Going back to the roots of the netbook

Rumors of the death of the netbook are much exaggerated; and despite Microsoft’s repeated arm-twisting, GNU/Linux will be available on ASUS’s coolest new netbook. With Meego it will be priced at $199; with the Windows starter edition costing $310…

Going back to the roots of the netbook

The war between the Banksters and the People really gets going

A couple of posts from the Financial Frontier:

First, from the it isn’t over yet department, the housing market collapses in the UK:

UK house prices fall by record 3.6pc in a month
The UK housing market has suffered a shock as figures from the Halifax revealed the average price of a property dropped more than £6,000 in September [2010].

And from the good government department:

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner on the Foreclosure Crisis and Her State’s Lawsuit Against Ally Financial

Calls are growing for a nationwide moratorium on home foreclosures following the recent revelations that major lenders may have committed fraud while forcing thousands of people out of their homes. On Thursday the White House announced President Obama will not sign a bill approved by Congress that could have made it easier for banks to foreclose. We discuss the latest in the foreclosure crisis with Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. This week, Ohio filed a lawsuit accusing the lender Ally Financial and its GMAC Mortgage division of fraud in approving scores of foreclosures.

Next, there will some interesting decisions the banksters have to make, all centering around the question of how dirty do they want to fight. These debates won’t want to take place in public, but thanks to wikileaks and others we can expect more revelations like Bernie Marcus’ memorable appeal “to shoot” any business leader who does not oppose the Employee Free Choice Act. Of course, anyone like the Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner who tries to stop the foreclosures that are destroying neighborhoods will be accused of starting a “class war.”  But asking for those who don’t oppose legislation to be shot isn’t inciting a class war, it is doing something truly noble.

The war between the Banksters and the People really gets going

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Alternate title: “I really like commentators like Mitch Wagner.”

These are disturbing trends, convergence, again. One extremely important item to note is that corporations and governments both are synergistically creating the environment in which freedoms evaporate.

US government throwing free speech under the bus

Mitch Wagner

What do these three, apparently unrelated stories, have in common? American attorneys general pressured Craigslist to block ads for adult services. The US is trying to extend draconian copyright protections worldwide. And politicians and corporate journalists are banding together to exclude Wikileaks from a proposed federal shield law protecting journalists. These actions are part of a trend limiting free speech to those with government and corporate protection, not the common people like thee and me.

And from the wikileaks blog, there’s a quick link to Glen Greenwald’s blog, with the text:”Obama’s ‘Putinization’ of America must be stopped. I don’t think that is quite right: America is exporting it ‘Putinization’ drive. Instead of heavy-handedly killing journalists a la Putin, it is engaging in a smear campaign, in Sweden.

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ACTA criticism goes mainstream (finally!)

Action on the ACTA front.

At Michael Geist’s excellent blog, a post with a round-up of the news coverage following the last round of ACTA negotiations in Seoul. Apparently the chapter on Internet enforcement goes far beyong even the draconian limits of the DMCA and the present TRIPS agreement.

Abolishing the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA or similar laws would be obligatory.  The plan of those who favor the ACTA seems to be: negotiate a secret deal that gives those who favor an extreme IP regime, then explain the need to enact that regime as “harmonization.” Will it work? I don’t think so.  The ACTA is increasingly looking to be DOA.  But that doesn’t mean we can be complacent! Exactly the opposite, now is the time to criticize it and bring this process to a halt.

The Obama administration has continued the Bush policy of trying to keep the provisions of the ACTA secret on grounds of “national security”    The criticism of the ACTA has expanded beyond the blogosphere and is now being reported in the press:

The Leaked ACTA Document

As the ACTA story begins to capture mainstream media attention (front page of the Ottawa Citizen, coverage from the Washington PostNZ Heraldthe AtlanticWired), the press release from the now-concluded Seoul talks should be released shortly [update: release out, exactly as predicted].  If the past releases are any indication, it will thank the Korean government and blandly describe the talks on Internet and criminal provisions.  More informative is the actual document that served as the basis for my postings earlier this week.  It is embedded below (direct PDF download).

ACTA criticism goes mainstream (finally!)

Dell makes MSWindows price transparent to consumers

Checking up on how Ballmer’s way out-of-step-with-reality plan to raise the price of netbooks is going, I looked at Dell’s website, to see what a Dell Mini 9 would cost with MSWindows vs how much it would cost with Ubuntu.  This used to be very difficult to do, because Microsoft’s agreements with vendors specifically forbade that kind of transparent pricing.

But Dell surprised me beyond any expectations.

Continue reading “Dell makes MSWindows price transparent to consumers”

Dell makes MSWindows price transparent to consumers