad because ICT is broad, mine is narrower as I will focus on Linux and other hosted open-source tools.

  • Desktop

    • Chrome OS is only a failure to people living in the past

      Point-Counterpont. In the second of two posts about Google’s cloud-connected operating system and Chromebook, Joe Wilcox argues that PC defenders are an unimaginative lot living in the past. He refutes Larry Seltzer’s morning commentary: “I’ll take Windows and a good browser over Chrome OS.”

  • Server

    • An Extreme 40 Gbps Switch

      The X8 was first shown last week during the Interop conference running 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40 GbE) traffic. The X8 Chassis can be setup to run up to 192, 40 GbE port or up to 768, 10 GbE ports. In terms of total overall performance, Extreme is positioning the X8 as a 20 Terabit chassis.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Will Wayland Become A New Desktop Standard?

        As mentioned earlier on Phoronix, LinuxTag 2011 took place this past weekend in Berlin. One of the few talks I was able to make due to the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest colliding with the event was the Wayland talk by SUSE’s Egbert Eich. The focus of this talk was whether Wayland is on the way to becoming a new desktop standard.

  • Applications

    • Proprietary

      • Beyond Skype: VoIP Alternatives

        Ekiga is probably the best known of the Linux VoIP clients; it’s also available on Windows. On either platform it works well. It’s a SIP client, but it also supports the H.323 video-conferencing protocol. With H.323, you can use Ekiga with the older Microsoft NetMeeting conferencing program. I’ve found that a very handy feature over the years. Unfortunately, when Microsoft “upgraded” NetMeeting to Windows Meeting Space with Vista, they also broke its compatibility with Ekiga and other third-party programs.

        I like Ekiga, but these days I usually use the Google package described below on Linux.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Blocks That Matter Coming Soon To GNU/Linux

        Swingswing Submarine the company that is working on Seasons after Fall (release date : when it’s done), has now released a new game called Blocks That Matter, and soon will port it to GNU/Linux.

      • Puzzle Moppet – a new 3D indie puzzle game
      • New Version Released for ‘Greedy Car Thieves’, Getting Better and Better

        Greedy Car Thieves has just reached a new version which brings many new features and fixes to this much anticipated Linux game. We covered this game in past and the response has been great within the Linux community. The game is heavily under development and these builds are test versions having multi-player mode at the moment.

      • Amnesia: Justine – Now Available To Everyone

        On April 18 Frictional Games joined Valve to celebrate the release of Portal 2 and wrap up our collaboration which has spanned the last few months. During this period we have worked with not only Valve, but an entire range of talented independent developers, to give gamers a unique gaming experience. Together we created a massive Alternate Reality Game which spanned 13 Steam games, as well as plenty of internet forums and publications, and the real world. Frictional Games’ main contribution to this game was a DLC called Justine and truth be told, it plays pretty damn well even without the other stuff.

      • UPDATE: Greedy Car Thieves – New version released

        Greedy Car Thieves, the indi game that looks towards the earlier Grand Theft Auto games for inspiration has just had another version released. Readers to this site will remember we were very impressed by its retro feel, which had been modernised for today’s hardware whilst still retaining the charms of the early part of the GTA franchise.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Promo Sprint 2011

        The KDE Promo team has just wrapped up a busy weekend at their sprint in Southampton, England. The group set out with an aggressive agenda and accomplished many of their goals throughout the weekend.

  • Distributions

    • Where are the new Arch Linux release images?

      This is a question I get asked a lot recently. The latest official images are a year old. This is not inherently bad, unless you pick the wrong mirror from the outdated mirrorlist during a netinstall, or are using hardware which is not supported by the year old kernel/drivers. A core install will yield a system that needs drastic updating, which is a bit cumbersome. There are probably some other problems I’m not aware of. Many of these problems can be worked around with (‘pacman -Sy mirrorlist’ on the install cd for example), but it’s not exactly convenient.

      [...]

      Bleeding edge images for everyone, and for those who want some quality assurance: the more you contribute, the more likely you’ll see official releases.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Linux Mandriva 2010.2

        Before even trying Linux Mandriva like any other UNIXoid noobs I was using Ubuntu 8.02 and 9.04, and boy how stupid I have been back then. Why? Because all this time Mandriva DVD was sharing the dust on my forgotten shelve until one day I didn’t pick it up.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat expands SAP relationship

        Raleigh open-source software company Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) and German software giant SAP (NYSE: SAP) are combining some services to provide enhanced customer service.

        The companies are integrating the SAP Solution Manager application management product and the Red Hat Global Support Services support ticketing system. The companies announced the deal, financial terms of which were not released, at the Sapphire Now conference in Orlando, Fla.

      • Red Hat, In Cooperation With SAP, Provides Enhanced Value for Enterprise Customers
      • Microsoft softens its journey to cancerous CentOS Linux

        However, with Microsoft’s expansionist mode into open source territory most suggest greater caution and diligence towards it as ultimately open source will allow code to remain where it belongs- to the community that developed it. This is a principle that will never be acceptable to proprietary software giants such as Microsoft.

      • Fedora

        • A Preview of Fedora 15 – Rough around the edges, but worth the trouble

          With all the hype surrounding Gnome 3, Fedora 15 is sure to get a lot of attention when it is released, as it is one of the first major Linux distributions to include Gnome 3 out of the box. After using Fedora 14 on my work laptop for my day to day computing, I decided to take the plunge and install the beta of Fedora 15. Here are some of my initial impressions.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Other Linux Distros’ View of Ubuntu’s Unity: It Ain’t Pretty

            You might expect other distributions to be as divided about Ubuntu’s new Unity desktop as users are. That is, at least among the vocal, you might expect to find that the condemnation slightly outweighs the praise, but that both sides are passionate in their beliefs.

            However, that is not the case. If anything, developers working on other distributions are surprisingly lukewarm about Unity. Most are in no rush to package Unity — if at all — and many express technical or practical objections to it. Others are waiting to see how Unity is received, but even the handful that have definitely decided to package it express no great enthusiasm.

            It’s a lackluster response that may not only suggest Unity’s future, but also an increasingly isolated position for Ubuntu in the free and open source software community.

          • Awoken 2.0 Comes With Customization Script, Extensive Ubuntu 11.04 Support, Natty PPA

            Now, if you like Awoken icon theme, you need to definitely check out this beautiful Elegant GNOME Theme Pack which uses a modified Awoken based theme as its icon theme. The whole package looks really pretty IMO.

          • Evolution or Thunderbird? | Who do you vote for?

            As expected, this time too, we saw a heated exchange over the default apps in Ubuntu during the Ubuntu developer summit in Budapest. Sometimes I feel that there should not be any default apps, users should be just allowed to use one as per his convenience. Most of the time the debate ends in a stalemate; then why do we need to point to any one application as the default? This time the victims were the two popular clients email clients – Thunderbird and Evolution to be included in the next release of Ubuntu.

          • Nine Features We May See in Ubuntu 11.10 ‘Oneiric Ocelot’

            Canonical’s Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” may still be occupying much of the Linux world’s attention, but at last week’s Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest, the next version of the free and open source Linux distribution began to take form.

            [...]

            3. Evolution — or Thunderbird?

            For email, Ubuntu 11.0 is still on track to include Evolution, the Ubuntu standard. There’s a chance, however, that Mozilla Thunderbird may be adopted instead, as noted in the software’s blueprints.

          • The Good and Bad of Unity (Part 1): Useless Application Menu

            Back to five years ago, when I first started my blog, many of my articles were just translated from the English articles.

            After five years’ writing, I have a lot of my own thoughts, so most articles were written by me. A friend told me that it’s time to translate my articles back to English, to share with the people over the world.

            So, here’s the first article not about Ubuntu Tweak. I don’t have a good written English yet, but I will improve. Just point out the grammar/word mistake, thanks!

          • Going Agile: The 6-Months Cadence

            I have commented several times on the 2-weekly cadence that we follow at the certification team, but I haven’t gone into much detail on our 6 monthly cycle. We have just completed the Natty cycle (normally release date + 2/3 weeks) and we are about to start our Oneiric one.

            6 monthly cycles help to plan achieving longer goals that drive the user stories implemented by the team in each iteration/sprint. During Natty, we had a loose coupling between these two. I regularly (once a month) reviewed the progress of the Natty backlog and made sure that nothing was falling through the cracks. Despite the good completion rate in Natty, it was more of a case of the user stories forming the Blueprints (6 monthly requirements) than the other way around.

          • How we triage Launchpad bugs

            If you’ve ever wondered why a particular bug report about the Launchpad project is marked as Low, High or Critical, you should read our bug triage guidelines.

          • Did you know…..

            …Ubuntu Software Center (USC) has for purchase games and apps?

          • Providing More Scalable Community Growth And Mentoring

            One of the most complex things we need to deal with in the Ubuntu community is scale. We are a big community and as I have talked about before, I am really keen to ensure that as many people as possible get a very personal Ubuntu experience. We are keen to ensure that everyone who strives to become an Ubuntu Member, Core Developer or MOTU gets the very best support and guidance they can from the community to help them be successful.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu 11.10 Sneak Peak

              Last week the Ubuntu project met in Budapest for the Ubuntu Developer Summit. The Kubuntu team discussed an incredible amount of cool things, of which I’d like to present a number of generally interesting topics.

              A very strong focus of the 11.10 release will be continuing innovation in the area of embedded systems such as mobile phones, but also for the first time on tablets. Since the work in embedded systems is quite extensive, information on that will be posted separately in a special ‘Embedded Sneak Peak’.

              [...]

              Muon is developed by one of the Kubuntu Developers and uses, unlike KPackageKit, the native APT libraries. As it is using APT directly it enables Muon to have a much tighter integration into Debian-like systems (such as Kubuntu) as well as expose specific functionality of APT/DPKG more directly.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Video: Inside the opengear Linux powered console server

      Console servers are critical bits of infrastructure, that many of us tend to overlook. Not so for opengear – a company whose sole purpose is to build console servers leveraging open source software for both the OS and the underlying application.

      I’ve been writing about opengear for the last 6 years or so, when they first introduced an open source KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) solution. The company has since grown into bigger servers and broader monitoring capabilities.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Barnes & Noble Brings Periodicals to Android Tablets

          Barnes & Noble updated its Nook for Android app Friday, adding support for digital periodicals on a variety of Android tablets.

          Previously, the Nook app only offered digital magazines and newspapers on the Android-powered Nook Color. Now, it will now be available on Android tablets 7 inches and larger, running Android OS 2.1 and higher, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Motorola Xoom. It will not be available on Android smartphones.

        • More Stats on Android/Linux

          According to Google:

          * 100 million Android devices have been sold, more than Apple…,
          * 36 OEMs, 215 carriers, and 450K developers push Android/Linux,
          * 310 different devices sold in 110 countries,
          * 400K activations daily, 4.6 per second,
          * 200K available applications exist, and
          * 4.5 billion installations of applications have been done, an average of 45 per device.

        • Android Open Accessories gains third party support

          Google’s Android 3.1 Open Accessories initiative for connecting Arduino-based gadgets via USB has attracted third-party support. In addition to the RT-manufactured Google reference platform, Future Technology Devices International (FTDI) is preparing a compatible product using a “Vinco” development board that incorporates the Vinculum II USB controller, and Microchip is shipping a compatible PIC24F Accessory Development Starter Kit that uses its own PIC microcontroller.

        • Ice Cream Sandwich Nexus devices to offer quad-core Tegra 3

          Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang confirmed his company is building quad-core Tegra 3 processors for new Nexus tablets or smartphones running the upcoming Android “Ice Cream Sandwich” operating system. Meanwhile, a Tegra 2-based Motorola Droid X2 is coming to Verizon May 26, followed later by a Droid 3 that switches to Texas Instruments’ dual-core Cortex-A9 OMAP4430, according to industry reports.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open letter to Pamela Jones, Groklaw

    I want to thank you publicly for all of the work you have done on Groklaw.

    And it certainly has been a lot of work. I should know.

    It is very difficult to address the many issues that have surfaced over the last 8 years or so. Copyrights, patents, antitrust, contracts and other issues are all very complex legal issues. And they are not easy to understand much less explain to the public. You have done a very good job in that regard despite not being a lawyer yourself.

    I am also glad to hear that you have been able to pass on some of the responsibilities to Mark Webblink. It believe it is true that Microsoft will try to use patents to prevent the growth of competition. All you have to do is read the recent litigation against Barnes and Noble. Microsoft wants to charge more for a few minor patents than it intends to charge for the whole of WM7. Clearly it wants to just force Barnes and Noble to use Microsoft software.

    And I think both PJ and Mark Webblink know that digging up prior art is a key strategy in defeating software patents. It has been know for many years that software patent applications have been devoid of proper prior art references. Either the prior art is unknown or simply ignored hoping to get a patent issued. And certainly a group or site such as Groklaw is ideal for digging up that prior art. Knowledge is power in this regard.

  • Groklaw 2.0: PJ Leaves Groklaw but legal news site to continue under new editor

    Pamela “PJ” Jones, editor and creator of Groklaw, the leading open-source legal news and analysis site, has kept her word. After eight years, PJ is leaving Groklaw. The site though will continue under the guidance of Mark Webbink.

    Mark Webbink is also Executive Director of the Center for Patent Innovations, a research and development arm of New York Law School’s Institute for Intellectual Law & Property. Webbink is also a board member of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC). Before that, he was Red Hat’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel. In short, Webbink knows intellectual property (IP) law and open source about as well as anyone on the planet.

  • Future of FLOSS

    All of that FUD was not true and the same can be said about the surviving FUD about software for clients.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • SugarCRM, Cloudera debut on list of open source firms to watch in ’11

        It should come as no surprise that Red Hat and Google are ranked among the top open source companies to watch, according to an annual survey conducted by an industry VC and market researcher.

        And it comes as no surprise that Acquia, EnterpriseDB and JasperSoft made the top 8 list again, published today as part of the 2011 Future of Open Source survey, conducted by North Bridge Venture Partners and the 451Group. The Waltham, Ma. VC is an investor in Acquia.

        But there are a few names – SugarCRM and Cloudera – new on the list this year, while other companies that showed up in last year’s ranking – Talend, Ingres and Canonical – got bumped. .

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Open Source Advocates Angry at German Gov’t Decision

      The German Foreign Office announced it was dropping its policy of using only open source software in February prompting an inquiry by the green Bündnis 90/Grüne party. But the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) said that the government’s responses to this inquiry have “led to more pending questions than answers.”

      “Many replies show that the government either doesn’t understand important aspects of free software or is deliberately offending free software in general as well as free software companies in particular,” said Matthias Kirschner, Germany coordinator of FSFE.

      The German Foreign Office first started using Linux as a server platform in 2001 before making Linux and open source software their default desktop choice in 2005. Most observers thought the move a success. However, the government will now transition back to Windows XP, to be followed by Windows 7, also dropping OpenOffice and Thunderbird in favor of MS Office and Outlook.

    • Free Software Foundation campaigns against Nintendo 3DS

      Hard on the heels of the Free Software Foundation’s Day Against DRM earlier this month, the advocacy organisation last week launched a new campaign targeting the Nintendo 3DS.

      “The Nintendo 3DS comes with Terms of Service (TOS) that should not be accepted,” wrote the group’s campaign manager, Joshua Gay. “In fact, the TOS are so unbelievable that we have included a more detailed summary of them on a separate page.”

  • Public Services/Government

  • Programming

    • Dual-Monitor Setups Are Ideal for Open Source Enthusiasts

      If you happen to work each day around other computer users, you’ve probably noticed that more and more of them have dual-monitor setups on their desktops. A closer analysis of this phenomenon reveals that certain kinds of users benefit most from having two monitors instead of one. Working with that idea, Computeworld has an interesting analysis posted on whether developers benefit disproportionately from dual monitors. In my experience, developers can definitely benefit from this setup, but so can open source enthusiasts who work in more than one desktop environment, and open source users who favor both of the leading open source browsers: Firefox and Google Chrome. Here is why you should investigate a two-monitor lashup if you haven’t already.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • U.S. asked weapons firm to twist Canadian arms on missile defence: diplomatic cables

      Former U.S. ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci asked senior corporate executives with a major weapons firm to press Stephen Harper, while opposition leader, to take a stronger stand on Canadian involvement in the controversial continental missile defence system, according to U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by APTN National News.

      Weapons maker Raytheon was already actively lobbying Canadian government officials behind the scenes to support the missile defence system and had asked Cellucci what it could do to “turn things around,” the cables show.

    • Spanish youth rally in Madrid echoes Egypt protests

      About 2,000 young people angry over high unemployment have spent the night camping in a famous square in Madrid as a political protest there grows.

      A big canvas roof was stretched across Puerta del Sol square, protesters brought mattresses and sleeping bags and volunteers distributed food.

  • Finance

    • Confidential Federal Audits Accuse Five Biggest Mortgage Firms Of Defrauding Taxpayers [EXCLUSIVE]

      A set of confidential federal audits accuse the nation’s five largest mortgage companies of defrauding taxpayers in their handling of foreclosures on homes purchased with government-backed loans, four officials briefed on the findings told The Huffington Post.

      The five separate investigations were conducted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general and examined Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial, the sources said.

    • Fear Companies Lurking in Dark Financial Shadows: Simon Johnson

      On the face of it, Glencore International AG doesn’t look too scary. With about $80 billion in assets, the Swiss-based commodities trader is a lightweight in comparison to global megabanks like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), one of its trading rivals. Goldman has assets more than 10 times Glencore’s, is more leveraged and has less capital.

      So why do executives at Goldman, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase argue that lightly regulated or unregulated companies operating “in the shadows” — private equity firms, hedge funds and commodities traders like Glencore — risk another financial calamity?

    • In Wisconsin, all eyes are on Paul Ryan

      Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, undoubtedly holds the first right of refusal in the newly open Wisconsin Senate race. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn have already spoken to him about the prospect. His rising stardom would almost guarantee him to be a prolific national fundraiser. And even Democrats who loathe his ideology acknowledge he’d be a substantive, formidable opponent.

    • Pelosi Says Republican Budget Cuts Would Hurt Growth
    • Gasoline, Oil prices decline
    • Raising the debt ceiling is very unpopular

      This is the source of some of the GOP’s leverage. It’s very difficult for Democrats to argue for a clean debt-ceiling bill when raising the debt-ceiling is so unpopular. But it’s also why the major mistake in this negotiation was when Democrats refused to attach an increase in the debt ceiling to the 2010 tax deal. That was an instance where Republicans were a) on the wrong side of public opinion, b) championing a giant increase in the deficit, and c) had skin-in-the-game on increasing the deficit. Plus, the election was over, so it was easier to do something unpopular, and attaching an increase in the debt ceiling to the tax deal would have emphasized the fact — and it is a fact — that unpaid-for tax cuts increase the deficit.

    • US hits credit limit, setting up 11-week fight

      The United States reached its $14.3 trillion limit on federal borrowing Monday, leaving Congress 11 weeks to raise the threshold or risk a financial panic or another recession.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Eighth Circuit: Companies Must Disclose Campaign Spending

      At issue in the case is a 2010 law that requires companies to file reports before the primary and general elections disclosing spending for or against candidates. One such report showed that certain corporations had contributed to MN Forward, a pro-business group that is supporting GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, and the disclosures angered groups at odds with Emmer’s opposition to same-sex marriage, according to the Star Tribune.

  • Censorship

    • Freedom #Fail

      But other companies have made very different calculations. Take Microsoft, for example, whose Bing search engine emerged in 2009 as a serious competitor to Google. But unlike Google, Bing automatically enforces safe search on users who set their home base to one of several countries, among them India, Thailand, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, and the entire Arab world. Flickr, the photo-sharing site owned by Yahoo, recently came under fire for deleting a series of photographs posted by Egyptian journalist Hossam El-Hamalawy. The images of state security officers had been retrieved from Amn El Dawla, the Egyptian security apparatus, and contained no offensive content. Flickr’s justification? El-Hamalawy hadn’t taken the photos himself, therefore they were in violation of the site’s terms of use.

  • Privacy

    • Social-networking sites face new privacy battle

      California could force Facebook and other social-networking sites to change their privacy protection policies under a first-of-its-kind proposal at the state Capitol that is opposed by much of the Internet industry.

      Under the proposal, SB242, social-networking sites would have to allow users to establish their privacy settings – like who could view their profile and what information would be public to everyone on the Internet – when they register to join the site instead of after they join. Sites would also have to set defaults to private so that users would choose which information is public.

    • Take Your Paws Off Our Privacy Laws! Facebook, Google, Twitter, Zynga Formally Oppose California Social Networking Bill

      A coalition of industry associations and Internet companies including Facebook, Google, Twitter, Zynga, Match.com and Skype this afternoon submitted a formal letter of opposition to proposed California legislation that would mandate new privacy policies for social networking sites.

    • Clearing Flash cookies using Firefox
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Belgian court rules that Google infringes newspaper copyrights

        The Belgian Court of Appeals ruled this week that Google is infringing the copyrights of Belgian newspapers by linking to and posting portions of the articles on Google news. Google must remove all articles and photos from Belgian newspapers in French and German or face a fine of 20,000 euros per day.

      • You heard of the iPod tax, here’s the SD card tax

        The Canadian Private Copying Collective is seeking to establish a new levy on the cards used to store photos, video and music to compensate songwriters and record labels “in recognition of the fact that Canadians copy hundreds of millions of tracks of recorded music for their own private use.”

      • French 3 Strikes Suspended Due To Anti-Piracy Security Alert

        Following a weekend security breach at Trident Media Guard, the outfit spearheading data collection for France’s 3 strikes anti-piracy drive, the country’s HADOPI agency has severed interconnection with the company. This means that, pending an enquiry, French file-sharers are no longer being tracked, a major embarrassment for the government.

Clip of the Day

AndroidCentral.com – Crazy Android Dance at Google IO


Credit: TinyOgg

IRC Proceedings: May 17th, 2011

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