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Links 6/2/2013: Wine Becomes Handy, AMD Open Source Drivers

Posted in News Roundup at 9:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • A Conversation with the President of the Open Source Initiative (Video)
  • Open-source social-mobile games platform OpenKit goes into closed-beta test
  • Open Source Gaming Backend OpenKit Plans Private Beta Launch Tomorrow, Raises Another $100K
  • 500 devs sign up to OpenFeint co-founder Relan’s open source service platform OpenKit
  • Preferable Way to Develop Web Applications Is Open Source Development

    Open Source development is a Web Development methodology, which offers practical ownership and total accessibility to a product’s source code. It harnesses transparency of the process. The aphorism of open source development is yielding better quality and flexibility.

    It is most certainly relevant today as we tend to term attractive websites as more popular. In order to craft such an ‘attractive’ website for your business, open source is the best stage to begin with. It is a platform where the source code of the program is accessible to the community which means it is open to change. You can add, update or alter the original code; which you cannot think of doing with proprietary software!

  • Software innovation will blast monolithic hardware

    The forward “predictions for 2013″ pre-Christmas honeymoon is now thankfully over. Time enough then… for a serious look at software futures.

  • Open source

    It was a pleasure to read the excellent article drawing parallels between Mirza Ghalib’s legendary work and the mammoth achievements of the Free and Open Source Software community (Feb. 2). Computing is not just about driving a chip using a few lines of code. Unless a programmer understands the part he or she plays in the continuous and ever evolving drive for academic excellence, society cannot expect him or her to deliver a new and sophisticated tool to help humanity attain new heights. A FOSS programmer has a great sense of responsibility because of the overwhelming number of socially responsible computing geniuses involved in the community. Rahul De’ has rightly pointed out the peer review mechanism followed in the FOSS community, which results in programmers striving for logically correct and efficient programs.

  • Developer interview: DOS is (long) dead, long live FreeDOS

    It is a terrifying thought that many people under 30 will never see a “C:\>” prompt, let alone an “A:\>”. But although as far as Microsoft is concerned DOS has been dead pretty much since Windows 95 went gold, it wasn’t quite the end of the road for the operating system.

  • What next for IcedTea?

    Six years after the launch of the IcedTea project, developer Andrew John Hughes feels that it’s time to take stock. Questions were previously raised over the role of the project, which aims to make it possible to use OpenJDK using only free software build tools for GNU/Linux platforms, when OpenJDK 7 was released.

  • 75 Top Open Source Tools for Protecting Your Privacy

    As mobile technology and social networking have become commonplace, so have concerns about privacy. In fact, nearly every day the media covers stories about identity theft, social networking “pranks” gone wrong, companies with shady privacy policies and repressive governments that censor and monitor online activities.

  • Open Source Meter Launches Products on Amazon

    Open Source Meter, Inc., announces that it now offers its industry standard transformer directly to the end customer through Amazon. By selling through Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon), Open Source Meter can offer customers the lowest cost shipping and the fastest turnaround the industry has to offer, reducing product lead times from weeks to overnight. The transformers being offered are Magnelab brand Split-core transformer (SCT) series (http://amzn.to/XwrzP2). Open Source Meter offers a full suite of 38 different types of transformer options broken down into SCT-400, SCT-750, SCT-1250, SCT-2000 and SCT-3000 models.

  • Facebook deploys Opscode’s open-source-based IT management software
  • When open-source eats itself, we win

    In some markets, open source rules the roost. For example, Drupal, Joomla, my old company Alfresco and other open-source content management systems regularly duke it out for supremacy, depending on the workload. In application servers, JBoss and Tomcat spar. In cloud, Cloudstack, Eucalyptus, OpenStack, and others battle.

    But web servers? That’s a market that Apache won ages ago, with no open-source competition to speak of.

    That is, until recently.

  • 23 of Netcraft’s Top 40 Hosting Sites Run GNU/Linux
  • Survey Reveals Some Open Source Surprises

    LinuxQuestions is out with results from its annual Members Choice Awards survey, which highlights favorite open source platforms and applications, ranging from favorite Linux distros to favorite new innovative hardware ideas in the open source realm. Probably, if asked to guess which Linux distro was rated the favorite, many readers would guess Linux Mint or Ubuntu, but that’s not the favorite. Here is what the survey respondents had to say.

  • Open source tackles city permit process with OpenCounter

    The City of Santa Cruz is the smallest community to ever partner with Code for America, but it had one of the largest problems to solve: how to make it easier to take an idea for a small business from conception to reality. From a concept to a permit.

    They created an online permitting portal OpenCounter. The portal launched on Wednesday January 9, after an intense year of development, testing, and refinement. So how did they do it?

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Google and Mozilla show off video chat between Chrome and Firefox thanks to WebRTC support
    • Hello Chrome, it’s Firefox calling!

      Mozilla is excited to announce that we’ve achieved a major milestone in WebRTC development: WebRTC RTCPeerConnection interoperability between Firefox and Chrome. This effort was made possible because of the close collaboration between the open Web community and engineers from both Mozilla and Google.
      RTCPeerConnection (also known simply as PeerConnection or PC) interoperability means that developers can now create Firefox WebRTC applications that make direct audio/video calls to Chrome WebRTC applications without having to install a third-party plugin. Because the functionality is now baked into the browser, users can avoid problems with first-time installs and buggy plugins, and developers can deploy their apps much more easily and universally.

    • Hello Firefox, this is Chrome calling!
  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open Source OpenStack Folsom Cloud Updated for 51 Bugs

      A simple truth that many open source platform users know well is that often initial releases still have (a few) bugs. Real world usage tends to shake things out better than any beta or dev process ever could.

      With the open source OpenStack cloud platform, the most recent Folsom release debuted in September of 2012. It is now being updated to version 2012.2.3, fixing at least 51 known bugs and at least two serious security issues.

    • OpenStack, Lock-In, Support Costs, and Open Source Free Lunches
    • Top 5 Open Source Projects in Big Data – Breaking Analysis

      Big Data is a booming area that is receiving more widespread attention, especially since technology research company Gartner has projected that Big Data will drive $34 billion in IT spending in 2013. Abhishek Mehta, founder of Tresata, joined Kristin Feledy on the Morning NewsDesk Show to give his perspective on what’s happening in Big Data.

  • Databases

    • Oracle Releases Open Source MySQL 5.6 with NoSQL Features

      Over the course of the last two years, Oracle has been hard at work building and improving MySQL 5.6. Today at long last, that hard work has come to fruition with the general availability of the open source MySQL 5.6 database.

      The first MySQL 5.6 preview debuted in July of 2011, while the last official main MySQL release was version 5.5 which was released at the end of 2010.

    • MySQL 5.6 Reaches General Availability
  • Education

  • Business

  • Funding


    • GnuCash for Android v1.1.1 is now available

      GnuCash for Android updated to version 1.1.1 today. This latest release fixes numerous bugs and adds support for double-entry accounting. Double-entry accounting allows every transaction to be a transfer from one account to another. For example, every addition to your “Expenses” account can make your “Checking” account go down by the same amount.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Industry Q&A: Open Source in Government

      With leadership from the White House, and success stories throughout the government spectrum, clearly open source solutions are gaining ground against proprietary software solutions in the public domain. Government Technology talked to Gunnar Hellekson, Chief Technology Strategist for Red Hat Public Sector, to get his perspective on the open source phenomenon. Hellekson covers the federal, state, local and education markets in the U.S. for Red Hat.

    • Levelling the playing field: open source in the public sector
    • Government to switch to open source

      The government decision to purchase Microsoft software licenses and products to upgrade government agencies at a cost exceeding $43m has triggered anger among activists and specialists, who called the decision a waste of money and asked the government to use free open source software (FOSS), instead, last December.

      Mohamed Hanafy, the spokesman of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, stated that the Microsoft deal will be the last and that the shift towards Open Source will be gradual. “We cannot shift to Open Source overnight”.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open-source green technology farm helps the developing world

      The ECHO Farm in Southwest Florida serves a special purpose. The non-profit helps aid workers in developing countries use the best sustainable farming tools and techniques in ways that would make MacGyver proud.

    • MIT Builds An Open-Source Platform For Your Body

      MIT Media Lab’s 11-day health care hackathon pulled students and big companies together with a common goal: Healing a broken industry.

    • MIT sets sights on open-source mHealth during innovation event

      The MIT Media Lab’s eleven-day Health and Wellness Hackathon is not your average gadget exhibition. Bringing together eighty participants from around the world, the annual event, which was held in January, is designed to inspire new ways to fix an age old problem: how to use technology to prevent illnesses before they start. Focusing on the use of standardized, interoperable, open-source platforms, the six teams spent nearly two weeks thinking up apps and home medical devices that would tear down proprietary software barriers and help patients take charge of their healthcare.

    • Open-source Death Star revived on Kickstarter after White House snub
    • Open-source electrical engineering design tools

      Have you tried these, or other, EE tools? What EE tools do you prefer? Please comment below.

    • Open Data

    • Open Access/Content

      • Retreating rebels burn Timbuktu’s science manuscripts

        IT IS what conservators, archivists and researchers have feared. As French and Malian troops advanced on Timbuktu in northern Mali earlier this week, retreating Islamist fighters have tried to destroy valuable scientific texts dating back to medieval times.

        The documents were housed at the city’s Ahmed Baba Institute and in a warehouse, both of which were set alight. It is unclear how many of the institute’s 30,000 or so manuscripts have been destroyed. The texts, which were being digitised, show that science was under way in Africa before European settlers arrived in the 16th century.

        George Abungu, vice-president of the executive committee of the International Council of Museums, describes the burning as “an incredible loss to Africa’s heritage, a backward move to the dark ages”. He says there is no way the Islamists “can claim to be Africans when they destroy the very foundation of our contribution to world knowledge and academia”.

      • Rebooting Computer Crime Law Part 2: Protect Tinkerers, Security Researchers, Innovators, and Privacy Seekers
      • A tribute to Aaron Swartz

        I would like to thank Senator Cash for taking up the issue of female genital mutilation with such passion. I rise to make some remarks about some of the perverse consequences that can come into play when governments-and most notably our Australian government-react or overreact to cyber threats. It makes me edgy whenever this government adds the word ‘cyber’ to anything. You tend to have to watch your back when that is occurring. I do not want to downplay the very real threats of identity theft and misappropriation, phishing attempts on people’s accounts and these sorts of things, cyber bullying and the other array of threats that people do face in the online environment. But I am also aware that we run the risk-and the Australian government is running this risk at the moment-of running these campaigns of hyperventilation and pumping up threat and fear as though this is where we are meant to transfer our fear of terrorists, that the internet is the new domain of terror and the best way to protect ourselves is to submit to perpetual ongoing, online surveillance by government policing and other agencies.

      • We Need to Think Beyond the Aaron in ‘Aaron’s Law’

        The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)’s disproportionate penalties and lack of nuance played a role in Aaron Swartz’ prosecution and likely in his subsequent suicide. So three weeks ago, California Representative Zoe Lofgren introduced “Aaron’s Law” to update the CFAA.

        Lofgren modified Aaron’s Law based on community feedback and released the updated version this past Friday. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has also proposed much-needed changes to CFAA’s penalty provisions. The law has yet to go before Congress, but these efforts matter.

      • Anonymous Claims Wall Street Data Dump

        Hacktivist group publishes 4,000 passwords as part of Operation Last Resort campaign seeking revenge for the treatment of Internet activist Aaron Swartz.

      • Aaron Swartz Memorial On Capitol Hill Draws Darrell Issa, Elizabeth Warren
      • Drafting Problems With the Second Version of “Aaron’s Law” from Rep. Lofgren
    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • Python gets a big data boost from DARPA

      DARPA (the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has awarded $3 million to software provider Continuum Analytics to help fund the development of Python’s data processing and visualization capabilities for big data jobs.

    • Perl Foundation looking to extend Improving Perl 5 grant

      Since September 2011, Nicholas Clark has been working on improving the Perl 5 Core, funded by a $20,000 grant from the Perl Foundation. The term of the work is coming to an end and Clark is now seeking another $20,000 to continue the work of the original Improving Perl 5 grant. The Foundation is consulting with the community before making the final decision whether to go ahead with the extension which would see Clark devoting another 400 hours of dedicated work to the project.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The Groovy Conundrum

      Groovy is one of the most-interesting JVM languages, but its longtime performance issues kept it confined to narrow niches. However, a series of important upgrades look like they might push the language into the mainstream. There’s the conundrum.


  • What about the elderly?

    Those are some of the issues that I could think of. The list is far from being all-inclusive or comprehensive, but I think it sheds light on some of the aspects of what Linux is all about. Now, I do not say we should all make operating systems as if everyone was elderly and/or very set in their ways. After all, thirty years from now, young people of today will be the senior citizens of the future, with their own set of ideas and technologies.

    But the development should be focused on making operating systems appeal to the widest cross-section of users. This also means designing products that scale well with time. If your desktop is peppered with online integration and social icons, the moment those networks go out of spotlight, your very model loses its own validity.

  • Read a Lawyer’s Amazingly Detailed Analysis of Bilbo’s Contract in The Hobbit

    Ordinarily I don’t discuss legal issues relating to fictional settings that are dramatically different from the real world in terms of their legal system. Thus, Star Wars, Star Trek, Tolkien’s Middle Earth, etc. are usually off-limits because we can’t meaningfully apply real-world law to them. But the contract featured in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was just too good a topic to pass up, especially since you can buy a high-quality replica of it that is over 5 feet long unfolded.

  • Court Rules Icelandic “Girl” Can Use Her Own Name

    The Reykjavik District Court has ruled that a 15-year-old Icelandic girl can legally use the first name “Blaer,” reversing a contrary decision by government officials. Iceland has strict naming laws that require, among other things, that names fit standard grammar and pronunciation rules and be gender-appropriate. According to the report, the relevant committee refused to approve Blaer Bjarkardottir’s first name because she is a girl and the panel viewed the name as “too masculine.”
    To date, the government has referred to the girl only as “Girl.”


    Whatever we may think of the country’s naming laws, Iceland gets some respect from me because their word for “email address” is the totally awesome netfang, which the rest of the world should start using immediately.

  • Getting rid of telemarketers with a Banana Phone
  • Science

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • Noam Chomsky: Who Owns the World?

      World War II is when the United States really became a global power. It had been the biggest economy in the world by far for long before the war, but it was a regional power in a way. It controlled the Western Hemisphere and had made some forays into the Pacific. But the British were the world power.

      World War II changed that. The United States became the dominant world power. The U.S. had half the world’s wealth. The other industrial societies were weakened or destroyed. The U.S. was in an incredible position of security. It controlled the hemisphere, and both the Atlantic and the Pacific, with a huge military force.

    • Obama’s bankster bromance

      The White House is holding a meeting today with a number of business leaders to discuss the President’s economic agenda, including immigration. This is encouraging, as it will be important to get leaders on board with reforming immigration rules.

      What’s less encouraging is that the President continues to treat Goldman Sach’s CEO Lloyd Blankfein like he’s royalty.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Google’s Eric Schmidt on ‘Hidden People’ and ‘Virtual Genocide’

      ‘No hidden people allowed’: “If you don’t have any registered social-networking profiles or mobile subscriptions, and online references to you are unusually hard to find, you might be considered a candidate for such a registry.”

    • EXCLUSIVE – Petraeus: The Plot Thickens

      Petraeus was suspected of having an extramarital affair nearly two years earlier than previously known.


      According to internal emails of the Austin-based private intelligence firm Stratfor, General David Petraeus was drawing attention to his private life much earlier than previously believed. Because it was his private life that resulted in his being forced out as CIA director, alterations in our understanding of the time frame are significant.

    • Court: Gov’t Can Secretly Obtain Email, Twitter Info from Ex-WikiLeaks Volunteer Jacob Appelbaum

      A federal appeals court has ruled the government can continue to keep secret its efforts to pursue the private information of Internet users without a warrant as part of its probe into the WikiLeaks. The case involved three people connected to the whistleblowing website whose Twitter records were sought by the government, including computer security researcher Jacob Appelbaum and Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jónsdóttir.

    • Part 2: Daniel Ellsberg and Jacob Appelbaum on the NDAA, WikiLeaks and Unconstitutional Surveillance
    • Tor projects win two Access Innovation Awards

      In December I attended the award ceremony for the 2012 Access Innovation Awards. Their finalists included three projects that Tor maintains or co-maintains: OONI (a framework for writing open network censorship measurement tests, and for making the results available in an open way; see its git repo), Flash Proxy (a creative way to let people run Tor bridges in their browser just by visiting a website; see its git repo), and HTTPS Everywhere (a Firefox extension to force https connections for websites that support https but don’t use it by default; see its git repo). Of these, OONI and Flash Proxy ended up being winners in their respective categories.

    • The End of Privacy and Freedom of Thought?

      Telstra is implementing deep packet inspection technology to throttle peer to peer sharing over the internet.

  • Civil Rights

    • Berners-Lee’s web warning

      Another key weakness in Australia’s response to the digital economy is our habit of guarding data…

    • FBI told to leave Iceland – Took a boy with them

      Mr. Kristinn Hrafnsson, Wikileaks spokesperson, said last week that representatives from the FBI came to Iceland in August 2011. The Icelandic Minister of the Interior confirmed this the same day and said that when he became aware of the FBI in Iceland he cancelled all cooperation with the FBI and told the representatives to leave.

    • orized FBI Questioning of Icelandi

      In late summer 2011, FBI agents questioned an 18-year-old Icelandic boy on matters which, according to them, concerned national security. The boy was connected to WikiLeaks. The questioning took place against the wishes of Icelandic authorities.

      On the evening of August 23, 2011, the boy, whose identity Icelandic national broadcaster RÚV decided not to reveal, came forward to the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavík with information he said concerned possible hacking into the Icelandic government offices’ computer system.


      Kristinn Hrafnsson told RÚV that the boy had worked on some projects for WikiLeaks as a volunteer for several months.

    • Controversy over FBI Visit to Iceland Continues

      Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson also maintains that the FBI arrived in the country without permission and without the knowledge of the Icelandic government, visir.is reports. Össur rejects the explanation of the Icelandic police that there was a connection between the visit of the FBI agents and a separate visit of FBI experts a month earlier to investigate an impending computer attack.

    • Call to Action! Appeals Court Date – Feb. 6, 2013
    • No-fly lists: A new tactic of exile?

      The counterterror list of individuals unable to fly to or from the U.S. is growing, but due process sorely lacks

    • Rllsberg: NDAA Indefinite Detention Provision Is Part of “Systematic Assault on Constitution”

      A lawsuit challenging a law that gives the government the power to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens is back in federal court this week. On Wednesday, a group of academics, journalists and activists will present oral arguments in court against a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, authorizing the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world without charge or trial. In a landmark ruling last September, Judge Katherine Forrest of the Southern District of New York struck down the indefinite detention provision, saying it likely violates the First and Fifth Amendments of U.S. citizens. We’re joined by Daniel Ellsberg, a plaintiff in the case and perhaps the country’s most famous whistleblower. Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, exposing the secret history of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

    • Court Hears Arguments On US Government’s Ability To Indefinitely Detain Citizens
    • NDAA: One Of the Most Dangerous Laws in Over a Century
    • Bipartisan Washington State Bills Would Nullify NDAA “Indefinite Detention”
    • Bahrain – The Forgotten Revolution

      In late 2010 we witnessed the beginning of a series of events that would radically alter the political and social landscapes of the Middle East and Northern Africa. These events, which later became known as the “Arab Spring”, began with an unprecedented wave of pro-democracy protests against the various authoritarian regimes of the region. Beginning with demonstrations in Tunisia against the 23 year rule of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali that soon led to the dictator fleeing the country, the spirit of revolution quickly spread to the country’s neighbors as well. In Egypt large protests broke out in the now-famous Tahrir Square against the Mubarak regime, resulting in his eventual overthrow. Libya was next, which saw an armed rebellion against Muammer Gadaffi ending with the dictator’s death in October 2011. Yemen too witnessed protests and violence causing longtime president Abdullah Saleh’s eventual resignation. These monumental power shifts captured the world’s attention and indeed still continue to dominate headlines with the descent of Syria into civil war following the Assad regime’s brutal repression of similar protests and the controversial new Islamist-led government of Egypt.

    • Former FBI official questioned on role in abuse of intelligence-gathering tools

      A senior Republican lawmaker is looking into allegations that a former general counsel of the FBI bore greater responsibility for abuses of surveillance authorities than previously known.


      Human rights organisations file formal complaints against surveillance software firms Gamma International and Trovicor with British and German governments.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Tech, telecom giants take sides as FCC proposes large public WiFi networks

      The federal government wants to create super WiFi networks across the nation, so powerful and broad in reach that consumers could use them to make calls or surf the Internet without paying a cellphone bill every month.

    • No, free Wi-Fi isn’t coming to every US city
    • No one should control Web: Berners-Lee

      The creator of the World Wide Web warned not to hand over power of his invention to the government.

      Speaking last night at a lecture hosted by Sydney’s University of Technology, Tim Berners-Lee said the Internet should remain independent in the same way as journalism.

      “If you’re going to give the government the ability to spy on people and the ability to block” websites they don’t like, “you’ve got to have a lot of trust in that government,” Berners-Lee said.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • EFF Joins 24 US Civil Society Groups in Demanding a Baseline of Transparency in TPP Negotiations

      With every coming round of negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—a trade agreement that carries intellectual property provisions that could have hugely harmful consequences for the Internet and our digital rights—the Office of the US Trade Representative has continually whittled away at any remaining opportunity for the public to have input into the drafting process. The TPP has been under negotiation for three years and the opaqueness has only worsened.

    • Copyrights

      • Site plagiarizes blog posts, then files DMCA takedown on originals

        A dizzying story that involves falsified medical research, plagiarism, and legal threats came to light via a DMCA takedown notice today. Retraction Watch, a site that followed (among many other issues) the implosion of a Duke cancer researcher’s career, found all of its articles on the topic pulled by WordPress, its host. The reason? A small site based in India apparently copied all of the posts, claimed them as their own, and then filed a DMCA takedown notice to get the originals pulled from their source. As of now, the originals are still missing as their actual owners seek to have them restored.

      • Site plagiarizes blog posts, then files DMCA takedown on originals
      • What is the government’s interest in copyright? Not that of the public.

        Like many other geeklaw & policy folks, I was baffled from the get-go by the decisions of federal prosecutors to pursue massive criminal charges against Aaron Swartz for downloading papers from JSTOR. I could understand that his activities constituted problematic behavior, but not the blustering punitive response.

        If Aaron’s wrongful act was unauthorizedly copying articles, copyright law would seem to have been the appropriate venue for a response. JSTOR declined to bring a civil suit against Swartz. State officials had no intention of bringing criminal charges against him, either. But then the federal prosecutors stepped in, and charges blossomed all over the place. But -not copyright charges-.

      • New UK Copyright Research Center Immediately Under Attack For Daring To Ask About Evidence

        As Techdirt reported last year, some copyright maximalists in the UK seem to be against the whole idea of basing policy on evidence. Last week saw the launch of CREATe: Creativity, Regulation, Enterprise and Technology, a new UK “research centre for copyright and new business models in the creative economy.” One of the things it hopes to do is to bring some objectivity to the notoriously contentious field of copyright studies by looking at what the evidence really says; so it was perhaps inevitable that it too would meet some resistance from the extremist wing of the copyright world

      • High Court in key ruling on Usenet piracy profits

        The movie industry has no rights to the profits made by the owner of Usenet-indexing website Newzbin2 by infringing on copyrights, the England and Wales High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, has ruled.

      • European Court Of Human Rights: No, Copyright Does Not Automatically Trump Freedom Of Expression

        As many know, copyright had its origins in censorship and control. But over the last few hundred years, that fact has been obscured by the rise of the powerful publishing industry and the great works it has helped bring to the public. More recently, though, laws and treaties like SOPA and ACTA have represented a return to the roots of copyright, posing very real threats to what can be said online. That’s not because their intent was necessarily to crimp freedom of expression, but as a knock-on effect of turning risk-averse ISPs into the copyright industry’s private police force.

      • It’s Time for a Fresh Look at Copyright Laws
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    Recalling the dirty tactics by which the European Patent Office sought to remove criticism of its dirty secret deals with large corporations, for whom it made available and was increasingly offering preferential treatment

  17. The European Private Office: What Was Once a Public Service is Now Crony Capitalism With Private Contractors

    The increasing privatisation of the European Patent Office (EPO), resembling what happens in the UK to the NHS, shows that the real goal is to crush the quality of the service and instead serve a bunch of rich and powerful interests, in defiance of the original goals of this well-funded (by taxpayers) organisation

  18. Microsoft Once Again Disregards People's Settings and Abuses Them, Again Pretends It's Just an Accident

    A conceited corporation, Microsoft, shows not only that it exploits its botnet to forcibly download massive binaries without consent but also that it vainly overrides people's privacy settings to spy on these people, sometimes with help from malicious hardware vendors such as Dell or Lenovo

  19. When the EPO Liaised With Capone (Literally) to Silence Bloggers, Delete Articles

    A dissection of the EPO's current media strategy, which involves not only funneling money into the media but also actively silencing opposing views

  20. Blogger Who Wrote About the EPO's Abuses Retires

    Bloggers' independent rebuttal capability against a media apparatus that is deep in the EPO's pocket is greatly diminished as Jeremy Phillips suddenly retires

  21. Leaked: EPO Award of €880,000 “in Order to Address the Media Presence of the EPO” (Reputation Laundering)

    The European Patent Office, a public body, wastes extravagant amounts of money on public relations (for 'damage control', like FIFA's) in an effort to undermine critics, not only among staff (internally) but also among the media (externally)

  22. Links 27/11/2015: KDE Plasma 5.5 Plans, Oracle Linux 7.2

    Links for the day

  23. Documents Needed: Contract or Information About EPO PR/Media Campaign to Mislead the World

    Rumour that the EPO spends almost as much as a million US dollars “with some selected press agencies to refurbish the image of the EPO”

  24. Guest Post: The EPO, EPC, Unitary Patent and the Money Issue

    Remarks on the Unitary Patent (UP) and the lesser-known aspects of the EPO and EPC, where the “real issue is money, about which very little is discussed in public...”

  25. Saving the Integrity of the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Some timely perspective on what's needed at the European Patent Office, which was detabilised by 'virtue' of making tyrants its official figureheads

  26. A Call for Bloggers and Journalists: Did EPO Intimidate and Threaten You Too? Please Speak Out.

    An effort to discover just how many people out there have been subjected to censorship and/or self-censorship by EPO aggression against the media

  27. European Patent Office (EPO) a “Kingdom Above the EU Countries, a Tyranny With ZERO Accountability”

    Criticism of the EPO's thuggish behaviour and endless efforts to crush dissenting voices by all means available, even when these means are in clear violation of international or European laws

  28. Links 26/11/2015: The $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, Running Sans Systemd Gets Hard

    Links for the day

  29. EPO Management Needs to Finally Recognise That It Itself is the Issue, Not the Staff or the Unions

    A showing of dissent even from the representatives whom the EPO tightly controls and why the latest union-busting goes a lot further than most people realise

  30. Even the EPO Central Staff Committee is Unhappy With EPO Management

    The questions asked by the Central Staff Committee shared for the public to see that not only a single union is concerned about the management's behaviour


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