links for 2009-01-28

Ctrl-Z: a return to the Supreme Court's software patent ban? – Ars Technica Tim Berners Lee on software patents: "the Supreme Court actually declined to extend patent protection to software algorithms, preferring to leave the matter to congress. In this feature, we'll take a close look at the Supreme Court's classic trio of software patent…

links for 2009-01-23

On Day One, Obama Demands Open Government | Electronic Frontier Foundation A good start: The President ordered federal agencies in a memorandum released today to approach the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) "with a clear presumption: in the face of doubt, openness prevails." (tags: freedom government eff obama usa politics)

Cost saving is the wrong argument, but it may work

Scott Mc Nealy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, has been asked by the new Obama administration to prepare a paper about ‘open source’. From what I read on the BBC report, though, he is using a tired losing proposition: The secret to a more secure and cost effective government is through open source technologies and products.…

Architecture, Politics, Internet and Open Standards

I still have Obama’s inauguration’s speech in my mind, so full of passion and hope. It’s such a powerful word, hope.’  What most impressed me was his call to politicians to stop bickering and get to work to reform politics.’  This morning I read a post of Mitch Kapor, about the interconnection between politics and…

Obama Inauguration available also on Moonlight

So, in the end, the Mono hackers have worked overnight to make it possible to watch the official Obama inauguration on Moonlight, the free software implementation of Microsoft’s response to Adobe Flash. Good or bad, I don’t really know. I pity the hacker that had to work overnight to overcome the bad choice of the…

Another brick falls on the US patent system

It looks like the US patent system, that the free software movement has been fighting for the past 25 years, is dying. First academia started questioning its usefulness (back in 1958), then the conservative cultural circles at WSJ.’  In the recent Blisky case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit put the software…

Devolve me: a game to celebrate Darwin’s theory

To celebrate 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and 150th anniversary of his book ‘Origins of the species’ the Open University setup a special site. I’ve played with their Devolve me game. [caption id="attachment_780" align="alignnone" width="150" caption="Me, 0 years ago"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_779" align="alignnone" width="150" caption="Me, 500,000 years ago"][/caption] [caption id=”attachment_778″ align=”alignnone” width=”150″ caption=”Me, 1.8 million years…

Nokia and the L of smart freedom

The good news today is that Nokia relicensed the Qt (pr: cute) libraries under the GNU Lesser General Public License, demonstrating that the mobile ecosystem is where things happen. The GNU Lesser GPL is a license that allows non-free and free software to co-exist. Yes, with the LGPL the FSF admits that non-free software exists.…

DRM means: pay it again, Sam

While I cheered the new iTunes Plus, introducing songs without DRM I wasn’t expecting that Apple would charge its users again the the musing they have already bought. It’s incredibly bad for the customers and it shows once again why DRM is bad for society. From iTunes Plus: a primer: As Apple goes all iTunes…