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05.01.14

Links 1/5/2014: Tails in the News, Firefox 29 Reviews

Posted in News Roundup at 11:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Ukraine Crisis Accelerating the Restructuring of the World

      The Ukrainian crisis has not radically changed the international situation but it has precipitated ongoing developments. Western propaganda, which has never been stronger, especially hides the reality of Western decline to the populations of NATO, but has no further effect on political reality. Inexorably, Russia and China, assisted by the other BRICS, occupy their rightful place in international relations.

    • Wall Street Journal outlines US military options against Chinac

      The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that the Pentagon’s latest “action plan” is intended to address “concerns” held by Washington’s “closest allies in Asia” over the Obama administration’s willingness to confront Beijing. The newspaper said these allies “have told American counterparts” that the response to Russia’s “aggression” in Crimea “is seen as a possible litmus test of what Washington will do if China attempted a similar power grab.” It also noted that “concerns were raised” by South Korean officials last September after Obama’s last-minute decision to call off plans to bomb Syria—partly to avoid a potential military confrontation with Russia.

    • Kerry, Obama, Putin: The Fool, the Demagogue, and the Former KGB Colonel

      Of course, it is possible that Kerry really believed he was speaking truths, having internalized the assumptions that flow from U.S. “exceptionalism,” which make words like “invasion,” “aggression” and “international law” inapplicable to us as the world’s police; and what might be a “completely trumped up pretext” if offered by the Russians is only a slight and excusable error or misjudgment when we do it. After all, the New York Times quickly used the word “aggression” in editorializing on the Crimea events (“Russia’s Aggression,” March 2, 2014), whereas it never used the word to describe the invasion-occupation of Iraq, nor did it mention the words “UN Charter” or “international law” in its 70 editorials on Iraq from September 11, 2001 to March 21, 2003 (Howard Friel and Richard Falk, The Record of the Paper).

    • “War is Peace, it Makes Us Rich and Safe”… or So Says the Mainstream Media

      War is Peace. What was known as a famous quote from George Orwell’s fiction 1984 has become a reality. Or maybe it is still fiction if you consider that the mainstream media is making up reality on a daily basis.

      On April 28, 2014, the homepage of The Washington Post web site featured the picture of a nuclear explosion with the following title: “War is brutal. The alternative is worse.”

    • US, Pak relationship has deteriorated: Former Obama NSA

      The relationship between the US and Pakistan has deteriorated “alarmingly” over the course of the Afghan conflict, a former national security advisor to President Barack Obama has said.

      Arguing that the role of Pakistan is crucial for resolving the Afghan crisis, Gen (rtd) James Jones, former National Security Advisor to Obama, said that there is absence of trust between Pakistan and the US now.

    • Israel’s drone dealers

      People and Power investigates how Israeli drone technology came to be used by the US.

    • The Rise of the Drone Master: Pop Culture Recasts Obama

      In Marvel’s latest popcorn thriller, Captain America battles Hydra, a malevolent organization that has infiltrated the highest levels of the United States government. There are missile attacks, screeching car chases, enormous explosions, evil assassins, data-mining supercomputers and giant killer drones ready to obliterate millions of people.

      Its inspiration?

      President Obama, the optimistic candidate of hope and change.

    • Albany drone protester Amidon acquitted

      An Albany man who dressed as the Grim Reaper outside a Syracuse airbase to protest the U.S. drone aircraft program was acquitted this week of criminal charges.

    • Volk Field protester guilty of trespassing

      But Wagner said Block presented “passive resistance” when asked to leave the base property.

      “She just declined to go,” Wagner said.

    • [not real news] Iraqi Judge “brushes off” Bush lawsuit against Iraqis for George’s death

      An Iraqi judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought against certain individuals in the Iraqi government who killed George Bush with a drone strike in 2005—the lawsuit was filed by Bush family members.

      Allowing a lawsuit against individuals “would hinder their ability in the future to act decisively in defense of Iraq interests” said the Iraqi judge.

      I can understand the outrage that people here in America are experiencing right now. That a foreign judge would so easily dismiss something not based on it being right or wrong, but I based on keeping the door open so people from the judge’s country are free to kill more with drone strikes. They seem to carry out justice only when it is convenient for them and in their best interest.

    • Gavin Hood to Direct Colin Firth in ‘Eye in the Sky’ UK Action Thriller
    • Gavin Hood Set For The Drone Warfare Thriller ‘Eye In The Sky’ With Colin Firth [promoting drones on the Big Screen]
    • Grounded, Gate Theatre, review: ‘mesmerising’

      If you wanted proof that virtue is its own reward in theatreland, take a look at Lucy Ellinson’s performance in Grounded. She is nothing short of mesmerising as a Top Gun pilot, who, after having a baby, is reduced to doing shifts in front of a computer screen in an air-conditioned trailer near Las Vegas. Her job is to steer unmanned “drone” aircraft towards their targets in the Middle East. And then to press the button that blows the enemy combatants below to pieces.

    • Mad Men: The Lunatic Fringe That Leads the West

      I had in mind to write about Tony Blair’s remarkable regurgitation of bloodlust and bile last week. The former British PM managed to tear himself away from his consulting work for dictatorships and other lucrative sidelines long enough to make a “major speech” calling for — guess what? — even more military intervention in the endless, global “War on Terror.” The fact that this war on terror — which he did so much to exacerbate during his time in power, not least in his mass-murder partnership with George W. Bush in Iraq — has actually spawned more terror, and left the primary ‘enemy,’ al Qaeda and its related groups, more powerful than ever, has obviously escaped the great global visionary. No doubt his mad, messianic glare — coupled with the dazzling glow of self-love — makes it hard for the poor wretch to see reality.

    • Waterboarding, Sarah Palin and the West’s Image Abroad as the ‘Great Satan’

      Waterboarding, a technique in which water is poured over the angled face of a prisoner — so as to fill his nose, mouth and lungs — terrifyingly creates the feeling of drowning. “When performed on an unsuspecting prisoner, waterboarding is a torture technique — without a doubt,” Malcolm Nance, former master instructor and chief of training at the U.S. Navy Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School (SERE) in San Diego states. “There is no way to sugarcoat it,” he writes, referring to the fact that he personally witnessed and supervised the waterboarding of hundreds of U.S. military trainees who were drilling to resist torture.

    • Is Captain America: The Winter Soldier a Post-Snowden Superhero Movie? Not Quite

      All that said, prior to revealing the mass conspiracy against the good guys, there are some moments where Captain America has to face the America we’re all more familiar with. He looks in on a group of veterans working to heal mentally after deployment. He even questions Fury’s assertion that killing terrorists before they commit crimes is really justice. It’s not security, but it’s surprising to see an action blockbuster.

      It’s clear that Marvel didn’t think that governmental and social pressures that led to NSA’s domestic psying program made for superhero-grade entertainment, and maybe they’re right. I was still glad to see that the ideas of government openness were enshrined next to the usual superhero clichés of truth and justice. It was also just a very, very fun movie.

    • The Death Penalty Is as Flawed and Heartless as War

      On Tuesday, Clayton Lockett died of a heart attack more than an hour after his botched lethal injection began. Things went so wrong that the state of Oklahoma’s second scheduled execution for that night was stayed for 14 days.

    • Senate to Obama: Drone, Baby, Drone

      Remember around this time last year when President Obama gave his big ballyhooed Drone Speech, promising more transparency to the citizen-consumers of America about who, when, where and why he obliterates and maims with his flying missiles?

    • US refuses to disclose civilian killings from its drone attacks in AF/PAK Region
    • Why US Intelligence Officials Pressured Senate To Block Public Release Of Drone Strikes

      It appears Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and her colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee have largely forgiven the U.S. intelligence community for eavesdropping on their phone calls and spying on their email correspondence.

      Acting on the request of James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, Feinstein and her colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee voted on Monday to remove a provision from a major intelligence bill that would have required the U.S. government to disclose information about when drone strikes occur — especially overseas — as well as information about the victims of the drone strikes.

    • Secrets and lies of Obama’s drone war

      Barack Obama promised to install his administration in a glass house lit up like the Super Bowl, with everything visible to the citizenry he serves. So you will not be surprised to learn that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper wants nothing more than to keep the public well informed.

    • Miami Jury: CIA Involved in JFK Assassination

      Not a single major newspaper nor any national news broadcast has ever reported that on Feb. 6, 1985, a jury in Miami concluded that the CIA was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

    • CIA keeps a tight grip on its own secrets

      The CIA does not give up its secrets easily. Even under public scrutiny and pressure from a Senate committee to declassify parts of a congressional report on harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists, the CIA remains shadowed by its reluctance to open up about its operations and its past.

    • CIA has Upper Hand in Deciding Public Disclosures

      The White House has directed the CIA to declassify parts of a Senate report criticizing harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists, but history shows that the agency is accomplished at preventing embarrassing or damaging disclosures.

    • Heading up Senate report declassification, CIA has history of tightly guarding its own secrets
    • CIA’s resolve to track weapons complicates push to arm Syria rebels

      After more than three years of civil war in Syria, the Obama administration may soon send shoulder-fired missiles to the rebels fighting the country’s dictator, Bashar Assad. But before the first missiles fly, they’ll have to be outfitted with fingerprint scanners and GPS systems designed to keep the weapons from falling into the wrong hands. There’s only one problem: It’s not clear the relatively high-tech security equipment will be compatible with the decidedly low-tech, twenty-year-old missiles.

    • CIA Denies Blaze Benghazi Report: ‘So Many Problems’

      The CIA denied having any role in arming Libyan rebels before the deadly 2012 Benghazi attacks, despite reporting by TheBlaze that the U.S. was covertly involved in providing rebels with weapons during Libya’s civil war that ultimately ended up in the hands of Al Qaeda militants.

    • Here’s How US Arms Dealers Sell Weapons All Over The World
    • Charles Krauthammer Says Americans Now Have the ‘Smoking Document’ in Benghazi Scandal
    • Inside the Secret World of a U.S. Arms Dealer

      On Sept. 11, 2011, an Armenian carrier from Albania landed in Benghazi, Libya. It was carrying 800,000 rounds of ammunition originating from Albanian surplus stocks. Three of those stocks belonged to armed forces of the United Arab Emirates, according to a 2013 United Nations investigation.

    • Timeline: The shocking events that led to the Benghazi attacks

      This timeline was compiled by TheBlaze and For the Record as part of their investigation into the U.S. government’s actions regarding the diplomatic team in Benghazi — and how Al Qaeda-affiliated militants benefited from the lethal aid provided to rebel forces on the ground in Libya.

    • Time to End Military/CIA Torture Once and For All

      In the face of continued revelations of United States’ torture policies during the Bush administration, Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR), today sent letters to President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel demanding an end to all ongoing practices of torture, cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of prisoners and detainees. The letter specifically calls for revoking techniques permitted in Appendix ‘M’ of the current Army Field Manual, such as solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, forms of sensory deprivation, and environmental manipulations, which individually and combined have been condemned internationally as forms of torture, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, and therefore violate the United States’ obligations under the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture. In addition, PsySR expressed particularly concern that health professionals, including psychologists, have been engaged to support such efforts in violation of their ethical responsibilities.

    • CIA Thinks Syrian Rebels Might Turn The Guns We Give Them Back On Us

      If you have to worry that your proxy militias will turn your own weapons against you, maybe it’s not such a good idea to give them weapons in the first place. Just a thought.

    • What CIA seeks to achieve through Ford Foundation

      James Petras, retired Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York, and adjunct professor at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, wrote a damning article on September 18, 2002, exposing the Ford Foundation’s sinister choice of beneficiaries of its donations. He accused the CIA of using “philanthropic foundations as the most effective conduit to channel large sums of money to Agency projects without alerting the recipients to their source”.

    • HENTOFF: Military judge orders CIA to list black sites and other torture data

      As first reported by the Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg on April 17, during a pretrial hearing of a Guantanamo prisoner previously held at a series of CIA secret prisons, judge Army Col. James Pohl ordered the agency to provide the long-concealed “names of agents, interrogators and medical personnel who worked at the so-called black sites.”

    • CIA under pressure to declassify secret report on harsh interrogations
    • Shock #Benghazi Email Reveals That Obama White House Agreed With CIA Talking Points

      Judicial Watch, the conservative organization that has been FOIAing and FOIAing for an email record of the Obama administration’s talking points from the week of the Benghazi attack, has obtained one that loops White House adviser Ben Rhodes into the conversation with advice about how to massage the story for the White House. Sorry, that was a boring lede—this is the lede you want.

    • The Umpteenth Guide to the Impenetrable Benghazi Outrage

      It’s hard to defend Jay Carney, or the institution of the White House press secretary in general. We’re talking about a taxpayer-funded position that exists to feed spin to reporters who are at the top of their field and could be doing literally anything else. The Benghazi Smoking Gun naturally took up a chunk of today’s Carney briefing, and ABC News’ Jonathan Karl is being celebrated on the right for sticking it to the man and being “vindicated” for previous stories about the White House’s talking points role. Carney’s excuse—that Ben Rhodes’ email about the talking points was not about Benghazi per se, and didn’t need to be released—is his typical sort of ridiculousness.

    • Walter Pincus: Lingering tensions at CIA over Senate probe

      For a government worker, nothing concentrates the mind quicker or makes you at first angry and later perhaps more cautious than the prospect that you might go to jail for doing your job.

      It’s a reminder from the conflict between the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the CIA over the panel’s more-than-6,300-page report on the CIA’s coercive interrogations during the administration of President George W. Bush. They included waterboarding and other torture-like methods.

  • Finance

    • IMF gives green light for $17 bn Ukraine aid package

      The International Monetary Fund has approved a two-year $17.1 billion loan package for Ukraine. The immediate disbursement of $3.2 billion will allow Ukraine to avoid a potential debt default.

    • Did The West Become “Them” Only When It Was Cheap Enough?

      I grew up in Western Europe in the 1980s. My teenage years were characterized by the Cold War between the United States and the now-collapsed Soviet Union. We learned that the West was liberty, and that the East was oppression. Presumably, the East learned the reverse in their corresponding teenage years. But when did the West become the enemy they painted?

      It’s hard to communicate how everpresent the threat of nuclear war was. Basically, you could say that us who grew up in the 1980s didn’t expect to grow old. In this time of polarization and belligerence, identifying with your home team was more important than ever. In retrospect, it was a false sense of liberty that we were given – mass surveillance started with ECHELON and similar programs in the mid-1970s – but it was nevertheless a very strong sense of liberty.

    • May Day 2014! Celebrate International Workers’ Day!

      Today in the U.S., we can thank the immigrant rights movement for the rebirth of May Day. On May 1, 2006 over 2 million working people and their allies poured into the streets of America’s big cities. The immigrant rights mega-marches shut down the repressive, anti-immigrant Sensenbrenner bill that criminalized undocumented immigrants and other working people who show solidarity with them. 120 years after Haymarket, another attack from big business and right-wing politicians was beat back by the power of the people.

    • Inequality hurts everyone apart from the super-rich – and here’s why

      The extraordinary success of Thomas Piketty’s best-seller shows that progressive ideas are at last winning

    • Help to Work? Britain’s jobless are being forced into workfare, more like

      If the government genuinely means to help people find work after a long spell of unemployment, they would not have come up with Help to Work, a curious plan that insists on a daily visit to the jobcentre or an enforced period of unpaid labour. If the government means to punish them and save its own face, the plan makes more sense.

    • Is Capitalism Digging Its Own Grave?

      …the top 1% owning 40% of the wealth while the bottom 80% just own 7%.

  • Censorship

    • Twitter’s existential dilemma: Why the super-popular social network is in trouble

      Is Twitter in trouble? The company reported first quarter earnings on Tuesday, and Wall Street immediately reacted with a big thumbs down. In just half an hour, Twitter’s stock price fell 9 percent, nearing its all-time post-IPO low.

      The reasons why aren’t immediately clear. The overall numbers were mostly in line with analyst expectations, so much so that CEO Dick Costolo kicked off the company’s earnings call by declaring that “we had a great first quarter.” Twitter did register a net loss of $132 million for the quarter, which is a hefty chunk of change. But no one was expecting the company to turn a profit this quarter, and overall revenue doubled compared to last year’s first quarter, to $250 million.

    • Reflecting on Northern Ireland’s self-appointed theatre censors

      Newtownabbey council said “yes” when they cancelled what they labelled a blasphemous play, The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged), due to be performed by the Reduced Shakespeare Company (RSC) earlier this year. Members of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a political party with roots in the Free Presbyterian Church, called for the show to be axed fearing it would offend and mock Christian beliefs.

    • Filmmaker protests Kickstarter’s ‘censorship’ of abortion film

      In protest of the crowd-funding site’s “censorship” of his TV movie project about convicted abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, McAleer commissioned a bold billboard near Kickstarter’s Brooklyn headquarters.

    • Uganda: Pushing journalists toward self-censorship

      In Uganda, journalists are not only dealing with outright censorship. It seems the government of president Yoweri Museveni is employing a strategy that is aimed at pushing journalists towards self-censorship using a broad range of measures. Although the Ugandan media has a very strong tradition of critical reporting some journalists are probably more prone to self-censor.

  • Privacy

    • Why a Triangle tech CEO just said ‘No’ to CIA investment

      Last week I received the kind of email that would have many startup founders jumping for joy – a cold pitch from a fairly well known VC firm, inquiring if we would like to have a conversation with them about possible funding. In addition to funding, there was hinting about help getting some high-profile customers onboard as well. As a (currently) self-funded startup which is fairly under-capitalized, it’s hard not to find something like that exciting. Surely in any sane universe I should have immediately replied to say “Yes, call me right now”.

    • New NSA chief Michael Rogers: Agency has lost Americans’ trust

      The NSA has lost the trust of the American people as a result of the Edward Snowden leaks, and needs to be more transparent to gain it back, the NSA’s new director said Wednesday in his first public comments since taking control of the embattled spy agency.

      “I tell the [NSA] workforce out there as the new guy, let’s be honest with each other, the nation has lost a measure of trust in us,” Admiral Michael Rogers told a conference of the Women in Aerospace conference in Crystal City, Va.

    • Britain begged to be let into NSA spying scheme

      The Government Communications Headquarters has presented its collaboration with the National Security Agency’s massive electronic spying efforts as proportionate, carefully monitored, and well within the bounds of privacy laws. However, a new document from the Edward Snowden collection shows that GCHQ secretly coveted the NSA’s vast troves of private communications and sought “unsupervised access” to its data as recently as last year.

    • The Strangest Interview Yet With the Outgoing Head of the NSA

      NSA watchers have seen this evasion a million times. Say that the “target” isn’t the American people, knowing most listeners will take that to mean that the NSA is spying on the private communications of foreigners or terrorists, not regular Americans.

    • What’s The NSA Doing Now? Training More Cyberwarriors

      The U.S. needs more cyberwarriors, and it needs them fast, according to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. He plans to more than triple the size of the Pentagon’s Cyber Command over the next two years.

      But where will they come from? These are not the kind of skills you can teach in basic training.

      Enter the embattled National Security Agency. Its new director, Adm. Michael Rogers, also directs the Cyber Command. Ten miles down the road from the NSA, at a defense contractor’s office in Columbia, Md., the NSA recently held a live-fire cyberwarfare exercise aimed at developing more cyberwarriors.

    • NSA spying means Brazil’s $4.5B fighter jets won’t be built by Boeing
    • If the NSA had an art exhibit

      All of these ‘exhibits’ are part of current or past art projects exploring surveillance technology, social media or related issues, which seem to be growing almost as fast as the NSA mission statement and enemies list.

    • Edward Snowden: NSA Spies More on Americans Than Russians

      Snowden also took several shots at the National Security Agency and its top officials, and criticized the agency for wearing two contradictory hats of protecting U.S. data and exploiting security flaws to gather intelligence on foreign threats.

    • Spy court hears first anti-NSA argument

      For the first time, the federal court overseeing the country’s surveillance programs heard a formal argument this month that the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk collection of people’s phone records is illegal.

    • UK slips down global press freedom list due to Snowden leaks response

      British government’s draconian response to the Guardian’s reporting sees UK drop five places on Freedom House list

    • The US supreme court needs to keep up with our cellphones – and the NSA

      Tuesday’s US supreme court arguments involved a seemingly basic legal question about the future of the Fourth Amendment: do police officers need a warrant to search the cellphone of a person they arrest? But the two privacy cases pit against each other two very different conceptions of what it means to be a supreme court in the first place – and what it means to do constitutional law in the 21st century.

    • Facebook’s ad tentacles now infiltrate almost any app

      Facebook will now deliver targeted advertisements to practically any smartphone app, after unveiling a mobile ad network at its F8 developer conference in San Francisco.

    • My Experiment Opting Out of Big Data Made Me Look Like a Criminal

      This week, the President is expected to release a report on big data, the result of a 90-day study that brought together experts and the public to weigh in on the opportunities and pitfalls of the collection and use of personal information in government, academia, and industry. Many people say that the solution to this discomforting level of personal data collection is simple: if you don’t like it, just opt out. But as my experience shows, it’s not as simple as that. And it may leave you feeling like a criminal.

    • German gov’t turns down testimony of Snowden

      The German government on Wednesday rejected a testimony of whistleblower Edward Snowden through the German NSA panel, local media reported, citing a conclusion of the draft opinion of the government for the parliamentary committee.

      According to information from the German media, a 27-page paper indicated that an invitation for the former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor would jeopardize the foreign and security interests of Germany considerably.

    • ​Verizon to monitor wireless devices, computers and share data with advertisers

      Verizon Wireless will monitor customers’ activities on wireless devices as well as wired or Wi-Fi-connected desktop computers and laptops. Collected data on users’ online activity will then be passed to marketers for targeted advertising.

      Verizon customers recently began receiving a notice from the company that it is “enhancing” its Relevant Mobile Advertising operations to glean more information from its customers, the Los Angeles Times reported.

      “In addition to the customer information that’s currently part of the program, we will soon use an anonymous, unique identifier we create when you register on our websites,” Verizon Wireless tells customers.

      “This identifier may allow an advertiser to use information they have about your visits to websites from your desktop computer to deliver marketing messages to mobile devices on our network.”

      The telecom giant will automatically download a “cookie,” or tracking software, onto a user’s computer or device without explicit warning when the customer visits the company’s “My Verizon” website to view a bill or watch television programming online, according to Verizon spokeswoman Debra Lewis.

    • Former NSA contractor Snowden expects to remain in Russia

      Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who fled to Moscow last year after revealing details of massive U.S. intelligence-gathering programs, expects his asylum status in Russia to be renewed before it expires this summer, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

    • Germany blocks Edward Snowden from testifying in person in NSA inquiry
    • E.U action needed to counter NSA surveillance, says security expert

      Speaking during his keynote talk at Infosecurity Europe on Wednesday, Hypponen delved into whistle-blowing in the modern age and – looking at the revelations from Snowden – said that this was not just a case of the US ‘misbehaving’.

  • Civil Rights

    • This American Refused to Become an FBI Informant. Then the Government Made His Family’s Life Hell.

      It was after 10 p.m. on July 8, 2009, when Sandra Mansour answered her cellphone to the panicked voice of her daughter-in-law, Nasreen. A week earlier, Nasreen and her husband, Naji Mansour, had been detained in the southern Sudanese city of Juba by agents of the country’s internal security bureau. In the days since, Sandra had been desperately trying to find out where the couple was being held. Now Nasreen was calling to say that she’d been released—driven straight to the airport and booked on a flight to her native Kenya—but Naji remained in custody. He was being held in a dark, squalid basement cell, with a bucket for a bathroom and a dense swarm of mosquitoes that attacked his body as he slept. “You have to get him out of there,” Nasreen said. But she was unfamiliar with Juba and could only offer the barest details about where they’d been held. “He’s in a blue building. You’ve seen it. It’s not far from your hotel.”

    • Federal Court Strikes Down WI’s “Discriminatory” Voter ID as Unconstitutional

      In a landmark decision, a federal judge in Milwaukee has struck down Wisconsin’s strict voter ID restrictions as both an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote and, for the first time, a violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act based on the law’s “disproportionate racial impact and discriminatory result” of depriving “the right of Black and Latino citizens to vote on account of race or color.”

    • The New Aaron Swartz Documentary Looks Powerful. Here’s the Trailer.

      Swartz committed suicide in January 2013 at age 26, but his reach and impact on the tech and tech-policy worlds were already enormous. A computer-programming prodigy, he worked on projects like RSS and Creative Commons before he was 16. He dove into politics and became an advocate and activist for publicly available content and an open Internet. But by the time of his death, Swartz was being federally prosecuted for downloading a huge quantity of copyrighted material from JSTOR, the online academic library, at MIT. He was facing jail time and fines.

    • Yemen: End Child Marriage

      “The draft minimum age law is a real beacon of hope for the thousands of Yemeni girls vulnerable to being married off while still children,” said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East and North Africa director. “The government should act quickly on this measure and develop enforcement mechanisms to prevent even more girls from becoming victims of early and forced marriage.”

    • Sri Lanka Phobia an anxiety disorder from which David Cameron, Hugo Swire, David Milliband , Stephen Harper and others suffer.

      The symptom of Sri Lanka phobia which is common among the politicians in the West, is caused through personal political ambitions. It comes from the presence of a large number of expatriates Tamils living in these Western countries. It makes the patients have a distorted view of human rights. They become blind to their own actions of violation of human rights, and war crimes.

    • Supreme Court Rejects Challenge To NDAA’s ‘Indefinite Detention’ Clause

      The nation’s highest court refused to hear a case that is challenging the authority and legality of the National Defense Authorization Act’s “Indefinite Detention” clause. The refusal to hear the case has plaintiffs calling for action.

    • Supreme Court Declines to Hear NDAA Indefinite Detention Appeal

      A group of journalists and activists who filed a lawsuit two years ago challenging a controversial provision in a national defense spending bill that they claimed allows for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens were dealt a crushing blow Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear their appeal.

    • US Supreme Court Refuses to Uphold the Constitution: Allows Indefinite Detention

      Pulitzer prize winning reporter Chris Hedges – along with journalist Naomi Wolf, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, activist Tangerine Bolen and others – sued the government to join the NDAA’s allowance of the indefinite detention of Americans.

    • Supreme Court Lets Indefinite Detention of Americans Pass

      The Supreme Court declined to hear the case that a group of activists, journalists, and academics including Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, and Daniel Ellsberg brought against the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA.

    • Supreme Court green lights detention of Americans

      A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court means the federal government now has an open door to “detain as a threat to national security anyone viewed as a troublemaker,” according to critics.

    • Hedges v. Obama: The Supreme Court digs its head deeper into the sand
    • In Defence of Jeremy Clarkson

      Which leads me to a further thought. I am pretty sure I had no concept of people’s colour as a small child, and the following I know for certain. My elder children attended a primary school in Gravesend in which a little over half the children were Sikh. By age seven, they had absolutely no conception of any racial difference between themselves and any others in their class. It is a slender piece of evidence, but I am generally fairly convinced that racial difference is a taught construct.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • FCC Chairman: I’d Rather Give In To Verizon’s Definition Of Net Neutrality Than Fight

      “The idea of net neutrality (or the Open Internet) has been discussed for a decade with no lasting results,” writes Wheeler in a lengthy blog post. “Today Internet Openness is being decided on an ad hoc basis by big companies. Further delay will only exacerbate this problem.”

      Once again, Wheeler completely glosses over the fact that the only reason a federal appeals court gutted the previous neutrality rules was because a shortsighted FCC never thought to categorize Internet service providers as vital communications infrastructure. As numerous supporters of a true net neutrality have repeatedly pointed out, reclassifying ISPs would likely mean the FCC could reinstate the old rules (and possibly more stringent ones) and survive a legal challenge.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Accused of Movie Piracy, Senior Citizen Kicked Out of Theater

        While recording a movie strictly for personal use is entirely legal in UK cinemas, the same definitely cannot be said about the United States. Recording or ‘camming’ a movie in the U.S. can result in jail-time, particularly if the activity is connected to subsequent bootlegging or illegal online distribution.

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  1. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  2. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  3. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  4. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  5. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  6. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  7. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  8. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  9. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  10. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  11. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  12. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  13. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  14. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  15. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  16. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  17. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  19. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  20. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words



  21. Links 15/7/2014: New Plasma, Google Announces Project Zero

    Links for the day



  22. Interest in Free Software Coverage and 9 Months With Tux Machines

    Thoughts about the level of interest in Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and growth of at least some sites that focus on GNU/Linux



  23. White House Backs Away From Appointing Patents Zealot to Top USPTO Position

    Philip Johnson is no longer poised to become the Director of the USPTO, which is basically an establishment that provides protectionism to primarily US-based corporations



  24. Professor James Bessen Presents the Case Against Software Patents After Important SCOTUS Ruling

    The debate about software patents in the Unites States continues, with academia on one side and greedy patent lawyers on the other



  25. Software Patents Demising in the US as Microsoft Patent Attacks on Android/Linux Suffer a Huge Setback

    M-Cam's assessment of Microsoft's bundle of extortion (using software patents) shows toothlessness, irrespective of the SCOTUS decision to effectively annul "abstract" software patents



  26. Links 13/7/2014: KDE Activity Surge

    Links for the day



  27. Pro-Microsoft Spin in Microsoft-Funded News Networks

    The rogue media (misinformation) campaign of Microsoft benefits from networks which have been paid by Microsoft over the years



  28. Cronyism at Play: European Hostility Towards Free/Libre Software Despite Espionage and Moles

    Europe continues to be held hostage with back doors, lock-in, and massive payments to foreign powers, despite evidence that these powers are destructive and hostile



  29. Wirelessly-Controlled Contraceptives and Other Villainous Bill Gates Initiatives

    Remote controls for people's reproductive systems are now in the making and Bill Gates is a prominent investor in the technology



  30. Links 12/7/2014: CrossOver, New Wine

    Links for the day


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