macbroadcast´s blog


Bitcoin Conference – David Birch – Next Generation Money
December 28, 2011, 12:02 pm
Filed under: Decentralization, globalchange, society | Tags: , , , , ,


Dear Congress, It’s No Longer OK To Not Know How The Internet Works
December 18, 2011, 5:42 pm
Filed under: Decentralization, DNS, freedombox, globalchange, ipv6, linux | Tags: , , ,

Send mail to the congress here

I remember fondly the days when we were all tickled pink by our elected officials’ struggle to understand how the internet works. Whether it was George W. Bush referring to “the internets” or Senator Ted Stevens describing said internets as “a series of tubes,” we would sit back and chortle at our well-meaning but horribly uninformed representatives, confident that the right people would eventually steer them back on course. Well I have news for members of Congress: Those days are over.

• See also: What Are Our Free Speech Fail-safes If SOPA Passes?

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

We get it. You think you can be cute and old-fashioned by openly admitting that you don’t know what a DNS server is. You relish the opportunity to put on a half-cocked smile and ask to skip over the techno-jargon, conveniently masking your ignorance by making yourselves seem better aligned with the average American joe or jane — the “non-nerds” among us. But to anyone of moderate intelligence that tuned in to yesterday’s Congressional mark-up of SOPA, the legislation that seeks to fundamentally change how the internet works, you kind of just looked like a bunch of jack-asses.

Some background: Since its introduction, SOPA and its Senate twin PROTECT-IP have been staunchly condemned by countless engineers, technologists and lawyers intimately familiar with the inner functioning of the internet. Completely beside the fact that these bills as they currently stand would stifle free speech and potentially cripple legitimate businesses by giving corporations extrajudicial censorial powers, they have found an even more insidious threat: The method of DNS filtering proposed to block supposed infringing sites opens up enormous security holes that threaten the stability of the internet itself.

The only problem: Key members of the House Judiciary Committee still don’t understand how the internet works, and worse yet, it’s not clear whether they even want to.

It’s of course perfectly standard for members of Congress to not be exceptionally proficient in technological matters. But for some committee members, the issue did not stop at mere ignorance. Rather, it seemed there was in many cases an outright refusal to understand what is undoubtedly a complex issue dealing with highly-sensitive technologies.

When the security issue was brought up, Rep. Mel Watt of North Carolina seemed particularly comfortable about his own lack of understanding. Grinningly admitting “I’m not a nerd” before the committee, he nevertheless went on to dismiss without facts or justification the very evidence he didn’t understand and then downplay the need for a panel of experts. Rep. Maxine Waters of California followed up by saying that any discussion of security concerns is “wasting time” and that the bill should move forward without question, busted internets be damned. Source:

http://motherboard.vice.com/2011/12/16/dear-congress-it-s-no-longer-ok-to-not-know-how-the-internet-works



DTN – Delay Tolerant Networking on the mission to mars ?
December 15, 2011, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Decentralization, globalchange, linux, space | Tags: , , ,

After the launch of the curriosity mars exploration mission on Nov 26 2011, i was asking in the DTN interest list if these technology is used for the mars mission and i got some interesting responses.

 

From: Vint Cerf <vint@google.com>

Date: December 13, 2011 7:26:12 AM GMT+01:00

Subject: Re: [dtn-interest] Nasa mars exploration programm and DTN

 

it will be running the predecessor to the DTN’s Bundle Protocol, CFDP,

if I remember correctly.

 

vint

 

and From a NASA emploeer

The following is all public knowledge.

 

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) launched Nov 26, 2011.

 

MSL, like every NASA large project, had substantial cost overruns.  Any new technology is not likely to be included   until the primary mission completes.

 

I believe Vint is correct that CFDP is being used.  Most likely CFDP mode 2 (reliable transport).  I do not believe CFDP mode 3 or 4 is being used.  Others may know.  CFDP mode 4 is reliable multi hop file transfer with weigh points.  So it is analogous to DTN with only one route option (sting of pearls network).   CFDP mode 2 is reliable file transfer, but single hop.  So you sort of have to manually create a multi-hop store and forward environment.  Others at JPL would know better.  The current NASA future architecture documents support CFDP mode 2, but not mode 3 or 4.  DTN is preferred over CFDP mode 3 and 4 due to the flexibility (multi-path, multi-hop).

I’m not sure of the funding situation, but I think the next major Mars flight may be ” ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), sometimes referred to as Trace Gas Mission (TGM) by NASA, is a flexible collaborative proposal within NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) to send a new orbiter-carrier to Mars in 2016 as part of the European-led ExoMars mission.”

http://public.ccsds.org

 

TGO may be the next Mars Relay.  Whether or not DTN would be onboard is TBD.  There may be nothing to relay.  Also, ESA is the prime on this mission.  The Space Science Decadal Surveys have basically indicated that any new Mars landing should include sample return or not be done.   In addition, there is a price limit that has been place on such a mission that basically makes it impossible to do within budget.  So, it is currently a NO GO  in the current funding environment.

Space = Politics.

Politics = Uncertainty

 

IMHO, the most likely early deployment of DTN is near-earth Low Earth Orbiting systems.  But you need to be able to handle multi-gigabyte files.

 



Neelie Kroes launched No Disconnect Strategy with Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg
December 13, 2011, 12:46 am
Filed under: Big Brother, freedombox, globalchange, socialweb, society | Tags: , , ,

via techliberation mailing list ( information in german and heise.de )

 

This is no joke or commedy !!

 

Today EU-Commissioner Neelie Kroes launched an initiative to help net dissidents abroad together with the CSIS.org lobbyist Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg, a former German defense minister,

Digital Agenda: Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg invited by Kroes to promote internet freedom globally source

Video of the press conference

Media coverage in Germany was pretty strong as the controversial former minister zu Guttenberg still polarises the public in the aftermath of his phd forgery scandal, and his inappropriate late resignation. CSIS.org funding sources are undisclosed. For this project zu Guttenberg just receives travel refunds according to the EU spokesperson. Officially, according to Kroes spokesperson Ryan Heath CSIS is not behind the project, was however listed as his affiliation at the European Commission press conference. We had recently a discussion on accepting funds from defense industries, I would add that alleged ties may endanger dissidents who use these tools.

“The “No Disconnect strategy” will assist people in four ways: Developing and providing technological tools to enhance privacy and security of people living in non-democratic regimes when using ICT. Educating and raising awareness of activists about the opportunities and risks of ICT. In particular assisting activists to make best use of tools such as social networks and blogs while raising awareness of surveillance risks when communicating via ICT.Gathering high quality intelligence about what is happening “on the ground” in order to monitor the level of surveillance and censorship at a given time, in a given place. Cooperation. Developing a practical way to ensure that all stakeholders can share information on their activity and promote multilateral action and building cross-regional cooperation to protect human rights.”

 

 

UPDATE

An Invitation to Mr. Guttenberg from telecomix

UPDATE 2

Digitale Konditoren torten Ex-Verteidigungsminister Guttenberg

#opcreamstorm

 

http://www.hedonist-international.org/?q=de/node/1161

 



Why A Royalty-Free MPEG — A Manifesto
December 11, 2011, 12:57 pm
Filed under: globalchange, Hacking, society, Softwarepatents | Tags: , , ,

Why A Royalty-Free MPEG — A Manifesto by rob glidden


Since 1997 when regulatory authorities began approving patent pooling for MPEG standards, core technologies of MPEG have been offered under royalty-based pool licensing regimes now seen by many as one of the defining characteristics of MPEG’s success as the world’s leading media technologies standardizing body, even though the lack of royalty-free, standardized codecs is a sorely missed technology for the World Wide Web.

 

But this view of MPEG as only a royalty-bearing standard is far from universally shared. In 2008, even the head of MPEG said:

“I believe MPEG should enlarge its portfolio of standards by offering some that are expected to be royalty free and typically less performing and with less functionality next to those that are state of the art, more performing and with more functionality….

The problem is of course not in that obligation but in the fact that “fair – reasonable – non discriminatory” used to be meaningful words when standards were designed for the needs of one industry whose members generally shared the business model according to which the standard would be used….

So, the problem is not “how many cents, tens of cent or euros of licensing fee is fair and reasonable” but “how can licensing be fair and reasonable without specifying a business model”. The issue is serious and more than one MPEG standard did not have the acceptance it deserved because the licensing terms, perfectly acceptable and probably “fair and reasonable” for certain business models were rejected by those who had different ideas in mind.”

And H.264 and MPEG-4 AVC were launched in 2001 as a joint project between ITU-T Q.6/SG16 and ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG11 with the undertaking that the “JVT [Joint Video Team] will define a “baseline” profile. That profile should be royalty-free for all implementations.”

What Went Wrong Last Time

The failed royalty-free baseline

Initially in 2001, the royalty-free baseline undertaken by ISO and ITU in developing the joint h.264 and MPEG-4 AVC standards had apparent consensus support. A specific IPR process was developed, that stated:

The JVT codec should have a simple royalty free “baseline” profile (both on the encoder and decoder) in order to promote the wide implementation and use of the JVT codec. All implementations should have such a common baseline profile core, in order to allow minimal interoperability among all JVT codecs. The above requirement means that all technology applied in the baseline profile shall have no IPR, expired IPR, or valid but royalty-fee-free IPR.

All contributions for the baseline profile were required to make one of the two following assertions:

2.1 The Patent Holder is prepared to grant – on the basis of reciprocity for the above Recommendation | Standard – a free license to an unrestricted number of applicants on a worldwide, non-discriminatory basis to manufacture, use and/or sell implementations of the above Recommendation | Standard. 2.2.1 The same as box 2.2 above, but in addition the Patent Holder is prepared to grant a “royalty-free” license to anyone on condition that all other patent holders do the same.

Enthusiastic defenders publicly challenged sentiments that “[t]here’s a strong anti-free-license movement in MPEG”. For example, in 2002 the head of the MPEG marketing organization publicly countered the above statement, saying:

Sweeping statements like these are very unhelpful. It may indeed be unlikley that full JVT codec is going to be RF (Royalty-Free). There is, however, a strong desire among many parties to try and establish a RF baseline.

The head of the MPEG Requirements group similarly stated:

As the current chairman of MPEG Requirements, I would claim that MPEG is doing everything to support the royalty free approach for the baseline profile of MPEG-4 part 10 (AVC) … and there is a very large support within MPEG members. . Of course there is also people with a (legitimate) different opinion but I would personally claim this is a minority.

But from the beginning, some vendors vocally opposed creating a royalty-free baseline. As early as May, 2002, one prominent vendor filed a proposal to the JVT asserting “It is very unlikely that the applied strategy of JVT to aim for a royalty free baseline player can be achieved … [t]herefore JVT is suggested to abandon this approach….”

 

In March 2003, 31 companies involved in the development process and/or holding essential patents confirmed their support for a royalty-free Baseline Profile. But by late 2003, hopes dimmed as patent pool licensing groups began issuing press releases indicating that patent licenses would cover the baseline profile as well as other profiles:

(1) Does this mean that the goal of a royalty-free Baseline Profile is not going to happen ? …. I’ll answer for what I know and understand today. 1) Via Licensing’s website states that their proposed terms cover “use of Baseline, Main, and Extended Profiles”. MPEG LA’s announcement states “These terms cover the entire AVC Standard regardless of which Profile(s) are used”. I think that gives you the answer.

In December 2008, a well-known US Federal Circuit case,Qualcomm Inc. v. Broadcom Corp, vindicated and upheld the JVT royalty-free IPR process and decisively denounced the efforts to undermine it:

In sum, we conclude that Qualcomm, as a participant in the JVT prior to the release of the H.264 standard, did have IPR disclosure obligations, as discussed above, under the written policies of both the JVT and its parent organizations”

And also in 2007, SC29, the oversight group of the MPEG part of the JVT, revised its patent policy and reemphasized its preference for royalty-free standards whenever possible:

“Although royalty-bearing patented technologies may be included in SC 29 standards, SC 29 suggests to its WGs to promote, whenever possible, the inclusion of technologies that either do not require a patent license, or that only require a RAND license without a royalty or license fee.”

The Way Forward

Learning lessons, improving process, moving forward

So now it is time for ISO/MPEG and ITU to complete the royalty free undertaking begun in 2001. On November 4, 2009, ITU announced a “preliminary official call” for proposals with the headline “signals work start for H.264/MPEG-4 AVC successor”.

 

However, this call does not identify a royalty-free track like in the 2001 JVT Terms of Reference that similarly launched h.264/MPEG-4 AVC.

 

Neither did the “Draft requirements for “EPVC” enhanced performance video coding project” issued in July 2009. Instead, the call only states that it “is being made subject to the common patent policy of ITU-T/ITU-R/ISO/IEC … and the other established policies of the standardization organization.” The common patent policy itself refers to contributions either RAND (royalty bearing) or royalty-free.

 

At the same time, MPEG is also considering launching new royalty bearing activities for transport streams — MMT (Multimedia Transport), even though the very widely used MPEG transport stream patent pool is moving into a 20-year patent-expiration event horizon.

 

The ITU/MPEG final call for proposals is scheduled for Jan. 22, 2010. By then, ITU and ISO should add back in an explicit call-out for a royalty free track, at least as specific as the 2001 Terms of Reference that launched h.264/MPEG-4 AVC in the first place.

 

And this time, with an even more proactive IPR analysis process. As a recent WIPO document (Standards and Patents, SCP/13/2, Feb. 18, 2009, available here) suggests:

“The most straightforward way could be to conduct a patent search either individually or collectively by the members of a technical body and share the search results among the members. If the patent search is made collectively, the cost may be shared by the participating members.”

Historically, there was a concern that prior art searching might inadvertently raise a potential of treble damages in the case of willful infringement in the US, to either the SDO or participants. However, as the WIPO report notes, a recent US Federal Circuit case (In re Seagate Tech., LLC, 497 F.3d 1360 (Fed. Cir. 2007)) overturned precedent and held that proving willful infringement required at least a showing of objective recklessness.

 

Moreover, in 2007 IEC, ISO and ITU adopted a harmonized common patent policy that clearly encourages and empowers disclosure as early as possible by participants and third parties of any known patents or applications:

“[A]ny party participating in the work of the Organizations should, from the outset, draw their attention to any known patent or to any known pending patent application, either their own or of other organizations. In this context, the words “from the outset” imply that such information should be disclosed as early as possible during the development of the Recommendation | Deliverable…. In addition to the above, any party not participating in Technical Bodies may draw the attention of the Organizations to any known Patent, either their own and/or of any third-party.

So the need is clear, the time is right, lessons have been learned, and the path is defined. It is time for ISO/MPEG and ITU to deliver on its 2001 royalty-free undertaking and complete royalty-free media standards, and any new work should be expressly pre-conditioned on delivering a royalty-free result.