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07.21.13

Links 21/7/2013: Ubuntu Edge Smartphone, Mozilla Expansion

Posted in News Roundup at 5:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Announcing “Wear a Tux Penguin Day”
  • Desktop

    • Updated Beta Channel Release for Chrome OS

      ChromeBook and ChromeBox users on Beta track must immediately check their settings, the Chrome OS Beta channel has been updated to version 29.0.1537.32. The new updated brings with it bug fixes, security patches and several new features and improvements. The update will be rolling out to all the devices over next few days.

  • Kernel Space

    • Haswell Perf Doesn’t Change Much On Linux 3.11

      The Intel Haswell HD Graphics 4600 performance for OpenGL doesn’t change much if trying out the experimental Linux 3.11 kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 9.2 Branched For Release Next Month

        Ian Romanick of Intel went ahead this week and branched the code-base for Mesa 9.2. Feature-development on Mesa 9.2 is now over and it’s a period of bug-fixing ahead of the official Mesa 9.2 release in August.

        As shared earlier when talking about the Mesa release process changes, upstream developers have been planning for an August Mesa 9.2 release and after that point will likely be switching to pushing out new releases every three months rather than six.

      • Enlightenment On Wayland Still Being Done

        A lot of Linux desktop users are looking forward to the full port of the Enlightenment desktop to Wayland.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux 3.11 File-System Performance: EXT4, Btrfs, XFS, F2FS

        Coming out today are our first Linux 3.11 kernel file-system benchmarks. Being benchmarked from a higher-end OCZ Vertex 3 SATA 3.0 SSD connected to an Intel Core i7 “Haswell” system are the EXT4, Btrfs, XFS, and F2FS file-systems.

      • Btrfs Mount Option Performance Tuning On Linux 3.11

        To complement the EXT4, XFS, Btrfs, and F2FS benchmark results that were published yesterday from the Linux 3.11 kernel and its predecessors, here are some Btrfs tuning benchmarks on the Linux 3.11 kernel with various performance-sensitive Btrfs mount options being tried.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Razor & LXDE-Qt Desktop Projects To Merge

      Developers behind the lightweight Qt-based Razor-qt and LXDE-Qt desktops met up at KDE’s Akademy 2013 conference. During the annual KDE developer conference, the two lightweight desktops decided to merge their efforts around LXDE-Qt.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • aKademy mola (i.e. rocks)
      • Open Source Dictation: Wrapping up

        The slides and the video of the talk are both already available. If you’ve seen the talk, please consider leaving me some feedback – it’s always appreciated.

      • What’s new in the Akonadi World

        I arrived back home from Akademy just a day ago and I already miss it. I enjoyed every single moment of it and had lots and lots of fun. Thanks everyone for making this such an awesome event, and especially to the local team. They did an incredible job!

      • Akademy 2013 – A Blast!
      • Krita meets 3D-Coat

        Some time ago, VFX artist Paul Geraskin created a video to show off how well Krita and the sculpting application 3D-Coat combined in his workflow:

      • Akademy Impressions

        What a cool time! I am still thrilled, now two days home after Akademy and QtCS, which took place the last week in Bilbao. Several great reports about what happened there and what was discussed can already be found in the net:

  • Distributions

    • ROSA Desktop R1 GNOME preview

      ROSA Desktop R1 GNOME is the edition of the R line of desktop distributions from ROSA Laboratory that uses the GNOME 3 desktop environment. The beta edition that was supposed to be a Release Candidate was made available for download earlier today.

      This article offers a few screen shots from a test installation of this beta edition in a virtual environment. Note that while the GNOME 3 edition of the R series is still in the beta stage of development, stable editions of the KDE and LXDE desktop environments have already been released.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CEO weighs in on sign debate

        Proving to be as hip as the company he leads, Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHT) CEO Jim Whitehurst says a viral debate over whether the sign atop the company’s tower in downtown Raleigh not only doesn’t bother him, he welcomes it.

      • Fedora

        • This week in Fedora Infrastructure

          We had a meeting on IRC with a general overview and some things we need to sort out with our migration to ansible. You can read the meeting minutes at: http://meetbot.fedoraproject.org/meetbot/fedora-meeting-1/2013-07-17/infrastructure-ansible-meetup.2013-07-17-19.00.html help or comments always welcome. Many of the outstanding questions are things we likely will discuss and finish planning at the upcoming flocktofedora conference. There’s also now a wiki page with this information on it too: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Infrastructure_ansible_migration

        • Korora 19 review – Bruce

          Unlike the Fedora KDE desktop, which featured a full cast of native KDE applications, including using Konqueror as the default Web browser, Korora 19 KDE shipped with a mix of native KDE and non-native KDE applications. For example, Firefox is the default Web browser, which is a far better Web browser than Konqueror.

    • Debian Family

      • There must be a name for bugs you only find post-release

        This week I made two releases of my mail client. Immediately after both releases I found bugs. Despite having been using the github source tree on my box for reading mail for days.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Posts 15 Mesa Patches To Support Mir

            Canonical is back to trying to get upstream Mesa/Gallium3D to support their Mir Display Server. In their current form, the support comes across 15 patches for bringing up the Mir EGL platform.

          • The Ubuntu PC Case Mod Pt.7 SPONSORSHIP!

            This has been a good week for the build. I’ve got the DVD drives wrapped, more paracord has arrived (enough to do the top), the side windows are ready to cut and I finally got sponsored, thanks to IceModz.com .

            I’ve also got around to planning the mount and door for the ITX board and Mac Mini. They will be mounted sideways, possibly with a mount in the middle, possibly with just zip ties. This will be connected to the bottom 4 5.25″ drive mounts and a front USB panel. I’ll try to add a door too, but i might not be able to.

          • Could this be the Ubuntu Edge smartphone?

            We expect to see the first Ubuntu OS-powered smartphone unveiled later in the year and in the meantime, Canonical is demoing its upcoming platform on a couple of Nexus devices, Nexus 4 and Nexus 10.

          • Is this the Ubuntu Edge smartphone?

            Canonical plans to introduce something next week, and there’s a good chance it’ll be a phone-related announcement about something called Edge. While we’ll have to wait a few days for all the details, some folks did a little sleuthing around the Ubuntu website and found a series of pictures with “Edge” in the name.

          • Ubuntu Edge: The First Ubuntu Smartphone Next Week?

            On the Ubuntu web-site has been a teaser about “the line where two surfaces meet” and a 4-day countdown (ending 22 July). There’s been wild speculation about this countdown and now it appears it will be an announcement of Ubuntu Edge, the first Ubuntu-powered smartphone.

          • Canonical’s Ubuntu Edge smartphone leaked, to be announced in the coming days

            Ubuntu for Android hasn’t turned out to be quite the “wide open” project we’d anticipated. That particular project, which would turn a smartphone and smartdock into a desktop PC, is still having its kinks worked out and deals are still attempting to be made. The future of that is still uncertain, but the folks at Canonical have something else up their sleeves worth showing.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Chinese Firm ZTE Launches 6 New Smartphones For Indian Consumers

          Chinese Multinational Telecom company ZTE has finally entered Indian smartphone market. The world’s fourth largest mobile phone manufacturer has launched 6 new smartphones and 4 3G data cards in India. The smartphones are all priced between Rs 5,000 – Rs15,000. For the distribution of its smartphones, ZTE has signed a strategic partnership with Pune based Calyx Telecommunications.

      • Android

        • New Nexus 7 To Feature Wireless Charging, Android 4.3, Dual Cameras and Slim Port

          Nexus 7 II is perhaps one of the most awaited devices of this year, with rumours and leaks surfacing on the internet every other day. It seems that the internet public won’t stop speculating until there is an official release or confirmation from Google. In keeping with the trend of daily leaks, this time, another picture surfaced, supposedly listing the features of the new Nexus 7 II.

        • ‘Moto X’ To Be Officially Revealed On August 1 At New York

          Motorola has sent invite for an event for August 1st. While event invite didn’t reveal much detail, it clearly has the Words ‘Moto X’ in big letters. The invite image has nothing more than a few people sitting around. However, on closer observation one can see that two of those people are holding Moto X, one in white and the other in black. Below ‘Moto X’, we can only see ‘August 1’, and ‘New York’.

        • Google Expected to Release New Nexus 7 Tablet, Android 4.3 Next Week

          Google’s green robot has something brewing, and signs point to it being an improved Nexus 7 tablet and an updated version of the Android operating system.

        • Pixelknot: Steganography app for Android

          With digital privacy, security and anonymity in the public consciousness, thanks to information revealed by Edward Snowden, any tool or application that can help you communicate securely with your friends is always welcome.

        • Sony Xperia Z Ultra Coming To India On July 31

          The Sony Xperia Z Ultra, the massive, almost tablet, phone from Sony has been confirmed to be launched worldwide recently. Not to be left too far behind, especially since Hong Kong will be getting the same later this month, an online retailer by the name of Saholic has started listing the phone as being available starting from July 31st. The price, however, has not been mentioned. Though given that the Hong Kong version is going to retail for around $799, we can expect it to retail at around Rs. 47,500.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • A Museum Item: the Asus Eee PC 901

        How nostalgic! Today I powered on my wife’s Asus Eee PC 901. That is a tiny 8.9 inch netbook that came with 1Gb RAM, 20Gb SSD, and Linux pre-installed. My wife kept it at her mother’s house, but brought it back two weeks ago.

      • OLPC Changes Course, Again

        OLPC is a non-profit organization but to produce a product for the world it needs revenue and the established markets for IT has that. Since most of the devices in that market are for grown-ups, it makes sense for OLPC to ship units there at market-prices as a source of revenue and also to improve the life of children there. They can then ship units at subsidized prices to the rest of the world. Think about it. That’s not much different than the previous “by two, give one” campaign. Whatever works…

Free Software/Open Source

  • VLC app now available again for iOS

    VLC, one of the most popular media player applications of all-time, is finally available again in the Apple App Store.

  • New Community Manager

    I am pleased to announce that Daniel Hinojosa has rejoined our team as Community Manager.

  • HipHop Virtual Machine 2.1 Is Even Faster

    Facebook’s HipHop VM (HHVM) did a new release last week and now it’s even faster! HHVM 2.1 also supports more language functionality.

  • Boffin Thrills Its Readers With Its New List of Open Source Audio Converter Software

    Software review website Boffin finally announces its top picks for open source audio converter software. The Boffin choices include much-anticipated software along with lesser known newcomers. Professional and high quality audio conversion is today commonly available to consumers. With the ubiquity of technology and financial accessibility of audio converter software, more people have the chance of converting their audio files to formats compatible with their own music devices.

  • Boffin Releases Its Latest List of Recommended Open Source Text to Speech Software
  • Review: VLC returns to iOS after long hiatus, yet still needs refinement

    Following a two-year absence from the iOS App Store, popular media player VLC is back. Version 2.0.1 of VideoLAN’s free open-source player hit the store on Friday, and just like before, it’s an unadorned universal app — compatible with select iPhones, iPod touch devices and iPads — that claims to play pretty much any video file you can throw at it.

  • IBM high-fives Netflix open-source tools

    Netflix, aside from delivering streaming video to consumers, also wants to provide open-source software — Netflix OSS – to tech vendors. Netflix, in its quest to fill gaps in Amazon Web Services has come up with more than a dozen tools — including the popular Chaos Monkey for testing web application resiliency – that are now available on Github to any cloud providers. The goal is to help these third parties make their own cloud infrastructure more robust, flexible and glitch free.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • FireFox 1.1 OS Update Now Available For Geeksphone Users

        If you are not an Apple iOS fanatic, or much impressed with Android either and taking an interest in Mozilla’s Mobile Operating System FireFox OS, you might be happy to hear that Mozilla has released FireFox OS 1.1. Also if you are following Mozilla’s Mobile OS, you might have a Geeksphone in your hand, complementing the geek in you, because it’s the only device known to support FireFox OS for now.

      • Mozilla, maker of Firefox, to open Portland office

        One of the world’s leading open source tech brands has settled on the Brewery Blocks for its Portland outpost.

        Mountain View, Calif.-based Mozilla Corp. said today it will open an office in the Brewery Blocks in the Pearl District this month. It will be Mozilla’s first U.S. office outside of the Bay Area.

      • How does Firefox stack up to Chrome these days?

        Great discussions are par for the course here on Lifehacker. Each day, we highlight a discussion that is particularly helpful or insightful, along with other great discussions and reader questions you may have missed. Check out these discussions and add your own thoughts to make them even more wonderful!

      • Firefox OS Emulator is available for Linux

        Last time I had tried Firefox OS was back in December 2012 (Run Firefox OS in GNOME). At that time Firefox Simulator Extension (through WebBrowser) was only available for Windows (perhaps for Mac too), so for that post I had to install all the development environment to try it. Which was cool anyway!

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open Source OpenStack Cloud Platform Turns 3

      On July 19th, 2010, the CTO of NASA joined with Rackspace to announce a new effort, known as OpenStack.

    • Valuable Open Source Cloud Management Tools

      Cloud computing is designed to harness the power of networks of computers and communications in a cost effective way. Cloud systems offer cheap access to huge computational, storage, and network resources. These systems offer per-user and per-application isolation and customization via a service interface that is often implemented using high-level language technologies, well-defined Application Programming Interfaces, and web services.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Linux office suite competition

      Let’s say you want to use an office suite on your favorite Linux distribution. All right, which one? This is an interesting question really, and often left without a good answer. Unlike most other categories, where friendly wars are most welcome, the office suite competition takes a back bench in the digital combat. So you know your way around browsers, media players or chat programs. What about office programs?

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Inside Google HQ: What does the future hold for the company whose visionary plans include implanting a chip in our brains?
    • Surprising Fish Cousins: Tuna & Seahorses

      In the past 100 million years, fish with spiky dorsal and anal fins — an effective anti-predator device — have occupied every nook and cranny of the planet, said Peter Wainwright, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Davis. The group includes more than 90 percent of coral reef fish species and almost everything humans commercially fish, including bass, pollock and tilapia.

    • Happy pi approximation day

      The fraction 22/7 has been used since antiquity as a simple rational approximation of π. The fraction decimal expansion is 3.(142857); since π is about 3.141592653589793, the approximation has three correct digits. Of course we can do much better with computers, and billions of digits are now known: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Approximations_of_π is a nice review also explaining some fast computation methods. For example if you want to obtain a lot of π digits in a short time you may like the series by Ramanujan, yielding very good approximations even with a small number of terms; but that’s not the point now.

  • Hardware

    • Channel retailers see trouble clearing PC inventories

      The retail channel is currently facing serious excessive inventory troubles as most retailers are still unable to finish digesting their Ivy Bridge-based PC inventories and could be working on clearing the inventories for the rest of 2013, according to sources from channel retailers.

    • Digitimes Warns Wintel Of Dismal Future

      Wintel just cannot compete against FLOSS on ARM if M$ and Intel don’t toss their high-priced model. OEMs are fleeing to */Linux on small cheap computers. In my own home Wintel is dead. All of my PCs do run Intel or AMD except for tablets and smartphones but my next purchase may well be an ARMed PC. I have spent more money on a new motherboard and PSU to keep Beast alive than it would cost to get a good ARMed system up and running. For example, I could buy the up-coming descendant of Trimslice, Utilite.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Organophosphates: A Common But Deadly Pesticide

      The pesticides blamed for killing at least 25 children in India are widely used around the world, including in the United States, and health experts have raised safety concerns about this class of chemicals in the past.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Counterterrorism Mission Creep

      One of the assurances I keep hearing about the U.S. government’s spying on American citizens is that it’s only used in cases of terrorism. Terrorism is, of course, an extraordinary crime, and its horrific nature is supposed to justify permitting all sorts of excesses to prevent it. But there’s a problem with this line of reasoning: mission creep. The definitions of “terrorism” and “weapon of mass destruction” are broadening, and these extraordinary powers are being used, and will continue to be used, for crimes other than terrorism.

    • TSA now searching parked cars at the airport

      It can’t be said often enough: the TSA isn’t law enforcement. The TSA isn’t law enforcement.

    • US, Britain push for Syrian military intervention

      The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, has told the Senate that the Obama administration is actively considering the use of military force in Syria.

    • Venezuela ‘ends’ bid to restore diplomatic ties with US

      Venezuela has announced it is ending efforts to improve diplomatic relations with Washington after comments by the woman nominated as the next envoy to the UN vowed to oppose “a crackdown on civil society” in the “repressive” OPEC nation.

      President Nicolas Maduro has responded angrily by demanding an apology from the United States, arguing that they have no moral right to criticise his government.

    • Egypt to reevaluate Syria ties after coup

      Newly-appointed foreign minister says ‘everything will be re-evaluated’ following the ouster of Morsi; in Cairo, security forces raid office of Iranian TV channel.

    • Egyptian security forces raid Iranian TV office in Cairo

      Egyptian security forces on Saturday evening raided the office of Iranian Al Alam TV channel in Cairo and detained its director for questioning, a correspondent of Al Alam told Xinhua.

    • Federal Judge Troubled by Government Argument That US Targeted Killings Not Subject to Court Review

      A year ago, Nasser Al-Awlaki, the father of Anwar Al-Awlaki, along with the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights, sued over the constitutionality of the CIA’s drone program, which they contended had killed Al-Awlaki, his sixteen year old son Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki, and Samir Khan, all US citizens. It wasn’t until this May, however, that the White House, via a letter from Eric Holder to Congress, admitted responsibility for the killings. According to Holder, only the older Al-Awlaki was specifically targeted by the US. The disclosure came only two months after a federal appeals court ruled the CIA could not decline to confirm or deny a drone program that had become secret-in-name-only. And despite President Obama’s occasional lip service to contemplation or discussion, government stonewalling continues.

    • Ex-Pentagon official has ‘heavy heart’ over US teen’s inadvertent killing by drone
    • Pine Gap drives US drone kills

      Central Australia’s Pine Gap spy base has played a key role in the United States’ controversial drone strikes involving the ”targeted killing” of al-Qaeda and Taliban chiefs, Fairfax Media can reveal.

      Former personnel at the Australian-American base have described the facility’s success in locating and tracking al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders – and other insurgent activity in Afghanistan and Pakistan – as ”outstanding”.

    • US drone strikes guided from outback
    • BT accused of aiding US lethal drone attacks

      The UK communications giant, BT, is facing a government investigation for allegedly aiding lethal and illegal US drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia.

      The human rights group, Reprieve, has lodged a formal complaint with the UK Government against the company, arguing that it has breached guidelines on responsible business behaviour drawn up by the 34-country Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

      Reprieve has obtained details of a $23 million deal agreed last September between BT and the US government’s Defense Information Systems Agency to connect the US drone base at Camp Lemonnier in African republic Djibouti by fibre-optic cable to RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire, which serves as a major US communications base.

    • In Yemen, drones’ ill effects linger long after dust settles

      Fallout from the airstrikes, locals warn, threatens to doom any attempts at collaboration – the feeling of powerlessness they fuel has bred an atmosphere of distrust that’s left many here leery of even international humanitarian organizations.

    • A ploy to increase Pakistan woes

      Interestingly, citing the justification for this attack, TTP’s spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told journalists that foreigners were targeted to convey message to the world against drone attacks. But the victims belonged to Pakistan’s friendly countries including China which supported the country’s stance against drone attacks on all the international forums. Even Russians, on many occasions, have condemned the brutal use of kinetic actions through drones. Such an action at this stage clearly indicates that TTP in fact was sponsored by hostile agencies to undertake this operation.

    • America’s enemies have rights too

      The lawsuit charges that the killings violated the Constitution, including its most elementary protection against the deprivation of life without due process of law. Seeking to dismiss the lawsuit, the Justice Department has maintained that such killings are immune from judicial review. The administration argues that due process does not require judicial process and that we should trust the executive’s judgment when it takes the lives of its own citizens abroad.

    • It was the CIA that helped Jail Nelson Mandela

      Mandela was labeled a terrorist by the United States. So was the entire ANC. Even as late as 2008 the U.S. State Department had to pass special waivers so that Mandela or any ANC leader could visit the United States because he and the ANC were still on the “terrorist watch list.”

    • The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth

      “The foundations of the secret war were laid by a conservative Republican president and embraced by a liberal Democratic one who became enamored of what he had inherited,” Mazzetti writes at one point. History will have to decide who deserves the harsher judgment.

    • Does World History Repeat? One CIA-Backed Startup Plans To Find Out

      Recorded Future is an American-Swedish startup backed by both Google Ventures and American intelligence agencies. Their goal? To predict the future using bits and pieces of online information.

    • Litvinenko inquiry request refused for fear of alienating Russia, May admits

      Fear of alienating Russia was a factor in the government’s decision to refuse a public inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the home secretary, Theresa May, has admitted.

      The government said last week that it had decided not to grant a request from a senior judge for an inquiry into the former Russian spy’s apparent murder in 2006, in a decision that Litvinenko’s widow, Marina, said was political.

    • Rise of the Warrior Cop
    • Matthew David Stewart, Suspect In Utah Cop Killing, Found Dead In Cell
    • Judge torn over lawsuit in drone strike that killed Americans

      “There is no ‘Leon Panetta exception’ to the Constitution,” ACLU attorney Hina Shamsi said.

    • Security experts Bruce Schneier and Mikko Hypponen on the NSA, PRISM and why we should be worried

      As Edward Snowden is linked to one country after the next, the media has its eye fixed on where he will next request asylum. (Today, it’s Russia.) Meanwhile, back at US headquarters, as NSA officials speak in a House Judiciary Committee hearing, the agency is still doing what it’s doing. To get more information on exactly what that means, the TED Blog wrote to two security experts, Bruce Schneier (watch his talk) and Mikko Hypponen (see his talk), to ask them about what it is we should be worried about. Turns out, pretty much everything.

    • Judge: Govt position in drone suit ‘disconcerting’

      A federal judge said Friday that she finds “disconcerting” the Obama administration’s position that courts have no role in a lawsuit over the 2011 drone-strike killings of three U.S. citizens in Yemen, including an al-Qaida cleric.

      U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary M. Collyer made the comment at a hearing on a government motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The suit was filed by relatives of the three men killed in the drone strikes, charging that the attacks violated the Constitution. It named as defendants then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, then-CIA Director David Petraeus and two commanders in the military’s Special Operations forces, and seeks unspecified compensatory damages.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • The New York Times & Their Coverage of Recent ‘Aiding the Enemy’ Ruling in Bradley Manning’s Trial
    • Court Guts Reporter’s Privilege in One of the Most Significant Press Freedom Cases in Decades
    • IPB awards MacBride Peace Prize 2013 to US whistleblower Bradley Manning

      Manning was arrested in May 2010 after allegedly leaking more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables, 400,000 U.S. Army reports about Iraq and another 90,000 about Afghanistan, as well as the material used in the “Collateral Murder” video produced by WikiLeaks: videos of the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike and the 2009 Garani airstrike in Afghanistan. At the time, it constituted the largest set of restricted documents ever leaked to the public. Much of it was published by WikiLeaks or its media partners between April and November 2010.

    • Math Behind Leak Crackdown: 153 Cases, 4 Years, 0 Indictments
    • Raking Muck: WikiLeaks, Manning, and the Newer Journalism

      The Manning Trial, with all its state-like ghastliness, the prosecution pawing and bruising those who disagree with it into submission, has thrown up a few distinct and disturbing trends. Ecclesiastes 1:9 claims there is nothing new under the sun, and we have been greeted to the predictable prosecution seeking to paint WikiLeaks as the spectre haunting global security. This is backhanded flattery of sorts – the organisation has to be seen by the security establishment as innately wicked and corrosive to state “values” (constipated secrecy, sinister deception, orchestrated dissimulation).

      It is therefore incumbent that every feature of the WikiLeaks’ experiment be attacked: its journalism (qualified or otherwise), its sources, its backers. Army Private first class Bradley Manning is but the important conduit, and this entire enterprise on the part of the U.S. government is an attempt to punish the flow of information all cogs and channels.

    • Wikileaks accused Bradley Manning will face charge of ‘aiding the enemy’
    • Bradley Manning Judge Accepts Osama Bin Laden Claim in WikiLeaks Data Trial

      A US military judge has refused to dismiss a charge that whistleblower Bradley Manning aided the enemy, including Osama bin Laden, by handing classified material to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

      Col Denise Lind ruled out any possibility that the most serious charge facing private Manning at his court martial could be dropped, rejecting a motion put forward by the whistleblower’s lawyer.

    • Bradley Manning may face life in jail as judge views the Wikileaks source may have ‘aided enemy’

      Private first class Bradley Manning, the young American soldier who leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, on Thursday edged closer to spending the rest of his life in a military prison cell – with the key thrown away.

    • Wikileaks to begin fundraising for Snowden ‘Flight of Liberty’

      Wikileaks has suggested that it will begin a campaign to fly the fugitive leaker Edward Snowden away from the grasp of the American authorities.

    • Watching the Watchdog: Give the Nobel Prize to Snowden, Assange and Manning

      Governments take information very seriously, believe that even though we pay for it, they own it — and therefore think it right and proper to keep it hidden from us.

      Governments do that because they know that information truly is power. And if governments hold all the significant information, governments hold all the significant power.

    • Will Australia now protect Julian Assange?

      After Julian Assange revealed US war crimes and US politicians called for his assassination, Gillard branded Assange an anarchistic criminal.

    • A Tale of Two Diplomatic Asylums: Julian Assange and Chen Guangcheng

      It is widely believed by members of the international community that Assange’s extradition to Sweden is a vindictive ruse to ultimately thrust him into the legal jurisdiction of the United States to face charges related to WikiLeaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of State Department documents. Sweden has consistently declined offers to interview Assange in Britain, reinforcing this perception.

    • The PESCI-Theses

      These world developments – and the vacuum left by traditional oppositional left-parties or “anti-imperialist” movements, suggest the need of uniting Libertarian, Let-Liberal, and Pirate-Party movements, and followers of the emergent Whistleblowing movement, in a broad political Human-Rights front. This political effort aiming to enhance political awareness in a world society lamed by government-controlled social-networking and subliminal-implanted consumerism.

    • Obama’s Hawkish Policy on Leaks Was Adopted to Make an Example Out of Someone

      President Barack Obama’s administration has developed a reputation for aggressively prosecuting whistleblowers or individuals responsible for national security leaks. The policy adopted by the administration was influenced by former director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, who requested a “tally of the number of government officials or employees who had been prosecuted for leaking national security secrets,” according to the New York Times.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Missing Money
    • 8 reasons our economy is more dysfunctional than ever

      Self-sacrifice, fear and lowered expectations are the new normal in post-recession America

    • UK Uncut forces closure of HSBC branches in tax protest

      Demonstrators protesting about non-payment of tax by large corporations shut several branches of HSBC across the country on Saturday.

      UK Uncut targeted 13 locations and succeeded in shutting branches in Glasgow, Sheffield, Brixton and Regent Street in London – branches which HSBC initially said would be “open as usual”.

      The group arrived at the Regent Street branch at about noon, 30 minutes after it had been shut “temporarily”, to protest against the government’s welfare cuts by “transforming” it into a food bank.

    • Rajoy there!

      THE Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, is known for wearing down opponents by digging in his heels and biding his time. “Life is about resisting,” he texted Rosalía Iglesias, wife of his Popular Party’s (PP) former treasurer, Luis Bárcenas, as a scandal engulfed him two years ago. Now Mr Bárcenas’s decision to go public in the press and before a magistrate about two decades of illicit PP financing, along with the leaking of text messages, is testing Mr Rajoy’s own capacity for resistance.

      Four years after investigators began unravelling a web of PP corruption, Mr Bárcenas started to sing on July 15th. In an interview with El Mundo, he had already claimed there were systematic cash payments to Mr Rajoy and other bigwigs. On July 17th the paper published 14 pages of secret accounts, which tally with similar ones in its rival, El País. They show donations by construction firms that won big public contracts from PP governments. It is increasingly apparent that Mr Rajoy ran a party in which personal graft and illegal funding were common.

    • A new round of segregation plays out in charter schools

      Charter schools and their proponents argue that charters must take any student who wants to attend– and randomly select students through a lottery if too many apply – and, as such, can’t control who enrolls. Yet some experts are concerned that this trend is an example of the next phase of white flight, following a long history of white families seeking out homogeneous neighborhoods and schools.

      School choice was once seen as a means of helping to diversify schools in spite of residential segregation. But in practice, researchers have found charter schools to be segregated as well. While much attention and research on charter school segregation have focused on predominantly black schools located in cities, pockets of mostly white charters are popping up in diversifying suburbs.

    • The US-EU trade deal: don’t buy the hype

      In reality, this trade agreement is not about promoting prosperity for all, but powerful industry lobbies trying to dodge regulation

  • Censorship

    • David Cameron: Web firms have a ‘moral duty’ to wipe out indecent images

      David Cameron is to warn internet companies that they have a “moral duty” to reduce the accessibility of child pornography, threatening legislation if firms do not act.

    • Cameron demands action on child abuse images

      Today we were expecting an announcement from David Cameron on the Andrew Marr Show previewing a speech on Monday about filters to stop children accessing adult pornography. Instead we have an announcement about paedophiles on the Internet. These are very different issues, needing different policy responses.

    • Zambian press freedom crisis – journalists arrested and websites blocked

      The Zambian government has stepped up its harassment of independent media outlets by arresting journalists and jamming two news websites.

      In a country where the state already exercises control over most media, the authorities have blocked domestic access to Zambian Watchdog, and Zambia Reports.

      Both sites run articles critical of the government led by President Michael Sata. Zambian Watchdog was forced into exile in 2009. Its journalists operate anonymously within Zambia, and the editors live in exile.

      Police arrested freelance journalist Wilson Pondamali on Wednesday (17 July) while he was travelling home from the capital, Lusaka, and accused him of being a contributor to Zambian Watchdog.

    • Cameron’s Bizarre Warning To Google, Bing and Yahoo Over Child Pornography

      There are times when I’m not sure that the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, actually understands this technology stuff. An example is this threat in a TV interview in England today.

    • Tumblr Makes Policy Changes to Restrict Porn Content Searches

      When Yahoo! Inc acquired Tumblr last year, it assured the users that it would not police adult content on the social network. But now, Tumblr has just introduced changes to the way it treats Not Safe for Work (NSFW) content and adult blogs. It may not be considered as censorship yet, but it may impact how content with sensitive themes could be searched within the site.

  • Privacy

    • Greenwald: ‘Explosive’ NSA Spying Reports Are Imminent

      Journalist Glenn Greenwald says new reports from the trove of NSA data supplied by whistleblower Edward Snowden can be expected in the next few days. Speaking on a German talkshow, he said they would be even “more explosive in Germany” than previous reporting.

    • IRS, SEC must respect email privacy: House Appropriations Committee

      The House Appropriations Committee unanimously passed legislation to ensure Americans’ email is private, is covered by the Fourth Amendment and cannot be searched by federal authorities without a warrant.

      The legislation was approved by the committee Wednesday afternoon as an amendment to a must-pass spending bill that funds the Treasury, the White House, the federal judiciary and more than two dozen independent agencies — including the IRS and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

    • OpenMailBox: An alternative to Gmail based on Free Software

      After multiple leaks that have been made of various spy programs as Prism, many users begin to see over their shoulders looking for alternatives to the various services offered by companies that are allegedly involved in these activities. If you are one of those who have undertaken this kind of exodus looking for more reliable service then let me introduce you a substitute for Gmail…

    • NSA Spying Leaves Washington Lonelier Than Ever – Analysis
    • Germany should honour its debt and offer NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum

      When such figures as Albert Einstein fled the Nazis, the US provided a haven. Now it’s time for Berlin to offer asylum to the persecuted

    • Surveillance documents reveal tight partnership between NSA and German government

      Reports that the US National Security Agency is spying on European allies and bugging embassies have been met with strong condemnation in Germany, where chancellor Angela Merkel angrily denounced the agency’s activities earlier this month as “unacceptable.” But new documents obtained by Der Spiegel reportedly show that German intelligence services actually make significant use of a powerful NSA spying program used to monitor internet communications.

    • Ex-NSA agent: US agency transcribes phone calls

      A former US National Security Agency employee says President Barack Obama lies about the spy agency’s interception of personal communications because the NSA has transcribed Americans’ phone calls.

    • Cryptoparties boom following NSA scandal

      How do you go about securing your personal email content? Cryptoparties will teach you. They have been booming in Germany ever since the NSA scandal broke.

    • Android Backups Could Expose Wi-Fi Passwords to NSA

      Google’s “back up my data feature” for Android may be a convenient and easy way to back up files, but it also may put network security at risk by exposing the passwords of encrypted Wi-Fi networks.

    • German spy-spotter attracts unwanted attention for NSA protest walk

      A German who posted a Facebook event calling for an afternoon walk to the US Dagger Complex to “observe NSA spies in action” ended up being spied on himself. The event and the response from authorities has gone viral.

    • Telecom Companies Implicated in NSA Spying Unite to Lobby Congress on Digital Privacy

      The biggest names in telecommunications industry have launched a new lobbying group headed by two Washington insiders to advocate for privacy policies that could affect millions of consumers nationwide.

    • NSA Revelations Could Provide Ideal Cover For Authoritarian Governments
    • U.S. Worries NSA Leaker’s Files Could Be Hacked

      The Russian lawyer for NSA leaker Edward Snowden predicts his client will soon get temporary asylum in Russia

    • Utah ISP owner describes the NSA ‘black box’ that spied on his customers

      There’s been more pushback on privacy from the private sector ever since leaked documents revealed the existence of massive NSA spying programs that tap into consumer services. But the owner of XMission, a small ISP in Utah, has been especially adversarial towards the secret FISA court orders which force companies to give data to the government. After publishing a detailed list of government orders the company has received, CEO Pete Ashdown has offered some clues as to what happens when an internet service provider is forced to comply with a FISA surveillance order.

    • NSA Spokesman Accidentally Admits that the Government Is Spying On Virtually All Americans

      We have long noted that the government is spying on just about everything we do.

      The NSA has pretended that it only spies on a small number of potential terrorists. But NSA Deputy Director John C. Inglis inadvertently admitted that the NSA could spy on just about all Americans.

    • Germany intelligence cooperated with NSA as Merkel denied knowledge – report

      Der Speigel magazine has revealed German intelligence operated one of NSA’s spying programs. Chancellor Angela Merkel had denied any previous knowledge of NSA’s tactics, adding that she first learned about them through the media.

    • Surveillance claims cast cloud over Merkel’s campaign
    • FORMER CIA OFFICER: Edward Snowden Is No Traitor

      Here in the United States, it remains to be seen whether anyone actually cares enough to do something about the illegal activity while being bombarded with the false claims that the out of control surveillance program “has kept us safe.” It is interesting to observe in passing that the revelations derived from Snowden’s whistleblowing strongly suggest that the hippies and other counter-culture types who, back in the 1960s, protested that the government could not be trusted actually had it right all along.

    • Intelligence chiefs would consider NSA data collection changes – top lawyer
    • Jimmy Carter Defends Edward Snowden, Says NSA Spying Has Compromised Nation’s Democracy

      Former President Jimmy Carter announced support for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden this week, saying that his uncovering of the agency’s massive surveillance programs had proven “beneficial.”

      Speaking at a closed-door event in Atlanta covered by German newspaper Der Spiegel, Carter also criticized the NSA’s domestic spying as damaging to the core of the nation’s principles.

    • Germany backs away from claims NSA program thwarted five attacks

      German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich is backing off his earlier assertion that the Obama administration’s NSA monitoring of Internet accounts had prevented five terror attacks in Germany, raising questions about other claims concerning the value of the massive monitoring programs revealed by NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

    • Bipartisan Backlash Grows Against Domestic Surveillance

      WASHINGTON — The Obama administration faced a growing Congressional backlash against the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance operations on Wednesday, as lawmakers from both parties called for the vast collection of private data on millions of Americans to be scaled back.

    • A hidden world, growing beyond control
    • Protest rally at suspected German NSA site

      Protesters held up fake cameras in what they described as a bid to “spy” on the heavily secured military complex allegedly housing a snooping facility of the National Security Agency.

    • What the Empire Didn’t Hear: US Spying and Resistance in Latin America

      US imperialism spreads across Latin America through military bases and trade deals, corporate exploitation and debt. It also relies on a vast communications surveillance network, the recent uncovering of which laid bare Washington’s reach into the region’s streets and halls of power. Yet more than McDonald’s and bullets, an empire depends on fear, and fear of the empire is lacking these days in Latin America.

      The controversy stirred up by Edward Snowden’s leaked documents reached the region on July 7th, when the first of a series of articles drawing from the leaks were published in the major Brazilian newspaper O Globo. The articles outlined how the US National Security Agency (NSA) had for years been spying on and indiscriminately collecting the emails and telephone records of millions of people in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Argentina, just as it had done in the US, Europe and elsewhere.

    • ‘Prolific Partner’: German Intelligence Used NSA Spy Program

      Angela Merkel and her ministers claim they first learned about the US government’s comprehensive spying programs from press reports. But SPIEGEL has learned that German intelligence services themselves use one of the NSA’s most valuable tools.

    • The Eye of Sauron Is the Modern Surveillance State

      What can literary fiction teach us about recent revelations that the National Security Agency has aggressively been gathering massive amounts of data on American citizens? The novel one usually turns to, of course, is George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, with its terrifying vision of the Thought Police. Even President Obama, in response to questions about the NSA, has been forced to deny that the government has engaged in “Big Brother” tactics. Orwell’s book, however, isn’t the most compelling or accurate literary prediction of modern surveillance. That award goes to a less obvious title: J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

    • Journalist warns of ‘explosive’ news from cache Snowden leaked

      The journalist who published files leaked by fugitive U.S. leaker Edward Snowden says new reports from the data Snowden supplied would be more volatile.

      [...]

      The newspaper said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua Washington would end all sales of gasoline and other refined-oil products to Venezuela if Snowden is given refuge in that country.

      Kerry made the statements during a phone call a week ago when he told Jaua Washington revoked U.S. visas of Venezuelan government officials and business leaders in retaliation for President Nicolas Maduro’s asylum offer to Snowden last month, the Spanish report said, citing sources familiar with the conversation.

    • Snowden’s NSA Disclosures a Service, ACLU Director Says
    • Calling All Big Data Experts for Amicus Brief in Phone Records Surveillance Cases

      As you may know, both the ACLU and EPIC have brought legal challenges to the NSA’s collection of Americans’ phone records and related traffic data (metadata). We at the Center for Internet and Society are writing an amicus brief on behalf of experts in metadata analysis to educate the Courts about how revealing such information can be. If you are potentially interested in signing on, please email me at jennifer at law dot stanford dot edu by July 25th. Also, if you have pointers to cutting edge research on this topic, please feel free to send the citations to me.

    • Snowden be damned: Government renews US call record order
    • NSA affair: Merkel wants global agreement

      Surveys show Merkel and her conservatives remain frontrunners overall for the September 22 federal election, but two-thirds of German voters are dissatisfied with her government’s efforts to bring clarity to the murky affair.

    • Spying on Americans, Cellphones, Emails: The NSA is on the Line — All of Them
    • App keeps NSA abreast of your phone activity
    • NSA scoffs at Indian Prism, favours cooperation on cyber security

      Underlining the difficulties India faces while dealing with cases of cyber crimes, Mr. Menon has said: “The basic infrastructure for telephony and Internet data (including the root servers and Internet service providers or ISPs) is overwhelmingly U.S.-owned and based.”

    • Muslim Group Sues NSA Over Surveillance
    • NSA Spying Under Fire From Congress, Churches and Tech Companies
    • What Happens When You Go Knocking On The NSA’s Door

      I was curious about the NSA’s massive data processing center, so I went and took a look. That didn’t make the NSA too happy.

    • Tracking watch: NSA chief, from Russia with love, shopping snoops

      Retailers are using a combination of video cameras, WiFi signals from smartphones and apps to track shoppers in their stores. The New York Times reported over the weekend about Nordstrom’s experimentation with this technology, drawing some reactions that what it’s doing is “creepy.” The retailer says it is tracking shoppers who physically browse at its stores just as online retailers track those who click and buy.

  • Civil Rights

    • DHS Memo To Workers: Read About NSA Leaks, Get Fired

      A DHS memo recently sent out to employees warns that workers found reading about the NSA leaks online could lose their job or be otherwise penalized.

    • This week in press freedoms and privacy rights

      The travesty calling itself “the Bradley Manning court-martial”, the kangaroo tribunal calling itself “the FISA court”, and the emptiness of what the Obama DOJ calls “your constitutional rights”

    • Clown Town Children’s Center Called The Police On U.K. Dad For Singing Happy Birthday
    • Aaron’s Law and the Future of CFAA Reform

      Will CFAA reform end with Aaron’s Law? Join TechFreedom and the Electronic Frontier Foundation on July 22 for drinks and a discussion of the future of CFAA reform.

    • Revoke Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize
    • Court Tells Reporter to Testify in Case of Leaked C.I.A. Data

      In a major ruling on press freedoms, a divided federal appeals court on Friday ruled that James Risen, an author and a reporter for The New York Times, must testify in the criminal trial of a former Central Intelligence Agency official charged with providing him with classified information.

    • Is Australia’s new asylum policy the harshest in its history?

      Following Kevin Rudd’s announcement, asylum seekers who arrive in Australian waters by boat will no longer have the chance to be settled in Australia. Three experts react

    • Locking Out the Voices of Dissent

      The security and surveillance state, after crushing the Occupy movement and eradicating its encampments, has mounted a relentless and largely clandestine campaign to deny public space to any group or movement that might spawn another popular uprising. The legal system has been grotesquely deformed in most cities to, in essence, shut public space to protesters, eradicating our right to free speech and peaceful assembly. The goal of the corporate state is to criminalize democratic, popular dissent before there is another popular eruption. The vast state surveillance system, detailed in Edward Snowden’s revelations to the British newspaper The Guardian, at the same time ensures that no action or protest can occur without the advanced knowledge of our internal security apparatus. This foreknowledge has allowed the internal security systems to proactively block activists from public spaces as well as carry out pre-emptive harassment, interrogation, intimidation, detention and arrests before protests can begin. There is a word for this type of political system—tyranny.

    • The 3 Most Absurdly Outdated Internet Laws
    • ‘Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago’, Obama says
    • University President in Indiana Tried to Censor Howard Zinn’s ‘People’s History of the United States’
    • Indiana’s Anti-Howard Zinn Witch-hunt

      Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States, one of the country’s most widely read history books, died on January 27, 2010. Shortly after, then-Governor of Indiana Mitch Daniels got on his computer and fired off an email to the state’s top education officials: “This terrible anti-American academic has finally passed away.”

      [...]

      We know about Gov. Daniels’ email tantrum thanks to the Associated Press, which obtained the emails through a Freedom of Information Act request.

      Scott Jenkins, Daniels’ education advisor, wrote back quickly to tell the governor that A People’s History of the United States was used in a class for prospective teachers on social movements at Indiana University.

      Daniels fired back: “This crap should not be accepted for any credit by the state. No student will be better taught because someone sat through this session. Which board has jurisdiction over what counts and what doesn’t?”

      After more back and forth, Daniels approved a statewide “cleanup” of what earns credit for professional development: “Go for it. Disqualify propaganda and highlight (if there is any) the more useful offerings.”

    • US Flouts the Rule of Law While Demanding that Other Countries Follow It

      Ah, the rule of law. How often we hear our government leaders angrily demand that the rest of the world adhere to this sacred stricture, most recently as it demands that countries — even countries with which the US has signed no extradition treaty like Russia or China — honor the US charges leveled against National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden and send him to the US for trial.

      But the rule of law, in truth, means little to the US, which routinely thumbs its nose at the whole notion.

    • Outrage over judge allowing Govt to reopen case for baseless slander

      In an extremely rare, last-minute move weeks after the government rested its case, military judge Col. Denise Lind allowed prosecutors to expand their rebuttal case, making way for unsupported accusations against PFC Bradley Manning. The late addition far exceeded the usual limits of a simple rebuttal, once again raising supporters’ and journalists’ suspicions about the validity and fairness of the proceedings.

      In a cynical move, the government prosecution recalled former Specialist Jihrleah Showman, a supervisor against whom Manning had filed an Equal Opportunity complaint. Following Manning’s complaint, Showman was admonished for her use of homophobic language in conversation and workplace signage. In the years since, she has vied for media appearances, augmented by her own vitriolic Tweets, attacking Manning as well as his supporters. Now, at the eleventh hour, she claims to recall a conversation with the 25-year-old army private in which he allegedly shared anti-American opinions.

      According to the defense, Ms. Showman is lending an intentional and inaccurate spin to comments Manning made regarding his refusal to follow any authority blindly as an “automaton” (in Manning’s own words) so that they conform to the prosecution’s characterization of someone disloyal to the United States.

    • Fake Signs On Bay Area Highways Say Drones Looking For Speeders

      Several signs have cropped up on Bay Area highways, telling drivers that drones are enforcing speed limits. The California Highway Patrol told KPIX 5 the signs are fakes and that they do not have drones.

      “As people are driving by and they see something like this, it’s definitely a distraction,” said Officer Andrew Barclay of the California Highway Patrol.

    • Concerns rise about growing use of domestic drones

      If you fret about the possibility that drones soon may be hovering over your neighborhood, you may want to avoid Blue Eye Investigations’ website.

    • What Happened to Michael Hastings?

      For my own benefit and perhaps yours, I’ve done a little research into who Michael Hastings was and what he did that deserves attention. I explore the possibility that his death was no accident. I admit that I have no proof beyond speculation. Hopefully I can give you enough information to make your own judgments. In a world where American Presidents openly arrogate to themselves the right to kill people deemed enemies of the United States, all things suddenly become possible. When the basic right of habeas corpus can be denied to American citizens, based upon unproven allegations of their being threats to this country, isn’t it possible for those with the power to detain and to eliminate individuals, to make decisions as to someone’s existence doing harm to this country? Finally, doesn’t this unconstitutional expansion of powers give individuals with government connections the leeway to take revenge on those who expose them? While I’m not privy to knowledge of the actions of those in power and can claim no inside information, I certainly can speculate based on the experience of my lifetime. This then is my speculation about the death and life of Michael Hastings in the context of current life in these United States.

    • US Courts Approve Indefinite Detention and Torture

      America’s a police state. It’s ruthless. Iron fist authority rules. International law’s quaint and out-of-date. US statute protections aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

      Constitutional rights don’t matter. They never did for most people. It’s truer now than ever. They’re null and void. Executive diktat power rules. Congress and federal courts go along. They’re complicit.

      They support sweeping lawlessness. It’s unprecedented. It affects domestic and geopolitical issues. No one’s safe anywhere.

    • We tell boys not to cry, then wonder about male suicide

      I’m not sure how old I was when I was first instructed that boys don’t cry – at a guess, maybe six or seven. Once it began, it came at me from all angles: family, teachers, friends, the myriad voices of media and culture. Like pretty much all boys, I learned that tears and sobs were markers of failure. Whether facing up to playground beatings, bullies or teachers, the rules of the game were simple: if you cry, you lose. As little boys begin to construct the identities of grown men, the toughest lesson to learn is toughness itself. Never show weakness, never show fragility and above all, never let them see your tears.

    • Chris Hedges: “America is a Tinderbox”

      A Real News Network interview with Chris Hedges precipitated a lively, thoughtful discussion of the mess we are in as a civilization and whether we can pull ourselves out of what looks like a nosedive.

      I thought readers might enjoy continuing the exchange, and the latest release in this Real News Network series should provide ample grist for debate. As much as the readers who saw the segment we posted yesterday, which was mainly on whether we could forestall an ecological crisis, tended to think that Hedges was too apocalyptic, I suspect they’ll have the opposite reaction today, that his take is too positive.

    • Obama Stirs Trayvon Pot to Distract from IRS, NSA, DOJ and Benghazi Scandals

      Last Friday afternoon the president injected himself into the Trayvon/Zimmerman mix again by doing what he excels at, namely, increasing the racial divide, blaming the “white Hispanic,” condemning guns and upbraiding essentially everyone but the stoned and violent truant named, Trayvon.

    • Government Scores Win For Indefinite Detention, But Opponents Say They’ll Press On
    • NDAA Indefinite Detention Without Trial Approved by Appeals Court

      The Section 1021 of the NDAA allows “detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities” for “a person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.” The court is technically correct in stating that the law does not specifically mention U.S. citizens when it uses the term “person,” but like the vaguely worded “supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces,” it appears to be all-encompassing and subject solely to the president’s discretionary whims.

    • Federal court dismisses Stockman-supported challenge to NDAA indefinite detention provision
    • Another Court Rules Against The People And Constitution

      The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the people and Constitution Wednesday when it vacated a permanent injunction barring the enforcement of Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act that allows for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens.

    • Military Detention Law Survives on Appeal

      Without proof that the Obama administration’s military detention law will target them specifically, a group of journalists opposed to it lack standing to sue, the 2nd Circuit ruled.
      Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges filed suit days after President Barack Obama signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which Hedges claims has dangerously vague language that could be used against reporters, activists and human-rights workers.

    • US Courts Approve Indefinite Detention and Torture
    • Journalists Prepare US Supreme Court Fight Against Indefinite Detention

      A group of journalists and activists are preparing to challenge a U.S. court decision upholding the Obama administration’s ability to indefinitely detain individuals. The ruling, plaintiffs say, deals a blow to civil liberties in the name of national security, and could even be used to detain U.S. citizens without due process.

    • Panel to review Guantanamo detainees
    • Growing up Muslim in America
    • Appeals court slammed for removing ban on NDAA

      An anti-war activist criticizes a Federal Appeals Court for overthrowing a ban on National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) statue which allows President Obama to indefinitely detain Americans.

    • Israel to free ‘heavyweight’ Palestinian prisoners

      Release of prisoners who have been in jail for decades comes as part of agreement to enter preliminary peace talks in US

    • Israel to release Palestinian prisoners as talks are revived
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Why has Monsanto “Quit” Europe? The Answer is ISDS in TAFTA/TTIP

      This is very curious. Monsanto may be many things, but it is not a company that gives up. However, there is a clue in the last sentence of the above quotation: “at the moment the firm was unwilling to apply for approval of any GM plants”. That suggests this is only a temporary halt, and that it will be back.

      So why might it do that? Is there anything happening that might have triggered this move?

      Why, yes: TAFTA/TTIP. In fact, the issue of GM crops is likely to be one of the biggest sticking points. The US side is insisting that “Sanitary and Phytosanitary” (SPS) measures must address GM foodstuffs, with the European side adamant that it won’t drop its precautionary principle.

    • Could open-source GMOs bring down Monsanto at last?
    • Copyrights

      • The Pirate Bay “Crowdfunds” Massive 10th Anniversary Festival

        Three weeks from now thousands of Pirate Bay supporters will gather in a festival area located a few kilometers north of Stockholm. At least, if the organizers can get them to pay for a ticket. The Pirate team needs the public to chip in, and they hope to raise 450,000 Swedish kronor ($68,000) through a crowd-funding campaign. The local Pirate Party is in charge of the event and promises visitors live music, food, alcohol and plenty of opportunities to share.

      • Copyright And The End Of Property Rights

        Yes, we’ve had the debate over and over and over again during the years (so much so that I’m not even going to dig up the links) concerning whether or not copyright is like “property.” However, reading an article by Alex Cummings on “the end of ownership,” it really drives home why copyright can often be anti-property rights, in that it takes away the standard types of “rights” that people have in property they’ve purchased. Cummings’ piece focuses on the secondary market for copyright-covered content, and how the content industries have been trying for over a century to stamp such things out, but were long held back by important concepts like the first sale right. However, in an all digital world, they’re having a lot more luck in killing off secondary markets:

      • FACT Raids Hit Release Groups and Torrent Site Admin

        Earlier this year, police and the Federation Against Copyright Theft announced that four individuals connected to movie piracy had been arrested following raids in central England. Little was said about the men but TorrentFreak can now reveal that they included members of two release groups and a former admin of UnleashTheNet, the torrent site run by the busted release group IMAGiNE.

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  27. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  28. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day



  29. Suspicion of High-Level Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO): Part I

    The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President has a background of corruption and his appointment to the EPO too is believed to be reliant on systemic corruption



  30. Links 6/9/2014: Core OS at DigitalOcean, Women in Xorg

    Links for the day


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