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03.11.13

Links 11/3/2013: X Server 1.14, Red Hat Takes Over OpenJDK 6

Posted in News Roundup at 12:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Systemd 198 supports specification for improved multi-boot operation

      The now available systemd 198 is the first to include the kernel-install command-line program. The command allows kernels to be installed while complying with the new Boot Loader Specification that is defined at Freedesktop.org. The specification defines a way for multiple distributions to safely reside on a dual- or triple-boot system.

    • Linux 3.9-rc2
    • Features You Won’t Find In The Linux 3.9 Kernel

      While there are many interesting features to the Linux 3.9 kernel, there is some functionality you will not find yet within the mainline Linux kernel.

      Among the most pressing functionality that comes to mind that hasn’t been merged include:

      VIA Kernel Mode-Setting – For those unfortunate souls still using VIA hardware, there is still no mainline DRM/KMS driver, even after it’s been in development for years. There’s still work ongoing, but nothing that was merged for the Linux 3.9 kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.org releases X Server 1.14

        Performance improvements in terms of software rendering as well as fixes for touch devices and hybrid graphics systems are among the major new features of X.org’s just released X Server 1.14. The new X Server also includes modifications that affect the pointer barriers. GNOME 3.8 will use these pointer barriers to establish from what distance and at what speed a user has moved the mouse pointer to the bottom screen edge; if the values are big, GNOME will display the notification panel straight away instead of waiting for a second.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE misconceptions on being slow and bloated

        Let me preface this by saying I use KDE on a daily basis, and have for a very long time. There’s a persistent misconception about KDE being this slow and bloated monstrosity of a desktop and, admittedly, at one time it was true. It’s certainly not anymore, but sometimes the ghosts of the past intrude on the present and just won’t be quiet. So let’s see where this ghost came from and put it to rest.

        How did this misconception start? Back in late 2005 KDE reached a pinnacle with the release of KDE 3.5, what many believed to be their finest desktop. It had all the KDE hallmarks, infinite configurability, deep integration and most memorable, it was the cheetah amongst big cats. It was super fast. I used it at the time, as well as occasionally using Gnome 2, and KDE was noticeably faster on my hardware. Unfairly or not, this milestone 3.5 release would become the yardstick that later KDE’s would be measured against.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Documents 3.8 Beta 2 Is Dubbed Trans-Siberia Express

        Dubbed Trans-Siberia Express, the second and last Beta release of the upcoming GNOME Documents 3.8 package, the main document viewer of the GNOME desktop environment, has been released a few days ago, March 4, for testing.

        GNOME Documents 3.8 Beta 2 comes with a translatable “Getting Started with Documents” tutorial in PDF format, the search dropdown button now uses a linked style, the search dropdown now uses a revealer animation, and the page switch widgets are now insensitive for single-page documents.

  • Distributions

    • What About E17 on OpenSUSE 12.3!
    • New Releases

      • Chakra 2013.03
      • Chakra-2013.03-Benz ISO released

        With this second release of “Benz”(a code name that will follow the KDE SC 4.10 series), the Chakra-Project team is very happy to announce a new feature that has been on the wishlist for quite some time. Tribe (the installer) has a netinstaller feature implemented, giving the user the option for a regular offline install, or install fully updated packages, starting with a minimal functional KDE desktop, and adding groups of packages to that minimal install as desired.

      • Porteus v2.0 final is ready

        The Porteus Community is excited to announce that Porteus 2.0 Final is now available for immediate download!
        This is the first stable release of our Standard and Xfce Editions based on Slackware 14.0.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat takes over OpenJDK 6 leadership from Oracle

        Java is one of the most important technologies (and also one of the reason’s Oracle bought Sun) yet it has a complex relationship with Oracle. It’s also turning out to be one of the most insecure technologies, considering the flood of java vulnerabilities found and exploited recently.

        Red Hat has played an instrumental role in Java for Linux users by starting IcedTea project whose “initial goal was to make the Java OpenJDK usable without requiring any other software that is not free software and hence make it possible to add OpenJDK to Fedora and other Linux distributions that insist on free software.”

      • Red Hat Opens Up Cloud PaaS Development on OpenShift Origin

        Red Hat’s OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering started its life as a mostly proprietary product built on technology acquired from Makara in 2010.

        In April of 2012, Red Hat made OpenShift available as open source under the OpenShift Origin effort. Simply making a project open source, however, doesn’t make it a true open source community with contribution and collaboration.

        Red Hat is now moving to further enable an open source collaborative development model for OpenShift, making it easier for non-Red Hat people to contribute and participate in the platform’s evolution. To that end, Red Hat is now moving to a new model for contribution, using a public continuous integration (CI) environment and hosting a community day at the upcoming OpenStack Summit in Portland.

      • Red Hat Announces New Support for Java; Taking Over OpenJDK 6
      • Fedora

        • Keeping your finger on the pulse of the Fedora community

          For those who haven’t been keeping up with all of the awesome code Ralph Bean has been churning out lately, be sure to checkout fedmsg.com. Hop on #fedora-fedmsg on Freenode or load up busmon to see it in action. Not all of the Fedora Infrastructure services currently fire off fedmsgs, but we’re getting very close.

    • Debian Family

      • If you run Linux, you can run Debian. At least give it a try

        I’m not a big advocate for one Linux distribution over another. Or maybe I’m fooling myself. I pretty much run Debian GNU/Linux (as it’s officially known) on just about anything.

        I say I’m not a “big advocate”/fanboy because I’m always open to something new. I flirt with Fedora. And Ubuntu/Xubuntu/Lubuntu. Also Crunchbang. I like what I see in Fuduntu. I think Stella fills a real need.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Community Turmoil – Perspective and Advice from an Outsider

            Canonical has announced quite a few things over the past couple of days, weeks and months. Many of the announcements have been quite exciting in a good way (Ubuntu Phone and Ubuntu Tablet) and some of them seem to be a little shocking… that have some in the Ubuntu Community feeling betrayed, ignored or worse.

            Just to review, I’ve not really been an Ubuntu fan. I’m a Red Hat and Fedora fanboi. I’ve often been critical of Canonical although not really of the volunteer community that supports Ubuntu. You know the same old stuff about how Canonical doesn’t work with upstream, they don’t contribute back much, most of the work that is outwardly visible is on their proprietary stuff… they seem to get way more credit than they deserve… and they still, so far as I know, haven’t figured out a way to be profitable… which I think is very important for something so many people depend on. You’ve heard all of that before many times from many people. Nothing new here.

          • Reply to “All the faces of Ubuntu”
          • Thoughts On Recent Community Concerns

            Recently there has been some fire flowing about Canonical in the community. These concerns started off as sporadic at first and then we saw a small blog avalanche (blogalanche, if you will) as a number of folks piled onto the ride.

            I feel somewhat trapped in the middle of all of this. On one hand I work at Canonical and I believe Canonical are acting in the honorable interests of Ubuntu in helping to build a competitive and forward-looking Free Software platform, but I also feel a sense of personal responsibility when I see unhappy members of our community who are concerned with different aspects of how Canonical engages. Essentially, I sympathize with both sides of this debate; both have the best interests at heart for Ubuntu.

          • On the Ubuntu Community

            Charles Profitt, in his recent post Ubuntu: Time to Take the Shot, talks about a meeting that the Community Council had with Mark on Tuesday. This followed a weekend of me doing everything in my power to step back from the recent announcements and discussions from Canonical that made my Thursday and Friday very difficult.

          • Ubuntu is not a community distribution

            That should be obvious to anybody who’s been following the development of Ubuntu, but for those who have not, here’s the deal: Ubuntu is not a community distribution.

            The sooner you get that, the better, especially if you’ve been under the illusion that Mark Shuttleworth cares very much about your own idea of what a community distribution should be.

          • Ubuntu Mir: Is This the Future of Linux Everywhere?

            Ubuntu — possibly the most popular distribution of the open source Linux operating system — is striking out on its own. Canonical, the commercial company that oversees Ubuntu, has made a habit of building new Linux components from scratch, moving away from tools built and used by the larger open source community. That’s rubbing many Linux developers and users the wrong way, and now Canonical may have finally alienated these hard-core open sourcers.

          • Ubuntu Linux developer squabbles go public

            It’s no secret that Linux and open-source projects have fights over the direction of a project, but it’s unusual for Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, to public fuss with programmers via his blog.

          • Visit Canonical at CeBIT 2013 and Win a Google Nexus 7 Tablet

            The CeBIT 2013 event takes place these days, between March 5 and 9, in Hannover, Germany, and Canonical is there to enchant visitors with technical details about Ubuntu Cloud Stack and Ubuntu Landscape Systems Management.

          • Ubuntu Apps Chart for February 2013
          • Confessions of a community member.

            I am concerned with the current status of Ubuntu, not because of the tension on the community or the new software being put out. I am concerned because I feel my time and contributions might go to waste and fall on deaf ears. As leader of a LoCo, how do I know if the work I am putting in is even going to matter in two months when 13.04 comes out? Is my work still relevant because it has nothing to do with a cell phone, nothing to do with a display server, and nothing that in any way is a direct profit source for the Canonical.

          • Ubuntu SDK Looks Towards Qt Creator

            Another item discussed on the first day of the virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit is about the roadmap for the Ubuntu SDK.

            Perhaps most interesting from the hour-long session for the broad community was what they’re looking at for their main tool to the Ubuntu SDK: Qt Creator. Ubuntu developers are looking at the open-source cross-platform Qt Creator, which is also part of the Qt SDK, as the integrated development environment for the Ubuntu SDK.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Choosing a Desktop Environment on Linux Mint

              Linux Mint has four desktop environments that you can choose from. There is KDE, Xfce, Cinnamon and Mate. The two most common choices by users are Cinnamon and Mate. Technically, you can download any of the desktop environments and change them later. If you decide to go with Mate and later on want to install Cinnamon, the change is going to be easy.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • R.I.P. LinuxDevices… Long live LinuxGizmos!

      In 2012, the embedded Linux market lost a valued resource when LinuxDevices.com became a collateral casualty of QuinStreet’s acquisition of a group of websites from Ziff Davis Enterprise. Unfortunately the new owner has no interest in supporting the site, so LinuxDevices has lain dormant for over a year.

      As the year wore on, a growing number of individuals and companies urged me (as the site’s founder) to do something to get LinuxDevices back on its feet, or to launch a new site to fill the void.

      Thanks to this encouragement, and recognizing that embedded Linux is not simply alive and well, but has been growing exponentially as the OS-of-choice for smartphones and numerous other embedded applications, I decided to launch a successor site.

    • R.I.P. LinuxDevices… Long live LinuxGizmos!

      In 2012, the embedded Linux market lost a valued resource when LinuxDevices.com became a collateral casualty of QuinStreet’s acquisition of a group of websites from Ziff Davis Enterprise. Unfortunately the new owner had no interest in supporting the site, so LinuxDevices has lain dormant ever since the acquisition.

      As the year wore on, a growing number of individuals and companies urged me (as the site’s founder) to do something to get LinuxDevices back on its feet, or to launch a new site to fill the void.

    • High-performance network video recorders run embedded Linux

      March Networks has released a new family of high-performance network video recorders (NVRs), which feature an embedded Linux operating system. The 8000 Series NVRs are aimed at video surveillance, license plate recognition, access control, ATM, and other applications requiring secure, reliable, high-definition video monitoring and storage.

    • Embedded Linux Conference 2013 videos now online
    • Phones

      • Good Old Days
      • Jolla keeps the open source tap running, releases SailfishOS Alpha SDK

        As promised in December 2012, Jolla, the company behind the SailfishOS, has released an Alpha SDK of the operating system targeted at developers. The SDK is currently supported only on Linux systems (Fedora 18 and Ubuntu 12.10), but a PC and Mac-compatible version is in the works.

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • SpellTower comes to Android to satisfy open-source wordsmiths
        • A New Way to Play: MG Handheld Review

          We first told you about the MG back in September of 2012, when it was in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign attempting to raise a staggering $950,000. Perhaps they were inspired by the historic success of the OUYA just a few weeks prior, hoping to repeat that system’s incredible funding level on the same $950,000 goal. Unfortunately, the MG fell far short of its lofty goals, failing before it even reached $50,000.

          But owing to the professionalism of the team behind it, and community interest in a low-cost vanilla Android Ice Cream Sandwich handheld gaming system, the MG beat the odds and was able to launch on-time.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • The First Ubuntu Tablet – If This Is It, It’s Disappointing To Say The Least

        In case you’ve followed us during the past couple of months or so, you might be aware of the fact that we’re quite excited about the Ubuntu Touch OS, and about the smartphones and tablets that are supposed to be powered by Canonical’s operating system. The platform seems very promising, the gesture-based navigation is quite interesting and who could argue that the flexibility of the OS is a bad thing?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mellanox to open source Ethernet software

    Mellanox Technologies pledged it will support open source software for its Ethernet switches over the next several months. The chip and system provider hopes to gain an edge over larger competitors that are only partially embracing a trend to open software for Ethernet.

  • Fujitsu demonstrates open source in-car infotainment system
  • FOSSC-Oman’ 2013 to open opportunities in FOSS
  • School Tool: Mathics, Like Mathematica But Open Source
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • How Big Data Is Transforming the Hunt for Talent

      Big Data is suddenly hot, winning Harvard Business Review’s recent “sexiest job of the 21st century” sweepstakes. It’s been slow to penetrate the world of human resources, however – but all that is changing fast, says Beth Axelrod, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for e-commerce giant eBay Inc., and co-author of The War for Talent. “There’s a lot of value to be created and added through data analytics,” she says, “whether it’s doing a better job spotting talent outside to attract to the company, or doing predictive analysis of who is likely to leave and what are the factors, so you can intervene before that point is reached to try to change the trajectory. There’s a ton of opportunity there.”

    • OpenStack Summit 2013: Five Questions CSPs Must Ask
    • Open source ‘critical’ to big data for all

      Technology vendors have backed a community-developed software platform as the critical piece to bring big data to the masses.

      EMC and Intel have joined IBM and Red Hat in releasing their own flavours of an open-source software that manages how hardware in data centres accesses and processes information. The Hadoop open-source software by the Apache Software Foundation was released in October. It helps extract business insights from huge amounts of unstructured data, a trend commonly referred to as big data.

    • Why Hadoop Is the Future of the Database
    • Open Source ‘Lingual’ Helps SQL Devs Unlock Hadoop
  • Databases

    • Monty Program and the meaning of LAMP

      Industry analysis suggests that Google handles as many as two million pieces of data every minute.

      Combine this “fact” with the challenge of managing a transactional workload with big data complexity riddled right through its centre and you can see why data analysis and both macro- and micro-level data management is a pertinent issue today.

      The open source community submits that it may have a route to new agility in this space through building functionality on top of MariaDB to keep it from downtime by replicating copies of the database on servers, which are located in different parts of the world.

    • MariaDB Galera Cluster ready for production use

      MariaDB now has a high-availability option ready for production use; the developers at MariaDB and Codership have released MariaDB Galera Cluster 5.5.29 as a Stable GA (generally available) version. The release gives MariaDB users access to a scaling solution for the SQL database with synchronous multi-master replication and guaranteed data consistency. Clusters built with the technology should prove automatically resilient with no risk of losing nodes with unique datasets on them.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Migrating to Pelican from Drupal

      Pelican is a Python-powered static website generator which comes with a rather decent feature set. It allows you to write your blog entries in reStructuredText, Markdown, or AsciiDoc using any editor that you desire.

    • Drupal 8: Re-architecting for world domination

      Drupal’s creator, Dries Buytaert, on Drupal 8 and the open source project’s future in the enterprise

  • Business

  • Funding

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open Source Software is Common at DHS

      The government should not have an “open source first policy,” Homeland Security Department Chief Information Officer Richard Spires said Wednesday, but added officials should look to open source technology whenever possible.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open source governance anyone?

      Open source software is based on the philosophy of access — allowing people to get to the resources that they need to build things that are useful to them and their way of life. So anyone who is capable of doing so, can make a life for himself or herself without having to rely upon expensive software made by mighty big corporations. Proprietary software is essentially closed — its makers sell it to you and subject you to rules of their own making. They make it seem as if you owe them thanks and as if they are doing you a favour by allowing you use of their system.

    • RecycleBot: An open source recycling plant
    • Open Data

      • Do we need an open source GPS alternative?

        Although occasionally infuriating around roundabouts and new developments, we have placed an inordinate amount of faith in Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites as they exist for in-car and/or smartphone usage.

        So why would we need an open source alternative?

        Well the GPS system was created and is still predominantly run by the US Department of Defense (they mean Defence) with a history that dates back as far as the early 1970s.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Aaron Swartz

        We know there are going to be books about Aaron Swartz.

      • Holder defends alleged hacker’s prosecution

        Cornyn, a former Texas attorney general, clearly disagreed and suggested that stacking up a large number of felony charges in the case seemed intended at coercing Swartz to plead guilty rather than take the matter before a jury.

        “I would suggest to you if you’re an individual American citizen and you’re looking at criminal charges being brought by the United States government with all of the vast resources available to the government, it strikes me as disproportionate and one that is basically being used inappropriately to try to bully someone into pleading guilty to something that strikes me as rather minor,” the Texas senator said.

      • Attorney General: Aaron Swartz Case Was a ‘Good Use of Prosecutorial Discretion’
      • US Attorney General: Swartz case a “good use of prosecutorial discretion”

        “Does it strike you as odd,” Cornyn asked, “that the government would indict someone for crimes that would carry penalties of up to 35 years in prison and million dollar fines and then offer him a three or four month prison sentence?”

    • Open Hardware

      • Now, it’s the turn of Open Source hardware movement

        After the open source software movement in the IT sector, the new wave is that of open source hardware, wherein the information about the hardware can easily be discerned and it can be further customised.

        Beth E Kolko, head, Design for Digital Inclusion Lab, University of Washington, who is in Kerala to promote the movement, said that though at a nascent stage the Open Source hardware movement could go a long way by opening up the space for innovation and could impact the lives of millions.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • NHS in Meltdown: 31 Week Waiting List To See a Cardiologist

      I am afraid this is a personal medical story, but I think it makes a very damning point about the state of the NHS. There is no sensible way to tell it without giving an uncomfortable (I suspect for both of us) level of medical detail about myself.

      I had two collapses very early in the New Year, one with loss of consciousness of over ten minutes. On the second occasion we called 999, and the response was superb – a paramedic in less than five minutes and and ambulance in less than ten.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Repeal the Military Force Law

      Three days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Congress approved the Authorization for Use of Military Force. It was enacted with good intentions — to give President George W. Bush the authority to invade Afghanistan and go after Al Qaeda and the Taliban rulers who sheltered and aided the terrorists who had attacked the United States.

    • How a U.S. Citizen Came to Be in America’s Cross Hairs
    • Three Democratic myths used to demean the Paul filibuster

      The progressive ‘empathy gap’, a strain of liberal authoritarianism, and a distortion of Holder’s letter are invoked to defend Obama

    • Former Newark Airport TSA screener says the job does little to keep fliers safe

      A LOT of what we do is make-believe.

      I’ve had to screen small children and explain to their parents I had no choice but to “check” them. I would only place my hands on their arms and bottom half of their legs, and the entire “pat-down” lasted 10 seconds. This goes completely against TSA procedure.

      Because the cameras are recording our every move, we have to do something. If someone isn’t checked or even screened properly, the entire terminal would shut down, as this constitutes a security breach.

      But since most TSA supervisors are too daft to actually supervise, bending the rules is easy to do.

    • Bulgarian who set himself on fire new symbol of protests

      A hundred flickering candles and mountains of flowers block the entrance to Varna’s city hall, surrounding a picture of a smiling young man with long hair who has become a symbol of anti-corruption protests that have swept Bulgaria.

    • Serial Killer Heads CIA

      Chalmers Johnson called the CIA the president’s private army. Imperial Rome had its praetorian guard. It served and protected emperors.

      CIA rogues work the same way. They do lots more than that. Extrajudicial killing is prioritized. Much that goes on is secret. Unaccountability keeps Congress and ordinary people uninformed.

      Johnson said US presidents have “untrammeled control of the CIA.” It’s “probably (their) single most extraordinary power.”

    • The CIA Can Handle the Truth

      The recent controversy surrounding the film Zero Dark Thirty only proves the debate surrounding torture isn’t over. There are some who continue to make the false claim that torture worked, and seek to reinstate the practice.

    • Alleged CIA Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders
    • The CIA Brennan Inherits: More Military, Less Espionage
    • How Drones Kill Americans

      They don’t target citizens in the United States. They kill them overseas as collateral damage.

    • The drone future

      Drones are clearly a big part of the future.

    • US Drones bombing Africa operated from RAF bases in the heart of the Lincolnshire countryside

      An RAF base in Britain is being used by America in its controversial drone warfare campaign, it was claimed last night.

    • Congress, Drones, and The Imperial Presidency

      The administration’s outrageous response to the most serious Constitutional question of all — when a government can kill its own citizens — is clear evidence of an executive branch out of control.

      Many of the drafters of the Constitution envisioned the presidency as an office with very limited powers, but even the most dedicated proponents of a strong presidency at the time would be shocked to see the concentration of power in the modern presidency.

      Today the presidency is viewed as the center of the federal government, with each successive administration expanding the power of the executive at the expense of Congress and the people.

    • Paul Krugman: ‘Very odd’ for Republicans to oppose drones and support waterboarding

      Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman on Sunday said it was “very odd” that Republicans who supported waterboarding would join Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) anti-drone filibuster.

      Paul began his 13-hour filibuster on Wednesday morning to demand whether the Obama administration believed it could kill a U.S. citizen with a drone strike within the country.

      “It was a very weird way to start the debate,” Krugman remarked on ABC News’ This Week. “I mean, specifically about drones and on American soil? Does that mean it is OK to kill me with a drone while I’m visiting Paris or it’s OK to kill me in the United States as long as it’s by a sniper but not a drone? It was a very peculiar way to phrase the question.”

    • Legal, Ethical, And Political Issues In Use Of Drones – Analysis

      The recent increase in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), commonly known as drones, has been observed in conflict areas such as Yemen and in Pakistan and, more surprisingly, in civilian settings like the United States. Whereas its use as weapon for extrajudicial killings – i.e. the processes of sentencing people to death and implementing those decisions without any court decision – poses a myriad of ethical and legal issues, use of drones by the private sector, and police and border patrol agents, has ignited a discussion on the frontiers of legality, revealing a process where ethical, philosophical, legal and political debates have not accompanied the speed of technological progress.

      This article focuses on recent developments in the use of drones, and exposes some of the contentious issues surrounding the debate. Departing from public available data, and placing itself within theoretical debates in the domain of international relations theories, this article points to avenues for further inquiry on the use of drones.

    • Koch Exec Must Amend Aspen Kidnapping Suit

      A federal judge said it would not be futile for a former Oxbow executive to amend claims that his billionaire boss William Koch imprisoned him on a sprawling Colorado ranch.

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • Fed Sees Goldman, JPMorgan Overvaluing Capital Strength

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Morgan Stanley (MS) lagged behind peers in a key measure of capital strength used by U.S. regulators to stress- test their resiliency in a severe recession.

    • Goldman loses a round

      Goldman Sachs yesterday lost its bid to keep a shareholder proposal to split the chairman and CEO roles off its proxy statement.

      Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission informed the bank that it couldn’t block the proposal from being included among a list of proposals at its next annual shareholder meeting.

      [...]

      Lloyd Blankfein currently holds both titles at the gold-plated investment bank, which argues that it benefits from having a unified voice at the head of the firm.

    • Corporations and the Richest Americans Viscerally Oppose Common Good

      The Masters of Mankind want us to become the “stupid nation,” in the interests of their short-term gain — damn the consequences.

    • Wells Fargo Typo Victim Dies in Court

      His death came more than two years after Wells Fargo mistakenly mixed up his Hermosa Beach address with that of a neighbor in the same condo complex. The bank’s typo led Wells Fargo to demand that Delassus pay $13,361.90 — two years of late property taxes the bank said it had paid on his behalf in order to keep his Wells Fargo mortgage afloat.

    • UK: A quarter of Greater Manchester’s population living in “extreme poverty”

      The Greater Manchester Poverty Commission states that 600,000 people are in “extreme poverty” in the Greater Manchester region. The region is the largest urban conurbation in the north of the UK, with a population of nearly 2.7 million.

      That poverty is so entrenched in a region covering two cities and eight towns is a devastating indictment of the cumulative effects of central and local government policies over the last three decades carried out by the three parties of big business, Labour, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • EU mulls almost-anonymisation of folks’ data to cut biz some slack

      Officials from justice departments across the EU have been asked to explore to what extent the pseudonymisation of personal data can be used to “calibrate” businesses’ obligations to data protection.

      Pseudonymisation (such as assigning fake names to people), as opposed to anonymisation (complete stripping of identity), allows the same individual to be assigned the same pseudonym across various data sets.

    • Judge to village: No cameras

      A southwestern Ohio judge yesterday ordered a halt to a speeding-ticket blitz in a village that installed traffic cameras, saying it’s “a scam” against motorists.

    • Older, quieter than WikiLeaks, Cryptome perseveres

      Its co-founder and webmaster, a feisty 77-year-old architect, doesn’t hesitate when asked why.

      “I’m a fierce opponent of government secrets of all kinds,” says John Young. “The scale is tipped so far the other way that I’m willing to stick my neck out and say there should be none.”

    • ECPA REFORM BILL ANNOUNCED
    • Reps. Zoe Lofgren Introduces Bipartisan ECPA Reform Bill

      Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), Ted Poe (R-TX) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA) today introduced bipartisan legislation modernizing the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA. Consumers and businesses are increasingly using cloud computing and location-based services, but the law has failed to keep pace with technology – leading to weak and convoluted privacy protections from government access to user data. The bill, H.R. 983, the Online Communications and Geolocation Protection Act, would strengthen the privacy of Internet users and wireless subscribers from overbroad government surveillance by requiring the government to get a warrant based on probable cause before intercepting or forcing the disclosure of electronics communications and geolocation data.

    • CMU: Consumers Have Sharply Reduced Public Data Sharing

      For years, conventional wisdom about privacy has been that shoppers—especially younger shoppers—have been consistently sharing more information online to the general public, a trend that would likely continue as privacy desensitization progressed. But a report released Tuesday (March 5) from Carnegie Mellon University found the opposite when it tracked 5,076 Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) users from 2005 through 2011, one of the most extensive studies of social media privacy yet.

  • Civil Rights

    • How Facebook could get you arrested

      Police in America are particularly excited about what predictive policing…

    • Seattle, Tacoma rolling out new ‘predictive policing’ software

      The software is called Pred-Pol, short for “predictive policing.” It was developed by a professor at UCLA in cooperation with the Los Angeles Police Department and based on the same kind of computer modeling that helps scientists predict aftershocks following earthquakes.

    • Mayor McGinn introduces new “Predictive Policing” software
    • Dinah Rose quits Liberal Democrats in protest at secret courts

      One of the country’s leading human rights barristers is to resign her membership of the Liberal Democrats to express her outrage over the coalition government’s backing for secret courts.

      Dinah Rose QC successfully represented the British-resident Guantánamo detainee, Binyam Mohamed, in his battle to establish that British intelligence services were complicit in his “cruel and inhuman” treatment by the United States.

    • Evgeny Morozov: ‘We are abandoning all the checks and balances’
    • Former DEA Chiefs May Profit From Illegal Pot, Critics Say

      Two of the former Drug Enforcement Agency officials who came out this week urging the federal government to nullify new state pot laws in Washington and Colorado are facing criticism for simultaneously running a company that may profit from keeping marijuana illegal.

    • 9th Circuit Appeals Court: 4th Amendment Applies At The Border; Also: Password Protected Files Shouldn’t Arouse Suspicion

      Here’s a surprise ruling. For many years we’ve written about how troubling it is that Homeland Security agents are able to search the contents of electronic devices, such as computers and phones at the border, without any reason. The 4th Amendment only allows reasonable searches, usually with a warrant. But the general argument has long been that, when you’re at the border, you’re not in the country and the 4th Amendment doesn’t apply. This rule has been stretched at times, including the ability to take your computer and devices into the country and search it there, while still considering it a “border search,” for which the lower standards apply. Just about a month ago, we noted that Homeland Security saw no reason to change this policy.

    • Duke Confronts the First Amendment

      As some DIW readers know, last summer, I received several subpoenas from Duke, demanding among other things my confidential communications with hundreds of people relating to the “lacrosse incident” or discussing in any way President Brodhead’s “job performance.” The targeted correspondents consisted of all members of the 2006 lacrosse team, including the three falsely accused players who had long ago settled with Duke; all lawyers who were involved in the civil suit; all Duke faculty members; all Duke administrators or other employees; and all Duke alumni.

    • Michael Ovitz Can’t Escape Lawsuit Over Anthony Pellicano Attack

      A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ruled that Ovitz has failed to show that he’s entitled to summary judgment over Busch’s claims that Ovitz instigated a series of acts against her a decade ago, including the wiretapping of the journalist’s phone, a note on her windshield that read “Stop” with a dead fish and a rose, a hacked computer, an attack while she was driving her car and more.

  • DRM

    • Senator Crafting Bill to Make Cell Phone Unlocking Legal

      One day after the White House called on Congress to make cell phone unlocking legal, a Minnesota senator today announced plans for legislation that would allow the practice.
      Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, said she will introduce a bill this week that would allow for cell phone unlocking.
      “Consumers should be free to choose the phone and service that best fits their needs and their budgets,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “I will continue to work to advance commonsense measures to protect consumers and promote competition.”

    • Why The Unlocking Phones Debate Is Important

      In recent years we have seen more and more attempts to separate us from the core computing functions on our personal computing devices. The iPhone is stock full of them and that is the fundamental reason I will never use one. The same is true of the iPad. So iOS users jailbreak their phones. The evasion iPhone jailbreak is on 23 million phones now.

    • The White House Supports the Right to Unlock Your Cellphone—but That’s Just the Start

      On January 26 this year, the Librarian of Congress declared that unlocking a cell phone to make it available on other carriers was illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Metadata and Copyrigh

        Most of us are aware of the basics of U.S. copyright law, including the categories of copyrightable and non-copyrightable works. Some materials are explicitly exempted from copyright in this country, a key example being U.S. Federal documents. (Although if that sounds to you like a clearly distinguishable category, you should ask your local government documents librarian to fill you in on the complexities of defining “U.S. Federal document.”) Another exempted category is that of facts and compilations of facts that have no creative component. This was determined in the famous Supreme Court ruling of Feist v. Rural Telephone, in which the Court interpreted the constitutional wording of “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts” as implying some level of creativity.

      • U.S. Government Wins Key Ruling in Bid to Extradite Kim Dotcom

        A New Zealand appellate court rules that the U.S. won’t have to turn over documents and that the coming extradition hearing will consider only a “limited weighing of evidence.”

      • Backer of Cellphone Unlocking Petition Sets Sights on Modifying Copyright Act

        The man behind the petition to re-legalize unlocking of cellphones now has a broader target: The Digital Millenium Copyright Act itself.

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