31.1.07

Shaking Flickr

FlickrWhile Yahoo!'s competitor Google (Flickr belongs to Yahoo!) has created a Flickr alternative (it still isn't public, but it has to be if they want to be the same kind of product as Flickr), they're also suffering some anger from their users (admitedly, including me). They're continuously restraining funcionalities, some limiting even Pro costumers. They're enforcing their single sign-on, pissing off some old-skoolers. And now they're publicizing Windows Vista! WTF?

Flickr is one of those companies that aren't the best in their field, but - because they were the first to get exposure, bennefict from their user base. But, if they keep doing this, will they keep growing?

Flickr growth

What's really happening in the Sony Rootkit case

Boycott SonyServeral people pointed me today to this article (in Portuguese), that says that (my translation):

With this new deal, Sony agrees to take off all kind of restrictions on how consumers use the music contained in the CDs, and not to gather information about their clients for marketing purposes.

During the next two years, Sony will also have to give a tool to uninstall the copy protection software and fixes to repair eventual damage in consumers PCs.

That said, people were assuming that "Sony BMG Music will stop shipping discs with DRM". That's completely out of focus on this settlement. As you can read in the official press-release,

The settlement requires clear and prominent disclosure on the packaging of Sony BMG’s future CDs of any limits on copying or restrictions on the use of playback devices. It bars the company from installing content protection software without obtaining consumers’ authorization, and, if Sony BMG conditions consumers’ use of its CDs on installation of the content protection software, it must disclose that requirement on the product packaging.

In addition, the settlement bars Sony BMG from using the information on consumers’ listening preferences that it has already gathered through the monitoring technology it installed and bars them from using the information to deliver ads to those consumers. For future CDs containing such technology, the agreement requires that, before transmitting information about consumers, their computers or their use of the CD, Sony BMG must clearly disclose on consumers’ computer screens what the technology will do, and obtain consumers’ consent. If it conditions consumers’ use of its CDs on their agreement to have information collected, Sony BMG must disclose that condition clearly on the CDs’ packaging.

The settlement bars Sony BMG from installing or hiding content protection software that prevents consumers from finding or removing the software, and requires that it provide a reasonable and effective way to uninstall any content protection software. It requires that for two years, Sony BMG provide an uninstall tool and patches to repair the security vulnerabilities created on consumers’ computers by previously installed software. The company is required to advertise these free fixes on its Web site.

As part of the settlement, Sony BMG will allow consumers to exchange CDs containing the concealed software purchased before December 31, 2006 for new CDs that are not content-protected, and will be required to reimburse consumers up to $150 to repair damage that resulted directly from consumers’ attempts to remove the software installed without their consent. Sony BMG is required to publish notices on its Web site describing the exchange and repair reimbursement programs.

Sony BMG also is required to provide financial inducements to retailers to return the CDs that create security problems for consumers’ computers. For CDs already in its stock that are sold to retailers, Sony BMG is required to disclose on the product packaging the restrictions on use and the security vulnerabilities.

Finally, the settlement contains record-keeping and reporting provisions designed to allow the agency to monitor compliance with its order.

Quite different, heh?

Oh, and by the way, while it's good that they're being punished by being ordered to fix their mess, notice that they're not paying any fines by breaking the law, and their DRM practices are still accepted.

29.1.07

Ten things you should know about Windows Vista

http://www.defectivebydesign.org/sites/nodrm.civicactions.net/files/images/BadVista_no_littering.pngI was trying to avoid blogging about Windows Vista. Really. But I just can't.

It all started with all those people talking about it. The media. Radio stations "offering" Vista licenses. All those comments I've heard yesterday on Tecnonov about the release. The discussions seen on mailing lists. I had to write this.

Ten things you should know about Windows Vista:

  1. Did you know that Koreans are having a problem with Vista that his politicians are even afraid talking about it? That's right. An official of the Ministry of Information and Communication said on condition of anonymity, "We have been jointly working with Microsoft since the third quarter of last year. Even if there were many problems due to our domestically-developed application programs, Microsoft was late in providing us data on their technology, causing such confusion."
  2. Oh, and software, you know, like an Operating System, have licenses. You should read Vista's license, where you can see that...
    "using the software also operates as your consent to the transmission of certain computer information during activation, validation and for Internet-based services.",
  3. or...
    "You may install one copy of the software on the licensed device. You may use the software on up to two processors on that device at one time. Except as provided in the Storage and Network Use (Ultimate edition) sections below, you may not use the software on any other device."
    , meaning that if you have one disk partition you install it there and only there. If your hard drive blows up, you have to pay for another license,
  4. or...
    "Microsoft may use the computer information, error reports, and Malware reports to improve our software and services. We may also share it with others, such as hardware and software vendors. They may use the information to improve how their products run with Microsoft software."
    , meaning that Microsoft has rights upon "your" data (if you technicaly still consider it yourse) and do with it whatever they want, including giving it to whomever they want, so they can do whatever they want with it?
  5. Did you know that Windows Vista is not legal in Europe? Of course that people still buy it, in an epidemic way that turns profitable to sell it, even if ilegal, and pay the fines...
  6. Did you know that Vista is full with DRM?
  7. And do you know Vista's real price?
  8. Did you read Microsoft's suicidal note?
  9. How many are you going to kill?
  10. And number ten: do you know all these other things?

Norway tells Apple to drop DRM

http://blowup.kohlberger.net/wp-content/ipoditunesdrm.jpgFirst, Norway acknoledge that the iTunes store had a breach of fundamental consumer rights, caused by the use of DRM technologies.

Now, they're threatening to file suit against Apple, Inc., if it doesn't open up it iTunes store so media can be played on non-iPod devices by October 1, 2007.

While this is good news, we must take into consideration that this isn't exactly new, and, as a matter of fact, a previous deadline for the same thing existed for June 21, 2006, and nothing happened.

Anyway, good news are good news, and I just hope to see more countries doing the same.

Tecnonov 2007 - Review

So, this sunday was basicly spent on resting, since Saturday morning I woke up to go from Lisbon to Coimbra with Manuel, for Tecnonov 2007, an event that was amazingly superior than I thought it would be.

After arriving at Coimbra and having lunch, we went to FNAC, where the event was held, and helped setting up everything: laptops, the mic, puting free Ubuntu CD's (we also had free t-shirts) anywhere and stuff like that.

By 14:30 the event started, and while I was opening it I was surprised by the number of people who was there specificly to attend to the event. Octávio started his talk about "Linux as a path to productivity", and - I've noticed - while there were no news for those who know how cool is the Linux world, it was an interesting talk for those there unfamiliar with Linux and Open Source.

There were no questions, and Rui Seabra, representing ANSOL, gave a speech about the upcoming GPL v3. As I thought that Octávio's presentation had a preety nice theme for opening talk, Rui's talk couldn't fit anywhere better in the program than after it. Rui is an amazing speaker, and started with a nice introduction to Open Source Software, (Open Source) Software Licenses, GPL's history and then about GPL v2 and v3. While I don't agree (and made him some questions about the issue) with two key points on GPL v3 (the issues regarding software patents and DRM), I'll surely make my contributions on the issue in the propper place, and not by creating a discussion on Tecnonov.

After his presentation I did mine, on the Music Industry, with special emphasys on the dangers of DRM. I'm not quite sure how much time I took with the presentation, but I know that I sopped the "after debate" (not quite a debate, since no one showed disagreement with me on the issue) because Octávio told me to do so, and when I took a look on the watch the coffee break time was almost over. I was amazed with the afluence of people listening to the talk - maybe I was somewhat exhalted and talked loud enough - and then maybe it was simply lunch time - but several people came in to listen to it, and I even got some reactions from non-tech people, like, for instance, a guy there that made a comparison between what's happening in the music industry and what lead to the creation of IP rights (I might make a full blog post about that later).

After the coffee break we got a presentation about the IMAGE project - what seemed to me an interesting project: a web-based virtual world focused on creating profit on an world-wide economy, based on real-life metrics and statistics. They told us that it was too soon to know about quite a load of things, but since the project is to be concluded in two years, it's easy to understand the lack of definition about some of those issues. I hope I'll remember to check out about IMAGE in an year or so...

Then, Fred from WeBreakStuff made a presentation that I've already seen at Barcamp, but in a much improoved (and caustic :-) version: "Innovation (and the lack of it in Portugal)". He made strong postions there and quite harsh critics - which I liked - and, while I think that he had a narrowed vision in a way to strict market on his presentation, I generaly enjoyed it - and the reaction it created on the public was quite funny :-)!

Then, the couple of talks that, retrospectively, I think were misplaced: Nelson Ferraz with an introduction to Perl, and a great focus on its community, and that should have been the first after-coffee break talk since it was quite lite and social, and the presentation that was to be about WeSpendMoney and turned out to be about "Innovation (and a little bit on WeSpendMoney)", that started by giving a preety-actual example of success on innovation, Nintendo's Wii, and then, in a way softer tone than Fred, about the lack of innovation in Portugal. It was nice, but would work better as an introduction to Fred's one.

After the event we gave the last t-shirts, packed up everything and the resistents went to dinner: nine people, and from those only 5 were speakers, which I liked since it basicly shows that it was that kind of event where speakers are close to the public, and we're all doing the same thing: sharing experiences.

The after dinner was made in a nice bar where we talked about several things including two topics I'm to write about for a long time in a propper way: small communities and sub-cultures. We basicly unanimously thought that this kind of meetings are way to cool to not happen, or happen only once per year. It's time to gather a community of individual like us and start making something great happen!

Some other reviews, in Portuguese:

26.1.07

Tecnonov - Update

Regarding to Tecnonov, Fred's presentation is going to be about Innovation, after all, and some of the presentations, including mine, are already available online. The rest of the presentations are going to be on there soon. Oh, if you're going to attend to it, you're even get a cool t-shirt!
Tecnonov t-shirts

Rarity Shelf

I couldn't be less than happy: and this pictures show you the reason.

Let me just give you a small introduction to why:
  • As I told here, I'm the guy I know of with the biggest Marilyn Manson collection I know. My Mechanical Animals CD, the n'th I've owned, is scratched, and I was sad.
  • The best Mechanical Animals edition I've allways seen was the one you're seeing in the pictures. I've ordered it 6 years ago, with a simple call: "if you get it, new, for less than 50€, I want it". I never got it.
  • Today, I got a package with it inside. This pictures are from MY copy of the vynil.
  • I didn't pay for it, it was offered. A BIG THANK YOU TO YOU-KNOW-WHO-YOU-ARE ;-)
  • This edition is considered 5/5 in rarity.
  • The only copy I know of it, new, on sale, costs $85,00. Plus Shipping costs.
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http://23hq.com/Mind_Booster_Noori/photo/1605872/large
http://23hq.com/Mind_Booster_Noori/photo/1605873/large

25.1.07

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

Structure and Interpretation of Computer ProgramsStructure and Interpretation of Computer Programs has been MIT's introductory pre-professional computer science subject since 1981. It emphasizes the role of computer languages as vehicles for expressing knowledge and it presents basic principles of abstraction and modularity, together with essential techniques for designing and implementing computer languages. This course has had a worldwide impact on computer science curricula over the past two decades. The accompanying textbook by Hal Abelson, Gerald Jay Sussman, and Julie Sussman is available for purchase from the MIT Press, which also provides a freely available on-line version of the complete textbook.

Now, and freely available, are twenty video lectures by Hal Abelson and Gerald Jay Sussman, a complete presentation of the course, given in July 1986 for Hewlett-Packard employees, and professionally produced by Hewlett-Packard Television. The videos have been used extensively in corporate training at Hewlett-Packard and other companies, as well as at several universities and in MIT short courses for industry. Get them here!

As Organizações como Sistemas Complexos e a Emergência da Engenharia Organizacional

As you can notice by the title of this post, it will be in Portuguese, since it talks about yet another technology event in Portugal, and in Portuguese.


O Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Coimbra (ISEC) está a promover, durante o ano de 2007, um Ciclo de Conferências, subordinadas ao tema “O Futuro da Engenharia”. Todas as sessões são de entrada gratuita, abertas ao público em geral e serão no Auditório do ISEC, às 21:30h nas últimas 3ªas feiras de cada mês. Para debater este tema foram convidados as pessoas que mais influenciaram a engenharia portuguesa nos últimos 20 anos. Assim, no próximo dia 30 de Janeiro de 2007 pelas 21:30h no Auditório do ISEC, teremos connosco o Prof. José Tribolet que apresentará o tema “As Organizações como Sistemas Complexos e a Emergência da Engenharia Organizacional”.

O Prof. Tribolet é Professor Catedrático de Sistemas de Informação do IST - Departamento de Engenharia Informática (DEI) e Departamento de Engenharia e Gestão (DEG), Presidente do INESC - Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores, Investigador no CEO - Centro de Engenharia Organizacional - do INESC Inovação – INOV, Membro do CAQ/OE - Conselho de Acreditação e Qualificação da Ordem dos Engenheiros e Membro do Conselho Consultivo do Grupo Portugal Telecom.

Nesta sessão o Prof. Tribolet abordará o que anda a investigar, do mais avançado na área, mas de forma acessível, tanto para as pessoas das ciências hard como das soft ouvirem e se poderem interessar pelo tópico. Também estão convidadas as pessoas de gestão, psicologia, filosofia, etc.

Mais informações aqui.

24.1.07

Full Disclosure

There's a theme I've discussed, argued and debated lots and lots of times, from since... what? ten years or so? It doesn't matter - the issue isn't solved and it just gets worse and worse. As the Free Hackers Manifest state, and well, once upon a time there was an hacker scene - where hackers "were just a bunch of young pranksters eager for technology", looking after "sweets for the brain". Soon enough they got older, got suits, ties and jobs, and traded sweets for money. And, suddenly, hackers were no fun anymore. So, and because full disclosure can't be just shutted up, they tried to regulate it. From RFPolicy to IETF's Internet Draft, that soon enough was shutted up, corporations tried more and more to regulate what can't be extinguished, because from regulation comes control. Now, at least according to the subtitle of this article, the act of discovering vulnerabilities can possibly be ilegal.

*sigh*

Now, COME ON! Are you kidding who? Who's to blame if your software is so crappy and full of bugs that you let anyone see your costumers' sensible data? It's better not to know? Let me use Bruce Schniers' words:
Full disclosure -- the practice of making the details of security vulnerabilities public -- is a damned good idea. Public scrutiny is the only reliable way to improve security, while secrecy only makes us less secure.


Security is a hard game to play - but, come on, YOU chose to play it. You can even destroy a scene, redifine words like 'legal' and 'ethic'. You can't control the hackers' mind.

Petition for guaranteed public access to publicly-funded research results

In January 2006 the European Commission published the Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution of the Scientific Publication Markets of Europe. The Study resulted from a detailed analysis of the current scholarly journal publication market, together with extensive consultation with all the major stakeholders within the scholarly communication process (researchers, funders, publishers, librarians, research policymakers, etc.). The Study noted that 'dissemination and access to research results is a pillar in the development of the European Research Area' and it made a number of balanced and reasonable recommendations to improve the visibility and usefulness of European research outputs.

One year has passed, and we're still not seeing the recomendations being fulfilled entirely. The first recomendation was:

RECOMMENDATION A1. GUARANTEE PUBLIC ACCESS TO PUBLICLY-FUNDED RESEARCH RESULTS SHORTLY AFTER PUBLICATION

Research funding agencies have a central role in determining researchers' publishing practices. Following the lead of the NIH and other institutions, they should promote and support the archiving of publications in open repositories, after a (possibly domain-specific) time period to be discussed with publishers. This archiving could become a condition for funding.

The following actions could be taken at the European level: (i) Establish a European policy mandating published articles arising from EC-funded research to be available after a given time period in open access archives, and (ii) Explore with Member States and with European research and academic associations whether and how such policies and open repositories could be implemented.

If you, like me, think that this recommendation should be implemented as soon as possible, please consider signing this petition.

23.1.07

Tecnonov 2007 - this saturday in Coimbra

Tecnonov 2007

Yes, it's already this saturday, the 27th of January, that Tecnonov 2007 is going to be held, in Coimbra, Portugal.Since this is an in-Portuguese event, the following info is written in Portuguese.

O Evento


O evento será completamente gratuito, e no final haverá um jantar, facultativo, pelo preço de 12€. A presença no jantar requer confirmação, sendo para isso enviarem o vosso nome para info(at)tecnonov.net . Espero ter-vos também como companhia para jantar :-)

Local: Café/Auditório FNAC - Fórum Coimbra
Data: 27 de Janeiro de 2007

O Programa


Abertura

15:00 - Octávio Filipe Gonçalves
Linux: Um caminho para a produtividade

15:40 - Rui Miguel Silva Seabra, Vice-Presidente da ANSOL
GNU GPLv3

16:20 - Marcos Marado
A Indústria Discográfica e o DRM

17:00 - Coffee Break

17:30 - Mário Lopes
IMAGE - Online Management Simulator
(Simulador de gestão empresarial online)

18:10 - Frederico Oliveira
Apresentação da Aplicação Goplan

18:50 - Nelson Ferraz
Introdução ao Perl

19:30 - Pedro Sousa
Apresentação da Aplicação WeSpendMoney

20:10 - Encerramento

Jantar - Restaurante "O Quim dos Ossos"

Os Oradores

Octávio Filipe Gonçalves é o criador da empresa Conimbricense MagicBrain, criada no ano de 2000, que trabalha maioritariamente com Software Livre, em desenvolvimento de aplicações web based, desenvolvimento de sistemas de informação e administração de servidores linux.


Rui Miguel Silva Seabra é o actual Vice-Presidente da ANSOL (Associação Nacional para o Software Livre) e Administrador de Sistemas na SIBS (Sociedade Inter-bancária de Serviços, S.A.).


Marcos Marado (sim, sou eu) é Analista de Informática na SonaeCom IT, além de artista e multi-instrumentalista no projecto musical Merankorii.


Mário Lopes é estudante Engenharia Informática na FEUP, criador do site comunitário sobre a Nintendo Wii Wiilu e do site noticioso Postsink.


Frederico Oliveira é o criador da WeBreakStuff, uma empresa de design, desenvolvimento e estratégia de produtos web. É também fundador do Web 2.0 Workgroup.


Nelson Ferraz trabalha na Segula Technologies, depois de ter sido professor de Gestão da Tecnologia da Informação do Curso de Especialização de Atacado e Varejo da FMU no Brasil.


Pedro Sousa faz desenvolvimento web para a Accenture. É também o criador do WeSpendMoney.

Downloading copyrighted material in Italy

p2p

(First an off-topic rant: after writting a lot about this issue, this "new and improved" - and buggy - version of blogger decided to send it to /dev/null, so I'm writing this again but I'm not feeling like expanding myself again on the issue...)

Several news sources, but none as extensive and factual as I would like, are reporting that "Italy's top criminal court has stated that downloading computer files containing films, music or software is not a crime if not done for profit", while "analysts noted that violating a copyright, for example by breaking a copyright protection, remained illegal even if downloading the material had been decriminalized."

First, take into consideration that, by analyzing various sources, I reached the conclusion that analysts don't really said that, but "insinuated" that what the court ruled goes against the Italian laws. SIAE, the Italian RIAA, said in a statement that
the ruling did not bring any "revolutions" in terms of author's rights because the case predates current legislation calling for a fine for anyone who shares protected material over the Internet without financial gain.
What I want you to know about this issue is that, regardless what the media are saying:
  • file sharing never was and it is not illegal whatsoever in Italy nor in any other country that I know of;
  • despite some attempts, no country that I know of state peer-to-peer networks as illegal;
  • downloading the copyrighted material has not "been decriminalized";
  • a court rule isn't law, even if this case can be referred by the defence of a similar one in the future.
So what does all this mess means?
Simply that all this issues aren't, and should be, clarified. Not only in Italy, not only the judges, record and movie industries, the media, the laws, but everything and everyone else. There should be a real effort, by states, governments and people - and never companies, to state clearly what's all this about: IP, copyright, download, file-sharing, peer-to-peer and all those buzzwords that, everytime that appear on the media, are used in an insulted way for technologists, artists and consumers.

This blog on Planet Geek

Earlier this morning I got an invite and, from now on, this blog is being aggregated into Planet Geek: a feed aggregator of blogs from Portuguese speakers (yes, Brazilians included), even if the bloggers can write in English, as is my case. For those familiar with Planeta Asterisco, as I know some of you are, the concept is the same.

So, I can just recommend those two aggregators (or their feeds) to my Portuguese readers, and hope that, for those that are going to start reading this blog for the first time, via Planet Geek, that you enjoy it.

19.1.07

Virgin and the FNAC stop using DRM on music

I wanted to talk about this, but since I had no time today and I'll have, as usual, a conectionless weekend, I'll just leave the link here.

17.1.07

Stuff

With the lack of time, here's a big bunch of random stuff you might be interested of:

Have a nice reading...

12.1.07

Open Source Software in Europe

A new report on the "Economic impact of open source software on innovation and the competitiveness of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector in the EU" was published in the European Commission's website. Thanks to Paulo Vilela for summing it up (article in Portuguese):

Conclusions

  • The existent FLOSS base would cost 12.000 milions of Euro to be commercialy developed, with contributions of at least 131.000 people/year
  • FLOSS Services can reach 32% of the IT services by 2010
  • Free Software can reduce 26% on R&D investiment on the software industry, allowing bigger profits or more investigation resourses
  • Europe leads the participation on FLOSS
  • FLOSS can encourage new jobs and SMEs by creating the needed environment for development of knowledge and retencion of more value. Historicly Europe is less capable of creating new businesses than the United States, but the bigger number of Free Software contributors gives it the chance of creating new software companies and getting closer to the milestones on Lisbon Strategy of making Europe the most competitive knowledge economy.

Recommendations

  • Stop penalty FLOSS on innovation and R&D
  • Support FLOSS on pre-competitive models and on normalization
  • Stop vendor lock-in in educational systems by teaching functionalities and not specific applications; encourage the participation in commuties like FLOSS ones
  • Encourage partnerships between companies and FLOSS communities
  • Deal with contributions to Open Source as donations to social institutions (this seems awkward to me...)
  • Explore ways of decoupling hardware and software to create a more competitve market, and make easier the kind of inovation that isn't allowed with the vertical integration model

A Ronda das Fadas

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This sunday I'm going to see this play. BTW, I'll never by tickets on TicketLine again.

GoodSearch: the search engine you should use

First of all... Almost anyone I know type "google.com" (or the search engine of your choice) in the address bar of his browser to do a search on the internet: they do things as using the search button/bar/field on the browser instead. For those, changing from a search engine to other is zero-cost and painless. For the others, it's an habbit thing (I doubt that any reader of mine uses a bookmark for this): it's more painfull to remember to start typing goodsearch.com instead of google.com. Yes, you're starting to guess: I'm trying to convince you to start using GoodSearch.

Why?


GoodSearch is a Yahoo-powered search engine that shares 50% of it’s revenues with a charity you can choose. You define which charity you want to support and then you just use it like a normal search engine. This means that each time you're doing an internet search you're contributing for a good cause. Know more about it here.

How?


If you want to change your default search engine to this one, just click here and choose your browser. Then, go to your browser preferences and set GoodSearch as default.

Where does the money come from?



According to them,
Search engines make most of their money from companies that pay an advertising fee when users click on links during a search. At GoodSearch, we've developed a patent-pending way to track and direct these search-generated proceeds to charities. In other words, a portion of advertiser dollars (and not your own!) earned as a result of your search, are now passed along to the organization you've chosen to support.


So...


Are you going to be a better person and start using this?

11.1.07

Linux distributions to be illegal in Germany?

I got some sources for this, and nothing complete, so I really should write a good article on this one, but sice time is lacking, I'm just going to quote a bit from this post:

The biggest party in Bavaria and part of the current german government, CSU, has announced that they want to make the "production and distribution of killer-games" illegal in germany. They claim it's because of a recent highschool shooting (no fatalities except the shooter; there was one other highschool shooting in germany a few years ago with 16 fatalities. Yes, that is 17 fatalities in over 40 years, the 42 years old amok runner back then didn't play killer games, I guess, although he used a flame thrower...).

10.1.07

EMI, DRM and Blogosphere: a rant

For those out there jumping joyly with the fact that "EMI Says Goodbye to CD DRM", STOP. Please do the exercice I did, read 50 sources of those news (including results from Google News, Yahoo! News and Technorati). and draw your conclusions. EMI isn't stopping its use of DRM, is just getting a free pro-EMI campaign... around nothing.

9.1.07

Second Life client is now Open Source

In an excelent move yesterday, Second Life decided to Open Source their client, or, as they put it, "embraced the inevitable". While there's no packaging for any distro (bare'em, this was annnounced yesterday), you can get the source and compile.

While some are skeptical about Second Life's future, I've yet seen no one saying something other than that this was the right choice. Some even think that the next step is open sourcing the server side (which would be awsome, but I don't believe it will happen).

On Terra Nova, they said that "the Open Source viewer will be used in ways that none of us would have predicted", and I agree.

In the meantime, I've already filled the RFP to have Second Life on Debian.

8.1.07

Fedora Core 7 roadmap

While I'm no fan of Fedora, I've read that their roadmap has the following points (among others):
  • Eliminate the distinction between Core and Extras entirely
  • Make LiveCDs as a part of the distribution release process
  • Speedup of bootup and shutdown
  • Make wireless rock-solid
  • Add wireless firmware for all the chipsets they can
  • Speed up Yum and RPM
  • Make the update system useable by all
Well, congratulations! (Seriously, no sarcasm here.) I really hope you can finally reach those issues, that I find of extreme importance. Having a stronger repository-base is extremely important, and merging core and extras is an excelent step. I hope they decide to create a security repository for FC8. LiveCD's are a extremely powerful tool, and it's great to have live CD's or DVD's that can be used as such or as a medium for instalation. I think all distros are or should be aiming for the same thing. As for wireless technologies, this decisions should be... implicit, and focusing on them can bring two benificts: not only it will improove usability and user experience, but it will also have the nice side-effect of "pression" against manufacturers that release stupid drivers and firmware with shitty licenses. Speeding Yum and RPM is really needed (assuming it didn't happaned from FC5 to FC6, since I'm still not using the latter), even if I still think that RPM-based distro's are bad (RPM is way defective compared with other packaging systems like .deb), and that they really should consider moving. Finaly, the last point. I upgraded from FC5 to FC6 in a couple of months in one machine (I blogged about it), and I still don't have the desktop with everything setted up as it was in FC4, which sucks, and is a reason for not upgrading from FC5 to FC6: it's way too time-consuming.

Bad news is that FC7 will be out there at the 27th of April, which means that I should upgrade to FC6 before that date, or loose support.

More info here.

5.1.07

Empyrium - A Retrospective...

Empyrium - A Retrospective...The history of Empyrium is also the history of Prophecy Productions. They had an unreleased 4 tracks demo, but EMPYRIUM´s debut "A Wintersunset", the label's first release, saw the light of day in 1996 and was the reason for founding Prophecy Productions.

Examined from temporal distance, Empyrium’s complete body of work is within reasonable limits in terms of quantity: during the eight years of the band’s history, they released four albums, each of them marking a recognizable progress from its predecessor. 1996’s still immature and effusive debut “A Wintersunset ...” paved the way for “Songs Of Moors & Misty Fields” (1997), Empyrium’s hallmark in the Dark Metal underground. In the next few years, the band offered “Where At Night The Wood Grouse Plays” (1999) and “Weiland” (2002), two albums as sophisticated as unique in terms of both music and content, straying beyond the scope of conventional genres, the closest denominator being Dark Folk, if only for a lack of alternatives. With “Weiland”, Empyrium finally came so close to the essence of their own creative spirit as to seeing no more sense in continuing the band, resulting in dispersal for the time being.

As the title suggests, “A Retrospective ...” is a look back on the work of Empyrium. Aside from re-mastered songs from all four studio albums, the CD contains two unreleased new tracks, “Der Weiher” and “Am Wolkenstieg”, as well as a newly arranged and recorded version of “The Franconian Woods In Winter’s Silence” (originally from “A Wintersunset...”).

Many fans will be particularly interested in the in-depth band biography contained in the sixty-pages booklet of “A Retrospective ...”. This text takes a closer look at the history of the band and all its influences music- and content-wise.

In tandem with the regular release of "A Retrospective...", there there's a six-CD box encompassing the complete works of Empyrium, including the demo "...der wie ein Blitz vom Himmel fiel..." and "A Retrospective...", in an elegant and identical Digibook design, strictly limited to 500 copies.

Mine is on the picture... Where's yourse?

Buy it!
Listen to Empyrium

4.1.07

Merankorii - Melencolia III on the 15th of January

Melencolia III Flyer

For those who do not know, Merankorii is a musical project of mine, with two albums released. The next album, Melencolia III, is going to be released the next 15th of January, and can be already pre-ordered by the price of 5€. Shipments are free for those in Portugal, 1€ to the rest of Europe, and 2€ worldwide. You can listen to four of it's tracks here, and download them here.

What are you waiting for? Pre-order it now!

Obadiah Shoher

...is an asshole.

Amie.st on the deadpool?


Amie Street (my coverage here) appeared in August 2006, and since then I had some concerns about the viability of this service: the idea was great, but...

At the 14th of December I've noticed some problems in the service, and swapped a couple of mails about it. My situation was fixed, but I don't know about the general problem.

And now, since for I don't know how long, the website is down. I've tried to contact its staff to get some answers, but nothing was replied until now.

With this, and looking at alexa's graph on it, I have to ask: is Amie.st aming to the deadpool?
amiest

UPDATE: Amie Street is back live and kicking. Yet, I still believe that the project isn't being sucessful as it could.

Fight DRM


Do you want to fight against DRM?

Do you want that preety t-shirt?

Easy, be a supporter of DefectiveByDesign, by participating in their fund-raisng. Your donation today will also ensure that DefectiveByDesign can continue the anti-DRM campaign in 2007.

DefectiveByDesign.org has:
  • Secured the pledges of over 15,000 technologists to take action to stop DRM
  • Organized the hugely successful "Oct 3rd Day Against DRM"
  • Delivered a clear message, through major press coverage of our actions, that DRM is anti-user and anti-consumer.

HELP THEM!

3.1.07

TecnoNov 2007

For those interested, TecnoNov 2007 changed it's date to 27 of January. Remember that the presentations will be in Portuguese. The final schedule is:

Where: Café/Auditório FNAC - Fórum Coimbra - Portugal
When: 27 de Janeiro de 2007
How much: It's free!

Opening

15:00 - Octávio Filipe Gonçalves {MagicBrain}
Presentation: Linux: Um caminho para a produtividade

15:45 - Marcos Marado {SonaeCom IT}
Presentation: A Indústria Discográfica e os perigos do DRM

16:30 - ANSOL {Associação Nacional para o Software Livre}
Presentation: TBA

17:15 - Coffee Break

18:00 - Frederico Oliveira {WeBreakStuff}
Presentation: Apresentação da Aplicação Goplan

18:45 - José Silva {Segula Technologies}
Presentation: Apresentação da Framework CakePHP

19:30 - Pedro Sousa {WeSpendMoney}
Presentation: Apresentação da Aplicação Web WeSpendMoney

Dinner - Restaurante "O Quim dos Ossos"

Observations:
O jantar é gratuito para os Oradores.
Todos os restantes interessados a participar neste jantar, estarão obviamente convidados.

O valor do jantar para Oradores:
Gratuito (Inclui Prato Único, Bebida, Sobremesa e Café)
O valor do jantar para Participantes:
12,00 € (Inclui Prato Único, Bebida, Sobremesa e Café)

GNUnet 0.7.1a released

GNUnet is a framework for secure peer-to-peer networking that does not use any centralized or otherwise trusted services. A first service implemented on top of the networking layer allows anonymous censorship-resistant file-sharing. GNUnet uses a simple, excess-based economic model to allocate resources. Peers in GNUnet monitor each others behavior with respect to resource usage; peers that contribute to the network are rewarded with better service.

Download GNUnet 0.7.1a here. gnunet-gtk has not changed, gnunet-gtk 0.7.1 will work with GNUnet 0.7.1a.
This release fixes various minor bugs and adds some minor features to GNUnet 0.7.1.
Noteworthy improvements since GNUnet 0.7.1 are:
  • Automatic detection of external IP addresses and port mapping for peers behind NAT using UPnP
  • gnunet-download can now be used to download files from already downloaded GNUnet directory files
  • gnunet-peer-info can now do reverse DNS lookups on peer addresses
  • gnunet-pseudonym is properly linked
  • Updated various man pages and other documentation
  • Extended options supported by gnunet-setup (now complete)
The following bugs have been resolved in GNUnet 0.7.1:
  • TCP transport did not connect from behind NAT if the TCP PORT was set to zero
  • potential assertion failure due to large select write queue (rare)
  • testing of bi-directional transports behind NAT with gnunet-transport-check
  • gnunetd now drops supplementary groups when changing permissions on startup
  • build problems with libiconv on some systems
  • verbose option for gnunet-transport-check
  • aborting gnunet-transport-check with CTRL-C
IMHO, this is a great step for GNUnet since the UPnP support will bring easiness to users that will just install GNUnet and see it working without any extra configuration.

gnunet-chat is predicted to be released in GNUnet 0.7.3, that we hope to see online in June.

Back

Happy 2007. I'm back from my vacations, so... I have a ton of mail to read...