EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

06.16.11

Microsoft Lobby Ups the Pro-Software Patents Propaganda

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nathan Myhrvold

Summary: Intellectual Ventures runs lobbying campaigns while Microsoft is working to ensure it can tax Android and Google is left defenceless

MICROSOFT is a major opponent of whatever it takes for GNU/Linux to win. It is easy to see why. Microsoft probably has the most lose. Just the other day we explained the point about CPTN as proof of Microsoft’s hypocrisy when it complains about Google patents (same party line as Microsoft Florian the lobbyist). “Fascinating to see Goog’s approach,” writes Smári McCarthy, “Microsoft whines about possible #swpat [software patents] bullying”

Glyn Moody published this excellent rebuttal which says:

I’ve written plenty about why software patents should be resisted where they don’t exist, and abolished where they do. But if I wanted further ammunition for my arguments I couldn’t hope for a better example of software patent madness than what is happening in the smartphone sector.

[...]

Clearly, what Microsoft fears here is that Google might acquire the patents, and then threaten to cancel the licensing deal with Microsoft unless the latter halts its legal action against companies using Android as the basis of their products.

For Microsoft to complain is pretty rich, of course. Here it is, using patents to attack companies employing Android in an attempt to slow down the uptake of that rival to its own Windows Phone smartphone system. That’s a clear abuse of the patent system to dissuade companies from signing up with a competitor (which, interestingly, it doesn’t attack directly), rather than to protect real innovation (an aim that was thrown out of the patent system long ago.)

[...]

I mean, let’s be consistent here: if you want to abuse the patent system, expect to be on the receiving end of similar abuse. On the other hand, rather more laudably, why not stop abusing, in which case you can take the moral high ground when others start abusing the system to attack you?

Microsoft is meanwhile trying to tax Android from many directions, not just Microsoft (directly). The goal is to make Linux more expensive than Windows. Intellectual Ventures, the world’s largest patent troll (which is incidentally derived from Microsoft), is part of the Android patents shakedown and Nokia is probably next, as we correctly predicted. Walter Byrd dropped us these quotes from Microsoft’s mole in Nokia, Stephen Elop. Following the deal with Apple [1, 2], which was also covered by the Bill Gates-funded BBC, Elop stated: “We are very pleased to have Apple join the growing number of Nokia licensees. This settlement demonstrates Nokia’s industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities” (and that comes just days after he named Android in relation to the iPhone). The Microsoft-controlled Nokia has turned into more of a patent parasite (maybe troll in the future) and Walter informed us that “Intellectual Ventures starts anti-reform campaign”. Representing the patent troll in its Windows-powered Web site is Microsoft’s former CTO. “Intellectual Ventures begins running radio ads equating patent reform with big bank thievery, on DC news radio. A new bill, HR 1249, called the American Invents Act, will scale back business method patents. Naturally, they are opposed (warning: PDF)” (We previously covered this joint lobbying for software patents, too). So… “radio ads equating patent reform with big bank thievery”… Microsoft got fined $40 million after it tried something similar. It was called “trial misconduct”.

Let us remember that Intellectual Ventures is behind the patent which is now used to attack and thus deter iPhone and Android developers. Even the New Scientist covered this and there is now a “Bounty set for invalidating Lodsys patents”. This patent from Intellectual Ventures leads lawyers to making a meme from Wilson’s “Enough is Enough”. Groklaw tackles this by hosting a post by Patrick T. Igoe, Esq. and providing further commentary while also showing that software patents which target Free software are in fact being revoked. Quoting Professor Webbink:

On May 19, 2011, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a Final Rejection [PDF] in the reexamination of Trend Micro’s U.S. patent 5,623,600 (the “’600 patent”). Groklaw has covered the story of Trend Micro’s assertion of this patent from early on, and many of our readers helped identify and contribute prior art relied upon in the reexamination. It strikes us as worthwhile to relay the history of this litigation and this reexamination as an object lesson of what can happen to a patent holder asserting a weak patent.

Trend Micro essentially attacked Free software at the time. There is no patents exemption for software just because it’s “open source” and as one person in Twitter pointed out yesterday, “PHP infringes on DuFresne’s patents (http://t.co/ng33kTs). Filed almost 1 year after PHP’s first release.”

In other patent news, Research in Motion has just been sued over patents:

Dolby has filed a lawsuit against Research in Motion for patent infringement, the audio technology company announced today.

One has to wonder what Nokia might do to Research in Motion, not just Google and/or Android distributors. Whatever it does, people are not foolish enough to forget that Elop is Microsoft’s mole who is still a top Microsoft shareholder. Under his leadership, Nokia is a Microsoft slave, not an independent company. We’ve warned about Nokia since 2007 because of its patent policy. Regulators are hopefully watching these abuses from Microsoft.

SME Innovation Alliance is Against SME Interests

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 11:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SME Innovation Alliance

Summary: The lobbyists from something called “SME Innovation Alliance” (SME stands for Small and Medium-sized Enterprise and SMB stands for Small and Medium-sized Business) are not actually promoting the cause of SMEs and moreover this lobby argumentations distort facts about the EPO in order to get their way

RECENTLY we saw some steps in the UK which may help legitimise software patents [1, 2, 3, 4]. There is something still brewing as patent lawyers crave more monopolies so that they can have more clients. Despite the known drawbacks of software patents, the propaganda from those with vested interests spreads through some alternative avenues [1, 2]. David Meyer from ZDNet did a decent job covering some of the latest nonsense from lobbyists (whose obscure homepage is http://www.smeia.org/, which can smell like Bristol-based AstroTurf without substantial activity). Something called “SME Innovation Alliance” is pushing for software patents under false presumptions. In principle, there are no software patents in Europe, yet John Mitchell pretend that “we don’t have a software industry because the UK Intellectual Property Office is out of line with the rest of Europe”. Wait, what? To quote:

The UK will only grant software patents if they solve a particular technical problem, while it denies those that have a general-purpose use, such as a word-processing application. By comparison, the European Patent Office (EPO) is a little more relaxed, in that it allows patents for computer programs themselves.

That’s nonsense. Are these distortions supposed to help him lobby? Anyway, one comment that we particularly liked says: “But with software patents, we could also have a thriving “patent troll” industry! Wouldn’t that be nice? (If you’re a patent lawyer, anyway…)

Yes, well, maybe those small- and medium-sized businesses/enterprises which Mitchell purports to be representing are in fact small- and medium-sized law firms or patent trolls, which in many cases are more or less the same. As AstroTurfing experts like CMD would probably know (see PR Watch and SourceWatch), to become an effective lobbyist one needs to pretend to speak for the opposite side (that he or she is really on). The oil, tobacco, and other notorious industries which include Microsoft use those tactics extensively. See Association for Competitive Technology for example, as it pretends to be a SMB/SME lobby based in Belgium but it’s actually a Microsoft front group pushing for sofwtare patents in Europe.

New Zealand Open Source Society Beats Microsoft’s Software Patent

Posted in Microsoft, Open XML, Patents at 10:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kiwi stamp

Summary:NZOSS celebrates a milestone as it drives away Microsoft with its OOXML patent

THE PATENT OFFICE of New Zealand (IPONZ) has become a battleground for Microsoft and its lobbyists, which it shares with other multinationals like IBM and Intel. They are essentially trying to colonise the island using all sorts of laws they impose on the population under the assumption that the population wants to be enslaved by distant foreigners and using the typical lies (e.g. that software patent would help the country). Someone once told us that in New Zealand the government is controlled by the population rather than vice versa (like in many large countries). Days ago we were told the opposite.

Well, it sure seems like the New Zealand Open Source Society has just gotten its way. From its new press release:

The NZOSS is pleased to announce that it’s opposition to New Zealand patent application 536149, filed by Microsoft in relation to XML word processing documents has been successful. Yesterday we were informed by IPONZ that Microsoft has withdrawn their application.

The NZOSS applauds the decision of Microsoft to abandon it’s attempt to use the legal system to deter interoperability through it’s software patent on XML word processing documents. As we move into a future increasingly dependent on technology and software we hope Microsoft understands that Open Standards and Interoperability are central to a robust and healthy computing environment.

Here is the original announcement and in the interest of preservation we reproduce this below in full. NZOSS has a lot of work left because this is just one patent; changing the one law regarding patents (to remove the “embedded” loophole) would be an important next goal. Politicians who support software patents do not support New Zealand, they support their own pockets at the expense of New Zealand. Name and shame them as it will weaken and silence them.


NZOSS Wins Patent Opposition

Thursday, 16 June 2011, 5:18 pm

Press Release: New Zealand Open Source Society

NZOSS Wins Patent Opposition

The NZOSS is pleased to announce that it’s opposition to New Zealand patent application 536149, filed by Microsoft in relation to XML word processing documents has been successful. Yesterday we were informed by IPONZ that Microsoft has withdrawn their application.

The NZOSS applauds the decision of Microsoft to abandon it’s attempt to use the legal system to deter interoperability through it’s software patent on XML word processing documents. As we move into a future increasingly dependent on technology and software we hope Microsoft understands that Open Standards and Interoperability are central to a robust and healthy computing environment.

Legal barriers preventing competition around standards is a great detriment to the public good. We encourage Microsoft to join with the overwhelming majority of the New Zealand ICT Industry and support the decision of the New Zealand Government to exclude software patents, thus protecting Microsoft’s business in New Zealand from future patent threats. Microsoft’s decision will not only remove the Sword of Damocles from above the heads of our own members, but of the entire New Zealand ICT community.

Peter Harrison, Vice President of the society made a statement yesterday informing the membership of Microsoft’s decision to withdaw, saying “I am of course very pleased with the result. It will provide certainty about the ability of commercial entities to inter-operate with Microsoft formats without concern about patent infringement. Along with the exclusion of software patents in the pending Patent Bill we should see a environment that is far less risky for software development than in other countries. This in combination with our highly skilled people makes New Zealand an excellent location for developing software.”

The NZOSS has been conducting Patent Oppositions against two XML patents filed by Microsoft since 2003. The NZOSS felt these patents presented a clear and present danger to both interoperability between Microsoft’s products and that of other vendors, and potentially would have allowed Microsoft to force other companies into patent licensing agreements in order to implement word processing documents in XML.

The opposition to both of the Microsoft XML patents has taken eight years to resolve, and the time and commitment of many of our members. A few years ago, after opposing the first patent, we agreed to a substantial limiting of the claims of the first patent to such an extent that we don’t believe anyone will ever infringe it. Subsequently we opposed the second patent, and have been moving towards a hearing on the opposition.

Peter Harrison added “The decision by Microsoft to abandoned the second patent application in the face of our opposition has substantially vindicated our position; that is that these patent applications were not patentable inventions.” He continue to thank those involved with the opposition, saying “I must thank the efforts of those who made this effort possible. Matthew Holloway played a vital and professional role in his detailed and objective analysis of the patent. I’m sure there are few people with the expertise of Matthew around XML and office productivity formats. Without his help we may not have been able to mount such a compelling case. And to our lawyers – Ellis|Terry – who did a great job of executing this opposition, words can hardly express my gratitude for their commitment to seeing this through to the conclusion today.”

Winning When Techrights Becomes Unnecessary

Posted in Site News at 9:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Charlie Sheen
Photo by Angela George

Summary: What it would take to win the battle for GNU/Linux

Techrights has been relatively quiet recently not due to my other duties. Slowly but surely, with help from volunteers (of which I am one*), the site keeps growing behind the scenes and it attracts more visitors than before (see the Spanish portal of Techrights for example of quiet growth that does not make the front page). If the site does not post many new stories, then it’s because there is not much FUD to counter. Novell is gone, Mono has gone underground, and Free software continue to grow without too much fanfare (it is no longer the underdog; just witness the growth of Apache, the expansion of Android, GNU/Linux approaching 100% market share on the world’s top 500 computers).

The day that Techrights becomes unnecessary is the day that we win. Groklaw argued something along these lines way back in April, correctly noting that now it’s down to software patents, which we must crush by changing popular vote, explaining to people the consequences, and naming the perpetrators. Today too we will focus on the issue of software patents, which is the #1 issue facing Linux/Android and by extension Free software. Let’s put an end to software patents and leave the likes of Microsoft without a cash cow that subsidises lobbyists, bribes, and general misconduct. Freedom breeds better civilisation.
____
* As of days ago, we no longer run any Ad Bard ads to compensate the Web host, either. The site is running at the expense of our time and our pockets.

ES: Resumen del Problema Patentes de Software de Europa

Posted in America, Europe, Microsoft, Patents, RAND at 8:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Earth

(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: Los monopolistas como Microsoft, con sede en los Estados Unidos, tratan de traer las patentes de software a través del Atlántico, por lo que Techrights ofrece un resumen de noticias y un resumen general de tendencias a tener en cuenta.

AQUÍ en Techrights que hemos estado cubriendo la situación de las patentes de software en Europa[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Software_Patents_in_Europe] casi desde los albores de este sitio web. Siempre se trataba de las patentes de software y más gente comienza a entender la importancia de este tema cuando se enteran de que Microsoft hace dinero de los teléfonos Android de HTC[http://techrights.org/2011/05/27/linux-swpats-own-cash/]. Además, como un lector nos muestra esta semana[http://www.htc.com/sea/product.aspx], “HTC pagó por las patentes y comenzó a utilizar aspx” ¿Puede alguien verificar esto? La historia de Netcraft no va hacia atrás[http://toolbar.netcraft.com/site_report?url=http://www.htc.com]. Que ya sabemos acerca de la presión de Microsoft en Intel para utilizar Windows en sus servidores, porque hemos encontrado documentos internos al respecto[http://techrights.org/2009/01/12/bill-gates-jihad-vs-linux/]. Microsoft está incluyendo este tipo de acuerdos, por lo que los acuerdos condicionada a la migración y relaciones públicas para Microsoft.

De todos modos, para aprender acerca de grupos de presión de Microsoft por las patentes de software en Europa, hay que estar familiarizado con los poderes que utilizan para la presión, por ejemplo, Asociación para la Tecnología “Competitiva” ACT[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Association_for_Competitive_Technology]. Microsoft tiene maneras de tratar de presentarse como “europeo” y también el uso ‘Euro-lavado’ a las empresas que impulsan su programa allí. Hemos cubierto en su mayoría estos en 2008 y 2009, por lo que aconsejamos a los lectores a mirar hacia atrás (nos esforzamos para disminuir la repetición). Está claro que Microsoft es un componente importante de este problema, otros que son Siemens y Nokia. No debería ser sorprendente que quienes están a favor de las patentes de software son los gigantes. Los monopolios de patentes hacen que los gigantes sean más fuertes y las únicas entidades pequeñas a las que tal sistema podría ser de utilidad son los trolls de patentes y “empresas especializadas en los llamados” abogados de propiedad intelectual”.

El año pasado en los Estados Unidos, Bilski y su colega rompió el sistema de los EE.UU. por la legitimación de las patentes de software aún más, al menos sobre la base de un análisis de personas (no concluyente). Se lo llevaron todo el camino hasta la SCOTUS (Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos), cuyas resoluciones sobre el tema de las patentes han sido bastantes terribles[http://techrights.org/2011/06/02/scotus-vs-freedom-labour/] recientemente[http://techrights.org/2011/06/10/fine-affecting-ooxml/]. SCOTUS no se merece un respeto ciego porque las leyes también son relativas y dependen de los principios que se adopte en una cultura civilizada. No hay justicia absoluta o la definición de “civilizados”, la tendencia es ‘incorporado’.

La Patente Bilski[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Bilski_Case] fue clasificado como perteneciente a la categoría de negocios y los métodos de este nuevo informe[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304259304576373461579770054.html] del Wall Street Journal dice que las patentes sobre estas estrategias fiscales (emulando a lápiz y papel métodos) pronto podría ser declaradas ilegales:

La Patente de EE.UU. número 7.698.194 no es una ingeniosa máquina nueva o un tratamiento de gran avance médico. Es un método de análisis de los impuestos asociados a planes de ahorro para la universidad.

Es también una de las 144 estrategias fiscales patentado y 162 solicitudes pendientes, a partir de finales de mayo, los preparadores de impuestos que dicen que han cargado su trabajo e hizo más difícil para que los ciudadanos pagan sus impuestos.

Grupos de consumidores y fiscales han impulsado desde el año 2007 para obtener este tipo de patentes prohibidos, y sus esfuerzos están a punto de llegar a buen término este mes. La Cámara de Representantes tiene previsto votar cuando regrese de su receso de esta semana en una importante revisión del sistema de patentes que efectivamente prohíbe patentar las estrategias fiscales.

Aunque no hay esperanza de que la USPTO se reforme (de acuerdo con reacción negativa del público), las cosas no están mejorando en Europa. Recientemente, por ejemplo, la señora Wilcox decidió dar paso a un esquema [1[http://techrights.org/2011/06/01/wilcox-should-learn-from-eu/], 2[http://techrights.org/2011/05/31/nyls-idea-re-swpats-in-uk/], 3[http://techrights.org/2011/05/31/patent-monopolies-in-the-eu/]] que pueden ayudar a legitimar / cambiar la norma de patentes de los EE.UU. (incluso en Europa) y para citar[http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-06/06/peer-to-patent] a la clase de falacias que se repiten: [a través de Benjamin Henrion[http://twitter.com/zoobab/statuses/78455225215762433]]: la baronesa Wilcox, la ministro de la propiedad intelectual, dijo: “El piloto dará a los expertos la oportunidad de formular observaciones sobre las solicitudes de patentes y compartir su experiencia vital antes de que las patentes se conceden. También significa que las invenciones ya conocidas en la comunidad en general se filtran con mayor facilidad. Peer To patente es un paso adelante para apoyar el crecimiento mediante el refuerzo de la base de patentes en el que las empresas innovadoras de crecimiento”.

Las empresas innovadoras en realidad no requieren patentes. Busque en Google para un ejemplo reciente. Mientras tanto, en Europa también tenemos la preocupación por el lobby de RAND (Licencias “Razonables y No-Discriminatorias”) a la Comisión [1[http://techrights.org/2011/06/01/reputation-uspto-disintegrating/], 2[http://techrights.org/2011/06/09/needing-neelie-back/]]. Benjamin destaca esta nueva página que indica más de lo mismo. RAND no es compatible con el software libre, pero la Comisión está a la vigilancia de RAND, no obstante, tras la presión de los grupos frontales de Microsoft. Esto se refiere a la primera cuestión que hemos cubierto. Lo más importante, sin embargo, es la tendencia actual de la patente de la UE, que pretende hacer de los litigios de mayor escala más fácil y también puede propagarse las patentes de software de tal forma que trascienden las fronteras con la mera firma de un documento/s (tratado que sobrepasa la ley mediante una ‘hack’). Considere el hecho de que en los Estados Unidos una patente que era propiedad[http://techrights.org/2011/06/02/lodsys-and-intellectual-ventures/] del troll de patentes de Microsoft (Intellectual Ventures[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Intellectual_Ventures]) es objeto de un litigio[http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/lodsys_hit_with_pantent_invalidation_suit/] que buscan su anulación. Al mismo tiempo vemos que las empresas se convierten un montón de patentes maduras para ser recolectado por los trolls[http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Nortel+patent+bonanza/4916085/story.html]. Para ellos, las patentes son sólo medios para llevar a juicio, con abogados especializados en patentes. En lugar de crear una industria que innova, patentes amplian una industria que litiga. Considere la posibilidad de esta empresa que es un “especialista en patentes de software, derechos de autor y secretos comerciales.” El artículo fuente está aquí (Nueva York blogs Times[http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/09/the-story-under-mrs-landmans-umbrella/]). ¿Qué valor en realidad pueden empresas como estas traer a la economía? Aquí está en su contexto:

Andrew Schulman no lo era. Él es un lector de Lens en San Francisco, un fotógrafo y – más importante para los propósitos de este post – un abogado especializado en patentes de software, derechos de autor y secretos comerciales.

¿Ahora quieren patentar paraguas también? Ni siquiera es una idea aún sin explorar previamente. Hace una década escribí en mi PDA una idea que tenía de un paraguas. Muchos de las llamadas “invenciones” solicitan patentes en que no sólo se ha pensado de antes, pero se han aplicado también. Todo este asunto de las patentes sólo añade complejidad al sistema y frena su avance.

Para resumir algunos de los puntos clave, Europa se enfrenta a nuevas amenazas de grupos de presión (por ejemplo, para RAND), la llamada “unificación” (que en realidad puede ser la importación de las patentes de software), y un intento de inicio de la premisa de que el problema es “calidad” de las patentes en lugar de su tipo (por ejemplo, de impuestos sobre el software). Todos debemos mantenernos vigilantes. Es posible que las patentes de software se mueren en los Estados Unidos -ojalá- antes de que puedan extenderse a otros países como un tipo de virus.

Translation produced by Eduardo Landaveri, the esteemed administrator of the Spanish portal of Techrights.

Links 16/6/2011:Dell Linux, Chromebook Reviews

Posted in News Roundup at 8:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • GNU/Linux software updates for the enterprise

    Software updates are one of the main areas of IT, mainly because of continuous security and enhancement updates. Microsoft usually releases a huge number of security updates each month, and even though they get criticised for this, GNU/Linux has a high number of updates as well, particularly Fedora which is treated as beta or cutting edge versions of free and open source software.

    [...]

    Also, the RPM system can provide a complete list of packages installed with the command “rpm -qa”. And, logs of the RPM installation process are always logged to /var/log/messages. Reporting could be set up to pull this data, however to date I have not discovered a central system for producing these types of reports. This is where the Kace/Dell Kbox steps in and uses a running agent on each client to gather data into a central SQL database.

  • Changes at Dell

    While Dell seems confused about tablets they seem less confused about notebooks.
    “Built For Businesses
    With Linux Operating System”

  • linux.conf.au finally controls domain name
  • The People Who Support Linux: Windows Turned Linux Admin

    Alexander Swen is a true Linux evangelist. Since 1996, when he started using Linux-Mandrake on his home computers, he’s been happily converting friends and family to the OS—even getting his parents on board. “I think everyone should use Linux,” he says. “And I want to help promote it any way I can.”

    But Alexander wasn’t always a Linux man. In fact, even as he built up his Linux empire at home, he continued to work as a Windows admin up until 2004, when he finally realized he had to make a change. “I had become more and more frustrated by the instability,” he says. “And when a surprise update ended up ruining a working system, I decided that I had to move away from my Windows career—and start working as a Linux admin.”

  • Chrome OS

    • Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

      Under the hood, a Chromebook is a Linux system, customized by Google that runs the Chrome browser as its interface. That’s your desktop–a browser. It’s efficient and I use Chrome exclusively as my browser anyway. So, it’s a natural fit for someone who uses Linux, the Chrome browser and has a keen interest in the Cloud.

    • Samsung Chromebook ships to mixed reviews

      IHS iSuppli published the results of a teardown of the 3G version of Samsung’s Chrome OS-based Series 5 Chromebook — which began shipping today for $500 — and estimates the solidly-built notebook cost $334.32 to build. Meanwhile, an eWEEK review of the Wi-Fi only Series 5 was similarly impressed with the hardware, but questioned whether Chrome OS would find many takers.

    • The first Chromebook Review: Samsung Series 5

      If you want a Windows laptop, get a Windows laptop. But, if you want an easy-to-use, Web-based laptop, consider getting a Chromebook. So long as you realize that the Samsung Series 5 and its brother from another company, the Acer Chromebook, is not a full-featured Windows or Linux notebook computer you’ll be fine.

      So it is that I’m pretty happy with my brand new Samsung Series 5 3G even though CNET gave it a just “ok” rating pending software improvements. While neither Chromebook will be generally available until June 15th, I was able to get my hands on one a week early. I’ve been working with mine for several days now and this is what I’ve found.

    • Apple’s OS X Lion Mimics Google’s Chrome OS–to a Point
    • Google Launches Open Source Chromebooks

      The first few Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung feature a clean, clutter free design. Solid black, or black with a white top, and no stickers. A refreshing change from “Intel Inside” and “Made for Windows” stickers that accompany most PC laptops. The Chromebooks look good. The Chromebooks are small and light, and claim battery life between six and eight and a half hours of continual use. They come with standard ports and a webcam, but what is most interesting about the machines is what not listed. Google doesn’t draw attention to the tiny, and extremely fast, SSD hard drive, or the the amount of RAM in the machine, an intentional dismissal of their importance. Plainly said, it doesn’t matter, Chromebooks have speed where it matters, and are meant for only one thing.

    • Why Chromebooks are a Stupid Idea, Part 2: The Reviewers Weigh In
  • Server

    • ARM server hero Calxeda lines up software super friends

      With Intel’s top brass bad-mouthing ARM-based servers, upstart server chip maker Calxeda can’t let Intel do all the talking. It has to put together an ecosystem of hardware and software partners who believe there’s a place for a low-power, 32-bit ARM-based server platform in the data center.

      To that end, Calxeda, formerly known as Smooth-Stone, is launching the “trailblazer initiative” – a team of 10 software companies that will support upcoming servers based on Calxeda’s impending ARM-based system-on-chip (SoC) designs

      The Calxeda ARM super friends include Autonomic Resources, Canonical, Caringo, Couchbase, Datastax, Eucalyptus Systems, Gluster, Momentum SI, Opscode, and Pervasive.

      Canonical is of course, the commercial sponsor of the Ubuntu distribution of Linux, which is now first in line as the server operating system of choice for Calxeda ARM-based servers.

    • Calxeda announces ARM server alliance

      Officials with Calxeda, the startup that’s building ARM-based chips for low-power data center servers, announced a “Trailblazer” program designed to create an ecosystem around its technology. But, while Calxeda touted support from Ubuntu Linux sponsor Canonical, among other companies, there’s been no hint from Microsoft that it will create a server edition of its ARM-based “Windows 8.”

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Google Stops Linux Searching as Linux 3 Advances
    • Native Linux KVM tool v2

      We’re proud to announce the second version of the Native Linux KVM tool! We’re now officially aiming for merging to mainline in 3.1.

    • Linux’s 20th Birthday Party: LinuxCon

      Has it really been twenty years? Yes, yes, it has been twenty years since Linus Torvalds announced that he was working on “a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones.” Twenty years of Linux later, The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating Linux’s growth, has announced the program for this year’s LinuxCon North America taking place in Vancouver, B.C. August 17-19, 2011.

    • Father Of Linux, Linus Torvalds To Attend LinuxCon

      The Linux Foundation has announced its program and schedule for this year’s LinuxCon North America event taking place in Vancouver, B.C. August 17-19, 2011.

      LinuxCon is the world’s leading conference addressing all matters Linux for the global business and technical communities. LinuxCon includes in-depth technical content for developers and operations personnel, as well as business and legal insight from the industry’s leaders.

    • Linux 3.0-rc3

      What do we have in it? More than in -rc2. I’m clearly not the only one who was in Japan for LinuxCon, or something else just made people wake
      up.

    • My Highlights from the Newly Announced LinuxCon Schedule
    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Catalyst 11.6 Linux Driver Released

        The Catalyst 11.6 for Linux build isn’t particularly exciting. Release notes for the 11.6 driver haven’t been made publicly available yet, but if they do emerge, they’ll basically say there’s installer/uninstaller improvements, support for reading the highest available memory clock from AMDCCCLE, and some other minor changes / bug-fixes. That’s about it.

  • Applications

  • DEs

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • IPFire 2.9 – Core 49
      • AV Linux 5.0 Released:

        After more than 5 months of daily development following the release of 4.2 AV Linux 5.0 is here. This release balances the rock-solid reliability of Debian’s stable ‘Squeeze’ release and fortifies it with some carefully selected Sid and Custom packages to make it a state-of-the-art Multimedia Content Creation Powerhouse. This release will usher in a less frequent annual release cycle and shift the focus from Linux Audio/Video software testing to reliable Linux Audio/Video PRODUCTION. If you are someone who’d rather create content than experiment with alpha/beta software then this release is for you.

      • 6/14/2011: Parted Magic 6.2

        It’s that time of the month again. The most noticeable change is Rox now handles the desktop icons and feh displays the desktop wallpaper. These seemed like the best light weight choices in preparation for the new PCManFM when it’s released as stable. Parted was upgraded to 3.0, but GParted is still linked against LibParted 2.4 for now. All fonts should look good in Firefox if you use a language other than US English. A few other useful programs were added like ZFS Fuse, Lilo Setup, Rox Filer, and FixParts.

      • Tiny Core Linux [3.7]

        The theme for v3.7 is improved integrity and interoperability. Tiny Core remains true to size. Currently at 10.3MB! Yet now adds NTFS read support. And seamless NTFS read-write support via extension or installation options. Improved integrity is achieved by better warning messages to prevent misuse of unsupported file systems. Also new are Starter Packs. As installation is typically a one time event. Therefore the GUI installation program and all necessary support extensions are now conviently packaged into a starter pack, install.gz. Same is offered with grub4dos.gz. This has the option to install inside an existing NTFS partition. Our network.gz starter pack, provides all the tools typically needed to get connected, including a tiny wifi manager. And, finally, combining multiple boot images together with starter packs, we offer multicore.iso. This bootable CD image, provides the easiest way yet to install, get connected, and get online.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Can Red Hat Score Two More Victories?

        By most accounts, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss middleware are both solid successes. But can two newer initiatives — namely, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and OpenShift — also gain critical mass, particularly among cloud computing partners? Here are The VAR Guy’s early educated guesses.

        For those who are late to the Red Hat story, the company is on track to become the first $1 billion open source specialist within the next year or so. Red Hat Enterprise Linux has successfully pushed beyond traditional servers and is gaining momentum on cloud-centric servers, while JBoss middleware has caught on with sophisticated IT consultants.

      • Trading Idea – Entry Levels for Red Hat

        Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) are trading very close to calculated support at $41.30 with current price action closing at just $42.26 places the stock price near levels where traders will start paying attention.

      • Fedora

        • Goodbye Fedora 13

          Dear Fedora fans, we are sorry to announced today that the Fedora 13 (Goddard) Linux distribution will reach end of life (EOL) next Friday, on June 24th, 2011.

          Dubbed Goddard, the Fedora 13 operating system was released on May 25th, 2010. It was powered by Linux kernel 2.6.32 and it introduced features such as enhanced init system, topology awareness, color management, SystemTap static probes, Mozilla Firefox 3.6, Nvidia 3D support, and KDE SC 4.4.

        • Quick update PPC status
    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux/Android RISC processors add Wi-Fi, IPTV support

      Imagination Technologies announced it is licensing a new version of its Meta core IP for Linux- and Android-based mobile devices. The Metaflow family of processors combines the Linux-ready Meta Series2 processor IP with the company’s Ensigma UCCP IP for Wi-Fi, mobile TV, and analog and digital TV and radio, says the company.

      Known primarily for its Powervr graphics processor intellectual property (IP), Imagination Technologies has been steadily advancing its long-time, Linux-ready, programmable RISC Meta core IP. In November 2009, the U.K.-based firm announced it had begun licensing a Meta Series2 core IP, adding digital signal processor (DSP) functions, support for hardware multi-threaded execution, and hard real-time capabilities.

    • TiVo tips quad-tuner Premiere Q plus non-DVR Preview STB

      TiVo Inc. announced a new version of its Linux-based DVR/IP set-top box (STB) called the TiVo Premiere Q — said to enable recording four streams at once while simultaneously transmitting three HD streams to other devices via a LAN. The company also announced its first non-DVR STB, the TiVo Preview, which can be used as a thin client multi-room extension for other TiVo devices.

    • M2M development kit studded with wireless interfaces

      Kontron announced a machine-to-machine (M2M) development kit that ships with Wind River Linux 4.1. The Kontron M2M Smart Services Developer Kit incorporates Kontron’s nanoETXexpress-TT computer-on-module — which includes a 1GHz Intel Atom E640T — and offers not only gigabit Ethernet but also wireless interfaces including Wi-Fi, ZigBee, and optional 3G/4G cellular.

    • Sonos adds Aupeo streaming music service

      Sonos is well known for its broad family of high-quality devices capable of playing audio streamed from a variety of Internet and local sources wirelessly — and synchronously — throughout the home. Sonos’s Linux-powered “ZonePlayers” represent the core of its wireless home audio entertainment architecture, as illustrated in the drawing below.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • AndroidQuestions.org is now officially out of BETA

          androidquestions.org [is launched by LinuxQuestions people]

        • T-Mobile Lines Up Daily Deals for Android Users

          Wireless carrier T-Mobile has entered the group buying market with its own daily deal offering. Called “More for Me,” the nationwide service aggregates deals from such originators as Living Social and Groupon.

          The service is available to anyone who owns an Android handset, T-Mobile spokesperson Anna Friedges told the E-Commerce Times — not just T-Mobile subscribers.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Chinese vendors ramp up Android tablet plans

        Huawei tipped a “MediaPad” tablet running Android 3.x, said to be due June 20 and to be the company’s smallest and lightest offering. Meanwhile, rival Chinese manufacturer Lenovo will release both consumer and enterprise 10-inch Android tablets, under the IdeaPad and ThinkPad brands respectively, says an industry report.

      • Galaxy Tab 10.1 goes airborne on AA

        Samsung and American Airlines announced they will deploy 6,000 Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets for premium class, in-flight entertainment on select flights later this year. The roll-out is designed to help promote Samsung’s Android 3.1 tablet in the enterprise market, according to the company.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Riverbed Advances Open Source Network Analysis with Wireshark

    Riverbed is known in the market as a leading vendor of WAN optimization hardware solutions. Riverbed is also a leading sponsor of one of the most popular open source network applications, the Wireshark packet and network analyzer.

    Riverbed’s involvement with Wireshark comes by way of its acquisition of CACE, a technology vendor whose executive team includes the founder of Wireshark, Gerald Combs. Riverbed’s open source networking credibility however goes back even further than the CACE acquisition. Steve McCanne, the CTO of Riverbed is the co-creator of the tcpdump command line packet analyzer.

  • Startup tames open source for enterprise mobility

    The ability to support the myriad of mobile devices in a coherent way is a bugbear for mobilising enterprise applications, but one local start up has leveraged open source components to make it all happen without the need for an on-premise server or native app.

    Blink Mobile Interactive, based in Kariong on the NSW Central Coast (north of Sydney), has developed a Cloud service that integrates enterprise applications and presents them in the best form-factor for the user’s device – be it an iOS, Android, Symbian or Windows-based handset.

  • Experts Exchange Employee Gives Back to Open Source Community
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • More Google Web Browser goodness: Chrome 12

        On the eve of the Chromebooks being released to the public, Google has rolled out the next version of its Chrome Web browser: Chrome 12.

        “Wait,” you say, “Didn’t Google just release a new edition of Chrome last month?” Yes, yes they did: Chrome 11 and now they’re back with another one. If you’re a cynic like me, your first thought might have been: “Is there anything new here besides the number? Is there really anything here that demands it be called a major new release?” The answer to those questions is: Yes. Yes, there are sufficient new features in this model for it to be worth given a new number.

      • Mark Shuttleworth: Google Chrome Fan
    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Beta Channel: Release candidate now available

        As part of Mozilla’s new rapid release development process the beta development channel has been updated with a Firefox release candidate. For detailed information about the changes please visit:

        * Firefox: http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/5.0beta/releasenotes/
        * Firefox mobile: http://www.mozilla.com/mobile/5.0beta/releasenotes/

      • Mozilla Mark Up Crowdsources Backing for the Open Web

        Mozilla is–and deservedly so–widely recognized for defending open web policies and standards, and now, in conjunction with The Barbarian Group, the company is calling for users everywhere to make their “marks” on the open web concept. Mozilla Mark Up is an online project that asks users everywhere to sign their names and contribute their “marks” to an interactive, graphical collection of yes votes in favor of the open web. It’s a small but nicely executed gesture backing important concepts.

  • Databases

    • Scale Fail (part 2)

      In Part One of Scale Fail, I discussed some of the major issues which prevent web sites and applications from scaling. As was said there, most scalability issues are really management issues. The first article covered a few of the chronic bad decisions — or “anti-patterns” — which companies suffer from, including compulsive trendiness, lack of metrics, “barn door troubleshooting”, and single-process programming. In Part Two, we’ll explore some more general failures of technology management which lead to downtime.

    • Can MongoDB become King of NoSQL ?
    • Xeround MySQL Cloud Database Goes GA

      After six months in a public beta, Xeround is declaring its MySQL in the cloud database generally available.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • SUSE, Red Hat, and FSF on New TDF Board

      The Document Foundation today announced new advisory board members saying it’s a demonstration of wide corporate support. Florian Effenberger said, “its composition shows that LibreOffice is a vendor-neutral, truly-free office suite, and confirms that The Document Foundation has created a solid base to build upon, for the community, for corporations and enterprises, and for adopters and end-users.”

      Members include ” Google, SUSE, Red Hat, Freies Office Deutschland e.V., Software in the Public Interest, and the Free Software Foundation.” Representatives from each will serve for one year providing advice and guidance on future

    • Java standards process to get an upgrade

      The much-criticized JCP (Java Community Process), which maps out procedures for amending officially sanctioned Java technologies, is set for a face-lift that includes greater transparency and the possible loss of voting privileges for JCP members who disregard their responsibilities.

      New procedures are part of the recently introduced Java Specification Request 348. “This JCR — nicknamed JCP.next — proposes a variety of changes to do with transparency, participation, agility, and governance,” JCP said in a document posted on its website on June 8. The document states that JCP chairman Patrick Curran views full transparency of a JCP expert group operations as the most important change introduced by JSR 348. “Many expert groups carry out their business openly over public mailing lists and publicly viewable issue-trackers, and they make public responses to all comments. JCP.next will elevate those recommended practices to mandatory status. The process of recruiting Expert Group members will also be documented for the public eye, ensuring that all applications are considered in a fair way,” JCP said.

    • Hewlett Packard settles Oracle case over Hurd job

      Computer maker Hewlett-Packard (HP) has settled a lawsuit brought against former boss Mark Hurd as it tried to stop him joining rival Oracle.

      Under the deal, Mr Hurd will give up about $30m (£19.3m) in HP shares he was given in his severance package.

    • The politics of Java

      If Executive Committee members of the Java Community Process don’t like how Oracle is handling Java and the JCP, then why don’t they just vote no when big Java issues come up? Business reasons are key, but a recent olive branch from Oracle may have helped turn the tide in Oracle’s favor.

      First, let’s look at 13-1 vote that approved the release of Java SE 7 this week and see how each member of the 16-member committee voted.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 3.2 Release Candidate Available

      The WordPress team has announced the availability of the first release candidate (RC1) for WordPress 3.2.

    • Jahia 6.5 Enterprise CMS Arrives

      Web, social, search, mobile, and CMS in a single composite platform

      Open source CMS company Jahia has unveiled the commercial release of its Jahia 6.5 CMS. The company is hoping to differentiate the new product on the basis of its ability to bridge web, portal, social, search, mobile user experience, and content management with a single composite platform.

  • Project Releases

    • New Release: GlusterFS 3.2.1

      Come and get ‘em! GlusterFS 3.2.1 has just been released – it’s a maintenance release with performance enhancements and bug fixes. Packages are available for RHEL, Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, CentOS and source tarball.

    • Horde 4.0 open source groupware, webmail suites released

      After more than two years of development to Horde open source project has released version 4.0 of its integrated groupware and webmail suites.

      Back in April the project announced version 4 of the groupware components, but a further two months of development was done to prepare the integrated groupware suite, which also includes a Webmail Edition.

    • Wakanda’s first public release for developers

      The first public version of the Wakanda open source platform for developing web applications using just JavaScript has now been made available to software developers by global software group 4D.

    • Varnish Cache Gets More Polish in 3.0

      If you want to make a website go faster, you’ve got a number of options. One of the best and easiest is to place a proxy caching server in front of a website, that accelerates content delivery.

      The open source Varnish Cache is one such technology and is deployed on big name websites, including Facebook and Twitter. Varnish Cache 3.0 was officially released today, expanding the technology with the promise of new modularity for the next generation of web acceleration needs.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Bristol council ‘still committed’ to open source IT, despite stinging attack

      Mark Taylor, CEO at Sirius, accused Computacenter of skewing an open source proof-of-concept pilot to favour Microsoft, with which the systems integrator (SI) has a commercial relationship.

      “My opinion is that the large systems integrators would not survive a transition to open source in the public sector, for the simple reason that the savings would be enormous,” Mark Taylor told Computer Weekly. “The loss to their revenue would be massive. Their survival depends on there being no successful open source trials.”

      A Computacenter spokesman said Taylor’s statement was “factually incorrect and potentially libellous”. Matt Kenny, client director at Computacenter, said: “If it’s right for the council then we’ll use open source software, if it’s not then we won’t.”

      Computacenter later claimed the pilot had not been concluded. “Our commitment to Bristol City Council includes maximising the use of open source if it meets their defined business requirements.”.

  • Licensing

    • Best Practices for Making Source Code Available Under the GPL

      When you release code under the GNU General Public License (GPL), you undertake a specific set of obligations. Many of these obligations, such as providing a copyright notice and a copy of the GPL version you are using, are relatively simple. However, the obligation to provide source code with the object code is more complex, because you have several choices about how to fulfill it – and the choice you make can cause ongoing problems, especially if you are not set up to administer it.

  • Programming

    • Python 2.7.2 and 3.1.4 arrive

      Python logo As expected, Python 2.7.2 and Python 3.1.4 have been released by the Python developers. Both releases contain the security fixes to stop redirection errors that were included in May’s Python 2.5.6 and last week’s Python 2.6.7 “security fixes only” releases, but these are general maintenance releases and therefore contain many more fixes and corrections – although only Python 2.7.2 is a current production version.

    • Organizations Are Accepting Open Source, But Are They Giving Back?

      Recently, we covered some of the extensive results from the Eclipse Community Survey and Open Source Developer Report, which contains lots of data about open source trends. In this year’s survey, as has been seen in similar surveys recently, mobile applications and cloud computing are clearly on users’ and developers’ minds. Another set of results from this year’s survey is generating discussion online, though, and raising questions about whether the many new organizations and businesses adopting open source software are also giving back to the projects they benefit from. In many cases, it appears that they are not giving back.

    • Python4Kids: New Tutorial – Format Strings and Silly Sentences

Leftovers

  • Google ramps up speed of search

    Google has made changes to its search engine as it strives to get consumers the information they want faster.

    Its new Instant Pages system will shave between two to five seconds off the time it takes for a web page to load, the company said.

    It is also planning to offer voice-activated and enhanced image searching.

    Google, which processes one billion requests every day, said search remained its core focus.

  • Strangeloop Brings Google SPDY to Site Optimizer
  • Health/Nutrition

    • Health Insurers Pump Your Premiums Into a Financial Black Hole

      Ever wonder what happens to the premiums you pay for your health insurance?

      You might be surprised to learn that more and more of the dollars you pay for coverage are being sucked into a kind of black hole.

      It doesn’t really disappear, of course. It just doesn’t do you a bit of good — unless, of course, you believe it is to your advantage that it ultimately winds up in the bank accounts of a few investors and insurance company executives, including those who have to power to deny coverage for potentially life-saving care.

      If you’ve been paying attention to what health insurance company CEOs have been saying to Wall Street over the past several months, you will know that they are spending more and more of their firms’ cash — which comes from you, of course — to “repurchase” their firms’ stock. And Wall Street absolutely loves that.

    • From Bad to Worse: New JFC Version of Medicaid Power Shift Compounds the Problems

      The transfer of Medicaid policymaking authority in the committee’s budget bill raises serious constitutional concerns, just as the similar provisions in the budget repair did. By giving so much authority to an unelected official, both versions of this unprecedented transfer of lawmaking authority limit the ability of Wisconsin citizens to have a role in the process. However, in contrast to Act 10, the new bill goes much further in eliminating public involvement since it allows the sweeping grant of authority to be exercised by the DHS Secretary without so much as a single public hearing.

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks: statement in full

      WikiLeaks has released a statement marking six months since Julian Assange was put under house arrest, setting out his defence against sexual assault claims.

    • WikiLeaks Haiti: Embassy Warned of Earthquake Vulnerability

      “The last thing Haiti needs now is an earthquake,” said a May 25, 2005, cable, written two weeks after a 4.3 magnitude tremor shook Port-au-Prince. No injuries were reported, and damage was minor. But the cable warned that “a more severe earthquake would be catastrophic, as the government of Haiti is unprepared to handle a natural disaster of any magnitude,” adding that such an event would compound problems of political instability, poverty and environmental degradation.

    • Sweden vs. Assange

      In December 2010 Sweden issued two international warrants for Julian Assange’s arrest. He has been detained without charge since. This is a guide to the events, investigations and court proceedings that are connected with his extradition.

      This guide is the first to map out the legal aspects of the UK extradition cases, the controversies surrounding the Swedish investigation, and societal and political reactions in Sweden.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • MSNBC’s (GE’s) Dylan Ratigan Show “Firewater?” Series: Natural Gas Industry-Media Complex Exposed

      The June 8 – June 10 episodes of MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Show featured a three-part series titled “Firewater?” It pondered whether drilling for methane gas is a path toward a prosperous “clean energy” future for the United States, or if, to the contrary, the harms of methane gas drilling, caused by a process called fracking, nullify these oft-repeated industry claims.

      While three recent scientific reports — one by Duke University, one by Cornell University, and one by the Post Carbon Institute — point to the latter, Ratigan’s series portrayed the issue as still up for debate, with both sides’ claims having equal merit.

    • China Coal and The Great Doubling

      Back in 2005 it was clear to a number of observers that China’s trailing rate of coal consumption was so strong, that its demand was on course to double by the end of the decade. As of 2010, this is precisely what’s happened. From a jump between 2002-2003, around 850 Mtoe (million tonnes oil equivalent), China is now consuming 1713.5 Mtoe as of last year, according to the BP Statistical Review. | see: China Coal Consumption in Mtoe 2000-2010.

    • Global Energy Use By Source in 2010

      The above chart shows the latest proportions of primary energy sources, as reported by the BP Statistical Review. You can see that Renewables now appear in the data, and account for 1.32% of total world supply of energy.

      There are two big stories in the 2010 data from BP Statistical Review. The first I have already addressed: the colossal growth in coal consumption–predictably in non-OECD–but also the surprising strength in OECD coal demand.

    • Running dry

      CRUDE-OIL prices shot up on June 8th—Brent crude to a one-month high of $118.59 per barrel—after OPEC representatives meeting in Vienna were unable to reach an agreement on production quotas. Many had expected an increase in quotas as members with spare production capacity, led by Saudi Arabia, pushed to avoid a price spike that may dampen long-term demand. As figures released in BP’s “Statistical Review of World Energy” show, global oil production has struggled to keep up with increased demand recently, particularly from Asia. In China alone consumption has risen by over 4m barrels per day in the past decade, accounting for two-fifths of the global rise. In 2010 consumption exceeded production by over 5m barrels per day for the first year ever, as world oil stocks were run down.

  • Finance

    • Ex-Villain Goldman Is Reborn as Today’s Victim: William D. Cohan

      June 13 (Bloomberg) — William Cohan, author of “Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World” and a Bloomberg Television contributing editor, talks about Goldman Sachs’s position on mortgage securities before the market’s collapse. Cohan speaks with Erik Schatzker and Deirdre Bolton on Bloomberg Television’s “InsideTrack.” (William D. Cohan is a Bloomberg View columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. Source: Bloomberg)

      You didn’t really think Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) would go down without a fight now did you? Of course not. So it should come as little surprise that recently Goldman has started to push back hard against its nemesis, Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, and his narrative that the firm is the lead villain of the financial crisis.

      In its new mission, Goldman has been very careful not to take on Levin directly — after all he remains a very powerful figure in Congress and incurring his further wrath would be plain silly. Instead, the firm has taken its case to the court of public opinion, through a series of orchestrated presentations with members of the mainstream business press and to at least one Wall Street research analyst.

    • Illegal Immigration and Other Criminality

      How many bankers, mortgage brokers, and the rest of the well-renumerated hooligans who brought the economy to its knees have been investigated or prosecuted for what appears to be some highly questionable activities? Very few.

    • Icing on the Cake for Corporations, Crumbs for Working Families

      Kathleen Gallagher of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote a good article on the subject earlier this week. As she reported, James Buchen, vice president of government relations for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, called the amendment “the icing on the cake for us be able to go out and sell Wisconsin as manufacturing heaven.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • A Laugher: Tom Ridge Says, “I’m Not a Lobbyist” on Colbert Report

      Among them: first-ever head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the Bush Administration from 2003-2005, former Governor of Pennsylvania from 1995-2001, and former Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from from 1983-1995.

      Upon leaving the DHS in 2005, Ridge started his career as a lobbyist, opening a lobby shop known as Ridge Global, located in Washington, D.C, which he still currently heads. Beyond this stint, though, Ridge is also a paid “consultant” (a.k.a. lobbyist) for the Marcellus Shale Coaltion, a “trade association” in disguise that in reality is a methane gas industry-funded lobbying group.

    • False Flag Operation in Wisconsin’s Open Primary

      During the Wisconsin protests against Walker’s collective bargaining bill, Walker received an email from a Republican activist and Indiana prosecutor urging him to employ a “false flag operation” — to pretend that he was injured or attacked by a “union thug” — to discredit the unions. The prosecutor lost his job for recommending such a partisan stunt, but the Wisconsin GOP has apparently not learned its lesson.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Spotify finally closing in on U.S. launch with Universal signing, Warners tempted

        Spotify could finally be closing in on a U.S. launch, with three of the major record labels having signed up to provide the service with content, and the fourth and last rumored to be close to doing so. And about time too.

        I’ve been writing about Spotify wanting to launch in the U.S. for over two years now. Only six months after I, resident in the U.K., was able to start using the service. Spotify and its CEO Daniel Ek’s stance has been that it’s definitely coming, just when the time is right. And the time hasn’t been right so far. Mainly because the major record labels in the U.S. haven’t been willing to soften their stance on licensing agreements. Until now, possibly.

Clip of the Day

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts