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Links 30/6/2013: Fedora 19 Days Away, Fedora 20 Feature Previews

Posted in News Roundup at 6:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.10 (Part 4)

      Linux 3.10 will be able to use the video acceleration features offered by Radeon graphics cores. Systems with Intel graphics will wake from standby faster. Linux now has an input device driver for Apple’s infrared receiver.

    • A New DRM Driver Is Coming To Linux 3.11 Kernel

      Beyond the exciting Radeon DRM driver changes that includes the long-awaited dynamic power management support and also initial support for the HD 8000 “Sea Islands” hardware, there will also be a new DRM driver to premiere with the Linux 3.11 kernel.

    • AMD A10-6800K Richland APU On Linux

      Earlier this month AMD unveiled their Richland desktop APUs as an upgraded version of Trinity. While still based upon Piledriver CPU cores, the AMD A10-6800K APU under Linux is a modest upgrade until the arrival of the Jaguar-based APUs. For starting off our Linux testing of the A10-6800K are Ubuntu Linux benchmarks of this high-end Richland APU compared against the A10-5800K Trinity APU.

    • LLDB 3.3 Grows In Use For Linux Developers

      While the innovative LLVM compiler infrastructure is mentioned extremely often on Phoronix along with its Clang C/C++ compiler, receiving less coverage is LLDB. However, with LLVM 3.3, the LLVM Debugger has grown in functionality and is growing in usefulness.

    • Samsung Continues Advancing Its Exynos DRM

      Samsung has added S3C64XX SoC support to their Exynos DRM graphics driver, updated their DeviceTree support, and has begun utilizing the Common Clock Framework.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Radeon In Linux 3.11 Is Fantastic With PM, Sea Islands

        The pull request for the Radeon DRM graphics driver changes for the Linux 3.11 kernel has been submitted. The open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver changes in this next kernel development cycle include dynamic power management (including ASPM) and support for Radeon HD 8000 “Sea Islands” graphics processors as the most prominent changes.

      • Nouveau Gets H.264/MPEG2 Decoding From VP2

        Patches published this week allow for H.264 and MPEG2 video decoding on certain NVIDIA GeForce GPUs via the VP2 PureVideo HD hardware engine.

        On the NV84 (GeForce 8600) through NV96 (GeForce 9400~9600~9700) GPUs and NVA0 (GT 200) graphics processors is a V2 engine that is now supported by the reverse-engineered open-source NVIDIA graphics driver. The NVIDIA VP2 engine is a bit-stream processor for decoding H.264 and a video processor to take care of certain video operations on MPEG/H.264/VC-1 streams.

      • AMD RadeonSI Gallium3D Performance Has A Long Way To Go

        With Fedora 19 presenting a nice “out of the box” experience for AMD Radeon HD 7000 series graphics using the open-source RadeonSI Gallium3D driver, benchmarks of the open-source driver were done and compared to previous generations of AMD hardware. Sadly, there’s still much work ahead for the Radeon HD 7000 series driver in being able to catch up with the hardware supported under the mature R600 Gallium3D driver.

      • AMD Sea Islands Support Comes To Radeon Gallium3D

        Two days after AMD’s massive Radeon DRM driver patch-set that provided initial dynamic power management support as well as initial Radeon HD 8000 “Sea Islands” graphics processor support, the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver has been updated on the user-space side.

      • AMD Southern Islands vs. NVIDIA Fermi/Kepler On Gallium3D

        Yesterday I posted benchmarks of the AMD RadeonSI Gallium3D driver looking at the open-source driver performance for the Radeon HD 7000 series graphics cards. The performance is comparatively very poor right now compared to earlier generations of AMD Radeon hardware that is better supported. But how does the open-source performance compare between the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series and the NVIDIA GeForce 400/500/6000 “Fermi” and “Kepler” on Nouveau? Here’s benchmarks.

      • AMD graphics cards, Linux basic power management

        If you buy a new laptop with Intel processors and AMD graphics cards, you by default run into this long running dual, hybrid graphics problem under Linux. This post is targeted towards new Linux users, who haven’t dealt with such kinds of problems before.

      • Intel Still Working On “Fastboot” Linux Graphics

        While there’s been many Linux-related projects using the “Fastboot” coin, the Intel Linux graphics team have been working on Fastboot support in terms of a faster start process by eliminating some useless mode-sets.

      • Intel Readies Its Last Graphics Changes For Linux 3.11

        After having already prepared a number of changes for the Intel graphics driver in the upcoming Linux 3.11 kernel, Intel OTC has now published their last batch of changes they hope to see merged into this next kernel merge window.

      • NVIDIA Releases Its ARM Linux Graphics Driver

        Earlier this month we found out NVIDIA was bringing their driver to ARM — following an announcement that NVIDIA would begin licensing Kepler graphics to SoC vendors — and now they have done their first public release of the ARMv7 binary NVIDIA Linux graphics driver.

      • VA-API Has New H.264, MPEG-2 Encoding

        Intel released version 1.2.0 of libva and libva-intel-driver over the night. The updated Video Acceleration API (VA-API) now has support for MPEG-2 encoding along with new H.264 profile encoding API support.

    • Benchmarks

      • The First Benchmarks Of Unity On XMir: There’s A Performance Hit

        With Thursday’s announcement that Mir will ship by default in Ubuntu 13.10 on the desktop, many Ubuntu users were caught by surprise that this experimental display server will be ready by October. Up to now, Ubuntu 13.10 was expected to continue using an X.Org Server by default on the desktop (with only an experimental option for Mir) while the new Ubuntu Touch project would be using Mir on mobile devices, until next year. With the pressed timeline for the migration to Mir, at Phoronix we have already carried out our first Mir benchmarks. In this article are the first benchmarks of Intel graphics when running on Ubuntu 13.10 with a native X.Org Server (as done now on current Ubuntu Linux releases) and then when deploying the same Unity desktop environment atop XMir with the Mir unity-system-compositor.

      • 2D Performance Also Impacted By Unity On XMir

        Earlier today I delivered the first benchmarks of Ubuntu’s Unity 7 running over XMir to run the current X11 desktop atop the Mir Display Server via this compatibility layer. These benchmarks documented the performance impact of running OpenGL games when having to deal with XMir rather than just a clean X.Org Server running on the hardware. The extra step in the rendering process did result in a measurable performance impact, especially when the performance of the open-source Linux graphics drivers is already lower than their proprietary brethren. The benchmarks to now show illustrate that the 2D rendering performance also takes a hit when running Unity on XMir.

      • LLVM Clang 3.4 Already Has Some Performance Changes

        While LLVM 3.3 was released last week, there are already some performance changes for the latest LLVM 3.4 and Clang 3.4 SVN development code for this C/C++ compiler stack.

      • Running GCC 4.9 With Intel’s Core i7 “Core-AVX2″

        I’ve already delivered GCC vs. LLVM Clang compiler benchmarks on Intel’s Core i7 4770K “Haswell” platform and tested the “core-avx2″ optimizations offered by the latest compilers. That previous testing was done from the stable releases of LLVM Clang 3.1/3.2 and GCC 4.7/4.8 releases, but looking ahead, here’s some benchmarks of the latest GCC 4.9 development snapshot.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Features Coming In The Xfce 4.12 Desktop

      Xfce 4.12 still hasn’t been released yet and it’s running months behind schedule. Xfce 4.12 will be a major update to the lightweight desktop that’s becoming an increasingly used alternative to Unity and the GNOME Shell. Here’s an update on some of the completed features.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt OpenCL Module May Be Revived
      • Qt For Tizen Adds In More Features, Functionality

        Launched in May was the Qt for Tizen project to bring the vibrant Qt5 tool-kit to the Tizen open-source Linux platform. After its first alpha release last month, the Qt for Tizen developers have made a heck of a lot of progress and already released Qt for Tizen Alpha 2.

      • KDE 4.11 Beta 2 Is Now Available For Testing

        For those interested in testing out KDE 4.11, the feature-rich Linux desktop environment, the second beta is out ahead of the final release in mid-August.

      • KDE, the present and present+1
      • Muon Suite 2.1 alpha released

        I am proud to announce the first alpha release for Muon Suite 2.14. The Muon Suite is a set of package management utilities for Debian-based Linux distributions built on KDE technologies. Packages for Kubuntu 13.10 “Raring Ringtail” are available in the QApt Experimental PPA. Here’s what’s new:

      • 13.10 Alpha 1 Available for Testing
      • A glimpse at the future of Kontact Touch Mail

        Kontact Touch was the one application that stood out when I tried Plasma Active for the first time. But not in a good way. It looked alien, the interaction was different from the other touch optimized applications and it just felt flawed. Custom buttons and other UI components, slide out context menus, widget based dialogs and a weird bar at the top show clearly that this application was not designed for Plasma Active.

      • Amarok MTP (Android) GSoC: week 2

        Heya, this is my second weekly report describing my work on my Google Summer of Code project to rewrite MTP (Android) support in Amarok from scratch. This week I’ve done a lot of work on MtpCollection class regarding device initialization.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • One Week With GNOME 3 Classic: Twenty-Eight Days Later

        True to my word, I have spent the last twenty-eight days running GNOME 3 Classic. For the most part, I have been very happy with it. As I said in my last entry in the original series, I originally expected that I would ultimately decide to switch back to KDE when the experiment was over. Twenty days after my final entry, I have decided to stop using GNOME Classic, but not in favor of KDE.

      • Genius Math Tool gets updated!

        The magnificent Genius mathematics tool for calculation and plotting, used for research and education has just been updated bringing a lot of plot-related improvements, libraries updating and bug fixing.

  • Distributions

    • More PXE Magic

      In this article, I’ve decided to follow up on a topic I wrote about not in my column directly, but as a feature article called “PXE Magic” in the April 2008 issue. In that article, I talk about how to set up a PXE server from scratch, including how to install and configure DHCP and TFTP. Ultimately, I even provide a basic pxelinux configuration to get you started. Since then, PXE menus with pxelinux have become more sophisticated and graphical and could seem a bit intimidating if you are new to it. In this column, I explain how to piggyback off of the work the Debian and Ubuntu projects have done with their PXE configuration to make your own fancy PXE menu without much additional work. I know not everyone uses Debian or Ubuntu, so if you use a different distribution, hold off on the angry e-mail messages; you still can use the PXE configuration I’m showing here for your distro, provided it gives some basic examples of how to PXE boot its installer. Just use these steps as a launching off point and tweak the PXE config to work for you.

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • This month (June) in Red Hat KDE

        So what kept us[1] busy while working on KDE in Red Hat this month?

      • Fedora

        • AMD HD 7000 “RadeonSI” Runs Well With Fedora 19

          Fedora 19 is the first tier-one Linux distribution shipping with decent “out of the box” support for the AMD Radeon HD 7000 “Southern Islands” series graphics cards with the out-of-the-box Linux graphics driver and Gallium3D-based acceleration.

        • Fedora 19 is go for release

          In an on-line meeting of Fedora developers today, the unanimous decision was reached to approve “Release Candidate RC3″ as the final Fedora 19 which has been dubbed “Schrödinger’s Cat”.

        • Fedora vs. Ubuntu Linux Benchmarks On Intel Haswell

          Our latest Intel Core i7 4770K “Haswell” Linux benchmarks come in the form of comparing the performance of Ubuntu 13.04, an Ubuntu 13.10 development snapshot, and Fedora 19.

        • Fedora 20 Will Have A Security/Performance Change

          With Fedora 19 being released soon, the Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee has begun evaluating potential changes/features for Fedora 20. One of the features that was approved today is a build change for the RPMs that can yield greater code security but at the potential cost of performance.

          The change that was approved today is a GCC flag change for now using “-fstack-protector-strong” on building Fedora RPM packages rather than just the “-fstack-protector” argument. The -fstack-protector flag has the compiler generate extra code automatically to check for buffer overflows. If a guard check fails — meaning a potential buffer overflow occurred within the application — there’s an error message and the program exits. Fedora has been using -fstack-protector but now they are looking to use -fstack-protector-strong.

        • Fedora 19 Release Candidate 1 Is Ready
        • The Best Features Of Fedora 19, Schrödinger’s Cat
    • Debian Family

      • 10 things to do after installing Debian Wheezy XFCE

        Debian Wheezy is a great operating system, and XFCE is a great desktop environment- especially for older computers, and for people who prefer a traditional desktop paradigm- but it does have a few quirks. I’ve just installed it on my old Presario 900 laptop, and I’m going to mention a few things I did after installing to make the computer more usable and nicer looking.

      • Derivatives

        • AV Linux 6.0.1 Review – Audio Visual Perfection

          A highly customised Debian designed for video and audio professionals, how exactly does it differ from other distros, and does it deliver?

        • Knoppix 7.2 Released, Uses LXDE By Default

          While there wasn’t a public Knoppix 7.1 release beyond their annual Linux Magazine CeBIT edition, Knoppix 7.2 was released instead to all users. Knoppix 7.2 is based on Debian “Wheezy” with newer desktop packages from Debian/testing and Debian/unstable Jessie.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical To Introduce Mir In Ubuntu 13.10

            Canonical is all set to introduce its Mir display server technology in the upcoming Ubuntu 13.10. Olli Ries, engineering director for Unity and Mir at Canonical, has revealed the roadmap for Mir’s deployment.

          • Ubuntu Rushes Mir, XMir Into Ubuntu 13.10
          • Canonical to push for Mir in Ubuntu 13.10
          • Next Ubuntu release to have Mir as default
          • Kubuntu v Ubuntu: looks like the house is dividing

            Just a day before Ubuntu announced that it would be making its Mir display server the default from the next release, in October, the chief Kubuntu developer, Jonathan Riddell, announced that Kubuntu would not be using Mir or XMir.

          • Mir 0.0.5 Released; Kubuntu Will Stick To X/Wayland

            More Mir news today besides the surprise announcement that Canonical is now planning to use the Mir Display Server by default in Ubuntu 13.10, there’s some other interesting news involving Mir benchmarking, the Mir 0.0.5 release, and Kubuntu avoiding Mir/XMir and reaffirming their commitment to X.Org and Wayland.

          • LXDE-Based Lubuntu Will Not Ship Mir Display Server
          • Saucy Salamander 13.10 Alpha 1 Released

            While Ubuntu Linux no longer participates in alpha releases, other members of the Ubuntu family did their first 13.10 “Saucy Salamander” alpha releases today. Coming out today in 13.10 Alpha 1 form is Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, and Ubuntu Kylin.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux-Powered SFF MintBox 2 Coming Soon for $600

              Last year, CompuLabs and the developers behind the Linux Mint operating system put together a small form factor PC called the MintBox. It seems that the project was successful enough to warrant a updated offering, because specifications were recently posted online for the MintBox 2. The MintBox 2 is a router sized, passively cooled PC that will be available later this year for $600.

            • Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon review

              Summary: Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon review takes a detailed look at the Cinnamon editions of the latest release of the popular desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop. Cinnamon is a new desktop environment developed by the Linux Mint team, and is built atop GNOME 3 technologies.

              Linux Mint 15, the latest edition of the desktop distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop, was released at the end of last month (May 2013). It features the latest versions of the MATE and Cinnamon desktop environments. MATE is a fork of what used to be the GNOME 2 desktop environment, and it is, in a sense, based on old technology. Cinnamon is a new desktop environment built atop the latest GNOME (GNOME 3) technology, but presenting a traditional desktop interface, rather than the GNOME Shell that ships with GNOME 3.

            • DreamStudio Unity 12.04.3 Official Release

              We’re proud to announce the official release of DreamStudio Unity 12.04.3. Now with over 100,000 downloads, our latest release makes this the best open source software suite for graphics, audio, and especially video editing. Here are some of the latest features:

  • Devices/Embedded

    • JW-11 is a cheap, Linux-friendly ARM PC with a 2.5″ drive bay

      Like the idea of using a small ARM-based device as a low-power desktop or media center computer, but don’t want to rely on the 4GB to 16GB of storage that usually comes with an Android TV box?

    • What Is The True Cost Of Running a Raspberry Pi?

      The Raspberry Pi – a small, compact and versatile computer, capable of processing HDMI and MPEG-2 being the central component of any number of weekend projects from retro gaming stations and media centres to smart TVs, Internet radios and low budget space programs.

      Since its release in 2012 the Raspberry Pi has proved something of a phenomenon. We’ve featured it at length here on MakeUseOf, and even chatted with its creator, Eben Upton. Costing less than $40, the Raspberry Pi is a hugely successful computer, largely due to its low price. But is it really as low-budget as you think? Could it be that the true cost of a Raspberry Pi is in fact much more?

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Google Reportedly Developing an Android Games Console

          According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is actively developing an Android-based games console, which could arrive as soon as this fall. Citing anonymous sources, the report claims that the console is part of a bevy of secret projects, including a new smartwatch and a revamped version of its failed Nexus Q set-top streaming device. Additional details are sparse, but given the recent influx of Android gaming platforms, like the Ouya, Project Shield, GameStick, and others, a Google-produced gaming product isn’t outside the realm of reason.

        • Slate 21: HP’s Android-powered All-in-One computer

          First came the Slate 7, HP’s Android-powered tablet computer. Now HP is about to release a 21.5 inch sibling – the Slate 21. This was what I hoped that HP will do with webOS, but that hope died when HP abandoned webOS in favor of Android.

        • Top 5 weirdest Android apps
        • Android 4.3 allegedly caught on Google Play Galaxy S4

          New screenshots reportedly show an early build of Android 4.3 taken from the Google Play Edition of the Galaxy S4, says blog site Sammobile.

        • New MIPS processors coming, may target Android

          Imagination Technologies announced a MIPS “Warrior” family of 32/64-bit processors designed for everything from high-end networking equipment to Android tablets, and also announced updates to its embedded-focused MIPS Aptiv 32-bit processor line. The Warrior IP will feature multi-core hardware virtualization and multi-threading, MIPS SIMD architecture, and Imagination’s security framework.

        • Report: Google developing a smart watch to challenge Apple

          When rumors surfaced that Apple was developing a smart watch all of the big players jumped into the fray. WSJ reports that Google is developing a smart watch to follow to its smart glasses.

        • Where are all the Android laptops?

          PC OEMs seem obsessed with making complicated, high-cost, Windows 8-baed devices. Why are none of them trying to make cheap Android laptops?

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source projects aren’t tax scams

    IRS is eyeing open source projects and Tea Party groups as possible tax scams, raising a real question: Do open source foundations need nonprofit status?

  • XenServer Is Now Fully Open-Source
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open Source PaaS Cloud Computing Stacks That Pack a Punch

      Cloud systems offer low cost access to huge computational, storage, and network resources. These systems offer per-user and per-application isolation and customization via a service interface that is often implemented using high-level language technologies, well-defined Application Programming Interfaces, and web services.

    • Hortonworks previews new Data Platform and Hadoop 2.0

      Hortonworks have announced a community preview of Hortonworks Data Platform 2.0 as a self-contained VM with a pre-installed Hadoop 2.0 cluster. HDP 2.0 uses Hadoop 2.0 technology, introduces Apache Hadoop’s YARN architecture and, Hortonworks hopes, will get more developers and partners to use the next generation of Hadoop architecture.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • How to get a class involved with an open source project

      We talk about “community” a lot when it comes to open source, but it’s important to remember that just like local communities within a city, town, state, and country, each community has its own culture. One community is not just like another. Each has its own ways of communication and tracking and decision-making. Processes for code submission differ—perhaps two communities both use Bugzilla, but with different flags. Others require you to also alert a mailing list. A large software project may even have smaller sub-communities within it with their own customs and quirks.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Two Open Source Strategies

        There are two strategic reasons why a company would want to sponsor its software as open source. One is good for investors, the other is not good.

  • BSD


    • GCC 4.9 Is Friendly Toward Intel’s Silvermont

      The GCC 4.9 compiler that’s still in early stages of development can generate binaries optimized for Intel’s forthcoming Atom “Silvermont” hardware via the new “slm” CPU type.

    • Stallman, Swartz among 32 inductees to the Internet Hall of Fame

      FSF founder Richard Stallman, Mosaic co-author Marc Andreessen and Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Perry Barlow are among 32 inductees to the Internet Hall of Fame this year. The Internet Hall of Fame was founded at the Internet Society’s Global INET conference in Geneva, Switzerland in 2012 and holds annual awards to publicly honour individuals “who have made significant contributions to the development and advancement of the global Internet.”

    • The FSF Has A New High Priority Project

      The new addition to the FSF high priority project page is coming up with an open-source solution for BitTorrent Sync. “Bittorrent Sync is a peer-to-peer, two-way file synchronization utility with fine-grained access controls. We need a free software version of this client or free software that can be used for the same purpose.”

  • Project Releases

    • Piwigo 2.5.2 Released

      Piwigo is photo gallery software for the web, built by an active community of users and developers.

      Piwigo version 2.5.2 is available, for a fresh install and for upgrade. Thanks to reporters, this version fixes many bugs, see full details on the Piwigo 2.5.2 Release Notes.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Programming

    • Adobe Open-Sources Flash C/C++ Compiler

      Adobe announced yesterday it’s open-sourcing FlasCC, a C/C++ compiler they developed for bringing C/C++ more easily to the web via Flash and AIR.

    • Eclipse Kepler Orbits 71 Open Source Projects and 58 million lines of code

      In the open source development world, the influence of the Eclipse Foundation cannot be underestimated.

      While Eclipse started off as ‘just’ an IDE over the years it has evolved with its coordinated release train effort that sees piles of project all released on the same day.

    • Eclipse Kepler enters public orbit

      The Eclipse Foundation’s annual release train, dubbed Eclipse Kepler this year, is now available. This year, the release train synchronised 71 different projects, 420 developers and 54 organisations to ensure that they release their projects together at the end of June in one large-scale release.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Google plans for a QUICker web with UDP connections

      Google hopes that Quick UDP Internet Connections (QUIC), recently added to Chrome Canary, will help speed up HTTP traffic on the internet. The goal here is not to compete with SPDY, the protocol introduced four years ago, but to work in tandem with it by replacing TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), the current transport method, with UDP (User Datagram Protocol).


  • The ABCs Of The Surveillance State: Six Gun Toting Alcohol Agents Pounce On College Kid Buying Bottled Water

    University of Virginia student Elizabeth Daly thought she was doing a good thing buying some La Croix bottled water and cookie dough ice cream from the Harris Teeter Supermarket to share at a charity event. It was 10:15 p.m. and the twenty-year-old, along with her female roommate were trying get to a police sponsored “Take Back The Night” event where she thought she would be listening to stories from sexual assault victims and developing strategies to combat the scourge of most college towns. Instead, as she crossed the dark parking lot and got into her vehicle, she was set upon by six people, one of whom jumped on the hood of her SUV and another who pulled a gun.

  • Science

    • Species Alteration: Is GMO Rewiring our DNA?

      New studies in cell research are bringing up some alarming new questions concerning GMOs, and one of them in particular makes liver failure or cancer seem like child’s play compared to the garish possibilities that arise when we start to look at how genetically modified foods likely affect our DNA.

  • Security

    • Ruby update fixes SSL man-in-the-middle vulnerability

      The OpenSSL implementation bundled with Ruby has been found to be vulnerable to having its hostname check bypassed. The flaw, rooted in the lack of proper handling of alternate X509 names with null bytes in them, could allow an attacker to present a certificate for “www.ruby-lang.org\0example.com” which when read by the Ruby client library, would be interpreted as “www.ruby-lang.org”. That result would be handed over to the certificate verfication routines which would cause the certificate would be identified as coming from “www.ruby-lang.org”. If an attacker could get a certificate where the subjectAltName included such a null byte, they could use that certificate to interpose themselves between a victim and the site.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Leaked Recording Leads to Allegations of Plot to Provoke a Crisis in Venezuela

      Mérida, 27th June 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – The Venezuelan government released a recording that allegedly shows that one of the leaders head of the country’s opposition coalition discussed a possible coup with U.S. State Department officials.

      On Wednesday morning the Minister of Communication and Information, Ernesto Villegas and Caracas mayor Jorge Rodriguez released an audio recording that they alleged showed opposition legislator Maria Corina Machado speaking to a Venezuelan academic, Germán Carrera Damas.

    • CIA cloud battle redux? U.S. defense agency puts cloud work out to bid

      With a new $450 million federal cloud computing contract up for bid, will we see tech giants Amazon and IBM duke it out again?

    • BOOK REVIEW: Drone Warfare
    • Freedom: The Big American Lie

      Why is it so unlikely that Americans will take action to stop the outrageous electronic surveillance programs of the National Security Agency? The answer, to a depressing extent, is that our basic freedoms are threatened today because our political system and our very culture make it nearly impossible for us to act.

    • A General Gets Knifed

      The Obama administration’s infighting suddenly goes public.


      Usually, the Obama administration and the Pentagon do their bureaucratic knife fighting in private. Not so in the latest investigation of a national security leak.

    • Armed Forces of the Philippines plans to build 30 Hectare Air, Naval bases ASAP in Subic for American Forces

      The Philippine military has revived plans to build new air and naval bases at Subic Bay, a former U.S. naval base that American forces could use to counter China’s creeping presence in the disputed South China Sea, senior navy officials said.

    • Iranian turned CIA operative honored

      Former Iranian Revolutionary Guard member-turned-CIA spy Reza Kahlili, who has pulled back the curtain on some of the innermost secrets of the Islamic regime, has been honored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth at its “Rays of Light in Darkness” dinner.

    • Amazon’s $600 Million CIA Deal Really Is For A Game-Changing ‘Private’ Cloud

      Then IBM, who had put in a competitive bid, protested the CIA award. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigated and found that Amazon’s bid was a whopping $54 million higher than IBM’s. It asked the CIA to go back through the bidding process again. The CIA has 60 days to respond.

    • In 1962 CIA information led to arrest of Nelson Mandela

      In an article published in January of 2005, Historian William Blum sets the background of the CIA’s involvement in the arrest of Mandela. Ultimately, Mandela was convicted and jailed for a total of 28 years. By the time Mandela was released in February 1990, his stature had changed dramatically and then-President George Bush Sr. telephoned Mandela to say Americans rejoiced in his release. Blum pointed out that this was the same Bush who once headed the CIA and who was second in power during an administration that worked closely with South African intelligence services to provide information about Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC). The ANC was seen by the US as part of the “international communist conspiracy.”

    • Britain’s problems with a veto on Syria go right back to Yalta

      Where Bush threatened the UN with the irrelevance of the old League of Nations – without realising that the US had fatally weakened the League by refusing to join it – Rice has been condemning the UN Security Council’s inaction on Syria as “a moral and strategic disgrace”, without appreciating that it was Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt who insisted on the future UN’s veto powers during the great Allied World War II conference at Yalta.

    • CIA rebuffs Congress on ‘torture’ findings

      The CIA is expected to deliver a report to senators on Thursday that rebuffs a congressional probe into the agency’s interrogation methods.

      CIA Director John Brennan is slated to deliver the CIA’s contradictory findings to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and ranking member Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) in a private meeting on Thursday, the senators said.

      Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/308161-cia-rebuffs-congress-on-torture-findings#ixzz2XjPjhBjq
      Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

  • Cablegate

    • Who’s a Journalist? A Question With Many Facets and One Sure Answer

      So, who’s a journalist? I could explore the legislative and legal questions, and that may be something worth returning to in this space. (Decisions that have been made in interpreting New Jersey’s strong shield law are of particular interest, as is the language before the Senate now on the proposed federal law.)

      But for now, I’ll offer this admittedly partial definition: A real journalist is one who understands, at a cellular level, and doesn’t shy away from, the adversarial relationship between government and press – the very tension that America’s founders had in mind with the First Amendment.

      Those who fully meet that description deserve to be respected and protected — not marginalized.

    • ‘Tensions don’t exist’: WikiLeaks refutes media reports about ‘Ecuadorean disarray’

      WikiLeaks says there are no tensions between Julian Assange and Ecuadorean government as it responded to media reports claiming Assange’s role in Edward Snowden’s case “has raised hackles” among Ecuadorean officials.

    • FBI came to Iceland for Wikileaks – Not for Imminent Computer Attacks

      New York Times states that FBI agents that came to Iceland in August 2011 were here for Wikileaks and Julian Assange but not for alleged computer attacks on the Government Offices.

      The FBI agents said that they were going to investigate a computer attack on the Government Offices of Iceland but then they spent five days on interrogating a former volunteer of Wikileaks, who is an Icelandic citizen.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Over 30 tons of explosives to be detonated in Manu National Park buffer zone

      A consortium of gas companies headed by Pluspetrol and including Hunt Oil plans on detonating approximately 38 tons of explosives in the south-east Peruvian Amazon in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world.

      The detonations are part of 2D and 3D seismic tests planned by Pluspetrol in its search for new gas deposits in the Camisea region—plans that are currently pending approval by Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM).

    • Peru peasant squads rally against U.S. firm’s $5 billion gold mine

      Forty years ago, peasants in rural Peru banded together as “ronderos” – Spanish for “people who make the rounds” – to curb cattle rustling.

      Today, squads of these ronderos are working toward a different aim – thwarting an American mining company’s planned $5 billion gold mining project that they contend would spoil lakes vital to the local population high in the Andes.

  • Finance

    • John Lanchester on the banks’ barely believable behaviour

      …eye-catchingly called for senior bankers to face jail

    • Some Datapoints on Global Political Risk
    • Former Top Regulators Tell Congress to Rein in Big Banks
    • Ireland: Bankers joke about their €7 billion bailout scam

      The conversations provide an insight into the reckless, sneering cynicism of the ruling elite as they proceeded to swindle the working people to the tune of trillions of euros.

      The conversations focussed on the Anglo-Irish Bank board’s attempt to stem the massive losses it suffered following the collapse of the Irish property bubble out of which it had made billions. The board’s sting was to downplay the scale of the bank’s mounting losses and sucker the authorities into offering large sums of cash. The hope was that, once committed, the Irish government and central bank would be unable to back out of further support.

    • World Bank Whistleblower Karen Hudes Arrainged to Federal Court on 13 Jun

      On 13 June, two month after her illegal arrest, World Bank whistleblower Karen Hudes has to appear the Superior Court of the District of Colombia. Hudes, who reported improper accounting at the World Bank, and threats against members of the Board of Executive Directors, was arrested for trespass in the World Bank headquarters building, handcuffed, left one hour in a police cruiser outside the building, and thrown to jail but subsequently released on 13 May.

    • 13 mindblowing facts about US tax-dodging corporations

      Abusive offshore tax havens cost the US $150 billion in lost tax revenue every year (via FACT Coalition). That’s $1.5 trillion over the next ten years.

    • New Breed of Banking Malware Hijacks Text Messages

      Out of band authentication — communicating with a customer outside of his mobile banking app to verify his identity or a specific transaction — is a generally respected means of deflecting mobile banking fraud.

      But RSA’s Anti-Fraud Command Center on Monday found and reported on a Trojan called Bugat that has been updated to hijack out-of-band authentication codes sent to bank customers via SMS. This doesn’t mean out-of-band authentication via text messaging is useless, but it can be compromised using a dated, unsophisticated piece of malware.

    • House committee: IRS official waived rights in denying wrongdoing

      The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved a resolution Friday asserting that the woman at the center of the IRS scandal waived her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination when she came before the committee last month.

      The 22-17 vote came after a charged meeting that cut sharply along partisan lines, with Republicans saying they deserve answers out of Lois Lerner, director of tax-exempt organizations for the IRS, and Democrats arguing that the process was being rushed through.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Prize awarded to inventors of internet

      The Royal Academy of Engineering hopes that its Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, funded by several large companies, will become a kind of Nobel Prize for engineers, with a prize awarded every two years. The winners were announced in March with the actual award ceremony taking place this month. At the award ceremony, Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, warned against letting governments and corporations have too much control over the internet saying “When you make something universal…it can be used for good things or nasty things…we just have to make sure it’s not undercut by any large companies or governments trying to use it and get total control”.

Bill Gates’ For-Profit AstroTurf in Africa, Promoted by Gates-Funded ‘News’ Sites

Posted in Africa, Bill Gates at 5:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Rich uncle from America…”

Bill Gates

Summary: Bill Gates is trying to extract profit from the world’s poorest people

The Gates-funded press is still grooming this lobbyist who subsidises his barrage of propaganda. Watch the lobbyist taking PR photos like the ones here (with black children) to promote Windows software. The only thing worse than that is his Monsanto/GMO lobbying in Africa, which he does by lobbying African leaders directly [1, 2, 3, 4]. The above largely-circulated piece reads almost like a press release and it was posted in many regional news sites/press releases outlets. It was possibly ghostwritten by the Gates Foundation, which is not unusual (there are peripheral PR agencies that do it by proxy). “Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, Chairman of the John A. Kufuor Foundation,” says the placement, “over the weekend held high level discussions in London with Mr Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft Corporation” (like he knows anything about the area he lobbies on).

“Africa is passing a lot of taxpayers’ money to companies that Gates invests in and it’s no coincidence.”Gates lobbying for profit under the disguise of “doing good” and “I know what I talk about because I’m rich” (apparently he deems himself an economist now). Watch this shallow piece from the press of Gates’ spying business partner [1, 2]. It neglects to say that Gates’ investments are causing polio in Nigeria [1, 2] and looking at the corresponding press release we find that the Gates-bribed AllAfrica is pretty much run by Gates now, The press release was posted online by the Bill Gates-bribed site (“AllAfrica” is a misnomer, pretending that they speak for Africans while actually funded by those who pillage and plunder Africans, see here for the latest ‘plant’), along with totally fabricated/bogus figures (based on made-up patent tariffs and money raised from taxpayers against their will, due to lobbying) that are intended to make the hoarder sound like he is generous.”Gates Foundation will match two-to-one,” it says. Well, in other words, make up some figures, get to hoover taxpayers’ money for Gates profit. It’s the same old trick. After some searches we found just one more site that covered it and it played to the tune of Gates. Yes, Times of India reposting the press release with some editing is what we found. showing that Times of India is not a real news site. Gates has killed journalism, so now he can steal everyone’s money without anyone calling him out on it. He got 7 billion dollars richer last year alone. Africa is passing a lot of taxpayers’ money to companies that Gates invests in and it’s no coincidence.

How Bill Gates Got Taxpayers to Bankroll His Own For-Profit AstroTurf Groups

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Finance at 5:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tax-funded, tax-evading billionaire

Bill Gates
Photo credit: The Hindu Business Line

Summary: How Bill Gates’ lobbying and AstroTurf groups have been warped to extract money from the public in order to hurt that public (for Gates profit)

IN recent years it has been getting rather easy to see that using the Gates Foundation Bill Gates has been getting other people to pay companies that he invests in. This is not an unusual practice and Gates is not unique in employing this profiteering strategy. A lot of politicians do it all the time.

“There is public uproar when the Koch brothers do it, but not when Gates does it, as it’s a recursive trap of silencing the media (no decent media left to cover abduction of the media).”Bill Gates has been quietly funding corporate lobbies including ALEC [1, 2] to help privatise what’s public. Gates also silences investigative journalism in areas he wants to dominate, usually by paying key newspapers and blogs, pretending the bribe is some kind of goodwill or charity. There is public uproar when the Koch brothers do it, but not when Gates does it, as it’s a recursive trap of silencing the media (no decent media left to cover abduction of the media). Gates’ AstroTurf in education using obedience Seattle press was covered here before (some news sites in Seattle are funded by Gates) and this new example is no exception. The Seattle Education blog, a remaining critic of Bill Gates and its insidious agenda against teachers, wrote about “Stand for Children” and the “League of Education Voters” the other day, reminding teachers who read the blog that these are front groups for Gates’ agenda. To quote part of this post, “DeBell also didn’t get the superintendent he wanted when his favorite, Interim Superintendent Susan Enfield, left after realizing that she would have to compete to be the superintendent of Seattle Public Schools. Instead, DeBell had to settle for Banda after his next favorite, Dr. Brenda Husk, chose not to continue the interview process. Banda doesn’t seem to be bending under pressure from Gates and Nielson and their backed faux roots organizations Stand for Children and the League of Education Voters as well as the Alliance for Education.”

It has been getting hard to tell apart AstroTurf from grassroots. The AstroTurf groups are deceptively named. TFA was one of the most insidious ones a few years back and this report says that it now preys on taxpayers’ money to promote Gates’ agenda. That’s like asking citizens to subsidise people who rob their houses, as here too there is robbery and looting but the white-collar type by Gates and his friends. To quote:

Wisconsin Budget Includes $1 Million Taxpayer Giveaway for Well-Funded Teach for America


“Teach for America is a wealthy organization that sends ill-trained recruits to teach in under-resourced districts,” explains Diane Ravitch, a prominent education policy analyst, who wrote about the Wisconsin budget provision on her blog. “These poorly trained young people, with no experience as teachers and no commitment to stay beyond two years, are expected to work wonders. They don’t.”

Teach for America Bankrolled by Foundations Pushing Anti-Union, For-Profit Education Model

They should name the main original funder, Bill Gates. Now he has his victims subsiside his lobby, for his profit at their expense. Shrewd scam and one of the reasons this man continues to get much richer. Where is the outrage? Those who are not outraged by Gates simply do not grasp what he is up to and the extent to which the public gets manipulated by him.

Meanwhile in the news we find that growing opposition forms to denounce Gates for investing in thugs (for profit), namely G4S. “The Gates Foundation and its unethical investments in G4S “ is one decent article about it, but it is mostly marginalised by shallow PR praise for Gates and his wife, the world’s richest woman. Did you know that stealing the voice of poor people is “Helping the voiceless”? Yes, Orwell would have loved that newspeak. The Jakarta Post is plutocratic propaganda, showing part of the problem with corporate/government media.

Microsoft and Its Partner Netflix Pollute the Web With DRM Because Silverlight is Dead

Posted in DRM, Microsoft at 5:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Time to eject Jaffe

Jeff Jaffe at the event announcing the Microsoft/Novell deal (2006)

Summary: Jeff Jaffe, who became (in)famous for designing the Microsoft/Novell deal which started Linux ‘patent tax’, is now threatening to pollute the Web with DRM because Microsoft and its satellite say so

JEFF JAFFE is poison inside the W3C. He not only promotes software patents but also Microsoft software such as .NET, Mono, and Moonlight. He really loves software patents, and wants more of them. How can such a guy have been given the CEO position at the W3C, whose founder, Tim Berners-Lee, is so openly hostile towards software patents [1, 2]? This never made sense.

Over in the DRM category we have many stories which warn about the main ‘advancement’ in the Windows Vista series, including Vista 8. That massive failure of an operating system gets a “say for pay” review from Microsoft mouthpieces, apparently some who troll writers. “Enderle is still being hired,” iphk says. “Hadn’t seen him for a while.”

Yes, well, and if one talks to actual professionals in the market, hatred of Vista 8 is evident. As Pogson puts it:

Two pictures speak 1000 words here. Consider share of page-views according to StatCounter for the United Kingdom from 2008 to 2013. First there was growth for GNU/Linux and then stagnation for years as “7″ seemed good enough for many. Along comes “8″ and both “7″ sees a drop to a plateau and GNU/Linux sees a spike. People are choosing and enjoying that they finally have a visible choice. That’s the result of the ubiquity of small cheap computers running */Linux and the horror that is “8″ for people who love the desktop.


What GNU/Linux lacks in salesmen, M$ makes up for with its salesmen serving as software-designers. Now, GNU/Linux is finding its way onto retail shelves and onto UK desks. According to these data, about 10% as many choose GNU/Linux as choose “8″ but about 15% as many as choose “7″ are choosing GNU/Linux. The future is a lot higher than ~1% GNU/Linux because those choosing GNU/Linux are just the early adopters and they have friends and associates who will see, at last, that GNU/Linux works for them. I expect to live long enough to see ~30% going with GNU/Linux. There’s no telling where the trend will end once it reaches about 10%.

Microsoft sure lost its momentum and Silverlight died because, taking mobile devices in account as well, Windows has minority market share. Netflix, which has a CEO strongly connected to Microsoft, is dropping Silverlight and is now trying to pollute web standards with DRM, demonstrating this with Microsoft to advance Vista 8:

Netflix today announced that it has finally taken the first step towards ditching Silverlight for HTML5, largely thanks to Microsoft, no less. The company has been working closely with the Internet Explorer team to implement its proposed “Premium Video Extensions” in IE11 on Windows 8.1, meaning if you install the operating system preview released today, you can watch Netflix content using HTML5 right now.

Blame that lackey from Novell (the man behind the Microsoft deal, Jaffe), who probably needs to be ousted already because he thinks he works for Hollywood, not for the Web. Jaffe now works for the W3C as CEO and Dr, Glyn Moody calls his claims “rubbish,” adding that the “W3C [is] getting desperate” (see Twitter for original quote).

Here is an offensive article from ZDNet. It parrots Jaffe as saying: “The web would be in danger of losing content if it were to turn its back on DRM-protected media, said Dr Jeff Jaffe, CEO of the web standards body W3C.”


As another article put it in the headline, Jaffe implies “Developers need to quit worrying and learn to love DRM”.

Slahsdot did some Microsoft promotion over this and the FSF campaign took it up a notch with a new push to cancel Netflix.

Soon enough (maybe next week) we’ll have an interview about this with Richard Stallman.

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