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Contents





GNU/Linux

  • Chris Dixon: Tradeoff Between Open and Closed
    The paper makes a very interesting point when talking about the open-ness of Linux:

    For Linux and other platforms, openness at the sponsor level entails greater openness at the user level, as it implies not only nondiscrimination in platform access, but also in the process of defining platform standards.

    Allow me to expand on this point:

    * Open-ness at any “higher” level entails greater open-ness at any “lower” level, and * Closed-ness at any “higher” level entails greater closed-ness at any “lower” level

    The retention of acceptable accessibility is why more often than not, companies based on closed and proprietary practices are unable or unwilling to produce truly open products, protocols or platforms.


  • Open vs. Closed: What Does Open Really Mean?
    So, in other words, Windows is open for “demand-side” users and “supply-side” users (developers) but closed when it comes to design and intellectual property, meaning the look and the underlying code can’t be changed or used by anyone other than Microsoft. An open-source platform like Linux, of course, is open in every sense of the word. And while the iPhone is open for users, it’s closed to developers and anyone who wants to change the platform. Even these definitions are open to debate, however: Dixon says that some see the iPhone as only partly closed to developers — a truly closed platform wouldn’t allow third-party apps at all, as most phones didn’t before the iPhone.


  • The adoption and use of Linux in Africa- A detailed African perspective
    My last article about spreading Linux here in Africa and other developing places seemed to have sparked off some interesting debate about what really hinders the spreading of FOSS in general and Linux in particular on this continent. FOSS blogging giants like Mr Glyn Moody are among those that added their voices to the debate.

    For the sake of clarity, I would like us to take a detailed look (from the perspective of an African living in Africa) at what I strongly and sincerely believe are obstacles to the adoption and use of Free and Open Source Software. For ease of reading, I would be dividing this article into 2 parts - the environmental factors and the software/vendor factors. For the sake of simplicity, I would also be using my country Ghana as a microcosm for the African continent.


  • We expose Steve Ballmer's great big bloomers
    Here is our Steve Ballmer Hall of Shame:

    2000 - Ballmer: "Linux is communism"

    2001 - Ballmer "Linux is a cancer"

    2004 - Ballmer: "Windows is more secure and cheaper than its open source rival"

    CassiaNote: This must be why almost all of the major e-book readers run on Linux and Google's own Chrome OS is based on it, while the Windows Mobile market share is shrinking rapidly - see "Windows Mobile market share drops like a rock" here.

    2004 - "Ballmer doesn't get patents"

    2004 - Ballmer: "OpenOffice infringes 45 of our patents"

    2007 - Ballmer: "Linux violates 235 of our patents"

    2007 - Ubuntu, Red Hat rejects Microsoft patent deal

    2007 - Ballmer: "Vista is great for consumers"

    2007 - Ballmer: "Vista is selling well"

    2007 - Ballmer blames piracy for poor Vista sales

    2008 - Ballmer thinks consumers don't want Windows XP


  • Enterprise Linux
    CentOS has been referred to often as Red Hat without the expensive support price tag. This is accurate, as CentOS is indeed based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Unlike its Red Hat counterpart however, CentOS is completely free of charge, enterprise friendly and is designed to meet the needs of enterprise servers, workstations and desktop environments.


  • Maintaining Linux in the home.
    Sure there is still a lot of focus on Linux for home use and there are many distributions who's target audience is for home users. I have recently written an article about such a distribution. I do feel that there is something missing in all the hype about Linux that is being spread around so I guess that that duty falls on me to say something about it.

    [...]

    It does not matter where in the world this person may be. As an example, I live in Turkey and can just as easily service my Linux using relatives in Australia as I can my daughters laptop in the next room. The speed of internet connection is not important as anything from a text only mode to a full graphical environment can be used. I cannot imagine easily doing that with any other proprietary home targeted operating system.


  • Server

    • Report: Linux adoption highest among APAC SMBs
      Released Monday, the report revealed that Linux servers in Asia-Pacific represented 5.1 percent of the total server market over the last 12 months, with Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) chalking up 4.7 percent, South America at 4.6 percent, and North America at 4.2 percent.


    • Legalizing Linux DVD Playback: Why Bother?
      CSS is licensed by the DVD Copy Control Association, which works in lock-step with the Motion Picture Association of America to prevent copyright violations. The upshot of the CSS license is this: if you have a DVD playback device, then you need to license the CSS encryption code. No license, then no DVD.






  • Audiocasts

    • Episode 139: Flight Cancelled!
      00:20 Greetings and looking for a flat in Berlin 03:30 Content aware Fill in Photoshop – http://photwalkthrough.com 04:20 HTML5 graphics program 05:30 Train Station image and motion blurr 08:10 Baggage claimage area shot 08:50 Intentions of the image 09:40 Straighten the image 11:30 Finding a crop 14:30 First try: enhance contrast and colours 16:00 Using curves for reducing contrast 21:40 Selective sharpening 24:00 Function of a layer mask 25:00 Denoise the layer mask 26:30 Sharpen the top layer 31:00 Saving as XCF for further work








  • Kernel Space

    • Android and Linux are growing back together
      Google's Android, the increasingly important embedded Linux, had one major problem: it had been moving slowly away from the Linux mainstream. Now, after the recent Linux Foundation Collaboration Conference, Android and Linux are coming back together.

      Not only is Google going to be hiring two new Android developers to work more closely with the Linux kernel development team, they're also working on re-merging its driver code with Linux. Indeed, the first series of driver patches that will bring Android and Linux back into alignment have already arrived.




    • Graphics Stack

      • Free NVIDIA Fermi Cards To Open-Source Developers
        Prior to launching their next-generation graphics processors, NVIDIA dropped their obfuscated open-source driver and have said they will not provide any open-source support at all for their GeForce GTX 400 "Fermi" series as they just recommended their customers use the X.Org VESA driver until they can install the official binary Linux driver. However, the community developers working on the Nouveau driver project still plan to support the GeForce GTX 470/480 graphics cards via clean-room reverse engineering. Today their efforts might be helped thanks to a hardware sponsorship.


      • NVIDIA 195.36.24 Linux Driver Released
        The NVIDIA 195.36.24 release brings forward official GeForce GTX 470/480 (a.k.a. Fermi) hardware support plus Tesla C2050 compatibility. This release also carries official X.Org Server 1.8 support, even though there has been unofficial support for this newest X Server release for a fair while when passing the X.Org Server the -ignoreABI argument to ignore the ABI differences.












  • Applications





  • Desktop Environments



    • LXDE

      • An Eye-Opening Experience
        Most of us who are familiar with Linux are familiar with the advantages of running Linux as a desktop OS. We frequently bemoan the fact that others don’t know what we do about the reality of Linux on the desktop, and we seem to be hampered by difficulties in spreading the word outside our own circles. Recently, I was able to get outside the circle of Linux users and perform a live demonstration of Linux (and LXDE) to a group of professionals in a conference setting. Here’s my story.

        [...]

        One thing about Mint 8 LXDE: it boots fast. And a room full of tech people saw it boot fast. That same room saw the desktop come up in a hurry (full disclosure: I had set SLiM on this laptop to auto-login.) They saw me login to the VPN with no issues. They saw me fire up the client.


      • Good and Bads of LXDE
        LXDE panel also has limitations and it takes some time to learn how to adjust to LXDE according to one`s needs.

        LXDE also lacks a well defined control center as is offered by KDE and GNOME and this is a real big short coming. Many distributions supply custom made tools for LXDE management because of lack of a native LXDE control center. Openbox is used along with LXDE and it helps to overcome many shortcomings of LXDE.








    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Cool Kubuntu Users
        One rather cool user which is missing is Weta Digital. Whenever I've been out the flat this week I've seen adverts for the Avatar DVDs, those blue 3D faces are all made on Kubuntu desktops and a whopping 35,000 cluster of rendering machines. That must be a large proportion of computers in New Zealand running Kubuntu.












  • Distributions

    • Sabayon – Nightly Builds, Installer & Recruitment
      Next up is nightly builds of sabayon, yes you read that correctly. The idea is that you will have one ISO on your hard disk which you will keep updated using rsync’s binary diff capabilities and the Sabayon rsync servers to only update the parts of the ISO that have changed, this is how we have been distributing ISOs to testers for a while now and is much quicker and easier than the old version using Xdelta. What has been done is that we have a scripted molecule install which creates a new ISO at 0200 UTC every night using the latest packages from the mainline repository, from these images the rysnc is updated and you can download the changes, simple but clever if you ask me.




    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family







    • Red Hat Family

      • HP and Red Hat: Ganging Up On Sun?
        There’s plenty of traditional channel partner news here at the HP Americas Partner Conference in Las Vegas. But sometimes, the juiciest news occurs over dinner. A case in point: Sources say HP VP Frank Rauch and Red Hat North America Channel Chief Roger Egan will likely meet for a meal tonight. Their mutual interest, besides fine dining: Finding new ways to target and engage Sun Microsystems’ customer base. Here’s the scoop.




      • Fedora











    • Debian Family

      • Keeping 1000 devs focused: new Debian leader speaks
        Ten days back, the new leader of the Debian GNU/Linux project, Stefano Zacchiroli, began his term as the only elected leader of a free software project. But that's not the only thing that makes Debian unique in the FOSS space.

        The project has well over 1000 developers from all corners of the globe and, despite the arguments and debates that figure on its many mailing lists, still puts together a distribution that is top quality and caters to more architectures than any other.


      • gNewSense: Libre GNU/Linux OS
        In the open source world, there are two kinds of freedom. There is software that is free as in beer, a mysterious phrase that relates to something which costs no money. By definition, any software released under the GPL or many related licenses which can be freely redistributed fits this definition. This is pretty much the state of most open source software. Less common, though, is software that fits the second type of freedom, "free as in speech". This sense means that it has no restrictions, or is "libre" -- something that in practice is much harder to achieve than simply being gratis.

        [...]

        Except for the wireless issue, I was very pleasantly surprised by how easy gNS was to use. Specific package and application choices are different than a less restrictive distro might have, but basic functionality was on a par with what I'd expect for a baseline distro. (I'll give gNS a pass on freezing up when I asked it to play my DVD -- in retrospect, it was trying to save that hour and a half of my life.) It may be subliminal brainwashing by proprietary forces, but I think that I had assumed that the "libre" would have to work out to some kind of added difficulty.




      • Ubuntu

        • Canonical announces an Ubuntu certification scheme
          Canonical has announced that it will offer its own certification programme for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and that graduates will be entitled to claim an 'Ubuntu Certified Professional' certification. Previously Canonical had worked with the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) to offer the Ubuntu Certified Professional exam which combined the general Linux LPI 101 and 102 modules with the Ubuntu 199 module to provide an Ubuntu tailored qualification.


        • Canonical to Offer Junior Admin Certification for Ubuntu 10.04
          Canonical, the firm around Ubuntu sponsor Mark Shuttleworth, is planning its own certification for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS that is to appear still in April.


        • 21 gorgeous CD labels for Lucid
          In all 21 CD labels are included in the package, a few more of which are sampled below, all of which can help make a fantastic visual impression - particularly if you’re going to be burning CD’s to pass out to people you know. (Which you are going to be doing right?!)


        • Preview the slick new (new) Ubuntu 10.04 Firefox Start page


        • Wubi Installer and the Ubiquitous Ubuntu
          Wubi, the famous Windows Ubuntu installer, is probably one of the reasons why Ubuntu is the most popular Linux desktop distro, at least among Windows users. Agostino Russo - original author and ‘inventor’ of Wubi - told me more about how everything was started from a blueprint.


        • My Ubuntu 10.04 strategy
          Tonight at least, when I'm blogging as opposed to doing full "Web production," and using Chromium instead of Firefox, I'm quite enjoying Ubuntu 10.04.


        • Linux Monday: Lucid Lynx Week
          It's a big week in Linux Land as Lucid Lynx, the latest Ubuntu upgrade (number 10.04; the convention is year.month), is released on Thursday (4/29). I've been doing this long enough, and things went well enough on the test machine,


        • Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx: screenshots


        • All Done With Ubuntu (Part 2)
          It all boils down to democracy. No, everything does not have to be a democracy, but people will give you their opinions when they offer you their services, whether warranted or not. When a large number of people hate the latest change or decision, then why implement it? Sure, people that like it don’t band together to offer praise, and people that hate it band together to fight it. But when there are enough people that hate it, it’s worth second guessing and taking their disdain seriously. Canonical doesn’t, until they cave to media frenzy.




        • Variants

          • Linux Mint 9: Desktop backgrounds
            I’m posting about the artwork again to follow-up on the contest and the desktop backgrounds for Linux Mint 9.


          • Mythbuntu 10.04 ‘Lucid Lynx’ [Ubuntu with MythTV]
            Mythbuntu 10.04 like the other members of the Ubuntu family is quickly approaching its final release. Mythbuntu also known as Ubuntu with MythTV Media center is a community supported operating system that focuses on setting up a standalone MythTV based PVR (personal video recorder) system. The development cycle of Mythbuntu closely follows that of Ubuntu, releasing every six months along side Ubuntu releases.


















  • Devices/Embedded

    • Freescale tips embedded partnerships for multi-core SoCs
      The agreement with Mentor Graphics calls for the company to work with Freescale on developing a common Linux build and distribution methodology for PowerQUICC and QorIQ system-on-chips (SoCs).


    • 1GHz SoC touted for single-Watt consumption
      Marvell is shipping a new member of its Linux-ready Armada line of system-on-chips touted for delivering up to 1GHz performance while consuming less than a single Watt. A slower but more power-efficient version of the Armada 300, the Armada 310 offers 256KB L2 cache, plus PCI-express, gigabit Ethernet, and USB 2.0 connectivity, says the company.




    • Phones

      • Japanese Consortium Looking To New Mobile Platform For Symbian And Linux Smartphones
        It seems that at least six Japanese companies, which include NTT DoCoMo, Renesas Electronics, Fujitsu, NEC, Panasonic Mobile and Sharp, have teamed up to come up with a new mobile application platform which will target Symbian and Linux mobile operating systems.




      • Android

        • Alex e-reader rooted
          The Android-powered Alex e-reader has just gotten rooted, where all you need to do is download the .ZIP file here, copy it to the root folder of your Alex's SD memory card and you're good to go. Once done, just power down your device, press and hold both "Back" and "Next" page buttons, and the power button as well until the Alex logo appears on the display. You will then enter recovery mode, whereby you release all buttons. Hit both "Back" and "Power" buttons to apply the ZIP file. Anyone given it a go?


        • Mysterious Motorola MT820 poses for a long, leisurely spy shoot
          Two in one week -- Two leaked Chinese Motorola phones with Android and transparent MOTOMING-like flip covers, that is.












    • Sub-notebooks

      • EasyPeasy and the Challenges of Linux Netbook Design
        Netbook desktops in free and open source software (FOSS) are in a state of rapid development.

        [...]

        EasyPeasy's software has few surprises for anyone familiar with Ubuntu's. Generally, it consists of GNOME components such as Evolution, or Ubuntu parts such as Computer Janitor or Software Sources. In fact, you do not have to look far to see uncustomized pieces such as an icon for Ubuntu Software Centre or Ubuntu One.

        Nor does EasyPeasy avoid proprietary software such as Skype or Flash -- no doubt in the name of user convenience. Like Ubuntu, it also includes a number of Mono applications, such as Tomboy and Banshee. Since EasyPeasy openly declares its willingness to make such choices, you cannot be very surprised that it walks the walk as well as talks the talk.












Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Router To Replace WRT54GL?


  • Just because it's free doesn't make it open source
    To the open source veterans out there, that sounds moronic. Of course open source doesn't mean free. And why would free mean open source? Heck, until recently anyone could download Internet Explorer (Mac users can't anymore, but they weren't using it anyhow), and no one would mistake that for open source software.




  • Mozilla

    • Five Essential Firefox Add-ons for Internet Ninjas
      When it comes to browsers, I have no loyalty. I am constantly hopping back and forth between Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Why? They’re both great browsers that have real advantages over competitors like Microsoft Internet Explorer and the Apple Safari browser. Google Chrome is a really clean and uncluttered browser that is stable and performs well. For its part, Firefox has a slew of great add-ons available to make your browsing experience a little better. Chrome is beginning to amass a pretty good collection of its own browser extensions, but, for now at least, Firefox still has them beat.








  • Databases







  • CMS







  • BSD





  • Solaris

    • OpenSolaris back on track.
      It would appear that the OpenSolaris project is back on track. This is a bit long overdue. The acquisition of Sun by Oracle left a few projects in questionable states. It was unknown as to whether Oracle would continue supporting these open source projects. OpenSolaris was included in that list.


    • [osol-discuss] OpenSolaris build 134a has closed
      Those of us feeling left in the dark might be pleased to know that build 134a, the first candidate for the next stable release of OpenSolaris, has been tagged in Oracle's release branch (in project jargon: "snv_134a, the first respin of 134, closed earlier this week"). A packaged build should be available for internal QA soon, but even if it passes, it will be while some time before the release can be published to the external repo.








  • Government

    • EU Open Source Procurement Guidelines
      Public sector procurement is becoming a real battleground for open source in Europe. There have been few successes, but lots of groundwork has been laid in the form of interoperability frameworks and suchlike - despite fierce rearguard actions by old-school software companies naturally alarmed about losing their cosy monopolies.








  • Programming

    • From Novice to Adept: Perldoc
      Some people say that Perl (at least versiosn 1 Perl 5) is a cleaned up dialect of the language called Unix. Certainly that's how I develop. Unix is my IDE, and I use Unix tools as much as possible.

      You can see the schism between Unix developers and everyone else in the Perl world. Cygwin doesn't get as much attention and testing and bugfixing as it deserves. Dealing with shared libraries and installation on Windows and Mac OS X often requires special skills and knowledge and dedication that isn't always available or obvious or interesting to those of us for whom Unix and the free Unix-alikes just work.








Leftovers

  • Big Brother doctors say patients don't need to see their imaging test results
    If you are an American, you probably assume that this is a free country. So if you agree to undergo imaging tests -- which cost you or your insurance company hundreds and even thousands of dollars and may subject you to radiation -- you have every right to see the results.


  • Security/Aggression

    • Big Brother doctors say patients don't need to see their imaging test results
      Blippy pledges to invest in security in response to the discovery that user credit card numbers had been exposed in Google search results. According to Blippy, the credit card information had been available since February.


    • Spokane company helps uncover cyberspace bandits
      Three Spokane businesses that saw tens of thousands of dollars stolen from their online bank accounts have taken the lesson to heart. All three say they no longer bank online and won’t until they’re sure they won’t get stung again.


    • Users' passwords exposed by Splunk


    • Superspy in the sky could soon be patrolling over British cities to search for hidden terror cells


    • Gran’s bin to hell over dumped box
      A GRANDMOTHER was dragged to court - after carefully leaving a cardboard box next to a council recycling bin.



    • MSPs reject six-year DNA retention change
      A move to allow Scottish police forces to hold the DNA of innocent people for up to six years has been thrown out by a committee of MSPs.

      Labour's amendment to the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill would have brought Scots law in line with the rest of the UK.


    • The American Anti-Revolution
      Why are we left worrying about that? Not because any such violence has occurred or has been convincingly threatened by modern “anti-government extremists,” but because people like Maddow keep telling us we should be worried. Howard Kurtz in The Washington Post sums up the current state of the fear, while taking an on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand approach to this week’s nostalgic debate between Clinton and his old nemesis Rush Limbaugh over whether right-wing rhetoric or government murders are more to blame for McVeigh’s crimes.

      “The 42nd president is out there saying that the current climate reminds him of the period before the Oklahoma bombing,” Kurtz writes. “Limbaugh is accusing him (and Barack Obama) of libeling radio talk-show hosts. And the debate has broadened to include Sarah Palin and her ‘reload’ rhetoric, as well as the Tea Party.”


    • TSA applesauce "assault" case thrown out
      A 58-year-old woman who was arrested, strip-searched, and handcuffed last year for grabbing her cooler (filled with applesauce and yogurt for her 93-year-old mother) from a Burbank airport TSA employee finally had her case thrown out.


    • Peter Watts won't go to jail
      The absurd and awful saga of sf writer Dr Peter Watts's adventures with the US border are finally at a close, and the news is moderately good. For those of you who missed it the first time around: Peter is a Canadian marine biologist and sf writer. He helped a friend relocate to the US, and, while driving back, found that US customs officers had opened his trunk and begun to search his car while he was in it, without saying anything. Peter had never encountered a US search on his way out of America, let alone a completely unannounced one. So he got out of his car and said something like, "Hey, what's going on?" The customs officers ordered him to get back into his car and he said something like, "But what's going on?"


    • The cloud and the future of the Fourth Amendment
      In mid-April, a coalition of privacy groups filed a brief in federal district court in Colorado, defending Yahoo against attempts by the federal government to obtain the contents of Yahoo Mail messages without first obtaining a warrant. One month earlier, the Justice Department filed a 17-page brief arguing that Yahoo Mail messages do not fall under current statutory protection because, once opened, those messages are not considered to be in "electronic storage."








  • Finance

    • Too Big to Fail and the Real World
      This implies two things. First, because creditors know that the government will stand behind the debt of a TBTF in a crisis, they view its debt as less risky than the debt of other institutions. This means that the TBTF banks will be able to borrow at lower cost than other institutions. CEPR did a short paper last fall that suggested that the size of this TBTF subsidy to large banks could be as much as $34 billion a year.


    • Do You Have Any Reforms in Size XL?
      It is disappointing that none of the current proposals call for breaking up institutions that are now too big or on their way there. Such is the view of Richard W. Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.


    • Financial Overhaul Bill Faces Showdown in Senate Vote Today
      The Senate is set to hold a test vote today on a Democratic plan to overhaul regulation of Wall Street, a showdown with political risks for both sides.


    • Decision near for financial reform in U.S. Senate


    • Goldman Sachs E-mails Spur Democrats to Push Wall Street Rules
      White House officials and Democratic lawmakers seized on internal e-mails from Goldman Sachs Group inc. to push for curbs including a ban on proprietary trading as they brace for a Senate showdown on Wall Street oversight.


    • Goldman Sachs Emails: Firm Had 'The Big Short' As Economy Fell
      The firm had "the big short," declared chief financial officer David Viniar -- Goldman Sachs was making money off the souring of the very securities it had peddled to the market.


    • Goldman Sachs E-mails Show Need for Volcker Rule, Brown Says
      “These emails signify that there are all kinds of conflicts of interest on Wall Street, that Wall Street is working for its clients and working against its clients in the same sort of bundled toxic securities,” Brown, a Democrat from Ohio and member of the Senate Banking Committee, said today on ABC News’s “This Week.” “That’s why we need the Volcker rule. That’s why we need really strong reform that will separate the proprietary trading from banking functions.”


    • Goldman Sachs Investors Sue Over Abacus Disclosures
      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was sued by shareholders over a collateralized debt obligation known as Abacus 2007-AC1 that prompted a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit earlier this month, a law firm said.


    • Ready to Rumble - The Goldman Sachs Congressional Hearing Preview Game


    • S.Africa's ex-cbank head Mboweni joins Goldman Sachs


    • Rich: Fight On, Goldman Sachs!


    • Goldman Sachs Exec Declares I Did Not Mislead [Video]


    • Goldman Money for Obama Wins at Monopoly
      The financial overhaul billcreeping toward law is more than a thousand pages, but it has a simple story line. President Barack Obama and the Democrats have decided to turn Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and a few other financial giants into organizations that resemble ATT Corp. in the 1950s.


    • The Goldman Sachs Fraud Explained
      With any major financial transaction there needs to be a middle man. In many cases, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) is that middle man. Goldman Sachs Group is a powerhouse in the financial industry, providing investment banking and investment management services to corporations and high-net-worth individuals. Basically it does exactly what any bank does, only it caters to very wealthy people. Recently Goldman has been dominating front-page news for its role in a rather complex case of alleged financial fraud. What's happening here isn't as hard to understand as media reports make it seem, and it's an important story everyone, regardless of net worth.


    • William Black: Key Component in Financial Crisis - Fraud - Is Not Being Addressed


    • SEC gathered range of experts for Goldman case
      Led by a former federal prosecutor and a pair of veteran SEC investigators, the team was preparing to take legal action against America's most storied financial firm. On the line was the promise made by SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, appointed by President Obama last year, that the agency would restore its traditional role as an aggressive check on Wall Street abuses.


    • Goldman Sachs executives in hotseat [Video]


    • Frenkel Says SEC Case Against Goldman `Very Defensible': Video


    • SEC Inspector General to Investigate Timing of Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) Fraud Charges


    • Goolsbee: Goldman Sachs CEO "not going to win any popularity contests"
      White House Economic Adviser Austan Goolsbee told me that Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is “not going to win any popularity contests” after the release of e-mails which show company officials including Blankfein discussing how the company was profiting from the crash of the housing market. During my “This Week” interview Goolsbee added that “over a period that ordinary Americans' pensions, houses et cetera were collapsing in value, they were actually making significant money off of it. If that's true… we've got to end the conflicts of interest and that the Volcker rule is really on point on that I think is also highly relevant.”


    • Former Goldman Sachs CEO Says Company's Actions Hard to Justify
      In an exclusive interview with ABC News' Bianna Golodryga, Jon Corzine addresses the allegations against Goldman and also urges for financial regulatory reform. While skirting around the issue of whether Goldman acted improperly, he said that the business practices and transactions are hard to justify.


    • Goldman Sachs e-mails suggest firm profited from mortgage mess, Senate panel says
      Goldman Sachs executives bragged in internal e-mails in 2007 that they were making "some serious money" as the real estate bubble burst, according to documents released Saturday by a Senate subcommittee.


    • Scarlet Letter for the Greed Generation
      There is a plethora of Goldman alums sprinkled throughout the Obama administration.

      Until recently, there was no better credential for government service than a Goldman Sachs background; now the “G” is more like the scandalous “A” in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter.”

      If there were an opening today for a Federal Reserve governor or deputy Treasury secretary or prominent White House economic role, a Goldman Sachs background, Obama administration officials privately admit, would be lethal.

      “Clearly, they’ve become a toxic asset,” says Simon Johnson, a former International Monetary Fund economist who is now a finance professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


    • Goldman's "Fabulous" Fab's conflicted love letters
      Little did they know that three years later these very personal emails written through Tourre's Goldman Sachs e-mail account would become part of one of the biggest investigations into the subsequent financial crisis.


    • Summers: Goldman emails show need for transparency
      Emails sent by Goldman Sachs Group Inc's (GS.N) executives on money the firm made by betting against risky mortgage securities highlight the need for transparency in financial markets, senior White House adviser Lawrence Summers said on Sunday.


    • Goldman executives cheered housing market's decline, newly released e-mails show
      "Sounds like we will make some serious money," Mullen wrote.

      Lawmakers said the internal e-mails, released Saturday by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, contradict what they said are Goldman's assertions that the bank was not trying to profit from the decline of the housing market in 2007 and was merely seeking to protect itself if prices collapsed.


    • The Goldman Sachs case isn’t all it seems
      He has also put his money where his mouth is and put up $1,000 dollars against any and all comers that GS does not win this case.


    • Will Goldman Sachs prove greed is God?


    • Will Goldman Sachs Prove Greed is God?
      So Goldman Sachs, the world’s greatest and smuggest investment bank, has been sued for fraud by the American Securities and Exchange Commission. Legally, the case hangs on a technicality.

      Morally, however, the Goldman Sachs case may turn into a final referendum on the greed-is-good ethos that conquered America sometime in the 80s – and in the years since has aped other horrifying American trends such as boybands and reality shows in spreading across the western world like a venereal disease.


    • Insiders Sold Shares As SEC Probed Firm
      Five senior executives of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., including the firm's co-general counsel, sold $65.4 million worth of stock after the firm received notice of possible fraud charges, which later drove its stock down 13%.


    • Goldman Sachs fraud accusations jolt California political races
      The SEC’s charges against the investment firm may provide an unwelcome distraction for the campaigns of former business executives Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman.
    • Chuck Schumer fund-raiser John Paulson is key figure in Goldman Sachs fraud case, records reveal
      John Paulson, leader of the $33 billion hedge-fund firm Paulson & Co., helped Democrat Schumer collect nearly $100,000 in the first three months of this year. Schumer is running for a third term in November.
    • Somali Pirates Say They Are Subsidiary of Goldman Sachs
      There was an audible gasp in court when the leader of the pirates announced, "We are doing God's work. We work for Lloyd Blankfein."
    • Goldman Sachs Still Ripping Us Off [Video]


    • How Goldman Sachs Screwed Ghana
      In 1998, Ashanti Gold was the 3rd largest Gold Mining company in the world. The first "black" company on the London Stock Exchange, Ashanti had just purchased the Geita mine in Tanzania, positioning Ashanti to become even larger. But in May 1999, the Treasury of the United Kingdom decided to sell off 415 tons of its gold reserves. With all that gold flooding the world market, the price of gold began to decline. By August 1999, the price of gold had fallen to $252/ounce, the lowest it had been in 20 years.

      [...]

      The destruction of Ashanti Gold by Goldman Sachs was saturated with fraud and conflicts of interest: Goldman Sachs served as Ashanti's Financial Advisors; profitted form the contracts they designed and marketed for Ashanti; was involved in the manipulation of the gold prices on which the contracts depended; represented Ashanti's creditors when the contracts went bad; and profitted as the Financial Advisors to the company that picked up the Ashanti corpse for pennies on the dollar.


    • What financial regulation? What neutrality on the net?
      Few people I know watch Bill Moyer's Journal. His broadcast last week was really thought provoking. He first interviewed Professor William K. Black, a one time bank regulator link here and then FCC commissioner Michael J Copps link here, each with videos followed by transcripts.






  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Total Number Of Personal Data Records Leaked Since 2005: At Least 358.4 Million
      The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has put up a pretty interesting chronology of data breaches (via Guardianista) detailing leaks in the US since 2005 that resulted in the loss of people's personal info. They've totaled up the figure over the past five and a bit years, and it's a staggering 358.4 million records lost.


    • Would-Be News Blogger Must Disclose Sources, Court Rules
      An aspiring blogger who says she was investigating a company for possible fraud must reveal the sources behind statements she posted online, a New Jersey appellate court ruled last week, in a rare case examining who has the right to legal protections extended to journalists.








  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • McCotter’s Plan to Expand DMCA-Style Take-Downs
      Michigan Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R) has introduced a bill to create a take-down regime for personal information akin to the widely abused DMCA process. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act established a system where copyright holders could as a practical matter force content off the Internet simply by requesting it.


    • Twitter Is Now Giving Out DMCA Take Down Notices


    • Three Strikes Bill Passes NZ Parliament


    • Kiwi 3 Strikes Anti-Piracy Bill Receives Unanimous Support
      As the music and movie industries tour the world lobbying for changes in the law in an attempt to slow down online piracy, New Zealand’s legislation moves a step closer to becoming law. The Copyright (Infringement File Sharing) Amendment Bill, which allows for large fines and six month Internet suspensions, has just received its first reading in Parliament, to unanimous support.


    • The $7,865.84 Verizon Bill
      The charges stemmed from a recent trip to Tel Aviv where he used 350,000 kb of data on his Mifi connection. As we've extensively documented, Verizon charges 2 cents per kilobyte. Before leaving the states, a Verizon rep told him how much it would cost. Not used to thinking in kilobytes, David asked what his normal data usage was. His response was that David was on the unlimited plan so he was not charged by kilobyte. While a truthful statement, it didn't exactly answer David's question.


    • DRM-Ravaged Avatar DVDs May Not Work On Blu-ray Players
      Amazon customers are complaining that Fox has gummed up the Avatar DVDs with DRM, rendering them unplayable on many Blu-ray players in an effort to prevent piracy. That is, if you consider making a copy of a DVD you own as piracy.








  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Justice Appoints New FBI Agents, Attorneys To Focus On IP
      To mark the 10th anniversary of World Intellectual Property Day, the Justice Department said Monday that it has appointed 15 new assistant U.S. attorneys and 20 FBI special agents who will focus on combating domestic and international intellectual property crimes.




    • Trademarks

      • Targo Bank and the OLPC XO Logo
        Here Targo Bank’s registration at the DPMA. I wonder if they cleared any overlapping trade mark rights.


      • F5 Sues A10
        Data center fight: F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV) claims A10 Networks Inc. is infringing its patents.

        We think they should settle their differences more peacefully. Maybe meet at the G-20 summit and get the B-52s to play.








    • Copyrights

      • What Did The Three Amigos Tender To The Canadian Copyright Consultation?
        So out of the Three Amigos, the only one who filed a submission was Barry. Barry calls his an essay, and at 13,324 words, I’d agree. I’m still reading it, however it appears to have Barry’s usual level of accuracy, I’ve spotted a couple of errors in the first few paragraphs. I’ll be dissecting it in detail later – I’ll say one thing for Barry – he is verbose.


      • The National Agenda
        People seemed to fall for us after listening to our records many, many times. The corporate model has collapsed, but small-label bands playing to 200 people a night can pay the bills and raise a family on it. That's why we'll have better and more interesting innovations


      • Historical Association Claims Copyright To Scans Of 100 Year Old Photos
        The Clinton County Historical Glass Negatives Portrait Project has been "diligently identifying, sorting, re-sleeving and generally rediscovering a collection of over 15,000 glass negatives dating back to 1897."


      • Why doesn't the Labour Party respect copyright?
        During the debate on the Digital Economy Act, Ben Bradshaw, the Culture Secretary, told MPs:
        “Hundreds of millions of pounds a year is haemorrhaging from our creative industries because of unlawful file sharing, and that is not a harmless or victimless activity. It deprives our musicians, writers, film makers, actors and other artists of their livelihood, and if we do not do something about such activity it will pose a serious threat to our creative sectors and Britain’s leadership in them.”


      • Labour withdraws 'sick’ David Cameron poster
        Mandrake understands that party officials removed the image from the website after they received complaints about its tastelessness.


      • Is That Two Strikes For Mandelson? Labour Caught With Another Potentially Infringing Poster
        So it's a bit bizarre to hear that Labour and Mandelson have put out a second, quite similar, poster that appears to be just as questionable on the copyright front. Misterfricative writes in to alert us to a new controversy over yet another campaign poster involving the Conservative candidate photoshopped into an image from a BBC television program. Once again, the poster has been "withdrawn" over other aspects of the controversy, but it certainly looks like this should be Mandelson's second strike, right? After all, these posters are supposedly his responsibility. If he wants to set a good example, perhaps he should cut off his own internet access. But I guess he shouldn't worry. After all, as Mandelson himself pointed out, once kicked off, he can pay up in order to file an appeal.


      • Why Is UNESCO Supporting Locking Up Information?
        Today may be World Intellectual Property Day, but this past Friday was also apparently World Book and Copyright Day (quite a bookended weekend for government monopolies on knowledge!). Bas Grasmayer points out that UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which is supposed to be focused on "promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture" oddly chose Friday's "World Book and Copyright Day" to launch an "anti-piracy observatory."

        This is bizarre for all sorts of reasons. An organization focused on encouraging education and international collaboration seems like the last place that would be supporting locking up information through government-granted monopolies.








    • ACTA

      • Medicrime: Another Anti-Counterfeiting Convention Emerges In Europe
        “Medicrime is not overlapping with ACTA,” said Kristian Bartholin, expert at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, talking to Intellectual Property Watch after a meeting in Basel last week that started talks on the implementation of Medicrime.

        “ACTA is regulating the market by protecting the regular supply chains against counterfeiting. Medicrime on the other hand does not try to regulate the market. It is about criminalisation of certain acts and related crimes,” explained Bartholin with regard to the scope. “You can apply ACTA and Medicrime together; together you will get protection the whole way around.”


      • Criminal provisions ACTA
        Criminal law tends to be conservative. Most lawyers share an elitist conception that the legislator shouldn’t unbalance the inner beauty of the inherited statutory law and that popular opinion has to be shielded from criminal law. Otherwise the welfare council leviathan would invent and punish all sorts of crimes to satisfy tabloid media.


      • ACTA official draft release unveils criminal enforcement revolution
        However, criminal provisions are negotiated by the member states:
        ARTICLE 2.14: CRIMINAL OFFENSES 1.35 Each Party shall provide for criminal procedures and penalties to be applied at least in cases of willful trademark counterfeiting or copyright or related rights piracy on a commercial scale. Willful copyright or related rights piracy on a commercial scale includes: [(a) significant willful copyright or related rights infringements that have no direct or indirect motivation of financial gain; and (b) willful copyright or related rights infringements for purposes of commercial advantage or financial gain.]


      • Release of ACTA draft can only be the first step
        After two years of negotiations behind closed doors we have finally seen a draft of ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. It's about time. This is the first official release of a document since negotiations on the treaty started in June 2008.

        The mere fact that the draft was released is a great victory for campaigners who have long fought for more transparency of the negotiations. However, it can only be the first step.


      • Notes on ACTA for a consumer perspective 2.0
        It is imperative for consumer protection that ACTA clearly defines what “counterfeiting” means as expressed by international law in TRIPS. ACTA should refer to trademark protection 1 as defined by international law. Consumers are in favour of measures that confront commercial fraud, especially when it affects public safety and health, the quality of consumer products or the false representation of a trademark. Counterfeiting, that can really be dangerous for consumers, should not be in the same agreement as other complex issues such as patent infringement. 2. Consumers request that patents be excluded from ACTA to avoid higher prices and fewer innovative products.














Clip of the Day



NASA Connect - Plane Weather (1/10/1998)

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