06.27.13

Insulting GNU/Linux and Free Software, Courtesy of Microsoft Moles

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, SCO at 10:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stephen Walli

Summary: Microsoft staff which infiltrates the opposition is smearing this opposition from the inside and pushing Microsoft’s proprietary software deep within

We are still seeing that typical smear from Walli [1, 2, 3] and fellow Microsoft staff who try to demonise FOSS users, calling them “freeloaders”. This is not the first time we see this insult, but why does Red Hat give Microsoft’s Walli a platform with which to spread the insulting ideas? Here is the link (don’t click) and here is some more brainwashing where Microsoft interviews Microsoft on Linux (at a Microsoft site), grooming another puppet and infiltrator like Hilf and Ramji [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12] before he quit. This one is K.Y. Srinivasan, whom we wrote about in relation to what he does inside Linux. Some Microsoft Web site recently pushed some articles repeatedly, trying to paint Microsoft as a friend of Linux. Will they kindly just step away and stop insulting Free software advocates while pushing Microsoft into everybody’s life, even GNU/Linux users?

People will never forget how Microsoft bankrolled the SCO case, which more than a decade later is still going on:

SCO is saying, we don’t have the copyrights. But we had contracts. The “among other things” means they have more in mind they don’t wish to tell us about yet, as is SCO’s wont. It’s about post-1995 SCO products and Project Monterey and IBM allegedly turning folks against SCO. Like they needed to turn anyone away from SCO. When a company shoots itself in the foot by suing its own customers right and left, it tends to create an atmosphere of alarm and distrust, resulting in others putting space between them and the foot-shooter.

IBM gets to respond next, and I expect them to say that SCO has zero claims left standing. And then we’ll get to IBM’s counterclaims, at last. Here’s a chart of all the summary judgment motions left hanging when SCO filed for bankruptcy protection.

Remember that some people from SCO moved to Microsoft, where they now pretend to be FOSS people. notably Sandeep Gupta.

“[Microsoft's] Mr. Emerson and I discussed a variety of investment structures wherein Microsoft would ‘backstop,’ or guarantee in some way, BayStar’s investment…. Microsoft assured me that it would in some way guarantee BayStar’s investment in SCO.”

Larry Goldfarb, BayStar, key investor in SCO

Microsoft Nearly Loses Nokia; Are Major Layoffs Coming?

Posted in Microsoft at 9:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bad news to be announced on Monday, but gigantic spin is being prepared as time is running out

Watch

Summary: Analysis of some recent moves from Microsoft and serious fundamental failures that drove away key people

The company most recently abducted by Microsoft (that would be Nokia, preceded by Yahoo and Novell) was almost turned over to Linux/Android by takeover from China, but in order to distract from it and reduce coverage of this option Microsoft seems to have spread some false rumours about buying Nokia. Murdoch’s China-hostile press said: “One of the people said talks took place as recently as this month but aren’t likely to be revived.” Of course not, Microsoft thought about it years ago (this is well documented) and ran away, deciding to put mole inside, taking over the company at almost no cost, instead. It is similar to what Microsoft did to Yahoo.

Watch what IDG‘s Gregg Keizer says in “What’s the matter with Microsoft?”

He writes: “Microsoft’s had a tough year, and it’s not even half over.”

“Next week we’ll hear some spin about Microsoft “reorg”, which may involve more layoffs.”“What’s going on? Is the company’s decision-making suddenly fundamentally flawed? As the PC industry goes through its largest-ever slump, is it so desperate that it’s trying to milk revenue wherever it can by forcing change — even when it knows customers will rebel? Has it taken to hauling up the white flag at the first sign of resistance rather than toughing it out, as the old Microsoft might have?

“Companies make mistakes all the time, sometimes crippling ones that drag them under. But if the organization is large enough, robust enough, it survives, learns. Ford weathered the Edsel, Coca-Cola New Coke, Netflix its Quikster, Apple the 1985 ousting of Steve Jobs, 2010′s Antennagate and last year’s Maps fiasco. But the pace of Microsoft’s missteps and the resulting turnarounds — three in the span of four months — is unusual.”

Next week we’ll hear some spin about Microsoft "reorg", which may involve more layoffs. The CIO quit recently. “According to a new report,” says this news site. “layoffs of prominent Microsoft officials could be at the heart of that makeover.” (makeover is a euphemism, just like “reorg”)

Back Door Access Discovered in Backup Servers of HP, Showing Urgent Need to Dump Proprietary Software

Posted in Hardware, HP, Security at 9:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Binary-only printer drivers can also be trusted no longer

HP printer

Summary: More revelations about back doors which go beyond ‘the cloud’ and into people’s desks or offices

HP has betrayed people’s trust, not just because it helps Microsoft suppress Free software adoption in the German government [1, 2] but also because its hardware has remotely-accessible back doors. Never again should you trust hardware from HP.

Not only Microsoft Skype is a horrific piece of spyware on people’s desk (with microphone and webcam). As it turns out, HP backup servers too have back doors. As one article put it, “StoreOnce backup systems are not low-end products: the version with twelve 1TB disks (with a usable capacity of 6TB) costs more than €12,000. The price premium compared to a normal server of this size is explained by the StoreOnce Catalyst software included with the server. According to HP, the product’s deduplication functionality reduces the size of data backups by up to 95 per cent.”

“These primarily US-based or Anglo-Saxon companies seem to have total disregard for privacy, as their spy agencies reveal”Towards the end it says: “The disclosure is given added spice by Technion’s decision to publish the SHA1 hash for the password for accessing the hidden administrator account. Hashes can be brute forced to obtain the actual password. It will not be long before the decrypted string is circulating on the usual forums. The password is just seven characters long and draws on a ten-year old meme.”

These primarily US-based or Anglo-Saxon companies seem to have total disregard for privacy, as their spy agencies reveal. It seems like Germany is finally taking note of this. A major German newspaper says: “Overzealous data collectors in the US and Great Britain have no right to investigate German citizens. The German government must protect people from unauthorized access by foreign intelligence agencies, and it must act now. This is a matter of national security.”

They should be dumping Windows in Germany, following Munich's lead. Christine Hall talks about back door access by the NSA into Windows when she writes:

Time to Take Advantage of Microsoft’s Vulnerabilities

[...]

It wasn’t news to most of us in the FOSS world that Microsoft was one of the companies shoveling information over to the NSA’s project PRISM. As much as we’d like, we can’t fault them any more than anyone else in that sordid affair. Only Yahoo comes out with any degree of redemption, since they at least bothered to go to court to try to stop the No-Such-Agency guys.

Nor were many of us surprised to discover Microsoft was making it easy for U.S. spooks to monitor traffic on Skype. That news probably damaged the folks in Redmond a little more than the plain vanilla NSA/PRISM story, but there was still some wiggle room for Ballmer. It started before Microsoft’s ownership. My people hardly knew what was going on. We’ll fix it. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.

The latest news though, which so far seems to have little to do with the NSA scandal but plenty to do with espionage, might be a Windows breaker. Ballmer & Friends might not be able to squirm their way out of this, especially if the commercial GNU/Linux players get in gear and get moving.

This is definitely going to change how people view Windows. The latest TechBytes episode covers that as well. It’s reassuring to see what we covered for years becoming common knowledge, affecting people’s judgment. Free software is going to capitalise on all this.

Microsoft is Exploiting Children to Sell Its NSA Surveillance Engine, CBS Advertises It

Posted in Microsoft, Search, Vista 8, Vista 9, Windows at 9:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft thinks about the children

Scary baby face

Summary: How CBS is promoting Microsoft agenda and even removing articles critical of Microsoft

Someone amongst our readers sent to us a link to an advertisement from a Microsoft booster. An article by Lance Whitney/CNET is not much different from habitual advertisements, but it is disguised as news. This former Microsoft press writer, Lance Whitney, has been doing this type of thing for years, so promotion of Microsoft’s latest little scam is only to be expected. Almost every Microsoft marketing scam gets promoted in CNET and one just needs to review the authors’ background to understand why. “A special version of Bing will be offered to schools later this year,” says the booster, “one that promises no ads, no adult content, and special learning features.”

“An article by Lance Whitney/CNET is not much different from habitual advertisements, but it is disguised as news”The only learning is machine learning. Microsoft will be profiling children along with the NSA. The same author is also advertising Vista 8, embedded in something that has little to do with Windows, where Microsoft is barely even a contender. Watch him injecting his Microsoft agenda into artticles that actually speak about tablets — an area where Microsoft does so poorly that some expect Microsoft to give up altogether and dump Windows RT (we covered this earlier this week).

CBS is not a news network and coverage of the NSA leaks helps prove it. It’s no better than the embarrassing CNN. It’s mostly propaganda and agenda, shrewdly disguised as balanced reporting.

ZDNet, another CBS site, has just spiked an article titled “Is Microsoft Abandoning Its Mobile Operating Systems?”

Yes, the article has been deleted and censorship is likely the cause.

“The original article which started this whole investigation is helping Microsoft to infiltrate schools and spy on everyone’s children (clients).”The author told me “It’s in the middle of an editorial fight that has nothing to do with the content.”

I asked: “If it has nothing to do with the content, what does it have to do with, the author?”

“One way or the other it will see the light of day again,” the author told me. This author is responsible for the little Microsoft criticism that’s left in the site. ZDNet seems to be in bed with Microsoft in the sense that Microsoft pays for the editorial structure to be altered (I gave examples over the years, notably Microsoft Windows 7/8 promotion in designated editorial sections). A lot of ZDNet writers are also associated with Microsoft. CBS does a similar thing in CNET, so watch out. Generally, the very act of challenging a critic can lead to self-censorship. It interferes with independence of writers. I am not naming the author, for his own protection.

The original article which started this whole investigation is helping Microsoft to infiltrate schools and spy on everyone’s children (clients). Any spying for toddlers or children disguised as “education” is fundamentally malicious. “In the past,” says iophk, “if M$ gave hard cash to schools, they just turned around and used to buy Apple to avoid M$ garbage.” He points to this article which uses the word “pushing” (like a drug deal) to describe what Microsoft does here, gathering data on children and schools and then selling it, just like Gates and Murdoch [1, 2].

It is not nice when privacy abuses are marketed as helping poor kids. This is crude.

TechBytes Episode 79: Richard Stallman Speaks About Back Doors

Posted in TechBytes at 3:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Techbytes 2013

Direct download as Ogg (00:09:50, 5.7 MB)

Summary: The second part of this interview series focuses on back doors in software

TODAY we speak about back doors and software freedom tackling this issue. Now that we know that the NSA receives notifications about zero-day flaws in Windows (long in advance, directly from Microsoft), which enables cracking PCs abroad, this is very relevant.

This is the second of several (the first part is here) and the transcript follows.


Dr. Roy S. Schestowitz: I want to try and discuss with you this whole subject of back doors. I think in the past — I know from experience — people were trying to call people like yourself “paranoid” for discussing or even entertaining the possibility that there may be back doors in proprietary software. Well, now we know that they exist. One of the things…

Richard StallmanDr. Richard M. Stallman: We know for a long time about specific back doors in specific proprietary software. It has been documented. For instance, the existence of a universal back door in Microsoft Windows was proved years ago. And the existence of a universal back door in most portable phones was proved years ago. Now, a universal back door means that they can be used to do absolutely anything. It can be used to change the software, so whatever they want to do, they could put in software which does it.

RSS: We can make an educated guess about what they think is intercepted and how, but I think that many discussions lack technical details on exactly how the NSA is doing what it does because Glenn Greenwald is not going to release the documents related to that. But some people were talking about hardware-level — even firewall- of network-level — back doors. We may know, based on the leaks for example of Klein in AT&T, they might be harvesting the data at the chokepoints.

RMS: Well, it’s not a back door. If AT&T agreed to connect its computers to surveillance of the NSA, that doesn’t involve a back door. Those computers belong to AT&T, so if AT&T has full control over them, which it should, then AT&T could also connect to the NSA. You see, these are somewhat different issues. The first issue, which Free software is part of, is that you should have control over your computer. Now, that’s violated with proprietary software if your computer is running, say, Windows, or Mac OS, or if it’s an iThing, or most kinds of Android products, then you don’t control it, some company is controlling it and making it do things that you’ll like. So the first thing is, [incomprehensible] says that the computer should have full control over it.

“I don’t think the US government should use operating systems made in China for the same reason that most governments shouldn’t use operating systems made in the US and in fact we just got proof since Microsoft is now known to be telling the NSA about bugs in Windows before it fixes them.”But that doesn’t mean that when you’re using some company’s service, if a company has full control over the computers that implement that service, which it should, that doesn’t mean the company will treat you right. That’s a separate issue. It’s wrong for [another] company to have control over these computers and if AT&T uses proprietary software, it [that other company] fully has control over AT&T’s computers and that’s wrong. However, making sure AT&T has complete control over its computers doesn’t guarantee that AT&T will treat us right.

RSS: I was thinking about a different scenario where the company that you interact with might itself backdoored in the sense that the firewalls, they might be using older hardware and might be using — maybe — back door by design, so that the NSA, for example, can quietly and silently infiltrate and capture data, for example, [from] firewalls or Intel chips for example.

RMS: It’s possible, and not just necessarily Intel chips because the Pentagon suspects that devices made by Huawei might have some back door of the Chinese government…

RSS: And the latest NDAA is actually explicitly forbidding the use of hardware made in China. That’s from the NDAA 2014. But not many speak about why this is happening, why they modified the rules. Recently, interestingly enough, a guy who was interacting with these companies — I’m not sure if you’ve heard about Shane Todd — the guy who lived in Singapore was assassinated apparently under the — basically, the guise of suicide — and there seems to be a lot of suspicion among those two camps of telecom companies and what they might be doing at the back room.

RMS: Well, it’s perfectly reasonable suspicion to me. I don’t think the US government should use operating systems made in China for the same reason that most governments shouldn’t use operating systems made in the US and in fact we just got proof since Microsoft is now known to be telling the NSA about bugs in Windows before it fixes them.

RSS: I was just going to bring this up exactly, so I was saying that the NSA recently received notifications about the zero-day holes in advance and [incomprehensible] the NSA and the CIA to just crack PCs abroad for espionage purposes.

RMS: Now, [incomprehensible] that this proves my point, which is that you have to be nuts if you were some other country and using Windows on your computers. But, you know, given that Windows has a universal back door in it, Microsoft would hardly need to tell the NSA about any bugs, it can tell the NSA about the mal-feature of the universal back door and that would be enough for the NSA to attack any computer running Windows, which unfortunately is a large fraction of them.


The next part will be published next week.

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Ogg Theora

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.

06.25.13

Links 25/6/2013: Zorin OS 7, Linux Mint 15 KDE RC

Posted in News Roundup at 3:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Apriorit Adapts Nanomites for Linux: Modern Antidebug Protection

    Being a software R&D company, Apriorit frequently faces the questions of reliable code protection for both Windows and Linux applications. Experienced also in software research and legal reverse engineering, Apriorit chose the most efficient antidebug technology so far – nanomites.

  • Startup Linux Offering to Rival Network Tech Giants

    Startup Cumulus Networks released its Linux-based network operating system last week, noting its ability to bring flexibility and low-cost benefits of open standards to data center networks that are dominated by Cisco and other vendors.

  • Munich to distribute Linux CDs to get people to ditch Windows XP

    Next year, the Munich city council plans to distribute two thousand copies of Lubuntu to local residents who still own computers running Windows XP. The goal is to reduce the amount of electronic waste its citizens generate when upgrading their computer systems.

  • Munich to distribute Lubuntu CDs to replace Windows XP
  • German City Hopes to Wean Citizens Off Windows XP With Free Linux CDs

    Munich City Council plan to make Ubuntu discs available as a ‘replacement for Windows XP’ – Microsoft’s 11-year old operating system for which support officially ends in April of next year.

    The proactive effort is been billed as an attempt to ‘prevent electronic waste’ from discarded computers that, whilst still serviceable with an alternative OS, would fail to meet the requirements of Windows 7 or Windows 8.

  • Cumulus Networks is Linux in Name Only

    Cumulus Networks recently unveiled their flagship product, Cumulus Linux, as Sam reported yesterday, but don’t let the name fool you. Although Cumulus Linux is based on Debian, it is not open source. It is an operating system optimized for a short list of networking devices. Cumulus Linux has an impressive list of capabilities designed for a modern data center, but using the Linux name when they are not giving back to the community is a missed opportunity.

  • OSX Airdrop functionality in Linux..

    Within OS’s there are many different features, some are shared between OS’s like icons and pointers however every OS needs an edge, something which makes it a little different. OSX has one of these features and its a gem which should be included in every OS by default.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Burning Circle Episode 119

      This week’s episode is posted slightly early. Mentioned in this episode are the need to sign the Ubuntu Code of Conduct as only 85 out of over 400 members have signed it, the need to find a deputy to sign the Ohio Linux Fest 2013 table contract, and that we’re looking at an upcoming alpha release for Saucy Salamander.

  • Kernel Space

    • The Kernel Column – The development of Linux Kernel 3.9

      Jon Masters summarises the goings-on in the Linux kernel community as the 3.9 kernel was being prepared for release. Ongoing development brings with it security headaches, and kernel testing is improved by the Trinity ‘Fuzzer’

    • Thunderbolt Still Has Problems For Linux

      While the popularity and future of the Apple/Intel Thunderbolt interface can be debated, the current state of Thunderbolt on Linux still leaves a fair amount to be desired. While on the state of Linux hardware support, the Google Chromebook Pixel does work with modern Linux distributions, but not all support has been perfected.

      Greg Kroah-Hartman has written a new blog post this afternoon entitled Hardware, past, present, and future. In the post he says a few things about the state of Linux hardware support, which is summarized below.

    • Linux 3.10-rc7

      So this is hopefully the last -rc in the series, and things have indeed be calming down finally, so assuming that trend continues, we’re all good.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Research Underway With QEMU 3D Support

        There’s long been a need for QEMU/KVM to have guest 3D support for virtual machines (especially with more of the modern Linux desktops requiring OpenGL support) and Red Hat engineers have talked about such support previously, but now it looks like code is finally materializing.

      • AMD Radeon KMS Still Being Ported To FreeBSD

        It’s been a while since last talking about the project to bring the Linux driver for AMD Radeon KMS to FreeBSD. The project is still going forth for expanding FreeBSD kernel mode-setting, but there hasn’t been too much progress as of late.

      • [ANNOUNCE] xf86-video-intel 2.21.10
      • Intel Driver Gets More Fixes, Performance Tweaks
      • Kernel-Based X11 Server Claims 2x Performance Over X.Org

        MicroXwin is an X.Org Server alternative for an X Windows System implementation for Unix/Linux desktop. The developers behind MicroXwin are claiming that by implementing their X Server in the kernel they are getting a 2x performance advantage while using less memory and being binary compatible with Xlib.

      • Intel Dramatically Speeds Up NSS With AVX2

        Intel has managed to dramatically speed-up Network Security Services (NSS) for the new Haswell (and forthcoming Broadwell) processors that boast AVX2 instruction set support.

        Yesterday a patch surfaced by Intel’s Shay Gueron on the Mozilla bug tracker for dramatically boosting the performance of NSS. “It provides an efficient and constant-time implementation of modular exponent function, using the AVX2 instructions set, and achieves high performance on Intel 4th Generation Core Processors…Applying this ‘vectorized’ algorithm to modular exponentiation improves the performance of: DH1024, DH2048, RSA2048 sign and verify, RSA1024 verify, JPAKE and DSA1024 with DSA2048 sign and verify.”

      • “SimpleDRM” Driver Published For Simple KMS

        David Herrmann, the Linux developer that has a mission to kill the Linux kernel console, published the code on Monday for a “SimpleDRM” graphics driver.

    • Benchmarks

      • GCC 4.8 vs. LLVM/Clang 3.3 On Intel’s Core i7 4770K

        Complementing the earlier Phoronix article about optimized binaries for Intel Haswell CPUs via the “-march=core-avx2″ Haswell compiler optimizations, in this article is a comparison of the GCC and LLVM/Clang compilers when targeting the new Core i7 4770K CPU. GCC 4.7.3, GCC 4.8.1, LLVM Clang 3.2, and LLVM Clang 3.3 were the tested compilers under Ubuntu Linux when seeing how well these different compilers optimized for Haswell.

      • 16-Way Linux OS Performance Comparison

        Building on our earlier 11-Way Linux/BSD Platform Comparison, starting a new week we’re up to a 16-Way Linux operating system comparison. Added in now are results from PCLinuxOS, ROSA, the lightweight antiX distribution, and then the Gentoo-based Sabayon and Calculate Linux Desktop distributions.

      • The Latest Mesa 9.2 Results For Intel Haswell

        With new code going into Mesa on a daily basis, here’s the very latest benchmarks comparing the state of stable Mesa 9.1.3 against the Mesa 9.2 development code with all of the performance optimizations it brings to the Intel DRI driver for the latest-generation Haswell graphics hardware.

      • Is Intel Sandy Bridge Getting Faster On Linux?

        With the extensive coverage on Phoronix this month of Intel’s new Haswell processors on Linux, many articles have shown that when using the latest components (e.g. Linux 3.10 kernel and Mesa 9.2) that the OpenGL performance is a whole lot faster. But are these changes specific to Haswell or benefit Intel’s driver as a whole? In this article are new benchmarks from an older Intel “Sandy Bridge” system with HD 3000 graphics to see whether the performance there is also improving with the latest Linux code.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Is Krita for you? (II)

        Here we are again! This is our second post to increase your love for Krita. Enjoy it and don’t forget that we can resolve your doubts in Krita Forum and #krita channel on IRC.

      • Results are in: One Open Source Dictation System Coming Up
      • New KDE screen management tool ready for widespread use

        Blue Systems developer Àlex Fiestas has announced that the open source KScreen management tool has seen its first stable release. With version 1.0, the screen management utility is now considered by its developers to be ready for general use and planning for the features of KScreen 1.1 is already under way, according to Fiestas. KScreen is designed to bring next generation screen management to the KDE desktop.

      • News in kdepim 4.11: new mail notifier
      • GSoC: Collaborative text editing in kate + kde-telepathy

        First of all, I’ve been accepted for GSoC this year! I’ll be working on creating a collaborative text editor based on the KTextEditor interface and libinfinity library, and on integrating that editor into kde-telepathy. The point of integration with kde-telepathy is that it will allow for a nice user experience in setting up connections: instead of typing IP addresses, they can just select a person from their contact list.
        “Integration” doesn’t mean you’ll be required to use it, though — it’ll work just fine with the old-fashioned way, too.

      • Simon 0.4.1

        Simon 0.4.1 was just released to the public and can now be downloaded from the Simon homepage.

      • Amarok MTP GSoC: week 1

        Hi, this is my first 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 laid the very basic building blocks and I even have some screen-shots. :-)

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Xfce, LXDE, & GNOME Are Running On Ubuntu XMir

        With all of the controversy surrounding the Mir Display Server for Ubuntu Linux on non-Unity desktops, a Canonical engineer sought to find out what Linux desktops would work atop Mir if using the XMir X.Org Server compatibility layer.

  • Distributions

    • The most popular end-user Linux distributions are…

      The only surprise on that list is Mageia, which is a Mandriva fork that I’ve honestly never seen anyone use. Maybe I’m just not hanging out with the right crowd.

      Personally, my own top Linux distributions mirror the list of the most popular ones. I use Android on my tablets and my smartphone; Chrome OS on a Chromebook Pixel; and Mint on my Dell desktop and my Lenovo ThinkPads.

    • First look at ROSA 2012 R1 “Desktop Fresh”

      [ROSA] The ROSA distribution is a fork of Mandriva and one of the project’s editions is called “Desktop Fresh”. This branch of the ROSA project “is targeted at advanced users and enthusiasts who will appreciate rich functionality and freshness of distribution components without serious loss of quality.” Or, put another way, ROSA Fresh tries to deliver up to date packages combined with user friendly technology, much of it developed by Mandriva with some new features added by the ROSA team. The new release of Fresh includes a few interesting features, including support for the Steam game portal as well as Azure and Hyper-V support. This version comes with the KDE 4.10 desktop and is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds. The install image for ROSA Desktop Fresh is 1.5 GB in size and does double duty as a live DVD.

    • Top Five Best Linux Distros

      I’m a sucker for every kind of “Top Five” (or Top 10 or Top 20) list there is. I love reading them and I enjoy writing them. There’s just one thing I’ve learned, never take them seriously. They’re just a way to have fun. They never speak anything like the whole truth, unless they’re listing something based on quantity, like the five best selling brands of soda. Even then, pay attention to who’s counting the quantity. Pepsi would probably come up with a different list than Coke.

    • What Was Your First Linux Distro?
    • AntiX Keeps Going For Low-End Computers

      AntiX 13.1 was released this past week for those looking to load Linux on low-end computers. AntiX isn’t a Linux distribution about killing off X.Org, but rather is about running Linux on low-end hardware.

      The antiX distribution follows Debian Wheezy at the moment with its version 13 “Luddite” series. The antiX 13.1 release pulls in various updates from Wheezy over its original 13.0 release, plus provides various bug-fixes as pointed out on its project page at MEIPS.org.

    • New Releases

      • Zorin OS 7 Review Linux Distro Reviews
      • Linux Mint 15 KDE RC released

        KDE Plasma is one of the most advanced, future ready (thus the name Plasma), desktop environments around which empowers users to stay in control of their PCs. KDE is not only the most customizable, expandable Des but also the most elegant one. Linux Mint’s own Cinnamon brings the same level of customization and control to Gnome 3. So with Linux Mint you get the best experience of the two leading desktop environments.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux: Which Fork Is Right for You?

        Mandriva Linux is a newbie-centric distribution that has become less of a highlight in the news over the past few years. At one time, Mandriva was considered the de facto Linux distribution for anyone looking to switch from Windows to Linux. Today, Linux has evolved into a complex ecosystem, and selecting Mandriva isn’t as black and white as it once was.

        In this article, I’ll examine where Mandriva is today, how various forks of Mandriva Linux work within the Linux space and whether or not they’re something I would recommend trying out for yourself.

      • FISL14 – Nós Vamos!
    • Red Hat Family

      • Evercore Partners Lowers Red Hat Price Target to $55.00 (RHT)

        Evercore Partners has also modified their ratings on a number of other information technology stocks in the few days. The firm lowered its price target on shares of Oracle Corp. from $36.00 to $34.00. They have an equal weight rating on that stock. Also, Evercore Partners raised its price target on shares of Microsoft Corp. to $36.00. They have an equal weight rating on that stock. Finally, Evercore Partners lowered its price target on shares of Zynga Inc from $3.35 to $2.50. They have an underweight rating on that stock.

      • Deutsche Bank Reiterates “Hold” Rating for Red Hat (RHT)
      • Xen Support Returns to CentOS at Last
      • Red Hat Stock Rating Reaffirmed by Bank of America (RHT)

        Bank of America reiterated their buy rating on shares of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) in a research note released on Thursday morning, ARN reports.

        “We think RHT is capable of growing billings at a sustainable rate in mid teens, with multiple growth drivers validating our thesis (see our report for details). RHT is becoming a multi-product company benefiting from open source adoption and Cloud platform build-out. In our view, the stock could be poised to move higher from billings reacceleration. We reiterate Buy with PO of $61, based on 25x CY13e FCF, in line with comps (CRM, VMW).,” Bank of America’s analyst commented.

      • Red Hat Beats Analyst Estimates on EPS
    • Debian Family

      • The value of a good distro wide test suite…

        In the Debian Edu / Skolelinux project, we include a post-installation test suite, which check that services are running, working, and return the expected results. It runs automatically just after the first boot on test installations (using test ISOs), but not on production installations (using non-test ISOs). It test that the LDAP service is operating, Kerberos is responding, DNS is replying, file systems are online resizable, etc, etc. And it check that the PXE service is configured, which is the topic of this post.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Artila Releases Matrix-505 Linux Ready Box Computer
    • BeagleBone Black SBC gains $15 metal enclosure

      Logic Supply will soon ship an enclosure for BeagleBoard.org’s BeagleBone Black open source development board. Selling for $15 in July, the LGX BB100 comprises a plated steel chassis with a multipoint mounting lid that fits BeagleBone Capes, and offers access to USB, microSD, microHDMI, Ethernet, and other ports.

      Considering the BeagleBone Black single-board computer (SBC) is priced at $45 — or almost half the price of the original BeagleBone — Logic Supply is gambling that customers will have some money left over for a $15 enclosure. The company announced the LGX BB100 in late May, and has now released pricing, availability info (mid-July), and other details.

    • PiCloud Is A Model Cloud Made Of Raspberry Pi & LEGO For Teaching Students About Web Platforms
    • Phones

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • HP 21-inch touchscreen PC runs Android on Nvidia Tegra 4
        • Rugged, multiwireless, multifunction GPS runs Android

          Garmin announced a ruggedized, 4-inch personal navigation device (PND) that runs on Android. Expected to ship in the third quarter starting at $650, the handheld Monterra offers Google Play compatibility, a dual-band GPS/GLONASS receiver, a 3-axis compass, an 8-megapixel camera, and wireless features including WiFi, ANT+, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, FM, and NOAA radios, and a sunlight-readable display.

        • Google opening Android Nation retail stores across India

          Web giant’s latest attempt is further aimed at penetrating the Indian market with Android devices, and will see retail stores set up across India starting in New Delhi later this year.

        • GEAK Watch – the First Android Smart Watch

          While there are rumors that Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft and other companies keep their “smart” watches still in the air, the Chinese GEAK company already has a pretty compelling product that belongs to this segment of the market.

        • Sony hints a new SmartWatch is coming next week

          Sony’s SmartWatch was part of a rush of smartphone-connected watches released between 2010 and 2012, as developers looked to update Dick Tracy’s wristwear for a world full of Android and iOS devices. But the Kickstarter-funded Pebble swept many of them away, gaining the kind of cultural cachet that other connected watches never even approached. With the Pebble a few months past release and Apple’s iWatch still a rumor, Sony is teasing an update to its SmartWatch for this year’s Mobile Asia Expo.

        • The first ten Android apps a professional should download
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Shisutena to launch a 10 inch Tizen Linux tablet in Japan

        Smartphones and tablets running the Tizen operating system are expected to hit the streets this year, and it looks like Japan could be a good place to find some of the first. Hot on the heels of news that wireless carrier NTT DoComo would offer one of the first Tizen-powered phones, a company called Shisutena has announced it’s developed a 10 inch Tizen tablet.

      • HP Launches Android PC Slate 21

        HP just doubled the troubles for Microsoft by launching an Android powered desktop PC called Slate 21. Though it’s not the first time any PC maker tried to put Android on a PC, but HP is the first major company to push ‘Android only’ desktop to the market.

      • Android Sneaks Onto the Desktop in Giant HP Tablet

        t’s a tablet! It’s a desktop PC! Actually, the new Android-powered HP Slate 21 is a little of both. Featuring a Nvidia Tegra 4 processor and a kickstand to prop it up on the desk, the device targets primarily home users. “This is the rich experience consumers really want,” said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research. “I would expect to see more of this.”

      • Why New Tablets and PCs Running Android Make Lots of Sense

        As Android continues to win market share despite being a very young mobile operating system, the number of applications for it is rising too. That has already expanded Android’s influence from smartphones to tablets, but there has also been interest in bringing Android to desktop computers. For example, I’ve written about BlueStacks App Player a number of times, which lets you run Android apps on a PC through emulation.

      • HP Slate 21 all-in-one PC is powered by Android, Tegra 4 chip

        The company shows off its new desktop/tablet hybrid that eschews Intel and Windows at an event in Beijing. It arrives in the U.S. in September starting at $399.

Free Software/Open Source

  • CertiVox launch open source authentication client
  • Joeffice Is An Open Source Office Application That Was Built In 30 Days
  • Douglas Arellanes – building strong independent media through open-source software

    A long-time resident of Prague, Doug Arellanes has been involved in internet innovations in this country since the early 1990’s. A few years ago, he became one of the founders of Sourcefabric, an organization that creates open-source online tools for media organizations all over the world. Douglas began by telling me about how he was first enticed to come to Czechoslovakia from Los Angeles, having received a letter from his friends who at the time founded the newspaper Prognosis, the precursor to The Prague Post.

  • Major part of DCGS now open source

    A recently created military software open source foundation received its first major chunk of code when Lockheed Martin donated in May middleware software used in the Distributed Common Ground System, a military data analysis tool the subject of mounting controversy.

  • Cubietruck is a small, open source mini PC with an Allwinner A20 dual-core CPU

    The Cubietruck is an upcoming mini-computer with a dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor, up to 2GB of RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, and WiFi and Bluetooth built in.

  • AppScale Launches As An Open-Source Backup Equivalent To Google App Engine

    Startup AppScale has launched its open-source backup up service for Google App Engine (GAE), which is compatible with standard cloud services that developers use when building apps.

    The company, which was one of six startups that presented at the Structure conference last week, stood out even if it did not win an award for overall best startup and even though it wasn’t the audience award winner. Here’ why: It is a backup Platform as a Service (PaaS) for a PaaS and infrastructure services.

  • Exclusive Interview with Illumos Founder Garrett D’Amore

    During the week, Unixmen exclusively interviewed Illumos Founder, Garrett D’Amore. Garrett has worked for the likes of Sun Microsystems and Nexenta. Upon the announcement of Oracle closing development of OpenSolaris, he founded the Illumos project which would become a continuation of the OpenSolaris kernel. We asked him to shed some light on what he thinks of the current situation with OpenIndiana, the open-source desktop project which would continue on from where OpenSolaris stopped so suddenly.

  • Free Software post-PRISM

    The news has been full of talk of spying, whistleblowing and data mining. Glyn Moody looks at how open source has been used to threaten freedom and privacy and how it could be used to defend them.

  • Forces Driving Open Source Enterprise IT Applications to the Cloud

    Nothing is bigger in the technology industry these days than the cloud. And right in the middle of this migration and brave new world are open source applications.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google to scan for malicious apps in Chrome Web Store

        Google is trying to better protect the users of its Chrome Web Store from malicious browser apps and extensions. As is already the case in the Google Play Android apps store, content uploaded to the Chrome Web Store will now also be automatically scanned for malware.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Delivers 3D Gaming, Video Calls and File Sharing to the Web

        Rich activities like games and video calls were some of the last remaining challenges to prove that the Web is a capable and powerful platform for complex tasks. We conquered these challenges as part of Mozilla’s mission to advance the Web as the platform for openness, innovation and opportunity for all.

        Firefox allows developers to create amazing high-performance Web applications and enables video calls and file-sharing directly in the browser, all without the need for plugins or third-party software. What has been difficult to develop on the Web before is now much easier, faster and more fun.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • State Of The Sea Lion – June 2013

      The Board of the MariaDB Foundation thought it would be good to provide an update — hopefully the first of a regular quarterly series — on how we’re progressing with the interim activities around constructing governance, identifying a new representative Board and structuring an engineering council.

    • Enterprise Open Source: Talend and Neo Technology Advance NoSQL Capabilities with Support for Big Graph Databases

      Talend, a global open source software leader, and Neo Technology, creators of Neo4j, the world’s leading graph database, today announced a partnership to advance the deployment and integration of NoSQL graph databases to enterprise environments. As part of the agreement, Talend has added a new connector for Neo4j in its integration solutions, Talend Platform for Big Data and Talend Open Studio for Big Data, enabling users to easily connect and analyze data from disparate systems to help drive and improve business performance.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.1′s first release candidate arrives

      The arrival of the next version of LibreOffice nears with the publication of the first release candidate for LibreOffice 4.1. The LibreOffice developers released the RC1 with release notes listing 61 bugs fixed since Beta 2′s publication two weeks ago, with various fixes for the experimental sidebar, OOXML conversion fixes for crashes and border width reading, some fixes to rendering and runaway lines reverted, and corrections for various crashes in Writer, Base and the document converter.

  • CMS

  • BSD

    • PS4 runs Orbis OS, a modified version of FreeBSD that’s similar to Linux

      The PS4, which is scheduled to be released in November at the delightful price of $400, appears to run an operating system called Orbis OS, which is a modified version of FreeBSD 9.0. FreeBSD is a free version of BSD Unix that is generally fairly compatible with most Linux applications, and to the untrained eye a BSD-based system looks a lot like Linux. In theory, with a bit of work, this means you could almost take a PS4 game and run it on a Linux PC — but don’t get your hopes up for some kind of Linux gaming renaissance.

    • Details about Playstation 4 OS development
    • FreeBSD turns 20 years old

      OPEN SOURCE OPERATING SYSTEM FreeBSD has hit its 20th birthday.

      FreeBSD has over the years seen its mainstream popularity dwindle as the Linux kernel and the many distributions that use it have seen rapid development. However FreeBSD turned 20 on 19 June and it continues to run vital network infrastructure services.

    • Sony’s PlayStation 4 Is Running Modified FreeBSD 9

      It’s been exposed that the operating system powering the PlayStation 4 is Orbis OS, which is a Sony spin of FreeBSD 9.0. It’s not a huge surprise FreeBSD is being used over Linux, in part due to the more liberal licensing. The PlayStation 4 is x86_64 based now rather than Cell-based, which makes it easier to use FreeBSD.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • A second FSF-certified device from ThinkPenguin: long-range USB Wifi adapter with Atheros chip

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to the TPE-N150USBL long-range 802.11n USB adapter, sold by ThinkPenguin. This wireless adapter is based on the Atheros AR9271, using the same chip and firmware as the TPE-N150USB, which was awarded RYF certification in April. The RYF certification mark means that the product meets the FSF’s standards in regard to users’ freedom, control over the product, and privacy. The TPE-N150USBL can be purchased from http://www.thinkpenguin.com/TPE-N150USBL.

    • GIMP 2.8.6 Released
  • Project Releases

    • Annual update released for TeX Live

      The developers of the TeX Live distribution of LaTeX have released their annual update. However, after 17 years of development, the changes in TeX Live 2013 mostly amount to technical details.

  • Public Services/Government

    • EC tells public bodies to break free from lock-in

      In a Communication published today, the European Commission urges public bodies to break free from vendor lock-in in their IT systems. The Commission wants public bodies to rely on standards rather than brand names and proprietary technology when they buy software.

      In its Communication titled “Against lock-in”, the Commission highlights that public bodies unnecessarily spend 1.1 billion Euro every year because they do not allow more competition among their suppliers. The Commission cites studies saying that 16% of public procurements make reference to brand names. According to the Communication, costs for IT contracts drop by 9% when public bodies manage to double the number of companies bidding for those contracts.

    • Italian Genoa to use open source ‘wherever possible’

      The Italian city of Genoa is increasing its use of free and open source software, aiming to reduce its dependency on IT vendors. “The Municipality will favour the use of free software or open source, wherever possible”, Genoa announced last week Friday.

    • South Tyrol government to standardise on LibreOffice

      A report on the EC’s open source portal, Joinup, states that the decision to move to LibreOffice was taken by a roundtable representing the province’s IT experts, municipalities, health care and others. The reason given for the switch is to avoid “vendor lock-in, increase flexibility, save costs and support the region’s small and medium sized ICT service providers.”

    • European Commission foresees €1.1bn savings from open standards

      THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC) has said that using open standards could save the public sector €1.1bn a year.

      The EC has long been in favour of using open source software, highlighting the benefits that governments that make the jump from closed source software enjoy. Now the commission has said that using open standards when buying IT systems could save the European public sector €1.1bn a year.

  • Licensing

  • Programming

    • Eclipse Foundation opens up to social coding

      In an admission that the role of a modern open source foundation has changed, the Eclipse Foundation has said it will start allowing projects to host their core development on third-party forges such as GitHub. The reasons behind this change are outlined in a blog post by Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation.

    • PHP 5.5 Released With Zend Opcache, Generators

      The PHP development community announced today the release of PHP 5.5.0. The PHP 5.5 release brings with it the Zend Opcache extension, support for generators, the “finally” keyword, and other new additions to the popular scripting language.

    • LLVM Clang 3.3, Early Clang 3.4 Benchmarks

      For those curious how AMD’s Bulldozer CPUs are performing with this week’s release of LLVM 3.3, here are some benchmarks of LLVM/Clang 3.3 along with some early benchmarks of the latest Clang 3.4 development code from the AMD FX-8150 Eight-Core CPU.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Daala: A Next-Generation Video Codec From Xiph

      Xiph.Org is now working on Daala, a new general-purpose video codec designed to be next-generation beyond VP9 and HEVC. The project is still considered “pre-pre-alpha”, but it gives hope to a new generation of open-source video support.

Leftovers

  • Could SCOTUS ruling actually endanger affirmative action policies?

    The Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to send its big affirmative action case back to the lower courts has been hailed by civil rights groups as a victory for the policy’s advocates. But some legal experts are not so sure.

    The case, called Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, involved a white woman who sued the school after it rejected her in 2008, arguing that the school’s affirmative action policy violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. In a 7-1 decision, the Court found that in this case, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals improperly applied the “strict scrutiny” test, and gave undo deference to the “good faith” of the University of Texas when it ruled in the school’s favor.

  • Supreme Court Puts New Pressure on Colleges to Justify Affirmative Action

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday in a lawsuit challenging race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas at Austin does not substantially alter the legal landscape for colleges, but it does put them under more pressure to justify such affirmative-action policies than they had been under before.

  • Did the Court Punt? Or Not?

    In the initial flurry of e-mails and Twitter comments about the Supreme Court’s ruling Monday on affirmative action, the metaphor of choice was football. The Supreme Court had punted, the comments said, by sending the case back to a federal appeals court for further review.

    And in some ways, the Supreme Court didn’t appear to be shifting the law, referencing its past rulings as defining its course of action in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, in which Abigail Fisher, a white woman rejected for admission by the university, said that her rights had been violated by UT-Austin’s consideration of race and ethnicity in admissions decisions. And it’s certainly true that the decision didn’t have the sort of finality many had expected.

  • Bus company that threatened redditor with lawsuit tries to reopen suits

    Remember the bus company owner who threatened to sue a redditor for libel, sued a customer for complaining about offensive comments made by a driver, and filed over 100 lawsuits against passengers for “liquidated damages” over issues like handing over the wrong printed ticket for a round trip or violating his company’s terms of service?

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Growth in crop yields inadequate to feed the world by 2050 – research

      Agriculture productivity not rising fast enough to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population

    • ECO-REVOLUTION: GMO Crops TORCHED in America
    • GM crops won’t help African farmers

      As Esther Bett, a farmer from Eldoret in Kenya, said last week: “It seems that farmers in America can only make a living from GM crops if they have big farms, covering hundreds of hectares, and lots of machinery. But we can feed hundreds of families off the same area of land using our own seed and techniques, and many different crops. Our model is clearly more efficient and productive. Mr Paterson is wrong to pretend that these GM crops will help us at all.”

    • Monsanto Bt Pesticide Damages Red Blood Cells

      Studies are now showing that Monsanto crops damage red blood cells which are responsible for delivering oxygen to the body. And without functioning red blood cells, our bodies are in critical condition — desperate for life support.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Chicago Police Accused of Using Gun to Sodomize Innocent Man

      A federal lawsuit alleges that Chicago police sodomized a man with a gun until he agreed to become a participant in a drug sting, the Courthouse News Service reports. Plaintiff Angel Perez is suing police officer Jorge Lopez and the city of Chicago for excessive force related to the incident, which, according to the lawsuit, was quite the nightmare.

    • FBI Can Assassinate Anyone They Want To – Rachel Maddow

      Did you know that the FBI can assassinate anyone that they want to; you, me, your kids, grand kids or mine? Rachel Maddow takes on the FBI and provides an impressive butt whipping of a federal agency badly in need of one in this video that comes with a graphic content warning. Will the FBI continue to ‘get away with murder’ or will they remember their PROPER place, along with the rest of this out of control gang of bullies and thugs that calls itself ‘government’, as being SERVANTS to the American people rather than playing God?

    • Tahrir to Taksim: West interferes

      While Arab dictators brutalized mostly peaceful protesters, wars, in the full sense of the word, didn’t actualize until the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries began meddling. In Libya, they guided an uprising with a limited armed component to a full-fledged war that resulted in the death, wounding and disappearance of thousands.

      [...]

      But the response of some European Union leaders to the anti-government protests in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir in recent weeks was most sobering. Even Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s best efforts are simply not enough to sway Europe from capitalizing on Turkey’s misfortunes. German Chancellor Angela Merkel quickly took a stance to block “moves to open a new chapter in Ankara’s EU membership talks”, Reuters reported on June 20, supposedly because of her concern regarding the Turkish police crackdown on protesters. Of course the chancellor is often forgiving when extreme violence is applied by Israel against Palestinians, since no political capital can be attained from responding otherwise.

    • Lieberman: Israel needs to conquer and thoroughly cleanse Gaza Strip

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s closest political ally has called for Israel to carry out a “thorough cleansing” of the Gaza Strip as a tenuous ceasefire between its Hamas rulers and the Jewish state frayed.

    • Alistair Dawber on Yasser Arafat: After so many years in power, why kill a man at the end of his career?

      “Let’s get rid of him.” Those were the words of the former Israeli defence minister, Shaul Mofaz, speaking to Ariel Sharon during a public conference two and a half years before Yasser Arafat died.

    • A drone strike that killed Pakistan tourism

      When Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) number two in command, Waliur Rehman Mehsud,was killed in a US drone strike in May, many anti-US conspiracy theorists cried foul, citing the attack as an act aimed at ensuring the TTP would refuse the new government’s dialogue overtures. The killing of Waliur Rehman would necessitate acts of vengeance by the TTP that would destabilise the country and throw the Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) led government off course from day one, they said.

    • Rand Paul demands FBI explain drone ops
    • NYT Public Editor Joins Critics of Hastings Obit
    • Hastings Obituary Did Not Capture His Adversarial Spirit

      An obituary of the journalist Michael Hastings missed an opportunity to convey to Times readers what a distinctive figure he was in American journalism.

      The obituary, which has drawn criticism — most notably in a strongly worded e-mail from Mr. Hastings’ widow, Elise Jordan, to the executive editor, Jill Abramson, and others at The Times, including the public editor’s office — is not factually inaccurate, as far as I can tell.

      But it doesn’t adequately get across the essence of Mr. Hastings’ journalism or the regard in which he was held. And, in the way it presents the Pentagon’s response to his most celebrated article in Rolling Stone, which brought down Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the obituary seems to diminish his work’s legitimacy.

  • Cablegate

    • Assange, Back in News, Never Left U.S. Radar
    • Meet the WikiLeaks Guy Who Got His Gmail Seized by the Feds

      Last week, Herbert Snorrason received a “spammy” looking email from Google informing him that the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia had requested the contents of his inbox and other data in 2011. The tech company had complied, handing over a vast amount of his personal information.

      Snorrason is a 27-year-old, blue-eyed, bearded Icelandic guy, a self-described anarchist who is finishing up a postgraduate degree at the University of Iceland in international relations. For two months in 2010, he was also a volunteer chat moderator for WikiLeaks, an informal position where he answered user questions and directed people to more knowledgeable staff. The court that requested Snorrason’s info reportedly convened a federal grand jury probe into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after the site published sensitive information allegedly provided by Army private Bradley Manning.

    • NYT uses work of journalist covering Manning hearings, refuses to call her a journalist

      Alexa O’Brien, the independent journalist who has been doggedly covering the Bradley Manning case and has been in court every day at Ft. Meade, doing what the New York Times hadn’t—covering the pretrial hearings every day from court— wrote a scathing letter to the Times after they published this piece updating the legal proceedings against Wikileaks and Mannings, but referred to her as “an activist.” The Times article has a lot of new information about the case, and it’s worth reading.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Documents Show Liberals in I.R.S. Dragnet

      The instructions that Internal Revenue Service officials used to look for applicants seeking tax-exempt status with “Tea Party” and “Patriots” in their titles also included groups whose names included the words “Progressive” and “Occupy,” according to I.R.S. documents released Monday.

      The documents appeared to back up contentions by I.R.S. officials and some Democrats that the agency did not intend to single out conservative groups for special scrutiny. Instead, the documents say, officials were trying to use “key word” shortcuts to find overtly political organizations — both liberal and conservative — that were after tax favors by saying they were social welfare organizations.

    • Capitalism, Democracy, and Elections

      Capitalism and real democracy never had much to do with one another. In contrast, formal voting in elections has worked nicely for capitalism. After all, elections have rarely posed, let alone decided, the question of capitalism: whether voters prefer it or an alternative economic system. Capitalists have successfully kept elections focused elsewhere, on non-systemic questions and choices. That success enabled them first to equate democracy with elections and then to celebrate elections in capitalist countries as proof of their democracy. Of course, even elections were and are allowed only outside capitalist enterprises. Democratic elections inside them — where employees are the majority — never happen.

    • Sinopec to buy Angolan oil field for US$1.52 billion
    • UK and China sign three year currency swap to make business in Yuan
    • JP Morgan wants Europe to be rid of social rights, democracy, employee rights and the right to protest

      What J P Morgan is making clear is that ‘socialist’ inclinations must be removed from political structures; localism must be replaced with strong, central, authority; labour rights must be removed, consensus (call it democracy if you will) must cease to be of concern and the right to protest must be curtailed. This is an agenda for hard right, corporatist, centrist government. There’s another word for that, and it’s what the bankers seem to want.

    • This pretty much kills the IRS scandal

      The scandal has been a fiction all along as new documents show the IRS targeted liberal groups as well

    • Exit From the Bond Market Is Turning Into a Stampede
    • California Says the Bitcoin Foundation Is a Money-Transferrer

      The California regulator that oversees the state’s banks, money-transmitters and credit unions thinks the nonprofit organization that advocates for Bitcoin might be in the money-sending business.

      So late last month Paul Crayton, a lawyer with the California Department of Financial Institutions sent the foundation a letter, telling it to “cease and desist from conducting the business of money transmission in this state.” The letter threatens $1,000-per-day fines for non compliance.

    • ICIJ Releases Offshore Leaks Database Revealing Names Behind Secret Companies, Trusts

      When Bernard Madoff built his $65 billion house of cards; when food distributors passed off horsemeat as beef lasagna in Europe; and when Apple, Google and other American companies set up structures to channel their profits through Ireland — they all used tax havens.

      They bought secrecy, minimal or zero taxes and legal insulation, the distinctive products that tax havens market and that allow companies to operate in a fiscal and regulatory vacuum. Using the offshore economy is akin to acquiring your own island where the rules that most citizens follow don’t apply.

      The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists publishes today a database that, for the first time in history, will help begin to strip away this secrecy across 10 offshore jurisdictions.

      The Offshore Leaks Database allows users to search through more than 100,000 secret companies, trusts and funds created in offshore locales such as the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands and Singapore. The Offshore Leaks web app, developed by La Nación newspaper in Costa Rica for ICIJ, displays graphic visualizations of offshore entities and the networks around them, including, when possible, the company’s true owners.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Bill Moyers: United States of ALEC — A Viewers Guide

      A new episode of the Moyers and Company television program by the legendary broadcaster Bill Moyers aired on public television stations across the U.S. over the weekend. The program was packed with new material about ALEC’s latest moves and relies heavily upon the research and reporting of CMD’s award-winning “ALEC Exposed” project. The program features interviews with CMD Executive Director Lisa Graves, Deputy Director Mary Bottari and Director of Research Nick Surgey. Madisonians John Nichols of the Nation, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan and University of Wisconsin professors Joel Rogers and Julie Underwood are also interviewed about the expansive ALEC agenda.

    • David Gregory Doesn’t Understand David Gregory’s Snowden Question

      When Gregory and Todd suggest that Greenwald is not an actual journalist–”someone who claims that he is a journalist,” or someone “involved in the plot”–what they ware really saying is that Glenn Greenwald is not their kind of journalist.

    • ABC Pundits on Snowden: The Center Holds!
    • Russophobia

      Firstly, from our own history and geography, we think of colonies as something reached exclusively by ship. The idea that colonies can be a contiguous land mass with the metropolitan, yet still in effect colonies, is not a pre-received idea for us. Russia’s absorption of the entirely alien cultures of the vast Centre, Siberian belt, North and North-west of Asia was undoubtedly a massive colonial expansion. Working in Central Asia today, for example, political societal and economic developments could only be understood as a post-colonial situation.

  • Privacy

    • U.S. Rebukes China, Russia and Ecuador Over Snowden
    • White House presses Russia to expel Snowden; sharp words for China

      The White House pressed Russia on Monday to exercise all options to expel Edward Snowden and slammed China for allowing the former U.S. spy agency contractor who disclosed government surveillance secrets to leave Hong Kong.

    • Google handed over years of e-mails belonging to WikiLeaks chatroom admin

      Smári McCarthy, in his Twitter bio, describes himself as a “Information freedom activist. Executive Director of IMMI. Pirate.”
      SHARE Conference

      On Friday, two Icelandic activists with previous connections to WikiLeaks announced that they received newly unsealed court orders from Google. Google sent the orders earlier in the week, revealing that the company searched and seized data from their Gmail accounts—likely as a result of a grand jury investigation into the rogue whistleblower group.

      Google was forbidden under American law from disclosing these orders to the men until the court lifted this restriction in early May 2013. (A Google spokesperson referred Ars to its Transparency Report for an explanation of its policies.)

      On June 21, 2013, well-known Irish-Icelandic developer Smári McCarthy published his recently un-sealed court order dating back to July 14, 2011. Google sent him the order, which included McCarthy’s Gmail account metadata, the night before. The government cited the Stored Communications Act (SCA)(specifically a 2703(d) order) as grounds to provide this order.

    • USA must not hunt down whistleblower Edward Snowden

      The US authorities must not prosecute anyone for disclosing information about the government’s human rights violations, Amnesty International said after Edward Snowden was charged under the Espionage Act.

      The organization also believes that the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower could be at risk of ill-treatment if extradited to the USA.

      “No one should be charged under any law for disclosing information of human rights violations by the US government. Such disclosures are protected under the rights to information and freedom of expression,” said Widney Brown, Senior Director of International Law and Policy at Amnesty International.

    • Cranking Up the Washington Lie Machine

      Just for the sake of argument, let’s suspend our disbelief for a moment and pretend (I know it’s a stretch) that the Obama administration and the apologists for the nation’s spy apparatus in Congress, Democratic and Republican, are telling us the gods’ honest truth.

      They have, as the Wall Street Journal puts it, “amped up” their defense of the NSA’s massive spying program, claiming that not two, but 50 terrorist plots have been foiled thanks to their metadata mining and their intrusive monitoring of our phone and email conversations and website browsing activity.

    • President Obama: Guarantee due process for Edward Snowden
    • Edward Snowden whereabouts unknown as US presses Russia – as it happened
    • Snowden’s Escape

      Now that Edward Snowden is safely away out of the clutches of the US police state, at least for now, let’s take a moment to contemplate how this one brave man’s principled confrontation with the Orwellian US government has damaged our national security state.

      Firstly, there are the four computers loaded with National Security Agency secrets, which have already exposed the details of how our government is monitoring our entire national communications grid, prying into the details of the telephonic and internet activity of every American citizen. We’ve only begun to learn about the ugly totalitarian activities of our government, and now that Snowden is safe from arrest, we will no doubt learn much more.

    • ‘Who betrayed whom?’ Ecuador considers Snowden’s asylum, dubs persecution ‘paradoxical’

      Has Edward Snowden betrayed people of the world or certain elites in a particular country, asked Ecuador Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino as he confirmed that the whistleblower was in Russia following the asylum bid the South American country.

      Patino said on Monday that human rights principles were the most important consideration in the case of former CIA contractor.

      Ecuador has been in contact with the Russian government over Edward Snowden and has informed Russia that it is considering him asylum appeal, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister said at a press conference in Hanoi on Monday.

    • Kerry calls Snowden ‘traitor’, warns Russia and China of impact on relations

      US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that America is not aware about the intended travel destination of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden but he “would be deeply troubled” if China and Russia knew about the whistleblower’s plans.

    • Pirate Party Norway: – Snowden Passed Through Norway to Iceland

      The party leader Øystein Jakobsen would meet with Snowden when he landed on Sunday evening, according to the party’s twitter account.

      - We have received information from our international umbrella party, the Pirate Parties International (PPI), that he will stop in Norway. The reason is that this is probably the quickest and easiest way to fly to Iceland, says Tale Østrådal from the Pirate Party to TV2 Norway

    • Assange reveals details of ‘Snowden Op’, slams US ‘war on whistleblowers’

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was safe and healthy, in a “safe place.” It was also revealed Ecuador supplied Snowden with a refugee document of passage.

      “The current status of Mr Snowden and Harrison is that both are healthy and safe and they are in contact with their legal teams,” the WikiLeaks founder said during a conference call with the media broadcast by RT. “I cannot give further information as to their whereabouts,” Assange added.

    • The Freedom Online Coalition in Tunis: A Call To Governments To Limit Surveillance

      The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) is a group of governments that have declared themselves “committed to collaborating to advance Internet freedom.” When the coalition first formed in the Hague two years ago, EFF noted the “disconnect … between what these state leaders practice, and what they preach.” Nonetheless, many of the members of the FOC—which has grown since 2011 from 18 to 21 countries—have put their money where their mouths are, donating millions toward technology and other projects promoting online freedom.

    • How can we invest our trust in a government that spies on us?

      ‘If you are a law-abiding citizen of this country, going about your business and your personal life, you have nothing to fear.” That’s how William Hague, the foreign secretary, responded to the revelations of mass surveillance in the US and the UK. Try telling that to Stephen Lawrence’s family.

      Four police officers were deployed to spy on the family and friends of the black teenager murdered by white racists. The Lawrences and the people who supported their fight for justice were law-abiding citizens going about their business. Yet undercover police were used, one of the spies now tells us, to hunt for “disinformation” and “dirt”. Their purpose? “We were trying to stop the campaign in its tracks.”

    • Demonizing Edward Snowden: Which Side Are You On?

      As I write this, a bunch of reporters are flying from Moscow to Havana on an Aeroflot Airbus 330, but Edward Snowden isn’t sitting among them. His whereabouts are unknown. He might still be in the V.I.P. lounge at Sheremetyevo International Airport. He could have left on another plane. There are even suggestions that he has taken shelter in the Ecuadorian Embassy in Moscow.

      What we do know is that, on this side of the Atlantic, efforts are being stepped up to demonize Snowden, and to delegitimize his claim to be a conscientious objector to the huge electronic-spying apparatus operated by the United States and the United Kingdom. “This is an individual who is not acting, in my opinion, with noble intent,” General Keith Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency, told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “What Snowden has revealed has caused irreversible and significant damage to our country and to our allies.” Over on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, “I don’t think this man is a whistle-blower… he could have stayed and faced the music. I don’t think running is a noble thought.”

    • Dear Everyone: Please Don’t Turn Edward Snowden Into Julian Assange

      The irony that exists, of course, is that the United States government has been caught hacking and surveilling those same countries. For Kerry to then turn and accuse them of risking a free internet, which wasn’t even the crux of what Snowden revealed, is hubris so strong it might just power motor vehicles. What Snowden was actually exposing, of course, was the American government’s policy of subversive collection of communications data globally. Sure, you can point to the Chinese and Russian governments and say they don’t have a free and open internet, though I’d caution levying that charge against Hong Kong. Of course you can say that they have similar spying programs in place, too. But this isn’t about China and Russia, it’s about America and what Snowden revealed.

      The lesson here is that Snowden can’t turn into another Assange. The cult of personality is the worst kind of celebrity worship, since it distracts so completely our attention from the actual issues in this case. Focus on what is being revealed, not who is revealing it, I’m begging you.

    • Icelandic Pirate Party statement on asylum for Snowden

      Icelandic Pirate Party MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir has released a statement on the possibility of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden being granted asylum in Iceland: “Snowden should not come to Iceland unless he will request and be granted citizenship by the Icelandic Parliament. Citizenship is the only legal protection that will shelter him from any demands of extradition to the USA.”

    • Iceland opts out of joining EU

      Iceland has withdrawn its bid to join the European Union, announced its foreign minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson.

    • Pelosi booed for defending NSA wiretapping

      “It’s not a balance. It’s not constitutional!” shouted 57-year-old Marc Perkel from Gilroy, Calif., before being escorted out. “No secret laws!”

    • Anger at US Policies Ease’s Snowden’s Escape

      Plenty of Countries Resent US Surveillance

    • US left helpless as Snowden takes flight

      US threats that China and Russia face “consequences” if leaker Edward Snowden evades capture may prove just hot air, experts say, with Washington powerless in a game of cat-and-mouse.

      Left red-faced after Snowden brazenly waltzed out of Hong Kong bound for Moscow at the weekend even after his passport was apparently canceled, US officials have angrily called on Russia to hand him over for trial.

      President Barack Obama said Washington was using every legal channel to apprehend the former technician and the self-confessed source of explosive leaks detailing the extent of covert US phone and Internet surveillance.

      Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/security-it/us-left-helpless-as-snowden-takes-flight-20130625-hv0e9.html#ixzz2XD9Ff6C1

    • US & NSA Accused of Criminal Privacy Violations in Dozens of Nations – Snowden Blowback

      The NSA revelations pose an immediate economic problem for US cloud providers on the international market — the big name telecoms. Richard Stiennon, chief research analyst at IT-Harvest, wrote in Forbes that this kind of, “vast foreign and domestic spying & threatens the global competitiveness of U.S. tech companies.”

    • NSA Whistleblower: NSA Spying On – and Blackmailing – Top Government Officials and Military Officers

      We’re agnostic about McGovern’s theory. We don’t know whether Obama is a total corrupt sell-out … or a chicken. We don’t think it matters … as the effect is the same.

    • Original NSA Whistleblower: I Saw The Order To Wiretap Barack Obama In 2004
    • U.S. Surveillance Is Not Aimed at Terrorists

      The debate over the U.S. government’s monitoring of digital communications suggests that Americans are willing to allow it as long as it is genuinely targeted at terrorists. What they fail to realize is that the surveillance systems are best suited for gathering information on law-abiding citizens.

      People concerned with online privacy tend to calm down when told that the government can record their calls or read their e-mail only under special circumstances and with proper court orders. The assumption is that they have nothing to worry about unless they are terrorists or correspond with the wrong people.

    • Scotland Yard spied on critics of police corruption

      Exclusive: undercover officers in Special Demonstration Squad targeted political campaigns against Metropolitan police

    • Australia shelves plans to store phone, Internet metadata

      Australia’s government on Monday shelved plans to force phone and Internet companies to hold two years of phone call and email data following concerns raised by a parliamentary inquiry into telecommunications interception laws.

    • Australia Drops Snooping Plans — For Now
    • GCHQ Revelations Destroy Case for Snooper’s Charter

      So the revelations from Edward Snowden keep on coming, exposing ever-more profound attacks on privacy and democracy in the UK and elsewhere. News that GCHQ is essentially downloading, storing and searching through the entire flow of Internet traffic that comes into and goes out of the UK without any specific warrant to do so is one side of that. That seems to be taking place through an extremely generous interpretation of the out-of-date RIPA law that is supposed to bring some level of accountability to just this sort of thing. The fact that it doesn’t shows that we must reform RIPA and make it fit for the Internet age.

      That should be a priority for the future, but here I want to concentrate on a more pressing threat: the Snooper’s Charter. Despite the fact that it is disproportionate, will create additional risks of private data being misused, and simply won’t work, the usual authoritarians on both the Right and Left of politics are still calling for it to be brought in. But prompted by the leaks about GCHQ’s activities, “sources” have been revealing to The Guardian some interesting facts beyond Snowden’s information that have a direct bearing on the Snooper’s Charter:

    • MSNBC Censors NSA Whistleblower Russ Tice Minutes Before Interview

      “We Don’t Want a Word on Your Allegations Pertaining to NSA Wiretapping of Obama, Judges & Activists”-MSNBC

    • NSA Surveillance Leaks Prompt Legislation
    • Podcast Show #112: NSA Whistleblower Goes on Record -Reveals New Information & Names Culprits!

      In this bombshell episode of the Boiling Frogs Post Podcast Show NSA whistleblower Russ Tice joins us to go on record for the first time with new revelations and the names of official culprits involved in the NSA’s illegal practices. Mr. Tice explains in detail how the National Security Agency targets, sucks-in, stores and analyzes illegally obtained content from the masses in the United States. He contradicts officials and the mainstream media on the status of the NSA’s Utah facility, which is already operating and “On-Line.”

    • Ecuador: ‘Freedom of Expression’ Basis for Snowden Asylum

      Nation’s foreign minister says NSA whistleblower request for safe harbor will be considered thoughtfully

    • Senators Introduce Legislation to Restore Americans’ Privacy, Limit Data Collection

      U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mark Udall (D-CO), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) have introduced two pieces of legislation that would limit the ability of federal government intelligence agencies to track and collect data on Americans.

      Sen. Sanders’ bill, the Restore Our Privacy Act (S. 1168), would put limits on records that may be searched by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and eliminate open-ended court orders that have resulted in the wholesale data mining recently disclosed by The Guardian and the Washington Post. It would require the government to provide “reasonable suspicion to justify search

    • Two Senators Say the NSA Is Still Feeding Us False Information

      President Obama avows that he welcomes a debate about the NSA, privacy and national security*. Before Edward Snowden’s leak, Americans lacked the information necessary for that debate; Obama would strongly prefer that we were still oblivious to his domestic surveillance activities. Still, national security officials right up to Obama himself continue to give the impression that they’re eager to level with Americans about certain aspects of their behavior, if only to persuade the polity that what’s happening every day isn’t as alarming as we’ve been told.

    • Snowden: NSA hacked China telcos, submarine cable network firm

      Former NSA contractor reportedly provided documents pointing to the U.S. government hacking of major Chinese telcos, Internet submarine cable giant Pacnet, and Chinese research institute Tsinghua University.

    • The NSA Has No Idea How Much Secret Data Edward Snowden Took, And That Has Them Very Worried

      U.S. intelligence agencies still don’t know how much sensitive material former Booz Allen contractor Edward Snowden obtained before leaking top-secret documents and fleeing the country, Mark Hosenball of Reuters reports.

      Snowden was able to cover some of his tracks when he accessed information about the operations of the National Security Agency (NSA) and its British equivalent, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), U.S. officials told Reuters.

    • Senators strike at surveillance laws authorizing NSA’s warrantless data collection

      New bill would shorten the lifespans of FISA and Patriot Act provisions

    • Ex-CIA head Woolsey: US ‘lost leverage’ in Snowden talks

      The US has criticised Russia and China for allowing fugitive former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden to leave Hong Kong for Moscow.

    • Spy marketing: CIA rolls out ‘new and improved website’
    • Lithuania: Reopen Investigation Into Secret CIA Prisons

      As Lithuania takes over the European Union’s rotating presidency it should lead by example, meet its legal obligations, and reopen its investigation into its own complicity in CIA secret prisons, US enforced disappearances, and alleged torture, Human Rights Watch and the Vilnius-based Human Rights Monitoring Institute said today.

      On July 1, 2013, Lithuania starts its six months as the EU’s rotating presidency, the first Baltic state to hold that post.

    • Netanyahu and Israel’s Threat to Attack Iran. Former CIA Official
    • CIA rolls out ‘sleek’ new website

      The CIA prides itself on secrecy but the spy agency unveiled a revamped website Monday that promises a user-friendly layout and a “sleeker, more modern web experience.”

      Borrowing the jargon of corporate marketing, the Central Intelligence Agency touted its new online look for job-seekers or people interested in the spy service’s origins.

    • Russia Doesn’t Plan to Detain CIA Leaker Snowden
    • Court: Serbian Intelligence Agency must reveal electronic snooping data

      Following a judgement today, the European Court of Human Rights has declared that Serbian intelligence chiefs must reveal data gained through electronic surveillance.

    • Don’t even bother asking governments not to spy on us

      The Government, its members and its security services all share one primary role: to defend the state; and currently defend is synonymous with control.

    • British intelligence is involved in PRISM, says Liberty

      CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP Liberty claims deep relationships exist between the British intelligence services and their US counterparts that indicate PRISM involvement this side of the pond.

      Liberty said it has issued a legal claim against the intelligence services over their “suspected involvement in the PRISM and Project Tempora privacy scandal”.

    • Questions for the UK government

      The Guardian’s revelations about the Tempora programme, including global Internet and telecoms surveillance, leave the UK’s reputation in great danger. Using legal loopholes, and hiding the extent of these programmes from the public eye, the UK has breached the rights of both our own citizens, and those of every country whose citizens’ data has been harvested.

    • Using Tor and other means to hide your location piques NSA’s interest in you
    • Looks Like The Internet Finally Got An Identity Layer
    • The United States Seized Confidential Mail Records Of European Parliament
    • China targets U.S. products, calls them ‘terrible security threat’
    • Cisco China Sales Vulnerable as Media Urge Domestic Shift

      Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) faces a backlash in China, where it generates about $2 billion in annual sales, after state-run media said the company poses a security threat and urged a shift toward domestic suppliers.

      While Cisco has said it didn’t participate in U.S. surveillance programs revealed earlier this month by former government contractor Edward Snowden, state-owned Chinese media outlets are calling for the company to face restrictions there.

    • ACLU to Obama: ‘We are tired of living in a nation governed by fear’

      Under President Obama, the United States is “a nation governed by fear,” the American Civil Liberties Union says in an open letter that echoes the criticisms Obama has made of George W. Bush’s national security policies.

      “[W]e say as Americans that we are tired of seeing liberty sacrificed on the altar of security and having a handful of lawmakers decide what we should and should not know,” the ACLU writes in a statement circulated to grassroots supporters and addressed to Obama. “We are tired of living in a nation governed by fear instead of the principles of freedom and liberty that made this nation great.”

    • John Oliver: Snowden exposes the blindness of the all-seeing U.S. government

      The Daily Show host John Oliver on Monday night mocked the failing U.S. efforts to track down and extradite NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Oliver observed that Snowden had ironically exposed the government’s power and its powerlessness. The “all-seeing, all-knowing” government couldn’t “find the front of a human centipede if their mouth was sewn to its ass.”

    • Perfect Forward Secrecy can block the NSA from secure web pages, but no one uses it

      Suppose, for the sake of argument, that you wanted to spy on people using Microsoft’s outlook.com website. First, you would need to capture requests to the site along with the returned web pages. But those pages are encrypted (sent via HTTPS rather than HTTP), so you would also have to break the encryption. Firefox tells us this is “very difficult” and “very unlikely” (see below).

    • Putin says no to US request to extradite Snowden

      Russian President Vladimir Putin bluntly rejected U.S. pleas to extradite National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden on Tuesday, saying Snowden is free to travel wherever he wants and insisting that Russian security agencies haven’t contacted him.

    • How to stop the NSA listening in
    • China’s state newspaper praises Edward Snowden for ‘tearing off Washington’s sanctimonious mask’

      China’s top state newspaper has praised the fugitive US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden for “tearing off Washington’s sanctimonious mask” and rejected accusations Beijing had facilitated his departure from Hong Kong.

      The strongly worded front-page commentary in the overseas edition of the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist party, responded to harsh criticism of China from the US for allowing Snowden to flee.

    • Greenwald: Snowden’s Files Are Out There if “Anything Happens” To Him

      As the U.S. government presses Moscow to extradite former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, America’s most wanted leaker has a plan B. The former NSA systems administrator has already given encoded files containing an archive of the secrets he lifted from his old employer to several people. If anything happens to Snowden, the files will be unlocked.

    • Introducing the NSA-Proof Font
    • Feds Claim Phone Data It Scooped Up Doesn’t Include Location Data, And Also [REDACTED]

      Soon after the NSA leaks came out, we pointed to a murder trial in which the lawyers for one of the defendants used the news that the NSA was collecting so much metadata on all mobile phone calls to seek discovery on the data concerning the defendant’s mobile phone location information, in the belief that it would present evidence that he was nowhere near the crime. The feds had claimed, initially, that when they subpoenaed his phone carrier during the original case, MetroPCS, that the data had already been destroyed. However, the defendant, Terrance Brown, pointed out that according to the leaked information, the NSA was collecting all such data, so the federal government should already have the data. The court seemed intrigued by this argument, and ordered the government to reply with a very short turnaround.

    • Yes, Journalists Should Be Advocates For Shedding Light On Secret Government Powers
    • DOJ Guidelines: Inappropriate To Prosecute Leaking Gov’t Information As ‘Theft Of Gov’t Property’

      Well, this is interesting. Last week, of course, it was revealed that the DOJ has charged Ed Snowden for various crimes, including “theft of government property.” In fact, Rep. Mike Rogers, the head of the House Intelligence Committee, seems to think this is the key charge, and argues (ridiculously) that the documents “belong to the people of the US” and that Snowden somehow “stole” them by giving the documents to those very same “people of the US.”

    • Netflix, Facebook — and the NSA: They’re all in it together

      NSA, Netflix, Facebook and other e-commerce goliaths are collaborating on tools that track us in very intimate ways

    • NSA-proof encryption exists. Why doesn’t anyone use it?

      Computer programmers believe they know how to build cryptographic systems that are impossible for anyone, even the U.S. government, to crack. So why can the NSA read your e-mail?

    • On Prism, partisanship and propaganda

      The Congresswoman is absolutely right: what we have reported thus far is merely “the tip of the iceberg” of what the NSA is doing in spying on Americans and the world. She’s also right that when it comes to NSA spying, “there is significantly more than what is out in the media today”, and that’s exactly what we’re working to rectify.

      But just consider what she’s saying: as a member of Congress, she had no idea how invasive and vast the NSA’s surveillance activities are. Sen. Jon Tester, who is a member of the Homeland Security Committee, said the same thing, telling MSNBC about the disclosures that “I don’t see how that compromises the security of this country whatsoever” and adding: “quite frankly, it helps people like me become aware of a situation that I wasn’t aware of before because I don’t sit on that Intelligence Committee.”

    • Constitution Check: Has the ACLU cleared a big hurdle to challenging secret spying?
    • l Gore: NSA Programs Unconstitutional, ‘Not Really The American Way’

      Former Vice President Al Gore weighed in on the matter of National Security Agency surveillance programs on Friday, calling them a massive illegal undertaking that violate Americans’ constitutional rights.

    • Investigate Booz Allen Hamilton, not Edward Snowden
    • What Did Congress Really Know About NSA Tracking?
    • Encrypted e-mail: How much annoyance will you tolerate to keep the NSA away?

      How to to encrypt e-mail, and why most don’t bother.

    • Secret Surveillance and the Crisis of Legitimacy
    • Rep. Grayson: Let Me Tell The NSA: There Is No Threat To Our Nation When I Call My Mother

      So far, we’ve seen lots of Congressional Representatives falling over each other to attack Ed Snowden and Glenn Greenwald over the NSA surveillance efforts. A few have raised concerns, but if you want to see an elected official say what’s on many of our minds, listen to Rep. Alan Grayson’s speech about the NSA scooping up all phone records.

  • Civil Rights

    • FBI Admits That Obeying The Constitution Just Takes Too Much Time

      Having some amount of oversight, someone in a position to make sure that the data requested is legit would just take too long? It seems like Mueller maybe has been watching too many episodes of 24. First off, it does not take an “awful” long time. Law enforcement has regularly been able to go through legal processes to get a wiretap or subpoena other information very, very rapidly, especially when they make it clear it’s an emergency situation. But the fact is, it’s unlikely that most of these searches are such a timely emergency that they need the data now, and can’t wait an hour or so until an employee at the telco can retrieve it for them.

    • Battle of Indonesia: resisting corporate destruction
    • New research: Global attitudes to privacy online

      Our latest research looks at consumer attitudes towards online privacy, with the findings confounding presumptions that consumers – young or old – do not care about their privacy.

    • Slew of NDAA Amendments Expected on Nukes, Afghanistan, Iran, Drones, Etc.

      Another bipartisan amendment would proposing ending the permanent basing of an Army unit in Germany.

    • US factory boss held hostage by workers in Beijing

      An American executive said he has been held hostage for four days at his medical supply plant in Beijing by scores of workers demanding severance packages like those given to 30 co-workers in a phased-out department.

      Chip Starnes, 42, a co-owner of Coral Springs, Florida-based Specialty Medical Supplies, said local officials had visited the 10-year-old plant on the capital’s outskirts and coerced him into signing agreements Saturday to meet the workers’ demands even though he sought to make clear that the remaining 100 workers weren’t being laid off.

    • Bombshell: Government’s ‘Insider Threat Program’ Obligates Federal Workers to Spy on Their Colleagues

      Once again, the McClatchy company is doing mainstream media’s heavy lifting, exposing the secrets of an increasingly hidden government. In 2003, it was McClatchy alone among the major media groups that questioned the government’s certain claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

    • Election rigging in Headlands

      Rigging of the elections that are scheduled to be held on 14 August (if the concourt upholds the SADC ruling) is already underway. I was in Mutasa’s constituency last week and met senior war veterans. I had lunch in Headlands Thursday 13 June with a senior war veteran who works with officials in the Registrar General’s office who are taking part in the mobile voter registration exercise that commenced on Monday 10 June 2013.

      The rigging mechanism is very easy. Prior to the commencement of the voter registration exercise, Zanu PF provincial commissariat officials compiled lists of all Zanu PF supporters at cell, ward and district levels, in all rural constituencies. Using the 2008 March harmonized elections statistics, Zanu PF has identified so-called swing constituencies, in which the party either won or lost marginally.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Do offline legislators deserve the votes of the 250 million net-generation europeans?

      Today, thanks to the Internet, people can organize by the hundreds of thousands – even in the millions – at a cost so low it was unthinkable only two decades. This is fantastic for volunteer efforts, and it has already begun to reshape the world we live, work and play in. But unfortunately, many legislators still seem to regard the Internet as a toy world where laws and rights don’t apply.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Large Corporations Seek U.S.–European ‘Free Trade Agreement’ to Further Global Dominance

      The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is the latest plan of conglomerates to strengthen their grip over the planet.

    • Rep. Alan Grayson: I’ve Seen The Details And There Is No Reason To Keep TPP Secret

      Rep. Alan Grayson has apparently been allowed to see a copy of the latest text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, and he’s mystified about why it’s being negotiated in secret. As we’ve noted in the past, the USTR likes to claim how “transparent” they are because (1) they “listen” to whoever wants to talk and (2) they’ll show things to Congress. Neither of those things are “transparency.” Listening to people is great, but transparency is about information flowing in the other direction, from the government to the public. As for showing things to Congress, we’ve explained how that’s not really accurate. Elected officials in Congress can see the text, but they have to go to the USTR, where they can look at the document, but they’re not allowed to take notes, make copies or bring any staffers (such as experts on trade or any of the issues in the document) with them.

    • Copyrights

      • Warner Bros: Pirates Show Us What Consumers Want

        Major content companies are beginning to acknowledge that “pirates” aren’t necessarily all evil, but actually lead the way to future business models. Movie studio Warner Bros. is among those who are starting to interpret piracy as a marker signal. “We view piracy as a proxy of consumer demand,” Warner Bros. anti-piracy chief David Kaplan notes, adding that the company adjusts its legal offerings to better compete with piracy.

      • MPAA’s Actions, Emails Show That They’re Doing Everything Possible To Screw Over The Blind

        Back in April, we pointed out that the MPAA was working overtime to screw over the blind in the negotiations for a WIPO treaty to make it easier for the blind and those with vision impairment to access works for the blind. They’d already succeeded in screwing over the deaf by getting them excluded from the treaty, despite it initially being for both. Over the past two months, however, the MPAA tried to go on a charm offensive going on and on about how much they really, really liked blind people and wanted to help get a treaty passed, even somehow getting the National Federation for the Blind to throw their own members under the bus by issuing a joint statement claiming to support the treaty.

      • JDownloader Court Ruling Worries Open Source Software Developers

        This week news broke that the popular JDownloader download tool had been declared illegal by a German court. The headline was open for debate since the court only took exception to one particular and long-since removed feature which allowed the downloading of encrypted video streams. However, the ruling has concerned the creators of JDownloader who say that it represents a threat to the development of Open Source Software.

      • SOPA Didn’t Die, It Just Emigrated

        That’s a good summary of the problem with this and similar SOPA-like laws. Those proposing them believe, incorrectly, that it is possible to stop people sharing files online if the measures are harsh enough. At the most, that will simply encourage people to swap files on new sites still under the radar, or to exchange them in person using portable hard drives or high-capacity USBs.

        But the collateral damage is serious: entire sites can be shut down because of one or two infringements, causing large numbers of people to lose access to their personal files; at the same time, startups will struggle with the disproportionate burden of policing their users, and high-tech investments will fall, put off by the unfavorable market conditions. Bringing in these kind of laws certainly won’t get rid of infringing content online, but is likely to impoverish the online landscape in Russia, which is bad for Internet users, bad for Internet companies — and bad for the whole economy there.

      • Prenda Law Claims Its Winding Down Its Operations; Very Angry About Having To Pay Bond

Microsoft Implodes While Damage is Done to Other Companies and Through Other Companies

Posted in Microsoft at 5:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No longer just Microsoft, an octopus/squid-like issue

GreeceSummary: Analysis of how Microsoft continues to live and prey on society even if Microsoft Corp. gets demoted and fractured

The destruction of Yahoo! by Microsoft is mostly forgotten by now and one who covered it in Murdoch’s press says that Microsoft is scrambling for corporate changes which may include firing some managers (many have fled). To quote:

According to sources close to the situation, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is likely unveil his plans to restructure the tech giant to a larger group of senior execs by July 1.

That prospect has many top managers at the company worried, since Ballmer has been making these significant plans with limited consultation with the wider leadership group at the software giant. Instead, he has been working with only a small group of his direct reports and also some Microsoft board members, numerous sources said.

That’s meant most senior execs have largely been left out of the decision-making process related to Ballmer’s goal of centering on solidifying Microsoft into the “devices and services company,” which he wrote about in his annual shareholder letter last October.

Citing this article, Tim writes: “First up is that on July the 1st there are to be big changes at Microsoft. Now we could speculate, but I think the time has long since past where Microsoft will regain its former “glory” and now can only sit back and watch itself being ridiculed and its market share in a plethora of services, software and tech be eaten away by competition.”

Devices are a very weak area for Microsoft, Linux being the clear leader. All that Microsoft can do about it is legal action or threats of legal action for extortion purposes; there is no hope of actually competing without dirty tricks (we covered this before), not even with Microsoft’s proxy, Nokia. Jean-Louis Gassée says that “Microsoft and Nokia won’t beget a Google-Motorola clone” in this new article from The Guardian. He argues that:

Many saw an acquisition as an inevitable next step, that by acquiring the Finnish handset maker Microsoft could “finish the job” that it started when it licensed a special Windows Phone to Nokia. It would be a blessed union of two vigilant, watchful companies: Microsoft had watched as Android and iOS made its own OS a distant also ran; Nokia, once the world’s largest mobile phone maker, couldn’t help but notice that Google and Apple had killed its handset business from both the high and low ends.

The restructuring of Microsoft would be just applying lipstick to a pig. Whenever in the past Microsoft spoke of “reorg” it was a PR move or damage control amid departure of key executives or closure of divisions/efforts. Microsoft’s PR agencies will be very active next week policing coverage of whatever Ballmer says will have to change. One sure thing is, as the Microsoft nemesis departs from this world, Microsoft has not changed its ways and it will continue to extort Linux using some software patents. Whether Nokia gets saved by Linux or not (e.g. an acquisition in China) it is too early to tell, but for the time being Nokia should be treated like Microsoft’s mobile division, acquired covertly. Yahoo is similar in that regard, the search side in particular. It is unfortunate that a lot of decent companies are going to disappear as Microsoft detonates its business, piece by piece.

Judge Jackson was alerting us that Microsoft had grown too big owing to its criminal activities, but sadly enough, due to yet more dirty dealing, Microsoft managed to stay in one piece, devouring over time even competitors like Corel and Novell.

As a timely reminder:

Eventually, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit removed Mr. Jackson from the case. Mr. Jackson’s decision to divide Microsoft was also overruled by the appeals court and the case was finally settled in 2001.

During the time the case was before Judge Jackson, we considered him to be something of a hero and we still think that true today. As we’ve relived our memories of the case since the announcement of his death, we realize that we followed this case without benefit of Pamela Jones or Groklaw to help us understand the proceedings. We can’t help but wonder how our understanding of the case would’ve been enhanced with her handling the play by play.

Microsoft is not dead yet. It receives favours and subsidies from governments and it also provides back doors into its software, Microsoft has become a highly political establishment, just like the Gates Foundation. Until this hydra which also includes Intellectual Ventures is gone, the technology we have will be slower to evolve and products more expensive, e.g. due to patent tax. Now that Apple and Microsoft work together on an similar agenda we must recognise that the threat is not merely one brand but a bunch which are controlled by some of the same people.

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