Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 5/4/2010: GNOME 3 Mockups, KDE 4.4.2 in Mandriva 2010

GNOME bluefish



  • Terminal Man
    Ed sold MiTS and started medical school less than three years after introducing the Altair 8800. In one sense this could be seen as a logical transition from a dodgy electronic kit company that had almost gone under many times.


    Linux might have called him back but by the time it was available Ed wasn’t.

  • Fun with Linux on Easter!
    I've been offline for more than a day, and haven't had time to blog, but yesterday I saw my old friend Dean Esmay. Among other things, he was installing, tweaking, and playing with the latest version of Ubuntu Linux, and burned an extra CD for me.


    I am very, very impressed, and I highly recommend Ubuntu Linux.

  • PlayStation Pull-Back Hurts Inexpensive Supercomputing
    In the case of the PS3, however, the benefits of Linux on the CellBE-processor device were immediate. In 2007, the researchers at NorthCarolina State University clustered eight PS3 machines that ran Fedora Core 5 Linux (ppc64). That same year a University of Massachusetts team found that putting together an eight-node PS3 cluster together (for a cost of about US$4000) would perform with the same processing power as a 200-processor supercomputer.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux: First Release Of nftables
      Netfilter maintainer Patrick McHardy recently announced a first alpha-release of nftables, slated to eventually replace iptables as the standard Linux packet filtering engine. Nftables aims to simplify the kernel ABI, reduce code duplication, improve error reporting, and provide more efficient execution, storage and updates of filtering rules. Patrick began with a high level overview of the three pieces that comprise the firewall, "the kernel provides a netlink configuration interface, as well as runtime ruleset evaluation using a small classification language interpreter. libnl contains the low-level functions for communicating with the kernel, the nftables frontend is what the user interacts with." An insightful overview can be found on

    • Linux: Memory Compaction
      The patches, first posted in May of 2007, provide a mechanism for moving GFP_MOVABLE pages into a smaller number of pageblocks, reducing externally fragmented memory.

    • Emergency Mesa 7.8.1 release coming this Monday.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Spreading KDE at the Southern California Linux Expo
        From February 20th to the 21st, Linux enthusiasts from the greater Los Angeles area converged at the Westin Hotel near Los Angeles Airport to celebrate Linux and Free Software at the annual Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE8X). KDE was there once again showing attendees the work of the KDE community.

      • You Be The Judge: Plasma Javascript Jam Session
        Here, along with a description by the authors, are the competing Plasmoids in alphabetical order...

    • GNOME Desktop

      • I have seen the future, and it is GNOME 3
        GNOME 3 is different. Very different. Gone is the start button, to be replaced by the Activities button. No more are you fumbling around in menus to find what you need. What you will have is a very streamlined, sleek, and sexy desktop that is sure to make your computing life easier. Oh of course there will be those that say “If it isn’t broke…” Well, I am one of those who will first claim that it is, in fact, “broke”. The current desktop that most everyone uses is klunky, kludgy, and ugly. It’s a task bar, and menus, and icons, and blah blah blah…there’s no “Apple factor”. What do I mean by “Apple factor”? Simple - there is very little energy given to aesthetics. And believe me in the current incarnation of the modern, capitalist society - it is all about form over function. You have to look good before you can be good.

      • GNOME 3 System Status Area Mockups
        In GNOME 3, the System Status Area is a place where System Status Indicators represent the status of the system to the user. This is not an area that is variously called the Notification Area or System Tray and should not be used by applications (foreground or background) to indicate their status. This distinction is necessary to ensure the entire top of the screen is designed properly, system owned and coherent, able to be modified or extended, scale well to smaller form-factors, and not become a dumping ground or high-profile branding opportunity.

      • Possible New GNOME 3 System Status Area Changes [Mockups]

      • The Case for Gnome Shell
        A couple weeks ago, I wrote some posts on GNOME Shell which included a number of criticisms of the desktop environment that will likely become Ubuntu’S default at some point in the future. Jon McCann, lead designer for GNOME Shell, recently got in touch to offer his responses to the problems I found with the new interface. Here’s what he had to say.

        In general, Jon’s message was that many of the criticisms I made of GNOME (not Gnome, I’ve realized…) Shell were unfair, given that its targeted release date remains six months in the future. For example, Jon assured me that my experience with a laggy interface was likely due to known bugs involving certain Intel GPUs, which the GNOME developers are working on fixing.

  • Distributions

    • Feature: Peering down the business end of Asturix
      One of the fascinating things about open source software is the way in which it can be adapted to suit many different, previously unexplored tasks. Linux, with its flexibility, can be used in many different niches. Take, for example, Asturix. The Asturix project is an attempt to make a better operating system both for the world in general, and Spanish speakers in particular. The project recognizes that Linux users often need to interact with applications and networks that aren't always open-source friendly and have tailored their offering to make those situations as easy as possible. To achieve their goals, the Asturix team has created three editions of their distribution:

      * Business - for use in offices * Desktop - for people at home * Lite - designed with older computers in mind

    • New Releases

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • KDE 4.4.2 available for Mandriva 2010 !!
        The second bugfix release of KDE 4.4 was released this week and again thanks to neoclust we have packages for Mandriva 2010 since today, this time for both i586 and x86_64 platforms at the same time !!. With 4.4.1, packages for x86_64 weren't built but I didn't care much as I wasn't using that plaform, but last night I reinstalled my system with 2010 x86_64 and it was a really great surprise to find this morning both platforms available to install. If you are upgrading from a previous KDE 4.4.x upgrade then don't forget to disable or delete the old KDE 4.4.x repository before starting this upgrade, just in case.

      • First Look – Mandriva 2010.1 beta 1 – Gnome Edition
        The first beta release of Mandriva 2010.1 has been made available for testing. Being fans of the 2010 release (it was, in our opinion, Mandriva's best to date) we were eager to see what kind of progress is being made on their next stable release.

    • Debian Family

      • [Debian] Bits from the Release Team: Scheduling, transitions, how to help

      • Ubuntu

        • A Look At All Ubuntu Mascots (Code Names)
          The development codename of an Ubuntu release takes the form "Adjective Animal". Initially these weren't in alphabetic order - until Dapper DRAKE (6.06) that is.

          Let's take a look (in pictures) at all Ubuntu mascots - from the warty Warthog to the latest maverick Meerkat...

        • Mergimus: Making Patch And Branch Review Easier In Ubuntu
          I believe part of the problem here is that reviewing patches is just too hard. At the Ubuntu Global Jam on Friday I was talking this through with a few people and I started drilling on the idea of a desktop tool that improves viability on patch contributions and automates much of the work involved. I believe this tool could greatly open up the world of patch review to more people.

        • Ubuntu and the FSF Ideal
          It’s an interesting relationship, but I think we all understand where each of us is coming from. The FSF seeks to be a defining entity that stands for a very precise ideal and raising awareness of that ideal through appealing to people’s politics. Ubuntu seeks to increase awareness and use of Free Software by providing products that work. So long as we in Ubuntu never forget to mention the ideals, philosophies and principles of the Free and Open Source ethos that gives us the great fortune of being able to make computers work better, then I think we have no real conflict.

        • Ubuntu and its commitment to software freedom
          Ubuntu does not include “Non-Free” desktop software in a default installation: When installing Ubuntu, there is no desktop software that can be considered “Non Free” and that’s the main premise of Ubuntu today. Ubuntu provides the best free software to millions of people using it daily. Ubuntu never promotes proprietary applications over Free Software. However, it allows people who want to use non-free software, such as Skype. This is something that is true for Debian, Fedora, OpenSuse, ArchLinux, and even in the considered free distributions like gNewSense. The user chooses. Ubuntu does not force the user to use “non-free” software.

        • UbuntuOne Gets Contacts Mobile Phone Sync Support [But It's Not Free]
          A recent message on the Ubuntu One mailing list announces that Canonical has teamed up with Funambol, an established software stack that synchronizes thousands of mobile phones and other devices who have built a community around different client plugins, virtually supporting the majority of the existing software on all platforms that have contacts (Thunderbird, Outlook, Mac OS X Mail, etc).

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 187
          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #187 for the week March 28th - April 3rd, 2010. In this issue we cover: Mark Shuttleworth: Shooting for the Perfect 10.10 with Maverick Meerkat, Ubuntu 10.04 beta 2 freeze now in effect, Ubuntu 8.10 reaches End-Of-Life April, 30, 2010, Call for Session Leaders for Ubuntu Open Week, Ubuntu Manual Team call for help, LoCo Directory: Team Events app Rocks, Ubuntu Ireland Global Jam Review, Help Translate the main LoCo Council page, Ubuntu One contacts, now with merging, Kubuntu Netbook Edition ScreenKast, At Home With Jono Bacon Podcast, Better sounding music with Rhythmbox, Ubuntu-UK Podcasts, and much, much more!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rugged box PC offers choice of Pineview Atom CPUs

    • Mobile PoS reader runs Linux
      Dutch "digital security" company Gemalto announced a lighter, more mobile version of its Linux-based Magic3 family of point-of-sale (PoS) terminals. The Magic3 W-1 runs the company's "Open&Sec" PoS security stack on top of Linux, and offers a USB port, an Ethernet port, and WiFi dongle support, says the company.

    • Toughest Linux box ever, cool!
      While it may not look like a computer, this armored baby is actually a high performing embedded Linux System...

    • Pogoplug: An Interesting, Linux-Friendly NAS
      While more and more computer peripherals and gadgets these days are running Linux internally, not many vendors are matching their internal Linux support with external Linux customer support. For the Pogoplug though, which is made by CloudEngines, this is not the case. The Pogoplug is a network attached storage device that is far more than a basic NAS like the Icy Box NAS4220, but the Pogoplug can integrate with social networks like Twitter along with providing a rich web 2.0 interface for accessing the device from anywhere in the world. The Pogoplug device runs Linux and is built upon popular open-source packages, but Pogoplug does not hide this fact and they actually encourage community developers to work on the Pogoplug with complete support for SSH-ing into these devices and making modifications. CloudEngines also offers a 32-bit/64-bit Linux program for interacting with the Pogoplug.

    • Phones

      • Android vs Maemo - Hands on Review
        There is no doubt that Linux will be the dominant player in the mobile market by the end of 2010. This is namely thanks to Google's Android OS, which has been appearing on more handsets than I can count the past few months. Android however is not the only mobile Linux operating system (however it is easily the most popular) that exists. I have done more than a few posts about my Nokia N900, which is another mobile device that runs a variation of Linux known as Maemo.

      • Nokia

        • Meego Provides First Glimpse at New Mobile OS
          The Meego Community blog explains in more detail "The MeeGo architecture is based on a common core across the different usage models, such as netbooks, handheld, in-vehicle, and connected TV. The MeeGo common core includes the various key subsystems including the core operating system libraries, the comms and telephony services, internet and social networking services, visual services, media services, data management, device services, and personal services."

      • Android

        • Digg Launches Android App, Announces Hiring
          Now, Digg has launched its Android App.

        • Fennec comes to Android
          Firefox's little cousin is now on Android, showing what an alternative browser can do for Google's platform.

        • Developers turn sour on Apple iPad
          Android is on the rise, despite the fact that Google insists on fragmenting its fledgling market. Meanwhile, BlackBerry is up to 43 per cent, and mobile Windows - following the introduction of Windows Phone 7 - has leapt from 13 per cent to 39 per cent.

        • Rogers Launching Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 On April 15 2010
          Yesterday, we summarized on the happenings of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Android device heading to Rogers.

        • Report Shows More Planning to Buy Android over iPhone
          According to the results, 30% of those polled are considering Android as opposed to 29% for the iPhone. While the number is very close and not indicative of all potential buyers, it's still worth noting. Even more telling for Android's growth is that it jumped 9% from December.

        • Motorola's Devour: An Android Phone for Info Gorgers
          The Devour comes with the typical Android array of Google applications -- Gmail, Google Talk, YouTube, Google Search, Google Maps and Google Maps Navigation. Additional applications can be downloaded from the Android Market, which has between 20,000 and 30,000 apps.

        • Google Is Missing an Android Opportunity on Non-smartphones
          Android is growing like crazy on smartphones — and stagnating everywhere else. That’s because Google is keeping its app store off all Android devices that aren’t smartphones. Such an approach is understandable only in the sense that it gives the company more control over the Android experience, but it will ultimately serve to send consumers in search of devices that offer them more freedom.

          Take the ARCHOS Internet Tablet that debuted in September of last year. The 5-inch slate device offers a mobile web experience powered by the Android platform, yet doesn’t offer access to the Android Market — preventing its owners from making use of even the most basic Google apps, like Gmail.

    • Tablets

      • JooJoo tablet faces an uphill battle
        If you don't recall, the JooJoo tablet is an Atom-based 12-inch tablet that primarily is meant to give people a big touch browsing experience. It's got Flash and about a 10 second boot time.

      • Techno-hysteria
        The iPad is the latest embodiement of Huxley’s Soma. It’s a seductive, closed device designed for passive consumption of pre-approved objects. That’s why the old ‘content’ industries are slavering over it. They see it as the way to undo all the damage wrought by the openness of the Web and its TCP/IP underpinnings, a way of rounding up all those escaped couch-potatoes and getting them back into the pen. And of being able to charge them for everything they use — and collect the money via Apple’s toll-gate.

      • Five open source alternatives to the iPad
        Neofonie WePad A bit bigger than the iPad with an 11.6", 1366x768 display, the WePad runs the Android OS. You can get apps from the Android Market or the WePad App Store. It also has a 1.3 megapixel webcam, which the iPad infamously did not include. What about the other iPad holes most often complained about? Flash? Yes. Multitasking? Yes. And the USB ports, modem, and 6-hour battery life won't hear many complaints either.

        Touch Book Touch Book is sort of a netbook, sort of a tablet. It's made by a company called Always Innovating, and it has a feature that really appeals to me--a detachable keyboard dock. Their website shows its many with-or-without-dock configurations with titles like "Yoga: Downward dog," "Separation under way," and my favorite, "Fridge magnet." The hardware and software are fully open source--ready for you to do with what you like. It comes with a custom operating system, but you can install any mobile OS you like. Take a look at it at Gizmodo.


      • Hacker jailbreaks the iPad less than a day after release

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source: Computing for the masses
    At the El Sawy Culture Wheel in Zamalek, Al-Masry Al-Youm sponsored the "Free Open Source" festival on Saturday, also known as "Install Fest" or "GNU Linux" day. Volunteers held sessions on a range of topics, with a focus on the Open Source concept, explaining how even common applications could enhance user security.

  • 5 reasons why you must support the spread of Open Source Software
    Open Source Software guarantees quality closed source software It is very ironic but true. Without enormous pressure from mostly freely available and quality OSS, most closed source software would have just been junk. For instance, without pressure and competition from Linux, Windows 7 would not have been such a polished and nice software. OSS keeps closed source software developers on their toes in the knowledge that there is always some alternative available to users should they get it wrong.

    Open Source Software reduces cost Imagine your company in need of a particular software that is not available in the form it wants but there are others out there it can tweak to suit its needs. In this case, your company has two options, either build from scratch (which can be very expensive and time consuming) or grab the source code of an existing software and tweak it to their taste. Which would you prefer if you were the CFO?

  • Software Wars : Can u predict the winner?
    I found Few pictures which shows the status of software wars which has been going for years…Actually these are maps depicting the epic struggle of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) against the Empire of Microsoft.

  • Hosted Exchange Veteran Makes Open Source Move
    As of December 2010, Open-Xchange has about 150 active channel partners, up from about 80 active partners in December 2009, according to The VAR Guy’s second annual Open Source 50 survey (complete survey results will be announced May 2010). And all of Open-Xchange’s annual revenues come from channel partners, the company adds.

  • 12 More of the Best Free Linux Books
    Many computer users have an insatiable appetite to deepen their understanding of computer operating systems and computer software. Linux users are no different in that respect. At the same time as developing a huge range of open source software, the Linux community fortunately has also written a vast range of documentation in the form of books, guides, tutorials, HOWTOs, man pages, and other help to aid the learning process. Some of this documentation is intended specifically for a newcomer to Linux, or those that are seeking to move away from a proprietary world and embrace freedom.

  • Mozilla

    • GNU IceCat
      Gnu Icecat is a project to create a fully free and remixable version of Firefox. So Why do I love it so much and why do I use it over firefox? Well First I feel it is important to have a browser that is fully remixable and is not under any licensing restrictions. Second as a Free Software activist I want to only be running free software plugins and Icecat makes it a snap!

  • Schools

    • OLPC Australia kicks on
      One Laptop Per Child Australia today has expanded its deployment plans and now intends to roll out 15,000 XO educational laptops to remote schools across Australia over the next 12 months.

    • The Secret Lives of Faculty: Background
      I submitted a proposal for a talk to OSCON titled "The Secret Lives of Faculty." The Twitterable blurb went like this:
      This presentation will introduce open source practitioners to the secret lives of computing faculty in higher education. We will introduce the kinds of students we teach, the curricula we teach to, and the metrics by which we are evaluated.


    • An App, By Any Other Name
      The developers of Ubuntu, the popular flavor of Linux that is installed on the computers in the Science Center, showed questionable judgment by picking a name that is a pretentious reference to an African philosophy. But to make matters worse, Ubuntu developers mucked up their clever release dating system with a completely ludicrous set of nicknames. Each release of Ubuntu is dated by the year and the month—9.10, for instance, came out last October—but the numbers are also paired with an alliterative combination of an obscure adjective and a rare animal, yielding such gems as Edgy Eft, Intrepid Ibex, and Jaunty Jackalope. It makes pompous names like Mac OS X Snow Leopard seem almost reasonable by comparison.

      In the pantheon of bad programmer names, recursive acronyms must sit near the top. It’s a perverse concept popular with MIT alums in which one of the letters in the acronym stands for the acronym itself. A relatively benign example is the web scripting language PHP, which stands for PHP: Hyptertext Preprocessor. Older, stranger examples are the free operating system GNU (GNU’s not Unix) and related spinoffs: Cygnus (Cygnus—Your GNU Support), a now-defunct company which provided support for free software, and Wine (Wine is Not an Emulator), software which helps run windows applications on Unix.

    • proclus/GNU-Darwin Lives!
      I've been keeping this journal the way it was in 2000 for historical archival reasons. If you are interested in current information, here are some up to date links.

    • EnSilica updates eSi-RISC development suite
      Version 2.1 includes a new hardware evaluation platform based on Altera's Cyclone III FPGA with rapid software development and debugging facilitated through the Eclipse integrated development environment and GNU GCC 4.4.0 toolchain, which now features native support for the eSi-RISC architectural features.

    • Mano a Mano With the Cult of SEO

  • Releases

  • Openness

    • Forget Avatar, the real 3D revolution is coming to your front room
      But what if increased business opportunities were only the beginning? What if 3D printing actually changed lives not just for entrepreneurs but for consumers, for citizens? Adrian Bowyer is a senior lecturer at the department of mechanical engineering at the University of Bath. Since 2005 he has been working on the Reprap, a project with a clear aim: to make a 3D printer that can reproduce itself.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Two Million Free Texts Now Available
        The Internet Archive is pleased to announce an important manuscript, Homiliary on Gospels from Easter to first Sunday of Advent, as the 2,000,000th free digital text. Internet Archive has been scanning books and making them available for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public for free on since 2005.

      • Video: Staying in touch with nature by sharing.

  • Programming

    • Forking, The Future of Open Source, and Github
      Last Wednesday, at the kind invitation of the folks from Eclipse, I had the opportunity to sit with more august company – Justin Erenkrantz (Apache), MÃ¥rten Mickos (Eucalyptus), and Jason van Zyl (Maven/Sonatype) – on a panel charged with debating the future of open source. Among the questions posed to us was this: is the future of open source going to be based on communities such as Apache and Eclipse or will it be based on companies that sell open source?

      My reply? Neither. It’s Github.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Apple May Build a Search Engine to Shield iPhone Data from Google
    Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said there is a 70 percent chance Apple will roll out a mobile search engine tailored for its iPhone within the next five years. As the search provider for the iPhone, Google sees what iPhone users are searching for, which can help it tailor software and services for its own mobile smartphones. This competitive advantage has not gone unnoticed by Apple. Building its own iPhone-centric search engine would help Apple shield Google from its App Store data, Munster said in a March 30 research note.

  • Acer moves to AMD
    COMPUTER MAKER ACER has changed horses and is backing AMD with the announcement that its 6000 series servers will be powered by Magny-Cours based Opteron processors.

  • Nominet chairman quits
    Bob Gilbert has resigned as chairman of Nominet, the non-profit company in charge of the .uk domain registry, it was announced today.

  • Former Exec Indicted on CDT Price-fixing Charges
    A grand jury in San Francisco has indicted a former executive of a Taiwan-based color display tube (CDT) manufacturing firm for his alleged participation in a global conspiracy to fix prices of the tubes used in computer monitors and other devices.

  • The battle for libel reform has only begun
    In 2008, I published an article in the Guardian questioning whether chiropractors should be treating various childhood conditions. I was then sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association, which helped ignite the debate over libel reform, and whether the courts are stifling scientific debate.

    For the last two years, my legal position seemed pretty grim, largely owing to the state of our libel laws. Yesterday, however, the court of appeal ruled in my favour by agreeing that my article is about recklessness, not dishonesty, and that I could use the more flexible defence of fair comment. Suddenly it seems I can mount a successful defence. Does this mean that libel reform is no longer necessary?

    Unfortunately, the English libel system is still notoriously hostile to journalists, and the case for reform remains as strong as ever. Indeed, my case alone demonstrates many of the problems.

  • Wayne Crookes wants to freeze the net
    As things stand, nothing happens in isolation online. But Wayne Crookes (right), ex-Green Party of Canada organizer and financial backer, wants to change that.

    He says linking to an article is the same as publishing it and that linking to an allegedly libellous article can, therefore, be the same as defamation.

    He says that’s what happened to him and so he wants to freeze the net solid, turning it into a sterile, featureless, colourless landscape.

  • Science

    • Hubble: It's been quite a journey
      April 2010 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope. To honor the vast accomplishments of this telescopic pioneer in space-based astronomy, NASA and Abrams Books have collaborated with the illustrated book “Hubble: A Journey Through Space and Time.”

    • Russian spacecraft blasts off
      A Russian spacecraft blasted off from a facility in Kazakhstan Friday on a mission to the International Space Station.

      The launch of the Soyuz TMA-18 comes three days before the launch of NASA's space shuttle Discovery, which is also bound for the space station.

    • Moral judgments can be altered ... by magnets
      By disrupting brain activity in a particular region, neuroscientists can sway people’s views of moral situations.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • China Spends Big to Counter Severe Weather Caused by Climate Change
      China is ramping up preparations for typhoons, dust storms and other extreme weather disasters as part of a 10-year plan to predict and prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

    • Greenpeace Links Apple iPad to Global Warming
      A Greenpeace report questions the degree to which the Apple iPad and mobile devices that similarly rely on cloud computing are contributing to global warming. It also calls on IT leaders such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft to take the lead in pursuing critical climate-change goals.

    • Greenpeace issues warning about data centre power
      Greenpeace is calling on technology giants like Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook to power their data centres with renewable energy sources.

    • Why Greenpeace is Wrong about the iPad
      Except when you actually look up the numbers. Computing accounts for a bit less than 3% of U.S. energy usage, according to Lawrence Livermore Labs. The global IT industry as a whole generates about 2% of global CO2 emissions.

    • Greenpeace labels Dell 'a bloody marketing machine'
      Greenpeace has lambasted Dell's decision to "backtrack" on its commitments to remove hazardous chemicals from all of its products.

    • Japan indicts Sea Shepherd anti-whaling activist
      Prosecutors today indicted an anti-whaling activist from New Zealand on charges that could lead to a lengthy prison term after he boarded a Japanese harpoon boat to protest at the ship's whale-hunting expedition in Antarctic seas.

    • Sundolier Robot Pumps Sunlight Indoors for Powerful Daylighting
      What if you could light your entire building using no electricity, or artificial lights – but just the natural light from the sun? Conventional sky-lights do this well in certain types of single-story spaces, but are not very adaptable, powerful, and often have problems with excessive solar heat gain and heat loss. Enter the Sundolier, a powerful sunlight transport system that’s like putting a solar robot on your roof to pump sunlight indoors! The manufacturer claims a single Sundolier unit can provide enough light to illuminate a 1000-2500 sq. ft. area without any other sources.

  • Finance

    • CMD Releases Bailout Tally, $4.6 Trillion in Federal Funds Disbursed
      Today, the Real Economy Project of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) released an assessment of the total cost to taxpayers of the Wall Street bailout. CMD concludes that multiple federal agencies have disbursed $4.6 trillion dollars in supporting the financial sector since the meltdown in 2007-2008. Of that, $2 trillion is still outstanding. Our tally shows that the Federal Reserve is the real source of the bailout funds.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Chef Alice Waters and Chez Panisse the Targets of a Toxic Sludge Protest
      What has this got to do with Alice Waters and Chez Panisse? Francesca Vietor, the Executive Director of the Chez Panisse Foundation, whose mission is to promote Edible Schoolyard organic gardens, is also the Vice President of the Public Utilities Commission. The PUC is refusing to permanently end their sludge give-away, nor agreeing to clean up the gardens already contaminated with the sewage sludge, as the Organic Consumers Association and the Center for Food Safety have asked.

    • Watching Bill Moyers
      As we suspected, the vast majority of bailout funding came directly from the Fed with no Congressional vote or oversight. TARP represents only about 10% of the total amount disbursed by the government. While much of this funding is in the form of loans, as we have reported in the past, little information has been revealed about what the Fed has accepted for collateral for these loans. This makes it very hard for the public, policymakers and the press to make independent assessments of our chances of being paid back. The study was picked up by CNN and other news outlets.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • What will the net do to institutions in the next 10 years?
      The latest Pew Research Center Internet & American Life Project report is out: "The Impact of the Internet on Institutions in the Future" surveys 895 tech experts on the way that technology will change institutions (government, business, nonprofits, schools) in the next ten years.

    • School laptop spy case prompts Wiretap Act rethink
      When Pennsylvania's Lower Merion school district installed remote control anti-theft software on student laptops, it had no intention of dragging Congress into a national debate about wiretapping laws and webcams—but that's exactly what it got (in addition to some unwanted FBI attention and a major lawsuit). The key question: should the school's alleged actions be made illegal under US wiretap law?

    • Sony Steals Feature From Your PlayStation 3
      If the messages in EFF's inbox today are anything to go by, a lot of people are upset and angry — with good reason — over Sony's announcement that it is going to disable a feature that allows people to run GNU/Linux and other operating systems on their PlayStation 3 consoles.

    • Philip Pullman on censorship and free speech -- pithy and wonderful

    • Jerry Ford OKed Warrantless Wiretaps in U.S., Memo Reveals
      President Gerald Ford secretly authorized the use of warrantless domestic wiretaps for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes soon after coming into office, according to a declassified document. The Dec. 19, 1974 White House memorandum, marked Top Secret/Exclusively Eyes Only and signed by Ford, gave then-Attorney General William B. Saxbe and his successors in office authorization "to approve, without prior judicial warrants, specific electronic surveillance within the United States which may be requested by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • The 21st-Century Orchestra: Now Hear It This Way
      Orchestras are moving into these areas largely out of necessity. The commercial classical recording industry, as it was configured in its late-20th-century heyday, is vastly diminished, and there is little money to be made in the business. The New York Philharmonic, for instance, a giant of the recording industry in the Leonard Bernstein years, has not had a long-term contract with a commercial label for a decade.

    • China's National People's Congress Amends the Copyright Law
      On February 26, 2010, the National People's Congress passed the second amendment to the Copyright Law. Only two articles of the Copyright Law have been amended, and the changes will take effect on April 1, 2010.

    • Hot news: The next bad thing
      Yes, there are legal aggregation sites – such as Google news – which contain short snippets of news stories. If newspapers want their content removed from these sites they can do so easily by simply changing the data contained in something called the robots.txt file. Google or Yahoo will no longer index their pages.

      But the newspapers do not want to do this, because legal aggregators drive a great deal of traffic to them. And in any event, they do not need a new right to stop the practice. There are also sites that do illegally copy the entire contents, or the entire article. Their behaviour is already illegal under copyright law. (And in any event has a small effect on revenues. Do you read the FT stories at some shady site or at the FT?)

    • The Flower of Free Culture
      There cannot be a free culture license because a license is an intrinsic impediment to cultural freedom (being a submission to copyright, let alone fraught with incompatibility and re-licensing issues), so it would be counter-productive and, despite the best of intentions, hypocritical to promote licenses as a means of achieving cultural emancipation.

    • Launching Public Discussion of CC Patent Tools
      We’re happy to announce that we’re launching the public comment and discussion period for our new patent tools: the Research Non-Assertion Pledge and the Public Patent License. We invite you to join the discussion at our public wiki. There you can read about these tools, catch up on hot topics of interest to the community, or join our public discussion list to contribute your thoughts and suggestions.

    • Anti-Piracy Lawyers Vandalize Wikipedia Page
      As mass file-sharing litigation lawsuits go inter-continental, not everyone is proud to be associated with this type of work. Lawyers Tilly Bailey & Irvine in the UK have been hard at work this month, editing large chunks of their own Wikipedia page in an attempt to hide their involvement and also earning themselves a copyright infringement warning.

    • Is music the unacceptable face of capitalism?
      Lord Mandelson today accused the bankers of being the "unacceptable face of capitalism". Isn't this somewhat hypocritical, given that he wants the Internet industry to spend €£500 million on an electronic fence to protect the rich in the music industry (ie, the Digital Economy Bill)? Is this acceptable when the country is virtually bankrupt?

    • Code To Track BitTorrent Users Bought For $750 (Max)
      As the practice of hunting down alleged file-sharers and then issuing legal threats in order to force money out of them gathers pace, questions are continually raised over the quality of the technical systems used to gather the evidence. According to information on a rent-a-coder site, such a system was bought in 2008 for between $250 and $750.

    • "Ashes to Ashes" election campaign posters probably breach copyright. The proof? A mouse mat
      1. Does the Labour Party have a Licence to Use this image for this purpose? This is a publicity (PR) picture - a PR Licence does not normally permit use for party political advertising. We won't know unless and until someone produces a Licence to Use, and whether that Licence includes advertising. If not, they are in breach of copyright.

      2. If they do have such a Licence, from whom did they obtain it? Monastic Productions, Kudos Film & Television or BBC Worldwide?

      3. Why was it granted? On the evidence of this picture, the BBC almost certainly holds rights in all publicity images from the series. The BBC is prohibited by its charter from engaging in partisan political activity.

    • ACTA/Digital Economy Bill

      • Opposition mounts to UK's Digital Economy Bill
        The government has published a new draft of a controversial clause in the Digital Economy bill, in an effort to ease its progress through parliament.

        The Liberal Democrats said they will oppose any plans to rush the Digital Economy bill into law.

      • PublicACTA

      • Make a submission on copyright in the digital environment.
        And note this in your diary, too: the PublicACTA conference, being held in Wellington on 10 April, just days before the (secret) ACTA talks open in Wellington.

      • Google DC Talk 11.1.10: ACTA – The Global Treaty That Could Reshape The Internet

      • This Tuesday, the government will rush a law that could cut you off the Internet

      • Open Rights Group raises Flash Mob… of 7
        Music House — HQ for a number of the UK music industry’s trade groups — was in a lock-down situation this lunchtime as an Open Rights Group Flash Mob descended, protesting against the Digital Economy Bill.

      • Clause 18, DEB redux
        No specification of what form a notice requesting blocking should take (a la DMCA) so an ISP can at least find the right site (or part of a site) and know the request comes from genuine rightsholders, with genuine grievances, and not A N Other. No need to notify a site if it is blocked without court order. And no provision for a site to go to court and demand it be unblocked or at least demand to know why it has been blocked ("stay up" a la DMCA "put back" . A model for these already existed. Why has it been pointedly ignored in favour of a profusion of "mays" and "likely"s?

      • Disconnection notices served to UK Music, BPI and politicians
        On Thursday, our 'Police' visited the offices of the BPI, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties, and UK Music, and presented them with notice that the Digital Economy Bill is disconnected, from democracy, human rights, public opinion and sound business sense.

      • The Digital Economy Bill: Thinking about Banana Ice Cream
        Imagine there was a little tinpot dictatorship somewhere. Let’s call it a Banana Ice-Cream Republic.


        Which is why the change in the law made so many of the townspeople very angry. They didn’t believe that banana ice cream stealing was going on at the levels that are claimed. They didn’t believe that the banana ice cream industry was losing as much revenue to stealing as the industry claimed. They didn’t believe that ice cream vans had much of a future, they thought that there are better ways to make and deliver ice cream. Some of them didn’t think that ice cream distribution was all that important anyway.

      • The Digital Economy Bill: Fred Figglehorn, won’t you please come home?
        Cruikshank introduced the Fred Figglehorn character in videos on the JKL Productions channel he started on YouTube with his cousins, Jon and Katie Smet. He set up the Fred channel in October 2005. By April 2009, the channel had over 1,000,000 subscribers, making it the first YouTube channel to hit one million subscribers and the most subscribed channel at the time.

        Over a million subscribers. And creator Lucas Cruikshank is 16 years old. He calls his channel “programming for kids by kids”. By kids. Let’s remember that.

      • The Digital Economy Bill: Be Careful What You Wish For
        If you feel really passionate about something, take the time to step back and look at things from the opposite perspective.

        Now the Digital Economy Bill is something I feel passionate about, which is why, as we approach Tuesday 6th April 2010, I’ve been writing a post a day on the subject for the past few days.

Clip of the Day

Video: Staying in touch with nature by sharing.

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