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

09.29.14

Links 29/9/2014: OpenDaylight Helium Release

Posted in News Roundup at 6:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Secure Linux Systems Require Savvy Users

    Patches are available to fix the bash vulnerability known as Shellshock, along with three additional security issues recently found in the bash shell. The patches are available for all major Linux distros as well as for Solaris, with the patches being distributed through the various distros.

  • DDOS Attack Brings Tux Machines Down

    Since sometime last week the popular Linux site Tux Machines has been under an apparent distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack. For the last several days, those trying to visit the site have been redirected to Tech Rights, another site operated by Roy Schestowitz, the owner of Tux Machines, to a post dated Saturday by Schestowitz which reads:

  • Web Software vs. Native Linux Software

    In years past, it wasn’t uncommon to rely on a particular operating system because of the software it provided. Mind you, this was before the popularity of web-based applications that can work on any Internet-capable platform. Back then, any task – ranging from word processing down to video editing – had to be done from locally installed software.

  • Desktop

    • Building a Linux lab and its great potential in education

      Learning Linux empowered me to explore and create in a way I never dreamed possible. Open source was initially very challenging as some parts needed configuration that I was unfamiliar with. However, I learned much of what I needed by using search engines and reading forums at Red Hat, Fedora, and other Linux user groups on the internet.

    • Spanish anti tax fraud unit renews Linux contract

      Spain’s Tax Administration Agency has renewed its support contract for development and maintenance of its anti fraud information analysis systems. The proprietary database solution runs on Suse Linux server. The massive database system is built and operated using standard free software components.

    • What The End-days Of Wintel Looks Like

      Now that OEMs have acknowledged that smaller and cheaper is better (the customer is always right) we should see a lot more GNU/Linux on retail shelves along with all those Android/Linux devices. The market is converging on a system with options not restrictions. Expect to see Android/Linux + GNU/Linux systems being offered in bulk really soon, perhaps by Christmas.

    • Data Shows That Chromebook, Mac Sales Are Eating Into Windows’ Share

      There is new data out showing that Chromebooks–portable computers based on Google’s cloud-centric Chrome OS platform–are continuing to eat into Microsoft’s share of the portable computing market. The NPD Group is out with research that shows that during the 10-week period from July 4 to Sept. 1, both Chromebooks and Mac portable computers eroded Microsoft’s share.

  • Server

    • HP Unveils ARM-Based Moonshot Servers

      The new systems ramp up ARM’s competition with Intel and give data centers greater compute choices.

    • New computing centers for Afghanistan with UCS

      As to the operating system to use, the team wanted a system, which puts the Afghan staff in a position to perform all the necessary work with as little training as possible and if possible without our support. Over the years, the ZiiK team and its Afghan partners tried out numerous different operating systems, primarily different Linux distributions. The youngest of the computer centers, the IT Center Kandahar (ITCQ), was the first to set up all the servers on the basis of Univention Corporate Server (UCS), which proved to be the best for them in terms of ease of use, flexibility and scope of action due to its App Center, which offers the installation and integration of numerous other proven open source solutions. Until the end of 2015, the other four universities will follow and migrate completely to UCS.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.17-rc7 – yes, another rc

      So I was really hoping that I could have left rc6 as the last rc and just releasing 3.17 today, but that was not to be. It’s not that anything particularly scary happened, but quite frankly, things just didn’t calm down as I hoped for.

    • Linux 3.17-rc7 Released: Linux 3.17 Final Release Pushed Back

      While Linus Torvalds was looking at possibly releasing Linux 3.17 this weekend, there’s been a chance of course with a 3.17-rc7 kernel instead having been released.

    • OverlayFS Proposed For The Linux 3.18 Kernel

      After years of development, more than two dozen versions of the file-system, and real-world deployments in some Linux distributions, OverlayFS is trying again to get in the mainline Linux kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Is Working On A New VA-API State Tracker For Gallium3D

        Years ago there was a VA-API state tracker within Gallium3D for offering drivers support for the Video Acceleration API. That implementation, however, was dropped back in 2012 as it was largely unmaintained and the VDPAU state tracker proved to be more popular. Now, however, it seems AMD is working to introduce a new VA-API implementation for Gallium3D.

      • NVIDIA Suggests Explicit Synchronization For Nouveau

        As another interesting NVIDIA Linux news item before ending out the month are some patches published just before the start of the weekend by NVIDIA. A NVIDIA developer has proposed explicit synchronization support for the Nouveau driver, complete with some “RFC” patches.

      • NVIDIA To Issue An Update On Their Support Of Mir & Wayland

        While there’s no supportive driver out at this time, NVIDIA continues to be working in the direction of supporting non-X11 windowing systems like Mir and Wayland.

      • NVIDIA Is Still Working On The New Linux OpenGL ABI

        It’s been a while since hearing anything new about the proposed overhaul of the Linux OpenGL driver ABI, but it’s continuing to be pursued by NVIDIA.

      • Nouveau Memory Re-Clocking Comes For More NVIDIA GPUs

        Roy Spliet, the student developer behind funded by the X.Org Foundation to work on Nouveau re-clocking, continues making great progress on this critical feature for the open-source NVIDIA graphics driver. With the latest patches, DDR2 / DDR3 / GDDR3 memory re-clocking should be working for a lot more NVIDIA graphics cards.

      • AMD Catalyst 14.9 Officially Released For Linux

        AMD has released the Catalyst 14.9 Linux graphics driver today with some modest changes but it’s not the really big driver update we’re waiting for.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Black Lab Linux 6.0 Beta 2 Is a Bizarrely Attractive Xfce Desktop

        Black Lab Linux 6.0 Beta 2, a distribution that is now based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and is using the Xfce desktop environment, has been released for download and testing.

      • Black Lab Linux 6 Beta 2 Released

        Today we are pleased to announce the availability of Black Lab Linux 6 Beta 2. As we march on to the release date of November 1, 2014 we have introduced a few new features for Black Lab Linux 6 Beta 2.

      • Q4OS 0.5.19 released

        We are pleased to announce release of Q4OS 0.5.19 version. An alternative “Kickoff” menu has been significantly improved and more GUI translations has been made. There is new “ipcodecs” installer script for super-easy installation of all kinds of proprietary multimedia codecs that you might need.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva 2014.1 review

        OpenMandriva Lx 2014.1 is the latest edition of OpenMandriva, a desktop distribution derived from the old Mandriva Linux.

        Though OpenMandriva Lx 2014.1 is a minor update to OpenMandriva Lx 2014.0, which was released back in June (2014), it comes with some significant changes, including, according to the Release Notes, support for booting on computers with UEFI firmware. To quote from the Release Notes: “This is the first release of OpenMandriva Lx that incorporates support for UEFI booting.” Interestingly, the same thing was said of OpenMandriva 2014.0.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Rolls Out New JBoss Developer Subscription, Resources, and Technology
      • Fedora

        • Oracle ships its OpenStack for Linux distro

          Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux, based on the latest Icehouse release of OpenStack, is now available for download.

          Last December, Oracle became a corporate sponsor of the OpenStack Foundation and announced a set of plans to add OpenStack compatibility or integration to a range of its products.

        • Fedora Project Leader Matthew Miller talks Shellshock on the Linux Action Show

          Matthew Miller, the Fedora Project Leader recently appeared on episode 332 of the Linux Action Show titled Weaponized Bash to talk about the recent flaw discovered in Bash (aka Shellshock). Matthew also covers how the Fedora Security Team works and how they work together with the Red Hat Security team. Additionally, the interview also covered the future of security, including where containers fit into making a more secure Fedora.

        • Shipping larger application icons in Fedora 22

          In GNOME 3.14 we show any valid application in the software center with an application icon of 32×32 or larger. Currently a 32×32 icon has to be padded with 16 pixels of whitespace on all 4 edges, and also has to be scaled x2 to match other UI elements on HiDPI screens. This looks very fuzzy and out of place and lowers the quality of an otherwise beautiful installing experience.

        • Fedora 21 Alpha [screenshots]
    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open-spec control oriented SBC builds on RPi COM

      Calao Systems unveiled a Linux-ready, industrial “PinBall” SBC based on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, plus special M2M and home-automation models.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google posts Android Auto design guidelines

          Google posted a developer overview for Android Auto, offering guidelines for designing extensions to existing Android apps for customized IVI interactions.

        • Developer offers Jams Music Player app for free, now an open source

          Music player apps for Android are a dime a dozen. There are lot of paid ones too but one app called Jams is about be offered for free. Apparently, it’s developer, Psaravan on Github.com, is now making the app available for free. To formerly paid app on Google Play Store, it is also now an open source because the developer can no longer provide support for the paid users. He doesn’t want the app to just go offline so he’s releasing the app for free and open sourced it.

        • How Apple finally realized it was wrong about big screen phones

          Apple’s introduction of larger screen iPhones came as no surprise to industry observers, despite the fact that the company had loudly proclaimed the importance of one-handed phone use. But what motivated Apple to finally offer larger screen iPhones? Forbes analyzes the numbers that got Apple to change its tune about big screen phones.

        • Triple-A: Android, Anchoring And Apple

          The iPhone 6 era is just 10 days old, but for Apple it was already underway sometime last year. By April 2013, company executives understood they had a strategic vulnerability. The booming smartphone market had expanded remarkably in 2012, growing from 494 million units the year before to 722 million sold. While 70% of the gains occurred in phones below $300 — a market Apple had no intention of partaking in — the rest came from phones with screens larger than the iPhone’s 4-inch display. Worse still, premium-priced phones with 4-inch screens actually was a shrinking segment, down 22 million. That Apple managed to sell more iPhones was a remarkable achievement but it meant challenges lay ahead.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Bossie Awards 2014: The best open-source desktop and mobile software
  • InfoWorld Bossies: Calling Out the Best Open Source Projects

    InfoWorld is out with its 2014 Bossies awards–one of the most widely followed award roundups for open source projects. It’s always a treat to find out which projects the publication’s editors deem to be on the rise. This time around, there are lots of surprises, including xTuple, CyanogenMod, and Scribus–one of our favorite open source desktop publishers.

  • Bossie Awards 2014: The best open source desktop and mobile software
  • Bossies 2014: The Best of Open Source Software Awards

    Clearly, open source is changing the way software is procured. In the era of monster contracts and a few monster software vendors, upper IT management called all the shots and passed down applications and tools the rest of the organization had to live with. Open source is helping to crack that monolith, so businesses and individuals can make their own software decisions.

    Make no mistake: Although open source incurs less capital expense, it’s not free — nor even necessarily cheap compared to proprietary software. Generally speaking, at scale, open source solutions require a higher level of effort and expertise to implement and maintain. Open source’s rapid pace of innovation often results in more frequent updates, which means a closer eye on dependencies. In addition, professional services and commercial open source contracts result in significant cost.

  • HHVM – An Open Source PHP Virtual Machine Developed By Facebook

    HHVM, stands for HipHop Virtual Machine, is an open source virtual machine developed by Facebook development team. It is designed for executing massive amount of codes written in Hack and PHP languages. HHVM gives superior performance, and improves the efficiency of PHP execution, and increases the productivity for the developers. The developers says that compared with the regular Zend PHP 5.2 engine + APC, HHVM has realized over a 9x increase in web request throughput and over a 5x reduction in memory consumption for Facebook. This is how Facebook handling millions of active users everyday. According to this blog, the wordpress sites running with HHVM delivers better overall performance, approximately 63%, than the websites which are running using traditional LAMP stack (Apache, MySQL, and PHP). Sounds awesome? Indeed!

  • Latest OpenDaylight Release Helium Out

    OpenDaylight is in good position to do for SDN what OpenStack did for cloud. It has increasing support among the biggest vendors in the networking space and an active membership overall with over more than coders and growing. Brocade, Cisco, Red Hat, IBM and Citrix are among the supporters.

  • OpenDaylight Helium Bootstraps SDN Security

    The Linux Foundation’s OpenDaylight Collaboration Project is out today with its’ Helium SDN platform release.

    The Helium is the second major release since the OpenDaylight effort got underway in April of 2013. The first major release for OpenDaylight was the Hydrogen release, which debuted in February of this year.

  • Open, Open, Open: OpenDaylight Helium is Here
  • OpenDaylight Helium Enhances Open Source SDN, NFV

    Open source software-defined networking (SDN) and network-functions virtualization (NFV) are ready for enterprises to start building the networking and cloud computing infrastructure of the future. So says the OpenDaylight Project, which released the second major version of its platform today.

  • Penn Manor goes ‘all in’ with open source

    Open source is playing an ever-expanding role in education at all levels. One school board that’s embraced open source is the Penn Manor School District in Pennsylvania. The District has rolled out the largest open source student laptop program in the state, with 3,500 Linux-powered computers distributed to students.

  • On the hunt for the right open source project?

    I came back from OSCON this year with a new fire to contribute to an open source project. I’ve been involved in open source for years, but lately I’ve been more of an enthusiast-evangelist than a hands-on-contributor to an open source community. So, I started some thinking about what to do next. When I was involved in projects before, it was due to a clear progression from user to forum guru to contributor. It’s a great path to take but what do you do if you just want to jump into something?

  • Eclipse Foundation Delivers Open IoT Stack for Java

    The Eclipse IoT community is helping Java developers to connect and manage devices in an IoT solution by delivering an Open IoT Stack for Java.

  • Events

    • KVM Forum 2014

      The KVM Forums are a great way to learn and talk about the future of KVM virtualization. The KVM Forum has been co-located with the Linux Foundation’s LinuxCon events for the past several years, and this year too will be held along with LinuxCon EU in Dusseldorf, Germany.

    • Planet Virt

      For a long time various people have been telling me there’s not much information on the low-level / plumbing details of the virt stack on Linux. Especially information related to qemu and its various settings, devices, and so on.

      [...]

      I updated the KVM and QEMU wikis to ensure the Planet gets more visibility, and hope this goes a small way to quell the complaints of not enough available information.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Tor executive director hints at Firefox integration

        Tor, which is capable of of all that and more, crucially blocks websites from learning any identifying information about you and circumvents censorship. It also stymies eavesdroppers from discovering what you’re doing on the Web. For those reasons, it would be a powerful addition to the arsenal of privacy tools Firefox already possesses.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Automating the cloud: OpenStack deployment

      One of the crowning achievements of cloud computing is the significant reduction in time required to provision new infrastructure and services. Traditional hardware procurement, installation, configuration and deployment were laborious processes requiring careful planning and often took weeks or months. Efficiencies introduced by modern cloud environments have reduced the time required to complete the same procedure down to hours and minutes. How is this achieved? The key is software automation.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle pushes its database platform further into the cloud

      At Oracle OpenWorld 2014, CTO Larry Ellison announced that users will be able use a new cloud database service to send their Oracle Database instances to the cloud with “the push of a button.”

    • eG Innovations Delivers End-to-End Performance Management for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM

      eG Innovations, a provider of automated performance monitoring, diagnosis and management solutions and a member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), today announced support for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM in its flagship offering, eG Enterprise. The company will be showcasing its solution at Oracle OpenWorld, September 28 – October 2 in Moscone South Exhibition Hall at the Oracle Linux and Virtualization Showcase, Booth 611.

    • Oracle looks to the future — but remains stuck in the past

      You have to hand it to Oracle CEO — sorry, Chairman — Larry Ellison: No one can bash a competitor like he can. Unfortunately, while Ellison may have hit the mark with SAP (“I have no idea what runs on HANA, but it ain’t their cloud. That runs on Oracle”), he failed to address his own company problems: an almost complete lack of interest from developers.

  • Business

    • 12 Open Source CRM Options

      “Why not get the open source software that you plan to use for free, and then use the money that you would otherwise have spent on proprietary license fees to modify the open source software to meet your needs more closely?” he asks. “Why pay for software that is the same for all users when you can pay to have something that is unique?”

  • BSD

    • LibreSSL: More Than 30 Days Later

      Instead, libressl is here because of a tragic comedy of other errors. Let’s start with the obvious. Why were heartbeats, a feature only useful for the DTLS protocol over UDP, built into the TLS protocol that runs over TCP? And why was this entirely useless feature enabled by default? Then there’s some nonsense with the buffer allocator and freelists and exploit mitigation countermeasures, and we keep on digging and we keep on not liking what we’re seeing. Bob’s talk has all the gory details.

      But why fork? Why not start from scratch? Why not start with some other contender? We did look around a bit, but sadly the state of affairs is that the other contenders aren’t so great themselves. Not long before Heartbleed, you may recall Apple dealing with goto fail, aka the worst bug ever, but actually about par for the course.

    • LibreSSL Continues Marching Forward On BSD Systems
    • FreeNAS 9.2.1.8-RELEASE is now available

      Time for another FreeNAS release! This one fixes a number of issues in 9.2.1.7 as well as addressing the “shellshock” security vulnerability in bash (to which FreeNAS is not generally vulnerable as bash is not the system shell, but it was still worth fixing).

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • guile-ncurses version 1.5 released

      I am pleased to announce a new version of GNU guile-ncurses. guile-ncurses is a library for the creation of text user interfaces in the GNU Guile dialect of the Scheme programming language. It is based on the ncurses project’s curses, panel, form, and menu libraries.

    • GnuCash 2.6.4 released

      The GnuCash development team proudly announces GnuCash 2.6.4, the fourth maintenance release in the 2.6-stable series. Please take the tour of all the new features.

    • September 2014 GNU Toolchain Update

      This only affect code maintained by GDB project (not binutils or GCC). Also, support for any other target on MIPS (including embedded ones) will be maintained as is.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • US to craft open source policy by next year

      After delivering his address at the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting last week, President Obama dropped a tidbit of interest for open data advocates: he promised to produce an open source policy by the end of 2015.

    • Open Hardware

      • Microduino-Joypad 8-bit Open Source Game Console (video)

        Some of our readers might remember the Microduino Arduino compatible development board that launched last year over on the Kickstarter crowd funding website. This week the same team at Microduino Studio have now unveiled their new Microduino-Joypad in the form of an open source game console.

      • Revel takes iPad POS platform open source
      • Let’s Talk About Open-Source Hardware

        In this and future columns, I will try to record and analyze the current trends with regard to open-source. Despite the fact that we have seen many open-source products in the market, and also that many people have been involved with these products, the picture remains not-so-clear for the majority of people.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Israel Is Put on Trial for War Crimes

      On September 25, in Brussels, Belgium, the Russell Tribunal gathered to examine allegations of war crimes and genocidal intent by the Israeli military against residents of the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge. I was among those invited to provide testimony before a jury that included Michael Mansfield, John Dugard, Roger Waters, Ken Loach, Vandana Shiva, Richard Falk, Ahdaf Soueif, and Ronnie Kasrils. The following day, I presented testimony in the European Parliament alongside Israeli journalist David Sheen and Mohammed Omer, a journalist from the Gaza Strip. (Two other invitees from the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Committee on Human Rights director Raji Sourani and filmmaker Ashraf Mashharawi, were prevented from leaving the besieged coastal enclave by the Egyptian regime.)

  • Finance

    • Four-Day Workweeks: Change for the Better?

      Changes in the capitalist system’s operating procedures, rules and regulations are always presented as if they were in everyone’s interest, a kind of “everybody wins” social progress. The changes usually turn out to be mostly or entirely in capitalists’ interests since they run their system that way. Are we surprised and shocked?

  • Privacy

    • Tim Berners-Lee calls for internet bill of rights to ensure greater privacy

      The inventor of the world wide web has warned that the freedom of the internet is under threat by governments and corporations interested in controlling the web.

      Tim Berners-Lee, the British computer scientist who invented the web 25 years ago, called on Saturday for a bill of rights that would guarantee the independence of the internet and ensure users’ privacy.

  • Civil Rights

    • The (NED Financed) Hong Kong Riots

      Some organized “student groups” in Hong Kong tried to occupy government buildings and blocked some streets. The police did what it does everywhere when such things happen. It used anti-riot squads, pepper spray and tear gas to prevent occupations and to clear the streets.

      The “western” media are making some issue about this as if “western” governments would behave any differently.

09.28.14

Links 28/9/2014: Moto X, End of OpenSUSE 11.4

Posted in News Roundup at 7:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Happy 4th Birthday, LibreOffice!

      The famous office suite built by the Linux Foundation, LibreOffice, has just turned four years and the developers have been quick to celebrate this momentous occasion.

    • LibreOffice Con in Bern, Switzerland

      I was invited to give a talk in Bern, Switzerland, for the LibreOffice Conference. The LibreOffice people are a nice crowd with diverse backgrounds. I talked to design people, coders doing rather low-level GL things, marketing folks, some being new to Free Software, and to some being old farts. It sounds like a lot of people and one is inclined to think of boat loads of people attending the conference when having the community statistics in mind. But it has been a very cosy event, with less than a hundred people. I found that surprising, but not necessarily in a bad way.

  • BSD

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Americans find issues harder to understand, poll says

    It’s not just people who have tuned out politics who feel perplexed.

  • Confused by issues of the day? Join the club
  • Google HR Boss Says 58% Of Résumés Get Trashed Because Of One Spelling Mistake
  • Kirin promotes new alcohol by filming rural people with pigeon shaped drones… because they can
  • Security

    • Ex-con Kevin Mitnick now selling zero-day exploits, starting at $100K

      So it probably shouldn’t surprise anybody that Mitnick, who post-prison reinvented himself as a skilled penetration tester, security consultant and social engineer, is now offering to sell zero-day exploits at the eye-popping opening price of $100,000 (£61,283).

      Not a humble price!

      As Wired reports, Mitnick last week unveiled a new branch of his security consultancy business called Mitnick’s Absolute Zero Day Exploit Exchange that will both develop zero-day exploits – i.e., tools that take advantage of as-yet unpatched software bugs – in-house, as well as buy them from developers.

    • China, United States Hold Secret Cyber Talks
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • America’s never-ending war

      It is official: US President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama is at war again. After toppling Libyan ruler Muammar el-Qaddafi and bombing targets in Somalia and Yemen, Obama has initiated airstrikes in the Syria-Iraq belt, effectively declaring war on the Islamic State – a decision that will involve infringing on the sovereign, if disintegrating, state of Syria. In his zeal to intervene, Obama is again disregarding US and international law by seeking approval from neither the US Congress nor the United Nations Security Council.

    • Lizza says Obama has bombed more nations than Bush
    • The absent intellectual war against Islamist cutthroats

      The aerial war waged by the United States and its Western and Arab allies against the cutthroats of the so-called “Islamic State” (formerly known as the “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” – ISIS – or the “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant” – ISIL) is a mere tactic in a war without a strategy.

    • The Primaries Project: Will Foreign Policy Finally Become Part of the Debate?

      So far this year foreign policy and defense issues have been pretty absent from the campaign trail. Will this week finally be the week when the 2014 candidates for Congress finally discover foreign policy?

    • Obama, power and responsibility

      It is important to question not merely the legal bases of the administration’s claim, but also the wisdom of establishing a national security policy without congressional aid. It is important to note that several national security experts have made arguments that congressional vetting of proposed executive actions improves the quality of the product, legitimizes the policy and lends itself to lesser chance of backlash, either by the public, the federal judiciary or Congress. In short, getting Congress’s approval is often in the best interest of the president.

    • Obama and his Nobel “Peace” Prize

      Now it’s a new war or better yet the latest phase of an endless war against whatever new “enemy” is out there to be demonized and contrived as the latest threat to America and Americans.

    • Indictments issued in attempted sale of Saddam Hussein’s family guns

      The men, David Phillip Ryan, 50, of Miami, and Carlos Quirola-Ordonez, 57, of New Jersey, are believed by the federal government to have attempted over a four-month period in 2012 to sell a cache of guns smuggled out of Iraq. The firearms, a mixture of exotic shotguns and handguns, was understood to be stolen from the family of Saddam Hussein following the U.S. invasion of Iraq and obtained by Ryan who enlisted Quirola-Ordonez and two others in an attempt to sell the guns for between $250,000 and $350,000. The plan came apart when the buyers turned out to be undercover federal agents working with Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.

    • UK fighter jets fly into Iraq on combat mission
    • RAF planes fly first combat missions over Iraq

      Two Tornado aircraft which left an RAF base in Cyprus to fly the first combat missions over Iraq have returned without carrying out air strikes, the MOD says

    • UK MPs vote overwhelmingly for ISIS airstrikes in Iraq

      MPs have voted to back Britain joining US-led airstrikes on Islamic State in Iraq in a vote on Friday. Attacks could begin within days, as ministers admit that UK military intervention could last two or three years.

    • New flight plan on drones

      In 2000, the United States had about 50 drones. There are some 7,500 today, armed and unarmed.

    • Al-Qaida splinter group claims rocket attack on US embassy in Yemen
    • Al Qaeda Group Claims Firing Rocket at U.S. Embassy in Yemen

      An al Qaeda splinter group claimed to have fired a rocket that intended to hit the U.S. Embassy in Yemen on Saturday, wounding several guards in an attempt to retaliate against an air drone strike carried out by the United States in Yemen a day before.

    • US drone kills four suspected militants in Wana

      Intelligence officials in Pakistan say a US drone strike has killed four suspected militants in a northwestern tribal region along the Afghan border.

      The two officials and three local Taliban fighters say the strike Sunday killed two Arab militants and two of their local allies in a compound in the town of Wana in South Waziristan.

    • An Open Letter to President Obama: Stop Preaching Peace To The World, Even As You Support Terrorists And Wage Illegal Wars

      You Mr. President accused Russia of aggression, arming the rebels in Ukraine, even though Russia has done its utmost to find a political solution and now, there is a ceasefire on the ground. Far more progress towards a political solution has been made in Ukraine, than in any other recent theatre of war.

    • Terrorists: UN in line with SA law

      A United Nations Security Council resolution unanimously adopted this week, which aims to curb foreigners joining extremist militants in countries such as Syria and Iraq, is in line with existing South African legislation, according to the Department of International Relations.

    • Arms-smuggling Taiwanese duo snared in FBI sting plead guilty
    • Top-secret plan to invade Cuba declassified

      The most popular analogy used to describe Fidel Castro’s turning Cuba into communism’s only bastion in the Western Hemisphere in 1959 was “cancer.” And the fear, to carry the analogy further, was that it would metastasize elsewhere in Latin America.

      The CIA, therefore, decided that invasive surgery was needed and launched the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961. Lacking air cover, all 1,400 anti-Castro paramilitaries were killed or captured as they waded ashore. That was taken to mean that the Castro regime posed a potential military as well as a political threat to the area. It was decided that the best way to excise the malignancy was to cut it out.

    • U.S. Propaganda Enters Into Insane, Irrational Overdrive in Attempt to “Sell” War in Syria

      Thanks to a dizzying barrage of lies, mainstream media fear-mongering and a couple of beheadings, the Obama Administration finally achieved its long sought after war in Syria. The tactic that proved most effective in mobilizing the American public back into a shivering, post-9/11 fetal position, was the same tactic used by elites in the UK to convince Scotland against voting for independence. That tactic, as I detailed in a recent post, is fear.

    • What a Mess the United States Has Gotten Into

      Wouldn’t that be a pretty turn of events. Obama started out trying to form a Sunni alliance to take down Shiite Assad and now the NYT suggests that he form a Shiite alliance to take down Sunni ISIS. But then again, the NYT is Obama’s mouthpiece.

    • Scott DeSmit: Liars and fools and we buy it all

      ISIS. ISIL. Alibaba. Ebola. Khorasan.

      I checked The Daily News archives for records of such words.

      ISIS? Our first reference to this was in June.

    • Going back to Iraq bad idea

      Since 2003 more than 1 million people in Iraq have been killed in the conflict. Do you think that more surgical strikes will change anything, other than to anger the citizens that live there and live under the threat of being accidentally targeted? Is this how we are to win the peace? This will do nothing but send even more “freedom fighters” into the camps of the terrorists.

      It would be prudent to ask where did ISIS get all the weapons and training it currently seems to have and the answer is very alarming. We allowed half a billion dollars of weapons to get into the hands of anti-Gaddafi organizations. Their leadership includes former generals of the Iraq Army that we disbanded.

      Apparently, we arm and train “freedom fighters” when we don’t like the current ruler. Then we have to go fight those same organizations that we built a few years later. We are supplying the resistance forces in Syria and now we want to side with that same government to reduce the capabilities of the rebels?

      Here’s an idea: leave the internal affairs of other countries to the people that live there and lets mind our own business. Let’s get our economy back on track and get our Fourth Amendment robbing government restrained.

    • Arming Syrian rebels: Deja vu all over again

      It was only just six weeks ago that the president argued that arming the Syrian rebels was “fantasy.” Now, as he abruptly shifts his strategy – both in bombing Syria and aiding the opposition to President Bashar al Assad — he should first answer three important questions: Who will be on the receiving end of these weapons? And, just who are these “moderate” rebels? And, now that the U.S. is at war with the Islamic State, what is to guarantee the weapons will stay out of their hands?

    • CIA-vetted Syrian rebels battling Islamic State say airstrikes haven’t helped

      In the skies over Syria, U.S. and Arab combat aircraft have bombed Islamic State targets 20 times since Tuesday. But on the ground, commanders for rebel groups that are part of a CIA-run program say they’ve pleaded in vain for arms, ammunition and even field rations so they can fight the same extremists.

      Although they are among the few chosen to receive aid under the covert U.S. program, the commanders say the U.S. has done little to help them as they struggle to hold onto their main supply route from Turkey against a determined Islamic State offensive.
      ]

    • Selling the Syrian Airstrikes

      The U.S. war establishment is using the ISIS propaganda scare to police the world and continuously subject resistant nations to their global NATO imperial plans through massive aerial bombardment violence that is already murdering people not taking part in hostilities.

      [...]

      The U.S. war criminals dropped as many bombs on Syria in one night on September 23 than the entire span of recent bombings/170 plus death dealing airstrikes on Iraq in the name of waging war against ISIL, which is really a campaign designed to further destroy the Iraqi nation to control its petroleum . In Syria, U.S. NATO imperialists bombed 50 targets in Raqqa, Deir al-Zor and Hasakah provinces and also conducted airstrikes in Alleppo.

    • U.S.-led coalition bombs ISIL oil refineries in Syria — Republicans OK war money for Ebola fight

      The United States and a couple of Arab allies yesterday bombed small oil refineries in eastern Syria controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, seeking to deprive the group of one of its top funding sources. The strikes came as President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly, delivering a 39-minute speech that left no doubt he’s given up his aspiration of bringing an end to U.S. military entanglements in the Middle East — and now views himself, however reluctantly, as a wartime president.

    • When the U.S. goes to war, TV networks call on the warheads

      When President Barack Obama decided to drop bombs in Iraq this month, television news turned to a group of familiar faces to decipher the plan for viewers.

    • The West’s Syria policy has been shaped by media missionaries

      Eager for scoops, both credulously relayed the stories; and eager to furnish serviceable information, the CIA gave them credence. Together they helped trigger one of the most disastrous interventions in recent history.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning sues U.S. military for gender treatment
    • WikiLeaks’ Assange Talks Google, NSA & Granai Airstrike Video At NYC Book Launch

      Assange repeatedly warned of the dangers posed by the mass surveillance of tech giants Google and Facebook, assailing Schmidt and the omnipresent search engine he oversees as worse than the National Security Agency (NSA) in terms of privacy concerns and the sheer, unregulated power it wields via the mass personal data voluntarily handed over by users.

    • WikiLeaks Founder Dubs Google The ‘Privatized NSA’
    • Wandering Eye: CIA complicity in coke trade, some backstory on prospective councilman Costello’s juice, and Drew Daniel’s anti-listicle listicle

      The story of the CIA’s complicity in the cocaine trade is finally coming to the big screen next month, through the tragic story of Gary Webb, as told in “Kill the Messenger.” Old timers will remember that Webb, a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, broke the story in a huge series called “Dark Alliance” in 1996, detailing how CIA contract employees used multi-kilo sales to a notorious LA crack dealer named Rick Ross (from whom that Rick Ross took his name) to finance the agency’s counter insurgency in Nicaragua. As Ryan Devereaux of The Intercept reports, Webb’s worst enemy was not in Langley, but in DC, New York, L.A., and Miami, where mainstream newspapers put squads of reporters on the task of picking his stories apart. The CIA, naturally, observed all this with glee. Webb committed suicide a decade ago, having seen his once promising career reduced to ruins (he was working for a tiny alt-weekly in the end). His work abides though (you can read it all here.) And he was mostly right. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

    • Gary Webb: Vindicated

      Sometimes, they kill the messenger, and the message takes flight, only to return later, with its truth self-evident to a new generation. And then, the messenger is resurrected.

    • Movie Trailer: Investigative Journalist Gary Webb From “Kill The Messenger” Was Plain Dealer Reporter

      Webb committed suicide after his reports linking the Reagan-era CIA to the cocaine epidemic in the United States was discredited by major outlets in the mainstream media, though Webb was largely accurate. (There’s also a righteous profile of Webb and the whole story in this 1988 Esquire piece.)

    • Trailer: Kill the Messenger

      Instead of a superhero or super soldier, Renner is playing real life journalist Gary Webb – a man who uncovered the CIA’s role in cocaine entering the US.

    • The lesson Hollywood cannot teach us

      Possibly the most insightful statement ever made by a journalist was from Gary Webb, who killed himself in 2004, years after the CIA and media rivals destroyed his career and credibility.

      I was winning awards, getting raises, lecturing college classes, appearing on TV shows, and judging journalism contests. And then I wrote some stories that made me realize how sadly misplaced my bliss had been. The reason I’d enjoyed such smooth sailing for so long hadn’t been, as I’d assumed, because I was careful and diligent and good at my job. The truth was that, in all those years, I hadn’t written anything important enough to suppress.

    • Managing a Nightmare: How the CIA Watched Over the Destruction of Gary Webb

      Eighteen years after it was published, “Dark Alliance,” the San Jose Mercury News’s bombshell investigation into links between the cocaine trade, Nicaragua’s Contra rebels, and African American neighborhoods in California, remains one of the most explosive and controversial exposés in American journalism.

      The 20,000-word series enraged black communities, prompted Congressional hearings, and became one of the first major national security stories in history to blow up online. It also sparked an aggressive backlash from the nation’s most powerful media outlets, which devoted considerable resources to discredit author Gary Webb’s reporting. Their efforts succeeded, costing Webb his career. On December 10, 2004, the journalist was found dead in his apartment, having ended his eight-year downfall with two .38-caliber bullets to the head.

    • Revealed: CIA Created ‘Foreign Power’ Chatbot, Interrogated Own Agents

      So how far have we come in the last 30 years? As Pearson points out, the federal government is currently testing bots to interview people for national security purposes. But, there’s still some way to go, since even this year’s “most intelligent” chatbot isn’t as smart as its developers hyped it to be.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Pro-Beijing Media Accuses Hong Kong Student Leader of U.S. Government Ties

      Evidence for Mr. Wong’s close ties to the U.S. that the paper cited included what the report described as frequent meetings with U.S. consulate personnel in Hong Kong and covert donations from Americans to Mr. Wong. As evidence, the paper cited photographs leaked by “netizens.” The story also said Mr. Wong’s family visited Macau in 2011 at the invitation of the American Chamber of Commerce, where they stayed at the “U.S.-owned” Venetian Macao, which is owned by Las Vegas Sands Corp.

  • Censorship

    • SOUL talks banned books, censorship

      A group of about 15 students gathering Wednesday night in Greenlaw Hall to discuss the history of banned books agreed that banning literature keeps people from considering important ideas.

    • Free Speech Organizations Report to UN About Censorship In Prisons and Schools

      The report in question cites the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as the main example, where 11,851 titles have been banned from their prisons. “Of the 11,851 total blocked titles, 7,061 were blocked for ‘deviant sexual behaviour’ and 543 for sexually explicit images,” says the report. “Anthologies on Greco-Roman art, the pre-Raphaelites, impressionism, Mexican muralists, pop surrealism, graffiti art, art deco, art nouveau and the National Museum of Women in the Arts are banned for the same reason, as are numerous textbooks on pencil drawing, watercolour, oil painting, photography, graphic design, architecture and anatomy for artists,” the report went on to say. Works from Gustav Flaubert, Langston Hughes, Flannery O’Connor, George Orwell, Ovid, Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, John Updike, Shakespeare and Alice Walker were all found on the banned book list. The report also touched on American schools, where people like Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut and Alice Walker are examples of writers banned based on “objections centering around moral and religious reasons.”

    • China’s internet censorship machine has become even more advanced to cope with social media
    • Exhibit B: Victim Of Mob Censorship Or Vile History Used As Entertainment?
    • Exhibit B: Censorship pure and simple

      So let’s be clear. People have every right to object to art they find objectionable but no right whatsoever to have that work censored. Free expression, including work that others may find shocking or offensive, is a right that must be defended vigorously. As an organisation, while we condemn in no uncertain terms all those who advocate censorship, we would – as a free expression organisation – defend their right to express those views. What we do not and will never condone is the use of intimidation, force or violence to stifle the free expression of others.

    • Old Story, New Plot: A Look at Censorship
    • Book Review: ‘Censors at Work’ by Robert Darnton

      I still think that my argument was right. Pornography, libel, sedition, hate speech and lies are a fair price for freedom of speech. They would be powerless in a justly ordered, well-educated society. If pornography incites your lust, commend the pornographer for success and condemn yourself for succumbing. If you believe the propagandist, he or she has done his job: It is your critical faculties that are at fault. If the advertiser exaggerates, caveat emptor.

    • Censorship of books in US prisons and schools ‘widespread’ – report to UN

      Free-speech organisations find US government is ‘failing to protect the rights of its most vulnerable citizens’ as popular books – including Shakespeare – are banned from institutions

    • Denver students stage mass walk-out over US history ‘censorship’

      Students at six Denver-area highs schools walked out their classrooms en masse, protesting a plan by the conservative-majority Jefferson County school board to push for curriculum changes to Advanced Placement history courses to promote patriotism and deference to authority. The proposed changes would include the removal of topics that could ‘encourage’ civil disobedience from textbooks and materials.

    • Denver-area students accuse school board of censoring U.S. history

      It is the call for a review of the Advanced Placement curriculum for U.S. history classes to ensure that teaching materials present positive aspects of U.S. history and its heritage. According to the wording of the proposal, teaching materials should “promote citizenship, patriotism … (and) respect for authority” and not “encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.”

      “I understand that they want to take out our very important history of slavery and dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki because it portrays the U.S. in a negative light,” said Casey McAndrew, a high school senior.

    • Australian Government Scrambles to Authorize Mass Surveillance

      This week, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott used recent terrorist threats as the backdrop of a dire warning to Australians that “for some time to come, the delicate balance between freedom and security may have to shift. There may be more restrictions on some, so that there can be more protection for others.”

    • ‘Freedom party’s’ terror laws will have a chilling effect
    • New Australian Law Would Permit Unlimited Government Internet Spying, Jail Time For Journalists

      The Australian government is primed to give the nation’s spy agency unfettered access to citizens’ computer networks and potentially put journalists in jail thanks to drafted national security reform laws passed by the country’s Senate Thursday, The Sydney Morning News reported.

      The Australian Senate passed an anti-terrorism bill called the “National Security Legislation Amendment Bill” that would give the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) more power to monitor Web traffic. If finalized, the law permits ASIO agents to search and monitor an unlimited number of computers on a particular network based on a single warrant request. Journalists, bloggers and government whistleblowers could also spend up to 10 years in prison for revealing details of intelligence operations, as part of the law. The bill is set to be voted on and approved by Australian’s House of Representatives next week.

    • Free Speech at Risk in Australia, Thanks to Terrible New Counter-Terrorism Bill

      Free speech advocates from across Australia’s political spectrum have raised concerns about new counter-terrorism legislation passed by the Australian senate this week.

    • With Its New Security Law, Australia Tries to Out-NSA the NSA

      Australia is in the process of passing new intelligence gatherings laws that, on the face, appear troublingly wide-ranging, even by American privacy standards.

    • Reddit Punishes /r/technology for Censoring Keywords, Including “Bitcoin” and “Dogecoin”

      Bitcoin and Dogecoin were among the list of at least 20 words banned by the popular /r/technology subreddit. The scandal shook the Reddit sphere last week. Monday, Reddit punished the censorship by obscuring the community. They officially pulled the subreddit from the list of “default subreddits” awarded to popular sub-communities.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Author Ronald Kessler offers inside scoop on the Secret Service
    • ‘You Are a Bastard and You Know It’ and Other Chilling Quotes From This CIA Interrogation in ’80s New York
    • Petition to Obama Administration: End the Harassment and Targeting of Reporters

      Imagine the United States without independent reporters. Where would the news come from? Press releases and corporate statements? Government-run media? And more importantly, what would we have missed over the last century? Watergate, COINTELPRO, the CIA’s manipulation of politics in Vietnam—none of these things would be common knowledge without courageous reporters, who were willing to publish stories on scandals that rocked the entire country.

    • Nothing to crow about

      President Obama made some commendable speeches at the United Nations last week, but his self-serving remarks to a panel on open government won’t win any plaudits from supporters of an independent news media. They were an astonishing example of saying one thing while doing just the opposite.

    • History Will Not Be Kind To Eric Holder
    • ACLU Comment on Attorney General Holder’s Resignation

      However, we’ve had profound disagreements with the Attorney General on national security issues. During his tenure, DOJ approved the drone killing of an American far away from any battlefield, approved the NSA’s mass surveillance programs, failed to prosecute any of the Bush administration torturers, and presided over more leak prosecutions than all previous Justice Departments combined. We acknowledge, nonetheless, that he fought, albeit unsuccessfully, to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed in federal criminal courts rather than in flawed military commissions.

    • Eric Holder’s dark civil liberties legacy

      Holder’s work on civil liberties has been far less inspiring.

    • Holder’s exit doesn’t come soon enough for critics: Editorial cartoon extra

      Thursday President Obama announced Eric Holder will be leaving as Attorney General of the United States as soon as his yet to be named replacement is confirmed.

      Holder is the fist African-American and the 4th-longest serving U.S. Attorney General. He has served in Department of Justice under six Presidents of both parties. But his last five and half years as A.G. were the most eventful, as he confronted issues that were both controversial and historic.

    • Bill Maher: Political Correctness Silences Liberals On Radical Islam [Video]

      On Thursday night’s broadcast, however, he suggested that otherwise nonjudgmental liberals, multi-culturalists, and others who express outrage when Jonah Hill, Donald Sterling, Rush Limbaugh, or Mel Gibson say stupid or offensive things, or when a baker refuses to make gay wedding cakes, remain silent “while gross atrocities are ignored across the world.” He also called attention to the fact that a group of Yale students recently tried to prevent Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali from speaking on campus.

    • Holder’s Disappointing Tech Legacy

      Large-scale violations of electronic privacy, many of which were exposed by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, also occurred on Holder’s watch. Holder didn’t initiate the bulk collection of phone or e-mail records; nor did he run the N.S.A. But Holder, as the Administration’s top lawyer for half a dozen years, nonetheless bears responsibility for these gross and repeated violations of Constitutional principles. It is ultimately the Justice Department’s duty to stand up for the Constitution when other parts of government want to abandon it, and this Holder failed to do. (During the Bush Administration, Justice Department lawyers, like Jack Goldsmith and then Acting Attorney General James Comey, fought the White House’s excessive surveillance of American citizens at a key moment.) We don’t know what he knew, but Holder’s Justice Department does not seem to have put a real brake on the program.

    • How can an Islamophobe train without bias?

      This month, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery hosted a “terror training” for law enforcement led by someone we consider a notorious Islamophobe, John Guandolo. As Muslim leaders of Arizona, we are deeply disappointed that Mr. Montgomery ignored our repeated calls to invite reputable trainers to address this important topic and chose individuals who advocate extreme anti-Muslim views.

    • GOLDCAMP: Lincoln, Roosevelt and slavery

      The Nazis and the Japanese resurrected the institution of slavery, and the Nazis even industrialized slavery and genocide in the Holocaust. Allied victory in World War II destroyed slavery based on anti-Semitism. Harry Truman followed up FDR’s work by laying the foundation for confronting the Stalinist brand of slavery, and Ronald Reagan played the major role in bringing down the Soviet Union some 40 years later without a shot being fired.

    • Mliswa Exposed for ‘Sleeping and Dining’ with ‘US Spy’, Faces Gamatox
    • Jonathan Moyo the real CIA spy, Mliswa

      Mliswa had been challenged over allegations he took US embassy staffer, Eric Little, on a tour of Hurungwe West in June to meet local government officials.

    • Passports and foreign affairs

      While Agee was in West Germany, he campaigned traitorously against the CIA. He revealed the identities of several CIA officers, and put their lives in danger. For the domestic purpose of making it difficult for Agee to continue his anti-CIA campaign, the State Department revoked his passport.

    • Roger Stone’s Book ‘Nixon’s Secrets’ A Shocking Read

      Roger Stone’s new book Nixon’s Secrets: The Rise, Fall, and Untold Truth About The President, Watergate, and The Pardon is a Washington thriller that hinges on a shocking revelation: that the CIA once planned to assassinate President Richard Nixon.

    • JFK theorists gather, press for document release
    • 50 years later, doubts still raised on Warren Report

      One panelist, John Newman, who gave a presentation on CIA pseudonyms used by agents connected with the Kennedys, said the Warren Report “was not just wrong. The longer we have to study the case, the wronger its conclusions become.”

    • Kill The Messenger: the Gary Webb story has holes but Renner’s performance still sticks – review
    • The CIA/MSM Contra-Cocaine Cover-up

      In 1996 — as major U.S. news outlets disparaged the Nicaraguan Contra-cocaine story and destroyed the career of investigative reporter Gary Webb for reviving it — the CIA marveled at the success of its public-relations team guiding the mainstream media’s hostility toward both the story and Webb, according to a newly released internal report.

      Entitled “Managing a Nightmare: CIA Public Affairs and the Drug Conspiracy Story,” the six-page report describes the CIA’s damage control after Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series was published in the San Jose Mercury-News in August 1996. Webb had resurrected disclosures from the 1980s about the CIA-backed Contras collaborating with cocaine traffickers as the Reagan administration worked to conceal the crimes.

      Although the CIA’s inspector general later corroborated the truth about the Contra-cocaine connection and the Reagan administration’s cover-up, the mainstream media’s counterattack in defense of the CIA in late summer and fall of 1996 proved so effective that the subsequent CIA confession made little dent in the conventional wisdom regarding either the Contra-cocaine scandal or Gary Webb.

    • CIA still hiding the worst details of black sites

      The preceding paragraphs will come as no surprise to anyone who has researched or read about the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program. But if I held a security clearance, I could lose my career or face prosecution for publishing them.

    • Senate CIA report release slips again

      The release of a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and interrogation program appears to have slipped further, judging by filings Thursday afternoon in a pair of related court cases.

    • Release of CIA report pushed back again

      The release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on “enhanced interrogation” techniques has been delayed again, this time until late October, according to an aide to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

      The Department of Justice was due to release a summary of the report that details the committee’s investigation of a CIA interrogations program under former President George W. Bush in late September. The report was requested via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

      Feinstein intervened, requesting a one-month extension, so that the Intelligence Committee she leads, and the White House, could reduce heavy redactions made to the summary by the CIA, the aide said.

      This is Feinstein’s second request for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to delay the summary’s release under the FOIA request.

    • Anatomy of a Non-Denial Denial

      The non-denial denial is an art that takes many forms in official Washington.

      The basic idea is that when you or your organization are accused of doing something that you did in fact do, you respond with what sounds like a denial, but really isn’t.

      You issue a very narrowly-crafted denial involving a lot of hairsplitting, while avoiding the central claim. Or you dismiss the accusation as unworthy of response. Or you deny something else: You raise a straw man accusation and deny that; or – possibly best yet — you take advantage of a poorly worded question.

    • The CIA, the President, and the Senate’s Torture Report
    • Helen Thomas comes to my rescue

      Gen. Augusto Pinochet and his minions overthrew Allende’s democratic election in 1973 with the full connivance of President Richard Nixon, National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

    • America’s War With Its Dark Side, Part 4

      Less than two weeks later, Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, the two political leaders in San Francisco, where most of the Jonestown victims came from, most likely to undertake an independent investigation of the covert CIA involvement in Jonestown were also murdered.

    • Watch Lists and the First and Fourth Amendments

      If you don’t know Ray McGovern yet, you probably should.

      You see, Ray just beat down, in court, Hillary Clinton, the State Department, and a small part of Post-Constitutional America.

    • Is it 2014 or 1984?

      Now this CISPA bill, which is yet again pushed by congressional support of the executive, deals with pre-emptively “defending” against cyber terrorism. What this bill actually does is allow, under law, for private corporations and businesses to give detailed information about our lives such as our search, text, email, online store accounts, word and endless other technological privacies, including complete “cloud” access of each U.S. citizen to the federal government.

    • Donnelly reflects on Assembly term, critics, future

      On Oct. 2, 2013, Gov. Brown signed the Donnelly-introduced Assembly Bill 351 into law. Coined The California Liberty Preservation Act, the law opposes the indefinite military detention of persons without charge or trial and prohibits state cooperation with federal officials in enacting the provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Agreement.

      The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California lauded the bill as signaling that NDAA was “contrary to the common values of all Americans.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

Links 27/9/2014: Linux (Almost) Everywhere, Features Of Linux 3.17

Posted in News Roundup at 2:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Giving Away Software to Make It More Valuable
  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack day two operations tools

      This is the third part in a series of three articles surveying automation projects within OpenStack, explaining what they do, how they do it, and where they stand in development readiness and field usage. Previously, in part one, I covered cloud deployment tools that enable you to install/update OpenStack cloud on bare metal. In part two, I covered workload deployment tools. Today, we’ll look at tools for day two operations.

  • CMS

    • Bitnami: Making it easy and efficient to test server apps on your desktop and in the cloud

      It’s Friday morning and marketing tells you they need a WordPress blog up and running by Monday and they want a theme like this and features like that and, and, and … you’ve not got much time if you plan to have a weekend off so the last thing you’re going to want to do is work with a remote server. If you did you’d be loading themes one after another, testing them with various plugins, and generally beating the application into submission while dealing with the delays inherent in using a machine that’s somewhere out on the Internet. That would mean you’d be waiting just that little bit longer (or quite possibly, a lot longer) to do everything than you’d prefer.

  • Project Releases

    • xfce4-power-manager updated to 1.4.1

      Xfce4-power-manager has now been updated to the latest version on my xfce411 COPR repo.One nice thing about this update for me is that it seems to fix the lid closing actions!

    • PSPP 0.8.4 has been released.

      I’m very pleased to announce the release of a new version of GNU PSPP. PSPP is a program for statistical analysis of sampled data. It is a free replacement for the proprietary program SPSS.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Churchgoers decrease in Germany due to ‘church tax’

    The Catholic Church in Germany has even forbidden those who do not pay their church taxes from receiving communion.

  • Tory minister Brooks Newmark quits over sex scandal

    The married dad-of-five exchanged X-rated pictures with an undercover reporter posing as a young female activist

  • Mark Reckless is second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month

    “Today I am leaving the Conservative party and joining Ukip,” Tory MP Mark Reckless announced today in a second shock defection to the Eurosceptic party in recent weeks.

    Mr Reckless, the MP for Rochester and Strood, made the announcement that he is quitting the party this afternoon at the Ukip party conference in Doncaster.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The cost of action in Iraq

      When parliament voted to invade Iraq in 2003, it was based on what we later found out to be disinformation and deceit. We were misled. The countless thousands who opposed the war were vocal in their opposition – but they were not listened to, they were ignored. And the UK went to war.

    • Iraq – Repeating Past Mistakes

      Before we move forward against ISIL in Iraq, we have to learn from our past mistakes, or we will be doomed to repeat them.

    • Should the UK fight ISIL in Iraq
    • Bombing Islamic State is fueling the violence

      So yes, we need to do something. But that “something” is not more violence and war. Answering violence and war, with more violence and war, is always part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    • A Wartime President

      All pretense ended Monday night, when President Barack Obama became Commander-in-Chief at a time of war. He has never been reluctant to kill terrorists with unmanned drones, but now the United States military is bombing ISIS targets inside Syria. The president has authorized strikes by fighter planes, bombers, and Tomahawk missiles, the same weapons brandished by President Bush a decade ago.

    • The Aborted Origins Of The First Hunt For Osama Bin Laden

      The author of a new book on the U.S. drone program reveals an early attempt to pilot drones out of Germany, without the German government’s knowledge.

    • Drone warfare in Good Kill … and a roundtable interview with writer-director Andrew Niccol and actor Ethan Hawke
    • ‘Norway can stop drone war’: UN advisor

      Professor Christof Heyns asked Norway on Thursday to challenge its allies on the US’s use of armed drones which Heyns states violates international law and will, in the long run, make the world become a more dangerous place, reported NTB.
      Heyns, who normally investigates and reports to the UN on extra-judicial and illegal executions, said: “The world listens to the voice of Norway for it is often the voice of reason.”

      The professor thinks Norway should bring the case to a human rights council of the UN and the general assembly.

      The issue of the US’s drone attacks was the subject of a seminar in the Norwegian parliament on Thursday. The debate was raised by spokesperson for foreign affairs, Bård Vegar Solhjell.

    • Killing people rarely kills their ideas

      Every vote I cast in Parliament weighs heavily on my mind, especially as, unlike most other MPs, I have no whip telling me what to do – I consider the evidence, reflect on the principles I was elected to stand up for, listen to my constituents in Brighton Pavilion.

    • How the Pentagon Exploits ISIS to Kill Surveillance Reform and Re-Occupy Iraq

      As the US, Britain and France are maneuvering to escalate military action in Iraq and Syria against the ‘Islamic State’ in an operation slated to last “years,” authorities are simultaneously calling for new measures to tighten security at home to fend off the danger of jihadists targeting western homelands. Intervention abroad, policymakers are arguing, must be tied to increased domestic surveillance and vigilance. But US and British military experts warn that officials have overlooked the extent to which western policies in the region have not just stoked the rise of IS, but will continue to inflame the current crisis. The consequences could be dire – while governments exploit the turmoil in the Middle East to justify an effective re-invasion of Iraq along with intensified powers of surveillance and control – the end result could well be accelerated regional violence and increasing criminalization of Muslims and activists.

    • US’ Anti-ISIS Campaign: Emulating the ‘Success’ in Somalia and Yemen?

      US President Barack Obama pointed to “successful” campaigns in Yemen and Somalia as models for his strategy to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). But in both countries, US military action has only worked to embolden extremist groups like al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Shabaab.

    • US government tweets and deletes photos of dead jihadists

      A US government Twitter account tasked with countering jihadist propaganda triumphantly posted pictures of dead Islamic State fighters only to delete them a short while later.

      The US State Department runs a number of social media accounts to push back against Isil and al-Qaeda and convince young Muslims not to enslist with the jihadists.

      The “Think Again Turn Away” Twitter account posted pictures of the corpses of four jihadist fighters reportedly killed in US air strikes in an apparent warning to those thinking of taking up arms.

    • Why Are We Sending Soldiers Trained for War to Respond to the Ebola Crisis?

      The use of the US military in this operation should raise red flags for the American public as well. After all, if the military truly is the governmental institution best equipped to handle this outbreak, it speaks worlds about the neglect of civilian programs at home as well as abroad.

    • US says airstrikes targeted ISIL-run oil refineries
    • Australia, the United States, the Islamic State and oil

      The current commentary about Australia’s latest Middle East military adventure ignores the obvious, says Dr Geoff Davies — oil and its impact on U.S. foreign policy.

    • FP’s Situation Report: Islamic State oil installations are targeted; France weighs joining the fight in Syria; Ebola takes center stage at U.N.; and a bit more.
    • U.S.-Led Strikes Target ISIS Oil Operations in Syria

      U.S.-led warplanes are bombarding oil-producing facilities in eastern Syria for a second day in a row in a bid to cut off key revenue from Islamic State militants. According to U.S. Central Command, the refineries net about $2 million per day. On Thursday, the Pentagon rejected accounts that up to 24 civilians have been killed by U.S.-led strikes in Syria, saying there are no “credible” reports of civilian deaths. U.S. planes are also continuing to bomb Iraq with at least 11 airstrikes on Thursday. Pentagon spokesperson Rear Admiral John Kirby acknowledged the Islamic State remains strong.

    • Lord Alton on Government call for military action against ISIS

      It is hard to imagine that a campaign of aerial bombardment in Syria will make that dire situation any better.

    • Drone crashes in Shabwa

      A drone crashed into a mountain in Shabwa governorate, southeast of Sana’a, on Tuesday morning, eyewitnesses told the Yemen Times.

    • US pulls some embassy staffers from Yemen
    • US orders some of its diplomats out of Yemen
    • US gives ‘strong support’ to Yemen government despite Shia rebel uprising

      Administration officials say there has been has no dropoff in backing for Hadi, days after Shia minorities, who have endured a brutal crackdown, took hold of government and military installations in the capital of Sana’a. Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism chief, a critical manager of the relationship with Yemen, passed along the US president’s “strong support” for Hadi in a phone call to him earlier this week.

    • How TV dupes our public

      IF today, with remote in hand, you randomly flip through channels on your TV, or browse through nearly two dozen online newspapers, you will see video clips or photos of Pakistan Air Force jets pounding targets in North Waziristan, artillery firing into the mountains, or, perhaps, some other celebration of Operation Zarb-i-Azb. But hang on! You rub your eyes. Our jets bombing Islamic fighters within the territory of this Islamic republic?

    • Q&A with journalist John Pilger: ‘What the US did to Cambodia was an epic crime’

      Since his early days as a correspondent covering the wars in Southeast Asia in the 1960s and 1970s, documentary filmmaker and journalist John Pilger has been an ardent critic of Western foreign policy. Following in the footsteps of Martha Gellhorn, Pilger set out to cover the Vietnam War from the perspective of those most affected by it – the Vietnamese people and US draftees. In 1979, he filmed Year Zero: the Silent Death of Cambodia, which depicted the humanitarian catastrophe following the ousting of the Khmer Rouge from Phnom Penh. He would go on to make three more films about Cambodia and become an outspoken critic of the United States’ intervention in the country and the West’s support of Pol Pot.

    • ISIS: Their barbarism… and ours

      The incessant drumbeat of war, accompanied by the harsh propaganda of “barbarism” and “brutality” directed at individuals in Syria and Iraq, is as wearily familiar as that used to demonize the German “Hun” a century ago and dozens of other “enemies” in the interim. The PR industry, which is the landing pad for many politicos from the Conservatives to the NDP, is having a field day, from allegations that “Islamic militants” are murdering seniors in hospital rooms (perhaps an update of the Hill & Knowlton-created falsehood that Iraqis ripped babies from incubators after the 1991 invasion of Kuwait) to claims that a group with no air force, weapons of mass destruction, overseas military bases, aircraft carriers, and hundreds of billions in other war infrastructure presents the greatest threat known to our generation.

    • US drone strikes like death sentences, worse than ISA, says Dr M
    • ISA not nearly as bad as killing people with drones, says Dr M

      Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today shrugged off criticism over his use of the now-defunct Internal Security Act (ISA), saying it does not compare to the atrocities committed by the United States in the use of unmanned drones to kill suspected terrorists.

    • Don’t Reinvent the Wheel in Syria and Iraq

      Hersh further explains the clandestine unit masqueraded as “a civilian aerial photography operation.” He is referring, of course, to the units that ultimately found Pablo Escobar, in an age predating drones. Manhunting is a core competency of the United States, and the last thirteen years have seen no shortage of attempts to not only reinvent the wheel but form an octagon for no logical reason.

    • Officials: US drone kills 10 in northwest Pakistan

      A suspected U.S. drone fired four missiles at a vehicle carrying Uzbek and local militants in the country’s northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border on Wednesday, killing 10 of them, two Pakistani intelligence officials said.

    • Echoes of Bush in Obama’s U.N. speech

      President Barack Obama’s blunt words on Islamic terrorism marked a striking shift for his annual address to United Nations, as he moved away from the language of accommodation to rhetoric reminiscent of predecessor President George W. Bush.

    • US drones kill eight militants in N. Waziristan

      US drones on Wednesday fired missiles at a compound and vehicle and killed at least eight militants in a restive tribal area bordering Afghanistan, officials said.

    • ‘Brainwashed’ British fighter reportedly killed by US drone strike in Syria

      A British teenager fighting with Islamist militia Al-Nusra Front in Syria has reportedly been killed in US airstrikes, with his mother finding only finding out via social media.

    • 9 Arrested in Overnight U.K. Terror Raids As Strikes Against ISIS Continue
    • British Police Arrest 9 in Antiterror Sweep

      A day after Prime Minister David Cameron pledged British support for the American-led air campaign in Iraq, the counterterrorism police in Britain rounded up nine men suspected of having links to a banned Islamist group and searched 18 buildings across the capital and in the English Midlands.

    • As U.S. Bombs Fall, Islamic State’s British Hostage Warns of Another Vietnam

      In the propaganda video, Cantlie is again seated at a table wearing an orange jumpsuit, in a reference to the outfits worn by Muslim prisoners at U.S. detention centers at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He reads from a prepared script, explaining how the United States’ involvement in the Syrian conflict will mirror its misadventures in Vietnam.

    • Islamic State posts video showing British hostage John Cantlie

      Man identified as British journalist criticises Obama preparations for US-led attacks on militant group in five-minute clip

    • Blasts From The Past

      So, the other day, he hipped me to some recently declassified CIA material, specifically National Intelligence Estimates dated April 17, 1963 and titled “Prospects In South Vietnam.” These concerned, among other things, the CIA’s assessment of the relative strength of the Viet Cong in our adopted Indochinese client state.

    • Letter: Signs of imminent war in Ukraine

      Our CIA and German BND triggered a coup in Kiev because independent Ukraine elected Victor Yanukovich president of Ukraine. He is the legal Ukrainian president. When the BND took over the government in Kiev, NATO and the European Union offered membership to Ukraine and Russia, detached Crimea and annexed it into Russian rule for its strategic importance, as well as its economic importance.

    • FBI report: Mass shootings increasing fast

      The number of shootings in which a gunman wounds or kills multiple people has increased dramatically in recent years, with the majority of attacks in the past decade occurring at a business or a school, according to an FBI report released Wednesday.

    • The Secret Service’s Open-Door Policy

      In the first case, federal prosecutors said Omar Gonzalez, 42, jumped the White House fence and raced into the front door before he was apprehended. He was carrying a small pocket knife and, apparently a message for the president about global warming. Later, authorities said they found two hatchets, a machete and 800 rounds of ammunition in his car.

    • French, U.S. planes strike ISIL; Britain to join coalition

      The strikes killed 14 fighters and at least five civilians, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syrian conflict.

    • America’s wartime president

      Quick: Which U.S. president has authorized wars of various kinds in seven Muslim countries?

      If you guessed Barack Hussein Obama, you are correct.

    • Syria Strike Protesters Arrested at White House

      About two dozen anti-war activists rallied near the White House Tuesday against U.S. airstrikes in Syria, which began Monday.

      Five of the mostly gray-haired protesters were arrested for blocking a White House gate after insisting they meet with President Barack Obama or a senior official to discuss their concerns.

    • As US Bombs ISIS in Syria, Even Some Pro-War Pundits Express Skepticism

      Here we go again, I thought. This is how modern America goes to war. When superpower Goliath is challenged by sudden savagery, it has no choice but to respond with brute force. Or so we are told. Otherwise, America would no longer be a convincing Goliath. When war bells clang, politicians of every stripe find it very difficult to resist, lest they look weak or unpatriotic. And the American people, as usual, rally around the flag, as they always do when the country seems threatened. Citizens and members of the uniformed military are tired of war, but both in a sense are prisoners of the media-hyped hysteria that is the usual political reflex. Shoot first, ask questions later.

    • In Post-Qaddafi Libya, It’s Stay Silent or Die

      On Sept. 19, Benghazi witnessed a string of assassinations that seemed to be coordinated. The assassins targeted military and security personnel as well as civilians. Among those killed were two teenage civil society activists, Sami al-Kawafi and Tawfik Bensaud. They were 17 and 18 years old respectively. Their murders have capped off more than two years of extremist attacks on peace activists and journalists, killings that are endangering any remaining freedoms Libyans still have.

    • Islamic fighters advance in Syria despite US strikes

      US and coalition planes pounded Islamic State positions in Syria again on Wednesday, but the strikes did not halt the fighters’ advance in a Kurdish area where fleeing refugees told of villages burnt and captives beheaded.

    • Syrians say 8 to 24 civilians killed in US airstrikes

      Hours after the last airstrike, fighters with the group gathered on Tuesday in public areas of the city where the corpses of those executed by Islamic State are put on display. They told residents that Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which took part in the airstrikes, were attacking them, resident Abu Muhammad said. The militants threatened the Arab countries with car bombings in retaliation for cooperating with the West, he said.

    • Ron Paul: Congress Votes For More War In The Middle East
    • The big question on ISIS: Does Obama really know what he’s getting into?

      Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also warns about jumping head-first into funding Syria’s rebels.

    • War On Terror II: Upping The Ante

      With congressional authorization in his back pocket, U.S. president Barack Obama stepped up American military aggression against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) this week.

    • US drone strike kills as many as 10 in Pakistan

      While AP’s source claimed ten were killed in the strike, Reuters cited “intelligence officials” who said five to eight militants perished in the blast.According to AFP, eight suspected fighters died.

    • Foreign Ministry slams US drone strike on militants
    • Dawn reveals scope of bombardments

      Many government supporters were worried about where events might lead because some of the countries in the coalition, like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, have called for Assad to step down or actively supported his enemies with money and arms.

    • The Islamic State and Obama’s Diabolical “Hidden Agenda”: Iraq, Syria and “Superpower Prerogatives”

      Obama’s intention to bring his air war against IS to Syria may result in a serious violation of international law. The Damascus government has said it will allow the U.S. to act but Washington must first ask permission to bomb its territory. The White House indicated it has no desire to ask for authorization. In addition, the Russian government, which supports and supplies arms to both Iran and Syria, pointed out that any such strike against Syria would need backing from the UN Security Council. Otherwise, it “would constitute an act of aggression.”

    • The audacity of air strikes and secret deals: just making Isis grow stronger?

      The insurgency in Iraq, Syria and beyond is a fight for natural resources as much as political control. Why are we so busy giving leverage to terrorists?

    • ‘Private sector’ mobilization to fight IS launched in NY

      CEP lists among its goals the compilation of the world’s most exhaustive database on extremist groups and their networks, and places unmasking the funding sources for IS high on its list of immediate priorities.

    • Help Us Crowd-Fund SecureDrop For These Four Independent Media Organizations

      We are excited to announce the first four recipients of our next crowd-funding campaign, all of whom may now start receiving donations intended to cover the costs of installing SecureDrop, our open-source whistleblower submission system. The first round includes BalkanLeaks, the Government Accountability Project, Cryptome and Firedoglake.

    • UK warned to increase transparency of armed UAV operations

      Failure of the British government to inform Parliament of its intention to redeploy armed unmanned air vehicles outside recognised warzones may result in legal action, a charity and law firm have warned.

      Following a notification by the UK’s minister of state for the armed forces, Mark Francois, in July that claimed it was not necessary for Parliament to approve UAV strikes, charity Reprieve and law firm Deighton Pierce Glynn notified the government that action will be taken if it is not clear on where armed UAVs are being used.

    • War on Terror: What’s Old Is New Again [pro-war ravings]
    • Germany Decides Not To Arm Syrian Rebels

      As we just heard, so far there is no coalition behind U.S. airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. There is more support, however, for operations in northern Iraq, where France and Germany are actively involved. Peter Wittig is German Ambassador to the U.S. I spoke with him earlier this week and asked him to describe Germany’s current strategy against ISIS.

    • Arming ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Is Questionable

      Heeding the call to do something about ISIL, Congress passed and Barack Obama signed a measure approving weapons and training for “moderate” Syrian rebels. These moderates are ostensibly fighting against the new Islamic upstarts but are also sworn to overthrow Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad. Obama has repeatedly assured Americans that no boots would be on the ground in Syria (or Iraq, for that matter), sending out National Security Advisor Susan Rice to state, “This program will be hosted outside of Syria in partnership with neighboring countries.” Rice added the process would take “many months,” which the administration hopes will be enough time to sort out all of the various regional players.

    • ANSWER statement against the U.S. bombing of Syria

      We in the ANSWER Coalition oppose this war and are calling for demonstrations to oppose the bombing of Syria and Iraq from September 23 through September 28. This war, like the earlier ones, is being sold on the basis of misinformation and fear. The United States is a major part of the problem and cannot be the solution to the current crisis in Syria and Iraq.

    • US military has large force arrayed across Mideast

      Having expanded its air war against Islamic State jihadists into Syria, the US military can draw on a vast arsenal of aircraft, troops and hardware across the Middle East.

      Here are the basic facts on the American military presence in the region and the strikes carried out so far, according to the Pentagon and defense analysts:

    • American Amnesia: Why the GOP Leads on National Security

      If the latest polls are accurate, most voters believe that Republican politicians deserve greater trust on matters of national security. At a moment when Americans feel threatened by rising terrorist movements and authoritarian regimes, that finding is politically salient—and proves that amnesia is the most durable affliction of our democracy.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Inside the New York Fed: Secret Recordings and a Culture Clash

      Barely a year removed from the devastation of the 2008 financial crisis, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York faced a crossroads. Congress had set its sights on reform. The biggest banks in the nation had shown that their failure could threaten the entire financial system. Lawmakers wanted new safeguards.

    • Housing, Fair Wages, Water, Food, Schools — Ya’ Gotta Bomb them First!

      Don’t forget that much of this murder hardware is designed and conjured up by the best and brightest at our Western colleges. Lawyers abound in this industry. Unions love good Boeing missile making jobs. This is the legacy of killing, empire, a black president who isn’t and is, fabricated by the same shit schools and teachers who also advance murder, economic hits or direct hits with drones and napalm or guided bunker busters.

    • Tax fraud’s such a drone on economy

      The Buenos Aires province’s tax agency says it has used drones to identify around 200 mansions and 100 swimming pools that have not been declared by their owners.

    • Should The Cuban Trade Embargo Be Scrapped?

      It seems like ages ago that Americans spent 13 days wondering if we were on the brink of nuclear war as the Soviet Union and Cuban government engaged the Kennedy Administration in the tumultuous Cuban Missile Crisis. Or even longer ago when American CIA agents stormed the shores of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in a failed attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro’s government. Cuba’s allegiance to the Soviets and their admiration for communism encouraged the US to go on the defense and place a trade embargo and severed diplomatic relations with our neighbors 90 miles to the south.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Awful Spanish Copyright Law May Be Stalled Waiting For EU Court Ruling On Plans To Change Spain’s Copyright Levy System

        Techdirt has written about Spain’s new copyright law a couple of times. There, we concentrated on the “Google tax” that threatens the digital commons and open access in that country. But alongside this extremely foolish idea, there was another good one: getting rid of the anachronistic levy on recording devices that was supposed to “compensate” for private copying (as if any such compensation were needed), and paying collecting societies directly out of Spain’s state budget. Needless to say, it is such a good idea that the collecting societies hate it, and have appealed against the new system.

09.26.14

Links 26/9/2014: LibreOffice Celebrations, Betas of *buntu

Posted in News Roundup at 7:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source tools to prepare your ebooks for publication

    Self publishing a book has never been easier. There are numerous open source tools that you can use to create a book.

    Having published three ebooks, and being in the process of putting together another one, I’ve learned that after writing a book there are a few more things that you need to do before sharing your book with the world.

  • Hadoop Developer Cask, Formerly Continuuity, Goes Open Source

    Continuuity Inc., whose software makes it easier for developers to build applications that run on the big-data storage and analysis system Hadoop, has changed its name to Cask and will put its technology into open source.

  • Joint Staff Dumps Oracle and PeopleSoft Planning Software for Open Source

    The Joint Staff currently uses Oracle and PeopleSoft for strategic planning software through a contract managed by a division of the Naval Sea Systems Command.

    The Joint Staff runs the software on the Joint Organization Server and a server covering the Office of Secretary of Defense.

    NAVSEA said in a contract notice it plans to issue a new contract to MYMIC LLC of Portsmouth, Virginia, for open source planning software to “reduce the high cost of licenses, technical support and custom modifications” with Oracle and PeopleSoft.

  • Open Source email solution ownCloud Mail is coming!

    The only solution is self-hosted, fully open source email services. Kolab is one such service and now ownCloud team is also working on offering mail to users.

    ownCloud is actually more aggressive and is working on a replacement for Google Map, called ownCloud Maps. It is built on Leaflet, using Open Street Map data says an ownCloud blog. The project has just started and you can test and contribute on GitHub.

  • Back to the Source: Why FOSS is More Important Than Ever

    In the olden days the topic of software freedom was central to Linux and free/open source software. Software freedom needs to remain front and center. Remember Richard Stallman’s Four Freedoms?

    “Nobody should be restricted by the software they use. There are four freedoms that every user should have:

    the freedom to use the software for any purpose,
    the freedom to change the software to suit your needs,
    the freedom to share the software with your friends and neighbors, and
    the freedom to share the changes you make.”

  • Hijacking Open Source

    There is a way for open source to actually win. We simply have to put the power of choice and control back in the hands of the consumer. I say simply because it’s an easy thing to say, and an easy concept to understand, however we all know full well that implementation is much, much harder. We can start by not giving up on the Linux desktop. We can take the next step by investing in an open mobile platform that respects our privacy. Finally, we can continue building the free, open, and distributed Internet that the world needs.

  • Twitter’s Mesos brainbox joins data centre OS venture

    Benjamin Hindman, the co-founder of open-source cluster manager Mesos – which runs at large web properties including Twitter and Airbnb – has joined VC-backed Mesosphere. The startup was founded in 2013 to drive a paying business around the cluster manager he built as a student.

  • Events

    • The Big Value of Small Open Source Conferences

      Historically, the computer industry has been impressed with big things. In the early decades, the mainframes and supercomputers were all the rage. Even as the technology began to shrink, big rollouts supplanted the big machines. And now you can find powerful technology which easily fits in the palm of your hand — but you’ve probably only heard of the brands which sell in huge numbers.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firejail – A Security Sandbox for Mozilla Firefox

        Firejail is a SUID sandbox program that reduces the risk of security breaches by restricting the running environment of untrusted applications. The core technology behind Firejail is Linux Namespaces, a virtualization technology available in Linux kernel. It allows a process and all its descendants to have their own private view of the globally shared kernel resources, such as the network stack, process table, mount table, IPC space.

      • Pale Moon Shines for Classic Firefox Fans

        Much of the good stuff about Pale Moon is under the hood. Taken together, all of it contributes to a more efficient performance. For example, Pale Moon is optimized for modern processors such as SSE2. A lot of the built-in bloat of the Firefox code is removed. That gets rid of things like accessibility features and WebRTC. The social API code is disabled by default.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Mirantis OpenStack 5.1 Re-Fuels Cloud Server

      The open-source OpenStack cloud platform only has major milestone releases every six months, but that doesn’t mean there are aren’t incremental updates. One of the leading vendors in the OpenStack community is privately-held Mirantis, which updated its OpenStack Distribution to version 5.1 this week.

    • Deploying OpenStack and Trove (DBaaS) at eBay
    • Rackspace Delivers Managed OpenStack Private Cloud and Services

      Rackspace has announced the release of its latest Rackspace Private Cloud offering, built on OpenStack and designed for enterprises. The platform now includes a 99.99 percent OpenStack API uptime guarantee, and is more scalable. Customers can deploy Rackspace Private Cloud in their own data centers, or have their deployments run at Rackspace or run in both locations. The Private Cloud platform also includes Rackspace’s “fanatical support.”

    • Eight Up and Coming OpenStack Cloud Projects

      When the open-source OpenStack cloud platform first got started back in 2010, there were only two components, with Rackspace bringing in the Swift storage project and NASA contributing the Nova compute piece. Over the last four years, OpenStack has expanded significantly beyond its initial two core contributors and two primary components. OpenStack now counts many of the world’s leading technology vendors—including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Cisco, Intel, Dell, VMware, AT&T and Comcast—among its many supporters.

    • OpenStack day two operations tools

      This is the third part in a series of three articles surveying automation projects within OpenStack, explaining what they do, how they do it, and where they stand in development readiness and field usage. Previously, in part one, I covered cloud deployment tools that enable you to install/update OpenStack cloud on bare metal. In part two, I covered workload deployment tools. Today, we’ll look at tools for day two operations.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.3.2 Is Out, The Document Foundation Celebrates Four Years

      The Document Foundation has announced that the final version of LibreOffice 4.3.2 is now available for download.

    • LibreOffice 4.3.2 Hits The Marketplace Just Before The Fourth Anniversary Of The Project

      LibreOffice 4.3.2 hits the marketplace just before the fourth anniversary of the project on Sunday, September 28, 2014. The community has been growing for the past 48 months, attracting at least three new developers per month plus a larger number of volunteers active in localization, QA and other areas such as marketing and development of local communities.

    • LibreOffice will turn four this year

      The Document Foundation was formed back in 2010, when a team of OpenOffice developers forked the project and created LibreOffice. Since then while Oracle unloaded the OOo burden on The Apache Foundation and the project continued its decline, LibreOffice experienced a steep growth.

    • LibreOffice’s superlow defect rate puts proprietary software to shame

      The LibreOffice team has analyzed more than 9 million lines of code to find and fix 10,000-plus defects of all types, including some with the potential to impact security and many that affected stability and memory use. The team working through the Coverity results is led by Caolán McNamara of Red Hat and includes Stephan Bergmann, Noel Grandin, Norbert Thiebaud, Julien Nabet, and others.

    • LibreOffice Celebrates – and Does Something Unusual

      LibreOffice is thriving, and trying something bold

    • Reuniting LibreOffice and AOO – a personal take

      As we are approaching the 4th anniversary of the LibreOffice project in just a few days, an old theme has been reappearing on the Internet: Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice should reunite. I would like to share my perceptions on this topic although I think it is not a really important one, at least as long as the LibreOffice or Apache OpenOffice do not officially call for such a reunion. Before I start, let me remind everyone that what follows is my own opinion and neither the one of the Document Foundation, nor the one of the Democratic Party, the one of my Government, nor, at last, the one of Bob’s Shipping and Handling Company.

    • Oracle OpenStack for Linux Arrives, As Competition Heats Up

      In case you thought the OpenStack cloud computing race wasn’t crowded enough, Oracle has just made its Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux distribution generally available. Based on the OpenStack Icehouse release, it allows users to control Oracle Linux and Oracle VM through OpenStack in production environments. It can support any guest operating system (OS) that is supported with Oracle VM, including Oracle Linux, Oracle Solaris, Microsoft Windows,and other Linux distributions.

    • Nuage Networks Adds SDN Support to Oracle OpenStack

      Nuage is also pitching the integration as a win for open source within the cloud and SDN ecosystems. “We’re pleased to work with Oracle on this Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux integration. It provides choice in an open cloud solution, optimized for enterprise workloads to mutual customers worldwide,” said Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Nuage Networks. “This is great news for the OpenStack community as we continue to show momentum with OpenStack in enterprise and cloud provider deployments.”

    • Oracle Linux 5.11 Features Updated Unbreakable Linux Kernel

      The new Oracle Linux update is probably the last one in the series. This operating system is based on Red Hat and the company has just pushed out the last update for the RHEL 5x branch, which means that this is the end of the line for the Oracle version as well.

      Oracle Linux also comes with a series of features that make it very interesting, like zero-downtime kernel updates with the help of a tool called Ksplice that was originally developed for OpenSUSE, inclusion of the Oracle Database and Oracle Applications, and it’s used in all x86-based Oracle Engineered Systems.

  • Education

    • Open source tools help kids discover digital creativity

      Youth Digital just moved into their new offices, tucked away in a nondescript office park in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It’s a big step up from their humble beginnings, when company founder and director Justin Richards hauled a laptop to his students’ houses, tutoring them on web and graphic design. Their first office was barely more than a closet, and now they have an expansive space complete with conference rooms, recording studio space, and their own 3D printer.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF Issues Statement On Shellshock Bash Vulnerability

      The Free Software Foundation has issued their response to this week’s news of the “Shellshock” bug that affects Bash.

    • Free Software Foundation statement on the GNU Bash “shellshock” vulnerability

      A major security vulnerability has been discovered in the free software shell GNU Bash. The most serious issues have already been fixed, and a complete fix is well underway. GNU/Linux distributions are working quickly to release updated packages for their users. All Bash users should upgrade immediately, and audit the list of remote network services running on their systems.

      [...]

      Proprietary, (aka nonfree) software relies on an unjust development model that denies users the basic freedom to control their computers. When software’s code is kept hidden, it is vulnerable not only to bugs that go undetected, but to the easier deliberate addition and maintenance of malicious features. Companies can use the obscurity of their code to hide serious problems, and it has been documented that Microsoft provides intelligence agencies with information about security vulnerabilities before fixing them.

    • Linux Shellshock’d, Pale Moon Rising, and LibO 4.3.2 Released

      Today in Linux news, The Document Foundation celebrates four years with the release of LibreOffice 4.3.2. Bash exploit “Shellshock” is making more headlines today as servers and devices are under attack. Bruce Byfield looks at the thankless job of community managers and Jack Germain test drives the Pale Moon Web browser. And finally today, Jack Wallen explains the difference between LibreOffice and OpenOffice.

    • Hanoi SFD 2014 Report

      On Friday morning we went to the VAIP office and had a Fedora APAC ambassador meetup the whole day. The meetup was set up for APAC ambassadors to discuss critical tasks. EMEA has had a lot of similar meetups, but for APAC, it was the first to my knowledge. (It was at least the first in this year.)

    • Open source proponents in Trivandrum celebrate Software Freedom Day

      The Software Freedom Day was celebrated in the capital city last week at an event organised by Zyxware Technologies, a Thiruvananthapuram based IT services company, in association with the International Centre for Free & Open Source Software (ICFOSS) and the Free Software Users Group (FSUG-Tvm).

      The theme for the day was ‘Government Organisations and Free Software in Kerala’, in the light of the government order asking all departments to migrate to Free Software. At the event, experiences of government organisations who have successfully migrated to Free Software was showcased.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • Another Open-Source Developer Claims Hyperkin is Illegally Using Code for Retro Console System

      The makers of the open-sourced emulation software program, RetroArch are the latest to say that video games accessories company Hyperkin is using its program in violation of the GPL license. RetroArch uses a development interface called “libretro” that allows for the “easy creation of emulators and games that can plug straight into this program called RetroArch.” It supports 15 different hardware platforms including Android.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Constructing an industry, open-source style

      That open source philosophy will benefit Stefannuti Stocks in the long run, because other companies may devise some improvements. Then, if the demand increases, the units could be built more cheaply in bulk rather than individually crafted.

    • Better open source security, learning to code, open home design, and more
    • Open Data

      • The changing tide of open government and open data

        There is definitely something different about the Code for America Summit this year. It’s still got the family feeling and warm welcome that I’ve come to expect each year, but the tone is a little more serious. The civic projects being worked on are having a bigger impact on society. The projects highlighted during the first day of the conference are saving people time and improving our experience with government. The tide is on the rise and so is the impact of open government and open data.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Save money with open-source textbooks

        It’s hardly a secret that the price of new college textbooks has risen 82% in the last decade, forcing students to find cheaper alternatives or forego course materials altogether.

        Rentals, buybacks and used textbooks are part of the solution, but they still involve textbooks from the three major publishers that control the market. Experts say the next disruptive force in the textbook market could cut out these “big three” altogether.

  • Programming

    • APIcon UK: Open Source Fuels the API Economy

      Industry leaders say open source is the backbone of the software infrastructure required to fuel the API economy. At APIcon UK, Simon Phipps, president of the Open Source Initiative, explained why open source licensing will enable the API and Internet of Things economies to grow.

    • HHVM 3.3 Implements More PHP Language Functionality & Faster Performance

      A few days ago the Facebook developers working on the HipHop Virtual Machine — that serves as a faster implementation of PHP and it also serves as the basis of their Hack language — released HHVM 3.3.0.

Leftovers

  • Apple

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Rush to Violence

      Between 4 and 20 August the Saudi Arabian government beheaded 19 people. Saudi Arabia, which has funded and armed ISIS from inception (initially with CIA support), is now bombing alongside the USA in Iraq and Syria.

      Forget the war technology porn regularly being broadcast by western media, with those spectacular photos of missiles erupting from ships into the night sky. Those missiles and bombs eviscerate and maim innocents as well as combatants, children as well as terrorists. The West always first denies, then regrets, “collateral damage”. The propaganda can be laughable. During the invasion of Iraq I remember a news propaganda item about how a cruise missile can enter a specific window, being followed by the next item – the US had apologised to Syria for two missiles aimed at Iraq which had hit Syria by accident.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Interview with Bitcoin Armory

      In this edition, we conducted an email-based interview with Alan Reiner, core developer of Bitcoin Armory, a bitcoin wallet focused on security. Bitcoin Armory is licensed under the terms of GNU Affero General Public License version 3, or (at your option) any later version.

  • Finance

    • Washington Post Slams Venezuela for Electing ‘Former Bus Driver’

      It’s no secret that the Washington Post editorial page was quite alarmed by Venezuela’s shift to the left under former President Hugo Chavez. The Post–like the rest of elite US media (Extra!, 11/05)–was an unrelenting critic of Chavez’s policies.

      Some things haven’t changed.

      In a scathing editorial (9/20/14), the Post went after Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro, calling him an “economically illiterate former bus driver” because he “rejected the advice of pragmatists” and will continue to pursue policies that are ruining what was “once Latin America’s richest country.”

    • Jeff Bezos Takes WaPo’s Advice, Rips Off WaPo Workers

      Now, that’s a rotten thing to do–taking away large sums of money that you promised people for their retirement after years of service. Where could Bezos have gotten the idea that it was OK to act that way?

      Well, maybe he reads the paper he just bought.

      The Washington Post has a long tradition–in its news reports and its editorials–of calling on politicians to treat public employees and their pensions the way that Bezos is treating the Post’s.

    • RT America Interview: Sweden Said Good Riddance to Austerity – When Will America?

      Professor Wolff joins host of RT America Thom Hartmann. Sweden has said good riddance to austerity. On Sunday – the country’s voters chose a group of left-wing and center-left parties -led by the Social Democrat party – to head a new government. In total – left wing parties won 43.7 percent of the vote and 159 seats in parliament. When all is said and done and the Social Democrats have formed a government – it will mark the end of Sweden’s short-lived experiment with austerity. In the eight years since outgoing prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt’s right-leaning Moderate Party took control of parliament – Sweden has seen huge tax cuts and a flurry of so-called “pro-market reforms” – a change that many in the country saw as a a betrayal of a decades-long tradition of social democracy. With Sunday’s elections – though – it looks like the Scandinavian Model is back in business – and will be for quite some time.

    • The Green Tea Party and The Fight for Affordable Housing in America’s Most Expensive Community

      An alliance of tea party activists and some misled progressive liberals has united to defeat affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area. In a concerted effort to protect property values and a perceived quality of life, the Koch Brothers’ libertarian think tanks have developed strategies, talking points, and tactics to repel any efforts to provide affordable housing.

    • WSJ’s Misleading Defense Of ALEC Doesn’t Disclose Its Parent Company’s Membership

      The Wall Street Journal editorial board defended the corporate bill mill American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in an editorial whitewashing the organization’s climate change denial and vindicating their one-sided attacks on renewable energy, without mentioning that the Journal’s parent company News Corp. is an ALEC member.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • After Koch-Tied Judge Is Reversed, Walker Probe Rests with Conflicted WI Supreme Court

      A federal appellate court has shut down Judge Rudolph Randa’s decision halting the criminal probe into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and allied groups, rejecting Randa’s interpretation of campaign finance law and declaring the investigation best resolved by state courts.

      The investigation remains halted by a state court decision from January, and the probe’s future now rests with Wisconsin appellate courts. However, some justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court could have a conflict of interest: the four-justice Republican majority was elected by millions in spending from the same groups under investigation in the coordination probe, calling into question whether they can be impartial.

  • Censorship

    • When can a High Court grant an injunction to trade mark holders against ISPs to block access to “infringing” websites?

      The question before the Court is whether the owner of a trade mark can obtain an injunction – not against an alleged counterfeiter, or even against the owners and operators of the websites on which counterfeiters sell their items. The Court is instead being asked to grant an injunction against the internet service providers (ISPs), so that websites alleged to be infringing the trade marks are blocked to ISP subscribers.

    • Trade mark case could set a precedent for website blocking

      For the first time ISPs are being asked to block websites on the basis of alleged trade mark (rather than copyright) infringement. Whilst ORG takes no view on the merits of the trade mark claims in the current case, we believe the outcome of this case will have implications for future trade mark blocking applications, which could potentially threaten the legitimate interests of third parties.

  • Civil Rights

    • Attorney General Eric Holder to step down

      Attorney General Eric Holder, who has addressed questions about drones, cybersecurity, marijuana legalization, and other issues during his time in the Obama administration, is stepping down. NPR first reported the news today, saying that Holder would leave as soon as the Senate confirmed a successor, which could happen as late as next year; the White House has since confirmed the news in a statement. Holder took office in 2009, appointed by President Barack Obama in his first term. NPR quotes a former official as saying that Holder wanted to leave before being committed to staying the rest of Obama’s second term; he’s already one of the longest-serving US attorneys general. This spring, he said he would stay “well into 2014,” but declined to be more specific.

    • Fox Report Cherry-Picks Immigration Data To Stoke Terrorism Fears

      Fox News hyped fears that an influx of immigrants from the Middle East could pose a terrorism threat for the U.S., advocating for greater immigration from English-speaking countries. But Fox’s report parrots a study released by the anti-immigration group, the Center for Immigration Studies, and ignored the fact that the growth of Middle East immigrants in the U.S. was modest when compared to other regions.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Web Inventor Tim Berners-Lee Gets To The Core Of Net Neutrality Debate: You Need An Open Internet To Have A Free Market

      The creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, has now spoken out strongly in favor of net neutrality in an interview with the Washington Post. The headline and much of the attention are going to his quip that what the big broadband providers are doing is a form of “bribery” in trying to set up toll booths to reach their users. And that is, indeed, the money quote, but it’s not the most interesting part of what he’s really saying. It’s in the context that he gets to that, where he’s countering the bogus arguments from folks who insist that we don’t need net neutrality rules because that would mess with “the free market.” That’s wrong for a whole number of reasons that we’ve discussed previously, but Berners-Lee points out that to have a free market, you do need some basic accepted rules, and that’s where some basic regulations are useful: regulations to keep the market free and open. And that’s true of most “free markets.”

    • My visit to the US – ICANN, net neutrality, women in ICT and more

      I was very pleased to meet Tom Wheeler, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Tom and I had a very fruitful exchange, particularly on “Net Neutrality”. We are on the same line about preventing blocking and throttling of Internet access; but it’s clear that our approach to specialised services is quite different; in Europe we have been clear that they must not slow down or hinder the quality of access to the open Internet. I was also struck that the FCC received almost four million comments on its own proposed net neutrality rules: and in a way that is unsurprising, as our own consultations and analyses for the Connected Continent proposal show just how important this topic is to citizens, businesses and governments alike.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • New Bill Designed To Stop Bogus Copyright Claims From Stopping You From Selling What You Own

      We just wrote about an audio equipment manufacturer trying to argue that it was criminal for someone to resell their products. While this was obviously crazy, never underestimate the lengths that some companies will go through these days to try to block people from selling products they (thought they had) legally bought. And guess what tool they’re using to block you from actually owning the products you bought? Why copyright, of course. It’s yet another example of how copyright is often used to block property rights rather than to create them.

    • Questions for the 2014-2019 European Commissioners

      Starting from Monday, September 29th, the nominees intended to constitute the future College of Claude Junker’s Commission, will face a full parliamentary hearing, in view of the definitive confirmation of their appointment. La Quadrature du Net invites any Members of the European Parliament to question the candidates on their views and positions on the protection of European citizens’ digital rights. In particular, the set of questions, that La Quadrature du Net provides, covers a broad range of issues that are essential to guarantee people’s rights to access a free and open Internet, as well as to protect their personal data. Most of the questions directly relate to the portfolio of Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for Digital Single Market. Other Commissioners designate, whose Directorate-General is competent for specific issues, are indicated below.

09.25.14

Links 25/9/2014: KDE Roadmap, Bash Bug, GNOME 3.14 in Next Fedora

Posted in News Roundup at 11:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • After XP, is an open source operating system for you?

    Instead of moving to Windows 8 or waiting for Windows 9, enterprises might consider Linux because of the open source operating system’s flexibility.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • 2.8.6 → 2.9 → 3.0 → …

        Yesterday Kexi 2.8.6 has been released within Calligra. Click the link for a list of changes, and a mention of pretty unusual addition to Kexi – it proposes direct donations on its Welcome screen. It turned out to be convenient and hopefully not too annoying given what the benefits might be. It’s best explained by the screen shot.

      • KDE Applications 14.12 Release Schedule Published

        If all goes well, KDE Applications 14.12 will be released on 17 December. The current release schedule that was published on Wednesday has an API/feature/dependency/message/artwork freeze on 29 October, a beta release on 5 November, a second beta on 12 November, and beta 3 on 19 November. The KDE Applications 14.12 release candidate is due out on 26 November and then if all goes well the official release will come on 17 December. KDE Applications 14.12.x point releases will come monthly just like we saw with the conventional KDE 4 Software Compilation releases.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Gnome 3.14 Review

        In a nutshell I like Gnome 3.14 a lot. It’s a really nice release. Though I am a hard core Plasma user, I see myself spending some time with Gnome, enjoying things like online integration, easy-to-set-up Evolution and many more features which I can’t find in KDE’s Plasma. That said, both are my favorite. They both excel in their focus areas. If you have not tried Gnome yet, do give it a try.

      • There’s Wayland Changes Needed Before GNOME Will Be 100% Ported

        With yesterday’s GNOME 3.14 release the Wayland support is considered sufficient for day-to-day use running the GNOME stack on Wayland rather than an X11 Server on Linux. However, the GNOME developers don’t consider this to be “100% complete” yet and there’s still some more work needed to be cleared up on the Wayland side.

  • Distributions

    • Sharing Distros, Tiny Core Fights Fires, and Bash Bug

      In today’s Linux news the Linux Journal has the story of a firehouse that saved time, money, and hair by using Tiny Core Linux. GNOME 3.14 is “lazier” than ever and Fedora 21 is getting lots of kudos. Red Hat is on its way to Mars and Bash has been found to be vulnerable to attack.

    • Practical Tiny Core in the Fire Service

      From a budgetary standpoint, I was encouraged to keep costs down. The first decision and the easiest decision was to use Linux. I just shaved off the cost of the Windows license.

    • The hair loss cure for new Linux users

      To foster the idea of sharing installable distros for specific hardware or purposes, I created distroshare.com. An example purpose may be to mimic Windows or Mac OS X for users comfortable with those user interfaces. Anyone can submit a distro to share and each one will be reviewed for security issues or functionality problems. Submissions can be uploaded directly to distroshare.com or a link to the file/project can be provided in the submission form. The submission form also accepts an optional PayPal or Bitcoin address for users to donate to. Currently there are nine distributions listed and only three for a specific machine (the Acer C720 chromebook). As the number of distributions grow, we should see more desktop Linux users and perhaps even cause OEMs to pay more attention.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • GNOME 3.14 released — all this goodness will be in Fedora 21

          Today, the GNOME Project announced the availability of their latest stable release, GNOME 3.14. This version of GNOME is what will be available as the basis of the Fedora 21 Workstation, and features a wide range of amazing new features and enhancements. This new version contains major updates to the weather application, the evince document viewer, maps, and games. The default theme has been given a lot of care and attention, including new transition animations. Additionally, GNOME 3.14 now also has support for “Captive Authentication”, so when logging into a wifi hotspot, the login screen is automatically pops up.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Elive 2.3.6 beta released

          This new version includes:

          Configured network connections are now persistent on reboot for USB Images.

          Improved USB bootable Image by creating a separate partition, this fixes the issue with USB images not booting on some rare computers

          Elive now boots with an amazing Splash theme

          Improved the listing of kernels on the boot screen

          Added memtest to the boot screen

          SSH between Elive computers is now much faster

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • elementary OS Freya beta review

              Ok, enough about tarnished acronyms. Let’s get back to elementary OS Freya beta, which was released in early August. As with any distribution that I review, there are stuff that I like about elementary OS Freya and stuff that I don’t like. A particular issue that I don’t like is the same one I drew attention to in my review of the Luna edition.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Dan Allen and Sarah White: Documentation Dearth Dooms Open Source Projects

    Dan Allen: I can understand the programmer’s dilemma in having to write documentation. It can be a long and painful process. Documentation in open source is often a missing link. There are four major pillars of developing open source software. Each one has it own elements of problem-solving associated with it. These are design, code writing, testing and documentation.

  • Puppet-wearing devs: There’s now an app (or two) for that

    Kanies, who is the original author of Puppet, said the Puppet Server has been re-engineered for increased efficiency, greater flexibility, and improved stability and scalability. The new version, which is now available in Puppet 3.7, improves improved performance by 300 per cent, he said.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • What’s new in OpenStack Juno

      OpenStack is on a six-month release cycle, with each release given a code name starting with consecutive letters of the alphabet. On October 16th, OpenStack Juno will be released, with several new projects, and lots of new features. Here’s a few of the things you can expect in the next release of OpenStack. This isn’t intended to be comprehensive—just a taste of some of the things that are coming.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Public Services/Government

    • 7 local governments announced to build with Code for America

      This week, Code for America is thrilled to announce new partnerships with seven local governments for the 2015 Code for America Fellowship Program. The official announcement was shared with more than 750 attendees at the annual Code for America Summit on September 23, and in this press release.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Man on a Quest to Open-Source Cancer Research

      Isaac Yonemoto is a chemist, but he’s been writing software code since he was a kid. He calls himself a “semi-recreational” programmer, and now, he’s running an experiment that combines this sideline with his day job. In short, he’s using open source software techniques to kickstart the world of cancer research.

    • WikiHouse open source project: fast and cheap homes

      We’ve seen examples of low-cost 3D printed houses (and an unrelated castle), and while they’re all interesting, they are out of the reach of most prospective home buyers. That could change with WikiHouse, a project that aims to provide the public with plans for cheap homes that can be built in a matter of days.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Maryland professors test open-source textbooks

        For university students enrolled in Scott Roberts’ PSYC 100: Introduction to Psychology class since fall of 2010, the idea of a college course that doesn’t require spending hundreds on a textbook isn’t foreign, it’s reality.

      • The story of Aaron Swartz and his fight for open

        A new documentary about the life of Aaron Swartz was released in June this year. It recounts the story of one of the most impactful young talents of the Internet age, and the tragic saga of his quest to make the world a better place.

        Directed by Brian Knappenberger, the film was funded through Kickstarter and backed by 1,531 supporters who collectively pledged $93,741, surpassing the initial funding goal of $75,000.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Trolling in the aisles with LulzSec: Teh Internet is Serious Business

      The story of LulzSec is one of trust and betrayal, justice and lawlessness, authority and subversion. In the winter of 2010, six geographically disparate people came together online to form a hacking group that delighted some, infuriated others and quickly came to the attention of law enforcement on both sides of the Atlantic.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • I Was a Pair of Boots on the Ground in Iraq

      I was once a pair of “boots on the ground,” so I know a little about what the phrase means. And I can tell you that, listening to the back-and-forth between the White House and the Pentagon over who exactly we’re sending to Iraq (and now possibly Syria), neither side is giving the American people the whole story. First of all, you know those boots on the ground everybody’s still discussing whether we should deploy? Well, they’re already there. We are already effectively engaged in combat in Iraq, in direct contradiction of what President Obama said when he announced he was taking action against the Islamic State terrorists, telling the American people in an address from the White House that the mission “will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.” He said pretty much the same when he told troops at MacDill Air Force Base: “The American forces do not and will not have a combat mission.”

    • When are boots on the ground “boots on the ground”?

      President Obama vows not to involve U.S. troops in another land war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. He refers to this as not having “boots on the ground.”

    • America’s never-ending war

      It is official: US President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama is at war again. After toppling Libyan ruler Muammar el-Qaddafi and bombing targets in Somalia and Yemen, Obama has initiated airstrikes in northern Iraq, effectively declaring war on the Islamic State – a decision that will involve infringing on the sovereign, if disintegrating, state of Syria.

    • Reactions to Obama’s Naked Aggression Against Syria

      On Tuesday, Obama attacked another country lawlessly. Syria poses no threat to America.

    • Israel Part of US Anti-Syrian Coalition

      It’s unannounced. It’s no secret. Israel is heavily involved. It’s been so all along. It wants Assad ousted.

    • ‘Peace’ President? How Obama came to bomb seven countries in six years

      Barack Obama, the man many hoped would be the ‘peace President’ when he entered office, has bombed seven countries during his six years in office.

      The President oversaw the first US air strikes launched in Syria this week, in a huge escalation of America’s military campaign against Isis (also known as Islamic State).

      Mr Obama was elected partly of his opposition to the Iraq war and was even awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.

      The arguably optimistic decision taken by the Norwegian Nobel Committee was taken just nine months into his Presidency and came as he was trying to manage the war in Afghanistan.

      His famous speech in Cairo saw the President declare he was seeking “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world”, sparking hopes he would be the antidote to George W. Bush’s controversial term.

    • ‘The Last Days of Vietnam’ traces a complicated exodus from war

      Multiple stories of heroism, indecision and guilt converge in a riveting documentary

    • ‘Last Days in Vietnam’ review: Sadness, heroism that must be told

      One of the film’s less affable talking heads is Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, who negotiated the Paris Peace Accord two years earlier. I’ll leave it to viewers to evaluate his input here.

    • Once upon a time in Vietnam

      It’s very hard to watch the vile vampire Kissinger in hornrims smiling as he mimics a human being.

    • The Kurds as cannon fodder

      Once again the West has found a way to use the Kurds as cannon fodder for its own purposes. Once more, however, the biggest losers will be the ordinary Kurdish people.

      The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq comprises two rival armed groups — the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) — which have a history of killing each other’s supporters in their mutual drive for absolute power. The PUK began as a faction inside the KDP. In 1964 the KDP militia literally pushed the dissident faction into Iran.

    • White House Fence Jumpers, 9/11 and “Khorasan”, the Mysterious Al Qaeda Splinter Group

      Just when we thought the jokes and lies couldn’t get any sicker and thicker, we get, via CBS, a new figurative, yet also polysemously literal, present: “Khorasan.” Of course, the “new”, to be sure, is also by now rather old. Do have a look; we’ve got yet another recycling of the bin Laden/Emmanuel Goldstein image, this time associated with the out-of-thin-air Khorasan group. CBS kindly informs us that “an expert on Al-Qaeda” (who is undoubtedly also expert in the knowledge of Eurasia, Eastasia, and telescreens) “says they [Khorasan] are following bin Laden’s vision.”

    • Hoping Bombs Will Solve Iraq/Syria Mess

      Contradictions beset the U.S. war over Iraq and Syria. The principal target ISIS wouldn’t even exist but for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria have benefited from defections of U.S.-backed “moderates.” But now warplanes and missiles are supposed to fix things, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Ron Paul: Congress votes for more war in the Mideast

      >Last week, the House and Senate voted to rubber stamp President Obama’s war plans for the Middle East. Both bodies, on a bipartisan basis, authorized the U.S. to begin openly training and arming the rebels who have been fighting for three years to overthrow the Assad government in Syria.

      Although the Syrian government also has been fighting ISIS and related extremist groups for three years, the U.S. refuses to speak to the Syrians and has warned Assad not to interfere with the U.S. attack on sovereign Syrian territory

    • Guest Post: Is Credible Vetting of the Syrian Opposition for Human Rights Abuses Possible?

      Tucked inside the continuing resolution the United States Congress passed late last week was a provision to authorize the training and equipping of “moderate, vetted” elements of the Syrian opposition. The CIA has been carrying out a covert, small-scale version of this program, according to media reports. However, the rapid territorial gains and brutality of ISIS tipped the scales and encouraged the administration to go bigger – and go public — with a $500 million Pentagon-run, train-and-equip program, said U.S. President Barack Obama in a Sept. 10 speech.

    • The JFK Assassination: The CIA’s “Lone Assassin” Propaganda Strategy for the Warren Commission Report

      Communiqué encouraged media assets to counter notions of “political conspiracy”

  • Censorship

    • Hundreds of High Schoolers Walk Out to Protest Conservative Takeover of History Standards

      What Board Chairman Ken Witt probably didn’t expect is what happened next. Yesterday, hundreds of students from five high schools marched out of their classrooms and into the streets to reject the conservative board’s proposal. Carrying signs such as “people didn’t die so we could erase them,” the students demanded that the proposal be withdrawn.

      To get a sense of the size of the protests, the local CBS station reported that 500 students walked out at a single high school, Arvada West High. That is about a third of the students at the school.

      In addition to the mass student protests, teachers have been leading actions as well. Last week, as many as 50 teachers at Standley Lake and Conifer high schools staged a sickout to protest the new standards, forcing classes to be canceled.

  • Privacy

    • Opinion/Editorial: U.S. should take a look at its spying

      It took awhile, but Washington now has done the responsible thing and ceased spying on friendly governments.

      That information comes from current and former U.S. officials, reports The Associated Press, although the CIA has declined to comment.

  • Civil Rights

    • Director thanks Jeremy Renner for helping him avoid horror shocker

      In the new Cuestra film, Renner portrays investigative reporter Gary Webb, who became the target of a vicious smear campaign that drove him to the point of suicide after exposing the CIA’s role in arming Contra rebels.

    • Return of the messenger: How Jeremy Renner’s new film Kill The Messenger will vindicate Sacramento investigative journalist Gary Webb

      Nearly two decades after the reporter exposed a connection between the CIA and crack cocaine in America, Hollywood chimes in with a major movie

    • Kill the Messenger’s Jeremy Renner Admits He Got Hitched

      “Kill the Messenger” is a political thriller about real-life journalist Gary Webb who documented the link between drug dealers, contra rebels in Nicaragua and the C.I.A. He wrote a series of articles for the San Jose Mercury Times called the “Dark Alliance” series in 1996. His work received critical praise and attention from the media, who later turned on him and discredited his work.

    • A Farce at Forty

      These authors also assert that President Ford had not made a deal with the president who appointed him vice president and then stood aside to elevate him to the presidency, trading a pardon for the country’s two national offices over ten months. Many pundits as well as the dense ranks of Nixon’s opponents (they almost completely overlapped for a long time), screamed this at the time, including relatively sober commentators such as Joseph Alsop, but there was never a shred of evidence of it and such a thought arose only in the perfervidly malignant atmosphere confected by the anti-Nixon media, with, it must be admitted, what amounted to the cooperation of Nixon himself in his incompetent handling of the issues from the Watergate intrusion of June 1972, right up to his resignation in August 1974. Of course there was no such arrangement, the suggestion of it was always scurrilous and defamatory of both presidents, and to proclaim triumphantly 40 years later that they are now free of that suspicion is fatuous.

    • The fundamental rule of international law is that states cannot attack other states, even for humanitarian reasons

      Does US care about violating international laws? Nope. Is there any entity that can take action against US and Allies if they violate international laws? Nope. So what is the use in an UN and its Secretary General or the UN Human Rights head? They simply take home lavish salaries, remunerations and travel VIP and issue statements at all states the US and Allies are against. If so, is there a point in continuing with the UN? That’s a question that the public of the member nations must pose to their governments and decide to walk out of the UN as the current double standards and ugly precedents being created has reached beyond the level of tolerance. Since independence in 1776, the U.S. has been engaged in over 53 military invasions and expeditions and nothing is being done against such illegal actions.

    • ‘Surveillance state’

      Ex-CIA analyst joins Chico State profs in discussion of Fourth Amendment, government power over Americans

    • Torture in Iraq: Pakistani citizen challenges UK’s ‘act of state’ stance

      A Pakistani citizen who says he was tortured over a period of 10 years after being captured by UK special forces in Iraq and handed over to US troops will on Wednesday contest the government’s claim that he cannot pursue his case on the grounds that it would damage Britain’s relations with America, The Guardian reported.

      Yunus Rahmatullah was seized in Iraq in 2004 in an incident that was kept secret from ministers and only disclosed to MPs five years later. Rahmatullah, now 31, was released by the US without charge in May and is seeking to sue the ministry of defence (MoD) and the foreign office, accusing them of responsibility for his subjection to torture and abuse.

    • Spotlighting regional issues, UN reform, Latin American leaders address General Assembly

      Mr. Maduro Moros urged United States President Barack Obama to end the embargo in Cuba and called on the General Assembly to draft a document that would defend poor countries against “vulture funds” that sought to plunder economies and impose detrimental finance systems. He expressed solidarity with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and Argentina in particular. A decolonization plan for Puerto Rico was critical so that the island could join its neighbours in CELAC.

    • Senate Torture Report Vanishes

      Back here at home, the dispute over the Senate Intelligence Committee report on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) torture, a hot button issue earlier this year, has also benefited, largely disappearing from sight. The meticulously researched Senate report, covering 6000 pages and including 35,000 footnotes, apparently concluded that torturing terrorist suspects was not only illegal under the United Nations Convention on Torture, to which Washington is a signatory, it was also ineffective, producing no intelligence that was otherwise unobtainable.

    • ROSS: Obama regime trampling free press

      AP’s Washington Bureau Chief, a reporter who has been illegally spied upon by the Obama regime, has just given a talk about the ways the president is trampling press freedom.

    • Don’t Execute Those We Tortured

      But there are reasons Mr. Mohammed should not be executed, irrespective of how one feels about capital punishment. He was the victim of blatantly illegal treatment — the C.I.A. waterboarded him 183 times in March 2003, and threatened to kill his children while imprisoning him in a secret jail — at the hands of the government.

    • France Adopts Anti-Terror Law Eroding Civil Liberties

      Last week, a nearly empty French lower house (National Assembly) voted with a large majority in favour of the “bill strengthening provisions on the fight against terrorism”. In an atmosphere heavy with “apocalyptic” anxiety and speeches on the terrorist threat – particularly online –, interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and rapporteur Sébastien Pietrasanta wore down all opposition, blocking any further thought on the serious breaches of the Rule of Law contained in this bill.

09.24.14

Links 24/9/2014: GNOME 3.14 Released, Bash Has a Bug

Posted in News Roundup at 8:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google Brings Coreboot To 64-bit ARM

    As of today there’s now mainline Coreboot support for 64-bit ARM (AArch64) thanks to work originally done by Google.

  • Open source middleware is everywhere in financial services

    The UK economy is growing at its fastest rate since 2007, according to the Office of National Statistics, and the financial services sector is playing a major role in supporting this recovery. Renewed confidence in the City is driving up demand for effective IT. However, mirroring austerity measures put in place to help get national economies back on track, most (if not all) banks these days have cost reduction programmes in place.

  • UNICEF launches RapidPro open source app store

    The United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has launched RapidPro, an open-source platform of apps that can help governments to quickly deliver important information in real time. It can also be used to connect communities to lifesaving services.

  • 5 New Enterprise Open Source Projects to Watch

    The open source software community is nothing if not prolific, and exciting new projects arrive on the scene practically every day. Keeping up with it all can be a formidable challenge; on the other hand, failing to do so could mean you miss out on something great.

    Nowhere is that more true than in enterprises, where upstart new contenders can change the way business is done almost overnight. Take Docker, for example. Though it only just launched last year, the container technology tool has taken the enterprise world by storm, becoming a fundamental part of the way many businesses work.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla: Phasing Out Certificates with SHA-1 based Signature Algorithms

        We plan to add a security warning to the Web Console to remind developers that they should not be using a SHA-1 based certificate. We will display an additional, more prominent warning if the certificate will be valid after January 1, 2017, since we will reject that certificate after that date. We plan to implement these warnings in the next few weeks, so they should be appearing in released versions of Firefox in early 2015. We may implement additional UI indicators later. For instance, after January 1, 2016, we plan to show the “Untrusted Connection” error whenever a newly issued SHA-1 certificate is encountered in Firefox. After January 1, 2017, we plan to show the “Untrusted Connection” error whenever a SHA-1 certificate is encountered in Firefox.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • InfiniDB bows out of the database wars the open-source way

      Consolidation is a natural part of any industry’s maturation, especially a segment as fiercely competitive as the database space, which has witnessed a massive influx of new players in recent years each vying for their own slice of the market. The resulting overlap in products and capabilities is starting to claim its first victims.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Towns in Umbria region switch to LibreOffice

      The public administrations of the Italian cities Todi and Terni are switching to LibreOffice, announces LibreUmbria. The regional project is assisting the Umbria region’s public administrations to use this free software suite of office productivity tools.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Tor Challenge hits it out of the park

      If you need to be anonymous online, or evade digital censorship and surveillance, the Tor network has your back. And it’s more than a little bit stronger now than it was this spring, thanks to the Tor Challenge.

      Tor is a publicly accessible, free software-based system for anonymizing Internet traffic. It relies on thousands of computers around the world called relays, which route traffic in tricky ways to dodge spying. The more relays, the stronger and faster the network.

      We’d like to warmly thank our allies at the Electronic Frontier Foundation for organizing the Tor Challenge and inviting us to join them in promoting it. And most of all, thanks to the 1,635 of you who started a relay! (The FSF would have started one too, but we’ve already been running ours for a while.)

    • GNU Parallel 20140922 (‘Scotland’) released
    • MediaGoblin 0.7.1 released

      MediaGoblin 0.7.1 has been released! This is a bugfix release building on MediaGoblin 0.7.0.

    • RCS savannah project page

      On the project page for RCS on savannah, the intro blurb now has a proper link to CVS, as well as a link to the tip jar page.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • MSA takes open-source pitch to faculty

      But rather than pushing for a bill at the state Legislature, this year the Minnesota Student Association is focusing its open-source efforts on winning over faculty members one by one.

    • Darkcoin Releases RC5, Prepares to Open Source Darksend

      Almost a month after releasing RC4, the Darkcoin team is back again with its much-awaited client upgrade, Release Candidate 5.

      As assured by the project’s core developer Evan Duffield, this new client easily fixes the concerns raised in security review, published earlier by renowned security expert Kristov Atlas. This includes the improvisation of Darksend’s anonymity effectiveness. Other fixes that has been implemented in RC5 is: Enforcement of masternode payments; improved Darksend speed; and Added Darksend overview screen so users can see what’s happening.

    • Bitsmart: Open-Source DIY Bitcoin Wallet with Raspberry Pis
    • Open Data, OpenCorporates, OpenOil

      Open data can play a crucial role in helping us navigate such mazes. In the world of business, the key store of open information is OpenCorporates, which I’ve written about several times. But OpenCorporates is just the start; what’s really exciting is the way that people are starting to use its growing resources to investigate companies and their industries. A particularly good example of this is a project called OpenOil

    • Share your genetic story with openSNP

      Once you fall down the genealogical rabbit hole, it’s hard to find your way back out. My journey began with my grandfather, a polio survivor confined to a wheelchair who took to computers in his later years. One of his passions was researching his ancestors, and the tool he used to collect his findings was Brøderbund’s Family Tree Maker. I was fascinated by the charts and tables that he’d print out on his bubble jet printer, but I didn’t have the patience for all the data entry.

    • Open Data

      • EC unveils open data site on EU cohesion funding

        The European Commission in July unveiled the Cohesion Policy Data platform – offering information and open data on the performance of EU Cohesion Policy. The policy determines one-third of the total EU budget: each year the EU invests about 50 billion euro in economic development at the national and regional level. The new open data platform shows how the funding is distributed between countries, by categories of regions, and with details on the different funds and policy objectives.

  • Programming

    • Out in the Open: The Site That Teaches You to Code Well Enough to Get a Job

      Wanna be a programmer? That shouldn’t be too hard. You can sign-up for an iterative online tutorial at a site like Codecademy or Treehouse. You can check yourself into a “coding bootcamp” for a face-to-face crash course in the ways of programming. Or you could do the old fashioned thing: buy a book or take a class at your local community college.

    • PyPy 2.4 “Snow White” Released
    • CLike: A New, “Simple C-Like” Programming Language

      One of the latest programming languages out there is now CLike, a language inspired by the C programming language but with an extensible syntax and typed macros support.

    • Why Python 4.0 won’t be like Python 3.0

      Newcomers to python-ideas occasionally make reference to the idea of “Python 4000″ when proposing backwards incompatible changes that don’t offer a clear migration path from currently legal Python 3 code. After all, we allowed that kind of change for Python 3.0, so why wouldn’t we allow it for Python 4.0?

      I’ve heard that question enough times now (including the more concerned phrasing “You made a big backwards compatibility break once, how do I know you won’t do it again?”), that I figured I’d record my answer here, so I’d be able to refer people back to it in the future.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Google’s war on spam and how encryption could finally win it – for the spammers

      When you cut the knees out from under a complex society, as Edward Snowden and the NSA have done to the internet over the past year or so, the effects ripple outward unpredictably. Right away, there was a rush on cryptography software, which immediately threatened the online status quo; privacy software might just as accurately be called “anti-analytics” or “anti-big-data” software, and your details and behavioral data (tracking cookies) are the lifeblood of the online economy. That looming problem can only get so big while encryption solutions remain clunky and intimidating to newbies — but pressure is mounting for more aggressive, far-reaching protection of online traffic. In particular, large email providers are looking forward to a future in which they must try to protect a user’s inbox while encryption prevents them from knowing virtually anything about it. By using encryption to protect ourselves from Google, hackers, and the NSA, we could be making ourselves vulnerable to spam.

    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • My free software will respect users or it will be bullshit

      The four freedoms are only meaningful if they result in real-world benefits to the entire population, not a privileged minority. If your approach to releasing free software is merely to ensure that it has an approved license and throw it over the wall, you’re doing it wrong. We need to design software from the ground up in such a way that those freedoms provide immediate and real benefits to our users. Anything else is a failure.

    • Bash specially-crafted environment variables code injection attack

      Bash or the Bourne again shell, is a UNIX like shell, which is perhaps one of the most installed utilities on any Linux system. From its creation in 1980, bash has evolved from a simple terminal based command interpreter to many other fancy uses.

    • Unix/Linux Bash: Critical security hole uncovered
    • SHELL SHOCK: Big bad Bash bug blows hole in Unix, Linux web servers
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Bombing Is Good For You

      If bombing a country really made it better, we would have made a paradise of Iraq by now. Instead it is a total disaster, with access to electricity, drinking water, education and health services all far worse than they were before we started bombing it. That is even without the growth of the Caliphate, or ISIS, a direct result first of our deposing Saddam and conniving in the intolerant Shia rule of Maliki, and then of our connivance in arming and funding anyone willing to fight Assad.

    • Syria Becomes the 7th Predominantly Muslim Country Bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate

      The U.S. today began bombing targets inside Syria, in concert with its lovely and inspiring group of five allied regimes: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Jordan.

      That means that Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama—after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq.

    • Barack Obama, War President

      “A decade of war is now ending,” Barack Obama proclaimed from the steps of the Capitol in the first minutes of his presidency. “We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”

    • Reluctant Warrior Bombs Yet Another Country

      It does make one wonder: What would an enthusiastic warrior look like to the corporate media? Would bombing eight countries in six years be enough?

    • Washington informed Syria before airstrikes

      The Syrian foreign ministry said Tuesday that Washington informed Damascus’ envoy to the United Nations before launching airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria, attacks that activists said inflicted casualties among jihadi fighters and civilians on the ground.

    • Britain will be ‘at war’ by weekend as RAF is set to blitz ISIS

      America and its Arab allies launched a devastating blitz on Islamic State strongholds in Syria yesterday as Britain was poised to join in.

    • Obama among most aggressive US Presidents: CNN
    • O, bomber! Obama bombs 7th country in 6 years

      American jets hit targets in Syria on Tuesday in the US-led fight against Islamic State. Although the US has not declared war since 1942, this is the seventh country that Barack Obama, the holder of the Nobel Peace Prize, has bombed in as many years.

    • Reality Check: Obamawar

      Okay, now the anti-war president is at war. This makes sense. Sure it does. Remember in 1964 when LBJ’s campaign included this nugget: “We are not about to send American boys nine- or 10-thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves?” Then Nixon got elected in ’68 with a secret plan to end the Vietnam War and escalated it to horrifically criminal heights by bombing peaceful, sovereign nations “back to the stone age.” Oh, and remember when George W. Bush spoke in the late-summer of 2000 of a “humble foreign policy?” They can’t help it. I

    • Here are the seven countries the United States has bombed since 9/11

      The US began airstrikes in Syria today, fulfilling president Barack Obama’s vow to “degrade and destroy” the extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State. The Pentagon said it deployed bombers, fighters, armed drones, and cruise missiles against IS forces in the group’s de facto capital of Raqqa, Syria and along the Iraq border. Military aircraft from Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates took part in the strikes, US officials told the New York Times.

    • Syria: US begins air strikes on Islamic State targets

      The US and five Arab allies have launched the first strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria.

      The Pentagon said warplanes, drones and Tomahawk missiles were used to targeted several areas including IS stronghold Raqqa. At least 70 IS militants were killed, Syrian activists say.

    • Sweden ‘missed’ global opportunities

      These drones kill more civilians than the United States wants to make out.

    • Edward Snowden Wins Sweden’s ‘Alternative Nobel’
    • US Drone Attack Kills 10 in Pakistan

      At least 10 militants were killed today in a US drone attack in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region, officials said.

      [...]

      The identity of those killed was not known immediately.

    • U.S. Drones Kill Eight Militants in NW Pakistan

      U.S. drones Wednesday fired missiles at a compound and vehicle and killed at least eight militants in a restive Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan, officials said.

    • Sri Lanka condemns use of drones to counter terrorism

      Sri Lanka has condemned the use of drones by certain countries for combating terrorism and said it violates the international humanitarian law.

      The Sri Lankan delegation at the UN Human Rights Council has said the use of remotely piloted aircraft or armed drones result in killing of civilians and the matter should be “promptly investigated”.

    • Why Drones Don’t Cut It in Syria

      Drones can perform a critical intelligence role by staying the air a long time and providing a good overview but without a pilot on board they have a limited ability to distinguish between combatants and civilians and quickly make sense out of confusing situations on the ground.

    • Drone crashes in south Yemen: witnesses

      A drone similar those used by the United States to track down and attack suspected al Qaeda militants in Yemen crashed in the southern part of the country on Tuesday, witnesses and a local official said.

    • Suspected U.S. drone crashes in Yemen

      An aircraft believed to be a U.S. unmanned aerial drone crashed Tuesday in Yemen’s southern Shabwah province, eyewitnesses have said.

    • Israel Uses Gaza and West Bank to Test Weapons For Sale

      To illustrate this disturbing fact, Israel just wrapped up its annual drone conference during which it showcased drones that had just successfully been deployed during the devastating Operation Protective Edge in Gaza where 2,100 Palestinians were killed.

    • US vows more airstrikes on Syria

      US President Barack Obama says air strikes unleashed against the Islamic State group in Syria send a clear message the world is united in confronting them.

    • Bombing ISIS will do more harm than good. Here’s why

      ISIS may think they have a monopoly over the truth, but all they’ve shown is their own arrogance as they bask in their fantasy caliphate. Their stupidity and arrogance means they will destroy themselves. But recent history suggests that the current bombing campaign in civilian areas risks radicalising a new generation of already marginalised young men.

    • Suddenly Khorasan: New US Enemy Came Out of Nowhere

      It was no surprise when the Obama Administration began attacking ISIS targets in Syria last night. What was surprising was that the US also attacked a group known as Khorasan, then hyped what a huge, “imminent” threat they supposedly are.

    • Six Totally Shocking, Crazy, Outrageous Predictions About the War Against the Islamic State

      As you’ve probably heard, the US-led Coalition of the Willing to Be Seen Putting the Hurt on the Islamic State just made an overnight delivery of live ordinance to Islamic State targets throughout Syria, and they really blew the heck out of some stuff. Meanwhile, the White House and Pentagon have taken the field in the battle for public opinion armed with briefings, statements, videos, pictures, calls, and other weapons of mass communication.

    • Syria Airstrikes: PM In Talks Over UK Role
    • Government told to reveal plans for drone strikes outside war zones

      The British government has been warned it may face legal action if it fails to consult Parliament and the public on the redeployment of drones outside declared war zones.

    • Expanding US Strikes to ISIS in Syria, Has Obama Opened New Phase of “Perpetual War”?

      The United States has launched airstrikes in Syria targeting the Islamic State, as well as members of a separate militant organization known as the Khorasan group. The Pentagon says U.S. forces launched 47 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles from warships in the Red Sea and North Arabian Gulf. In addition, U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fighters, bombers and drones took part in the airstrikes. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 20 Islamic State fighters were killed in strikes that hit at least 50 targets in Raqqa and Deir al-Zor provinces in Syria’s east. The United States says Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had either participated or supported the strikes against the Islamic State, which has seized swaths of Syria and Iraq. The United States acted alone against the Khorasan group, saying it “took action to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests.” The Syrian government claims the United States had informed it of the pending attacks hours before the strikes began. Meanwhile, the United States has expanded its bombing of Iraq, launching new strikes around Kirkuk. To discuss this development, we are joined by two guests: Vijay Prashad, professor of international studies at Trinity College who has written extensively about the Islamic State, and Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the peace group CodePink and author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control.

    • US Expands Global ‘War On Terror’ By Striking ISIS Targets In Syria

      The United States and several of its Gulf Arab allies launched at least 50 air and missile strikes on Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) strongholds in Syria on Tuesday, opening a new, far more complicated front in the battle against the militants, as well as marking the start of a new chapter in the ongoing US-proclaimed global “war on terror.”

    • 8 civilians, incl. 3 kids, killed in US-led strikes on Syria – monitor

      Eight civilians, three of them children, have been killed in the US-led air strikes on Al-Qaeda Nusra front positions, Reuters reported, citing Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    • Bombs away over Syria

      I’m all in favor of doing something about ISIS, but as the bombs fall over Syria, may I ask: How many unilateral bombing campaigns does a left-wing President get to launch before the Nobel committee has to consider taking his Peace Prize away?

    • Shock and Awe in Syria: It Never Works

      The Syrian government acknowledged that the US gave fair warning it would bomb Raqqah to the Syrian ambassador to the UN. That is, the US may not militarily be coordinating with Syria, but it does inform the regime of enough information to avoid a shoot-down.

      Not only ISIL positions but also some targets of the Jabhat al-Nusra or Succor Front (the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria) were struck by the US and its allies. Once you enter a war, it doesn’t stay limited.

      The US deployed not only fighter jets but also drone strikes and Tomahawk missiles, presumably fired from a destroyer from the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. It targeted suspected arms depots, the mayor’s mansion (used by ISIL as its HQ in Raqqah), and checkpoints, among other things. Dozens of ISIL fighters were said to be killed and more wounded.

    • Lest We Forget: remembering the airstrikes of the past

      I remember the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and how, for a moment, I was seduced by the notion that we needed to re-run World War 2, ousting Saddam, the new Hitler.

      I remember the generals and their briefings that told us that the precision weapons used in airstrikes protected civilians, and reading news reports that said otherwise.

      I remember that Britain and America armed Saddam Hussein in the first place.

    • The Islamic State terrorists aren’t just our enemy: they’re our legacy

      In the past year the United States has expanded its drone warfare campaign into Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Somalia, beyond the traditional Afghan-Pakistani battleground. The story of a young eastern Afghani man, Miya Jan, was widely reported throughout the western media last year. A United States drone strike changed his life forever: it killed his brother, his sister-in-law and their child.

    • If A Bank Can Be Liable For Terrorism, Are The Saudis Next?

      A Brooklyn jury’s verdict holding a Jordanian bank liable for Hamas terrorist attacks, combined with a federal appeals court’s reinstatement of a similar lawsuit against National Westminster Bank, is ratting international banking as well as policymakers at the U.S. State Dept. In both cases U.S. courts rejected traditional deference to foreign laws and sovereign immunity and showed a willingness to apply American tort law to overseas terrorist attacks.

    • Behind Obama’s Historic U.S.-Led Arab Coalition Conducting Airstrikes In Syria

      Qatar, a proven financier of Hamas, played a supporting role in the airstrikes.

    • Obama Launches an Unconstitutional War on ISIS in Syria

      Article One, Section Eight of the U.S. Constitution vests the power “to declare war” in the hands of Congress. But as the world now knows, President Barack Obama took it upon himself last night to launch an undeclared war against ISIS in Syria. Just like President George W. Bush before him, Obama believes his vast war powers as commander in chief trump whatever old-fashioned limitations the text of the Constitution happens to impose on the presidency.

      This is not Obama’s first undeclared war, of course. That would be his 2011 war in Libya, which he also launched after refusing to obtain congressional authorization as required by the Constitution. Nor is it Obama’s only unilateral exercise of unprecedented executive power. That list of misdeeds is growing too long to summarize in a short blog post. As Obama himself bragged in January 2014, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone…. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward.”

    • Oliver Stone says Putin ‘a strong person’, backs Crimea actions

      US film director Oliver Stone said in an interview published Tuesday he admired Russian President Vladimir Putin and understood his actions in Crimea and Ukraine.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate Crisis? That’s Not News
    • What Chuck Todd Talks About Instead of Talking About Climate

      Not talking about the largest climate march in history (Action Alert, 9/22/14) left Chuck Todd with some time to fill up on NBC’s Meet the Press. Some of it he spent explaining his theory that the 2014 midterms are really a battle between Chick-fil-A and Starbucks. (Republicans like the chicken franchise, apparently, whereas Democrats prefer the coffee chain.)

    • WSJ’s Noxious Climate Coverage Surrounding Historic March

      The Wall Street Journal sandwiched their coverage of the largest climate change march in history between commentaries that cast doubt on global warming and the need for action, fulfilling the newspaper’s trend of pushing harmful rhetoric against international climate negotiations.

  • Finance

    • Civilization-Threatening Crises? Nope, Can’t Think of Any

      I suppose if you’re in the economic class that sells a house for $4.5 million that you bought two years ago for $4 million, then, yes, there are a lot of interesting restaurants you can eat at in New York City. If you’re not in that class, it might be easier to recognize that New York is also one of the most unequal and most segregated cities in the US.

    • Tesco troubles could spark ‘race to bottom’

      The troubled supermarket giant, which yesterday (Monday), announced it had overstated its half-year profit guidance by £250m, has been battling falling sales as discount chains such as Aldi and Lidl gain popularity.

    • Tesco crisis: ‘They say every little helps, but supermarket’s demands are never little’

      To shoppers reading about Tesco’s £250m black hole with their jaws to the floor, the most extraordinary thing about it could be this: none of Tesco’s suppliers are surprised.

      For years we have been bullied and browbeaten by Tesco’s buyers, who demand a lowball price for our goods then keep screwing us for more as the contract goes on.

      You see, with Tesco, after you’ve agreed a price for your product, often through a tender process if it’s own label, you never know how much extra they’re going to demand back from you further down the line. They say every little helps, but when it comes to its demands of suppliers, with Tesco it’s never little.

      So, for example, did you know that Tesco will try to charge us for the shortfall in their profits if they drop the price of our products halfway through our contract period? Did you know that they will try to bill us for wastage if our goods are unsold and go off?

      As Aldi and Lidl eat into Tesco’s market share, this has been a growing problem. But many suppliers are starting to say: “No. If you drop your prices halfway through our contract, that’s your problem, not ours. If you can’t get enough shoppers into your stores to buy our product, that’s out of our control too. Don’t try to bill us retrospectively because you can’t run your business properly.”

    • For real politics, don’t look to parliament but to an empty London housing estate

      This weekend, while commentators yawped on about local democracy, and Ed Miliband vowed he’d close the chasm between the rich and the rest of us by a whole couple of centimetres, a bunch of young women in east London just got on and did it.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Facebook Plans to Cut Ties With ALEC

      Just one day after Google announced it was cutting ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), fellow tech giant Facebook announced that they are “not likely” to renew their ALEC membership next year.

      “We re-evaluate our memberships on an annual basis and are in that process now,” a Facebook representative wrote in a September 23 e-mail to the San Francisco Chronicle. “While we have tried to work within ALEC to bring that organization closer to our view on some key issues, it seems unlikely that we will make sufficient progress so we are not likely to renew our membership in 2015.”

    • WI ALEC Plagiarists Criticize Burke for Copying Jobs Plan

      Two Wisconsin Republicans who have copied-and-pasted model legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and passed the bills off as their own ideas are claiming that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke is not suited for office because her jobs plan contained language borrowed from other candidates.

      Senators Alberta Darling and Leah Vukmir issued a statement on September 20 knocking Burke for lifting portions of her jobs plan from proposals by gubernatorial hopefuls in other states. Burke blamed the copy and paste job on a consultant, who had worked for those same candidates.

  • Censorship

    • Google Inc. Gets Caught Up In China’s Internet Crackdown

      Beijing’s Internet censorship ‘overrides’ Web’s use in ‘commerce or scientific research.’

    • Will America Embrace the Right to be Forgotten?

      By now most of us have been made aware of the profound need for a Google self-appraisal. Whether you’re looking for a new job, a scholarship, or a big promotion—whether you’re seeking public office or just trying to get a date—what the Internet says about you matters, and Google is the most prominent and influential gatekeeper. An entire industry, christened “online reputation management,” sprang up a few years back to help people and businesses manage what Google says about them; as of right now, that industry seems to be dwindling, but interest in matters of online privacy does not.

  • Privacy

    • Discovering the limits of surveillance

      Where are the “limits of surveillance”?

      For internet activists debating that very subject it was when someone in the audience started live-streaming their discussion.

      The panel did not look entirely comfortable with the young man’s attempt to beam the “Stop Spying On Us” debate at Manchester’s Anthony Burgess Museum to a worldwide audience.

    • BM Foreign Affairs — Role of Intelligence Agencies in the Modern World
    • Jihadist Threat Mutes Debate, Action on NSA Spying

      The heated debate about America’s massive electronic spying dragnet is mostly “muted” as foreign jihadists rush in to fight alongside Islamic State (ISIS) militants, Foreign Policy reports.

      The extent of the National Security Agency’s electronic snooping – first revealed in documents snatched from the NSA by ex-contractor Edward Snowden in 2013 – shocked the West.

      That was then.

      Today, legislation that would restrict the spy agency’s reach – a version of which passed the House – is stuck in the Senate.

    • Intel Committee Chief Says Cyber Bill Could Face Two-Year Wait

      On September 19, 2014, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers followed up on comments he and Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss made last week concerning the prospects for cybersecurity information sharing legislation. Chambliss and Rogers have been sounding the alarm that cyber legislation is not likely to get done this year.

    • Everyone agrees that NSA reform legislation is needed. So why hasn’t it happened?

      Last year, Edward Snowden made headlines around the world with news of the extent of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs. You might have thought that Congress would react by passing legislation to address the issue. But with Congress now on break until after the November elections, that’s looking increasingly unlikely.

      Politico’s Tony Romm has an in-depth story examining what happened to the leading reform proposal, the USA Freedom Act. It passed the House in May, and a version sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was introduced in July. And then… nothing happened. The calendar ran out without Leahy’s proposal getting a vote by the full Senate.

    • Tech’s surveillance hopes stopped in their tracks
    • Fearmongering NSA Reform

      What the law would do is restrict the government’s ability to spy on Americans, particularly by requiring the government to justify programs that collect details of the call or Internet use of all citizens under Section 215 of the Patriot Act and other parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Some say we need these programs to fight terror. Yet an assessment by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent government oversight body, found that there were no instances where the nationwide call-metadata program conducted under Section 215 prevented an act of terrorism.

      Put another way: Our country has spent billions on programs under Section 215 that trample the rights of Americans, hamper journalists, and take resources away from more effective counterterrorism efforts – and we have nothing to show for it.

    • Huntsville City Schools monitoring students’ online activity since January

      They say it started with a call from the NSA. In May 2013 Al Lankford, a schools security official, took a call from someone he said identified themselves as with the National Security Agency. They warned of a student who had posted tweets threatening violence against an assistant principal as well as two teachers.

    • Huntsville schools say call from NSA led to monitoring students online

      A secret program to monitor students’ online activities began quietly in Huntsville schools, following a phone call from the NSA, school officials say.

    • Parents, AL.com readers express mixed emotions about Huntsville school officials monitoring students on social media
    • School Secretly Monitoring Students’ Facebook Posts—On Advice from NSA

      A Huntsville, Alabama, public school superintendent says that after taking a friendly call from the NSA, he decided to start secretly monitoring students’ social media activities.

      The school board had no idea what he was doing, and the NSA has denied that it would make a phone call concerning a domestic matter. But Superintendent Casey Wardynski says no, it was definitely the NSA who called.

    • Snowden Wins Sweden’s ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’

      Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden has been awarded Sweden’s Right Livelihood Honorary Award, often referred to as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, for his work on press freedom, the award’s foundation said on Wednesday.

    • Row as Snowden wins Swedish rights prize

      Sweden’s foreign ministry has banned a civil rights group from its premises after news leaked that this year’s winner of the Swedish Right Livelihood Award would be whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • US whistleblower Edward Snowden wins Swedish rights prize
    • ‘Alternative Nobel’ human rights award goes to Snowden
    • Edward Snowden Wins 2014 Right Livelihood Award

      Fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden and Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian newspaper, were named honorary co-winners on Wednesday of the 2014 Right Livelihood Award.

    • Edward Snowden and Alan Rusbridger receive Right Livelihood award

      Award for whistleblower and Guardian editor recognises their work in exposing mass surveillance by the NSA and others

    • US whistleblower Snowden wins Swedish rights prize
    • Right Livelihood Award to Snowden

      The Stockholm-based Right Livelihood Award Foundation on Wednesday praised Snowden, a former US intelligence agent, for “revealing the unprecedented extent of state surveillance.”

    • Edward Snowden Awarded ‘Alternative Nobel’

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden will be awarded the Right Livelihood Award, a Swedish honor often called “the alternative Nobel Prize”, along with the editor of The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, which published his revelations.

    • Asma Jahangir, Edward Snowden win prestigious Swedish human rights award
    • Snowden given ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’
    • Claim: NSA Is Spying on The Whole Of Vienna Including the UN

      Following revelations that the American National Security Agency (NSA) spies on the German Government and had tapped Chancellor Merkel’s private phone, an Austrian journalist has alleged the NSA has a significant listening station in central Vienna, overlooking the United Nations complex there, reports The Local.

    • NSA ‘could be spying on UN’ in Vienna
    • Suspected NSA listening post discovered in Vienna

      A series of photos of what is believed to be an NSA-operated listening post on top of a skyscraper in the Austrian capital of Vienna have been circulated by Austrian media Tuesday.

      The IZD Tower building is situated next to the Vienna International Centre that hosts the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV), with media reports speculating the suspected listening hut atop the building, which at first glance appears to be a maintenance hut, is used to receive signals from bugs installed at the UN premises.

    • Rekha Basu: Edward Snowden: traitor or patriot?

      If this is what passes for national security or foreign policy, we’re all in trouble.

      [...]

      Knowing all this does not give me confidence in my government, but it does tend to vindicate Snowden’s actions. Maybe he did betray the government’s trust, but the government has been betraying the people’s trust to a far greater degree.

    • Who profits from our new war? Inside NSA and private contractors’ secret plans

      A massive, $7.2 billion Army intelligence contract signed just 10 days ago underscores the central role to be played by the National Security Agency and its army of private contractors in the unfolding air war being carried out by the United States and its Gulf States allies against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

    • Your data is the government’s data

      Governments around the world are increasingly demanding their citizens’ data, or rather the user data stored by companies such as Yahoo and Google. These demands have been justified under the veil of national security, tied to the NSA surveillance program brought to light in 2013 by Edward Snowden.

    • Recent poll on anti-terrorism policies tells only half the story

      Yet, this poll tells only half the story. While Americans seem to have re-found fear of international Islamic terrorism — thus the willingness to allow the nation’s security enterprise to protect them — there remains a disconnect about this feeling regarding domestic efforts to protect.

      The recent events in Ferguson, Mo. have led to a nationwide dialogue about the “militarization” of police. Polls taken in the wake of police conflicts with protestors in the St. Louis suburb suggest that Americans do fear domestic law enforcement at levels not previously seen. A poll taken by YouGov/Huffington Post, for example, showed that only 28 percent of Americans believe that police use of military weapons is necessary, while 51 percent of respondents believe that police go “too far” in their use of those weapons.

    • Former NSA Chief Calls NSA Data Sharing “Biggest Threat Since Civil War”

      The NSA peeks and pries into our lives in countless ways, violating our privacy and ignoring the Fourth Amendment. But a former NSA chief says one agency activity endangers Americans more than the rest: the routine sharing of warrantless data with state and local law enforcement.

      In an interview earlier this month, William Binney called NSA information sharing “the most threatening situation to our constitutional republic since the Civil War.”

    • CFPB collecting data on 600 million credit accounts despite privacy, security risks

      A Government Accountability Office comprehensive study released by the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee confirms that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is collecting financial data on up to 600 million consumer credit card accounts, without sufficient security and privacy protections to ensure there is no risk of improper collection, use, or release of consumer financial data.

    • It’s Time for a Real Debate on Reader Privacy

      Last week longtime local publisher Howard Owens, founder of the online news site the Batavian, launched a new publication covering Wyoming County in upstate New York. Buried in a parenthetical within his welcome message to readers was a fascinating promise: “We’ll also respect your privacy by not gathering personal data to distribute to multinational media conglomerates for so-called ‘targeted advertising.’”

      This kind of explicit promise regarding reader privacy is increasingly important and all too rare.

    • Jihadists didn’t increase security due to NSA leaks

      Edward Snowden’s leaks about the NSA haven’t caused Islamic terrorists to hide communications behind encryption software, according to a report by Flashpoint Partners.

      The report states that their groups are now using more secure means of communication, but attributed this not to the leaks about the NSA, but to the development of encrypted communications packages made by the terrorists themselves; going against the GCHQ claim that terrorists have increased security measures because of Snowden’s information about the NSA.

    • Kim Dotcom and Edward Snowden: New Zealand conducts mass surveillance

      Add New Zealand to the list of governments snooping on you. State surveillance has become a central issue in New Zealand’s national elections, following today’s revelation by the A-Team of whistleblowers who gave details surrounding the creation of a Kiwi mass surveillance operation code-named “Speargun.” Revelation of the secret program could lance prime minister John Key’s reelection bid next week.

    • New Zealand’s prime minister wants to cut the Union Jack out of his country’s flag

      This weekend, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key secured his third term in power after his center-right party won an increased majority in parliament. Key, a popular premier credited with steering the country through the global financial crisis, withstood the challenges of a slew of parties, including an eye-catching intervention by controversial Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, who beamed in via video link Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden at an Auckland event last week.

    • US gave surveillance data to a country ‘hostile’ to many Americans — Bamford
    • New Questions Raised About NSA-Israel Intelligence Sharing
    • Snowden Reveal Makes Israeli Spies’ Protest An American Issue

      Last Friday, 43 veteran and reserve members of Israel’s secretive spy organization, Unit 8200, claimed they’d been directed to spy on Palestinians for coercion purposes.

      The group signed an open letter of protest to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to the head of the Israeli army, accusing the spy agency of targeting innocent Palestinians and collecting data for political purposes, not national security.

    • E.O. 12333: End-Running the Fourth Amendment

      Historians of the Constitutional Era of the United States (1789-2001, RIP) will recall the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, the one that used to protect Americans against unreasonable and unwarranted searches.

      The Supreme Court had generally held that searches required a warrant. That warrant could be issued only after law enforcement showed they had “probable cause.” That in turn had been defined by the Court to require a high standard of proof, “a fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in a particular place.”

      The basic idea for more or less over 200 years: unless the government has a good, legal reason to look into your business, it couldn’t. As communications changed, the Fourth evolved to assert extend those same rights of privacy to phone calls, emails and texts, the same rules applying there as to physical searches.

    • Local Use of Military Equipment is Drawing Scrutiny—But Local Use of Surveillance Equipment and Training Needs Attention Too

      Since the police shooting of Michael Brown and the response in the streets, militarization of the police, especially with surplus military hardware like armored vehicles, has been a hot topic, both in the news and in Congress. And that’s a good thing.

      But the equipment we can see on the news isn’t the only thing flowing from our military to local cops. Alongside armored vehicles and guns, local police are getting surveillance technology with help from the federal government. And while we don’t know the full contours of that aid, what we do know is worrisome and should spur further scrutiny, both locally and nationally.

    • American Universities Aid And Abet Unconstitutional Spying: They Can Be Stopped

      The surveillance state doesn’t operate in a vacuum.

      In fact, the NSA and other federal spy agencies depend on support from a wide array of both public and private entities in order to engage in world-wide snooping.

      American colleges and universities count among the institutions supporting dragnet spying. Through more the 170 schools, the NSA recruits and trains future spies and gains valuable research.

    • Access, Partners Recognize Heroes, Villains on Human Rights and Communications Surveillance

      The Principles, endorsed by more than 400 civil society groups worldwide, provide a framework to assess whether government surveillance complies with international human rights obligations. Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Principles, which were publicly released on September 22, 2013. Today’s announcement follows on from the Principles Coalition’s Week of Action last week, which highlighted the Principles and promoted their adoption.

    • The Fappening: Gabrielle Union Enlists Help Of FBI After NSFW Photos Leak Of Kim Kardashian, Emily Ratajkowski & More, What’s Apple Doing About This?
    • Are Apple and Google Really on Your Side Against the NSA?
    • On Key Escrows and Backdoors
    • Apple Still Has Plenty of Your Data for the Feds

      But despite these nods to privacy-conscious consumers, Apple still strongly encourages all its users to sign up for and use iCloud, the internet syncing and storage service where Apple has the capability to unlock key data like backups, documents, contacts, and calendar information in response to a government demand. iCloud is also used to sync photos, as a slew of celebrities learned in recent weeks when hackers reaped nude photos from the Apple service. (Celebrity iCloud accounts were compromised when hackers answered security questions correctly or tricked victims into giving up their credentials via “phishing” links, Cook has said.)

      While Apple’s harder line on privacy is a welcome change, it’s important to put it in context. Yes, a leading maker of smartphones, tablets, and laptops is now giving users better tools to lock down some of their most sensitive data. But those users have to know what they’re doing to reap the benefits of the new software and hardware — and in particular it helps if they ignore Apple’s own entreaties to share their data more widely.

    • Justice Department Halts Rand Paul’s NSA Lawsuit

      The U.S. Department of Justice successfully halted Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s pending National Security Agency lawsuit on Monday, which will stay on hold while a similar case questioning the constitutionality of certain surveillance moves forward.

    • Rand Paul’s NSA lawsuit put on hold

      Sen. Rand Paul’s lawsuit over National Security Agency surveillance was put on hold Monday, pending an appeals court ruling on a parallel case brought before the senator’s.

    • Canada’s Privacy Debate Goes Online with Streaming Greenwald Event

      Canadian specialty channels and online mediacasters will provide coverage of a talk about online privacy and data security by controversial American author Glenn Greenwald.

      Greenwald’s upcoming presentation will be live streamed and recorded as part of media podcasting and on-demand access plans for the event.

    • War, Whistleblowing and Independent Journalism Panel

      William Binney was the former technical director of the World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group and a senior NSA cryptomathematician at the NSA. He worked there for over three decades, and retired after 9/11 as the agency began to implement domestic spying programs that he says are unconstitutional. He is also a whistleblower, having disclosed information to the Defense Department in 2002 about corruption, waste, fraud, and abuse in the agency related to the use of data collection and analysis program called Trailblazer.

    • Lawmakers want to expand role of government privacy watchdog

      A bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to expand the ability of an independent agency to investigate government surveillance activities. The Strengthening Privacy, Oversight and Transparency (SPOT) Act would expand the role of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) — an executive branch watchdog group formed as a result of suggestion from the 9/11 Commission to investigate the privacy implications of counterterrorism policies.

    • Bipartisan, Bicameral Group Introduces Bill to Strengthen Privacy Oversight Board

      In an effort to significantly improve the oversight and accountability of the nation’s intelligence community, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, (D-Ore.) and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) spearheaded a bipartisan, bicameral effort to strengthen the government’s privacy protection board. The legislation gives the oversight board greater ability to carry out its function of balancing the government’s national security and counterterrorism activities with the need to protect the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans. The bill is cosponsored by U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-N.M., and U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

    • It’s time to break up the NSA to ensure security and privacy

      A year and a half after the Edward Snowden revelations, with promised reform measures stalled in congress, security expert Bruce Scheier says we should break up the National Security Agency to help build trust and transparency, while preserving its necessary functions.

    • How to use the Tor Browser to surf the web anonymously

      Recently, BoingBoing ran an article about how some librarians in Massachusetts were installing Tor software in all their public PCs to anonymize the browsing habits of their patrons. The librarians are doing this as a stand against passive government surveillance as well as companies that track users online and build dossiers to serve highly-targeted advertising.

    • New app tracks employee moods

      Which means, of course: There’s now an app for that. The Niko Niko platform is an emerging service that can measure and track mood data via iOS app, email or a Google Chrome extension. The idea is that managers can pose an emotional question on the platform — e.g., “How do you feel about progress you made on your priorities for the week?” — and team members can indicate how they are feeling on a quick smiley-face scale.

    • Eric Schmidt slams ‘paranoid’ Assange over accusations in new book

      Google’s Eric Schmidt is infuriated with Julian Assange allegations that Google is tied to the US government when it comes to the openness of the internet, which the WikiLeaks founder expressed in his new book ‘When Google met WikiLeaks.’

    • Google’s Eric Schmidt Calls Julian Assange ‘Paranoid’ and Says Tim Cook Is Wrong
    • Assange warns about Google’s ‘revolving door’ with the US state dept
    • A state within a state at an alarming rate: Assange says NSA just keeps on growing

      Julian Assange reminisced to RT’s Afshin Rattansi about a meeting he had with Google in 2011 and how the company is in bed with the State Department. He also mentioned that a state within a state is being developed within the USA.

    • Hackers ‘could watch you having sex via your smartphone’

      It was revealed earlier this year that GCHQ had operated a secret surveillance project called Optic Nerve which captured images from millions of Yahoo! webcam chats made between people suspected of no crime.

      Leaked documents dated from 2008 to 2010 reveal that Yahoo! was chosen because it was known to be used by “GCHQ targets”. The NSA was also involved, providing software to identify video traffic online and make screenshots searchable once intercepted.

  • Civil Rights

    • Pro-Palestinian activists held after demo at Glasgow defence site

      SIX pro-Palestinian activists have been arrested following a demonstration at the Glasgow premises of defence systems firm Thales UK.

    • ​‘Stop arming Israel!’ Scottish Pro-Palestinian activists occupy Israel-linked arms factory in Glasgow
    • Jason Leopold on the Samir Khan Case

      Over at VICE News, reporter Jason Leopold has this very interesting story about the FBI investigation of Samir Khan, the AQAP propagandist and editor of Inspire magazine, who was killed in the strike against Anwar Al-Aulaqi. Khan, like Al-Aulaqi, was a U.S. citizen, though the government maintains that he was not the target of the strike that killed him. The article is based largely on documents released by the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act. While Leopold notes that they are heavily redacted, he actually gleans a lot of worthwhile detail from them.

    • Where do we draw the line on secrecy?
    • CPJ urges US to mitigate threats to journalism, newsgathering

      The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide, is writing to express its concern about the effects of intelligence and law enforcement activities undertaken by agencies, over which your administration has oversight, on the free flow of news and other information in the public interest.

    • CPJ Calls on Obama to Defend the Right to Report in the Digital Age

      Global Voices is joining more than 60 other media and press freedom organizations in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists’ campaign for the Right to Report in the Digital Age, targeting the Obama administration. Revelations about surveillance, intimidation, and exploitation of the press have raised unsettling questions about the rights and safety of journalists’ ability to report in the digital age. The revelations also give ammunition to governments seeking to tighten restrictions on media and the Internet.

    • ‘Obama’s America’ filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza avoids prison time in campaign-finance case, plus more movie news: Popcorn Breakfast (video)

      Conservative documentary filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza — the man behind such anti-Obama films as “2016: Obama’s America” and “America” — was sentenced Tuesday (Sept. 23) to serve eight months in a “community confinement center,” five years of probation and to pay a $30,000 fine for a campaign-finance violation to which he pled guilty earlier this year. But in the process, he avoids the hard jail time to which he could have been sentenced (via The New York Times). That story tops this morning’s Popcorn Breakfast, my regular three-minute(ish) movie-headlines roundup.

    • Amnesty wants Assam government to guarantee fair trial to detained journalist
    • Amnesty calls for fair trial of detained scribe

      Global human rights body Amnesty International today called for a fair trial for detained TV journalist Jaikhlong Brahma.

      “The Government of Assam must release Jaikhlong Brahma from administrative detention or charge him with recognizably criminal offences, and guarantee him a fair trial which meets international standards,” Amnesty International India said in a release.

    • Obama: The Most Secretive President?

      A presidential administration expected to be more open and transparent than preceding ones has become focused on keeping secrets and preventing legitimate public inquiry.

    • Notes on my struggle with fascism

      In totalitarian America, nonstandard freedom of speech is frowned on, and the police snuff it out. The authorities require any demonstrators to get a permit, thereby allowing them to eliminate the Constitutional right to redress of grievances based on a pretext. The Constitutional right to protest is all or nothing; so soon as you allow the Fascists to demand a permit, the right vanishes. They come up with a pretext to ban what they find distasteful. As usual, the Constitution that is so precious states absolutely nothing about a permit. He who would understand class society must study the pretext.

    • Unfinished Business: The Trickle-Down Effects of the War on ISIS on Civil Liberties, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law

      As members of Congress left town for the mid-term election campaigns last week, they managed to leave unresolved almost every important pending national security question before them. Issues of war, torture accountability, NSA surveillance, and even expatriation of terrorists remain to be taken up, by the lame-duck Congress after the elections, or by the next Congress altogether. Given how dysfunctional and divided this Congress has been, maybe doing little or nothing is the best we can hope for. But the questions are not going to go away, and require democratic reckoning. The emerging war with the Islamic State in Syria, otherwise known as ISIS or ISIL, will almost certainly color resolution of all the pending questions. President Obama insisted, in his May 2013 speech at the National Defense University, that our democracy demands an end to perpetual war. But he has now, it seems, bequeathed to us a new perpetual war. And as with the war with Al Qaeda, there is a real risk that we will inappropriately discount rule of law, civil liberties, and human rights concerns.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Seed brings locally hosted internet to developing countries

      There are a number of ongoing initiatives trying to bridge the gap between developed and developing countries in terms of internet access. We wrote about Cosmos Browser in one of our earlier articles. We found another such initiative to extend the bliss of the information available in the internet to the 4 billion people who don’t enjoy a reliable internet connection – Project Seed. The goal of the project is to let the light of knowledge reach everyone on the planet.

09.23.14

Links 21/9/2014: Fedora 21 Alpha

Posted in News Roundup at 5:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 10 Reasons to use open source software defined networking

    Software-defined networking (SDN) is emerging as one of the fastest growing segments of open source software (OSS), which in itself is now firmly entrenched in the enterprise IT world. SDN simplifies IT network configuration and management by decoupling control from the physical network infrastructure.

  • Open source is not dead

    I don’t think you can compare Red Hat to other Linux distributions because we are not a distribution company. We have a business model on Enterprise Linux. But I would compare the other distributions to Fedora because it’s a community-driven distribution. The commercially-driven distribution for Red Hat which is Enterprise Linux has paid staff behind it and unlike Microsoft we have a Security Response Team. So for example, even if we have the smallest security issue, we have a guaranteed resolution pattern which nobody else can give because everybody has volunteers, which is fine. I am not saying that the volunteers are not good people, they are often the best people in the industry but they have no hard commitments to fixing certain things within certain timeframes. They will fix it when they can. Most of those people are committed and will immediately get onto it. But as a company that uses open source you have no guarantee about the resolution time. So in terms of this, it is much better using Red Hat in that sense. It’s really what our business model is designed around; to give securities and certainties to the customers who want to use open source.

  • Only FOSSers ‘Get’ FOSS

    About a week later I got another email with the subject, “Did you receive my previous email?” It was Samantha again; she really, really thought that FOSS Force and her software selling partner would be a perfect fit. I remained unconvinced and again ignored the email, figuring that would be the last I’d hear from her. Most affiliate marketing companies don’t try to interest me more than twice for a particular client. After the second go, they’d usually rather wait until they have another client to use as bait on the hook.

    Not Samatha. On Friday I received a third email. She was still wondering if I’d received her previous messages. She still thought FOSS Force would be a perfect fit for her client. “We sell retail, OEM and discounted versions of software titles from Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Corel, Intuit, McAfee, Symantec and many more,” she gushed.

    Obviously she doesn’t understand FOSS or those of us who advocate its use. She’d probably seen the site, noticed a lot of writing about computers and software and jumped to the conclusion that we’d be great for her software hawking client. I wouldn’t doubt that she’d Googled the term “FOSS,” but got no further than the word “software” when reading the definition.

    This time I broke down and sent a reply, thanking her for her interest in our site. Unfortunately, I explained, almost all of our visitors use Linux and most of your client’s software won’t even run on Linux. Besides, I went on, our site advocates the use of free and open source software and a large percentage of our visitors would take exception if we were to offer software by the likes of Microsoft or Apple, even if it would run on their machines. As for McAfee and Symantec, I explained, our visitors rarely need antivirus products.

  • Brocade Launches Commercial Vyatta OpenDaylight SDN Controller
  • Brocade Unveils Vyatta SDN Controller

    The new controller, which will launch in November, is based on the upcoming “Helium” release from OpenDaylight.

    Brocade in November will launch a software-defined networking controller based on the OpenDaylight Foundation’s upcoming “Helium” release and which will represent the vendor’s latest move to grow its Vyatta platform.

  • Brocade intros the open-source inspired Vyatta SDN controller

    Brocade on Monday announced the release of the Vyatta Controller, a new keystone product within its SDN portfolio.

  • 3 tools to make creating presentations easy

    In recent years, there has been a proliferation of JavaScript presentation frameworks. These frameworks use HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to create presentation slides that can be viewed in any modern web browser. Gone are the days of being tied to using PowerPoint, nowadays there are a plethora of tools to choose from when it comes to creating a presentation.

  • Twitter engineer joins Mesosphere to push the open-source project he helped make

    Inside an academic lab, Ben Hindman created key parts of Apache Mesos, an open-source tool for efficiently running lots of applications in data centers. He found himself at Twitter for four years, putting the system in place. But now he is doing what he arguably was destined to do: working on the project for a living to make it a standard everywhere.

  • Visualizing nanotechnology in 3D with open source software

    Modern computers are built with nanotechnology. A processor contains billions of transistors, each around 14 nanometers. A single bit of information on a hard disc drive is confined to a 10 nanometer domain spinning on a disc 75 miles per hour. The accelerometers in our smartphones contain nano-springs that measure gravitational forces to determine orientation.

  • 10 Reasons to use open source software defined networking
  • Major players join hands on open source
  • Reader Forum: Accelerating ‘IoT’ with an open-source, embedded platform for connected applications

    Providing an end-to-end solution for building and deploying new connected applications extremely quickly, at scale, and at a fraction of the cost compared to conventional processes is key to streamlining M2M development. And, using an open-source, Linux-based platform, companies can run applications on any vendor’s hardware and use any cloud management platform.

  • 7 killer open source monitoring tools

    Network and system monitoring is a broad category. There are solutions that monitor for the proper operation of servers, network gear, and applications, and there are solutions that track the performance of those systems and devices, providing trending and analysis. Some tools will sound alarms and notifications when problems are detected, while others will even trigger actions to run when alarms sound. Here is a collection of open source solutions that aim to provide some or all of these capabilities.

  • Technology on a Diet: 5 Reasons to Embrace Open Source

    Sharing information in the name of innovation isn’t anything new. Collaborative intelligence helped publish the Oxford English Dictionary, spur advances in 19th century science and powered the world’s first automobile. Even Ben Franklin insisted on donating his bifocals and lightning rod to the public domain, likely dubbing him America’s first open-source advocate. The notion of “open source” predates software and the Internet by centuries, yet many of today’s largest government IT shops are still reluctant to turn to open alternatives from proprietary software, even in the face of shrinking budgets, overworked staff and heightened citizen expectations.

  • Community at the speed of light: Best practices for the new era of open source

    The methodology of open source development has come a long way in the past twenty years. It took the Linux kernel team eleven years to gain one hundred contributors in a month; it’s taken Ansible two years. Of course, the Linux community had to make up the methodology as they went along; the Ansible team has benefitted from years of studying and participating in Linux and other open source communities.

  • 50 Noteworthy New Open Source Projects

    The list also includes a potpourri of projects from other categories, including Web content management, software-defined networking, desktop publishing, games, IT management, electronic health records, operating systems and more. All of these apps were released for the first time within the last couple of years and most of them haven’t been featured on our lists in the past.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open Source OwnCloud Seeks to Combine Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds

      Over the past two years IT managers at the public research universities in Germany’s most populous state, Northrhine-Westfalia, have been researching how to build a private inter-university cloud. It will provide about 6 Petabytes of free-to-use storage to 500,000 affiliates of more than 30 public research and applied science universities in the region, Raimund Vogl, director of IT at Münster University wrote on Linux.com.

    • HP Passes Red Hat as Leading Contributor to OpenStack

      It’s no secret that the list of companies backing the OpenStack cloud computing platform is growing mighty long. In fact, most analysts agree that that list has to be whittled down over time. But if you think you have a handle on which companies are the top contributors to OpenStack, you may find some surprises.

    • Dealing with OpenStack’s growth, improving documentation, and more
    • Can Marten Mickos make ‘Linux for the cloud’ work for HP?

      Hewlett-Packard didn’t just buy cloudy startup Eucalyptus Systems to build its fledgling OpenStack cloud biz, it also bought Marten Mickos, the firm’s Finnish CEO.

      HP isn’t the first to pay for Mickos’ expertise – that was Sun Microsystems, when it acquired his venture previous venture, MySQL AB, for $1bn in 2008.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Growing Cloud Business Rapidly

      Larry Ellison announced on September 18 that he was stepping down as CEO of Oracle, but little will actually change at the company he has led for four decades. Ellison is now Oracle’s Chairman of the Board and CTO, while Mark Hurd and Safra Katz now jointly hold the CEO role.

  • CMS

    • Is Your Small Business Website Like a Bad First Date?

      Open source platforms like Drupal and WordPress provide a backend framework that small businesses can use to build and customize their websites while managing key functions like registration, system administration, layout and RSS. Users can also create their own modules to enable new functions or change the website’s look and feel.

      Smaller companies can use open source content management systems (CMS) to reduce or eliminate the need for coding while delivering rich media online, including text, graphics, video and audio. They can use open source assets to create responsive design sites that optimize content for viewing across multiple device types, including smartphones, tablets and laptops, while eliminating the need to scroll from side to side.

      With open source tools available to help small businesses establish an online presence with robust front and backend functions quickly and affordably, there’s never been a better time to focus on content excellence. And the best way to do that is to concentrate on the customer. Engage with your target customers and find out what they value the most. Use that information to develop your content, and speak directly to your customers’ needs.

  • Education

    • Bringing Literacy to Millions of Kids With Open Source

      This is a $15 million competition in which teams are challenged to create Open Source software that will teach a child to read, write, and perform arithmetic in 18 months without the aid of a teacher. This is not designed to replace teachers but to instead provide an educational solution where little or none exists.

    • The XPrize Foundation announces $15-million open-source literacy prize

      I still wear my XPrize t-shirt for the first sub-orbital private manned spaceflight from Mojave Space Port. The XPrize Foundation is best known for this and other high-technology challenges such as the prizes to land a private robot on the moon and to create a true Star Trek style Tricorder. Now, the Foundation has turned its eyes closer to home with its new Global Learning XPrize.

  • Public Services/Government

    • City of Turin to move to open source desktops

      The Italian city of Turin will switch to a complete open source desktop system, over the next 18 months. In August, the city administration decided to phase-out the current outdated proprietary system on its 8300 PCs and replace it by the Ubuntu open source alternative. Turin estimates the move will save some six million euro over the next five years.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • PyPy 2.4 – Snow White

      PyPy is a very compliant Python interpreter, almost a drop-in replacement for CPython 2.7. It’s fast (pypy 2.4 and cpython 2.7.x performance comparison) due to its integrated tracing JIT compiler.

Leftovers

  • Critics lambaste choices for European Commission technology positions

    Oettinger has no experience in the area he has been nominated for, Reda said. And by appointing Ansip, the Commission is getting a vice president who has been an advocate for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which threatened digital rights of European citizens, she added. The Commission gave up its fight on behalf of the controversial antipiracy trade pact in 2012.

  • Science

    • 50 years of Moog, the analog synth that still beats 1s and 0s

      This time last year, I walked into a Toronto store called Moog Audio and walked out with a Teenage Engineering OP-1—a curious little portable digital synthesizer that looks, at first glance, like a child’s toy. It has a row of just four candy-colored knobs as primary input controls, and there are only enough keys for an octave-and-a-half’s worth of range. But damn does it ever sound cool. Its tiny OLED screen uses all sorts of clever visual conceits to convey otherwise complex audio transformations. Colors and animations explain the differences between synthesizer engines, changes to modulation and frequency, and attack and decay. And it’s done in a way that’s easy for anyone with little synthesizer knowledge to understand while still being powerful in more experienced hands. This is a synthesizer, drum machine, and four-track recorder all-in-one—all in a device that fits inside a purse or messenger bag with ease.

  • Security

    • CipherShed: A replacement for TrueCrypt

      While the Open Crypt Audit Project, headed by cryptographer Matthew Green and Kenneth White, Principal Scientist at Social & Scientific Systems, has been considering whether to take over the development of TrueCrypt and is working on the second phase of the audit process (a thorough analysis of the code responsable for the actual encryption process), one of TrueCrypt’s developers has expressed his disapproval of a project that would fork the software.

    • Google to turn on encryption by default in next Android version

      Google is turning on data encryption by default in the next version of Android, a step that mirrors broad moves in the technology industry to ensure better data security.

      Android has been capable of encryption for more than three years, with the keys stored on the device, according to a Google spokesman.

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Tuesday’s security updates
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Podcast: As Congress Buys Into More War, CODEPINK Becomes the Conscience of America

      The past week was filled with officials coming before members of Congress to sell President Barack Obama’s strategy for escalating war in Iraq and Syria. It worked. Congress approved the arming and training of rebel forces in Syria to fight ISIS. However, this did not take place without members of Congress hearing some voices of dissent loud and clear.

      CODEPINK Women for Peace managed to convince a group of people to be at almost all of the hearings on combating ISIS. They held up pink signs that could be seen behind officials like Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry. The group even provoked a lecture from Kerry, who scolded them for protesting the administration’s war plans.

    • Terrorism and drones change struggles for peace

      Professor Lowell Ewert, director of Peace and Conflict Studies, Conrad Grebel University College

      “Events in the world today profoundly demonstrate how violence begets violence. It is impossible to kill one’s way to peace. What is needed is a new paradigm of mutual respect, human rights, affirmation of the dignity of everyone, which is formed and strengthened through education.”

    • Pictures from My War

      The photo was taken just after the U.S. invasion of Iraq had concluded. We’d missed the initial combat, but within the next eighteen months Doug would fight in the First Battle of Fallujah and I would fight in the Second. Both of us would be wounded. Doug was decorated for his valor, and a much-circulated profile of him ran in the Los Angeles Times, headlined “The Unapologetic Warrior.” When he was asked about the intense fighting he’d seen in April, 2004, he replied with characteristic bombast. “I’ve told [my troops] that killing is not wrong if it’s for a purpose, if it’s to keep your nation free or to protect your buddy,” he said. “One of the most noble things you can do is kill the enemy.” Doug often said things like that, and he believed them. I’d anchored myself in his mentorship because of his unshakable faith in being a Marine. Combat made more sense when you held to those kinds of precepts, and when they felt true.

      [...]

      When I look at the photo, I can’t help but think that Suleimani would recognize the irony that his victory was due in part to the very U.S. air power that his surrogates had once dodged in Sadr City, where Doug was killed. I doubt he would be aware of a further irony—that his surveillance drones were taking off right next to Zembiec Landing Zone. Given that America’s wars are no longer punctuated by clear declarations of victory or defeat, the photo seemed an appropriate bookend to my memory of the conflict in Iraq. With American planes once again flying sorties there, and with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff speculating about the deployment of ground troops, it may also mark, for someone else, a beginning.

    • The new military morality: Can the principles of Just War have meaning in today’s world?

      War has changed in recent decades. Once, it was about opposing armies facing off across a battlefield. But in the “war on terror”, one side attacks with air strikes and drones that can be operated by an Air Force lieutenant in Nevada, putting in a 9am-5pm shift before going home for dinner with his wife and kids. And the other side responds by chopping the heads off journalists and aid workers – and is now threatening to do the same to a taxi driver from Salford whose only crime was to deliver nappies and baby food to refugees in a far-off land. We have entered a new and thorny thicket in the military moral maze.

      [...]

      So where lies justice in our modern wars? We clearly have to rethink the rules to reflect our changed reality. But in doing that, we must not throw away the ethical constraints of the classical tradition. We must not sacrifice our openness to self-criticism by becoming trapped in a self-referential morality. Democracies may be at a disadvantage when it comes to terrorism. But we will be even more disadvantaged if we throw away the values on which democracy rests in our determination to win.

    • MoD facing legal challenge over armed drone deployment outside Afghanistan

      News comes amid claims RAF’s Reaper squadron could operate against jihadists in the Middle East

    • Drone Vet Speaks Out: Killer Crafts More Deadly Than Government Admits

      An insider in the U.S. military’s covert drone war has confirmed what critics of the killing program have long-warned: the program is far more “dangerous” than the government admits.

      In an op-ed published in Salon on Tuesday, the unnamed former Air Force imagery analyst writes, “I was the only line of defense between keeping someone alive and providing the intelligence for a strike using technology not accurate enough to determine life and death.”

    • ​‘Obamastein’ is no Machiavelli

      President Obama seems poised to declare war on the world. American policy in 2014 has taken on a “zombie-like” feverishness aimed at war. Terror has been turned into a horror gag reel these days, as Washington acts out some fetish for chaos in our world. And for those who consider Obama a Machiavellian genius, this requires a massive intellect. A modern day political Frankenstein seems more apt.

    • Bill Clinton: Hillary Was Right About Arming Syrian Rebels

      Former president Bill Clinton told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that he agreed with Hillary Clinton that the Obama administration should have taken the chance years ago of arming Syrian rebels fighting Bashar Assad.

      He said she lost the argument “within the administration and she admitted then and acknowledged in her book that she can’t know that if her recommendation had been followed, it would have worked. That’s one of those things you can’t know,” said Clinton. “That’s why all of these decisions are hard,” according to CNN.

    • Ron Paul – Congress Votes for More War in the Middle East

      Last week, the House and Senate voted to rubber stamp President Obama’s war plans for the Middle East. Both bodies, on a bipartisan basis, authorized the US to begin openly training and arming the rebels who have been fighting for three years to overthrow the Assad government in Syria.

    • Former Pentgon chief Leon Panetta says Barack Obama should have armed moderate Syrian rebels earlier
    • Fmr. Defense Sec. Panetta: Obama Should Have Already Armed Syrian Rebels
    • Clinton backs Clinton on Syria; defends Obama
    • Op-Ed: Troubles continue in Libya as clashes threaten oil production
    • The Power and the Peril of Oil author Firooz Eftekhar Zadeh

      The Power and the Peril of Oil is Firooz Zadeh’s passionately written account about how oil has given strength and empowered some countries while it has imperiled others. It documents the history, politics, and players in the quest for dominance of the Middle East and its highly prized resource.

    • The Lunacy of Sanctions and the Psychosis of US Exceptionalism

      Sanctions, sanctions and more sanctions! Every day we are subjected to an onslaught of stories and reports about how western countries, Europe, certain Asian countries and their master across the Atlantic are imposing new and ever more expanded and devious sanctions against Russia, its leaders, its businesses, industries, entire segments of the financial sector and other parts of the Russian world, even Japan has jumped on the sanctions wagon to show “support” for the hegemon across the Pacific, yet no one stops to question or stand up and say “Wait! All of these sanctions are based on lies.”

    • US says IC could have prevented Sri Lanka’s civilian deaths – If US hadn’t invaded Iraq 1.5m Iraqi’s would be alive today!
    • US is insincere about stopping ISIS

      During the 1980s, the CIA helped arm and train Osama Bin Laden and his mujahideen in Afghanistan in response to the Soviet invasion, which became a way for the mujahideen to give the USSR “their Vietnam.” Bin Laden’s goal was to bleed the USSR dry of its money and resources; it worked. The USSR soon crumbled and Bin Laden’s new target became his former ally, the U.S. Bin Laden’s new goal was to have the U.S. become involved in the region in the same capacity the USSR had; this also worked. After over a decade of the War on Terror, the U.S. claims to have decimated al-Qaeda and its leadership, with the biggest blow coming when they finally took out Bin Laden. Now, new enemy ISIS has become the U.S.’s biggest concern. ISIS has been moving through Iraq killing tons of innocent people in their path. ISIS must be stopped, but we must ask, how did they become so powerful and, knowing what we do about the history of U.S. involvement in the region, what is the best course of action to take in stopping them?

      [...]

      Chelsea Manning, the jailed Wikileaks whistleblower, recently stated in an op-ed on ISIS that the U.S. should let ISIS die out on its own. The only way for this to happen is if the U.S. stays out of the fight and stops supplying arms to rebels. If the U.S. were sincere about stopping ISIS, they would stop arming rebels. But the U.S. is not sincere; this is not about stopping ISIS. This is about the profits of Boeing, Raytheon, and the entire weapons industrial complex. The U.S. must do what’s best, stop supplying weapons that are only helping to escalate violence and embolden the enemy. Only then will we see ISIS die out.

    • Iraqis suspect CIA and jihadis are united

      US air strikes against the ISIS for more than a month appears to have done little to tamp down the conspiracy theories still circulating from the streets of Baghdad to the highest levels of Iraqi government that the CIA is secretly behind the same extremists that it is now attacking.

    • Was ISIS Created By The CIA? Many Arabs Think So
    • When The U.S. Backs Rebels, It Doesn’t Often Go As Planned

      As the U.S. steps up arms and training, Syria’s “moderate” rebels are joining a long line of resistance movements the Americans have backed over the decades, from Angola to Afghanistan.

      The high-water mark was President Reagan’s administration in the 1980s, when the U.S. supplied weapons to three rebel groups on three separate continents in Cold War proxy fights designed to undermine the Soviet Union.

    • Looking back at secret war in Afghanistan

      In the Reagan 1980s, I often attended the annual gatherings of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. Several days of meetings featuring speeches by the most influential (domestic) thinkers on the right were capped off by a formal dinner that was often attended by President and Mrs. Reagan.

    • The Myth of Syria’s Moderate Rebels

      Political Islam has a long history of cooperating with Western imperialism at certain times and in certain places, and of turning against it at other times and in other places. For example, Osama bin Laden cooperated with the United States to overthrow a progressive pro-Soviet government in Afghanistan, and then launched a jihad against the domination of the Middle East by the United States. Many Palestinians were sent to Afghanistan in the 1980s by the Muslim Brotherhood to struggle against the atheists in Kabul (much to the delight of Israel) only to return to join a Palestinian national liberation struggle against Israel in the ranks of Hamas.

      What separates the rebels in Syria that the United States and its allies arm, train, fund and direct from those it seeks to degrade and ultimately destroy is not a secular vs. Islamist orientation. Even the so-called “moderate” rebels are under the sway of Islamist thinking. Instead the dividing line between the good “moderate” rebels and the bad “extremist” rebels is willingness to cooperate with the United States and the region’s former colonial powers. The “good” ones are under the control of the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies, or aren’t, but are working in directions that comport with Western foreign policy goals, while the “bad” ones are working in ways that frustrate the attainment of the foreign policy objectives of the West. In other words, one set of rebels is cooperating with Western imperialism while the other frustrates it.

      The “moderate” Syrian rebels who US officials are counting on to battle the Islamic State as part of the Obama administration’s plan to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS comprise dozens of groups which report directly to the CIA [1] and are under the sway of Islamist thinking. [2] According to General Abdul-Ilah al Bashir, who led the Free Syrian Army before its collapse at the end of last year, the CIA has taken over direction of the rebel force and FSA groups now report directly to US intelligence. [3]

    • Neocons Grow Frantic over Iran Progress

      With an agreement on constraining Iran’s nuclear program within reach, Official Washington’s neocons are getting apoplectic about the need to rev up new animosities toward Iran, an approach not helpful to real U.S. security needs, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Linda Tirado: ‘It was insane. I got 20,000 emails in a week’

      In your book you say the rich are afraid of the poor. Do you think fear played a part in the media’s treatment of you?

      In America we have this myth that if you deserve it, you will have it. We’re afraid to look at our downtrodden because it undercuts that myth. There is a fear of the poor that is uniquely American. It’s especially hard to look at someone who could be one of their kids – someone like me who’s white and intelligent – and see them as poor. When the crash happened, there was a panic among the rich because suddenly wealth wasn’t only to do with how hard you’d worked. It could be taken away! They got really fearful. So much of Americans’ self-image is based on what we own and how we present ourselves.

    • On the Trail of Nazi Counterfeiters

      On Thursday, the CIA declassified hundreds of files from its in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence, after a successful Freedom of Information Act request from a former employee, resulting in a bonanza of fascinating and downright weird tales from the history of the CIA from the 1970s through the 2000s. Among the hundreds of files, available here, we found this intriguing tale of Nazi plans to destabilize the American and British economies in the final days of the Third Reich.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Hidden Interests, Closer to Home

      THE article ran above the fold on the front page early this month, a Times investigation into the influence of foreign money within American research organizations.

      It reported that more than a dozen think tanks “have received tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments in recent years while pushing United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities.” It warned of the danger of that big money, which it said was “increasingly transforming the once-staid think-tank world into a muscular arm of foreign governments’ lobbying in Washington.”

    • Google Says ALEC Is Literally Lying about Climate Change, Ends Membership

      Google chairman Eric Schmidt said Monday that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is “literally lying” that climate change is not a reality, and that its membership in ALEC “was some sort of mistake.”

  • Privacy

    • Judge OKs serving legal papers via Facebook

      Social-media users, beware — that next Facebook “poke” could be from a process server.

      In a groundbreaking court ruling, a Staten Island man got permission to use Facebook to serve his ex-wife legal notice that he doesn’t want to pay any more child support.

      A Family Court official ruled that Noel Biscocho could use Facebook to serve Anna Maria Antigua because other, more traditional methods to slap her with papers have not worked.

    • Statement on the Use of Finfisher by Members of the Freedom Online Coalition

      Documents recently released by WikiLeaks have brought new evidence to the public eye that the intrusive surveillance spyware FinFisher may be in use by several members of the Freedom Online Coalition, including Mongolia, Netherlands, and Estonia.

    • ‘Normale Leute’ vs NSA spying: meet Germany’s ‘average’ data protesters

      Normale Leute: a Berlin-based group wants to fight data protection protest prejudices – and government spying – by demonstrating in suits. “Akkurater Widerstand” reject anonymous masks to appear “normal.”

    • When Does Google Hand Over Your Data To Governments?
    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt linked with Edward Snowden role for Oliver Stone

      Oliver Stone is set to make a film of Edward Snowden’s story, and is targeting Joseph Gordon-Levitt to star…

    • National parliaments raise the pressure on data protection

      Parliamentary delegations from 16 different EU member states have called upon the EU to rapidly adopt the legislative package on the protection of personal data.

      The EU must act swiftly on the protection of personal data. This is the clear message sent by elected representatives of 16 EU member states, assembled in Paris for an interparliamentary meeting.

    • Why the NSA has no right to recruit on campus—or anywhere (video)

      The first big revelation of NSA criminality in the modern era came from the New York Times’ James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, who revealed the NSA was warantlessly wiretapping over 30 million Americans, or roughly one in every ten citizens of the country.

    • 5 Companies That Make Money By Keeping Americans Terrified of Terror Attacks

      On August 11, former NSA head Michael Hayden, the man at the center of the Bush administration’s 2005 surveillance scandal, was defending his former agency on CBS News in the wake of the latest NSA spying scandal. Commenting on President Obama’s half-hearted promises to reform some NSA practices, Hayden told host Bob Schieffer that “the President is trying to take some steps to make the American people more comfortable about what it is we’re doing. That’s going to be hard because, frankly, Bob, some steps to make Americans more comfortable will actually make Americans less safe.”

      Former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff had a similar message when he appeared on ABC News August 4. Speaking about the purported threat from an Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen that led to the closure of 19 U.S. embassies, Chertoff said that “the collection of this warning information [about Al Qaeda] came from the kinds of programs we’ve been discussing about, the ability to capture communications overseas.”

      CBS and ABC did not see fit to inform viewers that both Hayden and Chertoff are employees of the Chertoff Group, a private firm created in 2009 that companies hire to consult on best practices for security and combatting terrorism. Some of the companies the firm advises go on to win government contracts. Chertoff is the founder and chairman of the group, while Hayden serves as a principal. So they profit off a war on terror they say is crucial to keeping Americans safe.

    • What we talk about when we talk about sexting

      Like most trends involving nudity, sexting was also started by the most despicable group of people in the world: teenagers. Now, I didn’t actually speak to a real live teen person for this piece. I wouldn’t wish such a fate even on my worst enemy. Instead, I watched an episode of a “reality” show on MTV and accidentally spent ten seconds in the vicinity of a car that was playing a Justin Beiber song. So, by the conventions of the Indian Columnists Association, I am now considered a bonafide expert on #teens and their psychology. In fact, in some circles I’m known as a teen whisperer. Sure, none of those circles exist outside my head, but as a wise fellow once said, it’s the thought that counts.

    • Snowden’s claims no big surprise

      The obvious conclusion to draw from these claims is firstly that the NSA can peer into the databases of Facebook, Amazon, Google (for Gmail) and other large American corporations. Slightly disturbing perhaps, but hardly surprising or news.

    • BFI London Film Festival Announces UK Premiere of ‘Citizenfour’
    • Israel ramps up cyber defense with new national body

      Israel is stepping up its cyber-defense efforts. The government on Sunday announced establishment of a new cyber-defense authority to coordinate cyber-security efforts among government, industry, and the civilian sectors. Just last year, it set up the National Cyber Bureau and the two steps show that the nation is taking cyber threats seriously, now that it’s a favorite target for politically motivated hackers.

    • ORG Manchester surveillance debate 21-Sep-14 report
    • Snowden: New Zealand Is Spying, Too

      Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden warned New Zealanders in a media blitz on Monday that all of their private emails, phone calls and text messages are being spied on despite government denials.

    • Google nixes G+ requirement for Gmail accounts

      The grand unbundling of Google’s G+ social network continues, with Gmail becoming the latest Google service to gain its independence from Google’s campaign of forced integration. As noted in a post on the WordStream Blog, Google has axed the requirement that new Gmail accounts be tied to a G+ social networking account as of “early September.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Could Taking A Selfie In A Museum Violate Copyright Law?

        Copyright infringement is everywhere. A few years back, John Tehranian wrote a paper (and then a book*) called “Infringement Nation” about just how much copyright infringement happens incidentally on a daily basis. The conclusion, from a back of the envelope estimate, is that an average person is likely liable for $4.544 billion in incidental infringement in a normal year. And that’s not for sharing music and movies and what not, but just doing the normal everyday things you do.

      • Why Record Labels Want Kim Dotcom’s Album Taken Down
      • BPI Hits Record Breaking 100 Million Google Takedowns

        The BPI has reached a new milestone in its ongoing efforts to have pirated content removed from the Internet. This week the music industry group reported its 100 millionth URL to Google. Although the takedown notices are processed quickly, the music industry group believes that Google should do more to prevent piracy.

      • “The Letter” Is Still The Best Story To Explain Why Copyright Monopoly Must Be Reduced

        People are still getting distracted by the silly question of “how somebody will get paid” if the copyright monopoly is reduced. It’s irrelevant, it’s a red herring. What this debate is about is bringing vital civil liberties along from the analog environment into the digital – and that requires allowing file-sharing all out.

      • Anti-Piracy Police Begin Targeting eBook Pirates

        After very publicly taking down a number of sites offering music, movies and TV shows without permission, City of London Police appear to have taken down their first ebook-related domain. OnRead is now under police investigation but according to its operators the site operated legally. That seems unlikely, however.

        [...]

        While it seems more than likely that OnRead was operating without licenses recognized by UK publishers, an archive of the domain reveals that the site’s operators tried to claim that in at least one jurisdiction the site had operated legally.

09.21.14

Links 21/9/2014: xorg-server 1.16.1, Linux Kernel 3.16.3

Posted in News Roundup at 4:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • What happened to the budget crisis?

      It appears that the much-talked up budget crisis has disappeared because Tony Abbott’s government is spending big on war.

      The Coalition government has quickly allocated half a billion dollars a year to join the new war on Iraq by another US-led “coalition of the willing”, or — if we call it what it is — a “coalition for the killing”.

      The ABC’s 7.30 program said on September 15 that the Australian government has “invested a billion dollars buying into a state-of-the-art military satellite system”.

    • Letter from America: Western Invaders were no liberators

      The western invaders of Muslim lands have never been their liberators and, bluntly speaking, are responsible for the majority of the problems plaguing those nation states today. Their interest has never been stability of those former colonies but the existence of a dynamic balance of power in which all players are effectively paralyzed so that no one would threaten them. Thus, they would rather have murderous criminals like Assad and Sisi rule those former colonies than someone who is perceived as a threat to western interest and hegemony. Period!

    • DECLASSIFIED: CIA intelligence official describes spending 9/11 with the US President

      “HE PUT DOWN the newspaper and said, “Anything of interest this morning?”

      Those were the actions of US President George W Bush on the morning of 11 September 2001, before any news of disturbances on domestic flights emerged.

    • Looking back at secret war in Afghanistan

      In the Reagan 1980s, I often attended the annual gatherings of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. Several days of meetings featuring speeches by the most influential (domestic) thinkers on the right were capped off by a formal dinner that was often attended by President and Mrs. Reagan.

      Among the 1,000 or so attendees in an ornate ballroom were a few tables of men who stood out because of their native dress. They were all male, wore turbans, and had beards. Despite their discordant appearance, when they were recognized from the dais, they were greeted with thunderous applause.

      They were introduced as Afghan freedom fighters, representing the front lines in their war against the Soviets in the midst of our Cold War. And those of us gathering in the glow of the Gipper wanted desperately for them to succeed against communism.

    • Letter: Don’t return to Cold War relations with Russia

      In a recent article in The American Conservative titled “Does the CIA believe Obama?” former CIA officer Philip Giraldi stated: “I know of no former or current intelligence official who believes that the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe is a good idea, that toppling Bashar al-Assad would bring anything but chaos, or that bombing ISIS will actually accomplish anything.” Intelligence pros are far more skeptical of government claims than their bosses let on.

      As a fellow CIA retiree, I have to agree that Giraldi’s observations are absolutely correct. Having been invaded at least seven times in its history, a Russia with few natural barriers needs a protective collar of friendly or neutral states as a buffer, and an aggressive NATO pushing ever-closer to its border constitutes a threat Russia cannot afford to tolerate.

    • Threat magnified

      All I was saying was that the threat of terrorism has been magnified and amplified, if not created, to justify war. I did not make this up myself, I got it from a BBC documentary that quotes CIA sources in challenging and rubbishing the perceived image of Al Qaeda.

    • More of the same

      US intellectual and commentator Noam Chomsky explains the likely consequences of US plans to attack Iraq to Nermeen Al-Mufti

    • Ex-CIA Chief Hayden: 5,000 Covert ‘Boots on Ground’ in Syria by Year’s End
    • U.S. boots already on the ground

      Here’s a national-security riddle: How can President Obama provide limited military support on the ground to help “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State without formally violating his pledge not to send U.S. combat troops? The answer may lie in the legal alchemy known as “Title 50.”

      Title 50 of the U.S. Code regulates the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency. An often-cited passage is section 413b, which deals with presidential approval and reporting of “covert actions.” In essence, this statute gives the president authority, with a proper “finding,” to send U.S. special forces on paramilitary operations, under command of the CIA. The best-known example was the 2011 raid on Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed Osama bin Laden.

      Talking with U.S. and foreign military experts over the past week, I’ve heard two consistent themes: First, the campaign against the Islamic State will require close-in American training and assistance for ground forces, in addition to U.S. air power; and, second, the best way to provide this assistance may be under the command of the Ground Branch of the CIA’s Special Activities Division, which traditionally oversees such paramilitary operations.

    • Focus: Wining Hearts

      The U.S. is trying to win a war for the hearts and minds of Africa.

    • Prelude to war

      The old trick, a trial balloon, while POTUS sits pretty and has deniability. The important thing, build war sentiment, feed the public a steady diet of war propaganda. It is working.

    • Fighting ISIS and the Morning After

      Driven by ideological hubris, the Bush administration on the eve of the Iraq war rejected any suggestions that the war could destabilize the whole region and rock the foundations of the Arab nation-state system.

    • Fox Leaves Out Important Context Of Leon Panetta’s Statement On Iraq Troop Withdrawal

      Fox News’ Special Report left out necessary context when previewing former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s upcoming interview with 60 Minutes in which he stated, “it was important for us to maintain a presence in Iraq.”

      During his September 19 coverage of Panetta’s statement, host Bret Baier depicted Panetta’s account of the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq as the latest in “a very public back-and-forth between the White House and the Pentagon.” Baier added, “Now this weekend, 60 Minutes has an interview with former CIA director and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in which he will say the U.S. should not have pulled out all of its troops out of Iraq in 2011″…

    • Obama signs bill to train, arm Syrian rebels

      President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill authorizing the military to arm and train Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State group.

      Obama signed the bill Friday in the Oval Office. The Senate gave its final approval Thursday, a day after the legislation drew strong bipartisan support in the House.

    • Risky bet on Syrian rebels

      President Obama’s new strategy for routing ISIS, the extremist Sunni group that controls large areas of Iraq and Syria, rests substantially and precariously on having rebels in Syria fight ISIS, even as they battle the forces of the Syrian president, Bashar Assad. The plan is full of hope and fraught with obstacles.

    • House Poised To Vote On Arming, Training Syrian Rebels
    • After A Long Wait, Syrian Rebels Hope The Weapons Will Now Flow

      President Obama has long been reluctant to provide substantial aid to Syria’s so-called moderate rebels, often dismissed as weak and disorganized. But the rapid rise of the group that calls itself the Islamic State has changed many calculations.

      The CIA has been running a small-scale covert weapons program since early this year, according to rebels who have been trained and are now receiving arms shipments. The modest program has strengthened moderate battalions, according to Western and regional analysts, even as rebel commanders complain about the meager arms flow.

    • Why Everyone in Iraq Believes Islamic State is a CIA Invention?

      Even as the United States, post initial hiccups, enters into an all-out war to destroy Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, many Iraqi still believe in the conspiracy theory that ISIS is a CIA invention.

    • Assad Calls to Stop Funding Armed Groups in Syria, Iraq

      The fight against terrorism must begin by placing more pressure on those countries which are supporting and financing insurgents in Syria and Iraq, Syrian President Bashar Assad said while speaking with an Iraqi security official in Damascus.

    • West to blame for rise of Islamic State, says UK spy chief ["chaos in Syria that opened the door"]
    • US Senate Approves $500 Million To Arm Syrian Militants

      Lawmakers back president’s plan to expand new war in the Middle East.

    • Paul Slams Obama’s Plan To Arm Syria Rebels In Senate Floor Speech
    • ISIS Crisis, Inc.

      The Guardian, as I did, had a certain amount of difficulty coming up with the suitable nomenclature for this force. I don’t think “proxy army” cuts it, because I expect this army, though composed of Syrians and not a US military unit, will be under the day to day command of the CIA and it will not be allowed to slip the leash and pursue its own political, strategic, and tactical agendas as happened with the feckless Free Syrian Army.

    • After 47 years, the US is still pretending Israel doesn’t have nuclear weapons

      Former CIA director Robert Gates said so during his 2006 Senate confirmation hearings for secretary of defense, when he noted — while serving as a university president — that Iran is surrounded by “powers with nuclear weapons,” including “the Israelis to the west.” Former president Jimmy Carter said so in 2008 and again this year, in interviews and speeches in which he pegged the number of Israel’s nuclear warheads at 150 to around 300.

    • Perpetual Fear under Empire

      Think about all the official enemies that have scared the dickens out of the American people since the advent of the national-security state.

    • ‘US, UK disgusted only when their enemies chop people’s heads off’
    • What Washington doesn’t know

      It’s dangerous to demonize a country. Washington can repeat its painful and costly mistakes from Iraq.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Finance

    • Financial Criminals Have Been Fined Billions, but They Rarely Pay

      On a plane earlier this week, I watched The Wolf of Wall Street. The film’s outsized antics—public masturbation, the tossing of little people, lots and lots of Quaaludes—seemed too big for a seatback screen, or, for that matter, reality. As despicable as some of Jordan Belfort’s behavior was, I was able to occasionally laugh at Leonardo DiCaprio’s version of him knowing that, by now, more than 10 years after his real-life sentencing, Belfort has been sufficiently punished.

      But in fact, that’s hardly the case: After pleading guilty to fraud and money laundering, Belfort was ordered in 2003 to pay out about $110 million to those he wronged. Since then, he’s only paid $11.8 million. He was also sentenced to four years in federal prison, but he only ended up serving just shy of two years.

    • Luxury brands in a quandary as China’s wealthy young develop resistance to bling

      Gucci and Prada’s financial results are disappointing and there’s a fear that the west can’t provide what sophisticated Chinese shoppers want

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Ex-Gov. convicted

      In this Thursday Sept. 18, 2014 photo, former Connecticut Gov. John G. Rowland arrives at federal court in New Haven, Conn. A jury convicted Rowland Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 on all charges that he conspired to be paid for work on two political campaigns while disguising those payments in business deals. It is the second felony conviction for Rowland, who resigned as governor a decade ago in a scandal over illegal gifts he received while in office. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

  • Censorship

    • Fight censorship – read a banned book

      Banned Books Week begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday, bringing focus to the censorship of books throughout America. The event began in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. You might remember in the 1984 film, “Footloose,” a group of citizens burning books in front of the library.

      [...]

      Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Association of American Publishers, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the National Association of College Stores, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the National Council of Teachers of English, PEN American Center and Project Censored.

    • Book review: ‘Censors at Work: How States Shaped Literature,’ by Robert Darnton

      In this provocative study of censorship as it was practiced in three different places at three different times, the distinguished scholar Robert Darnton argues that it can be a considerably subtler and more nuanced undertaking than it is generally assumed to be. He has not written a defense of censorship — far from it — but he emphasizes that when the state sets itself up as arbiter of what goes into books and what does not, the results are not always predictable, but are sometimes surprising and even — occasionally — beneficial to authors and their publishers.

    • The Soul of the Censor

      If the concept of censorship is extended to everything, it means nothing. It should not be trivialized. Although I would agree that power is exerted in many ways, I think it crucial to distinguish between the kind of power that is monopolized by the state (or other constituted authorities such as religious organizations in some cases) and power that exists everywhere else in society. Censorship as I understand it is essentially political; it is wielded by the state.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights and NZ

      • NZ First secures ‘wonderful’ result

        Mr Peters also suggested NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and US journalist Glenn Greenwald are “thoroughly credible witnesses” in recent mass spying allegations.

      • [Washington Post attacks Dotcom et al.] Snowden fatigue is spreading abroad

        If you think Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald have stopped attacking NSA, you haven’t been following them closely enough. While American media have largely lost interest in Snowden and Greenwald, the pair continue to campaign outside the United States against the intelligence agency.

      • [Another example] Kim Dotcom falls short in New Zealand elections

        The opposition Labor Party received just under 25 percent of the vote, its lowest vote total since taking 24 percent in 1922. The left-leaning Green Party took 10 percent, with the populist anti-immigration New Zealand First Party taking 9 percent. The results were disappointing for Labor and the Green Party, Jennifer Curtin, an assistant professor of politics and international relations at the University of Auckland, said in an e-mail. Both parties had expected better results.

      • Dotcom’s Internet Party Fails to Enter New Zealand Parliament

        Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party has scored just over 1.2% of the vote in New Zealand’s parliamentary elections. It’s a disappointing result that doesn’t come close to the 5% required for a seat in Parliament. Dotcom takes full responsibility for the failure which he attributes to his “poisoned brand.”

      • Harre mum on Internet Party’s future

        Internet Party leader Laila Harre will not say if she will stay on with the political movement after it failed to win a seat in parliament.

      • Road ends for Internet-Mana

        Dotcom spent big on the party, ploughing just shy of $4 million into a political marriage of convenience.

      • Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party bombs out of New Zealand election

« 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