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11.09.12

Linux is Not Enough

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 10:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tux illustration

Summary: Remark on the context in which we achieve software freedom

I wish to interrupt our flow of news-related commentary and discuss something that has bothered me for over a year. The FSF, one of the few (if not the only) bodies that truly ‘get’ freedom and technology’s effects on it, has lost a lot of key staff. I won’t name them, but it is clear that plenty of brain drain occurred there. The Linux Foundation, which has many members that promote software patents and sell proprietary, freedom-disregarding software, recently accepted money from Microsoft as well. At the same time, the platform which takes over (in FOSS form) is Android, where applications are mostly proprietary and there is no GNU.

Celebrating “victory” when Android takes over is like liberals/progressives celebrating victory just because Romney lost. There is a broader fight to fight.

Apple Sues Google and Android Over Patents

Posted in Apple at 9:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Joins Microsoft in suing the market leader, which uses the Linux kernel

Mac and PC

Summary: Just like Microsoft, Apple is now suing Google more directly by targeting Android as a whole, not particular distributions of it

APLLE IS up to no good. A sane observer would possibly suggest antitrust/federal action against Apple, and not just in the US, either. There is a lot of nationalism at play and Korea is too small and feeble to rebut effectively. What about the market deciding? That would generally work. But not enough is being done to show Apple for what it really is. In fact, we are deeply disappointed to see diversion such as articles that label Apple a “victim”. Some obscure company is said to have started patent war against everyone:

An unknown company’s four-year campaign to sue hundreds of companies for offering encryption on their websites shows no signs of abating, with Intel, Yelp, and MovieTickets.com being targeted in the past month, court records show.

In its Identi.ca account, the EFF said: “Patent troll targets those who use SSL security protocol. Speak out against a broken patent system” (linking to its Web pages against software patents).

Another familiar vermin [1, 2, 3 has won a patent case against Apple [1, 2, 3, 4], but it is actually worse than that. An article by Mike Masnick says: “Unfortunately, our broken patent system still refuses to recognize a true independent inventor defense — leading lawyers to make statements like the one above, in which they gleefully cheer on the fact that they are blocking companies from innovating on their own. Shameful.”

Apple and Google were both affected in this case, but Google, unlike Apple, does not deserve this. Apple is suing Android again, this time aiming directly at Google [1, 2]. To quote:

Apple has moved to add Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 and, unusually, the Google-built Android OS Jelly Bean which runs on the phone to an existing patent lawsuit in the US.

The fruity firm argues that the Note 10.1 infringes on its intellectual property just as much as Samsung’s other products in the case do.

This got a lot of coverage [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], little of which was flattering. To quote one example:

Apple is not going to stop its legal attack on Android. The sue-cidal company now wants to add Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) to its existing lawsuit against Galaxy maker Samsung in federal court in San Jose. The company also wants to add Samsung’s Galaxy Note devices to this lawsuit. The case will go to trial in 2014.

Here is more from the corporate press and Groklaw:

Apple is trying to supplement its claims, significantly asking to add Android Jelly Bean itself, among others to its *other* Apple v. Samsung litigation in California. Samsung partially opposes. It doesn’t care if Apple adds the Galaxy Tab 10.1, for example, as long as it gets to add iPhone 5. But it strongly opposes letting Apple add Jelly Bean.

I thought you’d like to read all the filings, even if, like me, you are sick to death of Apple and its patent aggression. This isn’t the trial with the jury foreman issue; this hasn’t gone to trial yet. But it’s the same two judges, the Hon. Lucy Koh presiding, and Paul Grewall, the magistrate. He held a hearing on this yesterday, and he’s taken the issue under advisement.

Judge Posner, who had ruled against Apple, compared Apple to "animals" for this kind of behaviour (Posner also opposes software patents [1, 2, 3]), which is what’s happening again:

Another Key Motorola vs. Apple Patent Trial Tossed Out By A Judge Frustrated With Apple’s Games

Earlier this year, in a key patent fight between Apple and Motorola Mobility, Judge Richard Posner, who was “slumming” it down in the district courts for a bit, dismissed that case with prejudice while slamming Apple for its patent litigation strategy. Now, it appears that we have something of a surprise repeat situation, as a different judge in a different patent fight between the same parties has also dismissed the case with prejudice after angrily teeing off on Apple for its litigation strategy. Most of the reasoning can be found in an opinion the judge released late last week.

This was an important outcome. Let’s hope that the idea of Richard Stallman will be implemented to ensure that all cases end up that way. The President of the OSI seemingly agrees with Stallman:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Software patents are evil. They allow the work of innovators to be ambushed and raise the cost of technology innovation. But finding a viable solution to the software patent mess isn’t easy.

As it happens, Wired is running a series of articles on this topic, including an essay by Richard Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation. Stallman proposes limiting the enforceability of patents against software, noting that the subjects of patents “can also be implemented in hardware … and many of them have been. Each patent typically covers both hardware and software implementations of the idea.”

Over the weekend we are going to prepare some more wiki pages about patents. These matters are becoming primarily- and dominantly-recurring themes in the software world, not just the Free software world. There is the possibility of recruiting many millions of people for the fight against software patents.

Apple in Patent Race Against Google, Not Just Android Backers

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents at 8:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Round corners? Don’t even think about it, it’s patented now!

Samsung Galaxy S2

Summary: More litigation from iPhone and iPad backer, seeking to disturb the competition rather than innovate

Apple has got a patent on rounded rectangles from the USPTO, leading to all sorts of negative coverage about the company. We’ll give this as an example:

SIGH. After years of speculation, the US Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday actually issued a design patent to Apple for rectangular devices with rounded corners.

It seems that Samsung’s worst nightmare has come true, as the patent, D670,286 covers a “portable display device” and literally appears to give Apple the rights to a rectangle with rounded corners. In basic terms, this means Apple pretty much now owns the rights to the rectangle in the US.

Apple has even more malicious patents — ones that seek a monopoly on devices that suppress their users. What was the USPTO thinking? Well, it does not think, it’s not a person, it’s just a corruptible institution for protectionism (mostly for US-based firms), where patents are granted on far too many things. Consider the example from the other day — a lawsuit by CA Technologies. Here are some more details and patent numbers:

CA Technologies, the former Computer Associates, has thrown a patent sueball at application performance management (APM) software rival New Relic in Federal court.

The lawsuit, filed yesterday in the US District Court for the Eastern District in New York, claims that New Relic violated three patents that came into CA’s possession through acquisitions. As you can see in the complaint (PDF), CA is alleging that New Relic’s software violates patent numbers 7,225,361 B2; 7,512,935 B1; and 7,797,580 B2.

These are software patents. Apple tried introducing them through FRAND [1, 2], as does Microsoft, which lobbies for that heavily. Pamela Jones has the latest on that:

The parties in Microsoft v. Motorola have filed their trial briefs, albeit in redacted form. Keep in mind that a trial brief means what the party thinks is at issue and what its position is going into trial. Neither side has proven anything yet. That’s what the trial if for. But it does give us a clear picture of where each side sees its position at this point. Microsoft’s main argument is that FRAND licenses should be priced similarly to patent pool licenses, like MPEG LA’s. A novel idea. But this is their position, maybe because it’s how it would like it to be, even though it has never been so before. It shows that Apple and Microsoft are a bit newer to FRAND than Samsung and Motorola, and they don’t like how it’s always been, because it will cost them, and they want Android to lie down and die.

Apple tried such an attack on Motorola, but it lost the case. Apple deserved this. “Apple engineers ‘pay no attention to anyone’s patents’, court told” and the hypocrisy from Apple simply shows arrogance:

Displaying its arrogance, once again, Apple stated that they would not be bound by the court order if the court sets the price of FRAND licenses be more than $1. (read detailed coverage on Groklaw)

Bad news for Apple is that judge Barbara B. Crabb has dismissed the case with prejudice which means there won’t be any refiling of the case. Only way out for Apple is to go for an appeal.

Apple keeps losing market share and inertia, so this loss really is serious news. Appeal or no appeal, Apple is losing time and getting too distracted. Apple could make better products rather than apply for more and more patents (which takes up time).

Android/Linux/FOSS is a Massive Problem for Apple

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google at 8:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNU eats Apple - delicious or a forbidden fruit?

Summary: Linux/Android — and to a lesser extent GNU — take over the mobile/portable world, mostly at Apple’s expense

ACCORDING TO REPORTS sent to us by dear readers, Apple’s products are grossly overpriced, so Android devices — not just collectively — easily outsell Apple’s now. iPhone is easily beaten by Samsung’s phones. Apple loses its leadership, just as Nokia did. As I said a few days ago, Apple is the next Nokia. It’s like Nokia in 2007. Glyn Moody writes about this trend in his IDG blog, citing IDG data (IDC):

In the wake of the news that Android sales now represent around 75% of the global smartphone market during the most recent quarter, there’s still some surprise that this has happened. After all, this was a sector that Apple absolutely dominated just a few years ago. Some find it hard to understand how Android has pulled this off in just five years.

Of course, many of us in the open source world have been predicting precisely this kind of rapid rise to dominance. Android’s open ecosystem, which allows all kinds of handsets to be created, for all price points, meant that smartphones employing it were able to explore niches unavailable to Apple. In particular, there was no barrier to producing ever-cheaper handsets, which are crucially important in developing markets like Asia and Africa.

Samsung may no longer need Apple because demand is declining:

The Apple-Samsung war may have a casualty. Samsung has reportedly delayed building a planned logic fabrication facility as it digests the possibility of losing out on future chip orders from Apple.

Apple found a new production sugar daddy (nearly bankrupt), but this very expensive route will just make Apple bleed money (cash reserves, like the ones Nokia once had).

“Apple no longer a safe bet for investors” says a new article that states:

Uncertainty over the iPhone 5’s production and increased competition in the mobile space has resulted in some investors deeming Apple no longer a safe bet

To make matters worse, even a former Apple executive says that Apple is going down. To quote an article about it:

Dan Crow, a former engineering manager at Apple has given a damning verdict of the company’s future declaring that ‘it’s all downhill from here.’

The very public dressing-down came in the form of a column Crow wrote for UK newspaper The Guardian, in which he assessed the company’s current state of affairs as demonstrating a ‘slow but real decline.’

‘Why do I think Apple has passed its peak? There are a number of signs,’ Crow writes, ‘The most visible recent one is the Maps debacle. Replacing Google Maps with an obviously inferior experience shows how much Apple has changed.’

Android is taking it all, leaving Apple only to sue miserably. We’ll write about these lawsuits in the next couple of posts.

Apple Trial Misconduct Seen as More Likely Than Before

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents at 7:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apple: Where lies are acceptable

Apple headquarters

Summary: A question raised following Apple’s case against Android devices shows mysterious behaviour from Apple

MUKTWARE covers some interesting news from the most major patent case of Apple versus Android:

Apple has now declined to answer Samsung’s question in its motion that when did Cupertino learn about the jury foreman’s previous court case with Seagate. Apple in its response says that it is not compelled to respond as it was Samsung who accused Hogan of misconduct and not Apple.

Pamela Jones writes about this apparent trial misconduct, noting:

Apple very much does not want to have to answer Samsung’s question in its motion to compel about when Apple learned about the jury foreman’s earlier litigation with Seagate.

Denial like this does not bode well for Apple. It’s not as though Apple is an honest company; we have a whole resources page dedicated to Apple deception, which is now hiding an apology (for lying!) to further legitimise the label “reality distortion field”. Watch this response to what Apple has been doing:

Oh, Apple. As someone who (as yet) has no children, it’s been an educational experience watching the company’s reaction to a UK judge ordering them to put a public apology on their website over false claims that Samsung copied them. From the very beginning, it felt like Apple had gone out of its way to prepare me for raising children. It all started with a little “But, Daaaaad! He’s copying me!” Then, once parental admonishment is administered, Apple went into what child psychologists call “pouty-pants mode,” with the kind of apology statement that was almost literally playing one parent/country off of another, by which I refer to their referring to the fact that all of the other countries’ judges that had ruled opposite of the UK courts. And when the UK courts were less than thrilled with that petulance, they issued another apology, with a link buried at the bottom of the page — using a little javascript magic to ensure that you wouldn’t see it unless you were specifically looking for it. If this isn’t a perfect analogy for a young child mumbling a half-hearted apology to his little brother for kicking him, I don’t know what is, but I thank Apple for all the lessons in child-rearing they’ve given me. I feel, having watched the judge in this case, I have a good understanding on how to handle a petulant child.

This childish, bratty behaviour (as Jones called it in Groklaw) is what makes me reluctant or unwilling to buy a friend of mine an iPhone 5 for Christmas (like he asked me to). This even led to a small argument last night. Who would want to help such a spoiled, destructive company? How far can a boyoctt stretch? Well, today we’ll have several more articles about Apple. More education is clearly needed.

Links 9/11/2012: Qt Creator 2.6.0, Ubuntu 13.04 Daily Builds

Posted in News Roundup at 7:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Windows 8 is a one way street for consumer PC users

    If you buy a Windows 8-powered HP consumer PC, or from any other PC vendor, you’ll get no help from them if you decide you’d rather have Windows 7. And Linux? Forget about it!

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • ending the cults of personality in free software

      Free software has a history of creating and supporting cults of personality. Since it is a widespread human phenomenon, it is easy to understand how this happens. It is, however, unhelpful and destructive and we really ought to actively discourage it, starting by putting aside the current cults.

    • The free software media and cults of personality

      .
      I’m not naming names, but if you follow community news, you’ll know that all these things have happened in the last month, as well as many, many times before. Moreover, each time that they happen, they distract people from more important matters.

    • Trying out Systemd
    • AMD Shuts Operating Systems Research Center, Fires Linux Employees
    • Did AMD shoot itself in the foot by laying off open-source talent?
    • The Z-Factor: Meet the Simon Cowell of Linux

      Such moves have not always been welcome. I’ve criticised the Linux Foundation for getting beyond its roots and getting in the way of its sponsors. By taking sides with MeeGo, for example, the Foundation threatened to undermine its credibility with other Linux-based mobile projects.

      [...]

      Zemlin and the Linux Foundation, however, go one step further. Zemlin is an active advocate for Linux, constantly in the news and on his blog, whether ripping on patents, taking pot shots at Microsoft Windows, or talking up Linux in automobiles. In other words, he helps to make the Foundation’s brand bigger, giving it more credibility within the development community and, perhaps particularly, the sponsoring vendor community. No one has raised money more successfully for an open source foundation than Zemlin has.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Benchmarking NVIDIA’s R310 Linux Driver Improvements

        This week NVIDIA began advertising their new “R310″ Linux graphics driver that “delivers [a] massive performance boost to Linux gaming” as a result of Valve releasing their Steam Linux Beta. The NVIDIA 310.xx Linux graphics driver not only improves the performance for Valve’s Source Engine games, but many Linux OpenGL games. In this article are benchmarks from three graphics cards to highlight the optimizations.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Experimentation vs. Tradition: The Future of Innovation on the Linux Desktop

      A few years ago, users had two — maybe three — major choices for a Linux Desktop. Now, several user revolts later, they have eight or more.

      But while this increased choice may be good for users in the short term, how will it affect long-term development? It may be that this diversity means either less innovation in the future, or a constraint of innovation to one or two unpromising directions.

    • A New Day Dawns In Linux With The Near Arrival Of E17 (stable)

      If you want less of your system consumed by your desktop and more left to your apps, then E17 is pretty much right near or at the head of that field. – Carsten Haitzler, Enlightenment

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt Creator 2.6.0 Out, Includes Experimental Android Support
      • plasma sdk accreting

        If you have used plasmoidviewer, plasamengineexplorer or plasmawallpaperviewer from past releases of KDE Workspaces while developing Plasma components, you may be surprised to find them gone in the upcoming 4.10 release.

      • Qt Creator 2.6 Development Environment Released

        Qt Creator 2.6 introduces “Kits” as a replacement to the feature known as “Targets” in earlier versions, the integrated development environment also adds experimental Android support, improved C++11 support, and many bug-fixes throughout.

      • Qt Creator 2.6.0 introduces Kits

        Version 2.6.0 of Qt Creator has been released with a change that, its developers say, will affect almost every user: the new release of the cross-platform integrated development environment (IDE) introduces “Kits” as a replacement for the “Targets” that were in versions 2.5 and earlier.

      • Slax 7.0 packs a KDE 4 live OS into 183MB

        With the arrival of a first release candidate, the next major release of Slax, version 7.0, is nearing completion. Slax is a fast and full-featured Linux operating system based on Slackware that includes KDE 4 as its default desktop. The small distribution weighs in at less than 190MB and is designed to run as a live system from a CD or USB drive.

      • Slax is bare bones modular Linux
      • Calligra 2.5.3 Released

        he Calligra development team has announced the third bug fix release (2.5) of Calligra office and productivity suite. As this is a stable release with numerous bugfixes, it’s advisable to upgrade to this release as soon as possible to enjoy the latest features and extra stability of the apps.

      • Guest post: Newcomer experience in KDE and other FOSS communities – Survey

        This is a guest post from Kevin Carillo, a researcher I’ve been working with to help us improve KDE’s newcomer experience. If you fit the criteria please do take the survey. It’ll help improve the experience of new contributors and thereby help improve KDE. Thanks!

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome 3.8 is dropping Fallback Mode
      • Gnome 3.8 To Drop Fallback Mode: Oops! I Did It Again

        As a Gnome user you know that in case you are using a computer that doesn’t support 3D acceleration by default, you will be switched to Gnome’s fallback mode. This mode though using GTK3, looks like the earlier 2.x version of Gnome shell. Users who were not satisfied by changes in Gnome 3 shell used the fallback mode as it looks and worked similar to older version. There is some bad news.

      • The Ups and Downs of GNOME 3

        One of the most interesting parts of being Executive Director of GNOME has been riding the wave of feedback on GNOME 3. I took the position after GNOME 3 was already released, and it was that beautiful vision of the GNU/Linux desktop that inspired me to leave a job I loved. Since then, the highs have been really high and the lows have been tough. One of the very visible disappointments we had was aggressive criticism from Linus Torvalds, which started a cascade of detraction by others and a perception of a real decline in the GNOME community. It’s been difficult to reconcile all of the ups and downs. At GUADEC, we had such a rich experience with great participation by a broad community (and with a very high percentage of active attendance by newcomers) while at the very same time the blogoverse was exploding with news that our contributor diversity had completely dwindled away.

      • GNOME (et al): Rotting In Threes
  • Distributions

    • PUIAS Linux review – Say what?

      Alas, it was not meant to be. I was hoping for another solid RedHat clone, and this distro ought to be that, but probably in a more conservative setup, with mechanical disks or something of that sort. I must add that CentOS did not have any such issues, plus it comes with its own live CD/DVD versions, so you can test before committing.

      All in all, I do not really know what to say about PUIAS. Except the fact that it refused to install on SSD, there’s nothing else that I can add. I have no idea what it looks like, how it behaves, whether the extra repositories offer all the goodies normal people need and all that. Therefore, this review ends without a verdict. That would be all, gents. Almost pointless, I know, but then, I had to share.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Alpha Tests New Name, Mageia Needs Artwork

        The second alpha of upcoming Mandriva 2012, announced on November 6, reflects some progress while other issues remain. Mageia ran a contest for artwork during the version 2 developmental phase, and it was such a success, they’re doing it again for 3. So, test Mandriva and draw some pretty pictures for Mageia.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Two Weeks With Spacewalk

        After using Chef and Puppet, I have the opportunity to compare and contrast the pair with Spacewalk, the open source component of RedHat Satellite. Spacewalk represents one perspective on data center management applications, which if you are more inclined to work in the command line might not agree with you. Spacewalk, Chef, and Puppet are configuration management and data center automation tools, and if there is any truth to the state of such tools today, it is that we still have so much farther to go.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 18 Delayed Further, To Be Released Next Year
        • Fedora 18 Linux Delayed to 2013
        • Happy Second Anniversary Fuduntu!

          Happy second anniversary, Fuduntu! Today we celebrate the second anniversary of the Fuduntu Linux distribution, and what a year it has been!

        • Happy Second Anniversary Fuduntu!
        • Fedora 18 slips into next year

          After five previous slips of the release date and a shortening of the beta cycle, the Fedora developers have had to now push the Fedora 18 release into January 2013. The revised schedule currently sees a beta release planned for 27 November and a final release on 8 January 2013. The original planned final release date was 6 November.

        • GNOME 3.6 Test Day today!

          It’s that Test Day time again, folks! Depending on where you are, tomorrow or today – Thursday 2012-11-08 – is GNOME 3.6 Test Day. We’ll be testing various areas of GNOME to ensure the desktop is working smoothly for the upcoming Fedora 18 release. If you have some time to drop by and help GNOME continue to get better, please do!

        • No Fedora
        • Fedora 19 Will Have Another Unique Codename

          After the codename proposal period for Fedora 19, the list of potential codenames for this next Fedora Linux release have been narrowed down by Red Hat and now it’s time to vote for the official name.

    • Debian Family

      • Reflecting on 14 years of free software

        14 years ago last month, I created my first PGP key to sign up to be a Debian developer. I recall what brought me to that place. I had been trying to improve my skill-set for my resume and wanted to learn to program.

        Considering Linux was free compared to development software on Windows (and it ran on my Pentium 90MHz CPU when BSD didn’t), it was an easy choice. However, I had no idea what I was getting into.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Daily Builds Out
          • Ubuntu 13.04 Daily ISO Images Are Now Available

            The first daily ISO images of the upcoming Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) operating system were made available by Canonical on the regular FTP website.

          • Privacy in Ubuntu 12.10: Full Disk Encryption
          • Note to EFF: FDE implementation in Ubuntu’s Ubiquity is only at 50%

            In Privacy in Ubuntu 12.10: Full Disk Encryption, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Micah Lee gave the non-profit organization some credit for pushing Mark Shuttleworth and crew to implement full disk encryption (FDE) in Ubiquity, the graphical installation program of Ubuntu Desktop.

            That feature, together with LVM, the Linux Logical Volume Manager, made their debut in Ubuntu 12.10, the latest release of the popular Linux distribution. (See Ubuntu 12.10 review.)

            while their’s no arguing the fact that the EFF’s campaign played some part in getting FDE implemented in Ubiquity, Micah’s article failed to mention that FDE is only available in the automated partitioning modes. What that means is that if you opt to create partitions manually for installing your copy of Ubuntu
            12.10, you lose the benefits of FDE. There are workarounds, but straight from the installer in Ubuntu 12.10, you cannot configure FDE on manually created partitions.

          • I don’t care

            There’s an old saying: to each their own. That’s how I feel about most things. Everything that I just mentioned, and more, is a matter of personal choice. Mine, yours, and everyone else’s. In my case, it’s also about what works for me. It’s not about ideology or what’s popular or even me going against the grain.

          • Welcome to the Skunk Works

            A few weeks ago, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth announced a new project initiative dubbed “skunk works”, that would bring talented and trusted members of the Ubuntu community into what were previously Canonical-only development teams working on some of the most interesting and exciting new features in Ubuntu.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 290
          • What Canonical Could Have Done With The Shopping Lens

            Ubuntu 12.10 was released last month with the Amazon shopping lens enabled by default. This was met with much criticism (even EFF raised its concerns) mainly about how user data is being handled or submitted to Amazon and other 3rd parties. While most of the issues have been addressed, the lens is still on by default. So if you search dash, you may likely find the Amazon results too, along with local files, apps and video results.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Facebook warehousing 180 PETABYTES of data a year

    Facebook’s data warehouses grow by “Over half a petabyte … every 24 hours”, according to an explanatory note The Social Network’s Engineering team has issued to explain a new release of open source code.

  • Trying out FreeDOS
  • Cross-device cross-platform incompatibility incongruence

    There is now, it seems, a cross-device compatibility imperative rising.

    We know this of course. Windows 8 is very much positioned as a ‘desktop, to tablet, to mobile handset’ cross-device operating system and Apple’s iOS has (arguably) already been in this space for some time already.

    Carrying this thought forward, we might argue that Android’s 68 percent share of the mobile market means that users will now be looking for a reliable way to interchange data between Android devices and Macs or PCs.

    The question is, with Microsoft plus Apple plus Android all potentially vying for a slice of the cross-device pie, will we run into a cross-device cross-platform incompatibility problem?

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox to make life harder for HTTPS snoopers

        Mozilla has equipped its latest Firefox beta, 17, with a list of domains for which the browser must use HTTPS encryption for all communications. The feature is designed to prevent man-in-the-middle attackers from reading and manipulating plain text data traffic when particularly sensitive pages are accessed. The list complements the Strict Transport Security (HSTS) HTTP header extension that enables servers to force browsers to establish HTTPS connections only.

      • Mozilla Posts New Firefox OS Online Presentations for Developers

        Mozilla is moving quickly ahead with its plans to become a big player in the smartphone business, and is retaining its focus on emerging markets. There have been many updates on the development of the Firefox OS mobile platform here, and Robert Nyman, a Technical Evangelist for Mozilla, has posted a Flickr gallery of screenshots of the young operating system.

        Any emerging mobile platform depends heavily on developers becoming attracted to it, and Mozilla Hacks is now reaching out to developers with new videos and slideshows. Here are the details.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Document Foundation Certification Program

      The Document Foundation has begun certifying premier developers in their quest for world productivity domination. Certification “is not just another piece of paper, or an abbreviation next to the name,” it means recognition for the “ability to hack LibreOffice code to develop new features or provide L3 support to enterprise users.”

  • Business

  • Funding

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

  • Programming

    • Examining Programming Language Framework Popularity

      Having concluded that an examination of the relative performance of programming languages on GitHub and StackOverflow yields interesting results, programming language frameworks are an obvious next step. Given the importance of frameworks in leading programming language adoption, understanding better the traction behind individual frameworks would be useful. With GitHub and StackOverflow representing obvious centers of gravity within the development world, they are clearly in a position to provide some insight into framework-related developer activity.

Leftovers

  • SKorea’s secret: Runaway teen prostitution

    South Korea is paying a high price for its rigorous education system – a major reason for its economic success – with teenagers increasingly turning to prostitution after fleeing home to escape academic pressure.

    An estimated 200,000 youths – at least 60 per cent female teenagers – roam the country’s streets. About half have worked as underage prostitutes, according to the latest government figures.

    Many say they initially ran away to be with friends instead of studying, and later ended up selling their bodies to earn money to survive.

    “In high school, I would say that massive academic pressure is the main driver pushing kids onto the streets,” says a professor at a prominent South Korean university, who requested anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity in the country.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Over Half a Million Dollars Couldn’t Stop Colorado Community From Banning Fracking

      Despite over half a million dollars spent by the fossil fuel industry in Longmont, Colorado, residents voted Tuesday to make the city the first to ban hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in the state. The city of 87,000, nestled at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, voted 59 to 41 to ban the controversial method of extracting shale oil and gas, as well as to ban the storage of the toxin-laden wastewater in the city limits.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Democrats Lose Control of Wisconsin State Senate, Leaving Republicans With Full Control Again

      Election night was a good night for national Democrats; President Obama won reelection, and Democrats gained two seats in the Senate. The news was not as good for local Democrats in Wisconsin, though, who lost their hard-fought majority in the Wisconsin State Senate, the only thing standing between Governor Scott Walker and Republicans’ full control of the Wisconsin Legislature.

    • Apparently Attacking A Candidate For Being A World Of Warcraft Player Is Not An Effective Campaign Strategy

      Last month, we were among those who reported on an absolutely bizarre strategy by a candidate for the Maine state Senate to demonize his opponent, Colleen Lachowicz, by highlighting her enjoyment of World of Warcraft and then taking some of her statements about the game completely out of context, to imply they were political statements that had relevance beyond inside the game. Even after this was widely mocked, the folks behind the mailer defended it.

  • Censorship

    • Gawker’s Anti-SLAPP Victory Could Be Good For The Web – But Judge Refuses To Publish The Ruling

      A few months ago, Eric Goldman wrote about a good ruling by a California court to knock out a bogus defamation claim against blog site Gawker. There were a few interesting elements to the ruling, including that it used California’s anti-SLAPP law, and that it was willing to look at the context of the use of certain words like “scam.” But, most importantly, it noted the fact that the Gawker piece included numerous links/citations to sources, which meant that anyone could dig deeper to understand the details themselves.

    • Judge Quickly (But Temporarily) Blocks New CA Law That Takes Away Anonymous Speech Rights

      So, we had just written about the unfortunate (if expected) news that voters in California had overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure which (among other things) would take away anonymous speech rights from anyone on the state’s sex offender list (which could include things like people arrested for urinating in public, or consensual sexual activity between teenagers). That seemed both extreme and unconstitutional. We noted that we expected the law to be challenged, though I had assumed it might wait until the law was used. Instead, the EFF and ACLU immediately teamed up to challenge the law, arguing that it was unconstitutional…

    • ACLU and EFF Challenge Free Speech Restrictions in California’s Proposition 35

      Today the ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a federal class-action lawsuit to block implementation of unconstitutional provisions of Proposition 35 – a ballot measure passed by California voters Tuesday that restricts the legal and constitutionally protected speech of all registered sex offenders in California.

    • Oakland chief filtered out Occupy e-mail

      People who’ve e-mailed Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan over the past year about Occupy Oakland probably didn’t get much of a response.

      That’s because he used a spam filter to dismiss messages sent to him with “Occupy Oakland” in the subject line, according to a federal court filing Monday. Same goes for the phrases “stop the excessive police force,” “respect the press pass” or “police brutality.” Instead of landing in his in-box, those messages went straight into his junk mail folder, which he apparently never looked at.

    • Oakland Police Chief Only Wants to Read Complimentary Email
    • Police Chief’s Custom Spam Filter Blocks Occupy Protestors, Brutality Complaints And (Oops) Federal Monitors
    • Conroy backs away from internet filter

      THE federal government has abandoned its long-standing commitment to introduce a national internet filter and will instead ban websites related only to child abuse.

      Following years of debate about trying to censor the internet, the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, said the government would no longer proceed with ”mandatory filtering legislation”. It would, however, use powers under the Telecommunications Act to block hundreds of child abuse websites already identified on Interpol’s ”worst of” list.

    • Conroy abandons mandatory ISP filtering

      Tells ISPs to filter child abuse material using INTERPOL block list.

  • Privacy

    • Putting a price on our data

      We’ve previously warned that with free services, consumers are no longer the customer – they are the product, to be monitored, profiled and sold on. With 96% of Google’s $37.9bn revenue in 2011 coming from advertising and Facebook’s advertising revenue in Q3 2012 reaching $1.086bn, the value of our data has been the oil to the digital revolution.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • ITU Boss Explains Why He Wants The UN To Start Regulating The Internet

      We’ve written a few times about why we should be worried about the ITU (a part of the UN) and its attempts to regulate the internet, to which some have responded by arguing that the ITU/UN doesn’t really want to regulate the internet. However, the Secretary-General of the ITU, Hamadoun Toure has now taken to the pages of Wired, to explicitly state why he believes the UN needs to regulate the internet.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Pfizer Can’t Keep Its Viagra Patent Up In Canada

      oday, in a ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada, Pfizer lost its Canadian patent on Viagra as the result of a long-fought battle with rival pharmaceutical manufacturer Teva, which sought to make a generic version of the popular drug.

    • Trademarks

      • APNewsBreak: Budweiser seeks removal from ‘Flight’

        Denzel Washington’s character in “Flight” drinks a lot throughout the film, but his portrayal of a highly functioning alcoholic pilot isn’t going down well with brewing company Anheuser-Busch or the distributor of Stolichnaya vodka.

    • Copyrights

      • Judge Rejects Fox’s Attempt To Shut Down Dish’s Autohop Feature, But Indicates It May Still Infringe

        Earlier this year, we wrote about the TV networks suing Dish Networks for its new Autohop feature. Dish created a neat bit of innovation, which automatically recorded all prime time shows for people to watch later, and as long as you watched the day after the shows aired, it would auto-skip the commercials. This is the kind of thing that a user could set up themselves, though it’s a bit cumbersome, and too many DVR providers have shied away from automated “commercial skip” features after the TV industry sued ReplayTV over such a feature (despite many VCRs having it already). Ridiculously, the networks, led by Fox, claimed that skipping commercials is a form of copyright infringement.

      • Video About Fair Use, Remix & Culture Taken Down Over Copyright Claim (Of Course)

        A few years back, we had a post highlighting an absolutely fantastic video by Julian Sanchez about the value of remix culture. The video made a key point that often gets lost in these debates: that remix culture is often more about the culture than the remix, but that copyright law makes that difficult. It focused mainly on a viral remix video that took a song from the band Phoenix, called “Lisztomania,” but which was put to video clips of people dancing in various John Hughes films (mainly from the classic scene in “The Breakfast Club.”) That was interesting enough, but what was even more interesting was how it then followed that lots of others recreated the video in their own image. So groups got together in various hipster locations (Brooklyn, San Francisco) and created their own videos recreating the dance moves on their own to go with the new song. It was really quite interesting, and showed how important remixing and fair use was to culture, and how it could take something and make more with it.

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