01.27.12

Links 27/1/2012: GNOME 3.3.4 Development Release, GhostBSD 2.5 With Graphical Installer

Posted in News Roundup at 10:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • What is Zorp?

    Briefly Zorp is an open source proxy firewall with deep protocol analysis. It sounds very sophisticated at first, however, the explanation below will make it easy to understand.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Thunderbird 9.0 Officially Lands in Ubuntu 11.10

        After the official upgrade to Firefox 9 in Ubuntu 11.10 at the beginning of the month, Canonical announced on January 24th that the Mozilla Thunderbird 9.0 email client is now available on the official software repositories of the Oneiric Ocelot operating system.

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 2.5 – Now with an Easy Graphic Installer

      GhostBSD 2.5 was released a few days ago and the headline on ghostbsd.com reads “Now with an Easy and Secure Graphic Installer.” GhostBSD is obviously a free BSD (and not coincidently, a FreeBSD derivative), but it aims to be a user-friendly free BSD and to improve the GNOME experience on FreeBSD.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Europe Sees Another Mass Migration of Government IT to FOSS, This Time in Spain

      At a time when Europe is facing a hard time in a financial crisis and Apple is worth more than Greece, price cuts of any form are always welcome. Perhaps for this reason, a slew of European countries have moved to FOSS technologies for use in their internal operations. France, Germany and many prominent European economies have started using FOSS technologies, and have benefited hugely in saved IT costs. This time, Spain’s autonomous region Extremadura wants to move to open-source solutions in place of their current proprietary desktop software.

  • Licensing

    • Sorting Out the Sharing License Shambles

      At the heart of the various movements based around sharing — free software, open content, open access etc. — lie specially drawn-up licenses that grant permissions beyond the minimal ones of copyright. This approach has worked well — too well, in fact, since it has led to a proliferation of many different licenses: the Open Source Initiative recognizes over 60 of them for open source. That’s a problem because slight incompatibilities between them often make it impossible to create combined works drawing on elements released under different licenses.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Avoiding The Vendor Perl Fad Diet

      It looks like Red Hat is distributing Perl without the core library ExtUtils::MakeMaker. If you’re not familiar with the details of the Perl 5 build chain, all you need to know is this: without MakeMaker, you’re not installing anything from the CPAN.

      Ostensibly Red Hat and other OS distribution vendors split up Perl 5 into separate packages to save room on installation media. Core Perl 5 is large and includes many, many things that not everyone uses all the time… but the obvious reaction to defining a core subset of Perl 5 that a vendor can call “perl” is another of those recurring discussions which never quite goes anywhere.

    • Binpress Integrates with Github, Adds a Commercial Layer Over Open-Source

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The High Cost of Allowing Health Insurers To Continue Keeping Us In The Dark

      In his State of the Union address, President Obama said very little about health care reform, but what he did say was a reminder of how tight a grip the insurance industry has on the U.S. health care system — and will continue to have if the Affordable Care Act is not implemented as Congress intended. And it is largely up to the President to make sure that it is.

  • Censorship

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • EFF petitioning to extend legal protection for jailbreaking phones and tablets

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation is petitioning to renew a US Copyright Office ruling that makes smartphone jailbreaking explicitly legal. In 2010, the Office added an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act allowing users to modify phone firmware to run software that’s not approved by the manufacturer. Since exemptions only last three years, however, the ruling must be renewed over the coming months; the EFF is also adding protection for tablets to the new exemption. The Copyright Office is currently taking public comments on the proposed rules.

    • Tales From Ubisoft DRM: Latest DRM Goes From Horrible To Slightly Less Horrible

      We all know Ubisoft. That company that seems to think that piracy is such a huge problem on the PC and that DRM is the only way to stop it — even when fans complain about how horrible the DRM is. So it is really no surprise to find out that Ubisoft is still at it. It still thinks that annoying legitimate customers is going to prevent piracy of its games. This latest story of Ubisoft DRM woe comes from Guru3d.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Dude! Where’s My Data?

        In light of the recent TERMINATION of operation of MegaUpload by Agent Smith and his colleagues, one has to wonder what happens to all the legitimate data that was stored on those servers? Are you one of the unlucky ones who is quite possibly having your private data scoured by the IT department gnomes at BIG BROTHER Central? Disturbing thought, huh?

      • SOPA and PIPA: What Bills Like These Mean to Open Source Software
      • Public Interest Groups Speak Out About Next Week’s Secret Meeting In Hollywood To Negotiate TPP (Think International SOPA)
      • Court Finds Copyright Trolling Lawyer Evan Stone In Contempt; Orders Him To Pay Attorneys’ Fees

        Remember Evan Stone? He’s one of a “new breed” of copyright trolling lawyers, who has been trying to sue large groups of John Does based on IP addresses, claiming they infringed on a client’s work. Of course, the end game of these lawsuits is not to actually take these people to court, but to find out who they are, send them a nastygram… with an offer to “settle,” and then get as many people to settle as possible. It’s basically a way to use the court system to force lots of people to give you money. Thankfully, the courts have been cracking down on many of the more egregious players in these games. Evan Stone was one of the earlier players in this space in the US, but one who made a pretty big mistake last year while representing porn producer Mick Haig. One of his cases came before a judge who recognized how sketchy these lawsuits were, and told Stone that he couldn’t subpoena for the Does’ identities just yet, and in the meantime, he asked Public Citizen and EFF to represent the interests of the still anonymous users. Amazingly, Stone sent the subpoenas anyway. The appointed lawyers discovered this when they heard from one of the Does in question. When they confronted Stone about it, he dropped the case in the most petulant manner possible (basically whining about the judge appointing these meddlesome lawyers who kept him from getting his way).

      • ACTA

        • ACTA: Note from Marietje Schaake, Member of the European Parliament

          As a Member of the European Parliament (EP), I am concerned about the ACTA treaty in the international trade committee (INTA). Please find some information about the procedure of the ACTA treaty in the EU, especially the EP, below. You can reach me on Twitter via @marietjed66, where I will also post a message about this post.

        • ACTA ‘Is More Dangerous Than SOPA’

          While panelists talked about what they saw as the relatively secrecy under which ACTA was authored, ACTA is by no means a new initiative. Posts about the act started emerging online as early as 2008 (the initiation began with the U.S. and Japan in 2006). Canada’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade site offers a comprehensive look at the act, and even tackles the claim that ACTA was built and ratified in secret:

          “This process has not been kept from the public. On October 23, 2007, the partners involved in ACTA at that time publicly announced that they had initiated preliminary discussions on ACTA. Several countries involved in ACTA have conducted public consultations on the key proposed elements of the ACTA.”

          One thing is clear: The temperature is finally rising for ACTA, and at least one Congressman now publicly sees it as a greater threat than SOPA. You can see the entire panel in the exclusive video above.
          What do you think? Is ACTA bigger, badder and more worrisome than SOPA and PIPA, or is Issa simply trying to steer votes to his own legislation?

        • Stop ACTA in Europe

          We’ve been hearing a lot lately about SOPA and PIPA in the United States. In the meantime, ACTA has been creeping along under the radar.

        • Polish Politicians Don Guy Fawkes/Anonymous Masks To Protest ACTA Signing

01.26.12

Links 26/1/2012: Btrfs in Oracle Linux, Linux Mint 13 Chatter, ODF Toolkit

Posted in News Roundup at 7:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Govt agencies fatten Linux, Unix server environments

      The Federal Government has revealed a 6.4 percent increase in the use of *nix servers among agencies that spend over $2 million a year on IT.

      The increase occurred exclusively in larger agencies between 2008-9 and 2009-10, according to an iTnews’ analysis of figures [xls] contained in a new benchmarking study [pdf].

      The study involved a mix of undisclosed large and medium-sized agencies.

      By the end of 2009-10, surveyed agencies were using a total of 3039 physical machines running *nix software, including Unix, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD “and related platforms”.

      Large agencies deployed 996 new *nix servers between 2008-9 and 2009-10, while medium-sized agencies retired at least 45 *nix units over the same period.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux turns 20

      In August 1991, a Finnish student announced on Usenet that he was developing a free operating system for Intel’s 386 processor. That same month, Tim Berners-Lee released the first code for what he called the World Wide Web, also on Usenet. Twenty years later and both projects have taken over the world: one very visibly – the Web – and one almost invisibly: Linux.

    • Linux vendors urgently patch a security flaw

      OPEN SOURCE Linux distributors are quickly patching a security flaw recently found in the Linux kernel.

    • Btrfs To Go Production-Ready In Oracle Linux

      Btrfs, the quite promising next-generation Linux file-system that’s been in-development for years by Chris Mason and others, is about to take on a big role within Oracle’s Enterprise Linux distribution.

    • Linux Foundation: How to contribute to open source projects

      The Linux Foundation has published a paper titled “Upstreaming: Strengthening Open Source Development “. In the ten-page PDF document, the two authors explain, among other things, why it is in the best interest of everyone involved that in-house improvements to open source software be submitted back to the original authors of that software (upstream) for inclusion in the next version. The document, which can be accessed after registering, also touches on how best to go about this process.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.3 (Part 1) – Networking

      Version 3.3 of the Linux kernel offers another way to team multiple Ethernet devices. Support for “Open vSwitch”, a virtual network switch that was specifically developed for virtualised environments, has also been added. Byte Queue Limits are designed to reduce the latencies that cause the much-discussed “buffer bloat”.

    • More Systemd Fun: The Blame Game And Stopping Services With Prejudice

      Systemd, Lennart Poettering’s new init system that is taking the Linux world by storm, is all full of little tricks and treats. Today we will play the slow-boot blame game, and learn to how stop services so completely the poor things will never ever run again.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa Beginning To Need Application Workarounds
      • Nouveau For A $10 NVIDIA Graphics Card?

        In this article is a look at the state of the open-source Nouveau Gallium3D driver on low-end NVIDIA GeForce graphics hardware. In particular, a $10 USD NVIDIA retail graphics card is being tested under Ubuntu Linux on both Nouveau and the proprietary NVIDIA driver and is then compared to a wide range of other low and mid-range offerings from NVIDIA’s GeForce and AMD’s Radeon graphics card line-up with a plethora of OpenGL benchmarks.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Arch Linux: Only the Hardcore Need Apply

      In search of a different distro (term of endearment for Linux distributions) to try, I decided to try installing probably one of the harder distros to install, Arch Linux over the weekend. I thought I would gather some thoughts into a post and share what I think of this interesting distro that doesn’t get the press that Ubuntu does.

    • New Releases

    • Debian Family

      • Answering questions of Debian users on various support channels

        It’s not always an easy task. Some users are more skilled than others and there might be difficulties related to the language, English is not always the native language of a user who asks a question in English.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Developer Week for 12.04 “Precise Pangolin” announced

            The Ubuntu development team has announced that the Ubuntu Developer Week for the 12.04 “Precise Pangolin” cycle will take place from 31 January to 2 February 2012. Over the course of the three days, contributors and members of the Ubuntu community will present various online workshops including tutorials and hands-on sessions focused on Ubuntu development.

          • Linux users cautiously optimistic about Ubuntu’s Head-Up Display desktop
          • Ubuntu plans shift to mobile

            Ubuntu has embarked on a shift in strategy that recognizes the growing use of smartphones and other non-PC devices for access to data and services.

          • Ubuntu 12.10 will bypass menus via predictive search
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Sublime Text on Linux Mint 12

              What particularly draws me to this swift, polished, accomplished, customisable and truly delectable editor is that it is cross platform. And as I’m still in the front end dev contracting game, this is a real boon: Mac, Windows or my own Minority Linux, I can have the same text editor across the board. Delight.

            • Linux Mint 13 gets back to desktop basics

              Bucking the trend of increasingly experimental desktop interfaces, the developers behind the Linux Mint are adopting a simpler desktop for the next version of the open-source Linux distribution.

              Linux Mint 13 will feature an entirely new user interface, called Cinnamon. Earlier this week, the Linux Mint developers released a version of the shell. Previous editions of Linux Mint used a standard version of the Gnome environment.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • FOSS’ Factious Gender Divide

    “For every ‘geeker girl’ there are probably 100,000 that only want to use a PC long enough to get the job done and get away from the stupid thing,” said Slashdot blogger hairyfeet. In the end, “as long as there is a decent workplace so if little Sally wants to be a programmer she can, that should be all that matters. You will NEVER get a 50/50 ratio of women to men in that profession … .”

  • Don’t Do It Yourself – Learning to Trust Open Source

    It’s scary that people don’t know enough about open source and how development in Java is done to rely on well-known and trusted libraries. The runtime library is kept small on purpose. It gives us the most flexibility and power to do what’s best.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • CMS

    • NYSE Takes Stock of Open Source CMS

      Few global organizations can match the size, scale and importance of NYSE Euronext. (NYX). The leading global operator of financial markets, NYSE Euronext’s markets represent fully one third of the entire world’s equities trading-and the company is a major player in derivatives and technology services. NYSE Euronext is in the S&P 500 index and Fortune 500.

    • Joomla gets search, database reinforcements

      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.

  • Education

    • Stevens Institute of Technology Moves Financial Systems to Open Source Kuali

      New Jersey’s Stevens Institute of Technology has transitioned its financial systems to an open source platform. To replace its 30-year-old legacy system, Stevens adopted the Kuali Financial System, a tool developed and maintained by a partnership of higher education institutions and private companies.

      The Kuali Foundation is an open source organization for education institutions and other organizations dedicated to developing open source tools for higher education. The Kuali Financial System is Kuali’s flagship project. Based originally on Indiana University’s Financial Information System, KFS is a modular, enterprise-level financial system comprising accounts receivable, general ledger, purchasing/accounts payable, budget construction, and other major financial functions.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Debugger update brings Python scripting improvements

      The GNU Project Debugger team has announced the arrival of version 7.4 of the GNU Debugger (GDB). The open source debugger is the standard debugger for the GNU software system, and supports a number of programming languages including Ada, C, C++, Objective-C, Free Pascal, Fortran and Java.

  • Licensing

    • A Very Short Rant About “Copyrighted” Code

      This morning I was reading a site that regularly covers free and open source software. To protect the guilty party (because I suspect the error was one of rushed writing rather than ignorance), I’ll leave out the publication and author. However, I do want to surface the error. The author wrote about making sure that “copyrighted code” doesn’t get into the Linux kernel. What?

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Build software or community with the Mobility Lab

      Are you fascinated by transportation and passionate about using technology to help people? The Mobility Lab Transit Tech initiative is looking for Software Development Fellows and an Open Source Community Manager to help create innovative technology tools around transportation and foster open source collaboration.

    • Open source research techniques can revolutionize medicine

      What happens when Facebook meets medicine? And I’m not talking about poking your doctor when you want an appointment. What happens if all of a sudden, instead of pharmaceutical companies hiding their recipes behind closed doors and keeping their active compounds a closely guarded secret, they were to share?

      This is exactly what Jay Bradner, a researcher at Harvard and the Dana Farber Institute in Boston, did. When his lab discovered a compound that showed promise against pancreatic cancer and other solid tumors, he asked himself the question: “What would a pharmaceutical company do at this point?” And he did the opposite. Instead of keeping it a secret, he sent the compound out to researchers around the world, who sent back their findings. Instead of keeping his success in house, as a secret until he could patent a product, he created the most competitive research environment possible for his lab.

    • Open Data

      • Graph database Neo4J heads to the cloud

        Version 1.6 of Neo4J, the NoSQL graph database, has been released and includes a beta of Neo4J for the Heroku cloud, an improved query language, and web admin with a full shell. The developers say they are taking a careful approach in their cloud plans, and the beta of Neo4J for Heroku offers the ability to access Neo4j servers through their REST interface. Details of the cloud support are available in the Heroku Dev Center.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Elsevier — my part in its downfall

        The Dutch publisher Elsevier publishes many of the world’s best known mathematics journals, including Advances in Mathematics, Comptes Rendus, Discrete Mathematics, The European Journal of Combinatorics, Historia Mathematica, Journal of Algebra, Journal of Approximation Theory, Journal of Combinatorics Series A, Journal of Functional Analysis, Journal of Geometry and Physics, Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications, Journal of Number Theory, Topology, and Topology and its Applications. For many years, it has also been heavily criticized for its business practices. Let me briefly summarize these criticisms.

      • Goodbye Elsevier, Goodbye Tet Lett etc

        Over the last few years my interest in open science has grown, and inevitably I’ve had to confront the power of open access literature, which is a necessary condition for open science if we are to avoid the absurdity of research conducted in the open disappearing behind a subscription once it’s done. My doubts about contributing to a system of closed access journals, which totally dominate organic chemistry, were becoming overwhelming when Tim Gowers’ post came along about the need to declare publicly that we would no longer support the system.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open source controller framework lets you add the finishing touch

        There are plenty of off-the-shelf controllers out there, but what if you fancy something a little more… you? How about fully customized, with a good seasoning of affordability and style? Design student Alex S has built a framework to help you build just that. The units shown above are for DJ-based programs, but you can create interfaces for any software that takes HID or MIDI input, and as they’re modular, create endless ultra-custom set-ups. Keen to dismantle any technical barriers, Alex created a step-by-step Instructable, but you’ll still need to get your hands dirty with Arduino and some circuitry. The whole project is open source, and while it’s a step up from Lego, until we can just print these things,

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • [Neelie Kroes] I’ll be Tweet-chatting next Monday, 30 January
  • Opportunities Lost

    The score: In a decade of error,

    * 10 billion person-years of computing was lost,
    * $100 billion in profits was lost by M$ alone,
    * billions were kept in poverty years longer than they should have,
    * Earth was polluted/raped by the material wasted/used in PCs replaced every few years, and
    * the world spent $billions more fighting the malware and bloat and re-re-reboots of that other OS.

  • Finance

    • Stress Testing Tim Geithner

      Thanks to Occupy Wall Street, in the State of the Union this week President Obama struck some of his most populist themes yet. He wants to tax millionaires, bring back manufacturing and prosecute the big banks. He touted his Wall Street reforms saying the big banks are “no longer allowed to make risky bets with customers deposits” and “the rest of us aren’t bailing you out ever again.”

      But are we safe from the next big bank bailout? Many experts are dubious and Wednesday the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen decided to test the theory in the most direct way possible. They used the administrative law process to formally petition the nation’s top bank regulators to move swiftly to break up Bank of America (BofA) asserting in their petition: “The bank poses a grave threat to U.S. financial stability by any reasonable definition of that phrase.”

    • Goldman Sachs a key player in managing Romney’s wealth

      Romney’s tax returns show portions of his family fortune in an elite division of Goldman open only to clients with more than $10 million to invest and another in bank-run hedge funds.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • How the government will monitor your cell phones

      In general, mobile phone penetration is extremely high in Canada. 78% of Canadian households had a mobile phone in 2010, and in young households 50% exclusively have mobiles. In addition to owning mobile phones, we carry them with us most of the time.

      While many Canadians think of mobile phones as convenient tools to communicate with each other, we tend to not really think of mobiles as surveillance systems that are stuck in our pockets and purses.

  • Civil Rights

    • FBI seeks to track Social Media en masse

      There’s a brand new job alert out there this week, engineers and developers, and you should hop right on it if you want to help the FBI work on a tool which will provide them with an “Open Source and social media alert, mapping, and analysis application solution.” What I want to do right now is, in a very basic way, debunk how this situation will almost certainly be blown out of proportion by the same crew of people that ultimately (and thankfully) took down the SOPA and PIPA bills. This tool, if I’m to trust the job offer I’m reading here from the Federal Business Opportunities website, is not going to be hacking into your personal or secured information in any way. Instead it will be a mass organization and search tool for the FBI to keep track of all social and open source sites on the internet at all times.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • It Ain’t Over: ‘Ireland’s SOPA’ To Pass Without Parliamentary Vote

        Ireland is soon to have a law similar to SOPA passed that would give music and movie companies the power to force Irish ISPs to block access to sites suspected of having copyright infringing material on them.

      • After Years Of Near Obscurity, Atari Turns To Copyright Trolling

        A long, long time ago, Atari was king of the gaming world. It was the manufacturer of the first mainstream home video game console and was making a ton of money. That was until the video game crash of the 80s. Even though Atari was king of the world, it was not able to manage the prospect of home gaming very well and the market became saturated with terrible games that were extremely overpriced. The inability for Atari to rectify the problem ended up with gaming lying on its death bed. While the rest of the gaming world moved on after the video game renaissance, Atari was not able to keep pace with the new generation of consoles and games. After several failed consoles, it fell into obscurity.

      • Once More, With Feeling: It Wasn’t Silicon Valley Or Google That Stopped SOPA/PIPA, It Was The Internet

        Over the last week, after SOPA and PIPA were put on life support, we’ve noticed an incredibly tone deaf response from the supporters of these bills, lashing out at the wrong parties and trying to figure out where to place the blame. The usual target has been “the tech industry,” by which they usually mean “Google.” That’s why the MPAA’s Chris Dodd wants to sit down with “tech companies” at the White House to discuss this. It’s why the head of the movie theaters’ lobbying group, NATO, brushes this whole thing off as Google “flexing” its muscles. As we’ve said all along, that not only misses the point, and is totally tone deaf to what happened, but it pretty much guarantees the wrong response from supporters of the bill.

      • From Deadwood to Opportunity: CRIA Changes Its Tune on the Canadian Online Music Market

        For many years, the most prominent critic of the Canadian online music market has been the industry itself. The Canadian Recording Industry Association (now known as Music Canada) has consistently argued that few would want to invest in Canada due to the state of our copyright laws. For example, in 2009, CRIA President Graham Henderson published an op-ed that said our trading partners were racing ahead of Canada, which he argued was a product of Canadian copyright law. A year later, Universal Music Canada appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and told MPs the legal uncertainty meant that the investment was going to other countries.

      • Seven Lessons from SOPA/PIPA/Megaupload and Four Proposals on Where We Go From Here
      • Bill C-11: copyright, the movie
      • Weak Copyright Laws? Recording Industry Files Massive Lawsuit Against isoHunt

        As the debate over Canada’s copyright reform legislation, Bill C-32, continues to rage before a legislative committee, one of the most frequently heard claims is that tough reforms are needed to counter Canada’s reputation as a “piracy haven”. The presence of several well-known BitTorrent sites, most notably B.C.-based isoHunt, is cited as evidence for Canada’s supposedly lax laws that the industry says leaves it powerless.

      • The SOPA War: A Frantic Call, an Aborted Summit, and Dramatic New Details on How Hollywood Lost
      • Who Really Stopped SOPA, and Why?

        I split my time these days between Silicon Valley and Capitol Hill, and last week was a very good week to be in Washington. In the fall, I witnessed the beginnings of a unique revolt over proposed legislation that would have dramatically changed the Internet’s business landscape. Last week, that revolt achieved a stunning victory, sending Congress into a tailspin of retreat from bills that seemed certain, only months ago, to pass with little notice or resistance.

      • ACTA

        • MEP quits ACTA ‘charade’ in protest at EU signing

          A French MEP has quit the process of scrutinising ACTA for the European Parliament, calling the treaty’s passage through the EU legislative system a masquerade.

          In a statement on Thursday, Kader Arif denounced the signing of ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) by the EU and 22 member states earlier in the day. He said the European Parliament was being undermined and the process was a “charade” in which he would no longer participate.

        • European Parliament Official In Charge Of ACTA Quits, And Denounces The ‘Masquerade’ Behind ACTA
        • ACTA rapporteur denounces ACTA mascarade
        • People In Poland Come Out To Protest ACTA In Large Numbers; Polish Gov’t Calls It ‘Blackmail’

          Wow. We’ve noted that the folks who got revved up around SOPA weren’t just focused on that one bill, but have remained active and interested in related issues — with ACTA being an important one, especially given the effort by the government in Poland to sign on. Following on the big anti-SOPA protests, it seems that a bunch of folks in Warsaw decided to take to the streets in protest of ACTA… and it looks like an awful lot of people showed up, despite this being about a copyright trade agreement and the fact that it was below freezing temperatures outside. There are some photos on the site linked above that show a very large group gathering. This is really fantastic. Just a month ago, you would have never expected over a thousand people to show up in the freezing cold in Warsaw to protest a bad trade agreement about copyright issues. But it shows just how badly the entertainment industry is miscalculating on these things. The further and further the entertainment industry pushes, all it’s doing is educating and activating a large and growing group of folks who are sick of bad copyright laws interfering with their own basic rights and civil liberties.

        • Poland is not lost – could challenge ACTA at the ECJ
        • EU Commission propaganda on ACTA

          The European Commission published a document in defense of ACTA, “10 Myths about ACTA“. It is pure propaganda. The document is widely distributed by polish authorities.

IRC Proceedings: January 26th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Links 26/1/2012: Toorox 01.2012, Red Hat’s MRG Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 10:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 75 Open Source Apps That Could Improve Your Life

    ‘Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions. But if you’re like many Americans you may have already fallen off the wagon. One study by psychologists at the University of Scranton found that 36 percent of the people who made New Year’s resolutions had already broken them by the end of January, and less than half (44 percent) were still going strong in July.

  • Events

    • LCA 2012 Bruce Perens on Status of Open Source and James Applebaum on Anonymity
    • LCA: Addressing the failure of open source

      Bruce Perens wore a suit and tie for his linux.conf.au 2012 keynote for a reason, he said: it reflects our community’s need to think more about how it appears to the rest of the world. Despite our many successes, he said, we have failed to achieve the goals that our community set for itself many years ago. We have failed to engage and educate our users, and are finding ourselves pulled into an increasingly constrained world. To get out of this mess, we will have to make some changes – and expand our scope beyond software and culture.
      The open source (he always used that term) movement’s goal, he said, was once to help a population that increasingly does everything – from entertainment to finances and voting – through computers. We wanted to enable people to do, not to be done to. But we find ourselves in a world where people are increasingly slaves to their tools. Yes, he said, tools like the iPhone empower their users, but they also constrain those users. They are designed not to allow their users to do things that might reduce the profits of their makers or of a number of related industries.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Solution Finds A Problem

        Google has expressed surprise that Chromebooks are popular with schools. I’m not surprised.

  • CMS

  • Funding

    • The Taxman Cometh for Kickstarter

      It is a truth universally acknowledged that a new business model, recently acquiring financial success, must be in want of taxation. So it appears to be for Kickstarter, as I discovered, now that the first business tax filing deadlines are approaching me.

      It turns out that the taxman is not very pleased with “exchanges that are a mix of commerce and patronage” — he’d really prefer these to be clearly distinct activities. Because gift income or patronage may generally be treated as non-taxable, while commerce is subject to taxes at multiple levels — both as income and as sales.

      Several questions are relatively difficult to determine: is the money you receive in a Kickstart to be interpreted as a payment for delivery of a product (i.e. the reward)? Or is the money a donation (gift) with the reward being a nominal acknowledgment.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Tiny server offers modular design
  • Finance

    • Merkel aims to solve Europe’s debt crisis as Davos leaders say Western capitalism has widened income gap

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed determination Wednesday to solve Europe’s debt crisis through greater political unity, but dashed hopes of a big injection of money for the region’s bailout fund.

      Urging the European Union to act more like a central government for the region, she acknowledged that the countries that share the euro don’t have the “political structures” to make the common currency work properly.

      She spoke at the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos, where members of the global business and political elite are looking to Germany to prevent a breakup of the euro, which could hurt the economy worldwide. Many participants said they see increasing evidence that Merkel will do so.

  • Copyrights

    • Global failure: No Global e-book library

      While waiting in my doctor’s office with nothing to read, I picked up a copy of the Washington Lawyer, the journal of the DC bar. It had a long piece on the “March Toward a National Digital Library” by Sarah Kellogg that I think worth reading. And pondering. It is online here .

      A lot has been happening, but it remains slow going as the lawyers and the interest groups continue to try to find a workable deal on the remaining issues. Still the author is hopeful. But she also notes that we have had the technology to digitize print matter since 1971 when Project Gutenberg published it first e-book. Forty years. Think about that.

    • New Righthaven To Offer ‘Hosting With A Backbone’; Will Avoid Unnecessary Takedowns

      Last week, some folks here pointed out that the new Righthaven.com — bought during the asset auction of Righthaven’s domain for $3,300, as part of the effort to fulfill Righthaven’s obligation to pay legal fees for one of its (many) bogus lawsuits — had put up a page joining the anti-SOPA/PIPA protests. That certainly seemed encouraging, and suggested that (not all that surprisingly, really), the domain had been bought by someone who took a dim view on copyright maximalism.

    • State Of The Union Address Highlights The Dirty Trick Of Hiding More Draconian IP Rules In ‘Trade Agreements’

      As we’ve been discussing, it’s great that the anti-SOPA/PIPA protests have awakened many to the horrors of ACTA. It seems that this may also help people finally learn about the nefarious practice of industry trade groups and governments to sneak bad IP legislation through “international agreements.” With President Obama mentioning the importance of trade agreements and dealing with infringement in his State of the Union address, many people were wondering if it was a signal about SOPA/PIPA.

    • Once Again, If You’re Trying To Save The $200 Million Movie, Perhaps You’re Asking The Wrong Questions

      I’m a bit behind on this (the SOPA/PIPA stuff took up a lot of time), but filmmaker/actor/director/writer Ed Burns, who came to fame a couple decades ago with the massively successful indie film The Brothers McMullen, likely had every opportunity to follow the path of plenty of successful indie moviemakers: go mainstream. He could have hooked up with a big studio and been filming the latest of those $200 million bubble-gum flicks. And while Burns has appeared in a few big studio films (Saving Private Ryan), over the last few years, he’s really focused on staying close to his indie roots. In fact, he’s stayed so close to them, that you could argue his latest efforts are even more indie than his first film.

    • The Pirate Bay Launches Promo Platform For Artists

      Hollywood and the major music labels frequently describe The Pirate Bay as a piracy haven that ruins their businesses. On the other side, however, there are many independent artists who would like nothing more than to be featured prominently on the world’s largest torrent site. For the latter group The Pirate Bay team have just released a new platform where artists can have their content promoted on the site’s homepage, free of charge.

    • Why SOPA and PIPA are bad for open source

      The widespread internet blackout last week in protest at unbalanced legislation being rushed through the US Congress was dramatic and notable. I did have some questions though on why it was important to the open source community. The way the laws have been framed by their proponents makes them look as if they are all about file sharing and specifically music and video sharing. However, the problem with them is they create badly-bounded new powers that are likely to exploited in ways that fall outside the frame.

    • Discussing SOPA/PIPA Over At On The Media

      Been meaning to get to this for a few days now, but finally had the chance now. Last week the always excellent radio program On The Media from WNYC, I had a bit of a discussion on SOPA/PIPA (and the Megaupload shutdown). I was on the first segment discussing some of the problems with the bills. The actual interview happened Tuesday, before the big protest, before all the politicians dropped off, and before the Megaupload takedown occurred. Otherwise I might have had a few more comments about all of that. There’s probably not too much surprising in what I have to say if you’re a regular reader of my SOPA/PIPA coverage.

    • ACTA

IRC Proceedings: January 25th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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01.25.12

Links 25/1/2012: KDE 4.8, Pandora is Back, Open webOS 1.0

Posted in News Roundup at 5:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • JavaScript dashboard framework jSlate open sourced

    Rasmus Berg Palm has released his JavaScript dashboard framework jSlate as GPLv3 licensed open source. jSlate allows users to create dashboards which retrieve their data from any web-accessible service. The system, which runs as a service on the jslate.com web site, allows users to create dashboard visualisations based on Highcharts JS interactive JavaScript charts and D3 data-driven documents. Each dashboard element is represented as a window which contains the visualisation and behind each is a JavaScript script which can be edited by the user to completely customise the chart to their needs.

  • Be lazy, be fast

    At its best Open Source software is about accelerating the pace of innovation by enabling unconnected groups to collaborate across organisational borders. It is a software development process that allows people to freely share ideas and implementations among a community of peers while still focusing on their own local needs and business drivers

  • Interview with Ivan Idris author of NumPy 1.5 Beginner’s Guide

    Today’s interview is with Ivan Idris, author of NumPy 1.5 Beginner’s Guide a book for developers or scientists with a little Python experience and wanting to test NumPy’s capabilities. We talk about the book, how it came to be and the experience writing it. Enjoy!

  • Events

    • OSI Reform At FOSDEM
    • Failure Is An Option

      Failure is a word that, understandably, carries a negative connotation. Nobody wants to fail, really. But failure, if you’re doing anything worthwhile, is inevitable. What’s important is to plan for failure, learn from it, try to avoid damage and do your best to recover gracefully. That was the topic of Selena Deckelmann’s keynote, “Mistakes Were Made,” Sunday morning at the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE).

    • Canberra to host 2013 Linux conference

      The conference will be held from January 28 to February 2, which includes the Australia Day public holiday. This is not unusual as it happened in Brisbane in 2011 too.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Patches Five Chrome Bugs, Pays $6000 in Bounties

        Google earlier this week updated the Chrome Stable channel to 16.0.912.77 for Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome Frame, patching four privately reported vulnerabilities in its browser. How come only four, you ask, when the headline clearly mentions five? Actually the fifth was patched a couple of weeks back, but Google mistakenly failed to include it in the release notes.

    • Mozilla

      • JSRuntime is now officially single-threaded

        A single SpiderMonkey runtime (that is, instance of JSRuntime) — and all the objects, strings and contexts associated with it — may only be accessed by a single thread at any given time. However, a SpiderMonkey embedding may create multiple runtimes in the same process (each of which may be accessed by a different thread).

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 2.5 available with GNOME or LXDE

      Following several months of development, the GhostBSD project has announced the release of version 2.5 of its BSD distribution. According to its developers, this update to GhostBSD is the result of many parts of the system being “updated, tweaked and fine-tuned”.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Committee Passes “Open Source City” Resolution

      A Raleigh City Council committee gave its stamp of approval to a resolution that could make public city data easier to access and change the way the city buys software.

      The Technology and Communications Committee, a new group of city councilors created late last year, approved the Open Source Government resolution Tuesday night. It will go to the full council next week.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Contest Highlights R Language’s Big Data Analysis Power

      Revolution Analytics, a commercial provider of software, services and support for the open source R language, awarded $20,000 to contestants in an event designed to highlight the business usefulness of R.

      Hadoop is an open source software framework that enables organizations to process huge amounts of data, huge as in petabytes. R is an open source software programming language popular with statisticians who have long used it for data mining and creating predictive models.

Leftovers

  • Google’s SPDY Incorporated Into Next-Gen HTML, Offers TCP Enhancements

    Google’s efforts to improve Internet efficiency through the development of the SPDY (pronounced “speedy”) protocol got a major boost today when the chairman of the HTTP Working Group (HTTPbis), Mark Nottingham, called for it to be included in the HTTP 2.0 standard. SPDY is a protocol that’s already used to a certain degree online; formal incorporation into the next-generation standard would improve its chances of being generally adopted.

  • Security

    • Windows security breaches on the rise

      It seems like every year, near the closing of the year, Windows viruses and malware seem to creep up from nowhere. Late 2011 was no exception. Beginning in November, Windows viruses and malware started to appear and we experienced a few get through on Windows 7 64-bit with full Symantec Endpoint Protection running, with users running Internet Explorer. Yep, they slipped right on through multiple layers of protection. Meanwhile others mentioned an increase of other popups and strange behaviour with fake “Windows repair” utilities and such. Needless to say, for those supporting Windows, it made for an ever increasing need for extra time to put out these fires. Things seem to have settled down after the new year.

  • Finance

    • Romney Parks Millions in Cayman Islands

      Although it is not apparent on his financial disclosure form, Mitt Romney has millions of dollars of his personal wealth in investment funds set up in the Cayman Islands, a notorious Caribbean tax haven.

      A spokesperson for the Romney campaign says Romney follows all tax laws and he would pay the same in taxes regardless of where the funds are based.

    • Sorry, Mr. Speaker, Credit Unions are Not GSEs

      For the second time in a recent presidential debate where he seeks to answer his opponents’ charges about his firm’s years of quite profitable (and, according to most sources, completely legal although an issue he has found tough to defend in today’s “bubble burst” real estate market) consulting engagements with Freddie Mac, former Speaker Newt Gingrich has now twice misstated facts about credit unions so severely in his attempt to deal with these GSE-oriented questions that it has to be either an intentional effort to mislead or he does not understand what credit unions are.

      Either is troublesome for credit unions. And, now that he has done it two times in two separate debates, it cannot be a mere oversight on his part. One of those problems, lack of candor or lack of comprehension, must be the case. And the record must be set straight.

      Sorry, Mr. Speaker, credit unions are not GSEs. Period.

    • David Stockman on Crony Capitalism
  • Privacy

    • Facebook is Mass Surveillance, Says Free Software Founder

      Richard Stallman, founder of the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation, remains the most outspoken public personality against “non-free” software and recently lashed out against commercial software services that restrict “freedom”.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Stop throttling video games, CRTC tells Rogers

      Rogers Communications is breaking the law by deliberately slowing down certain types of Internet traffic, says Canada’s telecom regulator.

      In a letter made public Jan. 20, the CRTC gives Rogers two weeks to show it’s complying with the rules.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Would a SOPA Version of the Canadian Copyright Bill Target Youtube?

        My post this week on the behind-the-scenes demands to make Bill C-11, the current copyright bill, more like SOPA has attracted considerable attention with mainstream (National Post, La Presse) and online media (Mashable, Wire Report) covering the story. The music industry alone is seeking over a dozen changes to the bill, including website blocking, Internet termination for alleged repeat infringers, and an expansion of the “enabler” provision that is supposedly designed to target pirate sites. Meanwhile, the Entertainment Software Association of Canada also wants an expansion of the enabler provision along with further tightening of the already-restrictive digital lock rules.

      • Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales: MPAA chairman Christopher Dodd should be fired

        Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales had fighting words for Motion Picture Association of America chairman Christopher Dodd, calling the former Senator and current lobbyist out on his recent threats and pronouncing that the MPAA should fire its chief.

        “Candidly, those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake,” Dodd said to Fox News recently. “Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake.”

      • EMI VP Comes Out Against SOPA/PIPA; Says The Answer To Piracy Is Providing A Better Service

        Over the years, I’ve definitely found that there are plenty of folks working inside the major record labels (and big studios) who really do get what’s going on. The problem is often that their voices are drowned out by others (usually the older guard) who are pretty stubborn in their anti-innovation, anti-consumer ways. It’s always nice, however, when someone from the inside pops up and says something sensible in public, and those folks deserve kudos. The latest is Craig Davis, EMI’s VP of Urban Promotions.

      • My thoughts on S.O.P.A.

        IN THE former Soviet Union, in the late 1950s and 60s, many books that questioned the political system began to be circulated privately in mimeographed form. Their authors never earned a penny in royalties. On the contrary, they were persecuted, denounced in the official press, and sent into exile in the notorious Siberian gulags. Yet they continued to write.

      • Hollywood Astroturf Group Releases Ad Saying It Needs SOPA To Shut Down Megaupload… Five Days After Megaupload Is Shut Down
      • Free Press Action Fund Calls on Congress to Return MPAA’s Dirty Money

        WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, the Free Press Action Fund called on Congress to return campaign donations from the Motion Picture Association of America.

        In an interview last week, MPAA President Chris Dodd, a former U.S. senator, threatened to cut off campaign donations to members of Congress who vote against legislation the MPAA supports.

      • The Tech Industry Has Already Given Hollywood The Answer To Piracy; If Only It Would Listen

        While many in the press have really enjoyed claiming that the SOPA/PIPA fight has been about Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley, we’ve been pointing out for a while just how silly that is. Months ago, we pointed out that it’s a strange “fight” when one side (Silicon Valley) appears to give the other side all the weapons it needs to succeed (only to watch Hollywood then aim those weapons at its own feet). It’s been pointed out time and time again that Hollywood has a habit of looking a gift horse in the mouth… and accusing it of piracy, when it later turns out to be the answer to Hollywood’s prayers.

      • ACTA

        • New Petition Asks White House To Submit ACTA To The Senate For Ratification

          As we noted in our post about people just discovering ACTA this week, some had put together an odd White House petition, asking the White House to “end ACTA.” The oddity was over the fact that the President just signed ACTA a few months ago. What struck us as a more interesting question was the serious constitutional questions of whether or not Obama is even allowed to sign ACTA.

          In case you haven’t been following this or don’t spend your life dealing in Constitutional minutiae, the debate is over the nature of the agreement. A treaty between the US and other nations requires Senate approval. However, there’s a “simpler” form of an international agreement, known as an “executive agreement,” which allows the President to sign the agreement without getting approval. In theory, this also limits the ability of the agreement to bind Congress. In practice… however, international agreements are international agreements. Some legal scholars have suggested that the only real difference between a treaty and an executive agreement is the fact that… the president calls any treaty an “executive agreement” if he’s unsure if the Senate would approve it. Another words, the difference is basically in how the President presents it.

IRC Proceedings: January 24th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 12:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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

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

GNOME bluefish

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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