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07.28.14

Links 28/7/2014: New Linux RC, Plasma 5 Live in Kubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 5:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • The (True) Legacy of Two Really Existing Economic Systems

    By running an experiment among Germans collecting their passports or ID cards in the citizen centers of Berlin, we find that individuals with an East German family background cheat significantly more on an abstract task than those with a West German family background. The longer individuals were exposed to socialism, the more likely they were to cheat on our task. While it was recently argued that markets decay morals (Falk and Szech, 2013), we provide evidence that other political and economic regimes such as socialism might have an even more detrimental effect on individuals’ behavior.

  • Men are happier with a smarter wife

    Dramatic shift in divorce patterns shows younger husbands are the first generation of men not to find more highly educated women ‘threatening’

    [...]

    …in previous generations marriages where the husband was better qualified

  • Small Data: Getting stuck on things or in things

    My favourite figure of last week came from the London Fire Brigade, writes Anthony Reuben.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Corporate Takeover of “All Natural” Food

      Walk through your local grocery store these days and you’ll see the words “all natural” emblazoned on a variety of food packages. The label is lucrative, for sure, but in discussing the natural label few have remarked on what’s really at stake — the natural ingredients and the companies themselves.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Zimbabwe Wikileaks probe on

      Investigations into the WikiLeaks saga, that saw government ministers and senior Zanu-PF officials quoted by United States diplomats speaking ill of President Robert Mugabe, are still on, Prosecutor General Johannes Tomana confirmed on Sunday.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Armed robbery in Gaza – Israel, US, UK carve up the spoils of Palestine’s stolen gas

      Israel desperately covets Gaza’s gas as a ‘cheap stop-gap’ yielding revenues of $6-7 billion a year, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The UK’s BG and the US’s Noble Energy are lined up to do the dirty work – but first Hamas must be ‘uprooted’ from Gaza, and Fatah bullied into cutting off its talks with Russia’s Gazprom.

    • Gaza: Israel’s $4 billion gas grab

      Never mind the ‘war on terror’ rhetoric, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The purpose of Israel’s escalating assault on Gaza is to control the Territory’s 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas – and so keep Palestine poor and weak, gain massive export revenues, and avert its own domestic energy crisis.

  • Finance

    • Can Argentina escape the inflation trap?

      Taking into consideration Argentina’s historic precedents, it’s not a venture to say that soon this crisis will hit rock bottom, with a strong devaluation, a significant economic set-back, and a rise of unemployment and poverty levels. Then, as always, the economy will start to recover, and after some years of prosperity, the cycle will start again.

    • Why should anyone trust Paul Ryan’s poverty plan?

      Paul Ryan’s budgets can be summed up in a single sentence: Cut the deficit by cutting programs for the poor. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that fully two-thirds of Ryan’s cuts came from programs to the poor. Meanwhile, Ryan refused to raise even a dollar in taxes. Politics is about priorities, and Ryan’s priorities — lower deficits, no new taxes, steady defense spending, no near-term entitlement changes — meant programs for the poor got hammered.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Wikipedia blocks Congress from editing

      An IP address from a staff member in the U.S. House of Representatives has been temporarily blocked from making edits to Wikipedia articles after some of its changes were deemed disruptive.

    • How Big Tobacco Went To War With A Tiny Country

      The small South American nation of Uruguay might be forced to pay a heavy price for trying to curb smoking and avert a public health disaster. The country is currently embroiled in a high stakes legal battle with Phillips Morris, the world’s largest cigarette manufacturer. The industry giant, whose annual profits outsize Uruguay’s entire yearly GDP, is suing the government of Uruguay over a 2008 law that requires cigarette packs to be 80 percent covered by health warnings.

    • The Conservative War Over Impeachment

      Largely relegated to the fringe for years, the prospect of impeachment has been invigorated thanks to conservative media figures like Fox News contributors Sarah Palin and Allen West, who have spent recent weeks loudly demanding Obama’s removal from office. But not everyone in conservative media is on board, with several prominent figures arguing that impeachment is ill-fated, politically toxic, and could severely damage Republicans’ chances in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections.

  • Censorship

    • Media freedom remains under threat in Hungary

      A free and plural media is the foundation of a free society, and a safeguard of democratic tradition. The new “advertising tax” in Hungary shows it is still very much under threat.

    • The New York Times editorial: Censorship back in India “with vengeance”, reminiscent of Emergency days

      In a move without precedence, one of world’s most influential dailies, the New York Times, has editorially declared that “press censorship” is back in India “with a vengeance.” But there is a caveat, it suggest. During the Emergency, imposed on June 25, 1975, Prime Minister India Gandhi imposed “strict” censorship, but this time it is “not direct government fiat but by powerful owners and politicians.” Titled “India’s Press in Siege”, the top daily, however, compares it with the censorship imposed Indira Gandhi, recalling how, “with defiant exceptions, much of the press caved in quickly to the new rules.”

    • Civil Rights and “Censored” Groups support Whistleblowers on Capitol Hill
    • As wounded Israeli troops return home, military censorship is harder to enforce

      The Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv is on a war footing. In the 10 days since Israel started its ground operation in the Gaza Strip, the hospital has received more than 50 soldiers with wide-ranging combat injuries.

    • Right to be forgotten: Wikipedia chief enters internet censorship row

      Internet search engines such as Google should not be left in charge of “censoring history”, the Wikipedia founder has said, after the US firm revealed it had approved half of more than 90,000 “right to be forgotten” requests.

    • Foreign Social-Networking Software Banned as China Tightens Censorship

      The Chinese Central Propaganda Department has banned the downloading of all foreign social-networking products. Previously downloadable social-networking products have also been blocked on a large scale.

    • Is censorship on the rise in Canada?

      After a week of the Harper government again drawing criticism for hiding information or clamping down on dissent, the public’s eyes may have glazed over at the latest in a litany of cases. But are we getting inured to something serious going on at the federal level and throughout society?

    • B’Tselem to petition High Court against ‘censorship’ of Gaza dead

      The High Court of Justice should force Israel Radio to run an advertisement with the names of 150 Gaza children killed during the last 16 days of Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli NGO B’Tselem said on Thursday.

      B’Tselem plans to petition the High Court on Sunday to overturn the Broadcasting Authority’s (IBA’s) decision and that of its appeals board, which also rejected its ad, titled “The children of Gaza have a name.”

  • Privacy

    • Kim Dotcom wants to ‘abolish mass surveillance’… with more legislating?

      In an interview with The Guardian he is quoted as saying that his party will “abolish mass surveillance and rejuvenate politics by giving the internet generation a voice.”

    • Bugging devices at Gadkari residence, minister calls reports speculative

      It reported: “Initial investigations have revealed that the bugs were ‘planted in the house by a foreign agency since the sophisticated listening devices found are used only by western intelligence operatives, particularly the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA)’”.

      The paper said “it may be recalled that Edward Snowden’s revelations carried by Washington Post on 30 June stated that top BJP leaders were under surveillance by a premier US spy agency. ”
      - See more at: http://indiablooms.com/ibns_new/news-details/N/3036/bugging-devices-at-gadkari-residence-minister-calls-reports-speculative.html#sthash.kIHnEH5V.dpuf

    • Gadkari house ‘bugged’: BJP Sarkar on US radar?

      But the denial emanating from Gadkari has been far from categorical. Also, another BJP leader, Subramaniam Swamy, has conceded that Gadkari, a former BJP president and known for his proximity to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, could well have been on the radar of intelligence agencies.

    • Nitin Gadkari house bugged: Congress demands probe as Gadkari dismisses reports as ‘speculative’

      BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has asked the government to make an official statement on the issue and said, “My own investigations and my sources reveal that this may happen not later than October last year. The planting of the device and that means at that time, when the UPA was in power, the NSA has specifically targeted the BJP and Gadkari was a very important person. He had the confidence of the RSS.”

    • Snooping and bugging: Five high profile cases

      Was Nitin Gadkari’s house bugged? The reported recovery of listening devices from Union Minister Gadkari’s house has set tongues wagging in political circles, with Congress suggesting that this shows there is lack of trust among the NDA leaders. Even former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has demanded a probe into this matter.

    • SORRY STORY

      Very recently, her patience with persistent American spying even after Snowden’s revelations snapped quite dramatically, when she ordered the US Central Intelligence Agency’s “chief of station” at the American embassy in Berlin to leave the country. The US has never formally apologized for tapping Merkel’s phone. It refused to give her access to the NSA file on her before she visited Washington. And it went on paying a spy who worked for the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND-Federal Intelligence Service) right down to this month.

    • Reward offered by Russia to crack Tor likely to improve the anonymity network, Finnish expert views
    • A Stronger Bill to Limit Surveillance

      The Senate is about to begin debate on a bill that could, at long last, put an end to the indiscriminate bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records and bring needed transparency to the abusive spying programs that have tarnished the nation’s reputation.

    • Four Senators Team Up on Anti-NSA Letter to Clapper

      These assaults on personal privacy included reading random people’s emails, text messages, and Facebook conversations en masse, recording Skype calls between users, and even passing around nude photos picked up from webcams that were spied on through services like Yahoo.

    • Obama quietly expands government’s ‘watchlist’

      The Obama administration has quietly rewritten the rules on how it goes about designating Americans as terrorists, according to a new report by Glenn Greenwald’s Intercept online investigations project.

    • Silicon Valley sees hope in battle against NSA

      Tech companies and civil liberties groups are becoming more optimistic that the Senate will take major steps to rein in the National Security Agency this year.

    • US govt wiretapping online media makes systems less secure

      Right now, only phone companies, broadband providers and some Internet phone services are required by law to build in intercept capabilities, but the government wants to extend that requirement to online communication providers.

    • Facebook posts can land Americans on watchlists

      Concrete evidence of being a suspected terrorist is not necessary before nominating people to watchlists; leaked “guidance” states that uncorroborated posts on social networking sites are sufficient grounds for the government to add people to watchlist databases.

    • NSA losing interest in deal for Snowden

      The Obama administration is increasingly less inclined to make a deal to allow Edward Snowden to come back to the United States, according to a top National Security Agency official.

    • NSA: Less need now for Snowden deal

      A top National Security Agency offficial says there’s less need now for the U.S. Government to cut a deal with leaker Edward Snowden than there was after his wave of surveillance disclosures began more than a year ago.

    • Securing IC Magazine from facebook and other troublemakers

      Why did we do this? With Google continuously expanding its social media reach and the long line of controversies surrounding facebook’s practices of tracking users and reportedly providing the NSA with unfettered access to user data–not to mention the incessant location tracking features that come with mobile phones, tablets and cameras–it’s becoming dangerously simple for anyone to gather intelligence on us whether it’s a corporation, some government agency or a rag-tag group of racist rice farmers with mad computer skillz. That intelligence can in turn be used to hurt or undermine our movements, organizations, campaigns, networks, families, communities and Nations.

    • Data privacy isn’t political — it’s personal

      Two recent examples in Germany are particularly telling. First, the German government ended its contract with Verizon in late June, saying the U.S.-based telco was a liability due to its relationship with intelligence agencies like the NSA. Then, in early July, Deutsche Telekom unveiled a new highly secure German data center, which it touted as “Fort Knox” for data protection. Germany is well known for its strict data privacy standards, and clearly, new privacy concerns are reshaping how service providers do business within German borders.

    • The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) is just CISPA in new clothing — and this bill is even worse!

      The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) is just CISPA in new clothing — and this bill is even worse!

      CISA would give the NSA even more authority to access our data and force companies to hand it over without a warrant than CISPA did, strengthening and legitimizing the toxic programs we’re working our hardest to eliminate.

    • NSA partnering with Saudi regime ‒ Snowden leak

      The National Security Agency has increasingly been working hand-in-glove with the repressive Saudi Arabian government since 2013, sharing intelligence and assisting with surveillance, according to the latest Snowden leak.

    • Edward Snowden Wants To Build Anti-Surveillance Technology, But Can We Trust Him?

      Edward Snowden claims he wants to keep up the fight against the NSA and other high-level spy agencies. The question is whether or not we can trust him, or if he’ll just go back to spying on us like a secret cell of the NSA.

    • Common Core Expert: Techno-Progressives Seek To Violate Your Child’s Privacy

      “Common Core is not a political issue. It’s an issue of their children,” Robbins told The Daily Caller. “You can mess with a lot of things. You can have the IRS going after people. You can have the NSA spying on people, but when you start to mess with people’s children, they start to pay attention.”

    • The NSA, Snowden, And Citizen Cryptology

      More ambitiously, the NSA is hoping to build a quantum computer that “could break nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business, and government records around the world,” according to the Washington Post (NSA source documents stored on Electronic Frontier Foundation server here and here). A quantum computer could conceivably break “all current forms of public key encryption,” the article says, “including those used on many secure Web sites as well as the type used to protect state secrets.”

    • Data bill is ‘new Big Brother’: Manchester activist slams ‘Orwellian’ government for trying to force through law

      A Manchester activist has claimed the government are using George Orwell’s 1984 as a ‘handbook’ as it tries to push through new laws that threatens to further encroach on people’s privacy.

  • Civil Rights

    • Chinese police remove church cross amid crackdown
    • Netanyahu’s driver accused of serially raping young girls under 12

      A driver for the Prime Minister’s Office was arrested in Jerusalem three weeks ago on suspicion of serially raping young girls between the ages of 8 and 12, it emerged Thursday.

    • How to survive in post-constitutional America

      You can’t get more serious about protecting the people from their government than the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, specifically in its most critical clause: “No person shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” In 2011, the White House ordered the drone-killing of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki without trial. It claimed this was a legal act it is prepared to repeat as necessary. Given the Fifth Amendment, how exactly was this justified? Thanks to a much contested, recently released but significantly redacted — about one-third of the text is missing — Justice Department white paper providing the basis for that extrajudicial killing, we finally know: the president in Post-Constitutional America is now officially judge, jury, and executioner.

    • Obama administration grants architects of torture sneak peek at Panetta review of CIA programs

      In close collaboration with the Central Intelligence Agency, President Obama has granted the masterminds of the Bush administration’s torture programs access to the agency’s “Internal Panetta Review” in advance of the review’s expected August publication.

    • Some in ‘torture’ report denied chance to read it

      About a dozen former CIA officials named in a classified Senate report on decade-old agency interrogation practices were notified in recent days that they would be able to review parts of the document in a secure room in suburban Washington after signing a secrecy agreement.

    • European Court exposes illegal detention facilities linked to CIA’s extraordinary rendition program in Poland
    • Ron Paul: Shut Down The CIA

      The cover-up continues with the Obama administration, Paul claims, citing last week’s European Court of Human Rights verdict that two suspects were illegally detained and tortured in so-called “black sites” in Poland. The Polish government was ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation to those men in that verdict.

    • End Torture, Shut Down the CIA!

      Remember back in April, 2007, when then-CIA director George Tenet appeared on 60 Minutes, angrily telling the program host, “we don’t torture people”? Remember a few months later, in October, President George W. Bush saying, “this government does not torture people”? We knew then it was not true because we had already seen the photos of Iraqis tortured at Abu Ghraib prison four years earlier.

    • Top German court rejects effort to access Eichmann files

      Ruling thwarts journalist’s attempt to shed light on whether West German authorities knew in the 1950s where Eichmann fled after the Holocaust.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Verizon Gets Snarky, But Basically Admits That It’s The One Clogging Its Networks On Purpose

      So the war of words over interconnection has continued. Last week, we wrote about the back and forth between Verizon and Level 3 on their corporate blogs concerning who was really to blame for congestion slowing down your Netflix video watching. As we noted, Level 3 used Verizon’s own information to show that Verizon was, in fact, the problem. Basically, in spite of it being easy and cheap, Verizon was refusing to do a trivial operation of connecting up a few more ports, which Level3 had been asking them to do so for a long time. In other words, Verizon was refusing to do some very, very basic maintenance to deliver to its users exactly what Verizon had sold them.

    • How tiered Internet in US may help create a surveillance state

      The net neutrality debate has been going on the United States for a number of years now, put simply, net neutrality means keeping a non-tiered internet, all content can reach users at the same speed.

    • Home Stretch For Supporting Our Net Neutrality Reporting
  • Intellectual Monopolies

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