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Links 29/11/2010: Puppy Linux/Quirky 1.4 is Out, CentOS 6 Out Soon

Posted in News Roundup at 1:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Outlaws 178 – I Want It Dead!

      On the show this week: Novell being bought with IP being sold off to a Microsoft spinoff, more crap from Fedora on SQLNinja, IE presumably cheating in benchmarks, Jolibook being sold in the UK, awesome kernel patches while Linus lays down the smackdown for bad ones and more…

    • Linux Radio
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KWin Is Now Running On OpenGL ES 2.0

        For a while we have known that KDE developers have been interested in supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 (and OpenGL 3.x) within the KWin compositing window manager as well as using more OpenGL within the Plasma Desktop and on the KWin front the developers, led by Martin Gräßlin, they have been making great progress towards KDE SC 4.7 where this work will be introduced.

      • LinuxDay in Dornbirn, AT … or an extraordinary day of success stories

        It is 11pm and I am on my way home from LinuxDay in Dornbirn, Austria. It was a long but amazing day. Myriam, Mark and myself were at the KDE and Amarok booth. Surprisingly Christoph (a local KDE on Gentoo user/hacker) supported us rather the whole day.

      • Seven Improvements Needed in KDE

        The Desktop Toolkit is the small widget that sits on the upper right on the edge of the screen. Originally shaped like a cashew, it now looks like a tab. Click on it, and you find all sorts of useful tools: Add Widgets, Add Activity, Lock Widgets, and others. However, some users never seem to have looked at it, considering that Fedora has a package called kde-plasma-ihatethecashew whose sole purpose is to remove it.

        What people have noticed is that the Desktop Toolkit gets in the way. Place a panel at the top of the screen, and it overlays the similarly shaped panel customization button so that you can never be sure what you are clicking.

        You can drag the cashew to some other place (mine is on the bottom left), but many people haven’t noticed that, either. At any rate, no matter where you place it, the Toolkit looks like a menu, but doesn’t close when you click elsewhere on the desktop; instead, you have to click on the button again.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Reviews: Triaging a trio – Upstream OS, Fuduntu and LightDesktop

        All in all it was a disappointing week for me. Upstream OS provided me with a lengthy start-up process which hit a few bumps along the way. Fuduntu is basically a Fedora clone with GIMP and OpenOffice, driving up the size of the ISO. LightDesktop’s concept intrigued me, but the project needs to add some applications and improve on the installer before I would recommend it. It’s at least trying something different and I believe that to be worth while. I found it interesting that both Upstream OS and LightDesktop booted into login screens rather than automatically loading the desktop. Fuduntu’s concept of having a different scheduler and some tweaks to swap are interesting ideas, but I think the project would be better off presenting itself as a Fedora community spin rather than a separate distro.

    • New Releases

      • Puppy Linux founder releases Quirky 1.4

        Puppy Linux founder Barry Kauler has announced the release of version 1.4 of Quirky. The Quirky Linux distribution is a platform for trying out new, “quirky ideas” and is in the same family as Puppy Linux, but its creator points out that it’s a “distinct distro in its own right.”

    • Red Hat Family

      • Google Insights and Tweets for CentOS 6

        CentOS 6 is just round the corner and what better way to watch the build up than Google Insights and Twitter. Below are two widgets of interest first being Google Insights with the search term “CentOS 6″ and the second is a Twitter widget from TweetGrid searching for the hash tag #CentOS6

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 12 approaches end of life

          Fedora Project developer Kevin Fenzi has issued a reminder that Fedora 12, code named “Constantine”, will reach its end of life (EOL) on Thursday, the 2nd of December, 2010. Originally released in mid-November of last year, Fedora 11 featured the 2.6.31 Linux kernel, version 2.28 of the GNOME desktop environment, KDE 4.3 and a number of software updates. As of the 2nd of December, no new updates, including security updates and critical fixes, will be available. The developers strongly advise all Fedora 12 users to upgrade to Fedora 13 or 14 to continue receiving updates.

    • Debian Family

      • About ZFS in Squeeze (2)

        This means that Debian Squeeze will be one of the first GNU distributions to support ZFS.

      • Let’s build a Debian for Development Data

        I just returned from an intense week in the UK: an IKM Emergent workshop in Oxford, and the Open Government Data Camp in London had me almost drowning in “open data” examples and conversations, with a particular angle on aid data and the perspectives of international development.

        As the result of that, I think we’re ready for a “Debian for Development Data”: a collection of data sets, applications and documentation to service community development, curated by a network of people and organisations who share crucial values on democratisation of information and empowerment of people.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Sound Menu plugin for Exaile music player

          Exaile music player users who wouldn’t mind controlling playback via the new Ubuntu Sound Menu can now get in on the action thanks to a new plugin created especially for this purpose.

        • Compiz in November 27 daily build of Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal
        • Exclusive Interview: Ubuntu Is The Number 1 Desktop OS

          Ubuntu, the Canonical-sponsored operating system is gaining new grounds – in both enterprise and consumer segments. The Company now has new challenges — the challenges which develop as a company grows. We talked to Prakash Advani, Partner Manager – Central Asia at Canonical, to understand how Canonical is preparing Ubuntu for the future.

          What are the challenges? Is Canonical planning to enter the hardware business and offer an Apple-like solution, fully optimized hardware for the OS? Has Ubuntu missed the tablet bus as Android, despite being not prepared for this form-factor has seen great adoption? What is Canonical’s stand on Apple using Canonical’s brand Launchpad? Will we see professional film-editing software on Ubuntu? Will you be playing the Call of Duty on Ubuntu any soon? There are many such questions buzzing every Ubuntu user. If you want to find out the answers, read on…

        • Flavours and Variants

          • A retro retro desktop facelift

            Well that’s a giant leap forward. :roll: Nothing like swirling together a vague tribute to an IceBuntu desktop, which was itself a vague tribute to the old Feisty Fawn desktop. Yeah, I’m really going out on a limb there.

          • Evolution of my netbook UI

            So how about you? What kind of Ubuntu interface do you use on your netbook? Do you just use Unity? Something more like my setup? I’m really curious about Kubuntu, but it’s a real CPU hog at this point. I haven’t figured out how to fix that yet.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Squeak, Scratch and Etoys on Ubuntu and Maemo

          It runs nicely on just about every platform, and I’ve been running it on Ubuntu as well as on my Nokia N900 cellphone for some time.

          I started my daughter off with simple logo type program commands. Soon, she was drawing triangles, squares, hexagons, circles, and designs that I used to create with a spirograph when I was a kid.

          We moved on to exploring a few other bits of programming and hit a few walls. The sound wasn’t working and some of the simple commands did not seem to do anything, so I figured maybe it is time to make sure that everything is up to date.

          Scratch runs in a Squeak virtual machine. “Squeak is a highly portable, open-source Smalltalk with powerful multimedia facilities.” I had been running Squeak 3.9 on my various machines, and Squeak 4.1 is now out. So, I’ve started my upgrade to Squeak 4.1.

      • Android

        • VA-API Support For Google Android Platform

          We have been tipped off that a few VA-API patches have hit the upstream libva tree for furthering along Google’s Android support for this video acceleration API. VA-API is arguably the second best video playback acceleration API available to Linux users, after the NVIDIA-created VDPAU.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Symbian Sputters Towards Open-Source Irrelevancy

    Remember two years ago when Nokia open-sourced the Symbian mobile operating system? The thinking was that cell phone manufacturers who depended on the Symbian OS could help keep it going. But it was already too late.

  • Librarians, developers push open-source alternative

    There is already a community around open-source library software, says Don Christie of open-source developer Catalyst IT, but it is developer-focused. The support and marketing around Koha and related products is not well coordinated, he suggests.

    ONL is an attempt to remedy that shortcoming, making New Zealand’s libraries more aware of the existence and potential of open-source software in the field.

  • Events

    • 9 Videos from the 2010 Blender Conference

      1. Ton Roosendaal – Keynote Presentation

      2. Andy Goralczyk – Speed Modelling

      3. Jonathan Williamson – Topology

      4. Pablo Vazquez – Compositing in Sintel

      5. Soenke Maeter – Lighting and Compositing in Sintel

      6. Beorn Leonard, Lee Salvemini and Jeremy Davidson – Bringing Sintel to Life

      7. Andy Goralczyk & David Revoy – Art Collaboration

      8. Andrew Price – The Big Issues

      9. Andrew Price – How to Raise Your Profile as an Artist

  • CMS

    • Hands-on: a first look at Diaspora’s private alpha test

      As the abuses and technical gaffes of the mainstream social networking operators contribute to growing concerns about privacy and autonomy in the cloud, it’s possible that users who are sensitive to such issues will begin to appreciate the availability of more open alternatives. Even if the open source options never gain serious mainstream momentum, they have the potential to draw some attention to the underlying issues that they are trying to solve. Diaspora doesn’t have to topple the entrenched giants in order to inspire positive changes in the industry; it just has to get a critical mass of people to start thinking more seriously about privacy issues and the right kind of interoperability.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Art Magazines, Journals and Catalogues at archive.org

      Scans of old (19th and early 20th century) art magazines, journals, and catalogues can be found on archive.org along with text extracted from them. These are a very useful resource for study of the history of art.

      Google Books is better for searching for them, but archive.org is better for downloading them.

  • Programming

    • Data Analysis with Open Source Tools Book Review

      Given the broad number of open source data collection and analysis libraries and utilities freely available on the Internet, the concept of combining data analysis with open source tools is a topic worthy of deeper exploration. How well does author Philipp Janert fair with this effort? Read on to find out.

      This is the second book review I’ve written in the past month that was written by a physicist turned software developer and book author. However, unlike Ruby on Rails Tutorial author Michael Hartl, Data Analysis with Open Source Tools Mr. Janert has pursued a consulting practice in algorithm development, data analysis, and mathematical modeling. As such, his specialty makes him the ideal subject matter expert to write such a book.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML5 and Flash battle it out for the future of the internet

      Whether your computer is showing colourful fish floating in an aquarium, bouncing balls, or a mouse pointer that takes on the form of a paintbrush, it’s probably thanks to Flash technology.

      But soon, many of these same features could be delivered by HTML5, an up-and-coming web standard. That would mean freedom from Adobe and its Flash Player plug-in. But will this new technology spell the end of Flash, Experts say – maybe.

      The recent decision by Apple boss Steve Jobs to pick HTML5 over Flash has caused the debate to perk up again. But at the end of the day, both technologies have their advantages – and their limitations.


  • The internet’s cyber radicals: heroes of the web changing the world

    A generation of political activists have been transformed by new tools developed on the internet. Here, a leading net commentator profiles seven young radicals from around the world

  • How Feelings of Gratitude Breed Happiness and Well-Being

    If you need another reason to give thanks at the dinner table on Thursday, how’s this: people who maintain an “attitude of gratitude” tend to be happier and healthier than those who don’t, according to a lengthy and instructive article this week in the Wall Street Journal.

  • The Vulture Transcript: Sci-Fi Author William Gibson on Why He Loves Twitter, Thinks Facebook Is ‘Like a Mall,’ and Much More

    When William Gibson published his seminal sci-fi novel Neuromancer in 1984, it seemed improbably dystopic. More than a quarter-century later, so much has changed that he now writes in the present tense. His latest book, Zero History, is the final volume of a loose trilogy that concentrates on a culture increasingly obsessed with branding and, well, stuff (though Gibson prefers the term “artifacts”). “I’ve always been, for whatever reason, very conscious of the world of things,” he says. We spoke at length with him about plenty of these things — from the iPad to those old-fashioned anachronisms called “books.”

  • NAO to publish new report on NPfIT – did BT get excessive payments?

    The National Audit Office is carrying out a new, fast-track investigation into the NHS IT scheme, including an inquiry into whether BT received £400m over market prices.

    The NAO has confirmed that it plans a further audit of the National Programme for IT [NPfIT], after a request by Conservative MP Richard Bacon, a long-standing member of the Public Accounts Committee, who has followed the scheme since its inception in 2002.

  • Science

    • Satellites Used to Track Black Friday Mall Traffic

      Those satellites in space don’t just take spy pictures. On this Black Friday 2010, they are actually taking pictures of you, and your rush to Black Friday deals.

      The research is being done to see what consumer demand this year means for retail stocks. The trend, so far, has been favorable.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Passive smoking kills 600,000 a year, including 165,000 children, says WHO

      More than 600,000 people, including 165,000 children, die every year from passive smoking, a report from World Health Organisation experts says today.

      The estimates from the first analysis of the true global toll are based on the best available data across 192 countries and the known effects of exposure.

    • Cigarette Makers Aggressively Recruit Smokers in Foreign Countries

      Philip Morris International has been especially aggressive in fighting marketing restrictions overseas. The company has deployed a $5 million campaign in Australia to fight a government plan that would require cigarettes be marketed in plain brown or white packages. PM designed the campaign to make it look like it was coming from small store owners, and got help financing it from competitors like BAT and Imperial Tobacco. The companies also argue that higher cigarette taxes will stimulate smuggling, but tobacco industry documents reveal that global tobacco companies are not only complicit in cigarette smuggling, but that they oversee it, and even depend on it to gain access to closed markets.

    • A Verbal Slip on Countdown

      During my interview on Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC Wednesday night, I explained the sinister work of an industry-funded front group to discredit Michael Moore as a filmmaker and citizen and especially of his 2007 movie, Sicko. The PR firm hired by health insurers to do the evil deed set up and operated the front group, which it named “Health Care America,” to conduct a fear-mongering campaign designed to scare people away from the movie’s core message: that every developed country in the world except the United States has been able to achieve universal coverage for their citizens largely because they don’t allow big insurance companies to call the shots like they do here. I wrote about this in my book, Deadly Spin, in the chapter entitled “The Campaign Against Sicko.”

    • Insurers Gave U.S. Chamber $86 Million Used to Oppose Obama’s Health Law

      Health insurers last year gave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce $86.2 million that was used to oppose the health-care overhaul law, according to tax records and people familiar with the donation.

      The insurance lobby, whose members include Minnetonka, Minnesota-based UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Cigna Corp. of Philadelphia, gave the money to the Chamber in 2009 as Democrats increased criticism of the industry, according to a person who requested anonymity because laws don’t require identifying funding sources. The Chamber got the money from the America’s Health Insurance Plans as the industry urged Congress to drop a plan to create a competing government-run insurance plan.

    • Big Health Insurers Funneled $86.2 Million Through Chamber to Oppose Health Care Reform, in Just 2009

      The health insurance industry plowed $86.2 million into drumming up opposition to the health care reform bill, and that was just the money they spent in 2009. Big insurers UnitedHealth Group, CIGNA Corporation and others funneled the money to America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the industry’s lobbying group, which in turn gave it to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is acting as a front group for big industries to influence elections.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Review of the TSA X-ray backscatter body scanner safety report: hide your kids, hide your wife

      I am a biochemist working in the field of biophysics. Specifically, the lab I work in (as well as many others) has spent the better part of the last decade working on the molecular mechanism of how mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility gene, BRCA2, result in cancer. The result of that work is that we now better understand that people who have a deficient BRCA2 gene are hypersensitive to DNA damage, which can be caused by a number of factors including: UV exposure, oxidative stress, improper chromosomal replication and segregation, and radiation exposure. The image below shows what happens to a chromosome of a normal cell when it is exposed to radiation. It most cases, this damage is repaired; however, at high doses or when there is a genetic defect, the cells either die or become cancerous.

    • A conspiracy of sentiment

      Yesterday Paul Chambers lost his appeal against his fine and conviction for posting a joke on twitter which was prosecuted under the anti-terrorist legislation.

      The case was so obviously ridiculous that everyone thought common-sense would prevail, but eschewing humour and reality, Judge Jacqueline Davies deemed the tweet “menacing in its content and obviously so. It could not be more clear. Any ordinary person reading this would see it in that way and be alarmed.”

    • US warns WikiLeaks against leak

      Whistle-blower website reportedly to release millions of confidential diplomatic cables between US government officials.

    • North Korea “readies missiles” as China seeks talks

      North Korea has placed surface-to-surface missiles on launch pads in the Yellow Sea, Yonhap news agency said, as the United States and South Korea began military drills and China called for emergency talks.

    • The Big Lie Selling You War With North Korea

      In short, the torpedo recovered from the ocean where Cheosan was attacked is NOT the same torpedo shown in the North Korean plans. As I stated above, there are additional differences as well between the blueprints and the actual torpedo, but the actuators are the clincher.

      The torpedo recovered fronm the oceasn where the Cheosan was sunk is not the North Korean torpedo shown in the blueprints.

    • Indian president backs Syria’s claim on the Golan Heights

      Speaking at a joint conference with Syrian President in Damascus, Indian President Pratibha Patil says India consistently supported Arab goals in the region.

    • Israel recruits citizen advocates in Europe

      Israel has instructed its embassies in 10 European countries, including the UK, each to recruit 1,000 members of the public to act as advocates for its policies in a new public relations offensive.

      A cable from the foreign affairs ministry was sent to embassies last week, with instructions from Avigdor Lieberman, the controversial and extreme right-wing foreign minister, to adopt a range of measures aimed at improving Israel’s standing in Europe.

    • Cables Obtained by WikiLeaks Shine Light Into Secret Diplomatic Channels

      A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at back-room bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.

    • China directs local media outlets to stop reporting WikiLeaks content

      While the world’s media are afire with yesterday’s WikiLeaks data release of secret US diplomatic cables, the local media in China are strangely quiet.

      The reason, according to a Twitter update by Al Jazeera English’s correspondent in China, Melissa Chan a short while ago, is that China’s Propaganda Department have directed all domestic media outlets to stop reporting the WikiLeaks content.

    • US embassy cables leak sparks global diplomatic crisis

      • More than 250,000 dispatches reveal US foreign strategies
      • Diplomats ordered to spy on allies as well as enemies
      • Saudi king urged Washington to bomb Iran

    • Siprnet: where America stores its secret cables

      How did such an enormous electronic database come into existence and then apparently be so easily leaked? The answer lies in the tag “Sipdis” which appears on the string of address codes heading each cable.

      It stands for Siprnet Distribution. Siprnet is itself an acronym, for Secret Internet Protocol Router Network. Siprnet was designed to solve the chronic problem of big bureaucracies – how to share information easily and confidentially among large numbers of people spread around the world. Siprnet is a worldwide US military internet system, kept separate from the ordinary civilian internet and run by the defence department in Washington.

    • Ten Theses on Wikileaks

      Disclosures and leaks have been of all times, but never before has a non state- or non- corporate affiliated group done this at the scale Wikileaks managed to with the ‘Afghan War Logs’. But nonetheless we believe that this is more something of a quantitative leap than of a qualitative one. In a certain sense, these ‘colossal’ Wikileaks disclosures can simply be explained as a consequence of the dramatic spread of IT usage, together with a dramatic drop in its costs, including those for the storage of millions of documents. Another contributing factor is the fact that safekeeping state and corporate secrets – never mind private ones – has become rather difficult in an age of instant reproducibility and dissemination. Wikileaks here becomes symbolic for a transformation in the ‘information society’ at large, and holds up a mirror of future things to come. So while one can look at Wikileaks as a (political) project, and criticize it for its modus operandi, or for other reasons, it can also be seen as a ‘pilot’ phase in an evolution towards a far more generalized culture of anarchic exposure, beyond the traditional politics of openness and transparency.

    • A Superpower’s View of the World

      251,000 State Department documents, many of them secret embassy reports from around the world, show how the US seeks to safeguard its influence around the world. It is nothing short of a political meltdown for US foreign policy.

    • The TSA is invasive, annoying – and unconstitutional

      The protest on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was called National Opt-Out Day, and its organizers urged air travelers to refuse the Transportation Security Administration’s full-body scanning machines.

      But many appeared to have opted out of opting out. The TSA reported that few of the 2 million people flying Wednesday chose pat-downs over the scanners, with few resulting delays.

    • Washington has a “Love Affair” with Terror

      Many questions remain unasked as the U.S. continues its war on terrorism. One is whether Washington possesses the moral right to condemn terrorism when its own hands are so bloody.

      Let’s examine our use of terror directed against civilians to achieve political or military goals, beginning with the atomic devastation of Japan. “Little Boy,” exploded over Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, killed 130,000 people immediately (including a dozen U.S. POWs) and 200,000 within five years, all but some 20,000 of them civilians. Twenty-five square miles of civilization were gutted.

    • Raise A Glass to Wikileaks

      The well paid securitocracy have been out in force in the media, attacking wikileaks and repeating their well worn mantras.

      These leaks will claim innocent lives, and will damage national security. They will encourage Islamic terrorism. Government secrecy is essential to keep us all safe. In fact, this action by Wikileaks is so cataclysmic, I shall be astonished if we are not all killed in our beds tonight.

      Except that we heard exactly the same things months ago when Wikileaks released the Iraq war documents and then the Afghan war documents, and nobody has been able to point to a concrete example of any of these bloodurdling consequences.

    • TSA Groin Searches Menstruating Woman

      Yesterday we received a letter from a customer who wore her GladRags Pantyliner through a security scanner and was so traumatized by her resulting TSA genital search that she wanted to warn other women. (Read her letter below). Her past history of sexual assault made this experience a nightmare for her. At first we thought yes, we will warn people not to put themselves through this risk.

    • IDF: Covering Up the Murderous Crimes of Cast Lead

      On closer examination of sources it appears that Lt. Col. Aliyan left his position as Rotem commander in May 2008, six months before Operation Cast Lead. Therefore, he is not the Rotem commander who suppressed the death report in the following post. My apologies for not vetting the source more carefully. But thanks to two other Israeli sources we’re all convinced that we now have the right guy.

    • Settlers make water sources a tourist site and bar Palestinians from entering
    • US Should Withhold Support for Haiti’s Upcoming Election

      Haiti is scheduled to hold elections on Nov. 28, and nothing — neither the cholera outbreak that has killed more than 1,000 people nor the fact that more than 1 million earthquake survivors remain homeless — seems likely to convince the Haitian government or its international backers that the vote should be postponed. It should be. Why? The electoral process is rigged. Unfortunately, the Obama administration seems happy to go along with the charade.

    • Inside the Whitehall kettle
    • Student protests: Met under fire for charging at demonstrators

      Scotland Yard is under pressure after video footage emerged of police officers on horseback charging a crowd of protesters during a demonstration against increases in university tuition fees, 24 hours after they denied that horses charged the crowd.

      Footage posted on YouTube showed mounted police riding at speed into a crowd of around 1,000 protesters who had gathered south of Trafalgar Square on Wednesday night.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Oil companies and banks will profit from UN forest protection scheme

      Some of the world’s largest oil, mining, car and gas corporations will make hundreds of millions of dollars from a UN-backed forest protection scheme, according to a new report from the Friends of the Earth International.

      The group’s new report – launched on the first day of the global climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, where 193 countries hope to thrash out a new agreement – is the first major assessment of the several hundred, large-scale Redd (Reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation) pilot schemes. It shows that banks, airlines, charitable foundations, carbon traders, conservation groups, gas companies and palm plantation companies have also scrambled into forestry protection.

    • Four degrees and beyond: the potential for a global temperature increase of four degrees and its implications

      The 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change commits signatories to preventing ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system’, leaving unspecified the level of global warming that is dangerous. In the late 1990s, a limit of 2°C global warming above preindustrial temperature was proposed as a ‘guard rail’ below which most of the dangerous climate impacts could be avoided.

    • Cancún is indeed a nest of serpents – sitting in a vast, toxic rubbish dump

      Next week, Mexico hosts the UN convention on climate change in Cancún. It is ironic that such an important conference on the environment should take place in a country whose environment has been devastated, and in a city that exemplifies everything you should not do if you wish to protect the environment.

    • World is warming quicker than thought in past decade, says Met Office

      The world warmed more rapidly than previously thought over the past decade, according to a Met Office report published today, which finds the evidence for man-made climate change has grown even stronger over the last year.

    • Get Touched by TSA, Win an iPod Touch

      What fun! We’re tracking all of these, and we’ll be getting in touch with the 10 iPod Touch winners (picked at random) on Monday, November 29 — because we want to catch all the time zones, and don’t want to miss you over the holiday. We’ll then contact you via Twitter to get your shipping info, and we’ll get your iPod Touch in the mail ASAP.

  • Finance

    • Chasing Returns

      I’ve spent much of this long weekend curled up on the couch reading Too Big To Fail, Andrew Ross Sorkin’s history of the financial crisis of 2008. I’ve wanted to read this book since it came out last year but it took me a while to get to it. I’m enjoying it very much.


      But I do think we are seeing signs of excess in the markets we invest in and I do think we are seeing investors chasing returns in deals they don’t fully understand. That is a red flag. And I am choosing to observe it, pay attention to it, and share it with all of you.

    • In Ireland, Low Corporate Taxes Go Untouched

      Cut Ireland’s minimum wage? Check. Collect more in property taxes from beleaguered homeowners? Check. Raise the corporate tax rate, which could plug the gaping hole in Ireland’s tattered balance sheets even faster? Well, no.

    • The Rise and Fall of Celtic Tiger – Ireland

      History is awash in rags-to-riches stories; they not only inspired generations of would-be entrepreneurs by offering a formula for success, but also provided the world with remarkable iconic figures to look up to.

      However, we hardly hear about rags-to-riches and then back to square-one stories. The economic crisis that is engulfing Ireland, the Celtic Tiger, is an intriguing case in point.

    • Thousands protest against Irish bailout

      More than 100,000 Irish citizens took to the streets of Dublin today to protest against the international bailout and four years of austerity.

      Despite overnight snow storms and freezing temperatures, huge crowds have gathered in O’Connell Street to demonstrate against the cuts aimed at driving down Ireland’s colossal national debt.

    • UPDATE: Thousands March In Dublin Demanding Irish Default, Election

      Thousands of people marched through Dublin Saturday, demanding the Irish government default on the country’s debts, call an immediate election, and reverse plans for tough budget cuts and financial support from the International Monetary Fund.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Stop the Internet Blacklist!

      Just the other day, President Obama urged other countries to stop censoring the Internet. But now the United States Congress is trying to censor the Internet here at home. A new bill being debated this week would have the Attorney General create an Internet blacklist of sites that US Internet providers would be required to block. (The first vote is scheduled Thursday, November 18!)

      This is the kind of heavy-handed censorship you’d expect from a dictatorship, where one man can decide what web sites you’re not allowed to visit. But the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to pass the bill quickly — and Senators say they haven’t heard much in the way of objections! That’s why we need you to sign our urgent petition to Congress demanding they oppose the Internet blacklist.

    • The Rise of Web Censorship

      You see, Torrent-Finder, which is back up under a new domain name, Torrent-Finder.info doesn’t host Torrent file or even BitTorrent file trackers. It’s just a search engine dedicated to file torrents such as movies, TV shows, or software programs. You can find the same file torrents with Google if you know what you’re doing. Torrent-Finder, and sites like it, just makes specific kinds of file searches easier.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • An apology to ebooks

      So I eventually succumbed. My joy of tech over won my aversion to the e-book reader and I bought a Kindle. The years fighting it and making better and better arguments for not needing or wanting one suddenly slip away.

      And I apologize. I still love and define myself large parts of myself by my physical library but I have become a follower. Instead of constantly needing to carry books inside my heavy laptop bag I have this little device. I can choose from a great library of works and I can read them in a dark corner in a crowded bus.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Operation Payback on The Pirate Bay appeal

        Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music’s main IFPI (International Federation of Phonographic Industry) is down.

        We’re currently getting ‘try again’ messages for http://www.ifpi.org/.

      • Copyright Lawyers Sue Lawyer Who Helped Copyright Defendants

        Attorneys for the U.S. Copyright Group have filed a lawsuit against a lawyer who sold “self-help” documents to people who had been sued by the USCG, demanding that he pay the costs involved in dealing with the people who used the documents he sold.

        Try to stick with me here, because this one gets weird. Back in August, an attorney by the name of Graham Syfert began selling documents that would allow defendants in lawsuits filed by the U.S. Copyright Group to respond in court without having to fork over the huge piles of money needed to hire an attorney. The USCG sued “thousands” of BitTorrent users who had downloaded films like The Hurt Locker, Far Cry and Call of the Wild, demanding a settlement of $2500 to avoid the much more expensive proposition of going to court.

      • Sites With Government Seized Domains Are Moving On, On Twitter

        Last week while everyone was waiting for the COICA bill to move through Congress, the US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency one upped the Attorney General and seized domain names from a group of over 70 copyright infringing websites. A visit to the blacklisted domains now results in the ominous looking message from Homeland Security below.

      • January 1, 2011 will be Public Domain Day

        Every new year since the first copyrights expired, back around 1724, the world has looked forward to expiration of copyrights and the public domain availability of the works that have been kept under publishing monopolies.

        This coming January 1 Europeans will see a nice list of great works entering the public domain as the copyright terms expire, some listed below, but the United States, where their landmark Supreme Court Case decided that an extended copyright term could last literally forever, a person can no longer look forward to such happenings.

Clip of the Day

Richard Stallman

Credit: TinyOgg

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  1. satipera said,

    November 29, 2010 at 2:36 pm


    Re Israel recruits citizen advocates in Europe

    A national AIPAC for every country? This is such a typical response from Israel. The thought never enters their minds that they have become the new South Africa because people do not like what successive Israeli governments have been doing in the region and specifically to the Palestinians. If they really think that yet more propaganda and lying are the answer then it shows just how out of touch they are with global public opinion.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    When/if someone keeps blaming the surroundings/environment, then it’s probably time for introspection.

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