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08.13.14

Links 13/8/2014: GNU/Linux as Winner, New Snowden Interview

Posted in News Roundup at 5:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 9 Signs You Should Use Linux on Your Computer

    One way or another you’re actually using Linux every day. Linux is the dominant platform on web servers, including the one you’re on right now, and it is also the core of the Android operating system that you’re tapping away at all the time if you own an Android smartphone or tablet. Besides that it’s also running everything from top supercomputers to small specialized devices, like that ADSL router you’re probably connected through to the internet.

  • Linux Format 188 – Speed up Linux
  • Are the Linux versus Windows flame wars finally coming to an end?

    Frankly, I’d be quite happy if there were no more Windows versus Linux flame wars online. But if they are tapering off then I don’t think it’s because Linux is winning and Windows is losing. I think it might be because many of the flame warriors have moved onto mobile and are deep into the Android versus iOS wars instead of Linux versus Windows.

  • Linux vs. Windows Internet Battle No Longer Exists Because Linux Is Winning

    Windows and Linux communities used to virtually battle each other regarding the superiority of one platform or the other, but that is no longer happening, at least not at the same scale. One of the reasons for that might be that Linux is actually gaining ground.

  • Desktop

    • Gartner Predicts 5.2 Million Chromebook Sales in 2014 | Maximum PC

      We’ve pointed out before how Chromebooks are some of the best selling laptops on Amazon, and though these cloud-based systems aren’t as capable as their Windows-based counterparts, they’ve having no trouble finding an audience, particularly in education circles. In fact, market research firm Gartner forecasts 5.2 million Chromebook sales by the end of the year, which would translate into a 79 percent jump compared to 2013.

  • Server

    • IBM’s Doug Balog: Infrastructure Matters More Than Ever

      IT infrastructure has long been an enterprise commodity – relatively cheap and abundant. But hardware is no less important in solving today’s IT challenges, from big data and the cloud, to mobile, social and security, says Doug Balog, the general manager for IBM Power Systems.

    • Comparing Virtual Machines and Linux Containers Performance

      IBM Research Division has published a paper comparing the performance of container and virtual machine environments, using Docker and KVM, highlighting the cost of using Docker with NAT or AUFS, and questioning the practice of running containers inside of virtual machines.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux APIC Code Prepares For A Major Overhaul

      The x86 APIC subsystem within the Linux kernel is beginning the process of a major overhaul with the Linux 3.17 kernel.

      The Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller (APIC) support is being overhauled to support physical IOAPIC hot-plugging. Within the Linux 3.17 kernel this feature isn’t present but the prepatory work is moving forward after a first attempt at the hot-plug support was rejected on technical grounds. In prepping for the APIC hot-plug support, obsolete driver abstractions were removed and other changes made for this merge window.

      Those concerned about the Linux APIC code can find out more about the forthcoming changes via this lengthy mailing list message.

    • Facebook Is Hiring A New Kernel Engineer To Make The Linux Kernel Exceed The FreeBSD One
    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Distros, Damned Lies, and Statistics

        There are lots of stories to report today starting with the top five lies Linux-haters tend to spread. Next up is Gary Newell with the top five easiest modern distributions to use. We’ve got five tips for Vim users and how to deal with missing ifconfig. Paul Adams’ been blogging the story of KDEPIM and Dead Island may be coming to Linux. OpenSource.com and Linux.com are all about education these days and Red Hat released a beta of upcoming RHEL 6.6.

      • The Book

        When inviting to the Randa 2014 meeting, Mario had the idea to write a book about KDE Frameworks. Valorie picked up this idea and kicked off a small team to tackle the task. So in the middle of August, Valorie, Rohan, Mirko and me gathered in a small room under the roof of the Randa house and started to ponder how to accomplish writing a book in the week of the meeting. Three days later and with the help of many others, Valorie showed around the first version of the book on her Kindle at breakfast. Mission accomplished.

      • KDE Frameworks Sprint – How to Release a Platform

        KDE Frameworks 5 is the result of two years of hard work porting, tidying, modularizing and refactoring KDELibs4 into a new addition to the Qt 5 platform. In January, Alex Fiestas announced The KDE Barcelona Hub—an office where anyone is welcome to come and work on KDE projects. It was just what the Frameworks team needed to finish off the code so it could be released to the world. Read on for some of what happened.

      • Upstream and Downstream: why packaging takes time

        Here in the KDE office in Barcelona some people spend their time on purely upstream KDE projects and some of us are primarily interested in making distros work which mean our users can get all the stuff we make. I’ve been asked why we don’t just automate the packaging and go and do more productive things. One view of making on a distro like Kubuntu is that its just a way to package up the hard work done by others to take all the credit. I don’t deny that, but there’s quite a lot to the packaging of all that hard work, for a start there’s a lot of it these days.

      • themukt.com Editor on Kubuntu ← Kubuntu Wire
      • Randa report: Artikulate KF5 port (almost) done

        It is the Randa-Sprint week again. If you never heard about this, then imagine a lot of KDE developers, meeting somewhere in the mid of the Swiss Alps, in a deep valley with a rather slow internet connection. These people are coming from all over the world and are here for exactly one week, to work, to discuss, and to create the future of KDE. To name only a few of the current meeting’s topics, there are people working on a KDE SDK, porting to KF5, writing the KF5 book (aka putting documentation to the KF5), reaching out for new platforms, and many more exciting things are happening here. If you want to know more about all the goods that the Randa meeting brings, you should probably have an eye on the planetkde.org posts for the next days.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Evolution 3.12.5 Arrives with Lots of Fixes

        Evolution 3.12.5, a complete solution that provides integrated mail, address book, and calendaring functionality to users of the GNOME desktop environment, is available for download.

      • GSOC REPORT #5

        As mentioned in the previous report GNOME Books Library exposes WebKit WebView and the functionality needed for the interaction with epub.js. There are some new features. The library implements navigation bar and page controlling (total number of pages, status of the current page) as well as table of contents (links to the book chapters).

  • Distributions

    • Zorin OS 9 Business Is a Good Replacement for Companies That Don’t Want to Pay for Window

      The final version of Zorin OS 9 Business, an Ubuntu-based operating system aimed at Windows users who are switching over to Linux, has been released and is available for purchase.

    • Black Lab Linux 6.0 Preview 2 Is Now Based on Xfce and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS – Gallery

      Black Lab Linux 6.0 Preview 2, a distribution based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, has been released and is now ready for testing.

    • Slackware Family

      • First preview for Slackware of Plasma 5

        Today is my son’s 16th birthday, and I do have a gift for all of you, not just for him. I present to you a first preview for Slackware, of the KDE Frameworks 5.1.0 libraries, combined with Plasma 5.0.1, the next-generation desktop workspace from KDE.

        I wrote about this in my previous post, but now you can experience it first-hand: Plasma 5.0 improves support for high-DPI displays and comes with a “converged shell”, i.e. one Plasma codebase for different target devices like desktop computers, laptops, tablet, phones etc. Plasma 5 uses a new fully hardware-accelerated OpenGL(ES) graphics stack. Plasma 5 is built using Qt 5 and Frameworks 5.

        And with the Breeze themed artwork and its own Oxygen font, this desktop looks clean and modern.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta Features Improved System Performance
      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta Brings New Features

        Although Red Hat already released RHEL 7, RHEL 6.x users can still benefit from new platform features.

        Red Hat came out today with a beta release of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 (RHEL 6.6) platform. The new beta follows Red Hat’s June release of RHEL 7 and inherits a few of its features.

      • Time to take profits in Red Hat
      • Red Hat spruces up 2011′s enterprise Linux with RHEL 6.6 Beta
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 21 and ARM device support

          As we slowly meander our way towards the pointy end of the Fedora 21 release, with Alpha speeding up in the rear view mirror, the Fedora ARM team are starting to discuss the best way to deal with the blossoming amount of ARMv7 devices that can and do run out of the box on Fedora.

          With our 3.16 kernel containing device tree blobs for 200+ devices, the Fedora 3.17 rawhide kernel already containing 230+, it’s truly impossible to actively test and support all of those devices. So much like previous releases we’ll be focusing on testing a group of “primary devices” with the remainder being considered as secondary. This doesn’t mean they won’t work, it just means they’re not necessarily a testing focus of the regular contributors or they might not be readily available to purchase.

        • Fedora:Alpha Change Deadline to slip one more week

          Alpha Change Deadline slips one more week due to requested glibc/GCC mass rebuild [1]. Alpha Change Deadline is now 2014-08-19.

        • Fedora Flock 2014

          Overall the Flock was awesome. The quality of all technical presentations/workshops was really high. It’s amazing how many things currently going on at the Fedora community, not just related to our Operation System (the distribution) but also innovative things that we develop or lead that in the long run benefit the whole Free Software community. As always I had the chance to meet, talk and collaborate in person with many Fedorians and that’s always motivating for my contribution to the project.

        • Fedora Security Team

          Vulnerabilities in software happen. When they get fixed it’s up to the packager to make those fixes available to the systems using the software. Duplicating much of the response efforts that Red Hat Product Security performs for Red Hat products, the Fedora Security Team (FST) has recently been created to assist packagers get vulnerability fixes downstream in a timely manner.

        • Fedora 21 Will Support A Lot Of ARM Hardware

          The Fedora ARM team has been doing a great job at testing and seeing a wide-range of ARM development boards and other consumer devices will work with the upcoming Fedora 21 release.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Closes a pyCADF Exploit in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

            Canonical has published details in a security notice about a pyCADF vulnerability in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) that has been identified and corrected.

          • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS – Trusty Tahr

            We are pleased to announce that our build infrastructure has been upgraded to Ubuntu Trusty. This means that your builds will run in an updated and more stable environment. We worked hard during the past couple of months to make this upgrade as smooth as possible.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The Connected Car, Part 2: Wired For Wireless – It’s All Business
    • Raspberry Pi-powered Bigtrak

      The Raspberry Pi is a small, low-cost computer designed to promote an interest in computing and programming – but it doesn’t have to be straight-laced computing. In fact, in this article we’ll be showing you how you can use it to turn a Bigtrak into a robot. That’s educational, right?

      The Bigtrak is a toy that takes in a list of straightforward commands (Go forwards, turn left, turn right) and then executes them. To make things more interesting we’re going to remove the existing circuitry and replace it with a Raspberry Pi, using a small motor driver to safely control the motors in the Bigtrak, which we’ll then set up to be controlled via a PlayStation 3 DualShock controller.

      Everything required on the software side comes pre- installed on the latest Raspbian OS images, so all we need to translate changes from the controller to the motors is a small Python script that uses the Pygame and RPI.GPIO modules.

    • Linux-based controller mixes Atom SoC with Kintex-7 FPGA

      NI’s new 4-slot CompactRIO control system combines a dual-core Atom E3825 with a Kintex-7 FPGA, and features industrial temperatures and NI Real-Time Linux.

    • Phones

      • sailing in search of fresh waters

        I’ve had a long, quiet time on this blog over the past few years while I’ve been frantically helping Jolla to launch their self-named product: the Jolla. I’ve enjoyed (almost) every day I’ve been there: they really are a great bunch of people and the work has been plentiful and challenging.

      • Android

        • In the Android Ecosystem, Fragmentation is Nothing New

          All the way back in 2011, before Android marched to the top of the mobile platform wars, developers were voicing concerns about the fragmentation of the platform. In a post back then, I noted this quote from a study that Appcelerator and IDC did: “The Appcelerator-IDC Q2 2011 Mobile Developer Survey Report, taken April 11-13, shows that interest in Android has recently plateaued as concerns around fragmentation and disappointing results from early tablet sales have caused developers to pull back from their previous steadily increasing enthusiasm for Google’s mobile operating system.”

        • 64-bit mobile processors for Android L is coming

          Back in 2011, Nvidia announced to the world that they had acquired a license for the latest ARM instruction set, the ARM v8. But the most exciting part of the deal was that the new ARM instruction set is 64-bit. After making 32-bit mobile CPUs, Nvidia was set to take their Tegra K1 platform to the next level with a 64-bit mobile CPU. At the Hot Chips conference this year, Nvidia revealed their little project that they have been quietly working in for all these year. The Tegra K1 ARM v8 64-bit chip from Nvidia is ready for a release later next year. The new chip is codenamed Project Denver.

        • Nvidia’s 64-bit Tegra K1 processor may take Android to new heights

Free Software/Open Source

  • Business essentials: the open source software movement

    Research carried out by CWJobs.co.uk found that 62 per cent of IT professionals think that businesses are already missing out on the opportunities that open source technology presents. This is laid bare further by the fact that of the 300 IT professionals surveyed, 48 per cent think that there are already more jobs in open source than a year ago.

  • Open Potential

    Research from CWJobs has found that almost half (48 per cent) of IT professionals believe there are more jobs in open source than there were a year ago. Moreover, the survey of over 300 IT professionals found 62 per cent of the opinion that businesses were missing out on the opportunities generated by open source. The survey also found 71 per cent of respondents believe open source will be required more widely in future, with the biggest growth expected to be in advertising and media, telecoms and financial services.

  • CenturyLink Panamax Eases Docker Management
  • Panamax Open Source Tool Simplifies Docker Management

    In a very short amount of time, Docker–an open source tool for managing applications in containers–has become all the rage, and now CenturyLink has announced that it is releasing its Docker management tool Panamax to the open source community. Panamax is targeted to give developers one management platform to create, share and deploy Docker-containerized applications.

  • ClusterHQ brings databases to Docker with Flocker

    While it’s clear that Docker and container-based architecture is rapidly becoming a popular development and deployment paradigm, there are still a number of areas where containers still struggle compared to traditional bare-metal or virtualized solutions.

    One of these areas is data-centric applications. While virtual machines have developed a number of tools for snapshotting, migrating, resizing, and other management tasks, the management side of Docker containers and their related volumes isn’t necessarily at the same level of maturity. Yet. There are still some unanswered questions about how best to build a containerized application capable of dealing with machine failure, scalability, and other issues without introducing unnecessary complexity. These challenges are particularly difficult when applied to databases associated with containers.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome 38 Dev Features Better Copy/Paste

        The Development branch of Google Chrome, a browser built on the Blink layout engine that aims to be minimalistic and versatile at the same time, is now at version 38.0.2121.3 and is available for all platforms.

      • Google+ Update brings support for Chromecast

        As a rule of thumb Google typically offer updates to its services and products on Wednesdays. However google+ was given a surprise update today with a neat albeit a debatable limited update.

  • Education

    • Professors embed students directly into open source communities

      Ellis, whose students have contributed to Caribou, an on-screen keyboard that’s part of the GNOME desktop, explained that seasoned students often prefer to submit patches to projects, while beginner-level students are more content to interview existing contributors, explore collaboration technologies like Git or IRC, and embark on what Ellis calls open source “field trips”—toe-dipping excursions into various communities…

    • Everyday I help libraries make the switch to open source

      My first serious introduction to open source software came with my first summer work-study job. I was working on my undergraduate degree in computer science, and applied to my local library to work in the children’s area. But the library’s network admin, Cindy Murdock, snapped me up as soon as she saw “shell scripting” on my resume. From there I began to learn about all the ways open source software can be used in libraries.

      My library began using it with BSD-based routers in our small, rural libraries. At the time, dial-up was the only option for Internet access there. By the time I arrived, the library was already using open source software for routers, web servers, and content filters. From there we began branching out into other software. We set up a digital repository using Greenstone, and we were looking for an open source intergrated library system (ILS). We streamlined our people-counting system with a setup including wireless sensors that report to a server. I was able to write a more advanced reporting system using its API, which I also released.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • The Lenovo X200 Now Works With Coreboot

      The X200 model supported in particular right now is the 7458CY9, which is an older X200 variant. This X200 model has a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor with 4GB of RAM and 160GB HDD. The X200S and X200T are also listed as being supported.

  • Programming

    • Why developers should not be testing

      When somebody asks about their missing pet feature in KDE or ownCloud software, I always trow in a request for help in the answer. Software development is hard work and these features don’t appear out of nowhere. There are only so many hours in a day to work on the a million things we all agree are important. There are many ways to help out and speed things up a little. In this blog I’d like to highlight testing because I see developers spend a lot of time testing their own software – and that is not as good as it sounds.

Leftovers

  • Twitter Refutes Report That 23 Million Active Users Are Bots

    Twitter is defending itself after reports this morning suggested that the company admitted up to 8.5%, or 23 million, of its active users are automated bots.

  • Eight Twitterbots worth following
  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Libya unravels: The U.S. is not good at repairing broken countries

      Developments in Libya continue to underline sharply the foreign affairs catastrophe in which the United States under President Barack Obama participated, with the country’s former colonial masters France, Italy and the United Kingdom, in engineering regime change there in 2011.

    • Former NSA spook resigns from Naval War College in dick-pic scandal

      John Schindler was a prof at the College; he slammed Snowden as a traitor and compared Greenwald to Hitler, and was generally dismissive about concerns about network surveillance; he also sent pictures of his dick to a woman who wasn’t his wife. He also co-wrote the report that stated that Sadam Hussein had WMDs, and helped send America to war.

    • PROFFESOR AT NAVAL WAR COLLEGE RESIGNS AFTER PHOTOS OF HIS ALLEGED JOHNSON APPEAR ON LINE
    • Look at past airliner shootings so we can learn about government lies

      Airliners are occasionally shot down (collateral damage) by modern air defense systems. Like children run over cross the street, it’s an ugly fact of modern life. These extreme (but fortunately rare) events reveal much about the behavior of governments — and about us. Governments lie; they do so because we believe them (no matter how much we pretend no to).

    • 14 Pulitzer Prize Winners Ask Justice Department Not to Jail Reporter
    • When will Obama’s administration stop trying to send this man to jail for telling the truth about spies, nukes and Iran?

      James Risen is out of chances. It’s time for the government to stop harassing a journalist for doing his job

    • Pulitzer Prize winners demand DOJ stops threatening New York Times journalist with jail
    • Many Pulitzer Prize Winners Demand DOJ Stop Threatening Reporter James Risen With Jail If He Protects His Sources
    • Grandmother Sentenced to Prison for Protesting US Drone Base

      Judge David Gideon’s words refer not to the use of drones, but the activities of anti-drone activists. He has uttered this phrase from the bench repeatedly in recent months as activists have appeared before him, and the words must have been echoing through his mind as he sentenced Mary Anne Grady Flores, a 58-year-old grandmother from Ithaca, New York, to one year in prison on July 10. Her crime? Participating in a nonviolent anti-drone protest at an upstate New York military base after being ordered by the local courts to stay away from the site. The base is used to train drone pilots and technicians, and to control drone surveillance and strikes in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    • Judge Jails Anti-Drone Granny

      Judge David Gideon’s words refer not to the use of drones, but the activities of anti-drone activists. He has uttered this phrase from the bench repeatedly in recent months as activists have appeared before him, and the words must have been echoing through his mind as he sentenced Mary Anne Grady Flores, a 58-year-old grandmother from Ithaca, New York, to one year in prison on July 10. Her crime? Participating in a nonviolent anti-drone protest at an upstate New York military base after being ordered by the local courts to stay away from the site. The base is used to train drone pilots and technicians, and to control drone surveillance and strikes in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    • Wisdom in Obama’s ‘Don’t Do Stupid Stuff’

      The current clear preference of the American public to avoid new entangling military encounters naturally gives rise to the charge that President Barack Obama is merely bowing to that public opinion rather than exerting leadership.

    • The murky world of military aid

      “Normally speaking, the Defense Department deals with governments, and the CIA deals with non-state actors,” explains Stephen Biddle, a professor of political science and international affairs at The George Washington University.

      [...]

      “As far as we can tell, yes, the CIA is now committed to provide weapons and ammunition directly to the peshmerga,” Biddle says. That has been widely reported, but a CIA spokesman declined Marketplace’s request for comment.

    • Top 9 Reasons to Stop Bombing Iraq

      1. It’s not a rescue mission. The U.S. personnel could be evacuated without the 500-pound bombs. The persecuted minorities could be supplied, moved, or their enemy dissuaded, or all three, without the 500-pound bombs or the hundreds of “advisors” (trained and armed to kill, and never instructed in how to give advice — Have you ever tried taking urgent advice from 430 people?). The boy who cried rescue mission should not be allowed to get away with it after the documented deception in Libya where a fictional threat to civilians was used to launch an all-out aggressive attack that has left that nation in ruins. Not to mention the false claims about Syrian chemical weapons and the false claim that missiles were the only option left for Syria — the latter claims being exposed when the former weren’t believed, the missiles didn’t launch, and less violent but perfectly obvious alternative courses of action were recognized. If the U.S. government were driven by a desire to rescue the innocent, why would it be arming Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain? The U.S. government destroyed the nation of Iraq between 2003 and 2011, with results including the near elimination of various minority groups. If preventing genocide were a dominant U.S. interest, it could have halted its participation in and aggravation of that war at any time, a war in which 97% of the dead were on one side, just as in Gaza this month — the distinction between war and genocide being one of perspective, not proportions. Or, of course, the U.S. could have left well alone. Ever since President Carter declared that the U.S. would kill for Iraqi oil, each of his successors has believed that course of action justified, and each has made matters significantly worse.

    • Iraqi Helicopter Crashes While Delivering Aid

      An Iraqi helicopter delivering aid to stranded Yazidis crashed Tuesday killing the pilot and injuring some of the passengers including a New York Times reporter. The Yazidis are a religious minority trapped by ISIS – the Islamic militants advancing through Northern Iraq.

    • ‘My wife thinks I will come home in a box’ – and three days later Gaza bomb disposal expert was dead

      Rahed Taysir al’Hom was buried in the sandy soil of the cemetery of Jabaliya, the rough Gaza neighbourhood where he had grown up, at 1pm on the third day of the ceasefire.

      His funeral was quick, attended by a hundred or so mourners, and accompanied by a quick sermon from a white-turbaned cleric, a sobbing father and some shots fired from a Kalashnikov by a skinny teenager.

    • We’re human fodder caught in the crossfire of armed groups and armed governments

      “Her father was killed in Helmand amidst fighting between the Taliban and the Afghan/U.S.-NATO forces,” said a relative about Gul Jumma, who looked down, shy and full of angst, sensing a future that’s not promising.

      Gul Jumma, together with the Afghan Peace Volunteers, expressed their opposition to wars in this video. Gul Jumma (in photo above, at right) holds up the sign for Ukraine, indicating “No to wars in Ukraine.” She understands what it is like to be caught in the crossfire, as happened to her father when he was killed in battle.

    • US airstrikes counterproductive in Yemen, Iraq

      The human rights groups in Yemen repeatedly accused the United States of breaking international law and perhaps committing war crimes by killing civilians in missile and drone strikes that were intended to hit militants.

    • Pine Gap communications facility’s operations ‘ethically unacceptable’, Professor Des Ball says

      A senior strategic analyst has called for the Federal Government to rethink the Pine Gap communications facility, saying some of its work now is “ethically unacceptable”.

    • Top intelligence analyst slams Pine Gap’s role in American drone strikes

      The joint US-Australian defence base at Pine Gap is accused of helping direct American drone strikes leading to Australia’s leading intelligence expert to call its work ‘ethically unacceptable’.

    • Video: Glenn Greenwald Criticizes NPR for Relying on CIA-Linked Firm in Report on Impact of Snowden Leaks
    • Glenn Greenwald Criticizes NPR for Relying on CIA-Linked Firm in Report on Impact of Snowden Leaks
    • Professor Boyle: Islamic State is US covert intelligence operation

      “All the implications so far in the public record are that ISIS [IS] is a covert US intelligence operation,” Boyle told RIA Novosti Tuesday. “Head of ISIS Abu Bakr Baghdadi spent five years in an American detention facility, and also three of the four military commanders were also in detention by the US forces. So, my guess is that ISIS is indeed a covert US military intervention to set precedent for US escalation in Iraq.”

    • Obama sends 130 armed military advisers to Iraq

      U.S. military forces continued to engage ISIL terrorists in Iraq today, successfully conducting an airstrike on an ISIL armed truck west of the village of Sinjar. NBC News has confirmed that at approximately 12:20 p.m. EST, the U.S. remotely piloted an aircraft that struck and destroyed an ISIL armed vehicle west of Sinjar. All aircraft exited the strike area safely.

    • Mass Murder as Political Marketing – The Phoenix Program and U.S. Foreign Policy

      The CIA’s infamous program to crush the resistance to U.S. occupation of South Vietnam is largely remembered as a gigantic campaign of assassination that claimed tens of thousands of lives. However, the Phoenix Program is best understood as an extension of U.S. propaganda.

    • Did Egypt alert Washington to impending 9/11 attacks? Former Intelligence chief slams El-Adly’s claims

      Mubarak’s interior minister claims he warned American intelligence twice about 9/11 attacks

    • Snowden Certain US Secret Services Spy on Him in Russia – Reports

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is certain that the United States’ secret services spy on him in Russia where his temporary asylum was extended for three years starting August 1, Snowden said in an interview with WIRED online magazine.

      “They’ve [NSA, CIA] got a team of guys whose job is just to hack me,” Snowden said. “I don’t think they’ve geolocated me, but they almost certainly monitor who I’m talking to online. Even if they don’t know what you’re saying, because it’s encrypted, they can still get a lot from who you’re talking to and when you’re talking to them.”

    • Snowden considered leaks earlier, held off for Obama election

      Edward Snowden has revealed this week that if it had not been for an impending election of Barack Obama in 2008 as President of the United States, he might have leaked NSA documents earlier. He speaks up this week on how he began to consider whistle-blowing in 2007, during “the Bush period, when the war on terror had gotten really dark.”

    • A Most Dire Question, How to Prevent the Real War to End All Wars? Part II

      The American people when polled recently overwhelmingly said they didn’t want any new war in Iraq.

      To that acknowledgement, “dear leader” Barack Obama authorized air strikes last Thursday in Iraq but endlessly repeated, “No ground forces will be sent”.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • How the Commission ‘blocked’ key environmental plans

      Plans to crack down on endocrine disruptors and illegal timber being imported into the EU, were buried by the outgoing President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and his secretary-general Catherine Day, according to a senior EU source.

    • But does fossil fuel know it’s the problem?

      Why then are we unable to stop using fossil fuels? Our inability to deal with the problem of fuel invites a perverse question; does fossil fuel know that we don’t need it? This is a version of a joke told by Slavoj Zizek. Briefly, a man believes that he is a piece of grain who is under constant threat that he will be eaten by a chicken. He goes to a psychologist and he is cured of this delusion. Time passes, and one day he returns to the analyst and tells him, “There is a chicken outside of my house! I am afraid he will eat me!” The analyst says, “But you are cured of your delusion; you know that you are a man, not a piece of grain.” The man replies, “Yes, I know. But does the chicken know?”

    • ‘Big Oil’ is making too much noise

      The Supreme Court says money is speech. With the chance of losing the biggest tax break of the new century to Ballot Proposition 1, oil giants ConocoPhillips, BP, and ExxonMobil are making it seem more like money is screech.

      The Supreme Court also says corporations are “persons” so, under the First Amendment to the Constitution, oil money is “protected” speech.

    • The U.S. Is Bombing Iraq And Not Syria For Reasons That Look Really Familiar

      Erbil is also home to many major American oil wells.

  • Finance

    • John Oliver’s amazing takedown of payday lenders: ‘Even cluster@#$%s are bigger in Texas’

      John Oliver continues to do the work of real journalists, blowing the lid of the complicated and corrupt world of payday lenders in Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight.”

    • SEC Aggressively Investigates Media Leaks

      Since 2008, one particular federal government agency has aggressively investigated leaks to the media, examining some one million emails sent by nearly 300 members of its staff, interviewing some 100 of its own employees and trolling the phone records of scores more. It’s not the CIA, the Department of Justice or the National Security Agency.

    • Winter Is Coming: As the World Crumbles, We Must Re-Engage with Russia

      Like it or not, in such a setting we cannot afford to deepen our rift with Russia. Our airstrikes on Iraq, necessary as they are, have also furnished an ideal pretext for Russian President Vladimir Putin to initiate some type of militarized intervention in eastern Ukraine that he can argue falls under the banner of “peacekeeping” and “protection.” Case in point: Western politicians are openly wondering if the 260-truck convoy that set out from the Moscow region Tuesday is possibly carrying something other than what Russians profess is only “humanitarian aid” for the besieged city of Luhansk – and whether the trucks will actually stop, as claimed, at the Ukrainian border and hand control of the mission over to the International Red Cross.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Anti-Immigrant Fox Guest Stokes Fears Of ISIS Crossing Border: “I Would Guarantee You, They’re Already Here”
    • Decision Halting Walker Criminal Probe “Completely Unmoored”

      A slew of election law experts and Wisconsin’s elections board have filed briefs with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals sharply critiquing federal Judge Rudolph Randa’s decision halting Wisconsin’s criminal campaign finance probe, describing the ruling as “erroneous,” and as “completely unmoored” from U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

      On May 6, Judge Randa — a George Bush appointee who is on the board of advisors to the Milwaukee Federalist Society — halted the “John Doe” investigation into alleged illegal coordination between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s campaign and outside political groups like Wisconsin Club for Growth (WiCFG) during the 2011-2012 recall elections. WiCFG spent $9.1 million during the recalls on electoral “issue ads” that stopped short of expressly telling viewers how to vote, and funneled millions more to other groups that also ran issue ads.

  • Censorship

    • UK Police Hijack Ads of 74 Pirate Websites, Refuse to Name Them

      New data obtained through a Freedom of Information request reveals that the UK’s ‘piracy police’ are hijacking the ads of 74 suspected pirate sites. The police are refusing to reveal the domain names as that would “raise the profile of these sites.” Fearing cyber-attacks, the names of participating advertising agencies are also being withheld.

    • Forcing Commenters to Use Real Names Won’t Root Out the Trolls

      They say never to read the comments. But I do. Every day. I read every comment—the good, the bad, the so ugly it needs to be deleted—because it’s my job. I’m a community management consultant. And, believe it or not, my favorite commenters are anonymous.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Fulsome prison blues

      Attorney General Eric Holder said he believes the shooting in Ferguson (Mo.) “deserves fulsome review.”

      [...]I have advised readers in the past to take deep breaths about the skunking of words. “Enormity” now means hugeness. “Bemused” now means slightly amused. Get over it.

      So it is with this self-awareness that I stamp my feet about the creeping loss of fulsome. We simply don’t need a new $20 synonym for “full,” whereas a crisp two-syllable word meaning unpleasantly excessive, why that we do need.

    • Truths and Falsehoods About Ralph Nader’s New Book

      Have progressives made a mistake of lumping all conservatives together and fueling their political energies into hating them? Or are there what Ralph Nader calls “anti-corporatist conservatives,” who loathe undeclared, endless wars as much as progressives? And should progressives seek alliances with these anti-corporatist conservatives to oppose unnecessary wars, corporate welfare, NSA violations of our privacy, and many other issues where there is what Nader calls “convergence?”

    • Where in Constitution is CIA absolved of its myriad crimes?

      As I’ve often reported, the list of the agency’s wrongdoings is long, continuous and deeply documented in such books as “Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA” by Tim Weiner, and “Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention And Extraordinary Rendition” by Amrit Singh and published by The Open Society Foundations.

    • The CIA Activities and the Huge U.S. Military Offensive in Africa

      The CIA’s activities in Africa go and in hand with the huge U.S. military offensive on the continent. The agency “has maintained a continuing presence on the African continent into the 21st Century, engaging in various nefarious activities, including supporting foes of the Gadhafi government in Libya.”

    • The Senate report on CIA might lead to reform, but don’t hold your breath
    • Lawless at the CIA

      CIA spying on the Senate is the constitutional equivalent of the Watergate break-in. In both cases, the executive branch attacked the very foundations of our system of checks and balances.

    • Why Does John Brennan Still Have a Job?
    • Public Interest Groups Call For Brennan’s Resignation
    • 20 watchdog groups call for Brennan’s resignation

      A coalition of 20 transparency and ethics watchdog groups are fed up with CIA Director John Brennan’s leadership and are calling on President Obama to ask him to step down.

      The group, which includes the Project on Government Oversight, the Sunlight Foundation and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, among many others, on Tuesday accused the CIA of abusing its power and obstructing the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into agency’s use of torture in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks.

    • ‘National security’ candidate: Former CIA officer runs for U.S. House seat in Texas

      He is a former clandestine officer who’s gone into Lone Star politics. That would be conservative Will Hurd, who has joined the list of “national security” candidates who’ve caught the notice of John Bolton. Indeed, Mr. Hurd is challenging Democrat Rep. Pete Gallego in the 23rd District of Texas, which includes much of the Mexican-American border, in a pivotal area where voter support is much coveted by the GOP.

    • Ben Carson’s pledge of allegiance
    • Data Protection Issues in TISA’s First Leak

      Last week I wrote about the baby steps that the European Commission is taking to bring more transparency to the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) currently being negotiated. One of the things that the Commission is unlikely to publish – because the US won’t let it – is the negotiating text. Fortunately, we live in the age of whistleblowers and leakers, and one of them kindly supplied Wikileaks with a copy of the Financial Services Annex of TISA back in June…

    • US wanted Britain to build 2nd Guantanamo – report

      The prison, which could have been built in the British territory of Diego Garcia, would have hosted up to 500 detainees, and like the Cuban prison, would have been allowed to operate outside the normal parameters of international law.

    • Could the CIA have run a ‘black site’ detention centre on Diego Garcia?

      For years there have been rumours and reports of a CIA “black site” on Diego Garcia but two British officers who served on the island after the September 11 attacks have cast doubt on some of the more outlandish claims

    • Britain ‘discussed’ US request to build Guantanamo-style prison on Diego Garcia after September 11 attacks, officials say

      As Democrats fight for information about the CIA’s secret kidnap and torture programme to be published in a landmark report, The Telegraph has learnt details of America’s requests to use British territory of Diego Garcia in network of secret prison sites

    • Nice work: G4S wins $118 million Guantánamo contract

      G4S, the UK government outsourcer that supports Israeli security functions in the West Bank, will now supply ‘custodial services’ to Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, writes Clare Sambrook. Shocked? You shouldn’t be. G4S is impervious to public criticism and defies international law with impunity.

    • Doctor Complicity in Torture

      The Senate’s report on torture by the Central Intelligence Agency is expected to shed further light on the complicity of health professionals in the systematic torture and ill treatment of detainees. Much of this information is already public and documented in reports by Physicians for Human Rights and others.

    • Democrats battle with CIA conjures up old question: What constitutes torture?
    • Op-Ed: The CIA needs to win hearts and minds as well as gather intel
    • CIA no longer a state tax delinquent

      The state Treasury Department has released three tax liens posted against the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency for failing to pay almost $21,000 in withholding tax for its Michigan employees.

      A Treasury spokesman said state law prohibits him from discussing details of the tax delinquency – or even confirming the CIA paid its debt.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Internet hiccups today? You’re not alone. Here’s why

      It’s not just you. Many Internet providers have been having trouble as they run into long expected (but not adequately prepared for) routing table problems.

    • Why I’m willing to pay an early termination fee to leave Verizon

      Verizon’s throttling. Usually companies deny it until they get caught, but Verizon has come right out and said it will throttle certain users. Oh sure, they said only unlimited bandwidth users only. They also cooperated with the NSA after umpteen promises of protection our privacy. Quite frankly, I don’t trust you.

    • Walmart to sell Facebook only phone

      Wal-Mart, the US company whose employees are so poor that they live off food stamps while the owners are among the richest in the country, is now offering a new phone plan for $12 that allows users to access only Facebook. They are being offered by Virgin and initially you’re offered 20 minutes and 20 texts, then for $5 each on top you can add Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

      This plan effectively takes away net neutrality for it’s users as they can only access white-listed services and if more carriers see this they may decide to implement something like this themselves.

  • DRM

    • California passes cellphone ‘kill switch’ bill

      California is one step away from requiring cellphones to come with “kill switches.”

      The state Senate voted 27-8 on Monday to pass the newest version of a bill requiring cellphones sold within the state to allow users to make their phones inoperable if stolen, according to a report from CNET.

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