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Google Should Condemn CISPA

Posted in Site News at 1:39 am by Guest Editorial Team

Silence or support for CISPA plays into Microsoft’s long standing smear campaign against Google.

For weeks, people have been claiming that Google supports CISPA. Ten days ago, a trade group spoke up for Google [2]. Five days later, right before getting the bill passed by Congress, co author Mike Rogers took time to represent Google and most of the Silicon Valley,

They’ve been helpful and supportive of trying to find the right language in the bill … I always said if I could get Palo Alto and New York City on the same bill, I got something. We found that sweet spot in this particular bill.

Even Wikipedia claims Google support for CISPA, “Google has not taken a public position on the bill [27] but has shown previous support for it, and now says they support the idea but believe the bill needs some work”

Voice jacking may be a downside of being the most loved company in tech and the world [2] but the Microsoft press is having a field day with it. Microsoft’s long slog against Google paints the company as, an evil monopoly, really EVIL, screwing partners and violating user privacy for commercial gain at every turn, basically everything Microsoft is or wants to be. Recent examples include much noise about harmless wifi data collection, Android developers and user data, a flap over privacy policies, really, an unending flap, flap, flap. A long list of older smear jobs can be found by searching Groklaw for the proper terms. Google support for CISPA really would be a reversal and betrayal.

Google’s long standing, official silence is baffling. Google was a hero in the fight against SOPA saying all the right things about censorship and privacy. Eric Schmidt has released an excellent excerpt from his soon to be published book about dangers to network freedom but it does not mention CISPA.

Informed opinion is overwhelmingly against CISPA, but they need help. Today, 34 prominent civil rights organizations issued a statement against the bill and most have been fighting it all along [2, 3]. The same groups also opposed SOPA but were unable to effectively reach the public without help from sites like Google and Wikipedia.

Continued silence allows the wrong people to control the narrative and demoralizes opponents. There have been several articles about how no one showed up for the first round of blackouts and how passage is inevitable without Google and Wikipedia support and how that’s not going to happen. They also say not to worry because Senate does not care and Obama will veto it. This is the usual narrative of the rich and powerful: You little people are weak and helpless, don’t struggle because it will only waste your time.

Techrights firmly opposes CISPA and has written against it several times [2] Users, companies, government and the internet itself don’t have a “cybersecurity” problem, they have a problem with second rate, non free software from companies like Microsoft. CISPA makes the problem worse by giving the usual suspects power to censor and harass [2] people trying to fix things.

Readers wanting to know the basics of CISPA are urged to read the EFF FAQ. Then join us in urging lawmakers to reject CISPA. We really can’t depend on Obama’s veto for this, he’s already signed an executive order almost as bad as CISPA and the house vote is sufficient to override a veto.


Leftover Links for October 10, 2012

Posted in Site News at 8:19 pm by Guest Editorial Team

The return of Reader’s Picks

    I’m back after a little break and will start out with a recap of a very important topic, the private assault on public education lead by Bill Gates and other ultra wealthy rent seekers.

  • Education

    • The Chicago teachers strike and where it all began

      Yes, schoolchildren in Chicago are victims, but not of their teachers. They are victims of a nationwide education “reform” movement geared to undermine teachers’ unions and shift public resources into private hands; they are victims of wave after wave of ill-conceived and failing policy “innovations” … The city’s current reform wave began in 2004 with Mayor Richard Daley’s Renaissance 2010—a massive program, funded in part by $90 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to transform the city’s schools by 2010. The strategy included firing and replacing entire staffs in low-income neighborhood schools, shutting down dozens of schools, and setting up charter schools. … Renaissance 2010 has done little to improve the educational performance of the city’s school system…

    • Seattle Education Blog: Bill Gates and me.

      Someone asked me today while we were waiting to be seated for a filming of a debate regarding I-1240 (more on that later), why everything Bill Gates, or for that matter the Walton’s, fund, I am opposed to. Well, I’m not. I appreciate the money that Bill Gates and his wife spent to create the sculpture park in Seattle that faces the sound. … Unfortunately, Bill Gates knows nothing about public education.

      This person makes the “Uncle Joe” mistake, thinking that the person giving her trouble has their best interest at heart rather than private gain.

    • School takeover by Steve Barr and the Future Is Now charter school causes student walkout in New Orleans: Is this what we want Seattle?

      Students at Walter L. Cohen in New Orleans began a walk out/protest on October 4th, 2012 when their teachers and administrators were dismissed and the announcement was made that Future Is Now Charter (Steven Barr, formerly of Green Dot in California, and Gideon Stein) would be taking over the governance of the school. … I’d say that the people of New Orleans have had their fill of charter schools.

      Many New Orleans public schools were privatized in the wake of Katrina and the effort is ongoing. Here we see what happens where people can not effectively organize resistance.

    • The No on Intiative 1240 campaign needs YOU!

      The Walton’s and Bill Gates have just added more money to the privatization till for a total of $3M from Gates and $1.8M from the Walton’s to the Yes on Initiative 1240 campaign. This has truly become a battle of the 1% versus the rest of us.

      This is what effective, local resistance looks like. We need national resistance to protect those without the resources to help themselves.

    • Let’s give President Obama a clue about Race to the Top

      Please write a letter to President Obama and send it to Anthony Cody’s e-mail address listed below by Oct. 17th. Please invite everyone you know to write to Pres. Obama. We need thousands upon thousands of letters to make a difference for Public Education!

    • A look at KIPP, Michael Feinberg, NCTQ and Bill Gates

      Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) is in a rush to now dumb down education in New Zealand even though New Zealand and Australia have higher international test scores than the US and the majority of other nations. KIPP is trying to worm their way into New Zealand using the same old phrasing such as “failing schools” and “ineffective teachers” and pushing the idea of hiring “unregistered” (cheap) staff to populate charter schools. … Fortunately in New Zealand they are having an open national debate on charter schools something that never happened in the United States where venture capitalists made up their minds about what was best for our students and in a stealth like fashion went about privatizing our public schools.

      The attack is international, like other Microsoft operations.

    • EduShyster: Stuff White People Like: Education Reform

      The key take away [of the Chicago teacher's strike]: rich white people who send their kids to private schools were the only group to oppose the teachers’ strike. In other words, the very group whose children will likely grow up to become the next generation of achievement gap warriors.

      There’s an interesting list of Washington state “reform” backers, Bill Gates – $1M
      Alice Walton- Walmart heiress and daughter of founder Sam Walton- $600k Bezos family – Jeff Bezos is the founder and CEO of Amazon- $1.5M Nick Hanauer – described as a “venture capitalist” living in Seattle- $450k Paul Allen of Microsoft – $100k Katherine Binder – EMFCO Holdings Chairwoman -$200k The McCaw’s- a wealthy and prominent family in Seattle – $100k

    • The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman
    • Why Washington state schools are #42 in education funding: Let’s start with Bill Gates

      One person got up and said that she was willing to pay a state income tax to begin to subsidize what was needed by the community. … What is ironic about this is that the second wealthiest individual in the world and number one in the United States, according to Forbes, lives among us in Seattle and yet is not willing to pay his fair share of taxes to support the infrastructure that he used to create and maintain Microsoft including public education. On the other hand, Gates is paying millions of dollars in our state to lobby for charter schools which is the privatization of a public good.


Leftover Links – Facebook uses your reputation to push political causes without asking you, Catching up With Gates in Education, pollution, corruption.

Posted in Site News at 6:44 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • New Google Chrome beta lets webcams go plugin-free, video chat gets a lot less Flashy

    Good riddance.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Poisoning Arafat

      An examination of his belongings commissioned by Aljazeera TV and conducted by a highly respected Swiss scientific institute has confirmed that Arafat was poisoned with Polonium, a deadly radioactive substance that avoids detection unless one specifically looks for it. … I helped him to establish contact with the Israeli leadership, and especially with Yitzhak Rabin. This led to the 1993 Oslo agreement – which was killed by the assassination of Rabin. … Arafat was the man who was able to make peace with Israel, willing to do so, and – more important – to get his people, including the Islamists, to accept it.

    • US gov’t nutty over Wikileaks

      A US official told Birgitta Jónsdóttir that the US has no wish to prosecute her or question her “involuntarily”, but there is evidence suggesting this is not true. Evidence that the US is looking to prosecute Julian Assange and others in Wikileaks. The US Army admits it is investigating the Bradley Manning Support Group.
      This group was formed after Bradley Manning was arrested to provide him with moral and legal support. Since when is that a crime?

    • Africa’s land and family farms – up for grabs?

      RMS summarizes this as, “The Gates Foundation is promoting a scheme with connections with Monsanto to “help” Africa by introducing technology that African farmers can’t afford.”

  • Censorship

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • As ‘Statute of Limitations’ Approaches, Wall Street Crimes of 2008 Go Unpunished

      With time running out, federal agencies show no urgency in holding firms or executives to account

      Maddoff was chairman of the SEC. It looks like we will have to tax the “bailout” back from the banksters.

    • Plutonomy and the Precariat

      So the world is now indeed splitting into a plutonomy and a precariat — in the imagery of the Occupy movement, the 1% and the 99%. Not literal numbers, but the right picture. Now, the plutonomy is where the action is and it could continue like this. If it does, the historic reversal that began in the 1970s could become irreversible. That’s where we’re heading. And the Occupy movement is the first real, major, popular reaction that could avert this. But it’s going to be necessary to face the fact that it’s a long, hard struggle. You don’t win victories tomorrow. You have to form the structures that will be sustained, that will go on through hard times and can win major victories.

      It’s worth noting that the callous and extreme views expressed in this essay are quotations from a Citibank memo.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • STUDY: Media Avoid Climate Context In Wildfire Coverage

      Consolidated media does not publish news, it publishes propaganda.

    • Is Facebook damaging your reputation with sneaky political posts?

      posts are going out under your name because at some point in the past (in some cases in the distant past) you visited a page and clicked Like. Yes, you voluntarily Liked that page and made it part of your Facebook profile. If a Facebook friend wants to go through your list of Likes, they can learn that you like the NRA or PETA or a seemingly innocuous group that you probably didn’t realize was funded by Karl Rove’s political action committee. But I doubt that you expected that simple click to result in a flood of posts under your name months later. … when Facebook uses your name to promote a page to your friends, it doesn’t provide any indication to you that it has done so.

      People should worry more about the power this gives Facebook to sway public opinion than they worry about their personal reputations.

  • Education Watch

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • India Moves Even More Of Its Healthcare Away From Western Pharma

      Moving to generics they can produce themselves rather than pay absurd fees for patented medicine.

    • TPP

      • A Global Attack by the One Percent

        Perhaps the most controversial of these tools would be the setting up of a three attorney tribunal, with no checks on conflicts of interest, to judge foreign corporate complaints regarding government regulations in the countries they are setting up operations in. If, for instance, a foreign owned corporation argues it is losing profits because of its host nation’s overtime laws, this tribunal could rule that the country’s taxpayers owe that corporation compensation for this loss. Such costly judgments could result from any regulations including labor law, local environmental standards, financial rules, etc. In short, the TPP’s tribunal would act as the hammer of multi-national corporate interests above the power of the states’ governments they do business in

        I agree that protectionism alone is a bad idea as a countermeasure. A better countermeasure is trade restrictions that guard people’s rights with tariffs against specific, oppressive policies.

    • ACTA


Links – NATO protest slapdown, Nokia collapsing.

Posted in Site News at 3:36 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • 500 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.
  • Innovation under Austerity

    This is a transcription of a speech given by Eben Moglen at the 2012 Freedom to Connect conference in Washington DC on May 22, 2012.

  • Bat rescuer awarded $6.1 million in libel suit

    A former intern accused of cyberstalking a Mineral Wells bat sanctuary and its president was ordered to pay about $6.1 million in damages Thursday for what a judge called egregious, malicious and intentional defamatory statements she spread across the Internet, court documents say. … The videos and statements, the suit said, were pervasive on the Internet, using “robots” to game Google and other search engines so the defamatory material would appear high in search results.

  • Security

    • Microsoft XML vulnerability under active exploitation

      These attacks are being distributed both via malicious web pages intended for Internet Explorer users and through Office documents. Users running Windows XP up to and including Windows 7 are known to be vulnerable.

      Nothing changes in Windows land.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Newly Released FBI “Domestic Terrorism” Training on Anarchists, Environmentalists, Show COINTELPRO Tactics

      The FBI considers free speech and protest criminal.

    • Tribune Company Moves to Seize Occupied Chicago Tribune’s Website

      they wanted the paper to change the font, the masthead and the paper could not be any name that began with a “T” (e.g. Occupied Chicago Times). When they realized how the company was coming after the paper, they decided to get legal representation.

    • A rehab job on the criminals in blue

      Meanwhile, in Canada, another activist charged with terrorism is free from jail, curfews and not using a cell phone that lasted two years.

    • Attorney: “NATO 3″ Activists Detained on Terror Charges in Chicago Are Victims of Police Entrapment

      … they were set up by government informants who planted the explosives. Supporters also say police seized equipment that was used for brewing homemade beer.

    • Occupy Journalists Stopped, Searched, Handcuffed & Interrogated at Gunpoint

      Under cover of the night around twelve police cars stopped five journalists when they were heading back to where they are staying in Chicago during the NATO summit. All five have been covering protests against the NATO summit for the past few days. … Chicago PD took the journalists’ hard drives and slammed them against “running boards four or five times.” They took Pool’s alternate batteries and slammed them too. Content recorded by the journalists was deleted from Ustream. … The episode was not an isolated incident. @Ghostpickles and @Korgasm who have both been covering Occupy since the early days, reported being interrogated by CPD with others in the middle of the night. … The Chicago police, possibly with help from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI or other federal agencies, appear to be working off a list of “suspected” people or spaces where they must go “check in” on what is happening simply to ensure all is safe.

    • CPD, FBI & Secret Service Claim NATO 3 Came to Chicago to Commit ‘Terrorist Acts of Violence’

      Deutsch called the investigation, targeting and raid of these activists “worse than entrapment.” According to the NLG, two police informants infiltrated the group. The NLG believes “they’re the ones who provoked this and they’re the ones,” who committed the “illegal activity” and had the “illegal materials.”
      Additionally, they said the informants didn’t provide the materials and convince the activists to engage in some plot. The activists did not take the bait. The informants simply left the materials in the apartment ahead of the raid so the materials would be there for police to find.

    • Thousands march to oppose police repression in run-up to NATO summit

      supporters of three men arrested in a Wednesday night raid at the Bridgeport apartment of Occupy Chicago activists were gathering at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse at 26th and California for the arrestees’ noon bail hearing. Each was slapped with a bond of $1.5 million; Cook County States’ Attorney Anita Alvarez had originally asked for $5 million bonds for each, and trotted out a litany of charges deployed in the first-ever use of the state’s anti-terrorism statutes …the afternoon’s boisterous but peaceful protest marches marred by sweeping police violence. … Neither action was permitted, in keeping with Occupy Chicago’s standing opposition to the city’s ‘Sit Down & Shut Up” protest ordinances, which were tightened earlier this year to make it virtually impossible to stage permitted actions without at least a million dollars in insurance, massive ‘marshall’ presence, and a commitment to register all signs and banners with the authorities — draconian restrictions on free speech and civil liberties that the Occupy movement and its allies have refused to embrace. The police used batons, bikes and their fists to beat people and push protesters back repeatedly today, with medics reporting numerous injuries.

    • Activists Charged With Providing Material Support for Terrorism Ahead of NATO Summit

      The details I have been able to gather from speaking to arrestees personally make it seem like the police have, in the past 48 hours, fabricated all of these details about having some investigation in progress. … the three activists remaining — Bryan Church, Jarred Chase, Brent Betterly — appear in the video posted of police threatening violence during the NATO summit. It now seems clear that police are charging them in retaliation for posting the video.

    • Activists Disappeared Ahead of NATO Summit Continue To Be Held Without Charge

      the Chicago police had “disappeared” activists. … The local news reporters and journalists have been utter cowards. Because the police would not admit the police carried out a raid, the media refused to “confirm” the story. They instead ran stories that communicated lawyers or protesters were alleging.

    • Will Occupy activists get a fair trial?

      OVER 70 criminal cases against Occupy Portland activists remain in limbo following continued attempts by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office to deprive defendants of the right to a jury trial and court-appointed legal counsel.
      Over the past several months, prosecutors have specifically sought to avoid allowing defendants to exercise such rights by repeatedly changing the charges filed against them.

    • See original crack down and mass arrests

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • Anti-Trust

    • Nokia CEO: Our Microsoft Phones Just Aren’t Selling That Well

      “We aren’t getting the traction we prefer.” … Elop admitted that Microsoft was giving Nokia “specific support” so it can drop the price.

      The trash bag blamed retail salespeople.

    • Nokia to end ‘Meltemi’ effort for low-end smartphones

      One of the casualties of Nokia’s latest cuts is Meltemi, the company’s effort to create a new Linux-based operating system for low-end smartphones. The project was aimed at offering smartphones at prices that neither Android or Windows Phone could easily reach…

      Is there a reason they can’t do the same thing with MeGo?

    • A questionable source reports,
      Nokia to End “Meltemi” Effort for Low-End Smartphones

      Nokia is also exploring alternatives for another of its development environments, known as Qt, which today is used largely in embedded devices. “We’re fans of Qt, and we’ll continue to support it in the near term, but are being open about looking for opportunities which may be best for this developer framework,” Kerris said.

    • U.S. Probes Cable for Limits on Net Video

      The Justice Department is conducting a wide-ranging antitrust investigation into whether cable companies are acting improperly to quash nascent competition from online video … investigators are taking a particularly close look at the data caps that pay-TV providers like Comcast and AT&T Inc. have used to deal with surging video traffic on the Internet. … Comcast fanned those fears in March, when it said that videos viewed on its own Xfinity app on Microsoft’s Xbox wouldn’t be counted against subscribers’ data caps in the same way as videos viewed using Netflix, Hulu or other apps

      This article is from Fox News and is highly slanted towards the interests of monopolists. The only reason we are hearing about this is because Microsoft’s interests are clashing with those of Fox.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Microsoft Sorry For Gaffe That Gives New Meaning to Norwegian Wood

      Loud music with a disembodied voice rapping goofy lyrics while a half-dozen women in shorts dance in front of a roomful of bemused Norweigian software geeks, who have each paid about $1,500 to attend the three-day event. … The offending couplet: “I’m a computer gen-i-us / The words micro and soft don’t apply to my penis” On the teleprompter, genius is misspelled “genious” and the words “(or vagina)” are added below “penis” in the spirit of gender equality.

      More monkey business from Microsoft. The cost of this kind of “training” is inevitably passed on in the cost of good sold and makes us all pay the Windows Tax.

    • S-COMM to be implemented in Massachusetts over state objections

      over 70 percent of the people deported through S-COMM have never been convicted of a crime or have only minor offenses such as traffic violations. Furthermore, increases racial profiling and causes undocumented immigrants—who are more often the victims of crimes than the perpetrators—to be afraid of contacting police in an emergency situation.

    • US government’s right to torture

      The Supreme Court upheld the US government’s right to torture with impunity for “national security”.
      It also abandoned the rights of prisoners in Guantanamo, even though most of them are acknowledged to have been imprisoned for no reason. Why should anyone hold the US government in higher esteem than the Chinese government?

  • Education Watch

    • States to Residents: Forget Promises to Restore School Funding

      “Over and over, we heard from our elected officials that this was the worst recession since the Great Depression, and they had no choice but to cut school funding,” he said. “We were told that once the economy improves, our funding would be restored. But this year, when they did have a choice, a very clear choice, they decided that tax cuts were more important than education.” … In at least 30 states, funding for K-12 education was lower in fiscal year 2012 than in 2008, despite growing student populations. …

  • Network Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links – Red Hat Deal Highlights the Threat of Microsoft’s “Secure Boot”

Posted in Site News at 11:08 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • Open source celebrates the freedom to leave

    What really stood out to me, though, was the reason open source is being deployed. While the top reason historically was lower costs, the market has been steadily maturing; last year’s survey put a freedom from vendor lock-in as the top reason for deployment. … Paradoxically, when a supplier tries to lock in its customers, they will try to leave; give them the freedom to do so, and they will most likely stay (all other things being equal).

    Open source business users are starting to value software freedom.

  • RMS: Call on governments to require companies to offer a choice of operating systems for PCs.
  • Open source initiatives in Spain

    The regional government of Spain’s Basque Country has decreed that all software produced for Basque government agencies and public bodies should be open sourced.

    The four software freedoms are mentioned in the linked Spanish language article.

  • Hardware

  • Security

    • A Tale of Two Pwnies (Part 1)

      The Windows allocator places the buffers at relatively predictable locations; and the Native Client process can directly control their size as well as certain object allocation ordering. So, this afforded quite a bit of control over exactly where an overwrite would occur in the GPU process.

      I thought this would be intersting, but it was just another Windows story.

    • Meth Labs and Dead Dogs: How the Founder of McAfee Antivirus Went on the Run in Belize

      his home in Belize had just been raided by local law enforcement, he’d been rousted from the bed he shared with a 17 year old woman, naked and confused, to discover Belize’s Gang Suppression Unit at his gates.

      Your AV money went south.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Activist prevents Israeli officer from arresting Palestinian child
    • Analysis: Why we must name all drone attack victims

      At stake may be the very definition of a ‘civilian’ in the modern battlefield. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos recently pressed US chief counter terrorism adviser John Brennan on his remarkable claim in June 2011 that the CIA had not killed ‘a single non-combatant in almost a year.’ … when we definitively showed, with the Sunday Times, that the CIA had been bombing rescuers and funeral-goers, it was suggested that we were ‘helping al Qaeda.’

      Vilifying technicians is Unibomber logic.

    • Unmanned spy planes are being launched from 63 locations in 20 states – Is there one near you?

      Police drones will also be able to shoot and gas people.

    • Propaganda firm owner admits attacks on journalists

      The co-owner of a major Pentagon propaganda contractor publicly admitted Thursday that he was behind a series of websites used to discredit two USA TODAY journalists who had reported on the contractor. … Pentagon reporter Tom Vanden Brook noticed that someone registered the site tomvandenbrook.com. Twitter and Facebook accounts were also registered in his name, and a Wikipedia entry and discussion group postings misrepresented his reporting on the West Virginia Sago Mine disaster.

      Looks like the usual smear job, including sock puppets, forum postings often of the most offensive character, much like we see here at Techrights. The contractor is sorry he got caught and embarrassed himself and his friends.

    • Feds seek new ways to bypass encryption

      One way to circumvent encryption: Use court orders to force Web-based providers to cough up passwords the suspect uses and see if they match.

      Thanks to the US PAT RIOT act, they don’t need a court order. The fact of the matter is that non free software vendors and media company owned ISPs have been violating your privacy for decades.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Anti-Trust

    • LibreOffice and Windows RT (ARM)

      We have a similar problem with Windows RC that Mozilla and Google have. The only “classic” applications that will run on Windows RC are Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office. That’s quite unfair for LibreOffice, as if we would like to run on Windows 8, we would need to rewrite LibreOffice for Metro.

      Windows RT is the same old thing from Microsoft, an intentionally crippled version designed to reduce the competitive threat to Intel. They are also pretending that business can’t function without Microsoft Office. Both of these strategies are badly outdated, but Microsoft is receiving deserved anti-trust review for their intentions.

    • Google files EU complaint against Nokia, Microsoft over alleged patent collusion with MOSAID

      “Nokia and Microsoft are colluding to raise the costs of mobile devices for consumers, creating patent trolls that side-step promises both companies have made. They should be held accountable, and we hope our complaint spurs others to look into these practices.”

      Perhaps someone will complain about Microsoft’s “secure boot” too. Apologists have tried to say What Microsoft is doing is no worse than what Apple is doing but that is neither true nor an excuse. Apple’s scams only harm Apple’s users. Microsoft’s scam is general, harming all computer users. Both are crimes.

    • Lockdown: free/open OS maker pays Microsoft ransom for the right to boot on users’ computers

      This is a major reversal. For many years now, free/open OSes have been by far the easiest to install on most hardware. For example, I have installed Ubuntu on a variety of machines by just sticking in a USB stick and turning them on. Because the OS and its apps are free, and because there are no finicky vendor relationships to manage, it Just Works. On some of those machines, installing a Windows OS fresh from a shrinkwrapped box was literally impossible — you had to order a special manufacturer’s version with all the right drivers … This is a tremor before an earthquake: the hardware vendors and the flagging proprietary software vendors of yesteryear are teaming up to limit competition from robust, elegant and free alternatives.

    • Facebook chooses Opera over Chrome for recommended browser

      “You’re using a web browser we don’t support.”

      Facebook does Microsoft’s bidding, again.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Brussels wants e-identities for EU citizens

      The use that the Nazi regime made of identity documents to single out Jewish people and send them into concentration camps has been a powerful argument against introducing ID documents across the Channel.

      We should demand banks do a better job before we surrender privacy. “Identity theft” is the result of poor software choices and a lack of due dilligence on their part.

    • S-COMM to be implemented in Massachusetts over state objections

      The program is leading community members – including witnesses and victims of crime – to withhold information from the police for fear of deportation … The five largest detention contractors spent over $20 million lobbying Congress between 1999 and 2009, according to the National Immigration Forum. Their payback: over $5.5 million per day spent on immigration detention in 2011, an increase directly connected to the nationwide expansion of the detention-crazed S-COMM.

      It’s distressing that states which understand these issues end up with laws that are almost as bad as Alabama or Arizona. Our democracy is sick and needs help.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Digital Restrictions

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Day 23, From the Courtroom: Oracle v. Google Trial – Jury: No Patent Infringement ~pj Updated 3Xs

    • Copyrights

      • An Open Letter to Jay Leno About Stealing My Video and Then Getting It Removed From YouTube

        Your company NBC just up and blocked our video and claimed that we are copyright infringers! But we are not! We made it! And this is the video that you said you loved! Now, if you try to watch our video (and again this is the video that had nothing to do with you until you used it in your show without asking) on YouTube it’s just a big black sign that basically says, “the makers of this video stole this video from NBC, so you can’t watch it!” Jay, what in the hell is going on here?

      • Google dealt blow in book scanning lawsuit

        Judge Chin gave the green light for three individual plaintiffs—Betty Miles, Joseph Goulden, and Jim Bouton—to represent the vastly larger class of “persons residing in the United States who hold a United States copyright interest in one or more Books reproduced by Google as part of its Library Project.”

        The Copyright Guild is pretending to represent the interests of all authors when most authors disagree. Authors who disagree should write the judge and say so.


Links – Explorer Goes Down, Oracle Judge is Coder

Posted in Site News at 4:42 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

    Explorer Abandoned

  • Ubuntu To Ship on 5% of All PCs Sold Next Year

    “We sell millions of PCs with HP, Lenovo, Dell, Asus, Acer,” Mark Shuttleworth recently told Bussiness Insider website. ”We expect to ship close to 20 million PCs in the next year.’

  • Linux accessibility – what is it and why does it matter

    I will not completely go into detail about why I use Linux. Suffice it to say that if you are a blind Windows user, you are, for the most part, a target of big name companies who make extremely pricey software products (namely screen readers and screen magnifiers as well as other technologies) which allow you the “privilege” of using your computer system. … Ever installed a system with your eyes closed, literally? … As of right now, at least to my knowledge, one can completely install Debian (see the Debian accessibility page), Ubuntu, Vinux (a Ubuntu derivative designed for blind and visually impaired users), Trisquel and Arch Linux (via Chris Brannon’s TalkingArch ISO image).

  • Google Chrome overtakes Internet Explorer as the Web’s most used browser
  • Hardware

    • Lenovo dumps classic keyboard on new ThinkPad laptops

      I currently own an HP Envy laptop. I like the machine overall, but typing on its island-style keyboard is a frustrating chore, one that inevitably triggers a string of typos that don’t occur when I use a classic keyboard.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • Anti-Trust

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Congressmen Seek To Lift Propaganda Ban

      The amendment would “strike the current ban on domestic dissemination” of propaganda material produced by the State Department and the Pentagon, according to the summary of the law at the House Rules Committee’s official website.

  • Censorship

    • If you are using non free software, you might not really see what’s published here.
  • Civil Rights

    • Noam Chomsky: Plutonomy and the precariat: On the history of the US economy in decline

      The current US economy is built on ‘growing worker insecurity’ – people who are too busy and poor to make demands. … For many people in the United States, there’s a pervasive sense of hopelessness, sometimes despair. I think it’s quite new in American history. And it has an objective basis.

      Lots of missed opportunities are listed, but the Occupy movement is reason to hope that people won’t let themselves be walked on.

    • Colonized by Corporations

      The colonized are denied job security. Incomes are reduced to subsistence level. The poor are plunged into desperation. Mass movements, such as labor unions, are dismantled. The school system is degraded so only the elites have access to a superior education. Laws are written to legalize corporate plunder and abuse, as well as criminalize dissent. And the ensuing fear and instability—keenly felt this past weekend by the more than 200,000 Americans who lost their unemployment benefits—ensure political passivity by diverting all personal energy toward survival.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Technology Patent Wars Sign of Robust Innovation, Patent Office Claims

      “Passage of the AIA has provided an opportunity to restart long-stalled discussions with our foreign counterparts toward substantive harmonization that will help U.S. businesses succeed in the global business environment. … I don’t think there is any reason to believe that either copyright or patent lawsuits of the kind that we’re seeing in the so-called smartphone wars are a sign of stifling technological innovation. … [litigants] have intellectual property positions resulting from massive investments. They seek to enforce those positions, level the playing field in some way, and you have a dust-up like we’re seeing right now. I do not believe that it’s a sign that there’s anything at all wrong with the innovation environment in the U.S. In fact, I think it’s a byproduct of a very healthy overall innovation environment. These things happen. They sort themselves out.”

      The US Patent Office is hopelessly corrupt, insane and self serving. This explanation begs the question of software as an invention worthy of a monopoly grant and the validity of the 600,000 patents on backlog. A claim to business methods is turned into a “position” which is good language if you think patents should be traded as a commodity, but that contradicts the protecting innovators excuse. People in other countries should take notice of the obvious fact that US Patents are used for US protectionism. People in the US should notice that this protectionism is mostly serving the interest of a few US companies at the expense of other US companies owned by less wealthy individuals. The net result is that the US market is a backwater of inferior goods.

    • Copyrights

      • Admitted file-swapper begs Supreme Court for help

        Dr. Tenenbaum has had years of his life wasted and faces a $675,000 judgment that is completely unjust and makes him a slave for the rest of his life because he admits to having shared a few files.

      • Oracle v Google Judge Is A Programmer!

        “I have done, and still do, a significant amount of programming in other languages. I’ve written blocks of code like rangeCheck a hundred times before. I could do it, you could do it. The idea that someone would copy that when they could do it themselves just as fast, it was an accident. There’s no way you could say that was speeding them along to the marketplace. You’re one of the best lawyers in America, how could you even make that kind of argument?”

        I do not think this will end well for Oracle.

      • They’re Not ‘Orphan Works’, They’re ‘Hostage Works’

        In the metaphor of the romantic author, the works he creates are his children, born of his labor and genius. … We reflexively begin to believe that orphan works need the kind of protection that society provides to abandoned children. … What these works need are “special forces” that can free them from the constraints placed on them by the combination of the regulatory effects of copyright and the lack of a locatable owner who can grant permission to avoid the consequences of the regulation.


Links – TPP Meeting Infiltrated, More Protest Needed.

Posted in Site News at 5:50 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • Will “8″ Fly or is it Cripple-ware?

    Non free software is always cripple/mal/spyware.

  • Science

    • Emotion Can Shut Down High-Level Mental Processes Without Our Knowledge, in Our Native Language

      The psychologists made this discovery by asking English-speaking Chinese people whether word pairs were related in meaning. Some of the word pairs were related in their Chinese translations. Although not consciously acknowledging a relation, measurements of electrical activity in the brain revealed that the bilingual participants were unconsciously translating the words. However, uncannily, this activity was not observed when the English words had a negative meaning.

  • Hardware

    • Chuckle. No One Wants Small Expensive Computers.

      2012 will blow away records for tablets shipped in 2011 and M$ will be a no-show.

      Don’t expect Windows on ARM tablets till 2013. A few companies are going to launch expensive WinTel tablets

    • The Setup, Eric S Raymond

      The interesting details about my desktop setup are the peripherals. I like Model-M-style clicky keyboards (I’m typing on a Unicomp Model M). I prefer trackballs over mice and use a Logitech TrackMan. I like lots of vertical pixels for my Emacs window, so I’m rocking a Samsung SyncMaster 1100DF at 1800×1440 with 120dpi. My road machine is a Lenovo Thinkpad X60 … I like intricate music playing while I hack (Liquid Tension Experiment playing now).

  • Security

    • IAmA a malware coder and botnet operator, AMA

      The author says a lot of interesting things in comments. Of course, it’s all Windows.

    • Lauren Lauren Weinstein: More details on the .secure TLD proposal

      You may recall my posting yesterday (http://j.mp/Ku8pEd) where I suggested that the .secure TLD proposal is fundamentally flawed for many reasons. The CTO of the company involved contacted me this morning, pointing at their blog with more details: http://unhandled.com/ — After reviewing this information, which includes their proposals for a broader “domain policy framework,” I’m forced to stand by my earlier characterization. … The concept of .secure is essentially 180 degrees away from the model I believe we should be working towards. Rather than centralizing security, we need to be distributing it…

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • U.S. Military Taught Officers: Use ‘Hiroshima’ Tactics for ‘Total War’ on Islam

      The U.S. military taught its future leaders that a “total war” against the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims would be necessary to protect America from Islamic terrorists, according to documents obtained by Danger Room. Among the options considered for that conflict: using the lessons of “Hiroshima” to wipe out whole cities at once, targeting the “civilian population wherever necessary.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • Anti-Trust

    • Firefox on Windows on ARM – Microsoft Says No

      you don’t get those privileges (certain API access) unless you’re the default browser and I think that’s deeply unfair (a post for later,) but at least we’re able to build a competitive browser and ship it to Windows users on x86 chips. But on ARM chips, Microsoft gives IE access special APIs absolutely necessary for building a modern browser that it won’t give to other browsers

      Microsoft has played API games forever, what’s new is that they are pretending it’s OK and are trying to extend their death grip to ARM [2].

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Goldman Looks to Hire Social Media Strategist

      The rich and powerful already have a tremendous astroturf presence, most graphically revealed in the HB Garry/Aaron Barr email spill. Techrights has covered Microsoft’s disgusting astroturf effort for years.

  • Censorship

    • Few Companies Fight Patriot Act Gag Orders, FBI Admits

      “Thus far, there have been only four challenges to the non-disclosure requirement,” Holder wrote, “and in two of the challenges, the FBI permitted the recipient to disclose the fact that an NSL was received.” … The FBI has sent out nearly 300,000 NSLs since 2000, about 50,000 of which have been sent out since the new policy for challenging NSL gag orders went into effect. Last year alone, the FBI sent out 16,511 NSLs requesting information pertaining to 7,201 U.S. persons.

    • If You Meet a Censor, Ask Them This One Question
    • Dutch Judge Who Ordered Pirate Bay Links Censored Fount to be Corrupt

      … the plaintiff’s representative in the case – a professor Visser – offered commercial courses in anti-piracy, together with the judge, Chris Hensen. The plaintiff and judge were running a commercial enterprise together, one that had a direct bearing on the subject matter of the case. … It’s not just any course they do together, it’s part of the Dutch bar association’s official training program for lawyers.

    • In the US, you can still say almost anything, but someone just may be listening in

      a new kind of corporate oligopoly is emerging. Coupled with increasingly controlling activities by government, often in concert with corporate interests, the new choke points threaten to re-centralize media, or at least return control to a few dominant parties. … wired-line carriers believe that they should be able to decide what bits of information get delivered in what order and at what speed, if they get delivered at all. … The serious potential for problems with wired-line broadband is nothing next to the actual situation with mobile carriers. … The copyright industries have every intention of being another [chokepoint]. … Private companies are creating their own ecosystems, with minimal regulatory interference … If you create a journalism app to be sold in the iPhone or iPad marketplace, you explicitly give Apple the right to decide whether your journalism content is acceptable under the company’s vague guidelines. … Facebook is another potential threat to independent journalism. … journalists need to upgrade their own techniques and technology when it comes to protecting sources.

      It is not surprising that one monopoly helps the other, as big publishers and telco helped Apple, because the monopolies are ultimately owned be the same few wealthy families that want to guard their relative position. What’s shameful is the willingness of our government to serve them at everyone else’s expense.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Gay rights in the US, state by state
    • Caught on Tape: Walker Plans for a Single Party State

      Walker: “Well, we’re going to start in a couple weeks with our budget adjustment bill. The first step is we’re going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, because you use divide and conquer. . .”

      So there you have it, the attack on civil servants in Wisconsin was not motivated by budget it was politics and class warfare.

    • Dell response regarding insensitive comments from Mads Christensen

      “The IT business is one of the last frontiers that manages to keep women out. The quota of women to men in your business is sound and healthy” he says. “What are you actually doing here?” he adds to the few women who are actually present in the room. … [more tastless stuff] … the moderator of the day finishes of by asking all (men) in the room to promise him that they will go home and say, “shut up bitch!”.

      Dell is sorry they got caught laughing about discrimination against women in the workplace. It’s amazing how little attention this got a month ago compared to the “Virgin of Emacs.” That’s more evidence of an organized campaign around to smear RMS.

    • Why Are People Resigning Before The Copyright Industries’ Will?

      When did people forget that legislators, and not corporations, have the final say over our laws?

  • Education Watch

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Digital Handcuffs

    • Technology should help us share, not constrain us

      Printed books let us do that. I couldn’t do it with most commercial ebooks; it’s not “allowed”. And if I felt like telling the publishers to take their evil rule and stuff it, the software in e-readers has digital restrictions management – malicious features that restrict reading, so it simply won’t allow it. And the books are encrypted in such a way to force you to use that malicious software. Many other habits that readers are accustomed to are “not allowed” for ebooks.

  • TPP

    • Live from the Trenches: TPP Negotiations in Dallas

      The public is excluded from meaningful monitoring or input.

    • Party ends badly for U.S. trade reps, federal agents

      The crowd of negotiators and corporate representatives applauded, and “Haversall” continued: “I’d like to personally thank the negotiators for their relentless efforts. The TPP agreement is shaping up to be a fantastic way for us to maximize profits, regardless of what the public of this nation—or any other nation—thinks is right.” … Mr. Haversall confidently re-took the microphone and warmly invited Kirk to accept the award.

      Kirk moved towards the stage, but federal agents blocked his path to protect him from further embarrassment. At that point, a dozen well-dressed “delegates” (local activists, some from Occupy Dallas) broke into ecstatic dance and chanted “TPP! TPP! TPP!” for several minutes until Dallas police arrived.

      The look of panic on the corporate spokes drone in this video is almost as funny as US Trade representative Kirk’s “We came, we saw, we shopped”.

    • EFF petition: No Backroom Deals to Regulate the Internet: Speak Out Against the Trans-Pacific Partnership!
    • Before and After SOPA

      The defeat, even if only temporary, of SOPA and PIPA was surely one key factor in the sudden upswelling of protests against ACTA, which until that point had seemed almost certain to be ratified in the EU. The actions against SOPA and ACTA have led to renewed analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP), currently being negotiated behind closed doors in Dallas.

      Let’s make these defeats permanent.


Links – Microsoft Bans Mozilla from Vista 8

Posted in Site News at 1:21 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • Android Not Only Selling Well, but Now Has The Largest Installed Base of Smart Phones
  • Walmart.com’s Best-selling Tablets
  • Hardware

    • New Dell Ubuntu ultrabooks a step in the right direction for Linux support

      … the company needs to be careful to pick components that are supported well upstream. What would be ideal is if Dell started encouraging its hardware suppliers to open their drivers and merge them into the mainline kernel tree. That would be infinitely more constructive for advancing desktop Linux than any preinstallation scheme.

  • Anti-Trust

    • Nokia hit with class action lawsuit; fraud claims ‘without merit,’ it says

      Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd … filed a class action suit against Finnish mobile giant Nokia yesterday claiming that the company made false and/or misleading statements to investors after it indicated that it believed the switch to the Windows Phone operating system “would reverse Nokia’s trends worldwide and dramatically improve its share of the U.S. market,” [but knew] that such a turnaround wouldn’t happen; the new Lumia 900 LTE model was glitchy and poorly accepted and its migration “not going as well as represented,” according to the complaint.

    • Microsoft To Block Competing Browsers In Windows 8, RT Edition

      “Windows RT will have two environments, a Windows Classic environment and a Metro environment for apps. However, Windows on ARM prohibits any browser except for Internet Explorer from running in the privileged ‘Windows Classic’ environment.

    • Windows on ARM Users Need Browser Choice Too

      Mozilla’s response is unnecessarily restrained. Microsoft has dropped the bomb on them, so they might as well give up Windows.

    • Microsoft bans Firefox on ARM-based Windows, Mozilla says

      [ARM] chips have new requirements for security and power management, and Microsoft is the only one who can meet those needs.

      Only Microsoft can manage to bring insecurity and poor power management to a platform that everyone else has been using without problems for the last decade.

    • FSF statement on jury’s partial verdict in Oracle v Google

      Were it grounded in reality, Oracle’s claim that copyright law gives them proprietary control over any software that uses a particular functional API would be terrible for free software and programmers everywhere. It is an unethical and greedy interpretation created with the express purpose of subjugating as many computer users as possible, and is particularly bad in this context because it comes at a time when the sun has barely set on the free software community’s celebration of Java as a language newly suitable for use in the free world. Fortunately, the claim is not yet reality, and we hope Judge Alsup will keep it that way.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Corporate Media’s Attempt to Kill the Occupy Movement

      The nakedness of the class bias in this case, however, was especially jarring: the size and significance of the protests were downplayed, reports of police brutality were largely ignored, and the movement was portrayed as violent and dangerous. Many of the most prominent US news outlets, such as The New York Times, practically ignored the protests altogether. These shameful distortions by the corporate press display the function of the media as an organ of the rule of “the 1 percent,” and reveal how threatened elites are by organized, direct action and democratic participation.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Digital Handcuffs

    • Why Tech Review is ditching its iPad edition

      Jason Pontin, editor of MIT’s Tech Review, explains why his magazine deprecated its iPad app and went to “a simple RSS feed in a river of news,” and why it’s moving to “HTML5, so that a reader will see Web pages optimized for any device, whether a desktop or laptop computer, a tablet, or a smart phone.

    • DVDs and Blu-rays will now carry two unskippable government warnings

      This is a ridiculous escalation of rhetoric by scores of Orwellian US agencies. What else can we expect from groups with such unblushingly fascist emblems and an idiotic motto like, “Protection is our Trademark.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Google Demands $4 Billion A year From Microsoft

      Microsoft’s years of bullying smaller companies into patent submission is about to come back and bite them in the butt. Today in court Google demanded $4 billion a year in patent fees for the Xbox 360 or stop selling it in the United States. … Google recently purchased Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in what a lot of analysts saw as a means for Google to go after Microsoft in retaliation for the shady business practices Microsoft has been guilty of for years.

      This counter attack is defensive. Rather than validating the patent system, it shows how wasteful it is. I’m looking forward to a string of such lawsuits against every product Microsoft has.

    • Honeywell’s Lawsuit Against Nest: The Perfect Example Of Legacy Players Using Patents To Stifle Innovation

      I would not want an internet connected, non free thermostat but this is a good example of the harm caused by software patents.

    • SGI Back From The Dead (Again) And Suing Tons Of Companies For Patent Infringement

      Back in 2006, we noted that what remained of SGI had indicated that it planned to resurrect the company by going patent troll. However, we thought we’d avoided that ignoble result when SGI sold most of its assets to Rackable for a mere $25 million three years ago. Silly us for assuming those patents would just go away.
      While Rackable changed its name to Silicon Graphics International… the original company actually retained the patents, and renamed itself Graphics Properties Holdings … In the last year alone it has sued Apple, HTC, LG, RIM, Samsung, Sony, Acer, ASUS, Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio and Motorola Mobility.

      History lesson, SGI was killed by Microsoft mole, Richard Belluzzo. I wonder why Nokia is not on the list.

    • Copyrights

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