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Links 5/1/2013: Fedora 18 Delayed; Civil Rights Focus

Posted in News Roundup at 12:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Netflix makes cloud Janitor Monkey open source

    Netflix, the popular online video service that makes extensive use of public-cloud infrastructure by Amazon Web Services (AWS), has made code for one of the tools it developed to make its cloud-using life easier open source.

    Netflix developers built Janitor Monkey to automate clean-up of unused cloud resources, such as virtual-machine (VM) instances and cloud-storage volumes, or “Elastic Block Storage” (EBS) volumes in AWS parlance.

  • Another Satisfied Customer of FLOSS
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • A simulated FirefoxOS experience

        Your editor has frequently written that, while Android is a great system that has been highly beneficial to the cause of open mobile devices, it would be awfully nice to have a viable, free-software alternative. Every month that goes by makes it harder for any such alternative system to establish itself in the market, but that does not keep people from trying. One of the more interesting developments on the horizon has been FirefoxOS — formerly known as Boot2Gecko — a system under development at Mozilla. In the absence of any available hardware running this system, the recent 1.0 release of the FirefoxOS simulator seemed like a good opportunity to get a feel for what the Mozilla folks are up to.

  • SaaS/Big Data


      Time flies, and we are approaching the end of another successful year at OpenNebula!. We’ve had a lot to celebrate around here during 2012, including our fifth anniversary. We took that opportunity to look back at how the project has grown in the last five years. We are extremely happy with the organic growth of the project. It’s five years old, it’s parked in some of the biggest organizations out there, and that all happened without any investment in marketing, just offering the most innovative and flexible open-source solution for data center virtualization and enterprise cloud management. An active and engaged community, along with our focus on solving real user needs in innovative ways and the involvement of the users in a fully vendor-agnostic project, constitute, in our view, the OpenNebula’s recipe to success.
      As 2012 draws to and end, we’d like to review what this year has meant for the OpenNebula project and give you a peek at what you can expect from us in 2013. You have all the details about the great progress that we have seen for the OpenNebula project in our monthly newsletters.

  • Licensing

    • Different Software Licenses

      There are times where one might be inclined to use a different license, e.g. the BSD license or even a license similar to the openmotif license. At least that’s the theory since what I really did was release source code with no license mentioned at all, kind of an ad hoc free/open software release. So I’m going to mellow a bit and say if someone wants to use a different but still open/free type license then I’ll accept that and not argue about it.


  • Why I Hate Microsoft

    It’s still not time to treat M$ as a normal business. They don’t yet work for a living, making $hundreds of thousands per employee per annum doing little more than shipping licensing agreements to OEMs. Certainly their OS is not worth what people are paying for it and M$ still attacks other businesses, most recently spreading FUD about Google at FTC, which dropped the matter after Google agreed to make a few changes. Google makes far more per employee per annum but they do work for it making huge server-farms do much of the work. That’s smart and does not harm competition. It’s time the rest of the world became smarter and dropped M$ as a “partner” in anything.

  • Journalism Is Not Narcissism

    Every year, thousands of fresh-faced young aspiring journalists flood our nation’s college classrooms, in order to learn how to practice their craft. What should we tell them? This, first: journalism is not about you.

  • Italian authorities fine Apple another $264K over product warranties

    Apple’s changes to its product warranty policies in Italy have been enough to satisfy investigators, but not before the company was slapped with one final fine totaling $264,000.

  • Apple Must Pay Chinese Authors for Copyright Infringement
  • Google Muscles in on Microsoft’s Turf

    Google is muscling in on Microsoft ’s turf as it wins over more business customers with its cloud-based software.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Shell ship wreck debacle

      Shell has admitted that the Kulluks generators are wrecked. The weather forecast for today is strong winds and high seas.

  • Finance

    • Glenn Hubbard, Leading Academic and Mitt Romney Advisor, Took $1200 an Hour to Be Countrywide’s Expert Witness

      At issue here is the fact that Hubbard testified on behalf of Countrywide in the MBIA suit. He conducted an “analysis” that essentially concluded that Countrywide’s loans weren’t any worse than the loans produced by other mortgage originators, and that therefore the monstrous losses that investors in those loans suffered were due to other factors related to the economic crisis – and not caused by the serial misrepresentations and fraud in Countrywide’s underwriting.

    • What is behind the US fiscal cliff standoff?

      The phrase ‘fiscal cliff’ invokes images of an economy spiralling to the bottom.

      It was that image that was supposed to force politicians on Capitol Hill to work together to avoid the simultaneous expiration of tax cuts as well as the implementation of deep spending cuts.

    • Fiscal Cliff Follies: Political Theater Distracts From Key Problems With the Fix

      Extremely unequal distributions of wealth and income continue to enable the richest and largest individuals and enterprises to manipulate the economy and control the political parties. The result is an economic structure disinterested in a democratically focused way out of crisis and decline.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • The Perks of Being an American

      In the final days of the 112th Congress, President Obama signed two last minute bills. Both were extensions of highly controversial Bush-era policies. Both were scheduled to expire January 1, 2013. And both owe their passage largely to calamitous predictions that the sky would fall if they weren’t reauthorized in time.

    • Lawyers For The One Case Where There’s Proof Of Warrantless Wiretapping Decide Not To Appeal To Supreme Court

      Now, the lawyers representing Al-Haramain have decided that they will not appeal the case to the Supreme Court, on the belief that the “current composition” of the court works against them. In other words, they believe that the current Justices on the court would side with the appeals court in rejecting their case, and then that would be precedent across the country (unless Congress changed the law, which it’s unlikely to do). The “hope” then is that somehow, down the road, someone else somehow gets evidence that they, too, were spied upon without a warrant, and it happens in a different district, and (hopefully) that circuit’s appeals court rules differently, setting up a circuit split. Oh, and that by the time that happens, the “composition” of the court shifts enough that the court actually respects the 4th Amendment. In other words: none of this is likely. Instead, the feds retain their ability to spy on people without warrants in direct violation of the 4th Amendment.


      The Homeland Security Department is footing a potentially $6 billion bill to provide civilian agencies with the technology and expertise needed for near real-time threat detection, DHS officials said this week. The White House has demanded so-called continuous monitoring since 2010, but many agencies did not have the resources or know-how to initiate such surveillance.

    • Score one for the thicket

      WHILE everyone was watching the fiscal-cliff debacle, Congress and Barack Obama decided that they could still eavesdrop on Americans’ putatively private conversations without putting themselves to the trouble of obtaining a warrant.

    • The 2013 NDAA Signing Statement: No Better Than the 2012 Version
    • European Court orders damages for CIA torture victim

      In mid-December 2012, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg awarded damages of €60,000 to Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese origin. The judges accepted that Macedonian security services had illegally seized El-Masri at the end of 2003, subjected him to abuse and finally handed him over to agents from the CIA.

    • Activist clear trash near NC CIA contractor’s base

      Stop Torture Now has committed to collect trash from the road outside the airport under the state’s “Adopt-a-Highway” program.

    • Obama may pick Pentagon, CIA heads next week

      President Barack Obama may round out his new national security leadership team next week, with a nomination for defense secretary expected and a pick to lead the CIA possible.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Behind closed doors at the UN’s attempted “takeover of the Internet”

      In early December, I found myself in an odd position: touching down in Dubai with credentials to attend a 12-day closed-door meeting of the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT). It’s a meeting I spent the last six months trying to expose.


      We have the obligation to never speak of our concerns without suggesting our solutions. I’ve been truly gratified to watch the response to The Web We Lost over the last few days; It’s become one of the most popular things I’ve ever written and has inspired great responses.
      But the most important question we can ask is: How do we rebuild the positive aspects of the web we lost? There are a few starting points, building on conversations we’ve been having for years. Let’s look at the responsibilities we must accept if we’re going to return the web to the values that a generation of creators cared about.

    • China’s legislature adopts online info rules to protect privacy

      The decision bans service providers, as well as government agencies and their personnel, from leaking or damaging users’ digital information, as well as from selling or illegally providing this information to others.

    • China requires Internet users to register names
    • China closing Web loophole

      Michael Anti, a Beijing-based critic of Web censorship, believes the current pushback on the Web reflects paranoia over incoming President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on official corruption. Local officials could be pressuring propaganda departments to curb freedom of speech online, he said. “Officials hate the Internet,” Anti said. “They’re afraid of being victims of the anti-corruption campaign.

    • China’s New Internet Law Legalizes Deletion of “Illegal” Content, Bad News for Sina Weibo
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Tough Times for Trolls and their “Copyright Negligence” Scheme

        Despite at least five smackdowns by federal judges, copyright trolls are still accusing Internet subscribers of “negligently” allowing someone else to download porn films without paying. Last week, subpoena defense attorney Morgan Pietz fought back by asking the Northern California federal courts to put all of the open “negligence” cases filed by a prolific troll firm in front of a single judge – a judge who already ruled that the “negligence” theory is bogus.

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