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Links 12/4/2010: Awn 0.4.0, VP8 Becoming Free Software

Posted in News Roundup at 5:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • IPFire brings super secure Linux to the masses

    Most folk know if they want a secure gateway between the Internet and their home or business they should use Linux for maximum protection. The new IPFire distribution seeks to take security to the highest level while also making things a breeze for the less experienced to set up.

  • Labour trumpets open-source success

    Stephen Timms — currently the government minister in charge of Digital Britain — spoke to ZDNet UK to explain how the Labour Party stands on strengthening the digital economy, using open source in government IT and protecting consumer data, among other issues.


    The NHS ‘Spine’ uses an operating system based on open source. At least 35 percent of NHS organisations covering almost 300,000 users are supported by Linux infrastructure. GP applications running on Linux are being deployed — these are ‘black boxes’ that will handle key functions in GP surgeries. Hundreds of desktops across the NHS are running Linux.

  • Most computer users need Linux.

    Sure computer technicians make money off of these peoples ignorance and stupidity. Personally I would prefer to work on real problems, instead of mindless operating system re-installation and scut work cleaning junkware. Linux does far more towards turning a computer into an appliance than windows can ever do. If the computer users do not wish to properly maintain their machine then they need Linux. Linux is far more advanced at self maintenance than windows will ever be and the sheeple will be far less frustrated at that mysterious box and wonder why they were foisted with windows in the first place.

  • Going Linux: Apr 10: #098 – Listener Feedback
  • Open Source Software Goes Mainstream in Vietnam?

    Army-owned Viettel group just became one of the pioneer organizations using open source software (OSS) in Vietnam. According to local ICTnews, since July 2009 more than 2,200 PC units in Viettel network of stores and postal counters had been installed oss: Ubuntu, Open Offfice, X-Unikey, Mozilla ThunderBird. This is the first stage, and all new PCs will be used with OSS from now on, Viettel said.

  • Microsoft bars Machinarium from XBLA

    Rather, Microsoft was fearful that Mac and Linux users would drain away precious sales.

  • Kernel Space

    • Feature Plans For Xen 4.1 Come About

      Xen 4.0 was just released a few days back with a variety of features from graphics card pass-through support to online resizing of guest disks, but features for Xen 4.1 are already brewing. Xen 4.1 will be the next major release for this once-popular virtualization platform and its feature list is quickly growing.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Gets A New Catalyst Pre-Release

        A month ago the Canonical crew working on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS received an unreleased Catalyst 10.4 driver from AMD for inclusion with the Lucid Lynx since the publicly available ATI Catalyst drivers had not — and to this day still do not — support the X.Org Server 1.7 used by this next Ubuntu release. Similar pre-releases for Ubuntu have happened in the past when AMD hasn’t been quick to the game in supporting new Linux kernels and X Servers. This driver was made available in Ubuntu 10.04 even before Catalyst 10.3 was released. Catalyst 10.4 still has not been publicly released, but another updated 10.4 driver has made its way into the Lucid repository.

      • Phoronix Test Suite 2.6 “Lyngen” Alpha 3

        It’s been three weeks since Phoronix Test Suite 2.6 Alpha 2 was released (compared the usual two weeks, due to the tour of Chernobyl), but the third alpha release for this next release codenamed “Lyngen” is now available.

        Phoronix Test Suite 2.6 Alpha 3 is carrying mostly internal changes and improvements to pts-core, but there are some externally visible changes too. The start of the suite-to-pdf option has been introduced, various bug-fixes, text-based interface enhancements, tweaks to the generated graphs, and compatibility with older versions of PHP 5.1/5.2.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Above Resistance – Red Hat

        Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) closed the trading session at $30.81 just above calculated resistance at $30.72 effectively breaking out, grabbing the attention of momentum traders, which could eventually push the stock to different trading range

      • Allegheny first-years dive into Fedora

        Today, 42 first-year students at Allegheny College were thrown into the deep end of the pool on the Fedora project. Given that these are first-year students with no particular background in computing, we’ve worked closely with Mel Chua to get these students plugged into the Marketing and Design teams. This puts them in a context where their lack of experience as programmers is a benefit, as they are discussing and developing feature descriptions with developers with the explicit goal of making the end-result readable by people with no particular background in computing.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – April 12th, 2010

        Welcome to this year’s first issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

        * Debian Project Leader Election
        * Bits from the Release Team
        * Estimates of the number of Debian users


        Four Debian Developers are nominated in the currently running election for the Debian Project Leader: Stefano “Zack” Zacchiroli, Wouter “Yoe” Verhelst, Charles Plessy and Margarita “marga” Manterola — the first woman ever nominated for this position. The voting period ends on Thursday, April 15th.

      • Margarita “marga” Manterola

        The first woman ever to be nominated for Debian Project Leader is Margarita “marga” Manterola. Would it be chauvinistic to hope that a woman might make Debian GNU/Linux a bit more tidy? Perhaps emphasizing communication and cooperation?

      • Trying on sidux

        The sidux distribution is one which has been on my to-review list for a while. It’s a small project which makes a bold effort to take Debian’s Unstable repository and turn it into a functioning day-to-day operating system.


        Having played with sidux for a week, I find that it’s an interesting operating system and brings a special collection of characteristics to the table, some of which almost seem contradictions. For one, the Xfce edition is very light of resources, a trait generally found in distributions targeting older hardware. But sidux isn’t looking back, it’s looking ahead, it’s cutting edge, designed with the newest hardware in mind. The operating system itself doesn’t do much hand-holding (such as one might expect from Mandriva or Ubuntu), but sidux does have some excellent documentation and, from what I’ve seen thus far, a polite and friendly community. The distro is based on Debian, but has a flavour, a character, of its own. I wouldn’t recommend sidux to new-comers to the Linux scene, but for people who want to keep up with the latest and greatest without any extra fluff in their faces, sidux seems like a good fit.

      • Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala (System76 Serp5 Speed Test)

          Testing out my new laptop from System76. I feel I could have thrown much more at it, I was just running out of applications. This laptop does a great job with multi-tasking, as you can see, the effects got slow towards the end. However, the Serval Professional out performs (by a long way) all of my previous laptops… This is 32bit Ubuntu Karmic Koala, NOT the 64bit version that ships with the computer. Specs: -Very limited, one-of-a-kind “Light-Up Bumpy Edition” Serval Professional (Serp5) from System76. -nvidia geforce GTX 260M with 1GB DDR3 -Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 2.53 ghz -4 GB – DDR3 RAM -320 Gb HDD 15.4″ WUXGA Matte Finish LCD (1920 x 1200)

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 188

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #188 for the week April 4th – April 10th, 2010. In this issue we cover: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 2 released, Countdown Banner is live, help spread the word, Regional Membership Boards: Restaffing, Call for New Operators in the #ubuntu, #kubuntu and #ubuntu-offtopic channels, Patch Day, May 5th 2010, Next Ubuntu Hug Day! – April 15, Being passionate about some things, Website Localization Project Meeting, Reviving the Ubuntu Accessibility Team, Ubuntu One contact phone sync opened again, Canonical Upgrading GNOME Bugzilla and Commercial Sponsorship, Ubuntu’s News Web Office Integration, and much, much more!

        • How Canonical Can Do Ubuntu Right: It Isn’t a Technical Problem

          So far, with only a very few exceptions, the comments and discussion around my criticism of Ubuntu has been respectful and on topic, even when people strongly disagreed with me. This says something very positive about the Ubuntu community.

        • Selling Ubuntu to the “Third World”

          Ubuntu adoption for communities in the “Third World” seems like it should be a no-brainer: how could a functional, free operating system not prove wildly popular in developing countries? Nonetheless, I believe Ubuntu use outside rich nations remains limited. Here’s a look at some suggested explanations of that reality, and how to change it.

          Counting Ubuntu users by country–like counting Ubuntu users in general–is surprisingly difficult. There used to be a frappr page, a map run by ubuntu-fr.org and a world map hosted on the Ubuntu forums all dedicated to this purpose, but these resources no longer function.

        • Kubuntu’s biggest problem: Network Management

          k cards are One of the first things someone notices when working with Kubuntu or introducing Kubuntu to someone is networking and how wireless works. Or based on what I’ve been working with, the lack of working. I now that everyone who reads this post is going to comment its the drivers stupid, network drivers are mostly closed source, if there were better drivers then the problems wouldn’t occur.

        • Variants

          • Netrunner (Albedo) – A look at a brand new distro!

            The Gnome DE and no Mono in connection with its Ubuntu roots make this distro a winner in my opinion. Whilst I am going to favor any distro which excludes Mono as default it has to be remembered how rock solid Ubuntu is. Even when booting from the LiveCD a few things struck me, first was the speed. I cannot say if this is due to the absence of Mono or the tinkering in other area’s by the Netrunner team, but Netrunner LiveCD is noticeably faster on the same machine than Ubuntu LiveCD(from which its based).


            Don’t let this first release of Netrunner make you think its incomplete, I’ll stress this is a fully functional, damn good distro. I expect Netrunner now only to improve on the solid first steps it has already made.

            Highly recommended and Im glad that at least the developers of Netrunner have returned “the gift to the world” of Mono back to the shop.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • A Silent HTPC

      We’ve just released a practically silent Neuros LINK v1.2 (codenamed “Phantom”) and figured some of you would be interested in the process.

    • Android

      • The Tilt Toward Android Is Only In Its Infancy

        Just yesterday, as Mobile Burn reports, Skyfire’s CEO Jeff Glueck said that his company is stopping work on a BlackBerry version of Skyfire to focus on Android, noting carrier and manufacturer interest. Not only are carriers and manufacturers warming up to Android, developers increasingly are. Google recently confirmed that there are over 30,000 applications for Android, and that the number doubled in only three months.

      • HTC Incredible To Be Officially Announced Monday!

        Guess who’s bizzack? Anonimac! After leaking the Incredible User Guide and the Incredible Equipment Guide he made it trifecta by hooking up our readers and members with an internal email showing the Incredible will probably be officially announced on Monday!

    • Tablets

      • Dual-Screen HTC Tablet in the Works?

        Looks like HTC has just filed a patent for a device that would feature dual touchscreens in a clamshell design. Many are comparing the device to the Microsoft Courier, a similarly dual-screened device, but the Courier would be lacking one key element that is sure to make its way on to this interesting HTC design: Android.

      • Ipad sales fall short of estimates
      • Google Preparing iPad Rival

        Confirming the rumors, and after dismissing the iPad as nothing more than a large phone, Google is getting ready its own tablet computer. At least, that was what Google CEO—and Steve Jobs’ own personal Judas—Eric Schmidt is saying.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Meet on open source software from April 19

    The Department of Computer Science and Engineering of Federal Institute of Science and Technology (FISAT) will organise ICEFOSS- 10, a conference for enthusiasts of free and open source software, from April 19 to 21.

    ICEFOSS is a platform for the promotion of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). It will feature various programmes, including lectures on the philosophical and technical aspects of free software, workshops and open discussions.

  • Use value and free software

    Not everyone was happy with that, and we got rebels such as the heroes of the Free Software Foundation. I’m not going to preach to the choir and repeat the rise and success of free software, but I’m going to say that the rebellion was all about a world-class hacker such as Richard Stallman being unable to fix the driver software for his brand new Xerox printer because it was proprietary. The use value was greatly diminished.

    Free software is all about making software useful again. Software is only useful when you can do what your needs are, not someone else’s. No software vendor is ingenious enough to predict what you might want to do. Free software communities are: they just do what you tell them to do. We’re talking usefulness, use values again.

    So now that we have philosophically and economically fixed everything with the free software ideology and open source development models, and we have wonderful systems like Linux-based GNU systems and all the awesome apps that run on them, we’re home free, right? I’m not sure.

  • Letting Firefox Move Faster: Solving The Innovators Dilemma

    The nearly 400 million current Firefox users is a testament to our ability to make those tough calls and change towards the better. As our user base continues to grow, those calls will only get tougher. We need to find technical and cultural ways to overcome the innovators dilemma and lower the cost of experimentation.

  • Oracle moves Solaris onto quarterly patch schedule

    Oracle has moved Solaris onto its quarterly security patch schedule, meaning users of the Sun Microsystems operating system will now know months in advance when they will be getting security updates.

  • Business

  • Government

    • Open source headlines from the Open Government plans

      The Obama Administration’s Open Government Directive ordered Federal agencies to produce open government plans by April 7th, and while some advocates are disappointed, we have before us a bewildering number of initiatives to improve transparency, collaboration, and participation across the Government. It will not surprise you to learn that I spent some time looking for places where open source is being used in these plans.

  • Open Access/Content

    • OpenUp – TSO Launches Open Data Challenge with £50,000 Development Fund

      TSO (The Stationery Office), the leading provider of publishing solutions to the public sector, has today announced the launch of OpenUp, a £50,000 development fund aimed at encouraging the British public to come up with ideas of how open data can be put to better use for their communities. The move by TSO to offer the substantial fund for investment follows the recent launch of Data.gov.uk by the Government. Individuals or teams of people are encouraged to enter the competition by submitting an idea that can use public data to deliver value to communities locally, regionally, nationally or even internationally. As well as securing the fund to see their idea developed the winner will also be awarded a personal prize of £1,000.

    • The commonsware publishing model

      CommonsWare’s publishing strategy is fairly simple: try to give readers a fair deal.

      Digital publishing with a price tag attached — whether it be books or music or movies — is trying to leverage an artificial scarcity. For all intents and purposes, there is really no additional costs for delivering 200 copies than there are for delivering 2 copies. However, the alternative revenue models are works-in-progress.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Introducing the Ogg

      Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the official mascot of OggCamp, the Ogg! I came up with this little fella because we needed something to decorate the merchandise for the event and I think mascots are cool.

      As I’ve already established with Dan, Oggs live on a steady diet of puffles, chips and of course, beer. They usually spend their day listening to podcasts, mostly UUPC and Linux Outlaws, and generally looking cool. They are born on the mysterious island of Ardour (somewhere off the coast off France) and when they die, they go to Ogg heaven which they call The Vorbis. You will see lots of these little guys around OggCamp this year, I think.

    • Google to Open-source VP8 for HTML5 Video

      Google will soon make its VP8 video codec open source, we’ve learned from multiple sources. The company is scheduled to officially announce the release at its Google I/O developers conference next month, a source with knowledge of the announcement said. And with that release, Mozilla — maker of the Firefox browser — and Google Chrome are expected to also announce support for HTML5 video playback using the new open codec.


  • Sacked Fujitsu boss threatens to sue

    The ex-president of Fujitsu, Kuniaki Nozoe is now threatening to sue the IT services giant, and asking it to sue some of its own executives.

  • Facing lawsuits, Yelp alters review policies

    Yelp Inc. made several significant changes to its review policies on Tuesday, following a series of class-action complaints accusing the popular San Francisco site of extorting companies into buying advertising.

    The lawsuits, which include several Bay Area plaintiffs, allege the company’s salespeople offered to highlight positive reviews and bury negative ones for businesses that agreed to advertise on the site. Further, some said that positive reviews of their businesses disappeared after they refused the offers.

  • China: Beyond Confidence

    China will reach maturity not when returns the the hubristic self-audulation of The Qing emperors, but when it learns to walk a middle path in its approach to things foreign, assigning value to ideas, innovations, systems and people based not on their origin, but on their intrinsic merits. The country could once afford to forego this middle path, but today it is at odds with everything China seeks to accomplish in a global economy, polity, and society.

  • SLAPP Back

    A SLAPP, or “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” is a little known but widespread threat to the First Amendment. SLAPPs are meritless suits brought by companies, individuals and sometimes the government, not to win, but to silence critics. Congress is now considering federal anti-SLAPP legislation. OTM producer Nazanin Rafsanjani investigates.

  • Police ‘ignored News of the World phone hacking evidence’

    CPS papers reveal investigation focused on a small number of cases and suppressed names of more prominent victims

  • Science

    • Astronauts remove ammonia tank on space station

      Astronauts took part Sunday in the second of three planned spacewalks to replace an old storage tank on the international space station.

      Rick Mastracchio and Clayton Anderson removed an old ammonia tank that is part of the space station’s cooling system. The tank has to be replaced periodically. The current one had been at the station for eight years.

    • Shuttle Discovery docks with space station

      Space shuttle Discovery docked with the international space station early Wednesday despite a broken antenna that knocked out radar tracking aboard the shuttle.

      The shuttle docked with the space station at 3:44 a.m. ET. At the time of docking, both spacecraft were traveling 225 miles over the Caribbean sea near Caracas, Venezuela, NASA said.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Cataloguing the Innocent

      On 4th December 2008 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that keeping the DNA profiles of two men from Sheffield – who had previously been cleared of criminal charges – on the British police DNA database was a breach of their human rights. Reacting to the court’s decision, Jacqui Smith – then Home Secretary – said that “the existing law will remain in place while we carefully consider the judgement.”

    • Ejection Seats, Cooking Dinner, and Vuln Disclosure

      It turned out to be way easier and much more like a webapp than I had thought it would be originally. After a couple hours of poking, I found a huge unauthenticated confidentiality hole. Once the euphoria wore off, I realized I had a big problem on my hands. I had to tell my employer’s app owners and we had to assess risk and make a decision on what to do about it. After some quick meetings with stakeholders, we decided to severely limit access to the thing while we worked with the vendor.

      The vendor refused to acknowledge it was a security issue. Odd, considering most everyone who sees the issue unmistakably agrees that it is not acceptable. Now I’m forced to play hardball, yet nobody wants to fully-disclose and destroy relations with this vendor, whose software is somewhat relied on. Meanwhile, I know there are hundreds of institutions, small and large, using this software who have no idea that it has flawed security and who would probably not find the risk acceptable. What can I do? Nothing. Oh well, sucks to be them.

    • Politicians and the DNA database

      Why is it that the topic of the National DNA Database (NDNAD) brings the worse crassness out of politicians? Two days ago, the Tories changed their mind on what they had long claimed to be a ‘point of principle’, allowing the Crime and Security Bill to become an Act with its DNA clauses intact. Today, Gordon Brown went a few notches up by misleading the public about DNA retention in the presence of the family of Sally Anne Bowman, at a campaign event in Stevenage. His arguments, that retaining the DNA profile of anyone arrested is essential to bring to justice criminals, including the killer of Sally Anne Bowman, has been debunked before, many times.

    • New York and the Moscow Subway Bombing

      People intent on preventing a Moscow-style terrorist attack against the New York subway system are proposing a range of expensive new underground security measures, some temporary and some permanent.

      They should save their money – and instead invest every penny they’re considering pouring into new technologies into intelligence and old-fashioned policing.

    • Polish president’s plane crashes in Russia; 87 die

      Officials say a plane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife has crashed in western Russia and that at least 87 people have been killed.

    • making Rumsfeld look like a techie by comparison

      Disrupting the operation of a website is very different from disrupting the operation of the internet, which is very different from interfering with military communication systems, which is very different from interfering with military battlefield communication systems, which is very different from being susceptible to the interception of digital communications. But all of these things are just jammed together, mindlessly.

  • Environment

  • Finance

    • The Magnetar Trade: How One Hedge Fund Helped Keep the Bubble Going (Single Page)

      In late 2005, the booming U.S. housing market seemed to be slowing. The Federal Reserve had begun raising interest rates. Subprime mortgage company shares were falling. Investors began to balk at buying complex mortgage securities. The housing bubble, which had propelled a historic growth in home prices, seemed poised to deflate. And if it had, the great financial crisis of 2008, which produced the Great Recession of 2008-09, might have come sooner and been less severe.

      At just that moment, a few savvy financial engineers at a suburban Chicago hedge fund [1] [1] helped revive the Wall Street money machine, spawning billions of dollars of securities ultimately backed by home mortgages.

    • Debt/GDP Worldmap: It’s Full of Debt!

      From Worldmapper and the SASI Research Group, a world map with country sizes scales to debt/GDP ratio. In short, the developed economies are grotesquely swollen in being full of debt.

    • Insurance and gambling

      Kay argues that nearly all use of credit default swaps (or CDSs) is gambling, and that this is highly damaging. He doesn’t extend the argument to other derivative instruments, but it applies equally and feeds into Kay’s recommendation, made elsewhere, that if utility and other banking were separated, the utility banks’ use of derivatives should be restricted to those directly required to protect the utility business.

    • Financial Crisis and Human Rights

      The Federal Reserve System – itself an independent government entity therefore having human rights obligations – has extended its emergency powers in response to the crisis, but at the same time refused to disclose to us, the people, the details of its bailout operations. Indeed, the Federal Reserve is a paradigm of opaqueness and unaccountability. The Government Accountability Office is restricted in its ability to audit the Fed; the Fed enjoys critical exemptions from the Freedom of Information Act, and the banking industry advisors (the Federal Advisory Council) are allowed to meet behind closed doors and not report on what they are doing.

      The new regulatory legislation must take the required obligation to protect seriously. The failure to do so over the last few decades created the economic problems that have engulfed the nation and the world. We need reform that protects the economic and social rights of people and safeguards them from the avarice of the financial market.

    • Edolphus Towns Says Fed Officials Were Unhappy About Friedman Waiver To Buy GS Stock, Were Overruled

      One of the most botched cases of conflict of interest abuse by a Federal Reserve official will forever remain the purchase of Goldman Sachs shares by Goldman Board Member, and FRBNY Board Member (the squid likes to keep its Federal Reserve puppets closely supervised) Stephen Friedman: an act strictly forbidden by the Fed itself. The action was so indefensible it led to Friedman’s quitting shortly after disclosure of his transgression leaked. Yet the reasons why Friedman managed to effect this purchase of 37,000 shares of GS on December 17, 2008 is because he was granted a “waiver” by the Fed. A month ago, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Edolphus Towns sent a rather angry letter demanding an explanation from Ben Bernanke why he had allowed this blatant case of semi-insider trading to occur at the highest echelons of shadow government.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Parliamentary wash-up washes away liberties

      In the mad rush that is “parliamentary wash-up”, it is traditional for civil liberties to be trampled to demonstrate that no party fails the “tough on crime” test – and 2010 is no exception.

    • Chinese human rights lawyer abandons activism to reunite with family

      An outspoken Chinese human rights lawyer whose 13-month disappearance caused international concern has said he is abandoning activism in the hope of being reunited with his exiled family.

      Gao Zhisheng, who resurfaced last month at a retreat in Shanxi province after being seized in February 2009, today said he did not want to discuss his disappearance and whether he had been held or mistreated by the authorities.

    • International man of mystery

      The founder of WikiLeaks lives a secret life in the shadow of those who blow the whistle, writes Bernard Lagan.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Comcast Disables VCR Scheduling In New Guide

      “Comcast has quietly launched a new on-screen guide for its cable boxes. What they’re not advertising is that they’ve removed the ability to schedule VCR-compatible channel flipping any time more than a few hours in advance for people who don’t buy the $20/month DVR service. What this means is that VCR owners are now forced to pay for Comcast’s $20/month DVR service or else start their recordings manually. For us techies there might be a way around this, but ordinary VCR enthusiasts and owners of other recorders are left in the dust. Anyone know a good antitrust lawyer?”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Star Trek app for iPad pulled after infringement complaint

      Although PushyPixels maintains the company did not use any copyright or trademark infringing materials, it killed Captain’s Log rather than get into a long, costly legal battle with Paramount.

      A Paramount Pictures spokeswoman, meanwhile, said PushyPixels simply did not have a license for the app, which was similar in design and function to an app – also called “Captain’s Log” – that the studio is working on for the iPhone.

    • Bad Publicity Forces Lawyers Out of Anti File-Sharing Cases

      A British law firm, which only recently entered the file-sharing settlement letters business, has withdrawn due to masses of bad publicity. Tilly Bailey & Irvine, who tried to rewrite history on its Wikipedia page to remove its connection to this work, say that they fear the rest of their business could be damaged.

    • TBI Solicitors lost its bottle? – Law firms pulls out of file sharing “venture”

      We covered TBI Solicitors in previous articles here. TBI were the law firm who were the latest crew to enter into the world of warning letters and fines for those suspected of file sharing.

      According to Which? TBI, (which was alleged to be pursuing amongst other material, Adult film titles, now appears to have removed itself from the practice making the comment:

      We are concerned that the adverse publicity could affect other areas of our practice and therefore following discussions with our clients, we have reluctantly agreed that we will cease sending out further letters of claim.

    • Copyrights

      • Corporate Copyright Scofflaws 0004 – The Motion Picture Association of America

        The largest copyright pirates are the large corporations, particularly in the content distribution business. Yes, those companies who scream the loudest that their customers are ‘pirating’ movies, songs, books, etc. In this series, we are going to look at cases where these companies have engaged in large scare copyright infringement.


        When the MPAA did not respond to his requests, Matthew actually had to resort to a Digital Millennium Copyright Act take down notice sent to the MPAA’s ISP to get action. The problem was that the MPAA, that great advocate of copyright, was not in compliance with copyright law, specifically they did not release the source as required when you distribute an application which uses code which is covered by the General Public License.

        Do you get the impression that there’s two sets of rules? One for them (we can do whatever we want and you can’t stop us) and one for us (do what we say, not what we do).

      • eBook Piracy ‘Surges’ After iPad Launch

        With 500.000 iPads sold in the first week, Apple’s new multi-gadget is already a force to be reckoned with. As book publishers see the iPad as a potential threat to their revenues, we take a look to find out what happened to eBook piracy in the last week. The results are surprising.

      • FT Deal With Foursquare Lets Users ‘Unlock’ Paywall

        The move is notable because the FT has been so ardent in defending its pay system. Clearly, the Foursquare deal shows that the FT isn’t about to give up on its metered model, but it demonstrates that even one of the prime examples of paywalls has to be flexible when it comes to attracting younger users.

      • Managing data vs. producing data on digital artifacts – or how content vs. pipes was moot from the start

        If computer reading is cheaper and more convenient, can free digital publishing lead to sale of same data on physical substrate ? Free data on physical substrate has market value if the substrate has value on its own or if the data has sentimental value. That is a potential axis of development for the traditional publishing industry : when nostalgia and habits are involved, the perceived value of the scarce physical substrate of digitally abundant data may actually increases. Of course, free data has value on its own – but, as the reader of this blog certainly knows, it involves a business model entirely different to physical items.

      • The Final Copyright Consultation Numbers: No Repeat Of Bill C-61

        The copyright consultation concluded last fall and it seems worth reminding Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement what Canadians had to say when they asked for their opinion on copyright reform. It has taken some time to calculate the final numbers as the government conducted a review to ensure that all were properly posted. There were ultimately more than 8,300 submissions – more than any government consultation in recent memory – with the overwhelming majority rejecting Bill C-61 (6138 submissions against, 54 in support), while thousands called for flexible fair dealing and a link between copyright infringement and anti-circumvention rules.

    • ACTA

      • The Wellington Declaration

        This week marks the start in Wellington New Zealand of the next round of ACTA negotiations, nominally the US-led Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The scope of the agreement, however, has extended well beyond trade in fake medicines and knock-off Gucci handbags into the technical realms of file-sharing, ISP liability, disconnection, and DRM. Such issues have been contentious where they’ve arisen in New Zealand, France, the UK, USA, and elsewhere, yet negotiators seem ignorant of consumer and technology concerns. To correct this, the open PublicACTA conference two days ago drafted and released the Wellington Declaration.

      • The PublicACTA Conference Webcast
      • Breaking! Live webcast on ACTA-negotiations available
      • U.S.: No ACTA Transparency Unless Other Countries Cave on Substance

        The U.S. Trade Representative issued a release just prior to the launch of the New Zealand round of ACTA negotiations that has left no doubt that the U.S. is the biggest barrier to official release of the ACTA text. The full text of the release is couched in terms of improving transparency, but is really a thinly-veiled shot at the European Union’s public demands for release of the text. The U.S. statement:

        “In this upcoming round of ACTA negotiations, the U.S. delegation will be working with other delegations to resolve some fundamental issues, such as the scope of the intellectual property rights that are the focus of this agreement. Progress is necessary so that we can prepare to release a text that will provide meaningful information to the public and be a basis for productive dialogue. We hope that enough progress is made in New Zealand in clearing brackets from the text so that participants can be in a position to reach a consensus on sharing a meaningful text with the public.”

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • Digital economy bill backlash dominates e-election debate

        Only one thing mattered to the UK’s digital constituency this week: the digital economy bill. The election date announcement meant the #debill, as it is referred to on Twitter, was hurried through parliament before the election.

        An ambitious bill designed to kickstart the UK’s broadband-enabled future and tackle internet piracy, it deserved more scrutiny than two hours’ late-night discussion in an empty chamber, but was passed on Wednesday with Tory support.

      • Leaders sign up for online debate
      • My digital pledges

        After the passing of the Digital Economy Act last week and before the political parties each launch a manifesto next week, I wanted to ask your advice on my own Internet pledges.


        I believe that copyright and software patent laws should be reformed to reflect the needs of citizens in the Internet age.

      • The Red Flag Act 2010 (#DEBill and the Locomotive Acts)

        The Tory and Labour parties colluded in forcing through a piece of draft legislation today – the Digital Economy Bill – which is one of the most barefaced examples of Olde Media trying to protect it’s position via legislative muscle.

      • A letter to my MP

        I am writing firstly to commend you for your attendance at the Digital Economy Bill Second Reading last night. I was one of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people watching the reading unfold on Twitter. By now perhaps some MPs and party strategists are digesting what happened but I wished to pick out a few things that seemed particularly relevant, particularly in the context of a general election.


        Finally I would note that, while you were present, the lack of other Liberal Democrats in the house was noted. This is a natural constituency for your party. Indeed Bath has a vibrant technology community as you are no doubt aware. I hope your party strategists have seen the damage that was done last night and I hope they draw the logical conclusion. If the Liberal Democrats turn out in force tonight and bury this bill at the third reading then it will make a difference to your electoral results. If you want a hung parliament, this is the way to get it.

      • Big Music’s IFPI calls for ‘3 strikes’ action

        The ink isn’t even dry on Britain’s digital economy bill and Vivendi Universal (France), Sony (Japan), EMI (Britain), and Warner Music (US, but controlled by a Canadian) are already crowing.

      • Mandybill: It ain’t over yet

        It’s a bit premature to declare winners and losers from the Digital Economy Bill just yet. The Open Rights Group may have given up campaigning – having already turned its front page into a giant click-through recruitment poster* – but the fight’s not over. The legislation may yet fall.

      • International trade can’t ration finite fossil fuels or tuna, but enthusiastically restricts infinite knowledge

        Colin Jackson, a commenter on a blog, on the miserable state of international law: “What a pity international governments don’t seem to be able to make an agreement to ration finite resources like tuna, atmospheric carbon or fossil fuels, but instead devote their time to making an international agreement enforcing controls over something that costs no resources to copy.”

Clip of the Day

SourceCode Season 3 – Episode 7: Capitalism vs Environment (2006)

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Links 27/11/2022: EasyOS 4.5.2 and Pixel Wheels 0.24.0

    Links for the day

  2. Microsoft is the Problem, Not the Solution

    The media is doing anything it can to suppress discussion about the national or international security crisis caused by Microsoft; instead, some publishers go as far as lionising Microsoft, portraying it as the 'Jesus' of computer security

  3. GNU Emacs Pointing to Microsoft Servers With Microsoft Ads (Spying) and Other Brainwash

    An attempt to study another Gemini client resulted in a disturbing revelation; Unless something went very wrong, it seems like GNU Emacs doesn't exercise caution with users' privacy; it leaks out information to Microsoft in its Web browser mode

  4. Links 26/11/2022: Maui 2.2.1 and Wine 7.22

    Links for the day

  5. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 25, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, November 25, 2022

  6. Legislating Against Free Software in the United States and in Europe, Thanks to Lobbying by Microsoft et al

    There’s legislation that would discriminate against Free software, boosted by Microsoft and its creeping interests, which include the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation (a force of corporate occupation against the GNU/Linux community and its collective interests)

  7. Unitary Patent Lobbying: Stacked UPC Panel With 250 People in Attendance Spun as “3000 Viewers Followed the Conference” (a Lie)

    Bolstering the criminal acts of António Campinos from the EPO is a supportive “conference in Brussels” which was more like staged Unified Patent Court (UPC) propaganda for lobbying purposes; Kangaroo courts are being promoted to legitimise fake European Patents, granted in violation of the European Patent Convention (EPC)

  8. [Meme] Monopolies Presumed Valid

    The EPO is trying to put patent maximalists in charge of a court it wishes to control, in effect dismantling independent auditory functions for the granting of European Patents

  9. “Bringing Teams Together” at the EPO Means Exactly the Opposite

    The European Patent Office’s (EPO) staff is complaining that the EPO's “Bringing Teams Together” or “New Management of Office Space” is basically done without consulting staff and to the detriment of staff, in effect making life miserable for those who can stop or prevent unwarranted monopolies

  10. Links 25/11/2022: Bugfixes in Linux and podlators 5.00

    Links for the day

  11. Links 25/11/2022: Uruk GNU/Linux 3.0 and Ubuntu Touch OTA-24 Released

    Links for the day

  12. Geminispace Can Graduate at 3,000 Capsules Quite Soon (2,900 This Week)

    From less than 500 capsules to 2,900 capsules in 24 months? That's how quickly Gemini is spreading.

  13. [Meme] Kiss the Ring (of the Patent Litigation Mafia)

    Patent litigation giants and their international lobbies/clients are working to create an absurd situation where the courts themselves exist in violation of constitutions, laws, and international conventions (they're also run by corporations)

  14. This Won't End Well for the UPC Lobby (Unitary Patent Profoundly Discredits the Rule of Law)

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobbyists may be acting jubilant and triumphant, but they're in effect dancing on the grave of the real legal system they're working to bury, replacing it with something that cannot and will not stand

  15. Taking Communications Private With Mumble (Privacy by Self-Hosting and End-to-End Encryption)

    The prospects of self-hosting for communications have improved greatly; for voice chat, Mumble is definitely worth a look

  16. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 24, 2022

  17. Links 24/11/2022: AudioTube Improved

    Links for the day

  18. [Meme] Judges That Break the Rules to Get Richer

    The EPO‘s latest controlled ‘judge’ is a proponent of software patents and opponent of proper due process or presumption of innocence; can they fake their way into a Unified Patent Court? It would be a breach of laws, constitutions, and conventions, dismissing any notion that the “legal industry” honours legality while tarnishing the reputation of some key institutions and governments.

  19. Klaus 'Kangaroo' Grabinski Does Not Understand Software Development 'As Such', He is a Symptom of the Patent System's Loss of Legitimacy (Acting to Curtail, Not Advance, Science)

    EPO corruption has become a major threat to the legitimacy of the German government, the German legal system, the European Union, and the European Commission because the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is advancing through the political process without consultation with actual scientists and in defiance of laws, constitutions, and conventions

  20. Links 24/11/2022: Stratis 3.4 and LibreOffice 7.4.3

    Links for the day

  21. Links 24/11/2022: OBS Studio 29.0 Beta

    Links for the day

  22. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 23, 2022

  23. Links 24/11/2022: Redox OS 0.8.0, Mozilla Turns Privacy Into Product

    Links for the day

  24. Links 23/11/2022: Proton 7.0-5 and Cockpit 280

    Links for the day

  25. Links 23/11/2022: Tor Browser 11.5.8

    Links for the day

  26. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 22, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 22, 2022

  27. Links 23/11/2022: GNU Parallel 20221122 and Proxmox VE 7.3

    Links for the day

  28. Links 22/11/2022: Alpine Linux 3.17 and Tails 5.7

    Links for the day

  29. Kangaroo Tribunal For Xmas? Santa Klaus Grabinski Breaking the Law, Crushing Constitutions, Violating International Conventions For Personal (Financial) Gain... Again

    Now that António Campinos is doing photo ops with Klaus Grabinski (for lobbying purposes; they both know this kangaroo court is still illegal/verboten) it’s time to remember who Klaus Grabinski really is (patent maximalist) and what a liability this becomes to the German 'justice' system, not just to the EU (this perpetuates the growing and correct perception that the Government of Germany looks the other way while EPO commits crimes on German soil because it's economically beneficial to Germany although the EPO is presented to the public as an office by — and for — nearly 40 members states)

  30. From About 2-3 Blog Posts Per Day to Not Even One Per Day (After Covering Up for 'Good' EPO Under António Campinos)

    While it’s totally debatable whether the problem is IP Kat’s deletion of comments critical of António Campinos (among other such factors after pressure from the EPO) or blogs in general perishing, this blog certainly peaked when it covered EPO scandals (864 blog posts in 2015 and 879 in 2014 — the highest ever in the blog’s almost-20-year history)

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