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Links 17/11/2010: Chrome OS and Android Explained, Linux 2.6.37-rc2

GNOME bluefish



  • 'Megafon Siberia implements Linux-based video call-centre'
    The service is based entirely on open source software: OS Ubuntu Linux and Asterisk, and in the workplace the operator uses the client software Linphone.

  • Desktop

    • The Linux desktop may soon be a lot faster
      The patch by Linux kernel developer Mike Galbraith adds a mere 233 lines of code to the kernel's scheduler, but it cuts desktop latency down by a factor of ten. That's impressive — it's almost like getting a new computer.

    • The ~200 Line Linux Kernel Patch That Does Wonders
      In recent weeks and months there has been quite a bit of work towards improving the responsiveness of the Linux desktop with some very significant milestones building up recently and new patches continuing to come. This work is greatly improving the experience of the Linux desktop when the computer is withstanding a great deal of CPU load and memory strain. Fortunately, the exciting improvements are far from over. There is a new patch that has not yet been merged but has undergone a few revisions over the past several weeks and it is quite small -- just over 200 lines of code -- but it does wonders for the Linux desktop.

    • System76 and the World
      System76 has been selling GNU/Linux on PCs for several years now. There are posts on various sites about expansion to the UK. I asked about that and how business was going. “We will be shipping to the U.K. very soon. We are getting the final details hammered out.

      We are a privately held U.S. company, and so we do not release financial statements. However, business is growing nicely.” replied Tom Aaron, System 76 Sales and Support.

    • Ubuntu-ready netbook moves to dual-core Atom
      System76 is shipping a new version of its Ubuntu Linux-ready Starling Netbook equipped with a dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor, starting at $384. Meanwhile the company has begun shipping to the U.K, and is contemplating developing a tablet PC.

    • ARGH!!!
      At a staff meeting today, a staff member who was new but on the job two months and a bit suddenly demanded that her teacher’s PC be put back to that other OS. The fact that this matter was of no concern to the entire staff was a bit annoying but I outlined why we had gone to GNU/Linux and how I had made many offers to help anyone with difficulty. She insisted. I asked whether she had any files to back up. She said none.

      Here’s the log of restoring “7″ which had never been on the PC.


      So there we go. After 4 hours of work she has that other OS and less capability with lower speed than before.

  • Server

    • GNU/Linux Terminal Servers Under Heavy Load

      Since the first day I saw a lab full of students happy with the performance of a single-core GNU/Linux terminal server six years ago, I have been quite happy. Of course, I could tell the difference between a heavy and a light load but the end-users generally found performance even then was better than XP on their usual hardware.

  • Google

    • Schmidt: Google Chrome OS 'a few months away'
      Google boss Eric Schmidt has said that Chrome OS will be available "in the next few months" — which may be an indication that the company's browser-based operating system has been delayed.

      Since unveiling the Chrome OS project last year, Google has said that systems using the operating system would be available by the end of this year. But the end of the year is a mere six weeks away. As he dropped the "a few months away" line at this week's Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Schmidt said that Gingerbread, the new version of Android, was "a few weeks away."

    • Google’s Schmidt: Chrome OS is for keyboards, Android is for touch.
      Talking at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco, Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt has attempted to settle the confusion between Google’s two operating systems by reaffirming that the upcoming Chrome OS is being developed for devices with physical keyboards where the incumbent Android OS is for touch devices.

    • Eric Schmidt: Chrome OS aimed at keyboard based solutions, Android optimized for touch
      Schmidt confirmed that Chrome OS will officially be out in the next few months in Intel and ARM-powered netbooks while also adding that the OS was primarily "designed around something with a keyboard."

    • Chrome OS launch won't happen this year

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KNotify Plugins (Or, “What I’ve been working on, now with details”)
        Aaron Seigo pointed out that the behaviour I wanted could be done nicely with KNotify, but that it currently required notification actions to be compiled in.

      • KDE 4.4 on Slackware 13.1

        I recently installed Slackware 13.1 and ditched openSuse (though its still there on another partition) as I was looking for more stability and wanted something more geeky. And yes, slackware does not disappoint when it comes to the geekiness part, whether its package installation or configuration. There is no package manager as such which checks for dependencies etc. So, Slackware comes as a full DVD package by default. The full installation mode installs almost all the required things for the base+enhanced system. There is always an option of downloading the tarball and compiling the sources optimised for your machine (which gives it gentoo like feel which is what I wanted) and then there are many repositories which are specifically built for slackware. The package slapt-get is a package manager like the apt-get for debian based distros. You can download the pre-compiled binaries and install them using it, search for particular packages and you can also download the sources, compile them and the make it install them. So this geeky part I am quite satisfied with.:D

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Foundation is hiring!
        The GNOME project is an effort to create and provide a complete, free and easy-to-use desktop and mobile environment accessible to all users, as well as a powerful application development framework for software developers. GNOME technologies are used in millions of desktops, phones and devices around the world.

        The GNOME Foundation supports the GNOME project by acting as an official voice for the GNOME project, providing a means of communication with the press and with commercial and noncommercial organizations interested in GNOME software, providing business development opportunities for GNOME and its partners, hosting GNOME events and marketing GNOME.

      • GNOME Terminal with Google search support
        Recently I did a hack on GNOME Terminal, added the Google search support for it.

        I think you may like it, so here comes the article.

      • Gnome-Shell Update Nov 16 2010

  • Distributions

    • Sabayon

      • Sabayon Linux Review
        In my quest to replace Ubuntu before Canonical can force me over to Unity, I came across Gentoo. Gentoo is unique operating system. It utilizes a unique bsd like port system called portage. This allows you to compile software around your hardware. Although this adds a layer of complexity during software building and installation, it adds an insane amount of speed and stability.

        Sabayon Linux is a step back from this. It provides Gentoo without the need to compile packages. As a matter of face Sabayon goes out of its way to recommend that you do not compile custom packages under its distribution as it can cause instability. My knee jerk reaction is, “Gentoo is about speed and stability… if you remove compiling from Sabayon, then what’s the point?”

      • Sabayon – Woes and Whoas of Upgrades
        So anyway, if you have problems, please check the forum and see if someone else is having the same problem, maybe a solution already exists. You can also search our bugzilla to see if something has been already reported. If you are submitting a new bug or forum post, please provide as much information as possible.

    • Slackware

      • Attn: Slackware 13.0 | Thunderbird Users
        This posting here on Nocturnal Slacker is just an alert, in case you don’t actually read the release notes before updating.

      • A few big changes
        Slamd64 is an exception here: given that Slackware itself now has a 64-bit version, there is no purpose in Slamd64. I'll be making a post on in the next few days - sorry for not stating this sooner.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2010.2 announced!
        These cold winds have brought some good news for Mandriva users: Mandriva will release version 2010.2 of the distribution as a Christmas present.

      • Two Versions Of Mandriva Coming Soon
        Mandriva was recently forked into a new distribution called Mageia Linux where several Mandriva developers parted ways with this distribution once known as Mandrake due to the uncertainty of the future direction of Mandriva Linux with its corporate backer having underwent some financial hardship. While there isn't yet a release of Mageia, the Mandriva Cooker Manager has finally been permitted to release details concerning the next two releases of Mandriva Linux.

      • PCLinuxOS LXDE Review and Screenshots
        Some days ago PC Linux OS has destroyed my everything, when I install it on a hard disk. None of any Linux distribution behave bad like this way with me before. Though, I wanted to test the flavour of this so called famous Linux distribution. I download several variant like

        * pclinuxos-lxde-2010.iso * pclinuxos-lxde-mini-2010.iso * pclinuxos-openbox-2010-07.iso and * pclinuxos-ZEN-mini-2010.iso

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) Corporate Event Announcement Notice

      • Approaching Resistance - Red Hat
        Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) are trading very close to calculated resistance at $43.59 with the current price action closing at just $41.96 placing the stock near levels that make it difficult to buy.

      • Roaring Penguin Software Announces Support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

      • sVirt: Integrating SELinux and Linux-based virtualization

      • Red Hat Network Satellite 5.4 Offers Support for Managing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the availability of Red Hat Network Satellite 5.4, the latest version of Red Hat's on-premises systems management solution that provides software updates, configuration management, provisioning and monitoring across both physical and virtual Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers. Red Hat Network Satellite 5.4 delivers compliance improvements, greater flexibility in content management and improved subscription management. It also provides support for managing the newly released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 operating platform.

      • Red Hat Expands Program to Integrate Open Source Software Courses Into Collegiate and University Coursework
        As the use of open source continues to expand globally, the need for graduates with open source software experience is also expected to increase.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Board likely to reconsider SQLNinja, but should they?
          According to a comment today from Tom "spot" Callaway on the SQL Ninja request, it looks like the Fedora Board will reconsider allowing the takeover tool into Fedora. The initial decision drew quite a lot of criticism, but that doesn't mean the board was wrong.

          I've been watching the news and discussions on various Fedora lists responding to the board's decision not to include SQLNinja in Fedora. It's typical, but disappointing. The slightest hint of moderation in an open community — whether it's being picky about the packages included in the distribution or setting policies about civil behavior on communication channels — draws rapid criticism. Predictably, many people have reacted to the decision as if it's a huge restriction that keeps the freedom-loving masses of Fedora users apart from the full treasure trove of free and open source software.

        • Upgrading to Fedora 14 with yum
          Fedora 14 was released two weeks ago. I normally wait a day or two to install to let the mirrors cool down, but that put the target date right before I left for the LISA conference. Like any good sysadmin, I’m sufficiently paranoid to not upgrade systems right before I leave, even if said system is only my own desktop. So now that I’m back, I decided today was a good day to upgrade my home desktop.

        • Fedora Welcomes in New Management
          Jared Smith, Fedora Project Leader, has announced some personnel changes within the Fedora project that show, as Smith says, "every person in the Fedora community is a potential leader." According to Smith, Fedora's "policies of rotating leadership help ensure that everyone who is so inclined has a chance to lead and serve."

        • How do I set up Fedora 14 for audio production?

        • Musicians' Guide
          The text of and illustrations in this document are licensed by Red Hat under a Creative Commons Attribution–Share Alike 3.0 Unported license ("CC-BY-SA"). An explanation of CC-BY-SA is available at The original authors of this document, and Red Hat, designate the Fedora Project as the "Attribution Party" for purposes of CC-BY-SA. In accordance with CC-BY-SA, if you distribute this document or an adaptation of it, you must provide the URL for the original version.

        • Red Hat Close to the 50 Day
          Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) closed the trading day at $41.31 close to its 50 day moving average currently set at $40.28. Red Hat's price action is just above this important support level translating into a trading opportunity.

        • Red Hat (Rht) Breaks Through Support At $40.87

        • Fedora Board Meetings, 12 & 15 Nov 2010
          The Fedora Board meeting schedule works as follows:
          * Every Monday, the Board will meet via phone at 2 PM Eastern time (1900 UTC atm). * Every other Friday (the next one is this Friday, 12 Nov), the Board will hold a public ‘office hours’ style questions & answers session in #fedora-board-meeting at 2 PM Eastern time.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Women IRC Training Sessions begins

      • Debian Women IRC Training Sessions

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Cleansweep Update and Laptop Back
          I’m very glad that I can now review patches again after while.

        • Reflections On Respect
          The last week has been pretty intense. Many of you will have seen the discussion surrounding OpenRespect and the different write-ups, comments, and views expressed about it. While I expected OpenRespect to get some attention, I never expected the sheer level of attention it has received, and today I have been reflecting on it all and wanted to share some conclusions.

          While I feel OpenRespect has raised some important points and people have shared some constructive feedback, I have made some mistakes, and I have always believed that mistakes deserve sincere apologies. I started OpenRespect with the best intentions and out of a love for our community and maintaining pleasant and healthy discourse, but honesty goes both ways, both in intent, and in putting your hands up when you screw the pooch and get something wrong. Let me re-cap the story so far.

        • In Defense of Bacon

          Jono Bacon is currently being criticized for the manner in which he launched an initiative called OpenRespect.Org. Much of this criticism is unfair, and I decided to write briefly here in support of Jono, because he's a victim of a type of mistreatment that I've experienced myself, so I have particularly strong empathy for his situation.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Draws More Partners Towards Canonical
          Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, has signed several significant partnerships following the release last month of Ubuntu 10.10.

        • Convirture and Canonical to Team Up to Provide Virtual Machine and Private Cloud Management
          Convirture, maker of the ConVirt enterprise-grade software for managing Xen and KVM-based virtual and private cloud environments, is partnering with Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu open source operating system, to help organizations effectively manage virtual machines built using Ubuntu. ConVirt 2.0 Open Source is now available in the Ubuntu Partner Repository. It provides a sophisticated set of tools which can also be used to manage virtual machines in a private cloud infrastructure.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Introducing the Hall's - Developers of Qimo 2.0
            Michelle and Mike Hall, developers of Qimo 2.0, are two of the most friendly, out-going, give you something to smile about personalities I have meet throughout the past year in the FOSS community. They are both active Ubuntu members and I was excited for them when I saw the release announcement this weekend and I hoped I could catch up with one or both of them to ask a few questions about this release and the future of the project.

          • Lubuntu Screencast: Extreme Memory Tuning
            So if you have gone through all this tuning tips you hopefully have saved some memory and have less memory consuming system up and running.

          • Linux Mint 10 review
            Linux Mint has always been a good desktop distribution. It is especially well suited for those new to Linux, and those not needing some of the features that Fedora, Mandriva, and Debian offers. I think more users will be attracted to it if features, like LVM and full disk encryption, are supported by the installer. There is a small, but significant group of users who will not use a distribution if they are unable to encrypt the whole system, and I think more users will choose to encrypt if they know what it is and understand the benefits.

            Since it is doubtful that those features will find their way into Ubiquity any time soon, Clement Lefebvre and his team could just adopt another, better installation program. Fedora Project’s Anaconda, and YALI, the installation program on Pardus, are two good candidates.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Sprint's Palm Pre marked for End of Life?
        We don't quite know how to break it to you, but if PreCentral sources are correct, Palm's hit a very interesting landmark: its comeback device, the Pre for Sprint, has reportedly reached End of Life (EOL).

      • Android

        • Android 2.2 now available for Samsung Galaxy S users on Vodafone
          We have yet more Android 2.2 update news courtesy of Vodafone today, with the Samsung Galaxy S now receiving the full Android 2.2 upgrade via the network. If you have a branded Galaxy S bought through Vodafone, you might be about to have a very exciting few minutes.

        • Nexus S confirmed by Google – Android 2.3 due within “weeks”
          Schmidt didn’t give much away about the phone itself, either, save for announcing it will arrive including support for the NFC protocol – the short-range chip-reading tool used to make micro-transactions. He also said Android 2.3 will arrive within the “next few weeks”, presumably on the Nexus S first.

        • Introducing Replicant
          Replicant is a mobile operating system based upon Android that aims to be 100% free software.

    • Tablets

      • Folio Follies
        The version of Android Toshiba was using is optimized for smartphones and others are waiting for the next release of Android which is reported to be more suitable for tables.

      • Kmart debuts $180 Android tablet

      • Price Leadership
        Just this month several tablets with quite useful performance with Android 2.1 have been put on the market for less than $200. HP and Dell do not need to give price leadership. Others (e.g. Kmart) will do that. By Christmas time there will be lots of price competition and Apple will decline in share of this market.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source and the Federal Budget Squeeze, Part 1
    Local, state, and federal government agencies across the U.S. share the common goal of serving the public. They also share another contemporary fact of life: They are running out of money. As a result, efficiency is becoming a major goal in government at all levels, and information technology appears to be a key target for getting more bang for the buck.

  • Daniel Pink’s Drive: open source model is key to future development
    What continues to surprise me most about open source software (OSS) development is how the particular mindset OSS embodies has seeped into an incredibly diverse range of discussion that transcends software itself. Daniel Pink’s latest book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us is the latest example of how OSS has served to concretely demonstrate truths about human behavior.

  • Fear of Forking
    Bacteria – viruses too – evolve more quickly than do humans. If you’re reading this, that should not be a surprise. The precise mechanisms may be less than clear, but the implications should be obvious. Part of their advantage, from an evolutionary standpoint, is scale. There are a lot more of them than us, and each act of bacterial reproduction represents an opportunity for change, for improvement. Just as important, however, is the direct interchange of genetic material. As Johnson says, it sounds preposterous – absurd, even – because we are used to linear inheritance, not peer to peer.

    We see a similar philosophical divide in between those who abhor the forking of code, and those who advocate it.

  • LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Rethinks the Office Suite
      Asked to explain this declaration, Vignoli writes, "So far software has been focused more on features than on contents, and a good user is considered [one] who is able to use features and not [one] who is able to develop good content." As a result, modern office suites include many features that users either do not need or do not use. "Of course, this does not mean that software should have less features," he adds.

      According to Vignoli, one thing that needs to be taken into consideration is the proliferation of hardware platforms. "Editing and reading on a large screen is not like reading on a small screen," he notes. "In addition, being mobile adds another layer of complexity, because the relationship with contents is different when you are on the road: your attention is lower and your time pressure is higher."

      To judge from these comments, TDF is apparently using the break with to reconsider priorities. My speculation is that something like OOO4Kids, with its different interfaces for different levels of users might be an answer to unwanted features, while the mention of multiple hardware platforms suggests that TDF may be considering the frequent requests for a version of the code suitable for mobile devices. The general nature of the responses suggests that TDF is still developing the details, but would prefer to pay greater attention to usability than did in the past.

    • LibreOffice: "It is wrong to blame Oracle"
      And then there was this great hope that when Oracle acquired Sun - because Oracle historically engaged well in lot's of open source communities like with Apache or the Linux kernel - that this expertise would be brought to Star Division and that we'd get a better product. But sadly that expectation - as yet - has not been fulfilled. They more or less left it alone and in this case it would have been better if they'd shown a more hands-on approach.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • Facebook's New Real-time Messaging System: HBase to Store 135+ Billion Messages a Month

      I wouldn't sleep on the idea that Facebook already having a lot of experience with HDFS/Hadoop/Hive as being a big adoption driver for HBase. It's the dream of any product to partner with another very popular product in the hope of being pulled in as part of the ecosystem. That's what HBase has achieved. Given how HBase covers a nice spot in the persistence spectrum--real-time, distributed, linearly scalable, robust, BigData, open-source, key-value, column-oriented--we should see it become even more popular, especially with its anointment by Facebook.

  • CMS


  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Initializing an I-Team for the improvement of the ODF-icons

      Since the release of 3.2 we received a lot of very qualified feedback for the new ODF icons. We think the icons are a step in the right direction, but we acknowledge that there is room for improvement, specially relating to the usability. So following the recommendation of the community council we would like to make the icons better. That’s why we are creating an i-team that will be responsible for the changes on the ODF icons. Anyone who is interested can take part in the process of improving the icons, we welcome the input of users and experts. So, please join us!


  • 420M People In China Have Internet Access, 99% Use Baidu For Search
    So why Google was not as successful in China? “China is a very different market and Google was not close enough to feel the market.” Li also blames Silicon Valley. The proliferation of VC money poured into the local search market was one of the reasons Google failed to reach market share. Before it redirected its Chinese site to Google Hong Kong, that is.

  • From China to Amazon, NVIDIA's Tesla is on a roll
    This week brings two major pieces of news for NVIDIA, both of which are evidence that the GPU maker is killin' it in the high-performance computing (HPC) space. First is the latest Top 500 Supercomputer List, which sees China's NVIDIA-powered Tianhe-1A vault past the US Department of Energy's Jaguar machine to the top of the list.

  • Survey of women, men in IT shows differing views
    Do men and women who work in IT see their jobs and career opportunities differently? A new survey from IT staffing firm Technisource finds some disparities but also areas of agreement.

  • Science

    • Astronomers may have found youngest black hole
      Astronomers using the Chandra X-Ray Observatory may have found evidence for a young black hole: it was born in a titanic explosion just 31 years ago.

      Black holes form when massive stars explode. The core of the star collapses, and if it’s massive enough (more than about 3 times the mass of the Sun), the gravity of the core can crush it down into a black hole.

    • NASA's Chandra Finds Youngest Nearby Black Hole

    • Scientists propose one-way trips to Mars
      It's usually cheaper to fly one way, even to Mars.

      Two scientists are suggesting that colonization of the red planet could happen faster and more economically if astronauts behaved like the first settlers to come to North America - not expecting to go home.

      "The main point is to get Mars exploration moving," said Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a Washington State University professor who co-authored an article that seriously proposes what sounds like a preposterous idea.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • One Hundred Naked Citizens: One Hundred Leaked Body Scans
      At the heart of the controversy over "body scanners" is a promise: The images of our naked bodies will never be public. U.S. Marshals in a Florida Federal courthouse saved 35,000 images on their scanner. These are those images.

      A Gizmodo investigation has revealed 100 of the photographs saved by the Gen 2 millimeter wave scanner from Brijot Imaging Systems, Inc., obtained by a FOIA request after it was recently revealed that U.S. Marshals operating the machine in the Orlando, Florida courthouse had improperly-perhaps illegally-saved images of the scans of public servants and private citizens.

  • Finance

    • Fraud-closure biz fizzles out
      Bank lawyers prosecuting the 80,000 foreclosure cases in New York are all but admitting that the cases they have filed over the past number of years have been riddled with fraud.

      In the three weeks-plus since New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman put the foreclosure lawyers on notice that any fraud in foreclosure paperwork would be met with severe penalties -- he is making lawyers sign affirmations promising they took "reasonable" steps to make sure the legal papers are true -- practically no new foreclosure cases have been filed, The Post has learned.

    • GOP's new target – Bernanke
      Republican leaders who have lambasted the Obama administration for what they say were misguided bailouts and a wasteful economic stimulus plan have been fairly muted in their criticism of Bernanke, who was appointed by President George W. Bush and served as his chief economic adviser. On Monday, however, they lined up behind a new advertising campaign attacking Bernanke for his plan to pump $600 billion into the sluggish U.S. economy, claiming that it risks causing inflation.

    • Weaker Dollar Seen as Unlikely to Cure Joblessness
      A weakening currency traditionally helps a country raise its exports and create more jobs for its workers. But the declining value of the dollar may not help the United States increase economic growth as much as it might have in the past.

    • Bond Sell-Off in Spite of Intervention by Fed Puzzles Traders and Analysts
      Again on Monday, bond markets sold off aggressively, pushing the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield back up to 2.96 percent. That is close to where the yield was three months ago when the new policy of so-called quantitative easing was first suggested by the Fed.

      The yield has jumped from about 2.55 percent since Nov. 8.

      It is an aggressive sell-off that has left traders and policy makers mystified, and spawned a number of theories.

    • An Edge on Dividends for Goldman
      Goldman Sachs’s shareholders have little to grumble about. Sure, the bank’s plan to buy back $5 billion in expensive preferred stock held by Warren E. Buffett appears to have been delayed because of an industrywide debate with the Federal Reserve over how to manage capital. That includes deciding when dividends can go up. But investors in Goldman’s common stock already have an advantage over the competition.

    • Four possible deals on the Bush tax cuts
      The Bush tax cuts will not be permanently extended. But they -- or at least some of them -- will be temporarily extended. That we don't know which ones, or for how long, should embarrass Congress and the White House. The expiration date for the tax cuts was set into law 10 years ago. Congress shouldn't still be scrambling to figure this out with less than 50 days to go.

      But it is. And it's the Democrats -- as they still control both houses of Congress and the presidency -- who deserve the blame. They still have not settled on a policy or strategy for extending the Bush tax cuts. They waited until after the election, which weakened their hand. And they've been unable to get their members on the same page, which has kept them from messaging the issue to the country or forcing Republicans to the negotiating table.

    • Imaginary exchange goes poof
      The Chicago Climate Exchange is shutting down at the end of the year.

      Nobody’s buying carbon credits.

      Right now, days go by when not a single trade is done. When trades are done, carbon dioxide sells for just five cents a ton.

      It’s over.

    • CDOs: How Self-Dealing Banks Destroyed the Economy

    • A Defense of the Electronic Mortgage System
      The American Securitization Forum, a trade group that lobbies for the industry that managed to convert subprime mortgages into a financial crisis, released a report on Tuesday defending how those home loans were made into bonds and more explosive financial instruments.

      The forum says that laws governing the transfer and assignment of mortgages from one owner to another are centuries old, and that they do not need “to be recorded in real property records in order for it to be a valid and binding transfer.”

    • Under Attack, Fed Officials Defend Buying of Bonds
      With the Federal Reserve under attack at home and abroad, it is making an unusual public bid to keep itself away from the political crossfire.

    • Spending Worries Put Jobless Benefits at Risk

      Congress is unlikely to agree to extend jobless benefits for two million unemployed workers by the time the program begins to lapse in two weeks, as lawmakers struggle with a packed lame-duck session and voter antipathy toward government spending.

    • 'Robo-Signer' Foreclosure Scandal May Threaten Fundamental Financial Stability, Government Watchdog Warns
      The ongoing "turmoil" roiling megabanks and their faulty home foreclosure practices may represent deeper, more systemic problems regarding the origination, transfer and ownership of millions of mortgages, potentially putting Wall Street on the hook for billions of dollars in unexpected losses and threatening to undermine "the very financial stability that the Troubled Asset Relief Program was designed to protect," a government watchdog warns in a new report.

      Recent revelations regarding mortgage companies' use of "robo-signers" when processing foreclosure documents "may have concealed much deeper problems in the mortgage market," according to the Tuesday report by the Congressional Oversight Panel, an office formed to keep tabs on the bailout.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Serfing the web
      Both Google and Facebook are run like absolute monarchies in which hundreds of millions of users (digital serfs, some might say) have created identities. Rather like mercantilist countries in the offline realm, both companies operate policies to protect this asset.

    • Rally to protect satire, hyperbole, exaggeration, humour and flippancy on the Internet
      Ever told a joke that didn't go down as well as you'd hoped? Paul Chambers did, but instead of just being told to get his coat, he's been slapped with a criminal record and a €£1000 fine (plus costs). We don't think that's funny at all.

      Jokes are a matter of taste, of course, but what's no laughing matter is the chilling effect Paul's conviction could have on freedom of expression online.

    • Searching Your Laptop
      Federal courts have long agreed that federal agents guarding the borders do not need a warrant or probable cause to search a traveler’s belongings. That exception to the Fourth Amendment needs updating and tightening to reflect the realities of the digital age.

    • In Data Portability Deathmatch, Users Lose Out
      In the last few weeks, Facebook and Google have been engaging in a public tussle over an issue that is near and dear to EFF's heart: data portability. The crux of the issue is that when you sign up for Facebook, you can find your Gmail contacts or invite them to join the social networking service with a few quick clicks. But when you sign up for Google, Facebook prevents you from easily inviting all of your Facebook friends to Google, despite the fact that Facebook makes it easy for users to export their contacts to other services like Yahoo!.

      Earlier this month, Google altered its terms of use for API users in an attempt to push Facebook into making contacts more portable. Basically, if services (such as Facebook) aren't willing to make contact data portable to Google, then Google will stop making Gmail contacts exportable to their sites. Somewhat ironically, Google is promoting data portability by restricting data portability.

    • Peruvian Blogger Sentenced To Jail & Fined For Linking To Articles About Politician's Past
      The Groove Tiger alerts us to the news coming out of Peru, of a blogger, Jose Alejandro Godoy, who has been sentenced to three years in jail and fined over $100,000 (Google translation of the original Spanish) for writing a blog post about a Peruvian politician, Jorge Mufarech. The post linked to various news reports of criminal charges made against Mufarech in the past, and Mufarech claimed that such links were defamatory.

    • Humiliated Met police is an enemy of free speech
      It shouldn’t come as a great surprise that a powerful institution like the Metropolitan Police, wrong footed and deeply embarrassed by the student protest at Millbank on 10 November, would throw its resources into a major operation to hunt down the protesters who had humiliated them. Buoyed by the ‘shop-a-student’ campaign organised by the Daily Telegraph and the right wing blogger Guido Fawkes, there have already been more than fifty arrests.

    • Location-Based Services: Time For A Privacy Check-In
      Need to get directions when you are lost? Want to know if your friends are in the neighborhood? Location-based services—applications and websites that provide services based on your current location—can put this information and more in the palm of your hand. But navigating the complex web of privacy policies and settings for these services can be far more difficult.

      That’s why the ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC) has released Location Based Services: Time for a Privacy Check-In, a guide [pdf] outlining privacy considerations for mobile location-based services, and a side-by-side comparison of six popular social location-based services (Foursquare, Facebook Places, Yelp, Gowalla, Twitter and Loopt).

    • Stop the Internet Blacklist!

      Just the other day, President Obama urged other countries to stop censoring the Internet. But now the United States Congress is trying to censor the Internet here at home. A new bill being debated this week would have the Attorney General create an Internet blacklist of sites that US Internet providers would be required to block. (The first vote is scheduled Thursday, November 18!)

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Reverse Engineering the Kinect: The Street Starts to Find Uses for Microsoft’s New Gaming Device
      Microsoft’s initial response was to rattle its sword. A Microsoft spokesperson told CNET, “With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant."

      Microsoft should keep its sword in its scabbard. The Kinect technology is getting rave reviews and generating a real buzz. Microsoft could blow all of this goodwill if it tries to shut down independent innovation around the Kinect, as Sony learned when it tried to shut down innovation around the Aibo. Fans were so outraged that Sony was ultimately spurred to release a programmers kit for it. Microsoft should learn from Sony's experience and embrace its role as the creator of a new platform for innovation by supporting efforts like those of AdaFruit and hacker Hector Martin—after all, every hacker and every user of a hacked Kinect will have to buy the technology first.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Monster Cable Gets Classifieds Search Engine Taken Down With Bogus DMCA Notice
        Of course, even more disturbing is the fact that GoDaddy, the registrar for Jaxed, immediately pulled down the entire Jaxed site, over what seems like a clearly bogus DMCA notice. You would hope that a company like GoDaddy wouldn't be quite so quick to pull the trigger. It's also pretty weak that Monster Cable apparently went straight to GoDaddy, rather than complaining to Jaxed first (at which point, Jaxed could explain that they were just a search engine). Unfortunately, we've been seeing more and more examples of companies going straight to domain registrars with their takedown notices.

      • Hollywood's Strategy For The Future: Pretending The Government Can Save Them
        A few weeks back, I went to Hollywood to appear on a panel for the Filmmaker Forum event, all about "piracy." You can see a short clip of the panel here. One of the panelists was Kevin Suh, who has the title "VP of Content Protection" at the MPAA. Of course, just the fact that the MPAA has a position that involves "content protection" suggests that there's a pretty big problem with how the MPAA views where the market is heading (hint: protectionism is not going to get you very far). Kevin was extremely nice -- and we had quite a pleasant conversation prior to the panel. But, at one point, he made some assertions (not in the video) that seemed odd to me. First, he went on and on about how much money these new "digital locker" sites make, and then in the very next sentence said that Hollywood couldn't offer a competing service because it would make no money.

        At one point, I challenged him on the idea that taking down these sites was effective, and he insisted that the sites that were taken down had stayed down, and no others had stepped up to take their place. While I don't follow these sites all that closely, I'd already seen that this wasn't true, as lots of our users like to send in tips about new sites popping up (or where those "downed" sites reappeared). And, in fact, the press is noting that at least one of the sites taken down went right back up days later.

      • The Sound of Silence
        As a supporter of the Royal British Legion (and an ex-serviceman myself) I'm pleased to see the RBL finding new and innovative ways of raising money. This year they have taken the novel step of releasing a single of the Two Minutes' Silence. You can see a short excerpt from the video here.

      • Letter from featured superhero Gautam John of Pratham Books
        We now use Creative Commons licenses everywhere! We license entire books under CC-BY and CC-BY-SA licenses, we license our illustrations similarly and even photographs and other publicity material too. Over the last year we have been building the foundations for a social publishing model – where we curate communities that are passionate about reading and help us create content. Such a model rests on the idea of a participatory culture and an essential ingredient is a permissive licensing strategy – Creative Commons licenses offers us this, a large community with shared values and an ecosystem to tap in to.

      • True Or False? The Latest Stat: Less Than 30,000 Artists Are Actually Earning a Living

        Digital Music News published and article titled The Latest Stat: Less Than 30,000 Artists Are Actually Earning a Living… which has been causing a lot of excitement. The problem is, that the people discussing the article don’t appear to have actually read it, or if they did read it, they did so while asleep, because they’ve managed to get everything wrong. Let’s take a look at what was actually written, and what it really means.


        OK, so the original article got you all excited. As I’ve demonstrated above, without further numbers, the original is effectively useless. Things might be worse, but they might be better too, and we just don’t know.

      • Lawful Access Bills Would Reshape Internet in Canada
        The push for new Internet surveillance capabilities goes back to 1999, when government officials began crafting proposals to institute new surveillance technologies within Canadian networks along with additional legal powers to access surveillance and subscriber information. The so-called lawful access initiatives stalled in recent years, but my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that earlier this month the government tabled its latest proposal with three bills (C-50, C-51, C-52) that received only limited attention despite their potential to fundamentally reshape the Internet in Canada.

      • New Big Brother Laws Would Reshape Canada's Internet
        The push for new Internet surveillance capabilities goes back to 1999, when government officials began crafting proposals to institute new surveillance technologies within Canadian networks along with additional legal powers to access surveillance and subscriber information. The so-called lawful access initiatives stalled in recent years, but earlier this month the government tabled its latest proposal with three bills that received only limited attention despite their potential to fundamentally reshape the Internet in Canada.

        The bills contain a three-pronged approach focused on information disclosure, mandated surveillance technologies, and new police powers.

      • Bill would nuke Visa cards, Adwords, DNS records for pirates
        Watch out Google, Visa, and the domain name system—Congress has all of you in its sights.

        Now that the midterm elections in the US are over, the Senate this week will again take up S. 3804, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). The bill allows the US Attorney General to target "Internet sites dedicated to infringing activities" both inside and outside the country, obtaining a court-ordered injunction against them if they have "no demonstrable, commercially significant purpose or use other than" sharing copyrighted files without authorization.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA to bypass unfinished EU copyright row
          European negotiators of an international anti-piracy treaty are rewriting EU laws on copyright infringement, bypassing an unfinished row in the EU over Internet providers' role in piracy cases, according to industry lobbyists in Brussels.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Conor Lenihan, Irish Politician Admits That He Is Bought And Paid For
          My friends and suppliers of campaign fund donations asked me to help them. After Mr. Justice Charleton’s made his unfortunate decision, I tried to use my position to force the Internet Service Providers and the Telecommunications Companies to help my friends. They refused to accept the path my friends had suggested.

          We are not French, and we are definitely not those damnable British. So I’m going to do the Irish thing and threaten the Internet Service Providers. If they cannot come up with a plan that my friends like, I will use my power as Minister to introduce legislation that will force them to do so. I have tried my best to help my friends, and anyone who get’s in my friend’s way shall pay the price.

Clip of the Day

CA Technologies on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

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Credit: TinyOgg

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