Quick News Links for Week Ending 6/22/2008

  • Good advice on collaborating openly versus coding alone then contributing
    Good advice for professional and open source development alike. The trick is maintaining a sustainable granularity of tasks so contributions can get reviewed in the small, rather than the impossibility of reading a monolithic and huge contribution.
  • Potentially invasive email services
    The core problem seems reasonable, especially given the clear explanation of the limitations of SMTP. The real problem seems to be one of norms, that anything other than a clear protocol based solution, which is available, is seen as invasive.
  • Nokia guru wonders if open source and device restrictions can coexist
    Director of open source at Nokia claims that while device makers are trying to work better with open source projects, there needs to be some equal consideration for the state of the industry on closed aspects like IP and DRM.
  • More questioning of multithreading as a valid model
    More empirical data from design automation as an industry, driven by the density of gates on the modern 45nm integrated circuit. Suggested increasing number of cores are going to make the problems with threading worse.
  • Revisiting the idea of the browser as the OS
    Cites the adoption of local storage, think the file system for an OS, as one of the last needed pieces. Ties it all the way back to Netscape’s original idea for “middleware”, the threat that lead Microsoft to crushing them.
  • Judge rules White House not subject to FOIA
    There are other suits ongoing but this one seems at an end based on a characterization of the executive bodies being tasked as not agencies as defined under FOIA, so the judge has ruled them exempt.
  • Apple’s open source JavaScript framework
    This is the framework Apple used for its new MobileMe applications and seems to have a flavor very similar to Cocoa. It also may be the specific driver for the adoption of Squirrelfish, a faster JS interpreter, for WebKit.
  • Apple submits OpenCL as an ad hoc standard
    OpenCL is part of Apple’s forthcoming parallel enhancements on Snow Leopard. It competes with NVidia’s CUDA and is meant for utilizing the GPU alongside the CPU, not parallelism within a multicore CPU itself.
  • Clever pirate album to protest blank media, “pirate” tax
    An artist is using his take from his country’s levy to fund a remix album to highlight the problems with blank media levies, mostly in that they perpetuate aging business models, penalize honest citizens.
  • Inside the internet archive
    Some good technical insight, if you are curious, as well as a background on the lead techie.
  • Malware nets child porn charge against innocent civil servant
    The employee in question was exonerated after the fact but was originally railroad on just the appearance on the porn on his system without any in depth investigation as to how it got there.
  • Reddit goes open source, makes operations transparent
    Founder cites the service’s content as being key, not its technology. Will keep some of the anti-gaming, anti-cheating stuff closed but looking for good input from the community based on the 95% that will be shared.
  • Big brother law defeated, then passed, in Sweden
    Apparently defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory as the bill was reformed, minimally, and resubmitted. Critics are still not happy with the reformed bill.
  • DARPA struggling to recruit
    DARPA is now apparently losing funding because key positions are going unfilled. Means they will be unlikely to recruit at all as this equates to an elimination of those positions.
  • Intrusive advertising now forging packets
    NebuAd has been unable to refute the technical findings of Topolski’s analysis though they tried to allay privacy concerns. This is clearly an escalation over Phorm’s approach and paints a disturbing trend, an arms race in targeted advertising which is frightening to extrapolate.
  • IcedTea’s OpenJDK passes the JCK
    Fulfills the long held promise of opening the platform, though details are scant. What is clear is this is a complete JDK, not a partial implementation and the JCK is what Sun has used for its own and commercial offerings to date.
  • MPAA says it doesn’t need to prove infringement
    This is the industry’s first response to the all from comments from Judge Davis on the Thomas case. It appears to be a rebuttal of the legal scholars saying proof of infringement is required. The MPAA comments seem very self contradictory, to me.
  • Leaked powerpoint paints poor picture of Comcast
    Turns out the DirecTV ad campaign may not be too far off the mark in how they depict at least one cable company. It still boggles my mind that companies don’t exercise more care over internal communications given how easily such documents may turn up in unexpected places.
  • O’Reilly to release DRM-free e-books
    The books will be available in the three most common formats and for less than the print copy. I am surprised O’Reilly didn’t do this sooner, though this is a pilot, much like No Starch’s similar project earlier in the year. They cite the reason for the delay being time invested on tools for publishing these open formats.

One Reply to “Quick News Links for Week Ending 6/22/2008”

  1. Internet Archive article: very interesting looks back and forward, thanks.

    MPAA: How un-American. So much for “innocent before proven guilty”! I hope Davis’s opinion holds.

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