08.24.11

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Links – Deepwater Horizon Spews, Big Boats, RMS on Unitary Patents

Posted in Site News at 12:19 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • Brian S Hall translates a Microsoft pep talk to explain how the PC and Microsoft are doomed (NSFW)

    Everyone but Microsoft, even staid old media, has come to accept that the PC is dead.

  • 1935

    Users of that other OS are getting 1935 as an error message and it means that other OS broke itself again and must be re-installed.

    The Microsoft addict installed Office 2010 and this cost him endless hours over two or three weeks of chasing a .NET mess through forums, knowledge bases, Microsoft support and other waste.

  • Security

    • China airs documentary proving military university is hacking U.S. targets

      The footage happened to contain proof that a Chinese military university is using hacking software it has developed along with compromised U.S. IP addresses to target dissident groups. … The compromised IP being used is 138.26.72.17, which belongs to the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

      Windows use in the backwoods of Alabama leads to persecution of dissidents. Shamefully, Windows is not mentioned by Geek.com but we know that’s what powers botnets used in these attacks.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Mega Yatch Explosion

      the middle of the list saw explosive growth during the same time. For example, take Coral Island. When Lürssen delivered her to her Saudi owner in 1994, this 238-footer made her debut at No. 14—the longest new launch on The PMY 100 that year. Since then she’s moved down the list every year but two, and this year she’s barely hanging on at No. 92. Next year she’ll surely be gone.

      Troll Allen’s Octopus is still listed at 14. When someone tells you, “You get what you pay for,” this is what you are paying for, really.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • HP Pre 3 Cancelled in U.S., Will Sell for $75 In Europe

      The article compares the crazy prices currently asked for Pre, $500, which make $75 look like a bargain until you realize that Droids will be that cheap soon enough. We can only conclude that HP was not serious about selling webOS devices in the first place. As they sell out, we know that people wanted them and might have bought them at a more competitive price.

    • Demand for webOS touchpads has bounced reseller prices to $300.
    • A writer at Forbes is stinking up the magazine with Microsoft propaganda. [intentionally not linked]

      The theme seems to be all good things in computerdom came from Microsoft. In one of his latest pieces he compares free software to “barbarians” and predicts chaos and massive declines in software availability as Microsoft declines. He’s obviously never experienced the happy and abundant world of free software or is paid to demonize it.

  • Privacy

    • Kraft rolling out facial recognition kiosks in US grocery stores.

      The article says they will only use them to decide sex and age but there’s nothing to keep them from using Facebook or some other service’s facial recognition software. With cameras at every check out, they could build their own database of faces and sell it. I’ve seen IR diodes used as a counter measure for this, perhaps that will become common.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • More problems than just trolls

      Awareness of [patent] problems is growing in the mainstream press, but there’s only shallow discussion of solutions. … If you think that patent trolls are the problem, then these might sound worth trying. It’s only when you look at the whole range of problems that it becomes clear that software patents simply shouldn’t exist. Very little focus is given to the other group that uses patents to block software developers: large software companies. They all have big patent portfolios. Competition reduces their profits, so they use their patents to lock other developers out.

    • RMS – Europe’s “unitary patent” could mean unlimited software patents

      A small but crucial detail in the plan is that appeals against the EPO’s decisions would be decided based on the EPO’s own rules. The EPO could thus tie European business and computer users in knots to its heart’s content. … the EPO’s decision about software patents has already been made, and can be seen in action. The EPO has issued tens of thousands of software patents, in contempt for the treaty that established it. … Europe should rewrite the plan to make certain software is safe from patents. If that can’t be done, the next best thing is to reject the plan entirely. Minor simplifications are not worth a disaster

    • Copyrights

      • SIGGRAPH keynote review: Cory Doctorow discusses copyright laws

        Doctorow’s Law #3: “Information doesn’t want to be free, people do”. Way back at The Hackers Conference in 1984, Stewart Brand once said to Steve Jobs, “information wants to be free.” However, Cory argues that it isn’t the information that needs to be free and pirated, but for people to be “free to own devices that don’t let remote authorities set policy against our will and against our interests, free to use networks that don’t spy on us in case we’re infringing the copyright, and free to communicate in private without having to worry that our personal lives will be made public in the name of protecting copyrights.”

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