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07.20.10

Links 20/7/2010: Beyond Software, Lots of ACTA News

Posted in News Roundup at 3:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • Judge Rejects Attempt To Fine Family For Picking Up Discarded Air Conditioning Unit

    That’s what led to a woman and her son getting charged with a $4,000 fine for picking up a discarded air conditioner. The Consumerist lets us know that, thankfully, a judge has tossed this fine. There are so many ridiculous angles to this case, even if you believe the law is reasonable. First, two people were fined. The guy who picked up the air conditioning unit… and his aunt, who owned the car, but was not in it at the time. That seems pretty questionable as well. It’s a bad application of liability. Just because the nephew put the AC unit in the car, why should the aunt be subject to the fine?

  • IP Justice Comments on ICANN Accountability & Transparency Concerns: Lack of Accountability to Non-Commercial Users Remains Problematic for ICANN’s Promise to Protect the Public Interest
  • Government outlines new libel law plans

    The UK Government will overhaul libel laws in the new year. It said that it will publish a Defamation Bill early next year in an attempt to give publishers more rights and clamp down on ‘libel tourism’.

    All the major political parties pledged to reform the laws of libel in the run up to this year’s general election. Libel laws in England and Wales are widely seen as being very favourable to people suing for libel to protect their reputations.

  • Kindle Books Outselling Hardcover Books. “Tipping Point” Reached, Amazon Says

    Amazon’s Kindle eReader has long been a great device. Unfortunately, for much of its life, it has been far too expensive. And now with Apple’s iPad out there, it seems a bit too, well, monochrome. But Amazon did a smart thing recently, they slashed the price of the device, down to $189. As a result, growth is accelerating once again, Amazon says.

  • The Mail’s online miracle: or how to get paid without a paywall

    In short, it doesn’t necessarily matter that the Mail is different. Perhaps its success merely prompts other news sites to be different as well. Not one site covering all, but many sites offering alternative things. Not one site ruling the world, but many sites carving up the globe.

    And once we’re dealing in niches and targeting – for readers, for ads – then paywalls become merely part of the debate: not Rupert’s (or David’s) last weapon of every resort.

  • Quicken Online Users Saw The Bait, Took The Switch To Mint.com, And Are Left With Nothing
  • “Pay what you want” benefits companies, consumers, charities
  • A Farewell to Scienceblogs: the Changing Science Blogging Ecosystem

    It is with great regret that I am writing this. Scienceblogs.com has been a big part of my life for four years now and it is hard to say good bye.

    Everything that follows is my own personal thinking and may not apply to other people, including other bloggers on this platform. The new contact information is at the end of the post, but please come back up here and read the whole thing – why I feel like I must leave now.

  • Physicists, brace yourselves for a revolution! Faster than light travel discovered!
  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • Recycled Island will be created from plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean

      Recycled Island is a great idea for getting rid of the floating plastic dump in the Pacific. The island would be built where the trash is located and would convert the waste onsite cutting down on cleanup and building costs. It would be between Hawaii and San Francisco in the heart of the Pacific Ocean’s currents.

    • Gulf coast fishermen angry over oil claims ruling

      Fishermen in Mississippi say they are angry that under the terms of BP’s $20 billion oil spill fund, money they earn doing clean-up will be subtracted from their claim against the company.

    • Poachers kill last female rhino in South African park for prized horn

      South African wildlife experts are calling for urgent action against poachers after the last female rhinoceros in a popular game reserve near Johannesburg bled to death after having its horn hacked off.

      Wildlife officials say poaching for the prized horns has now reached an all-time high. “Last year, 129 rhinos were killed for their horns in South Africa. This year, we have already had 136 deaths,” said Japie Mostert, chief game ranger at the 1,500-hectare Krugersdorp game reserve.

    • BP launches effort to control scientific research of oil disaster

      Scientists from Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University and Texas A&M have “signed contracts with BP to work on their behalf in the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) process” that determines how much ecological damage the Gulf of Mexico region is suffering from BP’s toxic black tide. The contract, the Mobile Press-Register has learned, “prohibits the scientists from publishing their research, sharing it with other scientists or speaking about the data that they collect for at least the next three years.”

  • Finance

    • How Brokers Became Bookies: The Insidious Transformation Of Markets Into Casinos

      One of the dire unintended consequences of that maneuver, however, was that municipal governments across the country have been saddled with very costly bad derivatives bets. They were persuaded by their Wall Street advisers to buy municipal swaps to protect their loans against interest rates shooting up. Instead, rates proceeded to drop through the floor, a wholly unforeseeable and unnatural market condition caused by rate manipulations by the Fed. Instead of the banks bearing the losses in return for premiums paid by municipal governments, the governments have had to pay massive sums to the banks – to the point of pushing at least one county to the brink of bankruptcy (Jefferson County, Alabama).

    • Hedge funds accused of gambling with lives of the poorest as food prices soar

      Financial speculators have come under renewed fire from anti-poverty campaigners for their bets on food prices, blamed for raising the costs of goods such as coffee and chocolate and threatening the livelihoods of farmers in developing countries.

      The World Development Movement (WDM) will issue a damning report today on the growing role of hedge funds and banks in the commodities markets in recent years, during which time cocoa prices have more than doubled, energy prices have soared and coffee has fluctuated dramatically.

    • Food speculation: Shop Goldman Sachs to the regulator

      Food speculation is one of the ways bankers’ greed harms the poor and puts us all at risk, and the huge investment bank Goldman Sachs is one of the biggest culprits.

      Our financial regulator, the Financial Services Authority or FSA, is charged with keeping the financial system stable and safe. We should look to them to rein in the irresponsible food gambling of Goldman Sachs and banks like them.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Feds look for Wikileaks founder at NYC hacker event

      Federal agents appeared at a hacker conference Friday morning looking for Julian Assange, the controversial figure who has become the public face of Wikileaks, an organizer said.

      Eric Corley, publisher of 2600 Magazine and organizer of The Next HOPE conference in midtown Manhattan, said five Homeland Security agents appeared at the conference a day before Wikileaks Editor in Chief Assange was scheduled to speak.

      The conference program lists Assange–who has been at the center of a maelstrom of positive and negative publicity relating to the arrest of a U.S. serviceman and videos the serviceman may have provided to the document-sharing site–as speaking at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday.

    • Academics must check contracts’ effects on user rights

      The use of contracts and technologies to bypass copyright law and users’ rights must be investigated by academics, a review of contract and copyright law by a government advisory body has said.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Greens Endorse BT-TalkTalk Opposition to Digital Economy Act

      Adrian Ramsay, deputy leader of the Green Party, has endorsed TalkTalk and BT’s challenge of the recently ratified Digital Economy Act. The two Internet Service Provider (ISP) companies are seeking a judicial review of the legislation.

      The Digital Economy Act places an obligations on ISPs to block sites accused of hosting copyrighted material. ISPs are also being asked to retain and manipulate data on its subscribers’ internet activity.

    • Is Famed Trademark Troll Leo Stoller Trying To Stealthily Reclaim Bogus Stealth Trademarks?

      Back in 2005, we wrote about the rather crazy case of Leo Stoller, the “trademark troll,” who claimed incredibly broad trademarks on single words (sometimes through questionable means) and then tried to shakedown pretty much anyone who used those words for cash. The key trademark he claimed to hold was on the word “stealth” for “all goods and services.” Among those he demanded money from were Columbia Pictures for the movie Stealth, baseball player George Brett for selling a “Stealth” brand baseball bat and (my favorite) Northrup Grumman for making the stealth bomber.

    • Could Bolivia Opt-Out Of Berne And WIPO And Forge A New Path On Copyright?

      One of the biggest problems we have with copyright policy today is the simple fact that it’s almost entirely “faith-based,” with no real evidence showing that current copyright laws benefit society. In fact, most specific studies show the opposite — that copyright laws, as they exist today, tend to do more harm than good (except, potentially for middlemen). That’s why international agreements that lock in certain forms of copyright law around the globe are so problematic. They don’t allow countries to experiment with different types of copyright law to see if they work better. That, of course, is one reason why ACTA is so troubling. However, before ACTA there were other such international agreements, such as WIPO and, most famously, the Berne Convention.

    • The doom of the telecomms carriers

      Forward-thinking technologists, including me, have been predicting for some time that adaptive mesh networking would be the doom of the telecomms-carrier and broadband oligopoly. Now comes a scientist from Australia with an idea so diabolically clever that I’m annoyed with myself for not thinking of it sooner: put the mesh networking in smartphones!

    • BitTorrent Makes Twitter’s Server Deployment 75x Faster

      Some of the biggest Internet brands have declared their love for BitTorrent in recent months. Both Facebook and Twitter are using BitTorrent to update their networks and not without success. In Twitter’s new setup the BitTorrent-powered system has made their server deployment 75 times faster than before.

    • Lawsuit Dropped; Claimed That Copyright-Filtering Violates Copyright

      Lawyers have abandoned a closely watched lawsuit against the document-sharing site Scribd that alleged the site’s copyright filtering technology is itself a form of copyright infringement.

    • A World Without Intellectual Property

      Even without copyright laws, programmers would continue to produce software. They might engineer the software to work only with permission from the software firm, requiring the consumer to pay for it.

      A second profitable business model is to allow consumers to use to the software for free, courtesy of advertisers. Google follows this model.

      A third option, and probably most preferable from the consumer’s perspective, is the open-source freeware/shareware model, or software written by volunteers/hobbyists and made freely available without difficult licensing restrictions. Users may copy, edit, modify, sell, or pretty much do anything with the software. (For-profit entrepreneurs are able to take a piece of shareware, add useful features, and sell copies with tech support.)

    • Human Rights Groups Complain About Special 301 Process

      We’ve talked in the past about what a complete joke the USTR’s “special 301″ process is. That’s when a bunch of industry lobbyists say which countries are the most annoying to them on intellectual property issues. Then, the USTR sums it all up and says “these countries are problems” and tells US diplomats to go browbeat those countries to have better intellectual property laws and enforcement. Of course, the problem is that there’s no objective research being done. All of the information is heavily biased, and it doesn’t take into account either the actual laws or enforcement in a country (just what industry reps say is going on) or the rights of those countries to make their own decisions when it comes to IP laws.

    • File Sharing Is Not Pollution, And You Don’t Need An ISP ‘Tax’ To Deal With It

      I like Will Page, the chief economist for PRS for Music (a UK collection society), quite a bit. We’ve had a number of fun conversations about the music industry and music industry economics — some of which we’ve published here. While there are plenty of things I agree with him about, there are still many points on which we disagree. His most recent paper, advocating a mandatory ISP fee for file sharing (pdf) is a point where we completely disagree. Page’s paper is getting some attention, and he presented it at the same event where Peter Jenner just called for a blanket license as well. But I fear that Page’s paper, while it digs into some economic concepts, includes a few mistaken assumptions that drives the entire paper offline (though, in fairness to Page, he clearly states that for you to accept his thesis, you need to accept his assumptions).

    • SABIP

      Before anyone else excitedly emails the IPKat to tell him, let him announce on this weblog of record that the new UK Business Secretary Vince Cable has today axed a number of Department for Business quangos — the top of the list being the Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property policy (SABIP). The body — along with everyone else — must have foreseen its demise, since it has already posted this statement on its own dissolution:

      “On 19 July the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced changes in order to streamline its partner organizations by reducing the number of ‘Arm’s Length Bodies’. This includes the dissolution of the Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property Policy (SABIP).

    • Copyrights

      • France’s Three-Strikes Law for Internet Piracy Hasn’t Brought Any Penalties

        In the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands, the referee, Howard Webb, handed out a record 14 yellow cards. Nonetheless, the game turned nasty, as the players apparently concluded that Mr. Webb was all bark and no bite.

        Is something similar happening in the French government’s high-profile battle against digital piracy of music, movies and other media content?

        Nearly three years ago President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed what was to have been the world’s toughest crackdown on illegal file-sharing. After two years of political, judicial and regulatory setbacks, the legislation was approved last September, authorizing the suspension of Internet access to pirates who ignored two warnings to quit. Early this year, the government set up an agency to implement the law.

      • File sharers targeted with legal action over music downloads

        Solicitors for dance music label Ministry of Sound have sent letters to thousands of internet users it believes have illegally downloaded music and says it is determined to take them to court – and extract substantial damages – unless they immediately pay compensation, typically around £350.

      • Anti-Piracy Group Stuns The World With Torrent Site Massacre

        An anti-piracy group has revealed that when it comes to shutting down torrent sites, it is the undisputed king of the Internet. BREIN, which works on behalf of the Hollywood movie studios, says that not only has it shut down several Usenet indexers and streaming sites already in 2010, but hundreds of torrent sites too. There is torrent site carnage going on in The Netherlands and we’ve failed to report on any of it.

      • Court Bans The Pirate Bay From The Netherlands

        In a full trial the Amsterdam Court has confirmed an earlier judgment and ordered The Pirate Bay to stop all their activities in The Netherlands. The Court ruled that the site’s operators were assisting copyright infringement. If the three ‘operators’ fail to ban Dutch users, they will have to pay penalties of 50,000 euros per day.

      • Dutch ISPs Don’t Have to Censor The Pirate Bay

        A Dutch court has ruled that two of the largest ISPs in the Netherlands don’t have block customer access to The Pirate Bay. According to the court, there is no evidence that the majority of the ISPs’ users are infringing copyright through The Pirate Bay, so a block would not be justified.

      • Thousands More BitTorrent Users To Be Sued In The U.S.

        The troubles for U.S. based BitTorrent users who share movies without permission is far from over. The United States Copyright Group (USCG) has called in the help of 15 law firms to file lawsuits against BitTorrent users who refuse to settle. For those who are willing to pay, the USCG has set up a portal where alleged file-sharers can conveniently pay their settlements online.

      • Westminster eForum: Peter Jenner on digital content consumers

        “It seems to me that in the online world, the marginal cost of a digital file is essentially zero,” he says, making it an “inescapable reality” that the digital world is pushing the price of music towards zero.

      • MP James Moore Has Blocked Me From Following Him On Twitter – I Wonder Why?

        You’ve got to love it when you find out you are making a difference. And you know you are making a difference when after you write an article critical of a politician, the politician in question blocks you from following them on Twitter. Seriously. I’m a Canadian citizen, interested in Canadian Heritage, who’s Mother-In-Law is Poet Laureate for her city, who’s wife is a Canadian singer-song writer, who’s daughter is a Canadian photographer, who’s son is a Canadian videographer, who’s brother-in-law is a graphics artist/novelist, who’s sister-in-law is a graphics artist, and who has a lot of friends who are artists.

        [...]

        In my opinion his best option at this point is to issue an apology to everyone who doesn’t agree with Bill C-32, all of whom he insulted by calling them radical extremists. Of course because this is his best option, it doesn’t mean that he will do it. I suspect that he’s really annoyed with me at present, and that I made the suggestion will annoy him further.

      • Composer Jason Robert Brown Still Standing By His Position That Kids Sharing His Music Are Immoral

        And, again, no one is saying that creators shouldn’t get paid or shouldn’t make a living. They’re just saying that it’s your responsibility to find the right business model, and to adapt when the market changes. That’s not “amazing.” It’s basic economics.

      • Vampire Weekend Sued Because Photographer Might Have Falsified Model Release

        She claims that her image is one of the main reasons the album sold so well, so she wants $2 million. Does she really think that if the band had put a different image of a girl staring off into space on the cover, there would have been noticeably different sales?

      • The RIAA wants your Fear more than your Money

        The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) claims it’s the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. No, it’s not. It’s designed to support a broken, old business model of selling CDs to frightened music lovers. No where do you see that more than the RIAA spending $17.6 million in 2007 to recover a mere $391,000.

    • ACTA

      • U.S. Caves on Anti-Circumvention Rules in ACTA

        Before examining the changes, it should be noted that there remain doubts about whether this chapter even belongs in ACTA. Both Canada and Mexico have reserved the right to revisit all elements of this chapter at a later date, suggesting that both countries have concerns about the digital enforcement chapter. Moreover, there are still disputes over the scope of the Internet chapter, with the U.S., Australia, NZ, Canada, Singapore and Mexico seeking to limit the chapter to trademark and copyright, while Japan, the EU, and Switzerland want to extend it to all IP rights. Without resolving this issue, there is no digital enforcement in ACTA.

      • Continuing secrecy on ACTA is unacceptable

        The main progressive group in the European Parliament today complained to EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, that Euro MPs have been denied the documents on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations.

        Mr De Gucht today held a one-hour discussion with members of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs at the European Parliament. But S&D MEPs said there could be no serious debate since members do not know the content of the negotiations.

      • ACTA Coming Down to Fight Between U.S. and Europe

        With yesterday’s leak of the full ACTA text (updated to include the recent round of talks in Lucerne) the simmering fight between the U.S. and the E.U. on ACTA is now being played out in the open. During the first two years of negotations, both sides were at pains to indicate that there was no consensus on transparency and the treaty would not change their domestic rules. Over the past four months, the dynamic on both transparency and substance has changed.

        The turning point on transparency came as a result of two events in February and March. First, a Dutch government document leak that identified which specific countries were barriers to transparency. Once identified, the named European countries quickly came onside to support release of the text, leaving the U.S. as the obvious source of the problem. Second, the European Parliament became actively engaged in the ACTA process and demanded greater transparency. As the New Zealand round approached, it was clear that the Europeans needed a resolution on transparency. The U.S. delegation used the transparency issue as a bargaining chip, issuing a release at the start of the talks that it hoped that enough progress could be made to allow for consensus on sharing the text. The U.S. ultimately agreed to release the text, but subsequent events indicate that it still views transparency as a bargaining chip, rather than as a commitment.

      • How will ACTA affect UK copyright law?

        Thanks to La Quadrature Du Net we now have a leak of the consolidated text for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) after the Luzern round of negotiations. It is always difficult to analyse texts that are in the drafting process, but we can now get a better idea of possible changes to national legislation. If the most restrictive aspects of the text were passed tomorrow, what would it change in UK law? This is a wide-ranging agreement, so I will try to concentrate on the copyright aspects. When there are different options in the text, I will choose the one that seems more restrictive, so this analysis is a worst-case scenario. I am also going not going to go in detail into the changes brought about by the Digital Economy Act, as some of the most substantive issues are under consultation.

      • ACTA: new (leaked) text, new issues…

        What a surprise! Despite the best efforts of at least one negotiating party, the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) text has leaked, again. This post looks at last night’s leak, and at the negotiations. In short, though: the text is an improvement that continues to have significant problems. The negotiations face some significant obstacles right now – but continue at break-neck speed, and I have this sinking feeling that ACTA could be spawning at least one evil little mini-me already…

      • ACTA 20100713 version consolidated text

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 11 Mar 2008 – BackupPC with rdiff-backup (2008)


Links: Women in Free Software, India’s “National Browser” is Free Software, Apple Calls Firefox Home “Adults Only”, OpenSolaris Blues, WordPress on GPL, New Wine…

Posted in Free/Libre Software, News Roundup at 3:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Employees only

Summary: News about Free software and Open Source, taken over the past 5 days or so

Free Software/Open Source

  • Vodafone Demonstrates Commitment to Open Source Innovation
    Vodafone Group will make its location based services software open source on http://oss.wayfinder.com. The code will be made available on github. The aim is to offer other organisations the opportunity to use a code base which has been developed over the past decade so that they can build new and innovative navigation products which widen choice for consumers.

  • Adobe Announces Open-Source Collaboration with Sourceforge
    Today, Adobe announced an expansion of its open-source activities and a collaboration with Sourceforge, called “Open@Adobe.”

  • Women in free software: Recommendations from the Women’s Caucus
    Nearly a year ago the FSF held a mini-summit for women in free software to investigate practical ways to increase the number of women involved in the free software community. Those that attended the summit formed the Women’s Caucus, and have been working to develop practical policy to recommend to the FSF and the wider free software community. Today, we are publishing the Caucus’s initial findings and recommendations.

  • Remix This Game — a Free Software Experiment
  • Web Browsers

    • India Gets a “National Browser”, EpicBrowser – Your Grandma Will Love this
      Well, a bunch of geeks still believe that none of the standard browsers cater to India needs and this is what they have done – launched a browser for the Indian market.

    • Mozilla

      • Can Mozilla Deliver an Open App Store?
        In a talk delivered last Wednesday at the Mozilla Summit in Whistler, Canada, Pascal Finette, director of Mozilla Labs, asked an audience of more than 150 Web developers a hypothetical question: what would an “open” Web app store look like? The answer could play an important role in the future of personal computing.

      • Firefox Home: Adults Only
        Apple posted the Firefox Home application, which complies with Apple’s policies by using WebKit as opposed to Gecko. Regardless, for whatever reason Apple feels that Firefox Home is a NC-17 application.

      • Mozilla Would Like to Pick Your Brain – Revising the MPL
        Can we talk about licenses for a bit? It’s something I’ve wanted to talk to you about for a long time, and it’s a good time for it, because Mozilla is redrafting its license and would like your input.

  • OpenSolaris/Oracle

    • A Considered Future For OpenSolaris
      You may have seen some of the news reporting of the OpenSolaris Governing Board (OGB) meeting that was held last Monday (I am an elected member of the Board). At a meeting with an unusually large number of community observers, we discussed how to respond to the 100% radio silence the OGB has experienced from the new owners of the OpenSolaris copyright and infrastructure. I believe we reached a balanced and well-considered conclusion and remain hopeful of a good outcome.

      [...]

      There are two choices for the final step. In one, the OGB are able to liaise effectively with empowered Oracle staff to devise a new direction for the OpenSolaris community. The other is one we hope we will not need to take, of recognizing we have no further means available to act and using the formal mechanism defined in the OpenSolaris governance for exactly this situation. Here’s hoping.

  • WordPress

    • Themes are GPL, too
      If WordPress were a country, our Bill of Rights would be the GPL because it protects our core freedoms. We’ve always done our best to keep WordPress.org clean and only promote things that are completely compatible and legal with WordPress’s license. There have been some questions in the community about whether the GPL applies to themes like we’ve always assumed. To help clarify this point, I reached out to the Software Freedom Law Center, the world’s preëminent experts on the GPL, which spent time with WordPress’s code, community, and provided us with an official legal opinion. One sentence summary: PHP in WordPress themes must be GPL, artwork and CSS may be but are not required.

    • The #thesiswp Controversy: WordPress, Themes and the GPL
      There are really only two interesting questions here as far as I’m concerned. Does Thesis have the right to not adhere to the terms of the GPL? And independent of that question, does it make business sense for them to not adhere to the license?

    • U.S. Authorities Shut Down WordPress Host With 73,000 Blogs
      After the U.S. Government took action against several sites connected to movie streaming recently, nerves are jangling over the possibility that this is just the beginning of a wider crackdown. Now it appears that a free blogging platform has been taken down by its hosting provider on orders from the U.S. authorities on grounds of “a history of abuse”. More than 73,000 blogs are out of action as a result.

  • Semi-Open Source (“Core”)

    • Some Thoughts on Open
      Open Source is at the heart of SugarCRM’s business. Well over half of our engineering effort produces code that is released under an OSI approved license. We have three versions of our Sugar CRM product: Community Edition, Professional Edition, and Enterprise Edition. The Community Edition is licensed under version 3 of the AGPL, and has been licensed under some version of the GPL or AGPL since early 2007. Prior to that it was available under several variants of the MPL.

    • ✍ On the term “open source business”
      I’ve been having a number of conversations in e-mail on the subject of open core business models. The problem that keeps coming up is that there are a range of behaviours exhibited, some of which are acceptable to pragmatists and some of which cross the line into abusing the term “open source”. Where should we draw the line in? When is it acceptable for a company to call itself “an open source business” and when is it not?

      [...]

      The fact is, the community edition and the commercial editions have disjoint user bases. The community edition is used by a group of people who have the time and skills to deploy by themselves and who have no need of the many differences of the commercial versions. The commercial versions are feature-rich and effectively lock their users into a traditional commercial ISV relationship with the vendor. If these two were kept distinct, there would probably be no pragmatic issue (naturally Free Software purists would still protest the existence of closed code, but that’s not a part of this particular argument).

    • Really Open Source Cloud Computing Arrives At Last
      I’m still waiting to hear back from Eucalyptus about this, but if it’s true it’s a significant case study in the consequences of the open core model, both for the company using it, for their customers and for the community they have gathered around the code. Open core obstructed NASA’s freedom to modify the code to suit their needs as well as leading to the creation of a powerful competitor for Eucalyptus. I wrote recently that open core is bad for you; this seems a powerful demonstration of that observation in action.

  • Wine

    • Wine Announcement
      The Wine team is proud to announce that the stable release Wine 1.2 is now available.

      This release represents two years of development effort and over 23,000 changes. The main highlights are the support for 64-bit applications, and the new graphics based on the Tango standard.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Government

    • Creating a FLOSS Roadmap, brick by BRIC
      Last year I attended Open World Forum in Paris. It was a lively conference with broad representation of industry leaders, community organizers, and government officials and administrators. The warm reception by the Mayor’s office in Paris (at the Hôtel de Ville) underscored what has become increasingly obvious in the analysis of economic statistics: open source software is appreciated, in Paris, France, and Europe. My reflections on the subject of last year’s topic, the digital recovery, were captured in the blog posting From Free to Recovery. This year, the agenda of the Open World Forum (Sept 30-Oct 1, 2010) is more ambitious, and I am pleased to be on the program committee, an editor of the 3rd edition of the FLOSS 2020 Roadmap document, as well as one of the organizers of a think-tank session focused on, and beyond, the role of open source software and the future of the BRIC thesis.

    • Italian Industrial Association meets Open Source
      Confindustria Vicenza, the local chapter of the Italian manufacturers’ association, on the 13 of July hosted an event about open source entitled, “Open Source, a 360-degree view: pros and cons, legal implications and hence who can profit from it“.

    • FR: Defence ministry to test open source office tools
      France’s ministry of Defence will next year test open source office productivity tools, according to answers given by the ministry to written questions by Bernard Carayon, a member of France’s parliament, about a framework contract with a proprietary software vendor.

      The ministry on 1 June replied it will in 2011 start testing a software architecture including office tools based on open source software. This will be used parallel to the current proprietary tools. The results of the test will be used to decide on the future IT plans, writes the ministry. “The strategy is to have two or three different solutions available, to avoid vendor dependence, strengthen our bargaining position with suppliers and to have a proven alternative ready.”

      French Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) MP Carayon asked the ministry in Aprilto explain its new framework contract with Microsoft Ireland. Carayon fears that as a consequence of this contract, the ministry will stop all research into alternatives to the proprietary vendor’s software.

    • Technology Rivals Lobby to Break Microsoft’s Hold
      A European plan to advise governments on software purchases has set off a lobbying battle this summer between the U.S. software giant Microsoft and its rivals Google, I.B.M., Red Hat and Oracle over a set of guidelines that could redefine the competitive landscape for proprietary and open-source software.

      The focus is a document called the European Interoperability Framework, a recommendation by the European Commission that national, provincial and local governments in the 27-nation European Union will consult when buying software. Open-source software advocates including Google, International Business Machine, Oracle and Red Hat, through a lobbying group, are pushing for a strong endorsement of open-source platforms in the document.

    • EC To Provide Government Software Buying Guidelines
      The Commission’s European Interoperability Framework guidelines are expected to provide help to national, local and provincial governments on the best software required to upgrade their systems.

  • Licensing

    • At Least Motorola Admits It
      I’ve written before about the software freedom issues inherent with Android/Linux. Summarized shortly: the software freedom community is fortunate that Google released so much code under Free Software licenses, but since most of the code in the system is Apache-2.0 licensed, we’re going to see a lot of proprietarized, non-user-upgradable versions. In fact, there’s no Android/Linux system that’s fully Free Software yet. (That’s why Aaron Williamson and I try to keep the Replicant project going. We’ve focused on the HTC Dream and the NexusOne, since they are the mobile devices closest to working with only Free Software installed, and because they allow the users to put their own firmware on the device.)

    • Western Digital to fix Licensing?
      Over the last few months months I’ve been corresponding with Dennis Ulrich of Western Digital (WDC) about my concerns with the EULA for the My Book World Edition (MBWE) and their obligations under the GPL. To say it has been a drawn out process is an understatement.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Seeking a New Round of Amazing Stories
      It’s me again, asking you, my dedicated readers (Hi Mom) to help paint this really cool white fence. This is for a presentation my friend and colleague John Ittelson asked me to assist with (I bet more of you know John than me, but ask me sometime to tell the story of the lunch we never had in Albuquerque).

      Anyhow, John is doing a session July 28 in San Jose for the Adobe Education Leaders, and he asked about doing a reprise of the Amazing Stories of Openness gig I did last year at the Open Education Conference.

    • The BookLiberator.
      The BookLiberator is an affordable personal book digitizer. We’ve just finalized the hardware design and are now proceeding to manufacturing. We want to have them for sale at our online store as soon as possible; we’re aiming for a price of appx $120 for the kit plus around $200 for the pair of cameras (many customers will already have consumer-grade digital cameras, so we’ll offer the BookLiberator with and without).

    • Open Data

      • Should the Open Source Initiative adopt the Open Knowledge Definition?
        Russ Nelson, License Approval Chair at the Open Source Initiative (OSI), recently proposed a session at OSCON about OSI adopting a definition for open data:

        I’m running a BOF at OSCON on Wednesday night July 21st at 7PM, with the declared purpose of adopting an Open Source Definition for Open Data. Safe enough to say that the OSD has been quite successful in laying out a set of criteria for what is, and what is not, Open Source. We should adopt a definition Open Data, even if it means merely endorsing an existing one. Will you join me there?

      • Briefing paper on “The Semantic Web, Linked and Open Data”
        The Semantic Web, open data, linked data. These phrases are becoming increasingly commonly used in terms of web developments and information architectures. But what do they really mean? Are they, can they be, relevant to education?

    • Open Access/Content

      • The intranet is dead. Long live the intranet.
        Prince was wrong – it’s not the internet that’s dead, it’s the intranet. When I talk to clients about intranets as a collaboration hub they cock an eyebrow as if I’m speaking 2003 speak rather than 2010 speak. Some of it may be terminology tedium, but the sentiment is born out of a sense that the intranets of old no longer offer a compelling enough business proposition.

      • Free Access to the Sum of all Human Tarkovsky
        I love this because it really goes beyond just entries in Wikipedia; it’s about making everything that *can* be made universally available – non-rivalrous, digital content, in other words – freely accessible for all.

        It’s one of the key reasons why I think copyright (and patents) need to go: they are predicated on stopping this happening – of *not* sharing what can be shared so easily.

        [...]

        Update: oh, what a surprise: some of the films have *already* disappeared because of “copyright issues”. Because copyright is so much more important than letting everyone enjoy an artist’s work. (Via Open Education News.)

      • CERN supports Creative Commons
        Creative Commons is deeply honored to announce CERN corporate support at the “creator level”. CERN is one of the world’s premier scientific institutions–home of the Large Hadron Collider and birthplace of the web. This donation comes on the occasion of the publication under Creative Commons licenses of the first results of LHC experiments.

      • Declaration of Open Government
        The central recommendation of the Government 2.0 Taskforce’s report was that the Australian Government makes a declaration of open government. As the Minister responsible for that Taskforce, I am proud to make that Declaration today on behalf of the Australian Government.

    • Open Hardware

      • TI vs. Calculator Hobbyists, Again
      • The Real Open Source Hardware Revolution
        I recently wrote about the latest iteration of the Open Source Hardware Definition, which provides a framework for crafting open hardware licences. It’s a necessary and important step on the road towards creating a vibrant open source hardware movement. But the kind of open hardware that is commonly being made today – things like the hugely-popular Arduino – is only the beginning.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • German Federal CIO sides with Open Standards for public sector
      Minister of state Cornelia Rogall-Grothe, IT Commissioner of the German government, said in an interview with the newspaper C’t (C’t 2010 Heft 15, S. 150-51) that “only by using Open Standards can [the government] obtain independence from software development companies”. He also recognised that “maximal interoperability can be reached with open IT-Standards”.

      For Rogall-Grothe a valid technological standard must first be fully publicized, secondly be unrescritively and consistently used, and thirdly not be subjected to any legal restrictions. “The German government has clearly stated that a technical standard will only be recognised if it can be implemented by all organisations, including Free Software companies and developers”, says Matthias Kirschner, German Coordinator at the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).

    • [ODF Plugfest] Brussels – 14 and 15 October 2010
      This international plugfest is jointly organized by the Federal State, the Regions and Communities of Belgium. The event will be held in Brussels on the 14th and 15th of October 2010. The conference room in the “Boudewijn”-building – kindly provided by the Flemish Government – is conveniently located near the Brussels-North railway station.

Links: Motorola Fails at Android Freedom, Android Comes to Tablets

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, News Roundup at 2:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sliver

Summary: Motorola takes predatory approach; the Linux-based Android expands

Android

  • Droid X actually self-destructs if you try to mod it
    Well, I might have recommended a Droid X for big-phone-lovin’ fandroids out there… but now that I’ve read about Motorola’s insane eFuse tampering-countermeasure system, I’m going to have to give this one a big fat DON’T BUY on principle. I won’t restate all my reasons for supporting the modding, hacking, jailbreaking, and so on of your legally-owned products here — if you’re interested in a user’s manifesto, read this — but suffice it to say that deliberately bricking a phone if the user fiddles with it does not fall under the “reasonable” category of precautions taken by manufacturers.

  • Droid X sells out as Motorola defends lock-down chip
    The Motorola Droid X sold out in its first day, and won’t be available at Verizon Wireless until July 23, says eWEEK. Meanwhile, Motorola responded to complaints over the Droid X’s eFuse ROM lock-down chip, reassuring potential buyers that it won’t destroy the phone if ROM modifications are made.

  • Google: Android Cost “Isn’t Material” For the Company — Android Search Up 300% In 2010
    During Google’s Q2 2010 earnings call today, one of the things Google’s executives were clearly very excited about was the Android platform. They noted that there are now 70,000 apps in the Android Market — up from 30,000 in April. They also reiterated the company line about how important openness is to the platform. But during the Q&A session, an interesting question was raised: how much investment is Google putting into Android for this open platform?

  • Android Poised For Dominance In China, With Global Implications
    Android seems ready to leapfrog competitors to grab dominance in China, the world’s largest mobile market. A combination of drastic price drops on Android phones and custom Chinese mobile apps supported by the massive domestic market is bound to push Android past the entrenched leaders, setting the tone for how the mobile internet is built and interacted with around the world.

  • Sony Ericsson Posts Profitable Q2 Thanks to Android
  • Google Android gets open source PHP tools
    Developers at an open source company in Spain are leading an effort to boost PHP application development for Android-based phones. Called PHP for Android (PFA), the project supports Google’s Scripting Layer for Android (SL4A) project, formerly called Android Scripting Environment (ASE).

  • Tablets

    • HP Files For “Palmpad” Trademark
      We knew that HP was going to get their money’s worth from Palm when they nixed their Android plans and downplayed their Windows 7 tablet. While reports still have them making the latter in at least some form (likely for enterprise), statements from HP and Palm indicate that webOS is going to be the focus for HP’s portable computer business.

    • Hands on with an £85 Android Tablet Computer
      Today (Sunday 18th July) Techcrunch published a story about how the Android operating system, which is now spreading beyond the mobile phone, is poised to take over China and said this will have global implications. Coincidentally yesterday I took delivery of a device, made in China, that is maybe not too well known: the Eken M001 Android Tablet. This gives you a WiFi enabled Android computer with a seven inch touchscreen that has 128MB of RAM, 2GB of storage and an SD card slot. None of these specifications are particularly remarkable, but what is astonishing was the price: £85 (about US $130) from a reseller on Amazon. Even a 7” digital photo frame would typically set you back £30! (about US $46)

Links: Dell, Akademy, and Mandriva

Posted in News Roundup at 2:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Laptop

Summary: Today we have news about Dell describing “Ubuntu” as useful for “open source programming”, Akademy ending, and Mandriva making a statement

THIS POST deals with GNU/Linux news alone.

  • Dell dares to speak out? Time for Microsoft to slap them down?
    Maybe Dell just doesn’t understand what a recommendation is? Maybe Dell is confused about what it recommends? Or maybe after a word from Microsoft its decided just to make the whole thing go away by deleting what they said. Who cares? Well Dell does and they are on hand again to give you some more advice. Want to know if you should choose Windows or Ubuntu? Fear not! Dell is here to help with these sage words wisdom (taken from PCPro here. So you should choose Windows (over Ubuntu) if :
    # You are already using WINDOWS programs (e.g. Microsoft Office, iTunes etc) and want to continue using them
    # You are familiar with WINDOWS and do not want to learn new programs for email, word processing etc
    # You are new to using computers

    Is this a joke? Apparently not as Dell is alleged to continue with the advice. You should choose Ubuntu if:
    # You do not plan to use Microsoft WINDOWS
    # You are interested in open source programming

    I strongly recommend you visit the source of this info. Pcpro makes an excellent article, and as they say:

    So, just to get this highly complex argument straight: you should use Windows if you’ve already used Windows or have never used Windows.

    I think you can tell by my tone, Im not particularly impressed with Dell and it appears neither is PCpro.

  • On the scalability of Linus
    The Linux kernel development process stands out in a number of ways; one of those is the fact that there is exactly one person who can commit code to the “official” repository. There are many maintainers looking after various subsystems, but every patch they merge must eventually be accepted by Linus Torvalds if it is to get into the mainline. Linus’s unique role affects the process in a number of ways; for example, as this article is being written, Linus has just returned from a vacation which resulted in nothing going into the mainline for a couple of weeks. There are more serious concerns associated with the single-committer model, though, with scalability being near the top of the list.

  • KDE’s flagship conference Akademy Concludes: Pushing for Elegance and the Mobile Space
    Tampere, Finland, 16th July, 2010. KDE met for its yearly flagship conference, Akademy, in Tampere, Finland. The event was kindly hosted by COSS, the Finnish Centre for Open Source Solutions. Akademy started last weekend with a two-day conference attended by more than 400 visitors from all over the world, which then blended into several days of designing, programming, discussing and working on the future of the Free Desktops. Important topics included mobile devices, community topics and many others.

  • Mandriva Press Release Raises More Questions
    Mandriva S.A. issued a press release to announce the restructuring of its core business organization. While specifics were still not given, the main message did come through: Mandriva will survive, in some fashion, for a while anyway.

    The statement said that Mandriva was important to several organizations, and thus, members of these organizations would be joining the Mandriva Board of Directors. This perhaps explains the new long term structuring and future distribution of Mandriva – which was explained as, “Mandriva Linux will be distributed exclusively by a sales and integrated IT network” and “OEM partnerships.” New board member Jean-Noël de Galzain, President of IF Research said, “The company will focus first on its profitability and the promotion of a new commercial dynamic based on a range of innovative products offered through a channel of Value Added Resellers,” but specific strategies would be revealed at the next board meeting. The announcement did include news that the latest version would be released shortly, but users are left to wait until that meeting to find out if a freely downloadable version would remain a part of the future strategy.

    In the short term, Mandriva is concentrating on cutting costs and raising funds to stay afloat. The company is also negotiating with other investors, who will be revealed at the next board meeting.

  • The Ubuntu One Control Panel: Beauty in simplicity
    Signing up for and managing your Ubuntu One account could be about to get a whole world easier in later releases of Ubuntu with the introduction of a new desktop-based Ubuntu One Control Panel from Canonical.

This post is part of a new attempt to change the site’s format.

07.15.10

Links 15/7/2010: Android 2.2 Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 2:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • IBM opens up beta for AIX 7

      Greg Lavender, the lead developer in charge of the Solaris operating system at Oracle, has left the company. And the OpenSolaris Governing Board, which is supposed to steer the open source version of Solaris, is thinking about disbanding because Oracle has not had any contact with the board for the past six months.

  • Graphics Stack

    • ATI R300 Mesa, Gallium3D Compared To Catalyst

      Last quarter we compared the Catalyst and Mesa driver performance using an ATI Radeon HD 4830 graphics card, compared the Gallium3D and classic Mesa drivers for ATI Radeon X1000 series hardware, and ultimately found that even with the ATI R500 class graphics cards the open-source driver is still playing catch-up to AMD’s proprietary Catalyst Linux driver. In this article we have similar tests to show the performance disparity with ATI’s much older R300 class hardware. Even with Radeon hardware that has had open-source support much longer, their drivers are not nearly as mature as an outdated Catalyst driver in the same configuration.

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • KDE e.V. and KDE España Sign Agreement to Further KDE Community

      During Akademy 2010, KDE e.V. and KDE España signed an agreement making KDE España the official representative of KDE e.V. in Spain. This will bring the international KDE community and the Spanish KDE community closer, while giving our local friends the authority to act officially as our representatives.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • Android tablet triplets include kid-friendly model

        Velocity Micro announced three seven-inch, Android-based tablets. The $200 Cruz Reader and “kid-friendly,” drop-resistant, $150 Cruz StoryPad both offer resistive displays, while the $300 Cruz Tablet offers a capacitive multitouch display and other enhancements, says the company.

      • Android 2.2 (FroYo) review

        Each new Android SDK enables more innovative and interesting applications to be developed, filling users’ devices to the brim. Prior to Android 2.2, applications could only be installed on internal device storage—not terribly flexible, given the most device storage comes in the form of external SD cards. Starting in 2.2, developers can enable their applications to be installable on external storage, allowing for larger and more resource-intensive applications to run smoothly on the platform.

    • Tablets

      • Tablet upgrades to Android, 3G, and a 720MHz processor

        SmartDevices is readying an Android 2.1 version of its Ubuntu-based, seven-inch SmartQ R7 Linux color e-reader tablet. The SmartQ T7-3G tablet offers a more powerful 720MHz processor, provides Wi-Fi connectivity, upgrades to a 4700mAh battery, and is available with onboard 3G connectivity.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox 4 to get App Tabs

      Firefox 4 is set to get an amazing new tab feature that I think will change the way users think about tabs.

  • Oracle

    • Top Solaris developer flees Oracle

      Greg Lavender, the lead developer in charge of the Solaris operating system at Oracle, has left the company. And the OpenSolaris Governing Board, which is supposed to steer the open source version of Solaris, is thinking about disbanding because Oracle has not had any contact with the board for the past six months.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Richard Stallman to hit Australia

      Controversial free and open source software luminary Richard Stallman will hit Australia for an unknown period of time in October, with a keynote scheduled to be held at the University of New South Wales.

  • Licensing

  • Open Hardware

    • Open Source Hardware Gets Defined

      Members of the open source hardware community publicly issued a list of standards that define a specific piece of hardware as open source. Among the signatures on the document were MIT Media Lab and Arduino lead software developer David Mellis, Adafruit founder Limor Fried, Creative Commons VP of Science John Wilbanks, and Wired editor and DIY Drones founder Chris Anderson.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Please Welcome Open AXIS Group

      At any given time I’m helping to set up two or three new consortia and open source foundations, and it’s always a pleasure to see one of announce their public launch. Yesterday it was the turn of Open AXIS Group, the latest in a seemingly endless string of initiatives formed to recruit the versatile magic of XML to address a global need.

Leftovers

  • Environment

    • Light makes potential nuclear fuel highly reactive

      A lesser-known nuclear fuel may be more reactive than researchers thought, according to a study that breaks the fuel’s molecule open using only light. The fuel, uranium nitride, has properties that make it ideal for use in a nuclear reactor, but so far its behavior hasn’t been well characterized. Researchers have found a way to open up a complicated uranium nitride derivative with UV light and expose a core part that could be easy to generate and reprocess fuel.

    • Congress committee agrees 7 year offshore ban for BP

      A US Congressional committee has agreed measures that would ban BP from new offshore drilling for seven years.

      The House committee on natural resources voted in favour of precluding companies with poor safety records from offshore oil exploration permits.

      The proposed law does not name BP, but would apply to any company that has experienced 10 or more deaths in the last seven years.

  • Copyrights

    • Curse of the Greedy Copyright Holders

      ‘Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal,” wrote T.S. Eliot. I am neither poet nor thief, so when I wanted poems at the start of each chapter in my recently published memoir, I sought permission. The poem that best describes my experience is “The Odyssey,” navigating as I did between the Scylla of non-responsive copyright holders and the Charybdis of fee-seeking attorneys.

  • ACTA

    • Smokescreen on ACTA

      Nevertheless, what he surely hides is how the Commission is now liberally interpreting the E-Commerce Directive that speaks of “cooperation of ISPs” in its code of conduct as a benchmark for preserving “safe harbour” from liability. The threat of ACTA pushing dangerous self-regulation that invades privacy and sharing looms.

  • Digital Economy (UK)

    • BT confident Digital Economy Act will be thrown out

      BT says it’s confident that a court will overturn the Digital Economy Act because it infringes European law.

      BT and fellow ISP TalkTalk last week asked the High Court to review the Digital Economy Act, which was rushed through at the end of the last Parliament.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 11 Sep 2007 – Open Street Map Project (2007)


07.14.10

Links 14/7/2010: Linux 2.6.35 Preview

Posted in News Roundup at 5:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications/Distros

    • 11 of the Best Free Linux Bibliography Tools

      Bibliographic software (also known as citation software or reference managers) plays a very important role in research. This type of software helps research to be published more quickly. Researchers amass a huge collection of bibliographic references which are pertinent to their field of research, and they need to cite relevant references in their published journal articles.

    • Master the Terminal With the Z Shell

      The Z Shell, zsh, is an advanced command interpreter for Linux and other Unix like operating systems. As a systems administrator, I’ve found that I spend almost all of my time in the shell, so spending some time customizing my environment really pays off. I started out on the Korn shell, ksh, and then moved on to bash, where I stayed for many years until discovering zsh. The list of features supported by zsh takes up several pages, but I have two favorites.

    • Simple Time Saving Scripts
    • Two Apps That Make Backup Less Chore, More Lifesaver

      Proper backups can mean the difference between a data disaster and a minor inconvenience. You don’t have to go to your file manager to drag and drop every bit of info you want to protect, though — there’s software to automate the process. Deja Dup and LuckBackup are two apps made just for that purpose — one for people who want to store the backup data locally, one for those who’d rather save off-site.

    • My Favorite 4 RSS Feed Reader Applications For Ubuntu

      A quick collection of my favorite RSS feed reader applications for Ubuntu desktop. Even though it is totally out of place in my Gnome desktop, Akregator is my favorite among the lot. But after exploring a bit further, I found feed readers like Yarssr really good and easy to use. So here is my list of favorite 4 feed reader applications for Ubuntu.

    • 8 Free Linux BitTorrent Clients For linux users

      BitTorrent is an open source peer-to-peer file protocol for sharing large software and media files. It is a well established protocol which accounts for a significant proportion of internet traffic. Many Linux companies rely on BitTorrent as a key method of distributing their software, relieving the bandwidth burden on their servers. Downloads get faster when there are lots of users downloading and sharing at once. So to provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 8 polished Linux BitTorrent clients. Hopefully,We think the software presented here represents the big players, and a wide range of interfaces and features.

    • Python Audio Tools, for the audio perfectionist

      Back in 2003, Minnesota developer Brian Langenberger began creating a set of labor-saving audio tools to convert FLAC files to MP3 files, MP3 files to WAV files, and other simple operations that were tiresome to do by hand. “They were for my own personal use, and limited in scope for a long time,” he recalls. But in 2006 Langenberger discovered the Construct Python library, which makes parsing and building binary files simple. “As my tools started to get more capable, I started to feel they were something other people might get some use out of.” In July 2007 he released the first public version of Python Audio Tools.

    • Instructionals

    • Reviews

      • Spotlight on Linux: Pardus Linux 2009.2

        Pardus Linux is one of those distributions that doesn’t get the attention it probably deserves. Pardus makes a wonderful desktop system for those that prefer ease of use. Available as an install image or live CD, it ships with lots of great applications, multimedia support, and browser plugins.

        The installer is as easy to use as any in Linux today. It’s your basic wizard-type, asking just a few questions before beginning. Users can choose between automatic or manual partitioning, but no package selection is necessary. Upon boot of the new Pardus system, a configuration wizard will appear allowing users to configure their mouse, set up themes and wallpapers, configure the network, use Smolt, and configure update and package preferences.

        [...]

        Advantages include an easy and attractive installer, complete system out of the box, and handy migration and customizing wizards. Disadvantages are harder to find, but perhaps their repositories aren’t as fully populated as some other distros. Otherwise, Pardus deserves its place right along side of other greats like Linux Mint, SimplyMepis, or PCLinuxOS.

    • New Releases

      • SystemRescueCd 1.5.6

        Gparted is a graphical tool for creating, deleting and copying partitions. Partimage is a tool that backs up entire partitions to a file on another disk. It’s about as a foolproof and complete a backup as you could make of a system partition, and if you’ve got the space, I’d recommend doing this before problems crop up. PhotoRec is a tool for the recovery of lost media such as photo, video and music data. It’s designed to work with a variety of media such as memory cards and PDAs and phones. ClamAV is an anti-virus program that can scan Windows file systems.

      • Parted Magic 5.0 Released, Powered by Linux Kernel 2.6.34.1

        Patrick Verner announced a few minutes ago (July 12th) the immediate availability of the new and major version of his popular Parted Magic operating system. Parted Magic 5.0 comes now with Linux kernel 2.6.34.1, GParted 0.6.1, Xorg Server 1.7.7, support for the French, German, Norwegian, Italian, Russian and Brazilian languages, a few updated packages, as well as some bug fixes and improvements. Parted Magic is an operating system created to help users easily partition their hard drives or perform various recovery tasks.

    • Fedora

      • Fedora 14 Theme Preview

        At last week’s design team meeting, we made a decision about the direction of the overall theme for Fedora 14′s artwork, which will affect – among other things – the default wallpaper. We decided on Kyle Baker’s submission, a Blender-created mockup depicting many lines coming together to form a solid figure, to serve as the basis of the visual concept of Fedora 14.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • 5 things to look forward to in Ubuntu 10.10

        Maverick Meerkat, the version of Ubuntu slated to be released later this year, brings with it several features and improvements that the Linux community has been eagerly looking forward to. I’ve taken a look at the blueprints for this next release, and picked out a few of the major items that Linux end-users will be interested in. Here are 5 things to look forward to in Ubuntu 10.10:

        1. Software Center enhancements

        A major focus of Ubuntu 10.10 is improving the software center, addressing many of the usability problems that have been sources of complaints in the past. Among these changes are:
        * Better Search

        I’ve heard this complaint quite a bit, including in the comments of my article covering things new Linux users need to know.

      • Ubuntu 10.10 Will Have a Revamped Installer

        Last week, we had the pleasure of talking to Evan Dandrea, Software Engineer on the Foundations Team at Canonical, about the upcoming installer of the Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) operating system. Evan Dandrea is the creator of the Migration Assistant functionality in the Ubuntu installer (Ubiquity) and also co-maintainer of Ubiquity and maintainer of the USB Startup Disk Creator application.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • MeeGo keynote address at Akademy 2010

      To say you are “redefining the Linux desktop landscape” is a bold claim to make. It is even bolder when presenting a non-KDE project at the annual conference of KDE, one of the leading providers of desktop Linux software. However, that was exactly how Valtteri Halla, Director of Nokia MeeGo Software chose to title his keynote address.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Happy birthday, Open Source – you’re legal now

    Today is a landmark in open source history, the unofficial birthday of the movement. On this day, in 1992, version 0.1 of 386BSD (you might know it as Jolix) was released.

    Now, some might say March was the true birthdate, as that was the original release of 386BSD, version 0.0. Others point to Unix as laying the true foundation for Linux, which many credit for truly launching the open source revolution.

  • What FOSS communities can look like from the outside
  • Business

    • SugarCRM 6 Debuts with Open Source and Commercial Features

      After four months of beta availability and testing, SugarCRM today officially announced the general availability of its Sugar 6 CRM customer relationship management platform. Sugar 6 includes an open source community edition as well as commercially licensed professional and enterprise editions.

      With Sugar 6, SugarCRM is expanding its partnership base with enhanced extensibility that enables partner solutions. There is a new user interface that aims to make CRM users more productive with fewer keystrokes. While the Sugar 6 solution has open source technology at its core, users that download the open source community edition will get a different interface than users of the commercial professional and enterprise editions. For SugarCRM, the issue of being an open source company is all about being open to users.

      “As an open source project, we’ve given people a lot, and Community edition has helped us to get where we are today,” Martin Schneider, senior director of communications at SugarCRM, told InternetNews.com.

    • Has SugarCRM Violated Open Source Principles?

      The argument that SugarCRM is involved with now is very similar to the one that surrounds open core, where parts of an otherwise purely open project are not so open, with commercial interests driving the hybrid approach. Our own John Mark Walker wrote an interesting essay on open core here. And I defended the open core approach here.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Open source celebrity to visit Oz

      Stallman also founded the associated Free Software Foundation in the mid-1980′s and is the original author of a bunch of popular software projects — such as the Emacs text editor (although it does far more than that) and the GNU Compiler Collection.

      The Australian Computer Society has a listing on its events page detailing Stallman’s talk planned at UNSW’s Clancy Auditorium on Monday, 11 October, from 6pm. The event is being supported by National ICT Australia.

  • Project Releases

  • Government

    • UK government workers say dump Microsoft for open source

      USE OPEN SOURCE is UK government officials’ answer to Prime Minister David Cameron’s request for ideas to cut expenses, suggesting that the civil service stop buying Microsoft software in favour of free alternatives.

      Last month Cameron asked more than a half million UK government workers for cost-cutting suggestions to help trim Britain’s looming fiscal deficit. Over 56,000 ideas were submitted and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne published a sample of them on Friday 9 July.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Author Puts Novel Online For Free… And Gets A Book Deal
    • Bitcoin P2P Cryptocurrency

      Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer network based digital currency. Peer-to-peer (P2P) means that there is no central authority to issue new money or keep track of transactions. Instead, these tasks are managed collectively by the nodes of the network. Advantages:

      * Transfer money easily through the Internet, without having to trust middlemen.
      * Third parties can’t prevent or control your transactions.
      * Bitcoin transactions are practically free, whereas credit cards and online payment systems typically cost 1-5% per transaction plus various other merchant fees up to hundreds of dollars.
      * Be safe from the instability caused by fractional reserve banking and bad policies of central banks. The limited inflation of the Bitcoin system’s money supply is distributed evenly (by CPU power) throughout the network, not monopolized by the banks.

    • Open Data

    • Open Hardware

      • ACTA briefing by De Gucht in the European Parliament

        This blog is the infoHQ for an open source hardware conference that we, Bug Labs, MakerFaire and littleBits will be hosting in NYC on September 23 called the Open Hardware Summit. We are incredibly excited by the opportunity to make it happen and look forward to telling you all about it.

        When I was growing up, Popular Science was my favorite magazine and Heathkits were my favorite toy. Building, modding, breaking, creating things in a haze of solder smoke pretty much defines a good portion of my childhood. In fact, I’m convinced that one of the reasons I got into college is I was able to show off the polyphonic synthesizer I designed and built using scrap parts from the Moog factory down the street. Hardware was fun.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Point and click GUIs: why are we still stuck with them?

    Even a good smartphone can make the PC feel clumsy; I often prefer reading emails on mine. Replying to them is out of the question, but as a viewing device it’s very pleasant and provides temporary relief from what is becoming an overly familiar and oppressive desktop computing experience.

  • Gadgets and conflict minerals: tech companies can do more to avoid enabling human rights abuses in DRC

    Global Witness has issued a report with guidance for gadget makers on how to avoid supporting violence and human rights abuses when sourcing minerals from “conflict sources.”

  • Google Says That Employees Change Search Rankings

    I’ve known about this for several years but wasn’t able to get anyone from Google on the record. These Google employees have the power to promote or even completely erase a site from the Google index.

    This admission is potentially a very large problem for Google because it has maintained that its index rankings are unbiased and are computed from a natural pecking order derived from how other sites find a specific site important.

    The Google algorithm is a mathematical expression drawing on the PageRank patented method (named after Larry Page, co-founder). It counts how many links to a web site come from other web sites and determines the importance of that web site for millions of search terms. These rankings are worth huge amounts of money to many web sites and changes in rankings can put companies out of business.

  • Early Tests Pin Toyota Accidents on Drivers

    The U.S. Department of Transportation has analyzed dozens of data recorders from Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles involved in accidents blamed on sudden acceleration and found that the throttles were wide open and the brakes weren’t engaged at the time of the crash, people familiar with the findings said.

  • If We Ban Violent Video Games, Why Not Violent Theme Park Attractions?

    I’m hoping to get some input from readers as I look to finish up an amicus brief for the forthcoming Schwarzenegger v. EMA video game case. (Respondent briefs are due in mid-Sept and the State of California just filed its brief with the Court today). You will recall that the Supreme Court accepted the case for review in April, meaning it will be the first major case regarding video game speech rights heard by our nation’s highest court. It raises questions about the First Amendment status of games and what rights minors have to buy or play “violent” video games. One section I hope to include in the brief I’m working on deals with how other forms of media content are increasingly intertwined with video game content. In it, I explain how video games are less of a discreet category of visual entertainment than they once were. I’d welcome ideas for other examples to use relative to the ones you see below.

  • Science

    • Antidepressants in the water are making shrimp suicidal

      Improving human mental health is having some serious unintended consequences for our friends in the ocean. Exposure to antidepressants makes shrimp five times more likely to place themselves in life-threatening situations, and the broader effects could damage the entire ecosystem.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Barefoot Bandit’s 2-year run from law is over

      The teenage “Barefoot Bandit” who allegedly stole cars, boats and airplanes to dodge U.S. law enforcement was nabbed Sunday as he tried to make a water escape then brought handcuffed — and shoeless — to the capital to face justice, abruptly ending his two-year life on the lam.

  • Environment

    • The Food Bubble

      In 2008, the soaring cost of basic foods sparked riots and civil unrest across many of the poorest countries in the world. At first it was thought that food production wasn’t keeping pace with an exploding world population, or that the large scale production of bio-fuels was a factor, or the rising cost of oil which increased the cost of fertilisers. But an analysis by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation revealed that the year before, grain harvests were at record levels, and that there was more than enough food to feed everybody in the world. So could this happen again?

  • Finance

    • Seduced by Data in the Financial Industry

      In the last decades of the 20th Century, Wall Street developed what they thought were sophisticated statistical tools that allowed them to accurately estimate the riskiness of complex portfolios without firsthand knowledge of the underlying assets. For example, as banks got larger, they increasingly relied on numerical standards like income and credit scores, rather than more subjective personal factors, to decide which loans to approve. This made a certain amount of sense because as banks got larger, it became more important to have consistent standards across the organization.

    • Ludwig von Mises and the Magic of Financial Reports

      Financial results are also difficult to interpret because firms operate in a dynamic and unpredictable marketplace. Suppose a company’s widget division lost money last quarter. One plausible explanation is that the guy in charge of the widget division was incompetent and should be replaced. But there are other possibilities. Maybe the price of widgets collapsed, and the widget division would have lost even more money if not for the hard work of its management. Or maybe the division’s expenses are up because it’s spending money on developing an improved widget that will sell like hotcakes next quarter. There’s no way to distinguish among these cases (or many others) simply by examining the company’s books. You have to actually spend time understanding the business and its place in the larger marketplace.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • China’s plan to use internet for propaganda

      The Chinese Communist Party has detailed its ambitious but secretive strategy for transforming the internet into a force for keeping it in power and projecting ”soft power” abroad.

      An internal speech by China’s top internet official, apparently posted by accident on an official internet site before being promptly removed, outlines a vast array of institutions and methods to control opinion at home and also ”create an international public opinion environment that is objective, beneficial and friendly to us”.

    • China Green Dam web filter teams ‘face funding crisis’

      Reports from China say a controversial government-backed software project to filter internet content could be on the brink of collapse.

      State media said the developer behind the Green Dam Youth Escort software had closed its Beijing project team because of a lack of government funding.

    • New Massachusetts law extends censorship to IM, e-mail, Web

      It has long been illegal in Massachusetts to provide minors with “matter harmful to minors” under the state’s “Crimes against chastity, morality, decency, and good order” law. The law targets obscenity, but only its physical forms, which makes it easier to enforce. When little Johnny steps inside the adult video store, clerks can check his ID before selling him that DVD of industrial sexuality. And anyone trying show hardcore porn to a 13-year old knows exactly what they’re doing, and who they’re doing it to.

    • Italy: UN rights expert calls for scrapping of draft wiretapping law

      An Italian draft law on surveillance and eavesdropping for criminal investigations could jeopardize the work of journalists and threaten their freedom of expression, a United Nations independent human rights expert said today, calling for the abolition or revision of the bill.

      According to the current draft, anyone not accredited as a professional journalist can be imprisoned for up to four years for recording any communication or conversation without the consent of the person involved and for publicizing that information.

    • U.S. eavesdropping agency says Private Citizen is purely R&D

      A contract has been awarded for research to help counter computer-based threats to national-security networks, the chief U.S. code-cracking and eavesdropping agency said, amid mounting concern over cyber vulnerabilities.

    • Colombian journalist denied entry into US

      The Obama Administration has denied Colombian journalist Hollman Morris entry into the United States, citing violation of the “terrorist activities” section of the USA’s Patriot Act. Morris was attempting to obtain a visa to attend Harvard University’s Nieman Program, which is a fellowship for journalists.

    • Child protection campaigners claim hollow victory over Facebook

      Child safety campaigners are claiming victory over Facebook in their battle to publish a “panic button” on the dominant social network, but the agreed system falls short of their original demands in one crucial aspect.

    • Blizzard Changes ID Plans After Privacy Outcry

      Activision Blizzard abandons plans to take anonymity away from users of its online forums for computer games because of an outcry over user privacy.

    • Wikileaks Cash Flows In, Drips Out

      Fulda said Wikileaks can’t depend indefinitely on drastic measures, such as taking down the site, to raise funds. Nor can it depend on receiving a constant stream of high-profile submissions, like the Iraq video, to bring it attention and entice donations. Ultimately, it will need to find a new model for funding to sustain itself.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Who Owns the Korean Taco?
    • Copyrights

      • UK Newspapers Point Out That Prince’s Anti-Internet Crusade Makes No Sense

        We’ve already discussed Prince’s bizarre anti-internet stance, and it seems that it’s left an awful lot of people scratching their heads. As his latest album was released only via the UK newspaper, The Mirror, this past Saturday, the UK press is pointing out how this plan will backfire. Now, some will immediately dismiss these articles as complaints from competing newspapers who were not the go to offering for the latest Prince album. But their arguments do make sense. The Telegraph points out that, this anti-internet crusade seems like a huge commercial blunder, as most people will end up getting the album in ways that don’t benefit Prince directly, even though he easily could have set things up to gain some of the benefit.

      • The ASCAP example: How news organizations could liberate content, skip negotiations, and still get paid
      • Geo-Blocking Sites a Business Rather Than Legal Issue

        The Internet was once viewed as a “borderless” world that had little regard for the physical location of users. That sentiment likely seems outdated today to many Canadian Internet users who have grown accustomed to clicking on links for audio or video services only to be advised that the content, site or service is not available in their area.

        My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that “geo-blocking” has become standard practice among broadcasters, sports leagues, and music services that use technologies to identify the likely location of an Internet user in real-time and block the content in some circumstances. From World Cup broadcasts to Hulu.com (a popular U.S. video site) to Spotify (a European music service), Canadians often find themselves unable to access content and unsure who is to blame.

      • Judge Says Damages In Tenenbaum Case Were ‘Unconstitutionally Excessive’

        As you probably recall, the judge in the Thomas case reduced the $1.92 million award to $54,000 (or $2,250 per song) and today comes the news that Judge Gertner in the Tenenbaum case has declared the original damages award to be “unconstitutionally excessive” and slashed the total by 90% down to $67,500.

      • Should the Music Industry Pay ISPs for Piracy?

        In the wake of its “success” in pushing through Digital Economy Act, the British music industry is hoping to move on to the next stage: using it as a lever to get more money out of the system (even though the music industry is currently thriving).

        The UK royalties collector PRS For Music has just published a rough blueprint [.pdf] for how this might be done, entitled: “Moving Digital Britain Forward, without leaving Creative Britain behind”. It’s a fascinating document, and merits close reading.

      • ASCAP’s Dust-Up With Creative Commons Borders On the Ridiculous

        The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has, for a long time now, failed to realize that music and other artistic works need new business models surrounding them, not lobbyists and lawsuits. That’s why it’s a shame to be seeing them targeting Creative Commons, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, and other organizations that ASCAP sees as defenders of the “copyleft” movement. The language found in a new letter supporting ASCAP’s Legislative Fund for the Arts (ALFA) tells the whole story.

      • RIAA: Lime Wire hid cash to avoid paying damages

        In court papers last week, the Recording Industry Association of America once again asked the court to freeze Lime Wire’s and Gorton’s assets. The trade group for the four largest record companies alleged in a copyright complaint filed in 2006 that Gorton had for five years placed his assets in a trust that he, his wife, and two children control in an attempt to put the money out of reach of any court.

      • Second salon hit with fine to play radio

        A second Preston hairdresser has been hit with a bill for having a radio on while giving customers a cut.

        Sarah Shaw, who lives on Birkdale Drive, Savick, received a bill for £341.34 from music royalties collector Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) for playing the radio in her salon on the estate and then, just three days later, got hit with a £170.68 fine for failing to pay.

      • Looking More Closely At Judge Gertner’s Constitutional Analysis Of Copyright Awards In Tenenbaum Case

        In it, she clearly explains why the Constitutional analysis was necessary (she could have just reduced the award using the remittitur process, but noted that the RIAA made it clear they would challenge such a ruling, and thus it would eventually come around to the Constitutional questions no matter what.

      • RIAA boss Bainwol paid $2 million in 2008

        No wonder RIAA boss Mitch ‘The Don’ Bainwol is smiling in the pic on the right.

        According to IRS figures, in 2007 he was paid $1,485,000 for his services. But by 2008, the amount had rocketed — to $2,032,072, to be exact.

      • Yet More Lawyers Jump on Turn Piracy Into Profit Bandwagon

        As the U.S. struggles with the prospect that thousands of file-sharers will receive threatening letters in the now-famous Hurt Locker lawsuit case, over the pond in the UK there is a continuing escalation of the ‘turn piracy into profit’ bandwagon. A new firm of lawyers has entered the market and while their business model appears identical, they are attempting to sugar-coat their actions.

      • ACTA/Three Strikes

        • ACTA briefing by De Gucht in the European Parliament

          This week, the European Commission conducted two briefings for members of the European Parliament.

          On Monday, July 12, members of the European Parliament’s INTA Committee (Committee on International Trade) were briefed by EU ACTA negotiators Luc Devigne and Pedro Valesco in a private, closed meeting.

        • French legislators have second thoughts on three strikes law

          Are the French legislators who passed the country’s tough new “three strikes” Internet disconnection law having second thoughts? Le Figaro caught up last week with Jean-François Copé, a leading member of the ruling right-leaning UMP party that wrote and supported the “Création et Internet” law passed last year. Copé helped rally support for the bill after it failed its first vote in the National Assembly because most UMP deputies had actually left the chamber without voting.

        • New ACTA leak: 2010 07 13 consolidated text (Luzern round)

          Here is the full consolidated text of the ACTA agreement, dated July 1st 2010. This is the full text from the Luzern round of negotiations, including the name of the negotiating parties along with their positions. It apparently comes from the civil liberties committee (LIBE) of the European Parliament.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Lords set sights on Digital Economy Act review

          The Digital Economy Act could be reviewed by the House of Lords next year, if peers are given the right to scrutinise legislation after it has been passed into law.

          On Monday, the leader of the House of Lords, Lord Strathclyde, announced a review of the house’s working practices that includes a proposal to give peers powers of post-legislative scrutiny. Legislation in the United Kingdom generally gets examined by the Lords before it goes to the Commons, which in turn passes it into law.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 12 Feb 2008 – UPSs (apcupsd and nut) (2008)


Links 14/7/2010: GNU/Linux Market Surge

Posted in News Roundup at 4:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Russian state-OS based on Linux

    According to the publication “Kommersant”, the state enterprise “Russian Technologies” has almost completed the acquisition of shares LLC Alt Linux. This Russian company is developing software based on Linux. Interestingly, at the same time the Russian investment fund NGI acquired stake in Mandriva, the initiative is approved by the adviser to the Russian president Leonid Reiman. According to Kommersant, the result of both of these projects could be the creation of an operating system focused on the Russian public sector.

  • In Karjan, students already work on Linux

    Gujarat government is gearing up to use Linux operating system in schools in the state, but a city-based foundation has been teaching use of this system to students in Karjan for the last one year now. Schools in this block of Vadodara district were given computers with Linux by the state government, but they did not have teachers acquainted with it. That’s when Cosmo Foundation (CF) extended a helping hand by providing teachers as well as teaching materials to schools in Karjan block.

    Presently, the foundation is working with six schools in Karjan to help students gain expertise in using Linux. They plan to extend the help to other schools in the block.

    “We were working in the block for the last two years with the aim to strengthen education in government grant-in-aid schools. When state government donated computers and Linux system to schools in Karjan in September most of the schools could not make use of it as they did not have computer teachers,” said programme co-ordinator Mamta Baxi from CF.

  • Linux Market Share At A Record High

    The W3S stats for last month (June) show the Linux market share at 4.8%. Sure, it’s not 100% accurate but it’s nevertheless impressive. The stats only include internet-connected computers (desktops only – servers are not included in these stats) but since there is a fairly big number of computer using Linux which are not connected to the internet, the number may actually be pretty close to the actual Linux market share.

  • PulseAudio: Monitoring your Line-In Interface

    At home, my setup consists of three machines – a laptop, a PC, and an XBOX 360. The latter two share a set of speakers, but I hate having to climb under the desk to switch the cables around, and wanted a better way to switch them back and forth. My good friend Tyler B suggested that I run the line out from the XBOX into the line-in on my sound card, and just let my computer handle the audio in the same way that it handles music and movies. In theory, this works great. In practice, I had one hell of a time figuring out how to force the GNOME sound manager applet into doing my bidding.

  • Linux: 100% “Try before you buy” — for free

    Since you don’t really have to buy Linux, the heading can be misleading. But we’ve all heard of the statement that somebody might want to “try” something, before they “buy” it. This is where Linux excels over other operating systems like Windows. When have you ever been able to try out Windows, before you decide whether you want to upgrade or keep it?

    Most Linux distributions today have a “Live CD”, which is a complete running version of the distribution that can run from a CD. This means, you can take a PC currently running Windows, stick in a Live CD of any Linux distribution (Fedora, Red Hat, SuSE, Ubuntu), boot to the CD and see how it runs on your system. This also gives you the opportunity to open up some of the applications bundled with the distribution, and should even give you access to your Windows partitions (since Linux can open partitions of many different types). It’s a great way to test drive everything, if you are considering installing Linux on your PC.

  • Computer Paranoia

    And, once you get hit, well, that’s the end of the show. Recovery can be painful and you have a lot to lose. Your valuable information gets compromised because, if they stumble, technicians (at least in my country) will always end up formatting your HD… Thus, you pay them for destroying your data! I’m pretty sure that some of them know that Linux can solve your problems but, obviously, they won’t tell you.

    [...]

    Do you want a real solution for those problems? Then go to this page and read carefully. Yes, Portable Linux IS the answer.

  • Server

    • SMBs fuel Linux adoption in India

      Windows is still the server platform of choice in India but enterprises, especially small and midsize businesses (SMBs), are increasingly favoring the Linux operating system, according to a new report Monday by Springboard Research.

    • Linux supercomputer, worth £2m, sought by University of Warwick

      The University of Warwick is tendering for a new Linux-based High Performance Computing facility for its research Centre for Scientific Computing (CSC).

      A “significant” share of the new facility will be used for research in the field of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD – the study of the dynamics of electrically conducting fluids such as plasma and metal liquids), to support the computational requirements of the UK MHD research community. The facility will also be used to support research from other disciplines at the university.

      The centre is looking for a facility that is a Linux cluster comprised of multi-core nodes interconnected at high-bandwidth and low-latency. It will also have an attached high-performance storage and parallel file system.

    • Linux spreading, but Windows Server still rules in India

      The use of Linux as a server operating system in India is growing, with SMEs leading the way. But Windows – specifically Windows Server 2003 – still holds the lion’s share of the market.

  • Audiocasts

  • Ballnux

    • Change in openSUSE Membership handling

      Anyone can become openSUSE member after showing continued and substantial contribution to the project of any kind (bugs, support in forums, wiki edits, code contribution etc.). For those who don’t know what openSUSE Membership is or how to become a member I suggest to read this wiki article or older blogpost by Andreas.

  • Graphics Stack

    • xorg 1.8

      Upgrading to xorg-server with USE=-hal appeared to make things run a tad faster.
      However, some really strange behavior with keypress events started to occur. I tried several different variants for keyboard layout, setting special keys etc but I still got stuff like “right ctrl is return” or “arrow down inserts a space and line down”.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE e.V. Quarterly Reports Relaunched

        KDE e.V. is the legal body which holds our finances and represents the project in a range of issues. Our Quarterly Reports have restarted with a special bumper issue covering 2009 Q2 to 2010 Q1. It covers the many sprints which e.V. organises for our contributors to get together in person with their KDE teams. It also covers events e.V. has helped KDE to attend and the working groups it oversees.

      • Last Days at Akademy 2010

        On Thursday, we enjoyed another of those great Akademy traditions – the day trip. For those who don’t know, each year Akademy visitors are taken by the local team on a trip for some relaxation and a taste of local culture. This year two buses took us 15 kilometers outside of Tampere – to a place in the woods. After a little walk, we ended up at a beautiful lake where we found a chalet with a few volunteers cooking food for us. A second chalet housed a traditional wood-fired sauna. There was also a camp fire so we could prepare our own food.

      • Akademy 2010 in the News

        Popular Linux and BSD distribution tracking website DistroWatch has a report on Nokia’s keynote presentation at this year’s Akademy conference. The report covers the views of Valtteri Halla (Nokia’s Director of MeeGo Software) on how MeeGo will succeed by working with communities such as KDE. It also reports on how KDE’s Plasma framework shares many goals with MeeGo, particularly the use of a single codeset across many applications and has news of early ports of KDE software to mobile devices.

      • Classy Stickers for digiKam Lovers Giveaway

        Using open source software? Then we have something for you. In collaboration with the open source community, we’ve designed some classy stickers you can use to spice up your notebook or netbook and show the world your support for open source software. The stickers are based on some original designs, so you won’t find them anywhere else.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • New Releases Of GTK+, Mutter, GNOME Shell

        In preparation for the latest GNOME 3.0 development snapshot due to arrive on Wednesday (tagged as GNOME 2.31.5), a wealth of GNOME packages are being checked-in for this unstable milestone. Among the packages to have been checked-in for this milestone are new releases of GTK+ 3.0, GNOME Shell, and Mutter.

  • Distributions

    • Kongoni Linux- Another slackware based linux distribution

      Kongoni GNU/Linux is a Slackware-based, desktop-oriented GNU/Linux distribution and live CD. Its main features include a graphical installer, a Kongoni Integrated Setup System (KISS), and an easy-to-use Ports Installation GUI (PIG). The distribution’s package management borrows its main concepts from BSD ports, with an intuitive graphical package installer that compiles and installs programs from source code on the user’s system. Kongoni, which means gnu (also known as wildebeest) in Shona, includes only software that complies with Free Software Foundation’s definition of software freedom.

    • Zenwalk Internet Cafe Edition 2.2 Released

      The Zencafe Community proudly announced last evening, July 12th, the immediate availability for download of the new and improved Zencafe 2.2 operating system designed to be used in Internet Cafes. Being based on the newly released Zenwalk 6.4 Linux distribution, Zencafe is powered by Linux kernel 2.6.33.4 and includes some popular bleeding-edge applications, such as Mozilla Firefox 3.6.6 or Pidgin 2.7.1. For Yahoo! fans, Zencafe also includes the GYachE Improved instant messenger, which offers webcam support for the Yahoo Messenger protocol. The minimum requirements for Zencafe are a Pentium III class processor, 128 MB of system RAM and at least 4 GB hard drive free space.

    • Testing Sabayon, Get Involved

      A quick little guide on helping and getting involved with the future releases of Sabayon. I know and see people asking what they can do to be more involved in Sabayon. If you have some experience, time and capabilities, you can help test the weekly iso images or add the entropy limbo repository and test packages. I wouldn’t recommend this for or on your production system. You can and will run into broken stuff, but that is the fun in testing! I like to use rsync as it saves on bandwidth of having to re-download the entire ISO. With rsync you only download the changes. So how does one do this you may ask. It’s pretty easy, find a mirror on our download page that supports rsync.

    • Reviews

    • New Releases

      • Minimalist Linux distro rev’d to version 3.0

        Team Tiny Core announced the first release candidate for version 3.0 of its small-footprint, in-memory Linux desktop distribution. Tiny Core Linux 3.0 RC1 advances to Linux 2.6.33.3, and offers improved compressed swap in RAM, a 64-bit version, enhanced virtualization, and the Ext4 file-system, says the project.

      • Unity Linux 2010 Final Released!

        The Unity Linux project is pleased to announce the final 2010 release. Check the Downloads page to get the 32 bit and 64 bit LiveCDs.

      • NuTyX 10072010
      • Parted Magic 5.0
      • Release Zencafe 2.2

        This Zencafe version utilizes the latest Zenwalk distro and kernel 2.6.33.4. Mainly design to use for Internet Cafe desktop, Zencafe polished in many ways and easy enough to operated, even for no technical background user. Included autorecovery and internet cafe management software, Zencafe is the best and the first Linux solution that suitable for your internet cafe.

      • ULTILEX – The Ultimate Linux Experience version 10.7 is released!
      • Security expert releases Ubuntu Linux distro for malware analysis

        A security consultant has released a Ubuntu-based Linux distribution specifically designed to help analyze and re-engineer malware. Lenny Zeltser on Thursday released REMnux on Sourceforge and it has already been downloaded nearly 2,000 times.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2010.07 KDE Screenshots

        PCLinuxOS 2010.07 has been released in several different flavors. KDE, GNOME, LXDE, and XFCE flavors are now available for download or purchase. I have reviewed and taken screenshots of each new PCLinuxOS 2010.07 flavor and will be releasing them here over the next four days. Today is the default KDE flavor but first, here are some standout features that all flavors have in common. PCLinuxOS 2010.07 Standout Features: The Linux Kernel 2.6.33.5, Nvidia and ATI fglrx driver support, multimedia support, Addlocale providing support for over 60 languages, easy OpenOffice installation and MyLiveCD which lets you take a snapshot and burn to CD. For a complete list of features visit the official release announcement.

      • Review – Mandriva 2010 Spring KDE – With Screenshots

        Mandriva 2010 Spring KDE4 – Very good.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Speed up your Ubuntu machine boot time

        Are you desperately searching for ways to finally reach that elusive 10 second boot time? You certainly heard that Ubuntu 10.04 has the capability of doing just that right? It can…but you have to help it along. One of the ways you can help your boot time is removing unnecessary services and drivers that are loaded at boot time. Fortunately, this isn’t something you have to manually do. How is this? There is a tool that can help the Grub boot loader learn what it is you need at start up. This tool is called profile.

      • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-ready COM Express module uses QorIQ SoCs

      Emerson Network Power is shipping what it claims are the first COM Express modules based on Freescale Semiconductor’s multicore, PowerPC-based QorIQ processors. The COMX-P2020 and COMX-P4080 employ dual-core QorIQ P2020 and eight-core QorIQ P4080 system-on-chips, respectively, offering both a wide variety of interfaces and Linux BSPs, says the company.

    • GUI development platform supports embedded Linux targets

      Blue Water Embedded announced a royalty-free graphical user interface (GUI) development framework for embedded devices, including those running Linux. The Prism Runtime Framework is a cross-platform GUI toolkit that incorporates Prism Micro, a GUI toolkit for constrained color-depth targets, and Prism Insight, a Linux-compatible desktop GUI design and resource editing tool, says the company.

    • Cortex-A8 module gets camera upgrade

      E-con Systems has announced a five-megapixel camera add-on designed to work with Linux and the Texas Instruments (TI) OMAP35x evaluation module (EVM). The e-CAM50_OMAP35x snaps onto the EVM board and connects to the OMAP35x’s high-speed CMOS sensor interface, providing 720p video capture as well as stills, the company says.

    • NAS devices stream content to TiVo DVRs

      At the time of writing, NetGear had yet to respond to our request for information on the embedded operating system running on its new ReadyNAS Ultra systems. However, previous ReadyNAS devices, such as the ReadyNAS Pro, have run on embedded Linux.

      Netgear acquired the ReadyNAS line in 2007 when it bought Infrant for $60 million. ReadyNAS devices have previously run an Infrant-developed Linux distribution called RAIDiator.

    • Wind River

      • Wind River preps secure, EAL4+-compliant Linux distro

        A specialized, hardened version of Wind River Linux, Wind River Linux Secure is expected to be available in the first half of 2011, pending certification completion, says the Intel subsidiary. Once certified for EAL4+, Wind River Linux Secure would conform to NIAP’s General Purpose Operating System Protection Profile, says the company. Atsec Information Security has been chosen by Wind River as its Common Criteria Test Lab to conduct the independent evaluation of Wind River Linux Secure, says the company.

      • Wind River ships testing framework for Android

        Wind River FAST provides thousands of Wind River-authored automated tests designed to evaluate an open-source-based device, says Wind River. The framework appears to be based in part on the Linux-ready Wind River Test Management (WRTM) software.

    • Tablets

      • Tablets: The Next Big Open Source Opportunity?

        All of a sudden, tablet computers are all the rage, with Apple’s iPad stoking the fire. But Apple is hardly going to compete unchallenged in the tablet space. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claims that his company is “hardcore” about tablets, and is working with Asus, Dell, Samsung, Toshiba and Sony before the end of the year. Ballmer demonstrated an HP slate at the Consumer Electronics Show in January as well. One has to wonder if the real opportunity in tablets lies on the open source front, though.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source growing quickly

    A recent study conducted by market research firm Accenture found open sourcetechnology has become the preferred method of website development and software for most companies. In fact, 40 percent of organizations surveyed plan to increase their use of open source technology by moving away from traditional software in the next 12 months.

  • Web Browser Grand Prix 2: The Top 5 Tested And Ranked
  • OSCON: Will Health Care Partners Embrace Open Source?

    The health care sector is set for a technology-driven transformation as the federal government pushes adoption of electronic health records and pursues national health information exchange. Hardly surprising, the Open Source Convention (OSCON) has a health care track that will focus on open EHR/EMR software and the government’s standards-based Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) among other topics. What’s in it for VARs? Here are some clues.

  • VC funding for OSS-related vendors up 11.5% in Q2

    Venture capital funding for open source software-related vendors increased 11.5% in the second quarter, the third consecutive quarter of positive growth following a 6% rise in 4Q09 and a 38% increase in 1Q10.

  • How Would OSG Work?

    In my last post, I discussed reasons why an open source government would be a good thing. Now I will tell you my plan for how an OSG would operate (using the USA in the model). It is essential to understand that this is not a left vs right issue. The idea here is simply to empower the people of any given country, and allow those people to rule their own lives. Using the same methodology we use in open source software development (slightly modified), we can achieve that one simple goal.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 26 Feb 2008 – Makefiles and pkgsrc (2008)


07.13.10

Links 13/7/2010: OpenSolaris Unrest

Posted in News Roundup at 5:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Organic Linux at the Farmers Market

    Among the strawberries, nectarines, kettle corn and other fresh fruits and vegetables — and since when is kettle corn NOT a fresh vegetable? — the Felton Linux Users Group has set up a table offering Organic Software each Tuesday afternoon at the Felton Farmers Market; Linux, GNU/Linux and other Free/Open Source Software programs and information about FOSS, all with no artificial colors or preservatives, and software that’s healthy for the well-being of your computer.

  • Living with Linux.

    Yes, a properly looked after and protected windows computer is safe. As is a misconfigured Linux computer unsafe. What are the chances of coming across the former compared to the latter? What are the chances of being stung by a windows machine compared to a Linux one? You tell me in the comments. I already know what I think :)

  • Linux Distributions – Why Choice Is A Good Thing

    One of the most common criticisms of Linux is that there are “too many versions”, and that makes it confusing. Here are a few thoughts and examples related to that.

    - “Too many versions”? Yes, probably so, in the same way that there are too many different kinds of breakfast cereal, or laundry soap, or wrist watches. Here’s an example straight out of current markets. From what I have seen and heard, Toyota has been having some problems with quite a lot of their cars. How many of us would like to be in the position of having Toyota be the ONLY car? Continuing on this speculation… what if Toyota were now to fix the problem (or problems, if there turned out to be more than one), but once that fix was complete and they were producing cars that worked properly again, they announced that they were not going to give owners of their existing defective cars any consideration at all in the purchase of one of the new “fixed” models. Vehicle owners would not be happy, but there would be nothing they could do about it because Toyota was the only supplier! Not a situation that I think anyone would want with their car, so why should we want it with our computers?

  • Server

    • Indianapolis gov’t IT shop aims for easy ERP plan

      The new ERP system, which will run on a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5-based HP ProLiant blade server, will use a common data repository to manage financial accounting, procurement, HR and payroll applications.

  • Audiocasts

  • Google

    • Is Chrome OS a Threat to Ubuntu or Windows?

      Since late 2009, talk of how Google’s Chrome OS is being positioned to “take on” Microsoft Windows has been promoted by individuals who I believe have no idea what they’re talking about.

      By Google’s own admission, Chrome OS is being designed for near exclusive use on netbook computers, due to its minimalist nature. And as we know, netbooks make up a small piece of the collective PC market. This clearly leaves out of desktops and laptops, which will remain dominated by the Windows OS (near term, at least).

  • Kernel Space

    • The kernel column #89

      Last month saw the opening and subsequent closing of the 2.6.35 kernel’s merge window, the period of time during which all of the exciting new features that have been waiting in the wings (and in linux-next nightly kernels provided by Stephen Rothwell) are considered for merging into the official ‘mainline’ kernel source tree by Linus Torvalds. Recent releases have often added a new file system (or perhaps two), but 2.6.35 does not add any new file systems. It does add many other new features, including support for profiling virtual machines from the host machine using ‘kvm perf’, the KDB in-kernel debugger that has augmented the existing KGDB support for remote debugging, the memory compaction patches, and memory hotplug support in the SLAB memory allocator.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

    • Xfce

      • Smitten with Xfce 4

        If you’ve read me long enough, you know I am a desktop junkie. Much to Jaqui’s chagrin, I do love my desktops. So much so I could have a different desktop every day and still not be completely happy. During my trials and tribulations with the Linux desktop I have, surprisingly, missed the whole Xfce train. Why? I have no idea. I’ve known of it, I’ve used it briefly, and never really thought much more about it. That is, until recently.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Parted Magic 5.0 released

        Just one week after the first release candidate arrived, the Parted Magic developers have released version 5.0 of their open source, multi-platform partitioning tool. Parted Magic can be used to create, move, delete and resize drive partitions and will run on a machine with as little as 64MB of RAM. File systems supported include NTFS, FAT, ReiserFS, Reiser4 and HFS+. LVM and RAID are also supported.

      • SystemRescueCd 1.5.6

        SystemRescueCD is a free, Linux-based CDROM image for system recovery that boots into a minimal graphical interface and provides a host of useful tools culled from many sources.

        [...]

        Although SystemRescueCD offers a desktop, it can be complicated to use and requires a some basic computer knowledge. However, it doesn’t require much Linux specific knowledge to operate most of the tools, so I would be happy to recommend it to a Windows guru. Besides, people who don’t understand the basics shouldn’t be operating partition managers and file recovery utilities anyway.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux avoids bankruptcy; we test the new version

        Linux vendor Mandriva has announced the availability of its Spring 2010 release, an updated version of its desktop Linux distribution. Mandriva originally planned to ship the software at the beginning of June, but had put the launch on hold due to serious financial difficulties that jeopardized the company’s future. The Spring 2010 version was finally released last week after some new investors bailed out the company and made it possible for development efforts to continue.

        [...]

        After spending some time with the latest version of Mandriva, I can see why it remains appealing to so many KDE users. It has a sense of simplicity, consistency, and conservatism that are unusual in the KDE world. Subjectively, it feels much better than Kubuntu but doesn’t quite rival openSUSE’s power and sophistication.

      • Review – Mandriva 2010 Spring Gnome – With Screenshots

        I am sure you know, but in case you didn’t – one of the most exciting and long lived desktop Linux distros has rolled out a new release.

        Yes, Mandriva 2010 Spring is out – and I love it.

      • Mandriva and Derivative Release Latest

        After a long and anxious month of delays, Mandriva finally released their 2010.1 Spring update with lots of goodies for all. In related news, PCLinuxos, a derivative of Mandriva, released what they’ve dubbed their Quarterly ISO updates in several flavors.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat to explore telecom, govt sectors for gaining market share

        The world’s largest open source software maker, Red Hat Inc., expects to make further inroads into the Indian market through the government and telecom sectors.

        “For Red Hat, India has been growing much faster than other geographies,” chief executive Jim Whitehurst said in an interview. “Increasingly, most of the large government IT (information technology) programmes, including e-governance-related ones, are being built on open source platforms.”

      • Red Hat Ignores Desktops – Consumer or Enterprise Whatsoever

        We had been running CentOS 5.2 on dozens of our office-desktops. They were boringly stable though little obsolete. Finally I wanted to upgrade my system to the latest v.5.5 so as to use some of the updated packages including Firefox 3.5 and OpenOffice 3. Skipping as much as 2 versions to CentOS 5.5 was smooth as a trademark of the enterprise desktop. There were some minor glitches pertaining to drivers which is documented earlier (CentOS 5.5 Left Me Clueless and CentOS 5.5 USB Device Mounting Annoyance) plus a far critical (purely on the basis of desktop experience) bug that’s some way associated with nash and mkinitrd packages.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – July 12th, 2010
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • How An Old Pentium 4 System Runs With Ubuntu 10.04, 10.10

          Last October I wrote about running Ubuntu 9.10 with older PC hardware, but over this past weekend I restored an even older Phoronix test system to see how it runs with the most recent Ubuntu 10.04 LTS release and the very latest Ubuntu 10.10 development snapshot in relation to the older Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS. This antiquated system has an Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, an 80GB IDE hard drive, and an ATI Radeon 9200PRO AGP graphics card.

        • Ubuntu tweaks I can’t live without

          I recently did a fresh install of Ubuntu 10.04 on my Dell netbook (because the upgrade process didn’t work smoothly) and in doing so I re did some of my Ubuntu tweaks I am used to. For my own sake (meaning so I don’t have to remember these again) and yours (in case you’re not familiar with these) here they are.

        • Ubuntu: a computer operating system built around community

          Ross, who often blogs about Ubuntu at http://randall.executiv.es/, says Ubuntu represents a completely new approach to computing. “No longer does a person need to sit back and wait (or complain) that their computer isn’t doing what they want. With Ubuntu, they have direct and easy ways to get involved and improve the experience for themselves and everyone.” Says Ross, “Ubuntu includes one profoundly important component that no other operating system has: Community. The Ubuntu community is diverse, lively, and fun to be around. The Ubuntu community is real and local.”

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 2 Software Center VS Linux Mint 9 Software Manager

          With the new release Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 2 the new software center comes with a new shape, as well the new release of software manager of Linux Mint 9 Isadora.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 201

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 201 for the week July 4th – July 10th, 2010.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • GamePark

      • GamePark’s GP2X Caanoo handheld hits this August, picks up where the Wiz left off (video)

        While we’re not sure just how we missed it, it seems GamePark was at E3 2010 in force, with a brand-new Linux gaming portable called the Caanoo. Though it’s got the same 533MHz ARM9 processor as its wizardly predecessor, GamePark’s doubled the memory to 128MB, and added a dedicated 3D GPU to power the larger 3.5-inch touchscreen.

      • Linux game console adds GPU, accelerometers

        GamePark Holdings (GPH) is readying a new version of its GP2X handheld game console running open source Linux games. The “GP2X Caanoo” is equipped with a 533MHz ARM9 CPU and 3D-ready GPU, a 3.5-inch display, Wi-Fi, and an accelerometer with a vibration motor.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Feature: MeeGo keynote address at Akademy 2010

        To say you are “redefining the Linux desktop landscape” is a bold claim to make. It is even bolder when presenting a non-KDE project at the annual conference of KDE, one of the leading providers of desktop Linux software. However, that was exactly how Valtteri Halla, Director of Nokia MeeGo Software chose to title his keynote address.

    • Android

      • Why Android’s Victory is Inevitable

        Arguably the most important development in the world of open source in the last year or two has been the rise and rise of Google’s Linux-based Android operating system. It’s true that the mobiles out there employing it are not 100% free, but they are considerably more free than the main alternatives. More importantly, they are turning Linux into a global, mass-market platform in a way never before seen.

      • App Inventor for Android

        You can build just about any app you can imagine with App Inventor. Often people begin by building games like WhackAMole or games that let you draw funny pictures on your friend’s faces. You can even make use of the phone’s sensors to move a ball through a maze based on tilting the phone.

      • Google debuts DIY code tools for Android phones

        Google has released tools that “make it easy for anyone to create programs for Android phones”.

        Much like Lego, App Inventor lets people drag “blocks” of code around to create applications.

      • MediaTek Joins Open Handset Alliance to Bring its Processors to Low-Cost Android Phones

        We have known of MediaTek’s intentions to get their low-cost CPUs into more and more Android handsets for a while now, but today’s announcement that they have officially joined the Google-led Open Handset Alliance signals that they are committed more than ever to the idea. In the past, patent issues with Qualcomm prevented MediaTek from doing much business outside of mainland China, a but a cross-licensing agreement signed last November and their new involvement in the OHA could see the inclusion of their system-on-a-chip processors in low-cost Android phones around the world.

      • Google demos codeless Android development tool for students

        Google has announced a new browser-based visual development tool called App Inventor that allows users to create Android applications without having to write any code. It appears to be aimed primarily at students.

      • Chrome to Phone- Take your browsing experience with you on your Android Phone

        The aim of this project is to help you bridge the gap between when you are on your desktop and your phone. With it, you can send links directly from your Chrome browser to your phone, place calls directly from your phone by highlighting a phone number on your desktop and populating the Android clipboard by highlighting text on your desktop.

    • Tablets

      • Will you be taking an e-reader or tablet to school this fall?

        Be that as it may, companies like Jumpbooks are making it possible for the old college bookstore to offer eTextbooks to students. While most students will look to Amazon and Barnes & Noble for their digital textbooks, Jumpbooks will make it possible for schools to inexpensively offer school specific textbooks (e.g., for a professor’s required readings).

        Other companies, like CourseSmart, are already selling eTextbooks directly to students. And, perhaps the best news of all for students and their parents tired of the financial weight of textbooks, most eTextbooks are available at half the price of a new hardbound textbook.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Choosing Whether To Go Open Source

    Open source has always been a favorite among scientists and universities where budgets are limited but where there is plenty of expertise around to fiddle with the code and customize it for a specific project or department. It never behaved like the costlier, commercially available products from big-name vendors, and it required lots of patience for dealing with quirks and knowledge of some arcane coding tricks.

    That explains why using open source for production in mission-critical environments, particularly where security is essential, has been relatively rare. But that’s beginning to change. Since the Internet’s widespread adoption, open source has become a global effort, and over the past several years that collaboration has yielded significant advancements. Applications are more readily available, security has been beefed up and the underlying Linux operating system has been worked on extensively.

  • Killing the Founder

    In general I’m much less bothered about people who think I’m crazy than they usually think I should be because I know a lot about the life cycle of reform movements. I studied this topic rather carefully in early 1998, just after Netscape announced its intention to release the Mozilla sources, when I noticed that a burgeoning reform movement seemed to need me to lead it. I was particularly influenced in my thinking by the history of John Humphrey Noyes and the Oneida Community.

    [...]

    I don’t know if we’ve actually reached that point yet, but if and when we do it won’t bother me. I did not do what I did for anyone’s approval; I did it because it was right. And then I let go.

  • Time for Free Software to Square up to Foursquare

    That’s very similar to the Foursquare location layers that give you information relevant to your position. But the great thing about Google’s Open Spot is that I don’t need to check in to anything: Google Android tells the system where I am. Isn’t that the obvious way for it to work?

    Indeed, why do we need to download a separate Android app? Perhaps Mozilla needs to accelerate its work in this area. If it doesn’t, then the danger is that we’ll get another Facebook: a client and company so dominant in its field that it will be hard for open source contenders to fight against it. The time for free software to square up to Foursquare is now, not a few years down the road….

  • Do you aspire to build a brand community or a community brand?

    In my day job at New Kind, I spend quite a bit of my time working on brand-related assignments, particularly for organizations interested in community-based approaches to building their brands.

    When marrying the art of community building to the art of brand building, it’s hard not to talk about building “brand communities.” It’s a convenient term, and brand experts love to trot out examples like Harley Davidson and Apple as examples of thriving communities built around brands.

  • Open Innovation Awards 2010: The Demo Cup

    The Open Innovation Demo Cup – a contest open to all open source projects and solutions getting ready for commercial launch or already on the market – will be held at the next Open World Forum on the 1st of October.

  • What FOSS communities can look like from the outside

    It’s hard to remember how hard things can be, especially when you’re surrounded by a community of people who are the ones who self-selected and made it past that hardness. By definition, if you’ve gotten into FOSS, the current participation mechanisms worked for you… so why fix them?

  • OSS: Europe vs. The United States

    Reading this prompted me to wonder if the United States had an equivalently highly-placed official with sufficient power to influence the US Government’s decision process regarding OSS solutions. The closest I could find was Howard A. Schmidt, our current US DHS “Cybersecurity Czar”. It didn’t take much digging to begin to understand where Schmidt’s priorities are likely to fall regarding OSS. From WhoRunsGov.com, we discover that Schmidt went to work for Microsoft in 1997 as their chief security officer. He remained in that position for 5 years, and in 1999 he donated $250 to the Microsoft Political Action Committee.

  • Events

  • Databases

    • Less Dangerous Databases for Schools

      Databases can be dangerous, though, because of unintended consequences. Because of their power and size, one needs to be more careful with matters of security, backup, entry and retrieval of data. Fortunately in a small school like mine, the consequences of mistakes are not as large as happen in the outside world. I can limit the damage by keeping databases off the web and simple password authentication takes care of most of my issues of security.

      [...]

      The tools I use all come from Debian GNU/Linux(except for Gallery image database). It takes only a few minutes to install MySQL database, PHP and Apache web server on a basic installation.

  • Oracle

    • Openoffice.org

      Five Nice extensions for Openoffice.org

    • Testing/Translation the Features and Enhancements

      Last week Marcus Lange announced the branch of the new code-line OOO330 for the next release of OpenOffice.org. It is based on developer snapshot DEV300m84. For such milestone I finalized the list of features/enhancements. I announced this list some weeks ago on the relevant OOo-mailing lists for QA and L10N and since then only some more entries came in. This list isn’t a ‘what’s new’-guide. It more technical orientated and is for L10N testing and for checking the new features by the QA and the L10N teams. If you are interested what is in the next release, please take a look.

    • OpenSolaris governing board threatens dissolution

      In an act of desperation, the OpenSolaris governing board (OGB) has issued an ultimatum to Oracle. The company must nominate a contact person able to take decisions regarding OpenSolaris by the 16th of August or the board will dissolve and relinquish control of OpenSolaris to Oracle.

  • Business

    • Open Source Business Models Become More Attractive

      The news that Kenneth Bosung had joined OpenGeo as senior VP might have seemed like little more than a glorified press release to some. But there was an interesting twist there – Bosung had spent his entire career thus far with proprietary software companies.

  • Government

    • Kroes on open source in public administrations: “Attitudes are changing”

      Public administrations are improving their opinion on open source, finds Vice-President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes. In a video speech addressing an open source software conference taking place later this month, she says: “We do not yet have a true level playing field, but thankfully attitudes are changing.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Context

      The following guest blog is from Open Context’s Project Lead Eric Kansa and Editor Sarah Whitcher Kansa, who are both members of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on Open Data in Archaeology.

    • Millennials Will Make Online Sharing in Networks a Lifelong Habit

      The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has released Millennials Will Make Online Sharing in Networks a Lifelong Habit.

      Here’s an excerpt:

      In a survey about the future impact of the internet, a solid majority of technology experts and stakeholders said the Millennial generation will lead society into a new world of personal disclosure and information-sharing using new media. These experts said the communications patterns “digital natives” have already embraced through their use of social networking technology and other social technology tools will carry forward even as Millennials age, form families, and move up the economic ladder.

    • Closing the Digital Frontier

      As Chris Anderson pointed out in a moment of non-hyperbole in his book Free, the phrase Information wants to be free was never meant to be the rallying cry it turned into.

    • MIT OpenCourseWare Reaches 2,000 Course Milestone

      Already one of the richest collections of openly shared educational materials in the world, the MIT OpenCourseWare site has reached a significant milestone: With the publication of 10 new courses in the last two weeks, the site now shares core academic materials—including syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams—from more than 2,000 MIT courses.

    • Open Data

    • Open Access/Content

      • Access to Information

        “Access to Information” a message from the Access to Information Unit, Jamacia

  • Standards/Consortia

    • ODF 1.2 Begins Final 60-day Public Review

      A major milestone was reached for the OASIS ODF TC last week. The latest Committee Draft of ODF 1.2 (CD 05) was sent out for a 60-day public review.

      As you may recall, ODF 1.2 is a single standard in three parts:

      * Part 1 specifies the core schema, and was send out for public review in January.
      * Part 2 is OpenFormula (spreadsheet formulas)
      * Part 3 defines the packaging model of ODF, and went out for public review back in November

    • Now available in English: AEIOU mnemonic for Open Standards

      * applicable (without restrictions): free from legal or technical clauses that limit its utilisation by any party or in any business model,
      * existing (implementations): available in multiple complete implementations by competing vendors, or as a complete implementation equally available to all parties.
      * independent (of a single vendor): managed and further developed independently of any single vendor in a process open to the equal participation of competitors and third parties
      * open (specification): subject to full public assessment and use without constraints in a manner equally available to all parties
      * untainted (with dependencies to closed standards): without any components or extensions that have dependencies on formats or protocols that do not meet the definition of an Open Standard themselves

Leftovers

  • Cooperative success: Understanding the co-op business model

    Even Pittsburgh’s United Steel Workers Union is getting in on the (cooperative) action. The union is partnering with Mondragon to explore the possibility of steel worker cooperatives. With over 40,000 manufacturing facilities closed throughout the United States during the economic recession, exploring new business models probably isn’t a bad idea.

  • A Swing of the Pendulum: The Shift Towards Specialized Hardware and Software

    But what about Apache? Surely the venerable web server remains the most popular platform for deploying web applications? Well, yes, it is. Here are Netcraft’s numbers for overall web server share.

  • Reports of blogging’s death have been greatly exaggerated

    A report last month in the Economist tells us that “blogging is dying” as more and more bloggers abandon the form for its cousins: the tweet, the Facebook Wall, the Digg.

  • £20,000,000! For what?

    That’s some houseguest. The Pope invited himself to visit England, and asked the British government to pay for it — that takes some gall right there — and is now revealing that the bill for his visit will be at least £20 million.

  • Package bomb goes off at Houston oil executive’s home

    A seemingly anonymous gift left on the front porch of a Houston home owned by an oil company executive has the city’s affluent population of oil profiteers on edge this weekend, after that package exploded and seriously injured a 62-year-old woman.

  • Fring’s mis-use of Skype software was damaging to our brand and reputation

    An hour or so ago, Fring reported on their blog that we had blocked their access to Skype. I want to make one thing absolutely clear: this is untrue.

  • BDSM – The perfect operating system

    There you go, the perfect operating system that should turn you into a hacker within days. Nothing like the fear of pain to make you perform at your best. That or hysteria. You may feel slight physical and mental discomfort at first, but it will definitely be worth it.

  • Science

    • NASA offers $5M prizes for cool robots, satellites and solar spacecraft

      NASA today significantly expanded its Centennial Challenges program to include $5 million worth of new competitions to develop robots, small satellites, and solar powered spacecraft.

    • Secrecy in Astronomy and the Open Science Ratchet

      Probably because of the visibility of the GalaxyZoo project, I think several of my colleagues and I have been under the impression that astronomy is a somewhat more open field than chemistry or molecular biology. It was easy to rationalize such a position because patents are not an issue, as they clearly are in fields which rely more on invention than discovery. However, after reading “The Case for Pluto” by Alan Boyle, I am left with a much different impression.

    • Sintering the Moon

      We just finished reading a paper describing the viability of using microwaves to fuse lunar soil (regoilith) into solid shapes, in the hopes of creating an effective way of building lunar structures for future astronauts and their bases.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Hillier appeals to transgender community to save ID cards

      New Labour never give up. Even out of government, they are still looking for groups of individuals who, they believe, are just salivating at the prospect of the chance to carry a shiny new ID card.

    • Internet Kill Switch

      Last month, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., introduced a bill that might — we’re not really sure — give the president the authority to shut down all or portions of the Internet in the event of an emergency. It’s not a new idea. Sens. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, proposed the same thing last year, and some argue that the president can already do something like this. If this or a similar bill ever passes, the details will change considerably and repeatedly. So let’s talk about the idea of an Internet kill switch in general.

      It’s a bad one.

    • Placed under surveillance by order of Brussels

      As reported in the Daily Telegraph this morning, the Government only has until the end of the month to decide whether to opt-in to the new European Investigation Order (EIO).

    • Arrested for blowing bubbles at the G20 in Toronto?

      This video shows a police officer at the G20 protests in Toronto threatening to arrest a protestor for blowing soap bubbles (“If one of those bubbles touches me, it’s assault”) and then leading the protestor away, presumably for the aforementioned “offense.”

    • South Korea deploys robot capable of killing intruders along border with North

      Two robots with surveillance, tracking, firing and voice recognition systems were integrated into a single unit, a defence ministry spokesman said.

      The 400 million won (£220,000) unit was installed last month at a guard post in the central section of the Demilitarised Zone which bisects the peninsula, Yonhap news agency said.

  • Environment

    • Climategate scientists cleared of manipulating data on global warming

      The climate scientists at the centre of a media storm over leaked emails were yesterday cleared of accusations that they fudged their results and silenced critics, but a review found they had failed to be open enough about their work.

      Sir Muir Russell, the senior civil servant who led a six-month inquiry into the affair, said the “rigour and honesty” of the scientists at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) were not in doubt. His investigation concluded they did not subvert the peer review process to censor criticism and that key data was freely available and could be used by any “competent” researcher.

    • ‘Climategate’ shows the need for openness by scientists

      “Like it or not, this [demand for openness] indicates a transformation in the way science has to be conducted in this century.” That, say many, will be the lasting legacy of the independent review published last week into the controversial emails between climate scientists that were stolen from the University of East Anglia and posted online.

      Scientists were cleared, as expected, of any fiddling of the figures to exaggerate the case for global warming. But the review heavily criticised them and the university for consistently blocking access to data and failing to recognise the risk such secrecy posed to the “credibility of UK climate science”.

    • The Chinese Coal Monster

      China set to consume 50% of global coal production this year

    • Fix the Food Chain
    • Global Crude Oil Supply Update

      Global crude oil supply fell in April, after a surprising revision upwards to the March totals, of approximately 200 kbpd. Volatility in the data is currently coming out of the North Sea. This will continue as Norway is expected to see production falls when the next few months of data is reported. Globally, oil production stood at 73.552 mbpd in April. On an annual basis, through the first 4 months of 2010, global crude oil production is averaging 73.458 mbpd. The current peak year for global crude oil production remains 2005, at 73.719 mbpd.

    • ‘Oil slick’ protest against BP at the British Museum

      An oil-like substance has been poured around one of the British Museum’s statues by activists urging it to end its sponsorship deal with BP.

      The targeted relic, Hoa Hakananai’a, is a giant carving of a human head and torso and is about 1,000 years old.

  • Finance

    • On the edge with Max Keiser-Max Keiser talking to Damon Vrabel
    • Staite Sees Goldman Profit Hurt by Lower Trading Revenue: Video
    • Gore Denies that Ken Lay, Goldman Sachs CEOs Helped Develop C02 Trading ‘Scheme’
    • Goldman Sachs Sued by Liberty on Fannie Mae Offering

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was accused in a lawsuit by Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. of misleading investors in 2007 when it sold Fannie Mae preferred shares while betting against the U.S. mortgage market.

      Goldman Sachs misrepresented Fannie Mae’s health when it underwrote the offerings, in which the insurer invested $62.5 million, according to a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Boston. The investment bank misstated the purpose of the sale by saying the offering was to raise surplus capital when it was actually needed to help Fannie Mae sustain its business, said Liberty Mutual, which accused Goldman Sachs of securities fraud.

    • Grow Green Jobs
    • FT: Corporate Cash

      Corporate cash in the US is sitting at a record high of $1,700bn. James Mackintosh, investment editor, explains how both bulls and bears are taking this as a signal for the stock market’s next move.

    • How Changes in State & Local Tax Burdens Affect Growth in Per Capita Income

      I’ve had a number of posts recently looking at the effect of reductions in the tax burden during Presidential administrations or during (or just following) recessions and how those affected subsequent growth. In each case, cutting the tax burden did not lead to faster growth. In fact, the data shows that, contrary to theory, real economic growth tends to be slower following cuts in the tax burden than following hikes in the tax burden.

    • What Have We Learned?

      Sometimes it’s useful to step back slightly from the current fray and ask what we’ve really learned about macroeconomics over, say, the past year and a half. Here’s how I see it: in early 2009 there was a broad divide between two policy factions. One, of which I was part, declared that we were in a liquidity trap, which meant that some of the usual rules no longer applied: the expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet wouldn’t be inflationary — in fact the danger was a slide toward deflation; the government’s borrowing would not lead to a spike in interest rates. The other side declared that we were in imminent danger of runaway inflation, and that federal borrowing would lead to very high interest rates.

    • Democratic governors point finger at D.C.

      Democratic governors facing grim budget choices, lingering unemployment and angry voters are pointing a finger at their colleagues in Democratic-controlled Washington to explain this year’s toxic political climate.

      Few will directly fault President Barack Obama for their party’s plight heading into the fall midterm elections, but the state chief executives gathered here for the National Governors Association meeting believe Congress and the White House have made an already difficult year worse.

    • Paul Volcker on FinReg, Subprime & Deregulation

      “There is a certain circularity in all this business. You have a crisis, followed by some kind of reform, for better or worse, and things go well for a while, and then you have another crisis . . . People are nervous about the long-term outlook, and they should be.”

    • Volcker Pushes for Reform, Regretting Past Silence
    • Trending Toward Deflation

      Inflation has been falling, but how close are we to deflation? I found myself wondering that after observing John Makin’s combusting coiffure, his prediction that we might see deflation this year.

    • Bank Bailout Is Potent Issue for Fall Elections
    • Senate Democrats yet to lock down votes for financial regulations bill

      As he shepherded a far-reaching and ever-expanding bill to remake financial regulations through the Senate during the past year, Sen. Christopher J. Dodd uttered the same warning again and again: Nothing’s finished until everything is finished.

    • Democrats Corral Votes on Bank Bill

      Final passage of sweeping legislation to overhaul the nation’s financial regulatory system is now a question of when — not if — according to Senate Democrats. Yet, there still seem to be a lot of questions about when.

    • More Americans’ credit scores sink to new lows

      The credit scores of millions more Americans are sinking to new lows.

      Figures provided by FICO Inc. show that 25.5 percent of consumers – nearly 43.4 million people – now have a credit score of 599 or below, marking them as poor risks for lenders. It’s unlikely they will be able to get credit cards, auto loans or mortgages under the tighter lending standards banks now use.

    • Crisis Awaits World’s Banks as Trillions Come Due

      The sovereign debt crisis would seem to create worry enough for European banks, but there is another gathering threat that has not garnered as much notice: the trillions of dollars in short-term borrowing that institutions around the world must repay or roll over in the next two years.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • World History Before Our Eyes

      One is 22-year-old US Army intelligence analyst, Pfc. (formerly SPC) Bradley Manning who allegedly leaked a secret video and classified military information to the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, was arrested by the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command in May 2010 and is currently held in US military detention in Kuwait facing numerous charges.

    • China must halt harassment and censorship of HIV/AIDS activists

      Chinese security forces last night cancelled a documentary screening by an HIV/AIDS education group, which Amnesty International is strongly criticising as part of the ongoing harassment of peaceful public health educators.

      “Harassing and curtailing HIV/AIDS activism in China poses a real threat to effective HIV/AIDS prevention, with dire consequences for the right to health,” said Catherine Baber, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Deputy Director.

    • ‘A real free press for the first time in history’: Wikileaks editor speaks out in London

      Julian Assange, editor of whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, has criticised mainstream media for not making proper use of “primary resources” and claimed that the site has created “a real free press (…) for the first time in history”.

    • Wikileaks founder reflects on Apache helicopter video

      The mainstream media ignored important additional research related to the video of a U.S. Apache helicopter shooting civilians in Iraq that was leaked to the Wikileaks Web site, according to its founder and editor, Julian Assange.

      Assange spoke on Friday at the Center for Investigative Journalism at City University in London, marking one of his few public appearances since Wikileaks published the video, in which up to a dozen civilians were killed, including two Reuters news service employees. Assange said he is avoiding travel to the U.S. due to concerns that he could potentially be subject to a subpoena.

    • Wau Holland Foundation sheds light on Wikileaks donations

      Germany’s Wau Holland Foundation has told newspaper Der Freitag Wikileaks receives no money for personnel costs, only for hardware, travelling and bandwidth. Hendrik Fulda, the foundation’s second chairman, says around 30.000 euros have been handed out after receiving signed receipts. According to Fulda, most of the money has been mainly used to restore Wikileaks and keep the site up and running. The website had to be taken down last year as donations did not cover costs.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Fair Use

      Fair use is the concept that copyright has limits on time and other restrictions. That is, for personal education, copies are allowed. For backup copies are allowed. When the copyright expires in time, the work is in the public domain and may be copied.

      [...]

      One of the ideas is that DRM prevents legal copying even after the copyright expires so it is unfair. That could apply to things like WGdisA, too. To the extent that DRM frustrates the provisions of copyright laws it is unfair.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Libraries Worried About Potential Supreme Court Ruling Concerning Legality Of Selling Imported Omega Watches

      Earlier this year we discussed an important upcoming Supreme Court case between Omega (the watch company) and Costco over whether or not it can be considered copyright infringement to resell legally purchased watches that were bought overseas. The concept sounds crazy, right? What does reselling foreign watches have to do with copyright? Well, the details are a bit complicated, but basically lots of companies hate the concept of first sale rights (the ability to resell something you’ve legally bought) and have tried all sorts of tricks to try and block those rights. In this case, Omega inscribed a tiny globe on the back of its watches (where no one will ever see it) solely for the purpose of copyrighting that design and using it to try to stop resale. Of course, once again, the first sale doctrine does allow for resale, but here’s where Omega got sneaky. It pointed out that the first sale doctrine technically only applies to copies that are “lawfully made under this title.” Omega’s argument is that because the copyrighted globe design was made outside of the US, the copy was not made under US law… and thus (voila!) there are no first sale rights on any copyrighted product made outside of the US.

    • French Supreme Court rules for Google in trademark cases

      The French Supreme Court this afternoon ruled in Google’s favour in a series of groundbreaking trademark cases.

    • Copyrights

      • Music Industry Threatens OpenBitTorrent’s New Hosting Provider

        OpenBitTorrent is a non-commercial BitTorrent tracker that doesn’t host or link to torrent files. Despite this seemingly neutral setup, both Hollywood and the music industry have declared war against what they see as an illegal service. After Hollywood won its case against the former provider of OpenBitTorrent, IFPI is now going after its new host in Spain.

      • Copyright Madness

        “When I asked to use a single line by songwriter Joe Henry, for example, his record label’s parent company demanded $150 for every 7,500 copies of my book. Assuming I sell enough books to earn back my modest advance, this amounts to roughly 1.5% of my earnings, all for quoting eight words from one of Mr. Henry’s songs. I love Joe Henry, but the price was too high. I replaced him with Shakespeare, whose work (depending on which edition you use) is in the public domain. Mr. Henry’s record label may differ, but it’s not clear that his interests — or theirs — are being served here. Were they concerned that readers might have their thirst for Mr. Henry’s music sated by that single lyric? Isn’t it more likely that his lyric would have enticed customers who otherwise wouldn’t have heard of him?”

      • RIAA Accounting: Why Even Major Label Musicians Rarely Make Money From Album Sales

        And that explains why huge megastars like Lyle Lovett have pointed out that he sold 4.6 million records and never made a dime from album sales. It’s why the band 30 Seconds to Mars went platinum and sold 2 million records and never made a dime from album sales. You hear these stories quite often.

      • Ha ha ha ha ha. RIAA paid its lawyers more than $16,000,000 in 2008 to recover only $391,000!!!

        The RIAA’s “business plan” is even worse than I’d guessed it was.

        The RIAA paid Holmes Roberts & Owen $9,364,901 in 2008, Jenner & Block more than $7,000,000, and Cravath Swain & Moore $1.25 million, to pursue its “copyright infringement” claims, in order to recover a mere $391,000. [ps there were many other law firms feeding at the trough too; these were just the ones listed among the top 5 independent contractors.]

        Embarrassing.

      • New Bebo CEO: We’ll Staff Up, Innovate, Then Maybe Sell

        You might usually expect a turnaround specialist to cut costs and lay off staff. But, in Bebo’s case, the cutting had already been done by AOL (NYSE: AOL)—the site now has only 25 to 30 staff, and now Criterion will need to re-invest, particularly on engineers, Levin tells paidContent:UK.

      • File-sharing, copyright and the digital consumer

        Planned sessions will examine the options for change to UK copyright legislation to meet the rapidly changing and evolving digital era; how consumers could be better informed about exactly what they can and cannot do with their music, movies and photographs; and whether technical measures, such as throttling, may be used as an alternative to disconnection to deter file-sharers.

      • Yet More Lawyers Jump on Turn Piracy Into Profit Bandwagon

        As the U.S. struggles with the prospect that thousands of file-sharers will receive threatening letters in the now-famous Hurt Locker lawsuit case, over the pond in the UK there is a continuing escalation of the ‘turn piracy into profit’ bandwagon. A new firm of lawyers has entered the market and while their business model appears identical, they are attempting to sugar-coat their actions.

      • Panel: Copyright Needed In Music, But Should Benefit Musicians

        Copyright is critical to the survival of the music industry and its creators, but lack of respect for copyright is not why artists are struggling to make ends meet, argued a recent panel of media lawyers and music industry experts. The blame for that lies squarely on the corporate-focus of the music industry, and how it has bent copyright law to serve companies rather than composers, said a panel at the University of Westminster.

      • Looking More Closely At Judge Gertner’s Constitutional Analysis Of Copyright Awards In Tenenbaum Case

        Last Friday, we quickly covered the news that Judge Nancy Gertner had declared the original jury award of $675,000 against Joel Tenenbaum for downloading and sharing some songs unconstitutionally excessive. Over the weekend, however, I had some more time to read the full ruling (posted by Eric Goldman) and get a sense of what Gertner’s full argument meant. You can read the ruling here, and I highly recommend taking the time to read the whole thing…

      • “Evacuate the dance floor” says ACS Law? – The Scorpion and the Frog?

        It’s currently being reported by users that ACS:Law is sending out copyright infringement letters again. Now I would say that ACS:Law have not seen the publicity they received in the same light as TBI (in respect of alleged copyright infringement) , but then looking at the ACS: Law website, it appears that they do little else. (and please, someone correct me if I’m wrong)

      • Panel: Copyright Needed In Music, But Should Benefit Musicians

        Copyright is critical to the survival of the music industry and its creators, but lack of respect for copyright is not why artists are struggling to make ends meet, argued a recent panel of media lawyers and music industry experts. The blame for that lies squarely on the corporate-focus of the music industry, and how it has bent copyright law to serve companies rather than composers, said a panel at the University of Westminster.

      • CopyWrong!

        Last month I briefly blogged about my love affair with old automated musical instruments such as the player piano, player reed organ, nickelodeon, wind-up phonographs and my long association with the Automatic Musical Instrument Collector’s Association (AMICA).

      • The Real ‘Copyright Radical Extremist’ – Hello James Moore, This Is Your Life

        The perceived political center of Canadian Society, was determined during the Canadian Copyright Consultation. The consensus was that ‘Digital Locks’ weren’t wanted or needed. This consultation was considered one of the most successful of all time. Curiously certain people didn’t like the results. Barry Sookman, who Michael Geist claims is working for the CRIA (I have asked Barry several times to indicate his allegiance – he has so far refused to do so to me, so I don’t know if Michael is right or not) didn’t like the results. Nor did James Gannon, nor did Richard Owens. Lawyers, and members of the Recording Industry Association of America, members of the Motion Picture Association of America, and a couple of other American industries. Lawyers, and American companies.

      • Vimeo gets Creative Commons, global settings

        Video host Vimeo on Tuesday is rolling out a new feature that will users apply Creative Commons (CC) licenses to their uploaded videos.

      • ASCAP’s attack on Creative Commons

        The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has launched a campaign to raise money from its members to hire lobbyists to protect them against the dangers of “Copyleft.” Groups such as Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are “mobilizing,” ASCAP describes in a letter to its members, “to promote ‘Copyleft’ in order to undermine our ‘Copyright.’” “[O]ur opponents are influencing Congress against the interests of music creators,” ASCAP warns. Indeed, as the letter ominously predicts, this is ASCAP’s “biggest challenge ever.” (Historians of BMI might be a bit surprised about that claim in particular.)

      • ACTA

        • International anti-counterfeiting talks hit snags says EU

          The European Union “will not swallow” U.S. hypocrisy when negotiating an anti-counterfeiting agreement, said the senior E.U. representative involved in the talks.

          European Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht, made the statement during a presentation to the European Parliament on Tuesday. He was updating members of the parliament (MEPs) on the state of play of negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). But despite his tough talking and apparent hardline stance, many MEPs were unconvinced that the revised ACTA agreement will safeguard civil rights.

        • EU gets wires crossed over ACTA transparency

          A renewed call from Green MEPs for ACTA transparency crosses with a reply from the Commission that maintains its old, discredited line that ACTA will remain within the EU acquis.

          Last week, the Green group in the European Parliament issued a call for the European Commission to suspend all negotiation on the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) until there is a proper agreement in place for full transparency. By ‘transparency’ the Greens mean that the negotiating documents can be made public.

          The Greens stress their concerns that ACTA will infringe citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms and that it will impose some form of graduated response measures.

          But is the Commission listening? Also last week, a written answer from the Trade Commissioner Karel de Grucht, crossed with the transparency call. The Commission’s answer arguably dodged

        • ACTA negotiators inform the Parliament in secret

          The ACTA negotiators from the Commission came to the European Parliament today, to inform the Parliament about what happened in the last round of negotiations in Luzern.

          However, the meeting where the information was to be given was declared ”in camera”, i.e.: closed to the public.

        • Even US Intellectual Property Organization Concerned About ACTA Being Too Broad & Changing US Laws

          While those involved in the ACTA negotiations have mocked the concerns raised about the ACTA draft, and said that those who are complaining are merely repeating “wild internet rumors.” Of course, we’ve seen that’s not the case at all. A recent filing about ACTA, put together by a bunch of industry groups, highlighted many of the very real problems with ACTA. Of course, ACTA defenders still dismissed this, because they claimed that the report came from those industries who benefited from weakened IP laws.

          I wonder how they’ll try to belittle this one. The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) recently sent its own letter to the US government complaining about the scope and specifics of ACTA (pdf). The Intellectual Property Owners Association is not exactly the sort of organization you can accuse of wanting weaker intellectual property. It’s also not an organization that I agree with very often (as you might imagine). But, in this letter, the group points out that ACTA appears to be way too broad and that, contrary to claims from ACTA negotiators, it seems clear that it would require changes to US law.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 11 Sep 2007 – Linux Name to Identifier Resolution (2007)


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