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+ - Pirate Party Pillages Private Papers->

Submitted by
David Crafti
David Crafti writes "Pirate Party Australia has made the move to host the recently leaked ACTA document in order to highlight the lack of government transparency in the negotiation process. We believe that the document is not under copyright, and we are not party to any NDAs, so there should be no restriction on us posting it. We would like to see what the government (any government) tries to do about it. If it turns out that there is some reason that we have to take it down, then we will, but if this happens, it will only validate the document's authenticity."
Link to Original Source
Medicine

Child Receives Trachea Grown From Own Stem Cells 103

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-add-oxygen dept.
kkleiner writes "Doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) along with colleagues at the University College London, the Royal Free Hospital, and Careggi University Hospital in Florence have successfully transplanted a trachea into a 10 year old boy using his own stem cells. A donor trachea was taken, stripped of its cells into a collagen-like scaffold, and then infused with the boy's stem cells. The trachea was surgically placed into the boy and allowed to develop in place. Because his own cells were used, there was little to no risk of rejection. This was the first time a child had received such a stem cell augmented transplant and the first time that a complete trachea had been used."

Comment: rel=shortlink could eradicate URL shorteners (Score 5, Interesting) 145

by samj (#29118119) Attached to: URL Shortener tr.im To Go Community-Owned, Open Source

I've had a beef with URL shorteners for a long while now for reasons that have been covered ad nauseam (not the least of which being that in addition to adding significant overhead - typically hundreds of milliseconds per request - they are just plain evil). IMO the best solution is to let webmasters create and advertise their own short links using the "shortlink" link relation (e.g. rel="shortlink" in the HTTP headers and/or HTML HEAD) such that they can be auto-detected by clients who then no longer need to generate their own using 3rd party services. I wrote the shortlink specification a few months ago (based on similar work done by others), released it into the public domain using CC Zero and went about soliciting feedback. The standard got a big shot in the arm last week when WordPress.com announced support for rel=shortlink on over 100 million pages. I've since requested support be introduced into the top 20 Twitter clients (representing over 80% of Twitter usage) and have had only positive feedback so far. A number of other high profile sites like PHP.net and Ars Technica have also jumped on board. Anyway if you, like me, are sick of URL shorteners then you're welcome to give me a hand making them go away...

Sam

Comment: Conflict of Interest Noticeboard Incident (Score 0, Troll) 213

by samj (#28282039) Attached to: The Anti-ODF Whisper Campaign

Earlier today I created the hAl Microsoft Topic Ban incident on Wikipedia's Conflict of Interest Noticeboard, highlighting some of the particularly troubling points in the contributions of a user called hAl (who reveals little beyond liking beer). It seems I'm not the first to stumble on this apparent Microsoft shill, but hopefully I'll be the last (at least on Wikipedia) as with any luck he'll land himself a topic ban having been blocked 4 times already.

Sam

Comment: RevCanonical considered harmful (Score 1) 354

by samj (#27555259) Attached to: Can rev="canonical" Replace URL-Shortening Services?

As I've explained in detail here and here, while the underlying concept is sound, the implementation has many problems:
  - "rev" is deprecated in HTML 5, so essentially a non-starter
  - "rev" and "rel" are easily confused - use the wrong one and you may well drop off the Internet
  - messing with the canonical URLs is dangerous
  - taking rather than giving canonical-ness is dangerous
  - the solution can only work for one URL (the canonical URL itself), when there can be an infinite number

A *much* better solution is to use rel="shortcut" to specify a short (but not necessarily shortest or even shorter) URL. Other alternatives like "short" are ambiguous as to whether it is the URL or its target which is "short", and "alternate shorter" are just plain wrong.

Sam

GNU is Not Unix

+ - CloudLeft Public License closes user data loophole

Submitted by
FreedomFighter
FreedomFighter writes "In a Cloud Standards breakthrough, the FSF is teaming up with major cloud computing vendors to form the Free and Open Cloud Alliance (FOCA), a trade marketing association supporting Free(TM) and Open Cloud Computing (FOCC). The new CloudLeft Public License (CPL) is based on the ideas that data wants to be Free(TM) and all your Cloud(TM) are belong to us. It closes the "user data loophole" by requiring the release of not only the source code for a CloudLeft platform but also the data passing through it. This renders most security issues void while appropriately setting the users' expectation of privacy. "In the past, I've said that 'cloud' is complete gibberish, but while discussing fashion during my weekly squash game with Stallman he convinced me that this was a great opportunity." said Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle. RMS, who previously said that 'cloud' is worse than stupidity was also pleased about the return of the advertising clause, requiring the use of the 'GNU/Cloud' name, as he is "tired of haranguing the GNU/Linux community about this". Full details will be available next Monday, including the first marketing and outreach program — "FOCC: IT in 2009""

Comment: Re:Echoing Ars Technica... (Score 2, Interesting) 116

by samj (#27040723) Attached to: Psion Accuses Intel of Cybersquatting

Psion have essentially given an amnesty to bloggers and journalists using the term "netbook" (which may prove reason enough in itself to take the trademark off them since any licensing must include quality assurance). That includes blogs with advertising as explained here:

"where a blogger uses context sensitive advertising that is completely outside of its control (so it has no knowledge at all whether a 'Netbook' related advert will be placed in its blog site), then we're taking the view that we need to focus on working on persuading the featured retailer to adopt a term other than 'netbook'."

This is why we believe the amnesty doesn't go far enough.

Comment: Re:If the sales figures are true ... (Score 1) 116

by samj (#27040643) Attached to: Psion Accuses Intel of Cybersquatting

Actually no, the netBook rather than netBook Pro figures are relevant if only because it was on the basis of a netBook flyer that Psion renewed the trademark in 2006 (long after that particular product had been discontinued). This was the basis of Dell & Intel's claims of fraud, which could well undermine the trademark altogether (assuming abandonment and/or genericide don't).

Portables

Psion Accuses Intel of Cybersquatting 116

Posted by kdawson
from the yer-mother-wears-combat-boots dept.
Save the Netbooks writes "We discussed Psion sending C&Ds late last year over international trademarks held on the term 'netbook' and Dell accusing Psion of fraud last week. Since then Intel has joined in by suing Psion in federal court. On Friday Psion counter-sued Intel (court filing, PDF). SaveTheNetbooks.com has an analysis here. Psion has demanded a jury trial, profits, treble damages, destruction of material bearing the mark 'netbook' and the netbook.com domain (among other things), claiming that they are still actively selling netbooks despite also revealing sales figures showing a minuscule market share. It seems that declaring victory may have been a little premature as it will be months before the dispute plays out in court."
Portables

+ - Intel counter-sued by Psion over netbook trademark->

Submitted by
Save the Netbooks
Save the Netbooks writes "We discussed Psion sending C&Ds late last year over international trademarks held on the term "netbook" and Dell accusing Psion of fraud last week. Since then Intel has joined in by suing Psion in federal court and the Save the Netbooks campaign has just obtained a court filing (PDF warning) showing that Psion counter-sued Intel on Friday. They have demanded a jury trial, profits, treble damages, destruction of material bearing the mark "netbook" and the netbook.com domain (among other things), claiming that they are still actively selling netbooks despite also revealing sales figures showing a miniscule market share. It seems that declaring victory may have been a little premature as it will be months before the dispute plays out in court."
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - Analyzing Microsoft's Linux Lawsuit->

Submitted by
jammag
jammag writes "Open source advocate Bruce Perens takes a close look at Microsoft's lawsuit against TomTom, which involves an implementation of the Linux kernel, and calls it essentially a paper tiger — all snarl, with no real teeth. He notes: 'the technologies claimed in the 8 patents involved are so old and obvious that it's fair to say they have a high "Duh!" factor. There's an anti-trust angle to this suit that could blow up in Microsoft's face. And there's a high probability that some or all of the patents involved are invalid, due to recent court decisions.' Although the legal expense for TomTom to defend itself in court could be astronomical — meaning they may be forced to settle — in Perens' view Microsoft is aware its case is weak, yet hopes for a PR victory at limited cost."
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - Volt Asks Temps to 'Vote' for Microsoft Pay Cut

Submitted by
theodp
theodp writes "Yes, We Can! Give ourselves a 10% pay cut! In an e-mail sent Friday evening to its Microsoft temp workers, Volt Workforce Solutions asked the techies to vote for their choice of either a 10% pay cut or a 100% pay cut. From the e-mail: "We want to support you in continuing your assignment at Microsoft and respectfully ask that you respond by going to the upper left hand corner of this email under the 'Vote' response option and select, 'Accept' by close of business Tuesday, March 3, 2009. By accepting you agree to the [-10%] pay adjustment in your pay rate." Microsoft managed to keep the Feb. 20 e-mail detailing plans to slash rates from leaking while it pitched its Elevate America initiative at the 2009 Winter Meeting of the National Governors Association, touting Microsoft skills as just-the-ticket to economic recovery."

He's dead, Jim.

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