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Links 16/5/2012: 125,000 GNU/Linux Machines for Pakistani Students, Android 4.0 Rollouts

Posted in News Roundup at 6:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source


  • Pixar’s Toy Story 2 was Nearly Lost because of a Linux Command

    In ‘The Movie Vanishes’ short animation film by Pixar, Oren Jacob and Galyn Susman tell how a big part of Toy Story 2 was almost deleted because of an accidental Linux command ‘rm’ and poor backup system.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Virginia Firm Sells Gun Targets Resembling Trayvon Martin

      An online gun retailer has been criticized for promoting an advertisement for shooting targets that resemble 17-year old shooting victim Trayvon Martin. The target depicted a hooded figure holding skittles and tea with crosshairs on his chest. Martin was reportedly holding skittles and tea when he was shot dead — in the chest — by George Zimmerman in Florida in February 2012. The horrific shooting of the unarmed youth led to a national conversation about the NRA-crafted Stand Your Ground/Shoot to Kill law and the role the American Legislative Exchange Council played in spreading the Florida law across the nation.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • LISTEN: Occupy Wall Street Gets an Album and Everyone Is On It
    • Gupta seeks calls thrown out of U.S. insider trial

      NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta, the most prominent corporate figure indicted in a U.S. crackdown on insider trading, has asked a judge to throw out more than two dozen phone conversations that the government has sought to present as evidence at his trial.

    • Goldman Traders Tried to Manipulate Derivatives Market in ’07, Report Says

      Company documents show traders led by Michael J. Swenson sought to encourage a “short squeeze” by putting artificially low prices on derivatives that would gain in value as mortgage securities fell, according to the report yesterday by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The idea, abandoned after market conditions worsened, was to drive holders of such credit-default swaps to sell and help Goldman Sachs traders buy at reduced prices, according to the report.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • CMD Special Report: New Documents Confirm Koch Was on ALEC Crime Task Force Led by NRA

      ALEC announced it was dropping that task force in the wake of the controversy over the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin and so-called “Stand Your Ground” (SYG) laws. However, the co-leader of that task force, Rep. Jerry Madden (R-TX), revealed ALEC’s announcement to be a PR maneuver when he reassured The Christian Post that his task force’s work would continue through other ALEC task forces.

  • Censorship

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • US Supremes hammer final nail into Psystar coffin

        The long and sordid Psystar saga creaked to its anti-climactic close on Monday: the US Supreme Court has refused to hear the hackintosher’s request to review an appeals court’s September 2011 decision not to overturn a December 2009 permanent injunction preventing the Florida company from selling Mac OS X–based clones.

      • Music labels force pioneering MP3tunes into bankruptcy

        MP3tunes, a music locker service that has spent years locked in litigation with major record labels, announced last week that it was closing up shop. The startup scored a partial victory in court last year, helping to establish the legality of cloud music services in the process. But founder Michael Robertson says that “four and a half years of legal torment” forced his company to file for bankruptcy on April 27.

      • Who Needs SOPA When Courts Will Pretend SOPA Already Exists?

        Back in November, we wrote about one of a series of cases we had seen where trademark holders were going to court with a list of domain names that they insisted were selling counterfeit goods and getting the courts to issue injunctions that appeared to be quite similar to what SOPA would have allowed had it passed. That is, basically upon request, a trademark holder was able to get domain registrars to kill domain names, while forcing search engines and social networks to put in place blockades barring such sites from being listed. It appears that more trademark holders are taking notice. Jeff Roberts has the story of (regular IP extremist) Louis Vuitton trying the same thing.

      • IP-Address Can’t Even Identify a State, BitTorrent Judge Rules

        The mass-BitTorrent lawsuits that are sweeping the United States are in a heap of trouble. After a Florida judge ruled that an IP-address is not a person, a Californian colleague has gone even further in protecting the First Amendment rights of BitTorrent users. The judge in question points out that geolocation tools are far from accurate and that it’s therefore uncertain that his court has jurisdiction over cases involving alleged BitTorrent pirates. As a result, 15 of these mass-BitTorrent lawsuits were dismissed.

      • MCA, the DMCA, and stifled collaboration

        Earlier this month, the world lost a music pioneer when Adam Yauch, a.k.a “MCA” of the Beastie Boys, succumbed to cancer at the age of 47. A founding member of the Beastie Boys, Yauch expanded upon his success in the music industry to exert his considerable influence and contributions outside music. He had a strong interest in film, which resulted in him directing several of the Boys’ music videos and in 2008 led to him founding Oscilloscope Studios, which produces and promotes independent films. In the 1990s, Yauch adopted Buddhism and began getting involved socially and politically in a variety of charities and activism.

      • ACTA

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