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Celebrating Data Privacy Day

Celebrating Data Privacy Day

I’m assuming most people already know this, but if you did not, today is Data Privacy Day. Given that those in control of the wheels of the digital market square we call the Internet do not value our privacy, we have to take this day, every day, to remind us – and them – that privacy matters. Everyday should be […]

Help EFF Research Web Browser Tracking

Help EFF Research Web Browser Tracking

What fingerprints does your browser leave behind as you surf the web? Traditionally, people assume they can prevent a website from identifying them by disabling cookies on their web browser. Unfortunately, this is not the whole story. When you visit a website, you are allowing that site to access a lot of information about your computer’s configuration. Combined, this information […]

Browser Versions Carry 10.5 Bits of Identifying Information on Average

Browser Versions Carry 10.5 Bits of Identifying Information on Average

This is part 3 of a series of posts on user tracking on the modern web. You can also read part 1 and part 2. Whenever you visit a web page, your browser sends a “User Agent” header to the website saying precisely which operating system and web browser you are using. This information could help distinguish Internet users from […]

A Primer on Information Theory and Privacy

A Primer on Information Theory and Privacy

If we ask whether a fact about a person identifies that person, it turns out that the answer isn’t simply yes or no. If all I know about a person is their ZIP code, I don’t know who they are. If all I know is their date of birth, I don’t know who they are. If all I know is […]

Sign the petition: iPad DRM is iBad for our freedoms

Sign the petition: iPad DRM is iBad for our freedoms

Today, Apple launched a computer that will never belong to its owner. Apple will use Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) to gain total veto power over the applications you use and the media you can view. We’ve launched a petition calling out Apple’s new product for what it is: a frightening step backward for computing and for media distribution. Can you […]

Open Source GIS systems to be used by Spanish Wine makers

Open Source GIS systems to be used by Spanish Wine makers

Wine makers in Spain will soon be able to use the gvSIG open source geographic information services developed in a large part with the help of several of Spain’s public administrations. The gvSIG association announced on 18 January to start working together with a Spanish provider of commercial GIS services. The two will develop and introduce GIS applications allowing wine […]

Police considers moving to open source

Police considers moving to open source

The Polish Police force wants to increase its use of free and open source software in order to cut costs, announces Andrzej Trela, Deputy Chief of Police and responsible for logistics, in an interview in the Police force’s monthly newsletter, published on 15 January. The Deputy Chief expects moving to open source will not be that difficult. There are only […]

REAL Net Neutrality

Last fall, the Federal Communications Commission proposed rules for “Net Neutrality” — a set of regulations intended to help innovation and free speech continue to thrive on the Internet. But is the FCC’s version of Net Neutrality the real deal? Or is it a fake? Buried in the FCC’s rules is a deeply problematic loophole. Open Internet principles, the FCC […]

The Public Domain Manifesto

The public domain, as we understand it, is the wealth of information that is free from the barriers to access or reuse usually associated with copyright protection, either because it is free from any copyright protection or because the right holders have decided to remove these barriers. It is the raw material from which new knowledge is derived and new […]

Video, Freedom And Mozilla

Video, Freedom And Mozilla

My LCA talk on Friday was about why open video is critically important to free software, and what Mozilla is doing about (plus a discussion of the relationship between Web standards and free software in general). Little did I know that Youtube and Vimeo would pick the day before my talk to cast a glaring spotlight on the issue! Youtube […]

Why Microsoft Suddenly Wanted to Be More Interoperable

Guess why Microsoft suddenly decided it wanted to be more interoperable? It’s so it can get customers to quit using Linux and switch to Windows & .NET. Exhibit 7068 [PDF] in the Comes v. Microsoft antitrust litigation exhibits list tells us what happened with Intel. It is a 4-page email thread with Bill Gates and others at Microsoft all about […]

KDE Gears Up to a Free Cloud

KDE Gears Up to a Free Cloud

Day 2 of Camp KDE kicked off with a bang when Frank Karlitschek announced the start of a significant new KDE project. The ownCloud initiative will complement the Social Desktop and Get Hot New Stuff efforts which are already dealing with social and collaborative data. Like those, the ownCloud initiative strives to combine the rich desktop interfaces made possible by […]

Ask YouTube for Ogg support!

Ask YouTube for Ogg support!

People are voting for Google to offer HTML5/Ogg video support on YouTube, in Google’s own product ideas voting space. This piece of Ogg activism is getting some traffic on identi.ca and Twitter right now. If you haven’t already, you should jump in. YouTube is, obviously, the largest source of videos in the world by far, so keeping pressure on Google […]

Free software in the Haiti aid effort, and how you can help

Free software in the Haiti aid effort, and how you can help

OpenStreetMap and Sahana are two free software projects that are facilitating aid to Haiti. We wanted to call attention to two free software projects that have been involved in the Haiti humanitarian effort, both because of the usefulness of their work and because they can surely use the help of skilled volunteers. The first, Sahana, is free software for disaster […]

MPAA and RIAA Seek Net Neutrality Copyright Loophole

MPAA and RIAA Seek Net Neutrality Copyright Loophole

Last week the MPAA and RIAA submitted their comments in the FCC’s net neutrality proceeding. As anticipated in EFF’s comments, the big media companies are pushing for a copyright loophole to net neutrality. They want to be able to pressure ISPs to block, interfere with, or otherwise discriminate against your perfectly lawful activities in the course of implementing online copyright […]

Public sector should use open standards

Public sector should use open standards

The Commissioner-designate Neelie Kroes wants the public sector to increase its use of open standards, she said in her appearance before a European Parliament committee on 14 January. “Digital society depends on open standards and interoperability, and with this in mind, public organisations must practise what they promote. If they don’t use open standards, why should citizens? I will pursue […]

Open standards made mandatory for public administrations

Open standards made mandatory for public administrations

Open standards have been made mandatory for the IT systems of Hungary’s public administrations. The Hungarian parliament voted in favour of amendments prescribing open standards, to a law on electronic government services, on 14 December. The changes received 197 votes in favour, one against and 146 abstentions, according to the Open Standard Alliance, a Hungarian advocacy group that lobbyed in […]

European Parliament restart workgroup on open source software

European Parliament restart workgroup on open source software

A number of members of the European Parliament are about to start an informal cross party working group on ‘new media, free and open source software and open information society’. The intergroup is expected to begin in February, with the support of the European People’s Party (EPP), the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (Alde) and the European Greens. The working […]

China’s supercomputer will run Linux

China’s supercomputer will run Linux

It’s official: China’s next supercomputer, the petascale Dawning 6000, will be constructed exclusively with home-grown microprocessors. Weiwu Hu, chief architect of the Loongson (also known as “Godson”) family of CPUs at the Institute of Computing Technology (ICT), a division of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, also confirms that the supercomputer will run Linux. This is a sharp departure from China’s […]

Will NIEHS Ever “Get” EMFs?

Most managers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) refuse to allow that the EMF­cancer playbook may be different from the one for chemicals. Even now, when there is ample evidence that power line EMFs can increase the risk of childhood leukemia and there is a growing suspicion that cell phone radiation is associated with three different types […]