Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 16/11/2010: GNU/Linux Dominates Top 500, VLC 1.1.5 is Out

GNOME bluefish



  • The case for National Linux Distributions
    There's a lot of news flying around at the moment about the latest Russian attempt to create a national, Linux-based operating system. Let's take a look at some of the issues that surround the creation of national Linux distributions.

    The first point to make is that this isn’t the first Russian attempt adopt open source software. In 2007, the Armada group won the government tender to supply Russian schools with a Linux based operating system, making use of ALT Linux, a Russian fork of Mandrake Linux. Red Flag (China), Pardus (Turkey) and Bayahnian (Philippines ) were all created to meet the requirements of state institutions.

    A national standard Linux distribution solves two of the biggest problems that face Linux adoption in education, business and government institutions:

    First, Linux suffers from the problem of offering simply too much choice in terms of desktop environments and applications. If every school in the UK (for example) switched over Linux and open source tomorrow, they could, conceivably, all be using considerably different set ups. A national standard distribution offers the advantage of a standard platform that workers and students can be trained to use and maintain.

  • Server

    • Microsoft breaks petaflop barrier, loses Top 500 spot to Linux
      Microsoft says a Windows-based supercomputer has broken the petaflop speed barrier, but the achievement is not being recognized by the group that tracks the world's fastest supercomputers, because the same machine was able to achieve higher speeds using Linux.

    • Microsoft: Super - But Not Quite Super Enough
      Once upon a time, the Netcraft Web server market share was reported upon eagerly every month for the fact that it showed open source soundly trouncing its proprietary rivals. We don't hear much about that survey these days - not because things have changed, but for that very reason: it's now just become a boring fact of life that Apache has always been the top Web server, still is, and probably will be for the foreseeable future. I think we're fast approaching that situation with the top500 supercomputing table.

      I wrote about this six months ago, noting that Linux did rather well, with 91% of the top 500 machines in the world running some form of it. It's time for an update, and I'm afraid it is indeed rather boring: Linux now holds 91.8% of that sector.

      Happily, there are still a couple of other points of note. First and foremost, as the world and their canine has been commenting, is the fact that the list is now headed by a Chinese supercomputer (still running Linux, of course): if this surprises you, then you really haven't been paying attention.

    • SGI gets its HPC mojo back with CPU-GPU hybrids

    • Top 500 supers: China rides GPUs to world domination
      If the June edition of the bi-annual ranking of the Top 500 supercomputers in the world represented the dawning of the GPU co-processor as a key component in high performance computing, then the November list is breakfast time. The super centers of the world are smacking their lips for some flop-jacks with OpenCL syrup and some x64 bacon on the side.

      China has the most voracious appetite for GPU co-processors, and as expected two weeks ago when the Tianhe-1A super was booted up for the first time, this hybrid CPU-GPU machine installed at the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin has taken the top spot on the Top 500 list with a comfortable margin. Tianhe-1A's final rating on the Linpack Fortran matrix math benchmark test is 4.7 petaflops of peak theoretical performance spread across its CPUs and GPUs (with about about 70 per cent of that coming from the GPUs) and 2.56 petaflops of sustained performance on the Linpack test.

    • New EC2 Instance Type - The Cluster GPU Instance

    • Sandia Labs Proposes New Standard for Supercomputing
      The rating system, Graph500, tests supercomputers for their skill in analyzing large, graph-based structures that link the huge numbers of data points present in biological, social and security problems, among other areas.

      "By creating this test, we hope to influence computer makers to build computers with the architecture to deal with these increasingly complex problems," Sandia researcher Richard Murphy said.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Applications

    • VLC 1.1.5 adds live WebM streaming support, Game Music Emu, shows
      Popular do-it-all media player VLC has updated to version 1.1.5, and there are a handful of noteworthy changes nestled amongst the bugfixes and security patches. For starters, VLC can now play live streaming video wrapped in Google's WebM video container.

      The second big addition can be found on VLC's playlist window. Click the arrow next to Internet in the Media Browser box, and you'll notice has been added to the mix. While you won't be able to access the entire vast expanse of shows offers, VLC does include more than 1,000 popular offerings.

    • VLC 1.1.5 Has Been Released [Ubuntu PPA]
      VLC 1.1.5 has been released yesterday, introducing some small features and bug fixes.

    • Granola Improves Your Netbook/Laptop Battery Life And Makes Your PC Environmentally Friendly
      Granola is an application to improve your netbook / laptop battery life but can be used on your PC too and "make your PC environmentally friendly".

      Granola runs in the background but if you install the GUI, you'll be able to see some statistics such as how much energy, money and CO2 you'll be saving by running Granola on your computer as well as the overall savings by all Granola users.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Bombermania - A nice 3D bomberman in an old castle
        In the distant future humans have created friendly aide robots. But due to computer error robots rebelled against their creators. As a special agent you will have to eliminate all robots. To help you, scientists developed a unique bomber-o-mobil equipped with highly destructive bombs. During your mission you will find various power-ups and upgrade your vehicle, turning it into an efficient weapon of destruction. Blow all robots up and free your city!

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KOLABoration in action
        If you ask the guys from “IT Crowd”, this may be .. the Internet, but in fact is an ugly black box – yes, the same like Microsoft exchange.

        What if you can rely on a better solution for your company? Why not be able to look what’s inside the box and to fix something to make your groupware experience better?

        Come and see me, presenting the blue open box, called Kolab.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Shell: Getting prettier by the day
        Gnome-Shell’s UI revamp continues apace and the ‘relayout’ version of GNOME-Shell, first shown off at GUADEC earlier this year, is getting ready to land.

        With it containing so many visual changes MrMars dropped off screenshots of the ‘relayout’ GIT branch in the OMG! Inbox! and a link to his Italian Ubuntu forum post touching on them.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia supports LibreOffice
        After the announcement of LibreOffice, Mageia decided to give full official support to this new project.

        There are obvious similarities between the histories of Mageia and LibreOffice. Because both projects futures were unclear, teams decided – in both projects respectively – to create a fork that respects the FOSS (Free Open Source Software) principles and sets a more predictable governance model that relies on its community.


        We look forward to packaging, and contributing to the LibreOffice project and we will provide it in the upcoming Mageia releases.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6: It’s All About Virtualization
        No doubt, Red Hat is in catch-up mode when it comes to virtualization market share. But the company hopes RHEL6 and KVM can help to close the competitive gap. Here’s what it boils down to:

        Red Hat claims RHEL 6 is designed to provide a focus on rock-solid physical computing, along with true virtual and cloud activity support. To that end, RHEL 6 includes kernel improvements for resource management, “RAS” (reliability, availability, serviceability), and more power-saving features. The KVM hypervisor can support guest operating systems with up to 64 virtual CPUs, along with 256GB of virtual RAM and 64-bit guest operating system.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
        In the new version 6 of its flagship product, Red Hat has incorporated many technological developments of the past few years. Compared to its predecessor, this release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux therefore contains a large number of changes.

      • Fedora

        • Fuduntu Is A Fedora 14 Remix For Netbooks And Laptops
          Fuduntu is a Fedora 14 remix (remaster) designed especially for Asus Eee (but you can of course use it on other netbooks and any laptop/desktop computer) and comes with some interesting performance tweaks by default. It was created by Fewt, the Jupiter (an hardware and power management applet for netbooks and Laptops) developer.

        • Going on Record Against the Fedora Board’s SQLninja Decision.
          I think this is a stupid decision[1]. By the boards reasoning we shouldn’t package apache either, what if someone uses a server with fedora on it to serve child porn? What’s next are we gonna remove wireshark and etherape? What about Firefox, you can hack into things with a webbrowser?!?

        • SQLninja denial
          The minutes suggest that board members seem to think that SQLninja has no beneficial use. The minutes also suggest confusion about penetration testing tools in general. I saw in the minutes the objection that SQLninja is advertised as 'get root on remote systems'. Are the board members aware that many penetration testing tools can be used to get root on remote systems, and it is precisely for this reason that they are useful for (legal, lawful, authorized) penetration testing? Are the board members aware that legal penetration testing can, and sometimes does, include getting root on remote systems?

    • Debian Family

      • Bits from the Debian Multimedia Maintainers
        Consumer Multimedia is about playing and, well, consuming multimedia.

        Squeeze will feature:

        * FFmpeg 0.5.2, finally uncrippled thanks to zack! No mp3/h264 encoder, though. (still in NEW). * mplayer 1.0rc3, finally with mencoder enabled. * VLC 1.1.3 * VDPAU hardware acceleration in ffmpeg/mplayer (but feedback is welcome!) * Guayadeque 0.2.5 * gmusicbrowser 1.0.2

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu: Project, Platform, Products
          When most people talk about Ubuntu, they usually mean our flagship product, Ubuntu Desktop Edition. Sometimes, they might mean the Ubuntu project, or the community of people who work on it, or various other things.

          Similarly, Debian might mean the Debian operating system, or the package repositories, or the project, and so on.

        • Asturian Install Party

          Softastur, AsturLiNUX, Software Libre EII and Asturian LoCo Team organized the last friday an Install Party in Oviedo/Uviéu (Asturies). The distros used were: Ubuntu, Debian & Fedora. Thank you to all of you for the success of the party!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Intel Medfield Linux Support Gets Going
      Intel's next-generation MID (Mobile Internet Device) platform to succeed Moorestown is codenamed Medfield and is slated to be released next year. However, in usual Intel fashion, open-source patches for supporting this next-generation platform under Linux are beginning to make their way out there months in advance of the hardware's public availability.

      Over the past few weeks there's been an uptick in the number of patches surfacing for Medfield enablement within the Linux kernel. Many of these Medfield Linux patches are being published by Alan Cox, now an Intel employee. The most recent patch comes from Alan and Durgadoss R (another Intel engineer) for creating a Medfield thermal driver (patch).

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Promise Of Open Source
    Linux and open source technologies have started gaining acceptance and momentum with a host of technologies associated with FOSS having reached levels of maturity that are comparable with the best the proprietary software world has to offer. A perceived lower cost of ownership has been pushing enterprises and SMBs to switch to open source-based solutions.

    According to Springboard Research, Linux on the server platform has grown its way to a prominent position in the Indian server OS market with its adoption rate increasing from 7 percent to 8.1 percent (and rising) over a 13-month period since April 2009.

  • And it's out of the cage
    We're delighted to finally take the wraps off the first issue of Libre Graphics Magazine.

  • Open Source Filmmaking – Will It Blend?
    Some of you may be unfamiliar with the concept of open filmmaking. Well rest assured I was until I discovered this amazing way of producing top-notch animated productions with the power of open-source filmmaking, and a little program called Blender.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Learn Intellectual Property By Doing It

        One thing that happens next is that we're all going to do some reading and viewing of both theoretical and practical appllications of creative commons licensing, intellectual property applications, and so forth in order to think along with others who are expert in this field and, by the end of next class, decide, collectively, how to proceed with Mozilla's generous offer of taking our app through to implementation. We might not be ready to be developers and to be developed yet. That's fine. That's a perfectly sane outcome. We know that most businesses fail and entrepreneurs learn that failing is how you learn. Similarly, many ventures are not capitalized and that is a learning opportunity too. The only bad outcome of this process is if we squander it by thinking someone has to give up something that will be damaging to themselves in order for the product to go into development. With this group, with their generosity towards one another and their profound respect, I have no worries that this will happen.

      • Design Jam London #1: A collaborative UX design event supported by Mozilla Labs & City University London
        Design Jams are one-day design sessions, during which people team up to solve engaging User Experience (UX) challenges. Similar to developer ‘hackdays’ they aim to get designers together to learn and collaborate with each other while working on actual problems. The sessions champion open-source thinking & sharing and are non-profit, run by local volunteers.

      • 2 Months ’til Game On Submissions Deadline

  • Databases

    • MariaDB 5.2 is released as stable
      I am happy to announce that MariaDB 5.2.3 is now released as a stable release.

      During the gamma period we did not receive any serious reports for issues in 5.2, so we are relatively confident that the new code is of decent quality.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle either hidden or deleted code in Android lawsuit: Google
      Google has filed a response to Oracle’s claims that the internet search giant’s Android mobile OS deliberately breached patents owned by Oracle since it acquired Sun.

      In the filing, Google claimed that Oracle might have hidden or deleted copyright headers and expressive material to make it look like as if Android’s Dalvik virtual machine was essentially a copy.

    • Interview: How LibreOffice Broke Free from Oracle
      Breaking up is never easy to do, but the split between Oracle and the new LibreOffice (news, site) team has been one of the more traumatic recent events in IT. CMSWire asked the new team's Italo Vignoli what went on behind the scenes and what can we expect to see now from Libre/OpenOffice.

    • Moving Java Forward: Open Response from Oracle to Apache

    • Oracle responds to Apache Java defiance
      Seemingly anxious to get the next version of the Java programming language ratified, Oracle has asked the Apache Software Foundation to reconsider its stance on the proposed Java Standard Edition 7.

      "We would encourage Apache to reconsider their position and work together with Oracle and the community at large to collectively move Java forward," wrote Don Deutsch, Oracle vice president of standards and architecture, in a statement posted Monday on an Oracle blog site.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Avoid the tool trap when building communities
      People create community.

      Which is why when I hear the conversation move too quickly into tools, I try to steer it back to the tried-and-true foundations of solid communities, the things that bring people together and make them want to accomplish great things.

      I never hear folks say they want to be part of a community because it has a cool website or because it uses some whiz bang technology. People join communities to contribute to something that holds meaning for them.

    • Open government and "next generation democracy"
      The use of technology to connect government with the governed is not a new idea. The printing press was the Internet of the 17th and 18th centuries; news and opinion was circulated by a myriad homegrown newspapers eagerly read and discussed in coffeehouses and cafes. Benjamin Franklin pioneered the idea of "publick printer" in Pennsylvania and other colonies before the American Revolution (though the US Government Printing Office was not established as a federal function until 1860.)

      Governments quickly adopted radio and television as well. In the UK, the BBC was established in the 1920s to harness the new power of radio to advance the mission of government. In the US, government funding of radio and TV came later, with Voice of America established in 1944, PBS in 1970, and C-SPAN in 1979. Starting with the activism of Carl Malamud to put the SEC online in 1993, the first Federal government websites appeared only a few years after the introduction of the World Wide Web.

    • Open Access/Content

  • Programming


  • Gamer makes a cool half-million by selling virtual property
    Think the rent is, in fact, too damn high? Then stay as far away from online world Entropia Universe as possible, because its real estate prices will drive you insane.

    Take, for instance, what just went down on Planet Calypso, where one of Entropia's wealthier players has sold off his interests in a "resort asteroid" for an eye-popping $635,000.

  • The curse of giftedness
    The trajectory for gifted children is not simply onward and upward; they are as likely to be plagued by crises of confidence as anyone. Perhaps more so: Their intellectual gifts mean they are even more aware of the flaws in their clay, of how short they fall from self-imposed goals.

    “People are forever telling me the achievements of my life,” Dr. Sassoon says, “and yet I feel I've accomplished nothing – nothing compared to what I might achieve.” He has put his finger on a thorny issue: Is a gifted child destined to become an exceptional adult?

  • War Horse stagehand claims racist bullying behind the scenes
    "I didn't want an actor or member of staff to be injured or killed because we have drunks on the stage crew," said Donnelly, who was offered a €£25,000 payoff in return for his silence, an offer which he turned down.

    Donnelly is not the only person to have voiced concern over the backstage culture at War Horse, the first world war drama impressing audiences with its depiction of the horrors of war for both men and animals.

  • La dolce vita, Berlusconi style, may finally be just too much

    Her stage name is Ruby, she is 17, and she may bring down Italy's government.

    The Moroccan-born belly dancer is the last of a long series of young women who have in the past two years embarrassed Silvio Berlusconi and the Italians. This time, the Italian Prime Minister has admitted intervening to get Ruby released when she got arrested for theft last May.

  • An Open Letter to Wired Magazine
    This isn’t the first time. We’ve been through this before. Your covers aren’t all that friendly to women on a regular basis, and that makes me sad. There was naked Pam from The Office in 2008 (you thought you were so clever with that acetate overlay – I mean, how else would you depict transparency?). In 2003, you had the nice lady covered in synthetic diamonds. There were the sexy manga ladies and LonelyGirl15 and Julia Allison with their come-hither looks. And Uma Thurman, she’s a lady, and she was on the cover… But wait, that was for a character she was playing in a film based on a Philip K. Dick novel.

    Come to think of it, the last time that a woman was featured on your cover, because she was being featured in the magazine for an actual accomplishment, was way back in 1996 when it was Sherry Turkle, the academic and author. And, the only other time was in 1994, when musician/author Laurie Anderson was featured. Because since then, I guess no women have done anything notable in technology unless it had to do with their bodies? Really?

  • The antisocial movie
    The movie quickly admits that money doesn’t matter to Zuckerberg. So why did he build Facebook? The Social Network offers no answer, except perhaps that an outsider wanted in, but that doesn’t begin to explain what he has accomplished and why; that’s nothing but simplistic prime-time plotting. The script says nothing about him wanting to connect the world or bring communities elegant organization. It doesn’t care. For this is a movie about tactics, not strategy, about people doing hard things to each other. Elsewhere, that’s just called business.

  • The REAL connection speeds for Internet users across the world (charts)
    How fast are Internet connections across the world? How fast are they in your country?

    This article examines the real-world connection speeds for people in the top 50 countries on the Internet, i.e. the countries with the most Internet users.

    This list of countries ranges from China at number 1 with 420 million Internet users, and Denmark at number 50 with 4.75 million Internet users. We’ve included this ranking within parenthesis next to each country in the charts below for those who want to know.

    These 50 countries together have more than 1.8 billion Internet users.

  • Here comes the 100GigE Internet
    This summer, the IEEE ratified IEEE 802.3ba, which sets down the technical guidelines for 40 Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) and 100GigE Ethernet. Now, companies and organizations are beginning to deploy these faster than fast optical Internet backbones.

  • Between the Bars
    Almost a year ago, I blogged about Between the Bars -- a project that offers a blogging platform to the 1% of the United States population that is currently incarcerated. The way it works is pretty simple: prisoners send letters through the postal mail. We scan them and put them up on the web. Visitors can transcribe letters or leave comments which are mailed back to the authors.

  • Science

    • Climbing Mount Publishable
      TWENTY years ago North America, Europe and Japan produced almost all of the world’s science. They were the aristocrats of technical knowledge, presiding over a centuries-old regime. They spent the most, published the most and patented the most. And what they produced fed back into their industrial, military and medical complexes to push forward innovation, productivity, power, health and prosperity.

      All good things, though, come to an end, and the reign of these scientific aristos is starting to look shaky. In 1990 they carried out more than 95% of the world’s research and development (R&D). By 2007 that figure was 76%.

      Such, at least, is the conclusion of the latest report* from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO. The picture the report paints is of a waning West and a rising East and South, mirroring the economic shifts going on in the wider world. The sans culottes of science are on the march.

    • Tale of two hosts
      A pensive Barack Obama walking alone on the Great Wall of China in November 2009. Barack and Michelle dancing with school children in Mumbai in November 2010.

      The front-page snapshots of Obama in India and China capture the difference in the political cultures of the two nations, flavours as contrast as spicy kebabs compared to chicken soup. The India photographs show a relaxed US President being spontaneous, hugging his host, grinning a lot and speaking freely. Obama in Beijing struck the pose of a lonely figure outside his comfort zone, his words censored in the Chinese media. The first lady did not accompany Obama to Beijing.

    • IBM says the future of supercomputing is the size of a sugar cube

      A report at the BBC tells us that scientists at the firm's Zurich research labs are working on the boxes, which they say will be driven by the need to be green more than their power.

      Dr Bruno Michel told the BBC that future computer costs will hinge on green credentials rather than speed. "In the past, computers were dominated by hardware costs - 50 years ago you could hold one transistor and it cost a dollar, or a franc," he said adding that now transistor costs were "1/100th of the price of printing a single letter on a page".

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Backfires from broken-down van draw bullets from KC police
      Phillip Ransom thought he had trouble Thursday night when his old van broke down on the side of the road, booming out backfires.

      But that was when his troubles really began.

      Two Kansas City police officers, mistaking the van’s backfires for gunshots, began firing at it.

    • Man at San Diego airport opts out of porno scanner and grope, told he'll be fined $10K unless he submits to fondling
      Johnnyedge checked the TSA's website and learned that the San Diego airport had not yet implemented its porno-scanners, so he went down to catch his flight. When he arrived, he discovered that the TSA's website was out of date, and the naked scanners were in place. He opted out of showing his penis to the government, so they told him he'd have to submit to an intimate testicle fondling. He told the screener, "if you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested." After faffing around with various supervisors and supervisors' supervisors, he opted not to fly, collected a refund from the American Airlines counter, and started to leave the airport. But before he could go, the supervisor's supervisor's supervisor told him he wasn't allowed to leave the checkpoint once he entered it, that he was already in for up to $10,000 in fines, and that he would have to return and allow the man's minons to palpate his genitals before he'd be allowed to leave the airport.

    • Strudel Considered Harmful
      Just leaving Bolzano after three nights here for SFSCON (a small but perfectly formed FOSS conference). Passing through the tiny airport I noticed an unusual security requirement – which was being actively enforced. Despite apple strudel (that’s a delicious, giant pastry filled with spiced apple and mixed berries) being a major tourist item on sale in Bolzano, it’s banned on aircraft here.

    • EU criticised for 'complicity' in CIA rendition programmes

      The European Union was sharply criticised by a leading human rights group today for failing to call to account member states, including Britain, for their complicity in the CIA's rendition and secret detention programme.

      The charge is made – ahead of an EU-US summit in Portugal on Saturday – by Amnesty International in a 53-page report, Open Secret, which, it says, contains mounting evidence of Europe's complicity in rendition and secret detention.

  • Finance

    • Ireland bailout: UK taxpayers could face €£7bn bill
      Scale of eurozone crisis underlined as emergency bailout of Ireland appears increasingly likely and EU statistics body says Greek budget deficit was even larger than thought

    • The End of Growth
      The central assertion of this book is both simple and startling: Economic growth as we have known it is over and done with.

      The “growth” we are talking about consists of the expansion of the overall size of the economy (with more people being served and more money changing hands) and of the quantities of energy and material goods flowing through it.

      The economic crisis that began in 2007-2008 was both foreseeable and inevitable, and it marks a permanent, fundamental break from past decades—a period during which most economists adopted the unrealistic view that perpetual economic growth is necessary and also possible to achieve. There are now fundamental barriers to ongoing economic expansion, and the world is colliding with those barriers.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Angle, McMahon led way spending $97 per vote - and lost
      Is a vote worth $97? Sharron Angle seemed to think so. When all of the campaign spending by the Nevada politican and her supporters was tallied, that's how much it came to for each vote she received in her failed bid to take down Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week.

      Angle's campaign, which attracted support from across the country, was the most expensive congressional contest nationwide on a per-vote basis, according to a Washington Post analyis of campaign finance filings and election results.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Placing Good Books at Risk
      An ongoing Twitter campaign called “Speak Loudly” attempts to raise awareness and prevent Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel “Speak” from being banned by people with good intentions.

      If you censor books because of the ideas within, there is no way to challenge the idea. Instead of taking the opportunity to disprove it, or learn from it, or educate about it, you give the idea additional mystique.

      The only way to guarantee free speech is to protect all speech. Even speech we might not agree with.

    • Beyond a Joke: On the Road to China
      People will point out one year in a labour camp is very different from the few thousand quid fine meted out to Paul Chambers, and I of course would agree: the UK is not China.

      But the *attitude* - that humour or satire is a "threat" of some kind, and must be punished in the courts - is shockingly similar. And that is what is most disturbing for me here in the UK about the #twitterjoketrial case: the authorities here are now *thinking* like their Chinese counterparts (who must be delighted to have this high-profile backing for their approach from those hypocritical Westerners). We are on the road to China.

    • Kiddie Porn, a vital corporate tool
      As far as I know, p2pnet is the only site of its kind — maybe the only site anywhere — with a section devoted specifically to the grim, ongoing commercial exploitation and ‘corporate education’ of children before they’re old enough to form their own standards and opinions.


      Orrin ‘Terminator’ Hatch also saw the possibilities and used online kiddie porn to ram Hollywood-friendly bills through congress.

      And there are more — a lot more — examples.

      Bottom line, child pornography is just another weapon in the corporate arsenal to maintain iron control of consumer bases, and the channels which supply them.

      The kids and the horrors inflicted on them are incidental

      Kiddie porn is a terrible thing — unless you’re Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music, or Disney, News Corp, Time Warner, Viacom, NBC Universal and Sony Pictures.

      They can’t live without it.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • EU Stakeholders Tell Commission Net Neutrality Is Essential
      The public consultation, launched on June 30, received input from 318 stakeholders including operators, ISPs, national authorities, consumer and civil society organizations as well as individuals.

      There is no firm definition of "net neutrality," but the Commission takes the view that it represents the idea that all data on the Internet should be treated equally, whatever its source or destination.

      Most respondents felt that the European Union's telecom framework, adopted in 2009, is sufficient legislation on net neutrality and that further review is not necessary until it has been implemented and applied at the national level.

    • Netflix Avoided Android Because It Didn't Have Enough DRM
      Apparently Netflix has not yet been offered up on Android phones because the platform just has too much damn freedom. Netflix admitted in a blog post that the lack of DRM that makes Hollywood happy means that it couldn't offer movie streaming to Android.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Brian Davey: Beware of Fake Abundance
      My conclusion is that, to talk about abundance is a very misleading message. Commons have much to offer us – sharing ideas without intellectual property constraints will help us, sharing scarce production and energy and pooling production arrangement and infrastructures will too, sharing may bring us into human relationships with many psychological and emotional rewards. In that sense we may describe commons as “having a generative logic” – But an “abundance” is not a message that I agree with – if it taken to mean, or implied to mean, an abundance of material production. In my opinion to use the word “abundance” is a misleading picture of the future that we are heading into.

      An abundance of information about how we might make things is not the same as an abundance of things – it is an abundance of recipes not an abundance of food.”

    • The dinosaurs have gone. What the absence of revenue means for media companies.
      I didn’t sleep well last night. I had a nightmare. I think it was about the future of media and media organisations in the digital world. It was sparked by something I said at a recent conference. I have been turning up on Internet related conference panels since the mid nineties, and what is odd is that, although some of the vocabulary has changed, the theme is always the same. How do we, media companies, make money from the online opportunity. More than fifteen years since I was first asked that question, I am still being asked it today. It was as this thought was being processed in my brain that I had my nightmare.

    • Copyrights

      • Access Copyirght Changes Counsel in Proposed Post-Secondary 1,300% Increase Tariff
        Access Copyright (“AC”) has notified the Copyright Board of a change of counsel in the proposed post-secondary 1,300% increase file.

        Barry Sookman and McCarthy’s are apparently no longer involved and AC will now be represented by Randall Hofley of Blakes.

      • SpicyIP Guest Post: Three strikes and you're out!!!
        Of late the ‘three-strike’ or the ‘graduated response’ model for copyright enforcement over the internet is gaining popularity among nations, especially after the ACTA negotiations. In India too, the Committee on Piracy appointed by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry recommended this model. Barring few modifications, the model as the name suggests is essentially a three stage process progressing with issuing warning notices to online infringers and subsequently decreasing bandwidth or throttling protocols and eventually taking down connections on continuous infringements over a period. The warnings are intended to educate users and would furnish evidence capable of establishing guilt beyond reasonable doubt. It is the duty of the ISPs to carry out the entire exercise. In some states, the ISPs are obliged to maintain a record of errant subscribers and relevant information and the copyright holder can have access to these records on obtaining permission from authorities (either judicial or administrative. In other words, if a user shares or downloads infringing material, the ISP would serve a warning notice with clinching evidence. If the person continues or commits another infringement within a month, his bandwidth would be reduced or access would be limited and if he still continues or causes another infringement within a year from the first strike, his connection would be liable to taken out and would be listed among infringers which the right’s holder has access to.

      • Suing Blind and One Legged Pirates is Bad PR
        When in court it is the job of the defense lawyer to cast doubt on the credibility of the prosecution’s case. Finding and highlighting those details which show the defendant to be misleading or unreliable can be the make and break of a case. Unfortunately for ACS:Law’s Andrew Crossley, that is a knife that cuts both ways as yet again he is shown to have misled a reporter.

      • German Court: Links Can Infringe on Copyright
        Thus the real issue here seems to be that a site owner is worried about losing advertising revenue if people can skip over the home page. But the solution is simple: just put ads on the inner pages of the site, too. That way, you get the best of both worlds: directly-addressable content that also generates revenue. Is that so hard?

      • Irish Government Wants File-Sharing Compromise, or Legislation Will Follow

        Conor Lenihan, Minister of State with responsibility for Science, Technology and Innovation, has indicated he hasn’t given up on the chance of a negotiated settlement of the illicit file-sharing issue in Ireland. In an Intellectual Property debate, Lenihan praised the IRMA/Eircom agreement and said that while he hopes there can be more arrangements of this type, if they do not arrive, legislation will be the outcome.

      • Girl Talk Releases New Album Online — Free
        Girl Talk is going “one step further to getting the music to fans as quickly and easily as possible,” according to his rep. “While posting the album as a free download on the Illegal Art label’s site allows All Day to reach his fan-base quickly and with minimal cost, Gillis spent more time on this album than any previous release and considers it the most fully realized and evolved manifestation of the Girl Talk aesthetic.”

      • Behind The Scenes at Anonymous’ Operation Payback
        Operation Payback has been without a doubt the longest and most widespread attack on anti-piracy groups, lawyers and lobbyists. Despite the massive media coverage, little is known about the key players who coordinate the operation and DDoS attacks. A relatively small group of people, they are seemingly fuelled by anger, frustration and a strong desire to have their voices heard.

      • ACTA

        • U.S., Participants Finalize Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement Text
          Participants in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations announced today that they have finalized the text of the Agreement, after resolving the few issues that remained outstanding after the final round of negotiations in Tokyo.

        • [October's and Today's ACTA text]

        • ACTA's Constitutional Problem
          Today, the USTR announced finalization of the ACTA text. It explained that, following a final meeting on "legal verification of the drafting," ACTA will "be ready to be submitted to the participants' respective authorities to undertake relevant domestic processes."[1]

          And that is where this story begins.

          In many of the countries negotiating the agreement, including the EU, the normal procedures for entering a treaty, including consent by the legislative branch, will be used.[2] But not in the US. The USTR has stated repeatedly that ACTA will enter into force in the US as an executive agreement that does not require any congressional role.[3] Thus, USTR argues, the agreement will be binding on the US once Ambassador Kirk, as the US negotiating representative, agrees to it. Congress will not receive the opportunity to review and amend the agreement before it goes into effect, as it would in any traditional international agreement binding on the US. If USTR succeeds in this bold plan, it will dramatically expand presidential power to make law without congressional consent. But this success seems highly dubious. There appears to be no serious constitutional theory that would support USTR's claims. ACTA is clearly unconstitutional as applied to the US.

          In a "sole executive agreement," the President binds the US to an international agreement unilaterally - with no formal ex ante or ex post authorization by Congress. This is the form of agreement that the USTR claims can bind the US to ACTA. But this claim is highly dubious because of the "strict legal limits [that] govern the kinds of agreements that presidents may enter into" without some form of Congressional consent.[1]

        • De Gucht welcomes draft anti-piracy pact
          Karel De Gucht, the EU's trade commissioner, has welcomed a draft agreement on an international pact to fight counterfeiting and piracy.

          De Gucht said in a statement released today (15 November) that agreement on an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) “paves the way towards a more efficient fight against counterfeiting worldwide”.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • FAST Can’t Believe UK Govt to Review Digital Economy Act
          Federation Against Software Theft calls it “staggering” that after “years of consultation, of debate and of Parliamentary time” the Act is being challenged by ISPs. Says ISPs are using the review as a “fig-leaf for their own agendas” and that it’s merely a “last ditch attempt…to ensure they are not hit financially.”

          Soon after it was announced that Justice Wyn Williams had granted a request by UK ISPs TalkTalk and BT for a judicial review of the controversial Digital Economy Act the Federation Against Software Theft chimed in to make its displeasure with the decision known.

        • BT and TalkTalk win judicial review of Digital Economy Act on all four grounds
          BT and TalkTalk have won the right to a judicial review of the Digital Economy Act on all four of the contested legal grounds, the high court ruled today.

          The verdict, delivered late on Friday afternoon, represents a 4-0 victory for two of the UK's largest broadband providers, though the Act was already on its way to judicial review before Mr Justice Wyn Williams had made the judgment.

Clip of the Day

BMC on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

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Credit: TinyOgg


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