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Opposition mounts against UK’s P2P disconnection plan

network

The heads of the UK’s largest ISPs have co-signed a letter of protest against the proposal to disconnect suspected illegal file-sharers from their broadband service.

The open letter was sent to The Times on Thursday by the chiefs of TalkTalk, BT and Orange, as well as representatives of the Open Rights Group and the consumer choice organisations Which? and Consumer Focus.

It coincided with a detailed argument against the government’s proposals, issued as a statement by the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (Basca) and the Music Producers Guild (MPG).

The signatories of the letter to The Times acknowledged the creative industry’s concerns about illegal sharing of copyrighted material. Nevertheless, they said the government’s latest proposals on how to reduce this are “misconceived, and threaten broadband consumers’ rights and the development of new, attractive services”.

“Consumers must be presumed to be innocent unless proven guilty,” the letter read. “We must avoid an extrajudicial ‘kangaroo court’ process where evidence is not tested properly and accused broadband users are denied the right to defend themselves against false accusations.

“Without these protections, innocent customers will suffer. Any penalty must be proportionate. Disconnecting users from the internet would place serious limits on their freedom of expression.”

I see the sides of this problem with governments trying to stop illegal file sharing, where as the individuals have the right to send to whoever or send what every they want across the Internet.  I will say one thing, if they shut off this kind of activity do they really think this will stop anything?  This will only punish people that are no interested in getting into trouble with the law.  Others with more means will just relocate their servers or service and keep on going.  Trying to police the internet is impossible without stepping on the toes of all of the users, and with our lives being more and more online it will just cause more problems for the honiest user.

The top portion of this post was written by David Meyer ZDNet.co.uk, Published: 04 Sep 2009.

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Sun’s Virtualbox is Awesome!!

I have always been a fan of virtualization.  I got started messing around with it back in the beginning of 2006 with VMWare Workstation 5.  Ever since I have been using Virtuals for various training and production computer environments.  Along with Microsoft courses that used Virtual PC for the training platform.  Even this blog is hosted on a ESXi server.   Anyway I was reading through CPU magazine yesterday and I saw Sun’s Virtual box.  I may have heard this name before but I had never actually used the program until last night.  I downloaded it from http://www.virtualbox.org.    Once I installed it I was impressed, it has almost all of the features of VMWare Workstation.  It also includes USB support unlike Virtual PC.  It really makes me think of a Linux version of VMWare workstation, but the product is free for personal use.  There are two versions:

  • The full VirtualBox package is available in binary (executable) form free of charge from their download page. This version is free for personal use and evaluation under the terms of the VirtualBox Personal Use and Evaluation License.
  • The VirtualBox Open Source Edition (OSE) is the one that has been released under the GPL and comes with complete source code. It is functionally equivalent to the full VirtualBox package, except for a few features that primarily target enterprise customers. This gives us a chance to generate revenue to fund further development of VirtualBox.

The following list shows the enterprise features that are only present in the closed-source edition. Note that this list may change over time as some of these features will eventually be made available with the open-source version as well.

  • Remote Display Protocol (RDP) Server – This component implements a complete RDP server on top of the virtual hardware and allows users to connect to a virtual machine remotely using any RDP compatible client.
  • USB support – VirtualBox implements a virtual USB controller and supports passing through USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 devices to virtual machines.
  • USB over RDP – This is a combination of the RDP server and USB support allowing users to make USB devices available to virtual machines running remotely.

I installed a simple Windows XP machine on it and did a few things and found the program to be very funtional.  It allowed for sharing of folders between the virtual and the host, along with sharing the same internet connection or having a nic of it’s own.    One of the parts that I found interesting was the fact that you could deticate video memory for the virtual.  I have VMWare Workstation 6 and you can’t assign video memory with that program.  However the best part of this program is the fact that it is free.  You get the total virtual machine package and don’t have to pay a dime.  I love it.  It will run on Windows, Linux, and MAC.  This is a great program and I already have recommended it to several people.  Here are some screen shots of Virtualbox.

vbox_under_vista_in_vbox_under_xp

1-new-vm

2-empty-vm-created

The pics are of a previous version, but the images are still pretty close.  Give this program a shot, I think you will like the functionality and all of the possabilities that a virtual machine brings to the computing world.

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Facebook changes privacy policy

Facebook website screen shot

Not that I’m a fan of facebook, but protection of personal data is very important.  Check out this article about facebook and some new rules.

Social networking site Facebook has agreed to change its privacy policy as a result of negotiations with Canada’s privacy commissioner.

Last month the site was found to be in breach of Canadian law by by holding on to users’ personal data indefinitely.

Facebook has now agreed to make changes to the way it collects and handles this information.

It will also make it clear to users that they have the option of either deactivating or deleting their account.

“These changes mean that the privacy of 200 million Facebook users in Canada and around the world will be far better protected,” said Canadian privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart.

“We’re very pleased Facebook has been responsive to our recommendations.”

Facebook has said work on the changes will begin immediately but they would take around 12 months to implement.

The regulator first started its investigation as a result of complaints by the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa.

Canada has around 12 million Facebook users, more than one in three of the population.


This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.