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Open Source

Linux 2.6.34 Released 268

diegocg writes "Linux 2.6.34 has been released. This version adds two new filesystem, the distributed filesystem Ceph and LogFS, a filesystem for flash devices. Other features are a driver for almost-native KVM network performance, the VMware balloon driver, the 'kprobes jump' optimization for dynamic probes, new perf features (the 'perf lock' tool, cross-platform analysis support), several Btrfs improvements, RCU lockdep, Generalized TTL Security Mechanism (RFC 5082) and private VLAN proxy arp (RFC 3069) support, asynchronous suspend/resume, several new drivers and many other small improvements. See the full changelog here."

The MPEG-LA's Lock On Culture 457

jrepin writes in to recommend a piece by Eugenia from OSNews, which explores the depths of the MPEG-LA's lock on video. One part of the problem is that almost all video cameras, including ones that cost more than $12,000, declare in their manuals that they are for "personal use and non-commercial" purposes only. "We've all heard how the h.264 is rolled over on patents and royalties. Even with these facts, I kept supporting the best-performing 'delivery' codec in the market, which is h.264. 'Let the best win,' I kept thinking. But it wasn't until very recently when I was made aware that the problem is way deeper. No, my friends. It's not just a matter of just 'picking Theora' to export a video to Youtube and be clear of any litigation. MPEG-LA's trick runs way deeper!""
Government Releases Open Source Code 161

schliz writes "The White House has released four custom modules for the Drupal content management system. The modules address scalability, communication, and accessibility for disabled users, and the release is expected to benefit both the Drupal community and the site as the code is reviewed and improved by the open source community." Reader ChiefMonkeyGrinder adds an opinion piece with a somewhat envious view from the UK: "Open source is treated as something akin to devil-worshipping in some parts of government. So, the idea that a major project in the government backyard would be based on something as basic as Drupal is pretty far-fetched. No, this side of the Atlantic would have involved a closed-tender process; a decision made [behind] closed doors based on proprietary software and we'd be completely in the dark about costs, about delays, and about functionality."
PlayStation (Games)

Final Fight Brings Restrictive DRM To the PS3 240

Channard writes "As reported by Joystiq, the PS3/PlayStation Network version of Final Fight Double Impact features a rather restrictive piece of digital rights management. In order to launch the game, you have to be logged into the PlayStation Network and if you're not, the game refuses to launch. This could be written off as a bug of some kind except for the fact that the error message that crops up tells you to sign in, suggesting Sony/Capcom intentionally included this 'feature.' Granted, you do have to log into the PlayStation Network to buy the title but as one commentator pointed out, logging in once does not mean you'll be logged in all the time. Curiously, the 360 version has no such restrictions, so you can play the game whether you're online or offline. But annoying as this feature may be, there may be method in Sony's madness. "
Data Storage

Software SSD Cache Implementation For Linux? 297

Annirak writes "With the bottom dropping out of the magnetic disk market and SSD prices still over $3/GB, I want to know if there is a way to to get the best of both worlds. Ideally, a caching algorithm would store frequently used sectors, or sectors used during boot or application launches (hot sectors), to the SSD. Adaptec has a firmware implementation of this concept, called MaxIQ, but this is only for use on their RAID controllers and only works with their special, even more expensive, SSD. Silverstone recently released a device which does this for a single disk, but it is limited: it caches the first part of the magnetic disk, up to the size of the SSD, rather than caching frequently used sectors. The FS-Cache implementation in recent Linux kernels seems to be primarily intended for use in NFS and AFS, without much provision for speeding up local filesystems. Is there a way to use an SSD to act as a hot sector cache for a magnetic disk under Linux?"

Retiring Justice John Paul Stevens's Impact On IP Law 106

Pickens writes "Corporate Counsel recounts the profound legacy of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, author of the majority opinion in what some consider the most important copyright ruling of all time — the 1984 Betamax decision (Sony v. Universal City Studios) that established that consumers have a personal 'fair use' right to make copies of copyrighted material for non-commercial use. Justice Stevens's contribution to the ultimate decision in Betamax extended well beyond writing the opinion. The justices' initial debates in the case make it clear that Stevens was the only one of the nine (PDF) who believed that the 'fair use' doctrine gave consumers a right to make personal copies of copyrighted content for home use. It was his negotiating skill that pulled together the five-vote majority allowing home video recorders to be sold and used without interference from copyright holders. An IP litigator is quoted: 'The ruling that making a single copy for yourself of a broadcast movie was fair use ... that was truly huge, and was a point on which the court was deeply divided.' So the next time you're TiVo-ing an episode of your favorite show, remember to give a quick thanks to Justice Stevens; and let's hope that whoever President Obama appoints to replace him will follow in Stevens's footsteps and defend Fair Use, not corporate copyright interests." The review also touches on Stevens's "patent skepticism," which may be on display when the court delivers its eagerly awaited Bilski ruling.
The Media

Media Industry Wants Mandated Spyware and More 373

An anonymous reader writes "The joint comment filed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) requests anti-infringement software on all home computers, pervasive copyright filtering, border searches, forced US intellectual property policies on foreign nations and a joint departmental agency to combat infringement during major releases." The MPAA would also like to have its rent paid a bit by Congress, with a ban on what seems to me like a useful tool (for those in as well as outside the film industry), the recently-discussed futures market for box-office receipts.

Hardware-Accelerated Ogg Theora For Firefox Mobile 176

An anonymous reader writes "Matthew Gregan is working on bringing David Schleef's DSP accelerated port of Theora to Firefox Mobile. He writes on his blog: 'The C64x+ DSP is often found in systems built upon TI's OMAP3 SoC, such as the Palm Pre, Motorola Droid, and Nokia N900. Last year, Mozilla funded a port, named Leonora, of Xiph's Theora video codec to the TI C64x+ DSP. David Schleef conducted the port impressively quickly and published his results. The intention of this project was to provide a high-quality set of royalty-free media codecs for a common mobile computing platform. The initial focus is Firefox Mobile on the N900, so I am working on integrating David's work into Firefox. To experiment with other facilities Firefox could use to accelerate video playback, and test integration, I've been hacking on a branch of a stand-alone Ogg Theora and Vorbis player originally written by Chris Double called plogg.'"
The Courts

ACTA Draft To Be Made Public Next Week 95

Spitfirem1 writes with this snippet from ZDNet: "Negotiators will on Wednesday publish the first officially released draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a new treaty designed to harmonize copyright enforcement around the world. The decision to release the consolidated draft on 21 April was made at the eighth round of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations, which took place this week in Wellington, New Zealand. So far, the only publicly available information on the negotiating countries' proposals and amendments have been leaked documents purporting to be drafts of the agreement."

Is the Tide Turning On Patents? 172

Glyn Moody writes "The FSF has funded a new video, 'Patent Absurdity: how software patents broke the system,' freely available (of course) in Ogg Theora format (what else?). It comes at a time when a lot is happening in the world of patents. Recent work from leading academics has called into question their basis: 'The work in this paper, and that of many others, suggests that this traditionally-struck "devil's bargain" may not be beneficial.' We recently discussed how a judge struck down Myriad Genetics's patents on two genes because they involved a law of Nature, and were thus 'improperly granted.' Meanwhile, the imminent Supreme Court ruling In re Bilski is widely expected to have negative knock-on effects for business method and software patents. Is the tide beginning to turn?"

Entertainment Industry's Dystopia of the Future 394

renek writes "If you think the RIAA/MPAA's tactics have been outlandish, laughable, and disconcerting in the past, you haven't seen anything yet. From government-mandated spyware that deletes infringing content to border searches of media players, this reads like an Orwellian nightmare. Given the US government's willingness to bend over for Big Media it wouldn't be terribly surprising to see how far this goes and how under the radar it stays."
Open Source

Lightworks Video Editor To Go Open Source 205

Art3x writes "EditShare will release its video editor as open source this summer. Lightworks handles high-definition media, DPX, and RED, shares projects with Final Cut Pro and Avid, and was recently used by Academy-award-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker on Shutter Island. Introduced in 1989 and bought by EditShare last year, it 'has come from over one million hours of software development,' says EditShare's James Richings. But he says releasing the source will 'generate concepts and capabilities never seen before. I expect that the Lightworks Open Source initiative will transform not only the technology, but also the opinions on what a professional editing tool can achieve.'" From the press release's description, it sounds like the "open source" phase will follow a period of free-as-in-beer downloading.

The Pirate Party of Canada Is Official 430

wasme writes "The Pirate Party of Canada has become the first Pirate Party outside of Europe to become an official political party. Elections Canada confirmed with the party that the PPCA has gained 'eligible for registration' status, and can run in elections starting June 14. From the PPCA's official announcement: 'We are pleased to announce that as of April 12, 2010, the Pirate Party of Canada is officially eligible for Party Status. After 10 months of dedication and hard work, we have reached eligible status, which only leaves a 60-day "purgatory" period. After that, we will field candidates in subsequent federal elections, and begin the real work of a political party.'"

Comment Re:I hope... (Score 1) 246

" But what if I gave YOU butter for free, but under a license (i.e. the GPL) which improves your popcorn. And you in turn gave it away for free along with the popcorn you produced. (which is allowed). Then you decide to start charging 10 cents for the popcorn, and are still including my butter. That's not ok. It violates my license." The gpl does allow for commercial use, it just doesn't allow the product using the code to be proprietary. So selling the popcorn would not be in violation of the license.(well, assuming it covered popcorn :P)

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