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02.19.13

Links 19/2/2013: Android Smartwatch, Canonical’s Ubuntu Tablet Effort Unveiled

Posted in News Roundup at 10:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Top 3: Steam, Sabayon and Ubuntu Phones Home
  • Top 10 Linux Networked Storage Systems Under $1,000

    Cloud storage may be on the move, but local network-attached storage (NAS) systems continue to be in hot demand, especially as they integrate cloud backup and mobile access. In the enterprise NAS, unified storage, and SAN (storage area network) world, Linux shares the pie with Unix and Windows. But in the faster-growing small and medium business (SMB), small office and home office (SoHo), and consumer NAS segments, Linux is clearly dominant.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux file permissions and chmod
    • The Kernel Panic

      If you have ever been on one of these types of calls, you know that they are always rather uncomfortable. The manager is upset because something went wrong, and on top of that it was something that they don’t fully understand. During such conversations I’ve found that it is normally best to keep explanations correct, but succinct. I explained that a kernel panic is what happens when the operating system encounters an error that it cannot recover from. That explanation seemed to be enough for him, but as I thought about it later, I found that it was not nearly enough for me.

    • What’s new in Linux 3.8

      Improved graphics drivers and a new filesystem for flash disks are two of the most important changes in Linux 3.8. Kernel developers have also made improvements to btrfs and ext4 and merged a number of new drivers.

    • The Non-Babble Intro to Cloud Computing on Linux
    • Install/Upgrade to Linux Kernel 3.8 (Stable) in Ubuntu/Linux Mint
    • umockdev: record and mock hardware for debugging and testing
    • Xen 4.3 Is Running Heavy On New Features

      Xen 4.3 is expected to be released in June of this year. While the developers working on this virtualization platform are only half-way through its development cycle, they already have an impressive number of features that are coming into this next open-source release.

    • Linux 3.8 released

      Linus Torvalds has released version 3.8 of the Linux kernel, which brings with it full support for the graphic cores in Intel’s upcoming processor generation Haswell and everything a system needs to use the 3D acceleration on all NVIDIA GeForce graphics chipsets. F2FS, a filesystem that is optimised for flash media as used in cameras, tablets, smartphones, USB flash drives and memory cards, is another innovation in Linux 3.8.

    • Linux Foundation Welcomes Members From Android, Embedded and Cloud Communities

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that BORQS, Denx, Gazzang, Genymobile, Mandriva and Seneca College are joining the organization.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Radeon 2D Performance On Linux Remains Mixed

        The results in yesterday’s article, AMD Radeon Gallium3D Starting To Out-Run Catalyst In Some Cases, were interesting but limited to OpenGL games. In this article are more test results from the same system configuration and Ubuntu Linux releases but now taking a look at the 2D performance of the open and closed-source AMD Radeon Linux graphics drivers.

      • X.Org Server 1.14 Is Being Readied For Release Soon

        The second release candidate of X.Org Server 1.14 is now available ahead of the official release in a few weeks time.

        RC1 came in mid-December while on Wednesday night was finally RC2 as tagged by Keith Packard. With RC2 being out, only critical bug-fixes will now be accepted ahead of the xorg-server 1.14 release. The final release of X.Org Server 1.14 is expected to happen on 5 March.

      • NVIDIA’s PRIME Helpers Are Ready For Linux 3.9

        Aside from a lot of other exciting DRM driver happenings for the Linux 3.9 kernel, it looks like the DRM “PRIME Helpers” that were conceived by NVIDIA to help them support DMA_BUF in their binary driver will be merged.

        NVIDIA can’t directly utilize the Linux kernel’s DMA_BUF buffer sharing mechanism — a zero-copy way to share buffers between different kernel drivers whether it be DRM or other sub-systems — due to GPL-only kernel symbols and bickering amongst kernel developers.

      • An SDK Is Being Developed For Wayland’s Weston
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Ubuntu? Fedora? Mint? Debian? We’ll find you the right Linux to swallow

      The third factor in our trio is how well the desktop of your choice is supported. In some ways this is a chicken-and-egg question for newcomers since most won’t know which desktop they want to use.

      Pretty much any Linux application can be installed on any Linux system, at least in theory. That means any desktop can be installed with any distro, but in the real world it doesn’t always work out quite that smoothly. For example, the Cinnamon desktop is a relatively new desktop interface developed by the same people who created Mint Linux, which means Cinnamon is nicely integrated with the rest of Mint. That doesn’t mean you can’t install Cinnamon on Fedora or Arch. You can and people do, but it will most likely be a bit trickier and finding solutions to your problems can be more difficult since fewer users will be using your particular setup. That’s why, to stick with the Cinnamon example, it would make more sense to use Mint if you really want to use Cinnamon.

    • First look at SparkyLinux 2.1 “Ultra” edition
    • Does Rebellin have a Cause?

      When I first test drove Rebellin for a section in an upcoming Linux Format, I reported that basically it seemed like a nice solid Debian respin, but many such are for free. It doesn’t seem that Linux users gravitate towards the projects that require payment before trying. When I explained this to the founder and, currently, the sole developer, he said that there are indeed reasons why folks should want to pay the $5.

      Is $5 too much to spend for a distro that you can’t test-drive first? Utkarsh Sevekar says, “people don’t realize that there are very small players (like me) out there who can’t wait till someone sponsors them or donate money to keep things going. Bills are a big thing.” He says the $5 fee, that will actually be used for broadband costs for the downloads, will also include “email support to all which lasts for the lifetime of the product. There is no monthly/yearly fee here. All included in the initial price. There are no limits to communication either. Customers can bug me as much a they want.”

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • CentOS 5.9 Gnome Desktop Review

        CentOS 5.9 leaves users with a warm fuzzy and familiar feeling offering Gnome 2.16 as the primary desktop which is featured in this review. The desktop prospects for this release are not very impressive, but the server capabilities are endless. Derived from the recently released RHEL 5.9, here is what this version has to offer.

      • Red Hat Updates OpenShift PaaS

        Red Hat is updating its cloud server application technology stack with a new release of OpenShift Enterprise.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • What Does the FOSS Community Need?

    What does the FOSS community really need? We’ve tackled that question from a few different angles here on OStatic. We’ve pondered whether Linux could benefit from a united, community fund and wondered whether the FOSS community simply needs better evangelists.

    On Slashdot today, there is a lively discussion going on about what the FOSS world needs. Some of the ideas from readers are off the cuff, like this one: “Better hygiene. Less beards. More women.” Quite a few of the idea are good, though.

  • GitHub’s Boxen open sourced

    GitHub , the Git-centric project hosting and collaboration company, has announced the open sourcing of Boxen, its management and automation tool used within the company for managing Mac systems. The project, which was originally named “The Setup”, was designed to allow developers to go from a new laptop to a system ready to hack the GitHub.com source within thirty minutes with a single command. They then ditched “The Setup” and wrote Boxen to replace it, so that any company could use it.

  • Events

    • Interview: Roy Sutton

      Roy Sutton is the community manager for HP’s Open webOS. He supports developers in porting Open webOS to new platforms and is a contributor to the Enyo project. Roy too a few minutes for an interview with the SCALE Team about his presentation “From Closed to Open: The Open webOS Story,” which will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24, in room Los Angeles B.

    • SCALE 11X update

      An update on events and happenings at SCALE 11x coming next weekend in Los Angeles.

    • SCALE 11X: Game on

      With more than 100 exhibitors and about 95 speakers at SCALE 11X this weekend, there’s a lot to do and see. But when the sun goes down, the sessions end and the expo hall closes, the fun really begins for the attendees.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Report on the activity of companies in the WebKit project

        Today Bitergia presents the first of a series on analytics for the WebKit project. After the preview we published some weeks ago, we finally have more detailed and accurate numbers about the evolution of the project. In this case, we’re presenting a report on the activity of the companies contributing to WebKit based on the analysis of reviewed commits.

    • Mozilla

      • Download Firefox 19 for Windows, Mac and Linux

        Firefox 19 is slated for an official release on Tuesday, it will be released in few hours. If you can’t wait to grab the download you can do so through the Mozilla FTP servers. Downloads are available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Browse the FTP folder and identify your platform file and download.

      • Mozilla Won’t Join Opera at the WebKit Party

        Last week, Opera Software announced that its browser has reached 300 million active users, and dropped the news that the browser will move away from the longstanding Presto rendering engine and moving to WebKit. As noted here, this means that the number of browsing rendering engines to take seriously moves down to only three players, and WebKit–already legendary in the open source world–gets even more momentum and community involvement. But many observers are noting that the move isolates Mozilla, which remains focused on its Gecko Web rendering engine and SpiderMonkey Javascript engine for the Firefox browser.

      • Chrome OS Was Originally Based On……Firefox?

        Former Google engineer Jeff Nelson has a blog post up that is generating lots of buzz due to the inside details it supplies about the origin of Google’s Chrome OS platform. The cloiud-focused operating system has drawn lots of headlines lately as more individual users, schools and businesses adopt Chromebooks.

        It’s well-known that the Chromium core of Chrome OS was based on Linux, and Canonical even helped Google shape the operating system. But among the details that Nelson recalls, the first versions of Chrome OS were actually based on Mozilla Firefox.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Ernst & Young: Cloud, SaaS dominating tech industry acquisitions
    • Rackspace lands Staples as cloud customer, OpenStack pilots ramp

      During Rackspace’s third quarter, the company had a bevy of high-level conversations with technology executives about OpenStack, an open source cloud operating system. Rackspace CEO Lanham Napier noted the fourth quarter turned many of those OpenStack conversations into pilots.

    • Open source education program, CanDo, handles big data

      In 2005, Arlington Career Center teacher David Welsh had an unmanagable list of 77 Video and Media Technology competencies to evaluate for each student in his classes. A Yorktown High School computer science teacher Jeff Elkner was teaching his students to program in Python and bursting with enthusiam for engaging students and teachers in open source processes. I had a new job leading the SchoolTool project with a charge from entrepreneur and philanthropist Mark Shuttleworth to create open source administrative software for schools around the world.

  • Databases

    • How the co-creator of MySQL came to love databases

      Monty Widenius, the co-creator of the MySQL database, became a multimillionaire when MySQL was sold to Sun Microsystems in 2008. But Monty subsequently left MySQL just before Sun was acquired by Oracle, and hired many of the original developers to work on his fork, MariaDB.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • How to affordably own your office software

      If you take a close look at Microsoft’s new Office licensing, it’s crystal clear: Microsoft no longer wants you to own your office software. They want you to rent it. So, why not get LibreOffice for free instead?

  • CMS

    • Webmaking with trainee teachers

      This year’s programmes now include:

      * Plenty of blogging – we’ve a Drupal powered bespoke blog/portfolio system, so trainees quickly get used to adding links, uploading images and embedding media; we also showcase The 100 Word Challenge and a few sign up for the team.

  • Education

    • Why libraries are intrinsically open and should adopt open source solutions

      Sharing is a fundamental part of the open source philosophy, and the same goes for libraries. Spreading, disseminating, and breaking down barries to gaining knowledge is a core mission of most library systems and their staff.

      That that end, libraries—which are essentially hubs of knowledge and gathering places for learning and continuing daily education—may choose to implement open source tools and software.

      An advocate for “open libraries”, Nicole Engard, is one of our new opensource.com community moderators, a long-time contributor, and a 2013 People’s Choice Award winner. She has a passion for libraries and wants libraries’ core operations to run on open source.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Gnuplot—the Grandfather of Graphing Utilities

      In these columns, I have covered several different scientific packages for doing calculations in many different areas of research. I also have looked at various packages that handle graphical representation of these calculations. But, one package that I’ve never looked at before is gnuplot (http://www.gnuplot.info). Gnuplot has been around since the mid-1980s, making it one of the oldest graphical plotting programs around. Because it has been around so long, it’s been ported to most of the operating systems that you might conceivably use. This month, I take a look at the basics of gnuplot and show different ways to use it.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Using open data for regional collaboration

        I have a regional, collaborative philosophy of open data initiatives and municipalities. In North Carolina, the cities of Cary, Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill all share the economic engine that is the Research Triangle Park. They also share the innovation engine of five, top universities.

    • Open Access/Content

      • LIVE WEBCAST: Lessig discusses Aaron’s Law

        A long time friend and mentor of Swartz, who helped develop RSS as a teen, co-owned the popular website Reddit, and was a key architect of the Creative Commons, Lessig has written about Swartz on his personal blog and the Huffington Post, and he spoke about Schwartz’s life and achievements on the radio show Democracy Now. Swartz is the inspiration for “Aaron’s Law,” a draft bill, introduced by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), which would limit the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

      • Aaron Swartz files reveal how FBI tracked internet activist
    • Open Hardware

Leftovers

  • Reinstalling — gasp! — Windows

    I love my Compaq Presario 2170CA laptop. It has every peripheral that I use in my multifarious adventures, being one of the last laptops made with both a floppy disk drive and a “real” parallel port. But I’m preparing to travel with it, and its 40 GB hard drive was full. So rather than buy a new laptop, I decided to upgrade the hard drive. I found a new 120 GB drive on eBay, and installed it with no problems.

  • That Mitchell & Webb Crook

    he has now found a way to channel his hatred of the anti-necon movement into “comedy”, by making a sitcom poking fun at me, and making light of our government’s alliance with the Uzbek dictatorship.

    Our Men, commissioned by the BBC, is a hilarious comedy about the drunken and incompetent British Ambassador in Tazbekistan [which the BBC says does not represent Tashkent, Uzbekistan] and the jolly despot President Kairat [No relation, says the BBC, to President Karimov].

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Israeli soldier posts Instagram image of Palestinian child in crosshairs of rifle
    • Georgia Set to Execute Man with IQ of 70 Today

      Warren Hill has an IQ of 70 and placed in the third percentile on his middle-school standardized test. Doctors have found him to be “mildly mentally retarded.” But even though the US Supreme Court in 2002 ruled that executing the mentally handicapped is unconstitutional, Hill will be put to death today, barring a late intervention by the courts.

    • The Undetectable Firearms Act and 3D-printed guns (FAQ)

      They might come for your plastic gun, but they’re not coming for your 3D printer just yet.

    • Warning – Disturbing Images: The Last Hours Of The Son Of Prabhakaran

      A series of photographs taken a few hours apart and on the same camera, show Balachandran Prabhakaran, son of Villupillai Prabhakaran, head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). One of them shows the boy sitting in a bunker, alive and unharmed, apparently in the custody of Sri Lankan troops. Another, a few hours later, shows the boy’s body lying on the ground, his chest pierced by bullets.

      [...]

      The photographs will place additional pressure on David Cameron to announce whether or not he will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM), e in Sri Lanka in November. A Downing Street official with Mr Cameron on his visit to India said on Monday that no decision had yet been taken.

      NGOs and organisations, among them the cross-party Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, have called on him to boycott the meeting.

    • An Attempt to Take Tools From Tyrants

      Mr. Muhafdha continues to fight for human rights even though the Bahraini government has clamped down on any opposition, intensifying its electronic surveillance. “No matter how I communicate, they know,” Mr. Muhafdha said in an interview. “The regime has sophisticated electronic surveillance equipment allowing it to spy on everything we do by social media, e-mail and phone.”

    • German Prosecutor Would Have Filed Indictments for CIA Rendition Had US Provided Information

      The German newspaper Spiegel has an interview with a German prosecutor, who ultimately decided not to file indictments in the case of Egyptian Muslim cleric Abu Omar. Omar was kidnapped in a CIA operation in Italy and rendered to Germany and then Egypt, where he was tortured.

      Last week, according to Reuters, a Milan appeals court in Italy sentenced the country’s foreign military intelligence chief, Niccolo Pollari, to 10 years in jail for his role. Pollari’s former deputy, Marco Mancini, was sentenced to 9 years. The sentencing followed a move by the court to sentence the American former CIA station chief to seven years in absentia for his involvement. And the court awarded 1 million Euros in damages to Omar along with one half a million Euros to his wife.

    • Amazon sacks ‘neo-Nazi’ security firm

      Amazon has ended its relationship with a security firm in Germany following accusations that guards in neo-Nazi uniforms were intimidating foreign workers at the online retailer’s distribution centres.

    • Amazon Fires ‘Neo-Nazi’ Guards In Germany
    • German president meets neo-Nazi victims’ families

      German President Joachim Gauck has received the families of Turks who were killed by Neo-Nazis in Germany and said he wanted societal prejudices to be tackled as well as problems within institutions.

    • Terror Tuesday: why kill list courts are not the answer

      If you were surprised to hear one particular rhetorical flourish in the President’s State of the Union address, imagine how Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) felt. For well over a year he and a handful of other Senators had been trying to obtain the government’s legal justification for its targeted killing program without getting any response from the Justice Department.

    • Don’t even think of proposing new gun-control laws, legislator says
    • Carrie Cordero on FISA Court Lessons for a “Drone Court”
    • John Kiriakou Orange Ball | Fresh Juice Party

      Disgruntled Heiress teams up with Code Pink and Fresh Juice Party to throw posh prison send-off for
      CIA Torture Whistleblower John Kiriakou

    • Is the FBI’s Community Outreach Program a Trojan Horse?

      In December 2011, the ACLU released FBI documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, which showed that San Francisco FBI agents were exploiting community outreach programs for intelligence-gathering purposes. Now it appears FBI agents in Minneapolis have adopted this ruse, and may be using it in even more sinister ways.

    • The Softball Question That Wasn’t

      During a Google+ Hangout yesterday, conservative commentator Lee Doren asked President Obama whether he claims the authority to kill a U.S. citizen suspected of being associated with al Qaeda or associated forces on U.S. soil. Notice the question was restricted to only a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil (our concerns are, of course, broader and apply to the White House’s illegitimate claim of authority to kill people it unilaterally deems a threat, even if they are far from any battlefield, abroad).

    • The Lesser Evil

      What the Obama administration isn’t telling you about drones: The standard rule is capture, not kill.

    • The Civil War and World War II: The Worst Guides in the War on Terrorism

      Obama’s defenders keep citing sui generis conflicts to justify his actions in radically different circumstances.

    • Like a Swarm of Lethal Bugs: The Most Terrifying Drone Video Yet
    • Why a `Drone Court’ Won’t Work

      President Barack Obama’s drone war is in danger of becoming an Abu Ghraib-style public-relations nightmare, drawing criticism at home from left and right (and, it seems, even many U.S. troops), spurring angry protests in Pakistan and Yemen, and becoming a recruiting tool for al-Qaeda.

    • Obama, the puppet master

      The results are transformational. With more technology, and fewer resources at many media companies, the balance of power between the White House and press has tipped unmistakably toward the government. This is an arguably dangerous development, and one that the Obama White House — fluent in digital media and no fan of the mainstream press — has exploited cleverly and ruthlessly. And future presidents from both parties will undoubtedly copy and expand on this approach.

    • As Automatic Defense Cuts Near, Defense Contractors Keep Congress At Arm’s Length

      Nearly half of the $1.2 trillion federal budget reduction would come from defense spending.

    • Hubris Isn’t the Half of It

      As our government was making a fraudulent case to attack Iraq in 2002-2003, the MSNBC television network was doing everything it could to help, including booting Phil Donahue and Jeff Cohen off the air. The Donahue Show was deemed likely to be insufficiently war-boosting and was thus removed 10 years ago next week, and 10 days after the largest antiwar (or anything else) demonstrations in the history of the world, as a preemptive strike against the voices of honest peaceful people.

    • Tomgram: Greg Grandin, Why Latin America Didn’t Join Washington’s Counterterrorism Posse

      There was a scarcely noted but classic moment in the Senate hearings on the nomination of John Brennan, the president’s counterterrorism “tsar,” to become the next CIA director. When Senator Carl Levin pressed him repeatedly on whether waterboarding was torture, he ended his reply this way: “I have a personal opinion that waterboarding is reprehensible and should not be done. And again, I am not a lawyer, senator, and I can’t address that question.”

    • Racial Profiling, Islamophobia, and Whistleblowers: Targeting the Unruly Threat
    • The AUMF Fallacy

      All of them claim the Administration is operating exclusively within the AUMF, and based on that assumption conclude certain things about what the Administration has done.

      There is abundant evidence to refute that. After all, the Administration invokes self-defense about as many times as it does AUMF in the white paper. The white paper actually situates the authority to kill an American in “constitutional responsibility to protect the country” — that is, Article II authority — and inherent right to self-defense even before it lists the AUMF.

    • BATRAVILLE AND LEW: DoD plans are shortsighted, unethical
    • Combatant Immunity and the Death of Anwar al-Awlaqi

      The importance of the combatant-civilian distinction was apparent when the Pentagon prepared the latest version of the Manual for Military Commissions [PDF], the rulebook for the trials of some of the alleged unlawful enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay. The 2007 version of the Manual for Military Commissions, which made rules implementing the Military Commissions Act of 2006, said that “[f]or the accused to have been acting in violation of the law of war, the accused must have taken acts as a combatant without having met the requirements for lawful combatancy.” It went on to add that such persons “do not enjoy combatant immunity because they have failed to meet the requirements of lawful combatancy under the law of war.” That language was removed when the current manual was drafted because of concerns among senior US government officials that the language on lawful combatancy and combatant immunity could be viewed as an acknowledgment that CIA civilian drone operators are committing war crimes.

    • UN Committee Criticizes Obama Administration’s Use Of Child Soldiers’ Waivers

      As the conflict in Mali wages on, reports from the frontlines reveal that the al-Qaeda linked Northern Mali rebels have conscripted child soldiers into their ranks. These reports reflect the persistence of a gross human rights violation in military conflict.

      And Mali is not alone. Child soldiers are used by non-state groups and government forces alike. American soldiers around the world have come under attack from forces using child soldiers, a complex challenge for the U.S. military. However, the United States has also provided military assistance to governments using child soldiers within their ranks or within government-supported armed groups. Child Soldiers International (CSI), an international NGO committed to preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers, has found evidence of child soldiers in government militaries and government supported armed groups with which the US military maintains key military-aid relationships, such as Afghanistan Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Libya, the Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan, Thailand and Yemen.

    • The premises and purposes of American exceptionalism

      …insufficient to claim the mere mantle of Greatest Country on the Planet

    • Don’t Trust the Government on Drones
  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Back To Hurting Clients As Firm Is Targeted In Insider Trading Probe

      Goldman Sachs is apparently back to it’s old tricks despite the $550 million settlement with the SEC over hurting clients in the mortgage securities market. Acting on what may have been inside information (more on that later) the firm decided it wanted to heavily invest in Heinz (HNZ), which later would announce it was in talks to be bought out by Warren Buffet. So Goldman Sachs started buying up shares ahead of the merger.

    • Goldman Sachs says cooperating with Heinz probe

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc is cooperating with a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission probe into insider options trading in H.J. Heinz…

    • DC’s quest to silence Elizabeth Warren

      No, what’s important here is what Politico actually got right in its story: namely, that the assumption in Washington is, indeed, that silence is a virtue – that, in other words, the best thing for a newly elected liberal senator to do is shut her mouth, go along to get along, play by the club’s rules and not make any waves. Summing up that Beltway conventional wisdom, Politico writes that only by “flying under the radar” can a liberal “star” like Warren develop a “reputation as a serious legislator.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Can Police Be Trusted With Drones?

      Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern wants to buy a surveillance drone, or, as he prefers to call it, a “small Unmanned Aerial System.” At a meeting before the county’s Board of Supervisors last week, he claimed that he’d only use the drone for felony cases, not to spy on people or monitor political activists. But a few minutes later he’d seemed to change his mind, adding: “I don’t want to lock myself into just felonies.”

      Catcalls and hisses erupted from a crowd of some 100 anti-drone activists. One man later called the proposal “an assault on my community.”

    • Should drones be used to spy on Americans?

      Drones aren’t just for fighting the war on terror in the Middle East anymore – they might be watching you.

    • Ask the Expert: Is the Government Really Trying to Get Access to Websites for Surveillance Purposes?
    • Washington State Residents Say “No!” to Police Surveillance Drones

      Last February, President Obama signed a bill allowing up to 30,000 police drones to be flown by police departments and the Department of Homeland Security within the United States to keep an eye on “we the people.”

    • Logic of surveillance and problems of the enforcer class

      Ian Welsh’s piece on the “logic of surveillance” makes several good points, but this one really smacked me in the face: “The enforcer class…is paid in large part by practical immunity to many laws and a license to abuse ordinary people.”

    • The Logic of Surveillance
    • Your Own Smart Phone, Turned Against You

      My day starts out normally enough: I drop the kids at school and head to the Starbucks, where I use my Smart Phone to pay for my tall Caffé Mocha soy because that’s how I roll: I save one minute not having to reach into my wallet to physically pull out my credit card, it’s logged into the app.

      After “checking in” with Foursquare, which tells me a couple of moms from the school have already been there this morning, and then my Facebook, which tells me another “friend” is headed there now, I dash to the Safeway, where I get discounts on my feta cheese, avocados, organic yogurt and Fat Bastard chardonnay because I logged it all in the store’s Just for U program. Again, that’s how we roll.

    • First interview in 57 years for chief of Germany’s most secretive spy agency

      The head of the German military’s counterintelligence service, which is widely seen as the country’s most secretive intelligence organization, has given the first public media interview in the agency’s 57-year history. Most readers of this blog will be aware of the Federal Republic of Germany’s two best-known intelligence agencies: the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), tasked with domestic intelligence, and the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), the country’s primary external intelligence agency. Relatively little is known, however, about the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD), which has historically been much smaller and quieter than its sister agencies. As part of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, the MAD is tasked with conducting counterintelligence and detecting what it terms “anti-constitutional activities” within the German armed forces. It is currently thought to consist of around 1,200 staff located throughout Germany and in at least seven countries around the world, including Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Djibouti.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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    The Croatian press comments on the recent declaration from the Council of Europe and Topić's not-so-sterling status in his home country, where he is wanted for alleged crimes



  7. Microsoft Gradually Embraces, Extends, Extinguishes Linux Foundation as a Foundation of GNU/Linux

    By liaising with (or hijacking) existing members of the Linux Foundation, as well as by paying the Linux Foundation, Microsoft turns the Linux Foundation into somewhat of a Windows advocacy group



  8. Microsoft India Still Lobbies and Lies About Free Software in Order to Knock Down Policy That Favours Free Software

    Microsoft continues to bully Indian politicians who merely 'dare' to prefer software that India can modify, maintain, extend, audit, etc.



  9. Patent Lawyers and Corporate Media Nervous About New Patents Barrier/Reality (Less Patents on Software and Business Methods)

    The rich and the powerful, as well as their lawyers (whose job is to protect their money and power by means of government-enforced monopoly), carry on whining after the Alice case, in which many abstract patents were essentially ruled -- by extension -- invalid



  10. Translation of Pierre-Yves Le Borgn' Speech Against EPO Management and New Parliamentarian Interventions

    More political fire targeting the EPO's management, adding up to over 100 parliamentarians by now



  11. Links 2/7/2015: KDE Plasma 5.3.2, antiX 15

    Links for the day



  12. Links 1/7/2015: OpenDaylight Lithium, OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2

    Links for the day



  13. Munich Press, Münchner Merkur, Slams the Munich-based EPO

    Pressure on Benoît Battistelli to leave (or be fired) grows as the cronies whom he filled his office with have become a huge public embarrassment to the decades-old European Patent Office



  14. The Shameless Campaign to Paint/Portray Free Software as Inherently Insecure, Using Brands, Logos, and Excessive, Selective Press Coverage

    Some more FUD from firms such as Sonatype, which hope to make money by making people scared of Free/libre software



  15. National Insecurity and Blackmail, Courtesy of Microsoft

    British members of parliament (MPs) outsourced their communication to the number one PRISM company and they are paying the price for it; The US Navy's systems continue to be unbelievably insecure (Windows XP), despite access to the world's biggest nuclear arsenal



  16. Microsoft Keeps Shrinking

    As the era of shrink-wrapped software comes to an end so does Microsoft, whose effort to become a 'cloud' company with online operations has been miserable at best



  17. They 'R' Coming: More Microsoft Money for the Linux Foundation

    The problem with having Microsoft in a Linux Foundation initiative, the R Consortium



  18. Speculations About the EPO's Possible Role in DDOS Attacks

    Readers' views on who might be behind the attacks on this site amid confirmation that it's on the 'targets' list of the EPO



  19. Links 30/6/2015: Linux Mint 17.2, OpenMandriva

    Links for the day



  20. Techrights Confirmed as a Target of EPO Surveillance, With Help From Control Risks Group (CRG)

    Unveiling the cloak of secrecy from long-term surveillance by the European Patent Office (EPO) and a London-based mercenary it hired, bypassing the law



  21. Google's Fight to Keep APIs Free is Lost, Let's Hope Google Continues Fighting

    SCOTUS refuses to rule that APIs cannot be considered copyright-'protected', despite common sense and despite Java (which the case is about) being Free/libre software



  22. Patent Trolls in the Post-Alice World

    A round-up of news about patent trolls in the United States, some of whom are are doing well and some of them not as well



  23. DDOS Attacks Against Techrights

    Information about some of the most recent DDOS attacks against this Web site and the steps to be taken next



  24. The Patent System Not What it Used to be, Large Corporations and Patent Lawyers the Principal Beneficiaries

    A look at some recent patent stories and what can be deduced from them, based on statistics and trends



  25. After Intervention by the Council of Europe Comes a Detailed Summary of the Situation in the European Patent Office (EPO)





  26. IRC Proceedings: May 31st - June 27th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  27. Links 28/6/2015: Manjaro Linux Cinnamon 0.8.13, VectorLinux 7.1

    Links for the day



  28. Williamson v. Citrix Online (at CAFC) Reinforces Alice v. CLS Bank (at SCOTUS) in Crushing Software Patents

    More patent news from the United States, again serving to indicate that software patents over there are getting weak (harder to defend in court or acquire from the patent office)



  29. Proskauer Rose LLP is Cherry-Picking Cases to Make Software Patents Seem Eligible Despite Alice v. CLS Bank

    Naming and shaming those who are trying to reshape the consensus despite a rather consistent pattern of software patents being rejected



  30. IAM Biased: How IAM 'Magazine' Glorifies Patent Stockpiling

    A look at the bias of one of the most overzealous sites for and by patent lawyers


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