2007-11-23 00:09:05

US Aid offering cheap monopolist products to the third world

The U.S. Agency for International Development (US Aid) is offering cheap access to hardware and training curriculae for Microsoft operating systems.

The project in question is a US$236'000.- project to unbind the «Unlimited Potential» of the industries of Sri Lanka which could be enhanced with information technology. It will be executed by Info Share, an NGO which develops IT solutions for NGOs, and Unlimited Potential, a Microsoft welfare organization, whose main purpose is to spread Microsoft in the developing world.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: general

2007-11-22 22:34:27

German Police says Good Bye to Microsoft Products

After the German Bundesrechnungshof has released a paper critizising the extensive and expensive use of Windows in public services, the German Police Trade Union has demanded that the failed police software project POLIKS shall be discontinued and all installations of the Windows operating system of Microsoft be replaced with Linux.

Issues with the new system had been raised for a long time already. It takes half an hour and longer to record a single case, which had been done within a couple of minutes using the paper based approach. This half hour is of course time that the person reporting the incident will have to wait. Also, the system has experienced 50 hours of downtime for the year, which is a rather low availability rate as opposed to services normally offered by Open Source systems.

The Police Union representatives suggest that the saved license fees could be used for the christmas gratifications for the police officers.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: news

2007-11-22 22:21:27

John Tehranian: No life without IPR infringement

John Tehranian has released a paper stating that life without IPR infringements is not possible. Tehranian is describing the average day of an imaginary, but average person, all with respect to intellectual property rights infringements. The liabilities for such an average day would already amount to several million Dollars.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: general, politics

2007-11-22 19:22:48

IP-Plus «DoS'd»

Starting from yesterday afternoon, the IP-Plus network (AS3303) has suffered from severe difficulties, and initially even outages. Starting from the afternoon, IP-Plus started pushing an enormous amount of prefixes out to all peers.

For most routers, pushing an enormous amount of routes causes an emergency shutdown of the corresponding peering, and that was what IP-Plus must have experienced a lot that evening. (At least it happened on all routers I have access to, and I heard reports from others indicating the same.)

IP-Plus has a trouble ticket suggesting that a DDoS attack was the direct cause of the outages. However, no DDoS attack could ever have caused the effects we were seeing, so it appears that IP-Plus is trying to disguise human error as a force they are unable to control. This is not appropriate.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: news, network

2007-11-09 19:15:48

Data Retention adopted in Germany

Around noon today (finally not in a midnight session!), the German Parliament has adopted the law on data retention (VDS: Vorratsdatenspeicherung) with a lower limit of 6 monthes of retention. This legislation requires all connection metadata to be saved for 6 monthes before they may get deleted.

During the vote, which was held around noon, the parliament was an astonishingly empty place. This legislation, which can serve to turn Germany into a surveillance state, did not even raise enough interest among the parliamentarians to cause a significant majority of them to vote on the issue, which is a rather sad thing.

According to the German federal police, there is «no alternative» to the data retention policy. The same argument could be applied to death row, so it is utterly worthless as an argument.

I invite everyone who has talked to his local parliamentarian in Germany to have a word with him about why he did not appear in Parliament or why he voted in favor of the proposal (if so): have a look at the voting list for the German data retention law.

Not all is lost

But there is still a way to influence the legislation even after it has been passed. The Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung has a press release on their preparation of legal action against the law. According to the Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung, the legislation is in disagreement with the German constitution and thus cannot be adopted as it has been presented right now.

And the Arbeitskreis Datenspeicherung is not alone with this opinion: Parliamentarians of the Socialist Party (SPD) mentioned that they also don't think the law is compatible with the constitution, but expressed that the Constitutional Court would take care of it.

Posted by Tonnerre Lombard | Permanent link | File under: news, politics