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Links 22/12/2011: 700,000 Android/Linux Activations Per Day



GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux



Free Software/Open Source



  • Twitter Buys Crypto Tech, Then Open-Sources It
    Twitter has released the source code to TextSecure, the encrypted SMS messaging application created by Whisper Systems, which it acquired earlier this year, and promises more releases to come.


  • Twitter to Open Source Android Security Tech


  • GitHub's Janky Goes Open Source
    With little fanfare, GitHub has released Janky under the MIT license. Janky is a continuous integration (CI) server that runs on top of Jenkins and Hubot, designed to work with projects hosted on GitHub.


  • Open Source Projects Focus on a Greener, Safer Planet
    Ecobot. One way to start contributing to a more sustainable planet is to keep track of your own carbon footprint. Do you track how much fuel, power and paper you use, for example? If not, Ecobot is a free, open source Adobe AIR application that tracks your fuel consumption, paper consumption, and much more. It also directs you to green resources that you can leverage. We covered Ecobot in this post.


  • AZIZ: a new open source home automation solution for Linux
    In case you didn't know yet, CocoonTech has been tracking all home automation software available to the general public, all compiles in a nice and easy to search home automation software list. This list is updated on a regular basis, and today, AZIZ has been added to the list.


  • Introducing Palantir’s first open source releases
    We’re big fans of open source. Libraries from Apache, Google, and various projects hosted on SourceForge.net make up a significant fraction of the third-party code we use to build our products.


  • Events



  • Web Browsers



    • Chrome



    • Mozilla

      • Test driving Firefox 9
        Following a rapid release schedule that has upset several people, Firefox 9 was made available yesterday. Although it has been said that Google Chrome has taken the #2 browser market share position, I will continue using the Mozilla browser because, to be honest, none of the arguments against Firefox has been heavy enough for me to drop it. In addition, I like Mozilla's open Web philosophy and the useful extensions that can be incorporated to "the little browser that could".


      • Firefox Add-On Bypasses SOPA DNS Blocking
        The pending Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) continues to inspire opponents to come up with creative solutions to circumvent it.


      • Mozilla's Renewed Deal with Google Showcases Google's Real Priorities
        As December began, it was unclear whether Mozilla would renew its long-time deal with Google, through which Mozilla gains the lion's share of its revenues by steering users of the Firefox browser toward Google's lucrative search/ad ecosystem. For those who favor Mozilla's browser and other tools, the issue was an important one, because Mozilla's deals with other search-focused companies don't provide anywhere near the amount of money that Google kicks in. Now, in a blog post, Mozilla has announced a new, long-term deal with Google that will last for at least three years. Above all, the renewal of the deal shows that Google cares more about steering the maximum number of users toward its search engine than it does about absolute dominance for its own software tools.






  • Databases

    • JDBC driver for Neo4J bridges the SQL/NoSQL divide
      NoSQL databases such as the graph database Neo4j don't normally work with common database tools which are typically tailored for SQL databases. Rickard Öberg, a developer from Neo Technology, thought this wasn't right, and now in a blog posting he has described a JDBC interface he has created which forwards database queries to Neo4j and allows common applications to access the NoSQL database without modification.




  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Backers Want Community to Join 'bug Hunt'
      The organization behind LibreOffice is hoping community members will help it uncover problems with an upcoming release of the open-source office suite via an international "bug hunt" next week.


    • Hunt Bugs For LibreOffice 3.5
      The Document Foundation, the body behind LibreOffice, has announced the first LibreOffice 3.5 bug hunting session. The session will be held in a virtual environment on December 28 and 29, 2011. Volunteer bug hunters will gather on the Internet from the five continents to spot software problems of the upcoming new major release, featuring a large number of improvements and new functions, in order to make LibreOffice 3.5 the best free office suite ever.


    • VirtualBox 4.1.8 Fixed 3D Support


    • In progress : native support of the SVG graphic format in Apache OpenOffice.org
      Apache OpenOffice.org is gradually recovering from his transfer to the Apache Foundation. Until the release of the first version, new features appear. Here's one: the native support for graphics files of type .svg (for Scalable Vector Graphics)




  • CMS

    • Newscoop 4.0 Beta adds new community features to open source news CMS
      Newscoop, the open source content management system for online news media, has a new major release out in beta. Newscoop 4.0 adds the possibility to build a community platform into a news website, allowing newspapers to grow and manage vibrant communities around their content.




  • Education



  • Business



  • Funding

    • Cloudant claims $2M funding
      The company also offers an open-source version of CouchDB in BigCouch. NoSQL is a catch-all term for developers who reject the popular open-source database software MySQL.




  • Project Releases

    • Ceylon language reaches first milestone
      Red Hat has released a first milestone of Ceylon, its open source alternative to Java. The milestone allows developers to access the compiler, language module and runtime of this statically typed language. A total of five such milestones are scheduled in the development roadmap to version 1.0 – according to the developers, around 80 per cent of the planned functionality has already been made available in the now released version.




  • Public Services/Government

    • Brazilan State Mandates Preference To ODF
      The government of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest state in Brazil, passed a new law which mandates public entities and companies in Rio de Janeiro to give preference to open document formats, in particular ODF. The publication of Law #5978/2011 was celebrated in an official event with representatives from the government, several state companies, and the FLOSS community.




  • Licensing

    • Self-regulation event in the European Parliament
      I posted a week or so ago about the latest round of discussions hosted by DCMS regarding 'self-regulation' and Internet policy. In addition to ongoing discussions about a new, faster scheme for website blocking, there are now plans proposed by rights holders for search engines to 'self-regulate' in the name of copyright enforcement too.




  • Openness/Sharing





Leftovers



  • Security





  • Finance



    • IMF calls Irish rescue ‘fragile’
      Ireland’s lauded rescue program is at risk of falling off track as a slowing European economy cuts into the country’s exports and sparks concern about the nation’s banking system, the International Monetary Fund reported Tuesday.


    • Top business story in '11: Europe financial crisis
      Europe took the financial world on a stomach-churning ride in 2011.

      The rising threat of default by heavily indebted European countries spread fear across financial markets and weighed on economies worldwide. As the year came to a close, banks and investors nervously watched Europe's political and financial leaders scramble to prevent the 17-nation eurozone from breaking apart.


    • Break Up Bank of America Before it Breaks Us
      On Monday, Bank of America (BofA) stocks briefly traded for under $5. Yes, you could buy a share of BofA for less than the noxious debit card fee they tried to force down your throat.


    • Who Owns Our Politicians? Goldman Sachs
      Corporations are people too. So says our supreme Supreme Court. As such they can donate as much as they want to politicians. Does this sound right to any of you?


    • E-Mail Clues in Tracking MF Global Client Funds
      Federal authorities investigating the collapse of MF Global have uncovered e-mails that detail the transfers of money in the firm’s last days, including transfers that contained customer money, according to people close to the investigation.


    • Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren now dueling populists
      In a fierce fight to keep his job in deep-blue Massachusetts, the freshman GOP senator is shunning tea party Republicans who helped send him to Washington and embracing the same populist fervor that’s made Warren, his likely Democratic rival, a hero among liberals.


    • Calif. AG sues Fannie, Freddie demanding answers
      California's attorney general filed lawsuits against mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Tuesday, demanding that the companies that own some 60 percent of the state's mortgages respond to questions in a state investigation.


    • The Wall Street Journal Has Not Heard About the Housing Bubble
      The housing bubble apparently still has not gotten word about the housing bubble. Of course it is easy to see how an $8 trillion bubble whose collapse wrecked the economy could escape the attention of the nation's premier business publication.




  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Upcoming American Petroleum Institute 'Vote 4 Energy' TV Campaign Disrupted by Undercover Activists
      Late in the morning, the API Edelman team filmed three unexpectedly honest 'citizens' who made clear the script did not represent their real opinions on energy. Greenpeace researcher Connor Gibson of the PolluterWatch project repeated their scripted line, "I vote," then declared, "But I am a clean energy citizen. I will not believe the lies and influence peddling of the American Petroleum Institute, which would leave you to believe that I am a citizen that is okay with giving my tax payer dollars to billionaires and millionaires that run oil companies, the most profitable industry on the planet." Gibson stressed movement




  • Privacy

    • Privacy rights
      With justification, Ontario's privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian continues to point out that Ottawa's planned "lawful access legislation," targeting the Internet, smartphones and other mobile devices, really amounts to a blatant infringement of our privacy rights.




  • Civil Rights



  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • CRTC's Net Neutrality Rules in Action: Bell To Drop P2P Traffic Shaping
      Bell advised the CRTC yesterday that it plans to drop all peer-to-peer traffic shaping (often called throttling) as of March 1, 2012. While the decision has been described as surprising or as quid pro quo for the usage based billing ruling, I think it is neither of those. The writing was on the wall in October when Bell announced that it was dropping the traffic shaping for wholesale traffic, citing reduced network congestion from P2P. At the time I wrote that the Bell move:




  • Intellectual Monopolies



    • Copyrights

      • Swiss Government Says Copyright Enforcement Rules Sufficient
        Switzerland has completed a major government study on whether new measures are need to address online copyright infringement. The study concludes that no new legislative action is needed, citing the high costs and negative effects of three strikes and you're out policies. It is noteworthy that Switzerland participated in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations and has enacted digital lock rules that link circumvention to copyright infringement.


      • Why Spotify can never be profitable: The secret demands of record labels


      • Are programming languages subject to copyright protection?
        Intellectual property law was created to protect the rights of creators over products of the mind. Speaking loosely: Patents protect inventions. Trademark protection covers names, images, and designs used in commerce. Copyright covers literary and artistic works, including both tangible artifacts and intangibles such as performances. Trade-secret protection is for information that owners keep secret to maintain competitive advantage.


      • ACTA



        • Last Parliament Standing: Europe Final Stronghold Of ACTA Critics
          With a recent decision by the Agriculture and Fishery Council of the European Union, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) seems to have made a big leap forward. And with recent breakthroughs in other countries, ACTA’s final hurdle may be in the European parliaments.

          Late last week, officials who might not have previously heard a lot about the much-debated agreement authorised the European Commission to sign ACTA on behalf of the Union. With this, ACTA reaches its final phase in Europe, which consists of 28 ratification processes, including the one involving the European Parliament (EP).


        • Shoving ACTA down the throat of the European Parliament
          As ACTA D-day approaches the debate heats up in Brussels. Today French Sarkozyist MEP Marielle Gallo started leading the forward charge of the music and entertainment lobbyist light brigade. MEPs are already being bullied into rushing into parliamentary approval of ACTA within 3 or 4 months without even seeking the opinion of the European Court of Justice. Ms. Gallo ended the today€´s presentation of her enthusiastically pro-ACTA opinion in the Judicial Affairs Committee by warning of the dire consequences of “losing 2 more years” waiting for a European Court ruling on how the implementation of ACTA could affect fundamental rights, as requested by Green and Liberal MEPs.


        • EU Council Quietly Adopts ACTA, By Hiding It In An Agriculture And Fisheries Meeting
          So, continuing the tradition of denying European citizens any opportunity to offer their views on ACTA, the Council of national ministers employed the shabby trick of pushing the treaty through by adopting it without debate at a meeting whose main business had nothing to do with international trade.

          Interestingly, this is not the first time European politicians have used this subterfuge. In 2002 the European Commission presented a proposal that would allow software patents in Europe (currently, the European Patent Convention forbids patenting programs for computers "as such").

          This saga was still going on in 2005 when the software patent proposal was added to the agenda of a fisheries meeting – just like ACTA. On that occasion, the ploy failed, but the Council Presidency went on to adopt the agreement in violation of the procedural rules. The proposal was then passed to the European Parliament, where it was definitively rejected.


        • FFII provisional note on the Legal Service’s Opinion on ACTA
          On a request from Members Lichtenberger and Engström, the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee decided to release the Legal Service’s Opinion on ACTA. You can find the documents here.

          The FFII published a provisional note on the Legal Service’s Opinion on ACTA, see below or the pdf. Due to the limited time available, it is limited to border measures and damages.


        • Will the European Parliament Public Health committee formulate an opinion on ACTA?
          As things stand now, the European Parliament committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety will not formulate an opinion on ACTA. Despite all the analysis work done on the effects ACTA will have on access to medicine, and despite health groups informed the Parliament, no Member of Parliament has asked the committee to formulate one.


        • EP Legal Affairs Committee newsletter very positive about ACTA
          The JURI Report, the newsletter of the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee, is a very positive about ACTA.

          “Thus, it will provide benefits for EU exporting right holders operating in the global market who currently suffer systematic and widespread infringements of their copyrights, trademarks, patents, designs and geographical indications abroad.”

          Not a word about all the civil society and academic criticism on ACTA. The critical European Parliament INTA study is not mentioned.


        • Letter to EP Legal Affairs Committee
          The world faces major challenges: access to medicine, diffusion of green technology needed to fight climate change, and a balanced Internet governance. While flexibility is essential to solve these major issues, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) codifies draconian measures. ACTA’s predecessor, the 1994 WTO TRIPS agreement, still hampers fair trade, even in life saving generic medicines. The EU should have chosen to further balance, in the World Trade Organization, the TRIPS agreement.

          It is not too late. ACTA goes beyond US law, the US will not ratify ACTA. The Mexican Senate urged the government not to sign ACTA. India, Brazil and China have turned against ACTA. The EU can and should reject ACTA, and seek a balanced solution in WTO and WIPO.










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