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Links 4/3/2012: Cory Doctorow on Code Visibility, Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.8

Posted in News Roundup at 2:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source


  • Windows 8 offers no management help for ARM devices

    Organizations looking to deploy Windows 8 on ARM-based (WOA) devices will have to do so without being able to manage them, according to a Microsoft advisory outlining the business benefits of the new operating system.

    While WOA scrimps on battery life, it falls short in management and compatibility with legacy applications, making it less than ideal for business.

  • Finance

    • Satyajit Das: Pravda The Economist’s Take on Financial Innovation

      The Economist sees financial innovation as positive; regarding it in the same sense as charity and goodwill to one’s fellow creatures. The reader is told that: “Finance has a very good record of solving big problems, from enabling people to realise the value of future income through products like mortgages to protecting borrowers from the risk of interest-rate fluctuations.” The definition of the “big problems” of our time is obviously subjective.

  • Censorship

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Dear Big Newspapers: Keep Putting Up Silly Paywalls And Clear The Internet Field For Us ‘Newcomers’

      Apparently it’s a week of paywalls for a bunch of big newspaper websites. Newspaper giant Gannett announced that all of its newspaper websites with the exception of USA Today, will go paywall by the end of the year. The system will allow between 5 and 15 article views before you’re locked out. And then, the news broke that next week, the LA Times will be launching its own paywall. Again, it will allow 15 “free” article views per month, but then require payment — with the price being a rather astounding $3.99/week.

    • Copyrights

      • Yes, Online And Offline Rules Are Different… Because Online And Offline Are Different

        In the past we’ve discussed the ridiculousness of claiming that the internet is some sort of “wild west” without laws just because some people don’t like the laws covering the internet. Clearly, there are plenty of laws that deal with the internet. What people really mean when they call the internet “the wild west” is that they simply don’t like the laws — and specifically that those laws don’t fit into the analogy they have crafted for the internet.

      • Inside Views ‘Balanced’ Copyright: Not A Magic Solving Word

        It was obviously a moment of some embarrassment for the US Department of Commerce and the World Intellectual Property Organisation. Hardly two weeks after more than 100 NGOs and a few individuals, mostly located in the global South, requested that these two agencies postpone the upcoming Africa IP Summit, this is exactly what has happened to the session originally scheduled for Cape Town, South Africa in early April. But what about their substantive criticisms of the ideology, themes and speakers for this conference which were made in a 7 February open letter to WIPO Secretary General Francis Gurry? According to the NGOs, the original Cape Town event was promoting ‘an unbalanced IP agenda’ and they instead wanted a ‘balanced forum’ that would endorse a ‘balanced’ intellectual property agenda across the world. This article takes up the question: is balance the answer?

      • Kim Dotcom Gives TV Interview Where He Insists The Charges Against Him Are A Joke

        Generally speaking, if you’re facing criminal charges, it’s probably not a wise idea to give public interviews to the press, and I don’t see how doing this helps him in any way. He more or less lays out his expected argument concerning the copyright infringement claims, which are pretty much what you’d expect: that they followed the DMCA, took stuff down on request, and even gave copyright holders special access by which they could take links down themselves. Dotcom is clearly very well versed in the legal issues here, and he’s choosing his words extremely carefully, but it still seems a bit silly to reveal such arguments outside of court, and it could come back to haunt him later (you can bet US prosecutors are pouring over every word to figure out what they can hang him on.

      • UK Government Pressuring Search Engines To Censor Results In Favor Of Copyright Industries

        One of the most insidious aspects of recent Internet policy-making is that much of it is taking place behind closed doors, with little or no consultation — think of SOPA, PIPA, ACTA and TPP. But there’s another dangerous trend: the rise of “informal” agreements between the copyright industries and Internet service providers.

        With the implicit threat that tough legislation will be brought in if voluntary agreements aren’t drawn up promptly enough, governments are using this technique to avoid even the minimal scrutiny that consultations on proposed new laws would permit. This allows all kinds of bad ideas to be forced through without any evidence that they will help and without the chance for those affected to present their viewpoints.

      • TV Networks Gang Up To Sue Aereo; Do Copyright Rules Change Based On The Length Of A Cable?

        The TV networks hate, hate, hate this because they’ve been raking in oodles of cash from carriage fees from the cable and satellite guys. That’s how much cable and satellite has to pay to “retransmit” the local broadcast channels, and it’s become a huge, multi-billion dollar business that the TV guys have no interest in giving up in any way, shape or form. It’s the reason why you probably hear stories on a regular basis about some cable or satellite network will no longer carry a certain broadcast channel… leading to a lot of posturing and such before one side eventually backs down (often after a short blackout period).

      • EMI Sneakily Trying To Pretend Many Of Its Artists Can’t Reclaim Their Copyrights
      • Artist and Hacktivists Sabotage Spanish Anti-Piracy Law

        In an attempt to sabotage a new anti-piracy law that went into effect today, hundreds of websites in Spain are participating in a unique protest organized by a local hacktivist group. The websites all link to an “infringing” song by an artist loyal to the protest, who reported the sites to the authorities to overload them with requests.

      • Lawsuit Against US Copyright Group For Fraud & Extortion Moves Forward

        US Copyright Group was the first of the US-based copyright trolls, suing thousands of individuals in a single lawsuit, trying to get them to pay up (rather than going through an actual trial). US Copyright Group is really a front for a DC law firm, Dunlapp, Grubb & Weaver. One of its very first “big” lawsuits was against about 5,000 people for supposedly partaking in the sharing of Uwe Boll’s Far Cry. Of course, as we had noted, there was a pretty big problem in the Far Cry lawsuit, in that the US copyright registration was filed too late for many of the accusations of infringement.

      • Copyright kings are judge, jury and executioner on YouTube
      • ACTA

        • Time To Go: Why EU Commissioner De Gucht Has Disqualified Himself From Handling ACTA

          Even though the European Commission has referred ACTA to the European Court of Justice, the European Parliament continues to examine the treaty in its various committees. Earlier this week, the one dealing with International Trade met for a preliminary discussion. One of the key speakers was the Commissioner responsible for ACTA, Karel De Gucht, who naturally tried to make light of the many problems that have been raised in recent weeks.

          But as the text of his speech makes clear, he did a poor job. For example, in an apparent attempt to distract attention from the real issues, he brought up the irrelevant and widely-condemned DDoS attacks on the European Parliament, perhaps hoping to spread around a little guilt by association.

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