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Links 28/2/2011: Android Tablets Get a Lot Cheaper

Posted in News Roundup at 8:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Outlaws 193 – Comments Are Off

      This week on Linux Outlaws: Canonical wants Banshee’s donations to Gnome, German Defense Minister steals his PhD together, FSF says Debian not free enough, Nokia has no taste, Alan Cox releases a graphics driver, Microsoft hates copyleft, more about our netbook competition and a lot of other stuff…

  • Ballnux

    • Galaxy Tab slashed to $300 on Xoom’s heels

      A funny thing happens when there’s a bigger and better Android tablet on the market – the one that previously had a stranglehold on the entire industry gets dropped radically in price.

      The Samsung Galaxy Tab, which originally launched at $600 after a mobile service contract subsidy, is now only $300 at Verizon. The timing comes immediately after Motorola’s Xoom tablet came out at nearly the same price as the Galaxy Tab’s initial cost.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.38 EXT4, Btrfs File-System Benchmarks

      Along with finally delivering Intel Gallium3D driver benchmarks comparing this unofficial, proof-of-concept i915/945 Gallium3D driver to Intel’s official classic Mesa driver, there’s also our benchmarks of the EXT4 and Btrfs file-systems from the Linux 2.6.38 kernel. These exclusive tests are coming this weekend as part of OpenBenchmarking.org being publicly available for the first day.

    • Go Benchmark, OpenBenchmarking.org Is Here

      In case you didn’t figure it out from two exclusive benchmarks appearing on a Saturday morning — Intel Gallium3D benchmarks and EXT4/Btrfs on the Linux 2.6.38 kernel — this is to celebrate the availability of Phoronix Test Suite 3.0-Iveland and OpenBenchmarking.org

    • The OpenBenchmarking.org SCALE Video
    • Making More Informed Linux Hardware Choices

      Matthew Tippett and I talked this weekend at the Southern California Linux Expo on the matter of making more informed Linux hardware choices. While Linux hardware support has come along way, it is not perfect and there are still shortcomings. However, with Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 and OpenBenchmarking.org, which were released in Los Angeles, we believe there are now the capabilities to dramatically enhance the Linux hardware and software experience. These freely available tools are not only a game-changer for Linux, but have the capabilities to impact how projects and organizations handle their Windows, Mac OS X, BSD, and Solaris testing as well.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Overview of Xrandr
      • AMD Opens Up XvBA! Their Catalyst Linux Video API

        Back in 2008 we were the first to thoroughly talk about AMD’s X-Video Bitstream Acceleration (XvBA) API found in their Catalyst Linux driver to expose their UVD2 video engine now under non-Windows operating systems. However, when the XvBA library was made available, it was next to useless since they hadn’t published the documentation or any header files describing this video playback acceleration interface. A year later, in November of 2009, AMD and Splitted Desktop Systems released a VA-API front-end to XvBA so that VA-API multi-media applications could seamlessly use XvBA with the Catalyst driver.

      • Mesa Can Now Be Smaller, Build Faster

        As something of value to more users than Mesa receiving EXT_texture_compression_RGTC support is that the shared DRI core patch has been merged. This results in a significantly smaller package size for Mesa (circa 30MB savings) and results in Mesa building about 13% faster.

      • Intel Gallium3D Graphics Driver Performance

        While Intel remains to be the only major graphics vendor standing strong behind their classic Mesa driver on Linux for open-source support rather than drawing up plans to move to the Gallium3D driver architecture, there is actually available a Gallium3D driver available for Intel hardware. This Intel Gallium3D driver has been around since close to Gallium3D’s inception, but it targets the older generations of Intel IGPs and was developed by VMware as a proof of concept. The driver is incomplete, but our testing shows that for those with Intel 945 netbooks and other hardware, the “i915g” driver is usable. In this article are benchmarks showing how this Intel Gallium3D driver compares to Intel’s officially supported classic Mesa DRI driver.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Slax Community Remix Renamed to Porteus Portable Linux

      Last December I reviewed the Slax Community Remix for Distrowatch. At the time of writing the latest release of this dedicated community of Slax enthusiasts was v09. This now seems to have become the stepping stone on the way to the first official release 1.0 of the new Porteus Project and an updated v09 was released on 13th January. A website has been launched with documentation, FAQ’s and download section as well as a forum. A module library similar to the one Slax is offering is apparently planned to go live in about two weeks from now. Thus the split from Slax, which is dormant at the moment and has not had an official release or update since August 2009, is complete.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Preparing for Fedora’s SXSW Debut

          Fedora is going to have a booth at the South-by-Southwest (SXSW) music, film, and interface conference expo in Austin, TX in just a little over a couple of weeks now.

          Why are we going? Well, our plan is on the Fedora wiki, but my main goal in attending is to promote free software to all of the designers (and developers, too!) that will be attending for the interactive conference, and hopefully even drum up in them some interest in getting involved themselves and help them get started.

        • Firefox in a sandbox with Fedora

          There is a really cool utility from the selinux folks called sandbox. It’s lets you run an application inside a sandbox which has limited permissions on the system. The idea being that you could run an untrusted process which shouldn’t be able to cause any real damage. I dare say these days the most untrusted process is a web browser. I know Chrome uses a technology similar to this where each tab gets its own sandbox, but I don’t run Chrome, so my goal is to make Firefox as safe as possible. Plus I’m a paranoid nut, so this sort of thing I find really interesting.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Software Center validating packages quality

          Today I have found bug 712377, it seems that Software Center is going to check packages quality and refuse to install them.

        • The latest Ubuntu Unity: Good or bad?

          It’s almost here. Ubuntu 11.04 will be arriving in less than two months and when it does, there will be reactions. Big reactions. Some of those reactions will not be so great. I took the time to install the latest Ubuntu Unity and thought I should give my reaction to how this new desktop is going to effect the crowds. My overall reaction really surprised even me.

        • G’MIC For GIMP Ubuntu PPA

          G’MIC (GREYC’s Magic Image Converter) is a tool that comes with a lot (more than 190) of pre-defined image filters and effects for GIMP and is available for Window, Linux and Mac OSX.

          The G’MIC Sourceforge page offers .deb files for download, but because new G’MIC versions are released very frequently, it’s a good idea to use a PPA to stay up to date with the latest versions in Ubuntu. Roberto @ LFFL has created such a PPA so you can easily stay up to date with the latest G’MIC for Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx and 10.10 Maverick Meerkat.

        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • IcedRobot or Cool Android/Linux

      Either way you slice it, all kinds of Linux-based systems will be running on PCs of all kinds.

    • Navisurfer II brings Ubuntu to your car

      As in-car entertainment systems get increasingly complex, the line between an entertainment and navigation system and a fully-fledged PC blur – and the Navisurfer II UBU-3G destroys the line utterly.

      The latest product from Vic Ltd., the Navisurfer II is a double-DIN (so it takes up two car audio head units) in-car entertainment system that packs an entire PC into the dashboard, powered by the popular open-source Ubuntu Linux distribution.

    • Overthinking Embedded Systems

      I wonder sometimes if we are making things too complex. This is especially important in embedded systems where code size and execution size still matter. The trend has always been to get further away from the hardware, of course. People lamented the introduction of C and then C++ into embedded systems. I myself have railed against using Java as a one-size-fits-all solution. Yet even with these, its often not the tool itself, but bad use of the tool that is the real problem.

      But it does seem to be getting worse. Linux and Unix have long been bastions of combining simple things into beautiful and possibly complex forms. But the community is moving away from that. I use a KDE desktop every day. But the idea that adding metadata tags to my files requires two separate database servers an indexing engine that seems to gobble memory with no constraint and software to manage the ontologies seems a bit much. Worse, its all poorly documented and just kind of “black magic.” To me that was always an advantage of Linux and Unix over more mainstream operating systems was the transparency of what they do, but this isn’t a good example of that being true.

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • Meego: Can it survive?

          The future for Meego now looks distinctly uncertain, even though Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini insists that nothing has changed. “I don’t see that Nokia changing its strategy changes the industry strategy,” said Otellini during the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

          Otellini said that he fully expects to see Meego in tablet PCs later this year and in other automotive and mobile devices soon after that. He may well believe that a Meego tablet is viable this year but who will provide the hardware? Nokia is now in partnership with Microsoft, HP is forging ahead with its new WebOS strategy, HTC and Samsung have both just introduced Android-based tablet PCs.

          Perhaps Asus or Acer will be the ones to ship Meego devices? Both have previously expressed interest in Meego, but that was in mid-2010 and n

        • How the Nokia-Microsoft Deal Could Boost Linux

          The LiMo Foundation on Monday released LiMo 4, a new release of the platform that offers a number of enhancements.

          Included in LiMo 4 are a flexible and powerful user interface, extended widget libraries, 3D window effects, advanced multimedia, social networking and location-based service frameworks, sensor frameworks, multitasking and multitouch capabilities. With support for scalable screen resolution and consistent APIs, meanwhile, the platform can deliver a consistent user experience across a broad range of device types and form factors, LiMo says.

      • Android

        • Xoom/Honeycomb launch impressions (spoilers: it’s not all goodness and light)

          Like many tech geeks out there who has yet to climb the ranks of tech journalism enough to get to go fancy places, I walked over to my local Verizon store on Xoom launch day to check out the Xoom tablet. It was my first experience with the tablet, and my first experience with Honeycomb.

        • Android Market Listed in the Android Market, Paradox Ensues

          Take a minute to mosey on over to the Androidify page at the Android Market website. Peak under at the “More from Developer” heading. Notice anything strange? A link to an Android Market page for the Android Market. Alas, clicking that link brings us to a “Not Found” page. We won’t be downloading the Android Market from the Android Market anytime soon.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Linux Workshop Scheduled At OU-Z

      ZANESVILLE — Linux is a free operating system developed by volunteers across the world who think users should be able to view and modify the source code of their software, as well as share improvements with one another.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome alone?

        One of the most interesting projects announced last year, for my money at least, was Google Chrome OS. This was, as you probably know, Google’s signal of intent that it was going head first into the operating system market, having found a niche in which it figured it could make an impact.

        Its thinking was smart, too. It targeted the then burgeoning netbook market, coming up with a fast, quick-booting operating system that stored everything you needed in the cloud. When it was first demonstrated, and Google showed a portable machine booting to a working desktop in under ten seconds, I wanted to get cracking with the OS right there and then.

    • Mozilla


  • Openness/Sharing

    • Wikimedia presents its five-year strategic plan

      I am very pleased to present the summary report of the Wikimedia Foundation’s five-year strategic plan: our first-ever such plan, developed through a transparent collaborative process involving more than a thousand participants during 2009 and 2010.

    • Open Data

      • Open information

        Although «open data» and iRail are often mentioned in the same sentence, they are no synonyms. In fact, we don’t even want to provide open data! It’s not a goal of the non profit organisation (NPO) to provide datadumps or sublicense data that might be copyrighted. We are also not going to redistribute already available datasets. Let’s get this misconception out of the way…

      • Can a group of scientists in California end the war on climate change?

        In 1964, Richard Muller, a 20-year-old graduate student with neat-cropped hair, walked into Sproul Hall at the University of California, Berkeley, and joined a mass protest of unprecedented scale. The activists, a few thousand strong, demanded that the university lift a ban on free speech and ease restrictions on academic freedom, while outside on the steps a young folk-singer called Joan Baez led supporters in a chorus of We Shall Overcome. The sit-in ended two days later when police stormed the building in the early hours and arrested hundreds of students. Muller was thrown into Oakland jail. The heavy-handedness sparked further unrest and, a month later, the university administration backed down. The protest was a pivotal moment for the civil liberties movement and marked Berkeley as a haven of free thinking and fierce independence.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Open Knowledge Foundation Newsletter No.16 Sept-Dec 2010

        Welcome to the sixteenth Open Knowledge Foundation newsletter! For a plain text version for email please see Open Knowledge Foundation Newsletter No. 16 – on our main okfn-announce list.

      • 80 Open Education Resource (OER) Tools for Publishing and Development Initiatives

        Many Open Education Resources (OER) that have been introduced by governments, universities, and individuals within the past few years. OERs provide teaching and learning materials that are freely available and offered online for anyone to use. Whether you’re an instructor, student, or self-learner, you have access to full courses, modules, syllabi, lectures, assignments, quizzes, activities, games, simulations, and tools to create these components.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia


  • World Blind Union withdraws participation

    The feeling at the WBU seems to be that they get talked to death by the diplomates…

  • WBU suspends participation in WIPO & EU Stakeholder discussions, pending agreement at WIPO on legal framework

    On February 26, 2011, the World Blind Union issued a statement announcing it would “suspend participation in the WIPO Stakeholder Platform and EU Stakeholder Dialogue projects, pending agreement at WIPO on a proper binding legal framework.” [See full statement below]. The WBU statement is expected to dramatically change the environment for considering a new WIPO treaty for persons who are blind or have other disabilities.

    KEI welcomes the WBU suspension of its participation in the WIPO and EU Stakeholder projects. In our opinion, the publishers have used the private stakeholder discussions to undermine work on a treaty, and to shrink the rights of persons with disabilities. Now scarce time, attention, resources and ambitions can be focused on the more important historic effort to obtain a treaty to protect the rights of persons with disabilities.

  • Publishers Slowly Warm to Library E-lending

    Can libraries continue their role as lenders when books are in digital form? While library executives are set on the idea, at least some book publishers seem to still be wary of having libraries circulate electronic copies of their books to multiple parties, even with controls in place.

    As sales figures of electronic books and periodicals start to approach those of their print counterparts, the question arises: should libraries lend electronic books out for the Amazon Kindle, the Apple iPad and Barnes & Noble’s Nook? Digital books are overwhelmingly easy to purchase — the reader need not leave the comfort of an armchair to do so. So does the world still need libraries?

  • Missouri Legislator Wants to Increase Child Labor

    Missouri state senator Jane Cunningham is making an unusual plea for parents’ rights in the face of a supposed nanny state: she says the state’s “so over the top” child labor laws are preventing parents from teaching their kids a decent work ethic of the type that helped her sons work and buy cars as teens.

  • A Fifteenth Century Technopanic About The Horrors Of The Printing Press

    Honestly, it sounds like a near perfect 15th century version of Nick Carr. Carr loves books, but frets about what the internet is doing to our appreciation of books. But, of course, this all seems to come back to Douglas Adams’ famous saying, which I’ll paraphrase: everything that exists before you were born is just normal, the way things should be. Everything that is invented from your birth until you’re about thirty is cool and neat and innovative. And everything invented after you’re thirty is “against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it.”

  • Cloud Wars Baffle Simmering Cyber Lawyers

    Like their celestial counterparts, cyber clouds are unpredictable and ever-changing. The Motorola Xoom tablet arrived on Tuesday. The Apple iPad II arrives next week. Just as Verizon finally boasts its own iPhone, AT&T turns the tables with the Motorola Atrix running on the even faster growing Google Android platform. Meanwhile, Nokia declares its once-mighty Symbian platform ablaze and abandons ship for a new mobile partnership with Microsoft.

  • Court Ruling Opens Up Terrorism to International Prosecution

    The UN tribunal investigating the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has ruled that acts of terrorism can be prosecuted under international law. The decision will have far-reaching legal implications, but could also increase political turmoil in Lebanon and cause the Hariri case to collapse.

    Genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity can already be prosecuted in an international court. Now terrorism is set to be added to the list of crimes which can be prosecuted under international law, thanks to a groundbreaking new court ruling.

  • The facebook problem

    Facebook has obtained more than $500M from investors to grow facebook.com to the size it is today, and has not taken a single penny from any of its users. In order to pay back the investors for their extraordinary risky investment, the investors must be looking for something like 10x cash back. That’s more than $5 billion! Of course it’s currently valued at over $50B. Just hold that thought for a second.

    Now a second thought: billions of people can use email and not have to be part of one, single, organisation. How can that be?

    Email is essentially a protocol. It’s called SMTP and is described by various RFCs. Any server that supports the SMTP protocol can advertise its MX record via DNS and receive email for that domain. Any client that ‘talks’ SMTP can send email to any SMTP server (it can reach). In fact, the SMTP client (or email client) can talk to its local SMTP server which will then forward on the email to its final destination.

    This is, of course, a distributed system. Due to an open protocol anybody can set up an email server and play in the big email ecosystem. Of course, the original inventors of the SMTP protocol didn’t envisage SPAM as we know it, and thus it was designed for a naive, friendly, co-operative world, where email users wouldn’t spam each other. i.e. academia.

  • Science

    • Darpa’s Cheetah-Bot Designed to Chase Human Prey

      Perhaps you thought the four-legged BigDog robot wasn’t eerily lifelike enough. That’ll change soon. BigDog’s makers are working on a new quadruped that moves faster than any human and is agile enough to “chase and evade.”

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • What the Libyans Want

      UK flew in a military transport to pick up oil-workers without formal authorization. More countries need to demonstrate that kind of initiative. If you are going to fly in a transport, ship in some supplies while you’re at it. Properly supplied, the Libyans can deal with Gaddafi.

    • Protesters say Egypt military used force to disperse them

      Egyptian soldiers fired in the air and used batons in the early hours of Saturday to disperse activists demanding the cabinet appointed by Hosni Mubarak be purged by the country’s new military leaders, protesters said.

      Thousands had gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to celebrate two weeks since Mubarak’s removal and remind the country’s new rulers, who have promised to guard against “counter revolution” of the people’s power.

    • Bangladeshi MP ‘tortured’ by British-trained paramilitary unit

      A Bangladeshi MP who has been been behind bars for more than two months after allegedly being detained and tortured by a paramilitary unit trained by the British government has given a harrowing account of his mistreatment in a letter from prison.

    • As Libya uprising reaches Tripoli Gaddafi vows to ‘open up the arsenals’

      Libyan exiles said that a reported rebellion by military personnel at Tripoli’s Mitiga air base was linked to calls by air force officers in the liberated eastern city of Benghazi to come out against the regime. Analysts believe defections from the military are likely to prove more decisive than actual fighting as the nine-day uprising enters what may be its final phase.

    • 46 arrested in Zimbabwe for ‘planning uprising’

      Lawyers for 46 people facing treason charges for allegedly plotting an Egyptian-style uprising said yesterday that some of the group’s members were tortured by police.

      Alec Muchadehama, a defence lawyer, told a Harare court that 12 suspects said they were beaten with broomsticks.

      Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi ordered the suspects be given medical examinations before a hearing on Monday.

    • Most charges dropped against G20 accused in jail since last June

      A computer security expert arrested on G20-related charges has had all but two of the charges against him dropped.

      Byron Sonne, who appeared in court at Old City Hall on Feb. 22, has been in jail since last June.

    • G20: The Untold Stories

      They were the most unlikely of troublemakers. There were thousands of ordinary citizens on the streets at Toronto G20 Summit marching peacefully until the police closed in and shut them down. Many had gone downtown simply to see what was going on, only to find themselves forcibly dragged away by police and locked up for hours in a makeshift detention center without timely access to lawyers or medical treatment.

    • Majority of G20 charges against security consultant Byron Sonne dropped

      The majority of the charges against security consultant Byron Sonne, whose arrest garnered national attention in the days before last summer’s G20 summit, have been dropped.

      After eight days of a preliminary hearing that ended this week, the presiding judge saw fit to proceed with just one of the six initial charges against Mr. Sonne, along with one additional charge recommended by the Crown.

    • Same old story — eight months later

      Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair told the CBC’s the fifth estate Friday his officers were not given orders during the G20 to change the original stand down approach to become more aggressive after their police cars were set ablaze.

      “Not that I’m aware of, and certainly not that I gave,” Blair told reporter Gillian Findlay, adding, though, “I think there certainly was a change in the police response.”

      We still don’t know who gave them?

    • Spain to probe Guantanamo torture claims

      A Spanish court Friday agreed to investigate a complaint by a Moroccan who said he was tortured while in the US detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, judicial sources said.

      The National Court said it was competent to take the case as the complainant, Lahcen Ikassrien, has been living in Spain for 13 years.

    • Major Yemen tribes join protesters

      Pressure on Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s president, to resign has increased after the leaders of two of the country’s most important tribes abandoned the president and joined the anti-government movement.

      Tribal leaders, including those of the Hashid and Baqil, pledged on Saturday to join protests against Saleh at a gathering north of Sanaa, the capital.

      “I have announced my resignation from the General People’s Congress in protest at the repression of peaceful demonstrators in Sanaa, Taez and Aden,” said Hashid tribal chief Sheikh Hussein bin Abdullah al-Ahmar, in reference to the ruling party.

    • Lawmaker condemns question about shooting Obama

      A Georgia Republican said Friday he didn’t immediately condemn a constituent who asked about assassinating President Barack Obama because he was stunned by the question and didn’t want to dignify it with a response.

      Rep. Paul Broun, a conservative who has harshly criticized the president, confirmed that at a town hall event in Oglethorpe County, Ga., on Tuesday a man asked, “Who’s going to shoot Obama?”

    • Freedom protests spread to North Korea

      Popular protests launched by Anonynmous in Tunisia and which have since spread across North Africa and into the Arabian Peninsula have now reach North Korea.

    • No Protesters, but Beijing Police Sweep Streets of Bystanders, Journalists

      While effective, the Chinese government didn’t leave crowd control solely in the hands of the Department of Public Works. I was there for an hour and I haven’t seen that many police in one place since the Olympics in 2008.

      Most of the cops seemed alternately bored and annoyed, and with little else to do they started clashing with the other group well-represented this afternoon: the foreign press corps.

    • Fake Western Media Coverage Of Jasmine Revolution In China

      The website anti-CNN came into being because of the western media reporting about the Lhasa riots. Here is a post from the anti-CNN BBS about some western media coverage of the so-called Jasmine Revolution in China. It is actually not difficult to find these fake photos. You being with a suspicious-looking photo (e.g. people marching down on a major thoroughfare when it is known that the Jasmine Revolution demonstrations were sparsely attended gatherings in front of McDonald’s or Starbucks), you use a photo-identification site such as TinEye and you’ve scored again!

    • China’s jasmine revolution: police but no protesters line streets of Beijing

      Police in Beijing and other cities mounted a major show of force following an anonymous call for protests inspired by the Middle East uprisings.

      A US journalist was punched and kicked in the face and more than a dozen other journalists manhandled, detained or delayed as they covered the events which revealed official anxiety over similar protests against authoritarian rule in China.

    • Tyler Durden and the Anonymous uprisings

      I’ve been quoting him lately in respect to the Anonymous-inspired uprisings which are shaking the world, particularly in the Middle East.

      There’s a great post in Digital Trends which relates how an Anonymous V for Vendetta mask was mysteriously superimposed over Stephen Colbert’s face during a Colbert Report.

    • Guest Report: Return of the Saudi King!

      In Saudi, the most troublesome case has been Bahrain, because of its geographical proximity and close family ties and above all because most of the protesters are Shiites whereas the Power Regime in Bahrain is Sunni. The Shiites are an important part of the population in the Eastern Region of Saudi (on the Arabian/Persian Gulf facing Iran) and the Saudis (dominated by the Sunni branch of Islam) have much sensitivity about Iranian influences through Shiism translating itself into anti-Sunni unrest. Bahrain seemed to have the potential to quickly tip off a proxy battle between Iran and Saudi in the region, in the same way that Shiite/Sunni contests have vexed the development of a new government infrastructure in Iraq. Most Saudis I know point to Iran as the source of the problems in Bahrain: apparently Iranian sympathizers (who are also Shiites) have been the main instigators for the demonstrations.

    • BREAKING: Wisconsin Police Have Joined Protest Inside State Capitol

      From inside the Wisconsin State Capitol, RAN ally Ryan Harvey reports:

      “Hundreds of cops have just marched into the Wisconsin state capitol building to protest the anti-Union bill, to massive applause. They now join up to 600 people who are inside.”

      Ryan reported on his Facebook page earlier today:

      “Police have just announced to the crowds inside the occupied State Capitol of Wisconsin: ‘We have been ordered by the legislature to kick you all out at 4:00 today. But we know what’s right from wrong. We will not be kicking anyone out, in fact, we will be sleeping here with you!’ Unreal.”

    • Wisconsin cops for the win

      Yesterday afternoon, hundreds of cops marched into the Wisconsin Capitol Building, where Wisconsinites have spent more than a week protesting their governor’s plan to eliminate collective bargaining for most public employees.

    • Libya unravels — and the Brits suddenly discover an evil dictator

      It has been a busy month for Britons, with Foreign Secretary William Hague’s whirlwind three-day tour of Tunisia, Jordan, Yemen, UAE and Bahrain (Feb. 8 to 10, with Mubarak not gone yet) and Prime Minister David Cameron’s just-concluded tour of Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman. The ramifications of thinking behind these self-conscious diplomatic exercises in a region vital to their interests seem strange indeed, to the uninitiated.

    • Truth hard to find in US-Pakistan war of words over Raymond Davis

      A storm of media speculation has enveloped the case of Raymond Davis, the CIA official charged with murder in Pakistan, as officials from both countries seek to shape public opinion in an increasingly fraught diplomatic and legal standoff.

      Since it emerged this week that Davis, who shot two people on a busy street last month, was a working spy, Pakistan’s media has been gripped by lurid stories portraying him as a dangerous provocateur.

    • Why Is TeleSur a Flop? Look No Farther than Its Libya Coverage

      As a student of rebellion and resistance, when people rise up I pay attention, study and try to learn as much as possible. Humans are at our most creative when we rebel and the moments when many do it all at once are the great engines of innovation, invention and evolution. Any man, woman or child of any age who participates in a grand and successful revolt is forever changed and liberated by the experience. He and she are no longer so easily enslaved or cowered by fear. Rebellions against injustice and tyranny are the single best catalyst through which people become our better selves and fulfill our most human of destinies. For eighteen days in January and February 2011 the Egyptian people, especially its youths, treated the world to a lesson in civics. Their successful toppling of the thirty year dictator Hosni Mubarak was the very best kind of rebellion because it was disciplined, it was strategically and tactically executed, and the population understood that the justice and freedom it craved would not be found in bloody retribution against the sectors (most demonstrably in Egypt, the Armed Forces) that had propped up the regime, but in peeling those sectors’ support away from it.

    • Arab uprisings mark a turning point for the taking

      In the late 1940s, Simone de Beauvoir was already bemoaning our tendency to “think that we are not the master of our destiny; we no longer hope to help make history, we are resigned to submitting to it”. By the late 70s such regret, repackaged as celebration, had become the stuff of a growing consensus. By the late 80s, we were told that history itself had come to an end. The sort of history that ordinary people might make was to fade away within a “new world order”, a world in which a narrow set of elites would control all the main levers of power.

    • This is an Arab 1848. But US hegemony is only dented

      The refusal of the people to kiss or ignore the rod that has chastised them for so many decades has opened a new chapter in the history of the Arab nation. The absurd, if much vaunted, neocon notion that Arabs or Muslims were hostile to democracy has disappeared like parchment in fire.

  • Cablegate

    • Julian Assange plea after extradition defeat: ‘Make this case bigger than me’

      In an impassioned denunciation of a mechanism that “drags people off to an uncertain destiny” on the basis of no more than “a two-page form filled out by a member of the bureaucracy”, Assange appealed to his supporters to challenge the system of European arrest warrants (EAWs), by which extradition requests are fast-tracked between EU member states.

    • Assange Extradition Reveals Total Hypocrisy & Political Bias Of British Justice
    • Wikileaks Peru: US feared Indigenous power

      Wikileaks releases from Peru once again reveal the pro-copper mining and anti-Indigenous sentiment of the US Embassy in Lima.

      Former US Ambassador Curtis Struble in Peru expresses fear that Indigenous may once again govern Peru. Struble is again on the look-out for Venezuela’s “meddling,” and again is tracking Indigenous activists.
      This time, on the US watch list, is Aymara activist Felipe Quispe of Bolivia, leader of Pachakuti Indigenous Movement, according to the June 19, 2007 cable.
      In one of six cables released Friday, Feb. 25, from Lima, Ambassador Struble writes of the regions of Peru. He said the southern highland province of Puno has an “affinity for far-left radicalism.” Struble fears Venezuela is involved here and fears the movement of Bolivarism.

    • Openleaks: Timid in the face of power?

      WikiLeaks has announced it will pursue legal action against disgruntled former employee Daniel Domscheit-Berg whose recently released book, Inside WikiLeaks, slams Julian Assange’s leadership and character in a series of allegations.

      Some of the allegations appear serious. Others are hopelessly trivial.

      Domscheit-Berg told AFP that Assange would “boast about how many children he had fathered in various parts of the world” and that Assange’s “main criterion for a woman was simple. She had to be young. Preferably younger than 22.” He also accuses Assange as being power-obsessed.

    • The Julian Assange Conspiracy – Networks, power and activism

      The object of Wikileaks is to dismantle the conspiracies that, according to its founder, rule the world. But what is a conspiracy and are you part of one? According to Assange, it’s possible to be a member of conspiracy without even knowing that you are. This week, we look at Julian Assange’s political philosophy and his view of the world as a network of conspiracies.

    • Glenn Greenwald on the Assange Extradition Ruling, the Jailing of Bradley Manning, and the Campaign to Target WikiLeaks Supporters

      A British judge ruled today that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden to face questioning on allegations of sexual crimes. Assange plans to appeal within 10 days. His defense team had argued against the extradition, in part by citing the potential he could wind up being extradited to the United States and prosecuted for publishing classified government documents, a crime that could result in the death penalty.

    • WikiLeaks: Cat’s Cradle in Colombia

      To get a sense of just how inter­con­nected the for­mal and illicit dimen­sions of inter­na­tional polit­i­cal econ­omy are, take a peek at this brief cable from the US embassy in Bogota pub­lished by Wik­iLeaks Sunday.

      The cable details then-Ambassador William Woods’ hunt for two miss­ing heli­copters that had orig­i­nally been sold to the Israeli mil­i­tary by the United States gov­ern­ment, but had some­how ended up in the hands of mul­ti­mil­lion­aire Enilse Lopez, a busi­ness­woman that was sus­pected of close ties to Colom­bian paramilitaries.

      The curi­ous his­tory of the heli­copters is in itself instruc­tive. The two Hughes 500 mil­i­tary grade chop­pers were sold to the Israeli gov­ern­ment in the early 1980s, but grounded about fif­teen years later when they were con­verted for civil­ian use. The heli­copters were then sold in 2002 to the Cana­dian multi­na­tional media firm CANWEST, which strangely never had the air­craft moved out­side Israeli ter­ri­tory. The next year, the cor­po­ra­tion sold the heli­copters to a Mex­i­can aero­nau­ti­cal com­pany, that shipped the pair to Miami under phony export and air­wor­thi­ness doc­u­men­ta­tion sup­pos­edly issued by the Israeli government.

    • No transparency over nukes, China tells US

      China will not accept limits put on its defence capabilities and has rejected United States overtures to become more transparent about its nuclear arsenal, Wikileaks data reveals.

      Fairfax newspapers say data in secret defence consultations between the US and China shows high ranking officials in the Asian nation have said there can be no limit to Beijing’s nuclear arsenal.

      In June 2008 the deputy chief of China’s People’s Liberation Army General Staff, Ma Xiaotian, told the US: “It is impossible for (China) to change its decades-old way of doing business to become transparent using the US model.

    • The WikiLeaks Threat
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • It’s time to end Canada’s billion-dollar handout to big oil and coal

      After two years of stimulus spending and years of tax cuts, Canada’s debt has ballooned to $56 billion. Now the Harper government is sharpening the axe. Who will feel the cut? Given the Conservative’s position on social spending, they will likely focus on provincial transfers that support healthcare and social welfare.

      Meanwhile, the federal government subsidizes oil companies to the tune of $1.4 billion every year, according to the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). It’s more if you factor in other fossil fuels such as coal. If the government is looking for ways to pay down the debt, ending fossil fuel subsidies in the 2011-12 budget is a good place to start.

    • Chimpanzee meat discovered in British restaurants and market stalls as officials uncover illegal bushmeat

      Chimpanzee meat is for sale in restaurants and market stalls in Britain, it has emerged.

      Trading standards officials uncovered the illegal bushmeat from the endangered species whilst testing samples believed to be seized from vendors in the Midlands.

    • Maybe no one cares about climate change because we’re wired for extinction

      In my unending (and thus far, I have to confess, largely fruitless) attempts to figure out why Americans aren’t more alarmed about climate change, one of the more intriguing ideas I’ve heard recently was put to me by a psychologist named Andrew Shatté.

      Shatté, a professor at the University of Arizona, is best known for his work on resilience — the ability of humans to deal with adversity. His thesis on climate change, in a nutshell, is that we are hardwired for extinction. He compares us to the Irish elk, which went extinct about 11,000 years ago. The male of that species evolved to grow big antlers — I mean really gargantuan antlers, racks up to 12 feet wide, designed for the usual reasons of aggression, defense, and sexual display. Over time, the antlers got so big that the elk couldn’t consume enough calories to sustain their growth, so instead the antlers began to feed in auto-parasitic fashion on the calcium in the animals’ bones. If galloping osteoporosis didn’t kill them, they got their antlers impossibly tangled up in the overhead branches and starved to death.

    • Obama’s $36 Billion Nuke Giveaway

      Barack Obama’s 2012 budget marks a major escalation in the nuclear war against a green-powered future, whose advocates are already fighting back.

      Amidst massive budget cuts for social and environmental programs, Obama wants $36 billion in loan guarantees for a reactor industry that cannot secure sufficient private “marketplace” financing for new construction.

    • Climate change halves Peru glacier: official

      A glacier on Peru’s Huaytapallana Moutain shed half its surface ice in just 23 years, officials said Wednesday, reinforcing concerns of climate change’s growing threat to fresh water resources.

      “Recent scientific studies indicate that between June 1983 and August 2006, the glacier has lost 50 percent of its surface ice,” Erasmo Meza, manager of natural resources and the environment in the central Andean region of Junin, told the official Andina news agency.

    • ‘Zero-carbon’ homes can still emit CO2

      Newly built houses will be allowed to emit tons of CO2 every year and still be called “zero carbon” under new rules being considered by ministers.

      In five years time, all new homes built in the UK were expected to be carbon neutral, using technology such as wind turbines, solar panels and ground-source heat pumps. But guidance drawn up for the Housing minister, Grant Shapps, now suggests that some developments will only have to achieve 50 per cent carbon reductions from present rules to qualify.

    • Australia unveils plans for a fixed carbon price

      Australia’s government launched a third attempt on Thursday to make carbon polluters pay for their emissions, unveiling plans for a fixed-price scheme from 2012 and vowing not to surrender this time in the face of fierce opposition.

      Prime minister Julia Gillard, whose predecessor, Kevin Rudd, stood down last year after two failed attempts to address climate change, said polluters would pay a yet-to-be-determined fixed price from July 2012, then move to a market-based system within five years.

    • Must-Read NY Times Story On Gas Fracking Reveals Radioactive Wastewater Threat

      An incredible piece just broke in the New York Times showing that hydraulic fracking in the Marcellus Shale is drawing huge amounts of radioactivity up from the earth with the fracking fluids, often going straight through a municipal waste water treatment plant and then dumped into rivers — above public drinking water intake locations. The piece proves that EPA knows this is going on, and that it is likely illegal.

    • “Growth can’t go on”

      To have any hope of protecting Earth’s resources, we must first abandon our obsession with economic expansion, argues Viki Johnson.

    • Top medical groups warn Americans of health risks posed by climate change

      The following top health and medical experts came together Thursday to alert us of the serious health threats posed by carbon pollution and to remind us of the necessity of the EPA in protecting our air, water, and health, on a briefing call hosted by the American Public Health Association (APHA)

  • Finance

    • Why are America’s largest corporations paying no tax?

      Inspired by the UK Uncut movement, Americans are taking to the street, asking why they’re being asked to tighten their belts when the largest corporations in the country are paying no tax at all…

    • How Timidity in Washington Wrecked the Economy

      We now have even more evidence that inept policies from Washington are causing enormous suffering across the country. It is not quite the line that the right-wingers are pushing. The new evidence is that the stimulus worked and was in fact more effective than had been predicted.

      The new evidence comes in the form of a study by two Dartmouth professors, James Feyrer and Bruce Sacerdote. Past estimates of the impact of the stimulus on jobs and the economy relied on simply plugging the tax breaks and spending into standard macro models and reporting the predicted effect. In this sense, the impact of the stimulus was actually built into the model. However this new study directly measures the impact of stimulus spending on employment across states, comparing the number of jobs created to the amount of spending.

    • The NO2AV campaign lies about AV and is a front for the Conservative Party and big business

      There is not one true claim about AV on the NO2AV website – see below for their four biggest lies about AV and to find out how AV works. While we know 95% of the ‘Yes to Fairer Votes’ campaign funding comes from the Electoral Reform Society and the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, the NO2AV campaign refuse to say who funds them.

      There are some pretty obvious clues though. The head of the NO2AV campaign Matthew Elliot, doubled as founder of the ‘Taxpayers’ Alliance (which he’ll probably return to after the AV referendum is over). The Taxpayers’ Alliance is funded by the same wealthy business-people who fund the Conservative party and has a director who doesn’t pay any tax in the UK.

    • Enlisting Prison Labor to Close Budget Gaps

      There are, of course, concerns about public safety and competition with government or private workers. Professor Horn estimates that only 20 percent of inmates present a low enough security threat to work in public. And in some places, even financially struggling governments are not willing to take the risk of employing prisoners.

    • UK Uncut inspires US groups to attack cuts and tax avoidance

      Hundreds of activists in the US are planning to take part in a day of direct action in a move inspired by Britain’s fast growing protest group.

      US Uncut groups have sprung up from New York to Hawaii in the last three weeks and activists will demonstrate against government cuts and corporate tax avoidance in more than 50 cities on Saturday.

    • Cost of living crisis pushes ‘squeezed middle’ off the housing ladder

      People on low to middle incomes are facing a “perfect economic storm”, which is cutting their living standards and dramatically reducing their ability to buy their own homes, new research will show this week.

      The independent Resolution Foundation is to launch a major inquiry into living standards among the so-called “squeezed middle”, having identified economic trends – in existence since the 1970s – that have led wages for this income group to grow at a slower rate than the economy.

      The foundation, which aims to improve the lot of 11.1 million people, will reveal evidence that home ownership is slipping out of the reach of those living in households with below-median earnings.

    • Tell Democratic Leadership: Don’t cave to Republican extremists on the budget.

      It’s breathtaking to think that the Republicans would risk a government shutdown because Democrats won’t unilaterally capitulate to their demands for concessions in some of the most intractable ideological wars of our time.

      But last week the House passed and sent to the Senate for consideration an extremist’s wish list under the guise of the “Continuing Resolution.” The Continuing Resolution (CR) is a must-pass bill that is necessary to maintain funding for the federal government while Congress debates the 2011 budget.

    • Pay Down the Deficit with Inheritance Taxes

      The solution to America’s budget deficit is obvious; make the dead pay. Afterall, the dead are dead and they don’t care.

      Think about it. Who caused the budget deficit? Who voted for these outrageous entitlements? Who milked social security and Medicare while they were alive? The dead, of course.

      The current inheritance tax is outside down. It exempts the first $5 million of a dead person’s estate and then taxes the excess. Instead, the government should be recovering the dead person’s share of the budget deficit first.

    • BP claim threatens to reignite corporate tax row

      The oil company wants repayment of £300m stamp duty tax it paid when it took over Atlantic Richfield in 1999

    • Disgraced MP Eric Illsley ‘coping’ in jail, says wife

      The wife of former Barnsley Central MP Eric Illsley has said her husband is “coping” in prison after being jailed for a year for expenses fraud.

      Illsley was sentenced earlier this month after admitting falsely claiming £14,000 for his second home.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Sarah Palin Has Secret ‘Lou Sarah’ Facebook Account To Praise Other Sarah Palin Facebook Account

      Sarah Palin has apparently created a second Facebook account with her Gmail address so that this fake “Lou Sarah” person can praise the other Sarah Palin on Facebook. The Gmail address is available for anyone to see in this leaked manuscript about Sarah Palin, and the Facebook page for “Lou Sarah” — Sarah Palin’s middle name is “Louise” — is just a bunch of praise and “Likes” for the things Sarah Palin likes and writes on her other Sarah Palin Facebook page. “Lou Sarah” even says “amen” to Facebook posts by Sarah Sarah. UPDATE (2/23): The “Lou Sarah” account has been taken down.

    • Tobacco firms accused of funding campaign to keep cigarettes on display

      A shopkeepers’ trade body that has helped to persuade scores of MPs to oppose a ban on cigarette displays has been accused by its members of being a puppet of the tobacco industry.

      The National Federation of Retail Newsagents, which represents 16,500 shopkeepers, has emerged as an important player in the debate over whether “power walls” – behind-the-counter displays of cigarettes – should be banned.

  • Censorship

    • New Mortal Kombat banned in Australia

      Australia’s content classification regulator has banned the highly anticipate remake of the classic Mortal Kombat video game series from being sold in Australia, deeming the game’s violence outside the boundaries of the highest MA15+ rating which video games can fall under.

    • How The Indian Government Plans To Regulate Online Content & Blogs

      As a part of the rules being finalized to supplement India’s Information Technology Amendment Act 2008, rules are being included that will indirectly allow the Indian government to control content being published on the Internet. This is hardly surprising: last week, at the CII Content Summit, three government functionaries – Information & Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Ambika Soni, TRAI Chief JS Sarma and I&B Secretary Raghu Menon, had all mentioned concerns about content on the Internet, even as they tried to downplay content regulation:

      - Sarma said that “How do you control the Internet? That is baffling and challenging, and it is fraught with issues of freedom and security. Security in terms of physical security and others. This will have to be studied over the course of next few months or the next year or so.”

    • WikiLeaks: Mario Montoya and Colombian False Positives

      When Major Gen­eral Mario Mon­toya Uribe was appointed com­man­der of the Colom­bian army in March of 2006, the US embassy in Bogota was largely unaware of his back­ground and bona fides. The Amer­i­can ambas­sador to Colom­bia at the time, William Wood, reported in a cable Wik­iLeaked on Fri­day, that rel­a­tively lit­tle was known about Mon­toya aside from his many dec­o­ra­tions as a career mil­i­tary man, his close per­sonal rela­tion­ship with then-president Alvaro Uribe, and per­sis­tent but as yet unsub­stan­ti­ated rumors that the com­man­der was cor­rupt and tied to con­ser­v­a­tive para­mil­i­tary forces through­out the country.

      Lit­tle was Wood aware that Montoya’s cor­rup­tion and para­mil­i­tary ties would prove to be the least of his offenses. By the time he was relieved of his com­mand eigh­teen months later, Mon­toya was widely per­ceived to be a dri­ving force behind the breath­tak­ingly hor­rific deal­ings of mil­i­tary per­son­nel in the fight against drug– and guerilla-related inter­nal disturbances.

  • Privacy

    • Swiss Officials Order Citizens to Wear Masks in Public – Ban Tourists Posting Photos on Web

      In a bold move to demonstrate that the Swiss government is as serious about privacy for its citizens as it has historically been regarding the protection of illicit foreign assets in Swiss bank accounts, the head of the newly created Switzerland Federal Department of Facial Anonymity, Nicolas J. Biellmann, today issued a preliminary order requiring that all Swiss citizens wear “full head coverage” masks at all times when outside their homes or places of business within the borders of Switzerland.

      This groundbreaking move, being enthusiastically supported by radical pro-privacy groups in Switzerland and around the world, comes on the heels of previous Swiss orders that search giant Google must obscure every single human face — even if this must be done manually — that appears in their “Street View” images, or else potentially terminate Street View services for Switzerland.

    • Google-Unique Names

      My name is not. According to the database How Many of Me, which calculates the likely incidence of first/last name combinations, 1,000 other guys in the US have my name, Kevin Kelly. I think that is a major undercount because I personally have met dozens of others with my name, surely only a fraction of those born with it. A website set up as a clearing house for all the Kevin Kellys on the web lists nearly one hundred people with my name, which can’t possibly be one tenth of those named.

  • Civil Rights

    • Iran’s Green Movement Died

      When we look at the first backlashes to the Charter of Green Movement we simply realize that Iran’s Green Movement has died . In fact, a new movement was born after Feb 14th. We could call this new movement “Real Change Movement” or “Civil Revolutionary Movement” or simply “Iranian Movement”. The outside world should stop using of ‘Green Movement’ term for referring to ‘Iranian Movement’. What Mousavi and his team have said in the Charter of Green Movement was totally unacceptable for many Iranians and showed the end and death of the Green Movement.

    • Iran used Tear Gas or Poison Gas?

      According to the three individuals, when they returned home after exposure to the tear gas, they suffered symptoms such as severe nausea, vomiting blood, and loss of voice and their symptoms have not yet subsided … I know of three people who are suffering from pains which were unprecedented as compared to the previous occasions. One of them had severe nausea and vomited blood, to the point where he was seen by a doctor and has had to take tests. One of them continues to have no voice through today and cannot be heard even 10 centimeters away. All three are suffering from severe muscular pains and cramps.

    • The Media and Iranian Protests

      Today many Iranians say: ‘We are so abandoned and isolated. The world has ignored us.’ Compared to the Egyptian protests, the media, especially Western mass media, have took different approach to the Iranian protests. Some of them deliberately ignored the Iranian protests, some of them had not access to the Iranian news, and some of them wanted to obey the regime’s orders. As Wall Street Journal approved, the regime’s Ministry of Information has sent a letter to foreign media offices in Tehran warning that their bureaus would be shut down and their reporters deported if they wrote ‘negative articles’ surrounding the opposition protests.

    • HamedNour-Mohammadi, a student of Shiraz University, slain in popular uprising in Shiraz by the mullahs’ regime

      NCRI – HamedNour-Mohammadi, aBiology student in Shiraz University, was murdered by the criminal agents of the Iranian regime on Sunday, February 20 during the valiant uprising of people of Shiraz only because of his protest against the religious dictatorship ruling Iran. The mullahs’ murderers threw down this young student from the pedestrian bridge causing his death due to being hit by a car.

    • Habeas hell: How the Great Writ was gutted at Guantánamo

      Andy Worthington analyzes how the Guantanamo prisoners’ habeas corpus petitions have been rendered meaningless by judges and the Obama administration.

    • On Wisconsin and America

      Right now, the flashpoint in this controversy is Wisconsin, where tens of thousands of people are demonstrating every day in an effort to block Governor Scott Walker’s plan to all but end collective bargaining rights for public employees.

    • Koch Brothers “Prank” No Laughing Matter

      As the Center for Media and Democracy has reported, the Koch PAC not only spent $43,000 directly on Walker’s race, but Koch personally donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association which spent $5 million in the state. Besides the Governor, the Koch brothers have other “vested interests” in the state.

    • Reporter’s phone, bank and travel records seized as hunt for whistleblowers is stepped up

      As the fallout from the Wikileaks revelations rumble on, new details have emerged of the extraordinary lengths prosecutors will go to identify leakers.

      Court papers in the case of a former CIA officer accused of spilling secrets show that prosecutors got hold of a reporter’s phone, credit and bank records, his credit report from three different agencies and records of his airline travel.

      Ex-CIA officer, Jeffrey Sterling, was indicted in December on charges that he disclosed ‘national defense information’ to New York Times reporter James Risen.

    • Humans Are The Routers

      On January 7, 2010 I was ushered into a small private dinner with Secretary Hillary Clinton at the State Department along with the inventor of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google and a few others. We were there to talk about technology and 21st Century Diplomacy. As we mingled I noticed next to me the small table that Thomas Jefferson wrote the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence. I was inspired by the history around us as we discussed the unfolding history before us. I was sitting in front of Secretary Clinton and when she asked me a question I said, “Secretary Clinton, the last bastion of dictatorship is the router.” That night seeded some of the ideas that were core to Secretary Clinton’s important Internet Freedoms Speech on January 21, 2010.

  • DRM

    • HarperCollins to libraries: we will nuke your ebooks after 26 checkouts

      LibraryGoblin sez, “HarperCollins has decided to change their agreement with e-book distributor OverDrive. They forced OverDrive, which is a main e-book distributor for libraries, to agree to terms so that HarperCollins e-books will only be licensed for checkout 26 times. Librarians have blown up over this, calling for a boycott of HarperCollins, breaking the DRM on e-books–basically doing anything to let HarperCollins and other publishers know they consider this abuse.”

    • German PS3 Hacker Lashes Out at Sony Over €1 Million Lawsuit

      Alexander Egorenkov, better known as by his Graf_chokolo handle, is under fire once again by Sony and its legal team. Egorenkov, whose home was raided under court order, is now being sued for what he did in retaliation to Sony’s seizure. He released all his tools for hacking the PS3 known collectively as the Hypervisor Bible, and the proverbial shitstorm commenced as Sony slapped him with a large lawsuit.

    • Sony hires anti-piracy team

      Places job ads seeking staff to “develop and implement an anti-piracy program”

      Sony is hiring new members for an anti-piracy team following a spate of PS3 hacking and security breaches.

      SCEA placed job listings on its recruitment page – which have now been removed – reports IGN. These were for a senior corporate counsel and senior paralegal to “develop and implement an anti-piracy and brand protection program”.

    • Sony’s Neverending War Against The Freedom To Tinker And Innovate
    • Publishing Industry Forces OverDrive and Other Library eBook Vendors to Take a Giant Step Back

      The first bit – ownership of ebooks will now expire after a certain number of check outs to patrons.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Hanafin has no plan for copyright legislation

        MINISTER FOR Enterprise Mary Hanafin yesterday quashed rumours that she was planning to rush through a statutory instrument relating to copyright issues before leaving office.

        Earlier, former minister for communication Eamon Ryan said he believed a “new law on internet downloads” was awaiting Ms Hanafin’s signature.

      • The Debate Over Copyright Gets Loud At Digital Music Forum

        I attended that excellent Digital Music Forum: East conference yesterday in Manhattan, where I appeared on stage to interview Gary Shapiro, the head of the Consumer Electronics Association and the author of the (really excellent) new book The Comeback. It’s really worth reading, and I think a ton of Techdirt readers would enjoy it, as it hits on a ton of points we regularly discuss, concerning innovation, policy and intellectual property. That discussion was fun, and Gary made some great points about trying to look towards the future, and avoiding mistakes like the recording industry suing its own customers.

      • Random defendant outlawyers P2P attorney, gets lawsuit tossed

        You know it’s tough out there for a P2P lawyer when even some random, anonymous, non-lawyer defendant is the more convincing party. That strange scenario unfolded yesterday in Illinois, where divorce-attorney-turned-porn-copyright-lawyer John Steele had his entire case against 300 defendants thrown out completely.

        The case involved CP Productions, “a leading producer of adult entertainment content within the amateur Latina niche.” The company ran a site called “Chica’s Place” from which a bit of material referred to as “Cowgirl Creampie” was allegedly downloaded illegally by 300 people. Though based in Arizona, CP Productions signed up with Steele, a Chicago lawyer, to bring the case.

      • Evil Pirates: Movie Industry Tops $30 Billion Box Office Record

        The MPAA has made it very clear that hundreds of thousands of jobs are under threat and the economy is losing billions due to piracy. Illegal downloads, they say, are slowly killing their creative industry.


        Does the MPAA chief truly believe that a shaky camcorded version of a movie is somehow depriving movie theaters of visitors? Are there millions of people who prefer watching a low quality camcorded version of a movie over a theater visit simply because they can save a few bucks?

      • Hosting Company: Anti-Pirates Stole $138,000 In Kit & Hijacked Our Email

        After seizing back equipment wrongfully seized by Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, the owner of the servers which previously housed a huge warez topsite has spoken out. With claims that BREIN ruined his business, the man from Costa Rica says that the anti-piracy group stole $138,000 of his equipment and hijacked his email accounts. He will now pursue the matter with the police.

        In January, Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN targeted one of the Internet’s largest warez piracy topsites. The site, known as Swan, was taken down by hosting provider WorldStream and in a cosy arrangement the company handed over the servers to the anti-piracy group with no legal oversight.

      • Should Piracy Punishments Scale To The Quality Of The Copy?

        In a case involving the administrator of a BitTorrent tracker this week, a judge felt that punishments should reduce if low quality movies were being shared. On the other hand the plaintiffs argued that since their product was being devalued with poor quality reproduction, compensation should actually increase. In a separate case in Argentina, seven pirates just walked because their copies were poor, and the public knew it.

      • Startup Claims It Can Sell Your Used MP3s Legally

        While not quite a truism, it’s pretty widely accepted that a music startup is a bad idea. The record industry is at best unsupportive and at worst litigious when it comes to digital music sales and sharing and when it comes to welcoming (or crushing or suing) new companies and technologies.

      • Swedish MFA Cracking Down On Net

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley's Long Career Serving Microsoft's Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub's GPL Violations Machine)

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley was promoting .NET (or Mono) since his young days; his current job at Microsoft is consistent with past harms to GNU/Linux, basically pushing undesirable (except to Microsoft) things to GNU/Linux users; Tomboy used to be the main reason for distro ISOs to include Mono

  2. Dr. Andy Farnell on Teaching Cybersecurity in an Age of 'Fake Security'

    By Dr. Andy Farnell

  3. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 28, 2021

  4. Links 29/11/2021: Linux 5.16 RC3 and Lots of Patent Catch-up

    Links for the day

  5. By 2022 0% of 'News' Coverage About Patents Will Be Actual Journalism (Patent Litigation Sector Has Hijacked the World Wide Web to Disseminate Self-Promotional Misinformation)

    Finding news about the EPO is almost impossible because today’s so-called ‘news’ sites are in the pockets of Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cohorts who turned the EPO into a hub of litigation, not science; this is part of an international (worldwide) problem because financial resources for journalism have run out, and so the vacuum is filled/replaced almost entirely by Public Relations (PR) and marketing

  6. Trying to Appease Those Who Never Liked Free Software or Those Who Blindly Loved All Patent Monopolies to Begin With

    It’s crystal clear that trying to appease everyone, all the time, is impossible; in the case of the EPO, for example, we hope that exposing Team Battistelli/Campinos helps raise awareness of the harms of patent maximalism, and when speaking about Free software — whilst occasionally bashing the alternatives (proprietary) — we hope to convince more people to join the “Good Fight”

  7. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

    Links for the day

  8. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021

  9. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

    Links for the day

  10. [Meme] Linus Gabriel Sebastian Takes GNU/Linux for a (Tail)'Spin'

    If you’re trying to prove that GNU/Linux is NOT Windows, then “haha! Well done…”

  11. GNU/Linux is for Freedom and It'll Gain Many Users When (or Where) People Understand What Software (or Computing) Freedom Means

    Software that respects people's freedom (and by extension privacy as well) is an alluring proposition; those who choose to try GNU/Linux for the wrong reasons are likely the wrong target audience for advocates

  12. Amid Reports of Microsoft's Competition Crimes in Europe...

    European companies are complaining, but they seem to overlook the principal aspect of an imperialistic system with bottomless pockets (almost 30 trillion dollars in debt already; US national debt soared again last month); Microsoft is shielded by a political system with military (“defence”) as bailout budget to help cushion international expansion for data grab and technical leverage, as we've seen in the case of EPO (this is all political, not technical, and should thus be treated as a political/corruption issue)

  13. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying

  14. Links 27/11/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 in EasyOS

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  15. [Meme] Keeping Our Distance From Microsoft

    The OSI is the dagger, the Linux Foundation is the knife, and many others are the sword by which Microsoft tries to get into the very heart of GNU/Linux and extinguish the Free software movement

  16. Microsoft Edge Encourages Indebted Americans to Guilt-spend Just in Time for Christmas

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission

  17. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, November 26, 2021

  18. 38+ Years of GNU and 19+ Years of FSF Associate Membership

    “On November 25, 2002,” Wikipedia notes, “the FSF launched the FSF Associate Membership program for individuals.” As the above video points out, it all started almost 40 years ago.

  19. Gemini as a Platform for Gamers

    Contrary to what people often assume (or are led to assume), even without client-side scripting Gemini can accomplish a great deal; early adopters, many of whom are technical, test the limits of the very minimalistic (by design and intention) specification

  20. Improved Workflows: Achievement Unlocked

    Today we've completed a bunch of small projects that can make us more efficient (e.g. more Daily Links per day, more articles); the above video was recorded many hours ago to accompany the outline below

  21. Links 26/11/2021: New Complaint About Microsoft Competition Crimes in Europe, EuroLinux 8.5, GhostBSD 21.11.24, and Kiwi TCMS 10.5 Released

    Links for the day

  22. Links 26/11/2021: F35 Elections, Whonix, OSMC's November Refresh With Kodi 19.3

    Links for the day

  23. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 25, 2021

  24. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 24, 2021

  25. Links 25/11/2021: PHP 8.1.0 Released and Linux 5.15.5

    Links for the day

  26. IBM as Master of Hypocrisy

    Free software projects and Free software developers have long been humiliated by corporations of Western misogynists, falsely claiming that the Free software community isn’t inclusive enough (these are shameless projection tactics; as a matter of public record, the exact opposite is true) and even the eradication of supposedly offensive language isn’t something IBM takes seriously

  27. Links 25/11/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.3 and Mesa 21.2.6 Released

    Links for the day

  28. [Meme] So Desperate That Edge Cannot Even Exceed 4% That They Block Rival Web Browsers

    Linux/Android/Free Software/GNU (they go by very many names/brands) may continue to grow to the point where Windows is as irrelevant as Blackberry; this means that Microsoft’s grip on the Web too has slipped — to the point where Microsoft frantically uses 'bailout' money to hijack LinkedIn, GitHub, etc. (it also rebrands almost everything as "Azure" or clown to fake a perception of growth)

  29. Windows Vista Service Pack 11 (Vista 11) Has Failed to Curb the Growth of GNU/Linux

    Windows market share continues to decrease in spite of billions of dollars spent bribing the media for fake hype, especially in light of a new Windows Service Pack (SP), Vista SP 11

  30. Links 25/11/2021: Proton 6.3-8 and Linux Mint Compared to Ubuntu

    Links for the day

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