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Links 30/6/2012: Mandriva Foundation Structure Outlined, Ubuntu 12.10 Alpha 2 is Out

Posted in Office Suites at 7:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Competition Bureau Praised In Spite of Doing Nothing About Wintel

    The Competition Bureau is supposed to defend the Canadian economy from anti-competitive acts like exclusive dealing, bundling, price-fixing and the like. Despite some good work, the departing chief did nothing about M$ and its “partners” excluding GNU/Linux from retail shelves all across Canada. She did nothing about bundling that other OS with nearly every PC sold in Canada for decades. Clearly that prevents competition for operating systems and prevents competition on price/performance. Shame…

  • Health/Nutrition

    • WTO Not So COOL: Rules Against Popular U.S. Meat Labeling Law

      The World Trade Organization (WTO) issued a final ruling today against the U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law. This popular pro-consumer policy, which informs shoppers where meat and other foods were raised or grown, enjoys the support of 93% of Americans, according to a 2010 Consumers Union poll. Now Congress must gut or change the law to avoid the application of punitive trade sanctions.

  • Finance

    • Class Action to Teach Goldman Sachs Integrity

      Goldman Sachs cannot wiggle out of class action securities fraud claims by arguing that public statements that it valued “honesty,” “integrity” and “fair dealing” were “puffery,” not promises, a federal judge ruled.

    • Taxpayers’ money given to people who don’t pay taxes – oh, the beauty of PFIs

      You’d imagine, as the economy continues to tank, as banks continue to reveal themselves as incompetent (RBS and NatWest) or crooked (Barclays et al), as Europe drifts deeper into turmoil, that the two political parties who delivered these conditions might be interested in working out between them what brought matters to this grievous state. But the Westminster setup means they don’t have to do anything so sensible. One of the things that both the Conservatives and Labour love about the first-past-the-post electoral system – maybe even the thing they love about it most – is that they have always got each other to blame.

      Take Private Finance Initiatives, under which – across the public sector – taxpayers owe around £229bn for assets worth a capital value of £56bn. Hospitals, particularly, are struggling under a debt burden that obliges them to spend up to a fifth of their income on PFI commitments each year. PFI was imported from Australia as a wheeze under Thatcher, first implemented under Major, enthusiastically embraced under Blair, then under Brown, then utilised yet further under Cameron.

    • Goldman Sachs Said to Cut Administrative Jobs in the U.S

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) (GS), the fifth- biggest U.S. bank by assets, eliminated several dozen jobs to pare expenses in the U.S., according to a person familiar with the matter.

      The cuts affected positions in New York, New Jersey and Salt Lake City, Utah, according to the person, who wasn’t authorized to comment and asked for anonymity. Another person with knowledge of the matter said the reductions affected administration and other jobs that don’t produce revenue.

      Wall Street firms are targeting expenses as trading slows and new regulations pinch profit. Goldman Sachs employed 32,400 people at the end of March, down 8 percent in 12 months. Reuters reported the cuts earlier.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • CNN’s “Dewey Defeats Truman” Moment

      CNN jumped the gun this morning when it erroneously announced that the Supreme Court had struck down the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate — appearing to side with the court’s most vocal critics of the healthcare overhaul.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Over 130 Representatives Spell Out Their Concerns With TPP In Letter To Ron Kirk

      As the TPP negotiations progress, concern about the almost total lack of transparency (and the USTR’s laughable statements to the contrary) is starting to gain significant attention. Most recently, we wrote about Rep. Darrell Issa’s request to observe the next round of negotiations, and before that, Senator Ron Wyden’s quizzing of Ron Kirk about transparency during a senate hearing. So far, the USTR has managed to brush this off by claiming everybody else in Congress was happy—but, like almost everything the USTR says about TPP, that too is blatantly untrue. Over 130 members of the House of Representatives have now chimed in by signing on to a much longer open letter addressed to USTR Ron Kirk, expressing specific concerns about the TPP process.

    • Countries That Don’t Put In Place Copyright Regimes The US Likes May Be Deemed ‘Cybersecurity Concerns’

      So called “cybersecurity” and “intellectual property” are two very different issues, but it seems that politicians are realizing that they get further by screaming about “cybersecurity threats” than about “intellectual property infringement.” The latest proposed appropriations bill for the State Department includes a role for a “coordinator for cyber issues” — which is an awful title.

    • How Extending Patent Protection For Antibiotics Creates Perverse Incentives To Render Them Useless

      The problem arises from natural selection. The more we use an antibiotic — especially if we use it carelessly, failing to complete the full course — the more we select for bacteria that are partially resistant to it. Over time, those bacteria thrive, displacing bacteria that are unable to withstand the antibiotic. Eventually, bacteria that are completely resistant to that particular drug are likely to evolve — a situation that can have dire consequences. For example, even five years ago, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) was killing more people in the US annually than AIDS.

    • Copyrights

      • UK’s 3-Strikes Plan Continues To Grind Through The System; Still Not In Force, Still Awful

        As Techdirt reported in 2010, the passage of the Digital Economy Act was one of the most disgraceful travesties of the UK parliamentary process in recent times; it was badly drafted, hardly revised and then pushed through with almost no debate in the dying moments of the previous government. Since then, two UK ISPs — BT and TalkTalk — have challenged the Act in the courts, but lost earlier this year.

      • Megaupload Search Warrants Ruled Illegal by High Court

        The battle between Megaupload (David) and the US Government and the MPAA (Goliath) started out with a flurry of blows against the New Zealand based site staff, but in recent weeks the blows have all been falling stateside.

        Today, the New Zealand High Court ruled that the search warrants used to raid Dotcom’s mansion were illegal, casting uncertainty over the entire ‘Mega Conspiracy’ case.

        An earlier ruling by High Court Justice Judith Potter concluded that a previous search and seizure order was invalid because of improper paperwork. The documents were later corrected.

      • ACTA

        • Kill ACTA

          On June 25th, the European Union Parliamentary committee voted to reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). This signifies a major blow to ACTA, but its standing in the EU still comes down to the European Parliament vote scheduled for July 4th.

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