EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.21.10

Links: Linux News (SSHFS, Drivers), Applications, Instructionals, Unigine Game, and Distributions

Posted in GNU/Linux, News Roundup at 11:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mask

Summary: Accumulation of Linux and GNU news including a Zenwalk 6.4 review

Graphics Stack

  • Here’s The 3dfx Banshee, Voodoo DRM/KMS Driver

    Last month we reported on the status of kernel mode-setting with the Glint driver that’s being done as a Google Summer of Code project to provide KMS support for the ancient 3Dlabs Permedia 3 and Permedia 4 graphics cards and to better document the Linux KMS/DRM driver writing process. As part of the Glint KMS discussion, it emerged that an independent developer (James Simmons) happened to hack together a 3dfx DRM driver. This was interesting as the work was never published or accepted into the mainline kernel, but today we finally are able to lay our eyes on this open-source 3dfx driver for the Banshee, Voodoo 3, and Voodoo 5 graphics cards.

  • Cool User File Systems, Part 1: SSHFS

    Userspace file systems are one of the coolest storage options in Linux. They allow really creative file systems to be developed without having to go through the kernel gauntlet. This article presents one of them, SSHFS, that allows you to remotely mount a file system using ssh (sftp).

Applications

Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Alternative desktops: Fvwm

    This time around, in our Alternative desktops series, we’re going seriously old-school Linux with Fvwm. Although using Fvwm will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time, it still has it’s place in today’s world. Where speed and simplicity are the single most important desire on a desktop, you really can’t go wrong with Fvwm. The only problem with this wonderful little desktop is getting used to the configuration.

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Clementine 0.4 Rocks! I Love Open Source!

      Most of you probably haven’t heard about Clementine before. But every linux music enthusiast must be aware of Amarok 1.4, which for many like me, was the best open source music player for Linux. Even though it was KDE app, I used it as my default music player in Ubuntu Gnome. It was that good. But everything changed once KDE developers decided to rewrite Amarok.

  • GNOME Desktop

    • Probably The Best 5 GnoMenu Themes

      I can’t stand the default menu Ubuntu comes with and I only keep it because I have to know under which submenu the user can find an installed application when posting on WebUpd8. This wouldn’t be needed if people used a menu with a search function but anyway. Also, since I install quite a few applications, half of it requires scrolling and makes it almost unusable.

Distributions

  • How Many Types of Linux Do We Need?

    There are gazillions of people on this planet right now. Not all of them will ever care to build their own flavor of Linux. But Linux gives you the ability to choose how YOU want things, and then share it with the world. I’ve talked before about where you can go to build your own version of Linux. It’s not as difficult as you might think it is… so what are you waiting for?

  • Reviews

    • Zenwalk 6.4: Simple yet Awesome

      It’s been a long time since I last took a look at Zenwalk. I’ve always had a sweet spot for it, though I haven’t had a chance to really give it a full spin in quite some time. Although I am primarily a KDE user, there’s something about Zenwalk that always keeps my attention: It’s simple, fast, and gets the job done. Not only that, but its one of the best lightweight distros around.

      Zenwalk uses XFCE as it’s desktop of choice (though other versions are available) and from the past times I’ve used it, it appears to be focused on allowing your system to run free, rather than bog it down with unnecessary eye candy and bloat. Zenwalk manages to pack a punch with a large variety of useful applications preinstalled, without slowing you down in the process.

  • Red Hat Family

    • Is Red Hat the New VMware?

      Red Hat Enterprise Linux now comes with built-in virtualization (KVM) but is Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) about to go to the virtual mat with VMware? If you look at their RHEL video, you’ll come away with a resounding ‘Yes’ to that question.

      Red Hat purchased Qumranet in 2008 to acquire their KVM-based virtualization solution and SolidICE product based on the SPICE protocol.

    • Fedora

      • Cantarell

        As Ian and Ryan already blogged, the Fedora Design Team is evaluating new branding fonts: Comfortaa for headings and either Cantarell or Droid Sans for body text.

  • Debian Family

    • DebConf10: the Debian Project

      After ten editions in nine countries spanning four continents, and for the first time in the US, the Debian project is holding the annual Debian Developer conference, DebConf, at Columbia University in New York City on August 1.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Manual Project core philosophy

        I believe such a philosophy, like Ubuntu’s code of conduct, is important and every project should have one.

      • Flavours and Variants

        • Netrunner Blacklight Released!

          Huzzah! So, the official (and huge) ISO for the second release of Netrunner is up, out and available right now! (torrent)

          Here’s the distrowatch announcement.

          Moving to KDE

          The biggest change in this version is moving to KDE for the desktop.

          Something important to understand about that: when I say “KDE for the desktop”, that doesn’t mean Netrunner is running all KDE apps. There are a lot of GNOME (and other) apps in there, because we are trying to present the best selection of applications and for some reason some people like some of the non-KDE apps better.

        • Peppermint Ice – Press Release!

Links: GNU/Linux Desktop Merits Noted, Canonical Spreads Proprietary IBM Software

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, News Roundup, Servers, Ubuntu at 10:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bluish clouds

Summary: Further catch-up with GNU/Linux news (mostly from last week)

GNU/Linux

  • Of Hardware and OSs

    Currently, Linux systems take the very high end machines (any machine more powerful than a fully tricked out MacPro {read supercomputers and mainframes}) and the very low end machines (phones, routers, palm-tops, PVRs).

  • Stop Apologizing For Linux!

    There’s almost nothing that desktop Linux can’t do. A modern Linux desktop is probably a better choice for 95% of the heavy Internet service using population than the big commercial behemoth that dominates the desktop. I’m not saying Windows doesn’t have its place or that it doesn’t do the job for a lot of people, but Linux is better, faster, stronger, safer, and sexier than anything else out there. It’s cool. It rocks. It dramatically increases your sex appeal. And if you’ve got a 64 bit processor instead of 32, that goes double. What more do you want?

  • 10 things that drive me crazy about current operating systems
  • Fun

    • Using Compiz As A Window Management Tool

      You’ve seen the wobbly windows, you’ve seen the cube, you’ve seen the raindrops. Compiz is just a bunch of useless eye candy right? Wrong. While the flashy effects get most of the attention, Compiz is a top-notch window manager in its own right. In fact, it’s got so many workspace and window management tools that many people use Compiz for years without ever knowing about some of the most useful features. This guide will cover each of the best window management plugins for Compiz and explain how each can be used to create a more productive desktop, with or without wobbly windows.

    • Pimp my Linux desktop!

      Linux, which I’m using at the moment, comes with a pretty standard blue-themed Gnome desktop common to several distros- Debian, Mandriva and Fedora- distinguished only by a branded wallpaper.

      It’s a simple and elegant theme, but over the last few days I’ve been customising my desktop, changing the theme and icons. The new theme is a dark one which I think suits my laptop with its grey-bordered screen.

  • Desktop

    • Has Linux lost the desktop battle?

      Even I have done it. I don’t think you can be a Linux blogger without having done at least one post about how this year is the year the Linux desktop will take over the world. However, no matter how many people seem to write about it. The year the Linux desktop takes over the world always seems to fall through the cracks. Sometimes I think that there must be some Pinky foiling the Linux Brains plans :)

      But! The pundits cry, Linux is gaining market share every year. Surely it will win the Linux desktop prize soon. Nay! Say the naysayers, at the rate Linux is gaining desktop market share even those not born yet will have one foot in the grave before Linux has any significant rating. Which one is right?

    • Linux: No bloatware, popups, and annoyances

      GNU/Linux has the answer to these annoyances, and it is this: they are simply not there. Why? Because the software is written by developers that are not trying to sell you something.

    • China and the Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop

      It’s an old joke by now that this year will be the year of the GNU/Linux desktop – just like last year, and the year before that. But now there’s a new twist: that this year will be the year of the GNU/Linux smartphone – with the difference that it’s really happening.

      That’s mainly being driven by the huge success of the Linux-based Android system, but it’s not the only open source system here. There’s also webOS and MeeGo, both of which have their loyal fans. What that means is that whichever of these takes off, the open source world will benefit.

      [...]

      If Baidu does come out with its own Android rival, that could help to achieve two things. It would finally take open source into the Chinese mainstream, and help to ensure that Linux unequivocally becomes the world’s leading operating system for smartphones – if not on the desktop.

    • PT: “Nearly all school children getting familiar with open source’

      Almost all school children in Portugal are becoming familiar with using open source, including the Linux operating system, says Paulo Trezentos, founder of Caixa Mágica Software.

      By the end of this year, the company’s eponymous Linux-based operating system will have been installed on 890,000 school PCs and school laptops, he says. “In a country with a population of 10 million, this means that Linux is reaching the majority of the young people.”

    • 5 ways to use bootable Linux live discs

      In the almost 20 years since Linux was first released into the world, free for anyone to use and modify however they like, the operating system has been put to a lot of uses. Today, a vast number of servers run Linux to serve up Web pages and applications, while user-friendly versions of Linux run PCs, netbooks, and even Android and WebOS phones.

      One incredibly useful way that Linux has been adapted to the needs of modern computer users is as a “live CD,” a version of the operating system that can be booted from a CD (or a DVD or, in some cases, a USB drive) without actually being installed on the computer’s hard drive. Given the massive RAM and fast CPUs available on even the lowest-end computers today, along with Linux’s generally lower system requirements compared to Windows and Mac OS X, you can run Linux quite comfortably from a CD drive.

  • Server

    • Canonical bundles Linux, IBM database for the cloud

      Canonical is offering enterprises a chance to try cloud computing via a virtual appliance that bundles Ubuntu Linux with the IBM DB2 Express-C database running on the Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) public cloud platform.

      The free appliance, which features Ubuntu Server Edition 10.04, also can be deployed in private cloud configurations.

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)


« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts