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04.11.13

Links 12/4/2013: Previews of Linux 3.9

Posted in News Roundup at 7:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux. Be Passionate, But Not a Fanboy

    Fanboy. Tin foil hat. They are both common accusations that are thrown between fellow Linux users. Often intended as a joke, yet sometimes with some serious amount of truth behind it. The most common users that usually get this sort of words thrown at them are Linux users. The unknowing and general public are usually only aware of two primary operating systems: Windows and Mac. And they’re also usually only aware of two computer companies: Microsoft and Apple. If you introduce the words Linux, Ubuntu or Red Hat to them, you are usually presented with an odd startled look on the persons face. Usually because they have no idea what you are referring to or what any of those strange words are or mean.

  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation Unveils Project To Build Open, Programmable Network

      In an effort to develop a set of standardized interfaces for programatically controlling networking gear regardless of brand and without access to the physical hardware, The Linux Foundation, in conjunction with other industry heavyweights, Monday took the wraps off OpenDaylight Project.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.9 (Part 2)

      From now on the help text for shown during configuration will indicate if a kernel feature is experimental. Linux now has the ability to “suspend freeze” and can throttle Intel CPUs with power napping. The KVM hypervisor now supports ARM cores.

    • Linux kernel: Licence problems for old ARM FPU code

      The arch/arm/nwfpe/ directory of the ARM code in the Linux kernel includes code which has a licence that contains an indemnity clause. Russell King has pointed out that the Free Software Foundation (FSF) feels that such clauses are not compatible with section 6 of the GPLv2, which is used for the Linux kernel. King stated his intention to remove the code, which is used for emulating a floating-point unit (FPU). Linux creator Linus Torvalds doesn’t see a problem with the licensing and is fighting against the removal, King later wrote.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The Linux desktop ‘mess’

      It seems nearly every pundit, every mouthpiece on the planet has decided that the Linux desktop is a “mess.” This “downfall” of the Linux desktop started with GNOME 3 and seemed to gain more momentum with Ubuntu Unity. I have a theory — and an idea for a fix.

      Linux is all about choice. It’s always been that way; from the earliest inception of the desktop, the Linux community has enjoyed CFE, AfterStep, FluxBox, XFCE, Enlightenment, KDE, LXDE, Cinnamon …

    • GNOME or KDE? The Old Question Is New Today

      At first the question sounds obsolete. Where once GNOME and KDE accounted for seventy percent of Linux desktop installations, today the choice has broadened, with half a dozen environments vying for users’ attention.

      However, the change is less dramatic than it appears. GNOME 3, Linux Mint’s Cinnamon/Mate, and Ubuntu’s Unity offer different interfaces, but the same GNOME utilities and applications underneath. Add their popularity together, and the same seventy percent of the Linux users — give or take — continue to select either KDE or GNOME. So the question of which to choose remains as timely as ever.

      In fact, regardless of the percentages, the question has become even more important today because the old user loyalties have broken down. Although many are growing resigned to the changes brought about by GNOME 3, Unity, and KDE 4, many others continue to search for their ideal desktop environment.

    • OMG! I’m Using One Hog Of A Window Manager!

      That’s a lot less than GNOME/KDE, around 200MB. Of course, RAM is cheap these days, but why waste it? I could use Joe’s Window Manager at just 3MB or even Rat Poison at 1MB.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt 5.0.2 Is Here

        Digia has announced a new version of Qt, the C++ toolkit and this revision comes with over 600 improvements. As noted from their blog, it is a big release and all users are advised to upgrade to this version as soon as possible.

      • The apps of KDE 4.10 Part II: Kontact

        Continuing on where I left off last time I decided my next order of business would be to set up my e-mail accounts and calendar. KDE provides a number of different, more or less single purpose applications to handle all of your personal information management. For example e-mail is handled by KMail, RSS feeds are pulled in via Akregator, calendars are maintained through KOrganizer, etc. Each of these applications could easily be reviewed on their own, however there is yet another application provided in KDE, Kontact, that unifies all of these distinct programs into one. For the purposes of this article I will be treating all of these as part of Kontact as a whole but will still try and focus on each individual component where needed.

      • The apps of KDE 4.10 Part I: Rekonq

        It’s been a while since I’ve used KDE, however with the recent rapid (and not always welcome) changes going on in the other two main desktop environments (GNOME 3 and Unity) and the, in my opinion, feature stagnation of environments like Xfce and LXDE I decided to give KDE another shot.

      • Exploring KDE 4.10

        KDE SC 4.10 was released six months after KDE 4.9, adding many new features. In the background, work is in full swing for the next generation, KDE Frameworks 5: a KDE based completely on Qt5 and QML.

      • KDE PIM Sprint Berlin 2013 – With Cuter Pictures

        Once most people had arrived at the KDAB offices in Berlin, the KDE PIM sprint started around 4 in the afternoon with an introduction by Till Adam. He welcomed everyone and issued a warning: there were only one-and-a-half crates of beer and all KDAB attempts at ordering more had failed. The participants would have to take care of this!

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Cinnarch drops Cinnamon for GNOME

        The developers of the Cinnarch Linux distribution have decided to move away from their nominatively definitive Cinnamon desktop. Cinnarch, which is based on Arch Linux and has thus far been packaging the desktop developed by the Linux Mint developers, is now looking to switch to the GNOME desktop environment. The developers say that the technical situation of Cinnamon makes it too hard to deploy on Arch while still staying true to the distribution’s goals of distributing cutting edge software and doing so without unnecessary duplication of packages in the repositories.

      • GNOME 3.8.0 for openSUSE 12.3
      • A look at GNOME 3.8

        I have talked many times about the things I like about KDE, to the point where many people reading my blog consider me a KDE fan. That´s not exactly true, though. In fact, in the last three Fedora releases, I have always installed KDE and GNOME side by side on the same box, so I could get an actual understanding of how they fair against each other. For several releases now, it would always be the same thing. I would like some of the concepts in GNOME Shell, but after a while, I would always end up going back to KDE. Applications were better, the overall feel was more familiar and, even if certain things worked better in GNOME, it was a trade off I was happy to accept… Until GNOME 3.6 came about, that is. GNOME 3.6 had improved significantly over the original, included several new applications that I loved, and it got cloud integration down perfectly.

      • GNOME 3.8 in a Nutshell [Video]

        GNOME 3.8 looks incredibly slick and balanced. I can’t wait to take Ubuntu GNOME Remix for a spin with latest GNOME 3.8 on it. We were in the process of reviewing the brand new GNOME 3.8. And then I saw this animated video on GNOME 3.8. Probably the best (and really quick) “what’s new” video on GNOME 3.8 I have seen yet. Take a look.

  • Distributions

    • Snowlinux 4 Glacier – The winter is coming

      I am such an attention who … I mean, what a plucky title! So appropriate. Anyhow, I received a lot of emails, i.e. more than one, telling me I ought to review the Snowlinux distribution. And it does sound interesting. Somewhat like Mint, a combination of Debian and Ubuntu, and other fancy stuff.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 19: Chasing the perfect GNOME distro!

          Are you still trying to discover the perfect GNOME distro? You are just loosing your time! There is no such thing.. However what seems to make a difference is Arch Linux. Huge super active community, pure rolling release, native GNOME experience, unlimited packages, the very best documentation.

        • Distro Recipes 2013: Nice first !

          As indicated, I had the opportunity to talk during the first Distro Recipes event organized in Paris last week, at the invitation of Hupstream. As Yoann Sculo posted, this was a very interesting day for me, and I really regret I was busy to also attend the first day and the opening.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • A Car Which Runs On Raspberry Pi And Linux

      Seems Raspberry Pi innovations are now not limited to gadgets only. Students at Norwegian University of Science and Technology have successfully modelled a car which uses the cheap $25 PC as its brain. To keep the car light, the body has been created with carbon fiber. Even the engine has been designed without using iron.

      The motor draws power of about 100 watts and capable of giving a maximum speed of 40 kilometers an hour.

    • Kit aids designs based on AMD’s Embedded G-Series APUs

      MSC Vertriebs has introduced a quick-start kit for embedded Linux system designs using AMD’s single- and dual-core Embedded G-Series APUs. The kit includes one of three MSC Qseven COMs (computer-on-modules), a baseboard, bootable Linux in flash, and (optionally) an XGA-resolution LCD.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google starts selling Nexus 10 cover from Play Store

          When I ordered by Nexus 10, the first thing I was looking for was it’s case, but there was no official case being sold by Google. Now, almost 5 months later Google has started selling the Nexus 10 cases.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Thinking Of Starting A Foundation?

    Open source projects are increasingly opting to form an independent entity – a “Foundation” – to form the core of their community, rather than relying on goodwill or corporate oversight. Foundations often hold shared assets such as money, trademarks and copyrights, provide infrastructure, and sometimes employ staff.

    The idea is seductive, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. A Foundation can’t solve your community problems; it can only make firm the solutions you devise, by providing a canvas on which to paint the trust and governance you have all agreed and to guarantee it for future generations of your community. You need to solve the problems first.

  • ATEME enables open source implementation supporting HEVC
  • ICEsoft Ships ICEpdf 5 – its Popular Open Source Java PDF Engine with Annotation Support and 10x Speed Improvements

    ICEsoft Technologies Inc., a leading global supplier of open-source technologies for enterprise, announced today that ICEpdf is shipping. ICEpdf is an open source Java PDF engine for viewing, printing, manipulating, and annotating PDF documents. The ICEpdf API is 100 percent Java-based, lightweight, fast, efficient and easy to use.

  • How Open-Source Software Could Help Save Endangered Animals From Poachers

    No one is going to tell you we’ve been winning the battle against the illegal wildlife trade. In most cases, we’re outmanned, outgunned, and probably most of all, out-spent. That’s why an alliance of six conservation organizations have come together to build an anti-poaching tool designed to bridge the technological gap between poachers and wildlife rangers.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open source cloud tools show signs of maturity

      Open source cloud computing software CloudStack, which is developed by all-volunteer association the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), has this week graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a top level project. The move signifies the maturity of CloudStack as an open source tool for creating, managing, and deploying infrastructure cloud services.

  • Databases

    • SQLAlchemy

      Although it sometimes might seem as if relational databases have gone the way of the dinosaur, making way for non-relational (NoSQL) databases, such as MongoDB and Cassandra, a very large number of systems still depend on a relational database. And, although there is no requirement that a relational database use SQL as its query language, it’s a rare database product that does not do so.

  • CMS

    • Social Media Widget for WordPress a source of spam

      Researchers at Sucuri have found that version 4.0 of the WordPress Social Media Widget, also referred to as social-media-widget, has been injecting spam advertisements into sites. It is recommended that anyone using the widget, which has over 900,000 users, remove or disable it as soon as possible. The researchers believe the malicious code, which added “Pay Day Loan” spam into sites which ran the plugin, was added at the end of March when the developers released version 4.0 to the WordPress.org plugin repository.

    • Local Drupal shops to host Commerce training for devs

      Drupal development shops Realityloop and Cross(Functional) have partnered with US-based Commerce Guys to deliver Australian training for Drupal Commerce, a module for the open-source Drupal Web platform.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • Behavio Updates the Funf Open-Source Project

      In the time since our last major version update (Funf 0.3) last year, we’ve had a chance to see how the framework has been used by developers and end users. In addition, we compiled our own “to do” list of features that didn’t make it into the 0.3 release.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Data.gov.au to move to open source platform

      The Australian government’s technology and procurement division has released a draft roadmap for moving the data.gov.au website to the open source CKAN platform. The shift will begin at the end of April.

    • Solutions for government agencies to empower citizens

      Meet Kris Trujillo, Senior Software Architect at Accela. I met Trujillo at last year’s CityCamp Colorado and was curious about how Accela is advancing the open government movement with their software. I was impressed to learn about some of their solutions aimed at government agencies and how those solutions help to provide transparency into government processes and civic information.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • NREL to create open-source solar performance database

      The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has introduced a new initiative to develop an open-source database of real-world performance from solar facilities across the US.

      The database, called Open Solar Performance and Reliability Clearinghouse (O-SPaRC), is being developed as part of the DOE’s SunShot Initiative, and is designed to improve access to low-cost financial capital by enabling credit rating agencies and potential investors to assess the underlying risk of the asset class.

  • Programming

    • Google’s Go Readies 1.1 Release

      As Google’s Go programming language version 1.1 nears release, the developers have announced the release of the latest beta, providing a working preview of its new features. Not least among these is an estimated speed increase of 30%-40% in several use cases. Version 1.0 of Go was released a little over a year ago in March 2012, and to this point Google has released bug fixes but version 1.1 will bring new features while upholding their commitment to backwards compatibility with 1.X version. The updates affect the toolset, language features, and changes to the standard library.

Leftovers

  • McGillLeaks releases confidential documents through SSMU email

    A cache of around 400 documents, most of them from the past six years, provide a look at the inner workings of McGill’s department of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR), including detailed profiles of the University’s top donors, and proposal for partnerships with some of the world’s largest companies.

  • With one signature, Internet cafes in Florida close
  • Finland’s most wanted? Putin’s biker connections put him on secret blacklist

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has been placed on a list of wanted criminals in Finland for his ties to a motorcycle club. Putin reacted to the news in his trademark ironic manner, while Helsinki issued a number of apologies.

    On Wednesday, Finnish TV broadcaster MTV3 exposed that Vladimir Putin’s name surfaced in a secret criminal register for his contact with the Russian motorcycle club, the Night Wolves. Being placed on the list translates to automatic detention at the Finnish border as a criminal for a possible jail term of at least six months.

  • Government Now Says No Deadline for CETA Completion

    Ted Menzies, the Minister of State for Finance, yesterday delivered a talk on the Canada – EU Trade Agreement that marked an important shift in the government’s rhetoric on the agreement. Aside from a bizarre reference to the value of the agreement being $17 trillion dollars (total Canadian GDP is $1.8 trillion), the talk is most notable from the move away from promising swift completion of the agreement. After years of setting missed deadlines, Menzies now says there is no deadline for completion, suggesting that the government is beginning to hedge on whether there even will be a deal. I wrote about the prospect of the agreement dying altogether last month.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Tesco drops 11-year ban on eggs from chickens fed on GM soya diet as it blames farmers and suppliers for the decision

      Chicken and eggs sold by Tesco are to come from birds fed on a diet of GM soya as the company abandons a commitment not to use the controversial feed.

    • NORTH KOREA HAS 6 TRILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF UNTAPPED RARE EARTH MINERALS

      “The value of rare earth metals and their relatively limited supply would seem to work in North Korea’s favor. Rare earth metals are used in the construction of everything from iPods to precision guided missiles. China currently produces more than 95% of the world’s output of these metals. China’s control over these minerals has regional implications for Northeast Asia. For example, in 2010 Japan alleged that China suspended its export of the minerals to Tokyo in response to a territorial dispute between the two countries. The EU, U.S., and Japan also recently brought a case against China at the WTO for unfairly inflating the prices of these minerals.”

  • Security

    • The day I received a subpoena…

      I was utterly surprised by this for several reasons.
      First of all I should make clear that I did not actively participate in Project PM, I merely decided to host the domain with my CloudFlare account and to maintain the server the wiki was being run on.

      Examining the site one will quickly realize that its content is gathered from publicly available sources on the Internet, none of it looks illegal even by the most restrictive laws.

    • Researcher: Vulnerabilities in aircraft systems allow remote airplane hijacking

      The lack of security in communication technologies used in the aviation industry makes it possible to remotely exploit vulnerabilities in critical on-board systems and attack aircraft in flight, according to research presented Wednesday at the Hack in the Box security conference in Amsterdam.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Ways and Memes: PA Lawmakers Seek To Ban Photography Of Gas Drilling Activity

      A picture may be worth a thousand words, but apparently it says a lot more when it’s a photo of frackers fracking. In Pennsylvania recently, the battle to control the images used to depict the national debate over shale gas drilling has officially heated up.

    • Arkansas Oil Spill Health Complaints Emerge In Mayflower

      Sherry Appleman awoke abruptly in the middle of the night less than 48 hours after a pipeline rupture last month sent thousands of barrels of heavy crude oil into the streets and swamps of Mayflower, Ark.

    • The Antarctic Half of the Global Thermohaline Circulation Is Faltering

      The sudden cooling of Europe, triggered by collapse of the global thermohaline circulation in the north Atlantic and the slowing of the Gulf Stream has been popularized by the movies and the media. The southern half of the global thermohaline circulation is as important to global climate but has not been popularized. The global oceans’ coldest water, Antarctic bottom water forms in several key spots around Antarctica. The water is so cold and dense that it spreads out along the bottom all of the major ocean basins except the north Atlantic and Arctic. Multiple recent reports provide strong evidence that the formation of Antarctic bottom water has slowed dramatically in response to massive subsurface melting of ice shelves and glaciers. The meltwater is freshening a layer of water found between depths of 50 and 150 meters. This lightened layer is impeding the formation of Antarctic bottom water, causing the Antarctic half of the global thermohaline circulation to falter.

    • Why did 28,000 rivers in China suddenly disappear?

      Startling government survey sheds new light on Chinese water crisis

    • ‘Irreparable’ safety issues: All US nuclear reactors should be replaced, ‘Band-Aids’ won’t help

      All 104 nuclear reactors currently operational in the US have irreparable safety issues and should be taken out of commission and replaced, former chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Gregory B. Jaczko said.

      The comments, made during the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference, are “highly unusual” for a current or former member of the safety commission, according to The New York Times. Asked why he had suddenly decided to make the remarks, Jaczko implied that he had only recently arrived at these conclusions following the serious aftermath of Japan’s tsunami-stricken Fukushima Daichii nuclear facility.

    • Fukushima tank springs major leak

      Around 120 tons of contaminated water with an estimated 710 billion becquerels of radioactivity has probably leaked into the ground under the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. revealed Saturday.

  • Finance

    • Rabinovitch in Cyprus

      Recall the classic cartoon scene of a cat who simply continues to walk over the edge of the precipice, ignoring that she has no longer ground under her feet – she falls down only when she looks down and notices she is hanging in the abyss. Is this not how ordinary people in Cyprus must feel these days? They are aware that Cyprus will never be the same, that there is a catastrophic fall of the standard of living ahead, but the full impact of this fall is not yet properly felt, so for a short period they can afford to go on with their normal daily lives like the cat who calmly walks in the empty air. And we should not condemn them: such delaying of the full crash is also a surviving strategy – the real impact will come silently when the panic will be over. This is why it is now when the Cyprus crisis has largely disappeared from the media that one should think and write about it.

    • Cyprus Suspends Probe Into Who Withdrew Money Early

      In a day full of stunners, we next get news from Cyprus, where a few weeks after the start of the “investigation” into who pulled their cash out of the country’s doomed banking system in advance of the confiscation news on March 16 (and where even the current president was implicated in transferring over €20 milion in family money to London) the parliamentary committee tasked with tracking down the leaks, has suspended its probe.

    • Bitcoin Tumbles 25% In Hours
    • Bitcoin hits new high before losing $160 in value in one day
    • Bitcoin exchange halts trades of digital currency after drop in value
    • Bitcoin crashes, losing nearly half of its value in six hours

      Plunge happens on the same day one anonymous redditor made it rain in Bitcoin.

    • The Spark of Hope

      Most of the world’s people are decent, honest and kind. Most of those who dominate us are inveterate bastards. This is the conclusion I’ve reached after many years of journalism. Writing on Black Monday, as the British government’s full-spectrum attack on the lives of the poor commences, the thought keeps returning to me.

      [...]

      A basic income removes the stigma of benefits while also breaking open what politicians call the welfare trap: because taking work would not reduce your entitlement to social security, there would be no disincentive to find a job: all the money you earn is extra income. The poor are not forced by desperation into the arms of unscrupulous employers: people will work if conditions are good and pay fair, but will refuse to be treated like mules. It redresses the wild imbalance in bargaining power that the current system exacerbates. It could do more than any other measure to dislodge the emotional legacy of serfdom. It would be financed by progressive taxation: in fact it meshes well with land value tax.

      These ideas require courage: the courage to confront the government, the opposition, the plutocrats, the media, the suspicions of a wary electorate. But without proposals on this scale, progressive politics is dead. They strike that precious spark, so seldom kindled in this age of triangulation and timidity: the spark of hope.

    • Report: SEC Probing Goldman, Banks on Municipal Deals

      The Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly investigating whether Goldman Sachs (GS) and other banks are skirting post-crisis “role switching” rules aimed at preventing banks from giving biased investment advice to municipalities.

      According to The Wall Street Journal, regulators are probing whether banks have run afoul of Dodd-Frank regulations that prohibit banks that provide financial advice to municipalities from underwriting certain municipal bond transactions.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Google’s war against fake news

      A Forbes media reporter criticizes the company’s attack on “sponsored content.” He couldn’t be more wrong

    • The Corporations Colonizing our Public Schools

      In an era of corporate aggression into the public sphere, not even the classroom is safe. As the corporate reach extends into public schools, our kids are increasingly reshaped as products, as data to be collected, as pawns in the corporate fight to rid the country of unionized jobs. In our classrooms, the humanity and education of students is gradually being replaced with corporate systems and profit-values.

      As if the only human activity with any meaning or moral relevance is the pursuit of money, corporate education transforms the entire scope of the education process into pre-employment training. Instead of investing in the future, corporate education looks to squeeze a profit from it before it arrives.

    • U.S. To America: Be Afraid! The North Koreans Are Coming
  • Censorship

    • The Fossil Fuel Resistance

      As the world burns, a new movement to reverse climate change is emerging – fiercely, loudly and right next door

    • Muzzling scientists is an assault on democracy

      Access to information is a basic foundation of democracy. Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms also gives us “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.”

      We must protect these rights. As we alter the chemical, physical and biological properties of the biosphere, we face an increasingly uncertain future, and the best information we have to guide us comes from science. That scientists – and even librarians – are speaking out against what appear to be increasing efforts to suppress information shows we have cause for concern. The situation has become so alarming that Canada’s Information Commissioner is investigating seven government departments in response to a complaint that they’re “muzzling” scientists.

      The submission from the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre and Democracy Watch alleges that “the federal government is preventing the media and the Canadian public from speaking to government scientists for news stories – especially when the scientists’ research or point of view runs counter to current Government policies on matters such as environmental protection, oil sands development, and climate change” and that this “impoverishes the public debate on issues of significant national concern.”

    • Military Officer Suggests Press at Bradley Manning Proceedings ‘Police’ Each Other to Prevent Leaks
    • NC Legislators Sneak in “Ag Gag” Bill as Butterball Employee Pleads Guilty to Animal Cruelty

      A three-week investigation at a Butterball turkey farm in North Carolina by an animal welfare activist with a hidden camera documented workers beating birds with metal bars, stomping and kicking them, and throwing them violently into metal cages by their necks (video below). Mercy for Animals, the non-profit organization responsible for the investigation, turned the footage over to prosecutors in December 2011, and the police raided the facility. Five workers were charged with criminal animal cruelty, and a top-level Department of Agriculture official was convicted for obstruction of justice in February 2012.

    • Court rejects release of spy records on iconic Canadian politician
  • Privacy

    • CISPA passes House committee, angering privacy activists

      The U.S. House Intelligence Committee overwhelmingly passed a cyber-security bill on Wednesday, angering privacy advocates who believe the bill fails to protect critical personal information.

    • Secrets of FBI Smartphone Surveillance Tool Revealed in Court Fight

      A legal fight over the government’s use of a secret surveillance tool has provided new insight into how the controversial tool works and the extent to which Verizon Wireless aided federal agents in using it to track a suspect.

    • CISPA’s Sponsor Can’t Even Keep His Story Straight About NSA Having Access To Your Data

      CISPA’s sponsors are doing the same thing they did last year when confronted with serious opposition to a terrible bill: they start lying about it. First, they released a “fact vs. myth” sheet about the bill that was so ridiculously misleading that the EFF had to pick apart nearly every dubious claim. A big part of this is trying to hide the fact that the bill has very broad definitions that will make it much easier for the NSA to get access to private data. No one has claimed that this automatically allows the NSA to do full “surveillance” via CISPA, but that’s what CISPA’s supporters pretend critics have said, so they can fight back against the strawman.

    • Remains of the Day: Control Your Google Account After You Die

      new Google feature lets you decide what happens to your data when you die, Twitter had the sniffles this morning, and social browser Rockmelt will start working in other browsers.

  • Civil Rights

    • EFF and ACLU team up against CISPA

      As noted here previously, a revamped version of CISPA (the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act), which is just as bad in terms of privacy protections as its first failed iteration, is in the “mark up” stage in the House. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU are working together to rally opposition to the bill, which would entail companies potentially handing over users’ private information and browsing histories to the government.

    • CFAA: Where the computer security law is broken

      Educators and activists representing a swath of organizations and institutions — from the Electronic Frontier Foundation to George Washington University — took to Reddit Tuesday in an Ask Me Anything interview, seeking to educate the public about the controversial CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) and to push for reform.

    • Nearly 70 Years Later, a New Round of Auschwitz Prosecutions
    • Police ask Margaret Thatcher protesters to identify themselves

      The Metropolitan Police has asked groups planning to demonstrate during or in advance of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral to make themselves known to officers so that their “right to protest can be upheld”.

      The call, which echoes similar ones made in the run-up to the Olympics, is an attempt to avoid any outbreak of violence or public order issues which might threaten to mar the funeral procession. However, the suggestion will anger those who say the right to protest should not need prior authorisation by police.

    • Comcast Looms Large in Paid Sick Days Fight in Philly

      Philadelphia is the latest front in the battle over workers’ rights, with a coalition of paid sick day advocates urging city council members to override a veto by Democratic Mayor Michael Nutter against a bill passed last month that would allow almost 180,000 workers to take a sick day without losing pay or their jobs. As has been the case around the country, corporate interests associated with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have lined up in opposition to the legislation.

    • First emo hate crime arrests in Manchester

      Greater Manchester police receives first report of hate crime under new category connected to alternative subcultures

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Canada’s Digital Divide Likely to Widen Due to Access and Adoption Failures

      The state of Internet access in Canada has been the subject of considerable debate in recent years as consumers and businesses alike assess whether Canadians have universal access to fast, affordable broadband that compares favourably with other countries. A new House of Commons study currently being conducted by the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology offers the chance to gain a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of Canadian high-speed networks and what role the government might play in addressing any shortcomings.

      The study is ongoing, yet my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that two issues are emerging as key concerns: access and adoption.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • New Monsanto Attack – Total DNA Control
    • Copyrights

      • New Pirate Bay Greenland Domains (About to be) Seized
      • Leaders Update – From Venice to Toxteth: We need more Pirates for Europe

        It’s certainly never a dull moment as PP-UK Leader. Since my last update I have been busy advocating for our politics, including a lecture at the London School of Economics, meetings at the House of Commons, attending events about open data and taking part at the international “Rethinking the Internet” conference in Venice.

        Equally, I have been working on the ground for residents in Manchester- whether it’s helping to run a community consultation on possible new uses for an derelict building in Bradford ward where I stood last year, or pressing for regeneration in the East of the city. I also had an amazing visit to community projects in the Liverpool district of Toxteth. Great to see real transformation, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. I like this combination of the visionary and the practical, that’s what politics is about for me.

      • IMAGiNE Piracy Group Founder Jailed For 23 Months
      • Oh Look, The Number Of People Employed In The Movie And Music Recording Business Just Hit An All Time High

        The common refrain coming out of the MPAA and RIAA over the past few years has really focused on “jobs, jobs, jobs!” This is a message that often works with Congress. If you can convince Congress that “jobs” are at risk, they go scrambling to protect those jobs, even if the economy would be much better off with obsolete jobs going away, and better jobs taking their place. That said, the MPAA and RIAA have a long history of making up ridiculous claims about the number of people employed in their industries, as well as the number of supposed “lost jobs.” So it’s rather noteworthy to see that the good folks over at ZeroHedge have pointed out that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs in the motion picture and sound recording industries hit an all time high in December.

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