xonen writes "It is now official — with the release of Unity3D version 4, Linux is an official target platform.
"Unity 4 Pro delivers the efficient and flexible workflow, graphical polish and power, smooth performance, fine tuned animations and creative control you need to make, ship and sell professional games."
The little catch here, is that Linux is not yet supported as host platform — you will still need a Windows or OSX computer to develop your games. However, we can expect a great deal of existing and new games to be released as Linux version too soon, especially since both the indie ('free') and pro versions of Unity3D support building for Linux target." Link to Original Source top
EU investigating Motorola FRAND licensing after Microsoft and Apple complaints
xonen writes "EU antitrust regulators may open an investigation into a patent dispute between Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc (MMI.N) to ensure patent holders do not thwart rivals, the EU's antitrust chief said on Friday.
Last month Microsoft took its case to the European Commission, saying Motorola Mobility was charging too much for use of its patents in Microsoft products.
Motorola Mobility said Apple had also complained to the EU watchdog about its patents.
Google Inc (GOOG.O), which is in the process of buying Motorola Mobility, has said it will offer Motorola patents on fair and reasonable terms once the deal is completed.
The EU watchdog, which is also investigating whether legal tactics used by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) against Apple breach EU antitrust rules, may open a second patent case into the sector, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said.
"I am considering whether we need to investigate these complaints formally to help bring more clarity into this area of competition control," Almunia said in the text of a speech to be delivered at a conference in Washington.
"The holders of standard-essential patents have considerable market power. This market power can be used to harm competition... I don't need to tell you that this is unacceptable, and I am determined to use antitrust enforcement to prevent such hold-up by patent holders," he said.
The Commission, which can fine companies up to 10 percent of their global turnover, has levied billions of euros in penalties against Microsoft, Intel (INTC.O) and others for breaching EU rules." Link to Original Source top
Motorola asks judge to remove Windows from german market
Microsoft could lose its rights to distribute in Germany products that use the H.264 video standard and the 802.11 WiFi standard, pending a court ruling on April 17. According to Motorola, those products infringe on its patents.
If the court rules that Microsoft indeed infringes on Motorola's intellectual property in its use of these standardized technologies, this could exclude Microsoft from the German market and cause irreparable harm to Microsoft and the public, Microsoft claimed in court documents filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on Wednesday. The software company asked the U.S. court for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction preventing Motorola from enforcing any legal victory in its case being heard in Mannheim, Germany, until a U.S. lawsuit between both companies is decided.
Microsoft said it had to resort to filing for a preliminary injunction in the United States because Motorola was not willing to accept an offer of a $300 million in bond to postpone any enforcement of the possible German verdict until the U.S. case was settled.
xonen writes "A spokesman for the dutch police, Mr. Lodewijk van Zwieten — national officer for cyber-crime and interception — admitted that the dutch police violates the law by breaking into foreign computers on a frequent base.
He claims the law does not cover current times when it comes to 'the online hunt for pedophiles and other criminals' — as the digital world is border-less but most jurisdiction isn't.
"While we have to ask our foreign colleagues for permission, criminals can access the whole world with a press of the button", van Zwieten sais. As examples are mentioned a recent kp case, and the 'Bredolab' botnet. "When cyber criminals infected 30 million computers worldwide with a hostile virus, the dutch recherche hacked foreign computers".
They plead for laws that 'can catch up with the current speed of developments, because else detectives are always a step behind'.
According to Van Zwieten "internationally, investigation bodies are all having the same problem, and 'have to learn to look at the existing rules with new glasses"
Apparently, laws do not apply to the police, and international criminal activities did not exist before internet, outdating any existing law, giving a free ticket to break them — as long as Justitia is your employer.
xonen writes "Various sources report that the European Central Bank invested over 500 billion euro into short-term low-interest loans to over 800 european banks.
The ECB also urges the banks to be 'more flexible in loaning money' The ECB’s loans are intended to relieve liquidity strains and grease the flow of credit to households and businesses, boosting growth.
This raises the obvious questions. If our current crisis was cause by irresponsible loans, how will lending more irresponsible money help solving it? That prompted German council member Jens Weidmann to warn that the central bank mustn’t “lose sight of its mandate” to control inflation by taking on “excessive risks.”
xonen writes "Two dutch internet providers are summoned by the court to block DNS entries and IP addresses of the pirate bay. This list is allowed to be updated by a private organization, 'BREIN', which represent the media industries. Despite several errors, false assumptions and other inconsistensies in the ruling, those 2 ISP's are ordered to disallow access within 2 weeks. Other ISP's are expected to follow soon (or not, depending whom you ask). It is likely that the two ISP's involved will seek a higher court ruling.
The part of the ruling that causes most pain, is not as much as that a site gets blocked — which is bad enough by itself — but that a private organisation is granted full control on the list of dns entries and IP's that is to be blocked — opening the door to arbitrary censorship." Link to Original Source top
xonen writes "A VL friend of me and me run into a phylosophic question, one was the 'makeability' of life. The theory is, you can shape life at it's will. No clue how and why we came to the experiment, but one was to prove that nowadays it's easy to provide 1,000 hits to a random link like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_7y0ZhQxlA . It proves that thoughs, and even artistic concepts, are carried way beyond any intentions of any artistic creator, simply by multiplying it.
xonen writes "In a preliminary decision, the dutch judge ruled that 'a total block was disproportional as it was not likely the majority of the Ziggo (the isp) customers violated copyright law. Instead BREIN (the instute representing media industries) should go after individual users. Ziggo has agreed that in principle it could hand over personal details. The procedure continous for a final ruling. A little more detailed story is here, as well as the court ruling
xonen writes "Last week, a dutch artist collective opened a new webservice, the 'suicide machine'. Their service automates the deletion of your accounts, and account related information like friends, for a variety of services including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Their aim is to 'help you get rid of those energy consuming social networks'.
Facebook now filed charges against the website, claiming they violate their terms and conditions, and are illegaly requesting account information from their users, and applying automated access to the facebook website.
In a reaction, Moddr, the owner of the website, responded: "We are not violating their terms, if any, the users are because they are the ones providing us their account information". Also, they plan not to comply to facebook's C&D letter "Facebook is the only one that has contacted us. So far we didn't hear nothing from twitter and linkedin". Instead of complying, they plan to have a workaround ready as soon as monday to 'circumvent the blockade that facebook put on our servers". They seek aid of a lawyer nevertheless.
xonen writes "The privacy of 3 million dutch voters cannot be guaranteed, according to a report investigating the procedures around the 2008 elections for the dutch water council. Citizans had to vote by a paper / mail system, and all votes were marked with a unique number. This number was guarantueed not possible to be linked to personal information, as the encryption key was stored in a safe. This argument was also used as defense in a court case regarding the matter. It appears now, that this safe has been opened. Because of a software crash, the systems had to reboot. In order to allow reboots, said safe needed to be opened.
Here is a translation of the original article [as translated by google]. For links, please see the original article.
Published: Monday, November 30, 2009 Author: Brenno de Winter
During the water board election of 2008 is the voice software crashed, verification of the electoral process and removed the safe open with cryptographic keys.
According to a report of the conduct of the vote counting. This document is provided to all polling stations of the water boards, but now revealed through wob-request (Act on the public administration). Wob which is made by the foundation "We Do not Trust Voting Computers". The report draws a picture of a chaotic process.
Panic after performance issues Despite the fact that only 24 percent of voters cast a vote, was the central system of counting the votes that can not. Performance problems quickly arose. There were even machines locking up. To be addressed, since the Union of Water Boards at all costs wanted to avoid any delay would be on bringing the election.
Therefore it was soon decided in an additional processor, the backup computer. That machine had after running tests serve as an operational machine. Thus there was no computer more if failure occurred. So we also ordered a new computer. Delivery for this proved too long and therefore there is no new backup machine in operation.
Customizing during cast Furthermore, no performance issues not resolved by the bijschakelen of processors. So we decided the election code of the software to adapt. A check on the correct block of votes was evicted, "The second search was for correct functionality is not necessary and is facilitated", states the report revealed today.
The election of the portal software is also altered half point, it now appears: "Because calculations in queries were performed twice lasted 1.5 hours, requiring them much CPU power of the Portal. Then decided to do the calculations once. "
Furthermore, the technical experts made adjustments in database software for the calculation of provisional results. "During the whole process has SURFnet behavior of the monitored servers and processing on the SQL database software has finally adjusted to the (preliminary calculation results) to be able to" make the authors report.
Deposit secret vote These were not the only problems during the counting of the votes. Thus proved two machines locking up and the helpdesk system functioned properly. To restart the servers had to be opened a sealed vault. It not only are the servers, but also the secret encryption key used by the present.
The result is that someone with access to the voting stock of voters can decipher the information therein. This is to find out what someone agrees. Precisely that scenario was impossible because the water boards, according to the encryption. This, they claimed to defend a lawsuit brought by the Foundation Trust We Vote computers. The safe with encryption keys would not open.
This is still done and the keys even on a test system installed outside the vault. It is currently unclear whether they have the secret ballot of three million voters effectively been broken.
It is clear that the guarantee of the partitioning of the information is breached. There were three people present when opening the safe. Besides an employee of the ICT company of the water boards, were that a notary and a security guard from Securitas.
When it appeared that the technical problems to resolve were the vault is closed, with a new seal on the door. Ultimately there is a remote development computer software installed to do the calculations but the results of a timely conclusion.
Jam software Another problem that raises questions, stalling the operation of the system. During the reading process because the file was fixed. The resumption of a turn out the required audit report and the system apparently functioned again. The guarantee was then upload each individually notified to the progress of the monitoring process.
Overall, the printouts of such report three times needed. The report writer does not explain the cause of the crash or why running a report function allows the system spontaneously.
Ailing run There had already been strong criticism of the functioning of the portal software used by the water boards. The Voice Foundation We distrust Computers Not all proved that the software was as leaky as a sieve. The security was also savaged in a report written by IT Fox IT company commissioned by responsible State Secretary Tineke Huizinga.
The accumulation of problems in elections last year has led to so many disturbances. The software is updated three times during the elections, accounting failures have been fixed by the printouts of reports, and the safe was opened with the encryption keys.
The question now is whether the vote counting is correct, or whether the secret ballot is guaranteed. The vote is secret from last year's sensitive, because then crossed over to vote for political parties rather than on "non-party" people." Link to Original Source
I decided recently to put some more effort in securing my online privacy, by using some standard tactics, like automagic clearing of cookies except for a whitelist, and by logging out from the big spysites like Facebook and Google. I also try to obfuscate my surfing even further by using different browsers, and even got more headroom if i'd install Opera or Safari as well, in an effort to sabotage browser fingerprinting.
The practical implications are more severe than i expected though. For example, when not logged on to a Google account, their search results seem a lot more irrelevant, up to the point i'd call it a 'shitty search engine', littering the top-10 results with rubbish. And before you say 'duh, of course personalized search results are better' - the same applies to subjects i'd normally never search for. Of course this is a subjective impression. Just as subjective as that certain sites seem to remember your history without being logged on anywhere. Clearing cookies largely helps, it seems. It's stunning though how visiting a single page easily leaves no less than 30 cookies on occasion - and that's with an ad blocker enabled. My conclusion here is that using an ad blocker might indeed block ads from displaying, it is in no way an effective means of getting tracked less.
All my effort seem in vein though, when i read the numbers on police queries. According to http://webwereld.nl/nieuws/109521/-politie-schendt-wet-met-bevragingen-ciot-database-.html , the dutch police queried personal data (name, address) belonging to a certain IP address, no less than 2.3 million times in 2011.
The most basic math would reveal that about 15% of the dutch population (around 16.6M) was queried. However, if you start counting the number of households (around 7M), or better: the account of households with broadband internet connection (around 5M), that number approaches 50%.
If you'd also factor in my internet usage which is surely a lot larger than the average (16/24 x 7/7, visiting a lot of websites, leaving comments left and right, likely on more delicate subjects), then it's almost a statistical certainty, with a sigma that the CERN would be proud of, that my IP address was queried at least once in 2011.
There's no privacy. If it's not an secured connection, it's even likely that all data is tapped. Not only the obliged info that's tapped for everyone (you know, emails, tcp connections) as by EU law, but also a full tap as in phone tap - holland tops the numbers there too.
To make matters worse. It can also not be excluded that even a secured connection is insecure. Apparently almost any certificate distributor is flawed, stamping thousands of fake certificates. There are even certificates that work on the 'top level domain'. Worse, there's no reason to believe they were not only used in Iran or so, as is officially claimed. Man-in-the-middle attacks are not only a theoretical concern.
There's only one conclusion: there's no privacy online. What the big companies do is only children's play compared to how the dutch gov operates. It's logged, filed and analyzed. Likely even this very message. I'm a suspect. A potentional rebel, hacker or terrorist. Just like 2.3 more dutch citizens.
So, next time you come to holland, better think twice before visiting our country filled with criminals. But rest assured you're watched, for the safety of us all. Because we all want a safe internet, don't we.
It's the 10th day now, of the dutch censurship. A foreign website is blocked, by both DNS and IP. And despite earlier discussions that mostly revolved to 'easy to avoid', i can only come to the conclusion that it still s*cks. Big time.
I'm not such of a downloader. Occasionaly, when i hear something, on some radio stream, i might check out. Youtube first, probably. But sometimes, or quite often, it's simply not there. Too obscure, or whatever it is. So the next choice would be to find some copy - that's where file sharing comes in.
It's also still legal in our country. Downloading, for personal use, is legal. But one of the means to do so conveniently, is blocked.
I joked in advance 'Using TOR will give me that bit of holiday feeling - like i'm in China'. Unfortunately, it's true. Not that i feel in China. But i feel the hot breath of an almost fascist regime breathing in my neck. This regime feeling has nothing to do with file sharing though, more with the other means of control. Holland excels in telephone tapping, for example. Anything is trapped, analyzed. Every bit i send over the internet is weighted, scanned, duplicated and stored. The blocking is just a solid reminder on that.
I had a daydream, or more nightmare, vision, today. Of risking getting shot at street by a drone, because you said something wrong on the internet.
The pain is not in a technical filesharing thingy working no longer as intended. Well, that's a bit of pain too. It's not only the site that's down, it are important trackers that are down too. Even with the torrent, stuff seems to run a lot less smooth. But that's all irrelevant. By the feeling that i live in a regime, not a democracy.
I apologize to all out there in egypt, or syria, or whereever. Where i know the situation is really bad. Risking your lives is nothing compared to a spoiled file sharer. Therefore, i think, no-one really dares to complain. Because then we are spoiled.
Yet.. another step, to our big brother, big cyber brother, controlling us. Now, let me fill in facebook what i all did today else intelligence service will start to worry what i'm doing, i can't risk that.
For years, i'v been getting mod points for, well, maybe once a year. Not that i ever really bothered - but all of the sudden (and my./ browsing habits did not really change) - i get modpoints time after time. Today, i hardly spend my last modpoint and bam - i got 5 new modpoints again. For the 5th time in 2 weeks time. What's wrong with it - is it horribly bugged, or are the odds of 'random' just teasing me?
Are we over the the tipping point of technological growth
While numbers like Mooreâ(TM)s Law have kept amazing us for the past decades, and the number of scientific articles published each year almost exponentially explodes, my question is: are we really getting that most smarter? Is technology really growing that fast?
The 20th century, and the ones before, have been amazing. Cultural revolution in the 16, industrial revolution thereafter, and high-tech evolving with the coming of electricity in the 20th. However, sometimes we tend to over-estimate the latest inventions. No, the iPod is not the highest product that we could possible produce, itâ(TM)s more in the natural line of technology, such product with such specifications was expected to happen, sooner or later. Ask Moore. Well, there are other factors, battery industry, for example. But in general, the amateur engineers among us could predict such evolvements reasonable well for, say, a 10-15 year timescale period.
Our real technologies are a lot more fundamental to that. Take concrete and steel production. Concrete sure has been improved, but the concept of steel-inforced concrete is maybe one of the best inventions of modern architecture. And speaking of steel. The skills of hardening steel are even a lot older. Heating. Cooling. Re-heating, basically. Itâ(TM)s one of the fundamental technologies that we rely on daily.
Most modern alloys. Were already invented around the 1950â(TM)s. Same for most other technologies like atom craft, and semiconductors. The principals were quickly laid, and despite recent and future improvements the basics technology goes way back.
Itâ(TM)s quite obvious that the 20th centory has brought a lot of discoveries. But, to me, it appears we are loosing speed. We get more involved in political aspects, often rightfully, than that really new things are discovered. Optics? Yes, theyâ(TM)ll get improved. Quantum computers? The principal around a 100 years old by now, waiting for someone to make it just-works. Of course thereâ(TM)s a lot of theoretical research going on. Like at the LHC, the Large Hedron Collider. Yet, the principal of colliders is over 50 years old already, too. Itâ(TM)s just another evolving technology, like steel.
Astronomy, you might counter. Space expeditions. DNA research. Molecular biological research, whatever. Yes, sure itâ(TM)s steadily improving and thereâ(TM)s a lot of fundamental knowledge coming out of it. But, once, a popular saying among scientist was: âan answer raises more questions than it answersâ(TM). We seem to be beyond that point, we are directed looking for answers, within an context we already know or assume to know. Sudden new stuff still pops up, for sure, and will always be. Yet, the more we understand the less there is to discover.
But with all this knowledge. Did our engineers manage to make our life quality much improved. It more seems that economy did, not engineering in itself. Economy hired the engineers. And very interesting things were produced.
But in an ideal world. Weâ(TM)d not worry about pollution, cause we didnâ(TM)t make any. No plastic waste in oceans. No CO2 pollution. Better treatment for the elder. No continents with starvation issues. Good food for everyone. Etc. Itâ(TM)s all technologically perfectly feasible, yet we donâ(TM)t do it. Engineering canâ(TM)t solve everything thatâ(TM)s for sure true, itâ(TM)s society that need to solve it. Society, politics, industry.
If we look at the raw numbers, it is ridiculous that we have a food problem in certain countries. Scientist predict the earth is, with current technology, capable of maintaining about 35 billion people. Yet, we are only we 7 billion as we speak, so there is really no technological reason at all we shouldnâ(TM)t be able to produce enough food. Political situations like civilian wars taken out, thereâ(TM)s no reason at all why we shouldnâ(TM)t have excellent food production at _any_ place. We got the money, plenty of, even. Got any technology needed. Got the knowledge to scale up or down, you donâ(TM)t have to industrialize Africa instantly, you can grow the efforts with society. Really, seen from an engineering point of view there would be no problem at all.
We see political influence on technical issues grow everywhere. Internet being the most recent example. But also taxes like electricity tax. Or simply car speed limits. Of course politics need to draw the outer lines of what is acceptable, and must adapt to technological progress.
Iâ(TM)m sorry to lost topic a bit into politics, as i was really talking about science itself, mostly. My gut feel sais, our rate of improvement is slowly decaying. We manage to make more, of everything. but not necessarily better. We ignore fundamental problems like waste, pollution, or general wellbeing like traffic or sound hindrance, recreating, at the cost of âeconomyâ(TM) which basically involves a big marionette involving suits and ties and fuel-consuming smell engines. Eventually most office and social work nowadays is done behind the pc, so it shouldn't really matter where that pc is. Except for social purposes, technologically there is no need to go to office 9 to 5 on a daily basis per se, so thereâ(TM)s hardly any need for forensic car usage either.
Weâ(TM)r heading into a new middle age. We found our new witches, too. Terrorists. Extremists. We are scared of a terrorist killing 100 people. Yet our modern society sacrifices thousands of lifes daily. But we lost our vision. Cause we have no other goals. Thereâ(TM)s no renewed goal now âthat we got it allâ(TM). There is no higher goal to reach in current society, there is just âfearâ(TM) and âsurvivalâ(TM) which are both, practically, totally displaced emotions.
Our goal should be to reach this higher society. This Utopia we spoke about so long. Not debating about the last pennies for whatever, there really should be no need for nibbling on all such details, itâ(TM)s a decadent behavior. Decadent, yes. We float in luxury. All our problems are close to virtual. We make them to have one. Again, from an engineering point of view there is really no reason why we cannot live perfect lives. Have perfect health care. Etc.
Internet makes it possible i can write this and distribute this. Thatâ(TM)s why i like the internet. Please keep up the good ideas and let us all define some higher goals society should strive after. Cause despite extremists, i believe most people have just âcommon senseâ(TM) and like almost agrees on best possible solutions. Itâ(TM)s not the agreement thatâ(TM)s missing. Itâ(TM)s the flow of new fresh ideas. Idealists. Modern Voltaireâ(TM)s. Einsteins. We are more people than ever. So, where are they... Where are our thinkers.
What started as a nice project a few years ago, has now become a pain.inthewherethesundontshine. The sheer arrogance of the developers combined with the fact that it is closed source, proves once again why open source is so important and here to stay.
I'm ready to believe the developer had, and has, best intends. I'm also ready to accept his time is limited and that he can not comply to every wish by every user.
Why the hassle you'll ask. Well, after - finally - being the proud owner of a pen tablet, you know, not those i/pat thingies, but the tablets you can use to draw, as digital pencil, i was happily playing with it using the various software i already posses. The Gimp, of course. Does excellent job but my second monitor broke down, so screen layout is a bit messy and intrusive. Paint.net then, the 'friendly light-weight but flexible editor'. Guess what, my pen wasn't working as intended. It was simulating a mouse, no more, no less and no sign of pressure sensivity. A quick google made me think i missed an option somewhere, as paint.net is actually recommended for tablet use. A consequent google learned the answer: pressure sensivity was removed (!) in 3.5. Without any reason in particular, it was just removed.
Before barking at the forum, i figured to see what others already have barked against that tree, and indeed, i'm not alone. One wants to create a petition to get tablet support back in, the other asks for an older version please (any 3.5 has support for tablets, and are about as feature rich). The developer simply states it 'disappeared, won't come back, except maybe in the form of a plugin'. So, summorizing facts: * The support was removed in a mature version. 3 major version points have supported it, 3.5 and up no longer (will) support it. * There are (intentionally) no older versions available (via the official channel) * People that complain about this issue are accused of ranting, and told to (summarized) stfu * There is currently no plugin for it * Forum threads regarding the issue are closed. * The installer will remove any existing installation of paint.net so there is no option to run or install 2 distinct versions simultaniously.
My conclusion is: 1. The development team is: A. Retarded. B. Arrogant C. shortsighted D. not interested in supporting other input devices E. not seriously interested into graphics at all. F. ignoring a large % of their user base. G. Giving Freeware a bad reputation.
This post is dedicated to the poor fellows before me already accused of ranting because of this very issue. I'm happy to waste a few more bytes to add another rant.
Keep up the good work. Vive La Gimp. Vive open source. Vive Liberte.