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Links 5/1/2012: Linux 3.2 Released, Android Devices Unlocked

Posted in News Roundup at 10:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Apache OpenOffice (Incubating)

      I suspect that finding the newly christened and newly energised project and application formerly known as “OpenOffice.org” is less than super easy for some. So, the link is there… Right now, I’m using the latest build for Mac OS X of Apache OpenOffice (thanks to Raphael Bircher!), and not only is it stable but fast. I’ve also added the usual extensions, etc.

  • CMS

    • Dries’ vision for Drupal 8

      In January last year the developers of popular open source content management system Drupal celebrated the release of version 7. Drupal 7 included significant architectural changes as well as usability enhancements.

  • Licensing

    • Mozilla overhauls for version 2.0 of public licence

      Patent protection and modernisation to reflect recent changes in copyright law have been addressed. The MPL 2.0 has also been polished to “incorporate feedback from lawyers outside the United States on issues of applicability in non-US jurisdictions”.


  • Finance

    • The US Economy in 2012 – Two Big Problems, Two Ready Solutions

      A number of Obama’s historical allies feel that the President missed a major opportunity by not embracing the Simpson-Bowles blueprint when it was first released a year ago.


      “Ronald Reagan once said,” writes Christina Romer in her concluding paragraph, “‘There are simple answers – there just are not easy ones.’ What needs to happen on fiscal policy is relatively straightforward. The hard part is getting politicians to do it.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Real “Winner” in Iowa: New “Super” Front Groups That Are Super Corrupting Our Democracy Thanks to “Citizens United”

      Contrary to most press accounts, there was a decisive winner in the Iowa caucuses last night, and it was neither Rick Santorum nor Mitt Romney. The “winner” was the so-called “Super” PACs (political action committees), the mutant front groups for political candidates that were “created” in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision that unleashed corporations and billionaires to spend unlimited money influencing elections. The losers were the American people and the integrity of the democratic process, which is so vulnerable to attack ads and other influence funded by the 1%.

    • “Energy in Depth,” “Counter-Insurgency” Tactics, and Astroturf “Energy Citizens”

      The corporations pushing for expanded “hydraulic fracturing” (“fracking”) for “natural gas” are putting big money into PR campaigns due to growing citizen concerns about this damaging drilling process. At a “Media and Stakeholder Relations: Hydraulic Fracturing Initiative 2011″ meeting this winter, an industry representative went so far as to suggest that industry public relations agents download the U.S. Army/Marine Corps’ “Counterinsurgency Field Manual.” He noted that it would be helpful because the industry is “dealing with an insurgency.”

    • Mitt Romney’s “Super” Friends Take Aim through the “Restore Our Future” Super PAC

      The PAC Is Run by Romney’s Former Campaign Strategist Carl Forti

      The pro-Romney Super PAC that carpet-bombed Iowa with ads against Gingrich is led by Carl Forti. Forti is the man who ran Romney’s campaign for president in 2008. He was perhaps Romney’s closest advisor and strategist when Romney placed second in Iowa four years ago.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Challenging Counterfeit Counterfeiting Data

      Julian Sanchez has an excellent post at the CATO website debunking claims in the U.S. on the financial impact of counterfeiting and piracy, which is being used to promote the dangerous Stop Online Piracy Act. The post focuses on the fake $250 billion per year claim that is frequently invoked by copyright lobby groups, noting that the number is not based on an actual study but rather a 1991 sidebar in Forbes that took a guess at the global market. In 2010, the U.S. Government Accountability Office examined the counterfeiting data claims and found that they could not be substantiated and last year the Social Sciences Research Council released a massive study on counterfeiting and piracy that thoroughly debunked the claims.

    • Copyrights

      • Piracy is not a problem; SOPA is not a solution

        Recently, as I was browsing the shelves of my local used book store, I realized that I was engaged in “piracy” of exactly the same kind as what the legacy entertainment industry has slammed as a scourge so terrible that it is worthy of giving up our online freedoms to protect. This is what SOPA is supposed to protect us from.

      • Disaffection with Jamendo among artists

        Jamendo has been one of my favorite sites for finding free-licensed music (i.e. music licensed under Creative Commons Attribution or Attribution-ShareAlike licenses) for projects. So, it’s very sad for me to find out that it has had a flagging reputation over the last year or so. I first noticed earlier this year that some artists were disappearing from the site. Originally, I attributed this to artists becoming disaffected with free culture in general, which worried me a lot.

        However, I’ve had a chance to track down a few of the artists and find their own comments (and complaints). Several have expressed concern over dealing with Jamendo’s management, which has apparently become somewhat inattentive — especially with issues surrounding the Jamendo Pro service and the other ways artists can make money through the site. Perhaps they are understaffed or overloaded. I don’t really have the whole picture, but whatever the actual details, it seems a fair number of free-culture musicians have been leaving Jamendo.

      • Crystal Ball Gazing at the Year Ahead in Tech Law and Policy

        Technology law and policy is notoriously unpredictable but 2012 promises to be a busy year. My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) offers some guesses for the coming months:

      • Busted: Canadian Parliament Hosts BitTorrent Pirates

        YouHaveDownloaded is a great resource that reveals what people behind an IP-address have downloaded on BitTorrent.

      • ACTA

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