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Links 19/3/2012: Linux 3.3, Wine 1.5.0

Posted in News Roundup at 11:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source


  • Finance

    • NYC Activists Differ on Occupy’s Direction

      A day after police broke up a rally at Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park and arrested dozens, Occupy Wall Street protesters said Sunday that their movement for economic justice would pick up momentum with the spring.

      Activists listed issues including student debt, the environment and the November elections as priorities going forward. But some observers who watched workers hose down the now-barricaded park that was Occupy’s home wondered whether a movement so diffuse could accomplish anything.

    • Goldman Missive Shows Need for Volcker Rule, Democrats Say

      The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. employee who criticized the company’s culture in a newspaper column bolsters the case for Wall Street restrictions like the Volcker rule, congressional Democrats said.

      While the March 14 New York Times opinion piece by former executive director Greg Smith drew no requests for hearings or investigations, lawmakers including Senators Carl Levin of Michigan and Jeff Merkley said the article showed why the U.S. needs tighter restrictions on Wall Street practices. The two Democrats authored the Volcker rule’s ban on proprietary trading and conflicts of

    • Culture of Predation: That Goldman Sachs Exposé Barely Scratches the Surface

      This week people have been buzzing about Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith’s high-profile resignation from Goldman and his description of the way that company’s ethics and morals have declined over the last decade and more, especially under current CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

      But Smith’s revelations aren’t really news at all, and the moral decline he describes at Goldman has been replicated throughout our corporate culture. Behavior at Wall Street firms like Goldman may have been more overtly criminal, but the shift from respect for the customer to the desire to rip customers off is pervasive and insidious.

      Wall Street has, of course, been the epicenter of this behavior. Years ago it was reported that traders at Morgan Stanley used to get off a phone call and gleefully shout “I ripped his face off!” — about their own clients — after successfully selling them what they knew were garbage investments. The surprise isn’t that Goldman Sachs encourages its employees to mislead clients and put its own interests above theirs — the surprise is that anybody is surprised.

    • Goldman Should Be Barred From Returning More Capital, Bair Says

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) should be prohibited from boosting its dividend or repurchasing stock because Federal Reserve stress tests showed the investment bank is too leveraged, according to former regulator Sheila Bair.

      The leverage ratios of four financial firms dropped below 4 percent under the stressed scenario, according to test results the Fed released this week. Two of those firms, Citigroup Inc. (C) and MetLife Inc. (MET), were prohibited from raising dividends or repurchasing shares. The central bank approved the capital plans of two others, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • US judge rules that you can’t copyright pi

        The mathematical constant pi continues to infinity, but an extraordinary lawsuit that centred on this most beloved string of digits has come to an end. Appropriately, the decision was made on Pi Day.

        On 14 March, which commemorates the constant that begins 3.14, US district court judge Michael H. Simon dismissed a claim of copyright infringement brought by one mathematical musician against another, who had also created music based on the digits of pi.

        “Pi is a non-copyrightable fact, and the transcription of pi to music is a non-copyrightable idea,” Simon wrote in his legal opinion dismissing the case. “The resulting pattern of notes is an expression that merges with the non-copyrightable idea of putting pi to music.”

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