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08.18.13

Links 18/8/2013: Amarok 2.8, Linux Fund-raising Record

Posted in News Roundup at 3:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Free software for free markets

    Co-inciding with the first DebConf in Switzerland, one of the world’s leading financial centers, the first official packaging of open messaging and market data distribution framework OpenMAMA for a Linux distribution has just been uploaded. The packages, along with the Avis low-latency event-router middleware/transport were uploaded to the Debian unstable catalog this week and will soon be available conveniently to install with apt-get.

  • PLVision’s Open Source Solution for Enabling OpenWRT-Routers with SDN Functionality

    For the past years, PLVision has been working on technologies in the Networking domain, namely Software Defined Networks. Apart from assimilating already existing solutions, the company has developed its own Open vSwitch package for OpenWrt which considerably extends router functionality and adaptability, and is completely free.

  • The big challenge with open source: Workflow, not code quality
  • 10 Most Popular Open Source Software Ever!

    Open Source software are never the less one of the biggest innovations in the history of technology. Simply buy an all new computer device and install any software you want without spending a single penny (except the internet datacharges). It offers you everything from a free word processor, free image editor, media player, sound editor, file archiver, PDF creator and what not.

    Although a few of these software might not stand parallel to its commercial rivals in terms of functionality, there are many that stand far beyond of everything else on the market in terms of features and capabilities.

  • VMware’s Love-Hate Relationship With OpenStack

    VMware, perhaps more-so than any other vendor on the planet, is responsible for helping enterprises move to more agile and efficient virtualized server infrastructure. Simply put, VMware is the vendor to beat in the enterprise virtualized server space.

    When it comes to the cloud though, VMware’s dominance is not a foregone conclusion, with Amazon and perhaps more importantly OpenStack, leading the charge. OpenStack is an open-source multi-stakeholder effort that is building an open-cloud platform solution.

  • Questions to ask before choosing an open source hypervisor
  • Open-source project Pixy aims to give vision to hobbyists’ robots

    An open-source project aims to give a rudimentary eye to robots with the help of a camera that can detect, identify and track the movement of specific objects.

  • Open source code management: How to safely use open source libraries
  • No-Cost Transfer of Files is Possible With the Boffin Open Source iPod Software List
  • Open Source Data Recovery Software List Released By Boffin Reviewers
  • Boffin Now Provides An Open Source Email Marketing Software List
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Do cloud right: Four critical steps to selecting the provider for you

      When Edward Snowden leaked intelligence files, a storm was triggered in the cloud, leaving a path of destruction. Snowden’s email provider Lavabit shut down. So has the email offering of Silent Circle. The Guardian ran a story declaring: Lavabit’s closure marks the death of secure cloud computing in the U.S. And the EU is not entirely unaffected either. Be it by the Tempora program in the UK or the U.S. National Security Agency facilities that reportedly reside in Germany.

    • ownCloud Client 1.4.0 beta 2
  • Databases

    • Where Are NoSQL Database Partner Programs?

      As NoSQL databases catch on for Big Data applications, where are the NoSQL partner programs for resellers, integrators and VARs? So far, 10gen seems to be the only company shouting an answer.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Battle of the Office Suites
    • Battle of the Office Suites: Microsoft Office and LibreOffice Compared

      For a long time, Microsoft Office has been the reigning champ of office suites, but that doesn’t mean the free alternative, LibreOffice, isn’t worth considering. Let’s take a look at how the two compare, and if it’s finally possible to ditch the paid option for the free one.

    • Microsoft Uses DMCA To Block Many Links To Competing Open Office

      Another day, another example of excessive DMCA takedown actions. The latest is that Microsoft has been issuing DMCA takedowns to Google directing the search engine to remove links to Open Office.

    • Microsoft Continues Its Anti-competitive Behaviour

      It’s to be expected. M$ is still run by the same people who thought up every dirty trick they could over the decades to prevent having to compete on price/performance. The latest deed covers demanding removal of links to downloads of OpenOffice.org under the DMCA nonsense. “Office” is in the name, right? Grounds for banning it… What’s next? Banning downloads of */Linux because there’s an “X” in the name? Nope. This is grounds for further anti-trust action. US Department of inJustice, Are you paying attention?

  • Funding

  • BSD

  • Project Releases

    • QEMU 1.6 Brings A Whole Lot Of Changes

      QEMU 1.6.0 has been released and with this open-source processor emulator commonly used with Linux KVM are a whole lot of new features and capabilities.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Source Collaboration in Museum Exhibit Design

      In the last few years, audience participation and collaboration has been an increasingly discussed topic among museum professionals worldwide. Emerging technologies and the open source movement provide an opportunity for new forms of collaboration, namely collaboration among individuals with different areas of expertise using an online platform. In this blog post, I briefly describe two open source initiatives that focus on collaboration in Museum Exhibit Design, and share my conversation with Bob Ketner, an independent curator and an expert on open source collaboration methods, who was actively involved in both initiatives.

    • Open Access/Content

      • IIMs should start open-source class-ware …

        India graduates nearly 400,000 to 500,000 MBAs annually from some 3300-odd business schools. Based on an extensive study, The Wall Street Journal (December 2012) estimated that only 10% of Indian management graduates are employable! Given that a larger proportion of the ‘employable’ graduates must understandably be from the IIMs and other handful of high-rated business schools, the large majority of lower ranked business schools must be adding little value to the MBA graduates.

  • Programming

    • Free and Inexpensive Ways to Pick Up Open Source Tech Skills

      This week Twitter was in the news for buying San Francisco-based company Marakana, which has focused on tech training, including training many people to use open source technology platforms and tools. As ZDNet reported, “Twitter is in the process of building its own engineering education program, dubbed Twitter University.” Marakana’s team will help build out this effort and the company will no longer train any individuals or organizations who want training.

    • Even more curry for C++11
    • SDL2 Plans With Wayland, SDL3 Already On The Mind

      While SDL 2.0 was finally released this week after being in development for years, future SDL 2.x features and changes are already being plotted and even some early thoughts concerning SDL 3.x for game developers and other cross-platform developers relying upon this important Simple DirectMedia Layer library.

Leftovers

  • Crowd asked to fund a colossal statue of Steve Jobs

    APPLE GADGET FANS can kick in to pay for the construction of a gigantic statue of Steve Jobs through the Indiegogo crowdfunding website.

    Jobs passed away from cancer in 2011, but since then his influence has still been seen in Apple’s designs, so much so that the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S have been credited to him. Some people want to make sure that he will always be remembered and would like to erect a huge – think Statue of Liberty proportions – statue of the late Apple co-founder.

  • Google engineers insist 20% time is not dead—it’s just turned into 120% time

    A lively debate among current and former Google engineers is raging on Hacker News about Quartz’s piece on the death of 20% time at Google—that formerly hallowed portion of an engineer’s week set aside for his or her own projects, which brought us innovations such as Gmail and Adsense.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Beekeeping dog in ‘astronaut’ suit detects infected hives by smell

      Bees are extremely important. We’ve been writing about for years about the various threats that they face (Margaret has a great timeline of bee articles between 2005 and 2013), and about various ways to protect them. But this story from Australia might be the most original yet, or at the very least the cutest.

  • Finance

    • Every Important Person In Bitcoin Just Got Subpoenaed By New York’s Financial Regulator

      Things are getting serious for Bitcoin this month: a federal judge declared it real money, Bloomberg gave it an experimental ticker (XBT), and New York’s financial regulator announced an interest in regulating it. Declaring Bitcoin “a virtual Wild West for narcotraffickers and other criminals,” the New York State Department of Financial Services is stepping into the sheriff’s boots.

    • NYT Sees Shift in Global Economy–by Using a Lot of Imagination

      We learn that “the gross domestic product of the 17-nation euro zone grew at an annualized rate of about 1.2 percent in the second quarter,” and that Brazil has gone from a 7.6 percent growth rate two years ago to a projected 2.3 percent rate this year–though the alert reader will notice that 2.3 percent for a year is better than 1.2 percent for a quarter.

    • Was ‘The New York Times’ Hacked?

      There are many different kinds of Web attacks today. The one that The New York Times admitted to in January was an infiltration by attackers going after usernames and passwords for email accounts. That type of attack is about information gathering and isn’t about taking a site offline.

      There are also distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, where hundreds of millions of data packets slam into a service in order to render it inaccessible. In my experience in a DDoS attack, Web browsers simply time out and no response comes back from the given site.

    • Judge Rules Against Icahn’s Efforts to Reschedule Dell Meeting

      A Delaware judge on Friday denied a request by Carl Icahn to reschedule Dell Inc.’s annual meeting, dealing a blow to the activist investor’s fight against a buyout offer led by the company’s founder, Michael S. Dell.

    • Rajiv Sethi: The Spider and the Fly

      Aleynikov was hired by Goldman to help improve its relatively weak position in what is rather euphemistically called the market-making business. In principle, this is the business of offering quotes on both sides of an asset market in order that investors wishing to buy or sell will find willing counterparties. It was once a protected oligopoly in which specialists and dealers made money on substantial spreads between bid and ask prices, in return for which they provided some measure of price continuity.

    • Taken

      Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all we’re losing?

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • CMD Fights Back Against ALEC’s Effort to Evade Open Records Law in Texas

      The Center for Media and Democracy filed a letter with the Texas Attorney General on Thursday refuting efforts by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to declare itself immune from the state’s open records law. Texas is the first known state where ALEC has formally asked an Attorney General for an exemption from sunshine-in-government laws, and it marks a new low in the organization’s attempts to advance its legislative agenda in secret and avoid public accountability for facilitating special interest influence.

    • What Do You Call Edward Snowden?

      By highlighting this comment, CBS is suggesting that Snowden made some kind of important admission with his use of the word “spies.” Couple that with Pelley referencing the “collaboration” with an unnamed journalist–presumably Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian–and you can put the pieces together: Snowden, now “being harbored by Russia,” was acting as a spy when he “spilled” those secrets, with Greenwald his collaborator.

      Sure, it’s not as alarming as, say, NBC’s David Gregory musing about whether or not Greenwald should be arrested, but it’s striking language nonetheless.

    • Twitter joins Washington’s influence economy, forms PAC

      Twitter on Friday became an official member of Washington’s influence economy, with the formation of a political action committee and the appointment of its first registered lobbyist.

  • Censorship

    • Download the Pirate Bay’s free Pirate Browser to circumvent censorship

      Here’s the official description of the Pirate browser:

      “PirateBrowser is a bundle package of the Tor client (Vidalia), FireFox Portable browser (with foxyproxy addon) and some custom configs that allows you to circumvent censorship that certain countries such as Iran, North Korea, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, Italy and Ireland impose onto their citizens.”

    • Wikipedia Co-Founder Refuses to Comply With China’s Censorship

      Wikipedia Co-Founder Jimmy Wales said he would rather have no Wikipedia in China than comply with any form of censorship.

      In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong, Mr. Wales said the company will always refuse to comply with government requests to restrict information, calling access to knowledge and education a human right.

    • The Pirate Bay Releases Censorship-Busting ‘PirateBrowser’

      If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to circumvent any filters or blocks that your ISP (or country) has put into place on your Web browsing, The Pirate Bay might have a solution for you. As part of the commemoration around the site’s ten-year anniversary, which it officially celebrated yesterday, The Pirate Bay has officially released its own web browser. Sort-of.

  • Privacy

    • The NSA’s technical fouls

      If the leak of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order requiring Verizon to provide the FBI and NSA with millions of call records was the most important in advancing the debate about privacy and surveillance, Barton Gellman’s report in the Washington Post about NSA’s internal compliance audits should count as a close second.

    • Lawmakers Demand More NSA Oversight Amid Privacy Concerns

      National Security Agency spy programs need better oversight to prevent excesses in collecting Americans’ voice and data communications, lawmakers said after the disclosure of an audit showing privacy rules were broken thousands of times.

    • NSA Leaker Charged Under 96-Year-Old Law

      Former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden is now living in exile in Russia, fearful that if he returns to the United States he’ll be arrested on espionage charges.

      The irony is that the charges against Snowden, who was a computer expert at the high-tech National Security Agency, come from a law that dates back to before most Americans could listen to the radio, much less watch TV or surf the web.

    • Court: Ability to police U.S. spying program limited

      The leader of the secret court that is supposed to provide critical oversight of the government’s vast spying programs said that its ability do so is limited and that it must trust the government to report when it improperly spies on Americans.

    • China to investigate IBM, EMC and Oracle over NSA security fears

      Tables are turned as China raises security concerns about US IT firms following reports of mass surveillance by the NSA

    • China mulls probe into IBM, Oracle, EMC after NSA hack claims – report
    • Snowden downloaded NSA secrets while working for Dell, sources say

      Former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden began downloading documents describing the U.S. government’s electronic spying programs while he was working for Dell Inc in April 2012, almost a year earlier than previously reported, according to U.S. officials and other sources familiar with the matter.

    • NSA Spying: The Three Pillars of Government Trust Have Fallen

      With each recent revelation about the NSA’s spying programs government officials have tried to reassure the American people that all three branches of government—the Executive branch, the Judiciary branch, and the Congress—knowingly approved these programs and exercised rigorous oversight over them. President Obama recited this talking point just last week, saying: “as President, I’ve taken steps to make sure they have strong oversight by all three branches of government and clear safeguards to prevent abuse and protect the rights of the American people.” With these three pillars of oversight in place, the argument goes, how could the activities possibly be illegal or invasive of our privacy?

    • NSA Lies

      In the modern art wing, we have Obama’s brilliantly nonsensical, Dadaist argument that Snowden isn’t a patriot because, among other equally schizophrenic reasons, “he is convicted of three felonies.” This is a leitmotif pervading Obama’s work: equating illegal with immoral. He notably employed this technique when asked about Bradley Manning, saying that “He broke the law.” (Scholars are trying to reconcile this technique with Obama’s professed admiration of MLK, Jr., who famously remarked that “I disobeyed an unjust law.”)

    • The NSA Oversteps Its Legal Authority and the Court Can’t Stop It

      The Washington Post dropped two reports that exposes the recklessness of the NSA’s spying program. The first report is insane: the NSA has “broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority” thousands of times a year and the second report explains the insanity: the FISC court that’s supposed to be in charge of government spying programs has said that “its ability do so is limited and that it must trust the government” to report when the government has screwed up.

    • Things the Authorities Say to Mislead You About NSA Surveillance

      When government officials can’t directly answer a question with a secret definition, officials will often answer a different question than they were asked. For example, if asked, “can you readAmericans’ email without a warrant,” officials will answer: “we cannot target Americans’ email without a warrant.” As we explained last week, the NSA’s warped definition of word “target” is full of so many holes that it allows the NSA to reach into untold number of Americans’ emails, some which can be purely domestic.

    • Wyden considered disclosing National Security Agency secrets on Senate floor

      Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a longtime critic of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance programs, told Rolling Stone that he considered disclosing classified information on the Senate floor prior to the leaks by former contractor Edward Snowden.

    • How Ron Wyden nearly became an NSA leaker

      One of the intelligence community’s most outspoken critics says he considered talking about the National Security Agency’s bulk surveillance program on the Senate floor.

    • Snowden’s dad reaches out to son despite danger

      Lon Snowden, the father of fugitive U.S. National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, has reached out to his son via the Internet, officials said.

      The older Snowden communicated with his son through a protected Internet channel using encrypted messages, RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

    • An Educated Guess About How the NSA Is Structured

      NUCLEON: Global telephone content database

    • NSA domestic spying “built on lies”

      Reuters broke another report about the way the government lies to us entitled, “U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans.” From the report: “‘I have never heard of anything like this at all,’ said Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor who served as a federal judge from 1994 to 2011. Gertner and other legal experts said the program sounds more troubling than recent disclosures that the National Security Agency has been collecting domestic phone records. The NSA effort is geared toward stopping terrorists; the DEA program targets common criminals, primarily drug dealers.

    • NSA hopes that people do not do the maths

      However it turns out that dime is still 29.21 petabytes of data a day. That means NSA is “touching” more data than Google processes every day. Google only has 20 petabytes. Also the packet analyzer gear at the front-end of XKeyscore (can pick out a very small fraction of the actual packets sent over the wire while still extracting a great deal of information (or metadata) about who is sending what to who.

    • Heidi Boghosian on ‘Spying on Democracy,’ Laura Gottesdiener on Foreclosures

      This week on CounterSpin: Edward Snowden’s NSA’s surveillance disclosures have sparked a debate over privacy, spying and civil liberties. A new book tells the history of those issues, and warns about the threat to democracy posed by snooping government agencies and corporations. We’ll talk to author Heidi Boghosian about her book ‘Spying on Democracy.’

    • NSA spied on thousands of Americans
    • China mulls probe into IBM, Oracle, EMC after NSA hack claims – report
    • Feds Threaten To Arrest Lavabit Founder For Shutting Down His Service

      The saga of Lavabit founder Ladar Levison is getting even more ridiculous, as he explains that the government has threatened him with criminal charges for his decision to shut down the business, rather than agree to some mysterious court order.

    • Lavabit.com owner: ‘I could be arrested’ for resisting surveillance order

      The owner of an encrypted email service used by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden said he has been threatened with criminal charges for refusing to comply with a secret surveillance order to turn over information about his customers.

    • Hacker posts Facebook bug report on Zuckerberg’s wall

      Just minutes after the post, Khalil says he received a response from a Facebook engineer requesting all the details about the vulnerability. His account was blocked while the security team rushed to close the loophole.

      After receiving the third bug report, a Facebook security engineer finally admitted the vulnerability but said that Khalil won’t be paid for reporting it because his actions violated the website’s security terms of service.

      Although Facebook’s White Hat security feedback program sets no reward cap for the most “severe” and “creative” bugs, it sets a number of rules that security analysts should follow in order to be eligible for a cash reward. Facebook did not specify which of the rules Khalil had broken.

    • Institutionalized US Spying: More Than NSA Involved

      Washington has 16 known US spy agencies. NSA and CIA are best known. Perhaps few Americans know much about the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

      It calls itself “first in all-source defense intelligence to prevent strategic surprise and deliver a decision advantage to warfighters, defense planners, and policymakers.”

      “DIA deploys globally alongside warfighters and interagency partners to defend America’s national security interests.”

    • The NSA Thinks It’s Above the Law — and the Obama Administration Knew It

      Thursday night, The Washington Post published an internal audit of the NSA surveillance programs leaked by Edward Snowden, which show that the NSA has violated the privacy rules in place to protect Americans’ communications 2,776 times in one year. The infringements relate to the restrictions enacted by executive orders, which supposedly prevent the surveillance of American individuals without legal authorization. It has been determined that the majority of mistakes have been made by intelligence operators and computers.

    • NSA revelations galvanize Congress

      Allegations of chronic violations renew calls for serious change

    • NSA breached privacy rules, despite Obama’s promises

      President Barack Obama’s promises to protect Americans from domestic spying came under fresh scrutiny Friday after an internal audit showed the National Security Agency had repeatedly violated privacy rules in its electronic surveillance.

      The revelations appeared to challenge Obama’s reassurances that strict oversight of NSA snooping had prevented abuses.

      The Washington Post, citing NSA documents and the audit, reported that the eavesdropping service had breached privacy restrictions thousands of times and in some cases withheld details from other government departments.

    • Google introduces encryption to Google Cloud Storage – but NSA will still have easy access

      The server-side encryption means that the data will seamlessly be encrypted without the users having to do anything.

      However, while that encryption will make the data held in Google’s cloud more secure from attack, the keys will still be held by Google. That means that the US National Security Agency (NSA) will still be able to access customers’ data with a simple order approved by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

      For that, Barth recommends that customers encrypt their data before uploading it to the Google Cloud.

    • WaPo: NSA Broke Privacy Rules Thousands Of Times, Harms Uncertain

      According to documents obtained by The Washington Post, the National Security Agency broke its own privacy rules thousands of times per year. Many of the violations seem like unintentional infractions, such as a typo while searching telephone area codes, which results in a swath of phone records that shouldn’t have otherwise been scanned. It is unclear whether any of the wrongly obtained information was used for illegal or illicit purposes.

    • US NSA defends surveillance programs as lawful

      Under increasing pressure to justify electronic surveillance programs that at times capture communications of American citizens, the U.S. National Security Agency went to unusual lengths on Friday to insist its activities are lawful and any mistakes largely unintentional.

    • NSA revelations of privacy breaches ‘the tip of the iceberg’ – Senate duo

      Leading critics of NSA Ron Wyden and Mark Udall say ‘public deserves to know more about violations of secret court orders’

    • Cloud market destined to change following NSA leaks

      “The reason I say this is unrealistic is because in order for this $180 billion to play out, then companies need to aggressively start pulling back from using outsourcers, using [hosting firms], using cloud providers,” Staten told CSOonlineA’A on Friday. “And frankly, we don’t see any evidence that suggests they’re going to start doing that.”

    • Chinese Spring Festival tourists targeted by NSA

      An internal audit carried out by the National Security Agency (NSA) and leaked to the Washington Post reveals that Chinese Spring Festival tourists were targeted while on holiday in the US.

    • NSA under renewed fire after report finds it violated its own privacy rules

      Revelations that NSA collected records it was not permitted to acquire pile further pressure on intelligence chief James Clapper

    • LA Church Joins Lawsuit Against NSA Over Surveillance Programs

      The church says this type of surveillance is reminiscent of that felt by the congregation during the McCarthy era

    • Inhofe wants to investigate NSA, following new report about surveillance

      Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, says new revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance program suggest the Obama administration has “abused the authority granted to them by Congress” and that he will investigate the matter.

    • White House Denials of NSA Privacy Violations Prompt Legislative Furor

      Reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) routinely breaks the law and violates court orders and the Constitution in order to collect private data of hundreds of millions of Americans has prompted some federal lawmakers to finally exercise a little oversight.

    • I asked the NSA for its file on me, and here’s what I got back

      Though it took two and a half pages to do so, the NSA denied my application. “[Y]our request is denied because the fact of the existence or non-existence of responsive records is a currently and properly classified matter,” it wrote.

      Oh. Thanks anyway, NSA.

    • Paul: NSA practices are unconstitutional, should be subject of hearing

      An internal audit from leaker Edward Snowden — now enjoying asylum in Russia — also revealed that the agency intercepted phone calls and emails from U.S. citizens during that time, and often did not report the intrusion.

    • Lawmakers: NSA reform needed

      Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan said Sunday he’s hopeful the House will have another chance to vote on a measure that would curb the National Security Agency.

    • Obama’s post-vacation blues: Egypt and NSA spying on Americans
    • NSA blames 3,000 leaked privacy violations on ‘employee mistakes’

      Nearly 3,000 violations of Americans’ privacy, mentioned in the National Security Agency’s internal audit recently leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden, weren’t “willful” and are results of mistakes by employees, the agency claimed.

    • New NSA Leak Should Prompt Even More Distrust of Government

      Because the NSA’s activities are largely classified, we can never truly know what we’re paying.

    • James Fields: Protect online, mobile conversations

      Snowden. PRISM. XKey­score. It seems that you can’t turn around these days without reading another story about government surveillance.

      [...]

      If as a society we don’t start fighting government snooping laws, they are only going to become more restrictive. For example, recently, the Obama administration pushed to make it a felony to stream copyrighted material over the Internet, which was a key part of the tabled Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) of last year. SOPA targeted user-generated content sites like Tumblr and YouTube and Internet startups in the social and online search space.

    • Lavabit chief predicts ‘long fight’ with feds (Q&A)

      Ladar Levison, who shuttered the Web mail service he founded — and his only e-mail account — when the U.S. government demanded access to his company’s servers, tells CNET he created Lavabit because of the Patriot Act.

    • Will PayPal’s Face Verification System Kick Off the Future of Payment Technology?

      Ever been standing in a checkout line only to realize that you’re unable to pay because you’ve left your wallet, cash, or credit card elsewhere? Or perhaps you’re like the 83% of respondents to a recent PayPal survey who said you’d rather not carry a wallet at all. If PayPal’s latest technology using face recognition to facilitate payment transactions is successful, wallets may soon become a relic of the past.

    • Q. & A.: Edward Snowden Speaks to Peter Maass

      Edward Snowden: After 9/11, many of the most important news outlets in America abdicated their role as a check to power — the journalistic responsibility to challenge the excesses of government — for fear of being seen as unpatriotic and punished in the market during a period of heightened nationalism. From a business perspective, this was the obvious strategy, but what benefited the institutions ended up costing the public dearly. The major outlets are still only beginning to recover from this cold period.

      Laura and Glenn are among the few who reported fearlessly on controversial topics throughout this period, even in the face of withering personal criticism, and resulted in Laura specifically becoming targeted by the very programs involved in the recent disclosures. She had demonstrated the courage, personal experience and skill needed to handle what is probably the most dangerous assignment any journalist can be given — reporting on the secret misdeeds of the most powerful government in the world — making her an obvious choice.

  • Civil Rights

    • Detainee Challenges Constitutionality of NDAA Transfer Restrictions

      Ajam’s case takes a new approach to Guantanamo habeas litigation: Ajam challenges Section 1028 of the National Defense Authorization Act—the section which imposes detainee transfer restrictions on the President—as an unconstitutional Congressional intrusion into plenary Presidential foreign policy power.

    • Indefinite detention is definitely wrong

      When the government gives itself the power to deny a person his or her constitutional rights, it is alarming, to say the least. When the government prevents the people it governs from being able to do anything about it, it is truly frightening.

    • In the Matter of Hedges v. Obama

      What we have in the Hedges v. Obama case is yet another very bad precedent. As Judge Forrest had pointed out, “Courts must safeguard core constitutional rights.” The 2nd Circuit Appeals Court, clearly not applying the principle of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) to this situation, has sold out that obligation for a handful of dubious promises. Recent history provides no confidence that such promises are given in good faith. No, it is bad faith we are witnessing here. The government lawyers should hang their heads in shame for obviously undermining the Constitution they are sworn to uphold. It just goes to show there are always those, be they soldiers, police, or lawyers who will simply follow orders no matter what the consequences.

    • America No Longer the Land of the Free

      The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution states that the government may not take the life, liberty or property of any person without due process.

    • The Most Powerful Dissent in American History

      A smart new book reveals precisely how and why Oliver Wendell Holmes changed his mind about the first amendment.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Prenda parties ordered to pay more than $63K to Doe Defendants in Minnesota

        Remember Guava LLC v. Merkel? A collusive Prenda’s lawsuit filed in Hennepin County court in Minneapolis? I thought that this lawsuit was over, and I was gladly surprised to learn (hat tip to Jason Sweet) that yesterday Judge Tanya M. Bransford ordered Prenda parties (Guava LLC, Michael Dugas and Paul Hansmeier’s Alpha Law Firm) to jointly and severally pay $63,367.02 in attorney fees.

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    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  5. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  6. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays



  7. Glimpse at Patent Systems Across the World: Better Quality Control at the USPTO Post-America Invents Act (2011), Unlike the EPO Post-Battistelli (2010)

    While the EPO reportedly strives to eliminate pendency and appeal windows altogether (rubberstamping being optimal performance as per the yardstick du jour), the USPTO introduces changes that would strengthen the system and shield innovation, not protect the business model of serial litigants



  8. Blockstream Has No Patents, But Pledges Not to Sue Using Patents

    Blockstream says that it comes in peace when it comes to software patents, which triggers speculations about coming Blockchain patent wars



  9. Links 21/7/2016: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Xfce Beta

    Links for the day



  10. Links 21/7/2016: An Honorary Degree for Alan Cox, Looks Back at DebConf16

    Links for the day



  11. EPO USA: Under Battistelli, the 'European' Patent Office Emulates All the Mistakes of the USPTO

    Conservative Benoît Battistelli is trying to impose on the European Patent Office various truly misguided policies and he viciously attacks anyone or anything that stands in his way, including his formal overseers



  12. Links 19/7/2016: ARM and Opera Buyout

    Links for the day



  13. Large Corporations' Software Patenting Pursuits Carry on in Spite of Patent Trolls That Threaten Small Companies the Most

    With unconvincing excuses such as OIN, large corporations including IBM continue to promote software patents in the United States, even when public officials and USPTO officials work towards ending those



  14. Battistelli Has Implemented De Facto EPO Coup to Remove Oversight, Give Himself Total Power, and Allegedly Give UPC Gifts (Loot) to French Officials

    Benoît Battistelli's agenda at the EPO is anything but beneficial to the EPO and suspicions that Battistelli's overall agenda is transitioning to the UPC to further his goals grow feet



  15. EPO Social [sic] Report is a Big Pile of Lies That Responsible Journalists Must Ignore

    A reminder of where the EPO stands on social issues and why the latest so-called 'social' report is nothing but paid-for propaganda for Battistelli's political ambitions



  16. Links 18/7/2016: Vista 10 a Failure, FreeType 2.7

    Links for the day



  17. Exploiting Perceived Emergencies/Disasters, Suspending the Rule of Law, and Suspending Judges: How Erdoğan is Like Battistelli, Except the Coup

    Pretexts for crackdown on law-abiding people or figureheads who are remote and independent the hallmark not only of Erdoğan but also the EPO's President, Benoit Battistelli



  18. The Impotence of Gene Quinn

    Attacking the enforcer of Alice v CLS because it's doing harm to his source of income, which makes him angry



  19. After the FTI Consulting-EPO Reputation Laundering Deal's Expansion in Germany Süddeutsche Zeitung 'Forgets' That the EPO Even Exists

    Relative apathy if not complete silence regarding the EPO at Süddeutsche Zeitung following reports of FTI Consulting's deal expansion (media positioning in Germany), with hundreds of thousands of Euros (EPO budget) thrown at the controversial task



  20. Benoît Battistelli and Persistratos

    Reminds you of someone?



  21. Whistleblower Protection Desperately Needed at the European Patent Office

    EPO scandals are not publicly accessible or known to many people and not many such scandals are known at all because people are afraid of Battistelli's Fabius Maximus strategies



  22. Microsoft and Its Patent Minions at Nokia Still Have Patent Stacking Ambitions Against Android/Linux OEMs

    Weaponisation of European companies for the sake of artificial elevation of prices (patent taxes) a growing issue for Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and those behind it are circulating money among themselves not for betterment of products but for the crippling of FOSS contenders



  23. [ES] ¿Que si la EPO Bajo Battistelli Se Arruina Sin Posibilidad de Reparación Como la UPC?

    La última evidencia alrededor del hundimiénto de la reputación de la Epo y su calidad de trabajo, así como la caída del sistema que Battistelli trata forzadamente de imponer (una carrera al fondo)



  24. [ES] La EPO de Battistelli, Quién Quiebra la Ley, Subvierte el Curso de la Justicia y Rechaza Obedecer las Ordenes de la Corte Dice lo Impensable en Medio de los Actos de Terror

    Los terribles ataques hace un dia en Francia están siéndo explotados por el caradura de Benoît Battistelli para comedia negra o un verdaderamente absurda afirmación en la sección de “noticias” de la EPO



  25. [ES] La EPO de Battistelli Continúa Cortejando a Officiales de Países Pequeños y su Propaganda de Beneficiar a las “PYMEs de Aquellos Países”

    El caradura de Benoît Battistelli prosigue desfilando en los países pequeños que tienen delegados al Consejo Administrativo (CA) y los explota para propaganda barata, no sólo para que lo apoyen en las reuniónes del CA



  26. Links 17/7/2016: Lithuanian Police Switches to GNU/Linux, Blockchain on LinuxONE

    Links for the day



  27. This is Why Benoît Battistelli Has 0% Approval Rating Among 'His' Staff at the EPO

    The EPO expresses solidarity regarding (mostly) French people but does so only in English as the real purpose is to manipulate the media and justify the EPO's sheer abuses and unprecedented oppression against staff



  28. Law Professors Try to Put an End to Patent Trolls So Patent Trolls-Funded IAM 'Magazine' Complains

    Many professors suggest a method of stopping patent trolls (restrictions on venue shifting), so patent trolls-funded propaganda sites and think tanks strike back and distract even further, putting forth a wish list or a 'reform' that's designed to give them more money and incredibly protectionist power



  29. The Importance of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and High-Quality Patents (Not Software Patents)

    Strong patents rather than strong patent enforcement (i.e. ease of legal abuse) help discern the difference between successful economies and self-destructive economies



  30. With 'Friends' Like IBM and Its 'Open' Invention Network We Legitimise Software Patents Rather Than End Them

    Another reminder of where IBM stands on patent policy and what this means to those who rely on IBM for sheltering of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) or small businesses (SMEs) in a post-Alice era


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