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11.28.12

Links 29/11/2012: Dell Sells GNU/Linux Gear at Lower Cost Than Windows, Fedora 18 Reaches Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 9:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Are Wii U demo stations running Ubuntu?
  • Windows 8 Review from a Linux User Part 1, Part 2
  • Linux Top 3: Linux Mint 14, Vyatta 6.5 and Cinnarch
  • Is Linux better than Windows 8 for gaming?

    If you’re a real gamer you know just how terrifying Windows 8 can be. With the changes they’ve made there just might not be any sort of viable way for real gamers to get the kind of experience they want.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log – Coming in 3.7 (Part 4): Drivers

      Some major changes are supposed to make drivers for Intel and NVIDIA’s graphics processors more robust. Linux 3.7 also includes a number of new DVB drivers and makes better use of modern audio chips’ power-saving features.Kernel Log – Coming in 3.7 (Part 4): Drivers

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA joins in work on Tegra 2D graphics driver for Linux

        NVIDIA has added infrastructure to the Linux kernel graphics drivers for Tegra SoCs (system on a chip) which supports the use of hardware-accelerated 2D on Tegra20 and Tegra30 chips. NVIDIA staff are working on integrating the extension, which is released under an open source licence, into the Linux kernel. At present, it does not look like this will be completed in time for Linux 3.8.

      • 12-Way Radeon Gallium3D GPU Comparison
      • RadeonSI Gallium3D Driver Sees A Few Fixes

        For those that don’t closely follow the Mesa Git repository, there’s finally a few more “RadeonSI” Gallium3D driver fixes that arrived this morning for slowly but surely bringing up the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series 3D support.

      • NVIDIA joins in work on Tegra 2D graphics driver for Linux

        NVIDIA has added infrastructure to the Linux kernel graphics drivers for Tegra SoCs (system on a chip) which supports the use of hardware-accelerated 2D on Tegra20 and Tegra30 chips. NVIDIA staff are working on integrating the extension, which is released under an open source licence, into the Linux kernel. At present, it does not look like this will be completed in time for Linux 3.8.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • New E17 Release: ALPHA6
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • 15 years of KDE e.V. – The Early Years

        Today (November 27, 2012) is the 15th birthday of KDE e.V. (eingetragener Verein; registered association), the legal entity which represents the KDE Community in legal and financial matters. We interviewed two of the founding members (Matthias and Matthias) on the why, what and when of KDE e.V. in the beginning. Tomorrow, emeritus board member Mirko Böhm shares his thoughts. On Thursday there will be interviews with current e.V. Board members.

      • Kolab 3 Beta released – Debian packages ready
      • Why I Prefer KDE

        Fifteen years ago today, KDE began — and I, for one, am glad that it did. I run virtualized versions of all the major desktop environments, and have a few more on secondary machines. Sometimes, too, I’ll log into a desktop like Mate, Xfce, or LXDE just for a change of pace or to keep myself in touch. Yet, on my main workstation, I always return sooner or later to KDE. Of all my available choices, it’s the one whose design philosophy, communal attitudes, and vision come closest to my idea of what a desktop environment and its project should be.

        That wasn’t always the case. Although my first year of working in GNU/Linux was on KDE, I spent close to eight years as a die-hard GNOME user. Glances over the year suggested that KDE’s default theme looked as though it were based on plastic Fisher- Price toys, and that its organization was casual at best. The clean lines of GNOME seemed far less of a distraction from my work.

        But as my familiarity with GNU/Linux grew, GNOME’s minimalistic philosophy began to feel restrictive. Key GNOME applications such as the Evolution, which had seemed so radical a few years earlier, appeared stuck in maintenance mode.

      • Appmenu support in KDE 4.10

        Appmenu support for KDE is now available in master for testing.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Second beta of GNOME 3.8 brings global search configuration

        The developers of the GNOME desktop for Unix systems have released the second beta for the upcoming version 3.8 of the open source desktop. GNOME 3.7.2 drops the fallback mode as planned and the developers have completed porting all components of the desktop to GStreamer 1.0 as well.

      • yes, Gnome3 did a good deal with Touch Screens!

        Why Gnome3 does a touch screen interface when you can’t actually run Gnome in any tablet -at least today ..is a typical question. A typical answer would be, because all screens will be touch-screens by 2013-2014.

      • GNOME 3.7.2 Drops Fallback Mode, Relies Exclusively on GStreamer 1.0

        Javier Jardón has announced today, November 27, the second development release of the GNOME 3.8 desktop environment.

        The development of the GNOME 3.8 is well under way and the developers have announced a few major changes already.

  • Distributions

    • SolusOS and Me

      Many of us came to Linux via odd routes. Some of us decided that we were tired of our software and computing choices being made for us. Some of us are just adventurous or bored and want to see what other choices might be available to us.

    • OpenELEC 3.0 Linux distro launches in beta, rolls in XBMC 12
    • Sahalana 1 Screenshots
    • Gentoo Family

      • Spam texters and protecting our data

        The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has today served monetary penalties totaling £440,000 on two owners of a marketing company which has plagued the public with millions of unlawful spam texts over the past three years.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • The fairest mirror of them all?
      • Half of the package maintainers are not DDs or DMs
      • Upstart Now Available In Debian Unstable

        Steve Langasek of Canonical has pushed their latest Upstart init daemon into Debian unstable. Debian GNU/Linux can now handle either SysVinit, systemd, and Upstart to handle a head-to-head system booting battle.

      • Upstart in Debian

        Thanks to the ifupdown, sysvinit, and udev maintainers for their cooperation in getting upstart support in place; to the Debian release team for accomodating the late changes needed for upstart to be supported in wheezy; and to Scott for his past maintenance of upstart in Debian.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 293
          • Open source community up in arms over proprietary software for Ubuntu

            It was only a matter of time before the proprietary software started populating in the Ubuntu Software Center. This was something Mark Shuttleworth had been promising for quite some time. Not only proprietary software, but plenty of other purchasable items would arrive:

            * Movies
            * Music
            * Magazines

          • Why Cadence Is Canon at Canonical

            Canonical’s rigidly regular release schedule has been the subject of calls for change, but Mark Shuttleworth and plenty of others see no need. In fact, the regularity may be exactly what makes it work, satisfying the needs of both desktop and enterprise users, said Jay Lyman, senior analyst for enterprise software at The 451 Group.

          • 20 Ubuntu Apps For Daily Life

            Working from my Ubuntu desktop all day has given me an interesting perspective into what works and what doesn’t when it comes to applications. In this article, I will offer you a roundup of software titles that enable me to make my day a more productive one. These applications range from productivity tools down to the Web-based tools that I use on my desktop.

          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to be Codenamed Brilliant Broccoli

            Benjamin Drung points out that Ubuntu will reach the letter Z with 17.04 and wondered in what direction would they go after. Would they just start at the beginning of the alphabet again and start with “A?” Turns out he overheard the response at the latest Ubuntu Developer Summit.

          • New Splashtop variant to let you access Ubuntu desktop from anywhere

            Users can install the free Ubuntu package on their home computers, and use Splashtop’s array of mobile apps to connect remotely via an Android or iOS device. (A monthly subscription fee of $1 or a yearly price of $10 must be paid in order to do anything but connect across a LAN, however, and some tablet variants of the mobile app also cost a few bucks.)

          • The Cost of Ubuntu

            Can Ubuntu Linux ever pay for itself? The conventional wisdom is that it can’t, because no distribution has done so in the past. However, that doesn’t stop Canonical, Ubuntu’s commercial arm, from trying hard. At the very least, Canonical is trying to defray as much of the cost as possible.

            Canonical is not a publicly traded company and does not release any financial figures. The company is quick to announce distribution deals, but the value of those deals are noticeably absent from many of its news releases. Ask its public relations directly for such information, and you are told that it is “confidential.” Nor is this lack of information surprising, since, from a traditional business perspective, Canonical has nothing to gain from transparency.

          • Dell Laptop is $70 Cheaper with Ubuntu Linux

            More than five years after it began selling PCs with Ubuntu Linux preinstalled in the United States, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) has compiled a lackluster record in the eyes of many Linux advocates when it comes to promoting open source alternatives to Windows. Yet as a Canonical employee recently pointed out, Dell is now offering a $70 markdown on one laptop model when customers purchase it with Ubuntu instead of a Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) OS. Is this a mistake, or a sign of changes to come on Dell’s part?

            As the only big name OEM that provides Ubuntu preinstalled on certain PCs and laptops in developed markets, Dell can hardly be called anti-Linux. But since introducing Ubuntu computers in 2007, the company has taken flack for failing to market them aggressively, burying Ubuntu options on its website and charging the same prices whether users order machines with Ubuntu, which is free, or with Windows.

          • Dell Offers Low-Cost Ubuntu Notebook, But You Can Get Costs Lower

            As we’ve noted before, Canonical and giant PC maker Dell Computer have already found new horizons for Ubuntu in China in India. And, Dell deserves praise for being one of the few big hardware makers to offer Linux options on its computers over the years. Now, as Canonical employee Rick Spencer reports in a blog post, on Cyber Monday, Dell was listing the very same Vostro notebook for $369 with Windows 7 pre-loaded versus $299 for it with Ubuntu pre-loaded. The real news here is that you can actually get a solid portable computer with Ubuntu or any Linux distro pre-loaded for much less than $299.

          • We Interview Daniel Ryan, Director of Front-End Development for ‘Obama for America’

            With the Election in the rear-view mirror for Americans we are starting to learn about the tools, assets and people that helped President Barack Obama win re-election.

          • How Team Obama’s tech efficiency left Romney IT in dust

            Key in maximizing the value of the Obama campaign’s IT spending was its use of open source tools and open architectures. Linux—particularly Ubuntu—was used as the server operating system of choice. “We were technology agnostic, and used the right technology for the right purpose,” VanDenPlas said. “Someone counted nearly 10 distinct DBMS/NoSQL systems, and we wrote something like 200 apps in Python, Ruby, PHP, Java, and Node.js.”

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 14 Review – The Best Desktop Linux

              Linux Mint returns with updates all round, but has it addressed the minor issues we had with Mint 13 along the way?

            • Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon Review

              Hot off the press, we are welcomed with a new version of Linux Mint codenamed Nadia. This released is based on Ubuntu 12.10 and comes with Cinnamon 1.6 desktop environment and features significant upgrades in the GUI alone since version 13.

              As always Linux Mint is available in both 32 bit and 64 bit and comes in the form of a Live Media CD which can be installed if you enjoy Linux MintThis new fresh Linux Mint has quite a number of improvements under the hood and for those who used the previous version there’s no drastic changes where one would have to relearn things. With Cinnamon 1.6 comes a new file manager called Nemo which features shortcuts on the left hand side and displays the contents on the right. It is quite sleek and it is easy for a user to add a shortcut to one of their folders if need be.

            • Hacking-Lab 5.96 Screenshots
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android Follows Linux into Wide World of Embedded

      Earlier this month, Texas Instruments (TI) announced it was cutting 1,700 jobs and dropping its consumer mobile processors to focus on the general embedded market. TI cited the reduced profitability of the consumer mobile business, which is marked by intense competition and short lifecycles.

      Others noted the growing competition from device vendors like Apple and Samsung, which now design their own ARM processors. In addition, pricing pressures have grown sharply, due in part to one of TI’s chief customers, Amazon. The online retail giant, which uses OMAP chips in its Kindle Fire tablets, considered buying the mobile, Android-focused portion of TI’s OMAP processor business before negotiations broke down.

    • Yes, the Raspberry Pi will run Minecraft
    • Advantech Co., Ltd. : Advantech SUSIAccess 2.0: Now Supports Linux OS Platforms

      Advantech (2395.TW), the leading embedded platform and integration services provider, announces the release of the Linux version of SUSIAccess 2.0, an innovative remote device management software preloaded in all Advantech embedded solutions, allowing efficient remote monitoring, quick recovery & backup, and real-time remote configuration. The launch of the Linux version of SUSIAccess 2.0 provides System Integrators more flexible options for creating a more intelligent and interconnected embedded computing solution.

    • 25 fun things to do with a Raspberry Pi

      Raspberry Pi, the bargain micro PC released earlier this year, has fertilised the imaginations of the public, bringing with it a boom in inventive approaches to computing not seen since the good old days of 8-bit.

    • Minecraft Raspberry Pi Edition To Help Kids Learn To Code While They Build

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation, maker of the $35 mini computer, is on a mission to get more kids to learn to code – and what better way to get children excited about the power of programming than by involving virtual block-builder game Minecraft? An official Mojang produced port of Minecraft: Pocket Edition was announced for Pi at the weekend – known as Minecraft: Pi Edition. Now the Foundation has put up a video showing how Minecraft gameplay on Pi can be combined with programming commands so kids can use text commands to control the world

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Tablet computer: Aakash upgrade in India ‘well received’

        Technology writer Prasanto K Roy tests the upgraded version of the world’s cheapest tablet computer Aakash 2 and discovers a significantly improved product.

      • Samsung’s Galaxy Note II Is a Phabulous Phablet
      • Nexus 4 Will Be Available On Google Play Today

        Google has started sending out notifications to potential customers that their flagship device Nexus 4 will be (re)available on Google Play Store today. These emails are being sent to those customers who signed up to be notified whenever the device is made available.

      • Favorite Android tablet apps

        This continually updated screenshot tour demonstrates more than 50 of DeviceGuru’s favorite Android tablet apps. They span device customization and management; text, voice, and video communications; productivity; news, weather, maps, and navigation; music, video, games, and e-books entertainment; and more.

      • Nexus 4 Google Play Store availability returns this afternoon
      • E FUN debuts $129 Nextbook Premium 7SE-GP with Google Play access

        For all the appeal that comes with a $100-$150 Android tablet, experienced users are often quick to point out the omissions and holes. One particular detail that often comes up is the lack of Google Play and the growing library of apps. E FUN is no stranger to this as they have announced a number of devices over time, all of which are inexpensive options that don’t have Google Play. That is not the case with the new 7-inch model, the Nextbook Premium 7SE-GP.

      • Apple Maintains Lead in Tablets but Market Share Down 14% in 3Q 2012

        Apple’s share of the tablet market continued to best all others with 55% unit shipment share in the period, reveals new data from market intelligence firm ABI Research. Despite maintaining its lead for 10 straight quarters, competition from tablets powered by Google’s Android OS continue to eat away at Apple’s success. Fifty-five percent is the lowest share Apple has ever had since launching the iPad in 2010.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Give back to open source on Giving Tuesday

    Black Friday first spread to Cyber Monday, then Grey Thursday. Now the week-long spending frenzy has turned charitable with Giving Tuesday.

    New York’s 92nd Street Y teamed up with the United Nations Foundation to gather a growing group of companies and non-profits “to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season [and to] celebrate and encourage charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.”

  • 64 Open Source Tools for the Mobile Workforce

    Many within the open source community have recently bemoaned the lack of open source apps for mobile devices. However, their contention that open source has ignored the ongoing transition to a post-PC world isn’t entirely accurate.

    While it’s true that the number open source mobile apps haven’t kept pace with the exponential growth of mobile apps in general, open source developers are slowly but steadily adding to the library of open source apps for smartphones and tablets.

  • Netflix open sources Hystrix resilience library

    Netflix has moved on from just releasing the tools it uses to test the resilience of the cloud services that power the video streaming company, and has now open sourced a library that it uses to engineer in that resilience. Hystrix is an Apache 2 licensed library which Netflix engineers have been developing over the course of 2012 and which has been adopted by many teams within the company. It is designed to manage how distributed services interact and give more tolerance to latency within those connections and the inevitable failures that can occur.

  • Post-Thanksgiving Roundup: Counting Open Source Blessings

    Beyond the most radically geeky segments of society, few Americans are likely to have thought of software when they counted their blessings this Thanksgiving. For most people, computers are hardly in the same category as food, shelter and loving friends and family. That said, a recent blog post got me thinking about the software projects and people to whom I do owe personal gratitude. My list comes a bit belatedly, since Thanksgiving 2012 has come and gone, but here are the five items that top it.

  • Open vs. Closed Systems: What the Future Holds
  • NYSE Euronext : NYSE Technologies Open Platform Launches the OpenMAMA Enterprise Edition
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Joomla sails past 36m downloads, as it reports 27% year-on-year growth

      Open source content management system (CMS) Joomla has announced that it has surpassed 36 million downloads worldwide two months after the launch of Joomla 3.0.

      The company reports downloads grew an impressive 27% compared to November 2011, while more than 1,500 extensions for the CMS were introduced by its community in this period of time.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Does Enterprise vs Consumer Matter?

      Fred Wilson is not alone in claiming that patterns of venture funding are shifting away from consumer startups towards enterprise oriented alternatives. Industry chatter has been concerned with this trend for some time, amplified in part by an industry analyst industry that has historically been over concerned with the enterprise at the expense of consumer technology trends.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open-source entrepreneurship
    • Open Hardware

      • Arduino Teaches Old Coder New Tricks

        I became aware of the Arduino Project from occasional media reports and a presentation at Atlanta LinuxFest 2009. I was impressed with what the Arduino community was doing, but at that time, I saw no personal use for it. It took a grandson who is heavily involved in a high-school competitive robotics program to change things for me. During a 2011 Thanksgiving family gathering, he asked me some questions about robotics-related electronics, and I told him to google Arduino. He did. Arduino ended up on his Christmas list, and Santa delivered.

      • Kickstarter, Trademarks and Lies

        Just a few clarifications: Arduino is not suing anybody. We never intended to do that in the slightest. We love Kickstarter and , as I said in the post, we think they are important to Makers. We are now in contact with Kickstarter to make sure that in the future the communication between us are more direct and clear. Our manufacturing partner in Italy has issues with some statements made in the Kickstarter campaign and they are getting in touch directly with the project creator to clear the situation.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Apple, Tesla Completely Embarrass Microsoft

    Microsoft is the next Research in Motion.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • 5 Charts About Climate Change That Should Have You Very, Very Worried

      Two major organizations released climate change reports this month warning of doom and gloom if we stick to our current course and fail to take more aggressive measures. A World Bank report imagines a world 4 degrees warmer, the temperature predicted by century’s end barring changes, and says it aims to shock people into action by sharing devastating scenarios of flood, famine, drought and cyclones. Meanwhile, a report from the US National Research Council, commissioned by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other intelligence agencies, says the consequences of climate change–rising sea levels, severe flooding, droughts, fires, and insect infestations–pose threats greater than those from terrorism ranging from massive food shortages to a rise in armed conflicts.

    • Time is running out: the Doha climate talks must put an end to excuses

      The evidence of climate change is clearer than ever. The poor countries have done everything asked of them. Now the rich nations must face their responsibilities

    • Environmental activists ‘being killed at rate of one a week’
    • ALEC and Heartland Aim to Crush Renewable Energy Standards in the States

      An effort to stomp out state renewable energy mandates across the country has roots in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). As reported by The Washington Post, the Heartland Institute wrote the bill, had it passed through ALEC, and is now targeting the 29 states and the District of Columbia, which have passed renewable energy requirements in some form.

    • ALEC’s Economic Policies Do More Harm Than Good, New Report Shows

      Corporate lobbyists and right-wing legislators of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will be gathering in Washington, DC today for ALEC’s annual States and Nation Policy Summit. Today also marks the release of an in-depth report on the failure of ALEC’s economic recommendations for the states. The report claims that “states that were rated higher on ALEC’s Economic Outlook Ranking in 2007,” the first year the ranking was published, “have actually been doing worse economically in the years since, while the less a state conformed with ALEC policies the better off it was.”

    • Watchdogs Shed More Light on ALEC on Eve of Group’s DC Summit
    • Julian Assange warns of internet danger
    • For once, Julian Assange is right. Global digital surveillance is a reality – and it’s happening to you, not just people who post offensive tweets

      Assange and his “cypherpunk” compatriots believe the solution is for everyone to master encryption. That’s simply not going to happen. We are addicted to convenience and desperate to belong. This is a world where the head of the CIA was caught using Gmail to share illicit messages and professional politicians can’t resist sending naughty pictures via Twitter. Assange doesn’t have an answer to the human fear of missing out which drives so many to join social networks and remain there.

  • Finance

    • George Osborne’s hidden cuts will take away 30% of income for poorest families
    • It’s the Interest, Stupid! Why Bankers Rule the World

      In the 2012 edition of Occupy Money released last week, Professor Margrit Kennedy writes that a stunning 35% to 40% of everything we buy goes to interest. This interest goes to bankers, financiers, and bondholders, who take a 35% to 40% cut of our GDP. That helps explain how wealth is systematically transferred from Main Street to Wall Street. The rich get progressively richer at the expense of the poor, not just because of “Wall Street greed” but because of the inexorable mathematics of our private banking system.

    • With Biggest Strike Against Biggest Employer, Walmart Workers Make History Again

      For about twenty-four hours, Walmart workers, union members and a slew of other activists pulled off the largest-ever US strike against the largest employer in the world. According to organizers, strikes hit a hundred US cities, with hundreds of retail workers walking off the job (last month‘s strikes drew 160). Organizers say they also hit their goal of a thousand total protests, with all but four states holding at least one. In the process, they notched a further escalation against the corporation that’s done more than any other to frustrate the ambitions and undermine the achievements of organized labor in the United States.

    • You Think You’re Getting Social Security But You’re Not, Says Multimillionaire Banker

      Huh. So Blankfein–who was paid $16 million last year, and owns $210 million worth of his company’s stock–thinks that people can retire on Social Security after working for 25 years? As Gene Lyons pointed out, that would mean that people are getting their first paychecks when they’re 42–or, assuming they’re willing to take the severe benefit cuts that come with early retirement, at 37. Or possibly he mistakenly believes Social Security allows you to retire at 41.

      He also thinks people typically live to be 92 or 97, depending. In real life, of course, most people start working as early as 16, so they reach retirement age after 51 years of labor, when they have a life expectancy of 17 years–or 14 years if they’re an African-American man.

    • How could Greece and Argentina – the new ‘debt colonies’ – be set free?

      Colonialism is back. Well, at least according to leading politicians of the two most famous debtor nations. Commenting on the EU’s inability to deliver its end of the bargain despite the savage spending cuts Greece had delivered, Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the opposition Syriza party, said last week that his country was becoming a “debt colony”. A couple of days later, Hernán Lorenzino, Argentina’s economy minister, used the term “judicial colonialism” to denounce the US court ruling that his country has to pay in full a group of “vulture funds” that had held out from the debt restructuring that followed the country’s 2002 default.

    • Argentina fears default after American court ruling

      Argentinian politicians and global debt campaigners have responded with fury to a US court judgment that risks plunging the country back into default.

    • Median wealth of U.S. households lowest since 1969

      New research found that while median wealth plummeted, the top 1 percent increased wealth by 71 percent

    • UBS Offshore Shell Game Uncovered

      The Boston-bred Birkenfeld was a banker for UBS, a Swiss financial behemoth with major US operations. His specialty: devising tax shelters in the form of offshore shell companies and peddling them to the superrich. According to court documents, 85 to 90 bankers in UBS’s wealth-management divisions drummed up business at high-roller events like the America’s Cup yacht race and Miami’s prestigious Art Basel exhibition; Birkenfeld took pains to keep his customers happy, going so far for one client as to purchase diamonds overseas and smuggle them into the US in a toothpaste tube to avoid taxes and duties.

      It was one of Birkenfeld’s biggest clients who would prove his undoing—Igor Olenicoff, a Forbes 400 billionaire (forbes.com) and major developer in Florida, Illinois, Nevada, and the Southwest. Olenicoff’s fortunes took a dive in 1994, when the Internal Revenue Service, in the course of monitoring fund transfers, noticed large sums moving from Olenicoff’s accounts to countries with a reputation as tax havens. The suspicious IRS agents eventually called in the Justice Department; Olenicoff, they discovered, had stashed some $200 million in unreported assets in UBS accounts offshore. In 2007, Olenicoff agreed to pay $52 million in back taxes, interest, and penalties for tax evasion, and for lying about his accounts.

    • Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) Completes Economic Takeover of Europe

      Paul Joseph Watson: The “surprise” announcement that Canadian Mark Carney is to be appointed Governor of the Bank of England means that the 2012 Bilderberg attendee completes Goldman Sachs’ virtual domination over all the major economies of Europe. Carney’s appointment has come as a shock to many who expected current BoE deputy governor Paul Tucker to get the nod, but it’s not a surprise for us given that we forecast back in April Carney would be headhunted for the position.

    • Goldman Sachs Bailout King Blankfein to Powwow with House Republicans, While Obama Rules Out Social Security For Now
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Judge orders tobacco companies to say they lied

      Judge wants tobacco companies to say they deliberately deceived the American public about smoking’s dangerous effects

      [...]

      Each corrective ad is to be prefaced by a statement that a federal court has concluded that the defendant tobacco companies “deliberately deceived the American public about the health effects of smoking.” Among the required statements are that smoking kills more people than murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes and alcohol combined, and that “secondhand smoke kills over 3,000 Americans a year.”

    • Corrections Corporation of America Used in Drug Sweeps of Public School Students

      An unsettling trend appears to be underway in Arizona: the use of private prison employees in law enforcement operations.

      The state has graced national headlines in recent years as the result of its cozy relationship with the for-profit prison industry. Such controversies have included the role of private prison corporations in SB 1070 and similar anti-immigrant legislation disseminated in other states; a 2010 private prison escape that resulted in two murders and a nationwide manhunt; and a failed bid to privatize nearly the entire Arizona prison system.

  • Censorship

    • Google loses Australian defamation case after court rules that it is accountable as a publisher

      Google has fought in courtrooms around the world in recent years, arguing that it is not responsible for the content in its search results, and this month it lost a battle in Australia. The Supreme Court of Victoria ruled on November 12th that Google is responsible for having published search results leading to a defamatory page which contained rumors that Michael Trkulja, a music promoter, was linked to murder and organized crime. Google argued, as it has in the past, that it’s not responsible for offensive material that other people host on the web — a defense that’s been met with mixed results internationally. In January, a French court fined Google and ordered it to change unfavorable search results that linked a French insurance company to the words “crook” and “con man” in autocomplete results.

    • Senate wants to keep threat of jail sentences hanging over reporters

      Reporters Without Borders is appalled by the Italian Senate’s approval of a contradictory amendment to a bill designed to decriminalize defamation. Under the Senate’s amendment, reporters would continue to be exposed to the possibility of imprisonment.

    • Got a Joke About Party in China? Jail Awaits.

      A 36-year-old financial worker who helps his daughter with her homework every night was taken away by Chinese security forces after he made a quip about the Communist Party’s recently concluded leadership conclave on Twitter.

      Four days before the Party’s 18th Congress, when a new set of Chinese leaders was sworn in to rule China, Zhai Xiaobing mocked the event by suggesting it was the latest installment in the Final Destination film franchise. The 2000 supernatural horror movie depicts a teenager whose plane explodes, killing all but a few survivors, who then begin mysteriously dying.

    • Court Ruling Ramps Up Pressure on Internet Providers to Block Content
    • Russian Supreme Court: ISPs Need To Proactively Block ‘Illegal Content’
  • Privacy

    • Privacy Watchdog Seeks ‘Urgent’ Details of Facebook Changes

      Irish regulators are seeking “urgent” clarifications from Facebook Inc. (FB) after the social media company informed users of changes to its privacy policy overnight.
      Facebook, which is overseen by Irish data protection regulators in the European Union, said that it recently proposed changes to its data-use policy and its statement of rights and responsibilities. The changes give users more detailed information about shared data including “reminders about what’s visible to other people on Facebook.”

    • Mark Zuckerberg, the new dictator of Facebookistan

      Facebook moved last week to eliminate the ability of users to vote on data use and privacy policy changes, according to posts in several languages on its site governance page on November 21. Both the timing (immediately before the Thanksgiving holiday in America) and the content changes have raised eyebrows with the entities who have worked to keep Facebook in check, but the company may have a point in eliminating its voting mechanisms. Does this simply give users the democracy they deserve—that is, none at all?

    • Man Who Sued Facebook and Zuckerberg Indicted for Fraud
    • US must hand over Internet control to the world

      The Internet has become one of the most important resources in the world in just a few decades, but the governance mechanism for such an important international resource is still dominated by a private sector organization and a single country.

      The U.S. government said in a statement on July 1, 2005 that its Commerce Department would continue to support the work of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and indefinitely retain oversight of the Internet’s 13 root servers.

    • China Hails ITU Internet Takeover By Blowing Its Favorite Trumpet: Distrusting The US
  • Civil Rights

    • Mozambique: Thousands unlawfully held in substandard prisons
    • New report documents counterterrorism and human rights abuses in Kenya and Uganda

      The report also details allegations that U.S. officials physically and mentally abused the suspects in Kampala, and that the United Kingdom also took part in their interrogations.

    • 4 Ugandan bombing suspects claim FBI abused them
    • If ECPA is tweaked to protect email privacy, will the NSA still spy on US Tor users?

      Even if ECPA is tweaked to protect email privacy, does that mean if you use Tor, with an IP that appears as if you are on foreign soil, that your real-time communications are being spied upon also by the NSA thanks to FISA?

    • Does Using Certain Privacy Tools Expose You to Warrantless NSA Surveillance? ACLU Files FOIA to Find Out

      Can using privacy-enhancing tools (such as Tor or a Virtual Private Network) actually expose you to warrantless surveillance by the National Security Agency? This week, the ACLU sent off four FOIA requests to federal agencies in order to try and answer this question.

      To understand why we think that may be the case, we have to go back to the passage of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) in 2008. That act was not a high-point for civil liberties or the rule of law. It included a provision giving immunity to the telecom companies that violated the law by assisting the NSA with its warrantless wiretapping program. Although the get-out-of-jail-free card given to the phone companies is the most well-known aspect to the FAA, there is much more to the law, and many other things that give privacy advocates reason to worry.

      Under the original Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the government was required to provide specific, targeted requests aimed at foreign powers or their agents before lawful surveillance was permissible. But the FAA created an additional, broader surveillance system, enabling the government to conduct surveillance without particularized suspicion where a “significant purpose” is to obtain “foreign intelligence” and where the surveillance is targeted against persons “reasonably believed to be located outside the United States.”

      Although the FAA defined several key terms, it did not provide a definition for a person “reasonably believed to be located outside the United States.” In that ambiguity lies the source of our concern.

    • Susan Rice, CIA director meet with GOP critics on Libya

      Possible promotions for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and acting CIA Director Michael Morell remain in jeopardy after the two officials met Tuesday with three of their Republican critics regarding how the Obama administration responded to the attacks on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Libya.

    • CIA Headed In The Wrong General Direction

      More than 50 years ago, my resignation from the Central Intelligence Agency was effectuated. The Company, as it had always been known, had become a bit too militarized and was not what some of its founders such as Allan Dulles envisioned.

      Intelligence was collected but rarely analyzed coherently so as to contribute to enlightened policies. Much of what was collected by the Company lay unused, some of us feeling it is too expensive to collect this data, not to mention the risk involved.

    • Maryland Family Files Lawsuit Against Federal Government, Claims CIA was Responsible for the Death of Their Father and Lied About Its Involvement, Says Gilbert LLP
    • CIA Sued Over Alledged 1953 Murder of Military Scientist
    • Scientist Frank Olson was drugged with LSD and ‘murdered by CIA’

      A US government scientist was drugged by CIA agents and then thrown to his death from the 13th floor of a Manhattan hotel after he learned about secret torture sites in Europe, according to a lawsuit filed by his family.

    • Suit Planned Over Death of Man C.I.A. Drugged

      Nearly 60 years after the death of a government scientist who had been given LSD by the Central Intelligence Agency without his knowledge, his family says it plans to sue the government, alleging that he was murdered and did not commit suicide as the C.I.A. has long maintained.

    • US Family Suing CIA Over 1953 Death

      The family of a US government scientist who reportedly jumped to his death nearly 60 years ago now plans to sue the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that secretly gave him hallucinogenic drugs, claiming the man was murdered and that the CIA has long covered up the truth about his death, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

    • 4 Ugandan bombing suspects claim FBI abused them
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • European Parliament Passes Resolution Against ITU Asserting Control Over Internet

      Today, the European Parliament passed a resolution that condemns the upcoming attempt from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to assert control over the Internet, and instructed its 27 Member States to act accordingly. This follows an attempt from the ITU to assert itself as the governing body and control the Internet. The Pirate Party was one of the parties drafting the resolution.

    • Dear ITU: A Complex Process Where Delegates Who Fly To Dubai Can ‘Lobby’ Is Not ‘Transparency’

      The EU Parliament recently joined the US government in speaking out against the ITU’s upcoming WCIT event, which we’ve been discussing. This is where the ITU — an ancient organization designed to deal with telegraphs, and whose relevance today has been widely questioned — is seeking to take over certain aspects of internet governance, well outside its mandate. Certain countries — Russia and China in particular — and certain large telcos (including many EU ones) are looking at this as a way to advance very specific interests, either for increased control and censorship over the internet, or in forcing successful internet companies to fork over money to telcos who have failed to innovate

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      The campaign and petition is called Verteidige Dein Netz, German for “Defend Your Net.” Its target? A proposed law which would allow German publishers to charge Google for the short excerpts seen on sites such as Google News or remove content from the search engine entirely.

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  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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      Given what is at stake, there needs to be an open debate and consultation before an agreement is reached (which is no longer a certainty) and Canada should be considering whether a scaled down version of CETA – one that focuses primarily on a reduction of tariffs for trade in goods – is a better model. A closer look at the some of the remaining issues is posted below.

    • Supreme Court to Big Pharma: ‘No Games’

      The House of Commons Committee on Industry, Science and Technology has spent the past few months hearing from a myriad of companies on the Canadian intellectual property system. With few public interest groups invited to appear, one of the primary themes has been the call for more extensive patent protections, as witnesses link the patent system to innovation and economic growth.

    • Getting rid of the supply-management system won’t be easy

      There has been much talk about the government’s apparent willingness to bring an end to supply management for dairy products as a (pre?) condition of negotiation of a trade agreement with the European Community or access to the trans-Pacific Partnership. If only it were so simple.

    • NZ sets TPP signing terms

      New Zealand will not sign a Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless it removes tariffs on dairy products and allows the state-owned drug-buying agency to stay, Prime Minister John Key said yesterday.

      “We are not prepared to see dairy excluded,” he said.

      “In the end, New Zealand can’t sign up to the TPP if it excludes our biggest export.”
      Mr Key said it was standard in free trade deals to have a phasing out of tariffs but he wouldn’t comment on the timeframe.

      He was commenting ahead of the 15th round of TPP negotiations, in Auckland next week, when hundreds of negotiators from 11 countries will continue talks.

    • Trademarks

      • North Face Continues To File Questionable Legal Claims Against Parodies

        Remember outdoor clothing company The North Face’s ridiculously counterproductive war against The South Butt parody line of clothes? That involved a bogus lawsuit with a variety of twists and turns, eventually leading to a settlement. There was an epilogue, however, as the guy who had started The South Butt reformed as Butt Face. And, of course, all this did was make The North Face look silly and unable to take a joke.

        It appears that the company has not developed a sense of humor yet. Jake Rome points us to a story of how The North Face has filed takedown notices to Flickr/Yahoo, because a guy had posted some photos of parody patches for “Hey Fuck Face.” You can see the main image here.

    • Copyrights

      • Canada Set For Mass BitTorrent Lawsuits, Anti-Piracy Company Warns

        Following an important court ruling last week, thousands of Canadians are now at risk of being exposed to mass BitTorrent lawsuits. That’s the message from the boss an anti-piracy outfit who says is company has been monitoring BitTorrent networks for infringements and has amassed data on millions of users. The court ruling involved just 50 Canadians but another case on the horizon involves thousands of alleged pirates.

      • As Feared, Brazil’s ‘Anti-ACTA’ Marco Civil Killed Off By Lobbyists
      • Brazil Squanders Chance At Geopolitical Influence; Kills Internet Rights Bill In Political Fiasco
      • Datalove USBs calling for Copyright Reform for each Member of the EU Parliament

        Brussels, 27 November – La Quadrature du Net is distributing to each Member of the European Parliament a “datalove USB drive”, loaded with music, movies and books urging them to adapt copyright to our cultural practices. After the historic victory against ACTA, it is now time to break away from the repressive logic that harms our freedoms and the way we build and share culture, and reform copyright.

      • Why Liability Is Limited: A Primer on New Copyright Damages as File Sharing Lawsuits Head To Canada

        Over the past couple of days, there have been multiple reports about the return of file sharing lawsuits to Canada, with fears that thousands of Canadians could be targeted. While it is possible that many will receive demand letters, it is important to note that recent changes to Canadian copyright law limit liability in non-commercial cases to a maximum of $5,000 for all infringement claims. In fact, it is likely that a court would award far less – perhaps as little as $100 – if the case went to court as even the government’s FAQ on the recent copyright reform bill provided assurances that Canadians “will not face disproportionate penalties for minor infringements of copyright by distinguishing between commercial and non-commercial infringement.”

      • Dear RIAA: Pirates Buy More. Full Stop. Deal With It.

        Just a few days after Joe Karaganis posted his response to the RIAA’s favorite researcher, Russ Crupnick of NPD Group, who suggested that Karaganis must be drunk and have little knowledge of statistics to publish a study showing that pirates tend to buy more — and then revealing his own numbers that showed the exact same thing — UK regulatory body Ofcom has come out with a study saying the same exact thing again (found via TorrentFreak).

      • Judge, Jury & Executioner – Copyright Law
      • Colbert Takes On First Sale Rights; Mocks Kirtsaeng Case

        Copyright issues don’t often become “mainstream” stories. SOPA was the exception, not the rule, and it only really went fully mainstream at the very end with the January 18th blackouts. But it’s always nice to see when big copyright issues get some mainstream love. Stephen Colbert actually has covered copyright (and other IP) issues a few times on his show (perhaps because his brother is an IP lawyer).

      • Porn Copyright Trolls Argue That Verizon Should Be Held In Contempt Of Court For Trying To Protect Its Users

        Three of the bigger porn copyright trolls out there, Patrick Collins, Malibu Media and Third Degree Films, have teamed up to make a court filing arguing that Verizon should be held in contempt of court for failing to cough up the names of account holders based on the trolls’ list of IP addresses. As you’re probably aware by now, hundreds of thousands of people have been “sued” by copyright trolls, but not actually taken to court. The strategy is just to file a lawsuit and force ISPs to identify account holders, then bombard those account holders with threatening letters (and calls and emails) saying that they will be sued if they don’t pay up (often a few thousand dollars). Verizon, like many other ISPs, has fought back against these demands for info on a variety of grounds — including improper joinder (i.e., that the cases improperly lump together multiple people who had nothing to do with one another in an attempt to keep costs to the trolls down). These claims of improper joinder have been somewhat effective in getting a lot of these cases thrown out — but usually those claims are raised by the account holders themselves, rather than the ISPs.

      • Google Asks Germans To Protest ‘Pay To Link’ Proposal As It Comes Close To Becoming Law

        For a few years now, we’ve been following attempts in Germany — mainly driven by newspaper publishers — to create a bizarre new copyright-like right (specifically a “neighbor right”) in “linking” such that a site like Google would have to pay sites that it links to. The bizarre and nonsensical argument is that because a site like Google makes some of its money by linking to sites, those sites “deserve” part of the money. This is problematic for a long list of reasons, not the least of which is it’s fundamentally backwards economically. If sites like Google are making money from directing people to other sites, they’re making money because they provide a valuable service in helping people find the content, not because of the content itself. It’s up to the sites themselves to figure out how to monetize the traffic — not to run to the government to force others to pay. And, if you think this is just a Google issue, you’re wrong. Among the proposals was one that would impact many others, including people posting links on blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other sites.

      • ‘Piracy’ student Richard O’Dwyer avoids US extradition

        A student facing trial and possible imprisonment in the United States has struck a deal to avoid extradition, the High Court has been told.

      • “Anonymous” File-Sharing Darknet Ruled Illegal by German Court

        A court in Hamburg, Germany, has granted an injunction against a user of the anonymous and encrypted file-sharing network RetroShare . RetroShare users exchange data through encrypted transfers and the network setup ensures that the true sender of the file is always obfuscated. The court, however, has now ruled that RetroShare users who act as an exit node are liable for the encrypted traffic that’s sent by others.

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A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    November 29, 2012 at 4:00 am

    Gravatar

    The Netflix app is a small step in the wrong direction. It is about using WINE to infect the machine with Silverlight. What is needed is a native app like in Android. Silverlight is a deadend, even on Windows.

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