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04.17.13

Links 17/4/2013: Android Activations Over 1.5 Million Per Day

Posted in News Roundup at 7:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 2014: The year of the Linux car?

    You read that right: Not the year of the Linux desktop, the year of the Linux car. Major automotive companies are investing in making Linux their cars’ operating system of choice.

  • Server

    • Intel launches ‘open’ Linux based SDN switch and server

      CHIPMAKER Intel announced two reference server designs for the fast growing software defined networking (SDN) market, sporting both its own silicon and its Wind River Linux distribution.

      Server vendors and their associated component vendors are all jumping into the SDN market as a new source of revenue from the datacentre as enterprises look to ditch expensive specialist network infrastructure hardware provided by firms such as Cisco, Extreme Networks and Juniper. Now Intel has joined the party, providing two reference server designs that include its Xeon processors, chipsets and network interface cards as well as its own Wind River Linux distribution.

  • Kernel Space

    • Inside Secure NFC controller gets Linux kernel support

      Inside Secure has announced its MicroRead NFC controller chip is supported in the new 3.9 branch of the Linux kernel, speeding up integration of the chip into a range of Linux based TVs, set-top boxes, GPS devices and industrial machines.

    • Linux in 2013: ‘Freakishly awesome’ – and who needs a fork?

      If there was a theme for Day One of the Linux Foundation’s seventh annual Linux Collaboration Summit, taking place this week in San Francisco, it was that the Linux community has moved way, way past wondering whether the open source OS will be successful and competitive.

      “Today I wanted to talk about the state of Linux,” Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, began his opening keynote on Monday. “I’m just going to save everybody 30 minutes. The state of Linux is freakishly awesome.”

    • PKSM: A New Data De-Duplication Method For Linux

      PKSM is a new system memory de-duplication method for the Linux kernel that was developed after seeing the current KSM and UKSM approaches as being ineffective.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Benchmarking The Intel Ivy Bridge Gallium3D Driver

        While Intel only supports their classic Mesa DRI driver when it comes to their open-source 3D driver on Linux, developed independently is also a Gallium3D driver for Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge generations of Intel graphics processors. In this article are benchmarks of the new Intel (i965) Gallium3D driver with Ivy Bridge HD 4000 hardware.

        There was an unofficial i965 Gallium3D driver in the past, but it was ultimately removed when the code fell into bit rot and really didn’t have any users. There’s also the i915 Gallium3D driver that is still maintained independently for supporting old i915 and i945 graphics hardware, but Intel Open-Source Technology Center developers only officially support their classic Mesa drivers.

      • Radeon UVD Support Merged Into Mesa

        After having gone through five public code revisions, AMD has finally committed their open-source Unified Video Decoder (UVD) support for accelerated video decoding over VDPAU into the Mesa Git repository.

      • Nouveau NVC0 Gets Multi-Sample Textures

        The most notable commit this morning is perhaps the Nouveau NVC0 (Fermi+) driver supporting OpenGL multi-sample textures, thanks to work done by Christoph Bumiller with this commit.

      • Nouveau NVC0 Gets Multi-Sample Textures

        A NVIDIA engineer has code dropped over 2,500 lines of new open-source code that enables application-level support for host1x hardware through a new Stream library.

        The “host1x” is found with NVIDIA Tegra SoCs and this new patch-set by NVIDIA’s Arto Merilainen allows accessing the host1x hardware from user-space. There’s already been 2D acceleration for NVIDIA Tegra hardware that’s been done using host1x. The new patches on Friday are in their second revised form.

      • Mesa To Expose AMD Performance Monitor Extension

        While Mesa has some level of support for GL_ARB_debug_output, Intel developers are implementing support within Mesa for AMD’s OpenGL performance monitor extension to assist game developers and others with monitoring the performance of their software.

      • Mir Display Server Now Supports VT Switching

        While there was the video of Unity Next running on Mir with a Google Nexus 4 hand-held, in terms of the overall feature completeness of the Mir Display Server, there is still much work ahead. Only on Friday did Mir even gain support for switching to virtual terminals.

        For those not closely following Mir’s Bazaar repository, it was only on Friday with revision 585 that support for VT switching was committed.

      • DRI3000 Still Being Developed For New X.Org DRI

        While there hasn’t been too much news on the work recently, DRI3000 (DRI3) is still being developed.

        Keith Packard has been the one large spearheading the development of this next-generation Direct Rendering Infrastructure update that seeks to overcome some of the shortcomings of DRI2. For those unfamiliar with what this planned DRI update is about, see the earlier articles on the topic.

      • Mesa 9.2 Brings Better Performance To Intel Ivy Bridge

        Following on from our earlier Nouveau Gallium3D benchmarks of Mesa 9.2-devel earlier this week, for our first benchmarks this Saturday we have tests of Intel HD 4000 “Ivy Bridge” graphics when running Mesa 9.2-devel and compared to the Git branches of Mesa 9.1 and 9.0. Overall, there’s some more open-source Intel graphics performance improvements to look forward to with this next Mesa release.

      • Gallium3D’s LLVMpipe Driver Is Now Much Faster

        The Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver that’s commonly used as the fallback software rasterizer on Linux desktop systems when no GPU hardware driver is present, is a heck of a lot faster with the current Mesa development code. The gains are surprising and quite remarkable.

      • Nouveau Queues Up More Changes For Linux 3.10

        The developers behind the reverse-engineered open-source Nouveau graphics driver for NVIDIA hardware are still hard at work on preparing new changes for introduction with the Linux 3.10 kernel.

      • Intel Makes First Release Of Linux OpenCL Project

        While Intel has previously shipped its OpenCL SDK for Linux and Windows, this SDK is closed-source and on Linux was limited to compute support only on the processor rather than any graphics support with Ivy Bridge and newer hardware. Fortunately, Intel has finally managed to put out a first release of Beignet, an open-source Linux project that supports OpenCL.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 24th February 2013
      • KLyDE: A New Lightweight KDE Project Started
      • A Lightweight KDE desktop on the way

        KDE is an extensive desktop environment which features a large number of applications, widgets and components. It’s not bloated by default, but most distributions ship extra features and apps in KDE that are not needed by most of the users. KDE developer Will Stephenson has recognized this shortcoming, and is currently developing a slimmed down version of KDE, codenamed KlyDE, or K Lightweight Desktop Environment.

      • Report from the freedesktop summit

        During the week of 8 April 2013, developers from the KDE, GNOME, Unity and Razor-qt projects met at the SUSE offices in Nürnberg to improve collaboration between the projects by discussing specifications. A wide range of topics was covered.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3 and Unity Alternatives: Cinnamon vs. Mate

        If you want a GNOME 2-like desktop, the leading contenders are both developed by Linux Mint. Users can choose between Cinnamon, which is built on top of GNOME 3, and Mate, a direct fork of GNOME 2.

        Mate and Cinnamon are the default alternatives offered in Linux Mint 14, the current release. Both are highly successful attempts to provide a GNOME 2-like desktop in response to widespread user dissatisfaction with GNOME 3 and Ubuntu’s Unity.

  • Distributions

    • Six good reasons to try Manjaro Linux 0.8.5

      Monday may have brought the disappointing news that Fuduntu Linux will soon close its doors, but another young, up-and-coming Linux distribution appears to be continuing along its upward path without interruption.

      Manjaro Linux, a distro I first covered only a few months ago, just released a fresh update, and it’s particularly notable for the addition of a graphical installer and other beginner-friendly features.

    • Fuduntu Linux is closing its doors
    • Fuduntu Linux discontinued, team plans to move onto a new distro

      Fuduntu is a Linux-based operating system designed to offer the ease-of-use of Ubuntu and the stability of Fedora. The operating system has been around for a few years, and gained a bit of attention recently by adding support for Steam games and Netflix video. Fuduntu has also long been available in netbook-friendly flavors.

    • Review: Manjaro Linux 0.8.5 Xfce

      That is where my time with Manjaro Linux ended. Overall, my experience with it was much more positive than last time; I partly expected this as last time, this distribution was still very young, whereas it has had a lot more time to mature since then. Anyway, it may be almost at the point that it is suitable for newbies, but maybe not quite yet; in any case, though, I can definitely recommend it to Linux beginners who want to experiment with distributions other than Ubuntu.

      You can get it here, though note that if you want to get the Cinnamon edition, the one that was released in the past week is the last one for the foreseeable future; this is because apparently the current version of Cinnamon conflicts with GNOME 3.8, so the Arch developers have stopped shipping Cinnamon altogether (or something like that).

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Slackware Family

      • Slackware-Current Maybe Too Current

        If you have been following discussions on LQ, then you might have seen this thread where the original poster was Patrick himself. He basically asked for opinion about the future of -Current for this development cycle which will end up with Slackware 14.1 in the end.

        Although things has been working pretty well in -Current as of now (at least in most systems looking at the comments there), but there are some considerations by Patrick in three parts of the system: kernel, GCC, and XOrg. They are critical components for most Linux distributions.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat, Hortonworks prep OpenStack for Hadoop

        Merging the worlds of big data and cloud computing, Red Hat, Hortonworks and Hadoop integrator Mirantis are jointly building a software program, called Savanna, that will make it easier to deploy Apache Hadoop on an OpenStack cloud service.

        The software will “allow Hadoop to take advantage of the scale-out storage architecture that OpenStack offers,” said Adrian Ionel Mirantis CEO. “Enterprises will have a much easier way to deploy and use Hadoop at scale.”

        Mirantis launched the project earlier this month, donating the code to the OpenStack Foundation. OpenStack is a collection of open source software designed to offer shared compute, storage and networking services on an on-demand basis. And Apache Hadoop is a data processing framework for analyzing large amounts of data across multiple servers in a cluster. Both sets of software are increasingly being tested and deployed by organizations.

      • Red Hat releases community OpenStack distribution
      • Red Hat pushes open source cloud with OpenStack distro

        Linux software giant Red Hat has launched a community-led distribution of the OpenStack open source cloud platform.

        RDO — announced at the OpenStack Summit in Portland, USA, on Monday — is a free community-supported distro of OpenStack that will run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Fedora and their derivatives.

        OpenStack is an assortment of open source software designed to offer on-demand compute, storage and networking services, often referred to as infrastructure as a service.

      • Red Hat emulates Fedora Linux project with RDO OpenStack community

        OpenStack is sometimes called the Linux for clouds, and Red Hat, the dominant Linux distributor, seems to be all over that. The firm is now working to bring its Red Hat OpenStack distribution into the ever-crowding field of companies that want to peddle supported distributions of this cloud control freak. Red Hat Open Stack, or RHOS, is not ready for primetime, but a new RDO community – Red Hat is not saying what it stands for – is getting a Fedora-like early adopter community together running OpenStack on top of Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux and KVM hypervisor.

      • Red Hat Announces $300 Million Stock Repurchase Program

        The new program replaces the previous $300 million repurchase program, the final $179 million of which was completed since February 28, 2013 at an average price of $49.15 per share, inclusive of commissions, for a total of 3.6 million shares. “Over the last 13 months we have repurchased $300 million or 5.9 million shares of Red Hat common stock under the current program, equivalent to 3% of our shares outstanding as of February 28, 2013,” stated Charlie Peters, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Red Hat. “Our management team and Board of Directors have a strong conviction in our long-term growth prospects and our ability to generate profits and cash flow. We believe that stock repurchases demonstrate our commitment to building shareholder value as well as confidence in achieving long-term growth.”

      • Red Hat to repurchase another $300M of its own stock

        Pioneering open-source solution vendor Red Hat (RHT) announced today that its board has authorized a $300 million stock buyback program.

      • Red Hat Unveils Partner Network for Cloud Infrastructure Solutions by OpenStock
      • eCube Systems Announces NXTera 6.3 Support for Linux Redhat Enterprise 5

        eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, announced the immediate availability of a new version of NXTera 6.3 High Performance RPC Middleware with support for Linux Redhat Enterprise 5.

      • Hortonworks, Mirantis and Red Hat Partner on Project Savanna

        Two of the biggest players in the OpenStack community and a top Hadoop provider announced plans yesterday to join forces to advance the “Hadoop on OpenStack” project known as Savanna. OpenStack systems integrator Mirantis Inc., the company that started Project Savanna, will be working with Hortonworks Inc., the top commercial distributor of Apache Hadoop, and Red Hat Inc., the current leading OpenStack contributor, the three companies said today.

      • Red Hat builds on OpenStack

        Following its preview of an OpenStack distribution, Red Hat is now offering an updated version of the software as part of an “early adopter program”. The company has also initiated the RDO community project, which offers up-to-date OpenStack versions for Linux distributions within the Red Hat ecosystem. The Linux distributor announced the news at the ongoing OpenStack Summit Portland 2013.

      • Red Hat Announces “RDO” OpenStack Distribution

        From the OpenStack event taking place this week, Red Hat has announced RDO, which will serve as a new community-supported OpenStack distribution.

        RDO will serve as a new open-source community-based OpenStack distribution for Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (along with other “EL” derivatives). Effectively, Red Hat RDO is a new proving grounds for Red Hat prior to introducing new OpenStack functionality within their commercial products. In the OpenStack world, RDO is to Red Hat OpenStack as is Fedora to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

      • Fedora

        • Benchmarking Fedora 18 Updates

          With Fedora’s more liberal updating of packages in their supported Linux releases, here’s a look at benchmarks of Fedora 18 in its stock configuration versus where it’s at today with all stable updates.

          While Ubuntu and many other Linux distributions tend to stick to the same kernel version and other key package versions for the entire release’s lifetime, Fedora releases generally follow more closely the latest upstream releases. Fedora 18 shipped with the Linux 3.6 kernel, GNOME Shell 3.6.2, X.Org Server 1.13.0, and Mesa 9.0.1. These package versions with Fedora 18 updates are now at the stable Linux 3.8 kernel, GNOME Shell 3.6.3, X.Org Server 1.13.3, and Mesa 9.1. Many other packages are also at new versions.

    • Debian Family

      • Linux Mint Debian Edition 201303

        I’m often asked what my “favorite” Linux distro is by readers. Well, if I have one, it has to be Linux Mint Debian Edition. LMDE has so much to offer Linux users since it combines the power of Debian with the elegance of Linux Mint. There really is something for everyone to love in LMDE.

        Linux Mint Debian was upgraded recently so it’s time to take another look at it. I downloaded the Cinnamon version for this review. You can also opt for the MATE version if you prefer that to Cinnamon.

      • Debian… The daddy of all distros?

        A couple of weeks ago I wrote a review of OpenSUSE. As one of the bigger distributions I asked the question whether OpenSUSE is a real alternative to Ubuntu.

      • Derivatives

        • Knoppix Pulls a Lot More Than Its Own Weight

          Like Puppy Linux, Knoppix is the Little Distro That Could. It’s a handy, user-friendly product that can boot from a disc or USB drive. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking it doesn’t have a full contingent of features and abilities. Knoppix covers all the basis and then some. Occasional boot stalls and restricted virtual workplace access keep Knoppix from achieving full Linux nirvana, but it gets you close.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch set to get Apps Collection, add yours now

            What is Ubuntu Touch, you ask? Touch is a super ambitious project sponsered by Canonical to get Ubuntu on mobile devices–you know–the phones and tablets kind. It’s the OS that will power the upcoming Ubuntu Phone. If you haven’t already, watch this longish viral video on Ubuntu Phone, explained in detailed by Mark Shuttleworth himself. Ubuntu Touch’s first installable preview was released was released on 21st February, and is up for grabs to be installed on a limited set of devices. Ubuntu Touch is slated for an end-2013 or early-2014 release.

          • Community Leadership Summit, Training, and Talks

            I just wanted to talk about a busy week of community management and leadership related content I will be involved in in July 2013 in Portland, Oregon.

          • Ubuntu’s Magical Approach to OpenStack [Video]

            Ubuntu Linux founder Mark Shuttleworth was among the earliest backers of the open source OpenStack cloud platform. The early OpenStack releases relied on Ubuntu as its reference Linux distribution and Ubuntu has been packaging OpenStack since its 11.04 Natty Narwal release in 2011.

            In an exclusive interview with Datamation at the OpenStack Summit, Shuttleworth talks about OpenStack in production environments and why a little magic known as Juju is a pivotal part of it all.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Oh No! Fuduntu Calls it Quits

              I can’t believe my eyes. Just as Fuduntu was getting rave reviews and moving up the charts, just a week after announcing their latest release the Fuduntu project “voted to end-of-life Fuduntu Linux.” It seems developmental issues are forcing this decision, and signals a time when ultimately all GNOME 2 users will end up having to move on.

            • The end of the road for Fuduntu
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Samsung flexes its open source muscles where you might not expect

    When you think of open source, you probably think of Linux, engines such as the WebKit browser engine and the Java language and virtual machine, and open source software such as LibreOffice, Firefox, Apache HTTP server, Git, Asterisk, and MySQL. You may not think of appliances, TVs, and cameras — but that’s exactly where consumer electronics giant Samsung uses open source software.

  • Metasploit 4.6 Open Source Pen Testing Restores Webcam Exploits

    In the core Metasploit 4.6 open source framework, 138 new penetration testing modules have been included, enabling at least 80 new exploits. One of the exploits that Metasploit 4.6 includes is a webcam activation module. The basic idea behind the module is that it could enable a security researcher to gain access to webcams and microphones at a vulnerable location.

  • Contributing to open source projects from 9 to 5, and beyond

    Luis Ibanez was recently awarded a People’s Choice Award by our readers for his contributions to the site. It’s no wonder he has so much to say and impart on open source projects—he works on them fulltime!

    In this Community Spotlight, Luis sheds light on what projects he contributes to, why he believes it is important we all give back at some point, and what open source tools he can’t live without.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Clutter Providing Acceleration For WebKitGTK+

      A Clutter back-end for WebKitGTK+ is providing for hardware acceleration of some web content effects.

      The change to WebKitGTK+ actually happened a couple weeks ago but the Planet GNOME RSS feed has been a bit wonky lately so the news is only coming out today. Joone Hur, a Korean Linux developer working at Intel and specializing on WebKit development, added an experimental Clutter back-end to WebKitGTK+.

    • Chrome

      • Adobe says it will contribute to Google’s Blink

        Adobe’s director of engineering for the Web Platform, Vincent Hardy, has confirmed that the company is not taking sides in the WebKit/Blink web rendering engine fork and will be contributing to both WebKit and Blink as they are open source. In a blog posting, Hardy pointed out that “Adobe actively contribute to Web standards and browser implementations” – mostly WebKit and Chromium, but the company also has some Gecko contributions to its name.

      • Adobe To Contribute To Blink Rendering Engine

        Earlier this month Google announced the Blink rendering engine as a fork of the WebKit project. After announcing their WebKit fork, Opera confirmed their plans of moving to the Blink engine too. Two weeks later, Adobe is now saying they will contribute to Blink.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Sets Sights on New Mobile Experiences

        You’ve probably heard the refrain before: “All of the great ideas have already been thought of.” That proposition, of course, has no business in the lexicon of thriving open source projects, and Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs made very clear in comments at the All Things D: Dive Into Mobile conference that he thinks there are lots more good ideas to come on the mobile technology front. As quoted by ABC News, Kovacs said, “We haven’t done a great job [on mobile browsing]. I’m expecting someone will do an Apple on the whole browsing experience.”

      • Mozilla Is Talking Firefox OS, and the First Five Countries to Get It

        As I noted yesterday, Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs (who will be leaving his CEO post this year) made very clear in comments at the All Things D: Dive Into Mobile conference that Mozilla has very ambitious plans for its new Firefox OS mobile operating system. Specifically, he sees it as an innovation-centric platform. As quoted by ABC News, Kovacs said, “We haven’t done a great job [on mobile browsing]. I’m expecting someone will do an Apple on the whole browsing experience.”

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Tops Dogs Team Up for Project Savana : Hadoop Simplified for OpenStack
    • OpenStack Summit: SDN Switches Become Low Cost Linux Boxes?

      The VAR Guy is at OpenStack Summit and he’s starting to drink the Kool-Aid. Customers like Best Buy, Comcast and Hubspot say they are deploying the cloud computing platform. But now, the conversation is shifting to networking in the cloud — a software defined networking (SDN) primer. Leading the conversation: Ben Cherian, chief strategy officer at Midokura, a startup focused on network virtualization. His key point: SDN (using Overlay Solutions) will allow switches to be far more like commodity Linux servers — giving customers the ability to scale and manage their networks far more effectively.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Updated for Open Source Document Creation

      Version 3.6.6 is notable for speed increases to many operations, more than 50 bug fixes and various tweaks to the applications. For example, Impress, the presentation program, now supports widescreen formats for slideshows and comes with 10 new master pages. The Writer word processor’s RTF/DOCX import/export now handles document zoom settings. The program also provides support for contextual spacing and can import Office SmartArt. Exported PDF files can now be given watermarks and an import filter for CorelDRAW documents has been added. A complete list of the new functionality is available here.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Google Summer of Code 2013 Ideas

      GNUnet is participating in this years Google Summer of Code under the GNU umbrella. Here an overview over GNUnet’s project ideas.

  • BSD

    • AMD Kernel Mode-Setting Continues On FreeBSD

      For being a project that’s just a few months old and up until recently wasn’t touched by BSD developers, the port of the open-source AMD Radeon kernel mode-setting driver from the Linux kernel to FreeBSD kernel is progressing nicely.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • An updated GNUnet Java tutorial for developers is available

      Thanks to Florian Dold, an updated version of the GNUnet Java tutorial is available. Developers starting to hack on GNUnet using Java are strongly encouraged to have a look there. It covers basic installation, writing services, APIs and clients.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • DOE supports truSolar’s efforts to develop open source risk scoring standards and rating criteria for solar projects

      The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) extend their support for the truSolar® Working Group’s efforts to develop uniform open source risk scoring standards and rating criteria for solar projects that will facilitate lower transaction and capital costs, and improve project finance liquidity within the commercial and industrial solar segment.

    • Open Data

      • Open your data to the world

        When Neil Fantom, a manager at the World Bank, sat down with the organisation’s technology team in 2010 to talk about opening up the bank’s data to the world at large, he encountered a bit of unfamiliar terminology. “At that time I didn’t even know what ‘API’ meant,” says Fantom.

        As head of the bank’s Open Data Initiative, announced in April 2010, Fantom was in charge of taking the group’s vast trove of information, which previously had been available only by subscription, and making it available to anyone who wanted it. The method of doing that, he would learn, would be an application programming interface.

    • Open Access/Content

      • For Those Who Like Things Open – Check Out OpenCourseware ~mw

        Our readers are a curious bunch, and I never cease to be amazed at the knowledge they possess. Still, I suspect most of you are life-long learners. Although you may already be aware of it, you now have the opportunity to take college level courses on a vast array of subjects. There is no course credit, but you also don’t have to pay for the courses.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Netflix To Possibly Use HTML5 Video Instead of Microsoft Silverlight

      If you longed to watch Netflix on your Linux computer, here is some good news for you. According to a blog post by Netflix’s Anthony Park and Mark Watson, they are planning to test HTML5 video and to switch from proprietary Microsoft Silverlight for video streaming. Modern mobile browsers have problems in running Microsoft Silverlight extensions and they want a more reliable solution so as to stream Netflix in all platforms without hurdles. Also, Silverlight has been discontinued by Microsoft since 2001 and they want a more future proof solution.

    • Netflix plans to dump Silverlight for HTML5 streaming

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Enough non-GM soy to fulfil Europe’s animal feed needs

      What’s needed is for advance purchase contracts to be in place so that farmers know that they have an assured market for their non-GM crop. Evidently the UK supermarkets listed above have consistently failed to tell their suppliers to do this. Instead their suppliers are relying on “spot” purchase, when the crop actually comes onto the market. That way, they are more likely to get the soy cheaper. Unfortunately in this game of greed and competition, the consumers – and the farm animals – are the losers.

  • Security

    • Old tricks are new again: Dangerous copy & paste

      Copying and pasting something does not necessarily mean the user will get what they think they are getting. With a little bit of HTML magic, one can even trick unwitting web site visitors into executing shell commands without their knowledge. The trick is by no means new, but it is currently being demonstrated again on several web sites which means Linux users especially have to be careful what they copy and paste.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • Cooperatives and Workers’ Self-Directed Enterprises
    • Goldman Sachs’ move to trim compensation ratio seen as bid to placate shareholders

      Goldman Sachs revealed a cut in its closely watched compensation ratio when it reported first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, and in doing so sent a message to shareholders about the new economic and regulatory realities.

      “What the firm is saying is that we are still in the process of repricing parts of our business,” said Brad Hintz, analyst at AllianceBernstein.

    • Europe austerity measures are impacting on healthcare and increasing xenophobia

      “Rising unemployment and poverty across Europe have generated extreme-right statements stigmatising migrants” stated the Doctors of the World 2012 report ‘Access to healthcare in Europe in times of crisis and rising xenophobia’.

      The report, reported in the online newspaper EurActiv, shows a rise in xenophobic acts and regulations in Greece and Spain as well as other European countries.

      Dr Nikitas Kanakis from Doctors of the World Greece said “xenophobia and healthcare always go together”. He added “it’s about dignity and to live safely without fear”.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • USA Today: Venezuelans Voted for High Unemployment and Food Shortages

      Sunday’s election in Venezuela saw Vice President (or “Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor,” as he’s known to many in the corporate media) Nicolas Maduro narrowly defeat opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.

    • ‘Terror Returns’–but When Did It Go Away?

      But what happened in Boston that hasn’t happened since September 11? All we really can say with confidence so far is that somebody tried to kill a large group of people; as USA Today (12/19/12) itself has reported, such mass slayings are alarmingly common in the United States, with 774 people killed in 156 incidents between 2006 and 2010. “Mass Killings Occur in USA Once Every Two Weeks,” the headline pointed out.

    • Wisconsin Ethics Board Fails to Curb ALEC Shell Game

      In theory, Wisconsin has some of the strongest ethics and lobbying laws in the country — legislators cannot accept even a cup of coffee from lobbyists or others who have an interest in the outcome of legislation — but these laws are meaningless if the state ethics board does not take action to enforce them.

      Last week, Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board issued an ill-conceived decision in response to the Center for Media and Democracy’s complaint about an American Legislative Exchange Council “scholarship” program that allows corporate lobbyists to provide gifts of travel and perks to state legislators. The GAB agreed that some Wisconsin politicians had improperly attended corporate-sponsored events and failed to properly disclose receipt of ALEC “scholarships,” but failed to recognize that the corporate-funded “scholarships” themselves are improper and should be barred.

  • Censorship

    • Japanese court orders Google to censor autocomplete, pay damages

      A Japanese court has ordered Google to delete search terms related to a Japanese man who claimed that searches for his name autocompleted to include defamatory phrases.

      The ruling comes a year after Google rejected the court’s initial demands to censor its autocomplete function in 2012, in part arguing that it wasn’t subject to Japanese regulations.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • A Law to Nullify the NDAA?

      A state bill sponsored by Republican Tim Donnelly would guarantee Californians protection from the threat of indefinite detention made possible by the National Defense Authorization Act.

      The bill is called the California Liberty Preservation Act. If enacted, it would retain several fundamental civil liberties enshrined by the Constitution, “including the right of habeas corpus, the right to due process, the right to a speedy and public trial, and the right to be informed of criminal charges brought against him or her.”

    • Bipartisan testimony backs N.H. bill opposing indefinite detention of suspected terrorists

      Republicans and Democrats alike urged a Senate committee yesterday to support legislation that would forbid New Hampshire officials from helping the U.S. military detain suspected terrorists indefinitely without trial.

    • Hunger Strikes Put Guantanamo Back in the Spotlight

      Public debate here over the military prison at Guantanamo Bay heated up again following Monday’s surprise publication of a highly charged article by an inmate at the prison, one of dozens currently engaged in a months-long hunger strike over detainees’ “indefinite detention”.

    • Obama, is it time for martial law?

      Last week the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in Montgomery, Ala., issued a report to United States Attorney Eric Holder that said an alarming number of Americans are turning violently against their government.

      [...]

      Last year, Congress, through the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), authorized the president under section 1031 to declare the United States or certain sections of it, under certain circumstances, as a battlefield and authorize the military to make arrests and detain Americans without bringing criminal charges against them or bringing them to trial.

    • Oh, Please

      The Babbler calls the police-state currently tyrannizing Americans an “open society.”

    • Paid Sick Days Defeat in Philadelphia Followed Familiar Script

      When the Philadelphia City Council passed a paid sick days bill on March 14, it was the second of three wins in a two week period for the movement to let workers take a sick day without losing pay or their jobs. But the Council then fell one vote short of overriding a mayoral veto, providing a case study in how special interests aligned with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) work to oppose these common-sense bills.

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