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06.02.13

Links 2/6/2013: Arch Linux 2013.06.01, Slackpkg

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Reinventing Simple

    The days when Linux applications were small and simple are long gone. With Firefox and LibreOffice installed on most desktops, the community has embraced monster-sized apps so unreservedly that you can sometimes need to look twice to see what operating system you are using. In fact, the complexity has become so great that simplicity is being reinvented again and again — by adding complexity.

  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • The systemd journal is a broken piece of crap.

      Why, you ask? Well, it is a write-only database, which means there is no tool to actually read or fix a journal files, should they become corrupt. Or even notice the corruption. And they become corrupt all the time.

    • You’re Invited to Contribute to the Future of Linux.com
    • Intel Linux Driver For Ivy Bridge Still Catching Up To Windows

      After yesterday’s Intel Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge Linux graphics comparison using the very latest Intel Linux graphics driver, here are new benchmarks using the latest Windows and Linux Intel OpenGL graphics driver. Facing competition this morning is Microsoft Windows 7 Pro x64 and Ubuntu 13.04 with its updated open-source stack.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Works On Intermediate Pixel Storage

        A new feature being worked on for the Intel DRM Linux kernel graphics driver is IPS. Short for Intermediate Pixel Storage, this feature should allow modern Intel HD graphics cores to let the CPU enter deeper PC states to increase power-savings.

      • Genode OS 13.05 Brings Automated Tests, Exynos 5

        New features to this original open-source operating system is automated quality assurance testing, improvements to the terminal infrastructure, there’s support for Samsung Exynos 5 platforms with drivers for USB 3, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit networking, eMMC, and SATA. The ARM-based Freescale i.MX53-based devices has new display, touchscreeen, and GPIO drivers. Lastly, the TI OMAP4 display driver has better LCD and HDMI support. There’s also been a custom kernel added for the Raspberry Pi.

    • Benchmarks

      • The First Experience Of Intel Haswell On Linux

        Haswell is here, Haswell is here, Haswell is here!!! After talking for months about the Linux kernel and driver development for Intel’s Ivy Bridge successor, the heatsink can be lifted today on talking about Intel’s Haswell processor. For the past few weeks I have been running and benchmarking an Intel Core i7 4770K “Haswell” processor on Linux to mixed success. While the Haswell improvements are terrific, the Linux experience now is awaiting improvements.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kévin Ottens – Akademy 2013 Community Keynote

        Kévin Ottens is a long-time KDE hacker, known as ervin on IRC and email. He contributes to the KDE Community at large, with a strong emphasis on API design and frameworks architecture. He was instrumental in developing the KDE Manifesto, a process that started during Akademy 2012.

      • This month (May) in Redhat KDE
      • Marble and the KML Editor

        I am Adrian, a Romanian first-year student majoring in Computer Science at Imperial College London. I have recently been accepted to work on a KML Editor feature for the Marble Virtual Globe as part of KDE and this blog is where I plan to regularly post updates on the progress of the project.

      • Kdenlive: spring cleaning

        Here are some news on what is happening with Kdenlive’s video editor. Last year, we launched a successful IndieGoGo campaign to sponsor Till Theato’s work on Kdenlive.


      • KStars Summer of Code 2013

        Hello Planet KDE — my name is Henry de Valence, and I’ll be doing a GSOC project this summer for KStars. The main goal of the project is to rewrite the astronomy engine in KStars so that it runs much more efficiently and in parallel.

      • Supercharge Your Desktop With Kupfer

        Gnome-Do was once my application launcher of choice, but soon after I adopted it the project seemed to go stale. Luckily, a new project has stepped up to fill the void, and so far I’m impressed. Kupfer has all the feature I’m looking for, and a fantastic Python API for easy expansion.

        Kupfer is another clone of the popular OS X application Quicksilver. At it’s most basic level, Kupfer is an application launcher, but if that were all that it did there would be little sense in running it. The function of launching applications, once the domain of the quicksilver clone category of apps, has made it’s way into to the main desktops. Unity, Gnome, KDE, and their respective derivatives all have basic app and file launching support, but none are quite as full featured as Kupfer. The main benefit of a keyboard launcher is the expandability of its feature set. In fact, launching applications is one of my least used features of Kupfer. For example, here are a few things I use it for every day.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • One Week With GNOME 3 Classic: Day One (Paradigm Shift)

        tl;dr GNOME Classic has some polish problems, but it’s a solid desktop and a significant improvement in workflow over GNOME standard.

        Over the course of a week, I’m going to be experimenting with the new GNOME Classic desktop in Fedora 19 beta. I will be recording my experiences (hopefully) daily on this blog. This series of blog entries are entirely my own opinion and do not reflect the opinions of my employer, the Fedora community or anyone besides myself (though I hope my findings will be useful to all).

      • One Week With GNOME Classic: Day Two (Reorientation)

        After my experience on Day One, I decided to make two significant changes to my working environment in order to adapt to the GNOME Way. Despite many years of using Pidgin as my primary communications application (since way back when it was still called gAIM… get off my lawn), I decided that the lack of notification availability was a significant detriment to my ability to get things done in my day job, so I bid it a tearful farewell and started looking for an alternative.

  • Distributions

    • Review: SolydXK 2013.04.06

      What is SolydXK? Debian-based Linux Mint never had a KDE edition, so SolydK was born out of the unofficial project featuring KDE in Debian-based Linux Mint. Then, Linux Mint pushed its Xfce edition back to an Ubuntu base, necessitating the emergence of SolydX. Together they form SolydXK, based on Debian Testing but with update packs, just as Debian-based Linux Mint is.

    • Selecting a distribution is a personal decision

      maddog explains what’s behind his use of particular Linux distributions.

    • 10 Linux Distributions and Their Targeted Users

      Do you know from where does the power of Linux comes from? Well Linux is getting richer everyday with the presence of so much distros and every distro possessing a large group of users and developers working voluntarily on the project. Linux distributions come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re aimed at addressing every conceivable need. This article aims at briefing why a certain distro exist, who are the targeted user of the distro, and what special features it has as compared to its’ counterpart.

    • Comment: Don’t develop just for your favourite distribution

      The Cinnamon desktop has yet to be updated in such a way that it can be installed on a system together with GNOME 3.8, released in late March. That makes Cinnamon, developed as part of the Linux Mint project, yet another example of software built by short-sighted developers – who are only hurting themselves, since this behaviour hinders growth and deprioritises users.

    • SolydK Linux review – Very solid

      SolydXK is probably the weirdest name you can give your Linux distributions, mostly because it is an amalgamation of two names, SolydK and SolydX, two sub-versions of this distribution, graced with the KDE and Xfce desktop environments, respectively. See the confusion already? But never mind that.

      I was asked to take a look and review, if I please. And I did please. Now, as always, with any small distro, there’s the huge risk of one-man-show development and all the other associated issues. But I will put these aside now. Just be aware that SolydXK, no matter how good or bad, might simply vanish, just like the ultra-awesome Fuduntu did. With that in mind, it’s time to check the KDE flavor of this distro, hence the SolydK review.

    • New Releases

    • Slackware Family

      • Slackpkg Update Fixes Long Standing Annoyance

        Slackware’s Slackpkg has long had a design flaw default behavior that could result in inoperative applications or systems. But Patrick Volkerding recently addressed the issue with a simple but significant change. In addition, Slackware is getting some new native packages and updates.

        Willy Sudiarto Raharjo, Slackware enthusiast and contributor, recently reported of a significant change in slackpkg that will instruct the package manager to download all packages needed when installing a new application or applying updates. This avoids the condition where a package in a series is installed or updated before its full dependencies and, in some extreme cases, rendering the application or subsystem inoperative. Now, as Raharjo says, “In the normal operations, slackpkg will download the packages one by one and install/upgrade them sequentially.”

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora’s Schrödinger’s Cat Linux gives coders claws for thought

          The Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment, devised by Erwin Schrödinger in 1935, pits the theory of quantum superposition against what we observe to be true.

          In the world of Linux distros, in theory the beta version of Fedora 18 was slated for release in early October 2012; what we actually observed in practice was six rounds of delays until the end of November 2012 when the software finally emerged.

        • Pidora: The Raspberry Pi Fedora remix
        • Get Java 8 Tech Preview in Fedora 19

          One reason that someone will pick Fedora is to get the latest and the greatest open software available. Well, that isn’t always true and you might find more updated distros around, but Fedora additionally is quite user friendly and it has evolved in a pretty nice Operating System -for any taste.

        • tboot in Fedora 19: Don’t worry, it’s just a bug

          After installing Fedora 19 beta and rebooting my test computer, I noticed that one of the options available in GRUB’s menu is tboot 1.7.0. Not sure what it’s for, I selected it and hit the Enter key.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Opens Portal to Rejected Community

            Ubuntu, or its managers, have snubbed their loyal users more times than I can even remember now, but they’ve more or less let it be known by their actions that they aren’t interested in the community anymore. They have commercial aspirations and prospects now, but constantly reassure users that they’re all about the community. Apparently their users aren’t buying it. So, today brings just the latest attempt at wooing the community back under their rock.

          • Surface Pro Owner? Here’s How to Install Ubuntu
          • Ubuntu Phone Dogfooding Update

            A while back I blogged about dogfooding Ubuntu Phone; that is, eating our own dogfood by using it on a daily basis. I have been tracking this here.


          • community.ubuntu.com

            For some time now we have wanted to improve the community pages on ubuntu.com. While the pages there provided an overview of the community they really didn’t serve us or our new community members very well.

          • Ubuntu Opens Portal to Rejected Community

            Ubuntu, or its managers, have snubbed their loyal users more times than I can even remember now, but they’ve more or less let it be known by their actions that they aren’t interested in the community anymore. They have commercial aspirations and prospects now, but constantly reassure users that they’re all about the community. Apparently their users aren’t buying it. So, today brings just the latest attempt at wooing the community back under their rock.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Minty fresh Linux: Olivia hits the virtual shelves

              The Linux Mint project has released version 15 of the desktop that they’re calling the “most ambitious release since the start of the project.”

            • Linux Mint 15 hits the web, begs for ‘Olivia’ Munn endorsement

              As with previous releases, the newest Mint iteration, “Olivia,” comes in two distinct flavors: Cinnamon and MATE. While both have received a bit of polish, it’s the fresher Cinnamon that has gotten the most attention. Version 1.8 of the desktop environment has received plenty of bug fixes, along with a new dedicated settings panel that bypasses the GNOME control center. Support for “Desklets” (read: widgets) has also been added and the log-in screen is completely customizable through HTML5. Both versions benefit from the addition of MintSources, for managing software repositories, and MintDrivers, for managing drivers, obviously. While they’ll come in handy for consumers, the biggest advantage is that IT managers may now be more accepting of the refreshingly green Ubuntu derivative. The developers are calling version 15 their most ambitious release yet, and while we’re not completely convinced that’s true, it’s certainly a significant upgrade over November’s Nadia. You’ll find the full changelog
              and download links at the source.

            • Linux Mint 15 ‘Olivia’ Features Update With An Ambitious Release
            • Linux Mint 15 MATE and Cinnamon screen shots
            • Linux Mint 14 : Nadia released
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Gumstix touchscreen baseboard can be customized online

      Gumstix announced a touchscreen baseboard for its Linux-ready Overo computer-on-modules built entirely with the company’s new Geppetto custom design platform, and available for further modification via the web-based Geppetto. The Alto35 is available with a 3.5-inch resistive touchscreen from InTouch Electronics.

    • Tiny module runs Linux on Altera ARM+FPGA SoC

      Critical Link announced a tiny, Linux-ready, SODIMM-style module based on the Altera Cyclone V SX-U672 ARM/FPGA SoC. The MityARM-5CSX builds on the Cyclone V’s mix of FPGA logic and dual-core 800MHz ARM Cortex-A9 processing power, adding two GigE channels, a PCI Express bus, and 145 GPIO lines.

    • ARM Launches DS-5 Development Tools for ARM Linux-Based Systems

      ARM [(LSE: ARM); (Nasdaq: ARMH)] today announced, at the Embedded World conference in Nuremberg, Germany, the launch of the Keil™ Development Studio 5 (DS-5) Application Edition, a software development tool suite which simplifies the development of Linux and Android native applications for ARM® processor-based systems, reducing the learning curve and shortening the development and testing cycle.

    • UDOO: Android Linux Arduino in a tiny single-board computer

      UDOO takes your DIY projects to the next level and it’s a powerful tool for education and creativity.

    • Raspberry Pi Gains Graphics Speed as Wayland Replaces X

      On May 24, Raspberry Pi Foundation executive director Eben Upton announced that the open source board’s recommended Linux distribution, Raspbian, will be adding support for a customized Wayland display manager.

      While the Pi’s Broadcom BCM2835 system-on-chip may be limited to a 700MHz ARM11 processor, it also has an impressive graphics processing unit (GPU) called the VideoCore 4. The Wayland windowing interface is optimized for the VideoCore and will offer much faster and more capable display performance compared to the current X Window, wrote Upton.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Tizen Linux running on the Google Nexus 7 (video)

        Tizen is an open source, Linux-based operating systems designed for smartphones, tablets, TVs, laptops, and just about anything else that needs an operating system. It’s backed by Intel and Samsung, and it’s been in development since the MeeGo Linux project shut down two years ago.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Program Can Turn Humans Into Robots [Video]

    Graduate students in New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) have developed an open API platform that allows users to move another person’s arms remotely, using an internet connection and an iPhone.

  • Open Source Phones May Have Brighter Futures Than You Think

    Three years ago, In a post here on OStatic, I asked this question: “Is It Too Late for an Open Source Challenge to Android?” And now, as we’ve been covering recently, a number of players are seeking to answer that question. Mobile phones based on Mozilla’s Firefox OS and Ubuntu are imminent, as are smartphones based on Tizen Linux. There are other smaller players in the mix as well.

  • Events

    • TrueAbility Sponsors Contest at the 2013 Texas Linux Fest

      The 2013 Texas Linux Fest takes place today in Austin at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center.

      And the team from San Antonio-based TrueAbility will be holding a Linux showdown, similar to the one they had at SXSW Interactive earlier this year.

      The contest will test the skills of Linux administrators and the top programmers will be awarded prizes. First place will get a Lenovo laptop, second place a Nexus tablet and third place with get a Beagle Bone Black starter pack. This contest is only open to those in Texas attending the conference, said Luke Owen, co-founder and CEO of TrueAbility.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Hortonworks release HDP 1.3 with Hive enhancements

      Hortonworks has announced HDP (Hortonworks Data Platform) 1.3, the latest version of its all open source Hadoop platform. The company points out that it has achieved a steady rate of releases of the platform – 1.0 in June 2012, 1.1 September 2012, 1.2 February 2013 and now 1.3 in May – and with the latest release it has been able to focus on Hive and SQL access in Hadoop; Hive is the de facto route for accessing Hadoop data in SQL.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • Funding

    • Open source mentoring scheme to select talented developers

      International Centre for Free and Open Source Software here has launched a joint mentoring programme with the Apache Software Foundation, a leading producer of free and open source software.

    • Students to rock on open source platform this summer

      While more and more users worldwide are moving towards open-source platform such as Android and Linux, the developers from the city see it as a major opportunity for future. A large number of students are all ready to participate in Google Summer of Code this year. A total of 22 students from colleges of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar will be working with open source giants to develop applications and platforms to get practical exposure.

      Mitesh Sanghvi, manager of Google Business Group in Ahmedabad, told TOI that from this year onwards, they are trying to reach out of metros to create awareness about the event that has more than 100 companies working in open source software. “The students will work from India and abroad for three months and apart from stipend, would get invaluable experience by working with experts,” he said.

    • State to tap expertise in open source software domain

      Kerala that lagged behind its counterparts in the IT race, is tapping its expertise in the open source software domain, for a paradigm shift. The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), one of the largest global companies on free and open source software, has now launched its pilot project in the country in Kerala. Oracle had sent in its feelers, while discussion with other IT giants, including Google, are on the cards.

      Satish Babu, director, International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS), an autonomous institution under the Kerala Government, told Express that the tie-up with the ASF would give open source developers in the state an international exposure. “Compared to other states, Kerala has a good talent pool in the open source software as the state was one of the pioneers in the country to promote free and open software movement.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Crowdsourcing- The Good, The Bad, And the Uglords

      However, too much of a good thing can be bad, as old dearies like to say. Crowdsourcing is full of projects that have become victims of their own success, and come close to imploding from all the effort to cope with subsequent demand.

    • Science finds a better foundation for research in the open
    • The sharing economy blooms on campus, saves Higher Ed?

      Burdened by runaway costs, unsustainable infrastructure, outrage over tuition increases, declining public dollars, and outmoded degree programs, colleges and universities are struggling to satisfy the needs of their current patrons, let alone cater to a global student population that is expected to double by 2025.

    • Anesthesia Illustrated Tests Open-Source Education Model

      In its first year, Anesthesia Illustrated, an open-source repository of anesthesia video lectures, attracted users from more than 150 countries who downloaded videos 94,213 times, according to an assessment presented at the 2013 Society for Technology in Anesthesia meeting.

    • Open Data

    • Open Hardware

      • Arduino Robot to Drive Robotics Concepts on Wheels

        Perhaps you have already found some time to do a bit of tinkering with Arduino. It’s a popular open source electronics platform based on a microcontroller and microprocessor with I/O capabilities that allow it to drive many kinds of surprising inventions. We’ve covered the platform and the community that creates with it before.

  • Programming

    • Dynamic languages have jumped the shark

      I still remember the heated arguments I’d have with my high school professors about dynamic languages. What do you mean python isn’t a real language? What’s wrong with you!? Dynamic languages are the coolest thing ever!

Leftovers

  • HTC , The Problem Is Not The Hardware. It’s The Monopolist’s Software.

    A 7 inch tablet with that other OS still won’t match the price/performance of */Linux on ARM. To compete, you have to sell Android/Linux or GNU/Linux on your products. Check out ASUS… They even sell gadgets with keyboards running Android/Linux.

  • Amazon cloud threatens ENTIRE IT ECOSYSTEM – report

    The moneymen have finally looked up from beneath their golden canopies and noticed, hovering above them, a cloud named Amazon that is putting traditional IT companies in the shade.

    Amazon’s cloud poses a major threat to most of the traditional IT ecosystem, a team of 25 Morgan Stanley analysts write in a report, Amazon Web Services: Making Waves in the IT Pond, that was released on Wednesday. Brocade, NetApp, QLogic, EMC and VMware are said to face the greatest “challenges” from the growth of AWS,

  • Amazon cloud threatens ENTIRE IT ECOSYSTEM – report

    Microsoft has just released some information about Windows 8.1 and the Start button isn’t being reinstated. If you have read other headlines and new reports that say that it is, then you are simply being misled.

  • Lawsuit Over Who Gets Starbucks Tips

    I imagine Mr. Pink doesn’t tip at Starbucks. Hell, I don’t “tip” at Starbucks. Occasionally, I don’t feel like having 30 cents clanging around in my pocket all day, so I throw it in the tip jar. But there’s only so much I can pay for a cup of coffee in good conscience.

    Apparently, there’s a lawsuit kicking around the New York Court of Appeals over who owns the tips at Starbucks. The baristas are fighting to keep control over the jar and not share the tips with assistant managers.

  • Retired Justice warns against ‘politicians in robes’

    Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor made a plea for preserving the impartiality and independence of the American judicial system in a lecture Thursday at Elmhurst College.

    O’Connor, who addressed a crowded audience at Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel on the west suburban campus, delivered the Rudolf G. Schade lecture on history, ethics and law.

  • Science

    • Awesome Stuff: Print Stuff, Make Stuff

      from the make-stuff-in-your-home dept
      One of the biggest and most important trends right now is the increasing ability for people to make physical stuff that used to be impossible to make themselves. 3D printing is, obviously, a big part of that, but a variety of other advancements are happening at the same time. We’re in the very early days, but machines that help you make stuff are getting cheaper and cheaper, as they get more and more powerful.

    • Graphene-based image sensor to enhance low-light photography

      A team of scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore has developed a new image sensor from graphene that promises to improve the quality of images captured in low light conditions. In tests, it has proved to be 1,000 times more sensitive to light than existing complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) or charge-coupled device (CCD) camera sensors in addition to operating at much lower voltages, consequently using 10 times less energy.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Obama and Drone-Speak: Targets Intentional or Otherwise

      Well it was that President Barack Obama would make the claim that the way prisoners are detained and the way drones are used in terms of targeting would “define” the United States as a nation. A nation of opportunistic, moneyed hustlers intent on bruising the next foreign nose is already a definition worth having. But Obama wants something else. He wants a different style in counter-terrorism strategy, one of death under the guise of law. This has been every nation’s greatest challenge: finding the legitimate means of killing your opponents without feeling too bad about it.

      [...]

      Obama claims that a new classified policy will deal with the use of unmanned aircraft in areas where the term war is simply not used – Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen. Lethal force will be deployed against those who pose “a continuing, imminent threat to Americans”, and cannot be captured in any practicable way. That, at least, is the drone-speak humming from the pen of Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.

    • Obama speech can’t bury drone damage

      “America is at a crossroads,” declared President Obama in a major speech he delivered at the National Defense University in Washington D.C. The speech was essentially a lengthy, carefully argued, yet contradictory defense of his highly controversial drone war.

    • Obama’s Willful Foreign-Policy Blindness

      There is a vast chasm between “saying” and “doing” in the Obama administration.

    • Legalize murder via ’69 Cambodian mayhem!

      Where are similar figures of conscience in the Obama White House, or even the Democratic Party? Where are the leaks and resignations? Perhaps this is the ultimate object lesson on display in the ongoing persecution of Bradley Manning. Internal dissent, regardless of its legal and moral standing, shall not be tolerated. Indeed, it will be considered sedition and will be smothered by the supreme sanction of the government. Acts that were once considered outrages against conscience are now routine.

    • Drone crashes in southern Somalia, may have been shot down

      Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Pentagon was seeking to send drones to Kenya as part of a $40 million-plus military aid package to help four African countries fighting al Qaeda and al Shabaab militants

    • Four numbers that everyone needs to know about drone strikes

      49
      The number of people killed in U.S. drone strikes for every high-level suspect.

    • Prison officers ‘treat us like subhumans’, claims former CIA officer convicted of leak

      John Kiriakou, the former CIA officer jailed for revealing the name of a covert agent in charge of the US government’s Bush-era enhanced interrogation programme, has claimed he is treated as “subhuman” by wardens at the Pennsylvania prison where he is held.

      Kiriakou began serving a 30-month sentence in February, after being convicted of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act by e-mailing the name of a covert CIA agent to a freelance reporter, who did not publish the name. He is the first current or former CIA officer to be convicted of leaking classified information.

    • Op-Ed: Obama refuses to pardon or commute sentence of CIA whistleblower
    • The Rendition Project: Secret CIA Flight Network Revealed?

      A team of academics have launched the world’s largest interactive database detailing suspected CIA rendition flights, many of which may have transported detainees to Guantanamo Bay, RT Reported.

    • Bishops Say Grave Concerns Remain Over Obama Drone War

      The president insists the U.S. will use drones in accordance with just-war principles, but Catholic leaders say some moral questions still remain.

    • Add morality to list of drone victims
    • When it comes to unmanned warfare it’s nothing personal
    • ‘Killer robots’ which are able to identify and kill targets without human input should be banned, UN urged

      Human rights investigator Christof Heyns to lead calls against lethal robotic weapons

    • Agonizer in chief

      The hypocrisy of praising Obama for ‘asking the right questions’

    • Civilization has no place for drones

      There is no avoiding an international drone race; they should be banned like chemical weapons

    • Inside the Murky World of ‘Signature Strikes’ and the Killing of Americans With Drones
    • Syrian opposition fighters arrested with chemical weapons

      While widely reported in the Turkish press, the arrests Wednesday have been virtually blacked out by the corporate media in the US. Newspapers like the New York Times, which have openly promoted a US intervention in Syria, citing alleged chemical weapons use by the regime of Bashar al-Assad as a pretext, have posted not a word about the raids in Turkey.

    • Drones Kill Seven People in Yemen

      Yemeni political media affirm the majority of victims of those attacks are civilians that are then identified as members of Al Qaeda…

    • Two U.S. Drones Kill Seven in Southern Yemen

      Two cars, traveling on a Yemen highway, exploded Friday. There were seven al-Qaeda militants inside. Two U.S. drone strikes killed all seven.

    • UPDATE 1-Two drone strikes kill seven in southern Yemen-local official

      Two drone strikes killed seven suspected al Qaeda militants in southern Yemen on Saturday, a local official said, nine days after U.S. President Barack Obama said he would only use such strikes when a threat was “continuing and imminent”.

    • US drone attacks are further radicalising Pakistan

      President Obama might believe he is rooting out terrorists, but the drone attacks in Pakistan are also creating more radicals

    • Bush policies still alive in Obama White House

      President Obama came into office promising to be the opposite of George W. Bush, but after nearly five years as commander in chief, his policies are more like his Republican predecessor than he would care to acknowledge.

    • How Many People Has Barack Obama Killed With Drones?

      The actual number of drone deaths is at least 200 times the “22 top Al-Qaeda leaders plus Bin Laden” noted by President Obama. Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) recently floated the number 4,700. Independent studies by both U.S. and British investigators have confirmed numbers in that ballpark, with many of those being “collateral damage.” But let’s, for the sake of simplifying the arithmetic, take a conservative round number of 4,000 deaths against a hypothetical 300 senior operational enemy leaders. After all, President Obama did not say that we have killed only 23 people with drones.

      [...]

      The reality is that U.S. drones have killed thousands, rather than dozens or a few hundred, and that many of them were civilians. The lion’s share of these killings surely could not occur under any dictionary definition of “imminent threat.” Most questionable are the so-called “signature strikes,” where targeting is based on circumstantial evidence rather than known identity of the target.

    • John Kerry’s iffy drone, climate claims

      KERRY on drones: “The only people that we are going after are confirmed terrorist targets at the highest level. … We will not fire when we know there are children or collateral damage. … I am convinced that we have one of the strictest, most accountable and fairest programs.”

      THE FACTS: President Barack Obama’s recently amended drone policy includes some of these elements, but that was not always the case. According to the New America Foundation, the CIA and U.S. military have killed 3,364 militants and civilians with drones over the last decade. Although the number of noncombatants killed is not known, the dead have not all been “highest level” terrorists.

      The New America Foundation maintains a database of the strikes and compiles its numbers from reports in major news media that rely on local officials and eyewitness accounts. It estimates that one in five of those killed by drones is a noncombatant. The Obama administration said the number of civilians killed is in the single digits. As for comparisons, no other country is known to use armed drones to kill individuals in foreign lands.

    • Germany shies away from comment on possible role in US drone war

      It looks like a computer game, but it’s deadly serious news in Germany: US soldiers control drone attacks with a joystick. According to new media reports, military bases on German soil play a key role in the drone war.

    • Report: US drone attacks via US bases in Germany

      The US military’s use of unmanned aircraft to kill terror suspects in foreign countries has come under media scrutiny in Germany. US bases in Germany may be involved in drone killings.

    • Kotarski: Obama’s drone jokes gloss over real casualties

      Another joke. According to a May 2012 New York Times report, Obama’s drone policy “in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants … unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.”

    • Beyond the drones

      THE renewed debate on drone attacks in Fata and the response from the Pakistan authorities deserve due attention.

  • Cablegate

    • New poll reveals that Julian Assange could win senate seat in Australian elections

      Assange’s bid for a senate seat was seen by many as a stunt, but a poll has found 26 per cent of Australians would vote him in.

    • Julian Assange miffed by mainstream media

      Julian Assange has accused the conventional media of losing their bite and behaving like a “fresh-faced coquettes with too many suitors”. Writing in The Spanner journal, the WikiLeaks founder argues that most print and online journalists have become lazily reliant on press releases or stories that are fed to them by lobbyists.

      “These coquettes long ago stopped cooking their own food and now expect everything to be lovingly presented on a silver platter,” complains Assange, who has been eating from the Ecuadorean Embassy’s crockery since he claimed asylum there last year.

    • Guarding Assange in London

      Whether the British tax payer starts foaming at the mouth at the extensive and expanding bill will be something worth seeing. The bloody mindedness of the British government is considerable. The spectacle has ceased merely being absurd. It has become absurdly expensive.

    • Bradley Manning Accused Of Aiding [Classified Enemy]

      Okay, so in Orwell’s 1984, the powers that be may have switched who the “enemy” was arbitrarily and then rewritten history to argue we were always at war with Eurasia or Eastasia. But, at least there was a defined enemy. In the court martial case against Bradley Manning, for supposedly “aiding the enemy” by releasing State Department cables and other documents to Wikileaks, he’s being charged with aiding a “classified enemy” along with aiding Al-Qaida. We’ve already explained why the aiding the enemy charge is highly dubious, since that charge is normally reserved for directly handing information to an enemy, not leaking it to the press.

    • Protesters Support Soldier Ahead of WikiLeaks Court-Martial

      Hundreds of protesters gathered outside a U.S. army base Saturday to voice support for Private First Class Bradley Manning, whose court-martial begins there Monday for the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history.

    • Bradley Manning Wikileaks Trial to Spur US Demonstrations [VIDEO]

      US authorities were accused of torture after putting Manning on “extreme suicide watch”, meaning he was held in solitary confinement, kept in his cell for 23 hours a day, had all possessions withheld. and was held overnight under lights and repeatedly stripped of his clothes.

    • Protesters rally at Fort Meade before WikiLeaks trial

      Members of the Bradley Manning Support Network and others gathered Saturday near Fort Meade’s main gate.

    • US: Protesters Support Bradley Manning Ahead of WikiLeaks Trial [photo,video]

      Hundreds of protesters gathered outside a U.S. army base Saturday to voice support for Private First Class Bradley Manning, whose court-martial begins there Monday for the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history.

    • Protesters Support Bradley Manning Ahead Of WikiLeaks Court-Martial
    • Daniel Ellsberg: WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning deserves to be seen as a hero

      Former Defense Department official Daniel Ellsberg praised WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning in video published Thursday.

    • CODEPINK to Stage Creative Action on the Eve Of WikiLeaks Whistleblower Bradley Manning’s Court Martial

      The peace group CODEPINK will join the efforts of the Bradley Manning Support Network in a march and rally outside Ft. Meade where the WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning is scheduled to face court martial on Monday, June 3, 2013. They will dress as Lady Justice, blindfolded, with togas and scales, in front of a huge mural depicting Manning with a Medal of Honor, the military’s highest award. They will speak out about how Manning’s revelations have contributed to the group’s work for peace and justice.

    • Bradley Manning Trial: Support Surging For Wikileaks Whistleblower

      The trial of Army Private First Class and two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Bradley Manning is set to finally begin on Monday, at Fort Meade, Maryland. Supporters are planning a rally for Manning on Saturday, with ABC News reporting that large crowds are expected to come out in a demonstration of support for the intelligence analyst who leaked over 700,000 government and military documents to WikiLeaks in the largest leak in U.S. history. Manning potentially faces up to life in prison if found guilty of the most serious charges against him, aiding the enemy and violating the Espionage Act. The trial is expected to last three to four months.

    • Feds, soldier’s supporter in Wikileaks case settle

      BOSTON (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union says the federal government has agreed to destroy all data obtained from a computer and other electronic devices seized from an advocate of the Army soldier accused of sending classified U.S. documents to Wikileaks.

  • Finance

    • Time Magazine Stands With Rahm

      Time doesn’t dwell on criticisms of Emanuel’s policies; readers are told that “the Chicago Teachers Union, a power unto itself, loosed its heavy artillery”–which sounds menacing–and that some people “charged that the closures targeted majority-black schools with majority-black faculties.”

    • Former Cahill aide, Goldman banker fined $100,000

      In its toughest sanction yet on pay-to-play-schemes, the Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered Neil M.M. Morrison, a former investment banker at Goldman Sachs and former top aide to ex-state treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, to pay a $100,000 civil penalty for his role as chief political adviser and fund-raiser for Cahill.

    • CME Group Fines Goldman Sachs and Former Partner

      Goldman Sachs and Glenn Hadden, one of Wall Street’s top traders, have been fined by the CME Group over a Treasury futures trade in 2008.

      The CME Group, which runs commodity and futures exchanges, has notified both Goldman and Mr. Hadden, once a trader and partner at Goldman Sachs who now runs the global interest rates desk at Morgan Stanley, that both face fines and other sanctions in connection with the trade, according to a disciplinary action reviewed by The New York Times.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Scaife-Funded Network Works Hard to Kill Immigration Reform

      With immigration reform advancing through Congress, an anti-immigrant network funded by a small group of right-wing foundations is trying to kill reform by pressuring moderate Republicans and appealing to the party’s xenophobic wing. The groups could stymie efforts by some Republicans to appeal to the country’s growing Latino population by moving to the center on immigration.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • UK needs prompt action on human rights record, UN panel warns

      The British government’s human rights record since the attacks of 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq is facing ferocious criticism from a United Nations panel, which warns that prompt action is needed to ensure the country meets its obligations under international law.

    • American Muslim Who Claims He Was Tortured Abroad Sues FBI

      Yonas Fikre, an American Muslim who claims that he was tortured in the United Arab Emirates at the behest of the US government, sued the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State Department on Thursday. Fikre, whose story was first reported by Mother Jones in April 2012, claims he was abused by local authorities in the UAE after refusing to become an informant for the FBI.

    • Sacrificing freedom on the altar of political fears

      The news debate moves onto more calls for Internet restrictions debates today, prompted by April Jones’ murderer possessing illegal child abuse images. Some commentators have sought to blame Google – who takedown links to such material – and others have sought to link access to child abuse images to access to pornography in general, advocating restrictions for all adults.

    • What mobile internet filtering tells us about porn blocks

      Whether you think that website blocking is a good idea or not, it is important to at the very least recognise that it has serious, tangible, negative consequences, especially when it is switched on by default at the network level. This post helps demonstrate what some – but by no means all – of these issues are and why they happen.

    • UN Condemns UK

      Trenchant criticism of the UK by the United Nations over its human rights record would have been major news in the pre-Blair days. One of Blair’s “achievements”, which in the 1990s I should have thought impossible, was to win the acceptance by the public and the media of the practice of torture and other gross abuses by the state.

    • Schools scanned students’ irises without permission

      Parents in Polk County, Florida are outraged after learning that students in area schools had their irises scanned as part of a new security program without obtaining proper permission.

    • TSA Eliminates All Invasive, ‘Gumby’ X-Ray Machines

      The Transportation Security Administration announced it has finished removing from all airports the X-ray technology that produced graphic and controversial images of passengers passing through security screening checkpoints.

      In a letter released Thursday, TSA administrator John Pistole told the House Homeland Security committee that as of May 16, all US airports scanners equipped with the ability to produce the penetrating images will now only show a generic outline of a passenger to the operator. A colored box pops up if the full-body scanner detects a potentially forbidden item.

    • Google: ‘We won’t be approving any facial recognition Glassware at this time’

      While the public decides how to deal with Google Glass-wearing cyborgs walking among us, there are already startups trying to add facial recognition to the device. That includes the MedRef for Glass app for Doctors and an API created by Lambda Labs that’s on the way. Unfortunately, apparently due to privacy concerns, a post tonight by the Project Glass team says that it will not approve any app using the tech for release — at least until it has some privacy protections in place. That’s the same standard it previously said would need to be met before it added facial recognition to its own services.

    • Talking Turkey

      In fact civil conflicts are usually horribly complex, anent a variety of very bad people all trying to gain or retain power, none of them from an altruistic desire to make the world a better place. There may be ordinary people on the streets with that altruistic desire, being used and manipulated by these men; but it is not the ordinary altruistic people on the streets who ever come to power. Ever.

    • The NSA Reportedly Tested Its Top Spyware on New Zealand

      The United States’ war on its citizens’ privacy has been so successful in the last decade that now even well-respected judges are stating that privacy is not a right. But it hasn’t stopped there: with the cooperation of allied governments, the US reportedly tested its most sophisticated surveillance software on the citizens of friendly nations.

    • NSA Whistleblower: Obama’s Attacks on the Press Indicate a ‘Soft Tyranny’

      Drake accurately describes himself as someone who “became a criminal and was labeled an enemy of the state because I was calling out government wrongdoing and illegality.” Someone that has gone through that experience can be expected, at this point, to be calling out the Obama administration attacks on press freedoms.

    • Jim Comey’s shining moment

      All true. But Comey also helped to institutionalize the very program — the National Security Agency’s orderless domestic collection — that his refusal to sanction had put the breaks on. He did not object to the part of the program declassified by the Bush administration. He believed that the president’s Article II power did in fact provide enough cover for the NSA to collect call records from subscribers who were reasonably believed to be connected to overseas terrorists or their associates.

    • On Indefinite Detention, California Assembly Tells Washington DC, Not Here!

      Today, the California Assembly voted to approve a bill that will help render toothless the federal “indefinite detention” powers under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill, by Assemblymember Tim Donnelly, was previously passed unanimously by both the Public Safety and Appropriations Committees and now moves on to the State Senate for concurrence. The final vote was 71-1 (roll call here)

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • EFF files formal objection against DRM’s inclusion in HTML5

      Regular readers will know that there’s a hard press to put DRM in the next version of HTML, which is being standardized at the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3), and that this has really grave potential consequences for the open Web that the WC3 has historically fought to build.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • EU Mandate For TAFTA Leaked: Includes Investor-State Dispute Resolution For Intellectual Monopolies

      One of the concerns about TAFTA/TTIP is that it would repeat the mistakes of ACTA and SOPA as far as intellectual monopolies were concerned. This led to a call by a group of public interest organizations for things like copyright and patents to be excluded from TAFTA (disclosure: I was involved in the drawing up of the text.)

    • Trademarks

      • New York Continues Its Trademark Bullying Ways: Threatens Coffee Shop With Bogus Threats

        I recall, a few years ago, filmmaker Kevin Smith talking about how the state of NY demanded money because a background player (I think a dancer) in Clerks II was shown wearing an “I ♥ NJ” t-shirt, and NY, somewhat infamously, holds the trademark on “I ♥ NY.” I don’t recall all of the details, but I’m pretty sure Smith said that a significant sum of money had to be paid to the state of NY. Of course, that’s an abuse of trademark law on multiple levels. The likelihood of confusion is likely nil, and even if they were arguing dilution, that seems unlikely as well. The t-shirt was in a movie, not for sale by the movie. Another time, NY threatened the guy who created the I ♥ NY design in the first place when he tried to make a new version after September 11. Because NY is an obnoxious trademark bully, that’s why.

    • Copyrights

      • Canadian ACTA Compliance Bill Inches Forward

        Earlier this year, Industry Minister Christian Paradis introduced a bill aimed at ensuring that Canada complies with the discredited Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The bill raises a host of concerns including granting border guards increased powers without court oversight or review. The bill had not been heard from since its introduction, but yesterday Paradis moved that the bill be read a second time and referred to committee for further study.

      • Meet the New George Soros

        On the night of March 23, 2011, four political operatives arrived for dinner at Scarpetta, a posh Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills’ Golden Triangle. They wore DC power suits but ditched the ties—their one concession to LA fashion. For a bunch of hacks more at ease on Capitol Hill than Rodeo Drive, they blended in well enough. Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney had spent their adult lives climbing the rungs of Democratic politics, including a stint together in the Obama White House; pundit and consultant Paul Begala had advised Bill Clinton in the 1990s; Geoff Garin had been a top pollster for some 30 years. A hostess led them through the Mediterranean-themed dining room, all dark woods and tan walls lit by golden glass lamps, then up a flight of stairs to a private room. Awaiting them was the man they hoped would be their bell cow.

      • IP Commission: Cut Off WHO Funding If It Doesn’t Make IP Protection Priority One

        The IP Commission Report on the “theft” of American IP is the gift that keeps on taking. We’ve already discussed the commission’s suggestion that infringers’ computers be loaded up with spyware and malware and the apparent “fact” that China has singlehandendly destroyed every IP-reliant industry in America.

      • Universal Music Demands $42,000 From Danish Mayors For Gangnam Style Parody

        Last year, we noted that one of the reasons why Psy’s Gangnam Style video and song had become so incredibly popular was Psy’s decision not to crack down on copies at all. Instead, he’s mostly celebrated the copycats and parodies, talking about how awesome they were. But, of course, once a major record label gets involved… TorrentFreak reports that Universal Music is demanding $42,000 from four mayors in Denmark who teamed up to produced a video of the four of them dancing to the song.

      • Prenda Law, the Porn Copyright Trolls

        Tony Smith had a porn problem. A 27-year-old nursing student in Collinsville, Ill., Smith was listening to music and doing homework one night last August when he heard a knock on his apartment door. He opened it and an imposing-looking man with a flashlight handed him a lawsuit and his business card. A name was written in pen on the back. “Give this guy a call, he can help you get through this,” the man told Smith. “He’s looking out for people like you.” Smith turned it over and read the name: John Steele.

      • Prenda’s Former Porn Client Comes Forward About His Fears Of Working With Prenda
      • Florida ‘Abbott And Costello’ Prenda Case Ends Not With A Bang, But A Whimper
      • Art And Copyright In The Age Of Compulsive Looking
      • Why Can’t We Take Pictures in Art Museums?

        In an attempt to balance copyright restrictions and ever-present camera phones, some museums are loosening their ‘no photography’ policies

      • Three Strikes For File-Sharing Fails to Halt Music Sales Decline
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