We spend a lot of our time at EFF trying to spot new proposals in copyright across the world, and understanding whether they’re good or bad for civil liberties. We’re not the only ones: our understanding depends on the work of hundreds of researchers worldwide who are constantly sifting through new drafts and consolidating older reforms in hundreds of nations.
The explosive growth of video on the internet calls for new ways of sorting and searching audiovisual content. A team of European researchers has developed a ground-breaking solution that is finding commercial applications. Most video search technologies currently rely on semantic annotation in which videos have to be manually tagged with keywords so they can be found via a text-based [...]
A study at Örebro University in Sweden indicates that mobile phones and other cordless telephones have a biological effect on the brain. It is still too early to say if any health risks are involved, but medical researcher Fredrik Söderqvist recommends caution in the use of these phones, above all among children and adolescents. Few children who regularly use mobile [...]
If you want to introduce a group of people to the Web, a group that’s never used a PC, and have never used the Internet, what route would you take? Sell them a Windows PC, or one powered by a Linux operating system? My guess is it would be a Linux PC, and that’s is exactly what discount.age and Wessex [...]
Lordy, lordy, lordy. They have no shame. It appears that Microsoft has just patented sudo, a personalized version of it. Here it is, patent number7617530. Thanks, USPTO, for giving Microsoft, which is already a monopoly, a monopoly on something that’s been in use since 1980 and wasn’t invented by Microsoft. Here’s Wikipedia’s description of sudo, which you can meaningfully compare [...]
The spread of malicious software, also known as malware or computer viruses, is a growing problem that can lead to crashed computer systems, stolen personal information, and billions of dollars in lost productivity every year. One of the most insidious types of malware is a “rootkit,” which can effectively hide the presence of other spyware or viruses from the user [...]
“OpenOffice will be cheaper to maintain and will run better than Microsoft’s proprietary alternative”, expects Lars Roark, IT manager at the Danish municipality of Rødovre, according to reports in Danish media. The municipality on Friday announced it will this week start to use OpenOffice, alongside Microsoft’s proprietary alternative. However the municipality plans to eventually move to OpenOffice completely.
From the Electronic Frontier Foundation: Can the U.S. government secretly subpoena the IP address of every visitor to a political website? No, but that didn’t stop it from trying. In a report released today, EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston tells the story of a bogus federal subpoena issued to independent news site Indymedia.us, and how the site fought back [...]
FSFE has unleashed an advocacy push in order to prevent the European Commission from hollowing out an important European reference document on interoperability. A draft for a new version of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) leaked to the press last week. Where the current version strongly encourages the public sector to use Free Software and Open Standards, the draft threatens [...]
The newly elected German government plans to support open standards and open source software. In its four-year coalition contract, the government led by chancellor Angela Merkel, writes it wants to orient its IT systems on open standards and include open source solutions. Together with its sister party CSU and her liberal coalition partner (FDP), the government parties have constructed a [...]
By Bradley M. Kuhn: Harald Welte knows more about development of embedded systems than I ever will. So, I generally defer completely to his views about software freedom development for embedded systems. However, as you can tell by that opening, I am setting myself up to disagree a little bit with him just this once on the topic. But first, [...]
From Bradley M. Kuhn: I agree pretty completely with Harald Welte’s comments regarding Symbian. I encourage everyone to take a look at his comments. We are in a very precarious time with regard to the freedom of mobile devices. We currently have no truly Free Software operating system that does the job, and there are multiple companies trying to get [...]
France’s national computer science institute, Inria, says free software is essential to develop digital society. The institute is launching a research centre to focus on this type of software, Cirill (IT Innovation and Research Centre for Free Software).
The foundation of Cirill was announced at the Open World Forum in Paris earlier this month. Cirill is to become a reference centre for the research and development of stable and reliable free software.
Observations from the Open World Forum and Open Source Think Tank – Paris, October 2009 Despite some logistical challenges and a very diverse agenda, the second edition of the OWF was a tremendous success, I believe most of the 1600 attendees came away very happy. This year the Open Source Think Tank was a single track within the OWF held [...]
Astaro Security Gateway Home Edition, a free, Linux-based firewall-cum-router distribution, has just had its IP address limit bumped to fifty (50). Previously, users of Astaro Security Gateway HE were limited to using it to protect no more than ten (10), active networked devices. The IP address limit change was made known to license holders in an email message.
By Tal Schechter: What if buying a new car were like using nonfree software? While the following example may seem a little far-fetched, it is a pretty good analogy to understand the importance of user freedoms in software. Imagine going out to buy a new car. After deciding on a brand, you go to that dealer and start looking at [...]