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06.26.13

Links 26/6/2013: Ouyas Are Out, Fedora 19 RC

Posted in News Roundup at 3:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Best and Worst Features of Linux Desktops

    In any given week, I am likely to use two or three Linux desktop environments. Partly, I switch so often to keep up to date. But the main reason is that, whatever environment I am using, I soon become aware of its shortcomings and start thinking of another’s advantages.

    Clearly, the only Linux desktop with which I am likely to be completely satisfied would be one I built for myself. However, since I am unlikely to do that any time soon — or at all — I can only continue to switch regularly, repelled by a feature in one desktop and attracted by a feature in another, like a piece of iron between constantly shifting magnetic fields.

    Meanwhile, here are the best and worst features that I keep noticing in each of the six major desktop environments for Linux:

  • More career options for Linux developers seen
  • Kernel Space

    • New Linux Foundation Members Expand Linux Ecosystem in Cloud, Semiconductor and IP Multimedia Industries

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that dotCloud, LSI Corporation and Nefedia are joining the organization.

    • Joystick and Other Game Controllers

      Linux systems support a wide variety of games and emulators. Obviously, many Linux gamers will want to use joystick controllers or other game controllers for gaming instead of a keyboard. Thankfully, Linux supports many game controllers. The Linux kernel contains drivers for several joysticks and controllers, so many Linux gamers can plugin their game controller and begin playing. However, the Linux kernel does not support all joysticks and controllers. Adding support for these controllers and making them work is easy to do.

    • OpenDaylight SDN Project Expands Membership and Technology

      OpenDaylight is run as a collaborative project operated by the Linux Foundation, which is no stranger to the world of open source collaboration. Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation, told Enterprise Networking Planet that while there is a lot of interest in open source SDN, the Linux Foundation is not actively recruiting members for the OpenDaylight Project.

    • Red Hat Is Indeed Working On 3D QEMU Support

      In continuation of my earlier Research Underway With QEMU 3D Support posting, Red Hat is indeed internally working on getting 3D-accelerated support up and running for virtual machines under QEMU.

      While VirtualBox and VMware right now support 3D/OpenGL acceleration by passing the graphics commands onto the host machine for processing, QEMU/KVM does not but it’s (hopefully) going to be changed soon by Red Hat. After a Gallium3D SPICE driver was long talked about, there’s finally action happening per my posting a few days ago.

    • Graphics Stack

      • “SimpleDRM” Driver Published For Simple KMS

        The SimpleDRM driver is the new name for his simple/generic DRM graphics driver. The driver was formerly known as the DVBE driver in his first version but renamed it as SimpleDRM, isnce it’s supposed to be the most basic Direct Rendering Manager driver. SimpleDRM is similar to efifb.c, vesafb.c, offb.c, simplefb.c, and other simple graphics display drivers within the kernel.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Mr. Cranky Pants takes the soapbox

      It’s been a busy few weeks here in the land of the giant redwoods. Scratch that: It’s been a busy and hectic few weeks here in the land of the giant redwoods.

      Nevertheless, during the course of daily visiting — more like daily hangouts — in the CrunchBang forums a couple of topics came up that are normally items which cause me to put on my cranky pants, grab the nearest soapbox, step up on it and start my impassioned plea to the masses (or, at least, to those within an earshot, digital or otherwise).

    • Linux Deepin 12.12 review

      Summary: This article provides a review of Linux Deepin 12.12, the latest edition of the popular desktop distribution published by Wuhan Deepin Technology Co. Ltd., China.

      Linux Deepin is based on Ubuntu Desktop, and it used to be that a Linux Deepin release came two months after the most recent Ubuntu Desktop release. So if Ubuntu is released in April, the corresponding Linux Deepin is released in June. That held true until Linux Deepin 12.06, which was actually released in July 2012.

    • What would be my own ideal Linux distribution?

      I’ve recently re-installed three different distributions on my new laptop: Debian 7 Wheezy Xfce, Mageia 3 KDE and Linux Mint 15 Olivia Cinnamon. The closest to the “ideal” of these three is Cinnamon, I must admit, with Mageia following very close. Debian, for well-known reasons, comes far behind. It does not mean that I dislike Debian. I like it. But there are some aspects that will never make Debian my personal ideal Linux Distribution.

      Is it possible to get such a distro? I hope the day will come!

      In the meantime, if you want to try any distribution, but cannot create a disk with it yourself for whatever reason, you can always request one from Buy Linux CDs site. The disk will be delivered into your mailbox anywhere in the world!

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Stock Rating Reaffirmed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (RHT)

        underweight rating on shares of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning, Analyst Ratings Network.com reports.

        “We believe a better metric (akin to license growth for a traditional model) that adjusts billings for FX, duration, and renewals also grew 12%, versus the 25% implied with consensus expectations (and not to mention against an easy comp of -7%). We believe that Red Hat’s growth has and will likely continue to decline despite management’s comments of large deals signed and additional runway. Although management has attempted to supplement its RHEL success with Virtualization, Middleware, Storage, and Cloud, declines in true growth seem at odds with this expansion.,” the firm’s analyst wrote.

      • Red Hat workers bring energy to new downtown Raleigh headquarters

        Mike Esser, a six-year veteran at Linux software company Red Hat, is delighted that the company moved its headquarters from N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus to the center of the city.

      • Fedora

        • Attention Fedora 19 prerelease users

          Fedora 19 is winding up to release soon, and so it’s that time in the cycle when a new fedora-release package pushes out that disables the fedora-updates-testing repository so folks who install after this point don’t get testing packages unless they opt in.

        • Getting the pretty grub screen back in Fedora 19
        • Fedora 19 Release Candidate Quietly Posted

          The final release of Fedora 19 is due July 2 and a Release Candidate 1 was quietly released to testers in the early hours of June 25. Fedora’s list of new features is never boring and version 19 follows suite. Let’s see what’s coming.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – June 24th, 2013

        When the DebConf team announced the official location and dates for DebConf13, there was much uncertainty about whether a DebCamp could be organised, for budget reasons. The DebConf team has now announced that DebConf13 will have its DebCamp, which will last for almost a full week, starting from August 6, at the main conference venue.

        If you plan to go to DebConf13, you have until June 30 to reconfirm your attendance and thus validate your registration.

      • Derivatives

        • Elive 2.1.52 development released

          This version includes some misc features like:

          Automated cooling for newer intel CPU’s by decreasing the cpu clock when the temperature gets high
          Vim colorscheme changed to elive an own colorscheme that focuses on intuitiveness.
          Internet Configurator now automatically pops up with a list of available connections.
          E17 Fix: Language and Keyboard are not correctly saved.
          E17 Fix: Application menu no longer freeze your environment.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu to Consolidate Web Account Services Under ‘Ubuntu One’ Brand

            Canonical has announced plans to group its user-facing account services under one unified branding.

            ‘Ubuntu Single Sign On’ – used to get access to online services like Launchpad and the Ubuntu Forums – and ‘Ubuntu Pay’ – the payment handling process for software and media purchases – will be rebranded under the ‘Ubuntu One’ moniker.

          • First Ubuntu Weekly Update Video
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Mint 15 freshens Ubuntu’s bad bits

              Mint is a relative newcomer to the world of popular desktop distros, but it has recently started to take the GNOME and Unity-hating Linux world by storm.

              The recent release of version 15, called Olivia, should help it secure a reputation as “the” alternative desktop. If you’d like a modern set of desktop tools without a completely new desktop interface to go with, then Mint 15 has what you’re after.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi bot tracks hacker posts to vacuum up passwords and more

      Password and credit-card details leak online every day. So no one really knows just how much personally identifiable information is available by clicking on the right link to Pastebin, Pastie, or similar sites. Using a platform that runs on the hobbyist Raspberry Pi platform to drink from this fire hose, a security researcher has cataloged more than 3,000 such posts in less than three months while adding scores more each week.

    • Android-controlled exercycle excites Kickstarter fans

      After only two days on Kickstarter, an Android 4.1-powered exercise bike project has reached almost half its $250,000 goal. Peloton Cycle’s Peloton Bike is equipped with a 21.5-inch touchscreen console that runs Android 4.1 on a 1.5GHz dual-core ARM processor, offers multiple wireless options for connecting heart rate monitors, and delivers 1080p video chat and live on-demand indoor cycling classes.

    • Getting Closer to the Network Virtualization Vision
    • Phones

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Dragon NaturallySpeaking brings a form of Siri to your desktop, Android

          Nuance Communications (NUAN) has made some big-time improvements to its popular Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice recognition software, including improved performance on Gmail and Hotmail and a new Android app that lets customers use their Android device as a remote microphone for the PC app.

        • Ouya seeks to shake up video-game console business

          The video game console wars welcome a new combatant.

          Tuesday marks the arrival of Ouya, the home video-game console born through crowd-funding and introducing a lower-price alternative to higher-price competitors.

          “The consoles are still incredibly expensive,” Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman says. “The business model hasn’t changed. We offer something very different. We really carved out our own space.”

          Industry veteran Uhrman joined Yves Behar, the console’s product designer and chief creative officer of audio hardware company Jawbone, to create Ouya. It was unveiled last July through a campaign on crowd-funding site Kickstarter, raising more than $8.5 million in one month. Early versions of the Ouya (pronounced “ooo-yah”) shipped to backers in March.

        • Countless Ouyas Find Their Way Into Gamers’ Hot Hands

          No one seems to know just how many Ouya video game consoles were shipped to retailers in the first place, but however many — or few — it was, most of them are now gone. “It would be a bad story if it wasn’t sold out on day one,” said Lewis Ward, research manager for gaming at IDC. “Whether this was created by design to build some buzz isn’t clear.” – See more at: http://www.linuxinsider.com/rsstory/78349.html#sthash.6X1l4NW0.dpuf

        • Sony SmartWatch 2 Announced, Will Happily Swim in Water with You

          A few days back we reported about Sony opening up its SmartWatch SDK to developers. Today Sony announced an update to its SmartWatch series of Android-powered watches at Mobile Asia Expo, Shanghai. SmartWatch belongs to the category of wearable smart devices, and is an attempt by Sony to create a mass market of its own in this uncommon category. The smartwatch trend was undoubtedly popularised by Apple iPod Nano, which is so small people started wearing it around their wrists.

        • Sony Xperia Z Ultra hands-on: the smartphone that evolved into a tablet

          The original Xperia Z was already pushing the boundaries of reasonable handset dimensions with its 5-inch screen, but the new 6.4-inch Z Ultra categorically breaks past them and strays into the territory of small tablets. That’s not necessarily a bad place to be, as it allows Sony to insert a sizeable 3000mAh battery and provides a big old canvas for stylus input — which the company is pushing in a big way with this new product. You just have to be cognizant of what you’re getting yourself into when purchasing an Android slate that makes 5-inch devices look positively compact.

        • Sony’s SmartWatch 2 is the company’s latest effort to get on your wrist
        • CyanogenMod 10.1 released, monthly release series begins

          After just over six months of development and some tentative early nightly releases for some devices, the CyanogenMod developers have now declared version 10.1 of their alternative Android-based firmware ready for general use. CyanogenMod 10.1.0 is based on the Android 4.2.x “Jelly Bean” family of releases and focuses mostly on integrating the features of the upstream AOSP (Android Open Source Project) into the third-party firmware. The CyanogenMod developers say that they will now start to focus on adding new functionality of their own with more frequent monthly releases.

Free Software/Open Source

  • XenServer.org and the Xen Project
  • Find an open source RSS reader today

    Google Reader is shutting down on Monday. This is disappointing to more than a few RSS junkies—and we get it. We’re right there with you.

    In our recent poll, many folks from our community told us they’re seeking alternatives to Google’s beloved tool. So that you don’t miss a single unread item, and for those of you who have been searching for an open source RSS reader, we’ve put together a short list of Google Reader replacements.

  • 50 community building tips from Feverbee
  • Apache gets a PaaS

    WSO2, the provider of open source middleware, has been developing an open source PaaS (Platform as a Service) called Stratos since 2010. Now WSO2, with initial contributors from NASA, Cisco, Citrix and Engine Yard, are donating the project to the Apache Software Foundation. The move to the ASF is said to be “signalling that the door is wide open for external contributors,” whereas the project has formerly been developed by sponsored WSO2 coders. Version 2.0 of Stratos was launched on 19 June.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Want a cloud where you call the shots? Consider ownCloud

      Nervous about the NSA, PRISM and your public cloud? Not sure you want to put all your data eggs in one Amazon Web Services zone basket? Then, maybe ownCloud’s just released enterprise version of its open-source cloud program, ownCloud 5.0 Enterprise Edition, is what you want need.

    • AppScale Delivers Open Source Tools for Robust Cloud Deployments
    • Netflix releases open source Genie for Hadoop

      Netflix, the movie streaming company, has open sourced a job and resource management system for Hadoop, called Genie. The Genie software was developed to help Netflix manage workloads with their multiple differently configured Hadoop clusters that run on the Amazon Web Services cloud. Using Genie, an end user can submit jobs to an execution service and let Genie “match-make” the job with an appropriate Hadoop cluster, while administrators can use Genie to browse through the registered Hadoop clusters that are available and view their associated configurations. Genie does not handle workflow scheduling, task scheduling or resource management such as provisioning or scaling Hadoop clusters.

    • Upcoming ownCloud Enterprise 5 improves authentication speed

      Cloud collaboration company ownCloud has announced that it will make version 5 of its open source ownCloud Enterprise product available at the beginning of July. A release candidate for the software is now available for customers wanting to try out the new features. Building on ownCloud Community Edition 5, which appeared in March, the Enterprise Edition adds Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server backends, a provisioning API, mobile applications, anonymous uploads without an ownCloud account, and home directory mounting. Enterprise Edition customers will benefit from support for the platform, which has been tested explicitly for production use in enterprise deployments, and also from access to the ownCloud developers.

  • Databases

    • EnterpriseDB’s Ed Boyajian: Pinching Pennies the Open Source Way

      “Open source use is getting stronger. Almost every branch of government that we know of is looking at or already using Postgres, either a free version or a version from us. Open source is now cutting across all divisions and all departments. Even the contractors that serve the government are also adopting Postgres. This is a really important ecosystem change.”

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Three great ways to use variables in LibreOffice and OpenOffice

      When I was looking for the seven great features of OpenOffice and LibreOffice that you probably ignore, one of those features turned out to be variables. This week I’m going to give you a bit more reason to know how variables work, including the real world example that granted them a place in that list.

  • Licensing

    • FSFE compliance workshop discovers GPL violation by FANTEC, Welte wins in court

      The Regional Court of Hamburg [Landgericht Hamburg] found FANTEC GmbH guilty of violating the GNU General Public License in their media player FANTEC 3DFHDL. In the case between Harald Welte versus FANTEC GmbH the court decided that FANTEC has to pay a penalty fee plus additional costs for the lawyers, and has to give out the exact information about their chain of distribution of the FANTEC 3DFHDL Media Player.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Is the Government About to Can Its Own Anti-Spam Law?

    In May 2010, then-Industry Minister Tony Clement introduced anti-spam legislation that he admitted was long overdue. Clement acknowledged that “Canada is seen as a haven for spammers because of the gaps in our current legislation…a place where spammers can reside and inflict their damage around the world.” Despite heavy lobbying against the legislation by groups concerned with new rules on electronic marketing, the government pushed ahead, with the bill receiving all-party support and royal assent by the end of that year.

  • Justices invalidate Arizona voter registration law

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down an Arizona law that required people registering to vote in federal elections to show proof of citizenship, a victory for activists who said it had discouraged Native Americans and Latinos from voting.

  • Journalistic/Blogger Ethics Question
  • Bus co. owner threatens redditor yet again, records users’ IP addresses

    In a repeat performance that would make even Barbara blush, Illinois bus company owner Dennis Toeppen is pushing the so-called Streisand Effect to its limits by again trying to get reddit to shut up about his company. Once notorious as a domain squatter, Toeppen more recently became notorious for his war with social media users who speak ill of his Suburban Express bus service.

    Toeppen has now taken it up a notch, quintupling his legal threats and trolling his critics more ferociously on reddit. In this latest wrinkle, Toeppen unleashed his lawyer, James Long, and reiterated a legal threat against a redditor over a banner on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign subreddit. The banner on the UIUC subreddit—a discussion area for UIUC students and the community around the university—reads, “Don’t ride Suburban Express! They’ve sued hundreds of their customers, threatened the mods with legal action, have terrible reviews, and more.”

  • Geniuses Ordered To ‘Capture’ Laptops Because Of New MacBook Air Problems
  • Health/Nutrition

    • New book finds many U.S. foods banned overseas for cancer links

      Put down the Mountain Dew and step away from the Pringles. An estimated 80 percent of all packaged foods sold in America are actually so unhealthy and packed with chemical additives that they’re banned in much of the world, a new book reveals.

      Six food additives in particular are the worst-of-the-worst, the Daily Mail reported. A new book, “Rich Food, Poor Food,” by Dr. Jayson Calton and Mira Calton, a certified nutritionist, explains how the Food and Drug Administration’s stamp of approval means little to other nations — and that much of what America is eating is actually considered cancerous in other nations.

  • Security

    • You Have No Control Over Security on the Feudal Internet

      Facebook regularly abuses the privacy of its users. Google has stopped supporting its popular RSS feeder. Apple prohibits all iPhone apps that are political or sexual. Microsoft might be cooperating with some governments to spy on Skype calls, but we don’t know which ones. Both Twitter and LinkedIn have recently suffered security breaches that affected the data of hundreds of thousands of their users.

    • ‘Secure Work Space’ Brings BlackBerry Security to iOS, Android

      BlackBerry today rolled out a new security option for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 that will let those with iOS and Android smartphones separate their work and personal information.

    • Leaked Document Shows EU Approach To Cybercrime Is Completely Misguided

      We didn’t pay as much attention to the new proposals in the EU to ratchet up penalties for “cybercrime” in part because they came out just about the same time that the NSA surveillance information started leaking. However, someone who shall remain anonymous passed along to us a “group briefing” document from the EU Parliament team that came up with the latest cybercrime directive, which highlights a bit of the approach and some of the problems. The document is actually from a year ago, but it’s definitely reflected in the final product. The entire focus of the document is on harsher penalties, even though there’s no evidence that such penalties do any good or act as a deterrent.

    • Serious accusations against AdBlock Plus
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The US Remains Guilty in Guatemala

      On Mother’s Day, May 12, The Boston Globe featured a photo of a young woman with her toddler son sleeping in her arms.

      The woman, of Mayan Indian heritage, had crossed the U.S. border seven times while pregnant, only to be caught and shipped back across the border on six of those attempts. She braved many miles, enduring blisteringly hot days and freezing nights, with no water or shelter, amid roaming gunmen.

    • Al Qaeda-affiliated militants training in using shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile

      A Xerox copy of a 26-page manual with instructions on how to use man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADS – also called SA-7 — was found in a building in Timbuktu in North Mali which was used by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb operatives during the 8-month control – April 2012 to February 2013 — of the area by Islamist militants. The Libyan military under Col. Qaddafi had about 15,000 SA-7s, but after the Qaddafi regime fell in November 2011, NATO forces and Libyan militias loyal to the government gained possession of only 5,000 of them. The rest have disappeared into the arsenals of different militias, and have probably found their way to different terrorist organizations in North Africa and the Middle East.

    • Obama Backs First-Strike Nuclear War As U.S. Policy

      In other words, “nuclear deterrence” is not now and has not been the policy of the Obama administration going back to and including their 2010 Nuclear Posture Review as well. Since “nuclear deterrence” is not now and has never been the Obama administration’s nuclear weapons policy from the get-go, then by default this means that offensive first-strike strategic nuclear war fighting is now and has always been the Obama administration’s nuclear weapons policy. This policy will also be pursued and augmented by means of “integrated non-nuclear strike options.” Id.

    • Washington Post: Let’s Punish Ecuador (Again)

      Correa is the overwhelmingly popular, democratically elected president of a country that has experienced remarkable growth over his time in office. The Post, clearly missing its old left-wing Latin American target, sneers that “replacing the deceased Hugo Chavez as the hemisphere’s preeminent anti-U.S. demagogue” is Correa’s mission.

    • Friend: Michael Hastings was investigating CIA before death

      A friend of an award-winning reporter, who died last week in a car accident, says Michael Hastings was investigating the CIA at the time of his suspicious death.

      Sgt. Joe Biggs told Fox News on Tuesday that Hastings was working on a story about the CIA and that it was “going to be the biggest story yet.” He added that “something didn’t feel right” after Hastings sent a panicked email saying the authorities were on his tail.

    • John Kerry Has Been Pushing For Air Strikes In Syria
    • Report: CIA training Syrian rebels

      CBS reports: CIA, US Special Forces training rebels in Turkey, Jordan. Meantime, Kerry arrives in Doha for talks, rebels confirm western military aid has begun to flow, in bid to turn tide against Assad

    • Report: CIA Has Been Training Syrian Rebels for Months
    • FBI investigation of Petraeus continues

      Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged the ongoing probe during a little-noticed exchange last month with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican and member of the House Judiciary Committee.

    • Lawsuit Over CIA ‘War Crimes’ Probe Points To The Underbelly Of Secret Ops
    • ‘Hypocrite of the century’: Irish MP blasts US president’s G8 visit

      Barack Obama is a “war criminal” and a “hypocrite,” an Irish politician has said…

    • Anti-War Activists Targeted as ‘Domestic Terrorists’

      Shocking new revelations come as activists prepare to sue the U.S. military for unlawful spying

    • Russia withdraws its remaining personnel from Syria
    • ‘Russia said pulling army personnel from Syria’

      Moscow pulls out all military staff from embattled Syria, strategic Mediterranean port, AFP cites Russian daily as saying.

    • Syria: The “Western Faces” Behind The Terror

      While Daly was quite right in censuring Obama for his criminal policies, including aiding terrorists in Syria, it is worthwhile noting that Obama is merely a willing instrument; the faces and factors behind his handlers and the policies merit greater scrutiny and exposure.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Obama: No time for ‘flat-earth society’ on climate change

      President Barack Obama laid out a far-reaching set of proposals meant to address the driving causes of climate change, headlined by a new directive to begin limiting carbon emissions for new and existing power plants and the announcement of high environmental standards for the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline to be met before his administration signs off on the project.

    • Barack Obama pledges to bypass Congress to tackle climate change

      Barack Obama has taken an historic step forward in confronting climate change, asserting his power as US president to cut carbon pollution and protect future generations from catastrophic global warming.

      In a speech on Tuesday at Georgetown University, delivered outdoors on a sweltering hot day, Obama went further than any previous US president in outlining a comprehensive strategy for dealing with climate change. He also said he would continue to press the issue as a priority of his second term even in the face of implacable opposition from Republicans in Congress.

    • The bee keepers

      How a Harvard scientist, a sixth-generation bee whisperer, and a retired entrepreneur joined forces to rescue an embattled insect and save the American food supply.

  • Finance

    • Sweden’s Princess Madeleine to wed New York banker

      Three years ago she crossed the Atlantic with a broken heart. Now Sweden’s “party princess” returns from New York to Stockholm to tie the knot with her new, British-American love.

    • Co-operatives’ turnover soars to £37bn as record 15m join

      Co-operative businesses have reached an all-time high with a record 15.4 million members, an increase of 36 per cent since 2008 and up 13.6 per cent over the year.

      The turnover of co-operatives has surged to £37bn, a rise of 3.3 per cent in the last 12 months, according to a report published today by Co-operatives UK.

    • California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk

      Jeff Olson, the 40-year-old man who is being prosecuted for scrawling anti-megabank messages on sidewalks in water-soluble chalk last year now faces a 13-year jail sentence. A judge has barred his attorney from mentioning freedom of speech during trial.

    • China Banking Crisis Escalates: Some Banks Suspend Lending Activity

      It feels like 2008 all over again. News about troubled banks hit the wires every single day. In 2013, however, the United States is not the epicenter of the crisis; it is China and things are getting worse by the day. According to Chinese media, banks have curbed lending activity in a bid to reduce risk and repair their balance sheets.

      The trouble started at the end of May when reports emerged that the Industrial and Commercial Bank (ICBC) could not repay an interbank loan. Later in June, the Chinese central bank was forced to intervene to prop up the Bank of China (BoC), according to market sources. Bank of China “solemnly” denied these reports, but the damage was done.

    • Philosopher Renata Salecl: ‘Capitalism Is Humanity’s Neurosis’

      Freedom is a good thing, isn’t it? Not always, argues Slovenian philosopher Renata Salecl. The liberty to choose from an unlimited number of career options or coffee brands ultimately becomes a burden. Our modern capitalist society is ruled by a “tyranny of choice.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Trans-Pacific Partnership and Monsanto

      Something is looming in the shadows that could help erode our basic rights and contaminate our food. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional Free Trade Agreement in history, both in economic size and the ability to quietly add more countries in addition to those originally included. As of 2011 its 11 countries accounted for 30 percent of the world’s agricultural exports. Those countries are the US, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Viet Nam. Recently, Japan has joined the negotiations.

      Six hundred US corporate advisors have had input into the TPP. The draft text has not been made available to the public, press or policy makers. The level of secrecy around this agreement is unparalleled. The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark while representatives of US corporations are being consulted and privy to the details.

    • Shareholders Push Firms to Cut Ties to ALEC; 49 Corporations Now Out

      Scores of investors working together through Ceres and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility are challenging companies that fund the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), reminding them that such support backs ALEC’s anti-environmental agenda.

    • Hey, Remember That IRS Tea Party Scandal?

      Not too long ago there was a massive scandal clogging up the front pages of the papers and the cable news airwaves: The IRS was either denying or delaying tax-exempt status to right-leaning “Tea Party” groups. But now things are starting to look a little different.

      There seems to be no denying that an inappropriate political test was being applied; the IRS apparently had a policy that applications with certain keywords would be flagged for additional scrutiny. The tax agency was dealing with a flood of applications from groups applying for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status; some of these organizations were quite clearly set up to do election-related advocacy, which is what they were not supposed to be doing.

  • Privacy

    • FBI Performs Massive Virtual Line-up by Searching DMV Photos

      Through a Freedom of Information Act request, EPIC obtained a number of agreements between the FBI and state DMVs. The agreements allow the FBI to use facial recognition to compare subjects of FBI investigations with the millions of license and identification photos retained by participating state DMVs. EPIC also obtained the Standard Operating Procedure for the program and a Privacy Threshold Analysis that indicated that a Privacy Impact Assessment must be performed, but it is not clear whether one has been completed.

    • Privacy is not a commodity to be traded

      Trade has often been a positive driver in encouraging countries to adopt data protection laws, to ensure compliance and ability to conduct business with the European Union and other privacy-respecting partners. However, when free trade agreements are negotiated in secret and influenced by powerful business interests, the result is a severe watering down of existing privacy protections.

      There is a high risk of this happening in the free trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States (US), which are being launched on the 8th July in Washington. One of the hot topics in the agreement regards “data flows”, a euphemistically named term that in reality means the flow of personal user information. The problem is that data protection and privacy provisions in the US are far below best practice standards. Since recent lobbying efforts by American corporations and its government sought to undermine the EU data protection Regulation currently being debated in Brussels, supporters of the trade agreement who would like weaker privacy protections are likely to find more fertile ground behind closed doors of trade negotiations.

    • Snoopers’ Charter: What’s the situation now?
    • Prophetic analysis warned about US-based cloud

      One of the weak points in the new European data protection regulation that privacy advocates have been warning about is the ease by which data can be exported from the EU into FISAAA-ready services in the USA. In short, the European Commission have been trying to make “data exports” easier, but in the process have made it harder to enforce our fundamental privacy rights.

    • NSA Spying Scandal: Sir Tim Berners-Lee Warns Against Government Web Control [VIDEO]

      Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, has spoken out about the international spying scandal, accusing Western governments of hypocrisy over internet snooping.

    • NSA Snooping Scandal: Senators Propose Bill to Reform Surveillance Guidelines

      A group of United States Senators is challenging the government’s power to conduct warrantless surveillance on US and foreign citizens, by proposing a bill that will require greater transparency from security agencies and shorten the lifespan of legislation that allows for the mass-collection of communications data.

    • Students cite EU data protection laws, challenge firms over NSA data transfers

      In the wake of the disclosure of the National Security Agency’s mass digital surveillance program, a group of Austrian students have filed a series of formal complaints with a number of European data protection agencies. The case could become the first legal proceeding challenging disclosure of non-American data to the American government on the basis of alleged violations of European Union data protection law.

    • A Typeface Designed To Thwart NSA Surveillance

      Worried about spying eyes? Here’s a typeface created with the government’s prying computers in mind.

    • Glenn Greenwald Teases More NSA Info: ‘Majority’ Of ‘Significant’ Revelations ‘Have Yet To Be Made’

      Glenn Greenwald has been the subject of both praise and criticism since the NSA surveillance story took center stage in the news cycle. And he’s not done yet. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Greenwald teased future revelations, saying the most significant ones are still to come.

      “The majority of revelations that are significant have yet to be made,” Greenwald told the paper.

    • Germany blasts Britain over GCHQ’s secret cable trawl
    • Police unit monitors 9,000 ‘extremists’

      Officers familiar with workings of unit indicate that many of campaigners listed on database have no criminal record

    • Secret to Prism program: Even bigger data seizure

      In the months and early years after 9/11, FBI agents began showing up at Microsoft Corp. more frequently than before, armed with court orders demanding information on customers.

      Around the world, government spies and eavesdroppers were tracking the email and Internet addresses used by suspected terrorists. Often, those trails led to the world’s largest software company and, at the time, largest email provider.

      The agents wanted email archives, account information, practically everything, and quickly. Engineers compiled the data, sometimes by hand, and delivered it to the government.

      Often there was no easy way to tell if the information belonged to foreigners or Americans. So much data was changing hands that one former Microsoft employee recalls that the engineers were anxious about whether the company should cooperate.

    • A Database of Their Own

      If they were at all gracious, they would have waited for the ink on Maryland v. King to dry. But no, that would be too much to ask. In fact, they weren’t waiting for the Supreme Court to pull out the big ol’ approved stamp at all. They were already way down the slope.

    • Five myths about privacy

      When privacy is compromised, though, the problems can go far beyond the exposure of illegal activity or embarrassing information. It can provide the government with a tremendous amount of power over its people. It can undermine trust and chill free speech and association. It can make people vulnerable to abuse of their information and further intrusions into their lives.

    • Do Judges Play a Role After the NSA Call Records Have Been Collected?

      I think these commentators are probably wrong. Director Clapper seems to talking about the FISC’s review of the overall program, not suggesting that FISC judges play a role in approving each query of the data.

    • After Profits, Defense Contractor Faces the Pitfalls of Cybersecurity

      When the United Arab Emirates wanted to create its own version of the National Security Agency, it turned to Booz Allen Hamilton to replicate the world’s largest and most powerful spy agency in the sands of Abu Dhabi.

    • Lawyers Scrutinize Constitutionality of Surveillance Programs

      Susan Freiwald, a professor at University of San Francisco School of Law, said today that two recently revealed government surveillance programs likely ran afoul of the Fourth Amendment. George Mason University School of Law Professor Nathan Sales countered that there was a national security need for broader surveillance programs and pointed to what he believed were certain protections already in place against government overreach.

    • Data Protection Responses To PRISM “A Smokescreen”

      At the Open Rights Group conference in London recently, one of the most popular talks — How to wiretap the Cloud (without anybody noticing) — was given by independent privacy and surveillance expert Caspar Bowden. Until 2011 he was Chief Privacy Adviser to Microsoft and he has a deep understanding of the extent of US and other national surveillance of the Web.

      The risks related to PRISM came as no surprise to him. Indeed, earlier in the year he had co-authored a report to the European Parliament of November 2012 which was the first explanation of the problem of FISA 702, and associated loopholes in EU Data Protection law. The Q & A with Caspar that follows was prepared in February for a French publication. At that time he had no knowledge of the existence of PRISM, and the analysis was based entirely on research from open sources. As Caspar commented when I asked him this weekend, the analysis is still completely relevant.

    • A Reply to Epstein & Pilon on NSA’s Metadata Program

      Last week, my colleague Roger Pilon and Prof. Richard Epstein co-wrote a Chicago Tribune op-ed defending the National Security Agency’s bulk metadata collection program. I had not, initially, intended to respond directly: Cato scholars often disagree among themselves—as Roger and I long have in this area—and normally it suffices for us each to state our own affirmative arguments and let readers decide for themselves which is most convincing. However, as I now see that some observers—and in particular, a significant number of libertarians—have mistakenly taken this to mean that “Cato” supports the NSA program, which continues to dominate the news, I feel it’s necessary to say something here about why I (and, as I believe, the majority of my colleagues) reject that view.

    • Phew, NSA Is Just Collecting Metadata. (You Should Still Worry)

      We now know that every day, U.S. phone companies quietly send the government a list of who called whom and when — “telephony metadata” — for every call made on their networks, because of a secret order by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. It turns out that this has been going on for seven years (and was even reported by USA Today then); the difference now is that the government — uncharacteristically for such a secret intelligence operation — quickly acknowledged the authenticity of the leaked order and the existence of the metadata collection program.

    • NSA Boss Pretends He Doesn’t Know Anything About Wikileaks

      Of course, this comes out at about the same time as the federal government confirmed that several government agencies are still investigating Wikileaks. To think that the NSA would not be a part of that is somewhat unbelievable, especially given their mandate for foreign surveillance and anything that might lead to terrorism.

    • Thumb Drive Security: Snowden 1, NSA 0

      The humble storage device is again under fire after reports surfaced that National Security Agency (NSA) whistle-blower Edward Snowden, 29, used a removable USB storage device to exfiltrate top-secret information from the agency, reported the Los Angeles Times.

    • Read Angelina Jolie Stunt Double’s Wiretapping Lawsuit Against News Corp.

      Eunice Huthart says that tabloids were getting exclusives on the actress by intercepting her voice messages.

    • Retired Federal Judge: Your Faith In Secret Surveillance Court Is Dramatically Misplaced

      A retired federal judge warned Friday against blind faith in the secret court deciding the scope of U.S. government surveillance. During a panel discussion on constitutional privacy protection in the wake of a leaked Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court decision that revealed widespread NSA data collection, U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner stood up in the audience to counter the statements of conservative law professor Nathan Sales that secret surveillance requests are subject to meaningful judicial review.

    • Feds Must Produce NSA Dragnet Records for Criminal Defense

      In light of the recently revealed National Security Agency surveillance program, Brown’s attorneys challenged the government’s claim that it has no access to records of Brown’s phone calls. Prosecutors claimed they were missing records of calls to and from two of Brown’s telephones before Sept. 1, 2010. They claimed Brown’s service provider, MetroPCS, no longer had the records.

    • Simple kit turns Raspberry Pi into portable Tor gateway

      If you have been on the internet in the past couple of years, you’re likely quite aware that the Raspberry Pi is a cheap, tiny, machine of barely adequate power and wonders. One problem you may have encounter with the Pi is that, though cheap and easily obtainable, you have no idea what to do with it once you get it, or don’t have the time or gumption to create something useful. If you fall into the latter camp, the folks over at Adafruit have created just the mini-project for you: Onion Pi, a Raspberry Pi turned into a Tor proxy and access point.

    • Onion Pi turns Raspberry Pi into Tor proxy and wireless access point
    • EFF Joins Over 100 Civil Liberties Organizations and Internet Companies in Demanding a Full-Scale Congressional Investigation Into NSA Surveillance

      Dozens of civil liberties organizations and Internet companies—including the Electronic Privacy Information Center, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, ThoughtWorks, and Americans for Limited Government—today joined a coalition demanding Congress initiate a full-scale investigation into the NSA’s surveillance programs. This morning, we sent an updated letter to Congress with 115 organizations and companies demanding public transparency and an end to illegal spying.

    • Privacy Guard: Scientists Develop Goggles That Block Facial Recognition Systems [VIDEO]

      Scientists have developed a means of ultimate privacy: glowing glasses that block photographs and facial recognition systems.

    • France Threatens Google With Privacy Fines

      Now it’s up to Google to decide whether the relatively small fines are enough of an incentive to rethink its privacy rules — the Internet giant risks a €300,000 euro ($402,180) penalty in France.

    • Blowback from the NSA Surveillance

      There’s one piece of blowback that isn’t being discussed — aside from the fact that Snowden has killed the chances of any liberal arts major getting a DoD job for at least a decade — and that’s how the massive NSA surveillance of the Internet affects the US’s role in Internet governance.

    • How the NSA’s Surveillance Procedures Threaten Americans’ Privacy

      Newly released documents confirm what critics have long suspected—that the National Security Agency, a component of the Defense Department, is engaged in unconstitutional surveillance of Americans’ communications, including their telephone calls and emails. The documents show that the NSA is conducting sweeping surveillance of Americans’ international communications, that it is acquiring many purely domestic communications as well, and that the rules that supposedly protect Americans’ privacy are weak and riddled with exceptions.

    • Tradeoffs

      The stupidest framing of the controversy over ubiquitous surveillance is that it reflects a trade-off between “security” and “privacy”. We are putting in jeopardy values much, much more important than “privacy”.

    • Montana Requires Warrants for Cell Phone Tracking

      With little fanfare, Montana became the first state to require police to obtain a warrant before tracking the location of a suspect in a criminal investigation through his cell phone.

    • NSA surveillance may be legal — but it’s unconstitutional

      The National Security Agency’s recently revealed surveillance programs undermine the purpose of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which was established to prevent this kind of overreach. They violate the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure. And they underscore the dangers of growing executive power.

    • Snowden receives refugee document of passage from Ecuador

      “In relation to Hong Kong, Mr Snowden was supplied with a refugee document of passage by the Ecuadorean government,” Assange told reporters from inside the Ecuador embassy in London where he has been himself hiding from arrest for more than a year.

    • There is no “right to be forgotten” by search engines, says top EU court advisor

      The senior advisor to Europe’s top court said Tuesday that Google is not responsible for third party information in its search results and that there is no general “right to be forgotten” under the current data protection laws.

    • Liberal icon Frank Church on the NSA

      Almost 40 years ago, the Idaho Senator warned of the dangers of allowing the NSA to turn inward

    • If the government wants you, where you store your data doesn’t matter

      The worst fears of the anti-cloud cabal came true recently…

    • David Davis warns that spy agencies are only subject to law ‘in theory’

      Former shadow home secretary says intelligence agencies can hand over personal data to US to get around ‘inconvenient laws’

    • Clear Thinking Needed in a Cloudy World

      Last week I wrote about the perils of using proprietary software, where companies regularly hand over zero-day vulnerabilities to the US authorities who then go on to use them to break into foreign systems (and maybe domestic ones, too, but they’re not owning up to that, yet….). Of course, cloud-based solutions are even worse, as we’ve known for some time. There, you are handing over all your data to the keeping of a company that may be on the receiving end of a secret US government order to pass it on to them – perhaps with necessary encryption keys too.

    • William Hague says we can’t do without PRISM

      Hague was speaking in Los Angeles, the BBC reported, when the topic turned to snooping and sharing. He was happy to talk about how grand it is.

      “We should have nothing but pride in the unique and indispensable intelligence-sharing relationship between Britain and the United States. In recent weeks this has been a subject of some discussion,” he said.

      “Let us be clear about it – in both our countries intelligence work takes place within a strong legal framework. We operate under the rule of law and are accountable for it. In some countries secret intelligence is used to control their people – in ours, it only exists to protect their freedoms.”

      People are not really buying that, and in the UK the civil rights group Liberty has filed a legal complaint against GCHQ, the UK government’s centralised intelligence agency.

    • Sorry, NSA, Terrorists Don’t Use Verizon. Or Skype. Or Gmail.

      The NSA has to collect the metadata from all of our phone calls because terrorists, right? And the spy agency absolutely must intercept Skypes you conduct with folks out-of-state, or else terrorism. It must sift through your iCloud data and Facebook status updates too, because Al Qaeda.

      Terrorists are everywhere, they are legion, they are dangerous, and, unfortunately, they don’t really do any of the stuff described above.

    • People Who Urge Calm Over NSA Spying Make Me Nervous

      It’s a defense often made of NSA surveillance, and it’s peculiar: It’s as if it’s not possible for the government to violate people’s Fourth Amendment rights (to be protected against “unreasonable searches and seizures”) unless it violates their First Amendment rights at the same time.

      In reality, of course, our civil liberties are violated–concretely, certainly and specifically–whenever we are subjected to an unreasonable search, which is to say one that is conducted without a judge having been convinced to warrant that there is probable cause to believe that we’ve done something wrong. It’s not OK for the government to sneak into our homes just to have a look around–even if they don’t use what they saw there to mess with us.

    • Critics question whether NSA data collection is effective

      The mass collection of data overwhelms investigators with information, critics at privacy conference say

    • Kimmel’s NSA Parody: ‘We’re Here And We Care’ (VIDEO)
    • Jagger jabs Obama over NSA scandal

      President Barack Obama didn’t attend The Rolling Stones concert in Washington, DC Monday night, but lead singer Mick Jagger said that wasn’t likely to keep the commander-in-chief from checking out the show.

    • NSA Chief: Massive Surveillance Has ‘Noble’ Intent

      NSA Chief Gen. Keith Alexander went on ABC today in an attempt to placate the American public’s growing disquiet about his organization’s massive surveillance of day-to-day activities.

      [...]

      Though most of the interview consisted of Alexander defending the notion of surveillance as a matter of course and condemning whistleblower Edward Snowden for “betraying” the NSA’s trust, while providing the sort of equivocation-ridden non-answers that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper famously described as the “least untruthful” things he could think of.

    • ‘US govt benefits most from NSA leak as people now know it has surveillance weapon’

      Surveillance is a weapon government deploys against its “biggest enemy” -the people. However, there is no use in it if no one knows about this deterrent, Joerg Platzer, from the Berlin based Crypto Currency Consulting Group told RT.

    • The US got Edward Snowden’s middle name wrong on extradition documents

      Edward Snowden, NSA-leaker extraordinaire, is such a familiar face in world news that he’s almost a household name. But for all the extensive NSA spying capabilities he revealed, US authorities were still not able to get his name right on extradition documents issued to Hong Kong, according to Rimsky Yuen, the city’s justice secretary.

    • Forget NSA Surveillance, Your Company Is Watching You

      Each year, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) brings together fraud investigators from around the world to network with their peers and to talk about today’s cutting edge investigative techniques …. a Fraudapalooza (I’m coining that phrase). This year the gathering is taking place in Las Vegas and in addition to some prominent speakers (Preet Bharara and Andrew Fastow … talk about polar opposites), there are some breakout sessions on new developments in the world of fraud investigations. One of the session breakouts was led by Vincent Walden (Ernst & Young Partner – Fraud Investigations & Dispute Services) on how companies are developing tools to not only detect fraud in their organizations but predict where fraud is most likely to occur. Halt, you are about to commit a crime!

    • Student group files complaint against U.S. firms over NSA data snooping

      A student group has charged several U.S. technology companies with violations of European law for allegedly cooperating with the NSA to collect data on private citizens.

      Known as Europe-v-Facebook (EVF), the group of Austrian students announced Wednesday that it filed formal complaints with the EU against Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Skype, and Yahoo. The group contends that since the five companies do business in Europe through subsidiaries, they fall under European privacy laws.

      Such laws allow the export of data only if the company’s European subsidiary can guarantee an “adequate level or protection” in the home country. Following the revelations of the National Security Agency’s PRISM program, the group believes that the “adequate level of protection” requirement was violated.

  • Civil Rights

    • The judges who preside over America’s secret court
    • Do You Have A Right to Remain Silent? Thoughts on the “Sleeper” Criminal Procedure Case of the Term, Salinas v. Texas
    • Aaron’s Law, much-needed reforms to computer crimes law, introduced in Congress

      Reps. say law must distinguish “common online activities and harmful attacks.”

    • David Gregory Is Just Wondering If Glenn Greenwald Should Face Criminal Charges for Doing Journalism [Updated]

      A conversation between Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald and Meet the Press host David Gregory got pretty uncomfortable after Gregory asked Greenwald whether he should be charged with a crime for “aiding and abetting” his most famous source, Edward Snowden, who left Hong Kong on Sunday morning. Greenwald did not take kindly to the question. “I think it’s pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies,” he said. Greenwald then called “the assumption” that he “aided and abetted” Snowden “completely without evidence.” (It’s not clear if Gregory was suggesting that Greenwald did anything but publish the material Snowden gave him.) Greenwald also brought up the Obama administration’s pre-Snowden spying on Associated Press and Fox News reporters who worked with government leakers, which he called an attempt to “criminalize investigative journalism” by accusing reporters of “being co-conspirator in felonies for working with sources.”

    • NBC’s Gregory: Why Shouldn’t Greenwald Be Charged?

      NBC “Meet the Press” host David Gregory got a rise out of Glenn Greenwald on Sunday by asking the Guardian reporter why he shouldn’t be charged with a crime for having “aided and abetted” former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden.

      Greenwald replied on the show Sunday that it was “pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies.”

      Greenwald first reported Snowden’s disclosure of U.S. government surveillance programs. On Sunday, Ecuador’s foreign minister and the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said that Snowden was headed to Ecuador to seek asylum.

      During his interview with NBC’s Gregory, Greenwald declined to discuss where Snowden was headed. That refusal seemed to prompt Gregory to ask: “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?”

    • Greece: Abusive Crackdown on Migrants

      Athens police are conducting abusive stops and searches and have detained tens of thousands of people in a crackdown on irregular migration, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

    • 100,000 expected to protest before Brazil match

      Demanding better public services and angered by World Cup costs, about 100,000 people are expected at a protest Wednesday before Brazil plays Uruguay in the Confederations Cup semifinals.

      Local officials have declared a holiday in Belo Horizonte and authorities say they are expecting confrontations with the demonstrators.

      Belo Horizonte has had some of the most violent clashes between police and protesters since the country was swept by a wave of demonstrations calling for better education, transport and health services.

    • Dirty Wars author Jeremy Scahill: is journalism being criminalised? – video interview

      In the wake of whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leak of NSA files, Jeremy Scahill, author of Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield and featured reporter in the new documentary film of the same name, says under the Obama administration journalists are being intruded upon and whistleblowers are being charged with crimes. Scahill is also a national security correspondent for the Nation

    • Israeli authors campaign against eviction of West Bank villagers

      Some of the most celebrated figures in Israeli literature are campaigning to stop the forcible eviction of Palestinian communities in the barren hills of the southern West Bank to clear land for an Israeli military firing zone.

    • Supreme Court Strikes Key Parts of Voting Rights Law (Updated)

      The Supreme Court has ruled key parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional, dealing a disappointing decision to minority voting rights activists and asking Congress to develop new guidelines for the landmark law.

    • Vivienne Westwood dedicates latest menswear collection to Bradley Manning, US soldier on trial

      Vivienne Westwood, the British designer known for her eccentric fashion, dedicated her latest menswear collection to Bradley Manning, an American soldier currently on trial in the U.S. for leaking classified material to the website WikiLeaks. He was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq.

    • Doctors to Obama: Let us treat hunger-striking detainees at Guantanamo

      In an open letter to President Barack Obama published Tuesday, dozens of doctors asked to be allowed to treat hunger-striking prisoners at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    • Venezuelan Workers Meet for Worker Control Congress

      Activists from across the Venezuelan labour movement met last weekend for the country’s first ever Workers’ Congress, where workers discussed workplace democracy and the construction of socialism.

      The congress, billed “I Workers’ Congress: Balance and Challenges of Worker Control and Workers’ Councils for the Construction of Socialism”, was organised by the National Worker Control Movement and saw the participation of over fifty groups from factories across the country.

    • The Man Who Didn’t Disappoint

      Nelson Mandela was a rallying focus for any progressive thinker of my generation. I attended numerous events of which the aim was to free Nelson Mandela. I carried a torch through Edinburgh, danced round a bonfire in Dundee and talked to the startled tourists in Norwich cathedral, among other things.

    • California Senate Committee Unanimously Passes NDAA Nullification Bill

      Today, the California State Senate Public Safety Committee gave a unanimous “Do-Pass” approval to a bill which starts the process of stopping “Indefinite Detention” under the NDAA and other so-called federal “laws.” The bill, authored by Republican Assemblymember Tim Donnelly was previously passed by the State Assembly by a vote of 71-1. It is is expected to get a vote in the Senate appropriations committee next, which is the final stop before a vote in the state senate. If it passes both, it’ll go on to the Governor’s desk for a signature.

    • Is the South more racist than the North?

      Study finds “Southerners are more likely than Northerners to use prejudice in making political decisions”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Ed Fast and US trade rep commit to concluding TPP in 2013

      Trade Minister Ed Fast and his recently-confirmed American counterpart, Michael Froman, came out of their first tête-à-tête in Washington on Tuesday with an ambitious objective to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership before the end of the year.

    • Copyrights

      • Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Here’s a Copyright Lawsuit, Happy Birthday to You

        I don’t know that I’d call this “a lawsuit for the ages,” like the New York Times does. But that’s mainly because around here that title is reserved for the four-year struggle over a $65 million legal claim that the plaintiff called a “public interest lawsuit by a private attorney general” but the court called “a personal vendetta against a dry cleaners over a pair of pants.” So the bar is pretty high.

        But a copyright lawsuit claiming that “Happy Birthday to You,” arguably the most recognized and most-often-performed song in the English language and possibly in any language, is actually in the public domain could definitely be in the same ballpark as the Pants Suit.

      • Arizona Court Skeptical Of ‘Medical Excuse’ From Prenda Lawyers
      • Google Makes Google News In Germany Opt-In Only To Avoid Paying Fees Under New Copyright Law

        Google News in Germany will soon change. Starting August 1, it will only index sources that have decided to explicitly opt-in to being shown on the search giant’s news-aggregation service. Google News remains an opt-out service in the other 60 countries and languages it currently operates in, but since Germany passed a new copyright law earlier this year that takes effect on August 1, the company is in danger of having to pay newspapers, blogs and other publishers for the right to show even short snippets of news.

      • Obama Issues New Anti-Piracy Plan

        The government updates statistics on investigations and arrests and also talks about its priorities including transparency, communication and education.

      • Snowden Revelations Cast New Doubts On Intelligence Oversight Process

        Depending on which elected official you asked this week or last, the revelation that the NSA regularly collects U.S. phone records, and can easily access some private content like emails and chat transcripts from Internet companies, was either no big deal, an enormous shock to the conscience, or an “I told you so” moment.

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