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Links 28/1/2010: Netflix Petition; KDE SC 4.3.5 Released

GNOME bluefish



  • What Does It Take to Be a Linux Guru?
    What are the criteria for being a "Linux guru?" Is the breadth of your skills, the depth of your knowledge, or the the size of your collection of early kernel 1.x CDs? It's a question on the tongues of many Linux bloggers this week, and everyone seems to have their own list of attributes. One common theme: the ability to help out others. Also, it's probably best not to call yourself a guru, even if you think you are one.

  • The Importance of Fitting In
    Free software has come this far by just being itself. We use it because we like it. Should we be focusing more on integrating with Windows in order to increase market share, or should we just let nature take its course and those who want to switch will? In the end, a majority will “see the light.”


    Perhaps it’s time we took a page out of Microsoft’s book and started to “embrace, extend and extinguish” proprietary data formats and software. Integrate ourselves with them, and once we have the power, break them. Aside from the fact that this approach is horrible, nasty and completely unethical, the danger is whether in the end we would actually switch to totally free solutions, or continue to use those old familiar encumbered ones. We might have the market share, but then we’d have a whole new battle on our hands.

    One thing is certain, however. Integration with existing systems has helped to rocket the popularity of Linux and make it much more attractive to business, education, government and even end users. If you’re a developer of free software, keep doing what you’re doing. Make great products and the users will come. Consider integrating with existing systems to make your software more attractive, but just don’t lose yourself along the way.

  • LCA: Cooperative management of package copyright and licensing data
    Kate Stewart is the manager of the PowerPC team at Freescale. As such, she has a basic customer service problem to solve: people who buy a board from Freescale would like to have some sort of operating system to run on it. That system, of course, will be Linux; satisfying this requirement means that Freescale must operate as a sort of Linux distributor. At her talk, Kate talked about a new initiative aimed at helping distributors to ensure that they are compliant with the licenses of the software they are shipping.

  • To: Netflix, Inc.
    We, the undersigned, are current or prospective subscribers of Netflix that would like the "Watch Now" feature available to Linux users. Linux users are part of a new trend in OS use around the world. Interoperability with Linux will be very much appreciated and beneficial to all. To remain partisan by making use of the "Watch Now" feature for Windows users and possibly Mac OS users only, is not a fair practice to your subscribers.

  • Schedule of talks for SCALE 8X has been finalized
    The schedule of weekend talks for SCALE 8X has been finalized and are posted on the SCALE web site at The topics are interesting and wide-ranging - check them out! The schedule for the Friday specialty sessions (OSSIE, WIOS and the Try-It Lab) will be posted in the next week.

  • LinuxTag 2010, June 9-12, Berlin
    LinuxTag has been held regularly for 15 years, longer than any other Linux fair in Europe. More than 200 free software projects and companies participate, more than in any other European Linux event. LinuxTag attracts nearly 12,000 visitors — an unrivalled record. Since its beginnings in 1995, visitors and exhibitors have valued the credibility and expertise behind LinuxTag.

  • Retraction: Five *nix Myths Busted
    2. *nix Systems are More Secure - I love the confident security of *nix systems. They are collectively the most secure systems on the planet. Unlike the MacOS and Windows, that leak like security sieves, *nix systems arrive out of the box in a secure mode. A default install of any *nix system stands as the very picture of a bullet-proof system. The only reason why any *nix system ever gets hacked is because their system administrators are stupid. They're the kind of people who login as root (See #5 above). When you need a system with 100% sterling security, choose *nix, you won't be sorry.

  • Nokia

    • Nokia N900 Linux-based mobile
      FINNISH PHONE MAKER Nokia's N900 is a Linux-based mobile device with a number of advanced features, including application multi-tasking, built-in VoIP support, stereo speakers, graphics acceleration, video output to a TV, and more.

      Announced last August and available now from Vodafone, Carphone Warehouse and Nokia's online shop, the Nokia N900 is part of the firm's N Series of multimedia handsets. However, it is more like a tiny computer that can make voice calls rather than a smartphone. This is demonstrated by the fact that the main screen resembles a computer desktop, and the phone features are relegated to just one application among many others.

    • 相撲外:GNU Emacs for Nokia N900

    • Breaking the Nokia Booklet. Part 2.
      Two things are clear from this experience: (1) Nokia made a very poor choice with the GMA 500, and (2) Wubi is a fantastic way to get Linux on your freedom-hating machine.

    • Breaking Nokia’s Booklet. Part 3.
      In Part 2 of this continuing series I managed to free Nokia’s Booklet 3G from the clutches of Windows using Wubi. Today we’ll be looking at a Linux distribution made specifically for netbooks — Jolicloud.

    • Nokia Q4 shows it ain't dead yet
      Nokia had a pretty decent fourth quarter and is showing the first signs that savage cost-cutting and redundancies might just be working.

      Sales were down four per cent to €12bn and operating profit jumped 132 per cent to €1.1bn.

  • Server

    • The Technology Behind Avatar (Movie)
      James Cameron's Avatar is now officially the top grossing movie of all time eclipsing Titanic (also by James Cameron). Probably the main reason of its huge success is the use of innovative filmmaking technology like its development of 3D viewing and stereoscopic filmmaking with cameras that were specially designed for the movie's production. It's amazing that Cameron wrote the scriptment for the film more than 15 years ago, but the technology available at that moment was very limited to portray his vision of the film, a major cause of the long delay of its release.


      Creating the virtual world of Pandora required over a petabyte of digital storage (Transformers "Revenge of the Fallen" needed about 140 terabytes). The final footage for Avatar occupied 17.28 gigabytes of storage per minute. To help finish preparing the special effects sequences on time, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) was brought in, working alongside Weta Digital to create the battle sequences.

  • Kernel Space

    • Just what is “Linux”?
      Think about it…technically you can break the operating system into many constituent pieces:

      * Kernel * HAL * Desktop * Subsytems

      and more. You can also break the human body into pieces:

      * Brain * Eyes * Skeleton * Nerves * Heart

      and more. And like the operating system, each piece is worthless alone. What exactly can you do with the Linux kernel without the other pieces around it? Not much. There are plenty of desktop environments and window managers available, but none of them will run without X Windows, which will not run without the kernel.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.33 (Part 2) - Storage
      Extended discard support means that Linux now supports ATA TRIM, which can increase SSD lifespan and throughput. New additions to the Linux kernel include HA solution DRBD and drivers for HP, LSI and VMware storage hardware. The new kernel version, expected in early March, also includes many minor improvements to the code for the Btrfs, Ext4 and ReiserFS file systems.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Running Nine USB-Based Displays On Linux
        Last May we were briefed that DisplayLink would provide open-source driver support on Linux. DisplayLink is a company that makes graphics processors capable of powering high resolution displays that work over a USB connection. This technology is found within products from Hewlett-Packard, ASUS, Samsung, and others. Since last year DisplayLink and the Linux community has been working on a LGPLv2 software stack and in June first released a frame-buffer and X.Org driver and since has released other improvements.

      • AMD Catalyst 10.1 Driver For Linux Released
        Catalyst 10.1 for Linux continues to lack X Server 1.7 support, but the Linux 2.6.32 kernel may work with this release. Like past months, the Catalyst 10.1 driver is another unexciting driver update. AMD Eyefinity might also be working on Linux, or at least the ability to use three monitors from a single AMD Radeon HD 5000 series graphics card, but that hasn't been officially shared. Catalyst 10.2 will be a bit more exciting as Ubuntu 10.04 nears, but not without some disappointments too.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE Software Compilation 4.3.5 Release Announcement
        KDE Community Ships Fifth Translation and Service Release of the 4.3 Free Desktop, Containing Numerous Bugfixes, Performance Improvements and Translation Updates

        January 26th, 2010. Today, KDE has released a new version of the KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC). This month's edition of KDE SC is a bugfix and translation update to KDE SC 4.3. KDE SC 4.3.5 is a recommended upgrade for everyone running KDE SC 4.3.4 or earlier versions. As the release only contains bugfixes and translation updates, it will be a safe and pleasant update for everyone. Users around the world will appreciate that KDE SC 4.3.5 is more completely translated. KDE 4 is already translated into more than 50 languages, with more to come.

      • A Look at KDE 4.4
        The latest version of my favorite desktop, KDE SC 4.4, is due to be released in just a couple of weeks. Even though it’s still in beta, I just couldn’t keep my hands off of it, being the desktop geek that I am. Let’s take a quick look at how KDE 4.4 is shaping up during the last leg of its development phase.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • And the best Linux desktop distro of all is...
      You don't have to go with Dell though. Other major hardware vendors like HP and Lenovo also offer pre-installed Linux on desktop systems. I'm loath to recommend them though because, frankly, they make it very hard to find their Linux-powered systems. Your better choice is to go with a smaller company that stands behind its Linux PCs like Los Alamos Computers, system76, or ZaReason. For a more comprehensive list of companies that sell computers with Linux ready to go see LXer's Pre-Installed Linux Database.

    • RevLin OS: Would You Use It?
      We've just got an email which points out that there is going work for a new operating system called RevLin OS. This is more of an announcement, because there are no downloads available for now, so I couldn't test it. But I really liked the concept - I must say that it sounds much better than Chrome OS, so I decided to share this news with you. Why better than Chrome OS? Read on!

    • A Round of Thoughts
      RevLin OS sounds promising. It may be the bit of "new" that the *nix world needs, and it may wake all the freetards up. Essentially, it's a reworking of the Linux kernel that keeps the driver framework, and has the same system calls. This makes it binary compatible with Linux, while not suffering from the size and complexity issues of Linux (or so we hope since it hasn't been released yet). Currently, it is unclear whether or not this monster will use X11 or some other display framework, but we know that the GUI can be scripted with JS, HTML, and CSS. This would no doubt start a flurry of distro building by the FOSS community, and within a year or so someone would have RevLin running his toaster.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Goals and gold.
        First, thanks to Greg for an excellent, thoughtful post on Fedora’s goals. I remember well — and I’m sure Greg does too — the FUDCon in Raleigh in January 2008 where members of the Fedora community sat down to try to distill “what Fedora stands for” into a powerful message. The result was the freedom, friends*, features, first mantra — guiding values that we’ve enshrined on our Foundations page.

      • CentOS Server Evaluation
        Evaluating the CentOS Enterprise Server

        There are a number of popular choices for Linux enterprise level servers including CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, Slackware and others including Red Hat Enterprise. This series of articles on a choice for a Linux Server will compare several of these Linux distributions to examine the advantages and disadvantages of each distribution. What is important to recognize in this evaluation is that how you view advantages and disadvantages are dependent upon the expertise of your Linux administrators and the level of support you need to maintain your servers.

    • Debian Family

      • 5 reasons why Ubuntu Lucid Lynx may be a game changing release.
        It is not the most profitable of those in its class, neither is it the oldest nor the classiest. However, it is the most popular and that popularity is set to increase come this April with the release of the LTS edition of Ubuntu Linux.

        All things being equal, the release of Ubuntu Lucid Lynx is likely to be a game changer in its own right and help increase the awareness among more people about the existence of alternatives to Windows. The following five factors will definitely play a crucial role in this regard.

      • Nouveau From 2.6.33 Prepped For Ubuntu 10.04
        Back in November we shared that Nouveau would finally be pulled into the Ubuntu 10.04 kernel as up to this point Canonical had employed the feature-limited and obfuscated open-source NVIDIA driver known as xf86-video-nv. The Nouveau driver became an option with Ubuntu 9.04, but it was using Nouveau's DDX user-space mode-setting code paths that have since been dropped upstream.

      • Ubuntu: Enterprise Management Getting Easier?
        Of course, I realize new product launches don’t guarantee customer or IT administrator success. WorksWithU plans to track a range of Ubuntu enterprise deployments more closely in 2010. Hopefully, our efforts will reveal best practices for remotely, proactively managing Ubuntu in the enterprise.

      • Meetings, Minutes, and Mootbot
        Back in March 2009, I started hanging out in the #ubuntu-meeting channel on Freenode to see first hand how IRC meetings in the Ubuntu Community are conducted. I noticed there were specific actions/commands that were being used in the meetings; I wanted why and what they were, so I asked :-).

      • Ubuntu Firefox shuns Google for Yahoo! search
        With regulators set to approve Yahoo!'s search pact with Microsoft, this means that Redmond will power the future of Firefox on Ubuntu, a combination with decidedly anti-Redmond connotations. The ultimate irony is that Microsoft will essentially be paying people to build a Linux distro.

      • An Open Letter to Mozilla: RE Ubuntu
        This morning I noticed a link to this article that caught me off guard: Ubuntu is changing it’s default search selection in Firefox for the next release to Yahoo because they are going to pay more (than Google does). Now, I don’t much care for Yahoo (especially now that they use Microsoft for search since I REALLY don’t like Microsoft ;) but this is a wakeup call and this needs to be said:

        Mozilla needs to make an official repository for Ubuntu.

      • Yahoo to be default search engine in Firefox for Ubuntu Lucid Lynx.
        I have also heard that Yahoo's privacy policies are much better than that of Google. What I find actually interesting is that sometime last year, Yahoo! reached a deal with Microsoft to have Bing power Yahoo! searches. Now we are going to see Yahoo! being the default search provider for Ubuntu. This will really be interesting. Only time will tell how this turns out.

      • The choices inside Ubuntu
        Some people will object to the deal automatically, because, last year, Microsoft emerged as one of Yahoo!'s major partners. As I write, I am sure that others are already reflexively ranting about how Ubuntu is inching closer to Microsoft, citing its use of Mono applications as further proof of this alleged trend.

        But that seems a relatively remote concern. What makes me uneasy is that the change is apparently being done solely for business reasons.

      • Ubuntu Could Profit From Both Yahoo, Google
        Talk about a careful balancing act involving Ubuntu. Canonical appears to have financial relationships with both Google and Yahoo. Here’s how the relationships — involving Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) and Google Chrome OS — are shaping up. Plus, the potential financial implications for Canonical.

      • Feeling the heat

      • The Mint Newsletter – issue 99

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Zoho opens up Zoho Discussions for open source
    Zoho recently announced that they are making Zoho Discussions available for free to open source projects. Zoho Discussions is an online forum tool that provides a way for people to discuss various aspects of a project.

  • Apache SpamAssassin Takes a New Route in Version 3.30
    Spammers beware! A new version of Apache SpamAssassin has you in its sights.

    After over two and half years of development, SpamAssassin 3.3.0 is now available, providing mail administrators with new features to better stem the flow of spam into their organizations.

  • Zap Provides Open Source Wireless Testing
    "Zap" is a wireless performance tool, previously used for internal development and testing by Ruckus Wireless. Ruckus has released the Zap source code under a modified BSD license to provide the tool to the world, and hopefully spur development of this and other related analysis tools. Zap measures performance, statistically, to provide insight into the true nature of how a network can perform.

  • How To Spread Word About My FOSS Project?

  • DIY Bio: A Growing Movement Takes on Aging
    A movement is growing quietly, steadily, and with great speed. In basements, attics, garages, and living rooms, amateurs and professionals alike are moving steadily towards disparate though unified goals. They come home from work or school and transform into biologists: do-it-yourself biologists, to be exact.

  • PL: Police considers moving to open source
    The Polish Police force wants to increase its use of free and open source software in order to cut costs, announces Andrzej Trela, Deputy Chief of Police and responsible for logistics, in an interview in the Police force's monthly newsletter, published on 15 January.


    The latter remark suggests to the Polish Foundation on Free and Open Source (Fwioo), that the police might use the savings on proprietary licences to pay for innovation. The Fwioo mentions the interview on the website of their project on Transparent and Correct Public IT Tenders (PPIT).

  • Why IPv6 is Essential for Your Freedom
    IPv4 addresses are running out. There is no second opinion about this – at the current rate of allocation, there will be no unallocated addresses by the end of 2011. Even if some of the large allocated, but unused ranges will be given up by their current owners, this could only delay the exhaustion by a very limited time. And after that, any newcomers to the Internet wishing to have IPv4 connectivity will either have to negotiate to purchase blocks of addresses from someone, or use whatever addresses their provider gives them, which increasinly will be fewer and fewer addresses, or none at all, if their ISP has implemented…

  • Mozilla

  • Sun/Oracle

    • New: 3.2.0 Release Candidate 4 (build OOO320_m11) available

    • Oracle will boost MySQL, release Cloud Office suite will be managed as an independent business unit, Screven said, with Sun's development and support teams retained. Oracle will continue to support the free community edition of However, Oracle also plans to deliver a cloud offering called Oracle Cloud Office, which Screven said had been under development for a while. Screven did not comment on the fate of StarOffice, the paid, supported version of that competes with IBM's own Lotus Symphony.

    • Oracle reveals strategy for GlassFish, MySQL, OpenOffice, and Solaris
      OpenOffice will continue to receive investment and be managed within a separate business unit. There will be a focus on integrating OpenOffice with business intelligence and content management offerings.

    • Ellison to recruit thousands for Sun integration army
      Oracle's chief executive on Wednesday claimed that - far from laying off beleaguered Sun employees - his company would be hiring 2,000 additional people during the next few months.

      He reprimanded as "irresponsible" the UBS analyst who said last week that Oracle will cut up to half of Sun's 30,000 workforce following the completion of the deal.

    • Report: Oracle plans to hire more employees than it cuts from Sun
      With Oracle's anticipated purchase of Sun drawing near, company CEO Larry Ellison disclosed plans to hire 2,000 engineering and sales employees - more workers than it's expected to cut from Sun's workforce, according a The Wall Street Journal report posted Tuesday.

    • 3D Acceleration in VirtualBox Guests
      In any case, 3D applications were certainly usable, even if they didn’t perform flawlessly, in my virtual machines. This is a huge improvement over the past, when using Ubuntu meant saying goodbye to a range of Windows-only applications that require hardware acceleration.

      Ideally, the day will come when I can run every application I want natively on Ubuntu. But until then, user-friendly and feature-rich virtualization platforms like VirtualBox will remain a vitally important component of the Linux world.

    • VirtualBox 3.1.4 Beta Brings 40+ Fixes
      VirtualBox 3.2 isn't yet around, but the Sun (well, Oracle) engineers are going to be releasing a 3.1.4 release shortly. To get some tests out there prior to the final release they have issued a beta of VirtualBox 3.1.4, which offers 40 fixes/additions. VirtualBox 3.1.4 is positioned to have SMP stability fixes, 3D support improvements, fixes for the Linux 2.6.32 kernel, video mode improvements for X.Org / XFree86, and various other changes.

  • CMS

  • Releases

  • Licensing

    • Alfresco to drop GPL, goes LGPL
      Alfresco say that the brand is now established and they are ready to move to a more permissive licence. The big difference between the LGPL and GPL is that the LGPL allows proprietary and closed code to be linked to the software. Companies have used the inability of GPL code to be linked to proprietary code as a cornerstone of dual-licensing, where they make the code open source, but sell licences to users who wish to integrate it with proprietary components.

  • Programming


  • Linux Motherboard Follies

  • Solid State Drives Get Faster with TRIM

  • 9 Hilarious USB keys

  • Dish Network wins $51M judgment against alleged satellite-TV pirate
    Colorado’s Dish Network Corp. and its sister companies have won a $51 million court judgment against a man they accused of being a satellite TV pirate who helped people steal the companies’ transmissions.

  • The State Goes Up Against The Slate
    YouTube users will be able to submit questions to President Obama via Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Moderator, which will be answered by the president during a live interview next week. has a bulked up player, which will let users search for for keywords in the president’s speech, among other features. And promises to let users participate in real-time polls.

  • Science

    • Nasa accepts Spirit Mars rover 'stuck for good'
      The US space agency (Nasa) has admitted defeat in its battle to free the Spirit rover from its Martian sand trap.

      The vehicle became stuck in soft soil back in May last year and all the efforts to extricate it have failed.

    • Obama to scrap Moon, Mars expeditions - report
      President Barack Obama is set to effectively scrap all US manned spaceflight plans beyond Earth orbit for the foreseeable future, according to a newspaper report.

  • Security

    • Nebraska Man Admits DDoS Attack on Church of Scientology
      A Nebraska man confessed to his role in a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack targeting Websites for the Church of Scientology.

    • Bank sues victim of $800,000 cybertheft
      A Texas bank is suing a customer hit by an $800,000 cybertheft incident in a case that could test the extent to which customers should be held responsible for protecting their online accounts from compromises.

      The incident, which was first reported by blogger Brian Krebs this week, involves Lubbock-based PlainsCapital bank and its customer Hillary Machinery Inc. of Plano.

    • UK

      • Home Office spawns new unit to expand internet surveillance
        The Home Office has created a new unit to oversee a massive increase in surveillance of the internet, The Register has learned, quashing suggestions the plans are on hold until after the election.

        The new Communications Capabilities Directorate (CCD) has been created as a structure to implement the €£2bn Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP), sources said.

      • Just how useful is the DNA database in crime detection?
        That's hardly a "vital" tool now is it? Of course, we'll be reminded that if it wasn't for assuming guilt and taking DNA samples of anyone you arrest then some murder from 25 years might not have been solved, but still, little more than a half of one percent of crime relies on the DNA database?

      • Motorist receives €£50 on the spot fine.. for blowing his nose in stationary car
        A BUSINESSMAN has been fined by cops for blowing his nose in a car.

        Dad-of-two Michael Mancini pulled out a tissue while he was stuck in stationary traffic - with his handbrake on.

      • BBC 'sacked popular radio presenter after row with local council over €£25 parking fine'
        Gareth Evans was sacked after allegedly threatening to criticise his local council on air over a minor parking ticket row involving his heavily pregnant wife.

        Evans, 39, a popular DJ at BBC Radio Sheffield, detailed the dispute on Facebook, revealing how his wife Joanna was given a €£25 ticket for parking badly in an 'empty' town centre car park during a shopping trip.

        When parking her Land Rover, she slightly straddled another bay to ensure she had sufficient room to get out. She returned later to find a fixed penalty notice on her windscreen.

        Mr Evans wrote on Facebook about his family's 'war' with the council and their failed attempt to have the fine overturned.

        But a senior official at Bassetlaw Council in Nottinghamshire was so concerned about comments that he wrote to BBC management.

      • Police to visit every home in borough of Bexley to stop crime
        Every household in a London €­borough is to be visited by police officers in a scheme to connect with local people.

  • Environment

    • Irish Intel chips get fertiliser
      GROWER OF SEMICONDUCTOR WAFERS Intel had to shut part of its Irish plant for a while because of the extreme cold and the fact the local council polluted the water supply with fertiliser.

  • Finance

    • Wall Street reform could stay in spotlight for months
      The extra security measure, reported by the New York Post, comes as the United States’ biggest banks have never before attracted so much public outrage.

    • Mass sell-offs a possibility being mulled by Wall St giants
      Obama, attacking a 'binge of irresponsibility, wants to ban banks which take customer deposits from betting on shares with their own money - proprietary trading - and running hedge funds and private equity groups

    • AIG restricts use of corporate aircraft
      Firms such as AIG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley, which have taken part in U.S. taxpayer funded bailouts, have been under close scrutiny for being lenient with executive pay and perks.

    • Federal Reserve Moral Hazard Smoking Gun: In August 2008 Goldman Was Willing To Tear Up AIG Derivative Contracts, Offered To Take Haircut
      As observant readers will recall, a week ago we pointed out a letter in which the New York Fed's Steven Manzari instructed AIG to stand down on all discussions with counterparties on "tearing up/unwinding CDS trades on the CDO portfolio." At the time we focused on the word "stand down" as an indication of the Fed's lead role in the process. At this point there is no doubt that the FRBNY, together with its law firm, Davis Polk, were in the pilot's seat during the entire AIG negotiation, and while Tim Geithner may not have been the responsible man for this, someone must have been - and for the record, our money is a double or nothing on recently promoted FRBNY Senior Vice President Sarah Dahlgren, who as of January 21st is in charge of the Fed's Special Investments [AIG] Management Group.

    • Overheard: Goldman-AIG Saga
      As everybody knows, AIG got a huge government bailout in September 2008 to help make payments on derivatives contracts with banks, including Goldman. Yet in the previous month, Goldman approached AIG about "tearing up" its contracts, according to a November 2008 analysis by BlackRock, then an adviser to the New York Fed.

    • Goldman Sachs Is The System - The System Is Goldman Sachs
      Now Goldman Sachs is talking about giving up their Federal Bank Charter as well as becoming a private company, giving up their public status. Is this an effort to wield their power without any public scrutiny at all? Just think about it. When Halliburton was taking a lot of hits from the media and the public, they simply gave up their American corporate citizenship and became a Dubai corporation - no longer open to domestic scrutiny or regulatory oversight. Is GS planning a similar move to shield their operations with much more limited regulatory oversight and no public scrutiny without having to give up their American citizenship? Only time will tell but during that time, we, the people can take back control and our system from all those who threaten our Democracy.

    • Volcker whacks Goldman Sachs
      A proposed trading crackdown backed by former Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker overshadowed Goldman Sachs' biggest-ever profit Thursday.

      New York-based Goldman (GS, Fortune 500) posted a gaudy fourth-quarter profit of nearly $5 billion. That number beat the Wall Street analyst consensus estimate by more than $3 a share, thanks to an unusual reduction in employee compensation that handed shareholders a $3 billion after-tax bonus.

    • Citizen Goldman-Sachs, Psychopath
      Which demands another question: what happens to actual breathing/bleeding human beings who sell $40 billion of something they know to be toxic? What penalties would we extract from any person who then made bets about how long it would take for that toxic waste to kill other "citizens" of its kind?

      Never mind the millions of actual, living, breathing human beings left unemployed, their children born in debt to pay for the latest round of CEO bonuses. It sure has been a good year for Goldman-Sachs! But I digress.

    • Goldman, Morgan Stanley May Drop Bank Status, NYT Reports
      Goldman would be the biggest beneficiary of such a move because it makes huge profits from proprietary trading and runs many private equity and hedge funds, the article noted.

    • Timothy P. Carney: Beware the Goldman Sachs populist
      Bank of America's K Street lobbyists include Obama administration alumnus Oscar Ramirez and Chuck Schumer's former press secretary Izzy Klein, both at the Podesta Group, co-founded by John Podesta, who served as Obama's transition director, and has visited the White House more than 15 times.

    • Goldman under investigation for its securities dealings
      One of Congress' premier watchdog panels is investigating Goldman Sachs' role in the subprime mortgage meltdown, including how the firm sold securities backed by risky home loans while it simultaneously bet that those bonds would lose value, people familiar with the inquiry said Friday.

    • SEPTA sues Goldman Sachs over bonuses
      SEPTA has filed suit against Goldman Sachs investment bank, which mananged its pension funds. The suit claims the bonuses paid to Goldman Sachs executives harmed SEPTA's returns.

    • Goldman Sachs, in cross hairs, mulls options
      Public anger over Goldman's $16.2 billion in salaries and bonuses after the multibillion-dollar taxpayer rescue of the financial system has not subsided.

      The company's profitability, and suspicions that its deep links with governments around the world gave it unfair advantages, made it a symbol of Wall Street greed and excess. Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi described it as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity."

    • Goldman Sachs to The Little People: "Let Them Eat Cake and Bullets"
      As Goldman Sachs prepared to announce its fourth quarter earnings and employee compensation levels yesterday, the bank had bomb-sniffing dogs and police barricades on hand at its New York City headquarters, the New York Post reports.

    • Goldman Sachs calls in the sniffer dogs
      Relations between the banks, the US Government and the public are now in new and dangerous territory with the New York Post reporting that Goldman Sachs used police barricades and called in bomb-sniffing dogs when it announced its record $4.95 billion earnings result. So while the rest of America is struggling, Goldman Sachs continues to rake it in.

  • Censorship/Civil Rights

    • Uphold talkbacker's anonymity in defamation trial, court says
      The Nazareth District Court has upheld the right of the Walla Web portal to refuse to hand over the IP addresses of commenters accused of defaming a journalist.

    • The Snoopy Google Toolbar
      No one is accusing Google of being Big Brother, but it certainly was eye-opening when Ben Edelman, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School, shows that newer versions of Google Toolbar, versions 6.3 and above, was tracking Internet Explorer 8 users actions even when it was 'off.'

      Of course this begs the question, "Is there someone out there who ever turns the extremely useful Google Toolbar off?" I never have. Still, it is disturbing that this bug ever made it to the public in the first place. I mean, what part of 'off' did Google's developers not get?

    • Twitter working to thwart censorship
      Micro-blogging site Twitter is developing technology that will prevent government censorship after Iran and China moved to censor its users.


      Williams said Twitter had an advantage in evading government censors over a singular website as its streams are distributed through a number of outlets, including syndicating sites and mobile applications.

    • InternetNZ rejects internet filtering
      InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) has released a position paper rejecting centralised internet filtering as an acceptable approach for New Zealand.

  • Death of Newspapers

    • After Three Months, Newsday's Grand Paywall Experiment Has 35 Paying Customers. Yes, 35.
      Like many, we were amazed at the decision by Cablevision to try charging $5 per week (yes, per week) for its paywall to Newsday content online. The newspaper itself is not particularly good and doesn't really provide all that much in the way of excess value compared to what else is out there. And $5/week is extremely high. Yet, even so, we're a bit surprised that after three months, the paper has a grand total of 35 paying subscribers. Yes, 35. I'm sure that extra $175/week comes in quite handy. Oh right, they also saved on the salary of their popular columnist who quit, rather than have his work hidden behind a paywall.

    • Daily Mirror Blocks NewsNow; Will It Start Paying Its Own Sources?
      We've already described how ridiculously hypocritical it is for various newspapers to block UK aggregator service NewsNow from linking to their articles in its paid subscription service, but apparently it's a difficult concept for some to grasp. The UK's Daily Mirror has now started blocking access to NewsNow's crawlers, claiming that its only problem is the fact that NewsNow makes money off subscriptions. If it wasn't making any money, the paper wouldn't have a problem.

    • The Hugh Cudlipp lecture: Does journalism exist?
      As Scott said 90 years ago: "What a chance for the newspaper!" If we turn our back on all this and at the same time conclude that there is nothing to learn from it because what 'they' do is different – 'we are journalists, they aren't: we do journalism; they don't' – then, never mind business models, we will be sleep walking into oblivion.

    • What's A Bigger Entitlement Mentality? Demanding Old Business Models Must Remain... Or Liking Free Stuff?
      Apparently times are hard over at ECN Magazine. Rather than come up with compelling content to draw people in, its Technical Editor decided to pen the mother of all troll-baiting editorials. NSILMike points us to Jason Lomberg's recent rant on The Internet Entitlement Mentality, which I think may set a record for repeating pretty much every long-debunked fallacy about online content and business models, as well as how it describes those folks who actually understand basic economics, and how free works as part of an economic ecosystem.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Ofcom to charge terminated downloaders to appeal
      Lord Mandelson is planning to make cut off internet subscribers pay to appeal in infringement of copyright dispute resolution processes. In short, if you are cut off by Ofcom for illegally downloading, even if you’re innocent, you’ll have to pay to appeal against the decision.

      A House of Lords committee is currently going over the Dark Lord’s Digital Economy Bill. Last night, Lord Faulkner of Worcester highlighted for the committee Amendment 200A, which “allows for the possibility that subscribers may be asked for a contribution towards the costs of the appeals process”.

    • Strikes' Policies For Infringers Debated
      As more countries weigh whether to punish serial copyright infringers by taking away their Internet access, critics debated Wednesday whether such efforts have a deterring effect. A panel discussion at the Congressional Internet Caucus' State of the Net conference examined such laws as one awaiting final approval in France that give infringers three chances to stop before their Internet access is cut off by a court and legislation working its way through the British Parliament that would impose graduated levels of notice against infringers with the ultimate sanction being a cutoff of Internet service.

    • Yes, Three Strikes Laws Have Unintended Consequences That Even Music Industry Execs Hate
      You must use that one device exclusively. When the official WiFi went dead, I went in search of other networks, including one called "Free WiFi," but when I accessed that, it still asked me for my username and password (which I obviously don't have). It certainly is somewhat amusing to find out that the music industry execs are annoyed by the consequences of the law they so desperately claim they need.

    • RIAA rejects reduced fine for 'piracy'
      THE BIG MUSIC recording companies have rejected a judge's ruling that a central Minnesota woman found guilty of sharing 24 songs over the Internet should be ordered to pay 'only' $54,000.

    • Jammie Thomas Rejects Offer From RIAA To Settle For $25k Plus Request For Judge To Vacate Last Week's Decision
      The RIAA would just like the case to be over, but doesn't want to set the precedent, so they ask Thomass-Rasset to pay less, but the "trade" is to get the decision deleted. Thomas-Rasset quickly rejected the offer, and now it seems likely that the RIAA will reject the reduced amount and everyone will go back to trial over just the damage amount.

    • Corporate Copyright Scofflaws 0002
      The largest copyright pirates are the large corporations, particularly in the content distribution business. Yes, those companies who scream the loudest that their customers are ‘pirating’ movies, songs, books, etc. In this series, we are going to look at cases where these companies have engaged in large scare copyright infringement.

    • Tintin Fans Attacked By Tintin Lawyer
      Rodwell’s latest target is Bob Garcia, “a detective novelist, jazz musician and Tintin aficionado,” who has been ordered by British courts to hand over €£35,000 or face the possibility of having his house and belongings seized. His crime: writing five essays about the character.

    • Environmental group sues Honda for "Save The Earth" trademark infringement
      All Honda wanted to do was save the Earth, one gallon of gasoline at a time. It turns out, though, that in the act of saving said Earth, the Japanese automaker stepped on a few toes – namely, those of Save the Earth Enterprises, an environmental group based in the United States.

    • Dueling Billboards Debate Wife's Hotness
      The billboard catches the attention of drivers and truckers traveling on the highways. "YOUR WIFE IS HOT" -- BETTER GET YOUR A/C FIXED," it reads, in big bold letters.


      Air Around the Clock, in a 28-page complaint, is accusing its competitor of trademark infringement and misrepresenting their services. The federal lawsuit also states that the advertisement is likely to cause confusion and deceive consumers as to the origin of the services.

    • If A Video Is Filmed By Chimps... Who Owns The Copyright?
      Here's a fun one for you lawyers out there. Richard points us to a story about a movie made entirely by chimpanzees who were given cameras, which is now being broadcast on the BBC.

Clip of the Day

Nova Baire, el Linux cubano

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