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Comment Harmless convenience or rotting cancer? (Score 1) 1 1

I can see how it can be convenient, to be able to order books, CD's, online music, etc. from the core of your desktop. However, what I don't want, is Canonical to depend on you, the users, to buy DRM'ed music, and/or proprietary software.

I have been somewhat worried about the software center offering proprietary software, however, it seems convenient in the cases, where there is no free alternative, or when the free alternative is considerably less convenient than the proprietary version. However, the user should be properly warned, that this is proprietary software, that doesn't respect his or her freedom.

However, the idea that Canonical gets a dime or whatever, when someone uses Ubuntu to buy a new book, doesn't worry me. I wish they would extend their support on free software instead. I am sure people concerned about free software, would be willing to pay for support. We also need Canonical to offer governments, schools and stuff like that a proper alternative to the proprietary stuff, they use today.

If the idea with this thing, however, is merely to go for the money of random GNU/Linux users, who stumble on Ubuntu by coincidence, to buy proprietary software, DRM'ed music, and stuff like that, then it may very well be a cancer in the core GUI of the default Ubuntu install.

Businesses

Submission + - How corruption is strangling US Innovation-> 1 1

hype7 writes: "The Harvard Business Review is running a very interesting piece on how money in politics is having a deleterious effect on US innovation. From the article:

if you were in any doubt how deep inside the political system the system of contributions have allowed incumbents to insert their hands, take a look at what happened when the Republican Study Committee released a paper pointing out some of the problems with current copyright regime. The debate was stifled within 24 hours. And just for good measure, Rep Marsha Blackburn, whose district abuts Nashville and who received more money from the music industry than any other Republican congressional candidate, apparently had the author of the study, Derek Khanna, fired. Sure, debate around policy is important, but it's clearly not as important as raising campaign funds.

"

Link to Original Source
Security

Security Researcher Finds Hundreds of Browser Bugs 145 145

An anonymous reader writes "PC Magazine reports on a very understated late night post to the full-disclosure mailing list, in which security researcher Michael Zalewski shared a fuzzing tool reportedly capable of identifying over a hundred browser bugs. Some of these bugs, he says, may be already known to third parties in China. The report also includes an account of how browser vendors fared fixing these flaws so far. Not surprisingly, Microsoft's response timeline appears depressing."
Politics

Submission + - Pirate Party founder steps down after 5 years

ktetch-pirate writes: 5 years to the day after he created the first Pirate Party, Rickard Falkvinge has stepped down as leader of Piratpartiet, the Swedish Pirate Party. The announcement was made in a webcast with Falkvinge and his deputy Anna Troberg, with Troberg taking on his duties effective immediately.
Censorship

Hungarian Officials Can Now Censor the Media 185 185

An anonymous reader writes "Hungary is set to regulate the media, including web-published content, under a new law applicable today. The law requires all the media to provide a 'balanced view' and must not go against 'public morality,' and places all publications under the control of a new regulating body, whose top members have all been nominated by Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Orban, whose strong ways have been compared to Putin's, has been tightening his grip over Hungary. 'In the seven months since Orban came to power with a two-thirds parliamentary majority, he has implemented retroactive taxes in violation of the constitution, curbed the Constitutional Court's power, effectively nationalized private pension funds and put ruling-party allies in charge of at least four independent institutions, including the audit office.' Citizens sentenced in application of the new law can still challenge it at the European Court of Human Rights — see you in a few years."
Science

Submission + - Zapping the brain improves math performance->

sciencehabit writes: Need to improve your math skills or do your taxes faster? Try zapping your brain with electricity. Researchers have shown that administering a small electrical charge to the brain may enhance a person's ability to process numbers for up to 6 months. The team says the approach, which it claims is harmless, could one day restore numerical skills in people suffering from degenerative diseases or stroke, and it may even improve the math abilities of the general population.
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The Media

Submission + - Danish Expert Declares Vinland Map Genuine->

MBCook writes: "A Danish expert named Rene Larson has finished a study of the infamous Vinland Map and declared it genuine. "All the tests that we have done over the past five years — on the materials and other aspects — do not show any signs of forgery," he said at the press conference. He and his team studied the ink, the paper, and even insect damage. They believe that the ink, which was discovered to contain titanium dioxide in 1972 and thus supposedly too new for the map to be genuine, was contaminated when it was being dried, causing the contamination."
Link to Original Source
First Person Shooters (Games)

Free Software FPS Games Compared 194 194

An anonymous reader writes "Linux-gamers.net has posted a thorough, although harsh, comparison of free software shooters. It compares seven open source shooter games in a lengthy discussion. Few have gone to the trouble of comparing and carefully examining the genre before. The author ranks the games in the following order (best to worst): Warsow, Tremulous, World of Padman, Nexuiz, Alien Arena, OpenArena, and Sauerbraten. In making these choices, it claims to use gameplay, design, innovation and presentation as criteria and includes a short history of free software shooters in the introduction."
Software

Long Live Closed-Source Software? 676 676

EvilRyry writes "In an article for Discover Magazine, Jaron Lanier writes about his belief that open source produces nothing interesting because of a hide-bound mentality. 'Open wisdom-of-crowds software movements have become influential, but they haven't promoted the kind of radical creativity I love most in computer science. If anything, they've been hindrances. Some of the youngest, brightest minds have been trapped in a 1970s intellectual framework because they are hypnotized into accepting old software designs as if they were facts of nature. Linux is a superbly polished copy of an antique, shinier than the original, perhaps, but still defined by it.'"
Software

Arguing For Open Electronic Health Records 111 111

mynameismonkey writes "openEHR guru Tim Cook, writing in a guest blog at A Scanner Brightly, discusses why Electronic Health Record developers should use open standards. Why are so few doctors using EHR systems? And, as more and more hospital EHR systems come online across the country, what do we have to fear from proprietary databases? It's one thing to find out your social security number was stolen. Now add your mental health and STD results to those records."
Software

FSF Releases Third Draft of GPLv3 390 390

johnsu01 writes "The Free Software Foundation has announced publication of the third discussion draft of the GNU General Public License Version 3. Because quite a few changes have been made since the previous draft and important new issues have surfaced, the drafting process has been extended and revised to encourage more feedback. The most significant changes in this draft include refinements in the "tivoization" provisions to eliminate unwanted side effects, revision of the patent provisions to prevent end-runs around the license, and further steps toward compatibility with other free software licenses. The FSF has also explicitly asked the community whether the new patent provisions should apply retroactively to the Microsoft-Novell deal."
Operating Systems

2.6.19 Linux Kernel Released 51 51

diegocgteleline.es writes, "After two months, Linux 2.6.19 has been released. It includes the clustering GFS2 filesystem, Ecryptfs, the first developer-oriented version of EXT4, support for the Atmel AVR32 architecture, sleepable RCU, improvements for NUMA-based systems, an "-o flush" mount option aimed at FAT-based hotpluggable media devices (mp3), physical CPU hotplug and memory hot-add in x86-64, support for compiling x86 kernels with the GCC stack protection, and many other things. You can check the full list of changes in LinuxChanges."

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