- Microsoft issues blanket license to NGOs outside the US
As Slashdot and others are reporting, this move by the Redmond giant is in direct response to the abuse of infringement claims for the purposes of suppressing speech. This is a laudable move by a company with a traditionally dour stance on intellectual property enforcement of all kinds.
- Dell releases sources for Streak, Android Spin
- Research supports notion that self-regulation has prevented commoditization of broadband, Technology Review
- Indie developer experiments with choose-your-own-price for downloadable content, Slashdot
- Appeals court guts landmark computer privacy ruling
David Kravets explains in a piece for Ars Technica how the 9th circuit caved under pressure from federal prosecutors who felt Miranda-like guidelines were crippling their investigations. I can understand how such rules can be problematic procedurally, maybe even out of proportion with the protections they are supposed to confer. Unfortunately, this is a giant step backwards, not anything that can readily be described as justifiable streamlining.
- Maximizing openness of broadband data, Google
- Register of copyrights to retire
Nate Anderson at Ars Technica explains one side of why I feel so ambivalent about the outgoing Register, Marybeth Peters. He fails to give her credit for her views on the orphan works problem, though, that balances somewhat her archaic views on new forms of expression like digital remixes. I expect this issue to heat up considerably as Big Content will no doubt do everything in their power to see a successor who leans even further towards their views. The fact that the Obama administration is lousy with appointments of former industry attorneys has me more than a little concerned.
- Tor working with Google to make Chrome better at protecting privacy, Tor
The Register has the details, driven by the hackers among Android’s larger community, of Dell’s failure to fully honor their GPL obligations with their new gadget. The Streak is an early entrant into a promising field of Android powered mobile devices, tablets. Well, it isn’t quite a tablet as the consensus seems to consider tablets in the range of seven inch screens and up. And it isn’t quite a true MID, usually coming in at four inch or so. (MID stands for mobile internet device and is a bland and worthless descriptor that seems most commonly applied to handy non-tablet devices like the iPod Touch.) The most frequent attempt at describing the Streak I’ve seen is to characterize it as an oversized phone, with all the appropriate hardware and available with a service place but clumsy to hold up to the ear.
This is one of the devices I am following with interest to potentially purchase as a successor to my aging and increasingly decrepit first generation iPod Touch. Hopefully Dell will come into compliance sooner, rather than later. Especially as the sources in question could mean the difference between having or not having the option of an after market, manually upgrade to FroYo, the latest version of Android.
Dell Streak snub enrages Android fans, The Register