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06.23.13

Links 23/6/2013: Russian-Based OpenMandriva Goes Alpha, Snowden in Russia

Posted in News Roundup at 11:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • New and amazing features of Linux

    The Linux operating system has been around since the beginning of the first computers and the first operating systems. Since its first formation in the form of a small operating system running on the command line interface it has been constantly evolving into a much more powerful and robust operating system capable of sustaining heavy workload and performing multiple tasks at once.

  • Uruguay Fights For GNU/Linux

    Uruguay is a small country, only 3 million people. That explains the fluctuations on the graph but the trend and substance is clear. According to Statcounter Uruguayans are using GNU/Linux regularly and in great numbers. That almost certainly means government, business and consumers have ready access.

  • Linux on Film: Dredd (2012)

    One of the elements that made the original RoboCop (1987) so good was seeing Alex Murphy deal out some major butt-kicking in spite of the losing battle he was facing against the city, politicians and his makers. And Dredd (2012) serves this very experience ala carte. I don’t think the reboot of Robocop can come close to the sheer audacity of Dredd. Dredd is a straightforward no-nonsense cop-thriller set in the future. Judge Dredd is presented as he should be – a dedicated, incorruptible cop with a powerful firearm.

  • When it comes to a new networking OS, Linux is the Linux of networking

    How is networking like farming? JR Rivers, the co-founder and CEO of Cumulus Networks, which launched earlier today, tried to use our evolution from a hunter-gatherer society to today’s food acquisition environment to explain how technological advances that speed up distribution and make distribution or product manufacturing cheaper change societies.

  • Why Every GNU/Linux User Should Support Tesla Motors
  • Desktop

    • Could Google Deliver a Chrome OS-based Tiny Stick PC?

      While the Raspberry Pi has grabbed many headlines as a tiny, ultra-inexpensive, pocketable computer that runs various open source operating systems, it’s actually only one of many tiny LInux computers being touted as part of a new “Linux punk ethic.” As we’ve noted, there are various pocket-size Android devices selling online for under $100 (see the photo).

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Hardware, Past, Present, and Future.

      Here’s some thoughts about some hardware I was going to use, hardware I use daily, and hardware I’ll probably use someday in the future.

    • The People Who Support Linux: 19-Year-Old Aims to be a Kernel Developer
    • Linux Foundation sees broadening role for developers

      Linux developers were once just that, developers. But their role is changing says the Linux Foundation, which is expanding its training options to help them.

      The foundation, an industry supported non-profit, has added two courses to its program, OpenStack Cloud Architecture and Deployment and Linux Enterprise Automation.

    • Linux-3.9.7

      I don’t need to have the latest and greatest from the bleeding edge of FLOSS but I do like the polish being put on the Linux kernel…

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Driver Soon Likely To Support EGL, Mir

        With NVIDIA entering the GPU IP licensing business, the need to support EGL by their binary display driver — and with that the Ubuntu Mir display server and Wayland — has become more pressing.

        While there hasn’t been any official communication out of NVIDIA yet, it’s likely that their binary display driver will soon be bearing EGL support to complement their GLX windowing system support. The EGL interface is for sitting between OpenGL and the windowing system. EGL is used by Google’s Android operating system for mobile devices. Beyond that, both the Mir Display Server and Wayland/Weston are using EGL rather than the GLX windowing system API.

      • Oracle To Work On Mesa Driver For VirtualBox
    • Benchmarks

      • Ubuntu 13.10 Performance On Intel Core i7 “Haswell”

        The many Intel Haswell Linux benchmarks delivered on Phoronix this month have been from updated Ubuntu 13.04 configurations. However, if you’re curious about what the performance is like when upgrading to an Ubuntu 13.10 “Saucy Salamander” daily development snapshot, here are some benchmarks.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Getting started on KDEPIM

        Or so they say. We developers are used to high-resolution screens but many users use netbooks with 1024×600 screens (the horror!). Unfortunately, KMail configuration dialog did not fit in such a small rectangle, so I massaged the various configuration pages to reduce the minimum necessary size for the dialog. The minimum size for the dialog is now 780×567 pixels on my machine (you may get different results depending on widget style and fonts).

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Gnome Shell 3.9.3 Release

        We are less than 100 days away from the official GS 3.10 release and another little step towards another amazing major release has been made yesterday with the release of 3.9.3. This new version brings some tweaks and fixes, while also porting to new technologies like the bluez 5.

      • Every Detail Matters is Open for Business

        Everyone’s favourite UX polish extravaganza is back for another round. For the next months we will be targeting a host of bugs that will add polish and finesse to the GNOME 3 user experience.

        This is the third time that I’ve run Every Detail Matters. Over the last two rounds, the initiative has gone from strength to strength. A total of 82 bugs have been fixed so far, and the GNOME 3 user experience has been massively improved as a result of everyone’s contributions.

  • Distributions

    • Fedora vs OpenSuse vs Gentoo vs Ubuntu vs OSX vs Windows

      Lets start with the honest truth right out of the blocks, there isn’t a best OS, there isn’t a worst OS, there is only preference and the right tool for the job you want it to do.

      [...]

      We are bound by our choices, find it hard to change them unless we have a reason to, but can do if the pain level is righ. There is no such thing as the perfect OS, only the right tool for us and the job we want them to perform. We find excuses, reasons to justify out choices however most to the time they are just that, sometimes they are based on experience, most of the time on FUD. Forcing an OS on someone is never going to work, and suggesting one might seem like a great idea, but usually ends in disaster.

    • Pisi Linux Beta: A Real-life Test

      I waited eagerly for the beta release of Pisi Linux. As soon as it was out, I downloaded it and installed it into a partition my ZaReason’s Alto 4330 had.

      The installation took about 25 minutes. Once it was over, I noticed a few bugs. For example, Pisi’s Grub 2 installed into the MBR, not into the partition I chose. Well, that’s not a show stopper to me. Besides, Pisi’s Grub is very well designed. Anyway, I booted my brand new Linux kitten to see what it looked like and what it was capable of.

      Those who used old-school Pardus will feel familiar with Pisi. Kaptan greets you and lets you choose your first-time settings. Yes, it was great to see Kaptan again!

    • AntiX 13.1 Will Resurrect Your Old Computer

      AntiX, a fast, lightweight and easy-to-install Linux Live CD distribution based on Debian Testing and MEPIS, for Intel-AMD x86 compatible systems, is now at version 13.1.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CEO: Expect Better Economy in 2013

        Red Hat (RHT), the largest provider of open-source software, noted that the IT spending environment isn’t as strong as everyone would like it to be. However, it’s not getting worse, either.

        In an interview with TheStreet, CEO Jim Whitehurst noted that it’s a “tough IT environment” right now, but nothing has fundamentally changed for Red Hat. “It’s a little bit of a slower IT environment right now, and projects are a little slower. Nothing has fundamentally changed about the business, though.”

      • Red Hat OpenStack: No Revenues This Year, But…

        Red Hat OpenStack will generate zero revenues, billings and bookings this year. Does that make the open source cloud platform a failure? Absolutely not. Here’s why Red Hat (RHT) partners need to pay attention.

      • Fedora

        • A Week With Fedora: End Of The Line

          So I’ve been working with Fedora for over a week now, and I have to say that it’s been fun. I haven’t hit any major issues that are deal breakers for me. I’ve fully personalised Fedora’s Gnome Shell desktop environment, and I’m really happy. However, I think it’s time to go back to Ubuntu,and here’s why…

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu community donation plans detailed

            Ubuntu Community Council member Elizabeth Krumbach and Community Manager Jono Bacon have detailed Canonical’s plans to distribute community-oriented donations from the donations page on the Ubuntu web site. After Canonical implemented a page asking for donations from users who download the Linux distribution, the company faced criticism for not making it sufficiently clear exactly how the money collected under the “community participation”, “better coordination with Debian and upstreams” and “better support for flavours” sliders would be used. Bacon promised to deliver a plan to make the process more transparent and accountability more clear and this plan has now been delivered and has been approved by the Community Council.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail review – best Linux OS shows why Unity interface was made

            With the Unity design aesthetic allied to a speedy and robust engine, Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail may just be the one Linux OS to rule them all. Read our Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail review to find out why.

          • Canonical denies move towards open core

            Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution, has reiterated its decision not to create a firm based on open core products.

          • First steps with a brand new Ubuntu virtual machine
          • Mir’s GPLv3 License Is Now Raising Concerns

            Taking a break from blogging about UEFI and Secure Boot, Linux kernel developer Matthew Garrett is now writing about how Canonical’s choice of license for their Mir Display Server is a bit scary. It’s not the GPLv3 license alone that’s raising eyebrows, but the GPLv3 combined with the Ubuntu Contributor’s License Agreement that is unfortunate in the mobile space.

            Basically, Matthew explains how Canonical is trying to push Ubuntu (in the form of Ubuntu Phone/Touch) into markets generally hostile towards the GPLv3 licensem since the license requires users be able to replace the GPLv3 code. Android and other open-source mobile platforms tend to be under a more liberal license that keeps open-source enthusiasts happy along with mobile phone vendors.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tiny ARM CPU module targets embedded Linux apps

      DAVE announced an SODIMM-style computer-on-module based on a Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 system-on-chip, complete with dual CAN interfaces, Linux support, and two evaluation baseboard options. The Diva computer module is also available from U.S.-based Smart Embedded Systems, with turnkey support including Linux drivers and firmware for the processor’s programmable real-time unit (PRU).

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android smartwatch is loaded with wireless

          A Chinese startup called “Geak” (seriousy!) has developed an Android 4.1 smartwatch with built in WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and GPS wireless communications. The China-targeted Geak Watch runs on a 1GHz MIPS architecture SoC equipped with 512MB RAM and 4GB flash, and features a 1.55-inch 240 x 240-pixel touchscreen and IPX3 water resistance.

        • Boxfish Hatches a Hot Idea for Searchable TV

Free Software/Open Source

  • Download Hosts Withdrawing

    With news this week that GitHub is banning storage of any file over 100Mb and discouraging files larger than 50Mb, their retreat from offering download services is complete. It’s not a surprising trend; dealing with downloads is unrewarding and costly. Not only is there a big risk of bad actors using download services to conceal malware downloads for their badware activities, but additionally anyone offering downloads is duty-bound to police them at the behest of the music and movie industries or be treated as a target of their paranoid attacks. Policing for both of these — for malware and for DMCA violations — is a costly exercise.

  • What it Takes to be an Open Source Expert

    OSFY speaks to industry leaders to bring you their thoughts on this hot topic…

  • Is that really the source code for this software?

    I’ve been looking into how easy it is to confirm that a binary package corresponds to a source package. It turns out that it is not easy at all. So I’ve written down my findings in this blog entry.
    I think that the topic of reproducible builds is one that is of fundamental importance to the free software and larger community; the trustworthiness of binaries based on source code is a topic quite neglected. We know about tivoization and the reality that code can be open yet unchangeable. What is not appreciated in sufficient measure is that parties can, quite unchecked, distribute binaries that do not correspond to the alleged source code.

  • State of OpenIndiana

    When Oracle announced it was discontinuing the development of OpenSolaris, there was shock among the free Unix community. OpenSolaris was popular and had a very loyal user-base and good support from developers, internal and community. A fork of OpenSolaris was quickly announced. A fork of the kernel would become what is known as Illumos. And the operating system would become OpenIndiana, which would use the Illumos kernel.

  • GlobalSign Pushes SSL for Open Source
  • Open-Source Off-Road Simulator Called Rigs of Rods Shows the Power of Free Software

    Scroll down and watch the selection of videos…

  • Cyber experts suggest using open source software to protect privacy

    One enterprising netizen has compiled a list of services, from social networks to email clients, and even web browsers, that offer better protection from surveillance. They are listed on a web page called prism-break.org.

    When asked about steps that a digital native can take to protect his privacy and online data, Sunil Abraham, executive director of Bangalore-based non-profit Center for Internet and Society said, “Stop using proprietary software, shift to free/open source software for your operating system and applications on your computer and phone. Android is not sufficiently free; shift to CyanogenMod. Encrypt all sensitive Internet traffic and email using software like TOR and GNU Privacy Guard. Use community based infrastructure such as Open Street Maps and Wikipedia. Opt for alternatives to mainstream services. For example, replace Google Search with DuckDuckGo.”

  • This week in open source news: 3D-printed hands, smart light bulbs, and more
  • 13 Things People Hate about Your Open Source Docs

    Most open source developers like to think about the quality of the software they build, but the quality of the documentation is often forgotten. Nobody talks about how great a project’s docs are, and yet documentation has a direct impact on your project’s success. Without good documentation, people either do not use your project, or they do not enjoy using it. Happy users are the ones who spread the news about your project – which they do only after they understand how it works, which they learn from the software’s documentation.

  • Small Brick Open Source PLC

    The OSPLC SMALL BRICK is an open-source PLC (programmable logic controller) that can be programmed using open source C language programming tools.

    The PLC is a general-purpose controller with a wide variety of applications. It is useful to the engineer, technician, student and hobbyist.

    All the source files for the small brick OSPLC are provided, including schematic diagrams so that you can build this project yourself or modify it.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Web browser to move ahead plan to block tracking

        The maker of the popular Firefox browser is moving ahead with plans to block the most common forms of Internet tracking, allowing hundreds of millions of users to eventually limit who watches their movements across the Web, company officials said Wednesday.

        Firefox’s developers made the decision despite intense resistance from advertising groups, which have argued that tracking is essential to delivering well-targeted, lucrative ads that pay for many popular Internet services.

      • Mozilla again postpones Firefox third-party cookie-blocking, this time for months

        Decision to use blocking blacklists and whitelists means another delay in adding auto-blocking to browser

      • Mozilla Joins Forces with Stanford Group on Privacy Scheme

        If you’re like nearly everybody else, you get annoyed by how advertising cookies in your browser seem to know what your interests are and serve up creepy ads that hit a little too close to home. With that problem in mind, Mozilla has been steadily working toward standardizing Do Not Track features in the Firefix browser. The idea is not welcome to everyone, though. The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has accused Mozilla of “undermining American small business” with the move.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Netflix open sources its Hadoop manager for AWS

      Netflix runs a lot of Hadoop jobs on the Amazon Web Services cloud computing platform, and on Friday the video-streaming leader open sourced its software to make running those jobs as easy as possible. Called Genie, it’s a RESTful API that makes it easy for developers to launch new MapReduce, Hive and Pig jobs and to monitor longer-running jobs on transient cloud resources.

    • What is OpenStack and what is its role in open source cloud computing?

      In an effort to commoditize the world of open source cloud computing, Red Hat is throwing their weight behind OpenStack in the same way they threw their weight behind Linux over a dozen years ago.

    • City of Chicago Joins Open Cloud Consortium

      Who says you have to be a vendor or a channel partner to get involved in industry associations driving the adoption of cloud computing? If there’s an unwritten rule somewhere, nobody bothered to tell the City of Chicago, which announced this week it had joined the Open Cloud Consortium (OCC).

      The OCC is a not-for-profit organization that manages and operates cloud computing infrastructure to support Big Data for scientific, medical, healthcare and environmental research. That’s quite the huge mandate, and the organization’s membership is made up of a variety of corporations (most in the technology sector in some way), universities, U.S. national laboratories and federal agencies, as well as international partners.

    • Fidelity Likes OpenStack, Despite High-Profile Departures

      In a major missive from Dell Computer recently, the company announced that its public cloud ecosystem and strategy will be centered on partners Joyent, ScaleMatrix and ZeroLag, and will emphasize recent acquisition Enstratius. That represented a very major reversal of its plans to deliver public cloud services based on the open source OpenStack cloud platform. Right on the heels of that news, IBM–which has been firmly in the OpenStack camp–announced that it is spending billions to buy SoftLayer for its cloud computing infrastructure tools and services.These were high level departures from the OpenStack camp, although IBM is still pursuing OpenStack cloud plans by pass-through, since SoftLayer delivers OpenStack services.

  • Databases

    • Comic Relief uses open cloud big data on MongoDB

      Comic Relief has confirmed its use of 10gen’s open source non-relational NoSQL database, MongoDB, to create a computing for this year’s event which raised £75 million.

      The charity enlisted cloud services firm Armakuni to build the platform so that it could handle 10,000 concurrent call centre operators and a peak of 500 donations per second.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • Business

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Free Software alternatives to help you outwit PRISM

      Just because your activities are being monitored by the powers that be does not mean that you should throw up your arms in the air and give up. Yes, complete privacy is almost impossible to achieve in the age of bits and bytes, but there are things you can do to minimize how much of your privacy you give up.

      Mostly, it comes down to the tools you employ to navigate this interconnected universe of ours. The most popular tools are owned by major technology companies, the same outfits that give government agencies free, warrantless access to your data.

    • GNU Parallel 20130622 (‘Snowden’) released

      GNU Parallel 20130622 (‘Snowden’) has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/parallel/

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open-Source Solution for Temperature Monitoring

      Here’s a nice example of the DIY spirit at work. A former Portland, OR, restaurant owner was looking for a way to better monitor food storage temperatures (which had to be regularly checked and written in a notebook). There didn’t seem to be a good automated system available, so he built his own, using open-source hardware to develop a unit that can monitor temperature, humidity and barometric pressure of a given location, then transmit the data via the Internet and a Wi-Fi network.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Source Robots Are on the Move This Month

        Open source robots are back in the news. In late May, we reported on the Arduino Robot (shown) — which puts much of the intelligence in the open hardware Arduino kit on wheels and includes an interface for creating custom robots. The Arduino Robot’s Motor Board controls motors, and the Control Board reads sensors and helps to operate. Each of the boards is a full Arduino board using the Arduino IDE. Now, there are robots arriving based on the open platform that you can control with swipes from your smartphone.

  • Programming

    • System Manageability

      The greatest need for improving the manageability of Linux systems is to provide a standard programming interface – an API – for system management functions.

      The API should be a low-level interface that provides the needed control over managed systems. It should also support a higher level abstraction, making it easy for system administrators to use it for routine tasks.

    • Open Source PHP 5.5 Released with Opscode Caching

      One of the biggest open source PHP releases in years is now out and you can count me among those that are excited and eager to deploy and use it.

    • Open Source Foundations in a Post-GitHub World
  • Standards/Consortia

    • Xiph unveils “next-next-generation” video codec

      The Xiph.Org Foundation has taken the wraps off Daala, a “next-next-generation” video codec that has been under development for some time; this was until recently overshadowed by development work on the Opus audio codec at Xiph. However, the developers at the foundation think that the right time has come to open up development of the codec to a wider audience, even though they still classify the software as “pre-pre-alpha”. According to Xiph, a prototype of the codec successfully encoded and decoded a video stream over the internet at the end of May.

Leftovers

  • English is no longer the language of the web
  • Colombia to Seal Agreement with NATO in Brussels

    Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón will travel Sunday to Belgium where he is scheduled to sign Tuesday its first cooperation agreement with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

    According to El Tiempo newspaper, the two-page document will be signed by Pinzon and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and will be broadened with a second chapter in the next two months.

  • No Traction For Windows On Arm
  • Windows RT facing pressure from being isolated

    Microsoft’s Windows RT operating system may fall to the same fate as Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) webOS as most brand vendors have already stopped developing related products, leaving Microsoft’s second-generation Surface RT, the only Windows RT-based device in the next-generation tablet competition, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

  • Science

    • 3-D printed trachea splint saves baby’s life

      A Michigan baby’s life was saved by the insertion of a 3-D printed trachea at two months old.

    • How 3D printing will rebuild reality

      When Star Trek debuted in the mid-60s, everybody geeked out about the food synthesizers. Even my mom, a reluctant but compulsory Trek viewer, recognized the utility of this amazing gadget, particularly with two ravenous boys around the house. My brother and I knew, of course, that the real magic food box was the refrigerator.

    • Bacterial DNA in Human Genomes

      A team of scientists from the University of Maryland School of Medicine has found the strongest evidence yet that bacteria occasionally transfer their genes into human genomes, finding bacterial DNA sequences in about a third of healthy human genomes and in a far greater percentage of cancer cells. The results, published today (20 June) in PLOS Computational Biology, suggest that gene transfer from bacteria to humans is not only possible, but also somehow linked to over-proliferation: either cancer cells are prone to these intrusions or the incoming bacterial genes help to kick-start the transformation from healthy cells into cancerous ones.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Frankenfood Conspiracy: Secret summit where slick lobbyists for bio-tech giants seduced Tory Ministers into changing their tune on GM food

      Even by the standards of an industry that claims to be able to end hunger, prevent environmental catastrophe and bring prosperity to the developing world, it must have felt like a breathtakingly audacious move.

      Last summer, the world’s biggest biotech corporations decided the time was right to convince the Government to allow so-called Frankenstein food to be grown in its fields.

    • Breastfeeding figures fall as NHS budget is cut

      The number of new mothers attempting to breastfeed has fallen in England for the first time in almost a decade.

      New figures suggest that 5,700 fewer women initiated breastfeeding with their child in 2012-13 than the year before. It is the first recorded fall since the Department of Health began collecting and releasing the statistics in 2004.

    • U.S. Approves a Label for Meat From Animals Fed a Diet Free of Gene-Modified Products

      The Agriculture Department has approved a label for meat and liquid egg products that includes a claim about the absence of genetically engineered products.

      It is the first time that the department, which regulates meat and poultry processing, has approved a non-G.M.O. label claim, which attests that meat certified by the Non-GMO Project came from animals that never ate feed containing genetically engineered ingredients like corn, soy and alfalfa.

    • The upcoming EU-US and EU-Canada trade deals have serious implications for the NHS

      After the government pushed through its widely opposed privatisation regulations it is time now to focus on the big trade deals and look to the G8 meeting in June. There is a reason the public are being told nothing about them – because they won’t like what they hear.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • LA Times Reports Hastings Was Going Into Hiding Before His Death
    • Authorities, Media Dismiss Michael Hastings Assassination Claims

      Authorities and media outlets have predictably moved to dismiss claims that Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings – who complained of being under investigation by the FBI before his death in a fiery car crash on Tuesday – was murdered as a result of foul play, despite the vehicle’s engine being found 100 feet away from the scene of the blaze.

      [...]

      Following his role in bringing down Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, Hastings was told by a McChrystal staffer, “We’ll hunt you down and kill you if we don’t like what you write.” The Rolling Stone journalist also “had the Central Intelligence Agency in his sights” and was set to release an article exposing the agency, according to L.A. Weekly.

      Despite the fact that investigating whether or not a journalist who had made a number of enemies at the very top of the power structure could have been the target of an assassination is a perfectly legitimate question, news outlets have characterized such inquiry as being insensitive and crass.

    • The U.S. Policy Coup Explained by 4-Star General Wesley Clark

      General Wesley Clark, on the talk circuit in 2007, explained how the U.S. military planned to destroy the governments of seven countries in five years and enumerates them in this YouTube video.

    • Native Americans prepare to defend homelands, walk across America

      Native Americans focused on defending their homelands and upholding the Rights of Nature during June, as they prepared for non-violent resistance to the threats of the tarsands pipeline, uranium mining and coal-fired power plants.

    • Ruins of Maya City Discovered in Remote Jungle
    • From Afghanistan, Thank You Bradley Manning!

      Recognition that 95 million human beings were killed in World War I and II has helped the people of the world understand that the method of war is not cost-effective. An awakened world hoped the United Nations could, as determined in the UN Charter, eventually ‘save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’.

      The scourge of war in Afghanistan continues, with the United Nations reporting that more than 3,000 Afghan civilians have been killed and wounded in the first five months of this year, a fifth of whom were Afghan children. So, ordinary people should seize opportunities to tell the truth about war.

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Worst Hanford tank may be leaking into soil

      The first ever double-shell tank to have leaked at Hanford may be in far worse condition than anyone imagined. Hanford workers conducting routine maintenance on the tank, known as AY-102, Thursday were shocked to find readings of radioactivity from material outside the tank. Until now leaked nuclear sludge had only been detected in what’s known as the tank’s annulus — the hollow safety space between the tank’s two walls.

    • Goodbye, Miami

      By century’s end, rising sea levels will turn the nation’s urban fantasyland into an American Atlantis. But long before the city is completely underwater, chaos will begin

  • Finance

    • The Last Mystery of the Financial Crisis

      It’s long been suspected that ratings agencies like Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s helped trigger the meltdown. A new trove of embarrassing documents shows how they did it

    • Bank of Spain calls for elimination of the minimum wage

      The Bank of Spain has called for the elimination of the minimum wage, more flexibility in the labour market and other attacks on the working class.

      Its annual report states, “The seriousness of the labour market advises maintaining and intensifying reform momentum through the adoption of additional measures to promote job creation in the short term and facilitate wage flexibility.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The BBC Business Unit and the public interest

      The BBC’s reporting of issues from NHS reform, welfare reform and the looming EU US trade deal can be better understood by looking at the BBC’s Business Unit. A narrow and questionable ‘business perspective’ drives more coverage than viewers may think.

  • Privacy

    • When in doubt, NSA searches information on Americans

      According to newly revealed secret documents, the NSA retains wide discretion over targeting individuals for surveillance – including, potentially, Americans. Civil libertarians say ‘it confirms our worst fears.’

    • Arrest of N.S.A. Leaker Seen as Easier Than Transfer to U.S.

      The request from the United States that Hong Kong detain Edward J. Snowden, who has been accused of stealing government secrets, before it seeks his return to America is likely to set off a tangled and protracted fight, with Mr. Snowden and his legal advisers having multiple tools to delay or thwart his being surrendered to American officials.

    • The other hacking scandal: Suppressed report reveals that law firms, telecoms giants and insurance companies routinely hire criminals to steal rivals’ information

      Some of Britain’s most respected industries routinely employ criminals to hack, blag and steal personal information on business rivals and members of the public, according to a secret report leaked to The Independent.

      The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) knew six years ago that law firms, telecoms giants and insurance were hiring private investigators to break the law and further their commercial interests, the report reveals, yet the agency did next to nothing to disrupt the unlawful trade.

      [...]

      Victims of computer hacking identified by Soca – who suffered eBlaster Trojan attacks which allowed private investigators to monitor their computer usage remotely – include the former British Army intelligence officer Ian Hurst. He was hacked by private investigators working for News of the World journalists who wanted to locate Freddie Scappaticci, a member of the IRA who worked as a double-agent codenamed “Stakeknife”.

    • Sheeple Waking Up To NSA Spying: Privacy Search Engines Booming

      StartPage and Ixquick, two strongly privacy oriented search engines owned by the same company, announced recently that they surpassed three million daily searches for the first time.

      According to information Startpage provided to Infowars, traffic to the Search Engine has grown from 2.8 million daily searches to now approaching 4 million.

    • Does NSA Surveillance Remind You of Anything?
    • GCHQ monitoring described as a ‘catastrophe’ by German politicians

      Britain’s European partners have described reports of Britain’s surveillance of international electronic communications as a catastrophe and will seek urgent clarification from London.

      Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the German justice minister said the report in the Guardian read like the plot of a film.

      “If these accusations are correct, this would be a catastrophe,” Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said in a statement to Reuters. “The accusations against Great Britain sound like a Hollywood nightmare. The European institutions should seek straight away to clarify the situation.”

      Britain’s Tempora project enables it to intercept and store immense volumes of British and international communications for 30 days.

    • If you think GCHQ spying revelations don’t matter, it’s time to think again

      So is it a Milly Dowler moment? Will the revelation that GCHQ taps every internet communication that enters or leaves the UK mark the moment when ordinary citizens stop and say: “Oh, now I get it.” A moment when people realise that the stuff that nerds and activists had been droning on about might actually affect them?

      My hunch is that it isn’t such a moment. Most people will just shrug their shoulders and get on with life. They will accept the assurances of those in authority and move on. If they do, then they will have missed something important. It is that our democracies have indeed reached a pivotal point. Ever since it first became clear that the internet was going to become the nervous system of the planet, the 64 billion dollar question was whether it would be “captured” by giant corporations or by governments. Now we know the answer: it’s “both”.

    • MI5 feared GCHQ went ‘too far’ over phone and internet monitoring

      Senior figures inside British intelligence have been alarmed by GCHQ’s secret decision to tap into transatlantic cables in order to engage in the bulk interception of phone calls and internet traffic.

      According to one source who has been directly involved in GCHQ operations, concerns were expressed when the project was being discussed internally in 2008: “We felt we were starting to overstep the mark with some of it. People from MI5 were complaining that they were going too far from a civil liberties perspective … We all had reservations about it, because we all thought: ‘If this was used against us, we wouldn’t stand a chance’.”

    • Nancy Pelosi Booed, Heckled Over Edward Snowden, NSA Comments At Netroots Nation 2013
    • Pelosi Faces Questions, Criticism about NSA Surveillance at Netroots Nation

      At the Netroots Nation conference this weekend, Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was questioned publicly about her stance on NSA spying. While she was quick to defend the program as markedly different from the warrantless wiretapping program established under President Bush, she also noted that more needed to be done to improve transparency around the program.

      Pelosi’s comments were met with skepticism and disapproval from at least some members of the audience. Marc Perkel, a small business owner and technology activist, interrupted Pelosi when she was talking about finding a balance between security and civil liberties. According to Politico, Marc Perkel yelled, “It’s not a balance. It’s not constitutional!…No secret laws!”

    • EXCLUSIVE: US spies on Chinese mobile phone companies, steals SMS data: Edward Snowden
    • GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians’ communications at G20 summits
    • Skynet rising: Google acquires 512-qubit quantum computer; NSA surveillance to be turned over to AI machines
    • EXCLUSIVE: US hacked Pacnet, Asia Pacific fibre-optic network operator, in 2009
    • Facebook Bug Exposed 6 Million Users
    • Facebook Says Technical Flaw Exposed 6 Million Users

      Facebook has inadvertently exposed six million users’ phone numbers and e-mail addresses to unauthorized viewers over the last year, the company said late Friday.

    • Snowden spy row grows as US is accused of hacking China

      Edward Snowden, the former CIA technician who blew the whistle on global surveillance operations, has opened a new front against the US authorities, claiming they hacked into Chinese mobile phone companies to access millions of private text messages.

      His latest claims came as US officials, who have filed criminal charges against him, warned Hong Kong to comply with an extradition request or risk complicating diplomatic relations after some of the territory’s politicians called for Snowden to be protected.

      The latest developments will raise fears that the US’s action may have pushed Snowden into the hands of the Chinese, triggering what could be a tense and prolonged diplomatic and legal wrangle between the world’s two leading superpowers.

    • U.S. seeks Snowden’s extradition, urges Hong Kong to act quickly

      The United States said on Saturday it wants Hong Kong to extradite Edward Snowden and urged it to act quickly, paving the way for what could be a lengthy legal battle to prosecute the former National Security Agency contractor on espionage charges.

    • For Spiegel, Tempora is front page news. Apart from The Guardian the British press stays silent.

      Clearly a crashing ferry that injured no-one, and some high society wedding are more important than a programme which, if proven, would be equivalent to PRISM and conducted by the UK.

      A D-Notice has been issued to the press (see Guido Fawkes here) to not report on the leaks in this case, but when one newspaper is still leaking, surely a point has to come that others should report and debate it too?

    • GCHQ and security services ‘need parliamentary oversight’

      Labour’s Douglas Alexander says widespread surveillance allegations need to be addressed by intelligence agencies

    • House Committee Conducts Lovefest With NSA Chief

      The Kansas City man is Khalid Ouazzani, who, as part of a plea bargain in 2010, admitted that he sent money to Al Qaeda. He was never charged with planning any attacks inside the United States, and the NYSE bombing was described as “nascent plotting,” so it’s hard to know just how serious this was. Still, at least Ouazzani actually did something. The San Diego man merely planned to send money.

    • Web’s Reach Binds N.S.A. and Silicon Valley Leaders

      When Max Kelly, the chief security officer for Facebook, left the social media company in 2010, he did not go to Google, Twitter or a similar Silicon Valley concern. Instead the man who was responsible for protecting the personal information of Facebook’s more than one billion users from outside attacks went to work for another giant institution that manages and analyzes large pools of data: the National Security Agency.

      [...]

      The disclosure of the spy agency’s program called Prism, which is said to collect the e-mails and other Web activity of foreigners using major Internet companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook, has prompted the companies to deny that the agency has direct access to their computers, even as they acknowledge complying with secret N.S.A. court orders for specific data.

    • Petition To Preemptively Pardon Ed Snowden Reaches Goal Of 100k Signatures

      The Whitehouse petition to pre-emptively pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for “crimes he may have committed while blowing the whistle” has reached its goal of 100,000 signatures. This means that the U.S. Administration, by its own rules, need to take it seriously enough to craft a response to it. While that response is unlikely to be anything else than “we politely disagree and intend to impolitely hunt this man down”, it is still an important signal of dissent.

    • Communications Surveillance, Protest and Control…

      What is the real reason that certain of the authorities are so keen on universal surveillance of communications data? Is it the fight against terrorism? It doesn’t seem very likely. It’s a supremely ineffective method of dealing with terrorism at best – even the examples quoted by the security services as ‘proof’ that it works have pretty much all been swiftly debunked (see for example here). In practice, it seems, targeted, intelligence-driven, almost ‘traditional’ methods seem to do the job far better. So why do the authorities all around the globe seem to be so enthusiastic about communications surveillance? One word: control

    • Whistleblower Edward Snowden Lands In Moscow
    • Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong for Moscow
    • Spy-leaker Snowden leaves Hong Kong
    • Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong on Moscow flight

      US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden has flown out of Hong Kong, from where the US was seeking his extradition on charges of espionage.

    • Bill Clinton on NSA: Americans need to be on guard for abuses of power by US
    • Liberal activists show irritation with Obama over surveillance
    • Pelosi booed for saying NSA leaker Snowden violated the law

      House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was booed onstage Saturday when she said former government contractor Edward Snowden broke the law by leaking classified documents on National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs.

      Speaking at the NetRoots Nation conference in San Jose, Calif., Pelosi told the audience to reject comparisons between President Barack Obama and his predecessor, President George W. Bush, on their oversight of surveillance programs. The top House Democrat said Obama is poised to reveal “in another few days, a few more proceedings” of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

    • 5 Fun Facts From the Latest NSA Leak

      After a brief respite, the Guardian newspaper has resumed its publication of leaked NSA documents. The latest round provides a look at the secret rules the government follows for collecting data on U.S. persons.

  • Civil Rights

    • US steps up efforts to break Guantánamo hunger strike

      Shaker Aamer, last British resident held in camp, tells of harsh regime to break strikers’ resistance

    • Autonomy: an idea whose time has come
    • Million Protesters Demonstrate In 100 Brazilian Cities

      More than a million protesters have taken to the streets in Brazil as demonstrations over a range of social issues grow. Demonstrating people flooded into Rio de Janeiro and more than 100 cities. Violence and clashes erupted in many places and an 18-year-youth died when a car drove through a barricade in Sao Paulo state. This is the largest protests in the country in more than two decades.

      Government announcement to lower transport fares and promises of better public services failed to stem the tide of discontent in the country.

    • Candidate Obama Debating President Obama On Civil Liberties vs. Government Surveillance

      We recently had a video showing then Senator Joe Biden, from seven years ago, “debating” the current President Obama on government surveillance. I hadn’t seen this until now, but someone else has put together a much better video showing Presidential candidate Obama in 2008 vs. President Obama in 2013.

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