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Links 12/11/2011: More Sabayon Linux 7 ‘Flavours’

Posted in News Roundup at 8:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source


  • Goodbye BIOS, hello UEFI

    When you turn on your computer, a primitive system that dates back more than 30 years, the basic input/output system (BIOS), turns your cold hardware into a functioning system that your operating system can then boot from. Alas, it’s sadly out of date. PC makers have slowly been replacing BIOS with the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). That’s all well and good, but one UEFI feature, Secure Boot, could be used to lock PCs into being only able to boot one operating system: Windows 8.

  • iOS upgrade swells iPhone battery-suckage grief
  • Security

  • Finance

    • For Bank Of America, Debit Fees Extend To Unemployment Benefits

      usiness plan. Out of work for much of the last three years, she depends upon a $264-a-week unemployment check from the state of South Carolina. But the state has contracted with Bank of America to administer its unemployment benefits, and Busby has frequently found herself incurring bank fees to get her money.

      To withdraw her benefits, Busby, 33, uses a Bank of America prepaid debit card on which the state deposits her funds. She could visit a Bank of America ATM free of charge. But this small community in the state’s rural center, her hometown, does not have a Bank of America branch. Neither do the surrounding towns where she drops off her kids at school and attends church.

    • TOM THE DANCING BUG: Whose Encampment Should Crowd-Control Police Be Breaking Up?
  • Civil Rights

    • The WikiLeaks-Fueled Erosion of Civil Liberties Has Begun

      When a federal judge ruled that Twitter must reveal the private data of three WikiLeaks associates on Thursday, privacy advocates died a little inside. The two organizations that had defended the three users, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundations (EFF), immediately filed mournful blog posts that respectively raised doubts about the United States government’s secretive handling of the case and highlighted grave message the ruling sends about the future of privacy on the internet. But Wall Street Journal reporter Jennifer Valentine-DeVries sums up the implications of the case best with a leading question: “Should the government be able to collect information related to your Internet use without a warrant?” We now know that the federal court’s answer is, “Yes.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Turncoat EU Parliament Gives Up on Defending Free Wireless Communications

      In discussions on the future of wireless communications policies, the EU Parliament is giving in to Member States by accepting a watered-down version1 of the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme. Last Spring, the Parliament had made very constructive proposals in favour of open spectrum policies, calling2 for citizen-controlled wireless communications. Sadly, the first major effort to harmonise spectrum policy in Europe is being held back by EU governments’ conservatism and the Parliament’s surrender.

    • Digital Divide Persists Even as Broadband Adoption Grows

      Broadband Internet adoption has skyrocketed over the last decade in the U.S, though adoption hasn’t been entirely evenly spread across all Americans. That’s the conclusion from a new Exploring the Digital Nation report from The Department of Commerce’s Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

      The report is a followup to one released in 2010 that came to a similar set of conclusions about the so-called digital divide between those that have broadband Internet access and those that do not.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Proudhon: if IP is property, is it theft?

      Here is a thought provoking article on how the distribution of income gives the top one percent such a disproportionate share of output link here. It finds the source in French anarchist Proudhon’s cry that “Property is theft,” and asserts “The biggest “theft” by the [richest] 1 percent has been of the primary source of wealth – knowledge – for its own benefit.”

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