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Comment Caspar Bowdens testimony in the EU Parliament (Score 4, Informative) 199

Last week, Caspar Bowden testified at a hearing in the European Parliament, and presented a report on the NSA surveillance to the European Parliament's Committee for Fundamental Rights LIBE.

Link to the report:

Link to the Youtube-video with Bowden's statement and the following Q&A (63 min):

Comment I Love the Notion of Freedom... (Score 1) 580

...but there comes a time when you actually need the best possible tools to accomplish a goal. In my case I like making music. I left the proprietary music making software world full time in 2006 when GNU/Linux had finally caught up to where things were back then. I dumped Cakewalk Pro Audio, Adobe Audition, Cubase VST 24 Studio for Ardour, Rosegarden, Hydrogen, Alsa Modular Synth, LinuxSampler, and QSynth. In general, I was able to do all of the same stuff without much extra effort. In general it's all about templates anyway, so you set up your templates for how you work in these new apps and it really isn't much different. But then I decided late last year to look at what was happening on Mac and Windows and just in the short five/six years I've been away, things have changed drastically. There are much better products and many developers have dropped their prices. It's much easier to get music made with other software and I don't see the Linux apps catching up quite yet. In fact I'm seeing more stagnation thanks to Ubuntu taking over on most development. They are ignoring the applications I used or even dropping them from the repositories.

Yes I can still move to a different distro and build things from source, but that takes away from the time I have to actually make music. So I'm not sure what to do now. The lure of really easy, appealing and efficient tools (that don't all work in WINE and don't play nice with the DSSI plugins like vestige and festige) is pretty strong. And the prices aren't as bad anymore. So as much I as I really want to support freedom, I don't want to have to wait another five to ten years to be able to do what others are doing now on proprietary platforms. Therein lies the rub. Steam releasing on GNU/Linux will provide people with easy access to what they want with no waiting. That's a good thing from the perspective of a PC actually serving a purpose. It's a bad thing in terms of supporting freedom. I don't know where you go with that.

Comment Where Do People Like Him Come From? (Score 1) 596

If he wants a locked down platform, he has one available. Just stop developing your stuff for Android and start developing for Apple. You'll get paid like you want, and you won't have to bitch about the platform people like us prefer. It's just like religious people vs. atheists. No one is telling the atheist that he has to be a Christian and believe in god. And no one is telling the Christian that you can't believe in God or go to church on Sundays. Just do what you prefer to do and hang out where you prefer to hang out and ignore those who you disagree with.

Comment Hmmm... (Score 2, Insightful) 424

This is the most chilling thing I've read in a while: "Three decades ago, the personal computer industry was built on the backs of technology enthusiasts. Every product, every ad was created to please us. No longer. Technology must now work for everyone, not just 'computing enthusiasts'." Why is it chilling? Because I'm seeing it everywhere. Things that I consider to be killer features that MUST exist on a computing device are just disappearing. No OS is immune at this point. As a hardcore Linux fan since the early 90s, even I have to acknowledge that Linux is dying. Ubuntu is killing it. Windows isn't looking to sharp in version 8 either. It sounds like Mac OS X is headed down the same road.


Submission + - How do we deal with a 'Facebook apocalypse'? ( 2

taskforce writes: There are good reasons to think a web services like Facebook won't be around forever. If Facebook ever were to go down there would be potentially huge costs to its users. We can all take individual steps to protect our data and social network, but is there anything we can do to our economy to mitigate the costs of the failure of these services? The Red Rock looks at the role open source, open standards, consumer cooperatives, and enterprise reform can play. The author concludes that all is not lost, and that there's a lot we can do to reduce both the cost and frequency of failure.

Comment This agrees with "The Case for Copyright Reform" (Score 5, Informative) 285

As a Member of the European Parliament for the Swedish Pirate Party, I have just published a short book (108 pages) on copyright reform together with Rick Falkvinge, who is the founder of the first and Swedish Pirate party.

The studies mentioned here seem to paint exactly the same picture as a number of studies that we refer to in that book. File sharing is not hurting revenues for the cultural sector. When we look at statistics for the last decade, with rampant file sharing on the internet, we see that more money is going into film, music, books, games and other culture than ever before, and that a larger portion of it is going to the artists and other creative people involved (as opposed to middle men such as the big record companies).

Two weeks ago we had a book launch for "The Case for Copyright Reform" in the European Parliament, and I have distributed a paper copy of it to each of the 754 MEPs (Members of the European Parliament).

Now all that remains to be seen is how many of my colleagues in the parliament will actually read it, but that's another story. ;)

If you are interested in checking out the book, you can download "The Case for Copyright Reform" (for free, obviously) from You can also order a paper copy at cost price via print-on-demand, if you prefer that.

It is time that we start looking at copyright legislation in a fact-based manner, as opposed to the IPR fundamentalist way that has been dominant in this policy area so far on both sides of the Atlantic.

There is a better way.

Comment It is a legislative report (Score 5, Informative) 297

I took part in the vote as a Member of the JURI Committee in the European Parliament, and I can correct you on a few points. The amendments to a report can change its meaning completely, and the amendment that we lost was a rather important one. Therefore it is wrong to say that it was and "obscure" amendment, and imply that it was not important. The report is a legislative report that will turn into a binding directive and then national law once it is adopted, so it is not the question of a non-binding (or "own initiative") report this time.

Comment Re:I'll second that. (Score 0) 605

Oh fun. Yet another attempt to justify aggressive driving habits. Fact: If everyone followed the speed limit, obeyed all traffic signs no matter if other cars are around or not, there would be fewer accidents and the accidents that did occur would be less fatal. Full stop. The only "problem" that arises from doing this is the "inconvenience" of taking a little longer to reach a destination. But I'm sure poorly mannered drivers here will correct me. It's happened before and I ignore all of you.

Comment But I've been using GoogleFS for Three Years Now.. (Score 5, Interesting) 205

GoogleFS on top of FUSE in Linux has allowed mounting the space that you store Google docs in for quite some time. This whole time I kept wondering, "why isn't anyone writing a GUI for this for Windows and Mac users" so they're not left out in the cold. (Not entirely true with Mac users as FUSE works there too)

Comment Only if they... (Score 1) 237

...tighten things up a bit more. I found the 11.04 an 11.10 releases to be terribly unstable if you are upgrading in place. Let us hope that any tablet, TV or phone OS release of theirs has a much tighter development model. People who buy TVs, phones and tablets want to have those devices "just work". Computer users are used to having to work around problems. Can you imagine the horror of having to wait for a TV to boot, or to have functionality of the TV change to the point where you have to relearn everything after an upgrade? And I'm an Android user... I love to tweak things which is why little else appeals.

Comment Two Extremes... (Score 1) 470

...and we've seen both. First is that most developers who write great efficient code usually suck at UI design. They don't know how to make something truly aesthetically pleasing from an artistic perspective. Some can, but it's a rare bird. For the rest, an eBook is just data. If the story is there in monotype font with no antialiasing and no aesthetic flow of the text itself, they've done their job. On the other hand, how many of you remember the "multimedia CDs" of the 90s where a band would release a new album that would typically contain some sort of Shockwave application for Windows or Mac? Some of them were pretty close rivals to the album sleeve art of previous decades. Only they added interactivity beyond just looking at or displaying the thing.

How many of you remember that most of those things were a steaming pile when it came to code? I dissected a few (as well as DVD menus and even DVDs) and found that while the art might look beautiful, there is usually no regard for wasting resources. This is something that coders are driven insane by. You might see the same super large video file duplicated three times in different directories instead of just referencing a single one. The same with graphical content.

eBook designers should strike a balance between providing an aesthetic experience that is at least equivalent to the finest printed books, and as efficient as the most spare Perl script. Good luck finding people who can master both. They are out there, but they're rare.

(This comment is an altered repost of something I accidentally posted anonymously yesterday.)

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