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07.20.13

Links 20/7/2013: Ubuntu Hardware Imminent, Russia Extorted Over Snowden

Posted in News Roundup at 9:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Nikon Camera Control: An Open Source App for Remote DSLR Control
  • VLC media player returns to the iOS App Store after 30-month hiatus
  • VLC returns to the App Store as a free, open-source video player compatible with every format

    When VLC for iOS left the App Store in mid-2011 after months of contention between its creators, the real owners of VLC (VideoLAN) and Apple, thousands of users were sorry to see it go. The free app allowed for playback of video files, such as MKVs and other esoteric file formats that Apple’s native player didn’t support and other developers charged up to $10 for.

  • Open Source: Internet Association Website Connects Users, Policymakers
  • Open source virtualization software still trails, despite improvements

    Open source virtualization is still a niche technology, despite the rise of multi-hypervisor infrastructures.

    Recent open source virtualization software releases have packed in new features with impressive specs, and there’s a clear appetite for VMware Inc. alternatives in enterprise data centers.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • A Planetary Nebula That Looks Like the Firefox Logo

        If you’re reading this web page using Chrome or Safari, beware: you are probably angering the universe. There is reason to believe, you see, that the universe — the collection of all the planets, stars, galaxies, matter, and energy that have ever existed, and the sum total of all that we do and will know — is actually partial to Mozilla products. Which means that there is reason to believe that the universe would really prefer, as you browse the web that connects our tiny little world, that you use Firefox.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 3.6.7

      Berlin, July 18, 2013 – The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 3.6.7 for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, which will be the last maintenance release of the leading free office suite’s 3.6 series. All users, from enterprises to individual end users, are encouraged to update to the current and stable 4.0 series, or have a look at the upcoming 4.1 version.

  • Funding

    • The Daily Startup: Firms Launch Open-Source Accelerator

      Austin Ventures, Battery Ventures and a new firm, The Valley Fund–have formed an accelerator called OpenIncubate for open-source startups. It offers joint funding, workspace and help for companies that are using open-source software frameworks to contribute to the emergence of the software-defined data center. Each firm has committed $1 million to the effort, according to The Valley Fund General Partner Steve O’Hara, with investments ranging from $250,000 to $500,000.

    • Top venture firms put out call-to-arms for open source innovators

      The Greater Boston startup scene is beginning to resemble the NICU at Mass. General — incubators everywhere. The latest is OpenIncubate, which launched Thursday, offering funding and workspace to entrepreneurs committed to open-source computing.

    • OpenIncubate launches to supercharge infrastructure startups with open-source cred

      All systems are go for OpenIncubate, a new accelerator seeking startups focused on open IT infrastructure. Austin Ventures, Battery Ventures and The Valley Fund are behind the accelerator, which plans to officially launch Thursday and hopes to shake up staid, proprietary corners of IT.

    • SourceForge’s DevShare Offers Open Source Developers Monetization

      Earlier this month, SourceForge–known as a central hosting and services site for countless open source projects–unveiled a beta version of a service called DevShare. DevShare is an opt-in revenue-sharing program “aimed at giving developers a better way to monetize their projects in a transparent, honest and sustainable way.” The plan presents a way for developers of open source projects to monetize downloads and usage of their creations. After a few weeks of beta testing, some interesting reviews are coming in.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Interview with Shiv Shankar Dayal of Kunjika

      The latest installment of our Licensing and Compliance Lab’s series on free software developers who choose GNU licenses for their works.

    • Best IDEs for Octave, Python and R

      Code-wise, I’ve been getting my hands dirty with some digital grease over the past few months, and it’s been fun. Most of the fun has resolved around learning Python, which appears to be the language of choice these days.

      Python is almost a requirement everywhere you turn. Many introductory programming classes use Python as the main or default high-level programming language.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Source EV Home Charger Offered at $99, With Caveats

      Think home electric car charging equipment is too expensive? Well, maybe you heard about The Juicebox, the new 240-volt charger available for a bargain basement price of $99. Sounds great, but expect to face additional costs, possible safety concerns and, like a piece of furniture from Ikea, once you get it home the device must be assembled.

  • Programming

    • Apache Kills Off Its C++ Standard Library

      While not as widely-used as GCC’s libstdc++ or even LLVM’s libc++ for a C++ standard library, since 2005 Apache has backed the stdcxx C++ standard library. The Apache C++ Standard Library has been a free implementation of the ISO/IEC 14882 standard for C++ and came to the Apache Software Foundation after Rogue Wave Software open-sourced their commercial implementation the better part of a decade ago.

    • LLDB Gains Linux 64-bit Core FIle Support

      The LLVM debugger is back to having ELF core file support for 64-bit Linux.

      The LLVM Debugger, LLDB, that is of growing interest to companies and is showing much promise for developers continues to see better Linux support.

Leftovers

  • A Book Is Better Than a Box of Chocolates

    Summer is an ideal season for jolting your mind into action by expanding your reading horizons. So shut off the computer and the television, put away the various gadgets, close your email and pick up a good book. There are plenty of entertaining choices for your reading pleasure, but the following titles are ones that I have enjoyed. They all address the serious pursuit of justice/happiness side of the written word.

  • Tewksbury motel owner lobbying Congress for reform of federal civil-forfeiture laws

    After winning a landmark federal forfeiture case against the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Russell Caswell, owner of the Motel Caswell in Tewksbury, is headed to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to take part in a legislative briefing called “Policing For Profit” on the campaign to reform the federal civil-forfeiture laws.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • New Film Shows U.S.-Backed Indonesian Death Squad Leaders Re-enacting Massacres
    • “The Act of Killing”: New Film Shows U.S.-Backed Indonesian Death Squad Leaders Re-enacting Massacres

      We spend the hour with Joshua Oppenheimer, the director of a groundbreaking new documentary called “The Act of Killing.” The film is set in Indonesia, where, beginning in 1965, military and paramilitary forces slaughtered up to a million Indonesians after overthrowing the democratically elected government. That military was backed by the United States and led by General Suharto, who would rule Indonesia for decades. There has been no truth and reconciliation commission, nor have any of the murderers been brought to justice. As the film reveals, Indonesia is a country where the killers are to this day celebrated as heroes by many. Oppenheimer spent more than eight years interviewing the Indonesian death squad leaders, and in “The Act of Killing,” he works with them to re-enact the real-life killings in the style of American movies in which the men love to watch — this includes classic Hollywood gangster movies and lavish musical numbers. A key figure he follows is Anwar Congo, who killed hundreds,
      if not a thousand people with his own hands and is now revered as a founding father of an active right-wing paramilitary organization. We also ask Oppenheimer to discusses the film’s impact in Indonesia, where he screened it for survivors and journalists who have launched new investigations into the massacres. The film is co-directed by Christine Cynn and an Indonesian co-director who remains anonymous for fear of retribution, as does much of the Indonesian film crew. Its executive producers are Werner Herzog and Errol Morris. “The Act of Killing” opens today in New York City, and comes to Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., on July 26, then to theaters nationwide.

    • You Are a Terrorist If You Film Animal Abuse or Unsanitary Conditions

      In five states of the U.S.—Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Utah, and South Carolina—you are a criminal for exposing public health dangers and animal rights abuses. If a person takes pictures or films at animal facilities, that person can be prosecuted under laws modeled after a document called “Animal and Ecological Terrorism in America.”

      How did such an obscene thing come to be? As we have documented at REALfarmacy, there is a little-known but powerful group known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that introduces model bills across the country on behalf of its corporate members.

    • Multiple NYPD Cars Caught Blasting Star Wars “Imperial March” Theme Song on Patrol

      NYPD Vehicles have been spotted on multiple occasions cruising around the city with their windows down, blaring Darth Vader’s infamous theme song.

    • Explosion in arrivals hall at Beijing airport – media reports

      The blast occurred in the arrivals hall of terminal three, Xinhua news agency reported. The agency gave no immediate details on the cause of the blast or the potential number of casualties.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Bradley Manning Wins Peace Prize

      U.S. whistleblower and international hero Bradley Manning has just been awarded the 2013 Sean MacBride Peace Award by the International Peace Bureau, itself a former recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, for which Manning is a nominee this year

    • US vs. Bradley Manning: defense rests, Manning won’t testify, Wikileaks gets respect

      I traveled to Ft. Meade, Maryland today to observe the trial of Army PFC. Bradley Manning. The 25-year-old Oklahoma native has admitted to providing Wikileaks with more than 700,000 leaked documents, which included battle reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, State Department diplomatic cables, and military videos from combat zones.

  • Finance

    • Thank neoliberalism for our enslavement to capitalism

      The corporations now ruling the world owe their dominance to the application of economist Milton Friedman’s ideas

    • So that’s how H-1B visa fraud is done!

      Reader Mark Surich was looking for a lawyer with Croatian connections to help with a family matter back in the old country. He Googled some candidate lawyers and in one search came up with this federal indictment. It makes very interesting reading and shows one way H-1B visa fraud can be conducted.

      The lawyer under indictment is Marijan Cvjeticanin. Please understand that this is just an indictment, not a conviction. I’m not saying this guy is guilty of anything. My point here is to describe the crime of which he is accused, which I find very interesting. He could be innocent for all I know, but the crime, itself, is I think fairly common and worth understanding.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • What It Takes to Get a Reporter to Correct An Error

      But, as Scahill pointed out, issuing a correction via Twitter for something you said on the air was insufficient. Baldwin apparently agreed, because later on in her show she said, “And earlier we said that he was killed in the same drone strike that killed his father. That was not the case. We regret that mistake.”

      Accuracy, of course, is a big deal in journalism– and thus it’s a big deal for people who want to hold journalism accountable. Baldwin’s initial response was unfortunate, but she eventually made the right call. Would she have made the same decision if there wasn’t such a public effort to get her to correct the record? Probably not.

    • Pest Control: Syngenta’s Secret Campaign to Discredit Atrazine’s Critics

      To protect profits threatened by a lawsuit over its controversial herbicide atrazine, Syngenta Crop Protection launched an aggressive multi-million dollar campaign that included hiring a detective agency to investigate scientists on a federal advisory panel, looking into the personal life of a judge and commissioning a psychological profile of a leading scientist critical of atrazine.

  • Censorship

    • Yahoo’s Sneaky Strike to Tumble Tumblr’s Adult Artifacts

      Exactly two months ago, when we heard that Yahoo was buying Tumblr for over a billion dollars in cash, I posed a somewhat provocative question.

      To wit: What was Yahoo gonna do with all that porn on Tumblr?

    • HBO Asks Google to Take Down “Infringing” VLC Media Player

      It’s no secret that copyright holders are trying to take down as much pirated content as they can, but their targeting of open source software is something new. In an attempt to remove pirated copies of Game of Thrones from the Internet, HBO sent a DMCA takedown to Google, listing a copy of the popular media player VLC as a copyright infringement. An honest mistake, perhaps, but a worrying one.

  • Privacy

    • Former NSA Chief Smears Glenn Greenwald

      newspaper’s Glenn Greenwald,” writes former NSA director Michael Hayden today in a CNN op-ed, is “more deserving of the Justice Department’s characterization of a co-conspirator than Fox’s James Rosen ever was.” Hayden’s smear came in a column in which he argues that Edward Snowden, whose story Greenwald has been telling in the Guardian, “will likely prove to be the most costly leaker of American secrets in the history of the Republic.”

      Those thuggish words are particularly disturbing coming from a figure who is, as CNN’s editor’s note at the top of the column explains, still tied to military and intelligence elites.

    • NSA admits to spying on more people than previously thought

      Testimony elicited during a Wednesday oversight hearing in Washington revealed that the United States intelligence community regularly collects email and telephone metadata from way more persons than previously thought.

    • Amash Forcing the Issue on NSA

      Representative Justin Amash of Michigan is on his way to forcing the first legislative showdown over the National Security Agency’s controversial policy of collecting the phone logs of every American.

    • NSA head admits the agency made “huge set of mistakes” in 2009

      President then established an internal watchdog group within spy agency.

    • NSA Phone Snooping Cannot Be Challenged in Court, Feds Say

      The Obama administration for the first time responded to a Spygate lawsuit, telling a federal judge the wholesale vacuuming up of all phone-call metadata in the United States is in the “public interest,” does not breach the constitutional rights of Americans and cannot be challenged in a court of law.

    • Biden calls Brazil’s Rousseff over NSA spying tensions

      U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Friday to try to smooth tensions caused by allegations that the United States spied on Brazilian Internet communications, Rousseff’s office said.

    • Biden calls Brazil’s Rousseff over NSA spying tensions

      U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Friday to try to smooth tensions caused by allegations that the United States spied on Brazilian Internet communications, Rousseff’s office said.

      Latin America’s largest nation has said Washington’s explanations about the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programs have been unsatisfactory.

      “He lamented the negative repercussions in Brazil and reiterated the U.S. government’s willingness to provide more information on the matter,” Rousseff’s communications minister, Helena Chagas, told reporters after the 25-minute telephone call.

    • NSA surveillance order set to expire Friday

      If the Obama administration elects not to act before Friday evening, the National Security Agency could for the first time in years be unable to collect the phone records of millions of Americans.

      It’s been but six weeks since NSA leaker Edward Snowden first started exposing the surveillance policies used by the United States government, and that month-and-a-half has provided President Barack Obama with a number of opportunities to engage the Congress and citizenry alike with regards to striking a proper balance between privacy and security. But while the recently disclosed surveillance programs could be stopped at any time, Friday allows the administration the opportunity to not renew one of those policies for the first time since the public began to pipe up.

    • Senator to Snowden: ‘You have done the right thing’

      While some current members of Congress continue to rally for the prosecution of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, a long-serving United States senator has sent a letter of support to the NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower.

      According to correspondence published Tuesday by the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, former two-term senator Gordon Humphrey (R-New Hampshire) wrote the exiled Mr. Snowden to say, “you have done the right thing in exposing what I regard as massive violation of the United States Constitution.”

    • “What Is That Box?” — When The NSA Shows Up At Your Internet Company

      When people say the feds are monitoring what people are doing online, what does that mean? How does that work? When, and where, does it start?

      Pete Ashdown, CEO of XMission, an internet service provider in Utah, knows. He received a Foreign Intelligence Service Act (FISA) warrant in 2010 mandating he let the feds monitor one of his customers, through his facility. He also received a broad gag order. In his own words:

      The first thing I do when I get a law enforcement request is look for a court signature on it. Then I pass it to my attorneys and say, “Is this legitimate? Does this qualify as a warrant?” If it does, then we will respond to it. We are very up front that we respond to warrants.

      If it isn’t, then the attorneys write back: “We don’t believe it is in jurisdiction or is constitutional. We are happy to respond if you do get an FBI request in jurisdiction or you get a court order to do so.”

      The FISA request was a tricky one, because it was a warrant through the FISA court — whether you believe that is legitimate or not. I have a hard time with secret courts. I ran it past my attorney and asked, “Is there anyway we can fight this?” and he said “No. It is legitimate.”

    • FISA court renews NSA surveillance program

      The Obama administration has renewed the authority for the National Security Agency to regularly collect the phone records of millions of Americas as allowed under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

    • Fight over NSA Spying Spills into U.S. Courts

      ATLANTA, Georgia, Jul 19 (IPS) – A wide variety of individuals and organisations have filed lawsuits challenging the National Security Agency (NSA) and other federal agencies and officials for conducting a massive, dragnet spying operation on U.S. citizens that was recently confirmed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • Secret court lets NSA extend its trawl of Verizon customers’ phone records

      Latest revelation an indication of how Obama administration has opened up hidden world of mass communications surveillance

    • Senators suggest moving G20 summit over NSA leaker

      Two senators urged President Barack Obama on Friday to consider recommending a new site for the September international summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, if Moscow continues to allow National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to remain in the country.

    • Obama may cancel Moscow trip over NSA leaker

      President Barack Obama may cancel a scheduled trip to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir V. Putin in September as the standoff over the fate of Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor seeking asylum there, takes its toll on already strained relations between the United States and Russia, officials said Thursday.

    • Pressure Builds for Data-Sweep Alternative

      White House and Congress Urge National Security Agency to Rethink Its Approach to Terrorism-Related Surveillance

    • CIA Huawei Spying Claims Denounced, US Told To ‘Put Up Or Shut Up’
    • The Internet Sector calls for Greater Transparency in Requests for User Data

      Mozilla is joining with over 60 leading technology companies, startups, investors, technology trade groups and public interest groups today to call on the US government to allow the release of information pertaining to national security requests for user data.

      Mozilla is one of the organizers behind today’s letter. We gathered the signatures of a broad range of Internet and VC leaders for many of whom this is their first time publicly weighing in on this issue. Mozilla has also been one of the leading groups behind the StopWatching.Us campaign, which has gathered over 550,000 signatures and brought together one of the most diverse coalitions of public interest organizations ever assembled on an Internet policy topic.

    • The Philosophy of NSA Surveillance

      What kind of society do we want to live in? That’s the philosophical question at the heart of the debate about the National Security Agency collecting call logs and Internet content on millions of Americans in the name of finding terrorists. I hang my head in disbelief at the continual framing of the debate in solely practical terms. I instinctively think in philosophical terms.

      When the news broke, I had a visceral reaction. The confirmation of the existence of these sweeping programs was like a punch in the gut for this centrist civil libertarian. Yet people whom I know and many pundits and politicians simply shrugged. They seemed uninterested in taking a stand. Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland said in 1937 that “the saddest epitaph which can be carved in memory of a vanished liberty is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch forth a saving hand while yet there was time.”

    • NSA secret data to be protected as nuclear weapon

      The National Security Agency is implementing new security measures because of the disclosures by former NSA employee Edward Snowden, a top defense official said. First among the new procedures is a “two-man rule”, often used in guarding nuclear weapons.

    • Lawsuits against NSA: will any of them bring substantial results?

      A coalition of 19 groups in San Francisco is suing the US National Security Agency. The groups, supporting everything from religion and digital rights to drugs and the environment, demand that a federal judge immediately stop the activity of the “unconstitutional program”. At least 3 federal lawsuits have been previously lodged in the country, challenging the US government’s surveillance programs. Tomas Moore, principal attorney at “The Moore Law Team”. And the plaintiffs attorney in the lawsuit, shares his opinion on the issue with the Voice of Russia.
      Read more: http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_07_19/Lawsuits-against-NSA-will-bring-any-of-them-substantial-results-3271/

    • 5 Companies That Are Watching You More Than the NSA

      In the digital age, it’s difficult to define exactly what is public and when we should reasonably expect privacy. Revelations regarding the surveillance reach of the NSA have many questioning who knows what and how much.

      On a daily basis, your activity is being monitored by companies through one simple device – your cell phone. And they know more about you than the government.

    • FISA Court Secretly Renews NSA Telephone Surveillance
    • A Single NSA Wiretap Could Lead To Snooping On ’2.5 Million Americans’
    • Android app randomly takes photos, tweets them to NSA
    • Facebook Event For ‘NSA Nature Walk’ Leads To Police Visit For German Man

      People outside of the United States have been alarmed by revelations about the degree of NSA access to information held by American technology companies given that foreigners are not granted the same privacy protections as U.S. citizens. Daniel Bangert, a 28-year-old German man, has been following news articles about the Edward Snowden leaks closely. Last month, after discovering that the NSA has a facility near his home in Griesheim, he posted a screed to Facebook lamenting “hav[ing] the NSA spies on my doorstep.”

    • Thanks to a Secret Court the NSA Can Continue Spying on Americas

      On Friday, the secret court that oversees cases related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act renewed the order that enables the NSA to compel telecom companies to hand over records whenever it wants. Translation: No end in sight to the NSA spying on phone records.

    • FISA Court Rubber Stamps Continued Collection Of All Phone Records, While DOJ Insists No One Can Challenge This

      As of this morning, the Feds didn’t want to say if they’d asked the FISA court to renew the order allowing it to collect the data on every single phone call from Verizon (and likely every other major phone carrier, though it’s unclear if the orders for those others also expired today).

    • ACLU warns of mass tracking through license plate scanners

      The American Civil Liberties Union is warning that law enforcement officials are using license plate scanners to amass massive and unregulated databases that can be used to track law-abiding citizens as their go about their daily lives.

    • The NSA Admits It Analyzes More People’s Data Than Previously Revealed
    • The Creepy, Long-Standing Practice of Undersea Cable Tapping

      The newest NSA leaks reveal that governments are probing “the Internet’s backbone.” How does that work?

    • Metadata, the NSA, and the Fourth Amendment: A Constitutional Analysis of Collecting and Querying Call Records Databases

      In his recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, my co-blogger Randy Barnett argues that massive-scale collection of communications metadata by the NSA violates the Fourth Amendment because it is an unreasonable seizure. Randy’s colleague Laura K. Donohue recently argued in the Washington Post that such collection violates the Fourth Amendment as an unreasonable search. Jennifer Granick and Chris Sprigman made a similar argument in the New York Times.

    • The Dangers of Surveillance

      From the Fourth Amendment to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and from the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to films like Minority Report and The Lives of Others, our law and culture are full of warnings about state scrutiny of our lives. These warnings are commonplace, but they are rarely very specific. Other than the vague threat of an Orwellian dystopia, as a society we don’t really know why surveillance is bad and why we should be wary of it. To the extent that the answer has something to do with “privacy,” we lack an understanding of what “privacy” means in this context and why it matters. We’ve been able to live with this state of affairs largely because the threat of constant surveillance has been relegated to the realms of science fiction and failed totalitarian states.

    • NSA comes clean on metadata: Are you within 3 degrees of a target?

      The NSA finally admitted Wednesday why it wants to track your phone’s metadata, like the stats of who you call and when.

      They’re looking to see if you ever call anybody who’s called anybody who’s called anybody who might be of real interest.

    • First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA

      Nineteen organizations including Unitarian church groups, gun ownership advocates, and a broad coalition of membership and political advocacy organizations filed suit against the National Security Agency today for violating their First Amendment right of association by illegally collecting their call records. The coalition is represented by EFF.

  • Civil Rights

    • American justice scandal: FBI could be at fault in 27 death row cases

      Unprecedented federal review rules that the FBI may have exaggerated forensics in case of Willie Jerome Manning – a decision that puts other convictions in doubt

    • Senate and C.I.A. Spar Over Secret Report on Interrogation Program
    • [Old:] Freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association and the internet

      The internet, social networks and mobile phones enhance human freedoms to come together around social, political and economic issues, to build associations and networks, and to assemble online to advocate for and to defend human rights. This has been reflected in demonstrations and protests in the middle-east and North Africa; anti- austerity protests in Greece, Italy and Spain; “Occupy” protests; advocacy and protests against the Stop Online Piracy (SOPA) and PROTECT IP (PIPA) bills in the United States; student protests in Quebec and Chile; and protests against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

    • ICC not fit for purpose?

      The Interception of Communications Commissioner (ICC) 2012 Annual Report has raised serious questions about whether the commissioner’s office is actually fit for purpose. The report has failed to make any mention of Tempora and PRISM whilst at the same time seriously lacks the impression that the ICC has been enforcing serious oversight of the way security agencies acquire and use communications data.

    • Dick Durbin to Hold Senate Hearings on ALEC, the NRA, and “Stand Your Ground”

      Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced Friday that he will hold hearings this fall on the role of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the NRA in spreading “Stand Your Ground” laws across the country, which the Center for Media and Democracy uncovered last year, after launching ALECexposed.org.

    • Journalist James Risen ordered to testify in CIA leaker trial

      A federal appeals court has delivered a blow to investigative journalism in America by ruling that reporters have no first amendment protection that would safeguard the confidentiality of their sources in the event of a criminal trial.

      In a two-to-one ruling from the fourth circuit appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, two judges ruled that a New York Times reporter, James Risen, must give evidence at the criminal trial of a former CIA agent who is being prosecuted for unauthorised leaking of state secrets.

    • EXCLUSIVE: Guantanamo’s Indefinite Prisoners To Have Cases Reviewed

      Eighty-six of the 166 prisoners at Guantanamo have already been cleared for release. In May, President Obama announced a series of steps his administration intended to undertake to release the men, including lifting a moratorium on the transfer of Yemeni prisoners. The reviews of individual cases are another step toward reducing the population of the prison.

    • McDonald’s Employees Walk Out In Protest Of No Air Conditioning After Crew Member Collapses

      A New York City McDonald’s crew walked out Friday, saying they were forced to work without air conditioning amid record-high temperatures. One worker collapsed from the heat.

    • Anti-corruption blogger Navalny sentenced to 5 years behind bars for embezzlement

      Prominent anti-corruption blogger and opposition activist Aleksey Navalny has been found guilty of embezzlement on a large scale, and sentenced to 5 years in jail.

      [...]

      Navalny was also the man who coined the phrase “party of crooks and thieves,” which became a ubiquitous nickname in opposition circles for the country’s ruling United Russia party.

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    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  20. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  21. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  22. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  23. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  24. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  25. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  26. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  27. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  28. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  30. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert


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