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Submission + - MediaGoblin devs: "Mad about government censorship? Do something about it."

paroneayea writes: Responding to recent news that YouTube is giving the UK Government tools to broadly flag even legal videos on YouTube for takedown, the MediaGoblin developers have made a call to arms: "Mad about Government censorship? Let's do something about it." The MediaGoblin crew are currently running a campaign for federation and privacy features, including expanding federation tools like PyPump to make adding federation easier for all sorts of python web applications.

Submission + - RMS urges W3C to reject DRM in HTML5 on principle (fsf.org)

gnujoshua writes: In a new article, GNU Project founder, Richard M. Stallman speaks out against the proposal to include hooks for DRM in HTML5. While others have been making similar arguments, RMS strikes home the point that while companies can still push Web DRM themselves, the stance taken by the W3C is still — both practically and politically — vitally important:

[...] the W3C cannot prevent companies from grafting DRM onto HTML. They do this through nonfree plug-ins such as Flash, and with nonfree Javascript code, thus showing that we need control over the Javascript code we run and over the C code we run. However, where the W3C stands is tremendously important for the battle to eliminate DRM. On a practical level, standardizing DRM would make it more convenient, in a very shallow sense. This could influence people who think only of short-term convenience to think of DRM as acceptable, which could in turn encourage more sites to use DRM. On the political level, making room for DRM in the specifications of the World Wide Web would constitute an endorsement in principle of DRM by the W3C. Standardization by the W3C could facilitate DRM that is harder for users to break than DRM implemented in Javascript code. If the DRM is implemented in the operating system, this could result in distribution of works that can't be played at all on a free operating system such as GNU/Linux.

Submission + - Coalition of 27 Web freedom orgs releases joint letter opposing "Hollyweb" (fsf.org)

johnsu01 writes: The W3C's job is to keep the Web working for everyone and ensure interoperability, right? Not according to Microsoft, Google, Netflix, and their partners in the entertainment industry. These DRM-enamored companies are pushing EME, a proposal asking the W3C to build accommodation for DRM into HTML itself. Unfortunately, DRM isn't exactly known for enhancing user freedom or ensuring interoperability, and experts (like HTML Working Group member Manu Sporny) are saying that EME poses serious risks for the Web.

Now a coalition, organized by the Free Software Foundation and including EFF and Creative Commons, has released a joint letter to the W3C condemning the EME proposal. The letter also asks principled Web users to support them by signing a petition against DRM in HTML at http://www.defectivebydesign.org/no-drm-in-html5.

The coalition says, "Ratifying EME would be an abdication of responsibility; it would harm interoperability, enshrine nonfree software in W3C standards and perpetuate oppressive business models. It would fly in the face of the principles that the W3C cites as key to its mission and it would cause an array of serious problems for the billions of people who use the Web."

Comment Re:TFS last sentence untrue (Score 5, Informative) 92

I know it says rate-limiting, but from our logs, the accepted rate appears to be 0. We don't have that many users; certainly not enough to trigger a rate limit in the scope of the kind of rate they would be worried about. And while we did not say "lazy" in the original article, but rather expressed our sympathies for having to grapple with the spam problem, this is not an acceptable solution. As other commenters are pointing out, this is essentially shifting the burden to much smaller entities, who now have to respond to their users' complaints. If Google would publicly describe the problem, and the scope of it, and publicly explain what they are *actually* doing, then the rest of us could help find a solution. Right now, this definitely looks like "easiest way out for us, broader principle of federation and workloads of other entities be damned."

Comment Re:Cherrypicking sources (Score 1) 277

Yes, I have the nerve to call studies which do not publish their methodology unscientific. I published mine, which is exactly why others have been able to find issues with it. Some of these issues are valid, and I will be writing a new analysis accounting for those issues. This is how, at least to my understanding, science progresses. I guess you probably didn't listen to my presentation, which is fine, but in it I was very clear that I was presenting these numbers to stimulate further discussion about the issue while being conscious of the framing of the question, and I challenged people to find problems with the numbers.

Comment Re:spending time on opportunities ? (Score 1) 747

I'm glad that you raised disagreement with this, but I think you are downplaying the extent of the connection. From the Foundation FAQ:

Q: What is the difference between the CodePlex Foundation and CodePlex.com?

CodePlex Foundation is an extension of the CodePlex brand established by Codeplex.com. Codeplex.com has not only built a strong community, with more than 10,000 projects now hosted on the site, but has steadily built a recognized brand. CodePlex.com launched in June of 2006 out of a need for a project hosting site that operated in a way that other forges didn't â" with features and structures that appealed to commercial software developers. The next chapter in solving for this challenge is the CodePlex Foundation (Codeplex.org). The Foundation is solving similar challenges; ultimately aiming to bring open source and commercial software developers together in a place where they can collaborate. This is absolutely independent from the project hosting site, but it is essentially trying to support the same mission. It is just solving a different part of the challenge, a part that Codeplex.com isn't designed to solve.

This says clearly that the Foundation was conceived as the "next chapter", and so the name is deliberately the same. RMS's point is that this means we can get some idea of what the Foundation will do based on what the .com has done. It's an independent effort, but supporting the same mission, and the overlap in mission is his point.

Given that this relates to an underlying deliberate similarity and not just a superficial one in name only, I hope you are also arguing for a change in that mission for the Foundation, and not just a name change.

Comment FSF calling on Amazon to free the Kindle (Score 1) 437

As mentioned in the article, the Free Software Foundation is calling on Amazon to release the Kindle's software as free software, and drop the DRM: http://www.fsf.org/news/amazon-apologizes. The Kindle is already a GNU/Linux system running largely free software -- it would be a short step for them to do so, and the only real way to make sure this or something like it doesn't happen again. This is, after all, the 3rd time in a year they have pulled something like this, despite supposedly being sorry each time.
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Activist groups announce support for free software (freesoftwarefreesociety.org)

johnsu01 writes: "Activist groups Friends of the Earth International, the Green Party, People and Planet, and the New Internationalist have joined the Free Software Foundation to support a coalition statement advocating a free society based on free software and criticizing Microsoft Vista, published as part of the FSF's BadVista.org campaign. The statement highlights dangers activists face when they are dependent on proprietary software, including communications limited by DRM and surveillance, and support of companies opposed to their political goals. Judging by the number of signatures so far, Bruce Byfield may be right that this is a formal statement of the attitude already occurring in the nonprofit world."
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Stallman GPLv3 release video transcribed

johnsu01 writes: "On June 29, Richard Stallman announced the release of the GNU General Public License version 3 to the world from the Free Software Foundation office in Boston, Massachusetts. His "ribbon-cutting" announcement was also a succinct wrap-up of the 18-month drafting process, summarizing the changes that were made and the reasoning behind them. Since the release, many people have been looking for a straightforward explanation of what they need to know. This a good place to start. The transcript and Ogg Theora video have just been posted. A torrent is also available."
Data Storage

Submission + - 1TB Optical Discs Coming!

Anonymous Howard writes: Have you heard of Mempile? I haven't, but this company based out of Israel have gone on the record stating that they are working on a 1TB optical disc that is the same size as a standard DVD disc. They key here is that they have actually demonstrated the optical disc, dubbed TeraDisc, successfully, so it's not just vaporware. Mempile says it is using non-linear two-photon technology to read and record data in over 100 transparent "virtual" layers which take up the entire volume of a disc. The approach is radically different from conventional blue-laser technology like Blu-ray and HD DVD, in which partial reflection from multiple layers significantly reduces signal while increasing background noise and interference. Mempile's technology, conversely, can handle over 100 layers wile providing true WORM capabilities and bit-by-bit recording and addressing. The best part: Mempile recently demonstrated the technology to Japanese consumer electronics manufacturers and they were reported as being "amazed". Could this be the beginning of the end of the Blu-ray and HD-DVD format wars?

Submission + - CDs - "I'm not dead yet!"

Lunch2000 writes: Turns out the fall of the big music cartels may create a renaissance for the CD. Up and coming retailers are changing their business models to fit the market and making a profit selling what many see as obsolete tech — CDs. By tailoring their inventory they are finding niches in the market place and thriving read the Slate article to find out why music on CD is not dead. http://www.slate.com/id/2162771/?GT1=9231

Submission + - Novel Open Source Software Distribution System

SpectralDesign writes: "Is it a candy vending machine, or an Open Source software vending machine? That's what you might ask yourself if you walk past the proposed "Seneca Freedom Toaster", a concept that has won designer Andrew Smith (a fourth year Software Development student at Ontario's Seneca College) a $2500.00 prize to bring the concept to life.

Evan Weaver, Chair of the School of Computer Studies, says, "The Seneca Freedom Toaster's purpose is to encourage distribution and use of Open Source software, which is a very important cause for us at Seneca." Seneca College, Ontario's largest college — boasting a population of more than 100,000 students, has become more and more involved in Open Source software over the last number of years, in-part due to corporate partnerships such as with Mozilla.

Andrew says that many students have shied away from downloading Open Source software because of the time involved, and the difficulty in obtaining reliable and complete programs that are easy to install and upgrade. His idea for the Freedom Toaster came from exposure last year to a similar project in South Africa. To use the Freedom Toaster, simply bring your own CDR disc to the kiosk, and the library of Open Source software in it's hard drive is ready to browse and burn (err, Toast)."

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