129 posts • joined Friday 3rd July 2009 07:29 GMT
Re: Nice apologist article, Simon !
"...the indonesians consistantly send there boys over to us to collect classified information from us."
It's a bit naive to think that Indonesian spies are primarily interested in the activities of the Australian government. They are much, much more interested in the activities of Indonesian nationals in Australia. In short, you don't find them trying to tap the "secure blackberrys" of Australian politicians but intimidating people raising funds for West Papua and ensuring that Indonesian students studying at Australian universities know that their government is watching them.
I think that part of the anger of the Indonesian establishment towards Australia's spying activities is that this focus of Indonesian spying activities away from Australia's government has been shown up by the depth of Australia's penetration of Indonesia's government. Not once -- as during the East Timor crisis -- but now twice.
It also helps that Australian police forces have taken foreign government intimidation much more seriously in the past decade, a positive side-effect of the War on Terror.
Re: Radiation Monitoring
Required here in Australia. The sensors are typically mounted on the input hopper and on the forklifts. Where I live in Port Adelaide there was an incident recently where a forklift sensor alarmed and the quick thinking and selfless operator drove the forklift well away from the factory's buildings before running.
2600 participants isn't a huge MOOC, it's about the usual completion number for a typical course.
If this stadium looks like a vulva, then the average stadium look like an anus.
Assange is living in Western Australia?
Surely the other political parties will contest his enrolment in the WA electoral roll. It's not like he will have spent even a night at his claimed domicile.
Simon, In the Apple II/BBC Micro era Australia used to have one of the best computing teaching resources in the Parks Computer Centre in western Adelaide. Unfortunately this was disbanded, but most of the staff are still around. There are also some outstanding computing educators. I would have thought that building upon their experience would be the approach to take, but I can't see that this has been done.
It would be well worth your time to track down a few of the old Parks staff and interview them about what works and what doesn't.
ID is pointless
Let's simply ink the fingers of people as they vote. No ID required. It's compulsory voting, so assuming that any adult presenting themselves with a uninked finger and matching a name on the electoral roll is valid is pretty good. In any case inking fingers is a lot better the presenting a fakable ID.
Not that the problem is large, the AEC estimate was maybe 800 people voted twice.
Host key generation is more of a risk
The real risk is the generation of SSL host keys so early in the system first boot that there is no other source of entropy other than the hardware RNG. Best of all these weak keys are permanent.
Midnight Oil hardly the only source
Des Ball wrote a very fine book on Pine Gap in 1988. It had huge press coverage at the time. The book was pretty much a summary for the public, so most of its facts were already known, not the least through the Democrats tabling leaked papers in the Senate.
The Labor Party was pretty much down on Pine Gap after the interference of the CIA in Australian domestic politics in 1974/5. One of the surprises of the Hawke government was that it didn't close the base in response when it came to power in 1983. Rather it negotiated a treaty spelling out exactly the management and function of the facility. Needless to say, this upset the Oilz.
So yeah, not news.
Re: Eduroam, and similar
I'd also add that universities differ from business because: (1) Unis are in IT for the long haul. They're not put off by a half-decade-long project with international agreements and interoperability like Eduroam. (2) Academics are used to listening and criticising proposals. So you get a good hearing, and then you get a bucket-load of encouraging criticism. Part of the reason for the quality of uni networks is the free review from people who's consulting rates are thousands per day. (3) Business simply doesn't operate at the same scale nor require the same availability. I've had business employing a few 10,000s people tell me they run a "big" network, whereas 10,000 users would be a quiet day for a uni network.
"the University core networks" -- no. The learning and research facilities are the core network. It's the administration networks which are non-core. That's the essential mindset difference between university and business computing.
The same is true of applications. You break some Oracle thingie used by administtration, that's bad news. You break e-mail across the university, you're fired.
At universities BYOD is simply fact. It's not a "strategy" open to debate. Even non-IT staff will have a laptop, a tablet and a phone and will expect equivalent access to resources from all of them. The university may or may not own all of those devices. Students definately don't want the uni to provide their IT -- although if the uni can arrange a hefty discount on a MacBook Air they'd be grateful.
The idea that you can limit access to administrative systems to a subset of platforms isn't a goer either. Just the other day I checked a student's recorded test mark from my phone (connected via Eduroam), whilst the student and I were discussing their progress. Business would call this "responsive customer service" and the more you tighten down the access to the admin systems the less responsive the staff can be.
Ubuntu, the Maralinga of Canonical's nuclear testing
So because Canonical has ambitions in the mobile phone market they are going to once again use Ubuntu as the testing ground for their technology. Didn't we have enough of this when they re-did the user interface so it worked better on tablets. And on netbooks before that.
Here's a thought. You've already got millions of users who want a nice desktop and laptop operating system. How about keeping them happy?
Time-based labs? Pre-VM concept.
The whole notion that time-based licensing was suitable for product testing was always doubtful, and these days it is entirely wrong. The test VM forms part of the delivery of the service. It is an environment you can arc up when further testing of the deployed infrastructure is needed -- either to extend it, or if to analyse a balls-up by exploring if the killer issue was seen in testing.
So TechNet had to go. A better vendor would have replaced it with something better.
Re: Root password, sure, but why wasn't the data encrypted?
Encryption isn't a cure-all, a wand you can wave to solve problems of access to data. Firstly, encryption implies keys. If you are sending the document to thousands of people within the one organisation and the attacker is within that organisation and has sysadmin rights... how long is the key going to stay secure? This is even true for PGP -- in that case you scarf up everyone's keyrings as well as the data and attack the passwords used to secure the keyrings. Secondly, there's still nothing to stop you from copying the data (should someone appear with a key later on). Thirdly, there's nothing to prevent traffic analysis. For example, a lot of files suddenly appearing in the plans-to-attack-libya directory.
Encryption is an interesting two-edge sword. Take command-line access to a server on a secure network. Should that use SSH. Or should that be forced to use Telnet so that the exact session of the person connecting can be audited? As a result a lot of secret-level systems use less encryption mechanisms than you would expect.
Disabling USB is difficult, as you can't unilaterally disable the controller as there are interior USB buses within modern computers tying the components on the mainboard together. What you can do is to refuse to mount USB media which hasn't been authorised. That's a bespoke SELinux rule for Linux, or a software hack for Windows. Neither is supported by the operating system's manufacturer, which is an issue for large installations.
I am not saying that people shouldn't try encryption and blocking access to devices -- a low fence is still a fence. But don't be surprised by the success of an attacker with abundant inside information and access.
In this case the technology is irrelevant. Let's say both the encryption and the USB were tight. The attacker was determined to leak and would have simply chosen another path. All we can do is to force people in to technologies with higher risk, such as cameras.
In focussing on these technical matters we're also ignoring the cultural -- the "why" of leaks. When you ask an organisation to act contrary to its mission the organisation betrays the people in the organisation most motivated by its mission. Having that betrayal of the individual by the organisation repaid by betrayal of the organisation by the individual is to be expected.
kt, it's not just kilotonnes of TNT
Can I suggest the kiloteen, the data downloaded by one hundred bored teenagers using their mobiles to find something diverting enough to retain their attention.
Related: the megameme, the data of 1000 cat photos from Reddit.
ACCC says "Microeconomics? We've heard of it."
Oh dear, the ACCC can't see the competitive issues with QoS enabling tighter vertical integration? You'd expect the economic rationalists at the ACCC to be in favour of the free market, not promoting the use of technical measures in such a way that they'd increase customers barriers to exit.
It's not the ACCC's job to solve the capacity planning issues of large carriers. The ACCC's job is to prevent the carriers from gouging consumers. Looks like there's been some regulatory capture over at the ACCC.
Commenters overcompensating with shotguns rather than sportscars
What is it with people and shotguns? If it's high enough to be regulated by CASA then you are shooting at an aircraft. All you need is one set of aviation laws with amped up penalties after a decade of terrorism hype, one gung-ho police prosecutor who wants to leave a rural backwater, and one dim magistrate (odds are good, he's still in the sticks twenty years on) and you're off to do time.
When the police rock up and you're holding a shotgun and the air smells of firing, then the cops aren't listening to you rail against these hypocritical greenies flying stuff over your head and destroying the peace and quiet of the countryside they're supposedly saving. The cops are going to be much more concerned about separating you and the gun, and wondering if all of your babbling indicates a dangerous mental state.
By far your best bet is to go and ask the people to stop harassing you with their strange plane. And if they don't, then ring the police. Then you're the injured local, they're the outsiders acting outrageously using a new form of trespass, and the police will try to solve your problem rather than wondering about the travel time for the special weapons squad.
Old, old attack.
It's not rocket science, I described the correct configuration for AusCERT back in 1999 in response to DDoS we were seeing then. (Modify the "bogon" list for the newer "end of IPv4, so let's use every Class A possible" list of bogon networks.) See AL-1999.004 at http://www.auscert.org.au/render.html?it=80
Questions for SDN articles
When reporting SDN could you please make it clear if: (1) the SDN is OpenFlow or proprietary; (2) if use has royalties or revenue splitting, or requires the customer to purchase special licenses; (3) if use requires the customer to load software which is atypical for enterprise switch deployment. Thank you.
Quasars used for accurate geodesy, which is essential for GPS
"quasars have magnitude above 14". You are thinking about visible light, in radio astronomy about 10% of quasars sit well above the noise floor of a modest radio telescope.
The GPS systems don't use quasars directly. Rather quasars are the reference points for surveying the earth's position in space (you use two interconnected radio telescopes half the world apart to form a baseline and then measure the different times of arrival of the quasar's signal, triangulating the position of earth in space, the jargon word is "eVLBI geodesy").
This field of research was very interesting to the US Air Force during the Cold War as it was directly relevant to the accuracy of their ICBMs. That work continues to be used to accurately place GPS and surveillance satellites, which are flip sides of the same triangulation problem.
Touching an individual machine means you are losing
My advice would be that if you are touching an individual machine, then you are losing.
For servers that means Puppet, Nagios, single signon, a brutal approach to hardware failure, funnelling everything through a ticketing system, referring to that as the documentation for changes in your configuration repo, documentation written for use by trained people rather than blow-by-blow. Because you end up with a low headcount, then that means evolution of hardware, not once-in-a-blue-moon refresh projects.
For desktops that means either SOA for BYOD, but not some expensive middle ground. It means automating the common helpdesk tasks. It means using the vendor's tools rather than third-party tools, because that lowers your training costs because users get good hits from Google. It means online training.
For networking it means DHCP for IPv4 and Dynamic DNS. It means IPv6 is standard for intranet use (ie, no interior NAT). It means not fiddling with ethernet autonegotiation. It means anycast DNS forwarders. It means cookie cutter cupboard, building and core designs. It means treating VM servers as first class items in the network. It means 802.1x for wireless rather than web landing pages.
Skype is a phone company
> but relying on Skype for emergency calls...?
Here's the thing -- the emergency services call taker doesn't get to decide what technology the call maker used. They can hardly say "hang up and ring back on a real phone". As for tracing and interception, if those don't work for Skype then that's where the criminal activity moves to.
"The usual suggestion, that users choose strong passwords that they don't re-use, will no doubt be ignored..."
Evernote could easily use the authentication mechanism of the user's choice: Facebook, OpenID, and so on. There's a big number. But they choose not to, as they want to "own" the customer. That is not the user's fault, but the result of corporate strategy.
Re: Free Is Good @The Dim View
That might have been an accurate view five years ago, but LibreOffice these days is solid (I wrote a book using it, the publisher didn't even notice that I wasn't using MS Office).
What LibreOffice needs to do now is to get ahead of Office. Office has always had half-arsed templates; its flowing of inserted drawings is just bizarre; its graphs are PR-oriented toys; presentations are overly constrained to MS's layout; it treats meta-data as a incidental; and it doesn't play well with others.
The LO user interface needs work -- the colour selection is a user interface disaster. But in general it is solid.
The SVG import in LO has improved a lot, and this makes it very easy to pull vector images into documents and presentations. LO is still the simplest way to produce a PDF.
Drones are fine
I've worked for a military contractor. Basically, you end up trusting that the government will use your tools well, just as people in the military trust that the government will put them in harm's way for a worthwhile cause. It's impossible to say in advance if you yourself might agree about some future conflict-- when my weapons were used in East Timor against a group of military thugs who were killing people for fun I couldn't have been happier.
Some projects obviously carry more ethical issues than others, and all the firms I worked for were open in their acknowledgement of that and were supportive of individual's decisions not to work on particular projects on ethical grounds. This was not only generosity, it was a government requirement for the access to projects in the secret and above classifications, so as to minmise the risk of betrayal.
The ethical question about drones is simple enough: in a just war is it wrong for a just participant to use that weapon. You can certainly make that case for nuclear weapons, for some types of land mines, and for some finishings of small bombs (making them look like toys, etc). I can't see that you can make the case for drones.
This isn;t to say that drones have no ethical issues. But that the issues are far more subtle than those presented by the ethicist. For example, automatic tracking and fire raises the potential for firing on civilians, and yet allows the drone to engage an enemy under cover.
Re: "LINX told users struggling to reinstate those ports to simply reset them"
Actually, the request made sense, as LINX allows one MAC address seen per port. Dropping carrier empties the list of seen MAC addresses.
Reactor for a mine in the middle of nowhere, so NIMBY claims are wrong
This isn't a NIMBY issue. The suggestion is to use nuclear to power an expanded Olympic Dam mine, some 500Km in the desert from Adelaide, the nearest city. The issues of "what if it goes wrong" are around staging a medical evacuation and emergency response across large distances.
A major unaddressed issue is that mines have a definite life and are in the middle of nowhere -- the reactor can't be repurposed but will have to be decommissioned. The technology and the price for doing this are both underdeveloped.
Microsoft can't buy a market leader, it has to merge and thus change it's essentials
Microsoft doesn't buy the market leader because Microsoft doesn't want to change.
Consider the example of Microsoft buying Apple. There is no way that can be a purchase, it has to be a merger. Furthermore, the Apple executives are the ones which need to bump out the Microsoft executives, since those at Apple have made the right choices and executed them well.
The result is a company which isn't Microsoft anymore. And that's why Microsoft don't buy the market leader -- they don't want to lose "their" company to outsiders.
Not suited to businesses which use Exchange for e-mail
It's not suitable for business for the simple reason that it can't connect to Exchange. The later (ie, working) versions of exchange-ews don't work as the version of the GNOME software in this Ubuntu is too old and Canonical didn't put any effort into backporting evolution-ews to their older version of GNOME.
It says a lot about about the half-arsedry which is Canonical that they'd ship an operating system aimed at business users without a decent connector to Exchange.
The digital amendments to the Copyright Act made international price discrimination more certain, as it made circumventing geolocking software possibily criminal (It's complex if it is or not, as it depends very much if a court believes that the technical protection measure exists *only* for price discrimination. If the court rules that there's an anti-piracy element to the digital protection measure then circumventing the TPM is criminal.)
The other reason for high costs in Australia is price gouging by distributors. These companies often have exclusive agreements with producers, and then use that exclusitivity to charge monopoly prices. That's the essential reason why software in vertical markets costs so much more in Australia (and also the reason for the high price of car and bicycle parts).
What about the rest?
It's actually the non-digital material thats of more interest. The ABC doesn't have the resources to digitise their archive, and there is significant risk that they'll license it to commercial parties to do so.
"...with each accusing the other of patent violations. Apple says the Galaxy 10.1 is a slavish copy of the iPhone". Should that be iPad?
As to the substance, the question facing a court issuing a temporary injunction is if it is needed to avoid irreparable harm. In this case the only consequences are financial and both companies have substantial sums they can use for compensation upon a final judgement. So where is the irreparable harm?
The point that the injunction "will effectively determine the matter on a final basis" seems to me to show a naivety by the court about the essence of the dispute. Apple are not likely to be any happier with a Galaxy DoubleTab 20.2 competing with a future iPad, and it is competition, rather than any outrage at having patents used without royalties, which lies at the heart of Apple's suit.
Well worth a visit
The Range was also used for testing electronic warfare systems. The museum has a selection and is well worth a look if you are into electronics. They've also got some beautiful 1960's optical systems.
The whole place gives you an idea of the extraordinary endeavour which was the UK's attempts to build a ICBM (and Australia's cooperation in that with an aim to become a nuclear power). It was a nationwide project of which Woomera is the remaining artefact: DSTO at Salisbury in Adelaide is a shadow of its former self with the huge rocket assembly factories now demolished for housing estate; and only foundations remain of the nuclear facility at Jervis Bay, NSW, which never entered service.
I worked on the DSTO site in the 1990s and it was full of open fields with red brick buildings and white roofs, often protected with bunds. As I cycled to my building (the site was kilometers wide) I often thought that I wouldn't be shocked to see the Tardis.
re: Whoa there!
That the French have got it in for Greenpeace has been news since the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior in 1985.
Caller ID, ANI and SMS
David, emergency services don't see the Caller ID, they see the Directory Number (aka Automatic Number Identification). That's how your intelligent phone services get billed even if you suppress Caller ID. When the user disables Caller ID they don't suppress ANI.
There are two actual issues.
1) Presentation of location data to emergency services. This commonly arrives with voice calls, but not yet with SMS. That doesn't give the opportunity for the operator to say "you say you are in a house in Seattle, so why is your phone in Godforsaken, PA"
2) The widespread availability of handsets lacking correct purchaser address details, particularly prepaid cellphones. People buy a prepaid, give no or fake details to the salesdroid, and ditch the phone in the river afterwards. For voice calls, people are typically tracked down using CCTV of the sale with comparisons with the recorded fake called being the main, but circumstantial, evidence. SMS doesn't leave that amount of evidence.
It's clear that SMS has been deployed to emergency services without sufficient engineering. And yes, the telcos are directly and indirectly responsible for that. It isn't a profit area so the network services to support emergency services' SMS aren't on the telco's list of features and so aren't provided by their equipment manufacturers.
BT just want indemnity, and that's what they now have
Looking at it from BT's view they have what they want, which is no one suing them for taking a site offline. BT's nightmare was a worthy (say, a medicines handbook) but hacked (say, torrenting) site, BT taking that offline, and then being whacked by the site and its users for compensation, contributory negligence, or worse. Now that's all a court's problem and if BT are merely following a court order then BT can't be touched legally, no matter how poor the decision of the court.
All is quiet on the twitter feed
They've obviously got the right guy, in the sense of being the person who maintains the LulzBoat twitter account. But now they'll need to go through his computers to see if he did any of the group's criminal activities as well. Shouldn't be too hard to make a criminal conspiracy stick, as these sort of people usually keep their chat logs.
His computer and his interrogation will lead them to other people within LulzSec and Anon. And if he's got half a brain he'll have a decent solicitor and be dumping on his friends before they can dump on him. So we are at the beginning of this, not at the end.
Interesting that this front-man of a gang of hackers is arrested by the Met, whereas that other front-man of a gang of phone hackers still hasn't been arrested. Lulzsec obviously haven't been paying the Met anything like Murdoch's gang of hackers has been.
So, who's going to sell their Red Hat shares to Cisco? Anyone?
The problem with "let's buy Red Hat" is that you have to find a seller of those Red Hat shares. No one in their right mind is going to swap Red Hat shares for Cisco shares. You might take an enormous bundle of cash for your Red Hat shares, but if you're an investment company then you've got a problem, because what you'd really like to do with that cash is reinvest it, and you want to be heavy in Red Hat shares, not light, so your swap is still counterproductive.
BTW, the AC the posted that Cisco do bespoke engineering, and thus their culture is at odds with Dell's culture has a point. The problem is that firms like Arista have shown that Cisco's bespoke engineering can be bested using off-the-shelf parts; and so it might be that Dell's culture of building kit from COTS parts is the new winning culture , and not Cisco's current culture.
There had to be something to distract attention away from the e-mail on those USB sticks
It makes sense for bin Laden to have pron on the USB sticks he was using to transfer his e-mail. There has to be some reason for a person who is searched to explain the presence of the USB stick on their person. And having it contain their "porn collection" is likely to satisfy a cursory examination at a military checkpoint. It's certainly a better scenario than the checkpoint loading the USB stick into a laptop and being confronted with a single file entitled "Osama_bin_Laden.eml".
Paris: because now CIA staff have a valid excuse to watch her video.
Key length will be too short
You massively overstate the strength of encryption. It's only as good as the key management, and any of the products you mentioned have poor key entry (basically, they expect you to type it in), leading to key lengths maybe a hundred times less than required to resist any brute force attack for more than a few days.
If you are right and there is a "trove" of items, then the likelihood is that they are not encrypted. Again it comes back to key management. Can you imagine OBL keeping track of 20 odd random passphrases in his head? It's easy to encrypt one item, harder to do two, and so on. The existence of a "trove" strongly suggests a lack of crypto or (even worse) key reuse.
Andy, you've drunk some Kool Aid yourself. Both Microsoft and Mozilla are following the footsteps and encouragement of researchers Christopher Soghoian and Sid Stamm. They implemented a DNT proof of concept as a Firefox plugin and have pushed for DNT for years.
For once, evertthing is going right. A researcher has a good idea, a regulator applies pressure, major browser manufacturers cooperate, major websites adopt the technology. But some people just can't help themselves, casting this good thing into their worldview of Black v White warfare.
The most accurate description would be "fearing FTC regulation, major US web sites looked to browser manufacturers to provide a mechanism which would enable a self-regulatory opt-out based mechanism for user tracking. The major browser manufacturers cooperated to include a extant and proven proposal for such a mechanism into their next major releases."
CentOS and RHEL
"an effort to bloody free-riding competitors like CentOS"
Red Hat loses money to CentOS in two ways: people too cheap to pay for RHEL (and hosting providers would be the top of that last) and in training revenue (because so many RHEL sysadmins have learnt their trade via CentOS rather than Red Hat branded certification training).
I don't think that hosting providers are a market Red Hat is interested in. They'd have to price their product so low that it may not be worth Red Hat's time. Nor would Red Hat be interested in providing the sort of support dearest to hosting providers (eg, just how hot can I let this server get).
The training argument cuts both ways. The ready availability of deep RHEL/CentOS expertise gives Red Hat a significant advantage. CentOS also allows for zero-paperwork, zero-approval projects in large organisations, which can lead to uncontested RHEL sales when that skunkworks project succeeds.
Finally, CentOS helps RHEL users. Red Hat has no interest in supplying niche software. Niche software developers can't afford RHEL. So RHEL customers with niche software needs can meet on the CentOS middleground: the developer using CentOS, the customer using RHEL. There are quite a few CentOS-based RPM repositories for various fields of science, electronics etc.
Dedicated spectrum looks the way to go
The mobile phone networks didn't perform well at all in the floods. For a start they carried far too little fuel for their backup generators.
A deeper problem is simply that telco networking gear isn't designed for emergency services pre-emption. This makes it a risky thing to push the Big Red Button. When you press the Button you run the risk of dropping the civilian network and yet not having the emergency services network come up.
A better model would at first appear to be that emergency services handsets always preempt other calls upon congestion. But that takes us back to the problems experienced in the NSW Government Radio Network during the bushfires when water workers would use the GRN to make telephony calls on issues of no great important, but these calls would preempt those of the council workers whose bulldozers were building fire breaks.
The other advantage of a dedicated allocation of expensive spectrum is that all the emergency services would use it. So we'd finally get an agency interworking capability beyond a few VHF and UHF voice channels and that good old standby, UHF CB.
Risk to Google is very small
OK, so Google have done their best to meet the the Abstraction, Filtration and Comparison test. Mainly by doing a lot of filtration on the header files.
That leaves the more complex macros and the inline functions.
Now you've got to find a copyright holder of an inline function that is willing to sue. Sure IBM or Oracle might have enough money to take on Google, but why would they? It would run counter to their own interests.
There's also the risk to the firm suing. Google would obviously try to mitigate it's behaviour by re-writing the inline functions. You can't image that such a patch wouldn't be accepted by the kernel folk. Then that rather puts the litigant in a bind -- succeed and they get damages for Google's past use of Linux, but their own current use of Linux is then open to a suit by Google (because who doesn't run non-GPL code on their Linux machines). The only firm that could contemplate a suit would be a IP litigation specialist, and those companies don't have any code in Linux.
Then there's proportionality. Let's say the person suing succeeds. What should the penalty be? For a ten-line inline function? Less than the legal expenses.
Sure Google are running a risk. A risk they've successfully minimised. Which is all business asks from its lawyers. You simply can run a business with zero legal risk in these days.
Worse case overstated
Perhaps the Android headers are a derived work of the Linux kernel (as suggested by the automation of the Google's "cleansing" process). Perhaps the kernel header files required to compile a user space program are scenes a faire material. Doubtless it will take a court to decide.
But your worst case isn't legally likely. Lets say a kernel author sues a distributor of an Android app. That distributor would simply lodge a Motion to Dismiss stating the distributor was wholly reliant upon the statements and actions of Google in this matter and thus Google are the correct party to "provide satisfaction". This is a well understood area of copyright practice and well-founded motions are routinely granted (eg, when someone sues a cinema rather than the copyright holder of a film).
For example of the lack of ability of a distributor to provide satisfaction, imagine what will happen during discovery when the key question "how did you derive the header files from the kernel source" is asked of a app author. The answer will be "we undertook no such activity".
If Google is forced to relicense the header files under the GPLv2 then that won't apply retrospectively (simple equity argument about liabilities to third parties due to reliance upon fraudulent statements, again the now-fraudster Google would be the correct party to provide satisfaction). More likely would be a relicensing due to a settlement, and since the distributors are not a party to the settlement, no liability can fall to them.
Of course, a relicensing to GPLv2 will present a problem if app distributors wish to continue to sell their app after the relicensing but don't like the terms of the GPLv2.
CentOS not a RHEL competitor -- same product, different market
Contrary to your article, a big proportion of Red Hat's staff don't see CentOS as an economic threat at all. Rather CentOS is something they want to encourage --- a hassle-free way to get educators hobbyists and enterprise skunkworks projects to experience RHEL without causing support issues for Red Hat Inc. The benefit of the wide availability of Red Hat skills pays off in increased support contracts. Sure there's some revenue leakage from small business -- but Red Hat Inc are a support business and the profits from those customers from selling support are not large. That's probably more than compensated by enterprise skunkworks projects moving into widespread production and seeking support contracts.
MPEG-LA and its Business Review Letter
The MPEG-LA weren't too fussed when it was On2 selling the VP8 codec. So there should be some entertainment when MPEG-LA try to explain that they are fussed now that On2 has been bought by Google and the VP8 codec and source being provided royalty-free to anyone. No wonder DoJ are taking an interest.
There's also the question of the Business Review Letter. This is a 1997 reasoning from DoJ's Antitrust Division to MPEG-LA stating exactly where the DoJ draws the lines of anti-trust in MPEG-LA's particular activities. The MPEG-LA has been operating beyond the bounds of those activities for some time. In theory that means the view of DoJ is that MPEG-LA is breaching anti-trust laws.
The DoJ might find the MPEG-LA's activities in attempting to form a patent pool for VP8 as a convenient moment to consider if the constraints of the Business Review Letter are being met by MPEG-LA.
Not economic for Optus customers to self-host, so of cause they use a content monopoly
Optus has itself to blame to an extent. By pricing the ability for customers to host their own servers out of their household ADSL offerings Optus pretty much force their customers into the hands of other people to handle their content.
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