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09.17.09

Links 17/09/2009: Sabayon 5.0 @ Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 2:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Maggie’s Farm – A Follow-Up

    We had to fight hell and high water just to get Obama in there, and it’s going to be a bloody fight to the death to get him to accomplish the simplest, tiny bit of progress, and once he is gone we will be back to our previous slide to 3rd-world anarchy.

    Now, then, where were we? Oh, yes, back in our little computer-geek niche, we were trying to figure out how to get people in the United States to adopt Linux.

  • The Bizarre Cathedral – 53
  • News from the IT travel department

    For starters I’m going to nail my colours to the mast and declare that I am a Mac user. There: I said it! I dislike Windows. Partly this is because I come from UNIX-land — I pre-date Windows — and I expect my operating systems to make sense, and to be designed along consistent lines. Windows wasn’t designed along consistent lines; it just sort of happened, and bits got bolted on top. If operating systems were houses, Windows would be a chaotic jumbled rookery.

  • Xtra Ordinary Operating System for XO Laptop

    I was very happy with the final product: Xtra Ordinary 2009 SD Card for the OLPC Laptop. My XO now sits on my desk, between my monitor and keyboard, and is in nearly constant use. I have even used it to power our disc printing equipment, and play Heroes of Might and Magic III (the Linux version), which is our all time favorite game to play together.

  • Is HP DreamScreen a tablet or photo frame?

    There are products which simply defy categorization. Take the SmartQ 7. Its ARM chipset is a smartphone platform, yet its lack of phone functions and choice of Ubuntu operating system ultimately puts it in the Mobile Internet Device category. The HP DreamScreen is one such device. Is it a souped-up photo frame with wireless features, or a dumb-down tablet PC?

  • On the subject of Linux evangelism

    The moral to the story, summed up, is “make sure it suits their needs” and “if you’re going to switch someone to Linux, go big or go home”. Don’t be a jerk about it, above all else. My Aunt Jean was about as perfect a candidate for which one could hope… she wasn’t tied to any particular Windows applications, she was tired of the Windows headaches (patching, spyware, re-patching, driver struggles, more spyware, viruses, oh hey, did I mention patching?), but not only that, she was tired of the whole Windows user paradigm, and was welcoming a change to the user experience.

    It wasn’t a tough sell, and face it, it should never be. If it is, you aren’t honestly thinking of what the user needs… you’re just thinking about being right. Yes, you ARE right, but that’s immaterial.

    Let’s not forget that the user — even the non-technical one — is still what this is about.

  • Want to try Linux, but are afraid to?

    After playing around with the live CD for a while you will realise that although there is a lot of programs packed into the CD, it is not that useful for long term use. Changed settings are lost and memory is limited. The next step is to install Linux to some free space on your hard drive to enable you to have a proper test of this exciting new operating system.

  • Events/Shows

    • Enterprise LAMP Network Event

      Whether you are an executive considering the switch to LAMP or a developer already deep into the code of Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, Python or Perl, the Enterprise LAMP Network will be your destination for resources involving the LAMP stack and addressing its readiness for enterprise use.

    • It’s All Go For Open Source Events

      Open Source events tend to be rather spread out across the year. linux.conf.au starts things off in January, followed by Linux Journal staff favorite Penguicon in May, two of the major yearly conferences in July, the Linux Symposium and O’Reilly’s OSCON, the new but integral Linux Plumber’s Conference in September, and wrapping it all up, the Linux Congress in October. Added to that, just days from now, is the inaugural LinuxCon and the Geek High Holy Day, Software Freedom Day.

    • Podcast Season 1 Episode 17

      In this episode: The first Linux botnet has been detected, version 2.6.31 of the Linux kernel has been released and the Haiku project announces the availability of Alpha 1 of its BeOS-like operating system. We discuss Novell’s expensive foray into iPhone development, with its MonoTouch SDK, and we ask whether we should focus on other Unixes alongside Linux.

  • Desktop

    • Mac computers are restrictive.

      There are amazing PC laptop computers that you can buy for $600 comparing to Apple latops that are usually around $1300 and more. Apple computers are overpriced, proprietary, restrictive and protectionist. This might not be a good direction to be heading into. Could Apple prove to be even more restrictive and opressive than Microsoft?

    • Intel, Phoenix Tie Atom, Pre-Boot Linux OS Together

      Phoenix Technologies said Wednesday that it has signed a partnership with Intel to supply its HyperSpace quick-boot technology as part of Intel’s Atom desktop motherboards.

  • Server

    • Can mainframe use really grow?

      The study says IBM’s strategy of building specialty processors for the mainframe, such as the Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP) for ERP and CRM transactions and z Application Assist Processor (zAAP) processors for Java and XML transactions are key to ongoing success of the platform.

    • The New Windows vs. Linux Debate

      It’s entirely probable that in the near future, the heterogeneous data center will have a different meaning, referring to both hypervisors and operating systems and no specification of which is meant will be needed.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux kernel 2.6.32: virtualization, power management and more drivers

      Less than a week after Linux kernel 2.6.31 was released, the kernel developers are beginning to submit changes and improvements across virtualization, power management, file systems and device driver code for the upcoming 2.6.32 version.

      When releasing the 2.6.31 kernel, maintainer Linus Torvalds said the amount of device driver code has been steadily increasing since 2.6.27, but 2.6.32 will continue to aggressively add in bug fixes and performance enhancements across the entire code base.

  • Applications

    • Free Desktop Publishing with Scribus (Open Source)

      Scribus is the leading open source solution for desktop publishing (DTP); it supports professional features like press-ready color separations and PDF output, as well as every media file type under the sun. With Scribus you can design high-end documents with a separate workflow for authors, photographers, and graphic designers in an office environment, but it is easy enough for single-user work, too. The latest release, 1.3.5, just hit the Internet, and packs a suite of new features. If you have never taken Scribus for a test drive, now is the time.

    • Scribus is an Art Desktop Publishing Tool for Linux

      Looking for a reliable desktop publishing application for Linux? Scribus is an exceptional solution for creating PDF documents and brings professional desktop printing to Linux systems.

      Scribus is an Open Source program that brings award-winning professional page layout to Linux/UNIX, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4/e ComStation and Windows desktops with a combination of “press-ready” output and new approaches to page layout. Underneath the modern and user friendly interface, Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, Spot Colors, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation.

    • LGP releases Shadowgrounds, patches X2 & X3, restocks Majesty

      The LGP news is piling up. First, they released Shadowgrounds, the precursor to their previously announced next title, Shadowgrounds Survivor:

      We have a surprise announcement for today! While we have Shadowgrounds Survivor due out at the end of the week, we are releasing its predecessor, Shadowgrounds, immediately, as a budget title! Get the story from the beginning today, and on Friday, find out what happens next!

    • Manage Tasks with myTinyTodo

      Running a Web-based task manager on your own server makes a lot of sense, but what application should you choose? If you are looking for a lightweight, user-friendly task management tool, you might want to give myTinyTodo a try. This little app is easy to install, it offers all the essential features, and it sports a slick Ajax-based interface.

    • 5 free Linux Kids Games + 1 extra available on Ubuntu / Fedora / openSUSE etc.

      Here’s a short list of some games that could be played by your toddler and you can find in your friendly package manager.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Review: GNOME Shell In Ubuntu 9.04

      GNOME Shell seems to be a compositing window manager and includes some special effects but not too many. You won’t find any desktop cube or wobbly windows (things that I feel are useless anyway), but you will find a very nice user interface. The usual panels were replaced with a single panel at the top of the screen which displays an Activities applet, the focused window icon and name, the date and time. the notification area (system tray) applet and a user applet which displays the name of the user. See the screenshots at the end of this article.

    • How GNOME and KDE spend their money

      For instance, if you have been assuming, as I have, that GNOME has more corporate support than KDE, and a larger budget, a look at the latest report for GNOME and KDE may surprise you. Together, the two reports give an entirely different impression than you might assume.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Archos 5 Internet Tablet demo
    • Phones

      • Android Hits More Meaningful Milestones

        Only a few months ago, in March, I wrote a post called “Why is Android Stalled?” It’s hard to believe how much momentum the open source mobile operating system has gathered since then. The past couple of weeks have included a number of new milestones for Android, including promising new smartphones based on it, and an update to the operating system itself that adds several notable features. Here are the details.

      • Motorola Dext, HTC Tattoo, and LG GW620 Android Smartphones

        It’s good to know that there are more and more handset manufacturers that use Android OS for their smartphones. Some of the Android phones that are officially introduced just recently are Motorola Dext, HTC Tattoo, and LG GW620. Let’s take a quick look at some of their important features and find out if they can compete with other Linux-powered smartphones like the Nokia N900.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Moblin gains online video editing

        Swedish startup JayCut today announced the availability of video editing software for the Moblin technology platform. The Adobe AIR-based “JayCut Mobile” app aims to let netbook and even handheld device users edit video on the go.

      • The New Ubuntu Netbook Remix is Totally Karmic: An Early Look

        The updated interface looks great and works much better than the old one. The performance not only of the interface itself, but of the system in general, is much improved with Karmic. Everything is much more tightly integrated and the system is starting to look like a complete package rather than a hack on top of GNOME.

      • CTL 10.1-inch 2go Classmate PC E10 Netbook Debuts

        Available operating systems include Ubuntu Linux, Windows XP, and when Windows 7 launches the new OS will be an option.

      • Intel to pitch in on developing Chrome

        Intel will work with Google on the development of its Linux-based Chrome operating system for netbooks, the chipmaker’s open-source technology chief has said.

      • On Using Chromium

        I recently blogged about two guides on installing Chromium for Ubuntu and I included links to articles that talked about the proper way of installing it as well as enabling the support for Flash. (Because watching videos online and playing those Flash-based games on Facebook and everywhere else could get so addicting.) This recent experience with Chromium seems so much better compared to my first attempt at installing it. (Well, they did say that it’s for development purposes, and I took that chance. Not inherently a bad thing.)

      • TEENpup 2009 Legacy – Jolly good

        You may have already figured this out – Puppy Linux is one of my favorite small size players in the distro field. It comes in many flavors, called puplets, as varied as the canine population. While they all have the same common ancestors, puplets are as different from one another as Chihuahua and Great Dane.

        [...]

        TEENpup is a rather interesting concept. It’s Puppy through and through, with some embellishments of its own. The speed, the responsiveness, the multi-purpose variety of programs and utilities, and the great functionality of most everything is the typical Puppy legacy. On top of these, TEENpup brings an assortment of first-class programs, great looks and the fabulous Magic scripts.

        On the downside, the setup of the X server, the graphical frontend of the distro and the Wireless networking were somewhat of a disappointment. I hope these issues will be ironed in the next release, even if this means letting some apps go in favor of more and better drivers.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla Foundation speeds up Firefox development

    Mozilla has switched to a quick-paced “sprint” cycle for Firefox that it hopes will bring new features to users faster, the company’s browser architect said today.

  • Hillcrest Labs Introduces Open Source Library to Enable Development of a Wide Variety of Freespace(R) Motion Control Applications

    Hillcrest Labs’ Freespace(R) Division today announced the availability of two new products designed to help developers easily create applications and products that incorporate Freespace in-air pointing and motion control technology. Hillcrest’s new products let software and hardware developers quickly create highly accurate motion control applications and devices without requiring any prior motion experience. Freespace motion control can transform a wide variety of devices including: TV remote controls and user interfaces, video game systems, wireless presenters, smartphones, medical diagnostic devices, wearable computers, virtual reality systems, interactive toys, fitness devices and more.

  • Mattel using Drupal

    Mattel, the world’s largest toy company, just relaunched Mattel.com on Drupal. The site was built by Vancouver-based work [at] play.

  • No need to panic over MySQL

    Open source software lives or dies not by who owns it or provides support at any one time, but by how many people use it. Few users means there’s little incentive for developers to put effort into improving the code. Happily, that’s not the case with MySQL, and whatever happens there will be someone in the open source world who will look after its users.

  • World’s biggest open-source company? Google

    The Linux kernel is comprised of 11.5 million lines of code, of which Red Hat is responsible for roughly 12 percent (measured in terms of lines of code changed). Even if we add in JBoss Application Server (another 2 million lines of code or so) and other Red Hat projects, we’re still left with far less open-source code from Red Hat than from others.

    Take Sun, for example. Sun is the primary developer behind Java (more than 6.5 million lines of code), Solaris (over 2 million lines of code), OpenOffice (approximately 10 million lines of code), and other open-source projects.

    Or IBM, with 12.5 million lines of code contributed to Eclipse alone, not to mention Linux (6.3 percent of total contributions), Geronimo, and a wide variety of other open-source projects.

  • 5 open source project management apps to watch

    Managing projects is hard work at the best of times, but there are a number of free and open source (FOSS) applications available that can help CIOs and other managers streamline the administrative aspects of project management.

  • Free-licensed art for free software games: OpenGameArt.org

    Having such a pool of resources available to game developers will make it much easier to get over that first hurdle of getting a playable game, as well as making it possible to develop entire small games using free resources. This will make it easier for games to reach a “critical mass” where they can attract contributions on their own. Also, I think having cool graphics to work with will probably inspire developers who might otherwise not even consider launching a game project.

  • Next Post

    I recently started to gather information and research in order to implement for Blender some system for Voxel sculting, or free sculpting like 3D Coat has brought to light (though the term is nothing new). Currently I´m in very early stages so don´t expect to much for now, I just want to inform that I´m on the road and open to collaboration with other devs and of course any help from the community is always very appreciated and needed.

  • Sourcesense and Go2Group Announce New Partnership on Innovative Open Source Solutions and Services

    Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Bel Air, MD – Sourcesense, the European provider of open source solutions and The Go To Group, Inc. (Go2Group), a leader in the field of Software Production Line Automation (SPLA), today announced a broad technological partnership to extend middleware alternatives into the software development environment. With the combination of Sourcesense’s open source expertise and Go2Group’s best-practice services, the partnership aims to bring the power and value of open source solutions to customers looking for an option to today’s traditional enterprise solutions.

  • Open source management community launches

    MonitoringForge.org launched Tuesday in beta and welcomes developers and users of open source network and systems management and monitoring applications to share their tools, experiences and plans for future work. GroundWork Open Source, a maker of open source applications offered as commercial software, started the online effort earlier this year after realizing how many projects specific to management exist. The site is meant to cull management tools – 1,700 have been verified for the site so far – and provide a venue for discussion, development and downloads.

  • Business

    • Open Source Society ready to go

      “We formed a new group in Thailand Open Source Federation or TOSF, which is a non-profit organisation, to promote the use of open sources. We have government members and enterprise users but BOSS is a commercial entity so we decided to form a new entity but still operate as part of TOSF,” said Danupol.

    • Innovativ Consulting Partners to Develop First Open Source Digital Library for the Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture

      Innovativ Consulting Partners, a leading open source consultant and service provider for online solutions, has contracted with The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture to develop a digital library for the school’s media. This library will be based upon the Drupal web content management system and will be a first for the University. Also included in the assignment is the design, and deployment of Shibboleth identity management and a web 2.0 based framework.

    • Infobright Sees Explosive Growth One Year After Open Source Data Warehouse Launch

      Infobright, the open source data warehousing company, marked the one-year anniversary of the launch of its open source community and Infobright Community Edition (ICE). The company also announced an array of momentum-related milestones, including more than 15,000 downloads of ICE to date, the addition of nearly 40 partners to its OEM and reseller network, as well as a customer base that has increased by tenfold. Infobright continues to expand its customer roster with online businesses, as well as telecommunications, retail and financial services companies, including recent wins at bWIN games, Smiley Media and TIPS Marketing. Additionally, in order to support a growing customer base in Europe, Infobright has opened a sales office in the UK.

  • FSF/GNU

    • Software Freedom Day 2009 taking shape around the world

      Saturday September 19th 2009 is Software Freedom Day, a global day of celebration of Free and Open Source Software. One of the main goals of Software Freedom Day (SFD) is to educate the public about the benefits of Free and Open Source Software.

    • Nominations open for the Free Software Awards

      The award for projects, “Award for Projects of Social Benefit” went to the Creative Commons initiative for it’s work in fostering common shared works. Previously, the award has been given to Groklaw, the Sahana project and Wikipedia. Full details of how to nominate are available on the FSF site.

  • Government

    • Open-Source Health IT Systems Hold Promise, But Obstacles Remain

      Since VistA’s introduction in 1982, numerous independent software developers have created products based on VistA’s source code.

      Such products are used in health care facilities in New York, Texas, West Virginia and elsewhere.

      In April, Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care Chair Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) strove to build on VistA by introducing legislation to promote open-source EHR adoption among rural health care providers and small physician practices.

    • Blue Mountain Hospital to Achieve Meaningful Use Through Implementation of Medsphere’s OpenVista EHR System

      OpenVista’s flexible open source technology enables Medsphere to tailor the solution to the specific and evolving needs of Blue Mountain, which offers crucial medical services to residents of the Four Corners region encompassing sections of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.

    • DOD rethinks buy versus build software quandry

      Over the past decade, the Defense Department, and federal agencies in general, have embraced the idea of using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software whenever possible. Why build when it’s less expensive to buy? Why reinvent the wheel?

      [...]

      DISA had to build these applications for a number of reasons, Nelson noted. In some cases, no commercial applications existed in the marketplace that could do the tasks needed. In other cases, software was available, though it was too expensive. Or the software did something similar to what DISA needed, but the agency would need to modify its processes to meet the workflow of the software. Or, lastly, commercial software providers or software-development-focused contractors told DISA that the software the agency sought just couldn’t be built at all, Nelson said.

    • Leading analyst attacks Lib Dem’s plans for public sector cost cutting

      Cable also claims that a move towards using more open source technology in UK government would save up to £500m per year. Roberts says that public bodies are already able to choose open source for many applications, and that the savings figure is implausible.

    • Open Source Already in Armenia

      The expression Open Source Software has been widely used in the IT-industry recently. Full-scale programs of Open Source, from operation systems and server solutions up to office applications and graphics editors, do not need a payment for legal use, and any specialist can create modified and improved versions of such software.

  • Licensing

    • From the GNU GPL to GISAID’s EpiFlu

      A few months ago, I wrote about GISAID, which takes a rather interesting and – to readers of this blog, at least – familiar approach to sharing genomic data:

      Registered users can upload data relating to sequences, clinical manifestations in humans, epidemiology, observations in poultry and other animals, etc. These data will be accessible to all other registered users, but not to others unless they have agreed to the same terms of use. This maintains confidentiality of the data.

      This is, of course, the same as the GNU GPL: do as you would be done by – if you want to use the GPL’d code, you can, but you must share with everyone the results of your work if you decide to share it with anyone.

    • Nonplussed by Non-Commercial

      The Creative Commons people rather created a rod for their own backs when they allowed this particular licence, which was bound to problematic. Indeed, it’s striking that the GNU GPL, which doesn’t allow this restriction, avoids all these issues entirely. Probably too late now to do anything about it…other than commissioning surveys, of course.

  • Openness

    • A Compact for Open-Access Publication

      September 14, 2009—Five of the nation’s premier institutions of higher learning—Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley—today announced their joint commitment to a compact for open-access publication.

    • Open Humanities Press to publish OA books

      The Open Humanities Press (OHP) announced recently that it is entering the Open Access (OA) book publishing market, launching five new OA book series. The books will all be made freely available online as full-text electronic files, as well as being offered as print on demand (POD) paperbacks. To get a better idea of the significance of the news I contacted a few OA advocates, and emailed some questions to OHP co-founder Sigi Jottkandt. The latter questions were answered collectively by the OHP Steering Group.

    • Mobile app sees science go global

      The approach is outlined in the open-access journal PLoS ONE.

      The software has been developed for so-called smartphones that run Google’s Android open-source operating system.

    • Revised jury instructions: Do not use the Internet

      Type the name “Jennifer Strange” into your favorite search engine and see how many hits come up.

      Or try the terms “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” or “water intoxication” and look at the tallies. You get tens of thousands of results.

    • Slipping through the net – how EU countries evade new budget transparency rules

      European Union countries are failing in the promise to make the common fisheries policy more transparent, claims a new report from FishSubsidy.org. With the policy undergoing a fundamental review, the report—“Slipping through the net: How EU countries evade new budget transparency rules”, by investigative journalist Brigitte Alfter—provides a timely overview of access to information about EU fish subsidies and illustrates how weakness in the legal framework for transparency and bureaucratic obfuscation by member states are making it harder for EU citizens to know how their money is being spent.

    • The Awesomeness Manifesto

      I’d like to advance a hypothesis: awesomeness is the new innovation.

      Let’s face it. “Innovation” feels like a relic of the industrial era. And it just might be the case that instead of chasing innovation, we should be innovating innovation — that innovation needs innovation. Why? When we examine the economics of innovation, three reasons emerge.

    • The EDAG “Light Car-Open Source” is a phenomenally configurable green car

      EDAG, a German company, partners with the automotive industry to produce models or prototypes of vehicles for the future. With the EDAG “Light Car-Open Source”, EDAG has produced a zero emission electric car that is configurable inside and out.

Leftovers

  • Privacy for RFID tags

    A common complaint about proposals to use RFID (Radio Frequency Identity) to tag everything from bank notes to underwear is that it opens the way for sophisticated privacy invasion. Someone with a reader could, once RFID is pervasive, read the valuables you’re carrying, the contents of your wallet, and plan an attack accordingly. The solution so far: a kill function to disable the tags at the point of sale.

  • PM welcomes Sir Tim Berners-Lee to Downing Street

    The Prime Minister welcomed the creator of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Southampton, Nigel Shadbolt, to Downing Street this morning.

  • Publishing Open Government Data
  • NO2ID beats off ad complaint

    The Advertising Standards Authority has rejected a complaint about a NO2ID advertisement which warned of the likelihood of personal information leaking from the proposed National Identity Register.

    [...]

    NO2ID told the ASA that since the database did not exist, it was hard to accuse them of exaggerating. The organisation offered evidence from Schedule 1 of the Identity Cards Act of 2006 to show what information was likely to be held and how it could be cross-referenced.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • ‘There is no dispute that we are going into uncharted territories …but the benefits make it worth it’

      There are concerns on technology, cost and privacy in the decision to allot a unique identification number to every Indian. In a talk with Karan Thapar on the CNN-IBN television channel’s Devil’s Advocate programme, NANDAN NILEKANI, who has agreed to head the newly-created Authority to plan and implement this project, concedes these are legitimate concerns. And, that these can be addressed and the project is worthwhile.

    • Help Save the BBC from HDTV DRM

      As Watson rightly points out, if this scheme is adopted it is highly unlikely free software projects will be able to obtain the appropriate keys, for the simple reason that they are not structured in a way that allows them to enter into the appropriate legal agreements (not least because they couldn’t keep them). Of course, it will probably be pretty trivial for people to crack the encryption scheme, thus ensuring that the law-abiding free software users are penalised, while those prepared to break the law are hardly bothered at all.

    • DTT High Definition Licence

      Objection to BBC and Ofcom’s consultation seeking to allow encryption of key HD TV data including progamme information that would restrict consumer use of devices and distort the market against the public interest

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • China Cracks Down On Pirated Teaching Materials?

      It’s unclear how cheaper or even free teaching materials “harm” youth, but the speculation is that it’s more about the government not liking the content than any real worry about “piracy.”

    • Pirated Teaching Materials Threaten Health of China’s Youth

      China’s Anti-Pornography and Anti-Illegal Publications Office has booked a huge victory by preventing the country’s youth from accessing more than 4 million copies of pirated teaching materials. According to the vice director of the office, such materials “harm the healthy development of the country’s youth.”

    • Skype founders file copyright suit against Skype

      Just the latest in an ongoing license dispute between the popular VoIP service and its developers, the lawsuit, filed in Northern California U.S. District Court, seeks an injunction and damages, which Joltid “reasonably believes are amassing at a rate of $75 million daily,” according to the suit.

    • The Proceeds of Canada’s Blank Media Levy

      While it’s hard to see how this levy could have been much of an incentive to most of the musicians who have seen a piece of it, it’s not hard to see where the real incentive lies. No doubt there is a great incentive for those who work for the CPCC as as lawyers, consultants, employees, lobbyists and others to try to get the Copyright Act amended so as to keep the levy alive by extending its reach to iPods, cell phones, and beyond.

  • Google

    • Google talks book deal edits with DoJ

      Google is in talks with the US Department of Justice over possible changes to its controversial Book Search settlement.

    • Googlebooks crusade captures CAPTCHA king

      Google has acquired reCAPTCHA, a free CAPTCHA service that also serves as a means of digitizing printed books and newspapers. Among other things, the Mountain View web giant is looking to juice its ever-controversial library-scanning Book Search project.

    • Fake Eric Schmidt: Google Fast Flip has saved newspapers. Happy now, bitches?

      Below is an email that we received this morning from Fake Eric Schmidt about Google Fast Flip, the search company’s new news service. The email was headlined MESSAGE FOR THE NEWSPAPER INDUSTRY. Fake Eric is, we can only assume, the CEO of Fake Google. He’s also quite sweary so we had to censor him a little.

    • Will YouTube laws stop Israeli music from going global?

      This story is just one example of legal wranglings over the ambiguities surrounding music copyright on the Internet. The gap between performers and their fans is widening and deepening in the digital age: private users, who do not make commercial use of the content they upload, many times violate copyright law without even knowing it.

  • Hardware

    • ARM wrestles Intel for netbook crown

      UK chip-design house ARM has announced the development of a pair of dual-core processors intended to go head-to-head with Intel’s Atom line in the battle for the hearts and minds of netboook manufacturers.

      According to Wednesday’s announcement, the two Cortex-A9 MPCore implementations are designed for silicon pumped up to clock rates in excess of 2GHz.

    • ARMed
    • AMD puts out a cheap quad core chip

      AMD HAS GIVEN Chipzilla a kick in its reptilian nadgers by releasing a quad core chip for less than $100.

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  6. Software Patents a Dying Breed, But Patent Lawyers in Denial Over it and Notorious Judge Rodney Gilstrap Ignores Alice (Supreme Court)

    A look at what law and practice are saying about software patents, contrasted or contradicted by the patent industry and trolls-friendly courts (which make business out of or together with patent aggressors)



  7. CAFC Meddling in PTAB Affairs; Unified Patents Fights a Good Fight by Invalidating Software Patents

    A look at how the AIA's Patent Trial and Appeal Board is invalidating software patents post-Alice, with or without involvement of patent courts



  8. Early Certainty That Benoît Battistelli is Dangerously Clueless and a Major Risk to the EPO

    The chaos which Team Battistelli is assured to deliver if it doesn't treat scientists like scientists, instead viewing them as a production line with rubber-stamping duties



  9. OIN Makes Claims About “Open Source Innovation”, But It Produces Nothing and Protects Virtually Nobody

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) reports growth, but in practical terms it does little or nothing to help developers of Free/Open Source software



  10. Links 27/7/2016: New CrossOver, Blackmagic for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  11. The Death of Software Patents and Microsoft's Coup Against Yahoo! Made the Company Worthless

    A look at what happens to companies whose value is a house of software patents rather than code and a broad base of users/customers



  12. Munich Attack Mentioned by EPO But Not Ansbach

    The EPO does the usual right-wing thing (exploiting disaster/emergency for domestic crackdowns), but some bemoan the omission of the explosion at Ansbach (also in Germany)



  13. Kluwer Thinks People Are Clueless About the Unitary Patent System and Pretends It's Business as Usual

    Flogging the dead UPC horse at times of great uncertainty (enough to bring the UPC to a standstill)



  14. Almost Everything That the Government Accountability Office Says is Applicable to the EPO

    The Government Accountability Office in the United States produces reports which can serve as a timely warning sign to the European Patent Office, where patent quality is rapidly declining in order to meet 'production' goals



  15. Microsoft Says It Loves Linux, But Its Anti-Linux Patent Trolls Are Still Around and Active

    Highlighting just two of the many entities that Microsoft (and partners) use in order to induce additional costs on Free (as in freedom) software



  16. Links 26/7/2016: Microsoft Growing Desperate, Linux 4.8 Visions

    Links for the day



  17. Links 25/7/2016: Linux 4.7 Final, PostgreSQL 9.6 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  18. Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face 'Exile' or 'Extradition' in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

    A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli's successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli's totalitarian powers



  19. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comes Across as Against Software Patents, Relates to the EPO as Well

    Some analysis of the input from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with focus on the EPO and software patents



  20. In the US, Patent Trolls Engage in Patent Wars and Shakedowns, Whereas in China/Korea Large Android OEMs Sue One Another

    Highlighting some of the differences between the US patent system and other patent systems



  21. Links 24/7/2016: Elive 2.7.1 Beta, New Flatpaks and Snaps

    Links for the day



  22. Links 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  23. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  24. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  25. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  26. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  27. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays



  28. Glimpse at Patent Systems Across the World: Better Quality Control at the USPTO Post-America Invents Act (2011), Unlike the EPO Post-Battistelli (2010)

    While the EPO reportedly strives to eliminate pendency and appeal windows altogether (rubberstamping being optimal performance as per the yardstick du jour), the USPTO introduces changes that would strengthen the system and shield innovation, not protect the business model of serial litigants



  29. Blockstream Has No Patents, But Pledges Not to Sue Using Patents

    Blockstream says that it comes in peace when it comes to software patents, which triggers speculations about coming Blockchain patent wars



  30. Links 21/7/2016: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Xfce Beta

    Links for the day


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