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Links 15/3/2013: Kali 1.0, Fedora 19 Test Days

Posted in News Roundup at 8:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • If Linux were a dog

    As I zoned out this morning, sipping coffee and watching my dogs wrestle on the couch, I wondered, “If my dogs were Linux distributions, which ones would they be?” Yes, these are the thoughts that run through my head as I get started in the morning.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • OverlayFS File-System Proposed For Linux 3.10 Kernel

      The Overlay File-System has been in development for several years and is used by some notable Linux distributions, but has yet to be merged into the mainline Linux kernel after having to be pulled a few times in the past. The new plan is to merge OverlayFS for the Linux 3.10 kernel.

      With the patches now up to their sixteenth revision, Miklos Szeredi has called upon Linus Torvalds and Al Viro (the VFS maintainer) to consider pulling OverlayFS for inclusion into the Linux 3.10 release.

    • Graphics Stack

      • 2D Support Still Coming To NVIDIA’s Open Tegra

        The 2D graphics acceleration support for NVIDIA Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 ARM SoCs is still maturing and going through code revisions before entering the mainline Linux kernel, hopefully for Linux 3.10.

        The latest NVIDIA Tegra 2D patches were published on Wednesday by Terje Bergstrom and can currently be found on the kernel mailing list. These patches are currently up to their seventh revision.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • the case: brand

        This is part of the “Case for KDE” series of blog entries in which I explore various non-technical aspects of KDE. What follows are my personal thoughts and observations rather than an officially sanctioned position statement by the KDE community.

        I figured I would start with the topic of branding as it is a fairly simple topic .. a nice way to ease into this little adventure. It’s also a topic that has been getting increasing amounts of attention in the Free software communities in the last few years as products become more successful, projects progress and more companies appear on the scene.

      • KDE SC 4.11 Planned For Release In Mid-August

        The release schedule for KDE SC 4.11 has been set and the next major release of the KDE Plasma desktop will come in mid-August.

        Albert Astals Cid announced the KDE SC 4.11 release schedule, which can be found on the KDE.org Wiki.

      • KDE Homerun (Search & Launch Button/Containment)
      • PCManFM Qt port is 85% finished now!

        This is the Qt port of PCManFM with desktop management feature turned on. The desktop icons and the wallpaper were painted by PCManFM-Qt, just like the gtk+ version of the original PCManFM. The new Qt port is in a pretty good shape now.
        Although it’s not yet ready for production use, it’s almost there. About 85% of the planned features are finished.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Gnome throws its weight behind Wayland

        Gnome developer Matthias Clasen has proposed to make Gnome work on Wayland. Clasen made this proposal after meeting with X and Wayland developers (most X developers are the ones working on Wayland).

        In order to make Gnome work on Wayland, GNOME shell needs to be turned into a Wayland compositor. The team also needs to complete the GTK+ Wayland backend and all the X dependencies in the desktop infrastructure need to be replaced by Wayland equivalents.

      • GNOME plans to promote Wayland port
      • In Defense of GNOME Icons

        Recently I saw a few people commenting along of ‘GNOME 3 icons being crap’ so I investigated what the actual core of the issue might be. When dissing the years of work that went into creating the system theme and pushing app icons upstream, most of the commenters seem to actually have a problem with the folder icon.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • A new ESB and messaging platform join Red Hat’s middleware

        Red Hat has announced the addition of two new products to its middleware portfolio. The company acquired JBoss Fuse and JBoss A-MQ with the takeover of Progress subsidiary FuseSource last year. The first product is an open source Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) that builds on the Apache Camel Enterprise Integration framework; Red Hat notes that it now employs 25 contributors to that Apache project.

      • Red Hat Introduces JBoss Fuse And JBoss A-MQ

        Red Hat, Inc., the global provider of open source solutions, has announced that it has added Red Hat JBoss Fuse and Red Hat JBoss A-MQ to its enterprise middleware portfolio. The products are based on technologies acquired from FuseSource in Sept. 2012 and are designed to enhance Red Hat’s enterprise integration and messaging capabilities.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Linux Mint Debian 201303 RC Sneak Peek

          Linux Mint Debian 201303 RC is has been released. Linux Mint Debian is one of my favorite distros, so I’m very happy to see an update to it.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail’: Beta 1 preview

            Despite having cut back on the milestone releases, the Beta 1 release for Ubuntu 13.04, codenamed Raring Ringtail, has appeared on schedule. As yet, though, there’s not a great deal new to report.

          • Ubuntu developer offers a peek at core apps

            Back in January Canonical reached out to the Ubuntu community for help designing the core apps for Ubuntu Touch. Although the SDK preview for the platform is just over two months old Canonical already has something to show from the development of its key apps. A post on Michael Hall’s blog this week has revealed screenshots for some of the core apps giving a good idea of what they’re going to look like when finished and of the general design language.

          • Canonical: The Next Apple

            “On the verge of success, [Shuttleworth] is waving the white flag, demanding defeat if he cannot be like Apple and M$,” said blogger Robert Pogson. “It’s a Greek tragedy, where the winner sees defeat and commits suicide. Sometimes great leaders are “just greatly wrong. The error here seems to be based on the idea that a single GUI should somehow work on huge monitors or tiny smartphones.”

          • Ubuntu Q&A This Week
          • Refining and Improving Virtual UDS

            Last week we ran our very first virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit. The event lasted two days and gave us an opportunity to try out a new format and to see how well it worked. Generally it seems we got some pretty favorable feedback, but there are definitely some areas in which we want to sand off the rough edges and improve the structure of the event.

            I would like us to get the Virtual UDS format so tight and refined that it could be used to organize any kind of ad-hoc online set of meetings. As an example, I can imagine a similar event but focused explicitly on LoCo teams, or documentation, or translations. We want to make the format reliable enough and repeatable enough that anyone in our (or any other community) can use it. This will help our community to plan more regularly and get together more to do cool and interesting things.

          • Ubuntu SDK Apps are coming
          • Ubuntu Linux Gets Certified on Dell 12G Servers

            When the Intel Xeon E5 first debuted, both HP and Dell revealed that their respective servers would be certified for Red Hat and SUSE Linux. Canonical, the lead sponsor behind Ubuntu Linux, indicated at the time that it too would be certified with major server vendors on the Xeon E5 as well.

            This week Canonical announced that Ubuntu 12.04 has now been certified across the latest generation of Dell 12G servers powered by the Intel Xeon E5.

          • Unity 7.0 Desktop Coming To Ubuntu 13.04

            The Unity 7 desktop has been granted a feature freeze exception so that the updated desktop with “a lot of new code” can be landed in Ubuntu 13.04.

            Michael Hall of Canonical in a new blog post covers some of the Unity 7 work that will soon be found in Ubuntu 13.04. A PPA is being used for testing the Unity 7 packages for about two weeks before being pushed into the Ubuntu “Raring” repository, but it will happen in time for the April release of Ubuntu 13.04.

          • Unity 7 Fast-tracked Into Ubuntu 13.04

            Michael also addresses the 100 scope promise for 13.04 and has pre-maturely announced that thay’ve fallen short, but does mention that there “will be more scopes installed on the client than in previous releases, and even more that we will be able to implement on the server-side.” Hall also touches on the ever-present privacy concerns of Ubuntu users saying we’ve “tried to strike a balance between control and convenience, privacy and productivity”, but seems to allude to the idea that more data-sharing components of the dash will be activated by default. So, expect controls to turn off more than just Amazon.

          • Canonical and Dell collaborate on PowerEdge server support
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Trisquel to focus on LTS versions with Trisquel 6.0 release

              Based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, the latest release of Trisquel comes with GNOME Fallback Mode (from GNOME 3.4) as its default desktop environment. Trisquel 6.0 LTS, code-named “Toutatis”, uses the 3.2 Linux-libre kernel that removes all non-free elements from the upstream kernel.

              Trisquel is an FSF-approved distribution, and as such does not include any packages that cannot be considered free software, which is also the reason it is continuing to release with GNOME’s Fallback Mode. The developers cannot assume that the target computers for their distribution will have 3D acceleration available because of the lack of proprietary driver modules in the kernel.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • A developer’s perspective on Google’s self-driving cars (video)

      One of the most interesting sessions at last month’s Embedded Linux Conference in San Francisco was a keynote presentation about the technologies, capabilities, and challenges associated with Google’s self-driving cars, which have now traversed some 400,000 miles on public roadways. Think of it as “Prius meets The Matrix.”

    • Embedded Linux dev kit supports Intel’s 3rd Generation Core CPUs

      Wind River has added support for Intel’s 3rd generation Core processors to its embedded Linux distribution and tools suite. The added Core processor support comes in the form of an integrated hardware/software Embedded Development Kit (EDK) bundle.

      Wind River describes Wind River Linux 5 as a hardened embedded Linux distribution, with advanced tools and a rich partner ecosystem. As a combination of ready-to-use hardware and software, the company’s new EDK is intended to accelerate the development of devices based on the 3rd Generation Core processors.

    • Atheros open sources firmware for two wireless chips

      Qualcomm Atheros has released the source code of firmware for two of its 802.11n wireless chips on GitHub. The source code and build tools for the firmware are released partly under the GPLv2 and and partly under the MIT license. The GitHub page provides build instructions for those wanting to compile their own firmware.

    • Intel toolsuite supports Linux device software developers
    • Roku 3 review

      There are two things you should know about me right up front. One is the list of shows I’m currently watching: at this moment I’m at various points in The West Wing, Homeland, House of Cards, Scandal, Alias, Mad Men, Community, The Office, Parks and Recreation, How I Met Your Mother, Workaholics, The League, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Girls, New Girl, Modern Family, The Newsroom, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, Louie, and The Wire. (And those are just the ones I’ve watched recently.) I also watch a lot of movies, and religiously follow three different sports. The second thing you should know is that I don’t have cable, so I’m entirely reliant on the internet to get my fill.

      That combination has led me to audition nearly a dozen different set-top boxes over the last couple of years. I’ve used an Xbox 360 for my TV-watching needs; I’ve been a relatively happy WD TV Live Hub owner; my Apple TV remains one of the most-used gadgets I own; I at one point used a Chromebox for streaming movies straight through a browser; I’ve even repurposed a Mac Mini and an old Windows laptop as ersatz media centers. One device has just never done the trick for me, because I watch so many things and the industry is unfortunately in a place where almost no device or service has everything I need.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • HTC announces unlocked version of the One

          HTC starts to get the hang of the Developer Edition trend, called a necessary compromise because the original plan to stop making smartphones with locked bootloaders didn’t worked as Peter Chou (HTC CEO) expected.

      • Android

        • Ouya newbies: First-time developers bet big on $99 Android console

          Marco Williams never knew how hard game development would be. He and the team at Hashbang Games—which included his brother and his best friend—spent eight months working on Orbital Blaster, a space shooter that pays homage to games like Galaga. The development process was riddled with problems from the get-go, and even the process of making a simple game turned out to be a bigger endeavor than expected. To make matters worse, Williams’ effort to fund the game’s development on Kickstarter failed at around three percent of its $75,000 funding goal.

        • Andy Rubin Steps Down as Chief of Google Android

          “Having exceeded even the crazy ambitious goals we dreamed of for Android—and with a really strong leadership team in place—Andy’s decided it’s time to hand over the reins and start a new chapter at Google,” Google CEO Larry Page wrote in a March 13 note on Google’s official blog. “Going forward, Sundar Pichai will lead Android, in addition to his existing work with Chrome and Apps.”

        • 50 Android Apps for Business on the Go

          There’s no question that all the new Android devices make working outside the office and while traveling easy-peasey. But you can make your work easier still by using an app specifically designed to perform tasks on a smaller screen and with a minimum of input from your keyboard

          Take a look at these 50 Android apps on Google Play and see which ones fit your workflow best.

          1) OfficeSuite Pro 7. Think of this app as Microsoft Office lite. It does pretty much the same thing as the full version except it uses less memory and processing power on your phone. This app allows you to easily create and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files directly on your phone. You can also open, read, and edit attachments, including PDFs using those same programs. $14.99

        • Leaked Motorola device tips Google influence

          So you want to see what a new, post-acquisition Motorola handset looks like now that Google is more (or not at all) involved. Behold the first few images and video of an unknown model that appears to be one of the first of such collaborations. To be clear, this is not the rumored X-Phone. This, rather, appears to be something entirely different.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open sourcing the Internet of Things

    Thingsquare, a company founded by Contiki OS creator Adam Dunkels, today released the code for its wireless networking system, Mist, which is designed to make it easy to connect low-power devices to the Internet.

    The company has posted the source code for the Thingsquare Mist firmware, which lets wireless-capable microcontrollers connect directly to the Internet.

  • Back to open source

    Open source has something of a poor reputation among certain developer communities. There can be potential issues with intellectual property, plus the challenge in loss of revenue through traditional sales. Then there’s the persistent fear of disclosing trade secrets to the benefit of the competition.

  • Events

    • Open Source at CeBIT 2013

      Open Source software has had a special area for itself at the CeBIT trade show for the last five years. The H went along to see what was new this year and in the process met Knoppix creator, Klaus Knopper, saw the latest in 3D printing, and talked with John “Maddog” Hall about Project Cauã.

    • The Big Tent of Open Source has Room for Anarchists, Intelligence Agencies and Businesses Alike

      I’ve always known that Open Source was a “Big Tent”. I worked at the Linuxcaffe (R.I.P.) in Toronto for 4 years, where I met a diverse clientele and was exposed to many exciting Open Source projects. The cafe’s atmosphere was inspired by the tolerance of the Open Source community, and made all sorts feel at home.

      That sense was reinforced when I went to this year’s Linux.conf.au conference at the end of January. It was my first conference of any kind, and the first time I had ever been surrounded by people who cared enough about Open Source to spend a week swimming in it.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • How to make Firefox the Fort Knox of browsers
      • Mozilla Provides An Early Peek At Its Updated Firefox OS Simulator

        Mozilla’s Firefox OS will soon be making its debut on devices sold around the world, but until then Mozilla is still working to get developers crafting web apps that will run nicely on Firefox hardware. To that end, Mozilla has seen fit to provide developers with an early preview of its updated Firefox OS simulator and all the new functionality baked into it.

        Mozilla has been pushing out these simulators and updates since late last year, but the most notable change with this 3.0 release is that developers can now push existing work-in-progress applications to a connected Firefox OS device (assuming devs have one floating around). Other additions to the mix include the ability to simulate a rotated display as well as support for mucking around with the geolocation API to generate longitude and latitude values.

      • All Things Appy: 5 Best Firefox Add-ons for Mobile-Desktop Syncing

        If you haven’t customized your Firefox browser, you’re missing a lot. Add-ons can provide a host of new features to improve the way your browser or application works for you. One indispensable category consists of add-ons that sync your preferences across a variety of devices and platforms. The five most useful syncing add-ons: LastPass Password Manager; Xmarks; Siphon; Pocket; and the Firefox browser for Android.

      • Mozilla Unveils Firefox OS Simulator Version 3.0
      • Firefox Not Coming to iOS Confirms Sullivan
  • SaaS/Big Data

    • ownCloud 5 Released, open competitor to Dropbox

      Cloud based storage and file syncing services like Dropbox or Google Drive wile offer great comfort of having access to your data while on move (you don need the internet), it does pose very serious security, privacy and ownership risks. Any data that you put on these public cloud storage service is accessible to these companies and is under government surveillance. The worst part is you can be blocked from accessing your data because of some gazillion issues. So, while such cloud data syncing or storage services have amazing advantages they have risk as well. It think it should be regulated and in case of blocked account as user must be allowed to download a copy of his data before he loses access to it.

    • Piston Cloud To Offer OpenStack Training Courses
    • Is BMW the ultimate open cloud driving machine?

      Cloud computing represents an unparalleled opportunity to deliver resiliency and scale to meet our business challenges.

      This is the opinion of Mario Mueller, chair of the Open Data Center Alliance and vice president of IT Infrastructure at BMW.

      In the spirit of true openness, Mueller has published BMW’s strategy for cloud adoption.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Army making open-source physiology engine

      An open-source physiology engine that anyone can use to develop medical simulations is being developed by the U.S. Army’s Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center.

    • Crowdfunded science exhibit encourages duplication
    • Open Access/Content

      • New claims of prosecutor misconduct in Aaron Swartz case

        The late activist’s lawyers have released complaint made to DoJ that prosecutors withheld evidence, overreached


        In a letter (made public Wednesday) to an internal Justice Department ethics unit from January 2013, Swartz’s lawyers argue that Heymann engaged in prosecutorial misconduct by “withholding key evidence from Swartz’s defense team and overreaching in his attempt to coerce Aaron into waiving his right to trial.” A press release regarding the letter to the ethics unit noted:

        In the letter to the Justice Department, Swartz’s attorney, Elliot Peters, elaborates on a legal complaint made earlier in the month that indicates how Heymann had withheld exculpatory evidence at a December 2012 hearing that would have demonstrated whether the government had properly obtained a warrant to search Swartz’s computer and thumb drive. Email evidence later revealed that Heymann made false statements about his ability to provide and obtain those materials. In that December hearing, Swartz’s legal defense team was given that evidence only after the hearing had concluded.

      • Aaron Swartz’s lawyer accuses prosecutor of misconduct

        Lawyers will move to unseal evidence against Swartz later this week.

      • Aaron Swartz to receive posthumous ‘Freedom of Information’ award for open access advocacy

        Internet activist and Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz is slated to receive posthumous recognition in Washington for his efforts promoting free access to taxpayer-funded research.

        The James Madison Freedom of Information Award is administered by the American Library Association, and recognizes “individuals who have championed, protected and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know national information.”

      • Open Thread: Evolving the library for the 21st century
      • House Judiciary Hearing on Investigating and Prosecuting Cyber Threats: CFAA – ~pj Updated

        Today, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations held a hearing to discuss “Investigating and Prosecuting 21st Century Cyber Threats”. Of course, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act took center stage.

        I know this interests many of you because of the Aaron Swartz case. So here’s the video of the entire hearing, including the testimony of Orin Kerr, which begins at around the 52:11 mark. His written testimony is here [PDF]. He’s been trying to get reforms of the CFAA for many years. And EFF has materials on what you can do, should you choose to, here.

    • Open Hardware

      • Lime Microsystems – First open-source RF hardware project set up to simplify design and further innovation

        Lime Microsystems has launched an open-source RF initiative to widen the community of developers and aid RF innovation. Launched as a non-profit initiative, Myriad-RF aims to give both hobbyists and experienced design engineers a range of low-cost RF boards and free design files available for general use. Future board designs will come from the wider Myriad-RF community, with the first board (Myriad-RF 1) designed by Taiwanese distributor Azio Electronics.

      • Arduino-compatible microcomputer speaks Bluetooth v4.0

        The RFduino from Nordic Semiconductor is an Arduino-compatible open-source microcomputer that can communicate wirelessly with any Bluetooth v4.0 compatible smartphone or tablet. The new microcomputer is based on an RFD51822 module with a Nordic nRF51822 SoC. The Nordic nRF51822 features a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0-based processor and is fully FCC and CE-compliant.

  • Programming

    • Fix a bug every 8.7 minutes

      With almost 30 years of active development under its belt, BRL-CAD is believed to be the second oldest open source codebase in the world that’s still under active development (VistA, the EHR of the Veterans Administration being the oldest). It has also been the primary tri-service solid modeling CAD system used by the U.S. military to model weapons systems for vulnerability and lethality analyses.

    • Spring and Groovy/Grails tool suites get performance boost

      SpringSource has released version 3.2.0 of the Spring Tool Suite (STS) and Groovy/Grails Tool Suite (GGTS). The new versions include updates to Eclipse Juno SR2, support for high resolution displays on Mac OS X, support for Spring Integration 2.2 and compilers for Grails 2.2.1 and Groovy 2.0.7.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Sun apologises to Gordon Brown over son’s medical records accusation

    Tabloid prints apology to former PM for claiming he had accused the paper of blagging details about his son having cystic fibrosis

  • Submission to DPP consultation on social media prosecutions

    In December 2012 the Director of Public Prosecutions launched a consultation on “interim guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media”. The guidelines “set out the approach that prosecutors should take when making decisions in relation to cases where it is alleged that criminal offences have been committed by the sending of a communication via social media.” This was in response to a number of cases through which people were subject to overzealous prosecutions for their comments on social networks, often under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003. For more information see our wiki page.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Monarch Migration Plunges to Lowest Level in Decades

      The number of monarch butterflies that completed an annual migration to their winter home in a Mexican forest sank this year to its lowest level in at least two decades, due mostly to extreme weather and changed farming practices in North America, the Mexican government and a conservation alliance reported on Wednesday.

  • Finance

    • A market analogy

      “Let me translate that into economic language what Papa just said. A market is what Papa does not have and does not want in the house. He wants goods and services produced by household members distributed according to criteria of love, respect, need and desire. Mama didn’t charge family members for pieces of the turkey she bought, cleaned, cooked and served. You are not allowed to estabilish a market inside the house for the cleaning service you were asked to perform. The market is banned, Papa explains, because a market would destroy the love amongst us, would be incompatible with the family relationships.”
      – Richard Wolff, Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Wiretapping Firm Says Telecom Providers Could Be Handing Over More Data Than Authorized

      Wiretapping emails and phone calls has always been a contentious law enforcement tactic. But now surveillance is becoming more of a legal minefield than ever in the United States, thanks to a clash between European and American eavesdropping regulations—and some telecom firms could be handing over data on suspects without court authorization.

    • Facebook unfriends CISPA cybersecurity bill over ‘privacy’

      Authors of cybersecurity bill criticized for privacy invasions used Facebook’s enthusiasm to attract political support in D.C. Now the company’s execs have backed away from CISPA.

    • Why CISPA Could Actually Lead To More Hacking Attacks

      One thing we’ve talked about for years is that lawmakers are notoriously bad at thinking through the unintended consequences of legislation they put forth. They seem to think that whatever they set the law to be will work perfectly, and that there won’t be any other consequences. This is one reason why we’re so wary of simple “fixes” even when the idea or purpose sound good up front. “Protecting artists” sounds good… unless it destroys the kinds of services artists need. Cybersecurity sounds good, unless it actually makes it easier to violate your privacy. And, now, people are realizing that not only may cybersecurity rules like CISPA be awful for privacy, but they could potentially lead to more “cyber” attacks, as companies look to “hack back” against those who attack them.

    • Cyberattacks: The complexities of attacking back

      As digital malefactors continue raiding U.S. businesses for their most valuable corporate secrets, some in Washington are wondering whether companies should test the limits and cyberattack their cyberattackers.

      The private sector already can police its own computers and networks, but an uptick in serious intrusions from China and elsewhere is catalyzing a market for tools that might deceive or disrupt hackers and spies — a controversial development that has important limits under federal law.

    • As-it-happened coverage: SPD surveillance-cameras meeting on Alki – ‘We’re not hiding anything’
    • Sunshine Week: EFF Takes Fight Against Secret Surveillance Law to Federal Court

      Section 215 of the Patriot Act has been secretly interpreted by the government in ways, according to Senators briefed on the interpretation, that are misleading and would “stun” the American public. Today, EFF will ask a federal judge in Oakland to order the government to turn over those secret interpretations of the law.

      As we mentioned yesterday, this week is Sunshine Week – a week dedicated to celebrating the promise of transparent and accountable government. And what better way to celebrate than by fighting against secret surveillance law in federal court?

    • Democratic State Surveillance, Transparency and Trust – by Andrew Clement

      Those of us who believe that democratic governments have a central role to play in multi-stakeholder cyberspace governance have received in the past few weeks a bracing reminder of both the hazards of this ideal in practice and the importance of broad-based civil society mobilization. Democratic states, while not sufficient for effective internet governance, are necessary parties because no other institutions have yet emerged that combine as well as they do the inclusivity, legitimacy and resources to help manage the internet effectively in the broad public interest. However, when such states violate the democratic principles that they espouse and are built on, they seriously undermine their legitimacy as well as the viability of the internet governance project overall.

      Two events in February related to state surveillance in North America illustrate such problematic governmental behaviour and point to the importance of transparency for restoring trust in governance processes.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • France Proposes New Rules for Internet Equal Access

      The French government on Tuesday called for a law requiring Internet service providers to give all the traffic on their networks equal priority, saying existing rules were insufficient for protecting free speech online and ensuring fair competition among Web publishers.

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    Rumour that the EPO spends almost as much as a million US dollars “with some selected press agencies to refurbish the image of the EPO”

  13. Guest Post: The EPO, EPC, Unitary Patent and the Money Issue

    Remarks on the Unitary Patent (UP) and the lesser-known aspects of the EPO and EPC, where the “real issue is money, about which very little is discussed in public...”

  14. Saving the Integrity of the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Some timely perspective on what's needed at the European Patent Office, which was detabilised by 'virtue' of making tyrants its official figureheads

  15. A Call for Bloggers and Journalists: Did EPO Intimidate and Threaten You Too? Please Speak Out.

    An effort to discover just how many people out there have been subjected to censorship and/or self-censorship by EPO aggression against the media

  16. European Patent Office (EPO) a “Kingdom Above the EU Countries, a Tyranny With ZERO Accountability”

    Criticism of the EPO's thuggish behaviour and endless efforts to crush dissenting voices by all means available, even when these means are in clear violation of international or European laws

  17. Links 26/11/2015: The $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, Running Sans Systemd Gets Hard

    Links for the day

  18. EPO Management Needs to Finally Recognise That It Itself is the Issue, Not the Staff or the Unions

    A showing of dissent even from the representatives whom the EPO tightly controls and why the latest union-busting goes a lot further than most people realise

  19. Even the EPO Central Staff Committee is Unhappy With EPO Management

    The questions asked by the Central Staff Committee shared for the public to see that not only a single union is concerned about the management's behaviour

  20. The Broken Window Economics of Patent Trolls Are Already Coming to Europe

    The plague which is widely known as patent trolls (non-practicing entities that prey on practicing companies) is being spread to Europe, owing in part to misguided policies and patent maximalists

  21. Debunking the EPO's Latest Marketing Nonsense From Les Échos and More on Benoît Battistelli's Nastygram to French Politician

    Our detailed remarks about French brainwash from the EPO's media partner (with Benoît Battistelli extensively quoted) and the concerns increasingly raised by French politicians, who urge for national or even continental intervention

  22. The Sun King Delusion: The Views of Techrights Are Just a Mirror of EPO Staff Unions

    Tackling some emerging spin we have seen coming from Battistelli's private letters -- spin which strives to project the views of Techrights onto staff unions and why it's very hypocritical a form of spin

  23. Links 25/11/2015: Webconverger 33.1, Netrunner 17 Released

    Links for the day

  24. United They Stand: FFPE-EPO Supports Suspended Staff Representatives From SUEPO

    An obscure union from the Dutch side of things at the EPO is expressing support for the suspended colleagues from SUEPO (more German than Dutch)

  25. Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

    A testament to how terrified journalists have become when it comes to EPO coverage, to the point of deleting entire paragraphs

  26. Censorship at the EPO Escalates: Now We Have Threats to Sue Publishers

    Having already blocked Techrights, the EPO's management proceeds to further suppressions of speech, impeding its staff's access to independently-distributed information (neither ordinary staff nor management)

  27. Response to Bogus Accusations That EPO Staff Protests Are Really an Attempt to Derail UPC

    Common myths about staff protests in the European Patent Office (EPO) debunked, with some additional background and general perspective on recent events, the unitary patent (UPC) and so on

  28. New Heise Article Makes It Clear That 'Nazi'-Themed Accusations Against the Suspended Board Judge Were Insufficiently Substantiated

    The personal attacks on a judge who was illegally suspended (a so-called 'house ban') increasingly look like the management's own campaign of defamation, mostly intended to marginalise and punish a judge who spoke about serious charges against VP4 (Željko Topić)

  29. Links 24/11/2015: Asus Chromebit CS10, Second Linux 4.4 RC

    Links for the day

  30. European Central Bank Staff Committee Adds to Growing Pressure on Abusive EPO Management

    The staff representatives of the European Central Bank E-mail their colleagues -- with European Central Bank managers' approval -- regarding the European Patent Office and its attacks on staff unions


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