Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 14/11/2010: Scientific Linux 6.0 Alpha, Fedora and Wayland

GNOME bluefish



  • CDE — Making Linux Portability Easy
    "A Stanford researcher, Philip Guo, has developed a tool called CDE to automatically package up a Linux program and all its dependencies (including system-level libraries, fonts, etc!) so that it can be run out of the box on another Linux machine without a lot of complicated work setting up libraries and program versions or dealing with dependency version hell. He's got binaries, source code, and a screencast up. Looks to be really useful for large cluster/cloud deployments as well as program sharing. Says Guo, 'CDE is a tool that automatically packages up the Code, Data, and Environment involved in running any Linux command so that it can execute identically on another computer without any installation or configuration. The only requirement is that the other computer have the same hardware architecture (e.g., x86) and major kernel version (e.g., 2.6.X) as yours. CDE allows you to easily run programs without the dependency hell that inevitably occurs when attempting to install software or libraries. You can use CDE to allow your colleagues to reproduce and build upon your computational experiments, to quickly deploy prototype software to a compute cluster, and to submit executable bug reports.'"

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • The X Input 2.1 Multi-Touch Implementation Is Here
        Canonical's Chase Douglas has corralled Daniel Stone's X Input 2.1 Multi-Touch patches and have readied them for integration into the X.Org Server and related software components.

        The patches for the xorg-server, protocol, and input drivers are now available on the mailing list. There's also an X Input 2.1 Multi-Touch PPA for Ubuntu users seeing as all of the interest Canonical has had in multi-touch (with their own multi-touch framework and proposing an X Gesture Extension) and their plans to ship greater multi-touch support in Ubuntu 11.04 regardless of what's pushed upstream in time.

      • Hosting backdoors in hardware
        Have you ever had a machine get compromised? What did you do? Did you run rootkit checkers and reboot? Did you restore from backups or wipe and reinstall the machines, to remove any potential backdoors?

        In some cases, that may not be enough. In this blog post, we’re going to describe how we can gain full control of someone’s machine by giving them a piece of hardware which they install into their computer. The backdoor won’t leave any trace on the disk, so it won’t be eliminated even if the operating system is reinstalled. It’s important to note that our ability to do this does not depend on exploiting any bugs in the operating system or other software; our hardware-based backdoor would work even if all the software on the system worked perfectly as designed.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Keeping up with the Unitys: KDE's Plasma Netbook
        Last week when I wrote about Canonical’s decision to go with Unity on Wayland I mentioned traditional desktop interfaces are mostly unsuitable for more mobile computers, including tablets, phones and netbooks. I should have been more specific about the interfaces themselves and not the software used to build them and, as the KDE developers pointed out to me, the Plasma Netbook workspace is an alternative for today’s smaller screens.

        The popular open source and commercial desktops of Windows 7, Mac OS X and GNOME and KDE are well suited to the opulent widescreen monitors that plant themselves on computer desks like the one I’m sitting in front of now.

      • KDEPIM 4.5 is Dead -- Here's to KDEPIM 4.6
        Well, the ramp-up for KDE SC 4.6 has begun now, with soft freezes taking effect yesterday and the first beta due in about 1 week.

        So... we have decided that there is no point to putting any more effort into the long-awaited KDEPIM 4.5.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Christmas Present and Beyond
        Eugeni Dodonov, newly appointed Mandriva Cooker Manager, has posted the details of the next two Mandriva releases as well as announced the new release schedule policy. One of these release comes as a Christmas surprise, something seen from the Mandriva project before.

        Dodonov posted to the Cooker mailing list that Mandriva will be releasing two releases in the coming months. The first will be seen around December 22, as a Christmas present for all Mandriva users. Mandriva 2010.2 is a freshly updated version of 2010.1, or Mandriva 2010 Spring, with all the security and bugs fixes that have been implemented since 2010.1 was released, "plus also lots of improvements, stability and performance fixes in many, many packages."

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat tries the value argument for open source
        Red Hat released Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6 earlier this week. The new operating system, filled with technical innovations, performance enhancements, and customer-requested improvements, has met with positive press, as well as solid customer and partner response. However, how it's being marketed could be much more important -- to customers and to open source vendors in general.

      • Keeping Red Hat in Raleigh a constant fight – Szulik
        Former Red Hat Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Szulik is not surprised at all that the company he helped build into a global technology success story is contemplating moving from its Raleigh home.

        Szulik, who retired earlier this year as chairman after stepping aside as CEO two years earlier to care for his ailing father and late father-in-law, says he faced constant questions from Red Hat’s board about whether to move the Linux software firm to Silicon Valley.

        “It never stopped, Rick. It never stopped,” Szulik said in an interview.

      • Quick look at Scientific Linux 6.0 Alpha
        I was meaning to write this yesterday and before you know, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 final is out. But that doesn't mean we can't post a quick look at this one. As most of you will know, Scientific Linux is a free clone of RHEL compiled from the original source rpm's, and with the upstream branding removed. As such it is almost identical to the Red Hat product, but in contrast to the CentOS project the SL team are adding and tweaking a few packages to make it better suit their needs, the needs of CERN. It is cool to know that the people responsible behind the Large Hadron Collider are putting this together, and it makes me feel that on top of the proven reliability of the enterprise grade Red Hat product there is another layer of hugely competent folk that cross check and add their own finishing touches. As this distribution is used across many scientific sites and labs it has to have a sane base, be usable on laptops, and easily customizable for different sites and different spins. I imagine the labs will have somewhat different requirements from laptop users and admin staff. Scientific Linux has added wireless firmware and tools and a few packages that make life easier to the official Red Hat, and that's a point in its favor for the user who would like to take advantage of the power of an enterprise product.

      • RHEL 6: serious Linux built for growth
        Red Hat has released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, the first major update for RHEL in over three years.

        RHEL 5 debuted in March 2007 and used the Linux 2.6.18 kernel. Although incremental updates have added a number of kernel updates and new features, RHEL5 is starting to look aged. Of course much of the appeal of an enterprise distro is precisely that it ages well - ten years in RHEL's case.

      • Fedora

        • Cyrille Blag // FEDORA 14 repository

        • The Fedora Plans For Wayland
          So eventually, Fedora will switch to the Wayland Display Server.

        • Exodus to a new land?

          Looks like it is actually happening . I might actually have to try and make it work

        • Raaaaaaawwwhide! (rolling rolling rolling)
          A couple of days back I decided a week was plenty long enough to be running a boring, stable OS like Fedora 14 on my desktop and decided to upgrade it to Rawhide instead. I’ve never gone to Rawhide this early in a Fedora cycle before (though I used to run Cooker permanently when I ran Mandriva), so it’s been an interesting ride. I’ve spent the last couple of days poking at various little issues and fixing some small things. Now I’ve got a pretty usable system going, at least for my purposes.

          Before I could upgrade at all, I patched xchat-gnome to build against libnotify 0.7 and sent the patch upstream. Don’t be too impressed; it’s not exactly a complicated patch. There’s quite a lot of apps that haven’t been patched and rebuilt against libnotify 0.7 yet in Rawhide, but xchat-gnome was the only one I actually need.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 5
        Debian 5 is perfect for those who want a very stable system that provides a great deal of control to the user. It is not well suited for those looking for the latest & greatest of everything. If you bear that in mind and proceed accordingly, you might find Debian 5 to be a very useful desktop distro.

        Those who want things to be a bit more up-to-date should really consider Linux Mint Debian instead. Bear in mind that LMDE is based on the testing branch (also known as Squeeze) rather than on the stable branch (Lenny). So you may not have the same sort of rock-solid stability that you get in Debian 5. It’s a bit of a trade-off, to a certain degree and it’s something you should know when you consider choosing between the two.

        My experience with Debian 5 was overwhelmingly positive. I’ll be keeping it around to use regularly, though I suspect I will still lean a bit toward Linux Mint Debian a fair amount of the time.

        Debian 5 is probably best suited to intermediate and advanced Linux users.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • First Compiz Based Unity Screenshots [Ubuntu Natty PPA]
          However, there are still some issues with the Compiz based Unity (that's why it's only available in a PPA for now): Dash doesn't work so to launch applications you can only use the Unity launcher ("dock"). Also, the icons in the upper panel are aligned to the left for some reason.

        • Unity, the next generation desktop?
          Simply speaking, Unity is another visual representation to allow easy access to your installed programs. Compared to launching an application by using a keyboard shortcut, a menu entry, a docky/cairo/... dock icon or a graphical shortcut on the desktop, Unity uses a launchbar glued to left side of the screen plus a graphical menu where all applications are displayed as icons. Gone are the classic menus. Is this something to be afraid of? No, so technically speaking I see no reason to utter something negative about this way of representing an access method to launch applications.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Mint 10
            Linux Mint 10 (“Julia”) has been released, based on Ubuntu 10.10 (“Maverick Meerkat”). I’ve been running Ubuntu for about 4 years now and for the past couple of years have been running the spin off distribution “Mint“. Mint is Ubuntu with a lot of GNU GPL software added in such as Adobe flash and multimedia codecs, so it adds some functionality that isn’t possible under Ubuntu’s strict open source licenses. This moves away from the philosophy of Ubuntu but provides an even more functional distribution right out of the box. Many hardened linux users can’t stand the site of Ubuntu as it moves more into the Windows world of armchair computing and presents users with a computer they again don’t need to understand the workings of. I’ve flirted with Mandriva, Arch, Fedora, Suse, and Slackware but keep coming back to Ubuntu just for the ease of setup and the canonical repositories. My available time means I often just don’t have the time to go through some of the problems encountered when compiling from source code and hunting down dependencies. This isn’t a distrubution or linux fault – it’s just I don’t have enough understanding to race off and sort everything out, and I don’t have the time to learn more at the moment.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • u-boot + Linux kernel port to Mediatek MT6235 baseband processor under way
      I am really excited about some recent work by Marcin on starting a u-boot and Linux kernel port to the Mediatek MT6235 baseband processor.

      Among GSM baseband processors, the MT6235 is a very unusual device. Unlike classic GSM baseband chips, it is not based on an MMU-less ARM7TDMI/ARM7EJS but on an ARM926EJS core. This is a full-blown ARMv5 core on which a standard Linux kernel could run.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google's gingerbread Androids are fully baked, can the OS be far behind?
          Continuing with our cookery theme this morning, we now have a full tray of scrumptious-looking gingerbread Android men, courtesy of Google Mobile's Twitter account. The whole world and his poodle already know that Gingerbread, Android's next iterative update that's presently expected to be given the numerical identifier of 2.3, is coming some time soon, but now Google's taken to fanning the flames of anticipation with some home cooking.

        • Netflix headed to 'select Android devices' early next year
          Come early 2011, Netflix will appear on "select Android devices," according to the company's official blog, which also promises a "standard, platform-wide solution" for Android in the unspecified future.

        • Confirmed: Lenovo LePad headed to US in 2011
          Lenovo led us to believe that that our LePad chances weren't terribly good, but CEO Yang Yuanqing recently told the Wall Street Journal that the Android tablet is indeed slated for a 2011 US launch.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Jolicloud's OS Isn't Just Similar to Chrome OS--Looks Like It Will Run With It
        We've recently covered the fact that Google may have dragged its feet on delivering its cloud-focused Chrome OS operating system for too long now, but could another cloud-focused OS--backed by a startup far smaller than Google--represent another roadblock to widespread adoption of Chrome OS? Jolicluoud has a freely downloadable operating system that is completely designed to make working with cloud-based applications, ranging from Facebook to Google's own apps, easy. I've used it extensively, and written about how it may have a strong future as a secondary operating system--one you use in addition to your primary one. Now, the first netbooks based on Jolicloud are coming to market, ahead of Chrome OS-based ones.

      • UNR 10.10 Maverick Meerkat - Don't touch this!

        UNR 10.04 Lucid Lynx is fast, sexy and useful. It plays popular media, suspends and resumes in a blink, has an eon of battery life, interfaces smoothly with all kinds of network shares, printers, gadgets, and whatnot, allows full customization, allows decent multi-tasking, and does not play any foul games.

        UNR 10.10 does none of this except being sexy. You may eventually get it to do all kinds of pretty things, but you will be isolated in a virtual world, where your entirely experience is limited to online. Why plug in a USB drive or connect to your second box via Samba when you have Ubuntu One to share files? Why delete anything, after all, we're in the era of information. Why bother where your stuff goes, use the inline search? Right? Wrong.

        I wholeheartedly recommend Lucid Lynx for your netbooks. And it will be fully supported until 2013. But UNR 10.10 Maverick Meerkat is a flop. It may be a revolution, but I'm one of the victims, left bleeding in the ditch, covered with an old newspaper.

        It's amazing how good the desktop edition is compared to this. Really stunning. I really wonder where all the decisions come from and how they all blend. Using the distro name alongside the UNR badge does the autumn release a disgrace. Purrty and evil.

        Stay away from UNR 10.10. If and when I miraculously discover how to tame this beast, I might update you, but the first impression is one of impotence and despair. Don't touch this. Dedoimedo out.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 Awesome Free Tools For Small Businesses
    These are frugal times for business, and an organization starting out might have very little money to spend on IT. Even if you're part of an established business, you're probably feeling the pinch.

    Here are five extremely useful computing resources that are free of charge for small business users--unlike some "free" services you might see that are only for home users. These choices have few if any restrictions, and are established services unlikely to shut up shop anytime soon.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • MariaDB 5.2 now faster and with alternative authentication
      Launched by MySQL creator Michael "Monty" Widenius, the MariaDB MySQL fork has been released for downloading as version 5.2. The open source database is based on MySQL 5.1.51, although MariaDB contains additional functions. The release notes say that all commands, interfaces, libraries, and APIs from MySQL also run in MariaDB so it's a drop in replacement for current installations. No innovations were added following the Release Candidate; instead, the developers concentrated on troubleshooting.

  • Oracle

    • Google: Android doesn't infringe Oracle's copyrights
      The litigation battle between Google and Oracle continues to heat up. The search giant fired the latest volley with a filing that outlines twenty separate defenses against Oracle's claim that Google's Android mobile platform infringes intellectual property that Oracle obtained from Sun. Google argues that no infringement has transpired, and that it isn't responsible even if evidence of actual infringement is found.

      This dispute erupted in August when Oracle sued Google over its use of the Java programming language in Android, even though Java is ostensibly an open language and Google uses its own clean-room implementation. Oracle grants a license to the necessary intellectual property to developers who can demonstrate their Java implementations conform with Java standards. Oracle has, however, refused to provide the requisite compatibility test suite under terms that are acceptable to third-party Java implementors—including the Harmony project, which Google relies on for its Java library stack.

  • Licensing

    • Nooku Contributor Agreement
      In July we launched the idea on the mailing list to setup a Nooku Incubator where developers can collaborate on building new an innovative Nooku Components. Over the past few months we have been making steady progress. The Nooku Incubator is being setup as we speak and will open it’s doors in the coming weeks.

      In order to ensure that everyone has the same understanding of and commitment to Nooku when they choose to participate in the Nooku Incubator we have created a Nooku Contributor Agreement.

      In simple terms, the Nooku Contributor Agreement states that:

      * You retain the ownership of the Contribution * You grant us a copyright license under the terms of the GNU LGPLv3/GNU GPLv3/GNU AGPLv3. * You warrant that your Contribution doesn’t violate the rights of any third parties.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Notes from the International Commons Conference
      Where do conservative urbanists, liberal activists, and free culture advocates congregate? Last week it was in Berlin at the first ever International Commons Conference (ICC) held by the Commons Strategies Group and the Heinrich Boll Foundation. The combination of traditional and digital commons was explored as a transformational paradigm for the first time through an international conference in keynote addresses, conference tracks, breakout groups, and plenary sessions over two days.


  • Parliament signals its priorities for EU-US summit
    Ahead of the EU-US summit on 20 November, MEPs agreed their recommendations on positions the Council should take regarding key transatlantic issues such as economic co-operation, personal data protection, the introduction of a US travel fee and recent leaks of US classified military documents on Iraq.

  • In the Grip of the New Monopolists

    How hard would it be to go a week without Google? Or, to up the ante, without Facebook, Amazon, Skype, Twitter, Apple, eBay and Google? It wouldn't be impossible, but for even a moderate Internet user, it would be a real pain. Forgoing Google and Amazon is just inconvenient; forgoing Facebook or Twitter means giving up whole categories of activity. For most of us, avoiding the Internet's dominant firms would be a lot harder than bypassing Starbucks, Wal-Mart or other companies that dominate some corner of what was once called the real world.

  • 20 Years Ago Today: The Web Was Proposed
    If you want to realize just how amazing the level of progress has been with the internet, realize this: it was just 20 years ago, today, that Tim Berners-Lee proposed the web...

  • 20 Years Ago, The Web’s Founders Ask for Funding

  • Web celebrates one of its 20th birthdays

  • Science

    • Online comments maybe not total waste of time
      There’s a science behind the comments on websites.

      It’s actually quite predictable how much chatter a post on Slashdot or Wikipedia will attract, according to a new study of several websites with€­ large user bases. And the thread of an online conversation — whether it sticks to the original topic or users comment on each other’s comments — can be modeled as a tree with discussions veering off on branches, researchers report online November 2 at

      The findings give hope to social scientists trying to understand broader phenomena, like how rumors about a candidate spread during a campaign or how information about street protests flows out of a country with state-controlled media.

    • How Computer Chess Changed Programming
      It changed how we program and think about the human brain

    • From bomb maker wannabe to e-bike revolutionary

      Now a 29-year-old engineer and business owner, Lemire-Elmore has found himself among the vanguard of a thriving online counterculture. This group rejects traditional bicycles, and chooses to make their own bikes propelled by battery-powered electric motors. Many of them believe they're helping to create future communities that will have fewer polluting vehicles and less traffic congestion.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • ‘Kill Fidel Castro’ part of Call of Duty video game angers Cuba
      A U.S.-developed video game that lets players try to kill Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro sparked an angry reaction from Cuba on Wednesday, the latest charge in the long history of bitter U.S.-Cuba ties.

      “What the United States government did not achieve in more than 50 years, it now tries to do virtually,” said a story on government-run website

    • Sarah Palin E-mail Hacker Sentenced to 1 Year in Custody
      David Kernell, the former Tennessee student convicted of hacking into Sarah Palin’s personal e-mail account, was sentenced on Friday to one year in custody.

      Kernell, 22, was convicted earlier this year of misdemeanor computer intrusion and a felony count of obstruction of justice. The jury found him not guilty of a wire-fraud charge and hung on a fourth charge for identity theft, after four days of deliberating.

    • Sarah Palin email hacker sentenced to one year in prison
      Former Tennessee student David Kernell, who was convicted of hacking into Sarah Palin's personal e-mail account, was sentenced today to one year in custody.

    • Ex-agent: I almost shot LBJ hours after JFK murder
      A former Secret Service agent says in his new book that he nearly shot President Lyndon B. Johnson hours after John F. Kennedy's assassination.

      In "The Kennedy Detail," Gerald Blaine recalls standing guard outside the Washington home of newly sworn-in President Johnson in the early hours of Nov. 23, 1963.

      Blaine heard footsteps approaching. He picked up his submachine gun and, in the darkness, pointed it at the chest of a man who turned out to be Johnson.

    • Video: Skateistan Examines Struggles of Young Afghan Skateboarders
      Sports, in its most profound sense, can be cathartic in ways beyond our comprehension. In times of turmoil and anguish, sports’ therapeutic abilities can lead us out of the darkness and toward a better place — if not tangibly, then in the recesses of our minds.

    • Ears Could Make Better Unique IDs Than Fingerprints
      On a planet hosting 6.7 billion human beings, having proof you’re unique is of tantamount importance. The ear, it turns out, may be the best identification yet.

    • TSA encounter at SAN
      This morning, I tried to fly out of San Diego International Airport but was refused by the TSA. I had been somewhat prepared for this eventuality. I have been reading about the millimeter wave and backscatter x-ray machines and the possible harm to health as well as the vivid pictures they create of people's naked bodies. Not wanting to go through them, I had done my research on the TSA's website prior to traveling to see if SAN had them. From all indications, they did not. When I arrived at the security line, I found that the TSA's website was out of date. SAN does in fact utilize backscatter x-ray machines.

      I made my way through the line toward the first line of "defense": the TSA ID checker. This agent looked over my boarding pass, looked over my ID, looked at me and then back at my ID. After that, he waved me through. SAN is still operating metal detectors, so I walked over to one of the lines for them. After removing my shoes and making my way toward the metal detector, the person in front of me in line was pulled out to go through the backscatter machine. After asking what it was and being told, he opted out. This left the machine free, and before I could go through the metal detector, I was pulled out of line to go through the backscatter machine. When asked, I half-chuckled and said, "I don't think so." At this point, I was informed that I would be subject to a pat down, and I waited for another agent.

    • Venezuelan police arrest 33 people in metro protest
      Police have arrested 33 people during protests on the metro system in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas.

      They said they were protesting about the poor service of the underground network, which commuter groups say has deteriorated rapidly in recent months.

      Police said the passengers prevented a train from leaving a station, and accused them of sabotage.

    • The US and its ‘Friendly’ Dictator

  • Finance

    • Britain to Tape Traders’ Cell Phones to Fight Fraud
      Investment bankers and traders in Britain will have their mobile phone conversations recorded in the latest step by the country’s financial regulator to crack down on insider trading and market abuse.

    • Bernard Madoff's belongings up for auction
      Personal belongings seized from jailed financier Bernard Madoff will be auctioned off in New York on Saturday.

      All of the proceeds will go to compensate the Ponzi schemer's investors.

    • The Haggling Begins for Troubled Assets
      It is the biggest rummage sale in Wall Street history — what one investment company calls “the Great Liquidation.”

      Two years after Washington rescued Wall Street, hundreds of billions of dollars of bad investments — in many cases, the same ones that poisoned banks and then the economy — are going up for sale.

    • G-20 refuses to back US push on China's currency
      Leaders of 20 major economies on Friday refused to back a U.S. push to make China boost its currency's value, keeping alive a dispute that raises fears of a global trade war amid criticism that cheap Chinese exports are costing American jobs.

      A joint statement issued by the leaders including President Barack Obama and China's Hu Jintao tried to recreate the unity that was evident when the Group of 20 rich and developing nations held its first summit two years ago during the global financial meltdown.

    • Top Finance Experts To G20: The Basel III Process Is A Disaster
      The Group of 20 summit for heads of government this weekend will apparently “hail bank reform,” particularly as manifest in the Basel III process that has resulted in higher capital requirements for banks. According to leading authorities on the issue, however, the Basel process is closer to a disaster than a success.

    • Obama says START treaty remains 'top priority'
      President Barack Obama, capping a far-flung Asian trip of mixed results, assured Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday that getting the Senate to ratify the START nuclear weapons treaty is a "top priority" of his administration.

    • Wall St. Brings Its Misgivings to the World
      The harsh aftermath of the global financial crisis of two years ago still weighed on corporate chiefs and political leaders as they gathered on Thursday in closed-door discussions on the sidelines of the two-day meeting of the Group of 20 economic powers.

    • Obama, weakened after midterms, reveals limited leverage in failed S. Korea deal
      President Obama's inability to secure a free-trade agreement with South Korea reveals in sharp relief the limits of his leverage overseas after a devastating midterm election.

      Obama's visit to four Asian democracies is aimed at promoting trade and other economic partnerships to boost long-term job creation in the United States, where voters pounded his Democratic Party this month over a moribund employment market.

    • Fed Efforts to Revive Economy Find Critics
      Can you remember when the Federal Reserve was above criticism? When politicians vied for Alan Greenspan’s favor and fell all over themselves praising his wisdom?

    • Big ideas for cutting deficit, but they'd hurt
      Voters who demanded Washington rein in the nation's spiraling debt are getting a message from President Barack Obama and leaders of his deficit commission: It'll hurt.

      A proposal released Wednesday by the bipartisan leaders of the commission suggested cuts to Social Security benefits, deep reductions in federal spending and higher taxes for millions of Americans to stem the flood of red ink that they say threatens the nation's very future. The popular child tax credit and mortgage interest deduction would be eliminated.

    • Deficit targets: Social Security, mortgage breaks
      In a politically incendiary plan, the bipartisan leaders of President Barack Obama's deficit commission proposed curbs in Social Security benefits, deep reductions in federal spending and higher taxes for millions of Americans Wednesday to stem a flood of red ink that they said threatens the nation's very future.

      The White House responded coolly, some leading lawmakers less so to proposals that target government programs long considered all but sacred. Besides Social Security, Medicare spending would be curtailed. Tax breaks for many health care plans, too. And the Pentagon's budget, as well, in a plan designed to cut total deficits by as much as $4 trillion over the next decade.

    • U.S. and South Korea Fail to Agree on Trade
      President Obama and President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea failed to reach an agreement Thursday on a long-awaited free-trade agreement, saying they had decided instead to give their negotiators more time to work out differences, which revolved around Korean imports of American autos and beef.

    • Janet Tavakoli on Bank & Foreclosure Fraud
      Janet Tavakoli, Tavakoli Structured finance, and I discuss bank and forclosure fraud via Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Countrywide, Bank of America, Citigroup etc. in the video commentary above.

    • Goldman Faces Lawsuit Over $1.2 Bln Hudson CDO Deals -Filing
      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) faces a class action lawsuit over two collateralized debt obligations it packaged and sold in 2006 and 2007, according to its latest quarterly regulatory filing.

    • Goldman Fined $650,000 for Lack of Disclosure
      The Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs learned in mid-2009 that one of its traders had been formally notified by the Securities and Exchange Commission that he was the subject of an investigation. But Goldman did not tell other regulators about the inquiry for about seven months, a violation of securities regulations.

    • Guest Post: The Giant Cover Up
      Ben Bernanke in from of Congress stated: “The Federal Reserve will not Monetize the debt.” Audio can be found here.

      Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said this past Monday: “The Federal Reserve will buy $110 billion a month in Treasuries, an amount that, annualized, represents the projected deficit of the federal government for next year. For the next eight months, the nation’s central bank will be monetizing the federal debt.”

    • Goldman, Natixis in Talks to Settle U.K. Default Swaps Fight
      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Natixis SA are in settlement talks to resolve a lawsuit over the termination of credit-default swaps that was scheduled to go to trial today.

      Judge Elizabeth Gloster of the High Court of Justice in London agreed to postpone the start of trial until 2 p.m. today after Anthony Grabiner, a lawyer for Goldman Sachs, said the parties were likely to resolve the dispute “around lunchtime.”

    • Goldman Sachs Only Wants Clients With More Than $5 Million
      Goldman Sachs has limited its clearing services to accounts that manage more than $5 million, says Bloomberg.

      Until now, the bank has cleared trades for anyone managing $1 million or more.

    • Here's How to Stop Market Manipulation and Show Too Big To Fail Banks Like JP Morgan Who Is Boss
      Leading economists and financial experts say that our economy cannot recover until the too big to fails are broken up. See this and this. The giant banks have been sucking money out of the real economy and making us all poorer. But the government is refusing to even rein in the mega-banks, let alone break them up.

      One of the too big to fails - JP Morgan - manipulates the silver market. See this, this, this, this and this.

      According to the National Inflation Association, JP Morgan is “short 30,000 silver contracts representing 150 million ounces of silver. This is one of the largest concentrated short positions in the history of all commodities, representing 31% of all open COMEX silver contracts.” This could leave JP Morgan exposed if people go out and buy physical silver in large numbers.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Federal website leaked personal information
      The CBC is reporting that an important government website had a significant security glitch that led to the disclosure of sensitive personal information of about 75 people.

    • EU legal threat stirs Home Office on interception opt-ins
      People who use the internet may have greater protection from electronic eavesdroppers following a consultation on changes to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).

      The Home Office recommendations include an explicit opt-in for information exchanged between a sender and receiver to be intercepted by a third party, and a civil sanction for "unintentional" breaches.

      The changes arise from complaints that Phorm, which makes web advertisement-serving technology, bases its selection of ads on the illegal tracking of web browsers' online behaviour. BT was condemned for testing Phorm twice without first telling its internet customers.

      Complaints were escalated to the European Commission, which said that the UK's implementations of the EU's data protection and e-privacy directives were flawed.

    • Saudi Arabia blocks Facebook over moral concerns
      An official with Saudi Arabia's communications authority says it has blocked Facebook because the popular social networking website doesn't conform with the kingdom's conservative values.

      The official says Saudi's Communications and Information Technology Commission blocked the site Saturday and an error message shows up when Internet users try to access it.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Will the EU permit a slow-lane Internet?
      Report on "EU Summit on ‘The Open Internet and Net Neutrality in Europe" Brussels, 11 November 2010

      An Internet slow lane of best efforts and a fast-lane of telco-surcharged managed services is being pushed by Europe's telecoms industry. Will the EU resist it and support the needs of citizens? This was a key question arising out of the EU summit on Net Neutrality.'

    • UBB Q&A: the Facts #1
      I’m currently in the process of writing my second novel for NaNoWriMo and getting ready to self publish my first novel, so this is a very busy month for me. So to start with, during November when I have any time at all, I thought I’d start answering some of the questions Canadians have asked about Usage based Billing (UBB) BB in the CBC comments section of a couple of the online articles they have published since the CRTC approval this terrible policy.

    • Further thoughts on net neutrality summit
      Politicians like simple stories and simple solutions even when the issues are complex as with net neutrality. I get it. So they get told simple stories by lobbyists to get them to behave in a way that is beneficial to certain commercial interests. I get that. Complaints that the debates on net neutrality are dominated by extremes are legitimate. But the logical leap then to the argument that net neutrality purists should be dismissed and commercial interests prevail - i.e. saying one end of the spectrum is right and the other wrong - is a leap too far.

      Jean-Jacques Sahels of Skype and La Quadrature du net's Jérémie Zimmermann, for example, were very badly treated by the first afternoon session chair, Malcolm Harbour, who insisted in intervening in their contributions to the debate and disagreeing with them. At the same time Mr Harbour both explicitly and implicitly praised the contributions of those selling the anti net neutrality message. Mr Harbour's duty as an MEP is to look to the public interest and undermining those who are attempting to speaking up for the public interest should not be part of his remit.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Access Copyright Plea to Negotiate Too Little, Too Late
        Howard Knopf has another post on Access Copyright and its effort to exclude 99 objectors to its tariff and to convince the Copyright Board of Canada to issue an "interim tariff" so that an important source of revenue continues to flow even as the collective demands a massive increase in fees. Knopf points to the many legal reasons why the interim request should be rejected in his post, which comes just as Access Copyright posts a open letter to the post-secondary education community. The letter claims that many in the education community are confused and frustrated by the current situation and professes to remain "open to negotiation so that we may continue to play a role in helping your institution reach its teaching and learning objectives."

      • Global Copyright Reform: A View From The South In Response To Lessig
        Professor Lessig is right. His call for global copyright reform is welcome and timely. However, past WIPO led efforts in this area have rather been unsuccessful. New reform initiatives should draw lessons from previous attempts in order to increase their prospects for success.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

HP on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

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Credit: TinyOgg


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