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08.22.14

Links 22/8/2014: Linux Foundation LFCS, LFCE

Posted in News Roundup at 5:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Changing times, busy times and why Google will save Usenet.

      Linux however has succeeded by way of form factors diversifying. Be it Android phones or tablets there is a big shift with the mainstream consumer in terms of what devices they want and here Linux has excelled.

      In 2008 my decision remove my Microsoft dependency was for reasons of the control they had on the desktop, the practices alleged against them and the dubious tactics some of their advocates used to promote the products. I also wholeheartedly agree with the ethos of FOSS which was another contributory factor. Today, my feelings about FOSS have not changed, there are caveats to my opinions of FOSS (especially in gaming) but I’ve covered that before in other articles.

      Today I avoid Microsoft not because I feel the need to make a stand against its behaviour, its because I don’t need them. I support Microsoft being a “choice” in the market as I support user freedom, but as for what Microsoft can offer me (regardless of its past) there is nothing.

    • 5 Linux distributions for very old computers

      This is part 4 in a series of articles designed to help you choose the right Linux distribution for your circumstances.

    • Citrix and Google partner to bring native enterprise features to Chromebooks

      Chromebooks are making inroads into the education sector, and a push is coming for the enterprise with new native Chrome capabilities from Citrix. Google and Citrix have announced Citrix Receiver for Chrome, a native app for the Chromebook which has direct access to the system resources, including printing, audio, and video.

      To provide the security needed for the enterprise, the new Citrix app assigns a unique Receiver ID to each device for monitoring, seamless Clipboard integration across remote and local applications, end user experience monitoring with HDX Insight, and direct SSL connections.

    • Can we please stop talking about the Linux desktop?

      Linus Torvalds may still want a Linux desktop, but no one else does. And even if they did, by the time the requisite ecosystem could be developed, the need for a desktop — Linux or otherwise — will largely be gone.

  • Server

    • What is Docker, Really? Founder Solomon Hykes Explains

      Docker has quickly become one of the most popular open source projects in cloud computing. With millions of Docker Engine downloads, hundreds of meetup groups in 40 countries and dozens upon dozens of companies announcing Docker integration, it’s no wonder the less-than-two-year-old project ranked No. 2 overall behind OpenStack in Linux.com and The New Stack’s top open cloud project survey.

      This meteoric rise is still puzzling, and somewhat problematic, however, for Docker, which is “just trying to keep up” with all of the attention and contributions it’s receiving, said founder Solomon Hykes in his keynote at LinuxCon and CloudOpen on Thursday. Most people today who are aware of Docker don’t necessarily understand how it works or even why it exists, he said, because they haven’t actually used it.

      “Docker is very popular, it became popular very fast, and we’re not really sure why,” Hykes said. “My personal theory … is that it was in the right place at the right time for a trend that’s much bigger than Docker, and that is very important for all of us, that has to do with how applications are built.”

    • Founder Explains What Docker Is All About

      Just over a year ago, Solomon Hykes created the open-source Docker project. Since then Docker has exploded in both popularity and hype. In a keynote session at the LinuxCon conference, Hykes explained why the hype is both a blessing and a curse.

    • What Docker does right and what it doesn’t do right… yet

      Docker founder Solomon Hykes, opened his keynote at LinuxCon by saying he knows two things about Docker: “It uses Linux containers and the Internet won’t shut up about it.” He knows more than that. He told the audience what Docker is, what it does right today, and what it still needs to do to be better than it is today.

    • IBM Taps Global Network of Innovation Centers to Fuel Linux on Power Systems for Big Data and Cloud Computing

      At the LinuxCon North America conference today, IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced it is tapping into its global network of over 50 IBM Innovation Centers and IBM Client Centers to help IBM Business Partners, IT professionals, academics, and entrepreneurs develop and deliver new Big Data and cloud computing software applications for clients using Linux on IBM Power Systems servers.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • LXQt 0.8 Is Almost Ready For Release. How To Install LXQt On Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

      It uses PCManFM-Qt, a version of PCManFM, re-written in Qt, as the default file manager and Openbox as window manager and has support for both Qt5 and Wayland, Red Hat’s new display server.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Learning to git

        A few years ago, I learned from Myriam’s fine blog how to build Amarok from source, which is kept in git. It sounds mysterious, but once all the dependencies are installed, PATH is defined and the environment is properly set up, it is extremely easy to refresh the source (git pull) and rebuild. In fact, I usually use the up-arrow in the konsole, which finds the previous commands, so I rarely have to even type anything! Just hit return when the proper command is in place.

        Now we’re using git for the KDE Frameworks book, so I learned how to not only pull the new or changed source files, but also to commit my own few or edited files locally, then push those commits to git, so others can see and use them.

      • An update on Plasma Addons

        Since my last blog post on plasma addons there has been a lot of activity, existing contributors are active on their own plasmoids, and there are many new faces coming on to take up the challenge of maintaining their own small part of Plasma.

      • Baloo Natural Query Parser ported to KF5

        In 2013, My GSoC project was about implementing a natural (or “human”) query parser for what was then Nepomuk. The parser is able to recognize simple Google-like keyword searches in which sentences like “videos accessed last week” can also be used. Sample queries include “KDE Baloo, size > 2M” and “files modified two months ago, Holidays, tagged as Important”. An explanation of how the parser can extract the advanced information and of which queries are possible can be found here.

      • Intermediate results of the icon tests: Faenza

        The introduction of the new Breeze icon set in KDE let us again wonder, what aspects of an icon set actually takes what impact on the usability of it. We investigated Oxygen and Tango Icons for the LibreOffice project before, but our focus then was on checking all icons of the standard tool bar. This time we focus on different icon sets and will use 13 common actions to compare them.

      • Qt Creator 3.2 Officially Released

        Qt Creator 3.2, a cross-platform IDE (integrated development environment) tailored to the needs of Qt developers and part of the Qt Project, is now available for download.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME DOCUMENTATION VIDEO IS OUT

        The GNOME Documentation Video has now been released on youtube and as a download (Ogg Theora + Vorbis). This is something I have been waiting for since I finished working on it a few weeks ago. A big thanks to Karen for providing a great voice-over for the second time! Translated subtitles are not online just yet for the video, but should come within the next few days (thanks to pmkovar and claude for setting this up!).

      • Emulator brings x86 Linux apps to ARM devices

        Eltechs announced a virtual machine that runs 32-bit x86 Linux applications on ARMv7 SBCs and mini-PCs, and is claimed to be 4.5 times faster than QEMU.

        The open source QEMU emulator has long been the go-to app for providing virtual machines (VMs) that mimic target hardware during development or otherwise run software in alien territory. Every now and then, someone comes up with software that claims to perform all or part of QEMU’s feature-set more effectively. In this case, Eltechs has launched its Eltechs “ExaGear Desktop,” a VM that implements a virtual x86 Linux container on ARMv7 computers and is claimed to be 4.5 times faster than QEMU. Despite its “desktop” naming, we can imagine many non-desktop possibilities fpr ExaGear in embedded and IoT applications.

  • Distributions

    • Backup Your PC with Clonezilla Live 2.2.4-1

      Clonezilla Live, a Linux distribution based on DRBL, Partclone, and udpcast that allows users to do bare metal backup and recovery, is now at version 2.2.4-1 and is ready for testing.

    • Operating System U

      Are you tired of being forced to upgrade your Operating System regularly? What about the unnecessary changes that end up being made, changes that you don’t even want, much less need? How would you like to pick and choose what aspects of your operating system you want upgraded, and leave the ones you know, love, and are accustomed to how they are?

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Another great experience in Fedora bug reporting: Wine font fix solves my web-browsing problem

          Fedora‘s motto is “Freedom. Friends. Features. First.” I’m here to tell you Fedora lives up to that billing. Why do I say this now? I’ve just had another positive experience with Fedora, this time in finding a bug in my system, adding my information to an existing bug report and now seeing updated packages pushed to the Fedora 20 stable repositories and onto my system, where the problem has been fixed.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • VMware Certifies Ubuntu Linux LTS for vCloud Air Cloud Computing

            Canonical and VMware (VMW) forged a closer bond this week with the announcement of certified Ubuntu Linux images in vCloud Air, VMware’s new enterprise cloud-computing platform.

          • Ubuntu Touch Gets Major Update and the OS Is Now Crazy Fast – Screenshot Tour

            Ubuntu Touch has just received a new major update and the developers have made some serious changes to the operating system, which now feels a lot faster and the experience is a lot smoother.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • It’s Elementary, with Sparks, and Unity

              In today’s Linux news Jack Wallen review Elementary OS and says it’s not just the poor man’s Apple. Jack Germain reviewed SparkyLinux GameOver yesterday and said it’s a win-win. Linux Tycoon Bryan Lunduke testdrives Ubuntu’s Unity today in the latest entry in his desktop-a-week series. And finally tonight, just what the heck is this Docker thing everybody keeps talking about?

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android-on-ARM mini-PC draws less than 7W

      The DSA2LS runs a pre-installed Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) with integrated online or offline update functionality on a dual-core, 1GHz Freescale i.MX6 DualLite system-on-chip. The SoC has a Vivante GC880 GPU that’s not as powerful as the Vivante GC2000 GPU found on the Dual and Quad i.MX6 models, but it still plays back 1080p video and offers 3D graphics acceleration. The power-sipping DualLite enables the fanless computer to run at a modest 6.26W active and 1.42W standby, according to Shuttle’s AnTuTu benchmarks.

    • IoT tinkerers get new Linux hub & open platforms

      Cloud Media, the maker of entertainment box Popcorn Hour, launched a project on Kickstarter, Inc. that will add to the growing number of smart hubs for people to connect and control smart devices. Called the STACK Box, it features a Cavium ARM11 core processor, 256MB DDR3 RAM, 512MB flash, SD slot, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth LE 4.0, Z-Wave, standard 10/100 Ethernet port, optional X10 wired communication, 5 USB 2.0 ports, RS-232 port, 2 optocoupler I/O, Xbee Bus, Raspberry Pi-compatible 26-pin bus and runs Linus Kernel 3.10. IT also features optional wireless communications for Dust Networks and Insteon with RF433/315, EnOcean, ZigBee, XBee, DCLink, RFID, IR coming soon.

    • mini Duino+ Open Source Ardunio Board Based On ATmega 1284p (video)
    • Phones

      • Android

        • The top 14 hidden features in Windows, iOS, and Android

          You may think you’re a high-tech power user who knows all the nooks and crannies of Windows, iOS, and Android, but let’s be realistic: There could be at least a few undocumented (or poorly documented) commands, control panels, and apps that have slipped by you—maybe more than a few.

          We’ve dived deep into each OS to uncover the best hidden tips and tricks that can make you more productive—or make common tasks easier. Got a favorite undocumented tip to share with readers? Add them in the comments section at the end of the article.

        • Motorola frenzy with up to 9 devices possibly launching at ‘Moto Launch Exprience’

          We have seen a number of sources revealing upcoming releases and device-launches set for September. However today, we are hearing seriously scary reports that Motorola are set to release EIGHT devices before Christmas. Yes folks, Motorola are about to get extremely serious in terms of the market releasing no less than eight devices over the next few months.

        • OnePlus phones will soon come to India

          Last month we reported on how OnePlus were making clear indications they do intend to sell the One in India. Today it is fair to say that the speculation is certainly over and OnePlus will certainly be selling in India soon.

          On the OnePlus website the company is now advertising for a General Manager for its ‘India Operations’. As the company does not currently sell or deliver to India there is no clearly message the company could have sent to indicate this will soon change in the near future.

        • [Mono warning] Unity adds native Android support for x86
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Notebook Reality

        Meanwhile Android/Linux increases an order of magnitude more than that. Smartphones are shipping more units than desktops ever did and tablets are becoming a mature market. The Wintel PC is becoming a niche market, only thriving with businesses who resist change and need keyboards, large screens and pointers.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source software: The question of security

    The logic is understandable – how can a software with source code that can easily be viewed, accessed and changed have even a modicum of security?

  • Is Open Source an Open Invitation to Hack Webmail Encryption?

    While the open source approach to software development has proven its value over and over again, the idea of opening up the code for security features to anyone with eyeballs still creates anxiety in some circles. Such worries are ill-founded, though.

    One concern about opening up security code to anyone is that anyone will include the NSA, which has a habit of discovering vulnerabilities and sitting on them so it can exploit them at a later time. Such discoveries shouldn’t be a cause of concern, argued Phil Zimmermann, creator of PGP, the encryption scheme Yahoo and Google will be using for their webmail.

  • Islamic State Migrates to Open-Source Social Network After Twitter and YouTube Bans

    After being banned from Twitter and YouTube due to its video of James Foley’s murder, the Islamic State (Isis) migrated to another social network called Diaspora

  • Open-Source Social Network Diaspora Grapples With Use by Terror Group

    Even before its current challenges, Diaspora has had a difficult history (highlighted in this Vice Motherboard feature). Started in 2010 with the promise of creating a decentralized open-source replacement for Twitter and Facebook, the network drew positive press at first and more than $200,000 in Kickstarter funding. But when it was released to the public, it failed to build the audience to match its lofty ambitions.

  • 35 Open Source Tools for the Internet of Things

    In a nutshell, IoT is about using smart devices to collect data that is transmitted via the Internet to other devices. It’s closely related to machine-to-machine (M2M) technology. While the concept had been around for some time, the term “Internet of Things” was first used in 1999 by Kevin Ashton, who was a Procter & Gamble employee at the time.

  • Walmart’s investment in open source isn’t cheap

    This is not done for the love of humanity. Walmart takes the effort to work in the open because there is a return to be had from that investment. When other companies adopt Hapi, Walmart expects their internal implementations will lead them to improve the code to better suit their needs. Since the majority of these improvements are likely to be integral to the code in the commons, any rational actor will make pull requests attempting to have their work integrated in the project trunk.

    Of course — otherwise, the team making the changes would be eternally burdened with the need to refactor and test their changes each time the trunk is updated. Successful pull requests lead to merges that bring the whole community together for the upkeep of the code, not just the developers who originally wrote it.

  • Most popular open-source cloud projects of 2014

    At CloudOpen, a Linux Foundation tradeshow held in conjunction with LinuxCon, the Foundation announced that an online survey of open-source cloud professionals found OpenStack to be the most popular overall project.

  • Tunapanda brings digital literacy to Africa

    The ultimate goal was to bring low-income communities to technological literacy in the most rapid and cost-efficient way possible. Initially, we loaded the hard drive with tons of educational content and FOSS software, intending to allow anyone anywhere to duplicate the contents and set up a learning center. Using these tools, we’ve launched computer learning centers (“hubs”) in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda—in both rural and urban settings.

  • Open source leaders take the ice bucket challenge
  • Apache Tomcat 8.0.0 RC11 Now Available for Download and Testing

    Apache Tomcat, an open source software implementation of the Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages technologies, developed under the Java Community Process, is now at version 8.0.0 RC11.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • With New Funding, Adatao Focuses on Bringing Hadoop to the Masses

      Recently, news broke that a small startup called Adatao has secured $13 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz with investment partners from Lightspeed Ventures and Bloomberg Beta. Marc Andreessen is a board advisor to the company, which is run by CEO Christopher Nguyen, a former director of engineering for Google Apps.

      Of course, Nguyen knows his way around Google Docs, and his company Adatao is working on ways to make Hadoop as easy to work with as Google Docs. It’s part of a trend to bring Hadoop’s Big Data-crunching prowess to average users through easier to use tools.

    • Survey Finds OpenStack, KVM Riding High Among Cloud Professionals

      In conjunction with CloudOpen, a sidebar tradeshow held along with LinuxCon, The Linux Foundation has announced that a survey of open source cloud pros established that OpenStack is easily the most popular project. The survey gathered information from more than 550 participants, and the findings came out at CloudOpen in Chicago this week.

    • Survey says: OpenStack and Docker top cloud projects

      When it comes to open source cloud projects, everybody has an opinion. A new survey attempts to take a broad look at those opinions and learn something about the state of the state of the open cloud and where it is headed.

      Conducted in partnership between Linux.com and the New Stack, the survey gathered information from more than 550 participants, and the results were released at the CloudOpen North America event taking place this week in Chicago.

  • Databases

    • Eltechs Debuts x86 Crossover Platform for ARM Tablets, Mini-PCs

      The product, called ExaGear Desktop, runs x86 operating systems on top of hardware devices using ARMv7 CPUs. That’s significant because x86 software, which is the kind that runs natively on most computing platforms today, does not generally work on ARM hardware unless software developers undertake the considerable effort of porting it. Since few are likely to do that, having a way to run x86 applications on ARM devices is likely to become increasingly important as more ARM-based tablets and portable computers come to market.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Video: TedX talk – Richard Stallman

      Well, vp9/opus in a webm container have been supported by both Firefox and Google Chrome for several releases now… so enjoy it in your web browser.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NASA sails to the cloud with AWS, open source, migration

      NASA has migrated 110 websites and applications to the cloud in a cost-cutting technology overhaul that also introduced the Drupal content management system and other open source components to the agency’s enterprise tool chest.NASA has migrated 110 websites and applications to the cloud in a cost-cutting technology overhaul that also introduced the Drupal content management system and other open source components to the agency’s enterprise tool chest.

    • US Military To Launch Open Source Academy

      Open source software, which has become increasingly common throughout the US military from unmanned drones to desktops, has now been enlisted as a career option for military personnel. In September, Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center will open a Linux certification academy, marking the first time such a training program has been hosted on a military base.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Building Cars With Crowdsourced Intelligence

      When Jay Rogers left the U.S. Marine Corps in 2004, he made a promise to his fallen soldier friends that he would go out into the world and make a difference. Speaking at the LinuxCon conference here, Rogers detailed how he has delivered on that promise with Local Motors, a startup that is set to enable a new era of automobiles.

      Local Motors is a platform for designing, building and selling automobiles and automotive products. Rogers said it’s a platform for co-creation and micro-manufacturing of vehicles that completely rethinks the way that cars can and should be built.

    • Linux Foundation offers new certification, Mesos comes to Google, and more

      In this week’s edition of our open source news roundup, we share news on virtual certifications from the Linux Foundation, Mesosphere partnering with Google, government and GitHub, and more!

    • Open Access/Content

      • Why the Future of Education Is Open

        Anant Agarwal, the CEO of online education platform edX, is on a mission to change the way that people learn. In a keynote address at the LinuxCon conference here, Agarwal explained how open source and big data techniques are being used at edX to help educate millions of people.

        The edX platform was founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with the promise of redefining the future of education. The edX platform has 2.7 million students around the world. One of edX’s most popular classes is an introduction to Linux course from the Linux Foundation, which has more than 250,000 students.

Leftovers

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Two SuperPACs Focused On Ending SuperPACs Release New TV Commercials

      We’ve been writing up some of the new political efforts to try to put some limits on money in politics, including Larry Lessig’s Mayday SuperPAC, Represent.us’ satirical campaign for the “most honest politician,” Gil Fulbright, and also CounterPAC, a SuperPAC that tries to get politicians to take a pledge not to accept dark money.

  • Censorship

    • Attacks On Anonymity Conflate Anonymous Speech With Trollish Behavior

      Every so often this sort of thing pops up where people suddenly think it’s a good idea to “end anonymity” online. We’ve discussed this in the past, and it’s always the same basic argument — one that conflates anonymity with “bad things” that people say online. There are all sorts of problems with this, but it starts with this: anonymity also allows people to reveal all sorts of good things online as well and plenty of people say and do horrible things with their names attached. And yet… the arguments keep on coming.

    • Military Prefers To Keep Its Head In The Sand: Bans All Employees From Visiting The Intercept

      Not this again. A few years ago, the US military blocked access to a bunch of news sites, including the NY Times and The Guardian, in an attempt to block military members from reading the news because some of the news included the leaked State Department cables that Wikileaks had released in conjunction with those news sites. Last year, the Defense Department blocked all access to the Guardian after it started reporting on the Ed Snowden leaks. And now, The Intercept reports, the military has also banned access to The Intercept. Of course, no one in the military will know that the public knows about this, because they’re apparently not allowed to read about it.

  • Privacy

    • The Government Uses the Dragnets for Detainee Proceedings

      First, NSA can disseminate this information without declaring the information is related to counterterrorism (that’s the primary dissemination limitation discussed in this section), and of course, without masking US person information. That would at least permit the possibility this data gets used for non-counterterrorism purposes, but only when it should least be permitted to, for criminal prosecutions of Americans!

      Remember, too, the government has explicitly said it uses the phone dragnet to identify potential informants. Having non-counterterrorism data available to coerce cooperation would make that easier.

    • Researchers create privacy wrapper for Android Web apps
  • Civil Rights

    • “Negro Spring”: Ferguson Residents, Friends of Michael Brown Speak Out for Human Rights

      As peaceful protests continued Wednesday in Ferguson, Missouri, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder arrived in the city to meet with residents and FBI agents investigating the police shooting of Michael Brown. Democracy Now! traveled to Ferguson this week and visited the site where the 18-year-old Brown was killed. We spoke to young people who live nearby, including some who knew him personally. “He fell on his knees. Like, ’Don’t shoot.’ [The police officer] shot him anyway in the eye, the head, and four times down here,” said one local resident Rico Like. “Hands up, don’t shoot is all I got to say. RIP Mike Brown.”

    • A Fox News Tantrum And A Split-Screen: A Metaphor for The Decline Of White America
    • Cop in Ferguson Tweets Lies to Justify Tear-Gassing Protesters in Their Own Back Yard

      A Velda City police officer who has been part of the militarized police apparatus holding down operations on West Florissant Avenue is spreading lies about Ferguson protesters online.

      Sergeant Mike Weston, going by the handle “officeranon2″ on Twitter, engaged with users of the social-media network about a tear-gas attack by St. Louis County police on protesters in their own back yard on Monday, August 11. In the conversation, a Twitter user wanted to know why police would fire tear gas at people on their own property. Weston tells them it’s because protesters were firing guns from their back yard. But that’s not true…

    • NYT Responds on Torture

      Responding to messages inspired by the alert, Sullivan went to Times foreign editor Joseph Kahn, who said the paper’s Kabul bureau “decided it did not add much to what we have already, on many occasions, reported. Much of it appeared to be recycled from United Nations reports and other news coverage, including our own.”

    • In Ferguson, Cops Hand Out 3 Warrants Per Household Every Year

      We’ve all seen a number of stories like this recently, and it prompts a question: why are police departments allowed to fund themselves with ticket revenue in the first place? Or red light camera revenue. Or civil asset forfeiture revenue. Or any other kind of revenue that provides them with an incentive to be as hardass as possible. Am I missing something when I think that this makes no sense at all?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Why we sued Getty Images

        On August 20, 2014, our firm filed a lawsuit on our own behalf against Getty Images, Inc. Why did we do it? Here is why.

        On July 1, 2014, our firm received an unsigned letter from Getty Images Inc. that claimed unauthorized copying and display of a Getty photograph on this website and demanded immediate payment of a $380 licensing fee or legal action would follow.

        There was a problem, however. We never copied or displayed the Getty image referred to in Getty’s letter.

        We looked more closely at what Getty was doing and were shocked to discover what was really going on.

        You see, Getty is apparently using an image recognition system to generate its letters to accused infringers. Getty’s system identified a thumbnail image on our website here. Getty matched the thumbnail to an image more than six times the size on Getty’s site.

      • Getty Threatens The Wrong IP Law Firm In Its Copyright Trolling Efforts

        Image licensing giant Getty Images has quite a reputation for being something of a copyright maximalist and occasional copyright troll. The company has been known to blast out threat letters and lawsuits not unlike some more notorious copyright trolls. And that’s true even as the company just recently lost a copyright infringement suit in which Getty helped in the infringement. A few months ago, we had told you about Getty starting a new program in which it was making many of its images free to embed, saying that it was “better to compete” that way on the internet, rather than trying to license everything. We actually just tried embedding some Getty images ourselves recently.

      • New Zealand Court Freezes Kim Dotcom’s Assets, Again

        The Internet entrepreneur accused of running a massive global piracy ring suffered a rare setback in his adopted country today. The New Zealand Court of Appeal extended for another year the restraining orders over some of the assets and property belonging to Kim Dotcom. The ruling “means millions of dollars, several luxury cars, jewelry and other property remain frozen,” the New Zealand Herald reported. The original 2012 orders were scheduled to expire in April after a lower court ruled in favor of Dotcom. Now they will extend to April, 2015.

UPS Burned by Microsoft Windows, Gives Away Massive Number of Credit Card Details

Posted in FUD, Microsoft, Security at 4:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TJ Maxx all over again?

Boycott against UPS

Summary: UPS is the latest victim of Microsoft’s shoddy back door with software on top of it (Windows); attempts to blame FOSS for data compromise actually divert attention from the real culprit, which is proprietary software

A boycott against UPS, based on my bitter experiences, is nothing too prejudiced. Their system does not work well. That’s an understatement actually. It’s dysfunctional. In fact, it’s an utter mess. I wasn’t the only one who was utterly screwed, reputedly, and made deeply upset by them. I tried to accomplish something so simple and spent a huge amount of time achieving nearly nothing. They are badly coordinated and their system is crap. They’re using an utterly flawed system, especially when it comes to exchanges with clients, including financial exchanges. Last year I was upset enough to produce some memes like the following:

UPS

Now it turns out that UPS was foolish enough to be using Microsoft Windows. Consequently, in many countries (not just one) it got “infected with credit card stealing malware” and customers are going to pay dearly (customers, not UPS):

Grocery shoppers nationwide probably had credit card data stolen

Coast-to-coast: Albertsons, Acme Markets, Jewel-Osco and more were hit.
Dozens of UPS stores across 24 states, including California, Georgia, New York, and Nebraska, have been hit by malware designed to suck up credit card details. The UPS Store, Inc., is a subsidiary of UPS, but each store is independently owned and operated as a licensed franchisee.

“Windows, again,” says our reader. “See the annotations in the update…”

Notice how the Microsoft-friendly Condé Nast fails to even name Microsoft. Total cover-up, maybe misreporting. Disgusting. It’s like naming an issue in some car model, stating that it is chronic, dangerous and widespread, but still not naming the car maker or the model. Recall also the biggest credit card-stealing incidents in recent history; it is almost always due to Microsoft and Windows.

There is a bunch of reports circulating right now which blame an OpenSSL bug (that Microsoft likes to hype up) for patients’ data compromise.

A reader of ours who lectures on computer security explains: “The real problem was that, as seen in other articles, they used a VPN in place of real security. Oh, and the VPN was closed source, not OpenVPN.”

“This is no surprise as when given internal access to any computer network, it is virtually a 100% success rate at breaking into systems and furthering access,” says one report.

“They admit to having no security for their services and relying on a VPN to provide the illusion of security,” our reader explains. “They also misuse the marketing term ’0-day’.”

Anything to keep the term “Heartbleed” in headlines, creating a FOSS scare…

You can count on the likes of Condé Nast covering Microsoft-induced disaster without mentioning Mirosoft at all while at the same time shouting “Heartbleed” from the rooftops, as Condé Nast so regularly does.

Microsoft’s Funding of ALEC and Other Systemic Corruption

Posted in Fraud, Microsoft at 3:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Koch

Summary: Microsoft role in writing of laws by proxy, via groups such as ALEC

Several years we saw ALEC getting exposed, thanks in part to activists around the Web. We then saw the faces of people and corporations that were attacking the people of the world by corrupting politicians and writing laws by proxy.

Bill Gates was funding ALEC, one of the most notorious lobby groups in the US. It turns out now that Microsoft too has been funding ALEC, but no more. Microsoft “is no longer a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and has stopped funding the group.”

ALEC has been incredibly notorious for a number of years. What drove Microsoft to ALEC’s arms and why did it take Microsoft so much time to stop funneling money into this systemic corruption? The negative publicity was probably outweighed by benefits that Microsoft got (tomorrow we will provide an example of massive tax evasion by Microsoft). This is not an exception by the way; Microsoft has funded other ugly groups that even help deny climate change, so this whole thing is no reason for surprise or even a cause for shock. Two crooks get along.

In other news, Opera steps into bed with the crook. “Opera Mini will become the default web browser for Microsoft’s existing feature phones and Asha phones portfolio, as part of a new deal announced today,” says a report. While it means MSIE is dying, this also means that the company which once complained about Microsoft’s abuses to European authorities is now selling out. Why? Money.

Corruption is systemic and those with the money typically manage to get away with everything, including crimes. If the rich write our laws (sometimes by proxy), then it’s expected that they will almost never be sent to prison. Impunity is attained this way.

Microsoft is Still Preying on British Taxpayers, Playing Politics

Posted in Europe, Microsoft at 3:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Some news from the UK showing how Microsoft uses politics to extract money out of taxpayers, irrespective of their preferences

AS one who works with the British public sector, I personally happen to know some of Microsoft’s very dirty (if not criminal) tricks. There are all sorts of ways by which one games these systems, especially by “lobbying” (to put it politely) those who make decisions. I have heard stories and also seen incidents, some of which I cannot share publicly. Microsoft simply refuses to play by the rules. To obey the law is some kind of a joke to Microsoft. Tomorrow we will give examples from Chile and Germany, but today we’ll focus on the UK.

Microsoft just loves to exploit British taxpayers. The UK is a relatively rich country that is most notorious for its excessive spendings on public IT. It is no wonder that Microsoft worked so hard to impede ODF adoption in the UK.

Microsoft is now trying to impose its surveillance ‘cloud’ (proprietary software with NSA access) on British transportation. How amazing is that? They label lock-in “modernisation”:

MICROSOFT HAS TEAMED with British internet systems installation company Telent and IT consulting company CGI in a bid to modernise London’s tube network using the Internet of Things (IoT).

Announced in a UK government blog post, the partnership will look to modernise the London Underground monitoring systems, which oversee critical rail assets with data from thousands of devices and sensors, by integrating Microsoft’s Azure Intelligent Systems Services software.

Why does the British government continue to throw away so much money, giving it to foreign companies with such a poor privacy record that they resemble moles with back doors and espionage tendencies? Local SMEs could do far better. This should be causing outrage, but there is apathy.

The NSA’ partner wants to conduct mass surveillance in London’s Tube and technical problems are sure to come. Just see LSE. Look what Microsoft had done to it before it moved to GNU/Linux.

A reader asks: “Is this just a bid or has a contract been signed?”

The article above merely links to a Microsoft marketing-esque blog.

In other news from the UK, some euphemistically-named “Microsoft Ventures” (for “the children” of course, just like the Microsoft- and Bill Gates-bankrolled Intellectual Ventures) is preying on children when not spying on them. Interestingly enough, this was posted under “Politics” by the Microsoft-friendly Condé Nast.

“Microsoft will provide funding, mentorship and workspace through its London startup accelerator, Microsoft Ventures. It will also develop a dedicated open skills badge for iDEA,” says this report. Got that? Open. Yes, lock-in is “open”.

When will Microsoft finally get out of the UK and stop pretending that it helps “the children” and “modernisation”? Lock-in in sheep’s clothing is all it is, and adding insult to injury, this is mass surveillance on British travelers (not a choice) and children who must attend schools.

Microsoft’s Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as 20% of Staff Laid Off

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 3:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: More good news regarding the demise of patents as Microsoft’s leading patent proxy is collapsing more rapidly than anyone ever imagined and software patents too are collectively doubted

Not only Microsoft is laying off nearly 20% of its staff after years of gradual (but mostly concealed) layoffs. Intellectual Ventures, the world’s biggest patent troll that Bill Gates and Microsoft created, is not quite managing to survive, not even with extortions coordinated and perpetrated en masse. We heard about Intellectual Ventures’ financial issues before, but this is a pleasant surprise:

Intellectual Ventures, the company Silicon Valley loves to despise, is laying off about 20 percent of its employees, Bloomberg Businessweek has learned.

On Tuesday, IV sent a memo to its workers, notifying them of the cuts. The company has been employing 700 people, which means about 140 will be let go. “We are making operational changes that are consistent with this reduction and will enable us to maintain and expand our leadership in the market for invention,” the company said in a statement. “Our assets—both people and intellectual property—are among the best in the industry.” Now, let me try to translate that.

Not too long ago Microsoft threw it a lifeline. This uber-troll, the world’s biggest and most vicious troll, is finally announcing layoffs and it is a major deal because it might come to show what will happen to other trolls like it. This Microsoft- and Gates-funded nuisance cannot go far without Microsoft subsidies, apparently.

Times are tough for a patent troll, apparently. A year ago, we noted that Intellectual Ventures — the world’s largest patent troll, who brought in billions of dollars by getting companies to pay up a shakedown fee to avoid lawsuits over its giant portfolio of patents (mostly cast off from universities who couldn’t find any other buyers) — was running out of cash. While IV did convince Microsoft and Sony to dump in some more cash, IV’s litigation strategy is in shambles. Various lawsuits are dropping like flies without any of the big wins that IV promised.

Now that SCOTUS sheds doubt on a lot of software patents things definitely improve. As one lawyers’ site put it a few days ago:

The Supreme Court has not attempted to “delimit the precise contours of the ‘abstract ideas’ category.” In other words, the Court is essentially saying “we will know it when we see it.” This presents a significant problem to inventors and patent attorneys working in the software industry.

In effect, the Supreme Court is proposing a syllogism such as the following:
- Patents shall not be granted on abstract ideas.
- X is an abstract idea.
- Therefore, a patent shall not be granted on X.

The problem is that the Court has not defined “abstract idea.” Furthermore, “abstract idea” is not self-defining and is not a term that is agreed to by everyone. In fact, an endless chain of assumptions must be followed in arriving at a definition. For example, a court might say: “A general purpose computer executing this software is an abstract idea.” A patent applicant then challenges this statement by saying, e.g., “how is this computer with a claimed memory, processor, input/output unit, and a specific software program “general purpose?” The Court then points to the holding in Alice that the particular claimed computer (system claim) is merely carrying out a method that is an abstract idea and the patent attorney is just re-writing the same general purpose method as a system claim and that including hardware elements does not transform the system claim from an abstract idea. This is circular reasoning.

What patent lawyers wish not to accept or even to grasp is the simple fact that, as we have explained before on numerous occasions, all software patents are inherently abstract. Patents do not cover code but only algorithms, which are conceptual. Code is covered by copyright law. As this gets realised by more judges and they make rulings based on this realisation we are likely to see software patents ebbing away. But don’t expect patent lawyers to give up easily, especially not Microsoft and its extortion strategists. Extortion with patents is Microsoft’s last hope. Here is alawyers’ publication publishing propaganda by a “registered patent agent”:

The Supreme Court has declared abstract ideas unpatentable, but there are structural and other ways around the restrictions, writes Christopher Hall.

Christopher Hall is a registered patent agent in the Silicon Valley office of Womble Carlyle. He has 17 years of industry experience as a professional engineer and is named as sole inventor or co-inventor on 15 granted patents.

Pointless self promotion and not even any content in this article, just an advertisement of vapourware. A bit like Intellectual Ventures…

08.21.14

Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

Posted in News Roundup at 4:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 12 oddball odes to open-source
  • Beer and open source with Untappd

    We use a lot of open source software within Untappd daily, from MongoDB to jQuery. It’s what powers software evolution, and without it, we would have a hard time developing solutions effectively and efficiently. With every library that we develop for use on Untappd, we try to open source it, including our PHP Library For Amazon CloudSearch, UntappdPHP, and MemcacheJS. We hope that other developers can use these libraries to save some time and help them focus on building great projects. Any library we use, we try to think about how to build it with “openness” in mind, for re-usability by all.

  • Seven Bridges Introduces Open Source Cancer Genomics Workflow
  • Want To Start An Open Source Project? Here’s How

    Regardless of the reason, this isn’t about you. Not really. For open source to succeed, much of the planning has to be about those who will use the software. As I wrote in 2005, if you “want lots of people to contribute (bug fixes, extensions, etc.,” then you need to “write good documentation, use an accessible programming language … [and] have a modular framework.”

  • Events

    • Ken Starks to Keynote At Ohio LinuxFest

      Ken had mentioned this in a email a few months back, I believe, but I’d put it on a back burner, where it fell off and landed hidden behind the stove. If Larry Cafiero, better known as the free software and CrunchBang guy, hadn’t made mention of the fact on Google+ the other day, I probably wouldn’t’ve remembered until it was way too late.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox gets preliminary support for casting to Chromecast

        Mozilla is in the process of adding the ability to “cast” videos from Firefox to Chromecast devices, and you can try it now if you have the right hardware.

        As announced in a post on Google+ post by Mozilla developer Lucas Rocha, “Chromecast support is now enabled in Firefox for Android’s Nightly build.”

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU hackers discover HACIENDA government surveillance and give us a way to fight back

      GNU community members and collaborators have discovered threatening details about a five-country government surveillance program codenamed HACIENDA. The good news? Those same hackers have already worked out a free software countermeasure to thwart the program.

      According to Heise newspaper, the intelligence agencies of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, have used HACIENDA to map every server in twenty-seven countries, employing a technique known as port scanning. The agencies have shared this map and use it to plan intrusions into the servers. Disturbingly, the HACIENDA system actually hijacks civilian computers to do some of its dirty work, allowing it to leach computing resources and cover its tracks.

  • Project Releases

    • G`MIC (GREYC`s Magic For Image Computing) Sees New Stable Release

      G’MIC (GREYC’s Magic for Image Computing) is a framework for image processing that comes with a large number of pre-defined image filters and effects (almost 400, with an extra 300 testing filters). There are several interfaces for G’MIC: a command line tool, a web service, a Qt based interface for real-time webcam manipulation, a library and a GIMP plugin.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NHS open-source Spine 2 platform to go live next week

      Last year, the NHS said open source would be a key feature of the new approach to healthcare IT. It hopes embracing open source will both cut the upfront costs of implementing new IT systems and take advantage of using the best brains from different areas of healthcare to develop collaborative solutions.

      Meyer said the Spine switchover team has “picked up the gauntlet around open-source software”.

      The HSCIC and BJSS have collaborated to build the core services of Spine 2, such as electronic prescriptions and care records, “in a series of iterative developments”.

    • Open-source electronic patient records in the NHS

      Lessons learnt from NPfIT suggest that a one-size-fits-all approach for EPRs has its limitations, as every trust made the case, rightly or wrongly, that it was somehow different. This is why we believe that open source provides another way of delivering those clinical benefits; trusts can take ownership of the code and develop it alongside clinicians to their requirements.

      But open source is not for everyone. Each healthcare provider has varying degrees of IT maturity; some may be close to becoming paperless or have systems in place that just need to be built on, some may decide that a new approach is right for their organisation.

      For our trust, the timing and opportunity of open source just came together and made it the logical choice. Open source fits with our culture and our approach, clinicians liked the IMS Maxims software, and it was particularly affordable for us, giving us the ability to manage change from our current system – it lets us control our own IT requirements.

  • Licensing

    • Qt5 Will Now Support LGPLv3 Modules

      With the upcoming Qt 5.4 release, LGPLv3 is now an optional license alongside the existing LGPLv2.1 license and the commercial combination for Qt Enterprise.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The dubious rise of open-source architecture

      Ten years have passed since the launch of the big, talkative, landmark show called Massive Change, which went on a tour that eventually took it from Vancouver to Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario, then on to Chicago. Organized by designer Bruce Mau and the Institute Without Boundaries, a Toronto work-study design program, the exhibition and the accompanying book showcased gadgets, systems and ideas that promised to heal some of contemporary humankind’s most urgent maladies – slums, starvation, economic under-performance and much else.

    • Open Data

      • Out in the Open: This Man Wants to Turn Data Into Free Food (And So Much More)

        Such is promise of “open data”—the massive troves of public information our governments now post to the net. The hope is that, if governments share enough of this data with the world at large, hackers and entrepreneurs will find a way of putting it to good use. But although so much of this government data is now available, the revolution hasn’t exactly happened.

    • Open Hardware

      • Are you ready for open source CPUs?

        Open source software has been around for years, and for obvious reasons — all it takes is a PC to churn out code. And developers can make anything — operating systems, networking systems, administration systems, databases.

      • Local Motors: Cars Should be Open Source Hardware

        Though Local Motors was the first car company to produce an open source vehicle, Founder Jay Rogers says it is not an open source car company. It’s a hardware company.

        Traditional car companies have long product cycles, intricate assembly processes, and high production and distribution costs. Local Motors’ approach is instead akin to a software or microelectronics company that’s iterative, fast and lower cost.

  • Programming

    • Look, no client! Not quite: the long road to a webbified Vim

      Programming the Web, Pt. III The most revolutionary aspect of all the changes that have taken place in web development over the last two decades has been in the web browser.

      Typically we think of web browsers as driving innovation on the web by providing new features. Indeed this is the major source of new features on the web.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Thursday’s security updates
    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • Kaspersky Lab Partners London Police To Tackle Cyber Crime

      The fight against cybercrime continues with the news that a London police force is getting outside help to become a bit more security savvy.

      The City of London police is teaming up with Russian cybersecurity specialist Kaspersky Lab, in an effort to help educate both the police, and businesses around the UK, on dealing with the growing menace of cybercrime.

    • Phishing

      Someone just like me had the ability to push up whatever they wanted to the DNS server. This is usually fine: only the Authoritative DNS server for a site is allowed to replicate changes. It did mean, however, that anyone that was looking at this particular DNS server would be directed to something they were hosting themselves. I’m guessing it was a Phishing attempt as I did not actually go to their site to check.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Why Australians can fight for the IDF, but not the Islamic State: ASIO chief explains

      ASIO boss David Irvine has tried to explain how and why Australians join foreign armies, and allay concerns about the Coalition’s proposed anti-terrorism laws. But given its murky past, ASIO’s reassurances should be taken with a grain of salt, writes freelance journalist Andrea Glioti

    • Kiev’s Dirty War

      “According to our soldiers’ information, the Ukrainian forces are using chemical ammunition on DPR territory.”

      “Once a shell bursts, a gas affecting sense organs is emitted. We have this information.”

      In early June, Southeastern Ukrainian freedom fighters said Kiev forces attacked Semyonovka near Slaviansk with an unknown chemical weapon.

    • Israeli Strike in Gaza Strip Kills 3 Top Hamas Commanders

      sraeli airstrikes killed three senior commanders of the armed wing of Hamas early Thursday in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, Israeli and Palestinian officials said, the most significant blow to the group’s leadership since Israel’s operation in Gaza began more than six weeks ago.

    • Drone attack kills two Pakistani Taliban commanders in Afghanistan

      Foreign forces’ drone strike killed three Taliban commanders, two alleged Pakistani insurgents and wounded five others in eastern Kunar province, Afghan officials said on Wednesday.

    • Global Warriors Revisiting Iraq’s Wounds to Destroy the Arab World
    • Op-Ed: Where would more citizenship revoking lead to?

      The UK right wing government wished to recall passports and citizenship for any UK citizen who went to fight for the Islamic State (IS) militants in the Middle East. One of the first of many letters of this nature to be sent was to a Mr. Mohamed Sakr, who had been stripped of his citizenship after arriving at the estate owned by his family in London in 2010.

    • Civilian Victims Of U.S. Drone Strike In Yemen Reportedly Receive Over $1 Million
    • Anatomy of an air strike: Three intelligence streams working in concert

      Besides human spotters on the ground, the main U.S. intelligence assets in Iraq include armed surveillance drones fitted with cameras, radar and communications eavesdropping gear. Jet fighters also carry camera pods under their wings. The intelligence-gathering effort includes the most high-tech ground-based and space-based communications eavesdropping equipment. Drones and camera-equipped jets were the first surveillers to return to Iraq after 2011. The Air Force had pulled its 21 Predator drones from Iraq that year, redeploying them to Kuwait for patrols over the Middle East.

    • What have we accomplished in Iraq?

      What have we accomplished in Iraq? And isn’t it time we left them alone?

      We have been at war with Iraq for 24 years, starting with Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1990. Shortly after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait that year, the propaganda machine began agitating for a U.S. attack on Iraq. We all remember the appearance before Congress of a young Kuwaiti woman claiming that the Iraqis were ripping Kuwaiti babies from incubators. The woman turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S., and the story was false, but it was enough to turn U.S. opposition in favor of an attack.

      This month, yet another U.S. president — the fifth in a row — began bombing Iraq. He is also placing U.S. troops on the ground despite promising not to do so.

      The second Iraq war in 2003 cost the U.S. some two trillion dollars. According to estimates, more than one million deaths have occurred as a result of that war. Millions of tons of U.S. bombs have fallen in Iraq almost steadily since 1991.

      What have we accomplished? Where are we now, 24 years later? We are back where we started, at war in Iraq!

    • ISIS: Region-wide Genocide Portended in 2007 Now Fully Realized

      American journalist James Wright Foley was allegedly brutally murdered on video by terrorists of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS). The development would at first appear to portray a terrorist organization openly declaring itself an enemy of the West, but in reality, it is the latest attempt by the West itself to cover up the true genesis of the current region-wide catastrophe of its own creation now unfolding in the Middle East.

      As early as 2007, the stage was being set for the regional genocide now unfolding from Syria and Lebanon along the Mediterranean to northern Iraq. The “sudden” appearance of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, otherwise known as ISIS, betrays years of its rise and the central part it played in Western-backed violence seeking to overthrow the government of Syria starting in 2011 amid the cover of the so-called “Arab Spring.”

    • Op-Ed: CIA-linked General Haftar strikes Islamist militia in Tripoli

      Many reports speak of airstrikes in the Libyan capital Tripoli as being launched by an unknown party against Islamist militia from Mistrata on Monday August 18.
      Actually there should be no mystery ab

    • CIA-Linked Haftar claims international support for Tripoli attack

      Even though CIA-linked General Haftar claims his bombing of Misrata militia in Tripoli was a joint effort with the international community there seems little attention let alone analysis in the media of what is happening in Libya

      On Monday, Libyan air force units loyal to General Kahlifa Haftar struck positions of the Misrata militia in Tripoli. The militia has been in a prolonged battle at and near the Tripoli international airport with allies of Haftar, the Zintan brigades. The battle has moved closer to the center of Tripoli now as unidentified militia have fired Grad rockets into two upscale districts killing three people according to local residents. The area is home to many foreign brand outlets including Marks and Spencer, and Nike and fancy cafes.

    • McCain visits Raytheon, speaks in favor of Tomahawk

      At a town hall Tuesday with Raytheon Missile Systems employees, Arizona’s senior senator said the cut would have been to “probably the best and most-proven missile system ever.” McCain also spoke in support of a modernization program for the Tomahawk that would make the weapon threat-relevant through about 2040.

    • This Obama-Appointed Judge Signed off on the CIA Killing of a U.S. Citizen

      David Barron now sits on the bench of the First Circuit Court of Appeals despite having given President Barack Obama the legal justification for killing an American citizen overseas without a trial.

    • What If the Military or CIA Had Killed Mike Brown?

      Not so, however, if the killing had come at the hands of the military or the CIA. In that case, the soldier or the CIA agent would be immune from criminal prosecution and civil suit, so long as they claimed that the killing took place as part of a “national-security” operation. Once their lawyers cited those two magical words, every judge in the land, both state and federal, would immediately slam down the gavel and declare “Case dismissed.”

    • The CIA Double-Dip: Drugs, Fraud, & the JFK Assassination

      The investigation uncovered incontrovertible, if unsurprising, proof of involvement in the operation by the Mob (in this case, the Chicago Outfit) by Texas oil interests, Saudi financiers, and, of course, the CIA.

      But unearthing new evidence about the CIA’s role in the drug trade for the past 50 years no longer provides much grist for the gossip mill. Time marches on. Gary Webb was right. Everybody knows it.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Interactive: 19 calls for transparency around US drone strikes

      The drone campaign in Pakistan, which is conducted by the CIA, remains an official secret. In June 2012, Obama declassified the campaigns in Yemen and Somalia – but details of the attacks remain shrouded in mystery. The US has declined to release even the most basic details about the strikes, such as when or where they take place. As a result we also rarely know who or what they hit. But a growing number of voices have been calling for transparency.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Hewlett-Packard posts surprise revenue gain after PC sales jump

      Hewlett-Packard Co posted a surprise increase in quarterly revenue after sales from its personal computer division climbed 12 percent, but a flat to declining performance from its other units underscored the company’s uphill battle to revive growth.

      HP sales rose a mere 1 percent to $27.6 billion in its fiscal third quarter from $27.2 billion a year earlier. Wall Street analysts had forecast a modest drop in revenue to $27.01 billion.

    • Does Apple throttle older iPhones to nudge you into buying a new one?

      Every time Apple releases a new iPhone there’s a dramatic spike in the number of Google searches for the phrase “iPhone slow”. Does this give credence to the conspiracy theory that Apple intentionally slows down iPhones to encourage you to buy a new one?

    • Scotland’s currency choices in the event of independence

      (1) Use the pound anyway

      Even if the Westminster government does not agree to share the pound, Scotland could use it anyway, without a say in monetary policy
      Ecuador and Panama, for example, have adopted the US dollar

      (And, I should add, Tasmania uses the Australian dollar … There, that should get me in trouble for today … :-D )

      (2) Join the euro

      It would not be an immediate option

      (3) Launch a Scottish currency

      Without its own borrowing history, an independent Scotland might find the currency quickly loses value when traded and markets could demand a higher interest rate on its debt

    • The 1% are “wealthy beyond measure”

      Welcome to globalization. Wasn’t it supposed to make up all richer?

    • More Military Families Are Relying On Food Banks And Pantries

      Despite the economic recovery, more than 46 million Americans — or 1 in 7 — used a food pantry last year. And a surprisingly high number of those seeking help were households with military members, according to a new survey by Feeding America, which is a network of U.S. food banks.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Real Reporting Is About Revealing Truth; Not Granting ‘Equal Weight’ To Bogus Arguments

      Journalism Professor Jay Rosen has long been the leading advocate in condemning the prominence of “he said/she said” journalism in the mainstream media. This kind of journalism is driven by a complete distortion of what it means to be an “objective” journalist. Bad journalists seem to think that if someone is making a claim, you present that claim, then you present an opposing claim, and you’re done. They think this is objective because they’re not “picking sides.” But what if one side is batshit crazy and the other is actually making legitimate claims? Shouldn’t the job of true journalists be to ferret out the truth and reveal the crazy arguments as crazy? Rosen’s latest calls out the NY Times for falling into the bogus “he said/she said” trap yet again. This time it’s on an article about plagiarism and copyright infringement charges being leveled from one biographer of Ronald Reagan against another. We wrote about this story as well, and we looked at the arguments of both sides, and then noted that author Craig Shirley’s arguments made no sense at all, as he was trying to claim ownership of facts (something you can’t do). Furthermore, his claims of plagiarism were undermined by the very fact that he admitted that competing biographer Rick Perlstein’s quotes were different. Shirley claimed that “difference” in the quotes showed that Perlstein was trying to cover up the plagiarism, but… that makes no sense.

    • When quoting both sides and leaving it there is the riskier call

      If the weight of the evidence allows you to make a judgment, but instead you go with “he said, she said,” you’re behaving recklessly even as you tell yourself you’re doing the cautious thing.

      It’s my job to notice when a piece of standard brand pressthink “flips” around and no longer works as intended. I have one.

      For a very long time, the logic behind “he said, she said” journalism, and “get both sides,” as well as, “I’m sorry, but we’ll have to leave it there” was that operating this way would reduce risk to a news publisher’s reputation. (See my 2009 post.) When you have both sides speaking in your account, you’re protecting yourself against charges of favoring one or the other. By not “choosing” a side — by not deciding who’s right — you’re safer.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Saudi Arabia: Surge in Executions

      19 Beheaded in 17 Days; 8 for Nonviolent Offenses

    • It’s not just Ferguson, it’s what’s brewing for the rest of America that should scare us: opinion and live chat

      I wish I had retained more from my college Latin American politics class. The banana republics, juntas, civil wars and CIA interventions have all faded, but there’s one concept that stuck in my head and it has been haunting me ever since – the four key components necessary to make a healthy democracy.

    • Why Do Police In Suburban St. Louis Have More Powerful Weapons Than Marines In Afghanistan?

      We’ve been covering some of the more troubling details of police militarization across the US, and specifically what’s going on in Ferguson, Missouri over the past couple of weeks. However, we knew fairly little about the actual military equipment being used there. And we know that sometimes scary looking military equipment isn’t necessarily so scary when put to use. So it’s interesting to read a former Marine’s analysis of the military equipment being used in Ferguson, which more or less confirms that it not only looks scary but absolutely is scary. Much of the discussion is about how all those “non-lethal” “riot control” weaponry is actually quite dangerous and potentially lethal.

    • St. Louis Police Release Video Of Kajieme Powell Killing That Appears At Odds With Their Story

      The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department released cell phone footage Wednesday of the police shooting of Kajieme Powell, a 25-year-old black man killed on Tuesday in St. Louis, according to St. Louis Public Radio.

      A convenience store owner called 911 on Tuesday when he suspected Powell stole drinks and donuts from his shop, according to a recording of the call. Another woman called to report Powell was acting erratically and had a knife in his pocket.

      Two officers in a police SUV responded to the calls, the cell phone video shows. When the officers got out of their vehicle, Powell walked in their direction, yelling and telling them to shoot him already.

      St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said Tuesday that both of the officers opened fire on Powell when he came within a three or four feet of them holding a knife “in an overhand grip.”

      But the newly released cell phone footage undermines the statement, showing Powell approaching the cops, but not coming as close as was reported, with his hands at his side. The officers began shooting within 15 seconds of their arrival, hitting Powell with a barrage of bullets.

    • A private military company is now providing security in Ferguson, for just one person

      A menagerie of armed state and federal agents have filtered in and out of Ferguson, Missouri for more than a week as unrest has grown there, and now even a private military company is joining the mix. Asymmetric Solutions, a PMC that claims to be “capable of deploying highly qualified former special operations personnel” to “anywhere on the globe in a moments notice” will be providing a security detail to an unnamed individual visiting Ferguson.

    • New Police Hacking Technologies Raise Familiar Questions About Civil Liberties

      “We need automatic transparency, rigorous external oversight, and a statutory framework that explicitly prohibits abuses . . . When the government knows everything about its citizens, we become subjects,” Crockford told Truthout.

      “But the future is ours if we claim it, if we reject fear and embrace our own power. If we want our children to have anonymity in a crowd, privacy at home, and the possibility for freedom in their world, we must make it so.”

    • Love: The threat of a police state

      Police assaulted peaceful, nonviolent protesters, arrested Antonio French, an alderman in nearby St. Louis, and tear-gassed Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal.

    • Ferguson, Ethnicity and American Idealism

      Shame on those in government and media, those who trample others underfoot and then claim more of the same is the way to our “greater good”. May the Great Spirit who dwells above and within us all convict you of shame, which seems to be of the only two arrows in your quivers: shame and fear.

    • Somalia: Three Journalists Tortured While in Detention

      Reporters Without Borders condemns the closures of Mogadishu-based Radio Shabelle and Sky FM and arrests of 19 journalists and employees on 15 August, and the continuing detention and reported torture of the directors of the two radio stations and their owner.

    • Targeting Pakistan on Human Rights Violations in Sri Lanka

      The civilized Western World has always shown double standard of human rights in the modern era of open diplomacy, economic development and maintenance of fundamental rights of various peoples. But, it is regrettable that major powers like the US and some European countries have continuously been acting upon duplicity regarding human rights violations. In this regard, their silence over the massacre of the Rohingya Muslim community at the hands of the Rakhine extremist Buddhists in Burma (present Myanmar), perpetual bloodshed of Kashmiris in the Indian occupied Kashmir and unending genocide of several Palestinians in Gaza might be cited as example. In these cases, US-led Western World which was overtly or covertly supporting the state terrorism of Myanmar’s military junta, Indian and Israeli regimes was strongly condemned by the Islamic Word’s intellectuals. In wake of Muslim tragedy, it was also exposed that world’s apex body, the UNO has also been following double standard of human rights, and has become instrument of America and its allies at the cost of the Muslim World.

    • James Puz: Kennedy deserves credit for civil rights

      Hair-brained, if not totally moronic, theories emerged. The new president, Lyndon B. Johnson, was the culprit. while others thought the military-industrial complex hatched the plan. The mob (pick one) paid a trigger man, while the CIA was viewed as the guilty party. The Soviets were thought capable of killing our president. Even Cuban exiles were targeted with unfounded accusations. In the end, a discontented Oswald, alone or in concert with others, eventually became the fall guy. Or was he a patsy? In any event, nobody came up with a specific reason for why the president had to be killed.

    • The Rise Of The Mafia Nation

      A collaboration between governments and organized crime is nothing new, of course, with corruption being a characteristic of their operations in whichever field of criminality they pursue. Pay offs and backhanders, considerations and favors have all played their part in sealing a relationship between criminals and government officials, with some government agencies seeking to use the mafia in order to further their goals. The CIA asking the mafia to knock off Castro might seem a bit wild-eyed and optimistic, but it was hardly unthinkable.

    • The luck of the Irish

      This autobiography was written eight years ago, and then self published overseas and secured. The reason for this subterfuge was the autobiography contained my dealings with ASIO and covert agencies in the UK and the United States of America while working in China.

      Since these events took place I have been gagged by ASIO “Dire consequences would befall me should I ever speak of these events.” I had organised for my autobiography to be released after my death so as my family would finally know the reason why our lives were irrevocability devastated by the aforementioned covert agencies.

    • [Bush partner:] The tortuous debate over the CIA’s ‘torture’ report

      The CIA’s objection to releasing the report seems strange because in 2012 Attorney General Eric Holder announced that there would be no prosecution of CIA interrogators. The CIA’s fear must be that whatever conduct the report blames them for is so terrible that it could ignite another round of intelligence “reforms” like those of the 1970s Church Committee which obstructed intelligence-gathering for many years.

    • Wyden: ‘Big league’ economy needs long-term transportation funding

      “If a 19-year-old had hacked into the Senate computers the way this was done, that person would be sitting in jail right now.”

      Although they were CIA computers, Wyden said the agency had stipulated they contained Senate Intelligence Committee files. CIA staffers launched the search to discover if the committee had obtained an internal CIA study while investigating a now-defunct detention and interrogation program for terrorism suspects. The Senate report is pending.

    • The not so transparent government

      First, CIA officials broke into computers that were being used by the committee — a clear constitutional violation — and then, using false information, tried to have committee staffers prosecuted. CIA Director John Brennan apologized for spying on the senators’ activities. President Obama, in a news conference on Aug. 1, said the Intelligence Committee was free to issue its report, “the declassified version that will be released at the pleasure of the Senate committee.”

      But Brennan’s apology must not have been sincere, and the committee, to its displeasure, learned that the CIA has “redacted” — read: censored — key elements of the report. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the committee, said she couldn’t release the report because the CIA had attempted to redact key details that “eliminate or obscure key facts that support the report’s findings and conclusions.”

    • Congress and CIA battle over torture investigation
    • CIA should answer for its crimes

      He asks: “Did any CIA agent get indicted for torturing people? No.

      “Did any CIA agent get indicted for destroying the videotapes that showed the torture? No.

      “Did any CIA agent get indicted for murdering prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq? No.”

    • President Barack Obama’s admission of torture by the CIA, and Navi Pillai’s International probe into war crimes in Sri Lanka.

      But in Sri Lanka there were no torture committed against the terrorists. There were no torture of the terrorists for the simple reason that in the war against terrorism in Sri Lanka the Armed Forces knew where exactly the terrorists were and there was no necessity to interrogate terrorists taken as prisoners under tortured to get information with regard to; movements of terrorists or where they were hiding. There were also Tamil civilians who gave information of meeting sites of terrorists to enable the Sri Lanka Air Force use precision bombing.

    • What the CIA is trying to hide

      Beginning in the 1990s, and accelerating after September 11, the CIA flew terrorism suspects to secret police custody in Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, and Libya. Many of them were tortured. Starting in 2002, the CIA began operating secret prisons all over the world: Thailand, Lithuania, Romania, Poland, Afghanistan, Djibouti, briefly Guantanamo Bay.

      There, the agency subjected detainees to torturous “enhanced interrogation techniques,” in a program designed and implemented by two contractor psychologists named James Elmer Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) authorized a great deal of this brutality—but the CIA made false factual representations to OLC in order to obtain that authorization, and tortured detainees in ways that were never authorized. Two CIA detainees, Manadel al-Jamadi and Gul Rahman, died as a result.

    • Yet Again, CIA is Concealing Information Americans Should See

      Once again, the CIA is concealing information that Americans have a right to know, and once again President Obama should ensure its release.

      The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is set to release a landmark report on the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program. But Obama allowed the CIA to oversee redactions, and it predictably went to town with the black marker. According to committee Chair Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the redactions “eliminate or obscure key facts that support the report’s findings and conclusions.”

    • EFF Pioneer Awards Honor U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Trevor Paglen, and Frank La Rue

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation will honor former U.N. Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue, U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, and artist Trevor Paglen during its annual EFF Pioneer Awards in San Francisco. The award ceremony will be held the evening of October 2 at the Lodge at the Regency Center in San Francisco. Keynote speakers will be Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos, better known as the Yes Men, who are known for their elaborate parodies and impersonations to fight government and corporate malfeasance

    • The Bankers To The Terrorists

      WikiLeaks documents prove that the United States has known for quite some time (years) that the fictitious pseudo-state of Qatar bankrolls Hamas as part of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Ikhwan. While Iran is the world’s major facilitator of terror, Qatar is their bank. The US Administration knows this well.

    • Press Freedom Groups Rally For Journalist James Risen, Who Faces Jail Time for Refusing to Reveal Sources

      At an Aug. 14 news conference in Washington, D.C. press freedom organizations rallied to support New York Times reporter and author James Risen, who faces prosecution for refusing to disclose his sources. In advance of the press event, held at the National Press Club, organizers presented a petition to the U.S. Justice Department with more than 100,000 signatures, demanding that the federal government stop its six-year prosecution of Risen.

    • Cracking Down on Truth-telling

      President Obama entered office vowing to run a transparent government. But instead he has clamped down on leaks, prosecuted whistleblowers and threatened truth-telling journalists with jail if they don’t reveal sources, as Marcy Wheeler recounts.

    • James Risen vs. the security state
    • The Real “Dirty Wars” in the Horn of Africa – “Expiration by Starvation” Sanctioned by the Obama White House

      The Great Horn of Africa Famine started at the beginning of 2011 and lasted about 2 years. 250,000 dead in Somalia from starvation equals 10,000 dying a month, 300 or more dying a day on average. And this just in Somalia where there was aid being distributed. Next door in the Ogaden, with a population of almost as many as in Somalia the same famine was raging and no aid what so ever was being allowed.

    • Traffic Enforcement: Over-Zealous and Heavy-Handed

      The use of CCTV for handing out traffic fines is something that has raised concerns from a number of sources, for example Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who accused councils of “bending the law as a means of filling their coffers with taxpayers’ cash.” The Surveillance Camera Commissioner (SCC) also published guidance on this practice, stating that cameras should only be used “when other means of enforcement are not practical”.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • How to Save the Net: Keep It Open

      For all of its history, the Internet has enjoyed the fruits of an openness principle: the idea that anyone can reach any site online and that information and data should be freely exchangeable. Applications such as YouTube and Skype have been introduced without the need to seek permission of any Internet service provider or government. Nearly 3 billion users enjoy myriad mobile apps and other Internet-based services thanks to the open standards, common interfaces, and rich connectivity that permissionless innovation has delivered.

    • How AT&T’s Own Legal Fights Show It’s Lying In Claiming Broadband Reclassification Would Create Collateral Damage

      Earlier this year, we shared our own comments to the FCC on the issue of net neutrality and keeping the internet open. The key, as we noted, is that if this issue is left to the FCC (as appears to be the case), it should use Title II reclassification in combination with forbearance to narrowly tailor rules for broadband access providers that maintain an open internet. As with so many things related to net neutrality, this gets a bit down in the weeds, and is a bit wonkish, but it’s important to understand. Even the EFF — a longtime critic of Title II reclassification — changed its position in light of other factors, but made sure to emphasize forbearance as a key part of this. Forbearance, in short, is effectively a statement from the FCC that it’s using certain rules, but has committed to not enforcing parts of what it’s allowed to do under those rules.

    • Behind The Veil Part 5: Comcast Metrics For All Employees As Simple As ABC, Always Be Closing

      In the ongoing fallout Comcast is facing due to the high-pressure sales tactics of their non-sales employees, the company has consistently indicated that these employees are not behaving in a manner consistent with the company’s wishes. The common thread in most of these stories consists of customer service duties being handled by customer retention reps as often as not and complaints or attempts to cancel service being met with sales pitches instead of service. Comcast has specifically indicated that these examples are outside of the way they train employees to conduct their business.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Delaware Passes Law Granting Residents The Right To Pass On Digital Goods To Their Heirs

      As rights holders have made clear time and time again, your digital purchases are never truly yours. If someone decides to shut down a service, it’s likely your purchases will vanish into the ether along with the service itself. If you want to resell your mp3s or ebooks, you’re facing any number of unsettled legal questions and various industries pushing the assertion that your money was exchanged for a limited use license, rather than the acquisition of a product.

    • Copyrights

      • Thomson Reuters: we’ll take your articles if you don’t tell us not to

        We received an email from Thomson Reuters last evening, informing us that unless we write back to them in 14 days denying them the use of our articles, they will take the lack of refusal, as an indication of consent to use them. What’s more, they will presume that we have given them the “right to use, incorporate and distribute the Content in its Services to its subscribers and to permit such subscribers to use and redistribute the Content.”

      • Thomson Reuters Thinks Not Responding To Their Email Means You’ve Freely Licensed All Your Content
      • Dotcom’s Millions Will Remain Frozen, Court Decides

        Kim Dotcom’s battle to regain control over millions in seized assets has received another setback. Today the Court of Appeal overturned a ruling by the High Court by extending the restraining orders against the entrepreneur’s property until at least April 2015.

      • Judge Says You Don’t ‘Own’ The Facebook ‘Likes’ On Your Page

        In a world where people are always pushing the idea of “intellectual property” over just about everything, is it really any surprise when people assume all sorts of property-like rights in things that clearly shouldn’t have any such thing? In a slightly bizarre lawsuit over the control of a Facebook fan page for the TV series The Game, the creator of the page, Stacey Mattocks, argued that BET effectively appropriated the approximately 6.78 million “likes” the fan page got. The details of exactly how this happened aren’t worth getting into, but suffice it to say it was a contract negotiation gone wrong, as BET sought to bring the fan page under its official control. All that matters here is that among the other charges in the lawsuit, Mattocks claims that BET got Facebook to transfer those likes to its official page, which she alleged is a form of unlawful conversion.

      • Monkeys, ghosts and gods ‘cannot own copyright’ says US

        In the wake of a controversial move by Wikipedia to distribute a monkey ‘selfie’ for free, against the wishes of the photographer whose camera was used, the US has issued new guidance that says animals, ghosts and gods are all banned from owning copyright

      • Australian Movie Studio Boss Skips Out On Public Q&A, Claiming It Will Be Filled With ‘Crazies’

08.20.14

Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

Posted in News Roundup at 3:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • About the use of linux for normal people

      I was trying to write this blog post for quite a long time, and it become so, so big that I’ll have to split it in three posts, It is like a ‘people of kde’ but different, the focus is not to show someone that works for KDE, but someone that tried to use KDE to work – being it a non-tech person. Since I spend most of my days helping people that is struggling with Free Software to pass the hate feeling, I feel that I have lots of things to say being that I’m activelly maintaining over 5 laptops from different friends that lives on different states.

      I also like to study humans, this very strange animal that has so many different ways of expressing himself that it’s so, so hard to get it right.

    • The OS LinuX Desktop

      Reader Oliver wanted to make his Linux Mint desktop look as much like a Mac as possible so others would find it easy to use. Given some of our previous Linux featured desktops, we know it wasn’t tough, but the end-result still looks great. Here’s how it’s all set up.

    • Dangling the Linux Carrot

      Sometimes the direct sell method isn’t the best way to close the deal. How do you think the whole “play hard to get” thing got traction throughout the years? That method is successful in any number of applications.

  • Server

    • Docker’s Improved Stability Fuels Continued Growth

      This is the summer of Docker’s ripening as it begins to mature into stable, enterprise-worthy software. The release of version 1.0 coincided with the first annual DockerCon, and finally moves Docker from an experimental state into a production-capable application. The pace of development is not slowing down after these successes, but rather appears to be ramping up as Docker adoption continues to grow and more companies get involved in the development process.

  • Kernel Space

    • Proposed: A Tainted Performance State For The Linux Kernel

      Similar to the kernel states of having a tainted kernel for using binary blob kernel modules or unsigned modules, a new tainting method has been proposed for warning the user about potentially adverse kernel performance.

    • Linux 3.17 Lands Memfd, A KDBUS Prerequisite

      Memfd is a mechanism similar to Android’s Ashmem that allows zero-copy message passing in KDBUS. Memfd effectively comes down to just a chunk of memory with a file descriptor attached that can be passed to mmap(). The memfd_create() function returns a raw shmem file and there’s optional support for sealing.

      Memfd is needed by KDBUS for message passing and now the code — after being public but out-of-tree for several months — is finally mainline. As a result, the KDBUS code has been updated to take advantage of the mainline Linux 3.17 state.

    • The Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board election
    • Linux Kernel Development Gets Two-Factor Authentication
    • Systemd 216 Piles On More Features, Aims For New User-Space VT

      Lennart Poettering announced the systemd 216 release on Tuesday and among its changes is a more complete systemd-resolved that has nearly complete caching DNS and LLMNR stub resolver, a new systemd terminal library, and a number of new commands.

      The systemd 216 release also has improvements to various systemd sub-commands, an nss-mymachines NSS module was added, a new networkctl client tool, KDBUS updates against Linux 3.17′s memfd, networkd improvements, a new systemd-terminal library for implementing full TTY stream parsing and rendering, a new systemd-journal-upload utility, an LZ4 compressor for journald, a new systemd-escape tool, a new systemd-firstboot component, and much more.

    • LinuxCon NA 2014 kicks off in Chicago, new Linux Certification Program announced
    • Linux Founder Linus Torvalds ‘Still Wants the Desktop’

      The Linux faithful gathered today at LinuxCon to hear core Linux developers, especially Linus Torvalds—and the audience wasn’t disappointed. In a keynote panel session, Torvalds spoke of his hopes and the challenges for Linux in 2014.

      Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman moderated the discussion and commented that Linux already runs everywhere. He asked Torvalds where he thinks Linux should go next.

    • Linux Foundation Debuts Linux Certification Effort

      The new certifications mark the first time the Linux Foundation has offered formal certification after years of success with training programs.

    • Linux Foundation to offer new certification for IT workers

      With an eye toward deepening the global Linux talent pool, the Linux Foundation today announced that it will offer two new certifications for engineers and administrators.

      The Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator, or LFCS, and the Linux Foundation Certified Engineer, or LFCE certificates will be granted to applicants who pass an automated online exam. The cost will be $300, although the foundation will hand out 1,000 free passes to attendees at LinuxCon, where the announcement was made.

    • Linux Growth Demands Bigger Talent Poo

      Today at LinuxCon and CloudOpen we’re making an announcement that signifies the natural next step in helping to build a qualified talent pool of Linux professionals worldwide:The Linux Foundation Certification Program.

    • GitHub, Seagate, Western Digital & Others Join The Linux Foundation

      With LinuxCon starting today in Chicago, the Linux Foundation has announced their latest sponsorship recruits for some major organizations that are now backing the foundation.

      Adapteva, GitHub, SanDisk, Seagate, and Western Digital are the latest organizations joining the Linux Foundation. Nearly all Phoronix readers should now GitHub along with storage companies Seagate and Western Digital. Adapteva is the start-up Parallella super-computing board.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD’s Catalyst Linux Driver Preparing For A World Without An X Server?

        AMD’s proprietary Catalyst Linux driver installer is interestingly being prepared for an environment without an X.Org Server.

        While there’s no announcement out of AMD indicating any future support directions for their Catalyst Linux driver, it seems their Catalyst driver will soon be equipped with an option for building the driver packages without X.Org Server support, a.k.a. no building of the fglrx DDX driver.

      • Mesa 10.2.6 Has Plenty Of OpenGL Driver Bug Fixes

        For those living on the Mesa 10.2 stable series rather than the experimental Mesa 10.3 code, there’s a new point release out today.

        Carl Worth of Intel released Mesa 10.2.6 as the latest bug-fix update. Mesa 10.2.6 has at least 28 bugs fixed, including many affecting core Mesa, some AMD RadeonSI fixes (affecting Hawall and Tahiti hardware), and various other fixes. Anuj Phogat contributed the most fixes at 15 followed by Marek Olšák at 4.

      • Open-Source Radeon Graphics Have Some Improvements On Linux 3.17

        Early benchmarking of the Linux 3.17 kernel have indicated faster performance for AMD’s open-source Linux graphics driver thanks to Radeon DRM improvements.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • LXQt 0.8 Is Being Released Soon

      Fans of LXQt, the merge of the Qt version of LXDE along with the Razor-qt desktop project, will soon see out a big update.

      LXQt 0.8.0 is being readied for release as the latest of this next-generation lightweight desktop environment. Heavy development continues on LXQt and recently the most important bugs have been addressed for the upcoming LXQt 0.8 milestone. Holding back the LXQt 0.8 release is finishing the language translations and figuring out what to do about their RandR utility.

    • A Linux Desktop Designed for You

      Desktop environments for Linux are not released ready-made. Behind each is a set of assumptions about what a desktop should be, and how users should interact with them. Increasingly, too, each environment has a history — some of which are many years old.

      As you shop around for a desktop, these assumptions are worth taking note of. Often, they can reveal tendencies that you might not discover without several days of probing and working with the desktop.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Prep for Akademy

        In preparation for Akademy I wanted to swap out the drive from my laptop — which is full of work-work things — and drop in a new one with stuff I actually want to have with me at Akademy, like git clones of various repositories.

      • LaKademy 2014 – KDE Latin America Summit

        Two years have passed since the reality of the first Latin American meeting of KDE contributors in 2012 in Porto Alegre, capital of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Now we are proud to announce that the second LaKademy will be held August 27th to 30th in São Paulo, Brazil, at one of the most important and prestigious universities in the world—the University of São Paulo.

      • KDE Applications and Development Platform 4.14

        Packages for the release of KDE SC 4.14 are available for Kubuntu 14.04LTS and our development release. You can get them from the Kubuntu Backports PPA. It includes an update of Plasma Desktop to 4.11.11.

      • GSOC 2014: Akonadi Commandline Client’s Current Status

        I recently finished adding documentation (man pages) to the project and also finished improving upon the add command and it’s test cases. And I beleive this completes all the tasks that I had planned for in my GSoC proposal.Features of AkonadiClient

      • what is “the desktop”: laptops now
      • Intermediate results of the icon tests: Oxygen

        The Oxygen icon set performs very well in general. Most icons are quickly and reliable identified with the corresponding term. As found in previous studies there is a minor setback for Add/New, Undo/Redo, and especially Copy/Paste which are mutually mistaken. Also the Search icon shows quite a high number of missing values. Perhaps the field glasses are not such a good metaphor.

      • The features I have implemented in my Google Summer Of Code project

        So I have coded three features for Calligra Sheets.

      • What’s new in porting script: clean-forward-declaration.sh?

        I wrote it for kde 4.0 but it was not perfect. I took time to fix it last week end.

        What does it do ? It allows to remove not necessary forward declaration. It’s very useful during kf5 migration because we change a lot of code. So sometime we keep some “class foo;” which will not create a compile error, but it will keep an unused code line.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME’s Window and Compositing Manager Mutter 3.14 Beta 1 Gets More Wayland Improvements

        Florian Müllner has announced that Mutter 3.14 Beta 1 has been released, featuring a number of changes and improvements.

      • GNOME 3.14 Beta Makes GLSL Optional, Supports Wayland Gesture/Touch Events

        For the upcoming GNOME 3.13.90 release are updates to GNOME Shell and Mutter that bring a few notable last-minute changes.

        The GNOME 3.13.90 Beta release is scheduled to happen today and as such the Mutter and GNOME Shell updates were checked in this week. With the Mutter 3.13.90 comes an enforcement that XSync() is only ever called once per-frame, the GLSL support is optional, gesture and touch events are now handled on Wayland, and there’s a variety of other fixes/changes. The Mutter 3.13.90 changes can be found via its release announcement.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Sets New 12-Month High at $61.97 (RHT)

        They now have a $70.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $57.00. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Red Hat has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $63.50.

      • Red Hat Introduces Open Virtual Appliance for Seamless OpenStack Evaluations

        Red Hat, Inc. RHT, -1.58% the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced Open Virtual Appliance for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, enabling organizations with VMware-based infrastructures to easily and rapidly deploy and evaluate Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform for proof of concept deployments. Designed to meet growing interest in Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform from users, Open Virtual Appliance for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform is designed to enable users to have a working deployment of OpenStack in mere minutes.

      • Scientific Linux 7.0 x86_64 BETA 3

        Fermilab’s intention is to continue the development and support…

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The Connected Car, Part 3: No Shortcuts to Security

      The Linux Foundation wants an open source platform in the pole position. The nonprofit consortium already has a fully functional Linux distribution, called “Automotive Grade Linux,” or AGL. It is a customizable, open source automotive software stack with Linux at its core.

    • Home automation hub runs Linux, offers cloud services

      Cloud Media launched a Kickstarter campaign for a Linux-based “Stack Box” home automation hub with cloud services and Raspberry Pi expansion compatibility.

    • Is it time to automate your home with Linux?
    • Raspberry Pi Devices Spread in Schools, Help Teach Programming

      According to a new DigiTimes report, sales of credit-card sized Raspberry Pi devices, which run Linux, remain very strong. The Raspberry Pi Foundation says that 3.5 million units have sold worldwide, with demand from China and Taiwan staying strong. The devices are helping to teach children basic programming skills and are arriving in educational systems all around the world.

    • The Many Things You Can Build With A Raspberry Pi

      Ruth Suehle and Tom Callaway are presenting at LinuxCon 2014 Chicago tomorrow about many different Raspberry Pi hacks and other Linux capabilities of these low-cost, low-performance single board computers.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • OneNote for Android tablets added, with handwriting support

          Microsoft released OneNote for Android tablets today with handwriting input, bringing Android users closer to the OneNote experience the company envisioned for the Microsoft Surface.

        • These Are the Biggest Android Tablets That Money Can Buy

          How big do you like your tablet? If you’re designing a kid-friendly device that can be used as an easel, learning resource and game platform, the answer is probably: roughly Monopoly-board big.

          No, 10 or even 12 inches isn’t going to do it for you. You’re going to want a device with a 20- or 24-inch display, like nabi’s new Big Tab tablets, made by Fuhu. The Big Tabs are the biggest Android slates we’ve ever seen for sale (although there have been demos of significantly bigger models).

        • Five things Android smartphones have that are unlikely to come to the iPhone 6

          It is likely I will buy an iPhone 6, but there are many things I like about Android that I doubt we will see come to an Apple flagship smartphone any time soon.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla and Open Diversity Data

        I would encourage other Mozillians to support the push for opening this data by sharing this blog post on the Social Media as an indicator of supporting Open Diversity Data publishing by Mozilla or by retweeting this.

        I really think our Manifesto encourages us to support initiatives like this; specifically principle number two of our manifesto. If other companies (Kudos!) that are less transparent than Mozilla can do it then I think we have to do this.

        Finally, I would like to encourage Mozilla to consider creating a position of VP of Diversity and Inclusion to oversee our various diversity and inclusion efforts and to help plan and create a vision for future efforts at Mozilla. Sure we have already people who kind of do this but it is not their full-time role.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Tesora Launches Certification Program for OpenStack Cloud Storage

      As the OpenStack cloud storage ecosystem grows more and more diverse, how can enterprises ensure compatibility between their OpenStack distribution and their database of choice? Tesora hopes that providing a solution to that quandry can help win it customers through a new certification program.

    • Mesosphere Launches Clusters on Google Compute Engine

      Mesosphere is bringing its Mesos clusters to Google Compute Engine, enabling Google’s (GOOG) cloud users to launch Mesos clusters on the public cloud. This provides customers with the ability to abstract basic devops, simplifying the data center so it looks to developers more like a single piece of hardware.

    • Tesora Delivers Certification Program for OpenStack Cloud Storage

      As the OpenStack cloud computing arena grows, a whole ecosystem of tools and front-ends are growing in popularity as well. And, one of the most notable tools in the ecosystem is the database-as-a-service offering focused on building and managing relational databases, called Trove.

      Tesora recently announced that it has open sourced its Tesora Database Virtualization Engine, and now it is offering the Tesora OpenStack Trove Database Certification Program, which provides “assurance that the most widely used databases can be deployed with Trove into the most popular OpenStack environments via the Tesora DBaaS Platform.”

    • The Top Open Source Cloud Projects of 2014

      OpenStack is the most popular open source cloud project, followed by Docker and KVM, according to a survey of more than 550 respondents conducted by Linux.com and The New Stack and announced today at CloudOpen in Chicago.

    • Using Clocker and Apache Brooklyn to build a Docker cloud

      With the growing potential of Docker, it’s becoming clear that the future of at least some of the data center is going to be containerized. But there are still challenges in getting containerized applications deployed and managed across real and virtual hardware.

      To learn more about one of the available options for performing this management and deployment, yesterday I attended a Google Hangout which was part of the OpenStack Online Meetup series. This month’s topic was centered around providing information and a walk-through of a new open source project called Clocker. Much as the name might suggest, Clocker is a tool designed for spinning up a cloud out of Docker containers.

  • Databases

    • EnterpriseDB chucks devs free tools to craft NoSQL web apps with PostgreSQL

      Enterprise-class PostgreSQL database vendor EnterpriseDB has launched a free turnkey development environment designed to make it easier for coders to build web applications using PostgreSQL’s new NoSQL capabilities.

      The open source PostgreSQL project has been adding NoSQL-like features for the past couple of versions, most notably support for the JavaScript-friendly JSON data format and the JSONB binary storage format.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Desktop Obsessions, Steam Sacrifices, and LibreOffice Review

      We’ve been reading a lot about the desktop lately and we’re not stopping tonight. We have three stories tonight on the desktop. In other news, the kernel repositories beef-up security and Alienware says Steam Machine users will “sacrifice content for the sake of Linux.” The new Linux version of Opera is making progress and CNet has a review of LibreOffice 4.3. This and more in tonight’s Linux news.

    • Why do so many Linux users hate Oracle?

      Oracle has always had a rather touch and go relationship with the open source community, to say the least. The company has never been shy about doing whatever is necessary to earn a profit, even if it means alienating people in the open source community. A redditor asked why Oracle is hated by so many and got quite an earful of responses.

  • Healthcare

    • Black Hat 2014: Open Source Could Solve Medical Device Security

      On the topic of source code liability, Greer suggests that eventually software developers, including medical device development companies, will be responsible for the trouble their software causes (or fails to prevent). I think it’s fair to say that it is impossible to guarantee a totally secure system. You cannot prove a negative statement after all. Given enough time, most systems can be breached. So where does this potential liability end? What if my company has sloppy coding standards, no code reviews, or I use a third-party software library that has a vulnerability? Should hacking be considered foreseeable misuse?

    • Open health community management at Clinovo

      Olivier Roth, Community Manager at Clinovo, has grown an open source community around the open health platform ClinCapture, an open source Eletronic Data Capture (EDC) system.

      Opensource.com caught up with Olivier, who was tasked with not only marketing an open source product but building genuine and natural interest around it to help move it forward. In this interview, we explore the importance of a community to an open source project with tips for how to create and maintain one.

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • Does government finally grok open source?

      Yes, the government — one U.S. federal government employee told me that government IT tends to be “stove-piped,” with people “even working within the same building” not having much of a clue what their peers are doing, which is not exactly the open source way.

      That’s changing. One way to see this shift is in government policies. For the U.S. federal government, there is now a “default to open,” a dramatic reversal on long-standing practices of spending heavily with a core of proprietary technology vendors.

    • U.S. Digital Services and Playbook: “Default to Open”

      About this time last year, I laid out some trends I saw for the coming year in government take up of open source software. Looking back now, it appears those trends are not only here to stay, they are accelerating and are more important than ever.

      In particular, I wrote that “open source will continue to be the ‘go to’ approach for governments around the world” and that “increasingly, governments are wrestling with the ‘how tos’ of open source choices; not whether to use it.”

      Recent developments in the United States highlight these points.

      First, the White House (via OMB and the Federal CIO) has issued a Digital Services Playbook—described in some quarters as “something of a marvel for an official government policy: it’s elegantly designed, has clear navigation, and is responsive to any device you choose to view it upon.” It is well worth a read.

  • Licensing

    • Protecting Software Freedom – the Qt License Update

      The KDE Free Qt Foundation is a legal entity, set up by KDE e.V. and Trolltech, the company originally developing Qt. It aims to safeguard the availability of Qt as Free Software and already fulfilled an important role. Trolltech was bought by Nokia, who sold Qt later to Digia. The contracts stayed valid during all these transitions.

      The foundation has four voting board members (two from Digia, two from KDE e.V.) and two non-voting advisory board members (the Trolltech founders). In case of a tie, KDE e.V.’s board members have an extra vote.

      Through a contract with Digia, the KDE Free Qt Foundation receives rights to all Free Qt releases “for the KDE Windowing System” (currently defined as X11 – we plan to extend this to Wayland) and for Android. As long as Digia keeps the contract, the KDE Free Qt Foundation will never make use of these rights.

    • Qt Licence Update

      Today Qt announced some changes to their licence. The KDE Free Qt team have been working behind the scenes to make these happen and we should be very thankful for the work they put in. Qt code was LGPLv2.1 or GPLv3 (this also allows GPLv2). Existing modules will add LGPLv3 to that. This means I can get rid of the part of the KDE Licensing Policy which says “Note: code may not be copied from Qt into KDE Platform as Qt is LGPLv2.1 only which would prevent it being used under LGPL 3″.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • FarmBot: An Open Source 3D Farming Printer That Aims to Create Food For Everyone

        When most of us think of 3D printers, we typically imagine the desktop machines that are used for creating small plastic objects, or the larger scale industrial level machines used for prototyping, and in some cases the printing of production ready parts. Then there are the extremely large 3D printers that have been created for the printing of concrete structured buildings and other large objects. Perhaps the printers which have the most intriguing uses are those which can print food. These printers, which are still only in the early stages of development, allow those with minimal food preparation experience to print out meals using specially designed software. All of these 3D printers have the potential to bring resources to countries and people who typically don’t have access to traditional means of manufacturing. Yet, none of them ensure massive food production that could help feed the world’s hungry.

      • RISC creator is pushing open source chips for cloud computing and the internet of things

        Fed up with the limitations of current computer chips and their related intellectual property, a team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, is pushing an open source alternative. The RISC-V instruction set architecture was originally developed at the university to help teach computer architecture to students, but now its creators want to push it into the mainstream to help propel emerging markets such as cloud computing and the internet of things.

        One of the researchers leading the charge behind RISC-V is David Patterson, the project’s creator and also the creator of the original RISC instruction set in the 1980s. He views the issue as one centered around innovation. Popular chip architectures historically have been locked down behind strict licensing rules by companies such as Intel, ARM and IBM (although IBM has opened this up a bit for industry partners with its OpenPower foundation). Even for companies that can afford licenses, he argues, the instruction sets they receive can be complex and bloated, requiring a fair amount of effort to shape around the desired outcome.

  • Programming

    • Minecraft mod teaches kids to code by modding Minecraft

      Like many nine-year-olds, Stanley Strum spends a lot of time building things in Minecraft, the immersive game that lets your create your own mini-universe. The game has many tools. But Stanley is one of many players taking the game a step further by building entirely new features into the game. And, more than that, he’s also learning how to code.

Leftovers

  • Pay up: The free ride is over for corporate BYOD

    No, BYOD has not been dealt a death blow by a California Court of Appeals ruling that says employers must reimburse a reasonable part of employees’ cellphone bills when use of their personal phone is required to do their work. But it will kill the practice of using BYOD as an excuse to make some employees buy personal equipment and pay for personal cell plans to do their jobs.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Swedish docs puzzled by deformed penis trend

      Hypospadias, a birth defect where the urethral opening is abnormally placed, is becoming a more common case among Sweden’s new-born boys.

      Researchers at Stockholm’s Karolinksa Institute have published results from a 40-year study in which they collected data from all males born between 1973 and 2009.

      They found that before 1990, cases of hypospadias were recorded in 4.5 boys out of every thousand. After 1990, the figure increased to 8 per 1,000 boys.

      The study looked into factors that are known to cause the defect, such as low-birth weight, being born a twin, or parents who used in vitro fertilization (IVF) to conceive, but researchers stated that the increase did not correlate with these factors.

    • Beware of the Robobee, Monsanto and DARPA

      The RoboBee is a mechanical bee in the design stage at the Microrobotics Lab, housed in a well-appointed building at Harvard University. The RoboBee project’s Intelligence Office declares that the robotic inventors are inspired by the bee. The RoboBee project’s website and press releases use the imagery of the golden bees that we remember from our love of the cuddly buzzy honey-maker.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Finance

    • The Bulgarian Banking Disaster

      Two months after it was taken into conservatorship by the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) after a catastrophic bank run, Bulgaria’s CorpBank is still closed.

  • Censorship

    • Cameron’s big stand will have little impact

      Yesterday, the Prime Minister David Cameron announced his latest effort to take a ‘big stand on protecting our children online’. In a three-month pilot, that starts in October, online music videos will be given an age classification by the British Board of Classification. This rating will be displayed when the music videos are uploaded to YouTube or the music video site Vevo. Cameron claims that such a rating system will bring music videos in line with offline media such as films.

    • City Of Peoria Claims No Rights Were Violated When Police And Mayor Shut Down Parody Twitter Account

      This very public display of stupidity may cost the City of Peoria, along with the many other defendants named in the lawsuit filed on behalf of the Twitter account owner (Jon Daniel) by the ACLU. Obviously, the First Amendment was all but forgotten in the mayor’s quest to make this account — one that was only seen by Mayor Jim Ardis and a handful of others — disappear.

    • Facebook To Ruin Our Good Time With ‘Satire’ Disclaimer; The Onion Responds With Satire

      Forget confusing, this is yet another inch down the slippery slope in the war on humor and me-getting-to-make-fun-of-people, and I won’t stand for it, damn it. People I haven’t seen since high school getting fooled by The Onion has been one of the great pleasures in my life and it’s just not right for Facebook to chip away at that fun just because it appears to have finally acknowledged that its users are, by and large, idiots.

  • Privacy

    • panicd: An approach for home routers to securely erase sensitive data

      On August 15rd 2014, our student Nicolas Benes gave a talk on “panicd: An approach for home routers to securely erase sensitive data” defending his almost finished Bachelor’s Thesis at GHM 2014 hosted at TUM. The goal of his work is to ensure that secrets (especially key material) stored on your hardware (especially in memory) remain secret even if an adversary attempts to take physical control over the device. You can now find the video below.

    • The Security of al Qaeda Encryption Software

      I don’t want to get into an argument about whether al Qaeda is altering its security in response to the Snowden documents. Its members would be idiots if they did not, but it’s also clear that they were designing their own cryptographic software long before Snowden. My guess is that the smart ones are using public tools like OTR and PGP and the paranoid dumb ones are using their own stuff, and that the split was the same both pre- and post-Snowden.

    • Binney: ‘The NSA’s main motives: power and money’

      Whistleblower William Binney recently made headlines when he told the German parliament that the NSA, his former employer, had become “totalitarian.” DW spoke to him about NSA overrreach and the agency’s power.

    • Money And Power: The Real Reason For The NSA Spying On Everyone

      More than four years ago, we wrote about all the buzz that you were hearing about “cyberwar” was little more than an attempt to drum up FUD to get the government to throw billions of dollars at private contractors. We noted that Booz Allen Hamilton (yes, the last employer of one Ed Snowden) had hired former NSA director and also Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell as its Vice Chairman. He was the leading voice out there screaming about the threat of “cyberwar” getting on TV and having lots of opinion pieces in big name publications — all of which mentioned his former government jobs, but almost none of which mentioned that his current employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, stood to make billions selling “solutions” to the government. And, indeed, Booz Allen has been raking in the cash on “cybersecurity.”

      This is worth keeping in mind as you read this fascinating interview with NSA whistleblower, Bill Binney, in which he lays this out plain and simple. The real reason for all this NSA surveillance is about money and power. “Stop terrorism” is secondary.

    • don’t encrypt all the things

      Making things easy means making them transparent. It means pushing the crypto away from the user. That’s how we end up with our lolcats and dogecoins all mixed up together. Maybe some things should be hard, to remind us that they are important.

    • No Photos: Parents Opt to Keep Babies off Facebook

      Behold the cascade of baby photos, the flood of funny kid anecdotes and the steady stream of school milestones on Facebook.

      It all makes Sonia Rao, a stay-at-home mother of a 1-year-old in Mountain View, California, “a little uncomfortable.”

      “I just have a vague discomfort having her photograph out there for anyone to look at,” says Rao. “When you meet a new person and go to their account, you can look them up, look at photos, videos, know that they are traveling.”

    • German Officials Mull the Ultimate in Document Security – Manual Typewriters

      Politicians from Germany have come up with a unique way of safeguarding documents that even the NSA would have trouble in breaching. Far from a cutting-edge online security measure, the idea has been floated of once again breaking out the typewriters for the scripting of the most sensitive documents of all.

    • GERMANY’S SPYING ON TURKEY MIGHT BE LINKED WITH KURDISH QUESTION

      Political tension between Turkey and Germany has been continuing since the German weekly Der Spiegel revealed that the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has been spying on its NATO ally, Turkey, since 2009. Even though German Chancellor Angela Merkel is no stranger to spying since she discovered her cellphone had been tapped by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), she refused to comment on the work of BND when questioned about the surveillance of Turkish targets.

    • Yes, Berlin has its own spying scandals, but don’t expect Germany to forgive the NSA

      For politicians in Washington, the German uproar over allegations that the NSA had spied on Merkel and collected the data of millions of Germans was remarkable. The usually calm Chancellor Angela Merkel angrily rejected American explanations and forced the CIA station chief in Berlin to leave the country after further allegations were made public. German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble went even further, saying publicly that he wanted to cry over “such stupidity.”

    • Gaycken: ‘We’re being plundered’

      Deutsche Welle: One of the goals the German government has set in its “Digital Agenda” is increasing trust in the internet. Do you think complete digital safety can be achieved?

      Sandro Gaycken: At this point, definitely not. The internet is inherently unsafe. At its inception, we simply didn’t include a whole lot of factors that would have been needed to guarantee security. That list starts with computers but includes web mechanisms. Wanting to create security by spouting off a few nice words, and even wanting to become the safest nation in the world is illusionary. And so far, we haven’t heard any more than these phrases.

    • ​NSA, BND and MIT: Whose Big Brother is watching whom?

      When news broke last summer that a certain NSA contractor had “leaked” an inordinate amount of secret data to various media outlets, global public opinion suddenly realized that the world we live in today does resemble the Orwellian dystopia 1984.

      The National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden made material available to journalist Glenn Greenwald, and the British broadsheet The Guardian published its first Snowden-related article on 5-6 June 2013. Greenwald laconically wrote then that the “National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers,” revealing the tip of the surveillance iceberg that was made public by the contractor. Edward Snowden outed himself as the NSA leaker on 9 June 2013 “in a video interview with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras.”

    • GCHQ Is Mapping Open TCP Ports Across Whole Countries

      German journalists and academics have criticised Britain’s intelligence service GCHQ for scanning servers round the world, and maintaining a database of open ports which could be used in attacks.

      British intelligence agency GCHQ has been cataloguing open TCP ports across entire countries as part of a secret programme codenamed ‘Hacienda’, reports German publication Heise Online.

    • Spy office defends ‘extensive and multi-layered’ oversight

      The nation’s top spy office is publicly defending a controversial executive order that authorizes some types of foreign snooping.

      The Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s (ODNI) civil liberties protection officer, Alexander Joel, wrote an op-ed in Politico Magazine on Monday arguing that the Reagan administration order is covered by “extensive and multi-layered” oversight and includes multiple protections for Americans and foreigners alike.

    • Why the Tor browser and your privacy are under threat

      Private companies and governments track everything you do online. While these intrusions on your freedom and privacy may seem benign, for many anonymity is a matter of life and death. People living under repressive regimes, political activists, spies, journalists and even the military all need to access the internet and remain truly anonymous and impossible to track.

      [...]

      It is odd then that the technology behind Tor was originally developed by the US Navy in an attempt to develop a secure way of routing traffic over the internet. In fact the US government is still the single biggest financial supporter of Tor and donated over $2.5 million to the project in the past two years. Despite that the NSA and its UK equivalent GCHQ have made several determined attempts to break open Tor’s encryption and unmask its users. An old bug in Tor’s browser software let spooks identify 24 users in a single weekend, according to The Washington Post while the NSA has also looked for patterns in entry and exit points on the Tor network to try and spot individual users. But despite best efforts Tor remains secure and there is no evidence that the NSA or any other agency is capable of unmasking Tor on a global scale.

    • Gov’t Says NSA Phone Spying Suit Should Be Tossed

      The U.S. government on Monday asked a Washington, D.C., federal judge to dismiss one of three lawsuits filed by a former U.S. Department of Justice antitrust attorney who is challenging the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s collection of phone and online data records.

    • Why A Philosopher Teaches Privacy

      Next week, the new term begins and I’ll be teaching an undergraduate philosophy course called, “Technology, Privacy, and the Law.” The first order of business will be to explain why thinking critically about privacy—determining what it is, deciding when it should be protected, and pinpointing how it ought to be safeguarded—means doing philosophy. Given the practical stakes of these issues, you might not realize that getting into them involves philosophical thinking. But if you’ve got a principled bone to pick with corporate, peer, or governmental surveillance, or if you’ve good reasons for being displeased with the activists who are taking stands against it, you’ve got your philosopher’s cap on.

    • EFF to Ethiopia: Illegal Wiretapping Is Illegal, Even for Governments

      Earlier this week, EFF told the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that Ethiopia must be held accountable for its illegal wiretapping of an American citizen. Foreign governments simply do not have a get-out-of-court-free card when they commit serious felonies in America against Americans. This case is the centerpiece of our U.S. legal efforts to combat state sponsored malware.

    • A first step in reining in the NSA’s power

      A little more than a year after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the federal government was collecting and storing the telephone records of millions of Americans, Congress is poised to end the program and provide significant protection for a broad range of personal information sought by government investigators.

    • Editorial: Leahy bill a step toward rebalancing privacy, national security

      For all its limitations, Leahy’s USA Freedom Act testifies to the importance of informed public debate. Snowden’s disclosures brought into the open a dramatic expansion of government power. As a result, liberal Democrats in Congress joined libertarian Republicans in pushing back against an overweening national security establishment.

    • For German, Swiss Privacy Start-Ups, a Post-Snowden Boom

      US and Chinese tech companies are not the only ones profiting from the “Snowden effect.”

      Since news broke that former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden disclosed alleged U.S. government surveillance methods worldwide, secure messaging and so-called ‘NSA-proof’ products and companies have sprouted across Germany and Switzerland, two countries who take their privacy laws very seriously.

    • Facebook notes huge jump in secure email connections

      Facebook Inc., which sends billions of notification emails to users each day, said it has discovered a rapid rise in email programs using secure connections.

      Facebook said in a blog post that the number of third-party email providers who hold strict security certificates and deploy encryption of outbound notifications jumped from roughly 30 percent in March to 95 percent in mid-July.

    • Facebook reports enormous uptick in use of snoop-proof email
    • Close to All Facebook Notification Emails Encrypted
    • Meet John Tye: the kinder, gentler, and by-the-book whistleblower

      The way John Tye tells it, we’ve all been missing the forest for the trees.

      Over the course of two phone calls, the former State Department official told Ars that anyone who has been following the government surveillance discussion since the Snowden disclosures has been too concerned with things like metadata collection. Since last summer, journalists, politicians, and the public have been inundated with largely-unknown terminology, like “Section 215” and “Section 702.”

  • Civil Rights

    • Why Ferguson PD has no video of Michael Brown’s death

      There is no video of the death of Michael Brown; there are only two diametrically opposed stories.

      Police in Ferguson, Mo., say an officer killed Brown after the teenager tried to take the officer’s gun. Witnesses say Brown never assaulted the cop and was actually waving his hands in the air before being shot six times. More than a week after Brown’s death, still nobody knows exactly what happened, because no cameras were rolling. In 2014, with HD video neither costly nor scarce, is this acceptable?

    • How Body Cameras Affect Police Accountability
    • “He Wasn’t A Regular Guy”

      How is whether or not Brown was a “regular guy” relevant to the question of whether the police officer was justified in shooting him to death? We do not have one set of laws for “regular guys” and another for everyone else.

    • Intercept Issues Statement on Reporter Shot With Non-Lethal Bullet, Arrested in Ferguson

      He “was doing his job, presented a threat to no one, and clearly identified himself as a member of the press,” Glenn Greenwald’s news organization says

      A reporter for Glenn Greenwald’s news agency, the Intercept, is the latest to be targeted by police in Ferguson, Mo.

    • In Ferguson, echoes of Middle East?

      A summer of global turmoil has culminated in nightmarish scenes from Ferguson, Mo., a St. Louis suburb torn apart by protests after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.

    • Fox Turns To New Black Panthers Fabulist To Argue “Eric Holder Cannot Be Trusted” To Investigate Michael Brown Shooting
    • CNN Attempts Actual Journalism–But Reverts to Embedded Reporting

      In a matter of minutes, members of the media, who had been objectively and effectively reporting on a protest greeted with a militarized crackdown worthy of a war-torn country, suddenly agreed to become embedded journalists–just like in a war-torn country. Embedded journalism, as FAIR has often written (e.g, Extra!, 9/03), is one of the worst practices of media if you want independent and accurate reporting.

      [...]

      Johnson didn’t think Ferguson police were getting positive enough coverage, so he asked Tapper and Lemon to join him the next day and report alongside him.

    • CNN’s Rosemary Church Asks “Why Not Perhaps Use Water Cannon” In Ferguson
    • Russia, Iran and Egypt Heckle US About Tactics in Ferguson
    • You Know Things are Bad When Egypt and Russia Are Chastising the U.S. Over Ferguson

      The ridiculous police response in Ferguson, Mo., has provoked plenty of reactions from other countries, some of whom seem to be reveling in the chance to troll the U.S. (while seemingly forgetting their own records on human rights).

    • Tear Gas Is A Banned Chemical Weapon, But US Lobbying Made It Okay For Domestic Use… And, Boy, Do We Use It

      If you’ve been watching what’s going on in Ferguson, Missouri, lately, you’re quite well aware that the police have been basically spraying tear gas almost everywhere they can. Suddenly, articles are springing up all over the internet about the use of tear gas — which, it turns out is technically banned for use in warfare as a chemical weapon. The history of how that came about, however, is a bit complicated, as this State Department notice on tear gas discusses. Basically, there was a dispute over whether or not tear gas violated the Geneva Conventions. Here’s a snippet:

    • Administration Proudly Announces That If Your ‘We The People’ Petition Aligns With Its Priorities, Something Might Actually Happen

      Let’s get this right out in the open. I don’t have any particular animosity towards this administration. I just don’t find it to be an improvement over the last one (which I found to be pretty much terrible from all angles). This wouldn’t be notable except for the fact that this administration definitely considers itself to be a vast improvement over the last one and has made several proclamations advancing that theory. (“Most transparent administration,” anyone?)

    • US ‘deeply disturbed’ after Afghans bar reporter from leaving country

      The United States is “deeply disturbed” that Afghanistan’s attorney general has blocked a New York Times reporter from leaving the country, the State Department said Tuesday.

      Times journalist Matthew Rosenberg said Tuesday that he was questioned after writing a story alleging that unnamed Afghan officials were plotting to seize power if the country’s electoral crisis continued.

    • EXCLUSIVE: Brooklyn man wins $125,000 settlement after claiming he was arrested for recording stop-and-frisk

      Dick George claimed that he was pulled from his car in Flatbush after cops realized he was recording them as they searched three youths and overheard him advising the youths to get cops’ badge numbers in June 2012.

    • The Revolutionary Document That Is The UK’s 184-Year-Old Idea Of ‘Policing By Consent’

      Jason Kottke of the always informative and entertaining kottke.org just posted a very interesting look at the genesis of UK law enforcement. In 1829, the UK government shifted policing from a paramilitary force comprised mainly of volunteers to an organized force comprised of citizens. But it made it very clear that UK police derived their power from the consent of the people, rather than from a government mandate.

    • NYPD Settles Case In Which It Arrested Guy For Recording Stop And Frisk, Pays $125,000

      In yet another case in which police illegal arrested someone for filming the police, the police have been forced to pay up. Unlike the big Simon Glik case, it appears that the NYPD (under new management!) decided to do its best to settle the case and get it off the books. They’re paying $125,000 to Dick George, who recorded police doing one of its infamous stop-and-frisks.

    • LAPD Officer Says Tragedies Could Be Prevented If Citizens Would Just Shut Up And Do What Cops Tell Them To

      In the continuing furor that is Ferguson, Missouri, someone is finally asking, “Won’t anyone think of the poor police officers?” Naturally, the person raising this question is a police officer — a 17-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department. And the question isn’t so much being raised as it is being thrown in the reader’s face.

    • Church denies buying victims’ legal rights

      The Catholic Church denies buying off sexual abuse victims for a modest sum to avoid being sued, but says it understands why people believe it did.

      Hundreds of victims of paedophile priests signed away their rights to sue the church for compensation payments under its Melbourne Response scheme for handling clergy sex abuse complaints.

    • We wouldn’t need whistleblowers’ bravery if Morrison did his job properly

      Without whistelblowers working in immigration centers, we would not know the devastating conditions that refugees, including children, suffer under

    • Somalia: After 19 Initial Arrests, Three Journalists Still Held and Reportedly Tortured

      Reporters Without Borders condemns the closures of Mogadishu-based Radio Shabelle and Sky FM and arrests of 19 journalists and employees on 15 August, and the continuing detention and reported torture of the directors of the two radio stations and their owner.

    • Government Repeatedly Threatening Reporter Who Exposed Blackwater With Arrest

      If you blinked at the end of June, you may have missed one of the best pieces of journalism in 2014. The New York Times headline accompanying the story was almost criminally bland, but the content itself was extraordinary: A top manager at Blackwater, the notorious defense contractor, openly threatened to kill a US State Department official in 2007 if he continued to investigate Blackwater’s corrupt dealings in Iraq. Worse, the US government sided with Blackwater and halted the investigation. Blackwater would later go on to infamously wreak havoc in Iraq.

    • Should Luxembourg offer asylum to Snowden & Assange?

      A Luxembourg computer hacking group has called on the Luxembourg government to offer asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      In an open letter, the Chaos Computer Club (C3L) said that such an invitation would be a “long overdue” political action.

      “Both (Assange and Snowden) have taken significant risks and consequences around the world to expose the intentions of power-hungry institutions and demonstrate their activities. Threats, lawsuits and denunciations were the responses of the States concerned; and only very little attention from those who could provide political and institutional changes.”

      The letter referred to C3L’s “Freedom Not Fear” initiative, on which a round table discussion was held with all Luxembourg political party representatives, excluding the ADR and PID.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • How to Save the Net: Don’t Give In to Big ISPs

      The Internet has already changed how we live and work, and we’re only just getting started. Who’d have thought even five years ago that people would be streaming Ultra HD 4K video over their home Internet connections?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Movie Boss Avoids Copyright Q&A to Avoid Piracy “Crazies”

        A public discussion forum centered on new copyright proposals will go ahead without Australia’s main Hollywood-affiliated studio. In an email just made public, Village Roadshow Co-CEO Graham Burke said his company would be boycotting the event due to it being dominated by “crazies” with a pro-piracy agenda.

      • Attackers Can ‘Steal’ Bandwidth From BitTorrent Seeders, Research Finds

        New research reveals that BitTorrent swarms can be slowed down significantly by malicious peers. Depending on the number of seeders and the clients they use, download times can be increased by 1000%. The attacks are possible through an exploit of the BitTorrent protocol for which the researchers present a fix.

      • Unsealed documents show Prenda parties’ twisted finances

        Prenda’s recent devastating defeat in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals was a result of Dan Booth’s / Jason Sweet’s titanic work and John Steele’s / Paul Hansmeier’s incurable hubris. Trolls’ hubris made them foolishly believe that they had more than a “between slim and zero” chance of prevailing on appeal despite the compelling evidence of not so laundry-fresh financials.

      • Unsealed Motions Shows How Team Prenda Sought To Hide Money

        Back in April, we wrote about a really enraged John Steele (famous for his likely leading role in the Prenda scam) angrily hitting back against a sealed motion for contempt against him, arguing that he was lying and hiding assets in his attempt to plead poverty, after a court ordered Team Prenda to file detailed financial statements. They did not do so.

      • Nintendo Goes Copyright On Woman Making Pokemon-Inspired Planters

        We all know that Nintendo wraps itself in copyright law like some kind of really boring security blanket. Every once in a while, the company will make some noise about being more open and accommodating to its biggest fans and the like, but that noise is usually followed up by a rash of takedowns and C&D letters. The most recent battlefront Nintendo has entered in the war against its own fans is the floral planter arena. One woman, admittedly inspired by her love of the Pokemon game series, shared her design for a 3D printed planter on a commerce website.

      • Licensing Boards Think Studying For A Test Is Copyright Infringement, Forbid Memorization Of Material

        Today’s copyright-induced stupidity is brought to you by… a whole host of regulatory institutions. An anonymous Techdirt reader sent in a pointer to this ridiculous warning that greets those accessing the National Association of Legal Assistants practice tests.

      • Who Needs SOPA? US Court Wipes Sites From The Internet For ‘Infringement’ Without Even Alerting Sites In Question

        TorrentFreak has the exceptionally troubling story of a federal district court in Oregon issuing an incredibly broad and questionable order, effectively wiping a bunch of websites out, without ever letting the websites in question know that they were being “tried” in court. The request came from ABS-CBN, a giant Filipino entertainment company arguing infringement, of course. But the argument against these sites is somewhat questionable already, made worse by the demand that the whole thing be done under seal (without alerting the site operators). Then Judge Anna Brown granted the temporary restraining order, basically deleting these sites from the internet, without even a sniff of an adversarial hearing.

Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile’s Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 12:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always

Windows, the common carrier of Microsoft, is such a sordid mess that it suffers regular glitches and conducts mass surveillance on users. Microsoft knows that without Windows it cannot survive, so dirty tricks resume in a very big way. This is not a beep on the radar but somewhat of a surge.

Bribing politicians in numerous countries is not enough for Microsoft (it got caught), so moles too seem to be rolled into action. Microsoft Peter says that the chief criminal (behind bribes to officials) is distancing himself from Microsoft, but the corruption itself is not stopping:

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has announced that he’s stepping down from the company’s board, effective immediately.

Don’t think for a second that it means the crimes will stop. Under his leadership Brazil was attacked by proxy for its ODF policy and many other nations that are cheap to bribe or corrupt suffered from Microsoft intervention. It is digital imperialism. Consider the Philippines, which has been the victim of colonialism for hundreds of years. In 2008 we wrote about what Microsoft had done in the Philippines to derail a Free software policy and bill. Now Microsoft does something similar in Santiago, writing or changing legislation by proxy, if not bribing people as well (the modus operandi of Microsoft against public officials). In 2008 we wrote about what Microsoft had done in Chile and Ernesto Manríquez tells us that it is happening again. “Microsoft bought local politician Daniel Farcas to neutralize a resolution forcing Chilean gov’t to use FLOSS,” he told me, adding that “Farcas was involved in a corruption scandal with his university, UNIACC (controlled by Apollo Group)”.

Finally he shows an article where, according to him and his translation “Vlado Mirosevic reveals sabotage by MS to res promoting FLOSS usage in Chielan gov’t. “MS RAPED us””.

The article from Renato Garín says (in English): “To understand the debate is necessary to observe the sequence of events. The Mirosevic MP, the Liberal Party of Chile, intended to introduce a bill regarding free software and encourage its use by the state. The draft agreement submitted by Deputy Mirosevic was also signed by nine other legislators seeking the State to take into account the alternative of free software versus software license, which is paid over 36 billion a year, according to the detail built by the team of deputy. Aware of the threat to their interests, representatives of Microsoft came to interview Mirosevic to persuade him down this motion. In these efforts, Microsoft was accompanied by a strategic communications company called Factor C, whose website service lobby is not mentioned and whose executive director is Javiera de la Cerda, UDI lady mayor of Las Condes, Francisco de la Maza.”

On it goes: “Having described the case of free software, it seems clear that this conflict between Mirosevic Microsoft has an edge and lobbying that can not be overlooked. The regulation of lobbying, we know, is already stipulated in the Law 20.730 which comes into operation yet, because we are waiting for the issuance of the respective regulations. In the short term does not seem plausible to have the law in place, since then the rules have to mount a digital system which enables meeting of parliamentarians and other authorities involved. However, the team has put into operation Mirosevic equivalent minuta to which shall be constructed under Law 20.730. minuta In this, the role played by the company Factor C is seen as a representative of Microsoft and ACTIS. On the website of Factor C mention the lobby as such does not appear. Factor C ¿Understand that what they do is lobby?

“All this leads to the icing on the cake if exposed by the report of Fluxá. It turns out that, in the negotiations in the Senate, an indication is included for companies producing software that will work in practice as a subsidy. That is, the original draft of Mirosevic candid unleashed lobby eventually pushed the project Farcas and then the indication in the tax reform bill. This shows the effectiveness of carambola lobby, the ability to promote and neutering bills and motions, ending leading to direct benefits to large companies. In parallel, an alliance orchestra with small producers to align interests and negotiate together. The result is obvious: to legislate his pint. The logic and the project know as the Fisheries Act, which was dubbed ” a picnic Lobby “by Senator Carlos Montes.”

Ernesto Manríquez shows us another new article. To quote an English translation of the headline: “Deputy Mirosevic reveals sabotage project that promoted free software: “Microsoft violated us””

Here is some translation of the article’s body:

A multimillion-dollar business, in fact nothing less than 36 billion dollars that the State of Chile paid annually to companies by the concept of “software licenses”, ie, authorization to use such common programs such as the Windows operating system or Office programs, Word and Excel.

But did you know that this -upper the amount required to build a hospital of high complexity-pocket is mostly unnecessary? This is because in recent years, countries such as Germany, France, Spain, Russia, China and Brazil have joined the trend of free software, a mode in which programs developed jointly used by hundreds of people, who then distributed for use at no charge.

Following this policy, the deputy Vlado Mirosevic introduced in May this year a bill ordering the Chilean State to prefer free software over proprietary software. The legislation specified that only when a department submit a written justification, may purchase a license.

“We are not against the state hires Microsoft license or other services, but we are breaking this trend in the culture of the state to hire proprietary software because it is the one most on hand. The idea is that the state is obliged to seek alternative services that are free, that will mean significant savings, “he said at that time the deputy Arica daily La Tercera .

Soon, Mirosevic realized that large software companies had accused the coup. As explained by a news magazine Friday picked up by The Desk , Alex Pessó, manager of legal and corporate affairs at Microsoft, traveled to Congress to join him, to expose studies and arguments rebutted the project that had submitted .

However no parliamentary traded. Quite the contrary, received immediate support from other former student leaders as Giorgio Jackson and Gabriel Boric, who were more akin to the ideology of community development. In the case of the other congressmen, he realized that most of them did not understand the topic.

“Half the people had no idea what we were talking. I’m not saying the free software concept, rather the software, but as we had calculated, the rest followed those that had understood, “said Mirosevic publication.

This is becoming a hot article in Chile at the moment. Further down it says:

“Microsoft violated us. And worse, it was a rape that ended in pregnancy, “he snapped.

This is because under the new draft Farcas, not only no longer promotes free software in the state, but a tax break for companies that hire or subscribe technology services through the Internet is established. “It’s a tax benefit to companies to use proprietary software. It encourages buying and state, instead of saving, subsidizing ends, “he added.

Chile would be foolish to stay with Microsoft, especially given public knowledge about espionage by NSA, Microsoft’s “special” partner. It is a matter of national security. Likewise in Germany. Right now Microsoft (through its partners and embedded pseudo-journalists) is libeling Munich's migration to GNU/Linux (see our update with refutation) and one Romanian journalist says that it is “Proof That Microsoft Is Still an Evil Company”. Microsoft has tried so many dirty tricks against Munich and the latest is perhaps a mole of Microsoft. To quote the journalist: “Reports about the city of Munich authorities that are considering the replacement of Linux with Microsoft products mostly comes from one man, the Deputy Mayor of Munich, who is also a long-term self-declared Windows fan.

“Munich is the poster child for the adoption of a Linux distribution and the replacement of the old Windows OS. It provided a powerful incentive for other cities to do the same, and it’s been a thorn in Microsoft’s side for a very long time.

“The adoption of open source software in Munich started back in 2004 and it took the local authorities over 10 years to finish the process. It’s a big infrastructure, but in the end they managed to do it. As you can imagine, Microsoft was not happy about it. Even the CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, tried to stop the switch to Linux, but he was too late to the party.”

Even after refutation some Microsoft boosters continue to repeat the propaganda and the lies (no need for links to examples here, as that would feed them). They will probably continue to do this for a while, totally ignoring refutations that are not convenient to this Microsoft brainwash attempt (trying to scare those who wish to mimic Munich and follow its example). Bribes go a long way and Microsoft has clever ways of distributing them. We gave numerous examples from Munich (‘soft’ bribes).

Microsoft is a highly corrupt company, but it is unlikely that its staff will be sent to jail. Microsoft exploits this perceived immunity (laws do not apply) to act recklessly. As Pogson puts it

Of course, the mayor might get a different result if he accepts voluntary labour from M$ or hires his nephew to do the research, but the council is wide awake and understands the issues, so I doubt there will be some coup in IT.

Nothing is going to change in Munich, but Microsoft is trying to maintain an international/universal perception that the migration to GNU/Linux was a disaster. Numerous anonymous blogs were created to attack Munich over this and provocateurs of Microsoft loved citing them, only to be repeatedly proven wrong. Microsoft is trying to make an example out of Munich in all sorts of nefarious ways. We need to defend Munich from this malicious assault by the convicted monopolist and corrupt enterprise that’s acting as though it fights for its very survival (while indeed laying off tens of thousands of employees).

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