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Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

Posted in News Roundup at 4:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source


  • Witnesses Report a ‘Loud Noise’ Before Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast

    It’s not clear what caused the multi-story vessel to list and sink, but witnesses reported an impact and loud noise just before the ship began to roll over in the water.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • UN Report Says Small-Scale Organic Farming Only Way to Feed the World

      Transformative changes are needed in our food, agriculture and trade systems in order to increase diversity on farms, reduce our use of fertilizer and other inputs, support small-scale farmers and create strong local food systems. That’s the conclusion of a remarkable new publication from the U.N. Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Donetsk leaflet: Jews must register or face deportation

      Fear replaced communal atmosphere in Donetsk’s Jewish community as armed men handed out a leaflet Passover eve calling on Jews register their religion and property with the interim pro-Russian government or face deportation and loss of citizenship.

    • “We Are Not Beginning a New Cold War, We are Well into It”: Stephen Cohen on Russia-Ukraine Crisis

      As negotiations over the crisis in Ukraine begin in Geneva, tension is rising in the Ukrainian east after security forces killed three pro-Russian protesters, wounded 13 and took 63 captive in the city of Mariupol. Ukrainian officials said the pro-Russian separatists had attempted to storm a military base. The killings came just after the unraveling of a Ukrainian operation to retake government buildings from pro-Russian separatists. Earlier today, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the authorities in Kiev of plunging the country into an “abyss” and refused to rule out sending forces into Ukraine. Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has announced a series of steps to reinforce its presence in eastern Europe. “We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water and more readiness on the land,” Rasmussen said. We are joined by Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. “We are not at the beginning of a new Cold War, we are well into it,” Cohen says, “which alerts us to the fact ‘hot war’ is imaginable now. It’s unlikely, but it’s conceivable — and if it’s conceivable, something has to be done about it.”

    • Putin reveals NATO chief secretly recorded their talk, leaked it to media

      Vladimir Putin says that current NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen secretly recorded and leaked a private conversation with him, when he was the head of the Danish government.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Thousands of China workers on strike

      Labour disputes pop up regularly in China, but one strike in the southern Chinese city of Dongguan is attracting attention because of its size.

    • The Neoliberal Theory of Society: The Ideological Foundations of Neo-liberalism

      Neoliberalism presents itself as a doctrine based on the inexorable truths of modern economics. However, despite its scientific trappings, modern economics is not a scientific discipline but the rigorous elaboration of a very specific social theory, which has become so deeply embedded in western thought as to have established itself as no more than common sense, despite the fact that its fundamental assumptions are patently absurd. The foundations of modern economics, and of the ideology of neoliberalism, go back to Adam Smith and his great work, The Wealth of Nations. Over the past two centuries Smith’s arguments have been formalised and developed with greater analytical rigour, but the fundamental assumptions underpinning neoliberalism remain those proposed by Adam Smith.

    • Markets Are the Problem (Not the Solution)

      As might be expected, underlying this monument to excess is an army of laborers from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal. These desperate souls arrive heavily indebted to recruiters and those who pay their passage, only to be brutally exploited by sponsoring employers, who confiscate their passports. It is a system of semi-slave labor; workers are not free to leave, even if they have not been paid.

    • Nearly one million people relying on food handouts in UK

      One of Britain’s largest food charities says that more than 900,000 people visited its food banks last year. The Wednesday report comes as 600 religious leaders urge the government to take action against the country’s growing hunger problem.

      The new information shows the shocking number of people reliant on food handouts in the UK, largely because of harsh new benefits sanctions.

      According to The Trussell Trust, Britain’s largest food bank charity, 913,138 people received emergency food aid from the organization in 2013-2014, compared to just 346,992 in 2012-2013 – marking an increase of 163 percent.

  • Censorship

    • Did You Retweet The USAir Pornographic Tweet? You May Have Violated New Jersey’s Revenge Porn Law

      We’ve pointed out for a while how the various attempts at creating revenge porn bills will have serious unintended consequences and raise serious First Amendment issues. This is not to minimize the problems of revenge porn (or to absolve the sick and depraved individuals who put together, submit to or regularly visit such sites). However, it’s to point out that pretty much any way you try to legislate such actions as criminal likely will create other problems. For example, I’m sure many of you heard the story recently about US Airways… um… unfortunate pornographic tweet. It was the story of the internet a few days ago, in which a United Air social media employee did a very unfortunate cut and paste error, tweeting out a very graphic image that involved a naked woman and a plane where it… doesn’t quite belong (for slightly lighter fare, I highly recommend reading some of the of the funny replies to that tweet). For what it’s worth, US Air has said that it was an honest mistake and it’s not even firing the person responsible.

    • US Airways Tweeted An Extreme Pornographic Image And Left It Up For A Long Time

      The photo shows a completely nude woman on her back with a plane inserted into her vagina.

  • Privacy

    • Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked with glue mould

      The fingerprint sensor on Samsung’s Galaxy S5 handset has been hacked less than a week after the device went on sale.

      Berlin-based Security Research Labs fooled the equipment using a mould it had previously created to spoof the sensor on Apple’s iPhone 5S.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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