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02.26.13

Links 26/2/2013: Linux Jobs Talking Points, HP Tablet Run Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 10:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Jobs in 2013, a Q&A with Dice’s Alice Hill

    The job market for Linux professionals this year is even better than it was in 2012. Ninety-three percent of hiring managers surveyed said they plan to hire at least one Linux pro in the next six months — up from 89 percent last year, according to the 2013 Linux Jobs Report released last week by Dice and The Linux Foundation. And 75 percent of Linux pros surveyed say at least one recruiter has called them in the last six months in an effort to find talent for positions that are getting harder to fill.

  • SPYRUS® Announces Secure Pocket Drive™ Build Your Own Linux Program
  • Booting desktop Linux on the Chromebook Pixel

    Bill Richardson, a software engineer for Google, has detailed how to boot a conventional Linux distribution on the company’s new Chromebook Pixel. Google released the Chromebook Pixel last week – the device costs £1,049, has a 13″ touchscreen with a resolution of 2560×1700 pixels, a 1.8GHz Core i5 CPU, 4GB RAM and 32GB (64GB for the LTE version) of internal SSD storage. Where previous Chromebooks only supported booting Google’s ChromeOS directly, the Pixel has an added option to support a third-party bootloader which enables it to be relatively easily modified to boot stock Linux desktop distributions.

  • Linux Foundation report: Linux professionals wanted

    The Linux Foundation has surveyed 850 hiring managers at small and medium businesses, larger corporations, government organisations and recruiting agencies, as well as 2,600 Linux professionals worldwide, about the state of the Linux job market for its 2013 Linux Jobs Report. The report was created in conjunction with the Dice.com career web site and concludes that 93% of the surveyed companies are planning to hire at least one Linux professional in the next six months and 90% said it was difficult to find people with the appropriate skill sets for these jobs.

  • Big Data Puts Linux Talent in Hot Demand
  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Sound To Be Improved In 3.9 Kernel

      Takashi Iwai has mailed in the sound updates for the Linux 3.9 kernel. This Git pull has the much anticipated HDA Intel audio re-work.

      The biggest highlight of the sound updates for Linux 3.9 is the unification of the HD Audio codec driver so that there’s now a generic parser that is used by each HDA codec driver. This big fundamental audio change is covered in more detail in the earlier Phoronix article.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Vivaldi tablet in harmony with new vendor

        KDE and Plasma developer Aaron Seigo has given an update on the state of the planned Vivaldi tablet in a video published on his YouTube channel. In the video, Seigo addresses new developments regarding the tablet, which was originally announced at the beginning of 2012. The team has apparently changed its plans and has designed its own, custom tablet hardware which should enter general production in about three months. According to Seigo, the manufacturer has now begun the tooling for the hardware. The last official statement on the project dates from September and cites a major setback.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Aims For Big Data
      • Red Hat Embraces Big Data, Contributes Hadoop Plug-In

        Red Hat Inc. on Wednesday announced the contribution of its Hadoop plug-in to the Apache open source community.

        Best known for its enterprise Linux distributions, Red Hat announced the open sourcing of its Red Hat Storage Hadoop plug-in as part of a broader announcement of a shift in direction toward embracing Big Data with an “open hybrid cloud” application platform and infrastructure.

        As explained by company executive Ranga Rangachari in a Webcast, the open hybrid cloud is designed to give companies the ability to create Big Data workloads on a public cloud and move them back and forth between their own private clouds, “without having to reprogram those applications.” Red Hat said in a news release that many companies use public clouds such as Amazon Web Services for developing software, proving concepts and pre-production phases of projects that use Big Data. “Workloads are then moved to their private clouds to scale up the analytics with the larger data set,” the company said.

      • Red Hat Fleshes Out Hadoop-focused Big Data Plans

        In addition to its focus on cloud computing, which will be led by an OpenStack-based distribution and robust support plans taking shape this year, Red Hat is also doublling down on its focus on Big Data. The company has announced that it “will contribute its Red Hat Storage Hadoop plug-in to the ApacheTM Hadoop open community to transform Red Hat Storage into a fully-supported, Hadoop-compatible file system for big data environments.” The goal is to be able to help companies put in place Big Data-crunching environments that work in conjunction with cutting-edge storage strategies.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 18 + MATE – Not bad for the first attempt

          For me, Fedora 18 Spherical Cow was a big disappointment, mostly because Fedora 17 was a big positive surprise. It’s like that woman who keeps smiling at you through the dinner and flirts with you, and then when you take her into your motel room, she suddenly starts crying. I mean what’s up with that.

        • The new Anaconda installer

          It’s no secret that the new Anaconda installer for Fedora 18 has caused a stir. As part of a major internal re-write, the user interface has been completely re-designed which has caused some confusion and there are bugs and missing features. This is why we included an install video in Korora 18, to help walk you through the process.

        • Fedora 18 – A Sysadmin’s view

          At our school we have around 100 desktops, a vast majority of which run Fedora, and somewhere around 900 users. We switched from Windows to Fedora shortly after Fedora 8 was released and we’ve hit 8, 10, 13, 16, and 17 (deploying a local koji instance has made it easier to upgrade).

    • Debian Family

      • Updated Debian 6.0: 6.0.7 released
      • Tails 0.17 is out
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Is Ubuntu Touch Just CyanogenMod With Unity On Top?

            Canonical took the entire IT world by storm with the back-to-back announcements of Ubuntu Phone and then Tablet OS. It’s looks really impressive in the video (since most of it is in developer preview stage and non working, we can’t comment how it will shape up). It was really impressive to see how Canonical managed to do develop Ubuntu Touch from ‘ground-up’.

          • Hey Canonical: I just tested Ubuntu for phones and I’m sold

            There’s a Key Lime Pie-size hole in the Android ecosystem, and Jelly Bean hasn’t filled the gap. Jelly Bean has suited me well for the past five months, but that doesn’t mean I’m not getting bored with it. I’m looking for more quick settings in the notification pull-down bar, an overhaul to the app drawer to add more icons per page, and a maximum CPU-clock speed to negate Project Butter’s battery drain effect.

          • Here’s A Look At Ubuntu For Tablets

            After Mark Shuttleworth kindly demonstrated Ubuntu Mobile for us at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, we’ve all been patiently wondering how different — or similar for that matter — it would look on a tablet. Wonder no longer with this here preview video!

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Ixonos Presents Fast Video Streaming and Modern Embedded LINUX BSP at Embedded World 2013
    • Wind River Joins OSADL to Advance Linux in Embedded and Industrial Designs

      Wind River®, a world leader in embedded and mobile software, has joined the Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL). With its membership, Wind River will collaborate with other OSADL members to further promote and support Linux solutions for the embedded and industrial markets.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • China’s Konka Launching ‘Expose’ Android Smartphone In India

          China-based Konka is all set to enter India with a range of Android smartphones. The company, in association with Mak Mobility, is planning to launch Android-powered Expose phone in India. The company said with Expose, it aims to target both photography enthusiasts and discerning smartphone users.

          After launching Expose in the Indian market, the company has plans to come up with a few more handsets including ‘Tuxedo’ for business executives and Tango smartphones for music lovers.

        • Huawei Reveals the World’s Fastest 4G LTE Smartphone
        • CoolShip Android all-in-keyboard computer
        • Slate 7 Is HP’s First Android-Powered Tablet

          Long after giving up on TouchPads and other mobile devices, HP has made a tablet comeback with the announcement of its first Android device, the HP Slate 7. With a starting price of $169, it is likely to be launched in the United States in April this year.

          Talking about the specs, the Slate 7 is a 7-inch tablet that runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS. With a soft-touch rubber exterior, the device sports a dual-core 1.6GHz ARM Cortex-A9 chip, 1024 x 600 resolution FFS+ LCD touchscreen display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of solid state storage (expandable via microSD), 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1. It has a front-facing VGA webcam and a 3-megapixel rear camera. The speakers have Beats Audio processing with a stainless steel frame.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • HP lets loose Android-based Slate 7 tablet starting at $169

        Hewlett-Packard has reentered the consumer tablet market with the Slate 7, an Android-based device with a 7-inch screen that will start at US$169.

        The Slate 7 will run Android 4.1, also known as Jellybean, and have a dual-core processor based on ARM’s Cortex-A9 design. It will start shipping in the U.S. in April, HP said. It didn’t provide availability details for other countries.

      • And Now, Ubuntu for Tablets – Wait, What?

        “On the one hand, a real Linux tablet is very attractive,” said Google+ blogger Kevin O’Brien. “On the other hand, what will the ecosystem look like? Will there be all of the apps I want? … There is a tendency still for companies to not create Linux clients for popular apps. So will there be Kindle app for Ubuntu? An Evernote app? What about all of the Google apps?”

      • Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z Can Really Make a Splash

        Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z is getting some second looks, with its slim-line design and trove of advanced features — not to mention its ability to take a bathtub dunking in stride. It’s a full-size tablet at 10.1 inches, but it’s only a quarter inch thick and weighs just over a pound. It’s also PlayStation certified.

      • Sony Launches Waterproof Xperia Tablet Z At MWC
      • Should Google Be Worried About Samsung’s Dominance?

        Samsung has turned Android into the leading player in the smartphone segment pushing Apple to the second position. The company is far ahead of the other Android players who have failed to mark any significant presence in the market, whether it be LG, Sony or HTC. This huge gap between Samsung and the rest of the Android players has started to worry Google, the company which created Android.

      • Ubuntu Now Available on Tablets — If You Have a Nexus 7

Free Software/Open Source

  • News: OpenSUSE’s Jos Poortvliet: Collaborate or Die
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla reveals Firefox smartphone launch partners

        The not-for-profit organisation behind the Firefox web browser has announced handsets based on its operating system for mobile phones.

        In a press conference ahead of Mobile World Congress, Mozilla said that 18 operators including Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica, were signed up.

      • Firefox to begin blocking third-party cookies by default

        Firefox is giving people concerned about their online privacy another reason to like the popular browser.

        It will begin blocking cookies from third-party advertisers in an upcoming release. While Firefox users can already use the Do Not Track extension to stave them off, the patch will allow the browser to do it by default. That means sites you’ve visited can leave cookies on your computer but ad networks that don’t already have one on your machine can’t.

      • Firefox Will Soon Block Third-Party Cookies
      • Firefox maker Mozilla to launch smartphone operating system
      • Mozilla Introduces Firefox 19 – Seamless PDF Viewing

        In the World Wide Web, the latest in technology and knowledge base production begets the latest in browsers. And with innovations seemingly limitless, there is no reason why browser development—literally our window into the web—should lag behind.

        With this logic to stay up-to-date and even take the lead probably in mind, Mozilla introduces Firefox 19 for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. This latest and most up-to-date Firefox version features a cross-platform built-in PDF viewer within the latest Firefox browser. This improvement offers a safer and more seamless PDF viewing experience on any desktop and theme support on Google’s Android mobile platform.

      • WebRTC – Ringing A Mobile Phone Near You
      • Mobile operators look to Firefox to beat back Google, Apple

        Jumping into bed with Apple was a mistake for the mobile operators. Firefox is their second attempt at a solution.

        Apple was a mistake because operators gave away all their apps revenue to Cupertino, and that cash would have come in handy as voice and SMS cashflow declined. Instead, Apple was allowed to break all the rules – side loading, its own ecosystem, a share of revenues and many more.

      • MWC: Mozilla Showcases First Firefox OS Phones

        Unlocking the power of the Web on mobile, Mozilla on Sunday announced the first phones powered by its HTML5-focused Firefox mobile operating system (OS) at the Mobile World Congress. The Alcatel One Touch Fire and the ZTE Open are the first Firefox OS phones which, Mozilla said, are coming this summer. These two phones will come with Nokia’s Here Maps application preloaded, along with deep Facebook integration.

      • Firefox OS Has Surprising Support Coming Out of the Gate

        In conjunction with the Mobile World Congress conference, Mozila has officially taken the wraps off of its plans for Firefox OS, the mobile operating system that could represent the future of the company. Firefox OS is a free operating system that puts open web standards first, and the initial telcos that will deliver phones and services for it are known. LG Electronics, ZTE and Alcatel One Touch will all ship Firefox OS phones in the coming months. Chinese company Huawei is on board as well, and ZTE has a strong presence in China. Several analysts have already noted that Firefox OS has more support from hardware makers than Android had early on.

        Sometimes people forget how very young Android is. It was only back in 2009 that we were wondering why HTC was the only committed hardware backer of Android. Fast-forward to today, and Android leads the mobile phone market. Can the same happen to Firefox OS?

      • Mozilla Unlocks the Power of the Web on Mobile with Firefox OS
      • Firefox Launches ‘Nuclear First Strike Against Ad Industry’

        Firefox will now automatically block all third-party cookies, a crucial tool to help advertisers track users, and the ad industry is not happy about it.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • WebDAV Direct
    • The great 4.0 wrap-up

      We had an amazing success with the release of LibreOffice 4.0. New website pages, a flurry of articles (Time Magazine, ZDNet, TechCrunch Ars Technica, Computerworld, Slashdot, just to name a few), and a generally good feedback. We’re collecting as much data as we can to see how far we went in terms of downloads, but empirically we can already say that it was a success. The infra team worked hard to handle a huge load of visits and downloads; a major “Tweetstorm” that lasted for about 9 hours, and web trends that now show that this release was a major milestone in pushing the brand “LibreOffice” across the Internet. One thing is sure: we went out of this release in a different state we entered it.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Hungarian government confirms its plans for an open source resource centre

      The government of Hungary is creating a resource centre to help the country’s public administrations implement free and open source software and open standards. One of the main goals of the centre is to make public administrations aware of the free and open source alternatives to proprietary ICT solutions.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Awards offer €15,000 in prizes for open humanities projects

      We are excited to announce the first ever Open Humanities Awards. There are €15,000 worth of prizes on offer for 3-5 projects that use open content, open data, or open source tools to further humanities teaching and research. Whether you’re interested in patterns of allusion in Aristotle, networks of correspondence in the Jewish Enlightenment, or digitising public domain editions of Dante, we’d love to hear about the kinds of open projects that could support your interest!

    • Open Data

      • Public servants baulk at FOI changes

        The public service is revolting against reforms brought in by the federal government to make it easier and cheaper for people to use freedom-of-information laws.
        Nearly all public service departments have made a submission to a review of the laws saying the changes have created more work than they can handle and question whether the changes are delivering ”value for money” for the government.

        Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/public-servants-baulk-at-foi-changes-20130224-2ezmu.html#ixzz2LvIMrItB

    • Open Access/Content

      • DOJ Admits It Had To Put Aaron Swartz In Jail To Save Face Over The Arrest

        The odd thing is this little tidbit comes at the very, very end of a longer article, most of which focuses on the DOJ telling Congressional staffers that part of the reason they went after Swartz with such zeal was because of his infamous Guerilla Open Access Manifesto. That might explain why they were so eager to arrest him, but it seems like the much bigger deal, considering all the concern about prosecutor discretion, that after they arrested him, they then didn’t want to look bad, which is why they continued to demand jailtime and felony convictions.

        Many people have assumed all along that the Manifesto played a big role in the case — and the Manifesto has certainly been a lightening rod concerning Swartz’s activities. If you read the actual “manifesto” it’s not quite as extreme as some make it out to be — with much of it talking about taking stuff that is public domain, but still hidden behind walls, and making that available again. The controversial bit really is this paragraph, which starts out with legal activities, but gets much more ambiguous at the end:

  • Programming

    • LiveCode is next generation version of HyperCard

      LiveCode is like a next generation version of HyperCard. It is used to create simple one-off apps and utilities to solve day-to-day problems. As a production-quality, natural language hypermedia environment, LiveCode runs on all major operating systems (Linux, Mac, and Windows) and can generate code for all major desktop platforms, as well as all major mobile platforms (Android, iOS). They even got it up and running on the Raspberry Pi recently.

    • Ruby 2.0.0-p0 is released

Leftovers

  • Stunned by the friendliness of a stranger

    I am stunned. And speechless. And can hardly believe the fact that this person actually decided to help me. And that the reason behind it was a reason I try to live myself: helping others where you can so that they help others, to make this blue marble a better place. To actually help someone you never met and most likely will never meet who is living thousands of kilometers away, is a beautiful thing to do. And just gave me a bit more faith in humanity.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Is Your Local Police Department Using Pictures of Pregnant Women and Children for Target Practice?

      What if I told you police in your town could desensitize themselves to the idea of shooting a (armed) child, pregnant woman, or young mother, for just a couple of bucks? The “No More Hesitation” series from Law Enforcement Targets Inc. offers exactly that. For less than 99 cents per target, police can shoot at real-life images “designed to give officers the experience of dealing with deadly force shooting scenarios with subjects that are not the norm during training.”

    • Rennard Conundrum

      I have known of allegations of sexual pestering against Chris Rennard for at least five years, and I find it impossible to believe Nick Clegg has not known for longer.

      But I am baffled as to what the current fuss is about. The allegations of which I know are not of criminal offences, but the sort of inappropriate workplace conduct which should lose you your job. And it was always my understanding that was why Rennard resigned as Lib Dem Chief Executive four years ago. Unless there are new allegations which are actually criminal (and I have still not heard that alleged) what is actually supposed to happen now?

    • US senator says 4,700 killed in drone strikes

      Revelation by Lindsey Graham marks the first time any US official has given a number for drone fatalities.

    • Today’s Headlines and Commentary

      Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti of the Times report on the tussle between the Obama administration and Congress on whether to release the targeted killings memos or more information about the Benghazi attacks in order to get John Brennan confirmed.

    • Afghanistan government accuses US special forces of civilian death and torture

      Hamid Karzai orders US elite force to leave Maidan Wardak province after local reports of disappearance of nine people

    • Stripped of ‘Country of Origin’ Label, US Agrees to Sell Tear Gas to Egypt

      Egypt’s Interior Ministry ordered 140,000 teargas canisters from the United States in January, which the US State Department only allowed to be exported without the company’s name or any indication they were made in the U.S., the Egypt Independent reports Friday.

    • Bradley Manning Marks 1,000 Days in Pre-Trial Detention
    • Bradley Manning 1000 Days in Jail and more Government Crackdown on Transparency
    • How a Washington Global Torture Gulag Was Turned Into the Only Gulag-Free Zone on Earth

      The map tells the story. To illustrate a damning new report, “Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detentions and Extraordinary Rendition,” recently published by the Open Society Institute, the Washington Post put together an equally damning graphic: it’s soaked in red, as if with blood, showing that in the years after 9/11, the CIA turned just about the whole world into a gulag archipelago.

      Back in the early twentieth century, a similar red-hued map was used to indicate the global reach of the British Empire, on which, it was said, the sun never set. It seems that, between 9/11 and the day George W. Bush left the White House, CIA-brokered torture never saw a sunset either.

    • The Starbucks View of Al-Qaida

      The United States has set up its first Sahelian drone base, in Niger, in order to carry on the war against “Al-Qaedah in the Islamic Maghreb”. The problem is that there is no such thing as “Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb”. The US seems to confuse Al-Qaeda with Starbucks. Al-Qaeda does not have branches everywhere, a highly organised supply chain, and transfer pricing.

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Military icebreaker arrives to defend Japanese whalers

      Japan has sent a giant military icebreaker to bolster its whaling fleet in the conflict with Sea Shepherd off the Australian Antarctic Territory, anti-whaling activists say.
      The 12,500 tonne Shirase, operated by the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force, has appeared near whalers and Sea Shepherd activists 50 nautical miles off the coast of the territory, the group said.

    • After Attacking Kwanzaa, WI Senator Moves on to Attacking Renewable Energy — with Help from ALEC

      Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman, who made headlines in December for an unprovoked attack on Kwanzaa, has set his sights on another imagined enemy: renewable energy standards. Although Sen. Grothman’s latest move is just as ridiculous as his past efforts, this one is part of a national effort backed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Heartland Institute.

  • Finance

    • US judge freezes Goldman Sachs account over ‘suspicious’ Heinz trading

      A US judge froze a Goldman Sachs account that regulators say was used to make suspicious trades in H J Heinz, after unknown traders failed to appear in court to defend their claims to the assets.

      When the unidentified traders didn’t show up at a hearing on Friday in Manhattan, a US district judge, Jed Rakoff, said he would grant the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) request to freeze the Goldman Sachs account in Zurich until the case was resolved.

      “They can hide, but their assets can’t run,” Mr Rakoff announced, saying he had granted the SEC’s request and signed the freeze order.

      The agency said in its complaint that the trades came a day before Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital announced the US$23 billion (Dh84.4bn) takeover of Pittsburgh-based Heinz. The suspicious trading involved call-option contracts, the SEC said.

      Goldman Sachs told the regulator it doesn’t have “direct access” to information about the beneficial owner behind transactions in the account. The New York-based bank told the agency the account holder is a Zurich private-wealth client, the SEC said. Goldman has said it is co-operating with authorities.

    • Opinion: From Triple A to Triple Dip

      In February 2010, just before the general election, chancellor George Osborne set out his economic objectives “against which I expect to be judged”. High among them was retaining Britain’s AAA credit rating. Now the credit rating agency Moody’s has stripped Britain of its AAA rating. So judging Osborne by his own criterion, he has failed.

      Moody’s explained their decision as due to “continuing weakness in the UK’s medium-term growth outlook, with a period of sluggish growth which it now expects will extend into the second half of the decade”. Put simply, the economy isn’t growing, and isn’t expected to grow, and the implication of that for our debt to GDP ratio is dire.

      In the short term, Moody’s decision is unlikely in itself to change anything, since the markets were expecting it and have factored it into their decisions. But it does signal that the government has failed. In three years we’ve gone from a triple A credit rating to a triple dip recession.

    • George Will’s Stop & Frisk Factcheck

      Stop and frisk is definitely not sexy–and it might be not constitutional either. The practice of stopping people, mostly young men of color, and searching them without probable cause is a lot of things–racist on its face, for one.

      But does it actually have anything to do with a reduction in gun violence? To think so, one would want to show that the stops wind up in weapons arrests. But the evidence is that they overwhelmingly do nothing of the sort.

    • Power Grab at the Fed

      And these are the guys that Dudley wants to save, these self-serving miscreants who’re doing everything in their power to make the system more less safe, more unstable, and more crisis-prone?

      The reason the money markets are so vulnerable is NOT because there’s no fix, but because the big money is blocking even modest changes to the existing system. Wall Street would rather put the whole system at risk, then lose even one-thin dime in profits.

      More from Dudley: “The sheer size of banking functions undertaken outside commercial banking entities – even now, after the crisis – suggests that this issue must not be ignored. Pretending the problem doesn’t exist, or dealing with it only ex post through emergency facilities, cannot be consistent with our financial stability objectives.”

      In other words, the Fed has no idea of how leveraged this gigantic, unregulated shadow banking system really is. All they know is that it poses unseen risks that WILL lead to another disaster. So, rather than implement rules that could improve stability–as one might expect from the nation’s chief regulator–Dudley wants a blank check to spend whatever-it-takes to prop up this ghastly system.

      Unbelievable.

    • Economic Update: Profit, Austerity and Criticizing the System
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Public back privacy law action on Google

      New research published today by Big Brother Watch/ComRes finds that the majority of the British public are concerned about their online privacy (68%) with nearly a quarter (22%) saying that they are very concerned.

      People are more likely to say that consumers are being harmed by big companies gathering large amounts of their personal data for internal use (46%) than they are to say that this enhances consumer experiences (18%).

      As European data protection regulators prepare to take action against Google one year on from its revised privacy policy coming into force, more than 7 in 10 (71%) of the British public say that privacy and data regulators were right to investigate Google’s privacy policy and how it allows Google to collect and combine data on consumers.

  • Civil Rights

    • Notorious hacker Sabu has to help the FBI for another six months

      Why wasn’t Anonymous hacker-turned-FBI-informant Hector “Sabu” Monsegur sentenced as scheduled last week in New York? When I called Judge Preska’s chambers last Thursday to check whether the sentencing would actually take place the following day, the man on the other end of the line told me that it would not—but he couldn’t tell me why, saying only that the reason would probably show up in the federal court’s online PACER system at some point soon.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Uniloc is a Nasty Patent Troll and It Attacks Android/Linux Developers (Updated)

Posted in Patents at 5:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Reading

Summary: The troll which had gone after Microsoft (for cash) also went after Android developers based on a new report

THE Uniloc troll turns out to have attacked Linux already, even if indirectly. The article “Android developer fights evil patent troll” says the following:

Katie sez, “The video profiles software developer Austin Meyer, who is the target of a patent troll lawsuit involving a company called Uniloc, which owns a patent for the “System and Method for Preventing Unauthorized Access to Electronic Data.” Meyer’s flight simulator app X-Plane, like most paid applications on the Android market, uses the authorization system. Uniloc purchased the patent in question at a bankruptcy proceeding. Despite the enormous risk, and the enormous cost just to defend against a patent suit, Meyer is resolved to do so. The broader point of the video is that something needs to be done to stop patent trolls from simply buying patents in order to intimidate innovators into paying them a settlement. Patent trolls are a huge tax on innovation and add nothing to the marketplace.”

Reason.com, quite a popular Web site of alternative thinking, writes about “How Patent Trolls Kill Innovation”. It says:

“My statement to someone that is the victim of a patent troll lawsuit is that you are completely screwed,” says Austin Meyer, who is himself the target of a so-called “patent troll” lawsuit.

Meyer is a software developer and aviation enthusiast. His two passions intersected in the ’90s when he created a flight simulator called X-Plane, which quickly grew in popularity, outlasting even the once-popular Microsoft Flight Simulator. As many software developers do, Meyer made his application available on mobile devices like the iPhone and Android. And this is where he first ran into trouble.

What we must recognise, however, is that not only trolls are the problem; scope of patenting is a problem too. But since patent trolls usually use software patents (correlation was demonstrated before) a path in the right direction would be to eliminate software patents. In some sense, trolls are a symptom of software patents.

Update: I have just found an E-mail that Uniloc had sent me through a PR proxy to whitewash its shameless activities. It said:

Roy,

Good afternoon. I saw your article on Techrights entitled “Apple’s and Microsoft’s Robbery of Knowledge Using Patents, i4i Case Might Reach SCOTUS” and found it extremely interesting. As you know, Sony Corporation, McAfee, Activision, Quark and two other companies have been sued by Uniloc USA for patent infringement. The suits stem from a massive case against Microsoft (in which Uniloc initially won $388 million in damages – the 5th largest award for Software infringement ever) and the suit is remarkable because of its potential reach: the technology in question became so popular as to be virtually ubiquitous today. The case against Microsoft is currently on appeal.

The lawsuit mentioned below follows closely on the heels of a wave of other suits by small businesses against goliaths (including two filed last month – Ebay was sued for $3.8 billion by XPRT and Apple, Google, Microsoft and others were sued by NTP, as you know, over patented smartphone technology), indicating small businesses are becoming more aggressive in fighting for their intellectual property rights.

By way of background, in 1992 software companies were losing billions to casual software copying. Uniloc was the first to combine the concept of product key and Hardware ID, and using both they created an airtight registration system (before this invention, most software relied on just a product key that Tom, Dick and Harry could take to college, give to their girlfriends and before you know it – millions of dollars in lost sales). For the first time, Uniloc’s invention locked software to a specific computer, making this casual copying next to impossible.

After patenting the invention in the early 90s, Uniloc commercialized the product through a licensing deal with IBM, and then began talks with Microsoft. Microsoft signed a non-disclosure agreement to not reverse engineer the product. But, as Microsoft’s own internal documents show – that’s exactly what they did, then used the software in Windows XP. Microsoft is a bellwether for significant trends in the software publishing industry, many other companies – including the ones named in the lawsuit – observed their success and took the information that Microsoft had made public to pursue or develop their own software activation systems.

Please let me know if you would like to speak with Brad Davis, CEO of Uniloc USA; I’d be happy to coordinate a conversation.

Thank you for your consideration.

Best,

Kelsey

Kelsey Nason

Account Executive

Hellerman Baretz Communications LLC

1325 Avenue of the Americas, 28th floor

New York, NY 10019

212.763.8582 Office

212.763.8304 Fax

646.673.0944 Mobile

knason@hellermanbaretz.com

www.hellermanbaretz.com

My reply was:

Hi Kelsey,

Will it be possible to do a short interview with Mr. Davis via E-mail. I
would love to hear his side of the story.

Kelsey’s reply was:

Roy,

Thank you for your interest in hearing Brad’s side of the story. I will check with Brad to see what his availability for today or tomorrow looks like for a short interview via email. When is best for you? Also, would you first email Brad directly?

Thanks again.

Best,
Kelsey

Suffice to say, seeing that he would have to face some hard questions, Brad was never giving an interview. To trolls, justifying what they do is hard.

Latest Articles About Software Patents

Posted in Patents at 5:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Literature

Summary: A collection of new articles bemoaning software patents for the most part

THERE have been many articles recently addressing the subject of software patents. Here are some that we found last week:

Patent Lawyer: Software Patents “Restrict What Feels Like Our Treasured Personal Freedom (by Timothy B. Lee)

Software Patents: A Test Run for Bipartisan Cooperation?

amesh Ponnuru writes in the New York Times today that Republicans need to stop idolizing Ronald Reagan’s policies, which were great in the 80s but no longer address the problems we face now.

Clear Thinking on Software Patents

In the vigorous, ongoing debate about the state of America’s patent system — and the state of software patents, in particular — there are some legitimate issues that call for practical solutions, and there is a great deal of peripheral noise. To sort through and identify which is which, BSA and the National Association of Manufacturers co-hosted a packed briefing event this week on Capitol Hill.

Software firms lobby Congress to defend patent protection

Software firms are coaxing U.S. lawmakers to protect patent law because they encourage tech innovation and protect research, and not be put off by the current court battles over intellectual property.

The U.S. patent system isn’t perfect, but lawmakers and judges shouldn’t solve current controversies by eliminating software patents altogether, executives with Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Covia Labs, and Procter & Gamble said during a briefing last week before congressional staffers in Washington, D.C.

Monsanto seed suit and software patents

It might seem strange that a dispute between a farmer and a seed company could have effects across Silicon Valley. Yet the outcome of Bowman vs. Monsanto, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, could be crucial to the way software companies fight for their patents.

Justices last week heard arguments from farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman and seed-making giant Monsanto over whether Bowman had rightfully used the company’s genetically modified and pesticide-resistant seeds, which are patent-protected. Bowman bought second-generation seeds from a third party selling them as feed, but instead used them to grow soybeans. Essentially, Monsanto argues that Bowman infringed its patents by using copied versions of its seeds, and a U.S. circuit court has agreed.

The impact of the justices’ decision will surely extend beyond farming and into the wider biotech industry. And, depending on exactly how the court rules, it could reach into the tumultuous battleground of software patents.

[...]

Many computing giants took notice of the case and filed an amicus brief in support of Monsanto through the Software Alliance, an advocacy group.

“Although the patent law issues in this case arise in the context of agricultural seeds, this Court’s resolution of those issues could have a significant effect on other parts of the economy, particularly technology companies,” reads the brief, cautioning that since computer software could be considered “self-replicating” – like seeds – the court could “facilitate software piracy on a broad scale” with a ruling that eliminates patent protection for Monsanto’s seeds.

Adobe, Apple, AVG, Dell, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Rosetta Stone and Symantec were the major tech giants listed as supporters of the brief.

We wrote about the BSA lobbying yesterday.

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