07.01.10

Links 1/7/2010: Catch-up With Free/Open Source Software News

Posted in News Roundup at 12:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Ballnux

    • More androids: Samsung’s Galaxy S coming to four US carriers

      Samsung revealed this week that versions of its modestly anticipated Android-based Galaxy S smartphone will be available through all four major US mobile carriers. The phone has a 4-inch AMOLED display, a 5MP camera, and a 1GHz Hummingbird processor. The rest of the feature set differs a bit between carriers, as each one will ship a separate variant with custom branding.

  • Debian Family

    • we want you for Squeeze artwork

      You might have heard that Debian is closing up on the forthcoming Squeeze release. In its aim to be “universal”, Debian addresses several different kinds of users and Squeeze will be no exception. For several users, and in particular for desktop users, artworks do matter and initiatives like the one started by Valessio Brito are likely to improve their user experience.

  • Debian Family

    • we want you for Squeeze artwork

      You might have heard that Debian is closing up on the forthcoming Squeeze release. In its aim to be “universal”, Debian addresses several different kinds of users and Squeeze will be no exception. For several users, and in particular for desktop users, artworks do matter and initiatives like the one started by Valessio Brito are likely to improve their user experience.

  • Android

    • AdMob’s Final Mobile Metrics Report: Android Rising, But Apple Still Dominates Worldwide

      Over the past two years, mobile ad impressions from smartphones have grown from 22 percent of the total to 46 percent in May, 2010. Apple iOS devices account for the largest portion worldwide, with 40 percent share. But as you can see in the chart above, that share has been declining since it peaked above 50 percent in November, 2009. Over that time, Android has been steadily taking share, rising to 26 percent.

    • CyanogenMOD 6 “Froyo” Progress Report

      According to a recent blog post, Cyanogen and team have been hard at work putting together CyanogenMOD-6 (based on Android 2.2 “Froyo”) from the moment the source code hit the Android Open Source Project’s servers. It seems the Droid and Nexus One will be getting this freshly baked build first, followed soon by the Dream, Sapphire, and the newly released MyTouch Slide. You gotta hand it to these guys, they are one group of dedicated developers.

    • Yahoo! Unleashes Search, Mail and Messenger Apps For Android
  • Tablets

    • Android 3.0: leaked details hint at tablet potential

      Details are starting to leak about Android 3.0, codenamed Gingerbread. We knew from an assortment of previous leaks that the next major version of the OS was slated for Q4 2010. New information that has emerged this week indicates the release could well be in October and that the new version might boost the minimum required hardware specifications.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Best and Free Programming Ebooks with Open Source Licenses

    Today in WebDesignish we are presenting very useful and recommended list of programming Ebooks with open source licenses, like Creative Commons, GPL, etc. The books can be about a particular programming language or about computers in general.

  • Study: Open-Source Making Significant Traction in the Enterprise

    The survey reflects a pattern that’s best illustrated by Red Hat’s most recent financial results. In the past year, its revenues were up 20%. All parts of its business are showing growth, with particular strength in middleware. The company signed the largest deal in its history during the last quarter. According to Datamation, Red Hat renewed all of its top 25 deals during the quarter at over 120% of their original value.

  • Local Open Source Industry Poised For Double-digit Growth This Year

    He said MSC status companies in the open source industry generated a local revenue of over RM595 million, export revenue over RM234 million and employed 6,206 ICT-knowledged workers.

    “Malaysia welcomed the open source trend as a means of enhancing our national technological competitiveness by giving local industries freedom of choice in software usage,” he told a press conference after opening the MSC Malaysia Open Source Conference 2010 here Tuesday.

  • Back to Basics: What Is Open Source Software?

    Google’s choice a few weeks ago, to use a modified version of the BSD open-source license for its WebM format and VP8 codec raised the discussion of open-sourcing to a level that it was covered by more than just the tech media.

    Even after Google dropped the “poison pill” additions that were in the original licensing terms, reverting to a standard BSD license, the question that many involved in online video are asking is “what exactly is open source anyway?”

    To help shed light on that question, and its applicability to streaming media, let’s look at the difference between commercial proprietary applications, free software applications, and open-source code.

  • Tracking Trends in Communications Software Pricing/Licensing

    A brief word about free, open source software (OSS) licenses. OSS gives users the right to modify and redistribute their creative work and software, both of which would be a big “no-no” with proprietary software. These free licenses typically include a disclaimer of warranty (no surprise there: what do you want, it’s free software!).

    The idea of open source code is to make it easily available to the general public for the purpose of improvement, modification, etc., and it is released under the General Public License (GPL), Lesser GPL (LGPL), or other open source licenses.

    “Copyleft” (as opposed to copyright) software also includes a specific provision, that must be accepted in order to copy or modify the software; this provision requires users to provide source code for their work, and to distribute their modifications under the same open source/free license. See the Open Source Initiative website for more information at http://www.opensource.org/.

  • The Doors of Hell are Locked From The Inside – “Purchasing Process Lock-In” Rivals Technology Lock-in

    Historically, open source has been adopted at the edges by savvy developers who were just looking for the best tool to do their jobs. The technologies were successful at a single project level and then grew virally. As open source continues to penetrate Main Street, organizations have started to evaluate open source in a more “tops down” fashion. They are starting to run bake-offs that include both open source and proprietary solutions. This is great news for open source, but many end-user organizations do not understand the vast differences between the proprietary and open source sales models.

  • QRisk2 heart disease risk assessment software made open source

    The University of Nottingham and primary care systems supplier EMIS have made the QRisk formula for identifying heart disease risk available as open source software.

  • TrueCrypt Beats FBI Encryption Experts in Money Laundering Case

    The US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has failed to decrypt five hard drives protected by the open-source encryption software TrueCrypt.

  • UAE Students Design School to Change the lives of Children in Cameroon

    Today a group of volunteers from the AUD International Aid (AIA) and Open Source Arc, two local humanitarian organizations, left for the North West Province of Cameroon, to build a local school designed for the community by UAE based architectural students.

  • UAE students design school

    A group of UAE-based students of architecture have designed a school to be built in Cameroon by local humanitarian organisations, AUD International Aid (AIA) and Open Source Arc.

    The design was created during a workshop and competition organised by Open Source Arc and held at Shelter Gallery in Dubai during the last weekend in May.

  • Skills

    • Clue is a renewable resource

      Congratulations! You’ve hired a fantastic open source developer. You know she’s fantastic because you were able to check out her commits on public projects, you’ve read the mailing list archives to learn how she communicates, and you know before she starts that she’s a passionate self-motivated detail-oriented coder and that she’s not an asshole. She’s clueful and she’s perfect!

      Now, what are you going to do with her? If you’re like most employers, you’ll systematically destroy her value to your organization by exploiting her current skills and failing to build future skills.

  • Web Browsers

    • Icelandic data centre allays fears of environmental concerns

      While debate has persisted for some years now over whether Opera will make its product open source, currently the browser remains closed. Given the company’s competing position against Firefox, some sources suggest that this is the next logical move for the company as Opera lacks the open source ‘extensions’ found with Firefox.

    • Mozilla submits browserless Firefox to Jobsian app police

      The open source outfit has no intention of submitting Firefox itself. It doesn’t want to take the browser where it’s not wanted. But it has built an iPhone version of Firefox Sync, the browser bookmark-syncing service formerly known as Weave, and with a blog post on Wednesday, it announced that it has formally sought the approval of the Jobsian app police.

  • SaaS

    • Open-Source Microblogging Platform StatusNet Launches Desktop Client

      StatusNet released today a cross-platform desktop client for its open-source microblogging platform – the same foundation that powers the Twitter alternative identi.ca. Windows, Mac, and Linux users can download it here. It features support for multiple StatusNet sites (including identi.ca), notifications, search and more.

    • # 5 Ways Identi.ca is Better Than Twitter

      Twitter popularized micro-blogging, indeed, but it isn’t fair to say they started it. There are many micro-blogging services, like Twitter, Tumblr, Plurk, Jaiku, and — my favorite — Identi.ca. What I like about Identi.ca is its focus on software related topics (well, that isn’t its intended focus, but its users’ apparent focus.) That said, Identi.ca is also basically Twitter’s liberated equivalent.

    • WSO2 launches 100% Open Source Cloud Platform

      An enterprise applications developer with development facilities in Sri Lanka recently launched its first 100% open source cloud platform, WSO2 Stratos. Built upon the WSO2 Carbon platform which it introduced last year, the company’s, WSO2′s, new productoffers advantages such as lower project times and reduced data centre costs, WSO said in a statement.

    • The intersection of open source and cloud computing

      Take the interesting discussion about the future of the LAMP stack recently. LAMP–a software stack consisting of Linux, Apache Web Server and/or Tomcat, MySQL (or another open-source database engine) and the Perl, Python and/or PHP scripting languages–plays a critical role in the world of Web applications, but as I noted recently, it may not be as critical to the cloud.

    • Hadoop

  • Oracle

    • Oracle Upgrades x86 Data Center Stack

      Each single x86-based cluster can support up to 720 Sun Fire blades, Lovell said. The new systems ship with preloaded Oracle Solaris, Oracle Enterprise Linux—either Red Hat or Novell SUSE—and Oracle VM, Fowler said.

    • Oracle releases VM VirtualBox 3.2.6

      Oracle has announced the release of version 3.2.6 of its open source VM VirtualBox desktop virtualisation application for x86 hardware. The latest maintenance update includes more than 20 bug fixes and a number of changes over the previous 3.2.4 release from early June.

    • New: OOo-DEV 3.x Developer Snapshot (build DEV300m84) available

      Developer Snapshot OOo-Dev DEV300m84 is available for download.

      DEV300 is the development codeline for upcoming OOo 3.x releases.

  • CMS

    • Pig no more: Companies Office site gets makeover

      Based on a customised platform called “Enterprise” (itself built around the open source Plone CMS) the new Companies Office site is much, much faster, and a lot more user-friendly and easy to navigate.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

    • Open Core is the New Dual Licensing

      Which is to say an open source business model that will generate marginal revenue improvement for firms that employ it, at the cost of developer goodwill and participation. And, potentially, distribution. What open core is not is a model that will mitigate the commercial limitations of the model sufficiently to produce outsized returns similar to historical software producers. Nor is it a model that ideally aligns customer and vendor interests.

      Which is not to say that there is much profit in debating its relative merits. Curiously, precisely zero of the model’s critics – smart people, all of them – have put forward potential remedies for the threat they perceive in open core. This is because none exist.

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • TechDis Accessibility Toolbar demoed at TransferSummit

      At TransferSummit, Steve Lee demonstrated the JISC TechDis Accessibility Toolbar, an open source, BSD licenced, browser accessibility tool that has just come out of beta. Launched as open source earlier in the year, the new toolbar is a bookmarklet or user-script which allows users to make text bigger, change text fonts, magnify pages, apply page styles for easier reading, have selected text read aloud, have entered text checked for spelling and provide access to a dictionary or references for selected pages. The toolbar can also be embedded into existing websites; a demonstration of this capability is available on the toolbar’s web page.

    • Dru Lavigne To Direct Community Development Of PC-BSD

      Dru Lavigne, well known for her BSD related books is stepping down from her role at OSBR and taking up the position of PC-BSD “Director of Community Development”.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU HURD: Altered visions and lost promise

      The HURD was meant to be the true kernel at the heart of the GNU operating system. The promise behind the HURD was revolutionary – a set of daemons on top of a microkernel that was intended to surpass the performance of the monolithic kernels of traditional Unix systems and in doing so, give greater security, freedom and flexibility to the users – but it has yet to come down to earth.

    • I use Windows… how can I move to free software?

      You can install free software applications on your Windows machine and use them instead of proprietary software from Microsoft and others.

    • FSF: Working Together For Free Software
  • Project Releases

    • IBM releases open source version of TranslationManager/2

      OpenTM2 is the name IBM has given to a new open source project for its integrated TranslationManager/2 (TM/2) translation environment. The project’s aim is to promote open standards like TMX in the translation and localisation industry, and to develop an open source translation platform based on such standards. To achieve this, IBM is cooperating with the Localisation Industry Standards Association (LISA), which oversees the development of the TMX specification, US localisation service Welocalize, Cisco, and the German Linux Solution Group (LiSoG).

  • Government

    • Gov’t agencies using ‘pirated’ software, state ICT body says

      To address these conflicting problems, CICT officials led by Commissioner Angelo Timoteo Diaz De Rivera and Antonette Torres batted for the use of “open source” operating systems and free applications instead of the usual Microsoft operating systems that have either been pirated or bought from licensed distributors.

      The CICT officials made the appeal as the country observes the last few days of the Information and Communications Technology month this June.

      Appearing before the news media during the Usaping Balita News Forum, De Rivera and Torres said the open source operating system, which is available free, could drastically bring down the cost of computerization of public schools and government offices in the country.

    • Pirated software rampant among Philippine govt

      The country’s policy-making body, which is tasked to promote technology use in government, did not name the government agencies, noting only that the Philippine government should seriously look into open source as a cheaper alternative.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • ECJ rules on reconciling data protection law with freedom of information law

      The European Court of Justice (ECJ), the European Union’s highest court, has overturned a lower court’s ruling and has said that a data protection law allowed the European Commission to refuse to name people who attended a meeting that settled a beer industry competition law dispute.

    • NeighborGoods Extends The Sharing Of Actual Things To The National Level

      Back in October, we covered a new sharing service called NeighborGoods. When you see the term “sharing” associated with a startup, your eyes may glaze over at this point — but NeighborGoods is a bit different because it’s all about actually sharing stuff. Like, in the real world. Sadly, the site was previously only open to users in Southern California. But today brings its nationwide roll-out.

    • “Emerging Ghana” Wins Open Source House Competition for Local, Modular, and Efficient Design

      He emphasized the importance of projects like Open Source House to solve the worldwide housing problem together.

    • Local, Modular and Efficient Eco-Affordable Housing For Ghana
    • 10 Ways Our World is Becoming More Shareable

      Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). FOSS and the Internet have a symbiotic relationship. The Internet would not have been possible without FOSS. And the growth of FOSS relies on the Internet to power its peer production and distribution model. Over 270 million people use the Firefox browser, a shared, freely available tool. Half of the world’s Web sites, about 112 million, run on Apache Server, also open source. A quarter of a million websites run on Drupal, a leading open source content management system.

      That’s just scratching the surface: Today, there are over 200,000 open source projects with nearly 5 billion lines of code that would cost an estimated $387 billion to reproduce. Check out the Infoworld’s Open Source Hall of Fame for more on desktop favorites, like Ubuntu, as well as obscure but vital infrastructure projects like BIND. You might also check out the Open Source Census, which tracks business installations of FOSS.

    • Open Data

      • Open Data Definition at OSCON

        Safe enough to say that the OSD has been quite successful in laying out a set of criteria for what is, and what is not, Open Source. We should adopt a definition Open Data, even if it means merely endorsing an existing one.

      • Data is not binary

        Why open data requires credibility and transparency.

      • ‘Google will be one node on a vast social web’

        “I’ve worked for myself for the last five years, and there are certain things you can do on your own,” explains Messina, who recently ranked third in a list of the most powerful voices in open source.

      • Valley residents find conflict, obstacles in Gulf of Mexico

        In the afternoon Thursday, we have a short meeting with the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, who are shifting gears from their normal operations of open source air quality testing and creating an open source map that anyone can add data to as they notice oil, wildlife, health problems, and various other items of interest at www.labucketbrigade.org.

      • Businesses unwilling to share data, but keen on government doing it

        But businesses are less willing to join in – possibly because they see a commercial risk in being making their data available if others do not reciprocate. While a number of companies participate in open source software projects such as the Linux operating system and Apache web server, to which companies such as IBM and Sun have been substantial contributors, that is some distance from making data – even anonymised – about the business visible to rivals.

      • Photo archive goes live on OS OpenSpace

        Another great OS OpenSpace mash-up has been built for The Great Tour of Britain – a unique cycling challenge circumnavigating the entire coastline of Great Britain. It’s being organised by the same team who brought us The Tour of Britain cycle race and the Halfords Tour series which was recently shown on ITV4.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Dramatic Growth of Open Access: June 30, 2010 (brief version)

        Open access policy continues to be the headline growth story, particularly institutional OA mandates and total OA mandates, both of which have more than doubled over the past year. There are now a total of 220 mandates.

      • Unpacking Open Source Government

        Throughout the day, the thorniest issues swirled around how to convince many different stakeholders that curate legal materials to abandon their entrenched practices in favor of a system that coordinates between jurisdictions. Most likely, Law.gov will apply several arguments to underscore the need for these proposed sweeping changes. When the session drew to a close, Malamud offered a few final words on the importance of applying open source practices to the legal system: “We’re trying to do a standard here, saying if you’re going to make a law, you need to make it in bulk.” Over the next several months, Malamud will draw up a report that will include the technical specifications, total costs, and standard procedures for the proposed repository. From it, he intends to generate broader support for his initiative, first from law school deans, and later from legislators and legal professionals. Both events suggest the profound impact that open source practices of collaboration, knowledge exchange, and networked participation are beginning to have on traditional governing institutions.

    • Open Hardware

      • New Report Explains Open-source 3D Printers

        Castle Island Co. announces the availability of the very first report that explores and explains in detail all aspects of open-source 3D printers.

      • TI

        • TI taps into open source community for MSP430

          A LaunchPad Wiki provides multiple production-ready open source projects for evaluation. TI is using the open-source environment is also intended to support design and community collaboration.

        • BeagleBoard open source project gets shot in the ARM

          BeagleBoard, the ARM-based development board from Texas Instruments, has caused a stir in the open source community, but it might not ever have appeared without the intervention of component distributor Digi-Key, writes Steve Bush.

          “It was developed with a little bit of seed funding from TI,” BeagleBoard software architecture manager Jason Kridner told Elctronics Weekly. “In order to reach the right price point, we had to order 1,000 at a time with a commitment for 10,000.”

        • Open source community powers TI MSP430
  • Programming

    • ActivePython Updated for Finance, Scientific Users

      ActiveState has added three open source mathematics libraries to its ActivePython Python distribution that might interest financial and scientific computing markets, the company announced Thursday.

    • Application Development: 25 Best and Brightest Eclipse Development Projects

      With the recent release (June 23) of the Eclipse Foundation’s 39-project Helios release train, eWEEK has decided to take a look at what many in the Eclipse community view as some of the top projects coming out of the organization. Eclipse is an open-source community, whose projects are focused on building an open development platform comprised of extensible frameworks, tools and runtimes for building, deploying and managing software across the lifecycle. Eclipse started as a Java IDE, but has since grown to be much, much more.

Leftovers

  • Death by Gadget

    An ugly paradox of the 21st century is that some of our elegant symbols of modernity — smartphones, laptops and digital cameras — are built from minerals that seem to be fueling mass slaughter and rape in Congo. With throngs waiting in lines in the last few days to buy the latest iPhone, I’m thinking: What if we could harness that desperation for new technologies to the desperate need to curb the killing in central Africa?

  • Science

    • First Direct Photo of Alien Planet Finally Confirmed

      A planet outside of our solar system, said to be the first ever directly photographed by telescopes on Earth, has been officially confirmed to be orbiting a sun-like star, according to follow-up observations.

      The alien planet is eight times the mass of Jupiter and orbits at an unusually great distance from its host star — more than 300 times farther from the star than our Earth is from the sun.

      Astronomers first discovered the planet in 2008 using visible light observations from telescopes on Earth, making it the first direct photo of an extrasolar world. But at the time there was still the remote chance that it only looked like it was orbiting the star, from the perspective of Earth, due to a lucky alignment of object, star and observer.

    • Ancient monster whale more fearsome than Moby Dick

      The fossilised skull of a colossal whale with a killer bite has been uncovered by a team who reckon the monster shared the Miocene oceans with a giant shark.

  • Security/Aggression

    • When Police Lie

      The single most important tool police have in their arsenal isn’t a gun, it isn’t baton, it isn’t even their badge. It is public confidence.

      It is this confidence that ensures the public they can have faith in some of the most important and powerful public servants they meet in their day to day lives, and more importantly, it is vested in hands that will prioritize the rule of law over violence.

      This, however, breaks down when police lie.

      This week, as far as I can tell, the Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair has been caught in two lies. First, in claiming the policy had legal authority to detain people within 5 meters of the perimeter fence at the G20, second, when they put confiscated weapons on display that had been found on “protesters.”

    • Young photojournalist detained for army cadet pics

      On Saturday 26 June, photojournalist Jules Mattsson, who is a minor and was documenting the Armed Forces Day parade in Romford, was questioned and detained by a police officer after taking a photo of young cadets.

      According to Mattsson, who spoke to BJP this morning, after taking the photo he was told by a police officer that he would need parental permission for his image. The photographer answered that, legally, he didn’t. While he tried to leave the scene to continue shooting, a second officer allegedly grabbed his arm to question him further.

    • Data at Rest vs. Data in Motion

      For a while now, I’ve pointed out that cryptography is singularly ill-suited to solve the major network security problems of today: denial-of-service attacks, website defacement, theft of credit card numbers, identity theft, viruses and worms, DNS attacks, network penetration, and so on.

      Cryptography was invented to protect communications: data in motion. This is how cryptography was used throughout most of history, and this is how the militaries of the world developed the science. Alice was the sender, Bob the receiver, and Eve the eavesdropper. Even when cryptography was used to protect stored data — data at rest — it was viewed as a form of communication. In “Applied Cryptography,” I described encrypting stored data in this way: “a stored message is a way for someone to communicate with himself through time.” Data storage was just a subset of data communication.

    • Iraq inquiry: secret documents showing Tony Blair’s frustration published

      On one note, written six weeks before the March 2003 invasion, the then-prime minister scrawled “I just do not understand this” alongside a warning from Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general, that military force would be illegal without a fresh United Nations resolution.

    • Tony Blair wins 2010 Liberty Medal award for work on peace

      In announcing the $100,000 prize, Philadelphia’s mayor Michael Nutter praised Blair’s “relentless pursuit of a long-elusive peace in Northern Ireland as British prime minister and his dedication to the Middle East peace process”.

  • Environment

    • Climate science: An erosion of trust?

      The video wasn’t funny to the real Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University in University Park. A lawyer wrote to the group responsible for it, threatening to sue them for defamation and for using a copyrighted image. The video was promptly taken down and a new version — without the copyrighted photo — appeared on YouTube.

      Mann has grown weary of dealing with the various groups that are criticizing him. “In reality, these groups are guilty over and over again of defamation, slander and libel, but that is far more difficult to fight legally,” Mann says. “Even if you were to prevail, you would have invested potentially several years of your career, and frankly those of us who love doing science are not willing to do that.”

    • We have solutions: open source technology can solve BP, other problems

      This is the essence of open source. It is an education process for those who participate to see what their ideas did or didn’t do. For it to work for BP, it needs to continue to keep the phone lines open and start calling us back.

    • UK Votes for All Six GM Applications in Europe, but No Majority – Commission struggles to find legal way forward on GM cultivation

      As most EU food companies continue to avoid GM ingredients in food, the GM maize would mainly be used for animal feed. There is currently no requirement to label products produced using GM animal feed, although legislation to change this will be voted on in the European Parliament on 7 July. [2] The EU’s reliance on imported animal feeds is being challenged and is the subject of a Private Member’s Bill in the UK Parliament. [3]

  • Finance

    • Volcker Rule May Give Goldman, Citigroup Until 2022 to Comply

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. are among U.S. banks that may have as long as a dozen years to cut stakes in in-house hedge funds and private- equity units under a regulatory revamp agreed to last week.

    • GOPers So Opposed To Wall Street Regulation That They Voted For Bailout Continuation

      Republicans have spent the better part of two years distancing themselves from bailouts and hitting Democrats for supporting them. But given a choice between continuing the 2008 bank bailout and regulating Wall Street, several Republicans voted last night (and almost all of them will ultimately vote) to keep the bailout alive.

    • Goldman Sachs Could Settle SEC Fraud Suit by July 20, Mayo Says
    • State Finalizes Settlement With Goldman Sachs

      Goldman Sachs has agreed to buy back over $25.65 million in auction-rate securities sold to Montana investors, as part of a national settlement regarding the company’s sales of the investments.

    • Montana finalizes settlement with Goldman Sachs over auction-rate securities
    • Tapping the Crowd to Bring Goldman Sachs to Justice?

      Earlier this month, when Goldman Sachs had the gall to dump 5 terabytes of data in the lap of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in response to a subpoena for information relating to its role in the mortgage meltdown, John Carney of CNBC had a novel idea: Use a crowdsourcing model to comb through the data to find what Goldman Sachs apparently wants to keep buried and unfindable. It’s an interesting idea, but is it feasible?

    • Analysis: SEC may use Goldman Sachs to improve its image

      If this were a normal time, and Goldman Sachs were an ordinary company, there’s little doubt how the Securities and Exchange Commission’s fraud complaint against the investment banking and securities firm would be handled.

    • Goldman Sachs spends $1.15 million to lobby government during 1st quarter

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. spent $1.15 million lobbying the government during the first quarter on issues tied to financial regulatory reform and the housing market, according to lobbying disclosure filings.

    • Bank of Canada Names Goldman’s Hodgson as Adviser

      The Bank of Canada named Goldman Sachs Canada Chief Executive Officer Timothy Hodgson as a special adviser to Governor Mark Carney, who also worked at the investment bank.

    • Goldman Sachs Says to Buy Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A, BRK-B)
    • Goldman Sachs’ Spirituality and Psychology

      The economic system defines what we spend most of our waking hours doing, which means it can’t help but be a primary determinant of our psychology and spirituality. So an economic system built on an immoral, unhealthy monetary system cannot help but breed immoral spirituality and unhealthy psychology over time. It must be changed.

    • How Goldman Trashed a Town

      Starting in July, Liza Kuzela of Cedar Rapids will pay $0.44 more a month to have her trash collected. The amount is trivial, but the reason is not. Two years ago, Cedar Rapids lost $2.6 million on an investment tied to a Goldman Sachs bond deal Abacus that the Securities and Exchange Commission claims was rigged to fail. When the bond went bust, hedge-fund manager and Goldman client John Paulson pocketed a billion dollars. Kuzela, her neighbors and others around the country with no ties to Wall Street are picking up the tab. The case of Cedar Rapids and Goldman illustrates how everyday Americans end up paying for Wall Street’s big paydays.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Foursquare Puts Money Before Privacy

      Foursquare, one of the net’s hottest startups, got an unwanted message on June 20 from a white-hat hacker: it was leaking user data on a massive scale in plain violation of its privacy policy.

      The company asked the white hat, Jesper Andersen, to give it nine days to deal with the problem that it was publishing all users’ location data to the entire web despite its privacy-policy promise to users that “You can opt out of such broadcasts through your privacy settings.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Ugly Politics At Wipo

      The irony of the situation is that while blame for the lack of progress is being placed on African countries, these countries actually support a legally binding Treaty for the visually impaired. The reality is that the US and the EU have been fighting tooth and nail against a legally binding treaty for the visually impaired and during the World Intellectual Property Organization meeting last week in Geneva they they were the target of massive criticism from civil society and many countries from the South. The EU was even adamant in rejecting any mention of creating “legal instruments” in favour of enhancing the right to read for millions of print disabled people. Now, instead of blaming the EU and the US for their insensitive pro-corporate copyright fundamentalism, anger is being directed toward the “reckless, unrealistic” proposals of African countries. At the same time the EU and the US are now able to use the broad african proposal as proof in their view that an exception and limitation on copyright for the blind is just one step inin a larger strategy of weakening international copyright protection. Since WIPO functions with a consensus principle the “African excuse” becomes the perfect pretext for the North to push lower expectations about achieving a new international legal norm and to instead push weak voluntary mechanisms.

      What a sad spectacle.

    • US Pirate Party responds to Obama administration anti-piracy efforts

      TechEye spoke with Travis McCrea of the US Pirate Party, and he told us that the news about the US government’s plans is not a surprise, since Obama and his party have consistently failed to live up to the promises they have made, including delivering high-speed internet to rural areas, and reforming copyright and patenting.

    • Copyrights

      • Digital Opportunities ‘Are Scarce’ And Long-Term, HMV Says

        “Opportunities to create real value in digital are scarce for all involved,” HMV (LSE: HMV) said, reporting 3.1 percent higher annual income, “not least because of widespread competition from the free illegal market.”

        The entertainment retailer in September bought 50 percent of digital music seller 7digital for £7.7 million in cash plus £400,000 fees, but has already recorded a £600,000 loss from its share since then.

      • “Damaging To Culture”, Online Library Smashed By Police

        There is outrage amongst sections of the online community as it is revealed that at the behest of copyright holders, a free online library has been raided by police. Chitanka carried user translated and submitted books, poems and other literature and as an “altruistic library” was thought to be legal under current legislation. Instead the site was raided and subjected to criminal procedures.

      • Homeland Security Works For Disney Now? Announces Shut Down Of Movie Sites At Disney

        Well, here we go. Remember how, a few months back, we noted how odd it was that the Justice Department (which, of course, employs many former RIAA/MPAA/BSA lawyers) was designating a special task force to fight copyright infringement? After all, copyright infringement is mostly a civil issue, between two private parties. For years, however, the entertainment industry has been working hard to convince the government to act as its own private police force, and following a totally one-sided “summit” with Joe Biden (who recently claimed that infringement is no different than doing a smash and grab at Tiffany’s), suddenly the feds had a special IP task force… at the same time that it was downgrading the priority of crimes that cause actual harm, such as identity fraud.

    • ACTA

      • ACTA A Sign Of Weakness In Multilateral System, WIPO Head Says

        The plurilateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and other such regional negotiations are a “bad development” for multilateral agencies, the World Intellectual Property Organization director general has told Intellectual Property Watch.

        Asked about this week’s ACTA negotiation in Lucerne, Switzerland (IPW, Enforcement, 26 June 2010), Gurry said it is an example of the difficulty of the United Nations and the rest of the multilateral system have providing swift answers to international problems.

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