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01.30.13

Links 30/1/2013: Android Market Share at 70%

Posted in News Roundup at 8:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Professional Audio Production on Linux

    And now we come to my favorite part of this series, high-end Linux audio production. Linux is a superior platform for professional audio production: stable, efficient, and you don’t get gouged for software licenses. You have to be careful to select audio hardware that is well-supported on Linux, but this is less of a problem than it used to be. Look for USB audio interfaces that don’t need custom proprietary drivers, but stick to the USB spec like they’re supposed to. The hardy FFADO developers toil away developing and improving drivers for Firewire audio interfaces. No, Firewire is not dead, and you can easily add a Firewire card to almost any PC if it doesn’t already have one. I use FFADO for my cherished old Saffire Pro 26 I/O, and neither have let me down.

  • HTG Explains: Why You Don’t Need an Antivirus On Linux (and When You Do)

    Believe it or not, there are antivirus programs targeted at desktop Linux users. If you have just switched to Linux and started looking for an antivirus solution, don’t bother – you do not need an antivirus program on Linux.

    There are some situations when running an antivirus on Linux makes sense, but the average Linux desktop isn’t one of them. You would only want an antivirus program to scan for Windows malware.

  • Desktop

    • Chromebooks on the Rise As Big Hardware Players Announce Devices

      When Google began promoting its Chrome OS platform a couple of years ago, there was lots of criticism. For one thing, Google hadn’t quite ironed out some of the “cloud-only” issues that the operating system imposes on users, many of whom are used to using local applications. Since then, of course, Chromebooks running the operating system have improved dramatically, and are now available at $200 price points that challenge the laptop status quo (a $199 example from Acer is shown here).

  • Server

    • SprezzOS: Linux On A Server In 120 Seconds

      Earlier this month I wrote about SprezzOS, a new Linux distribution where its developers boasted it’s the most robust, beautiful, and performant Linux. Well, SprezzOS is now out in the while. The developers are now boasting they can install a Linux server in 120 seconds with their operating system.

    • Cisco Brings Unified Access to Catalyst Switching

      For the most part, wired and wireless networks on the enterprise campus have been two separate entities controlled by different technologies. That’s about to change, thanks to a new suite of Unified Access technologies announced today by Cisco.

  • Kernel Space

    • QEMU 1.3.1 Brings In A Bunch Of Fixes

      The first (and only planned) point release to QEMU 1.3 is now available. The QEMU 1.3.1 release fixes just over two dozen bugs, including critical issues for OpenBSD guests.

    • Systemd Dreams Up New Feature, Makes It Like Cron

      Lennart Poettering and Kay Sievers at Red Hat hope to work on a handful of new systemd features as part of the Fedora 19 development cycle. One of the features includes work to make systemd have its own time-based job scheduler that’s similar in nature to cron.

    • A wait and see approach that worked

      Wilcox’s first kernel patch was submitted in 1997; he wanted to move some files from his Acorn Archimedes system to a Linux system and he couldn’t do it as the ISO format did not support the necessary extensions.

      The patch was accepted, after a few comments that he deems to be “on target” and his career was more or less decided.

      But things did not fall into place for a while; he was hired as a Java programmer by a bio-informatics start=-up after he graduated. Wilcox then got involved in porting Linux to the PA-RISC platform and he ended up getting hired by LinuxCare.

    • Perforce joins the Linux Foundation

      Enterprise management company Perforce has joined the Linux Foundation, the non-profit organisation dedicated to accelerating the growth of the Linux operating system.

      Perforce see its membership as part of its commitment to encourage collaborative software development on both sides of the firewall.

    • Perforce Joins Linux Foundation, Increases Commitment to Open Source Collaboration
    • KVM: Linux Virtualization That’s Halfway There

      While the KVN infrastructure is built into the Linux OS, you need a modern version of the Linux kernel to use this virtual machine. KVM requires machine extensions. The kernel component of KVM is included in mainline Linux as of version 2.6.20. Even if your Linux distro has the stuff inside, your hardware configuration might not be cooperating. Intel VT or AMD-V support could be disabled by default.

    • Toradex Announce Release of V2.0 Alpha1 Linux BSP for Colibri T30

      Toradex have announced the release of V2.0 Alpha1 Linux BSP for their Colibri T30 Computer on Module. This product is based on the NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor and ARM architecture.

    • Intel Begins Publishing Linux Patches For “Avoton”
    • Intel Still Tidying Up Linux Support For Haswell

      Intel will be introducing their Haswell processors in the coming months. If using the Linux 3.8 kernel, GCC 4.7/4.8, Mesa 9.1, and other recent open-source Linux packages, you should be mostly set for experiencing the full benefits of the Ivy Bridge successor. However, there’s still a few pieces of Haswell’s Linux support still being worked out.

    • Multi-Threading Cairo-Image For Better Performance

      In terms of Chris Wilson’s benchmark results when comparing the threaded cairo-image, UXA with the Intel driver, and his experimental SNA acceleration architecture for the Intel driver, he concludes, “For the cases that are almost entirely GPU bound (for example the firefox-fishbowl, -fishtank, -paintball, -particles), we have virtually eliminated all the previous advantage that the GPU held. In a notable couple of cases, we have improved the image backend to outperform SNA, and for all cases now the threaded image backend beats UXA. However, as can be seen there is still plenty of room for improvement of the image backend, and we can’t let the hardware acceleration be merely equal to a software rasteriser…”

    • Lennart Poettering Takes To Battling Systemd Myths
    • Graphics Stack

      • Running OpenCL On The GPU With Gallium3D

        With all of the recent improvements going into Mesa/Gallium3D, along with some work advancements to the AMD GPU LLVM back-end, it’s slowly becoming a suitable time for enthusiasts wishing to experiment with OpenCL on the open-source Linux graphics stack through Gallium3D and the “Clover” state tracker.

        OpenCL support in Gallium3D is still far from complete and not yet comparable to the proprietary OpenCL/GPGPU offerings bundled within the proprietary AMD and NVIDIA Linux graphics drivers. In reality, it will probably be at least another year before open-source OpenCL is in good shape for the Linux desktop. At this point, there’s just some simple OpenCL demos working for select graphics processors on Nouveau and Radeon.

      • Intel SNA Continues To Be Tweaked

        SNA, Intel’s newest acceleration architecture for their open-source X.Org graphics driver, continues to receive improvements on a near daily basis.

        Intel SNA is what most of the xf86-video-intel driver changes have been about since this 2D acceleration architecture was introduced back in 2011. SNA is the pet project of Chris Wilson at Intel’s Open-Source Technology Center and is the one responsible for a majority of the work.

      • Wayland/Weston 1.0.4 Released; Per-Output Workspaces

        Wayland 1.0.4 was released this week along with an adjoining update to its Weston reference compositor. Separately, a new patch-set has emerged for supporting per-output workspaces.

        The Wayland/Weston 1.0.4 release was a bit behind schedule due to Kristian Høgsberg being ill, but the point releases are out now for those interested. The main 1.0.4 change is for Weston and it’s to address a “CPU eating bug” within the compositor’s plane code. There’s also been a few documentation fixes. With Wayland 1.0.4, destroy signal APIs were added and a more robust version of the event loop test case.

      • Mesa 9.1 Release Reaffirmed For Late February

        Mesa 9.1 should be released by the end of February as the latest version of this bi-annual open-source OpenGL implementation that continues to slowly but surely pickup new functionality for most major graphics drivers.

      • VESA BIOS Extension DRM Kernel Driver Released

        David Herrmann, the open-source developer that has made it a personal crusade to kill the Linux kernel console and to replace it with a user-space solution, has published the code to a new DRM kernel mode-setting driver. This new kernel driver is a generic VESA BIOS Extension DRM implementation like the vesafb VESA frame-buffer driver.

    • Benchmarks

      • Fedora 18 vs. Ubuntu 12.10, Ubuntu 13.04 Benchmarks

        As the next chapter after the Fedora 17 vs. Fedora 18 benchmarks for the Red Hat sponsored Linux distribution, here are benchmarks comparing Fedora 18 to Ubuntu 12.10 and Ubuntu 13.04 on two separate PCs.

        The performance between the latest Fedora and Ubuntu Linux releases aren’t incredibly surprising with many of the key components being the same (or similar) versions, but nevertheless I ran a bunch of benchmarks on a Core i7 3770K “Ivy Bridge” and Core i7 3960X “Sandy Bridge” Extreme Edition system with Fedora 18, Ubuntu 12.10, and Ubuntu 13.04 using the 64-bit Linux releases. Benchmarks in full are on OpenBenchmarking.org.

      • A Number Of New & Updated Linux Benchmarks

        After yesterday writing about recent benchmarking improvements, including over a dozen new open-source benchmarks graciously provided by Intel and then ongoing improvements to the Phoronix Test Suite client, there’s more to talk about this morning for those interested in open-source benchmarking.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma.next()?

        Sebastian wrote a pair of blog entries in the last week about where we are heading with Plasma in the near future. The first was an overview of the pathway to Frameworks 5 and what we’re provisionally referring to as Plasma Workspaces 2. The second entry covered his work on making it possible to write widget layouts (aka Containments) in QML.

      • Kdenlive 0.9.4 Is Here

        Kdenlive, an advanced video editor for the KDE desktop has been updated to a new version. This version fixes bugs which made the software to crash, so all users are highly advised to install this release as soon as possible. Some other new features of this release has been summarized below:

        * A rewritten DVD wizard
        * Improved clip markers
        * Rewritten Screen Capture
        * Support for multiple streams clips
        * Clip analysis feature
        * Stability and Performance improvements
        * Over 124 bugs fixed

      • Kdenlive 0.9.4 information page

        The DVD Wizard was mostly rewritten, now allowing 16:9 menus. It now also autodetects the format of your videos and proposes a trandcoding if it is necessary. In fact, you can now drop any video in the Wizard and just click transcode to get it in the correct DVD format.

      • What’s Being Brewed For KDE’s Plasma Active

        Aaron Seigo wrote this morning about some of what’s happening next for KDE’s Plasma Active, which reveals some interesting future endeavours.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Is GNOME’s Open Source Web Browser Ready for the Masses?

        From Internet Explorer (IE) to Firefox to Google Chrome, there’s no shortage of Web browsers to choose from these days–a luxury that can be easy to take for granted for those who have forgotten what things were a number of years ago, after Netscape collapsed and IE was the only game in town. But GNOME, the open source development community, thinks it can offer a better browser than these bigger-name alternatives in the form of Web, formerly known as Epiphany. Is it right?

      • Researching the GNOME3 experience: Question by Question

        The work that has happened ever since I wrote the last post, is actually the work which would take atleast 5 posts, but it has to start somewhere, so I am starting it off with this post.

      • GNOME 3: A new perspective

        GNOME 3: A desktop that brings a certain level of ire to the hearts and minds of many a Linux user. When this desktop first arrived, my opinion was fairly high. Why? It was new, fresh, and seemed like it could easily take the desktop world by storm. But then the developers stopped listening to the users and things seemed to fall apart.

      • Epiphany Web Browser may ditch tabs
      • Running in the office with Gnome!
  • Distributions

    • Slax 7.0 – Slax Is Back

      December 2012 saw the final release of Slax 7.0 after more than three years without an update, quickly followed by several bug-fix point releases. In 7.0.3 the ability to act as PXE server was re-introduced, which had been present in earlier versions but was missing from the early 7.0 branch. I tried it in VMware Player, VirtualBox, from Live CD as intended and installed to external USB connected to an Acer 5551 laptop with ATI graphics, 4 GB Ram and a Phenom II X3 processor.

    • New Releases

      • SparkyLinux 2.1 “Eris” Ultra Edition

        The system is built as all 2.x releases on Debian testing “Wheezy”.
        All packages have been synchronized with Debian testing repositories of 23/01/2013.
        It features customized ultra light and fast Openbox desktop.

      • Clonezilla 2.1.0-12
      • Linux Deepin 12.12
      • New Products

        ROSA Desktop 2012

        The fact that Russia’s ROSA Labs once collaborated with Mandriva is evident in the company’s latest release, ROSA Desktop 2012. Nevertheless, since breaking from Mandriva, ROSA Labs has forked the distro onto its own unique development path. ROSA Desktop 2012 is an LSB-compliant distro that features a customized KDE desktop. The free edition sports only free software; the Extended Edition includes nonfree components and proprietary software, such as codecs. ROSA Labs says that by developing ROSA Desktop 2012 with its own software development and build environment—ROSA ABF—the company is able to achieve unmatched technological independence, high quality and up to five years of technical support. Examples of new features include EFI/UEFI support, improved hardware detection and improved compatibility with Windows 8. Supported languages include English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian.

      • Parted Magic 2013_01_29
    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Ann Coulter Refuses to Board Airplane With Black Pilot

    Conservative commentator and author Ann Coulter refused to stay on board a Miami to New York commercial airline flight today after learning the pilot was a woman of African-American descent.

    According to witness reports Coulter was concerned the experienced, decorated pilot in question may have gained her position as a result of affirmative action and wasn’t fully qualified to fly.

  • Is Egypt on the Brink of Collapse? Sharif Abdel Kouddous Reports from Restive City of Port Said

    Ongoing mass protests have led the Egyptian government to declare a state of emergency and the country’s defense minister to warn of the potential “collapse of the state.”

  • the real wikipedia of maps

    In the wake of Google’s CEO Schmidt going to North Korea on an official visit, American media has been abuzz with stories. Yesterday, CNN carried a story about how Google Maps is expanding in North Korea thanks to “a community of citizen cartographers” (that is Google’s claim) allowing it work “in a similar way to Wikipedia, allowing users to add, edit and review information” (that is CNN’s take on it).

  • Security

    • Latest VLC version has dangerous hole

      The developers of the VLC video player have warned of a crashing bug in the latest 2.0.5 version of the application, which might be exploited to execute arbitrary code. The issue is a problem in the ASF demuxer (libasf_plugin.*), which can be tricked into overflowing a buffer with a specially crafted ASF movie. The developers note that users would have to open that specially crafted file to be vulnerable and advise users to not open files from untrusted third parties or untrusted sites.

    • Unseen, all-out cyber war on the U.S. has begun

      There’s a war going on, and it’s raging here at home — not in the streets or the fields, but on the Internet. You can think of it as a war on the digital homeland. If you work for a power company, bank, defense contractor, transportation provider, or other critical infrastructure type of operation, your organization might be in the direct line of fire. And everyone can become collateral damage.

    • Oracle: ‘We Have to Fix Java’
    • Disable This Buggy Feature On Your Router Now To Avoid A Serious Set Of Security Vulnerabilities.
    • Pentagon’s New Massive Expansion of ‘Cyber-Security’ Unit is About Everything Except Defense

      Cyber-threats are the new pretext to justify expansion of power and profit for the public-private National Security State

    • A Line Has Been Crossed: Anonymous Hacks DOJ

      Launching “Operation Last Resort,” Anonymous twice hacked the Justice Department’s Sentencing Commission this weekend to protest the death of Aaron Swartz and a legal system “wielded less and less to uphold justice, and more and more to exercise control (and) power.” The group threatened to release Justice Department data if the government fails to reform flawed cyber crime laws that allow almost unfettered prosecutorial power, and then turned the website into a videogame and Guy Fawkes mask proclaiming, “We do not forgive. We do not forget.”

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • Amelia Hill is a Dirty Liar

      The Guardian hit a new low in Amelia Hill’s report on Julian Assange’s appearance at the Oxford Union. Hill moved beyond propaganda to downright lies.

      [...]

      Just that hearty applause is sufficient to show that the entire thrust and argument of Amelia Hill’s article moves beyong distortion or misreprentation – in themselves dreadful sins in a journalist – and into the field of outright lies. Her entire piece is intended to give the impression that the event was a failure and the audience were hostile to Assange. That is completely untrue.

    • Step inside the Ecuadorian Embassy with Julian Assange

      It’s just been announced that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will run for a seat in the Australian Senate during this year’s elections. He is currently avoiding arrest by living in the Ecuadorian Embassy and a little while ago I photographed a note held by a police officer detailing the lengths they would go to in order to arrest him. Including what to do if he came out ‘in a diplomatic bag’… This photograph made news around the world because it appeared to show police would ignore any laws governing diplomatic immunity. What it didn’t do was shed any more light on the conditions inside the Embassy for Assange himself.

    • Ellsberg at Berkeley Salute to US Soldier Accused of Aiding WikiLeaks

      A “Salute to Bradley Manning,” the Army Pfc. accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, will be held in Berkeley Thursday with Daniel and Patricia Ellsberg and Kevin Gosztola, co-author of a book on the Manning case.

    • Assange confirms Senate run

      Julian Assange will run for a Senate seat in the 2013 federal election and his mum reckons he’ll be awesome.

      Christine Assange confirmed her son’s candidacy on Wednesday after WikiLeaks tweeted the news.
      “He will be awesome,” she said.

    • Julian Assange to run for Senate seat as his mother says he will be ‘awesome’

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will run for a seat in the Australian Senate during this year’s elections, his organisation announced Wednesday, with his mother saying he would be “awesome” in the role.

    • Prosecuting Whistleblowers Instead of Criminals

      Long the disclaimer of those bearing bad news, the phrase “don’t shoot the messenger” may soon become a rallying cry of the American public.

      Under an ostensibly liberal, Democratic president, government prosecutors have ushered in a new era of targeting whistleblowers. Prosecuting those responsible for the wrongdoings, meanwhile, has been made no such priority. The recent sentencing of former CIA officer John Kiriakou represents the latest example in the crackdown on leaks to the media and public.

    • Stand Up for Julian Assange

      Last month, on December 13th, 2012, I visited Julian Assange, Australian founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, in the Ecuadorian embassy, in Knightsbridge, London.

      It’s been seven months now since Julian Assange entered the Ecuadorian embassy and was given political asylum.

      He entered the embassy after the British Courts shamefully refused his appeal against extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning about sexual molestation (no criminal charges have been made against him). Julian Assange has said he is willing to answer questions in the U.K. relating to accusations against him, or alternatively, to go to Sweden, provided that the Swedish government guarantee he will not be extradited to the U.S. where plans are being made to try him for conspiracy to commit espionage. The Swedish Government refuses to give such assurances.

      [....]

      Mairead Corrigan Maguire won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her work for peace in Northern Ireland. Her book,

    • Chagos cable chronology
    • Judge orders cross-examination of officials over WikiLeaks documents

      Unprecedented step in Chagos Islands case is first time one of the WikiLeaks cables has featured in a UK court case

    • The Guardian’s obsession with sullying the reputation of Julian Assange

      After Julian Assange gave a speech at the Oxford Union on January 23, 2012, The Guardian published an article criticizing his appearance, saying “he refused to be gracious”. At the time, video had not been uploaded of the event, so it was impossible to contradict The Guardian’s claims. Now that the Oxford Union has uploaded the full speech and Q&A session (albeit only after editing out footage of “Collateral Murder” due to copyright fears), The Guardian’s blatant smear tactics can be revealed.

    • Assange’s allies
    • Farewell to McClelland, a ministerial cipher for the security state

      But more than ASIO has changed. Between Murphy’s raids on ASIO in search of information about Croatian terrorism he believed the agency was hiding from him, and Robert McClelland expanding ASIO’s powers via the “WikiLeaks amendment”, something has changed in Labor’s relationship with the national security apparatus of the country.

    • FBI Investigation into Leaks & the Threat to Press Freedom (VIDEO)
  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Rupert Murdoch links sympathy for Palestinians to anti-Semitism. The truth is more complex

      In a futile bid to preempt the allegation that automatically follows an article of this nature, I begin with a clarification. It is lifted from the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where a man in a cinema queue berates Larry David as “a self-hating Jew” for whistling an aria from Wagner. I certainly do hate myself, is Larry’s reply, but it has absolutely nothing to do with being a Jew.

      There was a time when a writer could address the spirited disputes sparked by World Holocaust Day in a tone sympathetic to the Palestinian cause without feeling the need to absolve himself of any form of anti-Semitism, though it feels like a distant age now. It is more than 10 years since the Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman, for decades as passionate a friend of Israel as parliament knew, was jostled at St John’s Wood synagogue, on Yom Kippur, by congregants enraged by his criticisms of Ariel Sharon.

    • The 50 million dollar lie

      Bill Gates has spent $50 million for a three year project known as the MET (Measures of Effective Teaching) project. They just concluded the study and released a final report which can be found here. In the final report they conclude that teacher evaluations have an ideal weighting of 33% value-added, 33% principal observations, and 33% student surveys. They justify the 33% value-added because they have analyzed the data and found, contrary to everyone else’s analysis of similar data, that teachers DO have similar value-added scores from one year to the next. To prove their point, they print on page 8 this very compelling set of graphs.

      [...]

      As even a ‘paint ball’ produces such a nice line when subjected to the principle of averaging, we can safely assume that the Gates data, if we were to see it in its un-averaged form would be just as volatile as my first graph.

      It seems like the point of this ‘research’ is to simply ‘prove’ that Gates was right about what he expected to be true. He hired some pretty famous economists, people who certainly know enough about math to know that their conclusions are invalid.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Porn trolling firm accused of colluding with defendant in sham lawsuit

      Every time we think Prenda Law can’t get in any more hot water, the firm behind dozens of mass copyright lawsuits proves us wrong. In recent months we’ve written about a Florida judge blasting Prenda for “attempted fraud on the court.” We’ve covered a Minnesota man’s charge that Prenda named him the head of one of its shell companies without his knowledge or permission. And we’ve covered Prenda’s efforts to avoid answering questions about these allegations by claiming that California defense lawyer Morgan Pietz invented his “John Doe” client. Prenda also unsuccessfully sought the dismissal of a California judge who started asking questions about Prenda’s alleged misconduct.

    • Copyrights

      • Meet the money behind Dotcom

        Who is the mysterious millionaire, who left school at age 15, who is now listed as the new CEO of Kim Dotcom’s latest venture? Geraldine Johns gets a glimpse into the world of the elusive Tony Lentino.

      • Anita Busch, Michael Ovitz At War in Anthony Pellicano Civil Case

        Hollywood’s most powerful figures had ordered the intimidation attempt.

      • Court Says Trial Needed To Determine If Universal Music Violated DMCA With Dancing Baby Takedown

        We’ve covered the Stephanie Lenz / dancing baby / fair use case for years — but now it looks like there’s finally going to be a trial to consider if Universal Music can be punished for sending a DMCA takedown notice on a video of Lenz’s infant son dancing to 29 seconds of a song by Prince, which Lenz asserts was clearly fair use. If you haven’t followed the case, it’s been argued back and forth for years. At one point, the court ruled that a copyright holder does need to take fair use into account before sending a DMCA takedown, but that there needs to be “subjective bad faith” by Universal Music in sending the takedown. In other words, Lenz (and the EFF, who is representing her) needs to show, effectively, that Universal knew that it was sending bogus takedowns. The EFF has argued that willful blindness by Universal meant that it had knowledge (amusingly, using precedents in copyright cases in the other direction, where copyright holders argue that willful blindness can be infringement).

      • Dealing With Aaron Swartz in the Nixonian Tradition: Overzealous Overcharging Leads to a Tragic Result
      • Government Persecution, From Aaron Swartz to Bradley Manning

        The Justice Department’s legal assault on Swartz is of a vindictive piece with the prosecution of others who have carried important information into the public realm. Front and center is 25-year-old Bradley Manning, the Iraq War enlistee accused of being WikiLeaks’s source in the military. The restricted foreign policy documents that Manning allegedly released don’t amount to even 1 percent of the 92 million items the government classified last year, but the young private faces life in prison at his court-martial in June for the charge, among twenty-one others, of “aiding the enemy.” Then there’s Jeremy Hammond, age 28, who in his freshman year at the University of Illinois hacked the computer science department’s home page, then told them how they could fix its problem. He got thrown out of school for that; now he’s in a federal prison facing thirty-nine years to life, charged with various hacks and leaks (all apparently led by an FBI informant) including the 5 million internal e-mails of Stratfor, a private security firm hired by corporations to surveil private citizens, among other activities.

      • Critical Fixes for the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
      • Human Rights Lawyer Explains Why He’s Working For Kim Dotcom: Exposing American Corruption

        We recently wrote about how Kim Dotcom has retained famed human rights lawyer Robert Amsterdam to explore whether or not there’s a human rights angle to his case, specifically alleging “contract prosecution” by the entertainment industry. I’m still somewhat skeptical that such an argument could go anywhere, but Amsterdam himself has put up a rather detailed blog post, explaining why he’s taking the case, which may seem quite different than his usual fare: taking on corruption and human rights violations in far flung parts of the world, including Africa and Latin America. After highlighting the many problems with the case (and the continued failures in court to date), as well as the close ties prosecutor Neil MacBride has with big copyright holders, he points out that he sees some serious similarities to what’s happening here with the kind of corruption he’s witnessed in third world nations.

      • Picking up Aaron Swartz’s dropped flags

        My first quality time with Aaron Swartz was at the last Comdex, in the Fall of 2002. He had just turned 16, but looked about 10. His old Mac laptop featured a screen with no working backlight. Only he could read it, which he rationalized, with a smile, as a “security precaution.” When I asked him about school, he said he had moved on. He was still learning all kinds of stuff, but he didn’t need school for that. And hey, there was work to be done, and he was too busy with that.

      • Congress Demands Justice Department Explain Aaron Swartz Prosecution
      • Memorial for Aaron Swartz at the Internet Archive
      • Part 2: EFF’s Additional Improvements to Aaron’s Law

        Now we present part two: suggestions to address the CFAA’s penalty structure. The CFAA, which is the primary federal computer crime law, allows for harsh punishments and makes too many offenses felonies. The statute is also structured so that the same behavior can violate multiple provisions of the law, which prosecutors often combine to beef up the potential penalties.

      • O’Brien blasts feds for dusting off statutes used on mafia

        The lawyers for disgraced former Probation commissioner John O’Brien blasted prosecutors in a filing yesterday, calling their decision to charge O’Brien and two of his top deputies as if they were greedy mobsters “breathtaking” while accusing them of not turning over key evidence.

        The attorneys, writing in a 29-page motion requesting documents from the US Attorney’s office, said their clients are confident they will beat the accusations they created a “rigged” hiring system catering to the requests of state lawmakers and others.

      • Triumphant motel owner slams Carmen Ortiz

        …latest critic to accuse the Hub’s top fed of prosecutorial bullying.

      • the next words: A Lecture on Aaron’s Law

        When a law professor is given a “chair” s/he gives a lecture in honor of the honor. I am the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership. On February 19, at 5pm @ HLS, I was scheduled to give my chair lecture. After Aaron’s death, I asked the Dean to let me reschedule the lecture. But after some more thought, I’ve decided to make the lecture about Aaron, and about how we need to honor his work. Anyone is invited. More details to follow. And the event will be webcast.

      • Aaron’s Army

        Aaron wasn’t a lone wolf, he was part of an army, and I had the honor of serving with him for a decade.

      • Feds Hounded ‘Net Activist Aaron Swartz, Says EFF’s Parker Higgins
      • How to honor Aaron Swartz

        Rarely does the name of one person, lacking political office or seat of power, echo across the internet so thoroughly as it did in the wake of Aaron Swartz’s death. How was the work of one person revered by so many, from the front page of every major paper in the US, to radical communities working against various axis of oppression?

      • Aaron’s Law, Drafting the Best Limits of the CFAA, And A Reader Poll on A Few Examples
      • More Thoughts on the Six CFAA Scenarios About Authorized Access vs. Unauthorized Access
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    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  2. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  3. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  4. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  5. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  6. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  7. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  8. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  9. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day



  10. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software



  11. The Microsoft Patent Trolls: Android Extortion, Vringo Versus Google, and Intellectual Ventures

    Roundup of news about patent aggression by Microsoft and some of its proxies



  12. Links 16/8/2014: Microsoft Linux, US Government Turns to Free Software

    Links for the day



  13. Links 15/8/2014: Reiser4 in Headlines Again, GNOME and KDE Events Finish

    Links for the day



  14. Links 14/8/2014: Kernel Summit Coming, KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

    Links for the day



  15. Shameless Microsoft Spin is Blaming China for Microsoft's Misconduct and Back Doors While Justifying Massive Losses in Hardware (Made in China)

    A new look at how Microsoft-friendly media takes negative Microsoft news and turns that news into some kind of scandals where Microsoft is the victim



  16. Microsoft Spin in the Media Evokes 'New Microsoft' and New Back Doors

    Some new examples of Microsoft boosters rewriting history, characterising Microsoft as a FOSS champion, and generally weak/shallow reporting on Microsoft's audio/video surveillance software



  17. Links 13/8/2014: GNU/Linux as Winner, New Snowden Interview

    Links for the day



  18. Reader's Article: Skype Spying Reaches New Levels of Blatant

    Forced 'upgrades' of Skype give useds [sic.] of Skype more than they asked for



  19. The Problem is Software Patents (and Scope), Not Patent Trolls Who Abuse Them Just Like Large Corporations

    Reminder of the dangers of losing sight of the real patent problem, which is the patents themselves, not necessarily those who use them



  20. Fraud in the USPTO and CAFC Helped Apple Launch Frivolous Patent Lawsuits Against Linux/Android, Based on New Withdrawals

    Inherent corruption in the US system has aided Apple's assault on east Asian electronics giants that use Linux at the core of their products



  21. Investigation Reveals That USPTO is Corrupt, Time to Abolish It or Annul Nearly a Million Patents

    Corruption is found at the heart of the USPTO and the USPTO works hard to hide it, despite attempt by whistleblowers to bring this corruption to light



  22. Links 13/8/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta, Tizen in Watches

    Links for the day



  23. Links 12/8/2014: Chromebooks Surge, OpenGL in the Headlines

    Links for the day



  24. Bill Gates is Profiting By Diverting Public Money to His Own Pocket and Reducing Wages

    Gates' lobbying for companies he is an investor of and for lower salaries inside companies he is investing in (and managing) comes as no surprise



  25. Microsoft is Still Attacking Open Standards, So Khronos Does Not Need the Microsoft Moles

    Having attacked the industry's document standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) while pretending to have 'embraced' ODF Microsoft is now pretending that it is eager to support OpenGL



  26. Another Depressing Look at the Patent Systems in the US and in Europe

    A roundup of news about patent monopolies and in particular the immense power wielded by giant multi-national corporations that steer the debate and acquire trans-Atlantic monopolies on ideas, always against citizens' interests



  27. Links 11/8/2014: DEFT 8.2, Linux Mint on Debian Stable

    Links for the day



  28. Links 9/8/2014: Knoppix 7.4.0, GNU Linux Libre 3.16

    Links for the day



  29. Links 8/8/2014: Qt a Separate Company Again, KDE Frameworks 5.1 Released

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft's Android Lawsuit Against Samsung Shows That Windows is Dead Beef

    Microsoft resorts to AstroTurfing, lawsuits, vapourware, and attack ads, revealing that it is a feeble aggressor whose only remaining hope for revival is destruction of rivals


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