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06.25.14

Links 25/6/2014: A Lot of Android News, Peppermint Five

Posted in News Roundup at 7:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • LinuxQuestions.org Turns Fourteen
  • Server

    • OpenStack chair: Linux at the cutting edge of the cloud

      The cloud-dominated world of modern IT is the perfect breeding ground for the spread of Linux in particular and open-source software in general, according to the man responsible for guiding one of the most important open-source projects.

    • The People Who Support Linux: Systems Engineer Teaching Himself Python

      Systems engineer Renault Ellis started using Linux five years ago when he was enrolled in a security and forensics program. He was studying IP tables and read the C Programming Language manual by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie along with Cliff Stoll’s The Cuckoo’s Egg.

      “I was hooked,” Ellis said via email. “I knew then I wanted to be a Linux Engineer.”

      Ellis is now a Senior Linux and Unix Engineer at electronics distributor Premier Farnell in Chicago, Illinois, where he creates, tests and deploys scripts in an eCommerce environment. He works with Apache and several different monitoring tools, both open source and commercial, and leads a lot of the DR (disaster recovery) and PCI (payment card industry) processes in their Unix environment.

    • Linux dominates supercomputers as never before

      For years, Linux has ruled supercomputing. So, it came as no surprise to anyone at the Linux Enterprise End-User Summit near Wall Street that once again the Top500 group found in its latest supercomputer ranking that Linux was the fastest of the fast operating systems.

      [...]

      In the latest contest, not only did Linux dominate, but Linux showed that is slowly pushing out all its competitors. In the June 2014 Top 500 supercomputer list, the top open-source operating system set a new high with 485 systems out of the fastest 500 running Linux. In other words 97 percent of the fastest computers in the world are based on Linux.

    • Linux Domination, Ubuntu Uncertainty, and Nerdy Enlightenment
    • Smooth like btrfs: Inside Facebook’s Linux-powered infrastructure

      Facebook engineer Chris Mason is unequivocal about the primacy of Linux in Facebook’s storage infrastructure.

      “If it runs on a computer, and it’s storing important data,” he said, “it’s running Linux.”

      Mason, speaking at the Linux Enterprise End-User Summit on Monday in New York, joined Facebook just six months ago in order to spearhead the social network’s move to btrfs (usually pronounced “butter eff ess.”), the Linux-based file system that he created in 2008 while working at Oracle.

    • Why Linux on Power?
  • Kernel Space

    • The OpenStack and Linux developer communities compared

      The kernel has roughly twice as fast of a release cycle as OpenStack. In the kernel’s case, there are roughly 2-3 month release cycles containing a two week merge period with six to ten week of stabilization work. OpenStack’s cycle is six months, made up by a four week planning window, 14 weeks of code merger, and six weeks dedicated to stabilization. The result? Faster releases for the kernel, but perhaps less significant changes per release.

    • Linux 3.16: Deadline I/O Scheduler Generally Leads With A SSD

      There’s been numerous requests lately for more disk I/O scheduler benchmarks on Phoronix of the Linux kernel and its various scheduler options. Given that there’s routinely just speculation and miscommunication by individuals over the best scheduler for HDDs/SSDs, here’s some fresh benchmarks for reference using the Linux 3.16 kernel.

      This early Linux 3.16 testing was just some simple and straight-forward tests I got done with a spare system I maintained access to while in Russia. Once returning to the US this week and then settling into the new Phoronix office I’ll run some more Linux 3.16 benchmarks using the latest Git snapshot at the time and use both hard drives and solid-state drives.

    • Linus Torvalds to developers: Make it personal

      “It’s not that Linux was new from a technical standpoint. It was new because it was done differently,” says Linus Torvalds in his interview with the IEEE Computer Society. “Linux made it clear how well open source works, not just from a technical standpoint, but also from a business, commercial, and community standpoint.”

    • Graphics Stack

      • Celebrating 30 Years of the X Windows System

        Where were you when you first learned about open source software? If you’re under, say, the age of 40, your answer will probably be, “Come again? I’ve always known about it!” But if you’re older, you may recall the first time you ever heard the phrase. Maybe it was when Netscape announced it was going to “open source” its Navigator Browser, or perhaps when you heard the name Richard Stallman for the first time. It may also be the case that it was some time before you really got your arms around what open software (or Stallman’s Free and Open Software) really meant in all of its various connotations – license-wise, commercial and community.

        Or maybe you got involved before the phrase “open source software” had even been coined (in 1998, by Bruce Perens and Eric S. Raymond) to describe what it was they were doing.

        That’s what happened in my case, when one day I got a call from one of the great unsung heroes of the open source movement – Bob Scheifler, of MIT. Bob is not only a wizard with code, but he did for the X Window System – the code that enabled the GUI for the then dominant non-desktop operating system (UNIX) and is still used in Linux today – what Linus Torvalds later did with Linux itself.

      • Intel Broadwell Graphics Names Revealed Via Linux Driver

        For what it’s worth, the marketing graphics product names for Intel’s upcoming Broadwell processors have been revealed.

      • Mesa 10.2.2
      • Mesa 10.1.5 & Mesa 10.2.2 Released
      • Drawing Tablet Support Being Figured Out For Wayland

        Chandler Paul has published a draft specification of wl_tablet that covers support for drawing tablets (i.e. Wacom-like tablets) to the Wayland protocol. Tablet support is already present within libinput as the common, abstracted input library but now it’s time to add the necessary support to the Wayland protocol.

      • Wayland’s libinput 0.4.0 Released
      • XWayland GLAMOR & DRI3 Support Added In Mainline X.Org Server
    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Qt 5.3.1 Released

      I am happy to announce that today we released Qt 5.3.1. Qt 5.3.0 has been well received with over 500.000 downloads in the first 5 weeks of release. I believe this new patch release is even better offering many improvements over Qt 5.3.0. As a patch release, it does not add new features, but various improvements and fixes. Qt Creator version 3.1.2 also released today, is packaged into the installers. For Qt Enterprise users we are providing a fully supported Qt Quick Compiler 1.0.0, as well as updates for Data Visualization (version 1.1) and Charts (version 1.4).

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • [Calligra] My new feature- Highlight changes in the cell
      • Porting plasmate to kdevplatform

        Plasmate’s goal is to help people create/test and deploy plasma packages. Originally in KDE4 we offered a clear way on how to use the plasma tools like the embedded plasmoidviewer. But we were aware that people might not want to use plasmate and instead use the plasma tools as standalone applications like they used to before the release of plasmate so we were still offering the option of using another IDE and the plasma tools. Also for every single new feature that we added to plasmate(like the kconfigxteditor) we also provided a standalone application because we wanted to give people the option to continue use their favorite IDE and the new plasma tools. In my opinion the purpose of a software application is to make the life of its users(people) easier. For the ones who don’t use plasmate if we didn’t offer those tools as standalone applications we wouldn’t fulfill our purpose. But it can also get better

      • Linux Gaming Benchmarks With Plasma-Next, KDE Frameworks 5
      • Kdenlive at Randa

        Further integration of the refactored code. The plans to rework our codebase were first discussed in 2011. In 2012 thanks to your generous donations major parts of the code could be rewritten. However they are still not being used in a released version of Kdenlive since since then developer activity was unfortunately rather low. In Randa we want to work out a plan to continue the efforts step by step and start implementing it.

      • Neptune 4.0 Wants to Be the Best KDE-Based OS

        ZevenOS-Neptune 4.0 has been dubbed “It’s all about you” and is the first release in a new series. The last update for a Neptune Linux distribution was made all the way back in October 2013, but the developers have made some great progress since then.

        “This version is aimed for creating a fast running Linux Live System for USB Sticks and offering the best out of the box experience for hard drive installations. Therefore we developed easy to use applications like USB Installer aswell as a Persistent Creator that allows you to store changes to your system on your live usb stick.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • New icon browser tool for GTK+ developers in development

        As someone that has dabbled from time to time making small GTK applications for Fedora, one of the pain points when making an interface was just figuring out what specific icons were named, and what they looked like. My previous workflow was to open up /usr/share/icons/ in Files, and search for the icon and the icon name.

      • Touchscreen Support Added To GNOME’s Mutter On Wayland

        With today’s release of Mutter 3.13.3, GNOME on Wayland has support for touchscreen support.

        The Mutter 3.13.3 release brings touch support on Wayland along with improved behavior of window buttons with comoositor menus, updated window shadows, support for keeping windows on the preferred output and various bug fixes.

      • Whats that icon ?
      • GNOME Shell 3.13.3 Features Improved Behavior of Window Buttons

        This is the second update for GNOME Shell in the current 3.13.x development cycle, and it looks like some interesting changes have been made, although there is no major feature to be observed.

        According to the changelog, closing windows with attached modals is no longer allowed, GNOME Shell is no longer self-restarting on OpenBSD, and the behavior of window buttons with compositor menus has been improved.

        Also, a workaround has been implemented for an atspi-related performance regression, numerous smaller bugs have been fixed, and a handful of translations have been updated…

      • Help Test New Font Manager Vala/GTK3 Alpha Version

        The application is not new and you’ll find it in the Ubuntu (and Fedora, etc.) repositories but it hasn’t been updated in about 4 years. Recently, the Font Manager developer started working on a new GTK3/Vala version and he needs you to test it and post feedback.

      • GNOME’s Orca Screen Reader Receives Major Changes and Improvements

        Orca works with applications and toolkits that support the Assistive Technology Service Provider Interface (AT-SPI), which is the primary assistive technology infrastructure for Linux and Solaris.

        The developers are making some very big changes to Orca and it looks like GNOME 3.14 will feature several important new features. This is the second major overhaul done by the Orca devs, but they are not stopping here.

      • GNOME Control Center 3.13.2 Finally Gets HiDpi Support

        The GNOME Control Center allows users to configure various components of their system using a vast collection of tools. It’s the hub for all the major settings that can be done in a GNOME environment, so it’s easy to see why any update for it might be considered important.

        In fact, the GNOME Control Center didn’t see many changes in the previous GNOME 3.12 release, besides the regular updates and new features. Some changes have been made, but nothing really stood out.

      • GTK+ 3.13.3 Now Features Adwaita Theme by Default
  • Distributions

    • Black Lab Linux 5.1 Alpha Ditches Mac OS Look

      Black Lab Linux is a distribution designed for general desktop and power users that comes with a lot of applications and features. In the past, the developers tried to market this distribution as a replacement for Windows and Mac OS X systems and they even tried to make it look like those OSes.

      It turns out that users didn’t really go for that look, so the makers of Black Lab Linux had to change gears and make some important modifications. The current build of this Linux distribution looks very different from the previous editions, but that might turn out to be a good thing…

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Closes OpenSSL Regression in All Supported Ubuntu OSes

            Canonical has published details about an OpenSSL regression in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 13.10, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS operating systems.

          • NEW CINNAMON STABLE UBUNTU PPAS [UBUNTU 14.04 AND 12.04]

            If you use Ubuntu 12.04, use the second (Cool PPA below. For Ubuntu 14.04, you can use any of the two PPAs below.

            [•••]

            Tsvetko’s stable Cinnamon PPA provides the latest Cinnamon for Ubuntu 14.04 (2.2.13) and Cinnamon 2.0.14 for Ubuntu 12.04 (that’s because newer Cinnamon versions don’t work in Ubuntu 12.04) as well as all the required packages like Nemo, cinnamon-screensaver, etc.

          • Canonical: A company in dire need of a clear objective

            Who remembers the Ubuntu Netbook Edition or UNE (formerly Ubuntu Netbook Remix)? At about 2009/10, netbooks were all the rage. The technology produced, low powered, low cost, and extremely portable PCs. The netbook (and Microsoft marketing) would eventually drive hardware vendors to produce the Ultrabook. Many distribution spins were created to accommodate this netbook market and that included Ubuntu. Canonical would even work closely with Dell, to deliver a Moblin flavored distribution. As soon as it appeared, it disappeared, although all was not lost. The fundamental design for the UNE would inspire Unity.

          • My new feature- Highlight changes in the cell
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint KDE 17 review; is this the Plasma you were looking for?

              The Linux Mint team has announced the release of the Plasma Desktop edition of the popular GNU/Linux based operating system – Linux Mint KDE 17. Being a Plasma user myself, and since I keep a close eye on what this team is doing, I was obviously interested in testing it out.

            • Resurrect Your Old Computer with Emmabuntüs 1.08

              The Emmabuntüs distribution is intended to be sleek, accessible, and equitable, but above all, it’s designed for old computers.

              “It was designed to make the refurbishing of computers given to humanitarian organizations easier, especially Emmaüs communities (which is where the distribution’s name comes from), and to promote the discovery of GNU/Linux by beginners,” reads the official announcement.

            • Peppermint Five is Live
            • Peppermint Five released
            • Peppermint OS Five [screenshots]
            • An Everyday Linux User review of Lubuntu 14.04

              This is one of those reviews that should be really easy to write. Just last week I wrote an article listing 5 reasons why Lubuntu would be good for Windows XP users. Therefore with this in mind you might think that this review would list all of Lubuntu’s good points and paint a positive picture.

              Unfortunately it isn’t that simple. As far as I am concerned Lubuntu 14.04 feels like a step backwards when compared to Lubuntu 13.10.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • My first Linux based robot
    • I just got my BeagleBoard Black, now what?
    • Automation controller taps Raspberry Pi Compute Module

      Techbase has designed a Raspberry Pi Compute Module into a Linux-based “ModBerry” automation computer backed by an “iMod” cloud platform for remote control.

      The computer-on-module version of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, which began shipping this week, was anticipated by many, but perhaps nowhere so acutely as in Poland. First, we heard about A Sherlybox private cloud storage device based on the module from Polish startup Sher.ly, and now Gdansk-based industrial computer manufacturer Techbase has opened pre-orders for an automation computer called the ModBerry 500 based on the COM.

    • This is the Gear Live, Samsung’s $199 Android Wear Smartwatch

      Wearables were everywhere today at Google I/O, but there was only one truly new product announced: the Galaxy Live, Samsung’s Android Wear-running smartwatch. And we’ve had a chance to spend a few minutes playing with a demo unit — it’s only able to do a few things right now, but we have our best sense yet of what Android Wear hardware and software will look like. This is one of the key devices for Android Wear, one of the watches being given to all attendees of the conference, and at first glance it’s quite nice.

    • Tizen Samsung Z Unpacked Event – Russia July 10, 2014
    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google I/O Offers Devs Big Bonanza

          Google on Wednesday kicked off its I/O conference in San Francisco, presenting devs with a dizzying array of possibilities: a new design language for Android L; a boatload of new apps, APIs and SDKs; and expanded support for a variety of architectural and hardware configurations. “If I were a developer, I would feel real good about opportunities today,” said ABI analyst Jeff Orr.

        • Windows wars? The Android and Chrome OS Alliance

          Linux may rule in most places — supercomputers, mobile, and Wall Street to name a few — but the Windows empire has still held on to the desktop, despite Windows 8.x’s failure to grab marketshare quickly. Now there’s new hope: At Google I/O, Sundar Pichai, Google’s head of Chrome and Android, said during the opening keynote that Google will be giving Chrome OS the power to run Android apps.

        • Android TV hands-on: Google makes a new play for the living room

          Google hasn’t exactly been successful at taking over the living room — Chromecast aside, its previous efforts have failed to capture much consumer interest. However, during the I/O 2014 keynote today, the company showed that it is ready to start fresh with Android TV. It’s a new platform that combines live TV via your cable box or even an over-the-air antenna along with Android apps and services like Google Play to offer up a more simplified way to get content to your TV than the older Google TV model.

        • Android boss envious of Apple, but says open source is best

          What Pichai didn’t say was that Cook was at all wrong. Android’s variety naturally leads to issues in various areas, security being one of them. It’s also why popular chipset maker Qualcomm has come on so strongly with their Snapdragon series. Though they’ve varying degrees of prowess, Snapdragon chipsets all have the same basic security layers intact.

        • Exclusive: Sundar Pichai, Head of Google’s Android, on Apple, Samsung, and Amazon
        • Quit the madness, iOS is not more secure than Android!

          The misconception that Apple’s products are somehow more secure has carried from Macbooks to iPhones. This may sometimes be a true statement, but it’s usually due to external factors, not actual security procedures or OS advantages. Such has been found to be the case with iOS when compared to Android, according to Marble Security Labs.

        • Cyanogen Expands Team in Push for Open Android

          Cyanogen is a for-profit business built around the CyanogenMod project, which is used by hobbyists to unlock their phones in order to get quicker updates and remove the types of interfaces installed by their device maker and carrier. It offers its own flavor of Android — one designed to offer users more choice while at the same time remaining fully compatible with the official Google version.

        • Last Nexus 6 coming later this year with a 5.5-inch screen

          A source within Google tells Ausdroid that “a new Nexus phone is definitely in the works, with the big feature of the new Nexus phone tipped to be a very LG G3 sized 5.5″ screen. While the screen size matches, no mention was made of whether the resolution of the panel would be equal to the QHD display on the LG flagship.”

        • Android and New Device Types to Share Spotlight at Google I/O

          The Google I/O conference begins today, and it’s already clear from advance notice on the sessions and discussion topics that Android and new device types for Google’s platforms will share the spotlight at the event.

        • Huawei Honor 6 Review: new flagship smartphone with Kirin 920 octa-core processor

          After we’ve covered the news about the official lauching about the new flagship smartphone, the Huawei Honor 6, is now we have a review about the phone. The new Huawei Honor 6 is packs with 5 inch screen, 3GB of RAM and this is the first smartphone that powered by Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 920 octa-core processor made of four A15 cores and 4 A7 cores which Huawei thinks compares to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset.The Huawei Honor 6 has officially release in Beijing on June 24th, 2014. Before now, the Huawei Honor 6 has spread as a rumors, and now this phone is come to the market and ready to beat the other flagship smartphone, such as Samsung Galaxy S5.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Analyst Unveils Open Source Model for NFV-SDN Management

    In short, the CIMI Corp. president is essentially trying to provide a path to deployment for NFV and SDN, believing strongly that without high-level orchestration and management and an operations framework, virtualization in the telecom sector could be spinning its wheels for some time to come.

  • Use Software Defined Networking to optimize your IaaS

    Explore Software Defined Networking (SDN) — network management via software abstraction layers — as a method to enhance and optimize your Infrastructure as a Service in the areas of interoperability, user and provider expectation management, developer and administrator requirements, and effective risk mitigation.

  • 5 assistive technology open source programs

    Assistive technology software is any program or operating system feature designed to let a user with cognitive, sensory, or physical impairments use a computer system. Innovations in assistive technology software can make a huge difference in the daily lives of these people.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox and GTK+ 3

        The issue we had to solve is that GTK+ 2 and GTK+ 3 cannot be loaded in the same address space. Moving Firefox from GTK+ 2 to GTK+ 3 isn’t a problem, as only GTK+ 3 gets loaded in its address space, and everything is fine. The problem comes when you load a plugin that links to GTK+ 2, e.g. Flash. Then, GTK+ 2 and GTK+ 3 get both loaded, GTK+ detects that, and aborts to avoid bigger problems.

      • Mozilla Delivers Built-in HTML5 App Development Tool for Firefox

        If you work with web content at all, you’re probably familiar with doing debugging and content editing directly from within a browser. If you’re a Firefox user, you may also be very familiar with tools such as Firebug, which lets you do extensive debugging and development from within Firefox.

      • HDMI-stick runs Firefox OS, acts like Chromecast
      • Mozilla to cram a full web-dev IDE inside Firefox browser

        All of the major web browser vendors now ship developer tools with their products, but Mozilla is planning to go whole hog by building a full integrated development environment (IDE) for web apps right into its Firefox browser.

      • Firefox Release Engineering

        Recently, the Mozilla Release Engineering team has made numerous advances in release automation for our browser, Firefox. We have reduced the requirements for human involvement during signing and sending notices to stakeholders, and have automated many other small manual steps, because each manual step in the process is an opportunity for human error. While what we have now isn’t perfect, we’re always striving to streamline and automate our release process. Our final goal is to be able to push a button and walk away; minimal human intervention will eliminate many of the headaches and do-overs we experienced with our older part-manual, part-automated release processes. In this article, we will explore and explain the scripts and infrastructure decisions that make up the complete Firefox rapid release system, as of Firefox 10.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Deeper, Better, Farther: Growing the Community & Improving LibreOffice

      There is something truly comforting in observing vibrant communities such as the one of LibreOffice. The project is growing, not just in developers but in adoption as well: more users as well as more localizations are a visible sign inside the project. All this is not only thanks to our good name and reputation; it is because as we are well into our fourth year of existence, it is important to realize that communities scale as much as their production and communication infrastructure is able to grow and perform its duties. Two words are of peculiar importance here: Production & Communication. In a Free and Open Source Software project, these two functions are tightly connected. The project enables the software production at the same time it enables communications between its members. Conversely, you cannot have a developers, users, or QA mailing list for instance, without relying on an existing code repository of some sort, otherwise you’re only doing vapourware (and vapourware only needs a database of press contacts, but no real mailing list).

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • 5 myths about working collaboratively

      I’m a big believer in collaboration. It’s one of the main tenets of the open source way and a huge part of the design process. When done right, collaboration is about finding the right and diverse mix of people, collectively defining the problem and goals, and then collectively doing the work: researching, listening, thinking, sharing, tinkering, doing more research, more thinking, more tinkering, and more sharing until you get to a strategy that has conviction and truth.

    • Open Hardware

      • Intel Corporation (INTC) Futurist Brian David Johnson Demonstrates 3D-Printed Open Source Jimmy Robot
      • Printrbot Begins Putting Their 3D Printer Files Up on YouMagine for Free Download

        Open source, you either love the idea or you hate it. It it weren’t for the open sourcing of 3D printer files, the industry would not be nearly where it is today. It allows for individuals and companies to take someone else’s ideas and designs, improve upon them, use them, and redistribute them. When done in a truly open source manner, this creates an exponential rate of innovation, whereas there could be thousands of people improving a design, only to have a thousand more come along and do the same to their own. We’ve seen 3D printers evolve at tremendous rates over the past couple years, and a large part of the credit belongs to the open source movement that a great deal of the designers and manufacturers have supported.

      • Meet the M-One, the latest open source SLA 3D printer

        Stereolithographic 3D printers, which use light to harden liquid resin into 3D objects, are dropping in price. And their price tag will likely continue to fall after two open source printers enter the market this year, one of which went up on Kickstarter today.

  • Programming

    • Eclipse Creates Working Group for Open Source Science Research Software

      The Eclipse Foundation’s annual Release Train will be in the spotlight later this week, but first a bit of that metaphorical illumination should fall on a new Foundation project. Announced on Monday, the newly organized Eclipse Science Working Group (SWG) is being described as “a global collaboration for scientific software.” It aims to bring together groups from academia, industry and government to create open software that can be used in basic scientific research.

    • The New asyncio in Python 3.4: Servers, Protocols, and Transports

      In a previous article on the new asyncio module introduced in Python 3.4, I explained simple use of event loop functions that register, execute, and delay or cancel calls. In this article, I demonstrate more-advanced examples that explore asyncio’s support for server and client programming, protocols, and transports.

Leftovers

  • Fifteen Months Later

    Unfortunately, when you have been accused of rape — even provably falsely as I have been — there’s no way to “win”. For the rest of my life, when someone searches my name on the internet, the word “rape” will appear somewhere among the results. And that person will always wonder whether or not I was capable of such a heinous act.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Scary New Congressional Bill Would Force Medication on Some Mentally Ill People

      According to a Sunlight Foundation analysis of the NRA’s proposals a year later, “the initial fervor for increasing armed security in schools has died down” and the video game industry has “been upping its political profile with significant campaign contributions to Democratic members and a seven-figure lobbying budget”. While those two areas were stuck in the mud, “the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) found that a years-long trend of diminishing budgets for mental health had reversed in 2013, citing Newtown as a key mitigating factor”. The trend spread to more than budgets: Nevada and Nebraska established programs to provide for more screening and mental health training for children. Despite successes on the state front, the NRA still struggled: a quick search of it’s press releases show it mostly playing defense on a variety of bills, and it’s NICS Reporting Improvement Act of 2013 (a direct attempt to create the “active national database” LaPierre spoke of) went nowhere.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Time on Iraq War: What Did We Do to Deserve This?

      We offered them the spirits of cooperation and liberty and the modern heart, and this is the thanks we get. It’s almost as if some people don’t appreciate being invaded.

    • An appeal to the Quartet on the Middle East to sack Tony Blair

      In reality, the invasion and occupation of Iraq had been a disaster long before the recent gains made by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The sectarian conflict responsible for much of the war’s reprehensible human cost was caused in part by the occupying forces’ division of the country’s political system along sectarian lines.

    • Paul: ISIS emboldened after US armed its allies in Syria

      Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Sunday that the Sunni militants taking over Iraq have quickly gained power because the United States armed their allies in Syria.

      “I think we have to understand first how we got here,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think one of the reasons why ISIS has been emboldened is because we have been arming their allies. We have been allied with ISIS in Syria.”

      Paul was asked whether the U.S. should shift its focus to Syria.

      “We have been fighting alongside al Qaeda, fighting alongside ISIS,” he said. “ISIS is now emboldened and in two countries. But here’s the anomaly. We’re with ISIS in Syria. We’re on the same side of the war. So, those who want to get involved to stop ISIS in Iraq are allied with ISIS in Syria. That is real contradiction to this whole policy.”

    • Judge who ordered Saddam’s death executed by ISIS
    • Gas Prices ‘Skyrocketing’? You’d Better Duck

      You’re not supposed to talk about oil and Iraq–but corporate media can’t stop talking about oil and Iraq.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • German Gold Stays in New York in Rebuff to Euro Doubters

      Surging mistrust of the euro during Europe’s debt crisis fed a campaign to bring Germany’s entire $141 billion gold reserve home from New York and London. Now, after politics shifted in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition, the government has concluded that stashing half its bullion abroad is prudent after all.

    • Judge Baugh to vandal: Get a ‘real job’ and repay victims

      A Billings judge on Monday sentenced a 21-year-old man for a 2012 vandalism spree and suggested he replace his fast-food job with a “real job” so he can better pay restitution to his victims.

      District Judge G. Todd Baugh sentenced Brandon Daniel Turell to 10 years in custody of the state department of corrections, with five years suspended, and ordered him to pay about $13,600 in restitution.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • US Embassy In Berlin Offering Cold, Hard Cash For People To Create Pro-TAFTA/TTIP Propaganda

      We’ve been writing about the big US/EU “free trade” agreement negotiations (which aren’t really about free trade at all), variously named TAFTA or TTIP (negotiators prefer TTIP, to avoid comparisons to NAFTA) for quite some time now. If it were really about free trade, there might be some interesting elements to it, but it’s much more about the standard issues like providing corporate sovereignty over national sovereignty, and other things like ratcheting up copyright and patent laws in secret. All this “democracy” is all done very much behind closed doors that won’t be opened until many years after the agreement is already reached.

    • Murdoch Tabloid Editor Found Guilty In UK Phone Hacking Trial

      Andy Coulson, a former editor of the now-shuttered Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid News of the World, was found guilty of conspiring to intercept communications, concluding a lengthy trial focused on criminal activity at the British paper. According to the Associated Press, fellow News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Stuart Kuttner were acquitted.

    • WSJ Upset Supreme Court Didn’t Destroy Class Action Lawsuits In Halliburton

      Contrary to right-wing media misinformation, corporate fraud on the stock market remains a real problem that class actions continue to correct through restitution and deterrence.

    • Rebekah Brooks Escapes Jail, but Questions Linger for Murdoch

      Rebekah Brooks likes to tell this story about herself. How, as a junior reporter on Rupert Murdoch’s London tabloid The Sun, she stuffed her flaming red hair under a head scarf, dressed up as a cleaner and smuggled herself into the offices of the Sun’s stablemate, The Sunday Times. When all the Times’s editorial staff had gone home, she sat herself at a computer and calmly stole their scoop.

    • The (not so) secrets of promoted Tweets and Twitter accounts

      Putting aside that the “Business Twitter” page can’t spell “someone”, in light of there being no opt out feature, I don’t know what else to do. I’m fed up with having to block these accounts. Twitter may make money from adverts, but no product that promotes its tweets gets business from me – its a point of principle. A product invades “my space” – I boycott that product. There are many other users who think the same way.

  • Privacy

    • It’s Official. SCOTUS Considers Small Cheap Computers As Computers

      The Supreme Court has just ruled that smartphones and other electronic gadgets are worthy to require search warrants to search just like real computers. Their big issue is the depth, breadth and volume of data stored on smartphones but that is just one function of a smartphone. The Supremes also mention browsing histories, and “apps”, all providing information about people to police just like other evidence.

    • ‘Get a warrant’ – Supreme Court rules against cell phone searches in ‘big win for digital privacy’

      The Supreme Court of the United States said Wednesday that police officers must have a warrant before searching the cell phone contents of an individual under arrest.

      In a unanimous ruling announced early Wednesday, the high court settled two cases surrounding instances in which law enforcement officials scoured the mobile phones of suspects in custody and then used information contained therein to pursue further charges.

    • Supreme Court limits police right to search cell phones

      The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that police officers usually need a warrant before they can search an arrested suspect’s cellphone.

    • Theresa May Calls For More Surveillance Powers

      Theresa May has used the annual Lord Mayor’s Defence and Security Lecture to call for changes to the law to give new powers of surveillance to the government. Despite the extensive coverage given to broad range of programmes revealed in by Edward Snowden, she claimed the UK’s lack of technological capability presented a “great danger”.

  • Civil Rights

    • Detroit has cut off the water supply to thousands of residents – and now activists have taken their fight to the UN

      Activists angered by the closing of water accounts for thousands of people behind in their payments have taken their fight to the United Nations.

    • App turns power button into panic button for activists at risk

      Amnesty international has launched an open-source ‘Panic Button’ app designed to help human rights activists at risk from attack, kidnap or torture.

    • A SWAT team blew a hole in my 2-year-old son (UPDATE)

      After our house burned down in Wisconsin a few months ago, my husband and I packed our four young kids and all our belongings into a gold minivan and drove to my sister-in-law’s place, just outside of Atlanta. On the back windshield, we pasted six stick figures: a dad, a mom, three young girls, and one baby boy.

    • Aaron Swartz Wanted to Change the World, Says Director

      When news broke early last year that Internet activist Aaron Swartz had been found dead, filmmaker Brian Knappenberger was already deeply immersed in the hacking and computer programming world. Fresh off the release of a documentary about the Anonymous movement, We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, the filmmaker had been following the ongoing lawsuit against Swartz, who faced charges related to illegal access of the JSTOR academic-article service.

    • Stinking Hypocrisy

      The BBC thus seeks to square the circle of supporting the release of Peter Greste and at the same time taking the British government line of supporting the Egyptian dictatorship’s elimination of its political opponents.

      The truth is that Peter Greste is only superficially the victim of an Egyptian dictator. At root he is the victim of a western foreign policy that believes the interests of Israel outweigh all other interests in the Middle East.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • European roaming charges to plummet 50 percent from 1 July

      ROAMING CHARGES across Europe will drop more than 50 percent from 1 July, as the European Union (EU) works towards eliminating roaming charges altogether.

      Following similar price cuts that took place this time last year, the European Commission (EC) announced on Tuesday that in its effort to put an end to roaming charges, prices are set to drop by “over 50 percent” from 1 July.

    • 5 Bullshit Lies Cable Companies Are Feeding You Right Now

      As you may have heard, the nation’s cable companies have suddenly found themselves cast as villains, simply because of that little “trying to kill the Internet” thing. They’re working hard to get rid of net neutrality, the basic principle that they can’t charge extra to sites or services to make them load at a non-infuriating speed. But don’t worry: In order to clear their good names, Verizon, Comcast, and their ilk are doing their best to address their customers’ concerns … by using the time-honored tradition of feeding us bullshit.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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