Update 3:10 p.m. PDT: Despite veto threats from the Bush administration, the House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill that would shield journalists--and some bloggers--from being forced to reveal confidential sources in federal cases.
By a 398-21 vote, the politicians backed an amended version of the Free Flow of Information Act. Sponsored by Reps. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) and Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the proposal offers a "qualified" privilege to anyone engaged in journalism, which it defines as "gathering, preparing, collecting, photographing, recording, writing, editing, reporting or publishing of news or information that concerns local, … Read more
I watched Argentinia smack Chile down tonight (2-0), and found the experience of attending the match fascinating, and a little scary. I've been to a lot of games over in England, where things can get a bit dicey, but this was the first time that I actually feared for my safety.
Why? Because the crowd didn't seem to abide by any particular laws. I watched this man get shouted out of the stadium. Why? Because he bought a ticket for himself and his wife and tried to sit in his seats. When he asked the squatters who occupied his seats to move, he was jeered and booed until he gave up his seats.
In fact, no one (including us, since when we arrived people were in our seats) seemed to sit in their assigned seats. I was scared to use the restroom because I figured doing so would be tantamount to surrendering my seats. Other fans had it worse: they were separated from the field by razor wire which was intended to keep them from attacking visiting fans. It felt a bit like the Wild West....
I think sometimes Microsoft and the proprietary world think that open-source developers think like the seat-squatters in Argentina. I suspect that this is one reason that Ballmer can make claims about patent infringement with a straight face, as if open-source developers flaunt IP laws casually. But he, and those who think like him, are wrong.… Read more
Mark Webbink, who retired in August as a senior attorney for Linux seller Red Hat, has joined the board of the Software Freedom Law Center, the group said Wednesday.
The SFLC provides free legal help to free and open-source programming projects--for example filing a copyright infringement lawsuit on behalf of BusyBox programmers against Monsoon Multimedia.
Webbink was Red Hat's general counsel from 2000 until 2004, when the company hired Michael Cunningham for the role and Webbink took over matters concerning open-source software and intellectual property until his retirement. In that role, he's had to reckon with subjects including … Read more
I've been tracking the progress of the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007 for months. Having spent time in a federal prison for protecting my source material, it's natural that I would be interested in a law that would prevent others from enduring this same fate.
The last time I wrote about the bill's status was in August, after it cleared the House Judiciary Committee. Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee followed suit, and both houses of Congress are now ready to vote on the law.
While this is very exciting news for many journalists, I'm less than ecstatic, given that neither the version of the bill is ideal, and there is no telling how the two bills will be combined, should it pass both houses.
While the amended version of the House bill seeks to tie journalism to an economic exchange, the Senate's definition is broader in scope and would not only protect professionals but would likely apply to students and many bloggers as well.… Read more
When I heard that MIT student Star Simpson had been arrested at Boston's Logan airport for wearing an outfit that incorporated what police called a hoax bomb, but which was really nothing more than a piece of electronic art, I was outraged.
I know that times being what they are, law enforcement needs to take security threats seriously. No one will dispute that. But what we're seeing, again and again, as in the case of the two Boston men arrested for putting up devices that were part of a Cartoon Network marketing ploy, is that police, media and … Read more
It seems that most of the world's open source-related lawsuits emerge from Utah, for whatever reason. First there was Caldera vs. Microsoft (which, of course, didn't have anything to do with open source, but for Caldera's inclusion). Then there was SCO. Somewhere along the way there was Linksys, which didn't have anything more to do with Utah than that I used to visit its offices, and I'm from Utah.
And now we have BusyBox (through the Software Freedom Law Center) suing Monsoon Multimedia, with BusyBox's project founder, Erik Andersen, a former colleague of mine … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--Chipmakers regularly shrink the size of their products, improve their performance, and cut their prices. But chips still sell for about the same price about the same when you measure it by the acre.
That's the view of Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, who strolled about the press and analyst room after his on-stage talk at the Intel Developer Forum. An acre of chips is worth $1 billion, he estimated, about the same as it was several years ago. You get more chips now, but the old chips sold for more.
It's a great factoid to know. Other … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--Moore's Law has got time left, but we will hit a wall, said Intel co-founder Gordon Moore.
"We have another decade, a decade and a half, before we hit something that is fairly fundamental," he said during a question-and-answer session Tuesday at the Intel Developer Forum taking place here.
The problem is that semiconductor manufacturing has become so efficient, and structures inside chips have shrunk so much over the last forty hears, that not much more can be taken out. Intel's 45-nanometer chips, coming out later this year, employ the element hafnium as an insulator. … Read more