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Businesses

Submission + - Mickos: Open source needs unfair advantage (computerworlduk.com)

superapecommando writes: A guest post from Mårten Mickos in response to Simon Phipps's statement of opposition to so-called "open core" models. Mickos argues that "for an open source company to become commercially successful, it needs to have an unfair advantage against its competition". He is the CEO of cloud start-up Eucalyptus and former CEO of MySQL.

A characteristic and great feature of the world of free and open source software (FOSS) is that many of its participants love debating business models. Do closed source software vendors do that? I doubt.

Simon has some great points in his posting yesterday, reminding us all that the non-open features or services a company provides to its customers may lead to lock-in and reduction of freedoms for the customer. He also comments that open core businesses "stand to benefit massively" from this. It seems that he is arguing that this is a bad thing. My main point is the opposite: by having vendors in the open source space that benefit massively, we will have a stronger world of free and open source software (FOSS).


Submission + - Please Remove Your Shoes (pleaseremoveyourshoesmovie.com)

gambino21 writes: A new documentary called "Please Remove Your Shoes" discusses the policies of the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). From the film website:

Please Remove Your Shoes is a revealing documentary about broken government process. It is also an empathetic story about a half dozen public servants who try to fix it. And it is a familiar topic to all of us who have flown in the last fifteen years:the security routine at the airport, first the FAA and now the TSA.

Reviews of the film are available at the Washington Post and Salon.com.

Censorship

Submission + - UK Police Threaten Teenage Photojournalist (wordpress.com)

IonOtter writes: In what seems to be a common occurrence, and now a costly one, Metropolitan Police in the UK still don't seem to be getting the message that assaulting photographers is a bad idea. UK press photographer Jules Matteson details the event in his blog, titled The Romford Incident. The incident has already been picked up by The Register, The Independent and the British Journal of Photography, which contains an official statement from the Metropolitan Police.
United Kingdom

Submission + - No UK law vs photographers (independent.co.uk)

AHuxley writes: The Independent is reporting: Two police officers stopped a student, who works as a freelance photojournalist from taking pictures of an Armed Forces Day parade (public place) — and then claimed they did not need a law to detain him.
We don'½Â(TM)t have to have a law.½Â A second officer later informed him he was ½Âoeconsidered a threat under the Terrorism Act½Â and escorted away from the parade.
Slashdot readers can now listen to this via youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQucfv0slOE

Canada

Submission + - Canadian Gov Introduces Patriot Act Style Bill (michaelgeist.ca) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The Canadian government quietly introduced its own Patriot Act yesterday, with privacy law reforms that are marketed as improving the current law but represent a major step backward. The bill would block organizations for disclosing disclosures to law enforcement to the affected individuals and it would give businesses broad new rights over workplace privacy. In return, Canadians get a security breach disclosure law that only kicks in with significant harm (as judged by the business) and without any penalties for non-disclosure.
Piracy

Estimating Game Piracy More Accurately 459

An anonymous reader tips a post up at the Wolfire blog that attempts to pin down a reasonable figure for the amount of sales a game company loses due to piracy. We've commonly heard claims of piracy rates as high as 80-90%, but that clearly doesn't translate directly into lost sales. The article explains a better metric: going on a per-pirate basis rather than a per-download basis. Quoting: "iPhone game developers have also found that around 80% of their users are running pirated copies of their game (using jailbroken phones). This immediately struck me as odd — I suspected that most iPhone users had never even heard of 'jailbreaking.' I did a bit more research and found that my intuition was correct — only 5% of iPhones in the US are jailbroken. World-wide, the jailbreak statistics are highest in poor countries — but, unsurprisingly, iPhones are also much less common there. The highest estimate I've seen is that 10% of worldwide iPhones are jailbroken. Given that there are so few jailbroken phones, how can we explain that 80% of game copies are pirated? The answer is simple — the average pirate downloads a lot more games than the average customer buys. This means that even though games see that 80% of their copies are pirated, only 10% of their potential customers are pirates, which means they are losing at most 10% of their sales."

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