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Links 9/12/2012: GNOME Redo, KDE Grows

Posted in News Roundup at 12:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • New PlayStation PSN Web Store blocks Linux computers
  • A New Project To Run Mac OS X Binaries On Linux

    While there is the Wine project to run native Windows binaries on Linux (and other platforms), there’s a new open-source project that’s emerging for running Apple OS X binaries on Linux in a seamless manner.

  • Desktop

    • Dell Forges Ahead with Ubuntu and Open Source Projects

      Among major computer hardware makers, Dell continues to show growing signs of having a cohesive, far-reaching strategy surrounding open source. We’ve reported on the company’s work with Canonical to bring Ubuntu-based systems to both India and China, including an expansion of this effort. Dell also recently announced its Ubuntu laptop, part of its “Project Sputnik” effort, targeted at developers. And, Dell is offering new laptops with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) pre-loaded. According to the latest reports, we’re going to see more open source-friendly moves from Dell going forward.

  • Server

    • Scientists Create Linux Powered Virtual Human Brain

      Scientists at Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience, University of Waterloo, Ontario have successfully created a virtual human brain that can do some of complicated tasks like copying a drawing, image recognition, counting, answering questions etc. The brain requires 24 gigabytes of RAM to work and is powered by a Linux-based supercomputer. Even with this sheer power, the machine takes 2.5 hours of processing for one second of simulated time.

  • Kernel Space

    • SUSE Linux Says Btrfs is Ready to Rock

      The advanced Butter/Better/B-tree Filesystem, Btrfs, is still labeled as experimental in the Btrfs Wiki and on Oracle’s Btrfs page, though the Oracle page looks outdated. Btrfs is an advanced copy-on-write filesystem with a lot of great capabilities: snapshotting and rollbacks, checksumming of data and metadata, RAID, volumes and subvolumes, online defragmentation, compression, and online filesystem check and repair. Snapshots are always interesting to me; they’re not backups, but a fast way to restore a system to a previous state. With Btrfs users can manage their own snapshots in their home directories. Btrfs supports filesystems up to 16 EiB in size, and files up to 16 EiB as well. (Which may be almost enough to store all the cute kitten photos on the Internet.)

    • A NUMA Linux Kernel Performance Comparison

      For those interested in Non-Unified Memory Access performance under Linux, here’s an independent performance comparison that puts the mainline kernel against three other NUMA kernels.

    • Upstart 1.6.1 Brings New Changes

      Last month marked the release of Upstart 1.6 for the init daemon primarily used by Ubuntu. Coming out nearly one month later is Upstart 1.6.1 to deliver on some additional work.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3.7: what is happening now

        Before Thanksgiving I’ve caused some uproar and made people doubt our incurable stubbornness by first announcing the release team decision to drop fallback mode (*), and then that we’re going to be looking at supported extensions as a replacement (*). Some have been calling this ‘classic’ mode – I’m using the term ‘legacy’ here, since ‘classic’ may raise some false expectations.

      • GNOME Legacy Mode Begins to Take Shape

        A few weeks back GNOME developers announced that GNOME 3.8 would no longer include the fallback mode. When users roared up, developers found a way to co-exist peacefully with them – a fallback-like mode made mostly of specialized extensions. Matthias Clasen blogged today of some of the progress of what he now dubs GNOME Legacy.

      • Current Status Of Gnome Legacy and Gnome 3.7

        With the support of Gnome fallback going away and users backlashing to quit Gnome, developers have decided to create a separate session for those users who like old style desktop. This session, known as Gnome legacy as now, will be able to retain some design of Gnome 2.x – like drop down menus, minimize and maximize buttons and more. Gnome 3.8 will be the first release without the fallback mode, but you will be able to switch to Gnome legacy from the GDM login screen.

  • Distributions

    • ZevenOS 5.0: a lightweight Linux with a multimedia twist

      There are Linux distributions out there for pretty much every taste and purpose, but every once in a while I’ll come across one that seems especially intriguing.

      That happened this week with the release of ZevenOS 5.0, a Linux distro that’s based on the lightweight Xubuntu but adds a multimedia focus.

    • ZevenOS 5.0 delivers an early Christmas present

      The ZevenOS developers have decided to bring their users an “early Christmas present” with the release of version 5.0 of their Linux distribution. ZevenOS 5.0 introduces what the developers term “a touch of BeOS” to its Xfce desktop. This mostly consists of theming Xfce with a distinct BeOS-like look. In line with this, the distribution focuses very much on multimedia applications and ships with most of the popular codecs.

    • New Releases

      • Chakra 2012.12
      • Nueva versión disponible, ComFusion4.1!! / New release available, ComFusion4.1 !!
      • ArchBang 2012.12 is out in the wild!!

        ArchBang 2012.12 is out in the wild!!! If you are already running ArchBang smoothly on your system then you don’t need to install the new release. This 2012.12 release is a full systemd version with our latest set of minimal packages and Openbox for the competent Linux user.

      • ArchBang Gets Banged Up For The Holidays

        ArchBang 2012.12 was released this weekend as the latest version of the Arch Linux derivative distribution that is very lightweight and ships with the OpenBox window manager.

        ArchBang 2012.12 is the project’s first release where there is a full systemd version following upstream Arch Linux moving with systemd back in October. Aside from the 2012.12 release using systemd, the packages have also been updated for the minimal packages shipping with the Linux OS. OpenBox continues to be the window manager on the front-end for providing a clean lightweight experience.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat to Webcast Results for Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2013
      • Red Hat Expands Virtualisation Collaboration With SAP

        Red Hat, Inc., the global open source solutions provider, has announced the certification of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.1 for SAP business applications running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This is a continuation of the companies’ joint work on virtualisation and an expansion of SAP’s certification of the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 platform release. The certification marks the latest milestone in a 15-year alliance formed to help simplify deployments of SAP applications on physical Red Hat servers, in virtualised environments or in the cloud, bringing new choice to enterprises worldwide.

      • Red Hat Updates CloudForms Open Hybrid Cloud Management Platform
      • Fedora

        • MATE (Gnome 2) on the way to Fedora 18

          A while back I wrote about getting the MATE desktop (which is the fork of the widely used Gnome 2 desktop), on Fedora 17.

          It worked, but it had a couple of minor flaws, and I ended up going with Gnome 3 and tweaking it to get it like Gnome 2. It took some work, and it’s not perfect — for example, there are minor font issues where text doesn’t quite fit exactly in some window areas. Regardless, the issues are minor enough that they are hardly noticeable.

        • Fedora 18 Will Stick To Using Tmpfs
        • Fedora Being Talked About For “Software Collections”

          To adjust the rate at which how fast software updates are forced onto users, some Fedora and Red Hat developers have made a “Software Collections” proposal. The purpose of Software Collections is to allow users to install a package and choose between different versions of RPM-packaged software in parallel at run-time.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Will Allow Instant Purchasing, Right From The Dash
          • Ubuntu Linux 13.04 hits alpha, but details are under wraps
          • 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) Alpha 1 Released!
          • Ubuntu Linux Considers Greater Usage Of zRAM

            Ubuntu developers and users have brought back up the matter of zRAM and using it as part of the default Ubuntu Linux installation in some intelligent manner.

            First of all, for those not familiar with zRAM, it’s a Linux kernel module (formerly called compcache) that tries to better system performance by using a compressed block device in RAM in an effort to avoid swapping/paging on disk. The zRAM kernel feature is intended for systems with low amounts of system memory. With the Linux 3.8 kernel, the zRAM feature will leave the kernel’s staging area.

          • Introducing Ubuntu Answers Lens for Unity

            The Ubuntu Answers Lens is an Unity Lens that allows users to easily and quickly find answers to common questions directly from Unity Dash.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux ARMHF RootFS

              If you’ve been following my blog (or my updates on Google+) then odds are you know I currently have my hands on two ARM devices (plus a third in the mail) I am working on creating Bodhi Linux images for. With this in mind I’ve decided I am going to start maintaining a generic ARMHF root file system to make creating Bodhi Linux images for new ARM devices easier for myself and others.

              You will always be able to find the latest copy of this file system on Bodhi source forge page here. The default user name is armhf and the default password is bodhilinux. The default user has sudo access by default.

            • Linux Mint Team Publish Release Candidates For Nadia KDE and XFCE

              The Linux Mint Developers have published the release candidates for Nadia’s KDE and XFCE editions. These releases are meant for testing and bug fixing. This will be followed by the stable releases of these flavors, hopefully as soon as critical bugs get fixed.

            • First Alpha Build Arrive For Kubuntu And Edubuntu 13.04

              The first alpha builds for Kubuntu and Edubuntu are now available for download. While there are test releases, the main Ubuntu branch will not release any milestone builds. This is to increase the quality of builds and reduce total milestones. Users can opt for daily builds though, which are updated everyday and may be highly unstable for use.

            • Kubuntu 12.10 Review

              Canonical will no longer be funding the Kubuntu project, Blue Systems is now the primary sponsor. Blue Systems is known for producing the Netrunner distribution which is originally based on Kubuntu. Blue Systems seems very interested in the future of Linux, and KDE in particular. Check out the links below to learn more about Blue Systems, and the exciting Netrunner operating system.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Copyright in the digital economy: a way forward

    I’ve long said that we need to modernise copyright for the digital age: many of the rules have been in place since before things like YouTube, Facebook or data-mining techniques even existed. And, no matter what perspective you bring to the debate, it is obvious that the current fragmented rules in Europe and elsewhere have created frustrations.

    It’s right to provide reward and recognition for artists: but the current copyright system sometimes doesn’t do that as well as it could. Often, in fact, it makes it harder for you to legally access your favourite content. And in many ways it closes us off from digital opportunity, whether it’s the chance to explore innovative new business models, or new ways to conduct lifesaving scientific research.

  • Five out of six developers now using or deploying open source

    Five out of six developers today use or have used open source tools or deployed open source software in their projects, a recent Forrester Research study revealed.

    But in which software categories? The top five, according to the recent survey, are operating systems, web servers, relational database management systems, IDEs and software configuration management tools.

  • Intel releases open source GraphBuilder for big data

    Intel has released an open source tool designed to improve firms’ handling and analysis of unstructured data.

    Intel said that its GraphBuilder tool would aim to fill a market void in the handling of big data for computer learning. Currently available as a beta release, the tool allows developers to construct large graphs which can then be used with big data analysis frameworks.

  • Intel graphs aim to make ‘big data inside’ easier
  • Intel GraphBuilder Good For Extracting Knowledge From Big Data
  • Building graphs with Hadoop
  • Open Source CFD International Conference 2012: Proceedings now
  • MapR and Zarafa Expand Open Source Strategy in Europe
  • What’s Dell’s Next Open Source Move?

    The Ubuntu-powered laptop recently released by Dell’s Project Sputnik has generated a lot of buzz, especially in the open source community. Now, many Linux enthusiasts are hoping to see a continued expansion of Dell’s open source hardware lineup. And according to Project Sputnik lead Barton George, they may not be disappointed. Here’s what he had to say about Dell’s future open source strategy in a recent interview.

    As longtime observers of the open source channel know, Dell’s relationship with the Linux community has been rough at times. As the only major OEM that offers Ubuntu pre-installed on consumer-class laptops and desktops, Dell has paid significant attention to the Linux demographic, which most other big-name hardware manufacturers have entirely ignored. Still, the company’s inconsistent selection of Ubuntu PCs and lack of full-scale marketing initiatives for them have left some open source fans less than ecstatic.

  • Top Ten for an Open Source Christmas
  • Open Source Initiatives Can Strengthen Cities’ Downtown Revitalization
  • Cisco Pledges Networking Innovation Built on Open Standards and Open Source

    At Cisco’s Financial Analyst meeting today, CEO John Chambers articulated his plan to innovate and grow. It’s a plan with multiple components, including leveraging more networking programmability and Software Defined Networking (SDN).

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Steps Up Outreach to Developers for Firefox OS

        Mozilla is continuing to double down its plans to become a big player in the smartphone business with the Firefox OS mobile operating system, and is retaining its focus on emerging markets. There have been many updates on the development of the Firefox OS mobile platform here, and Flickr galleries of screenshots of the young operating system have provided peeks at development.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Triumph and disaster: Two migrations to OpenOffice

      The contrast between the approach taken in the two cities is striking. Freiburg — a smaller city administration — focused on cost cutting. It recognized there would be one-off costs to pay from template and macro migration, as well as user training, but it stuck with Windows desktops, retained certain existing applications, and even allowed some staff to opt out of the migration entirely and keep using Microsoft Office. It seems there was a limited uptake of migration training, too. The result was an environment with both OpenOffice.org 3.2 and Office 2000 in use throughout the attempted migration.

      Because Office 2000 did not support the OpenDocument format standard, this guaranteed a flow of documents in the formats used by both office suites, maximizing opportunities for incompatibility. By all accounts, the city stuck with those old versions of both Office and OpenOffice.org and allowed the mixed environment to persist throughout. No two word processors can ever be 100 percent compatible with each other’s file formats; only a well-defined, standard format implemented by both stands any chance of interoperability. Unsurprisingly, staff ran into problems with document compatibility; equally unsurprising, the crew blamed the “new” software for the problems.

      Looking at the numbers (see my article in ComputerworldUK for more details), it appears that the expenditure in Freiburg was dominated by the idea of cutting licensing costs. I may be missing it in the reports, but I couldn’t find any sign of investment in the open source software itself. The report — and the subsequent PR from Freiburg — talks about the “uncertainty” of the OpenOffice.org software (forked to create LibreOffice, abandoned by Oracle, then repurposed by IBM and others at Apache) but makes no mention of investment in the software.

    • Help Make LibreOffice 4.0 Great
  • CMS

    • Why It’s Worth Noticing the White House’s Big, Wet Kiss With Drupal and GitHub

      Between pictures of the president using Twitter and Vice President Joe Biden at Costco, the White House blog recently featured a little note advocating the use of open source in government. It is interesting to see how Barack Obama uses social networks, and a post about Biden at Costco feels a little bit like the White House just scooped The Onion — a shirtless photo would have been too much to hope for, but the author may have been able to slip in at least one Pontiac reference. But the White House making a point of name-checking open-source software touchstones is also worthy of note.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Majority in Bern council tells Swiss city to switch to open source

      A clear majority in the council of the Swiss city of Bern has voted for a switch to free and open source IT solutions. It instructs the city’s IT department to make future IT purchases platform and vendor neutral and to prefer using open source solutions. This way, the council wants to rid the city of IT vendor lock-in.

    • UN trade body says governments should seize open source opportunities

      Governments should encourage the use of free and open source software, recommends Unctad in a report published on 28 November. The United Nation’s trade and investment body says that an increasing uptake of open source will help to develop an innovative domestic software market. It also makes public organisations less dependent on large-scale software manufacturers.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Homeroaster crafts a pumpkin spice latte the open source way

      Coffee, often cited as the second most highly traded commodity in the world, is deeply personal for many. Every coffee drinker has their favorite brand, blend, and brew method. Years ago I considered myself a coffee fan, but the coffee I was drinking was so loaded with cream and sugar that it barely resembled the beverage. I purposefully weened myself off of the additives and learned the unfortunate truth that most coffee served in the United States has gone stale before the consumer reaches for their wallet. After a long search for the freshest cup, I decided to roast my own.

    • Folger Library launches open-source digital Shakespeare
    • U.S. Department of Labor Grantees Converge to create Nation’s first Open Source Nursing Textbooks under $2 Billion Federal Grant Program

      California Community College faculty, administrators, a team of professionals and the 20 Million Minds Foundation (20MM) are meeting this weekend to transform textbook production and costs, a project aimed to save students millions of dollars and revolutionize the way educational materials are compiled and delivered.

    • # Oldest open-source software kept by Army

      Since 1938, the Ballistic Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., was the center for the United States Army’s research efforts in ballistics and vulnerability/lethality analysis. That remained the case until 1992, when BRL was disestablished and its mission, personnel and facilities were incorporated into the newly created U.S. Army Research Laboratory.

    • # Oldest open-source software kept by Army
    • Ridiculous: SEC Boss Refused To Move Forward On Required Crowdfunding Rules To Protect Her ‘Legacy’

      Earlier this year, the JOBS Act passed Congress with widespread bipartisan support, and was signed into law by the President. There were a few different pieces involved, but one that got plenty of attention was the opening up of crowdfunding for equity (i.e., owning actual shares in a company). In the US, you can’t do a crowdfunding campaign that results in giving ownership in the company. Until the JOBS Act passed, that was considered a form of a public offering, which is a highly regulated area, in which you have to file all sorts of documents with the SEC, get an underwriter, go on a road show, all that fun stuff. But for smaller businesses looking to raise some money, this doesn’t make much sense. The JOBS Act opened up a small sliver of space in which smaller companies could raise a little bit of money in exchange for equity. The SEC actively opposed the whole thing from the beginning, but once the bill was law, it was also tasked with setting up the rules for how it would work to limit possible fraud.

  • Programming


  • UK hospital says royal prank call appalling after nurse death

    The London hospital that treated Prince William’s pregnant wife Kate condemned on Saturday an Australian radio station that made a prank call seeking information about the duchess, after the apparent suicide of a nurse who answered the phone.

  • Google ends small-biz free ride on Google Apps
  • Over 30 Million Accounts on Facebook Belong to Dead People
  • Uber Is Really Legal in D.C. Now

    Earlier this evening, after a day of legislative bickering that seemed interminable, the D.C. Council finally delivered what urban professionals, libertarians, Megan McArdle and all the myopic little twits have demanded for months: Uber, the luxury sedan-on-demand service, is totally legal in the District of Columbia.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • Zimbabwe Diamond Scandal Overlooked

      Wikileaks uncovered the story. Why didn’t we hear much about it in the news?

    • Chat Logs Show Assange-Manning Collaboration, Military Says

      The latest chat excerpts, which were presented during closing arguments, came from Manning’s personal laptop computer, reports the Washington Post. Prosecutors said they show that Manning and Assange collaborated to steal and publish over 700,000 documents filled with state secrets. The publication of those secrets caused “extreme harm” to the United States, according to the prosecution. Capt. Ashden Fein said Assange did more than simply accept documents from Manning.

    • Why we don’t need another law against intelligence leaks

      The decade-long clandestine U.S. “war on terror” has spawned a parallel, escalating campaign to stop leaks of information about intelligence activities to the news media. During the first four years of the Obama administration, investigations of spy agency employees have proliferated. Six current or former officials have been prosecuted for unauthorized disclosures of information, more than in all previous administrations combined.

      The pressure to keep quiet is intensifying. The director of national intelligence has expanded the use of lie-detector interrogations in leak investigations. His office is studying how all 16 U.S. civilian and military intelligence agencies handle “non-incidental contacts” with the news media, presumably interviews and background briefings. Pentagon officials have been ordered to monitor news media for disclosures of classified information.

    • Julian Assange: the fugitive
    • French Leftist Melenchon Pays Assange a Visit
    • Assange doing ‘fine’ despite cramped space: ambassador

      Ecuadoran Ambassador Ana Alban told a small group of reporters that Assange took time to settle, but has now got used to his restricted living arrangements.
      “If you have a guest in your house, you want to make sure that he’s all right,” she said.
      “You can imagine how difficult it can be to have fresh air and to have sun and space.
      “In the beginning it was quite difficult, but now it’s fine.”
      The ambassador was speaking as French leftwing politician Jean-Luc Melenchon met with Assange.

    • New York Times Finally Shows Up to Cover Bradley Manning Proceedings (And Their Story Is Sloppy)

      Amidst growing criticism, including an editorial from the newspaper’s public editor, the New York Times sent reporter Scott Shane to cover military court proceedings in the case of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier currently being prosecuted by the government for allegedly providing classified information to WikiLeaks.

    • Let a Thousand Public Editors Bloom: Bradley Manning and the Times Pt. 3

      The New York Times’ named Margaret Sullivan as its fifth Public Editor in September of this year. As the successful candidate for the job her duty is to investigate “matters of journalistic integrity” by working “independently” and “outside of the reporting and editing structure of the newspaper.”

      So far, and with very few blemishes, she has done an exemplary job. She recently scrutinized her boss Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.’s choice to hire former BBC Director General Mark Thompson as the Times’ new CEO. Regarding the pedophilia scandal that has rocked that public institution and that Thompson oversaw for part of his career, Margaret asked “How likely is it that he knew nothing?” She also wrote that “It’s worth considering now whether he is the right person for the job.”

    • In WikiLeaks Case, Defense Puts the Jailers on Trial
    • An Empty Seat in the Courtroom

      THE lawyer David Coombs rarely speaks publicly outside the courtroom. He says that his client, Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of leaking secret documents to WikiLeaks, prefers it that way.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • WikiLeaks reveals US bribes help stop climate action

      There is no political will among rich nations to find funding for developing countries experiencing the brunt of changes in global weather patterns, South African Professor Patrick Bond, an analyst and activist on climate change, told the Inter Press Service as the United Nations Conference of Parties on Climate Change met in Doha.

      The talks took place in the capital of Qatar from November 26 to December 7.

      “The elites continue to discredit themselves at every opportunity,” Bond, the director of the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa, told IPS. “The only solution is to turn away from these destructive conferences … and build the world climate justice movement and its alternatives.”

    • Fracking for Foreigners? New Report from Feds Backs More Natural Gas Exports

      How times have changed. Ten years ago the United States was looking at importing natural gas via massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, yet to be built. Now the country appears to be getting ready to significantly increase exports of LNG.

      A long-anticipated federal study released Wednesday for public comment concluded that the economic benefits of significant natural gas exports outweighed the potential for higher energy prices for consumers. The Obama administration has repeatedly said the study would be central to its decision on whether or not to approve expanded exports.

    • Surprise Side Effect Of Shale Gas Boom: A Plunge In U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions

      Environmental activists seem elated that the Obama administration may tackle climate change in its second term. In order to determine where climate change fits into the priority ranking of our nation’s most important agenda items, it seems worthwhile to step back and take stock of the quiet but tremendous progress that the U.S. has already made in reducing carbon emissions

  • Finance

    • Another Goldman Creature Given Vital Government Post

      Big news yesterday in the United Kingdom, where the citizenry surveyed its domestic banking system and discovered that it couldn’t find a single person trustworthy enough to put in the top job at the Bank of England. So they went to Canada and stole that country’s central banker, Mark Carney, who just happens to be a former Goldman, Sachs executive – he was once Goldman’s managing director of investment banking.

      Carney’s appointment may be seen as an admission that the British banking sector is now so tainted, only an outsider can be trusted to govern them. Almost all of the major English banks have been dinged by ugly scandals. The LIBOR mess, in which banks have been caught messing around with global interest rates for a variety of sordid reasons, has most infamously implicated Barclays, but the Royal Bank of Scotland is also a cooperator in those investigations.

      Meanwhile, HSBC has been accused of laundering billions of dollars of Mexican drug money, a monstrous mess that recalls the infamous Bank of New York scandal of the late Nineties involving Russian mob money; officials have described the HSBC culture as “pervasively polluted.” And the British bank Standard Chartered is now being forced to pay $330 million to settle claims that it laundered hundreds of billions of dollars on behalf of Iran.

    • The Injustice of Justice…Judge Does Not Care About Fraud

      As promised, here is an update from Laser Haas in his diligent fight for justice. Unfortunately for him AND for ALL OF US, our judicial system as with all branches of our government does not want to take any action against those, too big to fail or those in the 1% with the money to buy lobbyists and influence government, who seem to rule our country.

    • Goldman in Mediation With CIFG to Settle Mortgage Suit

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and CIFG Assurance North America Inc. retained a mediator as the two companies seek to settle a lawsuit in New York state court in Manhattan, according to a filing.

      The insurer sued Goldman Sachs in New York State Supreme Court in August 2011, accusing the New York-based investment bank of making misrepresentations in connection with the securitization of a portfolio of 6,204 mortgage loans.

      The two sides have participated in one mediation session and have scheduled another for Dec. 19, according to a document filed in court yesterday.

    • A Wikileaks Cable Explained The Money Laundering Formula That Turned Macau Into A Gigantic Economic Success

      Shares of Macau-based casinos got slammed in the last day amid reports of the mainland cracking down on the junket operators that ferry rich players into high-roller rooms.

    • Former Anonymous Spokesman Barrett Brown Indicted For Sharing a Link to Stolen Credit Card Data

      Is it a crime for someone simply to share a link to stolen information? That seems to be the message conveyed by today’s indictment of former Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown, over a massive hack of the private security firm Stratfor. Brown’s in legal trouble for copying and pasting a link from one chat room to another. This is scary to anyone who ever links to anything.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Former Anon spokesperson indicted for allegedly linking to stolen information
    • EU Report: The ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ Is Technically Impossible… So Let’s Do It Anyway

      Every few months, it seems, we hear about yet another attempt in Europe to implement the absolutely ridiculous idea of the “right to be forgotten.” We wrote about it in 2010, 2011 and again earlier this year. It’s a silly idea for a variety of reasons. The general idea is that someone, say, who has committed a crime, but is then rehabilitated / served his time / whatever, deserves a “fresh start” and the stories of the crime and punishment should be erased from publications. Europeans who support this wacky idea argue that it’s a form of a privacy right. But that’s ridiculous. It has nothing to do with “privacy” at all, as the fact that someone committed and convicted of a crime is a public fact, not private info. Telling people (and publishers) that they can’t talk about factual information, or even leave available factual stories written at the time just seems completely offensive to anyone who believes in the basic idea of free speech.

  • Privacy

    • Privacy in America continues to erode online, report says

      The Wall Street Journal has been looking at this issue, and in its latest reportit says companies are increasingly connecting consumers’ real-life identities to where they hang out online.

      The newspaper cited a Georgia man shopping for a car who input his name and contact information on a car dealer’s website.

      While this data went to the dealership, it also was transmitted to a company that tracks the online movements of people shopping for vehicles. The company then was able to pair the man’s personal information with an analysis of the automotive websites he had visited and hand over all of this data to the car dealer, which could use it to more easily land a sale.

    • Dear Journalists at Vice and Elsewhere, Here Are Some Simple Ways Not To Get Your Source Arrested

      Computer security millionaire John McAfee’s surreal flight from Belizean law enforcement came to an end this week when he was detained (and then hospitalized) in Guatemala, as has been widely reported. A piece of the story that hasn’t been included in much of the reporting is how authorities figured out that McAfee — who was wanted for questioning in the shooting death of his neighbor — had fled Belize for Guatemala. McAfee’s location was exposed after he agreed to let two reporters from Vice Magazine tag along with him. Proud to finally be in the thick of a story rife with vices — drugs, murder, prostitutes, guns, vicious dogs, a fugitive millionaire and his inappropriately young girlfriend — they proudly posted an iPhone photo to their blog of Vice editor-in-chief Rocco Castoro standing with the source of the mayhem in front of a jungly background, saying, “We are with John McAfee right now, suckers.”

    • DVLA tackle 294 public organisations for database abuse

      In the past three years, 294 public organisations have faced action over their use of the database containing details of car registrations and driving licenses.

      In response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Big Brother Watch, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) disclosed that the organisations were overwhelmingly local authorities, but included Sussex Police and Transport for London.

    • A Real Privacy Threat To Global Internet Users From The U.N. International Telecommunications Union

      The new standards outline requirements for Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology in future systems — a technique for snooping into the web content with legitimate uses all too often used by repressive regimes to identify and punish dissenters or preemptively censor online communication through fear of reprisal. However, while setting technical standards, ITU made practically no mention of the user implications of the technology, nor did it outline guidelines for appropriate use.

  • Civil Rights

    • Appeals Court Sides With Bush Wiretapping

      A federal appeals court is refusing to reconsider its August ruling in which it said the federal government may spy on Americans’ communications without warrants and without fear of being sued.

      The original decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this summer reversed the first and only case that successfully challenged President George W. Bush’s once-secret Terrorist Surveillance Program.

  • DRM

    • Apple Has The Tightest Digital Handcuffs: Richard Stallman

      In a recent interview with New Internationalist Magazine, Richard Stallman, the founder of Free Software Foundation and GNU, criticized the restrictions imposed by Apple devices on its users.When asked about the malicious features that non-free programs have, Stallman bashed Apple for spying on its users and restricting their freedom.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • GoldenEye appeal on Monday: ORG reaches £5k funding goal

        Open Rights Group has reached the funding goal of £5,000 to fund the legal case defending the decision to keep private the personal details of O2 and Be Broadband customers asssociated with over 6000 IP addresses.

      • What Creative Commons and ‘copyleft’ mean to a designer

        I recently graduated in May, and I had not heard of Creative Commons until I came to work at Red Hat. After a few months, I had gained some familiarity with Creative Commons but it was only when I was recently asked to create images for their 10th Anniversary that I realized I had some research to do.

        What struck me most was seeing that people have tattoos of the Creative Commons logo—it’s a passionate gesture and conveyed a social force that inspired my creation of the three images you see in the photo above. I refer to them as “Creative Commons personification,” “Share,” and “The Creative Commons Ship,” respectively.

      • It’s Not “Getting” Or “Downloading” A Copy. It’s “Making” Or “Manufacturing” One.

        In the political fight for civil liberties and sharing culture, language is everything – which can be observed by the copyright industry’s consistent attempts at name-calling, hoping the bad names will stick legally. Therefore, all our using precise language is paramount for our own future liberties.

      • Staffer axed by Republican group over retracted copyright-reform memo

        The Republican Study Committee, a caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives, has told staffer Derek Khanna that he will be out of a job when Congress re-convenes in January. The incoming chairman of the RSC, Steve Scalise (R-LA) was approached by several Republican members of Congress who were upset about a memo Khanna wrote advocating reform of copyright law. They asked that Khanna not be retained, and Scalise agreed to their request.

      • 10 years of Creative Commons

        The creators of the Creative Commons licensing suite are celebrating the licences’ tenth birthday. As part of the festivities, local groups are organising events all over the world from 7 to 16 December. The organisation behind Creative Commons was founded in 2001 and produced and published the first set of licences in December of the following year. The organisation was founded by, among others, law school professor and political activist Lawrence Lessig, with the goal of giving both creators and consumers of content more freedoms than are usually afforded under traditional copyright licences.

      • Tattoo Copyright Strikes Again: Tattoo Artist Sues THQ For Accurately Representing Fighter’s Tattoo In Game
      • Sega forcing removal of Shining Force videos on YouTube

        Over the past few days, Sega has been forcing YouTube users to remove uploaded videos of the Sega Saturn RPG Shining Force III lest their entire channels get shut down. While this is not an altogether uncommon practice for a company trying to protect its IP, the fact that Sega is targeting just specific content is rather curious. In any case, it’s pretty damn heartless.

      • Sega Goes Nuclear On YouTube Videos Of Old Shining Force Game

        Well, Sega has apparently decided to buck their trend of being mildly annoying to their fans… by upping the ante and going full-blown fan-screw-crazy. They have apparently been going on a YouTube video take down blitz for anything related to their Shining Force franchise to somehow protect an upcoming PSP release in the series from being… well… maybe they think that… no, that doesn’t work… you know what? I don’t know what the hell they’re afraid of, but they’re pooping all over a bunch of fan videos.

      • Dotcom can pursue case against police, GCSB

        Details of the top secret international spy agency ring known as Echelon will have to be produced after a new judgment in the Kim Dotcom case.

        The internet tycoon was also cleared to pursue a case for damages against the police and the Government Communications Security Bureau in a judgment which has opened the Government’s handling of the criminal copyright case for its harshest criticism yet.

        The order for the GCSB to reveal top secret details came as the High Court at Auckland ruled the spy agency would now sit alongside the police in a case probing the unlawful search warrant used in the raid on Dotcom’s north Auckland mansion.

      • DMCA Fun: Movie Studios Issue Takedowns Over Their Authorized Films

        We’ve covered how often DMCA notices seem to be sent improperly, taking down others people’s work, but it’s also true that we see people send DMCA notices on their own work pretty often. TorrentFreak has done a great job detailing many cases where Hollywood’s biggest and most famous studios have been issuing DMCA takedowns on their own movies, as well as their own movie promotional pages. Among the takedowns are ones from Lionsgate taking down authorized versions of a film on iTunes, Amazon, Blockbuster and Xfinity.

      • Man charges porn trolling firm Prenda Law with identity theft

        Last week, we covered the comedy of errors that played out in the Florida courtroom of Judge Mary Scriven, where it became clear that there were no attorneys willing to put their reputations at risk by associating themselves with the porn trolling firm Prenda Law. A local Florida attorney told Judge Scriven that he had been brought into the case by Prenda, but now wanted out of the case. Prenda itself denied any involvement in the case.

      • Copyright troll Prenda Law is accused of using a stolen identity for their offshore plaintiffs
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