Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 8/4/2010: Linux Probably Back to the PS3, Ubuntu GNU/Linux Users @ ~12 Million

GNOME bluefish



  • Giving Credit Where Credit is Due...

  • Linux Outlaws 144 - No Muppetry Included (Corenominal Interview)
    In this special show we interview Philip Newborough aka. corenominal and his wife Becky about Crunchbang Linux and a lot of other pretty random stuff…

  • Linux logos are cool
    Linux logos are often a expression of feelings. Often they express a sense of humor, or great feel for esthetics. One of the reasons people use linux is because it's possible to make it a personal experience.

  • Skills

  • Sony

    • Purported hack brings Linux back to the PS3
      Sony PlayStation 3 owners who held off on updating their systems in order to keep from losing the option to install alternate operating systems have a new glimmer of hope. Hacker George Hotz (a.k.a Geohot) has released a video of a new hack that promises to keep the alternate OS install feature, even with the 3.21 firmware update that was released last week.

    • Playstation 3 Update locks out Linux and Ubuntu, bricks consoles
      Opting to not download the update bars the user from accessing the Playstation Store, playing games online or playing any games or Blu-ray movies that require the 3.21 update to function.

    • x86 Server Standardization Does Not Equate to OS Pluralization
      And now, as of April 1, you'll have a hard time finding Linux running on one particular high performance computing (HPC) platform -- Sony's PlayStation3. Since its launch, the original version of the games console has had the ability to run another OS as well as the gaming platform on its processor (although the newer "slim" models couldn't). A new version of Sony's PS3 firmware released in late March removed the option to run Linux on the PS3 once and for all.

      Why would anyone want to run Linux on a PS3? As it happens, the PS3 is a pretty powerful beast with an IBM Cell BE processor at its heart. It runs Linux like a bat out of hell. The consoles are dead cheap because Sony subsidizes them, hoping to make money on the sale of games and extras. More to the point, you can link large numbers of PS3s to build a low-cost supercomputer cluster. That's why the U.S. military announced last November that it planned to increase the power of an existing 336 PS3 HPC cluster by buying a further 2,200 of the consoles, according to Ars Technica. Compared to buying IBM Cell blades there's a ten-fold price/performance advantage in using PS3s, according to a "Justification Review Document" quoted in the piece.

  • Desktop

    • Is the Desktop Becoming Legacy?
      Windows vs. MacOSX vs. KDE vs. GNOME vs. BeOS wars are thing of the past. The future discussions and most exciting developments will happen on mobile devices. So watch out for iPhone OS vs. ChromeOS vs. MeeGo (and probably Microsoft if they get their act together with Windows Phone 7 and Slate). For Intel and AMD this development means that they should concentrate on server processors and very low power processors for the consumer devices, since this is the area with the most demand in the future.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Graphics drivers and Mesa3D updated, four new stable kernels
      Almost simultaneously with the first series 1.8 X Server, the developers have also updated Mesa3D and various drivers. Four new stable kernels offer bug fixes and minor improvements.

      The X Server isn't the only component for which a new version has recently been released, as many other components that impact the graphics support in Linux distributions have also been updated in the past two weeks.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Launches FirePro V8800 Graphics Card
        More than a year ago AMD rolled out the ATI FirePro V8700 workstation graphics card and months later then pushed out the FirePro V8750 as their new ultra high-end graphics card for those engaging in CAD, imaging, and other tasks. Now though AMD has unveiled the FirePro V8800 series that replaces the V8750 for the top spot.

  • Applications

    • gEdit and Leafpad Make a Good Text-Editing Team
      It's no longer a hard-copy world, and most writing tasks don't require all the bells and whistles in heavyweight word processing programs. Text editors are a much more nimble choice. However, not all text editors are alike. You may not need a lot of features, but you definitely want the right ones. gEdit and Leafpad are two open source options that complement each other nicely.

    • 6 Linux Music Players To Replace Songbird

    • Desktop Virtualisation
      Virtualisation is a bit of a buzz word at the moment. Virtualisation can be used for all sorts of different computing tasks from server consolidation to cross-platform software development, to running that one "must-have" app in that "I – wish – I – didn’t – have – to – use – this – damned – OS" OS. This article is more at the latter end of that scale. It will tell you about some VM options for linux, and will run you through some tips and tricks for getting the more popular VM’s up and running.

  • Instructionals

  • Games

    • 24 More of the Best Commercial Linux Games
      The amount of software that is available for Linux is truly mind-boggling with tens of thousands of applications available to download, including an impressive arsenal of open source games.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • one team, two teams! small team, big team!
        We could try to excuse the issue and say, "Well, KDE is huge now. 600+ developers contributing to the last release, even more translators, artists and others. That's a lot of people to move about!" While this is true, I don't think it is the whole picture.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • The Difference a Decade Makes
        The evolution away from these origins has sometimes seemed slow. Often, in looking at a GNOME release, I have been disappointed in the apparent lack of progress. Yet looking back over the 2.0 series as a whole, I now suspect that part of that perception was impatience on my part.


        That's something to remember while we look forward to GNOME 3.0 six months from now. GNOME 3.0 marks a new chapter in the free desktop. It is going to be attracting increasing attention, both from those who enthuse over it and those who condemn it as misguided or new. Yet in the excitement of GNOME 3.0, I think it worth looking back at the GNOME 2.0, and congratulating all involved on an impressive work in progress.

  • Distributions

    • How 10 Popular Linux Distro Sites Looked When they Launched
      This is how some of the popular Linux distro websites looked like when they launched initially. Thanks to the for all the screenshots. Redhat website looked pretty decent for a 1996 website. Which one of these websites did you like?

    • What's the best lightweight Linux distro?
      There are plenty of reasons for wanting a low-resource distro running on your computer. Maybe you have some ancient hardware that you need to breathe new life into. Perhaps you want something that will fit on a modestly sized memory stick. Or it might be that you want to run 200 virtual machines simultaneously on your desktop.

    • Another one-disk wonder: DexOS
      I got an e-mail a day ago that reminded me about DexOS, which is another one-disk wonder. You’re probably still wondering what the point is, when floppies are so far out of date as to be completely irrelevant. Well …

    • KGB Says: The Best Linux is Ubuntu or Fedora
      Last night while watching my usual list of recorded television programs, I saw a commercial for KGB, the company that begs you to text them with your questions. For a mere 99 cents, they'll answer any question that you ask of them. I'm sure that they have their share of tricksters with questions such as, "What is life" and "What is the air speed of an unladen swallow." But my mind dances to a different beat. And, with my wife's permission, I posed the following question using her cell phone: "Which Linux distribution is the best for new users?"

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Linux: The Best New User Distribution is not Necessarily Ubuntu
        I am sure many will have other new user distributions to recommend and may argue against my choices. Debate over distributions is one thing that is not in short supply in the Linux community. However, I am going out on a limb to state that Mandriva Linux is easily at the top of the list of new user distributions. I am confident that this assertion will hold up under scrutiny once I make my case.

    • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 Review
        I've tried several versions of the SimplyMEPIS but never really got hooked on the visual appearance leaving me wondering what beginners find so appealing in SimplyMEPIS. With the release of SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 I decided this was the perfect time to give it a try and see what all the fuss is about.


        Before using SimplyMEPIS this time around, I wasn't sure what was so exciting about this Debian-based distro. Now I know. Two reasons SimplyMEPIS 8.5.01 might make a great distro for newbies is it offers GUI configuration tools and also a huge package selection due to it's Debian base. The visual appearance is getting there and I think that this most recent version is an improvement in the overall look and feel but still may have some catching up to do when compared to other top distros.

      • Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu considering critical bugs an "invalid" bug?

        • Dell’s Ubuntu Linux Strategy Extends to China
          From time to time, Dell does a poor job articulating its Ubuntu Linux strategy. But sources close to Dell and Canonical continue to insist the relationship remains healthy and “stronger than ever.” Here’s an update on Dell’s Ubuntu strategy — which includes a dramatic Dell-Ubuntu PC push in China.

          First, some background: Dell began shipping Ubuntu preloads in mid-2007 on selected U.S. desktops. Dell’s decision to offer Ubuntu came only a few months after Microsoft launched Windows Vista. That certainly caught my attention.

          By July 2007, I jumped on the Dell Ubuntu bandwagon, and hoped to eventually launch an Ubuntu-centric web site that tracked Canonical’s business strategy.

        • Ubuntu Claims 12 Million Users as Lucid Linux Desktop Nears
          Ubuntu Linux is gearing up for the debut of its latest release with Ubuntu 10.04, codenamed "the Lucid Lynx" and scheduled for general availability at the end of the month. It's a release that offers multiple new features on the desktop and a new look to Ubuntu Linux.

          The Lucid release could also help to further accelerate adoption of Ubuntu, which has been growing over the last several years. In 2008, Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor behind Ubuntu, pegged the number of Ubuntu users at 8 million. It's a figure that could have increased by as much as 50 percent or more since then, insiders say.

        • Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat
          Although Ubuntu Lucid Lynx has not yet been released, Canonical chief Mark Shuttleworth has already named its successor: Maverick Meerkat.

          Ubuntu Lucid Lynx is due for release at the end of April while the newly named Maverick Meerkat is only scheduled for release in October. But, as is traditional, Shuttleworth used the remaining weeks of the Lucid development phase to lay down guidelines for the next phase.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Is your tv running Linux? (yet)
      Some manufacturers are using Linux for their television sets, Sony for instance has a impressive list of tv's which are running Linux.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • PaleXO is Deploying OLPC to Palestinian Schools
        PaleXO is the Palestinian XO Laptop Community. We are working with the coordination and support of the Palestinian Educational Initiative (PEI) on implementing the XO laptop project In Palestine, and trying to create a success story out of it.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open sound series: Part 1 - The Freesound Project
    This week's featured site is The Freesound Project (TFP). While working on a personal Ardour project, I began looking for some sound clips to throw into a song in order to bring the track a bit more life. Namely I was looking for a drunken countdown, or something similar. I had bookedmarked TFP while researching an earlier article, so I figured I'd give it a go. What I found after a quick search using their integrated search tool was a well-recorded group countdown from roughly the number 12. They mumbled at the beginning, making it seem like it could very well be at a bar. What's great is, as mentioned previously in my Open Music article, this meant that I had to attach credit to the song I was working on. Thus generating more traffic back to the page where I received the file, helping both the author of the file itself and The Freesound Project as a whole. It's a great web that is quickly woven around art that otherwise would go unnoticed. The best part? It wouldn't be possible at this level without open source.

  • OSCON show announces sessions and keynotes
    The O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) has posted sessions and keynotes for its annual conference. Scheduled for July 19-23, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, OSCON features keynotes including Google's Chris DiBona, Facebook's David Recordon, Canonical's Simon Wardley, and the GNOME Foundation's Stormy Peters (pictured).

  • Time to Abandon AIM
    AOL has closed the doors on its Open AIM program. Pidgin developer Mark Doliner outlines where to go from here to support AIM, but maybe it's time to close the door on the protocol altogether.

    AIM and Yahoo! were the predominant protocols for IM when I started using Linux, and for a very long time they were the only reliable ways to chat with most of my friends and family that used Windows or Macs. IRC was fine if I wanted to chat with other Linux folks, but most of my contacts didn't use IRC and weren't about to switch or pick up yet another client because I was the odd man out on the desktop.

  • Education

    • Can Professors Teach Open Source?
      The answer is simple: the skills required to succeed in an open source software project are the exact same skills required to succeed in any large software project. The biggest difference is that, with just a bit of guidance, anyone can build their software skills in the open source world.

    • Academia's Obligation to Software Freedom
      The Free Software philosophy is founded in the ideals of freedom, openness, and sharing. Producing software based on these ideals has great pragmatic benefits. Free Software is developed in the interest of its users instead of the owner of the software. This method of producing software benefits the entire community, and the software is of much higher quality due to the huge number of volunteer and paid contributers.

  • Mozilla

    • Top 5 Firefox addons that enhance your web experience
      With the massive amounts of data that we have at our disposal online, there are times when you just don't know where to start from. Thanks to some really cool Firefox addons, you can get more out of the web in less time and sweat. The following 5 addons should be of interest to you if you want to enhance your web experience.

    • What I Have Against Contextual Design and Personas
      Last night Boriss wrote a great post about the benefits of the contextual design process. Aspects of the contextual design process like the inquiry, work modeling and environment design are all incredibly important skills for a UX designer to have. However, I couldn’t disagree more with the premise that this process should have been applied by Lead Ubuntu designer Ivanka Majic in the design of the window manager.

  • SaaS

    • Olliance CEO Interview Series: Larry Augustin on the intersection of Open Source and Cloud
      Larry: I agree with that. I think of the Cloud as the platform now. I think of porting to Amazon, Rackspace or Windows Azure. I don’t think of porting to Linux or porting to Microsoft Windows.

      I think of the Cloud service provider as the platform. And the OS, just like the database, is a piece of the stack. The app server is a piece of the stack. Those are all pieces of the stack. The importance of the OS is declining and the importance of the Cloud service is increasing. And that to me is independent of Open Source or proprietary.

    • Business of open source: my take on "open core"
      From a higher perspective, I believe that the whole IT market is moving toward service-based approaches — SaaS paved the way — because it aligns customer value with vendor revenue. That's why we — at Nuxeo — won't use the open core model even if it could increase short term revenue. We're here to stay and we believe that basing our revenue stream on the value we create for our customers is the best way to create sustainable growth.

    • Please, no more ‘Open Source Company’
      In fact, open source is now so fundamental to the software industry that it is part of every software company’s product and/or business strategy. The industry needs to start thinking of open source as being the software commons for the entire industry, not just one small group of companies. Therefore, it is my hope that in the next 12-18 month the term ‘open source company’ will quickly fade away.

  • Oracle

    • The future of MySQL in a post-Sun world
      There's good news for fans of MySQL: It won't be left to wither and die any time soon. Oracle has made very public assurances that it will spend more on developing the database than Sun ever did, at least for the next three years. The Community Edition will continue to see improvements, which will be released under the GPL at no charge with all of the source code.

    • Datacenter Barometer: Good News for OpenSolaris?
      Setting up the paywall for Solaris 10 simply refines the open core model the Solaris/OpenSolaris relation already had. It's just that now the commercial Solaris 10 will not be free in any sense: neither as in beer or freedom.

      Obviously, the restriction of these freedoms is not a good thing, but I have a feeling that this may be the way Oracle will reconcile its desire to maintain a strong OpenSolaris community versus its need to generate revenue.

  • Business

    • Making Money In Open Source: Does It Matter?
      Roughly, the participants in the discussion can be split into three camps. On one side, there were those who went gaga over how open source is successfully making money and, on the other end, there were skeptics who were wondering why Open Source is not making big bucks like their proprietary counterparts. In between these two camps were the so called “moderates” who argued that open source need not make big money but they enable others, like Web 2.0 vendors and the current day cloud vendors, make big bucks. They even showed the example of how open source is single handedly keeping Wall Street running and, thereby, helping some people make really big bucks.

    • Lucene and Solr Development Have Merged
      The Lucene community has recently decided to merge the development of two of its sub-projects – Lucene->Java and Lucene->Solr. Both code bases now sit under the same trunk in svn and Solr actually runs straight off the latest Lucene code at all times. This is just a merge of development though. Release artifacts will remain separate: Lucene will remain a core search engine Java library and Solr will remain a search server built on top of Lucene. From a user perspective, things will be much the same as they were – just better.

    • WANdisco Delivers Certified Subversion Binaries With Enterprise-Class Support
      WANdisco, a leading provider of infrastructure software for replication, scalability and high availability, and a corporate sponsor of the Subversion open source project with core developers from the project on staff, today announced that it has made WANdisco certified Subversion binaries available for free download. WANdisco's certified Subversion binaries provide a complete, quality assured version of Subversion based on the most recent stable, fully tested release.

    • Zenoss Releases Service Assurance Monitoring Product for Private & Public Clouds based on Cisco UCS

    • Orange, OpenX launch challenge to Google’s DoubleClick in Europe
      Orange, the key brand from Europe’s third-largest telecom, and OpenX, an open-source ad server, are teaming up to challenge Google’s DoubleClick in the European ad exchange market.

  • BSD


    • Free Software is not only GNU
      We’ve got to worship principles, not people.

      With this I mean that even if I agree with the idea behind FSF and the GNU Project, I don’t have to see either Richard Stallman or Linus Torvalds as my personal God, nor I would have to accept the GNU project as the owner of all good software in this world. There is more to that. The same principles apply to other situations, even situations where GNU is laughed at, even situations where GNU’s code is laughed at but their license is used. Because what makes me dislike some of the GNU project’s applications and in general the FSF (America) approach, is not the license, otherwise I wouldn’t be using it extensively for my own projects, both personal and work-related.

  • Releases

  • Licensing

    • Proprietary Licenses Are Even Worse Than They Look
      Apple's licenses are probably the easiest example of proprietary licensing terms that are well beyond reasonableness. Of course, Apple's licenses do the usual things like forbidding users from copying, modifying, sharing, and reverse engineering the software. But even worse, Apple also forbid users from running Apple software on any hardware that is not produced by Apple.

    • Using the GPL for Eclipse Plug-Ins
      Recently we've seen some questions about whether Eclipse plug-ins can be released under the GPL. Answered briefly, this is possible if you can provide an additional permission with the license to allow combining your plug-in with the necessary EPL-covered libraries. The rest of this post examines why an additional permission is necessary, and has specific recommendations for interested developers.

  • Openness

    • NY Times Trashes Crowdfunding Without Looking At A Single Big Success Story
      Hmm. Jill Sobule raised over $80,000 in less than two months. That seems like more than gas money. Ellis Paul raised over $100,000. That seems like more than gas money. It's not clear exactly how much Josh Freese was able to get from his experiment, but it was clearly over $30,000 from reports that were given. Marillion has been surviving on crowdfunding for over a decade.

    • Misconceptions about Transactional Open Innovation
      On the Harvard Business Review blog, John Hagel III, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison, recently wrote a thought-provoking piece on the future of open innovation. They make many keen observations about the limitation companies currently face in making effective use of "Transactional Open Innovation" (TOI), defined below.

  • Programming

    • C is number one!
      Right next to my desk in a bookshelf is my 1988 copy of Kernighan and Ritchie's second edition of The C Programming Language. I've kept this book, the urtext of C programming, because C has always been the first language of Unix and Linux, and I like to be able to read source code. I know that, over the years, C had declined in use. What I didn't know was that, old as it is, C has actually maintained more of its popularity than I had thought and that it's now once more the number-one programming language in the world.

    • C Programming Language Back At Number 1

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Get Prepared for the HTML5 Revolution
      In many ways, HTML5 is an attempt to bring order to many of the features and behaviors that have become the norm in recent years. This section highlights some of the more compelling additions.


  • Science

    • New element discovered: Ununseptium
      Even though the name ununseptium (symbol: Uus) is only temporary, Russian and U.S. scientists still have made an important discovery of a new chemical element, one with an atomic number of Z=117.

    • ScienceShot: Animals That Live Without Oxygen
      Scientists have found the first multicellular animals that apparently live entirely without oxygen. The creatures reside deep in one of the harshest environments on earth: the Mediterranean Ocean's L'Atalante basin, which contains salt brine so dense that it doesn't mix with the oxygen-containing waters above.

    • H.P. Sees a Revolution in Memory Chip
      Hewlett-Packard scientists on Thursday are to report advances in the design of a new class of diminutive switches capable of replacing transistors as computer chips shrink closer to the atomic scale.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Police cuff 70 eBay fraud suspects
      Romanian police have arrested 70 suspected cybercrooks, thought to be members of three gangs which allegedly used compromised eBay accounts to run scams.

    • From Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It
      Cyber war is not some victimless, clean, new kind of war that we should embrace. Nor is it some kind of secret weapon that we need to keep hidden from the daylight and from the public. For it is the public, the civilian population of the United States and the privately owned corporations that own and run our key national systems, that are likely to suffer in a cyber war.

    • The 9/14 Presidency
      The U.S. still reserves the right to hold suspected terrorists indefinitely without charge, try them via military tribunal, keep them imprisoned even if they are acquitted, and kill them in foreign countries with which America is not formally at war (including Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan). When Obama closed the secret CIA prisons known as “black sites,” he specifically allowed for temporary detention facilities where a suspect could be taken before being sent to a foreign or domestic prison, a practice known as “rendition.” And even where the Obama White House has made a show of how it has broken with the Bush administration, such as outlawing enhanced interrogation techniques, it has done so through executive order, which can be reversed at any time by the sitting president.

    • Obama to take middle course in new nuclear policy
      A year after his groundbreaking pledge to move toward a "world without nuclear weapons," President Obama on Tuesday will unveil a policy that constrains the weapons' role but appears more cautious than what many supporters had hoped, with the president opting for a middle course in many key areas.

  • Finance

    • Wall Street’s Cloudy Opportunity
      Cloud computing providers have often looked to the financial companies as potential customers. But what about potential competitors?

    • Morning Update/ Market Thread 4/7
      The number of people using food stamps increased for the 14th consecutive month with the number of people receiving them at a record 39,430,000! That’s equal to 12.8% of our entire population! No pictures of people in soup lines that extend around the block? There they are.

    • Goldman Sachs Proprietary Trader Hedayat Said to Leave Firm
      Ali Hedayat, a managing director in Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s largest internal hedge fund, has left the firm, the second senior departure from the unit in less than a month, according to three people familiar with the matter.

    • Goldman Sachs denies betting against mortgage clients
      It was "grateful" for the government assistance during the market turmoil, Goldman chief executive officer Lloyd Blankfein and chief operating officer Gary Cohn said in the firm's annual letter to shareholders.

    • Goldman Sachs denies 'betting against' its clients during financial crisis

    • Goldman Sachs denies 'betting against clients'
      Nine months after being labelled "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity", Goldman Sachs has issued a wide-ranging justification of its conduct before, during and after the financial crisis.

    • Exclusive: Is Goldman Sachs Playing Fair?
      But increasingly that international influence has come at a cost to Goldman's once gold-plated image - including the charge of putting its own interest above all else.

      For example: allegedly helping the Greek government hide its ballooning debt - and then betting it would eventually default - contributing to a financial crisis so deep it has led to riots in the streets.

      Goldman defended itself against similar accusations about its role in the housing crisis in a letter issued Wednesday, saying it didn't "bet against our clients," but rather was simply "managing our risk."

    • Goldman Sachs: Spinning Gold
      The Fed abused the taxpayers' trust when it bailed out AIG's trades for 100 cents on the dollar. The Fed claims its loan for purchases of the CDOs may be paid back, but that is only 40% of what taxpayers are owed. The loan was only for the 40 cents on the dollar that remained after Goldman (and others) already took billions out of AIG. The purchases should be reversed, and taxpayers should be paid 100 cents on the dollar--the original principal amount (less interim principal payments). [2] The proceeds can be used to pay down AIG's public debt.

    • Goldman Sachs: No apologies
      Goldman Sachs defended its controversial employee bonuses and multi-billion dollar relationship with AIG in its annual report released Wednesday, while downplaying its short-selling in the mortgage market.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • 'Eyes on the Prize' comes to DVD
      The 1987 civil rights documentary emerges from a long period of unavailability.

    • Another hearing tomorrow on transatlantic data exchange
      Tomorrow a hearing “Protection of Personal Data in Transatlantic Securitz Cooperation, SWIFT, PNR, etc. The Public Hearing is hosted by MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht.

    • Iraq Video Brings Notice to a Web Site
      Somehow — it will not say how — WikiLeaks found the necessary computer time to decrypt a graphic video, released Monday, of a United States Army assault in Baghdad in 2007 that left 12 people dead, including two employees of the news agency Reuters. The video has been viewed more than two million times on YouTube, and has been replayed hundreds of times in television news reports.

      The release of the Iraq video is drawing attention to the once-fringe Web site, which aims to bring to light hidden information about governments and multinational corporations — putting secrets in plain sight and protecting the identity of those who help do so. Accordingly, the site has become a thorn in the side of authorities in the United States and abroad. With the Iraq attack video, the clearinghouse for sensitive documents is edging closer toward a form of investigative journalism and to advocacy.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Do as we say, not as we do
      If you haven't been following the story, the Labour party took a photo of actor Philip Glenister as Gene Hunt from Ashes to Ashes, photoshopped in David Cameron's face and put it on a poster with a tagline about going back to the 80s. The Conservatives took Labour's image, and changed the words to something more positive, and put it on their own posters. The problem is that it appears neither of them bothered with the trivial matter of getting approval from the copyright holders.

    • James Gannon Presentation – Copyright Viewed By A Lawyer – Correct Legally But Wrong – Part 1
      James Gannon is a lawyer who works with Barry Sookman at McCarthy Tétrault LLP. He also has a blog called ‘IP, Innovation and Culture’ which is hosted at, where he expounds on ‘Intellectual Property‘ issues.

    • James Gannon Presentation – Copyright Viewed By A Lawyer – Correct Legally But Wrong – Part 2
      Let me see – Wal-Mart shut down their DRM servers in 2009, and his presentation was in 2010. Does anyone see the disconnect here? RealNetworks is has been struggling, Sony’s music sales aren’t work breaking out in their year end reports (at least I couldn’t find them), and Microsoft doesn’t break out music sales on their year end reports (probably too embarrassed to do so). As I stated above, the two giants of digital music sales don’t use TPM/DRM on their music. From that you can guess how essential it is to running a successful Digital Music Store.

    • James Gannon Presentation – Copyright Viewed By A Lawyer – Correct Legally But Wrong – Part 3
      So which is it? Do you want Canada to adopt the WIPO Copyright Treaties? If so, why are you not criticizing those who are not in compliance, like the United States (with the DMCA) and the United Kingdom (with the Digital Economy Bill). For that matter, where is Doctor Mihaly Ficsor, the supposed copyright expert? Why isn’t he criticizing the United States and the United Kingdom for passing legislation which is not compliant with the WIPO Copyright Treaties?

      Logic people. Use some logic.

    • Why Copyright Criminals Filmmakers Won't Get Sued? Because They'd Win
      Last year we had a post, based on a post by Peter Friedman, suggesting a big reason why Girl Talk hadn't been sued for creating entirely sample-based music was because there was a good chance that Girl Talk/Gregg Gillis would win that lawsuit, and establish a clear fair use right in sampling. Now, with the more recent discussion about the legality of the documentary Copyright Criminals, Friedman is making the same point again: suggesting that the filmmakers won't get sued, because they would likely win, and redraw the boundaries of the law on music sampling and fair use:
      But if McLeod is willing to fight a lawsuit -- and I think he is -- the recording industry won't sue him. The existing precedents requiring licensing of every single recorded sample would be overturned, and the record industry would [have] lost the appearance created by these precedents, an appearance that makes the vast, vast majority of samplers pay license fees for their samples. It's better business for the industry to let the occasional brave and creative soul feel as if he's getting away with something than to have the industry's precious -- and ill-founded -- legal precedents put at genuine risk.

    • ✍ Copying Is Not Theft; Saying It Is IS Spin
      Just in case you were in any way confused (which it seems a whole lot of people are), copying is not stealing, as this charming little jingle illustrates.

    • ACTA

      • ALDE ACTA consultation makes tea not war
        The lobbyists blackmail Luc Devigne by embracement on principles. It is great to have finally a more professional discussion.

      • Smooth Criminal Harmonisation: ACTA, EU And IPR Enforcement
        Anything one can consider as politically cool from an EU perspective, ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, the multilateral treaty to combat counterfeiting and piracy) negotiations have got it all: the internet, the USA, large potential for media exposure and a hitherto Nixonian element of secrecy balanced by a flow of thrilling documents leaked by generous deep-throats.

        Thus it’s hardly a surprise that during the past few months, being horrified – sometimes on the basis of irrational arguments – about this secretly negotiated treaty has superseded SWIFT as the fashionable cross-party pastime in Brussels.

        At the heart of all the ACTA anxiety is the hazard of policy laundering or legislation through the back door. Simply put: can we as Europeans envisage one morning “waking up” to our legal reality having been transformed via ACTA?

      • Luc Devigne and DG trade’s ACTArchy (ALDE hearing)
        What do I mean in the context of ACTA? It is the “maximalist attitude” which regards politics, legal technicalities, competences, balances, mandates as a simple restriction to be exhausted, pushed to its limits. I remember that was what fascinated me about ACTA from the very start of the process, the way in which the Commission brushed away all the technical difficulties.

      • Europe Learns The Truth(s) About ACTA
        The truth about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is different depending on which side you are on.

        At a hearing organised by the Liberal Party Group in the European Parliament in Brussels yesterday Canadian law professor and ACTA expert Michael Geist challenged the position of the European Commission and other negotiating parties to the agreement that ACTA would not lead to substantive law changes in the ACTA countries and also explained what possible long-term effects could result from the heavily debated treaty. Critics in Europe go one further in their rejection of ACTA which does undermine according to them democratic processes in the EU and EU member states.

        The “truth about ACTA,” according to Geist, is first and foremost that it is not what it is said to be. “It is essential to recognise that ACTA is not the norm,” Geist said, countering the argument of negotiating parties who have pointed out tirelessly that trade agreements never were negotiated openly.

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • New forum for next steps in Digital Economy campaign
        We've launched a new forum, over here. Please sign up and use it to help us plan the next steps in our campaign against the Digital Economy Bill.

      • UK Digital Economy Bill Turns To Ashes
        After months of warnings from photographers, and weeks of viral posters demonstrating the dangers of Clause 43 and misuse of photography, the Labour party have got in on the act by launching their election campaign with a poster using all the techniques warned of: only to see it blow up in their faces.

      • The Statute of Anne, the Digital Economy Bill and the Red Flag Act
        This week marks the Tercentenary of the 1710 Statute of Anne - the world's first Copyright law. It also marks the first discussion of the Digital Economy Bill in the Commons. And in 1865, the Locomotive act was being discussed in the Commons too. How do they compare?

      • Clause 18 of the DEB removed? – And its different because…..?
        I won’t repeat myself about my objections to the DEB. Whilst my articles and opinions are strongly anti-piracy, I think that there is so much wrong with the implementation and current copyright laws, that there are issues on both sides.

        What I want to look at is it is now reported that Clause 18 has been removed in the final throes of the DEB debate. Before I do that though, many sites report:
        Copyright holders will be able to apply for a court order to gain access to the names and addresses of serious infringers and take legal action.

      • UK House Of Commons On Digital Economy Bill: We'll Approve Now, Debate Later?
        Despite tens of thousands of people writing their MPs, and multiple MPs asking for approval of the Digital Economy Bill to be delayed, it looks like the Leader of the House of Commons, Harriet Harman, has decided that the bill will be rushed through via a "wash up," no matter what. Glyn Moody points us to an image showing that a lot of MPs simply decided not to even show up for the discussion, which is a bit of a disgrace.

Clip of the Day

SourceCode Season 3 - Episode 1: Climate Change (2006)

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