Links 9/7/2013: Wind River Linux Expands, Qt 5.1 on Android

Posted in News Roundup at 6:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Unix and Linux writer disappears off New Zealand Coast

    Evi Nemeth, whose work on Unix and Linux, helped develop the languages behind the modern data bases is missing at sea and presumed dead.

  • How Linux can turbocharge your career

    Today in open source: Learn how Linux can give your career a jumpstart, look out for smokin’ hot Unix chips, and download Linux kernel 3.9 — you know you want to.

  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Burning Circle Episode 121

      As this week’s episode discusses a specific deadline an unofficial transcript is provided below for the avoidance of doubt.

  • Kernel Space

    • Intel Works On Enabling Haswell’s Resource Streamer

      Intel Open-Source Technology Center developers are currently working on another feature of Intel’s latest-generation Haswell architecture not currently exposed by their open-source Linux graphics driver.

    • Linux Working On 5MHz, 10MHz Wireless Support

      Linux wireless developers remain at work on support for 5 and 10MHz channels in order to prepare for future 802.11 standards.

      On Monday the sixth revision to the Linux wireless 5/10MHz channel patch-set was published by Simon Wunderlich. This patch-set consists of 18 patches and nearly a thousand lines of new code for supporting 5 and 10MHz channels in the Linux wireless networking area of the kernel.

    • The State Of Killing CONFIG_VT, Moving To User-Space

      David Herrmann is a student developer and one of the kernel developers that has been on a mission to kill off CONFIG_VT, a.k.a. the VT console within the Linux kernel, and move it off to user-space. He’s contributed to various projects to further his ideas and now he’s written a new post to provide an update on this matter and his thoughts on the current situation of Linux system compositors.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3 Classic is more of a hybrid desktop

        GNOME 3 Classic is supposed to provide a traditional interface for desktop computing for those not completely pleased with the default GNOME Shell. So when you hear people talk about it, you’d think that it is actually offers a true GNOME 2-ish interface for desktop computing.

        But I found out while testing the main edition of Fedora 19 that it is far from a traditional desktop interface. That it is more like a hybrid desktop interface – a fusion of what could be considered a traditional desktop interface and the GNOME Shell.

  • Distributions

    • Open Ballot: Distro hopping

      Distros are funny things. We love some, we love to hate others and we’re pretty ambivalent about a few. However, underneath they’re based on basically the same code base. Most distros have a similar choice of desktop environments and the same applications, so they should all be pretty similar right? What we want to know this fortnight is: what causes you to leave a distro and install a new flavour of Linux?

    • First impressions of Whonix and Linux Deepin

      This week I want to dedicate some time to looking at projects which readers have requested I review. These two projects aren’t related, their primary connection being both of their names showed up in my inbox.

    • Why CrunchBang is good for beginners

      As many of you already know, I also blog as Larry the Free Software Guy and sometimes, when these blogs deal with CrunchBang, I usually merge the two. Yesterday, I wrote a blog item about something I found on the CrunchBang forums — TuxRadar’s Distro Picker — and a comment on the blog caused me to think about distros and which distros are better for new Linux users than others.

    • Using An Old Computer? Give It New Life With LXDE

      As Linux is arguably the most customizeable operating system between it, Windows, and Mac OS X; there’s plenty of room to change just about whatever you please. Proper customizing can potentially lead to massive performance improvements, giving even the oldest hardware a new leash on life. I previously reviewed Xfce quite a while back as a great choice for resource-conscious users, but apparently there’s a new kid on the block that is even more lightweight and great for the crappiest hardware imaginable.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • New Debian leader seeks more innovation within project

        The new leader of the Debian GNU/Linux project, Lucas Nussbaum, plans to boost the amount of innovation that happens in the project itself, rather than just in its derivatives.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • China Unicom Signs Up to Ubuntu Touch Advisory Group

            CAG members are able to get involved in shaping the direction of the Ubuntu Touch mobile experience, as well receive exclusive information on hardware and launch details.

          • China Unicom affirms Ubuntu support

            The fledgling mobile phone-oriented version of the Ubuntu platform picked up a boost today, with China Unicom signing up for the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group.

          • Linux Desktops: Ubuntu vs. Linux Mint

            Ubuntu targets new and casual Linux enthusiasts with its Unity desktop environment, and Linux Mint says the same about its Cinnamon desktop. Each distribution claims to have the end user in mind, and these two distributions offer very similar experiences (unlike Ubuntu vs. Fedora).

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 323
          • Debian Project News – July 8th, 2013
          • Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group Updates

            A few weeks ago we announced the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group (CAG). The CAG is designed to provide a place where carriers can help influence the development and requirements of Ubuntu for smartphones.

          • OpenSUSE from an Ubuntu users point of view..
          • Canonical Puts Out Mir 0.0.6 Release For Ubuntu

            For those living on the bleeding edge Ubuntu 13.10 developments, Mir 0.0.6 has been tagged.

            Mir 0.0.5 was tagged less than two weeks ago but out now is Mir 0.0.6 for those wishing to test this experimental display server that’s up for use in future versions of Ubuntu Linux by the desktop and mobile devices.

          • China Unicom hedges OS bets with Ubuntu support

            At least the wave of new mobile operating systems, set to appear on commercial devices over the next few months, is making the market more interesting, and potentially even disrupting the Android/iOS axis. Mozilla’s Firefox Mobile is leading the field in terms of profile and carrier support, but this week Ubuntu and Tizen, also Linux/browser-based OSs, are picking up momentum too.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • MontaVista certified for Carrier Grade Linux using ARM chips

      MontaVista Software announced that its MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition (CGE) 6.0 is the first Linux distribution to have been registered for Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) 5.0 under the ARM profile. The move reflects an expected surge of ARM processors in networking and telecom gear.

    • Wind River Linux receives Ada language support

      AdaCore has rolled out the GNAT Pro Ada development environment on the Wind River Linux platform. This new implementation brings the Ada language’s reliability benefits to the increasingly popular Wind River Linux platform. The company offers the Ada solution for Wind River’s products, including a GNAT Pro implementation for Wind River’s VxWorks real-time operating system (RTOS).

    • Linux-based smartpen heads for Kickstarter

      A Linux-based digital pen from German startup Lernstift will go live on Kickstarter on July 10 for about 115 Euros, or $148. The Lernstift pen incorporates an ARM Cortex processor, a WiFi module, and a motion sensor, and is designed to correct penmanship, spelling, and grammar errors as you write.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Boxee sells itself to Samsung at a loss

          Boxee, the Israeli startup that achieved fame first as the developer of an innovative, free, media-streaming software platform, and later through its partnership with D-Link around the iconic Linux-powered Boxee Box device, has been acquired by Samsung. According to reports by Haaretz and the New York Times, the company’s selling price was less than the $28.5 million it raked in from optimistic investors over the past six years.

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • SearchDaimon Enterprise Search goes Open-Source

    Norway’s SearchDaimon today release their enterprise search system under the GPL v2 license with a clear intent in mind – to challenge Apache’s Solr and dominate the market. SearchDaimon will of course benefit through charging fees for engineering and consulting services to licences.

  • Top open source network management tools

    As networking continues to expand and diversify, encompassing a growing number of wired and wireless devices, the demand for network monitoring tools remains high. While feature-packed commercial products abound, the growing market for monitoring tools has also fueled robust offerings from the open source community.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome OS Gets More MS Office Compatible, But Has a Ways to Go

        Last week, Google took a bold step forward in providing native editing capabilities for Microsoft Word and Excel files directly from Chrome OS. Microsoft’s Office applications are dominant in the business world, and compatibility with them is essential if Google’s platforms and applications are to make more inroads in businesses. The latest moves from Google follow the news back in May when the company built features into the Chrome browser allowing users to open Microsoft Office files.

    • Mozilla

      • Reflecting on the launch of the first Firefox OS device

        In this guest column, Robert Nyman, a Mozilla technical evangelist and editor of the Mozilla Hacks website, provides a perspective on the history and evolution of Firefox OS. Nyman writes on the occasion of the first Firefox OS device, the $90 ZTE Open smartphone, becoming available for sale in Madrid, Spain.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • 6 Best Microsoft Office Alternatives

      The best Microsoft Office alternatives allow you to formulate spreadsheets, documents and attractive slideshows without empting out your coffers. Now while the latest version of the productivity suite shining in the spotlight here is attached with a $280 price tag, the options we’ve selected for you won’t break the bank and still proffer you similar features that are found roped into the treat in question. You’ll find that many of these utility applications are priced quite reasonably while a few of them are even free to procure. So go ahead and check out the options we’ve lined up right here.

    • LibreOffice 4.0 Manuals Published

      The Document Foundation maintains a library of user manuals for the elements of the LibreOffice suite. The 4.0 branch of manuals have been getting published since its release and several have appeared just recently. If you find a lot of work involves using LibreOffice, these manuals will surely come in handy.

  • CMS

    • ImpressPages Raises €200k To Pull More Users Into Its Open Source, Drag-&-Drop CMS

      ImpressPages, a Lithuanian startup behind an open source, drag and drop, widget-based web content management system aimed at broadening access to web development by simplifying the tools required to create and maintain a website, has raised a €200,000 seed round from VC firm Practica Capital. The startup confirmed the round is its first external investment.

  • Business


    • GNU Radio 3.7 Released

      GNU Radio 3.7 is out, after a year and half of parallel development, introducing new features to the GNU Radio 3.6 API, making it a big release for the open source software development toolkit. This new version of GNU Radio contains all the bug fixes that were applied to 3.6.0 to series of releases.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Collaborative Projects: Transforming the Way Software is Built

      I got involved with Linux and open source in the mid-90s. I had a routine: I would check out LKML, go to bed and wake up in the morning and find thousands of messages from developers around the world innovating and iterating at an unprecedented rate of change. Nothing had or has since compared with that rate of innovation: I was hooked on open source collaboration, and I’ve never looked back.

    • Collaborative Projects: Transforming the Way Software is Built

      I got involved with Linux and open source in the mid-90s. I had a routine: I would check out LKML, go to bed and wake up in the morning and find thousands of messages from developers around the world innovating and iterating at an unprecedented rate of change. Nothing had or has since compared with that rate of innovation: I was hooked on open source collaboration, and I’ve never looked back.

  • Standards/Consortia/Web

    • The most open inductees to the 2013 Internet Hall of Fame

      Groundbreaking contributions to the global Internet are recognized every year in The Internet Hall of Fame by The Internet Society—a leading advocate for a free and open Internet, promoting the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world.

    • Kaltura’s Zohar Babin: Video Power to the People

      “There is a trend in which people consider open source first rather than going with a purely commercial option. Sometimes video developers will come back and say how much they love Kaltura but are prevented from using it because it is not a commercial product. We see this as an opportunity for us. Our response is, ‘We will give you a commercial license.’”


  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Bin Laden files moved to CIA for secrecy

      US military files about the controversial raid that killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden have been cleared from Defense Department computers and moved to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for further protection, according to the Associated Press.

    • Suspicions Growing Over Death of Journalist Probing NSA and CIA Abuses

      Hastings, who wrote for Rolling Stone, BuzzFeed, Gawker, and other publications, was probably best known for his award-winning 2010 article “The Runaway General.” The piece helped bring down U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Despite his establishment credentials and what analysts called his “Democrat-friendly” reporting, Hastings had become extremely alarmed about the “surveillance state” and other troubling developments in recent months. His last published story: “Why Democrats Love To Spy On Americans.”

    • 50 Shades of CIA

      President Obama, already known to his staff as a “sophisticated” and “voracious” consumer of intelligence reports, has just found a way to enhance his intelligence briefing experience even further, by choosing 44-year-old Avril Danica Haines, whose resume includes reading erotic fiction out loud to paying customers, as a new deputy CIA director.

    • Readings: Anthony Dworkin on “Drones and Targeted Killing: Defining a European Position”

      The transatlantic dialog on security matters often has a frustrating ships-passing-in-the-night quality to it. So I was interested to see this unusually constructive and valuable policy paper on drones and targeted killing emerge this week from Anthony Dworkin of the European Council on Foreign Relations. Entitled “Drones and Targeted Killing: Defining a European Position,” the paper responds to the near silence among European governments about drones and argues that recent American policy shifts on the subject bring the United States close to what ought to be the unified European position.

    • Iran and a nuclear bomb: Jack Straw and Melanie Phillips

      There was no evidence that Iran has been building a nuclear bomb, said a former British foreign secretary.

    • How Police Are Turning Military

      The sheriff’s office in Pima County, Ariz., raided the home of former Marine and Iraq combat veteran Jose Guerena, shooting 71 rounds at Guerena and hitting him with 22. The department is now facing a serious controversy over Guerena’s death.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • First Barclays, now Lloyds: which company will go data mining next?

      Yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph reported that Lloyds Banking Group has followed in Barclays’ footsteps by announcing that it could use trillions of data entries from millions of customers’ accounts in order to detect if staff had wrongly sold insurance. Lloyds has justified the move, stating that it would be of “benefit to the customer”, but could this move be purely in the best interests of the bank?

      Over the last few months we have seen an increase in reports of companies and banks mining customers’ data for commercial purposes: first it was Barclays and now it seems that Lloyds Banking Group are at it too. Barclays customers were rightly concerned when it was reported last month that the bank had announced that it was planning to sell customers’’ spending data to other businesses. Now it seems that Lloyds Banking Group is also considering using customers’ information for a different purpose: to check whether bank staff wrongly sold insurance.

    • Recovery woes: America’s second-largest employer is a temp agency

      Behind Wal-Mart, the second-largest employer in America is Kelly Services, a temporary work provider.

      Friday’s disappointing jobs report showed that part-time jobs are at an all-time high, with 28 million Americans now working part-time. The report also showed another disturbing fact: There are now a record number of Americans with temporary jobs.

      Approximately 2.7 million, in fact. And the trend has been growing.

    • To Millionaire TV Host, ‘Anybody Who Gets a Paycheck’ Makes More Than $200,000

      It’s revealing that someone with Gregory’s job admits that he doesn’t know much about the new healthcare law. (Was he not paying attention when his guests were talking about every week for months on end? Or were his interviews just not very informative?) But the part that he thinks he does know–that “anybody who gets a paycheck” is paying a new Obamacare tax–isn’t true.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • TECH: How to increase your online privacy
    • Judge: Lawsuit alleging illegal NSA spying may continue

      Electronic Frontier Foundation wins a key round in its lawsuit alleging the National Security Agency illegally wiretapped Americans’ private phone calls and Internet conversations.

    • Supreme Court asked to halt NSA phone surveillance

      Privacy group can’t petition secret court, so it goes straight to Supreme Court.

    • Snowden claims US NSA works closely with Germany
    • Germany defends ‘strictly legal’ cooperation with NSA

      Angela Merkel’s government said on Monday that its cooperation with American intelligence was fully regulated by strict legal guidelines after a magazine reported that the U.S. National Security Agency was in close cahoots with German spies.

    • Brazil demands explanation from US over NSA spying

      Foreign minister expresses ‘deep concern’ over extensive spying revealed in documents uncovered by Edward Snowden

    • Brazilian government wants answers from US following reports of NSA spying in Brazil

      The NSA intercepts telephone and email records from multiple countries, including Brazil, by leveraging the partnerships that a major, but unnamed U.S. phone company has with the local telecommunications firms and ISPs in those countries, Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported Sunday based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

    • US privacy group challenging NSA and FBI collection of phone records
    • ‘US will say I aided our enemies,’ says NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in newly released video interview

      Edward Snowden, the 30-year-old wanted by American authorities for leaking information about classified US surveillance programs, predicted he would be seen in violation of the Espionage Act and that the “US government will say I aided our enemies”.

    • WikiLeaks suggests Cuba asylum

      WikiLeaks is predicting that Cuba will offer asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who has been holed up in Moscow’s airport for weeks.

    • WIKILEAKS: Edward Snowden Has Requested Asylum In 6 More Countries, But We’re Not Saying Which Ones

      National Security Agency leak source Edward Snowden has submitted applications for asylum in six additional countries, the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks said Friday.

    • Snowden leaks which Aussie spy bases contribute to NSA

      Fugitive US National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has revealed the extent of some of Australia’s participation in the giant surveillance programme that allegedly monitors internet as well as voice and SMS data worldwide.

      PRISM slides provided to Brazilian news organisation O Globo by Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who broke the story of global surveillance, point to four Australian signals intelligence bases and the Waihopai facility taking part in the XKEYSCORE categorising and processing system.

    • Privacy International files legal challenge against UK government over mass surveillance programmes

      In the wake of revelations that the UK Government is accessing wide-ranging intelligence information from the US and is conducting mass surveillance on citizens across the UK, Privacy International today commenced legal action against the Government, charging that the expansive spying regime is seemingly operated outside of the rule of law, lacks any accountability, and is neither necessary nor proportionate.

      The claim, filed in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), challenges the UK Government on two fronts. Firstly, for the failure to have a publicly accessible legal framework in which communications data of those located in the UK is accessed after obtained and passed on by the US National Security Agency through the Prism programme. Secondly, for the indiscriminate interception and storing of huge amounts of data via tapping undersea fibre optic cables through the Tempora programme.

    • PRISM: Privacy International Issues Legal Challenge Against GCHQ Snooping

      Organisation hopes to make a dent in the UK government’s alleged widespread snooping, but its legal challenge will be heard in secret

    • Fallout from NSA surveillance program disclosures spreads

      The fallout from the recent disclosures of the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programs continues to spread.

      On Monday, the European Parliament Civil Liberties Commission voted overwhelmingly to investigate the privacy and civil rights implications of the NSA’s PRISM and other spy programs on European citizens, and demanded more information on the programs from U.S. authorities.

    • US court rejects state-secrets defense in NSA surveillance case

      The U.S. government can no longer refuse to litigate wiretapping cases on the grounds that they would expose state secrets and undermine national security, a U.S. court has ruled.

    • America’s NSA ‘in bed with’ Germany and most others: Edward Snowden
    • Oversight board hears testimony on NSA spying

      Civil liberties activists, a retired federal judge and a former Bush administration lawyer are among 16 experts testifying before the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board about the National Security Agency’s surveillance. The board’s five members include an Internet freedom advocate and two former Bush lawyers who helped expand the government’s national security authority.

    • Part Two Of Snowden’s Guardian Interview Could Rekindle The PRISM ‘Direct Access’ Debate

      The Guardian and Washington Post, to whom Snowden gave 41 NSA PRISM slides, both published articles and several slides that quote the presentation’s statement regarding “collection directly from the servers” of nine Internet companies including Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft.

    • NSA’s catch-22: we can’t tell you anything, because everything we do is a secret
    • NSA Rejecting Every FOIA Request Made by U.S. Citizens
    • Snowden insists NSA overstepping bounds

      NSA leaker Edward Snowden claims the spy agency gathers all communications into and out of the U.S. for analysis, despite NSA claims that it only targets foreign traffic.

    • Snowden: Your Emails or Facebook Profile Can Make You an NSA Target

      “Normally you’d be specifically selected for targeting based on, for example, your Facebook or webmail content,” Edward Snowden told the German magazine Der Spiegel in an email interview. The discussion was held weeks before Snowden decided to step forward as the source of top secret documents that revealed wide-ranging surveillance programs.

    • NSA Controversy Reveals Need for Greater Public Discourse to Prevent Future Abuses

      Recent revelations concerning the National Security Agency’s controversial mass surveillance programs — and the government contractor who leaked classified documents about those programs — have sparked a renewed dialogue: How much individual freedom are U.S. citizens willing to sacrifice for the sake of national security?

    • Supreme Court asked to stop NSA phone snooping

      A privacy-rights group Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the National Security Agency from mining domestic phone data.

      The Electronic Privacy Information Center bypassed lower courts in filing its emergency appeal directly with the nation’s highest court.

    • America’s Secret Spy Court Has Been Radically Expanding The Powers Of The NSA

      The court overseeing National Security Agency surveillance has given the government power to amass vast collections of data on Americans by creating a secret body of law with almost no public scrutiny, current and former U.S. officials told Eric Lichtblau of The New York Times.

    • NSA controls global Internet traffic via private fiber-optic cables

      Deals brokered between federal agents and foreign corporations have allowed the United States government to easily intercept and interpret a vast swath of communication data sent around the world, new documents reveal.

      In a National Security Agency slideshow obtained by The Washington Post and attributed to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the US government encouraged analysts to tap into an array of underwater, fiber-optic cables that serve as conduits for around 99 percent of the world’s Internet and phone traffic.

    • Snowden: NSA is ‘in bed with the Germans’

      The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) worked closely with the German intelligence service, whistleblower Edward Snowden told German magazine Der Spiegel in a recent interview.

    • Snowden warns Tempora surveillance ‘snarfs’ everything, even worse than NSA’s PRISM

      Snowden confirms NSA and Israel wrote Stuxnet

    • NSA Scandal to Be Exploited by Europe?

      The public perception across Europe is that American intelligence agencies are stealing European industrial secrets. Such an atmosphere of transatlantic mistrust could lead to bigger problems.


      While it is yet to be seen exactly how the details play out, the Trumpet has long predicted (based on Isaiah 23) that a German-led European Empire will make a brief trade alliance with the nations of East Asia and Latin America. The purpose of this alliance will be to economically besiege the United States, isolating it from world trade. For a more detailed explanation of this coming siege, read Chapter Seven of editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision. ▪

    • German intelligence is “in bed together” with NSA

      US fugitive Edward Snowden said that the German intelligence knew more about the activities of NSA.

    • NSA spying, FISA court and… the Supreme Court?

      The court was created under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to handle spy agency requests to do what they do. It consists of 11 judges the Washington Post says is appointed by John Roberts, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. And Roberts can apparently appoint the judges to their seven-year terms without having to go through an annoying approval process. It’s an interesting read, especially as the picture of the scope of the NSA spying program becomes clearer.

    • Privacy Group Asks Supreme Court to Halt NSA Phone Spying
    • Edward Snowden: US surveillance ‘not something I’m willing to live under’

      In second part of Glenn Greenwald interview, NSA whistleblower insists he is a patriot who regards the US as fundamentally good

    • Why MSNBC Defends NSA Surveillance

      The World War I vintage Espionage Act, originally used to imprison socialists for making antiwar speeches, has been used by the administration against whistleblowers with a vengeance unprecedented in history: eight leakers have been charged with Espionage under Obama, compared to three under all previous presidents.

    • Supreme Court asked to stop NSA telephone surveillance

      The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to stop the National Security Agency’s surveillance of domestic telephone communications data.

    • NSA revelations continue to rattle

      The rulings have been ended down by the 11-member Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — aka the FISA court — which saw its powers grow thanks to legislation approved with bipartisan majorities in the Bush/Cheney era.

      What’s more, as Ezra Klein explained this morning, “When judges make the laws, Congress can always go back and remake the laws. The changes the court makes are public, and so is their reasoning. Both the voters and Congress know what the court has done, and can choose to revisit it…. [But the FISA court is] remaking the law in secret. The public has no opportunity to weigh in, and Congress can’t really make changes, because few know what the court is deciding, and almost no one can discuss the decisions without endangering themselves.”

    • Snowden reveals NSA partnership with German intelligence service: report
    • Has Tor been bugged by the NSA?
    • Federal Judge Allows EFF’s NSA Mass Spying Case to Proceed
    • New Snowden video interview plus der Spiegel interview
    • PRISM phish carries Java RAT for patched Windows, Macs and Linux PCs

      A malicious multi-platform Java applet called jRAT posing as an emailed attachment about the US National Security Agency’s surveillance campaign is being used in a spy campaign against government agencies.

    • Digital Arms Trade
    • Snowden made the right call when he fled the U.S.

      Many people compare Edward Snowden to me unfavorably for leaving the country and seeking asylum, rather than facing trial as I did. I don’t agree. The country I stayed in was a different America, a long time ago.

      After the New York Times had been enjoined from publishing the Pentagon Papers — on June 15, 1971, the first prior restraint on a newspaper in U.S. history — and I had given another copy to The Post (which would also be enjoined), I went underground with my wife, Patricia, for 13 days. My purpose (quite like Snowden’s in flying to Hong Kong) was to elude surveillance while I was arranging — with the crucial help of a number of others, still unknown to the FBI — to distribute the Pentagon Papers sequentially to 17 other newspapers, in the face of two more injunctions. The last three days of that period was in defiance of an arrest order: I was, like Snowden now, a “fugitive from justice.”


      I hope Snowden’s revelations will spark a movement to rescue our democracy, but he could not be part of that movement had he stayed here. There is zero chance that he would be allowed out on bail if he returned now and close to no chance that, had he not left the country, he would have been granted bail. Instead, he would be in a prison cell like Bradley Manning, incommunicado.

      He would almost certainly be confined in total isolation, even longer than the more than eight months Manning suffered during his three years of imprisonment before his trial began recently. The United Nations Special Rapporteur for Torture described Manning’s conditions as “cruel, inhuman and degrading.” (That realistic prospect, by itself, is grounds for most countries granting Snowden asylum, if they could withstand bullying and bribery from the United States.)

      Snowden believes that he has done nothing wrong. I agree wholeheartedly. More than 40 years after my unauthorized disclosure of the Pentagon Papers, such leaks remain the lifeblood of a free press and our republic. One lesson of the Pentagon Papers and Snowden’s leaks is simple: secrecy corrupts, just as power corrupts.

    • U.S. NSA ‘spied’ on most Latin American nations – Brazil paper

      The U.S. National Security Agency has targeted most Latin American countries in its spying programs, with Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Mexico ranking among those of highest priority for the U.S. intelligence agency, a leading Brazilian newspaper reported on Tuesday.

    • Confusion mounts: Has NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden accepted Venezuela’s offer of asylum?

      Head of Russian foreign affairs committee announces that he has accepted the offer in a tweet but quickly deletes it

    • Edward Snowden: ‘US will say I aided our enemies,’ says NSA whistleblower in newly released video interview

      Edward Snowden, the 30-year-old wanted by American authorities for leaking information about classified US surveillance programs, predicted he would be seen in violation of the Espionage Act and that the “US government will say I aided our enemies”.

    • Germany defends ‘strictly legal’ cooperation with NSA

      Angela Merkel’s government said on Monday that its cooperation with American intelligence was fully regulated by strict legal guidelines after a magazine reported that the U.S. National Security Agency was in close cahoots with German spies.

    • Privacy advocates call on government to rein in NSA

      A U.S. government board focused on privacy and civil rights should push Congress to rein in the National Security Agency’s mass collection of telephone records and Internet communications, privacy advocates said Tuesday.

      The U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, established by Congress in 2004 to be a watchdog of government antiterrorism efforts, should also demand that the NSA and other government agencies be more transparent about the data they collect, said privacy advocates speaking at a board meeting in Washington, D.C.

    • Their View: NSA spying prompts legitimate concerns from allies in Europe
    • How The Snowden Leaks And NSA Surveillance Are Bad For Business

      Reddit general manager Erik Martin noticed something strange when he was at a conference in Latvia last month. There was a contest held, with a prize of one year’s free web-hosting for a small business — a decent value, a fairly normal prize. But when it came time to award it, nobody in the audience wanted it. It was from a U.S.-based company, and this was just days after Edward Snowden’s landmark leaks about the NSA’s PRISM program hit the press. With that hanging over them, people at the conference would have preferred to go with a different country.

    • Egregious Cases Of US Government Employees Abusing Databases To Spy On Americans
    • NSA Senate oversight bill may handcuff U.S. companies

      Proposal that supposedly increases oversight of the National Security Agency instead could hinder companies trying to challenge warrantless demands for their confidential customer data.

    • So, You Want to Hide from the NSA? Your Guide to the Nearly Impossible
    • Chevron shows the NSA how to spy

      A judge’s decision that the First Amendment doesn’t protect anonymous speech gives the oil company a big win

    • NSA, European Intelligence Agencies Work Closely Together

      The claim by European governments that they were unaware of the extensive wiretapping undertaken by the US intelligence agency NSA is simply a lie. In fact, various European intelligence agencies, and in particular Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND), work closely with the National Security Agency (NSA) in the surveillance of electronic communications.

    • Progressives and NSA Spying

      Ever since the Edward Snowden story about the NSA spying program erupted, there has been a disturbingly eerie silence from progressives. Yes, perfunctory articles have been written, the usual pundits have spoken, and the ACLU has filed a much needed lawsuit, but progressive action groups have scarcely eked out a handful of petitions. As we are facing what is arguably one of the greatest historic struggles of our time, there is barely a ripple in the progressive universe.

    • Quoted: Whistleblower (who now works at an Apple store) speaks about NSA spying

      “Encrypt the crap out of your life. Why make it easy for the government? Make it as hard as possible.”

      — Thomas Drake, former NSA official and whistleblower — who says he’s now a full-time worker at an Apple store — at a recent panel on mass surveillance.

    • What the N.S.A. Knows About You

      National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden says tech companies in the United States have given the government full access to all the nation’s online communications.

      “Companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, they all get together with the NSA and provide the NSA direct access to the back ends of all of the systems that you use to communicate, to store data, to put things in the cloud and even, just to send birthday wishes and keep a record of your life,” Snowden said.

    • ‘I felt a shiver go down my spine’ after learning of NSA espionage, CFK

      President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said she felt “a shiver go down her spine” when she learned that the National Security Agency in Washington was carrying cyber-espionage in Argentina, and said she hoped these actions would be condemned during the next Mercosur summit.

    • PRISM & ‘purity’: NSA follows Nazi tradition

      The NSA in America is following in the Nazi tradition in its attempt to discriminate based on data collection, modeled around their belief system – which justifies trashing the Constitution in pursuit of ‘pure’ data.

    • Five things Snowden leaks revealed about NSA’s original warrantless wiretaps

      As stories based on Edward Snowden’s trove of leaked National Security Agency (NSA) documents continue to trickle out, most reporters have focused on what they can tell us about the spy agency’s current or recent surveillance activities. Yet one of the most interesting documents from Snowden’s cache, published in full by The Guardian back in June, sheds new light on the granddaddy of them all: President Bush’s original warrantless wiretap program.

    • Snowden: NSA Uses Facebook Profile, Emails To Choose Target

      Your Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) or webmail content can now land you in trouble, by making you a suspect of the National Security Agency, reveals Edward Snowden.

    • NSA program’s legality faces tests

      A privacy group is asking the Supreme Court to stop the National Security Agency from collecting the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers in the United States.

    • Edward Snowden Interview Part 2 Contains More NSA Revelations [Video]
    • US will say I aided our enemies: NSA leaker Edward Snowden

      A new video footage of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden when he was in Hong Kong has been reportedly released in which Snowden said that US government will say that he aided the enemies by leaking the classified data.

    • Brazil to investigate evidence of sweeping NSA surveillance

      Brazil has launched an investigation as to whether telecoms operating within the country cooperated with the US as part of the NSA’s herculean surveillance operations.

      Revelations that the NSA considered Brazil its top Latin American priority in the monitoring of telephone and email conversations broke over the weekend after the O Globo newspaper published information provided by Edward Snowden.

    • Play With An MIT Tool That Visualizes How The NSA Can Map Your Relationships
    • Lawsuit Against NSA Can Move Forward As Judge Smacks Down State Secret Defense
    • Judge throws out ‘state secrets’ claim, allowing lawsuit against NSA to continue
    • Privacy group challenges NSA phone surveillance in Supreme Court petition
    • LIVE: Motorola + NSA | Sit In Trees, K-I-S-S-I-N-G

      Welcome to NewsDesk on SiliconANGLE TV for Monday July 8, 2013. Is Motorola in cahoots with the NSA? A recent discovery by a security engineer may hold the answer to this question. Joining us now to reveal details surrounding a privacy breach that may be affecting you is SiliconANGLE Contributing Editor John Casaretto.

    • NSA recruiting session at UW goes viral

      Given the National Security Agency’s vast unpopularity after revelations that it’s spying on Americans, Germans, and, now, Brazilians, being an NSA recruiter might not be the most enviable job in the world. But the job is decidedly more challenging when well-informed, articulate students show up asking uncomfortable questions like:

      So is this job for liars? Is this what you’re saying? Because, clearly, you’re not able to give us forthright answers. Given the way the NSA has behaved, given the fact that we’ve been lied to as Americans, given the fact that fact sheets have been pulled down because they clearly had untruths in them, given the fact that Clapper and Alexander lied to Congress — is that a qualification for being in the NSA? Do you have to be a good liar?

      That question was posed at a July 2 recruiting session on the UW campus by Madiha R. Tahir, an independent journalist and Columbia University Ph.D. candidate who came to UW for a summer language program. The session was hosted by the South Asia Summer Language Institute, where the recruiters were shopping for prospective language analysts.

    • Supreme Court Unlikely To Rule On NSA Surveillance Soon – But One Day Privacy Advocates Could Win
    • Indians See a Gift in NSA Leaks

      A month after the first revelations by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the affair continues to resonate around the world. To the list of 38 countries whose diplomatic missions in the U.S. were, according to documents leaked by Snowden, targeted for surveillance by the NSA, one can now add a second list, almost as long. These are the countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America that in the last week have received requests from Snowden for asylum and that risk running afoul of the U.S. government. India is on both lists, and the response of its government to both developments has been as insipid as a random sample of Internet debris.

    • Mask IP Address Article: Does NSA Access the 200 Million US Profiles From Elections?

      idcloak republishes its Mask IP address article following the recent NSA controversy. The article shows how 200 million commercially-obtained profiles of US citizens were used for political campaigning, leaving the question: does the NSA also have access to this information?

    • Interview with NSA expert James Bamford

      With regard to the information he released on domestic surveillance, I consider him a whistleblower. He revealed details of massive violations by the NSA of the privacy rights of all Americans. The NSA has no constitutional right to secretly obtain the telephone records of every American citizen on a daily basis, subject them to sophisticated data mining and store them forever. It’s time government officials are charged with criminal conduct, including lying to Congress, instead of going after those exposing the wrongdoing.

    • Snowden predicted his demonization, indictment

      U.S. surveillance leaker Edward Snowden a month ago predicted Washington would demonize him and charge him with espionage, a newly released interview indicated.

      Separately, Snowden was honored by a group of former U.S. national security officers with the Sam Adams Award for revealing the extent of U.S. government domestic and international electronic surveillance.

    • Given the NSA Spying on Americans and Suppression of Dissent in US, Terrorists No Longer Can Hate Us for Our Freedoms

      In an e-mail to BuzzFlash at Truthout, reader and sometimes commentary writer Marc Perkel phrased it this way: “One thing good about the NSA spying scandal is that the terrorists no longer hate us for our freedom.”

      Perkel certainly has a point.

      Former President George W. Bush famously declared in a post-9/11 comment that the terrorists hate us for our freedoms. That phrasing has a great appeal to it: What American would be against the liberties guaranteed in the Constitution?

    • The Members of Congress Who Want to Reform NSA Surveillance
    • ‘Israel and the NSA co-wrote the Stuxnet computer virus’

      In newly published interview by Der Spiegel, American whistle-blower Edward Snowden says NSA has “a massive body responsible” for working with Israel, named “the Foreign Affairs Directorate”


      The information Snowden provided was passed on to Der Spiegel by Jacob Appelbaum, 30, a developer of encryption and security software who provides training to international human rights groups and journalists on how to use the Internet anonymously.

      The paper employed Appelbaum’s services even before Snowden became a household name to help determine the veracity of his identity as an NSA operative.


      1 As of Tuesday morning (Israel time), Snowden was still located in Moscow’s international airport.

    • Digital age expanded the NSA’s mission
  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trans-Atlantic Trade Talks Bound to Harm Freedoms Online

      Today begins in Washington DC the first round of negotiations of the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, TAFTA (also known as TTIP1), amid concerns about the legitimacy of negotiating such a text under espionage by the US government. La Quadrature du Net publishes a leaked document [pdf] [text] showing that the EU is already preparing to attack citizens’ freedoms online, turning TAFTA into a “super-ACTA”. La Quadrature calls on citizens to mobilize and calls negotiators to communicate TAFTA texts to the public as soon as they enter in their possession.

    • Opinion: Who Owns Knowledge

      Ownership seems like such a crass idea when it comes to something so necessary, though I’m hoping not to drag this discussion into either hyperbole about the evils of capitalism, or something taken straight out of Pochahontas. Yes, capitalism is evil; it’s been the bad guy amongst thinkers for a while now, but I think we can mostly leave him out of this discussion. And yes, I could ask you who really can claim ownership over something abstract – like the very long number generated when I write a document on my computer and save it, which is essentially what all digitised information can be reduced to, a series of long numbers, which it would be absurd to assert ownership over – or talk about who owns rocks or trees or the wind. But however absurd it is, we do divide things, abstract and concrete, into categories. We set boundaries and borders, and we assert rights of ownership that are then heavily defended.

    • Copyrights

      • French copyright and telecommunications watchdogs lose their teeth

        Two French Internet watchdogs have lost their teeth following a change in the law on Tuesday and a ruling by the Constitutional Court last week.

        Those accused by the High Authority for the Distribution of Works and the Protection of Rights on the Internet (Hadopi) of illegally downloading copyright works in France no longer risk losing their Internet access, following a change in the law promulgated Tuesday, although it will now be easier to fine them.

Microsoft Linux (SUSE) is Pushing Microsoft-controlled Restricted Boot, Advancing It on Servers Too

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, SLES/SLED at 4:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Further restrictions and obscurity in the age of NSA Fibre-tapping

Summary: How SUSE continues to show loyalty to Microsoft, which has paid on multiple occasions for its agenda to be served

Novell helped OOXML and Hyper-V after Microsoft had bribed Novell’s management (hundreds of millions of dollars which mostly benefited people like Ron Hovsepian and Jeff Jaffe, who currently ruins the Web) and later scooped Novell’s patents, too (via CPTN).

“Then again, SUSE has been endorsing and advertising Microsoft for almost seven years, having purged from its Web site any material critical of Microsoft (this mass destruction began in 2006, very shortly after the patent deal with Microsoft).”As we noted last year and earlier this year, much of the force for UEFI restricted boot in Linux can be attributed to developers from Novell [1, 2] (some no longer work directly on SUSE or OpenSUSE) and now that Microosft Linux (SUSE) has a new Service Pack, it is prominently marketed as sucking Microsoft's dick, to paraphrase Linus Torvalds on such matters. To quote Michael Larabel, who is by no means hostile towards SUSE, the “Nuremberg-based company calls this the first enterprise Linux distribution integrating UEFI Secure Boot support.”

Ubuntu and Fedora have already made releases for this and suffered delays as well. To focus on restricted boot in this case is merely to endorse or even advertise what Microsoft is doing. Then again, SUSE has been endorsing and advertising Microsoft for almost seven years, having purged from its Web site any material critical of Microsoft (this mass destruction began in 2006, very shortly after the patent deal with Microsoft).

Here is another take on the news, among several from longtime Novell/SUSE apologists [1, 2] and a corresponding press release from the Microsoft-funded SUSE.

“That is a rhetorical question because SUSE is the de facto Microsoft Linux and everyone should avoid it.”Sam Varghese, the “Open Sauce” writer at IT Wire and a longtime Novell sceptic, warns that SUSE now helps make restricted boot compulsory on servers. He asks: “Does the Germany-based GNU/Linux company SUSE know something about Microsoft’s secure boot plans that other Linux companies do not?”

That is a rhetorical question because SUSE is the de facto Microsoft Linux and everyone should avoid it. SUSE uses euphemisms like “secure boot” and “service pack” (secure pack?) to market what is essentially a Microsoft-taxed GNU/Linux distribution which Microsoft profits from and technically controls,

Varghese correctly notes that “[g]iven Windows 8 desktop take-up by businesss that can only be described as a disaster, one would have thought that Microsoft would think twice about making lockout mechanisms such as secure boot compulsory for its server range.”

But those lockout mechanisms are controlled by Microsoft keys, so they are only effective at blocking Microsoft’s competition, not Microsoft products. UEFI deserves more antitrust complaints and SUSE continues to deserve a stern objection, or a boycott.

Europe Should Embrace Operating System ‘Ballots’ to Prevent Compulsory Sales of NSA Back-Doored (Windows) Computers Ripe for Espionage

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 3:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Forced sales of Trojan horses-filled software must end

National Security Agency

Summary: Europe should now limit or ban bundling of Microsoft Windows, which comes with back doors for foreign intelligence that admits engaging in cracking (illegal but commonplace, done with impunity and no accountability)

The British government spends almost $10,000 per year per desktop with a Swiss cheese-like operating system that allows foreign nations to intrude and collect citizens’ private data, e.g. criminal records in the British police. When they do this from abroad they’re unlikely to face criminal charges and extradition. The British military does the same thing, supposedly choosing an operating system which is simply not fit for purpose (unless the purpose is actually to let the US government take control of the British military). Now that there are massive issues with the computer systems responsible for airports in London it is time to seriously think about the risks taken here, especially after the crash in California (allegedly caused by a dysfunctional, out-of-operation system).

“The British military does the same thing, supposedly choosing an operating system which is simply not fit for purpose (unless the purpose is actually to let the US government take control of the British military).”Any British shop — or by extension European shop — which currently forces people to buy Windows with a computer is worth accusing of negligence for selling computers with NSA back doors preinstalled. Such shops cannot claim to have valid reasons other than collusion with Microsoft and backroom deals (we leaked evidence of bribes for endorsement and bundling). Shops can provide DVD images from which to load Windows, in a simple one-button/one-click fashion, for those who require it and pay for it. This would be simpler to implement than a browser ballot, which requires some operating system to already be loaded. An operating systems choice is very vital now because a faulty product with back doors simply should not be sold.

Microsoft is already trying to use hardware makers as a weapon against GNU/Linux because Vista 8 is widely loathed not just by pro-FOSS folks but also businesses. It is an unprecedented failure whose magnitude is disguised by apparent gaming of search results through Microsoft buddies like the The Guardian (bribed by Bill Gates). Microsoft also tried to gag Sinofsky with a $14 million bribe and it achieved it with “non-disparagement clauses” that can be seen here. As Pamela Jones put it: “I’d call that the operative sentence behind the agreement. I gather he was asserting claims, maybe not yet in court filings, but telling Microsoft he believed he had such claims. That would explain all the other language about not talking disparagingly about Microsoft. And what might this be? “(v) continue complying with certain provisions of the Microsoft Corporation Employee Non-Disclosure Agreement between Microsoft and him related to intellectual property rights and confidentiality of Microsoft and third-party information.” Third party as in who? Mr. Sinofsky won’t tell, now, but does he know about NSA PRISM details, one can’t help but wonder or is this referring to deals with Nokia and FairSearch and such types? If he were ever forced to testify in a court, this agreement wouldn’t keep him silent, of course.”

Microsoft tried to gag the outgoing CFOs [1, 2] in a similar way, ensuring they don’t speak out about Microsoft’s real financial situation.

For those who think that it’s only a matter of tilting the rules in favour of GNU/Linux, this is simply not true. It is not as though there are no viable alternatives available to Windows except GNU/Linux. Mark from our IRC channels published “Computers and Operating System Bundling” a few days ago, naming some alternative operating systems which get excluded in the market:

With the increased use and speed improvements of the internet we see a new phenomenon: open source operating systems are distributed via downloading. This includes operating systems such as GNU/Linux, the BSDs, Haiku, Plan 9, Inferno, AROS and many others. By 2008 the Jiangsu Lemote Tech Co releases the Lemote computer with Linux and PMON, a completely open source system.

Almost everything above — is not strictly everything — does not have NSA back doors, unlike Microsoft Windows. Why are these not offered as an option to buyers?

If OEMs want an operating system which respect buyers’ and developers’ freedom at all levels and is highly capable of serving just about every need, then GNU/Linux is a perfect fit. Several OEMs already offer it as a choice but de-ephasisise this option as if software which respects the users’ freedom (Free/libre software) is somehow less desirable and needs to be hidden at the corner or the back room (which is the equivalent of what they do online).

When Antitrust Complaints Achieve Software Freedom

Posted in Antitrust, Free/Libre Software, Google, GPL, Microsoft, Patents at 2:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Joaquin Almunia
EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia. Credit: EU OPEN DAYS 2012

Summary: Reminder to defeatists who believe that we should all ride Microsoft’s coattails rather than challenge unjust behaviour that may also be illegal

THERE are people out there who want us to believe that to play along with Microsoft on schemes like UEFI restricted boot is a necessary evil and maybe just necessary, not even evil. These people are serving Microsoft’s interests because they weaken antitrust complaints which exist rather than bolster these complaints. Here is a recent tale, as covered by Mike Masnick, of how regulatory intervention did help justice.

The United States’ highest court, SCOTUS, recently shocked a few people by ruling against large corporations’ interests (patents on genes). It later said that patents (referring to pharmaceutical patents) can violate antitrust law. Now that very ridiculous patents get granted and sometimes get ISO endorsement, as in the case of MPEG-LA patents, FOSS is facing anticompetitive practices from the likes of Nokia, Microsoft, and Apple. Google, for instance, is being almost prevented from giving codecs for free, even though it has copyrights on all the code, which is Free/open source software. To quote one recent piece about this subject:

A couple of years back, Techdirt wrote about Google’s laudable attempt to open source its VP8 video codec, based around technologies it had acquired with the On2 company in 2009. That was not simply a matter of releasing the code, though, because of claims by some that VP8 infringed on their patents. MPEG-LA, the private company that manages the H.264 patent pool, even went so far as to put out a call for patents that might cover VP8, which in turn led to the US Justice Department investigating whether the move violated anti-trust law.

Remember that Nero had filed an antitrust complaint. That was before other complaints.

This is what led to a deal that makes YouTube videos, for example, mostly accessible (soon entirely accessible) using Free/libre software acquired at zero cost (and GPL-compatible). Nokia, led by Microsoft, is still trying to interfere with this.

When people insist that there is no point to antitrust complaints tell them that many things including sexual and racial (e.g. slavery) discrimination did not end by passive action and hardly even by civil disobedience. People do need to take action. It’s not “whining”, it’s just not complicit with the abuser.

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