Another Type of Ownership of Mathematics and Human Life

Posted in America, Fraud, Microsoft, Patents at 5:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dental work

Summary: New examples of insanely dangerous ownership of ideas

FOUND IN Fox ‘news’ was this report about ownership of ideas.

A North Carolina man who allegedly cracked the code to mentally calculate any multiplication problem is now offering to reveal his secret – for the bargain price of $33.

That would be a similar thing to patenting of algorithms and business methods. These are ideas that can be applied mentally (or with pen and paper), as they require no manufacturing of anything physical.

The Wall Street Journal also has this short piece about attempts by ‘pharmonopolies’ to ban their competition. [via]

India plans to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization alleging that the European Union allowed big pharmaceutical companies to use the bloc’s tough patent laws to have national customs agencies detain generic drugs in transit to developing countries, according to India’s commerce secretary.

This falls under a class of patents that simply kill or monetise deaths [1, 2, 3].

“This falls under a class of patents that simply kill or monetise deaths.”Groklaw has this detailed analysis of a story where “Pfizer’s lawyers hired a detective who ended up intimidating a witness the day before he was due to testify…

Shades of Microsoft, as we noted before. They are like a group of gangsters who see themselves as magically pardoned by the law, so they bully their possible opponents without a challenge. Steve Stites said a few days ago: “In my case there is the little problem that Microsoft spent approximately 18 months stalking me.

Those commonalities between Microsoft and the pharmaceutical cartel should not be entirely surprising. Taking also lobbying into account, there’s this new article about Merck’s role in the problem.

“It is clear that the pharmaceutical industry is not, by any stretch of the imagination, doing enough to ensure that the poor have access to adequate medical care.”

Paul Farmer

Links 13/08/2009: Another School and Trader Media Group Migration to GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 4:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Technical School changes to Ubuntu and saves Millions

    The Icelandic National TV channel RUV broadcasted a news story yesterday 11 August 2009 entitlled:

    “Nýtt kerfi sparar milljónir” translation “New system saves millions”

  • 13 Linux Graffiti Art From Around The World

    Here are 13 Linux and Open Source graffiti art I found on the Interwebs. I tried to figure out where each was, but for some I just couldn’t find any info.

  • I Ditched Windows…and, So Can You

    The Verdict – Linux serves 90% of my computer needs. Only on occasion must I boot into Windows. Fortunately, dual-booting is now a built-in Linux feature, so readers shouldn’t be intimated if they don’t know how to run two operating systems. Also, supposedly, there is Windows emulation software (such as Wine or Virtual Box), which may completely eliminate my need to boot into Windows – I am yet to figure out how to do this. Aside from these minor hiccups, my verdict is clear: Thumbs up, way up.

    Why Didn’t I go Mac?

    1). Its Expensive – Should Linux fail to meet my needs, I suppose I can sell a Kidney to buy a $1500+ laptop. But, I’d sooner avoid unnecessary expenses in this never-ending recession.

    2). I still run some Windows-only programs.

    3). I’ve lost confidence in Apple. Their fascist iphone app store approval system and continued reliance on Digital Rights Management (DRM) for Itunes makes me wary of adopting products that don’t allow for flexibility.

  • Desktop

    • How to Run Multiple Linux Distros Without Virtualization

      Before we get started, it would be a good idea to go over exactly what we’re doing and how it all works. When you start up your Linux computer, you go through a series of steps to boot up. GRUB, your bootloader, loads the kernel that’s specified in GRUB’s config file, attaches it to your root partition, and runs the init scripts stored there. From then on, your system is running from within that root partition.

    • Consider Linux for Secure Online Banking

      Windows is like an ocean full of sharks. Do you really want to swim where the sharks swim, even if you take some defensive measures? Macs are like a swimming pool, no sharks. But, the Mac pool is deep and often neglected. Linux also offers a swimming pool, but it’s shallower and better maintained (more later) than the Mac pool.

    • The death of Linux Evangelism, and the rise of Education

      You now have to “show” them instead of just “telling” them in order to get them to bite. It’s like fish. You can’t tell them that they should get on your hook. You have to provide a fat, tasty worm first before they’ll even consider looking at your hook.


      Which reminds me. When teaching them about Linux and FOSS, also teach them how to find the answers they need on their own. If they know how to educate themselves, all you’ll need to do is more or less be the mother goose, the one who hatches them and gets them out of the nest, after which they’re able to survive on their own.

  • Kernel Space

    • Programming

      I’ve actually written code lately, although for some reason it’s been all these stupid projects. First I needed to fix the kernel tty refcounting, then I got all OCD on the git SHA1 routines.

    • Benchmarks

      • An Open Letter To Tech Review Sites

        Have you considered embracing Linux in any of your articles? If you have, but have not acted on such thoughts, why is that? Is it the Linux learning curve? The “lack of benchmarks”? Simply the lack of resources on the part of your editors and product evaluators? After speaking with several editors from fellow publications, these seem to be most of the excuses at hand. However, at Phoronix Media, we have the solutions to these problems — and they are free and easy to adopt. I would invite you to think how using Linux to complement your Windows testing in hardware reviews could benefit your publication by providing more thorough reviews to fulfill the needs of more readers, wooing more hardware companies with having another feature to offer, and generate additional page views from having more content.

      • Lies, Damn Lies and File System Benchmarks

        Recently there was a paper published by Avishay Traeger and Erez Zadok from Stony Brook University and Nikolai Joukov and Charles P. Wright from the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center entitled, “A Nine Year Study of File System and Storage Benchmarking” (Note: a summary of the paper can be found at this link). The paper examines 415 file systems and storage benchmarks from 106 recent papers. Based on this examination the paper makes some very interesting observations and conclusions that are, in many ways, very critical of the way “research” papers have been written about storage and file systems. These results are important to good benchmarking. And, stepping back from that, they make recommendations on how to perform good benchmarks (or at the very minimum, “better” benchmarks).

  • Applications

    • Top Linux Apps to Make The Switch Easier

      One of the first things I hear from people attempting trying to make the switch to Linux distributions such as Ubuntu is that they are finding the sudden shift in how they use their computers to be relatively overwhelming.

      Thankfully, there are a number of software titles that I happen to use every day that have made my own switch over to the Linux side of the fence a much smoother one. In this article, I will highlight some of my personal favorites. Hopefully those of you struggling to make the change will find that these options meet your needs.

    • Email rendering with Grantlee

      The GCDS videos have been online for a while now, but I thought I’d draw some attention to my talk about Grantlee for those that missed it.

    • How to get and install Linux games – Full tutorial – A.K.A. Everything you wanted to know about Linux games

      I sincerely hope you have enjoyed this article. I believe it is very detailed and thorough and helps make sense of what Linux gaming is really about. As you can see, it is not a trivial matter. There are many ways of going about Linux games, some very simple and trivial, others more complicated. Some might also cost you money.

  • Qt

    • What’s In A Name? That Which We Call Qt, By Any Other Name Would Code As Well…

      Renaming a company can be a torturous process. Developing the new brand, getting the word out, and answering questions can be long and grueling, and at least some customers are bound to be upset, and possibly quite vocal about it. Not everyone is willing to brave these waters, though Nokia obviously is, as it announced today the renaming of its corporate Qt division, Qt Software.

    • Nokia’s Linux strategy broadens with upcoming Maemo 5 device

      Photos of Nokia’s upcoming Maemo 5 device have been leaked, and they reveal that it is likely a smartphone and not just a tablet. The device reflects Nokia’s growing commitment to Linux.

    • KDE

      • The KDE 4 Series: Pro and Con

        The KDE desktop has been the center of changes and controversy for the last eighteen months. However, with last week’s release of version 4.3, the majority of users finally seem to accept — if not necessarily love — the changes. At this point, it seems fair to ask: How successful are the KDE 4 series of releases?

      • digiKam digest – 2009-08-09

        As usual, Mikolaj Machowski has compiled a commit digest of the work going on in Digikam on his blog. This excellent work deserves a more public spot, so from now you will find them linked on the dot. Those interested in the progress and new developments in the world of digital photography, be sure to click through to the digest!

      • KDE release adds 2,000 features

        The KDE Community released the 4.3 version of its popular Linux/UNIX desktop environment, representing more than 63,000 code changes by 700 contributors, 10,000 bug-fixes, and 2,000 new features. KDE 4.3 adds numerous improvements to the Plasma Desktop Shell and Application Development Framework, among many other enhancements.

  • Distributions

    • Origin of Famous Linux Distibutions
    • Distro Hoppin`: SAM Linux 2009

      Well, if you like trying out new distributions, certainly give SAM a spin. Despite its problems, it brings forward some original elements that separates it from the crowd. Plus, it is packed with the latest and greatest software. I’m very curious about how the next release will be though, as the developers said that SAM 2009 is the last version using the PCLinuxOS base.

    • Arch Linux: The Simple, Flexible (and Fast!) Distro

      Arch Linux is a unique distribution, offering the latest free software via a super fast package manager coupled with a “keep it simple” philosophy. It is fast becoming a very popular distribution and now thanks to their split packages, you can install a lightweight KDE 4.3 desktop for even more flexibility and speed.

    • Red Hat Family

      • UK’s No 1 Motoring Website, AutoTrader.co.uk Migrates To Red Hat Solutions for Performance, Stability and Reliability

        Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Trader Media Group and its website Autotrader.co.uk, the UK’s no 1 motoring website, has standardised its platform on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Enterprise Application Platform. The combined Red Hat solution has given Trader Media Group a more resilient, high-performing and stable platform allowing Auto Trader’s internal operations team to scale as the company continues to grow.

    • Debian Family

      • Ubuntu migration support services – A move long overdue.

        It is in this regard that I was happy to learn of Canonical’s new support service for Ubuntu users. This very strategic but overlooked move could not have come at a right time. The technology world is at a crossroads and the Windows empire is reaching its point of demise. Last week’s DDOS attacks on Twitter and Facebook have provoked lots of anxiety and questions over the reliability of Windows. There needs to be a successor and if Ubuntu is poised to take up that role, then having a formal, reliable and corporate support from the OS vendor is a must.

      • Ubuntu removes multisearch feature after protests

        The Ubuntu development team has been forced to remove a feature called multisearch from Firefox for the upcoming release, Karmic Koala, following a number of objections by users.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Use FreeRADIUS for Wi-Fi Authentication

      First you need to install a Linux distribution. This tutorial is based on using CentOS, a free open source operating system.

    • Review: Eeebuntu 3.0.1 NBR

      The big question is: Is this better than the standard modified Xandros? That’s an easy yes. Apart from the fact that this is a much newer distribution, it has the huge Ubuntu base of applications and support. Yes, you could install plain old Ubuntu yourself and hack away till it’s usable but when you can have a great out of the box experience you’d have to wonder what’s the point.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Power of Open Source

    Open Source opens the door for companies that are looking to keep on growing despite the current environment.


    Open Source in 2009?

    Moreover, as a recent article in Wall Street and Technology) mentions, with the current economic situation cutting IT budgets, even more institutions are reconsidering their attitudes toward open source technology. Think about yourself and the company you work for: How many projects did you want to launch but needed to be put off until next year? How many business opportunities you believe you could have embraced if your budget had been friendlier?

    I firmly believe that Open Source opens the door for companies that are looking to keep on growing despite the current environment. It is spreading its influence among different kinds of companies.

  • Reviews

    • WordPress 2.8

      If you are in the market for a blogging platform, content management system or a complete web platform, you can do far, far worse than choose WordPress.

    • OpenSolaris 2009.06

      I think OpenSolaris is interesting to keep an eye on. They are working on some pretty interesting projects, however I think they still need to work on some quirks, before being a good option for students as they would like to associated with. Linux is still far ahead, with the countless amount of drivers, and friendliness.

  • Firefox

    • Extend Firefox contest, Open video, MozCamp Europe, QA Companion, Firefox performance, animated Personas, and more…

      In this issue…

      * Extend Firefox 3.5 contest!
      * MozCamp Europe 2009 needs speakers
      * Moz QA Companion 1.0
      * User interface performance work
      * Firefox startup improvement efforts
      * Firefox 3.6 alpha 1 available
      * Tips towards building communities
      * Animated Personas
      * Mozilla Service Week
      * Open video codecs discussion
      * Configuring web servers for open video and audio
      * Lifehacker interviews Firefox Director
      * Recent press coverage
      * Upcoming events
      * Developer calendar
      * About about:mozilla

    • Become a Test Pilot!

      Today, we are announcing that our Test Pilot platform is opening with the release of the first Test Pilot add-on for Firefox 3.5. We are looking for Firefox users of all levels of skill and all levels of technical knowledge to help improve Firefox and Labs experiments.

    • Firefox addon aims to save you money

      An extension to browser Firefox will suggest cheaper prices for products you browse on the internet.

    • Firefox Tips: 5 Ways to Spice Up Your Sidebar
  • Licensing

    • Is use of the GPL really decreasing?

      Is it reasonable to raise the question “does X still matter?” when the X in question is in use among nearly two-thirds of the target users under discussion?


      Tracking down the real numbers isn’t difficult though and they show that the use of the GPL isn’t decreasing; there may be more and more and projects using open source licences these days, lessening the percentages, but the GPL numbers are only increasing.

  • Applications

    • Watch Internet TV for Free on Linux with Miro

      If I would pick the best free and open-source internet television desktop client, it has to be Miro. This awesome application (previously called Democracy Player and DTV) is loaded with great features making the TV experience on your computer a lot more fun and exciting.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • A First Look at HTML 5

      Officially, HTML 4.1 was supposed to be the last word on HTML. According to the W3C, HTML 4.1 was complete and concise, and required no further work. But that was not good enough for the HTML user community, who formed the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG). This group grew strong enough to force the W3C to form an official HTML 5 working group a few years ago, and what they have eventually created is the very small seed that will one day become HTML 5 (I say ‘one day’ because the official specification expects HTML 5 to be completely functional and ready by the year 2022 – and no, that wasnt a typo, I did mean 2022).


  • ‘Uh-Oh They’re Here’

    A 34-YEAR-OLD woman, the mother of a 12-year-old girl, has been locked up in a Virginia jail for three weeks and could remain there for at least another month. Her crime? Blogging about the police.

  • Your DVR Is Watching You

    Back in March of 2008, Comcast’s Gerard Kunkel proclaimed that Comcast was experimenting with embedding cameras in your DVR or cable box, allowing the company to know exactly who is watching what, at what time.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Wal-Mart Abusing Trademark Law To Try To Shut Down Union Website

      Over the years, we’ve seen a ton of lawsuits against so-called “gripes” sites: people who set up a site because they feel wronged by a company. Company lawyers will often try to bully such sites, and claim that they’re a trademark violations, especially when they use a name like BigCompanySucks.com. The big companies almost always lose such lawsuits. That’s because those sites are obviously not from the company itself and don’t cause any sort of consumer “confusion” over who runs the sites. Earlier this year, we heard that lawyers were finally starting to recognize that suing gripes sites was not a good idea. First, you would almost certainly lose.

    • Copyright Length And The Life Of Mickey Mouse

      But, really, the bigger point was made by Boyle, via Twitter, where he noted that we are “the first generation to deny our own culture to ourselves and to drive the point home, he notes that no work created during your lifetime will, without conscious action by its creator, become available for you to build upon. For people who don’t recognize the importance of the public domain and the nature of creativity, perhaps this seems like no big deal. But if you look back through history, you realize what an incredibly big deal it is — and how immensely stifling this is on our culture.

    • Moby Explains RIAA Mindset: Please Make The Future Die

      It’s a bit of an odd pairing, but musician Moby was recently interviewed by Walt Mossberg, and among other things they discussed issues like file sharing and the RIAA’s strategy. Moby, of course, has complained about the RIAA’s strategy in the past, calling for it to be disbanded following the Jammie Thomas verdict.

    • The latest craze: Free e-books offerings

      James Patterson’s latest best seller, “The Angel Experiment,” is a little different from his usual hits. The novel isn’t new; it came out four years ago. Readers aren’t picking it up at bookstores, but mostly on the Kindle site at Amazon.com.

      And the price is low even for an old release: $0.00.

      “I like the notion of introducing people to one book, while promoting the sales of another,” says the prolific and mega-selling author (and co-author) of numerous thrillers.” His Kindle download is the first book of Patterson’s “Maximum Ride” young adult series.

    • But Who Will Do Investigative Reporting Without Newspapers?

      Apparently police and the FBI had been trying to track down members of this group for a while, but some good old investigative reporting — from a website — beat them to it.

    • As Expected, Judge Still Bans Real From Selling RealDVD

      Unfortunately, it appears that judge Marilyn Patel (who was also the judge who killed the original Napster) disagrees. She’s issued yet another injunction blocking Real from selling RealDVD, saying that it violates copyright law.

    • Hurricanes Sue Hip Hop Artist For Promoting Team; Artist Sues ‘Canes For Not Paying Him To Promote The Team

      The use in commercials… however… may be a different story. That would require his authorization, and it’s surprising the team would use the song without any official agreement in place beforehand, but it still seems like quite a leap to then sue for copyright infringement.

      Either way, the competing lawsuits seem pretty silly. It’s yet another case of entitlement society. Both sides benefited nicely from the original arrangement: Banks got a lot of free publicity for his song, and the Hurricanes got a song that promoted the team. Win-win.

    • Canadian Copyright Organization: This Is War Against Consumers

      Copyright isn’t a war. It’s not us vs. them. It’s about creating a system where society is best off and key incentives are in place to create more content. Our own complaints against those who push for stronger copyrights aren’t about an “us vs. them” attitude. We’ve been quite happy to cheer on smart moves by those who have made mistakes before. Our only concerns are that the end result should be the best for everyone. Not a small group of folks trying to protect an old business model.

      Apparently, Access Copyright thinks the laws are just for them.

    • EU Gov’t Study: People Won’t Pay For Content; New Business Models Needed

      It goes on to point out that the answers to these questions aren’t going to come from lawsuits, but by recognizing how people (especially younger generations) view such things and putting in place business models that work. Still, the report does hedge in places, talking about the need for a “favorable regulatory environment,” though it’s not at all clear what’s meant by that. But it’s good to see a gov’t report recognizing this is really a business model (and technology) issue, rather than a legal problem as many in the legacy entertainment industry would have you believe.

    • Ending music piracy: the best plan hasn’t even been tried

      A survey of UK youngsters finds that the only paid music service to interest them is a subscription for unlimited permanent downloads—streaming just isn’t good enough, and buying individual songs is too expensive to appeal.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Thomas Bartol, computational neuroscientist for the Salk Institute 01 (2005)

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

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