Egyptian blogger Alaa freed from jail. FleaPlus writes "Egyptian blogger, open source advocate, and Slashdot interviewee Alaa Abd El-Fatah has been released from jail. He had been imprisoned for 45 days after being arrested (along with several others) for taking part in a pro-democracy election reform rally, on charges which included "insulting the Egyptian president." In a blog post Alaa describes the conditions he was subjected to in the jail, as well as his worry about the hundreds of other activists who are still in prison."
Executive order defuses Kelo decision. physicsphairy writes "President Bush has issued an executive order whose effect is to undo the previous Kelo decision of the Supreme Court. From the article: 'It is the policy of the United States to protect the rights of Americans to their private property, including by limiting the taking of private property by the Federal Government to situations in which the taking is for public use, with just compensation, and for the purpose of benefiting the general public and not merely for the purpose of advancing the economic interest of private parties to be given ownership or use of the property taken.' The downside is that what was once affirmed consitutionally is now affirmed only in federal law."
Disney's trouble with Pooh bear. bbernard writes "It seems that the same laws that allow the Mouse to continue generating money for Disney have prevented Disney from taking control of Winny the Pooh. The Supreme Court has denied Clare Milne's bid to get the rights back for Pooh and his buddies. Clare is A.A. Milne's granddaughter, and her court battle was funded by Disney, as she was going to reassign the rights to them. Interesting to see a company foiled by the laws they insisted on in the first place, isn't it?"
NASA engineer fired for opposing shuttle launch. quad4b writes to tell us The New York Daily News reports that Charlie Camarda was has been removed from his post at NASA for questioning the safety of this Saturday's launch. From the article: "Camarda's removal heightened the turmoil over NASA Administrator Michael Griffin's decision to take the 'acceptable risk' of launching the Discovery orbiter despite warnings of potentially fatal blastoff debris. Camarda, who flew aboard the troubled flight of Discovery last July, told colleagues in an e-mail that he was fired from his post as chief engineer at Houston's Johnson Space Center and given another NASA engineering job."
Swedish pirates provide RIAA insurance. An anonymous reader writes "A new insurance company in Sweden is offering a new policy to protect you from the RIAA [Swedish]. For a mere 140 SEK ($19 USD) per year, they will pay all your fines and give you a t-shirt if you get convicted for file sharing. Interesting development in Sweden indeed."
Open source Java months away? bl8n8r writes "A Sun Microsystems Inc. executive said Tuesday said the company is "months" away from releasing its trademark Java programming language under an open-source license. Simon Phipps, chief open-source officer for Sun, said the company is ruminating over two major issues: how to keep Java compatible and ensure no particular company uses market forces as muscle for its own implementation, a move that would threaten Java's "write once, run anywhere" mantra."
Net neutrality amendment defeated in committee. DeathPooky writes "While not the end of the road for net neutrality, the latest vote isn't a good sign. From the article: 'The Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday rejected a network neutrality amendment, handing cable and phone broadband access providers yet another victory over a coalition that has demanded the application of strict nondiscrimination standards against entities that control access to millions of Internet users. The panel voted 11 to 11 to defeat an amendment sponsored by Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), who had backing from Google, Yahoo!, eBay, Amazon, Microsoft and other firms that deliver voice, video, and information services and applications.' All 10 Democrats on the committee, as well as Republican co-sponsor Sen. Snowe, voted for the amendment. The other 11 Republicans voted against."