Links 12/2/2011: Intel Backs MeeGo, Java Doing OK

Posted in News Roundup at 6:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • HP Pretends Linux Voids Netbook Hardware Warranty

      Installing a different operating system on a computer does not change its hardware. This is a simple enough concept…unless you work in technical support for HP. Their phone tech support have joined their Geek Squad colleagues in insisting that a Linux-infested laptop was no longer under warranty.

    • Running PC Pro on Ubuntu: the verdict

      Yesterday, something remarkable happened. Our entire editorial team migrated to Ubuntu overnight and – by and large – it was business as usual. The website ran as normal, magazine copy was still written, we (just about) fulfilled our day jobs.

    • New to Linux? Here’s Your Hitchhiker’s Guide to Linux Forum Galaxy!

      This concludes my Hitchhiker’s Guide to Linux Forum Galaxy. From my personal perspective, Linux is a different world…it’s not perfect, but it is certainly more rewarding intellectually and personally. I am truly satisfied with my Linux experience, so if you are new to Linux, no matter what distro you chose, let me say:


    • Desktop Linux’s Killer Feature: Flexibility.

      Debian has a reputation in the world of Linux distributions as, well, “stodgy”. Debian Stable is pointed to as being out of date, stale, boring.

      Nothing could be further from the truth. The Debian developers have put together a titanic number of software packages, and done the work to make them function together like… “…like an enormous clock.”

      “The finest clocks have jeweled movements. Cogs that fit, and work together by design. I’m being metaphorical, Bob.”

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • A Batch Of Graphics Cards On Gallium3D

        Yesterday the results for the Intel Core i5 2500K graphics on Linux were finally published after receiving a new motherboard and CPU from Intel that did not encounter the earlier Sandy Bridge problems. That article included results for several ATI Radeon graphics cards using both the proprietary Catalyst driver as well as AMD’s open-source Gallium3D driver, there was also the testing done from a NVIDIA GPU under the reverse-engineered Nouveau driver that’s also written against the Gallium3D architecture. In this article is an even larger round up of graphics cards being tested under open-source Gallium3D drivers. There are also results from the Gallium3D-based LLVMpipe driver.

      • Nouveau Page-Flipping For NV50/Fermi Is Flipped On

        While we are only half-way into the Linux 2.6.38 kernel development cycle with there still being a number of weeks before its formal release, there is already a reason to look forward to the Linux 2.6.39 kernel if you use — or plan to utilize — the open-source Nouveau graphics driver for NVIDIA graphics cards. What’s there to be excited over is page-flipping being enabled by defaultfor the NVIDIA GeForce 400/500 “Fermi” and GeForce 8/9/100/200/300 “NV50″ graphics cards.

        Hitting the Git repository this week where the Nouveau DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) code for the Linux kernel is developed are two prominent commits alongside several other NV50 and NVC0 “Fermi” commits. This commit enables Nouveau KMS page-flipping for the NV50 class, which covers lots of hardware currently in use out there. This commit that came in shortly thereafter enables page-flipping for the NVC0/Fermi graphics cards.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Zeitgeist Project to go for stable release cycles

        I think the title says it all. With the Zeitgeist deployment progressing, we see more soft & hard – dependencies on the Zeitgeist modules. Currently we plan 2 releases ahead based on the amount of bugs and blueprints we have open.

      • Better Shadows

        I looked into the order in which we are drawing windows and the effect that it is having on shadows today, and after a while it can start to look pretty horrible as the shadows stack up.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Beyond FUDCON: Meet Fedora Ambassador Larry Cafiero

          Larry Cafiero: You may want to grab a cup of coffee because these three questions require somewhat long answers.

          As for how and when: I was the Green Party’s candidate for Insurance Commissioner in California in 2006. During the campaign, I was faced with spending a lot of money on software, and the Greens don’t take corporate donations, so I was at a disadvantage there. I bemoaned the fact that I was going to have to spend a couple of thousand dollars on Adobe products — Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. — to Cameron Spitzer, who is the Greens’ IT guy in California and the man who is responsible for me being a FOSS advocate, and he said something to the effect of, “You don’t have to buy anything,” before explaining the philosophy and benefits of Free/Open Source Software. After the campaign, I kind of took a larger interest in FOSS and what it has to offer society.

          My first Linux distribution was Debian, and I still like Debian a lot. I still use it because, in my opinion, it works best on PowerPC architecture — I should mention that I was a Mac guy before converting to GNU/Linux and FOSS. I still have the flavored iMac on which I did my first Linux install in my lab at Redwood Digital Research, which still runs the same Debian install from a little over four years ago.

    • Debian Family

      • Review: Debian 6 “Squeeze”

        Overall, I’m pretty pleased with my time with Debian.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • A Shake-Up In The Ubuntu 11.04 Release Schedule

          Not only did Canonical announce today their relatively uninteresting hardware database, but Kate Stewart, the Ubuntu Release Manager, announced a scheduling change for the Ubuntu 11.04 release candidate. There will be no release candidate for Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal”, but an additional beta is now planned for release.

        • Ubuntu Developer Day a huge success

          We organised the Ubuntu Developer Day in Bangalore and received 350+ attendees. We had people travel all the way from Sri Lanka, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and elsewhere..

          Most of the people were already Ubuntu users and I was happy to see the laptops people were using, all of them running Ubuntu.

        • Natty Schedule Adjustments (Beta 2 added, Release Candidate dropped)

          After reviewing the plans at the end of this release, it was felt that a release candidate release on April 21st showing up just before the easter holiday would be a bit late.

        • Unity 2D Gets A Workspace Switcher Too

          The default Unity (“Unity 3D”) has a cool workspace switcher that wasn’t available in Unity 2D (Qt) until last night’s updates.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Release Schedule Changed

          Kate Stewart (Ubuntu Release Manager) announced on the Ubuntu-Devel mailing list that there will be no Ubuntu 11.04 Release Candidate and on the date the RC was supposed to be released, a beta 2 will be released instead (but on April 14th instead of 21st). That means there will be no release candidate for Ubuntu 11.04.

        • Robbie Williamson to Host the Ubuntu Weekly Q&A Session Today

          I’ll also add summaries (link above to last weeks session) and links to the logs here (last weeks logs weren’t posted due to the changing of the irc channels) on You-In-Ubuntu in case you missed the meeting. In addition if there is something you would like asked during these sessions let me know and I’ll see if I can get your questions posted so they can be part of the questions and answer session. Just let me know your name so I can attribute the questions to the right person.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Release Schedule Updated

          Ubuntu 11.04 release schedule has been changed and now there will be no more a release candidate on April 21. Instead of that a new beta 2 will be released on April 14.

        • No release candidate for Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

          The Ubuntu release team has announced that it is dropping plans to have a release candidate for Ubuntu 11.04, but will have a second beta. A release candidate is a development version which should be, unless flaws are found, ready for distribution as the final version. According to the announcement, the developers decided that the release candidate appearing on 21 April, just before the Easter holiday, “would be a bit late”.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Replacing the File/Print Server

      Overall it was a piece of cake! This is the kind of hardware hacking that anyone can do. Right now the only annoyance I’m having is that even though I setup the hostname to babyluigi, I’m getting the system reporting itself to other systems as Plug.box or something like that. And on Super Mario, my Fedora setup running KDE 4.5, both the CUPS printer and the SAMBA share of that printer show up in my printer list. I had a look at Arch Linux almost exactly a year ago and I had a bit of a hard time getting started, but otherwise found it a good setup. Plugbox Linux is almost infinitely easy to get started as well as setup. Definitely puts Arch in a good light.

    • Phones

      • HP’s tiny Veer debuts with WebOS power

        HP has launched a new round of WebOS devices, including the Veer, a scaled-down version of the Pixi.

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • Intel Won’t Forget About MeeGo

          MeeGo was a Nokia/Intel joint venture aimed at producing an acceptably good Linux-based mobile platform for devices. Now that Nokia is going WinPho, however, it looks like MeeGo will soon get short shrift. But, if Intel has anything to say about it, things will remain on course as previously ordained.

          In a short note, Intel informs the world that they’ll be sticking by the platform, thankyouverymuch, and nothing will change.

        • Nokia Microsoft is like Yahoo Bing – Nokia’s days as innovator are over

          As I was plugging in to power my iPhone to live stream today’s Nokia press conference, I overheard someone lean over and say “This is the most important day of your life”. It was whispered into the ear of Nokia’s PR spokesman as he took the stage today to introduce Nokia CEO Steven Elop. It certainly was important – but not in a great way. Today his boss effectively ended Nokia’s history as an ecosystem of its own, laid down its guns, and gave in to a Windows Phone future.

        • Nokia Commits Corporate Suicide

          In my opinion the losers are:

          1. Microsoft – WP7 isn’t ready for prime time.
          2. Nokia – Adopting WP7 is like adopting buggy whips…

        • Meanwhile, in the Nokia boardroom…
        • Introducing The Microsoft Puppet

          Step 1: Install Elop.

          Step 2: Get him to make a crazy bold bet to move Nokia phones over to the struggling Windows Phone platform even though embracing Android would seem to be an easier and safer bet.

          Step 3: Install another Microsoft vet, Chris Weber, as head of U.S. operations.

          Step 4: Install other former ‘Softies in positions of power. (It will happen.)

        • In memoriam: Microsoft’s previous strategic mobile partners

          Microsoft’s new “strategic partnership” with Nokia is not its first. For a decade the software company has courted and consummated relationships with a variety of companies in mobile and telecom.

        • Nokia kicks FOSS to the Curb

          If you have been by my blog here before then you might know I really like my Nokia N900. It is one of the most flexible, powerful, open source friendly devices on the market. I bought mine and carry it with pride everyday (because I am an FOSS advocate). When Nokia announced they where merging Maemo into the MeeGo project I openly voiced my support. With a corporate backer like Nokia, Meego was sure to quickly become a forerunner in mobile technology.

        • On Nokia going down Microsoft’s Lane

          1-Where were the Nokia’s shareholders minds, when they brought Elop onboard Nokia.
          2-The man is a bureaucrat, he’s not a techie. I mean, bureaucrats do what bureaucrats do: cut costs and fire people.
          3-Nokia needs a visionary, not a bureaucrat. They need a Jobs, not another Ron Hovsepian. And Hovsepian things is what Elop will do
          4-Oh, no, the guy says they’re standing on a burning platform, and then, he tries to extinguish fire with gasoline… That’s amazing.

        • Microsoft just bought Nokia for $0

          Microsoft played this very clever. Even though I’m assuming that all this is at the request of, and with the blessing of the Nokia board of directors, you have to wonder what the hell they were thinking. Microsoft has yet to make a serious dent in the mobile market, in spite of pumping serious money into it. And even though Nokia has not done the best they could, their brand is still strong enough to have a sizable following.

          Nokia tried too hard to be another Apple, with an ecosystem that they themselves would own, including media offerings and so on. But Apple has all their ducks in a row, seamless integration, they have an awesome desktop OS, and they have – for now – an unmatched UI. Nokia can’t hope to gain parity with that in time for it to matter, they basically got moving (much) too late.

        • “More than a thousand employees” walk out of Nokia offices [Updated]

          There have been reports that “over a thousand” Nokia employees have walked out of the company’s Finnish offices in Oulu and Tampere this afternoon, many worried that they might be about to lose their jobs after Nokia announced it would be partnering with Microsoft to make its Windows Phone platform its primary operating system.

        • Over a Thousand Nokia Employees Reportedly Walk Out in Protest

          While Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft will undoubtedly present some attractive prospects for phone-buyers, there’s one cohort that’s not too happy about the news: the employees in Nokia’s Finnish offices. According to a Finnish newspaper, over a thousand employees left the Nokia offices in Tampere and Oulu this afternoon in protest.

        • Nokia workers walk out in protest after Microsoft news

          Many of the protestors work on the Symbian software so their jobs will be in jeopardy as Nokia begins to implement Windows Phone 7 on its handsets. Their future is not at all clear after today’s news–broad strokes have been painted but much of the logistics have yet to be revealed. Nokia will not work exclusively with the Windows Phone 7 operating system (and they will be customizing it) so jobs will be preserved but Symbian will no longer play the prominent role it once did at the company so job loss is inevitable.

        • Nokia falls into the arms of Microsoft

          IT LOOKS, in a way, like a stealth takeover.

        • Intel: “We’re Not Blinking on MeeGo”

          While we are disappointed with Nokia’s decision, Intel is not blinking on MeeGo. We remain committed and welcome Nokia’s continued contribution to MeeGo open source.

          Our strategy has always been to provide choice when it comes to operating systems, a strategy that includes Windows, Android, and MeeGo. This is not changing.

        • Intel defends MeeGo after Nokia defection

          Nokia may have run off with Microsoft, but Intel remains married to MeeGo.

          “While we are disappointed with Nokia’s decision,” Intel spokeswoman Suzy Ramirez tells The Reg, “Intel remains committed to MeeGo and welcomes Nokia’s continued contribution to MeeGo open source.”

        • Intel Stands behind MeeGo in the Multi-device Ecosystem

          The support from the existing contributors and supporters is still there. Nothing has changed. A bit of Disappointment but then Nokia was a solid partner for MeeGo. As mentioned more to come at Mobile World Congress and we will be there.

        • Microsoft Is Paying Nokia “Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars” To Go With Windows

          Buried in a long Times story about how Nokia, Microsoft and HP are desperately trying to catch up with Google and Apple, they report that both Google and Microsoft offered Nokia “hundreds of millions of dollars” in “engineering assistance and marketing support” to get them to switch.

        • Mixed signals on the future of MeeGo Linux for netbooks

          Nokia announced a partnership with Microsoft this morning to bring Windows Phone 7 to Nokia smartphones. Symbian and MeeGo will continue to ship on devices until WP7 is ready to go, but Symbian isn’t long for this world. So what about MeeGo?

      • Android

        • RIM Said to Plan PlayBook Software to Run Google Apps

          Research In Motion Ltd., looking to score a hit with its PlayBook tablet computer, is working on software to allow the device to run applications for Google Inc.’s Android, three people familiar with the matter said.

        • We all know Android is Linux, but is it the New Linux?

          While Android has emerged as the defacto mobile Linux platform choice, it has only begun to make headway within the broader embedded systems market. Yesterday’s announcement of the first open source port of the platform to the PowerPC (PPC) architecture, however, may accelerate its penetration into other embedded device classes.

        • Free Android encryption comes to Egypt

          Free cellphone encryption is coming to Android users in Egypt courtesy of San Francisco software maker Whisper Systems.

          Until now, Redphone and TextSecure, voice- and text-encryption apps respectively, have generally been available in the US only. Whisper Systems has been working on making the packages available internationally. With cellphone communication playing a vital role in the more than two weeks of protests in Cairo and Alexandria, the company decided to jump-start a version for Egyptians, said principal Moxie Marlinspike.

        • Apple will bring out a budget Iphone to battle Android

          THE ICONIC Iphone has always been expensive, but Apple is reported to be developing cheaper versions of the smartphone in its battle to head off the looming success of Android.

          A version that can be thought of as a poor man’s Iphone is in the works, according to Bloomberg. The device will be cheaper and smaller, potentially broadening the market that the device will be able to reach.

        • Blackberry Playbook rumored to run Android apps

          If there was ever any doubt of just how dominant Android has become in the mobile space, there’s a new rumor circulating that should just about seal the lid on any such debate.

          Research in Motion is apparently working on figuring out a way for its upcoming Blackberry tablet, the Playbook, to download and run apps designed for Android.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Jolicloud – a web standards based OS

        Turns out, the guys doing that are from Jolicloud – a company that strives to offer a OS alternative for old and low-spec computers by only providing basic OS tasks and leaving the day-to-day work tasks to web applications hosted in the cloud. Sounds familiar? Google does the same with their Chrome OS and the Cr48. The main difference is that Jolicloud is based in Europe and a dedicated, affordable Netbook is available even for us across the pond.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Enough with the Apple App Store apathy

    Apple, given its rising share in key markets, is increasingly under US antitrust authorities’ microscope for alleged misuse of its iTunes market power and anticompetitive hiring agreements.

    But authorities are also paying attention to Apple’s grip on developers through its App Store policies. Perhaps they should add the Mac App Store to the list.


    Meanwhile, with Google running rampant with Android but not yet nailing the Android Marketplace experience, Apple’s free rein over the primary discovery mechanism for apps remains unchecked, and costly (30 per cent of every app sale costly).

    So where’s the rage, open sourcerers?

  • Web Browsers

    • What We Need – Part 1
    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4 knows about:me (and you)

        I’m a big fan of data analytics which is why back in 2009 I was excited about a new potential Firefox feature called about:me.

        The basic idea was that the about:me call would provide users with information about their browsing habits and usage.

        Originally about:me was a feature that was under consideration for direction integration with Firefox 3.6, but that didn’t happen. Instead about.me became an add-on for Firefox 3.6.x.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Is LibreOffice Open-By-Rule?
    • Not Dead Yet: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Java

      In November of last year, Forrester analyst Mike Gualtieri published the provocatively titled “Java Is A Dead-End For Enterprise App Development.” This January, the firm’s John Rymer followed up with a more balanced but similarly pessimistic “The Future of Java.” Collectively, these may be considered representative of the conventional wisdom of the enterprise.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Democratizing fashion

      The website currently has 6.5 million monthly unique visitors, many of whom are dedicated creators: the amateur stylists who put together wardrobe sets for fashion-challenged people like me.

      Polyvore’s mission is to democratize fashion, “To empower people on the street to think about their sense of style and share it with the world.” says Jess Lee, Polyvore’s vice president of product management.

    • CC tools and PSI: Supporting attribution, protecting reputation, and preserving integrity

      In an earlier blog post, we promised to share some useful “things you may not know” about legal and technical aspects of CC tools, especially as they relate to the release of public sector information. Publishers of PSI – which may include governments and their agencies, but also others – have a strong desire to receive the credit they deserve through proper attribution, while simultaneously safeguarding their reputations when information is re-used. They also care about preserving the integrity of the information they provide, so that the original can be differentiated from modified forms, and can be easily located. CC’s legal tools provide sound and tested solutions for each of these needs.

    • CC ePSIplatform topic report published
    • Open Hardware

      • Why the Arduino Won and Why It’s Here to Stay

        Each month, I’ll be posting a couple of new editorial-style columns here on Make: Online. These pieces are meant to get you thinking, to stir up discussion and debate, maybe even freak you out a little. My first column is called “Why the Arduino Won and Why It’s Here to Stay.”

        In about a week, a rep from a large chip company is going to stop by and show me another “Arduino-like platform,” aka The Arduino Killer. This a pretty regular occurrence around here; every month or so there’s a company or person who wants to make the “next Arduino.” They usually contact me because I’ve covered the Arduino for years, helped get it in the maker world, and I use it daily in my work at Adafruit. I think it’s had an amazing impact on electronic hobbyists and artists, perhaps as much as the personal computer in the early days (Homebrew Computer Club, etc). There are more than 100,000+ Arduinos on the market, and by my estimates, a lot more when you add in the derivatives (approximately 150K as of 2/2011). Within the next 5 to 10 years, the Arduino will be used in every school to teach electronics and physical computing — that’s my prediction. There’s no going back.

      • Open Hardware Definition 1.0 RELEASED!

        The definition has undergone a few rounds of feedback, and feedback collection has been done (online, forums, open hardware summit, stakeholder’s websites, email etc) and posted here for review. Gradually, feedback has been converging more and more, and support for the definition growing.


  • Darrell Issa’s office says preventing atrocities cost businesses time and money

    Just how committed is Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) Oversight and Government Reform Committee on doing anything possible to protect business interests over people? A rather prominent clue can be found in an Associated Press article (via Nexis) about the hearing held on Thursday “designed to give a voice to business complaints about government regulations.”

  • The Levers of Power

    As we mark the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth, his most important legacy has gone largely overlooked. Reagan helped to put a caricature of politics at the center of the national debate and it remains there to this day. In Reagan’s caricature the central divide between progressives and conservatives is that progressives trust the government to make key decisions on production and distribution, while conservatives trust the market.

    This framing of the debate is advantageous for the right since people, especially in the United States, tend to be suspicious of an overly powerful government. They also like the idea of leaving important decisions to the seemingly natural workings of the market.

  • UN Secretary Rice On Facebook And Twitter: “Governments Are Increasingly Cognizant Of Their Power” [Video]

    But Rice is right, there’s no denying that social media has a powerful effect on social movements, but as to its exact magnitude we can only begin to speculate, fittingly, hopefully, on Twitter.

  • I Invented Port Knocking

    Let me tell you about something that’s been bothering me for a while.

    I invented Port Knocking. No, really. In 2002.

    According to portknocking.org, it was invented by Martin Krzywinski in 2003. I’m not here to debate that he didn’t come up with the idea separately, and choose the same names (it’s a pretty good name for the technology). But I do want to make it clear, for the record.

  • Groklaw And The Wall Street Journal

    As a long time reader of Groklaw, who got to hear all of the false accusations made against Groklaw by Darl McBride and others at SCO as they were made, it was delightful to see Groklaw being recognized as an accurate source by the Wall Street Journal.

  • The 5 Weirdest Ways Music Can Mess With the Human Brain
  • A Geek Is Born
  • Canadian Mining Companies Undermining Mexico

    For a great many Mexican nationalists, the United States has traditionally been Public Enemy Numero Uno. Uncle Sam is often depicted as a sort of demon vampire sucking the lifeblood from this distant neighbor’s veins and gobbling up a hundred Mexicans for lunch. But in recent years, the focus of nationalist rage has moved a few degrees north to Washington’s northern-most NAFTA trading partner Canada, land of glaciers and grizzlies and battered baby harp seals, maple leaves and hockey pucks. The behemoth of the frozen north has not been making a lot of friends here lately.

  • Science

    • China looks to leverage strength of domestic market in 12th Five-Year Plan, says new report from Digitimes Research

      To achieve this goal, China has identified seven key strategic industries that together will be allocated a budget of CNY10 trillion (US$1.52 trillion) over the next five years for investment. According to the Digitimes Research Special Report, China aims to have local enterprises leverage the enormous domestic market to increase their global strength and competitiveness in these key emerging industries – namely Energy Savings and Environmental Protection, Next-generation IT, Biotechnology, High-end Assembly and Manufacturing (e.g. aerospace), New Energy Sources, New Materials, and Alternative Energy-powered Automobiles.

    • Measure clears way for teaching of ‘intelligent design’

      Public-school science teachers who want to teach ‘intelligent design” alongside evolution and want to challenge the accepted scientific views about global warming would be protected under a bill introduced in the House.

      Rep. Tom Anderson, R-Albuquerque, said Tuesday that his House Bill 302 is not intended to promote intelligent design or creationism. When a reporter said he wanted to talk about Anderson’s “evolution bill,” the lawmaker replied, “I don’t have an ‘evolution bill.’ ”

    • Awesome discovery of the week: Glass melts when it gets too cold

      Anyone who’s seen enough old Sesame Street episodes or been to enough Renaissance Fairs knows that when glass gets hot enough, it turns to liquid. Applied heat pumps energy into the solid pieces of glass, getting their molecules jiggling. As the heat dissipates, the glass becomes cool and solidifies again.

      Most of the time, not many interesting things happen once a substance gets below the temperature required for solification. Its atoms are bound to one another, and without the indroduction of some kind of energy, they’ll stay that way. Glass, it turns out, is the exception. Once it gets close to absolute zero, it melts again.

    • Leader-less ants make super efficient networks

      Argentine ants connect three nests in an empty arena via the shortest possible network. The ants have created a difficult Steiner network by adding an extra hub in the centre of the triangle, thus creating the network of absolute shortest trail length. The computer generated Steiner network for three nests is depicted in the square inset. Credit: Tanya Latty

    • Welcome to the information age – 174 newspapers a day

      The growth in the internet, 24-hour television and mobile phones means that we now receive five times as much information every day as we did in 1986.

    • sprout: Reclaiming science as a creative craft
    • Global data storage calculated at 295 exabytes

      Mankind’s capacity to store the colossal amount of information in the world has been measured by scientists.

      The study, published in the journal Science, calculates the amount of data stored in the world by 2007 as 295 exabytes.

    • Incredible journey: Can we reach the stars without breaking the bank?

      Yesterday, we talked about which stars might be the most important ones for the near future of the search for habitable and inhabited planets. All the stars I mentioned are relatively close by and pretty bright, and some of them are already known to have planets. If and when potentially Earth-like worlds are found around these or other nearby stars, astronomers will begin lavishing them with attention in a process of discovery that will span generations. In all likelihood, entire careers and even subdisciplines of astronomy and planetary science will emerge from studying all the data we can remotely gather from a handful of promising worlds scattered among the nearest stars. If we are extremely lucky, and find signs of not only extraterrestrial life but also extraterrestrial intelligence, the consequences will spread beyond our sciences to shape and change our religion, philosophy, literature, and art.

    • World’s total CPU power: one human brain

      How much information can the world transmit, process, and store? Estimating this sort of thing can be a nightmare, but the task can provide valuable information on trends that are changing our computing and broadcast infrastructure. So a pair of researchers have taken the job upon themselves and tracked the changes in 60 different analog and digital technologies, from newsprint to cellular data, for a period of over 20 years.

    • Friday’s security advisories
  • Health/Nutrition

    • Tell President Obama: Stand up for me, not Monsanto

      For months, we’ve been asking the USDA and the Obama Administration to deny Monsanto’s application to market its genetically modified Roundup Ready alfalfa. Unfortunately, on January 27, President Obama’s Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued unrestricted approval for GMO alfalfa, brushing aside very real concerns about its disastrous effects on the organic industry, the environment, and our health.

    • Colorado Springs teen with pot prescription tangled in red-tape nightmare

      Bill Smith has a very rare life-threatening disease. He is 16 years old. He’s missed about a year of school. A few months ago his doctors decided to try Smith on medical marijuana. It worked like a miracle drug. It worked so well that Smith is home from the hospital and ready to resume high school.

      State law (HB 10-1284) and his school district’s strict adherence to the law are conspiring to make going back to school very difficult for Smith (not his real name).

    • A quick lesson from a homeless pot dealer

      Now this may seem like a strange story to post on a political blog. But my point is simple. Our government is the Taco Tico. And therein lies the problem.

      My potheads were able to grasp this simple concept and make it work for them. But will our government? I doubt it…

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Judge stays charges, says officer was ‘cruel’ to man

      An Alberta judge has stayed criminal charges against a one-footed man who was punched and stomped on by a police officer while he was being arrested in July 2009.

      Judge E.D. Reimer says the officer was “cruel” and used excessive force, breaching the accused’s charter rights by entering his property without permission.

    • Chomsky: Why the Mideast Turmoil Is a Direct Threat to the American Empire

      In recent weeks, popular uprisings in the Arab world have led to the ouster of Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the imminent end of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, a new Jordanian government, and a pledge by Yemen’s longtime dictator to leave office at the end of his term. We speak to MIT Professor Noam Chomsky about what this means for the future of the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy in the region. When asked about President Obama’s remarks last night on Mubarak, Chomsky said: “Obama very carefully didn’t say anything… He’s doing what U.S. leaders regularly do. As I said, there is a playbook: whenever a favored dictator is in trouble, try to sustain him, hold on; if at some point it becomes impossible, switch sides.” We continued the interview with Chomsky for 50 minutes after the live show.

    • Brutal Crackdown in Belarus

      Repressions in Europe’s last dictatorship show no signs of abating despite EU sanctions and international condemnation. International rights watchdogs warn that human rights abuses in Belarus have reached a “new low”, and activists say that no one appears safe from Alexander Lukashenka’s brutal crackdowns in the wake of his controversial re-election as president.

    • Scenes from Cairo: Revolutionary Party
    • Egyptians in Canada celebrate as Mubarak resigns

      Egyptians across Canada, whether in offices, cars, in school or online, celebrated news of Hosni Mubarak’s resignation as Egypt’s president.

      “As a Canadian of Egyptian origin, it’s the proudest I’ve been of my Egyptian heritage,” said Amr Abou-Guendia, 30, of Toronto. “Egyptian people have finally chosen their destiny. Their future is in their hands.”

    • Egyptains in Toronto are celebrating
    • Egypt Trades Torture Supervisor for ‘Mubarak’s Poodle’

      The surprise ouster of long-time Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak today came with an additional shock, that Vice President Omar Suleiman, the unsavory torturemaster of the Mubarak regime who Western officials appeared to have hand-picked as his successor, got brushed aside.

    • February 20 is Morocco’s Day of Rage

      A February 20 protest has been planned to restore “the dignity of the Moroccan people and for democratic and constitutional reform and the dissolution of parliament.” One of Morocco’s leading Islamist movements, Justice and Charity, which has an estimated 200,000 members and is banned from politics but tolerated, has called for “urgent democratic change.” It’s website states “It is unjust that the country’s riches should be monopolised by a minority.”

    • Swiss freeze possible Mubarak assets

      Switzerland has frozen assets possibly belonging to Hosni Mubarak, who stepped down as president of Egypt Friday after 30 years of rule, a spokesman for the foreign ministry said.

      “I can confirm that Switzerland has frozen possible assets of the former Egyptian president with immediate effect,” spokesman Lars Knuchel said, declining to specify how much money was involved.

    • Now See The 11 Countries At Risk Of Becoming The Next Egypt

      Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak just resigned after weeks of dramatic protests in Cairo and across Egypt.

      As the biggest country in the Arab world, Egypt is seen as a trend leader for the broader Middle East.

      So the question on everyone’s mind is: who’s next?

      The Egyptian revolution is a challenge to state led authoritarian capitalism, but it is also a response to rising food costs and soaring unemployment. There is also the social media factor, which has allowed protesters to circumvent traditional state run media sources and organize more efficiently.

    • Egypt: Hosni Mubarak used last 18 days in power to secure his fortune

      The former Egyptian president is accused of amassing a fortune of more than £3 billion – although some suggest it could be as much as £40 billion – during his 30 years in power. It is claimed his wealth was tied up in foreign banks, investments, bullion and properties in London, New York, Paris and Beverly Hills.

    • Saeb Erekat resigns as chief Palestinian negotiator

      Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, who led several rounds of peace talks with Israel, has told the BBC he has handed in his resignation.

      Mr Erekat has previously promised to quit if it emerged that secret files recently leaked on the Middle East peace process had come from his office.

      Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has yet to accept; it is not the first time Mr Erekat has offered to stand down.

      Meanwhile, an Abbas aide said elections would be held by September.

    • Toronto Police are out of control

      The issue of Metro Toronto police wearing a tag that displays their name and or badge number on the outside of their uniform has come to the forefront of discussion again.

      Last week a film on you tube by local activist, film maker and radio host Daniel Libby featuring this writer at a rally to support the Egyptian uprising has gone viral on the internet. The film features the infamous officer A. Josephs (A.K.A Officer Bubbles). The reason I choose officer Josephs to approach about being one of the half dozen officers there who were not wearing a tag was because he was the only one I knew by sight and could identify by name who were not wearing name or badge numbers that day.

    • Man hit by officer has charges dropped

      A man who was punched in the face by an Ottawa police officer after he questioned the officer’s use of force was found not guilty of several charges last year when a judge decided she couldn’t trust the sworn testimony of three constables involved in the incident.

      The case involves the same Ottawa police officer, Const. Daniel Levesque, who was chastised by another judge in November for violating a man’s rights by sending him into the Rideau River to recover a used syringe. Drug charges against two men were stayed in that case.

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks crippled by ex-associates, sources say

      WikiLeaks’ ability to receive new leaks has been crippled after a disaffected programmer unplugged a component which guaranteed anonymity to would-be leakers, activists and journalists who have worked with the site say.

      Details of the breakdown are contained in a book by estranged Assange collaborator Daniel Domscheit-Berg which is due to be published on Friday, a source familiar with the contents of the book told Reuters.

      Neither Wikileaks’ embattled Australian founder, Julian Assange, nor members of his entourage responded to an e-mailed request from Reuters for comment but a WikiLeaks spokesman confirmed the website’s submission system was being overhauled.

    • The leaked campaign to attack WikiLeaks and its supporters

      Last week, Aaron Barr, a top executive at computer security firm HB Gary, boasted to the Financial Times that his firm had infiltrated and begun to expose Anonymous, the group of pro-WikiLeaks hackers that had launched cyber attacks on companies terminating services to the whistleblowing site (such as Paypal, MasterCard, Visa, Amazon and others). In retaliation, Anonymous hacked into the email accounts of HB Gary, published 50,000 of their emails online, and also hacked Barr’s Twitter and other online accounts.

      Among the emails that were published was a report prepared by HB Gary — in conjunction with several other top online security firms, including Palantir Technologies — on how to destroy WikiLeaks. The emails indicated the report was part of a proposal to be submitted to Bank of America through its outside law firm, Hunton & Williams. News reports have indicated that WikiLeaks is planning to publish highly incriminating documents showing possible corruption and fraud at that bank, and The New York Times detailed last month how seriously top bank officials are taking that threat. The NYT article described that the bank’s “counterespionage work” against WikiLeaks entailed constant briefings for top executives on the whistle-blower site, along with the hiring of “several top law firms” and Booz Allen (the long-time firm of former Bush DNI Adm. Michael McConnell and numerous other top intelligence and defense officials). The report prepared by these firms was designed to be part of the Bank of America’s highly funded anti-WikiLeaks campaign.

      The leaked report suggested numerous ways to destroy WikiLeaks, some of them likely illegal — including planting fake documents with the group and then attacking them when published; “creat[ing] concern over the security” of the site; “cyber attacks against the infrastructure to get data on document submitters”; and a “media campaign to push the radical and reckless nature of wikileaks activities.” Many of those proposals were also featured prongs of a secret 2008 Pentagon plan to destroy WikiLeaks.

    • Anonymous Ready To Dump More HBGary E-mails, Launch AnonLeaks

      Anonymous used to be all about disrupting the Web sites of companies that helped block WikiLeaks’ funding. Now it’s starting to act like WikiLeaks itself. The group is planning, as early as today, to release 27,000 e-mails from the server of Greg Hoglund, the chief executive of software security firm HBGary, which it says could have permanently damaging consequences for the company.

    • Palantir Apologizes For WikiLeaks Attack Proposal, Cuts Ties With HBGary

      It’s been a long week for security firm HBGary.

      First the loose hacker group Anonymous retaliated against one of the firm’s employees investigating Anonymous by hacking into the corporation’s servers and spilling 50,000 emails onto the Web. Then a string of those stolen emails revealed a proposal by the firm and two others to launch a campaign of illegal cyberattacks and calculated misinformation against WikiLeaks and its supporters.

      Now, just a few days later, one of those firms, Palo Alto-based Palantir, has publicly cut ties with HBGary and apologized for its role in the WikiLeaks response plan, essentially verifying the reality of that plan and isolating HBGary further.

    • The Assassination of Julian Assange
    • WikiLeaks: U.S. Spied on NATO’s Top Official

      Leaked U.S. diplomatic cables appear to show that the United States has been snooping on NATO’s top official using secret sources on his own staff.

      Confidential cables from the U.S. mission to NATO released Friday by WikiLeaks, the site that has published many secret government memos, said American diplomats received information on the private conversations of Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen from “a member of the NATO international staff.”

    • Firm targeting WikiLeaks cuts ties with HBGary – apologizes to reporter

      Dr. Alex Karp, the Co-Founder and CEO of Palantir Technologies, one of three data intelligence firms who worked to develop a systematic plan of attack against WikiLeaks and their supporters, has severed all ties with HBGary Federal and issued an apology to reporter Glenn Greenwald.

    • Tomgram: Chase Madar, The Trials of Bradley Manning, A Defense

      The Obama administration came into office proclaiming “sunshine” policies. When some of the U.S. government’s dirty laundry was laid out in the bright light of day by WikiLeaks, however, its officials responded in a knee-jerk, punitive manner in the case of Bradley Manning, now in extreme isolation in a Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia. The urge of the Obama administration and the U.S. military to break his will, to crush him, is unsettling, to say the least. Whatever happens to Julian Assange or WikiLeaks, Washington is clearly intent on destroying this young Army private and then putting him away until hell freezes over.

    • Goldsmith on Assange, WikiLeaks, the First Amendment & Press Freedoms

      Importantly, Goldsmith correctly notes that, practically speaking, a prosecution of Assange probably wouldn’t do much to put the genie back in the bottle. “A successful prosecution, on the other hand, would not achieve the desired deterrent effect,” Goldsmith says. “WikiLeaks copycats are quickly proliferating around the globe, beyond the U.S. government’s effective reach. A conviction would make a martyr of Assange, embolden copycat efforts and illustrate the limits of American law to stop them.” Again, quite right. It’s a point I’ve stressed in my recent essays about the challenges faced by information control regimes.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Cross-border conservation vital to protect birds in a climate-change world

      Countries need to increase co-operation over conservation to protect birds and other wildlife in an era of climate change, according to a new continental-scale study.

      Experts have established a new conservation index to help policy-makers to deal with the effects of climate change on birds in Africa, and it could assist governments across the world to protect wildlife areas and help species as climate change forces them to move to new areas.

    • Australia’s recent extreme weather isn’t so extreme anymore

      Going by the first six weeks, 2011 has not been a good year to live in Queensland, Australia. In the first fortnight, we experienced heavy downpours, culminating in the south-east floods which killed 22. While we were still mopping up the damage, one of the biggest cyclones in our history hit the north Queensland coast. Cyclone Yasi had grown to a category five by the time it hit landfall. All this and we were barely into February.

    • February 11 National Call-in Day: Pass Oil Spill Legislation

      The oil spill commission that was created after the BP disaster has released its final report, and it contains a long list of actions that must be taken. The report calls for, sweeping reforms that would protect taxpayers and make offshore drilling safer for workers, while also protecting the environment and Gulf Coast businesses from future oil spills that could damage wetlands and hurt the region’s fishing and tourism industries.

    • No ‘tipping point’ for Arctic sea ice – latest science

      OK, so the floating Arctic ice cap appears to be shrinking. Catastrophe if it goes on, right? As white ice reflects heat into space, past a certain point more and more heat will not be reflected, more and more ice will melt. Past such a “tipping point”, the ice cap would never recover – it would vanish completely, taking with it the ice cover of Greenland which would cause huge rises in sea levels and Biblical flooding worldwide.

      Not so much, according to the latest research by German climate scientists. It seems that even in the case of a completely ice-free summer with the sun shining down onto an unprotected Arctic Ocean 24 hours a day (as it does in summer time up there), the heat absorbed by the sea would not be enough to permanently remove the ice cap. It would recover, in fact, within two years: there is no tipping point.

  • Finance

    • Teacher ‘urged pupils to skip class’

      A teacher has been suspended after an allegation that she encouraged her pupils to skip school to take part in protests against education cuts and rising tuition fees.

    • Congress warned over states’ bankruptcies

      US lawmakers were warned yesterday that allowing states to declare bankruptcy would upend the $2.8 trillion (£1.7 trillion) municipal bond market, making it much harder and more expensive to fund local government, and potentially destablising the economic recovery.

      A House of Representatives committee was examining the extent of the financial distress in state and local governments, which has become a major topic of concern on Wall Street and among individual investors, and examining ways to prevent the need for a federal bailout of any of the lower rungs of government.

    • Trade deficit hits $40.6B in Dec.; deficit with China is record

      The trade deficit widened in December, closing out a year in which America’s gap ballooned by the largest amount in a decade.

    • Author: Wall Street got ‘away with murder’

      Financial journalist and author Michael Lewis looks at the financial risks Americans still face.

    • Alan Grayson On Mortgage Fraud (Lack Of) Accountability: “President Obama… Let These Crooks Off The Hook”

      Now that Alan Grayson is no longer in Congress, Fed hearings have certainly lost that certain dose of panache which only a man, wearing a dollar sign tie, and cross examining the Fed’s General Counsel which grinning like a diabolical Tasmanian Devil, would bring to the table. We managed to catch up with Grayson during today’s session of Radio Free Dylan, in which the traditionally opinionated Fed critic had some very choice words about the President. In essence, the former Florida Democrat said that it is none other than the President, who is the reason there have been no prosecutions on banks: ” I am not only blaming the Obama administration, if the Bush administration had its head on straight they would have prevented a lot of these things from happening to start with. But the President Obama administration said at the beginning, we are going to look forward and not back and therefore in the process of making that decision basically let these crooks off the hook.”

    • Alan Grayson: “President Obama…let these crooks off the hook”

      While in Congress, Rep. Grayson served Florida’s 8th Congressional District from 2009-2011. Dylan regards him as one of “the most vocal and aggressive critics of the crony capitalism, corporate communism, and large institutional interests perpetuating their existence at the expense of an increasingly large percentage of the American people.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Still standing up for the truth

      The CRTC has closed its too-short comment period on its so-called ‘public consultations’ on proposed changes to Canadian broadcasting regulations that will open the door to misinformation and lies on our airwaves.

      The CRTC has been considering changing the rules that prevent TV and radio broadcasters from saying things they know to be untrue. The proposed amendment to the rules says broadcasters may not present “any news that the licensee knows is false or misleading and that endangers or is likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public.” That gives news broadcasters a license to lie. By arguing that a false or misleading news report does not endanger lives, health or safety, a broadcaster could get away with presenting things they know are false.

    • Opponents of CRTC’s false-news proposal bombard website

      Canada’s broadcasting regulator has received more than 3,000 responses from the public about its plan to change a regulation that prohibits the dissemination of false or misleading news, most of them passionately opposing the proposal.

    • EXCLUSIVE: US Chamber’s Lobbyists Solicited Hackers To Sabotage Unions, Smear Chamber’s Political Opponents

      ThinkProgress has learned that a law firm representing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the big business trade association representing ExxonMobil, AIG, and other major international corporations, is working with set of “private security” companies and lobbying firms to undermine their political opponents, including ThinkProgress, with a surreptitious sabotage campaign.

  • Censorship

    • I don’t need to defend porn to fight the UK net filtering proposals

      Personally I don’t think we should judge what people choose to do in the company of their computer, so long as the curtains are drawn.

      But if you’re ideologically opposed to pornography there are still lots of reasons to oppose any government plans to regulate the internet.

      What is being called for, mostly by the Christian right, is state censorship of communications.

  • Privacy

    • Speier Introduces Consumer Privacy Package

      Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), a longtime consumer advocate, today held a press conference to introduce a package of privacy bills aimed at protecting the personal information of all Americans. The Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011 (H.R. 654) would give consumers the ability to prevent the collection and use of data on their online activities. The Financial Information Privacy Act of 2011 (H.R. 653) would give consumers control of their own financial information. Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Consumer Action, U.S. PIRG, Consumer Watchdog, World Privacy Forum, the Center for Digital Democracy, and the ACLU all announced their support.

    • ‘Twitter messages not private’ rules PCC

      Material that is published on Twitter should be considered public and can be published, the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has ruled.

      The decision follows a complaint by a Department of Transport official that the use of her tweets by newspapers constituted an invasion of privacy.

    • California retailers can’t ask patrons for ZIP Codes, court rules

      In a case watched closely by merchants, the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that California retailers may no longer collect ZIP Codes from credit card customers, except in limited cases.

      The high court determined that ZIP Codes were “personal identification information” that merchants can’t demand from customers under a state consumer privacy law. Merchants typically use ZIP Codes to determine where their customers live and for other marketing purposes.

  • Civil Rights

    • At CIA, mistakes by officers are often overlooked

      In December 2003, security forces boarded a bus in Macedonia and snatched a German citizen named Khaled el-Masri. For the next five months, Masri was a ghost. Only a select group of CIA officers knew he had been taken to a secret prison in Afghanistan for interrogation.

      But he was the wrong guy.

      A hard-charging CIA analyst had pushed the agency into one of the biggest diplomatic embarrassments of the U.S. fight against terrorism. Yet despite recommendations, the analyst was never punished. In fact, she has risen within the agency.

    • Congresswoman Bachmann Should Govt Be Able To Hack Into Your Computer Without A Search
    • Group plans to beam free Internet across the globe from space

      The charity group A Human Right said it was planning to purchase a satellite that would provide free basic Internet access to developing countries around the world.

      The group, which was founded by 25-year-old Kosta Grammatis, is currently raising money to buy the TerreStar-1, the largest commercial communications satellite ever built. TerreStar, the company that owns the satellite, filed for chapter-11 bankruptcy protection in October 2010, opening the possibility that the satellite may be up for sale.

    • The repeal bill: what’s left in, what’s left out

      Today’s Repeal Bill is likely to receive an enthusiastic welcome from Big Brother Watch and a lukewarm endorsement from the Lib Dems. But as the proposal is more closely analysed, a fair few of those cheering now may soon be a good deal more gloomy; in respect of what has been left out and the fine detail of how freedoms are to be enacted.

      First the good news: the Bill will go some way to pull the state back out of the lives of millions of ordinary law-abiding people. RIPA will no longer be used for minor snooping; S44 stop and search powers will be scrapped and control orders abolished; detention without trial will be reduced to 14 days; and the DNA of innocent persons will be removed from police databases.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • Small-business owners speak out against usage-based Internet billing

      Norm Tomlins’s six-person company in Oshawa, Ont., is like many small businesses: Its disparate parts operate via an Internet connection.

      His company, Voice Network Inc., installs VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) phone lines and custom designs business software, and has employees scattered across Ontario’s Durham Region and as far away as Montreal.

    • The History of Usage Based Billing (UBB) and why it will almost always fail

      The famous Internet iconoclast Dr Andrew Odlyzko who is the Director of the Interdisciplinary Digital Technology Center at the University of Minnesota. has done extensive research in this area. The idea of charging users per usage has always appealed to many corporations from software rentals to shipping of coal. But invariably such plans meet with an uproar from consumers, as we have witnessed most recently in Canada. As Dr Odlyzko explains:

    • Saving the Best for Last: Bell’s Network Congestion Admission

      This raises the question of why not offer the independent ISPs access to the network at the Central Office or at other earlier points in the network so that their users’ traffic never causes congestion for Bell? If the congestion problem occurs during the brief period when wholesale and retail traffic is aggregated (Bell said the same during the Internet traffic management hearings in 2009), why not avoid it by mandating that Bell allow independent ISPs to access their subscribers’ traffic earlier?

    • Fixing Canada’s Uncompetitive Internet

      Last week, public concern with Internet bandwidth caps hit a fever pitch as hundreds of thousands of Canadians signed petitions against Internet provider practices of “metering” Internet use. The government responded with a commitment to order the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to revisit the issue. Hours later, the CRTC announced that it would delay implementation of the decision by 60 days and review it with fresh eyes and an open mind.

      While addressing the CRTC decision is a good start, Canadians will be disappointed — some even surprised — to learn that the Internet caps are unlikely to disappear from their bills anytime soon. The CRTC usage based billing (UBB) case involves the narrow question of whether large providers such as Bell can impose UBB rates on small providers. Even if Bell is blocked from doing so, this would still only address a tiny segment of the marketplace.

    • Why I am happy with my Independent ISP

      We are reinstating the Unlimited package but the 200GB package will be changed… to 300GB! UBB is about Internet Costs, and as a result of lower costs with our providers (Peer1, Lime Light, etc…), costs outside our relationship with companies like Bell, we are extending the savings on to you, the clients… Enjoy!”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Canadian Council of Archives on C-32: Digital Lock Rules Disastrous For Long-Term Access

        It remains difficult to understand how a government can intentionally introduce legislation that will cause clear harm to the preservation of a country’s own digital heritage.

      • SXSW 2011 on BitTorrent: 4.49 GB of Free Music

        The South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival is one of the largest and most popular in the United States. For the seventh year in a row, SXSW is sharing DRM-free, RIAA-safe songs of performing artists, totalling 4,49 GB so far. All the tracks can now be downloaded for free in one go, thanks to BitTorrent.

      • The Daily vanishes into the memory hole

        What I’m wondering now is, what happens to all the cleverness of those cover headlines — and any other content that the Daily updates? How do you access the record of the past as recorded in the present by the Daily’s writers and editors? It’s not clear that the shareable, Web-based content pages have any permanence. On the 1.0 iPad app (I haven’t downloaded the update yet), there’s no apparent way to access past content that you haven’t chosen to save.

      • ACTA


          Mexican IPR officials have been keen to highlight their increasingly active role in the international arena, stressing their willingness to join the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations and their push-back against Brazilian efforts to undermine IPR in international health organizations. The U.S. Mission, together with Washington-based agencies, recently organized U.S. participation in a judicial event on trademarks and hosted a workshop in Monterrey aimed at encouraging greater federal-local cooperation in IPR protection in northern Mexico. Spring 2008 will be even busier, with a PTO training course on patent issues planned for January, a customs IPR training course scheduled for early February, a State-sponsored voluntary visitor program for Mexican legislators to visit Washington at the invitation of their U.S. congressional counterparts to discuss IPR in mid-February, an international judges forum on IPR issues being hosted by Mexico in late February, and DoJ assistance on computer forensics and writing an IPR handbook for prosecutors to take place sometime in the first half of the year. These exchanges are proving very useful in advancing U.S. interests in Mexico, particularly with regard to raising IPR consciousness among Mexican judges.

        • Support a firm, simple declaration against ACTA

Clip of the Day

SmartQ V5 2 Linux Boot Walk Through

Credit: TinyOgg

Vista 7 Patches Break Crucial Software

Posted in Microsoft, Security, VMware, Windows at 4:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No signal

Summary: Patches for Windows 7 leave users without access to VMware

A SERIOUS glitch from VMware/Microsoft has proven to be a pain to Windows users/administrators. “Non-free Software Provide Multiple Points of Failure” is one way of putting it:

I am often accused of encouraging use of GNU/Linux and thin clients with a single point of failure vulnerability, the server or network.

This is said in reference to reports such as this one: “Windows fix on Patch Tuesday ‘breaks’ VMware software”

VMware is telling customers that two Windows 7 security patches have left the VMware View desktop virtualization client unable to access the View Connection Server, which brokers the connection between a user’s computer and a virtual desktop.

This led Gartner virtualization analyst Chris Wolf to write a blog post titled “Windows 7 Update Breaks VMware View Client” that says this week’s event is “an important lesson in BYOD” deployments that let workers bring their own devices to work.

Early adopters of Vista 7 may gradually discover that it is a risky option. Needless to say, GNU/Linux users are unaffected in this case.

BBC Newsnight on Digital Security

Posted in Security at 4:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

St. Petersburg

Summary: Insufficient information provided about the source of botnets abundance

‘Overheard’ in Identi.ca was the following interesting exchange:

Satipera: BBC newsnight major piece on #digitalsecurity how botnets are easy to deploy. Easier to deploy than mentioning real problem, MS software.
Laurel L. Russwurm: Are you referring to the insecurities inherent of MS software (and DRM) which gives control of computers to faceless others?
Satipera: They are interviewing government spokesperson on #digitalsecurity. I am running the risk of wetting myself laughing.
Satipera: I know so little about it, but obviously far more than British Governments designated spokesperson, bad situation.
Laurel L. Russwurm: Aren’t botnets possible because unsuspecting MicroSoft users computers are insecure due to Windows DRM?
Laurel L. Russwurm: sadly that seems to be the case around the world. Those running the world are so ignorant of tech they are doing insane things
Satipera: RE botnets, I do not think it is due to DRM but inherent MS OS insecurities.
Laurel L. Russwurm: The fact that Windows computers phone home without their owner’s permission (DRM) has to contribute to security flaws
Laurel L. Russwurm: I’ll be okay. I should be liberated from MS forever in the next couple of weeks.
Satipera: Yes, that is a #digitalsecurity problem as it is done without the permission of the user, not with our beloved FLOSS though

This is why we call it “MSBBC”. A lot of Microsoft UK staff has been entering the BBC since around 2006 or 2007. This helps control formats and also coverage.

Eye on Apple: Bans and Anger

Posted in Apple at 3:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: One religious group snubs another (Apple) and developers — like users — flock to Linux

Vatican Bans iOS Confessional App

Despite all the hype yesterday that a lowly priest had approved the new confessional app hitting the app store, the truth has now found a way of revealing itself. According to today’s Daily Mail, a spokesman for the Vacitan, Federico Lombardi said: ‘It is essential to understand that the rites of penance require a personal dialogue between penitents and their confessor.’It cannot be replaced by a computer application’. ‘I must stress to avoid all ambiguity, under no circumstance is it possible to “confess by iPhone”.’

Anger with Apple pushes firms to Android

War looms as Sony hints that it will abandon iTunes

The hardline approach taken by Apple towards media companies selling apps through its iTunes Store could push crucial content partners into the hands of competitors such as Google’s Android.

Android has been gaining rapidly on iPhone and a slew of new Android phones and tablets are due out in Australia this year from vendors including Motorola, Samsung, HTC and LG.

IDC telecommunications analyst Mark Novosel predicts Android will overtake Apple’s iOS to become the No.1 smartphone platform in Australia by the middle of this year. From preliminary IDC findings, by the end of last year Android accounted for about a quarter of all new smart phones shipped.

IRC Proceedings: February 11th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 1:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




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