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03.02.12

Links 2/3/2012: BackTrack 5 R2, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Beta 1, PHP 5.4

Posted in News Roundup at 6:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Spring Hadoop makes Java/Hadoop interaction easier

    SpringSource, the VMware division that is the home of the Spring framework for Java, has announced Spring Hadoop; this brings support for Spring, Spring Batch and Spring Integration to Apache Hadoop applications. This will allow Spring application developers to make use of data and computing capabilities of Hadoop compute clusters as an analytical tool. The project has been developed over the last few months, according to developer Costin Leau, who introduced this first release.

  • Hadoop: How open source can whittle Big Data down to size
  • VMware Hatches Spring Hadoop Cross-Breed for Big Data
  • Weekend Project: Take a Tour of Open Source Eye-Tracking Software

    Right this very second, you are looking at a Web browser. At least, those are the odds. But while that’s mildly interesting to me, detailed data on where users look (and for how long) is mission-critical. Web designers want to know if visitors are distracted from the contents of the page. Application developers want to know if users have trouble finding the important tools and functions on screen. Plus, for the accessibility community, being able to track eye motion lets you provide text input and cursor control to people who can’t operate standard IO devices. Let’s take a look at what open source software is out there to track eyes and turn it into useful data.

  • DreamHost Planning Software Spinout

    Los Angeles-based hosting provider DreamHost, the provider of web hosting and managed hosting services, is planning a new, open source software spinout, the firm revealed this week, as it looks to leverage its work on the Ceph open source project for distributed storage.

  • Security in obscurity is a wrong thing to follow: Harish Pillay

    As the global community and technology architect, Harish Pillay is a part of the community architecture group, which comprises a core group of Red Hatters who interface between Red Hat and the Open Source community. Harish joined Red Hat from Maringo Tree Technologies, an open source consultancy, training and services company, he co-founded in 2002. He was also the Founder/CTO of Inquisitive Mind – an e-learning services company – founded in 1999. Excerpts from an interview:

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Front Ends and Connectors for Working with Hadoop are Arriving

      At one point, the Big Data trend–sorting and sifting large data sets with new tools in pursuit of surfacing meaningful angles on stored information–was an enterprise-only story, but now businesses of all sizes are looking into tools that can help them glean meaningful insights from the data they store. As we’ve noted, the open source Hadoop project has been one of the big drivers of this trend, and has given rise to commercial companies that offer custom Hadoop distributions, support, training and more. Cloudera and Hortonworks are leading the pack among these Hadoop-focused companies.

      Front ends for working with Hadoop, which make it easier to sift large data sets, are also appearing. Talend, which offers a number of open source middleware solutions, is out with a new one, and Microsoft is making it easier to work with Hadoop from the Excel spreadsheet.

  • Databases

    • How to Choose An Open Source Database

      If you are an application developer or a database administrator, you already know the importance of Relational Database Management Systems. RDMSs store data in a reliable and flexible manner and facilitate its easy retrieval – and of course, they can be manipulated using Structured Query Language (SQL).

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The bright future of LibreOffice

      Formed out of Oracle’s neglect of the OpenOffice.org project by a community uprising in 2010, LibreOffice quickly gathered a critical mass of developers to work on it, drawn from a diverse set of backgrounds and motivations. They hunkered down on the tasks that had been hard to address while the project was in the hands of Sun Microsystems (where I was once employed), such as removing unused code from the project’s two-decade legacy or making it possible for a beginner to get involved through Easy Hacks. A year and a half later, there’s much to show for their efforts, yet so much more to do.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • GlassFish 3.1.2 released

      Version 3.1.2 of GlassFish, the Java application and web server, has been released by Oracle, one year after the release of GlassFish 3.1 and seven months since the release of the Java 7 compatible GlassFish 3.1.1. The updated server is described as the successor to the earlier 3.0 releases and is recommended as an update for all current GlassFish users.

    • FreeNAS 8.0.4 updates Firefly, Transmission and Samba

      The FreeNAS Project has announced the availability of a new stable release, version 8.0.4, of its open source FreeBSD-based network-attached-storage operating system. The maintenance update to the 8.0.x branch of FreeNAS includes a new version of the Firefly media server (1696_6), which adds compatibility for iTunes 10.5.2 or later, and updates the Transmission BitTorrent client to version 2.42. Samba has been upgraded to version 3.6.3, fixing several bugs and addressing a security vulnerability that could be exploited by an attacker to cause a denial-of-service (DoS).

    • NGINX 1.1.16 development version arrives

      Igor Sysoev, the developer of NGINX has released version 1.1.16 of his web server software. The project aims to provide a stable, high performance alternative to more traditional competitors such as Apache HTTP Server or Microsoft’s IIS (Internet Information Services).

    • PHP 5.4 Release Brings Many Changes

      PHP 5.4.0 was officially released today as a major advancement over the PHP 5.3 code-base.

      Among the many improvements to PHP 5.4 is support for language traits, a shortened array syntax, a built-in web-server, compatibility changes, and many other improvements.

    • PHP 5.4.0 brings new features
    • PHP 5.4 Will Make the Web Faster
  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Innovate or Legislate

    The Internet’s enemies have proven vocal, organized, and effective, while the vast majority of consumers, workers, and entrepreneurs it has enriched have proven anything but, and the fight over SOPA must be understood in this larger context.

  • Kicking the Tires on Pinwheel and Talking to Founder Caterina Fake

    On February 16, Flickr cofounder Caterina Fake announced private beta testing for Pinwheel, an online “Flickr for Places” type of service. Fake sent me an invitation to try out Pinwheel and answered a few questions about her new project, which is built and powered by Linux and open source solutions.

    First, I should clear up some potential confusion about the Pinwheel name. Another photo-sharing service, Pinweel, also launched in February, and the nearly identical names are bound to cause confusion with users. Pinwheel’s service focuses on sharing photos, location, and notes, whereas Pinweel specializes in group photo sharing.

  • Antitrust: Commission opens proceedings against MathWorks

    Brussels, 1 March 2012 – The European Commission has opened a formal investigation to assess whether The MathWorks Inc., a U.S.-based software company, has distorted competition in the market for the design of commercial control systems by preventing competitors from achieving interoperability with its products. The Commission will investigate whether by allegedly refusing to provide a competitor with end-user licences and interoperability information, the company has breached EU antitrust rules that prohibit the abuse of a dominant position. The opening of proceedings means that the Commission will examine the case as a matter of priority. It does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.

  • Interoperability, Standards and Market Power

    At the heart of the matter is the power that a dominant player can wield once it becomes the center of an environment of products and services that grow up around its technology. Regulators recognize that the evolution of such ecosystems can have favorable market effects, such as the rapid proliferation of clone computers and tools developed by independent software vendors (ISVs) that occurred once the “WinTel” PC operating system/processor platform became ubiquitous.
    On the other hand, US and EU regulators, as well as Microsoft competitors, took Microsoft to task for over-exploiting the dominance it achieved through its control of the MS-DOS, and then Windows operating systems. One way in which Microsoft was alleged to have exploited its position was by dragging its feet in sharing interoperability information with Lotus and Apple when it introduced new versions of application software, such as its Excel spreadsheet application.

    More recently, Apple swept the marketplace almost clean of competition in the portable music device space, while allowing a host of third party docking stations and other products to be produced in connection with iPods. While the iPhone no longer enjoys comparable dominance in the smart phone category, its early success gave rise to a similar explosion of synergistic third party goods and services.

    In each case, while many other vendors enjoyed success in selling products and services for use in connection with these new Apple products, some ISVs complained that Apple’s App store rules and processes were overly restrictive and not always consistently applied. For their part, some customers chaffed at the control that Apple has tried to assert over what software can be used on its devices, voiding the warranties of customers that insisted on “jailbreaking” their iPhones to run whatever software they wished on the devices they had bought and paid for.

  • Security

    • Phishing via NFC

      At the RSA Conference 2012, McAfee’s Chief Technology Officer, Stuart McClure, and several of his colleagues, have demonstrated a whole range of different attacks on mobile devices. For example, they demonstrated an attack on an NFC (Near Field Communication)-enabled smartphone: the attacker simply attaches a modified NFC tag to a legitimate surface such as an advertising poster. For their live demo, the researchers used a Red Cross donations appeal such as those seen at bus stops in various cities across Europe.

  • Finance

    • JPMorgan Chase CEO: Newspaper Industry Pay ‘Just Damned Outrageous’

      The chief executive of the biggest bank in the United States says journalists are ridiculously overpaid.

      At the company’s annual investor day, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon called the percentage of newspaper company revenue paid out to employees “just damned outrageous,” according to Bloomberg News. “Worse than that, you [the media] don’t even make any money!”

    • The Secret History of the Global Financial Collapse

      Doc Zone has traveled the world – from Wall Street to Dubai to China – to investigate The Secret History of the Global Financial Collapse. Meltdown is the story of the bankers who crashed the world, the leaders who struggled to save it and the ordinary families who got crushed.

      September 2008 launched an extraordinary chain of events: General Motors, the world’s largest company, went bust. Washington Mutual became the world’s largest bank failure. Lehman Brothers became the world’s largest bankruptcy ever – The damage quickly spread around the world, shattering global confidence in the fundamental structures of the international economy.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • CMD Receives an “Izzy Award” for ALEC Exposed

      The Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College has selected the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) for its annual “Izzy Award,” which recognizes outstanding achievement in independent media. CMD was recognized for its ALEC Exposed project, and shares this year’s award with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who was recognized for his exceptional reporting from Tahir Square. The award is named for the legendary I.F. Stone, the maverick investigative journalist who challenged Joe McCarthy’s scare campaign and was the first to question the Gulf of Tonkin hoax.

    • Sewage Sludge Rash? Texas Musical Fest-Goers Blame “Dillo Dirt”

      Nine months before tens of thousands flocked to a popular music festival in Austin, Texas, the concert park grounds were spread with sewage sludge. It was autumn of 2009, and sewage sludge was used as a “fertilizer” to make the grass — parched from prior dry seasons — green. But it rained the weekend of the festival, turning the grounds into a huge mud pit, with a stench that one concert-goer described as the smell of “pig manure,” with the consistency of pudding.

  • Censorship

    • Does Guernsey Really Want To Become Famous — And Ostracized — For Introducing Image Rights?

      That last paragraph underlines one of the key problems with image rights. Like the UK’s infamous libel laws, such rights might enable the world’s rich and powerful to censor stories that presented them in an unflattering light, by invoking their “image rights”.

      The same article quoted above talks about how the “legislation will define the rights of an individual to protect their own image and balance those against the freedom of news reporting and the public interest.” But a new law — especially in completely uncharted areas as here — is likely to require a number of detailed court cases to establish its contours. That’s going to be expensive, and not something that news organizations can lightly undertake, to say nothing of lone bloggers, which gives those with deep pockets a powerful weapon against the media.

    • Sherlock confirms that ‘Irish SOPA’ has been signed into law

      JUNIOR MINISTER SEÁN Sherlock has this afternoon confirmed that the controversial statutory instrument that reinforces online copyright laws in Ireland has been signed into law.

    • LEAKED: the video Olympics Authorities want banned

      Creating parodies goes to the heart of comedy and is one of the most effective ways to highlight social issues.

      But parodies of films and music aren’t allowed under UK copyright law, unless you have explicit permission of the copyright owner. I didn’t know this either until this week.

      Below is a satirical video leaked to Liberal Conspiracy that parodies the London 2012 Olympics using 3D animation. It is a political video that may have infringed copyright.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • GOP Senators To Unveil Rival Cybersecurity Proposals

      Two weeks ago at a hearing on the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, which is being championed by Senate Homeland Security Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., aired a laundry list of concerns about that bill.

      “If the legislation before us today were enacted into law, unelected bureaucrats at the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) could promulgate prescriptive regulations on American businesses – which own roughly 90 percent of critical cyber infrastructure,” McCain said of Lieberman’s bill. “The fundamental difference in our alternative approach is that we aim to enter into a cooperative relationship with the entire private sector through information sharing, rather than an adversarial one with prescriptive regulations.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T Devises Entirely New Wireless Troll Toll

      In 2005 then-AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre told Business Week that because people use Google, Google should help pay for AT&T’s network deployment (or as Ed put it, Google “ain’t usin’ his pipes for free”). ISP executives have long tried to offload upgrade expenses on to others, adding a new content toll despite the fact both content companies and consumers already pay a considerable sum for bandwidth. Whitacre’s comment triggered years of ugly network neutrality debate, and now AT&T is back with another idea.

    • Does the UN take over the Internet?
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • How The US Trade Rep Is Trying To Wipe Out Used Goods Sales With Secretive TPP Agreement

      For a while now, we’ve been covering the gradual legal assault on the First Sale doctrine and beyond. The First Sale doctrine, of course, is what lets you resell a legally purchased book without having to first obtain permission from the copyright holder. Of course, copyright holders generally hate the First Sale doctrine, because it often means that their products have to compete against “used” versions of their own products as well. Of course, this view is very shortsighted and economically ignorant. A healthy used or resale market has been shown to increase the amount people will pay for new items — because they recognize that there’s a secondary market and they can recoup some of what they paid for the original. Thus a healthy secondary market, contrary to what some believe, can often improve the health of the primary market.

    • Copyrights

      • Funny How Sensitive Hollywood Gets When You Threaten To Mess With Its ‘Fundamental’ Structure

        One of the key points in the SOPA/PIPA debate involved Hollywood — and the MPAA’s Chris Dodd and Michael O’Leary in particular — dismissing the worries of folks in the tech industry about the rather fundamental changes that these laws would make to both the technological and legal frameworks of the internet. Anytime such a thing was brought up, it was dismissed out of hand. This was most noticeable during the original SOPA hearings in November, where a number of experts were pointing out their concerns with how SOPA would undermine basic internet security principles… and O’Leary dismissed them with a simple statement about how he just didn’t believe those concerns to be true.

      • Has The Megaupload Shutdown Been Good For The Entertainment Industry?

        One of our most vocal (yet anonymous) critics posted an off-topic comment on a totally unrelated story mocking us for not having covered the story of how Hollywood has been saved (saved!) thanks to the shutdown of Megaupload. Of course, the reason we hadn’t covered the story was because we didn’t know about it. He referenced a couple of French news reports, which I hadn’t seen until I had some time just now to catch up on some old comments. He could have submitted the stories, but he insisted that it would be a total waste of time because we ignore any story that we disagree with. That’s pretty funny, considering many, many of the stories here are ones that challenge our views. And, I’m especially interested in reports of actual data, even if it conflicts with other data we’ve seen in the past. In fact, I’m especially interested in such stories, because my focus is figuring out what’s really happening and understanding what’s actually best for culture and society. So data that actually challenges my assumptions is some of the most useful data around.

      • If Major Labels Are All About Helping Artists, Why Do We Keep Seeing Artists Calling Out Their Labels For Screwing Them?
      • ACTA

        • Rottification of ACTA

          Today the ACTA workshop turned out to be a catastrophy for ACTA proponents. Not because issues raised by MEP or participants were very tough, they weren’t. A toxic mix of clear cut academics speakers Geist/Geiger and then Sander and the Maastricht study butchering the agreement. We witness a slow “rottification” of ACTA.

        • ‘We, The Web Kids’: Manifesto For An Anti-ACTA Generation

          One of the striking features of the demonstrations against ACTA that took place across Europe over the last few weeks was the youth of the participants. That’s not to say that only young people are concerned about ACTA, but it’s an indication that they take its assault on the Internet very personally — unlike, perhaps, older and more dispassionate critics.

03.01.12

Links 1/3/2012: Raspberry Pi and Cotton Candy, EU Censorship Plans

Posted in News Roundup at 5:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Penguins Seen Over California

      California shifted from 1.5% to 18%. What’s with that? Google has only 10K employees in Mountain View, not enough to change the share in California that much.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Of Fanboys and Distribution Menageries

      Opening the word processor is a rare thing for me. I usually make do with LaTeX. But it is needed sometimes, like when you have a desire to write for your blog, and the writing will end up copied and pasted anyway, and you want a completely unrelated way to start your post. That done, let’s start:

      Our first topic of discussion is distribution menageries. Some people, with a drive I confess I cannot even begin to understand, install distributions. I am not talking about building a stable desktop for yourself with Scientific Linux and putting a Fedora or Arch next to it to play with latest innovations and software, I am talking about those people who install (and I took this list from an anonymous from Ubuntu Forums) Ubuntu 10.04, openSUSE 12.1, Ubuntu 11.10, Xubuntu 11.10, Mint Linux 12, Windows 7 and the last Kubuntu. Agreed, not everyone goes that extreme, but it is common to see people who installed 2 or 3 spins on same Ubuntu and something like a nonworking BSD. They speak of this on public forums without embarrassment; and as it happens, there is no embarrassment to be felt as all they get are pats on the back. This gives me, so conveniently, a way to introduce our next topic of discussion: Fanboys or fanbots, whichever you prefer. People who write window$, M$ (winzort is popular here) and claim that Microsoft is out to conquer the world. This last world conquering part is what really angers me; after all, world domination should be goal of every self respecting nerd; do not discriminate against Linux people, please.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat to Webcast Results for Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 2012
      • ClearOS Community 6.2.0 Beta 3 Released

        ClearOS Community 6.2.0 Beta 3 has arrived! Along with the usual round of bug fixes and enhancements, Beta 3 includes the following new apps: Content Filter, Flexshare, Samba, Remote Server Backup, Print Server, Password Policies, and Network Visualizer. New apps in the Professional Edition include: Google Apps Synchronization, Active Directory Connector, and Central Management. This will be the last beta as we head toward a final release. We will soon be able to put those Duke Nukem jabs behind us ;-)

      • CentOS, RHEL and Scientific Linux 4 reach their End of Life

        The CentOS and Scientific Linux projects have stopped maintaining the series 4 versions of their Linux distributions. According to the “End of Life” (EOL) notifications by CentOS and Scientific Linux, there will be no further security fixes for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 4-based distributions. Users will, therefore, need to switch to other versions.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source software brings benefits to Katikati Computers

    When Michael Pavletich and Glynn Smith found themselves running identical businesses six years ago, they decided they better join forces. Their operations in Katikati had the same business approach and philosophy and they also shared a love of motorcycling.

    However, though the partnership works well, Pavletich admits running a small business like Katikati Computers can be trying when one of them is away. Early in January, for example, Pavletich was effectively tied to the shop, while Smith was on holiday. Foot traffic and phone calls come and go, creating peaks in work that can only be overcome by coming in early and taking some work home.

  • SaaS

    • The Wild West of Big Data

      It is very easy to compare the atmosphere of this year’s Strata Conference and the big data ecosystem to the atmosphere of the Linux and open source ecosystem around the turn of the century.

      (And yes, I get a little trill in my fingers when I get to type “turn of the century.”)

      The comparison is not literal: I made this observation to someone I met at here at Strata this week and he dug into me a bit on how his company’s offerings were not related to open source technologies.

  • CMS

  • Healthcare

    • Regina Holliday advocates patient engagement at HIMSS12

      Patient care has always been vital to healthcare. At the same time, patient engagement has always been frighteningly low. Patients have been passive players in their own care, depending on and assuming that ‘doctor knows best.’

      Today’s patients, however, are becoming consumers of healthcare. They are more informed about their options and with more information at their disposal they are becoming more vocal than ever about their expectations for care.

      In the past, gaining access to medical records was difficult at best. Now, as paper records are being replaced with electronic data, patients will have an opportunity to take greater control of their healthcare records.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Unreleased Elliott Smith, Deerhunter on Kickstarter Comp for Open Source Project CASH Music

      CASH Music is a not-for-profit open software project based in Portland, Oregon that will offer musicians and labels free, open source tools necessary for independently marketing their music. (“What WordPress did for bloggers, we’re doing for musicians,” they say.) The organization, led by Maggie Vail (formerly of Kill Rock Stars) and Jesse von Doom, is currently raising funds on Kickstarter.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Eurogreens: Dear Mr. President, where is our Info?
    • Code for America Meets Austin

      It’s hard to believe my team has been in Austin for nearly four weeks already. As part of the 2012 Code for America Fellowship program, we’re nearing the end of our residency: five weeks of interviews, meetings, events and information gathering. Code for America is a non-profit based in San Francisco that partners teams of developers and designer with cities around the country to encourage innovation in government and civic engagement.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

    • Open Access/Content

      • California State Senate bill seeks to create open source textbook library

        College students may find relief from high textbook prices in a California State Senate bill that would create a free open source textbook library.

        State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, introduced a bill Feb. 8 that would fund a library containing open source textbooks for the 50 most popular lower division courses at the state’s colleges and universities. Students could download the textbooks for free or pay about $20 for a hard copy.

        On March 3, the bill — which asks for $25 million in state funding to create the open source textbooks — will be eligible for discussion in committee hearings. But that funding request can change as the bill moves through the hearings, according to Steinberg spokesperson Alicia Trost.

    • Open Hardware

      • An open-source robo-surgeon

        RAVENS have a bad reputation. Medieval monks, who liked to give names to everything (even things that did not need them), came up with “an unkindness” as the collective noun for these corvids. Blake Hannaford and his colleagues at the University of Washington, in Seattle, however, hope to change the impression engendered by the word. They are about to release a flock of medical robots with wing-like arms, called Ravens, in the hope of stimulating innovation in the nascent field of robotic surgery.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • EU Censorship Plan With A Cheesy Name: The Clean IT Project

      Those last two sentences are particularly ominous. First, because they show no awareness that any attempt to “clean” the Internet inevitably affects everyone else’s online freedom. Given that there are no hard and fast rules about what is terrorism, the past teaches us that there is always collateral damage in the form of over-reaction — not least because people understandably err on the side of caution in this area.

  • Privacy

    • Privacy commissioner has concerns with Google’s new privacy policy

      Canada’s privacy commissioner has expressed concerns with Google’s new privacy policy, asking the Internet giant to clearly explain how it plans to use personal information it collects from users.

      In a letter to the company sent Thursday, but released publicly Friday, Jennifer Stoddart said Google’s new policy appears to have loopholes where users may unwillingly have their personal information used in ways that make them uncomfortable.

  • Civil Rights

    • Lawful Access Signals Canada Is Open to ‘Big Brother Inc.’

      Privacy International, one of the world’s leading privacy organizations, last year released the results of a multi-year investigation into the shadowy world of the commercial surveillance industry. Dubbed “Big Brother Inc.,” the investigation placed the spotlight on dozens of companies that specialize in covert surveillance technologies that are typically sold directly to governments and law enforcement agencies.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Kickstarter Expects To Provide More Funding To The Arts Than NEA
    • Organic Farmers’ Preemptive Lawsuit Against Monsanto Patents Tossed Out For Being A Bit Too Preemptive

      Monsanto has quite a track record of going after farmers for making use of its “patented” seeds, even in a case that involve seeds that blew onto a farm from a neighboring farm. So, it wasn’t entirely surprising to see a group of organic farmers preemptively sue Monsanto last year, asking for a declaratory judgment that they did not infringe. However, the judge in the case has now dismissed the case, noting that for a declaratory judgment, there has to be a real conflict, and Monsanto keeps insisting that it won’t sue these farmers. From a legal standpoint, this argument makes sense (and the declaratory judgment standard can be pretty high in some cases — especially if no direct threat has been issued). But, it still seems unfortunate. Given Monsanto’s past actions in other cases, even if it says it won’t sue now, plenty of farmers are reasonably scared about what will happen down the road. But, for now, they just have to wait and hope that Monsanto seeds don’t show up on their farms…

    • Business Software Alliance’s latest weird argument for stronger IP laws

      The Business Software Alliance has found a newly imagined detriment of Canada’s supposedly sub-par intellectual property laws – make sure you’re sitting down for this shocker – it’s slowing down the advancement of cloud computing.

      It’s the latest of many poxes that have stricken Canada as a result of our outdated IP enforcement and copyright protection regime, all of which have been fastidiously documented by this interest group representing the world’s largest software companies.

    • Copyrights

      • Would You Rather Be ‘Right’ Or Realistic?
      • Artist Sues Sony Over Background Used in Music Video (Exclusive)
      • Company That Issued Bogus Takedown Says It Was All A Mistake, Apologizes

        ote about how a totally bogus DMCA takedown notice, coming from an “anti-piracy” firm called Armovore, deleted a key Techdirt blog post about SOPA/PIPA from Google’s search results. That post apparently got some attention within Google, who kicked off an expedited review and reinstated our site and a few others. Soon after that, we got a couple emails from folks at Armovore, and they also posted some comments to the site, in which they apologized, and said that it was an “early” version of the technology. To their credit, they “accept full responsibility for the mistake” and insist that while that takedown was an automated keyword-based effort, they now only do manual takedowns. They even apologized that multiple people reached out to apologize.

      • ‘Towards Flexible Copyright?’
      • ACTA

        • David Martin and the straw man about boarder searches in ACTA

          In fact, I never read these article about iPod searches at the customs or heard an advocacy group in Europe to make that consumer case. I only heard about the straw man of the ACTA defenders that there were these “misconceptions” of critics, even at times when ACTA was yet in a preparatory phase. Actually, as you see from the text, it wouldn’t even be even a misconception though it is a side topic. A distraction.

        • Karel De Gucht’s Fake ACTA Debate

          Last week, the Trade Commissioner De Gucht, the same who recently declared he was “not afraid of the anti-ACTA demonstrations”, went on to explain why, considering the wave of criticism on ACTA, he is now turning to the European Court of Justice to assess whether ACTA would be detrimental to fundamental rights1.

Links 1/3/2012: WebOS Layoffs, Eclipse Board Elections

Posted in News Roundup at 4:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

02.29.12

Links 29/2/2012: Fedora 17 Alpha, MINIX 3.2.0

Posted in News Roundup at 7:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source teaches people how to fish

    One of the things I love most about the open source communities I’m a part of is that when I ask a question, I just don’t get the answer, I get taught how to find the answer.

  • It’s scary to join an open source project
  • HP culls nearly half remaining webOS team
  • Web Browsers

  • Education

    • Musings of a dark overlord: Leveraging 21st-century education with open source

      When I first went to the dark side, I lamented that I was trading my noble teaching role for that of a dark overlord administrator. Much of the time, this characterization remains true. But as I mature as an educational leader, I find that I am in a more complicated teaching role–not only retaining my former group of students, but also expanding my responsibilities to include teaching teachers.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • LocalWiki project spawns open source communities

      Who says open source is all about code and hackathons have to stick to computer hacking? Code Across America is a different kind of open source community, and it came together on February 25, 2012. This effort was part of civic innovation week (February 24-March 4), where over a dozen cities in the United States have citizens organizing to improve their cities and communities. Simultaneous events included hackathons, unconferences, meet-ups, and Code for America ’brigades’ deploying existing open source applications. This is a story about building community knowledge the open source way, using the open source platform LocalWiki.

    • Foundation Formed to Marry Open Principles with Job Search Tools

      With economic problems lingering, many people remain in need of employment and that’s true across the technology sector. Now, a group called DirectEmployers Association has announced a new foundation–DirectEmployers Foundation–that will purportedly leverage open source principles and technology to deliver improved job search and career marketing tools. In addition to standalone tools, the foundation will also focus on APIs and components that can be shared, delivering job search tools and listing to many online sites.

    • Open Hardware

      • Facebook plans open-source storage hardware

        The designs should become available in May via Facebook-spinoff the Open Compute Project, the company confirmed to ZDNet UK on Friday. The move will come a year after it started publishing the design specifications of its own ultra-efficient servers.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Genode OS Framework 12.02 Released

    At the beginning of the year I wrote about how Genode OS had an ambitious road-map for this year after coming up with plans for their own general purpose operating system. Today marks the first release since that point with the release of Genode OS Framework 12.02.

    One of the fundamental shifts in Genode’s development that happened this cycle is moving to an open development cycle rather than within the confines of Genode Labs. Genode is now being developed in the open on GitHub.

  • Security

    • Your Exim is Vulnerable, No its Not, Well We Say it is!
    • A New Dawn of Energy Security for the West? A Non-OPEC Update

      OPEC currently supplies the world with 32% of its oil. The rest is supplied by Non-OPEC producers. One of the most important distinctions between the two is that OPEC oil largely comes from state-run oil companies. Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia, PDVSA in Venezuela, and the National Oil Company of Iran, for example. Meanwhile, in Non-OPEC, production flows from countries mostly through private enterprise: United States, Canada, UK, for example. What has surprised the global oil market over the past 7 years is that this majority segment of world oil production has also remained trapped below a ceiling, despite the price revolution which took oil from under $40 to above $100 a barrel. Free markets are supposed to create more supply, when price rises. New supply has indeed come online in Non-OPEC over the past decade. However, geology has trumped investment. It is geology that determines flow rates.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Workers Unionize In Japan: Report

      Wall Street workers and union hands may seem like total opposites, but employees at an iconic investment bank are countering those preconceived notions.

      That’s right, some Goldman Sachs workers in Japan are unionizing, according to the Japan Times (h/t Dealbook). The workers made the decision after the bank allegedly attempted to convince certain employees to voluntarily resign in order to get around Japanese labor laws that make laying off workers difficult.

  • Privacy

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Public Knowledge

      John Bennett draws our attention to Public Knowledge (.org). They “preserve… the openness of the Internet and the public’s access to knowledge; promote… creativity through balanced copyright; and uphold.. and protect… the rights of consumers to use innovative technology lawfully”. In the wake of SOPA/PIPA they have started the internet blueprint an effort to crowdsource legislative proposals to protect internet freedoms.

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • A Vibrant Political Debate on ACTA Sparks at the EU Parliament

          The European Parliament may be adopting a strong political line on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), despite the EU Commission’s attempt to buy time and defuse the debate. Due to the referral of ACTA to the EU Court of Justice, the final vote paving the way for its ratification will be delayed. This will give the EU Parliament time to build up a clear stance on the issues raised by this dangerous trade agreement, do in-depth research and impact assessments, and hopefully define guidelines for a better and fair copyright regime. Citizens must remain mobilized, as they will have many opportunities to weigh in this open process.

        • ICC BASCAP on ACTA

          A lobby group pushing for ACTA is ICC BASCAP. I remember Cecile Arns(?) as a representative at the first stakeholder meeting, in particular because of her arguing style. That’s my point of interest here. They are kind of hammering these short emotive phrases, you always find a little lighthouse in a sentence. Very professional from a midterm lobbying perspective.

        • EU Trade Negotiators trash Europarl role at WTO

          He previously mentioned Pedro Velasco-Martins was leading the WTO TRIPS Council delegation. He is the current Mr. ACTA at the Commission. Arrogance is part of their administrative culture at DG Trade.

          At the European Parliament STOA meeting for instance he spoke of China as a “very old, traditional country” while MEP Ruebig was spreading stupid nonsense. They are professional trade negotiators. Skilled persons which get screwed and screw other nations up. You cannot expect them to respond to “suggestions” from Parliament as it would be usual. More than 50 written questions from Parliament to the Commission. Any other Commission initiative would be dead and gone by then.

02.28.12

Links 28/2/2012: Huawei joins Tizen, FSFE for Freeing Android

Posted in News Roundup at 5:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • VA looks for Microsoft alternatives

    With an eye on reducing ongoing software costs, the Veterans Affairs Department said it is exploring alternatives to Microsoft Corp.’s longstanding Office Suite productivity software that has dominated federal desktops for two decades.

    The VA currently owns and operates the 2003, 2007 and 2010 versions of Office, which include Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and which are being used by more than 300,000 VA employees. Use of the integrated software suite has provided for interoperability between the VA’s many units.

  • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache ACE as a Top-Level Project
  • WURFL: a cautionary tale

    At the beginning of this year a DMCA takedown notice was used against the open source project OpenDDR. Glyn Moody looks at the background to this story and the issues that it raises.

  • Umit, Backed By Google, Prepares Open Monitor Tool

    Umit, an open source organization that’s loosely affiliated with Google, is preparing Open Monitor, a free and open source tool that will allow customers and service providers to monitor Internet connectivity conditions from any part of the world. If Open Minitor works as advertised, I wonder if there are potential integration opportunities with traditional RMM (remote monitoring and management) software that many MSPs already leverage.

  • Qualifying the open-source movement

    Open source began in the late 1970s and early 80s as a way of preserving the sharing ethos upon which early computer science was built. Since then it has grown well beyond its original scope, and now underscores the creation of many creative works.

    Patent law is also directed towards a similar end, but encourages individuals rather than groups. So does the success of open source suggest patent law, as we know it, is set to change?

  • Techtalk: NBN plan prices and open source software
  • Spotlight on Open Source Router Platforms – Thoughts?

    We talk about networking quite a bit on AnandTech, covering everything from the upper end of home routers to WiFi stacks in smartphones and extending all the way up to 10GbE in the enterprise. What we haven’t really talked much about is some of the open source networking software that’s out there to improve and manage your network.

  • Events

    • Open source ideals at HIMSS12

      A not-so-intimate group of healthcare IT professionals (a record-setting 37,032 attendees) gathered February 20 at the 2012 HIMSS conference in Las Vegas. They kicked off a week of talks, discussions and collaboration sessions addressing ways to tackle the challenges in the healthcare IT industry.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Add-ons behaving badly: the challenges of policing the Firefox ecosystem

        Firefox’s powerful add-on system is arguably one of the browser’s best features, but it is also occasionally a source of problems for Mozilla. Policing the add-on ecosystem to ensure that third-party code doesn’t degrade the quality of the Firefox user experience is a major challenge. It’s a problem across the ecosystem of web browsers, and some vendors, like Microsoft with its upcoming Metro version of Internet Explorer, don’t allow third-party plugins at all. In contrast, Firefox users have a sea of add-ons at their disposal, but there is danger lurking below the surface.

      • Mozilla Dropped Android From Boot-to-Gecko Project

        This week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Mozilla announced that Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom plan to build phones based on B2G, a platform that will run all apps on the phone, including basic apps like a phone dialer and SMS client, from the Web. Telefonica said it expects to release a low-cost phone running the technology this year; DT didn’t disclose additional details.

        When Mozilla first announced the B2G project last July, it said it expected to use parts of Android to compile the platform. But it ultimately didn’t have to, said Jonathan Nightingale, senior director of Firefox engineering for Mozilla.

      • Mozilla bets big on open Web devices
      • Mozilla Putting all the Pieces Together to be a Smartphone Contender

        When we think of HTML5 as a mobile platform, devices are not what come to mind. The mobile Web, almost by definition, is an amorphous set of technologies, standards, designs, contents and ideas. The mobile Web is more of a Wild West these days then its desktop counterpart. Mozilla is attempting to give the mobile Web shape and definition and today announced a partnership that will bring the first HTML5-based mobile operating system to a device in 2012.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The significance of a Foundation

      t was quite a month for the Document Foundation; the press rightly picked our three main announcements: the 3.5 release, the foundation’s incorporation and our partnership with Intel. I would like to go back to the foundation matter and show why the two other announcements are made more significant by the fact that we are now officially established and incorporated as a legal entity.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • What skills will the new government CIO leadership team need?

      But Mark Taylor, CEO of small open source company Sirius, who was appointed by the Cabinet Office to lead its New Suppliers to Government working group says the next CIO leadership must do more to open up the marketplace and work with other areas of government such as the procurement team to bring about change.

      “Some two years into the government’s term and so far not an enormous amount of progress has been made in terms of improving the number of SMEs doing business with government,” he says.

      The government still has little concept of how to deal with SMEs, he says. His company was recently contacted by a public sector organisation requiring a Linux refresh, which asked it to complete a 200-plus page booklet – a prohibitive procedure for time and cash poor small businesses.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • A single European open data licence?

        You’ll know that open data is a cause close to my heart, and I welcome your initiative. You’ll be aware that back in December I put forward an ambitious legal proposal to unlock the goldmine and open up Europe’s public sector, through a system that would be cheaper, easier to use and wider in scope than current rules. In legal terms, these take the form of amendments to the Public Sector Information (PSI) Directive: that means they are proposed by the Commission, but then must be agreed by both the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers before becoming law – and indeed those bodies have already held initial discussions on this topic.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Textbooks can be free

        The open-source method of learning would allow instructors to create and share information for all students to utilize. This type of education system is open to the whole world, which would share information on an immense level. While open-source books are the ideal solution to the high costs of textbooks, eTexts are a step in the right direction. In the meantime, students should use eTexts and push for an open-source learning model instead of pricey textbooks.

  • Programming

    • Google Summer of Code 2012: mentoring application deadline announced

      Open source projects and organisations have until Friday, 9 March at 23:00 GMT to apply to mentor students as part of this year’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC) event. Projects interested in applying can register (sign in required) for the eighth annual event now; application requirements can be found on the FAQ page and a Mentor Manual is provided.

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • Why Greece Matters to the Occupy movement, and the Occupy SF Greece Rally
    • The WikiLeaks GiFiles: Stratfor Plotted with Goldman Sachs to Set Up Investment Fund

      Stratfor, the intelligence firm at the centre of the latest WikiLeaks/Anonymous tie-up, attempted to set up an investment fund with a Goldman Sachs director to trade on the intelligence collected by Stratfor.

      In 2009, the then managing director of the investment bank, Shea Morenz, planned to utilise the intelligence from the insider network “to start up a captive strategic investment fund”.

      “What StratCap will do is use our Stratfor’s intelligence and analysis to trade in a range of geopolitical instruments, particularly government bonds, currencies and the like,” reads an email by Stratfor’s CEO George Friedman.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Walker Using Out-of-State Tea Party Group to Indirectly Challenge Recall

      After news outlets reported Monday that Governor Scott Walker would not be challenging recall signatures, the governor quietly submitted a request asking that the state elections board accept challenges from an effort involving a Texas organization with a history of voter suppression.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • An Open Letter to Chris Dodd

        Mr. Dodd, I hear you’ve just given a speech in which you said “Hollywood is pro-technology and pro-Internet.” It seems you’re looking for interlocutors among the coalition that defeated SOPA and PIPA, and are looking for some politically feasible compromise that will do something against the problem of Internet piracy as you believe you understand it.

        There isn’t any one person who can answer your concerns. But I can speak for one element of the coalition that blocked those two bills; the technologists. I’m not talking about Google or the technology companies, mind you – I’m talking about the actual engineers who built the Internet and keep it running, who write the software you rely on every day of your life in the 21st century.

      • ACTA

Links 28/2/2012: More Than 850,000 Androids Activated Daily

Posted in News Roundup at 4:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Linux Setup – Terrence O’Brien, Engadget

    I suspected Terrence O’Brien was a Linux user when I started noticing he seemed to be behind just about all of Engadget’s Linux coverage. It turns out I was right about Terrence. Not only that, he gets a lot of work done through his Ubuntu setup. Also, his dream setup is pretty great. I think I’m stealing it for my dream.

  • Yep, There’s A Linux Appliance For That

    Purpose-built Linux distros are appearing faster than zombies in a first-person shooter. Need a drop-in replacement for Microsoft’s Primary Domain Controller? Try the Domain Controller Appliance. Working with the public schools? Now you can install Moodle for e-learning and course management in minutes thanks to the Moodle Appliance. Customer wants a Wiki? Download the TWiki enterprise wiki platform and you’re good to go.

    These systems exist today because someone has taken the trouble to do the work of assembling, installing and integrating the application stack, testing and debugging them and bundling them as ready-to-deploy VMs for VMware, Xen and other hypervisors, as ISOs for bare metal, or directly to Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud for access through a browser.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • Intel Sandy Bridge RC6 Is Good To Go

      It looks like the debacle concerning RC6 power-savings support for Intel Sandy Bridge hardware is finally behind us. Intel thinks everything is worked out and ready to be enabled upstream (again) with the next Linux 3.4 kernel cycle and Canonical has enabled RC6 by default in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Here are some tests showing the performance benefits and power-saving abilities of using the RC6 hardware feature on Sandy Bridge processors.

    • New Wake Locks Patches Published For Linux Kernel

      While this weekend saw the release of the Linux 3.3-rc5 kernel, which Linus Torvalds self-admitted was pretty boring, also hitting the mailing list this past week were new kernel patches to implement auto-sleep and “wake locks” support.

    • Is Linus’ Law real?

      Now I’m about as big of a fan of open source as they come, but I’m not sure if this is the proper course for cause and effect. I’ve done a lot of thinking about Linus’ Law in the past few months as part of the Red Hat Product Security Team. What the Coverity report shows is that open source has fewer of the kind of defects Coverity can detect. That’s really it.

    • The Death of Ubuntu One Notes on the Web
  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • A look at SalineOS 1.6

      After a week with SalineOS I would say my experience thus far has been fairly good. The project’s documentation is helpful, the installer is quite novice friendly and I encountered no problems getting set up. The distribution is light on resources, but comes with a full range of software (and Debian’s large repositories). Being based on Debian Squeeze, some of the available software is a bit old (Iceweasel is still on version 3.5), but I didn’t find I was missing functionality due to the age of the software. SalineOS provides a quick and easy way to get up and running with a Debian-based system. I like that we’re given the choice of staying with Debian’s free software policy or installing non-free extras. There were aspects of the system I’d like to see changed or fixed. For instance, having my keyboard layout change to a French setting was an unwelcome bug. The update button in the system tray works well enough, but given SalineOS’ friendly approach to most things, I think it makes sense to put a graphical update tool in its place. Also a matter of taste, I think it would make sense to name items in the application menu by their purpose rather than by the application’s name. “LibreOffice” is easy enough to figure out, but new users might be curious as to what “Iceweasel”, “Icedove” and “Catfish” do, especially since Iceweasel and Icedove are names not typically seen outside of the Debian community.

      Admittedly, these are pretty minor complaints and I think if these are the worst issues I ran into when using SalineOS that shows just how well the small project is doing. It’s a light, fast distro with a good collection of software and the project makes it easy to get a Debian-based desktop installed quickly. If you don’t mind using venerable packaging tools like Synaptic and apt-get then I recommend giving SalineOS a try.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Book review: Open Advice

    The recently released Open Advice has much to offer those who are new to free software and its communities, but there is plenty of interest to veterans as well. It is a collection of essays from an auspicious number of contributors (42) to free and open source software (FOSS) that centers around the idea of “what we wish we had known when we started”. As might be guessed, the book encompasses more than that—it ranges all over the FOSS map—including recollections, war stories, philosophical musings, academic research, and good advice.

  • Resin Open Source Web Server Powers 4.7 Million Sites

    “Resin’s incredible growth is driven by fast performance speed, built-in server monitoring capabilities and extreme reliability,” said Caucho Technology.

    Founded in 1998, Caucho Technology released version 1.0 of resin in 1999. Companies including the Toronto Stock Exchange, Salesforce and CNET have deployed on Resin, the Java Application Server designed for high-traffic sites that require speed and scalability.

  • Open source empowers me

    Open source made new things possible for more people. One commenter said, “Open soruce technologies give me freedom…I was the prisoner of proprietary technologies for many years…open source gives me [options] a free choice.”

    Another commenter pointed out that open source empowers them to help others. They said, “I have also used open source to provide computer systems to people that would otherwise not be able to afford a new one with a proprietary system…”

  • Web Browsers

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Open Data Handbook version 1.0

        The Handbook discusses the ‘why, what and how’ of open data – why to go open, what open is, how to make data open and how to do useful things with it.

        Read on to find out more about what’s in the Handbook, who it’s for, and how you can get involved – for example by adding to and improving the Handbook, or by translating it into more languages.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Security

    • ASLR to be mandatory for binary Firefox extensions

      A patch that was recently introduced to the Firefox repository is designed to make the browser more secure by forcing certain binary extensions to use ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomisation) under Windows. The Mozilla developers say that the change, which will prevent XPCOM (Cross Platform Component Object Module) component DLLs without ASLR from loading, should be included in Firefox 13 “if no unexpected problems arise”

  • Censorship

    • Key Techdirt SOPA/PIPA Post Censored By Bogus DMCA Takedown Notice

      If you’re scratching your head, you’re not the only one. There’s clearly nothing infringing in our post. I just wasted too much time going through all 300+ comments on that post and I don’t see anything that includes any porn or even links to any porn as far as I can tell. Instead, it seems that Armovore and Paper Street Cash sent a clearly bogus DMCA takedown notice, which served the purpose of censoring our key blog post in the SOPA fight. And they did it on January 20th… the day that SOPA was officially shelved.

      There are some other oddities in that list as well, including TorrentFreak’s article about how ICE took down 84,000 websites illegally by seizing the mooo.com domain and saying that all 84,000 of those sites were involved in child porn.

      In other words, two separate articles that have been key to the discussion concerning abuses of copyright law… both taken out of Google’s index due to a bogus DMCA takedown. Hmm….

      While many of the other links do appear to go to sites that may offer up infringing content, just looking at the URLs alone make you wonder what most of them have to do with Paper Street Cash or TeamSkeet. Some of the links talk about top Christian albums. One is to some Dave Matthews songs. Another is to Wiz Khalifa music. There’s another one that appears to be a link to downloads of the TV show Prison Break. Obviously those things may be infringing, but the notice itself only talks about TeamSkeet, and if Armovore doesn’t represent those other artists, it may have broken the law in pretending to.

  • Copyrights

    • ACTA

      • The ACTA Guide, Part One: The Talks To-Date

        The 7th round of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations begins tomorrow in Guadalajara, Mexico. The negotiation round will be the longest to-date, with three and a half days planned to address civil enforcement, border measures, the Internet provisions, and (one hour for) transparency. Over the next five days, I plan to post a five-part ACTA Guide that will include sourcing for much of the discussion on ACTA, links to all the leaked documents, information on the transparency issue, and a look at who has been speaking out.

        I start today with a lengthy backgrounder for those new to ACTA or looking to catch up on recent developments. There are several ways to get up-to-speed. The recent Google-sponsored debate was very informative, particularly on the transparency issue. There has been some helpful mainstream media coverage from the Washington Post (Copyright Overreach Takes a World Tour, Q & A on ACTA) and the Irish Times (Secret agreement may have poisonous effect on the net). The Command Line ran a podcast on the topic last week and I’ve posted interviews on ACTA I did with Search Engine and CBC’s As It Happens. Last last year I also created a timeline that tracks the evolution of ACTA and I gave a talk on ACTA last November that highlights the major developments in about 20 minutes (embedded below).

      • ACTA Week in the EU Parliament. MEPs Must Act!

        Despite an attempt from the Commission to buy time and defuse the political debate, important meetings will take place this week in the European Parliament to decide on the future of ACTA. Citizens must call on their representatives to work without delay towards the rejection of this illegitimate agreement.

02.27.12

Links 27/2/2012: Linux 3.3 RC5, Orange and x86

Posted in News Roundup at 5:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Projects showcase Central La. students’ interest in science

    The 12-year-old Pollock Elementary School pupil showed how he believes Linux is better than Windows at the Louisiana Region IV Science and Engineering Fair Saturday at Louisiana State University at Alexandria’s Fitness Center.

  • Ten Things I Wish I Knew When Becoming A Linux Admin

    Ten years ago I installed Linux for the very first time. To be exact, it was Slackware 7, the best distribution at the time in my opinion. Since then I’ve come to favor Debian Linux as my favorite version…at least for my Linux servers. I like to have a solid core system installed that I can build from scratch, but this is for another time. This article is for you new Linux admins; here are the ten things I wish I knew when starting my Linux admin journey.

  • Desktop

    • GNU/Linux on the Desktop: Alive and Growing

      So, while Adobe and AK may believe GNU/Linux is dead in the water, the real reason for abandoning Flash on GNU/Linux lies elsewhere, likely the fact that Flash is a dead-end technology with HTML 5 ramping up. Killing Flash in 5 years is irrelevant for that reason.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • The Completely Blank Xfce Desktop

      The Xfce desktop environment comes with Xubuntu and is also available in the Xfce versions of Linux Mint, Fedora and other Linux distributions. Using Xfce, you can easily set up a highly functional but completely blank desktop – no icons, no menus, nothing. Just a blank screen or a favourite wallpaper, ideal for the user who hates distractions or loves simplicity. Here’s how to do it.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 8.0: slightly burnt dessert

        February 2012 brought us some fresh releases of Linux-based operating systems. These systems are not as big and famous as Ubuntu, Fedora or OpenSuSE, but still have a considerable army of fans.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat vs Oracle Linux Support: 10 Years Is New Standard

        The Linux chess match between Red Hat and Oracle now involves a showdown on long-term support strategies. Indeed, both Red Hat and Oracle recently extended their Linux support life cycles to a lengthy 10 years. The big potential winners are partners and customers that are trying to maintain long-term IT road maps involving Linux data centers.

      • Is It Time to Try on Red Hat?

        Software firm Red Hat Inc. (RHT) captured my attention this weekend as I was scanning through lists of stocks. This poor equity was largely abandoned in December by investors despite a strong earnings report. A mix of sky-high expectations and poor news from Oracle (ORCL) in late December had the security dropping close to $39 on extremely high trading volume. The kind of high volume that bottoms are built on.

      • Red Hat’s Cloud and Virtualization Win: More to Come?

        It’s a familiar story: Like so many other telecom services providers, CDLAN is trying to push into cloud services. For CDLAN, the path to SaaS and cloud services involves an open source twist: Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Is this a sign of things to come for Red Hat?

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Press Release: KuwaitNet to open source VPN platform

    KuwaitNET, a complete Internet solutions provider, announces the launch of VPNPlatform.org in an effort to give back to the open source community which has been a large driver of their business over the years.

  • Open source opens doors for Aussie start-up

    It’s pretty rare for a start-up company to benefit from more than a decade of software development valued at about $2 million each year. Rarer still for one to land a six figure contract before it has even launched a commercial product.

    But that is precisely what Gold Coast-based Opmantek has done. The company was formed in October 2010 to acquire the commercial rights to the popular open source network management software Network Management Information System (NMIS), a product first developed in 1999 by one of Opmantek’s founders, Keith Sinclair.

  • Events

    • GNUmed holds mini conference

      GNUmed has been around a while. Most communication happens via the mailing list. Not everyone is comfortable with mailing lists and users tend to stay away from it. That is why we are planning a get together in Leipzig, Germany.

  • Education

    • Nature Editorial: If you want reproducible science, the software needs to be open source

      Modern scientific and engineering research relies heavily on computer programs, which analyze experimental data and run simulations. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a scientific paper (outside of pure theory) that didn’t involve code in some way. Unfortunately, most code written for research remains closed, even if the code itself is the subject of a published scientific paper. According to an editorial in Nature, this hinders reproducibility, a fundamental principle of the scientific method.

      Reproducibility refers to the ability to repeat some work and obtain similar results. It is especially important when the results are unexpected or appear to defy accepted theories (for example, the recent faster-than-light neutrinos). Scientific papers include detailed descriptions of experimental methods—sometimes down to the specific equipment used—so that others can independently verify results and build upon the work.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

Leftovers

  • TEST: How to know if your computer license should be revoked
  • Finance

    • SEC Seeks Testimony of Ex-IKB Employee in Lawsuit Against Goldman’s Tourre

      The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to question a former employee of IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG (IKB) in its lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) trader Fabrice Tourre, court records show.

      The SEC today asked a federal judge in New York to issue a so-called letter of request that would allow the agency to take testimony from Jorg Zimmerman, a resident of Germany.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Facebook suffers lobbying exodus

      The move signals that the gloves are coming off in the ongoing lobbying fight between content providers and Internet companies. Facebook’s lobbying spending increased about 285 percent from $351,000 in 2010 to $1.35 million in 2011.

  • Privacy

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • ‘The Free Internet Act’ Emerges As Redditors Craft SOPA Alternative

      When two proposed anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA looked as if they could become law, social news site Reddit helped organize a large-scale online protest that led lawmakers to table the bills indefinitely. But the activism didn’t stop there, and now Redditors are trying to draft legislation of their own.

      “The Free Internet Act,” as the idea has been tentatively named, intends to preempt any future legislation aiming to limit the scope of the Internet or censor content. Redditors have turned the “r/fia” page into a place to craft something they’d like to someday see become a standard for governing the Internet.

    • Study Confirms What You Already Knew: Mobile Data Throttling About The Money, Not Stopping Data Hogs

      Of the four national mobile operators, only Sprint still offers an “unlimited” data plan — and most industry watchers expect that to go away soon. When the operators talk about this stuff, they complain about how unlimited plans are abused and the amount of data being used by so-called “data hogs” is crippling network bandwidth. Of course, the alternative story is that they just want to charge people higher rates, and putting a toll booth on data usage makes that possible. A new study by Validas confirms that the latter theory seems to match with reality. The company looked at 11,000 mobile phone bills of users on both throttled (tiered) plans and unlimited data plans and found… data usage was effectively the same. In other words, for all the talk about how tiers and throttles are needed to stop bandwidth hogging… reality shows that these plans have little impact on actual data usage. Or, to put it really simply: these plans are all about the mobile operators making more money and have nothing to do with network capacity.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Why Ebook Portal Library.nu Differed From Other Filesharing Sites

        A couple of weeks ago the popular ebook portal Library.nu was shut down, apparently voluntarily, after a coalition of book publishers obtained an injunction against it and a similar site.

      • Leaked Audit in Eminem Royalty Suit Highlights Huge Stakes for Record Industry

        Here’s what an examiner turned up when opening Aftermath’s financial books to see how much was owed to Eminem’s production team.

      • If You Want To Compete With Free, This Is What You Need To Know

        When it comes to competing with piracy, one of the talking points of copyright maximalists is that content creators “can’t compete with free.” These people complain that because pirates don’t have to cover production costs, competing with them is a losing venture. What these people have not learned, despite our many attempts to teach them, is that price is not the only cost considered when consumers choose between buying legally and pirating. Over at Gamasutra, one expert blogger, Lars Doucet, has shared a very profound look at four “currencies” people consider when making such a choice.

      • One More Copyright Infringement, And HADOPI Must Disconnect Itself From The Net
      • Crony Capitalism: Big Companies Sponsor Fancy Dinner For TPP Negotiators

        We’ve talked about the ridiculous Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement negotiations, which are being held with incredible levels of secrecy, and which appear to include a wishlist of every copyright reform change that Hollywood wants, with little to no public scrutiny. The USTR, who’s in charge of negotiating the agreement for the US claims that there’s unprecedented transparency — and that may be true if you’re talking about the unprecedented lack of transparency in the negotiations. And where it gets really ridiculous is that while the public has no access to the information, the big company lobbyists have pretty much full access. We already spoke about the recent meetings in Hollywood, where TPP negotiators got to party with the Hollywood elite — but civil society/public interest groups who tried to hold an open meeting in the hotel (and reserved space and everything) were kicked out of the hotel.

      • UK Labour Party: Let’s Just Get On With Kicking People Offline Over Copyright Infringement

        As Techdirt reported at the time, the UK’s Digital Economy Bill was rammed through Parliament, without proper scrutiny or even much democratic process, in the dying hours of the previous government. Since then, the implementation of the Digital Economy Act has moved forward relatively slowly. That’s partly because there have been a series of legal challenges from ISPs concerned about its legality (and likely cost for them). In addition, it made sense for the current UK government to wait for the completion of the Hargreaves report on copyright in the digital age before proceeding.

      • Reductio Ad Absurdum: Eternal Copyright Is Crazy… But What About Today’s Copyright Term?

        Of course, it’s easy to laugh at satire like this… until you remember that some make such arguments seriously. But, similarly, it seems worth recognizing that for most of us, copyright is already effectively eternal. Here in the US nothing has entered the public domain in quite some time and it’s questionable if or when anything new will enter the public domain… as most people fully expect Disney to push for another copyright term extension as Mickey Mouse approaches the public domain yet again.

      • ACTA

        • FFII call for action: Act on ACTA

          over the past 10 years we have been at the forefront of many policy initiatives to prevent more risks for software professionals: Software Patents, IPRED1+2, Data Retention, European Interoperability Framework and many others. Since 2008 we have been following the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and sought to bring transparency in the process. Our involvement was partly successful, for instance criminal enforcement was not extended to patents and the Commission released the text of the agreement. However, both process and content are still deeply flawed.

        • ACTA is part of a multi-decade, worldwide copyright campaign

          Last week, we observed that major content companies have enjoyed a steady drumbeat of victories in Congress and the courts over the last two decades. The lobbying and litigation campaigns that produced these results have a counterpart in the executive branch. At the urging of major copyright holders, the Obama administration has been working to export restrictive American copyright laws abroad. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is just the most visible component of this ambitious and long-running project.

        • Where did the patients go?

          The European Commission decided to ask the EU Court of Justice an opinion on ACTA. Commissioner Karel De Gucht stated: “We are planning to ask Europe’s highest court to assess whether ACTA is incompatible – in any way – with the EU’s fundamental rights and freedoms, such as freedom of expression and information or data protection and the right to property in case of intellectual property.”

02.26.12

Links 26/2/2012: GNOME 3.4 Beta, Mageia 2 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 11:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • What I do

      That may not be enough, but that will have to do. I also have a family — my daughter, now 14, has been giving Linux presentations for two years as well — and a full-time job, so I make no apologies if this does not clear the proverbial high bar set for Collaboration Summit admission.

    • Top 10 Ways To Make The Best Of An Old PC

      If none of the above tricks are helping, one of the best things you can do is install a new operating system altogether. It’ll definitely shake up your workflow a bit, but with enough commitment, you can use one of the many flavours of Linux to give your computer a major speed boost. If you’re already familiar with Linux, I can’t recommend ArchBang enough, while newbies might be more suited to something like Lubuntu or even Chrome OS.

    • XPmageddon

      When will the onslaught happen? I think it has been happening every since Vista broke the picture of M$ working for business. Businesses started checking out GNU/Linux and now many large businesses are expanding their staffing with expertise in GNU/Linux. Businesses are increasingly virtualizing clients and servers, making the migration easier. Once the servers are virtual, there’s little holding back the clients. GNU/Linux can make really good thin clients at half the cost of that other OS. Web applications are cross-platform, too. Having seen the cost of migrating from one OS after another from M$, businesses and their accountants do see the value in FLOSS without a lot of unproductive licences. Businesses do see the advantage of increasing in-house expertise instead of sending money to M$.

  • Kernel Space

    • XFS File-System Speeded-Up, Cleaned-Up Last Month

      A status report of the XFS file-system for January 2012 has been released. This report outlines some of then notable improvements made to this popular enterprise-grade Linux file-system for the Linux 3.2 and 3.3 kernels.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Wayland Work Towards State Machine For Display Control

        Tiago Vignatti on Friday published initial code seeking comments regarding a state machine for display control on the Wayland Display Server.

        While Wayland is nearing version 1.0, there’s many items left to be addressed with this next-generation display server architecture. One of the big open items is handling of changing mode-setting and other display control settings, i.e. what RandR (the Resize and Rotate extension) is to X.Org. Tiago published some initial “RFC” code for Wayland that implements a state machine for display control.

      • State Of NVIDIA’s VDPAU, A New Community List

        Now that NVIDIA’s Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU) has a public list, will NVIDIA be engaging more with the open-source driver community?

        Aaron Plattner of NVIDIA requested and then had established a VDPAU mailing list under the FreeDesktop.org umbrella. From Bug 44470, “It would be nice to have a list for discussing changes to libvdpau and vdpauinfo. It might also be useful for discussion of VDPAU implementation in Mesa/Gallium, if those guys want to use it for that.”

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • LinuxQuestion Vote Shows Fragmentation of the Desktop
    • In a Community Survey, Unity Voted as the ‘Most Hated Desktop Environment’
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • AMD Will Properly Support KWin With Catalyst

        For those AMD Catalyst users that were concerned by the recent statements of Martin Gräßlin that KWin will likely end up dropping their GL1 renderer, which would eliminate vintage GPU hardware support as well as Catalyst driver support, fear not.

        While the latest AMD Catalyst driver fully supports up to OpenGL 4, within the KWin compositing window manager for the KDE desktop it defaults to using the OpenGL 1.x renderer. The GL1 renderer is used with the AMD binary blob since using the newer OpenGL 2.x renderer is troublesome for Catalyst. Meanwhile for the NVIDIA binary driver and even the open-source Mesa/Gallium3D drivers, the GL2 renderer works without fault.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3.4 Beta 1 Released

        The GNOME Project announced a few minutes ago, February 24th, the immediate availability for download and testing of the first Beta release of the upcoming GNOME 3.4 desktop environment, which brings assorted improvements and features.

  • Distributions

    • Review: Archbang Linux

      Two years ago I reviewed Arch Linux. My conclusion at the time – great if you have to control every aspect of your system, but it’s not for me. I later used it on my Pogo Plug to set up a file and print server and it definitely has its merits. I know, generally speaking, that one of the best parts of using Arch is getting access to the latest software before anyone else. So I decided to take a look at a few Arch derivatives that take the work out of getting Arch installed while still having the benefits of Arch’s early access.

      Today I’ll be looking at Archbang. Archbang takes the foundations of Arch (early access to software and rolling release) and the visual aesthetic of Crunchbang (using Openbox). I enjoyed having Crunchbang on my laptop for a few years. Eventually I scrapped it in favor of something easier for my wife to use, but there’s definitely something nice to the Openbox look. As usual for my Linux reviews, I’m going to look at how the distro’s installation process works, their UI design philosophy, updating/installing packages, and how it compares to other distros I’ve tried. So, let’s get started!

    • New Releases

      • Ultimate Edition 3.0.1 Has Been Released
      • Ultimate Edition 3.0.1

        Ultimate Edition 3.0.1? Wow, where to begin. I tried to keep this under wraps, this is what Ultimate Edition 3.0 should have been. I have taken the time to rebuild it from the ground up 100% by me, mass changes between what 3.0 and what 3.0.1 is.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 2 first beta version has been released

        Originated in France and forked from Mandriva, The Mageia is now independent and community based project for developing a Linux based Operating System. Anne Nicolas said the released of first beta version of Mageia 2. The main new features of it are stable glibc 2.14.1, Linux Kernel 3.2.6, KDE 4.8.0, GNOME 3.3 [3.4 will be in final release], PCmanFM 0.0.10, Amarok 2.5, Cantata 0.3.0 music player etc.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Scientific, an interview with Amit Saha

          Fedora Scientific Spin brings together the open source scientific and numerical tools used in research along with the goodness of the Fedora KDE desktop. Thus, simply put Fedora scientific is a Fedora Linux flavour custom made for users whose work and play involves scientific and numerical computing.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu for Android: more details and prototype hands-on (video)
          • Ubuntu for Android: more details and prototype hands-on (video)
          • More Information About Ubuntu For Android [Video]
          • Let’s Customize Ubuntu

            One of the forefront advantages of Linux (Ubuntu) over proprietary operating systems is its ability to be customized and of course many other reasons. And with the latest versions of Ubuntu starting from Ubuntu 11.04 this seems to have gone since it is difficult to change your font, theme, Unity behavior etc. using default options. However, with open source you have the community rallying together to produce many excellent applications to customize Ubuntu. This article is the first of three to describe three such applications which are Ubuntu Tweak (0.6.x), Gnome Tweak Tool and MyUnity (3.0). In this article, I’ll also describe a review system with which I will compare the three applications in a fair manner.

          • What Is Ubuntu Doing At Mobile World Congress?

            Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has mastered the art of creating hype. If one may recall Canonical succeeded in creating buzz around Ubuntu with its TV offering at CES 2012. Even if the project is in the making and won’t make a dent in the market as a product unless some popular TV makers such as Samsung put it on their devices, Canonical succeeded at something. The company succeeded at main tech sites to take notice of it and talk about it. Through TV, Ubuntu became the talk of the town during CES 2012.

          • Ubuntu on Android, won’t work for me, 3 serious considerations!

            Ubuntu on Android! So you are guessing that your Android smartphone will have a dual boot or you will be able to boot Ubuntu on your Android phone? Certainly none of that is possible as yet. Ubuntu for Android is simply full-fledged Ubuntu hidden in your Android phone that that remains inoperative until docked. Once your smartphone is plugged into the dock connected to a moniter the OS (ubuntu) surfaces and starts making use of peripherals such as mouse and keyboard. All of that sounds interesting however neither it is new or useful. Let’s find how!

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12 Gnome Review

              This release brings big changes to Linux Mint so be ready for something different. The DVD version offers users the ability to choose between the new Gnome 3 interface with the Mint Gnome shell extensions, Gnome classic, or the new MATE desktop.

              Linux Mint 12 is extremely user-friendly as always, and offers all the hardware recognition and easy driver setup advantages that new Linux users will enjoy. Novice users may however be frustrated with the customization options temporarily, but that will surely develop further in upcoming releases.

            • Zorin Is a Linux OS That Looks and Behaves Like Windows 7

              Zorin Is a Linux OS That Looks and Behaves Like Windows 7If you’re building a computer for a relative or friend and wish to avoid the cost of Windows 7 you might look into Zorin—the Linux OS’ elements such as the taskbar, file system, start menu, and desktop all work just like in Windows. This combined with Zorin having the WINE Windows Emulator preinstalled means that the end user can install Windows programs easily.

            • Review: Dream Studio 11.10 – Just another *buntu Clone

              Decided to take a look at Dream Studio 11.10 which was recently released. Dream Studio is always a little late when updating their distribution. It is based on Ubuntu 11.10 and from what I see pretty well the same thing except for maybe the background image and some added programs.

            • Dream Studio 11.10 Is Based on Ubuntu 11.10

              Dick MacInnis proudly announced earlier today, February 24th, the immediate availability for download of the Dream Studio 11.10 operating system.

              Being based on the Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) operating system, the brand-new Dream Studio 11.10 distribution has lots of new features and a beautified Unity-based desktop.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Policies not encouraging enough, open source software difficult to grow

    Quang said that the biggest problem now is the lack of the legal framework on information technology (IT) services, including the regulations on the norms relating to open source software.

    “In the world, open source software can live well not on the licenses, but on the services. However, in Vietnam, there has been no regulation on the norms of INT services in general and open source software in particular,” Quang said.

  • Integrating Open Source Monitoring with Monitis
  • Open source code has fewer mistakes
  • Superiority of FLOSS
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Marketplace To Open Its Virtual App Doors

        Mozilla also claimed that it intends to make the store completely “people centric” so that it can provide both the developers community and regular users more choice, freedom as well as opportunity when searching for applications meant for multiple OS platforms – all under one virtual roof.

      • Why Mozilla And Canonical Should Join Forces

        Where do I begin? This idea entered my head the same day that Canonical announced Ubuntu For Android. That same day, information leaked about a desktop-capable Android, most likely Android 5.0 Jelly Bean. The appeal of tethering Ubuntu to a monitor, keyboard and mouse–from an Android phone– is tremendous. The appeal of attaching an Android phone to a monitor and gaining desktop functionality while only having to use one OS is much greater, I’m afraid…

  • Funding

    • Collabora and Fluendo Invest in GStreamer Open Source Multimedia Framework

      Collabora Ltd. and Fluendo S.A., two world leaders in open source multimedia, will invest in promoting the GStreamer multimedia framework through the creation of a cross platform software development kit (SDK), targeting desktop and server platforms like Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, and very soon to include leading mobile platforms, such as Android.

  • BSD

    • DragonflyBSD Developing The HAMMER2 File-System

      While it’s not part of this week’s DragonflyBSD 3.0 release, Matthew Dillon is currently designing the HAMMER2 file-system to succeed his original HAMMER creation in Dragonfly.

      The HAMMER2 file-system has been under-development already, but Dillon doesn’t expect for anything usable prior to July. While it may be usable this summer, he doesn’t believe it will be until “well into 2013″ when “the whole mess is implemented and even later before the clustering is 100% stable.” This is the only project Matthew Dillon is said to be working on this year.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Drug Developer Pursues an Open-Source Approach in Designing Clinical Trials

      Biopharma leaders have long needed greater transparency in the industry, though usually in the context of activity by government regulators and necessarily by companies themselves. Now, two industry veterans are testing the value of offering such transparency through an open innovation model for drug development.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Apple: Due Diligence versus Fraud

    Lately, Apple has been suing the world over smart thingies like smart phones and tablets that they consider to be their technology. “He who lives by the sword shall die by it” comes true again as a monitor manufacturer claims, in a US court, that “iPad” was acquired by Apple fraudulently. Proview, a Chinese business, sold the “iPad” trademark to a front set up by Apple in 2009. Proview has had mixed results in blocking use of “iPad” in China and now has swung its axe at the root of the tree.

    I am not a lawyer, but balanced between the necessity of any business to do due diligence before a transaction and the duty of a participant in a transaction to be open about material facts affecting the value of a transaction is a wide range of opinion. Usually the onus is on the seller but if Apple disguised itself for the purpose of buying a trademark cheaply I can see an argument. It will be fun to watch.

  • M$’s Empire – Structural Failure is Imminent

    Complicating the situation is that Android/Linux tablets are continuing to sell well and indeed, smart phones are emerging that are large enough to compete as tablets. M$ is under a lot of pressure to supply their office suite to iPad while the blush is on the rose. Waiting may build demand for Android/Linux tablets with M$’s office suite and M$ certainly doesn’t want that to happen.

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Got BTU? Accounting for America’s Energy and GDP

      There are complexities associated with the calculation of US energy expenditures against its GDP. The above chart only records domestic consumption of energy. But you see, the United States is a country that does not bear the full cost of the externalities associated with its total consumption of goods.

  • Finance

    • Analysis: Goldman’s top brass gun for cash bonuses

      While Wall Street slashes pay and freezes cash awards, Goldman Sachs Group’s top five executives may reap special bonuses of $10.5 million apiece if the firm hits historically easy profit targets over the next two years.

      Many companies have long-term incentive plans, but Goldman’s program is notable for dangling hefty cash payouts at a time when banks are tilting toward deferred-stock awards.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Heartland Institute: Hoist With its Own Petard

      It was not a happy Valentine’s Day for the Heartland Institute’s climate change denial campaigns. First, Heartland’s plans for a $75,000 K-12 reeducation curriculum to turn America’s children into climate change deniers was leaked to the DeSmog Blog along with Heartland’s fundraising plan, which reveals support from the Charles G. Koch Foundation and a “free Koch summer intern.”

      Then, the story jumped to the New York Times, which raised serious questions about whether the group has undertaken partisan political activities, a possible violation of federal tax law governing nonprofit groups. The fundraising plan outlines “Operation Angry Badger,” a proposal to spend $612,000 to influence the outcome of recall elections in Wisconsin.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Hollywood still doesn’t get it

        The point is that the entertainment industry seems to be unable to listen to their best customers. They want the world to play by their rules, but every enterpreneur knows that’s a very bad business model. Studies prove that the entertainment industry can survive and even make money, but they simply have to start to use their brains (“BREIN” means “BRAIN” in Dutch).

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