An Apology to Turing, Continuing Microsoft Shenanigans, and More

  • Pre-release pirates facing prison sentence
    I don’t have much to add to the simple reporting at Ars by Jacqui Cheung. This crew treads too far on the side of eroding marketability of music, really. If the rights holder has not release it yet, then this is not even a question of reasonable access, it really does interfere with the ability to publish and profit.
  • UK PM apologizes for treatment of Turing
    The petition to recognize the poor treatment of a hero of early computing was clearly successful. I do have to agree with Glyn Moody’s sentiment, though. While this is a nice response to activism, a more considered response would be to properly preserve the crumbling and underfunded Bletchley where Turing and others made such significant contributions to the war effort.
  • Linux kernel developer points out tapering of MS open source efforts
    Actually, if you put this in the context of the recent patent auction, in particular the theory that MS sold off some Linux-relate patents with the hopes a troll would acquire them, then this really suggests that skepticism is warranted despite what now seem much more like token gestures towards open source. To be fair, GKH doesn’t take MS to task exclusively but mentions other companies that haven’t backed up their contributions with coding effort.
  • Apple releases its parallel programming code as open source
    GCD complements other, more open efforts which Apple has been supporting. Apple has implemented OpenCL, a tool for parallel programming GPUs, and GCD provides similar capabilities for multiple cores. The slashdot post has many links to commentary and analysis, the most interesting is how GCD may be ported and put to use in place of or alongside older parallel programming systems like MPI/OpenMPI.
  • Microsoft launchs an open source foundation
    Ryan Paul has the details at Ars. They are confusing and he rightly I think relates this to other recent confusion of the relationship between Microsoft and open source. The question that occurs to me in reading through the scant info on the new CodePlex Foundation is why they would not simply contribute those funds to an existing foundation? I am positive they have done so in the past and doing so again would seem to have far less potential for conflict of interest.
  • Dark stalking on Facebook
    Thanks to Phil for sending me this link. This expands on the concerns exposed by the ACLU-CA’s quiz that demonstrated how much data is exposed without constraint to application developers. The use of FQL suggests much greater ease for an attacker or other party interested in mining personal data. I hope addressing these exposures is already part of or will be made part of Facebook’s plan to address user complaints and the recent scrutiny from the Canadian privacy commissioner.

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