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01.24.12

Links – Lots of Censorship and Astroturf. SOPA/MegaUpload Backlashes Bring Informed Opinion into the Political Process.

Posted in Site News at 8:45 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • Microsoft Office’s EULA restricts use, just like iBooks Author.

    the Microsoft Office Home & Student license says that the software “may not be used for commercial, non- profit, or revenue-generating activities.” … The Microsoft restriction appears to be even more restrictive, and would include files. In other words, if I write a book using Microsoft Office Home & Student and sell it for money, haven’t I used the software for commercial or revenue-generating activities?

    Again the attitude is “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.”

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Dish size and color influence portion size leading to obesity.

      You want a plate that is 10 inches or smaller and has a high contrast with your food. If you don’t want lots of colored plates, a pattern might help. You also want a table that contrasts with your plate. People who need to eat more should reverse these suggestions. The paper is worth downloading and reading.

  • Security

    • US killer spy drone controls switch to Linux

      The credential-stealing malware, first reported by Wired, made its way from a portable hard drive onto ground systems, which control the drones’ weapons and surveillance functions. Portable disks are used to load map updates and transfer mission videos from one computer to another, Defense News added. … Behind the scenes other changes appear to have been made: screenshots of drone control computers uploaded by security researcher Mikko Hypponen suggest that at least some of the consoles have been migrated from Microsoft Windows to open source Linux.

    • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Finance

      • America Beyond Capitalism

        Exploratory efforts are currently underway to replicate aspects of the Cleveland model in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., and several other communities. The “demonstration effect” of the highly unorthodox model has also begun to challenge community organizers to find ways to incorporate worker-owned development into grassroots activist strategies. … The idea of creating wealth, not simply jobs, also has a powerful resonance. The Evergreen model takes us well past token job creation at minimum wages in states like Rick Perry’s Texas, to a very different conception of what people deserve and ought to be able to have.

    • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

      • Supremely Unseemly Conduct by Supreme Court Justices Spurs Call for Mandatory Ethics Rules

        Justice Antonin Scalia (75, an appointee of Ronald Reagan) and Justice Clarence Thomas (63, an appointee of George H.W. Bush) have attended exclusive events at private resorts orchestrated by the billionaire oil barons Charles and David Koch, which the brothers use to advance their partisan political agenda. (A copy of the Koch Industries invitation and briefing material is uploaded below.) Justice Thomas has also accepted gifts of travel on the private jets of billionaire Harlan Crow, and he has not been fully forthcoming about the income and political activities of his wife, Ginny Thomas, who launched a group, Liberty Central, to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling in the case that struck down election rules, “Citizens United,”

      • Justice Scalia On Unlimited Political Ads: Turn Off The TV

        Scalia spent more than 10 minutes lamenting the way confirmation hearings for new justices are now held in the U.S. Senate. He said lawmakers are now more concerned with making sure a prospective member of the court will interpret the Constitution they want, instead of the way the founding fathers wrote it.

        If we are supposed to ignore the way our leaders are chosen, he should do the same for his peers.

      • ALEC Politician Claims ALEC Meetings Are “Open to the Public.” Really?

        That would be breaking news to both traditional press and the online media that have been blocked from ALEC meetings and are increasingly being threatened with arrest. … Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan was a dues paying member of ALEC last summer, but was ejected anyway from the New Orleans cigar party for ALEC members and lobbyists sponsored by Reynolds. Pocan did go on to write a widely circulated piece for The Progressive magazine about his experience, “Inside the ALEC Dating Service.”

      • The Alcohol Industry’s Stealth “Joe Camel” Strategy

        the U.S. Surgeon General in 2007 declared underage drinking a public health crisis, the practices of the alcohol industry have largely escaped notice and have simply not been a priority for public health agencies. Diageo and other brands of alcohol have extended their reach into the youth market by routinely advertising on social network sites, interactive websites, internet games, and by using viral marketing tactics and YouTube videos, all of which are largely unregulated and have a high likelihood of reaching underage audiences. … By 2009, a study on adolescent drug use showed 64 percent of 8th graders reported regularly using alcopops.

      • PR Firm Caught Editing Wikipedia

        Anheuser-Busch’s United Kingdom division, InBev, employed a lobbying firm to edit the Wikipedia entry about its Stella Artois brand of lager to delete a negative reference to the brand. Portland Communications, a lobbying firm run by a former adviser to Tony Blair, deleted the term “wife-beater” from the Wikipedia article about Stella Artois, reportedly to “challenge any connections between the brand and domestic violence.”

    • Censorship

      • Dan Bull Raps About How Megaupload Takedown Screws Indie Artists Like Him

        If anyone in the US government actually bothered to understand how music is distributed, marketed and monetized today, they would have realized that Megaupload isn’t the problem — it’s one way to make things better for artists. But, as we know, the folks in the US government only get their information from the RIAA. So they end up making life much more difficult for indie artists by shutting down useful services for those artists. And, in the end, that is exactly what the RIAA wants.

        The DOJ justifies such losses by pointing to standard weasel wording in the MegaUpload contracts against liablity for loss or termination of contract. Bedsides ignoring lost revenue and reputation, the DOJ’s logic covers every computing device, especially non free software. The DOJ is not responsible for your losses if they smash your Windows laptop, for example, because Microsoft said you should keep a backup and could terminate your use of the computer at any time.

      • The Pirate Party of Catalunya is organizing lawsuits against the FBI for the damage it has done to users of Megaupload.
      • Big publishers make more outrageous demands for control and censorship.

        I wish no one was listening to them.

      • Powers of Ten Perspective on SOPA

        Congress is a flea pit. We can crack the fleas one at a time as they bite us, or we can clean house. … We win when we end this stream of Internet-breaking bills, and that will only happen when Congressional election campaigns are no longer paid for by monied interests. … Lessig has called it a “generational” problem: pernicious money will take 30 years to eradicate, so we may end up cleaning up the country for our children.

        It should not take that long to fix.

      • FBI Reminds Us Government Already Has MegaPower to Take Down Websites

        Even Cato understands some of the problems with SOPA and other insane US Copyright laws.

      • The Amazing Atheist on SOPA

        This is a government that passes laws to justify things they are already doing not really to give themselves permission to do them.

        He compares the NDAA to the indefinite detention of Bradly Manning and wonders if anyone would come to his rescue if he were jailed. It’s good to be angry about these things but that anger needs to be focused into something useful to bring about change.

      • It’s Time To Go On The Offensive For Freedom Of Speech

        The copyright industry is tenacious and effective in using the “Daddy, I want a pony” tactics in legislation. They go at it again, and again, and again, and again. The result is a continuous erosion of our civil rights and an entrenchment of their entitlement to taxpayer funds. … as long as we’re just defending, we will always be on the retreat, and we will always lose.

      • Cyberlocker Ecosystem Shocked As Big Players Take Drastic Action

        In the wake of last week’s Megaupload shutdown, some of the biggest names in the market are taking drastic action. During the last 48 hours many sites have completely withdrawn their systems for paying uploaders when their files are shared with others, but one of the most dramatic moves came first from Filesonic and today Fileserve. Both services now forbid people from downloading any files they didn’t upload themselves.

      • The House of Saud and the Big Banks Move in on Twitter

        Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal joins JPMorgan Chase as a major stakeholder in Twitter, the social media network that catapulted both the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street movement onto the global stage.

        This and other nasty things happened to OWS while most people were busy shopping. Censorship was reported almost immediately.

    • Privacy

      • Behavioral Pricing: A consumer’s worst nightmare, a merchant’s dream

        It’s a consumer’s worst nightmare as it uses the traces of your online identity to maximize prices on the products and services you want most. It’s also an ecommerce merchant’s dream.

        Think you have nothing to hide? That belief, and sites like Facebook and Twitter, will cost you. Don’t you just love customer loyalty programs?

      • Police Use of G.P.S. Is Ruled Unconstitutional

        Though the ruling was limited to physical intrusions, the opinions in the case collectively suggested that a majority of the justices are prepared to apply broad Fourth Amendment privacy principles unrelated to such intrusions to an array of modern technologies,

        I’ll believe that when I see it.

    • Civil Rights

      • Emanuel’s Protest-Squashing “Sit Down and Shut Up” Ordinance Passes in Chicago

        Critics say the “sit down and shut up” ordinance, as it has been called, seeks to chill protest and civil liberties in Chicago through measures including mandatory $1 million liability insurance for protests, a heightened police presence and more difficulty getting a permit.

        The measures are similar to those in Wisconsin and will effectively bar protest by poor people, those with the most grievances. Voter ID laws keep the same people from being able to vote.

      • When Should Open Source Be Written Into Law?

        Last August Karen Sandler … asked the manufacturer [of a defribulator that would be implanted in her] for the source code, and was denied. … she found that the FDA does not review or have access to the source code. She also found that she had no legal recourse against the manufacturer to force them to release their code. … the manufacturer ignored her Freedom Of Information Act request. Twice. … I would suggest three areas of software which should be available upon request, without question.

        The Open Source people are coming to grips with the notion that devices they don’t control are actually in control of them. They phrase it as a safety issue rather than a rights issue, but we should not let device makers have this kind of power over us. We must demand all of the software freedoms not just the ability to look at code and trust that’s what is running. In cases where certification is required and the code should not be changed, an verifiable escrow should be kept by the certifiying body. In cases like an automobile, software freedom is the only way to protect us from malice.

      • Park City Tragedy Underscores Tragedy of the U.S. Health Care System — for Both Canadians and Americans

        At just 29 years old, Burke was considered a top-flight “acrobat-on-skis,” and a medal contender at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. Instead, her family will be laying her to rest in her native Canada — and pleading for money to help cover the estimated $550,000 they owe for the medical care she received at University of Utah Hospital over nine days. The irony is that had the accident occurred in Canada, her family would not be facing having to come up with more than half a million dollars to pay for her care. Her care would have been covered because, unlike the U.S., Canada has a system of universal coverage.

      • The Teenager Who Changed My Life

        Anyone who believes that American doctors call the shots when it comes to providing medical care for their insured patients is sadly mistaken. Many folks, like Nataline’s parents, are stunned to discover — when they are helpless to do anything about it — that insurance companies essentially have the power to make what amount to life and death decisions. … A CIGNA medical director 2,500 miles away said he did not agree with Nataline’s doctors and felt the transplant would not be appropriate … pressure worked. CIGNA agreed to cover the transplant at an estimated cost of $250,000 on December 20, 2007 … She passed away just hours after CIGNA told the Sarkisyans they would pay for it.

      • Nationalist Jogging Event Mistaken for Gay Pride Rally and shut down.
      • Foxconn Boss Likens Workers to Animals

        This is not nearly as offensive as treating employees like animals.

    • Copyrights

      • Elsevier — my part in its downfall

        Once I did hear about Elsevier’s behaviour, I made a conscious decision not to publish in Elsevier journals and I started to feel bad about cooperating with them in any way. … I have decided that my previous quiet approach was not enough.

        A well informed opinion. Here’s a moral argument for the author: scolarship should not be limited by proximity to a library. We are all poorer when the next Einstein can’t learn physics.

      • Supreme Court Chooses SOPA/PIPA Protest Day To Give A Giant Middle Finger To The Public DomainSupreme Court Chooses SOPA/PIPA Protest Day To Give A Giant Middle Finger To The Public Domain

        The key point in the case was questioning whether or not the US could take works out of the public domain and put them under copyright. The US had argued it needed to do this under a trade agreement to make other countries respect our copyrights. … The ruling is ridiculously depressing. The Justices basically just keep repeating the mantra they first set forth in Eldred, that as long as Congress says it’s okay — and that the “fair use” and the “idea/expression” dichotomy remain — all is just dandy.

        Corporations frequently turn to anti-democratic treaties that circumvent the entire legislative process.

Links 24/1/2012: Cinnamon 1.2, Ubuntu Versus Menu Bar

Posted in News Roundup at 6:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux to rule the world then, basically

    If the Linux Foundation releases a survey suggesting that open source is poised for growth, is that hard to get excited about? Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?

    If the Ovum Research team releases a study suggesting that Android is soon to become the top developer platform, is that hard to get excited about? Well, they have, haven’t they?

    The Linux Foundation sees open source technology set for its grandest age yet based on low total cost of ownership, technical features and security. Comments are based upon a new survey entitled “Linux Adoption Trends 2012: A Survey of Enterprise End Users.”

  • Linux fate lies in the hands of many

    When someone presses me about the state of Linux on the desktop, I usually respond with a tightened brow and pursed lip and start talking about the current commercial push to move beyond the desktop platform and into mobile.

    And while that’s a valid observation, I also have to pause and recognize the strength of the Linux community, remembering that this collective voice has huge potential in shaping the direction of Linux and open source projects.

  • Linux: Moving from the Fringe to the Center

    One of the popular perceptions about Linux is that somehow the open source operating system is the IT equivalent of the anti-establishment candidate. But a funny thing usually happens to almost every anti-establishment trend given enough time: It moves from the fringe to the center.

    If a recent survey of 428 respondents at organizations with $500 million or more in annual revenues or greater than 500 employees conducted by The Linux Foundation is any guide, that’s exactly what’s happening with Linux. Although different distributions of Linux are more accepted by mainstream IT organizations than others, the server makes it clear that large numbers of mission-critical applications and new application workloads are finding their way onto Linux platforms. Part of that expansion can also be attributed to independent software vendors pushing Linux adoption if for no other reason than it leaves more of the IT budget available for application software licenses.

  • Desktop

    • Why oems should avoid not (possibly) making it harder to install Linux

      There has been a lot of worry lately about windows 8 secure boot making it (possibly) much harder or impossible to install certain Linux’s (possibly all) on pcs with windows 8 secure boot. So I decided to list the arguments against making it possibly harder or impossible to install Linux’s.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Preview: Intel’s Open-Source Driver Can Beat Mac OS X

      Thanks to recent advancements by Intel’s Open-Source Technology Center, the open-source Linux graphics driver not only supports more OpenGL 3.0 functionality than Apple’s Intel graphics driver for Mac OS X, but the performance is more competitive. In some cases, the OpenGL performance is now superior under Linux with the open-source driver that is developed by Intel in conjunction with the free software community. This article is looking at the performance of Intel Sandy Bridge graphics under Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” and Ubuntu Linux.

    • XFS Developer Takes Shots At Btrfs, EXT4

      Chris Mason of Btrfs fame wasn’t the only Linux file-system developer talking to the public last week. While the Btrfs talk was going on in Los Angeles at SCALE 10x, Dave Chinner was down under in Australia at LCA2012 talking about XFS. His talk included some controversial shots at EXT4 and Btrfs.

      During his Linux.Conf.Au 2012 presentation in Barratt, Australia, Chinner first talked about the XFS meta-data problems of the file-system’s meta-data modification performance being terrible. EXT4 can be 20~50x faster than XFS with certain workloads like unpacking a Linux kernel source tar-ball package. However, with one major algorithm change and various performance optimizations, the XFS performance is now scaling much better (Dave recommends the Linux 3.0 stable series or newer for the best XFS support).

    • Graphics Stack

      • Reverse-Engineered NVIDIA Driver Works On Re-Clocking

        While Nouveau for open-source NVIDIA support in Mesa 8.0 is mixed, the developers behind this reverse-engineered NVIDIA driver are making some progress and hope to have more positive information to report soon.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Digia: Committed To Qt, Will Take “Extremely Active Role”

        In an email to Phoronix, Digia has clarified their Qt Commercial releases and further affirmed their commitment to the public Qt Project.

        Katherine Barrios, the head of global marketing at Digia, fired off an email to Phoronix on Monday. She sought to clarify Digia’s Qt Commercial releases and to make it known to Phoronix readers that they are committed the community project built around the LGPL version of the Qt tool-kit.

      • fine tuning the trajectory

        One of the most significant results of all the pondering in relative silence is this: My role within KDE and my relationship to the F/OSS community is going to be changing this year in fairly significant ways.

        I will be writing more on this over the course of the week, culminating in an announcement on Friday that I hope you will find as exciting as I do. :)

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • REMnux 3 review – a treasure chest for the malware-curious

      Analyzing and reverse engineering malware is a difficult task, which should be meticulously done in an isolated environment with specialized tools. In the last few years an interesting Linux distribution has surfaced with the aim to bring malware analysis to the masses. REMnux is the brainchild of security consultant Lenny Zeltser, who recently announced version 3 of his specialized Linux distribution, full of open source tools for analyzing and reverse engineering Flash malware, obfuscated JavaScript, shell code, malicious PDF files, and so on.

      Zeltser makes the REMnux 3 release available as a VMware virtual appliance and as an ISO image of a Live CD. The idea is to run the distribution in a virtual machine and then analyze the malware in its isolated environment. REMnux 3 is a trimmed-down version of Ubuntu 11.10 with a hand-picked treasure chest of useful malware analysis tools and is using LXDE as its lightweight desktop environment.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu rips up drop-down menus

            By Barry Collins
            Ubuntu is set to replace the 30-year-old computer menu system with a “Head-Up Display” that allows users to simply type or speak menu commands.

          • Ubuntu Is Killing The Menu Bar With New Tech That Is Part Alfred, Part Siri
          • Ubuntu Announces A Heads-Up Display For 12.04

            Mark Shuttleworth has announced a “heads-up display” that Canonical has been working on for its initial debut to be made with the release of the 12.04 LTS “Precise Pangolin” release.

            The Ubuntu plan is to eventually have this heads-up display, which was developed in-house, to “ultimately replace menus in Unity applications.” The Ubuntu HUD is about a way for the user to express their intent and to then have the HUD respond appropriately based upon the interpreted intent.

          • Introducing the HUD. Say hello to the future of the menu.

            The menu has been a central part of the GUI since Xerox PARC invented ‘em in the 70′s. It’s the M in WIMP and has been there, essentially unchanged, for 30 years.

          • Beyond the desktop: Ubuntu Linux’s new Head-Up Display

            Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, has announced that Ubuntu will be adopting a radical new change to the interface that will do away with the “menu” in the Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointer (WIMP) interface, which has defined the desktop for the last thirty years.

            Shuttleworth states, “The menu has been a central part of the GUI since Xerox PARC invented ‘em in the 70?s. It’s the M in WIMP and has been there, essentially unchanged, for 30 years. We can do much better!” This new interface, which will first appear as a beta in April’s Ubuntu 12.04 release, is called Head-Up Display.

          • Ubuntu Linux’s New ‘HUD’ Interface Will Do Away with Menus

            A new kind of interface is coming to Ubuntu 12.04 “Precise Pangolin” that will ultimately replace menus in Unity applications and recognize voice commands.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Boxee Live TV first impressions

      The moment our Boxee Live TV adapter arrived, we connected it to our Boxee Box and investigated its capabilities. The screenshots below demonstrate Boxee Live TV’s setup, channel editing, watching broadcast HDTV channels, and more.

    • Get the Perfect Cup of Java with a DIY Linux-Powered Coffee Roaster

      If you’re a Linux user and just happen to have a bread machine laying around, you can make your very own Linux-powered Corretto Roaster. Now you can use your favorite distro to roast your own beans before consuming your java.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • CyanogenMod May Start Selling Forbidden Android Fruit

          The makers of CyanogenMod Android firmware may be readying an app store to sell software for rooted Android phones, including wares that have been banned from the Android Market. Rooting an Android phone gives the user a new level of control over the device, though it’s generally frowned upon by phone makers and carriers, and only a very small portion of buyers pursue the operation.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Rugged, biometric smartphone and tablet run ICS on OMAP 4 CPUs

        Elektrobit (EB) and startup Raptor Identification Systems (Raptor ID) announced two ruggedized biometric devices that run Android 4.0 on TI’s dual-core 1.5GHz OMAP4460. Raptor ID’s RaptorOne smartphone offers a four-inch touchscreen; the RaptorPad tablet features a seven-inch display; and both offer iris cameras, fingerprint scanners, and CAC/smartcard readers.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Application Development: Top 13 New Open-Source Projects of 2011 (based on a Microsoft buddy)
  • Liferay’s Open Source Community Thrives

    If you were wondering if growth and interest in open source was just hype, Liferay provided a little additional evidence today that open source is thriving. The open source portal maker has announced its community expanded to 56,000 members in 2011 — an almost 40% increase over the previous year.

  • Events

    • Looking Back on SCALE 10x

      A lot of things change in 10 years. Many of the Linux conferences we were going to in 2002 are no longer around, but the Southern California Linux Expo has not only survived – it’s grown into a major event for anybody interested in Linux. Whether you’re brand-new to Linux or using Linux to power cloud solutions, SCALE 10x had something for everybody.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla to Crowdsource the State of the Union with Multilingual Subtitles

        If you haven’t tried language translation technology in a few years, it’s worth revisiting it. As we covered here, it’s become much easier to automate multilingual websites, there are very useful translation programs for mobile phones that you can use to communicate in foreign languages on the fly, and open source machine translation tools are flourishing. So it’s notable that Mozilla will help deliver Tuesday’s U.S. State of the Union Address from President Barrack Obama in multiple languages worldwide, translated in real time.

  • Databases

    • Joomla content management gets multi-database support

      The newly released edition of the Joomla open source content management system now comes with a new search engine, and can use Microsoft SQL Server or PostGreSQL, in addition to MySQL.

    • Joomla 2.5 courts corporate, enterprise users

      Joomla is extending support beyond MySQL to increase its penetration in businesses and enterprises.

      The upgraded 2.5 version of the content management system (CMS), which becomes available on Jan. 24, offers multi-database support, notably Microsoft SQL Server out of the gate, and Oracle support in the near future, as well as an enhanced natural language search engine and automatic notification and delivery of updates and extensions.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • JavaFX makes it across platform to Linux

      A new Developer Preview of JavaFX 2.1 has been released by Oracle and now the cross platform user interface toolkit is available to download for Linux. When JavaFX 2.0 was released as a beta at the end of May 2011, many developers noted that the cross platform toolkit only ran on Windows. The problem was partly resolved with the release of JavaFX 2.0, which added Mac OS X support, but Linux support was still missing in action.

  • CMS

  • Semi-Open Source

  • Project Releases

    • Mozilla releases version 0.1 of the Rust language and compiler

      Mozilla has released the first public version of the compiler and development tools for the Rust language, which is described as “a safe, concurrent, practical language”. According to the announcement, this first release is targeted at “early adopters and language enthusiasts” and has been described by the developers as “nifty, but it will still eat your laundry”. Rust is a programming language and open source toolkit aimed at the development of client and server programs.

    • Mozilla releases Rust 0.1, the language that will eventually usurp Firefox’s C++
    • Google Brings Open Source to the Sky – Why Now?

      One of the very first things that I ever downloaded onto my Android phone was Google Sky. It’s fantastic app the lets you just point your phone at a section of the sky to see a map overlay of the stars/constellation above.

    • GDB 7.4 released

      Release 7.4 of GDB, the GNU Debugger, is now available via anonymous FTP. GDB is a source-level debugger for Ada, C, C++, Objective-C, Pascal and many other languages. GDB can target (i.e., debug programs running on) more than a dozen different processor architectures, and GDB itself can run on most popular GNU/Linux, Unix and Microsoft Windows variants.

  • Licensing

    • How Open Source Licenses Affect Your Business and Your Developers

      For most of the 2000s, copyleft licenses (in particular the GPLv2) were the most popular choice for new open source projects. In the last few years, developers and companies seem to be trending away from the GPL in favor of permissive licenses for open source projects. What’s behind that, does it impact your business and what licenses should you choose for new projects? Let’s take a look.

      The GPL is in decline, sort of. As Matthew Aslett reported last year, the number of projects using the GPL family has increased in real terms.

      However, the usage of the GPL as a percent of all open source projects is in decline. According to Aslett, in 2008 the GPL family was 70 percent of licenses. As of December of 2011, it was 57 percent. Clearly, there is a trend at least for now towards permissive licenses.

    • A permissive bubble?

      I remembered this after reading two articles by Matthew Aslett – “On the continuing decline on the GPL” and “The future of commercial open source business strategies“. The data this research is based on appears to me mostly correct, and I couldn’t find fatal logic flaws in them. However, my logic still couldn’t agree with some of the conclusions, and tended to see other in a different light. Something have to be wrong here.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Cambridge University joins Lilly’s open-source discovery platform

      The University of Cambridge in the UK has become the latest academic institution to sign up to an open-source drug discovery programme set up by Eli Lilly.

      The Open Innovation Drug Discovery Platform (formerly known as PD2) was set up by Lilly in an attempt to overcome the challenges posed by rising costs and declining productivity in pharma R&D by increasing its interactions with academia.

    • Aero-engineers debut open-source fluid dynamics design application

      Each fall at technical universities across the world, a new crop of aeronautical and astronautical engineering graduate students settle in for the work that will consume them for the next several years. For many, their first experience in these early months is not with titanium or aluminum or advanced carbon-fiber materials that are the stuff of airplanes, but with computer code.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Election preview: The Oval Office and the tech agenda

      In 2006, Romney won applause from open-source advocates by appointing Louis Gutierrez as state CIO and using the occasion to emphasize his support for an ongoing project to implement OASIS’ OpenDocument Format (ODF) in state government.

Leftovers

  • Julian Assange is set to host his own TV show focusing on “the world tomorrow”

    Despite an extradition to Sweden hanging over his head, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to host his very own TV show, which will see him interview “key political players, thinkers and revolutionaries” from around the world.

  • HTC Partners With IBM in Enterprise Initiative
  • HTC Catches the Train

    HTC is also fighting the battle from one individual to the next by opening the boot-loader to run GNU/Linux or other stuff for geeks.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Gretchen Morgenson on Corporate Clout in Washington

      Moyers talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter and columnist Gretchen Morgenson on how money and political clout enable industries to escape regulation and enrich executives at the top.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Adding Your DNA To A Biobank Is A Noble Move — But Is It A Wise One?

      Anything that brings us closer to understanding and treating diseases that affect hundreds of millions of people is obviously to be welcomed. But DNA is special: for a start, it is unique for each of us (even “identical” twins seem to have different DNA.) This has made DNA of particular interest to the police, since it appears to offer a perfect way for identifying those at a crime scene (not necessarily the perpetrators, of course.) Which raises the question: what happens when the police realize that biobanks offer a great way to get DNA they can’t obtain in the usual ways?

    • Ownership Mentality: Art Gallery Prohibits Sketching

      I’ve always been a bit baffled by No Photography signs in museums and art galleries. Presumably they exist to make the exhibits more exclusive and attractive, but that misses the point of why people visit museums: they want to see these things in person, which is a vastly different experience from simply knowing what they look like. Nobody has ever seen a photo of a dinosaur skeleton or Michelangelo’s David and thought “oh good, now I don’t need to go see that for real.”

    • Copyrights

      • Closing Megaupload unlikely to even slow piracy down

        The U.S. Department of Justice working in conjunction with New Zealand’s law enforcement agencies has taken down the popular file-storage and sharing site Megaupload. So, since Megaupload has been shut down, Internet piracy has gone down significantly, right? Right? Well, probably not, NPD market researcher Russ Crupnick said, “Only about 3 percent of the U.S. Internet audience relied on digital storage for legitimate purposes or piracy in the third quarter.”

        So where is the file piracy going on? The same place it always has been: over BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer software powered networks. According to Crupnick, “Peer-to-peer systems like BitTorrent, which have little central coordination and are harder to stop, still have about three times as much usage among consumers as digital lockers.”

      • Does Online Piracy Hurt The Economy? A Look At The Numbers

        Julian Sanchez has an excellent piece in Ars Technica which takes a look at the claim that content creators are being discouraged from creative pursuits due to online piracy – a claim that has fueled the recently stalled anti-piracy legislation in congress.

        Whether SOPA and PIPA would have actually worked is an open question, but whether they were ever even necessary to begin with is even more important.

      • Petition Asks White House to Probe MPAA’s Chris Dodd Over Warning

        More than 5,000 signees are asking the White House to investigate comments made by MPAA chief executive Chris Dodd, who warned in an exclusive interview with Fox News that politicians who failed to back anti-piracy legislation could see Hollywood dollars dry up.

      • How The Web Killed SOPA and PIPA

        Leaders in Congress on Friday effectively killed two pieces of anti-online piracy legislation following the increasingly vocal protests of tens of thousands of websites and millions of Internet users.

      • Canada’s bid to join TPP threatens access for blind, print disabled

        There is a danger that, in Canada’s quest to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), Canada may cede whatever leadership it has gained in the field of progressive copyright provisions. Canada’s Bill C-11, the proposed “Copyright Modernization Act”, includes provisions that would allow people who are blind and print disabled to circumvent Technological Protection Measures(TPMs) to access works (s. 41.16). These provisions, while they have been criticized as not going far enough, at the same time could put Canada on the map as being among the first to enact such provisions for the benefit of the blind and print disabled. Under the last leaked text of the American proposal for the TPP, these types of provisions would not be allowed as a permanent exception. The proposal enumerates (Art. 4, 9 (d)) the various possible permanent exceptions to TPM infringement, and these do not include a specific exception for the benefit of people who are blind and print disabled. The proposed TPP allows for temporary exceptions, which could include an exception for the blind and print disabled, but these would have to be subject to review or renewal every 3 years (Art. 4, 9(d)(viii)). Bill C-11 does not provide for such a review/renewal process.

      • Full Interview: Cory Doctorow on the War on General Computing

        The black outs of Dark Wednesday are over and the United States Congress has listened, shelving the contentious anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA indefinitely. Now, you would think that the internet was finally safe from corporate control. Huzzah! Bring on the cat gifs!

      • Creative America Restocks… Hires Former DHS/ICE Spokesperson

        We’ve talked plenty of times about CreativeAmerica, the astroturf group that keeps pretending that it’s a “grassroots” group. It was setup mainly to push for SOPA/PIPA in an attempt to pretend that “normal people” rather than just Hollywood fatcats supports SOPA/PIPA. Just one problem: it was so obviously run by Hollywood fatcats that no one ever took it seriously. It was slickly produced, was backed by the big studios, and all the big movie studios promoted it directly as well. Its executive director, Mike Nugent, came directly from Disney, where he was the company’s Senior VP of anti-piracy. Meanwhile, its “communications director,” Craig Hoffman came straight from… you guessed it… the MPAA. And before that he worked at Warner Bros. Grassroots!

      • Bloggers in China sound off on SOPA blackout

        Watching from China, where web censorship is practically a national hallmark, some can’t help but smirk and crack jokes about the controversy raging over Internet freedom in the U.S.

        “Now the U.S. government is copying us and starting to build their own firewall,” wrote one micro-blogger, relating China’s chief censorship tool to the U.S. plan to block sites that trade in pirated material.

        The Relevant Organs, an anonymous Twitter account (presumably) pretending to be the voice of the Chinese communist leadership, quipped: “Don’t understand the hoopla over Wikipedia blackout in the U.S. today. We blacked it out here years ago. Where are OUR hugs?”

        Humor aside, the brouhaha has generated some strong opinions in the country Google fled, not the least because opponents of the SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy bills are conjuring Chinese web censorship to promote their case.

      • Dan Bull Raps About How Megaupload Takedown Screws Indie Artists Like Him

        Independent musician Dan Bull, who we’ve written about a number of times, is one of many independent artists who used Megaupload on purpose, to distribute his own album. All of the links out there to download his album

      • Megaupload Indictment Shows That Google Does Actively Police Against Its Ads Showing Near Infringement
      • Meganomics

        The Megaupload case has important legal implications. Mike Masnick has a very good rundown, but let’s focus on two. The case will certainly challenge the scope of the “safe harbor” from liability afforded online storage providers—a very important issue in an era of cheap, ubiquitous cloud services. It will also be a front in the government’s (and, more particularly, MPAA’s) push to shift from an ex post model of enforcement, involving notification and takedown requests when infringing content is identified, to an ex ante model based on the surveillance and filtering of user activity. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is also fundamentally at stake in SOPA, and raises all the same censorship and free speech issues. Holding Megaupload liable for failing to monitor and filter user activity for infringement, for example, would compel monitoring across a wide range of web services, from search to social media. And that would mark a very fundamental shift in the freedoms associated with the Internet. SOPA and the Megaupload case are part of this long game.

      • Jonathan Coulton Destroys The Rationale Behind The Megaupload Seizure With A Single Tweet; Follows Up With Epic Blog Post
      • Megaupload Shutdown Means Other Companies Turning Off Useful Services
      • Hollywood regroups after losing battle over anti-piracy bills
      • Hollywood Unions: Now That You Lying Hacking Thieves Have Won, Can We Set A New Conciliatory Tone?
      • Bill Maher Comes Out In Support Of SOPA/PIPA Despite Knowing Nothing About The Bills
      • The silver lining of the MegaUpload shutdown

        It’s been big news online lately that MegaUpload was shut down. Along with it, many of the other annoying, wait-60-seconds-and-fill-in-this-captcha-or-upgrade-to-premium file sharing services have stopped offering public downloads. A lot of people are understandably upset about this, since in the case of MegaUpload, they don’t even have access to their own files anymore.

        This blog post isn’t about whether it was right for MegaUpload to be shut down. There’s plenty of debate going on about that, and it’s something that I’m not personally interested in taking part in. What we do know is that there were a substantial number of people using MegaUpload to distribute pirated media, and, let’s be honest: a lot of people are pissed off because piracy just got a lot harder. If you’re one of those people, and you’re angry and suddenly in search of ways to entertain yourself in the wake of the big shutdown, this post is for you.

      • ACTA

        • Blocking The Net ‘Not The European Option’ — EU Commissioner Reding
        • Polish government defends support for copyright treaty that sparked Internet attacks

          Polish officials vowed Monday to stick to plans to sign an international copyright treaty that has outraged Internet activists and prompted an attack on government websites.

          A government minister, Michal Boni, defended the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA. He said that signing the international treaty would not hamper Internet usage and that Poland will sign it on Thursday, as planned.

        • Polish Government’s Plan To Sign ACTA Gets The SOPA Treatment

          We received an amusing email over the weekend chiding us for never having covered ACTA — the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Of course, we’ve actually written 247 articles that mention ACTA (yes, I just counted). It seems that among some folks who just joined the “worry about copyright legislation” bandwagon, they’ve just discovered ACTA as well. ACTA stories are quickly taking over the SOPA channel on Reddit. I’m happy that more people are coming around to these issues, but they might want to take some time to actually read up on things before they start screaming. For example, someone there put together a White House petition to stop ACTA, without even acknowledging that the US government already signed ACTA back in September.

          The petition also ignores the most obvious line of attack for the US’s participation: the questions about whether or not ACTA really qualifies as an “executive agreement.” Instead, it takes that as granted, ignoring (or, more likely, simply not knowing) that there are serious constitutional questions about the claim that this is an executive agreement — and that Senator Ron Wyden has already asked the White House to justify the claims that it’s an executive agreement, rather than a treaty. Also, it’s worth noting that other countries, including the EU, have already claimed that ACTA is a binding treaty, even as the US continues to deny that fact.

        • ACTA: Letter to the EU Parliament Development Committee

          Today, La Quadrature du Net sent a letter to the Members of the Development committee of the European Parliament. All citizens should also call on the committee to carefully consider the many serious issues raised by ACTA, the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement aimed at establishing extremist standards in copyright, patent and trademarks worldwide.

Microsoft Media Partners Spin the UEFI Abuses

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 1:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s spin is getting old and rusty

Cart wheel

Summary: Another new example of sources that are bribed by Microsoft or allied with Microsoft dismissing the anti-competitive nature of what Microsoft is doing and disseminating insults instead (ad hominem attacks)

THE UEFI tricks that Microsoft uses to harm the competition are not going to make Windows secure. On ARM in particular, Microsoft cannot justify those tricks, e.g. using the “security” excuse. Realising darn well what Microsoft is up to, Katherine writes about the situation, but Microsoft uses its highly biased press partners to whitewash the whole thing. This one come from an author who does not even wish to be identified (which often says a lot) and a publication with Microsoft ties. Microsoft talking points are contained therein and the key development is this:

This argument seemed somewhat settled until Computerworld author Glyn Moody noticed something a little different from Microsoft’s line of argument on page 116 of Microsoft’s “Windows Hardware Certification Requirements” for client and server systems, which bears a publish date of December 2011. On that page, it appears that Microsoft is telling OEMs producing ARM-based machines that secure boot is mandatory, whereas it can be disabled on non-ARM (x86) machines.

The article is designed to discredit those claims and one commenter adds: “In Brazil, the government will be not allowed to buy machines with Secure Boot, since it is against the current legislation by not allowing free concurrence. I see some legal issues in this question…”

It’s not just that. As a Red Hat engineer continues to explain:

The fundamental problem is that UEFI is a lot of code. And I really do mean a lot of code. Ignoring drivers, the x86 Linux kernel is around 30MB of code. A comparable subset of the UEFI tree is around 35MB. UEFI is of a comparable degree of complexity to the Linux kernel. There’s no reason to assume that the people who’ve actually written this code are significantly more or less competent than an average Linux developer, so all else being equal we’d probably expect somewhere around the same number of bugs per line. Of course, not all else is equal.

Even today, basically all hardware is shipping with BIOS by default. The only people to enable UEFI are enthusiasts. Various machines will pop up all kinds of dire warnings if you try to turn it on. UEFI has had very little real world testing. And it really does show. In the few months I’ve been working on UEFI I’ve discovered machines where SetVirtualAddressMap() calls code that has already been (per spec) discarded. I’ve seen cases where it was possible to create variables, but not to delete them. I’ve seen a machine that would irreparably corrupt its firmware when you tried to set a variable. I’ve tripped over code that fails to parse invalid boot variables, bricking the hardware. Many vendors independently fail to report the correct framebuffer stride. And those are just the ones that have ended up on hardware which crosses my desk, which means I haven’t even tested the majority of consumer-grade hardware with UEFI.

UEFI offers no benefits to computer users, especially on ARM-based devices. Microsoft is cheating and then relying on professional liars to cover up with spin. Microsoft never changed.

“Government attorneys accuse Microsoft of using its monopoly position to bully, bribe and attempt to collude with others in the industry, while illegally expanding and protecting its Windows franchise.”

The antitrust case: a timeline

Apple is Sued for Anti-competitive Practices; The Court Sees Patent Lawsuits/Actions by Proxy

Posted in Antitrust, Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 12:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Antenna

Summary: The duopoly which is Apple and Microsoft faces new legal challenges while the patent assault heats up

APPLE’S growth is impeded by the rise of Android. The dead CEO vowed to destroy Android, so we have no sympathy for him or for the cult he created. In fact, we urge people not to buy from Apple until or unless it stops suing (to embargo) its competitors, notably Linux/Android.

In a new post from Muktware we read about the latest lawsuit against Apple, this time for anti-competitive behaviour (again):

Apple Sued For Anti-Competitive Practices

A federal antitrust class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple accusing the company of billing iPhone customers for voice and data services even after they cancel it. They also Apple of stifling competition and increasing prices for software apps by charging developers an annual ‘application’ fee.

The Courthouse News reports that lead plaintiff Eric Terrell accuses Apple of ‘unlawful anticompetitive activities,’ and claims that consumers did not contractually consent to Apple and AT&T’s 5-year exclusivity agreement.

Fortunately, Apple’s behaviour is likely to just drive people away to Linux and even the lawsuit from Oracle (perhaps in part motivated by Apple’s CEO) won’t be able to stop it. The Oracle case is just another SCO and the outcome might be the same, except for the bankruptcy.

Microsoft too has been flirting and collaborating with Apple's lawyers, according to recent reports. Microsoft engages in illegal tactics and conspiracy to harm a potent rival. Having been faced with a legal challenge,Groklaw claims that the plot is being unravelled and Microsoft’s attack through Nokia becomes too hard to deny. To quote:

Nokia continues to struggle mightily to get free from Barnes & Noble’s discovery requests. Barnes & Noble, you’ll recall, succeeded in persuading the ITC to recommend that Finland help it to do depositions of some Nokia executives, including Stephen Elop, and also get its hands on some documents that Nokia isn’t willing to provide voluntarily.

So the necessary request documents were sent to Finland, and then Nokia started going wild with efforts to block. And it continues to do so, telling the court all the steps it’s taken, and asking ITC to quash the Barnes & Noble motion or in the alternative to advise Finland that it can’t provide any discovery until the motion is ruled on. Nokia also has complaints about what it represents to both Finland and the ITC as being Barnes & Noble’s misstatements about the case.

And now Microsoft has asked the court to quash a motion to depose Steve Ballmer. It’s under seal, but I’m sure we can guess at its contents. After all, we’ve seen companies try to keep their executives from having to get involved in litigation before, and so far, they all had to testify. Remember SCO v. IBM? Sam Palmisano had to testify because he had “unique personal knowledge”, or so the judge believed. If the CEO knows things other people don’t, no matter how busy he is, he will likely have to testify. I’m sure Microsoft lawyers know that, so in the alternative, they ask that he be allowed to testify by videoconference.

We warned about this right from the start. It is good to see action being taken to expose this at the courts and set obstacle.

In other news, RIM, whose key executives leave, finds itself sued over patents again. Guess who’s suing again?

Ottawa-based Wi-LAN Inc. has launched a patent suit against Research In Motion Ltd., adding to the challenges facing the troubled BlackBerry maker.

The mobile patent wars are becoming nasty and when Microsoft passes ammunition to patent trolls (proxies) there needs to be a lot more investigation. it’s not as shallow as it may seem.

“On the same day that CA blasted SCO, Open Source evangelist Eric Raymond revealed a leaked email from SCO’s strategic consultant Mike Anderer to their management. The email details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO’s financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital.”

Bruce Perens

OpenSUSE Dies After Just 18 Months

Posted in GNU/Linux, OpenSUSE at 12:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Calendar

Summary: A reminder of the unappealing nature of OpenSUSE due to a release cycle of 8 months and support span of just 18 months

JUST as we mentioned the other day, OpenSUSE cuts the line of support for 11.3 and moves ahead to 12.2. As the official blog post put it:

As Benjaman Brunner announced yesterday, openSUSE 11.3 has reached end of life. As a quick refresher, openSUSE releases new versions every 8 months, and each version has a life cycle of 18 months. As 11.3 was released in July of 2010, the time has come to embrace our newer versions, including the successful release of 12.1 in November of 2011.

A year and a half of support is very little although Fedora does not do much better. Yesterday I installed Debian GNU/Linux on two machines, knowing that it would be supported for a long time to come. Why do people feel as though OpenSUSE is still competitive when better options exist that also get long-term support? Experience suggests that many of SUSE’s users — especially corporate users — just happen to be in the same country as SUSE. Is that really a proper selection criterion?

New Disinformation From Patent Lawyers and Microsoft Lobbyists

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Patents at 12:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft passes angry children a bribe (under
the guide of “contract”) to lie along

Boys at the beach

Summary: New developments in the patents arena and what the news sites fail to tell

THE Microsoft lobbyists continue to attack Android and they resort to such ridiculous spin (link omitted on purpose) that the FFII is sharing it for hilarity in the mailing lists. Poor Microsoft cannot come up with a meaningful story against Android, so whenever Google is using patents to defend Android from attacks its lobbyists link to articles like this one and whine senselessly (portraying Google as a patent aggressor). Generally speaking, those types of smears against Android have been muted somewhat because journalists slowly learned who was being paid by Microsoft (Florian Müller, for example, is paid by Microsoft).

Some patent lawyers seek to make a quick buck from the mobile arena, acting as parasites in a thriving market:

Software patent attorney, Steve Aycock today announced the launch of a new law practice which helps people patent their software. The law firm specializes in helping independent inventors, entrepreneurs and start-up companies patent their new technologies including software inventions. Mr. Aycock was a software engineer for ten years before attending law school so inventors will get someone with experience in both software and patent law.

No thanks, Steve, patents are a waste of time for developers. Surely enough this bogus industry of litigation looks to expand by latching onto real industries. From the news we discover that “Venable LLP notably strengthens its patent prosecution and litigation practices with the arrival of three new partners – Michele Van Patten Frank, Toni-Junell Herbert, and Mark Shanks; Of Counsel Therese Finan; and Associate Fabian M. Koenigbauer to the firm’s Washington, DC, office.”

In other words: prepare for more lawsuits. Oh, innovation, surely!

It’s the same in Europe. Patent lawyers (who obviously want software patents in Europe) promote their cause with an analysis that ends with nonsense:

Conclusion. In case of mixed-type invention (such as organisational, commercial or intellectual applications of software), EPO examiners are urged by the problem/solution approach to consider any disclosure of non-technical aspects to the detriment of applicants. Therefore, patent drafters should not at all or only to the absolutely required extent incorporate non-trechnical aspects in the claims or specification.Otherwise non-technical aspects could “devaluate” even important technical claim features.

It is hardly even coherent. Lawyers like to make it sound complicated when in fact the criteria for rejecting a patent can be simple.

Fortunately, more people are able to see past the spin and realise that software patents — if not patents in general — have become a burden on society. Tim thinks that the Tea Party should take on the issue too. In his own words:

The debate over software patents does not unite Silicon Valley the way the debate over SOPA does. Rather, the software patent debate pits the patent bar and large software companies like Microsoft and IBM, which have tens of thousands of patents, against rank-and-file programmers and up-and-coming entrepreneurs for whom the threat of frivolous litigation is a growing disincentive to innovation.

But I think this is precisely what makes it a great issue for Republicans—and especially Tea Party Republicans—to take up. There’s a long-running battle inside the GOP between pro-business Republicans and pro-market ones. The former have supported bailouts, corporate welfare, and protectionist legislation like SOPA. The Tea Party was organized in opposition to those things. And in the last couple of years, the Tea Party has had growing momentum.

Here’s how I’d frame the software patent debate if I were advising a GOP member of Congress: Software patents are a bailout for declining software companies that are better at filing patent applications than producing innovative products and services. For example, it’s been years since Microsoft was a major source of new innovations. That torch has passed to younger companies like Google, Facebook, Dropbox, and a revitalized Apple. But Redmond has so many patents (60,000 of them, according to one estimate) that it’s essentially impossible to write software without accidentally infringing some of them. And this means that Microsoft can force any company that beats them in the marketplace to share their profits with them, as it is currently doing to firms that produce Android phones.

If only there was as much public pressure against software patents as there was against SOPA last week…

IRC Proceedings: January 23rd, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:43 am 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

Links 24/1/2012: Extremadura’s 40,000 Free Software Desktops, ACTA in the European Parliament

Posted in News Roundup at 6:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • TLWIR 31: Using Linux and Free Software to Bring Back American Innovation
  • Desktop

    • Extremadura to move all of its 40,000 desktops to open source

      The administration of Spain’s autonomous region of Extremadura is moving to a complete open source desktop, confirms the region’s CIO, Teodomiro Cayetano López. The IT department started a project to install the Debian distribution on all 40,000 desktop PCs. “The project is really advanced and we hope to start the deployment the next spring, finishing it in December.”

    • Extremadura CIO plans Linux rollout on 40,000 desktops

      The CIO of Spanish autonomous region Extremadura says it is planning to move the administration’s 40,000 desktop systems to a Debian distribution. According to a report on the European Commission’s “Joinup”, CIO Teodomiro Cayetano López says that the project is “really advanced” and deployment will begin in the spring and be completed around the end of the year.

    • Windows 8 Secure Boot – or How Microsoft Is Riling Up the Linux Masses

      It was just the other day that Linux bloggers were celebrating the news from researcher Net Applications that desktop Linux had surged in popularity in recent months.

      Now, the mood in the blogosphere has plummeted once again as a result of the latest developments on the Windows 8 front. Secure Boot, that is — a topic astute readers may remember from last fall but that lately seems to have taken a turn for the worse.

      Exhibit A: “Microsoft confirms UEFI fears, locks down ARM (Nasdaq: ARMHY) devices,” as the the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) recently summed it up.

    • Linux Takes Off on Wikimedia

      A significant portion of PCs will be replaced by ARMed devices and desktop and notebook devices using ARM and Linux will be widespread. Considering the narrow margins of retailers and OEMs, I expect in 2012 many will find a place in their hearts for ARM and Linux one way or another.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • A New Design For FUSE File-Systems

      At SCALE 10x a new FUSE implementation was presented that while still having the file-system in user-space, the kernel component is now responsible for more of the work.

      Gordon Ross of Nexenta presented on his new FUSE implementation that implements in-kernel meta-data caching. With this caching in the kernel, less inefficient communication needs to happen between the kernel and the FUSE user-space. FUSE is what Linus Torvalds previously said was just for toys and misguided people. Among the many file-systems with FUSE variants are NTFS and ZFS.

    • Error-Fixing Btrfs FSCK Tool Is Imminent

      An fsck utility capable of fixing problems on the Btrfs file-system is imminent. Plus other features continue to be worked on for this next-generation, open-source Linux file-system.

      Chris Mason, the Oracle employee who’s been the lead developer of Btrfs, was one of the presenters this past weekend in Los Angeles at the SCALE 10x conference. Chris was obviously presenting on Btrfs.

  • Applications

    • XBMC!How to turn your Ubuntu into the Media Center of your dreams.

      Do you have a nice TV or projector? You are in the right place. Today we will see how to make an incredible and surprising combination of a low-performance PCs and a nice TV or projector. Our goal is to turn that old PC into a fantastic Media Center, which will give you many possibilities. From the view of Film and/or video, to listen to music (excellent if you have connected a good sound system), an excellent way to show photographs and browse the web with a simple click .

    • A Broad Look at Hugin

      The release notes for Hugin’s latest update begin with the words “Hugin is more than just a panorama stitcher.” That’s been true for years, but only recently has the project made a concerted effort to emphasize the other photo magic that the application is capable of working. Better still, Hugin is making more and more of the process automatic, so aligning your images has never been easier.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • RedHat Cluster Suite And Conga – Linux Clustering
      • Introduction To Linux Commands
      • VBoxHeadless – Running Virtual Machines With VirtualBox 4.1 On A Headless Ubuntu 11.10 Server
      • Lessons Learned, Not Always Easy

        Various thoughts and adventures, including but not limited to Linux, assorted bits of hardware new and old, and occasionally Windows XP/Vista/7.
        I’ve spent most of my time recently working on two or three of my new (or not so) sub-netbook systems, with surprising results. This information might be useful to others who are looking at such systems:

        HP Pavilion dm1-4010ez: This is the newest of the lot, and it really is a very nice system. It loaded and ran flawlessly with every Linux distribution I tried on it, including openSuSE 12.1, Fedora 16, Linux Mint 12 (with Cinnamon), Ubuntu 11.10, Linux Mint Debian 2101109 Gnome, PCLinuxOS 2011.09 and probably one or two others that slip my mind right now. It really was a pleasure to use – so much so that a friend who needed a replacement for a very old ASUS netbook I had set up several years ago ended up taking this one from me. Ah well…

  • Desktop Environments

    • Razor-qt desktop – Warning, sharp objects?

      Several people asked me to review Razor-qt. This is the name of an advanced, easy to use, and fast desktop environment based on Qt technologies. It has been tailored for users who value simplicity, speed, and an intuitive interface. Unlike most desktop environments, Razor-qt also works fine with weak machines. So the brochure says.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE vs. Windows 7

        For several years, I’ve been saying that KDE is no longer trying to catch up with Windows, but surpassed it several years ago. However, last week a reader challenged me to prove it.

        I immediately told him that, if he didn’t believe me, he should open KDE and Windows 7 side by side. Even a casual comparison shows that not only does KDE generally have more features than Windows 7, but that, conceptually, KDE has a healthy lead.

        While KDE is consistently extending the metaphor of the desktop, Windows 7 is different only in a few minor ways from its first ancestor Windows 95. Moreover, many of these differences are more a matter of fashion, such as displaying icons on the taskbar rather than application names, as they are genuine improvements.

  • Distributions

    • Let’s talk tiny – Tiny Core Linux 4.2

      While experimenting with CorePlus I ran it on two machines, a generic desktop box (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) and my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card). The distribution was able to detect and use all of my hardware, including my Intel wireless card. My screen resolution was set a little lower than normal, but still within a reasonable range. CorePlus runs almost no services, which makes it incredibly quick to boot and very responsive. Generally, with the window manager and a couple of applications running my memory usage was still below 170 MB.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Now it’s the 27th

        Mandriva users must now wait until the 27th to find out what the decision on the future of the company is. That came from a brief announcement on the Mandriva blog. It’s been a prolonged suspense: first the resolution was expected on the 16th, then on the 23rd, and now it is scheduled to the 27th.

      • Mandriva Decision Delayed Again

        The fate of Mandriva is still in flux today as Jean-Manuel Croset posted of yet another delay in determining the future of the once popular Linux distribution. He said, “The deadline for the decision on the proposal has been extended by the proposing entity upon request of some shareholders.”

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • The newsletter for the Debian community
      • Debian Project News – January 23rd, 2012

        Welcome to this year’s second issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

        * Debian ahead on web servers
        * Dummy web server in Debian?
        * Aptitude strikes back
        * About donations to Debian
        * Armhf status in Debian
        * IGMP denial of service in Linux
        * Interviews
        * Other news
        * Upcoming events
        * New Debian Contributors
        * Release-Critical bug statistics for the upcoming release
        * Status of Debian Installer localisation
        * Important Debian Security Advisories
        * New and noteworthy packages
        * Work-needing packages
        * Want to continue reading DPN?

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.04, 11.10, 12.04 On The NVIDIA Tegra 2

            For those that were interested by the CompuLab Trim-Slice, a desktop built around the ARM-based NVIDIA Tegra 2 platform, here are some more benchmarks. This time the numbers are looking at the performance of the dual-core ARM Cortex A9 system when using the Ubuntu 11.04, 11.10, and 12.04 packages.

          • Why Don’t Other Linux Distros Use Unity? A Few Thoughts
          • Ubuntu readies new Unity

            With Ubuntu 12.04 scheduled for release in April 2012, the Ubuntu developers have released a test version of Unity 5.0, the newest version of Ubuntu’s desktop interface.

            This release is still in development and not recommended for day-to-day use, but here are a few of the things you can expect if you decide to give Unity 5.0 a spin.

            One of the most welcome changes to Unity are the improvements to the Launcher. Chief among these are additional options for rearranging icons on the Launcher and setting the Launcher’s behaviour, including making the Launcher ever-present on the desktop. This was possible in previous versions but not as easily achieved as it is now.

          • Ubuntu’s Already Making Plans For ARM In 2014, 2015

            David Mandala of Canonical talked last week at Linux.Conf.Au 2012 about the history of Ubuntu Linux supporting the ARM architecture, what’s coming up for Ubuntu ARM in the 12.04 LTS release, and even what’s expected from Ubuntu on ARM as far out as 2015.

            In terms of ARM support under Ubuntu 12.04 LTS “Precise Pangolin”, Mandala didn’t unleash any surprises. Ubuntu ARM will continue to be supported for netbooks as well as their quickly-developing Ubuntu ARM Server edition. On the client/netbook side, the OMAP3 Beagle Board and OMAP4 Panda Boards will continue to serve as prime development targets. There will also hopefully be initial support for the first round of ARM server SoCs from Marvell and Calxeda by April, assuming there’s hardware available in time. These first-generation ARM server parts will be quad-core 1.0+GHz SoCs, as was detailed last year.

          • Precisely how we’re going to make the wallpapers in 12.04 the best ever!

            As developers all over the world sink their teeth into the new features for the next release of Ubuntu it’s time to get out our cameras, brushes and pencils out and start creating the images that will make up the wallpapers for the next release. 12.04 will be an LTS so the same super high quality that the teams delivering the desktop experience are working to should inspire us to make this the best wallpaper set we’ve released yet!

            As usual there is a group on Flickr set up for your submissions – Precise Pangolin wallpaper submissions group. Simply upload your pictures to Flickr – accounts are free – and again as usual the contributors who were selected last time will be the ones asked to choose from the final selection of images. For guidance around what might make appropriate content, image resolutions to be used and the like check out the Ubuntu Artwork team wiki page on wallpapers.

          • Hacking On Accomplishments

            A little while back I blogged about an accomplishments system that Stuart Langridge and I designed when he came to visit a while back. The idea was simple: a de-centralized system in which we can easily define different types of accomplishments (e.g. filing a bug, submitting a patch, getting a patch sponsored, translating a string) and a means in which users can be rewarded trophies for these accomplishments as well as discovering new accomplishments and how they can be achieved.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux for migrants: Zorin OS

              The latest version, ZorinOS 5.2, was released very recently, on the 10th of January 2012. I downloaded the Core version of it. The ISO size is 1.1 Gb. It meant I could not use a CD for it, and I went to the USB option. Unetbootin utility successfully “burnt” image to USB.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • WAGO IEC-Compatible TeleController and I/O-IPCs

      WAGO Corporation’s IEC-compatible TeleControl PLC and four Linux-equipped I/O-IPCs are comprehensive solutions for both control and smart grid integration.

    • Raspberry Pi Founder Eben Upton Walks You Through the Launch of the $35 Computer

      In just a few weeks UK’s Raspberry Pi Foundation will be ready to launch one of the most anticipated products of 2012 – a $35 computer. The Raspberry Pi Model B is a bare-bones circuit board that packs a surprising punch – 700 MHz ARM processor, 256 MB of memory, and HDMI output. Designed as a low cost, easy to explore learning platform to attract a new generation of students to coding, the Linux Box computer is a marvel of efficiency. The first 10,000 Model Bs will be shipping into (and then out of) the UK very soon, so it only makes sense that Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton would take the time to prepare everyone for what to expect. He gives a detailed report on the exciting new device in the video from Slashdot below.

    • Linux-based flight recorder optimized for drones

      Ampex Data Systems announced a compact, ruggedized airborne recorder that runs SUSE Linux on a 1.3GHz Intel Atom E660T CPU. The ruggedized TuffServ 40 (TS 40) offers 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 2GB boot disk, an 80GB or 160GB solid state drive, a gigabit Ethernet port, and a -40 to 159.8 deg. F operating range.

    • Tiny USB server runs on batteries, streams to iOS, Android devices

      The $100 CloudFTP runs Linux on a Texas Instruments ARM9-based processor, features a 132 x 32-pixel LCD display and powered USB port, and supports backup and synchronization with online cloud storage services.

    • How Disruptive Could Raspberry Pi Be?
    • Phones

      • Upstart mobile OS Tizen previews code

        An alpha release of the source code for the Tizen open-source operating system, aimed at giving Android and iOS a run for their money, is now available for download.

        Backed by Intel, Samsung and other vendors, Tizen is a Linux-based platform. It includes an HTML5 application framework and a customizable user interface, in addition to the operating system. The interface, also called a “user experience,” will be able to move among the different devices that Tizen supports.

      • Android

        • CyanogenMod App Store To Sell Root, Banned Apps

          Koushik Dutta, the co-founder of the popular CyanogenMod project has been contemplating the idea of an App Store which will sell apps for rooted devices. Usually many of these apps can’t be on the official Android Market due to restrains from either the carriers or the OEMs.

        • Huawei to launch two ”Diamond” smartphones, even better than the Ascend P1 S

          If you had asked 100 US technology enthusiasts about Huawei last year, chances were that around 90 of them had no clue about what you were talking about. The Chinese technology manufacturer kept its efforts at a national level and only released a few entry to mid-level devices in the US and Europe until…

        • Sony Kumquat LT25i dubbed as Sony Xperia U?

          According to one of GSMArena’s tipsters, Sony Kumquat recently leaked in real life photos, is revealed as Sony Xperia U by the Indonesian equivalent of United States FCC. The Indonesian website also reveal a link to China, which makes us wonder if Xperia U is due to join Chinese market.

        • Motorola Prepares New “Project” for the DROID RAZR

          Motorola’s Feedback Network is sending out invitations tonight to DROID RAZR owners, asking if they want to participate in a soak test for a new “project.” The details of the update are absent as usual, but with software leaking within the last couple of weeks, we have a pretty good idea as to what we can expect. You probably shouldn’t assume that this one is Ice Cream Sandwich just yet and should instead focus on the likelihood of simply being a bug fixer and slight UI enhancer.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Android Tablets May Go Transparent, Soon!

        Microsoft introduced the concept for tablets, Apple took it to the next level (and in the process also claimed that they ‘invented’ the tablet), and now Android will take tablets to the next level, into the future.

        Samsung is working on display technologies which will make these tablets flexible (just like the paper magazines) and even transparent.

      • Notion Ink’s Adam II tablet will move to OMAP 4 chip

        Notion Ink says it will switch to a Texas Instruments OMAP 4 processor running Android 4.0 for its next generation Adam II tablet. In other tablet news, Pew Research found the percentage of U.S. adults who own a tablet computer nearly doubled from 10 percent to 19 percent between mid-December and early January, and RBC Capital estimated that Amazon.com will earn $136 in content-related revenue from each Kindle Fire customer.

      • Calibre And Project Gutenberg: Liberate Your eReader!

        Now, I’m no stranger to ebooks. Long before the release of the first generation Amazon Kindle, I read Dracula on a Handspring Visor. Once I moved into the world of smart-phones with the Palm Treo, I read many great books with the excellent offline reader Plucker. In fact, I’ve been dissing paper quite vocally since as early as 1999. That said, I love reading on my Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Sourcefire jumps into anti-malware market

    Sourcefire, the security biz behind the commercial versions of the open-source Snort intrusion-detection software, is bowling itself at enterprises and touting tech designed to quickly detect and block malware outbreaks.

  • Google and MIT open source App Inventor for Android

    SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) open sourced the App Inventor for Android software toolset.

    App Inventor was started as a project between Google and MIT to create a modular, easy to use integrated development environment to build Android applications. Now the pair have announced the first open source release of App Inventor.

  • Codethink Adds “Open Source 3D Graphics Drivers for ARM” to its Services
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google’s Chrome Browser Sprouts Programming Kit of the Future

        Chito Manansala is the reason you and about 2 billion other people can instantly pay with a Visa card in shops across the planet.

        As chief system architect at Visa, Manansala designed the communications system at the heart of VisaNet — a worldwide network of shops, ATMs, banks and websites that handles 130 million payments a day. In other words, he knows how to build a contraption that juggles ridiculous amounts of information with each passing second.

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • Is MySQL usage really declining?

      One of the most interesting aspects concerned the apparently imminent decline in the usage of MySQL. Of the 285 MySQL users in our 2009 survey, only 90.2% still expected to be using it two years later, and only 81.8% in 2014.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • 10 Things to Look Forward to in LibreOffice 3.5

      Hard on the heels of the release of the bug-fixing LibreOffice 3.4.5 last Monday, the Document Foundation on Friday published a release candidate version of LibreOffice 3.5, which will be the next major version of the office productivity software.

  • CMS

    • Is the European Commission Helping or Hindering Tech Entrepreneurs?

      Drupal is now an open source challenger to publishing software such as WordPress. How did it start, and did you ever expect it to get so big? I started Drupal 11 years ago, just for fun while I was in college. It started out as a message board, working a few nights a week on updating and maintaining the project. This soon developed into a free tool for building customised Websites both quickly and easily. By the time I had finished my PhD, hundreds of companies were using the platform to support their online offerings. With open source at the heart of the Drupal platform it quickly gained interest from developers and a passionate active community grew to support the project.

    • Open Source Closed Door

      It has been announced, across the pond, that IT analyst firm, Gartner Inc has now positioned Drupal Acquia in the Visionaries quadrant of both the 2011 Magic Quadrant for Externally Facing Social Software and the Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace, thereby raising Drupal’s visibility and promoting its accessibility amongst the top 10,000 global businesses.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Fellowship Interview with Heiki Ojasild

      Heiki Ojasild joined the Free Software Foundation Europe in 2011, undertaking the task of translating fsfe.org into Estonian, his mother tongue. He is currently developing an XChat add-on, as well as a website for free SVG and JavaScript games. In 2010 he took part in the Baltic Olympiad in Informatics. I talked to him about copyright, Digital Restrictions Management, kopimism, and activism.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Ideas for your open government

      Open Government Partnership is a global effort initialized by the government of United States to make worldwide governments better. To this date, 46 countries have committed to take steps to change their government to more open, more transparent, and more valuable for the citizens.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Google’s Sky Map App Becomes Open Source

      On their recent announcement, Google has revealed it is going to make the Sky Map app available for the open source community. Thus, from now on, developers can get a copy of this application’s source code via the Google Code website.

    • Google’s Latest List of “Retired” Projects Includes Open Source Contributions

      For years now, Google has gained a reputation for launching many new projects at a scattershot rate, only to shut many of them down when they don’t succeed at hoped-for levels. In fact, some have said that the company’s strategy is to throw spaghetti at the wall and see which noodles stick. Now, in a post that makes references to keeping New Year’s resolutions, the Google Blog has announced the latest series of company projects that will be “merged, open sourced or phased out.” You’ll recognize some of the names.

    • Moose

      Because Moose is still just Perl 5, it’s fully compatible with all of those wonderful modules on CPAN, regardless of whether they are written in Moose (and most aren’t, as CPAN has been around for so long, and Moose is relatively new).

    • Ruby on Rails 3.2 Aids the Developers

      Those who maintain Ruby on Rails have released a new version of their popular open-source Web application development framework, one that features a number of improvements to help developers build applications more quickly.

Leftovers

  • The Internet Spoke and, Finally, Congress Listened!

    The misguided proponents of the disastrous Internet blacklist bills have blinked. Today, Senator Harry Reid announced he would postpone a cloture vote on PIPA scheduled for next Tuesday, which means, as a practical matter, that the bill is dead for now. Shortly after that announcement, Representative Lamar Smith issued a statement conceding PIPA’s evil House stepsister, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), also wasn’t ready for prime time.

  • We will be heard now.

    On this date, at approximately 8:31 PM CST, the petition requesting that Chris Dodd be investigated for bribery was validated by the required 25,000 signatures.

    If you don’t know the story, it is fairly simple. After the stunning setback of SOPA and PIPA, Chris DODD, former Senator and now current President of the Motion Picture of America Association, openly threatened President Obama with withholding further campaign contributions until he “got on board” with the MPAA line.

  • Lookout Washington, Reddit Just Organized Another PAC

    Fresh of the heels of feeling its own might in the fight against SOPA and PIPA, a civic-minded Redditor who goes by the handle “ajpos” has decided to start a section 527 political action committee.

    It’s called Test Pac, it has its own Tax ID number and it purports to represent “the special interest group that represents the views of Reddit’s users,” which we guess means boobs, the free flow of information, weed, and cats. In that order.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Park City Tragedy Underscores Tragedy of the U.S. Health Care System — for Both Canadians and Americans

      It hit me immediately that had my circumstances been a little different when I was growing up near there, I could have been one of those people. It also hit me that the work I was doing as a spokesman for the insurance industry was making it necessary, at least in part, for those people to resort to such humiliation to get basic medical care. One of my responsibilities was to persuade Americans of the lie that most of the uninsured are that way by choice, that they have shirked their responsibility to themselves and their families.

  • Security

    • Linux root exploit due to memory access – Update

      Linus Torvalds released a Linux kernel update last week which fixes a flaw in the access control to memory. Shortly afterwards, exploits appeared making it possible to gain root privileges using this error.

  • Finance

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The MegaUpload Seizure Could Be An Opportunity

        The US Department of Justice, chose the day after the massive Internet blackout protest against SOPA / PIPA to demonstrate their power by acting as if these laws were already in effect. At first, I was simply dismayed and angered by this reprehensible act, but I began to wonder if there isn’t also an opportunity here to challenge a major part of of the legacy entertainment industry’s rhetoric in a court of law, where their mendacity on the subject would constitute perjury.

        First of all, here’s an account of the MegaUpload Takedown, if you’re not familiar with the facts of the case.

        [...]

        If you read the article, though, the authorities allege that they were involved in large-scale “piracy” leading to “$500 million” in “lost sales”. Do you believe this claim? I certainly don’t.

      • The Pirate Bay Press Release On SOPA: We Are The New Hollywood

        Given its general contempt for the repeated attempts to close it down, you wouldn’t expect The Pirate Bay to be particularly worried by SOPA. But in its very own press release on the subject, it goes much further: it flings the ultimate insult at Hollywood by claiming that not only are the two of them spiritual kin, but that The Pirate Bay is the New Hollywood.

      • The Behind-the-Scenes Campaign To Bring SOPA To Canada

        The Internet battle against SOPA and PIPA generated huge interest in Canada with many Canadians turning their sites dark (including Blogging Tories, Project Gutenberg Canada, and CIPPIC) in support of the protest. In writing about the link between SOPA and Canada, I noted that the proposed legislation featured an aggressive jurisdictional approach that could target Canadian websites. Moreover, I argued that the same lobby groups promoting SOPA in the U.S. are behind the digital lock rules in Bill C-11.

        While SOPA may be dead (for now) in the U.S., lobby groups are likely to intensify their efforts to export SOPA-like rules to other countries. With Bill C-11 back on the legislative agenda at the end of the month, Canada will be a prime target for SOPA style rules. In fact, a close review of the unpublished submissions to the Bill C-32 legislative committee reveals that several groups have laid the groundwork to add SOPA-like rules into Bill C-11, including blocking websites and expanding the “enabler provision”to target a wider range of websites. Given the reaction to SOPA in the U.S., where millions contacted their elected representatives to object to rules that threatened their Internet and digital rights, the political risks inherent in embracing SOPA-like rules are significant.

      • ACTA

        • Letter to EP Committee on Development

          As we reported earlier, tomorrow, Tuesday 24 January 2012, around 16.30 Paris time, the European Parliament Committee on Development will hold an exchange of views on ACTA. Today, the FFII sent the committee a letter. (pdf version)

          Dear Members of the Committee on Development,

          We are writing to express our concerns with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Below we will present points which we believe are essential for a proper assessment of ACTA’s impact on development.

          1. ACTA is not only TRIPS plus, ACTA even goes beyond current EU law, the acquis. Prominent European academics [European Academics, 2011] and the study commissioned by the EP International Trade committee (INTA) [INTA, 2011] pointed this out. While the Parliament’s legal service concludes that on the face of it, ACTA appears to be in line with current EU law, it could only reach this conclusion by consistently overlooking known issues. [FFII-922] ACTA’s damages based on retail price lead to damages based on an imaginary gross revenue, which is way beyond actual loss suffered. Its border measures have a broader scope, its injunctions and provisional measures are more intrusive. The INTA study recommends asking the European Court of Justice an opinion on ACTA.

        • EP legal service consistently overlooks known issues with ACTA

          Today the FFII sent a letter to the European Parliament about the EP legal service’s opinion on ACTA. (pfd version, see also press release)

          Dear Members of the European Parliament,

          In the coming months the Parliament will have to decide whether to give consent to ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) or not. In preparation, the INTA and JURI committees asked the Parliament’s legal service an opinion on ACTA.

          We welcome the decision to release this opinion. We have compared the legal service’s opinion with multiple academic opinions on ACTA and some civil society analyses.

        • After SOPA/PIPA in the US, ACTA Makes Its Way to the EU Parliament

          Paris, January 23rd, 2012 – After the huge online protests against the extremist SOPA and PIPA copyright bills discussed in the United States, the EU Parliament starts working on their global counterpart: ACTA, the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement. Citizens across Europe must push back against this illegitimate agreement bound to undermine free speech online, access to knowledge and innovation worldwide.

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