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11.18.14

Links 18/11/2014: Linux 3.18 RC 5, New DigiKam

Posted in News Roundup at 12:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • 4 ways Docker is remaking Linux

      When containers first appeared in Linux, the natural assumption was that it would be yet another of many technologies that Linux has assimilated.

      But then came Docker, a novel use of containers to make apps portable and self-contained. It’s set Linux vendors scrambling, both to to rethink the way containers are implemented in Linux and to see how Linux can be reworked around Docker’s application-centric model.

      Here’s how four major enterprise Linux distributions are readying themselves for a Docker-ized future.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.18-rc5

      Hmm. We had a very calm -rc4, and I wish I could say that things
      continued to calm down, but… Yeah, rc5 is clearly bigger than rc4
      was. Oh well.

      It’s not like it’s entirely out of line, though – rc4 was unusually
      small. And the changes aren’t particularly odd or scary: about 55%
      drivers (networking, gpu, cypto, thermal, sound), 15% arch updates
      (xtensa, x86, arm[64], parsic, sparc), and the rest is a mostly a mix
      of netwoorking, filesystem, VM, documentation and tracing updates.
      The changes tend to be fairly small and clear, and about a third are
      marked for stable.

      So we still have a few pending issues, but things look fairly normal.
      We’ve still got a few weeks to go before final, and the more you can
      test, the better off we’ll be.

      Linus

    • Linux 3.18-rc5 Is A Bit Heavy On Changes
    • Linux Kernel 3.18 RC5 Is Out, Bigger than Linus Torvalds Expected

      A fresh Release Candidate for Linux kernel 3.18 has been announced by Linus Torvalds and it looks like it’s a little bit bigger than expected. In any case, things are on track and the development powers on.

    • Linux extremists owe Debian systemd maintainer an apology

      I’ve been aware of the systemd nastiness for quite a while, but I must admit that I was shocked to read about his resignation this morning. He has apparently been a long-time Debian developer and for him to be forced to this resignation by vicious attacks is really just beyond the pale. Fortunately, he is not leaving Debian altogether but is simply resigning as a systemd maintainer.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • digiKam Software Collection 4.5.0 released…

        The digiKam Team is proud to announce the release of digiKam Software Collection 4.5.0. This release includes bugs fixes and switch as optional some dependencies as libkipi, libkface, libkgeomap dedicated respectively to support Kipi plugins, Face management, and Geo-location maps. By this way we will be able to port digiKam to KF5/Qt5 step by step.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Release Notes for Grml 2014.11

        This Grml release provides fresh software packages from Debian testing (AKA jessie). As usual it also incorporates up2date hardware support and fixes known bugs from the previous Grml release.

      • Black Lab Professional Desktop 6.0 Service Release 2 Available Now

        Today we are announcing the immediate availability of Black Lab Professional Desktop 6.0 SR2. SR2 (Service Release 2) is a collection of all security updates for October and November 2014.

    • Screenshots

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Developer Resigns From The Systemd Maintainership Team
      • Resignation from the pkg-systemd maintainer team

        I hereby resign from the systemd maintainer team in Debian. Please remove me from Uploaders on the next upload. You’ve been an awesome team to work with, but the load of the continued attacks is just becoming too much.

      • on leaving

        I left Debian. I don’t really have a lot to say about why, but I do want to clear one thing up right away. It’s not about systemd.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • LoCo stands for Local Community

            LoCo is for Local CommunityThe other day there was a trivial blog post that came across Planet Ubuntu which proclaimed that a certain LoCo in the Ubuntu Community was no longer going to use the LoCo term because they felt it was offensive in spanish.

          • Developer Creates Gorgeous New Radial Menu for Ubuntu Touch – Video

            Most of the work done by third-party developers for the Ubuntu Touch platform consists of new apps and scopes and very few tackle stuff that is much deeper embedded in the operating system, but that has now changed.

          • Ubuntu Kylin 14.10 Utopic Unicorn : Video Overview and Screenshot Tours

            Ubuntu Kylin 14.10 Utopic Unicorn is latest release of Ubuntu Kylin based on ubuntu 14.10 that used Unity desktop environment. As official ubuntu flavors it released brings with improved stability along with newly added features which provides better user experience.

            According to Official announcement of Ubuntu Kylin 14.10. In this release, Ubuntu Kylin team has improve the system stability and add more new features, which provide you a better user experience. The Linux Kernel is updated to Ubuntu Kernel 3.16.0-17.23 based on 3.16.3 upstream version and Unity is 7.3.1. This release upgrades Ubuntu Kylin Software Center to 1.1.3, Youker Assistant 1.3.1, Youker Weather 2.1.2, Youker Calendar 1.0.0, Youker Fcitx 1.0.0, Sogou IM 1.1.0, Kuaipan 2.0.0 and Wiznote 2.1.12. Meanwhile, we have done lots of optimization and enhancement for you, with new slideshow and new wallpapers from 14.10 Wallpaper Contest!

          • Ubuntu 32-Bit ISO Images Are Not Going Away Anytime Soon

            Numerous Linux distributions have stopped providing 32-bit images for their users, but most of those OSes don’t have large user bases. It’s easy to say that you don’t support 32-bit apps and that you won’t build 32-bit images when there are not too many users for your operating system, but things change when that distro is Ubuntu.

          • UbuTricks 14.11.17 Released with Support for 6 New Apps, 20 Updated Apps

            This new version adds support for six new applications and 20 apps with updated versions. The new applications are Exaile, Yarock, GNOME Commander (Trusty), SimpleAudioPlayer, Kid3 and Fotoxx (DEB).

          • Ubuntu Server 14.10 Utopic Unicorn : Released with OpenStack 2014.1
          • Flavours and Variants

            • The Ultimate Ubuntu MATE Installation Guide

              In all truth this guide will show you how to install Ubuntu MATE on a computer with a standard BIOS. If you are looking to install on an EFI based system then a future guide will cover that.

            • Ubuntu MATE VS Lubuntu On An Old Netbook

              Up until last week the netbook was running Lubuntu 14.04 and before that it was running Lubuntu 13.10 and before that Lubuntu 13.04. I have tried a number of different distributions on this netbook over the years but Lubuntu has been the go to distribution because of its performance.

              I was preparing to write about the latest Lubuntu 14.10 release but instead decided to give the new Ubuntu MATE edition a go after seeing it in action as a live distribution on my far more powerful Toshiba Satellite Pro.

            • Linux Mint 17.1 with Cinnamon 2.4 Looks Beautiful [Overview, Screenshots, What's New]

              The next Linux Mint Cinnamon edition is knocking on the door and a Release Candidate was put out yesterday. This release will bear the version number 17.1, and it is codenamed “Rebecca”. In this overview I will look at the release candidate for Mint 17.1, focusing on the main new features in Cinnamon, which ships the latest bleeding edge version in Rebecca, and will accompany it with screenshots for the desktop and the new changes that went into it.

            • Linux Mint 17 RC “Rebecca” MATE Is Out and Features Full Compiz Support – Screenshot Tour

              Linux Mint 17 RC “Rebecca” MATE has been officially announced and the ISOs have been made available for download. It’s a big improvement over the previous 17 version and it will be a very interesting update.

            • Linux Mint 17.1 RC “Rebecca” Cinnamon Officially Released – Screenshot Tour

              Clement Lefebvre has launched the first Release Candidate for Linux Mint 17.1. “Rebecca” Cinnamon is now available for download and comes accompanied by a major update for the desktop environment.

            • An Unofficial Lubuntu 14.10 Image Using LXQt Has Been Released

              As you may know, the LXDE developers have started porting their desktop environment to Qt, under the name of LXQt. It uses PCManFM-Qt, a version of PCManFM, re-written in Qt, as the default file manager and Openbox as window manager and has support for Wayland, a new display server developed by Red Hat.

              Recently, a Lubuntu image using LXQt as default has been released, to allow the users to test the new desktop environment.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Samsung Gear S now on Amazon India for Rs 27,900

          As we wait for the first Tizen based Smartphone to be released in india, the Samsung SM-Z130H, it seems like that is not the only Tizen based device to make a splash in the Indian subcontinent. The Samsung Gear S has gone on sale on Amazon India for Rs 27,200 which is about $452 USD. It is felt that this is quite a steep price for the average Indian to pay, but generally speaking this is not the cheapest of devices and is at the current cutting edge of technology.

      • Android

        • Review: Android’s ‘Lollipop’ upgrade is sweet

          Android’s sweet new “Lollipop” flavor brings security improvements and easier ways to view and respond to notifications. The new Google software for mobile devices even lets you lend out your phone without worrying about a friend circulating your naked selfies on Facebook.

          I tested Lollipop on Google’s new Nexus 6 phone, released this week. I can only hope that as other phones get the upgrade over time, it will be as good as what you get on the Nexus.

          It’s a shame many phone manufacturers that use Android believe they have to tweak it extensively to make the software theirs and not Google’s. Mucking around with it only confuses customers and steers app developers toward working on iPhone versions first, where there is more uniformity — and thus incentive to incorporate the latest features.

          Assuming your phone maker is running Lollipop in its purest form, here’s what you’ll get:

        • How to Build Awesome Android Apps

          Over the years, Android has grown from a simple mobile operating system to a highly profitable ecosystem. Among the people to benefit from this growth are Google, gadget manufacturers (Samsung, HTC, Motorola), and millions of app developers from around the world. With multiple ways to monetize applications, Android has been responsible for turning many small-time developers into the “rich geeks” who have made quite a following for themselves in the pop culture.

        • Lollipop OTAs Have Started For The Nexus 5, 6, 7 (2012 And 2013), 9, And 10

          Can you feel it? It’s in the air. Of course I’m referring to the impending arrival of Android 5.0 on Nexus devices. It’s starting now with a full jump to Lollipop for devices that are currently on KitKat, and a small bug fix update for new devices like the Nexus 9.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 14 fabulous open source gifts for the holidays

    Firefox OS for mobile runs as the backbone of the Alcatel One Touch Fire and the ZTE Open smartphone. They are the first of their kind based entirely on open web standards. Emily Price for Mashable tells us, “That means everything on the phone is running in a web browser… Mozilla is not going after the type of customers who are obsessed with the screen size and type or processing power of their device. It’s targeting customers who just need to communicate with the world around them, and it’s giving them a much more feature-rich way to do so.”

  • Can India break the pattern and do open source right?

    The government of India has recently announced a big push into open source as a part of its Digital Initiative. For a country of more than a billion people and thousands of government organizations, I see this as a long overdue move that will hopefully boost the faltering free and open source software communities in India.

    On the face of it, this initiative should not be written off as yet another bureaucratic exercise into nothingness, because the program seems to be headed by an able administrator, RS Sharma, who was a part of the massive Universal ID (UID) project executed by the government of India. That project has issued bio-metric based IDs to around 700 million Indians. Mr. Sharma and has also managed to build an impressive and tasteful attendance application based on the UID infrastructure.

    From my experience in the free and open source software industry, I think if public money could be used to either build a public or private asset, it should be used to create public assets.

  • FLOSS And Government In India

    FLOSS is the right way to do IT for everyone. Governments may feel FLOSS is unnecessary/different/unusual at their peril.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Licence fine forces town to drop move to alternative office tools

      The Dutch city of Arnhem has, for now, given up searching for alternatives for its office productivity tools, after settling a claim with a dominant software vendor for unlicensed use of its office software. To compensate for not having adequately licensed the software used by the town’s civil servant’s who were working from home, Arnhem has paid 600,000 euro for new licences. These allow the use of the ubiquitous proprietary office software for the next three years, says the city’s CIO, Simon Does.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Linux for lettuce

      What infuriates Myers, though, is that patents such as the one Seminis is seeking don’t just impede sharing; they deter others from using their own germplasm. As the examiner noted, Seminis’s patent application claims essentially all broccoli with an exserted head of a commercial size. If Myers’s plants are too similar to those grown by Seminis, he won’t be able to release his own variety for fear of patent infringement. Even if he did, no farmer or seed company would use it lest they be sued for the same violation.

    • Open Data

      • Finding the sweet spot for data between privacy and open

        Every municipality should have an open data champion. The City of Raleigh, the capital city of North Carolina, is fortunate to have Jason Hare, an open data program manager and an open data consultant. Last year, Hare lead the effort to deploy a beta version of the first open data portal for Raleigh that went live earlier this year after another iteration with even more data available to the public.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Dr Matt Taylor’s shirt made me cry, too – with rage at his abusers

      Except, of course, that he wasn’t crying with relief. He wasn’t weeping with sheer excitement at this interstellar rendezvous. I am afraid he was crying because he felt he had sinned. He was overcome with guilt and shame for wearing what some people decided was an “inappropriate” shirt on television. “I have made a big mistake,” he said brokenly. “I have offended people and I am sorry about this.”

      I watched that clip of Dr Taylor’s apology – at the moment of his supreme professional triumph – and I felt the red mist come down. It was like something from the show trials of Stalin, or from the sobbing testimony of the enemies of Kim Il-sung, before they were taken away and shot. It was like a scene from Mao’s cultural revolution when weeping intellectuals were forced to confess their crimes against the people.

      Why was he forced into this humiliation? Because he was subjected to an unrelenting tweetstorm of abuse. He was bombarded across the internet with a hurtling dustcloud of hate, orchestrated by lobby groups and politically correct media organisations.

      [...]

      It’s the hypocrisy of it all that irritates me. Here is Kim Kardashian – a heroine and idol to some members of my family – deciding to bust out all over the place, and good for her. No one seeks to engulf her in a tweetstorm of rage. But why is she held to be noble and pure, while Dr Taylor is attacked for being vulgar and tasteless?

  • Hardware

    • Anti-Competitive Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

      One of the disadvantages to buying an Apple system is that it generally means less upgradeability and flexibility than a system from a traditional PC OEM. Over the last few years, Apple has introduced features and adopted standards that made upgrading or using third-party hardware progressively more difficult. Now, with OS X 10.10 Yosemite, the company has taken another step down the path towards total vendor lock-in and effectively disabled support for third-party SSDs.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • An Embattled ALEC, Buoyed by Election Results, Lays Blueprint for 2015

      The midterm elections may have given the embattled American Legislative Exchange Council a new lease on life. ALEC has been bleeding corporate members, but with Republicans now in control of 68 out of 98 state legislative bodies, there are fewer impediments to the enactment of the corporate-friendly legislation that ALEC peddles — and in early December, ALEC and the corporations that still fund it will likely lay out the legislative blueprint for 2015 at the ALEC States & Nation Policy Summit in Washington, DC.

    • Will Bob Schieffer Move Toward the Center?

      All of this on a show that is regularly stocked full of Republican and right-leaning guests, the most popular in the show’s history being John McCain.

    • No, NPR Did Not Ask Cosby About Rape Accusations

      Now, Cosby surely knew what Simon was referring to–as did media writers who reported on the interview. But you know who likely didn’t know what Simon was talking about? Most of his audience, given that the rape allegations have received remarkably little coverage since they first emerged almost a decade ago.

  • Censorship

    • Does Twitter have a secret weapon for silencing trolls?

      In recent months, Twitter has come under fire for the proliferation of harassment on its platform—in particular, gendered harassment. (According to the Pew Center, women online are more at risk from extreme forms of harassment like “physical threats, stalking, and sexual abuse.”) Twitter first implemented the ability to report abuse in 2013, in response to the flood of harassment received by feminist activist Caroline Criado-Perez. The recent surge in harassment has again resulted in calls for Twitter to “fix” its harassment problem, whether by reducing anonymity, or by creating better blocking tools that could mass-block harassing accounts or pre-emptively block recently created accounts that tweet at you. (The Blockbot, Block Together, and GG Autoblocker are all instances of third party attempts to achieve the latter.) Last week, the nonprofit Women, Action, & the Media announced a partnership with Twitter to specifically track and address gendered harassment.

    • Twitter Testing Secret Filter To Stop Abuse: Is That A Good Thing Or An Attack On Free Speech?
    • Roca Labs Issues Bogus DMCA Takedown Notices To Google To Try To Hide PissedConsumer Reviews

      Yes, we’re back again with another Roca Labs story already. Lawyer Ron Coleman alerts us to the latest ridiculous legal strategy by Roca Labs: send a DMCA notice to Google to try to hide the negative reviews of Roca Labs on PissedConsumer.com. As you know, Roca Labs is suing PissedConsumer because it hosts some negative reviews of Roca’s product (a claimed “alternative” to gastric bypass surgery). The DMCA notice in question claims that thumbnails used on the PissedConsumer reviews violate its copyright, and further, that PissedConsumer violates Roca Labs trademarks by using Roca Labs in the URL for the Roca Labs reviews.

    • Will the Great Firewall of Australia block pirate websites?

      The slippery slope to Australia becoming an authoritarian capitalist state with restricted Internet access like China is looming with the excuse being that pirate sites need blocking, even though VPNs can easily get around government enforced restrictions.

  • Privacy

    • Documents Obtained By The ACLU Show NSA’s Inability To Prevent Collection Of US Persons’ Data And Communications

      The ACLU has freed up more NSA documents — again as the result of a FOIA lawsuit. Some of what’s been obtained provides a few more details on the NSA’s reliance on Executive Order 12333 to perform its data and communications harvesting. This Executive Order is, and always has been, the go-to authority for the NSA. This allows it to bypass nearly every form of oversight. There’s no FISA court involvement or input from Congressional oversight committees. The NSA relies almost exclusively on the good graces of the Executive Branch — something that has worked out in its favor for the past two presidencies.

    • ORG calls for political parties to state their position on surveillance

      At their annual conference, ORGCon14, Open Rights Group (ORG) have called on politicians to address surveillance by the police and security services in their manifestos for May’s General Election. The digital campaigners believe that a big increase in ORG’s membership over the last year and a half shows that surveillance is becoming a key issue for voters. They are calling on political parties to state their policies so that the electorate can make an informed choice about who will protect their rights to privacy and free speech.

    • University lacks policy for preserving public records

      Of the many grievances voiced against former Athletic Director Dave Brandon before his departure Oct. 31, lack of transparency was at the forefront. Brandon’s consistent response to requests for his public records, however, was in line with University policy.

    • BND to hire hackers to check shopping carts

      Germany’s foreign intelligence agency plans to spend millions to penetrate the secure connection technologies used by social networks, banks and online shops.

    • German Spy Agency Wants To Buy Zero-Day Vulnerabilities In Order To Undermine SSL Security
    • Senator Harry Reid Going To Try To Push Through USA Freedom Act Before GOP Takes Over Senate

      There were some rumors that, with the GOP about to take over the Senate, the Democratic leadership might try to finally move forward with the USA Freedom Act. The Senate bill has been languishing, despite it being considered a “compromise” bill that was widely acceptable to both intelligence community folks and many in the civil liberties community. Over the last few months, civil liberties and consumer activists groups have been growing less pleased with the bill, as the deeper they’ve explored it, the more worried they’ve become about some of how it might be abused. However, it’s still considered by many to be a good start, if not (in any way) a perfect bill.

    • Ontario Police Inspector Says He Wants A ‘Driver’s License For The Internet’

      Naylor obviously realizes his idea will be unpopular, hence the “child sexual exploitation” lead-in. That makes his assertion binary. Either you’re for an internet driver’s license or you’re for child molestation: which is it? This is a common law enforcement affliction — seeing anything that makes the job slightly more difficult as a barrier to be eliminated.

    • Russian Law Demanding User Data Remain On Russian Soil Could Turn Into A Ban On Apple Products

      A law outlawing the use of offshore servers to store Russian internet users’ data and content goes into effect at the beginning of 2015. That means popular products like Apple’s iPhone and iPad will all be technically violating Russian law with their automatic iCloud syncing.

    • Russia to ban iCloud.. to PROTECT iPhone fiddlers’ pics ‘n’ sh*t

      Anti-data-offshoring laws will come into force on New Year’s Day 2015 that require all data generated within Russia to be stored within its borders.

    • EVERYTHING needs crypto says Internet Architecture Board

      The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) has called for encryption to become the norm for all internet traffic.

      Last Friday, the IAB issued a statement saying that since there is no single place in the Internet protocol stack that offers the chance to protect “all kinds of communication”, encryption must be adopted throughout the protocol stack.

    • Open Rights Group presses political parties on privacy policies

      UK PEOPLE BACKER the Open Rights Group (ORG) has called on the main political parties to clarify their views on privacy and surveillance, and let the electorate know how they intend to treat personal information.

    • Sir Tim Berners-Lee: we need more MPs who know how to code

      More politicians need to be able to code if they are to legislate effectively on technology, Sir Tim Berners-Lee said on Saturday.

      Berners-Lee, who invented the world wide web in 1989, said it is crucial that politicians appreciate the technical capabilities of computers and that a knowledge of coding is key.

      Speaking at the Every Second Counts Forum, the renowned computer scientist said: “Being able to code means that you understand what people can do with a computer. You need to be able to understand what people can do with a computer to make laws about it.

    • Encryption should be the norm, says internet overlord

      ENCRYPTION SHOULD BE a matter of priority and used by default. That’s the message from the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), the worldwide body in charge of the internet’s technology infrastructure.

  • Civil Rights

    • Chicago School Zone Speed Cams Tag Drivers Even In The Summer, Because Chicago

      Well, this is fun. We just recently wrote about how Chicago’s speed cameras, ostensibly all to do with safety, failed to bring in as much money as Mayor Rahm Emanuel had suggested in his budget plan. Yes, tickets based on speed cameras were worked into the budget numbers, which is a strange thing to do if they’re supposed to be about safety and not money. Safe driving, in other words, should not trigger a budget crisis. But it turns out the ticketing revenue might still be inflated, even at the crisis number, as a bunch of speeding tickets were generated by cameras within school zones flagging drivers for driving over the school zone limit in the summertime.

    • A tiny town in Michigan will sell you a police badge and gun permit

      Oakley, Mi. is barely a town at 300 people, only one streetlight and, until recently, one police officer. The one cop was good at his job, reports Vocativ’s M.L. Nestel, until he was forced to step down after getting caught stalking a teenage girl.

      In 2008, new chief Robert Reznick made some changes: he hired 12 full-time officers and started an enormous volunteer officer program which allowed lawyers, doctors and football players (from other towns) to work toward upholding the law.

      One qualifies for this prestigious program simply by paying $1,200 to the police department. In return, you’ll get a uniform, bullet-proof vest and gun. For an additional donation, you’ll get a police badge and the right to carry your gun basically anywhere in the state, including stadiums, bars and daycares.

    • The FBI Is Offended That It Isn’t Allowed To Control How The Press Portrays Its Deceptive Activities

      The last few weeks have revealed a bunch of deceptive practices by law enforcement — mainly the FBI. First, there was the revelation that the FBI had impersonated an online news story to install malware in trying to track a high school bomb threat. Then, there was a story from a couple of weeks ago about the FBI turning off internet access at some luxury villas in Las Vegas, and then acting as repair technicians to get inside and search the place (while filming everything). That was a story we had hoped to cover, but hadn’t yet gotten to it. However, after the NY Times editorial board slammed that operation, FBI Director James Comey wrote a reply defending the FBI’s “use of deception.”

    • Part Of CIA Torture Report May Finally Be Released Next Week, As More Details Leak
    • The Senate Report on CIA Interrogation Is About to Reignite Debate Over the Killing of Osama Bin Laden

      “It’s irrelevant whether torture ‘worked,’” said Zeke Johnson, a spokesman for Amnesty International. “We don’t ask about the efficacy, for example, of genocide or rape. Torture is immoral and always illegal. The US government must disclose the full truth about the torture program, ensure justice for victims, and end impunity.”

    • It Is Racist To Be Worried About Immigration

      The wealthy right-winger Yvette Cooper has just been on television intoning Labour’s new mantra “It isn’t racist to be worried about immigration.” This should be challenged robustly at all times. Above all, it is very, very racist for politicians to go around saying “It isn’t racist to be worried about immigration” when they are using it nakedly and cynically to bid for the votes of racists.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Comcast Supports The President’s Net Neutrality Plan, Except For The Only Part That Does Anything Meaningful

      Most of the industry’s biggest ISPs have spent the last week either threatening to sue over the President’s surprising support of Title II, or in the case of AT&T, pouting like a child and making empty threats. Most of the biggest ISPs also spent the week insisting that the FCC should simply back away from meaningful consumer protections, leaving such heady tasks to a broken, bickering Congress awash in telecom lobbying cash.

    • Republicans And Democrats Alike Overwhelmingly Support Net Neutrality; Why Don’t GOP Officials In Congress Recognize This?

      Within hours of President Obama’s surprise call for true net neutrality rules under Title II, Republicans in Congress were in a full-fledged freakout. Beyond the nutty comparisons to Obamacare or suggesting that this will lead to greater oppression in Russia, China and Iran (no, really, that claim was made), a bunch of elected Republicans in Congress sent a letter to the FCC strongly opposing Title II, insisting that it would be “beyond the scope of the FCC’s authority.”

    • Tom Wheeler Still Wants To ‘Split The Baby’; Forgetting That The Point Of That Story Was Not To Actually Split The Baby

      The Washington Post put up an article last night claiming that FCC boss Tom Wheeler is telling tech companies that he isn’t going to follow President Obama’s net neutrality plan, following the President’s surprise announcement on Monday of his support for real net neutrality rules under Title II. We’ve heard from a few people who were at that meeting who claim that the Washington Post article isn’t entirely accurate. It is true that Wheeler is still very interested in a potential hybrid plan that almost no one likes, but that much of Wheeler’s statements at the meeting were actually more focused on delaying an official decision by the FCC, which many had expected to come in a December FCC meeting. Wheeler, it appears, wants more time to study the different options. Another FCC commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel (who seems more likely to support a plan including Title II reclassification), has apparently been pushing for the FCC to stick to the existing schedule and to make a decision “without delay.”

    • Colorado Residents Wake Up, Vote To Bypass Protectionist State Broadband Laws

      As we’ve noticed in the past, if there’s a place to start fixing U.S. broadband competition, it’s the nearly two-dozen state protectionist broadband laws written and passed by the nation’s incumbent ISPs. Said laws either hinder or outright ban towns and cities from building and/or improving their own broadband networks, even in cases where local private companies refuse to. In several instances, the laws even prohibit government collaboration with private companies in any way.

    • Net neutrality is as simple as freedom vs. monopoly

      As information services, the court ruled, ISPs were exempt from the FCC’s regulations. No sooner had the FCC’s Net neutrality rules lost their teeth, then the big ISPs began playing fast and loose with their interconnects to artificially constrain their networks in order to extort money from Netflix. In short order, the worst of my predictions quickly became reality. One prediction I definitely didn’t make: We’d be faced with the threat of Comcast and Time Warner Cable merging to form the worst company that ever existed.

    • Seven Design Firms Give ‘Net Neutrality’ a Makeover

      Net neutrality is making friends and influencing people these days: President Obama, plucky tech startups, 81 percent (PDF) of the U.S. public, even corporate giants far from Silicon Valley. Imagine how much more attractive the policy would be if it weren’t saddled with the vague and unlovable name “net neutrality.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Lawsuit Filed Against European Commission In EU’s Highest Court For Refusing To Allow Official TAFTA/TTIP Petition

      This really goes to the heart of the problem not just with TAFTA/TTIP, but also with TPP and the new TISA. The public is told that it cannot comment while the negotiations are being conducted, but that it should wait to see the final document. At that point, it is then told that there is no point in commenting, since nothing can be changed, and so the agreement must simply be accepted.

    • European Commission taken to court for ‘stifling dissent’ over EU-US trade deal
    • Copyrights

      • Giganews Not Liable for Pirating Usenet Customers, Court Rules

        A federal court in California has ruled that Usenet service provider Giganews is not guilty of copyright infringement, nor can it be held responsible for customers who do pirate content. The case in question was brought by adult magazine publisher Perfect 10 which previously lodged similar complaints against Amazon, Google and RapidShare.

      • Consumer Organizations And Internet Companies Mount Legal Challenge To Italy’s Extreme Copyright Enforcement Regulations

        Techdirt has been following for a while the saga of Italy giving its Authority for Communications Guarantees (AGCOM), which regulates broadcasting and telecommunications, wide-ranging new powers to police online copyright infringement too. That culminated in the first instances of Web sites being blocked without any kind of judicial review earlier this year. Since then, there has been an important development as civil organizations and Internet companies have mounted a legal challenge to the new regulations.

      • The Copyright Monopoly Wars Are About To Repeat, But Much Worse

        The copyright monopoly war wasn’t the war, it was the tutorial mission. The internet generation is using technology to assert its values and its place in society, and the old industrial generation is pushing back hard against irrelevance. Things are about to get much worse.

      • Dotcom Faces Jail Following Application to Revoke Bail

        Kim Dotcom’s predicament worsened today when a prosecutor revealed that a bail revocation application is underway which could put back behind bars as early as next week. In the meantime Dotcom is being restricted on land, sea and air.

      • €40k brothel bill ‘work-related’: copyright boss

        A former executive with Spain’s main copyright organization has been sentenced to prison for spending €40,000 ($50,000) in brothels using a corporate credit card, with a judge describing as “nonsense” the man’s claims that the visits were work-related.

      • Spain Copyright Executive Claims $50k Brothel Bill Was For Work-Related Activities

        When you write about as many different people, groups and organizations as we do here at Techdirt, you occasionally forget to check in on some places and people occasionally. Take SGAE, for instance. It’s the Spanish music collection group that has made a name for itself chiefly stealing money from artists, epitomizing corruption, and generally behaving like pain-in-the-butt asshats whenever given the opportunity. We haven’t checked on SGAE in about three years or so, so I assume the group has completely turned itself around and are now a shining example of above-board behavior?

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