EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

06.03.14

Links 3/6/2014: Linux 3.15-rc8 , KDE Frameworks 5, Samsung Tizen, Dell Ubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 9:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Release notes: May 2014

    What’s the point of releasing open-source code when nobody knows about it? In “Release Notes” I give a round-up of recent open-source activities.

    angular-rt-popup (New, github)

  • A startup called Skymind launches, pushing open source deep learning

    Skymind is providing commercial support and services for an open source project called deeplearning.4j. It’s a collection of of approaches to deep learning that mimic those developed by leading researchers, but tuned for enterprise adoption.

  • Skymind launches with open-source, plug-and-play deep learning features for your app
  • Choosing a Linux web server: Nginx vs. Apache
  • Out in the Open: The Little-Known Open Source OS That Rules the Internet of Things

    Badgers spend a lot of time underground, which make it difficult for biologists and zoologists to track their whereabouts and activities. GPS, for example, doesn’t work well underground or in enclosed areas. But about five years ago, University of Oxford researchers Andrew Markham and Niki Trigoni solved that problem by inventing a wireless tracking system that can work underground. Their system is clever, but they didn’t do it alone. Like many other scientists, they turned to open source to avoid having to rebuild fundamental components from scratch. One building block they used is an open source operating system called Contiki.

  • Telcos Pay Lip Service to Open Source

    Telecom service providers may acknowledge the value of open source technology, particularly as they adopt virtualization, but they are not entirely ready to embrace it warmly, a panel discussion here revealed.

    Five large service providers — AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Orange (NYSE: FTE), Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), and Telecom Italia SpA (NYSE: TI) — were represented on a single panel as part of a pre-conference NFV workshop, and while they agreed on a lot, open source technology didn’t get a consensus vote.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s Vice President: Trading Away Your Privacy

        Do you trust the National Security Agency or the Internal Revenue Service more than Google or Facebook? If so, you’re not alone. A recent Reason-Rupe poll found that most Americans do not trust big tech companies.

        Mozilla’s Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs, Denelle Dixon-Thayer, says “data hygiene” should be something every new or established tech company should be thinking about. Dixon-Thayer sat down with Reason TV at the 2014 South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas this year.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • What’s Next for OpenStack Is Ironic

      The open-source OpenStack cloud platform is now in the development phase for its next major release code-named Juno, set to debut in October. Among the major new features in development is a technology known as “Ironic,” which provides bare metal server provisioning capabilities.

    • Guavus Joins AMPLab for Open Source Big Data Collaboration

      Another Big Data analytics company has entered the open source realm. Guavus has become an official sponsor of the AMPLab, a research initiative hosted at the University of California at Berkeley to drive open source Big Data innovation.

    • Do you know your OpenStack history?

      In historical terms, NASA worked with Rackspace to develop OpenStack back in 2010.

    • ownCloud gets new CMO

      ownCloud announced in their blog that Claudine Bianchi has joined the company as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). The move aims to secure a stronger position in File Sync and Share for the most popular open source software in this category.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.2.5 RC1 Is Now Available for Testing

      The developers from The Document Foundation have launched the first Release Candidate for 4.2.5 branch and it comes with numerous changes and improvements.

      According to the changelog, the text rotation has been fixed, the upper margin of multi-page floating table has been fixed, the set-all language menu has been added, output file extension is now adjusted when exporting, accepting and rejecting changes in a selection is now allowed, the strange brightness and contrast adjustment from Microsoft Office has been corrected, and the mapping between ATK and UNO roles has been improved.

  • CMS

    • What’s New in June for Open Source CMS

      Who has time to handle post-CMS deployment needs when there’s so much to do developing the platform? That’s the thinking of the creators of Tendenci, an open source content management system (CMS) project for associations and other nonprofits (NPOs).

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 9.3 Is In Beta, Adds Radeon KMS & Xen HVM

      Those interested in downloading FreeBSD 9.3 Beta or upgrading to it from an existing release can find all of the information via this mailing list announcement. FreeBSD 9.3 has many driver improvements, the hardware random number generators are disabled by default, the ZFS file-system support has been updated, and there’s support for Xen hardware-assisted virtualization (XENHVM). FreeBSD 9.3 also supports Apple’s MacBook trackpads and adds Radeon KMS, after the kernel mode-setting support was first found in FreeBSD 10.0.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • How to treat government like an open source project

      Open government is great. At least, it was a few election cycles ago. FOIA requests, open data, seeing how your government works—it’s arguably brought light to a lot of not-so-great practices, and in many cases, has spurred citizen-centric innovation not otherwise imagined before the information’s release.

    • Mark Johnson of OSS Watch opens up about the challenges of open source procurement

      The OSS Watch blog has been on our radar for a while now as a great resource for open source commentary. We’ve looked to their team, including development manager Mark Johnson, for thought leadership on how open source software is being used and to gauge the pulse of the open source movement. I wanted to find out more about what Mark does day-to-day to promote better understanding of open source. He’s got a knack for communication: concise with impact.

    • South Korean govt open source forum to hear EU cases

      IT strategists working for the French Gendarmerie and the Dutch municipality of Ede will participate in a conference organised by South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the National IT Promotion Agency, to be held on 3 June in the capital Seoul.

    • Exposing the Flaws of the U.S. Media’s Dangerous Ukraine Propaganda

      The press has taken a near-sighted view of the crisis, spinning in ways that only create a partial picture.

      The New York Review of Books is a leading intellectual publication in the United States, and it (like all of the major U.S. “news” media) has “reported” on the Ukrainian civil war as having been incited by Russia’s Vladimir Putin — a simple-minded explanation, which also happens to be deeply false. The reality is that the residents of southern Ukraine, the part of Ukraine adjoining Russia, were overwhelmingly opposed to the overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, though they are portrayed in NYRB (and other “news” media) as being mere stooges of Russian propaganda for their opposing the coup that overthrew the President for whom they had voted overwhelmingly. (The only thing that America’s “news” media had previously reported about Yanukovych is that he was corrupt; but so were all of his predecessors, and U.S. media ignored this crucial fact. Selective reporting is basic to propaganda, and the U.S. major media are trained masters at it. Without a person’s knowing that Ukraine is by far the most corrupt country in the former Soviet Union, and the one with the worst economic performance of them all, Ukraine’s politics just can’t be understood at all: it has long been an extreme kleptocracy, ruled by psychopathic politicians, for the benefit of psychopathic oligarchs, who have robbed the country blind. That’s the deeper truth — and it’s key to understanding the current situation there.)

    • What has open source got to do with open government?

      Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, highlighted at the conference that an open and transparent government is not enough if it lacks civic participation. “In my view, openness and transparency should stimulate their sense of ownership in open government.”

      Dr Alanna Simpson, Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist, World Bank-Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, told me that the Indonesian Government is a leader in making open data and open source available.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • PHP 5.5.13 Updated for Two Security Vulnerabilities
    • To beat this new video game, reprogram it

      But playing the game—a sendup to traditional adventure games like The Legend of Zelda, which place players on quests that involve battling monsters, collecting artifacts, and solving puzzles—requires no programming knowledge whatsoever. Nor does it demand familiarity with coding tools. Instead, Hack ‘n’ Slash makes manipulating the game’s source code part of the game itself. To play it is to hack it.

Leftovers

  • Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner among seven dead in Boston plane crash

    Family members said one of the other victims was the wife of a New Jersey borough commissioner. James P Leeds Sr told the Associated Press that his 74-year-old wife, Anne, died Saturday night in the Massachusetts crash. Leeds said he got a text from his wife from the plane at 9.36 p.m, four minutes before the crash.

  • Why Middle Eastern lovers are marrying in Cyprus

    The island’s appeal is simple: couples of mixed religion can have a civil ceremony that, though not allowed back home, will still be recognised in law

    [...]

    In 1980, 61 Lebanese brides and 78 Lebanese grooms were married there, as well as 98 Israeli grooms and 99 Israeli brides. In 2013, there were 2,131 Israeli weddings, 581 Lebanese ones, and 35 Syrian unions. Some municipalities, such as tourist-friendly Livadia, report even more startling figures; last year, of the 1,000 or so weddings it recorded, 350 were Lebanese, 425 were Israeli, and 20 were Syrian.

  • Science

    • First Man to Walk in Space Celebrates His 80th Birthday

      Soviet cosmonaut and first spacewalker in the world, Aleksei Leonov, celebrated his 80th birthday on Friday. In March 1965 he was outside his spaceship for 12 minutes, connected to the craft by a 5.35 meter tether. Later, Leonov commanded the Soviet side of the Apollo-Soyuz mission, the first joint space mission between the Soviet Union and the United States. Leonov is also an accomplished artist, whose works are displayed in many art galleries in Russia and abroad, and an author of several popular books about space. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev have congratulated the legendary cosmonaut, who was twice awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title, on his anniversary and wished him good health, happiness and success. “Your professional biography, rich in significant and truly historical events, and all your life is a worthy example of unblinking devotion to the cause and of enormous personal courage,” Putin said in a telegramme, published on the Kremlin website on Friday.

    • “Why Did Life Begin During Early Earth’s Heavy Impact Period?” New Research Shows a Strong Link

      “It’s interesting that 4.2 billion to 3.8 billion years ago, the early Earth experienced a period known as the Late Heavy Bombardment where there were a lot of impacts, including large impacts, and this period also overlaps with the evidence of the earliest life on Earth,” said Haley Sapers, an astrobiologist at the Canadian Astrobiology Training Program at McGill University in Montreal. “One might ask why life arose during such an inhospitable part of Earth’s history. Maybe impact cratering had a role in the origin of life.”
      Impacts on a water-rich planet like Earth or even Mars can generate hydrothermal activity — that is, underwater areas boiling with heat. Seafloor hot springs known as hydrothermal vents more than a mile beneath the ocean’s surface can be home to thriving ecosystems on Earth, including giant tube worms 6 feet (2 meters) tall. The impact that created the Ries crater may have generated hydrothermal activity lasting as long as 10,000 years, given microbes time enough to colonize the area.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Deceitful Compromise Clears The Way For GMO Crops In Europe

      An unholy alliance of pro and anti- GMO countries have struck a deal that will sweep away the obstacles to genetically engineered crops in the EU. By allowing – under limited circumstance – individual member states to prohibit the growing of GMO crops on their territory, the European Commission expects to boost GMO cropping in the EU overall.

    • Is your lifestyle permanently damaging your hearing?

      Belinda worked as a model, lived in a nightclub and often went to noisy parties. There was loud music wherever she went. Then she went to art school, where she listened to music through headphones while she painted. Now, with a quieter job in finance, she lives with the legacy of irreversible damage to her inner ear.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The United Arab Emirates’ “Drones For Good” Website Is Terrible

      It’s not surprising then, that, picking up on one of the latest technology trends, the United Arab Emirates’ Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum would launch a “Drones for Good” competition, offering $1 million for the best positive drone design. The UAE will be taking international entries for drone ideas in categories like disaster relief, humanitarian aid, economic development until August.

    • After Using Promise Of Drone Memo Release To Push Its Appeals Court Nominee Through, Administration Returns To Dragging Its Feet

      The American government has killed four Americans with drone strikes since 2009, all of which were completely detached from any notion of due process. At best, the DOJ builds a case against the foreign-located citizen and, if the target resides in a nation where the US can get away with utilizing weaponized drones, the American citizen is sentenced to death via push-button operator.

    • US troops ‘kidnap’ 4-year-old drone strike victim from hospital, allege parents

      A four-year-old girl whose face was blown off during a US drone strike in Afghanistan was kidnapped by American troops and hidden by an international organization, her family says.

      The child, named Aisha Rashid, was travelling with her parents, a sibling and several other relatives from Kabul to their home in the village of Gamber in Kunar province on a hot September day, when the drone exploded, Expressen.se reported. An uncle, Meya Jan, is at home on his farm in that village when he receives a phone call about the strike from the neighboring village. He and others rush to the strike.

      Suddenly they hear a voice. “Water, water…”

      It is Aisha. She is missing a hand, her leg is bleeding, and there is nothing left of her eyes or nose.

    • Former Counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke: U.S. Drone Program Under Obama “Got Out of Hand”

      Richard Clarke served as the nation’s top counterterrorism official under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush before resigning in 2003 in protest of the Iraq War. A year before the Sept. 11 attacks, Clarke pushed for the Air Force to begin arming drones as part of the U.S. effort to hunt down Osama bin Laden. According to Clarke, the CIA and the Pentagon initially opposed the mission. Then Sept. 11 happened. Two months later, on November 12, 2001, Mohammed Atef, the head of al-Qaeda’s military forces, became the first person killed by a Predator drone. According to the Bureau for Investigative Journalism, U.S. drones have since killed at least 2,600 people in Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Clarke has just written a novel about drone warfare called, “Sting of the Drone.” We talk to Clarke about the book and his concerns about President Obama’s escalation of the drone war. “I think the [drone] program got out of hand,” Clarke says. “The excessive secrecy is as counterproductive as some of the strikes are.”

    • Michael Oren finds Israel vindicated by UN report that it slaughtered 101 civilians, including 33 children

      A few days ago, Phil reported on Yousef Munayyer’s take on the nauseating Wolf Blitzer interview with “CNN analyst” (and former Israeli Ambassador to the US) Michael Oren on the recent IDF sniping murders of two Palestinian teenage boys.

    • Imperialist threats and the limits of populism

      Every time the working class and poor of Latin America try to take a step forward and write their own history they confront the power of U.S. imperialism. It uses whatever is in fashion at the time — coups, blockades, manufactured protest movements, referendums or trade sanctions — to turn back the clock.

      When longstanding polarization in Venezuela erupted into street protests in February and March, the United States, true to form, played its usual role in the unrest. Using money, tough talk and lobbying among Latin American countries, the U.S. tried to shore up opposition to the elected government of Nicolás Maduro, Hugo Chávez’s successor.

    • Yup, Obama’s Still Arming And Training Al Qaeda

      Not wavering from his foreign policy mission of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood to restore an Islamic Caliphate under their control, Mr. Obama has ordered the training and arming of Syrian jihadists to overthrow Assad. Current reports indicate that the forces loyal to Assad are gaining ground against the Muslim Brotherhood–supported rebels.

    • Swap to Free Alan Gross Depends on Obama, “Cuban Five” Spy Says

      The release of U.S. government contractor Alan Gross from a Cuban prison depends solely on the “political will” of President Barack Obama, a Havana spy who spent more than 15 years behind bars in the United States said on Monday.

      To support that assertion, Fernando Gonzalez cited Obama’s decision to trade five senior Taliban members being held at Guantanamo for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only American POW in Afghanistan.

    • Activists Demand US Govt Reveal Files on Terrorism Against Cuba
    • “False Flag Terrorism” to Sustain America’s “Humanitarian” Agenda

      Through constant use of false flags deceptively blaming the designated enemy of the United States, starting with the dual threat of the Soviet Union and China’s spreading Communism in the early 1950’s, then in this century fabricating the al Qaeda enemy’s spreading terrorism and now back to a revitalized cold war stopping the expansionist spread of Russia and China again, the US has been busily justifying its aggressive interventionist policy throughout the world.

    • 6,000 Journalists Refrain from Naming CIA Station Chief

      Last weekend, a White House press report distributed to 6,000 journalists, included the name of the CIA’s station chief in Afghanistan, alongside said title.

    • Not Forgotten: Street Art to Remember the Victims of the School of the Americas
    • Cleveland car chase ends with two dead, 137 shots fired and six police charged

      A night-time car chase in Cleveland that ended on a schoolyard where more than 100 shots were fired at the suspect’s vehicle appeared to be over when an officer opened fire again, a prosecutor said in announcing charges against the patrolman and five police supervisors.

    • Afghanistan 2016 withdrawal keeps secret Bagram detainees in limbo

      President Barack Obama’s decision to keep American troops in Afghanistan until 2016 is likely to mean two more years behind bars for America’s most secret detainee population, according to Pentagon officials.

      On the outskirts of the massive Bagram airfield, about an hour’s drive from the capital of Kabul and in what the military calls the Detention Facility in Parwan, the US holds about 50 prisoners. The government has publicly disclosed nearly nothing about them, not even their names, save for acknowledging that they are not Afghans.

    • Syria’s ‘western-backed’ rebels? Not in weapons

      Jeffrey White, a defense fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, believes that captured weaponry appears to be the most important fuel of the armed rebellion, followed by self-made arms and materiel, and then foreign-supplied items.

    • US moves towards sanctions as Venezuela charges coup plot

      The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation mandating sanctions against Venezuela as officials there presented evidence of US involvement in a plot to bring down the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

      The bill, passed in a voice vote by the House with only 14 members in opposition, demands that the Obama administration draw up a list of Venezuelan officials allegedly responsible for repression during violent protests that have been organized across the South American country since last February. They would be sanctioned with the freezing of any assets in the US and the denial or revocation of visas.

      Washington’s step closer toward another blatant imperialist intervention against Venezuela came on the same day that government officials in Caracas publicly presented what they described as evidence of US involvement in a plot by the far-right in Venezuela to overthrow the government and assassinate President Maduro.

    • Harper Attacks ‘Evil’ Communism In Lengthy Keynote Speech

      Prime Minister Stephen Harper launched into a full-throated attack on the evils of communism at a fundraiser on Friday for a monument to its victims.

    • Walk to protest drones

      A group of people, including religious leaders in Berrien County, are taking to the road from Chicago to Battle Creek to protest what they see as a menace from the sky.

      The participants will walk from Chicago to Battle Creek on June 3-14 to protest the use of armed drones in the “War on Terror,” that they say kill innocent civilians, create more enemies and undermine America’s standing in the world.

      “The use of armed drones pose many legal, strategic, tactical, and ethical problems,” said the Rev. Dan Scheid of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Benton Harbor, who will walk and host discussions on the issue. “As a citizen of the United States and of the world, I am convinced that the use of armed drones is bad public policy. As a follower of Jesus, I am convinced that the use of armed drones is immoral, and my baptismal and ordination vows compel me to witness against them.”

    • Afghanistan drone attack kills more civilians

      According to local officials in the eastern province of Kunar, the US-launched drone was on a targeted attack which killed and injured unknown people, some of them civilians.

    • New president of El Salvador is former rebel leader

      San Salvador – Sanchez Sanchez Ceren, 69, a former leader of the rebel Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front(FMLN) was sworn in as the president of El Salvador. He had won the presidency in a close March runoff vote against his conservative opponent.

    • FBI agent who killed bombing suspect’s friend probed

      Bay Area officials in Oakland are reviewing seven years of police disability retirements after learning last month that one of their former officers was collecting a disability pension even while he was working for the FBI.

      Former Oakland police officer Aaron McFarlane received more than $52,000 in disability benefits each year while he was working as an FBI special agent in Boston.

    • Setback for former Portland man suing FBI, alleging torture and challenging no-fly list
    • ‘Cross-border crime means we need FBI for Europe’

      His parting shot was a call for a European FBI to tackle cross-border crime gangs and the call for UKIP to follow in the footsteps of Sinn Fein ex-MPs Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, who did not take up the seats they won in the Commons.

    • Obama at West Point

      In the words of Charles Krauthammer, a strong critic of Obama and supporter of the George W. Bush administration who has neoconservative tendencies: “And you didn’t hear much of anything in the West Point speech. It was a somber parade of straw men, as the president applauded himself for steering the nation on a nervy middle course between extreme isolationism and madcap interventionism. It was the rhetorical equivalent of that classic national security joke in which the presidential aide, devoted to policy option X, submits the following decision memo…

      [...]

      The difference between Bush and Obama is that the latter is much more selective in his interventions. Such a correction was what the American people wanted when they elected Obama in 2008 — and inevitable after the two unsuccessful wars of Afghanistan and Iraq.

    • Obama at West Point
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Neil deGrasse Tyson: When the rich start losing money, they’ll take climate change seriously

      Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson characterized the naysaying surrounding climate change as par for the course in footage aired on Monday from his interview with MSNBC host Chris Hayes,

    • George Osborne accused of making climate change worse with tax breaks

      Friends of the Earth claims chancellor handed out £2.7bn of incentives to North Sea oil and gas firms

    • Dirty U.S. Coal Finds a Home in Europe

      Even as it faces increased regulatory scrutiny at home, America’s dirty and unwanted coal is being embraced in one of the world’s cleanest energy markets: the European Union.

      At the biggest power plant in the U.K., operated by Drax Group PLC, a small black mountain of a million tons of coal sits at the base of a dozen 374-foot cooling towers.

    • Why Superfreakonomics’ authors are wrong on geo-engineering

      A fierce debate has been raging between climatologists and Superfreakonomics authors Stephen J Dubner and Steven Levitt, culminating in an impassioned New York Times blogpost yesterday by Dubner. From RealClimate, part of the Guardian Environment Network

    • Why Green Capitalism Will Fail

      Green capitalism is destined to fail: You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results. We can’t shop our way out of global warming nor are there technological magic wands that will save us. There is no alternative to a dramatic change in the organization of the global economy and consumption patterns.

    • Our egalitarian Eden

      Many anthropologists think this egalitarian lifestyle was an essential feature of hunting and gathering societies. In contrast with both today’s titans of Wall Street and the alpha males of the great apes, people in these societies “had an ethic of sharing that was central to their way of life,” Lee says. “No one takes precedence over anyone else.”

    • Brazil laundering illegal timber on a ‘massive and growing scale’

      Illegally logged timber in Brazil is being laundered on a massive and growing scale and then sold on to unwitting buyers in the UK, US, Europe and China, Greenpeace claimed on Thursday.

      After a two-year investigation, the environmental campaign group says it has uncovered evidence of systematic abuse and a flawed monitoring system that contradicts the Brazilian government’s claims to be coping with the problem of deforestation in the Amazon.

      In a report released on Thursday, Greenpeace cited five case studies of the fraudulent techniques used by the log launderers, including over-reporting the number and size of rare trees, logging trees protected by law, and over-extraction. It notes how forest management officials are implicated in the wrongdoing and several have previously been fined or detained for similar crimes in the past.

    • The age of climate warfare is here. The military-industrial complex is ready. Are you?

      During his speech at West Point Military Academy earlier this week, President Barack Obama described climate change as a “creeping national security crisis” that will require the armed forces to “respond to refugee flows, natural disasters, and conflicts over water and food.”

      The speech emphasised that US foreign policy in the 21st century is increasingly being honed in recognition of heightened risks of social, political and economic upheaval around the world due the impacts of global warming.

      A more detailed insight into US military planning could be seen in the report published a couple of weeks earlier by the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) Military Advisory Board, written and endorsed by a dozen or so senior retired US generals. Describing climate change as a not just a “threat multiplier,” but now – even worse – a “catalyst for conflict”, the study concluded that environmental impacts from climate change in coming decades…

  • Finance

    • 50 million in poverty get a fraction of the coverage of 482 billionaires

      With poverty at 15 percent, inequality rising and Republican politicians talking about addressing the problem by cutting federal programs that help the poor, one might expect poverty to occupy a solid spot on media agendas.

    • New federal database will track Americans’ credit ratings, other financial information

      As many as 227 million Americans may be compelled to disclose intimate details of their families and financial lives — including their Social Security numbers — in a new national database being assembled by two federal agencies.

    • “How Immigration Became Illegal”: Aviva Chomsky on U.S. Exploitation of Migrant Workers

      We are joined by Aviva Chomsky, whose new book, “Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal” details how systemic prejudice against Mexicans and many other migrant workers has been woven into U.S. immigration policies that deny them the same path to citizenship that have long been granted to European immigrants. She also draws parallels between the immigration laws now in place that criminalize migrants, and the caste system that has oppressed African Americans, as described by Prof. Michelle Alexander in her book, “The New Jim Crow.” Chomsky’s previous book on this topic is “They Take Our Jobs! and 20 Other Myths about Immigration.” She is a professor of history and coordinator of Latin American studies at Salem State University in Massachusetts.

    • Seattle votes for $15 minimum wage

      Seattle has voted unanimously to raise the city’s minimum wage to the highest level of any major US city – $15 (£9) per hour, twice the national minimum.

      Wages would begin to rise next year, ultimately reaching $15 from Washington state’s minimum of $9.32 over three to seven years, depending on the business.

      A councillor who supported the push said the vote “sends a message heard around the world”.

    • Pope Francis Calls for ‘Legitimate Redistribution’ of Wealth
    • Ex-Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney blasts “radical,” “fundamentalist” capitalism

      Well, this ought to cause a stir at this summer’s garden parties among Canada’s elites.

      Mark Carney, former Bank of Canada Governor (now the Governor of the Bank of England) has come forward to condemn what he calls “unchecked market fundamentalism.”

      He delivered the remarks last week at the Conference for Inclusive Capitalism, an annual gathering of global political and financial elites that featured keynotes by Carney along with Prince Charles and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

    • China home prices clock first decline in 23 months

      Residential and commercial buildings are seen in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. Home prices in major Chinese cities registered their first monthly decline in 23 months in May.

    • How Wealthy Elites Are Hijacking Democracy All Over the World

      Amid the upheavals in Thailand, Ukraine and Egypt, wealthy elites have used popular movements and elections to ratify decisions in their favor.

    • Britain is still feasting on credit – and the next crunch will hit in 2016

      Except for one big difference. By early 2016, the era of record-low interest rates is over. Borrowing is getting steadily more expensive. And the result is starting to destabilise our entire economic model.

    • The cowardly tax pursuit of Britain’s poorest

      A few weeks ago, an official from the Cabinet Office gushed on his blog about a jolly exciting trip, a kind of pilgrimage, to Amazon and Google in Seattle and San Francisco. Francis Maude, the unofficial government minister for paperclips and parsimony, led the expedition. It was mindblowing, the official reported afterwards.

      They looked at the IT, were given a sneak preview of the cutting edge innovations. It seemed they had unlimited time to talk about all manner of things. But there was no indication that anyone raised the fact with these multinational behemoths, that on any right-thinking estimation, they owe us billions of pounds in tax. Amazon’s UK subsidiary paid £2.4m in corporate taxes in 2012, despite sales of £4.3bn. Google paid £11.6m in the same period despite sales of £506m.

    • Qatar accused of paying $5mn in bribes to win World Cup bid

      Senior football officials in Africa received over $5 million in bribes to make sure Qatar won the bid for the 2022 World Cup, the Sunday Times reports citing leaked documents.

      According to the paper, the money came from former FIFA vice-president and infamous Qatari businessman, Mohamed Bin Hammam.

      Bin Hammam reportedly used 10 slush funds controlled by his private company – as well as cash handouts – to make dozens of payments of up to $200,000 to the heads of the 30 African football associations.

    • Federal Workers Good at Paying Taxes, USA Today Expose Conceals

      The front page of USA Today (5/23/14) blew the whistle on federal workers: They are tax deadbeats who owe billions in back taxes.

      The story also revealed that they owe less than most people.

      Confused?

    • Stiglitz: Tax-Dodging, Corporate Welfare Destroying US Economy

      A new progressive tax code would end the assault on shared prosperity, create jobs, and help save the planet, says Nobel Joseph Stiglitz

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Serbian PM demands OSCE apology over allegations of censorship

      Serbia’s prime minister accused Europe’s chief security and rights watchdog of lying on Monday after it alleged his government tried to smother online criticism of its handling of devastating floods last month.

    • China escalates attack on Google
    • China tightens enforced Tiananmen silence on anniversary eve
    • Google: One takedown request every 7 secs

      Google has had one demand every seven seconds to suppress information about people’s pasts, it was revealed on Sunday.

      The rush of censorship requests follows the internet giant’s move to provide forms allowing people to ask that certain information about them be hidden when their name is searched online.

      The figures indicate that large amounts of material could disappear from public reach as a direct result of an EU court decision that search engines must enforce a “right to be forgotten”.

    • Egypt satirist goes off air

      Egypt’s internationally renowned satirist, Bassem Youssef, has announced the end of his popular television show, citing pressure from the authorities.

    • The real tragedy of Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef’s censorship is he played a role in it
    • Google & take-down requests – Pointless, worrying & censorship?

      I’ve avoided talking about this story until it progressed further. Historically Google has had many take-down requests, many to do with “piracy” and there’s also court order’s for ISP blocks on domains – we already have an increasing trend towards censorship. But is some censorship good? Whilst the copyright take-down’s and ISP blocks are mostly useless, with the recent ruling involving Google removing search results for you and me, requires further examination.

    • India’s Newest Media Baron Embraces Censorship

      Bold initiatives characterize India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, who famously lives in a 27-story building in Mumbai, a city where most people languish in slums. Last month, his company, Reliance Industries Ltd., sought to prevent circulation of a new book which claims that Reliance successfully pressured the previous Indian government to double the price of natural gas. Amazon received a cease and desist notice, as did even an individual who had merely forwarded an e-mail invitation to the book’s launch. And Thursday, Ambani moved to buy a whole swath of the Indian media: Bloomberg News reports that Reliance, which has already invested $11 billion in a high-speed cellular network, will now spend $678 million for majority stakes in two major media companies, Network18 Media & Investments Ltd. and TV18 Broadcast Ltd.

    • Saudi censorship blurs lines between journalism, activism

      Since the surprise Arab uprisings of 2011, the Saudi government has worked assiduously to ensure it has all the tools of censorship it needs to control dissent. These tools–a combination of special courts, laws, and regulatory authorities–are starting to fire on all cylinders. The result has been a string of arrests and prosecutions in recent months of independent and dissident voices.

      The first step came in January 2011 with new regulations for online media that could be used to restrict coverage, including applying the kingdom’s already highly repressive press law to online media. Shortly after, the Ministry of Culture and Information began blocking local news websites that failed to register, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    • Jordan’s free press record dims with website restrictions
    • Encouragement (Sort of) About Press Freedom

      At a meeting with journalists last week, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. was questioned about the prolonged quest to compel James Risen, a reporter for The Times, to testify in the trial of Jeffrey Sterling, a former Central Intelligence Agency official. Prosecutors say Mr. Sterling was a source for restricted information in Mr. Risen’s 2006 book on the C.I.A. “As long as I’m attorney general, no reporter who is doing his job is going to go to jail,” Mr. Holder said.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Self-Determination as Anti-Extractivism: How Indigenous Resistance Challenges World Politics

      Indigeneity is an unusual way to think about International Relations (IR). Most studies of world politics ignore Indigenous perspectives, which are rarely treated as relevant to thinking about the international (Shaw 2008; Beier 2009). Yet Indigenous peoples are engaging in world politics with a dynamism and creativity that defies the silences of our discipline (Morgan 2011). In Latin America, Indigenous politics has gained international legitimacy, influencing policy for over two decades (Cott 2008; Madrid 2012). Now, Indigenous political movements are focused on resisting extractive projects on autonomous territory from the Arctic to the Amazon (Banerjee 2012; Sawyer and Gómez 2012). Resistance has led to large mobilized protests, invoked international law, and enabled alternative mechanisms of authority. In response, governments have been busy criminalizing Indigenous claims to consultation that challenge extractive models of development. Indigenous opposition to extractivism ultimately promotes self-determination rights, questioning the states’ authority over land by placing its sovereignty into historical context. In that sense, Indigeneity is a valuable approach to understanding world politics as much as it is a critical concept to move beyond state-centrism in the study of IR.

    • We All Must Become Zapatistas

      Subcomandante Marcos, the spokesman for the Zapatistas (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, or EZLN), has announced that his rebel persona no longer exists. He had gone from being a “spokesman to a distraction,” he said last week. His persona, he said, fed an easy and cheap media narrative. It turned a social revolution into a cartoon for the mass media. It allowed the commercial press and the outside world to ignore traditional community leaders and indigenous commanders and wrap a movement around a fictitious personality. His persona, he said, trivialized a movement. And so this persona is no more.

      “The entire system, but above all its media, plays the game of creating celebrities who it later destroys if they don’t yield to its designs,” Marcos declared.

    • I am a British citizen – not a second-class citizen

      Coming through passport control is an ordeal, I am followed on the street and hassled by security services. Not all citizens enjoy the same rights

    • Nothing We Do at Firedoglake Involves Letting the Government Decide

      What is Firedoglake? How does it work? How does the site make money? Are there any other websites you could write for? What do you think you plan to do next?

      Sometimes describing what I do at Firedoglake to family, friends and people I encounter after speaking at events is a bit perplexing to people. This is not a more prominent news media organization like New York Times, Rolling Stone or Huffington Post. But I have found not being more prominent uniquely positions Firedoglake to pursue specific projects.

    • The CIA Can’t Control the Truth at Guantánamo Forever
    • Will Eric Holder Back Off?
    • James Risen’s Fate Now Unclear
    • NY Times reporter faces jail time after Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal
    • Does the Taliban Treat Its Prisoners Better Than the U.S. Treats Prisoners?
    • US government should withdraw Risen subpoena
    • US court declines to intervene in NYT case
    • Supreme Court rejects attempt by reporter to shield source
    • Editorial: Weakening press freedoms by omission
    • Supreme Court rejects reporter’s bid to protect source

      A reporter who has been ordered to testify at the trial of a former CIA officer accused of disclosing classified information lost his bid Monday to get the Supreme Court to clarify whether journalists have a right to protect their confidential sources.

    • Supreme Court rejects New York Times reporter’s First Amendment plea

      The case had been closely watched as possibly setting an important precedent about the First Amendment, news reporters and confidential sources. Instead, Risen will now face a decision about officially naming his source for a book he wrote about Iran or refusing to answer questions under a Justice Department subpoena. (The source’s name has been widely reported as part of an official legal action.)

      Last Thursday, the Justices met behind closed doors to consider accepting Risen’s case for the Court’s next term, which starts in October 2014.

    • How the UK taught Brazil’s dictators interrogation techniques

      As the world focuses on the World Cup, which opens in Brazil in less than a fortnight, many Brazilians are wrestling with painful discoveries about the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964 to 1985. The BBC has found evidence that the UK actively collaborated with the generals – and trained them in sophisticated interrogation techniques.

    • Brazil’s World Cup 2014: Private Security “Made in the USA”

      As the World Cup nears, the Brazilian press has reported that the American company Academi, formerly Blackwater, carried out training of Brazilian military personnel and federal police in April.

      The training is a facet of the military cooperation agreement between Brazil and the United States signed in 2010 during the second term of the Lula de Silva administration in preparation for containing terrorist acts during this year’s World Cup. Academi is a private security company based in the United States, and has used mercenary soldiers in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    • War Is Peace, Citizens Are The Enemy

      Bill Gertz reported this week on a memo outlining Obama’s plan to use the military against citizens – a memo from 2010. Remember how the blogs and many of us out here were ringing the alarm bells on Obama’s stance that he could use the military and drones against American citizens? Remember how we were marginalized and called crazy for it? Turns out, ‘crazy’ is relative.

    • Second Informant Surfaces in ICE’s Mayan Jaguar Cocaine-Plane Op

      The ICE undercover operation played out in the first decade of the 2000s (roughly 2004 until sometime in 2008) and involved the use of US government front companies to sell aircraft to suspected Latin American drug-trafficking organizations.

    • Robert Fisk: Alaa al-Aswany, Egypt’s greatest living novelist, knows Sisi is not a true democrat – but is still hopeful that he can ‘do good’
    • Saudi Deportation of Migrant Workers

      In an effort to increase job opportunities for Saudi Arabian citizens, the Saudi government is detaining and deporting thousands of undocumented foreign migrant workers. Part of the deportation process includes detaining large populations in what has been described as “appalling” conditions. These detention centers have had reports of guard brutality, overcrowding, lack of food, and poor hygiene. Furthermore, most of these migrant workers are Somali, and are deported back to one of the most unstable, dangerous areas in the world.

    • Tales of Army Discord Show Tiananmen Square in a New Light
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • YouTube’s monopolistic behaviour is hurting indie music labels

        So there’s every reason to believe that YouTube is, indeed, bullying the independents into accepting a deal that dramatically undervalues the investment indies make in new emerging artists. Unlike the lack of support songwriters had when PRS experienced the same tactic, the indies can surely count on songwriters to support them in standing up to the bully. But when will the competition commissions around the world do something about it? It’s not only artists that will be worse off if the indies give in – so will music fans all over the world.

      • The Pirate Bay Co-Founder Peter Sunde Taken into Custody in Southern Sweden

        Peter Sunde, The Pirate Bay co-founder was arrested in Southern Sweden. TPB co-founder was wanted by Interpol and apprehended in a police raid. Peter did not serve prison time for his role in Pirate Bay operations. TorrentFreak noted that he was arrested exactly eight years after police conducted the raid.

        Peter was wanted by Interpol for more than two years and he was arrested in a place near Malmö, Sweden. Interpol had been looking after his role in The Pirate Bay case.

      • Pirate Bay Co-Founder Peter Sunde Arrested in Sweden

        Peter Sunde was arrested today in a police raid in southern Sweden. The Pirate Bay co-founder was wanted by Interpol as he had yet to serve prison time for his involvement with the site. Sunde’s arrest comes exactly eight years after the police raided the Pirate Bay servers, which marked the start of the criminal prosecution against the site’s founders.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 25/10/2014: KDE Mockups, Update on GNOME Outreach Program for Women

    Links for the day



  2. After Infecting Unity -- Successfully -- Microsoft's Partner Xamarin Wants to Infect Unreal Engine With .NET

    Xamarin continues to spread dependence on Microsoft to more gaming frameworks, not just platforms such as GNU/Linux, Android, and even permanent-state devices



  3. Taking Microsoft Windows Off the Grid for Damage to Businesses, the Internet, and Banking Systems

    Microsoft's insecure-by-design software is causing massive damages ([cref 27802 possibly trillions] of [cref 13992 dollars in damages to date]) and yet the corporate press does not ask the right questions, let alone suggest a ban on Microsoft software



  4. City of Berlin Does Not Abandon Free Software, It's Only Tax Authorities

    A Softpedia report that says the City of Berlin is moving to Microsoft Office is flawed and may be based on a poor translation



  5. Nadella a Liar in Chief at Microsoft, Pretending That His Anti-Competitive Practices Are Unfortunately Imposed on Microsoft

    The nastiness of Microsoft knows no bounds as even its assault on GNU/Linux and dirty tricks against Free software adoption are characterised as the fault of 'pirates'



  6. Reuters Writes About the Demise of Software Patents, But Focuses on 'Trolls' and Quotes Lawyers

    How the corporate media chooses to cover the invalidity of many software patents and the effect of that



  7. Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google's Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

    Links for the day



  8. Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

    Links for the day



  9. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  10. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  11. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  12. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  13. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  14. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  15. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  16. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  17. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  18. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  19. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  20. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  21. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  23. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  24. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  25. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  26. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  27. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  28. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  29. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  30. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts