Links 21/11/2010: KDE 4.5 and KDE SC 4.7 Plans, Fedora Elections

Posted in News Roundup at 8:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Audio Blog #4

      This entry is mostly about my further experiences with AROS (Amiga Research Operating System) along with some more thoughts about Plan 9 and the Zaurus. 16 minutes in duration.

    • Linux Outlaws 177 – The Orgasmatron (Eyebrow Control Was My Idea)

      On Linux Outlaws this week: Symbian and MeeGo talk, System76 shipping to the UK, Fab rants on a stupid Fedora decision, open source Kinect drivers and much more….

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • A Short Video Tour Of The Wayland Display Server

        There’s been a lot of talk lately about the Wayland Display Server since it was announced Ubuntu is going to deploy their Unity Desktop atop Wayland. The new Wayland mailing list has become lively with end-users and developers and there’s more people now trying out this experimental lightweight display server that leverages OpenGL ES, kernel mode-setting, and the Graphics Execution Manager, among other recent Linux graphics technologies. Most people though still haven’t seen or used Wayland, but here’s a short video showing it off.

      • NVIDIA CUDA 3.2 Toolkit Released

        While NVIDIA should soon be releasing a new Linux graphics driver beta, for those of you interested in NVIDIA’s Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) rather than — or as a complement to — OpenCL, there is a new tool-kit release. CUDA 3.2 is now available this week. CUDA 3.2 brings a number of new features to the NVIDIA GPGPU table.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • OpenGL ES For KWin In KDE SC 4.7 Is Taking Shape

        For KDE SC 4.7, Martin has also been working on OpenGL ES 2.0 support for KWin so that it could be used by mobile devices, such as those running MeeGo. OpenGL ES 2.0 is also supported by Mesa and Gallium3D and the proprietary drivers too, due to the web presence of OpenGL ES 2.0.

      • KDE 4 Look Part 3: A Week of KDE 4.5

        So I’ve used KDE for about a work week. During that time I’ve pretty much gone to using the KDE versions of all my programs except Konqueror. I’m not sure if the Fedora 14 version of Konqueror is the one with Webkit, but last time I used Konqueror with KHTML it was mucking up a bunch of web pages including my blog. So I stuck with Google Chrome, which is what i use on Gnome, LXDE (Lubuntu on my laptop), and on my Windows 7 install. (Also, I stuck with gPodder for podcasts because that’s working perfectly) So how did it go? First of all, I love the stock screenshot tool in KDE, KSnapshot. I love that lets me choose full screen, region, window under cursor, and section of Window. With Gnome I hit print screen and then I have to edit the png in the GIMP. So it gives me less work for my Linux-related blogging.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Should You Sell Red Hat Right Now?

        Red Hat has failed only two of the quick tests that would make it a sell. Does that mean you should hold your Red Hat shares? Not necessarily. Just keep your eye on these trends over the coming quarters.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora elections – vote!

          The F15 election period has just begun! If you are a Fedora contributor (i.e. you have a FAS account and at least one non-CLA group) please take the time to cast your vote before 2010-11-28 23:59:59 UTC.

        • Fedora 14 Updates

          Today, I opened up a terminal, issued the su command, and typed in my root password on my Fedora 14 laptop. I then issued the “yum update” command to install all of the latest Fedora 14 updates. I am running Fedora 14 on a 64-bit Toshiba Satellite L675 laptop. Fedora 14 runs extremely well on it with the exception of no wifi drivers, and the touchpad’s response is a little bit subpar. There is also an issue with audio recording/input. I cannot record from my microphone in Audacity. There is an incredible lag/failure in audio recording. When I do try to record, on playback, most of what I recorded is missing.

    • Debian Family

      • Following Debian via microblogging
      • 11.0 Alpha 3 Released to Testers on MEPIS Anniversary

        It was 8 years ago today that the MEPIS Linux project started when Warren Woodford decided to build a version of Linux that would be easy to try from CD, easy to install from the live environment, and easy for everyone to use. Over the years there have been reports of SimplyMEPIS being the first OS of one year old children, and also the first OS of 90 year old adults.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Unity Place People – Day 2

          Most of the difficulties are due to my love for python and the simplicity. However I am learning a lot while hacking this. Tomorrow I will write a short tutorial on how to work with Unity. And Monday I will try to write one how to work with Folks.

        • Plymouth manager lets you change boot theme, resolution in Ubuntu

          Features include: -

          * Enable/disable Plymouth
          * Set splash resolution
          * Fixing errant errors
          * Choosing/creating new themes

        • Choose the Best Server for your Ubuntu updates & SC

          There are many download servers and mirror server, for ubuntu packages and updates, in this world. A default server will be set for your software sources according to your location. This server need not be the best and fastest server available for you.

          You can choose the best server available and set it as the download server for your software source in Ubuntu.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • On Design Contests in FLOSS

    It seems to be somewhat popular to hold a contest, if a FLOSS project needs a (new) logo or other seemingly singular asset.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Attention Localizers, big changes ahead for SUMO

        A new KB means that we have a lot of new strings in the UI — more than 2000 words in all. You can find the new strings in Verbatim, our new tool for all UI localization. It’s a lot of words, but fear not: up to 50% of the strings were ported over, so if you’ve localized those in the past you don’t have to do it again. When we moved them we marked them as fuzzy, so you can decide for yourself whether you want to accept them or change them.

      • Analyze Your Search Behavior

        With Prospector, we are interested in improving searches in the browser including those searches that you make through websites. To better understand how people do various types of searches, we have put together a new experiment to help you report back with your findings.

        This experiment is slightly different from our previous experiments like Speak Words or Find Suggest. It is more of a study where you can take a look at your own data and come up with your own ideas of how searches can be improved.

      • Firefox 4 Nightlies finally adds ‘menu’ button

        The long-awaited ‘Firefox’ menu button has arrived in the latest nightly Linux builds – for now.

  • Oracle

    • Unpacking the Oracle and AWS Rumor

      I wasn’t at Defrag, but the whispers there made their way back to me quickly. My policy is to ignore these, because the probability of any single rumor being accurate is, in my experience, slight.

      But given that we’re now fielding multiple inquiries about it, let me say that like my colleague I do not believe Amazon intends to sell its Web Services division to Oracle.

      It is unclear where the rumor originated. Amazon is apparently reading intent into it, and it’s easy to understand why. A substantial portion of Amazon’s developer adoption and goodwill is driven by the accessible economics it established for the industry. Given Oracle’s history and its recent behavior with respect to MySQL, widely circulated rumors of an acquisition could introduce uncertainty about the longer term economics of AWS. Which is undesirable from the perspective of Amazon, clearly. And just as clearly, potentially desirable for one or more of its competitors.

    • LibreOffice Is Taking Shape With Third Beta

      It’s been less than two months since the Document Foundation announced that it was launching its own “fork” of the OpenOffice.org productivity software suite, but already its new LibreOffice alternative is beginning to take shape.

    • The Renaissance of the Renaissance Project?

      Forgive the title above; but these past days we started to receive more and more questions about the OpenOffice.org Renaissance Project and whether we would continue its works and implement its changes. I think this calls for some clarification. The LibreOffice Project led by the Document Foundation is the successor of the OpenOffice.org only insofar as the OpenOffice.org project’s community (Oracle excepted) has decided to give itself a new and more promising beginning. It does not mean, however, that we have to bear with the legacy of the OpenOffice.org code base or technical legacy forever. We made clear recently that we would bring some radical changes not just to the code itself, but also to the way we had been working as a community of the OpenOffice.org project before. And the Renaissance Project stands right in the middle of this mix of continuity and changes; after all, not everything inside OpenOffice.org needs to be thrown away.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Overy 0.1

        I’ m finally making some progress on one of my 2010 goals – making a Lego robot that can take CD’s and feed them to my computer to rip.


        I’ve spent quite some time writing an accurate CD ripper for Linux, and I want to have all my audio CD’s in correct digital bytes on a computer, so I can use the files to transcode to whatever format is useful for whatever player I’ll have.

      • hack a day: Global Village Construction Set

        The Global Village Construction Set is an open hardware initiative aimed at sharing tool-building knowledge.


  • USB – Satan’s Data Connection

    Evangelical Christians in Brazil have apparently banned the use of USB connections after claiming the technology is the mark of Satan-worshippers (Hat tip: Fernando Frias). Apparently the revelation came after the evangelists noticed that the USB symbol resembles a trident. Presumably they’re not great fans of Britain’s ballistic missiles either.

  • Vikings brought first native American to Europe

    An Amerindian woman may have been the first native American to set foot on European soil, brought to Iceland by the Vikings several centuries before Christopher Columbus set foot on the Americas in 1492.

  • Arm readies processing cores for 64-bit computing

    Arm’s next generation of processors will support 64-bit computing, opening the way to more memory-intensive applications

  • Nokia research lab builds touchscreen made of ice
  • Why Microsoft is Acorn and Symbian is the new CP/M

    DOS, of course, ousted CP/M – the OS which was considered a shoo-in for the desktop platform of choice, regardless of who made the hardware. And it’s in the role of CP/M that we find Symbian lurking: technically superior in many ways, but with a management that was unable to change fast enough to keep up with the new kids on the block who jumped in before anyone had noticed there was a gap.

    Not that Symbian is the only one who’s been pushed aside – with Android taking Microsoft’s spot that pushes Redmond’s offering elsewhere: roughly into the place where Acorn once stood. Having achieved early success, with the BBC Micro, Acorn created a new platform with huge optimism. That platform, the RISC-based Archimedes, had many nice features but never really caught on.

  • Science

    • 3,000-Year-Old Conch Trumpets Play Again

      Now you can hear a marine-inspired melody from before the time of the Little Mermaid’s hot crustacean band. Acoustic scientists put their lips to ancient conch shells to figure out how humans used these trumpets 3,000 years ago. The well-preserved, ornately decorated shells found at a pre-Inca religious site in Peru offered researchers a rare opportunity to jam on primeval instruments.

    • Have we found the universe that existed before the Big Bang?

      The current cosmological consensus is that the universe began 13.7 billion years ago with the Big Bang. But a legendary physicist says he’s found the first evidence of an eternal, cyclic cosmos.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • The Mayor Of London On George W. Bush, War Criminal

      Boris Johnson is a total Tory and an old friend from college days. In a piece in the conservative Daily Telegraph, he advises George W. Bush not to bring his book tour to Britain, because he could face arrest as a war criminal…

    • Warning: cellos, paintbrushes, sketchpads and cameras on UK Borders Agency’s list of suspicious items

      A Cellist was held at Heathrow Airport and questioned for 8 hours this week. A terrorist suspect? False passport? Drug smuggling? If only it was so dramatic and spectacular. Her crime was coming to the UK with her cello, to participate in musicology conference organised by the School of Music at the University of Leeds and it was for this reason that Kristin Ostling was deported back to Chicago. What was UK Borders Agency (UKBA) thinking? That she would sell her cello to earn some cash, or do a spot of moonlighting at some secretive classical music gig, while she was here?

    • Re-tweeting the revolution

      The war on terror is over. We lost.


      Nowhere is this illustrated more starkly than in the case of Paul Chambers.

      In the snowy depths of January 2010 Paul sent a message of frustration to his Twitter friends when he discovered the weather could affect his travel plans: “Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together or I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”

    • TSA airport screeners gone wild in San Diego- again

      In what can only be described as TSA handlers gone wild, the San Diego Harbor Police arrested an area resident for refusal to complete the screening/security process yesterday. This is the same airport that created the TSA security catch phrase “don’t touch my junk.” John Tyner of San Diego started the airport screening firestorm last week as Americans head into the busiest travel week of the year in the United States.

      This time the defendant, Sam Wolanyk says he was asked to pass through the 3-D x-ray machine. When Wolanyk refused, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel told him he would have to be patted down before he could pass through and board his airplane.

    • DHS airport spooks stalk star hacker

      Last weekend, as US-based security researcher Moxie Marlinspike snoozed during a layover at the Frankfurt Airport, he awoke to a scene straight out of a Franz Kafka novel.

      “Some dude shows up with a picture of me on his cell phone, and he’s just looking through the crowd at the gate until he finds me,” Marlinspike told The Register. “He takes me away [and says] ‘I have some questions for you that you have to answer.’”

      Eventually, the man, who identified himself as an employee of the American Consulate, permitted Marlinspike to fly home, but only after the man made a phone call to an unnamed person in Washington, DC. For Marlinspike — who as a frequent traveler had already been repeatedly subjected to secondary searches and some ominous comments from his inquisitors — the incident kicked off a series of escalating confrontations with federal officials.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Twitter gaffe: US embassy announces ‘crazy bad’ Beijing air pollution

      Since the US embassy in Beijing began tweeting hourly pollution reports last year, I – along with many other smog watchers – have been horrified at the frequency of “bad” and “hazardous” readings.

      But this week, the depth and murkiness of the haze was so appalling that the automated system briefly entered the realm of black comedy with a “crazy bad” analysis of our air.

  • Finance

    • Wasting a good crisis

      I’ve been reading Fintan O’Toole’s new book about the Irish banking catastrophe. As in his previous book — Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger — the analysis of why the disaster happened is spot-on: the Republic has had a dysfunctional political culture ever since it was founded, and the dysfunctionality became pathological over the last three decades. O’Toole thinks that the only way of ensuring a decent future for the country is radically to re-think the governance of the state, and he’s right.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Beware of the Lobby Cleaner!!

      With just under a week to go to end of the voting for the EU Worst Lobbying Award, some of the nominees have started receiving visits from the infamous Brussels “Lobby-Cleaner”.

    • TaxPayers’ Alliance seeks advice from Tea Party movement leaders

      The TaxPayers’ Alliance campaign group has taken advice from leaders of the prominent right wing Tea Party movement in a bid to galvanise anti-government sentiment.


      Last month tens of thousands of politically conservative Americans turned out to support Glenn Beck, a right wing broadcaster, and Mrs Palin at a highly controversial Washington rally to honour the US military.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • All ‘Bout Children and DNA databases

      Terri Dowty from Action on Rights for Children (ARCH) and Dr Helen Wallace from GeneWatch UK, two exceptional campaigners on civil liberties, will be talking about children’s databases and the National DNA Database (NDNAD) at a free event organised by No2ID this Monday 22nd November, 7pm in the Bertrand Russell Room, Conway Hall (25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL).

    • New Facebook Messaging Continues to Block Some Links

      Facebook’s “modern messaging system” may make it convenient to seamlessly move between instant messaging and a Facebook.com e-mail account, but not if you are sharing a link to a file sharing site.

      Facebook began blocking BitTorrent link-sharing on Facebook walls and news feeds last spring, and also started blocking private messages between users that included a link to torrents on the Pirate Bay.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Ed Vaizey: ‘My overriding priority is an open internet’

      From Google to web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, there is a global consensus that commercial clout should not be allowed to buy preferential treatment on the web -internet service providers, nearly all luminaries agree, should be punished if they allow companies to buy an enhanced service not available to smaller competitors.

      But the whole nature of that so-called “net neutrality” principle was, according to some vocal campaigners, abandoned by the British Government on Wednesday. In a speech entitled “The Open Internet” Communications Minister Ed Vaizey was said to have opened the floodgates for, say, Sky to provide a broadband service that prioritised its TV catch-up services and made those of the BBC practically unwatchable.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright Expansion Through Misinformation Has Gone On A Long Time… And It Involved Pimps & Ferrets

        Anyway, Alan Wexellat points us to the news that Anderson has now redone the paper as a book, and has released Pimps and Ferrets: Copyright and Culture in the United States under a Creative Commons license. He’s using a non-commercial license, which we just discussed has some problems, but it really is a tremendously worthwhile read. It basically shows that, as we see today, many people don’t really understand the purpose and intent behind copyright — and that includes some of the folks in charge of making the law. That allowed some special interests to co-opt the process and expand copyright to their own benefit. Sound familiar? Well, history seems to repeat itself…

      • Pirate Parties Use Influence To Halt Anonymous’ Operation Payback

        In a letter to those coordinating Operation Payback, the series of DDoS attacks carried out against pro-copyright outfits since September, the UK and US Pirate Party are calling for an end to hostilities. They reason that the continuation of the operation plays into the hands of organizations that wish to “pervert” copyright law for personal gain and hampers the progress of those seeking copyright reform through legitimate means.

      • John Does Win Big In Far Cry Case

        The copyright trolling campaign in the United States may not be coming to a grinding halt, but it looks like it may come to a sluggish crawl. In an order issued today in the Achte/Neunte (aka Far Cry) vs Does 1-4,577 case – Judge Rosemary Collyer granted and denied in part the US Copyright Group’s request for an extension to serve all defendants to five years.

      • Time Warner Balks At Subpoenas In Mass Copyright Suits

        Lawyers from Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) have intervened in a few mass-copyright lawsuits recently, saying they’ve been overwhelmed by the tactics of one Washington, D.C., area law firm, Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver. Since January, lawyers from that firm have sued more than 10,000 “John Does” in nine separate lawsuits, alleging that those users have broken copyright law by sharing movies over BitTorrent sites. The firm has requested names and contact info for all 10,000, a task that falls to ISPs like Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) to carry out.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA turns out to be a damp squib

          Good news everyone. Remember that international multilateral secret agreement everyone was worried about? It turns out that we do not really have to worry that much about it any more. The newest draft text of the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has now been published, and it turns out that most of the controversial issues have been removed, reduced, or diluted, producing a text that will not change too much in various countries.

        • ACTA: damp squid or mutant octopus?

          My friend and colleague the Technoloma claims that ACTA has turned out to be a damp squid. He and I are in agreement on many issues, but this is an issue on which we come to different conclusions.

          The reason that technollama gives for concluding: “at the moment it seems like the worst has been taken out of the agreement” is that the agreement as it now stands, and as technollama reads it, does not require statutory damages for copyright infringement, nor do the indisputably worrying intermediary liability provisions require 3 strikes style policing from Internet service providers.

          However from the perspective of developing countries, a perspective which I’d expect technollama to understand and value, these are not have and have not been the primary problems with ACTA.

Clip of the Day


Credit: TinyOgg

TechBytes Episode 11: Microsoft FUD and Dirty Tactics Against GNU/Linux – Part II

Posted in TechBytes at 6:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Direct download as Ogg (2:03:17, 37.1 MB) | Direct download as MP3 (56.4 MB)

Summary: Second episode discussing Microsoft’s perception tactics against GNU/Linux with a plethora of other topics around this theme

THIS is the second part of a discussion about ways in which GNU/Linux adoption is being discouraged, with or without Microsoft’s direct involvement. Gordon, Tim, and Roy speaks about no article in particular this weekend; instead they concentrate on many examples from the past few years. Tim’s site, OpenBytes, will publish some show notes very shortly. We made no preparations for the shows, so notes are put together only after the discussion.

RSS 64x64Today’s show ends with “SPARKLE” by Honey Sac (published in SXSW 2009 Showcasing Artists). Marti is working on a new intro for the show and we also hope to have him — as well folks from Mageia — on an imminent episode. We hope you will join us for future shows and spread the word if you enjoy this show. Also consider subscribing to the show via the RSS feed. If you have an Identi.ca account, consider subscribing to TechBytes in order to keep up to date.

As embedded (HTML5):


Ogg Theora
(There is also an MP3 version)

Our past shows:

Show overview Show title Date recorded
Episode 1: Brandon from Fedora TechBytes Episode 1: Apple, Microsoft, Bundling, and Fedora 14 (With Special Guest Brandon Lozza) 1/11/2010
Episode 2: No guests TechBytes Episode 2: Ubuntu’s One Way, Silverlight Goes Dark, and GNU Octave Discovered 7/11/2010
Episode 3: No guests TechBytes Episode 3: Games, Wayland, Xfce, Restrictive Application Stores, and Office Suites 8/11/2010
Episode 4: No guests TechBytes Episode 4: Fedora 14 Impressions, MPAA et al. Payday, and Emma Lee’s Magic 9/11/2010
Episode 5: No guests TechBytes Episode 5: Windows Loses to Linux in Phones, GNU/Linux Desktop Market Share Estimations, and Much More 12/11/2010
Episode 6: No guests TechBytes Episode 6: KINect a Cheapo Gadget, Sharing Perceptually Criminalised, Fedora and Fusion 14 in Review 13/11/2010
Episode 7: No guests TechBytes Episode 7: FUD From The Economist, New Releases, and Linux Eureka Moment at Netflix 14/11/2010
Episode 8: Gordon Sinclair on Linux Mint TechBytes Episode 8: Linux Mint Special With Gordon Sinclair (ThistleWeb) 15/11/2010
Episode 9: Gordon Sinclair returns TechBytes Episode 9: The Potentially Permanent Return of ThistleWeb 17/11/2010
Episode 10: Special show format TechBytes Episode 10: Microsoft FUD and Dirty Tactics Against GNU/Linux 19/11/2010

IRC Proceedings: November 20th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

[ES] David Kappos (Jefe USPTO) Se Niega a Ser Parte del Fiasco Tratado ACTA, No Responde

Posted in Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 12:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

(ODF | PDF | English (original))

Resumen: Karel de Gucht, current European Commissioner for Trade y la USPTO (Oficina de Patentes y Marcas de los Estados Unidos) continuan con su carrera por el ACTA, que es un enemigo de la libertad del software, así como muchas otras libertades entre ellas la soberanía de los pueblos.

La semana pasada mencionamos Karel de Gucht[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karel_de_Gucht], comisario europeo de Comercio, quien cínicamente sostiene falsamente que el ACTA (Tratado Comercial de Lucha contra la Falsificación) no dañará el software libre[http://twitter.com/FFII/statuses/5409097092440064]. Este hombre se convirtió en otro enemigo de los intereses de Europa por la elección para impulsar la iniciativa de EE.UU. conocido como ACTA (que es inconstitucional[http://techrights.org/2009/08/27/hacking-basic-freedoms/]). Su propósito es ayudar a mega-corporaciones ganar más poder sobre la sociedad en todo el mundo. El deslizamiento de la lengua de Karel ha causado Techdirt afirmar que[http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101117/12403111915/as-us-insists-acta-is-not-a-treaty-eu-trade-commissioner-admits-it-s-a-treaty.shtml]:

Los EE.UU. Insiste ACTA no es un Tratado, el Comisario Europeo de Comercio, admite que es un Tratado

“Ya hemos publicado acerca de David Kappos[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Kappos] (Subsecretario de Comercio para la Propiedad Intelectual y Director de la Oficina de Patentes y Marcas de los Estados Unidos) no “da respuesta a las preguntas de la legalidad sobre el ACTA, pero en el fondo de la cobertura de KEI acerca de esta historia hay otro punto interesante. ACTA partidarios en los EE.UU. se han doblado hacia atrás para insistir en que el ACTA no es un tratado. Toda vez que alguien la menciona como un tratado en los comentarios aquí, uno de los partidarios del ACTA entre nuestros lectores rápidamente va amonestar por no tener ni idea de la ley y se insiste en que esto no es nada más que un “ACUERDO EJECUTIVO”, que no es necesario la aprobación del Senado. Es uno de los puntos favoritos de conversaciónde los partidarios del ACTA. Por supuesto, hay algunos serias interrogantes constitucionales al respecto.

Sin embargo, mucho más revelador es que muchos partidarios ACTA absolutamente admiten que es un tratado. Ya Hemos señalado que la Alianza Empresarial de Software (BSA[http://www.bsa.org/country/BSA%20and%20Members/Our%20Members.aspx]) lo hizo hace unas semanas (y también se afirmaba falsamente que ya había sido firmado por 37 países).”

Hola, Kappos, me escuchas? Et tu, Alianza Empresarial de Software BSA?

Observe el papel desempeñado por la USPTO (Oficina de Patentes y Marcas de los Estados Unidos) allí. Kappos no sirve de nada[http://techrights.org/2010/03/06/uspto-makes-things-worse/] a causa de sus opiniones sobre el status quo. Los créditos debe ir al brillante Bernard Sanders, cuyas acciones se destacan por KEI en este momento[http://keionline.org/node/1022]:

Carta No-Respondida por David Kappos de la USPTO a los senadores Sanders y Brown Relativa a la Coherencia de ACTA con la Legislación de los EE.UU.

“En un 19 de octubre 2010, los senadores Bernard Sanders (I-VT) y Sherrod Brown (D-OH) escribió a David Kappos, el Director de la USPTO, solicitando una evaluación de los conflictos entre el texto del ACTA octubre 2010, y la ley de EE.UU. . (Que se adjunta aquí).”

KEI también tiene este nuevo documento [http://keionline.org/sites/default/files/ep-prizes-jamie-18nov2010.pdf][PDF] titulado “Innovación Premios Incentivos para reducir los costos, Mejorar la productividad y ampliar el acceso”. Es de hace dos días y el objetivo es Europa. KEI – como nosotros – desea ayudar a los estadounidenses[http://techrights.org/2010/11/20/esp-america-pov/]. Pero lo que es bueno para los conglomerados de América, por ejemplo, no es necesariamente bueno para los ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos. Vamos a exponer a los “buitres” (no las águilas) de la sociedad y exponer sus maliciosa agenda, de auto-servicio que la USPTO (Oficina de Patentes y Marcas de los Estados Unidos) contribuye a perpetuar . La USPTO – como grupo de presión – está ahí para servir a los abogados contraproducentemente y a las grandes corporaciones, por lo que en los EE.UU. “la USPTO” puede ser tan engañosa como en “Nueva Zelanda” la “NZICT” (que aboga por los intereses que son opuestos a Nueva Zelanda)[http://techrights.org/2010/08/25/nzict-and-microsoft-gold-partner/].

Eduardo Landaveri adds (in English):

Another chapter on the fight against software patents.

As I said before India && Europe efforts against software patents are not only their hope for a better future for themselves && their children but the Latin American && African countries hope for a better future. Free from digital colonialism.

“C’mon India && Europe, do not give up against these corporations, give yourselves && to us the gift of Freedom”

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”
- Thomas Paine

Or in Spanish:

Como he dicho antes los esfuerzos de India Europa ycontra las patentes de software no son sólo la esperanza de un futuro mejor para ellos y sus hijos, sin lo la esperanza de un futuro mejor para los paises de América Latina y Africano. Libres de colonialismo digital.

“Vamos, India y Europa, no se dén por vencido en contra de estas corporaciones, dense a sí mismos y a nosotros el regalo de la libertad”

“Los que esperan cosechar las bendiciones de la libertad deben, como hombres, sufren la fatiga de apoyarla.”
- Thomas Paine

Eduardo’s translations hopefully broaden the reach of this information.

India dice No a la RAND y Europa Deben Prestar Atención

Posted in Asia, Microsoft, Patents, RAND at 11:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


(ODF | PDF | English (original))

Resumen: La India hace lo correcto cuando se trata de RAND (“Razonable y No-Discriminatorias” licencias) y el mundo entero debe prestar atención y de imitar este modelo de la India en materia de normas y estándares.

Hay algunas buenas noticias sobre las patentes de software en la India[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Software_Patents_in_India] y también una admisión de que las patentes de Microsoft dentro de las normas no son una buena idea después de todo. Vamos a pasar por algunos de los enlaces de noticias que se encuentran y explicar lo que significan.

Glyn Moody, una de las voces más notables en los últimos tiempos contra los términos RAND (‘kryponite GPL’), dice que” Microsoft demuestra por qué sus “razonables y no discriminatorias” licencias son una farsa[http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2010/11/microsoft-demonstrates-why-frand-licensing-is-a-sham/index.htm]“, “en este nuevo cargo con respecto a la demanda de Microsoft contra Motorola [http://techrights.org/2010/11/10/motorola-and-xbox/](en los que Microsoft es el patente agresor). Como el Dr. Moody dice:

“La parte clave aquí es que Microsoft acusa a Motorola de no cumplir con su compromiso “con licencia de patentes identificadas relacionadas con las tecnologías de codificación de vídeo inalámbrico en condiciones razonables y no discriminatorias .” Es decir, aun cuando razonables y no discriminatorias (llamado RAND aquí) ha ha acordado que los términos bajo los cuales la tecnología se licencia, no hay garantía de esos términos en realidad ser “razonables” (o “justo”) en los ojos de todos.

Esto es exactamente lo que sugierí en mi pieza anterior – pero lo que es peor aquí, porque este no es ni siquiera por la falta de disponibilidad de las “especiales” condiciones para el software libre, pero por las disputas entre los proveedores tradicionales de software propietario sobre lo que FRAND significa. Básicamente, demuestra muy bien que FRAND significa, precisa y exactamente nada: altisonante a traves de “justo” y “razonable” puedan ser, en el rojo mundo del diente y garra de licencia de patentes, que son PALABRAS HUECAS que ofrecen absolutamente CERO GARANTIAS para los que tontamente confían en su valor nominal.

En efecto, esta acción de Microsoft demuestra que la única manera de obtener “justos y razonables” en FRAND es luchar por ella en los tribunales – que a su vez son completamente imposibles para los proyectos individuales y coléctivos de software libre que no son financiados por grandes empresas. Esta es otra forma en la que razonables y no discriminatorias esta sesgada en contra de tales pequeños, los jugadores que componen la mayor parte del mundo del software libre.

La última acción de Microsoft proporciona una razón más convincente por qué la Comisión Europea no debe utilizar FRAND para el EIF v2 (Marco Europeo de Interoperabilidad Segunda Version) si se quiere crear condiciones de competencia equitativas para el software en Europa a través de apoyo para estándares abiertos. Si lo hace, los únicos que se beneficiarán serán los grandes monopolios y conglomerados, la intimidación empresas de software que simplemente pasar por encima de cualquier sentido de “equidad” o “razonable” – y los abogados.”

Simon Phipps también ha escrito acerca de RAND[http://webmink.com/2010/11/14/links-for-2010-11-14/] las siguientes observaciones (el contexto es un poco diferente de los anteriores):

“Una de las amenazas invisibles a la libertad del software es bilateral (privada) que sustituirá a los acuerdos de libertades aparentes. Eso es la gran razón para oponerse a RAND como una forma de concesión de licencias de patentes en las normas estándares, por cierto – RAND asegura que el mercado no es transparente y abierto, ya que obliga a los participantes a comprometerse (léase: someterse) en acuerdos bilaterales que sustituirá a la libertad del software.”

Afortunadamente, al menos en la India, la cordura se impone y se espera que expanda hacia el Oeste. Los términos de tipo RAND se abolieron como cuestión de derecho (aunque es un poco exagerado decirlo). Como Prakash Pranesh dice lo siguiente[http://twitter.com/pranesh_prakash/status/3056039414988800]:

“Muy emocionante! nueva política de la India del Abierto de Normas de finalización: http://goo.gl/4YfeD [pdf] #openstds

Así es como un empleado de Red Hat de la India dijo[http://osindia.blogspot.com/2010/11/indian-open-standards-policy-finalized.html]:

“Después de tres años de continuas batallas en marcha, Departamento de la India de Tecnología de la Información ha concluido la Política Nacional de Estándares Abiertos para el e-Gobierno. Este incorpora muchos de los puntos clave que fueron presentaron por Red Hat. En los últimos tres años, hemos trabajado con nuestros amigos en el gobierno, la sociedad académica, civil y los medios de comunicación para impulsar el gobierno de la India a favor de una política que impone una NORMA UNICA, LIBRE DE REGALIAS. La política final y las observaciones que Red Hat presento se adjuntan.”

Michael Tiemann, la superestrella de la OSI y colega de la persona de arriba, no escribe en nombre de Red Hat[http://www.opensource.org/node/551]:

“Esta cláusula garantiza que los estándares abiertos no discriminen en contra del código abierto, es una gran noticia para el software libre y comunidades de código abierto. Más importante aún, como la estrella de India continúa ascendiendo, esto demuestra que una nación líder en el mundo puede discutir, debatir y decidir una política que equilibre y, de hecho refuerza el interés de las empresas y los DERECHOS DE LAS PERSONAS. La sabiduría y el coraje de la India están en exhibición completa hoy!”

Esto no se quedará sin una lucha de parte de aquellos que se oponen a la libertad del software, o que monetizan en litigios innecesarios . Nuestro lector Satipera advierte de “promoviendo #swpats (patentes de software) en la India” en este nuevo artículo[http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/ew/2010/11/15/stories/2010111550080300.htm]; una fuente llena de prejuicios, obviamente de una persona con intereses creados. Dr. Anu Vaidyanathan, quien se describe como “fundador de PatNMarks, una firma de consultoría de la propiedad intelectual”, acaba de recibir una plataforma por El Hindú, como si fuera la intención de proporcionar o facilitar la publicidad y las necesidades de grupos de presión (lobbysts). Para citar partes de este “publicidad”:

“La ley de patentes en la India afirma explícitamente que el programa de un método matemático o de negocios o una computadora por sí o algoritmos constituyen materia no patentable. En la USPTO (Oficina de Patentes y Marcas de los Estados Unidos), existen varias “pruebas” para comprobar si una cierta patente es un método de negocio o una patente de software. Estos se aplican después de las pruebas de novedad y actividad inventiva, que son las pruebas de primer nivel que se aplicará a cualquier patente, en todo el mundo.”

“En la India, sin duda, los precedentes que existen para la aplicación sucesiva de estas pruebas son muy escasas, simplemente porque no tenemos una gran historia de litigios en esta materia – ya sea en negocios o en los métodos de software. Para futuras referencias y objeto de la discusión, estos son importantes por dos razones (a) Litigios rodean las empresas de tecnología en la India, sobre todo de Google, está en aumento en el dominio de la propiedad intelectual y (b) las empresas indias están mejor preparadas sabiendo que la posibilidad de sus patentes tengan de ser aceptadas sobre una base de datos históricos que ser contribuyentes en primer lugar a prepararlos en una gran forma para litigios y otros precedentes inesperados.”

“Para una empresa de software, este es probablemente el mejor camino a seguir porque al solicitar una patente, estas compañías no están tratando de limitar el acceso a su tecnología, y no hacer caso de la protección de su esfuerzos para evitar la molestia de trolls u objeciones de terceros a su código de bases, las interfaces de programación de aplicaciones o plataformas.”

Esta es la clase de personas que prefieren ver las normas y estándares estar “contaminadas” con patentes de software, en cuyo caso el software libre se excluyen. Los ciudadanos de la India no debe permitir que los proponentes RAND salirse con la suya, sino que perjudicaría a todas las empresas pequeñas y medianas empresas PYMES, ya sean de privadas o libres. Esperamos que La Unión Europea se inspire en la India ahora que el debate está en marcha (con los lobbysts de Microsoft al frente para promover RAND este otoño [1[http://techrights.org/2010/10/14/swpats-drama-in-europe/], 2[http://techrights.org/2010/10/12/quickenborne-and-bsa-help-promote-swpats/], 3[http://techrights.org/2010/10/16/swpats-canada-amazon/], 4[http://techrights.org/2010/10/15/raising-the-bar-of-patents/], 5[http://techrights.org/2010/10/19/bsa-attacks-on-standards/], 6[http://techrights.org/2010/10/20/lobby-for-rand-with-gpl-lies/], 7[http://techrights.org/2010/10/21/mobbyists-and-frand-fail/], 8[http://techrights.org/2010/10/22/karsten-gerloff-translation/], 9[http://techrights.org/2010/10/23/sco-and-software-patents-phase/], 10[http://techrights.org/2010/10/26/microsofts-pressure-for-software-patents-in-europe-carries-on/]]), “vamos a Esperamos que la Unión Europea lo entienda mientras todavía este caliente “, afirma Glyn Moody[http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2010/11/a-great-indian-takeaway/index.htm]:

“Como te habrás dado cuenta, he estado escribiendo mucho recientemente acerca del inminente Marco Europeo de Interoperabilidad (EIF), y la medida en que se apoye verdadera estándares abiertos que pueden ser aplicadas por TODOS. Por supuesto, eso no es sólo una cuestión europea: los gobiernos de todo el mundo se enfrentan exactamente con el mismo problema. Aquí tenemos un resultado fascinante de la India que tiene lecciones importantes para la Comisión Europea- y los gobiernos de todo el mundo-, al finalizar el EIF v2 (Marco Europeo de Interoperabilidad).”

“Como es de esperar, la comunidad del software libre en la India ha estado luchando batallas similares a los que aún se libran en Europa.”

La FFII (Fundación para una Infraestructura de Información Libre) ha encontrado mientras tanto que Kira Alvarez[http://keionline.org/blogs/2009/06/25/kira-alvarez], Representante Comercial Adjunto de Derechos de Propiedad Intelectual, y el Jefe Negociador de EE.UU. para el ACTA dijo: “Yo personalmente no creo que haya problemas con el sistema de patentes” Sí, mirando las cifras y viniendo de una ex-lobbyist de Time Warner y Lilly, compañía farmacéutica opuesta desde tiempo atrás a medicinas genericas y conocido promotor de patentes farmacéuticas. He allí es donde muchos de los problemas vienen de RAND.

On a personal note from the translator, Eduardo Landaveri:

I owed it to the people of India whose courage have take them to shackle off the heavy chains of colonialism.

The Spanish version should be read in Spain & all the Latin American countries due to the fact that ACTA wants to be pushed on the back of the people.

Everybody should be involved on how their respective governments handle this issue. Kira Alvarez Deputy Assistant USTR for Intellectual Property Enforcement, and the chief US negotiator for ACTA says she doesn’t believe there are any problems with the patent system. This is ludicrous but understandable coming from a person who was before Time Warner Vice President for Global Public Policy, and before that, she was a lobbyist for Ely Lilly a pharmaceutical company long time supporter of pharmaceutical patents an strong opponent of generic medicines.

Whatever is decide on Europe will affect the Thirld World Countries where authorities are easier to corrupt and deals can be made on the back of the people. Sadly but the US already fell on their hands. It will take years to overturn this.

India, Europe the eyes of people all over the World are on you: Do not give up!

“If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” –Winston Churchill

Or in Spanish:

Se lo debía al pueblo de la India, cuyo valor los llevan a sacudirse el grillete de las pesadas cadenas del colonialismo.

La versión en español debe ser leído en España & & todos los países de América Latina debido al hecho de que el ACTA quiere ser pasado a espaldas de los pueblos.

Todo el mundo debe participar en la forma en que sus respectivos gobiernos manejar este tema. Kira Alvarez Representante Comercial Adjunto de Derechos de Propiedad Intelectual, y el jefe negociador de EE.UU. para ACTA dice que no cree que hay algún problema con el sistema de patentes. Esto es ridículo, pero comprensible viniendo de una persona que trabajo antes en Time Warner, como vicepresidente de Global Public Policy, y antes de eso, fue un lobbyst de Ely Lilly, una compañía farmacéutica que apoya desde hace mucho tiempo de las patentes farmacéuticas un fuerte opositor de los medicamentos genéricos.

Todo lo que se decida en Europa afecta a la Thirld Países del mundo donde las autoridades son más fáciles de corromper y ofertas se pueden hacer en la parte posterior de la gente. Por desgracia, pero los EE.UU. ya cayó en sus manos. Se necesitarán años para revertir esto.

India, Europa de los ojos de la gente de todo el mundo están puestos en ti: No te rindas!

“Si no va a luchar por lo justo cuando se puede ganar sin derramamiento de sangre, si no se lucha cuando su victoria será segura y no demasiado costosa, usted puede venir al momento en el que tendrá que luchar con todas las probabilidades en su contra . usted y sólo una pequeña probabilidad de supervivencia Incluso puede haber un caso peor: puede que tenga que luchar cuando no hay esperanza de victoria, porque es mejor morir que vivir como esclavos.” – Winston Churchil

Many thanks to Eduardo for his translations which make it into the hands of teachers.

We Don’t Need Flash Anymore

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Site News at 8:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: An era of Flash barriers is coming to an end, but Techrights is looking for free/libre VoIP/SIP recording software

Adobe Trash (Flash) is dirt on the World Wide Web. It hinders access to data not just by humans but also by bots. Nevertheless, there are few Web sites that still depend on Flash and require the user/visitor to install it. One site that used to require it for most data (video) was YouTube, but this major site is moving to WebM, which may make Flash and its substitutes a lot less necessary (along with codecs that are not simple to obtain, at least in Fedora). Google can be expected to transcode all of its videos and make them available as WebM within weeks or just a few months. For other Web sites, Gnash, the free/libre alternative, seems to be sufficient and it is simple to install either from the package manager (e.g. KPackageKit) or the universal environment, which is the command line. The package managers vary, but the package names are usually the same (just replace yum with apt-get for example). In Fedora 14, the following commands do the job for Gnash support in Konqueror.

[roy@blueberry ~]$ su
[root@blueberry roy]# yum install gnash-klash
Loaded plugins: langpacks, presto, refresh-packagekit
Adding en_US to language list
Setting up Install Process
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package gnash-klash.i686 1:0.8.8-4.fc14 set to be installed
--> Finished Dependency Resolution

Dependencies Resolved

 Package                   Arch               Version                       Repository            Size
 gnash-klash               i686               1:0.8.8-4.fc14                fedora               177 k

Transaction Summary
Install       1 Package(s)

Total download size: 177 k
Installed size: 541 k
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Downloading Packages:
Setting up and reading Presto delta metadata
Processing delta metadata
Package(s) data still to download: 177 k
gnash-klash-0.8.8-4.fc14.i686.rpm                                               | 177 kB     00:00     
Running rpm_check_debug
Running Transaction Test
Transaction Test Succeeded
Running Transaction
  Installing     : 1:gnash-klash-0.8.8-4.fc14.i686                                                 1/1 

  gnash-klash.i686 1:0.8.8-4.fc14                                                                      

[root@blueberry roy]#  yum install gnash
Loaded plugins: langpacks, presto, refresh-packagekit
Adding en_US to language list
Existing lock /var/run/yum.pid: another copy is running as pid 31528.
Another app is currently holding the yum lock; waiting for it to exit...
  The other application is: PackageKit
    Memory :  47 M RSS ( 63 MB VSZ)
    Started: Sun Nov 21 12:28:38 2010 - 00:06 ago
    State  : Sleeping, pid: 31528
Another app is currently holding the yum lock; waiting for it to exit...
  The other application is: PackageKit
    Memory :  47 M RSS ( 63 MB VSZ)
    Started: Sun Nov 21 12:28:38 2010 - 00:08 ago
    State  : Sleeping, pid: 31528
Another app is currently holding the yum lock; waiting for it to exit...
  The other application is: PackageKit
    Memory :  47 M RSS ( 63 MB VSZ)
    Started: Sun Nov 21 12:28:38 2010 - 00:10 ago
    State  : Sleeping, pid: 31528
Setting up Install Process
Package 1:gnash-0.8.8-4.fc14.i686 already installed and latest version
Nothing to do

Or the short story:

yum install gnash-plugin 
yum install gnash-klash 
yum install gnash

In Ubuntu I’ve had less luck with Gnash, which was harder to successfully install and register with the Web browser. On the other hand, Fedora has some other drawbacks that are not its fault (e.g., from today [1, 2]). The bottom line though, as far as Flash content is concerned, things have improved greatly over the years. Not only is there a free substitute for Flash but Flash content itself is dying due to HTML5 (yes, some sites dump Flash in favour of HTML) and free codecs/formats such as Ogg and WebM. This opening up of the Web is further supported by the death of Silverlight and the realisation that mobile devices require access too.

As people who hang out in IRC may already know, Techrights depends on proprietary software only as far as recording is concerned because a VoIP recorder for 2 or more people simultaneously is something that we are still unable to achieve in Ekiga. Any suggestions regarding a free/libre replacement would be appreciated. Having got rid of all dependencies on proprietary software at my job (MATLAB has been the only such dependency for many years), it would be nice to make Techrights not dependent on Skype (for TechBytes) and the FSF too recognises that replacements in VoIP are a “high priority” issue.

Links 21/11/2010: systemd and Mandriva Status Updates

Posted in News Roundup at 2:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Gentoo penguin born in Australia

    An Australian aquarium has welcomed the birth of the first baby Gentoo penguin chick born in the country.

  • The biggest hurdle in FOSS/GNU/Linux adaptation

    Let me put my voice on the biggest hurdle in FOSS adaptation.
    This hurdle is “Proprietary Hardware Drivers”
    In India we recently established a “Open Standard Policy”.It is the great success of FOSS communities and our leaders.
    In the same way we need to have a policy on Hardware selling. This policy must specify that “Anything which Govt is buying must have a Open Specification of their Driver.”

  • Unity Linux 2010_02 Is Powered by Linux kernel

    Unity Linux 2010_02 has been released two days ago, on November 17th, and it includes a new kernel, the latest Enlightenment 17 environment, and many fixes or enhancements. Unity Linux 2010_02 is dubbed Unite17.

  • How We Choose Political Candidates and Software.

    The majority of them showed various degrees of surprise or disbelief until I actually re-themed their Linux boxes on the fly.

  • Desktop

    • How to choose a Linux laptop

      With the many choices and factors to consider, choosing a laptop of any kind can be a considerable challenge. Choosing one for use with Linux, however, brings its own special set of considerations, since it’s not yet always a plug-and-play world for the open source operating system.

      Linux is typically not fussy about hardware–that, indeed, is one of its most endearing advantages. Some hardware, however, still doesn’t work well with Linux, due primarily to a persistent lack of the right drivers.

      Still, there are more laptop choices today than ever before for the Linux user. Here are some guidelines for choosing the one that’s right for you.

  • Server

    • IBM tops Green500 list

      While China can take pride in topping the list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, IBM has been given another recognition: building the world’s most energy-efficient supercomputer.

    • NASA’s supercomputing team: Science, not glory, is top priority

      NASA’s biggest supercomputer seems to have gotten a little smaller. Ranked the sixth-most powerful HPC cluster in the world by the June 2010 Top 500 supercomputers list, NASA’s Pleiades fell to 11th place in the most recent rankingreleased this week.

    • A Linux server OS that’s fiddly but tweakable

      ClearOS is the new name for Point Clark Network’s ClarkConnect, which was a commercial server distro, released in 2000, with a limited free version. Now, though, Point Clark has restructured and the distro is managed by ClearConnect, which has made it free and open source. The result is that what was the top-of-the-range Enterprise edition is now free for everyone – with some small caveats, which we’ll cover later.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • SystemD Has New Shutdown Logic, Gives Everyone CGroups

      Fedora 14 was set to be the first major distribution shipping SystemD to replace SysVinit, but that ended up getting pushed back to the Fedora 15 release that will now come in May of 2011. Fortunately, for the developers behind Fedora and SystemD, this means the init replacement daemon will be in much better shape for its premiere. Lennart Poettering, the original developer of SystemD, has written about some of the recent improvements.

    • systemd for Administrators, Part IV
    • systemd Status Update

      It has been a while since my last status update on systemd. Here’s another short, incomprehensive status update on what we worked on for systemd since then.

      * Fedora F15 (Rawhide) now includes a split up /etc/init.d/rc.sysinit (Bill Nottingham). This allows us to keep only a minimal compatibility set of shell scripts around, and boot otherwise a system without any shell scripts at all. In fact, shell scripts during early boot are only used in exceptional cases, i.e. when you enabled autoswapping (bad idea anyway), when a full SELinux relabel is necessary, during the first boot after initialization, if you have static kernel modules to load (which are not configured via the systemd-native way to do that), if you boot from a read-only NFS server, or when you rely on LVM/RAID/Multipath. If nothing of this applies to you can easily disable these parts of early boot and save several seconds on boot. How to do this I will describe in a later blog story.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The First NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Linux Benchmark

        Earlier this month NVIDIA rolled out the GeForce GTX 580 graphics card as their fastest GPU to date with 512 CUDA cores, a 772MHz core clock, 1544MHz processor clock, 1536MB of 2GHz GDDR5 memory, and support for three-way SLI. The GeForce GTX 580 with its GF110 core is based upon a refined version of the Fermi architecture and is certainly a step-up from the GeForce GTX 480 that launched just earlier this year. For those curious how this NVIDIA graphics card performs under Linux, here’s the first benchmark and it’s compared to the Windows driver performance too.

      • Linus: What’s Wrong With The Whole DRM Crowd?

        Linus is known for an occasional colorful email and in the past has had a number of issues with code in the DRM sub-system, such as calling the initial Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) push by Intel as being untested crap. It was also via Linus that Nouveau unexpectedly got merged into the mainline kernel. With this 2.6.37 DRM bug-fix pull (mailing list thread), Linus has become once again frustrated. This time it’s over the DRM code being messy, useless re-basing of Git trees, large amounts of DRM code always being changed later in the release cycles, and pulling “random crap” into tree.

      • Mee too … the 200 line kernel wonder patch

        Since yesterday I’ve been running with the sched: automated per tty task groups patch and the 2.6.37-rc2 kernel and it has really breathed new life into my old and trusty IBM X61s. The difference is really very significant almost like magic as everybody else noted too:) Yay!

      • The First NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Linux Benchmark

        Earlier this month NVIDIA rolled out the GeForce GTX 580 graphics card as their fastest GPU to date with 512 CUDA cores, a 772MHz core clock, 1544MHz processor clock, 1536MB of 2GHz GDDR5 memory, and support for three-way SLI. The GeForce GTX 580 with its GF110 core is based upon a refined version of the Fermi architecture and is certainly a step-up from the GeForce GTX 480 that launched just earlier this year. For those curious how this NVIDIA graphics card performs under Linux, here’s the first benchmark and it’s compared to the Windows driver performance too.

      • Xorg or Wayland: Color me disinterested

        Not for any dislike of Ubuntu, or distrust for the direction it is moving. You might call me old-fashioned, if only because the clicky buttony thingy doesn’t really turn me on. I’ll take a traditional desktop, any day.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • multihead plasma desktop needs YOU!

        Multihead, where there is more than one physical screen and one X server per physical screen (not to be confused with xinerama, xrandr, mergefb, etc.), and Plasma Desktop is getting into a rather usable state thanks to testing and feedback from users with those systems that goes beyond “it doesn’t work”. Thanks to the digging and debugging work of several individuals, my “coding in the blind” has produced finally produced useful results as of the 4.5.3 release. There are still some KWin issues, apparently, but plasma-desktop is pretty well there.

      • KDE 4 Look Part 2: Amarok 2.3.2 in KDE 4.5 and Fedora 14

        There was a time when I thought Amarok was the best music player on Linux. I even used to run it in Gnome as you can see from this 2005 screenshot. In that first link you can read me gushing over Amarok 1.4. I loved all the integrated technologies, especially the metadata juggling Amarok did. The first few Amarok 2.x releases with the KDE 4 libraries were complete crap. They were ugly and were missing nearly all of Amarok’s features. (Mirroring the complaints people were having about KDE 4 at the time) When I took a look at Amarok and KDE 4.4 in October I said I would take another look at Amarok.

      • A Matter of Control: The State of Input Device Support in KDE

        If you look at the various changes from KDE 3 to KDE 4, two major trends emerge: unification and abstraction. Plasma, for example, unifies the various parts of the desktop and panel. Solid provides an abstraction layer that hides the details of device management from applications, while Phonon does the same for multimedia. Akonadi does both, providing a unified system for handling PIM data and creating an abstraction layer so PIM front-ends don’t need to be concerned with the source or nature of the data they display. And of course the success of KDE 4 is not due solely to these trends, it is also due to developers sitting down and ironing out the current state of the tools in KDE, where they fail, where they work, where they should be, and how we can get them there.

      • Help KDE.org defeat the wall of text.

        Everybody knows that effective design is very important to any succesful interface – be it an application, a website, a product, or a physical structure. There are lots of reasons behind this, but the one I’m going to talk about today is how design combats the most dreaded wall of text, of which KDE.org is a victim.

      • Feature Guide for 4.6 Releases

        Early next year, KDE will release new versions of the Plasma workspaces, many of our applications and the KDE Platform that makes the rest possible. You may remember that for our 4.4 releases we had a feature guide that gave a nice visual description of the new features. This helps existing and potential users of KDE software see what is cool in the new releases and gets picked up by other news outlets. Getting your app or feature into this guide is a Good Thing.

      • Dolphin Improvements for KDE SC 4.6

        As usual after the KDE feature freeze, I’d like to give an overview which improvements have been done in Dolphin for the next KDE SC.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Faenza Icon Theme 0.8 Brings Lots Of New Icons, Reworked Icons For Chrome, Firefox And More

        The well known Faenza Icon theme was updated today (version 0.8), bringing icons for some applications which were missing such as: adobe air, deadbeef, devede, devhelp, dia, facebook, flickr, frostwire, glade, gnucash, gnumeric, homebank, jdownloader, kupfer, netbeans, openbravo, openerp, openshot, phatch, picasa, qtcreator, radiotray, soundconverter, terminator, vim, wordpress, wxbanker, xbmc and xournal.

  • Distributions

    • A young and pretty Linux server OS that takes a bit of work

      Zentyal 2 is something a little bit different, although it too has changed its name recently: version 1 was called e-Box. A decade younger than its rivals, it is based on Ubuntu, but its developers skip the normal semi-annual releases, and only use the Long Term Support ones that Canonical releases every other year. E-Box version 1 was based on Ubuntu 8.04 and version 2, now called Zentyal, uses Ubuntu 10.04.1.

    • Gentoo Family

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Gtk Lightweight Desktops: Xfce & LXDE Special Edition

        The staff of The NEW PCLinuxOS Magazine is proud to announce the release of the Gtk Lightweight Desktops: Xfce & LXDE Special Edition. This issue of the magazine is a compilation of all of the Xfce and LXDE articles that the magazine has ran over the past eight months, and will help serve as a reference source for any users wanting to use these lightweight, but mighty, desktop environments.

      • PCLinuxOS to Get a 64-bit Version

        Reynolds said that he has finished building the first 1000 packages. First he “upgraded gcc to 4.5.1, glibc 2.12.1, xorg 1.9.x then started rebuilding the libraries.” Once those are complete he’ll begin on the desktop packages. Unfortunately, there is no estimated time for release because there are still about 12,600 more packages to go before making ISOs and testing.

      • Some funky fresh news on Mandriva Linux

        Things are starting to look really nice now, cooker activity seems to have gotten back to previous levels and even then some and interest from new contributors seems to have increased as well, really nice to see!

    • Red Hat Family

      • RHEL6 from an Ubuntu Server Developer’s Perspective

        Myself being an Ubuntu Core Developer on the Ubuntu Server, I thought it prudent to take an honest look at RHEL6, and capture a few new notes here, complimenting Red Hat on their new release, noting some differences between Ubuntu and RHEL, and perhaps inspiring a few lessons we could learn in Ubuntu.

      • Forget 200 lines, Red Hat speeds up Linux with 4 lines of code

        Speeding up Linux, doesn’t necessarily have to be a gargantuan task and it doesn’t have to be done by Linus Torvalds either.

      • Red Hat broadens scope of open-source academic program

        Open-source software provider Red Hat is expanding its outreach efforts at universities and colleges. The company is a member of the Teaching Open Source community, and via its sponsorship of POSSE (Professors’ Open Source Summer Experience) workshops, it has facilitated the education of professors in how to best launch and incorporate open source into degree programs.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Installation User Experience Improvements & Syslinux

          For F15 then, we’ve got some nice polish on the pre-install experience in place. So it’s time to go back to the install experience and try to get some solid polish there.

        • Fedora 14 Laughlin – Could be better!

          Fedora, the controversial distro. On one hand, it’s alpha-beta-zeta-jones quality, with the latest technologies that make you bleed, hence the term, the bleeding edge of technology. On the other, it’s a distro that revolves around the concept of free software. Ubuntu is like that too, only more pragmatic, so much in fact that the latest edition actually gives you the choice of sullying your distribution with evil proprietary software during the installation. Fedora remains the bastion of stubbornness and reduced usability.


          Several hours after running autoten against the slow repositories and fixing the nerdy default settings, Fedora was ready for work, with codecs, office suite, music players, and other common programs. So yes, to sum it up, Fedora is the open-source Windows 7. And that’s not a compliment of the highest order. Worst of all, Fedora 14 Laughlin dashes any hopes for Ubuntu refugees come the spring, due to Unity nonsense.

    • Debian Family

      • Release Critical Bug report for Week 46
      • Galbraith Latency Patch Now in MEPIS 11.0 Alpha

        The Mike Galbraith latency patch, which is said to improve desktop performance by an order of magnitude, has been backported by Warren to the 2.6.36 kernel, and released for the SimplyMEPIS 11.0 alpha test cycle.

      • SimplyMEPIS 8th Anniversary Release
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Unity Place People

          I am trying to get used to Vala and Unity.

          So I am hacking up a little Unity Place for People…

          Right now it doesn’t do much but get the contacts from your Zeitgeist history and sort them. Over the weekend I will try to get it to play nicely with libfolks. Once that is done I will be working even closer with DX, Zeitgeist, Telepathy, John Lea and Jorge Castro to make things rock and more usable for everyone.

        • Canonical Software Partners release business software for Ubuntu

          If you use Ubuntu in your company, you’re already familiar with its many advantages for businesses. But guess what? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, as they say.

        • Changes to the One Hundred Paper Cuts project for the Natty cycle

          During the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando, Florida, we discussed how we wanted to continue the project this cycle. This session resulted in some changes to the requirements of what constitutes a valid paper cut.

        • Canonical Works to Clarify the Ubuntu Brand

          The effort to clarify the Ubuntu brand, then, even if it appears to be only a semi-official endeavor undertaken by a Canonical employee, is an important step in convincing observers that Ubuntu’s assorted products are to be taken seriously. Whether the observers will be convinced, of course, remains to be seen.

        • New Ubuntu Patch Pilot Scheme

          When someone is new to Ubuntu and they want to get started helping to package bug fixes and software, they engage in the Sponsorship Process. In a nutshell, you get the source code for the package, apply the fix (or create the fix yourself), and then because you don’t have upload access, you ask another Ubuntu developer to review your work. This act of reviewing work is known as sponsoring, and it is something we have sometimes struggled as a project to keep up with – there are often many contributions that need sponsoring, but not enough volunteers in the existing developer community to review these contributions.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Just Another Ubuntu-based Distro or Something More

            Jeff Hoogland, professed Linux Geek, has grown frustrated at the lack of inclusion of his favorite window environment in modern distributions. He said only Austrumi and PCLinuxOS offer a recent release with E17. So, instead of waiting for someone else to do it, he just developed one with E17 Beta himself. But is this just another “ho hum” moment or should you give this new effort a shot?

          • 12 Ubuntu Derivatives You Should Consider

            Though less well-known, Pinguy is also another very nice Ubuntu-based distribution for Linux beginners. It features numerous user-friendly enhancements, out-of-the-box support for multimedia codecs and browser plugins, a heavily tweaked GNOME user interface and a careful selection of popular desktop applications for many common computing tasks.

          • Pinguy OS Review
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Unlocked Palm Pre 2 available in U.S.

        An unlocked version of Hewlett-Packard’s Palm Pre 2 smartphone is now available in the U.S. via Palm.com and HP’s SMB channels for $449. The upgraded 1GHz Pre 2 runs the new version 2.0 of the Linux-based WebOS operating system.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Initial look at MeeGo Netbook, a minimalistic computer interface

          This week in MeeGo Conference all attendees received Lenovo S10-3t IdeaPad convertible netbook/tablet computers from Intel and Nokia. For many of us this was the first time we’re actually using MeeGo on a device, and so I thought to post some notes on how it feels.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • litl in the Event Boxes

        litl is now donating two webbooks, one for each GNOME event box. We’ve already shipped one for the North American box. I’m still waiting for the European box to be found before sending the other one. The litl OS is fully based on the GNOME platform using GObject, GLib, Clutter, GTK+, Gjs, GStreamer, and others. The webbook is a good example of the strength of GNOME’s platform. We hope this is a useful addition to the event boxes. Enjoy!

      • Jolicloud’s Jolibook Netbook Hitting Stores

        Jolicloud, the self-proclaimed “perfect OS for netbooks,” has been making headlines for a while with their consumer-focused, and frankly very cute Jolibook netbook. Word all around the web is that it is available today in the UK

      • A Shiny New Lenovo Ideapad S10-3s

        - PCLinuxOS 2010.10: Everything works! Hooray, La-la-la-la, it just works, everything from top to bottom, right out of the box!

Free Software/Open Source

  • LibreOffice Is Taking Shape With Third Beta

    It’s been less than two months since the Document Foundation announced that it was launching its own “fork” of the OpenOffice.org productivity software suite, but already its new LibreOffice alternative is beginning to take shape.

  • Documenting and challenging community misogyny

    One of the most uncomfortable items in the timelines is the most recent. Summarized simply as “Sexual assault at ApacheCon,” it refers to what allegedly happened to Noirin Shirley, an Apache board member, a couple of weeks ago.

    What is unusual about the incident is not — unfortunately — that it simply happened. Shirley undoubtedly speaks for many women when she writes, “It’s not the first time something like this has happened to me, at all. It’s not the first time it’s happened to me at a tech conference.”

    However, what is unusual is that this time Shirley not only reported the incident to the police, but also blogged about it and named names. “I’m tired of the sense that some idiot can ruin my day and never have to answer for it. I’m tired of the fear. I’m tired of people who think I should wear something different. I’m tired of people who think I should avoid having a beer in case my vigilance lapses for a moment. I’m tired of people who say that guys can’t read me right and I have to read them, and avoid giving the wrong impression.”

    Shirley showed exemplary courage in her actions, and many people said as much. Yet an alarming number of people attacked her instead, suggesting that the assault was her fault, because of how she dressed or acted.

  • Web Browsers

    • A Closer Look at the Next Generation Address Bars

      I decided to fire up four popular browsers and snag some screenshots of how each of them present a site’s URL to you. In my tests I used pre-release versions of each browser because, for the most part, these heavily represent what we should see released over the coming months. Of course the appearance can always change before the final version makes it out-the-door, but this is a better representation of how each company is attacking the address bar appearance today… and not a year ago. This particularly applies to Opera who just revamped their address bar in their latest Beta release.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox vs. Explorer: Which is better?

        …finally won me over.

      • I Love Thunderbird 3.x

        Anyway, this version of Lightning works like a champ. I did have to modify the install.rdf to allow for a minimum version of TB 3.0, because that’s the version in my Slackware repos right now. I’m happy now! I use Lightning to plan my life. I would have been seriously disappointed if I couldn’t have gotten it to work eventually. I pretty much got T-bird 3 to behave the way I wanted it to, also. I think I’ll be able to get used to it. It’s a bit different from T-bird 2, but not that much. Check out figure 1 for a screenie of my T-bird 3 on Slackware.

      • Mozilla re-assesses its mission

        Following the publication of Mozilla’s audited financial statements for 2009, Mitchell Baker, Chairperson of the Mozilla Foundation, has taken the opportunity to re-examine Mozilla’s mission, its successes, opportunities and challenges.

      • Firefox 4 UI update brings snazzy, new alert pop-ups

        Lest you think blogger Long Zheng is all about Microsoft apps, our Australian friend has a keen eye on all kinds of bleeding-edge software. — including Firefox 4. Today he noticed a change in the Firefox 4 nightly build — sexier, semi-translucent alert dialogs, complete with a blur effect to obscure the webpage content in the background.

      • Mozilla Plans Open App Store

        The Mozilla Foundation has released a sort of non-profit’s annual report, “The State of Mozilla,” which provides a glimpse under the covers of the popular browser and e-mail provider.

  • Oracle

  • CMS

  • Education

    • EPIC FAIL: the sorry state of web education in schools

      Some highlights from Anna’s talk:

      * Younger students often have nowhere to turn if they want to learn web design or development. Serious training often isn’t available until the post-secondary level — despite the fact that the most talented developers (like Anna herself) start early. Matt Mullenweg, for example, created WordPress.com before he could legally drink. And Anna’s colleagues launched their own online business (UploadRobots.com) while still in the fifth grade.

  • Project Releases

    • Claws Mail Release Notes

      Claws Mail is a GTK+ based, user-friendly, lightweight, and fast email client.

    • Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 “Iveland” Alpha 2 Is Here

      Again, this work includes graphing improvements, system tables, HTTPS connection support, statistics reporting, and mobile / ARM-based benchmarking support for the Nokia N900 smart-phone and other ARM tablets running Linux operating systems.

  • Licensing

    • Sigh.

      The flood of generic Chinese Android devices with no source code makes it very easy to think that GPL adherence is something that’s only problematic with devices sourced from countries with poor records in IP enforcement. In reality, it’s a problem everywhere. Barnes and Noble are a US company and the contractors for the Nook were based in Canada. They’re aware enough to include the GPL notice in their documentation, but not concerned enough to make sure that they actually posses the source code that they’re legally obliged to provide.

    • Software Freedom and the GNU GPL

      The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) is perhaps one of the easiest software licenses to both understand and use. Yet, in part due to corporate astroturfing campaigns of deliberate disinformation, it and the concept of software freedom is often also misunderstood.

      The GNU GPL as a license says nothing about how you use GNU GPL software that you receive. There are no terms or conditions that say how many copies of such software you can have, how many computers (seats) you may run it on, or how you modify it and combine it with other software. This is because the GNU GPL is neither a contract nor a “use” license, but rather a pure copyright license, and hence does not in any way interfere with how you may use software that you receive. It’s only condition is that if you do redistribute the software to others, that you do so under the same terms you received, nothing more.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • University of Michigan Library enables broader sharing and reuse with change to CC BY

      The University of Michigan Library now offers content on its website under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. This announcement is significant because the Library had been using the more restrictive Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) license. By switching to the Attribution license, the Library has granted more permissions to use, share, and repurpose its research and technology guides, video tutorials, toolkits, copyright education materials, bibliographies, and other resources.

    • ☂ Essays Now Creative Commons Licensed
    • Creative Commons reporting from the International Open Government Data Conference
    • On the limits of openness I: the digital humanities and the computational turn to data-driven scholarship

      The digital humanities can be broadly understood as embracing all those scholarly activities in the humanities that involve writing about digital media and technology, and being engaged in processes of digital media production, practice and analysis. For example, developing new media theory, creating interactive electronic archives and literature, building online databases and wikis, producing virtual art galleries and museums, or exploring how various technologies reshape teaching and research. Yet this field – or, better, constellation of fields – is neither unified nor self-identical. If anything, the digital humanities are comprised of a wide range of often conflicting attitudes, approaches and practices that are being negotiated and employed in a variety of different contexts.

    • Creative Commons retiring the Public Domain dedication

      I strongly believe in not re-inventing the wheel, not only in the technical parts but also in licensing, this is why I use and promote Creative Commons licenses (despite their flaws) and this is why I supported using the Creative Commons definition of Public Domain for projects like the Open Clip Art Library. And it worked well for a while.Until Creative Commons was unhappy with the Public Domain dedication, probably not branded enough for their taste and for their need for attention, and “invented” a replacement, CC0, which was received not as warmly as they hoped.


  • Geek Gen X
  • Take a Tiny First Step Toward Controlling Your Internet Addressing Destiny

    Greetings. ICANN is preparing to inflict hundreds, and then thousands, of new top-level domains (TLDs) onto the global community of Internet users, which will serve mainly to sow confusion among consumers, and award vast monetary treasures to the tiny set of entities poised to rake in the dough as the masters of the existing domain name system (see: It’s Time to Stop ICANN’s Top-Level Domain (TLD) Lunacy!).

  • Science

    • ‘Alien’ planet detected circling dying star

      Astronomers claim to have discovered the first planet originating from outside our galaxy.

      The Jupiter-like planet, they say, is part of a solar system which once belonged to a dwarf galaxy.

    • Snapshot from Space

      [An aurora borealis, as seen from the International Space Station. The wicker-looking thing floating in the middle is a solar array from the space station. Image via astronaut Douglas Wheelock/AP]

    • Astronomy Picture of the Day
  • Health/Nutrition

    • Biowatch concerned about monopolisation of SA seed industry

      Biowatch South Africa, an NGO involved in promoting biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods, raised serious concerns about consolidation and emerging monopolies in the South African seed industry with the Competition Commission of South Africa in Pretoria today.

      The hearings were initiated by the Competition Commission to investigate concerns raised about a proposed merger between Pannar Seeds, the largest remaining South African seed company, and Pioneer Hi-Bred, a US-held seed company, part of DuPont Incorporated.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Cancer surviving flight attendant forced to remove prosthetic breast during pat-down

      A Charlotte-area flight attendant and cancer survivor contacted WBTV after she says she was forced to show her prosthetic breast during a pat-down.

      Cathy Bossi lives in south Charlotte and has been a flight attendant for the past 32 years, working the past 28 for U.S. Airways.

    • Why Congress Isn’t So Concerned With TSA Nude Scans & Gropes: They Get To Skip Them

      The NY Times notes that Speaker of the House John Boehner (who does regularly fly commercial) got to walk right by security and go directly to the gate.

    • No Security Pat-Downs for Boehner

      Representative John A. Boehner, soon to be the Speaker of the House, has pledged to fly commercial airlines back to his home district in Ohio. But that does not mean that he will be subjected to the hassles of ordinary passengers, including the controversial security pat-downs.

      As he left Washington on Friday, Mr. Boehner headed across the Potomac River to Reagan National Airport, which was bustling with afternoon travelers. But there was no waiting in line for Mr. Boehner, who was escorted around the metal detectors and body scanners, and taken directly to the gate.

      Mr. Boehner, who was wearing a casual yellow sweater and tan slacks, carried his own bags and smiled pleasantly at passengers who were leaving the security checkpoint inside the airport terminal. It was unclear whether any passengers waiting in the security line, including Representative Allen Boyd, a Florida Democrat who lost his re-election bid, saw Mr. Boehner.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • For EPA regulations, benefits consistently exceed costs

      Research shows that the benefits of environmental regulations consistently exceed costs, in part because they end up costing far less than both industry and the EPA predict.
      When EPA promulgates regulations, industry often expresses concern that the regulations will cause extreme economic hardship. Now this argument is being made regarding EPA regulation of carbon pollution using existing legal authorities like the Clean Air Act.

  • Finance

    • Group Calls For Citizens Arrest Of John Paulson

      A group of corporate pranksters called The Yes Men is pranking again: This time, one of their targets is hedge fund manager John Paulson. The group is calling for a citizen’s arrest of Paulson, based on his large holdings of AngloAshnati Gold stock—as pointed out by Lawrence Delevingne in his article today for Absolute Return + Alpha.

    • Why U.S. IT jobs aren’t coming back
    • Government spending: Britain’s reliance on private firms revealed

      The scale of the country’s reliance on private companies to power the state is revealed today as the government takes the historic step of publishing its accounts for the first time.

      The disclosure of the majority of payments made by government departments over the first five months after the election reveals Whitehall’s struggle to wean itself off high-cost contracts – and a burgeoning industry emerging around the coalition’s reforms.

    • Chinese state firms Jan.-Oct. profits up 45% to 1.6 trillion yuan

      The Ministry of Finance published today the operation results of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) for the first ten months of the year. Robust growth was recorded in profits, revenues and taxes.

      SOEs (excluding state-owned financial institutions) made 1.63 trillion yuan of profits this year by October, marking a remarkable growth of 44.8 percent year on year. Their business revenue went up by 34 percent to 24.5 trillion yuan. The tax payable reached 2 trillion yuan, 27 percent higher than the same period of last year.

    • Alibaba’s Big Plan for Mobile Internet

      Recently, I have been studying the mobile internet sector in China closely, and I have talked to most of the major players. Many people told me Alibaba is a player I should watch out for.

      Although currently Alibaba Group has no substantial mobile business, it has huge ambition in the mobile internet sector, and has been quietly acquiring assets.

    • Brazil now wants to be China, in a good way

      That said, I think it would be a good trend if Brazil started trying to compete with China on low end manufacturing. They probably aren’t going to get anywhere near China’s economies of scale, but they could quite quickly move up the technical latter, and provide knock-on benefits for several regional economies. It’s also always good to diversify out of finance and commodities as much as possible.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • 489 – How the West Wasn’t Won: Powell’s Water-based States

      But other interests were at work; the railway companies lobbied for large-scale settlement and agricultural development. Counter-expertise for Powell’s point of view was provided by professor Cyrus Thomas, who claimed that ‘rain follows the plough’. That theory was thoroughly disproved by the Dust Bowl of the 1920s and 1930s, which caused tremendous hardship among the pioneers attracted to farm the arid regions, and led many of them to migrate even further West.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Senate panel approves website shut-down bill

      The bill, with 17 Senate co-sponsors, is unlikely to pass through the House of Representatives this year, with only a few working days left in the congressional session. After the newly elected Congress meets in January, Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and Judiciary Committee chairman, would have to reintroduce it in the Senate.

    • The 19 Senators Who Voted To Censor The Internet

      * Patrick J. Leahy — Vermont
      * Herb Kohl — Wisconsin
      * Jeff Sessions — Alabama
      * Dianne Feinstein — California
      * Orrin G. Hatch — Utah
      * Russ Feingold — Wisconsin
      * Chuck Grassley — Iowa
      * Arlen Specter — Pennsylvania
      * Jon Kyl — Arizona
      * Chuck Schumer — New York
      * Lindsey Graham — South Carolina
      * Dick Durbin — Illinois
      * John Cornyn — Texas
      * Benjamin L. Cardin — Maryland
      * Tom Coburn — Oklahoma
      * Sheldon Whitehouse — Rhode Island
      * Amy Klobuchar — Minnesota
      * Al Franken — Minnesota
      * Chris Coons — Delaware

    • Senator Threatens to Block Online Copyright Bill

      Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said late Thursday that he would seek to block the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, or COICA, from passing through the full Senate, unless the legislation is changed. Earlier Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 19-0 to approve the bill and send it to the full Senate.

    • Senator: Web censorship bill a “bunker-busting cluster bomb”

      The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA, S.3804) sets up a system through which the US government can blacklist a pirate website from the Domain Name System, ban credit card companies from processing US payments to the site, and forbid online ad networks from working with the site. It passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 19-0 this week, but it’s never going to pass the Senate before the end of the current Congress.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Internet neutrality?

      With the global hunger for communications constantly growing, problems of traffic management and possible data congestion are inevitably surfacing, inducing some internet providers to impose restrictions on data traffic and online services provided. Does this signal the end of the open, neutral internet? Industry players, consumer associations and regulators met MEPs for a “net neutrality” to discuss quality of service, transparency of terms and conditions and anticompetitive behaviour.

    • Tortoise For Sale

      With net neutrality being an ongoing debate, another angle has just hit me as being open to abuse. The fear people have is about the well known, rich corporate sites being able to pay the ISPs for extra bandwidth, making those sites load quicker for their visitors. Those who can’t afford to pay are left quite literally on the slow lane. Start ups doing anything bandwidth intensive don’t stand a chance. What happens if Company A pays extra to restrict the bandwidth of Company B?

      Imagine if Google paid extra to ensure that all visitors on AT&T who went to Yahoo got served at dial up speeds. That would affect people’s perception of Yahoo negatively and they wouldn’t know why, therefore it’d help Yahoo’s competitors, including Google. Yahoo would then need to cough up money to AT&T to counter the effect, that’s assuming they track it down to the fact that they’re being hobbled by a deal between Google and AT&T. If they do pay up, what are Google paying extra for?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Law and the GeoWeb, a workshop on IP and geographic data in the internet era sponsored by Creative Commons and the United States Geological Survey

      A workshop on “Intellectual Property and Geographic Data in the Internet Era” sponsored by Creative Commons and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in conjunction with the annual meeting of AAG, April 11, 2011, Seattle, Washington. The workshop will be held at the campus of Microsoft Research, and will be streamed live on the Internet.

    • Copyrights

      • Anti-P2P solicitors get a hearing

        SELF-REGULATION of UK lawyers seems to be a very slow affair that is often overtaken by events.

        Before ACS:Law made a name for itself by suing alleged file-swappers in the UK, another legal outfit, Davenport Lyons tried it.

        Two partners from Davenport Lyons, David Gore and Brian Miller were accused of “proceeding recklessly” by demanding cash from thousands of people based upon only an IP address.

        In March the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) decided to look into the case and now has finally decided to have a hearing on 31 May, 2011.

      • UK Court Says Making Available Online Only Happens Where The Server Is Located

        So, here’s the question that some people asked: if you only make the work available, but there is no evidence that a copy was made, then was the copyright infringed? After all, no reproduction was made. No copy was distributed. So, where’s the infringement? Supporters of saying that merely “making available” is infringing claimed that it was the equivalent of distributing because you had effectively offered it up for distribution or reproduction.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA includes confusingly similar trade mark goods

          onfusingly similar trade mark goods. This is bad for access to essential medicines.

          In an answer to a parliamentary question, the EU Commission wrote: “b) on the inappropriate seizures of medicines on the strength of mere allegations that trademarks are similar – the introduction of the concept of “confusingly similar trademark is proposed by one of the ACTA partners but not supported by any of the other;”

          But ACTA lacks a clear footnote like footnote 27 in the EU – Korea free trade agreement, limiting “goods infringing an intellectual property right” to “(a) counterfeit goods (…)”.

          ACTA’s criminal measures are limited to counterfeit goods (as far as trademarks are concerned). Some of the civil trademark measures are limited to counterfeit goods. But ACTA’s Chapter 2 section 3 on border measures is not limited to counterfeit goods. ACTA’s border measures regard suspect goods (art 2.X.1, page 10), and the test is whether the suspect goods infringe an intellectual property right (article 2.10, page 11).

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