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Submission + - French Police to Switch 72,000 Desktop PCs to Linux

jones_supa writes: France's National Gendarmerie — the national law enforcement agency — is now running 37,000 desktop PCs with a custom distribution of Linux, and by summer of 2014, the agency plans to switch over all 72,000 of its desktop machines. The agency claims that the TCO of open source software is about 40 percent less than proprietary software from Microsoft, referring to their article published by EU's Interoperability Solutions for Public Administrations. Initially Gendarmerie has moved to Windows versions of cross-platform OSS applications such as OpenOffice, Firefox, and Thunderbird. Now they are completing the process by changing the OS. This is one of the largest known government deployments of Linux on the desktop.

Submission + - Facebook Bans Browser Plugin FGS, And Its Develope 1

An anonymous reader writes: Facebook has banned a very popular browser plugin called Friendly Gaming Simplifier (FGS). The plugin’s webpage ( now serves up a “403 Forbidden” error message, since its developer, Arkadiusz Rzadkowolski, has complied with the company’s requests to take it down. Facebook has also banned him from the social network and denied him the right to develop anything for the service. A petition to save the plugin has been launched.

Submission + - Companies Shield Jobs Data, Seek Hiring Tax Breaks 2

theodp writes: The Washington Post reports that some of the country's best-known multi-national corporations — including IBM, Apple, HP, AT&T, Pfizer, P&G — closely guard a number they don't want anyone to know: the breakdown between their jobs here and abroad. So secretive are these companies that they hand the figure over to government statisticians on the condition that officials will release only an aggregate number. The latest data show that multinationals cut 2.9 million jobs in the U.S. and added 2.4 million overseas between 2000-2009. Some of the same companies that do not report their jobs breakdown, including Apple and Pfizer, are pushing lawmakers to cut their tax bills in the name of job creation in the U.S. 'It's an important piece of information that the American people should have,' said Ron Hira, an associate professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology. 'Should you listen to the kind of advice these companies have about how to grow the economy when their record and their model indicates they’ve cut jobs?'

WikiLeaks Took Advice From Media Outlets 385

formfeed writes "According to the AP (through Google News), WikiLeaks isn't just sitting on the recent material so they can release it bit by bit to the press, as many people implied. On the contrary, it's quite the other way around: 'only after considering advice from five news organizations with which it chose to share all of the material' are they releasing it themselves. These newspapers 'have been advising WikiLeaks on which documents to release publicly and what redactions to make to those documents.' AP questions whether WikiLeaks will follow these redactions, but nevertheless seems quite impressed by this 'extraordinary collaboration between some of the world's most respected media outlets and the WikiLeaks organization.'" I wonder if some of the anti-WikiLeaks fervor evident among US lawmakers will also be brought to bear against the AP and other mainstream media sources. Update: 12/05 17:42 GMT by T : Yes, that's WikiLeaks, rather than (as originally rendered) WikiPedia. HT to reader Mike Hearn.
The Internet

Why the Web Mustn't Become the New TV 240

An anonymous reader writes "This article argues that Rupert Murdoch's bid to own complete control of BSkyB is only part of an ongoing process to make the internet a totally 'linear' experience. The increase in the use of paginated content and the proliferation of video over transcribed interviews are, the author argues, part of a tidal shift from a browsable internet experience to a linear one that will move the user's experience of media from genuine choice to a series of locked-down 'information rides,' in order to re-secure advertising exposure. The author also writes, 'Current worries among publishing houses that magazines and newspapers will succumb to the digital written word on the internet are perhaps analogous to Victorian fears about mechanical horses taking over from real horses in the drawing of carriages. The point is being missed, the wrong fear being indulged.'"

Chinese Nobel Winner's Wife Detained 289

suraj.sun writes with word (snipped from CNN) that censoring the news of Liu Xiaobo's Nobel prize wasn't enough for the government of China; now, Liu's wife "has been detained in her apartment in Beijing, China, and is not allowed to see people or use her telephone, a human rights group citing her attorney said Sunday. The woman, Liu Xia, has not been charged with a crime, said Freedom Now, a US-based group. 'Liu Xia is under enormous pressure,' said Dr. Yang Jianli, a member of Liu Xiaobo's defense team and a human rights specialist with Freedom Now. 'We hope that world leaders will immediately condemn this shameful act by the Chinese government and urge Liu Xia's immediate and unconditional release.'"

Canadian Spammer Fined Over $1 Billion 379

innocent_white_lamb writes "A man has been fined ONE BEELYUN DOLLARS (yes, really) for sending 4,366,386 spam messages that were posted on Facebook. He was fined $100 for each message, and including punitive damages he now owes $1,068,928,721.46. A ruling by a US District Court judge in San Jose, California has now been upheld by the Quebec Superior Court (the defendant lives in Montreal)."

GoogleSharing, Now With No Trust Required 152

An anonymous reader writes "GoogleSharing, the popular Google anonymizing service created by well known privacy advocate and security researcher Moxie Marlinspike, has released a major new version today. The biggest change is leveraging Google's SSL search option to provide an anonymizing service which doesn't require you to trust either Google or GoogleSharing. This means that anyone who wishes to opt out of Google's data collection practices can now do so without having to trust the operator of the anonymizing service."

Submission + - Hacker hurting pagerank of good sites (

An anonymous reader writes: This article show how hackers have started hurting the pagerank of good sites by seo poisoning and HTML injection. This is causing Google to penalize websites, which have been injected with spam, and hence lose their pagerank.

Avatar Blu-Ray DRM Issues 376

geekd writes "Once again, DRM only hurts legit content purchasers: 'An unusual glitch has angered some Avatar Blu-ray owners. For these unlucky people, since the disc won't play on their Blu-ray players, their new Avatar DVD serves no real purpose other than to sit idly on the coffee table. ... It appears the main culprit concerning playback issues with Avatar is, ironically, the disc's DRM (digital rights management). ... Even with updated firmware, a lot of Blu-ray players weren't prepared for these security measures. Despite the security problems, bootleggers are having a field day. Pirated copies of Avatar, according to Los Angeles Times, were available as early as January.'" Reader Murpster adds that this problem isn't specific to the Blu-ray version: "Got a regular Avatar DVD and it won't play on either of my DVD players. It will play on one computer DVD drive, if I want to watch it on a 12-inch screen."

"What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data." -- Arthur Miller