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04.05.14

News Links: Human Rights, Surveillance, International Law…

Posted in News Roundup at 12:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Drones

  • Court: Improper for Judiciary to Decide Whether Killing US Citizens with Drones Violates Due Process Rights

    A federal judge was unable to find no remedy in United States law for a claim that United States citizen’s due process rights were violated when they were targeted and killed by a drone. The case was dismissed because the judge determined the citizen had been properly designated a terrorist, posed a threat to US interests, and the judiciary should not interfere in the areas of “warmaking, national security and foreign relations.”

  • Drone killings case thrown out in US

    A US federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against the government by the families of three American citizens killed by drones in Yemen, saying senior officials cannot be held personally responsible for money damages for the act of conducting war.

  • Constitutional collateral damage: Lawsuit over American drone deaths tossed out by US judge
  • Lawsuit Over American Drone Strikes Dismissed
  • UN Wants Answers on Drones; Why Not The American People?
  • New bill would force President Obama to publish drone strike casualties

    A bipartisan Bill that would force President Obama to reveal casualties from covert US drone strikes has been put before the US Congress.

    If successful, the bill would require the White House to publish an annual report of casualties from covert US drone strikes.

    The reports would include the total number of combatants killed or injured, the total number of civilians killed or injured, and the total number of people killed or injured by drones who are not counted as combatants or civilians.

  • Who Are We Killing? It Seems a Good Question
  • Viewpoint: All Americans should oppose further use of drone technology

    Americans of conscience, of all political persuasions, are concerned over our use of unmanned armed drone aircraft as an instrument of foreign policy. Kalamazoo Nonviolent Opponents of War (KNOW) urges our fellow citizens to seriously consider the issues raised by this remote-controlled death from the skies.

  • Berlin powerless to challenge US drone operations at Ramstein air base

    Statements made by Brandon Bryant, a former drone pilot for the US Air Force, reveal that Germany plays a greater role in the US drone war than previously thought.

    “The entire drone war of the US military wouldn’t be possible without Germany,” Bryant told German media. During his time in the US Air Force, Bryant flew more than 1,000 operations from the US.

  • Organization formed in Yemen to stop drone attacks

    The National Organization for Drone Victims has been established by families of drone victims along with human rights activists in Yemen. The group is seeking to end the US drone program in Yemen.

  • UN Human Rights Committee Finds US in Violation on 25 Counts

    While President Obama told the country to “look forward, not backward” when it came to Bush’s torture program, the United Nations has taken a different route. Recently, the UN Human Rights Committee issued a report excoriating the United States for its human rights violations. It focuses on violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the country is party. The report mentions 25 human rights issues where the United States is failing. This piece will focus on a few of those issues – Guantanamo, NSA surveillance, accountability for Bush-era human rights violations, drone strikes, racism in the prison system, racial profiling, police violence, and criminalization of the homeless.

Torture

  • CIA torture tactics to get public airing

    Thursday’s vote marked the end of a four-year Senate probe of the CIA’s past use of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques,’ a euphemism used to sugarcoat a number of brutal torture techniques, including hypothermia, stress positions and waterboarding against detainees following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

  • CIA torture didn’t work

    The CIA is a rogue operation run by people who think they’re entitled to do whatever they want. For years they’ve gotten away with it. But if President Obama agrees to release a summary of a declassified report on the agency’s torture program, they won’t be able to cloak their abuses in secrecy any longer.

  • The CIA’s dark secrets

    The CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques,” introduced after 9/11, were not just cruel, but rarely led to valuable intelligence, a report by the US Senate is likely to say. A summary is expected to be declassified.

  • Take CIA out of loop on torture report

    By law, the president has authority to declassify information, and he surely has the authority to decide the process for declassifying this landmark report.

    The CIA should never have had a torture program, never should have lied about what it was doing and never should have been given broad authority to review the Senate oversight report.

    Obama cannot now hand the agency a black-out pen to continue to hide the horrors it inflicted around the globe and the harm it caused to our American values. It’s time for someone other than the CIA to decide what all Americans can know about its wrongs.

    Fooled twice, yes. Let’s not be fooled again.

  • CIA Put In Charge Of Declassifying Senate’s Report That Condemns The CIA’s Torture Program

    In our post about the Senate Intelligence Committee agreeing to declassify the executive summary and major findings of the $40 million, 6,300 page “devastating” report on how the CIA tortured people for no good reason and then lied about it, we noted that there was still a battle over who would handle the declassification process. Senator Mark Udall directly noted that the White House had a choice

  • Leak the CIA report: it’s the only way to know the whole truth about torture

    Unless, of course, you think spies redacting 6,300 pages of their own sins is transparency. Look how much leaks told us this week

  • CIA official dies in apparent suicide

    CIA employees are known to work under stressful conditions and high stress is considered part of the job, the website adds. Employees are usually intelligence analysts and support personnel, technical services operators, or members of the clandestine services.

  • CIA Official Dies in Apparent Suicide
  • Crowdsourced Guesses Predict World Events Better Than The CIA
  • Senate decision welcomed by alleged CIA torture victim

    ITV News has obtained a statement from former Libyan opposition politician Abdel Hakim Belhadj, who claims he was tortured by the CIA and says British authorities were aware of it.

  • CIA torture victim calls for declassification of Senate report
  • Secret State Department Letter Warned: Don’t Release CIA Torture Report

    While Joe Biden publicly called for releasing the Senate report on CIA interrogation, the State Department warned that revealing foreign “black sites” could risk American lives.

  • CIA ‘torture,’ Microsoft’s stolen source code, and a cool espionage exhibit: Spy Games Update

    Sen. Ron Wyden declared that Americans would be dismayed by the Senate Intelligence Committee’s classified 6,200-page report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, which he called “torture.” You can read about it here:

    Sen. Wyden: Americans will be ‘profoundly disturbed’ by report on CIA’s terrorist interrogations

Cuba, Ukraine and Other Destabilisation at the Borders

Award

Snowden

NSA

  • Interactive Graphic: The NSA Spying Machine
  • Americans trust IRS and NSA more than Facebook: Shock poll

    Americans trust the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the National Security Agency with their personal data more than than they do Facebook and Google, reveals a shocking poll findings released Thursday morning.

    The question asked by the Reason-Rupe public opinion poll was “Which of the following (IRS, NSA, Facebook and Google) do you TRUST THE MOST with your personal information?”

  • Over 200 NSA documents collected and made searchable, from Snowden to Prism

    When Edward Snowden made a name for himself last June by leaking classified NSA information, he did so by working with The Guardian and a documentary filmmaker. As such, the public learned of much of the NSA’s surveillance measures through the medium of a single media outlet. In the ensuing months, much more has come to light, and today the American Civil Liberties Union is unveiling “NSA Documents Database,” a searchable, categorized database of just over 200 previously classified NSA documents.

  • How Coverage of the NSA Scandals Ignores the (Obedient) CIA

    Note the reference to 1947. It’s part of the public record that President Truman, who created the CIA when he signed the National Security Act of 1947, publicly regretted that the CIA had become a nexus of covert operations.

  • Half of Americans have changed browsing habits due to NSA spying

    A recent Harris poll asked over 2000 US adults aged 18 years and older whether they had actively changed their attitude towards online security as a consequence of the controversy surrounding the NSA’s actions. 47% of respondents said that they had changed their behaviour and now considered with much more care what they did and said online.

  • Pro-Pot, Pro-Gay, Anti-NSA… and Running for Senate

    Meet Shenna Bellows, Maine’s former ACLU chief who’s looking to unseat Susan Collins with a mix of left and right issues that might appeal to millennials.

  • Hiding in plain sight: evidence that NSA isn’t wrecking internet security

    The allegation that NSA weakened the dual elliptic curve random number generator has been floating around for some time, and it has already had some policy impact. The President’s Review Group was reacting to the story when it declared that the US Government should “fully support and not undermine efforts to create encryption standards [and] not in any way subvert, undermine, weaken, or make vulnerable generally available commercial software.”

    A careful reading of the actual study, though, suggests that there’s been more than a little hype in the claim that NSA has somehow made us all less safe by breaking internet security standards. I recognize that this is a technical paper, and that I’m not a cryptographer. So I welcome technical commentary and corrections.

  • Box CEO Aaron Levie on How the NSA Could Be Bad for Business
  • Box’s Aaron Levie: We haven’t received any NSA requests

    With Box heading toward an IPO, the normally gregarious CEO can’t say much about anything. But when it comes to the topic of government surveillance and what that might mean for the future of the Internet, he offers a few tidbits.

  • Technology that can deliver ‘NSA proof’ smart phones

    As the internet and mobile companies constantly strive for spy-proof, secure technology for customers who use smart phones, laptops or tablets, a team of scientists have shown how a novel quantum cryptography technology can help them achieve an ‘NSA proof’ world.

Europe

‘Reform’ on Privacy

  • An NSA “Reform Bill” of the Intelligence Community, Written by the Intelligence Community, and for the Intelligence Community

    Representatives Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger, the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee, introduced HR 4291, the FISA Transparency and Modernization Act (.pdf), to end the collection of all Americans’ calling records using Section 215 of the Patriot Act. Both have vehemently defended the program since June, and it’s reassuring to see two of the strongest proponents of NSA’s actions agreeing with privacy advocates’ (and the larger public’s) demands to end the program. The bill only needs 17 lines to stop the calling records program, but it weighs in at more than 40 pages. Why? Because the “reform” bill tries to create an entirely new government “authority” to collect other electronic data.

  • Planned NSA reforms still leave journalists reason to worry

    Last week the Obama administration set forth a proposal to reform one part of the National Security Agency’s surveillance program: the indiscriminate collection of American phone records. Under the president’s proposal, the government would no longer collect call data in bulk but would be allowed to ask for it from phone companies with court approval, and only for numbers linked to terrorism.

  • Obama’s promise to prevent NSA spying rings hollow

    Dream on. The significant thing about Obama’s announcement is the two things it left out: surveillance of the Internet (as distinct from the telephonic activity of American citizens); and of the rest of the world — that’s you and me. So even if Obama succeeds in getting his little policy swerve through Congress, the central capabilities of the national surveillance state will remain in place.

  • Telecoms could be forced to collect even more metadata under Obama’s NSA overhaul

    An effort from the White House to revamp the rules that govern how the National Security Agency goes about getting telephone data may actually force service providers to start logging more records that they do now, a new report suggests.

  • Barack Obama’s NSA overhaul may require phone carriers to store more data
  • Obama’s NSA overhaul may require phone carriers to store more data

    President Barack Obama’s plan for overhauling the National Security Agency’s phone surveillance program could force carriers to collect and store customer data that they are not now legally obliged to keep, according to U.S. officials.

    One complication arises from the popularity of flat-rate or unlimited calling plans, which are used by the vast majority of Americans.

As the World Moves to GNU/Linux Propaganda From Microsoft-funded Proxies Claims Opposite of What Microsoft Intended

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 8, Windows at 9:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNU/Linux is rapidly gaining, partly because of Microsoft’s mistakes

Chart

Summary: Reports about new Microsoft-funded propaganda are easily serving as yet more proof that Windows and other Microsoft software ought to be abandoned

EVERY YEAR we are told the same lies. The propaganda is coordinated by Microsoft-funded entities like IDC and the Business Software Alliance (BSA). We tackled this propaganda year after year, also noting that IDG (the parent of IDC) helps disseminate the propaganda in the corporate press. It’s disgusting and it really ought to stop. It’s like the classic routine of rogue think tanks.

Glyn Moody has done a good job tackling the propaganda in two blogs. One of them was his Open Enterprise blog (ironically hosted by IDG), where he wrote: “As those make clear, we are talking here about Windows malware, found on purchased PCs, Web sites, in P2P downloads and CDs bought on the street. Moreover, it’s evident the infected software is proprietary, paid-for software. Why do we know that? Well, for the simple reason that nobody pirates open source software, because it’s always free of charge, by definition. So Microsoft’s report is about closed-source code, running on Windows.

“This means that IDC/Microsoft’s disturbingly high figure of $500 billion for 2014 is not so much the projected worldwide cost for enterprises of using pirated software, as the cost of running non-free programs on Windows. Most of that $500 billion could be saved – pretty much at a stroke – simply by switching to free software. ”

Glyn Moody also wrote about it in TechDirt (very large audience), under the headline “Microsoft-Sponsored Study Says Problems Caused By Using Windows Software Will Cost Businesses $500 Billion In 2014″ (similar to the other headline he chose). To quote his arguments: “Although the report doesn’t say so explicitly, we are clearly dealing with Windows systems here — computers are referred to throughout as “PCs,” never as Macs, and some of the malware is named as “Win32/Enosch.A, Win32/Sality.AT, Win32/Pramro.F,” which attack Windows systems exclusively. We can also be pretty sure that none of the infected programs was open source. Why? Because pirating software that is already freely available makes no sense — and is certainly unlikely to be as profitable as offering black market versions of costly closed-source programs.

“Putting this information together — in order to “Get The Facts” as Microsoft always liked to say — we arrive at the interesting conclusion that the use of commercial closed-source programs running on Microsoft Windows will cost businesses around $500 billion in 2014 alone because of the wasted time, lost data and reputational damage that will result from associated malware infections.”

Moody did a good job breaking down the arguments, so we need not do this again (we do this every year). Instead, let’s look at the situation Microsoft is in.

Yesterday and the day before that we wrote about the rise of Chromebooks, which led to a massive campaign of FUD and AstroTurfing from Microsoft. It’s always the same. Moody links to this article from the British press [via], stating that “London Council Dumping Windows For Chromebooks To Save £400,000″ (this was later covered in [1]). There’s no denying the fact that Vista 8 is driving many enterprises away from Windows and Vista 8.1 won’t change much, based on SJVN’s analysis that says: “By this time next year we’ll know if Microsoft has managed to reclaim its users’ and vendors’ mind-share, or if we really are seeing the end of the PC computing market in favor of a mobile, cloud-based computing paradigm.”

A state with 70 million people is now moving to GNU/Linux [2], so it’s rather clear where we’re heading. “Microsoft finally admits defeat,” says a Microsoft-friendly site [3] regarding the future Windows 8 update and based on numerous reports, Microsoft now drops the price of Windows to 0 for some device types [4]. “Apple already made the move to free-of-charge operating systems,” explains iophk. “Between that and FOSS, the OS has become a commodity. This is good, without charging, Microsoft cannot give kickbacks or similar financial incentives, at least not for much longer.”

You really know that Microsoft is deep in trouble when even its peripheral PR, such as Microsoft Peter [5], projects worry about the number of XP users (people who still use a version of Windows from 2001). Rupert Murdoch’s WSJ quotes US figures and says [6] that “[a]bout 95% of the 211,000 ATMs owned by financial institutions, run some version of XP. But some of those machines run on a unique version Microsoft will support until 2016, according to a Department of Homeland Security memo sent in March. Independent companies, such as gas stations, own another 210,000.”

Many of them will move to Linux. Even Rupert Murdoch’s company, despite being anti-Google, is dumping Microsoft for Google. Interesting times.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. London borough drops Windows, goes with Chromebooks, saves around £400,000

    Microsoft has more reasons to worry about Linux. After reports that an Indian state switched from Windows XP to Linux, now a UK-based organization is ditching Windows and going for Linux-based Chromebooks. The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is going the open source way as it shifts away from Windows XP desktops in favor of 2,000 Samsung 303Cs Chromebooks for employees and 300 Chromeboxes for reception desks and shared work areas across the borough.

  2. Tamil Nadu’s XP migration plan: Go Linux like a BOSS

    The Indian State of Tamil Nadu will solve its Windows XP problem by adopting Linux.

    Tamil Nadu is home to over 70 million people and its capital city is Chennai, a hub for India’s business process outsourcing industry second only to Bangalore.

  3. Microsoft finally admits defeat, will bring Start menu back in future Windows 8 update
  4. Will free Windows make Microsoft bleed to death?
  5. One week before its end of life, 28 percent of Web users are still on Windows XP
  6. Windows XP: Old Platforms Die Hard, Security Risks Live On

Society Still Occupied by Bill Gates and Other Plutocrats

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft at 9:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A roundup of some recent news about Microsoft’s criminal co-founder and his siege against the poor, the oppressed, or his competition, including free press and the truth

BASED on the headings in The Guardian, Bill Gates continues to funnel money (via proxy) for his publicity charades and for The Guardian to never criticise him or his investments (as The Guardian used to do before it got bribed by Gates). We are currently in contact with a person who is intimately aware of Gates funds being misused in the developing world (more on that soon), basically alleging that through personal involvement he saw how in places like Africa Gates was doing harm, not good. Now, watch how the the Gates-funded The Guardian helps Gates abduct the “Ubuntu” brand/term (with a Gates advertisement at the top). This is a regular thing. It’s lobbying and it is corrupting the press.

There are other areas that Gates is corrupting, including for example US education. The Gates Foundation must have just suffered a major setback as its lobbying for Common Core (using publicly-funded schools to indoctrinate the next generation for plutocrats) got struck out by a governor [1]. “In other good news from that article,” wrote a person in this comment, “my state, Oklahoma, is considering ditching Common Core.”

People who don’t quite grasp how harmful Gates and his ilk have been to this world should recall Microsoft’s relationship with the NSA, which is ideologically tied to Gates' support of the NSA (he has privatised surveillance also and significant investments in G4S).

It has become clear, owing to disclosures from the “Occupy” movement, that the surveillance apparatus protects plutocrats like Gates from the vast majority of the population. Read the new story “David “Debt” Graeber evicted, implicates NYPD intelligence, claims revenge-harassment for OWS participation” (the FBI was shown to have characterised Occupy as “low-level terrorism” and treated it as such). It’s class war. Don’t look for enemies among the lower classes or immigrants (xenophobia). The enemies are well groomed, well known, and we are regularly shown them in corporations-owned media. These are neither scapegoats nor poetic villains; they are people who know very well what they are doing and hence they try to buy our schools, the media, politicians, and everything else which forms our perception of the world.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Gov. Mike Pence signs bill to ditch Common Core

    Less than four years after Indiana became an early adopter of the national Common Core education standards, Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation Monday making Indiana the first state to opt out of the controversial school guidelines.

    But the law does not prohibit parts of Common Core from being written into new standards that are expected to be voted on by the state Board of Education late next month.

Don’t Be Fooled by Microsoft: .NET is Proprietary Software, Still

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 8:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The “open” circus returns

Clown

Summary: Publicity stunt from Microsoft strives to bamboozle the gullible, leading to the false perception that .NET is now “open”

Microsoft was caught openwashing DOS and other Microsoft "crown jewels" (that it had bought) some days ago. The OSI’s President was far from impressed, having watched Microsoft pulling these stunts to also openwash Azure and other such NSA-friendly proprietary software traps.

“I wonder why they don’t just skin FreeBSD or GNU/Linux and throw in Wine and Samba…”
      –MinceR
As we have argued over the years, Microsoft used Mono to openwash .NET and having created several openwashing proxies, including CodePlex and Outercurve (there are more), Microsoft goes further in trying to paint .NET “open”, blurring the gap between proprietary and Open Source (basically just creating confusion).

The Microsoft-friendly news sites helped advance Microsoft’s agenda with PR puff pieces like this one or that one. To quote one example: “For years, Microsoft has flirted with the open-source movement, trying to build bridges with developers that favor publicly released code over proprietary software. This week, the software giant finally made the big moves skeptics of its commitment to open source have been looking for.”

Nonsense. Hogwash.

As Lirodon put it in our IRC channels, they have “just released a few components (i.e. the Roslyn C# compiler, WinJS) under Apache license” and “perhaps they feel the end,” MinceR added.

MinceR also joked: “I wonder why they don’t just skin FreeBSD or GNU/Linux and throw in Wine and Samba… and maybe KVM/QEMU with a stripped-down winblows image for “legacy applications”.”

Well, Microsoft cannot afford to really embrace GNU/Linux, only to try to extort it and make it more expensive. It should be emphasised that nothing really changed with the above openwashing move, which is not even the first of its kind.

SCOTUS Works For Plutocrats, But It May, For a Change, Axe Software Patents

Posted in Patents at 8:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New gavel

Summary: Update on the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) case which can effectively end software patents where they originally came from

THE SCOTUS, like the USPTO, practically exists to serve corporations while claiming to serve people’s interests. We showed many examples of this over the years, especially when we closely covered patent matters.

SCOTUS has just proven, yet again, that it serves the interests of the top fraction of the top 1% of income earners — people who provide the majority of funding to political candidates [1,2]. Sen. Bernie Sanders says that SCOTUS undermines democracy by allowing billionaires to “buy elections”.

SOCTUS us losing the trust of US citizens. There is no question about it. Meanwhile, however, “Software Patents On [are] The Ropes In SCOTUS,” Robert Pogson claims, citing some recent filings/proceedings. Where is Groklaw when you need it? Having witnessed the Bilski case some years ago (famous case at SCOTUS), we are highly sceptical of the possibility that anything significant will happen. SCOTUS is typically doing what the corporations are asking for. As TechDirt put it the other day: “Four years ago, the Supreme Court had a chance to establish once and for all whether or not software was patentable. The Bilski case got all sorts of attention as various parties lined up to explain why software patents were either evil, innovation-killing monsters or the sole cause of innovation since the cotton gin and everything in between (only slight exaggeration). Rather than actually answer the question everyone was asking, the Supreme Court decided to rule especially narrowly, rejecting the specific patents at stake in the case and saying that the current test used to determine patentability (the so-called “machine-or-transformation” test) need not be the only test for patentability. However, it declined to say what tests should be used, leaving it up to the lower courts to start ruling blindly, making up new tests as they went along. And muddle along blindly they did — right up to the height of pure absurdism in the CAFC (appeals court that handles patents) ruling in the Alice v. CLS Bank case, in which every single judge disagreed with each other. The ruling was 135 pages of confused mess where all justices only agreed on a single paragraph, which (like Bilski) said this particular patent was invalid, but no one could agree why.”

Let’s wait and see if the SCOTUS can surprise all of us by effectively putting at peril all software patents (in one fell swoop). This is the most important thing for Free software. The Register has this new article about “More software patent silliness,” noting that in China there are software patent applications, e.g. one relating to Wine on ARM (we covered that a few days ago.

“The filing has irritated Wine contributor André Hentschel,” the author says, “who points to his code commits from 2010, and remarks that “from my point of view there are no facts in that potential patent that should be patented”.

“Whether that’s sufficient to block the Chinese patent application CN102364433 is another question.”

We need to stop software patents in the US before they spread further. The tendency is for US law to get exported to almost every continent.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Supreme Court ruling on campaign contributions: More clout for the rich

    The wealthiest 1% of Americans will likely play an even larger role in elections following the Supreme Court decision Wednesday that freed rich donors to give as much as $3.5 million per election to the array of candidates running for Congress.

    The 5-4 decision struck down a Watergate-era limit that barred a single donor from giving more than $123,200 to congressional candidates every two years.

  2. Supreme Court strikes down aggregate campaign giving limits

Linux News: 3.15 Development, Collaboration Summit, Kay Sievers, and Graphics

Posted in News Roundup at 7:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linux 3.15

Collaboration Summit

  • Collab Recap: Tracing Changes Coming to the Kernel, and More
  • PostgreSQL and Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Fsync Issues at Collaboration Summit

    Last week, I attended the Linux Storage, Filesystems, and Memory Management summit (LSF/MM) on Monday and Tuesday, and the Linux Collaboration Summit (aka Collab) from Wednesday through Friday. Both events were held at the Meritage Resort in Napa, CA. This was by invitation of some Linux developers who wanted to find out more about what PostgreSQL needs from the Linux kernel. Andres Freund and I attended on behalf of the PostgreSQL community; Josh Berkus was present for part of the time as well.

  • One Engineer’s Hands-on Experience with KVM at Collaboration Summit

    In the last five years I have experienced a few professional transitions, changing employers from a Software Engineering role to System Administrator role, and from developing and/or testing software for “Legacy” operating systems and proprietary software to infrastructure services delivery using large scale UNIX and Linux customer environments. I have gone from only imagining what challenges Systems Administrators have in developing systems management software, to actually knowing them first hand. Now in the last year, I have a new job working on process, procedures and tools improvements and knowledge management activities for UNIX and Linux Infrastructure Delivery at Dell.

Linus Torvalds

  • Linus Bans RH Hacker, Calligra 2.8 Sweeet, and SUSE 12
  • Linus Torvalds suspends key Linux developer

    An argument between developers of some of the most basic parts of Linux turned heated this week, resulting in a prominent Red Hat employee and code contributor being banned from working on the Linux kernel.

  • RedHat Kicks The Anthill Over At Kernel.org

    Just as anthills have their strange way of getting repaired, the stresses between two huge tectonic plates of FLOSS will seek equilibrium and life will go on, until the next time…

  • Linus Torvalds not happy with systemd author Kay Sievers

    The Linux kernel developers and systemd developers locked horns this week over a bug in systemd which would stop systems from booting up. The bug was filed by Borislav Petkov where he explained that systemd bug was not allowing him to log into the machine. Kay Sievers, the co-author of systemd, suggested kernel developers not to use ‘generic’ term “debug”, “Like for the kernel, there are options to fin-grain control systemd’s logging behaviour; just do not use the generic term “debug” which is a convenience shortcut for the kernel AND the Base OS.”

Graphics Stack

  • Initial XWayland Support Merged For X.Org Server 1.16

    As anticipated, X.Org Server 1.16 when released this summer will feature initial support for XWayland.

    XWayland is the compatibility layer for running legacy X11 applications atop Wayland. The XWayland code has been baking for a while and as of a few hours ago the initial support was finally merged. This XWayland merging came just in time as the merge window for the six-month update, X.Org Server 1.16, is soon closing.

  • NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 Jetson Will Be A Late April Debut

    The Jetson board was announced with a $192 MSRP and a pledge to ship in April. Now that it’s April, some Phoronix readers who also jumped on this bandwagon may be wondering about more details… Through more sources, I’ve found out that it’s planned for a late April debut. Those who pre-ordered the Jetson will find their boards shipped in about three weeks if they ordered via NewEgg or NVIDIA.com. Everything I’ve heard from my sources about this Tegra K1 board remain very positive and that it’s performing very well. Stay tuned and in three weeks we’ll have up some very interesting new ARM benchmarks on Phoronix.

  • Wayland Gains Fullscreen Shell, Screen Sharing Support

    Going back numerous months has been a proposal for a full-screen shell protocol initially for the Weston compositor but could be promoted to an official Wayland protocol in the future. The fullscreen shell protocol is designed to make it easy to support simple full-screen clients like splash screens and terminal emulators in an easy and convenient manner rather than having the simple clients talk to DRM/KMS directly, input/output abstraction, easing up development of compositors, and allowing support for screen sharing and recording.

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