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01.25.12

Links 25/1/2012: Linux in Australia, Linux Foundation Grows

Posted in News Roundup at 11:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source Malwr analysis launched

    A free web-based malware analysis tool powered by Shadowsever has launched this week that aims to shake-up vendor-controlled and proprietary systems.

    The tool, dubbed Malwr, is designed to provide security professionals with a free and customisable open source malware analysis tool.

  • Free open source application developed for study of fluid dynamics

    “In engineering circles, the discipline is known as computational fluid dynamics,” noted research associate Francisco Palacios, who led the team. “Creating custom software applications to accurately model the interactions of an object in flight can take months, even years, to write and perfect. And yet, when the student graduates, the software is often forgotten.

  • Google’s Android App Inventor Goes Open Source

    Google, along with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has decided to open source the Android App Inventor code

    The developers at MIT stated that for the time being the App Inventor will not accept any contribution made to the code, however, it will definitely do so in the near future. Also, there will be periodic updates to the system to keep it at par with what’s running on experimental MIT Systems.

  • Open source ‘Malwr’ analysis tool launched

    A free web-based malware analysis tool powered by Shadowserver aims to shake up vendor-controlled and proprietary systems.

    The Malwr tool is designed to provide security professionals with a free and customisable, open-source tool.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • 6 Google Chrome remixes worth trying

        Once upon a time there was a browser named Firefox — an open source project that many people happily picked up and spun off into their own versions with names like Iceweasel and Pale Moon. Now the same thing has happened with Google Chrome. Its open source incarnation, Chromium, has become the basis for a slew of spinoffs, remixes, and alternative versions.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox in 2012

        The first public version of the browser called “Firefox” — a 0.8 release, came out 8 years ago. With that release and the 1.0 release later that same year, we showed the world that browsers mattered.

        Innovative new features like tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, spell-checking, integrated search, and browser add-ons, re-invigorated not just the browser market, but the entire Web. We put users in control of that mess of windows, and the horrible pop-ups from advertisers and malware makers. We made it simple for users to customize their experience and to find what they were looking for without jumping through a bunch of hoops.

  • Business

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Nielsen’s report and Video on the Web

    In the United States, Nielsen has long been the main source of data for evaluating television shows and stations for advertisers. It’s considered a very reliable source. So their inclusion of data on web video watching habits in their 2011 report on the “The U.S. Media Universe” is a real boon to anyone planning to enter this field. It’s interesting to ask what are the consequences to free culture productions and the free software used for creation and consumption of video arts.

  • Censorship

    • Georgia Lawmaker Looking To Make Photoshopping Heads On Naked Bodies Illegal

      Well, the Uptons are in luck. Sort of. The Agitator informs us that Georgia State Representative Pam Dickerson is looking to close this legal loophole by making it illegal to “intentionally cause an unknowing person wrongfully to be identified as the person in an obscene depiction in such a manner that a reasonable person would conclude that the image depicted was that of the person so wrongfully identified.” This would include using a person’s name, telephone number, address or email address.

    • The Day the Internet Fought Back

      Last week’s Wikipedia-led blackout in protest of U.S. copyright legislation called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is being hailed by some as the Internet Spring, the day that millions fought back against restrictive legislative proposals that posed a serious threat to an open Internet. The protests were derided by critics as a gimmick, but my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes it is hard to see how the SOPA protest can be fairly characterized as anything other than a stunning success. Wikipedia reports that 162 million people viewed its blackout page during the 24-hour protest period. By comparison, the most-watched television program of 2011, the Super Bowl, attracted 111 million viewers.

    • Mobilizing the Public Against Censorship, 1765 and 2012

      Last week’s protests against two bills aiming to curb copyright infringement and piracy on the Internet were jarringly familiar to scholars of the American Revolution. After all, we’ve seen this narrative before. In seeking to solve a problem, legislators propose a bill that directly affects the flow of information. Those whose businesses would bear the brunt of the laws see it as a direct assault and mobilize in opposition. The public responds to the rhetoric, rallying behind the call to prevent censorship and protect the free exchange of information. The government backs down in the face of the outcry, but promises to revisit the underlying issues. That description of the Internet protests of 2012 echoes in unnerving detail the Stamp Act crisis of 1765, the moment when dissent against imperial control morphed into a Revolutionary movement.

    • Kingdom relieved after US internet law fails to pass

      The postponement of two US internet piracy bills last week was met with relief by human rights and media experts in Cambodia, who say the overreaching grasp of the proposed legislation would hinder the internet’s progress and growth in the Kingdom.

      The US House of Representative’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) had aimed to require that internet providers block access to websites accused of piracy and would criminalise the unlawful streaming of copyrighted material by domestic or foreign websites.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • New Market Research: Music Streaming Services Halve Illegal Downloads

        For a long time, the copyright industries have taken the position that they won’t launch new digital music services until piracy is “solved” – or at least punished. The inevitable consequence of that position is obvious to everyone outside the copyright industries – people turn to other, unauthorized sources to satisfy their musical needs. Fortunately, a few startups have launched pioneering digital music offerings and some, like Spotify, look like they might succeed.

      • MPAA Directly & Publicly Threatens Politicians Who Aren’t Corrupt Enough To Stay Bought

        Wow. Chris Dodd is not only an asshole, he’s a stupid, tone deaf asshole. And so are all the asshole Democrats who are on the wrong side of this issue because they want money from Hollywood. Guess what, Democrats? You’re finally starting to reclaim the populist mantle that could help you win back congress and keep the White House. You may want to, you know, get on the right side of public opinion you idiots.

      • Wil Wheaton Says Chris Dodd Is Lying About Lost Jobs; Says MPAA Accounting Creates More Losses Than Piracy
      • Do Pirate Sites Really Make That Much Money? Um… No

        One of the key refrains from the supporters of PIPA and SOPA in pushing for those bills was about how “foreign pirates” were profiting off of American industry. However, as we’ve suggested plenty of times in the past, there’s little evidence that there’s really that much money to be made running such sites. Even more amusing, of course, is that the MPAA/RIAA folks have to both argue that “people just want stuff for free,” and that these sites are raking in money from subscription fees at the same time — an internal contradiction they never explain. I’ve asked MPAA officials directly (including on stage at the Filmmaker’s Forum event last year) that if these lockers are really making so much money, why doesn’t Hollywood just set up their own and rake in all that cash. The only answer they give, which doesn’t actually answer the question, is that it’s cheaper for cyberlockers since they don’t pay royalties. But that’s got nothing to do with why the Hollywood studios don’t get this money for themselves. Of course, the real reason — somewhat implicit from the MPAA’s comments — is that it knows these sites don’t make that much money.

      • MPAA’s Chris Dodd & NATO’s John Fithian Face Sundance Wrath Over SOPA/PIPA

        The panel’s moderator called the MPAA and NATO to task for the legislation’s effective defeat: “You got your butt kicked.” It follows heavyweights like Google, Wikipedia, and thousands of websites joining forces and protesting what they claimed was a move to suppress free speech.

      • Senator Leahy Hands Republicans A Gift By Giving Them Credit For Delaying Vote On PIPA/SOPA

        We’ve noted how intellectual property issues are historically non-partisan. Sometimes, that’s good, because it means that debates on the issues don’t fall into typical brain dead partisan arguments. Sometimes, it’s bad, in that it basically means both Republicans and Democrats are generally really bad on IP issues… happy to give industries greater and greater monopoly rights for no good reason. However, we noted an interesting thing happening on the way to the collapse of PIPA and SOPA: the Republicans were first to come together as a party and decide to speak out against these bills, recognizing the groundswell of public interest. That resulted in Republican leadership coming out against the bills, and Republican Presidential candidates all rejecting the approach in the bill. The Democrats, who have traditionally been considered more “internet friendly,” simply couldn’t bring themselves to go against Hollywood and unions — two regular allies.

      • ACTA

        • What Is ACTA And Why Is It A Problem?

          Yesterday I noted that the anti-SOPA/PIPA crowd seemed to have just discovered ACTA. And while I’m pleased that they’re taking interest in something as problematic as ACTA, there was a lot of misinformation flowing around, so I figured that, similar to my “definitive” explainer posts on why SOPA/PIPA were bad bills (and the followup for the amended versions), I thought I’d do a short post on ACTA to hopefully clarify some of what’s been floating around.

          [...]

          In the meantime, for folks who are just getting up to speed on ACTA, you really should turn your attention to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP), which is basically ACTA on steroids. It’s being kept even more secret than ACTA, and appears to have provisions that are significantly worse than ACTA — in some cases, with ridiculous, purely protectionist ideas, that are quite dangerous.

        • Poles Protest ACTA Online and on the Streets

          Hundreds of people waged a street protest in Warsaw on Tuesday to protest the government’s plan to sign an international copyright treaty, while several popular websites also shut down for an hour over the issue.

          Poland’s support for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, has sparked days of protest, including attacks on government sites, by groups who fear it could lead to online censorship.

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