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03.23.17

Links 23/3/2017: Qt 5.9 Beta, Gluster Storage 3.2

Posted in News Roundup at 7:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Eraserhead: the true story behind David Lynch’s surreal shocker

    On 19 March 1977, the world changed, after which there was a long uncomfortable silence. The occasion was the first public screening of Eraserhead, the feature debut of David Lynch, at the Filmex festival in Los Angeles. It was not a hot ticket. The film arrived with little advance publicity at the only festival to accept it. The screening took place at midnight, drawing a modest crowd who dutifully watched for the next two hours (the film was then longer than the 89 minutes it became). When it ended: nothing. But no one left either. Just silence. Then, finally, applause.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • How Politicians Force Doctors to Lie to Women

      On Tuesday, the Texas Senate advanced a bill that would enable doctors to lie to pregnant patients about fetal deformities in order to coercively dissuade them from choosing to have an abortion. Specifically, SB 25 eliminates withholding information regarding fetal health as a cause of action in so-called “wrongful birth” lawsuits, which prevents parents from pursuing financial damages.

    • “There’s No Way We’re Gonna Drink That”: Fighting for Clean Water in Flint

      Ongoing government noncompliance and backroom deals halt any progress the city could be making to limit the effects of the crisis, which makes even good news like the EPA’s $100 million grant for infrastructure improvements fall a little flat. The deeply flawed emergency management law, under which both Flint and Detroit’s crises emerged almost overnight, is still on the books.

    • Doctors Around the World Rally for New Surgery to Counter Female Genital Mutilation

      The UNFPA would like to see more doctors that are trained in treating the effects of FGM, says Nafissatou J. Diop, the Senior Advisor for the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on FGM, but for the moment they are putting their scarce resources towards eliminating the practice altogether. “We want to focus on the girls who have not yet gone through it, to make sure that they are the priority.”

    • What To Watch Out For In The EU-Mercosur FTA Negotiations: Consequences For Access To Medicines

      This week (20-24 March), a new round of negotiation of the free trade agreement (FTA) between Mercosur and the European Union (EU) is taking place in Argentina. For almost two decades, the negotiation of bilateral trade agreements (FTAs), outside of the multilateral international institutions, has been part of the strategy of high income countries to extend the monopolies of major pharmaceutical companies, through intellectual property and regulatory measures. Will the Mercosur/EU FTA have consequences on access to medicines in Latin America countries? After the release of the draft agreement by the European Commission, and through projections made on HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and cancer medicines, we tried to evaluate the impact of one of the TRIPS-plus measures of the Mercosur/EU FTA on the prices of medicines in Brazil. Per our calculations, an additional USD 444 million would be necessary to be spent by the public health system for the purchase of 6 medicines alone[1]!

  • Security

    • Windows flaw lets attackers take over A-V software

      A 15-year-old flaw in every version of Windows right from XP to Windows 10 allows a malicious attacker to take control of a system through the anti-virus software running on the system.

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Devops embraces security measures to build safer software

      Devops isn’t simply transforming how developers and operations work together to deliver better software faster, it is also changing how developers view application security. A recent survey from software automation and security company Sonatype found that devops teams are increasingly adopting security automation to create better and safer software.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Erdoğan: Europeans ‘will not walk safely’ if current behavior persists

      Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned Europe that its behavior will put its citizens at risk in other parts of the world, the AFP reported Wednesday.

      “If you [Europe] continue to behave like this, tomorrow in no part of the world, no European, no Westerner will be able to take steps on the street safely and peacefully,” Erdogan said during a speech in Ankara.

      The warning was another sign of the increasingly acrimonious relationship between the EU and Turkey, which soured over some countries’ refusal to allow Turkish government officials to campaign in European cities ahead of a referendum on expanding the president’s powers. On Tuesday, Turkey announced that it is canceling all planned rallies in Germany in the run-up to the referendum on April 16.

    • Crude nature of Westminster attack suggests limited Isis network in Britain

      Last July a stolen truck driven through a Bastille Day parade in Nice killed 86. The strikes appear inspired, if not actively commissioned, by Isis in Iraq and Syria.

      In November a student used a vehicle and knives to injure 13 on a campus in Ohio, in the US. His motives and allegiance are less clear.

      Such attacks are not unprecedented, but have become much more numerous in recent years.

    • Brussels mayor: All our mosques are controlled by Salafists

      He added: “Terrorism is a problem that involves Europe as a whole. Don’t forget what happened in Paris, Nice and Berlin. If this was only a Brussels problem, it would have been solved.”

    • Attempted Antwerp attack: Shotgun and bladed weapons found in man’s car who tried to drive into shopping district

      A shotgun and several bladed weapons have been found in the car of a man who tried to drive at high speed through a busy shopping street in Antwerp, forcing pedestrians to jump out of the way.

      The federal prosecutor’s office said the car was intercepted at the port docks and a Frenchman living in France was arrested.

      The bomb squad was brought in and the authorities raised security in the centre of town, in places where people normally gather.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Assange: ‘Only 1 percent’ of the CIA material has been published

      There are no less than 16 different intelligence agencies in the United States. In 2017, they will cost US taxpayers some $70 billion (65 billion euros) – roughly twice Germany’s overall annual defense budget. The actual distribution of that sum among US intelligence services is classified, but revelations brought to light by Edward Snowden in 2013 suggest that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) receives the lion’s share. In 2013, that sum was around $15 billion. Now the CIA, a highly funded agency tasked with gleaning state secrets from other countries, has a problem keeping its own secrets: On March 7, the whistleblower platform WikiLeaks began publishing CIA documents under the name “Vault 7.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • Why becoming a tax haven would be bad news for Britain

      Theresa May and Philip Hammond have warned the EU that if they don’t like the Brexit deal, they could turn the UK into a tax haven. The truth is that being ‘offshore’ means being unfair and undemocratic – and you still pay tax

    • UK CEOs ‘earn 386 times more than workers on national living wage’

      The average FTSE chief executive earns 386 times more than a worker on the national living wage, according to an analysis published by the Equality Trust as it steps up its campaign for new government rules to expose pay gaps.

    • JEFTA: The Latest Massive ‘Trade’ Deal You’ve Never Heard Of, Negotiated Behind Closed Doors, With Zero Public Scrutiny

      As Techdirt has reported, the election of Donald Trump has turned the world of US trade deals upside-down. The US officially pulled out of TPP, although some still hope it might come back in some form. TAFTA/TTIP seems to be on ice, but Trump’s choice for US trade representative has just said he is open to resuming negotiations, so it’s not clear what might happen there (or with TISA). Against that confusing backdrop, the European Union has been quick to emphasize that it is in favor of trade deals, and is keen to sign as many as possible, presumably hoping to fill the economic and political vacuum left by the US.

      [...]

      But the worst aspect of JEFTA is not that it’s probably not worth the effort, but that the EU and Japan have done everything they can to prevent both the public and even politicians from finding out what a bad deal is being negotiated in their name. After the humiliating defeat of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), and the more recent failures of TPP and TTIP, you would have thought that the governments involved would have realized that this kind of secret dealmaking just isn’t acceptable any more, but apparently, they haven’t. Fortunately, JEFTA is finally out in the open, which means it can begin to be subjected to long-overdue scrutiny and democratic input. What we need now is for the EU to release negotiating texts as it did for TTIP.

    • Majority Of Intuit’s Lobbying Dollars Spent Trying To Stop IRS From Making It Easier To File Your Taxes

      There has been an effort underway these past few years to make tax season less stressful, less complicated, and less expensive for a large swath of Americans. These efforts have produced plans to make tax season “return free” for many, with pre-populated tax forms prepared by the government that can either be signed if accurate, or ignored if not with a separate filing then being produced by the person in question. That is, since the IRS already should have most of the details on how much you earned from the companies that paid you, it can send you a pre-filled out tax return document, rather than forcing everyone to redo the same work with the same documents hoping that you don’t make some mistake that will make the IRS man mad. Again, for those who want to go a different way, they can. But for those who find the IRS’s pre-filled documents to be okay, it will make tax filing significantly less of an issue. If you live outside the US, this may sound strange to you, because much of the rest of the world alread does it this way. In a recent episode of Planet Money, the analogy is made that the way we do taxes in the US would be like if credit card companies sent you a “bill” that was a blank sheet of paper, expecting you to fill out all your charges over the past month, and if you got anything wrong, you’d be punished. On taxes, most of the rest of the world the taxes are more like your credit card bill. In the US, it’s more like a blank sheet of paper. And, as in years past, some are finally trying to fix things in the US.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to skip Nato meeting and visit Russia instead

      Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is skipping a major North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) Summit, opting to meet with China and Russia instead and people are worried about the message that sends.

      The Nato summit is scheduled for 5-6 April, but the State Department confirmed that Mr Tillerson would meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at President Trump’s Florida club, Mar-a-Lago, from 6-7 April.

      He is also scheduled to visit Russia in April after a Group of 7 meeting in Italy, a State Department spokesperson told Reuters.

      Mr Tillerson is set to meet with 26 of the 27 foreign ministers of Nato member countries on 22 March. The meeting will include Secretary of Defence James Mattis and will be focused solely on counterterrorism and the eradication of Isis.

    • FBI: We have evidence Trump team and Russia communicated mid-campaign, maybe to coordinate Clinton info dump

      Late Wednesday, the FBI said it has evidence that associates of Donald Trump communicated with Russia during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, possibly to coordinate the release of Hillary Clinton campaign info via Wikileaks.

    • Amy Goodman narrates a gorgeous animation about Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent”
    • This is a photo of lawmakers discussing taking away maternity coverage

      On Thursday, a bunch of men met at the White House to discuss taking away potentially millions of women’s coverage for pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care.

      The White House meeting was broadly about the American Health Care Act, the Republican bill meant to repeal and replace Obamacare. But it was focused on whether the bill should include a repeal of 10 “essential health benefits” that insurers in the individual marketplace must cover. Among those benefits is pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care.

      Yet Vice President Mike Pence, who was at the meeting along with President Donald Trump and Republican members of the House Freedom Caucus, tweeted out a picture showing that the meeting didn’t represent the exact people who most directly benefit from pregnancy, maternity, and newborn coverage in their health plans: women. This, unsurprisingly, drew quick criticism from groups like Planned Parenthood.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Senate Republicans Just Sold You Out to Advertisers

      In a 50-to-48 vote along party lines, the U.S. Senate decided to kill FCC rules blocking your ISP from selling your browsing history to the advertising industry without permission. Should the change pass the House, as is expected, the likes of Comcast and Verizon will be able to make money disclosing what you buy, where you browse, and what you search from your own home, all without asking permission.

    • Senate Puts ISP Profits Over Your Privacy

      The Senate just voted to roll back your online privacy protections. Speak up now to keep the House from doing the same thing.

      ISPs have been lobbying for weeks to get lawmakers to repeal the FCC’s rules that stand between them and using even creepier ways to track and profit off of your every move online. Republicans in the Senate just voted 50-48 (with two absent votes) to approve a Congressional Review Action resolution from Sen. Jeff Flake which—if it makes it through the House—would not only roll back the FCC’s rules but also prevent the FCC from writing similar rules in the future.

    • Congress Just Voted To Kill Consumer Broadband Privacy Protections

      Despite a last-ditch effort by the EFF and other consumer and privacy groups, Congress today voted to dismantle privacy protections for broadband subscribers in a 50-48 vote. The rules, passed last October by the FCC, simply required that ISPs clearly disclose what subscriber data is being collected and sold by ISPs. It also required that ISPs provide working opt out tools, and required that consumers had to opt in (the dirtiest phrase imaginable to the ad industry) to the collection of more sensitive data like financial info or browsing histories.

      Another part of the rules, which simply required that ISPs were transparent about hacking intrusions and data theft, had already been killed off quietly by new FCC boss Ajit Pai.

      The rules were seen as important in the face of greater consolidation in an already uncompetitive broadband market, where said lack of competition eliminates any organic market punishment for bad behavior on the privacy front (unlike the content or other industries). Now, with neither broadband competition — nor meaningful regulatory oversight — privacy advocates are justifiably worried about the repercussions to come.

    • WikiLeaks Reveals How the CIA Can Hack a Mac’s Hidden Code
    • Dark Matter

      Today, March 23rd 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 “Dark Matter”, which contains documentation for several CIA projects that infect Apple Mac Computer firmware (meaning the infection persists even if the operating system is re-installed) developed by the CIA’s Embedded Development Branch (EDB). These documents explain the techniques used by CIA to gain ‘persistence’ on Apple Mac devices, including Macs and iPhones and demonstrate their use of EFI/UEFI and firmware malware.

      Among others, these documents reveal the “Sonic Screwdriver” project which, as explained by the CIA, is a “mechanism for executing code on peripheral devices while a Mac laptop or desktop is booting” allowing an attacker to boot its attack software for example from a USB stick “even when a firmware password is enabled”. The CIA’s “Sonic Screwdriver” infector is stored on the modified firmware of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter.

    • Two Ways GDPR Will Change Your Data Storage Solution

      By now, most companies who do any business in the EU are aware of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect in 2018 and applies to any entity doing business within any of the 28 EU member states. Not only does the GDPR apply somewhat broadly to “monitoring the behaviour” of EU residents, but it also comes with some hefty fines (up to €20 million, or 4% of worldwide turnover) for companies that violate the regulation. In short, the new regulation is going to require companies to implement entirely new processes and procedures around the collection and storage of personally identifiable information (PII), which will likely result in changes to data storage solutions as well.

    • Senate on the verge of vote to kill FCC’s consumer privacy protections

      A congressional resolution to roll back the Federal Communications Commission’s broadband privacy rules could see a vote in the Senate as early as Wednesday evening.

    • The Senate Prepares to Send Internet Privacy Down a Black Hole

      Even if you agree that the FCC’s rules are unfair or confusing, using the Congressional Review Act to reverse them completely at best complicates future privacy enforcement. One problem lies in the phrase “substantially similar.” The act is seldom used, and depending on how courts interpret it, the FCC could end up barred from introducing even the less controversial parts of the privacy order. “The only difference between the FCC rules and the FTC rules is that [the FCC rules] moves web browsing history to the ‘sensitive data’ category,” says Dallas Harris of the consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge. In other words, the FCC could be banned even from passing a less strict set of rules closer to the FTC’s provisions.

    • Just Prior To Hearing Over NSL Gag Orders, Court Allows Cloudflare & CREDO Mobile To Be Named As Plaintiffs

      In December, we wrote about how (thanks to EFF’s lawyering) mobile phone provider CREDO Mobile was finally (after many years) allowed to reveal the National Security Letter (NSL) it had received from the DOJ back in 2013. As per usual, the NSL had a complete gag order, barring the company from admitting it had received such a letter. Then, just about a month later, Cloudflare was similarly ungagged over an NSL it had received in 2013 as well.

    • Decrypt, or else…
  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Woman given triple talaq for not bearing male child
    • [Older] Some Saudi women are secretly deserting their country

      Propelling the flight is the kingdom’s wilaya, or guardianship, law. Although it has received less publicity than the world’s only sex-specific driving ban, it imposes harsher curbs on female mobility. To travel, work or study abroad, receive hospital treatment or an ID card, or even leave prison once a sentence is served, women need the consent of a male wali, or guardian. From birth to death, they are handed from one wali to the next [...] women are treated as minors all their lives.

    • Child sex offences recorded across UK hits all-time high amid growing concerns over online grooming

      The shocking statistics, obtained through Freedom of Information requests, have prompted calls for specialist training for police investigating child abuse that occurs through online platforms, which have increased dramatically in recent years.

    • Guantánamo judge orders CIA testimony on destroyed ‘Black Site’ videotapes

      A military judge ruled Tuesday that defense attorneys could call former CIA officials as witnesses in their bid to derail the death-penalty trial of the alleged USS Cole bombing plotter, who was waterboarded in the spy agency’s secret prison network, the Black Sites.

      The one-page ruling by Air Force Col. Vance Spath, the judge, authorized Witnesses A, B, C and D.

    • Rendition: government evidence to be heard in secret in UK for first time

      Government evidence in a rendition case will be heard in secret for the first time following a high court ruling.

      Lawyers for the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office in a case brought by two Pakistani men will be allowed to present evidence behind closed doors under rarely used provisions of the Justice and Security Act.

      The two men, Amanatullah Ali and Yunus Rahmatullah, claim they were subjected to torture and rendition.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Netflix Is No Longer Worried About Net Neutrality Now That It’s Massive And Successful

      Once upon a time, Netflix was among the fiercest supporters of net neutrality, and a consistent critic of arbitrary and unnecessary broadband usage caps. So much so that the company effectively became public enemy number one at many of the nation’s broadband providers, resulting in a steady stream of bizarre policy and lobbying attacks on the company. Netflix, we were told by a rotating crop of ISP-tied mouthpieces (even by current FCC boss Ajit Pai), was a dirty freeloader, and a nasty company responsible for most of the internet’s ills.

      But as Netflix has grown larger and more powerful, the company’s positions on usage caps and net neutrality has, well, softened.

  • DRM

    • DRM in HTML5 Takes its Next Step Toward Standardization

      Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), a mechanism by which HTML5 video providers can discover and enable DRM providers offered by a browser, has taken the next step on its contentious road to standardization. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the standards body that oversees most Web-related specifications, has moved the EME specification to the Proposed Recommendation stage.

      The next and final stage is for the W3C’s Advisory Committee to review the proposal. If it passes review, the proposal will be blessed as a full W3C Recommendation.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Millions of Papers, Papers for Me

      Stuck in the 19th Century, the Federal Circuit Rule 30(a) requires appellants to submit six paper copies of the appendix to the briefs. In a recent filing, pro se appellant Urvashi Bhagat asked the court to waive this requirement in favor of another form of out-dated technology known as “CDROM.” Bhagat’s argument is that the 1,000+ pages of her appendix, would be cost prohibitive, unwieldy, and an unwarranted consumption of paper. The copying and delivery cost here really is several thousand dollars — easily outweighing the $500 appeal filing fee.

    • Copyrights

      • Supreme Court Says You Can Copyright Elements Of ‘Useful Articles’ — Which May Spell Disaster For 3D Printing & More

        Last summer, we wrote about a potentially important case going to the Supreme Court, technically about the copyright design of cheerleading uniforms. As we’ve discussed, copyright is supposed to apply to artistic expression, and it’s been considered not to apply to functional products or industrial design — sometimes referred to as “useful articles.” Along those lines, things like fashion design, have always been considered not subject to copyright. In this case, Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, the question was raised about the design of certain stylistic elements on cheerleading uniforms, and whether one copy using similar elements on its cheerleading uniforms infringed on the copyrights of the other. A district court said no, the appeals court said yes. And now the Supreme Court has weighed in saying that the designs can be covered by copyright and creating a new test on such matters (previously, there was something of a mess of different tests that judges would apply, sometimes haphazardly). Having a single test seems better than a mishmash of competing tests, but the situation here is… potentially very dangerous to a variety of innovations.

      • EU Parliament: No Commercial Availability Or Compensation In Marrakesh Implementation

        The European Parliament announced today that its Legal Affairs Committee approved new draft legislation to bring European Union law into line with an international treaty providing copyright exceptions for special format books for visually impaired people. Limitations to the scope of the treaty, such as commercial availability or compensation, were disregarded by Parliament members.

03.22.17

Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • JS package catalog npm frees its team software for open source devs

    npm Inc, the company behind the Node.js package manager and command-line utility known by the same three letters, on Wednesday plans to make its developer collaboration tool known as Orgs free for open source projects.

    Those using npm to manage private packages still have to pay. “This lets us decouple the paid features from the team management features,” said npm cofounder Isaac Schlueter in a phone interview with The Register.

    Orgs, or Organizations, depending upon where one looks on the inconsistent npm website, costs $7 per month per user. There’s also a sensible requirement for at least two users. Otherwise it’s not much of an organization.

  • A new (slow) open source JPEG algorithm makes images 35% smaller and looks better than older compression systems

    Guetzli is Google’s new free/open JPEG compression algorithm, which produces images that are more than a third smaller in terms of byte-size, and the resulting images are consistently rated as more attractive than traditionally compressed JPEGs. It’s something of a web holy grail: much smaller, better-looking files without having to convince people to install a plugin or browser makers to support a new file-format.

  • Open source: The new normal in enterprise software

    Open source software — that is, software that gives users permission to modify, copy and distribute its source code and is either freely distributed or licensed — used to be viewed as the red-headed stepchild of enterprise software.

    “It took time for enterprise to come on board,” said Rafael Laguna, CEO of Open-Xchange, a German open-source company specializing in open-source email software. “If you go back 10 years, [proprietary software from] Microsoft, IBM dominated the architecture of enterprise software, but that is changing.”

  • Blender Making Progress On Its Realtime PBR Engine

    F
    Eevee is the codename for the Blender project to implement a realtime engine with physically-based rendering (PBR) within Blender 2.8.

    This realtime, PBR-based engine is aiming to deliver high-end graphics with a responsive realtime view-port. The developers working on “Eevee” have made progress with lighting, materials, and other features.

  • Chef automation survey: what shape is the continuous enterprise?
  • Cloud Foundry connects open-source standards for quicker code development

    Tech businesses are discovering a powerful truth: building custom code is no fun. It takes time, it’s a distraction from working on core products and it’s likely someone out there already did it better. The real solution is for a company to integrate mature and tested products into their own systems, but that can be a job in itself.

    Open-source software, built around specific abstract standards, can help simplify the work involved. Cloud Foundry is an organization dedicated to creating and maintaining an open-source abstraction platform to speed up software development.

  • IBM’s cloud dreams soar on the wings of AI, open source
  • IBM launches cloud-based blockchain service for Linux Hyperledger Fabric

    IBM also announced availability of blockchain governance tools and new open-source developer tools aimed at shortening the time it takes to build with Hyperledger Fabric.

  • 10 Vendors Jumping on the Kubernetes Bandwagon
  • From supply chain to equity, seven real-world uses of the blockchain today

    A blockchain is a digital ledger that is available for all parties to see, providing transparency across the chain – and businesses in financial trading, insurance, and supply chain management are all taking notice.

  • Events

    • Two open source secure email services

      As much we all complain about email, for most of us, email is still our primary conduit for online communication. That said, numerous hacks and revelations about government surveillance have made it clear that email is also one of the most vulnerable of those conduits.

      What you send via email is your business and yours alone. Besides you and the recipient, no one else should be reading that message. Not hackers, not government agencies, and definitely not nosy siblings or friends.

    • 33C3 – Event Report

      I recently had the opportunity to attend the 33rd Chaos Communication Congress (33C3). The event, as its name suggests, was chaotic. Let me give you two hints: twelve thousand (12000) participants, plus twenty-four (24) hours unrestricted access to the venue.

    • LibrePlanet free software conference returns to MIT this weekend, March 25-26

      LibrePlanet is an annual conference for people who care about their digital freedoms, bringing together software developers, policy experts, activists, and computer users to learn skills, share accomplishments, and tackle challenges facing the free software movement. LibrePlanet 2017 will feature sessions for all ages and experience levels.

      In accordance with the theme “The Roots of Freedom,” the conference’s sessions will examine the roots of the free software movement, including the Four Freedoms, the GNU General Public License and copyleft, and the community’s focus on security and privacy protections. Other sessions will explore new ideas and current work that has arisen from those roots, reaching in to activism, the arts, business, and education.

      Keynote speakers include Kade Crockford, Director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and author Cory Doctorow, Changeset Consulting founder Sumana Harihareswara, and Free Software Foundation founder and president Richard Stallman.

    • ZTE’s Approach to Digital Transformation with Software-Defined Networking

      The dawn of new services such as 5G, IoT, AR/VR, e-commerce, connected cars,and more, is driving us to digitalization — a massive transition that also requires the network to change.

    • Easier Persistent Memory Programming with Extensions to libstdc++ and libc++

      Persistent memory, unlike volatile memory, retains its contents even if the server has a power failure. However, as Tomasz Kapela, Software Engineer at Intel, points out during his LinuxCon Europe 2016 talk, persistent memory is hard to achieve. Since persistent memory programming is non-trivial, they have been focused on making it easier for the end user and for applications to use persistent memory correctly.

    • Persistent Memory Extensions to libstdc++/libc++ by Tomasz Kapela, Intel
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chromium Rolls Out Enhanced GTK3 Theme Support

        Chromium is sporting greater GTK3 support in its latest daily development snapshots. Developers have begun building the browser with proper GTK3 theme integration enabled by default. I know: hardly ground breaking, but as Chromium (and its more popular sibling, Google Chrome) are widely used by Ubuntu users, it’s a change worth a note.

      • Chrome 58 Beta: IndexedDB 2.0, an improvement to iframe navigation, and immersive full screen for PWAs

        The IndexedDB 2.0 standard is now fully supported in Chrome, making it simpler to work with large data sets in the browser. IDB 2.0 features new schema management, bulk action methods, and more standardized handling of failures.

      • Chrome 58 Beta Supports IndexedDB 2.0, New Developer Features

        Google developers are busy today not only with the Android O Developer Preview but the Chrome team has delivered the first public beta for the upcoming Chrome 58.0.

        The Chrome 58 beta adds full support for IndexedDB 2.0, improvements to iframe navigation by adding a new sandbox keyword to control iframe top navigation behavior, immersive full-screen support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), and various other developer changes.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla has proposed ‘Obsidian’, a low-level GPU API for the web

        So it looks like after Vulkan for desktop and mobile, the web may be getting a low-level API for interactions with the GPU. They are calling it Obsidian right now (temporary name) and they state it’s not a specification just yet, as they are looking to gather feedback.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.3.1 is out

      Last week, LibreOffice released version 5.3.1. This seems to be an incremental release over 5.3 and doesn’t seem to change the new user interface in any noticeable way.

      This is both good and bad news for me. As you know, I have been experimenting with LibreOffice 5.3 since LibreOffice updated the user interface. Version 5.3 introduced the “MUFFIN” interface. MUFFIN stands for My User Friendly Flexible INterface. Because someone clearly wanted that acronym to spell “MUFFIN.” The new interface is still experimental, so you’ll need to activate it through Settings→Advanced. When you restart LibreOffice, you can use the View menu to change modes.

  • Programming/Development

    • anytime 0.2.2

      A bugfix release of the anytime package arrived at CRAN earlier today. This is tenth release since the inaugural version late last summer, and the second (bugfix / feature) release this year.

    • GitLab 9.0 released with Subgroups and Deploy Boards

      Today we are releasing GitLab 9.0, 18 months after releasing 8.0. We’ve made significant advances to GitLab during this period, shipping a version every single month on the 22nd. Let’s quickly recap how far we’ve come since 8.0, and see those features dovetailing into today’s 9.0 release. Or jump ahead to 9.0 features.

    • Suggests != Depends

      A number of packages on CRAN use Suggests: casually.

    • 2038: only 21 years away

      Sometimes it seems that things have gone relatively quiet on the year-2038 front. But time keeps moving forward, and the point in early 2038 when 32-bit time_t values can no longer represent times correctly is now less than 21 years away. That may seem like a long time, but the relatively long life cycle of many embedded systems means that some systems deployed today will still be in service when that deadline hits. One of the developers leading the effort to address this problem is Arnd Bergmann; at Linaro Connect 2017 he gave an update on where that work stands.

      That work, he said, is proceeding on three separate fronts, the first of which is the kernel itself. He has been working for the last five years to try to prepare the kernel for 2038. Much of that work involves converting 32-bit timestamps to 64-bit values, even on 32-bit systems. Some 32-bit timestamps also show up in the user-space API, which complicates the issue considerably. There is a plan for the enhancement of the user-space API with 2038-clean versions of the problematic system calls, but it has not yet gotten upstream. One recent exception is the statx() system call, which was merged for 4.11; statx() will serve as the year-2038-capable version of the stat() family of calls. There are quite a few other system calls still needing 2038-clean replacements, though.

Leftovers

  • Amid boycott, Google changes ad policy to give advertisers more control

    Google’s Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler explained in a blog post how the company will revamp its advertising policies to give companies more control over where their ads appear on YouTube and the Google Display Network. Schindler also signals a new epoch for Google and YouTube, one in which the company will focus more effort on preventing hate speech on its online video platform.

  • 2 new tools for creating more accessible projects

    Accessibility has been an afterthought in development for far too long. The result has been costly retrofitting, the risk of inaccessible solutions, and unhappy users.

    We are where we are because developers often ignore accessibility in hopes that it will resolve on its own.

    But solutions should be accessible by all—including the blind, deaf, those with cognitive disabilities and more. This is especially important considering the 1 billion people (including the aging population) with disabilities, the proliferation of new technology, and new industry standards. Further, it’s more than just the right thing to do. It is required by any organization working with the U.S. government, and increasingly, those in the private sector too.

  • Science

    • 5 big ways AI is rapidly invading our lives

      Open source projects are helping drive artificial intelligence advancements, and we can expect to hear much more about how AI impacts our lives as the technologies mature. Have you considered how AI is changing the world around you already? Let’s take a look at our increasingly artificially enhanced universe and consider the bold predictions about our AI-influenced future.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Reproducible Builds: week 99 in Stretch cycle
    • Government Agencies to be Rated on Cybersecurity Using NIST Framework

      The Trump administration has announced that it will impose new metrics on federal agencies related to cybersecurity. Agencies and departments will be required to comply with the framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and report back to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the White House.

      Homeland security advisor Thomas Bossert stated that the President’s budget will include an increase in federal funding to combat cyber threats, and that the administration’s priorities vis-à-vis cybersecurity are to modernize and centralize the existing system. To this end, the Administration intends to partner with business, including Silicon Valley, and state and local governments, on cybersecurity.

    • Firefox gets complaint for labeling unencrypted login page insecure

      The operator of a website that accepts subscriber logins only over unencrypted HTTP pages has taken to Mozilla’s Bugzilla bug-reporting service to complain that the Firefox browser is warning that the page isn’t suitable for the transmission of passwords.

      “Your notice of insecure password and/or log-in automatically appearing on the log-in for my website, Oil and Gas International, is not wanted and was put there without our permission,” a person with the user name dgeorge wrote here (the link was made private shortly after this post went live). “Please remove it immediately. We have our own security system, and it has never been breached in more than 15 years. Your notice is causing concern by our subscribers and is detrimental to our business.”

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • Customer security awareness: alerting you to vulnerabilities that are of real risk
    • Cisco’s WikiLeaks Security Vulnerability Exposure: 10 Things Partners Need To Know

      Cisco’s security team has discovered that hundreds of its networking devices contain a vulnerability that could allow attackers to remotely executive malicious code and take control of the affected device.

      “We are committed to responsible disclosure, protecting our customers, and building the strongest security architecture and products that are designed through our Trustworthy Systems initiatives,” said a Cisco spokesperson in an email to CRN regarding the vulnerability.

      Some channel partners of the San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant are already advising customers on how to bypass the critical security flaw. Here are 10 important items that Cisco channel partners should know about the security vulnerability.

    • Linux had a killer flaw for 11 years and no one noticed

      One of the key advantages of Open sauce software is that it is supposed to be easier to spot and fix software flaws, however Linux has had a local privilege escalation flaw for 11 years and no-one has noticed.

      The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2017-6074, is over 11 years old and was likely introduced in 2005 when the Linux kernel gained support for the Datagram Congestion Control Protocol (DCCP). It was discovered last week and was patched by the kernel developers on Friday.

    • 6 Hot Internet of Things (IoT) Security Technologies
    • Microsoft Losing Its Edge

      However, despite these improvements in code cleanness and security technologies, it hasn’t quite proven itself when faced with experienced hackers at contests such as Pwn2Own. At last year’s edition of Pwn2Own, Edge proved to be a little better than Internet Explorer and Safari, but it still ended up getting hacked twice, while Chrome was only partially hacked once.

      Things seem to have gotten worse, rather than better, for Edge. At this year’s Pwn2Own, Microsoft’s browser was hacked no less than five times.

    • Microsoft loses the Edge at hacking contest

      And for every hack perpetrated against Edge, there was a corresponding attack against the Windows 10 kernel, indicating that it has a way to go in terms of security, according to Tom’s Hardware.

    • Wikileaks: Apple, Microsoft and Google must fix CIA exploits within 90 days

      The 90-day deadline is the same that Google’s own Project Zero security group provides to companies when it uncovers flaws in their software. If a company has failed to patch its software accordingly, Project Zero publishes details of the flaw whether the vendor likes it or not.

    • NTPsec Project announces 0.9.7
  • Defence/Aggression

    • [Older] Lucknow encounter: Are moderate {sic} Indian Muslims losing Lucknow to the Islamic State now?

      Given that the congratulatory letter was issued by a senior teacher in India’s leading madrasa—Nadwatul Ulama in Lucknow— it clearly reflected a sharp turnaround in the attitude and approach of the Lucknow-based clergy towards the emergence of a global Islamic caliphate. However, in his letter, Nadwi was only a spokesperson of the petro-dollar-funded Wahabi seminaries in India.

    • India could strike Pakistan with nuclear weapons if threatened, says expert

      In February, both countries extended a bilateral pact, dealing with reducing the risk of nuclear weapon-related accidents including a war, for a period of five years. India hand Pakistan have fought three full-fledged wars besides the 1999 Kargil hostilities.

    • Former NZ defence minister admits civilians were killed in bungled special forces raid

      The former New Zealand defence minister has admitted for the first time that civilians were killed during a bungled raid by New Zealand SAS troops in Afghanistan in 2010.

      For years, New Zealand politicians and military commanders denied this, claiming that the people killed were insurgents responsible for an earlier attack on the troops.

      Today’s comments by the former minister, Wayne Mapp, come less than 24 hours after the launch of an explosive new book Hit and Run by investigative reporters Jon Stephenson and Nicky Hager.

      The book claims the controversial operation killed six civilians and wounded 15.

    • Why would Google take sides in Syria’s Civil War?

      This morning, an apparently innocuous AP article eventually led me to the question, “Why would Google take sides in Syria’s civil war?”

      The article announced that Google was getting involved in protecting “news organizations and election-related sites” from cyberattacks and hacking though Jigsaw, a research arm of Google and Alphabet Inc.

    • What They Won’t Tell You About the American Military
  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • In a letter to the editor, CIA Public Affairs Director corrected the record with a lie of omission

      In 1981, the CIA took exception with newspapers reporting that Frank Sturgis was a former CIA employee. Herbet Hetu, the Agency’s then-Director of Public Affairs, had such a problem with the reporting that he wrote to the editors of several newspapers to try to issue a correction. The first letter, dated January 6, 1981, was sent to the editor of The Washington Star objecting to an article that had been published that day.

    • Whoops: The DOJ May Have Confirmed Some of the Wikileaks CIA Dump

      The US government says it wants to keep some of the now-public documents out of court because they contain classified material, suggesting that they could be authentic.

      Last week, the US government may have confirmed the authenticity of a number of CIA documents concerning the agency’s hacking operations, but not in the way you might expect.

      Judging by a recent court filing, at least some of the CIA files Wikileaks published earlier this month are genuine, because the government pushed back against having them admitted in court due to the documents’ classified content.

      “The government is not able to declare non-government records as classified, unless they are taking ownership of the records themselves,” Bradley P. Moss, a national security attorney, told Motherboard in an email.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • [Old] `I Don`t Recall` Marks Excerpts Of Reagan Testimony
    • Ivanka Trump has West Wing office and will get access to classified information [iophk: "somehow the word nepotism is missing from the entire article"]
    • Ivanka Trump getting West Wing office in White House ‘like a coup’, says former Labor secretary Robert Reich

      Shaun King, a senior justice writer and activist, simply called the news “disturbing”

    • Cyber Firm at Center of Russian Hacking Charges Misread Data

      An influential British think tank and Ukraine’s military are disputing a report that the U.S. cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike has used to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election.

      The CrowdStrike report, released in December, asserted that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, resulting in heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine’s war with Russian-backed separatists.

      But the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) told VOA that CrowdStrike erroneously used IISS data as proof of the intrusion. IISS disavowed any connection to the CrowdStrike report. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense also has claimed combat losses and hacking never happened.

      The challenges to CrowdStrike’s credibility are significant because the firm was the first to link last year’s hacks of Democratic Party computers to Russian actors, and because CrowdStrike co-founder Dimiti Alperovitch has trumpeted its Ukraine report as more evidence of Russian election tampering.

    • 5 congressional staffers in criminal probe over unauthorized computer access

      Five people employed by members of the House of Representatives remain under criminal investigation for unauthorized access to Congressional computers. Former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz employed at least one of those under investigation.

      The criminal investigation into the five, which includes three brothers and a wife of one of the men, started late last year, as reported by Politico in February. The group is being investigated by US Capitol Police over allegations that they removed equipment from over 20 members’ offices, as well as having run a procurement scheme to buy equipment and then overcharge the House.

      House Speaker Paul Ryan said last week Capitol Police are receiving additional help for the investigation. “I won’t speak to the nature of their investigation, but they’re getting the kind of technical assistance they need to do that, this is under an active criminal investigation, their capabilities are pretty strong but they’re also able to go and get the kind of help they need from other sources,” Ryan said.

    • Trump ex-aide Paul Manafort ‘offered to help Putin’

      US President Donald Trump’s one-time campaign chairman secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to assist President Vladimir Putin, the Associated Press (AP) news agency reports.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Arkansas Legislators Want To Make Corporate Whistleblowing Illegal

      Another “ag gag” law is in the works in Arkansas. These bills are brought under the pretense of safety — both for the person supposedly breaking them, as well as for the employees of the entity “trespassed” upon. The unspoken aim of these laws is to prevent whistleblowing, and they often spring into existence after someone has exposed horrible practices at local businesses — in most cases, the mistreatment of animals. The other consequence of most of these laws — unintended or not — is to deter employees from speaking up about questionable business practices, as there often is no exception carved out for employees of the companies protected by these laws.

      Kaleigh Rogers of Vice reports another ag gag bill has passed the Arkansas state House and is on its way to a Senate vote. And once again, the bill’s wording would deter whistleblowing and make journalistic efforts a civil violation.

    • Twitter suspends 376k more accounts linked to ‘terrorism’

      Twitter said Tuesday it suspended 376,890 accounts in the second half of 2016 for “promotion of terrorism,” an increase of 60 percent over the prior six-month period.

      The latest suspensions bring the total number of blocked accounts to 636,248 from August 2015, when Twitter stepped up efforts to curb “violent extremism,” the company announced as part of its latest transparency report.

    • UK’s Piracy Blocklist Now Exceeds 3,800 URLs

      By now, most UK Internet users have gotten used to pirate sites being blocked by their ISPs. Internet providers have been ordered to block a wide variety of torrent, direct download and streaming portals that offer copyright-infringing content. The full list uf URLs, which includes several reverse proxies, has now swelled to more than 3,800 according to one of the ISPs involved.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Adobe buddies up with Microsoft for new ways to mine your data

      Adobe and Microsoft have announced new product integrations along with the XDM (Experience Data Model) language for interchanging behavioural and marketing data between platforms.

      Microsoft has a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) offering, Dynamics 365, but is weak in marketing automation, while Adobe lacks a CRM product to compete with Salesforce, so it makes sense for the two companies to integrate.

      A new piece announced at the Adobe Summit under way in Las Vegas is that Adobe Campaign – which manages cross-channel campaigns across web, mobile, email and print – is integrated with Dynamics 365.

    • The CIA’s New Guidelines Governing Publicly Available Information

      On January 18, 2017, the CIA declassified and released new internal Central Intelligence Agency Activities: Procedures Approved by the Attorney General Pursuant to Executive Order 12333, approved by the Attorney General under Section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333. These new guidelines will be known as Agency Regulation (AR) 2-1 when they take effect on March 18, 2017. They will replace AR 2-2, including Annexes A and B, which were originally issued in 1987, most recently revised in 2012, and released to the public in 2015. The new CIA guidelines were part of a larger effort by the Obama administration, commenced before 2013 and completed two days before President Trump’s inauguration, to update Intelligence Community (IC) guidelines.

    • With appeals ruling, the United States has effectively outlawed file encryption

      An appeals court has denied the appeal of a person who is jailed indefinitely for refusing to decrypt files. The man has not been charged with anything, but was ordered to hand over the unencrypted contents on police assertion of what the contents were. When this can result in lifetime imprisonment under “contempt of court”, the United States has effectively outlawed file-level encryption – without even going through Congress.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Should You Have Any 4th Amendment Rights In An Airport?

      For many years, we’ve written about the craziness of the so-called “border search exception” to the 4th Amendment, in which the US government has insisted that the 4th Amendment doesn’t apply at the border, and thus it’s allowed to search people at the border. The initial reasoning was — more or less — that at the border, you’re not yet in the country, and thus the 4th Amendment doesn’t apply yet. But that’s expanded over time — especially in the digital age. Perhaps, back when people just had clothes/books/whatever in their luggage, you could understand the rationale for allowing a search, but today, when people carry laptops and handheld electronic devices that basically store their whole lives, the situation is a lot scarier. Unfortunately, (with just a few small exceptions) the courts have simply taken the historical ability to search luggage at the border and expanded it to cover electronic devices. Then, things got even more ridiculous, when Homeland Security decided that anywhere that’s within 100 miles of the border could be “close enough” to count as a “border search,” making the “border search exception” apply. That’s… messed up.

    • Sex slave’s rescue in Riyadh reveals widening web of traffickers in India

      Of an estimated six million Indian migrants in the six Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Oman, domestic workers are among the most exploited, campaigners say.

      “Housemaids are treated like cattle here. This woman didn’t even know where she was when I asked her location. She kept crying to be saved. India should ban sending housemaids to the Gulf,” Sriniwas said.

    • The International Women’s Peace Group hosts a seminar for BAN FGM
    • Saudi ‘prisoner of conscience’ ordered to pay $270,000 fine

      His sentence was extended to ten years imprisonment and 1,000 lashes in 2015.

    • Aceh’s latest tourist attraction? Dozens of Malaysian tourists come to watch public caning in Banda Aceh

      On Monday, dozens of tourists from Malaysia came by bus to visit the Lamteh Mosque in Banda Aceh to witness a dozen people getting publicly caned for crimes ranging from gambling to ikhtilat (the intermingling of men and women who are not married).

      Among the tourists was a Malaysian State Senator from Klanten, Dato Dr Johari bin Mat, who said that he respected Aceh implementation of Islamic law and use of public canin to ensure security and public order.

    • ‘Multilingual Society’: German Educators Call for Compulsory Arabic in Schools
    • UK follows US on cabin device ban [iophk: “in 7th gen Intel“]

      The devices were listed as: laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players, electronic game units larger than a smartphone and travel printers/scanners.

    • WATCH: Lucknow girl thrashes molesters with police baton

      When police stood as mute spectators in Lucknow, a girl decided to take law in her hands and ensured that she teaches her molesters a lesson.

      A group of girls were allegedly eve-teased by a bike-borne gang in Gautam Palli area on Sunday night. However, the police standing there didn’t come to their rescue, that is when the girls from the group snatched the baton from the cops and thrashed the men on bike.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • From bad to worse: the del Castillo Report on the European Electronic Communication Code

      To understand what it’s about, let’s step back a little.

      Since 2002, the regulation of telecommunication has been based on a group of European directives called “the telecom package”. The second revision of this package (the first was in 2009) began in September 2016 with the publication by the European Commission of a draft bill for a European Code of Electronic Communication. This massive bill of more than a hundred articles aims to recast and reform the current telecom package. It is now being negotiated at the Council of the European Union, and a report just had been published at the European Parliament. This report published by the MEP Pilar del Castillo (ES – EPP) will be discussed in the coming months.

    • IPv6 and CGNAT

      Today I ended reading an interesting article by the 4th spanish ISP regarding IPv6 and CGNAT. The article is in spanish, but I will translate the most important statements here.

      Having a spanish Internet operator to talk about this subjet is itself good news. We have been lacking any news regarding IPv6 in our country for years. I mean, no news from private operators. Public networks like the one where I develop my daily job has been offering native IPv6 since almost a decade…

  • DRM

    • Why American Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware

      Tractor hacking is growing increasingly popular because John Deere and other manufacturers have made it impossible to perform “unauthorized” repair on farm equipment, which farmers see as an attack on their sovereignty and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time.

    • W3C moves to finalize DRM standardization, reclassifies suing security researchers as a feature, not a bug

      The World Wide Web Consortium has announced that its members have until April 19 to weigh in on whether the organization should publish Encrypted Media Extensions, its DRM standard for web video, despite the fact that this would give corporations the new right to sue people who engaged in legal activity, from security researchers who revealed defects in browsers to accessibility workers who adapted video for disabled people to scrappy new companies who come up with legal ways to get more use out of your property.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Italian Supreme Court rules that mere reproduction of Vespa image may amount to counterfeiting

      Italian online IP resource Marchi & Brevetti has just reported a very interesting and recent decision of the Criminal Section of the Italian Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione) regarding the crime of counterfeiting within Article 474 of the Italian Criminal Code.

    • Trademarks

      • The Changing Perspective Of Well-Known Trademarks In India

        The innovative advertisements of famous trademarks we come across remind us of the image they have created in our minds and the quality of the respective products or services they reflect. Millions are spent by the owners of such marks to build their reputation and maintain their popularity in this competitive globalised world.

    • Copyrights

      • University Puts 20,000 Lectures Behind A Registration Wall In Response To DOJ Pressure On Website Accessibility Compliance

        Back in 2012, a federal court ruled US websites were “places of public accommodation.” The ruling (overturned on appeal) came in a lawsuit brought against Netflix by the National Association of the Deaf. It seems like an obvious conclusion — more people get their information, news, and entertainment from the web than other sources. But the ruling had plenty of adverse consequences, especially for smaller, less profitable purveyors of online content.

      • Supreme Court Cheers on Copyright Separability

        In a new Copyright decision, the Supreme Court has modified the doctrine of separability that allows for copyright of works of authorship associated with useful articles.

      • US Supreme Court holds cheerleading uniforms eligible for copyright protection

        The US Copyright Act, §101 states that “pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features” of the “design of a useful article” can be protected by copyright as artistic works if those features “can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.”

      • US Supreme Court finds cheerleading uniform designs copyright eligible

        The Supreme Court has held that the designs in a cheerleading uniform satisfy the test for copyright protection in its Star Athletica v Varsity Brands ruling. Observers say the decision provides a standard test to be applied to the separability analysis

      • Unpaywall: The Browser Add-on That Finds (Legal) Free Copies Of Academic Papers You See As You Browse The Web

        Techdirt has just written about ResearchGate, which claims to offer access to 100 million academic papers. However, as we wrote, there’s an issue about whether a significant proportion of those articles are in fact unauthorized copies, for example uploaded by the authors but in contravention of the agreement they signed with publishers. The same legal issues plague the well-known Sci-Hub site, which may deter some from using it. But as further evidence of how the demand for access to millions of academic papers still locked away is driving technical innovation, there’s a new option, called Unpaywall, which is available as a pre-release add-on for Chrome (Firefox is promised later), and is free. It aims to provide access to every paper that’s freely available to read in an authorized version.

      • Leaked Text: Is EU Tempted By Too Many Safeguards Limiting The Scope Of Blind Treaty?

        As the ratification by the European Union of an international treaty creating an exception to copyright for visually impaired people nears, a leaked text shows that the directive implementing the treaty in the EU might come with safeguards limiting the scope of the treaty, allegedly pushed by the publishing industry.

        The leaked document (from the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU to the Permanent Representatives Committee), seen by Intellectual Property Watch, is the latest draft proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and the Council. The directive would be on “certain permitted uses of works and other subject-matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled and amending Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society.”

03.21.17

Links 21/3/2017: PyPy Releases, Radeon RX Vega, Eileen Evans at Linux Foundation

Posted in News Roundup at 2:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Red Flag Windows: Microsoft modifies Windows OS for Chinese government

      China has long been both a huge lure and a thorn in the side for Microsoft. Massive piracy of Windows XP, a decade-long effort to replace Windows entirely with a home-grown Linux variant called Red Flag and an OpenOffice variant called RedOffice, and a ban on Windows 8 for government use following the leak by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden of information on National Security Agency spying all have combined to hinder Microsoft in the Chinese market. But now Microsoft—in partnership with the state-owned China Electronics Technology Group (CETC)—is preparing to reboot its relationship with Beijing, thanks to a modified version of Windows produced specifically for China, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

    • [Old] Windows 10 May Delete Your Programs Without Asking

      When you install a major Windows 10 update, you may reboot to find some of your programs missing. Yes, Windows 10 may remove your programs without asking you–but you can get them back pretty easily.

      This is the takeaway from some people’s experiences with the “November update,” Windows 10’s first big update. Microsoft has refused to comment on this, but it seems like the update process is designed to remove incompatible programs. Here’s what’s going on, and what you can do about it.

  • Server

    • DevOps still very much a work in progress, survey suggests

      That’s the key takeaway from a recent survey of 2,045 IT managers and professionals, released by Quali, an IT automation solutions provider. While most people in enterprises would say at this point that they have DevOps underway in some shape or form, achieving agility is another story.

    • IBM chases Google, Microsoft with Kubernetes in the cloud

      It’s only a matter of time before every major cloud vendor offers a version of Kubernetes as a service. Now it’s IBM’s turn.

    • In The Virtualization Space, Containers Are Making A Move

      Wow has it been a whirlwind over the last ten years in the virtualization space. Where once Xen and then KVM sat on the pedestal, the baton has been passed to the projects revolved around containers. Names like Docker, Kubernetes and Mesos are most often mentioned. As is generally the case in the FLOSS arena, evolution is a constant. Therefore, if one is in the DevOps arena, it is time to familiarize yourself with containers if you have not already done so.

    • The DOE and NSA Construct Doomsday Scenario for American HPC

      One last point. The Chinese economy continues to expand faster than that of the US, and, depending on who you talk to, will reach the size of the US sometime between 2018 and 2028. Such an economy would be expected to field an HPC capability on par with that of the US. Furthermore, China and the US should both be able to maintain an indigenous and self-sustaining HPC capability for their own use, and it’s unreasonable to think either could prevent the other from doing so. In such a world, the US may no longer enjoy technological supremacy, but it can surely have the wherewithal to control its own future in HPC.

    • [Older] Getting Down To Bare Metal On The Cloud

      When you think of the public cloud, the tendency is to focus on the big ones, like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. They’re massive, dominating the public cloud skyline with huge datacenters filled with thousands of highly virtualized servers, not to mention virtualized storage and networking. Capacity is divvied up among corporate customers that are increasingly looking to run and store their workloads on someone else’s infrastructure, hardware that they don’t have to set up, deploy, manage or maintain themselves.

    • Avoid complex infrastructure when building simple things

      For local development, go crazy. For real production use.. I think you should avoid this until you’re the size of business that someone else will do this for you. If this seems controversial do the math: include backing it up, patching it, keeping it highly available, the time spent not working on your differentiating features etc. There are plenty of datastore services available that will do all this for you and let you focus your limited time on your app, and they’re really very cheap when you consider the actual cost of running a production database. Write your app so that the cost of moving to your own database later if you need to is unlikely to be high. Managing a simple web app instead of managing a web app, a production database, a message queue etc is a big win.

  • Kernel Space

    • Intel Has More DRM Graphics Driver Code Ready For Linux 4.12

      Intel had already sent in a batch of feature updates to DRM-Next targeting the Linux 4.12 kernel and yesterday an additional feature pull was submitted of work to premiere in this next kernel series.

    • Eric Anholt Continues Tuning GLAMOR, Cleaning Up ARM CLCD Driver

      For those following the development of the open-source VC4 driver stack that notably supports the Raspberry Pi graphics hardware, developer Eric Anholt has published another status update.

      As covered already, VC4 HDMI audio is coming to Linux 4.12 as a big milestone.

    • The Linux Foundation’s Arpit Joshipura to Host Open Networking Q&A on Twitter [Ed: If you do not join (i.e. give data to) surveillance and censorship platform Twitter you can't speak to the Linux Foundation now?]

      On Friday, March 31, The Linux Foundation will kick off a new initiative. No, it’s not a new project, event, or training course, although there are plenty of those in store. Instead, the foundation will begin a monthly Twitter chat, called #AskLF, with leaders at the organization.

    • CoreOS Donates its rkt Container Technology to CNCF

      At the same time that Docker offered to donate its containerd technology to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), CoreOS did the same with its competing rkt.

    • The Linux Foundation Appoints Eileen Evans to Board of Directors

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration, today announced that Eileen Evans, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Software and Open Source at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), has joined The Linux Foundation Board of Directors as an At-Large director. Ms. Evans had represented HP and then HPE from 2012 through 2016 on the Board as a Platinum director.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD GPU Linux driver patches is listing seven Vega 10 IDs

        100 Linux patches amounting to over fourty thousand lines of code was sent out today for review in order to provide “Vega 10″ support within the Linux AMDGPU DRM driver.

        Adding Vega support to AMDGPU is a big task due to all of the changes over Polaris and other recent GPUs reports Phoronix.

      • Mesa 17.0.2 Brings Improvements to Radeon RADV and Intel ANV Vulkan Drivers

        Immediately after announcing the last maintenance update to the Mesa 13.0 3D Graphics Library series, Collabora’s Emil Velikov published the second point release for the new Mesa 17.0 branch.

        Mesa 17.0.2 is here only two weeks after the release of the first maintenance update to Mesa 17.0, which is currently the most advanced stable branch of the graphics stack used by default in numerous Linux-based operating systems.

      • Mesa 13.0.6 Is the Last in the Series, Users Encouraged to Move to Mesa 17.0

        Collabora’s Emil Velikov is announcing today the general availability of the sixth and last scheduled maintenance update for the Mesa 13.0 3D Graphics Library series for GNU/Linux distributions.

        Mesa 13.0.6 is here only to backport many of the improvements from the newest stable branch, Mesa 17.0, to the Mesa 13.0 series, which some of you are still using on your Linux distro. However, you should start migrating to Mesa 17.0 as soon as you read this.

      • 140 Patches Posted To Wire Up Radeon RX Vega In RadeonSI Gallium3D Driver
      • Porting Mesa/Libdrm’s Build System To Meson Brings Up Controversy

        Last week an independent developer proposed replacing the build system of libdrm — the DRM library that sits between Mesa and the Linux kernel DRM — to using the Meson build system as a potential replacement to using Autotools. That has led to another colorful discussion around build systems.

        Dylan Baker’s RFC patches can be found on the dri-devel list and the discussion that ensued. He argues that the build system with Meson would be better since it’s written in Python, Meson makes use of Ninja rather than CMake, its syntax is arguably simpler, and it’s quicker. Dylan found that his build times dropped from 26 seconds to 13 seconds when going from Autotools to Meson. When making use of ccache, the build times dropped from 13 seconds to 2 seconds. He also mentioned he’s planning on porting Mesa’s Autotools/CMake build system over to Meson.

      • AMD’s Linux GPU patches seven Vega 10s

        These 100 patches add up to 40,000 lines of code and have been sent out today for review. The idea is that AMD will use them as the basis to provide “Vega 10″ support within the Linux AMDGPU DRM driver.

      • Seven AMD Vega GPU IDs have appeared in the latest Linux driver release

        More than forty thousand lines of updated code have been sent out with 100 little patches for AMD’s Linux graphics drivers so they can deliver Vega GPU support when the new architecture launches. Inside the latest drivers have appeared seven discrete Vega 10 device IDs.

      • AMD Linux Driver Team Releases Over 100 ADMGPU Driver Patches Including Vega 10, Polaris 12 Support

        More than 100 patches for ADMGPU driver, including some much talked about support for Vega 10, were released by AMD’s Linux driver team yesterday.

  • Applications

    • Buku – A Powerful Command-line Bookmark Manager for Linux

      I can damn sure, managing bookmarks is one of the major/important tasks to everyone now a days. Everyone have different requirement and holding bunch of URL’s for their needs and keeping those in bookmarks.

      We all knows about bookmarks, usage, and how to do in web browser, especially in GUI mode. What about command-line? Most of us doesn’t know about this awesome utility which used to create bookmarks in command-line.

    • Indicator DOOM Gives Your Ubuntu Desktop the Badass CPU Monitor It Deserves

      Say hello to the flat-out coolest way to keep and eye on your desktop’s CPU load.

      Because as handy as tools like Indicator Multiload are, they lack a certain …badassery.

      Indicator DOOM is a CPU load indicator for Ubuntu that displays processor load using Doomguy‘s face from the iconic DOOM video game.

    • PiCluster 1.7 – Efficient Container Management

      I am pleased to announce PiCluster v1.7. In this release, I wanted to make PiCluster easier to use by having the Web Console handle most of the common configuration file changes. Not everyone enjoys editing json files including myself. Now let’s go over what is new in this release.

    • Command-line document conversion tools for writers

      Today, we have ample tools available for editing memos, letters, essays, books, presentation slides, and other documents on our computers. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage: on the one hand, if you don’t like a piece of software, you can simply move on to another one any time; on the other hand, a lot of these tools, especially proprietary software, are fully compatible with their own formats only. As a consequence, the more documents you have created with such a program, the less likely switching over to another solution will be possible without investing significant time, energy, and even money. This phenomenon is called vendor lock-in.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The 25 Best Games for Linux and Steam Machines

        When I was first introduced to Linux and the Open Source community gaming was an issue that users always complained about. Interested gamers always had to use wine or implement one workaround or the other.

        There were either not good enough drivers to run certain games on Linux or the games themselves weren’t available for the platform.

        Fast forward to 2017 and the story has changed. Linux gamers now have a variety of games they can choose from ranging from free to the relatively pricey ones.

        Today, I bring you a list of the 25 best games you can play on your Linux system.

      • Dota 2 patched for AMD Ryzen

        Valve have put out a small Dota 2 update that aims to improve performance on the new Ryzen processors from AMD.

      • Jack Orlando: Director’s Cut now has a Wine-port on Steam for Linux

        Jack Orlando: Director’s Cut [Steam], an adventure game published by Topware is the latest game of theirs to get a Wine-port on Steam.

      • RPG Maker MV now has a Linux version and a Linux game export option

        We saw signs of RPG Maker MV [Steam] coming to Linux early last year, but now it’s official. RPG Maker MV now has a Linux version and it can export Linux games.

        With the release of the 1.4.0 update, anyone who owns it now has access to the Linux version on Steam. So anyone wanting to make simple RPG games on Linux has access to a highly rated tool.

      • Dota 2 Receives Optimization For AMD Ryzen CPUs

        If you were an early buyer of AMD Ryzen hardware, Valve has pushed out a Dota 2 game update with some Ryzen optimizations.

        Today’s Dota 2 update from Valve mentions, “Improved threading configuration for AMD Ryzen processors.” Presumably this is with better dealing of Ryzen’s new SMT capabilities for AMD processors.

      • Space sandbox game ‘Avorion’ has a whopper of an update, considering getting a server for it

        I am a massive fan of ‘Avorion’ [Steam] as this Early Access space sandbox has a lot going for it and it just got a major update. I am also considering setting up a GOL server for it!

        This new update will mean a re-design of your ships, so be warned. The flight model has been reworked and you now need to make use of three new blocks: Directional Thruster, Gyro Array, Inertia Dampeners.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Photos 3.24.0

        It was high time that we overhauled our old GtkIconView-based overview grids. Their inability to reflow the thumbnails leads to a an ugly vertical gutter of empty space unless the window is just the right size. The other problem was performance. GtkIconView gets extremely slow when the icons are updated, which usually happens when content is detected for the first time and start getting thumbnailed.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rugged, Linux-ready sandwich style SBC packs Skylake CPUs

      VersaLogic’s 125 x 85 x 37mm “Blackbird” offers Skylake CPUs, up to 32GB of DDR4, 3x mini-PCIe sockets, wide-range power, and MIL-STD-202G ruggedization.

      VersaLogic calls its dual-layer Blackbird an Embedded Processing Unit (EPU). Like the other VersaLogic EPUs we’ve seen, such as the Atom-based Osprey EPU, the Blackbird is a three-layer sandwich consisting of a COM Express module in the middle, a same-sized I/O interface board on the top, and a heat spreader on the bottom. Compared to the Osprey, the Blackbird has a lot more real-world ports, making it more SBC-like rather than a COM with SBC-like characteristics. The Blackbird is “supplied fully assembled and tested, including heat plate, ready to install in a system,” says Versalogic.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Chile: Civil Society, Members Of Congress Urge Issuance Of Compulsory Licences

      Representatives of Chilean civil society and Congress this week presented the Chilean health minister with a proposal urging the government to take advantage of international trade law and a newly passed congressional resolution to issue compulsory licences on high-priced drugs for hepatitis C and prostate cancer.

      The proposal was made under the advisement of Luis Villarroel, director of Corporación Innovarte, a non-governmental organisation in Santiago.

    • Eli Lilly Loses Quixotic Quest To Get Canada To Pay $500 Million For Rejecting Its Bad Patents

      Over the last few years, we’ve written a ton about “corporate sovereignty” provisions in trade agreements. Technically, these tend to be called “Investor State Dispute Settlement” or ISDS provisions, but I really believe that a decent part of the reason they’re called something so boring is to stop people from paying attention to just how nefarious these provisions truly are. One of the reasons we first started paying attention to these provisions — as they were showing up in agreements under negotiation, such as the TPP and TTIP — was following a story involving the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly demanding $100 million from Canada for rejecting two of its patents.

      The issue was that Canada had rejected these two patents because the company couldn’t prove that the patented drugs were actually useful. Eli Lilly claimed that Canada had no right to reject patents on that basis, arguing that it was a “dramatic” shift in how patents were reviewed, and thus it was “expropriating its property” and undermining the company’s “expected future profits.” Think about that for a second. By the time this case went to an actual tribunal, the amount that the company was demanding had ballooned from $100 million to $500 million. This battle has waged on for many years — and for Eli Lilly, this was a huge deal. Management at the company basically bet the company on continuing to get new patents, and any hiccup — even a rejection of patents for not being useful — could be a disaster for the company. The company even pushed to get Canada slammed during diplomatic proceedings in the infamous Special 301 Report for the USTR for daring to reject its patents — and the USTR complied.

    • Patients, Members of Congress Ask Chilean Government to Issue Compulsory Licenses on Prostate Cancer and HCV Drug Patents

      Members of the Chilean Congress and a group of 6 patients visited the Chilean Ministry of Health yesterday to ask that the government use its authority under Chilean law to end patent monopolies on the prostate cancer drug enzalutamide (U.S. brand name Xtandi) and on sofosbuvir-based combination drugs for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV).

      The patients and members submitted a petition (signatures here) that outlined the legal authority and public policy rationale for the grant of compulsory licenses on the patents for the drugs described in the petition. Those compulsory licenses would allow prescription drug manufacturers to produce affordable generic versions of the drugs, subject to a reasonable royalty.

      The petition was written by Chilean attorney Luis Villarroel, and signed by Luis and five members of civil society and patient groups, and four members of the Chilean Congress, including Diputados Giorgio Jackson, Karla Rubilar, Miguel Alvarado, and Gabriel Boric.

      Knowledge Ecology International was asked to provide technical advice on the petition.

    • Norway Is No. 1 in Happiness. The U.S., Sadly, Is No. 14.

      After placing fourth last year, Norway is now the world’s happiest country, according to the 2017 World Happiness Report, released on Monday. The Central African Republic was the least happy of 155 countries.

      The authors of the report found that a half-dozen socioeconomic factors explain much of the difference in happiness among countries, but that social factors play an underappreciated role. As evidence, they cite periods of substantial economic growth that were nonetheless matched by declining happiness in China and the United States, which ranked 14th.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Monday
    • Old Linux kernel security bug bites

      OK, hands up, who knows what High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC) is? It’s an archaic networking data framing protocol that’s used in modems, X.25, frame-relay, ISDN, and other now uncommon networking technologies. I know it because I used to work with them back in the day. You’ll get to know it now because a researcher discovered a security hole hidden within the Linux kernel driver that implements it.

    • Seven year-old Linux vulnerability now patched

      An old vulnerability was just discovered in the Linux kernel, potentially allowing hackers to gain privilege escalation, or cause a denial of service. The vulnerability was quickly fixed and there have been no signs of it in the wild, although that does not necessarily mean it went unnoticed.

    • OpenSSH 7.5 released

      OpenSSH 7.5 has just been released. It will be available from the mirrors listed at http://www.openssh.com/ shortly.

    • OpenSSH 7.5 Has Security Fixes, Removes OpenSSL 1.0 Support for Portable OpenSSH

      OpenSSH, the cross-platform and open-source 100% complete SSH 2.0 protocol implementation offering both SFTP server and client support was updated today to version 7.5.

      OpenSSH 7.5 comes three months after the release of OpenSSH 7.4 in late December 2016, and promises to be a maintenance update that addresses two important security issues, implements support for the “=-” syntax to make removing of methods from algorithm lists a lot easier, and fix numerous reported bugs.

    • Is Linux Mint a secure distribution?

      Linux Mint has been lambasted by some in the media for security problems over the last few years. But how accurate are such perceptions? Does Linux Mint really suffer from security problems or is it all much ado about nothing?

      A writer at DistroWatch wades into the controversy and examines some of the myths and misunderstandings about Linux Mint and security.

    • Linux Mint’s security record

      Some of the more common misunderstandings I have encountered recently have involved the Linux Mint distribution. Mint has been a popular project in recent years and, with many people using the distribution and talking about the project, there is bound to be some mis-communication. In particular, most of the rumours and misunderstandings I have encountered have revolved around Mint’s security practises and history. I would like to clear up a few of the more common rumours.

    • Mozilla Firefox is the First Pwn2own 2017 Victim to be Patched

      Some vendors respond to security issues faster than others. Last week, the 10th annual Pwn2own hacking challenge was hosted by Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI), with multiple groups of researchers taking aim at web browsers, operating systems and virtualization technology.

      Mozilla’s Firefox web browser was successfully exploited on March 16, the second day of the Pwn2own event. Researchers from Chaitin Security Research Lab were the only group to attack Mozilla Firefox, and earned $30,000 for demonstrating a new zero-day exploit. The day the exploit was demonstrated, the only thing publicly revealed about the exploit is that it made use of an integer overflow flaw in combination with an uninitialized memory buffer in the Windows kernel.

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • [Older] Leaked travel advice for spooks from the CIA

      AMONG the trove of American intelligence agency documents released by Wikileaks this week is one that instructs the country’s spies on protocols to follow while travelling abroad. Some of these are specific to the CIA’s needs. (“Talk to CCIE/Engineering about your planned TDY timeline,” the document begins, adding such tidbits as “Breeze through German Customs because you have your cover-for-action story down pat.”) But others are just good common-sense business-travel tips—for spies and corporate sales managers alike.

      The first universal advice in the document, which appears to be designed for spooks visiting an operations base in Frankfurt, is this: “If you are using a personal credit card, be sure to call your credit card company and notify them of your travel to Germany.” That seems like sound guidance.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Indonesia’s Peat Fires Still Blaze, But Not As Much As They Used To [iophk: "transmigration"]

      Indonesia is home to half the world’s tropical peat lands, and the catastrophe focused unprecedented attention on their importance. Despite being illegal, clearing peat land by fire remains widespread in Indonesia, as it is the cheapest way to clear land for agriculture and industry.

      [...]

      Subandi says he moved with his parents from the island of Java to Borneo in the early 1970s. Many of today’s peat land residents were moved there by the government [...]

    • Hunt Saboteurs Assaulted by Notorious Yorkshire Hunt

      Hunt saboteurs were assaulted by members of the Middleton Hunt at their meet in Uncleby, North Yorkshire on Saturday 18th March. Riders from the hunt stole a video camera and two body cams, hit sabs on the head with whips, attempted to ride them down and jumped off their horses to continue the attacks. One female saboteur has cracked ribs after being crushed between two horses.

  • Finance

    • US Apple users urge company to ‘do the right thing’ and pay NZ taxes

      He was commenting on revelations today in the Weekend Herald that Apple paid zero tax to the NZ Government in the past 10 years in a period when its sales in this country totalled $4.2 billion.

    • Goldman to move hundreds of staff from London pre-Brexit: Europe CEO [Ed: Getting rid of parasitic banks may be good for society, but when they leave because we have nothing to offer it's a loss]

      Goldman Sachs will begin moving hundreds of people out of London before any Brexit deal is struck as part of its contingency plans for Britain leaving the European Union, the Wall Street firm’s Europe CEO said.

      “We are going to start to execute on those contingency plans,” Richard Gnodde, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs International, the European arm of the Wall Street bank, told CNBC on Tuesday.

      “For this first period, this is really the period as we put in place contingency plans, this is in the hundreds of people as opposed to anything greater than that,” he said.

      British Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger EU divorce proceedings on March 29, launching two years of negotiations that will shape the future of Britain and Europe.

    • Tory MPs are attacking the BBC for not telling the public fairytales about Brexit

      Donald Trump might have sunk to record levels of unpopularity across the Atlantic, but that hasn’t stopped 72 Brexiteer MPs from taking a leaf out of his playbook.

      The august Parliamentarians have come together to form a little corp of Trump-kin Mini-Mes by signing a letter lambasting the BBC for its coverage of Brexit.

      It claims, among other things, that the corporation’s “pessimistic and skewed reporting” risks undermining the project and damaging Britain in the process.

      “It particularly pains us to see how so much of the economic good news we’ve had since June has been skewed by BBC coverage which seems unable to break out of pre-referendum pessimism and accept new facts,” it opines.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Judge Decides Free Speech Is Still A Right; Dumps Prior Restraint Order Against Mattress Review Site

      A couple of weeks ago, a federal judge in Utah decided prior restraint was the best way to handle a recently-filed defamation suit against Honest Mattress Reviews by Purple Innovations, makers of the Purple Mattress.

      Purple’s lengthy filing contained numerous allegations of harm caused by Honest Mattress Reviews’ extended commentary on the white plastic powder covering every mattress Purple ships. It also alleged HMR was just a front for site owner Ryan Monahan’s brand management work with Purple’s competitor, Ghostbed. Rather than give HMR a chance to respond, the judge decided the review site could publish nothing further about Purple or the lawsuit. It wasn’t even allowed to refer to its previous rating of Purple’s mattress.

      Honest Mattress Review didn’t care much for this decision — one it had been given no chance to contest. It immediately posted an article about the case and offered to comply with the letter of the order, but perhaps not its spirit.

    • Censorship Is Never Acceptable

      Doing a sociolinguistics module last semester made me well aware of the power of language. We use the words we do to construct our own identities, and therefore language contributes to the shaping of society. This means that it can be used in harmful ways. Yet the beauty of language is in its variety and its flexibility, and therefore we should oppose any attempt to censor language.

      Alas, that is what Cardiff Metropolitan University has done. By banning the use of certain words, they are impinging on people’s right to use language in whichever way they choose. Freedom of expression is not just about being able to express any opinion, it is about being able to express that opinion in any way you choose. Cardiff Met are restricting this freedom and therefore, whilst well-meaning, this policy is actually a step away from a more liberal society.

    • Censorship allegation made as Bruce Township officials toss newspaper from hall

      Cory said the treasurer gave away copies of The Record to residents coming into her office for them to read articles relating to Brockmann’s arrest, which is being adjudicated through the 42-2 District Court in New Baltimore. Sobczak said that he never told Obrecht to personally distribute The Record, but stands by her right to do so.

    • Filing Bogus Lawsuits As Part Of A ‘Reputation Management’ Strategy Costs Firm $71,000

      Because abusing the DMCA process only goes so far, some reputation management entities have begun exploiting an inattentive legal system to push lawsuits past judges. In some cases, these suits have featured fake plaintiffs filing bogus libel lawsuits against fake defendants and using a fake affidavit to fraudulently obtain court orders requiring Google to delist URLs.

      Those engaged in this fraudulent behavior aren’t likely to get away with it for much longer. Paul Alan Levy and Eugene Volokh managed to track down the person behind one set of bogus lawsuits and get the presiding judge to take a closer look at the bogus documents he was being handed. Pissed Consumer has also been reporting on others using the same MO, and has headed to court to get these suits examined and tossed.

      The end of line for supposed reputation manager Richart Ruddie came at the hands of Volokh and Levy, with the judge granting discovery to the defendant after being apprised of the apparently fraudulent filings. Now that Richart Ruddie of Profile Defenders has been exposed, it looks as though he’s given up the fight. Levy reports Ruddie has settled anti-SLAPP claims brought against him and is paying restitution for his reputation mismanagement.

    • To censor or not to censor? YouTube’s double bind

      YouTube has found itself fighting battles on two fronts this week.

      Advertisers have launched a concerted attack against the video-streaming platform for its devil-may-care attitude to extremist content. They argue it is too hard to guarantee that advertising spend won’t end up going to the likes of far-right group Britain First, and have decided to boycott the platform en masse until YouTube can confirm changes.

      In response, YouTube’s parent company Google has apologised, and promised a raft of changes to appease the big spenders, from better categorisation of hate speech to simpler, more powerful controls for advertisers. It’s also promised to hire “significant numbers of people”, on top of the thousands who already do the work, to review questionable content.

      At the same time, in a very different community, YouTube creators are lambasting the site after the discovery that its “restricted mode”, a feature intended to let schools, parents and libraries filter out content not appropriate for children, also removed a vast amount of LGBT content. Some videos from pop duo Tegan and Sara, who are gay, were hidden from view, as were videos from bisexual YouTuber NeonFiona – but only those which talked about her sexuality.

    • Man Actually Arrested For Assault With A Deadly Tweet

      Late last year, we wrote about the crazy case in which journalist Kurt Eichenwald was suing an anonymous Twitter troll, claiming that the troll had sent Eichenwald a flashing gif designed to cause some small percentage of epileptics to have a seizure. Eichenwald claimed that it had worked and he’d had a seizure on the spot. As we noted at the time, we’re no fans of Eichenwald. In our opinion, he’s an absolutely terrible journalist with a fairly long history of really weird issues, and a strange obsession with massively overselling stories. He has me blocked on Twitter and has indicated that he’s no fan of us either.

      [...]

      If you can’t see those, it’s a series of Direct Messages from the “@jew_goldstein” account, saying things like that Eichenwald “deserves to have his liver pecked out by a pack of emus.” “I hope this sends him into a seizure.” “Spammed this at [Eichenwald] let’s see if he dies.” “I know he has epilepsy.”

      [...]

      If you can’t see it, that’s the flashing gif that @jew_goldstein sent Eichenwald and it says “You Deserve A Seizure For Your Posts.” This was the same one that Eichenwald’s wife found on Kurt’s computer when she found him having a seizure. The affidavit includes a screenshot she took of his computer screen showing that exact gif. Oh, and also stored in Rivello’s iCloud? A screenshot of an edited Wikipedia page of Eichenwald, claiming that he’d died the day after the gif was set. And also screen shots of an article about epilepsy seizure triggers, and an article about how the police were trying to track down the troll.

      So that’s a lot of pretty damning evidence. As lawyer Keith Lee notes, it’s something of a miracle he was tracked down. Even though he took some fairly basic precautions to cover his tracks (fake account, Tracfone phone connection), he didn’t take that many and didn’t seem to realize how many other ways there were to track him down.

    • A Cuban film about gay repression pulled from festival. Was it censorship?

      Cuban filmmaker Carlos Lechuga has pulled an acclaimed film, based on repression against gay writers in the early years of the Revolution, from an upcoming presentation in New York after festival organizers banned it from official competition and instead categorized the screening as a special presentation.

    • Goodbye craft and DIY inspo: Pinterest falls victim to China’s Great Firewall
    • Chinese Internet Censors Have Banned Pinterest
    • Pinterest Gets The Boot In China
    • Pinterest—the Largest Digital Design-Inspiration Board—Is Blocked in China
    • Power Rangers next to be banned in Malaysia?
    • Nazri to LPF: Don’t ban Power Rangers, slap on P13 rating instead
    • Nazri appeals for Power Rangers not to be banned (Updated)
    • Nazri hopes no ban on Power Rangers
    • You are not our appointed moral guardian, Nazri tells Censorship Board
    • Now Power Rangers in the sights of censors for minor lesbian scene
    • Australian Senator Attacks Game Censorship, Classification Board

      Australian Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm has criticised the Government and the Australian Classification Board in a speech delivered to the Senate yesterday.

      The Senate crossbencher highlighted the recent case of Outlast II, which was refused classification late last week due to a rape sequence during one of the game’s cut-scenes.

    • Censorship and extremism worry content creator even as tech helps: Uday Shankar
    • STAR CEO Uday Shankar on courts, censorship and the Internet as a “progressive challenger”
    • Uday Shankar:Rising censorship,hooliganism killing creativity
    • Benegal committee recommends immediate abolishment of censorship: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
    • Shyam Benegal committee recommends abolishment of censorship: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Home Office admits it’s preparing to accept EU ruling on surveillance

      The Home Office has acknowledged that it is preparing to accept a landmark EU ruling from last year which restated that access to retained data must only be given in cases of serious crime, unlike the range of cases provided for under the new Investigatory Powers Act.

      When the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) handed down its judgment last December, the Home Office said it was “disappointed with the judgment… and will be considering its potential implications”.

      Among those implications was the requirement for a far higher bar to access the range of data which the government had made it a legal requirement for ISPs to store on their users, including prohibiting the police and public bodies from authorising their own access to this data. Instead the CJEU ruling requires that access requests receive prior authorisation by independent courts or similar bodies.

    • Met police accused of using hackers to access protesters’ emails

      The police watchdog is investigating allegations that a secretive Scotland Yard unit used hackers to illegally access the private emails of hundreds of political campaigners and journalists.

      The allegations were made by an anonymous individual who says the unit worked with Indian police, who in turn used hackers to illegally obtain the passwords of the email accounts of the campaigners, and some reporters and press photographers.

    • NSA Director Backs Agency Surveillance Procedures

      Adm. Michael Rogers, head of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, said that the section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that allows the NSA to collect information on foreign nationals is “instrumental” in providing U.S. political leaders with intelligence.

    • NSA officials deny mass surveillance during Utah Olympics

      Former CIA and National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden is denying allegations from a former Salt Lake City mayor that the NSA conducted a mass warrantless surveillance program during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah.

    • Fox News drops legal analyst Andrew Napolitano over GCHQ Donald Trump spying claims
    • Legal analyst Andrew Napolitano pulled from Fox News over claims GCHQ helped spy on Trump
    • Fox drops analyst who said UK might have helped spy on Trump
    • How do you feel about the government sharing our personal data?

      In October 2016, the digital economy bill began its progress through the UK parliament, including, as a Guardian editorial noted, a big shift: when it becomes law, the public’s personal data will be shared across departments without specified safeguards.

      For some, this is an essential move towards making the government more efficient. Others are concerned that government departments will be able to pool data collected without having put in place robust privacy protections, and fear that public sector bodies may end up following the “data free-for-all” that exists in the private sector.

    • Three UK’s mobile customers experience new data breach

      The mobile phone company Three has experienced a fresh data breach after some customers logging into their accounts were presented with the names, addresses, phone numbers and call histories of strangers.

      Three said it was investigating a technical issue with its systems and urged those affected to contact its customer service department.

      One customer, Andy Fidler, told the Guardian he was presented with the data usage and full call and text history of another named customer when he logged in on Sunday night. Another, Mark Thompson, said on Facebook he received a call from a complete stranger who said she had logged on to her account and was shown his details.

    • US forbids any device larger than cellphone on airlines from 13 countries

      The new edict was distributed in an email described as “confidential” from the US transportation safety administration (TSA) on Monday.

      The requirement forbids passengers from bringing laptops, iPads, Kindles and even cameras larger than mobile phones into the cabin. All such devices must be checked.

    • TSA will ban flyers from 13 countries from bringing laptops, tablets onboard

      US authorities will no longer allow travelers from 13 African and Middle Eastern countries to bring computers and laptops into airplane cabins anymore, two news agencies have reported.

    • U.S. to ban some airline passengers from carrying larger electronics [iophk: "makes them easier to steal or break into"]

      Passengers traveling on certain U.S.-bound foreign airline flights will have to check electronic devices larger than a cell phone once U.S. authorities formalize a new ban in response to an unspecified terrorism threat, U.S. officials told Reuters on Monday.

    • New mass warrant reverses concepts: demands all data about everybody who searched for a specific term on Google

      A Minnesota judge has issued a warrant to Google to provide the local police with all data relating to anybody who searched for specific keywords. This is an enormous expansion of the concept of mass surveillance, and turns all previous concepts of search and seizure on their heads: no longer is a suspect subject to search, but the entire population is dragnetted without restraint.

    • Adobe, Microsoft team up to share sales and marketing data [iophk: "both companies infamous for failed security"]
    • RAND Study Suggests 0-Day Exploits Should be Stockpiled
    • Disable TELNET! Cisco finds 0-Day in CIA Dump affecting over 300 Network Switch Models

      Cisco is warning of a new critical zero-day IOS / IOS XE vulnerability that affects more than 300 of its switch models.

      The company identified this highest level of vulnerability in its product while analyzing “Vault 7″ — a roughly 8,761 documents and files leaked by Wikileaks last week, claiming to detail hacking tools and tactics of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Jailed ex-sergeant loses contempt case over device passwords

      “It’s quite possible he remains in jail for failing to comply with an order he can’t comply with,” he said.

    • After Trump, Amos Yee blames US judge in phone call from jail

      Singaporean blogger Amos Yee blamed a U.S. judge for his extended incarceration in a U.S. jail, this after blaming US President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration executive order.

      In a phone call from jail, Amos Yee spoke to Han Hui Hui in what appears to be instructions on what he expects the activist community in Singapore to do for his release.

      The video was sent to TISG by Han Hui Hui after her telephone call with Amos Yee. The video is also uploaded on Youtube with the Prickly Porcupine handle.

    • Dear recruiter, “open floor space” is not a job benefit

      The fundamental problem facing managers is that productivity is hard to measure. Faced with the inability to measure productivity, managers may feel compelled to measure time spent working. Never mind that it’s counter-productive: at least it gives management control, even if it’s control over the wrong thing.

    • Homeland Security Starts Banning Laptops & Tablets On Planes From The Middle East

      It’s been a very long time since I last flew somewhere without my laptop. I actually am more productive than usual on planes, and I tend to use flying time to just focus in and get a ton of stuff done. I can’t even begin to explain how ridiculously frustrating it would be to find out that I wouldn’t be allowed to bring a laptop onto a plane, and yet it appears that our new Homeland Security overlords have put in place new restrictions on flights to the US from certain countries in the middle east barring tablets and laptops from the cabin (apparently no American carriers are impacted — just foreign ones). Passengers are being told to check such things (which is odd, since normally you’re not supposed to check lithium ion batteries…). Flights from 13 countries are being hit with this, and Homeland Security won’t give any further explanation beyond the usual “national security.” And, just this morning, the UK announced that it would be doing the same thing.

      Homeland Security has been hinting that this is due to some sort of specific threat — so it sounds like there’s intelligence around a planned attack using such a device. Perhaps then the extra precaution is sensible. But, once again, this feels like a form of overkill security theater: inconveniencing basically everyone (to extreme levels) based on the slight possibility of a very small number of bad actors. There has to be a better way. Every time one of these new restrictions is put in place, it not only completely inconveniences people, but it shows people that if they somehow convince the scaredy cats at DHS of some new type of threat, they can inconvenience people even more. It’s almost as if each additional inconvenience is impacting things way more than an actual exploding laptop or whatever might.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • San Francisco Ponders The Largest Community Broadband Network Ever Built

      Despite being considered one of the technology capitals of the country, San Francisco and the Bay Area continue to suffer from a lack of broadband options — just like the rest of us sorry sods. If they’re lucky, most locals there still only have the option of one of two large ISPs: AT&T and Comcast. Both companies have a long, proud history of fighting competition tooth and nail, often by quite literally writing shitty state telecom law that ensures the status quo remains intact. Attempts to break through this logjam and bring faster, better broadband service to the city have seen decidedly mixed results.

      Like most areas, ultra-fast next-generation broadband in particular is notably lacking. Some estimates suggest that just 2.6% of San Francisco residents have access to gigabit broadband service. Sonic CEO Dane Jasper, whose company is also busy deploying gigabit services to the Bay Area, tells me he believes those figures are stale and gigabit penetration rates in the city are closer to 17%. And while Google Fiber had tinkered with the idea of bringing fiber to the city, the company’s pivot to wireless has left that added avenue of competition up in the air.

    • Despite Gigabit Hype, Comcast Is Facing Less Broadband Competition Than Ever

      Despite the rise of heavily-hyped-but-highly-scattered gigabit deployments, the broadband industry is actually seeing less competition than ever before across huge swaths of the country. Once upon a time, broadband “competition” consisted of an equally matched telco going head to head with the incumbent cable provider (if you were lucky). These days, most phone companies lack the finances or competitive motivation to improve lagging DSL speeds across their footprints — speeds that don’t even meet the FCC’s base definition of broadband (25 mbps).

      That’s resulting in a growing monopoly for the nation’s cable broadband providers, who have quietly been absolutely butchering phone companies over the last several years. Just take a look at the latest data from Leichtman Research, which notes that while cable broadband providers collectively added 2.7 million net additional high-speed Internet subscribers last year, phone companies collectively shed roughly 600,000 broadband users.

  • DRM

    • DRM in HTML5 takes its next step toward standardization

      Ever since W3C decided to start working on a DRM proposal, there have been complaints from those who oppose DRM on principle. The work has continued regardless, with W3C director and HTML inventor Tim Berners-Lee arguing that—given that DRM is already extant and, at least for video, unlikely to disappear any time soon—it’s better for DRM-protected content to be a part of the Web ecosystem than to be separate from it.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • US must bolster fight with China over intellectual property rights [Ed: Person from the "IP" industry wants more "IP" action]

      But promoting innovation is only part of the Founding Fathers’ mandate — without enforcing those property rights, American competitiveness is at risk. A new administration with Lighthizer at the helm of U.S. trade policy, should help solidify recent gains with China and reinforce efforts to overhaul China’s IP system.

    • Intellectual property rights in a virtual world [Ed: "IP" maximalists ('owning' concepts) don't get enough 'ownership' in the real world, go after virtual world too ]

      This article will explore the key legal issues relating to intellectual property (IP) rights, traditionally only used in the real world, and their role in the virtual or augmented world. The basic legal position on including virtual or augmented versions of IP in virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) experiences is straightforward; if the creator of VR or AR content does not hold the requisite IP rights to include certain material in its content, it should seek permission from the owner of such rights.

    • A Look At Optimal Patent Regimes For Canada

      Blit argues that Canada’s patent regime has not contributed to domestic innovation, and therefore has not offset the potential welfare losses which strong IP rights may bring. It is countries which have the highest innovation intensity, Blit says, which advocate for stringent IP protections beyond the level that would maximise global welfare.

    • Traditional Knowledge: beware of patent protection

      Protection of Traditional Knowledge (TK) is a complex legal issue, owing to its dynamic nature, lack of definition and the difficulty in establishing ownership and the
      geographical origin of TK, as well as the absence of an appropriate scheme for its protection. Indigenous communities and traditional knowledge practitioners all over the world are greatly concerned about the increased biopiracy and usurpation by commercial entities. It is in this context that the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in India formulated the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), which is an endeavor to preempt the grant of patents on India’s TK. TKDL contains approximately 2,08,000 formulations based on the traditional healing systems, such as Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Yoga.

      TK Digital Libraries are the best defensive mechanism to prevent the patenting of TK already written down in ancient texts and manuscripts, although it still leaves scope for private appropriation of TK by making cosmetic improvements on it. India has signed access agreements with the European Patent Office and US Patents and Trademark Office, on the condition that secrecy be maintained and the database may be used as prior art for search and examination only. ‘Prior art’ is meant to encompass everything that has been published, presented or otherwise disclosed to the public as of the date of the patent and it includes documents in foreign languages disclosed in any format in any country. However, it is common sense that secrecy cannot be maintained on something that is classified as ‘prior art’.

    • UN Development Programme Calls For Reform Of IP And Investor Protection Regimes

      A United Nations Development Programme report released today places importance on transforming global institutions, and establishing fair trade and investment rules. The report calls for global reform of the intellectual property rights regime and investor protection regime. In addition, the report ranks countries on their human development level, putting Norway first followed by Australia and Switzerland.

    • Copyrights

      • Industry-Hated Game Emulators Save Two Video Games For Posterity

        For far too many years, the video game industry struggled to assert its place as a true artform, one deserving of the kind of respect granted to movies, music, television, and literature. This has been a source of frustration to those of us who can recognize the powerful storytelling device that video games represent, as well as the way modern games contribute to art and social commentary. But by its nature as a relatively new medium, games have also struggled to preserve the industry’s history in the way more widely and permanently disseminated artforms have accomplished. And that’s where the gaming industry has taken a turn against its own artistic interests, often demonizing methods for preserving gaming history over intellectual property concerns. Emulators are the chief method at hand, where games that are ancient by gaming standards can be digitized and preserved for posterity, save for the threat of legal action over copyright infringement and the industry’s attempts to stave off these useful tools.

        Like so many issues in the intellectual property world, it’s not hard to understand the gaming industry’s consternation. There’s no doubt that many people use emulators simply to play games from old consoles and cabinets rather than pay for physical copies. Still, there’s also no doubt that these same emulators work to preserve the artistic output in the gaming realm. This was most recently evidenced in two games that might never have seen the light of day again, save for emulators.

      • Yes We Scan: Why Concordia Should Not Shelve Its Book Scanner

        The copyright mistake at Concordia – a poetry centre scanned several books and posted them on the Internet without permission – has attracted considerable attention in the press and social media. Kate Taylor wrote a Globe and Mail column placing much of the blame at the feet of fair dealing, while I responded with a post yesterday that noted that no one claimed that the posting of the full-text books was permissible and that Concordia was an ill-advised target for fair dealing criticism given that it has a copyright collective licence with Copibec that compensates for copying on campus.

      • Kim Dotcom’s Historical Speeding Conviction Still a Deportation Danger

        Somewhat bizarrely, however, more than two years later and the case is still ongoing. According to the NZHerald, the case is now in its 29th month and is set to be the “longest, most drawn out investigation of its type.”

      • Getty Images Slams Google For Seeking Copyright Safe Harbor

        The notion that online platforms should not be held responsible for the infringing acts of their users is something entrenched in law in many regions, including the United States and Europe.

        In Australia, however, a perceived drafting error in the implementation of the Australia – US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) means that safe harbor provisions only apply to commercial Internet service providers.

      • ‘Free TV’ Android box dealers lose court appeal to lift sales ban

        Cable giants won another victory today in the legal battle over fully loaded Android TV boxes. The Federal Court of Appeal in Montreal quickly dismissed an appeal of an injunction banning defendants from selling the controversial devices.

        Cable companies and content producers Bell, Rogers and Quebec’s Vidéotron won the temporary injunction in June after launching a legal case to stamp out the Android box business.

      • The Delhi University photocopy case comes to an abrupt end after publishers withdraw lawsuit

        In a rather bizarre end to the long running copyright infringement lawsuit filed against Delhi University (DU) and a photocopy shop, the three publishers: Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Francis & Taylor who filed the lawsuit have announced that they are withdrawing the lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the publishers in 2012 to restrain DU and the photocopy shop from reproducing portions of copyright protected books for the purpose of creating course packs for students of DU. This had been the practice in DU and most Indian universities for several decades and was never challenged till the filing of this lawsuit. As a result, the lawsuit provoked protests and rallies by students and also rallies and a legal intervention by a society of academics and students who supported the university’s position that the educational use was covered by an exception in the Copyright Act, 1957.

      • Marrakesh Treaty For Blind Readers Jeopardised By EU Publishing Industry Lobbying, Group Says

        The treaty adopted almost four years ago in Marrakesh allowing for exceptions to copyright for the benefit of visually impaired people was hailed as a victory for human rights over private rights. However, as the European Union is preparing to ratify the treaty, according to a civil society group report, intense lobbying by the publishing industry is influencing the debate and might diminish the hard-gained ground in the treaty on copyright exceptions. The World Blind Union, meanwhile, said it finds the report “revealing and shocking”.

      • Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra – Needs More Theatre To Tackle Piracy [Ed: Millionaires and billionaires trampling all over blind people to ensure they stay rich and powerful (control over information)]

        Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra at Ficci Frames 2017, expressed that unless we build more theatres, piracy will be only way to take content out.

        Established in 1927, FICCI is the largest and oldest apex business organisation in India. Its history is closely interwoven with India’s struggle for independence, its industrialization, and its emergence as one of the most rapidly growing global economies, kick started the FICCI Frames 2017 today.

03.20.17

Links 20/3/2017: Linux 4.11 RC3, OpenSSH 7.5 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux, not Microsoft, the real winner of Windows Server on ARM

    Cutting to the heart of it, it doesn’t actually matter if Microsoft releases Windows Server for ARM. Windows isn’t the future and even Microsoft knows it. The upcoming availability of SQL server on Linux is all the proof we need that the game is over and, in the data centre at least, Microsoft didn’t win.

    Quite frankly, there’s nothing wrong with that. Legacy x86 Windows applications have been a millstone around the neck of the entire industry for ages now and its long past time they were relegated to a niche and left to quietly slip away into the night. What’s interesting here isn’t that Microsoft managed to take its existing code base, strip out some of the cruft and compile it on ARM. What’s interesting is what Microsoft’s experiment unlocks outside the Windows ecosystem.

  • Desktop

    • Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 ad annoys Chrome users with taskbar pop-ups

      Microsoft’s aggressive advertising push inside Windows 10 is going beyond pop-ups for Microsoft Edge.

      Myce recently spotted yet another pop-up ad on the taskbar in Windows 10. This time around Microsoft was advertising its extension for Chrome dubbed the Personal Shopping Assistant (Beta). The extension is a Microsoft Garage project that lets you compare prices across shopping sites.

      Prior to the Chrome extension pop-up, Microsoft was advertising its rewards program for Microsoft Edge, which we spotted in early November. The earlier ad appeared to be targeted at people who didn’t use Edge that frequently.

  • Server

    • Docker to Donate its Container Runtime, containerd, to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation

      Docker plans to donate its containerd container runtime to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to organizing a set of open source container-based cloud-native technologies.

      In December, Docker released as open source the code for containerd, which provides a runtime environment for Docker containers. By open sourcing this component of the Docker stack, the company wanted to assure users, partners, and other actors in the container ecosystem that the core container component would remain stable, and that the community would have a say in its advancement.

    • Docker at 4: The Container Revolution Continues

      The open-source Docker container project held events around the globe last week as it celebrated its fourth birthday. Docker is more popular than ever as the standard bearer for the container microservices DevOps movement, though Docker Inc. as a company now faces more challenges than ever before as well.

      Three years ago, I wrote about the first anniversary of Docker, predicting significant growth in 2014. As it turned out, I was right about the growth, though I was wrong about Docker Inc. Back in 2014, I had predicted that Docker Inc. would likely be acquired, but to date that hasn’t happened—though there has been no shortage of speculation over the last three years.

      Docker Inc. and the open-source container ecosystem that Docker helped create have evolved significantly since 2014, and over the course of the project’s four-year existence. This past year has arguably been the most significant yet for Docker Inc., both as a business and an open-source project.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.10.4

      I’m announcing the release of the 4.10.4 kernel.

      All users of the 4.10 kernel series must upgrade.

      The updated 4.10.y git tree can be found at:
      git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.10.y
      and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

      http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st…

    • Linux 4.9.16
    • Linux 4.4.55
    • Linux Kernel 4.4.55 LTS Arrives with Various MIPS Changes, Updated USB Drivers
    • Linux Kernel 4.10.4 Released with MIPS Improvements, Updated USB Drivers

      The fourth maintenance update to the Linux 4.10 kernel series arrived this weekend with various improvements to some of the supported filesystems and architectures, as well as updated drivers.

    • Linux Kernel 4.9.16 LTS Has Various MIPS and PowerPC Changes, Updated Drivers

      Immediately after announcing the release of the Linux 4.10.4 kernel, Greg Kroah-Hartman informed the community about the availability of the sixteenth maintenance update to the long-term supported Linux 4.9 kernel series.

    • Standards for ARM computers and Linaro

      It looks like someone else figured it out, ergo Linaro. Unfortunately, they do not seem to be eager to create a real platform, but rather slap a veneer of something OpenFirmware-like on top of exising systems. Also, they are buddying with Ubuntu. So, a half-hearted effort and a top-down deal. But it’s a step in the right direction.

    • Linux 4.11-rc3

      Another week, another rc.

      As is our usual pattern after the merge window, rc3 is larger than
      rc2, but this is hopefully the point where things start to shrink and
      calm down. We had a late typo in rc2 that affected arm and powerpc
      (the prep code for the 5-level page tables), and hopefully there are
      no similar brown-paper-bugs now in rc3.

      On the whole rc3 looks pretty normal, with two thirds being driver
      updates (late qla2xxx scsi driver updates stand out, but ethernet
      drivers for broadcom and cavium aren’t that far behind, and there are
      updates for gpu, md, cpufreq, x86 platform drivers etc).

      Outside of drivers, the rest is a mix of arch updates (parisc,
      powerpc, x86), filesystems (afs, nfs, xfs) and “misc” (mainly core
      kernel and general networking updates).

      Shortlog appended for those who want to see some overview of the
      details, but what we really want is testing. Please.

      Linus

    • Linus Torvalds Announces the Third Release Candidate of the Linux 4.11 Kernel

      It’s still Sunday in the US, and that means Linus Torvalds has prepared yet another Release Candidate (RC) milestone for the upcoming Linux 4.11 kernel for GNU/Linux distros.

      That’s right, Linux kernel 4.11 Release Candidate 3 is now ready for public testing, and, according to Linus Torvalds, it appears to be a fairly normal patch that’s just a bit larger than last week’s Release Candidate because of a typo that affected the PowerPC (PPC) and ARM architectures.

    • Linux 4.11-rc3 Released
    • Raspberry Pi VC4 HDMI Audio Support Coming To Linux 4.12

      The ongoing work for HDMI audio support with the VC4 DRM driver is being wrapped up and will be working in the Linux 4.12 kernel.

      HDMI audio will work in conjunction with the open-source VC4 driver when the Linux 4.12 kernel rolls out. This was among the changes queued today in drm-misc-next and in turn called for landing into DRM-Next, which will be merged next month into the Linux 4.12 mainline code-base.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • Benchmarks Of Many ARM Boards From The Raspberry Pi To NVIDIA Jetson TX2

        For some weekend benchmarking fun, I compared the Jetson TX2 that NVIDIA released this weekend with their ARM 64-bit “Denver 2″ CPU cores paired with four Cortex-A57 cores to various other ARM single board computers I have access to. This is looking at the CPU performance in different benchmarks ranging from cheap ~$10 ARM SBCs to the Raspberry Pi to the Jetson TX1 and Jetson TX2.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma Team Discusses Web-browser integration, Bundled Apps and new Features

        In February, KDE’s Plasma team came together in for their yearly in-person meeting. The meeting was kindly hosted by von Affenfels GmbH, a webdesign agency in Stuttgart, Germany. The team discussed a wide variety of topics, such as design, features new and old, bugs and sore points in the current implementation, app distribution, also project management, internal and outward-facing communication and Wayland.

      • KDE Plasma Planning Browser Integration, Possible Touchpad Gestures

        Key developers of KDE’s Plasma team met last month in Stuttgart. More details on this Plasma developer meeting have now come to light.

        KDE Plasma developers continue eyeing Flatpak, Snap, and AppImage for possible next-generation packaging solutions. The developers also discussed better browser integration within Plasma to have native notifications and download progress, better multimedia handling, and more. Another new feature discussed was touchpad gestures support to control the window manager.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • WebKitGTK+ 2.16

        The Igalia WebKit team is happy to announce WebKitGTK+ 2.16. This new release drastically improves the memory consumption, adds new API as required by applications, includes new debugging tools, and of course fixes a lot of bugs.

      • 6 Features You’ll Love in GNOME 3.24

        We look at 6 of the best new GNOME 3.24 features, including the ‘night light’ blue light filter, a pair of ace new apps, and integrated weather forecasts.

      • Builder 3.24

        I’m excited to announce that Builder 3.24 is here and ready for you to play with!

        It should look familiar because most of the work this cycle was underneath the hood. I’m pretty happy with all the stabilization efforts from the past couple of weeks. I’d like to give a special thanks to everyone who took the time to file bugs, some of whom also filed patches.

      • Gnome Encfs Manager – An Ease way to Create a Encrypted Directory in Linux

        Gnome Encfs Manager (short name is GEncfsM) is a tool to manage EncFS filesystems in Linux whihc is best alternative for Cryptkeeper and has lots of unique features. It’s very useful when you use EncFS with cloud sync / storage services such as Dropbox, etc.,

      • Blender Constraints

        So what are they and how are they useful in the context of a GNOME designer? We make quite a few prototypes and one of the things to decide whether a behavior is clear and comprehensible is motion design, particularly transitions. And while we do not use tools directly linked to out stack, it helps to build simple rigs to lower the manual labout required to make sometimes similar motion designs and limit the number of mistakes that can be done. Even simple animations usually consist of many keyframes (defined, non-computed states in time). Defining relationships between objects and createing setups, “rigs”, is a way to create of a sort of working model of the object we are trying to mock up.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi Surges To 3rd Best Selling Computer Of All Time Surpassing The Commodore 64

      In many regards, the Raspberry Pi family of computers is quite modest, which is of course by design. For a relatively small price, you can pick up a fully-functional RPi single board computer that can be used for many purposes, whether it is for learning, creating homemade bots, or cobbling together your own purpose-built media player or server solution. Given RPi’s flexibility, it should come as no surprise that the open source Linux-power min PC has proven to be such a popular computing platform for scores of consumers, businesses and educational institutions.

    • How to secure your Raspberry Pi

      The Raspberry Pi and many other inexpensive computer boards like it have become part of the “Internet of Things” or IoT revolution. Internet-connected computing devices have emerged beyond traditional servers, desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. Now your TV, DVR (digital video recorder), thermostat, refrigerator, Internet radio, Raspberry Pi, and other devices are on the network too.

      IoT has been huge for experimentation and innovation. But as projects get rushed to completion, there have been severe consequences for ignoring security. And this applies both to commercial products and hobby projects. I’ll talk about the Raspberry Pi specifically in this article, so this post is oriented more toward do-it-yourself projects.

    • Pico-ITX board gives you Rockchip RK3288 and optional wireless

      Aaeon’s RICO-3288 Pico-ITX SBC runs Android 6.0 on a quad Cortex-A17 RK3288, and offers up to 4Kx2K resolution and optional wireless, CAN, and -20 to 70°C.

      The RICO-3288 is the first Aaeon product we can recall featuring a Rockchip SoC, and one of the relatively few Rockchip RK3288 based SBCs we’ve seen outside of Firefly’s open-spec Firefly boards, such as the sandwich-style Firefly-RK3288 Reload. The other main exception is the recent, maker oriented Tinker Board from Aaeon’s owner, Asus.

    • Jetson TX2 module gains third party carrier boards

      Connect Tech released three carriers for the Jetson TX2 and TX1: Cogswell with GigE Vision, Spacely for cam-intensive Pixhawk drones, and a $99 Sprocket.

      Last April, Connect Tech announced an Astro carrier board for Nvidia’s Tegra X1-driven Jetson TX1 COM, and then followed up with the Orbitty and Elroy boards in May. Now, following Nvidia’s release of the Jetson TX2 earlier this month, Connect Tech has launched three new carriers that support both the TX2 and TX1 modules.

    • The Intel Edison: Linux Maker Machine in a Matchbox

      The console is a great place to start to see if the Edison is up and running. Connect the micro USB labeled console on the Base Block breakout to your desktop Linux machine and check dmesg to see something like the below to discover where the console is. The Base Block has power, TX, and RX LEDs on board so you can get some feedback from the hardware if things are working. If things go as they should, you will be presented with a root console to the Edison. There is no default password, you should just get right onto the console.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • 10 BEST OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE IN 2017

    When we talk about open source software, we are talking about software program which has been created with the idea of being shared. Open source software is developed, tested, and improved through public collaboration. The main objective is that in future the collaboration is maintained i.e. the user is able to make changes to the program and tailor it to suit their own needs.

    In the past years, the world of open source software has changed tremendously. No longer are the old programs used and each year, you will find a new innovation in the field. On year, you will find a particular program leading the market, while the other year, you will find the same program in the pits of obsolescence. That’s how innovations move through this field.

  • Open source seen as door to digital innovation by decision-makers in Malaysia, survey finds

    According to a new Forrester Consulting survey in the Asia Pacific region, 76 percent of survey respondents in Malaysia view open source as computing as a door to business innovation, cost-saving and the forming of deeper customer experience.

    Damien Wong (pic below), vice president and general manager, ASEAN, Red Hat, said, “It is encouraging to see IT decision makers in Malaysia thinking beyond the traditional approaches and taking a cue from the companies championing digital innovation through open source.”

  • Software And Choice

    Some projects, whether intentionally (e.g., LLVM) or by accident (e.g., Linux) will grow beyond this scope (in those cases, vastly so). The question then becomes murkier. The two projects I’ve chosen for example here are both, I would say, “fork-proof” – LLVM has a very lenient code acceptance policy (see: all of the ghc-specific portions of the backend), while Linux has an extremely powerful module interface against which things can be built that do not merit inclusion into mainline. A user could fork LLVM, or Linux, but their version is extremely unlikely to become authoritative. Even if one does become authoritative, or close to it, that decision may also revert if the new fork does not live up to the quality standards of the old (I’m thinking about ffmpeg/libav here).

  • Giessen Public Works using open source for energy supply

    The German City of Giessen is using open source software for IT Service Management (ITSM) functions in its municipal energy supply. The most visible part of the setup is openITCOCKPIT, a web-based front-end for the Nagios and Naemon packages for IT infrastructure monitoring.

  • OpenSSH 7.5 released

    OpenSSH 7.5 has just been released. It will be available from the
    mirrors listed at http://www.openssh.com/ shortly.

    OpenSSH is a 100% complete SSH protocol 2.0 implementation and
    includes sftp client and server support. OpenSSH also includes
    transitional support for the legacy SSH 1.3 and 1.5 protocols
    that may be enabled at compile-time.

  • OpenSSH 7.5 Released, Legacy Crypto Functions Still Heading For Retirement
  • IBM unveils Blockchain as a Service based on open source Hyperledger Fabric technology

    IBM unveiled its “Blockchain as a Service” today, which is based on the open source Hyperledger Fabric, version 1.0 from The Linux Foundation.

    IBM Blockchain is a public cloud service that customers can use to build secure blockchain networks. The company introduced the idea last year, but this is the first ready-for-primetime implementation built using that technology.

  • IBM launches blockchain tool on Linux Hyperledger Fabric

    IBM unveiled a cloud-based Blockchain offering on Monday along with governance and developer tools.

    Calling it the first enterprise-ready blockchain service, the company said that the technology makes it possible for developers to build and host production of blockchain networks on the IBM Cloud in a secure environment.

  • IBM launches enterprise-ready blockchain service

    The U.S. technology company said on Monday its new product called IBM Blockchain was the first service for developers to build enterprise-grade technology using Hyperledger Fabric, the first code set to be released by the open source group.

  • IBM Launches Enterprise-Ready Blockchain Services for Hyperledger Fabric v 1.0 on IBM Cloud

    IBM today announced the new release of IBM Blockchain, the first enterprise-ready blockchain service based on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0. The service enables developers to quickly build and host security-rich production blockchain networks on the IBM Cloud, and is underpinned by IBM LinuxONE, the industry’s most secure Linux server.

  • How One Service Provider Developed On Demand Network Services with SDN and NFV

    IT virtualization has radically changed the face of compute, storage, and network services in data centers and beyond. In response, Colt — a network and communications service provider — back in 2015 began developing a program that has transformed the way the company offers network services to customers, says Javier Benitez, Senior Network Architect, Colt Technology Services, who will be speaking at Open Networking Summit.

    According to Benitez, the aim was to move away from a traditional consumption model to one where network services are consumed through an on-demand model based on software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) technologies. Here, Benitez explains more about Colt’s SDN and NFV solutions, focusing on current development efforts and future plans.

  • Open Source at the Heart of IoT Revolution

    Internet of Things (IoT) can be transformative for businesses, by opening up novel ways to connect with customers, creating new avenues and converting data into insights. Several organizations have already moved beyond the experimental phase to actual deployments of IoT. Government, healthcare, retail, transportation and many more industries have come up with innovative applications for improved customer experience and competitive differentiation.

    However, considering its vast scope, IoT has currently not achieved its full potential. Enterprises are grappling with multiple issues. Nevertheless, IoT enthusiasts believe that open source plays a key role in ensuring that the technology moves past the hype cycle to become a disruptive trend for enterprises.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • There’s Now an Arc Theme for Thunderbird

        If you use both the Arc GTK theme and Mozilla Thunderbird as your e-mail app, we’ve found a theme you’ll want to use.

      • WebVR and AFrame Bringing VR to Web at the Virtuleap Hackathon

        Imagine an online application that lets city planners walk through three-dimensional virtual versions of proposed projects, or a math program that helps students understand complex concepts by visualizing them in three dimensions. Both CityViewR & MathworldVR are amazing applications experiences that bring to life the possibilities of virtual reality (VR).

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Community leadership charts course for OpenStack

      Last week, about 40 people from the OpenStack Technical Committee, User Committee, Board of Directors and Foundation Staff convened in Boston to talk about the future of OpenStack. We candidly discussed the challenges we face as a community, but also why our mission to deliver open infrastructure is more important than ever.

      To kick things off, Mark Collier opened with a state of the union address, talking about the strength of our community, the number of users running OpenStack at scale across various industries and the progress we’ve made working across adjacent open source projects. OpenStack is one of the largest, global open source communities. In 2016 alone, we had 3,479 unique developers from dozens of countries and hundreds of organizations contribute to OpenStack, and the number of merged changes increased 26 percent year-over-year. The size and diversity of the OpenStack community is a huge strength, but like any large organization, scale presents its own set of challenges.

    • OpenStack® Board Elects Huawei as Platinum Member and H3C as Gold Member of the Foundation
    • Community leadership planning, new board members, and more OpenStack news
  • Education

    • Open project collaboration from elementary to university classrooms

      In this article, we share our experiences: two examples of fostering creative collaboration among students from elementary school to higher education. Aria F. Chernik, an open educator and director of OSPRI (Open Source Pedagogy, Research + Innovation) at Duke University, introduces an open-by-design, learning innovation project at Duke. Anna Engelke, a tinkering and technology educator, speaks about using open pedagogy to design a Scratch-based maker club at a local elementary school.

  • BSD

    • MIT-Stanford project uses LLVM to break big data bottlenecks

      The more cores you can use, the better — especially with big data. But the easier a big data framework is to work with, the harder it is for the resulting pipelines, such as TensorFlow plus Apache Spark, to run in parallel as a single unit.

      Researchers from MIT CSAIL, the home of envelope-pushing big data acceleration projects like Milk and Tapir, have paired with the Stanford InfoLab to create a possible solution. Written in the Rust language, Weld generates code for an entire data analysis workflow that runs efficiently in parallel using the LLVM compiler framework.

  • Public Services/Government

    • EC study recommends that policies emphasise open source

      Europe’s public administrations should support the use of open source in all sectors of the economy and in public administration, a study for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology recommends. The report by German and French ICT researchers, concludes that “open source is important for the future of the European software industry.”

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Why viral licensing is a ghost

      A brief analysing of the distinction between weak and strong copyleft (sometimes called viral licensing – a pejorative name for copyleft licences) based on the European Directive on the legal protection of computer programs.

  • Programming/Development

    • Rcpp 0.12.10: Some small fixes

      The tenth update in the 0.12.* series of Rcpp just made it to the main CRAN repository providing GNU R with by now over 10,000 packages. Windows binaries for Rcpp, as well as updated Debian packages will follow in due course. This 0.12.10 release follows the 0.12.0 release from late July, the 0.12.1 release in September, the 0.12.2 release in November, the 0.12.3 release in January, the 0.12.4 release in March, the 0.12.5 release in May, the 0.12.6 release in July, the 0.12.7 release in September, the 0.12.8 release in November, and the 0.12.9 release in January — making it the fourteenth release at the steady and predictable bi-montly release frequency.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Ancient Giant Penguin Unearthed in New Zealand

      The fossil was found by amateur fossil collector Leigh Love in the Waipara Greensand at Waipara River, Canterbury Province, New Zealand.

      It was analyzed by a team of paleontologists from Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany.

      According to the researchers, the new find is one of the oldest penguin fossils in the world.

      “Together with the fossils of the recently discovered penguin-like bird Waimanu manneringi, the new specimens are the earliest published penguin remains,” they said.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Record numbers of EU nurses quit NHS

      The number of EU nationals registering as nurses in England has dropped by 92% since the Brexit referendum in June, and a record number are quitting the NHS, it can be revealed.

  • Security

    • Hire a DDoS service to take down your enemies

      According to Neustar, almost three quarters of all global brands, organizations and companies have been victims of a DDoS attack. And more than 3,700 DDoS attacks occur each day.

    • Apollo Lake 3.5-incher doubles down on security

      Kontron’s Linux-friendly, Intel Apollo Lake based “3.5″-SBC-APL” SBC features triple display support, a TPM 2.0 chip, and optional security services.

    • Leading Linux distros dawdle as kernel flaw persists

      A local privilege esclation flaw has been fixed in the Linux kernel, but several upstream distributions have yet to release updates. Administrators should plan on mitigating the vulnerability on Linux servers and workstations themselves and monitor the distributions for their update plans.

    • More than 300 Cisco switch models vulnerable to CIA hack

      A cache of CIA documents was dropped on the internet two weeks ago via WikiLeaks. It was a huge volume of data, some of which detailed CIA tools for breaking into smartphones and even smart TVs. Now, Cisco has said its examination of the documents points to a gaping security hole in more than 300 models of its switches. There’s no patch for this critical vulnerability, but it’s possible to mitigate the risk with some settings changes.

      Cisco’s security arm sent out an advisory on Friday alerting customers that the IOS and IOS XE Software Cluster were vulnerable to hacks based on the leaked documents. The 318 affected switch models are mostly in the Catalyst series, but there are also some embedded systems and IE-series switches on the list. These are enterprise devices that cost a few thousand dollars at least. So, nothing in your house is affected by this particular attack.

    • Assange chastises companies who haven’t responded to CIA vulnerability offers

      Wikileaks head Julian Assange slammed companies not taking the site up on the sites offer to share security flaws the CIA had exploited in their products.

      In a screen-shot statement tweeted on Saturday, Wikileaks noted that “Organizations such as Mozilla” had responded to the site’s emails offering unreleased security vulnerabilities from leaked CIA files. “Google and other companies” had not.

      “Most of these lagging companies have conflicts of interest due to their classified work with US government agencies. In practice such associations limit industry staff with US security clearances from fixing holes based on leaked information from the CIA. Should such companies choose to not secure their users against CIA or NSA attacks users may prefer organizations such as Mozilla or European companies that prioritize their users over government contracts,” the statement read.

      Wikileaks recently published a trove of files leaked from the CIA, including descriptions of hacking techniques. The site made an effort to redact source code showing how to actually accomplish the techniques, although enough code slipped through the cracks for researchers to reverse engineer at least one of the security flaws.

    • Gentoo: 201703-02 Adobe Flash Player: Multiple vulnerabilities
  • Defence/Aggression

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • As CIA Director, George Bush waffled on promise to not destroy records of Agency’s illegal activities

      Declassified records recently unearthed in CREST show the CIA waffled on a promise to obey the law in destroying records of Agency’s illegal activities and wrongdoing

      In 1976, Congresswoman Bella Abzug wrote to CIA Director George H.W. Bush about the existing moratorium on the destruction of CIA files. As the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Government Information and Individual Rights, which had jurisdiction over government information policy including FOIA and the Privacy Act, she wanted the moratorium extended – specifically, she wanted to ensure that Congress had time to enact legislation in response to the Church, Pike, and Rockefeller hearings and the resulting reports.

    • The Assange case – coming to a close, or not?

      In the Assange case, Swedish prosecutors seem to be running out of excuses for dragging their feet.

      [..]

      And this goes all the way back to the Prosecutors Special Unit for »Advancement« of Sex Crimes re-opening this case after it had been closed by the regular branch of the Prosecutors’ Office.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • As Trump Slashes EPA, Worry Over the Fate of an Agency Doing Similar Work

      It has little name recognition, a budget less than 10 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s, and is part of a government institute embraced by both of the nation’s major political parties.

      Still, those concerned about the future of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences are wary of what’s to come.

      “In light of what President Trump wants to do to the EPA, I don’t think any agency that deals with issues unpopular with the current government is going to escape,” said Tracey Woodruff, a professor at University of California, San Francisco’s School of Medicine.

    • Bald eagles: scientists decry overturn of ban that would save American symbol

      “The short answer is that no level of lead is acceptable for living things – eagles, condors and people,” said raptor biologist Glenn Stewart.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Said to Have Been Investigating HHS Secretary Tom Price

      Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was removed from his post by the Trump administration last week, was overseeing an investigation into stock trades made by the president’s health secretary, according to a person familiar with the office.

      Tom Price, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, came under scrutiny during his confirmation hearings for investments he made while serving in Congress. The Georgia lawmaker traded hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shares in health-related companies, even as he voted on and sponsored legislation affecting the industry.

      Price testified at the time that his trades were lawful and transparent. Democrats accused him of potentially using his office to enrich himself. One lawmaker called for an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, citing concerns Price could have violated the STOCK Act, a 2012 law signed by President Obama that clarified that members of Congress cannot use nonpublic information for profit and requires them to promptly disclose their trades.

    • Angela Merkel is now the leader of the free world, not Donald Trump

      The US President isn’t motivated by protecting liberal democracy or freedom, his sole ideology is Trumpism: corporate autocracy with a populist facade. And he surrounds himself with white nationalists even more hostile to liberal democracy than he is

    • No evidence of Trump/Russia Collusion
    • Donna Brazile Finally Admits Giving Hillary Clinton Debate Questions. Democrats Still Demand Unity

      Democrats and progressives too frightened of Trump to demand major DNC reforms must review the following timeline.

      First, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other DNC officials were forced to resign for cheating Bernie Sanders.

      In a twist of fate, POLITICO stated “With just three months until Election Day and the Democrats’ official party apparatus struggling to right itself from months of dysfunction and the scandal caused by the WikiLeaks email hack, interim Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile cleaned house Tuesday with the ouster of three top officials.”

      Yes, Donna Brazile forced others to resign for cheating Bernie.

      Welcome to Democratic politics.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Former CIA Director Blame Millennials Lack Of Loyalty For All The Government Leaks

      That’s Hayden’s response to the CIA leak, which exposed the agency’s exploits and device-targeting tactics. Hayden’s saying people used to trust the government more. That’s what this breaks down to, even if couched in Hayden’s implicit demand youngsters remove themselves from his lawn, but leave any and all government documents behind.

      “Transparency” should mean what it’s always meant. But “transparency” is defined by government agencies and officials harboring zero desire to engage in it. We spent years listening to Obama pat himself on the back for increased government obfuscation and secrecy, something he referred to as the “most transparent administration.” The word “transparency” is meaningless in the government’s hands. That’s why almost anything of significance is revealed by leakers/whistleblowers routing around the “official channels.”

      “Secrecy” means the same thing it always has as well. The government likes it. Citizens are not quite as enthralled with government secrecy, especially considering more and more of their lives are open books. An example: anyone shot by a police officer will have their criminal record immediately delivered to the press while EMTs are still checking for a pulse. Weeks or months will pass before law enforcement agencies release the name of the officer whose gun “discharged,” much less their disciplinary record.

      People of all ages are likely tiring of the government’s insistence on keeping secrets, even as it engages in mass surveillance, reinterprets privacy-shielding laws on the fly, builds massive biometric databases, and declares the Constitution invalid within 100 miles of the border. It’s not just millennials. It’s everyone.

    • US Court Decides Name Search Makes You a Suspect

      This case also highlights the usefulness of privacy-focused search engines such as StartPage. The editor of Tech Rights, Dr. Roy S. Schestowitz, told me that he believes Google is far too invasive, but he also implies that people who use Google may be opening up their data to this sort of invasion:

      “The core of the problem is that Google maintains logs about people who search, what they search for, and even compiles this information (for purposes of advertising or customized results) in a fashion that facilitates such warrants. No search engine ought to collect this much information. People who choose to use search engines that do, put themselves at risk of wrongful accusations, i.e. a potential legal Hell even if they are entirely innocent.”

      It is also yet another fantastic example of why everyone should use a virtual private network (VPN) for even the most mundane tasks. VPN subscribers don’t have to worry that their data might get hoovered up in cases like these. Using a VPN and a private search engine is something everyone should consider for protecting their digital footprint.

    • Leading NSA officials deny claims of “blanket” surveillance at 2002 Winter Olympics

      Senior officials of the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) have denied claims that the intelligence organisation conducted a “blanket” surveillance programme of Salt Lake City-area residents during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

      The Salt Lake Tribune reports that current NSA director of operations Wayne Murphy and former NSA director Michael Hayden have rejected allegations made in a lawsuit against the Agency.

    • How Facebook, fake news and friends are warping your memory

      Memory is notoriously fallible, but some experts worry that a new phenomenon is emerging. “Memories are shared among groups in novel ways through sites such as Facebook and Instagram, blurring the line between individual and collective memories,” says psychologist Daniel Schacter, who studies memory at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “The development of Internet-based misinformation, such as recently well-publicized fake news sites, has the potential to distort individual and collective memories in disturbing ways.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • The Hardening of Society and the Rise of Cultures of Cruelty in Neo-Fascist America

      What does the culture of cruelty look like under a neo-fascist regime?

      First, language is emptied of any sense of ethics and compassion.

      Second, a survival of the fittest discourse provides a breeding ground for racial and social sorting.

      Third, references to justice are viewed as treasonous or, as at the present moment, labelled dismissively as “fake news.”

    • Useless Eaters and Ethnic Purity: the Trump/Bannon War for Biological Nationhood

      The Trump regime has defended its plan to cut the “Meals on Wheels” program by saying it “doesn’t show any results.” What kind of “results” are they talking about? The program delivers meals to shut-ins; the shut-ins eat the meal; they don’t starve to death. That is the result, and it happens all day every day. It is one of the most “resultful” programs in existence. But notice that the Trumpists aren’t saying we can’t afford the program; they are clearly saying it’s not delivering the results they want to see. And what are the only “results” produced by not delivering meals to the sick and shut-in who can’t provide for themselves? THEY WILL DIE.

      Therefore, we can only conclude that the “result” Donald Trump and his ideological Svengali, Stephen Banon, are looking for is a higher death count for the sick and elderly. We know that throughout his public life, Trump has often expressed his belief in genetic superiority, that the right genes, the right blood are responsible for success in life. (Particularly his succes!) The flipside, of course, is that those who haven’t “succeeded” according to his lights, the people who are “weak” and “losers” (to quote two of his favorite epithets), are therefore genetically inferior. We know this is his belief from his own statements.

    • Tamil Nadu man hacked to death over atheistic FB posts
    • Muslims will be majority in India by 2050 and they will be majority in the world by 2070.
    • Appeals Court Says Prior Restraint Is Perfectly Fine, Refuses To Rehear 3D-Printed Guns Case

      It looks as though the Supreme Court may have to step in and settle a particularly thorny question involving the First Amendment, Second Amendment, national security interests, and 3D-printed weapons. Cody Wilson and his company, Defense Distributed, sued the State Department over its demands he cease distributing instructions for the creation of weapons and weapons parts.

      The State Department came along too late to make much of a difference. It claimed Wilson’s instructions violated international arms distribution laws, but by the time it noticed what Defense Distributed was doing, the instructions were all over the web. They still are, and no amount of litigation or government orders is going to change that.

    • CIA’s first ‘Black Site’ prisoner to take stand in Guantánamo court

      The judge in the Sept. 11 war crimes case has agreed to hear testimony next week from forever prisoner Abu Zubaydah, the guinea pig in the CIA’s post- 9/11 interrogation program who has never been charged with a crime and never been allowed to speak in public.

      At issue is a claim by accused 9/11 plot deputy Ramzi bin al Shibh that someone is intentionally disrupting his sleep at the clandestine Camp 7 prison. Bin al Shibh, 44, blames the CIA or troops doing its bidding for noises and vibrations that interfere with his ability to prepare for his death-penalty trial, which has no start date.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • Encrypted Media Extensions

      The DRM proposal is now in final consideration to become an official Web standard. We have until April 13th to stop it. Act now and spread the word!

      [...]

      Decision-making about the standard lies with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The standards body is under heavy pressure from Microsoft, Netflix, Apple, Google, and others to enshrine DRM in Web standards. But through in-person protests and online activism, we push back. Along with allied organizations, we have already significantly slowed the progress of Encrypted Media Extensions.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Things Looking Even Worse For Prenda’s Paul Hansmeier: Bankruptcy Fraud On Deck

        So, let’s just say that things probably haven’t been looking very good for Prenda’s Paul Hansmeier lately. Obviously, there was a long series of legal losses in the Prenda and Prenda-related cases, but those are in the distant past now. Back in September, he lost his law license for some of the Prenda copyright trolling activities (if you haven’t been playing along, Prenda set up their own honeypots with their own films –which they pretended were some other company’s, filed bogus CFAA charges to try to get IP addresses, demanded cash from people to drop lawsuits, lied in court multiple times and more…). Then, in December, the two main players: John Steele and Hansmeier were finally indicted and arrested. Then, just a couple weeks ago, Steele took a guilty plea, making it clear he’s thrown Hansmeier under the bus and will testify against him (given the history of Steele throwing many others under rapidly approaching buses, this is no surprise).

        [...]

        Ouch. The document below, in which Hansmeier reveals the bankruptcy fraud investigation, is actually part of his effort to have the bankruptcy court to hold off on these proceedings while all this other stuff gets taken care of. But, even if he weren’t facing criminal charges where his partner in crime has already admitted everything and agreed to testify against him, and even if he weren’t also facing separate investigations over bankruptcy fraud and ADA trolling, it appears that Hansmeier’s bankruptcy case is getting even worse than it was before. This is beyond big leagues. This is beyond the All-Star game. This is truly Hall of Fame material.

      • Google Gets More WordPress.com Takedown Requests Than WordPress Itself

        WordPress has published new data on the number of piracy takedown notices the company receives. Of all the DMCA requests copyright holders sent, roughly 40% were rejected due to inaccuracies or abuse. Most interesting, perhaps, is that Google processes more WordPress.com takedowns than WordPress itself.

      • EU High Court Ruling’s Implications For Content Streaming In Europe And Worldwide

        A recent Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling relating to TV internet broadcasts from the UK underscores tight restrictions in place for content streaming in the European Union (EU), legal scholars say.

03.19.17

Links 19/3/2017: Linux Sightings, What’s Wrong With Microsoft, and Death of Docker

Posted in News Roundup at 12:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Gitter + GitLab = win

    Before getting into the details, we’d like to thank the 800,000+ people who make up the Gitter community for your enthusiasm and support for everything we’ve done. You’ve inspired our tiny team to keep shipping and making the open source and developer community a better place to connect to one another.

  • Google Unveils Guetzli, Open Source JPEG Encoder, to Speed Browsing

    Google on Thursday announced Guetzli, a new contribution to its evolving set of tools for the open source community. Guetzli is an encoder that allows JPEG files to be compressed as much as 35 percent, resulting in much faster Web page loading.

    “Guetzli,” which means “cookie” in Swiss German, allows users to create smaller JPEG images while maintaining compatibility with existing Web browsers, image processing applications and the existing JPEG standard, noted Robert Obryk and Jyrki Alakuijala, software engineers at Google Research Europe, in an online post.

  • Events

    • Google Summer of Code starts in four days, many open source project ideas still available

      The application period for this year’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC) opens in just four days (March 20, 16:00 UTC) and runs until April 3th. If you couldn’t find anything interesting in the 54 Google Summer of Code ideas by the KDE project, here’s some more ideas on participating projects and their ideas.

    • Speakerfight: A new way to do call4talks

      Since January I’m participating on events on Rio de Janeiro area. The one that every month is scheduled in my calendar is PythonRio. A Python(obviously =P ) event, but you can talk about everything that you want that fit the goal of the event: Share knowledge.

    • University Connect – PCCOE, Pune

      Another bright morning and another college visit was planned under the wings of University Connect. Thanks to the Pune site team again for the arrangements. On 15th February 2017, we visited the PCCOE college in Pune. Again the early morning alarm clock bell managed to break my sleep. Though, I was not feeling very well (thanks to my on going illness due to allergies), but Open Source, college students and Fedora makes me feel enough energy to beat a dull me.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.3 – Freedom Meets Functionality

      Freedom to create with code is not the same as the freedom to create a specific product. Sometimes the freedom offered in the open source community makes it easier for me to be more productive. Other times, not so much. The biggest excuses I have to grab one of my machines with a closed source operating system consists of the following photo editing (Adobe CC), video editing (Final Cut Pro), and Civilization IV. Yes, I’m still playing Civ IV. It’s my favorite. I don’t need to upgrade. I’d love to find a tutorial that worked to get it working under Neon, but sadly the community that would write such a post appears to have moved on.

      I used to think that I couldn’t create documents under Linux but LibreOffice 5.3 has really been a game changer. Everyone else beat me to the flashy reviews, so this isn’t a review that exposes the new features. This is a commentary of my experience.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Fund Open Source Software Research to Enhance ICT for Development (ICT4D) and ICT for Dollars (ICT4$)

      I owe part of my IT education to the Open Source community. I enhanced my programming skills using Open Source programming languages; I garnered a better understanding of operating systems through my study and research of the Linux kernel; I understood the inner workings of software by having access to their code; and in college, I used learning materials from computer science classes made available by MIT Open Courseware. But this article is not about how I benefited from open source software. I only mentioned my experience with Open Source Software (OSS) to stress the plethora of opportunities that it provides and the impact it can have on our ICT sector, and the country as a whole. Hence, the subsequent paragraphs provide insights into the positive impact that Open Source Software can have on a developing country like Liberia. The article is also a call to both the public and private sectors to invest in Open Source Software or OSS in order to enhance Information and Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D) and Information and Communications Technology for Dollars (ICT4$).

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Linux XIA Joins Conservancy as a Member Project

      Software Freedom Conservancy proudly welcomes Linux XIA as a member project. Linux XIA is a new protocol stack for Linux built using eXpress Internet Architecture (XIA), an interoperable meta network architecture. Linux XIA is designed to meet unfulfilled demands of real-world networking. The project’s roadmap includes the development of a DDoS protection system, and the addition of state-of-the-art algorithms and data structures to increase Linux XIA’s speed and flexibility.

      Conservancy, a non-profit public charity focused on ethical technology, acts as a home to over forty member projects dedicated to developing free and open source software. Conservancy acts as a corporate umbrella, allowing member projects to operate as charitable initiatives without having to independently manage their own corporate structure and administrative services.

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • A Few Words About that Ten-Million-Dollar Serial Comma

    The issue is that, without a comma after “shipment,” the “packing for shipment or distribution” is a single activity. Truck drivers do not pack food, either for shipment or for distribution; they drive trucks and deliver it. Therefore, these exemptions do not apply to drivers, and Oakhurst Dairy owes them some ten million dollars.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Peer Into the Post-Apocalyptic Future of Antimicrobial Resistance

      About 4 million years ago, a cave was forming in the Delaware Basin of what is now Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. From that time on, Lechuguilla Cave remained untouched by humans or animals until its discovery in 1986—an isolated, pristine primeval ecosystem.

      When the bacteria found on the walls of Lechuguilla were analyzed, many of the microbes were determined not only to have resistance to natural antibiotics like penicillin, but also to synthetic antibiotics that did not exist on earth until the second half of the twentieth century. As infectious disease specialist Brad Spellberg put it in the New England Journal of Medicine, “These results underscore a critical reality: antibiotic resistance already exists, widely disseminated in nature, to drugs we have not yet invented.”

      The origin story of antibiotics is well known, almost mythic, and antibiotics, along with the other basic public health measures, have had a dramatic impact on the quality and longevity of our modern life. When ordinary people called penicillin and sulfa drugs miraculous, they were not exaggerating. These discoveries ushered in the age of antibiotics, and medical science assumed a lifesaving capability previously unknown.

    • Famine stalks Somalia again

      I last worked in Somalia six years ago, when famine also loomed, and there were countless stories to tell about starvation, a health crisis and devastation.

      Knowing it is little different this time round is heartbreaking. A drought that appears to be worsening has left more than 6.2 million people without enough food, if any at all.

      Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that Somalia was at risk of its third famine in 25 years. The last one, in 2011, killed almost 260,000 people.

    • Half of Somalia’s Population May Feel Effects of Impending Third Famine

      As drought in Somalia looms, the nation is “on the brink” of its third famine in twenty-five years, according to information posted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February 2017. According to the WHO’s alert, there 360,000 acutely malnourished and 70,000 severely malnourished Somali children in need of immediate medical attention.

    • Thousands of NHS Patients in Harm’s Way; Considered Less Important than Financial Targets

      A private hospital in England has repeatedly mistreated and put thousands of patients in harm’s way. On top of that, Melanie Newman reported for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in February 2017, a senior surgeon has been under investigation for fraud and other serious issues that have created serious problems to the hospital patients. Thousands of patients have been affected by the hospital’s poor care and mistreatment as it has been prioritizing the financial state of the private hospital over the safety and health of the patients.

      Fawkham Manor hospital underwent inspection multiple times during 2016 that resulted in unusual and serious findings. For example, when inspectors went into the hospital they found that staff regularly failed to wash their hands, and frequently brought patients to the wrong theater, as well as neglecting equipment maintenance. According to the inspectors, the leadership team “did not understand the risks,” thus putting patients at “high risk of avoidable harm.”

    • Killing the Elderly: Social Security Starves Us Slowly as the GOP Tries to Kill Us by Gutting Health Care

      I currently receive a Social Security benefit check of $985 a month, which is a spousal benefit I qualified for, one of the last to be able to make use of the so-called file-and-suspend option for married people reaching age 66 that the Obama Administration and Congress agreed to do away with two years ago, in one of many small cuts being applied to the Social Security program.

      This year that benefit, like the benefit checks of all 60 million people (one in five of all Americans) on Social Security, rose by a scant 0.3 percent, taking my check from $983 a month last year to its present level — a rise of $2.00 a month (I was actually screwed out of a dollar because of crooked rounding!).

  • Security

    • Some HTTPS inspection tools might weaken security [iophk: "the death of web-mail UI"]

      In a typical enterprise environment, an HTTPS connection can even be intercepted and re-encrypted multiple times: at the network perimeter by gateway security products or data leak prevention systems and on endpoint systems by antivirus programs that need to inspect such traffic for malware.

      The problem is that users’ browsers no longer get to validate the real server certificates because that task falls to the interception proxy. And as it turns out, security products are pretty bad at validating server certificates.

    • Defence against the Dark Arts involves controlling your hardware

      In light of the Vault 7 documents leak (and the rise to power of Lord Voldemort this year), it might make sense to rethink just how paranoid we need to be.

    • This laptop-bricking USB stick just got even more dangerous

      Remember that USB stick that would destroy almost anything in its path, from laptops, photo booths, kiosks, to even cars?

      Now there’s a new version, and it’s even more dangerous than before.

      In case you missed it the first time around, a Hong Kong-based company built a weaponized pocket-sized USB stick, which when plugged into a device, will rapidly charge its capacitors from the USB power supply and then discharge, frying the affected device’s circuits.

    • Docker Image Vulnerability Research

      Managing known vulnerabilities is the first step towards a strong security posture. If we’re not updating our systems, and keeping an eye on emerging vulnerabilities that are yet to be patched upstream, we’re basically leaving the front door wide open.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Pentagon Denies Bombing Syrian Mosque, But Its Own Photo May Prove That It Did

      The Pentagon spokesperson insisted that the U.S. airstrike in the rebel-held village of Al-Jina in northern Syria on Thursday night did not hit a mosque. “The area was extensively surveilled prior to the strike in order to minimize civilian casualties,” Navy Captain Jeff Davis wrote in an email. “We deliberately did not target the mosque.”

      He even unclassified and circulated a photo. And he pointed out that on the left, you can see a small mosque, still standing.

    • Letting Russia Be Russia

      Political philosophers stressing Traditionalist values have influenced the thinking of Presidents Putin and Trump, but that may offer a path for Russia and the U.S. to coexist, explains ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • How millions of songbirds are being illegally slaughtered to supply Cypriot restaurants

      They set the traps at night. Virtually invisible “mist” nets are strung between trees, with fake bird song warbling from hidden electronic calling devices.. For the exhausted songbirds, it is a seeming safe haven to eat and rest during their long migration.

      As dawn breaks the poachers return, tearing the terrified birds from the illegal snares, often leaving their feet behind, then jabbing them in the throat with a toothpick or penknife.

    • US ‘forces G20 to drop any mention of climate change’ in joint statement

      Financial officials from the world’s biggest economies have dropped from a joint statement any mention of financing action on climate change, reportedly following pressure from the US and Saudi Arabia.

      Finance ministers from the G20, which comprises more than 80 percent of the global economy, debated the wording of their final joint statement on trade at their summit in the German resort of Baden-Baden.

      Their communique showed no mention of a commitment to fund action on climate change, and Reuters reported there had been opposition from the US, Saudi Arabia and other countries to Germany’s intention to include it. “Climate change is out for the time being,” an official told the agency.

    • China Beating US in Green Energy

      According to a five-year policy plan released by China’s National Energy Administration, the country will be investing $361 billion towards renewable energy by 2020 Yizhu Wang reported for Who.What.Why in January 2017. China’s plans, Wang wrote, contrast with what the US appears to be poised to do under newly elected President Donald Trump. While Trump claimed he would provide Americans with more jobs in the coal industry, China is shutting down 38% of its coalmines, and instead plans to create 3 million more jobs in renewable energy. As for the US, subsidies are quickly declining in the pursuit of renewable energy, and will continue to do so, per the Energy Information Administration.

  • Finance

    • Brexit: the board game

      What better way to celebrate this momentous occasion than by gathering all the family and enjoying an old-fashioned board game?

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Trump Adviser Is Betting Millions of Dollars That Trump Will Take His Advice

      Carl Icahn, the high-stakes financier who has been using his position as a Trump adviser to push for a major rule-change affecting the ethanol industry, is now literally betting millions of dollars on financial markets that Trump will take his advice.

      As previously reported at The Intercept, Icahn has pushed to get the Environmental Protection Agency to shift responsibility for blending the required amount of renewable fuel into gasoline. Right now, that obligation lies with oil refiners; Icahn wants it shifted to wholesalers.

      As an unpaid but influential “special advisor to the president on regulatory reform” who vetted EPA chief Scott Pruitt, Icahn has plenty of clout to get this done.

    • Our Two Party System is Dead

      The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) famously proclaimed the death of God. Following this far more momentous precedent, it would now be fair to proclaim the death of the debilitating, semi-established duopoly party system that disables progressive politics in the United States.

      The analogies are many.

      Nietzsche claimed that it would take centuries for the Divine body to decompose.

      By this, he did not just mean that it was no longer possible, without self-deception, to believe that there is an omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly good being who created all that is and with whom human beings can have personal relationships. Materialist philosophers a century earlier could have said that, albeit not in as colorful a way. Nietzsche took it for granted.

    • White House Budget Bombs on Front Pages of Red State Newspapers

      The White House budget proposal released on Thursday produced harsh, highly critical headlines in local newspapers based in states that President Trump carried in his election in November.

      Papers highlighted the cuts to spending on infrastructure, the environment, the impoverished, and arts and culture.

    • Brazile: Sending Clinton town hall topics ‘mistake I will forever regret’ [iophk: "one of the several big mistakes which cost her party the White House; exhibits no remorse"]

      Brazile appeared not to regret sharing the questions in advance.

      [...]

      “My conscience — as an activist, a strategist — is very clear,” Brazile said in an interview with SiriusXM host Joe Madison, adding, “If I had to do it all over again, I would know a hell of a lot more about cybersecurity.”

    • UPDATE: ‘Major meeting’ on VA not happening tonight at Mar-a-Lago

      Trump then turned to [VA Secretary] Shulkin.

      “So are you going to be at that meeting?” Trump asked. Shulkin shook his, no. “You heard about it, right? It’s going to be great — all about the VA.”

    • World’s cartoonists on this week’s events
    • EXCLUSIVE: Nazi-Allied Group Claims Top Trump Aide Sebastian Gorka As Sworn Member

      Sebastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward.

      The elite order, known as the Vitézi Rend, was established as a loyalist group by Admiral Miklos Horthy, who ruled Hungary as a staunch nationalist from 1920 to October 1944. A self-confessed anti-Semite, Horthy imposed restrictive Jewish laws prior to World War II and collaborated with Hitler during the conflict. His cooperation with the Nazi regime included the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews into Nazi hands.

    • Racist Chickens Come Home To Roost In Trump’s White House

      Despite denials of racism, Trump’s administration keeps having dead bodies of racist origin float to the surface or Trump’s new swamp. Why do Trump’s “fighters against terrorism” have to be haters? Why can’t they just be good old boys who love USA and all for which it stands? Nope. Instead Trump brings on board folks steeped in racist ideology and no particular experience dealing with terrorism or any other desirable skill in government.

    • Key Democratic Officials Now Warning Base Not to Expect Evidence of Trump/Russia Collusion

      From MSNBC politics shows to town hall meetings across the country, the overarching issue for the Democratic Party’s base since Trump’s victory has been Russia, often suffocating attention for other issues. This fixation has persisted even though it has no chance to sink the Trump presidency unless it is proven that high levels of the Trump campaign actively colluded with the Kremlin to manipulate the outcome of the U.S. election — a claim for which absolutely no evidence has thus far been presented.

      The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies — just as right-wing media polemicists did after both Bill Clinton and Obama were elected — that there are now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence. And they are all waiting for the day, which they regard as inevitable and imminent, when this theory will be proven and Trump will be removed.

    • Warrantless Spying, Russian Targets, and Trumped-Up Wire Tap Charges: What the Feds Might Really Have on the President

      Recently, President Trump accused former President Barrack Obama of wire tapping Trump Tower. He tweeted, “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” And he further tweeted, “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!” And also, “Is it legal for a sitting President to be “wire tapping” a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!” The Trump administration then called for an investigation into the claimed “wire tapp [sic]” without providing any evidence to justify such an investigation. Unfortunately, the corporate, mainstream media has taken to this claim like a dog thrown a sliver of red meat. As a result, the really important issues have been buried beneath a smokescreen of “alternative facts.”

    • The Cost of Trump’s Wall Compared to the Programs He’s Proposing to Cut

      The fiscal 2018 price for President Trump’s border wall is in: $2.6 billion. That’s a cost to U.S. taxpayers, not a cost many people any longer think will be picked up by the Mexican government.

      As first installments go, it’s a pretty big number. Indeed, its size can be appreciated in one powerful way by setting it against some of the many budget cuts Trump proposed this week.

    • Twitter Lights Up After ‘Too Embarrassing to Watch’ Trump-Merkel Press Conference

      President Donald Trump slipped up and called the U.S. a “company,” ignored German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s request for a handshake, and called a German press outlet “fake news”

    • ‘Belligerent,’ ‘Rude,’ ‘Damn Frustrating’: Dems Slam Meeting With DHS Chief

      Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly reportedly told House Democrats on Friday that he was “the best thing to happen” to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, in a closed-door meeting that lawmakers described as “damn frustrating” and “belligerent.”

      The meeting was called to get information on the Trump administration’s deportation policies after a number of Democratic lawmakers were kicked out of a meeting with immigration officials last month, but party leaders told Politico on Friday that Kelly showed up without answers to dozens of letters Democrats have been mailing to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which the agency has also ignored.

    • Kellyanne Conway: Making History?

      Yet the story of Conway’s pioneering successes went largely unreported in the establishment press, or these historic firsts received only passing comment. The corporate media did not discuss how she did it or the implications for women throughout the United States. Though Hilary Clinton did not win the presidential election, surely having a woman successfully run a presidential campaign is a noteworthy news story.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Trump’s Wiretapping Accusations: Here’s What the Government Can Actually Do

      Assisted by companies like Facebook, Google, AT&T, and Verizon, the government uses this law to monitor Americans’ communications with foreigners abroad. In doing so, the government sweeps up billions of international emails, web-browsing activities, and phone calls — which NSA, CIA, and FBI analysts can then sift through looking for information about Americans. While there have been no public indications of this to date, it’s possible that Section 702 surveillance also captured communications between the Trump campaign team and the same Russian entities abroad.

    • WikiLeaks Vault 7 Reveals CIA Cyberwar and the Real Battleground of Democracy

      WikiLeaks dropped a bombshell on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Code-named “Vault 7”, the whistleblowing site began releasing the largest publication of confidential documents, that have come from the top secret security network at the Cyber Intelligence Center. Long before the Edward Snowden revelations, Julian Assange noted how “The Internet, our greatest tool of emancipation, has been transformed into the most dangerous facilitator of totalitarianism we have ever seen.” He decried the militarization of the Internet with the penetration by the intelligence agencies like NSA and GCHQ, which created “a military occupation of civilian space”. Now, WikiLeaks’ latest disclosures shed further light on this cyber-warfare, exposing the role of the CIA.

    • Three Myths the Telecom Industry is Using to Convince Congress to Repeal the FCC’s Privacy Rules, Busted

      Back in October of 2016, the FCC passed some pretty awesome rules that would bar your internet service provider (ISP) from invading your privacy. The rules would keep ISPs like Comcast and Time Warner Cable from doing things like selling your personal information to marketers, inserting undetectable tracking headers into your traffic, or recording your browsing history to build up a behavioral advertising profile on you—unless they can get your consent. They were a huge victory for everyday Internet users in the U.S. who value their privacy.

      But since the restrictions also limit the ability of ISPs and advertisers alike to profit from the treasure trove of data ISPs have about their subscribers, powerful interests have come out in force to strip those protections away. Lobbyists in DC are pulling out all the stops trying to convince Congress that these straightforward, no-nonsense privacy rules are unnecessary, unfair, overly burdensome, or all of the above. EFF wrote a memo for congressional staffers that busts these myths.

    • Video calls for Signal out of beta

      We recently released encrypted video calling as an opt-in beta. We’ve spent the past month collecting feedback and addressing the issues that the Signal community found in order to get it production ready. Today’s Signal release for Android and iOS enables support for end-to-end encrypted video calls by default, which also greatly enhances the quality of Signal voice calls as well.

    • NSA officials deny ‘blanket’ spying in Salt Lake during 2002 Olympics
    • Top NSA officials deny ‘blanket’ surveillance during Salt Lake City Olympics
    • Top NSA official rejects claims they spied on everyone in SLC during the 2002 Olympics
    • US Marine Corps issues new social media guidance following naked photo sharing scandal [iophk: "yet ignores the real scandal that FB was used at all by active duty personnel"]

      The message urges Marines to think about what they are posting on social media or blogs [...]

    • [Older] Suspicious cellular activity in D.C. suggests monitoring of individuals’ smartphones

      “For several years, cyber security experts have repeatedly warned that U.S. cellular communications networks are vulnerable to surveillance by foreign governments, hackers, and criminals exploiting vulnerabilities in Signaling System 7,” wrote Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California). “U.S. cellular phones can be tracked, tapped, and hacked—by adversaries thousands of miles away—through SS7-enabled surveillance. We are deeply concerned that the security of America’s telecommunications infrastructure is not getting the attention it deserves.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Top 10 most powerful passports of 2017

      By comparison, for three years between 2013 and 2015, the U.K. shared first place with Germany. And with the fallout from Brexit still playing out, analysts predict the changing geopolitical climate to affect the ranking over the next 12 months.

      “We have witnessed several major events recently that are likely to have an impact on global mobility, including Brexit and the election of [United States] President Donald Trump,” said Henley & Partners chairman Christian Kalin.

      “Both can be interpreted as steps toward restricting movement and creating barriers to entry,” he added. “This trend towards curbing travel freedom is already apparent in the shift in rankings on this year’s Visa Restrictions Index.”

      Rounding out the top three spots is Sweden in second place, and Denmark, Finland, Italy, Spain and the U.S., all tied for third.

      The biggest mover in this year’s index is Peru, which gained 15 spots.

      Island nations like the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Micronesia, Kiribati and Tuvalu also gained nine spots, while Ghana posted the biggest loss, dropping four spots.

    • EU citizens in UK anxiously seek security before Brexit

      Sam Schwarzkopf, a German neuroscientist at University College London, was startled to receive a letter from the British government telling him that his application for permanent residence had been rejected and he should prepare to leave the UK.

      As a European Union citizen, he is legally entitled to live in Britain, and last year’s decision by UK voters to leave the 28-nation bloc hasn’t changed that. But he is one of hundreds of thousands of Europeans battling British bureaucracy to confirm their legal status – and sometimes discovering that the process only increases their uncertainty.

    • In a first, former CIA captive appeals Guantánamo trial to Supreme Court

      Lawyers for the man accused of orchestrating the USS Cole bombing are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in the military tribunal here using accounts of the captive’s CIA torture drawn from declassified documents and an interrogator’s recent memoirs.

      The 38-page petition with hundreds of pages of supporting documents describes Abd al Rahim al Nashiri’s being sodomized, kept naked and kenneled like a dog, crammed into a box the size of an office safe and being threatened with a revved power drill while hanging shackled and nude from a cell ceiling.

      And that’s from the portion that isn’t blacked out.

    • Xenophobic violence in the ‘Rainbow’ nation

      For the fourth consecutive week now, South Africa is witnessing what many analysts call a “resurgence” of xenophobic violence in parts of Johannesburg and Pretoria, the country’s capital city.

      The reality is that this type of violence is a daily occurrence in the country, although it does not always get media attention. It has, in fact, become a long-standing feature in post-apartheid South Africa.

      Since 1994, tens of thousands of people have been harassed, attacked or killed because of their status as outsiders or foreign nationals (PDF).

      Despite claims to the contrary by the government, violence against foreign nationals in South Africa did not end in June 2008 when the massive outbreak that started a month earlier subsided.

    • Why is DHS Labeling Protesters “Domestic Terrorists”?

      The United States government considered Nelson Mandela a terrorist until 2008. Mandela was a designated terrorist 18 years after he was released from prison, 15 years after he won the Nobel peace prize, and 14 years after he was elected president of South Africa.

      Let that sink in for a moment.

      In 1962, the U.S. government considered Mandela to be “the most dangerous communist” outside of the then Soviet Union. It was subsequently revealed that a CIA agent provided the South African government with the information necessary to apprehend him and land him in prison for 27 years.

      The indignity suffered by Mandela during every visit to the United States — as a “terrorist” he had to get special clearance to enter the country — was finally wiped clean by an act of Congress just five years before he died.

      Nelson Mandela, and his organizing in South Africa, was not protected by the First Amendment, a freedom afforded by the U.S. Constitution only to those in the United States. But we should not forget that Angela Davis, Malcom X, and yes, even the now-beloved Martin Luther King, Jr., were at varying times labeled enemies of the state during their struggle against segregation in the United States. The First Amendment protected their organizing. But it did not stop our federal law enforcement agencies from watching, labeling, and arresting them. We are fortunate that these heroes of racial justice did not cower when faced with jail time, but instead spoke louder.

    • Children Make Up Half the World’s Refugees

      Children refugees have increased to 50 million children worldwide with over 75% of them from ten countries. Syria and Afghanistan alone contribute to half of all children refugees under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees according to UNICEF. Over 70% of children in Syria alone show signs of toxic stress due to conflict-related exposures, contributing to the tragedy of what will become a lost generation of Syrians. Refugee children are at high risk for recruitment, work abuse, violence, sexual abuse, trafficking, and lives of poverty. UNICEF is calling for the international community to uphold the Convention of the Rights of the Child in assisting the migrant child crisis.

    • On International Women’s Day, Here’s How the ACLU Is Fighting for Women’s Rights in the Face of the Most Anti-Woman Agenda in History

      A Day Without a Woman gives us another concrete way to make our strength visible: Organizers are encouraging participants to take the day off work, avoid shopping (with exceptions for women- and minority-owned small businesses), and/or wear red to demonstrate solidarity. This demonstration of strength is critical because the Trump administration poses an unprecedented threat to women’s equality and well-being. Defeating it is going to take all of our strength and persistence.

      Well, here at the ACLU, we know a little something about persistence. The ACLU has been on the front lines in the struggle for women’s equality since the Women’s Rights Project was co-founded by Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1972. While the progress we’ve made is undeniable, we’re still fighting some of the same battles today we fought back then in three priority areas: employment, education, and ending violence against women. And our colleagues in the Reproductive Freedom Project continue their tireless fight to protect the right to contraception, the right to abortion, and the right to bear a child.

    • Israel and the A-Word

      Since then, Israeli law and policy has only deepened the state apparatus of separation and segregation, discrimination and domination. Over the years, countless activists, authors and artists, as well as leading anti-apartheid figures from South Africa, have referred to Israel’s particular brand of structural discrimination as akin to apartheid. In the last decade, international lawyers have also begun to do likewise, but with reference to the definition of apartheid under international law rather than by analogy to southern Africa.

    • Raped, beaten, exploited: the 21st-century slavery propping up Sicilian farming

      Every night for almost three years, Nicoleta Bolos lay awake at night on a dirty mattress in an outhouse in Sicily’s Ragusa province, waiting for the sound of footsteps outside the door. As the hours passed, she braced herself for the door to creak open, for the metallic clunk of a gun being placed on the table by her head and the weight of her employer thudding down on the dirty grey mattress beside her.

      The only thing that she feared more than the sound of the farmer’s step outside her door was the threat of losing her job. So she endured night after night of rape and beatings while her husband drank himself into a stupor outside.

      “The first time, it was my husband who said I had to do this. That the owner of the greenhouse where we had been given work wanted to sleep with me and if we refused he wouldn’t pay us and would send us off his land,” she says.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • The future of US net neutrality under Trump

      There is a case to be made that Pai is motivated by the firm conviction of operating within the limits of power/oversight granted to the FCC by Congress. Regardless of his intentions, though, he is expected to steer the FCC into “a more hands-off, pro-industry direction,” which was reinforced during his first US Senate hearing as FCC chairman on 8 March 2017. Time will tell whether or not his conviction – and his vision – will manifest in a way that protects the free, competitive, and open Internet he and many of his Republican colleagues advocate so adamantly for, or if it will lead to the fears some consumer advocates believe may come to pass: greater market capture/monopolization by the powerful, existing telecoms, and ultimately higher costs for US Internet subscribers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • SXSW 2017 on BitTorrent: 7.86 GB of Free Music

        SXSW’s showcase MP3s are still freely available on the festival’s site for sampling purposes.

        For the past several years Ben Stolt has taken the time and effort to put all of the MP3s on BitTorrent. Last week he published the latest 2017 torrent, which consists of 1,201 tracks totaling 7.86 gigabytes of free music.

        All the tracks released for the previous editions are also still available and most of these torrents remain well-seeded. The 2005 – 2017 archives now total more than 77 gigabytes.

      • Pirate Bay’s Peter Sunde Doesn’t Plan to Pay Hollywood ‘Back’… Ever

        With these numbers the damages will be more than half a billion before he retires. In fact, it already is pretty much impossible for Peter to pay even the interest alone. It’s likely he’ll be in debt for the rest of his life. But even if he could pay, he wouldn’t.

      • Huge Scandal Engulfs Greek Anti-Piracy & Royalties Group

        Greek anti-piracy and royalties group AEPI is in crisis after a government-commissioned investigation found huge irregularities in its accounts. Following an audit by Ernst & Young, it was discovered the group had failed to pay more than 42 million euros owed to artists. They did pay themselves well, however, with the CEO alone earning 52,000 euros per month.

03.18.17

Links 18/3/2017: New Stables Kernels, Wine 2.4

Posted in News Roundup at 12:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Status Introduces CommitETH – A Tool Designed to Foster Open Source Software Development

    Status is a messenger and browser to access the decentralized web of Ethereum. With the high level goals of preserving the collective right of humans to privacy, mitigating the risk of censorship, and promoting economic trade in a transparent, open manner, Status is building a community where anyone is welcome to join and contribute to the cause.

  • 18F releases open-source web design guidelines, code library

    18F, the General Services Administration’s tech incubator, has announced the release of the U.S. Web Design Standards — easy-to-implement, open source code to allow government developers to quickly create or update websites.

    Version 1.0 of the library includes guidelines for forms, typography, buttons, alerts and more to assist in the quick creation of “trustworthy, accessible and consistent digital government services” that sport a modern feel. Mobile performance-optimized and advanced components (like mapping and data visualization) are being evaluated for future builds.

  • ETSI is Bullish on the Results of Its First NFV Interoperability Tests

    The European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI) recently put on a plugtest event in Madrid, Spain, where 35 commercial and open source implementations were tested for interoperability, and it saw promising results as released in its report.

  • A Bell Labs-inspired initiative for open-source blockchain projects

    Bloq, a startup dedicated to developing enterprise-grade blockchain software, has launched an initiative to support open-source projects in the bitcoin and blockchain industry.

    The initiative, called BloqLabs, appears to be an extension of Bloq’s prior commitment to fostering the independent software projects of some of its employees.

  • Bloq’s BloqLabs to connect business & blockchain
  • Bloq Launches BloqLabs to Connect Enterprises with Open Source Blockchain Innovations
  • Docker containerd finds an open source home alongside Kubernetes

    Docker donated its containerd open source code to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which has surprised some Docker fans as it attempts to solidify a container consensus.

  • Events

    • Science Day at GMRT, Khodad 2017

      Akshat, who works at NCRA as a programmer, the standing guy on the left shared with me in January this year that this year too, we should have two stalls, foss community and mozilla India stalls next to each other. While we had the banners, we were missing stickers and flyers. Funds were and are always an issue and this year too, it would have been emptier if we didn’t get some money saved from last year minidebconf 2016 that we had in Mumbai. Our major expenses included printing stickers, stationery and flyers which came to around INR 5000/- and couple of LCD TV monitors which came for around INR 2k/- as rent. All the labour was voluntary in nature, but both me and Akshat easily spending upto 100 hours before the event. Next year, we want to raise to around INR 10-15k so we can buy 1 or 2 LCD monitors and we don’t have to think for funds for next couple of years. How will we do that I have no idea atm.

    • GUADEC 2017 on the cheap

      I’ve just booked flight and hotel for GUADEC 2017, which will be held in Manchester. André suggested that I should decide this time. We’ll be staying a wheelchair accessible (the room is slightly bigger :P) room with Easyhotel. It’s 184 GBP for 5 nights and NOT close to the venue (but not bad via public transport). Easyhotel works like a budget airline. You’ll have to pay more for WiFi, cleaning, breakfast, a remote, etc. I ignored all of these essential things which means André has to do without that as well. The paid WiFi might even be iffy, so rather use my mobile data, plus per half June that shouldn’t cost anything extra thanks to new EU regulations. Before GUADEC I might switch to another mobile phone company to get 4-5GB/month for 18 EUR/month. André will probably want to work remotely. Let’s see closer to the date what’s a good solution (share my data?).

    • Tizen Developer Conference 2017 Announced – Ready to Connect! Get Involved!

      This is the fifth time that we have seen the conference taking place, with it being held previously three times in San Francisco and once in Shenzhen. The Tizen Developer Conference (TDC) is an annual event that is the highlight of Tizen Devs calendars. Last year, the event did not take place but we saw a huge amount of Tizen content being featured as part of the Samsung Developer Conference 2016 and we expect the same to be true of this year’s event.

    • Participation at Scale15x

      A few days ago I returned -incredibly satisfied- from attending my personal 7th Southern California Linux Expo, which was the 15th edition of the event. I’ve read a thing or two about the beginning of Scale, and how it has grown by the years to become one of the largest and more important FOSS events, not only in the US but also worldwide. From my perspective I can tell that the event gets better by every year.

    • EuroBSDCon 2017 Call for Papers open

      Closing date for the CfP is April, 30th.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Some Firefox 52 Users on Linux Left Without Sound

        Many Firefox users on Linux were left without the ability to play sound in their browser after updating to Firefox 52, released last week.

        The issue at the heart of this problem is that Mozilla dropped support for ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) and is now requiring Linux users to have installed the PulseAudio library to support audio playback inside Firefox.

        ALSA is a software framework included in the Linux kernel that provides an API for sound card drivers. On the other hand, PulseAudio is a more modern sound server that’s already supported on most Linux distros, but also on FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and even macOS.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • Call for testing: OpenSSH 7.5p1

      OpenSSH 7.5p1 is almost ready for release, so we would appreciate testing on as many platforms and systems as possible. This is a bugfix release.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Gimp 2.8 Reviewed: Open-Source Photo Editor

      Although its learning curve is too steep for novices, GIMP is free and has a nice set of photo editing tools within an open-source program that should appeal to geek photographers who like to control their editing environment.

    • Gna! Software Hosting Will Shut Down

      Do you know Gna! Software Project Hosting? It’s something today similar to SourceForge, GitHub, or Savannah, a place that host many free software projects. You find many projects source codes there, along with all development stuffs (SCM, bugtrack, forum, etc.). The important thing is Gna! supports and hosts only free software projects. Yesterday (Thursday, March 17th) I came across a sad reminder that Gna! will shut down soon. Actually this plan was announced in November 2016, it said “6-months notice before saying goodbye”, so it could be this April or May 2017. I show my support to Gna! by this article and I humbly encourage you to support them too by any way you can. Big thanks and respect for Gna! for this 13 years supporting free software.

    • The GNU Toolchain Has Made Much Progress So Far In 2017

      GNU tooling updates we have seen recently include GLIBC 2.25, GDB 7.12.1, Newlib 2.5, GCC 6.3, GCC 7 nearing release, and Binutils 2.28.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Updates to the last two posts

      Someone from the FSF’s licencing department posted an official-looking thing saying they don’t believe GitHub’s new ToS to be problematic with copyleft. Well, my lawyer (not my personal one, nor for The MirOS Project, but related to another association, informally) does agree with my reading of the new ToS, and I can point out at least a clause in the GPLv1 (I really don’t have time right now) which says contrary (but does this mean the FSF generally waives the restrictions of the GPL for anything on GitHub?). I’ll eMail GitHub Legal directly and will try to continue getting this fixed (as soon as I have enough time for it) as I’ll otherwise be forced to force GitHub to remove stuff from me (but with someone else as original author) under GPL, such as… tinyirc and e3.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Principles for C programming

      In the words of Doug Gwyn, “Unix was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things”. C is a very powerful tool, but it is to be used with care and discipline. Learning this discipline is well worth the effort, because C is one of the best programming languages ever made. A disciplined C programmer will…

    • Growing Young FOSS Programmers With Help of Scratch and Al Sweigart

      If your young child is showing an interest in learning computers, an introduction to Scratch and these instructional videos by Al Sweigart might be in order.

    • The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2017

      Besides the above plot, which can be difficult to parse even at full size, we offer the following numerical rankings. As will be observed, this run produced several ties which are reflected below (they are listed out here alphabetically rather than consolidated as ties because the latter approach led to misunderstandings). Note that this is actually a list of the Top 23 languages, not Top 20, because of said ties.

    • Algorithm Time Complexity and Big O Notation
    • Modern software development is cancer

      Somewhere in the past 15 years, it all went wrong.

Leftovers

  • Major Milestone in Mobile Migration: Adidas Says Goodbye to TV Advertisements… because of mobile

    Now we have another huge milestone. Adidas the sporting brand has just declared that they will end TV advertising and the primary reason is mobile. Their target audience is glued to smartphone screens and if you want to reach that audience, you have to go with that media.

    [...]

    3.3 Billion out of 3.5 Billion internet users do use mobile, and 1.8 Billion, just over half, never use a PC or tablet of any kind to access the internet.

  • What America without the NEA and NEH would look like, and why that matters

    For arts and cultural groups across the country, the four agencies – although they account for only 0.02 percent of federal spending – have long been considered crucial in supporting outreach to underserved communities between the coasts, particularly in rural areas. Proponents of the proposed cuts have said that the proposed elimination of the agencies will open the door to a freer arts market that forces artists to produce works that speak to local audiences, rather than to bureaucrats in Washington.

    But opponents of the plan say that – ironically – the elimination of the arts agencies will do most damage in some of the parts of the country that had supported Trump the most.

  • Science

    • An ancient memorization strategy might cause lasting changes to the brain

      the take-home point is that memory skills can be learned. “It shows that superior memory on that level is not something that is just inborn talent, but is something that essentially can be learned by everyone,”

    • Trump flips science the bird with new budget

      Science is clearly not a priority, as it is repeatedly targeted for cuts in every agency that funds it.

    • Trump’s Budget Would Break American Science, Today and Tomorrow

      The basics are a litany of red. Defense spending goes up 9 percent. Homeland Security goes up 7 percent. Everything else gets ground into dust, from the environment to arts and humanities to the State Department. But the really scary parts, the stuff that you really can’t come back from, are the cuts to scientific research.

    • Scientists Brace for a Lost Generation in American Research

      America’s enduring scientific greatness rests largely on the scientists of the future. And relying on private funding poses an additional problem for supporting people early in their careers. The squeeze on public funding in recent years has posed a similar concern, as young scientists are getting a smaller share of key publicly-funded research grants [...]

    • 20,000 Worldclass University Lectures Made Illegal, So We Irrevocably Mirrored Them [iophk: "publicity stunt: https://lbry.io/faq"]

      Today, the University of California at Berkeley has deleted 20,000 college lectures from its YouTube channel. Berkeley removed the videos because of a lawsuit brought by two students from another university under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

      We copied all 20,000 and are making them permanently available for free via LBRY.

    • Noise-cancelling headphones: the secret survival tool for modern life

      Heavy traffic generates noise levels of up to 85 decibels (dB), which the Health and Safety Executive deems sufficient to cause permanent hearing damage if we’re exposed to it for several hours every day. Underground trains can pass the 100dB mark when roaring around a loud corner.

    • Leaving kids in front of screens unsupervised for hours may have unpleasant consequences, parents learn

      The bedroom resentments of adolescent boys are the new mass media; they’re desperate for fraternity, they find the others, and they never get the chance to grow out of it before it’s too late. And then there are the ringleader types–older, odder men with an opportunistic talent for lurking close to both youngsters and fame, desperate for the latter but stuck with the former. We’re already too accustomed to watching them implode; eventually one of them will be cunning and consistent enough and then we’ll really be off to the races.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Which Republicans are opposing the Obamacare repeal bill?

      The House Republican bill to repeal Obamacare hangs in a delicate balance as concerned GOP lawmakers publicly come out to express their opposition to the legislation.

    • Media Find Room for ‘Trumpcare Too Progressive,’ but Not for Single-Payer – Right-wing critics of GOP health plan get near-constant media attention–while single-payer advocates’ challenges to ACA were never taken seriously

      In May 2009, at the infancy of the healthcare reform battle that led to the Affordable Care Act, a group of nurses and single-payer activists were arrested for disrupting a Senate Finance Committee meeting chaired by Sen. Max Baucus (D.–Mont.) (Democracy Now, 5/13/09). These activists had been ignored by politicians and corporate media for years (FAIR.org, 3/6/09), and hoped an arrest, or eight, would bring attention to their cause.

      Despite the efforts of the “Baucus 8,” the New York Times did not report on the event. Nor did much of the rest of the dominant media. Not even mass arrests could get the corporate media to give voice to single-payer advocates, even though their position is supported by the majority of the public (Gallup, 5/16/16).

      This is worth remembering as the media cover the GOP House’s American Health Care Act (AHCA), the plan to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare. While even eight arrests couldn’t get attention to left-wing critics of the Democrat’s milquetoast health reform plan in 2009–10, today the far right is given thousands of words in the press, and plenty of air time on television, to air its ideological opposition to the current GOP plan.

    • How a private water company brought lead to Pittsburgh’s taps

      Around the same time, the city’s water utility was laying off employees in an effort to cut costs. By the end of the year, half of the staff responsible for testing water throughout the 100,000-customer system was let go. The cuts would prove to be catastrophic. Six months later, lead levels in tap water in thousands of homes soared. The professor who had helped expose Flint, Michigan’s lead crisis took notice, “The levels in Pittsburgh are comparable to those reported in Flint.”

      The cities also share something else, involvement by the same for-profit water corporation. Pittsburgh’s layoffs happened under the watch of French corporation Veolia, who was hired to help the city’s utility save money. Veolia also oversaw a change to a cheaper chemical additive that likely caused the eventual spike in lead levels. In Flint, Veolia served a similar consulting role and failed to detect high levels of lead in the city’s water, deeming it safe.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Trump is Considering Expanding Killing Powers Abroad. The Consequences for Civilians Will be Disastrous.

      When the Obama administration put in place guidelines meant to restrain lethal drone and other killings abroad, we were concerned that they set too low a bar, and that even that low bar could easily be overturned.

      Now, our worst fears are coming to a head. According to a recent New York Times report, the Trump administration is considering weakening or withdrawing those rules, which, while flawed, are intended to limit civilian deaths and injuries. Without them, the U.S. will further unmoor itself from domestic and international law that safeguards against extrajudicial killing, and many more innocent people will die. The Trump administration has also reportedly lifted limits on the CIA carrying out drone strikes, meaning that the CIA could return to its role as a paramilitary organization killing people largely in secret.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Lost in translation: Swedish prosecutors explain bizarre delay in Assange investigation
    • How Drones Help Transparency Activists To See Things The Hungarian Government Wants To Hide

      It’s remarkable how quickly drones have become a familiar part of the modern world. Like most tools, they can be used for good and evil, but it tends to be the latter that is highlighted when it comes to drones. In the last few days, it was widely reported that President Trump has given the CIA power to launch drone strikes against suspected terrorists, in addition to being able to use the technology to locate them. Dealing death from the skies may be the most dramatic application of drones, but there are plenty of other, more benign, uses, even if they receive less attention. For example, activists in Hungary have been deploying them in a variety of innovative ways in order to bolster transparency and openness in a country where these are increasingly under threat. That’s because the country’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, is a self-confessed believer in the “illiberal state,”…

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • The Carbon Bubble is about to pop

      The post-carbon industries — from solar to electric cars — are a way for rich investors to go long on climate action, and short hydrocarbons, and they become a force against the carbon barons’ efforts to continue burning fossil fuels unchecked.

    • Next Steps in the Battle Against the Dakota Access and Keystone Pipelines

      In this edited interview, Jaffe speaks with Kandi Mossett of the Indigenous Environmental Network about the march last week and what’s next in the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline, as well as other pipeline projects. (The full interview is available in the audio above and online at TruthOut.org). Mossett is a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, which has been active in the Standing Rock protests since August.

    • Tribes Opposing Dakota Access Pipeline Turn To Appeal Court

      The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Attorney Nicole Ducheneaux on Wednesday asked the appeals court for an emergency order preventing oil through the pipeline until the appeal is resolved.

    • China, Saudi Arabia Sign $65 Billion in Cooperation Deals

      Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil producer, Aramco, is a partner with state-owned China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. in a refinery in the southeastern province of Fujian and has other Chinese projects.

  • Finance

    • How blockchain can be a force for good in the developing world

      By allowing users to conduct secure transactions with one another directly, blockchain eliminates the need for regulatory middlemen. This allows companies like Abra to save time and money by avoiding the lengthy processing periods and fees imposed by traditional money transfer services.

    • Spotify considered ending Uber partnership amid mounting scandals

      In an internal company-wide email, the company’s head of product refers to discussions the company held about ending Uber’s API access, which allows riders to control a driver’s sound system from their smartphones.

    • Breaking: Canada prevails in Eli Lilly arbitration, as tribunal dismisses NAFTA claim
    • Options for Independence

      So what do we do now with Theresa May apparently obdurate on blocking the referendum?

      It is important to realise politics are fluid. In a week’s time the situation will not be what it is today. The battle for public opinion is key. The unionist media (ie virtually all of it) are asserting continuously, as a uniform line, that opinion polls say the people of Scotland do not want a second Independence referendum in the timescale Nicola Sturgeon has set out – even though that is not true at all. The serial Tory crooks at You Gove came out with an opinion poll right on cue “showing” that support for Independence is hitting new lows. But I suspect it will not be long before evidence emerges that May’s unattractive diktat has profoundly assisted the Independence cause. That will change the game.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Don’t Let a Career Wall Street Lawyer Head the SEC

      In what is turning into a pattern for the Trump administration, yet another nominee close to Wall Street—and Goldman Sachs in particular—is on his way to being confirmed for a top post. Jay Clayton, Trump’s choice for head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, will have his confirmation hearing on March 23.

    • Trump’s Mar-a-Lago getaway could cost taxpayers more than $3 million

      The cost of flying Air Force One is more than $200,000 per flying hour, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch in 2015.

    • How much is Donald Trump’s travel and protection costing, anyway?

      What really jumped out at some people, though, was that Trump was proposing cuts to some relatively low-cost programs shortly before he prepared to fly to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. According to an analysis from Politico, that’s a trip that costs about $3 million each time — and it’s a trip that he’s made three times this year.

    • Twitter users volunteer to be Russia’s latest weapon in the information wars

      Some Twitter users are voluntarily handing control of their accounts to the UK’s Russian Embassy, which uses them to retweet the “most important” tweets of the Russian ambassador on a weekly basis.

    • Why Trump’s budget cut for arts funding will be a cultural disaster — and makes no fiscal sense

      In addition to eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts, Trump’s budget will also jettison the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, according to The Washington Post. The costs of these programs equal $148 million, $445 million, $230 million, and $148 million respectively. Considering their combined total amounts to $971 million, their fiscal burden is a pittance compared to the trillions spent on defense and the military — which Trump plans on increasing.

    • Propaganda, Fake News, and Media Lies

      The expansion of public relations and propaganda (PRP) firms inside news systems in the world today has resulted in a deliberate form of news management. Maintenance of continuous news shows requires a constant and ever-entertaining supply of stimulating events and breaking news bites. Corporate media are increasingly dependent on various government agencies and PRP firms as sources of news.

      The PRP industry has experienced phenomenal growth since 2001. In 2015, three publicly traded mega PR firms—Omnicom, WPP, and Interpublic Group—together employed 214,000 people across 170 countries, collecting $35 billion in combined revenue. Not only do these firms control massive wealth, they also possess a network of connections in powerful international institutions with direct links to national governments, multi-national corporations, global policy-making bodies, and the corporate media.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Gwinnett County man deported after female genital mutilation sentence

      Khalid Adem, 41, was arrested for using scissors to mutilate the genitals of his 2-year-old daughter.

      He was deported on Monday after serving 10 years in prison.

    • Jaha’s Promise: FGM film premieres at Copenhagen film festival

      Co-director Patrick Farrelly said: “It is astonishing that FGM is not the top priority for the feminist movement, the women’s movement and the whole human rights movement. Two hundred million women and girls have been mutilated in the world today and it isn’t top of any of those agendas.”

    • Former owners of the Book Store in White Abbey Road, Bradford, apologise for “genuine human error” after claims that Qurans were put in skip

      The spokesman also criticised a “group of individuals” who arrived at the store during the afternoon of “harassing and bullying” the shop’s 80-year-old former owner, who was “not responsible for the filling of the skip”.

    • Turkey Threatens To Send Europe 15,000 Refugees A Month

      Ankara has warned it could cancel a March 2016 deal with the EU to curb the influx of refugees to the bloc, a move that came after Turkish ministers were barred from holding rallies in Europe.

    • [Old] More UK protests in support of Pakistan’s Asia Bibi

      Bibi has been in prison for over a decade after being accused of insulting Islam, a crime punishable by death under the country’s strict blasphemy laws.

      She faces death if her final appeal fails.

    • Germany unveils law with big fines for hate speech on social media

      Germany proposed a new law today to fight hate speech, threatening social media networks like Twitter and Facebook with €50 million fines.

    • The Ex-Muslim Community is Growing and Our Voices are Being Heard

      Many of these ex-Muslims were anonymous on social media, hiding their true identities for fear of being disowned by their families and the wider community. For many more there is the fear of being beaten and even death for leaving Islam and proudly shouting that they no longer believe.

    • Trouble brewing in Netherlands as Erdogan supporters win first seats in Dutch election
    • 1,500 acid attacks have been recorded in London since 2011

      A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Mirror shows that between 2011 and 2016, London had nearly 1,500 cases of the devastating crime, which burns the skin and leaves victims cowering from their injuries.

    • GOP pushes ‘economic terrorism’ bills in 18 states to discourage protests

      Republican lawmakers in at least 18 states have proposed a spate of bills making blocking streets a felony in North Carolina, allowing businesses to sue people protesting them in Michigan, and forcing Minnesota protesters pay the costs of policing.

    • ‘Throw stones at security forces for Islam’: Burhan Wani’s successor Zakir Musa urges protestors

      A top J&K officer told India Today that terrorists often try to create a smokescreen, inciting locals to target forces during operations. But, this video leaves little ambiguity on terrorist using locals to hamper counter terror operations.

    • ‘Pelt stones for Islam’: Burhan Wani’s successor incites Kashmir protestors

      The young commander in his monologue dismissed the idea of democracy while calling everyone to turn towards Islam.

    • U.S. is Regressing on Human Rights, Center for Inquiry Warns UN Human Rights Council
    • Hyderabad woman faces torture in Saudi, suffers fracture in both her legs

      My mother went to Saudi Arabia to make our lives better. She was promised 1,600 riyals a month, but the employer did not pay her even one riyal. When she asked for salary, the employer started harassing her. Unable to bear the harassment, she ran away from the employer’s house. But he brought her back to his house and pushed her from the third floor, fracturing both her legs.

    • Islamic cleric allegedly stones boy to death for rituals in Lagos
    • Teacher quits after primary school students threaten to behead her
    • What went wrong in Pakistan

      What went wrong? In an excellent new book, “Purifying the Land of the Pure,” Farahnaz Ispahani both recounts and laments Pakistan’s “descent” into what it has become today: unfree, undemocratic, intolerant and both a sponsor and victim of terrorism.

    • Truman Was Right About the CIA

      Say what you will about President Harry Truman, but at least he didn’t leave the White House a suspiciously rich man. He also actually went home, to Independence Missouri, and moved into a modest house he didn’t own. It was the same house belonging to his wife’s family where he had lived with Bess (and his mother-in-law!) decades earlier.

      Flat broke, and unwilling to accept corporate board positions or commercial endorsements, Truman sought a much-needed loan from a local Missouri bank. For several years his sole income was a $113 monthly Army pension, and only the sale of a parcel of land he inherited with his siblings prevented him from nearly “being on relief,” as Truman allegedly stated. In the 1950s, perhaps almost entirely to alleviate Truman’s embarrassing financial situation, Congress authorized a $25,000 yearly pension for ex-presidents Truman and the much-wealthier Herbert Hoover.

    • Appeals court upholds LuxLeaks whistleblower convictions

      A Luxembourg appeals court has upheld the convictions but reduced the sentences of two former PwC employees who blew the whistle on rampant tax evasion. In 2014, it was revealed that Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet passed confidential tax rulings, documenting widespread multinational tax avoidance, to journalists. The ICIJ published the documents as LuxLeaks, in a release that directly implicated the president of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker. Just this week, EU Competition Commisioner Margrethe Vestage has confirmed that the disclosures were justified.

      Deltour and Halet were convicted of theft and breaking secrecy laws, and Deltour was given a 12-months suspended prison sentence. Edouard Perrin, a journalist involved in the initial wave of disclosures, was one of the original defendants alongside the whistleblowers, but he was acquitted. All three rulings were appealed, and today an appeals court has confirmed the convictions but reduced Deltour’s suspended sentence to six months.

    • Two Courts Find That, Yes, It Was a Muslim Ban All Along

      Courts in Hawaii and Maryland ruled against the president’s executive order in another stinging rebuke of the president.

      The federal courts have dealt two more blows to President Trump’s ongoing attempt to ban Muslims from entering the United States. The two rulings, issued yesterday in separate lawsuits in Hawaii and Maryland, made clear that the president’s second Muslim ban executive order is just as unconstitutional as the first.

      The first blow came yesterday from a federal court in Hawaii. Just hours before the travel ban was scheduled to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. this morning, the court issued a ruling blocking the operative provisions of the executive order — both the ban against people from six predominantly Muslim countries and the provisions blocking refugee resettlement in the United States. The second ruling, in a case brought by the ACLU and the National Immigration Law Center on behalf of clients including the International Refugee Assistance Project and HIAS, came just before 2 a.m. from a Maryland district court. That ruling also blocked the six-country ban.

      The breadth of the Hawaii ruling means that, for now, no part of the executive order can take effect without further input from the courts.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • EU authorities demand changes from Facebook, Google, Twitter

      The Commission and European consumer protection authorities will “take action to make sure social media companies comply with EU consumer rules,” the official said.

    • Charter Tries To Tap Dance Out Of Lawsuit Over Substandard Broadband

      Last month, we noted how New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued Charter Communications for knowingly providing broadband service well below advertised speeds. After an initial first read I didn’t think much of the lawsuit (pdf), but upon closer inspection it provides some pretty damning evidence that Charter not only knowingly failed to provide decent service (and just didn’t care, since this is the uncompetitive broadband industry), but in some instances actively made connections worse for its own competitive advantage.

      The AG’s suit highlights how Charter manipulated data for a program run by the FCC to monitor consumer connection speeds. This program, co-operated by a UK outfit dubbed SamKnows, gives volunteers custom-firmware embedded routers to monitor connection quality and speed. The FCC was then using this data to name and shame ISPs that failed to deliver advertised speeds. The lawsuit highlights how Charter executives worked to intentionally deliver faster speeds to just these customers in order to trick the FCC into believing its network was performing better than it actually was.

    • California Youth in Detention and Foster Care Deserve Internet Access

      It’s 2017, and climbers can tweet from Mount Everest, astronauts can post YouTube videos from the International Space Station, and ocean explorers can live stream from the Mariana Trench. Considering the ability for technology to overcome those harsh environments, we see no reason that California can’t develop a way to ensure that youth in our state have secure and supervised access to the internet in juvenile detention and foster care programs.

      EFF is throwing its support behind A.B. 811, a California bill sponsored by Assemblymember Mike Gipson, that would establish that youth in custody have a right to “reasonable access to computer technology and the internet for the purposes of education and maintaining contact with family and supportive adults.” The bill would also establish the right of youth in foster care to have access to computers and the internet.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Daimler joins Linux’s Open Invention Network patent-protection group [iophk: "quaint but does 0 against patent trolls"]

      The OIN patent license and member cross-licenses are available royalty-free to any party that joins the OIN community.

    • Copyrights

      • From the Flying Dutchman to Piratenpartij, Pirates in The Netherlands are making Waves

        The coupling of a proportional representation electoral system and the steadfast campaigning of the Dutch Pirate Party means that there is a very real chance of seeing a Pirate elected to the Dutch Parliament (Tweede Kamer) with a second Pirate being an outside possibility.

        David A Elston, Pirate Party Acting Leader has already stated his (and our) strong support for our friends just across the sea and Mark Chapman, Pirate Party Spokesperson has previously written positively on the work of PPNL.

      • Australia’s Prime Minister Supports Expanded Safe Harbor Protections Down Under

        And that rocky road to harmonizing Australian copyright law with the EU and America is being laid by the usual entertainment industry suspects, whose objections are familiar tropes. Music and entertainment groups are complaining that offering safe harbor protections to such unworthy entities as schools and libraries, along with websites like Google and Facebook, amounts to codifying piracy. That’s silly for all the reasons you should already know, but which can be best stated as it being quite dumb, and immoral, to saddle a third party with the guilt of a pirate just because it’s an easier and more lucrative target. Because that’s all this opposition amounts to: the desire to sue a school if a student infringes copyright. Or Google. Or a museum that provides internet access. This is what the entertainment industry wants to go to bat over.

      • Piracy? RIAA Labels Asked Us to Promote Their Music, Spinrilla Says

        In addition, the hip-hop mixtape service notes that the labels, that are now suing, repeatedly reached out to them for promotions. This even happened after the lawsuit was filed last month.

03.17.17

Links 17/3/2017: ‘Guetzli’ JPEG Encoder, Updates From Munich

Posted in News Roundup at 5:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Announcing Guetzli: A New Open Source JPEG Encoder

    At Google, we care about giving users the best possible online experience, both through our own services and products and by contributing new tools and industry standards for use by the online community. That’s why we’re excited to announce Guetzli, a new open source algorithm that creates high quality JPEG images with file sizes 35% smaller than currently available methods, enabling webmasters to create webpages that can load faster and use even less data.

  • Guetzli: Google Rolls Out A New JPEG Encoder

    Google has announced Guetzli, not a German cookie, but rather a new open-source algorithm for creating high-quality JPEGs that are 35% smaller than currently available methods.

  • Google releases open source ‘Guetzli’ JPEG encoder

    Google is one of the biggest champions of open source. Not only does the search giant use open source software in its products, but it contributes to the community too. There are many projects made open source by the company, which helps the greater good.

    Today, Google releases yet another open source project. Called “Guetzli,” it is a JPEG encoder that aims to produce even smaller image file sizes. In fact, the search giant claims a whopping 35 percent improvement over existing JPEG compression. If you are wondering why smaller file sizes are important, it is quite simple — the web. If websites can embed smaller images, users can experience faster load times while using less data.

  • How an open source Gitter could challenge Slack

    It sure sounds like a match made in dev heaven.

    Yesterday, GitLab — maker of an open source competitor to GitHub — announced it had acquired Gitter, a Slack-like chat service aimed mainly at software developers.

  • GitLab scoops up developer communication and collaboration platform Gitter
  • GitLab gets more social, buying open source developer community Gitter
  • Surprise: Only 12% of top websites are using header bidding
  • Rubicon Project Pushes for Industry-wide Adoption of Prebid.js Open Source Wrapper in Header Bidding
  • Open Source in the Enterprise: Challenges and Myths

    One of the most commonly cited challenges with open source in the enterprise is a lack of support, but Wright said that’s really more of a myth.

  • Events

    • Linux Plumbers Conference Call for Refereed Presentations

      We are pleased to announce the Call for Refereed Presentation
      Proposals for the 2017 edition of the Linux Plumbers Conference, which
      will be held in Los Angeles, CA, USA on 13-15 September in conjunction
      with The Linux Foundation Open Source Summit.

      Refereed Presentations are 45 minutes in length and should focus on a
      specific aspect of the “plumbing” in the Linux system. Examples of
      Linux plumbing include core kernel subsystems, core libraries,
      windowing systems, management tools, device support, media
      creation/playback, and so on. The best presentations are not about
      finished work, but rather problems, proposals, or proof-of-concept
      solutions that require face-to-face discussions and debate.

    • Bosch Connected Experience: Eclipse Hono and MsgFlo

      Since this is a hackathon, there is a competition on projects make in this event. To make the Hono-to-MsgFlo connectivity, and Flowhub visual programming capabilities more demoable, I ended up hacking together a quick example project — a Bosch XDK controlled air theremin.

    • Codes of Conduct

      These days, most large FLOSS communities have a “Code of Conduct”; a document that outlines the acceptable (and possibly not acceptable) behaviour that contributors to the community should or should not exhibit. By writing such a document, a community can arm itself more strongly in the fight against trolls, harassment, and other forms of antisocial behaviour that is rampant on the anonymous medium that the Internet still is.

      Writing a good code of conduct is no easy matter, however. I should know — I’ve been involved in such a process twice; once for Debian, and once for FOSDEM. While I was the primary author for the Debian code of conduct, the same is not true for the FOSDEM one; I was involved, and I did comment on a few early drafts, but the core of FOSDEM’s current code was written by another author. I had wanted to write a draft myself, but then this one arrived and I didn’t feel like I could improve it, so it remained.

    • Keynote: Building and Motivating Engineering Teams – Camille Fournier, Senior Thinker and Raconteur

      Maintaining respect is key to building a successful team, according to Camille Fournier, at the Open Source Leadership Summit in February.

    • Keynote: An Exploration of Citrix Delivery Networks by Danny Phillips
    • Growing Up Node by Trevor Livingston, HomeAway

      Trevor Livingston, principal architect at HomeAway, offers insight on how to introduce Node into companies at Node.js Interactive.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome Could Start Using Native Notifications on Linux

        Google Chrome could soon use native notifications on Linux desktops. A bug report asking for the browser to use a Linux desktop environment’s notification system was filed late last year but recently become active again. Google Chrome (and Chromium) currently use the Chrome Notification API to show alerts from websites, extensions and Chrome Apps on Windows, macOS and Linux.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Goes PulseAudio Only, Leaves ALSA Users With No Sound

        If you’re a Linux user who upgraded to Firefox 52 only to find that the browser no longer plays sound, you’re not alone.

        Firefox 52 saw release last week and it makes PulseAudio a hard dependency — meaning ALSA only desktops are no longer supported.

        Ubuntu uses PulseAudio by default (as most modern Linux distributions do) so the switch won’t affect most — but some Linux users and distros do prefer, for various reasons, to use ALSA, which is part of the Linux kernel.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.3 Office Suite Gets First Point Release with 100 Improvements

      Softpedia was informed today by The Document Foundation about the general availability of the first point release to the LibreOffice 5.3 open-source office suite for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows.

      LibreOffice 5.3.1 comes one and a half months after the release of LibreOffice 5.3, a major branch that introduced exciting new features for users of the popular office suite. These include the experimental MUFFIN user interface with a Microsoft Office-like Ribbon UI, as well as the first source release of LibreOffice Online.

      During these past six weeks, LibreOffice 5.3.1 received two Release Candidate (RC) development versions, which fix about 100 bugs and regressions that have been either discovered by the LibreOffice developers/contributors or reported by users from the previous version.

    • The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 5.3.1
  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • NetBSD 7.1 Is Out with Support for Raspberry Pi Zero, Better Linux Compatibility

      The development team behind the BSD-based NetBSD free operating system were proud to announce the official and general availability of the NetBSD 7.1 release.

      NetBSD 7.1 entered development only two months ago, when we reported the availability of the first Release Candidate (RC) build, which brought various improvements and bug fixes. It’s the first point release to the stable NetBSD 7 series and comes with a bunch of exciting new features.

    • DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER File-System Gets Important Write Performance Boost

      Matthew Dillon has discovered an important bug in the DragonFlyBSD kernel’s VFS cluster code affecting the HAMMER file-system write performance.

      Dillon explained in the commit that landed in DragonFly last week, “A bug in the cluster code was causing HAMMER to write out 64KB buffers in 32KB overlapping segments, resulting in data being written to the media twice.”

    • DragonFlyBSD On NVMe SSDs: Samsung Good, Intel 600p Not

      DragonFlyBSD lead developer Matthew Dillon has been testing out various NVMe M.2 SSDs under his BSD operating system to see how these latest-generation storage devices perform.

    • LLD Linker Declared Ready For Production On x86_64 ELF Platforms

      LLVM developer Rui Ueyama is encouraging the “dogfeeding” of their linker, LLD, that should now be ready for production use on some platforms/architectures with this week’s LLVM 4.0 release.

      Rui Ueyama believes that the LLD linker is ready for production with ELF platforms — namely as Linux and BSDs — on at least x86_64 but the AArch64 and MIPS architecture support should be in good shape too.

    • vBSDcon 2017 CFP Open

      Verisign is hosting its 3rd vBSDcon, scheduled for September 8 – 9, 2017, in Reston, VA. A Call For Presentations is currently open and submissions are being accepted at vBSDcon.com. CFP administration is being conducted through EasyChair, which require accounts to upload submissions for consideration. Our call is open through April 30, 2017. So get your submissions in soon!

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Guile 2.2.0 released

      We are pleased to announce GNU Guile 2.2.0, the first of a new stable release series. More than 6 years in the making, Guile 2.2 includes a new optimizing compiler and high-performance register virtual machine. Compared to the old 2.0 series, real-world programs often show a speedup of 30% or more with Guile 2.2.

      Besides bringing the compiler and virtual machine, Guile 2.2 removes limitations on you and your programs by lowering memory usage, speeding up the “eval” interpreter, providing better support for multi-core programming, and last but not least, removing any fixed stack size limit. With Guile 2.2, you can recurse to your heart’s content!

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Do GitHub’s updated terms of service conflict with copyleft?

      GitHub’s updated terms caused a great deal of concern, but while they are confusing, they do not appear to be incompatible with copyleft. The Free Software Foundation (FSF), though, still recommends using other code hosting sites.

      GitHub recently updated their terms of service (ToS). Users of the site are raising many concerns over the new terms, fearing that the ToS could be incompatible with the copyleft licenses on works uploaded to GitHub. In particular, section D of the new terms, which handles rights granted to GitHub and GitHub users, makes many hackers very uncomfortable.

      Section D.4 states, “You grant us and our legal successors the right to store and display your Content and make incidental copies as necessary to render the Website and provide the Service. ” At first glance that might appear to grant permissions on your work without the concomitant protective guarantees found in copyleft licenses like the GNU General Public License (GPL). Users who care about ensuring that their software never becomes proprietary would not want to give such unconditional permission. And those uploading works that incorporate third-party copylefted code may not even be able to grant such permissions.

      But licenses like the GNU GPL already give the necessary permissions to make, use, and modify local copies of a work. Are the new GitHub ToS asking for more than that? It’s not fully clear. While the grant language could fit within the scope of the GPL, other words used in the section like “share” or “distribute” could be understood to mean something that wouldn’t line up with the GPL’s terms.

    • How to Maintain Open Source Compliance After Code Changes

      The previous article in this series covered how to establish a baseline for open source software compliance by finding exactly which open source software is already in use and under which licenses it is available. But how do you make sure that future revisions of the same product (or other products built using the initial baseline) stay compliant once the baseline is established?

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • What is the point of learning C?

      Take a look at the TIOBE Programming Community Index — an indicator of the popularity of programming languages — and you’ll see that Google’s Go and, to a lesser extent, Dart and Perl are trending up. The venerable C, however, is a language whose popularity is plummeting, according to the index.

      In a world where there is huge demand for mobile and web applications coded in higher-level languages that are easy to learn and debug and difficult to make mistakes in — at least compared to C — one might assume there’s no reason to bother with a low-level language that’s going out of fashion.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Out of the gate, health and research apps face-plant

      Tracking the effectiveness of an asthma health app created using Apple’s ResearchKit, researchers reported problems with participant selection bias, extremely low participant retention, missing data, and data security.

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • These ‘Transparency’ Bills Would Gut the EPA

      “The result of each bill will be the same—worse science at EPA and less public health protections for American citizens,” says Eddie Bernice Johnson, ranking Democrat member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. “If these bills become law, the ultimate result will be more sick Americans and more dead Americans.”

    • Secretary of State Tillerson used e-mail alias as Exxon CEO

      Attorney General Schneiderman has subpoenaed Exxon for internal documents and communications that might show the thought process behind these decisions, and he is currently tussling with the company over the documents they’ve handed over—and the ones they may not have. In a letter to the judge on the case Monday, the Attorney General’s Office said it discovered that former Exxon chairman and CEO (and current Secretary of State) Rex Tillerson used an e-mail alias of “Wayne Tracker” to communicate with other Exxon executives. Now the office wants those e-mails, too.

  • Finance

    • Uber is using in-app podcasts to dissuade Seattle drivers from unionizing

      Uber spokesperson Nathan Hambley pushed back on a story from The Wall Street Journal over the weekend that suggested Uber drivers in Seattle were forced to choose whether or not to listen to the company-produced podcasts every day before they can begin picking up riders.

      The notification remains at the bottom of the driver screen regardless of whether it is ignored, or if the podcast is listened to or not.

    • When was (or will be) the Article 50(1) decision?

      Today the Bill giving the Prime Minister the legal power to make the Article 50 notification will be given royal assent. The Bill will become an Act.

      (Contrary to popular belief, including some news outlets, the Queen does not give the royal assent in person. No monarch has done this since 1854. The elaborate process employed instead is under this 1967 Act.)

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Facebook—in hate-crime clash with MPs—claims it’s “fixed” abuse review tool
    • Crushing Free Speech (Oh, Let’s Save Democracy That Way!)

      The actions above, and the quote above, were written by an author for Slate, in justification for the students of Middlebury College, and “activists” elsewhere, using acts like violence and shouting down speakers to stop speech they personally judged as hate and/or offensive or dangerous.

      The latest specific case involved some guy named Charles Murray. I have no idea who he is, but a lot of people say he is a racist so let’s go with that. But I don’t care.

      I simply cannot believe that it is the left, or progressives, or whatever name is best, that are attacking people’s speech. I’ve written extensively about what I call “Post-Constitution America,” an era that started on 9/11 where the rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights no longer applied. I never imagined it would play out this way.

    • RSF publishes report on censorship and surveillance of journalists on World Day Against Cyber-Censorship

      Reporters Without Borders (RSF for its acronym in French) recently published the report “Censorship and surveillance of journalists: an unscrupulous business,” in which it denounces several cases of digital surveillance of journalists by both democratic and authoritarian governments around the world.

    • PM Nawaz orders removal of blasphemous content from social media

      Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said that blasphemy is an unpardonable offence and directed the state machinery to find those responsible for putting blasphemous content on social media and bring them to justice without any delay.

      The National Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning the blasphemous content appearing on social media and unanimously agreed to the formation of a committee of parliamentary leaders to monitor such content.

    • Google tells army of ‘quality raters’ to flag Holocaust denial

      Google is using a 10,000-strong army of independent contractors to flag “offensive or upsetting” content, in order to ensure that queries like “did the Holocaust happen” don’t push users to misinformation, propaganda and hate speech.

      The review of search terms is being done by the company’s “quality raters”, a little-known corps of worldwide contractors that Google uses to assess the quality of its systems. The raters are given searches based on real queries to conduct, and are asked to score the results on whether they meet the needs of users.

    • Mormon Church Tries To Censor MormonLeaks Using Copyright, Streisand Effect Takes Over

      The Mormon Church has been somewhat flip-floppy when it comes to criticism against it. On the one hand, the notoriously tight-knit Church has been admirably tolerant of many attempts to parody it, including public commentary and a certain Broadway show of world renown. On the other hand, it seems the Church tends to draw a line in the sand when it comes to disseminating official church documents, even when this is done by journalists and organizations dedicated to commentary and news. In the past, the Mormon Church has attempted to utilize copyright law to have those documents removed from such sites as Wikimedia and Wikileaks, which of course resulted in the wider viewership of those same documents as news of the threats wove through the media. The Streisand Effect, it seems, offers no quarter of religious institutions.

    • Actor James Woods Now On The Receiving End Of Questionable Twitter Defamation Claim

      Remember James Woods? The Hollywood actor sued a Twitter troll for $10 million, claiming defamation, because that troll had sarcastically referred to Woods as a “cocaine addict.”

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Once Again, Senator Wyden Wants To Know How Many Americans Are Being Surveilled By The NSA

      Many people seem to forget that before Ed Snowden came along, Senator Ron Wyden was beating the drum in Congress about how the NSA was abusing Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act to spy on Americans. Here’s a story we did back in 2011 concerning Wyden raising concerns about the failure of the Director of National Intelligence to say how Section 702 was being used on Americans. Even earlier in 2011, we wrote about then Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, refusing to answer this question, saying that “it is not reasonably possible to identify the number of people located in the United States whose communications may have been reviewed.”

    • Rep. Devin Nunes’ Hypocrisy On Display In ‘Concerns’ Over NSA Surveillance

      We’ve talked about the astounding hypocrisy of Rep. Devin Nunes a few times in the past. He heads the House Intelligence Committee, which is supposed to be conducting “oversight” of the intelligence community, but has generally been a cheerleader for mass surveillance in recent years. Nunes, in fact, has regularly slammed any attempt to cut back on surveillance, to the point of actively misleading the public in making false claims about how NSA surveillance programs work. The hypocrisy became clear when Nunes flipped out following the firing/resignation of Mike Flynn as National Security Advisor, arguing that it was somehow unprecedented that an American’s phone calls with Russian officials were recorded by the intelligence community. Of course, that suggests either near total ignorance of the programs he’s supposedly in charge of overseeing, or just blatant political pandering.

      And now it’s getting worse. Reporter Katie Bo Williams got her hands on an interesting letter that Nunes, along with ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, just sent to the heads of the CIA, NSA and FBI, continuing to dig in on the whole “recorded Mike Flynn” thing. The target now is Executive Order 12333, which we’ve spoken about quite a lot. That’s the executive order signed by President Reagan, that more or less gives the intelligence community total free rein in conducting surveillance overseas. As an ex-State Department official revealed back in 2014, the vast majority of NSA surveillance actually is done under 12333, and it just uses other programs — like Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act and Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act — to fill in the gaps of what they can’t get via 12333. Executive Order 12333, for example, was used to hack into Yahoo and Google’s servers overseas, allowing the NSA to scoop up lots of info without any oversight by US courts.

    • No, Evil Hackers Aren’t After You

      I know a lot of people who worry about the CIA, NSA, DIA, and other agencies illegally spying on them. In fact, somebody I thought knew better just told me that he’s worried about Gang Stalking. Umm… okay. We’re talking about somebody who is a pretty good tile layer and all-around construction guy, but there is no conceivable reason an intelligence agency would be interested in him.

      My gang-stalked friend has been lonely lately, and he was short of work for a while so he doesn’t have much money right now. He’s almost a poster boy for low self-esteem. What if he really is being gang-stalked, whether by a government or a (dare I say it) gang? That would mean someone was taking an interest in him. And that would make him feel a lot better about himself. He might even believe he’s important.

    • There were more device searches at US border last month than all of 2015

      According to new figures released by Customs and Border Patrol, the number of electronic devices searched at the border has jumped by five times between 2015 and 2016.

    • Court Says FBI Doesn’t Have To Hand Over Its Rules For Surveilling Domestic Journalists

      A couple of years ago, the Freedom of the Press Foundation sued the DOJ over its refusal to release its secret rules governing spying on the nation’s journalists. This was prompted by revelations the FBI had used National Security Letters to obtain information on AP and Fox News journalists. The DOJ then issued new rules on the do’s and don’ts of surveilling journalists, but once again (a) redacted them into uselessness and (b) granted the FBI an NSL exception, undercutting the entire point of the recrafted rules.

      The OIG report — in which the Inspector General disputed the DOJ’s extensive redactions — still has yet to be released in a less-redacted form. Sadly, it now appears it will never be any less redacted than the unintelligible mess the DOJ handed over a few years ago. A federal judge has sided with the government, finding its investigative techniques and methods are too sensitive to be handed over to the public, much less journalists it may or may not have surveilled using NSLs.

    • City Of Tacoma To Pay $50,000 To Privacy Activist For Over-Redacting FBI’s Stingray Non-Disclosure Agreement

      In the fall of 2015, privacy activist Phil Mocek and the Center for Open Policing sued the city of Tacoma for its response to a request for Stingray documents. The documents Mocek obtained were heavily-redacted, despite there being several mostly-unredacted versions of the FBI’s Stingray non-disclosure agreement already in public circulation.

      (This would be the standard NDA the FBI appends to every Stingray purchase by local law enforcement agencies — one that says all public records requests should be forwarded to the feds and encourages locals to toss cases rather than expose Stingray use. It’s also the same contract the FBI was shocked to hear agencies were complying with after signing on the dotted line to take ownership of their new cell tower spoofers.)

      The lawsuit was filed under the state’s open records law, with Mocek challenging the Tacoma PD’s use of the “investigative records” exemption to withhold significant amounts of a mostly bog-standard nondisclosure agreement. As was noted back then, the continued withholding of this information could become costly (for taxpayers): the state’s public records law allows for fines of $500/day for violations.

    • Snowden won’t be invited to Germany after all

      In November the BGH ruled that Snowden should be invited to Berlin and that the government make preparations to ensure his safety, raising the intriguing possibility that Berlin would have to provide protection to one of the most wanted men in the US. But then the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats appealed the decision.

      But in the new ruling the court stated that the two parties would have needed the support of a quarter of MPs in the Bundestag (German parliament) to challenge the decision by the committee not to invite Snowden.

    • Great: Now your sex toys are used to spy on you and sell your private habits, too

      The makers of an Internet-connected sex toy have settled to pay a small amount to some 300,000 owners of a vibrator which was used to spy on their sex habits, which the manufacturer collected as individually identifiable data. Additionally, the bluetooth-controlled sex toy device was utterly insecure, allowing remote anonymous administration. In the mess of IoT devices spying on us, we now need to add the bedroom.

      [...]

      Maybe the most egregious thing about this story is that the vibrator maker continues to collect the private data, just with an obscure-and-opt-out privacy policy saying so.

    • WhatsApp flaw allowed hackers to hijack accounts using malware-laced images

      This gives, if exploited, hackers could potentially gain access to a user’ messages, shared files, contacts list and more.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Open letter to EU policy makers on community networks – joint press release
    • Google Fiber’s About-Face Provides Useful Lessons For A Broken Broadband Industry

      Last fall, Alphabet/Google announced that the company would be notably scaling back its Google Fiber ambitions. The company axed its CEO, laid off a small number of employees, and froze a number of anticipated fiber builds (in Portland and a few other locations). Numerous reports indicated that there were growing concerns among many executives about the high costs and slow pace of deploying fiber, so the company was considering an overall pivot to next-generation gigabit wireless while it continued building out most already-announced markets.

      While it’s hard to call this pivot a failure until we see a real wireless product, ISPs like AT&T were of course quick to suggest Google Fiber was little more than folly (ignoring that AT&T’s anti-competitive behavior played a starring role in Google Fiber’s struggles in many cities). This has contributed to an overall air of “we told you so” smugness emanating from numerous quadrants of the telecom status quo.

      That take, however, is short-sighted. One, the launch of Google Fiber put an unrelenting spotlight on the lack of broadband competition in countless markets, driving many large ISPs (like AT&T) to deploy gigabit broadband service that had previously been unheard of. Google Fiber also managed to shine a bright spotlight on the way many large ISPs use our broken legislative and regulatory systems to keep things broken, whether that’s by using utility pole beaurocracy to slow competitors’ installs, or writing awful state protectionist law hamstringing what your local town and city can do about it.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Brazilian Legend Celso Amorim Recounts Negotiation For TRIPS Flexibilities

      Minister Celso Amorim of Brazil has had a significant impact on the state of global negotiations in his professional lifetime, including on global intellectual property rights.

      As his new book, Acting Globally: Memoirs of Brazil’s Assertive Foreign Policy, sets out, in the first decade of the 2000s Brazil played an assertive role in foreign policy in areas such as the Iran nuclear issue, relations in the Middle East, and the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations at the World Trade Organization.

      Amorim (see bio here) was at the centre of that, and reaching back to the early 1990s, took the lead role in negotiating the 1994 WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

    • Copyrights

      • Ed Sheeran Vs. The CopyBots: Artist Goes To Bat For Musician That Covered His Song On Facebook

        In our recent conversation about Ed Sheeran’s rise to fame, we chiefly focused on his claim that music piracy helped him be discovered by the public and his generally lax views on filesharing of his music. While that modern view on how music is consumed is refreshing, we focused less on another chief part of the equation: Ed Sheeran is really good to his fans. Between engaging with them directly via social media, having a generally congenial attitude towards them, and producing music his fans love, he’s built up quite a connection with his listeners.

      • Bill Gates And Other Major Investors Put $52.6 Million Into Site Sharing Unauthorized Copies Of Academic Papers

        As that notes, authors are typically only allowed to post certain versions of their papers — usually early ones. But most researchers don’t bother with that detail, and simply upload the final version to ResearchGate, which is probably why the recent analysis mentioned by the Tea and Velociraptors blog found so many unauthorized copies. Along with laziness, or ignorance of the niceties here, another factor driving this phenomenon may be that academics are aware that much of their work has been paid for by the public, and therefore feel the definitive results should be disseminated as widely as possible.

        Still, the contrast between ResearchGate, which has received major investments from some rather big names, and Sci-Hub, which is currently being pursued in the courts by Elsevier, is stark, given that their respective holdings turn out to be so similar. It’s another indication that the academic publishing system is broken, and that copyright is an irrelevance as far as millions of researchers are concerned.

      • MPAA and RIAA Present Plan to Recover Megaupload’s Failing Hard Drives

        [...] as time has dragged on, the condition of the hard drives has significantly deteriorated. Last year, Cogent first warned that sixteen of them have actually become unreadable.

      • BREIN Takes Usenet Provider to Supreme Court Over “Piracy Liability”

        And so, after eight years, the case is still not over yet. Whatever the outcome at the Supreme Court will be NSE will remain out of business. The company previously stated that it’s not relaunching its Usenet service.

      • Court Orders ISP to Hand Identities Behind 5,300 IP Addresses to Copyright Trolls

        An initiative, fronted by Danish law firm Njord and backed by known international copyright trolls Guardaley, made headlines when it began targeting the customers of several ISPs, including Telia, Tele2 and Bredbandsbolaget, the provider that was previously ordered to block The Pirate Bay.

03.15.17

Links 15/3/2017: Desktop GNU/Linux Praises, X.Org Server 1.19.3 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 7:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Life of free software project

    During last week I’ve noticed several interesting posts about challenges being free software maintainer. After being active in open source for 16 years I can share much of the feelings I’ve read and I can also share my dealings with the things.

    [...]

    Obviously if you can not cope with the work, let’s find more people to do the work. Unfortunately it’s not that easy. Sometimes people come by, contribute few patches, but it’s not that easy to turn them into regular contributor. You should encourage them to stay and to care about the part of the project they have touched.

    You can try to attract completely new contributors through programs as Google Summer of Code (GSoC) or Outreachy, but that has it’s own challenges as well.

    With phpMyAdmin we’re participating regularly in GSoC (we’ve only missed last year as we were not chosen by Google that year) and it indeed helps to bring new people on the board. Many of them even stay around your project (currently 3 of 5 phpMyAdmin team members are former GSoC students). But I think this approach really works only for bigger organizations.

  • Nine Funny Quotes about Free and Open Source Software

    Open source programmers are celebrated for the software they create. But they don’t often get the credit they deserve for one trait: Being funny. With that in mind, here’s a list of some of the more entertaining statements made by members of the free and open source software community.

  • 6 Operational Challenges to Using Open Source Software

    In today’s rapidly evolving markets, companies that consistently innovate, most quickly and at the least cost, will win. And, as you’ve seen in our ongoing series, using Open Source Software (OSS) enables rapid, low-cost innovation. But it can also introduce operational challenges and legal risks.

    We’re at a point now that OSS has become such a mainstream phenomenon that not using open source almost certainly places your organization at a disadvantage. So you must learn how to navigate the challenges and risks in order to remain competitive.

  • GitLab acquires software chat startup Gitter, will open-source the code

    GitLab, a startup that provides open source and premium source code repository software that people use to collaborate on software, is announcing today that it has acquired Gitter, a startup that provides chat rooms that are attached to repositories of code so that collaborators can exchange messages. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

    Gitter has popped up more and more on GitHub, which is arguably GitLab’s biggest competitor. But Gitter chat rooms are also sprinkled throughout GitLab. For example, a repository for a command-line interface (CLI) for talking on Gitter itself has a Gitter chat room.

  • GitLab Acquired The Chat App Gitter And Plans To Open Source It

    Today GitLab announced that it has acquired the chat app Gitter that many communities use for communication. Also, many Laravel sub-communities use it as well, and you can find these through the Gitter Laravel Tag

  • Events

    • Solving Monitoring in the Cloud With Prometheus

      Hundreds of companies are now using the open source Prometheus monitoring solution in production, across industries ranging from telecommunications and cloud providers to video streaming and databases.

    • An Exploration of Citrix Delivery Networks

      While many of us may be more familiar with the virtualization and remote access products from Citrix, Danny Phillips was talking about their products in the networking space during his keynote presentation at LinuxCon Europe.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Five issues that will determine the future of Internet Health [Ed: It would be awesome if not rather bitter-sweet and ironic now that Mozilla helps make the WWW less 'sanitary' with DRM]

        In January, we published our first Internet Health Report on the current state and future of the Internet. In the report, we broke down the concept of Internet health into five issues. Today, we are publishing issue briefs about each of them: online privacy and security, decentralization, openness, web literacy and digital inclusion. These issues are the building blocks to a healthy and vibrant Internet. We hope they will be a guide and resource to you.

        We live in a complex, fast moving, political environment. As policies and laws around the world change, we all need to help protect our shared global resource, the Internet. Internet health shouldn’t be a partisan issue, but rather, a cause we can all get behind. And our choices and actions will affect the future health of the Internet, for better or for worse.

  • Databases

    • [PostgreSQL] Parallel Query v2

      A recent Twitter poll asked What is your favorite upcoming feature of PostgreSQL V10? In this admittedly unscientific survey, “better parallelism” (37%) beat out “logical replication” (32%) and “native partitioning” (31%). I think it’s fruitless to argue about which of those features is actually most important; the real point is that all of those are amazing features, and PostgreSQL 10 is on track to be an amazing release. There are a number of already-committed or likely-to-be-committed features which in any other release would qualify as headline features, but in this release they’ll have to fight it out with the ones mentioned above.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Programming/Development

    • Happy IDEs of March: Which code editor do you prefer?

      Welcome to the Ides of March, or as we’d like to call it, the IDEs of March. To celebrate, we’re asking our readers to let us know which code editing tool they prefer, whether a full-fledged integrated development environment or a simple text editor. Fortunately, there are tons of open source options out there for you to choose from. Which one is your favorite?

    • There’s More to Life Than Code: How to Keep Your Team Engaged

      She found that her engineers actually were most productive when they not only felt like they were part of an engineering team, but when they felt like they were a part of the entire company. When Rent The Runway created cross-functional teams — with people from all departments working together to solve single problems — her engineers were at their happiest and most productive.

    • Teaching Children to Code

      Two experiences in my life have shaped the way I try to talk about technology. One was over ten years ago when I taught a room full of retirees, long-term unemployed, and recent immigrants basic computer skills. I realized that I could throw many of the subjects I had studied out of the window and that the best way to teach people was to give them a reason to learn. Fast forward to last year (and a subject I wrote previously on SitePoint) when I taught programming to a group of recent Syrian refugees. Again, I had to throw away much of my own learning and preconceptions and think afresh.

Leftovers

  • Best social media analytics tools 2017: Eight of the best tools for social media analytics
  • Is This The Future Of Online Publishing? Leading Chinese Social Networks Add Paid-For Content

    One of the topics that generates strong feelings in the online world is adblocking. Many users love it, but many publishers hate it. That’s a big problem, because advertising has turned into the main way of funding what appears on the Internet. As adblockers become more common, so the advertising revenue available to pay for creating articles, images, sound and video diminishes. Some want to ban adblockers, but that’s hardly a solution: forcing visitors to your site to view ads they hate is not a good way to foster a long-term business relationship. Improving ads seems a better approach, but that’s easier said than done, and may come too late now that so many people have installed adblockers.

  • Security

    • Red Hat Product Security Risk Report 2016

      At Red Hat, our dedicated Product Security team analyzes threats and vulnerabilities against all our products and provides relevant advice and updates through the Red Hat Customer Portal. Customers can rely on this expertise to help them quickly address the issues that can cause high risks and avoid wasting time or effort on those that don’t.

    • Google Eliminates Android Adfraud Botnet Chamois

      Google removed a handful of malicious apps from its Play marketplace recently that were found manipulating ad traffic, sending premium text messages, and downloading additional plugins.

    • Google deploys flamethrower on Android ad-fraud apps
    • New Linux Malware attacks AVTech IOT devices [Ed: When a Microsoft propaganda site writes about security it's not about Windows back doors but a 'Linux' thing (password)]

      A new malware that targets Linux-based Internet of Things (IoT) devices has been detected by Search-Lab, a Security research and development firm. This Linux ARM malware called as ELF_IMEIJ.A exploits a vulnerability in devices from AVTech, a surveillance technology company.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • This troubled, covert agency is responsible for trucking nuclear bombs across America each day

      The unmarked 18-wheelers ply the nation’s interstates and two-lane highways, logging 3 million miles a year hauling the most lethal cargo there is: nuclear bombs.

      The covert fleet, which shuttles warheads from missile silos, bomber bases and submarine docks to nuclear weapons labs across the country, is operated by the Office of Secure Transportation, a troubled agency within the U.S. Department of Energy so cloaked in secrecy that few people outside the government know it exists.

      The $237-million-a-year agency operates a fleet of 42 tractor-trailers, staffed by highly armed couriers, many of them veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, responsible for making sure nuclear weapons and components pass through foggy mountain passes and urban traffic jams without incident.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Recognizing the Year’s Worst in Government Transparency

      A thick fog is rolling in over Sunshine Week (March 12-18), the annual event when government transparency advocates raise awareness about the importance of access to public records. We are entering an age when officials at the highest levels seek to discredit critical reporting with “alternative facts,” “fake news” slurs, and selective access to press conferences—while making their own claims without providing much in the way to substantiate them.

      But no matter how much the pundits claim we’re entering a “post-truth” era, it is crucial we defend the idea of proof. Proof is in the bureaucratic paper trails. Proof is in the accounting ledgers, the legal memos, the audits, and the police reports. Proof is in the data. When it comes to government actions, that proof is often obtained by leveraging laws like the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state-level public records laws—except when government officials seek to ignore the rules to suppress evidence.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Scientists Are Racing to Prevent a Total Wipeout of the World’s Coral Reefs

      The world has lost roughly half its coral reefs in the last 30 years. Scientists are now scrambling to ensure that at least a fraction of these unique ecosystems survives beyond the next three decades. The health of the planet depends on it: Coral reefs support a quarter of all marine species, as well as half a billion people around the world.

      “This isn’t something that’s going to happen 100 years from now. We’re losing them right now,”

    • Scientists to EPA head: You don’t know what you’re talking about

      In sum, the letters argue that Pruitt’s statement was wrong on multiple levels. We can measure the impact of humanity on the climate, and there’s not much reasonable scientific controversy over that or the results, which clearly show humanity’s impact. Continuing the analysis is obviously critical, but there’s not much point in continuing debates that, by any reasonable standard of evidence, should have ended years ago.

  • Finance

    • Theresa May is dragging the UK under. This time Scotland must cut the rope

      Here is the question the people of Scotland will face in the next independence referendum: when England falls out of the boat like a block of concrete, do you want your foot tied to it?

      It would be foolish to deny that there are risks in leaving the United Kingdom. Scotland’s economy is weak, not least because it has failed to wean itself off North Sea oil. There are major questions, not yet resolved, about the currency it would use; its trading relationship with the rump of the UK; and its association with the European Union, which it’s likely to try to rejoin.

    • Donald Trump tax: Leaked 2005 document reveals $38m bill

      US President Donald Trump paid $38m (£31m) in tax on more than $150m (£123m) income in 2005, a leaked partial tax return shows.

    • Brexit and the new British Constitution

      The set out of a text book on the ‘British Constitution’ used to be straightforward.

      (And yes, the British do have a constitution, it just is not codified. There is a descriptive answer to the question: how is Britain constituted?)

      After the various chapters on the executive, legislature, judiciary, local government, nationalised industries, the police, and so on, there would perhaps be a short chapter on Scotland and Northern Ireland.

      Wales would have an index entry which said ‘for Wales, see Scotland and Northern Ireland‘.

    • The Disappearing Prime Minister

      I was delighted by Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement today, both the content and the manner of her making it.

      I am unsure why she put the window for the referendum as far back as autumn 2018 to spring 2019. Autumn 2018 is fine but spring 2019 is late – Nicola Sturgeon spoke of Scotland needing to declare its choice for independence before the UK actually leaves the EU or very shortly thereafter. But very shortly thereafter is too late. In diplomatic terms, a miss is a good as a mile here and in diplomatic terms at the EU, negotiating to get back in will be much harder than negotiating to remain a part of the EU.

    • Brexit and the UK Parliament

      Nothing illustrates the atrophy of Parliament more persuasively than the fact that the debates regarding the scope of parliamentary sovereignty in Miller began in the courts and affirmed a sovereignty that Parliament was unwilling or unable to claim for itself via Parliamentary process. If Parliament cannot reform itself internally as Stein Ringen calls for in openDemocracy there is a need for an extra-parliamentary movement for a codified constitution which would include the reform of the House of Lords, entrenchment of social and economic rights, a more proportional system of election and a transparent process for any citizen to raise their constitutional concerns via petitioning a constitutional court.

    • Donald Trump set to completely scrap US consumer protection agency, says man expected to lead it

      Mr Neugebauer said his meeting with Mr Trump included discussions about deregulating financial markets and gutting the CFPB.

    • Uber: the illusion of growth

      It’s no secret that Uber is haemorrhaging money.

      [...]

      Instead of Uber’s pockets being lined by the hard toil of its drivers, the company is eating through investment from venture capitalists to keep its low-fare strategy going.

    • NYT Sees Fed on Collision Course With Trump–for Doing What Trump Said to Do

      By failing to remind readers of Trump’s stance on interest rates during the campaign, the Times is doing the president two big favors. One is the pretense that his economic proposals are coherent, which they are not. The other is that they allow him to point to the Fed as a scapegoat when his promises of spectacular economic growth fail to materialize: It will be Janet Yellen’s fault, for raising interest rates like he told her to.

    • Danish shipping company uses blockchain in IBM partnership

      Maersk and IBM test out the application of blockchain technology to track and manage the paper trail of shipping containers around the world

      IBM and Danish shipping giant Maersk are using blockchain technology to digitise transactions in the global shipping industry.

    • Donald Trump Isn’t Even Pretending to Oppose Goldman Sachs Anymore

      The continuity of Wall Street’s dominant role in American politics — regardless of what party sits in power or how reviled the financial industry finds itself across the country — was perhaps never more evident than when Jake Siewert, now a Goldman Sachs spokesperson, on Tuesday praised the selection of Jim Donovan, a Goldman Sachs managing director, for the No. 2 position in the Treasury Department under Steve Mnuchin, himself a former Goldman Sachs partner.

      “Jim is smart, extraordinarily versatile, and as hard-working as they come,” Siewert gushed. “He’ll be an invaluable addition to the economic team.”

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Germany threatens £44m fines for social media firms that fail to remove offensive content

      The newly-announced measures will also require that the likes of Facebook, Google and Twitter delete offending material within a week, illegal material (such as posts containing racist material) within 24 hours, and run 24-hour helplines to help concerned users.

    • Germany threatens to fine social media companies €50m for hate speech and fake news

      If the measures pass into law it will require social media companies to employ staff that monitor content around the clock. Individual members of staff responsible for handling complaints could also be fined up to €5 million for failing to comply with the regulations.

    • NY Legislators Looking At Installing A Free Speech-Stomping ‘Right To Be Forgotten’

      There’s nothing like being negatively compared to Arizona (remember the short-lived “First Amendment-protected activity is against the law” bill?) to take the gloss off the latest legislative ridiculousness. A new bill in the state legislature would make New York an outlier in constitutional protections (or no, it wouldn’t, because it wouldn’t survive a constitutional challenge, but for the sake of argument…). For no conceivable reason, the bill seeks to implement a New York-located “right to be forgotten.” How that’s supposed to work out when it’s not the law in the other 49 states remains unexplained.

    • Mob Censorship on Campus

      In today’s political climate, there are sharp divisions of opinion over a range of issues, from health care and climate change to education and labor law. Ideally, a civil debate undertaken with mutual respect could ease tension and advance knowledge. Politics, however, often takes a very different turn.

      One of the landmark decisions of the United States Supreme Court, New York Times v. Sullivan, was decided in 1964 at the height of civil rights movement. Writing for the majority, Justice William Brennan insisted that the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech rested on “a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.” He then concluded that the First Amendment offered extensive protection to the media from defamation suits brought by private individuals—a principle that was later extended to apply to public figures as well. Defamation suits in his view could chill public debate.

    • PIO censorship in the era of Trump

      President Trump has already labeled major press outlets the “fake news media” and the “enemy of the people.” His administration has blocked major news outlets from a briefing because it didn’t like what they published.

      With that in mind, the public should understand “censorship by PIO” at the federal level: For years, in many federal agencies, staff members have been prohibited from communicating with any journalist without notifying the authorities, usually the public information officers. And they often are unable to talk without PIO guards actively monitoring them.

    • Letter: When censorship is effective

      Spicer is not a minister of propaganda; he is employed as a spokesman for our delusional president and must try to twist Trump’s wild statements into more reasonable language. His performance is painful to watch. The worst I can say about him is that he lacks personal honor.

    • Japan Foundation slammed for allowing ‘censorship’ at art exhibition (VIDEO)
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • DOJ Argues For iPhone Hack Secrecy By Contradicting Statements Made By The DOJ

      Someone’s assertions are wrong. Either the DOJ was lying when it said it would only work on certain iPhones, or it’s lying now to protect its secrecy by implying the purchased exploit is usable on other iPhones.

      The DOJ clarified last spring the exploit affected any iPhone 5c and wasn’t limited to those running iOS9. But even if that clarification is applied to its arguments in this lawsuit, this paragraph stills points to someone at the DOJ being dishonest. The counterargument that people wishing to prevent the FBI from accessing their phone’s contents could just switch to a newer iPhone still applies. And that’s the part the DOJ is calling “unvarnished speculation.”

    • NSA hacking chief’s mission impossible: Advising White House on cybersecurity

      NSA hacking crew bossman Rob Joyce is set to join US President Donald Trump’s National Security Council as a cybersecurity adviser.

      Joyce headed up the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations division, the spy agency’s elite computer exploitation squad.

    • Proposed NSA Headquarters Expansion Under Review

      The National Security Agency is proposing to expand and modernize its headquarters site at Fort Meade, Maryland.

      “For NSA/CSS to continue leading the Intelligence Community into the next 50 years with state-of-the-art technologies and productivity, its mission elements require new, centralized facilities and infrastructure,” according to a newly released Final Environmental Impact Statement for the site.

    • What is Privacy? Why is it even important for us? [Ed: What a garbled and messed up explanation of privacy]

      Privacy is not something that me or you going to read in some social media or any type of website’s Privacy Policies and then, Yah, I understood all, they are not taking any single coin from my pocket! Done! It’s more sensible and much deeper thinkable point than we can even imagine. One should understand what is privacy and even if we completely read out the Policies and Terms, doesn’t mean we are not likely to be at any risk.We should understand what we are sharing and how they can be used.

    • D.C. Circuit Court Issues Dangerous Decision for Cybersecurity: Ethiopia is Free to Spy on Americans in Their Own Homes

      The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today held that foreign governments are free to spy on, injure, or even kill Americans in their own homes–so long as they do so by remote control. The decision comes in a case called Kidane v. Ethiopia, which we filed in February 2014.

      Our client, who goes by the pseudonym Mr. Kidane, is a U.S. citizen who was born in Ethiopia and has lived here for over 30 years. In 2012 through 2013, his family home computer was attacked by malware that captured and then sent his every keystroke and Skype call to a server controlled by the Ethiopian government, likely in response to his political activity in favor of democratic reforms in Ethiopia. In a stunningly dangerous decision today, the D.C. Circuit ruled that Mr. Kidane had no legal remedy against Ethiopia for this attack, despite the fact that he was wiretapped at home in Maryland. The court held that, because the Ethiopian government hatched its plan in Ethiopia and its agents launched the attack that occurred in Maryland from outside the U.S., a law called the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) prevented U.S. courts from even hearing the case.

      The decision is extremely dangerous for cybersecurity. Under it, you have no recourse under law if a foreign government that hacks into your car and drives it off the road, targets you for a drone strike, or even sends a virus to your pacemaker, as long as the government planned the attack on foreign soil. It flies in the face of the idea that Americans should always be safe in their homes, and that safety should continue even if they speak out against foreign government activity abroad.

    • Maker of connected vibrator agrees to destroy sensitive user data

      A sex toy company has settled a class-action lawsuit filed by women who alleged that its connected vibrators collected “highly sensitive” personal information without their consent.
      [...]
      and did not admit to any wrongdoing.

    • Sex toy maker forced to pay out millions over intimate data invasion

      A class action was born, and that class action has just delivered some financial compensation.

      The lawsuit was filed in the North District of Illinois Eastern Division District Court, and the settlement is online. The courts decided that Standard Innovation should pay out $4 million Canadian dollars and should now only collect non-identifiable information.

    • These are the 17 House Representatives that introduced a bill to let telecoms sell your personal internet history

      Most Americans don’t know that telecoms and internet service providers store the internet history of their users; even more don’t know that recently introduced legislation aims to do away with privacy protections on this high value data.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Why is Erdoğan picking a fight with the EU over the Turkish referendum?
    • A man’s personal experience with corporate heartlessness
    • Are MPs now delegates rather than representatives?

      This valve is a feature of the UK’s “parliamentary democracy”.

      And, in turn, “parliamentary democracy” is a principle of the (uncodified) British constitution.

      Against this principle is now this relentless and alien doctrine of the referendum mandate.

      The 2016 referendum on EU membership was not legally binding: MPs could have legislated for this but chose not to do so. MPs instead chose for the Brexit referendum to have advisory power.

      But it is now being treated by many MPs as having total power: things are being done in the name of the “mandate”.

    • Brexit Diary – one hurdle surmounted, but another gets more awkward

      But as that obstacle to Brexit falls away, another very much came into view yesterday – not an obstacle as such to Brexit but to a ‘hard Brexit’. This, of course, was because of the the speech of the Scottish First Minister.

      This can be read here. The First Minister announced that there will be an independence referendum when the Brexit proposals become clear.

      The (intended) effect of this speech is to place UK government policy on a wire. If the outcome of Brexit is too ‘hard’ then there will be an independence referendum for Scotland which may support independence.

    • On Brexit, the SNP and Sinn Féin have been waiting and preparing the whole time

      But yesterday, the Scottish First Minister made her move.

      Now we wait for Sinn Féin’s move.

      The SNP and Sinn Féin have been watching and waiting and preparing the whole time.

      The SNP and Sinn Féin have thought hard about how to exploit this political opportunity. Only a fool would underestimate either entity.

      So soon the proper politics of Brexit will begin, with the UK government facing skilled and determined politicians taking full advantage of the power and leverage presented by the government’s policy of a ‘clean’ (ie, hard) Brexit.

      And this is all in addition to the politics of UK’s negotiations with EU27.

      The political Phoney War is coming to an end.

    • Research Shows ATF’s Bogus Stash House Stings Target Poor Minorities, Do Almost Nothing To Slow Flow Of Drugs And Guns

      The ATF’s sting operations have already drawn plenty of criticism. Not from law enforcement agencies who partner up with the ATF for easy busts or the DOJ which oversees them, but from almost everyone else, including federal judges. These stings result in government-made criminals who are led by undercover agents towards robbing fake stash houses of nonexistent drugs, cash, and weapons. The fun thing about the nonexistent drugs is it can be whatever amount ATF agents say it is. And that amount of drugs — that exists nowhere but in the imagination of federal agents — is used to determine lengths of sentences.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • New York City Sues Verizon For Fiber Optic Bait And Switch

      For years now, we’ve highlighted Verizon’s tendency to grab all manner of tax breaks and subsidies from a town or city — in exchange for fiber optic upgrades that are often never delivered. All up and down the eastern seaboard, Verizon was given the keys to the kingdom in franchise and other agreements filled with loopholes that let the telco, time and time again, promise one thing, then deliver another. And because the company enjoys immense lobbying power over regional regulators and state legislatures, Verizon has never really been held accountable for this behavior.

      New York City has been a particular point of contention. In 2008, former mayor Mike Bloomberg and Verizon signed (behind closed doors) a new franchise agreement promising “100% coverage” of FiOS across the city by 2014. As some local reporters had warned at the time (and were promptly ignored), the city’s deal with Verizon contained all manner of loopholes allowing Verizon to wiggle over, under and around its obligations. And wiggle Verizon did; a 2015 city report found huge gaps in deployment coverage — particularly in many of the less affluent, outer city boroughs.

    • USAToday Latest News Outlet To Completely Miss The Point Of Cord Cutting

      So we’ve noted a few times now how every month or so there’s a media report proclaiming that you can’t save any money via cord cutting. The logic in these reports almost always goes something like this: “Once I got done signing up for every damn streaming video service under the sun, I found that I wasn’t really saving much money over traditional cable.”

      Authors leaning on this lazy take almost always tend to forget a few things. One, the same people dictating cable TV rates dictate streaming video rates. Two, adding a dozen streaming services to exactly match your bloated, 300 channel cable subscription misses the entire point of cord cutting. The benefit of streaming is you can pick and choose the content you prefer. And yes, if you prefer a massive bundle of religious programming, horrible reality television, and infomercials, then yes — you may want to stick to paying an arm and a leg for cable.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Canadian Federal Court awards Nintendo C$12.8m in TPM first

        The Canadian Federal Court has shown it isn’t playing when it comes to copyright infringement in game industry, in the first ruling to consider technological protection measures introduced in 2012

      • Prenda May Be Dead, But Copyright Trolling Still Going Strong

        Copyright — with the help of insane $150,000 statutory damages — is still being used as a shakedown weapon, scaring people into paying up, not because of actual infringement, but because copyright trolls have learned how to use the law and the court system as a business model very similar to the one used by organized crime in certain neighbors: pay up or someone’s going to get hurt. The unfortunate “new” part of this is that the “weapon” here isn’t a baseball bat, but federal copyright law and the judicial system.

      • UK Court Grants First Live Blocking Order To Stop New Infringing Streams As Soon As They Start

        As we noted last week, one of the main copyright battlegrounds in the UK concerns the use of Kodi boxes — low-cost devices running the open source Kodi multimedia player, usually augmented with plug-ins that provide access to unauthorized content. One of the popular uses of such Kodi boxes is to watch live streams of sporting events. TorrentFreak reports on an important new court order obtained by the UK’s Football Association Premier League (FAPL) to prevent people from viewing live streams of soccer games free of charge. The problem for the FAPL is that the addresses of the servers streaming matches are often only known once the games begin. To meet that challenge, the court has granted a new kind of injunction: one that allows live blocking.

      • New UK ‘Kodi’ Piracy Blocking Injunction is a Pretty Scary Beast

        The new piracy blocking injunction obtained by the UK’s Premier League is groundbreaking on several levels, court papers have revealed. Not only did the football outfit work closely with Sky, BT and Virgin (who all have a vested interest) but the ISPs also monitored traffic from ‘pirate’ servers requested by their customers. Live blocking of streams will be possible too, with no immediate court oversight.

      • Film Distributor Creates Torrent Site Clone That Gives Away Movie Tickets To Combat Piracy

        Much of the way the movie industry looks to combat film piracy will seem familiar to readers of this site. It typically involves shakedown threat letters, games of DMCA whac-a-mole, and a paint-by-numbers approach that mostly amounts to film studios shaking their lawyers’ fists at the sky. All that produces the status quo, where piracy is still a thing, films still make gobs of money, and regular observers of it all are left scratching our heads wondering how so much noise could be made over it all.

        But I will give credit where credit is due as Costa Rican film distributor Romaly deserves some style and creativity points for its new anti-piracy tactic.

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