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GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - The trouble with artwork and the GPL (linux.com)

Spy der Mann writes: "Selecting the right license for your artwork (like graphics, music and even text) to coexist with free software is no trivial task. Creative Commons (CC) licenses and the GPL each have their advantages, but unfortunately, they are mutually incompatible. While CC and the FSF are working on the problem, what can you do in the meantime? Linux.com gives us a detailed explanation and a workaround."
Unix

Submission + - OpenBSD and Linux code sharing issue resolved

An anonymous reader writes: According to an undeadly article: "All the copyright holders of the Linux ath5k-driver code, derived from ar5k, have been contacted and have agreed to license their changes under the ISC license, thus allowing improvements to be re-incorporated into OpenBSD." So, after much drama, much of it documented on Slashdot, it looks like OpenBSD will be able to benefit from Linux-specific changes to its Atheros code after all.
Privacy

Submission + - Clear win for paper voting (elsevier.nl)

geschild writes: In what can only be considered a clear victory for 'Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet' (We don't trust electronic voting devices), Ank Bijleveld, the Dutch undersecretary for the Interior said that the next big election process in the Netherlands, for the European Parliament, in 2009, will most likely be held using pencil and paper.

This declaration followed the advice of a report titled 'Stemmen met vertrouwen' (voting with trust) that proposes a return to paper voting. The report states that paper voting presents the most assurances for a transparent and verifiable voting process.

The report does not completely preclude the use of computers but suggests that computers should only be used to print the vote on a paper ballot that can be verified by the voter. The vote would not be retained on the computer but the paper ballots could be counted electronically after the polls close.

Common sense seems to have prevailed on electronic vs paper voting, at least in the Netherlands.

Security

Submission + - "Chroot Is Not and Never Has Been a Security T (kerneltrap.org)

Hyena writes: Linux guru Alan Cox is quoted as saying 'chroot is not and never has been a security tool' in a KernelTrap article summarizing a lengthy thread on the Linux Kernel mailing list. The discussion began with a patch attempting to 'fix a security hole' in the Unix chroot command, trying to improve the ability of chroot to contain a process. When it was pointed out that people have been using chroot as a security tool for years, another kernel hacker retorted, 'incompetent people implementing security solutions are a real problem.' A quick search on the terms 'chroot+security' quickly reveals that many people have long thought (wrongly) that chroot's purpose was for improving security.
Power

Submission + - Traditional lightbulbs to go in the UK (bbc.co.uk) 1

Anonymous EPA writes: According to the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7016020.stm, the UK government has decided that traditional incandescent light bulbs are to be phased out in the UK by 2011, in an attempt to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This is to be achieved through a voluntary agreement with retailers. The "Ban the Bulb" organisation will be pleased (www.banthebulb.org). Low-energy lightbulbs are already being given away in the UK by government-related organisations. I have already received two, one paid for by the London government and the other by Cardiff.

I am not clear as to whether this is a Good Thing. The UK government's approach to environmental issues was not particularly "joined-up", at least under Bair. Low-energy light bulbs may use less energy when in use, but they surely must use more in manufacture and disposal. How does the evidence stack up?

A

Censorship

Submission + - Bloggers versus billionaire

Roger Whittaker writes: "An interesting case in England is pitting the combined power of multiple bloggers in support of a dissident ex-diplomat against an Uzbek billionaire. Alisher Usmanov has engaged the law firm Schillings (which seems to specialise in getting unfavourable web content removed for rich clients) and their threats led to the removal of Craig Murray's blog site by his hosting company Fasthosts. But a large number of bloggers have taken up Murray's cause and the content which caused the original complaint (and links to it) has now sprung up in a very large number of places. Is it still true that "the Internet regards censorship as damage and routes round it"? The Register's story latest story on this is here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/25/murray_usmanov_defiant/"
Software

Submission + - GPL Lawsuit Continues Despite Report Of Settlement

ScottAS writes: According to various Online outlets, of which include Slashdot.Org, it was reported yesterday that a lawsuit pertaining to a violation of the GNU General Public License (GPL) had been settled. Unfortunately it is not so. The lawsuit is to continue and may not be settled in an out-of-court decision. Daniel B. Ravicher, a Legal Director stated; "I can confirm that we are discussing settlement, but, contrary to what many in the press seem to believe, no agreement has been reached. Simply coming into compliance now is not sufficient to settle the matter, because that would mean anyone can violate the License until caught, because the only punishment would be to come into compliance." Read More
Yahoo!

Submission + - Nerds to auction themselves to sorority girls (yahoo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Looking to recruit more women, and perhaps date some sorority girls, the largest computer club at Washington State University hopes to hold a "nerd auction." "You can buy a nerd and he'll fix your computer, help you with stats homework, or if you're really adventurous, take you to dinner!" Ben Ford, president of the Linux Users Group, said on its Web site recently.
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Chinese MMO Bans Males From Playing Female Charact

Cap'n.Brownbeard writes: ""Players of the Chinese MMORPG, King of the World, may have found themselves unable to log into their accounts this past weekend. The game's publisher, Aurora Technology, has apparently frozen the accounts of all male players choosing to play as a female characters. Now, only female players can play female characters, and they're required to prove their gender via a webcam. Females wanting to play males are still allowed though." http://news.filefront.com/chinese-mmo-bans-males-from-playing-female-characters/"
Censorship

Submission + - China's Latest Attempt to Silence Dissent (csmonitor.com)

eldavojohn writes: "It seems that recently China has put it's foot down on citizens opining on next month's 17th Communist Party Congress. And as a result has silence 18,401 sites. From the CSM article, 'But this campaign seems more indiscriminate. In recent weeks, police nationally have been shutting down Internet data centers (IDCs), the physical computers that private firms rent — from state-owned or private companies — to host websites offering interactive features, say industry insiders. "With the approach of the Party Congress, the government wants the Internet sphere silent, to keep people from discussing social problems," says Isaac Mao, one of China's first bloggers, who is now organizing a censorship monitoring project. "Shutting down IDCs is a quick and effective way of shutting down interactive sites."' The WSJ also reports that this has resulted in talent show-style sites and TV being restricted out of fear of off-topic conversations related to the government."
The Internet

Submission + - Publishers Join Forces Against Open Access (linux.com)

Xenographic writes: "The American Association of Publishers announced the creation of the Partnership for Research Integrity in Science and Medicine. This new partnership, PRISM, will lobby against open access to scientific research on the grounds that science has less integrity when you don't have to pay outrageous fees for access to important journals. They are especially against bills like the Federal Research Public Access Act which could cause a decline in their sales numbers and an "undermining of copyright holders." Y'arr, matey."
Quickies

Submission + - Top 10 Most Influential AI Games (aigamedev.com)

Ant writes: "AiGameDev lists ten of the most influential artificial intelligent (AI) games of all time. They are video and computer games that have used artificial intelligence in innovative ways to critical acclaim, and some of them that have managed to integrate cutting-edge AI technology too... Seen on Blue's News."
United States

Submission + - ACTION ALERT: Stop the Unconstitutional "Prote (populistamerica.com)

populist writes: "The single largest anti-Constitutional contribution to the Bush Regime by the Protect America Act (PAA) is its effective cancellation of legislative and judicial oversight on warrantless wiretapping. It authorizes open-ended surveillance of Americans' overseas phone calls and e-mails without a warrant.

When this bill was signed into law on 08-05-07, legislative and judicial power in the executive branch instantly grew by several orders of magnitude. The Constitution's separation-of-powers principle had its arms ripped off.

The law is set to expire after 6 months. But, unsurprisingly, Bush just announced that he wants those powers to be permanent."

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