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Links 3/6/2010: New GNU/Linux Alliance



GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux



Free Software/Open Source



  • Events

    • Guest Lecture: Jon 'maddog' Hall
      Jon "maddog" Hall is the Executive Director of Linux International, a non-profit organization of computer vendors who wish to support and promote Linux-based operating systems. The nickname "maddog" was given to him by his students at Hartford State Technical College, where he was the Department Head of Computer Science. He now prefers to be called by this name. According to Hall, his nickname "came from a time when I had less control over my temper".


    • Python cloud computing on Cape user group agenda








  • Mozilla

    • Goodbye Mozilla Weave. Hello Firefox Sync 1.3
      Mozilla Weave is no more -- at least in name.

      Firefox Sync 1.3 is now available, marking the official shift in name from Mozilla Weave, which had been the name of the application since it was created in 2007.

      Weave started out as a Mozilla add-on for Firefox that was intended to provide a Mozilla services backend. The initial target of that services backend was data synchronization and now with the 1.3 release, synchronization or Sync is the name of the app as well.








  • GIMP

    • Single Window Mode
      Jim sent me a screenshot of GIMP 2.7 in single window mode. Looks good and I am going to try it soon. Click on the image for a 100% view.








  • Project Releases

    • Refresh for open source Campsite publishing platform
      Developed by Sourcefabric, previously known as Campware, the latest Campsite release is the first release under the new Sourcefabric name.

      Version 3.3.6 is not a major upgrade over previous releases but does add a number of security fixes and improvements. The next major release will be version 3.4 at the end of June.

      [...]

      Version 3.3.6 is not a major upgrade over previous releases but does add a number of security fixes and improvements. The next major release will be version 3.4 at the end of June.


    • Google opens up Chrome's RLZ library
      Google, in an attempt to be more open about its tracking mechanisms, has announced that it has open sourced the RLZ library that is built-in to the Chrome browser. RLZ, a previously closed component of the open source based browser, is responsible for generating promotional tokens which are non-unique and not personally identifiable. The tokens are used by Google as a parameter in URLs to, for example, track search queries to Google made from Chrome. The Apache 2.0 licensed RLZ library now has its own Google Code project, where the details of the RLZ parameter are also explained.






  • Licensing

    • Google should add license information to its Market
      Many of you surely know the Android operating system developed by Google. Maybe not everybody know it’s not fully free software.

      This is why activists from LibrePlanet Italia and Software Freedom Law Center created a fully free software Android alternative called Replicant.








  • Open Hardware

    • The Courage to Screw Up: Why DIY Is Good for You
      The DIY movement is growing every year, with no signs of slowing down. In May, Make held its fifth annual Maker Faire in San Mateo, California, where 95,000 people came to celebrate the unique rewards of DIY. This year, Maker Faire is also coming to Detroit and New York. I hope you can come and participate in the transformative power of DIY.








  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML5 vs. Flash: The case for Flash
      The real battle is in the hearts and eyes of the artists who are paid to create incredibly beautiful objects in the span of just a few hours. The designers will make the final determination. As long as Flash and its cousins Flex and Shockwave remain the simplest tools for producing drop-dead gorgeous Websites, they'll keep their place on the Internet.


    • VLC 1.1.0 Release Candidate supports WebM / VP8
      The VideoLAN Project developers have announced the availability of a release candidate for version 1.1, the next major release, of their popular VLC Media Player. According to the developers, the latest 1.1 branch of VLC is much faster and more stable, thanks in part to a substantial amount of "important code clean-up" and rewrites. VLC is a free open source cross-platform multimedia player for various audio and video formats.


    • Google asks for delay in WebM license consideration
      Google has asked the Open Source Initiative to delay its consideration of the WebM license (requested by Bruce Perens) for a couple of weeks; the company has also requested some changes in how the OSI does business.






Leftovers

  • Woman Sues Google After She Follows Google Maps Directions And Gets Hit By A Car


  • Lawyer Explains Reasoning For Suing Google Over Walking Directions: It Was Dark




  • Security/Aggression

    • Elderly woman given litter fine for feeding birds
      A woman was fined €£80 for littering after wardens caught her throwing bread crumbs – to the birds.


    • 24-7 Shropshire CCTV scheme plan
      The county’s surveillance operation will increase dramatically with major new schemes being introduced to Whitchurch and Ludlow.

      A new state-of-the-art headquarters will be launched in Shrewsbury which cameras across the county will be linked to – giving officers the ability to monitor people from a central location.


    • Data loss forces council to shape up
      West Berkshire Council has taken remedial action after a USB memory stick was lost that contained sensitive information on children and young people.

      The memory stick, which was neither encrypted or password protected, contained information relating to the ethnicity and physical or mental health of the children.


    • One in six GPs snub care record
      Among practices specifically invited to join the rollout, one in six has refused to do so, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from 91 PCTs.

      In 36 areas which have begun the rollout and provided complete figures, 1,732 practices have been invited to participate – with 286 so far declining to take part.


    • RCMP, Manitoba ombudsman probe town council over alleged spying
      The RCMP and Manitoba's ombudsman are investigating allegations of corruption, secret surveillance and harassment at a rural municipal council. The former top administrator of La Broquerie, southeast of Winnipeg, says town politicians installed hidden surveillance cameras in nearly every room in the town hall to spy on rival councillors, staff and the public, and hired a security company to sweep offices for bugs possibly planted by opponents.


    • That bogus social networking profile can send you to jail
      The California Court of Appeal has held that a man who set up a bogus MySpace profile of his former church pastor can stand trial for criminal “personation.”


    • DHS Alarmed by Sticker of Suicide Bomber; Really a Graffiti Artist’s Logo
      A sticker found on a trash can at a Washington, D.C., airport last week depicting what appeared to be a suicide bomber is actually the logo of a popular graffiti artist. His fans have plastered his stickers around the world since around 2005.


    • US space dirty-tricks spysat spying sat is go for July
      Then, there's the matter of America's own spy, communications and navigation satellites. Most of these could be taken out by a sufficiently advanced enemy, perhaps with serious consequences. If this was done by using another fully-orbital spacecraft along ASAT lines (as opposed to a suborbital rocket launch directly aimed to get in the way of a spacecraft) it might be difficult or impossible for the USA to know who had done it - or even if anything had actually been done.


    • 'Clickjacking' worm hits hundreds of thousands on Facebook








  • Environment







  • Finance

    • Credit-Rating Firms Face Single Regulator Under EU Proposals
      The European Union yesterday called for a single supervisor of credit-rating companies as politicians in the 27-nation bloc demanded a new regional agency to increase competition in the wake of the sovereign debt crisis.

      The European Commission proposed giving the power to investigate, issue fines and revoke licenses to a new EU authority. The Brussels-based commission also proposed reining in risk-taking behavior and compensation at financial companies to prevent a repeat of the credit crunch.


    • FSA hands J.P. Morgan Securities record €£33.32m
      The FSA has levied its largest ever fine of €£33.32m on J.P. Morgan Securities for client money breaches over a seven-year period.

      The regulator says J.P. Morgan Securities was guilty of an error in which it failed to protect client money by segregating it appropriately.

      Between 1 November 2002 and 8 July 2009, the company failed to segregate the client money held by its futures and options business (F&O) with JPMorgan Chase Bank.






  • Reporting/Civil Rights

    • Undisclosed Interests
      In a 1996 law review article, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan warned that campaign finance laws "easily can serve as incumbent-protection devices, insulating current officeholders from challenge and criticism." The DISCLOSE Act, a speech-squelching bill supported by the man who nominated Kagan, is a good example.

      President Obama and congressional Democrats say the DISCLOSE Act, which is expected to come up for a vote soon, is aimed at ensuring transparency and preventing corruption in the wake of Citizens United v. FEC, the January decision in which the Supreme Court lifted restrictions on political speech by corporations and unions. But the bill's onerous, lopsided requirements suggest its supporters are more interested in silencing their critics.


    • Only moral journalists need apply
      Nobody, including the press, is very happy with the press these days. So state Sen. Bruce Patterson, a man of luxuriant mustaches and florid expressions, came up with an idea: Regulate' em.

      Set up a board to check reporters' credentials, license them as if they were manicurists or lawyers, and charge them a registration fee. Then issue those who pass muster and pay the state the designation of "Michigan Registered Reporter."


    • French Senator Proposes Outlawing Anonymous Blogging


    • Dear FTC: Should 24 Disclose Writing Its Show Around Products?
      Dear FTC. Instead of worrying about whether bloggers are disclosing all they should when writing about products, perhaps a little more attention should be focused on TV programs and product placement? This season’s 24 took things to a new level, where plot points were constructed around featuring a product. Is a tiny mention in credits at the end really disclosure enough?


    • FTC protects journalism’s past
      The Federal Trade Commission has been nosing around how to save journalism and in its just-posted “staff discussion draft” on “potential policy recommendations to support the reinvention of journalism,” it makes its bias clear: The FTC defines journalism as what newspapers do and aligns itself with protecting the old power structure of media.


    • MediaWatch: Journalists Won't Report News Unless It Can Drive Page Views


    • Writer Splits From Murdoch's Times Of London To Avoid Being Hidden Behind The Paywall
      With Rupert Murdoch's The Times of London going behind a paywall, we're already seeing some of their writers bailing out. A bunch of folks sent over the news that the writer of the Times' legal blog, Tim Kevan, has set up shop on his own blog, outside of the paywall.


    • How The Mainstream Media Stole Our News Story Without Credit
      On Friday, I broke a tasty story about a woman suing Google, claiming bad directions caused her to get hit by a vehicle. Today, I discover our story is everywhere, often with no attribution. Come along and watch how the mainstream media, which often claims bloggers rip it off, does a little stealing of its own.

      Woman Follows Google Maps “Walking” Directions, Gets Hit, Sues was the story I posted on Friday afternoon, Pacific Time. I was tipped to the lawsuit by Gary Price of ResourceShelf. Gary hadn’t written about it himself but thought Search Engine Land would be interested in it. He came across it through the regular monitoring of search-related news that he does across a variety of resources (Gary watches many, many things — he’s a research guru extraordinaire). Gary downloaded a copy of the suit via the PACER Service and sent it to me.


    • AP Sues Others For Copying Its Reporting, But Has No Problem Copying Bloggers Without Citation


    • Planet Money Crew Merges T-Shirts And Journalism






  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM







  • Copyrights

    • "YouTube Is UsTube": Creators Step in to Defend YouTube
      Plenty of folks, from copyright lawyers to Internet entrepreneurs to investment bankers, have been watching the long-running legal battle between Viacom and Google/YouTube carefully, well aware that a decision in the case could have a profound effect on the future of the Internet. But most YouTube users probably haven't given it the same attention. They should, and in an amicus brief filed in support of YouTube last week, a group of YouTube video creators explains why.


    • Future Tense: A Pirate’s Life For Whom?
      This is the same mistake that the RIAA and the SMPTP are making today. They think they're in the business of selling discs. They're not. They're in the business of delivering entertainment. And they've forgotten that. At least, their lawyers seem to have forgotten it.

      This isn't the first time the entertainment industry has made this mistake. Almost forty years ago, Sony started selling Betamax videotape recorders for home use. Universal and Disney promptly sued, claiming that home video recording would create the opportunity for copyright infringement and they would lose billions of dollars. The Supreme Court ruled against them. Under the fair use provisions of the copyright law, it's legal to record media at home for personal use. Even if some people might use videotape machines for illegal purposes, that was not sufficient justification for denying fair use to everyone else.

      After losing that lawsuit, Disney and Universal (and all the other studios as well) began selling their movies on Betamax and VHS tapes, and later on DVD. Videotape sales became an enormous market for the studios and eventually DVD sales accounted for at least half, often more, of a film's total gross income.


    • Chipping Away At Fair Use: Judge Suggests AP Would Win Obama Hope Poster Case
      While we're still not convinced you can trust the Associated Press's reporting on its own lawsuit with Shepard Fairey, the AP is now reporting that the judge in the case has indicated that the AP will almost certainly win, and that Fairey should give in and settle.


    • 'Hurt Locker' sharers: Expect docs like this (photos)
      Voltage has hired the U.S. Copyright Group to oversee the litigation and go after alleged file sharers. The group has sued alleged movie pirates on behalf of the makers of such films as "Far Cry" and "Call of the Wild 3D." Some of the people accused of pirating those movies, including Jon Harrison from Irving, Texas, have already been notified and are well along in the process.

      Harrison showed CNET the documents he received from Verizon--his Internet service provider--and the U.S. Copyright Group. To be sure, without seeing the actual notices that will be sent as part of the "Hurt Locker" suit, we don't how they'll differ. But there are likely to be many similarities.


    • When 1000% just isn't enough
      The film, which cost only $15 million to produce, has so far grossed $150 million worldwide. Nevertheless, the firm maintains that this mere 1000% return represents "a direct decline" in the film and entertainment industries.

      Nicolas Chartier, one of the film's producers and co-founder of Voltage Pictures, went on to prove how out of touch he is with the real world by claiming that anyone that disagrees with him is a "moron". Thus, by extension, he believes that Radiohead, Trent Reznor, Stephen Fry, Michael Moore, the Featured Artists Coalition, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Free Software Foundation, Larry Lassig and the entire Creative Commons movement, the Open Rights Group, the Pirate Parties worldwide, scores of his film's fans, and countless others are all morons.


    • Steal This Ebook
      Let's run an experiment and see if piracy is harmful to sales.


    • Why is Ashton Kutcher pirating his own movie?
      Sure, it's not really piracy. The free preview is a transparent marketing stunt by Lionsgate, the studio behind the film, which has decided to hide the movie from critics and instead put the first few minutes in front of its target audience during the run-up to its release. To that end, they've enlisted the movie's co-star, a genuine Internet phenomenon, to help promote that effort.


    • Four Years In, How Successful Has Hollywood's Attack On The Pirate Bay Been?
      It really does make you wonder why the MPAA and the RIAA have bothered with all of this. It hasn't even remotely slowed file sharing down. In fact, their actions have helped advertise The Pirate Bay worldwide and made those running it into celebrities. And, even if they eventually do shut down the site, a dozen others will quickly step up to take its place. At some point, you have to wonder when they will realize it's time to figure out ways to focus on building a better business model rather than trying to do the impossible and deny what technology allows.


    • The Pirate Bay: Four Years After The Raid
      Today, exactly four years have passed since The Pirate Bay was raided by the Swedish police. While the entertainment industries hoped that this would be the end of their troubles, in hindsight they’ve created a a multi-headed hydra that is impossible to kill. The events that unfolded could easily be turned into a Hollywood blockbuster.




    • Canada

      • Bill C-32 – The New Canadian Copyright Act
        Barry Sookman appears to be missing in action – only two tweets, and no posts since May 27, 2010.

        Michael Geist has posted The Canadian Copyright Bill: Flawed But Fixable – since I haven’t read the entire bill yet I don’t know if I can agree, but I’ve disagreed with him a lot in the past. Quite frankly Michael’s too damned moderate for my tastes.

        Ars Technica has an article – “Canadian DMCA” defends DRM, legalizes DVRs – which points out that Digital Locks over ride consumer rights. What they don’t consider is that Digital Locks also over ride artist rights.

        Mike Masnick over at TechDirt is also covering this – Canadian DMCA Introduced; Digital Lock Provision Trumps Any And All User Rights – Mike’s a bit weird at time, but I think his title hits the mark.


      • Canada to "modernize" copyright law
        For those of you who have been counting, this is the third effort, in the past five years, by Canada to amend the Copyright Act. The previous two each died on their order papers - victims of Parliamentary instability. That is unlikely to happen this time. It appears the government will endeavor to fast-track the bill into law.


      • The Canadian Copyright Bill: Flawed But Fixable
        Yet all the attempts at balance come with a giant caveat that has huge implications for millions of Canadians. The foundational principle of the new bill remains that anytime a digital lock is used - whether on books, movies, music, or electronic devices - the lock trumps virtually all other rights. In other words, in the battle between two sets of property rights - those of the intellectual property rights holder and those of the consumer who has purchased the tangible or intangible property - the IP rights holder always wins.








    • ACTA

      • India Gearing Up To Fight ACTA; Seeking Other, Like-Minded, Countries
        But, of course, according to various folks at the USTR and the Copyright Office, now that ACTA's been released, it's proven that all the "fears" from online sources were misguided. Right?


      • EU Legal Review Says ACTA Negotiators Broke The Law In Not Revealing Text To EU Parliament
        While ACTA has now been released, the review still happened. Hephaestus points us to the news that the analysis found that negotiators were not allowed to keep the document secret (pdf) from Parliament, and that if it had continued to the Parliament could have taken legal action. The key points:

        * Confidentiality cannot be used as a justification for not complying with the obligation to keep Parliament fully informed. Where a degree of confidentiality is justified to ensure the proper conduct of negotiations, the Council and Commission may request that agreed measure on the confidentiality of the documents be applied. * The obligation to inform Parliament cannot be modified or limited by any agreement among the institutions or by an arrangement with third parties which does not involve Parliament. Where documents originate from a third party, the Union negotiator may be justified in agreeing not to disclose such information without the consent of the third party concerned. In such circumstances, Parliament should nonetheless be provided with sufficient information. * In the case of a persistent refusal to provide it with sufficient information, Parliament could initiate proceedings for illegal failure to act.














Clip of the Day



NASA Connect - ATE - Globe Program (5/20/2004)

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