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04.11.12

Links 11/4/2012: Linux 3.4 RC2, Red Hat Storage 2.0 Beta, Kubuntu Finds New Sponsor

Posted in News Roundup at 5:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • U.S. Government Files Antitrust Suit Against Apple and Five Publishers

    The U.S. took legal aim at Apple Inc. and five of America’s largest publishing firms on Wednesday, hitting them with an antitrust lawsuit for allegedly setting pricing patterns for eBooks that limit competition. The suit contends that Apple and the group of publishing companies cost consumers millions of dollars through an arrangement where publishers set the pricing of eBooks, eliminating variable costs for them that could have been set by retailers and distributors.

  • U.S. Suit Says Apple, Publishers Colluded on E-Book Prices
  • Security

    • Microsoft seals up Windows zero-day flaw in April Patch Tuesday

      Microsoft released six bulletins on Tuesday to fix a total of 11 vulnerabilities, one of which has become the target of active attacks against unpatched applications.

      One of the four critical patches in the batch – MS12-027 – addresses an Active X issue that impacts numerous application and creates a mechanism to drop malware onto vulnerable Windows systems.

      Microsoft warned of attacks in the wild against the zero-day flaw, which affects an unusually wide range of Microsoft products and Microsoft users. Applications affected include Office 2003 through 2010 on Windows; SQL Server 2000 through 2008 R2; BizTalk Server 2002; Commerce Server 2002 through 2009 R2; Visual FoxPro 8; and Visual Basic 6 Runtime.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • US Coal Exports at Highest Level in Twenty Years

      For the full year of 2011, the US exported 107,259 thousand short tons of coal. This was the highest level of coal exports since 1991. More impressive: exports recorded a more than 25% leap compared to the previous year, 2010. (see data here, opens to PDF). Additionally, this was also a dramatic breakout in volume from the previous decade, which ranged from 40,000 – 80,000 thousand short tons per annum. The below chart, from EIA Washington, does not capture the full year, though it certainly portrays the trend. Nota bene: this chart tracks the quarterly volumes of coal exports:

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Net Filtering Violates the Rule of Law

      Last year, in their decision regarding the controversial LOPPSI bill, French constitutional judges held that Article 4 of the bill, which allows the French government to censor the Internet under the pretext of fighting child pornography, is not contrary to the Constitution. In doing so, the French constitutional court failed to protect fundamental freedoms on the Internet, and in particular freedom of expression. Hope now lies with European institutions, the only ones with the power to prohibit such administrative website blocking and its inherent risks of abuse.

  • Privacy

    • When the cops subpoena your Facebook information, here’s what Facebook sends the cops

      This week’s Boston Phoenix cover story — Hunting the Craigslist Killer: An Untold Detective Story from the Digital Frontier — would not have been possible without access to a huge trove of case files released by the Boston Police Department. Many of those documents have never been made public — until now. As a kind of online appendix to the article, we’re publishing over a dozen documents from the file, ranging from transcripts of interviews to the subpoenas that investigators obtained from the tech companies that helped them track the killer’s digital fingerprints. We’ve also published the crime scene photos and uploaded recordings made by investigators as they interviewed the killer, Philip Markoff, and others involved in the case.

      One of the most fascinating documents we came across was the BPD’s subpoena of Philip Markoff’s Facebook information. It’s interesting for a number of reasons — for one thing, Facebook has been pretty tight-lipped about the subpoena process, even refusing to acknowledge how many subpoenas they’ve served. Social-networking data is a contested part of a complicated legal ecosystem — in some cases, courts have found that such data is protected by the Stored Communications Act.

  • Civil Rights

    • Uncivil Liberties: The Coalition’s Surveillance Chaos

      It has been a of week of chaos for Britain’s government on civil liberties. Theresa May signaling the intention to bring in legislation to allow law enforcement agencies to check email, web, social media and gaming forum traffic unleashed a wave of protest. It also unleashed contradiction in the government parties. The Conservatives were quick to exploit the “being tough on crime” angle in the Sun. LibDem president Tim Farron was fielded to promise to shoot down the proposals Nick Clegg was set up to defend just a few short days before.

      We have had leaks, briefings, interviews, spin and letters. Lots of letters. The whole debacle has been capped with Home Office and the Prime Minister’s websites being DDoSed by Anonymous.

    • The “99% Spring” to Train 100,000 Activists
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • EU Parliament Must Stand Firm On Its Political Assessment of ACTA

          Paris, April 10th 2012 – The European Parliament has decided not to refer ACTA to the EU Court of Justice, and will normally hold its final vote this summer, as originally planned. This coming week marks a new opportunity for EU citizens to engage with their elected representatives in Brussels, calling on them to move swiftly toward a thorough political assessment of ACTA.

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