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01.04.12

IRC Proceedings: January 3rd, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

IRC Proceedings: January 2th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Royal Mail Should Migrate to GNU/Linux

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 4:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Royal Mail

Summary: 2012 starts with more Microsoft failures at Royal Mail

SEVERAL weeks ago we wrote about the bitter experiences that Royal Mail was having with Microsoft Fail. The British mail service faced massive embarrassment after it had chosen to work with Microsoft. it’s still as embarrassing as before at the start of the year. From IDG:

Royal Mail has confirmed that it is still suffering from website glitches that began more than a month ago following a migration of online data to new servers.

The issues caused some customers to be overcharged, and many services, such as the Royal Mail SmartStamp and Online Postage applications, were knocked offline over the busy Christmas period.

Maybe it’s time to get back to something which is widely used and actually works.

Apple Sued by Its Sellers and Customers, Time to Switch to Android/Linux

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Corridor

Summary: Apple alienates Apple fans, gets sued in the process

Apple is being accused of starving French reseller of hot stock, according to The Register. There is even a lawsuit as the “iPhone maker hauled into court over throttled supplies… Apple squeezed supplies to a top reseller and used its own retail stores to gain an unfair competitive advantage, claims a French shop chain that is taking Apple to court in Paris.”

To quote further, “eBizcuss, the largest reseller in France, said that Apple favoured its own stores over theirs when it shipped out new and hotly demanded trendy tech gear.

“A throttling of Apple deliveries, particularly reduced shipments of the iPad 2 and Macbook Air, cost the store a 30 per cent fall in revenue in quarter three this year, eBizcuss CEO Francois Prudent told Le Figaro (English report). Apple’s own retail outlets continued to receive stock. More recently the reseller, which has 16 locations across France, was unable to get any stock of the iPhone 4S.

“This was despite eBizcuss spending $6.5 million bringing its point-of-sale system up to the standard that Apple requested. Apple was also unfairly undercutting their distribution partners on price, alleges Prudent, with Apple offering corporate customers prices lower than they were giving to the reseller shops.” (source)

“As one commenter put it,” says Homer, “they shouldn’t get into bed with a company like Apple then expect not to get shafted. They also shouldn’t put so many of their eggs in one basket, such that when they do get shafted, they don’t have anything to fall back on. A quick look at their Website (iclg.com), suggests they’re pretty much an Apple closed-shop. Idiots. Maybe if they tried something else, like say that line of smartphones that has greater than 50% of the market (what’s it called again?) they wouldn’t have been shafted and/or could’ve told Apple to go screw itself.

“The CEO was probably a dazed Apple fanboy. I bet he isn’t now though.”

In other news, Apple is being sued by users too:

Apple Sued By Users In America

Apple is facing legal trouble at the home turf. Apple users are saying that the company hid the fact that they will be locked into AT&T service and will be blocked access to third-party application downloads.

According to Courthouse News Service, “The four lead plaintiffs say they bought iPhones when they were first released in 2007, but they did not know that Apple had a secret five-year exclusivity agreement with AT&T that would prevent them from switching carriers.”

Maybe they should turn to Android/Linux.

Starting 2012 With Patent Extortion and Litigation

Posted in GNU/Linux, Patents at 3:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New year 2012

Summary: News from Tuxera in Asia, the unitary patent in Europe, and SCOracle in the United States

THE patents business is booming as more companies choose litigation rather than production.

After Microsoft’s attack on TomTom we find Tuxera, the company which puts a Microsoft tax on Linux, expanding in the East.

André Rebentisch from the FFII expresses concerns about expansion of patents in Europe. “European patents,” he quotes, are “granted from all the participating Member States with the same set of claims should benefit from unitary effect.” We did a series about the unitary patent at the end of last month [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and we shall resume this soon.

Here is Groklaw‘s update on Oracle’s case against Android:

When we last visited the parties on the issue of evidence of patent marking, the parties had reached agreement with respect to process but not timetable. (See, More Arguments with Respect to the Cockburn Damages Report) The parties have now reached agreement on the timetable, and it appears a further concession by Oracle that trial is not imminent.

The patent system is further ridiculed at Groklaw. This is a good example:

Every once in a while (okay, actually way more often than most of us would care to think about) a patent issues that gives one pause. One reading of the patent may suggest a plausible, worthwhile invention that is well-intentioned. But a second reading of the same patent invites a far more concerned reaction.

Such is the case with U.S. Patent No. 8,078,492 recently issued to IBM. The title of the ’492 patent is “Providing Consumers With Incentives For Healthy Eating Habits,” but when does a system move from merely a personal incentive for which one can opt in to a system that may be imposed by the government or an employer? Do either have the right to enforce a particular diet with sanctions?

Groklaw rarely mentions IBM in a negative light, but maybe it should. The patent system turned from a publication opportunity for innovators to a monopolisation opportunity for few giants that hoard the market and invoke turbulence/storm/fear/terror to discourage new entrants. The public as a whole suffers from this.

2012 will be another year of litigation because the patents bubble is expanding. Companies fail to sell products in a stagnant market, so they try to exclude or extort their competition instead. The cost of ligation trickles down to customers.

2012 Plan for Techrights

Posted in Site News at 3:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Techrights in colour

Summary: A quick overview of topics we shall concentrate on at Techrights

Now begins the year of no Novell, which was sold in 2011. The year 2012 will see our daily links expanded, probably to accommodate more news of relevance to our scope. It will also put a lot of emphasis on patents because readers reaffirmed this focus. We are going to look at how patents affect Free software and highlight players that work to the detriment of digital freedom, not just fair competition.

Digital and legal foundation define the extent to which people can communicate, what they can communicate, and when they are permitted communication. In this age of protests and riots are see an ever-increasing crackdown on freedom of speech, right to organise, etc. The frameworks for communications are mostly proprietary (even if built on top of a Free stack) and this ought to change in order to defend people from unjust power. Software is only part of the problem because knowledge, spectrum, etc. can help or defy freedom. Maybe it will take a few more years for the majority of people to realise this.

Links 4/1/2012: Mozilla Public License 2.0, Pear OS Linux Debian Edition

Posted in News Roundup at 7:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Linux Setup – Brett Legree, Nuclear Engineer

    Good day – my name is Brett Legree. I am an engineer and I work in the Canadian nuclear industry – specifically, I am a nuclear facility site inspector and I work for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, which is Canada’s nuclear regulatory organization. We help ensure the continued safe operation of nuclear companies. That is what I do from 9 to 5.

  • 2012 Plans and Dreams From the Linux Blogs and Beyond

    Looking ahead to this new year, “I wish and expect that the world will discover FLOSS, particularly Debian GNU/Linux, to be the rich and efficient software system I have been using for years,” said blogger Robert Pogson. “It is as different as night and day from that other OS, with all its restrictions and fragility.”

  • Linux design needs to be out of the hands of developers

    This post has been boiling in the back of my brain for quite some time. It’s been one of those that I was never completely sure of, until 2011 saw the influx of emails coming in saying how out of touch the Linux desktop designers were with both reality and the end user. From my perspective, it’s a bit strong of a sentiment; but the driving force behind the idea is dead on. After giving this train of thought plenty of time to derail, I decided it was finally time to fully address what I think is actually becoming an issue with the Linux desktop and how other platforms manage to avoid the problem. Although there is no big science behind my conclusions, this issue is something near and dear to me.

  • Linux Small Business Servers: Can Zentyal Succeed?
  • Windows Azure set for Linux inclusion?
  • Welcome to the 2011 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards
  • Genode OS Gets An Ambitious 2012 Roadmap

    Genode OS, one of the interesting non-Linux-based operating systems that is built on a unique framework architecture and is striving to make a general purpose OS, has shared a new project road-map.

  • Desktop

    • Ultra-Low-Cost School Computing Solution to be Exhibited

      At BETT in the HP booth (Stand J40, Upper Level) in London, England from January 11 – 14, Userful, the world leader in Linux desktop virtualization, will be demonstrating the next generation of their Userful MultiSeat™ solution.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Dolphin 2.0 – Status Update

        When introducing Dolphin 2.0 I talked about grouping support for all view modes. But I could not offer any screenshots, as this feature was not ready yet at that time.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Cinnamon 1.3 Released With Panel Autohide, More

        Cinnamon is a GNOME Shell fork created by Clement Lefebvre, the Linux Mint founder, which tries to offer a layout similar to GNOME 2: a bottom panel with launchers, GNOME2-like systray and notifications and more.

  • Distributions

    • Chakra Linux Review: Arch For Mortals

      Arch Linux has a cult following, and there is a price to pay too – it is one of those operating systems which requires its users to be well versed with the UNIX-like system. You build everything from scratch. There are quite a lot of benefits of using such a system. But, it also means that Arch Linux is not for mere mortals like me. I did install Arch once, reading a manual written by a Muktware author, but then moved back to my secure cocoon. I continue to dream of using Arch one day. Chakra brings me closer to realizing that dream. I may not have compiled the OS for my hardware and gone through the interesting installation process but through Chakra I do get to experience all the goodies of Arch without sweating too much.

    • New Releases

    • Debian Family

      • Lightweight Giant Debian XFCE

        When I started a poll about a month ago, I did not know what the outcome would be. I mean the “Best XFCE-based distribution” poll. I had a vague vision that Xubuntu would come out somewhere near the top not only because *buntu is the most popular distribution family, but also because it is a really good distribution on its own.
        But I had no idea which system would share the leadership with Xubuntu. All the candidates were actually decent Operating Systems, each with points pro and con.

      • Extremadura abandons its custom Linux distribution

        Extremadura isn’t the only public administration to discontinue the development of a custom Linux distribution. In May 2011, the German government said that among the reasons for migrating the German Foreign Office’s Linux systems back to Windows were the high maintenance costs of the custom Linux distribution.

      • Derivatives

        • Dreamlinux 5.0 Screenshot Tour

          The Dreamlinux 5.0 operating system has been released on January 1st, and it is based on the Debian 7 Wheezy distribution.

        • Announcing Pear OS Linux Debian Edition

          David Tavares, the French developer behind the jaw-dropping Pear OS Linux operating system is proud to announce today, January 3rd, the immediate availability for download and testing of the first Alpha version of Pear OS Linux Debian Edition.

        • Aptosid 2011-03 comes with Linux 3.1 kernel

          The developers of the Debian-based aptosid, formerly known as Sidux, have released version 2011-03 of the distribution. As with the Debian Sid tree (as of 2011-12-31) it is based on, aptosid 2011-03 comes with the 3.1.6 Linux kernel and either the KDE 4.6.5 or Xfce 4.8 desktop environments. With the new kernel comes more support for hardware including various USB Wi-Fi sticks with Atheros chipsets and some Broadcom wireless cards.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Abusing the word “free” in software: what’s really free in the Google market and in Ubuntu’s market?

            I am becoming more and more convinced that the real thread to free software (and I am talking here about software released under a free license, not software that you can download and use for free) is contempt. Proprietary software is a competitor, but not a real threat. Proprietary software cannot really kill free software: no matter how many law suits you start, how many patents you file, how many pre-installed versions of Windows you have, common sense will always win. Contempt, however, the the real danger.

          • Is Ubuntu’s Bleeding Edge Hurting Linux?

            Like most computer enthusiasts, I find myself seeking out Linux distributions that offer a bleeding edge experience. That said, I’m also careful not to place bleeding edge operating systems onto a desktop machine I rely on for daily use.

            After all, why put my daily productivity at risk only to discover possible bugs with a cutting edge OS! Therefore, my bleeding edge Linux experiences tend to be used on my notebook only, thus leaving my desktop free of any surprises.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi – first 10 on eBay!

      The famed Raspberry Pi Model B Beta Boards are now up for grabs on eBay. The first 10 are being auctioned off 2 at a time and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Raspberry Pi foundation.

    • Raspberry Pi Linux computer goes on sale on eBay

      The super-cheap Raspberry Pi Linux computer has been given huge New Year boost with the news that the first beta development boards have been put up for auction on eBay.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Sony cuts Tablet S price by $100, now starts at $400 for 16GB

        New year, new pricing strategy? We just got word that Sony’s cut the price of its 9.4-inch Tablet S by $100, so that it now starts at $400 for the 16GB model, and $500 for the 32GB flavor. The move follows a temporary $50 price cut, which Sony announced on December 15th and said would last through the end of the year.

      • Tablet PC or notebook?

        This time last year Apple’s iPad had just made its local debut. A year later and the iPad2 is now well established in the market, so much so that you can even buy one at your local Pick n Pay.

      • Tablets: an Android 2011 Retrospective
      • The young pretenders

        The line up of names listed in the handset vendor rankings looks very different now to how it did a few years ago and may yet change more, with Linux-based operating systems lowering the cost of entry to new players. Ruslan Kogan, founder and CEO of Australian electronic manufacturer Kogan Technolgies and Australia’s richest person under 30, gives his thoughts on the market as the company prepares to enter the fray with a £119 Android tablet.

      • Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and MSI tip Cedar Trail netbooks

        Following Intel’s announcement of its 32nm “Cedar Trail” N-Series Atoms, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and MSI have all tipped netbook models equipped with the processors. Aiming to revive interest in netbooks via lower power consumption and better graphics, the Acer Aspire One D270, Asus Eee PC Flare, Lenovo Ideapad S110, and MSI Wind U180 all employ Intel’s dual-core 1.6GHz Atom N2600 or 1.86GHz N2800 processors.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Motion-Tracking comes to Blender with Project Mango

    The Blender Foundation has started a new “Open Movie” project called “Mango”, and this one is of particular interest to me for Lunatics, because of the technical goal: motion tracking. Motion tracking is principally about putting animated 3D objects into real footage so that it matches the background “plate” (i.e. the original footage).

  • A Gross Miscarriage of Justice in Computer Chess

    What happened? Starting with the release of the first open-source Fruit in mid-2004, and continuing with the release of subsequent versions of Fruit, open-source engine Stockfish, and especially the release of reverse-engineered Rybka derivatives, highly detailed recipes for building strong, modern chess engines have been in the public domain. Fledgling chess programmers as well as programming veterans have not failed to take notice and the state of the art has advanced rapidly. As a result of this spread of knowledge new programs receive a tremendous performance boost and become “fast climbers”.

  • Is There a War Coming for Control Over Our Computing Devices?

    Over the holidays, noted blogger Cory Doctorow delivered a keynote at the 28th Chaos Communication Congress in which he warned that one of the biggest problems on the technology scene is that control over our computing devices is about to be taken from us. There is a video of the address, called The Coming War on General Computing, available on YouTube. Doctorow warns that the copyright wars are only the beginning of a much bigger set of issues having to do with how much we control our own devices. The address has already drawn much reaction from the open source community, and is, in some ways, a defense of open source principles.

  • libdce: The Distributed Codec Engine

    For those who became more interested in the PandaBoard ES after it was benchmarked on Phoronix last week, here’s some details about the Distributed Codec Engine found on this OMAP4 platform from Texas Instruments.

    For providing hardware accelerated codec support there is the Codec Engine for modern Texas Instruments ARM platforms. “Codec Engine (CE) is a framework that enables applications to easily instantiate and work with XDM codecs and algorithms using a common API.”

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • The browser platform

      For the best part of the past decade I’ve been writing about web browsers. In fact it goes back further than that, all the way to the early 1990′s, when the Mosaic browser first opened my eyes to the potential of the World Wide Web.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Public License, version 2.0

        So, as Luis Villa announced on a list, Mozilla Public License v. 2.0 has just been published. It’s actually an interesting evolution. (Indeed, the overall evolution of open licenses bears scrutiny, as they–the licenses–are being taken as seriously as any other legal instrument.)

      • Mozilla rings in new year with 2.0 license overhaul

        The overseer of the popular Firefox open source browser rang in the new year with an overhaul of its longstanding license — the Mozilla Public License 2.0.

        “Version 2.0 is similar in spirit to the previous versions, but shorter, better, and more compatible with other Free Software and Open Source Licenses,” the Mozilla project announced Tuesday

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice: Is the Open Source Software Suite Here to Stay?

      It’s a new year, and LibreOffice — the office productivity suite forked from OpenOffice.org — is the new face of open source productivity software. Or is it? And more importantly, will it remain so as OpenOffice is reborn under the Apache Foundation? Here are some thoughts on what to expect on this front in 2012.

      For those who don’t know the back story: In 2010, Oracle acquired Sun, which owned the OpenOffice.org project at the time. Concerned that Oracle might restrict or close the OpenOffice code, or sell the product for money, several groups formed the Document Foundation and forked OO into LibreOffice, an independent endeavor. Since then, most leading desktop Linux distributions have replaced OpenOffice with LibreOffice as their default office productivity suite.

    • Apache OpenOffice (Incubating)

      Apache OpenOffice is comprised of six personal productivity applications: a word processor (and its web-authoring component), spreadsheet, presentation graphics, drawing, equation editor, and database. OpenOffice is released on Windows, Solaris, Linux and Macintosh operation systems, with more communities joining, including a mature FreeBSD port. OpenOffice is localized, supporting over 110 languages worldwide.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Richard Stallman Was Right All Along

      Late last year, president Obama signed a law that makes it possible to indefinitely detain terrorist suspects without any form of trial or due process. Peaceful protesters in Occupy movements all over the world have been labelled as terrorists by the authorities. Initiatives like SOPA promote diligent monitoring of communication channels. Thirty years ago, when Richard Stallman launched the GNU project, and during the three decades that followed, his sometimes extreme views and peculiar antics were ridiculed and disregarded as paranoia – but here we are, 2012, and his once paranoid what-ifs have become reality.
      Up until relatively recently, it’s been easy to dismiss Richard Stallman as a paranoid fanatic, someone who lost touch with reality long ago. A sort of perpetual computer hippie, the perfect personification of the archetype of the unworldly basement-dwelling computer nerd. His beard, his hair, his outfits – in our visual world, it’s simply too easy to dismiss him.
      His views have always been extreme. His only computer is a Lemote Yeelong netbook, because it’s the only computer which uses only Free software – no firmware blobs, no proprietary BIOS; it’s all Free. He also refuses to own a mobile phone, because they’re too easy to track; until there’s a mobile phone equivalent of the Yeelong, Stallman doesn’t want one. Generally, all software should be Free. Or, as the Free Software Foundation puts it:

      As our society grows more dependent on computers, the software we run is of critical importance to securing the future of a free society. Free software is about having control over the technology we use in our homes, schools and businesses, where computers work for our individual and communal benefit, not for proprietary software companies or governments who might seek to restrict and monitor us.

      I, too, disregarded Stallman as way too extreme. Free software to combat controlling and spying governments? Evil corporations out to take over the world? Software as a tool to monitor private communication channels? Right. Surely, Free and open source software is important, and I choose it whenever functional equivalence with proprietary solutions is reached, but that Stallman/FSF nonsense is way out there.
      But here we are, at the start of 2012. Obama signed the NDAA for 2012, making it possible for American citizens to be detained indefinitely without any form of trial or due process, only because they are terrorist suspects.

    • What should free software do in 2012?

      In my last column, I suggested that one of the best things that Mozilla could do in order to promote the Open Web and openness in general would be to support the battle for online freedom in more general ways. That’s something it has already started doing, notably in trying to halt the passage of the awful Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that is currently grinding through the US legislative process.

  • Project Releases

    • Scribus 1.4.0 publishing software released

      After nearly four years of development, the Scribus development team has released version 1.4.0 of its open source desktop publishing (DTP) application. The major change in the 1.4.0 is the switch to the Qt4 framework, updating the application from its previous use of Qt3. The developers say the change itself was quick, but fine tuning and making use of new features of the application framework took “quite some time”. The result is that Scribus is now at the same level of reliability on all its supported platforms.

    • Version 1.0 of the Clementine music player arrives

      The Clementine developers have published version 1.0 of their open source music player. The cross-platform application is designed to be fast and easy-to-use, and was inspired by version 1.4 of Amarok (the current release is Amarok 2.5). With Clementine, users can listen to their local music library or to online radio stations; it can be used to transcode music into MP3, Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Speex, FLAC and AAC files.

    • [PacketFence v3.1 Released]
    • Trelby screenplay editor relaunched

      Trelby 2.0, an open source screenplay editor, has been launched by developers Anil Gulecha and Osku Salerma. Trelby is a rebranding of Blyte, an application written by Salerma in 2003 and sold until 2006; poor sales led to Salerma open sourcing the application in the hope that a community would form around it, but this did not happen. Five years later, in late 2011, Gulecha discovered the application while searching for a better screenplay editor than celtx. He began creating improvements to Blyte and this inspired Salerma to return to work on the application. Together they have renamed the application, refreshed the code, created a new web site and are now trying to build a community around developing the application though they admit “the intersection of software developers and screenwriters is tiny”.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Misplaced priorities hampering UK government uptake of open source

      According to a computing.co.uk article entitled Open Source: The government’s commitment so far, most of the IT technology used in the UK government is still proprietary and comes from single vendors.

      Open source adoption by government agencies in the UK is progressing, but is still being hindered by a focus on “free as in gratis.” Decisions based on cost-of-acquisition alone ignore the other real and more important values offered by open source, which are derived from “free as in freedom.”

    • Environment Agency deploys open source knowledge management

      The Environment Agency is deploying an open source knowledge management system to compile and share information on around 500 river restoration projects throughout Europe.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Marco Tempest makes open-source magic for the 21st century

      Magic tricks depend on secrecy. So it might seem counterintuitive that Marco Tempest — a Swiss-born magician living in New York — has gone open-source. He reveals his methods, talks to his audiences online and asks for feedback. “If someone has a good idea, I put it in my show and give credit,” says Tempest, 46.

    • Andy Carvin explains how Twitter is his ‘open-source newsroom’

      Andy Carvin and Clay Shirky spent an hour on WBUR’s “On Point” program Tuesday morning discussing Twitter’s impact on media and the world. In one of several insightful exchanges,

    • Adblock and Wikipedia Look to Raise Money for ‘Free’ Software

      On Monday, I wrote about how the lead developer of an open-source project – Adblock Plus – had created a start-up to manage the project. As part of a new business plan, the software, which has long been known for blocking ads, would no longer block what it calls “acceptable ads.” (These ads will not be flashy or slow down the browsing experience.)

  • Programming

    • Gambas 3.0 for BASIC with bug and security fixes

      The Gambas developers published version 3.0 of their BASIC development environment for Linux just before the new year was about to begin in the US. By their own admission, they made it just in time, as they had promised this version would be released in 2011. Gambas allows users to write applications in an extended version of BASIC that can make use of Qt4 or GTK+ GUIs, communicate over D-Bus, drive OpenGL, and access databases such as MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite.

Leftovers

  • Wikinews holds Reform Party USA presidential candidates forum

    Three men are currently seeking the presidential nomination of the Reform Party of the United States of America: small business owner Andre Barnett, Earth Intelligence Network CEO Robert Steele, and former college football coach Robby Wells. Wikinews reached out to these candidates and asked each of them five questions about their campaigns. There were no space limits placed on the responses, and no candidate was exposed to another’s responses before making their own. The answers are posted below in unedited form for comparison of the candidates.

  • Hackers aim to launch Internet satellite network, moon mission

    Armin Bauer, one of the three German hobbyists involved in the HGG, said at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin that the system involved a reversal of the standard GPS technique. The scheme was announced at the event, which is Europe’s largest hacker conference.

  • BASIC Is Dead. Bury It.

    Quite the troll post on Slashdot over the Holiday weekend, sniveling about wanting BASIC on the mobile phone platform.

    BASIC advocates seem to come back annually on Slashdot like a herpes outbreak. Last year it was somebody advocating BASIC as a teaching language again. Touting BASIC as a way to teach “the joy of programming” is like recommending a night in a whorehouse as a way to teach young men “the joy of marriage”.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Tail Risk and Embalming Fluid, in 2012

      I feel motivated today to write about global markets, and especially the lingering fear that’s sure to carry over from 2011 to 2012. The last 18 months have supplied historians with every reason to believe that a replay of the 2008 financial crisis was about to unfold. The difference being that the private sector debt crisis which triggered 2008′s terrible domino event has now been transposed, into a similar risk in sovereign debt. Especially the sovereign debt of peripheral Europe. As a student of macroeconomics, and as one who observes the procession of market psychology—when markets slowly move from the comfort of sleep to the Ker-Pow! of recognition—I am strangely in the position of thinking the following, mildly heretical thought: tail risk in global markets is now much, much lower than most anticipate. If that’s true, certain asset classes are going to make very large, very surprising moves in 2012.

  • Finance

    • Goldman’s Latest Boiler-Room Stock: America

      Happy New Year, everyone. Hope you all had a great holiday…

      Have a column on Iowa coming soon, but first, a quick but absurd note from the world of high finance.

      It seems Jim O’Neill, the head of Goldman’s Asset Management department, is predicting that the United States stock market may go up “15 to 20 percent.” O’Neill apparently believes Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve will resort to another round of money-printing, and finally green-light the long-awaited “Qe3,” or third round of “Quantitative Easing.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Neighbors Occupy Road, Blockade Sludge Trucks

      Recently, a group of farmers and neighbors in Salmon Valley, near Prince George, British Columbia, successfully blockaded Wright Creek Road and turned back a truck full of sewage sludge headed for a 117 acre parcel of farm land contracted as a dump site by the City of Prince George. One neighbor brought a snow mobile towing a portable fire pit on a sled so that they were able to keep warm while they blocked the road. As of this writing, the trucks have not returned.

  • Copyrights

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