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08.28.10

Links 28/8/2010: Diaspora Coming Within Weeks, SFLC Now in India Too

Posted in News Roundup at 4:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Open source scores

    Microsoft is laggard in everything except desktop operating systems, Office and gaming. Internet Explorer has not been able to pass the Acid 3 test which signifies that it is not standards-compliant.

    What Mr Scott would fear to accept publicly is the rise of the Ubuntu operating system and how the future release (Meerkat) is being adapted to netbooks (where Win 7 has not been ported). Mobile applications have been hammered and its newer version was greeted with a big yawn. It’s difficult to compare search engines in terms of content but Microsoft-funded agencies have been claiming Bing’s “meteoric rise”. The fact is that Google does not need to shout about its offerings.

    There is a serious lack of choice from OEMs while buying new hardware. Mr Scott may not be aware that Linux has been ported to almost everything under sun. I run my entertainment servers attached to Wi-Fi that streams music and is connected to the web on 10-year-old legacy systems ported to Unix which does not need a reboot. Windows does not provide “support” to old hardware.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

Free Software/Open Source

  • PixelLight Open-Source Cross-Platform 3D Engine

    It’s built entirely in C++ and already runs on Windows and Linux, with test versions already running on mobile devices and web browsers. Definitely looks like something to keep an eye on.

  • Open-source 3D engine PixelLight released
  • Brazil goes all-digital with 2010 census

    Better known for its beaches and passion for soccer, Brazil also happens to be the world’s second-leading open source country (just behind the U.S.) and boasts an IT services sector that rivals China and India. The South American country is now putting its digital leadership on display by carrying out its first-ever paperless, all-digital population census.

  • Government saving with open source

    Achieving significant efficiency savings and more from IT is possible – Peter Dawes- Huish, CEO, LinuxIT, considers how open source based systems and outsourcing can provide the solution

    I attended a seminar the other day and I was amazed just how much misinformation there was around the adoption of open source based software and the services surrounding it. The reasons, the strategies, the options, the benefits it offers both the private and public sector today.

    I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because open source (OS), by its very nature with such a developer led resource is such a fast moving field, or those within the OS community and providers of Enterprise Open Source, like LinuxIT, just need to work harder at getting across the ability of OS to transform the management and performance of IT environments. Its ability to contribute towards IT innovation, interoperability, reliability, flexibility, return on investment and so on.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Oracle

    • The future of Solaris

      In 2005, Sun released the source code to Solaris, described then as the company’s crown jewel. Why do this? The simplest answer is that Solaris had been losing ground to an open source competitor in Linux. Losing ground was a symptom of economics. Students who had once been raised on Solaris were being inculcated with Linux knowlege. The combination of Linux and x86 were good enough and significantly cheaper; new companies for whom the default had once been Sun/Solaris/SPARC were instead building on x86/Linux. OpenSolaris along with x86 support were specifically intended to address this trend. Indeed, the codename for OpenSolaris was “tonic” — the tonic for Solaris’ problems.

  • CMS

    • Replacing SharePoint with Open Source CMSs

      Probably the most compelling reasons to deploy an open source solution instead are price and flexibility. The licensing costs of SharePoint, plus Windows Server, plus SQL Server and the rest of the bundle are not insignificant. If you’d prefer to avoid becoming too deeply entrenched in Microsoft-based solutions, you’ll find several open source alternatives — and three I personally recommend: Alfresco, MindTouch, and Drupal.

      Why those, and not some of the other open source CMSes? Alfresco and MindTouch are two of the most feature-compatible replacements for SharePoint. Drupal is not a direct replacement for all of SharePoint’s features, but handles many of the use cases for which SharePoint is popular. All three not only enjoy a strong user and developer community, but also have strong commercial support, making them much more suitable for enterprises that choose open source but still seek support and training services.

    • Open-source Diaspora set launch date

      Diaspora, an open-source social network describes itself as “privacy-aware, personally-controlled”, will be launched on 15 September, according to the developers.
      The project is considered as an alternative to Facebook, but many believe that it is difficult to challenge the world’s largest social network, which has 500 million users and is estimated to be worth $33bn currently.
      A team of four US students built up Diaspora trying to solve some of the problems appeared in Facebook, when it was criticised for being overly complex and confusing, as well as privacy concerns. “We want to put users back in control of what they share,” Max Salzberg, one of the founders said.
      Diaspora made headlines earlier this year when Facebook was in intense criticism.

    • Facebook alternative Diaspora eyes launch date
    • Elgg, the open source social networking CMS announced version 1.7.2

      A new version of the popular open source social networking CMS, Elgg has been released! 1.7.2 is primarily a bugfix release.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Government

    • U.K. releases its first contribution to Drupal

      The U.K. government has just released its first contribution to the Drupal community.

    • Data.gov.uk releases open-source code
    • Government still not using open source

      Government reluctance to use open source software is creating problems for cost savings at a local level, a councillor has said.

      The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has been trying to move away from Microsoft software options in favour of moving towards more cost effective open source software.

      Computer Weekly reported that this could save up to one third of the council’s IT costs.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Designing culture: The other community plumbing

      4. Don’t be Tom Sawyer.

      Here stood the board fence which tom sawyer persuaded his gang to pay him for the privilege of whitewashing. Tom sat by and saw that it was well done.

      Tom Sawyer is interesting because Tom, by being a smooth talker, convinced everyone to do his work for him. Many companies approach their community strategies as having other people painting their fences. The popular term now is crowdsourcing. In this model, a company says “I have a lot of problems. Maybe I can convince a bunch of people to do my work for me.” Sometimes it works, like Dell’s IdeaStorm. But it works only for big, powerful brands. It doesn’t work when a company asks for help, and everyone ignores them. And it doesn’t work because as a company, you can’t build a community around yourself.

    • Pharma’s Future: Open-Source R&D

      The future of pharmaceutical R&D may lie in open-source research, with key data being made available to a number of people, including college students and university researchers, in an open and collaborative process. Open-source drug development would leverage an online community of computer users worldwide.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Source: A Developing Robotics Industry

        The Menlo Park, Calif-based company, founded in 2006, develops open-source hardware and software for the robotics industry. Its robot PR2 (Personal Robot 2) is being sold as an example of what software developers can do with an open-source robotics platform.

  • Programming

    • Ruby on Rails 3.0 due this week

      Ruby on Rails 3.0, a major upgrade to the popular open source Web development framework, is due in a final release this week, the founder of the framework, David Heinemeier Hansson, said on Tuesday.

Leftovers

  • John Lennon’s loo fetches £9,500 at auction for Beatles fans

    A porcelain lavatory which John Lennon told a builder to use as a “plant pot” has fetched £9,500 – nearly 10 times its guide price – at an auction today.

    The loo was used by the music legend when he lived at Tittenhurst Park in Berkshire between 1969 and 1972.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Walter Reed says it mishandled nuclear material

      The military’s flagship hospital acknowledged Thursday it mishandled two packages of radioactive material last spring in an incident regulators said may have exposed staff and patients to elevated radiation levels.

    • MIT researchers unveil autonomous oil-absorbing robot

      The system, called Seaswarm, is a fleet of vehicles that may make cleaning up future oil spills both less expensive and more efficient than current skimming methods. MIT’s Senseable City Lab will unveil the first Seaswarm prototype at the Venice Biennale’s Italian Pavilion on Saturday, August 28. The Venice Biennale is an international art, music and architecture festival whose current theme addresses how nanotechnology will change the way we live in 2050.

Clip of the Day

Richard M. Stallman Speech Patents Calgary Canada 2005


Links 28/8/2010: Zenwalk Linux 6.4, RabbitMQ 2.0.0

Posted in News Roundup at 8:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Labs experiments with Git

        Mozilla Labs, Mozilla’s research and development section, has announced that, based on the popularity of the Git distributed version control system, it is now offering an experimental fork for all Mozilla Labs projects and experiments on project hosting service GitHub. Since 2006, many Labs projects have been hosted on public Mercurial instances.

      • Mozilla fires up three new APIs in Jetpack SDK 0.7

        The Mozilla Labs developers have announced Jetpack SDK 0.7, the latest revision of the HTML/CSS/JavaScript based extension system for Firefox. The new release includes a panel API, which allows developers to float popup windows over web content, a clipboard API to give extensions access to the system clipboard and a notifications API which allows extensions to get the users attention with toaster or Growl-style messages.

      • Fennec Alpha Released For Android And Nokia N900

        An early, pre-alpha version of Mozilla’s Fennec mobile browser has been around for months, but the Firefox developer has today released an official full alpha for download. And it’s not just Android that’s benefitting—the mobile browser has also been released for Nokia’s N900 smartphone.

      • How to use Firefox’s new tab manager
  • SaaS

  • Oracle

    • JavaOne: Larry Ellison to chart Java future

      There is much anticipation of Ellison’s keynote, since Oracle’s stewardship of Java has been regarded as unsatisfactory by many Java developers and user groups. A lack of a concrete roadmap, the lack of detail on the relationship between open source and commercial products, and the future of OpenJDK7 and JDK7 are all issues many would like to see clarified. These issues have become more critical in the aftermath of Oracle’s announcement that it was taking legal action against Google for patent and copyright infringement over Google’s implementation of the Dalvik virtual machine in Android, which is based on the open source Apache Harmony implementation of Java.

  • CMS

    • An overdue update from the Diaspora team

      The Diaspora team has put out an update on their progress in creating a “privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all, open source social network”.

    • The Anti-Facebook Arrives September 15: Will You Switch?

      In a recent blog post, the Diaspora team say they have the nascent social networking software up and running, and are happy with the near-final result. Despite these proclamations, however, it’s unclear what Diaspora will look like or how it will function when Diaspora finally launches.

  • Project Releases

    • Audacious 2.4.0 – New release!

      Audacious its origins as a fork of Beep Music player and as it matured has been the media player of choice for me for a long while. The latest release is 2.4.0, doesn’t fail to impress with updates to its GUI and a plethora of features that you’ve come to expect from the creators of what to many is the defacto music player on their distro.

    • RabbitMQ 2.0.0 released

      Version 2.0.0 has a new persister for storing messages in transit, which is now only bound by disk capacity and a server which optimises memory usage by paging these messages between disk and RAM. This change gives the server higher and more consistent performance and faster start-up; previously these both degraded with higher volumes of persisted messages.

  • Licensing

    • On copyright assignment, contributor and participant agreements

      Clearly copyright assignment is integral to the dual licensing and open core licensing strategies in enabling those vendors to sell closed-source licenses to the core project and extensions, and it does restrict developer communities in those situations.

      However, as Simon briefly explains, copyright assignment is equally used by other organisations, such as the Free Software Foundation, to protect the core project. Glyn Moody described the potential benefits of such an arrangement earlier this week, while Tarus Balog provides another example of copyright assignment protecting an open source project.

    • OSS 4.0 and licenses: not a clear-cut choice

      The choice of an open source license for a project code release is not clear-cut, and depends on several factors; in general, when reusing code that comes from external projects, license compatibility is the first, major driver in license selection. Licenses do have an impact on development activity, depending on the kind of project and who controls the project evolution.

  • Google

Leftovers

  • Ben Huh Asks: “I Can Haz Reddit?” (Offers To Buy It From Condé Nast)

    It’s no secret that social link sharing community Reddit isn’t singing the praises of its corporate parent Condé Nast, which acquired the company in 2006. Earlier today the two sparred over running ads in support of California’s Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana in the state. And Reddit has previously written about the shortage of resources that Condé Nast is willing to provide. Now Ben Huh, founder and CEO of the Cheezburger network, is offering to take Reddit off Condé’s hands.

  • Science

    • Lawsuit Against the LHC Overthrown

      A Court in Hawaii has just rejected a new lawsuit brought against the Large Hadron Collider. The plaintiffs failed to produce any evidence that the machine is dangerous, the ruling says.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Pacman cleans the oil – not

      Media campaigning gone weird. MSNBC reports on a BP sponsored study that the oil cleanup is like pacman and the bacteria solve the oil spill problem. Reality distortion can be so easy.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Hollywood Sues Advertiser at Movie Piracy Sites

        A company that worked with sites that linked to copies of Hollywood blockbusters has become the target of a new lawsuit. The legal action filed by Disney and Warner Bros. says that Triton Media was guilty of both contributory and inducement of copyright infringement when it assisted several sites with advertising and referrals.

Clip of the Day

Lawrence Lessig talks with the Booksmith – Part III


Links 28/8/2010: ZFS for Linux, Bordeaux 2.0.8 for GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 2:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • On Zareason
  • Is your company afraid of Linux? (1 of 3)

    Fear #1 (Linux what?): OK, here is an extremely short history lesson and I’ll provide links for those who can’t help that inner burning desire to know all you can know about every topic. Linux is commonly pronounced /li’nuks/ and refers to the family of Unix-like computer operating systems using the Linux kernel and are primarily used for servers. Basically, a guy named Linus Torvalds in 1999 rewrote Unix from scratch and made it “Open Source”. Open source in its very basic terms means it is free for anyone to use. Keyword here is free. Yay! right? Well, yay if you were a University or College or some government organization like NASA. That is about the extent for which Linux was used for many years. Only the most geeky (yeah, that’s right) of computer geeks started to adopt Linux into personal use and eventually into business.

  • Desktop

    • Pearson Education – You will NOT use Linux

      The kicker? The “MyLab” courses are rendered using Javascript and Flash. Those are both cross-platform technologies last I checked (that both ran perfectly fine in Firefox).

      Now I understand that it can take a lot of time and resources to support another operating system/browser. Even if Pearson isn’t willing to “support” Linux/Firefox users on their website they could at least let us login using the operating system/browser of our choice after seeing their warning message.

  • Kernel Space

    • ZFS

      • Native ZFS Is Coming To Linux Next Month

        Prior to the emergence of Btrfs as a viable next-generation Linux file-system, Sun’s ZFS file-system was sought after for Linux due to its advanced feature-set and capabilities compared to EXT3 and other open-source file-systems at the time. While ZFS support has worked its way into OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and other operating systems, ZFS had not been ported to Linux as its source-code is distributed under the CDDL license, which is incompatible with the GNU GPL barring it from integration into the mainline Linux kernel. Next month, however, a working ZFS module for the Linux kernel without a dependence on FUSE will be publicly released.

      • LLNL Talks To Us About Their Linux ZFS Port

        Brian Behlendorf, the lead developer of this Linux ZFS port at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, shared the following information with us about their work and that of KQ Infotech on their ZFS module to be released in mid-September.

      • ZFS as a Linux kernel module? What is the point?

        At the end of the day, all of this excitement means nothing. Who cares if this ZFS port for the Linux kernel comes out next month? I don’t. Don’t misunderstand me. I love ZFS as I use it all the time on Solaris and OpenSolaris. It is a wonderful file system. This Linux port is also extremely limited in functionality. Today, the GPL’d Btrfs, a competitor to ZFS, is considered “generally stable“. Why not use that instead without all the concerns listed above?

  • Applications

    • Online collaboration with Feng Office

      Online collaboration with Feng Office

      This article originally appeared in issue 90 of Linux User & Developer magazine.buy_online Subscribe and save more than 30% and receive our exclusive money back guarantee – click here to find out more.

      OpenOffice.org, Microsoft Office, Feng Office – which is the odd one out? Yes, it’s Feng Office, but not because most people have never heard of it, and not because it lacks the extreme feature set of the other two. Feng Office is not about sitting at your desk writing office documents, it’s about collaborative working.

      Feng still allows you to create text documents online, but that’s just a small part of running projects, taking notes, tracking tasks, passing milestones, keeping contact with your organisation and perusing reports of how the projects are progressing.

    • 5 of the Best Free Linux Screen Capture Tools

      The phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words” refers to the idea that a solitary still image can provide as much information as a large amount of descriptive text. Essentially, pictures convey information more effectively and efficiently than words can.

    • CoverGloobus – Beautiful Covert Art and Lyrics Display App For Your Desktop

      I hope you guys do remember the awesome little preview application called Globus Preview. Here is another beautiful application from the same team. It’s called CoverGloobus. It displays cover art and lyrics in your desktop and it supports almost all popular linux media players. Also, the supported themes are really good in my opinion.

    • Guayadeque 0.2.7 Released With File Browser, Record From Streams, Last.fm Improvements And Many More New Features

      There was no new Guayadeque version in a long time but the development was actually very active and today we finally have a new version. Here are the highlights of Guayadeque 0.2.7:

      * libre.fm support
      * implemented crossfading between tracks
      * record from streams
      * a file browser (play files by browsing them on your HDD)
      * option to delete files from library and hard drive
      * lyricsplugin.com as lyrics search engine
      * you can now save the lyrics in a local folder
      * the last.fm panel can now search for tracks in your library
      * implemented reading/writing images into m4a files
      * library search covers scan now into audio files too
      * live search
      * and a lot more features and fixes

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine

      • Bordeaux 2.0.8 for Linux Released

        The Bordeaux Technology Group released Bordeaux 2.0.8 for Linux today. Bordeaux 2.0.8 is a maintenance release that fixes a number of small bugs. With this release we have updated firefox to 3.6.8, Added support for Apples Safari 5.0 Web Browser, Updated to the latest winetricks release and fixed desktop shortcuts.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Ben Cooksley

        At the moment I maintain System Settings and the Device Actions control module. I am also an Administrator of KDE’s own forums, where I help sort out problems users have encountered, in addition to the sysadmin tasks.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Puppy Arcade 9 – New release!

      Gaming not what it used to be? Bored by the plethora of 3rd person shooters which seem to dominate the games market?

      Well there has been no reason to say that ever since Puppy Arcade had it’s first release – Puppy Arcade caters for probably every platform of yesteryear you could want and then some more.

      Puppy Arcade is a distro I have covered numerous times in the past, in fact it is one of the few which I try keeping up to date with. An excellent distro which is a testament to not only the hard work of its creator (Scott Jarvis) but also his genuine love of the emulation scene. Redundant hardware in need of a new life? Use Puppy Arcade to turn it into a retro console!

    • Reviews

      • Jolicloud 1.0 review

        As the name suggests, Jolicloud is a cloud-based operating system. It is derived from the desktop edition of Ubuntu 9.04, and is the first stable and publicly downloadable, Linux, cloud-based distribution that I am aware of. Version 1.0, the first stable edition, was released several weeks ago. This review, the first for Jolicloud on this site, also marks its listing in the Mobile & Cloud category.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The E-Reader Price Wars Heat Up

      Competition stepped up in June when a price war broke out. First Barnes & Noble slashed the price of its Nook by $60, down to $199; the company also started selling a Wi-Fi-only Nook for $149. Within hours Amazon dropped the price of its Kindle by $70, to $189. And ten days later, Sony cut the price of each of its three Reader products by $30, bringing its most expensive 3G version down to $249.

    • Phones

    • Tablets

      • Whither the Ubuntu Tablets?

        I’m a huge Linux and Free Software advocate, and I do want to see it succeed in a general sense in the tablet market. I think that Android is the best bet to make that happen. People see “Apple iOS” marketed on iPhones and iPads, and most people have at least passing familiarity with an iPhone, so they think to themselves “Oh, the iPad is like a gigantic iPhone. I can handle that.” People see the word Ubuntu and either say “What’s that?” or they say “Oh yeah, I remember when Wal-Mart was pushing those crappy $200 desktop PCs with Ubuntu.” Either way, they have a strong negative reaction.

      • Another $50 Android iPad Copycat Spotted in the Wild

        My title might cause some controversy I know, but no matter how you look at it, virtually all the new tablets coming out are more or less better featured iPad clones. We need originality, something that is powered by Android and not based on what Apple has. Will this tablet take off at all? Only time can tell.

      • How Much Does Linux Need the Desktop?

        Of course, the concept of Linux-based operating systems going on tablets is nothing new. There already are tablets based on Android, which is Linux-based, and many people expect sophisticated tablets to run Google’s upcoming Linux-based Chrome OS. But Ubuntu is Ubuntu. Its interface has become steadily easier to use over the years, it’s familiar to a lot of people, and it could eventually find its biggest market on niche devices such as tablets.

        Of course, success on tablets doesn’t necessarily have to outrule continued presence on desktop computers. I have no doubt that Ubuntu and other distros will continue to evolve on desktops. It’s interesting, though, to consider the potential for Linux-based operating systems on non-standard computing devices—or at least devices that we have historically thought of as non-standard.

      • Android tablets flowing

        A year ago netbooks were the one must-have mobile device. This year it is the tablet PC that is an essential accessory.

        Apple’s iPad wasn’t the first tablet PC available but it is the best-known of these devices. But it will face stiff competition in the coming months as most hardware makers switch on to Android-based tablet devices.

        Chief among the Android tablet makers is Asus. The company which kick started the netbook market with its Linux-powered EEE PC, is now getting ready to launch an Android-based tablet. The device will be known as the EEE Pad and will begin shipping in March 2011. The tablet is expected to sell for under $400 (under R3000) and will have a 10-inch screen. Under the casing the EEE Pad will run an ARM processor.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-sourcing SETI

    The challenge with increasingly complex SETI search techniques is that the resources and expertise of the SETI community is fairly limited. “The number of people in the world actively involved in SETI could fit into a phone booth,” said Jill Tarter, director of the Center for SETI Research at the SETI Institute.

  • Databases

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC – ‘We make free software affordable’

      GCC and GNU Emacs are the two facets of the GNU operating system that have probably done more than any other to take GNU and free software from idealistic concept to a utilitarian reality. Having previously looked at GNU Emacs and the Hurd, Richard Hillesley looks at the history and progress of GCC.

    • Gnash 0.8.8: A Huge Improvement Over Previous Versions

      I found Gnash 0.8.7 to be more than a bit problematic. In general it worked on something less than half the websites I tried which required Flash. YouTube videos worked exactly once. If you tried to watch a second video you received this message: “An error occured, please try again later”. The workaround was to prevent YouTube from setting cookies or clearing your browser of all YouTube cookies between videos. Finally, Gnash 0.8.7 was incredibly resource hungry, often driving my CPU to 100% usage and bringing things on my system to a crawl. All in all, this was still far from a decent solution.

      Early this week Gnash 0.8.8 was released. Despite the small increment in version number, which would make this seem like a minor maintenance release, the difference between version 0.8.8 and the earlier 0.8.7 is like night and day. First, alot of websites that did not work with Gnash before seem to work just fine now. My thoroughly unscientific sample indicates that roughly two thirds of the sites I visit which use Flash are now functional. In addition, YouTube now works 100% of the time without having to clear or restrict cookies.

Leftovers

  • Undead Commodore 64 comes back for Christmas

    The Commodore 64 will rise from the grave before Christmas, according to the tiny company determined to reanimate the long-dead 80s icon.

  • AGs call on Craigslist to banish adult ads
  • Science

    • Energy-saving LEDs ‘will not save energy’, say boffins

      Federal boffins in the States say that the brave new future in which today’s ‘leccy-guzzling lights are replaced by efficient LEDs may not, in fact, usher in massive energy savings.

      This is because, according to the scientists’ research, people are likely to use much more lighting as soon as this becomes practical. The greater scope for cheap illumination offered by LEDs will simply mean that people have more lights and leave them on for longer.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Who’s Hiding What and Why

      Note that the Pentagon’s orchestrated screaming has not been about technical data that might in fact get GIs killed, but about revelation of the ugly things the US is doing to people. Consider the footage of an American helicopter gunship killing pedestrians in a city street, and apparently having just a swell time doing it. This didn’t reveal military secrets. But it showed the gusnip crew as the butchers they are. Bad juju for the military. PR is all.

    • Cyber-crime Site Pushes Forged Passports, Licenses

      McAfee researcher Francios Paget found a Russian site selling, among other things, fake passports for dozens of countries. The operation is not inexpensive for the buyers, however. The cheapest passport is for Azerbaijan and costs $870 (USD). A French passport costs $5,530. To get it, a customer must send the forgers personal information plus a signature and photo, according to Paget.

    • Snooping Camden CCTV car hypocrites

      Make no mistake – these cars not about road safety. They’re about the thrill of power that petty bureaucrats get when they can turn the screw on you in a culture of “we caught you” – regardless of whether what you were doing was actually in any way a problem or dangerous. And of course, most of all – they’re about revenue-raising.

    • Let’s hope that this picture stays on the wall

      Just received a third CCTV car image – what a day!

      I know that it’s only a single yellow, so I suppose that it might have been parked lawfully – but those who know their 1984 will appreciate the delicious irony of this brute being captured in this spot…

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Report concludes that nearly 80 percent of oil from Gulf spill remains

      A report released today by the Georgia Sea Grant and the University of Georgia concludes that up to 79 percent of the oil released into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon well has not been recovered and remains a threat to the ecosystem.

      The report, authored by five prominent marine scientists, strongly contradicts media reports that suggest that only 25 percent of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill remains.

    • Playing Hide and Seek With Oil

      A new report authored by five prominent marine scientists provides a powerful contradiction of the government’s recent report that only 25 percent of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster remains in the Gulf of Mexico. On August 4, the government issued a news release that stated, “The vast majority of the oil from the BP oil spill has either evaporated or been burned, skimmed, recovered from the wellhead or dispersed using chemicals — much of which is in the process of being degraded.”

    • The Death Of The Fossil Fuel Companys Part Deux

      Third, General Motors has announced that they plan to produce 45,000 Chevy Volt extended range electric vehicles in 2012, up from the original plans to produce 30,000 cars. However the number of cars General Motors plans to produce is small compared to Nissan’s plans, the Nissan plant in Smyrna Georgia will be capable of producing 150,000 cars per year, for only that one plant!

  • Finance

    • Taking Economic Liberty Seriously

      On March 5, 1934, the U.S. Supreme Court declared New York shopkeeper Leo Nebbia to be a criminal because he sold two quarts of milk and a 5 cent loaf of bread for the combined low price of 18 cents. As Justice Owen Roberts explained in his 5-4 majority opinion in Nebbia v. New York, the state’s Milk Control Board had fixed the minimum price of milk at 9 cents a quart to eliminate the “evils” of price-cutting.

    • China’s Hot New Bestseller: “The Goldman Sachs Conspiracy”

      Yesterday I bought a copy of Li Delin’s (李德林) latest book-“高盛阴谋” (Goldman Sachs Conspiracy). Li is a well-known financial journalist and author who has written several other books, including the November 2009 “干掉一切对手——看高盛如何算赢世界 (Eliminate All Competitors–How Goldman Sachs Wins Over the World”. You can read Li’s blog (in Chinese) on Caijing here.

    • Chinese Bestseller Slams Goldman Sachs For Crisis

      Li’s book takes ample license in its attacks on Goldman Sachs. The company’s ultimate goal, he says in the first chapter, is to “kill China.”

    • Arthur Levitt, Policy Advisor, Goldman Sachs
    • Basis Urges U.S. Judge to Let Goldman Suit Proceed

      Basis Capital, an Australian hedge fund, urged a New York judge to allow its $1 billion lawsuit over the marketing of credit default swaps by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to proceed, calling Goldman’s request for a dismissal a “distraction.”

      The lawsuit by Basis Capital’s Basis Yield Alpha Fund focuses on Goldman Sachs’s sale of the “Timberwolf” collateralized debt obligation. The complaint, filed June 9 in Manhattan federal court, says the fund was forced into insolvency after buying mortgage-linked securities created by Goldman Sachs, in what one of its own executives described internally as a “shi**y deal.”

    • Goldman Sachs Loses Muscle in Corporate Finance

      “Goldman is struggling a little bit here,” said Richard Bove, an analyst at Rochdale Securities in Lutz, Florida. “It has to overcome some pretty sizable public relations issues, which are related to the way it does business and the products it creates. The company is good enough to overcome all of this stuff, but it would be hard for me to imagine that there’s no impact as a result of what we’ve seen over the last 12 to 18 months.”

    • Goldman Sachs And SEC Put Meyer Lansky To Shame

      But the SEC threw the case when it came to fraud- as covered by the Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. It is here that the reader must understand that fraud is not only a civil offense but also a criminal offense- and that the company or the individual found guilty of violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act can be charged with the criminal count of fraud in a criminal proceeding. So by refusing to charge Goldman with violations of Section 10(b) of the SEA, the SEC was playing to lose- and allowing Goldman to win. Not only that but damages in Section 10(b) are not limited to the loss, which the aggrieved party has incurred; there are penalties.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Psywar Film Reveals The Hidden Battle for Your Mind

      The new documentary “Psywar,” featuring CMD founder John Stauber, explores corporate and government use of propaganda and public relations to manipulate American people. The movie explores how the U.S. government staged events to manipulate public opinion about the Iraq war, like the rescue of Private Jessica Lynch, the supposedly spontaneous mob that pulled over the larger-than-life statue of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • California students get tracking devices

      The system was introduced Tuesday. When at the school, students will wear a jersey that has a small radio frequency tag. The tag will send signals to sensors that help track children’s whereabouts, attendance and even whether they’ve eaten or not.

    • Google Street View car pulled over and searched

      As regular readers will know, Google is the subject of probes from data-protection regulators in Germany, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic and the Metropolitan Police (although our own Information Commissioner has given them a free pass).

    • Sony obtains Australia ban on PS3 hack chip

      Sony has won a temporary ban to prevent Australian distributors selling a hardware hack for the PlayStation 3 (PS3).

      The PS3Jailbreak “dongle” allows gamers to play homemade and pirated games on the game’s console.

      The ban prevents OzModChips, Mod Supplier and Quantronics from importing, distributing or selling the device.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • NYTimes finds more IP news but doesn’t report its consumer cost

      The New York Times now carries a lot of stories that are of interest to anyone concerned about the high cost of intellectual property protection. The first story today is a debate over who is right AARP or the industry. AARP says the cost of branded drugs rose 8.3% in 2009 link here. Last year the industry complained that the figure was based on wholesale prices, not the retail prices consumers actually paid. Responding to that criticism, AARP switched to retail and still got a big increase. The industry countered that they should use the consumer price index figure which includes generic drug prices–which showed a much lower price increase and argues that the US has the lowest prices for generics in the world.

    • What everybody knows

      “Authors are only motivated to write if they know their rights will be protected.”

      “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”

      The second of these quotes, from Boswell’s “Life of Samuel Johnson,” is very familiar, I think, and demonstrably false. Indeed, even Boswell acknowledged its falsity as he recorded it, and attributed the comment to Johnson’s “indolent disposition.” The first quote comes from this fascinating article in the online version of the German magazine “Der Spiegel” reporting research that suggests that German’s 19th century industrial expansion may have been at least partially driven by the absence of strong copyright protection.

      That authors must have strong copyright protection in order to create is presented in this article as a conventional belief, the kind of thing that everybody knows and accepts as a matter of course. Such bromides are almost always false, like Johnson’s remark, or at least incomplete. Perhaps the greatest value of the Spiegel article, short as it is, is that it demonstrates that a complex situation, such as the cultural impact of printing, copyright and the distribution of books, cannot be reduced to truisms. Complex analysis is required, and Eckhard Hoffner’s research is an example of such analysis.

    • Take-Two Interactive loses fight for Bioshock.com

      Take-Two is the developer behind the successful BioShock video game series. The first-person shooter game was announced in October 2004, two months before the domain name Bioshock.com was registered by Name Administration Inc, a Cayman Islands-based company that makes money from trading in and displaying adverts on its massive network of domain names.

    • Ansel Adams Trust Sues Over Sale of Negatives

      The suit alleges trademark infringement, false advertising, trademark dilution, unfair competition and other claims. It does not specify damages but asks the court to order the defendants to pay restitution of their profits from any sales, as well as award any other monetary relief.

    • Facebook sues social media site with ‘book’ in name

      Teachbook filed a trademark application in March 2009, and Facebook opposed the registration last year. There were “ongoing discussions” over use of the name and Shrader believed “we were working constructively with (Facebook),” but is now expecting to file a response to the California-based technology company’s lawsuit in court.

    • Copyrights

      • Lies Of Omission – James Gannon Doesn’t Tell You All The Details

        So what about James Gannon? James recently posted an article on Facebook, in which he argues for stronger digital locks. James does not mention that he works at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, a law firm that does work for The Canadian Recording Industry Association, which has a vested interest in digital locks.

      • Sweden to Finally Get Second a Pirate MEP?

        The EU election last June was a surprise for many, as the Piratpartiet got a seat with over 7% of the votes. Then when the Lisbon Treaty passed and they were awarded a second seat in the European Parliament. However, it wasn’t without drawbacks as the second seat has yet to be filled. That may happen soon.

      • Rupert Murdoch’s Anti-Fair Use Comments Used Against Him In Court Yet Again

        Remember back when Rupert Murdoch acted like fair use was a myth that would be “barred by the courts” when challenged? Yeah, that’s been coming back to bite Murdoch. Earlier this year, we noted that a former advisor to Michael Jackson was suing News Corp. over Fox News’ decision to air interview footage without a license, and the complaint highlighted Murdoch’s anti-fair use statement. Of course, when it came time to defend itself (guess what?) News Corp. lawyers relied heavily on fair use.

        Looks like that’s happening again. News Corp. has been sued yet again for copyright infringement, this time for airing a video (without licensing the clip) of Brad Pitt having trouble driving a motorcycle. Instead, Fox News folks simply downloaded it from TMZ, a property owned by AOL. Wait a second… so with Rupert Murdoch running all over the place claiming that Google News linking to his content is “theft,” yet Fox News has no problem downloading a video from a competing media organization and using it? Fascinating.

      • Publishing Raymond Carver’s ‘Original’ Stories as ‘Fair Use’

        The controversy arose when Raymond Carver’s widow, Tess Gallagher, expressed her desire to publish these stories because Carver’s editor, Gordon Lish, had dramatically changed their character and style. Indeed, she claimed that these unedited stories represented the “real” Caver, whom she wished to reveal to the world. However, Carver’s estate no longer owns the copyrights to these stories.

        The issue is particularly interesting because the “original” versions of the stories are considerably different from the published versions as edited by Lish. Thus, there is some ambiguity as to whether they are covered by the copyright of the published stories; in essence, they are the building blocks of the published versions, and thus it is unclear whether they would be considered derivative works.

      • Southern African Music Collection Society Fighting Attempt To Put Public Domain Works Under Copyright

        My first reaction was to be surprised. After all, when was the last time you saw a music collection group support the public domain or the idea of widespread shared culture? Hell, in the US, we have ASCAP telling us that things like Creative Commons are dangerous and must be fought.

      • ACTA

        • US [NOT] Proposing to Eliminate Secondary Liability from ACTA

          According to Inside U.S. Trade (August 27, 2010), the U.S. has adopted “a major policy shift” and “proposed removing controversial language from the Anticounterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that would have required signatories to impose secondary liability on Internet firms for intellectual property rights infringements by individuals.” On closer read of the ACTA text as we know it, the truth may be that secondary liability is not going away at all.

          There has been no official text of the ACTA agreement released since April 2010. The latest leaked text is from July 2010, after the Lucerne but before the Washington D.C. round of negotiations. Neither of those options indiacte any US position proposing to take out internet service provider (ISP) liability. USTR is refusing to comment on the proposal reported by Inside US Trade. It is therefore impossible to say with any certainty what the U.S. is proposing to change. My best guess is: nothing.

          The July leaked text of ACTA contains a chapter on “Enforcement Procedures in the Digital Environment” composed of seven major subsections. Sections one through three identify obligations of countries to enforce copyright law on the internet, and sections four through seven mainly require punishment of people who evade digital rights management hardware or software or define the exceptions to such obligations.

          The digital rights management provisions do not depend on ISP liability and therefore the best interpretation of the news is that these sections still remain as US priorities, and they have their own problems.

Clip of the Day

Unite Against ACTA – To Arms!


08.27.10

Links 27/8/2010: ZaReason Verix Laptop Reviewed, Btrfs Matures

Posted in News Roundup at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Review: ZaReason Verix Laptop

      One of the challenges of being a Linux desktop user is the difficulty in finding systems that ship with Linux pre-installed. Major OEMs often offer a handful of Linux offerings, but to get a wider range of hardware and choices of Linux distributions you have to look to smaller vendors that are really interested in promoting Linux — like ZaReason.

      ZaReason sells a full line of Linux machines, desktops, laptops, netbooks, and servers. They also sell peripherals and some other gear, but what I was most interested in was a laptop with Linux. Specifically, a laptop with muscle. So I asked ZaReason to send me a review unit, the Verix 1656 with Intel’s Core i7 and maxed out RAM.

      [...]

      The Verix gets two thumbs up. It’s not perfect, but it’s a really good laptop and one I’d recommend to anyone who wants a solid and speedy Linux laptop. My main complaint with the Verix? It’s a review unit, which means I have to send it back. If you buy one, though, you won’t have that problem.

  • Kernel Space

    • Next Generation of Btrfs Linux Filesystem Nears Prime Time

      Since at least 2008, the Btrfs Linux filesystem has been talked about as a next-generation technology one day potentially rivalling or supplanting the current dominant Linux filesystems.

      According to Chris Mason, founder of the Btrfs effort and now director of software development at Oracle, Btrfs is today generally stable and usable even though it’s yet to be finalized. And although he admits the filesystem still has some issues to overcome as development continues, Mason said he would like to see Btrfs ultimately replacing existing Linux filesystems like the popular Ext3 and Ext4 systems that are often the default on enterprise Linux distributions.

    • No BTRFS In Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat After all

      A while ago we were telling you there are 20% chances to get BTRFS support in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. Well, it didn’t make it.

  • Applications

    • Inkscape 0.48 review
    • Review: Backupninja backups for Linux

      When you hear the word “backup,” what do you think? Critical? Complicated? Costly? When you think of backing up Linux desktops or servers what do you think? You don’t? You run screaming? Thankfully that is not necessary. There are tons of tools in the Linux-verse capable of running a multitude of backs. From the overly simple to the overly complex, in Linux you can find a tool for just about every situation and every experience level.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Kontact: How does it compare to the competition?

        With all of this talk about KDE 4.5 lately, I thought I should take a moment to mention a tool that hasn’t had much (or any) talk here on Ghacks. That tool is Kontact. But what is Kontact? Kontact is the KDE groupware suite that includes more tools than your standard suite, has a lot of pluses, and a few minuses. But even with its minuses, Kontact is a spot-on tool for anyone needing a solid groupware suite to keep them as organized as possible.

  • Distributions

    • How to Choose a Desktop Linux Distribution

      With all the many reasons to use Linux today–particularly in a business setting–it’s often a relatively easy decision to give Windows the boot. What can be more difficult, however, is deciding which of the hundreds of Linux distributions out there is best for you and your business.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Jefferies says Red Hat still well-positioned to capture share in Federal IT

        Jefferies & Co. maintained its ‘buy’ rating on business software company Red Hat Inc. with a price target of $35.

        “We believe Red Hat continues to be well-positioned to capture share in Federal IT, but the new 8 year, $2 billion social security administration (SSA) claims processing contract is likely to be spread across many vendors. If Red Hat does win a portion of it, they could be displacing International Business Machine Corp.,” said Katherine Egbert, an analyst at Jefferies.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian at 17: As Important as Ever

        Debian kicked off when Linux distributions were still a relatively novel concept. The only older surviving distro is Slackware, Red Hat didn’t enter the picture until 1994. Depending on how you look at it, Debian either enjoys a very small niche user base, or one of the largest of any Linux distribution. Strictly speaking, Debian is widely (though it’s hard to say how widely) deployed on servers and not quite as popular on desktop systems compared to Fedora, Linux Mint, or Ubuntu.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source media Centre Boxee adds Movie Library

    Following its launch as public beta in January of this year, the Boxee developers have announced the release of a new beta – version 0.9.22.13692 – of their popular part-open-source cross-platform media centre with social networking and community features. According to Boxee VP of Marketing Andrew Kippen, the latest public beta adds “the foundations of a new Movie Library to complement the TV Show Library”.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Education for the open web fellowship: new deadline

        In May, Mozilla and the Shuttleworth Foundation announced a new Education for the Open Web Fellowship. The aim is to support practical ideas that help people learn about, improve and promote the open nature of the internet, as part of our commitment to supporting leaders working at the intersection of open education and the open web.

      • Firefox 3.6.9 release candidate rocks up for sturdy testers

        Mozilla pumped out a release candidate version of Firefox 3.6.9 yesterday.

        The pre-beta update is intended only for brave souls willing and able to have a poke around in the unfinished code.

  • Oracle

    • The long, sordid tale of Sun RPC, abbreviated somewhat, to protect the guily and the irresponsible.

      Once upon a time (1984), Sun created an RPC implementation for Unix, with the intent of implementing RFC 707 (High-level framework for network-based resource sharing). Now, in those days, a good way to ensure that people used code that you wrote was to upload it to usenet, and in 1985, Sun did that. (Google has one of the posts archived here: Sun RPC part 8 of 10)

    • An update on JavaOne

      Like many of you, every year we look forward to the workshops, conferences and events related to open source software. In our view, these are among the best ways we can engage the community, by sharing our experiences and learning from yours. So we’re sad to announce that we won’t be able to present at JavaOne this year. We wish that we could, but Oracle’s recent lawsuit against Google and open source has made it impossible for us to freely share our thoughts about the future of Java and open source generally. This is a painful realization for us, as we’ve participated in every JavaOne since 2004, and I personally have spoken at all but the first in 1996.

  • Licensing

    • Should Open Source Communities Avoid Contributor Agreements?

      A collaborative activity dubbed Project Harmony is now under way between corporate and corporate-sponsored participants in the free and open source software communities (not to be confused with the Apache Java project of the same name). The project seeks to harmonise the various participant and contributor agreements – collectively termed “contributor agreements” by some – used by many open source projects.

      The goal of the project’s initiators is to reduce the legal costs of analysing paperwork faced by companies contributing to open source projects. Initiated and sponsored by Canonical, meetings have already been held several times under the Chatham House Rule, including one recently during LinuxCon in Boston. The participants also number several people who are skeptical of the value of copyright aggregation, myself included. At the meeting I was asked to write about my skepticism; this article is the result. I’m by no means the first to tread this ground; you’ll also want to read the earlier article by Dave Neary, and the comprehensive article by Michael Meeks ends with a useful list of other articles.

Leftovers

  • “Legislative Guidance” on Fair Dealing: The Plan to Reverse CCH?

    My post this week on several writers groups objections to Bill C-32 has generated considerable discussion, with some taking me to task for focusing on their letter’s warning of “unintended consequences,””years of costly litigation,” and “serious damage to the cultural sector.” Instead, they argue that I should have focused on the call for additional “legislative guidance” on the fair dealing reforms. After all, who could be against greater clarity in the law?

    In the discussion that has followed, I believe that it has become increasingly clear that the “legislative guidance” is not really about the fair dealing reforms found in C-32, but rather fair dealing more generally. Unfortunately, the writers’ letter only speaks of their concerns and does not provide any specific policy or legislative reform recommendations that would clarify their intentions. However, with the government having opened up the fair dealing provision, those groups may see an opportunity to reverse the Supreme Court of Canada’s CCH decision that characterized fair dealing as a user right and established guidelines for its interpretation.

  • USA Today shaking up staff in ‘radical’ overhaul

    USA Today, the nation’s second largest newspaper, is making the most dramatic overhaul of its staff in its 28-year history as it de-emphasizes its print edition and ramps up its effort to reach more readers and advertisers on mobile devices.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Pentagon Official Reveals Computer Security Breach… As Part Of Effort To Get More Power Over Critical Infrastructure?

      We’ve already noted that various government officials have been engaging in a massive hype campaign about “cyberwar” threats, in an effort to get more control over certain networks. But there’s also a bit of an inter-departmental battle within government agencies over who should get to control these new powers

    • Massive computer outage halts some Va. agencies

      A failure of servers at Virginia’s centralized information technology superagency has left several state agencies unable to do their work.

      At least two dozen agencies were affected by the Wednesday afternoon crash at the problem-plagued Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

    • Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes

      Kyle Cassidy traveled 15,000 miles over two years photographing Americans in their homes and asking one question: “Why do you own a gun?” A good question, particularly since most of these guns are not easily reconcilable with the notion of self-defence and their true place should be somewhere in the Armed Forces.

    • MalCon: A Call for ‘Ethical Malcoding’

      I was pretty bummed this year when I found out that a previous engagement would prevent me from traveling to Las Vegas for the annual back-to-back Black Hat and Defcon security conventions. But I must say I am downright cranky that I will be missing MalCon, a conference being held in Mumbai later this year that is centered around people in the “malcoder community.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Why Does The NY Times Rely So Often On Single Anecdote Trend Pieces Not Supported By The Data?

      We saw it more recently in the NY Times piece we wrote about claiming that cable TV was winning against the internet by purposely keeping authorized content offline, based off of a single anecdote of a guy who ditched his cable subscription only to go back a year later… just a day or so before the stats came out showing that people are actually ditching their cable connections.

    • NC State Senator Admits Broadband Companies Wrote His Bill & Says He ‘Carries Water’ For Companies

      What was most interesting about the situation in North Carolina, however, was how blatant state politicians were in highlighting that it was really the broadband companies who were calling the shots. In our story from April of 2009, it was noted that when the state representatives sponsoring the bill were asked questions about it during a committee hearing, they asked Time Warner employees to answer for them. Think about that for a second. The sponsors of the bill couldn’t answer the questions, so they asked industry folks to answer instead. We had thought that was about as blatant as a politician could be in admitting that the bill was actually written by the industry and that the politicians didn’t even understand what they were sponsoring.

    • Salisbury to test fiber-optic cable system

      One local on-ramp to the Internet just got a lot bigger and lightning fast.

      The city of Salisbury begins beta testing of a brand new fiber-optic cable system next month.

      Salisbury and North Carolina’s Municipal League have overcome strong objections from a powerful state senator, Sen. David Hoyle of Gaston County, who supports the cable companies who say local government competition is unfair.

      After the implosion of the textile industry, Salisbury is trying to weave a new future with new fibers; fiber-optic cable.

    • State Senator Admits Cable Industry Helped Write Pro-Industry Legislation
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ENDitorial: Leaked draft of the new Czech Copyright Act

        A leaked draft of the new Czech Copyright Act was obtained by Pirate News at the beginning of August 2010, after the Ministry of Culture has initially declined the request of Czech Pirate Party to have access to the document three days after the draft was sent out for feedback to organizations affected by the proposal. The draft presents a storm of “improvements” which grant millions of euro from public sector budgets to collecting societies.

        [...]

        That means that in order to achieve free distribution of copylefted work, the author has to notify the collecting society and he carries the burden of proof, that is, he has to prove that license has been provided, or if you like, the user of gratuitous license has to prove the collecting society has been notified, which is even harder. The amendment draft thus violates the declared support of public licenses.

      • Czech Gov’t Drafting Copyright Bill to Legally Gut Creative Commons, Chop Creators Royalties By Nearly Half

        If you ever thought that no one would ever actually legally attack Creative Commons and, if they did, you’d hear about it, consider this the article you “hear about it”. A draft copyright bill from the Czech Republic has leaked online and it may be one of the most disturbing copyright bills ever created.

      • Pirate Bay Receives Notice To Keep a Torrent

        The founder of the small software company Coding Robots was shocked when he found out that one of his works had been cracked and shared on The Pirate Bay. However, instead of asking The Pirate Bay to remove the torrent the company’s founder did quite the opposite. He sent a ‘Notice of Ridiculous Activity’ because the crack didn’t live up to his expectations.

      • Music Royalties Strangle Playlist.com

        Now called simply Playlist, the site allows users to create and share playlists using either song files that are hosted by the company itself or on third-party servers. When it plays the files that live on playlist.com, the service racks up millions of dollars in royalty costs. When the files play from external servers, the site functions, in a sense, as a playable search engine.

        As the screenshot from its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing shows (right), Project Playlist now owes millions of dollars in royalty costs to each of the major labels for playback of the music it hosted, having finally reached licensing agreements with all four major labels by May of this year. Those hard-won licensing agreements may well spell doom for Playlist.com, as they have for so many other start-ups.

      • DCC, Bittorrent and Usenet – Is Bittorrent so great?

        Before the days of the Internet when computers with 48k were deemed sufficient, I was one of a few who were accessing Micronet. Little did I know at the time (when I was downloading lawfully free software onto tape) was that I was taking the first steps into what would be a global phenomena and eventually something which would become so large, even the best of ISP’s could buckle under the demand to feed their end users hunger for data.

      • Open Bytes article – ‘DCC, Bittorrent and Usenet – Is Bittorrent so great?’ – is Tim wrong?

        It is unlikely that online copyright infringement would ever stop, no matter what was done, however it’s like smoking cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes was once socially acceptable. It no longer is socially acceptable. Or drunk driving – at one time everyone did it, now it’s so socially unacceptable that very few do so anymore.

        The curious thing is that all of the laws which have been enacted, appear to have had virtually no effect on online copyright infringement. What has had a huge effect was legal options. People love to show their appreciation for value, especially when they can show that appreciation directly to the artist, or software developer.

      • Don Henley Still Really Confused: Actually Claims Copyright Office Is Not An Advocate For Copyright Holders

        This is incredibly laughable if you know anything about the Copyright Office, which has been the leader in pushing for ever more draconian copyright law and has a history of almost always siding with content creators over the public. The 1976 Copyright Act, which completely flipped copyright on its head in this country came out of the Copyright Office, and some of the same folks are still there (including the boss, Marybeth Peters) — and haven’t changed their opinion much. Peters, in particular, has always been a staunch supporter of copyright holders over the public.

      • Disney, WB Claim Ad Firm Working With Pirate Sites Is Guilty Of Contributory Infringement

        So, the websites themselves are already pretty far removed from the actual infringement. The files are hosted on other sites. They’re shared by other people. These sites just allow users to post links. And… then on top of that the studios aren’t even suing these sites, which are a few steps away from the actual infringement: they’re suing this ad firm, which is another degree of separation away. Wow.

      • ACTA

        • Dutch Green Left party has concerns about the ACTA Treaty

          Dutch political party Green Left (Groen Links) is completely fed up with the ACTA Treaty’s haziness, reports Webwereld. One of Webwereld’s readers tipped off Mariko Peters (GL) about ACTA’s continuing secret negotiations as well as contradictions in communications about possible changes in Dutch law as a result of the Treaty. Maria van der Hoeven, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs replied.

        • ACTA: An international threat to freedom and liberty

          ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which is currently being negotiated, largely in secret, between the United States, the EU and 9 other countries.2 This draft agreement seeks to regulate a wide range of copyright, patents and trademark issues, including, most controversially, providing for additional regulation of the Internet. There have been a number of leaks (here, here, here and here) and the European Commission published an official draft text on 22 April.

          ACTA is a covert attempt, at the global level, to further reduce the public interest element in copyright, patents and trademarks, in the balance between the rights of creators, users, and the public at large, without proper debate and scrutiny in each nation state. The current form of ACTA is a threat to future innovation and freedom of citizens. ACTA is primarily driven by the US and the EU. Developing countries such as India and Brazil have been shut out of the process from the start.

Clip of the Day

Ubuntu 10.7 Smartbook Edition coming for ARM!


Links 27/8/2010:ZaReason “Back-to-School Special”, PlayOnLinux 3.8 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 5:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Indian admins love Linux, stuck on Windows

    Microsoft took a bit of a bashing from panellists at the Indian Roundtable, attracting complaints for its complex and inflexible licensing policies.

  • Back to School With Ubuntu?

    Earlier today, ZaReason sent me a group email offering back-to-school specials on Ubuntu-based computers. I receive similar special offers from System 76 from time to time. Going forward, I hope Canonical finds a way to turn up the volume on these third-party Ubuntu system promotions. Here’s why.

    [...]

    Companies like ZaReason and System76 deserve applause from Ubuntu community members. In ZaReason’s case, the company is offering a “back-to-school special” where, for one week, customers can receive a 5 percent education discount when they use LEARN42 as a discount code. The sale runs until midnight on Sept 1, 2010.

  • Server

    • The Top 10 Linux Server Distributions

      You know that Linux is a hot data center server. You know that it saves you money in licensing and maintenance costs. But, what are your options for Linux as a server operating system? Listed here are the top ten Linux server distributions — some of which you may not be aware. The following chararistics, in no particular order, qualified a distribution for inclusion in this list: Ease-of-use, available commercial support and data center reliability.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

      • Google Talk Plugin

        Google Blog announced the make a phone call from gmail yesterday. It’s google so it has to be good right? Getting it working can be the fun part tho. There appears to be two ebuilds out there that one can try. Gentoo Bugzilla 333769 has a 9999 version and cj-overlay has 1.4.1.0 version to try. If we follow Sabayon wiki article for 3rd Party ebuilds we can get it installed in no time.

      • Systemd in Gentoo

        A lot of folks are raving about the next generation in init systems (aka systemd), and how it’s (almost certainly) going to be the default init system for Fedora 14 (paid article, subscribe to LWN to read! [or wait a week]). It also seems that OpenSuse will be moving to systemd sometime in the near future (don’t take my word for this though), and Debian has at least considered it. It is also well-known that Ubuntu will not be using systemd for the foreseeable future.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – August 26th, 2010

        Different aspects of the port of the Debian operating system to the FreeBSD kernel have made great progress recently. The Debian installer has been upgraded to the FreeBSD kernel version 8.1, which also allows the installation system to be used in languages other than English. Also the debian-cd scripts used to create CD and DVD images now support the creation of the new architectures. Daily build images for Debian unstable are already available; daily and weekly builds for “Squeeze” will be made available with the next beta release of the Debian installer. However, the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD related web pages are outdated, and help is needed to fix the web and wiki pages.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Second update to the Ubuntu Light themes

          It has been a great couple of weeks for me, where I continued working jointly with our visionary design lead Otto Greenslade, who I would like to thank for everything: working with him is really an exciting and valuable experience… he is fun, and the more I work with him, the more comfortable I feel and that means improving our productivity day-by-day.

        • Preparing for Ubuntu 10.10 with the Platform Rally

          With every release, Canonical sets a certain amount of specifications it wants to deliver itself for the next Ubuntu release. These tasks are mainly created at UDS, within the public view. These blueprints are those that Canonical engineers are tasked to work on, and are generally maintained on Launchpad and the Ubuntu wiki. While Ubuntu and Canonical are well versed in the style of distributed development, it seems that occasional real-life collaboration helps to stimulate the development cycle: by collecting the right people, together focusing on the specifications they are tasked with.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • HTC EVO 4G Froyo Update Rooted!

          Owners of the Sprint-exclusive HTC EVO 4G have been pining for a root for the Android 2.2 Froyo update to the phone’s software since its release at the start of the month, and this week XDA developer and resident rooting guru regaw_leinad has posted the first guide to doing so.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • European embedded Linux conference colocates with GStreamer event

      The Consumer Electronics Linux Forum (CELF) announced the program for the Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE), scheduled for Oct. 26-28 in Cambridge, U.K. ELCE 2010 features keynotes by MIPS/Linux maintainer Ralf Baechle and Texas Instruments OMAP director Ari Rauch, sessions on mobile Linux, Android, and MeeGo, plus a co-located GStreamer conference.

      The Embedded Linux Conference Europe program runs from Oct 27-28. In addition, two half-day, hands-on tutorial sessions are available on Tuesday, Oct. 26. Taught by Linux trainer and consultant Chris Simmonds, the sessions cover basic embedded Linux bring-up and an introduction to Android development, respectively.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4 Beta 4 opens a new Panorama

        For a long time, most new browser releases have seemed to primarily offer “me-too” features to match the competition, together with interface tweaks and theoretical speed improvements measured in milliseconds. But Mozilla’s recently released Beta 4 of Firefox 4 rolls out two of the best new browser features to come along in quite some time. The excellent tab-handling capabilities of Panorama and the multicomputer synchronization prowess of Sync mean that Firefox offers some of the best browsing and productivity tools now built into any browser.

  • CMS

    • Open Source Company Explores CwF+RtB In Getting Sponsorship For Whitepaper

      Of course, some will note that finding a “sponsor” for a whitepaper is hardly a new idea — and that’s absolutely true. Connecting with Fans and giving them a Reason to Buy doesn’t necessarily mean doing something “new” or totally out of the ordinary. It’s about looking at what’s available, and how it can be used more efficiently.

    • Diaspora arriving September 15

      Now September has come, and they’ve broken their long silence. Diaspora will launch on September 15.

    • Diaspora Three Weeks Away From Unveiling Open-Source Facebook Alternative

      Remember Diaspora? You’ll be forgiven if you don’t. Since they received a lot of hype as the open-source “Facebook Alternative” this past May, they’ve been quiet. In fact, they hadn’t given any updates on their progress since early July. But today they’ve re-emerged with some updates. Notably, they say: “We have Diaspora working, we like it, and it will be open-sourced on September 15th.” That’s just three weeks away.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • GNU/Linux – finally it’s Free software

      One of the long-running projects I had at Sun was to get the (pre-GPL, permissive) license on Sun RPC changed. Why would that interest anyone? Well, the code in question is the original implementation of Sun RPC, which went on to become RFC 1057 and today is a core part of every UNIX-family operating system. Including Debian GNU/Linux and Fedora, both keen to be 100% Free-licensed software.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open textbooks to the rescue

      Mark Horner is a Fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation. The model of the Foundation is unusual: we identify interesting change agents, like Mark, who are articulating powerful ideas that seem like the offer a hint of the future, and we fund them to work on those for a year. We also offer them an investment multiplier: if they put their personal money into a project, we multiply that by 10x or more, up to a maximum amount. In short, find good people, back them when they put skin in the game.

Leftovers

  • Haitian music star Wyclef Jean’s presidential candidacy a distraction

    The on-again-off-again presidential candidacy of music star Wyclef Jean is a distraction for Haiti.

    On Friday, Aug. 20, the Haiti Electoral Council ruled that 15 out of the 34 candidates had not met the legal requirements to run for president of Haiti. Jean was one of the rejected candidates and he’s chosen to appeal the decision.

  • Vedanta mine plan halted by Indian government

    Campaigners, who have been backed in their fight against the mining giant’s plans by Joanna Lumley and Michael Palin, described the move as a “stunning victory”. Monty Python star turned professional traveller Palin expressed “absolute delight” in the news adding: “I hope it will send a signal to the big corporations that they can never assume that might is right. It’s a big victory for the little people.”

    The project had been thrown into doubt last week when a government inquiry said that mining would destroy the way of life of the area’s “endangered” and “primitive” people, the Kutia and Dongria Kondh tribes. The four-person committee also accused a local subsidiary of Vedanta of violating forest conservation and environment protection regulations.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • The boring truth about those Julian Assange smears

      But the speed with which the conspiracy theories spread throughout the moronosphere was enough for The New York Times London correspondent, the terrific John Burns, to produce an article headlined, “Plotting doubted in Wikileaks case”. That would be the Pentagon/CIA plotting to destroy Assange, obviously. Assuming that Assange knew the identity of his accusers when contacted by prosecutors, he nevertheless told any reporter within earshot that “we have been warned that the Pentagon, for example, is thinking of deploying dirty tricks to ruin us. And I have also been warned about sex traps.” After expressing scepticism that it was an American intelligence job, Harpers magazine nevertheless warned that “as this incident makes clear, the war on WikiLeaks will be fought with unconventional tools and those following the story are advised to accept nothing at face value.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • French activists uproot GM vines at research centre

      For the second time in less than a year, genetically modified vines being tested by the French National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA) in its Colmar centre in eastern France have been uprooted and destroyed. Now that France no longer grows or tests GM corn, which used to be a regular summer target of the Faucheurs Volontaires (voluntary reapers) movement, attention has turned to the vines.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Blasphemous posters hit New Zealand

      I realize that this is a highly controversial campaign and I want to make sure it is clear to everybody that the fact that we publish any campaign it doesn’t mean we support it too. We’re just publishing it for the world to see and comment on. Apologies to anyone offended.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Guess Who Is Trying To Trademark The Word “Face”? (And Guess Who Is Trying To Stop It?)

      When it comes to trademarks, Facebook is proving to be a bully. It is going after Teachbook in court for using a similar name, and already forced Placebook to change its name. But that is only half the story.

      It is not just the word “book” at the end of a company or product name that Facebook might object to. If it has its way, the word “Face” at the beginning of a name might also bring out its lawyers. In fact, Facebook is currently trying to register the word “Face” as a trademark. (It already owns the trademark on “Facebook”). Facebook took over the trademark application for “Face” from a company in the UK called CIS Internet Limited, which operated a site called Faceparty.com. Presumably, Facebook bought the application sometime around November, 2008, which is when its lawyer started dealing with the USPTO.

    • Copyrights

      • Is the DMCA Still Controversial?

        The courts’ newfound sensitivity to the risk of DMCA overreach, and the Library of Congress’s efforts to keep the statute confined to the purposes that actually prompted its enactment, have me wondering whether the DMCA controversy is now behind us; whether the worst of the statute’s sharp edges haven’t now been effectively worn away.

Clip of the Day

Bill Hicks humour


08.26.10

Links 26/8/2010: Red Had Reaches Year Highs, Droid Incredible to Get Froyo

Posted in News Roundup at 6:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The People Who Support Linux: It’s a Family Affair

    Alex is an individual member of The Linux Foundation and has been using Linux for five years. She started using it when she moved in with her partner, who is a programmer and built her computer using Ubuntu. Since then, Alex, her 7-year old son, her parents, and even the neighbor have all become regular Linux and open source software users.

    “I am not a computer programmer or very skilled when it comes to figuring out what to do to make things work. So I need something that is easy and intuitive. I can load new applications, software and peripherals without having to look up manuals or finding that drive disc that always goes missing when you need it.”

  • Is your company afraid of Linux? (2 of 3)

    How about salary comparison? Comparing salaries in this economy is like throwing darts in the dark. I’ve seen Windows and Linux employee’s being hired at ridiculously below average salaries but generally speaking the salaries are all over the place. Various studies and statistics show that Unix Server Administrators are the highest paid, then Linux and then Windows. The margin between Linux and Windows salaries is small and is shrinking due to higher numbers of Server Admins with Linux experience. Supply and Demand. This is good news as a business owner or IT manager.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Apple Mac OS X OpenCL Performance vs. Linux

        The results were mixed showing Apple still has room to optimize their OpenGL stack compared to NVIDIA’s Linux implementation and in not all areas did this package update result in performance enhancements

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Demystifying Akonadi

        Many people have been asking what the status of the new, Akonadi-based Kontact Groupware suite is. As I’ve been working closely with the PIM hackers, I thought I’d give my readers a heads-up on what’s going on and what to expect. In this article, I will often take KMail as an example for the port, but similar things apply to the other PIM applications that form the Kontact suite as well.

  • Distributions

    • Reaching way back: Bonzai Linux

      Here and there, where I can, I have come across some workable distros that will run on a 150Mhz Pentium with only 32Mb of memory. It’s a rarity though, and even more unusual to find one that will boot and install, in that small a space.

      In fact, more than ever it seems the issue I have to confront is not a lack of processor speed or even hard drive speed, but simply memory overhead. That’s my limiting factor.

    • Reviews

      • Review of Qimo: Linux for Kids

        We’ve talked about Linux software for kids a few times here at MakeTechEasier, but so far we’ve never actually sat down to take a closer look at whole distributions intended for children. Many people are familiar with Edubuntu, the Ubuntu spinoff intended for school and other educational institutions, but you may not know much about Qimo. Unlike Edubuntu, which is designed for a client-server network model, Qimo is intended for a sole desktop user – in this case children 3 years old and up. It uses a customized version of the XFCE desktop, with large icons and simple menus, to make it easy to navigate. Included are many of the top titles in kids software for Linux, such as GCompris and TuxPaint. Today we’ll take a look at what Qimo has to offer, and submit it to the ultimate test: a real live toddler.

      • Lightweight Distro Roundup: Day 8 – Puppy 5.10 (WOW)

        Hi, Quintin here. For the most part I am flying solo today. I came back late from the Lets Talk Geek podcast last night where I elbowed myself into being their guest for the week and I did not have the chance to get Elzje’s insight into our featured distro for the day.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Linux on the Cloud: The Ubuntu Way

          Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, has always had many enthusiastic user and developer fans. It’s a different story within the enterprise. Canonical has been trying to improve its business reputation though in both the server and cloud spaces. In particular, according to Neil Levine, Canonical’s VP of Commercial Services, Canonical has been working hard to bring Ubuntu’s well-known ease of use on the desktop to cloud deployments.

        • What Will Ubuntu 10.10 Look Like?

          Ubuntu 10.10 is currently in its third alpha release, with the final version expected on October 10. Current home and business users of older versions of Ubuntu will have to decide if the benefits make it worth upgrading the free software.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Android

        • Droid Incredible Now Expected to See Froyo Update Tomorrow

          Think of this post as a Monopoly-style “Bank error in your favor”. The Droid Incredible is now expected to see Android 2.2 updates as early as tomorrow, August 27th. This is a few days earlier than what we had last heard and only a couple of weeks beyond the initial rumored time frame. If you have one of these HTC beauties, you’ll soon be experiencing Flash 10.1, automatic app updates, 3G mobile hotspots, and much more! In the meanwhile, you brave rooting souls can grab it yourself.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 58 Open Source Replacements for Small Business Software

    Many small business owners have never heard of open source software. That’s unfortunate because in many ways small businesses are ideal environments for open source applications.

    In a small business, every dollar matters. Open source offers opportunities for companies to cut their software costs. Even if you need paid support, you’ll probably pay less for an open source solution than for a comparable closed source solution.

  • Events

    • Resources for learning about open innovation

      Last April, many of the big names in open innovation gathered at the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts (NESTA) “Open for Business” conference in London. Didn’t make the cut? Catch some videos of the event, plus a very informative whitepaper to share with the higher-ups.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • New Firefox Mobile versions

        AMO has been updated with 2.0a1 and 2.0b1pre versions for Firefox Mobile. Alpha 1 will be released in the next day or so, so please test your extension if you already are compatible with 2.0a1pre, it is very likely that your extension will still work.

      • Panorama in Firefox 4, your new eye-candy tab canvas

        Mozilla posted the fourth beta of its Firefox 4 browser on Tuesday. The release comes with a brand new interface that takes tab management to the next level. Aptly named Panorama and invoked by clicking a new tile button on the rightmost end of the tab toolbar, it looks like a visual overview of your open tabs but it’s really a highly customizable canvas designed to reclaim your browsing experience.

      • Hands-on: Firefox 4 beta 4 brings Tab Candy and Sync
  • Brazil

    • Brazil is open to open source

      I’ve been traveling quite a bit recently to meet with Lucid’s customers and partners around the globe. Earlier this week I had the pleasure of speaking at an event organized for business executives by our partner in Brazil, Primeware. The topic – no surprise – was open source enterprise search software. What I saw and heard seems to indicate the country’s broader sentiment about open source and growth.

      Lately, Brazil has been getting a lot of attention. In 2014, it will host the next World Cup. In 2016, it will be the site of the first Olympics to be held in South America. And next week, LinuxCon will launch in Brazil. It’s the world’s eighth largest economy, and people are sitting up and taking notice.

    • LPI Hosts September Exam Labs at LinuxCon Brazil and Ohio LinuxFest 2010

      The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization, announced promotional exam labs for their Linux Professional Institute Certification (LPIC) at LinuxCon Brazil (São Paulo, Brazil, September 1, 2010) and Ohio Linux Fest (Columbus, Ohio, USA, September 12, 2010). This is LPI’s second event as the exclusive Free and Open Source Software certification provider at LinuxCon and their fifth year as certification sponsor of the Ohio LinuxFest.

    • Running On Empty

      My adventures in the translation (or localization) world started some time in the middle of 2005. I had just started using Ubuntu as my main distribution and being carried away by the buzz and excitement surrounding this new comer, I started looking for ways to “give back”. Not that I hadn’t tried it before, but to tell you the truth, Ubuntu had back then the only friendly and welcoming community out there that wouldn’t treat you with scorn and arrogance if you were a new user.

  • Oracle

  • Healthcare

    • VA Hospitals Embracing Open Source Medical Records System

      Beth Lynn Eicher, co-chair of Ohio LinuxFest, writes about her mother, Susan Rose, and how VA hospitals are using the VistA open source medical records system. Beth Lynn writes, “Mom did not understand what I was up to with open source. I did not understand what she was up to with open source.”

  • Licensing

    • Dell checks for open-source licensing misstep

      Dell responded to the criticism via a post on Twitter Wednesday, saying, “We’re reviewing concerns re: the #dellstreak source code. We intend to comply with all applicable requirements. More details soon.”

    • Dell promises to open-source Streak code

      The version of Android 1.6 used by Dell is based on a Linux kernel and by definition fits under the GNU Public License (GPL), which requires that it open-source any new code. Without Dell’s custom portions of software, programmers haven’t had access to the drivers and other code that talks to the Streak’s exact hardware. Using the GPL doesn’t carry a deadline for when code must be published, but it’s usually assumed code will be available almost immediately or shortly before any hardware or software ships.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Give me some of that old-time, open source religion

      The Church of Scientology, in particular, seems to suffer from its proprietary way of thinking–at the hands of a rather forced kind of open sourcing. Vast quantities of online effort go into actively refuting or even denouncing Scientolgist beliefs and practices–up to and including publishing what are claimed to be the secret, closely-protected religious documents of the group’s inner orders. Anti-Scientologist website Operation Clambake presents an equal yet opposite view of a religious organization that is very technology-savvy and new-media friendly. Though the Church of Scientology has a massive website, replete with cutting-edge videos and presentations, their foundation–their doctrine–is clearly very proprietary. Beginners buy-in in book form or in person. The information they offer publicly and freely is quite limited. This un-free knowledge is the very thing that a group like Clambake takes advantage of.

    • Open Data

      • New Public Spaces 2: Practical Design Guidelines

        I’m still focused on virtual spaces where there’s a requirement to be official or government run. We know, exemplified beautifully through open data initiatives, the notion that government has to be the central point for everything has changed and will continue to transform. Using and facilitating community or nongovernmental channels is another matter.

Leftovers

  • Legal Threat Demands We Shut Down Techdirt

    Here at Techdirt, unfortunately, we get an average of about one legal threat per month. The threats are almost always frivolous — and often made in anger without the individual realizing why the threats are frivolous. While some sites take the position that they will publish any and all legal threats, we have always tried to give the threatening party the benefit of the doubt, and to recognize that they made their demands in a moment of excess anger and misunderstanding. As such, we generally explain our position as to why any legal action would be a mistake — and in nearly every case, we never hear back from the person who threatened us.

  • Gmail Calling: Google’s Bid to Rule Your Communications

    This is all part of Google’s strategy to be a VoIP powerhouse for consumers and businesses, as I wrote last November.

  • ARM virtualization tech adds more fuel to server fire

    In a presentation at Stanford’s Hot Chips conference on Tuesday, ARM added a few more drops to the trickle of information that’s coming out which suggests that the UK-based mobile and embedded processor designer is very seriously pursuing the server market. Specifically, ARM’s David Brash described a new set of virtualization extensions for the ARM-v7-A architecture, which will be included in the follow-on to Cortex A9. Brash also described an OS-managed address extension that will alleviate some of the I/O and memory pressure that goes with ARM’s 4GB memory limit.

  • My Favorite 10 xkcd Comics Part-2

    As I have said before, I started searching for top 10 xkcd comics initially but ended up with nearly 20 of them. So here is the part-2 of my favorite 10 xkcd comics. Between, don’t miss top 10 xkcd comics part-1.

  • Science

    • Canon Introduces 120MP Camera Sensor

      One could say that the megapixel race as we know it is over, or it’s at least less of an ordeal now than it used to be. Camera makers cranked up the megapixels as fast as they could for years, but now we’ve reached somewhat of a peak, or a plateau, maybe. But there’s no question that camera makers will continue to push the megapixel envelope, and there are obvious advantages to doing so. Some medium format cameras today have sensors with over 40 megapixels, but that’s beginning to sound a little small.

    • The longer you sit, the earlier you die

      Researchers say that’s even for people who exercise regularly after long sit-a-thons at the office and aren’t obese.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Military Computer Attack Confirmed

      A top Pentagon official has confirmed a previously classified incident that he describes as “the most significant breach of U.S. military computers ever,” a 2008 episode in which a foreign intelligence agent used a flash drive to infect computers, including those used by the Central Command in overseeing combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Why Are Gay Porn Producers So Quick To Get Involved In Shakedown Copyright Pre-Settlement Schemes?

        In July, we noted that one such gay porn producer had filed a bunch of lawsuits for sharing films via BitTorrent, and now THREsq is reporting that litigious porn producer Io Group is also suing a bunch of John Does for the same thing. If Io sounds familiar, that’s because they were also one of the first to sue a video site for infringement, in this case Veoh, in a lawsuit that Io lost.

      • Another Reason To Buy: A Unique CD For Fans That No One Else Will Get

        The latest such example is from musician Brian Hazard, who recently recorded his 8th full-length album. He claims this is his last physical release (in the future, it’ll all be digital), he decided to still press the CD after he won a songwriting contest for free CD manufacturing. With that process underway, he decided to “improvise” a bit on the business model side, and see if any of his fans would be interested in an Individual Edition CD. This isn’t a “special edition,” but a totally uniquely individual edition, that no one else would get:

        As a souvenir of your support, I will create a personalized custom CD featuring unique mixdowns of each of the 12 songs I recorded for the album. The outtakes “Touch” and “Release the Hounds” are not on the standard Limited Edition CD and will not appear on any future physical release. The disc will open with a token of my appreciation — a spoken “thank you” mentioning you by name.

Clip of the Day

Jeremy Allison @ GUADEC 2010


Bradley Kuhn @ GUADEC 2010


Links 26/8/2010: Vyatta Get IPv6 Certification, a Lot of Droid 2 Coverage

Posted in News Roundup at 12:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

  • Distributions

    • Indamixx Portable Studio Refreshes It’s Line of Mobile Music Making Netbooks. Portable Linux Daw, Releases It’s Fastest Netbook to Date.

      Trinity Audio Group Inc.’s Indamixx featuring Transmission 4.0, a custom audio OS aimed at the professional recording and DJ market ships pre-installed on faster Intel Atom based Netbook. Linux based product now available at Retailers such as Musician’s Friend and Guitar Center.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat’s extended support option offers breathing room

        Red Hat is taking good care of its customers — and that’s one of the intended benefit of open source software.

        The Linux giant recently announced that it would offer an optional subscription to extend the life cycle support to 10 years for its enterprise Linux.

      • N.C. Technology to honor Szulik

        Szulik, who stepped down as chairman of Raleigh-based Red Hat this month, was the company’s CEO for nearly a decade and transformed it into one of the Triangle’s largest and most successful technology companies.

      • Vyatta 6.1 Is Certified for IPv6

        Vyatta has released a new version of its software-based router/firewall solution. Vyatta 6.1 is the first update to the 6.x line, but is a solid release by itself. The update brings IPv6 certification and new tools for those using cloud solutions.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 Alpha Has Linux Kernel 2.6.35 and KDE SC 4.5

          Highlights of Fedora 14 Alpha:

          · Linux kernel 2.6.35;
          · KDE SC 4.5;
          · GNOME 2.31.2 desktop environment;
          · Session and system management;
          · Desktop virtualization;
          · Faster JPEG compression and decompression;
          · Updated and new programming languages;
          · Better utilities for developers;
          · Sugar 0.90 desktop environment;
          · Better netbook experience with MeeGo;
          · Fedora EC2 images;
          · IPMI server management made simple;
          · SCAP (Security Content Automation Protocol) support;
          · Perl 6 support with Rakudo;
          · Powerful data analysis tools.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint 9 Xfce Final Released

            The Linux Mint team has gotten another flavor of its latest release out the door. Linux Mint 9 Xfce is now deemed ready for a wider audience and has shed the ‘release candidate’ label.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Iomega says its removable drives will be USB 3.0

      NAS units have grown in popularity as users’ want to stream data to multiple devices. Some units allow users to ditch the standard operating system, usually a customised version of Linux, and install their own fully fledged Linux distribution, meaning a pint sized, energy efficient server is easily had.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Critics’ Choice: Smartphone Review Roundup of Droid 2

          OK, so that was a wee bit sarcastic. Fact is, this has been the year of Android phones, starting with Google’s Nexus One. The tide has crested in recent months, with the HTC Incredible, HTC Evo 4G, Motorola Droid X, and now, Motorola’s Droid 2 ($200 on Verizon after a $100 mail-in rebate and new two year-contract). It all adds up to a horn of plenty for Android smartphone fans, making it difficult to choose between models, especially since many are offered on Verizon.

        • Huawei to Launch Android 2.2 Smartphone at IFA

          Huawei Technologies plans to launch the U8150, which is based on Android version 2.2, at the Internationale Funkaustellung (IFA) consumer electronics show, the company said via e-mail.

        • How to root the Droid 2
        • Rumor: DROID Incredible Froyo Update Coming September 1st?(Updated)
        • Verizon pushes out first Droid 2 update, doesn’t cure signal woes
        • Exclusive: Motorola MB520 Kobe / Diablo for AT&T in the wild

          As we’d heard before it’s definitely destined for AT&T bearing Android 2.1 with Blur (complete with Blur logo on back), though our tipster tells us we can expect an update to 2.2 over the air.

        • Top 10 Android Business Apps

          While I’m always a skeptic when it comes to analyst prognostications (you don’t sell reports if you don’t predict multi-million dollar markets), this forecast is well on its way to being spot-on. In a recent interview for the Guardian in the UK, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said 160,000 Android phones are being activated each day, up from 100,000/day in May and only 60,000/day back in February. That’s an impressive growth curve, although actual devices shipped are still well behind the iPhone. To apply a betting metaphor, I’ll take the under on Android catching iPhone in 2012.

          As Android grows, so does the importance of the Android Marketplace. Apps are what smartphones are all about, and while Android still trails there too, it’s catching up even quicker than with the platform. Finding good apps, though, is still a bit hit and miss — frustratingly so for a company that built its reputation on search. With scores of new apps flooding the Marketplace each day, I expect to be writing app roundups like this for quite a while.

        • Will AT&T ever sell an open high end Android device?

          Other Android devices you can find on AT&T include the HTC Aria (the best of the bunch), Motorola Backflip (strange design and older OS), Samsung Captivate (nice hardware, but locked down a bit and poor overall performer with AT&T junk), and Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 (again Android 1.6 loaded at launch). We even see the smartphone/tablet device, the Dell Streak, launching with Android 1.6.

        • Introduction to Android 2 application development
    • Sub-notebooks

      • Netbooks The Next Target For Google Chrome OS

        This is all starting to change however with many Linux based OS’s getting some love and now Google’s Chrome OS is looking to jump in as well. Tuesday, reports leaked of a Acer netbook coming very soon with Google Chrome OS backing it up.

    • Tablets

      • Acer Chrome OS netbook specs leaked in bug reports

        It’s no surprise that Acer is working on a netbook that will run Google’s Chrome OS. So far Acer’s been pretty quiet about the details, though. But Macles spotted a few details by following a rather convoluted paper trail.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Iranian Government Runs Public Warez Server

    The Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology is directly connected to the Iranian Government. Aside from evaluating and advising policy makers on science and technology issues, the largest research outfit in the country also provides a warez server where Photoshop, MS Office and many other applications can be downloaded for free, totally legal thanks to Iran’s lenient copyright policy.

  • Attorneys General Continue Grandstanding Against Craigslist

    This is hardly a surprise, given the well-coordinated media campaign against Craigslist, but despite multiple “settlements” with various state attorneys general, it appears that those AGs keep going back to the headline-generating well of demanding Craigslist “fix” things. You may recall that nearly two years ago, after being hounded by some AGs, Craigslist settled with the AGs, despite clearly being protected by Section 230 of the CDA. However, despite it being “settled,” some AGs felt it wasn’t enough and six months later there was another settlement. And, of course, it wasn’t long before the AGs started complaining again.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • Fine for Edinburgh data snooping policeman

      Defence agent David Hunter said: “Although there is the statutory defence of accessing the information for police purposes that does not really apply here.

      “His nose got the better of him and he was curious.”

      Sheriff Derrick McIntyre asked Mr Hunter if Merron could be described as a “nosy parker” who was “filling in time”?

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Despite Reform, Banks Have Room for Risky Deals

      When Congress passed a new financial regulation bill last month, it sought to prevent federally insured banks from making speculative bets using their own money. But that will not stop banks from making bets that some critics deem risky, even as the rules go into effect over the next few years.

    • Kotlikoff: U.S. Financial System Fundamentally Corrupt
    • Fiscal Austerity and America’s Future

      There are three main views of the financial crisis and the most recent recession. In the first two views, the debate over the fiscal deficit is quite separate from what happened in the crisis. But in the third view, the financial crisis and likelihood of fiscal austerity are closely linked.

    • As economy slows and Fed voices conflict, markets look to Bernanke for guidance

      With the housing market retreating, unemployment lingering and top officials at the Federal Reserve in open disagreement over what to do, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is under rising pressure to offer solutions in an address Friday that is likely to be his most important since the end of the financial crisis.

    • Fraud Ruling Is Reshaping Federal Cases

      Just hours later, his office filed a motion to dismiss its most prominent criminal case, a seven-year-old corporate-fraud prosecution against two former top executives at Westar Energy, the state’s largest electric utility.

      The reason? The United States Supreme Court issued a ruling in June that narrowed the scope of the statute known as theft of “honest services,” leaving him with little choice but to drop the charges, Mr. Grissom said in a short statement.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • WikiLeaks builds a legal shield in Sweden

      Two young Swedes hammer away at computers in a space that is part garage, part college dorm, littered with cables, Coke cans and an empty bottle of ketchup.

      It looks like an unlikely place for the U.S. Pentagon to be worried about.

      But this cramped room in a Stockholm suburb acts as a nerve center for WikiLeaks, the whistle-blowing website which has published thousands of secret documents on the war in Afghanistan and has promised to post many more.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Rights Holders Launch Initiative To Protect Content In Africa

      Foreign content producers and broadcasters hope the soon-to-be-launched Africa Media Rights Watch will help convince the region’s regulators and consumers alike to increase respect for copyright.

      DISCOP, which organises television content markets in emerging regions, opened shop in Africa last year to bring together broadcasters seeking African and international programming with content distributors, DISCOP Africa Executive Manager Cherise Barsell said in a 24 August interview. But with film and TV piracy rampant in Africa, Basic Lead, the organiser of DISCOP Africa, and consultant Balancing Act-Africa decided to see how the problem affects the continent’s audiovisual sector, she said. Basic Lead is headquartered in Paris and Los Angeles.

    • “Writers Groups” presume too much

      Even assuming that every member of each of the collectives actually represented by this “coalition” understand the issues and agree with the letter’s stated position, surely the signatories are aware there are other writer collectives in Canada. Like, say, the Writers Guild of Canada. Further I would hope that they are also aware that there are professional Canadian writers who do not belong to any collective at all. Like me.

    • Copyrights

      • Meeting with BIS about the Draft copyright infringement code

        BIS were able to give us some information about likely dates. Everything is falling behind schedule. The cost consultation will result in a ‘Statutory Instrument’ which will decide what portion of the scheme is paid by ISPs (ie, ends up on consumers’ bills) and whether Appellants will have to pay. We should have a public response by the end of this month. We won’t. This is holding Ofcom’s work in turn.

        Additionally, the fact that TalkTalk and BT remain angry and opposed to the Bill’s implementation, and are contesting it via Judicial Review in the High Court, means that Ofcom cannot properly proceed with their work to get the Code implemented.

        Government timetables are never quite as easy as they might seem, but these very tight deadlines, mandated by an Act that did not get proper scrutiny, are continuing to cause error and uncertainty, and failing to give proper reassurance about the effect on our fundamental rights.

      • Big Win for Copyright Collectives

        Some writers groups have reacted angrily to the education exception, claiming it will cost them millions in revenue and arguing that it amounts to an “expropriation of property.” Yet a new decision from the Federal Court of Appeal provides powerful evidence that these fears are exaggerated with the new expanded fair dealing rules still striking a reasonable balance between creators and users.

      • Estimating the Economic Impact of Mass Digitization Projects on Copyright Holders: Evidence from the Google Book Search Litigation

        The debate surrounding the GBS settlement is important to students, writers, researchers, and the general public, as it may decide whether a federal appellate court or even the U.S. Supreme Court allows the best research tool ever designed to survive. If the theory of Microsoft and some publishing trade associations is accepted, the courts may enjoin and destroy GBS, just as Napster was shut down a decade ago.

      • Musopen Wants to Give Classical Music to the Public Domain

        Music lovers take note: the classical music archive Musopen needs your help to liberate some classic symphonies from copyright entanglement. Museopen is looking to solve a difficult problem: while symphonies written by Beethoven, Brahms, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky are in the public domain, many modern arrangements and sound recordings of those works are copyrighted. That means that even after purchasing a CD or collection of MP3s of this music, you may not be able to freely exercise all the rights you’d associate with works in the public domain, like sharing the music using a peer-to-peer network or using the music in a film project.

      • BMI Appeals Ruling That Lets Venues Route Around BMI, Claiming It Somehow Harms Musicians
      • ACTA

        • Has the U.S. Caved on Secondary Liability in ACTA?

          Following the ninth round of ACTA negotiations in Lucerne, Switzerland in July, it became apparent (after the updated ACTA leaked) that the U.S. had caved on some of its demands to include DMCA-like anti-circumvention language in ACTA. The ACTA provisions still go further than the WIPO Internet treaties by mandating the inclusion of provisions to address circumvention devices, but the treaty moved much closer to the EU approach and became more consistent with the WIPO Internet treaty flexibilities. This represented a major shift for the U.S. and was clearly a loss from what it hoped to achieve within ACTA.

        • Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Accord Likely To Be Signed In September

          The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is likely to be signed here in September, at a vice-ministerial level meeting of 11 parties, Kyodo News quoted the Trade Ministry as saying.

          The International treaty is designed to create an international framework to halt the distribution of counterfeit brand goods and pirated music and film products.

Clip of the Day

Free Software in Ethics and in Practice University Commonwealth VA 2008


Links 26/8/2010: Debian Debates, Rails 3.0 Release Candidate 2

Posted in News Roundup at 5:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: New X Server, 3D drivers for Radeon 5000 and new stable kernels

      While the new kernel versions mainly correct minor bugs, X.org’s next generation X Server offers a range of improvements. Various code segments released by AMD developers allow the X.org open source drivers for Radeon GPUs to utilise the 2D and 3D acceleration features available with Radeon series 5000 graphics cards.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Linux Mint 9 Xfce Screenshots

        Most people that come into contact with Linux Mint tend to agree that it’s an excellent distributuion for beginners. In my opinion this is accomplished by the visual appeal and mint-specific tools you won’t find anywhere else.

      • Trying out the Chakra Project

        The Chakra Project looks very promising, albeit very unpolished at the moment. If they can manage to fix up the rest of the distribution, getting it just as polished feeling as the installer, this will definitely be one to look out for. I look forward to trying it out again once it hits a stable release.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat plays Switzerland in balkanized cloud world

        Bryan Che, manager of cloud computing products at Red Hat, said that the DMTF was chosen among many different possible standards bodies because Red Hat has a history with the organization. “We do not want Deltacloud to be under the control of any one vendor, including Red Hat,” Che explained, which is why the project was moved to Apache and the API specs are being handed to DMTF. (Red Hat, by the way, is a member of the DMTF Cloud Management Work Group.)

    • Debian Family

      • The Debian apocalipsys

        All my started projects about contributing to Debian gets stopped, until I see Debian as Debian. It’s a pity, but I have to migrate too many systems and that is a lot of work for the next days, only at home… and then I need a solution at work too. This is not for vicious, I’m going to loose skills learned about my OS of choice to jump to others where I will be a newbie. And Debian still has very very nice things.

      • Making Debian Rule, Again (Margarita Manterola)

        She conducted a survey (about 40 respondents) to ask what Debian’s problems are, and grouped them into categories like “motivation” and “communication” (tied for the #1 spot), “visibility” (#3, meaning public awareness and perception of Debian) and so on. She went on to make some suggestions about how to address these problems.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Multi-Touch Videos: Evince And Inkscape

          Keep in mind that the multi-touch feature is still very early in development. Even so, it already looks impressive as both Evince and Inkscape can’t handle multi-touch by default yet it works great as you can see in the videos above.

        • Allison Randal appointed Technical Architect of Ubuntu

          Allison Randal has been appointed Technical Architect of Ubuntu at Canonical by Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth. Randal is known for her work as an architect of the Parrot virtual machine and chairman of the Parrot Foundation and is a board member of the Perl and Python Foundations.

        • 5 Short Yet Beautiful Ubuntu Ads For Your Inspiration

          Ubuntu is already the most popular Linux distribution and probably the first ever Linux distro to overshoot popularity of Linux itself. Now, what Ubuntu needs is a lot of promotional activism from the community. Here is a few Ubuntu adverts from YouTube that I hope will inspire designers among you to get up and start working.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Use Puppy Linux 5.0 for secure on-the-go browsing

            This version especially seems to be stable, fast, and capable. I have taken to running it from a bootable USB drive and the performance has been very nice. Being able to drop these onto untrusted systems and use them as a browser, VPN client, and productivity tool has been handy. Using HoneyPoint Personal Edition, the nmap plugins and some other Puppy installs of security tools gives me a great platform for working incidents, gaining visibility and catching rogue scans, probes and malware that are in circulation when I pull in to help a client. Over and over again, the distro has proven itself to be a very powerful tool for me.

            I suggest you take a look at the distro, LiveCD or USB and see how it can help you. I think you’ll find it fun, easy to use, and quite addicting. The pictures of the puppies dont hurt either.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Ubuntu Fans, This Theme Is For You: Download Ubuntu Theme For ADW Launcher

          Ryan launched the theme 4 days ago and so far it’s been well received scoring a 4.28/5 average with more than 5000 downloads.

        • New, inexpensive color e-readers have Android under the hood

          Although Google’s Android mobile operating system is principally designed for phones, it is also increasingly showing up on low-cost tablets and other kinds of mobile devices. The platform is rapidly emerging as a major contender in the e-book reader market, where it is attracting a growing number of hardware vendors.

          Barnes and Noble’s popular Nook is arguably the most prominent Android-based e-book reader, but there are also a number of intriguing offerings from other vendors. Some are differentiating their readers by eschewing battery-friendly e-ink in favor of color LCD screens. These products take a more tablet-like approach and give users the advantage of a multifunction Internet-enabled device at nearly the same price point as regular e-book readers.

        • WordPress for Android adds new comment feature

          The WordPress developers have announced the release of version 1.3.4 of their WordPress for Android app. Using the mobile application, users can easily post to and edit their WordPress blogs from an Android mobile device.

        • Dell Answers Critics Demanding Streak’s Source Code

          The problem, according to a small but vocal group of developers and enthusiasts online, is that the Streak uses code licensed under the GNU General Public License, which allows third parties to both use and modify the code, provided that the company or person publishes the object code, either as part of a shipping device, on a physical medium, or publicly available via a server.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Jolicloud, an Ubuntu netbook OS

        Krim had already used Ubuntu servers for Netvibes and had been using Linux for 18 years so the OS choice for Jolicloud was a no brainer. Despite having scant experience with desktop Linux for a while, Krim’s team went full steam ahead with his next project. From initial conception to release, it took them just over a year to get Jolicloud rolled out.

        “We built Jolicloud on top of Ubuntu because I met Mark Shuttleworth at a Google event and I used Ubuntu servers for Netvibes. This Debian based Linux had a good reputation and good drivers. We could have picked Fedora. To be honest we didn’t spend too much time thinking about it.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • Blender Gets Mixamo Motions

    Mixamo has announced new support for Blender users looking to create high-quality character animations for their 3D projects.

  • Bossies Awards 2010: The best open source software of the year
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Free All Software

      “Software should always be free because all users of software deserve freedom,” says Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and the GNU Project, and a longtime activist.

    • Hacking for change

      In Bangalore, Linux was used exclusively and extensively by academia. Early adopters of Linux, the scientific community in the Indian Institute of Science and research organisations deeply benefitted from free, collaborative and open nature of the GNU movement. So, the earliest informal Linux Users Groups were perhaps born in these academic circles.

  • Project Releases

    • Rails 3.0: Release candidate 2

      The release candidate process is progressing as planned. This second candidate has very few changes over the first, which means that unless any blockers are discovered with this release, we’re targeting the final release of Rails 3.0 for this week(!!!).

  • Licensing

    • The future of open source licensing

      Glyn argues that this “is worse than the GNU GPL with copyright assignment”, where a single copyright holder is able to provide a closed-source version. Is it really worse to have a situation in which everyone has an equal opportunity to go closed-source than one in which the control and power lies with a single vendor?

      Either way, Glyn also notes that the ability of the copyright holder to act as a monopolist is “hardly what Richard Stallman had in mind when he drew up the GPL”. This is probably true, but it should be noted that Stallman has defended selling license exceptions (also known as dual licensing), which is the practice that enables vendor-controlled open core strategies (which Stallman opposes).

      In fact, it is worth considering that the issues that seem to cause the most controversy around open source-related business strategies – vendor-controlled open source projects, open core licensing, copyright assignment, and dual licensing – are all perpetuated by copyleft and the GNU GPL.

      It doesn’t have to be the case that the GNU GPL leads to a dominant open source vendor, of course. Glyn explains how assigning copyright to a non-commercial entity, such as the Free Software Foundation, avoid this problem. Another approach (although one that has problems of its own), is to ensure that individual contributors own the copyright to their own contributions.

Leftovers

  • USB 3.0: Everything You Need to Know

    After a lengthy gestation period, the third generation of the Universal Serial Bus is making its way to the market. But is it already obsolete?

    Consumer electronics and computer vendors used the Consumer Electronics Show this past January to launch USB 3.0, an update to the popular standard external data transfer interface. The new speed of USB 3.0 generated a lot of interest.344

  • Insider’s View: How Grandstanding State Attorneys General Make Life Miserable For Law Abiding Tech Companies

    For years, we’ve pointed out how various state attorneys general seem to focus much more on grandstanding against certain companies, rather than actually helping in certain situations. What was really amazing was the incredibly clear pattern every time it happened. It would involve an attorney general who was running for higher office, going to the press and threatening some company, even if there was no legal basis whatsoever for the threat. It’s as if every AG running for higher office has taken a page out of the playbook of Eliot Spitzer who used this strategy for years to get him headlines that took him right into the NY governor’s mansion (which, of course, he then left due to a different sort of headline a few years later…).

  • Health/Nutrition

    • What’s New for Dinner

      Recent estimates blame agriculture for as much as 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and nitrogen fertilizers account for more miasma than all those methane-belching cows and sheep combined. But even as the power of the American food movement waxes, organic farms still make up less than 1 percent of this country’s cropland. The unignorable presence of that other 99 percent has forced many environmentalists to a singularly pragmatic conclusion: If there is going to be a significant attempt to slash the use of water, fossil fuels, fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides — the resource-sucking carbon and chemical footprint that has come to define the modern agro-industrial complex — the bulk of that effort will have to emerge from the operations of large-scale, conventional farms. The assault on business as usual will come from the everyday operations of Frank Muller’s farm.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Who is Andrew Wilke?

      A former Duntroon cadet, he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and worked for US defence giant Raytheon.

      He continued his defence career as an intelligence analyst with the Office of National Assessment.

      He caused a huge storm in 2003 when he resigned and spoke out against the Howard government on the Iraq war, saying there was no intelligence to indicate Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

      Dr Peter Bowden from Whistleblowers Australia says Andrew Wilkie is a hero.

    • Secret US military computers ‘cyber attacked’ in 2008

      A 2008 cyber attack launched from an infected flash drive in the Middle East penetrated secret US military computers, a Pentagon official says.

      The attack by a foreign spy service was the “most significant breach” ever of US military networks, Deputy Defence Secretary William Lynn said.

      Writing in Foreign Affairs magazine, Mr Lynn described it as a “digital beachhead” to steal military secrets.

      [...]

      Mr Lynn, a former defence lobbyist and military budget official under former President Bill Clinton, warned the Pentagon had to speed up the process by which it develops and acquires cyber defence kit.

    • Electronic Voting Researcher Arrested Over Anonymous Source

      About four months ago, Ed Felten blogged about a research paper in which Hari Prasad, Rop Gonggrijp, and I detailed serious security flaws in India’s electronic voting machines. Indian election authorities have repeatedly claimed that the machines are “tamperproof,” but we demonstrated important vulnerabilities by studying a machine provided by an anonymous source.

      The story took a disturbing turn a little over 24 hours ago, when my coauthor Hari Prasad was arrested by Indian authorities demanding to know the identity of that source.

    • Hotel raider caught red-handed after burglary escapes due to ‘lack of evidence’

      But they were forced to drop their haul when staff spotted the pair on CCTV and raised the alarm.

      The security video then captured the duo running through the hotel and jumping 15ft from a roof into the car park to escape.

      At that moment police arrived and arrested one of the offenders on suspicion of attempted burglary at the Hotel Rembrandt in Weymouth, Dorset.

      But hotel staff were shocked when they received a call from the police three days later to say they were dropping the case because of insufficient forensic evidence.

    • Look what I found at the bus stop

      …a CD containing the scans of 112 patient records taken from the Intensive Care Unit of New Cross Hospital’s Heart and Lung Unit in Wolverhampton.

    • Full-Body Scan Technology Deployed In Street-Roving Vans
    • Fixed Penalty Notices

      Prior to this I discussed FPNs on Radio 4, when I made it clear that FPNs are a way of disposing of a case without any admission of fault on the part of the person who takes them and no criminal record of any kind. Nevertheless, anecdotally I gather that they have wrongly been treated as such in our criminal courts when it comes to good character directions in trials and so forth.

  • Finance

    • Will Perpetrators of Financial Crimes Ever Face Justice?

      A review of the settlements shows an array of fraudulent and illegal actions.

      * Predatory, deceptive and abusive lending related to mortgages
      * Securities fraud, including creating investment vehicles designed to fail
      * Accounting fraud
      * Brokerage fraud
      * Bribery of government officials
      * Undisclosed conflict of interest in financial analysis and advice
      * Lying to shareholders and investors
      * Robbing consumers with abusive overdraft fees
      * Robbing homeowners by overcharging them by hundreds or thousands of dollars, when they were already in bankruptcy and foreclosure

      A review of cases reveals a pattern: no admission of wrongdoing, earnest promises to do a better job and a fine representing a fraction of the infraction. Because the fine is paid by shareholders, no one is held accountable and the whole incident is swept under the rug.

    • Lessons from the Bell, California Fiasco

      High government salaries means soaring pension costs that taxpayers cannot afford.

    • Leaked Documents Provide Glimpse Behind Baseball’s Financial Curtain

      From that, we know that the New York Yankees’ valuation sits at a cool $1.6 billion, with the average club worth just under $500 million.

      [...]

      Maury Brown of the excellent Biz of Baseball blog has done a tremendous job of breaking down all the nitty gritty in the Deadspin exclusive. Here are some of the juicier tidbits:

      • Of the five teams who had their info leaked, only the Mariners didn’t make a profit in a given year, losing $4.5 million in 2008.

      • Thanks to the league’s generous revenue-sharing program, the Pirates received some $69 million from MLB over the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

      • As it relates to revenues received from concessions – which are typically run by outside entities, which then cut the team in on some percentage of the profits – the Marlins made $1.64 per fan in attendance last season.

      • The Pirates franchise, for all of its on-field ineptitude, invested some $44 million in player development over the ‘07 and ‘08 seasons.

      Don’t think MLB will sit idly back as this story develops.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Rise of Branded Journalism

      Once upon a time, the writers and analysts who covered Kaspersky Lab as it slogged towards victory against the likes of McAfee and Symantec included Dennis Fisher at eWeek, Paul Roberts at The451 Group, and Ryan Naraine of ZDNet. These men were among the top editors and analysts covering the anti-virus space of the day (2004–present).

      Now, each and every one of these highly credentialed gentlemen produce superb content for Kaspersky Lab — as employees. They are contributing to the Company’s well-regarded global IT Security news site, Threatpost. With talent like Fisher, Roberts and Naraine working the levers, Threatpost is, well, a legitimate threat to the ZDNet’s, CNet’s, and SC Magazine’s of the world…

    • Public Campaign, CMD & Media Matters Issue Joint Letter After News Corp.’s $1 Million Donation to Republican Governors Assoc.

      We are writing today to ask that the White House Correspondents Association reconsider its decision to allow Fox News Channel a front-row seat in the White House briefing room in light of reports that Fox News’ parent company, News Corp., has donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association — a massive ethical lapse that demonstrates Fox News’ inability to function as an objective media institution.

      Media outlets are supposed to cover elections and issues to inform voters, not help to elect candidates who espouse certain positions. With so much News Corp. money invested in the election of Republican gubernatorial candidates, can Fox News be expected to disinterestedly cover those races or Republican politics in general?

    • Bill O’Reilly and the Fox-Comcast Crushing Machine

      Some felt the choice of O’Reilly was improper given his reputation for inflammatory rhetoric and bullying of people who disagree with him. One person who took exception to the award was Barry Nolan, host of another cable show produced by Comcast called “Backstage with Barry Nolan.” One month before the awards ceremony, Nolan emailed the Academy’s governing board and asked them to reconsider giving the award to O’Reilly. Nolan also made public his opposition to the award.

    • Bombastic TV Host Glenn Beck And Religious Right ‘Professor’ David Barton Team Up To Rewrite American History

      David Barton, a Texas-based Religious Right activist and self-styled historian, recently cited the Muhlenberg tale as evidence that Christian pastors were involved in “every aspect” of the founding.

      Unfortunately for Barton and his allies, the story is almost certainly untrue. No contemporary accounts of it exist. The tale first appeared in 1849 – long after Muhlenberg’s death – during a time when an influx of immigrants from Germany was eager to prove its loyalty by holding up a hero with genuine revolutionary credibility.

      Most likely, the tale is a “pious legend” designed to inflate the importance of a historical figure by underscoring his essential goodness. It’s akin to stories of the young George Washington refusing to tell a lie about that cherry tree.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • New Law to Stop Companies from Checking Facebook Pages in Germany

      Good news for jobseekers who like to brag about their drinking exploits on Facebook: A new law in Germany will stop bosses from checking out potential hires on social networking sites. They will, however, still be allowed to google applicants.

      Lying about qualifications. Alcohol and drug use. Racist comments. These are just some of the reasons why potential bosses reject job applicants after looking at their Facebook profiles.

      According to a 2009 survey commissioned by the website CareerBuilder, some 45 percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates. And some 35 percent of those employers had rejected candidates based on what they found there, such as inappropriate photos, insulting comments about previous employers or boasts about their drug use.

    • Julian Assange Gets The Bog Standard Smear Technique

      The Russians call it Kompromat – the use by the state of sexual accusations to destroy a public figure. When I was attacked in this way by the government I worked for, Uzbek dissidents smiled at me, shook their heads and said “Kompromat”. They were used to it from the Soviet and Uzbek governments. They found it rather amusing to find that Western governments did it too.

      Well, Julian Assange has been getting the bog standard Kompromat. I had imagined he would get something rather more spectacular, like being framed for murder and found hanging with an orange in his mouth. He deserves a better class of kompromat. If I am a whistleblower, then Julian is a veritable mighty pipe organ. Yet we just have the normal sex stuff, and very weak.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Madonna Slapped with Material Girl Lawsuit

      Talk about a fashion don’t! Madonna is being sued over the rights to use the “Material Girl” name for the trendy juniors clothing line that she designed with daughter Lourdes. Apparel manufacturer LA Triumph slapped the superstar with a lawsuit Thursday, claiming that it had been marketing clothes under the “Material Girl” brand since 1997.

    • Copyrights

      • Publishing Raymond Carver’s ‘Original’ Stories as ‘Fair Use’

        This is a paper on copyright law as it relates to the controversy of publishing Raymond Carver’s stories in their unedited form.

        The controversy arose when Raymond Carver’s widow, Tess Gallagher, expressed her desire to publish these stories because Carver’s editor, Gordon Lish, had dramatically changed their character and style. Indeed, she claimed that these unedited stories represented the “real” Caver, whom she wished to reveal to the world. However, Carver’s estate no longer owns the copyrights to these stories.

        The issue is particularly interesting because the “original” versions of the stories are considerably different from the published versions as edited by Lish. Thus, there is some ambiguity as to whether they are covered by the copyright of the published stories; in essence, they are the building blocks of the published versions, and thus it is unclear whether they would be considered derivative works.

        These questions aside, this papers explores the role of an editor and various ways that editors receive recognition for their efforts. It then explores joint authorship under American law, and how the Carver situation would be different in a jurisdiction where moral rights are recognized. Finally, “fair use” is applied to to the particular facts to permit the revelation of Carver’s unedited oeuvre.

      • Pirates Not Liable For Violating Publicity Rights

        Jordan, whose real name is Ashley Gasper, claimed that the defendants wrongfully misappropriated his name and likeness by selling counterfeit DVDs featuring his “dramatic performances” and by using his name and likeness on the covers. The jury agreed with Jordan and awarded him approximately $2.85 million, including $2.5 million in punitive damages.

      • Samsung Blu-ray players won’t play Warner, Universal movies after firmware update, require a rollback

        As annoying as continuous Blu-ray player updates are, usually having the latest one is the best way to play more movies. Unfortunately the opposite was the case for Samsung (again) with the v2.09 update posted recently for its 2009 BD-Px600 line of players. Forum posters on CNET and AVSForum report the upgrade blocked them from playing Universal and Warner Bros. movies, which conveniently lock up after displaying the title image.

Clip of the Day

Android 2.2 Official Video


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