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01.22.10

Links 22/1/2010: Sun to be ‘Merged’, Linux 2.6.33 Reaches RC5

Posted in News Roundup at 10:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • No Country for Linux Newbies?

    How does one make it through the fire from Linux newbie to a full-fledged user? The process is no harder than any other system — just different, argues Slashdot blogger Barbara Hudson. Switching to Linux is no harder than switching to OS X, for example — “just without the black turtlenecks and the cool ‘I’m a Mac, I’m a PC’ commercials,” she said.

  • LCA 2010

    • Linux.conf.au – Day Four

      Day four of the conference opened with a keynote entitiled “Hackers at the End of the World” by Glyn Moody. Glyn explored the history of sharing in science and art as inspired by the open source movement, and contrasted this with the anti-sharing ‘my gain is your loss’ culture of the global financial community. Glyn postulated that the sharing and indeed sharing of sharing that characterises the FOSS community held a tantalising glimpse of a solution to the global financial and environmental crisis.

    • LCA 2010 Friday keynote/lightning talks
  • Desktop

    • ‘Microsoft-free’ virtual desktop startup gets $4m funding

      A start-up teaming up with IBM to build “Microsoft-free” virtual desktops and deliver them through a cloud computing model has secured $4 million in first-round venture financing.

      Virtual Bridges, founded in 2006, is part of IBM’s attempt to undercut Microsoft’s Windows 7 with a set of cloud – and Linux-based desktop packages.

    • How much is that software in the Windows?

      I have been a Linux user for years now, and mostly I don’t think about the cost of software anymore. Just about everything I want to do has a free software app that does it. I only run one piece of paid proprietary software: TwonkyMedia UPNP server, which cost me $29 about four years ago. Considering how much I do with computers all day long, that is a trivial amount of paid software. Contrast that with a Windows box, where you can wind up paying over $1000 just to have an operating system and an office suite.

      [...]

      Most expert Windows users are irritated by the condescending attitude Linux users have toward them, but this is one of the big reasons why that attitude exists. The majority of web and mail servers use free software. I don’t see a compelling reason to buy software for these uses when I can do everything for free. Ditto with my desktop machines; all the things I need to do, I can do with free software. So I probably do come across a little condescending to people who are still in the paid-software paradigm. They’re not used to having people regard them the same way they regard AOL users: people who are paying to have someone bring them something they could get for free.

    • But Linux has so many little things wrong with it!

      As purists are fond of saying, Linux is just the kernel running the operating system. The rest of what the average person calls a Linux distribution are the hundreds of other packages bundled up with the Linux kernel. This combination of packages is what is most commonly seen as and called Linux. Now every Linux distribution is different. They have a different, although similar, package mix and those programs are of differing versions.

      [...]

      For those who claim that windows just works far better or easier than Linux just google “windows problems” and then “Linux problems”. You will find that there are about the same number of results. I retrieved 151,000,000 for windows and 141,000,000 for Linux. Try the same with individual Linux distribution names or versions of windows, ie. “ubuntu problems” or “xp problems”. What did you get?

  • Server

    • Grid Computing and the Future of Cloud Computing

      In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the idea of grid computing, a type of distributed computing that harnesses the power of many computers to handle large computational tasks, was all the rage, at least among organizations with high-performance computing (HPC) needs. One of the most notable projects to make use of grid computing was SETI@home, which utilized thousands of Internet-connected computers to search for extraterrestrial intelligence (and still does).

  • Audiocasts

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.33-rc5

      Hmm. I don’t think there is anything earth-shaking here, although the i915 KMS changes might be noticeable. Notably if you have eDP (“embedded DisplayPort” – I think mainly a feature you’d find on a new imac), in which case it now hopefully works, but more commonly if you saw the flickering on your laptop panel due to LVDS downclocking (which saves power, but is now disabled by default until that thing is resolved).

    • Linux deduping is in store next

      Plagued by duplicate files that clog up your system? Quantum, a company once known mainly for hard drives, yesterday unveiled a new version of its StorNext File System that it says optimizes storage efficiency by implementing automatic data deduplication. It’s part of StorNext 4.0, Quantum’s high-performance sharing and data management platform, which now can also automate data tiering and retrieve partial files based on timecode, for the video editor in you.

    • Kernel Log: Long-term maintenance for 2.6.32, util-linux-ng extended

      Linux 2.6.32 is to be maintained for 2 to 3 years within the stable series – the maintenance of 2.6.27, however, will probably soon be discontinued or at least downscaled considerably. The util-linux-ng tool collection now contains three additional programs; fdisk provides optimised partitioning. The configuration of X Server has become more flexible and now HAL is no longer needed.

    • qemu-kvm-0.12.2 Released

      Today kvm maintainers released qemu-kvm-0.12.2 based on upstream qemu 0.12.2. qemu-kvm provides the userspace component qemu with kvm specific enhancements. This means you can use this either with your default kernel kvm module or with the most recent kvm-kmod kvm kernel module.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVClock’s Thunderbird To Launch New Project

        Roderick Colenbrander, or better known by his Internet name of Thunderbird (not to be confused with the Mozilla mail client), will soon be announcing a new software project that is supposed to be rather interesting, according to him. Roderick is known for starting the NVClock project years prior to the existence of CoolBits support for Linux to enable NVIDIA graphics card overclocking (and other tweaking) with Linux.

      • Initial Open ATI Evergreen Support By FOSDEM?

        Hopefully the Evergreen support with mode-setting and ShadowFB support will be here by FOSDEM on the 6th of February, but it will still be longer before there is real 2D acceleration (EXA) or any 3D acceleration within the open-source stack.

      • NVIDIA To Enhance Its X Render Support?

        This afternoon two patches hit the xorg-devel list that were written by Robert Morell and reviewed by Aaron Plattner. Both Morell and Plattner are NVIDIA employees. One of the patches is to cleanup of use of improper types in size calculation with the RENDER extension. The second RENDER patch is more important and it adds PanoramiX wrappers for gradients and solid fills with Xinerama.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KOffice – Portability in Action

        I have on several occasions been asked “why do you work on KOffice when OpenOffice.org already exists and does everything people need?”. Well, there are several reasons why OpenOffice.org (OOo) is not the end-all of free office suites. This blog is the first in a series that will outline why KOffice is necessary and why it may in fact be the real future of the free office suites.

        [...]

        So, the combination of these two makes KOffice uniquely suited for non-standard platforms. Non-standard by desktop standards, that is. Most people today agree that mobile is the future. And maybe so is KOffice…

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Revamps and Renews Outreach Program for Women

        The approach? Think Google Summer of Code — complete with internships, mentors, and sponsors — with an emphasis on team contributions rather than stand-alone projects.

        GNOME ran a similar outreach program in 2006, and received one hundred applications within two weeks. Because funds are (always) limited, great projects (and talent) had to be turned away — but Google was so was impressed by the proposals, it funded three additional projects. The 2006 Women’s Outreach Program had six participants, but organizers are tentatively planning on five participants this season.

      • GNOME Activity Journal Released w/ Zeitgeist Update

        Back in December Zeitgeist 0.3 was released with many changes and its engine was even largely reworked. Since then there have been a few point releases as GNOME Zeitgeist is in the process of being stabilized for a Zeitgeist 0.4 release in time for GNOME 2.30. Yesterday afternoon Zeitgeist 0.3.2 was released to deliver on more stabilization work along with better support for GNOME’s Activity Journal. The release announcement can be read on the mailing list.

  • Distributions

    • More about Linux

      Well Puppy Linux is a winner.
      I decided to give the newer version a go.
      This one is 431 which has support for my wireless internet.
      I have a side bar like vista and all my browsing is done using firefox just as it was on windows.
      So far I am loving it.

    • The Rules For The Best Home Distro: (Read Rules Here)

      Linux distributions ranked by the best combinations of reliability, simplicity, features, and speed.

    • Gentoo

      • Gentoo Series Part I : Past and Present

        This was the first step I took to getting 3D on Gentoo. And to be frank, it was the easiest part.

      • Pardus 2009.01

        Pardus is a distro developed by (I quote) “The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey”. It is a KDE based distro with lots of tools designed so that it becomes a lot easier to use. Since its a government run project I’m guessing the idea is to stop Turkish money flowing out of the country and into Microsoft’s coffers, and well as gaining control over software running on the countries critical systems.

        [...]

        All in all, I like Pardus. It is a system you could recommend to a beginner, and is very user friendly.

    • Slackware

      • Ode to Slackware

        I have a place reserved in my heart that only Slackware Linux fills. Strange as it might be, Slackware was the first Linux distribution that seemed to understand me and, I it.
        I recently read an article which brought to mind, the time that I started my venture into the Linux community as a new user.

        [...]

        Slackware remains true to being the most similar to Unix of any Linux flavor available. Patrick Volkerding cleaned up a version of SLS for a professor at MSU to use in teaching LISP. This was the start of a beautiful thing. For many years, Patrick was the sole maintainer of Slackware Linux. This is still largely true to this day and has it’s advantages. Nothing goes into Slackware unless it’s ready. Packages must require little or no tweaking for maximum performance. Even Gnome was dropped because it required too much configuration.

      • How to Install and Run Slackware 13

        Torrent downloads for Slackware 13 can be found here. I’ll be using the full DVD ISO for this article as it includes all the packages necessary for a typical install.

    • Debian Family

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Wallpapers – The Ubuntu Artwork Pool

        A large chunk of the wallpapers to be packaged up with Ubuntu Lucid Lynx will be drawn from the public “Ubuntu Artwork” group on photo sharing site Flickr.

        I’ve been hesitant to plunder the talented depths of this Ubuntu Artwork pool on Flickr; pullling out some of the more ‘spiffing’ examples and presenting them here as I’m not too fond of pointless lists that come hand in hand with a meaningless adjective – “10 cool wallpapers”, “10 awesome wallpapers”, etc. Are those 10 wallpapers really “awesome” or are they 10 you found in a hurry and thought “Hmmph. They’ll do.”?

      • Introducing Ubuntu Electronics Remix 9.10

        We are proud to present today a new Ubuntu-based (or Remix) Linux distribution, this time for electronics. Called Ubuntu Electronics Remix, or UER for short, it is based on the popular Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) operating system and comes as a Live DVD ISO image with lots of free electronics software. Except for the electronics software, everything else is exactly the same as in the original Ubuntu 9.10 distribution.

      • New Low-Latency Ubuntu Server Build Proposed

        Canonical’s Tim Gardner is seeking comments regarding a new build of Ubuntu Server that he is proposing. Canonical is considering another build of Ubuntu Server (there is already Ubuntu Server 32-bit and 64-bit along with specialized builds for cloud computing with Amazon EC2 and UEC), but this one would be specialized for just 64-bit platforms that have low-latency requirements and on power consumptive systems.

      • Linux Mint 8 RC1 KDE Edition Arrives

        Clement Lefebvre and the Linux Mint community are proud to present today (January 21st) the first release candidate of the upcoming Linux Mint 8 KDE Community Edition operating system. Powered by Linux kernel 2.6.31 and built on top of the KDE Software Compilation 4.3.4, Linux Mint 8 KDE RC1 comes with many improvements in various areas of interest. It is now based on the Kubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Linux distribution.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The Grumpy Editor’s Tomato review

      Your editor has just completed an important transition: moving his Internet connectivity from one evil branch of the local telecom duopoly to the other, equally evil branch. This change required the acquisition of a new router; that, in turn, provided the opportunity to play with Linux-based router software, and Tomato in particular. Read on for your editor’s impressions of this impressive bit of (mostly) free software.

    • Chumby and the Internet of Things

      Having everything connected is a bliss. I bought a Chumby last week. It is an alarm clock. With a touchscreen and wi-fi connectivity. Built on open source (you can easily get root access in the Linux box), with a thriving community of developers building widgets for it. Therefore, it doubles as an Internet radio, an online picture frame, a weather station, it plays your Google Voice messages and a lot more.

    • Adeneo Embedded announces Linux Embedded training in Paris using Freescale i.MX-ARM Embedded MPUs

      Adeneo Embedded announced today a Linux Embedded training course in Paris, France, from March 15th to March 19th 2010. This event is a unique opportunity for software system designers to develop an application based on Linux Embedded, using Freescale’s i.MX25 applications processor solution. Freescale’s i.MX family, based on ARM® core technology, is engineered to offer Smart Speed, low-power consumption with MHz performance to spare and a high degree of integration to reduce your design time signify cantly.

    • Android

      • Android for your PC finally available

        A clever bunch of boffins have managed to port Android to an x86 platform, allowing people to run Google’s OS on Asus’ Eee PC netbooks as well as several other already tried and tested 32-bit (x86) platforms.

      • iPhone And Android Now Account For 81 Percent Of Smartphone Web Ads In the U.S.

        When it comes to the mobile Web, increasingly there are only two mobile platforms that matter: Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android. According to market share data put out today by AdMob (which is being acquired by Google), the iPhone and Android combined captured 81 percent of U.S. mobile ad impressions on smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2009, up from a combined 55 percent in the first quarter of 2009. Most of that growth comes from Android, which nearly doubled its market share from the third quarter to 27 percent. The iPhone OS made up the other 54 percent. (Worldwide, the iPhone had 51 percent share and Android had 16 percent, for a combined total of 67 percent).

      • Android Grew 350% in 2009

        While we recently reported that Google’s Nexus One had a slow start coming out of the gate, the Android operating system, which is spread across a number of devices, is not having the same issues. A report by Myxer, a mobile entertainment company with over 30 million members, says that visits to its mobile site by Android users grew 350% in 2009, strongly outpacing the iPhone, which grew 170% during the same period.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Always Innovating Touchbook to Support Android and Ubuntu and More.

        To refresh your memory, the Touchbook is a ARM based device that has been released that has Linux installed on it. It was their own version of Linux called AI OS. However, today I noticed the Always Innovating site has been updated.

      • $100 Laptop Project Recruiting Haiti Volunteers

        The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, which has developed a low-cost notebook computer to help children in developing countries improve computer and learning skills, has announced that it is looking for volunteers and interns to help out with projects in countries including Afghanistan and Haiti.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Doing the right thing with Open Source

    The good news for Microsoft users who need DOS compatibility brought to you by Open Source, not Microsoft. If this is you, check out DOSBox, FreeDOS, and VirtualBox.

  • Pivot has become an Apache Top-Level Project

    Tendered to the Apache Software Foundation last year, the Pivot platform for developing Java-based Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) has become an Apache Top-Level Project (TLP). Although the foundation has only recently published a press release, this information has apparently been up on the project page for quite some time.

  • ReactOS

    • ReactOS Hits a Fork In The Road

      So what ReactOS will now start to do, is to leverage the work that the WINE project has been doing on the win32 system. It’s an idea that makes a whole lot of sense, seeing as WINE has been working at replicating win32 for years (with some success, just look at CodeWeaver’s CrossOver apps) while ReactOS has been focused on win32 as part of a larger open source windows implementation.

    • Try 10 OSes You’ve Never Heard Of

      ReactOS

      Goal: Run Windows apps on an open-source OS

      Out of all the operating systems we looked at, ReactOS is the one most likely to have Steve Ballmer tossing chairs. Originally named FreeWin95, the developers’ original goal was to create a completely open-source clone of, you guessed it, Windows 95. As time went on, however, there was little serious code to show and it was clear that the NT code base was the future for Microsoft.

      In 1998, ReactOS rose out of the ashes of FreeWin95. Early progress was slow, but in 2004 version 0.2.0 arrived with a usable desktop and respectable, albeit very limited, Windows compatibility. Today, ReactOS is based around a home-grown kernel, but the project makes heavy use of the WINE libraries that are popular for running Windows applications on Linux.

  • OpenOffice.org

    • New Print UI now integrated

      Barely one and a half years after the initial plan, a new print UI has now found its way into OpenOffice.org with the integration of CWS printerpullpages into the latest developer milestone DEV300m70. This took a while longer than intended, but I think the result is worth the effort. Many thanks to all the many people who made this possible (in no particular order): Mathias Bauer (Sfx), Andre Fischer (Impress), Thomas Lange (Writer), Christian Lippka (Impress), Niklas Nebel (Calc), Christoph Noack (User Experience), Regina Henschel, Hasan Ilter (QA), Jörg Skottke (QA), Thorsten Bosbach (QA), Oliver Craemer (QA), Eric Savary (QA). (I hope I didn’t forget anyone).

    • Every good thing has an end

      I look forward working with “another you”, inside the broader Oracle Corporation, and I am sure that it will be exciting. So farewell, Sun. Hopefully your employees will not forget who you were, what you stood for: excellency in technology, freedom, genius, and inspiration.

  • Mozilla

  • Databases

    • Oracle President Admits Affair After Billboards Appear

      Over the course of several days this week, a series of mysterious billboards popped up in New York and other cities showing romantic photographs of the co-president of Oracle with a woman.

      On one of the billboards that appeared in New York on Times Square, the words “Charles & YaVaughnie” were posted along with “You are my soulmate forever!” The note was signed “cep,” referring apparently to Charles E. Phillips Jr., the Oracle co-president.

  • GNU

  • Releases

    • Version 5.20 of the Nmap network scanner arrives

      The Insecure.org developers have announced the release of version 5.20 of Nmap, their popular network scanner and mapper. According to the developers, this first stable update since Nmap 5.00, released last July, includes more than 150 “significant improvements”.

  • Government

    • Why Open Source is the New Software Policy in San Francisco

      Moving forward, there is an opportunity to save millions of dollars in software costs by using open source software. We are only scratching the surface. We can and must do more in the face of historic budget deficits. Our new open source policy requires the City to choose new technology wisely.

      This is just the beginning of the Open Gov movement in San Francisco, but our early efforts are paying off.

      Since the launch of DataSF last summer, the City’s clearinghouse of government datasets, we have seen our tech community create new services and products never dreamed of within the walls of government. And now we are giving people access to technology systems like our 311 call center through open source, so they can decide how and when they interact with government.

  • CMS

    • About Kaltura’s Plans for Open Source World Domination

      Kaltura’s vision is sound and solid, and enabling more and more open source platforms is definitely an important part of their strategy, allowing a drammatically growing number of third parties to take advantage of Kaltura’s video platform.

    • Kaltura Releases Open Source Video Extension for Moodle
    • The WordPress Foundation Is Live!

      WordPress founder and Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg has just announced that his nonprofit, charitable foundation is officially an open shop. The WordPress Foundation is an organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the very mission of WordPress itself. Simply put, as on the Foundation website: “to democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software.” Everybody dance!

    • Getting off the ground
    • Data.gov.uk using Drupal

      Web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt unveiled Data.gov.uk today. The new website offers public sector data, ranging from traffic statistics to crime figures, for private or commercial use. It is designed to be similar to the Obama administration’s data.gov project, run by Vivek Kundra, Chief Information Officer in the US.

  • Openness

  • Programming

    • Essential Skills for Perl 5 Programmers

      Every time I explain something in the Modern Perl book under development, I have to change the way I think. I’ve spent a decade writing Perl 5, testing Perl 5, writing about Perl 5, editing writings about Perl 5, and thinking about how to do all of those. I still learn new things, but I haven’t been a novice for a very long time.

      Mature projects need the perspective of determined and intelligent novices to help find gaps in tutorials and documentation. It’s too easy to assume that the mental model experienced users have is obvious for novices. After all, the design is clearly an effective design for the problems it has to solve.

    • Flex & Bison book review

      An introduction to Flex and Bison gives an overview of how and why they are used to create compilers and interpreters, and demonstrates some simple applications including a calculator built in Flex and Bison – a good start to this volume, always useful for people who know nothing. Using Flex follows along with Bison. Parsing SQL is an invaluable part of the book.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Try our new HTML5 player!

      We’re rolling out a new beta test today: the HTML5 player!

      What’s the HTML5 player, you ask? Simply put, it’s an alternative to our current Flash player that looks and works almost exactly the same way. What are the benefits?

      * The player loads right away — no more spinning butterfly thingy
      * You can jump anywhere in the video, without having to wait for it to buffer
      * Smoother, less jumpy playback (we hope)

Leftovers

  • Commission wants fewer Anglophone spokespersons

    An internal document seen by EurActiv shows that 11 out of the 26 spokespersons that have already been designated to the incoming European Commission are Anglo-Saxon. Of these, seven are English and four are Irish (EurActiv 21/01/10).

  • France’s Le Fig And L’Express Planning Paywalls, Too

    Most revealing – in the case of L’Express, the paywall is being delayed not by questions over whether readers would pay, but whether the paywall can come in at a reasonable cost. In the case of L’Express, online director Corinne Denis says that the model they are currently looking at would cost more to implement than subscriptions could bring in.

  • Betraying Confucius: Academic fraud in China

    It is one of the great ironies of China’s rise on the international stage: a nation that reveres Confucius and the devotion to truth and learning symbolized by the great sage has become one of the world’s leading perpetrators of academic fraud. Cheating among Chinese scholars has reached such epidemic proportions that at least one leading academic journal will no longer consider their submissions.

    This month, a prominent British medical journal, The Lancet, urged the Chinese government to take action against rampant cheating in scientific research. But that call is likely to go unheeded in a university system that has taken the maxim “publish or perish” to the extreme. For a Chinese lecturer aspiring

  • China’s Promise

    Just as countless Chinese people young and old study, live and travel internationally, so do people from countries throughout the world go to study, live and travel in China. They have been lured by the economic boom and employment opportunities, by educational opportunities, or just by the desire to see what is happening in a place that has been the talk of the world. Many I have encountered have found employment in big cities, or in teaching, or in entertainment, or in a host of other professions.

  • Security

    • DNSSEC Compromised Again?

      DNS Security Extensions is supposed to be the technology that helps to secure the Domain Name System, or DNS , against attack. Yet DNSSEC servers aren’t always infallible, as a pair of vulnerabilities proved this week.

    • Naked airport scanner catches cellphone, misses bomb components

      Check out this German TV clip highlighting the failure of the new, privacy-violating full-nude scanners going in at an airport near you. As Bruce Schneier notes, “The scanner caught a subject’s cell phone and Swiss Army knife — and the microphone he was wearing — but missed all the components to make a bomb that he hid on his body… Full-body scanners: they’re not just a dumb idea, they don’t actually work.”

    • The Guantánamo “Suicides”: A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle

      Nearly 200 men remain imprisoned at Guantánamo. In June 2009, six months after Barack Obama took office, one of them, a thirty-one-year-old Yemeni named Muhammed Abdallah Salih, was found dead in his cell. The exact circumstances of his death, like those of the deaths of the three men from Alpha Block, remain uncertain. Those charged with accounting for what happened—the prison command, the civilian and military investigative agencies, the Justice Department, and ultimately the attorney general himself—all face a choice between the rule of law and the expedience of political silence. Thus far, their choice has been unanimous.

    • Manchester ID staff suffer isolation as new dawn fades

      The people of Manchester have either lost all interest in travelling abroad and drinking, or couldn’t give a monkey’s about the government’s lame duck ID card scheme, if a commons answer is anything to go by.

    • Video of dog-attack bust shows cops pounding handcuffed man

      A Bronx pit bull attack that prompted the friendly-fire shooting of two undercover cops took a tables-turning twist Thursday when a gotcha video surfaced showing blatant police brutality.

  • Environment

    • NASA: 2009 tied for 2nd-warmest year, 00s hottest decade too
    • Flora and Fauna

      • Blessed are the orangutan peacemakers

        Researchers said this was the first time peacemaking behavior has been observed in orangutans, which are, in the wild, loners. Basically, it looks as though this group of captive orangutans—forced to live together—have learned a behavior that’s previously only been known among more social apes, such as chimpanzees and gorillas.

      • Dolphins as Persons?

        Focusing on dolphins: the last decade of studies into dolphin behavior has highlighted how complex their communications actually are; so much so that it is difficult not to draw parallels to the complexities of human communication. Empirically, their brains have many key features associated with high intelligence. It would seem that we have long underestimated their capacity, and while their intelligence is different in form, it is difficult to dismiss that it exists.

  • PR/AstroTurf

    • Drugs: towards a global tolerance regime

      Why is this move so significant? Because to date the public sector has enjoyed a near monopoly on the employment of the professionals who have expertise on drugs. Nearly all of the senior medics, civil servants, policy advisers, social workers, academic researchers, customs officials, judges, lawyers, and police, prison and army officers who should be contributing to the policy debate are either employed directly by government or depend on it for funding. The Nutt affair seemed to confirm the long-established principle that they put their careers at risk by speaking openly against the absurdities of prohibition. Politicians, fearful of a media drubbing and punishment at the polls, were always poised to come down on them like a ton of bricks.

  • Censorship/Civil Rights

    • Lundy plays good cop to Conroy’s bad cop

      Last week at the annual Australian national Linux conference in New Zealand, Waugh, a former self-styled open source advocate, was using loads of tired bizspeak to promote the so-called open government policy – but she avoided saying anything about the filter. When someone dd try to engage her on the subject, she did a deft sidestep.

      Meanwhile, yesterday, at the closing ceremony of the same conference, the other half of the family, Jeff, was urging people to black out their avatars on their social networking sites to protest against the policy.

    • Internet Freedom

      The prepared text of U.S. of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s speech, delivered at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

      [...]

      But it’s also the smart thing to do. By advancing this agenda, we align our principles, our economic goals, and our strategic priorities. We need to create a world in which access to networks and information brings people closer together, and expands our definition of community.

      Given the magnitude of the challenges we’re facing, we need people around the world to pool their knowledge and creativity to help rebuild the global economy, protect our environment, defeat violent extremism, and build a future in which every human being can realize their God-given potential.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Judge lowers Jammie Thomas’ piracy penalty

      Last June, a federal jury in Minnesota found Jammie Thomas-Rasset liable for willful copyright infringement and ordered her to pay nearly $2 million. Michael Davis, chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, chopped the amount to $54,000, or $2,250 per song.

    • Digital Economy Bill: Rightsholders Will Shoulder Most Three-Strikes Costs

      The original bill had proposed ISPs and rightsholders split policing costs 50-50. But Timms, in a speech at the Oxford Media Convention on Thursday, said the government is issuing a “draft statutory instrument” that requires the likes of labels and studios to pay more. They will be the “primary beneficiaries” of the proposed graduated-response scheme, Timms said: “The benefits of what we are doing will go to the rightsholders. So I have not been convinced by the arguments of rights holders that the Internet companies should bear much of the costs.”

    • Music biz: piracy our ‘climate change,’ governments must act!

      The global music industry trade group IFPI has released its Digital Music Report 2010, a 30-page document that makes a single argument: copyright infringement is a form of “climate change” for creative industries, and “we look to governments for action.”

      According to this view of the world, the music business has now tried its hand at being “innovative” and “customer focused.” It disaggregated albums, it allowed music to go up on everything from Amazon to iTunes to Spotify to Last.fm. It sued users, it launched education campaigns. Nothing worked. It’s now time for governments to step up.

    • Pirate Bay’s Ipredator VPN Opens To The Public

      After months of waiting, the Ipredator anonymity service from the founders of The Pirate Bay has finally opened its doors to the public. For 5 euros a month users can now hide all their Internet traffic, including torrent downloads, from third party outfits who might want to spy on their downloading habits.

    • Promise of a post-illegal copy world. Part I: History of Intellectual Property

      Along with the discussions, a lot of inaccuracies and lacks in the image of reality presented to humanity by RIAA, MPAA, MAFIAA and other corporate lobbyists appeared. Because I hate lies and injustice, I decided not to tolerate the false propaganda and to write this article which is a finial of few years of thinking, mentioned discussions and arguments used by both sides of the barricade.

    • Submissions on Canada-EU Trade Deal: Canadian Publishers’ Council Seek Term Extension, Database Rt

      Concluding the review of submissions to DFAIT regarding the Canada-EU Trade Agreement, the submission of the Canadian Publishers’ Council is important because it highlights the hopes of those lobbying for extensive new copyright reforms. The submission makes clear that those groups hope that CETA could force Canada into reforms such as copyright term extension and the creation of new database protection:

Clip of the Day

The Genetic Conspiracy (2/3) – about Monsanto

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