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Comment boo hoo, good riddance (Score -1) 1

What silme. Anonymous published their smear campaign in full already, including their little charts of who they think Anonymous is. Backing out of conferences will save them the embarrassment of having to answer questions and gives them a chance to smear Anonymous. Given that their primary smear technique was harassment, planting things to discredit and other agent provocateur slime, HGBary's claims of death threats carry no credibility.

We should look to the perspective of the victims to gauge things instead. Try this one on for size:

the revelation of terror tools used so brazenly against political opponents in the private corporate sector is disturbing, to say the least. While the notion of paid political operatives subversively using social media to discredit opponents has long been suspected by many, here we have evidence that these tactics are, in truth, fairly common among those who can afford to deploy them. That commenter who always shows up to hijack a comment thread on a specific topic may very well be working for $250/hour

What a bunch of unAmerican trashbags.

Security

Submission + - Hacked and now vandalized, HBGary pulls out of RSA (networkworld.com) 1

alphadogg writes: The California security company that is at the center of a controversy over a plan to discredit WikiLeaks and its supporters abruptly pulled itself out of the RSA security conference in San Francisco this week, citing security concerns. The company's subsidiary, HBGary Federal, also canceled a talk it had planned to give on the Internet activist group, Anonymous. It was news of this talk that riled Anonymous and precipitated the controversy last week.

HBGary has been under fire for several days now after its Web sites, corporate email system and Twitter accounts were hacked, and details of a company business proposal to discredit WikiLeaks were posted to the Internet. The attack was apparently launched by Anonymous in response to HBGary Federal's CEO Aaron Barr's talk, which had been slated for Monday morning. Barr said he had discovered the identities of many of Anonymous's leaders, and had planned to discuss his investigation in a talk at the BSides San Francisco conference, which runs in tandem with RSA.

"I was receiving death threats," Barr said in an interview Tuesday. "There was lots of talk that was being made of in the Anonymous IRC channels of harassing us at our booth and sending people to heckle [HBGary speakers at the conference]."

Microsoft

Submission + - Apple Valued $100 Billion More than Microsoft (techcrunch.com)

twitter writes: Congratulations to MG Siegler who predicted a year ago that Apple's valuation would pass Microsoft's. It did without looking back and today Apple is worth $100 billion more than Microsoft.

Microsoft will not be re-taking the crown as the most-valuable tech company any time soon, but they’re flirting with being knocked down to the number three — or even number four spot. In the past year, while Microsoft’s stock is down slightly... Google is much closer to Microsoft in terms of market cap than Apple was when I wrote that post last year. ... IBM is a little bit closer at $202 billion. ... They have a shot of passing Microsoft too.

The author points out HP is worth $108 billion and that Apple is now worth an entire company more than Microsoft.

Microsoft

Submission + - Conflicted Microsoft Financials Indicate Fraud? (techrights.org)

twitter writes: Microsoft has published self contradictory financial results, found early by a sharp reporter.

not all the numbers in the 10-Q filed with the SEC and the earnings press release were the same. The revenue and operating income (loss) breakout by division were completely different. And not only were the numbers for last quarter different, but the numbers from the same quarter last year were different.

Techrights suspect the company is again juggle their books to make things look better for investors. Microsoft is hurting after the failure of Vista and Windows 7 is not doing much better. Is Microsoft finally imploding?

Google

Are Google's Patents Too Weak To Protect Android? 257

An anonymous reader writes "The Guardian published an opinion piece written by former-NoSoftwarePatents-activist-turned-controversial-patent-blogger Florian Mueller. He lists 12 patent lawsuits instigated against Android last year, says there are many more to come, and believes that Google's portfolio of only 576 US patents is dwarved by those of Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and others. So Google can't retaliate against aggressors such as Oracle. Consequently — he argues — Android makers will have to remove functionality or pay high license fees, and the operating system will become unprofitable for handset makers. Even the app ecosystem could suffer, he says. Since Google received only 282 new US patents in 2010, the gap between Google's portfolio and those of its competitors is widening further: Apple produces about twice as many, and Microsoft gets more than 3,000 new ones a year. Let's discuss this: is Android really in for so much trouble? Can't Google find other ways (than owning many patents) to defend it than countersuing? How about its vast financial resources?"

Comment Who's to Blame and Who Pays? (Score -1) 89

BP got the rewards but everyone else is stuck with the cost of their screw up. BP is paying pennies on the dollar to gulf coast residents for loss of business. They will pay nothing in long term health costs.

As a gulf coast resident and free software advocate who's worked for Fortune 100 companies, the role of Microsoft in Deepwater Horizon was not that surprising. I helped write this report about the problems BP had with Microsoft and other non free software and this follow up report when more details were revealed. I'll be looking closely at NOV. Their lack of cooperation is probably concealing more trouble with the system that's largely responsible for the disaster. Industry needs to dump Microsoft to avoid future calamities. BP technicians thought they were doing as much as they can to fix the problems but they were clearly taking risks they should not have been taking and their solution clearly would have lead to more of the same.

Comment apt-get install big_bill (Score -1) 414

No thanks to yet another way to drive up the cost of free software. How else can Microsoft make distribution on shiny disks competitive again? Patent extortions? That's a whole other issue that strangely has help from ATT in Texas.

Thank you, hairyfeet, for pointing out the obvious anti-competitive nature of pay by the minute internet service. You might want to mention that cable companies already have all the bandwith anyone could want but they use 99% for pay per view movies and other rip off services.

Now, let's look at some possible solutions. Municiple networks and Open Spectrum are winners that make entertainment and telcos very nervous.

Municiple wires work well in Tacoma, Washington which only has 250,000 people, so it should work just about anywhere and it should. Almost all US cable networks were built with monopoly protection and have that obligation to the public.

Open Specturm and free software are really the only way to insure free speech in the future. If you haven't figured it out yet, non free software and network control are two sides of the same coin. It's about the power to shove adverts in your face and control public opinion about issues, just like the good old days of broadcast and switched networks. Only free software gives you control of your computer and only free networks let you share news and opinions with your neighbors. The rest resembles the old USSR more than anything else, the publisher's paradise. We already own what we need to stay free, all we lack is the collective knowledge and will to take it.

Comment Freedom lacking in source document. (Score -1) 216

The authors of this work may believe that an open Internet will succeed on its merits alone. I don't. However we arrive at it, Network Neutrality is simply not negotiable.

Thank you for your partial quote of the document and your insightful commentary. If anything, "specialized services" are the things that might be granted an exception to rule by a liberal government. Neutral networks are what should be mandated but, as pointed out above, only a tiny fraction of available bandwith is given to customers as "open internet" if the likes of Comcast can be described that way. The rest of it is utilized as wasteful push services. Media companies simply won't give up their lucrative and powerful position as information gatekeepers unless forced by real competition in physical media (hint - giving a movie company ownership of a monopoly cable service is the opposite of a free market) or we are finally granted open spectrum. The FCC should keep itself busy busting spammers rather than upholding 110 year old spectrum laws that no longer make sense. Now, would someone be kind enough to paste the actual text of the article, "On Advancing the Open Internet by Distinguishing it from Specialized Services"? Scribd wants me to have a Facebook page to download the document and I can't read it through whatever nasty software they serve it with.

Comment no bandwith for download (Score -1) 215

Geocities may have proved online collaboration of a sort, the torrent proves the glaring inadequacy of US networks. Anyone could author a website and that many of those were worth reading. Wikipedia, Facebook and others follow naturally from Geocities and much better things are on the horizon. With tiny copper lines, nasty bandwith caps and even nastier download caps, the average user will take about 15 years to download the collection. That's assuming Time Warner's 5GB/month plan. At the average download speed of half a MB/s, you might see it in a month. The collection is very much worth archiving and indexing. Real knowledge and social history like this should be preserved for anyone who'd like to look. Let's hope libraries make archives and independent indexes to help people research.

Comment Virtual Fail Guy (Score 0, Interesting) 105

From the article:

To find malware-distribution sites, Google uses a huge number of virtual machines running completely unpatched versions of Windows and Internet Explorer that they point at potentially malicious URLs. The company then ties this in with the data that it gathers from its automated crawlers that are tasked with looking for malicious code on legitimate Web sites.

It would be nice if people would call this stuff Windows malware if it does not do anything to normal computers. Please Call out Windows, people.

Google

Inside Google's Anti-Malware Operation 105

Trailrunner7 writes "A Google malware researcher gave a rare peek inside the company's massive anti-malware and anti-phishing efforts at the SecTor conference here, and the data the company has gathered shows that the attackers who make it their business to infect sites and exploit users are adapting their tactics very quickly and creatively to combat the efforts of Google and others. While Google is still a relative newcomer to the public security scene, the company has deployed a number of services and technologies recently that are designed to identify phishing sites, as well as sites serving malware, and prevent users from finding them. The tools include the Google SafeBrowsing API and a handful of services that are available to help site owners and network administrators find and eliminate malware and the attendant bugs from their sites. Fabrice Jaubert, of Google's anti-malware team, said the company has had good luck identifying and weeding out malicious sites of late. Still, as much as 1.5 percent of all search result pages on Google include links to at least one malware-distribution site, he said."

Submission + - GNU/Linux is fastest growing OS at Big Companies. (linuxfoundation.org) 1

twitter writes: A survey of 1,900 people at companies with more than 500 employees shows that GNU/Linux is growing faster than other OS at the expense of Windows and Unix. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has some insightful commentary on it.

These businesses are moving to Linux far faster than they are to Windows or Unix. ... conventional wisdom is that Unix users are the most likely to switch to Linux. ... it turns out that, by a few percentage points, Windows users at 36.6% are more likely to be heading to Linux than Unix, 31.4% ... 36.4% of businesses reported some Linux desktop use in their company. ... while total cost of ownership (TCO) remains a strong number two, the first reason these days for people to switch to Linux is its perceived technical superiority and features. ... 58.6%, said the recession hadn't played a role.

One thing that SJVN missed is that, "and 66% of users surveyed say that their Linux deployments are brand new (“greenfield”) deployments. This greenfield market share grab is a good indicator of a platform’s future performance." Hurry up, already, I want my GNU!

Submission + - ACT Caught Subverting EU Pannels for M$ (javier-carrete.com) 2

twitter writes: Wikileaks has published a document that exposes Microsoft efforts to harm free software in the EU through front groups. RAND is promoted, free software advocacy is removed and other changes are made on Microsoft's behalf. Anti-trust regulators should be alarmed.

The file is a draft for an expert panel formed by the European Commission. This panel is divided into workgroup (IPR, Open Source, digital life, etc.). ACT and Comptia have been infiltrating every workgroup, even the one on Open Source (WG 7). They are doing the best they can to drown any initiative that would not only promote OSS in Europe but also that could help Europe create a sucessful European software sector. ... [the document has] original and modified text (in glorious colour, so it's really worth downloading it and taking a look), which means that we can see what exactly an organisation sympathetic to Microsoft –and partly funded by them– is worried about

it is important to have the public know how actual policy making is being influenced by lobbies that are precisely under the legal scrutiny of the European Commission. The urgency of the publication of this document is real in the sense that outside pressure would force the Commission to "clean the committees"

This is an issue that Boycott Novell, aka Techrights has been tracking for some time.

Government

Submission + - US Negotiators Cave on Internet Provisions to ACTA

Hugh Pickens writes: "Ars Technica reports that with the release of the "near-final" ACTA text (PDF), it is becoming clear that the US has caved on the most egregious provisions from earlier draftss advocating "three strikes" regimes, ordering ISPs to develop anti-piracy plans, promoting tough DRM anticircumvention language, setting up a "takedown" notification system, ordering "secondary liability" for device makers, and have largely failed in their attempts to push the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) onto the rest of the world. Apparently, a face-saving agreement is better than no agreement at all—but even the neutered ACTA could run into problems with Mexico's Senate recently approving a nonbinding resolution asking for the country to suspend participation in ACTA, while key members of the European Parliament have also expressed skepticism about the deal. "One of the biggest stories over the three year negotiation of ACTA has been the willingness of the US to cave on the Internet provisions," says Canadian law professor Michael Geist. "Taken together, the Internet chapter must be seen as failure by the US, which clearly envisioned using ACTA to export its DMCA-style approach." With no more negotiating sessions scheduled, this is close to a final draft, and something like it will probably be adopted unless countries start pulling out of the agreement altogether."

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