IBM-backed Book on ‘Open Innovation’

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, IBM at 3:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Open Forum Europe

Summary: OpenForum Europe (OFE), which helps IBM’s turf wars in Europe, releases a new book filled with its talking point

OpenForum was named here many times before, and not always in purely positive context. Contrary to its name, OpenForum is not backed by many Open Source companies, but much of the time it does promote Open Source (and sometimes Free/libre software ) ideals. It should be treated not as grassroots but as corporations-controlled lobby,

“It should be treated not as grassroots but as corporations-controlled lobby,”IBM, a strong proponent of software patents, helped create OIN (led by its own staff originally), which is a case of using patents versus patents. IBM also helped form OpenForum, which helps its lobbying in Europe in particular.

Andy Updegrove at ConsortiumInfo.org writes about a book from an academy “affiliated with Openforum Europe” and here is the direct link. Updegrove is in it and it is called “open innovation”. I have not read the book, but it is worth noting that IBM believes open source relied on patents for innovation. The backer of this book probably helps weaken its impact. When it comes to patents, IBM is not on our side. Hopefully some new (future) leadership in IBM will help bring fresh change.

Joseph E. Stiglitz Criticises the Patent System

Posted in Patents at 2:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Correction: Stiglitz is not a Nobel Laureate, but he won the “Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel”

Joseph E. Stiglitz

Summary: More critical words about the patent system and the way it is harming lives

The USPTO is a laughing stock. Some people ask, “Does Innovation Require the Patent Office?

It has been a long time since the USPTO truly filtered applications based on novelty. “More broadly,” says Prof. Stiglitz, “there is increasing recognition that the patent system, as currently designed, not only imposes untold social costs, but also fails to maximize innovation – as Myriad’s gene patents demonstrate.”

Here is the full article by Joseph Stiglitz. He previously criticised patents for being treated like property (“IP is often compared to physical property rights but knowledge is fundamentally different,” he allegedly argued) — a problem we are still seeing. Yes, patents are treated like assets and property rather than ideas. Even a divorce case involves ‘splitting’ patents now.

“Even a divorce case involves ‘splitting’ patents now.”To demonstrate that patents are not really valuable but are mostly hype, consider the new McAfee patent on user hostility. As Masnick’s site puts it, “there are a couple of big issues here. First, who determines whether content is illegal? As Techdirt has reported many times, the only people who can give a definitive answer are judges: anything else is likely to be plagued with errors and arbitrary decisions. Since an ad-hoc system would naturally err on the side of caution, this would inevitably lead to perfectly legitimate sites being miscategorized and thus starved of visitors.”

Not that McAfee would mind. It is not in the business is spreading information. Its patent, in other words, just helps reduce innovation by censorship.

Senator Schumer Should Focus on Software Patents, Leaving Patent Trolls (Side Effect) Aside

Posted in Patents at 2:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Charles Schumer

Summary: Reform in the USPTO and the US courts should focus on patent scope and not patent holders

We recently wrote about new efforts by Senator Schumer to fix the US patent system. He got a lot of positive coverage for it, but he is back to focusing on trolls (as before [1, 2]) rather than the core issue he recently spoke about. That would be patents scope. Masnick’s Web site says: “It’s now being reported that Schumer is set to introduce a new bill that will expand Section 18 to cover technology patents, rather than just limiting it to business method patents (the more cynical among you will note the rapid growth of New York’s tech sector as a reason for this expansion). This is definitely a big step in the right direction. If something like this was also combined with the SHIELD Act, which shifts fees to the trolls for bogus patent lawsuits, it would really help limit some of the most egregious activities of trolls. “

This would not, however, resolve the issue as a whole.

Dan O’Connor writes that “Senator Schumer announced he is introducing a bill next week to extend the Covered Business Methods program, which forestalls litigation on financial product patents while the PTO reviews their validity, to all patents. Given that trolls, particularly trolls that target startups, often use low quality patents, this would help limit outright extortion conditioned on the high cost of conducting successful patent defenses.”

Naming trolls is irrelevant to a large degree. Just eliminate the offending class of patents and see how trolls starve. Statistics suggest that they rely on such patents. That is why software patents should be the focus. Outside the US, suggests strong evidence, patent trolls are scarce and rare because they have no access to such patents in the first place.

Links 20/5/2013: Plenty of Linux News, Google/Android Announcements

Posted in News Roundup at 2:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Google Glass Runs Linux: Glasses Hacked On Stage To Support Ubuntu; Find Out How To Install It [PHOTOS]
  • Google shows developers how to hack Glass and run Ubuntu

    Google has shown attendees of its Google I/O event how one can go about running another operating system – namely Ubuntu – on their Google Glass. According to Engadget, the company showcased the process during a session named “Voiding your Warranty”.

  • Desktop

    • City of Munich – IT Capital of Germany

      Did Munich’s migration to GNU/Linux stimulate local IT businesses or did local businesses empower Munich to migrate?

    • Linux World Embraces Google Chromebooks

      The latest incarnation of the Linux Kernel was released this week, and for the first time, it includes code for running Linux on Google Chromebooks. Chromebooks come loaded with Chrome OS — a web-happy, Linux-based operating system designed by Google — but the new kernel code will make it easier to run other versions of the popular open source operating system on these machines.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Logitech Begins Supporting Linux Users

      While Linux game developers and publishers have grown more interested in the Linux market-share over the past year following Valve’s major Linux play, one of the sectors that is still lagging behind is gaming hardware and peripherals. Fortunately, Logitech is finally beginning to show their Linux cards.

    • Linux’s “Ondemand” Governor Is No Longer Fit

      By default the Linux kernel uses the “ondemand” CPU frequency governor for achieving maximum clock frequency when system load is high and a lower clock frequency when the system is idle. However, it turns out that for at least modern Intel CPUs, this is likely no longer the case. This default kernel choice may lead to poor battery life and performance for modern Linux systems.

    • Lots Of Crypto Optimizations For Linux 3.10 Kernel
    • XFS In Linux 3.10 To Put On Extra Protection

      The XFS file-system with the forthcoming Linux 3.10 kernel will have an experimental feature for CRC protection of meta-data.

    • Audio Drivers Updated For The Linux 3.10 Kernel
    • Intel Commits More Mesa Performance Optimizations

      Just days after landing some OpenGL performance tweaks, Intel’s Eric Anholt has committed some more performance optimizations for the Intel i965 Mesa driver.

    • CONFIG_NO_HZ_FULL Pulled Into Linux 3.10 Kernel

      Covered earlier today on Phoronix was the full request for providing full dynticks support for Linux, a.k.a. “CONFIG_NO_HZ_FULL” as the kernel configuration operation is known. As covered earlier, the experimental kernel option benefits workloads where there is just one task running (rather than dynamic ticks when no CPU task is active) and can benefit in the number of timer interrupts generated. For end-users this can benefit real-time latency, HPC computing, and even desktop/mobile workloads.

    • Overclockix Is Still Around For Linux Stress-Testing

      Overclockix, a Linux distribution with a long and bumpy history, has seen a new release. Overclockix .017 is now available as a Debian/Knoppix-based platform for hardware tweaking, stress-testing / burn-in software, and network security.

    • F2FS File-System Gets Major Changes In Linux 3.10

      F2FS, the promising “Flash Friendly” file-system developed at Samsung and has shown promising performance results on various flash devices, has seen more improvements with the Linux 3.10 kernel.

    • Fedora and Ubuntu Kernel Config Comparison

      Every once in a while, I crawl out from under the rock that is bugzilla and I try and look around at what others are doing in the distro kernel space. Today I was curious how Fedora and Ubuntu compare in how they configure the kernel. I’ve long thought that for all the focus the kernel gets, it should be the most boring package in an entire distro. It should work, work well, and that is about it. It isn’t there to differentiate your distro. It’s there to let your distro run. So, will my personal belief stand up, or would I find something in the configs that proves one “distro” is better than another? Let’s dive in.

    • Btrfs In Linux 3.10 Gets Skinny Extents, Quota Rebuilds

      The Btrfs file-system pull request by Chris Mason has been submitted for inclusion into the Linux 3.10 kernel.

      The two main features introduced to the Btrfs file-system in Linux 3.10 is skinny extends and support for rebuilding of quota indexes.

    • Linux 3.10: Improved eCryptfs AES-NI Performance

      The eCryptfs pull for the Linux 3.10 kernel has been merged. What’s noticeable about this feature pull is the improved encryption performance for modern AMD/Intel CPUs supporting AES-NI.

      Tyler Hicks wrote with the code, “Improve performance when AES-NI (and most likely other crypto accelerators) is available by moving to the ablkcipher crypto API. The improvement is more apparent on faster storage devices. There’s no noticeable change when hardware crypto is not available.”

    • Intel Releases Linux Thermal Daemon
    • Graphics Stack

      • Modern Intel Gallium3D Driver Still Being Toyed With

        While it’s not the default Linux graphics driver for Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge hardware, the “ilo” independently-developed Gallium3D driver for modern Intel graphics hardware continues to be developed.

        Since last December there’s been a Sandy/Ivy Bridge Gallium3D driver developed by Chia-I Wu. The work mostly comes as an experiment or toy, but last month it was merged to mainline Mesa.

      • Radeon Gallium3D Gets Important Cayman Fixes
      • AMD Radeon R600 GPU LLVM 3.3 Back-End Testing

        One of the exciting features of LLVM 3.3 that is due out next month is the final integration of the AMD R600 GPU LLVM back-end. This LLVM back-end is needed for supporting Gallium3D OpenCL on AMD Radeon graphics hardware, “RadeonSI” HD 7000/8000 series support, and can optionally be used as the Radeon Gallium3D driver’s shader compiler. In this article are some benchmarks of the AMD R600 GPU LLVM back-end from LLVM 3.3-rc1 when using several different AMD Radeon HD graphics cards and seeing how the LLVM compiler back-end affects the OpenGL graphics performance.

      • VA-API Gets New H.264/MPEG-2 Encoding API Support

        NVIDIA’s proprietary driver and the open-source Gallium3D Linux graphics drivers — namely now the open-source Radeon UVD support — are using VDPAU as their accelerated video playback API. Meanwhile, Intel still continues to invest heavily in VA-API as their preferred video acceleration API for Linux. An exciting set of 42 patches to improve VA-API was published on Monday.

      • Sub-Surfaces Support Merged Into Wayland

        Support for sub-surfaces has been merged into mainline Wayland after the protocol work and other changes for this exciting new feature has been in development for several months. Sub-surfaces by itself isn’t too exciting to end-users but will benefit application developers in enhancing the Wayland-powered Linux desktop.

      • NVIDIA Releases 310.51 Driver To Kill Off The Series

        NVIDIA has announced the release of their 310.51 “certified” proprietary graphics driver for Linux, Solaris, and BSD operating systems.

      • DRM Graphics Driver Comes For Dove/Cubox

        The SolidRun CuBox is advertised as the “world’s smallest desktop computer” with a size of just two-inches cubed (5cm). The CuBox is powered by an ARM PJ4 800MHz SoC and now it has available an open-source DRM Linux graphics driver.

      • Mesa 9.1.2 Fixes A Handful Of Graphics Driver Bugs

        Ian Romanick of Intel’s Open-Source Technology Center has announced the immediate release of Mesa 9.1.2 for open-source graphics drivers.

      • AMD R600 Gallium3D Optimizing Back-End Merged

        Vadim Girlin’s shader-optimizing back-end for the AMD R600 Gallium3D driver has been merged into mainline Mesa.

      • Unigine Adds In Support For Oculus Rift & WebGL

        Unigine Corp has made another round of noteworthy updates to their visually amazing cross-platform game and simulation engine.

        The main items to point out with the latest Unigine Engine revision is there’s now support for Occulus Rift. Occulus Rift is the promising low-cost virtual reality head-mounted display that was born as a Kickstarter project. Unigine is making the Occulus Rift VR HMD support available through an “AppOculus” engine plug-in and they’ll soon release new versions of Heaven and Valley that offer this feature.

      • GLSL 1.30 Support For AMD RadeonSI Driver With LLVM

        Michel Dänzer of AMD has provided a set of patches that should provide for the necessary patterns and intrinsics for AMD to round out GLSL 1.30 support within their RadeonSI open-source Gallium3D driver for Radeon HD 7000/8000 series graphics cards.

      • Previewing The Radeon Gallium3D Shader Optimizations

        With the AMD R600 Gallium3D shader optimizing back-end having been merged last week, new benchmarks were carried out at Phoronix to see the impact of the experimental shader optimizations on multiple AMD Radeon HD graphics cards.

      • Intel Releases OpenCL SDK XE 2013 For Linux

        Intel released yesterday the Intel SDK for OpenCL Applications XE 2013. This is an OpenCL SDK for Linux that supports OpenCL 1.2 and all of the latest and greatest Intel hardware.

        Intel’s already been shipping their OpenCL SDK for Linux in years prior, albeit sadly it’s closed-source and only runs on the CPU. This OpenCL XE 2013 for Linux continues to only work on the CPU side and doesn’t support GPU integration for Ivy Bridge and Haswell processors. (On Windows, however, there is the OpenCL GPU support.) With OpenCL SDK XE 2013, there’s new features and improvements.

      • Pixman 0.30 Release Has Major Back-End Work

        A major release of the Pixman rendering library happened on Wednesday. Pixman 0.30 now has some major back-end improvements and other changes to better the pixel manipulation software.

      • Color Management Code Merged Into Wayland/Weston

        The Wayland color management work done by Richard Hughes and talked about for the past month has finally landed in mainline Weston. The code allows for ICC color profiles to be specified within the Weston configuration file or a CMS implementation to be loaded from a pluggable module.

    • i915.ko authors, by the numbers

      total lines counted: 67417 (compare with git ls-files — ./drivers/gpu/drm/i915/ | xargs wc -l)
      [('Jesse Barnes', 16255),
      ('Chris Wilson', 13174),
      ('Daniel Vetter', 11066),
      ('Eugeni Dodonov', 3636),
      ('Paulo Zanoni', 3434),
      ('Ben Widawsky', 2935),
      ('Eric Anholt', 2176),
      ('Keith Packard', 1773),
      ('Zhenyu Wang', 1703),
      ('Ville Syrjälä', 1130)]

    • Open-Source AMD Driver Gets “Hainan” GPU Support

      The open-source AMD Linux graphics driver now boasts support for AMD’s next-generation “Hainan” GPU products, a.k.a. the Radeon HD 8800 series.

      AMD Hainan is rumored to be the performance GPUs making up the Radeon HD 8800 series with the HD 8850 “Hainan Pro” and HD 8870 “Hainan XT” products initially.

    • Benchmarks

      • Benchmarking The Intel P-State, CPUfreq Changes

        On Friday there was the controversial news about the Linux “ondemand” cpufreq governor no longer being fit for best performance and power-savings on modern processors. Fortunately, for better handling the CPU frequency stage changes on modern Intel CPUs, Intel recently introduced the new P-State kernel driver.

        With this news, plus word that changing the cpufreq governor can really boost the Mesa performance, many Phoronix readers were excited with 3+ pages of comments.

      • Linux 3.10 Kernel Benchmarks On A Core i7 Laptop

        As our latest coverage of the Linux 3.10 kernel comes new comparison benchmarks of the latest development kernel compared to its predecessor from an Intel Core i7 laptop sporting NVIDIA graphics.

      • Btrfs vs. EXT4 vs. XFS vs. F2FS On Linux 3.10

        Building upon our F2FS file-system benchmarks from earlier in this week is a large comparison of four of the leading Linux file-systems at the moment: Btrfs, EXT4, XFS, and F2FS. With the four Linux kernel file-systems, each was benchmarked on the Linux 3.8, 3.9, and 3.10-rc1 kernels. The results from this large file-system comparison when backed by a solid-state drive are now published on Phoronix.

      • Linux 3.10 Kernel Benchmarks For Intel Ivy Bridge

        Earlier this month I delivered Radeon DRM driver benchmarks and Nouveau DRM driver benchmarks from the in-development Linux 3.10 kernel. Being published this Friday evening are now Intel Ivy Bridge graphics benchmarks from the Linux 3.10 kernel compared to the earlier releases going back to Linux 3.5.

      • F2FS File-System Shows Regressions On Linux 3.10

        With the merge window on the feature-rich Linux 3.10 kernel having been closed, the usual roundabout of Phoronix benchmarking of the Linux kernel has commenced. In our initial testing of the F2FS file-system on Linux 3.10, however, yields negative performance changes.

        The first F2FS benchmarks showed much hope for the Samsung-developed “Flash Friendly File-System” when compared to EXT4, Btrfs, and other competitors. It’s worked very well for not only SSDs but also SDHC storage, USB flash drives, and against the cruddy Microsoft exFAT Linux support.

      • Early Radeon OpenGL Benchmarks From Linux 3.10

        While the first release candidate of the Linux 3.10 kernel isn’t even out yet, there’s already been the DRM graphics pull, as a result here’s some early open-source Radeon Linux graphics benchmarks.

        Going up this afternoon are just some quick and dirty benchmarks of the Linux 3.10 kernel Git code as of this morning compared to the Linux 3.9 mainline vanilla kernel release. The test cards were the AMD Radeon HD 5830 and HD 6570 discrete products. When the Linux 3.10 kernel is mature and ready for release, more extensive Linux GPU benchmarking will commence. Today’s article is just to whet the appetite for those Linux enthusiasts curious about the open-source Radeon driver performance.

      • Greater Radeon Gallium3D Shader Optimization Tests

        After delivering preview benchmarks of the AMD Radeon Gallium3D driver’s new shader optimization benchmark, Vadim Girlin, the back-end’s author, has shared some complementary Linux OpenGL benchmark results.

      • The First Nouveau Benchmarks On Linux 3.10

        Similar to yesterday’s early Radeon DRM benchmarks from Linux 3.10, here’s some initial OpenGL performance results for NVIDIA GeForce hardware when using the Nouveau DRM that’s updated in the Linux 3.10 kernel.

      • A New Set Of OpenGL Benchmarks Come To OpenBenchmarking

        FurMark, TessMark, and other advanced OpenGL 2.1/3.2/4.0 benchmarks are now available via the Phoronix Test Suite and OpenBenchmarking.org.

        In cooperation with Jerome of Geeks3D.com, the GPUTest cross-platform benchmark/tech-demo is now available via our open-source benchmarking software. GPUTest is designed as a GPU stress test that is supported on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X operating systems.

      • Gallium3D Continues Improving OpenGL For Older Radeon GPUs

        Curious to see how the performance of the open-source ATI/AMD Linux graphics driver is evolving for aging hardware, a new round of OpenGL benchmarks were carried out on the once-popular ATI Radeon HD 4870 “RV770″ graphics card. The performance was compared between the Mesa 7.11, 8.0, 9.0, 9.1, and 9.2-devel Git releases from an Ubuntu Linux system to see how the performance has changed for this driver in the past two years.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • 10 amazing Linux desktop environments you’ve probably never seen
    • Are Compositing Window Managers Lightweight?

      With the recent talk about developing a lightweight KDE desktop, the KWin maintainer, Martin Gräßlin, is talking out to try to clarify whether the compositing window manager is lightweight.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Features Being Developed For KDE 4.11 Desktop

        With one week to go until the soft feature freeze for KDE 4.11, there’s a better idea for the features that are likely to come to the next major release of the KDE Plasma desktop.

      • KDE’s Krita Ported To OpenGL 3.1, OpenGL ES 2.0

        KDE’s Krita painting application back in the day was one of the first to support an OpenGL-accelerated canvas. After their GL support fell behind, it’s now been brought up to speed by porting their graphics rendering code-paths to supporting an OpenGL 3.1 Core Profile and OpenGL ES 2.0.

      • The water we swim in

        Healthy relationships. I’ve been thinking about them not in my personal life, but in terms of teams in free software. When I first began contributing, it was within a team creating an application (Amarok), so rather small. Then I became active in Ubuntu-Women, which is larger, but still not huge. Then Kubuntu, then the larger Ubuntu community, and now KDE, which is truly enormous.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Starting Development Of GNOME Shell, Mutter 3.10

        With the first GNOME 3.10 development release due this week, the first GNOME 3.10 development snapshots (v3.9.1) of the GNOME Shell desktop and Mutter compositing window manager were checked in.

        GNOME 3.10 is tentatively set to be released on 25 September while this is the first development release due this week (GNOME 3.9.1). With just a little more than one month since the GNOME 3.8.0 release, there isn’t too much to look at for the 3.9.1 packages.

  • Distributions

    • JULinuXP and JULinOX OS ETPE 2013

      First of all JULinuXP boots in about 20 seconds, uses less than 512 MB of RAM, and most importantly it protects your privacy from Google, Yahoo, and Bing, along with anyone else. Of course if you use Facebook and other such sites, that’s your problem, but at least your browser isn’t sending them any info either, and if there is any info, it’s deleted before or after you close your browser. Also each browser forces HTTPS, and uses DuckDuckGO’s search engine. Firefox still has Google search if you type something in the main address bar, but Firefox also has more security to remove stuff when you get done browsing.

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CEO Whitehurst on innovation, OpenStack, Hadoop

        Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst argued that enterprise software vendors are at an inflection point where they’ll adapt or falter, noted OpenStack is keeper but needs enterprise support and Hadoop has become a strong open source project that’s becoming commercially fragmented.

      • Linux, Standards and the Enterprise: Why Red Hat Enterprise Linux Remains the Best Choice

        The free clones of Red Hat Enterprise Linux I mentioned earlier are not permitted to name their source, referring merely to “the upstream provider,” but pretty much everyone in the Linux community knows precisely what they mean. They represent a real advantage to Red Hat (the distribution if not the business) in that they allow businesses to try before they buy. They provide the opportunity to run a test bed or non-critical system at reduced cost. The clones also allow non-profits and cash strapped small businesses to forgo commercial support, at least for a time, and still use software that is entirely compatible with the leading enterprise Linux distribution. As organizations grow and their needs change converting a server or workstation running a clone to a genuine, supported Red Hat system is a simple process.

      • Fedora

        • Korora 18 Supports Experimental Steam Client

          Korora, the Fedora-based Linux distribution that focuses on desktop friendliness through a number of modifications and extra packages, has released their Fedora 18 incarnation.

        • Open-Source Radeon UVD Video Support On Fedora

          Are you itching to try out open-source AMD Radeon “UVD” video acceleration support over VDPAU on Fedora Linux?

        • fedoraproject.org Account System (FAS) security issue.

          A bug has been discovered in the Fedora Account system that could have exposed some sensitive information to logged in users.

        • DNF Still Advancing As Experimental Yum For Fedora

          DNF is the experimental fork of the Yum package manager that premiered in Fedora 18. While much hasn’t been heard of this experimental Yum replacement since its debut, work on it has still been progressing and is turning out to be in great shape, is slowly approaching feature-parity with Yum, and is faster.

          DNF hasn’t come to mind since last writing about it in 2012, but development has progressed and on Fedora 18/19 it still can be tested in parallel to Yum. Re-sparking interest in DNF is a new blog post on the Fedora-Next blog about DNF.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Why I love Raspberry Pi

      I’ve always admired the concept, execution and possibilities of Raspberry Pi, the British designed and built world-conquering credit card-sized ARM GNU/Linux computer. But despite following the Raspberry Foundation’s every move closely, and frequently promising that I’d buy myself a Pi soon, for some reason I never did.

    • Watch and record live TV on your Raspberry Pi
    • Phones

      • China market: Several smartphone components in short supply

        A shortage in the supply of some key components, including high-end camera modules, touchscreen panels and multi-chip package (MCP) memory chips, is worsening in the smartphone industry supply chain in China, according to industry sources.

      • Qt5 Port For Tizen Is Underway

        There’s active work underway for bringing the Qt 5.x tool-kit to the Tizen Linux platform.

        A Phoronix reader, Jaroslaw Staniek, wrote in this morning to share the news about the community-driven Qt 5 port for Tizen. The goal of this work is to bring the Qt 5 frame-work to Tizen, allow Qt Creator to be used for Tizen application development, and use the default Tizen’s look and feel based on Qt Quick 2 for application development.

      • Smartphones outpace feature phones for first time ever

        In the first quarter of 2013, smartphones accounted for more than half of phone makers’ shipments worldwide. Samsung remained the top dog, but LG, Huawei, and ZTE all saw big gains.

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Android is just the beginning: How Bluetooth is preparing for the internet of things

          Last night at Google I/O, Bluetooth scored a major victory for connected consumers when Google said it would support the Bluetooth Smart Ready platform natively in Android. This was functionality that iOS devices already have, and it should mean that Android users will get more functional apps to go with their Bluetooth-enabled devices.

        • The Place of FLOSS in End-User Computing
        • Google I/O: Unifyied Ecosystem Across All Google Platforms

          We were eagerly waiting for hardware updates from Google I/O 2013, but this year’s I/O conference was strictly focused on development tools and Google Services. Chrome merging with Android was key point at the keynote speech.

        • Google I/O : Official Social Media App Announcements For Google Glass

          Google Glass is getting lot of attention at this year’s Google I/O. There are already few official third-party apps support for glass, especially from social media houses.

          Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, CNN, Elle and Evernote have promised to support Google glass by announcing their official Google glass apps or “glasswares”. In fact facebook has already released the app and is available for Glass Users. Other Google glass apps are still in development.

        • Android-on-Intel accelerates as Clover Trail+ devices debut

          Lenovo’s Android-based K900, the first phone to use Intel’s dual-core 2GHz “Clover Trail+” Atom Z2580 system-on-chip, began shipping in China, and ZTE announced a Z2580-based, 4.5-inch “Grand X2 In” aimed at Europe. Yet, Atom-based Android phones won’t truly shine until Intel’s “Merrifield” SOC arrives in early 2014 using Intel’s 28nm, Tri-Gate “Silvermont” architecture.

        • Sony Xperia UL pictures and specs leaked: 5-inch display and Snapdragon 600 CPU

          Back in March we reported that Sony was looking to add to their Xperia line, and today we have confirmation on one of the devices.

        • NVIDIA Shield pre-orders are now live

          So excited about selling the NVIDIA Shield are retailers that they have begun offering pre-orders early. Effective immediately, you can place an order for the gaming console/controller/Android device through places like Newegg, GameStop, and NVIDIA.

        • I/O 2013: Google Glass designers predict possibilities for wearable tech market

          There approximately 6,000 attendees at this year’s developer conference, and you can’t walk a few steps without bumping into someone sporting the Android-powered specs.

        • How Google updated Android without releasing version 4.3

          Google covered a lot of ground in its three-and-a-half-hour opening keynote at Google I/O yesterday, but one thing it didn’t announce was the oft-rumored next version of Android. However, persistent rumors insist that the elusive Android 4.3 is still coming next month—if that’s true, why not announce it at I/O in front of all of your most enthusiastic developers?

        • Sony Posts Android Open Source Project Code For The Xperia Tablet Z To GitHub

          There’s a lot to like about Sony’s latest generation of Android devices. One od the things that most people don’t like is the custom interface that Sony puts on pretty much everything. If you want to do away with it and get some sweet, clean Android Open Source Project code running on your shiny new Xperia Tablet Z, Sony is happy to oblige. They’ve posted an AOSP 4.2 build for the Tablet Z to GitHub, following their surprisingly open approach to other devices, most recently the Xperia Z flagship.

        • Those $200 notebooks Intel is promising will probably run Android

          Recently Intel CEO Paul Otellini said he sees a future where you can buy an ultrathin notebook featuring an Intel Atom Bay Trail processor for as little as $200. Now CNET has a few more details about Intel’s vision for the future of cheap notebooks, and that vision includes Google Android.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • 7 open source projects to cut your teeth on (and the ones to avoid)

    The reasons for contributing to open source projects are as diverse as the projects themselves: To garner new skills, add experience, network with peers, or just for fun. Choosing a project that best suits your needs, and one that is friendly to newcomers, however, can be a daunting task. We polled well-known open source contributors for their recommendations, and the best way to start. They also offer advice on which projects to avoid. Here’s what they said:

  • 5 Reasons Infotainment is the First Target for Open Source Software in Cars

    The In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI) System is the most complex electronic system in the car. It collects data from all of the car’s sensors and integrates functions as diverse as navigation, climate control, media playback, cellphone connectivity and more.

    Yet automakers have focused on IVI as their first target for open source software collaboration. Both the Automotive Grade Linux working group and GENIVI alliance are pioneering collaborative efforts to develop a Linux-based open source platform for IVI software development.

  • Cool tool: One click installation of open source apps

    Downloading open source applications can sometimes be a pain in the neck. There can be multiple drivers, a variety of related components and a handful of little status bars that move from left to right at varying rates of speed.

    ComodIT wants to change that. The company, which specializes in automating infrastructure resources, has a new tool called the Direct Installer, which promises one-click installations.

  • Enterprise Networking Week in Review: VXLAN, SDN, and Open Source

    This week on Enterprise Networking Planet, the dust settled from last week’s coverage of Interop, allowing us to look forward to networking’s future.

    As always, our Sean Michael Kerner provided plenty of insider guidance. This week, he brought us two exclusive video interviews. Lew Tucker, Cisco’s Cloud CTO, talked about OpenStack, VLAN, and the Internet of Things, and Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation, dismissed criticisms of OpenFlow and discussed OpenDaylight.

    Speaking of the future, Cisco, Aruba, and Brocade all had earnings calls this week, and Sean covered those, too. Cisco reported good news, particularly in data center, 10 GbE, and SDN adoption. Aruba expressed optimism about its recent acquisition of Meridian Apps, which will enable indoor GPS and other application and location awareness capabilities over WiFi. Brocade, meanwhile, plans to focus on future growth, particularly in the on-demand data center space.

  • Jedi Academy Thrives As Open-Source Software

    It was one month ago that Activison and Raven Software open-sourced two of their games. While Star Wars Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy are old titles, they are now thriving as open-source software.

  • Adobe Open-Sources CFF Rasterizer For FreeType

    Adobe has open-sourced their advanced CFF rasterizer for the FreeType project. This Adobe contribution, along with the support of Google, will improve FreeType font rendering on Linux and other platforms.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 22 Beta Enables WebRTC Support

        The big feature being flipped on for the Firefox 22 Beta is full WebRTC support. WebRTC is the Web Real-Time Communication API drafted by the W3C and Google for handling browser-based VoIP, video chat, file-sharing, and other services native to the browser. There was already some WebRTC support in Firefox while now the support is fully-on.

      • Mozilla Needs More Time Before Blocking Third-Party Cookies By Default

        After much public discussion of the issue, Mozilla has decided to postpone blocking of third-party cookies by default in the next version of Firefox. As noted in this post, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) had raised a major stink over the issue, citing “the impact the ban would have on small Internet publishers, which depend on such cookie technology to sell advertising to niche audience segments.” According to Mozilla’s Brendan Eich, though, Mozilla just needs more time to implement the technology.

      • Firefox 22 beta delivers WebRTC and more

        Where the most recent Firefox release was somewhat light on features, the next release, Firefox 22, which has just gone into beta, will be offering some more substantial enhancement. Foremost of those is full WebRTC support, which will allow web developers to integrate real-time audio and video connections between browsers with all the required components – DataChannels, PeerConnection and GetUserMedia – included. WebRTC can be orchestrated with JavaScript-based applications and can potentially be used for anything from simple user-to-user chatting with video calls and file sharing to interactive multiplayer games on the web. The WebRTC features are now enabled by default.

      • Firefox beta gets WebRTC on by default, OdinMonkey JavaScript optimizations, Web Notifications API, and more
      • Firefox OS developer phones sold out

        Spanish manufacturer/seller Geeksphone already has run out of the two Firefox OS phones that went on sale for developers today.

      • Mozilla: Look ma, no plug-in for video, apps

        The makers of Firefox team up with the 3D graphics gurus at OTOY to show off a new codec that can run high-end video and desktop apps in the browser.

      • The Man Who Turned Off Cookies In Firefox Doesn’t Care If It Hurts Advertisers

        Jonathan Mayer is the man who turned off third-party cookies in upcoming versions of Firefox. (Cookies are the little bits of code that web sites drop onto your browser as you surf so that advertisers can target you with ads.)

        Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/jonathan-mayer-and-cookies-in-firefox-2013-5#ixzz2TgszO23H

      • Phones for Apps for Firefox OS
  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open Source Zend Framework 2.2 Brings PHP to OpenStack Cloud

      Over the years, Zend Framework has grown and this week, Zend Framework 2.2 is being officially released. This latest Zend Framework has lots of goodness in it, but for me one thing stands out – OpenStack support.

    • OpenNebula 4.0 Improves The Open-Source Cloud

      OpenNebula 4.0 “Eagle” has been released as the latest major release of this popular, open-source cloud computing system.

      The OpenNebula 4.0 release offers up various new Virtual Machine features, scheduler improvements, a re-designed administration interface, and worthwhile enhancements to many of its other subsystems.

  • Databases

    • phpMyAdmin 4.0 Release Kills Off The Tables

      phpMyAdmin, the popular browser-based software for MySQL database administration, has hit a significant milestone with the release of phpMyAdmin 4.0.0.

    • PostgreSQL 9.3 Beta 1 Released

      The first beta release of PostgreSQL 9.3, the latest version of the world’s best open source database, is now available. This beta contains previews of all of the features which will be available in version 9.3, and is ready for testing by the worldwide PostgreSQL community. Please download, test, and report what you find.

    • Ubuntu Looks Towards MySQL Alternatives

      Discussed today during another session of this week’s virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit was what to do about MySQL. With Oracle MySQL, there’s growing frustration with the database software by the Linux and open-source communities over Oracle’s lack of disclosure with security bugs/fixes, non-public bug information, lack of much “outside code” from other parties going into MySQL, and various other complaints.

    • Migrate from MySQL to MariaDB in FreeBSD

      The usage of MySQL for development is free. As you are not giving away that product (MySQL), no GPL restrictions apply. If you want to distribute MySQL in some form, the licenses apply. See: MySQL commercial license

      MariaDB is a community-developed fork of the MySQL relational database management system, the impetus being the community maintenance of its free status under the GNU GPL. As a fork of a leading open source software system, it is notable for being led by its original developers and triggered by concerns over direction by an acquiring commercial company Oracle. Contributors are required to share their copyright with Monty Program AB.

  • CMS

    • Essential WordPress Security Plugins

      A few weeks ago I told you about some security precautions to take when using the open source web platform WordPress to protect your site against brute force attacks. However, those precautions are just the beginning. A website administrator has to be forever vigilant to keep the bad guys away.

  • Funding

    • LFCS: The value of FOSS fiscal sponsorship

      As open source becomes more popular and mature, questions of formalizing the governance and corporate structures of projects are becoming of increasing importance, as can been seen by the rising visibility of various FOSS foundations. At the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit in San Francisco, Tony Sebro shared his insights about the value that fiscal sponsors bring as umbrella organizations for FOSS projects. Sebro is the General Counsel of Software Freedom Conservancy, which is the home of about 30 free and open source projects, including Samba, Git, and BusyBox.

  • BSD


    • GNU Hackers Meeting 2013 in Paris, France

      Thanks to a kind offer from Sylvestre Ledru (http://sylvestre.ledru.info/) we have a venue for this year’s GNU Hackers Meeting: we will be at IRILL (http://www.irill.org) in Paris, France, for the second time after the very successful 2011 edition. Since I live near Paris and I also happen to work at IRILL once or twice a week I’ve decided to do something to help organize the event, along with Sylvestre and Dodji Seketeli (http://dodji.seketeli.com/) who graciously volunteered as well.

    • GCC 4.9 Diagnostics Will Begin Playing With Colors

      While GCC 4.8 was released less than two months ago and GCC 4.9 isn’t likely to surface until 2014, there’s already a new feature to the next major update of the GNU Compiler Collection. GCC 4.9 introduces support for colored outputs in debugging.

      With LLVM/Clang offering a great diagnostics experience, GCC developers have been challenged to improve the diagnostics and debugging abilities within their open-source compiler. Introduced with GCC 4.8 were improved diagnostics thanks to the Clang competition and it looks like GCC 4.9 will continue trying to enhance the support for the long-standing Free Software Foundation compiler.

    • Options to Control Diagnostic Messages Formatting
  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Aaron Swartz prosecutors will unseal evidence, but won’t name names

        The federal judge who would have overseen the trial of Aaron Swartz on computer hacking charges has ordered the prosecution to reveal much of the evidence it had against him. However, the government and MIT will be allowed to keep most of the relevant names redacted.

        Swartz killed himself in January, not long before he was scheduled to defend himself in a trial that could have resulted in several years of prison time. Swartz famously used MIT’s computer network to download millions of academic papers published in the JSTOR archive, and prosecutors said those actions violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

      • Redacted Emails Ordered Released in Aaron Swartz Case
    • Open Hardware

      • Wikiweapons and Printing 3D Guns. It’s Just a Stalking Horse for What’s to Come

        When I wrote an article for FSM a few years ago about 3D printing it was a big topic in the open-source community but it had not yet gone fully mainstream. If there was one thing guaranteed to make 3D printing explode onto the mainstream news media it was an item about someone “printing” a gun. That got your attention, didn’t it? Mine too. It’s controversial of course but it might just be the beginning of a rerun of the Napster/Piratebay episodes in the 21st century – with the inevitable debate between patent-free, non-hierarchical open-source models and patent-encumbered proprietary software and hardware. Napster was a ripple. 3D printing will be a tsunami.

      • Now You Can Buy 3D Printers From Staples

        The office supply chain announced Friday that it is now selling 3D printers through its website and will start selling 3D printers in select stores by the end of next month. Staples is touting itself as the first “major U.S. retailer” to sell the product.

  • Programming


  • eHealth week – digital innovation isn’t just for the young!

    This week in Dublin it has been eHealth week. A chance to look at all the great things digital technology can do for health and care – especially as the average European gets older.

  • How humble USB turned engineer into tech ‘rock star’

    With computer technology advancing at an ever bewildering pace, it’s comforting to know that one little feature remains steadfastly future-proof and, more importantly, foolproof.

    The USB (Universal Serial Bus) is as relevant today as it was when the 12 millimeter by 4.5 millimeter ports and cables first started appearing back in the late 1990s, providing users with a discreet and straightforward way of transferring data between a range of digital devices.

  • Justice O’Connor Regrets
  • Stevens: Rationale for Bush v. Gore was “unacceptable”
  • O’Connor questions court’s decision to take Bush v. Gore

    In interview at Tribune, retired justice also calls for merit selection of judges

  • Alito and Roberts are the most pro-businesses justices since 1946, study finds

    Not every decision by the Roberts court has favored businesses. But the U.S. Supreme Court is more pro-business in its rulings than any other since 1946, according to a new study. And two of its justices are also the most pro-business among 36 who served on the court since World War II.

  • Feds Realize That Exploiting A Bug In Casino Video Poker Software Is Not Hacking And Not A CFAA Violation

    For years, we’ve talked about how casinos were able to get away with not paying people who won jackpots from electronic gambling machines, by claiming that their wins were really because of software glitches. That always seemed like a highly questionable practice, but even more questionable was filing criminal charges against winners who won because of those glitches. We talked about one such case back in 2007, and then another one in early 2011. That 2011 case involved two guys, John Kane and Andre Nestor, who had figured out a bug in some video poker software from International Game Technology, a gaming giant.

  • Science

    • Monsanto, Dow Chemical Crops Face Further Delays on Environmental Studies

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture will conduct environmental assessments of new corn, soybean and cotton seeds genetically engineered to withstand herbicides, further delaying the possible launch of products from Monsanto Co. (MON) and Dow Chemical Co. (DOW).

    • Bill Nye Boo’d In Texas For Saying The Moon Reflects The Sun

      Bill Nye, the harmless children’s edu-tainer known as “The Science Guy,” managed to offend a select group of adults in Waco, Texas at a presentation, when he suggested that the moon does not emit light, but instead reflects the light of the sun.

      As even most elementary-school graduates know, the moon reflects the light of the sun but produces no light of its own.

      But don’t tell that to the good people of Waco, who were “visibly angered by what some perceived as irreverence,” according to the Waco Tribune.

    • Obama pedals bike at 3rd White House science fair

      It was an offer President Barack Obama couldn’t refuse.

      “You’re welcome to try this out if you like,” the Oakland Park, Fla., high school student said.

      With that, a president who often laments a lifestyle that denies him the pleasure of driving eagerly hopped on the blue-and-silver bicycle in his dark blue suit and pedaled away, never mind that the machinery didn’t take him anywhere.

    • Western leaders study ‘gamechanging’ report on global drugs trade

      Review by Organisation of American States on illicit drugs ‘could mark beginning of the end’ of prohibition

    • Samsung claims 5G mobile data transmission breakthrough

      Samsung says it has developed the world’s first “adaptive array transceiver” technology, an innovation that allows part of the super-high-frequency Ka band of the radio spectrum – at 28GHz – to be used for cellular data transmission.

      The firm indicates its equipment, which features 64 antenna elements, overcomes a problem involved with using this frequency, which can cause the signal to weaken in rainy conditions.

      “Samsung’s recent success in developing the adaptive array transceiver technology has brought us one step closer to the commercialisation of 5G mobile communications in the millimetre-wave bands,” said Chang-Yeong Kim. head of the firm’s Digital Media & Communication Centre in Seoul.

    • Samsung to rollout commercial 5G by 2020

      Samsung Electronics has developed a technology aimed at allowing data transmission up to several hundred times faster than the current 4G networks, paving the way for introducing high-speed 5G wireless data connections to users by 2020.

      The company’s new adaptive array transceiver technology, claimed to be first-of-its-kind in the world, operates in the millimeter-wave Ka bands for cellular communications.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Military spending and the EU crisis

      High levels of military spending played a key role in the unfolding economic crisis in Europe and continues to undermine efforts to resolve it.

    • US vows to continue its foreign ‘war on terror’ bid for at least 10-20 years

      A top US military official has emphasized that the American so-called “war on terror” on Muslim world will continue for ‘at least 10 to 20 years.’

    • Obama War Powers Under 2001 Law ‘Astoundingly Disturbing,’ Senators Say

      The war authorization that Congress passed after 9/11 will be needed for at least 10 to 20 more years, and can be used to put the United States military on the ground anywhere, from Syria to the Congo to Boston, military officials argued Thursday.

    • Hofstra student killed by police during break-in

      In this photo copied from the 2010 Sleepy Hollow High School yearbook, high school student Andrea Rubello is shown. Police said Rubello, a junior at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., was shot and killed Friday, May 17, 2013, during a break-in near the college campus.

    • Judge tosses out manslaughter charges against NYPD officer who killed teen

      A judge has dismissed manslaughter charges against a New York City police officer who shot dead an unarmed teenage boy in his bathroom.

      Bronx supreme court justice Steven L Barrett said the Bronx district attorney’s office failed to properly instruct members of a grand jury in considering allegations against officer Richard Haste for his role in the death in 2012 of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham.

    • China Spends $125 Billion Per Year On Riot Gear And ‘Stability Maintenance’

      Mannequins in riot gear, armoured cars and drones line a police equipment and “anti-terrorism technology” trade fair in Beijing as vendors seek to profit from China’s huge internal security budget.

      The country is estimated to have more than 180,000 protests each year and the ruling Communist Party spends vast sums on ensuring order — more even than on its military, the largest in the world.

  • Cablegate

    • Obama Worse Than Nixon? Pentagon Papers Attorney Decries AP Phone Probe, Julian Assange Persecution

      The Justice Department’s disclosure that it had secretly subpoenaed phone records from the Associated Press has prompted a wave of comparisons between President Obama and Richard Nixon. Four decades ago, the Nixon administration attempted to block The New York Times from publishing a secret history of the Vietnam War leaked to the newspaper by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

    • Globaleaks 0.2 Alpha

      Globaleaks is an open source project aimed at creating a worldwide, anonymous, censorship-resistant, distributed whistle-blowing platform. It enables organizations interested in running whistle-blowing initiatives to setup their own safe zone, where whistle-blowers and recipients can exchange data.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Jump Ship in Pollution Fight Against Chevron

      Faced with an enormous 2011 oil-pollution verdict in Ecuador, Chevron (CVX) turned the tables on its main legal foe, launching a fierce counter-attack against the lead plaintiffs’ lawyer in federal court in New York. That onslaught raised serious questions about the tactics that activist attorney, Steven Donziger, an American, employed to win the $19 billion judgment in Ecuador.

      Now it has cost Donziger some of his most important lawyer-allies in the U.S., who have quit the fight, saying they lack the resources and will to battle Chevron.


      Keker lashed out at Chevron and its law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher: “Through scorched-earth litigation, executed by its army of hundreds of lawyers, Chevron is using its limitless resources to crush” Donziger “and win this case through might rather than merit.” Keker also condemned Kaplan. “Encouraged by this court’s implacable hostility to Donziger, Chevron will file any motion, however meritless, in the hope that this court will use it to hurt Donziger.”

  • Finance

    • NFL Player Instagrams Himself Peeing on IRS Building

      Tax-season gripes regarding the Internal Revenue Service are about as American as baseball and apple pie. But we bet you’ve never expressed your frustration quite like NFL player Evan Mathis did on Wednesday.

    • Where will we be without the bankers?

      We need banks that serve the economy – not the bankers.

    • Yahoo board OKs $1.1B purchase of Tumblr: report
    • Apple Said to Be Subject of Senate Offshore Tax Hearing

      Apple Inc. (AAPL) will be the subject of a May 21 Senate hearing on U.S. companies’ offshore tax practices, said two people familiar with the inquiry.

      Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook will testify at the hearing of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, one of the people said.

    • Goldman Sachs Wins Even When Muzzled by the Feds

      Almost three years ago, when Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) paid $550 million to settle fraud accusations by the Securities and Exchange Commission, one of the claims was that Goldman misled the bond-insurer ACA Financial Guaranty Corp. in a horribly complex deal named Abacus.

      Goldman settled without admitting to the accusations. The terms also prohibited Goldman from denying the SEC’s allegations in its public statements. Then, this week, a funny thing happened. A New York state appeals court, in a 3-2 ruling, dismissed ACA’s lawsuit against Goldman. ACA said Goldman misled it. The court said the insurer’s claims didn’t hold up.

    • Walmart destroys the cultural heritage of Mexico

      As an archaeologist, I welcome the news that “[t]rade unions in Canada, the United States and Mexico are preparing protests and legal action against the Mexican subsidiary of Walmart” . That $24 million in bribes was allegedly paid by Walmart representatives to built the store at Teotihuacán is sad, but, in hindsight, makes a lot of sense. It takes a lot of gall to wilfully risk a country’s most beloved heritage site and, as it seems, it takes a lot of money too. However, I am sure Walmart felt it was worth it: if only a fraction of the 2.5 million annual visitors to Teotihuacán walk through Walmart’s doors, they would have easily recouped their ‘investment’.

    • “The Other IRS Scandal”: David Cay Johnston on Dark Money Political Groups Seeking Tax Exemption
    • Fincen’s New Regulations Are Choking Bitcoin Entrepreneurs

      More than a decade ago, regulators nearly suffocated PayPal. Now it looks like they’re trying to squelch another disruptive, innovative payments system.

    • Who’s Getting Rich off the Prison-Industrial Complex?

      You likely already know how overcrowded and abusive the US prison system is, and you probably are also aware that the US has more people in prison than even China or Russia. In this age of privatization, of course, it’s also not surprising that many of the detention centers are not actually operated by the government, but by for-profit companies. So clearly, some people are making lots and lots of money off the booming business of keeping human beings in cages.

      But who are these people?

      Using NASDAQ data, I looked through the long list of investors in Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group, the two biggest corporations that operate detention centers in the US, to find out who was cashing in the most on prisons. When we say “prison-industrial complex,” this is who we’re talking about.

    • Trade Talks? Only Business Insiders Invited

      As the future of the proposed Canada-European Union Trade Agreement becomes increasingly uncertain — the EU has been unwilling to compromise on the remaining contentious issues leaving the Canadian government with a deal that offers limited benefits and significant costs — the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is likely to emerge as the government’s new top trade priority.

    • Accidentally Released – and Incredibly Embarrassing – Documents Show How Goldman et al Engaged in ‘Naked Short Selling’

      It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes God smiles on us. Last week, he smiled on investigative reporters everywhere, when the lawyers for Goldman, Sachs slipped on one whopper of a legal banana peel, inadvertently delivering some of the bank’s darker secrets into the hands of the public.

      The lawyers for Goldman and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch have been involved in a legal battle for some time – primarily with the retail giant Overstock.com, but also with Rolling Stone, the Economist, Bloomberg, and the New York Times. The banks have been fighting us to keep sealed certain documents that surfaced in the discovery process of an ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit filed by Overstock against the banks.

      Last week, in response to an Overstock.com motion to unseal certain documents, the banks’ lawyers, apparently accidentally, filed an unredacted version of Overstock’s motion as an exhibit in their declaration of opposition to that motion. In doing so, they inadvertently entered into the public record a sort of greatest-hits selection of the very material they’ve been fighting for years to keep sealed.

    • The Question that Launched the IRS Scandal: Planted?

      It struck me as odd that IRS official Lois Lerner would suddenly offer a mea culpa ex nihilo — on the sensitive subject of the agency’s targeting of political enemies — off the cuff while she was speaking at a tax conference organized by the American Bar Association. When she was asked about that during a telephone call on Friday, she said only that she was asked a question and answered it.

    • Homeland Security seizes funds at main Bitcoin exchange

      The U.S. government has reportedly shut down a prime source of liquidity for Bitcoin by seizing an account connecting a Japanese currency exchange, Mt. Gox, and payment services provider Dwolla.

    • Austerity Is Dead; Stop Pushing It, Drop the Chained CPI and Increase Social Security

      Deficit projections have already by $200 billion for this year alone, so why do Republicans keep lunging for ever-more radical spending cuts like they were corn dogs at a barbecue? That’s more in deficit reduction than President Obama’s proposed cut to Social Security would “save” in ten. So why hasn’t he withdrawn the proposal?

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Is There Really a ‘Scandal Trifecta’?

      The White House is evidently in a tough spot thanks to what’s being called a “scandal trifecta”: Benghazi, the Justice Department seizing AP phone records, and the IRS targeting Tea Party groups. Much of the Beltway press corps–which has pushed the Benghazi story for months–is seeing the Obama presidency in a state of near free-fall.

    • Conservative Koch Brothers Turning Focus to Newspapers

      Three years ago, Charles and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists and supporters of libertarian causes, held a seminar of like-minded, wealthy political donors at the St. Regis Resort in Aspen, Colo. They laid out a three-pronged, 10-year strategy to shift the country toward a smaller government with less regulation and taxes.

    • The Remarkable Decline in the Wall Street Journal’s Long-Form Journalism

      I do not have any particular expertise in the inner workings of the Wall Street Journal newsroom, but this chart speaks for itself. It shows the number of stories the Journal published that were over 2,500 words from 2002 to 2011. Dean Starkman of Columbia Journalism Review created the chart and referenced it again today. (He used to work at the publication.)

    • The bizarre campaign against Apple’s Tim Cook

      Targeted criticism of Cook first scored a hit last November, when Dan Lyons wrote the scathing article “What’s it like to work for Tim Cook?” based on on comments by a man who’d never actually worked for Cook.

    • AP memo on Boston coverage: ‘We made mistakes because we didn’t follow our own very good guidelines’

      “There was much great work from AP staffers [reporting from Boston] and we celebrate that,” Associated Press executive editor Kathleen Carroll writes in a memo. “But we had some missteps, too. And that’s what we want to talk about here today.”

    • Two tech executives quit Mark Zuckerberg’s Fwd.us political group

      Two prominent Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have quit Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s political advocacy group Fwd.us after protests from environmentalists and liberal groups, a person familiar with the situation said late Friday.

  • Censorship

    • Government accused of sneaking in web filter

      The federal government has been accused of sneaking mandatory web filtering through the back door after one of its agencies inadvertently blocked 1200 websites using a little-known law.

      Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/technology/technology-news/government-accused-of-sneaking-in-web-filter-20130517-2jq3p.html#ixzz2TjUYLpZ8

    • Floyd Abrams & the First Amendment: The Risks of Liberty

      “Our approach under the First Amendment has wisely, I think, generally been to risk suffering the harm that speech may do in order to avoid the greater harm that suppression of speech has often caused.” That line is vintage Floyd Abrams. So, too, is the following one: “The oldest reality about the First Amendment is this: Hardly anyone really believes that we should protect the speech of those with whom we differ.” In other words, protecting free speech can be risky and can mean protecting the expression of those who offend us.

    • Tor and the Censorship Arms Race: Lessons Learned

      On July 24th 2013 Roger Dingledine and Jacob Appelbaum will give a talk about Tor and Internet Censorship. The talk will be at the Garching campus of the TUM (U-Bahn stop: U6 Garching Forschungszentrum), in the FMI (Informatics/Mathematics) building, in room HS1 (the big lecture hall) starting at 18:00. Admission is of course free.

    • The Dark Side of the Digital Revolution

      How do you explain to people that they are a YouTube sensation, when they have never heard of YouTube or the Internet? That’s a question we faced during our January visit to North Korea, when we attempted to engage with the Pyongyang traffic police. You may have seen videos on the Web of the capital city’s “traffic cops,” whose ballerina-like street rituals, featured in government propaganda videos, have made them famous online. The men and women themselves, however—like most North Koreans—have never seen a Web page, used a desktop computer, or held a tablet or smartphone.

    • Censors increasingly take aim at Google content

      Google on Thursday released data showing that requests by governments to censor the Internet giant’s content have hit new heights, with Brazil and the United States leading the way.

      Google received 2,285 government requests to remove content from it properties, including YouTube and search pages, in the second half of last year as compared to 1,811 requests in the first six months, according to its latest Transparency Report.

      The requests related to 24,179 pieces of content, up from 18,070 items, the California-based Internet giant said.

    • US officials to Delhi court: Can’t summon Facebook, Google

      India had asked the US to help in serving papers to the executives of 11 Internet companies who are accused of hosting content designed to fuel communal hatred.

    • Bus Company Threatens Redditor With Lawsuit, Meets Ken White, Runs Away

      Another day, another case of a business attempting to stifle online criticism via threat of lawsuit, amirite? We’ve seen it again and again. Companies ignorant of the terrifying Streisand Effect go after critics and, normally, the only warm and fuzzy feeling we can take away from it is knowing that these abusers are more hated as a result of their threats than they were before. But not today, friends. Today’s story ends hilariously well.


      So, we’re dealing with a company that enjoys suing its own customers after slapping their wallets around with insane fines that seem designed less to encourage good behavior than to simply extract more money out of people. Well, if Suburban Express is happy to sue its own customers, you can guess just how aggressive they like to behave with the internet upon which some of these customers express their displeasure. Unfortunately, when that displeasure is aimed at one of the company’s drivers who told an exchange student, “If you don’t understand English, you don’t belong at the University of Illinois or any ‘American’ University,” then you’re going to raise the ire of roughly everyone. It was a witness to that event, Jeremy Leval, who took to Facebook to describe the incident.

    • Trade Sanctions Cited in Hundreds of Syrian Domain Seizures

      In apparent observation of international trade sanctions against Syria, a U.S. firm that ranks as the world’s fourth-largest domain name registrar has seized hundreds of domains belonging to various Syrian entities, including a prominent Syrian hacker group and sites associated with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    • Germany asked to intervene with Dotcom

      Kim Dotcom’s lawyers intend to ask the German government to intervene with the United States and try to block his extradition on criminal copyright charges, German news agency DPA has reported.

      London-based Canadian human rights lawyer Robert Amsterdam, who co-wrote a “white paper” released last week criticising the case against Dotcom’s MegaUpload business, told the DPA that Germany had not done enough to assist Dotcom.

      He said he would ask the German government to intervene on the grounds that Dotcom’s human rights had been violated by the US.

      “We can take this to the office of the Chancellor, which we will, as well as to the German Foreign Ministry, to raise the issue with Washington,” he told the DPA.

  • Privacy

    • Leak Investigations Are an Assault on the Press, and on Democracy, Too

      This was supposed to be the administration of unprecedented transparency. President Obama promised that when he took office, and the White House’s Web site says so on this very day.

    • In AP surveillance case, the real scandal is what’s legal
    • White House pushing new federal shield law

      In damage control mode after revelations that the Department of Justice seized records from Associated Press reporters, the White House is pushing a federal media shield law that died in the Senate four years ago.

    • Hear Ye, Future Deep Throats: This Is How to Leak to the Press

      We now live in a world where public servants informing the public about government behavior or wrongdoing must practice the tradecraft of drug dealers and spies. Otherwise, these informants could get caught in the web of administrations that view George Orwell’s 1984 as an operations manual.

      With the recent revelation that the Department of Justice under the Obama administration secretly obtained phone records for Associated Press journalists — and previous subpoenas by the Bush administration targeting the Washington Post and New York Times — it is clear that whether Democrat or Republican, we now live in a surveillance dystopia beyond Orwell’s Big Brother vision. Even privately collected data isn’t immune, and some highly sensitive data is particularly vulnerable thanks to the Third Party Doctrine.

    • Media organizations call on Justice Department to mitigate damage from broad subpoena of journalists’ phone records

      The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and major news organizations are calling on the U.S. Justice Department to return secretly subpoenaed phone records of more than 100 Associated Press journalists, to explain how such an egregious overreach could happen and outline what will be done to mitigate the damage.

    • Obama Administration Secretly Obtains Phone Records of AP Journalists
    • Do-Not-Track Talks Could Be Running Off the Rails
    • What If We Thought More Often About Being Tracked Online? Man Stalks Himself To Find Out

      It’s no secret that data mining is big business–but what if Internet users could monetize their personal data on their own? New York University grad student Federico Zannier raised the question by unleashing an arsenal of digital espionage tools on his own computer: a Chrome extension that documents every web address visited; software that records GPS location; and a custom application that takes a screenshot, a webcam photo, and records the mouse position every time a new tab opens.

    • Taking the privacy message to MEPs

      This week ORG supporter Ryan Jendoubi visited MEPs in Brussels to ask them to support stronger privacy rights – as part of our ongoing Naked Citizens campaign. In this post he talks about why he was there and how the message was received.

    • U.S. gives big, secret push to Internet surveillance

      Justice Department agreed to issue “2511 letters” immunizing AT&T and other companies participating in a cybersecurity program from criminal prosecution under the Wiretap Act, according to new documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

    • Shady Companies With Ties to Israel Wiretap the U.S. for the NSA

      Army General Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, is having a busy year — hopping around the country, cutting ribbons at secret bases and bringing to life the agency’s greatly expanded eavesdropping network.

      In January he dedicated the new $358 million CAPT Joseph J. Rochefort Building at NSA Hawaii, and in March he unveiled the 604,000-square-foot John Whitelaw Building at NSA Georgia.

    • Head of the NSA Warns of ‘Disruptive & Destructive’ Cyber Attacks – ISO 27014 Can Help
    • DISA/NSA move to address insider threats to enterprise networks
    • US under constant threat of cyber attack: NSA boss
    • India´s ´Big Brother´: The Central Monitoring System (CMS)

      Starting from this month, all telecommunications and Internet communications in India will be analysed by the government and its agencies. What does that mean? It means that everything we say or text over the phone, write, post or browse over the Internet will be centrally monitored by Indian authorities. This totalitarian type of surveillance will be incorporated in none other than the Central Monitoring System (CMS).

    • Law Requiring Warrants for E-Mail Wins Senate Committee Approval

      A Senate committee today backed sweeping privacy protections requiring the government, for the first time, to get a probable-cause warrant to obtain e-mail and other content stored in the cloud.

    • On Expectation of Privacy

      Privacy in pubic is now being destroyed to the point to include any activity you conduct over the Internet, whether it’s been technically designed to be private or not. The IRS has recently come under fire for spying on Americans’ email under the guise that using email surrenders one’s expectation of privacy. Anyone who understands how email works knows that its design intent, when working properly, keeps email private: it partitions off one’s email from any other users on the network, and on the server. It’s inherently private, unless of course a hacker breaks into the system and steals your privacy. Simply because email exists in a public environment doesn’t invalidate one’s expectation of privacy. Consider a single-room bathroom inside a public department store or restaurant. It is surrounded by the public, however our law still protects the inside of those four walls as a private place. Just because a criminal could potentially kick in the door and snap a photo of you on the toilet doesn’t
      suddenly remove your right to privacy inside this room, yet the same argument is being made against electronic mail and other forms of otherwise private communication.

    • Judge Holds Himself in Contempt for Cellphone Violation

      The judge said he had recently switched from the Blackberry model he has had for years to a Windows phone with a touchscreen, and believes the phone wasn’t locked when he came to the bench with the phone in his shirt pocket. Worse, this particular phone apparently comes with voice activation, which was news to the judge. He said something to trigger it, and the phone spoke up.

    • Apple, AT&T and Verizon receive lowest marks in EFF privacy report

      Apple has submitted plans to open a new retail store on Union Square, replacing its nine-year-old store at Stockton and Ellis streets a few blocks away.

      Supervisor David Chiu said he hoped the new silver box-shaped computer store and customer service center would “turbo-charge” the Union Square area, which has long been home to many of the city’s high-end retailers.

    • Apple’s Customer Data-Privacy Rules Struck Down by German Court
    • German Court Says Apple’s Privacy Policy Conflicts with National Data Protection Law
    • EFF Gives Twitter High Marks for Protecting Users’ Data

      How safe are your favorite websites? The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) evaluated 18 major Internet companies for privacy and transparency, and Twitter and West Coast ISP Sonic.net came out on top.

    • For Their Eyes Only: The Commercialization of Digital Spying

      The report features new findings, as well as consolidating a year of our research on the commercial market for offensive computer network intrusion capabilities developed by Western companies.

    • This EULA Will Make You Rethink Every App and Online Service You Use

      Similarly, without an open, unified network, the whole notion of business online would have been entirely feudal from the start. Instead, it only took a feudal turn around the turn of the century. These days, instead of websites on the open internet, people are more likely to create apps in proprietary stores or profiles on proprietary social media sites.

    • Do You Want the Government Buying Your Data From Corporations?

      Our government collects a lot of information about us. Tax records, legal records, license records, records of government services received– it’s all in databases that are increasingly linked and correlated. Still, there’s a lot of personal information the government can’t collect. Either they’re prohibited by law from asking without probable cause and a judicial order, or they simply have no cost-effective way to collect it. But the government has figured out how to get around the laws, and collect personal data that has been historically denied to them: ask corporate America for it.

    • Apple deluged by police demands to decrypt iPhones

      ATF says no law enforcement agency could unlock a defendant’s iPhone, but Apple can “bypass the security software” if it chooses. Apple has created a police waiting list because of high demand.

    • FBI Seeks Real-Time Facebook, Google Wiretaps

      Should Facebook, Google and similar sites be forced to adapt their infrastructure so that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies can easily tap suspects’ communications in real time?

  • Civil Rights

    • Student Defaulters – to be arrested on sight at all borders

      With National declaring that student defaulters who have not paid for their education are to be arrested on sight at our borders, I thought it my civic duty to assist Police and Border Guards to share a Wanted poster with readers.

    • Student loan defaulters to face border arrest
    • From Hooligan: How I Got Kicked Out of the Supreme Court

      In March 1995, I visited the sacred burial ground of Americans’ rights and liberties – the Supreme Court.

    • You’re to Blame for Factory Deaths. Well, You and Walmart

      The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki (5/20/13) has figured out who’s to blame for unsafe working conditions for garment workers: people who wear clothing.

    • The major sea change in media discussions of Obama and civil liberties

      Due to the controversies over the IRS and (especially) the DOJ’s attack on AP’s news gathering process, media outlets have suddenly decided that President Obama has a very poor record on civil liberties, transparency, press freedoms, and a whole variety of other issues on which he based his first campaign.

    • Marco Rubio Pushes For “Enhanced REAL ID” For ALL US Citizens—If They Want A Job!
    • New Federal Regulations Give Pentagon Sweeping Domestic Police Power

      The militarization of local and state law enforcement didn’t make its debut in the Watertown lockdown, however. For decades, police have received millions in grants from the federal government. Cash-strapped police departments and sheriffs’ offices have traded local control for new technology and martial materiel.

      The blurring of the lines between armed forces and police forces has accelerated quickly, resulting in a situation where “it would be difficult to discern fully outfitted police SWAT teams and the military.”

    • Worse Than The AP Phone Scandal

      Before Attorney General Eric Holder oversaw a Justice Department that secretly seized AP journalists’ phone records, he was guilty of something even worse, and closely related to the AP scandal. He argued a little-known case before the Supreme Court called Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, which found that speech (and other forms of nonviolent advocacy) could be construed as material support for terrorist organizations. The case involved a U.S.-based non-profit organization, the Humanitarian Law Project, which, according to its website, is “dedicated to protecting human rights and promoting the peaceful resolution of conflict by using established international human rights laws and humanitarian law.” It also enjoys a consultive status at the UN; so, in other words, hardly a radical organization.

    • Letter: Stand together to preserve freedoms

      I wrote a letter for the newspaper in March (“NDAA is a wake-up call to America,” March 13); this is a follow-up. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012 was passed into law and signed by (President) Obama on Dec. 31, 2012. As I told you this Act sounds good, but in reality abolishes the Bill of Rights. I also stated that the entire United States has been redefined as a “battlefield” wherein the military, the FBI or any other law enforcement under Obama’s thumb can arrest any U.S. citizen without cause. This is possible by using the familiar little “catch-all” word that has been used (and abused) since Sept. 11. The word is terrorism. The laws written in post-9/11 have made it possible to effectively destroy anybody the government doesn’t like or agree with. The government is able to shut down anything and anybody just be using the T-word even if it doesn’t apply at all.

    • Dutch police may get right to hack in cyber crime fight

      The Dutch government has announced plans to give police far greater powers to fight cybercrime.

      Under a new bill, investigators would be able to hack into computers, install spyware, read emails and destroy files.

    • FBI Documents Suggest Feds Read Emails Without a Warrant

      New documents from the FBI and U.S. Attorneys’ offices paint a troubling picture of the government’s email surveillance practices. Not only does the FBI claim it can read emails and other electronic communications without a warrant—even after a federal appeals court ruled that doing so violates the Fourth Amendment—but the documents strongly suggest that different U.S. Attorneys’ offices around the country are applying conflicting standards to access communications content (you can see the documents here).

    • Biometric Database of All Adult Americans Hidden in Immigration Reform

      The immigration reform measure the Senate began debating yesterday would create a national biometric database of virtually every adult in the U.S., in what privacy groups fear could be the first step to a ubiquitous national identification system.

      Buried in the more than 800 pages of the bipartisan legislation (.pdf) is language mandating the creation of the innocuously-named “photo tool,” a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Lives versus Profits

      More broadly, there is increasing recognition that the patent system, as currently designed, not only imposes untold social costs, but also fails to maximize innovation – as Myriad’s gene patents demonstrate.

  • Breast cancer gene data beneficial, controversial
  • Angelina Jolie, breast cancer and the gene-patenting question
  • EU Targets Seeds and Gardeners; Critics Lash Out

    As part of the seemingly never-ending drive to expand and centralize its own coercive power, the controversial European Union in Brussels is now targeting seeds and gardeners with a proposed new “law” aimed at regulating all “plant reproductive material” within the bloc. Despite strong backing by mega-corporations and genetic-engineering giants, however, the proposal has sparked a furious grassroots outcry around the world that transcends traditional political divides.

    Critics are calling on the emerging EU super state to kill the scheme immediately. Over 200,000 people have already signed a petition against the plan. Another 35,000 signed a petition refusing to accept the scheme, and thousands more signed a separate statement vowing non-compliance. The growing coalition fighting back against the program brings together unlikely allies, too: environmentalists, leftists concerned about corporate power over government, libertarians, farmers, conservatives, liberals, gardeners, small-scale seed producers, advocates for national sovereignty, and more.

  • Jack Ohman: The four new bases of DNA
  • How Big Agribusiness Is Heading Off The Threat From Seed Generics — And Failing To Keep The Patent Bargain

    Recently we wrote about how pharmaceutical companies use “evergreening” to extend their control over drugs as the patents expire. But this is also an issue for the world of agribusiness: a number of key patents, particularly for traits of genetically-engineered (GE) organisms, will be entering the public domain soon, and leading companies like Bayer, BASF, Dow, DuPont, Monsanto and Syngenta are naturally coming up with their own “evergreening” methods.

  • Supreme Court Seems Skeptical As Myriad Claims Gene Patents Should Exist, Because It Put A Lot Of Work Into Finding Them

    As many people know, on Monday, the Supreme Court finally heard the Myriad Genetics case, to look at whether or not genes are patentable subject matter. For the past few decades, the USPTO has generally argued that you can patent genes, which just seems crazy to most folks who point out that it’s nuts to patent something that exists in your body. Supporters argue that they’re trying to patent the process of isolating the gene, but that’s just semantics. As you may recall, the appeals court, CAFC, had decided that genes are patentable because they’re separate from your DNA. After that, the Supreme Court disallowed patents on medical diagnostics, and asked CAFC to reconsider the Myriad case with that as a guide. In response, CAFC stuck by its guns, insisting that genes are patentable.

  • Don’t Let Patents Kill 3D Printing

    One of the reasons why 3D printing is suddenly on the cusp of going mainstream is the expiration of some key patents that have held the technology back for decades. And yet, of course, with any area of the market that is getting hot, there is suddenly a rush to get more patents. In fact, we’ve already seen a few patent fights begin concerning the new generation of 3D printing companies. Recently, the EFF has decided to try to try to put a stop to a series of patent applications that, if granted, would have the potential to again hold back the 3D printing market even further.

  • Sussex academy pays £100,000 to use ‘patented’ US school curriculum

    Aurora Academies Trust is challenged over use of patented ‘Paragon curriculum’ that has been criticised by Ofsted

  • India patents 1,300 yoga moves

    India has made available a list of 1,300 newly registered yoga poses, compiled to prevent the ancient moves from being exploited by patent pirates, the Times of India said.

    Hindu gurus and some 200 scientists compiled the list from 16 ancient texts to prevent yoga teachers in the United States and Europe from patenting established poses as their own.

  • Trademarks

    • Hackathon Trademarked in Germany? Now What? ~pj

      I am sure you saw that somebody in Germany, a company called nachtausgabe.de, has sneaked through a trademarking of the word HACKATHON in Germany. There was no opposition, because nobody knew about it. We know now, however, so what can anyone do about it? It turns out, plenty.

      It’s a word that OpenBSD and Sun each came up with independently at the same time back in the ’90s, for heavens sake, and it surely can’t belong to any one company now that it’s in the dictionary and everyone has freely used it for years now.

      Anyway, as soon as I read about it, I wrote to the German equivalent of the USPTO, DPMA, the German Patent and Trademark Office, and I’ve learned some things that can still be done. I’ll share them with you, so the community knows how to go forward if it proves necessary.

    • Apple wins trademark case over ‘iBooks’

      A small New York publisher that uses the label “ibooks” has struck out in its lawsuit against Apple, after a New York court on Wednesday held that the publisher’s mark was not distinct and that consumers would not confuse the two companies’ products.

  • Copyrights

    • Dotcom granted leave for Crown appeal

      Kim Dotcom has been granted leave to appeal his case against the Crown in the Supreme Court.

      The MegaUpload mogul’s legal team applied in March to be heard in the country’s highest court after a decision about disclosure made in the Court of Appeal went against him.

      Dotcom’s lawyers want to be able to view the documents that make up the basis of the US Government’s case against him.

    • Judge Denies Copyright Class Action Against YouTube
    • European Parliament to Vote Green Light to Next ACTA?

      On 22 May, the European Parliament will vote in plenary on a resolution on the proposed EU-US trade agreement, the “Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement” (TAFTA), also know as “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP). After the ACTA, SOPA and PIPA battles, once again the entertainment industry will try to use a trade agreement as an opportunity to impose online repression. With Wednesday’s vote, Members of the European Parliament may be about to vote in favor of the same kind of repressive copyright enforcement provisions that they rejected in ACTA a few months ago.

    • BitTorrent Accounts for 35% of All Upload Traffic, VPNs are Booming

      New data published by the Canadian broadband management company Sandvine reveals that BitTorrent can be credited for one third of all North American upload traffic during peak hours. BitTorrent usage also remains strong in Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. The report further confirms that SSL traffic has more than doubled in a year, partly due to an increase in VPN use.

    • Viacom Loses Again–Viacom v. YouTube

      How many things have to go wrong for Viacom before it wakes up and smells the hummus? It’s now lost twice in the district court, it’s created a bunch of precedent unfavorable to its interests, it’s proven that even it can’t figure out which clips it authorized to post on YouTube and which it didn’t, it gave up complaining about YouTube’s behavior after 2008 (making the case entirely backward-looking), it got caught repeatedly astroturfing, and in general it’s looked like a massive jackass. Perhaps its next appeal will finally kill this case as it deserves, though that will single-handedly cause a new downturn in the legal industry as hundreds of lawyers look to find new sugar daddy clients.

    • Hollywood Docket: Alicia Keys Settles Lawsuit Over ‘Girl on Fire’

      In his lawsuit, Schuman alleged that Keys’ “Girl on Fire” used copyrighted material from his composition. The complaint filed in California federal court didn’t spell out with great detail what was precisely objectionable, but in “Girl on Fire,” the singer appeared to quote the intonation of the prior hit in singing the words “lonely girl.” Compare the two songs (here and here).

      The complaint was filed late last year, and the litigation didn’t get very far for a judge to rule any which way.

    • Forget online drives, sync directly with BitTorrent Sync

      If you do not trust online storage drives for file syncing across your devices or are frustrated with storage limits, there is another player in town. BitTorrent has released a new alpha version of its Sync software, which supports syncing folders across the Internet without going through an intermediary like Dropbox, Cloud Drive, or iCloud.

    • Chairman Goodlatte Announces Comprehensive Review of Copyright Law

      Technology continues to rapidly advance. Contrast how American citizens kept up with the latest news in Boston last week to when Paul Revere rode nearby to warn the local communities of the British advance in 1775. Our Founding Fathers could never have imagined a day in which citizens would be able to immediately access the knowledge and news of the world on their smartphones as they walk down the street.

    • Second Circuit Victory for Richard Prince and Appropriation Art

      Today the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued a long-awaited decision in favor of fair use in Cariou v. Prince. Reversing the district court’s finding of infringement, the Court held that Richard Prince’s use of Patrick Cariou’s photographs in 25 of his 30 Canal Series paintings was a fair use. The decision affirms an important tradition in modern art that relies on the appropriation of existing images to create highly expressive works with new meaning.

    • Authors, composers want 3.4% of every Belgian’s Internet bill

      Content owners in nearly every country have tried various strategies to get compensation for losses due to piracy. But copyright owners in Belgium have a bold new tactic: go after Internet service providers in court, demanding 3.4 percent of the fees their customers pay for Internet service.

    • Pirate Site Blocking Legislation Approved By Norwegian Parliament

      Norway has moved an important – some say unstoppable – step towards legislative change that will enable the aggressive tackling of online copyright infringement. Proposed amendments to the Copyright Act, which will make it easier for rightsholders to monitor file-sharers and have sites such as The Pirate Bay blocked at the ISP level, received broad support in parliament this week and look almost certain to be passed into law.

    • Prenda hammered: Judge sends porn-trolling lawyers to criminal investigators

      US District Judge Otis Wright has no love for the lawyers who set up the copyright-trolling operation that came to be known as Prenda Law. But Wright at least acknowledges their smarts in his long-awaited order, released today. Wright’s order is a scathing 11 page document, suggesting Prenda masterminds John Steele and Paul Hansmeier should be handed over for criminal investigation. In the first page, though, the judge expresses near admiration for the sheer dark intelligence of their scheme—it’s so complete, so mathematical in its perfection.

    • Why weren’t the Prenda porn trolls stopped years ago?

      Two years ago, in March 2011, I first saw Prenda Law’s John Steele in person—and he was getting bawled out by a federal judge in downtown Chicago.

      Impeccably dressed, Steele walked into Judge Milton Shadur’s wood-paneled courtroom to defend his approach to porn copyright trolling, then in one of its earlier iterations. Steele was representing CP Productions, the unfortunately named Arizona porn producer behind a film (well, a “film”) called Cowgirl Creampie. Steele found a long list of IP addresses sharing Cowgirl Creampie using the BitTorrent protocol, so he went to court. He sought subpoena power in order to turn that list of IP addresses into real names. Steele got it, partly by assuring the judge that the case was related to the state of Illinois.

    • http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/05/look-you-may-hate-me-90-minutes-with-john-steele-prenda-porn-troll/

      After years of fine-tuning a business model built around copyright lawsuits over pornographic movies, prolific anti-piracy lawyer John Steele is now on the receiving end of a devastating sanctions order by a federal judge in Los Angeles, who has recommended a criminal investigation of Steele and his colleagues. For “copyright trolling” critics ranging from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to anonymous anti-troll blogs, this week’s order has been sweet vindication—and it elevated the Prenda Law situation to the attention of the national press. But all Steele sees is injustice.

    • Orphan Works – the new law in the UK

      My social media feeds have been full links to alarmist stories about a recent change to UK copyright law that allows for the licensing of orphan works. Photographers have been particularly concerned after one site (which I won’t dignify with a link) used the headline “ALL your pics belong to everyone now”. So much alarm has been created that the UK’s intellectual property office felt moved to publish a PDF debunking some of the myths that have arisen. I was waiting until the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 was published on the government’s legislation website before making my own comment.

    • “Fair use” takes center stage at Google Books appeal

      Google and the Authors Guild resumed an eight-year battle on Tuesday morning before the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, where judges pressed both sides to provide a straight-up answer as to whether Google’s decision to scan millions of books amounted to “fair use” under copyright law.

    • Google Framed As Book Stealer Bent On Data Domination In New Documentary

      “Google And The World Brain” is a new documentary about Google’s plan to scan all of the world’s books, which triggered an ongoing lawsuit being heard today. The hair-raising film sees Google import millions of copyrighted works, get sued, lose, but almost get a literature monopoly in the process. It’s scary, informative, and worth watching if you recognize its biased portrayal of Google as evil.

      The film is getting wider release as Google continues to fight the Author’s Guild in court today. The organization is demanding $3 billion in damages from Google for scanning and reproducing copyrighted books. Google is asking the court to prevent the group from filing a class-action suit.

    • Book Review — William Patry, How to Fix Copyright

      I review William Patry’s book How to Fix Copyright. The book is noteworthy for its ambitious yet measured effort to diagnose where copyright law has gone astray in recent years. It is less successful with respect to proposing possible changes to the law. Most interesting are parallels between How to Fix Copyright and an earlier comprehensive look at copyright law in the digital era: Paul Goldstein’s Copyright’s Highway: From Gutenberg to the Celestial Jukebox. William Patry and Paul Goldstein each have a lot of faith in the power of consumer choice in the cultural marketplace. That faith leads the two authors to very different views of copyright law.

    • 9th Circuit: No Relief for Copyright Troll Righthaven

      The Ninth Circuit appeals court today turned down copyright troll Righthaven’s last ditch effort to salvage its failed business model, upholding the federal district court’s decision to dismiss its bogus copyright case on the grounds that it never actually held the copyrights it was suing under.

      In one of the two cases decided together, EFF represents Tad DiBiase, a criminal justice blogger who provides resources for difficult-to-prosecute “no body” murder cases. Righthaven sued DiBiase in 2010 based on a news article that DiBiase posted to his blog. Instead of paying them off, DiBiase fought back with the help of EFF and its co-counsel at Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati, and helped drive Righthaven out of business.

    • Copyright Trolls Threaten to Call Neighbors of Accused Porn Pirates

      It is no secret that copyright trolls tend to use rather threatening language as they try to convince defendants to pay settlement fees, but the recent actions of the Prenda law reincarnation “Anti-Piracy Law Group” have reached a new low. In a letter sent to people accused of pirating pornographic material, the lawyers threaten to inform neighbors about the illegal conduct, and inspect defendants’ work computers.

    • Apple Inc. (AAPL) Could Be Subject To ‘Culture Tax’ In France

      Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone and iPad could be taxed in the near future in France. Pierre Lescure, former chief executive officer for Canal Plus, was asked by the French government to come up with a new way to fund cultural projects in the country. The economic downturn has caused a lack of funds for the country’s cultural programs. Lescure suggested that since consumers spend more money on popular electronic devices than content, they should charge a one percent sales tax on all internet-compatible devices.

    • The Copyright Pentalogy: Technological Neutrality

      Last month, the University of Ottawa Press published The Copyright Pentalogy: How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law, an effort by many of Canada’s leading copyright scholars to begin the process of examining the long-term implications of the copyright pentalogy. As I’ve noted in previous posts, the book is available for purchase and is also available as a free download under a Creative Commons licence. The book can be downloaded in its entirety or each of the 14 chapters can be downloaded individually.

    • We Beat Them to Lima: Opening a New Front Against Secret IP Treaties

      I’m Danny O’Brien, EFF’s new International Director. Five years ago, I worked on the EFF team that identified the threat of ACTA, a secret global intellectual property treaty we discovered was being used to smuggle Internet control provisions into the laws of over thirty countries. Together with an amazing worldwide coalition of activists from Europe to South Korea, we beat back that threat.

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