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04.07.13

Links 7/4/2013: Linux Kernel 3.8.6, OS4 OpenDesktop 13.4

Posted in News Roundup at 8:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • What’s GNU/Linux Worth To You?

    I was browsing the website of one of my favourite suppliers when I came accross an ad for VMware Desktop. Even though it was an old version they asked $177 for it. I poked around VMware’s site and found that it was available for GNU/Linux or that other OS so, if you used “7″ you have to pay an additional ~$100.

  • Five months in: Windows 8′s market share finally surpasses desktop Linux

    I am, of course, being sarcastic. Windows 7, after five months of public availability, had captured 10.5% of the market. Even the much-maligned Windows Vista did better than Windows 8 at release — and in fact, to this day, still has a larger share of the market than Windows 8 (5%). Manufacturers aren’t celebratorily cutting the price of Windows RT tablets; they’re discounting the devices in a desperate attempt to shift unwanted stock. There’s really no other way to look at it: For a new version of Windows to grow by just 0.4 or 0.5% per month is simply atrocious. As you see in the graph below, Windows 8′s growth rate shows no signs of accelerating. At this rate, Windows 8 probably won’t break 10% before the end of the year. Eventually, having failed to reach critical mass, Windows 8 runs the risk of being eclipsed by Microsoft’s other OSes, just like Vista.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel 3.8.6 Is Now Available for Download
    • Alien’s ARM sources and git

      I have been writing regular updates to the Alien’s ARM page on this blog which can be found in the top of left sidebar. Readers of this blog who only visit the blog’s front page, will probably not have noticed, so I decided to write a more visible status update on the main page.

    • Graphics Stack

      • LLVM May Get A TGSI Gallium3D Compiler Back-End

        A proposal has been made to develop a new LLVM compiler back-end that would generate TGSI instructions, the intermediate representation used by Mesa’s Gallium3D drivers.

        Francisco Jerez, the open-source developer that has long been involved with Nouveau and did an X.Org EVoC project to work on Gallium3D OpenCL, is the developer proposing this LLVM TGSI back-end. During his “Endless Vacation of Code” project for the X.Org Foundation, the student made the Gallium3D OpenCL state tracker nearly work. Well, it does work for OpenCL on Nouveau to some extent.

      • Wayland’s Weston Gets Color Management Framework

        Richard Hughes, the free software developer that has been quite involved within GNOME’s color management areas, wrote a set of patches providing an initial color management framework for Weston.

      • AMD RadeonSI Driver Officially Gets Compute Support

        AMD’s open-source “RadeonSI” Gallium3D driver for the Radeon HD 7000 series graphics cards and newer now has early compute/GPGPU support.

      • Intel Driver Update Supports OpenBSD KMS

        The xf86-video-intel 2.21.6 driver has been released, which among other changes, supports kernel mode-setting on OpenBSD.

        OpenBSD finally received Intel KMS support and due to slight differences in the interfaces, there were some small changes needed to the Intel X.Org driver to support the BSD operating system.

      • Mesa Gets Support For GL4′s Separate Shader Objects
      • Watch How NVIDIA & Valve Ported Source To Linux

        Curious how NVIDIA Corp and Valve Software brought the Source Engine to Linux and their game porting lessons learned?

        Earlier this week I wrote about the NVIDIA and Valve sharing their lessons in porting Source to Linux. That article drew a fair amount of interest from the many Linux enthusiasts and Linux gamers reading Phoronix. Questions were raised whether there was a video recording of the presentation to shed additional light on the matter.

      • Nvidia’s 3D Tegra driver now open sourced
    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva Delayed, Mageia Releases Beta

        The OpenMandriva team today announced that infrastructure delays are being addressed. The OpenMandriva Web presence was due to be in place by the end of March, but progress has only slowed – not stopped. In fact, Anurag Bhandari said they were picking up steam again. In other news, Mageia is pressing onward, sans live images again.

    • Debian Family

      • A Bytemark donation boosts reliability of Debian’s core infrastructure

        Earlier this week, Debian started deploying machines for its core infrastructure services which will be hosted in a new data centre in York, UK. The hardware, generously donated and hosted by Bytemark Hosting, consists of a fully-populated HP BladeSystem (containing 16 server blades) and several HP Modular Storage Arrays (providing a total of 57 TB).

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Three Ubuntu Linux versions will reach end of life in May
          • Subject: Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) Beta 2 released
          • Ubuntu’s Unity Next Running On Mir Display Server

            Canonical developers have hit the milestone of being able to run their “Unity Next” desktop atop the Mir Display Server. The work is still very early, but it shows for Ubuntu Touch they can swap out Android’s SurfaceFlinger for Mir.

          • Is Ubuntu really an alternative to Windows?

            To get the most out of Ubuntu, a user must either be just comfortable enough to adapt without caring about specific features and apps, or so advanced that customization and under-the-hood tweaks are a cinch. And this ideal user must not own a laptop, or a touchscreen PC, as Ubuntu is not at its best on those systems.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Upgrading Bodhi Linux to 2.3.0

              Some time after midnight Thursday morning, after getting home from my “day” job, I upgraded my laptop to the latest version of Bodhi Linux, numbered 2.3.0, which was announced on Easter Sunday by the project’s Lead Developer, Jeff Hoogland, on his blog Thoughts on Technology.

              This isn’t a major upgrade. I’m sure there are some bug fixes and minor enhancements, but it mainly upgrades some essential software, such as the Linux Kernel, Enlightenment window manager, Midori browser, Terminology terminal emulator and Ubiquity, the Ubuntu default installer used by Bodhi. In addition, this update adds eCcess, a new system tool, and includes a slew of new themes for dressing-up the desktop.

            • Lubuntu 13.04 Beta 2 Comes with New Artwork

              Canonical announced today the release of the last testing version for its upcoming *buntu Linux operating systems, including Lubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail).

              Just like the other Ubuntu flavours, Lubuntu 13.04 Beta 2 is powered by kernel 3.8.0-16.26, which is based on the upstream Linux 3.8.5 kernel.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi makes video walls cheap and energy efficient

      According to Wikipedia, “A video wall consists of multiple computer monitors, video projectors, or television sets tiled together contiguously or overlapped in order to form one large screen. Typical display technologies include LCD panels, LED arrays, DLP tiles, and rear projection screens.”

    • Phones

      • Jolla’s Sailfish OS SDK installers are now out for Windows, OS X and Linux

        Sailfish OS screens

        Software development kit (SDK) installers for the Sailfish smartphone operating system are now out, Jolla has announced on Twitter. The SDK was previously demoed at Mobile World Congress in February.

        Jolla, which is led by ex-Nokians, has taken the abandoned MeeGo OS and wrangled it into a new, slicker version called Sailfish. The Linux-based OS will in theory be available for a number of device types, but the first commercially-available version will be on a smartphone sold through the Chinese distributor D.Phone and the Finnish carrier DNA.

      • Jolla Adds Sailfish SDK Installers For Windows, OS X, Linux To Push More Developers To Build Native Apps For Its MeeGo Platform
      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Android Version History: A Visual Timeline [Infographic]
        • Android Jelly Bean with an external Wi-Fi antenna

          Most Android-powered PCs-on-a-stick lack an external antenna, meaning Wi-Fi connectivity can be significantly hampered.

          Earlier this year, we saw a DIY modification allowing users to add an external antenna to their sticks. However, cracking open an electronic device and pulling out the trusty soldering iron is probably just slightly more than most users would be willing to do.

        • RedReader for Android: Open Source Reddit application

          There is certainly no shortage in regards to apps for Reddit on Google Play. In fact, if you search for Reddit apps in the store you end up with more than 1000 results. While not all have been designed for Reddit exclusively, it is fair to say that you’d spend days going through all of them even if you’d limit the apps to those with a rating at least four stars.

        • Russian video shows one phone running two versions of Android

          If you’ve ever flashed an Android ROM before, you know it can either be a great experience or send you screaming back to your stock experience. What if you could just run that ROM in a service like Parallels and switch to it whenever you wanted to try something new? If you believe the video above, that’s exactly what a couple of St. Petersburg Academy students have created.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Bill Maher, Bernie Sanders, And A Solid Smackdown Of The Right Wing (VIDEO)
  • Hardware

    • ARM On The Cutting Edge Of Technology

      While Intel will surely have a role in the future of all IT, profits are sure to be reduced as Moore’s Law cannot eclipse the advantages of ARM and the cost of development, production and operation of x86 will always be higher than ARM. M$ will have revenue capped and probably cut by more than half. Within a few years every human on the planet will know they have a choice and M$ and Intel will have to compete on price/performance. Gone will be the days when either of them was the default choice. IT has outgrown being locked in a dark closet of exclusive deals.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • WikiLeaks Spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson Demands Justice for “Collateral Murder” Victims
    • While pardoning US colonel, Italy hopes India will do same to its marines

      Italy, which has pardoned a US air force officer convicted in a CIA abduction case, has hoped that India will follow the same example. While pardoning Colonel Joseph Romano, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said that the decision was inspired by hope that India would do the same for the Italian marines – Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone – accused of killing two Indian fishermen, BBC reported on its website.

    • Chief of CIA’s ‘Global Jihad Unit’ Revealed Online

      Her name is Alfreda Frances Bikowsky and, according to independent reporters Ray Nowosielski and John Duffy, she is a CIA analyst who is partially responsible for intelligence lapses that led to 9/11. The two reporters recently released a “documentary podcast” called “Who Is Richard Blee?” about the chief of the agency’s bin Laden unit in the immediate run-up to the 9/11 attacks and featuring interviews with former counterterrorism official Richard Clarke, former CIA agent Bob Baer, Looming Tower author Lawrence Wright, 9/11 Commission co-chairman Tom Keane, and others. In it, Nowosielski and Duffy make the case that Bikowsky and another CIA agent named Michael Anne Casey deliberately declined to tell the White House and the FBI that Khalid al-Mihdhar, an Al Qaida affiliate they were tracking, had obtained a visa to enter the U.S. in the summer of 2001. Al-Mihdhar was one of the hijackers on American Airlines Flight 77. The CIA lost track of him after he entered the U.S.

      [...]

      Bikowsky was also, according to Nowosielski and Duffy, instrumentally involved in one of the CIA’s most notorious fuck-ups—the kidnapping, drugging, sodomizing, and torture of Khalid El-Masri in 2003 (El-Masri turned out to be the wrong guy, and had nothing to do with terrorism). As the Associated Press’ Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo reported earlier this year, an analyst they described only by her middle name—”Frances”—pressed for El-Masri to be abducted even though some in the agency weren’t convinced he was the terrorist that Frances suspected he was. Instead of being punished or fired for the error, “Frances” was eventually promoted to running the Global Jihad Unit by then-CIA director Michael Hayden. According to Goldman and Apuzzo’s story, “Hayden told colleagues that he gave Frances a pass because he didn’t want to deter initiative within the counterterrorism ranks.”

    • Guantanamo Hunger Strike Grows As Military Locks Out Press

      In the midst of an ongoing hunger strike, the military is denying reporters access to the prison camps at Guantanamo Bay.

      The military is telling reporters it will be over a month before there’s even a possibility of a tour of the detention facilities that house most of Guantanamo’s 166 prisoners. A military spokeswoman based in Guantanamo told HuffPost on Friday that there would be no opportunity for press to access any of the prison facilities until May 6 at the earliest. New York Times reporter Charlie Savage had been trying to fly down for a visit next week, but told HuffPost that he was informed Friday afternoon the trip wasn’t happening.

    • Amy Goodman: Corporate media is ‘an extreme media beating the drums for war’
    • Police teach tactics for handling ‘sovereign citizens’

      The FBI classifies such people, who refuse to recognize government authority in virtually any form, as part of a domestic terrorist movement.

    • UK Neo-Nazi Darren Clifft Arrested after KKK-Style Mock Hanging at Rally

      A notorious British neo-Nazi has been arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred after he was accused of posting racist and inflammatory material on the internet.

      Darren Clifft, 23, from Walsall, West Midlands is believed to have been one of the ringleaders behind last month’s far-right rally in Swansea, when around 50 white supremacists were confronted by a crowd of around 500 anti-racism campaigners.

      Clifft, who also goes by the name Daz Christopher, is known to police having previously voiced support for the Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in a bombing and shooting spree in Norway in 2011.

    • Book review: ‘The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth’ By Mark Mazzetti

      Yet isn’t the CIA’s real job to steal other countries’ secrets, rather than to carry out targeted killings?

    • Tony Blair and Iraq: The damning evidence

      Hitherto unseen evidence given to the Chilcot Inquiry by British intelligence has revealed that former prime minister Tony Blair was told that Iraq had, at most, only a trivial amount of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and that Libya was in this respect a far greater threat.

      Intelligence officers have disclosed that just the day before Mr Blair went to visit president George Bush in April 2002, he appeared to accept this but returned a “changed man” and subsequently ordered the production of dossiers to “find the intelligence” that he wanted to use to justify going to war.

    • Two Months Ago: FAA Releases New Drone List—Is Your Town on the Map?

      The Federal Aviation Administration has finally released a new drone authorization list. This list, released in response to EFF’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, includes law enforcement agencies and universities across the country, and—for the first time—an Indian tribal agency. In all, the list includes more than 20 new entities over the FAA’s original list, bringing to 81 the total number of public entities that have applied for FAA drone authorizations through October 2012.

  • Cablegate

    • US embassy planned to topple Chavez’ government says new WikiLeaks cable
    • Leaked Cable Discloses Bush Administration’s Plans to Aid Opposition to Hugo Chávez

      WikiLeaks released a State Department cable from 2006 detailing the efforts of former president George W. Bush’s administration to aid opposition to Venezuela’s now-deceased president Hugo Chávez.

    • Senator Assange?

      The Wikileaks Party’s campaign director says Julian Assange is a real chance to win a Senate seat in September, but what then?

    • America’s Man in Caracas: Wikileaks Reveals OTI Plot to Bring Down Chávez

      Documents released by WikiLeaks explain in detail former US ambassador’s strategy to undermine Chávez’s regime.

      After the failed coup against President Hugo Chávez (1999-2013) in 2002, in the best tradition of the Cold War, the US Embassy in Venezuela launched a plan to put an end to Chavismo (the name given to Hugo Chávez’s left-wing political ideology), as revealed in secret documents released by WikiLeaks.

      An investigation carried out and published on March 18 by Pública — the independent Brazilian Agency of Investigative Reporting and Journalism— exposed the five-point strategy implemented between 2004 and 2006 by the former US ambassador, William Brownfield.

    • Bradley Manning: ‘New York Times’ Endorsed Source, or Traitor?

      “By this logic, Woodward’s sources are aiding the enemy.”

      Despite the seemingly ominous potential consequences Manning’s case could have on future whistleblowers and the ability of journalists to conduct high-profile investigations using anonymous sources, many news outlets are only now picking up on the broader implications of Manning’s case.

      “It is troubling to see how much the mainstream media has ignored the Manning case,” says Timm. “Manning gave the media a treasure trove of information that they have been using for the past two years. Almost every day you see a story that originated from Manning’s leak. It has enriched the public’s knowledge of what the government is doing in their name. Yet many in the press have been ignoring the ‘aiding the enemy’ charge and how it could affect their work going forward.”

      Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, the man behind the Pentagon Papers, is revered in media circles and among government transparency and First Amendment advocates as a paragon of virtue. Why not Manning? Especially after news broke last year that the military was virtually torturing him in captivity.

      The reason may be simple generational pettiness and old media snobbery.

    • PJ Crowley: US Military Risks Making Bradley Manning a ‘Martyr’

      Former State Department spokesperson PJ Crowley has written a column for The Guardian that argues the United States military should not give America’s enemies and rivals a “propaganda victory” by taking Pfc. Bradley Manning’s case to trial. He suggests the military may be “martyring” Manning and the military should accept his guilty plea and send him to prison for 20 years.

    • WikiLeaks activist in New York to protest US whistleblowers clampdown

      “Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards”; “Keep shoot’n, keep shoot’n”; “Light ‘em up, come on fire!” the captions say.

      Jónsdóttir is struck by the fact that the only person who has been prosecuted as a result of the video was its alleged leaker, Manning. “None of the individuals responsible for the war crimes shown in Collateral Murder have been put on trial. Only him.”

      In Jónsdóttir’s view, the heavy-handed approach of the US government towards those she considers internet whistleblowers has started to taint the reputation of America around the world. “It’s like China, the surveillance state. When the US government ordered its employees not to look at WikiLeaks, that was like the Chinese regime telling its people not to look at internet material on Tibet – I don’t see any difference.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • It’s Not a Fairytale: Seattle to Build Nation’s First Food Forest
    • World’s Largest Solar Boat Announces Trans-Atlantic Trip to Conduct Climate Change Experiments

      In 2010, PlanetSolar’s Tûranor solar-powered boat completed a 19-month voyage around the world. Now the eco-vessel is set to set sail again over the Atlantic Ocean in order to conduct experiments along the Gulf Stream in a project known as PlanetSolar DeepWater. The 115-foot Swiss catamaran, whose name means ‘power of the sun’ in Elvish, will take measurements on behalf of the University of Geneva.

    • ExxonMobil spills chemicals in Louisiana while cleaning spilled oil in Arkansas

      Even as ExxonMobil was mopping up after its disgusting tar-sands oil spill in Arkansas on Wednesday, it spilled an unknown amount of unknown chemicals — possibly hydrogen sulfide and cancer-causing benzene — during an accident at a riverfront refinery in Louisiana.

    • Canada to U.S.: About that Keystone pipeline …

      More recently, Canadians introduced North America’s first economy-wide carbon tax in British Columbia (The Economist called it “a winner”), and the continent’s first true feed-in-tariff program, in Ontario. As a result of the latter policy, by the end of this year Ontario will unplug from coal power forever. We also have cleantech sectors that have spurred cool innovations, like CO2-sequestering concrete.

      It’s getting tougher for many of us to square these accomplishments, and our national character, with the vision of those who insist, in this age of accelerating climate change, that it is our destiny to become the world’s gas pump — with Keystone XL serving as one of the hoses.

    • Dispatches From Exxon’s Spill Zone, Days 3 and 4
    • Beavers Suffer Severe Burns After Helping to Stop Oil Spill

      Six beavers at Utah’s Willard Bay State Park are being called superheroes after helping to contain an oil leak from pouring into the bay and marsh land. Sadly, three of the beavers were severely burned while the family built a dam that blocked a large portion of the spill.

    • Energy board changes pipeline complaint rules

      Canadians who want to tell the National Energy Board what they think about proposed pipeline projects – either in person or in writing – must now complete a 10-page application form proving they would be directly affected by the development or that they have relevant expertise.

  • Finance

    • Time Is Not Money, and Cash Doesn’t Talk

      The expression “Time is money” was coined by Benjamin Franklin. It is a relatively new saying, among countless others, that represents the rot that started to eat at the core of our global social edifice during the industrial revolution. With the exchange of clock hours for money began the notion of time as being an entity independent of any natural phenomenon. Such a concept is still absent from some cultures, like that of the Amondawa, a rare Amazonian tribe that had the luck to remain isolated from modernity. Of course, the Amondawa understand the idea of meeting somebody at sunset, or tomorrow, but time as something with a value per hour that may be traded for goods and services is unknown to them.

    • Zombie foreclosures: 300,000 ‘undead’ properties stalk ex-owners

      Zombie foreclosure: (noun) A home whose owner has abandoned the property but which the bank never finished foreclosing upon, leaving the owner legally and financially responsible for the decaying building.

    • Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average Taxpayer $1,026 a Year, Small Businesses $3,067

      U.S. PIRG, Sen. Levin, Small Business Leaders Release “Picking up the Tab 2013: Average Citizens and Small Business Owners Pay the Price for Offshore Tax Havens”

    • With Bruce Heyman, Another Local Obama Bundler Just Got an Ambassadorship

      So word is out, if not officially from the White House, that mega-bundler and Goldman Sachs partner Bruce Heyman, and his wife, Vicki, are off to Ottawa, assuming he makes it through his senate confirmation. True, it’s not London or Paris—those are already occupied, for the time being, by other Chicago bundler ambassadors. But Ottawa is considered to be a lovely posting, and the ambassador does not have to worry much about speaking any language except English.

    • Offshore Leaks set to reveal more embarrassing tax dodging

      The list detailing the identities of thousands of people hiding money in offshore accounts could reveal 160 times more data than Wikileaks.

      Analysing the details of what is now become known as Offshore Leaks will take some time, according to Catherine Boss, a journalist at Swiss paper Sonntagszeitung, who worked on the investigation to track the hidden cash.

      “It’s just the beginning. We have only looked at about 10 percent of the Swiss businessmen and women involved and we’ll continue to work on it.”

    • The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Is a Failed Experiment
    • How Worker-Owned Companies Work

      Economist Richard Wolff is a proponent of democracy at work: an alternative capitalism that thrives on workers directing their own workplaces. In the documentary film Shift Change, producers Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young tell the stories of successful cooperative businesses from Spain to San Francisco. We caught up with Dworkin and Young to find out what makes cooperative businesses work.

    • Whining About Unpaid Writing Gigs Isn’t Going To Increase Writers’ Incomes

      Nate Thayer’s whiny post about the Atlantic asking for permission to run one of his articles for free has attracted a lot of online attention. As usual, I agree with Matt Yglesias’s take. And like Matt my career as a professional writer was made possible because I wrote for free for a number of years before people started paying me. I contributed daily to a group blog called the Technology Liberation Front for more than two years before I started getting paid opportunities to write about tech policy. And this blog (for which I get paid based on the traffic I generate) began its life as a personal blog in 2009. It took almost 2 years before Forbes approached me about moving it to their site.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • French Intelligence Forces Volunteer Sysop to Delete Wikipedia Article
    • “I made some stupid posts”: Anti-troll site gagged after threats against poet
    • Wikipedia editor allegedly forced by French intelligence to delete “classified” entry

      On Saturday, Wikimedia France posted a press release regarding the recent deletion of a Wikipedia entry titled “Station hertzienne militaire de Pierre-sur-Haute.” According to the foundation, France’s Homeland Intelligence agency had demanded “classified” information taken down from Wikipedia.fr, and when the Wikimedia Foundation (which hosts Wikipedia) refused, it allegedly sought out a volunteer systems operator with the power to delete articles, brought him to the agency’s office, and demanded that he take the article down there or face legal charges.

    • Is Google liable for Autocomplete results? Italian court says ‘no’

      Can Google be liable for content displayed on its Autocomplete service?

      This question has been raised quite often and a bit everywhere in the past few years.

      As Kate reported some time ago, courts in Germany, France, Japan, Argentina, Ireland, and Italy (just to name but a few) have been asked to determine whether a provider like Google can be considered liable for potentially defamatory terms associated with a particular term searched for on its platform.

    • Wikimedia Announcement

      And I feel that although we’re in good shape, with a promising future, the same isn’t true for the internet itself. (This is thing number two.) Increasingly, I’m finding myself uncomfortable about how the internet’s developing, who’s influencing its development, and who is not. Last year we at Wikimedia raised an alarm about SOPA/PIPA, and now CISPA is back. Wikipedia has experienced censorship at the hands of industry groups and governments, and we’re –increasingly, I think– seeing important decisions made by unaccountable non-transparent corporate players, a shift from the open web to mobile walled gardens, and a shift from the production-based internet to one that’s consumption-based. There are many organizations and individuals advocating for the public interest online — what’s good for ordinary people — but other interests are more numerous and powerful than they are. I want that to change. And that’s what I want to do next.

    • SEC Embraces Social Media

      Executives with itchy Twitter fingers can rest easier after federal securities regulators blessed the use of social-media sites to broadcast market-moving corporate news.

  • Privacy

    • Sprint, Softbank to shun Chinese networking equipment

      US officials have accused Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE of having close ties with the Chinese government and military. They claim the companies’ equipment raises the threat of “cyber-espionage” or attacks on US communications networks, although a White House review last year found no clear evidence that Huawei spied for China.

    • Apple’s iMessage encryption trips up feds’ surveillance
    • Untappable Apple or DEA Disinformation?

      Tech news site CNET has an interesting, but I suspect somewhat misleading, story today suggesting that text messages sent via Apple’s iMessage service—an Internet-based alternative to traditional cell phone SMS text messages—are “impossible to intercept” by law enforcement. Yet that is not quite what the document on which the story is based—an “intelligence note” distributed to law enforcement by the Drug Enfrocement Administration—actually says.

    • The Real Reason The Feds Can’t Read Your iMessages
    • ‘Going Dark’: What’s So Wrong with the Government’s Plan to Tap Our Internet?

      We know it’s open season on our data. Simply by examining your online interactions, your trades of email or gender in exchange for access, it’s not that difficult for big companies, government agencies or unscrupulous persons to establish a profile of who you are—political affiliations, religious beliefs, relationships, consumer habits, job history, schools you attended, locations you frequent, and in some cases, even your home address. It’s not dead, but privacy will never be the same.

    • Google’s Alma Whitten to step down

      Google’s first privacy director, Alma Whitten, is to step down after three years in the role.

  • Civil Rights

    • Emails Detail Northern District’s Use of Controversial Surveillance

      In 2011 federal prosecutors were working with magistrate judges in the Northern District to resolve concerns about the government’s use of sophisticated surveillance technology known as a stingray to track people using their cellphone signals.

    • Google Fights U.S. National Security Probe Data Demand

      It “appears” to be the first time a major communications company is pushing back after getting a so-called National Security Letter, said the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Internet privacy group. The challenge comes three weeks after a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that NSLs, which are issued without a warrant, are unconstitutional.

      “The people who are in the best position to challenge the practice are people like Google,” said EFF attorney Matt Zimmerman, who represented an unidentified service provider that won the March 14 ruling. “So far no one has really stood up for their users” among large Internet service providers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Report: US Patent And Trademark Office Denies Apple’s iPad Mini Trademark Application, Deemed “Merely Descriptive

        Right after it launched the iPad mini, Apple filed a trademark application for the name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As Patently Apple noticed earlier today, however, the USPTO will likely refuse Apple’s trademark filing because, the reviewer argues, “the applied-for mark merely describes a feature or characteristic of applicant’s goods.”

        The letter was mailed to Apple on January 24, but only made public in the last few days. Apple can still respond to this notice and correct its application, though it’s hard to see how Apple could argue against the USPTO’s argument that ‘mini’ is ‘merely descriptive.’

    • Copyrights

      • Joe Biden Pushed For “Six Strikes” Anti-Piracy Plan, IFPI Says

        IFPI wants governments worldwide to facilitate plans to tackle online piracy, whether voluntary or not. The music group’s CEO Frances Moore mentions the U.S. six-strikes program as a prime example. On paper the agreement between copyright holders and ISPs was voluntary, but Moore reveals that Vice President Joe Biden was one of the driving forces behind it.

      • Cruel and Unusual Punishment: The Shame of Three Strikes Laws
      • U.S. Government’s Anti-Piracy ‘Six Strike’ Conversations Remain Secret
      • “Can I resell my MP3s?” redux—federal judge says no

        For years, many a music fan has wondered what we first posited back in 2008: “Can I resell my MP3s?”
        After all, as we’ve pointed out in the past, nearly all digital good sales are really licenses rather than sales as conventionally understood. The question here is, can such a license be bought and sold to other users?

      • Prenda Law’s Attorneys Take The Fifth Rather Than Answer Judge Wright’s Questions

        Today the Prenda Law enterprise encountered an extinction-level event. Faced with a federal judge’s demand that they explain their litigation conduct, Prenda Law’s attorney principals — and one paralegal — invoked their right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. As a matter of individual prudence, that may have been the right decision. But for the nationwide Prenda Law enterprise, under whatever name or guise or glamour, it spelled doom.

      • Judge Ends Hearing In 12 Minutes

        Well that happened much faster than expected. While Judge Otis Wright apparently had cleared his entire schedule today for the Prenda hearing, the actual hearing lasted all of 12 (count ‘em) minutes, with Judge Wright declaring “we’re done” before storming out. We’ll have a more detailed writeup from Ken White, who was in the courtroom, shortly, but here’s a quick summary of what happened. Unlike last time, everyone actually showed up (well, except for the imaginary Alan Cooper of AF Holdings who does not appear to exist) and promptly pleaded the fifth.

      • Transcript Of The 12 Minute ‘We’re Done’ Prenda Hearing Released

        We had Ken White’s awesome analysis of what happened at the Prenda Law hearing earlier this week, but now the full transcript of the hearing has been released so you can read along (or figure out how to incorporate it into the necessary movie script).

      • Copyright wars are damaging the health of the internet

        Theresa May: determined to spy on everything we do on the internet.

      • A “Hollywood Ambassador” Would Make Bad Copyright Trade Policy Even Worse

        Copyright laws that represent the one-sided concerns of Hollywood at the expense of the broader public interest do not belong in trade agreements. Period.

        Yet just days after dozens of public interest groups around the world issued called on the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to keep copyright and patent regulations out of a new international trade agreement, a Senator with longstanding ties to the entertainment industry introduced a misguided bill that would create a new position for a “Chief Innovation and Intellectual Property Negotiator” — in other words, an Ambassador from Hollywood, paid for by the general public.

      • Movie Studios Want Google to Take Down Their Own Takedown Request
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