feeds | grep links > Origin of the Blink Tag, Blocking Political Speech with Copyright, 3D Information Storage, and More

feeds | grep links > State of WikiLeaks’ Site, What to Expect in Firefox 4, and More

feeds | grep links > Hang Detector in Next Firefox, Improvements on Computing without Decrypting, WIPO Study on the Public Domain, and More

Apologies for the limited blogging yesterday. Work was hectic with a celebration of the team’s last successful public code release and preparations for a move to a new space over the weekend both falling on the same day.

feeds | grep links > More on Intelligence Analyst Turned Leaker, Another Flawed Piracy Study, Mozilla on Apple’s Problematic HTML5 Demo, and Apple’s Weak Attribution on Using Open Source

Sorry I didn’t have time for more than some quick comments today. I spent most of my usual blogging time dealing with some important correspondence related to Cory Doctorow’s talk at this month’s CopyNight DC.

  • More on “Collateral Video” leaker
    Xeni at Boing Boing has a bit more on the story on which I briefly commented yesterday. She includes some back and forth between WikiLeaks and Poulsen at Wired. The issue WikiLeaks takes with Poulsen’s and Lamo’s behavior is betray the confidence of the leaker. I think this points at a potential drawback with my idea about WikiLeaks routing around the erosion of shield laws and the big question of journalism in this age of mass amateurization. With traditional media, the leaker would be able to converse about the experience of leaking with a journalist as well as sharing the key information.
  • Another suspect study on piracy, this time on gaming
    Gamasutra has news of a new study from a Japanese trade association. The figure quoted, $41.5B, is staggering and seems hard to credit on the face of it. Undoubtedly this research suffers from the same problems quantifying the real economic effects of piracy that all previous studies, regardless of industry, suffer. That is comes from a trade association just about clinches it.
  • Mozilla responds to Apple’s HTML5 demo page
    Ryan Paul at Ars Technica has an excellent write up of the issues with an HTML5 demo page Apple launched recently. In short, they are blocking all browsers but their own despite the fact that only some of the demos require advanced, not-quite-standard features in Safari. To drive the point home, he links to Chris Blizzard’s critique which includes some hard data on standards adoption by Mozilla and every other browser. Blizzard also tries to get to the root of the problem, intentional confusion about what is and is not HTML5.
  • Apple uses open source with minimal attribution
    As The Register explains, they didn’t violate the Apache License for the Readability project when lifting portions of its code for the Reader feature in Safari 5. The article even has a screenshot of the nod in Safari’s about dialog. That doesn’t make me feel very good about Apple’s relationship with open source which I am increasingly viewing as more parasitic than symbiotic.

TCLP 2010-06-06 News

This is news cast 215, an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

In the intro, just a pointer to my thoughts on Balticon 44 and a recap on advertising, the badge experiment, and Flattr so far.

This week’s security alerts are OS choice does not equal security and an Android rootkit.

In this week’s news Google drops Microsoft for internal use citing security reasons though some are skeptical, figuring out if Wikileaks spun up using documents intercepted from Tor with thoughts from both the Tor project and Wikileaks itself, IBM’s 40 year old Muppet sales films, and a new paper debunks certain suggested advantages of quantum computing.

Following up this week, if you are tired of Facebook then check out a Firefox extension that aims to help preserve your privacy while using it and India tries to gather opposition to ACTA.


Grab the detailed show notes with time offsets and additional links either as PDF or OPML. You can also grab the flac encoded audio from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Wikileaks Secures Sufficient Funding to Resume Operations

The Register spotted the tweet explaining the site’s success at the fund raising it has been doing since the start of the year.

Achieved min. funraising goal. ($200k/600k); we’re back fighting for another year, even if we have to eat rice to do it.

Further details are scant, the main page still has the plea for donations. Hopefully operations will return to normal soon, especially considering how many journalists have come forward endorsing Wikileaks as a critical online resource.

Journalists Plead to Save Wikileaks

Wired has a good summary of Wikileaks current campaign for contributions to help cover its costs and its progress to date since it suspended operations. They also explain how the site came into being and share some information about the organization that backs it.

Since the last story I saw on the clearinghouse site, a Facebook group has now formed to spread the word further. Also, journalists from the Guardian and the Spectator have spoken out about the value Wikileaks provides to their trade.

Wikileaks Still in Need of Funding

The clearing house for leaked documents suspended operations earlier, posting details of how you can support their efforts on their home page. Wikileaks tweeted a Guardian story today as a reminder that their operations are still suspended.

At the very least, the hiccup in donation processing via PayPal has been resolved. According to an anonymous source, I learned after that story that both this suspension of their PayPal account and the last one were simple TOS issues. The Register’s suggestion about the anti-money laundering policies is probably fairly close to the truth if not the exact condition in question.

WikiLeaks Able to Receive Donations Again

The Register has an update on the story from yesterday, that for at least the second time, PayPal suspended the site’s ability to receive donations through the micropayment service. An acquaintance hinted to me that there was more than the story but was not in a position to comment further. According to this article,

PayPal’s spokeswoman said it had lifted the suspension on Saturday, suggesting it had been triggered by anti-money laundering systems.

This despite Wikileaks working with a known quantity, Wau Holland Stiftung, a foundation that also works with CCC. Actually, in sifting through the translation of the foundation’s home page, supporting the Chaos Computing Club seems to be their sole raison d’etre.

As well regarded as CCC is in the hacker community, especially for its annual hacker gathering, I suspect this association may have as much to do with the suspension as anything. Of course, facts are sparse here so this is just my supposition.

PayPal Freezes Wikileaks Assets

The timing of this story could not be worse as Wikileaks is in the midst of fund raising. It is unclear why PayPal has frozen out Wikileaks other than an implication by the person who submitted the story to Slashdot that PayPal’s owners or operators take issue with the web site.

This is at least the second time PayPal has done this specifically to Wikileaks. The comment thread on Slashdot suggests that there is a clear need for more regulated and/or accountable micropayment services to prevent this sort of arbitrary interference. I agree with the need but am skeptical of it happening. Many users have boycotted PayPal for a broad swathe of reasons, even just for their transactions fees being too high. Even such direct pressure on retail usage hasn’t done much to change the state of things.

I suspect that Google Checkout may be a more reliable micropayment service but I do not know how they stack up in terms of features and transactions fees.