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The Fiction of ‘Piracy’

Posted in Action, Intellectual Monopoly at 2:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: The problem known as “piracy” is an antiquated problem from history, tales, and Somalia, not people who challenge the real thieves — those who hoard and monopolise what’s public

AN interesting new report says that propaganda words like “piracy,” “theft” and “stealing” (often used to imply guilt of serious crimes) are to be banned from a court in the context of copyrights [1]. Copyrights, after all, are about copying; the word isn’t pronounced ‘theftrights’. Might we finally see fact-based judgment as a result? Will judges not be tempted to get carried away and wrapped up in misconception spread in the corporate media by its monopolistic owners? Let’s hope so.

As the “Pirate Party” founder reminds us, the real thieves are those who take away from society at the expense of artists [2] (take, not copy), sometimes at the expense of the public sector or the public domain [3].

The so-called ‘IP’ cartel continues to be run by selfish sociopaths who think they are above the law (or simple are the law) and treat even their own employees like cattle [4. They would go as far as using terms like “Pirate Sites” [5] to describe sharing sites which businesses may use to transmit files and individuals may use to store their own (self-created) media. We need to stop the attack on sharing and one important step is abolishing the use of propaganda words. Judge Kathleen Williams is awesome.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. MPAA Banned From Using Piracy and Theft Terms in Hotfile Trial

    Leading up to the trial, Hotfile has scored several significant wins against the MPAA. The Florida federal court ruled on several motions this week, and many went in favor of the file-hosting service. Most prominently, Judge Kathleen Williams decided that the movie studios and its witnesses are not allowed to use “pejorative” terms including “piracy,” “theft” and “stealing” during the upcoming proceedings.

  2. Copyright Maximalists Harm Authors

    Copyright maximalists want all sorts of new laws to “help authors get paid”. Well, I’m a published author, and all their efforts to “help” cost me money. Even if we strictly limit the argument to printed books, copyright maximalists still only succeed in harming authors and publishers. This is how.

  3. School system seeks copyright ownership of students’ work in Maryland

    It’s as if they lifted the plot right out of a Cory Doctorow novel. In Maryland, the Prince George’s County Board of Education is considering a proposal that would allow the school system to copyright ownership of all work created by students and teachers. The sweeping intellectual property grab could mean that anything from a drawing to an app to a lesson plan would become the property of the school system, not the creator.

  4. WIPO Boss Accused Of Surreptitiously Collecting DNA Samples From WIPO Employees

    Francis Gurry, the head of the World Intellectual Property Organization, seems to be running from scandal to scandal these days. While it has shown brief moments of enlightenment, for the most part, WIPO tends to be an organization very supportive of the copyright and patent maximalist agenda. Last year, we wrote about two incredible scandals that directly involved Gurry.

  5. Court Orders Google, Microsoft & Yahoo to Make Pirate Sites Disappear

    While its common for search engines to receive DMCA takedown requests for specific URLs, events in France have taken things to a whole new level. In order to protect the copyrights of film producers, the High Court of Paris has concluded a 2011 case by ordering Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to completely de-list 16 video streaming sites from their search results.

The Problem is Distribution of Money, Not a Lack of Money

Posted in Finance at 2:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The fiction of shortages

Summary: If one can always generate a new Bitcoin or print more paper money, then ‘lack’ of money certainly cannot be the issue

THE UNITED STATES — more so than Britain — demonstrates huge disparity in wages [1], despite or because of prosperity at the very top. As one writer has just put it, “America has its own real-life upstairs/downstairs thing going on at the moment, best embodied by the Walton clan, who own the lion’s share of Walmart Stores, Inc. Walmart is the single largest private employer in America with a work force of some 1.3 million. Each of the four Walton’s who have an interest in the stores increased their net worth by $7bn last year alone. Meanwhile, the company’s sales associates, who make up the bulk of the work-force, earn an average of $8.81 per hour – less than the federal poverty level for a family of four.” People are willing to kill one another over basic merchandise in places like Walmart [2] — something which in in a debt-saddled Spain we cannot see quite because despite poverty the gap between rich and poor there is not as massive as it is in the US and UK (number 1 and 2 when it comes to disparity, depending on how it is measured). It’s not just class war. The UK finds new reasons to feud with the Spaniards [3], as always, but one thing that all Western nations seem to agree on is that it’s OK for the top 1% of salary earners should earn about as much as the bottom 50% combined (if not much more). No wonder there is a rush to Bitcoins [4] and other alternative currencies.

Wearing golden things and living in a palace at one of the world’s richest countries, one man in a gown speaks out against corruption and greed [5,6]. Sadly, we still live in a world where we look at to the richest people (like Bill Gates) as though it’s them who will reduce poverty. All they do is hoard and speak about poverty without actually doing something except contribute to the problem (albeit in secrecy).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Walmart and Downton Abbey: rampant inequality and detachment from reality
  2. Mobs, Stampedes, Fights, Brawls, A Stabbing And Shooting: A Video Compilation Of Black Thursday 2013
  3. David Cameron: Gibraltar diplomatic bag incident was an ‘extremely serious action’

    David Cameron has said that Spain was guilty of “an extremely serious action” by opening a diplomatic bag at the Gibraltar border and disclosed that the Spanish have assured the UK “this will not happen again”.

    Britain asked Spain for an “urgent explanation” this week after Guardia Civil officers opened and searched a UK diplomatic bag as it crossed the border from Gibraltar.

    Mr Cameron said he had received the assurance that it would not be repeated after Spain played down the incident and insisted that “technically it was not a diplomatic bag”.

  4. Missing: hard drive containing Bitcoins worth £4m in Newport landfill site

    A digital ‘wallet’ containing 7,500 Bitcoins that James Howells generated on his laptop is buried under four feet of rubbish

  5. Pope Francis ‘is mafia target after campaigning against corruption’
  6. Pope Francis ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ Calls For Renewal Of Roman Catholic Church, Attacks ‘Idolatry Of Money’

Links 30/11/2013: KDE and GNOME News

Posted in News Roundup at 1:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Links 28/11/2013: Devices/Embedded News

Posted in News Roundup at 7:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • Linux-enabled kit targets custom SoC developers

    Faraday Technology has begun shipping a system-on-chip dev kit aimed at developers of custom SoCs. The “SoCreative! IV” kit’s baseboard is built around Faraday’s A380 SoC, which boasts a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor, a Faraday-developed RISC core, and a high speed expansion bus for interfacing with FPGA daughtercards, and comes with Linux 3.3 and Android 4.x BSPs.

  • Improv Modular Linux Mer Development Platform Unveiled

    If you enjoy creating your own electronic projects you might be interested in a new modular development platform called the Improv which is a modular engineering kit that comes with a CPU card and a separate feature card to connect it to.

  • Stir Kinetic Desk: Linux-Powered Furniture That’s Good For You

    The Stir Kinetic Desk promises to be a piece of office equipment for the modern age of sensors, the quantified self, and lots of trans fat. On the other hand, its sticker price may shock you into rigor mortis before obesity will. Check out our hands-on.

  • Linux-fueled networked DVR adds second tuner

    Really Simple Software has begun accepting pre-orders for the second generation of its Linux-powered networked DVR. The new model, known as “Simple.TV by SiliconDust” and priced at $250, adds a second TV tuner and is expected to ship by the end of the year, by which time Android and iOS apps for both generations of the product will be available for free download.

  • Windows/Linux Embedded Computer Integrates Kintex-7
  • The Rise of Linux in Embedded Systems

    Whereas Raspberry Pi was the pioneer of very small Linux systems, the Arduino is the 800-pound gorilla in the micro-controller arena.

  • Tiny hackable $40 SBC runs Linux on Allwinner A10

    Olimex’s OLinuXino project announced a tiny, Android- and Linux-ready single board computer based on Allwinner’s 1GHz, Cortex-A8 based A10 processor, and the first one to be offered with a mini-PC enclosure. The open source A10-OLinuXino-Lime offers 512MB of DDR3 RAM, an optional 4GB of NAND flash, plus HDMI, SATA, USB, and Ethernet, starting at only $40.

  • Pico – ITX hacker board runs Linux on Allwinner A20
  • Tiny open source board runs Linux on i.MX6

    Slovakia-based Fedevel and its Voipac manufacturing partner are prepping an open source computer-on-module and baseboard built around Freescale’s dual-core i.MX6 system-on-chip. The credit-card sized i.MX6 Rex module is equipped with up to 4GB of soldered DDR3 RAM, as well as I/O including gigabit Ethernet, SATA, HDMI, USB, and PCI Express.

  • Linux to be top IVI platform by 2020, says study

    An IHS Automotive market study projects that by 2020, Linux will push past QNX and Microsoft to lead a 130 million unit in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) market with a 41.3 percent share. The report follows last week’s revelation that Toyota and Jaguar/Land Rover are working on IVI systems that run the Linux-based Tizen OS.

  • “Linux Making Rapid Inroads into Infotainment Systems,“ Said IHS
  • Automotive Linux Leaves Microsoft and Blackberry QNX in the Dust
  • Linux to surpass Microsoft, BlackBerry in car industry

    Despite a slow start, Linux is all set to lead the automotive infotainment operating system (OS) market in 2020 surpassing Microsoft and BlackBerry. As the auto industry seeks an OS platform in which it can control direction and features, it is attracted by the advantages offered by Linux for some obvious reasons. Also, proprietary OS platforms don’t allow the auto industry to control and set its own system architecture.

  • Analyst: Linux to lead car infotainment OS market
  • Linux is the platform for robotics

    Linux is increasingly being used for cutting-edge robotics – opening up the field to anyone interested in learning more

  • Linux to lead in automotive infotainment OS market
  • RS offers Arduino Yún with Linux OS

    RS Components is stocking Arduino Yún, the first in a family of wireless products that integrate the open-source Arduino architecture with Linux.

    Arduino Yún combines the existing Arduino Leonardo, based on Atmel’s ATmega32u4 8-bit microcontroller, with an embedded Atheros AR9331 Wi-Fi system-on-chip (SoC) running Linino, a MIPS GNU/Linux variant of OpenWRT.

  • Sitara Linux board porting series: Module 5

    The Sitara Linux Board Porting online series is comprised of one introduction and nine, 10-minute modules (3 Lecture and 6 Lab) that provide an introduction to porting U-boot and the Linux Kernel to custom hardware platforms.

  • HDMI dongle turns TVs into giant Android tablets

    A startup called BiggiFi is approaching its Indiegogo funding goal for a $79 HDMI dongle that essentially turns HDTVs into supersized Android tablets. The BiggiFi device is claimed to let users run unmodified Android apps on their TVs using their phone or tablet as the TV’s touchscreen — including motion input for games — without screen-mirroring overhead latency.

  • Open SBC runs Linux and Android on Allwinner A20

    Mouser has begun distributing Olimex’s open source A20-OLinuXino-Micro single board computer, which is based on Allwinner’s dual-core, Cortex-A7 system-on-chip. The community backed, Linux and Android compatible board is equipped with 1GB of DDR3 RAM, is supported with optional touchscreen and UETX expansion I/O modules, and is available for $75.

    Olimex’s OLinuXino products are some of the most “open” SBCs in the growing community of community backed hacker boards. All CAD files and sources and are available, and with their Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license, there are no restrictions on manufacturing and sales, says the Olimex-sponsored OLinuXino project.

  • Dev kit runs Linux on 1.2GHz quad-core ARM SoC

    MSC announced a Linux-ready development kit for a new Qseven format computer-on-module (COM) featuring single-, dual-, or quad-core Freescale i.MX6 Cortex-A9 based system-on-chips clocked at up to 1.2GHz. The kit includes a 3.5-inch SBC form factor baseboard with real-world I/O connectors, Yocto-built embedded Linux on a bootable SD card, and a DC power supply, and is available with optional LCD panels.

  • Media rendering box supports WiDi and Miracast
  • Compact box-PCs take Linux to extremes

    Axiomtek released two rugged, Linux-ready box computers with IP40 compliance, anti-vibration support, and extended temperature ranges. The tiny rBOX610 is a din-rail computer built around a Freescale ARM9-based i.MX287 processor, featuring CAN buses and isolated Fast Ethernet ports, while the eBOX660-872-FL offers 3rd generation Intel Core processors, four gig-Ethernet ports, and dual display support.

  • FPGA-programmable instrumentation device runs Linux

    Innovative Integration announced a turnkey 3mentation computer for signal processing and data acquisition. The Mini-K7 combines a Linux-ready COM Express Type 6 computer-on-module based on an AMD G-Series processor, a user-programmable Xilinx Kintex-7 FPGA, a Spartan 6 FPGA, and dual VITA 57 FMC expansion slots for the addition of application-specific I/O.

  • Arduino compatible $39 SBC runs Linux on x86

Raspberry Pi Represents the Rise of Freedom-Respecting Embedded GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel at 7:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Programmable devices running GNU/Linux are selling well and spreading to many areas of computing

Linux has been a star in embedded systems for quite a few years, but rarely were devices with Linux (and sometimes GNU utilities/toolchain on them) hacker-friendly; they were inflexible and locked-down to the point is being single-purpose machines.

Raspberry Pi et al. represent an exciting trend [1]. They are tied to Free languages [2], they are definitely programmable, they enjoy diversity and competition [3], and they do a variety of interesting things, from simple [4] to complex [5] (whole desktop operating systems), impacting every aspect of computing from servers [6] to robotics [7]. Raspberry Pi, which is a British product, is selling very well [8-11] and attracts funding [12], so this trend of affordable hackable computing will hopefully not fade away. The more freedom-respecting devices are out there, the more ethics-aware software will be run in our society, benefiting all. When devices are running secret code that cannot be changed we are simply left with back doors and security holes.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The Rise of Linux in Embedded Systems

    Whereas Raspberry Pi was the pioneer of very small Linux systems, the Arduino is the 800-pound gorilla in the micro-controller arena.

  2. PyPy 2.2 released

    We’re pleased to announce PyPy 2.2, which targets version 2.7.3 of the Python language. This release main highlight is the introduction of the incremental garbage collector, sponsored by the `Raspberry Pi Foundation`_.

  3. Meet Gertduino, an Arduino-Uno like board for your Raspberry Pi

    The Gertduino expansion board for the Raspberry Pi computer is now available. Created by Gert van Loo, the Gertduino is a Raspberry Pi add-on and it includes the same functionality as an Arduino-Uno but with some extra features like dual Atmel Atmega MCUs, -328 and -48.

  4. Open-source Raspberry Pi-powered PetBot looks after your pooch

    Pets are great company to have, but they need looking after when you are away. That’s what the Raspberry Pi-powered open-source PetBot aims to do, never leaving your precious pooch alone.

  5. Building Ubuntu for the Raspberry Pi

    As a result of the prior musings about crowdfunding and the rather shaky VAT status of the whole sector I have been thinking quite a bit about crowdfunding and where it might be useful and how we could get involved in some way. For our normal consultancy business we have no need of capital investments and we don’t produce anything that lends itself to the crowdfunding model, however I did come up with a project I have been wanting to do for quite a long time. Allow me to introduce it by way of a little video . . .

  6. Linux distro hosts web services on Raspberry Pi

    A startup called the Citizen Web Project has raised over $23,000 in crowdsourcing funds for an alpha-stage fork of Arch Linux intended for hosting easily-administered web services on low-end hardware. Initially available for the Raspberry Pi, ArkOS is designed for securely self-hosting websites, email, social networking accounts, and cloud services via an open source “Genesis” server gateway application.

    In the same spirit of self-reliance behind ArkOS itself, chief developer and Citizen Web Project founder Jacob Cook is hosting his own crowdsourcing campaign. So far, the project has raised over $23,000 on the way to a goal of $45,000, with 21 days left.

  7. Open source robot kit lets you BYO Arduino or Pi

    RobotBits.co.uk has begun selling an open source mobile robotics kit from Frindo.org available with an Arduino Duo, or as an under-$100 model that lets you add your own Arduino and/or Raspberry Pi. The Frindo robotics platform, which appears to be about 100mm in diameter, is billed as being more robust than most low-cost educational robots, and is optionally available with a motor controller board and sensor bundle.

  8. Sales of Raspberry Pi Linux computer hit two million
  9. Raspberry Pi carves out 2 million sales
  10. Raspberry Pi sells two million units

    It took us almost exactly a year to sell the first million Raspberry Pis. Going on that basis, we calculated that we might, if we were lucky, reach the second million around January 2014, or slightly afterwards – we were confident we’d get there by the end of February 2014. So it was a bit of a shock at the end of last week when we got the latest sales figures and discovered that the 2,000,000th Raspberry Pi was sold in the last week of October. We don’t know who owns it – if you bought one between October 24 and October 31st, it might be yours. (It could even be the one we gave to Prince Andrew when he visited on Halloween.)

  12. How an open-source computer kit for kids based on Raspberry Pi is taking over Kickstarter

    When the Raspberry Pi was developed, founder Eben Upton envisioned that the low-cost computer would do its finest work in the classroom, teaching kids about computing. But as more units sold, Raspberry Pi developed a strong, distinctive niche among adult makers, a fruitful group that nonetheless doesn’t really have much in common with a younger age bracket that can be hard to reach.

Jolla/Sailfish is Not Selfish; It’s Quite Freedom-Respecting

Posted in GNU/Linux at 6:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Jolla’s Sailfish OS makes its hardware debut and it looks as good as many of us hoped

IT IS too easy to dismissed phone projects that are small (like OpenMoko or Ubuntu Edge) as non-starters; Phonebloks would know the feeling [1] and Mozilla once experienced it. Well, Mozilla now has some phones out there (running Linux) and so does Jolla [2], the company which came out of the ruins of Nokia (Microsoft destroyed Linux inside Nokia). The official launch was yesterday [3] and it seems relatively freedom-respecting, based on assessments around the Web (many people in Diaspora had legitimate doubts before this debut). Bloomberg, which put a lot of money behind Ubuntu Edge, says that Jolla is a “Challenge to Android” and we sure hope it can kick-start a freer Linux-oriented platform on which to work through tablets, smartphones, etc. Here in our household (Android- and GNU/Linux-dominated) we’ve looked at Sailfish OS and it surprised us for the better.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Phonebloks founder: we’re not another Ubuntu Edge

    Phonebloks founder Dave Hakkens has batted away suggestions that his “modular smartphone” project won’t see the light of day.

  2. Jolla’s Smartphone Launches Today
  3. Ex-Nokia engineers launch a Linux smartphone that runs Android apps
  4. Nokia Software Revived in Challenge to Android as Jolla Debuts

    Jolla Oy, a Finnish smartphone maker founded by former Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) engineers, is stepping up its challenge to Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Google Inc. after the first batches of its handset were snapped up by consumers looking for change.

Links 28/11/2013: Today’s Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 6:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As Europe Vows to Embrace Free/Libre Software, Transparency Required to Expose Microsoft Bribery and Other Corruption

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 6:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Al Capone mugshot and Steve Ballmer

Summary: Microsoft’s history of bribing government officials teaches us that a chain of accountability is needed if Europe really wishes to emancipate itself from Microsoft/NSA trespassing

A Polish watchdog has just come out in favour of monitored IT procurement [1]. Having watched what happened in France, Quebec [1, 2, 3], and Switzerland, it is easy to see why. To use just Switzerland’s case, recall posts such as the following:

  1. Microsoft Sued Over Its Corruption in Switzerland, Microsoft Debt Revisited
  2. Can the United Kingdom and Hungary Still be Sued for Excluding Free Software?
  3. 3 New Counts of Antitrust Violation by Microsoft?
  4. Is Microsoft Breaking the Law in Switzerland Too?
  5. Microsoft Uses Lobbyists to Attack Holland’s Migration to Free Software and Sort of Bribes South African Teachers Who Use Windows
  6. ZDNet/eWeek Ruins Peter Judge’s Good Article by Attacking Red Hat When Microsoft Does the Crime
  7. Week of Microsoft Government Affairs: a Look Back, a Look Ahead
  8. Lawsuit Against Microsoft/Switzerland Succeeds So Far, More Countries/Companies Should Follow Suit
  9. Latest Reports on Microsoft Bulk Deals Being Blocked in Switzerland, New Zealand
  10. Swiss Government and Federal Computer Weekly: Why the Hostility Towards Free Software?
  11. Switzerland and the UK Under Fire for Perpetual Microsoft Engagements
  12. Lawsuit Over Alleged Microsoft Corruption in Switzerland Escalates to Federal Court
  13. When Microsoft-Only/Lock-in is Defined as “Technology”

Europe is moving towards Free software [2,3,4], which makes perfect sense amid the NSA scandals. Let’s just hope that the IT procurement steps are totally transparent; without transparency, Microsoft will just carry on bribing government officials in exchange for lucrative deals.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. IT procurement must be monitored, Polish watchdog concludes

    Public procurement of IT solutions must be monitored for violations, the Polish Free and Open Source Software Foundation (FWiOO) concludes in its final report on its public IT procurement project PPPIT, published this summer. After having studied hundreds of procurement procedures by Polish public administrations, the organisation infers that requests and specifications can be formulated seemingly without breaking the rules.

  2. European Governments Are So Much Fun!

    Isn’t that refreshing? Instead of pouring more $billions into M$’s coffers for permission to run IT, European governments are actually switching to FLOSS and GNU/Linux because of open standards, lower costs and higher flexibility. Good for them! Now, about Canada…

  3. The European Commission’s Neelie Kroes believes in open

    Neelie Kroes, VP of the European Commission (EC), has a website called Comment Neelie to initiate and maintain a two-way conversation between herself, as a politician, and the public, as citizens. Kroes says that it’s “a channel to communicate, not just broadcast.”

  4. New German government to encourage open source

    Germany’s upcoming government coalition of CDU, CSU and SPD is to encourage the use of open source software in public administrations. In its coalition treaty, leaked last Monday evening, the government describes open source is an alternative to ‘closed digital ecosystems’ and says it will commit itself to open source at a European level.

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