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02.10.10

Links 10/2/2010: Linux 2.6.32.8 and MINIX 3.1.6

Posted in News Roundup at 1:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • AT&T: Linux is why the Internet isn’t Working

    In the end it ended up being an issue on AT&T’s end (after all I was still online it was just redirecting any pages I tried to view to AT&T’s website). A couple days later and some paper work later needless to say my internet was back online – Linux and otherwise.

    It just irks me greatly that companies always try to blame a third party when their own equipment is not functioning properly.

  • How to sell Linux to IT consulting clients

    In such a Windows-centric world, pitching Linux to clients who are not tech savvy is not as hard as you might think — you just have to know the product and know where (and how) the product fits into the client’s infrastructure. Here are some examples.

    [...]

    Let clients try Linux

    If a client wants to play around with Linux to see if it will fit their needs, a really good approach is to give the client a Live CD of a distribution and tell them to boot it up. The Live instance will not change their current OS, and they could get easily get an idea if Linux will work. You can take this one step further by rolling your own Live CD (with a tool such as SUSE Studio) and adding your branding to the desktop, as well as to applications you think the client will want and/or need.

  • Linux staffs still earn 10% more pay, Dice says

    Another plus: Linux job openings on the Dice.com job website rose by 5.5% during the last half of 2009 (June was the bottom of last year’s IT job market) in contrast to Windows listings which dropped by 4% during the same period. The salary findings were tallied by Dice.com based on the responses of 16,908 registered job seekers and site visitors from Aug. 24 to Nov. 12, 2009.

  • LCA 2010

    • LCA: Static analysis with GCC plugins

      Taras Glek works for Mozilla, but he is not a browser hacker; instead, he works on GCC and other tools aimed at making the browser development process better. It is, he says, a good job. While carrying out his duties, Taras has been able to put a new GCC feature to work in ways which may prove to be useful well beyond Mozilla.

    • An LCA 2010 overview
  • Desktop

    • The HeliOS Project Organization Day

      On the 20th of February which is a Saturday, The HeliOS Project will be hosting their first official Organization Day. We will be gathering volunteers to meet at our facility in Lakeway and try to bring some order to the chaos I have created.

      [...]

      Plans are going ahead for the delivery of up to 30 computers for Our Texas Grandchildren. This is a foundation established by Carole Keeton Strayhorn to care for and nurture the most neglected in our Texas foster care system. We are proud to provide these machines and training to these kids.

  • Server

    • Is Unix on its way out?

      Linux has become the strategic ‘Unix’ rival to Voleware and while it does not have the years of development behind it, it is approaching and will soon equal Unix in performance, reliability and scalability.

    • London Stock Exchange appoints new CIO

      He will also work with Tony Weeresinghe, CEO of MillenniumIT on a project to switch on the Linux-based MillenniumIT trading platform by 2010. It replaces the outgoing TradElect platform, based on Microsoft .Net architecture.

      Meanwhile, David Lester, the LSE’s director of information services, will manage the merger of Turquoise and Baikal.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.32.8

      I’m announcing the release of the 2.6.32.8 kernel.

    • Ksplice Uptrack eliminates Linux server reboots, Sunday hours

      Researchers at MIT have turned an innovative open source security technology known as Ksplice into a commercial product.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The State of Open Source 3D

        3D drivers are a traditional source of complaints in open source systems. David Chisnall looks at the history and current state of the art to see what changes are in store for 2010.

      • NVIDIA’s Optimus: Will It Come To Linux?

        NVIDIA’s Optimus is similar to the hybrid-switching technologies that have been available on notebooks up to this point for switching between ATI/AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA GPUs on notebooks depending upon the graphics workload, but with Optimus the experience is supposed to be seamless.

  • Applications

    • Operating with Opera on Ubuntu by Christopher Tozzi

      These days–in contrast to ten years ago–the world has plenty more Web browsers than it needs. And yet I can’t find one I’m happy with. My continuing search for a browser I get along with led me recently to try Opera, a seasoned but still largely obscure player on the browser scene. Here’s what I thought of it.

      [...]

      So what’s the verdict on Opera? Overall, it’s fine, but I’m not convinced it’s anything special. However, it’s also currently installed and has yet to cause the loss of three hours’ worth of work, so I just might stick with it–at least till something better comes along.

    • Guayadeque – Nice music player

      Music Player with the aims to be intuitive, easy to use and fast even for huge music collections. Developed for Linux with wxWidgets for GTK under Gnome.

    • Deja-dup, a great Backup utility
  • Instructionals

  • Desktop Environments

    • Can XFCE Desktop Environment,be an alternative to Gnome and Kde ?

      In the Linux world with Ubuntu dominating the market to discuss about the comparison of Desktop Managers available for Linux is of good importance . By default Ubuntu comes with gnome desktop environment and Kubuntu comes with kde as the desktop manager . Considering the case of someone who is interested in trying out something different xfce might be fun .

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • The Linux Desktop Evolves With KDE 4.4

        One of the biggest items to impact KDE 4.4 was Nokia’s release of Qt 4.6 in December 2009. The Qt open source GUI framework is the core user interface framework used by KDE. Qt 4.6 brought KDE 4.4 a number of significant advancements, including noticeable performance improvements and a new animation framework, Seigo noted.

      • Krusader Conquers Linux Files

        Linux offers users numerous separate apps to manage files and handle system-related computing chores, but Krusader packages these functions in its own tool sets. Krusader is designed for the KDE desktop, but this file manager does not need the KDE window manager to run on your computer.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Should you ask developers for money? And other interesting fundraising dilemnas.

        What’s the single most important thing you think free software projects could do to improve their fundraising efforts?
        Start reading emails from organizations like MoveOn.org and BarackObama.com and start emulating them and their tactics. You don’t have to agree with them politically to see how they’re doing what they’re doing.

        A lot of people are going to call me crazy, but look: I’d argue that GNOME has as much if not more installations than the number of people that are subscribed to MoveOn.org’s email list. And unlike MoveOn.org, a lot of these users are interacting with your software every day, not just when an email pops up in their inbox or when something happens in Washington.

      • Putting Oracle a11y news in perspective

        Oracle laying off GNOME contributors is certainly bad news for the project. It’s particularly bad news because Willie Walker, one of my favourite GNOME contributors, is now out of a job.

        I just want to put this in perspective, though. In 2007, IBM made deep cuts in its support of GNOME accessibility, affecting contributors such as Peter Parente, Eitan Isaacson and Aaron Leventhal, who are no longer paid to work on GNOME accessibility work. The IBM cuts were perhaps deeper than those that Oracle are announcing right now (but I suspect that we’re not finished hearing bad news from Oracle). So we’ve been through this (and worse) before.

  • Distributions

    • Mandriva 2010 is Faster than Ubuntu 9.10

      I have both Ubuntu 9.10 and Mandriva One 2010 installed on my computer. I have been using Ubuntu for many years since version Gutsy Gibbon until Ubuntu 9.10 but I just use Mandriva for a month. Basically I was love Ubuntu than any other linux distro. But after I install Mandriva 2010, I planned to leave Ubuntu as my default OS on my laptop. I know, for some people this is strange, but I have a realistic reason why Mandriva is better than Ubuntu at any aspects.

    • FOSDEM 2010: Marketplace for Distros

      At FOSDEM 2010 in Brussels, software that was declared dead was resurrected (Hurd), known combatants sat down at the same table (openSUSE, Fedora and Debian) and almost forgotten entities raised their hands again (openSUSE for PowerPC).

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Slides from my FOSDEM talk on Debian and Ubuntu

        I’ve just put the slides of my talk on Debian and Ubuntu online.

        Don’t hesitate to post comments to ask for clarifications where needed (it might be difficult to understand some parts of the slides without being in the room).

      • Ubuntu

        • An Interview With Jono

          I’m about 100% sure that the next person to be interviewed needs no introduction – everybody will have heard of Jono at some point, whether it be from his role within the community, his activity on identi.ca & twitter, or maybe even from Lernid…Either way, I hope you enjoy this as much as I have!

          [...]

          8. What would you like to see happen with Linux in the future? with Ubuntu?

          I want to see free software, delivered via Ubuntu, become the most ubiquitous platform in the world for users and developers, available to all, respecting local languages and culture, and inspiring innovation and sharing.

        • Ubuntu Opportunistic Developer Week: Call For Participation!

          In the continued interests of helping to make Ubuntu rock as a platform for scratching itches and making awesome apps, I am putting together a new online learning event: Ubuntu Opportunistic Developer Week, happening online between 1st – 6th March 2010.

        • International Women’s Day Comp: Get Your Entries In!

          Two prizes up for grabs. One prize pack will be given to the story that the community votes is their favourite. One prize pack will be given to a randomly drawn entrant. I have been given the pleasure of drawing this entrant in a videocast, and announcing both winners to the world on March 8th. Thanks to the Ubuntu Women project for asking for to do this. :-)

        • [Ubucon at SCALE 8x]

          This will be the first UbuCon at SCALE and will be held Friday, February 19, prior to the main Expo.

        • Events & Non-events

          What really strikes me as a real storm in the tea-cup is the pseudo announcement that Ubuntu will drop Openoffice.org from its upcoming Lucid Lynx release, in its netbook edition. The news came from this website and got quickly picked out by the largest french newspaper, stirring quite an uproar among the French community.

        • Stunning Wallpaper Clocks For Ubuntu – Installation Simplified

          So for those who are wondering what these wallpaper clocks are all about, wallpaper clocks are wallpapers that show live date and time. And there are a number of good source for wallpaper clocks. But we will get to that later. First the basics. Read on.

      • Linux Mint

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Design contest launched for tiny Linux net server

      Lantronix announced a design contest based on its recently introduced XPort Pro, touted as the “world’s smallest Linux networking server.” Lantronix will award prizes of $6,000 and $3,000 to the two top entries for Best Linux Design, plus a separate $3,000 prize for the Best Student Linux Design, says the company.

    • Rackmount automation PC has four PCI slots

      Moxa announced a rackmount automation computer, with four PCI expansion slots and four gigabit Ethernet ports. The DA-710 has a 2GHz Intel Celeron M processor, a CompactFlash slot, SATA and IDE interfaces, two serial ports, plus four USB 2.0 ports, and runs Debian Linux 5.0, says Moxa.

    • Linux-based networking middleware rev’d for GMPLS

      Access subsidiary IP Infusion announced a new version of its Linux-based, Next Generation Network (NGN) carrier-grade middleware. ZebOS Network Platform 7.8 adds support for Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching (GMPLS), Data Center Bridging, and MPLS resiliency for wireless backhaul and Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) implementations, says the company.

    • Android

      • Study: U.S. still BlackBerry country, but Android doubles share

        Android comprised only 5.2 percent of the market in December 2009, but that was more than double than its 2.5 percent share in September, comScore says. This would make the Linux-based Android OS the fastest growing mobile OS during the period, and the only other platform in the top five aside from Apple to grow at all.

      • Play.com touts Nexus One with added price

        Customers who want a Nexus One but don’t want to buy from Google can now pay an additional hundred and fifty quid to have one shipped through Play.com.

      • Google aims for cute with Super Bowl ad

        Buzz about Google’s Super Bowl ad started spreading when CEO Eric Schmidt implied in a Twitter post that there would be one during the third quarter. There had been rumors–which turned out to be untrue–that Google’s ad would feature the Nexus One smartphone. As it turns out, the “Parisian Love” ad has been on YouTube since November 19 as part of Google’s “Search Stories” ad campaign–which had been online-only until the Super Bowl. It had chalked up over a million views on YouTube.

      • Meet the Motorola Devour, Verizon’s New Android Phone

        Motorola is adding another device into its Android arsenal. The Motorola Devour, officially announced on Wednesday, will be available on Verizon Wireless starting in March.

      • GUI framework touts Android support

        Fluffy Spider Technologies (FST) announced an Android-ready version of its FancyPants 3.0 lightweight embedded graphics framework for consumer electronics. FancyPants 3.0 will initially support Android 1.5 and 1.6 SDKs on MIPS and ARM platforms, providing “autonomous UI” capabilities for ongoing customization, says the company.

    • ARM

      • ARM Unveils New Designs as It Looks to Netbooks

        ARM Holdings, the UK company that makes a core CPU design that licensees can modify into their own designs for handheld devices, plans to launch three more Cortex processor cores during 2010 as it pursues new markets.

      • ARM: More than 1.3 billion served in Q4 2009

        ARM Holdings announced that more than 1.3 billion chips based on its designs were sold during the fourth quarter of 2009. Reporting better-than-expected financial results, the company added that it’s signing up licensees for three new designs, code-named “Eagle,” “Heron,” and “Merlin.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • Evolution and Open Source Software (last roar of the dinosaurs)

    Symbian, the giant maker of that well known operating system for cell phones is an inspiration. By announcing that it was going to release ‘billions of pounds worth of Intellectual Property’ as Open Source software it made the BBC news.

    Hoorah! Symbian will join the likes of Android OS and Linux, thereby making OSS the dominant software of the phone market. Good luck to them I say…hmm, but hang on I’ve heard this story somewhere before.

  • Terracotta and Eucalyptus announce partnership

    Terracotta and Eucalyptus Systems, both open source startups, have announced a new joint partnership. According to the companies, which specialise in scalability for Java applications and the private cloud platform, the partnership will “provide enterprises with an open source solution that maximizes data scalability and application performance in a private cloud environment”. With the new agreement, the companies will reportedly combine their sales and marketing efforts and improve integration between their products. Woody Rollins, CEO and co-founder of Eucalyptus Systems said that, “Together we are making private clouds a viable option for managing critical applications and processes at even the highest workloads”.

  • Microsoft drops open-source birthday gift with FAST

    On Tuesday. Lucid’s chief executive Eric Gries claimed 80 per cent of the FAST’s customer base ran on Linux or Unix, and Microsoft’s decision will simply mean those who’d been previously unsure, concerned about the future under Microsoft, or interested in using an open-source architecture like Lucene or Solr will now move elsewhere.

    “This news is the final nail in the coffin,” Gries said of FAST. “I’m puzzled by the thinking at Microsoft. But for us it definitely helps. Customers who were on the fence thinking about staying with FAST and Linux and moving to Solr – their decision is very clear.”

    Lucid counts those who’ve moved to Lucid or Solr in the last year as Fortune 500s that don’t want be tied to a single company’s roadmap or paying expensive licensing fees. Microsoft’s plan with FAST is to integrate the search capabilities into Office and SharePoint 2010. Since January 2009, Lucid has picked up Ford, Nike, Sears, and Macy’s.

  • SourceForge Lifts the Block: The Power of Negative Publicity

    I didn’t blame SourceForge for this (although plenty of people did). When you get a legal order from an entity that has the right to issue and enforce legal orders, if you are law abiding in your nation of residence, you comply with the order. SourceForge had nothing to gain by “bucking the system” and could ultimately do more harm than good to the open source community by telling the U.S. Government to “go pound sand”.

  • Nexenta = flying a F29 with a wii remote and other highlights of the last few days

    And, yes, lots of work. For example several new systems installed for our automated test and certification solution, approximately 60 customers and countless prospects have had their questions answered, and significant recruiting work on our immediate priorities including inside sales, sales engineering, software develand support.

  • Mozilla

    • My Favourite Firefox Addons

      I’m only a fairly recent convert to Firefox for the simple reason I didn’t need too many bells and whistles in a browser before now. It’s no surprise then that I used Google’s Chrome for a while after leaving my IE days firmly behind me, but having had to use Firefox because my online banking didn’t support Chrome at the time, I got hooked and have never looked back.

    • Mozilla overlooked malware-laced Firefox add-ons

      Two Firefox add-ons available for months on Mozilla’s website infected users with malware that stole passwords and opened a backdoor on Windows machines, the open-source browser maker has confirmed.

  • Databases

    • Ellison puts Screven over mySQL

      Ken Jacobs, who was one of CEO Larry Ellison’s first 20 hires, says he is leaving the company after seeking to run mySQL and being turned down.

      Jacobs gets credit for keeping InnoDB moving forward after its 2005 acquisition. This was a big win for open source.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU

    • Benjamin Mako Hill’s FSF Appeal

      Since one of my main areas of interest is the conflicting intersection of Free Software and Open Source, Mr. Hill’s thoughts are often very illuminating for me – even when I don’t agree with him I never feel like he makes his argument poorly.

      In his FSF appeal, I’m glad to say Mr. Hill delivers and makes a point I am in strong agreement with:

      Free software is not really about software in this fundamental sense; it’s about bringing freedom to users through software.

      Just like open source is necessary but not sufficient for Free Software, Free Software in turn is necessary but not sufficient for “users to take control of their technology”.

    • Antifeatures
  • Releases

    • OpenDNSSEC 1.0.0 released

      OpenDNSSEC works in all Unix-like operating systems and is suitable both for those who will only sign a single large zone (such as top-level domains) and those who have many small zones (e.g. web hotels, ISPs).

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Two billion-transistor beasts: POWER7 and Niagara 3

      In years past, an ISSCC presentation on a new processor would consist of detailed discussion of the chip’s microarchitecture (pipeline, instruction fetch and decode, execution units, etc.), along with at least one shot of a floorplan that marked out the location of major functional blocks (the decoder, the floating-point unit, the load-store unit, etc.). This year’s ISSCC is well into the many-core era, though, and with single-chip core counts ranging from six to 16, the only elements you’re likely to see in a floorplan like the two below are cores, interfaces, and switches. Most of the discussion focuses on power-related arcana, but most folks are interested in the chips themselves.

    • HP Debuts First ‘Tukwila’ Itanium Systems

      The Itanium 9300 line gives the long-delayed “Tukwila” family of quad-core Itanium processors their day in the sun.

  • Science

    • Solar observatory set for launch

      The US space agency (Nasa) will attempt to launch its latest Sun probe on Wednesday from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

    • Hubble peers closely at Pluto

      NASA explains that Pluto’s overall hue is “believed to be a result of ultraviolet radiation from the distant sun breaking up methane that is present on Pluto’s surface, leaving behind a dark and red carbon-rich residue”.

    • NASA GISS wants to use our code

      After the release of ccc-gistemp 0.3.0, I contacted Dr Reto Ruedy of NASA GISS to ask him to try out the release and have a look through it.
      Dr Ruedy responded, thanking us for our effort, and saying “I hope to switch to your version of that program”. After some further discussion, he clarified this:
      When GISS has the resources:

      Ideally, we would like to replace our whole code

  • Security

    • Political hacktivists turn to web attacks

      Political activists are increasingly using net attacks as a means of protest, reveals a report.

    • Aussies rebel over Internet censorship

      INTERNET HACKERS connected with the group Anonymous, which is better known for its attacks against Scientology, have launched a campaign against Australian government websites.

      The group is protesting against the Australian government’s determination to censor its citizens’ Internet connections.

    • Cheeky French hackers hijack Tata website

      Top flight outsourcing firm Tata Consulting Services appeared to have lost control of its website to hackers today, with the domain apparently being touted for sale.

      The Washington Post reported that the site had fallen prey to a DNS hijack over the weekend.

    • Ex-army bloke says the US is not ready for cyber war

      FORMER US ARMY computer insecurity specialist Christopher Tarnovsky showed the Black Hat Technical Security Conference exactly why the US cannot handle a cyber war.

    • Cybersecurity is Not Your Gig, NSA!

      The news that the NSA and Google are working on a deal for the military agency to help protect the information giant’s data networks comes at a time when the NSA is angling to get a major piece of cybersecurity action.

    • Outguessing the Terrorists

      Isn’t it a bit embarrassing for an “expert on counter-terrorism” to be quoted as saying this?

      Bill Tupman, an expert on counter-terrorism from Exeter University, told BBC News: “The problem is trying to predict the mind of the al-Qaeda planner; there are so many things they might do.

      “And it is also necessary to reassure the public that we are trying to outguess the al-Qaeda planner and we are in the process of protecting them from any threat.”

    • Terrorism Derangement Syndrome

      America has slid back again into its own special brand of terrorism-derangement syndrome. Each time this condition recurs, it presents with more acute and puzzling symptoms. It’s almost impossible to identify the cause, and it’s doubtful there’s a cure. The entire forensic team from House would need a full season to unravel the mystery of what it is about the American brain that renders us more terrified of terrorists today than we were five years ago and less trusting of government policies to protect us.

    • Canadian cops taser ‘naked and agitated’ man

      Staff Sgt Rob Piercy said: “This is an instance where the Taser saved this man’s life. He was very strong and athletic, and it was difficult to arrest him.”

      The man was taken to hospital where tests revealed he “may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol”. He was later released on “a promise to appear in court” and could face charges of “mischief and assault”.

    • On the claimed ‘war exception’ to the Constitution

      Although Blair emphasized that it requires “special permission” before an American citizen can be placed on the assassination list, consider from whom that “permission” is obtained: the President, or someone else under his authority within the Executive Branch.

    • RAF ‘relying’ on drones in Afghanistan

      New Ministry of Defence figures show the RAF has fired 84 missiles from Reaper drones since they were first deployed there in June 2008, with more than 20 being fired over the past two months.

  • Environment

    • Climategate witchhunt fingers scientist

      Police have questioned a scientist at the University of East Anglia in connection with the leak of emails from the University’s Climatic Research Unit.

    • Obama: The Nuclear President?

      In his first State of the Union Address last week, President Obama stated his support for Nuclear energy and that America needed to be “…building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.” He seemingly followed up on this pledge on January 29th by proposing tripling existing loan guarantees for new reactors be increased to more than $54 billion.

  • Health

    • Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health

      Ever worry that that gadget you spend hours holding next to your head might be damaging your brain? Well, the evidence is starting to pour in, and it’s not pretty. So why isn’t anyone in America doing anything about it?

      [...]

      To understand how radiation from cell phones and wireless transmitters affects the human brain, and to get some sense of why the concerns raised in so many studies outside the U.S. are not being seriously raised here, it’s necessary to go back fifty years, long before the advent of the cell phone, to the research of a young neuroscientist named Allan Frey.

    • Study: Third hand smoke also bad for you

      When a cigarette burns, nicotine is released in the form of a vapor that collects and condenses on indoor surfaces such as walls, carpeting, drapes and furniture, where it can linger for months, said the study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

  • Crime

    • BAE broke bribery pledge, faked US arms-export applications

      Further details have emerged regarding the US Department of Justice case against UK-headquartered arms globocorp BAE Systems. The feds – without argument from BAE – say that the company engaged in a “conspiracy” to violate several US laws in recent years.

    • Indian Pleads Guilty in Overseas Stock Hacking Scheme

      An Indian national pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy and aggravated identity-theft charges related to an international fraud scheme to hack into online brokerage accounts in the U.S. and use them to manipulate stock prices, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

    • Paying Zero for Public Services

      Anand explained that a number of factors contribute to the success of the zero rupee notes in fighting corruption in India. First, bribery is a crime in India punishable with jail time. Corrupt officials seldom encounter resistance by ordinary people that they become scared when people have the courage to show their zero rupee notes, effectively making a strong statement condemning bribery. In addition, officials want to keep their jobs and are fearful about setting off disciplinary proceedings, not to mention risking going to jail. More importantly, Anand believes that the success of the notes lies in the willingness of the people to use them. People are willing to stand up against the practice that has become so commonplace because they are no longer afraid: first, they have nothing to lose, and secondly, they know that this initiative is being backed up by an organization—that is, they are not alone in this fight.

  • Finance

    • It Is Now Mathematically Impossible To Pay Off The U.S. National Debt

      A lot of people are very upset about the rapidly increasing U.S. national debt these days and they are demanding a solution. What they don’t realize is that there simply is not a solution under the current U.S. financial system. It is now mathematically impossible for the U.S. government to pay off the U.S. national debt. You see, the truth is that the U.S. government now owes more dollars than actually exist. If the U.S. government went out today and took every single penny from every single American bank, business and taxpayer, they still would not be able to pay off the national debt. And if they did that, obviously American society would stop functioning because nobody would have any money to buy or sell anything.

    • How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt

      Goldman Sachs helped the Greek government to mask the true extent of its deficit with the help of a derivatives deal that legally circumvented the EU Maastricht deficit rules. At some point the so-called cross currency swaps will mature, and swell the country’s already bloated deficit.

    • Cheap credit has pulled the UK’s poorest families into a spiral of debt

      It all seemed easy to Angela McLeod when a doorstep lender first turned up at her home in Cranhill, Glasgow. She only needed £300 and here it was, with no credit checks and no questions asked. She just had to agree to an interest rate of 55%.

    • PayPal suspends India service

      PayPal, eBay’s payment system, has suspended all payments to personal accounts in India.

    • PayPal: India payments suspended for ‘at least a few months’

      The company is working with regulators and bank processing companies to resolve the problem as soon as possible, it said. But “personal payments to and from India will be suspended for at least a few months until we fully resolve the questions from the Indian regulators.”

    • Washington threatens to bypass Europe in battle for bank data

      The United States has warned that it may stop working with EU institutions on terrorist data exchange if the European Parliament next week blocks a bilateral deal on the issue.

      “If the European parliament overturns the agreement, I am unsure whether Washington agencies would again decide to address this issue at EU level,” US ambassador to the EU William Kennard wrote in a letter sent to European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, according to news agency AFP.

  • Censorship/Civil Rights

    • Internet down in Iran ahead of opposition protests

      Iran said on Sunday its Internet connections will remain slow this week due to technical problems, ahead of anticipated protests by opposition supporters.

      Connections have been slow since last week and some email accounts have been unavailable for several hours each day.

    • Iranian net slows to a crawl before planned protests

      Iranian authorities have blamed fibre-optic network damage for a convenient slow-down in net connection speeds in the country this week.

    • China jails porn-monger

      China’s aggressive crackdown on internet smut and dissent continues – yesterday a man was sentenced to 13 years prison for renting a US server for distributing pornographic material

    • Cherie Blair and One Law for All

      The NSS was a founder member of the One Law for All Campaign which seeks to impede the march of sharia law in Britain. Naturally we think that in a democracy everyone must be equal under the law, with no exceptions. Sharia law is full of exceptions and it is clear that women are not equal under that system.

      But now we discover that a different — more favourable — system of justice is being applied to religious people by Cherie Blair (professional name Cherie Booth) in her capacity as a judge. Last week in the Inner London Crown Court, Ms Blair/Booth spared a violent yob from prison because he is a “religious man”.

    • Will Wikileaks Drown in Its Own Red Ink?

      Wikileaks is usually described as a “whistleblower” site, but it’s really more of a safe haven for secrets that need to be exposed — kind of like a Swiss bank, only in reverse, so it’s kind of fitting that a Swiss bank is one of its most famous targets. But instead of shielding people who are trying to hide their assets, it exposes them. Thanks to the nature of the Net, confidential sources can make those secrets public without putting their own necks on the chopping block.

      [...]

      So it’s your choice. You can spend $10 on a couple of lattes and a kruller, or you can spend it on keeping information flowing just a little more freely around the world. I know which one I’d pick.

    • Pranksters Attach GPS Device To Google Street View Car

      The result: Berliners are pulling down their pants when the car scoots into view, making obscene gestures, shouting, and kind of making a scene.

  • Internet/Web Abuse/DRM

    • Obama Affirms Commitment to Net Neutrality

      In a followup to his State of the Union address, the president said:

      I’m a big believer in net neutrality. I campaigned on this. I continue to be a strong supporter of it. My FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has indicated that he shares the view that we’ve got to keep the Internet open, that we don’t want to create a bunch of gateways that prevent somebody who doesn’t have a lot of money but has a good idea from being able to start their next YouTube or their next Google on the Internet.

  • ACTA

    • Tell USTR balanced copyright is important

      Under the Special 301 process the U.S.T.R. seeks input from U.S. copyright, trademark, and patent owners about whether policies and practices in foreign countries deny them adequate IP protection. The process has generally been used by IP holders to complain not only about lax enforcement in other countries, but also about limitations and exceptions in their laws that are beneficial to libraries, to education, to innovation, and to the public interest generally. The ability to comment in the Special 301 process is not limited to IP owners only. Any member of the public is free to file comments. If you believe in the importance of balanced copyright policies, file comments with the USTR and make your voice heard.

    • Alvaro asks 9 questions to the Commission about ACTA, including 3 strikes and transparency

      Alexander Alvaro (ALDE) has asked 9 questions about ACTA, including 3 strikes and transparency, or the access by the INTA committee to the drafts documents. He is also asking about changes to substantive patent law (read software patents here).

Adam Metz and Teddy loose at CitizenSpace (2009)


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