Quick News Links for Week Ending 12/9/2007

  • Firefox security chief rebuts Microsoft comparative study
    It is plausible that Microsoft is gaming the statistics. The response time is a more valid criticism regardless. This sort of manipulation is not new or unique but when it is at the expense of user security, that is concerning.
  • Deutsche Grammphone ditches DRM
    As a subsidiary of Universal, this can be seen as an experiment with high quality MP3’s through a captive, direct sales channel. It may open Universal up further but its failure may be hard to interpret given the smaller audience.
  • Walmart pressuring labels to drop DRM
    The timing is coincidental but signals that newer retailers are finally competing successfully with iTunes and demanding non-DRM offerings for the remaining two biggest labels to keep the competitive pressure on.
  • Critique of an older study on P2P file sharing
    This is not critical of the latest Canadian industry study though the issues raised with an older study seem legitimate. I would have rather seen a directed discussion of the new study than an attempt to muddy the waters and question the exercise as a whole, trying to quantify the effects of file sharing.
  • Verizon Wireless will accept Android based phones
    No word on whether they will stick with CDMA which is a big limiter to which devices can use their network, regardless of their stance on open-ness.
  • Extensions methods proposed for Java
    I am not a fan of static imports and think this enhancement is more confusing than not when trying to keep track of an object’s potential state space and transitions. I am encouraged by the mention of categories, not unique to or even invented in Groovy, which is an older idea for this sort of feature.
  • Debating whether P2P traffic is fair
    Some good metrics on what it means to be fair on a TCP network. The issue of attended, unattended use falls outside the network, though.
  • New copyright law in the US
    This doesn’t appear to change the balance so much as give more power once infringement is proven. It is unclear how the new department, advisor will benefit the public good fostered by intellectual copyright when the focus appears to be on enforcement and normalization, not progress arts and useful sciences.
  • MPAA head pushes for ISP filtering
    The industry’s number one problem is producing compelling content, not piracy. This is more of the same, trying to preserve margins rather than innovate and compete legitimately.
  • YouTube as latest fount of online misinformation
    The internet itself, then Wikipedia, now YouTube have all faced these sorts of criticisms. Better development of critical thinking skills in mandatory education would be a better expenditure than studies identifying risk areas where such critical though is required.
  • IBM’s core-to-core optical interconnect
    There are still challenges to be solved, but this could lead to more cores on a die and much lower thermal output for the same number of cores.
  • Next release of GWT
    Promises cleaner code, better performance. Definitely a move to stay ahead of new competitors, like Microsoft’s Volta.
  • SFLC goes after Verizon for GPL violation
    Another BusyBox suit, this time for its use in Fios routers and non-compliance with source requests
  • 3D transistor design my re-ignite the clock speed race
    The author seems reputable even if the upper end of the claims, 20GHz to 50GHz are hard to credit. The real world applications are also too far out to say how they will be realized in actual devices.
  • NYT editorial on global, online freedom
    How does this reconcile with the NSA surveillance and particularly, the telcos complicity?
  • More on background of Scribd, SWFA kerfuffle and reformed piracy committee
  • Ruby on Rails 2.0 is done

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