Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 1/2/2011: Android 3 Comes, World’s First 3-D Phone Runs Android

GNOME bluefish



  • Keyboard PCs
    The full-sized keyboard makes this a better tool for those who can and do type on the web or locally. That’s most of us, folks. The one I particularly like in specs is a small cheap computer, $99 including GNU/Linux.

  • Post-Christmas Review: Tech Toys and GNU/Linux Compatibility
    Well, Christmas 2010 is over, and all the little tech toy devices have been connected, installed, and played with (or returned to the store from whence they came if they didn’t clear those hurdles). This year was an amazing success. Three major computer-linked devices worked on the first try without a hiccup. And I have to at least say a word or two about Mattel’s new Computer Engineer Barbie — a purchase I must admit was a little silly, but my daughter does play with it.

  • Desktop

    • Where is the Linux Desktop's Aim?
      By a very definition, it seems that working for the Linux desktop is like shooting darts in the dark. Obviously, one would not be able to see where the dart goes, neither if you are hitting the target. However you are definitively hitting something, but you do not seem to know what.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Consistent names for network interfaces
      Future distributions will use a consistent, predictable scheme to name network interfaces, using names such as "em1" and "pci2#1" instead of "eth0" and "eth1" to provide more transparency for server administrators. As various new kernels have recently been introduced, the Kernel Log will provide an overview of the most important Stable and Longterm kernel series.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE at FOSDEM Next Weekend

      • KDevelop 4.2 Supports Latest KDE Releases
        Only three months after the last feature release, the KDevelop hackers are proud and happy to announce the release of KDevelop 4.2. As usual, we also make available updated versions of the KDevelop PHP plugins.

      • KRunner Position Trick
        First, launch system settings and open Window Behavior. Second, switch to the Window Rules control module, and click ‘New…’. Third, click ‘Detect Window Properties’, click the krunner applet window, and click ‘OK’. Finally, go to Geometry, check Position, choose force, click ‘OK’ and click ‘Apply’. Tada, all done.

      • KDE 4.6 For Fedora 14 Is Here
        KDE, the sexiest, desktop environment has reached version 4.6, which brings some cool features. However it's a bit hard to get your hands on it while it's still hot, especially on the distro of your choice.

        Fedora is one of the most popular GNU/Linux distros and there is no point in keeping Fedora users, who enjoy the luxury of bleeding edge software, away from 4.6. Rex Dieter has created unofficial builds of KDE 4.6 for Fedora 14 for the daredevil types.

      • Fedora Goes to the Dogs - Hot Dogs That Is
        There has been some contention over the upcoming artwork for Fedora 15 this cycle, but no on saw this coming. Most either predicted that the upstream GNOME 3 background would be the basis for the whole of Fedora 15's artwork, or GNOME 3 would be a bit out of place with the rest of the overall theme. Perhaps as a reaction to this controversy, Lumens said, "Recent releases have focused on artwork that is too abstract, too focused on looking shiny. While the result look professional, it lacks a certain sense of the absurd. I propose creating a complete set of Hot Dog themed artwork that is used by default."

      • Trying to love KDE 4.6

      • Bretzn results released into the wild
        Apart from being a tasty Bavarian bread-snack, Bretzn is a code-name for a collection of technology aimed at solving a problem which has existed in software development for a very long time: “How do you get your applications to your users?”

      • Bring Your KDE Application to the Masses with Bretzn

  • Distributions

    • ArchBang Linux 2011.01 brings new look
      The ArchBang project has released the 2011.01 edition of its ArchBang Linux distribution, code named "Symbiosis". Like Arch Linux, upon which it is based, ArchBang is a simple and lightweight Linux distribution for i686 and x86-64 platforms aimed at Linux users who want to create "their own ideal environment" and install only what they need. However, ArchBang uses the minimalistic Openbox window manager with support for its pseudo-tiling functions.

    • Reviews

      • Pardus 2011
        I was very happy to see the inclusion of LibreOffice in this release.

    • New Releases

      • Linux, Open Source & Ubuntu: Linux Distribution Releases to Watch in 2011
        Owing to its open licensing and decentralized style of development, there's never a shortage of new Linux-based operating systems releases poised for release. Looking ahead at the rest of 2011, eWEEK Labs has compiled a list of Linux distribution releases worth watching for in the months ahead.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Strengthens its Focus in India with Executive Appointments

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that it has strengthened its India operations with two key executive appointments, further reaffirming its commitment to deliver innovation to enable Indian businesses, telcos and government agencies to take advantage of the current shifts in the datacenter around virtualization and cloud computing. Red Hat appointed Anuj Kumar as the new Country General Manager and Jagjit Singh Arora as Director, Enterprise Sales.

      • Red Hat Brings New Executives On Board
        Red Hat has strengthened its India operations with the appointment of Anuj Kumar as the new Country General Manager and Jagjit Singh Arora as Director, Enterprise Sales.

    • Debian Family

      • Countdown to Debian Squeeze
        There’s lots of great software in Squeeze. I just touch the tip of the iceberg with 1630 packages on this notebook out of 28K+ in the repository. Some of my favourites are LyX, LibreOffice, GIMP, InkScape, vlc, Dia and mplayer on the desktop and Apache, MySQL and PHP on the server. For making my own software I use vim, FreePascal and BASH usually. So much software. So little time.

      • Cross Platform Application Installer Meeting Could Mark A Milestone: Debian Project Leader
        While initiative likes Free Desktop have gone a long way to produce cross-distribution standards, per-distribution packaging policies still differ and in that differences we find the distinguishing traits of individual distributions. Losing those difference will not necessarily be good for Free Software, so I think that a single "App Store" might still be a red herring.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Natty Alpha 2 Coming Feb 3

          Ubuntu 11.04 aka Natty Narwhal is going to be a rocking and 'rock-solid' release as we can see from the work going on behind the 'open' doors. Apart from few bugging things like making Mono-based Banshee as the default music player, Natty is going to be a 'revolutionary' (if I can borrow the over-used adjective from Apple PR team) release.

        • Main frozen for Natty Alpha-2

        • Technology hero
          Since 2004, there have been 13 releases of Ubuntu, maintaining for the most part Shuttleworth’s target of a new version every six months. In that time, Ubuntu has become easier to use and more visually appealing, two attributes that were generally absent in early Linux distributions.

          To me, Shuttleworth is a technology hero because he has used his considerable talent to help develop, maintain and popularize a Linux-based operating system that is second to none in terms of stability, security and ease of use, and made it available to everyone free of charge. I began using Ubuntu in 2006 and have never felt the need to go back to Windows, and today, the only thing I still use my Macbook for extensively is Keynote, Apple’s presentation software, which still blows away anything available on Linux today.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • MadBox 10.10 Review - An Ubuntu Based Openbox Distro
            MadBox is a relatively new Ubuntu-based Openbox distribution. It tries to cater to CrunchBang (“#!”) Linux users who want an Ubuntu-based Openbox distribution (as #! switched to a Debian base almost a year ago), as well as to users who want a fast and lightweight OS or one that will work on a slower computer without sacrificing polish.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Get Pinch And Zoom Feature On Your NOOKcolor
      Linux powered eBook reader NOOkcolor gets pinch and zoom functionality in the browser through a firmware upgrade.

    • Phones

      • Sound of Footsteps

        Smartphones sold about as many units as the world shipped other personal computers in 2010Q4. One-third of those smartphones were shipped with Android/Linux.

      • Android

        • Release of Android 3 Tomorrow
          Android 3 is having a coming-out party tomorrow. Having achieved 22% share of tablet PCs with Android 2, a smart phone release, Android’s share should go critical with the availability of Android 3. Several manufacturers have delayed releasing new product until Android 3 was final and one has released new product with 2 with an upgrade to 3 promised.

        • Want to learn how to program on Android?
          Tomorrow, February 1st, the Linux Foundation, the non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, will be announcing six new training courses dedicated to the development of Linux-based mobile operating systems Android and MeeGo.

        • Want To Become Android Programmer?

        • Android enthusiasts hack Honeycomb to run on Nook Color
          The unofficial port of Honeycomb to the Nook is still at a relatively early stage of development, but it already has working support for hardware-accelerated rendering on the Nook hardware. This is a highly significant revelation because it demonstrates the potential suitability of Honeycomb for lower-end devices.

        • Keep Your Android Phones, Ubuntu Netbooks Safe With Prey
          Prey, the popular free and open source software which allows tracking lost mobile devices, has hit version 0.5.2. If you are concerned about losing your phone or netbook, you would want to get Prey protection for your mobile devices.

        • Linux Becomes The Leading Mobile Operating System: Courtesy Android
          Android was by far the largest smart phone platform in the US market in Q4 2010, with shipments of 12.1 million units – nearly three times those of RIM’s BlackBerry devices. Windows Phone 7 devices appeared too late in the quarter to take full advantage of holiday season purchasing. As a result, Microsoft lost share in the United States, from 8% in Q4 2009 to 5% in Q4 2010.

        • World's First 3D Phone Will Run On...Linux, Android
          At this year’s Mobile World Congress, LG will unveil the Optimus 3D, the world’s first 3D smartphone offering consumers a full 3D experience right in the palm of their hands.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Attacks on FLOSS
    We have seen it all:

    * astroturfing all over the web, * trolls specializing in FLOSS, trying to make Freedom seem a flaw, * pronouncements from high and low that FLOSS is patent-encumbered or is a copy of non-free software, and * serious attacks on the infrastructure of FLOSS, and * European Commission decides to renew M$’s contract for 36K PCs…

  • Don't fear the fork: How DVCS aids open source development
    Every once in a while, some extremely popular open source project faces what is generally regarded as one of the most painful, frightening experiences for such a project and its user community: the fork. An argument can be made that divergent evolution for purposes of specialization — such as when Knoppix burst onto the scene, based on Debian but customized for use as a LiveCD — is not a “true” fork. A fork, one might argue, is only what happens when the codebase is copied and taken in a slightly different direction because it is intended to replace (or at least compete with) the original project due to disputes between people who have different visions for it, rather than being intended to complement it by filling an otherwise empty niche.

  • 3DMagix and IllusionMage, scam or open source leeches?
    The companies IllusionMage and 3Dmagix resell via their websites Blender under their own name. Both websites are probably managed by the same person or company.

  • Where 3 times 3 is 8.
    OOo is truly the most powerful and user-friendly office application suite out of those three tested in this overview:, KOffice and GNOME Office. It has all-round functionality which can be used by everyone who is comfortable with Microsoft Office products. Migration from MS office to OOo is not an issue at all.

  • Events

  • Oracle

  • CMS

    • CMS and blog software without databases
      I was reading the blog, which I quite like by the way, and when I see a blog that I like, both content-wise and design/execution-wise, I try to figure out whether or not the software behind it is WordPress, Movable Type, Drupal, etc.

      Well, it turns out that is done with DokuWiki, which is a wiki platform that doesn't rely on a database, with all the data stored in regular files on the server.

      I like simplicity.

      DokuWiki isn't exactly a blogging platform, but you can turn it into one with plugins.

  • Healthcare

    • VA wants help modernizing health records system
      The Veterans Affairs Department is looking for expert help in developing an open source software model for modernization of its long-standing VistA (Veterans Health Information and Systems and Technology Architecture) health records system.

  • Business

    • Can Open Source Make ERP Better?

      Derek Singleton at has written an interesting article entitled Can Open Source ERP Succeed? He brought up some of the hurdles for the adoption of open source ERP software.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Intel warns of $1bn cost of chip fix
        The chipmaker Intel has halted shipments of hardware incorporating its new "Sandy Bridge" processors and says it will have to spend a total of $1bn (€£600m) fixing a fault, delaying hundreds of new PC models for up to three months and potentially stifling growth in the personal computer market.

        Launched early in January, the Sandy Bridge chip combines standard processing and graphics units on a single die. But Intel said today it had found flaws in a support chip, called Cougar Point, which would have led to failures over time in connections to hard drives and DVDs.


  • New homes burn faster
    It's never been more dangerous to be a firefighter.

    Our homes and the stuff inside them are nearly six times more flammable than they were 30 years ago.

    What that means for firefighters is the amount of time they can safely be inside a house on fire has dropped from about 17 minutes to three minutes or less.

  • Salvation Army under fire over tycoon's profits bonanza

    The Salvation Army is facing calls to explain how it allowed a private businessman to build a multimillion-pound personal fortune with profits from its charitable clothes recycling scheme intended to be used for good causes.

  • Newspaper Reporter Talks About Criminal Complaint Filed By Sheriff
    The Shelby County Sheriff has prepared a criminal complaint against a newspaper reporter for asking him questions.

    Embattled Sheriff Dean Kimpel, who was already under fire for allegations of sexual assault, is now accusing a writer from the Sidney Daily News of telecommunications harassment.

  • Flickr Accidentally Deletes a User's 4,000 Photos and Can't Get Them Back
    Major, major stumble from Flickr today—a Zurich-based photoblogger says Flickr deleted his account by mistake and lost his 4,000 photos.

  • Science

    • How to read a paper
      This is a tricky problem to solve on a handheld device, or indeed anywhere. There is a press release on the Lancaster University website explaining that this device has been studied and found to work. I asked for details. The methods and results of this study are secret. No paper has been submitted for publication.

    • Training teachers to take on the creationism/evolution battle
      In a recent issue of Science, Berkman and Plutzer focus much of their article on that 60 percent of cautious teachers who, for one reason or the other, fail to fully support evolution. The authors propose that it is possible to persuade those timid teachers to become advocates of evolution, as the teachers do not exhibit strong conservative markers like believing that the universe is only 10,000 years old. Berkman and Plutzer suggest that the main cause of the problem is that these teachers lack confidence in their grasp of evolutionary biology.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Ayn Rand and the VIP-DIPers
      Despite persistent rumors, Rand Paul was not named in honor of influential conservative thinker, Ayn Rand. His name is Randall.

      It's good he was not named for Ayn Rand because her real name was Alisa Zinovievna Rosenbaum which she changed honoring her Rand typewriter.

      Miss Rand, famously a believer in rugged individualism and personal responsibility, was a strong defender of self-interest. She was a staunch opponent of government programs from the New Deal and Social Security to the Great Society and Medicare.

    • Federal judge says healthcare law is unconstitutional
      A federal judge in Florida dealt President Obama's healthcare overhaul a sweeping blow Monday, ruling the law unconstitutional because of its requirement that Americans have health insurance starting in 2014.

    • Minnesota issues list of toxic chemicals in children's products
      The Minnesota Department of Health identified the presence of lead, cadmium, Bisphenol A and six other toxic chemicals in children's products, such as jewelry and textiles. Advocacy group Healthy Legacy urged government agencies to require companies to disclose if such chemicals are present in their products.

  • Security

    • Security Flaw Accepts Passwords That Are Close, But Not Exact
      For example, if your password is “Password,” will also let you log in with “PASSWORD,” “password,” “passwordpassword,” and “password12345.”

      Wired has been able to confirm the flaw, which was first reported on Reddit. It appears to affect only older accounts, which have not had their passwords changed in the past several years.

      Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Police use CS spray on tax protesters

      Tax avoidance protesters needed hospital treatment today after police used CS spray to break up a demonstration on Oxford Street in central London.

      Hundreds of people staged peaceful sit-ins at high street stores around the country as part of the latest UK Uncut day of action, designed to highlight companies it says are avoiding millions of pounds in tax.

    • Guardian Davos journalist's sinister encounter with the Swiss riot police

      My day began listening to George Osborne debate the fragility of the global economy. It ended sitting on the floor of a freezing underground car park, hands bound behind my back, in the custody of Swiss riot police.

      A peculiar ordeal in ostensibly the world's most peaceful nation began when, leaving Davos after four days covering the World Economic Forumsummit, my taxi to the Swiss resort's railway station got clogged in traffic caused by an anti-capitalist demonstration. I hopped out and walked past a line of police to reach a platform where an uneasy mixture of demonstrators, skiers in full gear and WEF delegates were milling around. There were a few yells and chants – and the tinkling of glass being broken somewhere nearby.

    • The imperial war presidency
      Progressive groups have made so much noise cheering for the elimination of this or that weapon, that the overall increase in the military budget each year has been missed, just as it will be missed by any casual viewer of this week's speech. But a group of hundreds of prominent activists, authors, and academics has recently released a statement outlining Obama's militarist record and committing to oppose his candidacy for the Democratic nomination next year unless he changes course.

      Nearly two thirds of US citizens believe that our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq should be ended and that overall military spending should be dramatically reduced. Since he became president, Obama has had three opportunities to work with Congress to reduce military spending, but instead, has championed increases in that spending each time, despite the fact that this spending represents a clear threat to the economic future of our country.

    • Jordan protests: King Abdullah names Marouf Bakhit PM
      King Abdullah of Jordan has dismissed his cabinet and appointed a new prime minister amid large street protests.

      New PM Marouf Bakhit has been charged with carrying out "true political reforms", but the Islamist opposition rejected the appointment.

  • Cablegate

    • Protect Your Friends -- Protect Julian Assange
      Prof. James Duane, of the Regent University School of Law, explains how stating even a harmless fact to the police can enable them to convict you of a crime that you did not commit. (The second part too.) I didn't refer to these on because you need to run non-free/libre Javascript code to view the videos there, even if you use the free Gnash player instead of Adobe's nonfree player which implements digital handcuffs.)

      During the present witch hunt, it's worse. Innocent-seeming information they get from you could give them the opportunity to convict you or your friends, and Assange, even if you had nothing to do with the leak and neither did they.

      Suppose that federal agents believe that Bradley Manning knew J. R. Gensym. Suppose they find out that you met J. R. Gensym. They could try to pressure you into testifying that you helped Julian Assange communicate with J. R. Gensym and Bradley Manning (even if you didn't). With that testimony, they can condemn Assange to a life of solitary confinement. Whatever they threaten you with, it won't be as bad as the shame of knowing you were their tool to destroy Assange.

      If they don't see a good way to use you against Assange, they might try to use your friends or acquaintances instead.

    • WikiLeaks And The Double Edge Of “Internet Freedom”
      Those new facts and accountability, as driven home by WikiLeaks’ information bombshells from the Afghan War Diaries to Cablegate over the past year, cut both ways. And no one has felt those cuts more strongly than the State Department itself.

      That paradox of U.S. Internet freedom policy has long been on the radar of Evgeny Morozov, the visiting scholar in the Liberation Technology Program at Stanford University. His new book The Net Delusion, published this month, takes on the State Department’s simplistic rhetoric on the Internet and authoritarianism, arguing that dismantling dictatorships around the world is a far more complex affair than piping in uncensored bandwidth.

    • Wikileaks: Libyan 'frogman' sent to train in Rome couldn't swim
      One of the dispatches from Feb 17 2009 and titled “The frogman who couldn’t swim: a co-operation cautionary tale”, recounts how the Italian Government funded a Libyan to attend “a training program in Rome on underwater explosives detection and demolition”.

      It continues: “After several days of classroom instruction, the candidates - it was a regional course and included students from several countries - were taken to the pool for their first practical session in the water.

      “The instructor directed the students to don their masks and regulators and enter the deep end of the pool; however, after several minutes, the Libyan student had still not entered the water.

    • WikiLeaks: 9/11 gang with pilot uniforms fled to London
      Pilots’ uniforms, laptops, a smashed mobile phone and lists of air crew names were hardly typical holiday luggage, but nor did the hotel workers feel it was enough to merit calling the police.

      But the day after the guests checked out of the hotel, their odd behaviour suddenly seemed to make sense, to the horror of those who had witnessed it.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Papier-mache milk bottle arrives in UK supermarkets
      But now, inspired by a papier-mache balloon that his son made at school, Martin Myerscough believes he has come up with the answer. The GreenBottle, which looks remarkably like the conventional two-litre plastic bottles on supermarket shelves, comprises a sturdy paper shell with a plastic liner to keep the milk fresh.

  • Finance

    • Fresh Rules on Banks Could lead to More Crisis: Goldman President

      The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos saw Goldman Sachs President, Gary Cohn issuing a warning against the initiative to implement fresh regulations on banks. Such a step, said he, could lead to the next crisis by pushing risky activities towards hedge funds and other lightly supervised entities.

      The Goldman Sachs executive also criticized the regulators for their focus on traditional institutions.

    • Treasuries climb as official says Obama to seek spending freeze
      Demand for Treasuries as refuge eased as Al Arabiya television reported that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will announce plans to step down at the end of his term, renewing demand for higher-yielding assets such as stocks. The Institute for Supply Management's factory data came three days before the Labor Department is forecast to report that the U.S. added jobs for a for a second consecutive month in January.

    • The Paradox of Corporate Taxes
      But Carnival’s biggest government benefit of all may be the price it pays for many of those services. Over the last five years, the company has paid total corporate taxes — federal, state, local and foreign — equal to only 1.1 percent of its cumulative $11.3 billion in profits. Thanks to an obscure loophole in the tax code, Carnival can legally avoid most taxes.

    • Citigroup Takes Over EMI
      Citigroup has taken over EMI, the British music label of the Beatles and Radiohead, under a restructuring of its debt, EMI announced on Tuesday.

    • Who Are the Biggest Corporate Welfare Queens?
      Tonight’s Open Thread: Who are the biggest recipients of Corporate Welfare?

    • Factory activity grows, hiring outlook brightens

    • Egypt’s Economy Is Near Paralysis
      International companies closed plants and sent workers home or out of the country; food staples went undelivered to stores; and banks remained closed during a week when many Egyptians, who are routinely paid monthly, would receive their paychecks.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Media Fights Propaganda Masked as News
      A coalition of journalist and civic organizations is waging a campaign to rid the Taiwan media of government propaganda masquerading as news, and signs are that the campaign has taken "the first steps" towards victory.

      The coalition said it will continue protesting government’s practice of "news buying" and the sharp rise in "embedded advertising" by agencies of the People’s Republic of China.

      In mid-January, Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan amended the Budget Law to prohibit the use of government funds to "buy" news. The government also issued an executive order requiring that official policy explanations in media "be identified as advertisements and news as news."

  • Censorship

    • China micro-blogging sites censor 'Egypt'

    • Parents Sue Expert Witness Who Made Fake Child-Porn of Their Kids
      An Ohio lawyer who serves as an expert witness in child pornography cases might be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in civil damages for Photoshopping courtroom exhibits of children having sex.

      Attorney Dean Boland purchased innocent pictures of four juvenile girls from a Canadian stock-image website, and then digitally modified them to make it appear as if the children were engaged in sexual conduct. Boland was an expert witness for the defense in half-a-dozen child porn cases, and he made the mock-ups to punctuate his argument that child pornography laws are unconstitutionally overbroad because they could be applied to faked photos.

    • The Terminator vs. the Constitution

      Does a zombie count as “an image of a human being”? What about an android or a shape-shifting alien? If his arm regenerates when you hack it off, does that still amount to “maiming”? Are you “killing” him if he comes back to life after you incinerate him with a flamethrower?

  • Privacy

    • Major privacy study signals a worrying increase in surveillance across Europe
      The UK improves its privacy performance since 2007 but France is catching up as Europe’s “worst surveillance society”

      A landmark EU-wide study of national privacy safeguards published today shows a decline in privacy protection across Europe and a steep increase in state surveillance over the lives of individuals.

    • Senator Calls for Privacy Protections for Device Location

      The increasing ability of mobile service providers to track customer locations raises "serious issues" for law enforcement and intelligence agencies, Wyden added. "This is a policy area where the law has not kept up with the times," he said.

  • Civil Rights

    • Buzek on the developments in Egypt
      The entire world is watching what is happening in Egypt tonight and will hold the authorities accountable for any inappropriate use of force or any innocent death.

      In a democratic country, where the rule of law prevails, citizens are allowed to move freely, to talk to each other and to communicate with the rest of the world.

    • Egypt Lies I Read on Twitter: Debunking Rumors and Misinformation on the #Jan25 Uprising
      I'll be honest, my Arabic isn't perfect. But from what friends tell me, it makes no direct reference to looting. It does however, encourage security forces to go about in civilian attire and harass protesters.

    • Internet Freedom: CDT Statement on Egypt’s Internet Shutdown
      The Center for Democracy & Technology took position in response to the news that Egypt had cut Internet access and mobile services, below their press release.

    • Photographers: You’re Now Officially Free To Shoot In Public Places And Outside Federal Buildings

    • Is the Fourth Amendment Relevant in a Technological Age?
      This work will be a chapter in a forthcoming book in The Future of the Constitution series, edited by Jeffrey Rosen and Benjamin Wittes and published by the Brookings Institute. Over the past 200 years, the Fourth Amendment’s guarantees have been construed largely in the context of what might be called "physical searches" - entry into a house or car; a stop and frisk of a person on the street; or rifling through a person’s private papers. But today, with the introduction of devices that can see through walls and clothes, monitor public thoroughfares twenty-four hours a day, and access millions of records in seconds, police are relying much more heavily on what might be called "virtual searches," investigative techniques that do not require physical access to premises, people, papers or effects and that can often be carried out covertly from far away. The Supreme Court’s current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence - specifically, its "knowing exposure," "general public use," "contraband-specific," "assumption of risk" and "special needs" doctrines - has both failed to anticipate this development and continued to ignore it. This article describes this jurisprudence and how it can foster law enforcement abuse, mission creep, mistaken seizures and physical searches, and an oppressive atmosphere even for the innocent. It then outlines a more technologically-sensitive Fourth Amendment framework.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Ottawa enters dispute over higher Internet feesOttawa enters dispute over higher Internet fees
      The Harper government is stepping into a contentious debate over just how much Canadians should pay for Internet service, as Industry Minister Tony Clement says he will review a federal regulator’s decision that will raise prices for consumers and businesses.

      As people access increasing numbers of documents, video, software and other large files through the Internet, major communications providers such as Shaw Communications Inc. and BCE Inc.’s Bell Canada unit have begun to regulate how much their customers can download – charging them extra when they exceed monthly limits. Many consumers have responded by turning to smaller Internet providers that lease space on networks such as Bell’s and offer popular “unlimited” plans without such caps.

  • DRM

    • Hotz Will Ask Judge to Reconsider TRO Order - Updated
      Wired's David Kravetz reports that George Hotz's lawyers plan to ask US District Court Judge Susan Illston to reconsider her recent temporary restraining order and the requirement to surrender all his computers and peripherals and retrieve from the Internet any information he put there about hacking Sony's Playstation 3 to allow running unsigned code and to restore OtherOS functionality.

    • Sony Trying To Play Whac-A-Mole Over PS3 Hack

    • Official PS3 firmware v3.56 has a rootkit

    • One Of The Earliest Computer Viruses Was Really DRM Gone Wrong
      Author William Gibson has a nice little opinion piece claiming that we've now hit the 25th anniversary of "digital vandalism" in the form of computer viruses. I'm pretty sure he's wrong about that, as just a few years back there were all those news reports about how Rich Skrenta (who later went on to found the Open Directory Project, Topix and Blekko) created the first widespread computer virus in Elk Cloner back in 1982. That said, Elk Cloner was more of a prank. The virus Gibson is talking about was more malicious, in that it locked up files. So, if Gibson's point is that this was the first malicious virus, perhaps that's more accurate (though, I would imagine there are some other claims to the throne).

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Snail-like politics and the digital age
        If ever there was an unwanted stepchild of government policy, surely copyright reform would be it. But not for the expected reason — that, on paper anyway, it's a subject that bores elected officials to tears.

        Quite the opposite, actually. Over the past two years, copyright reform has become a lightning rod that few politicians seem to want to touch.

        It's not surprising therefore that the DVD-watching, internet-downloading world — from consumer advocates to artists and entertainment industry lobbyists alike — are frustrated with how slowly the legislative committee hearings on Canada's proposed new copyright law, Bill C-32, have been going.

      • Hulu Owners Looking To Make Hulu Even More Useless
        It's been almost two years since we suggested it might be impossible for Hulu to survive, given that it was in a bit of a "rock and a hard place" situation. The only way for it to really succeed long-term online was to disrupt the existing TV business. Because, if it didn't do that, others could and would kill Hulu. However, Hulu is owned by the existing TV business, and that means the company can't do what it needs to do.

      • Francis Ford Coppola, copyfighter
        In this interview with The 99%, Francis Ford Coppola says some extremely thought-provoking and sensible things about creativity, mastery, copyright, the business of the arts, collaboration, and life.

      • MPAA, BREIN take down more torrent sites; Internet barely notices
        At least 51 torrent sites have been taken down this month thanks to joint efforts by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and its dutch counterpart BREIN—12 in the US and 39 in the Netherlands. The two groups say they were able to work with the sites' hosting providers to take them offline, though the names of the affected sites have not been released.

      • iTunes films break copyright laws
        Russian films are being made available through Apple's iTunes service without the consent of the copyright holders, the BBC has learned.

        The popular films, dating from the Soviet era, are being made available to download as smartphone apps.

      • Porn industry goes after filesharers
        DOWNLOADING pornography over Bittorrent looks to be the easiest way of finding yourself fingered by lawyers for filesharing.

        A chap who wants to remain anonymous has collated publically available data on US cases against alleged filesharers during the period from 8 January 2010 through 21 January 2011. Some of the plaintiffs include such silver screen luminaries as Dogfart Productions, New Sensations and Hard Drive Productions.

      • Just Under 100,000 Sued In Mass Copyright Infringement Suits Since Start Of 2010
        We've been covering the mass copyright infringement lawsuits being filed in the US over the past year or so. Most of them aren't designed with the idea of actually taking anyone to court, but mainly to threaten people into "settling" (i.e., paying up) to avoid the lawsuit. A "concerned citizen" hoping to remain anonymous has taken the time to put together an amazingly detailed spreadsheet cataloging all of these lawsuits. He claims that he will continue to keep it updated. One stunning point from the data? Between January 1, 2010 and now, 99,924 "John Does" have been sued in this manner. If I don't hurry up and publish this post, I imagine we'll have already passed 100,000.

      • ACTA

        • Triangulation 2: Michael Geist
          Columnist and law professor at the University of Ottawa, Dr. Michael Geist, who exposed the details of ACTA to the public, is this week's guest.

        • ACTA: Negotiations May Be Done, But Debate Continues
          Next week, the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage will begin hearings on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The hearing are long overdue as many other countries have held hearings or other consultations on the agreement. The ACTA hearings come just as the issue heats up around the world:

          * An ACTA analysis conducted by European law professors that concludes the agreement is not fully consistent with EU law. [...]

Clip of the Day

Police attack praying Egyptians

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Credit: TinyOgg

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