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02.05.12

Links 5/2/2012: Lenovo in India, Netrunner 4.1 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 12:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • SaaS

    • Banks Push Hadoop Envelope to Open Big Data’s
      Secrets

      Given the promise of new analytics technologies, becoming more data-driven is on the minds of most IT decision makers these days. In a recent report on the impact of big data on analytics, “More than half of the organizations polled identified analytics as among their top five IT priorities,” says Julie Lockner senior analyst and VP of data at the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), an IT strategic advisory firm based in Milford, Mass.

      “With the promise big data is poised to bring,” says Lockner, “organizations are exploring their options for solving business challenges with emerging [data] technologies. It’s just not practical or cost-effective to use traditional [database] platforms and technologies that were designed before the big-data era.”

    • Big Data: Will Open Source Software Challenge BI & Analytics Software Vendors
  • Semi-Open Source

    • Analyzing Magento Community Edition

      Magento Community Edition is an open source system, which means that it can be downloaded for free, and modified to suit specific programming and/or design requirements. What’s unique and valuable about this model (compared to hosted solutions-where one is locked into a specific company for hosting and support) is that an ecommerce entrepreneur can have complete control over his/her website.

  • BSD

    • KMS For FreeBSD Is Still A Work In Progress

      FreeBSD still lacks mainline support for kernel mode-setting (KMS) on modern hardware, but at least it’s still being worked on.

      As I routinely get such questions via email, for those wondering about the state of kernel mode-setting (KMS) or the ability to use the latest Linux DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) drivers on FreeBSD, it’s still out-of-tree and is considered a work-in-progress to be used by experienced BSD desktop users.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Lecture on free software

      A lecturer on ‘Copyright v/s Community in the Age of Computer Networks’ was delivered by Richard Mathew Stallman developer of GNU/Linux at the BKB Auditorium at Gauhati University today.

  • Open Access/Content

    • Elsevier Publishing Boycott Gathers Steam Among Academics

      Elsevier, the global publishing company, is responsible for The Lancet, Cell, and about 2,000 other important journals; the iconic reference work Gray’s Anatomy, along with 20,000 other books—and one fed-up, award-winning mathematician.

    • U of T and Western sign agreement with Access Copyright

      I am very pleased to announce the agreement of a voluntary licence between Access Copyright, University of Toronto and Western University (formerly University of Western Ontario). The attached press release went out at 7:00 pm today (Monday) and is now on our website.

    • U. of T. and Western Capitulate to Access Copyright

      In an astonishing development that has caught all but a handful by surprise, U. of T. and Western have signed copyright deals with Access Copyright that appear to be an early and complete capitulation to an important battle over the costs and parameters of access to knowledge in Canadian post-secondary institutions.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Microsoft Loses US Smart Phone Market Share — Again
  • Finance

    • Goldman to face mortgage debt class-action lawsuit

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc was ordered by a federal judge to face a securities class-action lawsuit accusing it of defrauding investors about a 2006 offering of securities backed by risky mortgage loans from a now-defunct lender.

  • Censorship

    • Transport Canada Issues DMCA Takedown Over On-the-Record Response

      Transport Canada has reportedly issued a DMCA takedown notice to Scribd over an on-the-record response it provided to a journalist. The move is particularly odd (though not unprecedented, see here and here) given the document was issued to a journalist and the government changed its crown copyright licence last year to allow for private and non-commercial public use without the need for further permission.

  • Civil Rights

    • Assange followers give a stand-out performance

      WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange faces a tense wait after seven judges of the British Supreme Court adjourned to decide whether he will be extradited to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault.

      The two-day appeal by Assange against a lower court’s decision to uphold the validity of a Swedish arrest warrant marks the end of a year-long legal battle to avoid extradition, sparked by allegations by two women in 2010 that he sexually assaulted them.

      The appeal ended in a war of words between Assange’s barrister, Dinah Rose, and Clare Montgomery, QC, representing the Swedish Judicial Authority, as each sought to persuade the judges to support their respective positions not only on the fate of Julian Assange, but on the future of a controversial extradition treaty that operates throughout the European Union.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • You Will Never Kill Piracy, and Piracy Will Never Kill You
      • Ten Key Questions and Answers About Bill C-11, SOPA, ACTA, and the TPP

        In recent days there has been massive new interest in Canadian copyright reform as thousands of people write to their MPs to express concern about the prospect of adding SOPA-style rules to Bill C-11 (there are even plans for public protests beginning to emerge). The interest has resulted in some completely unacceptable threats and confusion – some claiming that the Canadian bill will be passed within 14 days (not true) and others stating that proposed SOPA-style changes are nothing more than technical changes to the bill (also not true). Even the mainstream media is getting into the mix, with the Financial Post’s Terrance Corcoran offering his “expert” legal opinion that CRIA’s lawyers are likely to lose their lawsuit against isoHunt.

      • ACTA

        • Acta goes too far, says MEP

          The French MEP who resigned his position in charge of negotiating the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta) has said it “goes too far” by potentially cutting access to lifesaving generic drugs and restricting internet freedom.

        • Maladministration complaint against the European Parliament

          I just filed a maladministration complaint with the Ombudsman against the European Parliament for systematically lying about the existence of documents:

          The European Parliament cultivates secrecy.

          On 21 June 2011, the coordinators of the International Trade committee (INTA) decided to ask the Parliament’s legal service an opinion on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The INTA committee’s Chairman, Mr Moreira, sent a letter to the legal service. In the letter, the Chairman allegedly left out a question on safeguards against disproportional criminalisation. While this was known in Parliament, no Member took action to solve this. I requested, among other documents, the coordinators’ minutes of the INTA committee.

        • Ambassador Apologises for ACTA, Anonymous Announces Attacks (adds)
        • Smoking gun on ACTA Criminal Sanctions

          We discovered a smoking gun on the criminal sanctions aspect of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). A declassified document reveals that the Commission made proposals and fundamentally steered the negotiations on criminal sanctions in ACTA for which no corresponding EU harmonisation exists. There is no “Acquis” element on criminal enforcement of intellectual property rights, yet. Criminal sanctions in ACTA were formally negotiated by the Council “Presidency” on behalf of the EU member states.

        • Can Poland stop ACTA?

          The EU Council and Commission have opposing opinions on whether Poland can stop ACTA. Who is right? – only the Court of Justice may tell.

          According to ZDNet, Poland may not ratify ACTA, which could spell the end of ACTA for the entire European Union:

          “Tusk’s backtracking could spell the end of ACTA for the entire European Union. If Poland or any other EU member state, or the European Parliament itself, fails to ratify the document, it becomes null and void across the union.”

          ZDNet added: “The European Commission confirmed to ZDNet UK that if just one member state does not ratify ACTA, the deal will not enter into force anywhere within the EU.”

IRC Proceedings: February 4th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 11:00 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

OpenStack, Microsoft, Junk Patents, Microsoft Copyrights, and Oracle Copyrights

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Mono, Oracle, Patents at 10:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Building an “open” stack with proprietary Microsoft?

Stones tower

Summary: Another look at the OpenStack situation, why Microsoft should not be allowed to enter, and more about patent and copyright complications

SOME days ago we wrote about OpenStack's situation when it comes to Microsoft. Later we showed what Microsoft boosters were doing to spin it as good news. Well, according to this new article:

OpenStack is supposed to be a vendor agnostic open community for building an open source cloud stack. And it is, unless you don’t pull your own weight- or if you’re Microsoft.

I know there is plenty of vitriol in the open source world towards Microsoft and certainly some of that has now surfaced in the OpenStack community.

OpenStack is now removing the Hyper-V capabilities from its stack, after Microsoft didn’t maintain the code. That happens in projects all the time, just think about the Linux kernel where Microsoft has had similar challenges and hey for that matter so has Google.

The hostility towards Microsoft has a lot to do with this monopolist’s continued attacks on Open Source projects. We need not whitewash Microsoft here or claim the above to be an irrational move of irrational hatred. Never mind the fact that Hyper-V is proprietary and not open. Microsoft continues to attack Linux with all sorts of proxies like SCO as well as patent trolls. There are those who wish to just abolish it all, especially patents. Realising the idiocy of many patents, there are some who speak about the harms of patents as a whole, not just software patents. To quote:

“Is this Patent full of crap?”

[...]

The ideas are those of patent lawyer Andrew Schulman, but the story is full of insight on a patent lawyer’s thinking and offers real clues into why the patent system is such a mess–complexity compounded, full of precedents that ordinary humans will find puzzling at best.

Earlier we wrote about many patents becoming just junk. Even Oracle seems to be moving further away from patents and is now trying to use copyrights against Android. Quoting Groklaw:

Today is the due date for Dr. Cockburn’s third attempt at a damages report on behalf of Oracle, and just to make sure Oracle knows what needs to be submitted, Judge Alsup has issue a reminder order. (709 [PDF; Text]) The judge wants to see not only the report but also all of the related reports and studies that support it.

Let’s remember that Microsoft has put code with its copyrights inside Linux and the same goes for Mono. They try to make those things more adaptable to Microsoft’s proprietary software. In the case of Mono, there is lawsuit risk too. Anything with Microsoft in it tends to be tainted. Just see what happened with FAT.

Apple, Which Started Patent Wars, Gets What It Deserves

Posted in Apple, Patents at 10:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Apple assault doesn’t blend

Blender

Summary: Apple products get banned (for the time being) after Apple decided to attack Linux-supporting competitors and then received some blowback

APPLE’S opening of a jar of worms has led to reactionary lawsuits that sometimes trouble Apple and discourage the original strategists (those in favour of suing Android). Some of Apple’s legal leadership has already left or was fired. We covered this at one time.

According to the corporate press and the Irish Times, Apple has its day in court and the outcome is not as Apple originally planned:

Motorola Mobility has won a second German patent ruling against Apple over its iCloud service allowing the company to block sales of devices including iPhone and iPad if they use the software that accesses it.

Apple started this whole war and there is an attempt at deterrence from the defendants. Citing a Microsoft lobbyist, ZDNet tells the distorted version of the story, where Google and Motorola are somehow the “aggressors”. To quote:

Apple was forced to remove several iOS devices from sale on its German online store on Thursday as a result of its patent battles with Motorola.

The iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and 3G iPads are currently not available from the company’s web store in Germany following a ruling in favour of Motorola relating to FRAND-pledged patents declared essential to 3G standards.

With more rumours based on Apple patents (like this one) we expect Apple to carry on with its patent strategy, living and dying by the sword (the man behind this strategy is already dead). Apple does not even get sympathy from people who claim to like Apple products:

I like Apple products. God knows I own and use enough of them. But, I hate their out-sourcing business practices and their world-wide anti-Android lawsuits. So, when I learned this morning that Motorola Mobility had won a permanent injunction against Apple’s iCloud service in Germany because of a patent violation and Motorola had followed that up with another patent victory, which has forced Apple to take all its older phones, 3G and 4 and all iPads off its German online store (German language link), I was pleased.

Apple has made enemies it did not need to make.

Unitary Patent and the Emergence of More Junk Patents

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 10:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cemetery for cars

Summary: The rise of the junk patents and what we are taught about them by the news, including some news about the unitary patent in Europe

THE UNITARY patent [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] drew opposition in several countries and also among some British MPs. Despite all that we know about the harms of patent maximalism, patent lawyers in Europe keep promoting it and argue for the inevitability of this looting of public knowledge:

It certainly is a sign of progress (although some would say in the wrong direction) that the Secretariat of the EU Council is about to finalise the Regulation for implementing the Unitary Patent (see Document CM 1068/12). Apparently, the dice is cast with respect to the Unitary Patent and, thus, with respect to the highly controversial question as to whether or not Articles 6 to 8 (effects of patents) should remain in the proposed Regulation so that substantive patent law will be subject to review by the Court of Justice of the European Union in future.

We have not heard about the unitary patent in a while, which either means that the public is left out or that no significant progress is being made. Lawyers have their own interests here and therefore a bias too. Over in Australia we see a similar type of crowd doing something similar. Patent boosters in Australia argue in favour of software patenting. It’s from a pro-patents blog that says:

The US Supreme Court has established three exceptions to the broad principle that all machines, processes, manufactures and compositions of matter are patentable under 35 USC §101 – laws of nature, physical phenomena and abstract ideas.

In Australia, it is settled law that the ‘manner of manufacture’ test for patent-eligibility excludes laws of nature, mere discoveries, ideas, scientific theories, schemes and plans. Mathematical formulae and algorithms are also excluded, to the extent that claims are not meaningfully limited to their use as part of a patentable practical application.

It can therefore be seen that, while the precise terms used differ in the two countries, there is a broad similarity between the fields of excluded subject matter in Australia and the US.

As we showed last year, there was some lobbying in Australia and a perpetual attempt to spread the venom of the US patent system to another continent (just like in Europe). It’s not about innovation, it is about greed. When multinationals are calling out the alligators with some more litigators (new hirings) they do nothing to promote innovation. Usually they merely impede it. Here is an example of another software patent being granted. Some of them are so embarrassingly trivial and CNET catches up with old news about Microsoft withdrawing one such embarrassing patents among several that it uses to extort Linux/Android (this one in the B&N case). To quote:

Microsoft withdrew a patent from the list of ones that it claims Barnes & Noble violates with its Nook e-readers in the software giant’s case against the bookseller before the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The ITC is not done looking at the anti-competitive patent misuses by Microsoft. Microsoft lobbyists, however, try to change the story.

Backlash Against Bill Gates’ Lobbying for Patented Life

Posted in Bill Gates, Patents at 9:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Masks

Summary: GMO, a robbery of the right of reproduction (and a potential health hazard), is promoted by Bill Gates for profit, whereupon critics strike back

TECHRIGHTS covers patents and it also covers Microsoft, so the area of globalist/monopoliser Gates Foundation promoting GMO is very relevant to us. This post will not repeat arguments we made before, either about Gates’ promotion of GMO monopolies or the dangers of GMO (see the wiki page for an index of previous posts on that). Instead, it will draw some attention to more controversial sites which notice how Bill Gates is bribing the press while Natural News cites it and writes:

Aaron Dykes of Prison Planet recently gave an insightful TV news presentation analyzing The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s influence over the media to promote their “world health and agriculture” agendas while soft pedaling the downside of all they’re doing.

Such items as “Gates using his money to save lives … etc” have been appearing in several news outlets, including ABC news (2). Meanwhile, items that question Gates’ “philanthropic” endeavors are muffled or marginalized. Those endeavors deal with vaccinations, sterilization, and GMOs. These are depopulation favorites.

The Gates Foundation donated $1.5 million to ABC’s News Project “Be the change; Save a Life,” extolling the virtues of ensuring Africans don’t starve. The NY Times mentioned Gates as the principal private funding source and adviser for world food policy and agricultural development.

In a less controversial site we find this toned-down interview which explains what Gates ignores (they pretend he doesn’t know that, politely enough):

The Flip-Side: What Bill Gates Doesn’t Know About GMOs

[...]

TakePart: In the introduction to his letter, Bill Gates cites the Green Revolution of the 1960s and ’70s, saying scientists created new seed varieties for rice, wheat, and maize, and that this resulted in increased crop yield and a decrease in extreme poverty around the world. Do you agree that this is a model to use moving forward?

Heather Pilatic: The Green Revolution is a story that some people like to tell, but it has little basis in historical fact. Take the Green Revolution’s origins in 1940s Mexico, for instance. It was not really about feeding the world; Mexico was a food exporter at the time. Rather, the aims included stabilizing restive rural populations in our neighbor to the south, and making friends with a government that at the time was selling supplies to the World War II Axis powers and confiscating oil fields held by Standard Oil (a funding source for the Rockefeller Foundation, one of the key architects of the Green Revolution).

We can also learn from India, the Green Revolution’s next stop after Mexico. India embraced the Green Revolution model of chemical-intensive agriculture. Now it is the world’s second biggest rice grower with surplus grain in government warehouses. Yet India has more starving people than sub-Saharan Africa — at more than 200 million, that’s nearly a quarter of its population. History shows that a narrow focus on increasing crop yield through chemical-seed packages reduces neither hunger nor poverty.

So no, we do not agree that the Green Revolution offers a promising model for addressing poverty.

This is not about addressing poverty; it’s about exploiting the poor for yet more profit while hijacking the voice of the poor. The whole thing is evil propaganda for people who run society.

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