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Submission + - US patent office seeks aid to spot bogus patent claims (

startling writes: Members of the public are being asked by the US Patent Office to help weed out bogus patent applications. It wants the public to contribute to a website that will spot applications for patents on technologies that have already been invented. The website, called Ask Patents, will be run by US firm Stack Exchange that has a track record of operating Q&A websites.
Operating Systems

How Kernel Hackers Boosted the Speed of Desktop Linux 380

chromatic writes "Kernel hackers Arjan van de Ven and Auke Kok showed off Linux booting in five seconds at last month's Linux Plumbers Conference. Arjan and other hackers have already improved the Linux user experience by reducing power consumption and latency. O'Reilly News interviewed him about his work on improving the Linux experience with PowerTOP, LatencyTOP, and Five-Second Boot."

Submission + - Will BBC Windows-only on-demand hurt Linux?

startling writes: The BBC has released its On-demand service that lets people watch TV shows after they have screened, but only on Windows. From the article: "Earlier this month BBC Future Media boss Ashley Highfield said the corporation was committed to rolling out the iPlayer on Windows PCs first of all, and then cable TV services, Apple Macs, and eventually Freeview boxes. But the BBC said it could not commit to a two-year deadline to achieve this goal, saying it was up to the third parties concerned."

So, no mention of Linux there. Would this stop many from considering a Linux-based PC? I can imagine the sales spiel: "Will you want to watch TV on your PC? Then you'll need a Microsoft Windows PC — it's the only one that works..."

Is this a case of the BBC abusing its monopoly position to help another monopoly: Microsoft? Having seen the recent BBC, ahem, "documentary" about Vista I was shocked as it looked to me like a half-hour long advert for Microsoft Vista.

Submission + - Judge Drops Case against Hewlett Packard's Dunn

An anonymous reader writes: A California judge today dismissed charges against Patricia C. Dunn, the former chairwoman of Hewlett-Packard, in a corporate spying case that grabbed national headlines and prompted Congressional hearings on protection of personal phone records. The original article.
United States

Submission + - Very thoughtful intellectual property article

scrollpane writes: This article in Harper's is the most well reasoned and thoughtful discussion of intellectual property I have read. It starts with a general discussion of artists copying — or being influenced by — other artists and moves on to discuss intellectual property from a variety of angles, including files sharing OSS, etc. Check it out.

Submission + - EFF Reveals Plot to Cripple European Televison

poopie writes: From BoingBoing:

EFF has just published a long-awaited, brilliant paper on Europe's proposed digital TV DRM system. ... EFF is the only consumer group admitted to the DRM negotiations — closed door, secretive meetings that you had to pay EU10,000 a year to attend — and then only because it came as the representative of some open source manufacturers. Speaking of which, the DVB spec requires that devices be built to resist end-user modification, which means that open source and free software are right out.
Read the EFF DVB briefing paper Who controls your Television

Submission + - USG to spy all telecommunications in Mexico

An anonymous reader writes: The US government, by the contract S-INLEC-06-R-4042, Title 58 will monitor the full spectrum of telecommunications in Mexico. From the Contract description:
The U.S. Department of State, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs intends to issue Request for Proposal S-INLEC-06-R-4042 for the purchase of Communications Intercept Systems to include installation, technical support and training on-site in Mexico.
The scope of the contract is "the purchase and installation of a communications intercept system that enables the collection and analysis of information transmitted over all types of communications systems" in Mexico; this system sould enable the "timely receipt, processing, analysis, and storage of intercepted communications from the national telephonic and other communications service providers in Mexico. The proposed system must comply with the following AFI stated requirements for interception of target calls and sessions from (1) TELMEX PSTN network, through analog lines, (2) TELCEL TDMA network, (3) NEXTEL iDEIM/GSM network, (4) TELEFONICA network, (5) UNEFON network, (6) ISUACEL CDMA network and TDMA network, (7) Existing CISCO VoIP network at customer's premises, (8) packet data from the Mexico PRODIGY ISP network. Additionally the client desires the establishment of a central monitoring center with the capabilities of (1) real-time and off-line playback, (2) fax decoding, (3) packet data decoding, (4) storage of all calls for at least 25,000 hours, (5) storage of all session related information, (6) 30 monitoring stations and 30 printers, (7) cellular location and tracking. Capabilities must include TDMA, GSM, CDMA, iDEN, AMPS, PCS, landline, FAX, Email, chat, internet, SMS and VoIP"
Supposedly this will "strengthen the United States Government's (USG) and Mexico's protective posture to disseminate timely and accurate, actionable information to each countries respective federal, state, local, private (emphasis added), and international partners".
The leftist blog "Sendero del Peje" has more data in spanish and english on this post. This level of monitoring is illegal under the articles 7 and 16 of the Mexican Constitution, that provide similar protections to the 4th, 9th and 14th amendments to US Constitution.
This news have been meet with a deafening silence by the press, the Mexican Congress and the corporate media.

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