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12.16.10

Links 16/12/2010: Debian 6.0 With Free Linux Kernel, Linux at Electronics Show

Posted in News Roundup at 8:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Google

    • Ubuntu running on a Chrome CR-48 notebook

      Google’s Chrome OS notebook, the not-so-snappily titled CR-48, has been demoed running Ubuntu Desktop edition.

      The procedure for getting Ubuntu up and running on the device is by no means as simple you’d think, requiring the use of another Linux machine on hand ‘with chroot set up for Chromium OS development.’

    • Chrome OS discoveries

      Speaking of partitions, it has twelve! The first is the “state” partition that stores all of your local data. Interesting to note is that all of your Chrome data (history, passwords, etc) is encrypted with eCryptfs and is mounted on login, so if someone were to steal your notebook you’d still be safe.

    • Chrome is Ready for Business

      Since we launched the Chromium project over two years ago, we’ve been hearing a lot of feedback from IT administrators who want to manage and configure Google Chrome. Of course, we were eager to do what we could to help them get Chrome deployed inside their organizations.

      Today, after talking directly to administrators and testing the features extensively with other organizations, we believe the first set of features is ready for prime-time. Both Chrome and Chromium are now manageable through Group Policy objects on Windows, plist/MCX configuration on Mac, and special JSON configuration files on Linux. We polished up the NTLM and Kerberos protocol support, and created a list of supported policies and administrative templates to help administrators deploy. For users needing access to older web applications not yet qualified for Chrome, we also developed Chrome Frame, an Internet Explorer (TM) plug-in that provides Chrome-quality rendering for the broader Web, while defaulting to host rendering for any web applications that still require IE.

    • Chrome is Ready for Business

      When we announced that Chrome is now used by over 120 million users and showed off some of its latest features last week, we saw a tremendous amount of excitement from both users and businesses. Many businesses asked how they can get the benefits of increased security, speed and the modern browser capabilities that Chrome offers with the configurability and customizations they need.

    • Chrome OS: Please Don’t Open the Hood

      By now, you may have seen the latest promo for the upcoming Chrome notebook. Advocating the advantages of the cloud-based Chrome OS, the video is mildly amusing and largely irrelevant — a case at least as strong could be made for preferring locally-installed applications, and I suspect that what people really want to see are close-ups of Chrome OS.

      However, those close-ups can be harder to see than you might expect. Since Google is not releasing any official downloads, you need to either compile your own code, or to sort through the unofficial releases until you find one that is not only reasonably current, but whose source also seems trustworthy. After struggling to determine if you have the latest version and learning how to convert it for a virtualization tool like VirtualBox, you might conclude that the easiest way to satisfy your curiosity about Chrome OS is to apply for the Chrome Netbook Pilot Program in the hopes of receiving a test machine.

    • RMS and Trust

      RMS has been a stalwart promoter of Free Software. His take on cloud computing is that it is “worse than stupidity”. In principle, he is right; trusting someone is worse than stupidity but we humans do it all the time. Not trusting anyone is paranoia. It is possible to use IT in the real world while being paranoid but a lot less gets done, networking, for instance. We should not trust our firewalls but we do. We trust other drivers to follow the rules of the road when that trust is obviously misplaced but the reward of getting from A to B is greater than the slight risk of a collision.

  • Kernel Space

    • Stable kernel 2.6.35.10
    • Multi-Core Scaling In A KVM Virtualized Environment

      Earlier this week we published benchmarks comparing Oracle VM VirtualBox to Linux KVM and the Linux system host performance. Some of the feedback from individuals said that it was a bad idea using the Intel Core i7 “Gulftown” with all twelve of its CPU threads available to the hardware-virtualized guest since virtualization technologies are bad in dealing with multiple virtual CPUs. But is this really the case? With not being able to find any concrete benchmarks in that area, we carried out another set of tests to see how well the Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine scales against the host as the number of CPU cores available to each is increased. It can be both good and bad for Linux virtualization.

    • The Linux Kernel’s Impact on the Desktop User Experience

      It’s a cliché that most computer users care more about bells and whistles than how software performs “under the hood.” And while there may be some truth in such a view, it’s also clear that the backend affects users in important ways, whether they realize it or not. To illustrate this point, let’s take a look at some recently introduced features in the Linux kernel, and what they mean for the desktop user experience.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA 260.19.26 Linux Driver Released

        Two weeks after NVIDIA had put out their unannounced 260.19.21 Linux driver, they have returned to the web and have officially released the NVIDIA 260.19.26 graphics driver for Linux x86/x86_64 along with Solaris and FreeBSD operating systems.

        The NVIDIA 260.19.29 driver adds support for new NVIDIA GPUs, fixes a bug that causes some OpenGL applications to become unresponsive, adds support for NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro, and adds a new 3D Vision Pro configuration file option to the xorg.conf.

      • X Server 1.9.3 Has Now Arrived

        Coming just as anticipated, Apple’s Jeremy Huddleston has announced the release of X.Org Server 1.9.3. This is the third maintenance release in the 1.9 series, which was originally introduced in August.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Review: Amarok 2.4 Beta 1 Looks Very Promising

        The first Amarok 2.4 beta, codenamed “Closer”, was released just a few days ago, on December 7, and it looks very promising. It comes with quite long list of new features, improvements and bug fixes, and among the top highlights are a collection scanner rewritten from scratch, option to transcode tracks when dragging and dropping them to the local collection, support for iPod Touch 3G devices, writing statistics and covers directly in files. These are not all though.

        [...]

        All in all, this release could just be one of the most exceptional releases in a long time, and it’s only a beta yet.

  • Distributions

    • Spotlight on Linux: ZevenOS-Neptune 1.9.1

      ZevenOS is frequently described as Linux with a BeOS touch.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Eucalyptus Systems Partners with Red Hat to Deliver Open Cloud Solutions

        Eucalyptus Systems, creators of the Eucalyptus private cloud platform, today announced a partnership with Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, to offer the freedom of cross-cloud compatibility and expanded customer choice in the cloud. The two companies are collaborating to provide Eucalyptus support for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and Eucalyptus compatibility with the Apache Deltacloud application programming interface (API). These technology integrations will enable enterprises to easily transform Red Hat virtualized environments into a secure Eucalyptus private cloud, while increasing cloud interoperability and customer freedom through Deltacloud. End users will gain the ability to run applications and workloads on Eucalyptus or on public clouds supported by Deltacloud.

      • Red Hat buddies up in the cloud with Eucalyptus

        Eucalyptus Systems has struck a partnership with Red Hat that should ultimately ease the deployment of Eucalyptus private cloud platform on Red Hat software.

        With this new arrangement, Eucalyptus Systems engineers, with the help of Red Hat engineers, will make Eucalyptus easily accessible through Red Hat’s Deltacloud, which is a set of overlay APIs designed to facilitate cloud platform interoperability.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux At The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show

      So far the Linux presence at CES 2011 looks to be mostly in the form of Android and other Linux-based operating systems appearing on new tablets and other mobile devices. Though there should be the assortment of usual companies innovating atop of open-source software / Linux, like SplashTop and others. There will also be the release of Intel’s Sandy Bridge, which already has open-source Linux support, among other PC hardware happenings at this event.

    • Linaro signs up HP and Canonical to give advice

      Linaro added HP, Canonical, the Limo Foundation, Montavista and GENIVI to its already impressive roster of industry partners. The fab five have become advisors to the organisation, which includes Linux heavyweights, IBM and Texas Instruments (TI).

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Three UK launches new unlimited smartphone data plan

          That’s a pretty bold claim. Three’s One Plan currently lets you have the likes of the HTC Desire HD for £35 per month if you fancy having a go at testing these new claims. The company’s site still has the 1GB allowance attached to its plans, mind, so make sure you check your small print before signing up to anything.

        • Android Update Latest – Edition 401

          We were contacted by a representative this afternoon regarding thealleged NOOKcolor updatedue in January. As we feared, the news was too good to be true. The NOOKcolor isnot getting the Android Marketas part of any update, nor has one been announced for January. We heard at launch time that B&N were going to offer their own apps and distribution model for users and that is still the case. However, don’t look for access to the 100,000 strong library that handsets currently enjoy.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Building Government 2.0 Through Collaborative Software Development

    uzzwords, these concepts, utilized by open source communities and projects such as Linux, Apache and Subversion, are driving tremendous value when applied to internal government development efforts. Specifically, community-driven collaborative development builds better software in shorter timeframes, allowing agencies to do more with less.

  • WindowBuilder becomes new open source project with major code contribution to Eclipse Foundation

    When Google acquired Instantiations in August 2010, everyone knew about our Java Eclipse products. Shortly after we joined, we talked about how best to help developers now that we are part of Google. We have always wanted to get these tools in more developers’ hands. So, back in September we decided to give them away for free! The community response has been fantastic. With that done, we asked ourselves, how could we make a good thing even better? How about by open sourcing the code and creating two new Eclipse projects!

  • EU-funded Open Source Initiatives: NESSI’s Missing Deliverables

    NESSI, is the “European Technology Platforms” – i.e. industry-led consortia considered by the EU relevant discussion partners to discuss how to achieve Europe’s future growth, competitiveness and sustainability objectives – and its declared strategic objective was to support the evolution from software to services. Not suprisingly open source was supposed to play a major role, but things went differently.

  • Ushahidi 2010: A Year of Growth

    In 2010 the Ushahidi community managed to shift the way information flows in this world, just a little bit, and these repercussions will be felt for a long time to come. This year has been an exciting year for the Ushahidi organization, with major upgrades in the platform(s), greater visibility globally and amazing deployments around the world.

  • 56 Open Source Replacements for Popular Web Development and Design Tools

    Open source Web development tools have come a long way. The open source community offers a huge array of applications that are useful to Web developers and designers. In many cases, these open source tools are even more widely used than their closed source counterparts. And some open source Web tools don’t even have any real closed source competitors.

    As these tools mature, it’s becoming more and more difficult to sort them into categories. Some blogging platforms are robust enough to build an entire site. Content management systems often have some features you usually find in Web app development frameworks, and text editors begin to look more and more like full integrated development environments (IDEs).

  • Navigating the open source CMS selection process
  • Navigating the open source CMS selection process (Part 2)

    As the number of open source content management products on the market has grown, choosing a system has become more difficult for discerning IT and marketing shops. Much of the product confusion stems from the various open source licensing and business models out in the market; but once a company chooses a product which aligns with its licensing needs, there are other things to consider.

  • Netflix touts open source, ignores Linux

    Last week’s post from Netflix on its use of open source has gotten a lot of coverage from the tech press. Too bad nobody’s called the video giant out on its hypocrisy: They benefit greatly from open source, but really don’t care to let their customers do the same.

  • Bitcoin – Open Source Virtual Currency Project that Could Become the Gold Standard of Digital Currency

    Bitcoin is an open source peer-to-peer digital currency project. Peer-to-peer (P2P) in this context means that there is no central authority to issue new money or keep track of transactions. Instead, these tasks are managed collectively by the nodes of the network. This is one important open source project that holds a lot promises for the future.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Defining clouds, web services, and other remote computing

      SaaS has proven popular for programmers. In 1999, a company named VA Linux created a site called SourceForge with the classic SaaS goal of centralizing the administration of computer systems and taking that burden off programmers’ hands. A programmer could upload his program there and, as is typical for free software and open source, accept code contributions from anyone else who chose to download the program.

      VA Linux at that time made its money selling computers that ran the GNU/Linux operating system. It set up SourceForge as a donation to the free software community, to facilitate the creation of more free software and therefore foster greater use of Linux. Eventually the hardware business dried up, so SourceForge became the center of the company’s business: corporate history anticipated cloud computing history.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0 Beta 3 Arrives Quickly
    • New front opened in legal dispute over Java licensing

      The Swiss Myriad Group and Oracle are each suing each other. Myriad is accusing Oracle of charging unreasonable licensing fees for HotSpot Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Oracle in turn alleges that the mobile software specialist has made unauthorised use of Java trademarks. It’s also accusing Myriad of failing to adhere to licensing requirements.

      Myriad is demanding at least $120 million in damages – a sum made up of $20 million the company has paid in licensing fees since 2004 and $100 million the company’s customers are alleged to have overpaid.

    • Oracle Announces Oracle Cloud Office and Oracle Open Office 3.3

      Oracle today introduced Oracle Cloud Office and Open Office 3.3, two complete, open standards-based office productivity suites for the desktop, web and mobile devices – helping users significantly improve productivity, reduce costs and achieve greater innovation across the enterprise.
      Based on the Open Document Format (ODF) and open web standards, Oracle Office enables users to share files on any system as it is compatible with both legacy Microsoft Office documents and modern web 2.0 publishing.

    • Oracle angles MySQL for Web apps

      With the release of MySQL version 5.5, Oracle is marketing the open-source database for Web application duties, while targeting its namesake Oracle database for enterprise applications.

      “We see them as being very distinct for different use cases,” said Monica Kumar, Oracle senior director of product marketing.

  • Education

    • Berkman Center Announces Digital Public Library Planning Initiative

      The Berkman Center for Internet and Society today announced that it will host a research and planning initiative for a “Digital Public Library of America.” With funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Berkman will convene a large and diverse group of stakeholders in a planning program to define the scope, architecture, costs and administration for a proposed Digital Public Library of America.

    • Seven things I would change about my schooling
    • Supplemental Priorities for Discretionary Grant Programs

      Open Educational Resources

      Comment: Many commenters supported including a reference to open educational resources in proposed Priority 13 (new Priority 16). Two commenters recommended revising the definition of this term to include language that makes clear that resources released under an intellectual property license should permit sharing, accessing, repurposing (including for commercial purposes), and collaborating with others.

      Discussion: We appreciate the commenters’ support for including open educational resources in proposed Priority 13 (new Priority 16). We believe that the proposed definition of open educational resources includes the characteristics of open educational resources that the commenters recommended including in the definition and, therefore, do not believe it is necessary to change the definition in the manner recommended by the commenter.

      Changes: None.

  • Funding

    • CrisisCommons Gets Funded $1.2 Million for Crisis Response 2.0

      The disaster response network CrisisCommons announced today that it has been funded to the tune of $1.2 million from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. CrisisCommons is the organization behind scores of CrisisCamps in locations around the world, informal gatherings where technologists have developed mobile, data, analysis, mapping and other tools to use in response to crisis.

  • BSD

    • Allegations regarding OpenBSD IPSEC
    • The FBI Paid OpenBSD Developers For Backdoors?

      OpenBSD’s Theo de Raadt brought to light via an email from Gregory Perry, the former CTO of NETSEC, that the FBI paid several open-source developers to compromise the IPSEC stack. “the FBI implemented a number of backdoors and side channel key leaking mechanisms into the OCF, for the express purpose of monitoring the site to site VPN encryption system implemented by EOUSA, the parent organization to the FBI. Jason Wright and several other developers were responsible for those backdoors, and you would be well advised to review any and all code commits by Wright as well as the other developers he worked with originating from NETSEC.”

    • Can Open Source Be Trusted?

      This serious stuff – not just because it means that open source code may have been unwittingly complicit in who knows how many acts of surveillance, but because it calls into question the basic development model of open source, which places a high value on trust. If it is confirmed that hackers put a backdoor in open source code for money – and some doubts have already been expressed – then that will cast some doubt on that principle.

      Moreover, if eventually such backdoors are found, it will raise questions about the whole “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow” philosophy. It’s true that backdoors aren’t exactly bugs, but there is still the issue of how something this serious – if confirmed – could lay undetected for a decade.

    • OpenBSD/FBI allegations denied by named participants

      Amidst startling accusations revealed by OpenBSD founder and lead developer Theo de Raadt today that 10 years ago the US Federal Bureau of Investigations paid developers to insert security holes into OpenBSD code, some confusion about the accusations has already emerged, with one named party strongly denying any involvement.

    • Former contractor says FBI put back door in OpenBSD

      A former government contractor says that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation installed a number of back doors into the encryption software used by the OpenBSD operating system.

      The allegations were made public Tuesday by Theo de Raadt, the lead developer in the OpenBSD project. DeRaadt posted an email sent by the former contractor, Gregory Perry, so that the matter could be publicly scrutinized.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Good Free Software related books as a present

      After my last year’s blog entry on Free Software books for friends I received new recommendations for this year.

    • Waiting for the rapture

      As soon as I post this blog entry, I’m going to log on to PayPal and make a small donation to the Free Software Foundation. The Foundation can sometimes be too inflexible, and it often starts far more than it can properly continue, but it’s still the closest thing the community has to an organization that has stayed focused on its basic goal. For that reason, I think I’m overdue to show support — even though I’m a Canadian, and won’t be able to write off a donation to a non-profit that’s registered only in the United States.

  • Project Releases

    • Lightspark 0.4.5 Flash Player Released

      Lightspark, one of the most recent yet most promising free software projects to provide an open-source Adobe Flash/SWF player and plug-in, just had its 0.4.5 milestone hit. Lightspark 0.4.5 is the release that brings its new advanced graphics engine for greater GPU acceleration by leveraging OpenGL and Cairo more heavily.

    • PacketFence 2.0 released
  • Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Google Invests in P2P Carsharing Service RelayRides

      Yesterday, The New York Times reported that Google invested an undisclosed sum in RelayRides, a service that let’s members rent their cars to other members. The traditional model of carsharing, exemplified by Zipcar, allows members to rent from a company which owns and manages a fleet.

    • Announcing $10k matching giving challenge from Tucows!

      We just received the exciting news that Tucows, a company that started offering free downloads of shareware and freeware on the Internet in 1993, will take part in a matching challenge of up to $10,000. This means that whatever you donate right now will automatically be doubled. We need your help to meet their challenge and turn $10,000 into $20,000 for CC.

    • Celebrating Wikipedia’s 10th anniversary on six continents

      In one month, Wikipedia will observe its 10th anniversary. On and around January 15th 2011, we will celebrate with volunteers, donors, and other supporters on six continents. From the launch of a new outreach project in Kenya to a film screening in Tel Aviv, there are currently 65 events of all kinds you can attend.

      The complete list of anniversary activities can be found at ten.wikipedia.org, the public collaboration space where we’re cataloging everything the Wikipedia community is doing to commemorate our first decade. Most events are free to attend or very low cost. All are open to participation by anyone who wants to join in reflecting on our collective accomplishments and goals for the future.

    • A New “Experiential” Gift Bazaar Could Lead to a Happier City

      “Sharing experiences with friends and family trumps getting stuff,” said Carey. “It takes you out of your day-to-day life.”

    • Creative Commons files comments in U.S. Department of Commerce’s Inquiry on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Internet Economy

      Creative Commons has filed comments in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Inquiry on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Internet Economy. The Department received nearly 900 submissions over the comment period, which ended December 10.

    • All That We Share – A Field Guide to the Commons
  • Standards/Consortia

    • Parliament pushes open standards to increase public engagement

      Parliament has adopted a policy to use open technology standards to increase public participation in political debate.

      The Parliamentary Information Communication and Technology office (Pict) policy is part of proposed plan to distribute broadcasts of parliamentary debates in a form that people can embed in their own websites, in a similar manner to the way YouTube allows video content to be displayed on blogs and other sites.

Leftovers

  • The extraordinary story behind Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours
  • CBC approves budget; cuts expected

    The CBC’s board of directors, faced with a possible $200-million shortfall, approved on Tuesday a budget for the coming year that includes deep cuts.

  • US Response To Massive Decline In Foreign Travelers: Keep Crazy Policies, But Set Up Ad Campaign

    Sometimes it feels like the US government likes to take incompetence to new levels. It should come as little surprise that foreign tourism to the US is way down. Basically ever since the Patriot Act, visiting the US has become a huge pain for foreign tourists, and with our lovely new “we see you naked or we touch your private parts” strategy for airline passengers (thank you, TSA), it appears that things are getting even worse. So, if you’re the US government, how do you respond? Do you start thinking about modifying such policies to make visiting the US less unwelcoming? Do you start thinking about more effective, but less insulting security procedures? Do you start looking at why those foreign tourists are staying away in droves? The answer appears to be no, no and no.

  • Science

  • Security

    • Wednesday’s security updates
    • Security Alert: Backdoor found in HP modular storage arrays

      It’s critical for any small business to be able to rely on the hardware they pay for to do the job without a ton of maintenance. Many small businesses don’t even pay a full time IT guy, much less keep up to date on the latest in security flaws that are found. They rely on companies like HP, who offer complete solutions in security, warranty, and maintenance to handle a lot of their day to day activities. So, what happens when relying on a solution like this results in ignoring a great big security hole that was created by the very group protecting you?

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • How Can Anyone Defend Kissinger Now?

      Here’s what should now happen, and let’s see if it does. Henry Kissinger should have the door shut in his face by every decent person and should be shamed, ostracized, and excluded. No more dinners in his honor; no more respectful audiences for his absurdly overpriced public appearances; no more smirking photographs with hostesses and celebrities; no more soliciting of his worthless opinions by sycophantic editors and producers. One could have demanded this at almost any time during the years since his role as the only unindicted conspirator in the Nixon/Watergate gang, and since the exposure of his war crimes and crimes against humanity in Indochina, Chile, Argentina, Cyprus, East Timor, and several other places.

    • G20 law could be history next year

      The “secret” law used by police to search and arrest during the June G20 summit in Toronto is so anachronistic that Ontario is the last province in Canada to have such legislation.

      That’s why the Liberal government is eager to receive former Ontario chief justice Roy McMurtry’s review of the 1939 Public Works Protection Act and move on his advice, says Community Safety Minister Jim Bradley.

      “He’s got a very wide scope to look at the law. My expectation is he will make recommendations about how to amend the act or replace it altogether,” Bradley said in an interview Monday.

    • Glad Hand: Excuse Me, Your Baton is in My Face
    • Vindication for G20 protesters

      In the aftermath of the G20 fiasco here last summer, one thing Torontonians agreed on was that such summits should be held in isolated venues — on military bases, on ocean-going vessels, on melting glaciers — anywhere but where lots of people reside.

      But beyond being upset with the expense and disorder that weekend, many Torontonians (and city council) sided with the police, assuming that the arrest of 1,105 people must have somehow been justified, given the rampage of a small group through the downtown core.

    • Walkom: Why Ottawa’s new border scheme is such a loser

      The latest government attempt to create a common security perimeter around North America is another bad deal for Canada.

    • Canadian Senate Passes Mandatory Minimums for Five Marijuana Plants

      The Canadian Senate Friday passed the Conservative government’s crime bill, S-10, which institutes mandatory minimum sentences for a number of non-violent drug offenses, including a six-month sentence for growing five pot plants. The bill now heads to the House of Commons for hearings and a vote.

    • Tomgram: Engelhardt, The United States of Fear
    • Afghan Ultraviolence: Petraeus Triples Air War
  • Cablegate

    • UN rights boss concerned at targeting of WikiLeaks
    • If you rule by code you will fall by code: the philosophy of Wikileaks

      Humans are animals of protocol. Our behavior is determined by rules – conscious and not. Until recently, the protocol was an instrument of hegemonic power: the rule-ing elites were makers and masters of the protocols that were used to control the people. The writing and policing of protocol was reserved for the elite.

      The Internet today is the place through which humanity is coming to realise that liberty will require that we – the collective we – take control of the building and re-design of protocol. Wikileaks is a real milestone in that process. The word “Wikileaks” has two components, each important. “Leaks”: the hermetically sealed circles of power, those that once seemed as solid as rock, are liquifying and losing their aura. “Wiki”: each and all of us can contribute to the process of active demystification of protocol.

    • The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention

      Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime. Despite that, he has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months — and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait — under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture. Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning’s detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard) who confirmed much of what they conveyed, establishes that the accused leaker is subjected to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries.

      [...]

      Manning is barred from communicating with any reporters, even indirectly, so nothing he has said can be quoted here. But David House, a 23-year-old MIT researcher who befriended Manning after his detention (and then had his laptops, camera and cellphone seized by Homeland Security when entering the U.S.) is one of the few people to have visited Manning several times at Quantico. He describes palpable changes in Manning’s physical appearance and behavior just over the course of the several months that he’s been visiting him. Like most individuals held in severe isolation, Manning sleeps much of the day, is particularly frustrated by the petty, vindictive denial of a pillow or sheets, and suffers from less and less outdoor time as part of his one-hour daily removal from his cage.

    • Wikileaks [cartoon]
    • WikiLeaks: Anonymous takes down Swedish prosecution website

      The Swedish prosecutor’s website crashed late yesterday, moments after the authority announced its intention to fight the decision to grant WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange bail in the UK.

    • Battling Wikileaks And The Art Of War

      Anyone who has studied tactics, for battle or otherwise, knows Sun Tzu’s legendary work, The Art Of War. Or at least they should. In reviewing what the first chapter of that work teaches about the five factors a battling faction must consider when endeavoring to battle, you have to scratch your head and wonder if the United States government might need a refresher course.

    • Spamhaus’ False Allegations Against wikileaks.info

      We find it very disturbing that Spamhaus labels a site as dangerous without even checking if there is any malware on it. We monitor the wikileaks.info site and we can guarantee that there is no malware on it. We do not know who else is hosted with Heihachi Ltd and it is none of our business. They provide reliable hosting to us. That’s it.

    • Wikileaks Mirrors

      Wikileaks is currently mirrored on 2194 sites…

    • What the State Fears Most: Information

      The battle has always been between the state and market, or man’s ability to circumvent the tentacles of government through economic progress. Until only very recently, man has been at a technological disadvantage. The ability to evade book burnings amounted to the ability to hide the book. The end of censorship in Germany, for example, came only with the end of the Nazi regime.[2]

      Presently, our ability to attain knowledge is threatened because said knowledge represents a threat to the state — not to “national security,” as is claimed, but to the legitimacy of the state itself. Julian Assange, through WikiLeaks, has made available to society a vast collection of information that undermines the state’s legitimacy. Assange cracked the government’s veil of benignity and brought into question the state’s tactics. His website undermines its moral authority.

      The threat posed by Assange is underscored by the government’s seemingly disproportionate response. Senator Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, successfully used the power of the state to shut down part of WikiLeaks.[3] He did so by threatening to sanction Amazon, which at the time hosted that part of Assange’s operation.

    • A Look at DDoS Net Activism

      That said, I’ve personally gone back and forth about how I feel about DDoS. It is important to note that this is being used as a means for young people to have their voice heard in a political climate which otherwise ignores or labels them as “politically insensitive.” While they have now demonstrated that this is not true, I really can’t find justification for making a criminal of a 16 year old net activist.

      The young man, known by the nick Jeroenz0r, had been participating in DDoS activism, along with the rest of Anonymous Operation Payback activists, ”to protect anonymity and freedom of speech.”

    • China and its Double-edged Cyber-sword

      A recent batch of WikiLeaks cables led Der Spiegel and The New York Times to print front-page stories on China’s cyber-espionage capabilities Dec. 4 and 5. While China’s offensive capabilities on the Internet are widely recognized, the country is discovering the other edge of the sword.

      China is no doubt facing a paradox as it tries to manipulate and confront the growing capabilities of Internet users. Recent arrests of Chinese hackers and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) pronouncements suggest that China fears that its own computer experts, nationalist hackers and social media could turn against the government. While the exact cause of Beijing’s new focus on network security is unclear, it comes at a time when other countries are developing their own defenses against cyber attacks and hot topics like Stuxnet and WikiLeaks are generating new concerns about Internet security.

    • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange granted bail: live updates

      Julian Assange walks out of the High Court with a hand raised.

      It’s great to smell the fresh air of London again.

    • Wikileaks And A Changing World – Updated

      While the professional diplomats come through with their reputation in good order, their political masters do not. The American political class comes across as two-faced, accusing China of human rights abuses, while committing their own human rights abuses, accusing other regimes of secrecy, and losing their temper when their own secrets are exposed.

      Let’s take Defense Secretary Robert Gates who called Assange’s arrest on a Swedish warrant for having unprotected sex with two women Good News. And that’s the Gospel Truth (Gospel is a derivative of Old English gōd-spell [1] (rarely godspel), meaning “good news” or “glad tidings”). Exactly why would an ex-Eagle Scout say something like this? Possibly he’s not Eagle Scout material any more.

      How about the orders that diplomats act as spies? Everyone understands that diplomats report what they see. That’s part of their job. But ordering them to collect credit card numbers and DNA on United Nations staff? Hillary Clinton should be ashamed. Heck, Hillary Clinton should step down from her post as Secretary of State.

      And then we’ve got politicians calling Amazon, complaining that Amazon was hosting Wikileaks, and Amazon pulling the plug. We have the U.S. Government interfering with the .ORG domain system. The U.S. Military is now blocking serving members from the New York Times website (possibly the first time that an American government institution has blocked online access to an American newspaper).

      The Washington Elite look petty.

    • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange freed on bail

      The founder of whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, Julian Assange, has vowed “to continue my work and to protest my innocence” after being freed on bail.

    • A bit of 1771, an alternative Babbage quote, Roosevelt, Kennedy and Reagan.

      Andrew McAfee has come out quite strongly against wikileaks and Assange’s principles and motives in particular. We disagree.

      However, like Andrew, I’m a fan of computer and political history and I often use ancient quotes to make an argument. This post will be no different, and I may ramble a bit.

      Andrew quotes Babbage,

      I’ll outsource my answer to the legendary Victorian computer pioneer Charles Babbage: “On two occasions I have been asked, ‘Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?’ I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.”

    • WikiLeaks: Swedish government ‘hid’ anti-terror operations with America from Parliament

      The secret cables, seen by The Daily Telegraph, disclose how Swedish officials wanted discussions about anti-terrorism operations kept from public scrutiny.

      They describe how officials from the Swedish Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs had a “strong degree of satisfaction with current informal information sharing arrangements” with the American government.

    • Lord Chief Justice wants debate on Twitter use in court

      The Lord Chief Justice says he will be seeking the input of the media on the question of whether tweeting from court should be allowed.

    • US: Don’t Prosecute WikiLeaks Founder

      The US government should not prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for releasing classified US State Department cables as this would imperil media freedom everywhere, Human Rights Watch said in a letter today to President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. Human Rights Watch urged the US government to reject overbroad interpretations of national security that clash with the freedom of expression guarantees of the US Constitution and international law.

      “This is a signature moment for freedom of expression and information in both the US and abroad,” said Dinah PoKempner, general counsel at Human Rights Watch. “Prosecuting WikiLeaks for publishing leaked documents would set a terrible precedent that will be eagerly grasped by other governments, particularly those with a record of trying to muzzle legitimate political reporting.”

    • How Unusual Would Assange’s Extradition to Sweden Be?

      But I’ve been wondering how often Swedish officials go to the effort to get people in Assange’s position extradited.

    • Julian Assange bail decision made by UK authorities, not Sweden

      The decision to have Julian Assange sent to a London jail and kept there was taken by the British authorities and not by prosecutors in Sweden, as previously thought, the Guardian has learned.

      The Crown Prosecution Service will go to the high court tomorrow to seek the reversal of a decision to free the WikiLeaks founder on bail, made yesterday by a judge at City of Westminster magistrates court.

      It had been widely thought Sweden had made the decision to oppose bail, with the CPS acting merely as its representative. But today the Swedish prosecutor’s office told the Guardian it had “not got a view at all on bail” and that Britain had made the decision to oppose bail.

    • Statement on Wikileaks and the Implications for Companies

      Recent decisions by some technology companies to restrict access to or sever ties with Wikileaks highlight the difficulties companies face when governments attempt to restrict controversial information.

    • House Judiciary Committee to Hold WikiLeaks Hearing Tomorrow

      The full House Committee on the Judiciary will hold a hearing on the Espionage Act and legal and constitutional issues raised by WikiLeaks tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. EST. You can watch the hearing live here. We’ll also be tweeting our impressions throughout the morning.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Exclusive: How BP Drafted Brussels’ Climate Legislation

      Lobbyists for BP and other energy firms drafted climate change legislation that secured a nine billion euro subsidy from taxpayers, internal documents reveal.

      The sum covers the entire cost of new technology for cutting carbon emissions from ‘dirty’ coal-fired power stations, saving energy firms from having to pay for it themselves.

    • Foxgate: Leaked email reveals Fox News boss Bill Sammon ordered staff to cast doubt on climate science

      This morning, MediaMatters released the bombshell e-mail “sent by Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon … less than 15 minutes after Fox correspondent Wendell Goler accurately reported on-air that the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization announced that 2000-2009 was ‘on track to be the warmest [decade] on record.‘ ”

      Well, okay, this would be a bombshell email coming from any other news organization in the world (see Howell Raines: “Why has our profession … helped Fox legitimize a style of journalism that is dishonest in its intellectual process, untrustworthy in its conclusions and biased in its gestalt?”) So maybe the only bombshell is that Sammon was foolish enough to put this egregious Fox News policy into an email.

      UPDATE: Al Gore blogs, “Fox News has consistently delivered false and misleading information to its viewers about the climate crisis. The leaked emails now suggest that this bias comes directly from the executives responsible for their news coverage.”

    • Ghana joins ranks of oil producers

      Ghana set to become Africa’s seventh largest oil producer with the president promising ‘benefits for all’.

  • China

    • China Expands Its Influence in Europe

      China is seizing on Europe’s debt problems to expand its influence on the continent with large-scale investments and purchases of government bonds issued by highly-indebted states. The strategy could push Europe into the same financial dependency on China that is posing a dilemma for the US.

    • Riding red tracks

      On an epic journey through China, Andre Vltchek was stunned by the quality of public transport. Here, he argues socialist central planning is to thank – and that other countries should take note.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • On Canadian Facts, Fiction, Lobbyists and Levies

      Ministers Clement and Moore did the right thing yesterday by saying that no means no.

      The levy lobbyists did the wrong thing by denying the incontrovertible truth.

      It is absolutely false – as ACTRA boldly states that:

      “The $75 dollar figure is pure fiction. The CPCC has not put a price on the levy.”

    • Lobbyist hired to head key congressional committee

      Gary Andres, a lobbyist for Dutko Worldwide, has been hired by incoming chairman Fred Upton to be the staff director for the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

      The Energy & Commerce Committee is one of the central committees in the House and Andres’ former clients are going to be involved in many of the most contentious debates that the committee will engage in over the next two years.

      In 2010 Andres represented health care groups including the Coalition to Advance Healthcare Reform and UnitedHealth Corp., technology titan Google, General Motors, FedEx Corp., HSBC, Union Pacific Corp. and the National Ground Water Association.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Constructive Direct Action Against Censorship

      What, then, can digital activists do to protect speech on the internet? Fortunately, there are a bunch of technical projects dedicated to reducing centralization in the internet infrastructure. Some are in the idea stage, some are up and running, and some are in-between. All of them could use help: development, documentation, security review, server infrastructure, testing, and evangelizing. EFF urges technologists of all stripes and skill levels to work on potential solutions to the centralization problem.

    • Wikileaks: U.S. Air force blocks more than 25 news sites that published secret cables

      I cannot recall a media blackout this massive ever having been implemented on a US military computer network. This is unprecedented.

      Reuters: “The U.S. Air Force has blocked employees from visiting media websites carrying leaked WikiLeaks documents, including The New York Times and the Guardian, a spokesman said on Tuesday.”

    • Crown Prosecution Service Delays Ruling on BT and Phorm UK Privacy Invasions

      The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has once again delayed plans to rule on whether or not to charge either Phorm and or BT over the broadband ISPs secret 2006/2007 trials of Phorm’s technology, which tracked customers private website visits (not unlike Spyware) for use in targeted advertising campaigns; this was done without end-users consent.

    • U.S. Air Force blocks NYT, Guardian over WikiLeaks

      The U.S. Air Force has blocked employees from visiting media websites carrying leaked WikiLeaks documents, including The New York Times and the Guardian, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

      Major Toni Tones, a spokeswoman at Air Force Space Command in Colorado, said the command had blocked employees whose computers are connected to the Air Force network from accessing at least 25 websites that have posted WikiLeaks documents.

    • TIME magazine must Zuck my leaks…

      Just ignoring all the facts about censorship,copyrights-killer and an outrageos privacy violator, TIME magazine is “proud” to announce Mark Zuckerberg as Person of the Year 2010 by connecting half billion facebookers, What the fuck!?

    • EFF Location Privacy Victory at Third Circuit Stands, With Implications Far Beyond Your Cell Phone

      In EFF’s second major privacy victory in as many days, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals today denied the government’s request that it reconsider its September decision regarding government access to cell phone company records that reveal your past locations. That means the court’s original opinion — holding that federal magistrates have the discretion to require the government to get a search warrant based on probable cause before obtaining cell phone location records — is now the settled law of the Third Circuit, assuming the government doesn’t seek review by the Supreme Court. Importantly, this victory won’t just provide greater protection for the privacy of your cell phone records but for all other communications records that the government currently obtains without warrants.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Court: You do not own that copy of WoW you bought

      The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a previous ruling that those who bought and played World of Warcraft did not actually own the software, but were merely licensing the game, per the included End User Licensing Agreement.

    • Copyrights

      • Mass antipiracy suits looks less certain

        The chances that independent filmmakers and porn studios can find a cost effective way to sue thousands of alleged film pirates appears less likely with each passing day.

      • French “Three-Strikes” Warnings Far Below Music Industry Hopes

        This past October France’s “Creation and Internet” law formally went into effect and it seems that it has yet to warn as many suspected file-sharers as the music industry had hoped.

        The “Creation and Internet” law is the the controversial “three-strikes” measure to fight P2P in that country that was first proposed back in June of 2008. It was formally passed last September, but not after first before being ruled unconstitutional over the fact that an agency (HADOPI), and not a judge, was allowed to disconnect people from the Internet.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Digital Economy Act suffers wireless broadband set back

          A British judge has ruled that running an unsecured wireless broadband connection is not equivalent to facilitating illegal file sharing.

          It is believed to be the first time a judge has ruled on this element of the Digital Economy Act which the previous Labour Government was widely accused of rushing through in its last week of power. The Act was designed to allow ISPs to seek ‘technical measures’ (including, ultimately, disconnection) to prevent illegal file sharing.

        • UK Software Industry Breaks Out Lawyers to Challenge Digital Economy Act Debate

          The UK Federation Against Software Theft (FAST), a not-for-profit group that campaigns for the legitimate use of software, has said that it plans to involve its “lawyers in the thought processes to link with the debate” on the controversial Digital Economy Act 2010 (DEA).

Clip of the Day

Julian Assange Speaks After Release on Bail


Credit: TinyOgg

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