- Ray Ozzie leaves Microsoft
Cory at BoingBoing links to Dan Gillmor’s scoop at Salon. I think it is safe to reason that the all to brief FLOSS accommodation period at the Redmond giant is over. First Ramji leaves, and then the horrible OpenOffice.org attack video of the other day. Ah, well, as many have said, Ozzie is now free and likely to go on to do something more consistent with his past innovations.
- T-Mobile cites developer mistake as defense against network neutrality
The Register has details of the incident that caused a twelve fold spike in traffic and the inevitable “I told you so” rhetoric from the carrier. The details mentioned in the article indicate that this isn’t even a bandwidth issue but a poor understanding of how programming approaches that work fine on the wired internet can cause unexpected problems for wireless. Seems to me like a technical solution is needed, that this isn’t anything to do with neutral or discriminatory networks.
- Profile of the MIT Media Lab, BCC via Hacker News
- CAPTCHA breaking trail to proceed, despite problematic use of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Wired
- Google’s Schmidt stirs the online privacy pot again
Slashdot links to coverage of Schmidt’s speech at the Techonomy event currently going on. The remark in question was specifically about anonymity and resonates with Scott McNealy’s famous quit about getting over the end of privacy. The THINQ article is a bit frustrating, I suspect there is context missing as the rest of the speech discusses data, its volume and the sort of inductive leaps that will come with accelerating collection and analysis.
- EFF files a brief against expanding a CFAA claim from a misdemeanor to a felony
- Massive censorship of Digg uncovered
Via NewsTrust. This is another reason to avoid purely mechanized curation sites, one of the few recent points Jaron Lanier has made with which I whole heartedly agree.
- Visualization of twenty-five years of AmigaOS source code check-ins
- Court rejects warrant-less GPS tracking
- Samsung, Toshiba accused of price fixing LCD screens
- Bloatware on Android phones
What Priya Ganapati at Wired means are the pre-installed and often difficult or impossible to remove trial applications that are a fixture of PCs. Carriers are following in the footsteps of computer makers, taking advantage of the customizability of Android phones to bog them down with the same nonsense for much the same reason, some extra cash through providing access to 3rd party software and services. Unfortunately, the phone makers aren’t paying too close attention, at least to the backlash and subsequent reduction in bloatware on PCs, as Ganapati goes on to explain. Thankfully not all carriers have succumbed to this urge.
- Mullenweg stands firm: WordPress themes, plugins are convered by GPL
Slashdot links to the decision and some legal reasoning on how the GPL extends from the server’s source to extensions which are not usually covered, being separate works. This is the culmination of quite a bit of heated back and forth between Mullenweg and the author of a commercial theme.
- Court rules violating site’s TOS not a crime but bypassing technical barriers may be
- Firefox 4’s second beta on track to arrive tomorrow
- How to root a Droid X
- Another troubling case under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
- Bill to pressure countries seeking to break the Internet
- New Firefox Mobile release
- Historic cipher recovered and revealed
- Satirical, humorous look at a dystopian future of the network
- Consideration on recent developments in weak AI
- New material could yield super dense energy storage
- A gopher client for Android
- Radio Berkman podcast episode on anonymity and limits on free speech
As I do not already listen to enough podcasts on legal matters. But I am grateful to TLF’s Adam Thierer for bringing this to my attention, especially this particular episode on an excellent subject that is very relevant to recent stories about anonymous speech circulating through the blogosphere. I will warn you that while there is an Ogg version of the podcast, the file I checked had a panning issue; sound only on the right channel.
- New language on the JVM from Google
The name, short for “No Operation”, sounds like a joke, but the piece I found via Hacker News appears to be legitimate. I understand the reasoning behind the laundry list of features but wonder, as I usually do, if their efforts would have been better served helping Scala or Groovy rather than creating a whole new language.
- Amazon delaying public domain submissions for the Kindle
Although the piece doesn’t say explicitly, I suspect that the Orwell incident is a large part of their reasoning. What they have said is suspicious, as the letter including in this article makes clear. At least they are not singling anyone out.
- Tech illiteracy’s impact on judges’ rulings
At Techdirt, Mike Masnick shares a good example of a case where illiteracy yielded an outcome one hundred and eighty degrees from how things would have gone if the judge were more clueful. It echoes the question I consider a while ago.
- Big Content whines to FCC to perserve its internet filtering plans
I really am not at all surprised by Nate Anderson’s coverage at Ars of another FCC workshop on their broadband plan in which the entertainment industry took over with flimsy rhetoric, easily debunked, intending to shore up their desire to deputize ISPs to police for infringing content.
- An overreaching patent from Google on reading lists
RWW supposes this may be a key patent underlying the Bundles feature in Reader. Further, they detail a response from Winer which seems to have the right of it, that at least judging from the abstract on the patent, there is a load of applicable prior art.
- Ruling further limits interpretation of the CFAA
According to Jacqui Cheung at Ars, in this instance the ruling on appeal was for a case around ex-employees accessing former employer’s data. It reins in another of the problematic, broadening claims brought to bear under the already overly vague and dangerous Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
- IP stack in a tweet
Sure, it is the usual for fun kind of effort but it does make you wonder. Other folks have tried to push data compression to see what is possible with the 140 character limit. Why not do the same for nano-programs. I wonder what sort of sharing might be possible, though the more obvious scenarios involve attackers and spammers spreading malware nano-programs.
- Google to hand over IP addresses of Caribbean journalists
This WikiLeaks article makes it pretty clear that this is not a may for Google, but definitely a will. It is under the auspices of a libel suit, one of the few limits on free speech but I wonder if that claim holds water here. The statements deemed libelous were made as part of a government inquiry and at least the WikiLeaks article is careful to label them as allegations, not fact.
- A response to the good enough revolution
Mike Masnick offers a rebuttal on Techdirt to this story to which I linked earlier. Masnick’s post is well worth a read but in brief, basically contends that the good enough lamented in the Wired piece is actually best when measured correctly. Any shortcoming is a bias of the observer.
- Turing apology campaign gains momentum
The field of computing is lousy with some regrettable social ills, most notably a perverse gender bias. What happened to Turing at the hands of his own government makes these problems pale. I do like that those spear heading this campaign are open to their efforts having a benefit just by helping more people understand the importance of Turing’s contributions to modern computing. I genuinely hope they manage to achieve much more than that for this misunderstood pioneer.
- Wikipedia to color code edits from less trusted authors, editors
Mike Masnick has the details at Techdirt though many other sources are also pointing to this story. We’ll see how it works in practice but in theory I like the idea of an explicit signal that a source may need checking. It’s a subtle distinction from flagging the accuracy of the article itself, which may be high regardless of the contributor’s trust status. I think it is continuous with other changes the site has been making recently to improve quality of information.
- Lori Drew case dismissed for vagueness
Wired has the details of the judge’s written ruling following up on his ealrier decision in the case. The ruling speaks to the very problematic charge under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act from the lower court’s ruling, overturning for exactly the reasons we would hope. Namely that it sets a very dangerous precedent that encourages vague and over broad interpretation of the CFAA.