Which Works Enter the Public Domain in 2011 (OKFN) — slowly we’re getting recognizable artists in some jurisdictions (e.g., F. Scott Fitzgerald and Paul Klee) but it’s slow going. This is a great reminder about how slow the law works: most people appropriate small bits of modern works when they need something, rather than seeking out or caring about out-of-copyright status. Either most people are lawbreakers and law enforcement will catch up with them, or most people have a new conception of fair use and the law will catch up with them.
Android IM App Brought T-Mobile’s Network To Its Knees — rumour is that this kind of thing isn’t isolated, that carrier networks are fragile rather than robust. Not even apps, sometimes just devices can make smoke come out of the cell tower (metaphorically): In April of this year, T-Mobile disclosed in an FCC filing that “when subscribers began connecting unlocked iPhones to T-Mobile’s network, the devices repeatedly issued PDP Context Activation requests to establish a session and obtain an IP address. These repeated requests began to cause signal overload akin to a denial of service attack, requiring immediate action and network management to mitigate the massive signaling load on T-Mobile’s Packet Core network.”
John Sculley on Steve Jobs — the full interview text is fascinating reading. Sculley gives Jobs full respect, and his insights make for very interesting reading. It’s okay to be driven a little crazy by someone who is so consistently right. What I’ve learned in high tech is that there’s a very, very thin line between success and failure. It’s an industry where you are constantly taking risks, particularly if you’re a company like Apple, which is constantly living out on the edge. Your chance of being on one side of that line or the other side of the line is about equal.
Android (Fred Wilson) — absolutely nails why Android will be a big market, whether or not it’s “better” than Apple. My father in law told me he wants a tablet but $500 for an iPad seems high to him. I asked him if he’d pay $199 for an Android tablet. He said “where can I get one”?
The Dirty Little Secret About Google Android (ZD Net) — By some reports, the Open Handset Alliance is in now shambles. Members such as HTC have gone off and added lots of their own software and customizations to their Android devices without contributing any code back to the Alliance. Motorola and Samsung have begun taking the same approach. The collaborative spirit is gone — if it ever existed at all. And, Google is proving to be a poor shepherd for the wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing that make up the telecoms and the handset makers in the Alliance. The mobile phone industry is as messed up as enterprise Unix was in the 80s. (via Hacker News)
MilOSS Working Group 2 Wrap Up — A challenge was issued at the barcamp lunch in response to the need for a canonical set of briefing charts detailing the value of open source software for the military, from security to basic definitions to legal issues. All-in-all, about 100 briefing charts were created and will soon be made available to the community to use/modify/tweak as needed. (via johnmscott on Twitter)
Russian Cybercrime: Geeks not Gangsters — “Basically, from what we’ve seen on the forums much of what goes on with the sales of services is much more petty criminal activity, or crimes of opportunity,” Grugq said. “Often poor students who like to hack for fun will sell access to a server they’ve owned. Many don’t even realise that this is an illegal activity. This sale will be for $20 or $30 (£!3 or £19), which is a lot of money for a poor student in Russia, but for a hardened criminal mastermind bent on destroying Western civilization — not so much.” We need to launch a distributed denial of students attack on Russia. (via jasonwryan on Twitter)
New NexusOne Radio Firmware — a glimpse of the world that’s sprung up sharing the latest goodies between countries, carriers, and developers. For everyone for whose products the street has found a new use, the challenge is to harness this energy, enthusiasm, knowledge, and devotion. In terms of cognitive surplus, this far exceeds the 1 LOLCAT minimum standard unit. (via YuweiWang on Twitter)
Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information (Sunlight Foundation) — We have updated and expanded upon the Sebastopol list and identified ten principles that provide a lens to evaluate the extent to which government data is open and accessible to the public. The list is not exhaustive, and each principle exists along a continuum of openness. The principles are completeness, primacy, timeliness, ease of physical and electronic access, machine readability, non-discrimination, use of commonly owned standards, licensing, permanence and usage costs.
Android Tablet — the PanDigital Novel is a wifi-enabled book-reader that’s easily modded to run Android and thus a pile of other software. Not available for sale yet, but “coming soon”. A hint of the delights to come as low-cost Android tablets hit the market.
NanoNote — USD100 minute sub-notebook computer (320×240 screen, 126g including battery, 2G storage, qwerty keyboard) with Creative Commons (attribution, sharealike) licenses on the schematics.
On Android Compatibility (Dan Morril) — Rewind to about 5 years ago. […] Back then as today, it was practically unheard of for a feature phone to ever get a software update.[…] The reason was that the smartphone platform vendors controlled the software. It was exceedingly difficult for OEMs to differentiate on software because they had little control over the software. It was difficult for them to differentiate on features because they could only ship features supported by the OS they were using. But it was still a fiercely competitive market and they still innovated as hard as they could. So they innovated on the only dimension they had control over: hardware and industrial design. […] Think about that. Easier to rev hardware than software! A fantastically lucid explanation of the messed-up age of carrier-controlled mobile platforms that we’re just leaving (and yes, we probably do have Steve Jobs to thank for that). (via Kevin Marks)
Living and Learning in the Cloud (EdTalks) — talk by the deputy-principal of a New Zealand high-school that’s running all open source, and has extended the “available to be improved” mindset to rooms and curriculum. (via br3nda)
zxing — barcode library for iPhone, Android, Java, and more.
Guido’s Python — how the compiler and interpreter see your Python programs. It wasn’t until I had this level of knowledge of Perl that I really know what the hell I was doing. (via Hacker News)
UK Election Data — this was posted on the eve of the UK election and talks about the new data they had this election. There’s been a lot of talk about Internet use by candidates to whip up votes, and by government to boost citizens, but this is data that helps citizens decide who to vote for. Very cool.
The Internet of Things That Do What You Tell Them: Cory Doctorow passionately explains how computers are already entwined in our lives, which means laws that support lock-in are much more than inconveniences.