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12.16.14

Links 16/12/2014: Google and ODF, Civilization: Beyond Earth Comes to GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 7:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Ten Linux Desktops Showing How Windows and Mac OS X Designs Are Trapped in the Past

    When people think about Linux, they usually imagine old desktops and terminals running in full screen. The truth is that the platform has evolved tremendously in the past few years and it’s safe to say that it’s well above anything done by Microsoft and Apple.

  • Linux Malware vs Phishing Schemes

    For years now, we’ve been told about the dangers of how various types of malware like worms and other threats were going to catch the growing Linux user base off guard. As of the year 2014, nothing remotely close to this has happened. Malware exists, but for desktop Linux users, it’s a non-issue.

    Despite this fact, there continues to be rumors that malware “could” affect desktop Linux users. It seems the mere “threat” holds greater proof of concept than the reality that no one is actually seeing malware threats on their Linux desktop.

    In this article, I’ll examine current threats to the Linux desktop and explain why I believe phishing is far more dangerous to most Linux users than malware.

  • Turn Your Old Computer into a Gaming Console with LinuxConsole 2.3 OS

    LinuxConsole is an operating system built for older computers with the aim of transforming those PCs in Linux gaming consoles. A new upgrade for this distro has been made available right now and it comes with a number of important updates.

  • 2015 will be the year Linux takes over the enterprise (and other predictions)

    Jack Wallen removes his rose-colored glasses and peers into the crystal ball to predict what 2015 has in store for Linux.

  • Welcome to the 2014 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards

    Welcome to the 2014 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards. The categories have been chosen, the nominees have been posted and I’m happy to announce that the polls are now open. To vote, visit http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi…ce-awards-113/ and select your entry in each category. If you have any suggestions for additions or modifications to poll nominees, please post in the thread for the poll in question. Any general suggestions should be posted in this thread.

  • What will happen to Linux in 2015?
  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.19 Features Set to Surface in 2015

      Linux 3.19 will be the first new Linux kernel of 2015 and it’s already shaping up to be chock full of interesting bits. The merge window for Linux 3.19 hasn’t yet closed, but the first set of Git Pulls shows lots of activity.

      Human Interface Devices (HID) get a boost in the Linux 3.19 release cycle. Among the interesting bits is support for Microsoft’s Surface Pro. This isn’t full support for running Linux on a Surface Pro device.

    • BLD Kernel Scheduler Updated For Linux 3.19

      The Barbershop Load Distribution (BLD) CPU load distribution technique has been updated for the mainline Linux 3.18 kernel.

      BLD is the out-of-tree scheduler that’s been around for nearly three years and continues to be updated for new kernel releases as a scheduler that works well for SMP systems but not NUMA systems.

    • Pay For Faster Linux Kernel Performance? There’s Patches For That

      The “eXt73″ patch-set aspires to yield faster kernel performance and better power efficiency. Independent benchmarks published of the eXt73 patch-set indicate faster performance out of the patched Linux kernel, but these patches do come at a cost for end-users.

    • Linux Foundation Announces Biannual Individual Membership Drive and New $100 Certification Discount for Members

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux and collaborative development, today announced its biannual Individual Membership Drive in which the organization will donate $25 to Free Geek for each new member who joins today through January 16, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. PT. Individual members of The Linux Foundation help advance the Linux operating system and support the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds.

    • NFTables 0.4 Released As Eventual IPTables Successor

      Work is still underway in a steadfast manner for NFTables as an eventual replacement to IPTables for packet filtering on Linux. Released today was NFTables v0.4 with functionality offered as of the Linux 3.18 kernel.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Kaveri: Open-Source Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver

        With an AMD A10-7850K Kaveri APU with Radeon R7 Graphics running on Ubuntu 14.10, the following Radeon Linux driver configurations were tested:

        - Ubuntu 14.10 following a clean install with the Linux 3.16 kernel, xf86-video-ati 7.4.0, and Mesa 10.3.0.

        - Ubuntu 14.10 with the Oibaf PPA enabled plus using the Linux 3.18 stable kernel from the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA. The updated user-space components via the Oibaf PPA were xf86-video-ati 7.5.99 and Mesa 10.5-devel Git. This is basically a look at the latest open-source AMD Radeon graphics code for the Kaveri APU.

        - Switching Ubuntu 14.10 back to the Linux 3.16 kernel and then enabling the fglrx-updates driver in the Ubuntu Utopic archive that provides fglrx 14.20.7 / OpenGL 4.4.12968.

        - Upgrading the Ubuntu 14.10 system to using the new Catalyst 14.12 Omega driver — fglrx 14.50.2 / OpenGL 4.4.13283

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Efl and Elementary 1.12.2 releases

      Here is another update for the 1.12.x series for EFL and Elementary, courtesy of the EFL team. The Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) is the prefered native development framework for Tizen and provides all the libraries you need to create powerful applications.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Overview of Qt3D 2.0 – Part 1

        Back in the days when Qt was owned by Nokia, a development team in Brisbane had the idea of making it easy to incorporate 3D content into Qt applications. This happened around the time of the introduction of the QML language and technology stack, and so it was only natural that Qt3D should also have a QML based API in addition to the more traditional C++ interface like other frameworks within Qt.

      • KDAB Provides An Overview Of Qt3D 2.0

        The next-generation Qt3D component to the Qt tool-kit is finally starting to come together.

      • KDE Plasma 5.1.2 Released
      • Plasma 5.1.2 Bugfix Release

        Plasma 5.1.2 is the December output from our desktop team. It’s a bugfix release which adds several dozen fixes and the latest translations.

      • 2014.12.16: Trinity Desktop Environment R14.0.0 Released!

        The Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) development team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the new TDE R14.0.0 release. The Trinity Desktop Environment is a complete software desktop environment designed for Unix-like operating systems, intended for computer users preferring a traditional desktop model, and is free/libre software.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Pearl Linux MATE Wants to Offer the Ultimate Mac OS X Clone, Fails Miserably

      Pearl Linux MATE is a new Linux distro that aims to provide an experience similar to that of Mac OS X. It’s based on Ubuntu MATE and it’s not really good. In fact, it might be a good example of how not to make an OS.

    • Tanglu 2 Offers Classic GNOME and KDE Desktop with the Help of Debian – Gallery

      Tanglu, a Linux distribution based on Debian that provides a classic GNOME and KDE desktop experience, has finally reached version 2.0 and is now available for download.

    • Best Xfce distro of 2014

      You know the drill. ‘Tis a fun drill. We vote for the best distribution plus its associated desktop environment, of the year. Several days back, we discussed KDE, and today, we will talk about Xfce, the desktop that broke through the thick sheet of irrelevance like a nuclear submarine surfacing from underneath the arctic ice caps, and became one of the leading choices for Linux users out there.

      Sure, we cannot disregard Unity, or Cinnamon, but those are singular choices for particular distributions, whereas Xfce happily abides in many a developer house. What’s more, it’s grown and matured and become pretty and more than just useful, while still being perfectly capable of reviving old machines as well as being posh and modern on the latest hardware. And that’s why we are doing this little contest here. Our players for this round are, in no particular order.

    • Why is the Number of Linux Distros Declining?

      The number of Linux distributions is declining. In 2011, the Distrowatch database of active Linux distributions peaked at 323. Currently, however, it lists only 285. However, exactly why the decline is taking place and how much it matters remains unclear.

    • Reviews

      • Kali Linux review

        There are two separate conclusions to this review. No, three. First, do not trust everything your friends say. Second, T400 is still unusable in the Linux world. Three, Kali seems like a very nice security distribution. However, just by using it, you won’t become an expert. That’s the prerequisite actually.

        Compared to BackTrack, which it succeeded, Kali feels a little more complete, more robust, even though both distros have the same focus and balance on normal, daily usability and forensics. This is a good thing. Moreover, it offers a wealth of hacking and analysis tools that can not only help you audit and secure your environment, but also learn a whole lot about the network stack and command line usage.

        A free bonus. If you’re a professional or an enthusiast with a interest in the realm of digital security, you might want to give this operating system its due spin, even though it may not magically fix your Wireless. That’s a lesson for me. For you, the fun part of exploring, testing and learning. Take care.

      • Parsix GNU/Linux 7.0 – a desktop Debian distribution

        Overall, my experiences with the latest version of Parsix GNU/Linux made a poor impression. Some of the issues were certainly hardware related and may not affect other users, but several appeared to be poor design/implementation decisions or a result of bugs missed during testing. I’d also like to see the Parsix distribution offer a wider range of editions to provide a wider variety of desktop environments out of the box. Perhaps a different desktop environment would have offered a more stable and more responsive experience.

    • New Releases

      • CYBORG HAWK LINUX

        The most advanced, powerful and yet beautiful penetration testing distribution ever created.Lined up with ultimate collection of tools for pro Ethical Hackers and Cyber Security Experts.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • 2015 Predictions and Coming Attractions

          As 2014 draws to a close a few folks are looking ahead to 2015. Jack Wallen pens his predictions for Linux next year. Phoronix has gathered a few Fedora 22 tidbits and OMG!Ubuntu! has some for Ubuntu 15.04. Dedoimedo.com reviews Kali Linux and the Hecktic Geek tests Fedora 21. And finally today, Dedoimedo picks his top Xfce distro of the year.

        • Fedora 21 Review: Conveys a Fantastic ‘GNOME Classic’ Experience

          The Fedora community took almost a year for developing and releasing the version 21. Though I am not exactly clear of the exact reasons for this delay, after using the default Gnome 3 spin for a couple of days, I must say ‘the wait’ was worth waiting for, after all, “all good things take time”.

          However, first it is worth noting that I have an immense respect for the Gnome desktop developers for they have mastered some aspects of the art of simple, intuitive & lightweight software design, though, because they have little regard for what the end-users have to say, in their arrogance, have over simplified things and rendered it, from a certain outlook, useless (this is my opinion only).

          But as proven by Nature, the successful counterbalance for such ignorance is usually acquired through the act of intervention by a higher force. And luckily for end-users like me, RedHat intervened (a while ago) and demanded that they develop a desktop interface that is similar to the old ‘Gnome Classic’. And so they did, and not that it fixed all the over simplifications of individual applications, I consider it to be reasonably enough, enough to the extent where I could at least consider using it (again, I can only speak for myself).

        • Fedora Developer Roundtable | LAS 343

          We talk with five developers from the Fedora project behind some of the recent amazing work that has seen a major milestone release in Fedora 21, treating Fedora more as a product & laying the groundwork for amazing future technologies.

        • Fedora 21 : Video Overview and Screenshot Tours
        • Fedora 22 Will Not Be Released Before 19 May 2015

          For the Fedora 22 schedule in its current form on the Wiki, the Fedora 22 Alpha release will come no earlier than 10 March, the beta release no earlier than 14 April, the final Fedora 22 Freeze no earlier than 5 May, and the official Fedora 22 release no earlier than 19 May.

        • Heroes of Fedora QA: Fedora 21 – Part 2
    • Debian Family

      • Editing Debian online with sources.debian.net

        How cool would it be to fix that one bug you just found without having to download a source package? and without leaving your browser?

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 15.04 to Include GNOME 3.14, Updates to Default Apps

            It may sound like a small update but it should have a big impact on the lives of developers and users alike: Ubuntu 15.04 will ship with GTK 3.14.

            Released with the rest of the GNOME stack back in September, the latest and greatest version of the desktop and underlying technologies missed out on inclusion in Ubuntu 14.10.

          • Debian vs Ubuntu: How Far Has Ubuntu Come in 10 Years?

            Ubuntu recently released 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn”, which coincides with the fact that Ubuntu is now 10 years old! The king of Linux distributions has come a long way since its inception in 2004, so it’s a good idea to go down memory lane and take a look at the journey it has gone through so far. We’ll also take a look at how it has developed differently to Debian, the distribution upon which it is based.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • High traffic on the package repositories

              Our main repository packages.linuxmint.com isn’t currently able to serve connections to everybody. This can result in errors, timeouts and delays in apt-get, and in your update manager.

            • Monthly News – November 2014

              The release of the Cinnamon and MATE editions of Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” were very well received. We were excited to unveil what we had worked on since the previous release and continuing to work on the same package base was a breeze. It was fun also to see people upgrade to 17.1 with ease, that went really well as well. We’re getting close to the end of the year though so I hope we’ll get the opportunity to talk about 17.1 and design topics again, but for now I’d like to touch a few words on the Xfce and KDE editions. We’re expecting their release candidates to be available next week. Only minor bugs remain and we’re confident they’ll pass QA very easily. KDE was upgraded to 4.14 and MDM received support for KDE Wallet (the wallet is now created and opened in the background, so no user interaction is necessary). Xfce was given out-of-the-box support for Compiz (just like in the MATE edition), Xfburn received Blu-ray support, the Whisker menu was upgraded and the default configuration was refined. The stable release for these two editions was estimated for the end of December but the RCs are a few days late, Christmas and the New Year will certainly eat a few days and there are items in the roadmap which were postponed but might come back into 17.1 as the dev. team is still looking into them (in particular we’re not happy with the look and feel of xscreensaver and with the fact that unlocking the session doesn’t unlock the screensaver in KDE and Xfce). It’s too hard to say just yet whether the stable ISOs will be out this year or the next.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Low-power COMs run Linux and Android on Cortex-A5 SoC

      MYIR introduced a pair of Linux- and Android-ready COMs and baseboards featuring Atmel’s low-power, 536MHz SAMA5D3 SoC, with LCD, GbE, and dual CAN ports.

    • Raspi-Sump

      In June 2013, we had the unfortunate luck of a basement flood, caused by a tripped electrical breaker connected to our sump pump. There are so many things that can go wrong with a sump pump. You always are on guard for power outages, blown breakers, sump pump failures, clogged pipes and all manner of issues that can arise, which ultimately can end with a flooded basement. I needed a way to alert me of issues when I was not at home. Audible alarms are fairly cheap and are great when you are physically in the house. They fail miserably when you are ten miles away at work. I had a Raspberry Pi that I had tinkered with periodically but for which I never had a real purpose. I decided to try to put the Pi to work as a dedicated sump pit monitoring device. Hopefully, the Pi could send me SMS alerts if a problem arose while I was away.

    • Phones

      • How The Mighty Art Fallen (Smartphones)

        No hot house monopoly required… Meanwhile, Apple sold 9 million more units than last year while achieving 12.7% market share. Android/Linux got 83%. So, the “one true way” and the company run by “geniuses” giving “creatives” what they want, are holding small niches in a market owned by Android/Linux through FLOSS goodness and ordinary hard work.

      • Tizen

      • Android

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop: Update Dates for Nexus, Samsung, HTC as well as Sony Devices

          Some consumers are still awaiting the release of Google’s latest operating system, the Android 5.0 Lollipop, and with so many devices out in the market, anticipation is high for when the update becomes available for handheld devices.

        • Google’s Chromecast still dominates streaming media
        • Android Headliner: More Than A Year Later The Chromecast Is Still Number One For Streaming Media

          Ever since the dawn of the smartphone, streaming media has gotten bigger and bigger, and we have struggled to find easy ways to fling the media we hold on our handheld devices to the big screen. While there has been many ways to get our favorite streaming media onto our TV’s for some time, like micro USB to HDMI for example, it wasn’t until the launch of Google’s streaming media HDMI dongle, the Chromecast, that things became truly simple and allowed for the mass majority to put what they want to watch onto their TV’s using their smartphone as the control. The Chromecast has come quite a long way and has been out for well over a year now, and it’s still the number streaming media device out there even with all the competition that has emerged and is still coming.

        • 3 Reasons Apple TV Is Losing to the Google Chromecast

          As consumers look to add streaming capability to their television setup (without buying a brand-new smart TV), they are increasingly purchasing streaming devices. People are opting for streaming sticks or set-top boxes that expand their video options without making an impact on their living room setup or their wallets. But recent data brings bad news for Apple: in 2014, Google’s Chromecast streaming stick became more popular than the Apple TV set-top box, leaving Apple in third place behind both Chromecast and consumer favorite Roku.

        • This $35 dock lets you use your Android smartphone as a full-fledged desktop

          Every year, our smartphones get more and more powerful. These handheld computers certainly aren’t going to compete head-to-head with a PS4 or a high-end gaming PC, but they pack more than enough horsepower to run a full-fledged desktop computing experience. But can your smartphone really replace your desktop? That’s exactly what a new Kickstarter project aims to do.

        • Andromium transforms your Android into a pocketable desktop computer
        • Andromium could turn your smartphone into a desktop (crowdfunding)

          Motorola’s Atrix line of Android phones were designed to work with Lapdock keyboard docks, but they’ve been discontinued. Canonical tried to breath new life into the category by crowdfunding the Ubuntu Edge smartphone which could also function as a desktop computer… but the company didn’t meet its ambitious fundraising goals.

        • Canonical’s Stripped-Down “Snappy” Ubuntu Comes To Google’s Compute Engine

          A week ago, Canonical released the first alpha version of its new minimalist “Snappy” edition of Ubuntu Core for container farms. To the surprise of many, the launch partner for Snappy was Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform. Starting today, however, you will also be able to use this version of Ubuntu on Google’s Compute Engine.

        • Google Cloud offers streamlined Ubuntu for Docker use

          Ubuntu Core was designed to provide only the essential components for running Linux workloads in the cloud. An early preview edition of it, which Canonical calls “Snappy,” was released last week. The new edition jettisoned many of the libraries and programs usually found in general use Linux distributions that were unnecessary for cloud use.

        • Hearthstone is coming out on Android

          Blizzard’s acclaimed free-to-play trading card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is finally making an appearance on Android tablets. Currently, it is only available in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, but there are plans for a worldwide rollout in “the days ahead.” In a statement, CEO Mike Morhaime says that the company is also aiming to bring the title to more mobile platforms, including smartphones.

        • Netflix now supports Android Wear, but it’s not the remote control you’re hoping for

          One of the cooler things you can do with an Android Wear smartwatch is remotely control media-playing apps on your connected Android device. SoundCloud is a great example of this, using the watch to display the cover art of what you’re listening to and some basic volume and playback controls. Netflix’s latest Android update sounds like it would do the same, with the company promising to let you “play” videos using the watch, but it’s actually much narrower in functionality.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Godot Engine 1.0 Is Out, Open Source Game Engine & Editor

    The newly open-sourced game engine Godot (which we covered more here) received its first major release today! In the middle of the winter game-jam too, even though the release candidates have been out for a week or so.

  • Godot Engine Reaches 1.0, Releases First Stable
  • Open-Source Godot 1.0 Engine Released & Declared Stable

    With Godot 1.0 being declared, it marks a point at which the game engine is stable, every feature present should work, the UI is solid and allows for visually editing games, the scripting language and debugger work, and most engine features are properly documented. Over the past ten months, Godot has received a lot of help from the community and the developers call it “the most advanced open source game engine” and is the first in popularity for its category on GitHub.

  • Should We All Be Contributing to FOSS?

    The LedgerSMB project gets contributions from “a large number of sources in a large number of ways,” said Chris Travers, a blogger and contributor to that effort.

  • Report: IoT Improving Code Quality in Open Source Java Projects

    Mountain View, Calif.-based software testing company Coverity has just released a new Scan report, this one focused on open-source big data projects and the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on the quality of those projects. In a nutshell, the report concludes that IoT and the tsunami of data that phenomenon is expected to generate over the next decade is actually having a positive affect on code quality. Among the largest big data projects in this Scan — Apache Hadoop, Hbase and Cassandra — quality has improved steadily, the report’s authors found.

  • Is commercial open source more secure than proprietary alternatives?

    In summary, IT professionals are gravitating to commercial open source for security and privacy now more so than ever. Gone are the days when cost considerations led the decision to move to open source; today, IT professionals value commercial open source for business continuity, quality and control. On the horizon, expect to see broader adoption of commercial open source. In fact, the most telling result of the Ponemon Institute survey may be the coming exodus from proprietary to commercial open source software, particularly when it comes to collaboration.

  • Internet of Things: Engineering for Everyone

    Not too long ago, the idea of open source was synonymous with “free,” because, of course, there is no upfront cost involved. That perception was successfully realigned, through education, towards “liberty,” the freedom to use the resource without cost.

  • How To Avoid The Community Of Open Source Jerks

    Open source is the new default for many areas of software. But open source is different, and that’s causing some problems for newbies. While some reduce open source to “free software I can download,” open source can be much more.

  • Top 10 open source projects of 2014

    Last year’s list of 10 projects guided people working and interested in tech throughout 2014. Now, we’re setting you up for 2015 with a brand new list of accomplished open source projects.

  • Events

    • Web Engines Hackfest 2014
    • Penguin porn? NO! Linux folk in #LCA2015 standoff

      Each January Linux luminaries from around the world descend on Australia and New Zealand to attend Linux.conf.au, an antipodean penguinista gathering of sufficient gravitas that Linus Torvalds himself often makes the trip.

      The event is referred to as “LCA”, and for the 2015 edition has used #LCA2015 as its hashtag.

      But organisers of the event have noticed there’s another organising using #LCA2015, namely the Live Cam Awards.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • VMware Emulates Red Hat Path With Cloud Foundry Foundation

      Thanks to its support of OpenStack, an open source Infrastructure-as-a-Service, or IaaS, system for clouds, Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) has soared to new heights. By supporting the OpenStack foundation, originally backed by Rackspace (NYSE:RAX), with talent, Red Hat made itself an indispensable partner to companies seeking to build their own clouds, with a top-line growth rate that would be the envy of an Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and steady profits exceeding 10% of revenue.

    • Cloud Foundry Foundation: A Smart Move for VMware

      In a move that parallels some smart moves made by Red Hat in the cloud computing space, VMware has launched an independent foundation supporting its Cloud Foundry platform. The Cloud Foundry Foundation is focused on VMware’s own Platform-as-a-Service offering of the same name, but will concentrate on fostering an ecosystem surrounding Cloud Foundry. In this game, as Red Hat has shown with its efforts surrounding OpenStack, partnerships will be everything.

    • Looking Ahead: Rebuilding PaaS in a Containerized World

      Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) technology has transformed the way enterprise applications and services are deployed and delivered. Benefits including flexibility, agility, scalability and efficiency continue to attract growing numbers of business users. Globally, the PaaS market was valued at $1.60 billion in 2013, and it’s forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 25.7 percent over the next few years to reach $7.98 billion by 2020, according to a recent Transparency Market Research report.

  • CMS

    • SoakSoak Malware Attacks WordPress Sites

      Over 100,000 WordPress sites have been infected by vulnerable third-party plug-in that many may not even realize they are running, and that number is growing.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Print this guide

      The FSF Giving Guide is an easy-to-use resource that can make a difference in what people buy. We just need to get it in front of them.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • National Geographic takes open source to the wilderness

      I had the opportunity to catch up with Shah Selbe, an explorer by heart, and for National Geographic. I asked him about how he got into this kind of conservation work, how he learned about open source and came to use it, and how he applied open source methods to his work on the Okavango Wilderness Project.

    • Regulatory hurdles may blunt future of open source GMO crops as patent expires for GMO soybeans

      The development, testing, and regulation of genetically engineered crops usually takes a significant investment of time and resources, so these crops are patented so that their developers can recoup their investments. Farmers who grow these crops usually pay licensing fees for the use of the technology, and sign license agreements that restrict their ability to save the seeds. Now, a variety of GMO herbicide-tolerant soybeans has been released by the University of Arkansas with no technology fees, and no license agreements to sign. This is possible because the patent for the first genetically engineered trait in soybeans has expired. The world of “generic” or Open Source GMOs is upon us, however, there are still some practical challenges ahead.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Literary works given new life in public domain

        The public domain. Creating legacy and enabling creativity, one literary work at a time.

        Works in the public domain belong to everyone. Anyone can use public domain works in any manner they wish. They can republish the work as is, or they can use a public domain work as the inspiration and groundwork to create something new and exciting. However, the length of time before a creative works enters the public domain has grown longer and longer in recent decades. In the United States, the Copyright Act of 1976 and the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 greatly increased the length of time before a work would enter the public domain. The situation is very similar in other parts of the world.

    • Open Hardware

      • MeArm Open Source Pocket Robotic Arm MeBrain Controller (video)

        Benjamin Gray has created an open source pocket sized robotic arm that has been specifically built to be easy to build and simple to control. Now he would like to take into production his new controller called MeBrain for the robotic arm that will make it even easier to use and make it even more accessible.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • 17 signs you were on the Manchester club scene in the ’90s

    Clubbing in ’90s Manchester wasn’t all about the Hacienda, you know? Let’s have a look at some of the people, nights and tunes that haven’t always taken centre stage…

  • Are CIOs Bamboozling Their Colleagues With ‘Technobabble’?

    And worryingly, this is coming at a time when industry insight suggests that the role of the IT leader is evolving into a more strategic business position, according to ReThink Recruitment.

  • Car stuck on tram tracks in Chorlton triggers more Metrolink misery

    Trams on the Metrolink Manchester Airport line grounded to a halt due to a car being stranded on the tracks this evening.

    It is the FIFTH time a car has driven along the new airport line in the past three weeks .

  • Science

    • Kevin Kunze, Lloyd Morgan, and Max Anderson

      Even as cell phones become almost ubiquitous, evidence is accumulating that their emissions can cause brain tumors and other maladies. Peter and Mickey speak about the health hazards of cell phones with Kevin Kunze, Lloyd Morgan, and Max Anderson.

    • BMW is working on cars your smartwatch can park

      Come CES 2015, luxury automobile maker BMW will be showing off its recent advances in autonomous vehicle research, including the smartwatch-operable Remote Valet Parking Assistant. The i3 research vehicle is equipped with four “advanced laser scanners,” which can map and identify hazards within an environment. This data can be used by the i3′s on-board assistance system to automatically trigger brakes when needed.

  • Security

    • Tuesday’s security updates
    • Docker Updates for Three Security Vulnerabilities

      The open-source Docker project has updated the Docker engine for container virtualization to version 1.3.3, fixing a trio of security vulnerabilities. The security advisories for the Docker vulnerabilities were first publicly released on Dec. 11 although not every vendor in the Docker ecosystem has been in a hurry to update. Docker has emerged over the course of 2014 to become a popular technology for application virtualization and now has the support of Amazon, IBM, VMware, Microsoft and Red Hat, among others.

    • Antivirus Live CD Will Disinfect Your Windows OS

      Antivirus Live CD is a Linux distribution based on 4MLinux that includes the ClamAV scanner. It’s built for system admins who need a lightweight live CD with an antivirus scanner. A new versions has been released and is now available for download.

    • The Ethics Of Publishing Hacked Information

      It reminds me distinctly of the situation we found ourselves in in 2009 when a hacker delivered a truckload of internal Twitter information. See In Our Inbox: Hundreds Of Confidential Twitter Documents. See the updates to that post for how it all played out.

      Twitter also halfheartedly threatened to sue us over the publication of that information, although we felt that we were on pretty firm legal ground in moving forward. People were both fascinated with the information, and enraged that we would publish it.

    • The FBI Used Open Source Hackerware to Uncover Tor Users In 2012

      According to the report, the FBI relied on Metasploit to first deanonymize users operating Dark Net child porn sites during a sting called Operation Tornado. Metasploit is an open source package that makes many of the the latest known exploits readily available to hackers. It seems the FBI relied upon an abandoned project of Metaploit called the “Decloaking Engine” to unmask users in the 2012 busts.

    • The FBI Used the Web’s Favorite Hacking Tool to Unmask Tor Users

      For more than a decade, a powerful app called Metasploit has been the most important tool in the hacking world: An open-source Swiss Army knife of hacks that puts the latest exploits in the hands of anyone who’s interested, from random criminals to the thousands of security professionals who rely on the app to scour client networks for holes.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • NBC: Someday We Might Learn That Drones Kill Civilians

      A critical look at US drone attacks is not the kind of thing you expect to see on a Sunday chat show, but that is what NBC’s Meet the Press gave viewers on December 14. Still, there were some problems.

    • NATO Deployment on Russian Border Raises Nuclear Risks, Say Caldicott and Chomsky

      According to Helen Caldicott, the founder of International Physicians against Nuclear War, which won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize, the expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders is “very, very dangerous,” and amounts to the breaking of a guarantee that the U.S. made the last Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, before the breakup of the Soviet Union, that NATO would never be allowed to expand to Russia’s border. Addressing the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in October 2014, Caldicott observed, “The nuclear weapons, are sitting there, thousands of them. They are ready to be used.”

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Why the ‘case’ against Julian Assange in Sweden should be dropped, and dropped now!

      The ‘case’ is at a preliminary stage – no charges were ever made against Mr. Assange – is now in its FIFTH YEAR!

    • Holder OKs limited Risen subpoena

      MacMahon also suggested that if Risen testifies, the defense could introduce evidence about the scope of the government’s investigation into the Times reporter. POLITICO previously reported that the feds obtained Risen’s bank records, credit reports and details of his travel. The defense attorney said in court Tuesday that prosecutors also got copies of Risen’s Fedex receipts as well as “Western Union transactions of his children.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • ‘Disruptive, Demanding’ Elizabeth Warren vs. ‘Can-Do’ Pragmatists

      The default setting of corporate media’s political compass is that Democrats need to “move to the middle” in order to win. FAIR has been documenting this for more than 20 years, and 2014 is no different. Look no further than the coverage of the effort, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), to oppose a provision in the recent omnibus spending bill that would weaken Dodd/Frank financial regulation.

      The objection seems pretty straightforward: As lawmakers like California Democrat Maxine Waters (Washington Post, 12/12/14) said, this was “reversing a provision that prohibits banks from using taxpayer-insured funds, bank deposits, to engage in derivatives trading activity.” In the run-up to the financial crisis, banks used federally insured funds to make bets on things like mortgage-backed securities. That left the public to bail out banks for their risky behavior. The language of this specific deal, as many have noted, came directly from Citigroup.

    • The Political Economy of Austerity Now

      Government austerity for the masses (raising taxes and cutting public services) is becoming the issue shaping politics in western Europe, north America, and Japan. In the US, austerity turned millions away from the polls where before they supported an Obama who promised changes from such policies. So Republicans will control Congress and conflicts over austerity will accelerate. In Europe, from Ireland’s Sinn Fein to Spain’s Podemos to Greece’s Syriza, we see challenges to a shaken, wounded political status quo (endless oscillations between center-left and center-right regimes imposing austerity). Those challenges build impressive strength on anti-austerity themes above all else. In Japan, Prime Minister Abe resorts to ever more desperate political maneuvers to maintain austerity there.

    • Going Beyond Private Versus Public

      The new, more Republican Congress may “privatize” the United States Postal Service: dismantle the public enterprise and turn mail services over to private enterprises. Such a privatization would mimic what the US military has done with part of its activities and what many states and cities did with utilities, transport systems and schools. Privatizers always assert that private enterprises function more efficiently and will thus cost society less than public enterprises.

    • Bitcoin Is To Credit Cards What The Internet Was To The Fax Machine: So Much More

      Many are still seeing bitcoin as just a currency, as just a transaction mechanism. Its underlying technology is far more than that. It has the ability to reduce governments to spectators rather than arbiters, the power to make wars cost-inefficient, and the power to decentralize power itself.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Right-Wing Media’s New Phony Scandal: Obama Watches Sports

      Right-wing media outlets manufactured phony outrage over President Obama’s recent remark on ESPN Radio that he usually watches SportsCenter while working out in the morning. In 2007, President Bush similarly admitted to watching ESPN while working.

    • Sydney siege: Rupert Murdoch criticised over ‘heartless’ congratulations tweet

      Rupert Murdoch’s arguably ill-advised tweet has been condemned by Twitter users for being “insensitive”.

      The News International boss and managing director of Australia’s News Limited congratulated the Australian Daily Telegraph for being the first to report on the “bloody outcome” of the Sydney siege.

    • Fox’s O’Reilly: ‘All the Wolves Have Been Muslims’

      The problem is that media–not just Bill O’Reilly–mostly don’t categorize non-Muslim terrorism as terrorism. So when a white supremacist in England kills a Muslim–an 82-year-old grandfather, to be more specific–it hardly makes the news (FAIR Blog, 11/1/13), even when the killer admitted that he “would like to increase racial conflict.”

      When a married couple in Las Vegas who were connected to far-right movements killed two police officers and a bystander, media shied away from calling it terrorism (FAIR Blog, 6/13/14)– even though early reports indicated the pair had left a note declaring, “The revolution is beginning,” along with a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag.

  • Censorship

    • At least 25 journalists, police officers detained in Turkey raid

      Police in Turkey detained more than 25 journalists and fellow police officers Sunday in a nationwide operation that saw the editor of a popular opposition publication taken into custody.

      It was the latest mass roundup targeting alleged loyalists to an influential cleric that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused of attempting to topple his government.

  • Privacy

    • The Inside Story of How British Spies Hacked Belgium’s Largest Telco

      When the incoming emails stopped arriving, it seemed innocuous at first. But it would eventually become clear that this was no routine technical problem. Inside a row of gray office buildings in Brussels, a major hacking attack was in progress. And the perpetrators were British government spies.

      It was in the summer of 2012 that the anomalies were initially detected by employees at Belgium’s largest telecommunications provider, Belgacom. But it wasn’t until a year later, in June 2013, that the company’s security experts were able to figure out what was going on. The computer systems of Belgacom had been infected with a highly sophisticated malware, and it was disguising itself as legitimate Microsoft software while quietly stealing data.

      Last year, documents from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden confirmed that British surveillance agency Government Communications Headquarters was behind the attack, codenamed Operation Socialist. And in November, The Intercept revealed that the malware found on Belgacom’s systems was one of the most advanced spy tools ever identified by security researchers, who named it “Regin.”

    • 4 seconds of body cam video can reveal a biometric fingerprint, study says

      In the wake of Ferguson, where protests erupted after an 18-year-old unarmed black teenager was shot by police, many have called for body cameras to be mandatory for on-duty police officers. Still, few municipalities have set rules governing the use of body cams and the footage taken with them.

    • The Trouble with Tor

      Confidence that Tor can reliably provide users with anonymity on the Internet has been shattered, thanks to recent revelations. Tor alternatives do exist, however.

  • Civil Rights

    • Cheney Seems Unfazed By Question About Innocent Detainee Who Died (VIDEO)

      Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday continued to fiercely defend the harsh interrogation techniques employed by the CIA under the Bush administration after 9/11.

      On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Cheney said he would use the questionable interrogation methods “again in a minute.”

      Host Chuck Todd asked Cheney to respond to the Senate Intelligence Committee report’s account that one detainee was “chained to the wall of a cell, doused with water, froze to death in CIA custody.”

    • The Five’s Terrorism Solutions: Cut Off Toes, Spy On Muslims, Torture Detainees
    • May denies torture report redactions

      The Home Secretary has denied asking for redactions in the CIA torture report and rejected calls for a judge-led inquiry into British involvement in US-led torture.

      Appearing in front of the Home Affairs Committee this afternoon, Theresa May told MPs: “I have certainly not asked for any redactions to take place in the report.”

      She did not say whether other Home Office officials had asked for the redactions, but added that they would only have been requested for reasons of national security.

    • Sydney gunman Man Haron Monis claimed he was ‘tortured’ for political beliefs

      The gunman at the heart of the Sydney 16-hour siege claimed he was “tortured” for his political beliefs while being held in custody.

      Man Haron Monis was free on bail when he used a shotgun to hold 17 people hostage at the Lindt Chocolat Cafe during rush-hour on Monday morning.

      He and two hostages died in a barrage of gunfire when police stormed the café in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

    • Sentencing Looms for Barrett Brown, Advocate for “Anonymous”

      Barrett Brown could face almost 10 years in prison on criminal hacking charges, but his allies say he’s just a journalist and the government is punishing him to stifle free speech.

    • Dear Chelsea Manning: birthday messages from Edward Snowden, Terry Gilliam and more

      The jailed whistleblower turns 27 this week. Supporters including Joe Sacco, Vivienne Westwood, JM Coetzee, Michael Stipe and Slavoj Žižek sent her letters, poems and drawings. Luke Harding introduces their work

    • Washington Post Shrugs Off Torture Because, You Know, It Polls Well

      We’ve written before about Jay Rosen’s excellent explanation of “the church of the savvy,” in which political reporters seem more focused on describing the “horse race” aspect of politics rather than the truth. It’s the old story in which the press ignores, say, a really good concept because “politicians won’t support it.” A key giveaway for a “savvy” post is to focus on “what the polls say” rather than what reality says. That doesn’t mean that polls are never useful or shouldn’t be reported on — but when they get in the way of the actual story, it can make for ridiculous results.

    • Victoria police officer investigated for tasing driver, 76
    • Cobb County to pay $100K to woman arrested for ‘F-bombing’ cops

      Cobb County is paying $100,000 to a woman who police arrested for shouting profanity to protest their actions.

      Amy Elizabeth Barnes, a well-known political activist, sued in federal court saying the county violated her First Amendment rights and maliciously prosecuted her when it jailed her on charges of disorderly conduct and the use of abuse words to “incite an immediate breach of the peace.”

      She had been shouting “Cobb police suck” and “(Expletive) the police” and raising her middle finger while riding her bicycle past two officers questioning an African-American man outside a convenience store on Easter Sunday 2012.

    • Clueless cop gets schooled: Watch this horrific defense of police killing

      Follmer is demanding an apology from the Cleveland Browns’ Andrew Hawkins, who wore a “Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford” shirt on Sunday. He laid out his authoritarian solution to the epidemic of cops killing unarmed black men in an interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber Monday night.

      The clash between Follmer and Hawkins perfectly encapsulates the rival worldviews leading to rising unrest over police abuse – and when you listen to the two men, it’s clear who has the better argument.

    • Cop is producing “Breathe easy: Don’t break the law” shirts — but it has nothing to do with Eric Garner, he swears

      We know many people are awful. We’ve seen the evidence! But still, no matter how thoroughly I try to storm-proof my emotional windows (my eyes and ears), droplets of hate somehow manage to trickle through, causing a flood in my basement (my heart n’ soul).

      A growing number of protesters (including high-profile athletes) have adopted the phrase, “I can’t breathe,” as something like a rallying cry. The statement references Eric Garner’s last words as he was killed by NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in an illegal chokehold. A coroner determined the death a homicide, but a grand jury still decided not to indict Pantaleo. A real failure of the justice system, right?

      Apparently not everyone agrees, and some, specifically the South Bend Uniform Company, even find the phrase’s appropriation offensive. The company, owned by Corporal Jason Barthel, a cop with the City of Mishawaka Police, has started producing shirts reading “Breathe easy: Don’t break the law,” a response that is particularly biting given the fact that 1) Eric Garner was not breaking the law, and 2) He is dead.

    • Policing is a Dirty Job, But Nobody’s Gotta Do It: 6 Ideas for a Cop-Free World

      It’s time to start imagining a society that isn’t dominated by police

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Sony Leak: The Secret Meetings That Set Hollywood’s Anti-Piracy War Plan

        Every year, legal representatives from seven of the biggest movie studios in the country gather in Sherman Oaks, California to talk about all things anti-piracy. Which isn’t surprising; it’s their livelihood, after all. But what does leaves a sour taste in your mouth is their plan to spread the DMCA-dispensing gospel: With shadowy back room dealings and skewed facts.

        According to an email in the leaked inbox of Sony Pictures General Counsel Leah Weil, the meeting is facilitated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) as a way for the top lawyers at Sony, Time Warner, Viacom, Paramount, Disney, NBC Universal, and Fox to put their heads together and talk global strategy.

      • Sony Hackers Threaten to Release a Huge ‘Christmas Gift’ of Secrets

        As leaks from the recent Sony hack continue to make headlines and company executives apologize for insensitive comments made in exposed emails, we still don’t know how the hack occurred or the exact nature of the demands made by the attackers. But we’ve learned a bit about Sony’s security practices. And we’ve learned that the attackers may have tried to extort Sony before releasing its secrets. We’ve also learned that attempts by Sony to rally public support from rival studios has failed.

      • News Agencies Are Within Their Rights to Report on the Leaked Sony Data

        On Sunday, a lawyer from Sony Pictures Entertainment sent a strongly-worded letter to news organizations, including The New York Times and Hollywood Reporter, demanding that they not report on the vast quantity of data in the Sony leak.

      • The Pirate Bay crew ‘couldn’t care less’ about being taken offline

        One of the filesharing site’s administrators says it’s taking a break, but promises that if it returns ‘it’ll be with a bang’

      • Swedish Supreme Court Determines Movie Piracy Fines

        A long-running case in Sweden has concluded with a determination on how pirates should be sentenced for each movie downloaded illegally. The case, which involved the downloading of 60 movies, went all the way to the Supreme Court. The jail sentence demanded by the prosecution was rejected but stiff fines were handed down.

12.15.14

Links 15/12/2014: OSI 2014 Annual Report, GPLv2 Court Test

Posted in News Roundup at 8:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Magical Open Source Music Workstations

    Linux is an ideal platform for professional audio production. It is an extremely stable operating system that has good support for audio hardware. Using a Linux machine as the focus of your recording setup opens a world of possibilities for an affordable price.

    Ubuntu Studo is an officially recognised version of Ubuntu that is aimed at professional musicians, and audio, video and graphic enthusiasts. The distribution includes an excellent range of open source multimedia software, and has a tweaked Linux kernel which offers good operation for audio applications at lower latencies, lower than the human perception threshold. The time that elapses between a hardware device issuing a hardware interrupt, and the time the process that deals with it is run is known as latency. Linux can be set up well to handle realtime, low-latency audio.

  • What is good audio editing software on Linux

    Whether you are an amateur musician or just a student recording his professor, you need to edit and work with audio recordings. If for a long time such task was exclusively attributed to Macintosh, this time is over, and Linux now has what it takes to do the job. In short, here is a non-exhaustive list of good audio editing software, fit for different tasks and needs.

  • Watson wannabes: 4 open source projects for machine intelligence

    Over the last year, as part of the new enterprise services that IBM has been pushing om its reinvention, Watson has become less of a “Jeopardy”-winning gimmick and more of a tool. It also remains IBM’s proprietary creation.

    What are the chances, then, of creating a natural-language machine learning system on the order of Watson, albeit with open source components? To some degree, this has already happened — in part because Watson itself was built in top of existing open source work, and others have been developing similar systems in parallel to Watson. Here’s a look at four such projects.

  • Neil Anderson Re-Joins Sopra As Principal Open Source Architect For Scotland

    Neil Anderson re-joined Sopra last week as a Principal Open Source Architect for Scotland. This appointment will help us meet the growing demand for Open Source solutions both in Scotland and across the UK. Sopra has been leveraging Open Source software to deliver business solutions for many years and, whilst working with Open Standards, is delivering the flexibility, collaboration, sharing and “best of breed” solutions that the public sector demands.

  • Why Open-Source Software is Changing the Face of the Information Age

    Few advancements in modern technology have taken the world by storm as much as open-source software (OSS). Once the domain of geeks, idealists, computer scientists and activists, OSS has become a mainstream fact of life and given rise to a plethora of operating systems, technologies and applications that are often taken for granted.

    However, becoming mainstream can sometimes mean a death sentence to a cause. All too often, “mainstream” becomes synonymous with “mundane.” And when something reaches that point, it often loses its appeal along with the very support that drove it to mainstream status.

  • AllSeen’s Open Source Internet of Things: One Year On

    Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about one of the Linux Foundation’s Collaborative Projects, with the rather disconcerting name of AllSeen. I found that problematic, since the AllSeen Alliance hopes to create the de facto standards for the much-hyped Internet of Things. One of the my chief concerns with this idea is that it could make today’s surveillance look positively restrained – imagine if spy agencies and general ne’er-do-wells had access to detailed knowledge about and perhaps even control over individual components of your “intelligent” home.

  • Events

    • OSI 2014 Annual Report

      First, let me start off by thanking all of you in the open source software community for your tremendous support and help throughout my first year with the Open Source Initiative. It has been quite a transition for me, moving from the formality and conventionalism of institutions of higher education, to what in many ways feels like a start-up. I’m truly fortunate—the OSI and the open source software community are energetic, creative, smart and for me personally, motivational. I was honored to join the OSI in November 2013, thrilled to work with the Board and our members this year, and excited about the possibilities and opportunities in 2015.

    • Web Engines Hackfest 2014

      Last week I attended the Web Engines Hackfest. The event was sponsored by Igalia (also hosting the event), Adobe and Collabora.

      As usual I spent most of the time working on the WebKitGTK+ GStreamer backend and Sebastian Dröge kindly joined and helped out quite a bit, make sure to read his post about the event!

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google’s Software Removal Tool Keeps Chrome Humming Properly

        One of the ways in which Google has been preserving the purity of its Chrome browser is to carefully police what kinds of extensions will work with it. In late 2013, Google decreed that the longstanding Netscape Plug-in API (NPAPI), which extensions have worked with for many years, is the source of many problems. Google has also delivered an update on its plan to remove NPAPI from Chrome.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • 10,000 OpenStack questions, debunking myths, and more
    • Supporting 3 init systems in OpenStack packages

      Providing support for all 3 init systems (sysv-rc, Upstart and systemd) isn’t hard, and generating the init scripts / Upstart job / systemd using a template system is a lot easier than I previously thought.

      As always, when writing this kind of blog post, I do expect that others will not like what I did. But that’s the point: give me your opinion in a constructive way (please be polite even if you don’t like what you see… I had too many times had to read harsh comments), and I’ll implement your ideas if I find it nice.

  • BSD

    • LLVM 3.5.1 Is Coming Soon

      Tom Stellard of AMD released the LLVM 3.5.1-rc1 release prior to the weekend to solicit testing prior to officially putting out this first point release to LLVM 3.5. Stellard in large part continues to organize these point releases for yielding more frequent stable LLVM updates to help out users and distribution packagers in getting out AMD GPU LLVM back-end fixes and improvements.

    • Get started with FreeBSD: A brief intro for Linux users

      Among the legions of Linux users and admins, there seems to be a sort of passive curiosity about FreeBSD and other *BSDs. Like commuters on a packed train, they gaze out at a less crowded, vaguely mysterious train heading in a slightly different direction and wonder what traveling on that train might be like — for a moment. The few who cross over find themselves in a place that is equal parts familiar and foreign. And the strange parts can be scary.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC Has Been Ported To The Visium Architecture

      The newest platform that the GNU Compiler Collection has been ported to is Visium. AdaCore is now looking to contribute their GCC Visium port to mainline.

      Never heard of Visium before? Neither have we, but it’s yet another platform where GCC can serve as the code compiler. Eric Botcazou of AdaCore explained Visium as “a 32-bit RISC architecture with an Extended Arithmetic Module implementing some 64-bit operations and an FPU designed for embedded systems…The Visium is a classic 32-bit RISC architecture whose branches have a delay slot and whose arithmetic and logical instructions all set the flags, and they comprise the moves between GP registers (which are inclusive ORs under the hood in the traditional RISC fashion).”

  • Public Services/Government

    • Justice’s API release signals bigger win for open source

      The Justice Department’s first foray into the open data world with the launch of two APIs is noteworthy. But the underlying reason why DoJ could release the software code is really the story here.

      First, the APIs, or application programming interfaces, that Justice released are codes for Web developers to build mobile apps and other software more easily to find press releases and job openings.

      Nothing ground breaking in terms of APIs.

      Skip Bailey, a former chief information officer at the DoJ’s Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the APIs are part of how Justice is moving to open source platform, Drupal. And that, he said, is the big accomplishment.

  • Licensing

    • GPLv2 goes to court: More decisions from the Versata tarpit

      The General Public License Version 2 (GPLv2) continues to be the most widely used and most important license for free and open source software. Black Duck Software estimates that 16 billion lines of code are licensed under GPLv2. Despite its importance, the GPLv2 has been the subject of very few court decisions, and virtually all of the most important terms of the GPLv2 have not been interpreted by courts.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Rust 1.0: Scheduling the trains

      With the launch of Cargo and crates.io, Rust’s ecosystem has already seen significant expansion, but it still takes a lot of work to track Rust’s nightly releases. Beginning with the alpha release, and especially approaching beta1, this will change dramatically; code that works with beta1 should work with 1.0 final without any changes whatsoever.

      This migration into stability should be a boon for library writers, and we hope that by 1.0 final there will be a massive collection of crates ready for use on the stable channel – and ready for the droves of people trying out Rust for the first time.

    • Python Update Limits Risk of POODLE Attacks

      Python 2.x was supposed to be long gone by now. Instead, it’s getting security fixes to keep legacy users current.

    • Peering into the future of software development

      Now is the best time ever to be a software developer – in terms of employment, organizational impact, and the amazing breadth of tools and platforms available. The future seems even brighter: Over time, I’m betting software development will become the No. 1 technology priority for most enterprises.

      That might seem like an overreach, when today’s biggest enterprise technology budget items remain networking, storage, servers, and licensed software. But over the next 10 or 15 years, enterprises will move more and more of their operations to the cloud — and devote more and more resources to building and revising applications on those cloud platforms to differentiate their businesses.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Censorship

    • Haia closes over 10,000 Twitter accounts in 2014

      The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia) has shut down 10,117 Twitter accounts during the year because of religious violations, its spokesman, Turki Al-Shulail, has revealed.

      “Their users were committing religious and ethical violations. Haia blocked and arrested some of their owners. However, it was hard to follow all the accounts due to the advanced security used in this kind of social media,” he told the media.

  • Civil Rights

    • Weasel Words

      Straw has climbed down a bit from his days of power and glory, when he told the House of Commons, immediately after sacking me, that there was no such thing as the CIA extraordinary rendition programme and its existence was “Mr Murray’s opinion.” He no longer claims it did not exist and he no longer claims I am a fantasist. He now merely claims he was not breaking the law.

      His claim of respect for the law is a bit dubious in the light of Sir Michael Wood’s evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry. Wood said that as Foreign Office Legal Adviser, he and his elite team of in-house FCO international lawyers unanimously advised Straw the invasion of Iraq would be an illegal war of aggression. Straw’s response? He wrote to the Attorney General requesting that Sir Michael be dismissed and replaced. And forced Goldsmith to troop out to Washington and get alternative advice from Bush’s nutjob Republican neo-con lawyers.

    • Update: NPR Doesn’t Ban ‘Torture’–but Offers Euphemisms to Use in Its Place

      Of course NPR did not ban the word “torture”–but it did, according to ombud Alicia Shepard (6/21/09) a few months earlier, decide “to not use the term ‘torture’ to describe techniques such as waterboarding but instead [use] ‘harsh interrogation tactics,’” because “the role of a news organization is not to choose sides in this or any debate.”

    • At Least 26 People Who Had Nothing To Hide Tortured By CIA

      Twenty-six innocent people have been tortured by the CIA. These were people who had literally nothing to hide, but they had something to fear anyway. Civil liberties are either applied to everybody without exception, or will be reliable for nobody.

    • Video shows John Crawford’s girlfriend aggressively questioned after Ohio police shot him dead in Walmart

      Police aggressively questioned the tearful girlfriend of a young black man they had just shot dead as he held a BB gun in an Ohio supermarket – accusing her of lying, threatening her with jail, and suggesting that she was high on drugs.

      Tasha Thomas was reduced to swearing on the lives of her relatives that John Crawford III had not been carrying a firearm when they entered the Walmart in Beavercreek, near Dayton, to buy crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars on the evening of 5 August.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Sony orders news outlets to stop reporting on stolen data

        Sony Pictures has demanded that news organisations stop reporting on the information stolen by hackers in the crippling attack on the studio.

        The demand was sent to media companies in a three-page letter written by Sony Pictures’ lawyers Boies, Schiller & Flexner after a wave of highly embarrassing data releases by hackers.

        “Sony Pictures Entertainment does not consent to your possession, review, copying, dissemination, publication, uploading, downloading or making any use of the stolen information,” the letter read.

      • Pirate Bay Responds to The Raid, Copies and The Future

        The Pirate Bay crew has broken its silence for the first time since the site was knocked down hard by a raid in Sweden last week. The people behind the site are still considering their options and have no concrete comeback plans yet. Nevertheless, they encourage the public to keep the Kopimi spirit alive.

      • “How To Learn Absolutely Nothing In Fifteen Years,” By The Copyright Industry

        The Pirate Bay was shut down this week. Whether or not it resurfaces, that event has already triggered a wave of innovation that will spawn exciting new sharing technologies over the coming years, just like when Napster was shut down fifteen years ago

      • Leaked Emails Reveal MPAA Plans To Pay Elected Officials To Attack Google

        Okay, it’s no secret that the MPAA hates Google. It doesn’t take a psychology expert to figure that out. But in the last few days, some of the leaks from the Sony Pictures hack have revealed the depths of that hatred, raising serious questions about how the MPAA abuses the legal process in corrupt and dangerous ways. The most serious charge — unfortunately completely buried by this report at The Verge — is that it appears the MPAA and the major Hollywood studios directly funded various state Attorneys General in their efforts to attack and shame Google. Think about that for a second.

12.14.14

Links 14/12/2014: Calligra 2.9 Beta, Krita 2.9 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 5:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Highest Performance ARM Desktop Ever

      That’s the claim CompuLab (the folks who gave us TrimSlice) makes about their Utilite2 device. I think they are very close to being truthful. Performance is not just about the network, the CPU, the graphics, and RAM. It’s about how it all works together. TrimSlice has a winner every way except in RAM. These days, 2gB is limiting, even for browsing the web. Modern browsers like FireFox and Chrome cache so much stuff and Chrome preloads pages that a user might click, that the browser takes all available RAM and performance drops off in 2gB. On my system, with 4gB RAM and hundreds of processes, Chrome is taking gigabytes of virtual memory and sometimes causes swapping if I have a dozen pages open.

  • Kernel Space

    • MIPS Has An “Unusually Large Pull” For Linux 3.19 Kernel

      The MIPS architecture improvements and new features for the Linux 3.19 kernel are aplenty due to many MIPS patches not being merged for Linux 3.18 and then aside from that a lot of developers sending in lots of new work.

      Among the MIPS changes for Linux 3.19 are:

      - Debug improvements like better backtraces on SMP systems and improving the backtrace code used by oprofile.

      - Octeon platform code clean-ups.

    • XLennart: A Game For Systemd Haters With Nothing Better To Do

      It seems that a good number of Linux users who despise systemd as an init manager have a lot of time on their hands… From making websites bashing systemd, forking distributions over their position of using systemd, personal attacks against systemd developers, to writing page after page of forum comments about negative points of systemd. There’s now even an anti-systemd game.

      XLennart is the anti-systemd game that’s a modification of the XBill game. The game is self-described as “a hacker named, ‘Lennart’ who has created the ultimate computer virus that is cleverly disguised as a popular init system. XLennart is commentary on a certain Linux/Unix topic, but I’ll let you figure out which one.”

    • Blk-mq Gets Further Improved With Linux 3.19, NVME Gets Ported

      On Saturday, Jens Axboe then sent in the block driver updates for Linux 3.19. After having gone through many code revisions, the NVMe block driver was converted to being a blk-mq driver. The blk-mq-based NVMe driver implementation is simpler and will hopefully offer greater performance too. The NVMe Linux kernel driver is responsible for supporting storage devices using the NVM Express specification with solid-state drives attached via the PCI Express bus.

    • Btrfs For Linux 3.19 Has Improved RAID 5/6 Support

      Btrfs maintainer and Facebook employee Chris Mason sent in his Btrfs file-system updates for the Linux 3.19 merge window.

    • STI DRM Improvements Coming For Linux 3.19

      Beyond the DRM graphics improvements for Linux 3.19 affecting the most common kernel graphics drivers, the STI driver will too see improvements for this next kernel version.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Krita 2.9: First Beta Released!

        Last week, the first preparations for the next Krita release started with the creation of the first Krita 2.9 beta release: Krita 2.9 Beta 1. This means that we’ve stopped adding new features to the codebase, and are now focusing on making Krita 2.9 as stable as possible.

        We’ve come a long way since March, when we released Krita 2.8! Thanks to the enthusiastic support of many, many users, here and on kickstarter, Krita 2.9 has a huge set of cool new features, improvements and refinements.

      • Krita 2.9 Is Now In Beta With Many Improvements

        KDE’s Krita graphics editing / digital painting program is now in beta for its upcoming v2.9 series.

        Krita 2.9 Beta 1 marks the end of feature development with now the focus on being stability ahead of the official Krita 2.9 release.

      • Calligra 2.9 Beta Released

        We’re pleased to present you the first beta release in 2.9 series of Calligra Suite for testing! We will focus on fixing issues including those that you’d report. All thus to make the final release of 2.9 expected in January 2015 as stable as possible!

        When you update many improvements and a few new features will be installed, mostly in Kexi and Krita as well as general ones. Finally in 2.9 a new app, Calligra Gemini, appears. Read below to see why it may be of interest to you.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Tanglu 2 (Bartholomea annulata) released!

        We are glad to announce the availability of the second release of Tanglu, codename “Bartholomea”.

        This release contains a large amount of updated packages, and ships with the latest release of KDE 4 and GNOME.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Managing Red Hat Enterprise Linux across heterogeneous environments

        In 2014, Red Hat launched Red Hat® Satellite 6, a new version of its classic Red Hat Enterprise Linux® life-cycle management solution. It includes some of the best in open system-management technology and a flexible architecture to manage scale from bare-metal to virtualized environments, and in public and private clouds.

      • Fedora

        • New Features Proposed For Fedora 22

          Beyond the potential feature of Fedora’s X.Org input stack using libinput, there’s been several other features proposed for the next Fedora Linux release.

          Among the proposed Fedora 22 changes that have to still be approved by the Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo) include:

          - Upgrading to Ruby on Rails 4.2 but that might even change to be a request for Ruby on Rails 5.

          - The ability to provide UEFI Secure Boot Blacklist Updates.

        • How to install Fedora: Hands-on with Anaconda installer

          Fedora 21 was released this week and it looks like a great release so far, but one area where Fedora can be challenging for a new user is installation. Fedora developers decided to move away from the time-tested wizard-like installer where the user takes various steps in linear order ensuring none of the important steps is missed, instead adopting the hub & spoke model.

          While I appreciate the good intentions of UX designers and developers there are a couple of flaws in the installer that make the whole process a bit, I would say, complicated.

        • 5tFTW: Five Fedora 21 FAQs

          After Tuesday’s awesomely successful launch of Fedora 21, this Five Things in Fedora This Week covers a few questions that I’ve been asked a lot, by the press and by users who haven’t been following Fedora development closely. I hope this will clear up some of the concerns, and as always I’m happy to discuss further in comments, email, IRC, social media, or in person.

        • Heroes of Fedora QA: Fedora 21

          With Fedora 21 out the door and into the wild, I’ve finally had time to gather stats on who contributed to the Fedora QA efforts. With each milestone release (and usually each quarter), QA likes to give a big shout out to those who made things possible. Fedora 21 was a departure from past releases and gave the whole of the Fedora community a lot of new processes to create and improve. Instead of one single release product, we tested and released 3 products – Workstation, Server and Cloud. Each of these required some additional testing which QA hadn’t had to do for previous releases.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 8.0 Jessie – GNU/Linux vs. GNU/kFreeBSD Benchmarks

        Here’s our latest benchmark results comparing the performance of Debian Jessie GNU/Linux vs. GNU/kFreeBSD — the Debian port that uses the FreeBSD kernel rather than Linux.

        The Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port is now shipping with the FreeBSD 10.1 kernel by default and aside from that has most of the standard GNU utilities and user-land supported by Debian GNU/Linux. GCC 4.9.1 is the default compiler and UFS is the default file-system for GNU/kFreeBSD.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Using encryption on Android – A rant

          Not every email client for Android out there supports encryption; and when it does, it does not work like Enigmail: you must first install the email client, set it up; then install an app that enables the use of GPG (APG or GnuPG for Android); then you have supposedly and through a reasonably secure process sent your full GPG keys to your phone (SD card or the internal memory).

Free Software/Open Source

  • How And Why The World Is Trending Towards Open Source

    So, what is the big deal with open source software? Besides the fact that it’s free, and it gives you all of the freedoms without all of the licensing restrictions. The business agility open source offers is quickly eroding the main stream. In a 2013 survey with over 800 participants from both vendor and non-vendor communities it was reported that open source software has matured to such an extent that it now influences everything from innovation to collaboration among competitors to hiring practices.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Open or Fauxpen? Use the OSS Watch Openness Rating tool to find out

        This is the question that OSS Watch, in partnership with Pia Waugh, developed the Openness Rating to help you find out.

        Using a series of questions covering legal issues, governance, standards, knowledge sharing and market access, the tool helps you to identify potential problem areas for users, contributors and partners.

        Unlike earlier models designed to evaluate open source projects, this model can also be applied to both open and closed source software products.

        We’ve used the Openness Rating internally at OSS Watch for several years as a key part of our consultancy work, but this is the first time we’ve made the app itself open for anyone to use. It requires a fair bit of knowledge to get the most out of it, but even at a basic level its useful for highlighting questions that a project needs to be able to answer.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Backed Pack: An open source platform, sensor & tablet

      Mono is an open source, programmable platform designed to test ideas out on. The tiny device comes equipped with a 2.2″ TFT touch display, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, an accelerometer, and a temperature sensor. Mono is a gadget as much as it is a development platform. As such, it can act as an interface for other custom ideas, or act on its own. By downloading tailored apps from the MonoKiosk app store, Mono can act as a one-touch light for Phillips Hue connected bulbs, or can display weather forecasts, for example.

  • Programming

    • Sharing What You Love Or Hate About PHP

      I largely agree with both aforementioned articles about the PHP. Many of those reasons are why Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org are written in PHP and those together amount to well over one hundred thousand lines of code. I’ve also written many other projects in PHP from PHXCMS that powers Phoronix.com to Reside@HOME. Other things I like about PHP is the easy deployment across platforms, PHP being widely packaged by many distributions/OSes, the built-in web server, it easily allows for sharing code for CLI programs and web processes, etc. Facebook’s HHVM also makes things even more exciting with improvements to the language itself while being delivered at faster speeds, etc.

Leftovers

  • Amazon 1p glitch: Software error sees hundreds of items sold for fractions of their value

    A software error on the Amazon website has seen hundreds of items sold for just 1p, potentially costing retailers hundreds of thousands of pounds.

    The glitch affected prices between 7pm and 8pm on Friday, and involved firms who use the tool RepricerExpress.

    On its website, the software company promises to “auto-optimise” prices on behalf of retailers, allowing them to “sell more and keep listings competitive 24/7 without constant attention”.

  • Science

    • Artificial life expert: We are in danger of losing control of our technology and our lives

      Future technology will be more intelligent and more living than most people can imagine today. We need clear guidelines on how to implement and use technology, or else citizens will lose their rights to their identity and their life. This is the prediction by Danish professor and expert in artificial life in a new international book about the future of technology.

      It is already happening every day: States, intelligence services, Facebook, Google and smartphones collect detailed data about everything in our lives: Our job situation, our sexual orientation, which movements and political views we support and what events we participate in. Governments and security services store our emails and phone calls and they know where we are and when. Authorities monitor how much we pay in taxes and have access to our medical records.

    • FACT SHEET: New Commitments to Support Computer Science Education

      Last year, to kick off Computer Science Education Week, President Obama issued a call to action to students, teachers, businesses, foundations, and non-profit organizations to join the growing grassroots campaign to support computer science education in K-12 schools.

      The President encouraged Americans from all backgrounds to get involved in mastering the technology that is changing the way we do just about everything, and he encouraged millions of students to learn the skills that are becoming increasingly relevant to our economy.

  • Security

    • Sony Was Hacked in February and Chose to Stay Silent

      Sony says the recent breach of its servers and weeklong cyber humiliation is an “unprecedented” strike and an “unparalleled crime.” If they’re shocked by these events, they’ve been shocked for almost a year: leaked emails obtained by Gawker show security troubles dating back to February.

    • Sony Planned to Flood Torrent Sites With “Promo” Torrents

      Sony Pictures’ TV network AXN developed a guerrilla marketing campaign to convert users of The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents and other torrent sites to paying customers. The company planned to flood torrent sites with promos for the premiere Hannibal disguised as pirated copies of the popular TV-show.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • You fly over foreign lands, maybe kill people, then drive home for dinner

      It’s an odd quirk of modern warfare than when a bomb falls in Yemen or Iraq, the person who dropped it might be able finish her mission and be back home for dinner — in Nevada.

    • America Trades Torture for Drones
    • The Senate Is Done Investigating Torture. Will Drone Killings Be Next?
    • After Torture, Will the Senate Begin Investigating Drone Killings?
    • Will Congress Investigate Drone Killings Next?

      In the aftermath of the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report focused on Bush-era techniques, the Obama administration’s own counterterrorism practices are coming under increased scrutiny.

      Gruesome details of forced rectal feedings without medical necessity, waterboarding, and sleep deprivation were chronicled in the report’s executive summary, dredging up harsh practices employed during the George W. Bush administration. But on Capitol Hill, Republicans charge that the Central Intelligence Agency’s approach to counterterrorism has not grown more humane—it’s merely shifted.

    • How U.S. Officials and Congress Have Defended Drone Strikes in Light of the Torture Report

      Q: And finally, has the President ever sought a formal assessment from the intelligence community about whether the drone program is a net asset, either because of our moral authority, or in terms of creating more enemies than it takes off the battlefield?

      MR. EARNEST: Well, I’m not aware of any intelligence assessment like this. You can certainly check with the office of the Director of National Intelligence to see if they’re aware of anything like this that they could talk to you about.

      QUESTION: Your agency is involved in overseeing the drone program in which we know, from the government’s own statements, you know, that there have been some civilians, innocent civilians, killed alongside terrorists. I’m wondering if you feel that there’s enough control over those programs and that we’re not going to be here in a few years with another director having to answer these same questions about the loss of trust from the public, from policymakers.

      BRENNAN: I’m not going to talk about any type of operational activity that this agency is involved in currently. I’m just not going to do it. I will tell you, though, that during my tenure at the White House, as the president’s assistant for counterterrorism, that the use of these unmanned aerial vehicles that you refer to as drones in the counterterrorism effort has done tremendous work to keep this country safe. The ability to use these platforms and advanced technologies, it has advanced the counterterrorism mission and the U.S. military has done some wonderful things with these platforms. And in terms of precision of effort, accuracy and making sure that this country, this country’s military does everything possible to minimize to the great extent possible the loss of life of noncombatants, I think there’s a lot for this country and this White House and the military to be proud of.

    • Torture “Architect” Mistaken in Claim Nobody’s Punished for Drone Murders

      A psychologist who played a key role in a U.S. torture program said on a video yesterday that torture was excusable because blowing up families with a drone is worse (and nobody’s punished for that). Well, of course the existence of something worse is no excuse for torture. And he’s wrong that no one is punished for drone murders.

    • One of The Stringer’s peace activist writers sentenced to a Missouri prison

      A Missouri judge convicted and sentenced two peace activists for protesting drone warfare at Whiteman Air Force Base. In Missouri’s Jefferson City, on Human Rights Day, December 10, a federal magistrate found Georgia Walker, of Kansas City, and Kathy Kelly of Chicago guilty of criminal trespass to a military installation as a result of their June 1 effort to deliver a loaf of bread and a citizens’ indictment of drone warfare to authorities at the Whiteman Air Force Base.

    • How to Lose a War on Terror

      The good news is that, to win, we need only to be our best selves. The things that we bring to the table—respect for human rights, dignity, compassion, and the rule of law—are the things that most people want. They are the values that millions of people in the Arab world have so recently fought for and demonstrated to achieve. We cannot afford to treat as casualties of a phony war the very principles through which we might someday win the real one.

    • America Is Nigeria’s Enemy

      In any case, Prof. Akinyemi and Ambassador Keshi, by virtue of their service at senior levels of the diplomatic corps and their international contacts, are well-placed to know what sort of duplicitous game the US is playing with the Boko Haram situation.

      So, it is not just about me or my taxi driver sitting in the relative comfort of a “tokunbo” car, driving on a well-made road coming up with conspiracy theories. The facts are self-evident: when it comes to the war the Nigerian state is currently fighting with the Boko Haram terrorists, the United States of America is not our friend, but a dangerous enemy trying to achieve its prediction of Nigeria disintegrating by 2015.

      It is now left for all Nigerians to stand together and speak with one voice against our common enemy. The US will continue using groups like Amnesty International to flog its biased human rights violations stories, but Nigerians must remember if we allow the US to succeed in its plan to disintegrate Nigeria, we will no longer have a country to call our own and at that point all of us will have absolutely no rights whatsoever! As such, we must stand united against this common enemy.

    • U.S. SCUTTLED NEGOTIATIONS TO FREE AMERICAN KILLED IN YEMEN

      But according to several sources in Yemen, Somers was not in immediate danger prior to the first raid launched to free him last month. Two of those sources also claim that the United States thwarted attempts by a meditator to negotiate his release by paying a ransom.

    • Times Writers Group: America’s intervention yields hate

      Some nations and organizations negotiate release of their hostages and sometimes pay ransom. The United States does not.

      [...]

      Not negotiating with hostage takers and not paying ransom have not discouraged hostage-taking either.

    • Why are Americans such cowards?

      Drones are the ultimate manifestation of America’s newfound risk aversion. After more than 12 years of remote-controlled aerial killer robot warfare, the statistics are undeniable: Unmanned aerial vehicles are an ridiculously sloppy assassination method that kills anywhere from 28 to 49 times more innocent civilians than targeted alleged terrorists. With the myth of accuracy thoroughly debunked, drones remain popular with the public for one reason: They don’t expose American soldiers to return fire.

    • If you are the US, you can get away with anything. Even torture.

      States exist for their own well-being. They have their self-interests. Domestic and foreign policies define and dictate state acts and omissions on the world stage. In the post 9/11 order, state-to-state interaction has undergone an incredible amount of change with the entire gamut of international relations now at the mercy of a few role players. The United States of America, of course, holds the centre stage, in a global effort against the spread of religious fanaticism and waging a war on terrorism.

    • How the US provides inspiration for terrorists groups like ISIS

      “Therefore the people need to know what is being done in their name so that the people, the citizens, can maintain a certain value system in public life that reflects what is written in their Declaration of Independence,” Khouri says, “so it’s a very difficult but very important moment for the United States. This is a very American moment.”

    • Cheney on torture report: Saddam Hussein ‘had a 10-year relationship with al-Qaida’

      His statement runs counter to at least two major official inquiries.

      The 9/11 Commission, an independent, bipartisan body created by Congress and Bush, had the job of writing a complete account of the circumstances surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Among its tasks: Examine the ties between al-Qaida and Hussein’s regime.

      The commission found isolated contacts over the years between Iraq and al-Qaida terrorists but nothing more. The commission released its report in 2004.

    • Cheney: ‘I’d do it again in a minute’

      Former Vice President Dick Cheney unapologetically pressed his defense of the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques Sunday, insisting that waterboarding and other such tactics did not amount to torture and that the spy agency’s actions paled in comparison to those of terrorists targeting Americans.

      “Torture, to me … is an American citizen on his cellphone making a last call to his four young daughters shortly before he burns to death in the upper levels of the Trade Center in New York on 9/11,” Cheney said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “There’s this notion that there’s moral equivalence between what the terrorists did and what we do, and that’s absolutely not true. We were very careful to stop short of torture.”

    • Dick Cheney Says Forced Rectal Feedings Were for “Medical Reasons”

      On Sunday, former Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press to variously claim that the CIA’s torture program wasn’t torture, that he’d do it again “in a minute,” and that 9/11 was the real torture.

      He also defended the forced rectal feedings detailed in this week’s shocking Senate report (and denounced by one physician as “sexual assault masquerading as medical treatment”), saying, “I believe it was done for medical reasons.”

    • Dick Cheney insists ‘rectal feeding’ was for medical reasons, not torture in defence of CIA
    • Cheney on CIA interrogations: ‘I’d do it again in a minute’

      Senior Bush administration officials Sunday slammed the Senate study on the CIA’s use of brutal interrogation tactics and defended the techniques as necessary to get information from senior Al Qaeda operatives who had stopped talking to interrogators.

  • Finance

    • Bernie Sanders unveils plan to break up Wall Street banks

      Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to introduce new legislation to break up Wall Street banks and prevent them from using the the House-passed spending bill to engage in the kind of investments that led to the 2008 financial crisis.

      The Independent senator from Vermont used Saturday’s Senate session to outline a proposal that he believes would combat spending bill provisions meant to “gut” financial reforms passed by Congress in 2010.

  • Privacy

    • How Much Will Facebook’s TOS Change Affect You?
    • UAV industry awaits FAA rulings

      The FAA is working on rules that would establish conservative regulations on commercial use of UAVs (the industry would prefer that no one call them drones any more), but those working to develop the industry in Nevada say they’re not worried.

    • Big Brother & Smartphone Driver’s Licenses

      Sure, the phone license app might be offered as a option at first, but how long until it becomes a requirement and old fashioned plastic licenses are no longer available? This would mean that anybody who wants to drive a car, at least in Iowa, would have to invest in a certified NSA ready smartphone and data plan. If this sounds far fetched, think of the amount of required government paperwork that’s now only available online and sometimes must be filled in and filed from a computer.

    • Secret surveillance of Norway’s leaders detected

      Norway’s major secrets are being administered here, right in the centre of Oslo. A number of the most important state institutions are situated within a radius of one kilometer: The Prime minister’s office, the Ministry of defence, Stortinget (parliament) and the central bank, Norges Bank. Ministers, state secretaries, members of parliament, state officials, business executives and other essential staff engaged in protecting the nation’s security, our military and our oil wealth – totalling more than 6000 billion kroner (NOK) – are working within this area.

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • Former iTunes Engineer Tells Court He Worked to Block Competitors

      A former iTunes engineer testified in a federal antitrust case against Apple Friday that he worked on a project “intended to block 100% of non-iTunes clients” and “keep out third-party players” that competed with Apple’s iPod.

      Plaintiffs subpoenaed the engineer, Rod Schultz, to show that Apple tried to suppress rivals to iTunes and iPods. They argue that Apple’s anticompetitive actions drove up the prices for iPods from 2006 to 2009; they’re seeking $350 million in damages, which could be tripled under antitrust laws.

      Schultz testified in an untucked dress shirt and leather jacket, saying he was an unwilling witness. “I did not want to be talking about” his work on iTunes from 2006-2007, part of which was code-named “Candy,” he said.

      The plaintiffs sought to submit a 2012 academic paper Schultz wrote citing “a secret war” Apple fought with iTunes hackers. In the paper, he wrote, “Apple was locking the majority of music downloads to its devices.” Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers did not admit the paper as evidence in the case.

      Outside the courtroom Schultz said the early work of his former team reflected the digital-music market’s need for copyright protections of songs. Later, though, he said it created “market dominance” for the iPod. Schultz left Apple in 2008.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

12.13.14

Links 13/12/2014: Android Wear “Lollipop”, European Commission and FOSS

Posted in News Roundup at 6:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Marking HTTP As Non-Secure

        We, the Chrome Security Team, propose that user agents (UAs) gradually change their UX to display non-secure origins as affirmatively non-secure. We intend to devise and begin deploying a transition plan for Chrome in 2015.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.2.8 and Other Must-have Apps

      The Document Foundation today announced the release of LibreOffice 4.2.8, the final update to the 4.2 branch. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols brags on his favorite Linux applications and Chema Martin says “Fedora 21 absolutely rocks.” And finally today, Chris Hoffman said “2014 shattered the myth of Linux impenetrability.”

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Introductory tasks for new GNUnet hackers

      We sometimes get requests for easy tasks to get started and join the GNUnet hacker community. However, it is often difficult for potential new contributors which areas they might be able to contribute to, especially as not all tasks are suitable for people that are just starting to work with GNUnet.

    • GCC Has Been Ported To The Visium Architecture

      Never heard of Visium before? Neither have we, but it’s yet another platform where GCC can serve as the code compiler. Eric Botcazou of AdaCore explained Visium as “a 32-bit RISC architecture with an Extended Arithmetic Module implementing some 64-bit operations and an FPU designed for embedded systems…The Visium is a classic 32-bit RISC architecture whose branches have a delay slot and whose arithmetic and logical instructions all set the flags, and they comprise the moves between GP registers (which are inclusive ORs under the hood in the traditional RISC fashion).”

  • Public Services/Government

    • The European Commission Is Looking to Update Its Open Source Policy

      The European Commission is working to upgrade open source policy so that developers have a much easier time to contribute to upstream projects, by removing some of the current constraints.

    • European Commission Finally Engaging with Open Source?

      Earlier this year, I wrote about the European Commission’s stunning incompetence in procuring desktop software: it actually admitted that it was in a state of “effective captivity with Microsoft”, and that it wasn’t really going to try to do anything about it. Fortunately, a recent article on the Commission’s “Joinup” site, by Gijs Hillenius, paints a rather brighter picture as far as the server side is concerned:

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • QEMU, FFMPEG guru unleashes JPEG-slaying graphics compressor

      Bellard – who is known for creating the QEMU virtualization hypervisor and the FFMPEG multimedia libraries, among other achievements – says the new format, called Better Portable Graphics (BPG), is designed to replace JPEG “when quality or file size is an issue.”

Leftovers

  • Security

    • DDoS of unprecedented scale ‘stops Sweden working’. The target? A gaming site

      Much of Sweden’s fixed-line broadband became collateral damage as a result of a DDoS attack on a mystery gaming site this week.

      While DDoS attacks are par for the course for most online businesses these days, the vast majority of these attacks don’t go on to affect the broadband connections of an entire country. But that’s what happened to customers of Telia, Sweden’s largest ISP, for 45 minutes on Tuesday night and then again intermittently throughout Wednesday afternoon and evening.

    • Friday’s security updates
    • Now at the Sands Casino: An Iranian Hacker in Every Server

      Most gamblers were still asleep, and the gondoliers had yet to pole their way down the ersatz canal in front of the Venetian casino on the Las Vegas Strip. But early on the chilly morning of Feb. 10, just above the casino floor, the offices of the world’s largest gaming company were gripped by chaos. Computers were flatlining, e-mail was down, most phones didn’t work, and several of the technology systems that help run the $14 billion operation had sputtered to a halt.

    • Iranian hackers used Visual Basic malware to wipe Vegas casino’s network

      Stop us if this sounds familiar: a company executive does something that makes a foreign government’s leadership upset. A few months later, hackers break into the company’s network through a persistent cyber attack and plant malware that erases the contents of hard drives, shuts down e-mail servers and phone systems, and brings operations to a screeching halt.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • BBC writer Thom Phipps advocates the murder of Julian Assange

      Public executions exist in Saudia Arabia, as do police death squads in Kenya. Public executions and death squads are part of this country’s past too. Most of us are happy to keep such barbaric behaviours squarely in the past and through history many have given their lives for the recognition of human rights and the improvement of the human condition. Presumption of Innocence, Rule of Law, Protection of Life and Freedom we all value and take for granted.

      You would not therefore expect the British Broadcasting Corporation to employ Mr Phipps in writing a comedy about Julian Assange when the former has publicly advocated for the public extrajudicial assassination of the latter.

    • Ben Miller to star in BBC4 Assange-inspired comedy Asylum

      Written by Thom Phipps and Peter Bowden, the comedy is part of a BBC season next year called Taking Liberties, celebrating 800 years of Magna Carta and exploring democracy in the run-up to the general election.

    • Hayden: No One Ever Warned Us Against Overreacting to 9/11

      A damning admission from a former head of the CIA and NSA

    • Anti-NSA protesters barge into Peter Thiel speech

      Protesters angry about the NSA spying programs and recent controversial police shootings interrupted a speech given by PayPal founder Peter Thiel at UC Berkeley on Wednesday.

    • Dear Peter Thiel: This is what disruption looks like

      A speech by the PayPal co-founder and billionaire investor Peter Thiel at University of California Berkeley ended abruptly Wednesday night when a crowd protesting the recent deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police entered the lecture hall and overran the stage.

    • BERKELEY PROTESTS SHUT DOWN PETER THIEL SPEECH
  • Transparency Reporting

    • John Cusack visits Assange

      Hollywood actor John Cusack is the latest supporter to visit WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in his continued stay at the Ecuadorian Embassy.

      The American star joined US activist Daniel Ellsberg and Indian-born author and activist Arundhati Roy for a meeting inside the embassy in London.

      WikiLeaks said the three were marking the fourth anniversary of Assange being in “detention” without charge, as well as commenting on the round-the-clock police presence outside the embassy.

    • John Cusack visits Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in his Ecuadorian Embassy bolthole
    • ‘Assange case – a witch-hunt by Swedish govt pressed by US’

      The US, the UK, and Sweden feel threatened by the WikiLeaks data release in 2010, so they work in tandem to keep Julian Assange locked up in London in fear of being sent to the US to face a grand jury, social campaigner Clark Stoeckley told RT.

      It is four years since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was accused of rape and sexual assault and two years since he fled into Ecuador’s embassy in London.

    • British Journalist Launches Kickstarter Campaign To Raise Funds For Assange, Snowden, & Manning Statues
    • ‘They’ll try to shut you down’: Meeting Assange & the non-stop ‘War on RT”They’ll try to shut you down’: Meeting Assange & the non-stop ‘War on RT’

      Assange shared an enlightening story about a Kurdish TV station that had been shut down in Denmark. The story, like so many others – from diplomatic cables with undiplomatic comments to hundreds of uninvestigated war crimes in Iraq – came to his attention through a leaked cryptogram.

    • Credit Cards Sued in VA for Wikileaks Blockade
    • Visa, MasterCard sued for blocking donations to WikiLeaks

      On Monday this week, American attorneys for Icelandic hosting provider DataCell ehf filed suit in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in hopes of having a federal judge award the company upwards of $5 million for what it claims was a coordinated attempt between Visa and MasterCard to restrict funding to WikiLeaks after the secret-spilling organization started publishing classified US State Department cables over four years ago.

    • Former Swiss Banker Collapses During WikiLeaks Trial

      Rudolf Elmer has been under investigation since 2011 for allegedly giving WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange two compact discs during a news conference in London; although he denies the charges, the trial was disrupted when the former banker fainted.Rudolf Elmer has been under investigation since 2011 for allegedly giving WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange two compact discs during a news conference in London; although he denies the charges, the trial was disrupted when the former banker fainted.

    • Former Swiss banker collapses at start of WikiLeaks trial
    • Snowden Living ‘Ordinary’ Life in Moscow

      Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden said on Wednesday that he was leading an ordinary life in Moscow, where he has lived for over a year.

      Snowden caused an international uproar in 2013 when he disclosed details of the extent of surveillance and electronic monitoring by the NSA and its British equivalent, the General Communications Headquarters.

    • WikiLeaks exposes gov’t lies, shifts on India uranium deal

      Prime Minister Tony Abbott signed an agreement in September to allow sales of Australian uranium to India for the first time. Uranium sales were initially approved by then-Coalition PM John Howard in August 2007 but Howard’s successor, Kevin Rudd, reinstated the ban.

      Rudd’s action was in accordance with long-standing Labor Party policy that uranium should only be sold to countries that have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). A 2008 Lowy Institute poll found that 88% of Australians supported this policy.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance and Politics

    • The Speech That Could Make Elizabeth Warren the Next President of the United States

      Early Friday evening Sen. Elizabeth Warren took to the Senate floor and gave a plain-spoken, barn-burning speech that could make history and put her into serious contention to be the next President of the United States.

      There are only a handful of political speeches that have such historic impact. Barack Obama’s keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention comes readily to mind. It’s what catapulted an obscure Illinois state Senator into the national limelight and put him on the path to becoming President.

      Warren’s Senate speech was different, but just as electrifying.

    • Levin highlights bipartisanship in farewell address

      “I watched and observed — I didn’t say a whole lot at first because junior members aren’t supposed to. I watched, and I learned,” Manchin said. “And I saw the system the way I imagined it probably was twenty, thirty, forty years ago, when it did work. I saw the Senate. And I’m thinking, why can’t the rest of the Senate work the way the Armed Services Committee works? And there’s one reason — we don’t have enough Carl Levin’s.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Refusing to Take Sides, NPR Takes Sides With Torture Deniers

      NPR correspondent Tamara Keith went on to refer to Sen. Dianne Feinstein discussing “a CIA program that used techniques she says amounted to torture.” In her own words, Keith reports that “the CIA program of secret overseas detentions and so-called enhanced interrogation methods began shortly after the September 11 attacks.”

    • FAIR TV: US Victimology, Equal Time for Torturers and Hypocritical Factchecking Lectures

      This week: ABC World News prepared viewers for the Senate report on CIA torture…by warning that its publication could harm Americans. Plus TV news covers the torture report by giving a platform to torture advocates. And a pundit who was dead wrong about the Iraq War shares his thoughts about the need for Rolling Stone to do better factchecking.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • No proof so far that NSA bugged Merkel’s phone: prosecutor
    • German investigation says the NSA probably didn’t tap Merkel’s phone after all

      Over a year after an unidentified source released a document he said proved the NSA had tapped the personal cell phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, an investigation by Germany’s top prosecutor has found no evidence that the tapping ever occurred. He says he also believes that the document may not even be authentic.

    • No proof of Snowden allegation that NSA tapped phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel says prosecutor
    • Former NSA Guys Just Launched This Startup To Stop Hackers’ Favorite Trick

      Area 1 Security, a two-year old Valley startup not yet out of stealth, just raised $8 million for a product that is meant to stop the most impossible hacker attacks, something called “social engineering.”

    • Can three ex-NSA snoops stop the worst hacks before they start
    • Ex-NSA Agents’ Security Startup Lands $8 Million In Funding
    • Ex-NSA Agents’ Start-Up Locks in $8m in Funding
    • Verizon’s New, Encrypted Calling App Plays Nice With the NSA

      Verizon is the latest big company to enter the post-Snowden market for secure communication, and it’s doing so with an encryption standard that comes with a way for law enforcement to access ostensibly secure phone conversations.

      Verizon Voice Cypher, the product introduced on Thursday with the encryption company Cellcrypt, offers business and government customers end-to-end encryption for voice calls on iOS, Android, or BlackBerry devices equipped with a special app. The encryption software provides secure communications for people speaking on devices with the app, regardless of their wireless carrier, and it can also connect to an organization’s secure phone system.

    • Google: We don’t spy on you
    • Schmidt: NSA revelations forced Google to lock down data
    • Your telltale video camera shake can identify you

      HERE’s a way to shake off anonymity – literally. Footage from wearable cameras contains a “motion signature” unique to you. The discovery could identify police wearing body cameras, but also let authorities single out protesters uploading footage, say.

    • How Congress Secretly Just Legitimized Questionable NSA Mass Surveillance Tool

      We recently noted that, despite it passing overwhelmingly, Congress quietly deleted a key bit of NSA reform that would have blocked the agency from using backdoors for surveillance. But this week something even more nefarious happened, and it likely would have gone almost entirely unnoticed if Rep. Justin Amash’s staffers hadn’t caught the details of a new provision quietly slipped into the Intelligence Authorization Act, which effectively “legitimized” the way the NSA conducts most of its mass surveillance.

    • Congress quietly expands NSA powers for spying on Americans

      The campaign to rein in the surveillance of Americans by the National Security Agency (NSA) has become even more difficult. Instead, Congress has used a set of provisions to expand the agency’s data-gathering power.

    • Rep. Justin Amash Rips Expanded NSA Spying OK’d by Congress

      In the middle of this week’s all-consuming deadline budget negotiations, Congress quietly passed a separate bill granting the National Security Agency broad new powers to collect Americans’ phone and email communications without warrants, share the data with the FBI and foreign governments, and, in some instances, retain the records indefinitely, according to reports.

    • Spy panel chairman confident NSA programs won’t die

      Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who is retiring from Congress after more than a decade, told reporters at a breakfast sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor on Friday that “adults” would ensure that the bill goes through, despite opposition from the spy agency’s critics.

    • Forget North Korea – the real rogue cyber operator lies much closer to home

      A cyber-attack on Sony Pictures distracted attention from a more worrying story about a piece of malware used by GCHQ

    • RON PAUL: ABOLISH CIA & NSA, REMOVE ALL TROOPS STATIONED OVERSEAS

      In the wake of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s CIA torture memo release, former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) has suggested that America should get rid of its premier intelligence agencies and bring all of our troops back home.

    • “NSA-Proof” Blackphone to Get its Own Secured App Store

      Blackphone, the privacy-and-security-obsessed smartphone, will be getting its very own privacy-and-security-obsessed app store full of vetted software in an attempt to increase the phone’s protection, the firm has confirmed.

    • How The Supreme Court Could Decide The Fate Of NSA Surveillance

      An Idaho nurse is leading the latest charge against the Obama administration for the U.S. National Security Agency’s dragnet phone data surveillance program.

      With legal help from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, neonatal intensive care nurse Anna Smith contested the government’s spy programs Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

    • Judges hear arguments over NSA surveillance

      A federal appeals court heard arguments Monday in an Idaho woman’s challenge to the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records — the third time in recent months that appeals courts around the country have considered the controversial counterterrorism program.

    • Appeals Judges to Hear Idaho Woman’s NSA Phone Data Case
    • NSA, CIA reform efforts doomed by GOP leadership of Senate Intel Committee

      The Republican takeover of the Senate after the midterm elections threatens to stall attempts to reform the nation’s surveillance laws and avoid transparency about the CIA’s controversial interrogation program, experts and civil liberties campaigners believe.

    • Europe: The NSA’s snooping habit is good and bad for business
    • NSA’s surveillance a ‘trade barrier’ for EU companies

      The US National Security Agency’s mass surveillance is a trade barrier for European Internet companies trying to provide services in the United States, a top EU official said yesterday (8 December).

    • EU Worried NSA Snooping Will Hurt International Trade
    • DOJ Misleads Court About Medical And Financial Records In Appeals Over NSA Surveillance

      Earlier this week, the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in a challenge to the NSA’s phone metadata program. While watching, I noticed some quite misleading legal claims by the government’s counsel. I then reviewed last month’s oral arguments in the D.C. Circuit, and I spotted a similar assertion.

      In both cases, the government attorney waved away constitutional concerns about medical and financial records. Congress, he suggested, has already stepped in to protect those files.

      With respect to ordinary law enforcement investigations, that’s only slightly true. And with respect to national security investigations, that’s really not right.

    • OffNow Gets Recognition from Major NSA Whistleblower

      On Monday, William Binney was a guest on the Alex Jones Show. Since he’s a major whistleblower and the former chief technical director of the NSA, I thought it would be good to call in to talk about the OffNow plan to deny the spying giant the water it needs to perpetually violate the 4th Amendment.

    • Caricature Friday- former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden

      Former CIA director Michael Hayden claims during a CNN interview that rectal hydration is a legitimate medical procedure. Erik Wemple has the story here.

    • This Week, Judges in Seattle Heard the NSA Surveillance Case That Could Go to the Supreme Court

      Earlier this week, a real estate attorney from Coeur d’Alene stood up in front of a three-judge panel in Seattle’s Ninth Circuit courthouse to argue Smith vs. Obama—a case challenging NSA surveillance that began back in Idaho, and could be the one that ends up before the US Supreme Court.

    • U.S. Relations with South America Slow to Heal after NSA Spying

      Last week, in the aftermath of both Brazil and Uruguay’s presidential elections, the two countries switched to handling bilateral trade in their local currencies, rather than the previous policy of utilizing the U.S. dollar in their economic relationship. The change is being hailed as a “step forward” in Latin American economic independence and Mercosur is exploring the expansion of this policy to Paraguay, Bolivia, and Venezuela as a way for the region to move beyond economic regulations that have traditionally been dictated by the United States.

    • Laura Poitras on the NSA’s Most Disturbing Practice

      Poitras explains that the most disturbing NSA practice is the bulk collection of data from people who are not suspected of any crime. By collecting so much data, the organization is saturated with information and unable to accurately track real threats.

    • Judge Posner says the NSA should have unfettered access to your data
    • Federal Judge Gives Glimpse Into Authoritarian Mindset Behind NSA
    • Judge Posner: it should be illegal to make phones the government can’t search

      Speaking at a Georgetown law cybercrime conference, 7th circuit judge Richard Posner made a series of conscience-shocking, technologically illiterate statements about privacy that baffle and infuriate, starting with: “if the NSA wants to vacuum all the trillions of bits of information that are crawling through the electronic worldwide networks, I think that’s fine.”

    • Congress just enshrined into law a Reagan-era rule that lets the NSA spy on Americans

      Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on much these days, but members of Congress recently joined hands to codify a very worrisome national-security executive order into law.

      The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill authorizing funding for the intelligence community with large bipartisan support. The vote was 325-100. All tallied, 55 Democrats and 45 Republicans voted against it. The same bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent, meaning that the only thing standing in its way is a signature from President Barack Obama.

    • “Information Sharing” Should Include the Public

      It’s hard to think of a legitimate reason to keep this information secret. Everybody knows that this malware was used to attack Sony Pictures. And it must be obvious to the attackers that the postmortem at Sony will reveal the workings of the malware to Sony, its consultants, and the U.S. government. These facts are not secrets, let alone secrets that are worth protecting at the cost of putting the public at risk.

      The secrecy is probably designed to protect somebody from embarrassment. If that somebody is Sony, it’s not working—the Sony attack is well known at this point. Perhaps the goal is to keep from embarrassing somebody in the government. One effect of the secrecy is to make it harder for citizens to hold the government accountable for the consequences of its cybersecurity policy.

    • Mark Zuckerberg’s advice to parents: Don’t ban Facebook
    • Ninth Circuit hears NSA program challenge

      On Monday, the Ninth Circuit held oral argument in Smith v. Obama, a Fourth Amendment challenge to the Section 215 telephony metadata program. You can watch a video of the argument here. The panel consisted of Judges Hawkins, McKeown, and Tallman. This was the third argument by a federal circuit involving a challenge to the telephony metadata program. The others are the Second Circuit and the DC Circuit, neither of which has handed down a ruling yet.

    • Judges hear arguments over NSA surveillance
    • NSA’s phone spying program extended 90 days
    • EX-KGB AGENT CLAIMS RUSSIA TOLD ANNA CHAPMAN TO SEDUCE EDWARD SNOWDEN IN MOSCOW
    • Report: Russian Spy Anna Chapman Tried to Seduce Edward Snowden

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was targeted by flame-haired former spy Anna Chapman, The Sunday People reports.

      According to the British newspaper, former KGB agent Boris Karpichkov, who has defected to the West, says the Kremlin laid out a plan for Chapman, 32, to lure Snowden, 31, into staying in the country so Russian intelligence officials could try to talk to him about American security secrets.

    • Russian Spy ‘Tried To Seduce’ NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden Into Spilling U.S. Security Secrets, Former Agent Reveals

      The flame-haired 32-year-old was reportedly hired by the Kremlin to lure 31-year-old Snowden into staying in the country so that Russian intelligence officials could continue to question him about U.S. security secrets, The Sunday People reported.

    • Edward Snowden: Russian sex bomb spy Anna Chapman ordered to seduce US whistleblower, defector reveals

      Anna, 32, even proposed marriage to Snowden, 31, on the orders of Russian ­intelligence high command.

    • Udall will be missed on critical issues such as CIA torture, NSA spying

      Coincidence? Maybe. My sites haven’t crashed for months; then all of a sudden, I post a story on CIA torture and … poof. Offline for 12-plus hours. Then a black helicopter started circling my house and … JK on that last part.

      [...]

      If you voted for Gardner, you can expect that lack of public discourse and transparency for the next six years. Congratulations. Gardner doesn’t even bother to have his people email or call reporters back, especially if they have tough questions.

      And if you’re a Democrat who didn’t bother to get out and vote for Udall, you get the government you deserve, and clearly you’re OK with the CIA and the NSA watching your every move, torturing terrorism suspects without filing charges and executing U.S. citizens anywhere they want with illegal drone strikes.

    • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to address French public

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is to address the French public for the first time on Wednesday.

    • Bill to Halt NSA Warrantless Surveillance, Passed by House, Quietly Dropped before Going to Senate

      The do-nothing House of Representatives almost slipped up and did something to protect Americans’ privacy.

      The House passed a government funding bill that included an amendment that would have ended the ability of the National Security Agency to conduct “backdoor” warrantless surveillance of the content of Americans’ electronic communications under section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. The provisions also would have stopped a mandate for technology providers to give law enforcement and other agencies an easy way to tap citizens’ communications.

    • Backroom Move Strips ‘Backdoor’ NSA Spying Ban From Spending Bill

      Congressional leaders have quietly deleted a measure meant to stop the National Security Agency’s “backdoor” surveillance of American communications from a major spending bill.

      The House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in June to ban the NSA from searching for Americans’ communications in surveillance collected while targeting foreigners. But the omnibus spending package unveiled Tuesday night — a piece of legislation that must pass to avoid a government showdown — chucks that NSA safeguard.

    • Wickr – A Top Secret Messenger App For Linux, Windows, Android, And iOS

      Wickr is free, peer-to-peer encrypted messaging application for Linux, Windows, iOS, and Android. It was founded by a group of security experts in San Francisco for private communication. They define Wicker as a top secret messenger which means that nobody can track down the wickr users activities. You can send text messages, documents, audio/video, and pictures to a single or group of users. Also, you can retain the ownership of your own messages or media you share with your group. It allows you to set the expiration time to your messages, so the messages will be completely wiped out after a particular period of time. Wickr team assures that no conversions can be tracked or monitored by anyone, even by the Wickr team themselves.

    • Drone footage of former NSA spy station in Germany

      Ruptly’s drone soared over a derelict site, once home to one of the NSA’s largest listening stations, located in the north of Berlin’s Grunewald Forest.

      The US National Security Agency (NSA) built one of its biggest listening stations on top of a hill, and began surveillance operations from there in 1961, while construction of a permanent facility, known as USM 620 Kilo, began in 1963. Giant 12-meter (39 ft) satellite dishes on the site’s two towers enabled the NSA to intercept satellite signals, radio waves, and other transmissions, before interpreting and analyzing their findings. As the hill was located in the British sector of Berlin, the British and Americans co-operated on spying progams as part of the worldwide ECHELON spy network.

    • Hidden Electronic Eavesdropping Equipment Discovered in Downtown Oslo, Norway

      Spy equipment that can be used to eavesdrop on the mobile phones of politicians and ordinary Norwegians has been discovered in several places in the Oslo area, including close to the country’s parliament, newspaper Aftenposten has revealed.

      The equipment, hidden in fake mobile base stations, can be used to monitor all mobile activity in the vicinity. The paper conducted tests close important buildings in central Oslo and discovered a number of the devices, including close to the prime minister’s residence on Parkveien and close to the government offices.

      The purpose of the equipment appears to have been to find out who was entering and passing parliament, the government offices and other buildings in the area. It could also be used to listen to phone calls and monitor data traffic of selected people in the area, the paper says.

  • Civil Rights

    • Amid Details on Torture, Data on 26 Who Were Held in Error
    • CIA torture: How do we stop the torture next time?

      After America was forced to face the CIA’s use of torture after 9/11 by the US Senate torture report, Peter Foster in Washington asks if enough has been done to prevent it ever happening again.

    • British Intelligence Agencies Come Under Scrutiny After CIA Report Released
    • UK denies ‘unlawful’ activity claims were hidden in CIA report
    • Britain convulsed by its dirty secret in wake of CIA torture report
    • CIA revelations put UK spies under scrutiny
    • CIA report: UK defends actions over interrogation claims

      None of the redactions from a CIA report on interrogation related to British involvement in the mistreatment of prisoners, Number 10 has said.

    • Jim Murphy, Torture Apologist
    • CIA Torture Report: Obama administration continues to torture Guantanamo Bay detainees, says Reprieve
    • CIA on the Couch

      Why there would have been no torture without the psychologists.

    • What happened to the CIA torture report’s cast of characters

      The report examines how agents brutally interrogated prisoners at black sites around the world in the aftermath of 9/11, and is a revealing look at the government officials who created the secret program and those who carried it out.

    • CIA torture report: Prosecute US officials, says UN chief

      Senior US officials found to have sanctioned the use of torture by the CIA should face the “gravest penalties”, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism said.

    • CIA torture report sparks renewed calls to prosecute senior US officials

      A UN expert on human rights has repeated his call for the US to live up to its international legal obligations and prosecute senior officials who authorised the use of torture.

      Ben Emmerson, the UN special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, said Eric Holder, the US attorney general, is under an international obligation to reopen inquiries into senior officials alleged to have breached human rights.

    • I interrogated the top terrorist in US custody. Then the CIA came to town

      The Senate report exposed an orchestrated campaign of deception and lies while I was an FBI agent. But here’s the worst part: the lies haven’t stopped

      [...]

      One of the hardest things we struggled to make sense of, back then, was why US officials were authorizing harsh techniques when our interrogations were working and their harsh techniques weren’t. The answer, as the long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee report now makes clear, is that the architects of the program were taking credit for our success, from the unmasking of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as the mastermind of 9/11 to the uncovering of the “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla. The claims made by government officials for years about the efficacy of “enhanced interrogation”, in secret memos and in public, are false. “Enhanced interrogation” doesn’t work.

    • President George W Bush ‘knew everything’ about CIA interrogation

      Former US President George W Bush was “fully informed” about CIA interrogation techniques condemned in a Senate report, his vice-president says.

    • Cheney: George W. Bush Was Fully Aware Of The CIA Torture Program

      President George W Bush was fully aware and an “integral part” of the CIA’s torture of terror suspects, his vice-president Dick Cheney said Wednesday.

    • CIA Torture Made Latin America Safe for China

      If you want to see how the use of torture has undermined U.S. influence and power, look at Latin America. From San Salvador to Santiago, the continent’s citizens are all too familiar with the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation techniques. Some still have the mental and physical scars to prove it.

    • Rectal rehydration and waterboarding: the CIA torture report’s grisliest findings
    • CIA ‘violated human rights’ – Afghan president

      Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has said the CIA’s brutal interrogation programme “violated all accepted norms of human rights in the world”.

      He is among many world leaders condemning how the agency imprisoned and questioned al-Qaeda suspects.

      A US Senate report on the programme has said the harsh methods did not lead to unique intelligence that foiled plots.

    • Why Dick Cheney and the CIA don’t need to worry about international criminal charges

      The release of portions of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s interrogation techniques added fine touches to a picture we already knew in broad strokes. The agency’s “enhanced interrogation” included physical abuse, sleep deprivation, waterboarding and something called “rectal feeding.”

      Though much of this was known, at least in the abstract, the added level of detail evoked a predictable international response. The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on counter terrorism and human rights, Ben Emmerson, released a statement that presented the end game: criminal charges, not only for the CIA agents involved, but also for “former Bush Administration officials who have admitted their involvement in the programme.”

      [...]

      The International Criminal Court is the only international venue that could try an American for his or her actions in the CIA’s interrogation program. There are territorial and temporary courts — the tribunals dealing with Yugoslavia or Rwanda, for example — but only the ICC is poised to take action if an individual country won’t. That’s key: The ICC has “complementary” jurisdiction, meaning that it will step in only if a local or national court is unable or unwilling to do so.

    • Why won’t Barack Obama prosecute CIA torturers?

      The graphic and unsparing report released this week on the CIA’s use of torture has prompted widespread calls for criminal charges to be brought against American spies involved in the agency’s detention programme.

      But while the White House has said it condemns the use of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” it is steadfastly refusing to prosecute those who ordered the torture or carried it out.

    • Police union: Miami chief’s statements on Eric Garner’s death ‘do not reflect the views’ of local officers

      Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa appeared on South Florida’s ABC affiliate over the weekend for a discussion about law enforcement in America. During the WPLG show, Orosa noted that he had watched video of Eric Garner’s deadly encounter with a New York police officer.

    • Miami Police Union Slams Chief For Defending Eric Garner

      In the wake of this weekend’s boisterous protests that twice shut down 195 and clogged streets from Wynwood to Midtown, Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa sat down with Michael Putney on Channel 10 last night. Orosa was surprisingly blunt about the Eric Garner case in New York, telling Putney that he believes the NYC cops who put Garner in a chokehold before his death will be indicted for federal civil rights violations.

    • Cops use taser on woman while she recorded arrest of another man

      Video of the March 30 melee surfaced online this week. Police erased the 135-second recording from the woman’s phone, but it was recovered from her cloud account, according to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City lawsuit (PDF), which seeks $7 million.

      [...]

      Mwamba was arrested on charges of assault for allegedly trying to run over two officers. Charges were dropped, and she suffered cuts and bruises.

    • Silk Road Judge: I Won’t Reveal Witnesses Because Ulbricht Could Have Them Killed

      When alleged Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht’s trial begins in less than a month, he’ll face charges of narcotics conspiracy, money laundering, and computer fraud—not murder. But the specter of violence is creeping into Ulbricht’s trial nonetheless. The prosecution and judge in his case have now refused to let him know which witnesses will be testifying against him for fear that he might orchestrate their killing from his jail cell.

    • I Was There When an Undercover Cop Pulled a Gun on Unarmed Protesters in Oakland. Here’s How It Happened.

      Over the past 24 hours, photos showing a plainclothes police officer pulling a gun on unarmed protesters in Oakland have gone viral. Tens of thousands of people, and news outlets like Gawker, Buzzfeed, The Guardian, and NBC have shared them, often including outraged comments. But there have been few accounts of what exactly happened, and how the incident came to pass.

    • Attorney General Won’t Force New York Times Reporter to Reveal Source

      Attorney General Eric Holder has decided against forcing a reporter for the New York Times to reveal the identity of a confidential source, according to a senior Justice Department official.

      The reporter, James Risen, has been battling for years to stop prosecutors from forcing him to name his source for a book that revealed a CIA effort to sabotage Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

      The government wanted Risen’s testimony in the trial of a former CIA official, Jeffrey Sterling, accused of leaking classified information.

    • CIA’s Brennan: I Think We’ve Had Enough Transparency For The Time Being

      The CIA’s Director John Brennan spoke out about this week’s release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s CIA Torture Report — and to say he wasn’t pleased about the report would be an understatement. Rather amazingly, in real-time as Brennan spoke, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s staffers did a real time rebuttal/fact-check to his speech via Twitter, with each statement punctuated with the hashtag #ReadTheReport. Brennan’s tap dancing concerning the report included a number of jaw dropping statements, but I wanted to focus on two specific ones.

    • CIA’s Brennan has had enough torture talk, wants to move on
  • DRM

    • Telling people how to remove DRM isn’t illegal

      We all know that it’s against the law to sell copyrighted material, but is it also illegal to tell people about software that can strip DRM off e-books without the intention to distribute? New York Judge Denise Cote has recently ruled that it’s not. The lawsuit in question, which was never cut and dry to begin with, was filed by Penguin and Simon & Schuster against Abbey House Media, a company that used to sell e-books for them. Abbey House was bound by law to protect those files with DRM, but when it was a month away from shutting down its digital bookstore in 2013, someone in the company felt compelled to help customers gain control of the e-books they already bought.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Launching CollabMark Project to Hack Trademarks for Free Culture.

        oday, we launched CollabMark — a project to provide information about how open source and free culture communities can use trademarks.

        A project’s identity is important. Trademarks empower communities to protect their identity and build a strong reputation to recruit new members and distribute their work. But trademarks also impose some restrictions that are challenging for groups that thrive on freedom and decentralization. With CollabMark seeks to offer some strategies to collaborative communities, including a Collaborative Mark Policy that they can adopt to protect their name and logo in an open way.

    • Copyrights

      • Leak Exposes Hollywood’s Global Anti-Piracy Strategy

        Leaked documents reveal in detail how Hollywood plans to take on piracy in the years to come. One of the top priorities for the MPAA are cyberlockers and illegal streaming sites, with lawsuits planned in the UK, Germany and Canada. Torrent sites are a medium priority, which the MPAA hopes to fight with criminal prosecutions, domain seizures and site blocking.

      • Important “Innocence of Muslims” Copyright Case To Be Re-Argued Monday

        A panel of eleven Ninth Circuit federal judges will hear oral arguments Monday in a rehearing of Garcia v. Google, a copyright case arising from the notorious “Innocence of Muslims” video that was associated with violent protests around the world. The appellant, Cindy Lee Garcia, argues that she holds a copyright in her five-second performance in the video, and because she was tricked into participating, that the video uses that performance without permission. EFF and many other public interest groups have filed friend-of-the-court briefs in the case, noting (among other concerns) that it is a matter of firmly established law that actors generally do not have a copyright in their performances.

      • Project Goliath: Inside Hollywood’s secret war against Google

        What is “Goliath” and why are Hollywood’s most powerful lawyers working to kill it?

        In dozens of recently leaked emails from the Sony hack, lawyers from the MPAA and six major studios talk about “Goliath” as their most powerful and politically relevant adversary in the fight against online piracy. They speak of “the problems created by Goliath,” and worry “what Goliath could do if it went on the attack.” Together they mount a multi-year effort to “respond to / rebut Goliath’s public advocacy” and “amplify negative Goliath news.” And while it’s hard to say for sure, significant evidence suggests that the studio efforts may be directed against Google.

      • Furious Google Ended MPAA Anti-Piracy Cooperation

        After delivering a major blow to torrent sites during October, Google must’ve thought the MPAA would be pleased. Instead, however, the MPAA issued a ‘snarky’ press release. According to a leaked email, the press release so infuriated Google’s top brass that the company ended cooperation with the MPAA.

        Each week Google removes millions of ‘infringing’ links from search engine results at rightsholders’ request, 9.1m during the last documented week alone. In the main Google removes these links within hours of receiving a complaint, a record few other large sites can match.

        But no matter what Google does, no matter how it tweaks its search algorithms, it’s never been enough for the MPAA. For years the movie group has been piling on the pressure and whenever Google announces a new change, the MPAA (and often RIAA) tell the press that more can be done.

      • Surprise: Spanish Newspapers Beg Government And EU To Stop Google News Shutting Down

        What makes this situation even more ridiculous is that, according to the ABC.es newspaper, German publishers are now asking Angela Merkel to change the manifestly broken German approach to using news snippets online, by copying the even more backward-looking Spanish law (original in Spanish.) Once again, it seems that an obsession with “protecting” copyright from imaginary harm causes otherwise rational people to lose the ability to think properly.

12.12.14

Links 12/12/2014: Linux++, KDE Frameworks 5.5.0, Calligra 2.8.7

Posted in News Roundup at 6:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Best Terminal Emulators for Linux

    If you’re a fan of Linux, you know the exact reason why it’s awesome – the command line. Though many outsiders view it as only a “hacker tool,” it’s actually one of the best tools available for any operating system. The Linux shell has the ability to install software, manage your operating system and basically everything else.

    To interact with the command line, you’ll need a terminal emulator. There are many terminal emulators available – perhaps too many. There are a lot of good ones and a lot of bad ones out there. It is because of this reason we’ve decided to create a list of five great terminal emulators available on Linux.

  • Why I rarely file bug reports

    “Any chance of a bug report?” a developer asked when I mentioned a problem with an application on social media. As a free software supporter, I felt an obligation to oblige, but in practice, the chance was slim. For those of us who don’t regularly file bugs, the process is usually too demanding, and too dependent on bureaucratic whim to seem worth the effort.

  • HP’s Big Slap-In-The-Face To Microsoft Will Show Up Next Year

    The operating system is called Linux++, and is part of HP’s ambitious project to reinvent the computer, reports MIT Technology Review’s Tom Simonite.

    Ultimately, HP hopes to replace Linux++ with something even more radical and homegrown, an operating system called Carbon, though it hasn’t talked about a timeline for that yet.

  • Has The Russian Government Moved To GNU/Linux As Planned?

    There is another plan which almost certainly will involve replacing Wintel PCs with GNU/Linux PCs gradually, by a million units per annum, the move to Baikal processors, a derivative of ARM. Recently, in response to sanctions over Ukraine, Russia will officially prefer home-grown “solutions” for IT. There are signs of a digital “cold” war emerging and the world’s IT is dependent on several components originating in Russia. Such pressures will surely accelerate migration to GNU/Linux in Russia. It’s a short cut to independence.

  • Linux Continues to Grow in the Cloud Computing and Implementation of Enterprise Applications

    The operating system of most famous open source is gaining ground in business particularly in cloud computing, according to a report from the Linux Foundation and Yeoman Technology Group.

    The Linux Foundation has published a study called “2014 Enterprise End User Trends Report” that shows the steady growth of Linux in the market for large companies, especially in recent years driven by factors such as the growth of cloud computing, in addition to its known qualities in terms of safety, capacity deployment, costs or virtualization.

  • Desktop

    • Must-have Linux desktop apps (Six Clicks)

      There’s nothing I can’t do on my Linux PCs that requires Windows. It’s really that simple.

      On my Linux Mint 17.1 desktop, I can run Windows games, thanks to Crossover, and run thousands of native games including many Steam-powered games. In addition, I don’t need to worry about anti-virus software since, despite all the FUD, there still hasn’t been a successful desktop Linux virus.

      Let’s get down to business: Here are the six applications I use every day to get my work done and keep in touch with my friends. Unless you have some particular program that’s Windows only, I think you’ll find these six programs may answer for all your daily needs as well.

  • Server

    • Containers, microservices, and orchestrating the whole symphony

      The microservices architecture is far from a new trend; it’s generally accepted as a better way to build apps these days. The common way to build apps was, until a few years ago, the monolithic approach—which was, if you look at it from a functional perspective, basically one deployment unit that does everything. Monolithic apps are good for small scale teams and projects, but when you need something that has a larger scale and involves many teams, it starts to become problematic. It’s much harder to make changes, as the code base becomes bigger and more people make changes to it.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux leader: Dependency on a platform is good for the platform

      Zemlin’s statement preceded the announcement Tuesday that the Cloud Foundry Foundation, representing the financial backing for open source projects, has been successfully spun off into an agency unto itself. It will remain intertwined with the Linux Foundation, however, in that Linux will become a contracting service provider to Cloud Foundry.

    • diff -u: What’s New in Kernel Development

      Containers are very tricky to implement. Trying to isolate sets of resources from each other completely, so that they resemble a discrete system, and doing it in a secure way, has to be addressed on a feature-by-feature basis, with many caveats and uncertainties. Over time, this makes the core kernel code more secure and robust, but each individual feature may have surprising issues.

      The whole namespace idea—corralling subsets of system resources like user IDs and group IDs, and performing on-the-fly translations between the resource names within the container and the corresponding names in the outer system—is tough to manage.

      Recently, Marian Marinov noticed that process counters in the outer system counted processes as being owned by the same user if his or her UIDs (user IDs) were the same inside two separate containers. The same was true for GIDs (group IDs). He didn’t like this, because the two containers represented two logically isolated systems, and in that context, the same UIDs could refer to different users entirely. They shouldn’t be counted together.

    • Linux 3.19 To Have Full Multi-Touch For More Logitech Devices

      Jiri Kosina has lined up his HID subsystem changes for the Linux 3.19 kernel that include more multi-touch device work and other input improvements.

    • XFS Has Improvements To Look Forward To With Linux 3.19

      One of the latest pull requests for the Linux 3.19 kernel is the XFS file-system changes.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Frameworks 5.5.0 Released
      • Release of KDE Frameworks 5.5.0

        This release is part of a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

      • Calligra 2.8.7 is Out

        Packages for the release of KDE’s document suite Calligra 2.8.7 are available for Kubuntu 14.10. You can get it from the Kubuntu Updates PPA. They are also in our development version Vivid.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • 4MLinux Is So Lightweight It’s Anemic

        I worked with the all-in-one version of 4MLinux for several days, and I had a very frustrating experience trying to deal with the little distro that could not. The separate mini distros had a few usability issues too. I was disappointed by the minimalistic software inventory. Unless you install them to the hard drive, very few of the included apps actually run.

    • Screenshots

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo Monthly Newsletter: November 2014

        The Gentoo Council addressed a few miscellaneous matters this month.

        The first concerned tinderbox reports to bugs. There was a bit of a back-and-forth in bugzilla with a dispute over whether bugs generated from tinderbox runs that contained logs attached as URLs instead of as files could be closed as INVALID. Normally the use of URLs is discouraged to improve the long-term usability of the bugs. Since efforts were already underway to try to automatically convert linked logs into attached logs it was felt that closing bugs as INVALID was counterproductive.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta is here

        Time, and operating system developments wait on no one. Only a few months ago Red Hat released Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 and now the RHEL 7.1 beta has landed on our doorsteps.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 21 Raves & DRM Happiness

          But the real reason behind Fedora 21’s success? It’s an odd-numbered release. Historically, the odd-numbered releases have always been better than the even-numbered ones. Don’t ask me why. There’s no documentation or detailed research to prove why it happens this way. It’s just a physical law of the universe.

        • Red Hat 7.1 Beta, Malware History, and Bug Reports

          In the Linux feeds this evening was the announcement of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta. In other news, Jon Gold takes us down Linux malware memory lane and Derrik Diener looks at some terminal emulators – one that was new to me. Elsewhere Bruce Byfield discusses why he don’t file bug reports and Jack Germain says 4MLinux is so lightweight it’s anemic.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google releases Cardboard VR viewer specs and SDKs

          The Android SDK enables applications with features including lens distortion correction, head tracking, 3D calibration, and side-by-side rendering. Other features include stereo geometry configuration and user input event handling.

        • Sharing with Qt on Android

          We just release a new version of GiraffPanic – a logic mobile game written with Qt and QML. In the new version we give the users the possibility to share unlock codes with each other to unlock new levels. So we wanted to have a nice way to share the code between devices without any need to copy paste them (codes) into another application. After trying a lot of different approaches (that did not work), we found it is possible to invoke the native Android share menu from within our application. Using this method keeps our own code quite tidy and supports all the ways of sharing provided by the host device.

        • Game of Thrones adventure released for Android

          I’m a huge fan of the and . I’ve read through the books a number of times, and watched the show even more. There’s always some little angle or juicy tidbit to find in the books, you just can’t read them once to take it all in. No matter how attentive a reader you are, you’ll definitely miss things as George R.R. Martin puts little hints and foreshadowings all over the place.

        • BlueZ 5.26 Taks Aim At Bluetooth 4.2 & Android 5.0

          BlueZ, the Linux Bluetooth stack, boasts more features with today’s release of version 5.26.

          BlueZ 5.26 most notably adds support for Android 5.0 Bluetooth features and support for Bluetooth 4.2 commands and events. BlueZ 5.26 also supports the Low-Energy Secure Connections feature of Bluetooth, HID over GATT get and set report handling, and version 1.2 of the Phonebook Access Profile. BlueZ 5.26 also packs various fixes.

Free Software/Open Source

  • HubSpot Is Now Aiming to Solve DevOps with New Tool

    The company, traditionally focused on marketing software, is to eventually aiming to make the new product open source.

  • Cisco Announces Plan to Reinvent Snort 3 IPS

    The user friendliness is being enabled in part by way of a new command line shell that leverages the open-source Lua language.

    There is also a plan to have a simpler language for Snort rules. Roesch explained that the new rules language will be more streamlined than the existing language. The goal for the new rules language is for both humans and machines to be able to more easily read and write Snort policies.

    The most current stable open-source Snort release is version 2.9.7.0, but that doesn’t imply that the new Snort 3.0 release will be coming within the next three regular Snort release update cycles. Roesch said he doesn’t mind having a Snort 2.10.0 or an even higher number, emphasizing that the development of Snort 3 will take its due and proper course.

  • Events

    • How many LibrePlanet scholarships will we give?

      We’re excited to announce our first keynote speaker for LibrePlanet 2015: Karen Sandler, executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy and co-host of the “Free as in Freedom” podcast. Ms. Sandler’s closing keynotes have been a highlight at LibrePlanet, and we’re so excited to have her back. In other words, LibrePlanet 2015 is shaping up to be a really great event.

    • AnDevCon Highlights Embedded, Open-Source

      Application performance management tools, speakers, and giant green Android mascots abounded at the Android Developer Conference San Francisco Bay Area, held November 18 through 21 in Burlingame, Calif. The event, in its eighth year, was sponsored by Intel, Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Twitter, Sony, Epson, and Amazon, among others.

    • Call for Papers is open for the Embedded Linux Conference 2015

      Are you involved in Embedded Linux? Well there is a Embedded Linux Conference (ELC) taking place in San Jose, CA, March 23 – 25, 2015. This is the “premier vendor-neutral technical conference for companies and developers using Linux in embedded products”.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Dell Adds Midokura Open Network Virtualization Option for OpenStack

      Dell Computer is deepening its focus on the open cloud and OpenStack in particular. The company announced an expansion of its Open Networking initiative to include Midokura, a company focused on network virtualization, to complement Dell’s networking and server infrastructure. Their agreement includes a joint go-to-market program, validated reference architecture and global reseller agreement.

    • How to Easily Get Very In-Demand OpenStack Cloud Skills

      How in demand are cloud computing skills in the job market? Consider these notes from Forbes, based on a report from WANTED Analytics: “There are 3.9 million jobs in the U.S. affiliated with cloud computing today with 384,478 in IT alone. The median salary for IT professionals with cloud computing experience is $90,950 and the median salary for positions that pay over $100,000 a year is $116,950.”

    • OpenStack Is Huge In The Open-Source Cloud—But Maybe Not Huge Enough
  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • IT should listen to users not just managers, says SugarCRM CEO

        Deliver the software users want and need (not just what management thinks is required), look for deployment flexibility, and beware of API charges. They are the messages from SugarCRM CEO Larry Augustin.

        The proliferation of BYOA – bring your own applications – is putting pressure on IT departments to provide better tools, and to regard users as “constituents” rather than simply listening to management.

  • Public Services/Government

    • European Commission updates its open source policy

      The European Commission (EC) wants to make it easier for its software developers to submit patches and add new functionalities to open source projects. Contributing to open source communities will be made central to the EC’s new open source policy, expects Pierre Damas, Head of Sector at the Directorate General for IT (DIGIT). “We use a lot of open source components that we adapt and integrate, and it is time that we contribute back.”

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Science

  • Security

    • A brief history of Linux malware
    • The Password? You Changed It, Right?

      As my Twitter followers may be aware, I spent the first part of this week at the Passwords14 conference in Trondheim, Norway. More about that later, suffice for now to say that the conference was an excellent one, and my own refreshed Hail Mary Cloud plus more recent history talk was fairly well received.

      [...]

      By this afternoon (2014-12-11), it seems that all told a little more than 700 machines have come looking for mostly what looks like various manufacturers’ names and a few other usual suspects. The data can be found here, with roughly the same file names as in earlier episodes. Full list of attempts on both hosts here, with the rather tedious root only sequences removed here, hosts sorted by number of attempts here, users sorted by number of attempts here, a CSV file with hosts by number of attempts with first seen and last seen dates and times, and finally hosts by number of attempts with listing of each host’s attempts. Expect updates to all of these at quasi-random intervals.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • ‘Excited Delirium’ and the Suspicious Death of Kenwin Garcia

      Kenwin Garcia was a 25-year-old African American man from Newark who died in 2008 on the side of a highway, after an altercation with state police. Christopher Baxter from NJ Advanced Media states that his death was claimed to be a result of “excited delirium.” The term is used to describe a lethal overdose of adrenaline that leads to heart or respiratory failure. But there is little medical evidence to support this official judgment in Garcia’s case, and there is wider controversy surrounding the interpretation of the symptoms that constitute the syndrome. In Garcia’s case specifically, an autopsy found he suffered severe internal injuries, including a broken breastbone and ribs, a torn kidney and extensive bleeding.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The New York Times Downplays The Influence Of Money In Politics

      The New York Times downplayed the impact of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and dismissed the influence of money in politics by ignoring record-breaking spending of outside groups, the role of large donor political contributions, and dark money in the 2014 midterm election.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Solidarity against online harassment

      One of our colleagues has been the target of a sustained campaign of harassment for the past several months. We have decided to publish this statement to publicly declare our support for her, for every member of our organization, and for every member of our community who experiences this harassment. She is not alone and her experience has catalyzed us to action. This statement is a start.

    • GOP rep attempted late bid to kill spy bill

      One of the biggest thorns in the side of the country’s intelligence agencies attempted to mount an eleventh hour bid to kill the spy agencies’ funding bill on Wednesday.

      Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) wrote on Facebook that the intelligence authorization bill that easily passed through the House contained “one of the most egregious sections of law I’ve encountered during my time as a representative.”

      “It grants the executive branch virtually unlimited access to the communications of every American,” explained Amash, who has a record of skepticism toward the National Security Agency and other agencies. Last year, he nearly succeeded in an attempt to end the NSA’s controversial phone records program.

    • Police can search cellphones in arrests without warrant, Supreme Court rules

      In a crime ruling that earned it rare praise from the federal government, the Supreme Court of Canada said police may search cellphones without a warrant when they make an arrest.

      Cellphones are the bread and butter of the drug trade, the majority said in a 4-3 ruling. It said police have been given the “extraordinary power” to do warrantless searches during an arrest, under common-law rules developed by judges over centuries, because of the importance of prompt police investigations. Until now, those searches typically included purses and briefcases. Civil liberties groups had urged the court to exempt cellphones.

    • European Commissioner For Human Rights And Key EU Privacy Committee Strongly Condemn Mass Surveillance And Bulk Data Retention

      As we wrote recently, the UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruled that GCHQ surveillance doesn’t violate human rights. That’s hardly surprising, given IPT’s track record in approving pretty much everything that GCHQ does. But the global reach of the spying carried out by GCHQ and the NSA means that there are plenty of other bodies that are prepared to condemn what they have been doing. Here, for example, is an important report from the commissioner for human rights at the Council of Europe, entitled “The Rule of Law on the Internet in the Wider Digital World”. It’s an extremely thorough exploration of this complex area, touching on key issues that have often been discussed here on Techdirt: privatized law enforcement, suspicionless mass data retention, cross-border exchange of data by law enforcement agencies, and global surveillance by national security agencies.

    • the long tail of MD5

      Everybody knows that MD5 is as terribly useless as ROT13 and you should have switched to SHA3-512 like twenty years ago. But lots of usage sticks around, and will continue to stick around for a long time to come, leading to the long tail of MD5. Why not simply convert to a better hash function? Maybe it’s not so simple.

    • Edward Snowden’s lawyer calls on Europeans to prosecute US torture architects

      A leading German human rights lawyer has called on prosecutors across Europe to “get active” and prepare to seize any CIA agents and US officials involved in torture who enter their territories.

  • Civil Rights

    • Stephen Colbert Mocks Fox News’ Raucous Support Of Torture
    • Mark Udall Wants To Release CIA Internal Review Of Torture Program

      Outgoing Senator Mark Udall has been a key player in trying to hold the intelligence community’s feet to the fire concerning their unconstitutional and illegal activities — and that includes both the NSA and CIA. He was a key player in making sure that the CIA torture report was actually released — and there was pressure on him, if the report wasn’t released, to read it into the record to force it out. Even with the release on Tuesday, some were asking for Udall to at least release an unredacted version or even more sections from the full ~7,000 page report, rather than just the 500 page exec summary. In fact, in Udall’s final floor speech on Wednesday (link to a video that is about 50 minutes), the Senator instead chose to reveal more information related to the so-called “Panetta Review” on the CIA’s torture program.

      [...]

      The CIA has done everything it can to try to bury the Panetta Report. But Udall actually discussed it in depth. A big chunk of his speech is actually discussing some of the details in the Panetta Review, going beyond the CIA torture report. Following his speech, Senator Richard Burr — who is a known buddy of the intelligence community, and soon to take over the Senate Intelligence Committee — ridiculously claimed that Udall disclosed a bunch of “very classified” material. What it actually shows, however is that the CIA’s response to the torture report is simply more lies from the CIA. As Udall noted in his speech, since the Panetta Review was supposed to be internal, it was a lot more open and honest, and it agreed with the Senate staffers. He first points out that the official CIA response to the terror report, from current Director John Brennan, shows the CIA’s “flippant” attitude towards oversight and the fact that it knows the Obama administration will let the CIA get away with anything. However, the Panetta Review shows the true story.

    • Stun Guns Used by Police 13 Times Causes Death

      The policy states that officers should not stun any handcuffed suspect.

    • How The CIA Got Conservative Author Ronald Kessler To Spin For Them On Torture

      The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture reveals that conservative author Ronald Kessler was “blessed” by the CIA, receiving background information from the agency which he used to push false claims about the effectiveness of “enhanced interrogation techniques” and publishing classified information without triggering a leak investigation.

    • Scalia: Constitution silent on torture

      Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is joining the debate over the Senate’s torture report by saying it’s hard to rule out the use of extreme measures to extract information if millions of lives were threatened.

      Scalia told a Swiss broadcast network that American and European liberals who say such tactics may never be used are being self-righteous.

    • Metaphysics

      Listening to the BBC and Sky, and reading The Guardian, all on the subject of whether the UK establishment knew about CIA torture or not, the realisation dawned on me that I had imagined my entire life story and in fact I had never actually existed. For a little while it was like being in a particularly scary Japanese film.

    • Rectal feeding is rape – but don’t expect the CIA to admit it

      Of all the revelations made about the “enhanced interrogation methods” used by the CIA on detainees in the aftermath of 9/11, the use of waterboarding and rectal feeding have garnered the most attention. In the case of the latter in particular, this was the first time many people had even heard of such a thing.

      Initially used in response to prisoner hunger strikes, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence found this allegedly “necessary” and “legitimate” medical practice – also referred to as a “nutrient enema” – was also used by the CIA as a form of torture and control.

    • Guess Who Else Tortured People Like the CIA Did — Soviets and Nazis

      The Soviet Union was good at torture.

      But the Soviets excelled at torture because they understood its usefulness. “Our task is not only to destroy you physically,” a Stalinist interrogator explained to a prisoner in 1948. “But also to smash you morally before the eyes of the society.”

      History’s great agents of pain knew what the CIA pretends not to.

    • These American World War II Re-Enacters Dress Up Like Nazis for Fun

      That’s part of what drew her, as well as her friend and fellow photographer Marisha Camp, to photograph American re-enactors of Germans in World War II for her series “Targets Unknown.” Half out of necessity—those who attend the re-enactments are required to dress for the occasion—and half out of a desire to test the boundaries between subject and artist, Kranitz became an active member in the events she photographed.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • IsoHunt unofficially resurrects The Pirate Bay

        Torrent site isoHunt appears to have unofficially resurrected The Pirate Bay at oldpiratebay.org. At first glance, The Old Pirate Bay seems to be just a commemorative site for The Pirate Bay, which went down this week after police raided its data center in Sweden. Upon further inspection, however, it turns out the site is serving new content.

        Various mirror sites of The Pirate Bay have sprung up since the site’s disappearance, but this one is different. Some alternatives simply provide a copy of The Pirate Bay with no new content (many proxy sites have been doing this for years). Others, like thepiratebay.cr, go further and even provide fake content as if it was new and even attempt to charge users.

      • What chance a piracy consensus?

        The Government says rights holders and ISPs must develop an anti-piracy regimen themselves, or have one imposed on them. Early signs show this approach is working.

        The Government’s ultimatum to ISPs and content owners and distributors that they have three months to come up with a system for identifying and taking action against copyright infringers already appears to be bearing fruit.

      • MPAA Prepares to Bring Pirate Site Blocking to the U.S.

        The MPAA is in discussions with the major movie studios over ways to introduce site blocking to the United States. TorrentFreak has learned that the studios will try to achieve website blockades using principles available under existing law. Avoiding another SOPA-style backlash is high on the agenda.

      • Thanks To All Heroes Of Freedom Who Have Kept The Pirate Bay Running

        The file-sharing site The Pirate Bay is down following a raid by Swedish Police. The organization Rights Alliance, previously named the Anti-Pirate Bureau and representing the giant movie and record corporations, is behind the raid. It’s a dark day for freedoms online.

12.11.14

Links 11/12/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta, Firefox 35 Plans

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • How Linux Works Is an OS Mechanic’s Mainstay
  • Linux Ruled 2014, Codenames, and Steam Linux Sales

    There were lots of interesting tidbits in today’s Linux feeds. Silviu Stahie wonders if Linux’s advancements in 2014 were enough to finally declare it the “year of Linux.” Elsewhere, Larry Cafiero laments Fedora’s decision to forgo codenames and Kevin Fenzi explains what happened to Fedora servers yesterday after release. Jack M. Germain reviews How Linux Works: What Every Superuser Should Know and GOL explains how Steam computes Linux sales.

  • Joyent Offers Linux Branded Zones, Extends Docker Engine as Container Service

    Joyent, Inc., which has billed itself in several different ways over the years is now billing itself as “the container infrastructure company.” The company is actually making a lot of smart moves. In November I reported on how Joyent has announced that it is open sourcing its core technology. Joyent’s platform can compete with OpenStack and other cloud offerings, and facilitates efficienet use of container technologies like Docker.

  • About Linux Weekly News – 8th December 2014
  • Users Want Windows 10 Features That Are Already Available in Linux Systems

    Windows 10 brought some new features for its fans, but it’s still under development. Its users already have a list of features they would like implemented, but it’s funny to see how most of those features are already present in Linux installations.

  • Desktop

    • Was 2014 “The Year of Linux Desktop”?

      Linux has seen a lot of changes during 2014 and many users are saying that this was finally the year that really showed some real progress, but has it been enough to call it “the year of Linux desktop”?

    • Linux Mint 17.1 and the question of the “best” Linux desktop
    • Is Linux Mint 17.1 really the best desktop of 2014?

      Wow, that’s some high praise there for Linux Mint 17.1. I agree that the Linux Mint developers did a great job on it, but I’m not sure I’d call it the best available desktop today for the simple reason that no matter how good a distribution or desktop is, there are bound to be people out there who need something different. Linux Mint is a fine choice for many or even most desktop Linux users, but it’s not right for everybody.

      I’m not even sure there is a “best desktop” since the whole notion is so extremely subjective. I suppose you could say that there’s a “most popular” desktop if there is a huge majority of people using it that dwarfs all other desktops. But “best” implies that it is better than everything else and, as much as I like Linux Mint, I cannot say that it’s better than every other distribution or that Cinnamon or MATE beat out every other desktop environment.

      I suppose it’s the old “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” thing. If Linux Mint 17.1 meets all of your needs, and you can use Cinnamon or MATE then it may very well be the best desktop distribution for you. But there are far too many different Linux users to generalize and give it the crown of best desktop of 2014, particularly given all the other choices out there.

    • My Favorite Linux Applications and Desktops

      My main desktop remains KDE, although Cinammon, GNOME, Mate, and LXDE are also ready to run. However, my main environment remains KDE because of the work tools it provides, such as a multi-item clipboard, and the ability to group the applications I’m working with into a single tabbed window.

  • Server

    • Trusty Old Router

      In the past years, the device has been running OpenWRT, which is a really nice and very powerful little Linux distribution specifically for this kind of routers.

    • Parallels adopts Docker in next Cloud Server release

      Long, long before Docker made containers the cool server application virtualization tool, Parallels was making container technology work for enterprises with the commercial Virtiozzo and the open-source OpenVZ project. Now Parallels will be adding native support for Docker as well to the next version of its Parallels Cloud Server.

  • Kernel Space

    • OpenDaylight Member Spotlight: Intel

      Intel was a founding member of the OpenDaylight Project and recently increased its membership to Platinum, the highest tier. We had a conversation with Uri Elzur, Intel’s director of SDN architecture, to understand what drove the company’s decision and what we can expect to see from them in 2015 and beyond.

    • VirtIO & Xen Changes For Linux 3.19 Kernel

      The VirtIO changes for Linux 3.19 include infrastructure changes for providing VirtIO 1.0 support. There’s also bug-fixes and other improvements with the VirtIO code for Linux 3.19. The VirtIO changes for Linux 3.19 can be found via this pull request.

    • EXT4 In Linux 3.19 Brings Lots Of Bug Fixes

      Ted Ts’o has sent in the EXT4 file-system changes for the Linux 3.19 kernel merge window.

      EXT4 changes for Linux 3.19 include “lots of bug fixes”, including changes that should improve CPU utilization and potential soft lock-ups when under heavy memory pressure. There’s also a random assortment of other changes with just around 500 lines of EXT4 file-system code being touched by 26 changes for this merge window.

    • Linux Foundation IoT standardisation effort AllSeen Alliance grows to more than 100 companies

      For those wo are not following IoT news all the time: you may have lost the foundation of this interesting alliance project that aims at fostering interoperability of IoT.

      This project is led and started by Linux Foundation and this is a great guarantee of openness and real community driven innovation. We all look forward to see where AllSeen will lead!

    • Many Sound Updates Queued For Linux 3.19 Kernel

      Takashi Iwai classifies the sound updates for Linux 3.19 as a fairly large pull request. There’s ASoC improvements, new USB audio support improvements, a new OXFW Firewire audio driver for the FW970/971 chipset, support for new Intel x86 SoCs, and various other changes. The new Intel SoC support work is for some Cherry Trail and Braswell hardware.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Interview with Sylvia Ritter

        A friend mentioned Krita in 2010, claiming that it was the best open source alternative to Photoshop. Had to try it and never stopped working with it. On a sidenode I’ve never worked with commercial art software before, but I’m not eager to either.

      • GCompris Joins the KDE incubator and Launches a Fundraiser

        GCompris has joined the KDE incubator. GCompris is the high quality educational software suite comprising numerous activities for children aged 2 to 10, and well known by parents and teachers all over the world.

        GCompris was started in 2000 by Bruno Coudoin as a Free Software project. Originally written in GTK+, the project developers decided in early 2014 to make a radical change and rewrite it in Qt Quick. The main motivation is the ability of the Qt platform to address the desktop and the tablet market from a single code base.

      • digiKam: Season of KDE Update

        To put it briefly, the gradient of the image patch gives us the differences in pixels. We then decompose the covariance matrix to get eigen values whose values represent the strength of the image patch. Specifically, the larger the maximum eigen value, the richer the texture is, in the dominant direction.

        I came across an OpenCV function which handles all of this and returns the eigen values (and vectors).

  • Distributions

    • Create a live system ISO for your Ubuntu-based Linux machines using Systemback

      You have that Linux desktop or server precisely how you want it and are interested in either creating a spot-on backup or a live ISO that you can then install on other (similar) hardware. How do you do it? You could go through the process of learning a number of commands to take care of the process, or you could install and use a handy tool called Systemback.

    • Reviews

      • An Everyday Linux User Review Of Puppy Linux Tahr 6.0 CE

        Puppy Linux continues to be a tremendous distribution. The performance is incredible and the amount of quality applications that are provided in such a small download is breathtaking.

        The default applications won’t appeal to everyone and they are built for functionality over style but the Quickpet application makes it possible to install old favourites like LibreOffice and GIMP.

        It would be good if Puppy could get around booting on UEFI based machines but modern machines probably aren’t the target market at the moment.

        I would definitely recommend Puppy Linux for netbooks, older laptops and for computers that have no hard drives. It proves once and for all that you can teach an old dog (of a computer) new tricks.

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

    • Arch Family

    • Slackware Family

      • New chromium and chromium-dev packages

        For the curious among you, I have additionally refreshed my chromium-dev packages. Chromium-dev is the development release of the browser (there’s also a “beta” channel but I don’t care about that too much). By play-testing the development release from time to time, I am prepared and do not get nasty surprises when the stable channel jumps to a higher major release (the jump from 38 to 39 was quite intrusive in terms of SlackBuild script).

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat secure, open source solutions
      • Red Hat secure, open source solutions overview

        For agencies and programs across government, open source solutions from Red Hat are delivering security as good as or better than proprietary solutions.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta Now Available

        In June, we announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, effectively raising the bar for enterprise IT infrastructure and pushing the operating system into the role of being a critical infrastructure platform for the enterprise. Featuring a broad spectrum of significant new features and enhancements, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 is designed to not only meet the demands of today’s modern datacenter but to tackle the next-generation IT requirements of tomorrow. From accelerating application delivery through containerization – to laying a stable foundation for the open hybrid cloud – Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 continues to redefine the enterprise operating system.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Now In Beta
      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Enters Public Beta

        RHEL 7.1 is now available in beta. Improved security is a key focus in the new beta of Red Hat’s flagship Linux platform.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.1 Beta available now!

        Fans of Linux-based operating systems have been experiencing a deluge of quality releases in the last quarter of 2014 — Ubuntu, Mint and Fedora to name a few. While I still think there are too many distros nowadays, the lesser-quality releases can be tuned-out as noise.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Infrastructure release day retrospective

          Here’s what happened: For the last few weeks we had been seeing sporadic slowdowns in the bodhi application, but had been unable to isolate what was causing them. This last week was the Fedora Infrastructure Mirrormanager 2 / Ansible FAD, and there we added some more debugging in, but still couldn’t see where the problem was. It wasn’t in bodhi itself, but somewhere in it’s integration with the authentication system and getting to that via proxy01 (our main datacenter proxy). Proxy01 seemed busier than usual, but it gets a lot of traffic anyhow. We bumped memory up on it to make sure it could better cope with release day.

        • ​Say hi to Linux’s future: Fedora 21 is here

          I’ve only started playing with Fedora so I don’t have a firm opinion about it yet. I will say that while the Desktop, with its default GNOME 3.15.2 interface, works well, I still don’t care for GNOME. Fortunately, Fedora comes with a wide variety of “spins,” so you can run with KDE, Xfce, LXDE, or, my own favorite of the official Fedora variations, MATE.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Hackable Roomba integrates Raspberry Pi

      iRobot’s hackable $200 “Create 2″ version of its Roomba robot for STEM education can be programmed with a laptop, or via an onboard Arduino or Raspberry Pi.

      iRobot’s Roomba was the first — and still one of the few — major successes in consumer robots. Unlike more advanced iRobot designs, such as the Linux-based Ava 500 telepresence robot, the modest, vacuuming Roomba runs on a simple Motorola HC12 microcontroller. Now, iRobot has released a $200, non-vacuuming hacker version of the Roomba 600 called the Create 2 designed for K12 and college-level STEM education.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why your organisation will thank you for going open source

    With all the information available on the internet and on websites like FutureGov, it’s no longer difficult to know the merits of open source and how other government agencies have been benefiting from it. The bigger challenge would be how to convince your finance department to believe in these merits enough that they would reallocate their budget to back it.

  • VMware is nuts for clusters (and containers)

    VMware has announced a batch of integrations with a number of technology entities as it strives to create a common platform for building and operating applications at scale.

  • TYPO3 Updates Open Source Web CMS Neos

    Open source web content management (WCM) provider TYPO3 released a new version of Neos that officials there say improves the user experience for digital marketers in a “smoother” and more “time-saving” way.

  • Five open source PaaS options you should know

    An open source Platform as a Service (PaaS) allows developers and users to contribute and share source code and extensions. The PaaS is either vendor-driven or standard-based.

    A vendor-driven open source PaaS locks the developers and users to a vendor. The developers have limited controls over transferring applications from a vendor-driven open source platform to another one.

    The standard-based open platform is vendor-agnostic and is more flexible; it aims to standardize the orchestration of automatic processes of life cycle management. Developers can transfer applications across the cloud.

  • UPDATE: XRDPConfigurator Is Now Open Source!

    I have just released XRDPConfigurator – a GUI application to configure your Xrdp server – as Open Source, under the Apache License version 2.0.

    I had originally intended for it to be a commercial product whereby a user would have to purchase a license in order to use it.

  • SOS Open Source is Now Open Source!

    We are glad to inform you that the European funded initiative PROSE eventually enhanced the SOS Open Source methodology, re-engineering the tools and making them available to the general public as open source. Now everyone can run an educated open source software procurement process by using SOS Open Source tools and methodology.

  • ARTIST Open Source Software Release

    If you belong to an open source community or are a passionate developer check out our ARTIST OS package to test it now! Our source code is available for modification or enhancement by anyone.

  • Intel and SwiftKey Update, Will Open Source, Stephen Hawking’s Speech Program
  • OPNFV Adds New Members to Open Source SDN/NFV Project

    The Linux Foundation has announced that four new industry partners—Array Networks, Midokura, Ooredoo and Sonus Networks—are backing OPNFV, the open source software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) platform.

  • Events

    • Open Hardware Summit 2014 – Rome #OSHW
    • Web Engines Hackfest 2014

      During the last days I attended the Web Engines Hackfest 2014 in A Coruña, which was kindly hosted by Igalia in their office. This gave me some time to work again on WebKit, and especially improve and clean up its GStreamer media backend, and even more important of course an opportunity to meet again all the great people working on it.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • What OpenStack women are saying about the community

      It’s a problem that the tech industry struggles with in general, and OpenStack is no different: How do we create an environment that is open, inviting, and friendly to women, and how do we get more women involved?

    • Landing In The Cloud – The Open Source Arena

      Open source by its very nature is more free-flowing and open to others, making it that much more affordable, especially when it’s free. Since open source software usually isn’t a product made by a large corporation or eager upstart, the cost to use it is usually quite low. That means a low barrier of entry for businesses to adopt it for their operations. The low monetary barrier makes it so small businesses with limited budgets that might have shied away from more expensive cloud solutions before can actually use the technology and embrace the benefits that come with it.

    • OpenStack Leverages Its Higher Profile To Lead Open Source Cloud Survey

      There’s a strange situation within the open source cloud sector. CloudStack, the initiative that is now supported from within Citrix has a far longer history, and more early customer success than OpenStack. However OpenStack, with its huge following by large vendors (including Rackspace, HP, IBM and Oracle ) has taken the lion’s share of attention.

    • Big Data Source Code: Getting Better All The Time
  • Databases

    • MongoDB gets its first native analytics tool

      Most companies realize they need to become more data driven in order to make better decisions and identify new opportunities. Many also recognize the need for new tools to analyze their data, much of it stored in operational systems.

      At the same time, for their operational systems, a growing number of companies have adopted NoSQL databases, the most popular of which is the document database MongoDB. Unfortunately, document databases are nobody’s first choice for analytics, so people end up using ETL to move data from MongoDB to an RDBMS or Hadoop for analysis. ETL processing adds latency, however — perhaps too much latency if you want your business to be “data driven.”

    • How do you solve a web-scale deployment problem with MariaDB?

      MariaDB Corporation (the artist formerly known as SkySQL) is polishing up its open source database products this month.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Business

    • Zimbra releases new report highlighting greater trust in open source among IT professionals than proprietary software

      The report findings confirm a changing perception of open source, to a platform for the development of quality software that enhances privacy and security. Findings from the survey, which was conducted in 18 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as the United States, show that 66% of EMEA respondents agreed that commercial backing and code transparency reduces applications’ privacy risks, and 67% agree these improve application security.

    • 6 of the Best Open Source Holiday Gifts for SMBs

      ‘Tis the season to look beyond the usual humdrum small business gear and give your favorite small business owner something new and unusual. In this roundup we’ll look at a little flying and rolling camera drone, a mobile library and Webserver, a new-generation 3D printer, a clever customizable key organizer that you can print with the 3D printer, a cutting-edge programmable LED flashlight, and an Android smartwatch.

      Some of these picks should be useful for your small business, and they all make superior gifts for employees and customers. Forget the Christmas hams—give cool gadgets instead.

  • Funding

    • Hachicorp Raises $10M to Advance Open Source DevOps Vision

      HashiCorp today announced that it has secured a $10 million Series A round of funding. The company will use the money to continue to evolve its application development and deployment technology, including the development of a new commercial service known as Atlas.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Build and Share Your Own 3D Printer with Open-Sourced ‘Bolt’ by Edu3d.Org

      It’s often the case that we set out to inspire our kids, teach them, and encourage them to do things in the world, but when we give them the tools to work independently, they end up turning the tables and inspiring the older generations with new ideas that can be very surprising, and even startling with innovation and relevance. Kids’ brains are still new, much more open, and not yet quite so worried about what an academic or peer set will think of a ‘crazy new idea’ for something that just might work — or change the world altogether.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Source Hardware Companies Blend Altruism With Bottom Line

        It’s very easy for open source users around the world to collaboratively share data and files to modify software. Everyday examples include products like Mozilla Firefox and Chromium which allow users to modify, study, deconstruct and even distribute the programs in a collaborative way with no worry of patent or warranty infringement.

  • Programming

    • Go 1.4 is released

      Today we announce Go 1.4, the fifth major stable release of Go, arriving six months after our previous major release Go 1.3. It contains a small language change, support for more operating systems and processor architectures, and improvements to the tool chain and libraries. As always, Go 1.4 keeps the promise of compatibility, and almost everything will continue to compile and run without change when moved to 1.4. For the full details, see the Go 1.4 release notes.

    • Google’s Go 1.4 Officially Released
  • Standards/Consortia

    • Cabinet office Plugfest builds momentum for ODF

      On Monday and Tuesday, 8th-9th December, a group of technologists, SMEs, corporations, individuals, and representatives of Governments gathered in Bloomsbury, London over two days to collectively improve the implementation of Open Document Format (ODF).

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Linux Turla Malware Infection? Not Going to Happen.

      This code simply isn’t in any Linux repository.

      That means one must intentionally deviate and go outside of the keyring-protected repo of applications ‘into the wild’ to obtain this rogue software.

      By definition, a trojan, requires one to install the application and then explicitly run it to have its ‘payload’ execute.

    • Multiple X.Org Vulnerabilities Found, One Is from 1987

      One of the most important features of the open source development community is its ability to self-correct, even if it takes a very long time. A number of issues in X servers have been corrected recently, and some of them were actually very old. The record holder is a bug introduced back in 1987.

    • Security updates for Thursday
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Another Perspective on the US, China, and Containment

      Writing on the occasion of President Obama’s November 2014 trip to Beijing for the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, John V. Walsh asks whether China might contain the United States. Walsh inverts the conventional question—Can the U.S. contain China?—and observes that, as far as East Asia is concerned, “History tells us that the West with its missionaries and soldiers, Obama’s predecessors, bathed the region in suffering and bloodshed.” In that expanded context, Walsh considers whether China might “restrain the U.S. from doing more damage in East Asia” and elsewhere in the developing world. Due to its economic and military powers, Walsh writes, “China should be able to provide to the world alternatives to the diktats of the West.”

    • U.S. Troops Out, Private Contractors Stay in Afghanistan

      In May 2014, President Obama announced a plan to keep at least 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan until 2016. He neglected to inform the country about the massive army of private contractors that will also remain deployed in Afghanistan. A PowerPoint document obtained by Salon from Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), one of the country’s biggest military and intelligence contractors, spells out the contractor’s ongoing role in Afghanistan, which dates back to 2009. The document also shows the company’s $400 million contract with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, which is on a five-year plan.

    • Top Gun Violence Researchers Criticize Pew’s “Outlier” Gun Rights Survey Result

      Media outlets are heavily touting a poll from Pew Research Center supposedly showing “growing public support for gun rights,” but Pew’s polling question is flawed because it presents a false choice between regulating gun ownership and protecting gun rights. In response to the Pew poll, a prominent gun violence researcher said, “I could not think of a worse way to ask questions about public opinions about gun policies.”

      [...]

      According to experts, the question is flawed because respondents have to pick between support for gun regulation or gun rights, as if those premises were mutually exclusive.

    • US drone strikes kill 13 alleged militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan

      A suspected US drone strike on a Pakistani Taliban compound in North Waziristan tribal region killed at least four alleged militants on Sunday, officials said.

    • US drones kill 13 ‘militants’

      A suspected US drone strike on a Pakistani Taliban compound in North Waziristan tribal region killed at least four alleged militants on Sunday, reports The Guardian quoting officials.

      [...]

      The officials said Pakistani Taliban linked to commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur used the compound, but it wasn’t immediately known whether Bahadur was there at the time of the strike.

    • Scarborough: I Can’t Wait for the Report on Obama’s Drone Strikes

      Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough diverted a discussion about the CIA torture report with drones on Tuesday, took a day off, then reprised his act Thursday, simultaneously dismissing the Senate Intelligence Report on the CIA’s terror funplex enhanced interrogation techniques while salivating for the details of some future report on President Barack Obama’s drone program.

    • Torture “Architect” Mistaken in Claim Nobody’s Punished for Drone Murders

      A psychologist who played a key role in a U.S. torture program said on a video yesterday that torture was excusable because blowing up families with a drone is worse (and nobody’s punished for that). Well, of course the existence of something worse is no excuse for torture. And he’s wrong that no one is punished for drone murders. The protesters are. Latest example:

    • Drone operator made long-distance war from close to home
    • LETTER: People that are retired still contribute to society in Derbyshire

      I object to my taxes being used to buy bombs and drones to kill Afghan, Iraqi and Syrian children, and for adventures in Afghanistan and Libya and subsidising bankers who’ve robbed us but still get their bonuses, and life long silver spoons for royal offspring, but as a taxpaying pensioner I don’t get the chance to opt out.

    • Planet Politics: America’s Bloody Conscience

      America can be a brutal superpower, especially when — as rarely happens — it is attacked. Yet it likes to think of itself as a country with more lofty rules of combat and behavior than the run of imperia that have come before it.

    • America Trades Torture for Drones

      The release Tuesday of the executive summary of a report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which reviews the CIA’s detention and interrogation practices between 2001 and 2009, was for all its gruesome detail greeted in some official quarters as a kind of catharsis. “This,” said Secretary of State John Kerry in a statement, “marks a coda to a chapter in our history”—a chapter, he went on, that is now “more than five years behind us,” since President Obama ended the CIA’s detention program during his first week in office. Obama, for his part, acknowledged that “some of the actions that were taken were contrary to our values” but expressed hope that “today’s report can help us leave these techniques where they belong—in the past.”

    • Question use of lethal drones

      The age of innocence is long gone. We’re far beyond the nonthreatening play of remote-controlled model planes, or even Cold War spying. By beginning this conversation in the religious community, we hope to take a long and hard look at the use of lethal drones and then make policy recommendations to the U.S. government. We will seek to determine what the religious community can do about lethal drones at every level: congregations, regional bodies, ecumenical and interfaith bodies, and nationwide coalitions.

    • Editorial: U.S. must defend itself, but torture is not the way

      The Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report released Tuesday details the depths to which the Central Intelligence Agency reached in its efforts to coerce terror suspects to reveal secrets and potential plots against the United States in the wake of the 911 attacks.

      And Obama is correct: That’s not what America is.

      Indeed, the shocking report discloses what will certainly go down as a dark and hidden period in U.S. history. It gives the U.S. a black eye in the world community and our enemies ammunition for retaliation – not that they ever seem to need any reasons.

      Interrogation tactics such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation and tight confinement were authorized by the Justice Department in 2002. But, the report says, CIA tactics went beyond what was approved by former President George W. Bush. It says the CIA misled top U.S. officials and Congress about the full extent of its treatment of detainees and the effectiveness of the program. The CIA did not brief Bush with details until 2006, the report says.

      Some Republicans and current and former CIA directors say the tactics did help stop attacks here and abroad, capture terrorists and save American lives.

      But that raises the troubling question posed by the debate: Does success derived from immoral acts make those acts moral? The answer is no, which is why Americans should find them revolting. Which is why they are not who we are. Or at least not who we aspire to be.

    • For We Know Not What We Do

      While we’re on the subject of knowledge gaps, Micah Zenko of the Council of Foreign Relations notes that the CIA never measured the effectiveness of their covert programs. Take interrogation. A memorandum by the CIA dated June 27, 2013 — but only released today — responds to “the SSCI’s conclusion that the ‘CIA never conducted its own comprehensive analysis of the effectiveness of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques’”.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Congress to Reinstate Taxpayer Subsidies for Reckless Derivatives Trading

      The New York Times called it “a textbook Washington play: use a must-pass bill, on the eve of the holidays, as a vehicle for changing unrelated policies.”

      The liberal Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, called it “the worst of government for the rich and powerful.”

      The conservative Senator from Lousiana, Dave Vitter, called it “a Christmas presents to the megabanks and Wall Street.”

      Firebrand Florida Representative Alan Grayson told the Huffington Post’s Zach Cater who broke the story, that it was “a good example of capitalism’s death wish.”

    • Democrats Revolt Against ‘Wall Street Giveaway’ In Deal To Prevent Government Shutdown

      Democrats on Wednesday raged against a government funding bill that would provide taxpayer subsidies to risky Wall Street derivatives trading.

      “The House of Representatives is about to show us the worst of government for the rich and powerful,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on the Senate floor. She urged her colleagues not to support a “deal negotiated behind closed doors that slips in a provision that would let derivatives traders on Wall Street gamble with taxpayer money and get bailed out by the government when their risky bets threaten to blow up our financial system.”

      News of the deal, first reported by HuffPost on Monday, has prompted a bitter bicameral feud. The dispute highlights a major divide among Democrats leading up to the 2016 elections over Wall Street’s role in the party platform.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Investigative Reporting = Working With Ad Partners to Monetize the Audience
    • As US media awake to a ‘nightmare’ Israel, NYT brings Blumenthal in from the cold

      We’re in the midst of a sea change in the American mainstream’s treatment of the conflict. US media are beginning to reflect the awareness that the two-state solution is over and that violence around Jerusalem and the West Bank is caused by occupation and fostered by rightwing intolerance inside Israeli political culture– the “nightmare” of greater Israel. There are countless examples of the shift. Last night on MSNBC Richard Engel said many people are angry at the US because of torture and drones, but also “because of Israel/Palestine, and Gaza.” When Israeli finance minister Naftali Bennett was confronted by Khaled Elgindy at the Brookings Institution last Saturday to explain why Palestinians are “the only group of humans in the world that do not have the right to self-determination,” the Beltway audience was evidently on Elgindy’s side. Leon (AIPAC) Wieseltier is gone from the New Republic. The New York Times is publishing Max Blumenthal. And the New Yorker‘s David Remnick is staying in East Jerusalem.

      [...]

      The Times gave Max Blumenthal a platform to explain that Israel has always been rightwing…

  • Censorship

    • IFC Center Rejects MPAA’s ‘R’ Rating On Snowden Documentary, Says It Should Be ‘Essential Viewing’

      Many people still have no idea that the MPAA “rating system” for movies is a totally voluntary system. Any official system like that would be unconstitutional as a violation of the First Amendment (which is why a legal attempt to rate video games got killed by the Supreme Court). It’s pretty rare for theaters to ignore MPAA ratings — though it does very rarely happen. Back in 2012, we noted that AMC theaters defied the MPAA by letting students see the documentary Bully, even though the MPAA wanted to rate it as “R” (which restricts anyone 17 and under from seeing the film without an adult).

    • GCHQ to help tackle ‘dark net’ child abuse images

      Intelligence experts and organised crime specialists will join forces to tackle child abuse images on the “dark net”, David Cameron has said.

    • Web Index: 4.3B People Offline Globally, 1.8B Face Internet Privacy Challenges

      Later today, Tim Berners-Lee will be making an appearance in London to talk about how well the world is doing at making the Internet accessible to everyone and a place safe from commercial and political interference, themes that have been strong for the inventor of the World Wide Web. Ahead of that, the World Wide Web Foundation — an organisation started by Berners-Lee — has released its Web Index annual report, a global pulse check on these issues over the past year.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • President George W Bush ‘knew everything’ about CIA interrogation

      Former US President George W Bush was “fully informed” about CIA interrogation techniques condemned in a Senate report, his vice-president says.

    • Cheney on torture report: ‘Full of crap’

      “The report’s full of crap, excuse me,” Cheney said in an interview with Fox News after calling the report a “terrible piece of work” and “deeply flawed.”

    • ABC Makes US the Victim in CIA Torture Report Story

      There’s an unfortunate impulse, when you or someone you’re close to does something wrong, to turn the situation around so that you can seem like the victim. That ugly human defense mechanism was on display on ABC’s nightly newscast for two days running as the network previewed the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s torture program.

    • Are Rush Limbaugh And Fox News Still Laughing About Torture?

      Last spring, Palin appeared before an NRA convention crowd and laughed about how liberals supposedly coddle America’s mortal adversaries. “Oh, but you can’t offend them, can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen,” said Palin. “Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists,” The NRA audience roared with approval, but even some conservative commentators who saw the tape of Palin’s wisecrack took offense, upset that she had linked bodily torture with a Christian sacrament. (“It’s disgusting.”)

      [...]

      “If you look at what we are calling torture, you have to laugh,” Rush Limbaugh once announced, and claimed “if somebody can be water-tortured six times a day, then it isn’t torture.” At the time of the Abu Ghraib scandal, Limbaugh routinely mocked the claims of prisoner abuse, which were confirmed by horrific photographs: “Here we have these pictures of homoeroticism that look like standard good old American pornography, the Britney Spears or Madonna concerts or whatever.” Limbaugh dismissed the prison torture as a “fraternity prank,” suggesting “Maybe the people who executed this pulled off a brilliant maneuver. Nobody got hurt. Nobody got physically injured.”

    • Right-Wing Media Evokes Controversial Rolling Stone Story To Discredit Senate Torture Report
    • Creative writing teacher resigns after student writes about Jesus, pot

      The assignment was to take a fairy tale or legend and rewrite it in modern times. One student changed the biblical story about Jesus handing out bread and fish to the poor to Jesus handing out marijuana to the sick.

    • C.I.A. First Planned Jails Abiding by U.S. Standards

      Just six days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, President Bush signed a secret order that gave the Central Intelligence Agency the power to capture and imprison terrorists with Al Qaeda. But the order said nothing about where they should be held or how the agency should go about the business of questioning them.

      For the next few weeks, as the rubble at ground zero smoldered and the United States launched a military operation in Afghanistan, C.I.A. officials scrambled to fill in the blanks left by the president’s order. Initially, agency officials considered a path very different from the one they ultimately followed, according to the newly released Senate Intelligence Committee report on the C.I.A.’s harsh interrogation program.

    • Dick Cheney Says CIA Torture Report Is ‘Full Of Crap’ — Then Admits He Hasn’t Read It

      It’s no secret that those most closely responsible for the CIA’s torture program are pulling out all the stops to attack the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the program, trying out a variety of defenses from “it actually saved lives” to “it’s just a partisan hack job.” So it should come as no surprise that former Vice President Dick Cheney has been making the cable TV news appearances to help attack the report. After all, many have argued that the real person behind the torture program was Cheney and his staff — and to date, Cheney has insisted that everything that was done was perfectly reasonable and he’d do it again. Thus there’s no surprise when Cheney appears on Fox News (because, of course), to claim that the report is “a bunch of hooey” and “full of crap” and “deeply flawed” only to then admit ” I haven’t read the report.”

    • Architects of brutal methods had little experience

      When the CIA set out to design a program to elicit intelligence from captured terrorists, it turned to two former Air Force psychologists with no practical interrogation experience and no specialized knowledge of al-Qaida, according to a Senate investigation released this week.

    • Pay and Suffering: Psychologists Made $80M From CIA Interrogation Program

      The two psychologists contracted by the CIA to design the enhanced interrogation techniques used against al Qaeda suspects were paid more than $80 million, even though they were never themselves interrogators, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s “torture report,” released today — a report that one of the psychologists told ABC News was “bulls**t.”

    • The Architect

      The Senate Intelligence Committee has released a blistering, 500-page report on the CIA’s controversial detention and interrogation program, a document that committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said represents the most significant oversight effort in the history of the US Senate.

    • Mormon church appointee aided CIA on terror

      A Spokane psychologist who helped develop controversial interrogation methods, which some human rights groups say amount to torture, became the new spiritual leader of a Mormon congregation on the South Hill this week.

      Bruce Jessen was proposed by Spokane Stake President James Lee, or “called” in the terminology of the Mormon faith, to be the bishop of Spokane’s 6th Ward, approved by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hierarchy in Salt Lake City and presented to the congregation on Sunday. He was unanimously accepted by some 200 in attendance, Lee said.

    • CIA torture report: The doctors who were the unlikely architects of the CIA’s programme

      They are the most unlikely architects of the CIA’s programme of torture. Two psychologists who swore to heal not harm.

      Now it has been revealed that two doctors, identified by the pseudonyms Dr Grayson Swigert and Dr Hammond Dunbar, were paid $81 million by the CIA to help develop and implement a seven-year programme that included “enhanced interrogation techniques” such as waterboarding, placing detainees in stress positions and sleep deprivation.

      Until now, little was known about the pair, who the New York Times has named as James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen.

      According to the declassifed documents, they created the programme in 2002 when the CIA took custody of Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi arrested in Pakistan and suspected of being an al-Qaeda lieutenant.

    • Meet the Psychologists Who Helped the CIA Torture

      So how did these two men come to play such an outsized role in developing and enacting the CIA’s torture program? Much of the story is captured in a 2009 Times article by Scott Shane. Shane writes that Mitchell, who after retirement “had started a training company called Knowledge Works” to supplement his income, realized that the post-9/11 military would provide business opportunities for those with his kind of experience and started networking with his contacts to seek them out.

    • The American Mengeles: Drs. Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell

      We like to think of evildoers as easily recognizable cartoon characters. We want them to be different from us to reassure ourselves they aren’t anything like us. But when you consider the man pictured here, and the truly bestial things he did, you have to accept the fact the face of evil is a lot like our own. If that makes you uncomfortable, don’t worry. It should bother you. If it didn’t, there would be something wrong with you.

      The man in the old photo is tidy, professional, and clearly in control. Even without a stethoscope slung around his neck, you know the man in the white coat is a cultured, educated, intellectual man of science.

      You may not recognize him, but you certainly know his name. He’s (in)famous for his experiments. In fact, he’s so extraordinary I think he deserves a medal. I don’t mean he should get one; he should get one named after him. I think Dr. Jessen and Dr. Mitchell deserve to be the first to get this medal.

    • Psychologist defends harsh CIA tactics he designed

      But Mitchell declined to detail his experience, other than to point out he spent 30 years with the Air Force and other government organizations.

    • Battle Rages Over Senate Report on CIA Interrogation Techniques

      One day after a Senate panel’s report on interrogation tactics employed by American spies, a furor erupted at home and abroad as top Central Intelligence Agency officials prepared a detailed public response.

      Democratic senators issued fresh denunciations from the chamber floor Wednesday, Poland’s former president said the CIA misled him, and Afghanistan’s new leader demanded accountability for any mistreatment of detainees there.

      Meanwhile, a group of former CIA officials and GOP senators on the panel fiercely defended the agency against what they called a one-sided report, saying the interrogation program was legal and effective.

    • Spokane psychologists helped craft CIA’s harsh interrogation tactics

      From their office in Spokane, two psychologists who once worked with an Air Force survival school there launched an extraordinary covert business that, after the 2001 terror attacks, offered one-stop shopping for a CIA wanting to use harsh interrogation tactics.

    • Senate Report Put Obama at Odds With Brennan, Longtime Security Adviser

      Tuesday’s release of the report criticizing the Central Intelligence Agency’s post-Sept. 11 detention and interrogation program puts an unusual public strain on the close relationship between the president and his CIA director.

    • The CIA chained him to the floor and froze him to death. But who was Gul Ruhman?

      It wasn’t that bad, we’ve been told, over and over again, for more than a decade. “We only waterboarded three people” goes the line American officials have been force-feeding the world for years.

      “We tortured some folks,” Barack Obama admitted recently, still downplaying war crimes committed in America’s name. But we now know those statements do not even begin to do justice to the horrific activities carried out by the CIA for years – atrocities that now have been exposed by the US Senate’s historic report on the CIA’s torture program, finally released on Tuesday after years of delay.

      There are stories in the CIA torture report of “rectal rehydration as a means of behavior control”, threats to murder and “threats to sexually abuse the mother of a detainee” – or cut a mother’s throat. There are details about detainees with broken bones forced to stand for days on end, detainees blindfolded, dragged down hallways while they were beaten. There were even torture sessions that ended in death. The list goes on and on, and on and on.

    • The 10 most harrowing excerpts from the CIA interrogation report
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Piracy is a crime – really!

        The Australian government has today confirmed that it will not tolerate online content piracy – site blocking and a graduated response scheme backed by legal action is soon to be legislated.

      • Develop anti-piracy scheme or we’ll do it for you

        The Government has issued an ultimatum to ISPs to work with content owners and distributors to develop a code that will enable digital pirates to be prosecuted.

        Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Attorney General George Brandis have written to ISPs, telcos, copyright owners and content distributors telling them to develop an anti-piracy code or have one forced upon them.

        The letter is published here. It tells all parties they have until 8 April 2015 to develop a code that will enable the enforcement of sanctions against people who infringe copyright by downloading content from illegal sources.

      • Google Pulls Out The Nuclear Option: Shuts Down Google News In Spain Over Ridiculous Copyright Law

        Back in October, we noted that Spain had passed a ridiculously bad Google News tax, in which it required any news aggregator to pay for snippets and actually went so far as to make it an “inalienable right” to be paid for snippets — meaning that no one could choose to let any aggregator post snippets for free. Publishers have to charge any aggregator. This is ridiculous and dangerous on many levels. As we noted, it would be deathly for digital commons projects or any sort of open access project, which thrive on making content reusable and encouraging the widespread sharing of such content.

Links 11/12/2014: systemd 218, Empire Total War

Posted in News Roundup at 12:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Review: 6 business-class Chromebooks test their mettle

      I’ve spent the last three weeks taking six business-oriented Chromebooks through their paces. I started out as a skeptical Windows-rules-them-all kind of guy: I’ve been using Windows since the early days, and I’ve rarely strayed from the ghosts of my Windows masters. By the end of my Chromebook experiment, however, my old biases were shaken.

  • Kernel Space

    • F2FS On Linux 3.19 To Support Faster Boot Times

      The Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) will see another round of improvements with the now in-development Linux 3.19 kernel.

      The F2FS file-system this time around features several bug-fixes and other changes. The noteworthy work for this kernel cycle is less than previous cycles but includes better memory and I/O control when under memory pressure, support for the dirsync mount option, and a fastboot mount option to yield reduced boot times.

    • AMDKFD — AMD HSA On Linux — Will Not Support 32-Bit Linux

      This really shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, but AMD won’t support HSA on 32-bit Linux.

    • Hardkernel Launches $35 Development Board That Can Smash The RPi

      Hardkernel has announced the latest ODROID ARM development board. The ODROID-C1 is a $35 single-board computer that is similar in size to the Raspberry Pi but with much greater hardware specifications.

    • systemd 218 Released With More Additions

      The latest Linux excitement of today, which earlier seemed like an early Christmas, is the release of systemd 218.

    • Multi-Layer Support Coming To OverlayFS In Linux 3.19

      OverlayFS was finally merged in Linux 3.18 and now for the Linux 3.19 merge window it’s picking up another feature.

    • Linux 3.19 Kernel Adds Intel MPX Support For Skylake

      We’ve been talking about Intel MPX support in the kernel for one year and with the upcoming Linux 3.19 kernel that support is finally being realized.

    • Optimizations & Performance Improvements For DM In Linux 3.19

      Another one of the interesting early pull requests for the Linux 3.19 kernel is the Device Mapper changes.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • 6-Way Winter 2014 Linux Distribution Comparison

        With this week’s launch of Fedora 21, here’s a performance comparison of the new Fedora Linux release compared to the Arch-based Antergos rolling-release distribution, Debian GNU/Linux Jessie, openSUSE Tumbleweed, CentOS Linux 7, and Ubuntu 14.10.

        These six Linux distributions were all tested with the same hardware that came down to an MSI X99S SLI PLUS motherboard with Intel Xeon E5-2687W v3 ten-core processor plus Hyper Threading. The system also had 16GB of quad-channel DDR4 memory, 80GB Intel SSD, and Radeon HD 7850 graphics.

        All six Linux distributions were tested with their default installation settings and packages.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt 5.4 released

        I am happy to announce that Qt 5.4 has been released today and is available for download from qt.io. Together with Qt 5.4, we have also released Qt Creator 3.3 and an update to Qt for device creation on embedded Linux and embedded Android.

        But let’s start with Qt 5.4. One of the main focus areas of this Qt release has been around Web technologies and we have a lot of cool new things to offer there.

      • Qt 5.4 Officially Released
      • Meeting C++ and fantastic people

        I got back from Meeting C++ and I must say I loved every second of it. At first, it was a bit strange – I’m accustomed to KDE/Qt conferences where I know a lot of people. Here, it was not the case. It is a bit sad to see that barely anyone from the Qt community was there (apart from a few KDAB people), but that is a separate topic.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Linux Distros: What’s in a Name?

      Yesterday, the Fedora Project released Fedora 21, and with it the tech media got on its proverbial horse and started reports and reviews of the latest release. While it’s a good release and we won’t be reviewing it here — I already gave it a shakedown during the alpha and found it to be fantastic and completely worth the wait — there’s one thing that’s missing from Fedora 21 that I find rather disheartening.

    • New Releases

      • Alpine 3.1.0 released

        We are pleased to announce Alpine Linux 3.1.0, the first release in v3.1 stable series.

        This release is built with musl libc and is not compatible with v2.x and earlier, so special care needs to be taken when upgrading.

      • OpenELEC 5.0 RC2 Is Out, It’s an Awesome OS for Embedded Devices Already

        The embedded operating system built specifically to run the famous KODI (XBMC) media player solution, OpenELEC, has been upgraded to version 5.0 RC2 and a new image is now ready for testing and download.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Lamborghini Tauri 88: The $6,000 Android phone

        Times are tough for a lot of us but apparently not for everybody according to Android Authority. They reported today on a new Android phone called the Lamborghini Tauri 88 that will be made by…you guessed it…the same folks that make Lamborghini cars. And it will sell for a measly $6000!

    • Red Hat Family

      • Analysis of the CVE-2013-6435 Flaw in RPM

        The RPM Package Manager (RPM) is a powerful command-line driven package management system capable of installing, uninstalling, verifying, querying, and updating software packages. RPM was originally written in 1997 by Erik Troan and Marc Ewing. Since then RPM has been successfully used in all versions of Red Hat Linux and currently in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

      • Breaking down the Red Hat QA process

        Quality assurance (QA) is a critical aspect of software development, and Red Hat shares its best practices for testing Linux, KVM and OpenShift.

      • Fedora

        • Upgrading to Fedora 21 Workstation from Fedora 20

          Fedora 21 was released yesterday, and if you are running Fedora 20 as a desktop, you will probably want to upgrade to the latest and greatest version of Fedora. Luckily, there is a tool called FedUp that is the most simple way to upgrade to Fedora 21 Workstation.

        • Cubietruck: QEMU, KVM and Fedora

          Rich Jones previoulsy wrote here on how he got KVM working on Cubietruck — it was Fedora-19 timeframe. It wasn’t quite straight forwad then: you had to build a custom Kernel, custom U-Boot (Universal-Boot), etc.

        • Fedora 21 released…and websites too!
        • A Big Fedora Server SIG Welcome

          At today’s Fedora Server SIG Meeting, the present Fedora Server Working Group members elected to fill the seat recently-vacated by David Strauss. As of today, Dan Mossor (danofsatx on IRC) becomes a full member of the Fedora Server Working Group.

        • 11 Things to Do After You Install Fedora 21

          Fedora 21 was announced yesterday and it turned out to be a great release. Fedora comes pre-installed with a lot of applications. Users can start working as soon as they boot into Fedora. However, like most operating systems Fedora also needs some work to prepare it to handle your workload.

        • Fedora 21 KDE Screenshot Tour
        • Fedora 21 LXDE Screenshot Tour
        • Fedora Infrastructure release day retrospective

          Then, release day: proxy02 (a server in england) started being unable to cope with load and we removed it from DNS. Then, proxy01 started having problems. Since most services were slow in any case, we updated our status page that it was release day and to expect slowdowns. Most services (aside bodhi) were actually up and fine, just slower than normal. Some folks took this to mean we were completely down, but this was not the case. Next release we probibly will make a special banner telling people it’s release day and to expect things to be slow, but up and all working.

        • Fedora 21 MATE Screenshot Tour
        • Fedora 21 Linux Distro Tuned for Desktop, Server, Cloud

          The open-source Fedora 21 Linux distribution, launched Dec. 9, provides the first new edition of Red Hat’s community Linux distribution since the release of Fedora 20 in December 2013. Much has happened in the Fedora Linux community in the past year, and the Fedora 21 release marks a departure for the project from the way releases were built over the past decade. Instead of a single monolithic release that can be tailored for multiple use cases, Fedora 21 offers three distinct products intended for specific deployments. A Fedora Workstation release, intended for use as a desktop, includes a new set of tools to help developers use Fedora to build applications.

        • Fedora 21 greatest hits: non-Server non-live installs, fedup product behaviour

          So here’s a couple of things I’ve seen popping up multiple times with the Fedora 21 release. I thought I’d note them down here for my readers, Planet Fedora, and also as a handy link target for answering them in future.

        • Fedora 21 has Been Released!

          Here is the good news for you. The most anticipated Fedora 21 final is now made available for download.

        • Congratulations to the Fedora community on F21.

          This release has been a long time coming. It has been about a year since F20 release, and the pause we took as a community to embark upon the first steps of Fedora.next. I know many people have been anxious for the pause to be over. Finally the day has come and gone, and the release seems to be hitting on all cylinders!

        • Want to give BPG / libbpg a try? Here’s a repo for you.

          By now, most people will have heard about libbpg. Or maybe rather about the new BPG (better portable graphics) image format that was created by Fabrice Bellard, creator of qemu and ffmpeg, to possibly hopefully replace JPEG (and maybe even PNG) image formats one day.

        • Fedora 21 is here — Linux fans get an early Christmas gift
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Core to bring Snappy and transactional updates to the Cloud

            Mark Shuttleworth has announced a beta release of Ubuntu Core, a version of Ubuntu server for the Cloud that does not use debs or apt-get for system and software management.

          • Ubuntu Core Targets Container Deployment
          • Ubuntu Wants To Run Containers, Too

            Snappy, a lean Linux Ubuntu optimized for container operation, promises stronger security for Linux containers.

          • Ubuntu Team Launches Snappy Ubuntu Core for Container, Cloud Deployments

            The team at Canonical is even going so far as to call Snappy the “biggest revolution in Ubuntu since we launched our mobile initiative.” You can try the snappy Ubuntu Core alpha today, first on the Microsoft Azure cloud. Linux users can also try the snappy Ubuntu Core locally with KVM.

          • Can your computer run Ubuntu Core?

            Ubuntu Core beta, a version of Ubuntu for Cloud deployment that comes with snappy a system and application management utility with support for transaction updates, was released just a few hours ago.

            Though it was made available for testing on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud platform, Mark Shuttleworth said in a blog post that you can download a KVM image of Ubuntu Core that “you can run on any Linux machine.”

          • This Modular Smartphone Wants to Offer Ubuntu, SailfishOS

            Google’s Project Ara may soon have some competition in the modular smartphone stakes, with a Finnish startup — co-founded by a former Nokia Android X employee — pitching in.

          • Future Modular Phone Might Be Powered by Ubuntu Touch

            Everyone is talking about Ubuntu Touch on Meizu phones and that will happen in the next few months, but other less conventional hardware makers might be interested in the Ubuntu experience. At least, this is what the newly formed company Vsenn says it wants.

          • Ubuntu says it will make cloud server updates as simple as phone updates

            Canonical yesterday unveiled a new version of Ubuntu that’s designed for the cloud, saying it ditches the traditional apt-get system in favor of “transactional updates” that mimic the simplicity of phone updates.

            Ubuntu Core, the new version, “is a minimal server image with the same libraries as today’s Ubuntu, but applications are provided through a simpler mechanism,” Canonical said. Applications are more secure because they’re isolated from each other within containers, the company explained. Ubuntu Core is in beta on Microsoft Azure and can be run locally on the KVM hypervisor. It’s optimized to run in conjunction with Docker, software that automates the deployment of applications within containers.

          • Canonical Announces Snappy Ubuntu Core, A Transactionally Updated Flavor For The Cloud
          • Ubuntu 15.04 Gets Linux Kernel 3.18

            Ubuntu 15.04 (Vidid Vervet) is now under development and this is a time when new features and components are added to the distribution. The same is true for the Linux kernel, which has been updated to version 3.18.

          • Ubuntu 15.04 To Soon Land The Linux 3.18 Kernel

            Now that the Linux 3.18 kernel has been officially released, the Ubuntu kernel team will soon be landing the update inside the Ubuntu 15.04 archive.

          • Ubuntu Developer Tools Center Gets Renamed To Ubuntu Make

            Ubuntu Developer Tools Center / Ubuntu Make is a way to easily setup common developer tools on an Ubuntu Linux desktop installation. Right now this utility is just designed about easing Android application development but Ubuntu developers have plans for allowing Ubuntu Make to provide the tooling for other languages and environments.

          • Snappy Ubuntu Core Announced
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Top 10 Semi-Autonomous Robots That Run Linux
    • Top 10 Semi-Autonomous Robots That Run Linux (With Slideshow)

      many Linux-based robots for under $1,000, except for a handful of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), but we’re definitely heading in that direction. Like last year’s robot slide show, this year’s top 10 list is not a definitive compendium or a shopping guide. However, it may help show how Linux is enabling new capabilities in terrestrial robots, as well UAVs and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), which are essentially robots that fly or swim. (Click on Gallery to see the robot slide show.)

    • Intel extends its Internet-of-Things ecosystem

      Intel introduced a new IoT “end-to-end reference model” that includes a Linux-ready edge management platform, security, services, and ecosystem partners.

      The new reference platform, called the “Intel IoT Platform,” helps fill in the gaps in Intel’s growing ecosystem of Internet of Things gateways, cloud-based services, and endpoint devices like the Linux-based Intel Galileo SBC and Intel Edison module.

    • ODROID-C1 is a $35 quad-core, single-board Android/Linux PC

      When the Raspberry Pi team launched a tiny, low power computer priced at just $35, it was pretty remarkable. But that was 2 years ago, and while the Raspberry Pi has seen a few updates in that time, it’s still powered by the same single-core 700 MHz Broadcomm BCM2835 ARM11 processor.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • GENIVI Lifecycle Subsystem – Webinar Session 2 @ 9AM PST

          The Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) is a collaborative open source project developing a common Linux-based software stack for the connected car. GENIVI Alliance is a non-profit industry alliance committed to driving the broad adoption of an In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) open-source development platform. If you are interested in these two organisations work then there is a webinar on the GENIVI Lifecycle Subsystem, taking place at 9am PST.

        • MinnowBoard MAX Unboxing and Booting of Tizen:Common

          MinnowBoard MAX is an excellent open source embedded hardware platform based on Intel Atom E38xx 64-Bit Bay Trail System on Chips (SoC), which is quite versatile to our Tizen developer community. Our friend Leon Anavi got a MinnowBoard MAX board during the recent Tizen Developer Summit in Shanghai earlier this year and the first thing he did was port Tizen over to it !!!!

        • Tizen OS For Smart Life, Carsten Heitzler, Samsung #Slush2014

          Carsten Heitzler, who is the Principal Engineer at Samsung was onstage at Slush 2014 presenting Tizen OS for Smart Life. Slush is one of the biggest startup events of the year with over 13,000 attendees. Carsten discusses what is an Operating System and how Tizen is similar to other Linux distributions that are typically designed for server or the desktop environment, but in the case of Tizen it is much much more, with having the flexibility of being able to be used in things like Smart watches, Smart Cameras, TVs, Mobile Phones, Cars, IoT and anything that you can or want to fit an Operating System into, we have Tizen.

        • No release for the Tizen Samsung Z1 today, but over $1.7m worth of SM-Z130H parts imported to India

          All eyes have been looking towards the east for Samsung to launch the first Tizen based Smartphone, the Samsung Z1 (SM-Z130H), but the Smartphone failed to materialise. We are disappointed and saddened that their is an Information vacuum that will now be filled with speculation. Insiders close to the situation still feel there should be a release soon, but can not stipulate when that exactly could be.

        • Application Big Neon Clock for Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Neo
      • Android

        • A first look at Google’s Android Studio 1.0: Climbing out of the Eclipse kitchen sink

          Google has released version 1.0 of Android Studio, now the official IDE for Android.

          The development tool has been in preview since its announcement at the Google I/O conference in May 2013, and in beta since June this year. There are a variety of Android development tools available, but until now the official bundle has been based on the open source Eclipse project.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source for sensitive email

    We often discuss the many benefits of open source software. The single most important factor, the one that all benefits emerge from, is open. This is actually at the heart of what the software is, a community-driven software package with full transparency into the code base. Governments care about open source because it provides three powerful benefits: monetary savings, improved quality, and better security and privacy. This last benefit is often less-than-obvious, but equally important.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla and Telenor Announce WebRTC Competency Center to Advance WebRTC and Help Standardization

        Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) is changing the way people communicate over the Web by enabling developers to more easily integrate real-time communications on websites, mobile Web apps or video conferencing systems. WebRTC makes complex real-time communications technology available to everyone, driving a wave of new communications services that significantly improves user choice.

      • Mozilla Developer Experimenting With Firefox UI In HTML

        Paul Rouget of Mozilla has gone public with his experimental, proof-of-concept work to rebuild the Firefox user-interface within HTML.

        Rouget is hoping to one day replace the Firefox UI currently written in XUL with an HTML implementation. However, first the HTML needs to be made faster and enriched for constructing the entire Firefox UI. This would also allow for the Firefox UI to be eventually rendered by their next-generation Servo Engine rather than Gecko.

      • Firefox 35 Beta Arrives with Conference Call Features for Hello

        Mozilla has just released the Beta branch of the upcoming Firefox 35.x and it looks that they don’t plan anything out of the ordinary for it, although there are some improvements and various other changes ready.

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD Laptop

      I have been meaning to give OpenBSD a try for a while now. What has been attracting me to this operating system was: the big emphasis on security while still being functional, the urge to try another unix-like operating system that is not Linux, and of course Puffy. Here I will be going through the steps I took towards learning about OpenBSD and getting it running on my laptop. I hope that you can take bits and pieces out of this post to help you with your learning experience when you decide it is your time to venture off into the BSD world.

  • Project Releases

    • QEMU 2.2 Released With Its Many Changes

      Today is certainly a very exciting day for nearly all Linux users as covered in the Phoronix articles today. The latest good news is for server and virtualization users with the release of the slightly delayed QEMU 2.2.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Europe Softens on GM Crops

      A new agreement in the European Union allows genetically engineered crops to be approved without member-state votes, likely allowing several GMO foods to enter the market.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Magical thinking on terrorism

      But who’s doing the sloppy thinking here? Where is the evidence that more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan has brought us any closer to political solutions that can be sustained beyond the departure of U.S. forces? After spending over $1 trillion and deploying over 100,000 troops, are we any safer now?

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Web founder: Europe’s ‘right to be forgotten’ rule is dangerous

      Tim Berners-Lee thinks scrubbing false information off the Web is fine, but the truth should be preserved for reasons of free speech and history. Also: the robots are already here.

    • Russia’s Creeping Descent Into Internet Censorship

      When staffers at GitHub first saw the email from a Russian agency claiming dominion over the internet last month, they didn’t take it seriously. GitHub operates an enormously popular site where computer programmers share and collaborate on code, and to the Silicon Valley startup, an email requesting the removal of a list of suicide techniques from the site just didn’t seem believable.

  • Privacy

    • Let’s Encrypt – and Fix HTTPS While We’re At It

      A few weeks ago I wrote about the need for encryption – and the growing attacks against it by surveillance agencies worried about its efficacity. But how exactly can we implement that?

      One way is to adopt it at a personal level. That means using things likes PGP with Thunderbird, say. There are also a range of new email services that are aiming to offer easy-to-use encrypted email – something that cannot, alas, be claimed for the PGP+Thunderbird combo.

    • GCHQ Follows NSA Into Paranoia — Just As Julian Assange Predicted

      One of the knock-on effects of Snowden’s leaks is that the NSA is terrified there might be more whistleblowers, and has taken extreme action in an attempt to reduce the risk of that happening by stripping 100,000 people of their security clearances.

    • GCHQ sponsors ways to catch disgruntled ‘insiders about to go rogue’

      GCHQ is sponsoring ways of identifying disgruntled employees and those who might go on to be a security threat through their use of language in things like office emails.

      The Signals Intelligence organisation based on the outskirts of Cheltenham is financing a PhD research post, to the tune of £22,000 a year, at Lancaster University.

    • Facebook’s ‘emotional experiment’ is most shared academic research

      A paper revealing Facebook’s secret experiments on users received more online attention than any other scientific paper published this year, a new study finds.

    • Facebook is making employees read Chinese propaganda to impress Beijing

      To say Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is on a China charm offensive would be a bit of an understatement. After speaking decent Mandarin during a thirty-minute Q&A in October and opening an office in Beijing (despite being blocked in China) in May, Zuckerberg is not only reading president Xi Jinping’s recently-released book, “The Governance of China,” he is reportedly buying it for Facebook employees.

    • Ho ho no! While you shop this season, beacons will spam you

      Marketers have found a new channel to abuse, but it doesn’t have to be this way

    • NSA Hacking of Cell Phone Networks

      For example, the US company Verint sells cell phone tracking systems to both corporations and governments worldwide. The company’s website says that it’s “a global leader in Actionable Intelligence solutions for customer engagement optimization, security intelligence, and fraud, risk and compliance,” with clients in “more than 10,000 organizations in over 180 countries.” The UK company Cobham sells a system that allows someone to send a “blind” call to a phone — one that doesn’t ring, and isn’t detectable. The blind call forces the phone to transmit on a certain frequency, allowing the sender to track that phone to within one meter. The company boasts government customers in Algeria, Brunei, Ghana, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the United States. Defentek, a company mysteriously registered in Panama, sells a system that can “locate and track any phone number in the world…undetected and unknown by the network, carrier, or the target.” It’s not an idle boast; telecommunications researcher Tobias Engel demonstrated the same capability at a hacker conference in 2008. Criminals can purchase illicit products to let them do the same today.

    • No One Has Privacy Now, Thanks to Super Cookies

      Our private information is being catalogued and used by government and private industry, both with and without our knowledge. There was no consequence, fine or penalty, for example, following the revelation late in 2011 that Carrier IQ collected massive amounts of data from millions of cell users. Why? Probably because cell users allowed that information to be collected.

  • Civil Rights

    • Savaged By Rotting Sheep

      It is quite a feat by the Scotsman, on the day when CIA torture is the headline news of the entire world, that the Scotsman runs a story about me that leaves out the fact I was sacked as Ambassador for being the first whistleblower on CIA torture and extraordinary rendition. Particularly given that I pointed that out to them when they called me.

    • Ex-ambassador Craig Murray to be SNP candidate

      Craig Murray was withdrawn as UK ambassador to Uzbekistan after the Foreign Office lost patience with his criticism of human rights abuses.

      [...]

      He was withdrawn as the UK ambassador to Uzbekistan in 2004 after the Foreign Office became frustrated with his vociferous criticism of human rights abuses in the former Soviet country.

    • Jack Straw – The Guilty Man Lies

      …Jack Straw is lying about his personal complicity in torture.

    • Equal Time for Torturers?

      But then NBC aired a long interview–nearly as long as the report on the Senate’s findings–with former CIA (and NSA) director Michael Hayden, who even disputes that the tactics in the report were torture. Anchor Brian Williams told viewers that Hayden was “accused in today’s report of providing misleading information in the past.”

      That’s a mild characterization; in fact, as the Washington Post (12/9/14) showed, Hayden’s 2007 Senate testimony about CIA torture was revealed to be full of distortions and evasions–from the number of prisoners held by the CIA to his claims that “punches and kicks…have never been employed” and that the “most serious injury” was bruising.

    • The man who did the most to fight CIA torture is still in prison

      The Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on CIA torture today, and the news is as bad as it could be. Of the 119 prisoners detained by the CIA, more than one in five were wrongfully imprisoned, while CIA interrogators ran through a host of barbaric tactics including Russian roulette, shoving hummus up a detainee’s rectum, and simply leaving targets to freeze to death in an unheated cell. And while all of it was happening, many officials within the agency harbored real doubts about whether the program was working at all.

    • How the CIA tortured its detainees

      A detainee at Guantanamo Bay in 2009. A detainee at Guantanamo Bay in 2009. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

      The CIA, and the Senate intelligence committee, would rather avoid the word “torture,” preferring euphemisms like “enhanced interrogation techniques” and “rendition, detention and interrogation program”. Many of the techniques employed by the CIA after capturing high-value targets have been documented in CIA memos released by the Obama administration, and in numerous leaks, including a report written by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

    • CIA Program Tortured Dozens To Produce Nearly Nothing In The Way Of Useful Intelligence

      Perhaps the most disheartening aspect of the Torture Report [pdf link] is the fact that the CIA clearly knew the methods weren’t producing usable intelligence but continued to use them anyway, all the while hiding the extent of its abuses from the rest of the goverment.

    • 5 Telling Dick Cheney Appearances in the CIA Torture Report

      It may come as little surprise that former Vice President Dick Cheney’s name crops up 41 times in the Senate report on the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation.”

    • Broken Windows And Broken Lives

      Apparently we’ve decided that we won’t tolerate broken windows any more. But we haven’t found the fortitude to do something about broken people. To put it plainly: just as neighborhood thugs could once break windows with impunity, police officers can generally kill with impunity. They can shoot unarmed men and lie about it. They can roll up and execute a child with a toy as casually as one might in Grand Theft Auto. They can bumble around opening doors with their gun hand and kill bystanders, like a character in a dark farce, with little fear of serious consequences. They can choke you to death for getting a little mouthy about selling loose cigarettes. They can shoot you because they aren’t clear on who the bad guy is, and they can shoot you because they’re terrible shots, and they can shoot you because they saw something that might be a weapon in your hand — something that can be, frankly, any fucking thing at all, including nothing.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The Broadband Industry Pretends To Be Worried About Your Soaring Bill In Attempt To Undermine Net Neutrality

      On the heels of Obama’s surprise support of Title II-based net neutrality rules last month, we noted that the broadband industry’s anti-Title II talking points (primarily that it will kill network investment and sector innovation) not only were just plain wrong, they were getting more than a little stale. That’s a problem for the industry given the increasingly bi-partisan support of real net neutrality rules and the groundswell of SOPA-esque activism in support of Title II. As such, the industry’s vast think tank apparatus quickly got to work on new talking points to combat net neutrality rules that actually might do something.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

12.10.14

Links 10/12/2014: Fedora 21, Ubuntu Core

Posted in News Roundup at 12:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Databases

    • MariaDB Enterprise adds Suse Linux and IBM Power8 support

      MARIADB LAUNCHED the latest release of MariaDB Enterprise on Tuesday with support for tailored software configuration notifications and IBM Power8 hardware systems as well as Suse Linux distributions.

      “MariaDB Enterprise’s new Notification Service means that crawling through lengthy change logs and wondering if the latest security vulnerability will affect database performance are in the past,” the firm said.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Making good and solid templates

      Well this is exactly one of the most common mistakes. Making templates for Writer is NOT converting Word templates. Its building new templates from scratch using the best tool for it: LibreOffice. If you choose the short cut and converts Word templates to LibreOffice templates, you will get into trouble. Big trouble.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Taking A Stick To Flouters of EU Procurement Policies

      he EU has pretty strongly emphasized that government procurement should not prop up monopoly, yet the practice continues.

    • Report: 15 percent of IT tenders ask for brand instead of solution

      Each year 15 per cent of public administrations flout procurement rules by requesting specific brands and trademarks that prevent competition, shows a European study into 12.808 ICT procurement requests published over the past five years. Nearly a quarter of all awarded ICT requests got one single offer, also indicating there is a lack of competition when it comes to government ICT solutions.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The New York Times R&D Lab releases Hive, an open-source crowdsourcing tool

      Today the R&D Lab is opening up the platform that powers the whole thing. Hive is an open-source framework that lets anyone build their own crowdsourcing project. The code responsible for Hive is now available on GitHub. With Hive, a developer can create assignments for users, define what they need to do, and keep track of their progress in helping to solve problems.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Congress relaxes whole grain standards for schools

      Congress is taking some whole grains off the school lunch line.

      A massive year-end spending bill released Tuesday doesn’t allow schools to opt out of healthier school meal standards championed by first lady Michelle Obama, as House Republicans had sought. But it would ease standards that require more whole grains in school foods.

      The bill also would put off rules to lower sodium in school meals. Those rules were supposed to kick in by 2017.

  • Security

    • Tuesday’s security updates
    • Using IT Shouldn’t Be Like Hand-carrying Bags Of Money Through Gang-territory But It Is Thanks To M$ And Adobe

      “bugs that allow hackers to hijack PCs via Internet Explorer, Word and Excel files, and Visual Basic scripts.

      Everyone is urged to install the fixes, as well as a batch of updates from Adobe: a flaw in the Flash plugin is already being exploited by hackers to take over victims’ computers via the web.” It would be tedious if it weren’t terrifying but just about every month we learn what the malware-industry already knows, non-FREE software stinks. Just using it to do ordinary things the way they were intended to be used exposes one’s IT to all kinds of criminals. Don’t blame the victims. Blame the purveyors of this garbage, M$ and Adobe, who force the world to use their stuff only to be victimized.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • World Oil Politics

      If you wish to see a target of Saudi inaction, it is the United States, not Russia.

  • Finance

    • The Wages of Global Capitalism

      In the “developed world” wage growth in 2012 was 0.1 percent, and in 2013 it was 0.2 percent. Far from portending any economic “recovery,” that level of wage “growth” is rather called “wage stagnation.” In stunning contrast, wage growth in the major emerging growth economies was much better: 6.7 percent in 2012 and 5.9 percent in 2013.

    • Professor Wolff on The Real News Network: “The State of Workers’ Wages around the World”

      Economist Richard Wolff compares the stagnation of wages in the U.S. for the past 30 years to the increase in wages in emerging markets and explains why capital left America.

  • Civil Rights

    • “Rectal Feeding,” Threats to Children, and More: 16 Awful Abuses From the CIA Torture Report

      On Tuesday morning, the Senate intelligence committee released an executive summary of its years-long investigation into the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. President George W. Bush authorized the so-called “enhanced interrogation” program after the 9/11 attacks. The United States government this week has warned personnel in facilities abroad, including US embassies, to be ready in case protests erupt in response.

    • The Bush Administration Homicides

      The Justice Department may not be prosecuting the torture-memo writers, but John Sifton asks, what about those who killed an estimated 100 detainees during interrogations?

    • Hayden’s testimony vs. the Senate report

      A look at then-CIA Director Michael V. Hayden’s testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on April 12, 2007, compared with the extensive summary on the CIA’s interrogation and detention program, released on Tuesday.

    • Senate Report on Torture

      Can I just say how pleasant it is to be vindicated ten years after being sacked by Jack Straw for opposing the torture and extraordinary rendition programme – which Blair and Straw claimed I was inventing.

    • Washington Post Does Not Call It Torture When We Torture

      The early report at the Washington Post website about the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation of CIA torture is gripping, well-documented and sickening. But one thing jumps out: The paper doesn’t use the word “torture” to describe the CIA’s torture program. And that’s not an accident.

    • Conservative Media’s Celebration Of Torture

      Conservative media celebrated the effectiveness of torture in response to news that the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee would release its report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) detention and interrogation program, attacking the Senate for releasing the report and disputing the report’s findings. Military and interrogation experts have emphasized that torture is an ineffective interrogation technique, and human rights groups support the release of the report.

    • Inside the CIA’s Sadistic Dungeon

      The CIA was alerted of allegations that anal exams at Cobalt were conducted with “excessive force.” An attorney was asked to follow up, but no records indicate what happened next. Agency records said that one of the detainees housed at Cobalt, Mustafa al-Hawsawi, was later diagnosed with chronic hemorrhoids, an anal fissure, and symptomatic rectal prolapse.

    • David Hicks heckles George Brandis and claims government knew about his torture

      Former Australian detainee at Guantanamo Bay makes claims after damning report into CIA torture methods revealed

    • Architects Of CIA Torture Program Raked In $81 Million, Report Reveals

      Two psychologists were paid $81 million by the CIA to advise on and help implement its brutal interrogation program targeting detainees in the war on terror, according to the Senate torture report summary released Tuesday.

      The contract psychologists are identified with pseudonyms — Grayson Swigert and Hammond Dunbar — like most of the individuals named in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA program. Published reports dating back to 2007, however, identify the two men as James Elmer Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, both former members of the military.

    • 17 Disgraceful Facts Buried In The Senate’s 600 Page Torture Report

      “In 2006, the value of the CIA’s base contract with the company formed by the psychologists with all options exercised was in excess of $180 million; the contractors received $81 million prior to the contract’s termination in 2009. In 2007, the CIA provided a multi-year indemnification agreement to protect the company and its employees from legal liability arising out of the program. The CIA has since paid out more than $1 million pursuant to the agreement.” [Page 11]

    • CIA torture: Fox News says ‘the US is awesome’ – and torture report is just ‘one last shot at Bush’

      Fox News has condemned the release of a damning report into the CIA’s use of torture as a political manoeuvre designed to show Americans “how we’re not awesome”.

      The broadcaster’s National Security Analyst K.T. McFarland argued that the techniques were both “legal and justified” by the 9/11 terror attacks.

      And she denounced the publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee report as a move made by Democrats to “do harm” to the country by angering terrorists.

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