Links 18/12/2010: Linux 2.6.37 RC6, Android 2.3 Source Code Out

Posted in News Roundup at 8:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • PS3 Jailbreak Now Legal In Spain

    deek writes “Spanish gamer site NicaGamerz.com have reported that it’s now legal to sell the PS3 Jailbreak modchip in Spain (Google translation of Spanish original). According to the article, one reason for the legal ruling is because Sony removed the ability to run GNU/Linux on the console. One can only wonder if Sony will soon rush out a firmware update that will re-enable the OtherOS feature, and appeal the court decision. Oh the irony of that thought. The legal ruling was made on the 13th December (Google translation). There are only 5 days to appeal, starting from that date.”

  • Google

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.37-rc6

      It’s been a bit over a week since -rc5, and now -rc6 is out. It was slightly delayed by the fact that I was traveling without a laptop, and while I was able to track things and read email, I didn’t do actual pulls for most of last week.

    • Kernel prepatch 2.6.37-rc6
    • The kernel and the C library as a single project

      The kernel has historically been developed independently of anything that runs in user space. The well-defined kernel ABI, built around the POSIX standard, has allowed for a nearly absolute separation between the kernel and the rest of the system. Linux is nearly unique, however, in its division of kernel and user-space development. Proprietary operating systems have always been managed as a single project encompassing both user and kernel space; other free systems (the BSDs, for example) are run that way as well. Might Linux ever take a more integrated approach?

    • System call fuzzing continued.
    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA 2010 Driver Year In Review

        At the end of each year for the past five years we have delivered “year in review” articles looking at the performance of NVIDIA’s (and ATI/AMD’s) proprietary Linux drivers. Both in terms of new features introduced during the year in their driver updates and benchmarking the driver releases to see how the performance has evolved over twelve months. With 2010 coming to an end, it is time for this year’s driver reviews. We are starting this year seeing how the NVIDIA performance has matured in 2010.

      • X.Org Multi-Touch Nears Completion

        X Input 2.1 Multi-Touch is the new solution rather than Canonical’s proposed X Gesture Extension. Nokia developers are already working on supporting the new multi-touch capabilities within the Qt tool-kit and there is a GTK multi-touch branch on the GNOME side, but it’s currently based upon an earlier specification of X multi-touch.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Cardapio Gets An Avant Window Navigator Applet

        Cardapio is a simple menu for the GNOME desktop that comes with a lot of useful plugins. It can launch applications, run a command, pin items, search through your Firefox bookmarks or Ubuntu Software Center, includes a file search and full text search and more.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Experimental packages for Symbian development on Linux

          A while back we wrote about how you could do development for Symbian in Linux. However, the process was complicated and required a lot of manual setup. We have now taken the concept one step further and we now have prepackaged environments, complete with compiler, libraries and all you need to start developing!

          I’m obligated to report our disclaimer though: These packages are completely unsupported by Nokia. They are provided on a “best effort” basis only, and are not guaranteed to work correctly on your system! Also note that the packages are not guaranteed to receive updates, and in the future the same functionality may be delivered in a different format, for example through the Qt SDK.

      • Android

        • Chumby for Android Now in the Market

          Some of you may have heard of Chumby devices, personal Internet/media devices that strive to be a one-stop shop for all the information that you may want including social networks, news, video, music and games. There are Chumby apps covering most everything you want to consume. Chumby is moving to put their content hub on as many devices as possible and now it’s Android’s turn to come to the party. Their aim is “taking the best parts of the Internet and delivering them in a friendly, always-on, always-fresh format.”

        • Android 2.3 Gingerbread’s source code now available

          Want to dig through 2.3 and see what all the fuss is about for yourself? Well, you’re in luck, because Gingerbread has just hit the Android Open Source Project’s repository, which means you can set up your machine to download the code. It’s great news for hardware companies that don’t care to get Google’s certification to include Android Market access — but it’s also great news for casual and serious hackers alike who are looking to craft some seriously wild, wacky custom ROMs. So, what are you waiting for? Get to it, folks.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Netflix completes the open source giving cycle

    McEntee continues by talking about the passion shared by the contributors of a project, and not just the people employed by Netflix. Drupal founder and Acquia CTO, Dries Buytaert, often refers to this as “an itch to scratch.” McEntee mentions open source helps address common problems with sustainable solutions that reduce the work of many by sharing a common fix to a problem:

    “The great thing about a good open source project that solves a shared challenge is that it develops it’s own momentum and it is sustained for a long time by a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement.”

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • A quick look at MySQL 5.5 GA

      I first have to acknowledge that I have not been able to follow the MySQL 5.5 development as closely as I would have wanted during the last 2 years as most of the planning of MySQL 6.0, 5.4 and 5.5 has happened behind closed doors, without insight for the community. The commits have been open, until recently, but it’s not easy to follow what is happening just based on the commits. I am sure that I am missing below some of the important features in 5.5 and forgetting to acknowledge some of the people that have done great work on 5.5.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle Open Office 3.3 Released Too
    • Oracle Releases MySQL 5.5 With Many Improvements

      One of the open-source projects that Oracle is keeping around from Sun Microsystems is MySQL and just in time for the holidays they have put out the MySQL 5.5 release. The general availability release of MySQL 5.5 brings many new features to this popular database server.

    • Oracle butts into online collaboration space with Cloud Office

      Move over Google and Microsoft: Oracle wants to get in on the cloud productivity scene too. The company has announced Oracle Cloud Office, which will allow users to create and edit documents collaboratively in the browser without having to rely on desktop software.

    • Oracle Ends The Week With VirtualBox 4 Beta 4

      Oracle’s been on a wild ride the past few days. Besides Oracle’s second quarter earnings having beaten their own expectations and that of the street, they’ve been releasing updates this week to a number of their Sun-acquired open-source projects. MySQL 5.5 was finally released, Open Office 3.3 made it out (along with a new web-based Oracle Cloud Office product), and their German counterparts have been releasing VirtualBox beta releases like mad.

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD backdoor claims: bugs found during code audit

      OpenBSD project head Theo de Raadt told iTWire: “We’ve been auditing since the mail came in! We have already found two bugs in our cryptographic code. We are assessing the impact. We are also assessing the ‘archeological’ aspects of this..”

    • Did the FBI Plant Backdoors in OpenBSD?

      I doubt this is true. One, it’s a very risky thing to do. And two, there are more than enough exploitable security vulnerabilities in a piece of code that large. Finding and exploiting them is a much better strategy than planting them. But maybe someone at the FBI is that dumb.


    • 172 public institutions removed non-free advertisement

      Only one month after the letters for the PDFreaders campaign of FSFE were sent, 172 public institutions have removed advertisements for proprietary PDF readers from their websites. Particularly outstanding were the responses from Croatia, Russia and Slovenia. In Croatia almost all reported institutions deleted the advertisement. Half of those contacted in Russia and Slovenia fulfilled FSFE’s request.

    • GCC and LLVM – What’s in a licence?

      GCC, the ultimate portable compiler, otherwise known as the GNU Compiler Collection, has been around since 1987. LLVM, first came onto the scene seven years ago in the form of a paper entitled “Architecture for a Next-Generation GCC”, which was presented to the 2003 Annual GCC Developers Summit by Chris Lattner and Vikram Adve.

      LLVM was conceived as a modular version of GCC, and has had some success as a more malleable alternative to GCC.

    • Geek Time with Peter Brown

      • A brief history of the free software movement (0:14)
      • The difference between open source and free software (4:12),
      • The importance of specifying “GNU/Linux” when referring to the first fully free operating system (7:42),
      • Linux Libre, a fully free kernel distribution, including the drivers (12:29)
      • The Free Software Foundation’s hardware endorsement program, Respects Your Freedom (13:54)
      • Unexpected places that free software is appearing around the world (18:42)
      • Peter’s career with the Free Software Foundation (20:50).
      • Ways that non-programmers can get involved and support the free software movement (26:23)

  • Project Releases

  • Government

    • Australian Bureau of Statistics plans open source census

      The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is ramping up for a massive change to its use of data standards, with plans to move to open source formats from next year.

      The 2011 Census of Population and Housing is expected to become the first dry run of the bureau’s implementation of XML-based Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) and Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX) formats, with the ABS directing software developer Space-Time Research to utilise the standards for both input and output of all data collected next year.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • 10 Hypotheses About Abundance and the Commons

      This is hardly news by now. New technologies have made possible a global digital infrastructure, which, in turn, has given rise to a new information economy. This economy has one obvious feature: the abundance of free or low-cost information and knowledge. With few exceptions, I usually find a needed piece of information, skill or knowhow – if it is public knowledge – on Wikipedia, YouTube, a blog, a Web site, or a mailing list somewhere.

      Disturbing issues remain, such as inappropriate content, unaffordability, exclusion, embedded value systems, toxic production and e-wastes. But if we are looking for abundance, the Internet definitely has it. To turn this wealth of information into wisdom though, users have to pick true from false, grain from chaff.

    • Happy Birthday CC! “Building on the Past” creator re-releases video under CC BY and explains why

      In 2004, designer and animator Justin Cone created “Building on the Past” as part of our Moving Images Contest and won. Justin originally made the video, which demonstrated Creative Commons’ mission in two minutes, available under CC BY-NC. At the encouragement of Wikieducator’s Wayne Macintosh, Justin decided to re-release “Building on the Past” under the most open CC license, CC Attribution (CC BY) and made a short video explaining why (also under CC BY). Both videos are featured in Creative Commons unplugged, a part of Wikieducator’s Open content licensing 4 educators workshop (a work in progress).

    • Authenticity and the Commons
    • Open your world forum: transcript of the Bob Sutton webcast
    • Why I and you should avoid NC licences

      I understand the sentiments and have shared them in the past. In fact I started this blog as CC-NC, but then moved to CC-BY (we may have lost that in the current blog-move but rest assured this blog is CC-BY).

    • Open Data

      • Exploring European Energy Data

        Today was the Eurostat Hackday, where coders and designers in several European cities gathered to dig into the Eurostat data, the biggest source of statistical information about Europe and European member states. We met at the Centre for Creative Collaboration in London, who very kindly agreed to host us for the day.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • European Interoperability Framework – a new beginning?

      The most controversial document in the history of the European Commission’s IT policy is out. EIF is here, wrapped in the Communication “Towards interoperability for European public services”, and including the new feature European Interoperability Strategy (EIS), arguably a higher strategic take on the same topic.

      Leaving EIS aside for a moment, the EIF controversy has been around IPR, defining open standards and about the proper terminology around standardization deliverables. Today, as the document finally emerges, what is the verdict?

    • W3C establishes mobile app etiquette for developers

      In an effort to make mobile applications easier to use, the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) has established a set of guidelines for developers to keep in mind when creating their Web-standards based applications.

      Minimize network traffic, keep user needs in mind, optimize response timesm and keep the apps flexible, the guidance document advises programmers, offering specific tips of how to accomplish all of these tasks using HTML5, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), Javascript, and other Web standards.

    • OpenIndiana Build 148 Arrives

      For those interested in Solaris/OpenSolaris, the Illumos-based OpenIndiana operating system has just pushed out their second set of ISOs that are based upon Solaris Nevada Build 148.

      Previously their early-look ISOs were still based upon Build 147, but now the developers have pulled in the b148 work and other changes.

    • Google releases beta 3D graphics API for JavaScript

      Google has moved to a beta phase with its WebGL 3D graphics API for JavaScript, the company said on Thursday.

      Featured in the Google Chrome beta channel, WebGL is based on OpenGL ES 2.0 API for embedded, accelerated 3D graphics. WebGL brings hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the browser without installing additional software, Google said. “WebGL is a 3D graphics API for JavaScript that developers can use to create fully 3D Web apps,” said Kenneth Russell, of the Google  Chromium Team, in a blog post.


  • A Return of Radical Politics?

    In this old post, Broken Government: A Return of Radical Politics at Freedom Democrats, I opined about an impending return of radicalism in American politics. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that this radicalism will be borne out of the American descent into the “censorship regime.” The censorship regime is information control, and in the US, this regime is the marriage of Digital Copyright and the National security State. This marriage creates a input-output positive feedback loop of economic/political rent-seeking so pernicious that you end up with something resembling Richard Stallman’s Right to Read Dystopia, wherein reading becomes a licensing and security classification privilege.

  • Parliament gives go ahead to citizens’ petitions

    The European Commission will soon have to consider drafting new EU laws if it is asked to do so by at least one million people, after the European Parliament yesterday (15 December) gave the green light to a regulation on implementing the European Citizens’ Initiative.

  • Ed Miliband rebukes Bob Ainsworth over ‘legalise drugs’ call

    Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, said today that the legalisation of drugs would send out “the wrong message” to young people as he distanced himself from a Labour backbencher’s calls for a “grown-up debate” on the issue.

  • ‘Her Morning Elegance’ Artists Create Elegant Reason To Buy

    So far it’s been viewed over 16 million times on Youtube. How does an artist convert all of that popularity into cash? In this case, by offering a limited edition of ONE print of every single frame of the movie, signed and numbered, for sale. According to the gallery website, 335 prints have sold so far, leaving 1761 available out of 2096 total.

  • Captain Beefheart dies aged 69

    Avant-garde musician and visual artist Don Van Vliet, who performed under the name Captain Beefheart, has died aged 69.

  • High Court orders writ to be served via Twitter

    The High Court ordered its first injunction via Twitter on Thursday, saying the social website and micro-blogging service was the best way to reach an anonymous Tweeter who had been impersonating someone.

  • How To Talk Like a Corporate Tool
  • MP queries Hargreaves review

    An MP has tabled a parliamentary question to find out how BIS arrived at its panel of advisors for the Hargreaves Review. Five experts are advising the former FT journalist with his six-month review into “IP and Growth”. But two in particular – campaigning professor James Boyle and former web monkey Tom Loosemore – have raised concerns as they lack business experience, and have a history of hostility to creator’s rights.

  • Smithsonian Celebrates COBOL’s 50th Anniversary With New Site

    One of the oldest programming languages, COBOL (COmmon Business-Oriented Language) turned 50 this past week. On December 6, 1960, COBOL was first used on two different makes of computers, proving that compatibility across systems could be achieved. To celebrate the anniversary, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History built out a new section of their website dedicated to documenting the language’s history; a related exhibit will open at the museum this spring.

  • Obama in Good Shape for 2012 Despite Current Woes, Poll Finds

    His party got hammered in the midterm election, he’s taking heat from fellow Democrats for compromising with Republicans on taxes, and his job approval levels are hovering around 45 percent, but a new survey concludes President Obama’s prospects for re-election in 2012 are fairly strong. Conversely, Sarah Palin’s numbers continue to be weak.

  • Is Yahoo Shutting Down Del.icio.us? [Update: Del.icio.us Responds]

    For a couple of days now, we’ve been hearing rumors that the Yahoo layoffs included the entire Delicious team. Now Former Yahoo employee and Upcoming founder Andy Baio has tweeted out the above Yahoo! product team meeting slide that seems to show that Yahoo! is either closing or merging the social bookmarking service as well as Upcoming, Fire Eagle, MyBlogLog and others.

  • R.I.P. Delicious: You Were So Beautiful to Me

    It’s a loss not just for the many people who used Delicious to archive links of interest to them around the web, it’s a loss for the future – for what could have been. Five years later, people are just beginning to appreciate the value of passively published user activity data made available for analysis, personalization and more. That could have been you, Delicious.

  • Goodbye, AltaVista. I Loved You Once, But I’m Happy to See You Die

    If you were going to compose a list of the ten greatest technology products ever, it would be a plausible contender. If you were compiling a list of the ten greatest Web services and didn’t include it, I’d tell you your list was wrong.


    In fact, I hope that Yahoo’s mercy killing starts a trend. AOL, how about doing away with the sad jokes that are CompuServe and Netscape in their current forms?

  • Yahoo Trying To Unload Del.icio.us, Not Shut It Down

    Yahoo says that while Delicious doesn’t have a “strategic fit” at the company, it will not be shutting the service down entirely for now. In fact, it looks like Yahoo is going to find a new home for Delicious (a.k.a. sell).

  • Delicious, Yahoo! Buzz, MyBlogLog, AltaVista all face axe
  • Beijing issues stark warning on EU-China relations

    Just days after the EU openly criticised China for boycotting the Nobel Peace Prize, the Chinese ambassador in Brussels slammed EU policymakers for being unable to “shut their mouths”.

  • West Papua: from morning star to mourning

    Instead of raising the Morning Star flag, ForDem asked people to observe December 1 as a day of mourning, fasting, prayer and to boycott Indonesian owned and run shops. Benny Giay, Moderator of the Kingmi Church, the largest indigenous church in West Papua, and member of ForDem says, “We are fasting, praying and wearing black to mourn the death of democracy in West Papua and to mourn Papuans killed by the Indonesian security forces.”

  • EU Summit Twitter Wall Trial Goes Awry As Berlusconi Bashers Flood #EUCO Stream

    Using Tweetwall Pro, a way for event organizers to feed live tweets onto screens, an experiment in the atrium of the EU summit building in Brussels held yesterday didn’t quite proceed as planned. The live tweet stream, which was displayed on multiple plasma TVs throughout the building, was abruptly shut down after Italian Twitter users hijacked the #euco stream with anti-Berlusconi messages, calling the politician a mafioso and a pedophile.

  • The future of publishing is writable
  • Google debuts text analysis tools
  • Dear Yahoo

    Many of us have relied on Delicious for years and have thousands of bookmarks organized on it. Please consider opening Delicious up to the open source community to keep it going.

  • Science

    • Towards a scientific concept of free will as a biological trait: spontaneous actions and decision-making in invertebrates

      Until the advent of modern neuroscience, free will used to be a theological and a metaphysical concept, debated with little reference to brain function. Today, with ever increasing understanding of neurons, circuits and cognition, this concept has become outdated and any metaphysical account of free will is rightfully rejected. The consequence is not, however, that we become mindless automata responding predictably to external stimuli.

    • Search for microscopic black hole signatures at the Large Hadron Collider

      The CMS experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has completed a search for microscopic black holes produced in high-energy proton-proton collisions. No evidence for their production was found and their production has been excluded up to a black hole mass of 3.5-4.5 TeV (1012 electron volts) in a variety of theoretical models.

    • DIY Biotech Hacker Space Opens in NYC

      On the top floor of an old bank converted into an artist collective, just past prop design for Bjork’s next music video, the do-it-yourself biotechnology revolution has begun.

      A cadre of science entrepreneurs recently opened Genspace, the world’s first government-compliant community biotech laboratory. The bedroom-sized facility was two years in the making and, for a $100-per-month membership, anyone can use the space for whatever experiments they dream up.

    • Could we detect trees on other planets?

      It sounds like a zen koan. If a tree on an alien world falls, would we notice? Christopher Doughty of the University of Oxford and Adam Wolf of Princeton University think we just might.

      They say the shadows cast by trees would change the amount of light a planet reflects as it orbits its star. When the planet is behind its star as seen from Earth – as the moon is during its full phase – the trees would cast little visible shadow, while at other points in its orbit the shadows would grow longer from Earth’s perspective. Future telescopes should be able to search for these changes in brightness, they say.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Is Gulf seafood really safe to eat?

      The Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper (LMRK) has released results from seafood sampling trips conducted along a broad area of the Louisiana coast since August. The results show significant levels of petroleum in a number of species — though the contamination was not apparent by sight or smell.

      For examples, levels of total petroleum hydrocarbons in flounder and speckled trout caught in St. Bernard Parish on Aug. 12 were 21,575 milligrams per kilogram, while oysters caught in Plaquemines Parish on Aug. 3 showed levels at 12,500 mg/kg. Petroleum levels found in fiddler crabs and periwinkles harvested from Terrebonne Parish on Aug. 19 were 6,916 mg/kg.

  • China

  • Security

    • How I’d Hack Your Weak Passwords
    • Security advisories for Friday
    • Amazon’s Mechanical Turk used increasingly for spam
    • Security in 2020

      In 2020—­10 years from now­—Moore’s Law predicts that computers will be 100 times more powerful. That’ll change things in ways we can’t know, but we do know that human nature never changes. Cory Doctorow rightly pointed out that all complex ecosystems have parasites. Society’s traditional parasites are criminals, but a broader definition makes more sense here. As we users lose control of those systems and IT providers gain control for their own purposes, the definition of “parasite” will shift. Whether they’re criminals trying to drain your bank account, movie watchers trying to bypass whatever copy protection studios are using to protect their profits, or Facebook users trying to use the service without giving up their privacy or being forced to watch ads, parasites will continue to try to take advantage of IT systems. They’ll exist, just as they always have existed, and­ like today­ security is going to have a hard time keeping up with them.

    • Software flaws don’t negate “many eyes” in open source

      The allegations from Greg Perry regarding backdoors allegedly placed within OpenBSD about a decade ago seem to be shifting more and more into the realm of fantasy as each day goes by.

      To date, Perry has not responded to my inquiry regarding his Dec. 11 e-mail to OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt, nor to my knowledge has he responded publicly anywhere else. Meanwhile, the two (or three, depending on how you count it) people named in Perry’s message to de Raadt as parties to this supposed backdoor activity, Scott Lowe and Jason Wright, have denied their involvement–the latter within the same [openbsd-tech] thread that started all this.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Brutality at a Private Prison

      Guards at a privately run prison in Arizona stripped, beat and kicked inmates and threatened to kill them, banged their heads on tables while they were handcuffed, and “the warden himself” joined in threatening their families, 18 inmates say in state court.

    • Ontario Ombudsman Releases G20 Report “Caught In The Act”

      The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services quietly promoted the use of a likely illegal regulation to grant police “extravagant” powers on the eve of the G20 summit, Ontario Ombudsman André Marin says in his latest report.

    • The Media, the police and protest: now both sides of the story can be reported

      At the student fees protest in London last week, a young man with cerebral palsy was allegedly twice hauled from his wheelchair and dragged across the ground by police officers. Footage of the incident soon appeared on the internet, while the man, a 20-year-old activist and blogger named Jody McIntyre, was invited onto BBC News to recount his ordeal. “Did you shout anything provocative, or throw anything that would of induced the police to do that to you?” he was asked by the presenter, Ben Brown. “There’s a suggestion that you were rolling towards the police in your wheelchair, is that true?” McIntyre kept his calm and replied. “Do you really think a person with cerebral palsy, in a wheelchair, can pose a threat to a police officer who is armed with weapons?”

    • Let’s Be Careful About Calling This a Cyber-War

      Terms like “cyber-war” have been used a lot in the wake of the recent denial-of-service attacks on MasterCard, Visa and other entities that cut off support for WikiLeaks. But do these attacks really qualify? An analysis by network security firm Arbor Networks suggests that they don’t, and that what we have seen from the group Anonymous and “Operation Payback” is more like vandalism or civil disobedience. And we should be careful about tossing around terms like cyber-war — some believe the government is just itching to find an excuse to adopt unprecedented Internet monitoring powers, and cyber-war would be just the ticket.

    • Number of police in Canada on the rise

      The number of police officers in Canada has reached its highest point since 1981, with a strength of approximately 69,000 members.

      Canadian police forces added 2,000 members in the first four months of 2010 according to data released by Statistics Canada.

    • Police Brutality in Frankfurt

      No charges, no reasons, no explanation. Just random act of violence.

    • Audit reveals no irregularities, just political meddling at rights agency

      A confidential forensic audit into an embattled federal human-rights agency bolsters the arguments of opposition critics who accuse the Harper government of trying to limit the organization’s work in the Middle East with groups that do not meet Ottawa’s pro-Israel outlook.

    • TSA misses enormous, loaded .40 calibre handgun in carry-on bag

      A man who flew out of Houston’s George Bush airport discovered a loaded handgun in his carry-on bag after landing; he’d forgotten he was carrying it and the eagle-eyed TSA screeners were too busy ogling his penis to spot the loaded gun in the nearly empty bag from which he’d dutifully removed his laptop.

    • UK government to impose Orwellian-style surveillance

      The Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition is pushing ahead with plans to allow Britain’s security services and police to spy on the activities of every citizen who uses a phone or the Internet. The secret services and police will have unlimited powers to track every single phone call, email, text message and website visit made by anybody in the UK.

      The plans were contained within last month’s “Strategic Defence and Security Review” in which the government stated, “We will introduce a programme to preserve the ability of the security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to obtain communication data and to intercept communications within the appropriate legal framework.”

    • Law prof and cop agree: never ever ever ever ever ever ever talk to the cops about a crime, even if you’re innocent

      In a brilliant pair of videos, , Prof. James Duane of the Regent University School of Law and Officer George Bruch of the Virginia Beach Police Department present a forceful case for never, ever, ever speaking to the police without your lawyer present. Ever. Never, never, never.

  • Cablegate

    • Wikileaks Julian Assange Latest Interview 17 December 2010 1.14pm
    • Kroes: WikiLeaks will increase government transparency

      The WikiLeaks disclosure of US diplomatic cables highlights the need to secure networks and individuals from hackers, EU digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes has said.

    • Julian Assange: WikiLeaks faces ‘very aggressive’ investigation by US

      WikiLeaks faces a “very aggressive” and secretive investigation by US authorities stung by a perceived loss of face following the release of thousands of secret American diplomatic cables, the organisation’s founder, Julian Assange, said today.


      He said he believed it was “80% likely” that the US authorities were seeking to prepare an attempt to have him extradited there to face charges of espionage.

      He added that he was reliant on public opinion to rein in “a superpower that does not appear to be following the rule of law”.

      “I would say that there is a very aggressive investigation, that a lot of face has been lost by some people, and some people have careers to make by pursuing famous cases, but that is actually something that needs monitoring,” he said.

      He criticised the way Swedish authorities have sought to have him extradited to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault – the reason he was held in jail for 10 days.

    • Wikileaks Cablegate: The EU Files
    • The Anonymous WikiLeaks protests are a mass demo against control

      No – the proper comparison is with the crowds that descended last week on Topshop stores. They didn’t break into the stores or take any goods from them, but they sure caused a nuisance for the owner, Philip Green. I wouldn’t like it one bit if my store (supposing I had one) were the target of a large protest. Amazon and MasterCard don’t like it either, and their clients were probably annoyed. Those who hoped to buy at Topshop on the day of the protest may have been annoyed too.

      The internet cannot function if websites are frequently blocked by crowds, just as a city cannot function if its streets are constantly full by protesters. But before you advocate a crackdown on internet protests, consider what they are protesting: on the internet, users have no rights. As the WikiLeaks case has demonstrated, what we do online, we do on sufferance.

      In the physical world, we have the right to print and sell books. Anyone trying to stop us would need to go to court. That right is weak in the UK (consider superinjunctions), but at least it exists. However, to set up a website we need the co-operation of a domain name company, an ISP, and often a hosting company, any of which can be pressured to cut us off. In the US, no law explicitly establishes this precarity. Rather, it is embodied in contracts that we have allowed those companies to establish as normal. It is as if we all lived in rented rooms and landlords could evict anyone at a moment’s notice.

      Reading, too, is done on sufferance. In the physical world, you can buy a book with cash, and you own it. You are free to give, lend or sell it to someone else. You are also free to keep it. However, in the virtual world, e-readers have digital handcuffs to stop you from giving, lending or selling a book, as well as licences forbidding that. Last year, Amazon used a back door in its e-reader to remotely delete thousands of copies of 1984, by George Orwell. The Ministry of Truth has been privatised.

    • U.S. Tries to Build Case for Conspiracy by WikiLeaks

      Justice Department officials are trying to find out whether Mr. Assange encouraged or even helped the analyst, Pfc. Bradley Manning, to extract classified military and State Department files from a government computer system. If he did so, they believe they could charge him as a conspirator in the leak, not just as a passive recipient of the documents who then published them.

      Among materials prosecutors are studying is an online chat log in which Private Manning is said to claim that he had been directly communicating with Mr. Assange using an encrypted Internet conferencing service as the soldier was downloading government files. Private Manning is also said to have claimed that Mr. Assange gave him access to a dedicated server for uploading some of them to WikiLeaks.

    • Human Rights Watch letter to President Barack Obama

      We write to express our concern at the prospect that the US government would employ espionage laws against WikiLeaks or its founder for the release of US State Department cables. Regardless of how one views the intentions, wisdom or strict legality of the WikiLeaks release, we believe that resorting to prosecution will degrade freedom of expression for all media, researchers and reporters, and set a terrible precedent that will be eagerly grasped by other governments, particularly those with a record of trying to muzzle legitimate political reporting.

    • John Pilger: Global Support for WikiLeaks is “Rebellion” Against U.S. Militarism, Secrecy
    • Accused WikiLeaker Bradley Manning’s Torture by Isolation

      Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of leaking sensitive material to WikiLeaks, has been held for seven months in what Glenn Greenwald reports are “inhumane, personality-erasing, soul-destroying, insanity-inducing conditions.”

      Greenwald argues that Manning is being punished without first being convicted, and he speculates that the treatment is meant to intimidate and discourage other would-be whistle-blowers.

    • New WikiLeaks cables detail BP blowout in Azerbaijan 1.5 years before Gulf disaster

      The Guardian reports that a new set of leaked US documents show “striking resemblances between BP’s Gulf of Mexico disaster and a little-reported giant gas leak in Azerbaijan experienced by the UK firm 18 months beforehand.”

    • US builds case against Assange [days old]
    • House Judiciary panel convenes Thursday to explore legal attack on Wikileaks [days old]
    • Wikileaks: Julian Assange re-enters Wandsworth Prison (photo) [days old]
    • Openleaks? Brusselsleaks? Tradeleaks? The market’s getting crowded

      The whistleblowing website Wikileaks has company – suddenly, a lot of it. In the past week alone three new sites have sprung up offering to act as conduits for leaks – though with varying amounts of believability. Openleaks, Brusselsleaks and a new one launched overnight in Australia called “Tradeleaks” are all trying to garner the trust of internet users with stories to tell.

    • The Aesthetic Face(s) of Anonymous

      As an anthropologist of the digital I tend not to treat digital media as exceptional, except when it comes to the few exceptions that seem to rub up against our traditional categories and methodological tools. Anonymous, the online entity that has recently erupted full force engaging in wave after wave of protest following the Wikileaks drama, seems to be one such exception.

    • McDermott, O’Melveny Partners Testify Before WikiLeaks House Panel

      A House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday on WikiLeaks and the Espionage Act featured two witnesses from Am Law 100 firms: Abbe Lowell, head of the white-collar defense practice at McDermott Will & Emery, and Kenneth Wainsten, a former national security adviser now at O’Melveny & Myers.

    • Latin America – Prophetic memo about Honduras predicted “difficult” year for Zelaya one year before coup

      A year before popularly elected President Manuel “Mel” Zelaya of Honduras was overthrown in a coup, Charles Ford, the U.S. ambassador in Tegucigalpa, sent a memo (LINK) to Washington that stated: “The last year and a half of the Zelaya Administration will be, in my view, extraordinarily difficult for our bilateral relationship.”

    • Human rights organizations around the world condemn Wikileaks censorship

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Katitza Rodriguez has rounded up the responses of many human rights organizations around the world to the commercial and governmental attacks on Wikileaks.

    • Courtroom sketches of Julian Assange

      But at no point did he let photographers into the courtroom, leaving the work of producing visual reportage to sketch artists. Working under enormous pressure to produce professional results quickly, courtroom artists are the field surgeons of the art world, able to work miracles in bare minutes. And yet the results are often, it must be said … odd. So far three such sketches of Mr. Assange are extant.

    • Wikileaks Watch: Julian Assange is to be freed on bail (Plus bonus Downfall parody)
    • Opinion: Wise up about Wikileaks

      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called the latest Wikileaks/Bradley Manning revelations “very irresponsible, thoughtless acts that put at risk the lives of innocent people all over the world.” Mike Huckabee stated that anything less than execution is too kind a penalty. Sarah Palin said of Julian Assange, the front-man of the Wikileaks ensemble, “He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands … Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders?”

      This past summer I wrote to The Tech with my thoughts on the release, encouraging MIT students to be careful with supporting Bradley Manning or Julian Assange. I was skeptical of Assange’s motives and abilities to handle the job of truth’s caretaker. I saw many people who I felt were missing the point and who took sides without properly understanding the issue.

      I feel that way again, though not for the same reason. Now, I’m suddenly bemused at the reaction both from the Democrats and the Conservative peanut gallery, who have rallied to condemn both Manning and Assange, and somehow compare the pair to terrorists.

      Don’t get me wrong; I get the whole ‘putting people’s lives at risk’ thing. The first leak, which was too undiscerning in redacting the names of informants in Afghanistan, seemed the most imprudent. It’s only now, after the latest release — which seems to have much more diplomatic bickering and much fewer strategy reports — that the anti-Wikileaks fervor is galvanized. Only now is Wikileaks having its servers pulled and Paypal account dropped. Only now do Clinton, Huckabee, and Palin seem to care.

    • Angry Assange back online

      The head of the whistle-blowing website said his time in a south London jail had only made him more determined to continue his secret-spilling work.

    • Forgetting Bradley Manning

      Julian Assange of WikiLeaks is out on bail—apparently headed for the 10-bedroom home of British former army officer Vaughan Smith, described by the Guardian as a rightwing libertarian. Assange’s lawyer joked that it would not be so much “house arrest as manor arrest” while he fights extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges.

      There’s no manor for Bradey Manning. As Glenn Greenwald noted yesterday, the alleged leaker of much of the WikiLeaks information–including the “Collateral Murder” video showing soldiers shooting Iraqi civilians—has been sitting in solitary confinement for seven months under torture conditions.

    • Bradley Manning’s Life Behind Bars

      Bradley Manning, who allegedly leaked hundreds of thousands of secret government documents to Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks, turns 23 in jail Friday. The Daily Beast’s Denver Nicks, in an exclusive interview with Manning’s attorney, reports on his solitary confinement, what he’s reading (from George W. Bush to Howard Zinn), and his legal strategy.

    • US Is Apparently Torturing Bradley Manning, Despite No Trial And No Conviction

      I knew Manning had been arrested and was being held somewhere, but Glenn Greenwald is now covering how he is being tortured, despite the fact he has not been tried. He has been held in intensive solitary confinement, meaning he spends 23 hours of the day in total isolation. He has not even been given a pillow or sheets for his bed. As Greenwald highlights, there is widespread agreement that such prolonged solitary confinement is well beyond the standard level of torture, is forbidden in many modern civilizations, and leads to long term psychological issues for those who go through it.

    • Cory Doctorow talks about DOS-attacks, Wikileaks and the power of protest

      Cory Doctorow gave a lightning fast presentation at the Future Internet Conference Week. Afterwards he sat down with us, and gave us his thoughts about Wikileaks and the tactics of a DOS-attack.

    • Cablegate vs Wikileaks and the new porn

      I’ve been trying trying to play around with a graphic to show the difference between the wikileaks driven cablegate and the pentagon papers (ah to live in an era before the suffix gate appeared everywhere).

    • Wikileaks Cables Amok

      The people from WL said that they will redact some of the names in order to remove personal identifiable information but in fact they have removed full paragraphs that although they could be a little bit embarrassing for US diplomacy they do not put anybody at risk.

      For example:

      - There were 13 cables deleted from WL cablegate site (e.g.: #09LONDON1385).

      - At least 11 cables were slightly redacted (e.g.: #07PARIS322).

      - 138 cables published by Lebanese Al-Akhbar paper but not yet put into WL.

      - 33 cables disclosed by the British paper The Guardian but not yet in WL.

    • Red Cross: India tortured detainees in Kashmir

      Of all the shoes we’ve been waiting to see drop in as the cables slowly — slowly — trickle out of the WikiLeaks vault, few seemed as inevitable as India. Considering the country’s intractable standoff with Pakistan, domestic and border conflicts, politically sensitive (for the United States, at least) economic rise, and place in Asia’s delicate new balance of power, the odds of someone in the New Delhi embassy writing something headline-worthy seemed to be — oh, about 100 percent.

    • Lawmakers and Legal Experts Call For Restraint in Wikileaks Hearing

      The House Judiciary Committee held a surprisingly subdued hearing this morning on the legal and constitutional issues surrounding Wikileaks’ publication activities. Committee members repeatedly emphasized the importance of protecting First Amendment rights and cautioned against overreaction to Wikileaks. The seven legal experts called to testify agreed, almost all of them noting that:

      * Excessive government secrecy is a serious problem that needs to be fixed,
      * It’s critically important to protect freedom of expression and the press, and
      * The government should be extremely cautious about pursuing any prosecutions under the Espionage Act or any legislation that would expand that law, which is already poorly written and could easily be applied in ways that would be unconstitutional.

    • French minister praises WikiLeaks boss Assange

      French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said Thursday she found WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange an interesting person “determined to support freedom of expression.”

      Assange has drawn anger from politicians around the world, including France, for his website’s release of thousands of secret US diplomatic cables.

    • Bill Keller: WikiLeaks isn’t my kind of news org, but they have evolved

      Keller also detailed the process by which The New York Times vetted and processed the vast amounts of information, saying that the Times and other news organizations had now finished publishing all the major stories based on the documents they expected to write.

      * “The first thing we would do is talk with the lawyers about if there’s a legal problem with using this material and, if so, is there a way around it.”
      * The Times then vetted the cables with reporters familiar with similar secret documents and quickly decided the trove was genuine.
      * The Times’ computer-assisted reporting team dumped the database into a searchable format, bringing in reporters and professionals to search for interesting keywords to begin reporting. “No news organization claims to have read all of those documents,” he said.
      * Reporters then dove into and developed deeper stories based on the cables, occasionally sharing interesting segments with their colleagues overseas.
      * The New York Times performed “common sense” redactions on the material, removing names of low-level informants and other sensitive material
      * The New York Times took its redactions to the U.S. government, occasionally taking feedback and redacting information it felt would needlessly endanger lives.

      “We then basically agreed on a schedule where day one would be Pakistan day and day two would be Russia day, something like that,” Keller said. “We rolled out on that schedule, and we agreed to give WikiLeaks the documents we intended to publish on each day’s stories, with our redactions.”

      Throughout it all, however, Keller said the Times kept a very clear view of what WikiLeaks was and was not in its reporting. “What I have said from the very beginning of this is WikiLeaks is a source, not a partner. The Guardian was kind of a partner in this, because we swapped data and thoughts back and forth saying, ‘Hey, look at this table.’ There was none of that back and forth with WikiLeaks.”

    • Julian Assange: WikiLeaks faces ‘very aggressive’ investigation by US

      WikiLeaks faces a “very aggressive” and secretive investigation by US authorities stung by a perceived loss of face following the release of thousands of secret American diplomatic cables, the organisation’s founder, Julian Assange, said today.

      Speaking to reporters outside Ellingham Hall, the Norfolk house at which he is staying on bail following his release from prison, Assange said WikiLeaks faced “what appears to be an illegal investigation … certain people who are alleged to be affiliated to us have been detained, followed around, had their computers seized and so on”.

    • Kettling Wikileaks

      Calling these protests DDoS, or distributed denial of service, attacks is misleading, too. A DDoS attack is done with thousands of “zombie” computers. Typically, somebody breaks the security of those computers (often with a virus) and takes remote control of them, then rigs them up as a “botnet” to do in unison whatever he directs (in this case, to overload a server). The Anonymous protesters’ computers are not zombies; presumably they are being individually operated.

    • Some truth about Comcast – WikiLeaks style

      Ever wonder what Comcast’s connections to the Internet look like? In the tradition of WikiLeaks, someone stumbled upon these graphs of their TATA links. For reference, TATA is the only other IP transit provider to Comcast after Level (3). Comcast is a customer of TATA and pays them to provide them with access to the Internet.

    • Assange: Text messages show rape charges were ‘set up’

      “There are intercepted SMS messages between the women and each other and their friends that I’m told represents a set up,” Assange, who spoke from Suffolk, UK, said on ABC’s Good Morning America. “Those SMS messages the Swedish prosecutor has refused to release and in fact stated that my lawyer, who was shown the messages by the police, is gagged from speaking about them.”

      He continued:

      In their representations to the courts here over three separate court dates, the Swedish government stated that it didn’t need to provide a single piece of evidence to the court, in fact didn’t provide a single piece of evidence to back up its allegations. We’re not just talking about evidence in terms of physical objects, we’re talking not even a single word of the allegations themselves.

    • Julian Assange furore deepens as new details emerge of sex crime allegations

      Today Larry Flynt, the founder of American sex magazine Hustler, announced that he would give $50,000 (£32,000) to the Assange defence fund, calling him a “hero” who deserved a “ticker-tape parade”. Flynt’s support was not for WikiLeaks itself, but because he thought the rape charges a nonsense.

    • [Wikileaks] Video
    • US criticises court that may decide on Julian Assange extradition, WikiLeaks cables show

      US officials regard European human rights standards as an “irritant”, secret cables show, and have strongly objected to the safeguards which could protect WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from extradition.

      In a confidential cable from the US embassy in Strasbourg, US consul general Vincent Carver criticised the Council of Europe, the most authoritative human-rights body for European countries, for its stance against extraditions to America, as well as secret renditions and prisons used to hold terrorist suspects.

    • 10 days in Sweden: the full allegations against Julian Assange

      Documents seen by the Guardian reveal for the first time the full details of the allegations of rape and sexual assault that have led to extradition hearings against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange.

      The case against Assange, which has been the subject of intense speculation and dispute in mainstream media and on the internet, is laid out in police material held in Stockholm to which the Guardian received unauthorised access.

    • Where Assange was

      Something for Vaughan Smith’s Suffolk Manor.

    • How to donate to Bradley Manning’s defense

      1,454 individuals have donated a total $98,358! Another 111 supporters have given $11,953 directly to Bradley’s legal trust account. (Updated: 5pm PST Dec. 13, 2010)

      Bradley Manning’s total legal defense will cost about $100,000. We have transferred $62,000 towards that expense so far, are in the process making additional transfers, and are committed to funding the total needed. The defense fund also supports international public outreach and activities.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Cut greenhouse gas emissions or polar bears doomed, report says

      Biologist Andrew Derocher has seen plenty of dead polar bears over the years, but the recent death of two extremely thin cubs in Wapusk National Park near Churchill, Man., was almost too sad for him to watch.

    • Feds sue companies behind BP oil disaster as extent of damages continues to emerge (video)

      The Department of Justice announced yesterday that it was suing BP and eight other defendants for their roles in the oil rig disaster that claimed the lives of 11 workers and spilled 172 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

    • JBI, Inc. Plastic2Oil Process Commences Commercial Operation

      Today, JBI, Inc. (JBI) (OTCQX:JBII) announces that it has entered into a formal Consent Order with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 9, which will allow the Company to immediately run its Plastic2Oil process commercially and begin construction of an additional processor at its Niagara Falls, New York P2O facility.

    • Justice Department Sues BP, Others Over Gulf Spill

      The Justice Department on Wednesday sued BP and eight other companies in the Gulf oil spill disaster in an effort to recover billions of dollars from the largest offshore spill in U.S. history.

      The Obama administration’s lawsuit asks that the companies be held liable without limitation under the Oil Pollution Act for all removal costs and damages caused by the spill, including damages to natural resources. The lawsuit also seeks civil penalties under the Clean Water Act.

    • United States sues BP over Gulf oil disaster

      The Obama administration has sued BP and several of its partners in the oil well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, potentially exposing them to billions in legal costs.

      The action, filed in a New Orleans court yesterday, accuses them of violating safety regulations, and seeks unlimited damages to cover the costs of cleaning up the oil, the losses suffered by local businesses, and the damage done to the environment. “I’ve seen the devastation that this oil spill caused throughout the region, to individuals and to families, to communities and to businesses, to coastlines, to wetlands, as well as to wildlife,” the attorney general, Eric Holder, told reporters.

    • Louisiana oyster beds hit after BP oil spill

      Economic uncertainty is something the fishermen of the Gulf of Mexico know all too well. The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is traditionally their busiest season. But this year most of the oysters are dead.

  • Finance

    • Wall Street’s Sneaky New Way to Make Bank from Struggling Homeowners

      When Florida retiree Gladys Walker fell behind in paying taxes on her modest Pompano Beach home, she had no idea one of America’s biggest banks and a major Wall Street hedge fund engaged in frenzied bidding for the right to collect her debt–all $768.25 of it.

    • Matt Taibbi’s Great Squid Hunt

      The epic failure of America’s financial system in 2008 was, among other things, a sobering gloss on the American romance with technical expertise. The tidal onrush of securitized debt that kept the housing bubble afloat was more than the simple byproduct of decades of deregulation in the nation’s financial sector; it was also the handiwork of a new generation of market analysts known as the Quants. These ingenious souls harnessed arcane financial instruments like collateralized debt obligations (CDO) and credit default swaps (CDS) to magically scrub bad housing debt of all apparent risk as it was traded up the Wall Street food chain.

    • Is America the sick man of the globe?
    • The Republican language police

      At the Huffington Post, Shahien Nasripour takes the story one step further, reporting that last week, the four Republican commissioners voted to ban the words “shadow banking,” “Wall Street,” “interconnected” and “deregulation” from the entire panel’s final report.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Business leaders given government advisory roles

      They include Andrew Witty, chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline; Sara Weller, boss of Argos; and Sam Laidlaw, head of Centrica.

      In total, 31 private, public and not-for-profit sector leaders are being appointed to departmental boards.

      As non-executive directors they will scrutinise how departments are run.

    • Lib Dems call by-election early

      The Liberal Democrats will today bring forward the date of their first big electoral test since joining the Coalition Government.

      The party is planning to take the highly unusual step officially calling the by-election in Phil Woolas’ former seat of Oldham East and Saddleworth on January 13.

    • Read the audit Rights & Democracy doesn’t want you to see

      The foreign affairs committee of the House of Commons was set to meet behind closed doors on Thursday afternoon to discuss a confidential audit into embattled federal agency Rights & Democracy.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Administrative Net Censorship adopted in France; Pedophiles unworried

      The French Parliament adopted article 4 of the LOPPSI law, which establishes the administrative filtering of the Net through the Trojan horse of “child protection”. Such a scheme will allow for the generalised censorship of Internet content while doing nothing to stop pedophiles and child pornography. The rejection of judiciary supervision clearly illustrates the will of the executive branch to control the Internet.

    • Council text on web blocking – breaking the law to fight crime

      The Council of Justice Ministers adopted a text on web blocking at its recent meeting in Brussels on 2-3 December 2010. The Belgian Presidency, for domestic reasons, felt obliged to adopt a text during its term of office. As a result, the outcome is a hastily cobbled together text that makes little legal sense and whose main value is to finally betray the real meaning behind the proposal.

    • Amazon’s latest Kindle deletion: erotic, incest-themed fiction

      “I want to be clear that while the subject of incest may not appeal to some, there is no underage contact in any of my work, and I make that either explicitly clear in all my stories or I state it up front in the book’s disclaimer,” Kitt wrote in a blog post. “I don’t condone or support actual incest, just as someone who writes mysteries about serial killers wouldn’t condone killing.”

    • The French Government Can Now Censor the Internet

      A new episode in French internet legislation — French ministers have passed a bill (original in French) allowing the government to add any website to a black list, which access providers will have to enforce.

    • Season’s Greetings from EFF’s International Team
    • Google refuses Connecticut attorney general’s request for data

      Google Inc. has declined to meet a deadline set by Connecticut’s top prosecutor to provide detailed records on any information it may have collected from unsecured wireless networks in his state while taking photographs for its Street View feature.

    • Statement by Minister Cannon on Iran’s Continued Imprisonment of Bahá’í and Other Prisoners

      The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement regarding the Government of Iran’s continuing imprisonment of seven Bahá’í community leaders and the ongoing denial of legal rights to other Iranians:

      “I note with regret the reports that Iranian authorities are continuing the imprisonment of the seven Bahá’í community leaders whose 10-year sentence was announced in September 2010.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • City of Vancouver Calls Out CRTC on Behalf of its Residents

      The City of Vancouver today passed a groundbreaking motion in opposition to usage-based Internet billing, calling on the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) to disallow financial penalties for ‘too much’ Internet use.

    • Governments shouldn’t have a monopoly on Internet governance

      The beauty of the Internet is that it’s not controlled by any one group. Its governance is bottoms-up—with academics, non-profits, companies and governments all working to improve this technological wonder of the modern world. This model has not only made the Internet very open—a testbed for innovation by anyone, anywhere—it’s also prevented vested interests from taking control.

    • Homeland Security Presents ‘Evidence’ For Domain Seizures; Proves It Knows Little About The Internet – Or The Law

      Earlier this week, we noted how the owners of the various hiphop blogs and Torrent-Finder, the torrent search engine, that were seized by Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) group still hadn’t been provided the details on why their domains were seized. However, that’s no longer the case. A partial affidavit and the seizure warrant for those sites has been released, and it highlights how ridiculously clueless Homeland Security is on this issue (you can read the whole thing at the bottom of this post). What’s troubling isn’t just that the folks who made the decision to seize these domain names don’t seem to know what they’re talking about, but that they seem to have relied almost exclusively on the MPAA for their (lack of) knowledge on the subject at hand.

    • Facebook and Social networking: Tim Berners-Lee closes the stable door after the horse has bolted

      Since I started using computers and since I abandoned the choppy waters of Windows for the safe harbour of FOSS, the internet has experienced huge change and rapid growth. Better web browsers, file sharing, iPhones, iPads and other touch screen tablets too. The one thing that has not changed much though is that GNU/Linux always seems to breast the tape second. It seems fated to forever be behind the curve. I can live with that as long as I’m using my software my way. Free and open. However, that has implications for freedom and privacy that I don’t like living with—and neither does Tim Berners-Lee. Specifically, he has been venting about those very things in respect of social networks and how they threaten that freedom and privacy.

    • Mobile Carriers Dream of Charging per Page

      Just a week before the FCC holds a vote on whether to apply fairness rules to some of the nation’s internet service providers, two companies that sell their services to the country’s largest cellular companies showed off a different vision of the future: one where you’ll have to pay extra to watch YouTube or use Facebook.

      The companies, Allot Communications and Openet — suppliers to large wireless companies including AT&T and Verizon — showed off a new product in a web seminar Tuesday, which included a PowerPoint presentation (1.5-MB .pdf) that was sent to Wired by a trusted source.

    • Sen. Hutchison moves to block funds for FCC on net neutrality rules

      Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.), ranking member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee filed an amendment to an appropriations bill aimed at preventing the Federal Communications Commission from adopting net neutrality regulation.

    • BPI (British IFPI) call to block the ‘Net

      In the wake of yesterday’s Wikileaks drama, a call by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for Internet blocking to support music copyright, has gone almost unnoticed. But the BPI’s call is a siren warning that the freedom of the Internet is intensely under threat.

    • UN considers panel of governments to set policies for policing the Internet

      A United Nations task force formed last week said it was considering the creation of a new inter-governmental working group to help further international cooperation on policies to police the Internet.

      The discussion was undertaken to “enhance” and extend the work of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a UN-sponsored organization that makes recommendations on how governments should deal with the Internet. The IGF’s mandate is due to expire soon, so members of the UN’s Commission on Science and Technology for Development Bureau took up the issue and formed a task force to determine what the new IGF should look like.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Just Sue Them! Nike Went After One End User For Ordering Chinese Counterfeit Trainers Via The Internet

      Nike International Limited (Bermuda), Nike European Operations Netherlands BV and Nike UK Limited sued Mr E. Bateman for buying counterfeit trainers via the internet, in the England and Wales Patent County Court (served August 26, 2010 and heard October 11, 2010).

    • Sustainability, Openness and P2P Production in the World of Fashion


      Chapter 1: A path towards networked artisans (by Bertram Niessen)

      Chapter 2: Studying the structure of the fashion system (by Oleg Koefoed and Lise Skov)

      Chapter 3: Open Source, p2p, social innovation and clothing (by Bertram Niessen)

      Chapter 4: Sustainability in fashion (by Oleg Koefoed and Lise Skov)

    • US Ambassador: Over-Focus On Development “Will Kill” WIPO

      The World Intellectual Property Organization is headed in a controversial direction, and a focus on development at the expense of protection of intellectual property rights will mean the end of the agency, the United States Ambassador Betty King said yesterday.

      “If we get to a system where the protections of patents are abrogated in the name of development, then we certainly will kill that organization,” she said, referring to WIPO. “So I worry very much about that.”

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA, Pharma Demanding US Push Other Countries To Have Significantly More Draconian IP Laws Than The US

        The constant push to expand government granted monopoly privileges for those who benefit most from them never ceases. It seems like every other day or so, we hear about US lobbyists for those industries pushing for greater legal support around the globe. The latest is with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement that the USTR is currently negotiating. The MPAA wrote a letter, which was co-signed by the major pharmaceutical trade group and the US Chamber of Commerce, pushing for the agreement to include rules that go well beyond current US copyright and patent laws.

      • How Much Does File-Sharing REALLY Cost Record Companies?

        In October, a federal judge ruled for record companies in their lawsuit against Lime Wire, issuing an injunction and delivering tough language on the file-sharing service’s copyright infringement.

        The case is about to move to a jury trial that will determine what damages are owed by Lime Wire to the labels, but before that happens, record companies are going to experience some pain, thanks to a decision on Tuesday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman.

        In the lawsuit, the music companies are seeking more than $1 billion in statutory damages, so Lime Wire asked the judge to make the labels prove lost profits.

        In response, the labels offered to show “gross revenue” on the infringing works.

      • Dutch Anti-Piracy Group, With MPAA’s Help, Able To Grab 29 US-Hosted Domains… With No Trial Or Notice

        Now that the US government appears to be endorsing the idea of simply seizing domain names without notice to the proprietors of those domains, it appears that others are doing the same as well. TorrentFreak reports that the Dutch anti-piracy group, BREIN, with help from the MPAA, has been able to get 29 different domain names — all hosted in the US — to point to BREIN’s homepage instead. The owners of those domains were apparently given no notice and no recourse. It sounds like most of the sites did not host any content but linked to potentially infringing content.

      • More People Calling US Copyright Group’s Bluff

        Mass copyright lawsuit filer US Copyright Group (really, DC law firm Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver) has been claiming for a while that it really, really was going to file lawsuits against the thousands of folks they’ve sued in the specific jurisdictions where they’re located — though many have questioned whether or not it would really do this, since it would be quite expensive and DGW is a tiny, tiny law firm.

      • Record Labels Blame Google For Piracy, Hint At Censorship

        The British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the UK’s main recording industry trade body, came out with guns blazing against Google today. BPI says that search engines like Google are as popular as P2P applications as a source for illegal downloads. The music industry is pressing Google and others to censor their search results in favor of ‘legal’ music services.

      • Judge Blocks Copyright Trolls in Porn-Downloading Lawsuits

        In a big victory in the fight against copyright trolls, a judge in West Virginia has blocked an attempt to unmask accused file sharers in seven predatory lawsuits involving the alleged illegal downloading of pornography. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), working with Charles J. Kaiser of Phillips, Gardill, Kaiser & Altmeyer, PLLC, filed an amicus brief in the case, arguing that the film companies were abusing the law in an attempt to pressure settlements.

        In these cases — as in many others across the country — the owners of the adult movies filed mass lawsuits based on single counts of copyright infringement stemming from the downloading of a pornographic film, and improperly lumped hundreds of defendants together regardless of where the IP addresses indicate the defendants live. The motivation behind these cases appears to be to leverage the risk of embarrassment associated with pornography to coerce settlement payments despite serious problems with the underlying claims.

      • Conservative ad against the Coalition’s iPod tax
      • Warner Brothers Won’t Fight ‘Yogi Bear’ Video Parody

        A video parody of “Yogi Bear” that’s much darker than your average episode of that vintage Hanna-Barbera cartoon – not to mention the coming Warner Brothers film adaptation – isn’t a viral marketing campaign gone awry. But the studio said on Monday that it wouldn’t try to take down the Web satire, either.

      • Warner Bros. Smarter Than The Average Studio? Won’t Fight Yogi Bear Parody

        So, kudos to Warner Bros. for not overreacting. It’s sad that it still needs to be highlighted when some of these firms don’t overreact, but hopefully it means they’re learning.

      • Canadian Association of Broadcasters Reacts to Liberal Party Stance to Abandon Local Radio Artisans in Favour of Foreign Record Labels

        Today’s announcement by the Liberal Party of Canada outlining their proposed amendments to Bill C-32, the Copyright Modernization Act, fails to recognize the significant role local radio plays in supporting Canadian music artists and local communities across Canada.

      • Warning over digital music and film purchases

        Consumers who buy digital music, films and computer software do not have the same legal protection as people buying CDs or DVDs, a consumer watchdog warned today.

        Consumer Focus said digital products are not considered “tangible goods”, so while consumers on the high street are protected by the Sale of Goods Act if their purchase is not of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose or as described, people buying digital goods online are not protected.

      • ArcticStartup Should Be Taxed For Copyright Purposes, Just In Case

        Last night I came home to read some news that Finland is considering adding a copyright tariff on external hard drives. A similar tariff is added to all different empty media, in this case empty CDs, DVDs, cassette tapes and so on. Now, the Finnish parliament is discussing the possibility of adding this tariff to all external hard drives. It’s plain stupidity that will offer artists comfort for a year or so, before it begins to both hurt them and businesses selling hard disks.


        Update (17th December, 12.30 GMT): The correct compensation prices are 5 euros for hard drives between 250Gb and 950Gb and 10 euros for hard drives above 950 Gb all the way until 3 Tb. So you’d be best off getting a large 3Tb hard disk where there is no compensation included.

      • Judge kills massive P2P porn lawsuit, kneecaps copyright troll

        Only 10 days after a federal judge in Washington, DC sharply limited the US Copyright Group’s mass file-sharing lawsuits there, a federal judge in West Virginia has come down even harder on another set of mass lawsuits. Ken Ford, the lawyer behind the Adult Copyright Company, has just had his business model chopped off at the knees; not only did Judge John Preston Bailey dismiss every defendant but one in Ford’s mass lawsuits, he also demanded that each case be filed separately and that Ford only submit IP addresses likely to map to West Virginia Internet users.

      • More copyright lawsuits filed over Review-Journal ‘death ray’ graphic

        Las Vegas copyright enforcement company Righthaven LLC, as expected, continues to crank out copyright infringement lawsuits over the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Vdara “death ray” graphic.

        The latest website operators and contributors sued this week in U.S. District Court for Nevada, accused of posting the graphic online without authorization, were:

        • Eric Lipman, identified by Righthaven as a guest blogger for the website legalblogwatch.typepad.com.

        • An entity called Justmeans, along with Martin Smith and Andrea Brennen, allegedly associated with the website justmeans.com.

      • Judge In Limewire Case Wants To Explore How Much File Sharing Really Costs Record Labels

        It’s not entirely clear, from there, how each side will go about showing damages, but it is interesting that the plan seems to be to look for empirical evidence to determine actual damages. I’m really surprised by this — since my understanding was that with statutory rates, the whole idea was that the copyright holder never had to bother proving any actual damage (something I disagree with — but it’s what I thought the law said…). Either way, it certainly would be nice if there were some reasonable data to work with, so this should be worth following.

      • ACTA

        • USTR’s Request for Comments on ACTA

          USTR has issued a request for comments on ACTA. The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2011. The notice gives very little guidance regarding the issues the USTR would like addressed in the comments.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • BPI Effectively Admits That Digital Economy Act Was Useless

          This past year was a banner year for BPI. The UK market has bucked the trend in pretty much every other part of the world and has seen recorded music sales growing, while its overall music industry (if you count how much money musicians actually make — beyond just recorded music sales) has been growing for quite some time. Even with all of that, BPI was able to push through the incredibly draconian Digital Economy Act in the UK via questionable means.

          So BPI should be thrilled, right? In the midst of a recession, and a massive decline in recorded music sales everywhere else in the world, it was able to buck that trend even before it got this new law passed.

          But no, to BPI, absolutely everything is about “piracy.” It’s put out a new report whining that “piracy” is still increasing and saying it’s all Google’s fault. Of course, this isn’t a surprise as BPI has been trying to set Google up for a lawsuit.

Clip of the Day


Credit: TinyOgg

TechBytes Episode 20: GNU/Linux Gamers Pay More for Games, Other Discussions

Posted in TechBytes at 7:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Direct download as Ogg (1:03:24, 18.6 MB) | Direct download as MP3 (29.0 MB)

Summary: Tim and Roy speak about some recent news and discuss the world of GNU/Linux gaming

TODAY’S show was covering games for GNU/Linux and to some degree phones running Linux as well. We left our discussion about trolls and lobbying to tomorrow’s show and OpenBytes will have published the show notes by then (it’s late now in the UK).

RSS 64x64Today’s show ends with “Paper Gown” by Caroline Herring (from SXSW 2009 Showcasing Artists). We hope you will join us for future shows and consider subscribing to the show via the RSS feed. You can also visit our archives for past shows. 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:

November 2010

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
Episode 11: Part 2 of special show TechBytes Episode 11: Microsoft FUD and Dirty Tactics Against GNU/Linux – Part II 21/11/2010
Episode 12: Novell special TechBytes Episode 12: Novell Sold for Microsoft Gains 23/11/2010
Episode 13: No guests TechBytes Episode 13: Copyfight, Wikileaks, and Other Chat 28/11/2010
Episode 14: Patents special TechBytes Episode 14: Software Patents in Phones, Android, and in General 29/11/2010
Episode 15: No guests TechBytes Episode 15: Google Chrome OS, Windows Refund, and Side Topics Like Wikileaks 30/11/2010

December 2010

Show overview Show title Date recorded
Episode 16: No guests TechBytes Episode 16: Bribes for Reviews, GNU/Linux News, and Wikileaks Opinions 3/12/2010
Episode 17: No guests TechBytes Episode 17: Chrome OS Imminent, Wikileaks Spreads to Mirrors, ‘Open’ Microsoft 5/12/2010
Episode 18: No guests TechBytes Episode 18: Chrome OS, Sharing, Freedom, and Wikileaks 11/12/2010
Episode 19: No guests TechBytes Episode 19: GNU/Linux Market Share on Desktop at 4%, Microsoft Declining, and ChromeOS is Coming 16/12/2010

IRC Proceedings: December 17th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Precisión En TechRights

Posted in Site News at 4:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Supreme Court in Washington DC

(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: Una respuesta rápida a los trolls del Internet y otros detractores que atacan a la plataforma y al mensajero en lugar de abordar el mensaje.

TECHRIGHTS contiene más de 12.000 entradas del blog y 53.400 páginas de este sitio se dice que están contenidos en Google en este momento. Con el volumen supone también una mayor riesgo de error, pero no una mayor frecuencia o probabilidad de error. Siempre corregimos los errores cuando se encuentran. Allá por el 2007, se refutó alegación contra la integridad de este sitio, pero el proceso lleva mucho tiempo y se juega a las manos de aquellos que tratan de difamar al mensajero y la plataforma del mensajero, en contraste con el mensaje real-léase hechos concretos-FACTS. Incluso ahora estamos encontrando afirmaciones falsas contra este sitio, estamos viendo fabricadas seudo referencias, y hay insistencia en que se exige en ciertos verdades sostenidas en este sitio web son de hecho falsas. No podemos responder a cada declaración falsa de un detractor, sobre todo debido al volumen de quejas que llegan de todos los sospechosos de siempre, cuyos INTERESES están simplemente bajo amenaza en este sitio web. Algunos de ellos son actualmente me atacan en Twitter y Indenti.ca. Cuando amablemente lo señale, una conversación comenzó[http://identi.ca/conversation/59860808] que contiene aún más mentiras sobre mí, que sólo demostró mi punto. Si esas mentiras son desafiadas, los trolls sólo continuarán una y otra vez hasta el infinito, por lo que es una batalla que no se puede ganar. Si los ignoras, anuncian victoria, pero al menos no se pierde tiempo en ellos. Hablé de este problema en el show de la noche anterior[http://techrights.org/2010/12/16/techbytes-episode-19/] y es simplemente más de una distracción contraria a los temas reales que tenemos que cubrir (que se retrasó más de un mes). Wayne y otros que apoyan nuestro sitio han respondido a algunos de los trolls (cuentas cuyo único propósito es interrumpir Techrights y reprenderme). Wayne ha tratado de resumir algunos puntos clave más adelante[http://madhatter.ca/2010/12/12/monotremes-and-monotrolls-redux/]. Creo que ha planteado algunas cuestiones importantes, por ejemplo:

No era mucho, así que leí todo lo demás. Al parecer @rclayton se aparece cada dos meses, hace una serie de ataques, y luego desaparece. Sea quien sea envía respuestas falsas como otros usuarios, para que parezca como el otro usuario está de acuerdo.


He oído sobre el artículo Jason Melton Crítica Mono == odio desinformado , aunque hasta que lo leí hace unos momentos, yo no sabía que era una discusión de Guy Van Sanden de los hechos en Mono, que atrajo a 58 observaciones, algunas de las ellos no corrosivo, de un avance recto, la discusión no emocional de las desventajas de Mono. Guy siguió con limpieza Mono de su sistema, que atrajo a una gran cantidad otra de las observaciones, incluyendo la mención de la Ubuntu Saner Remix, que estoy descargando ahora, que será lo que, tal vez treinta distribuciones que no he tenido tiempo para tratar todavía?

Jason entonces siguió con Banshee, Mono, y Reddit, que abarca el tema de la Banshee utilizando elementos que NO están cubiertos por la “PROMESA” comunitaria de Microsoft, al menos no en la versión disponible para su descarga desde la página de Banshee. Luego lo siguió con Mono: Inseguro de todos modos, donde lleva cinco populares aplicaciones de Mono, y las evalúa para ver si están utilizando el «puntas de seguro” (ECMA) de Mono. Ninguno de los cinco aplicaciones de prueba (Banshee, Tomboy, F-Spot, Do, y gBrainy) están utilizando sólo los bits de seguridad, TODO el trabajo está fuera de las especificaciones ECMA.

Así que son algunos realidades. Creo que voy a añadir a los mismos. Lanzamiento de la gasolina en el fuego es uno de esos placeres inocentes …

Sea escéptico de las cosas que se dice sobre Techrights porque la gente no aceptan las críticas muy bien y en lugar de refutar los hechos con las que no se siente cómodos, atacan al mensajero y/o la plataforma. Aún peor son las tácticas más se utiliza y que incluye las amenazas legales de las que no comentamos públicamente.

“En mi papel como editor de Wikileaks, he estado involucrado en la lucha contra muchos ataques legales. Para hacer eso, y mantener nuestras fuentes seguras, hemos tenido para difundir los activos, cifrar todo, y mover telecomunicaciones y gente alrededor de todo el mundo para activar las leyes de protección en diferentes jurisdicciones nacionales.”

-Julián Assange

[Special thanks to Eduardo for his translation]

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