EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.19.14

Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 3:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • European Space Operations Centre Now Runs on SUSE Linux Enterprise Servers

    The European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) is now powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and it’s making a firm commitment towards open source and Linux software.

    This is not exactly something completely unexpected. The European Space Agency and openSUSE have been friends for a few years, but now the level of implication manifested by both parties has gone beyond the adoption of a Linux distro.

  • Server

    • A beginners guide to Docker
    • Why the operating system matters in a containerized world

      Applications running in Linux containers are isolated within a single copy of the operating system running on a physical server. This approach stands in contrast to hypervisor-based virtualization in which each application is bound to a complete copy of a guest operating system and communicates with the hardware through the intervening hypervisor. As a result, containers consume very few system resources such as memory and impose essentially no performance overhead on the application.

    • Panamax Connects Docker Linux Containers Like Lego

      n open-source community resource for complex Docker architectures

      CenturyLink has contributed the Panamax Docker management platform to open source. Panamax is described as a tool (its makers would prefer we said “platform”) for developers to create, share, and deploy a Docker-containerized application.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.17 Release Cycle Begins as LinuxCon Opens

      Big week on the Linux Planet as a new Linux kernel release cycle begins and Kernel developers congregate in Chicago for LinuxCon.

      “I’m going to be on a plane much of tomorrow, and am not really supportive of last-minute pull requests during the merge window anyway, so I’m closing the merge window one day early, and 3.17-rc1 is out there now,” Linus Torvalds wrote in his Linux 3.17 rc1 release announcement.

    • Linux kernel source code repositories get better security

      Almost three years ago, crackers broke into the kernel.org, Linux’s most important site. While no damage was done, it was still worrisome. So, at the Linux Kernel Summit, the Linux Foundation announced that it was securing Linux’s Git source code repositories with two-factor authentication.

    • Btrfs Gets Talked Up, Googler Encourages You To Try Btrfs

      This week at LinuxCon North America in Chicago is a presentation by Google’s Marc Merlin that’s entitled “Why you should consider using btrfs, real COW snapshots and file level incremental server OS upgrades like Google does.” The presentation does a good job at looking at the state of Btrfs on Linux and comparing it to ZFS.

      Marc Merlin, a Linux admin at Google for more than one decade, is presenting on Thursday at LinuxCon Chicago about Btrfs. His slides are already available for those that can’t make it to the windy city or are looking for an overview of what he’ll be discussing.

    • Kpatch Gets Exposure This Week, kGraft Misses Out

      This week at LinuxCon Chicago are two talks about Red Hat’s Kpatch live kernel patching solution to reduce downtime. However, there aren’t any scheduled talks about SUSE’s kGraft solution with neither yet being in the mainline kernel.

      On Thursday at the Sheraton in Chicago will be the “Kpatch Without Stop Machine” presentation by Hitachi’s Masami Hiramatsu while on Friday afternoon will be “kpatch: Have Your Security And Eat It Too!” by Red Hat’s Josh Poimboeuf.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa Now Supports Another OpenGL 4.5 Extension

        While Mesa is still racing towards OpenGL 4.0 compliance, another OpenGL 4.5 extension can now be crossed off the Mesa TODO list.

        Some Mesa developers have already started tackling some of the easier OpenGL 4.5 extensions and today another can be crossed off the list. Thanks to Tobias Klausmann. GL_ARB_conditional_render_inverted is now supported by Mesa. The core work for GL_ARB_conditional_render_inverted is complete and is implemented currently by the Gallium3D-based Nouveau NVC0 (Fermi+), Softpipe, and LLVMpipe drivers. Support will surely come in time for mainline Mesa with this extension for the RadeonSI Gallium3D and Intel drivers.

      • AMD Launches Radeon R7 Series SSDs

        Not to be confused with the Radeon R7 graphics cards, AMD today officially announced the Radeon R7 SSD line-up.

  • Applications

    • Git 2.1.0 Version Control System Now Available for Download

      Git 2.1.0, a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency, has been officially released.

    • XBMC 13.2 Released, One Of The Last Before Kodi

      XBMC 13.2 has been released as one of the last “Gotham” series bug-fix releases before the project renames itself to Kodi.

    • XBMC 13.2 Gotham – Final release

      Here it is. One of the last versions ever that will be using the XBMC name, as we are renaming XBMC to Kodi. All our future releases will be using the Kodi name. You can read about that here. However lets focus on this release. After three beta releases and a release candidate, we are happy to announce the final 13.2 release. This follows a couple of months after the 13.1 release, and is considered a small bug fix release. Unfortunately we cannot fix all things reported. Below you will find a list of most important fixes included in this release.

    • BitTorrent Client Vuze 5.4 Officially Released

      Vuze, a BitTorrent client previously known as Azureus, which is built on Java, has reached version 5.4 and is now available for download.

    • Proprietary

      • Viber 4.2 For Linux Available For Download

        Quick update for Viber users: Viber for Linux was updated to version 4.2.x recently, finally catching up with the Windows version. Unfortunately, the application continues to be available for 64bit only.

      • New Massive Google Chrome 38 Dev Update Lands on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X

        The Development branch of Google Chrome, a browser built on the Blink layout engine that aims to be minimalistic and versatile at the same time, is now at version 38.0.2125.0 and is available for all supported platforms.

      • Opera 25 Dev for Linux Now Features MP3, H.264, and HiDPI Support

        The Opera developers have released a new version of their Internet browser and a new build has been made available in the 25.x branch.

      • New VM Software Claims To Be 4.5x Faster Than QEMU

        Eltechs is preparing to introduce ExaGear Desktop next month as new proprietary software for running Linux x86 software on Linux ARM using their own virtual machine technology.

        Eltechs claims that ExaGear is great for running a virtual Linux x86 container on ARMv7 hardware. From there you could also run the x86 version of Wine for running x86 Windows programs on ARM hardware. This can already be done right now (using QEMU and other open-source Linux technologies for running emulated software for another CPU architecture separate from the host platform), but Eltechs claims that their binary-only solution “It is like QEMU but 4.5 times faster!”

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Civilization-Inspired Freeciv 2.4.3 Receives Major Overhaul

        Freeciv, a free turn-based multiplayer strategy game, in which each player becomes the leader of a civilization, is now at version 2.4.3.

      • Empire: Total War Might Be Getting a Linux Release Soon

        Empire: Total War, a real-time strategy game developed by The Creative Assembly and published by Sega, might be a getting a Linux release soon.

        Empire: Total War is one of the most successful games in the entire franchise and now it shows up in the Steam database, under the Linux category. The title might have been initially developed by The Creative Assembly, but those developers only made the Windows version.

      • Alienware: Steam Machine owners will “sacrifice content” for the sake of Linux

        It’s been tough to parse Alienware’s position on the Linux-based SteamOS. At E3 they told us that the Steam Machine will increase Linux gamers by “20, 30 fold, overnight”. But with the first Steam Machines delayed into 2015, they’ve upstaged their own Linux box with a Windows-based living room PC: the Alienware Alpha.

        So who would win in a fight, Alienware? A living room PC running Windows, or the same PC running SteamOS?

        “It depends on what you’re looking for; there’s advantages to both,” said Alienware general manager Frank Azor. “[With] the Linux version I do think you’re going to sacrifice a little bit of content.”

      • Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Shafts Linux Gamers

        The Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 was just announced with “$210 worth of awesome games” that can be found on Steam, but before Linux gamers get too excited, they’re mostly left in the dust.

        Of the seven launch games part of the Humble Jumbo Bundle 2, only one of the games is currently available as a native port on Linux: Crusader Kings 2. That game has been available on Linux since early 2013.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Krita At Siggraph 2014

        For the first time, Krita has been present at Siggraph! Siggraph is the largest conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques and it has a big trade show as well as presentations, posters, book shops and animations. While Krita has been presented before at the Mobile World Congress, Siggraph really is where Krita belongs!

      • Randa Meetings 2014 – Impressions

        I want to thank very much to Mario Fux who organizes these meetings since 2009 and contributed a lot to my participation since I heard about this year’s meeting after the registrations had closed and he still offered to organize the accommodation for me. So, thanks once again Mario. I’d also want to thank everyone present at Randa this year for this great experience. This was my first participation in a KDE event but not the last one for sure

  • Distributions

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source forms the backbone of the most significant projects

    Companies increasingly understand that open source allows them to create faster, cheaper, and more secure products than they did by constantly reinventing the wheel in closed-source development environments. And the drivers of OSS adoption go beyond cost cutting and time savings. Participating in open source communities is a goal in itself—one that gives companies a competitive edge and helps them to attract top talent and influence project direction.

  • Beautiful Open: A compendium of beautiful open source projects

    Here’s a neat little online resource for you, courtesy of Chicago-based GroupOn developer Trek Glowacki.

    Beautiful Open is a compendium of beautifully-designed open source projects, showcasing everything from content management systems (CMS) to Javascript SVG libraries.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Is the Firefox-based Chromecast Competitor to Be Called Matchstick?

        Google has made quite a splash with its Chromecast dongle, which performs many of the tasks that set-top boxes do, but Chromecast may be headed for some competition. Android Police has reported that Firefox for Android has gained support in nightly builds for Chromecast, and GigaOM reports that Mozilla is continuing to work on a Chromecast competitor possibly called Matchstick.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Startup Platform 9 Focuses on Cloud Management Based on OpenStack

      There is quite a buzz surrounding Platform 9, which came out of stealth mode a few days ago with $4.5 million in venture funding, and interesting plans aimed at the private cloud market. Platform 9′s technology platform is based on OpenStack, and the company is run by a group of VMware veterans.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.3 (PC) review: A powerful but dated Office clone

      LibreOffice is an excellent Microsoft Office alternative that’ll do just about everything you need it to, quickly and efficiently. And in a world without WPS Office, I wouldn’t think twice about recommending it. But while LibreOffice has championed mimicking and even one-upping Microsoft’s apps, the competition was busy marching ahead, developing tools to address the new ways we get to work. The most crucial of these is cross-device support.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Why Do People Trust Wikipedia? Because An Argument Is Better Than A Lecture

        I’ve never really understood the debate about how trustworthy Wikipedia is compared with once-printed, more “official” encyclopedia volumes, like the old Encyclopedia Britannica. What rarely made sense to me was the constant assertions that an information system to which anyone could contribute was inherently unreliable because anyone could contribute to it. Sure, you get the occasional vandals making joke edits, but by and large the contributions by the community are from informed, interested parties. The results tend to be close to, if not on par, with traditional encyclopedias.

  • Programming

    • C++14 Is Complete

      The ISO C++14 draft international standard was unanimously approved and is now clear for publication.

    • We have C++14!
    • Git Tracking Relationships: Use the Full Power of Git Branches

      Branching is, undoubtedly, one of the best and most important features in Git. If you already understand the basics of Git, you can take your knowledge one step further and get the most out of the popular distributed SCM by using one of its core capabilities: tracking relationships.

Leftovers

  • Rick Perry Defends Himself Against Two Felony Charges

    On Friday, Rick Perry was indicted by a grand jury on two felony charges for abuse of power. Speaking in Austin on Saturday, his first public statement since the indictment, Perry called the allegations “outrageous” and a “farce of democracy.” Perry is the first Texas governor to be indicted since 1917.

  • Security

    • Def Con: the ‘Olympics of hacking’

      When tens of thousands of computer hackers hit Las Vegas for a weekend, a drab convention centre is transformed for a very different kind of conference. There are no monotonous PowerPoint presentations or “networking breaks” here. Instead, hackers are bent double over tables, busily dissecting hard drives and picking locks; others huddle in a dark and cavernous room showing off their skills by breaking into each other’s computers. Almost all are making mischief until dawn.

    • Security advisories for Tuesday
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Iraq crisis: Fighting resumes at Mosul dam a day after Barack Obama claims victory over Isis

      Fighting has reportedly resumed at the strategic Mosul dam in northern Iraq just a day after Barack Obama claimed victory reclaiming it from Islamist militants.

    • Judge Jails Anti-Drone Granny

      Judge David Gideon’s words refer not to the use of drones, but the activities of anti-drone activists. He has uttered this phrase from the bench repeatedly in recent months as activists have appeared before him, and the words must have been echoing through his mind as he sentenced Mary Anne Grady Flores, a 58-year-old grandmother from Ithaca, New York, to one year in prison on July 10. Her crime? Participating in a nonviolent anti-drone protest at an upstate New York military base after being ordered by the local courts to stay away from the site. The base is used to train drone pilots and technicians, and to control drone surveillance and strikes in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    • Stossel: Libertarian fears about spying, death are real

      Drones — unmanned flying machines — will soon fill our skies. They conjure up fears, especially among some of my fellow libertarians, of spying and death from above.

    • Australian police seek to block anti-Israel protesters

      Police in Sydney are trying to block a protest at the opening of the Israeli Film Festival this week as the Gaza war continues to fuel passions in Australia.

      Members of the Palestine Action Group are listed for a hearing on Monday in the Supreme Court of New South Wales ahead of their planned protest outside the cinema on Thursday night.

    • US drone strike payout in Yemen points to civilian deaths

      New details about compensation in excess of $1m suggest that civilians with no ties to Al Qaida were among casualties

    • The Profits Behind Drone Warfare

      War is a highly profitable investment for corporations, especially in times of capitalist economic crises, therefore any examination of the illegality and immorality of imperialist military activities should start with an examination of the capitalist system itself.

    • Stigmatised Yemeni woman bakes to break barriers

      Through baking, Abeer al-Hassani has found a way to feed her family and to overcome the trauma of losing her brothers to a US drone strike

    • WASHINGTON POST FAILS TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN ‘OLD’ AND ‘NEW’ TURKEY

      A couple of days ago the Washington Post published an editorial titled “Turkey needs to turn away from Mr. Erdoğan’s repression.” It was stated in the article that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan achieved his ninth election victory and became the 12th president of Turkey. As it was outlined in the title, the article went on by providing evidence for why this strong man should not be left completely uncontrolled.

      The article also touched upon Erdoğan’s victory speech in which he said that he wanted to establish a “new” Turkey and that he would be sensitive to the desires of all the people of the country. After these statements, without changing its course, the article went on to say that the country was facing a deep polarization and some of Erdoğan’s actions in recent years raised suspicion regarding their harmony with democracy. It also raised the question of whether a new Turkey would be different from the old one.

      The article further suggested that Turkey, as a Muslim country, which keeps itself away from radical elements in the region, should have bridged the gap between the Middle East and EU and that this would be highly appreciated. However, this was hindered due to Erdoğan’s “erratic and disconcerting” behavior.

      For example, during his election rallies, Erdoğan criticized Israel with harsh words. It is highly interesting that the Washington Post associates the reason why the ideal of democratic Turkey failed with Erdoğan’s firm stance against Israel, which used brutal and disproportionate force and killed some 2,000 Palestinians. It also claimed that Turkey hosted and protected the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), which held 49 Turkish people, including a consul, captive and threatened Turkey saying they would bomb the Atatürk Dam by challenging Erdoğan. It is the same ISIS that is said to be trained by the collaboration of the American CIA, British MI6 and the Israeli MOSSAD to wage war against all terror organizations in the region for the security of Israel with a strategy called “the hornet’s nest,” according to what former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden revealed.

    • US Navy conducts first joint test of unmanned stealth drone AND manned fighter jet operations from aircraft carrier
    • Navy conducts first series of drone and manned fighter jet operations

      The U.S. Navy said its jet-powered, bat-winged X-47B drone has conducted carrier deck operations and performed maneuvers alongside an F/A-18 fighter jet, marking the first time manned and unmanned aircraft have operated together on the same carrier. – See more at: http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/nation-world-news/navy-conducts-first-series-drone-and-manned-fighter-jet-operations#sthash.BynyIp9i.dpuf

    • ‘US and NATO using ISIS to re-intervene into the region’

      One of the ironies is that the US pretending to fight ISIS in Iraq, when it is in Syria, too; Washington is using the ISIS to wage new wars in the region and create new military bases, especially in Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq analyst Sami Ramadani told RT.

    • U.S. to boost Kurds’ firepower

      The Obama administration and U.S. allies are preparing to rush antitank weapons and other arms to Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq who are battling Islamic militants near Irbil, officials said.

      The CIA had already rushed small shipments of arms to the Kurds in recent days as U.S. airstrikes targeted the militants’ convoys and mortars.

    • Ukraine: In The West Respect for Truth No Longer Exists
    • Why have the media and Obama administration gone silent on MH17?

      The deafening silence of the US media and government about the investigation into the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 one month ago reeks of a cover-up.

      In the hours and days immediately after the crash, without a single shred of evidence, US officials alleged that the passenger jet was shot down by an SA-11 ground-to-air missile fired from pro-Russian separatist-held territory in eastern Ukraine. They launched a political campaign to obtain harsh economic sanctions against Russia and strengthen NATO’s military posture in Eastern Europe.

      Picking up on the scent, the CIA attack dogs in the US and European media blamed the crash squarely on Russian President Vladimir Putin. The cover of the July 28 print edition of German news magazine Der Spiegel showed the images of MH17 victims surrounding bold red text reading “Stoppt Putin Jetzt!” (Stop Putin Now!). A July 26 editorial in the Economist declared Putin to be the author of MH17′s destruction, while the magazine ghoulishly superimposed Putin’s face over a spider web on its front cover, denouncing Putin’s “web of lies.”

    • Cherry-picking Clinton’s words

      That’s my take-away from reading the transcript of her long interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, published Aug. 10. In total, it was Clinton’s description of the world as she sees it and hardly an attempt to highlight her differences with President Obama, as Goldberg and others have written by cherry-picking her answers to some leading questions.

      For example, Clinton does not say it was the U.S. “failure” to aid Syrian rebels that created the vacuum that led to the rise of Islamic State militants.

      Clinton said she had proposed that “if we were to carefully vet, train, and equip early on a core group of the developing Free Syrian Army, we would, number one, have some better insight into what was going on on the ground.”

    • Benghazi: When America Switched Sides In The War On Terror And Armed Al-Qaida

      Focusing on this under-reported, critical shift in American foreign policy, Clare Lopez discusses how an American ambassador and others were killed in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11 because the Obama administration decided to promote and defend their narrative that “al-Qaida was on the run,” even as we were outright arming militants affiliated with the terrorist group.

    • U.S. Empire of Death and Lie

      No mention was made that Iraq’s Christians had been safe and sound under President Saddam Hussein – even privileged – until President George Bush invaded and destroyed Iraq. We can expect the same fate for Syria’s Christians if the protection of the Assad regime is torn away by the US-engineered uprising. We will then shed crocodile tears for Syria’s Christians.

    • Armed humanitarian 2.0

      ARMED HUMANITARIANISM 2.0. That’s the new Western version of old-fashioned 19th century imperialism, now feminised by President Barack Obama’s lady advisors, painted pink and accompanied by saccharine piano music.

      The Obama administration latched onto the plight of Iraq’s Yazidis who were being persecuted by those awful ISIS folks just in time to divert attention from the massacre in Gaza.

  • Finance

    • Economists Don’t Understand The Information Age, So Their Claims About Today’s Economy Are A Joke

      On top of that, the ongoing march of technology continues to make things cheaper and better (yay, Moore’s Law), but getting a computer that’s twice as powerful for half the price shows up in GDP calculations as half the economic output, rather than 4x the value. That’s why it’s great to see economic historian Joel Mokyr take this issue on in a great Wall Street Journal piece pointing out that too many economists focus on GDP and don’t understand the information age.

    • Are bungalows really the solution to our housing crisis? The housing minister thinks so. And their design needn’t leave you feeling flat

      Over the years, more than one politician has been damned as “a bungalow” – as in “there’s nothing upstairs”. And possibly that’s what people thought of the new Tory minister for housing and planning over his suggestion that we should all be “looking to love bungalows a little bit more”. But perhaps Brandon Lewis, who reckons we need more single-storey dwellings for older people, and that this in turn would free up houses for families, has a point.

    • Kos, the IMF, the EU and the ECB

      The IMF – responsible for mass impoverishment in the developing world – is now forced to admit it got Greece wrong. Its economists admit they exacerbated the near-destruction of the Greek economy after the 2008 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. Last summer, Christine Lagarde’s organisation first blamed the “fiscal multiplier” – technocratic speak for endangering lifesaving public services. Then, the IMF, in effect, said they had got it wrong merely because they were “over optimistic”.

    • No Common Opinion on the Common Core

      But when new issues arise, important shifts can occur before opinion sorts itself into settled patterns. And, on occasion, critical events can jar opinion from settled patterns into a new equilibrium.

  • Censorship

    • EU justice commissioner slams Google and Right to be Forgotten critics

      Reicherts attacked critics of the reform during a speech in Lyon, France, arguing that anti-Right to be Forgotten groups are covertly working to poison businesses’ and citizens’ opinions with false information.

      “Just as work on the data protection reform has picked up speed and urgency, detractors are attempting to throw a new spanner in the works. They are trying to use the recent ruling by the European Court of Justice [ECJ] on the Right to be Forgotten to undermine our reform,” she said.

    • Goodbye, Facebook. Supporting anti-gay marriage, anti-human rights candidate was finally too much.

      After all Facebook has done, there’s only so much a person can take.

    • Islamic State shifts to new platform after Twitter block

      A sustained clampdown on the Twitter presence of Islamic State (IS) has forced the hardline jihadist group to explore less well-known social media platforms, setting up a string of accounts on the privacy-focused Diaspora.

    • Controversy Over Popular Game: “Psychiatric Ward — Enter if you dare, escape if you can!”

      The Toronto Transit Commission has removed billboards for a popular escape game after The Toronto Star reported on four complaints about its mental health-themed ads. Modeled on similar games in Japan, “Mystery Room” invites groups of participants to gather clues and work together to try to escape from different rooms in a large building. “Enter if you dare — Escape if you can!” read the dark billboards for the game, listing four rooms called Satan’s Lair, Prison Break, Mummy’s Curse, and Psychiatric Ward. The Mystery Room’s website description for the Psychiatric Ward explained that, “Ward 15 is the place the mentally disturbed were contained. Dr. Johansson had a passion for experimenting on the unanesthetised living…”

  • Privacy

    • Government’s Response To Snowden? Strip 100,000 Potential Whistleblowers Of Their Security Clearances

      Snowden just re-upped for three years in picturesque Russia, a land best known for not being a US military prison. Not exactly ideal, but under the circumstances, not entirely terrible. The government knows where Snowden is (more or less) and many officials have a pretty good idea what they’d like to do to him if he returns, but the NSA is still largely operating on speculation when it comes to what documents Snowden took.

    • [Old] America’s Spies Want Edward Snowden Dead
    • Meet the Man Leading the Snowden Damage Investigation

      Among the many actions the Obama administration took in the “post-Snowden” era of insider threats was to appoint a new governmentwide counterintellligence chief.

      The man filling that role, or the “NCIX,” as acronym-inclined national security feds call the National Counterintelligence Executive, is Bill Evanina, 47, a former FBI special agent with a counter-terrorism specialty.

    • Should the Entire Internet Be Encrypted?
    • How to Save the Net: Break Up the NSA

      By treating the Internet as a giant surveillance platform, the NSA has betrayed the Internet and the world. It has subverted the products, protocols, and standards that we use to protect ourselves. It has left us all vulnerable—to foreign governments, to cybercriminals, to hackers. And it has transformed the Internet into a medium that no one can trust.

      The world has changed dramatically since the NSA was founded 62 years ago. Back then, it was easy to spy on foreign governments while shielding our own from snoops. Today, the NSA’s intelligence mission has expanded from just government-on-government espionage to government-on-population surveillance. At the same time, the communications world has shifted from dedicated circuits that can be passively tapped to a single global Internet infrastructure that requires active attack to eavesdrop on. Everyone uses the same networks, and creating the capability to eavesdrop on foreign communications by engineering backdoors into US technology leaves domestic transmissions vulnerable to eavesdropping. The NSA’s aggressive data-gathering, with seemingly little regard for how that might compromise the security of everyday digital communications—and with only loose oversight (at best) by government watchdogs—has far exceeded what any modern and free society should reasonably expect. Breaking up the agency would do a lot to bring it under control.

    • Your identity at stake – Local experts reveal how to keep your privacy online

      Haass and other experts will tell you the best way to protect the information you may have stored on a computer and/or mobile device is to use multiple passwords, and change them.

    • Germany Eavesdropped on Clinton, Kerry, but It Can’t Be Considered ‘Spying’ – US Expert
    • Turkey summons German ambassador over BND spying allegations

      Turkey has summoned the German ambassador to demand a “formal and satisfactory explanation” following reports that the country was spied on by Germany’s intelligence agency (BND).

      German media reported at the weekend that the BND had not only “accidentally” listened in on phone calls made by the US secretary of state, John Kerry, and his predecessor Hillary Clinton in 2012 and 2013, but that it also – less accidentally – monitored the activities of Turkish politicians. According to news magazine Der Spiegel, the Nato member has been listed as a target for BND surveillance since 2009.

    • Opinion: The BND, a completely normal secret service

      The German intelligence service, the BND, treats its NATO partner Turkey just as America’s NSA treats Germany. Everyone mistrusts everyone else, but nobody’s prepared to admit it, says Marcel Fürstenau.

    • Germany Electronic Spying on Turkey Rankles Both Sides
    • German surveillance upsets Turkish trust
    • Germany criticised over Turkey spying allegations
    • German spying report angers Turkey
    • CHP submits parliamentary question on German spying scandal

      Main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) İzmir deputy Erdal Aksünger has submitted a parliamentary question concerning the allegations that Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) spied on Turkey.

    • Aphex Twin announces album over anonymous browser Tor

      Irish-born musician and enigmatic DJ Aphex Twin has released details of his first album in 13 years – that are only accessible through the Tor anonymous browser.

    • Tor-rorists get sneaky Aphex Twin album peek in dance guru hypegasm
    • Tweetstorm: Rupert Murdoch Says Google Is Worse Than the NSA
    • Rupert Murdoch ‘Hypocritically’ Attacks Google In Twitter Tirade
    • Rupert Murdoch says Google is a bigger threat to privacy than the NSA
    • Twitter users pour scorn on Murdoch after Google tweet
    • Rupert Murdoch redefines irony with Google privacy attack on Twitter

      Sneak loves to spend his lunch hour lurking on Twitter, scrolling through the tawdry thoughts of bored IT execs and publicity-hungry tech corporations.

      But sometimes, when the hum of the server room is getting too much, Sneak stumbles upon a wonderful gem of bile, hypocrisy, anger and opinion.

      Today’s nugget of controversy comes courtesy of Rupert Murdoch, who tweeted: “NSA privacy invasion bad, but nothing compared to Google.”

      [...]

      Given that Murdoch was all but forced to put the century-old News of the World out to pasture over phone hacking, to call out Google’s approach to privacy is so hypocritical that a new catalogue of pot and kettle-esque idioms needs to be written.

      Then again perhaps one could consider Murdoch to be an expert on such issues, given how far the News of the World went to destroy the concept of privacy for so many.

    • Hyprocrite alert: Rupert Murdoch ripped to pieces on Twitter after laughable update about Google and NSA

      Rupert Murdoch has incurred the wrath of the online community after publishing an ever-so-hypocritical tweet about privacy.

    • Rupert Murdoch stabs at Google in curious Twitter tirade
    • Clear-text must die

      The Citizen Lab “hackers” at University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs have released a report which reveals the use of network injection by law enforcement as a method to undermine internet security – and it makes for frightening reading.

    • The Truth About Executive Order 12333

      But first I want to commend Tye for raising his concerns through the processes established for that purpose. Using those processes, he has been able to review his concerns with intelligence oversight bodies as well as with the public, all while continuing to protect classified information.

    • Scientists, Not Politicians, Should Regulate NSA Surveillance

      The raging public debate over the surveillance state could actually benefit from the expertise of an unsuspecting source, a recent academic article suggests.

      Instead of relying on the myriad privacy and legal experts, congressmen, or former NSA directors chiming in on the NSA surveillance state, a new article in Science argues that we should really be asking more scientists what they think about domestic signals intelligence for American policymaking.

    • The Show That Warned Us Enemy of the State Was a Documentary

      If you watched the 2009 NOVA episode “The Spy Factory,” or the 2007 Frontline episode “Spying on the Homefront” you’ll see it all there — the phone surveillance, the internet monitoring, and even the whistleblowers from the NSA facilities who were listening to your phone calls. We knew American intelligence agencies were spying on Americans with impunity.

    • Judge critical of NSA’s ‘systemic overcollection’
    • Report: US May Take Years to Prevent Another Snowden

      U.S. intelligence officials are months or even years away from preventing classified information from being leaked in cases similar to fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden, The Daily Beast reported.

      The officials say that due to the vast number of computer systems and networks in the 70 U.S. agencies dealing with secret data, it will be a long process before they are able to keep an eye on the computers of federal employees with security clearance.

      The intelligence officials are almost a year away from being able to monitor public databases for clues that government workers have transgressed federal laws or run into financial hardship, the Beast said.

      Due to the delays in mounting a sweeping monitoring service to “watch the watchers,” the intelligence agencies are also struggling to keep an eye on its employees. The setbacks resulted in a “second Snowden,” who leaked secret files to The Intercept from the National Counterterrorism Center, the Beast said.

    • US Privacy Official Leaves the White House

      Wong previously held positions such as director of legal products at Twitter and deputy general counsel at Google, the latter of which involved making calls on censoring certain content on YouTube and in searches. She earned herself the nickname “the Decider” while in the position.

      She joined the Obama administration in June of last year in what was, at the time, considered a positive move just after the NSA revelations had rocked the administration.

    • A first step in reining in the NSA

      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.

    • Bishop latest hacking casualty in global game of phones

      Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has joined the likes of former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in a political game of phones, after her smartphone was compromised while on a two-week overseas trip.

      Australian intelligence authorities seized and replaced Bishop’s phone on her return from a two-week trip to Ukraine, the US, and Holland, in which she worked to broker a deal to get Australian police into the Ukrainian crash site of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 — shot down by a surface-to-air missile on July 17 by Russian-backed rebels.

    • A beginner’s guide to Tor: How to navigate through the underground internet

      I’ll begin with a warning. Everything you’ve heard about the deep web is probably true. Yes, it’s a hub for illegal activity. Yes, cyber criminals run loose. And yes, users can find terrifying illegal behavior–including a bitcoin funded assassination market. In short, the Deep Web has a reputation for being virtual refuge for people who have something to hide. The most popular gateway into the Deep Web is Tor, a free network which allows users to anonymously browse the Web, and has been under NSA’s microscope since its inception in 2002. Countries like Russia and the US are trying to expose Tor users. Russia has issued a bounty, offering upwards of $100,000 for anyone who can successfully deanonymize Tor.

    • All of Your Tumblr Photos Will Now Be Scanned for Branded Content

      Tumblr, it seems, is also ready to help corporations cash in on its users’ impeccably curated tastes. It just inked a deal with Ditto, a company that scans images on the web for branded products and sells the results to multinationals like Coca-Cola and Kraft, and part of the deal involves giving Ditto wholesale access to all of Tumblr’s (which is to say Tumblr users’) photos.

    • ‘Without privacy we can’t have a free democracy’ – Former MI5 officer Annie Machon
    • What You Need To Know About The FISA Court—And How It Needs To Change
    • The Internet Metadata Memo: A Summary

      In the latter category, and likely of interest to anyone seeking to know more about the larger bulk collection story, is this 2004 submission to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (“FISC”). The brief sought—and evidently, for a time, won—FISC sign-off for the NSA to collect internet metadata in bulk, pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act’s (“FISA”) pen register and trap and trace rules. That’s consequential, considering what had happened earlier. As is well known, that year Department of Justice officials, including then-Deputy Attorney General James Comey and then-Assistant Attorney General Jack Goldsmith (who had no role in editing this post) had protested the legality of highly secret surveillance program that President George W. Bush had authorized pursuant to his independent constitutional powers. The White House relented and agreed to changes—one being, apparently, a bid to bring the surveillance within the FISA framework.

    • Secret GCHQ system can map web connections of entire countries
    • GCHQ scanned entire countries for vulnerabilities with Hacienda programme
    • Masters of the Internet: GCHQ scanned entire countries for vulnerabilities
    • GCHQ Scans Entire Countries for Flaws to Exploit – Report

      British spy agency GCHQ has since 2009 been port scanning every available IP address in 27 countries across the globe for vulnerable systems to exploit, according to a new report.

      The HACIENDA program was exposed in secret documents obtained by reporters writing for German publisher Heise.

    • Russia and China Expand Trade in Computer Software

      As Russia’s relations with the West sour over Ukraine, the Kremlin has agreed to broaden software deliveries to China, with increased supplies of Chinese servers, storage systems and other IT products set to come the other way, Russian Communications and Mass Media Minister Nikolai Nikiforov said Monday.

      The deal is likely aimed at helping Russia replace deliveries of U.S. information technology products in light of Western sanctions imposed on Moscow for its role in the Ukraine crisis.

  • Civil Rights

    • Defense Industry Donations and the Alan Grayson Police Militarization Amendment

      With images of heavily armed police confronting protesters in Ferguson, Mo., sparking a national debate about police militarization, a campaign finance research organization has released a study showing how much defense industry money House members got before a June 19 vote that rejected Rep. Alan Grayson’s amendment to block military equipment transfers to local law enforcement. The organization, MapLight, found that those who voted against it got 73 percent more in defense industry donations than those who voted in favor.

    • How America’s police became so well armed

      Americans, at last, appear to have had enough. A Reason-Rupe poll released in December found that 58% of Americans believe police militarisation has gone “too far”. Whether their politicians heed them is another question. Rand Paul, a Republican senator from Kentucky and a likely contender for his party’s presidential nomination in 2016, just wrote an editorial arguing that it is time to “demilitarise the police”, but he has yet to introduce any legislation to back those words up. In June Alan Grayson, a liberal Democrat from Florida, sponsored an amendment that would have forbidden the Defence Department from transferring to local police “aircraft (including unmanned aerial vehicles), armoured vehicles, grenade launchers, silencers, toxicological agents (including chemical agents, biological agents, and associated equipment), launch vehicles, guided missiles, ballistic missiles, rockets, torpedoes, bombs, mines, or nuclear weapons.” It failed: not a single House leader of either party voted for it. America’s defence industry donates millions of dollars to politicians, and spends even more on lobbyists. Those who opposed Mr Grayson’s bill received, on average, 73% more in defence-industry donations than those who voted for it.

    • If police in Ferguson treat journalists like this, imagine how they treat residents

      You don’t arrest reporters just to stifle journalism — you do it to make a statement

    • From Boston to Ferguson: Have We Reached a Tipping Point in the Police State?

      The difference between what happened in Boston in the wake of the Boston Marathon explosion and what is happening now in Ferguson, Missouri, is not in the government’s response but in the community’s response.

      [...]

      This is what happens when you fail to take alarm at the first experiment on your liberties.

    • KKK raising money for Ferguson police officer

      A Missouri chapter of the Ku Klux Klan is planning a fundraiser this weekend for the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen.

    • 25 Images From The Worst Night Of Violence In Ferguson

      olice and protesters clashed again Sunday, hours before midnight curfew went into effect.

      Armed riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a large group of protestors who marched toward a police command center in the parking lot of a shopping mall. Protesters threw back gas canisters and rocks at the police. Police responded to reports of multiple shootings, looting, and throwing of Molotov cocktails.

    • Autopsy Report Says Michael Brown Shot Twice in the Head

      An autopsy report conducted at the request of Michael Brown’s family shows that he was shot six times — four in the right arm and twice in the head — with all shots coming from the front of his body. The autopsy was the second of three that will be conducted on Brown’s body. Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered a federal medical examiner to do an independent examination. State officials performed the first autopsy. This second autopsy, performed on Sunday, was conducted by Dr. Michael Baden, a former chief medical examine for New York City, at the request of Brown’s family.

    • The US War Culture Has Come Home to Roost
    • The state of emergency in Ferguson, Missouri
    • Blowback in Ferguson

      The fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager and the ensuing protests in Ferguson, Missouri has rocked America. Even the mainstream media with its aversion to the truth, has been forced to address the militarization of the police in America — albeit years too late.

    • [CIA Post] I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me.

      But if you believe (or know) that the cop stopping you is violating your rights or is acting like a bully, I guarantee that the situation will not become easier if you show your anger and resentment. Worse, initiating a physical confrontation is a sure recipe for getting hurt. Police are legally permitted to use deadly force when they assess a serious threat to their or someone else’s life. Save your anger for later, and channel it appropriately. Do what the officer tells you to and it will end safely for both of you. We have a justice system in which you are presumed innocent; if a cop can do his or her job unmolested, that system can run its course. Later, you can ask for a supervisor, lodge a complaint or contact civil rights organizations if you believe your rights were violated. Feel free to sue the police! Just don’t challenge a cop during a stop.

    • German journalists arrested in Ferguson

      Ansgar Graw and Frank Hermann were cuffed and jailed for three hours the day after arriving in the beleaguered suburb of St. Louis. Graw and Hermann were there to cover the town of Ferguson, whose African-American population has clashed fiercely with local police since the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a white police officer on August 9.

    • Chinese State Media Weigh In On Ferguson Riots, Citing Persistent Racism In ‘Every Aspect Of U.S. Social Lives’
    • Defense Contractors’ Funds Fuel Vote To Keep Dept. Of Defense’s Police Militarization Program Funded

      Color me unamazed. Politicians who are in favor of the government’s 1033 program — which distributes excess military gear and weapons to police departments engaged in our country’s two favorite “wars” (v. Terror, v. Drugs) — received a lot more money from defense contractors than those who oppose it.

    • The House voted not to demilitarize cops just two months ago. Will it be different after Ferguson?

      On June 19, the House voted on an amendment to a Department of Defense appropriations bill authored by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.). In short, the amendment would have prevented the military from distributing to local police forces some of heavy weapons and vehicles that the country has seen deployed in response to unrest in Ferguson, Mo.

    • Police militarization catches eye of Congress
    • The continued war on black males

      The killing of Michael Brown at the hands of a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer is a reminder that, if you are a black man in America, you continue to be the nation’s number-one threat. There has been a long and protracted war against black men dating back to the antebellum period, where fear of plantation rebellions drove the country to enact heinous and draconian slave-revolt laws.

    • Police Militarization Escalates Even As Violence Declines — And There’s A Good Chance It’s Going To Get Worse

      We’ve been writing about the militarization of police, and why it’s problematic, for years — but the events of the last week in Ferguson, Missouri, have really shone a (rather bright) light on what happens when you militarize the police. Annie Lowrey, over at New York Magazine, highlights what may be most disturbing about all of it: all of this has happened while violence has been on a rapid decline, and, no it’s not because your local suburban police force now has a SWAT team and decommissioned military equipment from the Defense Department…

    • A Militarized Police, a Less Violent Public

      The story of Michael Brown’s death has in no small part been a story of police overreaction. The local force evidently killed an unarmed teenager, and then suited up as if going to war to police the generally peaceful protests that followed. And it’s revealed an irony: Over the past generation or so, we’ve militarized our police to protect a public that has broadly become less and less violent.

      It all starts back in 1990, a time when the country found itself with less demand for military equipment abroad and new use for it back home. Within our shores, the drug wars were escalating; gang violence was surging; and sociologists were warning of sociopathic child “superpredators.” At the same time, the military was starting to shrink as the Cold War ended. Put two and two together and you get the 1033 program, which transferred assets from the military to the police. (Here’s a capsule history.)

    • Ferguson, Missouri, and Trayvon Prove America Is No Democracy For Blacks

      The protests and riots in Ferguson, Missouri are providing proof the U.S. government sanctions racial injustice in this country while denouncing it abroad. The federal government spends trillions of dollars so we can be the world’s peacekeepers. We start wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the name of freedom. We help rebel groups oust dictators and oppressors like Muammar Gaddafi and the Taliban. We send drones and warplanes to bomb rebels from Islamic rebels in Iraq and Syria who are killing Christians. And we put sanctions on Iran for putting protesters in jail.

    • Ferguson Killing Exposes the Reality Of Militarized, Racist Policing directed against African Americans
    • Video: LAPD Tells Drone Operator Not To Fly Over Ezell Ford Protest

      Ezell Ford, a 25-year-old unarmed, mentally-challenged African-American man, was shot and killed by police last week in South L.A. The circumstances surrounding Ford’s death vary depending on who’s talking. The LAPD say the fatal shooting occurred only after a struggle in which Ford tried to grab an officer’s gun, while Ford’s family say there was no struggle.

    • East Turkestan: The Use of Drones in Yarkent Raises Concerns

      The Uyghur American Association urges the Chinese government to provide transparency over the use of drones in security operations in Yarkent County, fearing that deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles and militarization of the region will escalate further tensions and result in violence against Uyghur civilians.

    • China Said to Deploy Drones After Unrest in Xinjiang

      Three days after an eruption of violence in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang this summer left nearly 100 people dead, the region’s “antiterrorist command” asked the country’s biggest space and defense contractor for help. It wanted technical experts to operate drones that the authorities in Xinjiang had ordered last year in anticipation of growing unrest. The target was “terrorists,” according to the online edition of People’s Daily, a Communist Party media outlet.

    • PR workers outnumber journalists 5 to 1 in the US

      Back in 2004, public relations specialists outnumbered journalists about 3 to 1 in the United States. Today, as steady jobs in journalism disappear, it’s roughly 5 to 1. One reason more Americans are taking home a PR paycheck? It certainly pays a lot better than working in journalism.

    • The Crisis in Investigative Journalism

      Such investigative journalists are the vanguard of the so-called Fourth Estate, bearing the formidable task of watchdogging the other three estates – the Executive, Judiciary and Legislative – to ensure that they remain ‘checks and balances’ to each other in their assigned constitutional tasks of maintaining the Democratic Republic’s integrity and vibrancy. While such journalists are often associated with a ‘paper of record’, their work is so crucial that sometimes some separation even from their publisher is necessary, since publications are owned, and owners have political agendas, and those agendas may conflict with the findings of deep journalism. Recall, for instance, the New York Time’s decision to hold back, on the brink of the November 2004 presidential election, an explosive investigatory report on the Bush administration’s use of the NSA for warrantless domestic wiretapping (shocking revelations that beat Snowden’s by years) – a delay with serious repercussions for the Times’ reputation.

      Prior to Glenn Greenwald’s in-depth journalistic interpretation and analysis of Edward Snowden’s raw NSA revelations last year, undoubtedly the most significant investigative journalism in US history came with the publication and analysis of the Pentagon Papers, released to the press by ex-Rand analyst Daniel Ellsberg back in 1971. Of the three branches of government, the Executive is the one that requires the most watchdogging because it is the branch wherein a single individual – the president – has a disproportionate and unilateral power at his disposal, compared to the Judiciary and Legislative, where decisions must come as the result of conference and consensus. The president can potentially become another form of king, if not checked. What the Pentagon Papers uncovered was the history of America’s secret presidential war-mongering in Viet Nam, beginning with the Eisenhower administration down through Nixon’s utterly corrupt regime – a history of unilateral and illegal foreign policy decision-making that by-passed Congress and the people they represent.

      This is not merely academic or specious. It seems that very few people recall now that when the chips were down for Nixon, he was actively considering a military coup to stay in office. As legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote in a long-form piece for the Atlantic in 1983,

      The notion that Nixon could at any time resort to extraordinary steps to preserve his presidency was far more widespread in the government than the public perceived in the early days of Watergate or perceives today.

    • NYT reporter James Risen: Obama a ‘hypocrite,’ ‘greatest enemy to press freedom’

      It’s not a secret that the Obama administration has cracked down on whistle-blowers harder than any previous administration. Now a New York Times reporter and former Pulitzer Prize-winner has some harsh words for the president.

    • James Risen: Obama ‘greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation’
    • Embattled Reporter: Obama’s Support for Press Freedom ‘Hypocritical’
    • New York Times reporter has harsh words for Barack Obama’s view of the press
    • Obama Admin ‘Greatest Enemy to Press Freedom in a Generation’
    • 910 KINA Coffee Talk: Is President Obama one of the greatest enemies of press freedom?
    • 2. New York Times reporter calls Obama A “Press Enemy”
    • NYTimes Reporter: Obama ‘Greatest Enemy To Press Freedom In A Generation’ [VIDEO]
    • James Risen calls Obama ‘greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation’
    • Journalist James Risen denounces President Obama as the “greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation”
    • Obama denounced as ‘greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation’
    • Reporter to get Newspaper Guild award for defying subpoena
    • NY Times’ James Risen: Obama Is ‘Greatest Enemy of Press Freedom in a Generation’
    • Obama May Soon Send This Reporter to Jail. Here Are the Embarrassing Secrets He Exposed.

      The Obama administration has fought a years-long court battle to force longtime New York Times national security correspondent James Risen to reveal the source for a story in his 2006 book State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration. Risen may soon serve jail time for refusing to out his source. The fight has drawn attention to Obama’s less-than-stellar track record on press freedom—in a recent interview, Risen called the president “the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.” But lost in the ruckus are the details of what Risen revealed. Here’s what has the government so upset.

      In State of War, Risen revealed a secret CIA operation, code-named Merlin, that was intended to undermine the Iranian nuclear program. The plan—originally approved by president Bill Clinton, but later embraced by George W. Bush—was to pass flawed plans for a trigger system for a nuclear weapon to Iran in the hopes of derailing the country’s nuclear program. “It was one of the greatest engineering secrets in the world,” Risen wrote in State of War, “providing the solution to one of a handful of problems that separated nuclear powers such as the United States and Russia from the rogue countries like Iran that were desperate to join the nuclear club but had so far fallen short.”

    • A Tale of Two Alleged Iran Nuke Leakers

      Over a year ago, NBC reported that General Cartwright had received a target letter informing him he was under investigation as the source for one of David Sanger’s stories on US-Israeli efforts to stall Iran’s enrichment program with the StuxNet cyberattack.

    • Muslim states should learn a lesson from 1953 coup in Iran: Larijani

      Last year, the CIA publicly admitted for the first time that it was behind the notorious 1953 coup against Iran’s democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddeq, in documents that also showed how the British government tried to block the release of information about its own involvement in his overthrow.

    • BSC President and retired Gen. Charles Krulak calls for full disclosure of CIA torture program (Opinion)

      In a strongly worded commentary Birmingham Southern College President and former Marine Corps commandant, retired Gen. Charles C. Krulak, said the CIA must not be allowed to “circle the wagons” to prevent the full disclosure by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence of a report detailing the agency’s torture program during the early years of the War on Terror.

    • UK ambassador ‘lobbied’ US senators to obscure Britain’s complicity in CIA rendition program

      Records published under Britain’s Freedom of Information (FOI) Act have compounded concerns that the UK government lobbied US officials to keep Britain’s role in CIA torture and rendition out of a soon-to-be published Senate report.

      Newly-released data reveals Britain’s ambassador to the US, Peter Westmacott, engaged in at least 21 separate meetings with members of the US Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) prior to its publication of this report, heightening existing allegations that the British government may be seeking to sanitize the document.

    • UK lobbied to hide role in CIA torture program: Report
    • Ackerman: CIA snooping on Senate strikes at Constitution

      CIA spying on the Senate is the constitutional equivalent of the Watergate break-in. In both cases, the executive branch attacked the very foundations of our system of checks and balances.

      President Barack Obama is not Richard Nixon. Obama hasn’t been implicated personally in organizing this constitutional assault. But he is wrong to support the limited response of his CIA director, John Brennan, who is trying to defer serious action by simply creating an “accountability panel” to consider “potential disciplinary measures” or “systemic issues.”

    • Nation’s true heroes fought to expose and end torture

      After more than a decade of denial and concealment on the part of our government, President Barack Obama’s recent acknowledgment that “we tortured some folks” felt like a milestone. Even in its spare, reductive phrasing, the president’s statement opened up the possibility, finally, of national reflection, contrition and accountability.

    • Letter: We must turn our backs on torture

      Let’s turn our backs on torture

      Editor: Torture is the intentional infliction of pain to make someone talk. President Obama used plain English to describe what the CIA did during the Bush administration. The New York Times just decided to stop sugar-coating it. It no longer uses “enhanced interrogation methods”, and now uses the word “torture” I urge The Record to tell it like it is. This helps us, as citizens, face clearly what was done in our name.

    • How Abu Zubaydah’s Torture Put CIA and FBI in NSA’s Databases

      In other words, the justification for creating a database where CIA and FBI could directly access much of NSA’s data was a mirage, one created by CIA’s own torture.

      All that’s separate from the question of whether CIA and FBI should have access directly to NSA’s data. Perhaps it makes us more responsive. Perhaps it perpetuates this process of chasing ghosts. That’s a debate we should have based on actual results, not the tortured false confessions of a decade past.

    • Women bring challenge against London police for sending undercover officers to have sex with them

      I just came across these videos while reading about the ongoing litigation in the UK against the Metropolitan police department, related to its red-squad undercover infiltration of left-wing movements in London and beyond. They look really interesting and well worth watching (full disclosure, though: I can’t vouch for them, because I haven’t yet watched them).

    • 7 Pages That Gave President Obama Cover to Kill Americans
    • Here Are the 7 Pages That Gave President Obama Cover to Kill Americans

      Before David Barron was confirmed this year to a lifetime seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, his critics objected that the cover he gave President Obama to carry out extrajudicial killings of American citizens ought to disqualify him from the bench. “I rise today to oppose the nomination of anyone who would argue that the president has the power to kill an American citizen not involved in combat and without a trial,” Senator Rand Paul declared in remarks opposing the nomination. “I rise to say that there is no legal precedent for killing citizens not involved in combat and that any nominee who rubber stamps and grants such power to a president is not worthy of being one step away from the Supreme Court.”

    • Nazi Resister Returns Holocaust Medal to Israel After Losing Relatives in Gaza

      A 91-year-old man honored by Israel for saving a Jewish life during the Nazi Holocaust has returned his medal in protest of the Gaza assault. Henk Zanoli was given Israel’s Righteous Among the Nations award for his actions under Nazi occupation in Amsterdam. In 1943, Zanoli smuggled out a Jewish boy and helped hide him in his home for two years, despite Nazi suspicion he and his family backed the resistance.

    • Israel Blocks Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch from Gaza

      The Israeli government is blocking Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch from entering the Gaza Strip, preventing researchers from investigating the assault. The Israeli journalist Amira Hass reports the groups have been told they must register as a humanitarian aid organization, only to later be informed they do not qualify. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have previously issued reports that raised allegations of potential war crimes by Israel, as well as on a smaller scale by Hamas.

    • This Week in Transparency: The Mosaic Effect

      Among the many, many issues raised by the fatal police shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old black kid in Ferguson, Missouri this week was police transparency. The Ferguson police initially refused to release the name of the officer who shot the victim, Michael Brown, leading to a national outcry.

      It is one of the peculiarities of police departments that officers are afforded great privacy protections when they are involved in such an incident. Officer safety is cited, which is well and good, but police departments often feel no similar compunction to protect the identity of civilian suspects.

    • Has the US Legal System Always Been Such a Joke?

      It’s easy to feel cynical about law and order in America. Just peruse the tales of paramilitary police forces exerting their will on minorities in places like Ferguson, Missouri while rich bankers routinely escape from punishment for their white-collar crimes. Now the US Sentencing Commission is considering curbing the jail terms dished out for financial crimes like fraud, figuring that since the Feds have finally started to scale back mandatory minimums for drug offenses, we might as well take it even easier on corporate execs.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Court: Usenet Provider Doesn’t Have to Filter Pirated Content

        The defunct News-Service.com, once one of the leading Usenet providers with many prominent resellers, has scored a court victory against Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN. The appeals court overturned a previous verdict and ruled that the Usenet provider doesn’t have to monitor and filter pirated content.

Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

Posted in News Roundup at 4:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • European Space Agency are using SUSE Linux

    Actually SUSE Linux began deployment at ESA in 2012 and has been continuing until now, the distro is used by 450 teams in the European Space Operations Centre at ESA, this includes being used by Mission Control Systems who are responsible for simulation and control of aircraft and satellites outside the atmosphere and further still.

  • Younger generation driving Linux take-up, says Canadian vendor

    A Canadian technology company has started shipping notebooks and laptops loaded with Linux due to demand from the younger generation, the owner of the company says.

    Braden Taylor of Eurocom, a company based in Ontario, said he shipped systems all over the world, including to Australia.

    “We are finding that more and more of the younger generation are moving to Linux for a variety of reasons,” he said, in response to queries.

    “We are getting more and more inquiries about Ubuntu and Mint from the younger generation all over the world. They like that it is a low-cost alternative.”

  • Loving Linux: Ain’t Nothin’ Like the 1st Time

    “My first real exposure to Linux was at a friend’s house,” said Linux Rants blogger Mike Stone. “He was trying to make a Macintosh he owned into a useful computer, so he’d dual-booted it with a version of Linux called MkLinux. I was absolutely fascinated by it and the FOSS philosophy, and after using his computer for a week or so, I looked into getting Linux [on] my own.”

  • Desktop

    • Need a Cheap Chromebook? Here’s How to Pick One

      Instead of running Windows, these lightweight, inexpensive notebooks are based entirely on Google’s Chrome web browser. So while you can’t install traditional programs such as Office and Photoshop, you can use web-based substitutes like the free Office Online and Pixlr. In exchange, you’ll get a computer that boots up quickly, is safe from viruses, doesn’t have any obnoxious bloatware and is optimized for browsing the web.

  • Server

    • Xen Virtualization Takes On Automotive

      On Aug. 18 at the Xen Project Developer Summit, the Xen Project unveiled an Embedded and Automotive initiative for its datacenter-focused Xen virtualization technology. The immediate goal is to help auto manufacturers “adopt open source virtualization” to “quickly and cost-effectively develop a flexible, robust, and customizable integrated cockpit — one that keeps drivers safe, while meeting consumers’ connected car expectations,” according to the Xen Project, a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project.

    • Xen hypervisor targets automotive virtualization role

      The Xen Project’s Embedded and Automotive initiative will bring its hypervisor to a GlobalLogic IVI stack combining a fast-boot Android with Linux or QNX.

      The Xen Project Collaborative Project has launched an Embedded and Automotive initiative to expand its virtualization technology beyond the datacenter and cloud realms. Initially, the subproject will center on a collaboration with GlobalLogic on the company’s Nautilus [PDF] in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) and telematics platform. An embedded version of the open source Xen Project type 1 hypervisor is integrated in Nautilus to enable sandboxed implementations of Android (for IVI) and either QNX or Linux for telematics and other back-end automotive services. The QNX/Android combination appears to be the main focus, however.

    • IBM Techies Pit Docker, KVM Against Linux Bare Metal

      IBM has only recently caught the KVM bug, and has even gone so far as to create a variant of the KVM hypervisor that runs atop its Power8 systems when they run Linux. But if new performance statistics coming out of IBM Research are any guide, it looks like Big Blue will be porting the new Docker container technology to Power-based systems sometime soon.

    • Is KVM or Docker Faster for Server Virtualization?
    • A new report from IBM stacks up Linux container against KVM virtual machine performance.

      In the traditional hypervisor Virtual Machine (VM) approach that is used by VMware’s ESX and open-source options like Xen and KVM, a host operating system runs the hypervisors, which then in turn requires an operating system of its own for VMs. The Docker model is a bit different in that only the host operating system is required and containerized apps then run on top of that OS.

  • Kernel Space

    • Systemd: Harbinger of the Linux apocalypse

      Now that Red Hat has released RHEL 7 with systemd in place of the erstwhile SysVinit, it appears that the end of the world is indeed approaching. A schism and war of egos is unfolding within the Linux community right now, and it is drawing blood on both sides. Ultimately, no matter who “wins,” Linux looks to lose this one.

    • Linux 3.17-rc1 released

      Linus Torvalds has cut short the Linux 3.17 merge window by a day and released Linux 3.17-rc1 because of his travel plans.

    • Linux Kernel Version 3.17-rc1 has been Released!

      Linux kernel version 3.17-rc1 has been released today, with updates ranging from AMD’s Radeon R9 series improvements, increased audio driver support, and Nouveau updates that dominate this kernel release.

    • Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code

      Beginning on Monday, the security of the Linux kernel source code has become a little bit tighter with the addition of two-factor authentication for the kernel’s Git code repositories.

      Contributing code changes to the Linux kernel sources at Kernel.org already required more than just a password, even before the change. Developers must use their own unique SSH public keys to login to the Git repositories. But not even this added security layer was truly failsafe – as the software’s maintainers found out in 2011 when their servers were rooted.

    • Linux Foundation Pushes Two-Factor Authentication For Git

      In particular, the Linux Foundation is pushing for more kernel developers to adopt an additional authentication method beyond just their password / SSH key. The Linux Foundation and Yubico partnered up to offer Yubikeys for kernel developers this week at the Linux events in Chicago to encourage the use of more two-factor authentication for Git repositories.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Direct3D 9 Support Stands A Chance Of Being Added To Mesa

        For several months now there’s been a Direct3D 9 state tracker under development for Mesa that’s making some headway and working out for bettering the Wine performance with D3D9 titles rather than using Wine’s translation layer to OpenGL. While no official request for pulling the code has been issued, it looks like it might stand a chance of hitting mainline Mesa.

      • Wayland 1.6 Is Under Planning For Release

        We haven’t heard much talk lately about Wayland 1.6 but Pekka Paalanen is stepping up and is trying to begin organizing work towards the Wayland/Weston 1.6 release that’s quickly due.

      • The road to Wayland/Weston 1.6 and 1.5.1
      • NIR: A New IR Developed For Mesa That’s Better Than GLSL IR

        Connor Abbott, the open-source developer that began contributing to the Lima Linux graphics driver while a high school student, was interning at Intel this summer even before starting college. Over the summer the focus of his Intel Linux internship was focusing on developing a new intermediate representation for Mesa graphics drivers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • what is “the desktop”: KDE and laptops
      • Convergence will not happen, says KDE dev Aaron Seigo
      • On Plasma5: present and future

        Finally, the artwork presented in 5.0 is only a preview of what is still to come from the Visual Design Group: more icons, more complete widget set, more and more applications will receive a makeover look-wise and most importantly usability-wise.

      • Google Summer of Code 2014: QML/Javascript language support for KDevelop 4 and 5

        Today is the end of the Google Summer of Code 2014 coding period. This year, I added support for the QML and Javascript languages in KDevelop. Both languages were added at the same time because QML is a superset of Javascript (one can embed JS snippets in QML files).

      • Choose your Look and Feel experience

        Plasma 5.1 will make way easier to fine-tune their workspace to their needs.While already very powerful, it was not always trivial, so now on one hand it will be possible choose between plasmoids that offer the same feature with a very simple UI.
        On the other hand, ever wanted to set themes, look and feel of your desktop, but was discouraged by how many places you had to change themes to make the experience as you wanted? being icon theme, widget style, plasma theme, cursors etc…
        Plasma 5.1 will support the concept of Look and Feel packages (or “mega themes” if you like) Basically an one stop place to set the look and feel of the whole desktop.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspbian explained

      That’s a little bit mind-boggling but I think I understand. So if Raspbian is a version of Debian, is there ‘pure’ Debian on Raspberry Pi?

    • Raspberry Pi was created to solve talent crisis at Cambridge: Eben Upton [Interview]

      Raspberry Pi needs no introduction. It is one of the most popular credit card sized single board computers which has become a revolution in its own right. The $25 (and $35 for B model) hardware is being used in so many fields that it’s hard to keep a tab on it.

    • Kids Are Learning to Code With a Slice of Raspberry Pi

      Raspberry Pi is a credit card-size computer that can function like a basic PC when plugged into a monitor and keyboard. It can record videos and power drones, but developer Eben Upton says his goal was to teach basic programming skills to students as young as 8.

      The small computer, sold by the nonprofit Raspberry Pi Foundation, is a small green board covered in metal ports. It’s light, delicate, and fits in the palm of your hand. Once it’s plugged into a keyboard and monitor, a user can write and tweak code as with any PC. The latest model, B+, has 10 operating systems to choose from, with varying learning curves.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Tizen Samsung NX30 awarded European Connected Camera 2014-2015

          The Samsung NX30 is a special bit of kit, with its excellent sharing smart camera features, quick focus of 0.3 seconds, but its now been confirmed again with the the Korean manufacturer being awarded European Connected Camera 2014-2015 by the European Imaging and Sound Association. See the Press Release Clip for further details.

      • Android

        • Is fragmentation a thing of the past for Android?

          I’m inclined to agree with the spirit of the article. Yes, fragmentation has been a significant problem in the past for Android. But there’s no denying that Google is working hard to move the platform past the fragmentation issues that have plagued it over the years.

          So I see fragmentation as a problem that is slowly but surely sunsetting on the Android platform. No, it’s not going to just vanish immediately but it will continue to decline as time goes by and more and more of Google’s efforts bear fruit. Google Play Services and Android Silver should both help cut down on the problem of fragmentation in Android.

        • Sharp to launch thinnest and lowest-bezel smartphone ever

          Sharp (yes folks you heard right) have announced they are launching two new handsets in Japan and there is rumors circulating one of them will eventually hit stateside. Of the two handsets the Aquos Crystal is the handset that very well make it to the US market.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Look inside building an open source map app

    Imagine yourself walking down the middle of a crowded street in a complex city like Cairo. Suddenly a protest builds ahead. A mass of people, cutting off the road. You try to evade, but then violence breaks out in mere seconds. You need help. Someone else, a car to get you out. A phone call might suffice, but wouldn’t it be easier to notify all your friends that this place is dangerous and that you need their assistance? This is where a map-based social network could come into play.

  • Mesosphere and Google Team Up on Containers and Clusters

    Recently, I covered the news that Google had released Kubernetes under an open-source license, which is essentially a version of Borg, used to harness computing power from data centers into a powerful virtual machine. It can make a difference for many cloud computing deployments, and optimizes usage of container technology. You can find the source code for Kubernetes on GitHub.

  • Coreboot Now Works On The Older MacBook 1,1 Too
  • Open Source Archive Manager PeaZip 5.4.1 Has New GUI Design

    Open source file and archive manager PeaZip 5.4.1, which can be used to extract, create, and convert multiple archives at once, has just been released.

  • ClusterHQ Flocker Aims to Simplify Data Migration for Docker Cloud

    The Docker open source containerized virtualization ecosystem has taken another important step forward with the introduction of Flocker from ClusterHQ, a platform that promises to make data as portable as applications by including databases and key-value stores inside Docker containers.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Mesosphere Comes To The Google Cloud Platform, Integrates Google’s Open Source Kubernetes Project

      Google and Mesosphere today announced a partnership that brings support for Mesos clusters to Google’s Compute Engine platform. While the Mesos project and Mesosphere aren’t quite household names yet, they are quickly becoming important tools for companies that want to be able to easily scale their applications, no matter whether that’s in their own data centers, in a public cloud service, or as a hybrid deployment.

    • Rackspace Adds Redis Open Source Data Store Support to ObjectRocket

      In a move that should help further expand Rackspace’s (RAX) appeal to next-generation app developers for the cloud, the company has integrated Redis, the open source in-memory key-value data server, into ObjectRocket, the DBaaS platform Rackspace acquired in 2013.

  • Databases

    • MongoDB tosses support lifeline to open source downloaders

      Open source NoSQL database vendor MongoDB has added a new support option for customers who want to run the Community Edition of its software in production environments.

      “Our Production Support offering is now available as a standalone service – separate from our MongoDB Enterprise software,” MongoDB marketing director Meghan Gill wrote in a blog post on Monday. “This means that Community Edition users now have access to our world-class team of support engineers.”

    • As DBMS wars continue, PostgreSQL shows most momentum

      It’s hard to tell which database management systems (DBMB)s are the most popular. DB-Engines gives it a try every month. And, by its count, Oracle is still the top DBMS, followed closed by Oracle’s open-source DBMS MySQL, which is just noses ahead of Microsoft SQL Server.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • The two sides of freedom

      Throughout history, the word “freedom” has been used to mean many different things. It has been the central word for revolutions, for declarations of independence, for human rights movements, for philosophers, for theologians, for the Free Software movement. It is used in marketing slogans for phone companies, for KDE, for both cigarettes and non-smoking initiatives. The word has also been used to justify military occupations, torture and mass surveillance.

    • on gnu and on hackers

      There are many reasons for this, of course. Some people like to focus on what’s called the “pipeline problem” — that there aren’t as many women coming out of computer science programs as men. While true, the proportion of women CS graduates is much higher than the proportion of women at GHM events, so something must be happening in between. And indeed, the attrition rates of women in the tech industry are higher than that of men — often because we men make it a needlessly unpleasant place for women to be. Sometimes it’s even dangerous. The incidence of sexual harassment and assault in tech, especially at events, is something terrible. Scroll down in that linked page to June, July, and August 2014, and ask yourself whether that’s OK. (Hint: hell no.)

  • Public Services/Government

    • India is a net taker from the open source movement – Professor DB Phatak, IIT Bombay

      Introducing Professor Deepak Phatak, IIT Bombay to Indian audience is akin to introducing Sachin Tendulkar to Indians, a sacrilege one would hazard at one’s own peril. Suffice it to remind that Professor Deepak Phatak, IIT Bombay is a recipient of the Padma Shri for his contribution to Science and Technology.

      In an interview with Prabhakar Deshpande, Professor DB Phatak shares his perspective on the role of open source and how technology can transform healthcare and education.

    • 18F publishes guidelines for open source contribution

      As the General Services Administration’s 18F continues to promote open source federal IT development, the organization last week published a contributor’s guide to help those reusing and sharing its code.

      Tracing the basics along with other key topics like how users can enhance code, 18F’s Dr. Robert Read explains in his post on 18F’s tumblr the best ways anyone — federal worker or not — can take part in the team’s development process and why they should. Read uses the FBOpen.com project as a real-time example of how contributors can leverage 18F code and even offer improvements, which he argues “improves the rapidity of our coding and the quality and security of the code.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Improve your online relationships with a dose of empathy

      Humans have always formed communities. They are necessary for support both physically and, according to psychologists, emotionally as well. Until recently, though, the development of communities was constrained by geography. If you wanted to raise a barn or have a quilting circle, for example, only the folks nearby could participate. The Internet, though, has allowed communities to grow in ways that are not bounded by geography.

    • Shifting a mindset, why OpenStack is written in Python, and more
    • Open Hardware

      • 3D-printed AirEnergy3D takes open source approach to wind turbines

        The AirEnergy3D is an open source, 3D-printed, portable wind turbine prototype whose creators claim will be able to generate up to 300 W of power. Designed to be easily assembled and disassembled without tools, the device is intended to be compact enough to be transported in a backpack, allowing it to be taken camping or anywhere else that there is a breeze and no access to the electricity grid.

  • Programming

    • PHP 5.3 Hits End-of-Life

      I first wrote about PHP 5.3 back in 2009 when it first debuted. Five years later PHP 5.3 is now at its End of Life, dead and abandoned as newer versions have replaced it.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Row as horsemeat file shelved

      The official report into the causes of the horsemeat scandal has been shelved until at least the autumn, prompting criticism that the government is not doing enough on food safety.

      The inquiry by Chris Elliott, professor of food safety at Queen’s University Belfast, was announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 16 months ago and was to have been completed by the spring. It is expected to highlight the impact of spending cuts on frontline enforcement and inspection in the food industry.

  • Security

    • Monday’s security updates
    • We still believe in Linus’ law after Heartbleed bug, says Elie Auvray of Jahia

      Jahia was incepted in 2002 in Switzerland – the name comes from the contraction of Java (our core language) and Bahia (which means “bay” in Brazil). To support the international growth of the project, Jahia Solutions Group was later formed (in 2005) with offices throughout Europe and Jahia Inc. (the US subsidiary) was created in 2008. Jahia has now offices in Geneva, Paris, Toronto, Chicago, Washington, DC, Dusseldorf and Klagenfurt – and outsourced support centers in Australia and Nicaragua.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Assange to ‘soon’ leave Ecuadorian Embassy

      Julian Assange recently held a press conference at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He says he has plans to leave the Embassy soon where he has been trapped for the past two years, but gave no details on why he’d be released.

      According to Assange the UN human rights states that prisoners must have a minimum of one hours outside a day however Assange’s only access to the outside is the balcony from which he spoke from to supporters a few years ago.

      He said that he understood Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson had said “that he can confirm i am leaving the embassy soon” however Hrafnsson later responded saying Assange could leave the embassy when the UK government “calls of the siege”.

  • Finance

    • A third of people have nothing saved for retirement

      A third of people (36%) in the U.S. have nothing saved for retirement, a new survey shows.

      In fact, 14% of people ages 65 and older have no retirement savings; 26% of those 50 to 64; 33%, 30 to 49; and 69%,18 to 29, according to the survey of 1,003 adults, conducted for Bankrate.com, a personal finance website.

    • More Than One-Third of Americans Have No Savings

      More than one-third of Americans haven’t started putting away money for retirement, but those who do are making the move a bit earlier than past generations.

  • Privacy

    • Boston Police Used Facial Recognition Software To Grab Photos Of Every Person Attending Local Music Festivals

      Once again, the government is experimenting on the public with new surveillance technology and not bothering to inform them until forced to do so. Boston’s police department apparently performed a dry run of its facial recognition software on attendees of a local music festival.

    • BOSTON TROLLING (PART I): YOU PARTIED HARD AT BOSTON CALLING AND THERE’S FACIAL RECOGNITION DATA TO PROVE IT

      Nobody at either day of last year’s debut Boston Calling partied with much expectation of privacy. With an army of media photographers, selfie takers, and videographers recording every angle of the massive concert on Government Center, it was inherently clear that music fans were in the middle of a massive photo opp.

    • How Various Law Enforcement Agencies Could Hack Your Computer Via YouTube Videos

      When we recently wrote about Google starting to make use of SSL for search rankings, one of our commenters noted that not every site really “needs” HTTPS. While I used to agree, I’ve been increasingly leaning in the other direction, and I may have been pushed over the edge entirely by a new research report from the Citizen Lab by Morgan Marquis-Boire (perhaps better known as Morgan Mayhem), entitled Schrodinger’s Cat Video and the Death of Clear-Text. He’s also written about it at the Intercept (where he now works), explaining how watching a cat video on YouTube could get you hacked (though not any more).

    • Ron Wyden: It’s Time To Kill The Third Party Doctrine And Go Back To Respecting Privacy

      For years, we’ve written about the third party doctrine and its troubling implications for the 4th Amendment and your privacy — especially in the digital era. If you’re unfamiliar with it, the third party doctrine is the concept used by law enforcement (and, tragically, the courts) to say that you have no expectation of privacy or 4th Amendment rights in information you’ve given to a third party. The origins of this argument are not completely crazy, because there is a legitimate claim to the idea that if I entrust you with some private information, and you decide to disclose it, that my 4th Amendment rights haven’t been violated. But that assumes a very different world. In today’s digital world — especially with cloud computing — we “entrust” all sorts of information to third parties even though we still think of and treat that information like it’s our own personal effects. These aren’t cases in which I’m handing over a collection of journals to my neighbor to hold onto. Online services are treated as our own content — which we can access, update and modify at any time from any device.

    • From The Unsealed ‘Jewel v. NSA’ Transcript: The DOJ Has Nothing But Contempt For American Citizens

      Not that it ultimately mattered. The NSA just kept destroying relevant evidence, claiming the system was too complex to do anything with but allow to run its course. Evidence would be destroyed at the 5-year limit, no matter what preservation orders were issued. The NSA, of course, has a vested interest in destroying evidence that its 215 and 702 programs collect the data and communications of Americans. Thanks to Snowden’s leaks, it can no longer pretend it doesn’t. But despite this, the DOJ still claims Section 702 targets only foreigners and American suspects located outside of the US.

      The mock concern about compliance with court orders was a hustle. The DOJ wants as much evidence that might be useful to plaintiffs gone as swiftly as possible. Thanks to the unsealing of Jewel court documents, the EFF can now relate that the DOJ’s efforts went much further than simply letting aged-off collections expire. It also actively tried to change the historical record of the Jewel case, as Mike covered here recently.

    • NativeWrap for Android turns websites into apps to improve your privacy

      If you want to access a website or service like Facebook, Twitter or Google on your mobile device you have two options. You can either open a mobile browser and point it to the service, or install an app that provides you with access.

      Both options have privacy and security implications. With apps, it is all about permissions that you grant the app to have. While the permissions are often justified, they are not all the time so that additional information can be retrieved even though that’s not needed for the apps’ functionality.

  • Civil Rights

    • Fox’s Pinkerton Baselessly Speculates Michael Brown Could Have Been “High On Some Drug, Angel Dust Or PCP”
    • Lawmaker drafting bill to demilitarize local police

      A Democratic congressman from Georgia is drafting legislation to limit a Pentagon program that provides surplus military equipment to local law enforcement.

      Rep. Hank Johnson is pushing the legislation amid the situation in Ferguson, Mo., where an armed police presence has taken to the streets after mass protests over a police shooting.

      “Our main streets should be a place for business, families, and relaxation, not tanks and M16s,” Johnson wrote in a Dear Colleague letter sent Thursday to other members of Congress.

    • Seven pieces of military equipment the Pentagon is giving to local police
    • Seattle police chief during WTO unrest appalled by Ferguson violence

      The first thing Norm Stamper thought when he saw images of the protests in Ferguson, Mo., following the police shooting of an unarmed black man was straight out of a folk song — “When will we ever learn?”

      “My reaction was, ‘Please learn from my mistakes, from what I did and did not do during the week of WTO,’ ” said the former Seattle police chief, who presided over a law enforcement response to widespread demonstrations in 1999 that was vilified around the globe for its heavy handedness.

    • Police In Ferguson Sign Court Agreement Promising Not To Interfere With Media… Then Go Threaten And Arrest Media

      Note that the agreement was signed by Hussein and parties representing St. Louis County, the City of Ferguson and the Missouri Highway Patrol… on Friday the 15th. The threat to Hussein came on Sunday… the 17th.

    • Ferguson Cops Once Beat an Innocent Man and Then Charged Him With BLEEDING ON THEIR UNIFORMS

      As Michael Daly reports at The Daily Beast, the address where the defendant was said to have so wantonly damaged these officers’ uniforms is in fact the address of the Ferguson Police Department, which recently took over from the colon-searchers in Deming, New Mexico, as America’s favorite. Did the above-named defendant go down there voluntarily and throw blood upon their uniforms? No he did not.

      The above-named defendant was 52-year-old Henry Davis, who was a Henry Davis but not the Henry Davis they were looking for. This Henry Davis had the bad luck to be caught in a driving rainstorm on the highway, reportedly missing the exit for St. Charles and ending up in Ferguson. Having pulled over to wait out the rain, he became the prey of an officer who ran his plate and found an outstanding warrant for “Henry Davis.”

    • NYT Would Call It Torture–If It Covered Torture

      But what if the paper decides that well-documented evidence of US torture is not fit to print?

      On August 11, Amnesty International released a lengthy report about abuses in Afghanistan committed by US forces and others, including Afghan security. The report includes serious allegations about US Special Forces torturing Afghan civilians.

    • Action Alert: NYT Skips First Big Test of New Torture Policy

      FAIR’s new Action Alert (8/18/14) calls out the New York Times for not covering a major Amnesty International report on US torture–shortly after the paper announced a new policy of calling torture by its right name.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Study: Many tribal libraries lack broadband

      At least two-fifths of Native American libraries don’t have broadband Internet access, according to a study released this month, though the actual number could be as high as 89 percent.

      Additionally, just 42 percent of libraries surveyed for the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums’ annual study provided technology training, compared to 90 percent of all public libraries. Just 34 percent of the tribal libraries had a website.

  • DRM

    • Kill switches might let the government brick your smartphone

      Smartphone kill switch laws have been touted in the media a lot lately as a way to protect your phone from theft. But are they actually a good idea? If Google or Apple can brick your smartphone then what is to stop the government from ordering them to do so when it wants to stop you from using your phone? Foss Force takes a look at some of the chilling and disturbing consequences of smartphone kill switches.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • U.S. Court Grants Order to Wipe Pirate Sites from the Internet

        A U.S. federal court in Oregon has granted a broad injunction against several streaming sites that offer pirated content. Among other things, the copyright holder may order hosting companies to shut down the sites’ servers, ask registrars to take away domain names, and have all search results removed from Google and other search engines.

      • Hollywood Desperate To Blame Bad Opening Box Office Of Expendables 3 On Piracy Rather Than The Fact That It Sucked

        It’s been kind of crazy to watch movie studio Lionsgate go absolutely crazy over the fact that The Expendables 3 leaked online a few weeks ago. Within a few days, Lionsgate had filed a massive lawsuit, been granted a restraining order and followed it up with thousands of takedown notices, combined with targeting everyone from hosting providers to domain registrars, in a quixotic attempt to make the leaked files disappear.

08.18.14

Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

Posted in News Roundup at 6:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Coreboot Now Has Native Graphics Initialization For Intel’s GM45

    Vladimir Serbinenko has managed to get working native VGA initialization for the GM45 graphics that’s hard-coded into Coreboot as an alternative to using the hardware’s video BIOS for starting up the GMA graphics.

  • Linux training courses to be offered at Camp Shelby

    Camp Shelby will soon offer some high-tech computer training that will set itself apart from other military facilities in the country.

  • The Time to Recommend Linux & FOSS Is Now

    When I first started using Linux twelve years ago, no one I knew, other than folks on the local LUG, were interested in giving Linux or FOSS a try whatsoever. Don’t get me wrong; my friends were nice. They supported my enthusiasm for this Linux thing I’d discovered, but were politely uninterested when I suggested they might want to give Linux a try too. That didn’t surprise me at all. Hell, I’d been trying to get people to give Star Office a try since the turn of the millennium and they wouldn’t go for that either, even though they were paying through the nose for MS Office.

  • Real People Now Ready To Accept A Real OS

    When I first taught in the North, no one I met had heard much about GNU/Linux and no one had tried GNU/Linux on a desktop, even myself. After a few years of using GNU/Linux in schools, everything changed. I met students, parents and members of the community who had used GNU/Linux before I arrived and I travelled to a new community almost every year. Students and community members also travel and several in each community had previously installed GNU/Linux or attended a school that used GNU/Linux much as I did. That was before Android/Linux and ChromeOS took off…

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.17-rc1

      I’m going to be on a plane much of tomorrow, and am not really supportive of last-minute pull requests during the merge window anyway, so I’m closing the merge window one day early, and 3.17-rc1 is out there now. Well, it’s been out for a while now, but the network was bad enough where I’m traveling that I couldn’t get this *announcement* out.

    • Linux 3.17 Will Detect If Your Toshiba Laptop Is Falling Down

      The new “Toshiba HDD Active Protection Sensor” driver is for the accelerometer found in recent Toshiba laptops (HID TOS620A). The driver receives an ACPI notify event when the sensor detects a sudden movement or harsh vibration and then another ACPI event when the movement/vibration has passed.

    • Linus Torvalds Releases Linux Kernel 3.17 RC1
    • Linux 3.17-rc1 Kernel Released
    • The New Features Of The Linux 3.17 Kernel

      Now that the merge window has passed and Linux 3.17-rc1 released, here’s a rundown of the new features for the Linux 3.17 kernel.

    • BFS Scheduler Update Brings SMT Nice Support

      Con Kolivas released a new version of his BFS scheduler and besides porting it for Linux 3.16 compatibility it also contains a big new feature.

      BFS CPU scheduler v0.450 made a Saturday morning premiere and it offers support for Linux 3.16, offers various bug-fixes, and brings configurable SMT nice support.

    • Keeping Open Source Safe

      In a recent thread on lkml.org Theodore Ts’o pointed out that Krause has tried to insert non-working code into the ext4, btrfs, scsi, and usb subsystems and tried to come up with an explanation for his behavior. Among the suggestions is one from Airlie that Krause is trying to write a University Thesis on trolling the kernel development process. Other theories are that he’s a badly written AI chatbot, or just a clueless high school student with more tenacity than one usually expects at that age. Or maybe he’s trying to win a bet, or is trying to get extra credit or to complete some course assignment by getting a patch into the kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel’s Idle Driver Supports Broadwell With Linux 3.17

        The native hardware cpuidle driver for Intel CPUs now supports the upcoming Broadwell processors with Linux 3.17.

        Len Brown of Intel sent in a few basic tweaks for the idle drivers at the end of the Linux 3.17 merge window. One commit disables Bay Trail’s Core and Module C6 auto-demotion while the other main patch adds Broadwell support to the intel_idle driver.

      • Intel Starts Sending In Graphics Patches For Linux 3.18

        While Linux 3.17-rc1 isn’t even out yet, the merge window is coming to an end and Intel OTC is already starting to send in pull requests to the drm-next branch for merging into the next cycle, Linux 3.18.

        Daniel Vetter as the Intel i915 DRM maintainer sent in his first pull request to David Airlie for getting the DRM driver changes queued up early for the next cycle. More pull requests are expected for the Intel driver in Linux 3.18 with this just being the changes that are queued and ready for further testing by the community.

      • Nouveau Works On Maxwell Fan Management

        Nouveau developer Martin Peres has published a set of ten Nouveau DRM patches working towards proper fan/power management support for NVIDIA’s latest “Maxwell” GPUs.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Plasma 5—For those Linux users undecided on the kernel’s future

        KDE’s Plasma 5 release lacks the attention-grabbing, paradigm-shifting changes that keep Unity and GNOME in the spotlight. Instead, the KDE project has been focused on improving its core desktop experience. Plasma 5 is not perfect by any means, but, unlike Unity and GNOME, it’s easy to change the things you don’t like.

      • what is “the desktop”: convergence will not happen

        Plasma was the first big free software project to work, and deliver, on the idea of GUIs that adapt at runtime to the form factor they are run on. People were skeptical about the possibility of this, but since then this idea has been picked up by others. In the process, the concept was “tweaked” and given the buzzworthy tag of “convergence”.

        Convergence literally means the act of coming together from different directions as so to eventually meet. As it has been popular used recently, it means that different kinds of devices (e.g. a phone and a desktop; a tablet and a laptop) will “converge” into a single piece of hardware that can be used in different modes so that sometimes it has a “phone” style UI and sometimes a “desktop” one (for example).

      • Akademy 2014 needs *you*

        Akademy 2014 is just 3 weeks away.

      • KDE’s Konqueror Is In Need Of A New Maintainer
      • Konqueror is looking for a maintainer

        For quite some time now (OK, many years…) I haven’t had time for Konqueror.
        KDE Frameworks 5 and Qt 5 have kept me quite busy.

        It’s time to face the facts: Konqueror needs a new maintainer.

        This is a good time to publish the thoughts we had many years ago about a possible new GUI for Konqueror.

        Kévin Ottens, Nuno Pinheiro and myself had a meeting (at some Akademy, many years ago) where we thought about how Konqueror’s GUI could be improved to be cleaner and more intuitive, while keeping the idea of Konqueror being the universal navigator, i.e. the swiss-army knife that includes file management, web browsing, document viewing, and more. This is what makes it different from rekonq and dolphin, for instance.

      • The KDE Randa Meeting 2014 in retrospective

        Leaving Randa after spending a week there at the KDE Randa Meeting 2014 raises mixed feelings. I am really looking forward to coming home and seeing my family, but at the same time the week was so full of action, great collaboration and awesome people that it passed by in an instant and was over so soon. Carving a work week out of the schedule for a hackfest is not an easy feat, especially during summer school break, so the expectations were high. And they have been exceeded in all aspects. A lot of the credit for that goes to the organizer, Mario Fux, and his team of local supporters. The rest goes to the awesome family of KDE contributors that make spending a week on contributing to Free Software so much fun. And of course to the sponsors of the event.

      • Krita booth at Siggraph 2014
      • One place to collect all Qt-based libraries

        We were thinking of something like CPAN for Qt back then. Since then there was a little bit of progress here and there, but my goal for the Hack Week was to complete the data to cover all relevant Qt-based libraries out there.

      • Beautiful KDE Plasma 5 Desktop Received Its First Update

        The KDE Community has announced that the first bugfix release for Plasma 5 has been released and that it’s now available for download

        The first bugfix release for KDE Frameworks 5 has been dubbed 5.0.1, and, as the name suggests, it’s chock full of fixes for a variety of problems.

        “Today KDE releases the first bugfix update to Plasma 5. Plasma 5 was released a month ago with many feature refinements and streamlining the existing codebase of KDE’s popular desktop for developers to work on for the years to come. This release, versioned 5.0.1, adds a month’s worth of new translations and fixes from KDE’s contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important such as fixing text which couldn’t be translated, using the correct icons and fixing overlapping files with KDELibs 4 software,” reads the announcement.

      • Randa Report: Hacking on KDE and meeting friends

        I’m already back home and now like to you let you know what I’ve been doing the last week during the Randa Sprint in the Swiss Alps.

      • … and they pop up on your desktop

        If you like to keep your project-related files on your desktop for easy access, you might have kept links to them in different folders which you placed in a folder view.

      • Prominent KDE Developer Says Convergence Will Not Happen

        The idea of convergence has been floating around for quite some time and companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Canonical are already working towards this goal. On the other hand, there are some voices that say it will never happen. KDE developer Aaron Seigo is one of those voices.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • m23 rock 14.2 is released!
      • Release: SymphonyOS 14.1 Now Available

        We are happy to announce the release of SymphonyOS 14.1, the second release in the Phoenix series. This release includes several bugfixes over the 14.0 developer preview from earlier this year including. Update to an Ubuntu 14.04 base system Improved handling of menu generation and proper updating of the menu system when system changes occur Improvements to the logout functionality Replacement of Slim DM with LightDM Security updates to the local httpd Fixes to installation from DVD While this new release still receives a beta title and should not be considered stable it is a large step forward and we hope…

      • Robolinux Xfce 7.6.1 Will “Blow Windows Users’ Minds” – Gallery

        The Robolinux developer doesn’t hide the fact that he’s interested in the Windows audience and he is targeting those particular users with this Linux distribution. Sure enough, regular Linux users can also take advantage of the distro, but the OS features a few options that should only prove interesting if you are already running a Microsoft product.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Musings on identity management

        I’m over three months into my new gig on the identity management team at Red Hat now, so I would like to share a few thoughts about what I’ve learned about identity management.

        I was excited to come into this role because of my innate interest in security and cryptography. I had little practical experience with PKI and security protocols beyond basic X.509/TLS and OpenPGP, so I have been relishing the opportunity to broaden my knowledge and experience and solve problems in this domain.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • AppStream/DEP-11 Debian progress

        DEP-11 is Debian’s implementation of AppStream, as well as an effort to enhance the metadata available about software in Debian. While initially, AppStream was only about applications, DEP-11 was designed with a larger scope, to collect data about libraries, binaries and things like Python modules. Now, since AppStream 0.6, DEP-11 and AppStream have essentially the same scope, with the difference of DEP-11 metadata being described in YAML, while official AppStream data is XML. That was due to a request by our ftpmasters team, which doesn’t like XML (which is also not used anywhere in Debian, as opposed to YAML). But this doesn’t mean that people will have to deal with the YAML file format: The libappstream library will just take DEP-11 data as another data source for it’s Xapian database, allowing anything using libappstream to access that data just like the XML stuff. Richards libappstream-glib will also receive support for the DEP-11 format soon, filling it’s in-memory data cache and enabling the use of GNOME-Software on Debian.

      • Debian turns 21!

        Today is Debian’s 21st anniversary. Plenty of cities are celebrating Debian Day. If you are not close to any of those cities, there’s still time for you to organize a little celebration!

      • Happy 21st Birthday, Debian!

        The Debian project has just celebrated it’s 21st birthday, making it one of the oldest open source projects in existence.

        Debian is one of the most used Linux distributions in the world, even if it might not seem like it. It’s not the friendliest operating system out there, but it’s good and stable enough and many other projects use it as their base.

      • Happy 21st Birthday Debian!

        On this day August 16th, 1993 The Debian Project was officially born from its creator Ian Murdock. The Debian Project went on to become one of the highest standards in open source software, and it managed to maintain this status until even today.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch RTM Version to get Released Soon by Canonical

            Mark Shuttleworth has said on a number of occasions that the first Ubuntu-powered smartphones should be arriving this Autumn, but unfortunately, the developers yet aren’t available to ship a stable version so soon. Now, a separate branch of Ubuntu Touch that will get RTM status, and will mainly be focused on bug fixes and stability issues.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Retailer accidently leaks Samsung Note 4 specs

          Erafone, a reputable Indonesian retailer uploaded the specs of the Note 4 to a corresponding product page which seems to have gone live without the retailer realizing. There are no confirmation as of yet that the specs are correct. However as the device is expected to be launched for sale on September 3rd it is not uncommon for retailers to have the information earlier. This allows them to prepare the device pages ready for immediate sale once released. As such it is possible these really are the specs for the newest addition to the Note family.

        • Samsung To Buy IoT Startup SmartThings

          The 2-year-old SmartThings is creating an open platform for the IoT that already supports more than 1,000 devices and 8,000 apps.

          Samsung is making a stronger push into the burgeoning Internet of things space with the planned acquisition of SmartThings, a 2-year-old startup that has created an open platform for the smart home.

        • Retailer accidently leaks Samsung Note 4 specs

          Erafone, a reputable Indonesian retailer uploaded the specs of the Note 4 to a corresponding product page which seems to have gone live without the retailer realizing. There are no confirmation as of yet that the specs are correct. However as the device is expected to be launched for sale on September 3rd it is not uncommon for retailers to have the information earlier. This allows them to prepare the device pages ready for immediate sale once released. As such it is possible these really are the specs for the newest addition to the Note family.

        • Recent reports of three-sided Note 4 unlikely to be true

          Here at themukt we want to make sure are sources are credible and information passed on to you is real. With this in mind, as far as we are concerned these rumors are extremely unlikely to be true and should generally be ignored…at least for now.

      • Android

        • Moto 360 VERY likely to be shipping September 8th

          With each day that passes we are receiving more and more information about the upcoming fall releases and today is no different.

          It has only been two days since we announced Motorola had sent animated invites to their Moto Launch Experience. The event is scheduled for September 4th and we reported it was highly likely this will be when the Moto 360 is officially released.

        • Google I/O Attendees, Check Your Inboxes – Moto 360 Distribution Emails Are Out

          At this year’s Google I/O, the company behind the search engine with the most o’s promised attendees not one, but two Android Wear devices. The first was either an LG G Watch or a Samsung Gear Live. The second, a Moto 360. We haven’t heard much about the latter since then, but emails are now going out. The time has come for I/O goers to check their inboxes.

        • Adobe Flash Player Android: The Typical Software with Best Features

          Adobe was been widely known by millions ad the leading manufacturer of prestigious products, which brought the existence of the Flash Player. Adobe’s finest has truly made a mark in the global market. It can also be utilized as a browser plug in or even on mobile devices that can support the system. It is made for professional web developers and the average Joe. It is also being supported on quite a number of mobile tablets and devices that range from Samsung to Blackberry, to Sony, HTC and Dell among others.

        • Android development with Java

          Developers seeking to create apps for Google’s popular smartphone operating system needn’t bother themselves with learning complex and often obscure custom versions of C++ like the one used by the once-famous Symbian OS. Instead, Android applications tend to be written in Java, with native modules added in for convenience and speed.

        • Android Circuit: The Samsung Galaxy Alpha Challenges The iPhone 6, Asus Challenges Android Wear, and Xiaomi Challenges Everybody Else

          Taking a look back at the week in news across the Android world, this week’s Android Circuit highlights a number of stories, including Samsung presenting their challenger to the iPhone 6, Motorola’s potential champion waiting in the wings, IDC’s market share numbers are good news for Android, HTC announcing their Creative Lab for creating software that will run on any Android device, Asus preparing to launch an Android Wear smartwatch, Facebook’s Android permissions, and the success of Xiaomi’s Mi3 handset in India.

        • OnePlus One unboxed – What you get and what you don’t get

          Finally received a OnePlus One a few days ago and as this is still an invite only product thought it may be worth providing readers with a bit of info on what you actually get…and don’t get.

        • Moto 360 to cost $250, Best Buy accidently released details

          What a week it has been in terms of leaks and rumors. With September rolling round and the expecting release of the Moto 360, Note 4, Moto X and Moto G we have seen a number of leaks involving product specs, leaked images and release dates.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apple’s MacBook (2,1) Now Can Boot With Coreboot

    After the Lenovo X200 support the latest laptop supporting Coreboot is Apple’s second-generation MacBook.

  • Why Your Company Needs To Write More Open Source Software
  • Alternative Open Source Hosting Control Panels

    Free and open source control panels can be just as powerful and feature-rich as proprietary ones. What they generally lack, however, is commercial support or any kind of warranty. Some developers offer additional paid commercial support, while others offers support through community forums and discussion groups.

  • Look inside building an open source map app

    Imagine yourself walking down the middle of a crowded street in a complex city like Cairo. Suddenly a protest builds ahead. A mass of people, cutting off the road. You try to evade, but then violence breaks out in mere seconds. You need help. Someone else, a car to get you out. A phone call might suffice, but wouldn’t it be easier to notify all your friends that this place is dangerous and that you need their assistance? This is where a map-based social network could come into play.

  • Events

    • LibreOffice Conference 2014 to be held in Bern this September

      LibreOffice is arguably the most popular open source office suite available today. The success has come doe to the hard work and contributions from several dedicated developers as well as contributors from community memebrs. The key to develop and grow this ecosystem is constant collaboration and having a solid strategy regarding the future of the software. The LibreOffice conference is a stage that provides this opportunity to the contributors and enthusiasts to take part in planning the future roadmap.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Adventures in Mozillaland #4

        One and Done is a brilliant idea to help people contribute to the QA Mozilla teams.
        It’s a website proposing the user a series of tasks of different difficulty and on different topics to contribute to Mozilla. Each task is self-contained and can last few minutes or be a bit more challenging. The team has worked hard on developing it and they have definitely done an awesome job! :)

      • I was at Guadec

        I was at Guadec in Strasbourg – thanks to all the volunteers who helped making this event possible.. For those who don’t know Guadec is the annual Gnome User And Developer European Conference. I hadn’t attended since 2008 — such is life — but I reconnected with people I hadn’t seen in a while, as well as met awesome people that joined the project since. Attending this year made me regain a lot of motivation on why a Free Software desktop and why Gnome are really necessary. This is even more important as to why at Mozilla I use Fedora Linux rather than MacOS X like most of my team mates —*hint* at least on Fedora I don’t have code signing break existing apps, and I have a real full screen browser to use to do presentation based on web technologies or even the risk that one day third party browser be barred like they are on iOS — and it is important to keep the alternatives alive.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • One interface, many truths

      Today I’d like to discuss a topic that is constantly recurring about LibreOffice: the overhaul of its interface. I am aware the matter has some real trolling potential, but at least if one wants to troll it is important to get some things straight first.

      Is LibreOffice’s interface outdated? It depends who you ask the question. The problem is that some part of the answer is really a matter of taste; another part of it is really about the kind of interface we could have; and yet another side of the matter is the perception of what its interface should be like. Let’s address the three issues separately.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 4.0 Beta 4 is out, time to test

      A major update for WordPress is due this month and fourth beta, which I assume would be the last beta has been released for testing and bug hunting. I installed it on a test machine and the changes are impressive. Since we used Drupal earlier for Muktware and then migrated to WordPress in September last year, I can say from personal experience WordPress is a more suitable choice for writing focused sites like TheMukt.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • AMD Compiler Optimization Benchmarks With GCC 4.10 (GCC 5.0)

      As a continuation to yesterday’s brief GCC 4.9 vs. GCC 4.10 (GCC 5.0) comparison with the AMD A10 A-Series “Kaveri” APU, here’s some benchmarks when using the GCC 4.10 development snapshot and trying a variety of CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS to see the current impact on their performance for a variety of Linux benchmarks.

    • GNU lightning 2.0.5 released!

      GNU lightning is a library to aid in making portable programs that compile assembly code at run time.

  • Public Services/Government

    • DemocracyOS promotes civic engagement on both sides

      Using DemocracyOS represents a challenge for any institution used to make decisions in the traditional way. It is designed for governments to open themselves up to citizen engagement, but power is usually conservative. But the biggest challenge is probably to fight against the presumption that citizens are naturally apathetic and shun commitment. Our challenge is cultural, not technological.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Git 2.1 Released

      Version 2.1 of the Git revision control system is available this weekend.

    • [ANNOUNCE] Git v2.1.0

      The following public repositories all have a copy of the ‘v2.1.0′ tag and the ‘master’ branch that the tag points at…

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Software that prevents cyber attacks

      “TCP Stealth is a free software that requires particular system and computer expertise, for example, use of the GNU/Linux operating system. In order to make broader usage possible in the future, the software will need further development,” said scientists from the Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) in Germany.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • ISI, CIA aiding NE militants: Tripura CM

      Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar has alleged that Pakistani intelligence agency (ISI) and America’s (CIA) are in constant touch with anti-India militants, a section of whom are still using Bangladesh to operate.

    • US blocks Chinese-Russian backed back on weapons in space

      War is not nice and it’s understandable that countries would seek to ban weapons in space to attempt to keep conflict confined to the Earth, for this reason Russia and China have been attempting to draft a joint treaty for the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space since 2008. Since then, the United States have been repeatedly blocking consensus in the UN’s Conference on Disarmament to prevent countries moving forward on negotiating a treaty to ban weapons in space claiming that the proposal was ‘a diplomatic ploy by the two nations to gain a military advantage’.

    • Suspected al-Qaida militants killed in Yemen drone and air strikes
    • Drone Strikes In Yemen Kill 7 Suspected Al Qaeda Militants: Official

      Two separate airstrikes in Yemen’s south killed seven suspected militants Saturday, a Yemeni security official said.

    • U.S. drone strikes kill ten militants in Yemen
    • Mindless drones

      Drones have killed thousands of people in places such as Pakistan and Yemen, countries against which we have not declared war.

    • Lady Gaza comes to Melbourne

      The Melbourne Palestine Action Group, a group consisting of Whistle Blowers Australian Citizens Alliance (WACA) and Renegade Activists, locked down Elbit Systems in the suburb of Port Melbourne and occupied the building’s roof for a few hours.

    • More Scots firms linked to the manufacture of parts for Israel’s Gaza bombs
    • U.S. unilateral military action is not solution to the Iraqi crisis

      I wish to condemn, in the strongest terms, the attacks by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) against Christian and other religious minorities in Iraq. Christian friends who migrated a long time ago from Iraq to the United States called my family, and were informed that our hearts were bleeding to see how the situation was worsening in Iraq.

    • Three Afghan policemen killed by US airstrike

      At least three Afghan policemen have been killed when US-led foreign forces launched an airstrike in Afghanistan’s northern province of Parwan.

      Afghan authorities said the airborne attack took place in the Ghorband district of the province, situated about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of the capital, Kabul, on Friday and targeted local police forces. A fourth police officer was wounded in the raid.

    • In the West Respect for Truth No Longer Exists

      The conclusive evidence is the media story of the armored Russian column that crossed into Ukraine and was destroyed by Ukraine’s rag-tag forces that ISIS would eliminate in a few minutes. British reporters fabricated this story or were handed it by a CIA operative working to build a war narrative. The no longer reputable BBC hyped the story without investigating. The German media, including Die Welt, blared the story throughout Germany without concern at the absence of any evidence. Reuters news agency, also with no investigation, spread the story. Readers tell me that CNN has been broadcasting the fake story 24/7. Although I cannot stand to watch it, I suspect Fox “news” has also been riding this lame horse hard. Readers tell me that my former newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, which has fallen so low as to be unreadable, also spread the false story. I hope they are wrong. One hates to see the complete despoliation of one’s former habitat.

    • Cha-Ching! Tony Blair’s Wife Lands Lucrative Gig in Kazakhstan—British Paper

      At first blush, it seems Kazakhstan’s strongman President Nursultan Nazarbayev likes to keep business in the family. A daughter heads his party in the rubber-stamp parliament; his sons-in-law held various official positions and became fabulously wealthy. So why is it not surprising that Kazakhstan is paying the wife of Nazarbayev’s most distinguished advisor, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, hundreds of thousands of pounds for her legal services?

    • How Cherie Blair earns £1,000 an hour from the Kazakh taxpayer
    • Handmaiden to Africa’s Generals

      Security is a core concern of the American government’s Africa policy. This was made clear in May when President Obama proposed a $5 billion Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund to supplement programs the Pentagon already has in 35 countries. And it was made clear again at the recent U.S.-Africa summit in Washington, when Mr. Obama announced $110 million a year for an African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership, a program to train and equip six African armies for peacekeeping operations.

      Because Mr. Obama is committed to scaling back the deployment of United States troops to combat terrorism, America’s security strategy in Africa translates largely into training and equipping African armies. Although this approach rightly gives African governments the lead in tackling their own security problems, it is misguided nonetheless. It is, in effect, providing foreign tutelage to the militarization of Africa’s politics, which undermines peace and democracy throughout the continent. America’s diplomacy is becoming a handmaiden to Africa’s generals.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Julian Assange has had his human rights violated, says Ecuador foreign minister

      Ricardo Patino says British government has no will to find a solution to stalemate that has confined WikiLeaks founder to London’s Ecuadorian embassy for more than two years

    • Julian Assange ‘to leave’ Ecuador embassy

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says he will leave London’s Ecuadorean embassy “soon” after two years.

    • Two years on, Julian Assange is still a prisoner of process

      Ecuador is committed to protecting persons subject to political persecution. Two years ago, after a profound investigation and review of our legal obligations, we decided to give political asylum to Julian Assange.

      This decision followed a dramatic change in our global understanding of privacy, telecommunications and diplomacy over the past few years. Edward Snowden’s revelations about mass surveillance have uncovered grave security threats for states, violations of human rights, and have shown that the future of the internet is in danger. The millions of documents published by Wikileaks about the political, economic and military manoeuvres of powerful interests also magnified delicate matters of sovereignty and abuse of power.

      All states have secrets. And all states have the right to defend themselves. But this must not whitewash the grave violations of human rights, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, of which we have learned.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Drillers illegally using diesel fuel to frack, report says

      A new report charges that several oil and gas companies have been illegally using diesel fuel in their hydraulic fracturing operations, and then doctoring records to hide violations of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

      The report, published this week by the Environmental Integrity Project, found that between 2010 and July 2014 at least 351 wells were fracked by 33 different companies using diesel fuels without a permit. The Integrity Project, an environmental organization based in Washington, D.C., said it used the industry-backed database, FracFocus, to identify violations and to determine the records had been retroactively amended by the companies to erase the evidence.

  • Finance

    • Paul Ryan Shuns Conservative Media’s “Makers And Takers” Rhetoric, But His Policies Still Rely On Those Myths

      In the same Wall Street Journal opinion piece that distanced himself from the “makers and takers” phrase, Ryan went on to explain his anti-poverty plan, which in part proposes that individuals would have to sign “contracts” in order to remain eligible for social safety net benefits, such as food stamps.

    • BitXBay: The First Open Source, P2P Online Trading Platform

      Charly Clinton, the creator of BitXBay, a decentralized and anonymous Bitcoin marketplace, claims to have created the first open source, peer-to-peer online platform for trade.

    • Joe Hockey may be sorry, but that doesn’t mean he gets it

      He was a 64-year-old from somewhere near Bathurst who had been forced to give up his lifelong job as a truck driver in 2013 after a serious heart attack. He could no longer work, even casually, and was living on a disability support pension. After he had paid rent and power he had $135 a week – which also had to cover around $40 a week in medical prescription costs.

      The man had sought financial counselling and had tried to save money in many ways but he still couldn’t make ends meet and was forced to ask for help from Vinnies several times before deciding to move to a shack on a small bush block he owned, without power or running water.

    • Germany’s World Cup triumph fails to net economic rewards

      Brewers feel flat and Adidas shares fall as optimism and confidence dips in Germany amid tensions with Russia

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Hypocrisy In Action: Stingray Maker, Who Relies On Secret No Bid Contracts, Whines About Motorola Getting A No Bid Contract

      Harris Corporation, the stealthy, mostly-silent company behind the cell tower spoofer known as the Stingray, is making a few louder noises now that its financial toes are being stepped on. The company muffles law enforcement agencies with restrictive terms and conditions that include broad non-disclosure clauses and a general admonishment that as much information as possible should be withheld from the public at all times. These tactics have worked out for its core business — tower spoofers — allowing Harris to make a whole lot of money without having to deal with FOIA fallout and citizen backlash.

    • Australian Officials Pushing For Data Retention Had No Idea What A VPN Is

      If you haven’t yet, you really should watch the video we pointed to recently of Australian Attorney General George Brandis trying to explain his internet data retention plan when it’s clear he has no idea how the internet works. It’s the one where he’s asked if it will track the web pages you visit, and Brandis vehemently insists that it will not, but that it will track the web addresses you visit. Some people have said that perhaps he meant it won’t record the actual content on the pages, but just the URL (which might matter if it’s dynamic pages), but later in the conversation, he also implies (almost clearly incorrectly) that he means it will just track the top level domains, not the full URLs.

    • Centre to shield India from cyber attacks proposed

      The Narendra Modi government is preparing to set up a Rs. 950-crore cyber security centre following a rise in virtual world attacks and recent revelations that the US National Security Agency had spied on the BJP and sensitive establishments.The Narendra Modi government is preparing to set up a Rs. 950-crore cyber security centre following a rise in virtual world attacks and recent revelations that the US National Security Agency had spied on the BJP and sensitive establishments.

    • Did a U.S. defense contractor help create the next generation of spyware weapons?

      The Washington Post relates a fascinating little cloak-and-dagger story that ends with a heck of a punchline: a U.S. defense contractor was apparently working with foreign companies that create spyware and virus programs to develop new tools for spying on people, potentially both foreign and domestic.

    • U.S. firm helped the spyware industry build a potent digital weapon for sale overseas

      CloudShield Technologies, a California defense contractor, dispatched a senior engineer to Munich in the early fall of 2009. His instructions were unusually opaque.

    • Germany tapped John Kerry’s phone, spied on Turkey for years – report

      Germany’s foreign intelligence agency eavesdropped at least one telephone conversation of US Secretary of State John Kerry and spied on NATO ally Turkey since 2009, Der Spiegel newspaper revealed on Saturday.

      Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) picked up the phone call “by accident” in 2013, the weekly newspaper reported in a pre-publication citing unnamed sources. Kerry was discussing the Middle East tensions between Israelis, Palestinians and Arab states in a satellite link, according to Der Spiegel.

    • Germany Spied On Kerry and Clinton Says Der Spiegel, But It’s Not As Awkward As It Sounds

      In what many are calling a pot-and-kettle situation, German magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday that German intelligence spied on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, allegedly listening into and recording their private phone calls. Though the revelations are potentially unsurprising (doesn’t it feel like everyone is spying on everyone at this point?), they still might have been embarrassing for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has publicly criticized the U.S. for its spying practices. Instead, though, the report only highlights how badly the U.S. behaved.

    • Germany intelligence spied on Kofi Annan
    • Spiegel: BND focus on Turkey nets Kerry, Clinton
    • Knocking down the HACIENDA

      “Knocking down the HACIENDA” by Julian Kirsch, produced by GNU, the GNUnet team and edited on short notice by Carlo von Lynx from #youbroketheinternet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives 3.0 Unported License. We thank the CCC for hosting this on their CDN.

    • UK spies have scanned the internet connections of entire countries

      You may know that the UK’s GCHQ intelligence agency pokes its nose into people’s internet service accounts, but it’s now clear that the spy outfit is mapping the internet connections of whole nations, too. Heise has obtained documents showing that a GCHQ system, Hacienda, can scan every internet address in a given country to see both the connection types in use (such as web servers) as well as any associated apps. The scanning platform is looking for relevant targets and any exploitable security holes; if a target is running software with known vulnerabilities, it’s relatively easy for agents to break in and either swipe data or set up malicious websites that trick suspects into compromising their PCs. Poring over this much data would normally be time-consuming, but there’s a companion system (Olympia) that makes it easy to find useful information within minutes.

    • It’s time to delete mandatory data retention once and for all

      After five years of debate, it is time for all sides of politics to acknowledge that the Australian public will not stand for a mandatory data retention policy keeping track of every aspect of their lives. It is time to kill the mandatory data retention policy once and for all.

    • Sen. Wyden: Your data’s yours no matter on whose server it lives

      At the TechFestNW event in Portland on Friday, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden called for legal reforms that embrace an understanding that the mere act of handing over digital data doesn’t mean giving way a user’s right to privacy.

    • The Internet’s Original Sin

      The fiasco I want to talk about is the World Wide Web, specifically, the advertising-supported, “free as in beer” constellation of social networks, services, and content that represents so much of the present day web industry. I’ve been thinking of this world, one I’ve worked in for over 20 years, as a fiasco since reading a lecture by Maciej Cegłowski, delivered at the Beyond Tellerrand web design conference. Cegłowski is an important and influential programmer and an enviably talented writer. His talk is a patient explanation of how we’ve ended up with surveillance as the default, if not sole, internet business model.

    • Gyroscopes in your phone could be spying on you

      Researchers have developed software that uses a devices gyroscopes, not microphone, to listen in to your conversations. They found that the gyroscopes were so sensitive that they could be used as makeshift microphones.

    • Github tracks you by email.

      That’s right. Github tracks you by email. Each Github notification email contains in the HTML part a beacon. Beacons are usually one pixel images with a unique URL to know who did view the email or not – triggered by the HTML rendered downloading the image to display.

    • Attacking NPR As A Shill For Government Intelligence

      After doing my own research, I strongly agree with the critics that the story committed a fundamental failure in not noting that both the company, Recorded Future, and a second company that aided it, ReversingLabs, have ties to the United States intelligence community. Temple-Raston and her editor, Bruce Auster, agree, too, and say that what happened was an oversight on deadline.

    • CIA spy program actually called ‘Hydra’? Not cool.

      You know, the US government does a lot of shady and, frankly, stupid stuff in the name of “keeping us safe” from “terrorists.” They also do some smart things and completely morally unambiguous stuff. This is not one of those.

      In documents leaked to The Intercept (a site devoted to analyzing documents leaked, first and foremost, by Edward Snowden) it appears the CIA has created a monster. One of their data-collection programs is literally named “Hydra.”

  • Civil Rights

    • Patriots don’t torture: Why excusing it is an American catastrophe

      About a week ago, for the first time ever, the U.S. government, through the comments of its chief executive no less, confirmed that “folks were tortured.” Simultaneously, he observed that there ”was little need for sanctimony” given the heightened fears of the American public in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the enormous pressure that law enforcement officials were under to prevent future attacks.

    • Watchdog groups putting pressure on CIA director
    • Shane Todd’s family says noose and towel used in U.S. engineer’s hanging death DESTROYED by police

      Police in Singapore destroyed two pieces of evidence tied to the death of Shane Todd, whose body was found in his apartment there in June 2012, according to the American engineer’s family.

      The 31-year-old’s parents, Rick and Mary Todd, have for months been demanding the Singapore government return the hand-made noose and towel around their son’s neck when his body was discovered by his girlfriend hanging from his bathroom door.

    • Shane Todd’s death: AGC denies towel and noose destroyed to block DNA test
    • Singapore gov’t destroyed evidence in US engineer’s death
    • Israeli court allows protesters to picket Palestinian-Jewish wedding

      A Palestinian man and his Jewish bride-to-be are facing hostile protests in the Israeli town of Rishon Letzion after Israel’s high court refused their application to ban demonstrations outside their wedding reception.

      Mahmoud Mansour, 26, a Palestinian from Jaffa, has had to hire dozens of security guards after an anti-Arab group, Lehava, published details of his wedding reception online and called for Israelis to come and picket the wedding hall.

      The group, which campaigns against assimilation between Jews and Arabs in Israel, is angry that Mansour’s bride-to-be, Moral Malka, 23, is Jewish, although local media reported that she has already converted to Islam and the couple have had an Islamic wedding.

    • Cell Phone Guide For US Protesters, Updated 2014 Edition

      With major protests in the news again, we decided it’s time to update our cell phone guide for protestors. A lot has changed since we last published this report in 2011, for better and for worse. On the one hand, we’ve learned more about the massive volume of law enforcement requests for cell phone—ranging from location information to actual content—and widespread use of dedicated cell phone surveillance technologies. On the other hand, strong Supreme Court opinions have eliminated any ambiguity about the unconstitutionality of warrantless searches of phones incident to arrest, and a growing national consensus says location data, too, is private.

    • Petition Asks DOJ to Halt Action Against New York Times Reporter

      “The main thing that gets to me is that I realize I don’t deserve all this,” Risen said.

    • Where’s the Justice at Justice?
    • Channeling Orwell from Oval Office

      The Justice Department is trying to scuttle the reporters’ privilege — ignoring the chilling effect that is having on truth emerging in a jittery post-9/11 world prone to egregious government excesses.

    • Nixon believed CIA involved in Kennedy Assassination

      A new book, which will be released September 2, discloses a previously unknown connection between Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, John F. Kennedy and the CIA.

      In fact, author Roger Stone, a former Nixon aide, asserts that Nixon “knew the CIA was involved in JFK’s assassination” and was so pesky in his attempts to get them to disclose all their records that the CIA contemplated the assassination of Nixon as well.

      The book, “Nixon’s Secrets: The Rise, Fall, and Untold Truth about the President, Watergate, and the Pardon”, demonstrates a definitely unfriendly relationship between himself and then CIA Director Richard Helms.

    • UK ambassador ‘lobbied senators to hide Diego Garcia role in rendition’

      Logs released under the Freedom of Information Act have reinforced claims that the UK lobbied to keep its role in the CIA’s torture and interrogation programme out of what is expected to be a damning Senate report.

      They show that the UK ambassador to the US met members of the Senate select committee on intelligence 11 times between 2012 and 2014 – as they were investigating the CIA’s rendition programme. This included two meetings with the committee’s chair, Diane Feinstein, which took place as crucial decisions were being made regarding how much of its report into the programme should be made public.

    • Do police need grenade launchers, other military weapons? Officers say yes

      …under a federal program that allows police to obtain surplus gear free from the U.S. military…Local agencies must return items they don’t use.

    • Ferguson protests: National Guard sent to Missouri unrest

      The US state of Missouri is sending the National Guard to the town of Ferguson as protests escalate over the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager.

    • Ferguson’s Police Got Free Military Gear Straight From The Pentagon

      The images coming out of Ferguson could be critical in instigating the debate. Dansky and others have noted that police militarization dates back to the 1980s. But the prevalence of social media and its ability to share the kind of images that caused TPM’s Josh Marshall to ask “Ferguson or Fallujah” have made the issue more difficult to ignore.

    • Ferguson Attacks And Web Censorship Are Parts Of Same Story

      A lot of this week in civil liberties has been about the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, USA. Police troops fired tear gas on a television crew. This mirrors the ongoing web censorship efforts.

      The governments around the world are reacting the exact same way today as they did when the printing press arrived 500 years ago. There isn’t really anything new under the sun.

    • In Ferguson, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery gives account of his arrest

      Multiple officers grabbed me. I tried to turn my back to them to assist them in arresting me. I dropped the things from my hands.

      “My hands are behind my back,” I said. “I’m not resisting. I’m not resisting.” At which point one officer said: “You’re resisting. Stop resisting.”

      That was when I was most afraid — more afraid than of the tear gas and rubber bullets.

      As they took me into custody, the officers slammed me into a soda machine, at one point setting off the Coke dispenser. They put plastic cuffs on me, then they led me out the door.

      I could see Ryan still talking to an officer. I said: “Ryan, tweet that they’re arresting me, tweet that they’re arresting me.”

      He didn’t have an opportunity, because he was arrested as well.

      The officers led us outside to a police van. Inside, there was a large man sitting on the floor between the two benches. He began screaming: “I can’t breathe! Call a paramedic! Call a paramedic!”

    • Militarized Terror Policing

      Now our police have become an occupying army in our cities.

    • Cops or Soldiers? Pentagon, DHS Helped Arm Police in Ferguson with Equipment Used in War
    • 7 Pages to Drone Kill an American Citizen
    • NUSOJ Calls for the Release of Journalists detained for the Second day without Charge

      The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) calls for the Federal Government of Somalia to release the media workers and the journalists detained in Mogadishu for second day without charges following raid of Radio Shabelle and SKY FM stations.

    • TV crews hit by bean bags, tear gas
    • Michael Brown’s death was no anomaly. We cannot stay silent
    • Turns Out When Police Act Cordial, Rather Than As An Oppressive Military Force, Things Work Out Better

      After covering the militarized police fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri the past few days, including highlighting Anil Dash’s rather simple point that the way to deal with angry protestors isn’t to make them angrier, it appears that someone finally got the message. Missouri’s governor kicked out the St. Louis County police, who were responsible for much of the previous escalation, and sent in the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who almost immediately set a very different tone — one that involved a much smaller police presence, and one that was a lot friendlier. It even involved talking with (not just to) protestors in a cordial manner. The most striking image — a complete reversal of the day before — has to be Captain Ron Johnson, who was put in charge, walking with the protestors (in ordinary police garb) rather than having militarized police aiming high powered weaponry at them.

    • Creating Controversy: No, An Upcoming EA Game About Militarized Police Doesn’t Need To React To Ferguson, MO

      As the Ferguson, MO saga continues to unfold, there are certainly lessons to be learned. An overly-militarized police force coupled with the oppression of free speech and the press aren’t good ways for managing an angry population, for instance. Conversely, a police force that actually connects and serves with the community they’re tasked with policing produces far better results. And, of course, we’re all forced to have yet another discussion about race-relations in this ostensibly free and equal country of ours. These are good conversations to have.

    • Ferguson looks like Iraq. Statements from politicians like me won’t fix that
    • California Cops Seize Recordings Of Questionable Arrest, Claim They Have The ‘Right’ To Do So
    • Police In Ferguson Back To Threatening And Arresting Reporters: Tells Them To ‘Get The Fuck Out Of Here’

      A live stream from the local radio station KARG (Argus Radio — which is a local volunteer run radio station that has been doing amazing work) caught police screaming, “Get the fuck out of here or you’re going to get shelled with this” while pointing a gun at the reporter. Many reports claimed that he was saying, “You’re going to get shot,” but it’s pretty clearly “shelled.” Not sure it really makes a huge difference.

    • Northern California Cops Beat Mentally Ill Man, Seize Phones, Claim it’s their Right

      Police in Northern California beat and tased a mentally ill man before siccing a dog on him, then turning on citizens who recorded the incident, confiscating cell phones and in one case, ordering a witness to delete his footage.

      But one video survived anyway, slightly longer than two minutes, where a cop from the Antioch Police Department can be heard saying he wants cameras confiscated right before the video stops.

    • Live From the Streets of Ferguson, Missouri
    • Israel bans national service with rights group B’Tselem in Gaza row

      Young barred from serving in organisation as alternative to military service after it is accused of ‘incitement against IDF’

    • New light on black sites

      Foreign courts crack down on US-led human rights abuses

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • How Verizon lets its copper network decay to force phone customers onto fiber

      The shift from copper landlines to fiber-based voice networks is continuing apace, and no one wants it to happen faster than Verizon.

    • NY Times Says FCC Should Reclassify Broadband Under Title II
    • FCC, Writers Guild push for public feedback on net neutrality issue

      The Writers Guild of America is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to hold public hearings regarding net neutrality before it rules on changes to the Open Internet Order.

      Michael Winship, the president of the Writers Guild, highlighted the multitude of public comments that were made during an open comments period regarding net neutrality when he wrote to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

    • FCC Extends Net Neutrality Comment Period

      The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Friday it would extend the net neutrality reply comment period from September 10 to September 15.

    • Redditors Propose Setting Up A ‘Consumers’ Union’ To Fight Back Against Broadband Giants

      A random factoid about my past that some people don’t know is that I have a degree in “industrial and labor relations,” which involved an awful lot of learning about the history of unions, collective bargaining and the like. While I firmly believe that most unions today are counterproductive (frequently holding back innovation and flexibility), the idea certainly made quite a lot of sense in the early days, in which you had parties (giant employers) with near total market power over employees who had absolutely no market power. Basically, many companies were market abusers, and they abused freely. Organizing workers for collective bargaining was a way to even the playing field slightly. That it later resulted in vast amounts of corruption and cronyism, let alone hindering the way in which companies could innovate and adapt, are certainly big issues to be concerned about — but there were reasons why that happened as well (driven by leadership on both sides).

    • Data Analysis Of FCC Comments Reveals Almost No Anti-Net Neutrality Comments
    • A Fascinating Look Inside Those 1.1 Million Open-Internet Comments

      So what’s in those nearly 1.1 million public comments? A lot of mentions of , according to a TechCrunch analysis. But now, we have a fuller picture. The San Francisco data analysis firm Quid looked beyond keywords to find the sentiment and arguments in those public comments.

  • DRM

    • When the Police Can Brick Your Phone

      In this age of militarized police forces, anyone who thinks the police will hesitate to use such capabilities to quell dissent and to hide their illegal behavior is in denial about political reality. The kill switch will not protect a phone from thieves much, if at all, but it will help governments work in darkness.

    • Microsoft Silent On Xbox One Sales as PlayStation 4 Wins July

      Sony says the PlayStation 4 is the fastest selling PlayStation in history, as July retail game sales turn up another net-positive month.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XXXV

      According to the publication “Inside US Trade”, which tends to be pretty good when it comes to sourcing its information, the next round of TTIP talks won’t take place until the end of September – obviously the negotiators felt they needed a holiday after all the excitement of the last year. But even if TTIP news is thin on the ground, there have been a couple of big developments recently that have important implications for the negotiations.

      [...]

      The resistance to TTIP is growing, and it may be that the whole thing – not just ISDS – collapses as people become aware of the reality of what is being planned. But what this valuable new site from Kelsey makes clear is that even if we manage to keep out the worst demands of the US side from the “final” text, it may not actually be final. Assuming certification is required for TTIP as for TPP, it would give one last chance for the US to try to bully the EU into accepting its demands – and one last chance for the European Commission to capitulate.

    • Copyrights

      • WWE Asked Google to Hit Live Piracy…From the Future

        An anti-piracy company working on behalf of World Wrestling Entertainment has sent a rather unusual DMCA notice to Google. The takedown requested the removal of dozens of URLs related to a live event scheduled for two days after the notice. Which means, of course, it hadn’t even aired yet.

      • ANTI-PIRACY OUTFIT WANTS TO HIJACK BROWSERS UNTIL FINE PAID

        Piracy monetization service Rightscorp has provided investors with details of its end game with cooperative ISPs. Initially service providers are asked to forward notices to subscribers with requests for $20.00 settlements, but the eventual plan is to hijack the browsers of alleged pirates until they’ve actually paid up.

      • English Premier League Apparently Wants Fans To Hate It Even More: Threatens To Pull Down Vines And Animated GIFs

        Actually, no, you don’t “have to protect” your intellectual property. In fact, if it’s stupid to do so — pissing off fans and angering the very people who pay the bills, it seems like a bad idea. But the Premier League doesn’t seem to care about that at all. It’s just taking the “we must protect our IP” view of it all. Because.

      • I Visited Pirate Bay’s Peter Sunde in Prison, Here’s What he Had to Say

        He tells me that this is par for the course in prison. “If you don’t constantly insist upon your rights, you will be denied them”. Repeatedly, he had to remind the guards that they’re not allowed to open confidential mail he receives from journalists. His alleged right to an education or occupation during his jail time in practice amounted to being given a beginners’ Spanish book.

        [...]

        Facebook alone has turned into its own little walled-garden version of the Internet that a lot of users would be content using without access to the wider Net. At the same time, services from Google to Wikipedia are working on distribution deals that make their services available to people without real Internet access.

      • Premier League to Clamp Down on GIFs and Vines

        On the eve of the new season, the UK’s Premier League has been putting fans on notice that it will no longer tolerate the unauthorized distribution of its copyright works. In addition to going after those who live stream full matches, the football giant says it now intends to tackle individuals who post short clips online.

08.16.14

Links 16/8/2014: Microsoft Linux, US Government Turns to Free Software

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 11:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How to crack an open source community

    This can be hard for developers new to a project, because “many would-be devs are intimidated by the perception of an existing ‘in-crowd’ dev group, even though it may not really be true,” ActiveState vice president Bernard Golden told me. Developer Tony Li echoes this, suggesting, “There is often a intimidation factor when thinking about submitting code to the maintainers (even though it is not on purpose).”

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • The why and how of becoming a cloud architect

      It’s certainly not news. We’ve talked before about how learning OpenStack is a great way to kickstart an IT career. But just how valuable is it? And if you want to make the transition from doing traditional IT infrastructure administration to becoming a cloud architect, how do you get there?

    • Running Hadoop as a Cloud Service is on the Rise

      For a while there, working with Big Data–sorting and sifting large data sets with new tools in pursuit of surfacing meaningful angles on stored information–meant leveraging the open source Hadoop platform in on-premise fashion. Typically, enterprises deployed Hadoop in-house as a platform tool.

    • Deciding on the Right Cloud for Your Organization
    • Scott Sanchez on OpenStack: Shifting a Mindset

      “I often stand in front of audiences filled with people who use storage servers. I ask them if they still name their servers. Inevitably, two-thirds of the people raise their hands. Their servers have names. … It is definitely a mindset. … You are not yet building quality applications. All of the innovation in the world is not going to solve that from an infrastructure perspective.”

    • Could fundamental open cloud freedom die?

      Balkan claims he is working to create independent technologies that protect our fundamental freedoms & democracy.

      Trust in the cloud forms the cornerstone of the Summit agenda with topics covered including:

      • the surveillance state,
      • the encryption economy,
      • honest business models and,
      • keeping trust amongst customers.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Organs of democracy

      Oh, yes, creation of human organs no longer requires divine oration, just a walk to the laboratory.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Gaza Strip Crisis: Melbourne Palestine Action Group Shuts Down Israeli Arms Factory

      Sam Castro, spokesperson for the Melbourne Palestine Activist Group, claims drones produced in the factory are being used in the current conflict in Gaza.

      She said: “By importing and exporting arms to Israel and facilitating the development of Israeli military technology, governments are effectively sending a clear message of approval for Israel’s military aggression, including its war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.”

    • U.S. arms for Iraq’s Kurds could backfire, as similar aid has in the past

      The U.S. decision to arm Iraqi Kurds shows a dangerous and deplorable disregard for the lessons of history. The move is understandably tempting, given the threat Islamist extremists pose to civilians and the integrity of the Iraqi state, especially when the redeployment of U.S. troops is all but off the table.

    • Iraq crisis: US launches fresh drone strikes

      Fresh airstrikes have been launched by US drones against Isis forces close to a village where there were reports that dozens of civilians had been massacred.

    • Anger Over Missouri Police Shooting Resonates Across Bay Area and Nation
    • To Draw A Line

      There have been other disquieting trends too in recent times. Osama bin Laden was, of course, a Saudi and 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis. We have it on testimony by ex-CIA director James Woolsey that Saudi Wahabism is “the soil in which Al Qaeda and its sister terrorist organisations are flourishing”.

    • With Friends Like These: NATO and the Afghan Leadership

      On 12th June 2011 Ahmed Wali Karzai (AWK), a key ally of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s mission in Afghanistan was assassinated. His fate was sealed by his own security chief of many years Mohmad Sardar, who shot him at point-blank range in his own home. Recent years in the conflict have seen a rise in such attacks by inside men, usually members of the Afghan National Army and police forces. It is rarer that that such a high level figure is killed at the behest of the Taliban in this way, since these attacks are usually carried out to create fear in the ranks of these forces. It is rarer still that the victim is none other than the President’s half brother. As if to add insult to injury, the Taliban detonated a suicide bomb at AWK’s funeral.

    • Americans can expect escalation of Iraq airstrikes

      The president’s authorization was confined to protecting American personnel and preventing the genocide of the Yazidis religious group. But it also suggested increased military involvement if the Iraqi government replaced Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, a Shiite widely seen as responsible for implementing sectarian policies that have severely alienated Sunni Iraqis. Al-Maliki resigned this week in favor of another Shiite, and Americans can expect to see an escalation of the airstrikes.

    • Elite commandos train for mission

      The men included Green Berets from the 10th Special Forces Group headquartered at Fort Carson, Colo., and an unidentified Navy crew who are training together for a classified mission somewhere in Africa.

    • US, NATO And The Destruction Of Libya: The Western Front Of A Widening War – OpEd

      NATO claimed that its intervention in Libya was a historic success. But three years later, Libya is in complete chaos. Some 1700 militias have a combined total of 250,000 men under arms. Another external intervention seems necessary to stabilize the country. But the US and NATO must never be involved

    • Libya’s new parliament asks for UN intervention
    • The Clintons, Duvalier, Martelly and Haiti

      If you vote and you live in the USA, you should try to become educated about the multiple recent and ongoing misdeeds of the Clintons in Haiti.

      So far, they’ve managed to hide their hands cleverly using the puppets (Martelly, Duvalier, Lamothe…) they have imposed upon the people of Haiti.

    • Nepal must be Stand against the CIA & EU’s Conspiracies

      Since 2006, due to the traitors’ regime, Nepalese society is suffering due to inflation, shortage, insecurity and indefinite pain. The leaders of Nepal only listen to foreign powers and do what they are told. That is why Nepal is facing such dire consequences. Anarchy prevailed in the country after Hindu status and royal institution were removed forcibly. The leaders of NC and UML are hostage to indecision. Most of the intellectuals of the country can be bought for money. Maoist leader Mohan Vaidya led group have not abandoned Leninism that is 88 years old date expired formula. A man unable to swim will drown. We must show commitment for progress of Nepal. To save our nation we must get rid of prejudice and support constitutional monarchy and Hindu and Buddhist status of the country.

    • Top 10 Fidel Castro assassination attempts
    • CIA Records: They Wanted to Kill, Using Chemical, Biological Substances

      By analyzing CIA documents from earlier days, we can understand the programs of the Agency and its government cousins.

      Given the fact that the CIA’s umbrella research program, MKULTRA, went completely dark in 1962, and given the technological advances that have been made in the intervening years, we can draw inferences about present-day covert ops.

    • Washington Staged Egypt’s “Arab Spring” Revolution, U.S. Knew About 9/11 Warning, Former Egypt Interior Minister Reveals

      One of these claims was that the United States was behind the 2011 Egyptian revolution which overthrew Hosni Mubarak. The other, however, was that the Egyptian intelligence agencies and Interior Ministry received information regarding a developing terrorist operation against the United States in September, 2001 and that the Egyptians warned the United States twice ahead of time. According to El-Adly, these warnings were completely ignored.

    • Nixon believed CIA involved in Kennedy assassination

      A new book, to be released Sept. 2, discloses a previously unknown connection between Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, John F. Kennedy and the CIA. In fact, author Roger Stone, a former Nixon aide, asserts that Nixon “knew the CIA was involved in JFK’s assassination” and was so pesky in his attempts to get them to disclose all their records that the CIA contemplated the assassination of Nixon as well. Nixon believed CIA involved in Kennedy assassination

    • Top 10 Fidel Castro assassination attempts

      Cuba celebrated Castro’s 88th birthday yesterday and he famously survived 638 assassination attempts – the Americans tried so many ways that they had to get creative. Here are his top 10 assassination attempts

    • Washington: Plans against Cuba lay bare

      The most recent leaks about Cuba reveal the hiring of young Costa Ricans, Peruvians, and Venezuelans whose goals were to recruit possible dissidents in Cuban universities. These activists would later play the role of organizers of a “velvet” revolution. The AP has released the names of their top agents. When this project is linked to the mission of USAID contractor Alan Gross, currently serving a prison sentence in Cuba, and the so-called Zunzuneo, and Piramideo —Twitter-like social networks to unite thousands of Cuban people to carry out destabilization actions— it takes shape a very-well orchestrated plan to boost up a future rebellion in Cuba.

    • ISI, CIA aiding northeast Indian militants: Tripura CM

      Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has alleged that Pakistani intelligence agency ISI and America’s CIA are in constant touch with anti-India militants, a section of whom are still using Bangladesh to operate.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • More Trans-Pacific Partnership details leaked

      The United States and other countries in the Americas and Asia are involved in secretly negotiating a Free Trade Agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, much of the news about the deal comes from leaks as none of the details are publicly published. In the latest leak, activists reveal Certification which allows the US to withhold the the final steps that are necessary to bring a trade and investment treaty into force until the other party has changed it’s relevant laws to meet US expectations.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Anonymity and Censorship

      How far can government go in forcing people to reveal their identities, or protecting people from being forced to reveal their identities? The issues of anonymity, free speech, and privacy are once again central topics of debate, made so by the refusal of the police department in Ferguson, Missouri to reveal the identity of the police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager Saturday night, based on fears for the officer’s safety. The decision to keep his identity secret has been a factor in the violent protests in the St. Louis suburb.

    • Google: We must reverse the new tide of censorship sweeping Europe

      You may have heard of the DA-Notice. This is a formal request, from the government of the day to the editors of newspapers such as this, to kill a story on the grounds of national security. The DA-Notice system is voluntary, and it works because it is not deployed as a method of censorship. Tiny numbers of DA-Notices are issued. Tiny numbers of stories are killed. But, in our internet age, in which communication is supposed to be easier, and freer, than ever before, that is changing, and not for the better. Welcome to the world of the G-notice.

    • The problem with censorship in social media

      When it comes to social media, and the Internet in general, censorship is a sensitive topic. You probably didn’t read the small print when you signed up to Facebook or Twitter but all your favourite sites have rules, and with so many users posting so much content daily it can be difficult to police them – especially without pissing people off. Free speech is pretty popular after all.

    • Crowdfunding Lantern, a P2P anti-censorship tool
    • CIA security luminary: ‘Right to be forgotten is not enough’

      The EU’s so-called “right to be forgotten” laws have not gone far enough to protect citizens’ privacy, according to Dan Geer, one of the world’s best-known security experts.

    • Essay: Censorship, police intimidation at missile defense conference

      Upon exiting the room he was immediately surrounded by four to six armed police officers in uniform, two of whom identified themselves as members of the Huntsville Police Department.

    • Bulgaria: Disputed sections of “bank censorship” proposal axed

      Bulgarian journalists covering the financial beat can breathe freely as the most controversial parts of the so-called “bank censorship” amendment to the criminal code have been removed by the legal committee of the national assembly.

    • Draw the Line: Do wars justify censorship?

      The British government established the War Office Press Bureau 100 years ago this month to censor reports from the British Army before they were issued to the press. Colonel Ernest Swinton, the first man to be appointed the Army’s official journalist, wrote later: “The principle which guided me in my work was above all to avoid helping the enemy… I essayed to tell as much of the truth as was compatible with safety, to guard against depression and pessimism, and to check unjustified optimism which might lead to a relaxation of effort.”

    • Erdoğan brought censorship, chilling effects on journalism

      Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is preparing to assume the office of president on Aug. 28 following his election to the state’s top post on Aug. 10, has left a legacy on journalism which is filled with confrontation and rebuke of journalists, attempts at censorship, prosecution and even deportation of critical journalists.

  • Privacy

    • Blogging History: NSA audit shows 1000s of privacy violations; RECAP for US law launches; Wiretapping the Web
    • Hillary Clinton’s phone ‘hacked by German intelligence’

      Hillary Clinton’s phone was hacked during her time as US Secretary of State, German media reports. Allegations are set to question US-German relations just months after Merkel hacking scandal.

    • German secret service ‘spied on Hillary Clinton’as NSA spied on Merkel
    • Pro Hackers Could Be Spying On You Through YouTube

      Morgan Marquis-Boire, a celebrated hacker turned security researcher, just published a lengthy and rather scary paper on so-called “network injection appliances”. The NSA-calibre hacking tool is sold by companies like Hacking Team and FinFisher for as little as $US1 million and can crack into your hard drive any time unencrypted data is exchanged with a server. YouTube videos, by the way, are not encrypted.

    • You Can Get Hacked Just By Watching This Cat Video on YouTube
    • Former NSA Director Doesn’t Remember Taking A Photo With Edward Snowden

      Former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden says a picture of him with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in the September issue of Wired magazine wasn’t a memorable experience because he doesn’t remember taking the photo.

    • Your Cellphone’s Tiny Motion Sensor Could Be Eavesdropping on You

      Researchers just found yet another reason to be paranoid: Even if hackers or the NSA are locked out of your cellphone’s microphone, camera and data, they might still be able to snoop on you through the tiny chip that tracks the device’s orientation. Gyroscopes in modern phones, unlike the spinning gyroscopes of old, work by a method that also allows it to detect vibrations in the air at certain frequencies — including some that overlap with the human voice. And worse still, Android apps don’t have to alert the user that they’re accessing the gyro, meaning practically any game or website could be listening in on you (neither do iPhone apps, but the technique doesn’t work as well on iOS).

    • Gyroscope In Your Phone Acts As A Microphone
    • A chance to limit spying on Americans

      When Congress returns from its August recess, surveillance reform will be high on the agenda. In May, the House passed the USA Freedom Act, a measure aimed at ending bulk collection of Americans’ phone records under the Patriot Act. And in July, a much stronger version of the bill was introduced in the Senate.

    • How US Government Surveillance Threatens Attorney-Client Privilege

      Documents leaked to the press over the past year by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden reveal that the US government is sweeping up vast amounts of private data and communications, including confidential information related to ongoing legal matters and privileged communications between attorneys and their clients.

    • Russia Denies Asking Snowden About Intelligence Secrets
    • ICYMI: Data breach disclosure, European privacy & internet outages

      Data breach disclosure is a legal necessity in the US and will soon be in the EU too, what with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (still awaiting legislative approval) stipulating that breaches must be reported within 72 hours of the initial incident.

      This is – by and large – being actively encouraged in an era of escalating data breaches and post-NSA transparency. Simply hiding the bad news can no longer be tolerated and has too many business repercussions (legal fines, brand damage) anyway.

    • Questioning Edward Snowden’s Cure-All

      Such a mindset no doubt serves the interests of an entrepreneur like Pierre Omidyar, a billionaire who plans to generate income by peddling security products. Products that will address the very scandals that his new media venture unearths.4 Isn’t that convenient? To be able to present a problem with one hand and then proffer a solution with the other? Problem-Reaction-Solution; also known as the Hegelian dialectic. By the way this tactic has also been employed, to the hilt, by a Pentagon carpetbagger named Keith Alexander.5

    • Cybersecurity’s History Provides Lessons for the Future

      In 2003-2004, deploying wireless networks was hot. Government IT executives were eager to offer wireless Internet access in conference rooms, but I was against it. Armed with white papers from three-letter agencies in D.C. and scary headlines describing “war driving” with breaches, I declared, “No wireless!”

    • FBI Snooping on Attorneys for 9/11 Suspects Has ‘Sown Chaos,’ Team Says

      The lead counsel for the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks claimed Thursday that an FBI investigation of the defense attorneys has “sown chaos” in the proceedings, as another week of pretrial hearings drew to a close.

    • The FBI Spied on the Wrong People Because of Typos

      The FBI unintentionally spied on the communications data of some Americans who were not targets of investigations because of typographical errors, according to a government watchdog.

    • Government Invokes ‘Privacy’ Exemption To Conceal Secrets

      When the National Security Agency wanted to block the public release of former contractor Edward Snowden’s emails, it found an unlikely ally: His privacy.

      The government cited a federal law protecting privacy rights to deny journalist Matthew Keys’ request for Snowden’s messages. Experts said Snowden is far from an exception. From Osama bin Laden to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, “privacy” claims are the government’s latest excuse to keep its secrets secret.

      “For an agency whose core mission is the violation of our privacy, privacy is an especially Orwellian rationale for the NSA to invoke in justifying its non-compliance” with the Freedom of Information Act, said Ryan Shapiro, an MIT graduate student who frequently files public records requests with the NSA and other agencies. “That it’s Edward Snowden’s privacy the NSA now claims to defend only heightens the irony.”

    • Meet the Man Who’s Gauging the Damage From Snowden

      Tapped in May 2014 by James Clapper, director of the Office of National Intelligence, Evanina is now immersed in coordinating multi-agency efforts to mitigate the risk of foreign infiltration, assess damage from intelligence leaks and tighten the security clearance process.

    • The surveillance debate, continued: Another response to the ACLU

      In a nutshell, I argued that the bill contained some problematic language that could actually allow more access to data by NSA; Rottman agreed that scrutiny was warranted but suggested the situation was not so bad — and certainly better than the status quo; Wheeler suggested the ACLU was too optimistic and pointed to other parts of the bill as potentially open to abuse.

    • New “TCP Stealth” tool aims to help sysadmins block spies from exploiting their systems

      The draft, authored by Tor’s Jacob Appelbaum and others, aims to standardize a technique called TCP Stealth, for keeping servers safe from mass port-scanning tools like GCHQ’s HACIENDA.

    • FTC Urged To Crack Down On Tech Firms’ Privacy Violations
    • New From 500-Year-Old Deutsche Post: Self-Destructing Encrypted Chats

      Deutsche Post offers the messenger, also available for Android phones, in eight languages and is targeting the global market, according to Mr. Edenhofer.

    • Apple slings fanbois’ data at Chinese servers in China Telecom deal

      In an effort to woo buyers in China, Apple has inked a deal to store Chinese customer data in Chinese servers for the first time.

    • Apple using China Telecom servers to store iCloud data
    • Understanding the Implications of Tor’s latest hack

      The security world got itself worked up in late July about an attack on the Tor network. The exploit, which ran from January to July, enabled the attackers to identify users looking for hidden services on Tor. Hidden services are typically web sites operated anonymously using Tor.

    • US must remedy NSA’s 2012 Syrian internet shutdown

      In this case, however, it turns out that the Syrian government was not to blame. Rather, the NSA caused the disruption by destroying a key router connecting the country to international networks.

      According to Snowden, the NSA’s aim was to spy on all Syrians. In the course of attempting to hack into the router for surveillance purposes, the NSA broke the equipment; rather than violating privacy, the NSA directly violated international law and policy on freedom of expression. Syrians lost the ability to communicate during a time when users at risk most needed access to accurate information, open media, and social networks.

  • Civil Rights

    • LAPD Officers Fatally Beat Father During Traffic Stop a Week Before Ezell Ford Shooting, Family Says

      Omar Abrego, a 37-year-old father of three, was driving home in an Amtrak truck in his work uniform on Aug. 2 when he was pulled over by officers right in front of his house in the 6900 block of South Main Street (map), which is just four blocks from where Ford was shot and killed by Los Angeles Police Department officers nine days later.

      Two sergeants from the Newton Division, which was also involved in the Ford shooting, pulled over Abrego because he was allegedly driving erratically, speeding and had almost hit a pedestrian, according to LAPD officials. When they attempted to pull him over, he kept going.

    • Has the Right Really Shifted on Police Militarization and Abuse?

      It would be a great thing if politicians were more critical of the obvious trend towards militarization of police forces. And there’s no doubt that some voices have been more critical of overzealous police practices than one might expect. But is it actually a widespread trend?

    • DoJ Memo Justifies Killing Anwar al-Awlaki by Citing US Law Enforcement’s Right to Use Deadly Force

      As a result of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Times, President Barack Obama’s administration has released the first memo authored by federal appeals court judge and former Office of Legal Counsel lawyer David Barron to justify the killing of US citizen and terrorism suspect Anwar al-Awlaki.

      The Justice Department memo is dated February 19, 2010, a few months after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to bomb a Detroit-bound plane on December 25, 2009. This memo was later superseded by a second memo that addressed issues the administration had overlooked, according to the Times.

    • The Secret US Drone Program that Killed JFK’s Eldest Brother

      Everything it seems. Over the course of 15 mission flown between August 4, 1944 and January 1, 1945 Operation Aphrodite managed to kill four American crewmen, including Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.—eldest son of the politically powerful Kennedy family and older brother to the future-35th president—while failing to damage any of their intended targets and, in most cases failing to even reach their target. Most were shot down, ran out of fuel, or just randomly fell out of the sky in a fiery ball of wreckage.

    • The Militarization of Law Enforcement in America: Blowback in Ferguson

      This is a short call from informing the mainstream media that the country has been living under pseudo martial law for decades.

    • More than 100 Cities Join Moment of Silence for Michael Brown
    • Blowback in Ferguson

      The fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager and the ensuing protests in Ferguson, Missouri has rocked America. Even the mainstream media with its aversion to the truth has been forced to address the militarization of the police in America – albeit years too late.

      This is a short call from informing the mainstream media that the country has been living under pseudo martial law for decades.

      On April 13, 2013, the ACLU (Shasta Chapter) invited me to be their keynote speaker to talk about government secrecy, drones, and the militarization of America. The Ferguson shooting and its coverage it the media prompted me to highlight some of the points made during that talk as they relate to today’s events.

    • Anger Over Missouri Police Shooting Resonates Across Bay Area and Nation

      To many observers in Oakland, the scenes in Ferguson of militarized police officers and clouds of tear gas are reminiscent of local clashes, including skirmishes between police and Occupy protesters and the protests that followed the 2009 BART police killing of Oscar Grant.

    • From Boston to Ferguson: Have We Reached a Tipping Point in the Police State?

      As journalist Benjamin Carlson points out, “In today’s Mayberry, Andy Griffith and Barney Fife could be using grenade launchers and a tank to keep the peace.”

      This is largely owing to the increasing arsenal of weapons available to police units, the changing image of the police within communities, and the growing idea that the police can and should use any means necessary to maintain order.

      To our detriment, local police – clad in jackboots, helmets and shields and wielding batons, pepper-spray, stun guns, and assault rifles – have increasingly come to resemble occupying forces in our communities. “Today,” notes Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, “17,000 local police forces are equipped with such military equipment as Blackhawk helicopters, machine guns, grenade launchers, battering rams, explosives, chemical sprays, body armor, night vision, rappelling gear and armored vehicles. Some have tanks. ”

      Unfortunately, whatever the threat to so-called security – whether it’s rumored weapons of mass destruction, school shootings, or alleged acts of terrorism – it doesn’t take much for the American people to march in lockstep with the government’s dictates, even if it means submitting to martial law, having their homes searched, and being stripped of one’s constitutional rights at a moment’s notice.

    • There’s no punishment for lying to Americans?

      Last April at a Senate hearing, National Security Agency Director James Clapper was asked by Sen. Ron Wyden whether the NSA was spying on the American people. He said no, but he admitted later that it was a lie.

      This lie is a felony offense.

    • Pop Music Needs to Be More Political. Here’s Why.

      By the beginning of the 1990s, that kind of opinionated, black-power-inspired hip-hop had morphed into gangster rap. Of course, it was easier for media and government to represent the likes of Tupac as a danger to society, indoctrinating America’s youth, black and white, with violent fantasies, flaunting the thug life as something to aspire to.

    • CHAPMAN: Fast facts on John Brennan

      A diplomat was once defined as someone whose job is to lie for his country. That’s apparently what makes them different from intelligence officers, whose function is to lie to their country.

    • Disappearing People and Disappearing the Evidence: The Deeper Significance of the SSCI Report

      When the executive summary of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s (SSCI) report on the CIA’s torture program is finally released, it is likely to discredit a story that defenders of “enhanced interrogation” have been telling for years. The narrative first appeared in the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) memos that authorized the CIA program. President Bush repeated it in his September 2006 speech acknowledging the existence of CIA prisons, and in 2008 when he vetoed a bill outlawing waterboarding. Slightly different versions appear in Bush’s memoirs, and defenses of the CIA program by George Tenet, Michael Hayden, Michael Mukasey, Jose Rodriguez, John Yoo, Dick Cheney, and others.

    • CIA director should be fired
    • Media advocates hand Justice Dep’t. a petition supporting subpoenaed New York Times reporter
    • NY Times reporter honoured for fight to protect source
    • Reporter for New York Times honored for source protection
    • Petitioners Call on US to Stop Legal Action against James Risen
    • James Risen: ‘Happy to carry on the fight’
    • US reporter vows to ‘keep fighting’ to protect source
    • Press Freedom Groups Ramp Up Campaign For James Risen

      Press freedom organizations submitted a petition with more than 100,000 signatures to the US Department of Justice Thursday in support of New York Times reporter James Risen.

      The petition demanded that the government stop all legal action against Risen, who has been involved in a six-year battle for press freedom, McClatchy DC reported Friday.

    • 100,000 sign up to support New York Times reporter facing jail
    • 100,000-petition urges US to drop legal action vs Pulitzer-winning journalist
    • Is President Obama About to Send a ‘New York Times’ Reporter to Jail?
    • The CIA’s shameful secrets
    • Guest: CIA spying on Senate is the constitutional equivalent of Watergate
    • It’s logical to say torture doesn’t work

      Contrary to the claims of Debra Saunders in “DiFi’s tortured logic on interrogations” (Insight, Aug. 12), it is not illogical to think that torture is ineffective. It is instead, the consensus of interrogation experts at the FBI and British Intelligence, and has been for decades. The issue is not that torture victims don’t talk, but rather that they will say anything they think will make the pain stop, regardless of its accuracy.

    • America’s Real Patriots Fought to Expose and End Torture
    • Telecom petition calls on Obama to fire Brennan

      A telecom company and tens of thousands of supporters are calling on President Obama to fire CIA Director John Brennan over a report that showed his agency hacked into Senate computers.

    • Americans Should Be Ashamed Of Torture And CIA Cover-Up

      As a person of faith and as an American, the United States committing torture in my name and the subsequent CIA actions around torture are especially disturbing. It is against the very core of who I am as a Catholic and as a human being and is the antithesis as to who we are as a nation.

    • 5 Muslim Americans File Lawsuit over Terrorist Watchlist

      Five Muslim Americans have filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing the U.S. government of unjustly placing them on the terrorist watchlist. One plaintiff in the suit, Yaseen Kadura, says a federal official tried to pressure him into becoming a government informant in Libya, using removal from the no-fly list as an incentive. The Intercept news site revealed last month the Obama administration has expanded the watchlist system by approving broad guidelines over who can be targeted. Hundreds of thousands of watchlisted individuals are recognized as having no ties to terrorist groups.

    • My Turn: Torture is a crime, so why don’t we treat it like one

      President Obama has now acknowledged America’s use of torture. “We tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values.” Obama went on to try and place the use of torture in context. Recalling the desperation of law enforcement to prevent further attacks post-9/11, Obama said, “It’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job those folks had.”

      Although I am glad Obama acknowledged the fact of torture and did not try to call it a phony euphemism, I am disappointed in his response. Torture is a crime. It is not a public relations embarrassment that needs to be managed.

    • FBI Urged to Purge Anti-Muslim Material

      US civil rights and religious groups have voiced their concerns over federal agencies of anti-Muslim training material, demanding an urgent audit of federal law enforcement training material.

      “The use of anti-Muslim trainers and materials is not only highly offensive, disparaging the faith of millions of Americans, but leads to biased policing that targets individuals and communities based on religion, not evidence of wrongdoing,” a letter signed by 75 groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Auburn Seminary and the NAACP, reads, Religion News Services reported on Thursday, August 14.

    • Come clean on torture by the military and CIA

      Ten years ago, the infamous photos from Abu Ghraib thrust the issue of torture onto the front page. While some tried to employ the few-bad-apples defense, it was clear then and it is even clearer now that the horror at Abu Ghraib grew out of problems at the top. Torture by U.S. military personnel and intelligence officers was, at its core, a failure of leadership.

    • New York Oath Keepers claim accusations by state intelligence agency to be false

      Is NYSIC suggesting that it is extreme and threatening to encourage our officials to honor their oath and refuse to obey unconstitutional orders?

08.15.14

Links 15/8/2014: Reiser4 in Headlines Again, GNOME and KDE Events Finish

Posted in News Roundup at 11:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Calling All Teachers! Google Classroom Arrives as a Preview

    Classroom is, of course, a free and open platform that will improve over time, and Google has the opportunity to add many of its open source tools to the Classroom ecosystem.

  • ClusterHQ floats Flocker open source container data manager for Docker

    Those working with Docker containers can now try out the Flocker open-source, data-focused Docker management framework from ClusterHQ.

  • ClusterHQ Brings Docker Virtualization to Data Storage

    ClusterHQ’s Flocker leverages the ZFS file system to tackle the container storage challenge.

  • Building trust and security through open source governance

    Adoption of open source software in the enterprise continues to grow, with research suggesting the two largest factors fueling this growth are security and quality. Surprising, perhaps, given revelations of the much-publicised Heartbleed vulnerability discovered in a widely used open source cryptography library earlier this year.

  • WhoaVerse for social communities, built on open source

    When a WhoaVerse user deletes their account, all voting history is deleted from the database. Any comments that the user has made and their author tag get overwritten with the keyword “deleted,” as well as all of their text and link submissions.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • SUSE’s Latest OpenStack Icehouse Distribution Joins a Crowded Field

      While we’re eventually going to see a lot of consolidation on the OpenStack scene, for now, the number of competitors remains large. Witness SUSE’s newest OpenStack distribution, SUSE Cloud 4, which is out now and targeted at building Infrastructure-as-a-Service private clouds.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Leaflet provides open source map solution

        Like anything related to Web development these days, there are a number of options available for including map features to your applications. What you decide to use often comes down to personal preferences – one of my requirements is simplicity and Leaflet does not disappoint. As its documentation states, it works across all major desktop and mobile platforms. Leaflet utilizes HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript for modern platforms while remaining accessible and usable on older platforms.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Geometry Shaders / OpenGL 3.2 Finally Comes To Intel Sandy Bridge

      Those still using Intel Sandy Bridge hardware on Linux will be ecstatic to learn this morning that geometry shaders support has been implemented in Mesa by a new patch-set for this older Intel hardware and thereby allowing OpenGL 3.2 support to be exposed for this “Gen6″ hardware.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • German researchers develop defense software: Potential protection against the “Hacienda” intelligence program

      Grothoff and his students at TUM have developed the “TCP Stealth” defense software, which can inhibit the identification of systems through both Hacienda and similar cyberattack software and, as a result, the undirected and massive takeover of computers worldwide, as Grothoff explains. “TCP Stealth” is free software that has as its prerequisites particular system requirements and computer expertise, for example, use of the GNU/Linux operating system. In order to make broader usage possible in the future, the software will need further development.

    • Security advisories for Thursday
    • Who needs hackers? ‘Password1′ opens a third of business’ doors

      Hundreds of thousands of hashed corporate passwords have been cracked within minutes by penetration testers using graphics processing units.

      The 626,718 passwords were harvested during penetration tests over the last two years conducted across corporate America by Trustwave infosec geeks.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Former DARPA Chief Broke Ethics Rules, Watchdog Finds

      Fifteen months after its completion, the Pentagon inspector general on Wednesday released a report that found the former head of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency violated ethics laws by endorsing a product she developed while in the private sector.

      Regina Dugan, now an executive with Google, ran DARPA from July 2009 to March 2012. Prior to that she founded and served as president and CEO of RedXDefense, which received DARPA funding.

    • Killing Programs Record Index Will Come to Light

      The Department of Justice must release a previously classified index of withheld records related to the government’s targeted-killing programs, the 2nd Circuit ruled.

    • Pro-Palestine activists arrested over Israeli arms protest in Melbourne

      Victoria police said officers were deployed to monitor about 20 protesters in total, with the seven people on the roof arrested and then released with a court summons for trespass.

    • Australia: Anti-war activists raid Israeli drone factory

      Anti-war activists stormed a factory in Port Melbourne this morning to protest against the Australian government’s support for Israeli’s war in Gaza. They raided the manufacturing compound which, they said, supplies arms and drones for Israel.

    • From Gaza to Brazil: Stop Financing Drones That Kill Our Children

      This isn’t a war between Israel and Hamas. I am a secular university professor who remembers the time before Israel hermetically locked all the entrances and exits to Gaza. The 398 children that have been killed were not Hamas fighters, the three UN schools that Israel bombed were not Hamas facilities. This isn’t even a war against the population of Gaza, for the majority of those living in Gaza are refugees displaced by Israel in 1948. This isn’t even against the Palestinian people, this is a war against humanity itself.

    • Israel Braces for War Crimes Inquiries on Gaza

      The fighting is barely over in the latest Gaza war, with a five-day cease-fire taking hold on Thursday, but attention has already shifted to the legal battlefield as Israel gears up to defend itself against international allegations of possible war crimes in the monthlong conflict.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Oil Industry Threatens to Take Its Underwater Air Guns and Go Home

      A game of chicken is shaping up over the Obama administration’s decision to let the oil industry collect fresh data on energy supplies off the Atlantic Coast.

      The Interior Department, over the protests of environmentalists, said in July that it would allow the oil industry to use seismic air cannons to search for oil and gas underneath federal waters in the Atlantic.

    • One Company Is Really Psyched About EPA’s Big Climate-Change Rule

      Several big industry groups have come out with guns blazing against the Environmental Protection Agency’s draft plan to slash carbon emissions from the nation’s coal-fired power plants.

      But some companies see opportunity in the regulation at the center of the White House climate-change agenda. Case in point: Opower, the software and data company that works with utilities to help customers save energy.

  • Finance

    • Culture as a cause of poverty has been wilfully misinterpreted

      When the term “culture of poverty” was first used by the anthropologist Oscar Lewis in 1959, it was seized upon as “evidence” that poverty is not caused primarily by an absence of material resources. This was never Lewis’s intention. In a 1966 essay for Scientific American, he wrote: “A culture of poverty is not just a matter of deprivation or disorganisation – a term signifying the absence of something. It is a culture in the traditional anthropological sense in that it provides human beings with a design for living, a ready-made set of solutions for human problems, and so serves a significant adaptive function.”

      This was wilfully misinterpreted by those who believed poverty could not be abated by throwing money at it (that sole remedy for all other social ills); it was absorbed into an ancient moral critique of the poor; identified in modern industrial society with chaotic, disorganised lives, absence of parental ambition for children, aversion to hard labour and a tendency to addiction.

    • Apple battered by furious shareholder lawsuit over illegal employee poaching deal

      Apple shareholders have joined forces and filed a class-action lawsuit, suing Steve Jobs’ estate over claims that Apple eroded its own value by striking an illegal recruitment agreement with its rivals.

      The case has been filed by R. Andre Klein, an Apple shareholder, on behalf of all the other shareholders in the Cupertino-based company.

  • Privacy

    • Newly Released Documents Show NSA Abused Its Discontinued Internet Metadata Program Just Like It Abused Everything Else

      James Clapper’s office (ODNI) has released a large batch of declassified documents, most of which deal with the NSA’s discontinued Section 402 program. What this program did was re-read pen register/trap and trace (PR/TT) statutes to cover internet metadata, including sender/receiver information contained in email and instant messages. (Not to be confused with the Section 702 program, which is still active and harvests internet communications.)

    • Snuffing Out The Magistrate’s Revolt: DC District Court Judge Roberts Grants Another Rejected Warrant Application

      As we’ve been covering for the past few months, there seems to be an emboldened set of magistrate judges willing to push back against broad electronic search requests by the government. While it would be nice to see a stronger pushback originate somewhere closer to the top, it is (or was, it seems…) refreshing to see those on the lower rungs defend citizens’ rights by rejecting what can only be termed “general warrants,” the very thing that prompted the Fourth Amendment in the first place.

    • Judge Blesses Justice Department Email Searches

      Magistrate Judge John Facciola had denied the warrant application, which sought the information from Apple Inc., the suspect’s email provider, on grounds that it was too broad and would allow the Justice Department access to heaps of irrelevant, private information. The details of the underlying investigation remain secret, though public court records show it involves potential kickbacks and a defense contractor.

    • New York State Keeps Government Emails Out Of The Public’s Hands With Its 90-Day Retention Limit

      New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office continues to do everything it can to prevent its emails from being accessed by FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) requests.

    • Why is the Cuomo Administration Automatically Deleting State Employees’ Emails?

      New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration — which the governor pledged would be the most transparent in state history — has quietly adopted policies that allow it to purge the emails of tens of thousands of state employees, cutting off a key avenue for understanding and investigating state government.

    • Where you’re most likely to be wiretapped

      According to Pew Research Center, which analyzed recently released data in a 2013 wiretap report from the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, Nevada had 38 wiretaps authorized for every 500,000 people — the most-wiretapped state by a large margin. Colorado and New York follow with around 12 each. The most wiretaps requested in Nevada were in the home of Las Vegas, Clark County, which only has a population of around 2 million.

    • EU legislation and US bullying put cloud users between a rock and a hard place

      Google Glass Alastair StevensonGovernment departments and regulatory bodies have been espousing the benefits of cloud computing for years now, and for good reason. The benefits of cloud computing are huge and have the potential not only to streamline most businesses’ existing work processes, but fundamentally to change the way we do commerce.

    • Eavesdrop using a smart phone without a battery possible: Researchers

      Then I came across another story in Wired that Stanford University researchers and Israel’s defense research group Rafael plan to present a technique at a conference next week for using a smartphone’s gyroscope to eavesdrop on nearby conversations in a room. In case you don’t know the gyroscope are sensors that tell the phone whether its in horizontal or vertical position.

    • Spy agency computer taps face oversight deficiency

      The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has said it will need additional resources to oversee new powers planned for Australian intelligence agencies to access computers and networks during investigations.

    • Edward Snowden: James Clapper’s lies to Congress pushed me over the edge

      Edward Snowden says dishonest comments to Congress by the US intelligence chief were the final straw that prompted him to flee the country and reveal a trove of national security documents.

    • The Switchboard: Twitter vows to improve policies after online abuse drives Robin Williams’s daughter away from service

      Twitter vows to “improve our policies” after Robin Williams’ daughter is bullied off the network. “Internet trolls bullied Robin Williams’s daughter off of Twitter and Instagram just days after her father’s death,” the Switch’s Hayley Tsukayama reports. Now Twitter has vowed to take abuse on its service more seriously — but Zelda Williams is far from the only person who has faced serious levels of vitriol on the platform.

    • Twitter vows to “improve our policies” after Robin Williams’ daughter is bullied off the network
    • They think I still have smoking gun: Snowden on US government’s fears

      Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who exposed mass cybersurveillance by American and British spy agencies, says the US government fears the most damaging leaks are yet to come.

    • Edward Snowden on Booz Allen: Here’s what we’ve learned from his Wired profile

      It was about a month ago that Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. CEO Ralph Shrader talked to me about Edward Snowden. And this week we found out what Edward Snowden had to say about Booz Allen.

    • ​‘NSA – the greatest enemy of American communications and computing security’

      NSA has done more to undermine US banking, commercial communications and computer products than any foreign power could ever have dreamed of, Robert Steele, former CIA case officer and co-founder of the US Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, told RT.

    • PORTAL router puts hassle-free TOR privacy in your pocket

      They say good things come in small packages. In this case, the good thing is a healthy layer of Internet privacy protection. The package is a TP-Link pocket router flashed with open source firmware from the PORTAL project.

      The project itself isn’t new — the code has been available on GitHub for more than a year. What’s different now is that Cloudflare’s Ryan Lackey and Lookout Security’s Marc Rogers went on stage at DefCon to announce plans to make PORTAL more accessible. They want to make it much, much easier for “ordinary” Internet users to take a page from the OPSEC handbook.

    • Proposed surveillance reforms are weaker than the ACLU suggests

      The terms of the debate over NSA reform between Dickinson College professor H.L. Pohlman and the ACLU’s Gabe Rottman are too limited. Pohlman claims the version of the USA Freedom Act sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) still permits the government to collect call-detail records prospectively (he suggests, but does not specifically say, that it permits the government to do so in bulk). Rottman claims that new language limiting the specific selection terms used in queries and mandating minimization procedures would limit that.

      Both men miss the one thing in Leahy’s bill that should limit bulk call-detail records: prohibitions on using the name of an electronic communications service provider as a specific selection term (unless that provider is the target of an investigation). Thus, whereas now the government uses “Verizon” as a selection term, it shouldn’t be able to do this going forward. The government will surely still be able to collect more limited sets of call-detail records — targeting, for example, everyone within 2 degrees of Julian Assange as part of a counterintelligence investigation — and even do so prospectively. That’s bulky collection, but not bulk.

    • Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO): Terminates 8% Of Workforce While Buying Back $1.5 Billion In Stock
    • Cisco CEO Chambers Defends Plan for Job Cuts

      Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers defended his plan to cut 6,000 jobs, calling it a necessary response to a changing market for networking gear and shifting demands in markets around the world.

      In an interview with Re/code following the company’s quarterly earnings report Wednesday, Chambers said he expects Cisco’s total head count to be about the same at this time next year as it is now — about 74,000 — despite the cuts. And though the cuts will be painful for those who lose their jobs, they’re necessary, he says, if Cisco is to exploit new, faster-growing markets like cloud computing, security and software while keepings its costs about where they are now.

    • Consumer group asks FTC to investigate tech firms and data brokers over Safe Harbor violations

      The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), a U.S. group campaigning for digital consumer rights, has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate 30 companies for non-compliance with the Safe Harbor agreement between the U.S. and the European Union. The companies include Salesforce.com, AOL and Adobe, as well as a bunch of data brokers like Acxiom and Datalogix.

    • John Schindler Out At Naval War College After Sexting Scandal

      Would you want Dr. Dick Pic and those like him having access to all your private personal information?

    • How To Turn Off Smartphone Apps That Track You In The Background

      A growing number of smartphone apps are tracking your location — even when they’re not being used. Foursquare released a revamped app last Wednesday that joins a list of those tracking location persistently, including Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), Google, and a number of shopping apps that access location data all the time, even when they’re off.

      Apps use location information to enhance their service to users. Foursquare, for example, sends helpful tips based on where you happen to be. REI’s app sends deals when you happen to be near a store. The tracking is opt-in, but that doesn’t mean the data is safe. The Target breach is one example of how a large-scale corporation could be susceptible to outside security threats. Meanwhile, tech companies like Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Facebook are sometimes forced to hand information over to government agencies like the NSA.

    • U.S. Tech’s Pain Is Non-U.S. Tech’s Gain

      American tech companies could end up losing tens of billions of dollars in foreign sales stemming from the NSA spying scandal. Then there’s the potential revenue hit from Russia, which is pushing to reduce its reliance on some of the same companies amid heightened tensions with the U.S.

    • China’s cloud grows with a little help from U.S. tech

      U.S. technology companies have dominated the global cloud computing scene, particularly cloud giants like Amazon Web Services and Google. But China’s cloud computing market is slowly building momentum, and Chinese tech giants are making headway into a market that they have the power to significantly change.

    • It’s time for PGP to die, says … no, not the NSA – a US crypto prof

      A senior cryptographer has sparked debate after calling time on PGP – the gold standard for email and document encryption.

      Matthew Green is an assistant research professor who lectures in computer science and cryptography at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, US. This week, on his personal blog, he argued that it’s “time for PGP to die”, describing it as “downright unpleasant”.

    • An unlimited appetite for data

      Which is why the release in the U.S. of newly declassified court documents are so interesting. It’s a decision by Judge John Bates of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a closed-door court that has no Canadian equivalent for approving electronic surveillance for any communications involving a U.S. resident and foreign powers.

      The decision “offers a scathing assessment of the NSA (National Security Agency) ability to manage its own top-secret electronic surveillance of Internet metadata—a program the NSA scrapped after a 2011 review found it wasn’t fulfilling its mission,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

    • Best Alternatives to Tor: 12 Programs to Use Since NSA, Hackers Compromised Tor Project

      Tor May Have Been Compromised, Linux Based OS’s Like Tails Offer The Best Supplement

    • Will Facebook, Google Delete My Personal Info?

      Deleting Facebook, Twitter accounts leaves old conversations in their place

    • Schneier: Cyber-retaliation like that exposed by Snowden report a bad idea

      The NSA program dubbed MonsterMind is dangerous in that it would enable automated retaliation against machines that launch cyber attacks with no human intervention, meaning that such counterattacks could hit innocent parties.

      MonsterMind came to light through a Wired magazine interview with former NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden, who stole and publicly released thousands of NSA documents.

    • What happens in Europe, doesn’t stay in Europe: US giants accused of breaking EU privacy pact

      More than 30 big US tech firms are breaking international agreed-upon US-EU Safe Harbor commitments to safeguard Europeans’ data, according to a complaint filed with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday.

    • VPNs Integral Part of the Net

      In these days of NSA spying, net neutrality, and internet companies messing with streaming services, a virtual private network, or a VPN, has become an integral part of many people’s internet experience. Though VPNs are becoming more mainstream, there are still people who do not know what a VPN is, or how one is used or what they do.

    • SpiderOak says you’ll know it’s secure because a little bird told you

      Edward Snowden–endorsed cloud storage provider SpiderOak has added an additional safeguard to ensure that its users’ data doesn’t fall into the hands of law enforcement without their knowledge, in the form of a “warrant canary.”

    • Snowden-endorsed file-sharing service SpiderOak to set up ‘warrant canary’
  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Sharks are biting Google’s expensive cables

      Google has had to reinforce its fragile undersea cables with Kevlar – the same material used in bulletproof vests – in order to protect against shark attacks

    • Parallel Conduct: How ISPs Make The Consolidated Internet Service Market Even Worse

      What Crawford is describing is parallel conduct, which is when companies that would otherwise compete create a monopoly-like setting without having to merge or coordinate operations. Parallel conduct in the broadband industry is not hypothetical. In 2011, Comcast and Time-Warner Cable sold parts of the wireless spectrum they owned in exchange for an agreement that Verizon would stop expanding its fiber optic network. Essentially, Comcast and Time-Warner Cable paid Verizon to stop offering new high-speed broadband service. (As part of the deal, Comcast and Time-Warner Cable also further divided up the United States geographically, foreshadowing the merger between the two companies.)

  • DRM

    • Orwell chap snaps in Amazon paperback claptrap yap rap

      Amazon is under fire from George Orwell’s estate for referencing the Nineteen Eighty-Four author in its legal battle with publishers.

      The web bazaar, while mired in a war of words with Hachette over book prices, invoked Orwell’s name and cited comments made by the author at the dawn of paperback books.

      According to Amazon, Orwell had suggested in the 1940s that publishers should collude in order to suppress the sale of the less expensive paperbacks. This, Amazon said, was a sentiment now repeated by Hachette – which is accused of unfairly inflating e-book prices.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

08.14.14

Links 14/8/2014: Kernel Summit Coming, KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

Posted in News Roundup at 11:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Linux

    Linux. It’s been around since the mid ‘90s, and has since reached a user-base that spans industries and continents.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Thanks KDE

        It’s more than year of my encounter with source code of some real life application.(Thanks to KDE) I had never before seen such huge source code. The guidelines on techbase were so comprehensive that I didn’t even realize that I had started fixing imperative bugs. The best part was that KDE had all types of applications, under various categories like multimedia, education, games etc. So I could try my hand on many different applications and recognize my interest. I enjoyed hacking source code of Kstars the most. And I compiled the code with the help of instruction on techbase and KDE’s cool developers at IRC, who are always eager to help. I used to get fascinated on running those awesome application on my plasma desktop. I used to wonder how they work. The secret was revealed then. I sent mail in KDE developer’s mailing list that I want to contribute and how do I start even though answer was there on techbase. And reply came that I can search though bugs related to application of my interest on bugzilla and try to fix it. I did it. It was really so easy.

      • Plugins for KAMD and system settings module

        All plugins from the old activity manager are ported to the new version.

        This means that one of the most requested features is coming back – you will be able to set custom keyboard shortcuts for individual activities as soon as Plasma 5.1 comes out.

      • Volume Configuration
      • what is “the desktop”?

        We all know that the ‘D’ in KDE originally stood for “desktop..

      • Randa: Meeting many people and working together
      • Randa meeting 2014
      • Understanding Icons: Participate in survey no. 2
      • Plasma 5 gets first update

        The first update for Plasma 5 has arrived. 5.0.1, adds a month’s worth of new translations and fixes from KDE’s contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important such as fixing text which couldn’t be translated, using the correct icons and fixing overlapping files with KDELibs 4 software.

      • KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

        KMix is now ported to KDE Frameworks 5. After a one day long porting effort, the basic functionality of KMix is available: Main Window, Systray, Volume Key Shortcuts, Sound Menu, volume save and restore. More sophisticated parts require more efforts and are currently missing, like the On-Screen-Display (OSD), which requires a port to Plasma 2.

  • Distributions

    • Slackware Family

      • On LKML: an open letter to the Linux World

        What relation does Christopher’s rant have to Slackware? After all, it’s Debian that got the flak, and in the comments section people indicate they intend to switch to Gentoo… forgetting that Slackware is a good systemd-free alternative (but hey! this automatic dependency resolution thingie that makes life so comfortable in Gentoo is not part of Slackware either).

        Last week I asked the SDDM developers to reconsider their decision no longer to support ConsoleKit because Slackware does not have systemd or logind and thus we need to keep using ConsoleKit. The answer could be expected: “answer is no because ConsoleKit is deprecated and is not maintained anymore” and therefore I had to patch it in myself.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Ansible, an open source startup with Red Hat roots, doubles down on Durham

        Ansible, a Durham-based IT automation startup with Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) roots, is doubling down on Bull City.

        That’s according to CEO Saïd Ziouani, who tells me the 30-employee shop will cross the 100 mark next year.

        “Our goal is to continue to grow aggressively in the Durham area,” he says, adding that all facets of the business can happen from Durham.

      • Oracle Linux 7 Now Available

        Oracle Linux is now generally available today. According to the company, the release builds on its approach to providing support for emerging technologies, such as OpenStack, while delivering new Linux innovations, tools, and features.

        “Oracle Linux continues to provide the most flexible options for customers and partners, allowing them to easily innovate, collaborate, and create enterprise-grade solutions,” said Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president of Linux and Virtualization Engineering, Oracle. “With Oracle Linux 7, users have more freedom to choose the technologies and solutions that best meet their business objectives. Oracle Linux allows users to benefit from an open approach for emerging technologies, like OpenStack, and allows them to meet the performance and reliability requirements of the modern data center.”

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Installer Images Now In Beta For 8.0 Jessie

        Debian has yet to issue an announcement concerning these beta images for the Debian Installer for Jessie, but a sharp-eyed Phoronix reader pointed them out to us this evening, which can be found via Debian.org. Images are available in the plethora of architectures supported by Debian.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Review: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

            Canonical is pushing hard to expand Ubuntu into new consumer markets. In the past year, we’ve seen shiny prototypes of Ubuntu-based mobile phones and tablets, and the company hasn’t given up on its 2012 vision of getting Ubuntu onto TVs either. What’s more, serious work is underway on converging all of these roles into a single chameleonic OS, something even Microsoft hasn’t tried to tackle.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sandwich-style ARM9 SBC ships with Linux

      MYIR announced a sandwich-style single board computer that runs Linux on a Freescale i.MX28x SoC and features -40 to 85°C operation and a CAN bus interface.

      MYIR specializes in low-power ARM single board computers (SBCs) and computer-on-modules (COMs), with the latter including the MYC-SAM9X5-V2 (using Atmel’s ARM9-based AT91SAM9X5) and MYC-AM335X (using TI’s Cortex-A8 based Sitara AM335x). With the new MYC-IMX28X COM and associated MYD-IMX28X development board, the company is mining the Freescale i.MX28x, a 454MHz, ARM9 system-on-chip that has been used in many embedded Linux boards, most recently including Technologic’s TS-7400-V2.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Hands on: LG G3 Android smartphone

          So what’s the verdict? If you’re chasing screen real estate and resolution above all else then the LG G3 is certainly going to catch your eye. A larger screen without much extra bulk is an impressive achievement, although there are few situations where you can put all those pixels to good use. The combination of the removable battery, microSD slot and wireless charging will also seal the deal for some Android fans. LG’s G3 sits somewhere between the elegant HTC M8 and the brash Samsung Galaxy S5, perhaps offering the best of both worlds.

        • Galaxy Alpha: Samsung Puts Pedal to Metal

          Android 4.4.4 (KitKat) runs the device, which comes with 2 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory and a 1,860-mAh battery. It also has real-time high-dynamic-range imaging, as well as an ultra-power-saving mode, private mode, the S Health app, and connectivity with the latest Samsung Gear Fit, Gear Live and Gear 2 wearables.

          The Galaxy Alpha will be available in early September; depending on the market, color choices will include charcoal black, dazzling white, frosted gold, sleek silver and scuba blue. Pricing has not yet been disclosed.

        • Samsung new Galaxy Alpha is more metal

          Samsung have today officially unveiled the newest addition to their Galaxy smartphone range. The Galaxy Alpha has been expected for some time with details filtering through news agencies at a steady stream. However today was the first time we have actually had the images and details released by Samsung.

        • Is the Samsung Galaxy Alpha just another clone of Apple’s iPhone?

          The rivalry between Apple and Samsung in the mobile phone arena has been bitter and hard fought, with each side battling the other in court as well as in the smartphone market itself. Now Samsung has released the Galaxy Alpha phone and some think it bears a suspicious resemblance to Apple’s iPhone.

      • Android

        • Motorola’s ‘Shamu’ the rumored Nexus 6 surfaces

          A couple of weeks ago we reported rumors were circulating that Motorola was building the next Nexus (6). Now we can add a little more speculation to the Nexus rumor mill for your enjoyment.

          There has been wide speculation that a device ‘Codename Shamu’ is the Nexus 6 although this has not been confirmed by either Google or Motorola. However Shamu suddenly appeared on the GFX Benchmark Database fuelling suggesting that the Nexus is getting nearer and nearer.

Free Software/Open Source

  • CenturyLink Thinks ‘Dockerized’ Multi-Container Apps Shouldn’t Be a Pain in the Rear
  • CenturyLink Debuts Panamax for Docker Virtualization Management
  • CenturyLink rolls out Panamax, using Docker even gets easier
  • Upgrading libraries to open source Koha system

    I am constantly looking for ways to make my life easier whether it’s keeping track of my kid’s school activity schedule or not loosing my grocery list. For this, I often look for open source solutions. Why? Because most of the time the open source solution is simple and doesn’t have unnecessary bells and whistles that I don’t need, and even if I need those extra bells and whistles, I know that someone else out there also needs it and most likely has coded it already.

  • Librarian Council, NITDA Train Professionals in Open Source Software Application

    Librarians Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN) in collaboration with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has organized a skill gap workshop in information and communication technologies for librarians.

    According to the organizers, the joint workshop with special focus on application of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in library operations was aimed at equipping librarians with skills to measure up new challenges in the ICT sector and be able to deploy and apply the knowledge to improve the lot of all information seekers.

  • LRCN, NITDA Train Librarians In Open Source Software Application
  • Why Umbrella Company techies should brush up on open source software skills

    Umbrella Company Employees specialising in IT contracting would do well to acquire skills in open source technology, according to a poll of 300 IT professionals by CWJobs.co.uk.

    Nearly half (48%) of the respondents believe that more open source jobs and contracts are available today than a year ago, and 71% are confident that it will be widely required in the future. Currently, however, 62% of those surveyed believe that businesses are missing out on open source’s potential.

  • Going Open Source and How Simple Machine Hopes to Inspire Others

    At the time Kurt Bieg, CEO of Simple Machine, explained their reasoning in doing so: “we believe ownership is becoming obsolete, this is our way of inspiring young and old people to read, learn, and ultimately manipulate code that came from a studio known for taking chances and innovating puzzle games.”

  • Exploring open source and the cloud

    Collaboration is at the heart of the open source movement, and when the biggest names in the technology sphere join forces, massive steps forward can be made. The world certainly witnessed this in July this year, when Red Hat worked together with none other than Google on a high-profile project.

  • An open source approach to fraud prevention

    In the end, the move to an open source architecture makes iovation a more nimble, scalable, and better performing service provider. The upgrade is ultimately an investment in the company’s future and a commitment to providing world class services to customers.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Business

    • Small banks turn to open source solutions to cut costs

      As of March, only a third of 1,589 urban co-operative banks that have been told by the central bank to migrate to a core banking system have done so. The rest of the market is up for grabs.

      “Open source-based products, which could bring down the total cost of ownership, have become a credible alternative for decision makers,” said Aniruddha Paul, CIO of ING Vysya.

      The bank which has over 500 branches in the country started upgrading its core banking platform last year and completed the project in February.

    • GlassCode first official partner of Openbravo open source ERP in SA
  • Project Releases

    • Anand Release Candidate

      Things have been rolling along here at the ManageIQ community, and we’re proud to announce that the first release candidate is now ready. The first release for ManageIQ is called “Anand”, named after world champion chess player Viswanathan Anand.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source in the NHS: With choice comes responsibility

      Just because a trust has taken an open source approach, it does not mean you have to take all that work, control, ownership immediately – you can take as much as time as you want to develop those abilities. Also, with a community interest company in place to support the management of the code, there will be a structure in place for clinicians to really have some input into the way the system is developed, whilst maintaining the integrity of the code for better patient experience and outcomes.

    • NDI Launches Open Source DemTools for International Development

      Yesterday the National Democratic Institute launched a suite of web-based applications created for their partner organizations, mostly pro-democracy groups and political parties around the world. These “DemTools,” which are ready-to-use but can also be customized, will give organizations in developing countries some of the capabilities that political activists and parties in the United States have had for years. Moreover, since the National Democratic Institute (NDI) is making the promise to host partner organization’s applications in the cloud essentially forever, they hope these applications will help usher in a period of more sustainable tech.

    • Why isn’t all government software open source?

      The federal government is the single largest purchaser of code in the world. So why is this code—taxpayer-funded and integral to the day-to-day working of our democracy—so often hidden from public view? There are two sides to answering that question: Why does the government so often build on closed platforms, and once built, why isn’t the code released to the public?

  • Licensing

    • Why Ximpleware may establish new rules in the open source world

      The case is complicated and likely will undergo much procedural maneuvering before the court will get to the substance of the case. However, a key question that the courts will likely look at is whether a violation of GPLv2 gives a plaintiff a right to a contractual remedy or a claim for copyright infringement.

    • The Gentle Art of Muddying the Licensing Waters

      I’ve been writing about free software for nearly 20 years, and about Microsoft for over 30 years. Observing the latter deal with the former has been fascinating. At first, the US software giant simply dismissed free software as unworthy even of its attention, but by the early years of this millennium, that was clearly no longer a viable position.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenGL 4.5 Announced, Work Started On Next Generation OpenGL

      The Khronos Group who oversee OpenGL development have announced not only OpenGL 4.5, but they are also encouraging others to come forward to join them in building the next generation of OpenGL.

      It’s been a turbulent time for graphics API development with AMD announcing Mantle, and even Apple bringing their own API to the table called Metal. We have then had lots of back and forth between developers putting up blog posts discussing the good and bad for OpenGL itself. Now we are here for the future of OpenGL and it’s all good news.

    • OpenROAD: Showing Off All The Khronos APIs

      The Khronos Group released OpenROAD today at SIGGRAPH 2014 showing off all of their cross-platform, industry-standard APIs.

      OpenROAD is an animated video featuring all of the royalty-free APIs out of Khronos working together in an “open ecosystem”. There’s OpenCL, OpenCL, OpenSL ES, OpenMAX, OpenVX, WebGL, and WebCL.

Leftovers

08.13.14

Links 13/8/2014: GNU/Linux as Winner, New Snowden Interview

Posted in News Roundup at 5:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 9 Signs You Should Use Linux on Your Computer

    One way or another you’re actually using Linux every day. Linux is the dominant platform on web servers, including the one you’re on right now, and it is also the core of the Android operating system that you’re tapping away at all the time if you own an Android smartphone or tablet. Besides that it’s also running everything from top supercomputers to small specialized devices, like that ADSL router you’re probably connected through to the internet.

  • Linux Format 188 – Speed up Linux
  • Are the Linux versus Windows flame wars finally coming to an end?

    Frankly, I’d be quite happy if there were no more Windows versus Linux flame wars online. But if they are tapering off then I don’t think it’s because Linux is winning and Windows is losing. I think it might be because many of the flame warriors have moved onto mobile and are deep into the Android versus iOS wars instead of Linux versus Windows.

  • Linux vs. Windows Internet Battle No Longer Exists Because Linux Is Winning

    Windows and Linux communities used to virtually battle each other regarding the superiority of one platform or the other, but that is no longer happening, at least not at the same scale. One of the reasons for that might be that Linux is actually gaining ground.

  • Desktop

    • Gartner Predicts 5.2 Million Chromebook Sales in 2014 | Maximum PC

      We’ve pointed out before how Chromebooks are some of the best selling laptops on Amazon, and though these cloud-based systems aren’t as capable as their Windows-based counterparts, they’ve having no trouble finding an audience, particularly in education circles. In fact, market research firm Gartner forecasts 5.2 million Chromebook sales by the end of the year, which would translate into a 79 percent jump compared to 2013.

  • Server

    • IBM’s Doug Balog: Infrastructure Matters More Than Ever

      IT infrastructure has long been an enterprise commodity – relatively cheap and abundant. But hardware is no less important in solving today’s IT challenges, from big data and the cloud, to mobile, social and security, says Doug Balog, the general manager for IBM Power Systems.

    • Comparing Virtual Machines and Linux Containers Performance

      IBM Research Division has published a paper comparing the performance of container and virtual machine environments, using Docker and KVM, highlighting the cost of using Docker with NAT or AUFS, and questioning the practice of running containers inside of virtual machines.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux APIC Code Prepares For A Major Overhaul

      The x86 APIC subsystem within the Linux kernel is beginning the process of a major overhaul with the Linux 3.17 kernel.

      The Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller (APIC) support is being overhauled to support physical IOAPIC hot-plugging. Within the Linux 3.17 kernel this feature isn’t present but the prepatory work is moving forward after a first attempt at the hot-plug support was rejected on technical grounds. In prepping for the APIC hot-plug support, obsolete driver abstractions were removed and other changes made for this merge window.

      Those concerned about the Linux APIC code can find out more about the forthcoming changes via this lengthy mailing list message.

    • Facebook Is Hiring A New Kernel Engineer To Make The Linux Kernel Exceed The FreeBSD One
    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Distros, Damned Lies, and Statistics

        There are lots of stories to report today starting with the top five lies Linux-haters tend to spread. Next up is Gary Newell with the top five easiest modern distributions to use. We’ve got five tips for Vim users and how to deal with missing ifconfig. Paul Adams’ been blogging the story of KDEPIM and Dead Island may be coming to Linux. OpenSource.com and Linux.com are all about education these days and Red Hat released a beta of upcoming RHEL 6.6.

      • The Book

        When inviting to the Randa 2014 meeting, Mario had the idea to write a book about KDE Frameworks. Valorie picked up this idea and kicked off a small team to tackle the task. So in the middle of August, Valorie, Rohan, Mirko and me gathered in a small room under the roof of the Randa house and started to ponder how to accomplish writing a book in the week of the meeting. Three days later and with the help of many others, Valorie showed around the first version of the book on her Kindle at breakfast. Mission accomplished.

      • KDE Frameworks Sprint – How to Release a Platform

        KDE Frameworks 5 is the result of two years of hard work porting, tidying, modularizing and refactoring KDELibs4 into a new addition to the Qt 5 platform. In January, Alex Fiestas announced The KDE Barcelona Hub—an office where anyone is welcome to come and work on KDE projects. It was just what the Frameworks team needed to finish off the code so it could be released to the world. Read on for some of what happened.

      • Upstream and Downstream: why packaging takes time

        Here in the KDE office in Barcelona some people spend their time on purely upstream KDE projects and some of us are primarily interested in making distros work which mean our users can get all the stuff we make. I’ve been asked why we don’t just automate the packaging and go and do more productive things. One view of making on a distro like Kubuntu is that its just a way to package up the hard work done by others to take all the credit. I don’t deny that, but there’s quite a lot to the packaging of all that hard work, for a start there’s a lot of it these days.

      • themukt.com Editor on Kubuntu ← Kubuntu Wire
      • Randa report: Artikulate KF5 port (almost) done

        It is the Randa-Sprint week again. If you never heard about this, then imagine a lot of KDE developers, meeting somewhere in the mid of the Swiss Alps, in a deep valley with a rather slow internet connection. These people are coming from all over the world and are here for exactly one week, to work, to discuss, and to create the future of KDE. To name only a few of the current meeting’s topics, there are people working on a KDE SDK, porting to KF5, writing the KF5 book (aka putting documentation to the KF5), reaching out for new platforms, and many more exciting things are happening here. If you want to know more about all the goods that the Randa meeting brings, you should probably have an eye on the planetkde.org posts for the next days.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Evolution 3.12.5 Arrives with Lots of Fixes

        Evolution 3.12.5, a complete solution that provides integrated mail, address book, and calendaring functionality to users of the GNOME desktop environment, is available for download.

      • GSOC REPORT #5

        As mentioned in the previous report GNOME Books Library exposes WebKit WebView and the functionality needed for the interaction with epub.js. There are some new features. The library implements navigation bar and page controlling (total number of pages, status of the current page) as well as table of contents (links to the book chapters).

  • Distributions

    • Zorin OS 9 Business Is a Good Replacement for Companies That Don’t Want to Pay for Window

      The final version of Zorin OS 9 Business, an Ubuntu-based operating system aimed at Windows users who are switching over to Linux, has been released and is available for purchase.

    • Black Lab Linux 6.0 Preview 2 Is Now Based on Xfce and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS – Gallery

      Black Lab Linux 6.0 Preview 2, a distribution based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, has been released and is now ready for testing.

    • Slackware Family

      • First preview for Slackware of Plasma 5

        Today is my son’s 16th birthday, and I do have a gift for all of you, not just for him. I present to you a first preview for Slackware, of the KDE Frameworks 5.1.0 libraries, combined with Plasma 5.0.1, the next-generation desktop workspace from KDE.

        I wrote about this in my previous post, but now you can experience it first-hand: Plasma 5.0 improves support for high-DPI displays and comes with a “converged shell”, i.e. one Plasma codebase for different target devices like desktop computers, laptops, tablet, phones etc. Plasma 5 uses a new fully hardware-accelerated OpenGL(ES) graphics stack. Plasma 5 is built using Qt 5 and Frameworks 5.

        And with the Breeze themed artwork and its own Oxygen font, this desktop looks clean and modern.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta Features Improved System Performance
      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta Brings New Features

        Although Red Hat already released RHEL 7, RHEL 6.x users can still benefit from new platform features.

        Red Hat came out today with a beta release of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 (RHEL 6.6) platform. The new beta follows Red Hat’s June release of RHEL 7 and inherits a few of its features.

      • Time to take profits in Red Hat
      • Red Hat spruces up 2011′s enterprise Linux with RHEL 6.6 Beta
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 21 and ARM device support

          As we slowly meander our way towards the pointy end of the Fedora 21 release, with Alpha speeding up in the rear view mirror, the Fedora ARM team are starting to discuss the best way to deal with the blossoming amount of ARMv7 devices that can and do run out of the box on Fedora.

          With our 3.16 kernel containing device tree blobs for 200+ devices, the Fedora 3.17 rawhide kernel already containing 230+, it’s truly impossible to actively test and support all of those devices. So much like previous releases we’ll be focusing on testing a group of “primary devices” with the remainder being considered as secondary. This doesn’t mean they won’t work, it just means they’re not necessarily a testing focus of the regular contributors or they might not be readily available to purchase.

        • Fedora:Alpha Change Deadline to slip one more week

          Alpha Change Deadline slips one more week due to requested glibc/GCC mass rebuild [1]. Alpha Change Deadline is now 2014-08-19.

        • Fedora Flock 2014

          Overall the Flock was awesome. The quality of all technical presentations/workshops was really high. It’s amazing how many things currently going on at the Fedora community, not just related to our Operation System (the distribution) but also innovative things that we develop or lead that in the long run benefit the whole Free Software community. As always I had the chance to meet, talk and collaborate in person with many Fedorians and that’s always motivating for my contribution to the project.

        • Fedora Security Team

          Vulnerabilities in software happen. When they get fixed it’s up to the packager to make those fixes available to the systems using the software. Duplicating much of the response efforts that Red Hat Product Security performs for Red Hat products, the Fedora Security Team (FST) has recently been created to assist packagers get vulnerability fixes downstream in a timely manner.

        • Fedora 21 Will Support A Lot Of ARM Hardware

          The Fedora ARM team has been doing a great job at testing and seeing a wide-range of ARM development boards and other consumer devices will work with the upcoming Fedora 21 release.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Closes a pyCADF Exploit in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

            Canonical has published details in a security notice about a pyCADF vulnerability in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) that has been identified and corrected.

          • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS – Trusty Tahr

            We are pleased to announce that our build infrastructure has been upgraded to Ubuntu Trusty. This means that your builds will run in an updated and more stable environment. We worked hard during the past couple of months to make this upgrade as smooth as possible.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The Connected Car, Part 2: Wired For Wireless – It’s All Business
    • Raspberry Pi-powered Bigtrak

      The Raspberry Pi is a small, low-cost computer designed to promote an interest in computing and programming – but it doesn’t have to be straight-laced computing. In fact, in this article we’ll be showing you how you can use it to turn a Bigtrak into a robot. That’s educational, right?

      The Bigtrak is a toy that takes in a list of straightforward commands (Go forwards, turn left, turn right) and then executes them. To make things more interesting we’re going to remove the existing circuitry and replace it with a Raspberry Pi, using a small motor driver to safely control the motors in the Bigtrak, which we’ll then set up to be controlled via a PlayStation 3 DualShock controller.

      Everything required on the software side comes pre- installed on the latest Raspbian OS images, so all we need to translate changes from the controller to the motors is a small Python script that uses the Pygame and RPI.GPIO modules.

    • Linux-based controller mixes Atom SoC with Kintex-7 FPGA

      NI’s new 4-slot CompactRIO control system combines a dual-core Atom E3825 with a Kintex-7 FPGA, and features industrial temperatures and NI Real-Time Linux.

    • Phones

      • sailing in search of fresh waters

        I’ve had a long, quiet time on this blog over the past few years while I’ve been frantically helping Jolla to launch their self-named product: the Jolla. I’ve enjoyed (almost) every day I’ve been there: they really are a great bunch of people and the work has been plentiful and challenging.

      • Android

        • In the Android Ecosystem, Fragmentation is Nothing New

          All the way back in 2011, before Android marched to the top of the mobile platform wars, developers were voicing concerns about the fragmentation of the platform. In a post back then, I noted this quote from a study that Appcelerator and IDC did: “The Appcelerator-IDC Q2 2011 Mobile Developer Survey Report, taken April 11-13, shows that interest in Android has recently plateaued as concerns around fragmentation and disappointing results from early tablet sales have caused developers to pull back from their previous steadily increasing enthusiasm for Google’s mobile operating system.”

        • 64-bit mobile processors for Android L is coming

          Back in 2011, Nvidia announced to the world that they had acquired a license for the latest ARM instruction set, the ARM v8. But the most exciting part of the deal was that the new ARM instruction set is 64-bit. After making 32-bit mobile CPUs, Nvidia was set to take their Tegra K1 platform to the next level with a 64-bit mobile CPU. At the Hot Chips conference this year, Nvidia revealed their little project that they have been quietly working in for all these year. The Tegra K1 ARM v8 64-bit chip from Nvidia is ready for a release later next year. The new chip is codenamed Project Denver.

        • Nvidia’s 64-bit Tegra K1 processor may take Android to new heights

Free Software/Open Source

  • Business essentials: the open source software movement

    Research carried out by CWJobs.co.uk found that 62 per cent of IT professionals think that businesses are already missing out on the opportunities that open source technology presents. This is laid bare further by the fact that of the 300 IT professionals surveyed, 48 per cent think that there are already more jobs in open source than a year ago.

  • Open Potential

    Research from CWJobs has found that almost half (48 per cent) of IT professionals believe there are more jobs in open source than there were a year ago. Moreover, the survey of over 300 IT professionals found 62 per cent of the opinion that businesses were missing out on the opportunities generated by open source. The survey also found 71 per cent of respondents believe open source will be required more widely in future, with the biggest growth expected to be in advertising and media, telecoms and financial services.

  • CenturyLink Panamax Eases Docker Management
  • Panamax Open Source Tool Simplifies Docker Management

    In a very short amount of time, Docker–an open source tool for managing applications in containers–has become all the rage, and now CenturyLink has announced that it is releasing its Docker management tool Panamax to the open source community. Panamax is targeted to give developers one management platform to create, share and deploy Docker-containerized applications.

  • ClusterHQ brings databases to Docker with Flocker

    While it’s clear that Docker and container-based architecture is rapidly becoming a popular development and deployment paradigm, there are still a number of areas where containers still struggle compared to traditional bare-metal or virtualized solutions.

    One of these areas is data-centric applications. While virtual machines have developed a number of tools for snapshotting, migrating, resizing, and other management tasks, the management side of Docker containers and their related volumes isn’t necessarily at the same level of maturity. Yet. There are still some unanswered questions about how best to build a containerized application capable of dealing with machine failure, scalability, and other issues without introducing unnecessary complexity. These challenges are particularly difficult when applied to databases associated with containers.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome 38 Dev Features Better Copy/Paste

        The Development branch of Google Chrome, a browser built on the Blink layout engine that aims to be minimalistic and versatile at the same time, is now at version 38.0.2121.3 and is available for all platforms.

      • Google+ Update brings support for Chromecast

        As a rule of thumb Google typically offer updates to its services and products on Wednesdays. However google+ was given a surprise update today with a neat albeit a debatable limited update.

  • Education

    • Professors embed students directly into open source communities

      Ellis, whose students have contributed to Caribou, an on-screen keyboard that’s part of the GNOME desktop, explained that seasoned students often prefer to submit patches to projects, while beginner-level students are more content to interview existing contributors, explore collaboration technologies like Git or IRC, and embark on what Ellis calls open source “field trips”—toe-dipping excursions into various communities…

    • Everyday I help libraries make the switch to open source

      My first serious introduction to open source software came with my first summer work-study job. I was working on my undergraduate degree in computer science, and applied to my local library to work in the children’s area. But the library’s network admin, Cindy Murdock, snapped me up as soon as she saw “shell scripting” on my resume. From there I began to learn about all the ways open source software can be used in libraries.

      My library began using it with BSD-based routers in our small, rural libraries. At the time, dial-up was the only option for Internet access there. By the time I arrived, the library was already using open source software for routers, web servers, and content filters. From there we began branching out into other software. We set up a digital repository using Greenstone, and we were looking for an open source intergrated library system (ILS). We streamlined our people-counting system with a setup including wireless sensors that report to a server. I was able to write a more advanced reporting system using its API, which I also released.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • The Lenovo X200 Now Works With Coreboot

      The X200 model supported in particular right now is the 7458CY9, which is an older X200 variant. This X200 model has a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor with 4GB of RAM and 160GB HDD. The X200S and X200T are also listed as being supported.

  • Programming

    • Why developers should not be testing

      When somebody asks about their missing pet feature in KDE or ownCloud software, I always trow in a request for help in the answer. Software development is hard work and these features don’t appear out of nowhere. There are only so many hours in a day to work on the a million things we all agree are important. There are many ways to help out and speed things up a little. In this blog I’d like to highlight testing because I see developers spend a lot of time testing their own software – and that is not as good as it sounds.

Leftovers

  • Twitter Refutes Report That 23 Million Active Users Are Bots

    Twitter is defending itself after reports this morning suggested that the company admitted up to 8.5%, or 23 million, of its active users are automated bots.

  • Eight Twitterbots worth following
  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Libya unravels: The U.S. is not good at repairing broken countries

      Developments in Libya continue to underline sharply the foreign affairs catastrophe in which the United States under President Barack Obama participated, with the country’s former colonial masters France, Italy and the United Kingdom, in engineering regime change there in 2011.

    • Former NSA spook resigns from Naval War College in dick-pic scandal

      John Schindler was a prof at the College; he slammed Snowden as a traitor and compared Greenwald to Hitler, and was generally dismissive about concerns about network surveillance; he also sent pictures of his dick to a woman who wasn’t his wife. He also co-wrote the report that stated that Sadam Hussein had WMDs, and helped send America to war.

    • PROFFESOR AT NAVAL WAR COLLEGE RESIGNS AFTER PHOTOS OF HIS ALLEGED JOHNSON APPEAR ON LINE
    • Look at past airliner shootings so we can learn about government lies

      Airliners are occasionally shot down (collateral damage) by modern air defense systems. Like children run over cross the street, it’s an ugly fact of modern life. These extreme (but fortunately rare) events reveal much about the behavior of governments — and about us. Governments lie; they do so because we believe them (no matter how much we pretend no to).

    • 14 Pulitzer Prize Winners Ask Justice Department Not to Jail Reporter
    • When will Obama’s administration stop trying to send this man to jail for telling the truth about spies, nukes and Iran?

      James Risen is out of chances. It’s time for the government to stop harassing a journalist for doing his job

    • Pulitzer Prize winners demand DOJ stops threatening New York Times journalist with jail
    • Many Pulitzer Prize Winners Demand DOJ Stop Threatening Reporter James Risen With Jail If He Protects His Sources
    • Grandmother Sentenced to Prison for Protesting US Drone Base

      Judge David Gideon’s words refer not to the use of drones, but the activities of anti-drone activists. He has uttered this phrase from the bench repeatedly in recent months as activists have appeared before him, and the words must have been echoing through his mind as he sentenced Mary Anne Grady Flores, a 58-year-old grandmother from Ithaca, New York, to one year in prison on July 10. Her crime? Participating in a nonviolent anti-drone protest at an upstate New York military base after being ordered by the local courts to stay away from the site. The base is used to train drone pilots and technicians, and to control drone surveillance and strikes in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    • Judge Jails Anti-Drone Granny

      Judge David Gideon’s words refer not to the use of drones, but the activities of anti-drone activists. He has uttered this phrase from the bench repeatedly in recent months as activists have appeared before him, and the words must have been echoing through his mind as he sentenced Mary Anne Grady Flores, a 58-year-old grandmother from Ithaca, New York, to one year in prison on July 10. Her crime? Participating in a nonviolent anti-drone protest at an upstate New York military base after being ordered by the local courts to stay away from the site. The base is used to train drone pilots and technicians, and to control drone surveillance and strikes in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    • Wisdom in Obama’s ‘Don’t Do Stupid Stuff’

      The current clear preference of the American public to avoid new entangling military encounters naturally gives rise to the charge that President Barack Obama is merely bowing to that public opinion rather than exerting leadership.

    • The murky world of military aid

      “Normally speaking, the Defense Department deals with governments, and the CIA deals with non-state actors,” explains Stephen Biddle, a professor of political science and international affairs at The George Washington University.

      [...]

      “As far as we can tell, yes, the CIA is now committed to provide weapons and ammunition directly to the peshmerga,” Biddle says. That has been widely reported, but a CIA spokesman declined Marketplace’s request for comment.

    • Top 9 Reasons to Stop Bombing Iraq

      1. It’s not a rescue mission. The U.S. personnel could be evacuated without the 500-pound bombs. The persecuted minorities could be supplied, moved, or their enemy dissuaded, or all three, without the 500-pound bombs or the hundreds of “advisors” (trained and armed to kill, and never instructed in how to give advice — Have you ever tried taking urgent advice from 430 people?). The boy who cried rescue mission should not be allowed to get away with it after the documented deception in Libya where a fictional threat to civilians was used to launch an all-out aggressive attack that has left that nation in ruins. Not to mention the false claims about Syrian chemical weapons and the false claim that missiles were the only option left for Syria — the latter claims being exposed when the former weren’t believed, the missiles didn’t launch, and less violent but perfectly obvious alternative courses of action were recognized. If the U.S. government were driven by a desire to rescue the innocent, why would it be arming Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain? The U.S. government destroyed the nation of Iraq between 2003 and 2011, with results including the near elimination of various minority groups. If preventing genocide were a dominant U.S. interest, it could have halted its participation in and aggravation of that war at any time, a war in which 97% of the dead were on one side, just as in Gaza this month — the distinction between war and genocide being one of perspective, not proportions. Or, of course, the U.S. could have left well alone. Ever since President Carter declared that the U.S. would kill for Iraqi oil, each of his successors has believed that course of action justified, and each has made matters significantly worse.

    • Iraqi Helicopter Crashes While Delivering Aid

      An Iraqi helicopter delivering aid to stranded Yazidis crashed Tuesday killing the pilot and injuring some of the passengers including a New York Times reporter. The Yazidis are a religious minority trapped by ISIS – the Islamic militants advancing through Northern Iraq.

    • ‘My wife thinks I will come home in a box’ – and three days later Gaza bomb disposal expert was dead

      Rahed Taysir al’Hom was buried in the sandy soil of the cemetery of Jabaliya, the rough Gaza neighbourhood where he had grown up, at 1pm on the third day of the ceasefire.

      His funeral was quick, attended by a hundred or so mourners, and accompanied by a quick sermon from a white-turbaned cleric, a sobbing father and some shots fired from a Kalashnikov by a skinny teenager.

    • We’re human fodder caught in the crossfire of armed groups and armed governments

      “Her father was killed in Helmand amidst fighting between the Taliban and the Afghan/U.S.-NATO forces,” said a relative about Gul Jumma, who looked down, shy and full of angst, sensing a future that’s not promising.

      Gul Jumma, together with the Afghan Peace Volunteers, expressed their opposition to wars in this video. Gul Jumma (in photo above, at right) holds up the sign for Ukraine, indicating “No to wars in Ukraine.” She understands what it is like to be caught in the crossfire, as happened to her father when he was killed in battle.

    • US airstrikes counterproductive in Yemen, Iraq

      The human rights groups in Yemen repeatedly accused the United States of breaking international law and perhaps committing war crimes by killing civilians in missile and drone strikes that were intended to hit militants.

    • Pine Gap communications facility’s operations ‘ethically unacceptable’, Professor Des Ball says

      A senior strategic analyst has called for the Federal Government to rethink the Pine Gap communications facility, saying some of its work now is “ethically unacceptable”.

    • Top intelligence analyst slams Pine Gap’s role in American drone strikes

      The joint US-Australian defence base at Pine Gap is accused of helping direct American drone strikes leading to Australia’s leading intelligence expert to call its work ‘ethically unacceptable’.

    • Video: Glenn Greenwald Criticizes NPR for Relying on CIA-Linked Firm in Report on Impact of Snowden Leaks
    • Glenn Greenwald Criticizes NPR for Relying on CIA-Linked Firm in Report on Impact of Snowden Leaks
    • Professor Boyle: Islamic State is US covert intelligence operation

      “All the implications so far in the public record are that ISIS [IS] is a covert US intelligence operation,” Boyle told RIA Novosti Tuesday. “Head of ISIS Abu Bakr Baghdadi spent five years in an American detention facility, and also three of the four military commanders were also in detention by the US forces. So, my guess is that ISIS is indeed a covert US military intervention to set precedent for US escalation in Iraq.”

    • Obama sends 130 armed military advisers to Iraq

      U.S. military forces continued to engage ISIL terrorists in Iraq today, successfully conducting an airstrike on an ISIL armed truck west of the village of Sinjar. NBC News has confirmed that at approximately 12:20 p.m. EST, the U.S. remotely piloted an aircraft that struck and destroyed an ISIL armed vehicle west of Sinjar. All aircraft exited the strike area safely.

    • Mass Murder as Political Marketing – The Phoenix Program and U.S. Foreign Policy

      The CIA’s infamous program to crush the resistance to U.S. occupation of South Vietnam is largely remembered as a gigantic campaign of assassination that claimed tens of thousands of lives. However, the Phoenix Program is best understood as an extension of U.S. propaganda.

    • Did Egypt alert Washington to impending 9/11 attacks? Former Intelligence chief slams El-Adly’s claims

      Mubarak’s interior minister claims he warned American intelligence twice about 9/11 attacks

    • Snowden Certain US Secret Services Spy on Him in Russia – Reports

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is certain that the United States’ secret services spy on him in Russia where his temporary asylum was extended for three years starting August 1, Snowden said in an interview with WIRED online magazine.

      “They’ve [NSA, CIA] got a team of guys whose job is just to hack me,” Snowden said. “I don’t think they’ve geolocated me, but they almost certainly monitor who I’m talking to online. Even if they don’t know what you’re saying, because it’s encrypted, they can still get a lot from who you’re talking to and when you’re talking to them.”

    • Snowden considered leaks earlier, held off for Obama election

      Edward Snowden has revealed this week that if it had not been for an impending election of Barack Obama in 2008 as President of the United States, he might have leaked NSA documents earlier. He speaks up this week on how he began to consider whistle-blowing in 2007, during “the Bush period, when the war on terror had gotten really dark.”

    • A Most Dire Question, How to Prevent the Real War to End All Wars? Part II

      The American people when polled recently overwhelmingly said they didn’t want any new war in Iraq.

      To that acknowledgement, “dear leader” Barack Obama authorized air strikes last Thursday in Iraq but endlessly repeated, “No ground forces will be sent”.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • How the Commission ‘blocked’ key environmental plans

      Plans to crack down on endocrine disruptors and illegal timber being imported into the EU, were buried by the outgoing President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and his secretary-general Catherine Day, according to a senior EU source.

    • But does fossil fuel know it’s the problem?

      Why then are we unable to stop using fossil fuels? Our inability to deal with the problem of fuel invites a perverse question; does fossil fuel know that we don’t need it? This is a version of a joke told by Slavoj Zizek. Briefly, a man believes that he is a piece of grain who is under constant threat that he will be eaten by a chicken. He goes to a psychologist and he is cured of this delusion. Time passes, and one day he returns to the analyst and tells him, “There is a chicken outside of my house! I am afraid he will eat me!” The analyst says, “But you are cured of your delusion; you know that you are a man, not a piece of grain.” The man replies, “Yes, I know. But does the chicken know?”

    • ‘Big Oil’ is making too much noise

      The Supreme Court says money is speech. With the chance of losing the biggest tax break of the new century to Ballot Proposition 1, oil giants ConocoPhillips, BP, and ExxonMobil are making it seem more like money is screech.

      The Supreme Court also says corporations are “persons” so, under the First Amendment to the Constitution, oil money is “protected” speech.

    • The U.S. Is Bombing Iraq And Not Syria For Reasons That Look Really Familiar

      Erbil is also home to many major American oil wells.

  • Finance

    • John Oliver’s amazing takedown of payday lenders: ‘Even cluster@#$%s are bigger in Texas’

      John Oliver continues to do the work of real journalists, blowing the lid of the complicated and corrupt world of payday lenders in Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight.”

    • SEC Aggressively Investigates Media Leaks

      Since 2008, one particular federal government agency has aggressively investigated leaks to the media, examining some one million emails sent by nearly 300 members of its staff, interviewing some 100 of its own employees and trolling the phone records of scores more. It’s not the CIA, the Department of Justice or the National Security Agency.

    • Winter Is Coming: As the World Crumbles, We Must Re-Engage with Russia

      Like it or not, in such a setting we cannot afford to deepen our rift with Russia. Our airstrikes on Iraq, necessary as they are, have also furnished an ideal pretext for Russian President Vladimir Putin to initiate some type of militarized intervention in eastern Ukraine that he can argue falls under the banner of “peacekeeping” and “protection.” Case in point: Western politicians are openly wondering if the 260-truck convoy that set out from the Moscow region Tuesday is possibly carrying something other than what Russians profess is only “humanitarian aid” for the besieged city of Luhansk – and whether the trucks will actually stop, as claimed, at the Ukrainian border and hand control of the mission over to the International Red Cross.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Anti-Immigrant Fox Guest Stokes Fears Of ISIS Crossing Border: “I Would Guarantee You, They’re Already Here”
    • Decision Halting Walker Criminal Probe “Completely Unmoored”

      A slew of election law experts and Wisconsin’s elections board have filed briefs with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals sharply critiquing federal Judge Rudolph Randa’s decision halting Wisconsin’s criminal campaign finance probe, describing the ruling as “erroneous,” and as “completely unmoored” from U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

      On May 6, Judge Randa — a George Bush appointee who is on the board of advisors to the Milwaukee Federalist Society — halted the “John Doe” investigation into alleged illegal coordination between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s campaign and outside political groups like Wisconsin Club for Growth (WiCFG) during the 2011-2012 recall elections. WiCFG spent $9.1 million during the recalls on electoral “issue ads” that stopped short of expressly telling viewers how to vote, and funneled millions more to other groups that also ran issue ads.

  • Censorship

    • UK Police Hijack Ads of 74 Pirate Websites, Refuse to Name Them

      New data obtained through a Freedom of Information request reveals that the UK’s ‘piracy police’ are hijacking the ads of 74 suspected pirate sites. The police are refusing to reveal the domain names as that would “raise the profile of these sites.” Fearing cyber-attacks, the names of participating advertising agencies are also being withheld.

    • Forcing Commenters to Use Real Names Won’t Root Out the Trolls

      They say never to read the comments. But I do. Every day. I read every comment—the good, the bad, the so ugly it needs to be deleted—because it’s my job. I’m a community management consultant. And, believe it or not, my favorite commenters are anonymous.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Fulsome prison blues

      Attorney General Eric Holder said he believes the shooting in Ferguson (Mo.) “deserves fulsome review.”

      [...]I have advised readers in the past to take deep breaths about the skunking of words. “Enormity” now means hugeness. “Bemused” now means slightly amused. Get over it.

      So it is with this self-awareness that I stamp my feet about the creeping loss of fulsome. We simply don’t need a new $20 synonym for “full,” whereas a crisp two-syllable word meaning unpleasantly excessive, why that we do need.

    • Truths and Falsehoods About Ralph Nader’s New Book

      Have progressives made a mistake of lumping all conservatives together and fueling their political energies into hating them? Or are there what Ralph Nader calls “anti-corporatist conservatives,” who loathe undeclared, endless wars as much as progressives? And should progressives seek alliances with these anti-corporatist conservatives to oppose unnecessary wars, corporate welfare, NSA violations of our privacy, and many other issues where there is what Nader calls “convergence?”

    • Where in Constitution is CIA absolved of its myriad crimes?

      As I’ve often reported, the list of the agency’s wrongdoings is long, continuous and deeply documented in such books as “Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA” by Tim Weiner, and “Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention And Extraordinary Rendition” by Amrit Singh and published by The Open Society Foundations.

    • The CIA Activities and the Huge U.S. Military Offensive in Africa

      The CIA’s activities in Africa go and in hand with the huge U.S. military offensive on the continent. The agency “has maintained a continuing presence on the African continent into the 21st Century, engaging in various nefarious activities, including supporting foes of the Gadhafi government in Libya.”

    • The Senate report on CIA might lead to reform, but don’t hold your breath
    • Lawless at the CIA

      CIA spying on the Senate is the constitutional equivalent of the Watergate break-in. In both cases, the executive branch attacked the very foundations of our system of checks and balances.

    • Why Does John Brennan Still Have a Job?
    • Public Interest Groups Call For Brennan’s Resignation
    • 20 watchdog groups call for Brennan’s resignation

      A coalition of 20 transparency and ethics watchdog groups are fed up with CIA Director John Brennan’s leadership and are calling on President Obama to ask him to step down.

      The group, which includes the Project on Government Oversight, the Sunlight Foundation and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, among many others, on Tuesday accused the CIA of abusing its power and obstructing the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into agency’s use of torture in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks.

    • ‘National security’ candidate: Former CIA officer runs for U.S. House seat in Texas

      He is a former clandestine officer who’s gone into Lone Star politics. That would be conservative Will Hurd, who has joined the list of “national security” candidates who’ve caught the notice of John Bolton. Indeed, Mr. Hurd is challenging Democrat Rep. Pete Gallego in the 23rd District of Texas, which includes much of the Mexican-American border, in a pivotal area where voter support is much coveted by the GOP.

    • Ben Carson’s pledge of allegiance
    • Data Protection Issues in TISA’s First Leak

      Last week I wrote about the baby steps that the European Commission is taking to bring more transparency to the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) currently being negotiated. One of the things that the Commission is unlikely to publish – because the US won’t let it – is the negotiating text. Fortunately, we live in the age of whistleblowers and leakers, and one of them kindly supplied Wikileaks with a copy of the Financial Services Annex of TISA back in June…

    • US wanted Britain to build 2nd Guantanamo – report

      The prison, which could have been built in the British territory of Diego Garcia, would have hosted up to 500 detainees, and like the Cuban prison, would have been allowed to operate outside the normal parameters of international law.

    • Could the CIA have run a ‘black site’ detention centre on Diego Garcia?

      For years there have been rumours and reports of a CIA “black site” on Diego Garcia but two British officers who served on the island after the September 11 attacks have cast doubt on some of the more outlandish claims

    • Britain ‘discussed’ US request to build Guantanamo-style prison on Diego Garcia after September 11 attacks, officials say

      As Democrats fight for information about the CIA’s secret kidnap and torture programme to be published in a landmark report, The Telegraph has learnt details of America’s requests to use British territory of Diego Garcia in network of secret prison sites

    • Nice work: G4S wins $118 million Guantánamo contract

      G4S, the UK government outsourcer that supports Israeli security functions in the West Bank, will now supply ‘custodial services’ to Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, writes Clare Sambrook. Shocked? You shouldn’t be. G4S is impervious to public criticism and defies international law with impunity.

    • Doctor Complicity in Torture

      The Senate’s report on torture by the Central Intelligence Agency is expected to shed further light on the complicity of health professionals in the systematic torture and ill treatment of detainees. Much of this information is already public and documented in reports by Physicians for Human Rights and others.

    • Democrats battle with CIA conjures up old question: What constitutes torture?
    • Op-Ed: The CIA needs to win hearts and minds as well as gather intel
    • CIA no longer a state tax delinquent

      The state Treasury Department has released three tax liens posted against the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency for failing to pay almost $21,000 in withholding tax for its Michigan employees.

      A Treasury spokesman said state law prohibits him from discussing details of the tax delinquency – or even confirming the CIA paid its debt.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Internet hiccups today? You’re not alone. Here’s why

      It’s not just you. Many Internet providers have been having trouble as they run into long expected (but not adequately prepared for) routing table problems.

    • Why I’m willing to pay an early termination fee to leave Verizon

      Verizon’s throttling. Usually companies deny it until they get caught, but Verizon has come right out and said it will throttle certain users. Oh sure, they said only unlimited bandwidth users only. They also cooperated with the NSA after umpteen promises of protection our privacy. Quite frankly, I don’t trust you.

    • Walmart to sell Facebook only phone

      Wal-Mart, the US company whose employees are so poor that they live off food stamps while the owners are among the richest in the country, is now offering a new phone plan for $12 that allows users to access only Facebook. They are being offered by Virgin and initially you’re offered 20 minutes and 20 texts, then for $5 each on top you can add Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

      This plan effectively takes away net neutrality for it’s users as they can only access white-listed services and if more carriers see this they may decide to implement something like this themselves.

  • DRM

    • California passes cellphone ‘kill switch’ bill

      California is one step away from requiring cellphones to come with “kill switches.”

      The state Senate voted 27-8 on Monday to pass the newest version of a bill requiring cellphones sold within the state to allow users to make their phones inoperable if stolen, according to a report from CNET.

Links 13/8/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta, Tizen in Watches

Posted in News Roundup at 1:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Want a fulfilling IT career? Learn Linux

    How can understanding Linux enhance a career? This question is interesting because there are two drastically different answers. The first is the obvious answer that you can find through websites and studies everywhere, but the second is a little more subtle. And a lot more awesome.

  • How learning Linux can help your IT career
  • Desktop

    • Low Cost Chromebooks Force Microsoft’s Hand in the Portables Market

      Chromebooks, low-cost portable computers that run Google’s Chrome operating system, are quickly becoming market movers as sales are poised to reach almost 15 million units in 2017. That’s the forecast from Gartner researchers, which also reproted that sales will hit 5.2 million units this year, up 70 percent from sales in 2013. Gartner has also reported that the U.S. education sector is playing a big part in this, noting that it accounted for 85 percent of Chromebook sales in 2013.

      There are strong signs that Microsoft is taking this trend seriously, and we may see unprecedented prices on new Windows portables designed to compete with Chromebooks.

    • Acer Chromebook 13 has NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor inside

      Chromebook 13 is the latest Chromebook from Acer. It is powered by the NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor and is the first Tegra K1-powered Chromebook.

      The Tegra K1 is a mobile processor built atop NVIDIA’s Kepler™ architecture that features a 4-Plus-1™ quad-core ARM® Cortex™-A15 CPU. It is the same processor inside the NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

  • Server

    • Supercomputer speed

      It wasn’t always that way. Whizz back to 1998 when Linux was still clawing its way out of the primordial binary ooze and just a single supercomputer ran it. Jump forward six years and that figure had exploded to 291 of the top-500 supercomputers and Linux never looked back. Now, I’m no expert (we could probably stop the sentence there) in supercomputers, but the benefits of a GNU/Linux OS apply as much to your home user as they do to supercomputer manufacturers. There’s no per-core licence to worry about – which becomes a big worry if you have 3.1 million processors to power.

  • Kernel Space

    • Scholarships Help Increase Access to Linux Education

      What does a file system engineer living in Minnesota have in common with a woman from Uganda working on maintaining Linux systems and a research and computing scientist working at a medical university? They were among the five Linux Training Scholarship winners in 2013.

      Now in its fourth year, the Linux training scholarships from The Linux Foundation have become highly-sought honors by many of the most talented up-and-coming Linux pro’s in the world. With nearly 700 submissions received last year we’re very excited to review this year’s applicants in September (the submission deadline is Sept 2).

    • XFS Introduces A Sysfs Interface With Linux 3.17

      The latest noteworthy pull request worth covering for the Linux 3.17 kernel merge window is of the XFS file-system updates.

    • UEFI Forum Officially Announces ACPI 5.1

      While Linux kernel developers have already been working on ACPI 5.1 support since it brings ACPI on ARM, and there’s partial support in the Linux 3.17 kernel, the UEFI Forum today finally announced the official release of the ACPI 5.1 specification.

    • The Linux Plumbers Conference is almost full

      The 2014 Linux Plumbers Conference (October 15-17, Düsseldorf, Germany) has sent out an advisory that the registration limit is about to be reached. “We are very rapidly approaching our attendance limit, this year faster than in any past editions of the conference. We expect that the conference general registration will be sold out soon, possibly even within a few days. If you have a vested interest in participating in the discussions, please register now, to guarantee that you will obtain a ticket for the conference.”

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD’s Radeon DDX Enables Hawaii Acceleration By Default

        We’ve long been monitoring the AMD Hawaii Linux support situation. AMD did provide same-day Catalyst Linux support for the R9 290 but took a while to get cleaned up. However, on the open-source side, it wasn’t until recently that the R9 290 open-source support got into shape with working 2D/3D hardware acceleration.

      • BPTC Texture Compression Support Lands In Mesa

        Last month we reported on Intel working out patches for BPTC texture compression support with their open-source 3D driver and as of today that support has been mainlined to Mesa.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Phonon + GStreamer + VLC 4.8 Beta
      • KDE Applications and Development Platform 4.13.3

        Packages for the release of KDE SC 4.13.3 are available for Kubuntu 14.04LTS. You will recieve them from the regular update channel.

      • First Bugfix Update to Plasma 5

        KDE is now getting into the swing of releases numbered 5. Today we add Plasma 5′s first bugfix update. The release features KDE’s flagship desktop project as well as the base software needed to keep your computer running. Plasma will have feature releases every three months and bugfix releases in the months in between.

      • Kig on Frameworks!

        But the port to KDE Frameworks 5 is not the only exciting thing happening in Kig: the Google Summer of Code coding period is almost over and Aniket’s project about Geogebra support is in good shape, so you will soon see this integrated into the code; although we still need to decide about the right strategy to make this available to our user base. Keep tuned for more Kig info!

      • Monday Report: Old Style In New Form

        The basis of this theme is the old oxygen style, so he was able to reuse most of the code. Below are some screenshots of his work (without the Breeze window decoration).

      • KDE Frameworks Book Sprint at the Randa Meeting 2014
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GTK+ 3.13.6 Updated To Work With Newer Wayland

        The GTK+ tool-kit is out with a new release this week that offers a lot of bug fixes but also several new improvements.

        First up, the new GTK+ 3.13.6 release has been updated to support newer versions of the Wayland protocol. Beyond that as the only Wayland change for this GTK+ 3.14 development release, there’s Adwaita theme improvements, a faster blur implementation for shadows, and a variety of other GTK improvements. There’s a total of 37 known bug-fixes in the GTK+ 3.13.6 release.

      • GTK+ 3.13.6 Arrives with More Adwaita Improvements
      • Teachers explain why they’re ditching iPads for ‘much more useful’ Chromebooks

        As popular as the iPad has been for end consumers, schools have also been a major part of the tablet’s success. Ever since Apple launched the iPad in 2010, schools all over the country have experimented with placing them in classrooms or giving them to students to bring home with them. The Atlantic reports that although many institutions were initially satisfied with the results, many are now beginning to see the potential upshot of affordable laptops over expensive tablets.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • NI CompactRIO controller runs Linux RTOS on Intel Atom

      NI’s latest CompactRIO controller is supported by LabVIEW 2014 and NI Linux real-time for applications in harsh, industrial environments.

      This software-design controller provides data processing, custom timing and triggering, and data transfer from modular C Series I/O.

      The controller has an Intel Atom processor and a Kintex-7 FPGA for implementing complex filtering and control algorithms.

    • Media player dev kits run Ubuntu, Android on Cortex-A9

      Toshiba announced wireless-enabled development kits based on its dual-core Cortex-A9 “TZ5000 ApP Lite” SoC, supporting Ubuntu and Android 4.4, respectively.

    • Raspberry Pi based media player offers 1TB hard drive

      FiveNinjas has launched a “Slice” media player on Kickstarter based on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, with a 1TB HDD and a customized version of XBMC.

      UK-based startup FiveNinjas developed the Slice because the developers found it annoying when their media players became useless when carried beyond an Internet connection. Unlike most media players, the Slice ships with a 1TB hard disk drive for storing plenty of video for offine playback.

    • 12 Linux-Based Home Automation Systems for Under $300

      Home automation hubs have emerged as the tech startup product of choice in 2014, and most run on embedded Linux. The category has been re-energized with the dropping costs of wireless radios and embedded processors, as well as the ubiquity of readymade touchscreen interfaces in the form of Android and iOS devices. This slide show presentation covers 10 Linux-based and two Android-based home automation systems starting at under $300.

      Home automation systems have been around for more than a decade, but were usually affordable only to a few. Early Linux-based products include the circa-2002 CorAccess Companion, as well as later tuxified products from Control4, such as the Control4 Home Controller HC-500. While the HC-500′s $1,500 was a price breakthrough back in 2008, Control4′s entry level system is now an HC-250 model selling for under $500 plus licensing. You’ll find most of the systems listed here starting at under $200, with some hubs selling for as little as $49. Of course, you’ll likely spend much more than that on compatible smart devices, and equipping a large home could easily push you over the $1,000 mark.

    • Top 12 Linux-Based Home Automation Systems
    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Navigate using your Tizen Samsung Gear 2 / Neo with DMA Navi Watch

          DMA Navi Watch uses Google Navigation notifications from your device and displays them to your wrist. To setup the app you need to enable the notification listener on your Android Smartphone and your good to go, video instructions on how to do this are below. When your not navigating anywhere, the clock face works like a standard Gear 2 clock face. The App is available now to download from Samsung Galaxy Apps (depending on country and network availability).

      • Android

        • Android motorcycle helmet/HUD gains funding

          Skully has achieved Indiegogo funding for an Android 4.4 based motorcycle helmet with a head-up display, GPS navigation, and a 180-degree rearview camera.

        • Project Denver SoC will be the first 64-bit ARM processor for Android

          NVIDIA has revealed architectural details of the 64-bit version of the Tegra K1 System-on-Chip (SoC). Being developed under the Project Denver code name, it will be the first 64-bit ARM SoC for Android.

          The 32-bit version of Tegra K1 already powers several notable mobile devices, including the NVIDIA Shield tablet and the just announced Acer Chromebook 13.

        • Hurry! Aug 17th next closing date for Project Ara development boards

          Yesterday we reported on the upcoming and possible game-changing Project Ara. If you missed the post then follow the link to read our report in full.

          To quickly recap Google’s Project Ara is a completely new take on what a smartphone is. Google next year will launch a Modular phone which consists of small interchangeable modules (MOD’s). Each MOD will have a different purpose i.e. camera, identity, speakers and users will simply be able to change the modules at will and upgrade only the parts they want to upgrade.

Free Software/Open Source

  • How to Overcome Hidden Barriers to Open Source Adoption

    Even when procurement policies don’t rule out open source solutions explicitly in this way, they often still have an unintentional bias towards proprietary software, according to Mark Johnson, development manager at OSS Watch, a body that provides advice on open source software.

    “It may be that the way solutions are investigated by organizations actually favors companies that get license fees and are therefore able to offer presales support. Because the business models work differently, you may have to pay a company to come in and do a demonstration of an open source solution,” Johnson says.

    “What that means is that companies may need to be aware that they have to be more hands on (with open source software),” he adds. “They can’t just expect to sit down and watch a PowerPoint presentation.”

  • CenturyLink releases Panamax open-source Docker management platform

    CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) today announced the contribution of Panamax, a Docker management platform, to the open-source community. Ideal for even the most complex Docker architectures, Panamax gives developers a single management platform to easily create, share and deploy any Docker-containerized application.

  • OSI and Conservancy Announce US Tax Exemption Working Group

    Software Freedom Conservancy and the Open Source Initiative are pleased to announce that they are the founding members of a working group focused on tax exemption issues for organizations in the United States.

    Recent activity by the Internal Revenue Service in response to applications for tax exempt status have sparked a lot of interest and discussion amongst free and open source software communities.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • UbuConLA: Firefox OS on show in Cartagena

        If you are attending UbuConLA I would strongly encourage you to check out the talks on Firefox OS and Webmaker. In addition to the talks, there will also be a Firefox OS workshop where attendees can go more hands on.

        When the organizers of UbuConLA reached out to me several months ago, I knew we really had to have a Mozilla presence at this event so that Ubuntu Users who are already using Firefox as their browser of choice could learn about other initiatives like Firefox OS and Webmaker.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos Cozies Up to OpenStack

      All the way back in 2008, before it was a commercial product, OStatic broke the news about an open source project at U.C. Santa Barbara called Eucalyptus, which we described as “for implementing ‘cloud computing’ on clusters.” Of course, fast-forward to today, and Eucalyptus Systems is one of the most discussed companies on the cloud computing scene.

    • New Open-Source Tool Makes it Easy to Tap Into Docker, the Cloud’s Next Big Thing

      Your new app is brilliant; the code you’ve spent six months writing is beautiful. But when you upload it from your laptop to the web server, it just doesn’t work. You know why: your laptop’s is configured slightly differently than the server, and now you’re now going to have to spend hours — maybe days — figuring out what you need to change to make it run properly.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • How the Open Source Election Technology Foundation is Remaking the Voter Experience

      “The commissioners and others don’t want the recommendations to just sit on the shelf but to get these recommendations into the states to move them along, ” John Fortier, director of the Democracy Project, said in an interview with techPresident last week.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Spain’s Ill-Conceived ‘Google Tax’ Law Likely To Cause Immense Damage To Digital Commons And Open Access

        Techdirt recently wrote about Spain’s imminent and almost unbelievably foolish new copyright law designed to prop up old and failing business models in the publishing sector. Mike mentioned that it was potentially disastrous for things like fair use, Creative Commons and public domain material — so broad is the reach of this new law’s “inalienable right” for publishers to be paid when snippets of works appear elsewhere.

      • Did Spain just declare war on the commons?

        Two weeks ago the lower chamber of the Spanish parliament approved a number of changes to Spain’s Intellectual Property Law that directly threaten the ability of Spanish internet users to contribute to the commons. The law introduces a number of modifications to copyright law that expand the scope of exclusive rights over areas that were previously outside of the exclusive rights of copyright holders at the expense of users rights and the public domain.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenGL 4.5 update brings desktop like graphics on Mobile

      Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques or SIGGRAPH is the annual event where graphics industry professional comes together to unveil their tricks that they have been working on for the year. This year at SIGGRAPH 2014, as is customary for them, Khronos Group took the stage to reveal their latest version of OpenGL, OpenGL 4.5. The announcement also included updates on their OpenGL ES as well as WebGL, all offshoots and parts of the OpenGL standard.

    • After OpenGL 4.5, The Mesa OpenGL 4 Support Matrix

      Now that OpenGL 4.5 was released yesterday by the Khronos Group, while NVIDIA already has an OpenGL 4.5 driver, it will be a longtime before the open-source Mesa/Gallium3D drivers are able to claim OpenGL 4.5 compliance.

Leftovers

  • JFK’s Popularity Endures: John F. Kennedy Remains High in Presidential Polls, Surveys

    Todd J. Gillman of The Dallas Morning News observed that “historians rate Kennedy as a middling president. The public puts him on a pedestal with Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt. His loving image has survived tawdry revelations and bookshelves of critical reassessments.”

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Dear Mr Cameron: US and EU politicians had been drumming up the conflict in Ukraine

      The British Prime Minister shows a staggering arrogance and frightening lack of historical perspective in supporting the neo-Nazi regime of the Ukrainian government, and luring the Russian Federation into a conflict with the European Union and the West by blaming it for condoning the shooting down of Flight MH17 on 1 August over the disputed territory of eastern Ukraine.

      Last month, David Cameron published an article in The Sunday Times that, in a series of sweeping accusations, marked a high point in interventions by the West which fuel conflict in Ukraine and, eventually, could drag Russia into a war with the European Union.

      Even before this intervention, US and EU politicians had been drumming up the conflict, first by helping neo-fascists in Ukraine into power, who then committed atrocities against the people of eastern Ukraine.

    • CIA Intervention In Ukraine Has Been Taking Place For Decades

      Of all the aspects of the current crisis over the NATO/Russia standoff in Ukraine, the determined intervention into Ukrainian political affairs by the United States has been the least reported, at least until recently. While new reports have appeared concerning CIA Director John Brennan’s mid-April trip to Kiev, and CIA/FBI sending “dozens” of advisers to the Ukrainian security services, very few reports mention that U.S. intervention in Ukraine affairs goes back to the end of World War II. It has hardly let up since then.

    • Sen. Nelson headed to Ukraine; says U.S. should arm Kiev government

      Sen. Bill Nelson, gearing up for a trip this week that will take him to Ukraine, the Baltic states and Turkey, departed from the Obama administration’s more measured approach and called for providing lethal arms to Ukraine’s military, which is battling Russian-backed rebels and facing down 20,000 Russian troops amassed along the border.

    • How, and maybe why, US contributes to Saudi police state

      On July 6, human rights activist Waleed Abu al-Khair was sentenced to 15 years in prison in the Saudi Specialized Criminal Court. Al-Khair was convicted of making statements to the news media and issuing tweets criticizing human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia. In addition, al-Khair is subject to a 15-year travel ban after his sentence is completed and a fine of 200,000 riyals ($53,327.65 USD).

      The state’s case against al-Khair centered around al-Khair’s establishment of and participation in the “Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia” — a civil rights advocacy group in Saudi Arabia. Al-Khair spoke out internationally against Saudi Arabia’s history of human rights violations and participated in several human rights defense cases — including the case of Samar Badawi, who was accused of disobeying the Saudi male guardianship system.

    • #IfTheyGunnedMeDown protests portrayal of black youth after Michael Brown’s death

      Many Twitter users posted pictures of themselves with #IfTheyGunnedMeDown to challenge the way the media portrays African-Americans. The hashtag was a response to coverage of Michael Brown’s death in suburban St. Louis over the weekend.

    • Droning On

      A botched drone mission in Afghanistan kills 13 civilians, mostly women and children. Pilot Darwin Cole, controlling the unmanned aircraft from a bunker in Nevada, watches in horror as his anti-terrorist strike becomes a massacre.

      One year later, Cole is a drunken recluse, ejected from the military with a dishonorable discharge, living in a trailer with “broken windows, [and] bottles in the yard.” He has lost his nerve, his wings, his career, and his wife and kids. He has been unmanned.

    • The Fallacious Human Shield and Collateral Damage Arguments

      If we apply our ethics, as Justitia, we would protect our civilians, children, and infirm, in Phoenix, Arizona, just as we should do everything we can to protect the civilians in rural Afghanistan, Iraq, or in Gaza or Israel. At the very least, we should contribute nothing to hurting those children. All civilians deserve the freedom from being treated like expendables by any military anywhere. Anything short of respecting that freedom makes us all terrorists.

    • Death in Gaza: Some Counts More Controversial than Others

      Determining whether deaths are civilian or military is the heart of the matter. “No other number is as contentious as the ratio of civilians to combatants killed,” Rudoren explains. So what is the truth, then?

    • Journalists are complicit in Gaza’s suffering by ignoring context

      Reporters seize upon the list of Gaza’s most recent victims, only to parse their death certificates for proof that they, too, did not deserve to die.

      “Journalism,” wrote the Swedish war correspondent Stig Dagerman, “is the art of coming too late as early as possible.” The dictum resounds in Gaza, where an eight-year Israeli siege – which has left this land all but unlivable – went woefully underreported well before Gaza was is in the throes of war. As Palestinian families again count their dead, that journalistic negligence, say human rights workers, leaves much of the reporting here dangerously devoid of context.

    • War Is Our Most Urgent Problem. Let’s Solve It

      Is there a more urgent problem in the world today than war? And when I say “war” in this post, I mean also militarism, the culture of war, the armies, arms, industries, policies, plans, propaganda, prejudices, rationalizations that make lethal group conflict not only possible but also likely.

    • Report: Obama told lawmakers that Syria criticism was ‘horse ****’

      President Obama recently told lawmakers that their criticism of his policy in Syria is “horse ****,” according to a report published late Monday.

      A member of Congress told The Daily Beast Obama used the expletive during a July 31 meeting at the White House just before the August recess.

    • Report: Obama Uses Expletive to Lash Mideast Policy Critics

      President Barack Obama did not take kindly to lawmakers from both parties saying the United States might not be facing the problems it is with ISIS had he armed the Syrian rebels years ago, calling the suggestion “horses–t,” reports The Daily Beast.

    • McCain Syndrome

      Senator McCain, are you openly advocating the dangerous weapon proliferation to your former deadly enemy?

    • Former CIA Officer: US Should Give Heavy Weapons to Kurds

      Retired United States Air Force intelligence officer and Middle East specialist, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona has told BasNews that the US government should send heavy weapons to Iraqi Kurds to fight IS Militants.

    • New PM Candidate for Iraq; 247 Killed in Battles, Airstrikes
    • US sends arms to Iraq – to solve problems Washington helped create

      The US is conducting air strikes and supplies weapons to help outgunned Iraqi Kurds fight off the offensive of Islamist militants. The Kurds are battling against extremists armed with American arms and nurtured thanks to America’s policies.

      The airstrikes aimed at positions of the militants from the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS or ISIL, in northern Iraq are not expected to seriously undermine their strength, US generals say.

    • History Repeating Itself? U.S. Bombing Iraq While Jockeying to Oust Leader It Once Favored

      As a U.S. bombing campaign in northern Iraq enters its fifth day, Baghdad is in a state of political crisis. Eight years ago, Nouri al-Maliki rose to prime minister with the help of the United States. Now the United States has helped pick his replacement. But al-Maliki is refusing to go — deploying his forces around Baghdad and accusing critics of staging a coup. The political crisis is worsening as U.S. airstrikes continue on Islamic State militants in the north. President Obama authorized the strikes last week in what he called an effort to halt the militants’ advance on Erbil, where the U.S. has a consulate and military personnel, as well as to prevent a massacre of the Yazidi minority. U.S. officials have confirmed the CIA is also secretly sending arms and ammunition directly to Kurdish forces known as the Peshmerga. We are joined by Spencer Ackerman, national security editor at The Guardian.

    • Bush didn’t know anything about Maliki, but put him in charge of Iraq anyway
    • Barack Obama And George Bush: Flashback On Iraq

      “MISSION (NOT) ACCOMPLISHED …”

    • America’s past foreign policy blunders still haunt us: Letter

      It’s sad to report that “American exceptionalism” is a myth. The CIA sponsored a 1953 coup in Iran against a democratically elected prime minister that led to the Shah of Iran and finally to today’s Islamic government.

      How well did that work out for us?

      The George W. Bush war in Iraq against a secular strongman for the oil companies, Saddam Hussein, which led to a Shia-majority “democracy” there aligned with Iran now has tea-party types quaking in their boots over a possible Iraqi “caliphate” led by a radical Islamic group known as ISIS.

      How well has this “democracy at the point of a gun” worked out for us?

    • Former Chief historian of the CIA explains why he nixed a secret history of the Bay of Pigs

      In late 1984, not long before he retired from the CIA, Jack Pfeiffer filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the CIA to release the classified five-volume draft history of the 1961 Bay of Pigs operation that he had begun as a CIA History Staff monograph in 1973. In late 1987 and early 1988, after Pfeiffer had appealed the CIA’s denial of this request, the CIA’s Office of General Counsel asked me, as chief historian, to prepare a declaration and later a supplement concerning Pfeiffer’s appeal for declassification and release of this top secret draft history. A few years later, I recall hearing that the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit had rejected Pfeiffer’s FOIA appeal and his entire five-volume draft history remained classified.

      I heard nothing more about the fate of Pfeiffer’s draft history until May of this year, when I read a copy of the recent US Court of Appeals denial of the National Security Archive’s FOIA appeal for the declassification and release of Volume V of this Bay of Pigs draft history. Although Judge Rogers’s dissenting opinion in this case quotes excerpts from my 1980s declarations, I have nothing useful to say now about the continued denial of Volume V. I can, however, provide some explanation for how it was that Jack Pfeiffer produced this massive draft history in the years 1973-1981 and how I came to review that draft in December 1981. I must rely on memory for this account of matters that took place in the 1970s and 1980s, since I am now retired and no longer have access to CIA records concerning Jack Pfeiffer, his history, or my work at the CIA.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Media Ignore Reports Debunking The Keystone XL Talking Point They Trumpeted

      President Obama has stated that he would not approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport tar sands crude from Canada through the United States, if it “significantly exacerbate[s] the problem of carbon pollution.” So when the U.S. State Department released its environmental impact statement concluding that the Keystone XL would not have a significant impact on climate change, the media touted State’s findings as justification for the contentious pipeline’s approval.

  • Finance

    • The Changing Map of Latin America

      Latin America is currently experiencing a brand of neocolonialism based on opening new possibilities for extraction. “Capital needs a reordering of territory – considering this as a type of historical-social construction – in order to continue reproducing itself, as much in terms of materials as in power relations, of accumulation of capital and profits. The ordering enables access on a large scale to certain types of material from the earth,” added Ceceña.

    • Is It A Shakedown When The Gov’t Does It? SEC Much Less Likely To Prosecute You If You’re A Big Campaign Funder

      In the past, we’ve highlighted some questionable activities by the SEC, which is supposed to be stopping financial fraud, but often seems to be both arbitrary and capricious in its activities. However, reporter David Sirota is highlighting how the SEC is much less likely to prosecute a company if that company happens to be a big political contributor, because, well, duh. This is based on some recent research by Maria Correira at the London Business School on Political Connections and SEC Enforcement, which found that there’s a pretty clear correlation.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • U.S. Government Tried to Alter Transcript in NSA Surveillance Case

      The federal government in June asked to secretly remove information from a high-profile NSA spying case, prompting outrage from privacy experts and attorneys, according to unsealed court documents.

      The documents recently released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation detail a government request to remove information from the transcript of a June 6 hearing in Jewel v. NSA, a case fighting the NSA’s surveillance of U.S. Internet and phone records.

    • What are the odds for Europe-v-Facebook’s latest challenge over personal data?

      The Austria-based Europe-v-Facebook has begun a class action suit seeking damages from Facebook’s European operation. It alleges multiple breaches of European privacy and data protection laws.

    • EU Lawyers Confirm ‘General And Blanket Data Retention Is No Longer Possible’ In European Union

      As we commented back in June, one of the key questions posed by the important ruling of Europe’s highest court that the EU’s current data retention requirements were “invalid” is: so what will the EU’s Member States do now? Will they simply repeal their national legislation that was passed to implement the EU Directive, or will they claim that broad-based data retention is nonetheless still possible, as the UK has done?

    • Cell Phones Need A Warrant, But Cell Site Location Info Doesn’t? Appellants Challenge Government’s Assertions

      The Supreme Court’s recent finding that warrantless cell phone searches are unconstitutional is already generating some pretty interesting arguments in ongoing cases. The government obviously wishes to mitigate the “damage” done by this decision by still doggedly pursuing data through warrantless methods.

    • Judge Gives DOJ Until The End Of The Month To Submit Declassified Opinion Containing FISA Court’s Justifications For The Section 215 Program
    • Did UK Gov’t Already Effectively Outlaw Anonymity Online With Its New Defamation Law?

      We just recently wrote about a report by the UK House of Lords that recommends ending anonymity online by requiring that any web services collect real names and information at signup, while then allowing users to use a pseudonym. The thinking, then, is that if there is a criminal act or other violation of the law, it’s easier to track down who’s responsible. As we noted, there are all sorts of problems with this kind of logic, including both massive chilling effects against free speech, and the simple fact that it’s not nearly as hard as some technologically clueless people believe to track down online users, even if they’re “anonymous.” Either way, this proposal is a big problem, and EFF spoke out against the plan.

    • DEA Paid Amtrak Secretary $850,000 To Hand Over Confidential Passenger Lists For No Reason

      We’ve already written about the DEA’s deep involvement with the intelligence community, including them being trained to lie about getting info from the intelligence community when it uses it to bust drug dealers — a system known as parallel construction, which is encouraged throughout the agency. We also know that AT&T (and possibly others) have employees embedded at the DEA to provide it with even faster access to any information that the DEA wants. We’ve also covered how the DEA often gets unchecked access to private information and has been caught circumventing laws to get medical records without a warrant. The DEA is also the force behind the NSA’s recording of every phone call in the Bahamas.

    • Hacker finds suspicious programs in Apple’s iOS

      Essentially, Zdziarski is accusing Apple of intentionally adding some services to the iOS firmware that bypass backup encryption and copy personal data that should not come off users’ phones. The hacker stated that to the company’s credit, Apple has made the iPhone 5 and iOS 7 more secure against everyone — except the government and Apple itself.

    • Hackers learn some new tricks at Def Con on avoiding surveillance

      Are you being spied on? That worry is a top focus of discussion at the Def Con 22 hackers conference. High-tech surveillance is a top interest for hackers given the past 18 months of news regarding illegal national surveillance reports tied to the National Security Agency’s PRISM surveillance program.

    • VIDEO: Surveillance impact ‘severe’: Jillian York

      Crikey politics editor Bernard Keane and Jillian York, Director for International Freedom of Expression at Electronic Freedom Foundation, discuss data retention and privacy.

    • Federal judge rules that U.S. can keep surveillance court orders secret
    • U.S. Can Keep Secret Phone Companies Helping NSA Spying
    • Judge won’t force U.S. to release spying program documents

      Despite public revelations about surveillance of U.S. citizens, a federal judge in Oakland said Monday that she will not force the government to release more documents about its spying program, including court rulings and the names of cooperating telecommunications companies.

    • Snowden critic resigns Naval War College after online penis photo flap

      John Schindler, the former National Security Agency analyst and an outspoken critic of Edward Snowden, resigned Monday from his position as a professor at the US Naval War College months after a picture of his alleged penis surfaced online. The professor of national security affairs announced via Twitter his resignation from the Rhode Island institution, effective August 29.

    • Are Google and Facebook Doing the NSA’s Dirty Work?

      Your Consent to Corporate Spying May Be All the Loophole the State Needs

    • Facebook Messenger App Creates Massive Controversy

      The new Facebook messenger app is creating massive controversy among Facebook users, with people practically coming to virtual blows over the new requirement. The main fight is between people who feel that the new app is a huge privacy violation and those who say the app is no different from those that most people already have loaded onto their phones. Facebook is demanding that users download the new app if they want to be able to read and respond to messages sent through Facebook on mobile devices such as smart phones. Facebook users are still able to get their messages the “old fashioned” way directly through Facebook on a computer.

    • Facebook is Facing Class Action Suit by Max Schrems

      Schrems will claim damage of around $670 per user who files for his support. It may affect 1.1 billion active Facebook users which is more than 84 per cent of its entire users base. So far, 5686 people are verified to join the campaign.

    • NSA Partners With Universities, ‘Model’ Legislation To Block Cooperation Fails

      The National Security Agency, now defined largely by Edward Snowden’s revelations about its pervasive reach into every sphere of digital life, is aiming to put a positive light on its work by growing its educational presence in universities nationwide.

      Five new universities were added to the NSA’s National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations Program. New York University, Towson University, West Point, University of Cincinnati and University of New Orleans qualified to receive the designation for the 2014-2019 academic years, the NSA said last month.

    • US can keep court orders, phone cos secret in NSA spy case

      The US government need not turn over a secret surveillance court’s orders or the names of phone companies helping it collect call records, because it might reveal methods needed to protect national security, a federal judge decided on Monday.

      US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, California, rejected the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s argument that the US Department of Justice should turn over the materials, in the wake of unauthorised disclosures last year by a former National Security Agency contractor, Edward Snowden.

    • Did the NSA ‘create’ Satoshi Nakamoto?

      But do the CIA Project’s claims have any merit?

      As it stands, their argument is not very compelling. The meaning of Satoshi Nakamoto can be loosely interpreted as something that pertains to a highly organized and intelligent agency, but the name could also have chosen simply because it has a nice ring to it. And would the NSA really have given the creator of its ‘secret project’ such an obvious name? If the NSA really is behind Bitcoin, naming it “Central Intelligence” would not be a very intelligent move.

      Claims that the NSA created Bitcoin have actually been flung around for years. People have questioned why it uses the SHA-256 hash function, which was designed by the NSA and published by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). The fact that the NSA is tied to SHA-256 leads some to assume it’s created a backdoor to the hash function that no one has ever identified, which allows it to spy on Bitcoin users.

    • Op-Ed: No, Bitcoin Was Not Created By The CIA
    • Partial hack of Blackphone unveiled at Def Con

      The privacy-focussed Blackphone has been cracked by a security researcher at the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas, though the exploits require physical access.

      The privacy-focussed Blackphone has been cracked by a security researcher at the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas, though the exploits require physical access.

    • Backbytes: Unhackable Blackphone, err, hacked
    • Blackphone rooted in just five minutes at DEF CON. NSA-proof? Forget it.
  • Civil Rights

    • An Even Worse Constitutional Scandal Than Iran-Contra and Watergate

      The latest break in actually may be more serious if the Obama White House didn’t know about it, which is probably the likely scenario. Although Obama declined to investigate the CIA and hold it responsible for its illegal rendition, detention, and torture program during the Bush administration, the Senate Committee report – which has concluded that the CIA’s harsh detention and interrogation techniques yielded little information that couldn’t have been gained by means of legal interrogation methods and that the CIA consistently misled the White House and Congress about the effectiveness of those methods – is more damning to the Bush administration than itself. The Obama administration would probably have little incentive to authorize obstruction and a risky break in of a committee controlled by Democrats to protect material that would mainly be embarrassing to a former Republican administration. In contrast, the CIA would have an institutional incentive to protect the secret history of its illegal and unconstitutional actions. Unlike the CIA’s harsh rendition, detention, and torture programs and the NSA’s phone monitoring program, which had authorization by the White House and/or Congress, an unauthorized CIA break in may mean the CIA is bold enough to go rogue in order to protect itself.

    • World class liars

      The Director of America’s Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, is a liar. He was recently found out in a mega-lie in denying the CIA’s illegal actions in “improperly penetrating a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee in preparing its report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation programme,” which he had rebutted with his hand lying on the area of his chest that would in most people indicate a heart beneath. But he has no heart beneath his lying hand. And no conscience, either. Which is why he was chosen to head the CIA.

    • The Rear-Guard Defense of Torture

      John Rizzo, the CIA’s former Acting Counsel General, is feeling the heat for his role in blessing what President Barack Obama has now admitted was “torture” during the Bush/Cheney administration. Rizzo went on friendly Fox News to charge that the (still withheld) Senate Intelligence Committee investigation report on torture reflects a “Star Chamber proceeding” and accused some lawmakers of “craven backtracking,” claiming that they had been briefed on the interrogation program years ago.

    • The United States and Torture

      Two of the things that governments tend to cover-up or lie about the most are assassinations and torture, both of which are widely looked upon as exceedingly immoral and unlawful, even uncivilized. Since the end of the Second World War the United States has attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders and has led the world in torture; not only the torture performed directly by Americans upon foreigners, but providing torture equipment, torture manuals, lists of people to be tortured, and in-person guidance and encouragement by American instructors, particularly in Latin America.

    • Guantánamo prisoner to publish ‘harrowing’ memoirs

      Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Mauritanian who has been detained in Guantánamo since 2002 despite never having been charged with a crime by the US, is to publish an account of his experiences next year, detailing the multiple forms of torture to which he has been subjected and “shatter[ing]” the secrecy that surrounds the Cuban prison.

    • Mikulski Statement on Delaying the Release of Senate Intelligence Committee Study on CIA Interrogati

      “I strongly support delaying the release of the executive summary of the committee’s study examining the CIA’s detention and interrogation program until issues over CIA redactions can be properly resolved. The redaction process can be done in a way to protect national security without hiding the fundamental findings and conclusions of the report. To do otherwise is unacceptable. Given that this is such an historic report and oversight effort, I urge the White House to act swiftly to resolve these issues so we can finally share the report with the American people.”

    • Liz Cheney’s defense of dad is getting weaker
    • CIA shouldn’t get away with redacting torture report
    • Editorial: The full truth must come out on torture

      President Barack Obama has promised that a long-awaited report on torture during the war on terror will be made public. He has yet to keep that pledge, and the latest signs are discouraging.

    • CIA attempts to censor report into its use, abuse of torture

      The whole Intelligence Committee investigation would never have happened if it was not for the destruction of key evidence. In one key incident that has been revealed, a CIA official destroyed more than 100 video recordings of the interrogations at the centre of the controversy. That agent, Jose Rodriguez, was but one of several to openly defy investigations. The agency’s reluctance to hand over evidence to investigators has been the subject of some controversy. The report may detail exactly how recalcitrant the secretive organisation has been towards its own oversight committee.

    • Editorial: CIA spying on Senate crossed line

      The upcoming release of a Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation techniques in the wake 9/11 will not settle the debate over the agency’s techniques. Some will say that agency’s interrogation techniques, which have been called torturous, saved lives. Others will say the treatment of prisoners gained the United States nothing.

    • Obama Wants to Put Torture Behind Us, But It Still Haunts Guantanamo Every Single Day

      It’s taken over a decade, but the U.S. government is starting to acknowledge the moral and strategic failure of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. In a press conference earlier this month, President Barack Obama conceded that “we tortured some folks”—a deliberate departure from the government’s well-worn euphemism, “enhanced interrogation.” “We crossed a line,” he said. “And we have to, as a country, take responsibility for that.”

    • NYPD Officer Chokes Man To Death; Cops Blame Cellphone Recordings And People ‘Feeling They Have More Rights’

      In the wake of Eric Garner’s death via cop chokehold, the NYPD is coming under all sorts of additional scrutiny. This is in addition to the appointed oversight ordered by Judge Scheindlin after finding that elements of its infamous stop-and-frisk program were unconstitutional. Scott Greenfield has a very stark recounting of the incident, as well as a recording of Eric Garner’s last moments. (Here’s additional footage, which includes the officer who applied the lethal chokehold waving at the camera, as well as several officers gamely pretending Garner is simply passed out.)

    • NYPD Denies Request For Open-Source Counterterrorism Reports

      Chalk another one up for secrecy at the New York City Police Department. The NYPD has rejected a HuffPost request to give the public a look at open-source counterterrorism reports the department regularly shares with thousands of private security honchos.

      The department denied HuffPost’s public records request for open-source assessments produced by the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau’s Terrorism Threat Analysis Group on the grounds that they could “reveal non-routine techniques and procedures.”

    • Outflanking The Murder of Eric Garner

      Those who are inclined to believe police will embrace the narrative that Orta had a gun and, inexplicably, decided to put it into the waistband of a 17-year-old female teenager while the cops were watching. Those who are not so inclined will see this as a set up, payback to Orta, and refuse to credit anything about this bust. In the absence of information, both views are speculative at this point, and reflect only the bias of their holders rather than the facts of what happened.

      But when time comes to introduce the videotape of Eric Garner in court, and Ramsey Orta is called as a witness, you can bet there will be questions aplenty about his being a criminal bent on demonizing the police, as if anything Orta could have done shooting the video had anything whatsoever to do with Pantaleo’s chokehold or Garner’s death.

    • DOJ Report Details The Massive Amount Of Violence Committed By Rikers Island Staff Against Adolescent Inmates

      Late in 2012, two mentally-ill minors were taken from their cells at Rikers and beaten by a shift captain and multiple guards, who took turns punching the two inmates while they were restrained. A jail clinician reported seeing one of them being punched in the head while handcuffed to a gurney. Another clinician said she saw staff striking the other while he screamed for them to stop hurting him. One of the two told consultants he was still spitting up blood “more than a month after the incident.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • A magic place of literary memory

      When tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web in 1999, his proposal – presented the year before – was that “a global hypertext space be created in which any network-accessible information could be referred to by a single ‘universal Document Identifier’”.

      The idea was beautifully simple. On the server side, there were webpages written in a hypertext markup language (HTML) that followed simple conventions and rules. On the client side, there was a browser that was able to translate the HTML code into a readable format. The web of browsable pages was knitted together by hypertext links, which became known as URLs.

      Berners-Lee had an unfashionable vision of “the Web’s potential to foster a global village, not its potential to earn him a villa and a fleet of cars”, but he was not the first to have that vision. He credits his inspiration for the Web to Professor Ted Nelson, the man who coined the term ‘hyperlink’ back in the Sixties and described the whole messy concept in Dream Machines, published in 1974.

    • Andrew Cuomo Trying To Bankrupt Upstart Campaign Against Him From Zephyr Teachout And Tim Wu

      There’s been some attention (especially in tech circles) to the upstart primary challenge in NY against Governor Andrew Cuomo (and his preferred Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul), coming from law professors Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu. Both Teachout and Wu have been in and around a variety of tech and internet issues for years, and are pretty well-known in the community.

    • Behind The Veil Part 3: Comcast Rep Confirms That You Should Always Record Customer Service Calls

      As you probably know by now, Comcast has been in the news quite a bit lately for all the wrong reasons. It started with a recorded call of one Comcast customer attempting to cancel his service before being passed over to a “customer retention” representative who had watched entirely too much Boiler Room. Comcast made a great deal of noise about how this wasn’t how they told their reps to conduct their business, which, thanks to the Verge’s call for input from past and current Comcast employees, was shown pretty conclusively to a complete lie.

    • Comcast, Time Warner Cable Spend Big To ‘Honor’ FCC Commissioner Overseeing Their Merger Review

      We’ve written in the past about the idea of “soft corruption,” in which the direct exchange of money isn’t necessarily obvious, but the very clear appearance of conflicts of interest certainly erode the trust of the public in the policy makers. Even when everything is technically above-board, these actions attack the credibility of the policy process. Witness the latest example. Comcast and Time Warner Cable are each shelling out significant cash to “sponsor” an event which is honoring FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn who, of course, is in the midst of a review over the merger proposal between the two companies. As Politico reports:

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Copyright Folly: Making A Living As A Creator Has Always Been Difficult, Stronger Copyright Doesn’t Fix It

        Dan Hunter and Nicolas Suzor (two Australian academics) have a great article for The Conversation, which officially is looking at the latest copyright reform proposals in Australia, but makes a much bigger point: Making a living as a content creator has always been massively difficult, and it’s foolish to think that stronger copyright will change that. Unfortunately, in a campaign driven by the legacy gatekeepers (who often do benefit from stronger copyrights), many artists (especially independent ones) have been misled into thinking that the internet is the problem and stronger copyright laws will fix things. What’s left out is that it’s always been difficult, and the internet has actually made it easier to build a successful independent career. That doesn’t mean it’s easy and many will still fail, but it’s not the problem of the internet and copyright laws being too weak.

      • Performance Rights Organizations Again ‘Protecting’ Artists By Killing Off Revenue Streams

        While attempting to do nothing more “infringing” than listen to (fully licensed) music, I ran into the sort of bizarre, pointless restrictions I thought only German citizens had to deal with.

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts