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02.17.14

Latest Headlines About Surveillance and Drone Strikes

Posted in News Roundup at 11:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Sunday’s and Monday’s coverage of surveillance matters and foreign policy that’s connected to it

Unity

  • What can unite liberals and tea partyers? The NSA

    Who or what could get them thinking the same?

    Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency.

    By exposing the NSA’s vast surveillance web, Snowden created a link between tea partyers and liberals — two tribes camped on opposite sides of the nation’s political chasm.

  • The History of Surveillance and the Black Community
  • Academics and Researchers Against Mass Surveillance

    Academics have joined the fight against mass surveillance. Two open letters were published last month from the academic and research communities. One is signed by U.S. information security and cryptography researchers, and the other is signed by over one thousand scholars from a wide range of disciplines who work in universities all over the world.

Europe

Reform

  • NSA Reform Bill Stuck in Committee

    The big blow is in the Senate, where chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D – VT) was the author of the legislation and has loudly pushed the reforms for months. Yet he too is suddenly in the “wait and see” camp, apparently content to give the Obama Administration the benefit of the doubt on reforms that will likely never come.

  • NSA reform stalls in committee

    Legislation to rein in the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs has stalled in the House and Senate.

Lawyers

Journalism

Surveillance

  • Gmail’s new tracker tells when, where users open email

    Google’s found a new tracking tool, and it’s called the Streak plugin, an email watchdog that allows users to tell just when their sent messages were opened — and where the recipients were when they read them.

  • How NSA spying disclosures influence security strategies

    How has whistleblower Edward Snowden’s exposés affected the ways organisations deal with internal and external security threats?

    Edward Snowden’s revelations about mass internet surveillance conducted by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK’s GCHQ has caused consternation around the world, particularly in Europe.

Human Rights (Foreign Policy)

Civil Rights (Police)

GNU/Linux: It’s Not Just for Desktops

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux at 9:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Desktops and laptops as an area of computing are diminishing with the growth of other areas, which are often dominated by GNU and/or Linux

BASHERS of GNU/Linux like to pretend that only desktops — and nothing else — can ever count. The growth of smartphones and tablets is often overlooked by those bashers, not to mention the role of servers, devices, etc. (more on that in later posts).

While it’s true that GNU/Linux is installed on some “Macs” [1] (this will count as Apple market share even though it’s not) and laptops that were not necessarily designed to be running GNU/Linux [2] (i.e. may count as a Windows “sale”), some insist that in order to track the growth of GNU/Linux we just need to count something like a sale of Chromebook. It’s probably time to stop feeding the bashers and instead talk about the growth of GNU/Linux (preinstalled) in various “unexpected” [3] and “weird” [4] places (see gallery [5]) such as Barbie dolls [6], television sets, etc.

In the coming few posts we are going to cover new examples of Linux expansion in various areas other than desktops (or laptops).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Linux On Macs

    It is possible that some devices will not work, especially if you have a newer thunderbolt equipped Mac. It is also possible that you may experience a notable decline in battery life when using Linux over OS X. However, most of the responses I’ve seen, as well as my own experiences, have been very positive. If you have experience running Linux on Apple hardware, the Reddit thread would love to hear from you, and I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

  2. Pennsylvania High School Rolls Out 1,700 Linux Laptops to Students

    A few weeks before Penn Manor High School gave Linux laptops to every student, stacks of the unboxed machines filled a cafeteria. There the Lancaster, Pa. district’s IT staff, high school apprentices and volunteers spent winter break configuring and testing all 1,725 laptops in assembly-line fashion, in preparation for the start of the second semester.

  3. 20 ‘Unexpected’ Places Where You Will Find Linux

    As stated on comparebusinessproducts.com, Linux can be found in quite a few places than one can suspect. Let’s take a look at them below:

  4. 16 weirdest places you’ll find Linux

    Linux is everywhere, if you look for it.

  5. Network World Linux slideshows

    Network World has published quite a few slideshows about various aspects of Linux; here’s a hand-picked selection

  6. Barbie runs Linux

    The latest iteration of the Barbe doll merchandise range sees everybody’s favourite blonde girl step into a new role as a software application developer.

    Barbie I Can Be Computer Engineer Doll is the latest model available in the Barbie collection.

    The range was first started in 1959 by American businesswoman Ruth Handler.

    Barbie has previously worked as both an astronaut and a racing car driver.

The Scam Which is ZDNet/CBS: Not Reporting the Real Crimes

Posted in Deception, Finance, Microsoft at 9:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Zack Whittaker
From Twitpic

Summary: CBS, a widely-known example of propaganda channels, misreports or diverts attention away from reporting about crimes of clients and allies

When covering Microsoft Nokia, ZDNet‘s Microsoft Zack (former Microsoft staff, now doing Microsoft privacy and antitrust spin, not to mention Google/Linux FUD) conveniently ignores Microsoft’s own tax evasion (including conviction in India), put aside the world’s most massive personal tax evasion by Microsoft’s spiritual leader. This is very typical when it comes to reporting about Microsoft by Microsoft moles, ‘former’ staff, and PR folks masquerading as “journalists” (Microsoft Zack is one of many). It’s propaganda, but it’s cleverly disguised (required skill from writers).

The other day it turned out that Gates’ tax-exempt investments in energy companies ended up in a bankruptcy. As one person put it: “Bill Gates’ Texas energy company has filed for bankruptcy protection as the depressed power market results in untenable financial losses.

“The company, Optim Energy (EnergyCo LLC), owned by a Gates investment fund, filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy papers on Wednesday for its three power plants in eastern Texas, citing their inability to counter growing losses in the current market.”

So maybe Bill Gates can spend more money on his existing investments in Exxon and Shell, two murderous companies that pollute our world and poison poor people so that Gates can increase his wealth (as a large shareholder). As Sosumi put it (in IRC), “so much talk for “renewables” and yet Billy’s powerplants runned on coal and natural gas… but wait, there’s a catch… if he was indeed running “renewables”, he’d have gotten a bailout” (Gates already benefited from bank bailouts in Ireland because he was a shareholder).

What we have here is the extension of Microsoft’s financial corruption. The company was not only bribed by the CIA/NSA (as documents released last year reveal) but it also received tax exemptions worth billions after it had installed a mole (former employee, Mr. Hunter) in the US government. This is serious corruption, but white-collar crime is treated differently from most other crimes. In CBS, white-collar crime is either glorified or overlooked. It’s corporate press that’s designed to serve Power. Just look who owns CBS.

Speaking of financial corruption, Xbox has been losing billions of dollars, but CNET (part of CBS, just like ZDNet, which is also renowned for directing and broadcasting NSA advertisements) never mentions that. XBox One is so far behind the competition that it’s likely to be losing billions of dollars again.

Sosumi said that “best thing actually happening would be Microsoft amputating their game division… but on the other hand, what about the embarrassment and money lost?”

People have already died because Microsoft Xbox machines went up in flames. DaemonFC reminded us that “Consumer Reports said that Ford got a lower reliability rating this year in part because of “MyTouch” problems. (Microsoft software)” (so much for proprietary “quality”).

So, at the end of the day we have corrupt companies being bailed out, bribed, and exempted from tax simply because they have some connections in government. Don’t expect ZDNet to report it; its so-called reporters used to work for Microsoft (some still work for Microsoft while also ‘reporting’ in ZDNet).

When ‘Get a Job’ Means Study GNU/Linux and Contribute to Free Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 8:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Articles about the growth of job opportunities for people who engage in Free/Open Source software and know how to manage GNU/Linux

IN THIS age of increased automation many people rightly complain about lack of jobs. Plutocrats increase their profits by replacing people with machines. They rarely properly compensate and reward those who provide automation solutions, so hoarding by those at the very top only gets more severe over time (automating passage of wealth).

When it comes to affordable automation, nothing has been as effective as Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and GNU/Linux. They just work well and they hardly requite human intervention unless or until there are hardware-related issues. Companies are therefore eager to recruit and are willing to pay a lot of money for FOSS skills and experience. It’s the growth area.

In the past few weeks, and especially in recent days, a lot of articles got published which highlight the value of FOSS skills. We lay them below as they are self explanatory.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Linux Pros Saw Larger Bonuses, Higher Salaries in 2013

    IT careers site Dice reported recently that the “more Linux, more money” trend continued strong throughout 2013, with both higher salaries and larger bonuses for Linux pros.

  2. IT managers recommend open-source contribution

    This is the view of a panel of industry experts, who believe working on such schemes allows developers to demonstrate coding skills, technology interests and collaboration abilities. Furthermore, it means hiring managers can offer better perspectives on soft skills and technical abilities than a reference alone.

  3. Managers are Calling for More Skilled Open Source Workers

    While employment reports continue to roll in with mixed results, there is one pocket of the job market that looks bright, and that’s the market for people with open source skills. As we’ve reported numerous times, many companies are leveraging everything from Linux to Hadoop for cutting-edge, mission-critical tasks, and people with skills in these areas are not just getting jobs, they are getting good jobs.

  4. Choosing a Programming Language for Interviews [notice what's at the top]

    Don’t get me wrong—I advocate learning and writing code in many programming languages. But when it comes time for programming interview preparation, I feel it’s important to choose one language to focus your prep on and get to know it very well.

  5. Use your open source contributions to get a job
  6. How to analyze corporate contributions to open source projects
  7. Insights into top 3 IT skill groups in highest demand

    According to our IT skill sets research, IT skills required by employers of Linux talent can be classified into relatively independent groups. This article focuses on the top three groups of IT skills that were in the highest demand in the last quarter (Jul-Sep 2013) and refer to job advertisements in selected countries, including USA. It turns out that these three groups of IT skills can be linked with Linux related job categories.

  8. Meet These Women With Awesome Careers Working On Linux

    Ask these women with awesome careers working on Linux, who are indeed an aspiration!

  9. Linux Warehouse appoints new general manager
  10. Linux IT ditches top-level job titles in bid to democratise firm

    “The way Linux IT was driven in the past was very much bottom-line focused,” he said. “It was about how to create a profitable company and follow the market for the return on investment for shareholders. It was typical of an IT company in the early stages of development.

    “But what’s changed now is we have democratised it, spread the shareholding and for the time being, held back on applying labels to individuals [in the management team].”

    Mitchell has recently completed an MBA qualification and said his dissertation focused on the idea of spiritual leadership – a concept which focuses on business ethics and employee wellbeing. He said the research has played a big role in the new-look Linux IT.

  11. Hiring managers advise job seekers to contribute to open-source projects

    Contributing to open-source projects can give software developers an edge over other applicants in the competitive IT job market, say hiring professionals.

    “The phrase we use is ‘code is the new resume,’” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “Open source has truly become a juggernaut as of late. Within the last five years in particular it’s just become the dominant form of development.”

  12. Why some open source projects die?

    Open Source community is really huge and everyday we witness new software being released. Most of the softwares are aimed to solve some set of problems. Surfing over Github or BitBucket one can see most of them. Red Hat, billion dollar revenue says that Open Source is a viable business model & is here to stay.

  13. Breaking down geek stereotypes in open source

    I nominate open source particularly because even by tech industry standards, this is the hardcore stuff. When I tell other IT people I work for a Linux company even they sometimes get the haunted look of somebody about to be bombarded with a bunch of stuff they don’t know or care about. I really like it though. I like the passion people have. I like that innovation and progress are the big markers of success, and that good ideas are going to naturally work their way to the top. This sort of natural selection shouldn’t be limited by who can produce some geek cred. I know it’s worn like a badge of pride, but it shouldn’t devalue other social structures, especially feminine social structures, in the process.

  14. Why open source will rule the data center

    According to Michael Bushong of networking startup Plexxi, three commonly occurring conditions ensure that open source software will steadily widen its data center footprint

  15. Open source no longer considered avant garde for IT innovators

    There was a time when the open-source software movement was considered a little too risqué for the established order of the multibillion-dollar IT industry. Buttoned down, conservative IT buyers could never be fired for forking out excessive fees on software licences, because it was considered good practice.

  16. Seven Reasons to Use Open Source

    The hits keep coming as yesterday CIO published an article detailing seven reasons not to use open source. It would be easy to list, line by line, exactly where the author was wrong, but doing so would be very similar behavior to what I was talking about a few days ago, when I advocated for taking the high road when it came to online flame wars. So, instead, I’m going to focus on seven reasons you should use open source software in your business.

Linux Deepin/Ubuntu in the Future of China, Showing the Great Power of Debian

Posted in Asia, Debian, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 8:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Debian 7
Debian 7 supports numerous Chinese languages

Summary: The Far East is gradually moving to Debian-derived distributions of GNU/Linux, creating its own localised versions

ACCORDING TO numerous reports, China is moving to GNU/Linux and its home-bred GNU/Linux distribution, Linux Deepin (recently reviewed in [1,2]), is sort of replacing an old one which was based on Red Hat. Linux Deepin is based on Ubuntu and it represents Canonical’s special partnership and new major source of income (as Canonical recently reported it). Linux Deepin may one day outpace the growth of Ubuntu because China has a vast population and it is the largest base of Internet surfers.

One report says [3] that “China switches on to Ubuntu in hunt for Windows XP successor”, but a lot of media focuses on the demise of Red Flag Linux [4-7], which is basically a loss to Red Hat. It seems like the Debian camp is starting to gain more ground in China (same in North Korea and South Korea) — a promising trend which will probably be debated in the media for a long time to come. China also has COS in he making (Linux-based but focused on mobile).

Debian 7.4 was recently released [8] and despite some hostilities [9,10] (nothing new to Debian) related to the Systemd debate [11,12] there are signs of strength and leadership in the GNU/Linux world. As for Ubuntu, it is following Debian for the most part [13] (although Debian follows Red Hat in this case) and with reduced interest from developers [14] due to controversies [15] such as Canonical’s demand for licence-signing by derivatives (noted the other day and covered here months ago) it will have to work hard on restoring confidence [16], not just by letting the “community” use an SDK [17] or vote on wallpapers [18] but also by opening up the development process, as Debian does. When Ubuntu turned to mobile it notoriously shunned community participation, not just when it comes to development but also voting/steering.

Ubuntu is gaining elsewhere in east Asia [19], so let’s hope it will improve privacy policies. In some Asian countries surveillance by the government can lead to imprisonment and even death.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Linux Deepin is a fringe Linux distribution that could steal your heart

    Jack Wallen digs into Linux Deepin and comes out impressed. See what this fringe Linux distribution has to offer, and discover if its your next platform.

  2. Linux Deepin, Ubuntu systemd and Licensing, and Red Flag Scuttled
  3. China switches on to Ubuntu in hunt for Windows XP successor
  4. Chinese software pioneer Red Flag bites the dust
  5. Chinese Linux Distributor Red Flag Software Disappears Overnight
  6. China shutters Windows ‘rival’ Red Flag Linux
  7. Linux distributor Red Flag Software disappears overnight
  8. Debian 7.4 Rounds Up Stable Updates
  9. Debian Tech Committee Falling Further Into Disarray

    While it was clear that systemd overtook Upstart in this weekend’s Debian init system voting by the Debian technical committee, some fits are still being had over the results. Some committee members are now calling for resignations.

  10. Fake Debian Developers Try To Get Free Linux Games
  11. Debian inches towards new init system decision amid fallout
  12. An Exploit In GNOME Shell With Systemd?

    It looks like there might be a big bug in systemd-using GNOME Shell Linux systems.

  13. Shuttleworth says Ubuntu will switch to systemd

    The head of Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution and the creator of the upstart init system, has announced that it will switch its init system to the Red Hat-developed systemd.

  14. Ubuntu Is Short On Developer Membership Board Nominations
  15. Ubuntu and Privacy and how it really works now.

    Firstly the Amazon lens is nothing special, and it is perhaps the internet connected lens I am least worried about. I trust Amazon to do what I expect them to do, I am a customer so they know what I bought, sending them random strings like “calcul” and “gedi” and “eclip” does not give them valuable data. It is junk. I am much more concerned about stuff like the Europeana, jstor, grooveshark lenses which do exactly the same thing but I have no idea who those organisations are or what they do. Even things like openweathermap, sounds good, but are they really a trusted organisation?

  16. Why do you need license from Canonical to create derivatives?
  17. Ubuntu Planning For HTML5, SDK Improvements

    Jono Bacon of Canonical has shared some new details after a developer sprint was held last week in Florida for the platform, SDK, and security teams along with desktop and design stakeholders. Those developers focusing upon Ubuntu’s next-generation platform can find all of the details in full via Jono’s blog post but some of the key takeaways include:

  18. Everybody Can Submit Wallpapers For The Trusty Tahr Wallpaper Submision Contest

    The wallpaper contest for Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr is taking part right now, everybody being able to submit their photos until the 5th of March 2014.

  19. After Vodafone, Smart Communications Has Also Joined The Ubuntu’s Carrier Advisory Group (CAG)

    Recently, Smart Communications, a mobile carrier from Philippines, has joined Ubuntu’s Carrier Advisory Group (CAG), in order to support Ubuntu Touch, the mobile version and Ubuntu, and sell phones with Ubuntu for phones pre-installed.

UEFI Booster Intel Could Not Even Bother Making GNU/Linux Bootable on NUC

Posted in Hardware at 7:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Intel had released Linux-hostile hardware before it finally fixed this

OVER THE PAST week or two there has been a lot of media hype about Intel NUC [1,2] (a lot of it was purely marketing), in part because Linux support was improved [3-5] (it was hard to install GNU/Linux on these machines) and there was a benchmark too [6]. One angle that was scarcely explored in the media should have included the simple question: why did Intel release a Linux-hostile machine in the first place?

Let’s expand that question.

Was it not properly tested? Does Intel not care about Linux? Recall how Microsoft fought Linux affinity at Intel.

There’s a lot of food for thought here, especially now that Intel wants to impose UEFI on everyone (with security risks). For ethical computing with no surveillance, no back doors, and no monopoly abuse people should avoid everything from Intel (where possible). They should say NUC you to Intel.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Install Fedora on Intel NUC: A Low-Power, x86-Ready Mini PC With Grunt

    The Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) is a very compact computer with an Intel CPU at its heart. The NUC reviewed here has mini DisplayPort and mini HDMI ports, two memory slots, mSATA, USB 3.0, mini PCI Express, an IR receiver, and an internal SATA connector among other things.

  2. Intel sees strong growth in its NUC mini-desktop business
  3. New Intel NUC BIOS update fixes Linux installation woes

    The future of the desktop, Intel says, lies in the extremes: enormous tabletop all-in-ones and itty-bitty PCs like the company’s own diminutive Next Unit of Computing. And indeed, we were mighty impressed when we got our hands on Intel’s Core i5-powered NUC, which managed to crack PCWorld’s top products of 2013 despite being a bare-bones system that requires users to BYO RAM, SSD, and OS.

  4. New Intel NUC BIOS update fixes SteamOS, other Linux booting problems

    To recap briefly, UEFI-based systems all have a small partition on their hard drives where bootloader files are stored. These bootloaders, which usually have an .EFI file extension, direct the computer to begin loading the operating system from the drive’s main OS partition. The problem with older NUC BIOSes is that they didn’t always know where to look for Linux bootloader files. Linux distributions would install to the computer just fine, but by default the computer wouldn’t be able to tell that the internal hard drive could boot the system, and you would have to manually move the bootloader file where the computer could find it. The NUC team tells us that further improvements to the boot process are coming, but this update appears to at least fix the problems that we had—Ubuntu, Mint, and SteamOS all install and boot just fine with the latest BIOS update installed.

  5. Intel updates NUC for better Linux support

    While there’s plenty to recommend Intel’s teeny-tiny NUC desktops, early adopters have been experiencing one or two problems. The biggest show-stopped: a flaw in the BIOS which could prevent Debian-derived Linux distributions from booting correctly, by looking for the wrong bootloader. With Debian one of the longest serving Linux distributions around, and being the parent distribution of everything from Ubuntu Linux to Valve’s Steam OS, that wasn’t great news – even if the work-around, moving the bootloader, was a relatively speedy fix.

  6. Intel Bay Trail NUC Linux Performance Preview

    A full and proper comparison of the NUC DN2820FYK performance under Linux is forthcoming that will closely examine all areas of performance from Ubuntu 14.04 with the Linux 3.13~3.14 kernel. There will also be many other interesting Bay Trail Linux tests. Those results though are not done today and due to many Phoronix readers asking for some Bay Trail results, I quickly ran some tests this week against the CompuLab Utilite review numbers from the recent review of that nice ARM Linux PC.

Chromebooks Run GNU/Linux But Don’t Offer Freedom

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google at 7:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Now that GNU/Linux is sold/installed on many PCs (laptops in particular) we need to remember what Chrom* is all about

GNU/LINUX is doing just fine on the desktop. There are new stories that show its quiet expansion [1] and there is additional help from Chromebooks [2], which also essentially run GNU/Linux out of the box. A lot of people run GNU/Linux distributions other than Chrome OS on their Chromebooks and some distro developers optimise their distros for Chromebooks [3,4]. Google goes further than this by trying to facilitate Windows running (virtualised) on Chromebooks [5-8] while expanding the reach of Chrome “apps” [9] and the fitness of the browser [10] which runs very well on GNU/Linux, even with Wayland [11].

One must remember that Chrome and Chrome OS are proprietary, unlike their FOSS siblings (*ium), and they are very privacy-infringing (much more so than Ubuntu). Chromecast takes this even further by introducing additional limitations (APIs and SDK [12-16], no source code, and probably DRM).

Google is basically taking GNU/Linux mainstream with Chrome OS and Android, but Google shouldn’t be confused with respect for freedom. A lot of the apps are proprietary, the base system has a certain duality on freedom, and even Windows is now being facilitated. Chromebooks are not about freedom, but it’s easy to convert them into freedom-respecting machines.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. High School Rolls Out 1,700 Linux Laptops

    Penn Manor High School this semester gave a Linux laptop to each of its more than 1,700 students, grades 9-12. Student help desk apprentices helped with laptop configuration and testing, distribution and orientation.

  2. Six Clicks: 2014′s top Linux desktops

    For years, we’ve talked about the Linux desktop becoming important. Now, it finally is. But thanks to Chromebooks and Android PCs, it’s not the Linux desktop we expected. Instead of desktop distributions from smaller groups such as Arch or Mint, or companies such as Canonical, we’re seeing Chrome OS and Android, thanks to Google and top vendors such as Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo — who are robbing market share from the moribund Windows PC industry.

  3. Acer C720 Review – Perfect Little PC

    By default the C720 comes with Chrome OS preinstalled – if you are happy with that skip onto the next section.

  4. Improvements to Bodhi’s Chromebook Support

    Just a quick update to let folks know about a few updates our special installers for Bodhi Linux on Chromebook hardware.

  5. Google taps VMware to bring Windows access to Chromebooks
  6. VMware, Google, team to target corporate Chrome OS adopters

    Google teaming up with VMware therefore makes Chrome OS more attractive because it means those organisations that already have VMware VDI infrastructure now have an easier way to pipe those legacy apps into a shiny new Chromebook, or just into Chrome. Or the myriad other devices Horizon View can target.

  7. VMware and Google Partner to Bring Windows Desktops to Chromebooks
  8. VMware, Google Partner for DaaS Chromebooks

    Google exec says solution is a ‘fantastic opportunity’ for VMware partners

  9. Google Means to Take Chrome Apps to Every Major Platform
  10. Google’s revamped JavaScript engine cures Chrome’s stutters

    Google has begun testing a new version of its V8 JavaScript engine for the Chrome browser that improves application performance by executing and compiling JavaScript code at the same time.

  11. Chromium Browser Is Running Great On Wayland

    For several months now Intel developers have been working on a new Ozone-Wayland project that allows Google’s Chrome/Chromium browsers and other applications to work on Wayland. Google’s Ozone component provides the windowing system / input abstraction layer that is where this implementation for Wayland is being plugged into. After much investment, the Chromium browser is now starting to run great with Wayland.

  12. Google Opens Chromecast to App Developers with New SDK, APIs
  13. Google releases Chromecast SDK
  14. Google waves its Chromecast dongle in front of developers

    Google has released the final version of the Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK), paving the way for broader support for its $35 Chromecast media-streaming dongle.

  15. Google Ships Cast SDK For Chromecast
  16. Ready to cast: Chromecast now open to developers with the Google Cast SDK

    Back in July we announced the developer preview of the Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK), the underlying Chromecast technology that enables multi-screen experiences across mobile devices (phones, tablet, laptops) and large-screen displays. Starting today, the Google Cast SDK is available for developing and publishing Google Cast-ready apps.

Mozilla Responds to Controversy Over Embedded Ads in Firefox

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 6:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Mozilla uses the yuppie-Nuremberg defense to justify selling away users’ privacy

Mozilla is a company with plenty of good people — good as in ethical. There are great new browsers coming out [1] (latest release at start of the month) and plans for even better [2] and accelerated browsers [3], not to mention powerful derivatives [4] that often come installed by default in GNU/Linux distributions. The recent decision to embed ads in Firefox was therefore a bit baffling and definitely surprising. Mozilla’s official account in Twitter responded to us, taking note of a formal statement from the management (Mitchell Baker [5]) — a statement later cited by some sites [6,7]. There is an online debate about Mozilla’s policy [8,9] after some revealing bias (against ads) even from sites that bombard visitors with ads [10] (sometimes Microsoft ads around GNU/Linux stories).

After reading the response from Mitchell Baker we remain unconvinced that lipstick can be put on the pig. It’s the yuppie-nuremberg defense. There is nothing wrong with making money, but the question is how. Moreover, one’s need for money does not justify an immoral act. Mozilla helps surveillance on Firefox users. It’s hardly even triggered by keystrokes and a trigger action (Chrome is no better in that regard). In the next post we are going to deal with Chrome, which is even worse than Mozilla when it comes to privacy. We recommend Rekonq or some Firefox derivatives like GNU IceCat and Debian’s IceWeasel.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Firefox 27: Faster, more secure and more social
  2. Mozilla Debuts New Australis Interface for Firefox 29 Aurora Browsers

    Mozilla is making a new interface available to users of its open-source Firefox Web browser as an alpha release. Firefox is developed in multiple branches—the mainline release, beta, Aurora (alpha) and Nightly branches. Until Friday, Feb. 7, the new Firefox Australis interface was only available in a Nightly branch for Firefox and has now moved into the alpha phase for what will become Firefox 29. The Firefox 29 Aurora release came in the same week as the mainline Firefox 27 browser debuted, providing users with fixes for 13 security advisories. The new Australis user interface in the Firefox 29 Aurora release has been making the rounds in the Firefox Nightly release channel since at least August 2013.

  3. Mozilla’s Use Of GPUs For 2D Acceleration

    Bas Schouten of Mozilla presented at FOSDEM earlier this month about their use of graphics processors for accelerating 2D content on the web. Unfortunately no slides from the presentation have yet to widely surface, but as of this week there’s now a YouTube video (embedded below) for those interested in Mozilla’s use of GPUs for 2D content and the pros and cons they have experienced thus far.

  4. SeaMonkey – More than a Web Browser

    I actually first discovered SeaMonkey many years ago when trying out the many versions of Puppy Linux, where SeaMonkey was sometimes included as the default “web browser”. Of course, if I had actually paid enough attention, I would have realised it was labeled as an “all-in-one internet application suite”. But nevertheless, it looked and behaved like Firefox so I assumed it was just an off-shoot of that software.

  5. Content, Ads, Caution

    In the early days of Firefox we were very careful not to offer content to our users. Firefox came out of a world in which both Netscape/AOL (the alma mater of many early Mozillians) and Microsoft had valued their content and revenue sources over the user experience. Those of us from Netscape/AOL had seen features, bookmarks, tabs, and other irritants added to the product to generate revenue. We’d seen Mozilla code subsequently “enhanced” with these features.

  6. Mozilla clarifies, defends Firefox ad position

    Mitchell Baker, chair of the Mozilla Foundation, defends Firefox’s new ad program. Firefox users remain wary.

  7. Mozilla’s Mitchell Baker Gets Crystal Clear on Ads Headed for Firefox

    Just this week, Mozilla appeared to buckle under the weight of the Internet Advertising Bureau’s wishes as the company delivered an announcement that it is going to put “Directory Tiles” in front of Firefox users, which sound a lot like ads. Now, Mozilla’s Mitchell Baker has weighed in officially on the topic of ads in Firefox, and her response is worth a read.

  8. Is Mozilla Selling Ads in Firefox?
  9. Why ads in Firefox are no big deal
  10. Mozilla To Begin Pushing Ads To The New Tabs Page
  11. Mozilla To Sell Ads In Firefox Web Browser

    Wait, what? Mozilla made itself the villian of the online ad business early last year by announcing that the latest version of Firefox would block third-party ad technologies by default, a move the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s top lobbyist called “a nuclear strike” on the industry.

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