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09.03.14

Links 3/9/2014: Android Gadgets, New Tails OS

Posted in News Roundup at 6:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • China Plans To Oust Windows

    However, there are also good commercial reasons. Most of China’s mobile phone manufacturers make use of Android and, even if the OS is nominally free and open source, we all know that it is still very much Google’s. An OS controlled by Chinese manufacturers makes sense. What is surprising is that there have already been a number of attempts at creating a Chinese operating system – Red Flag in 2000 eventually ran out of funds and COS China Operating System was launched as an Android replacement.

  • 10 Answers To The Most Frequently Asked Linux Questions On Google

    Go to Google and type in a query. As you type you will notice that Google suggests some questions and topics for you.

    The suggestions that appear are based on the most searched for topics based on the keywords provided. There is a caviat and that is each person may receive a slightly different list based on things they have naturally searched for in the past.

    The concept of todays article is to provide answers to the most commonly asked questions using terms such as Why is Linux, What does Linux, Can Linux and Which Linux.

  • Server

    • Parallels to line up with Linux containers

      Parallels is working to bring its automation, security and management wares to the burgeoning world of Linux containerisation.

      The junior virtualiser finds itself in an interesting position vis a vis Linux containers and Docker, because it has long described its own Virtuozzo product as offering containers. But Virtuozzo is closer to conventional virtualisation than containerisation, because it wraps an operating system rather than just an application.

    • Bringing new security features to Docker

      In the first of this series on Docker security, I wrote “containers do not contain.” In this second article, I’ll cover why and what we’re doing about it.

      Docker, Red Hat, and the open source community are working together to make Docker more secure. When I look at security containers, I am looking to protect the host from the processes within the container, and I’m also looking to protect containers from each other. With Docker we are using the layered security approach, which is “the practice of combining multiple mitigating security controls to protect resources and data.”

      Basically, we want to put in as many security barriers as possible to prevent a break out. If a privileged process can break out of one containment mechanism, we want to block them with the next. With Docker, we want to take advantage of as many security mechanisms of Linux as possible.

      Luckily, with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7, we get a plethora of security features.

    • Clusterbit Developed the World’s Smallest Datacenter

      The project began in March 2014 with both co-geeks Raffi Manoian and Zohrab Tavitian who founded Clusterbit. They decided to cram 8 credit card size servers into a little box and develop an open source platform where home enthusiasts, IT professionals, Linux technicians as well as high-end users can explore new possibilities.

    • Edge-Core Networks Accelerates Open Networking with Integrated Cumulus Linux Worldwide
  • Kernel Space

    • Linux kernel developer arrested in Russia

      Dmitry Monakhov apparently jailed for public protest against Ukraine conflict.

    • Kernel Developer Arrested in Russia for Protesting Against the Invasion of Ukraine – Gallery

      It’s not a secret that Russia doesn’t like democratic protesters and this was amply demonstrated in the last few years. Now, it looks like one of the kernel developers has been arrested in Russia while he was protesting against Ukraine’s invasion.

    • Sony backs AllSeen Alliance in Internet of Stuff standards slap-fight

      Sony has cast its lot with the AllSeen Alliance in the ongoing standards squabble over the pervasive-computing future tech known as the Internet of Things (IoT).

    • Sony Joins AllSeen Internet of Things Alliance
    • Systemd Controversy Not Going Away Quietly

      If you thought the systemd argument was settled, I’m not sure you’d be correct. Paul Venezia is back on the case today saying folks are continuing to blog, thread, mailing list, and forum about their problems with systemd. Katherine Noyes noted the trend in her Blog Safari today as well. Her first example says Linux is being turned into “OS X or even Windows.”

    • New Group Calls For Boycotting Systemd

      A new project has been established that’s trying to boycott systemd and the Linux distributions utilizing systemd.

    • Fanning the Flames of the Systemd Inferno

      They say art imitates life, but it’s surprising how often the same can be said of the Linux blogs.

      Case in point: Just as the world at large is filled today with fiery strife — Gaza, Ukraine, Syria, Ferguson — so, too, is the Linux blogosphere. Of course, it’s not political, social or racial struggles tearing the FOSS community apart. Rather, the dividing issue here is none other than Systemd.

      Systemd is a topic that’s been discussed in heated terms many times before, of course — including a lively debate here in the Linux Blog Safari back in May.

    • Is systemd as bad as boycott systemd is trying to make it?

      From just a purely end-user perspective, systemd is an application that I’ve come to like a lot. And I think that its adoption by all Linux distributions will make it easier to manage Linux systems.

      But it has come under heavy criticism from some quarters – for trying to be a Swiss-army-knife-type application. One that does practically anything and everything, which the critics claim is against the UNIX/Linux philosophy of coding an application to do one thing and do it well.

    • Intel Lands More Graphics Changes For Linux 3.18

      For the Linux 3.18 kernel Intel has ready some more DRM graphics driver changes beyond the exciting work already sent into drm-next.

    • Linus Torvalds: Respect should be earned [part1 from DebConf 14]

      Linux is also one of the oldest technologies which is growing strong day by day; Linux has been around for more than two decades (23 years to be precise) and it dominates virtually every space. It’s also one of those few open source technologies which are still being lead by their creators.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Trying Intel OpenCL On Linux For Video Encoding

        Following my testing and reporting last weekend about Intel Beignet starting to provide very usable open-source OpenCL support on Linux, one of the most common requests was to next see if this Intel OpenCL Linux supprot benefits x264 encoding at all.

      • GSoC 2014 Yielded Some Improvements For Mesa/X.Org This Year

        Google’s annual Summer of Code project ended last month and I’ve been meaning to write a brief update about the work done by the student open-source developers on their X.Org-related work.

      • AMD Releases Updated Catalyst Linux Graphics Driver (v14.30)

        Those dependent upon AMD’s proprietary Linux graphics driver have a new Catalyst update to play with today.

        Launched yesterday by AMD was the Radeon R9 285 “Tonga” graphics card, a GPU that’s derived from their Tahiti GPU core. The Radeon R9 285 has a $249 price point and comes in 2GB and 4GB GDDR5 versions. Unfortunately we weren’t seeded with any Radeon R9 285 so don’t know how well this new Rx 200 series graphics card works under Linux, but they released a Catalyst update that appears to support the new hardware for Linux users.

    • Benchmarks

      • littler is faster at doing nothing!

        With yesterday’s announcement of littler 0.2.0, I kept thinking about a few not-so-frequently-asked but recurring questions about littler. And an obvious one if of course the relationship to Rscript.

        As we have pointed out before, littler preceded Rscript. Now, with Rscript being present in every R installation, it is of course by now more widely known.

      • Running Gallium3D’s LLVMpipe On The Eight-Core 5GHz CPU

        Having an eight-core CPU that can clock up to 5.0GHz (albeit having a 220 Watt TDP), curiosity got the best of me to run some quick (or slow) Gallium3D LLVMpipe tests just to see how this software fall-back driver performs.

      • GCC 5.0 Outruns LLVM 3.5 Compiler By A Bit On Core-AVX2

        In anticipation of the LLVM 3.5 release that brings a number of new compiler features — including possible performance improvements from our benchmarking done earlier today — here’s some benchmarks comparing LLVM Clang 3.5 RC3 to a recent SVN snapshot of the GCC 5.0 compiler that’s presently under development.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • INTERMEDIATE RESULTS OF THE ICON TESTS: BREEZE

        The introduction of the new Breeze icon set in KDE let us again wonder, what aspects of an icon set actually takes what impact on the usability of it. We investigated Oxygen and Tango Icons for the LibreOffice project before, but our focus then was on checking all icons of the standard tool bar. This time we focus on different icon sets and will use 13 common actions to compare them.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • The GNOME Foundation’s 2013 annual report

        The GNOME Foundation has put out its annual report for 2013 as a 24-page PDF file. “As you will see when you read this annual report, there have been a lot of great things that have happened for the GNOME Foundation during this period. Two new companies joined our advisory board, the Linux Foundation and Private Internet Access. The work funded by our accessibility campaign was completed and we ran a successful campaign for privacy. During this period, there was a fantastic Board of Directors, a dedicated Engagement team (who worked so hard to put this report together), and the conference teams (GNOME.Asia, GUADEC and the Montreal Summit) knocked it out of the park. Most importantly, we’ve had an influx of contributors, more so than I’ve seen in some time.”

      • gedit 3.14 for OS X (preview)

        If you’re reading this through planet GNOME, you’ll probably remember Ignacio talking about gedit 3 for windows. The windows port has always been difficult to maintain, especially due to gedit and its dependencies being a fast moving target, as well as the harsh build environment. Having seen his awesome work on such a difficult platform, I felt pretty bad about the general state of the OS X port of gedit.

      • Raspberry Pi gets a brand new browser
      • Epiphany Browser For Raspberry Pi (Raspbian) Got Improved HTML5 Support

        As you may know, Raspberry Pi is an ARM single-board computer with the size of a credit card, being available in three variants: model A, model B and model B+.

      • Raspberry Pi Now Has a Much Faster Web Browser

        Raspberry Pi is powered by a wealth of operating systems, but there is also an official one called Raspbian, which is based on Debian, as the name implies. The developers have now released a new web browser that should be much faster.

  • Distributions

    • Simplicity Linux 14.10 Alpha Is an OS Based on Slacko 5.9.3 and Linux kernel 3.15.4

      The developers of Simplicity Linux have based their system on Slacko 5.9.3 and they are using the 3.15.4 Linux kernel. This kernel is one of the newest available and should provide adequate hardware support for the latest devices. Also, unlike previous releases in the series, the new version covers only two flavors, Netbook and Desktop.

    • How Many Linux Distros Are On the Top Ten?

      This means, in a way, that we can say that DistroWatch’s top ten distro list only contains five unique distros.

    • New Releases

      • Tails OS 1.1.1 update fixes some major bugs

        Today, the Tails OS was updated to version 1.1.1, bringing with it some critical security patches. In this release we see Tor updated to 0.2.4.23 which tries to protect users from entities who control your first and last node and can then see who you are and where you’re going, this patch changes the rotation rates to help protect from this sort of attack.

      • Tails 1.1.1 Screenshot Tour
    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • September 2014 Issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine Released

        The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published
        by volunteers from the community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor,
        and Assistant Editor Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the
        Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license,
        and some rights are reserved.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat to Webcast Results for Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2015
      • Red Hat Named As One of World’s Most Innovative Companies

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the company has been named one of the “World’s Most Innovative Companies” by Forbes magazine. Forbes named Red Hat the 12th most innovative company on its global list, and the eighth most innovative company in North America. Red Hat was one of only two enterprise IT systems software companies recognized by Forbes.

      • Open source not just software at Red Hat

        My internship at Red Hat has not only advanced my knowledge and skills of Linux but also about the concept of open source. When I first started experimenting with Linux, I downloaded a copy of a Debian ISO to share a partition on my Windows machine. While researching Linux, the phrase “open source” would often appear on blogs, articles, and on quick “how-to” YouTube tutorials. I would soon come to realize what that term really meant.

      • Red Hat: Open source “more secure” than proprietary

        Open source technologies are “more secure” than software that is developed in a proprietary way, Red Hat’s JBoss middleware business unit general manager, Mike Piech, said in a meeting with journalists.

        On the one hand, open source software code is freely available, which means that hackers will see how to hack it. But, on the other, there is also a vast community of people working to maintain open source software security.

      • DISA awards open-source BPA to DLT

        Herndon, Virginia-based DLT solutions on Sept. 3 announced the award of a five-year blanket purchase agreement through the Defense Information Systems Agency for Red Hat enterprise software and services.

        The award comes under the Defense Department’s broader enterprise software initiative, a Pentagon plan to cut costs associated with common-use, commercial off-the-shelf software.

        The agreement, worth up to $40 million through June 2019, covers the procurement of Red Hat open-source software and services for use by DoD and intelligence agencies. DLT is a reseller of government IT software and services. The award includes Red Hat offerings for Linux, virtualization, storage and certain cloud capabilities, according to a release from DLT.

      • Fedora

        • [GNU IceCat] browser is (finally) on Fedora

          GNU Icecat will be available on Fedora updates-testing repositories for some days. That’s right time to test harshly this new web browser (really it’s not so new considering it’s a fork of Firefox) and leave a positive/negative karma or open a bug.

        • Fedora’s New Project Leader Plots What’s Next

          On June 3, Matthew Miller was named as the new Fedora Project Leader, succeeding the outgoing Robyn Bergeron. Over the last several months, Miller has settled into his role of running Red Hat’s community project and is overseeing one of the biggest changes in the project’s history.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/Linux, The Distro I Love

        Debian is more than software. It’s 1K+ developers doing stuff I don’t have to do, bringing together thousands of software packages and providing an installer and package-manager to provide a pleasant installation, management and usage experience. Debian is also democratic and open. I can see their rules, their known bugs and what they’re doing about them, just like a modern political democracy, thriving and true.

      • Why Linus Torvalds doesn’t use Ubuntu or Debian [Part 2 DebConf]

        It’s well known that Linus once tried Debian, way back in 2007, and found it hard to install. One of the attendees during the Q&A session of DebConf 2014 asked if he tried it lately. The creator of Linux replied that while he didn’t give Debian a try lately he was sure that it has become much easier to install Debian.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Releases Ubuntu Developer Tools Center, Makes It Easy To Install Android Studio And Android SDK In Ubuntu

            Canonical wants to make developers who create applications for platforms other than Ubuntu feel at home. In a recent article posted on his blog, +Didier Roche, Software Engineer at Canonical, writes: “Ubuntu loves developers and we are going to showcase it by making Ubuntu the best available developer platform!”.

          • Unity 8 and Mir Updates Show Great Progress

            Unity 8 and Mir are the technologies that are going to be the forefront of the upcoming Ubuntu releases and they are updated constantly. They are still pretty far off from a desktop implementation, but the progress made by the developers is visible.

            Canonical is now focusing all their efforts to develop a stable and shippable Ubuntu Touch image for the phones that will arrive in just a few months. This means that developers are working around the clock to fix the problems and other various bugs that plague the Ubuntu for phones operating system.

          • Ubuntu Touch: Canonical Is Focusing On The RTM Branch. The Scope Management Experience Has Been Improved

            While new features and changes are first tested on the devel branch and get moved to the stable one when they are stable enough, the RTM branch does not get new features, only security and stability fixes.

            While there is no official release date for the Ubuntu Touch powered phones, they should be released this Autumn, if everything goes as scheduled.

          • With its powerful octa-core chip and unusual display, Meizu MX4 is great – but can it “handle” Ubuntu Touch?

            Yesterday Meizu announced its latest flagship device, the MX4, and we love it. This bad boy comes with a 5.36-inch IPS display with unusual resolution of 1920 x 1152 pixels; that’s 418 PPI for those who count these sort of things.

            MediaTek’s brand-new MT6595 octa-core chip is providing the processing power needed to run things smoothly. Said SoC rocks four high-performance Cortex-A17 and four energy-efficient Cortex-A7 cores. This combo can apparently score as high as 47,000 points at the popular benchmark website AnTuTu; so yes, future owners of the MX4 will get one fast phone.

          • Ubuntu Wants to Be the Best Development Platform for Android Apps

            Canonical is looking to befriend the Android developers by becoming the development platform of choice. In this regard, the Ubuntu developers have implemented a simple way of getting the latest Android Studio (beta) and Android SDK, with all the required dependencies.

          • Canonical is Testing a Big New OpenStack Cloud Play: BootStack

            Canonical has a new spin on its OpenStack plans. The company is rolling out BootStack, which is a managed service offering currently in private beta testing. Through BootStack, Canonical wants to help customers build, support and manage OpenStack-centric clouds for a fee of $15 per server per day.

          • Canonical Releases Mir 0.7 Display Server

            While Ubuntu 14.10 is still sticking to the X.Org Server by default on the desktop, an updated version of Mir is now available for early adopters and those running the Ubuntu mobile stack.

          • Canonical BootStack Will Build & Manage Your OpenStack Cloud

            Mark Shuttleworth announced earlier this year “Your Cloud” as a paid service by Canonical to build and manage OpenStack cloud deployments. Your Cloud has turned into BootStack and is rolling forward for those that wish to have Canonical build out and manage their cloud computing environment.

            BootStack aims to “take away the pain of cloud management” by building, supporting, and managing clouds. Canonical will build a cloud for you either within your data center / premises or hosted by IBM’s Softlayer. The cloud will be built to your needs and on the hardware of your choosing.

          • BootStack – taking away the pain of cloud management

            BootStack (short for: build, operate, and optionally transfer) is the new offer from Canonical to round up its cloud offering. Utilising their experience in working with some of the world’s leading telcos and enterprises to build OpenStack clouds, Canonical experts will design and build your OpenStack cloud in predictable time and on budget. Canonical will manage the cloud for you for a fixed price, relieving you from the pain of recruiting and training OpenStack staff. When your team is ready to take over your cloud operations, Canonical will transfer it to your care. It’s the best way to get up and running quickly on OpenStack.

          • Ubuntu Touch Now Has a Torrent Client in the Ubuntu Store
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android mini-PC jumps on Cortex-A17 trend

      Tronsmart has launched an $80-and-up “Orion R28″ mini-PC that runs Android 4.4 on a quad-core, Cortex-A17 Rockchip RK3188 SoC clocked at 1.8GHz.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Sony joins the Android Wear ranks with underwhelming SmartWatch 3

          In March, Sony said it’d stick to its own smartwatch software in lieu of joining the Android Wear party with the likes of LG, Motorola, and Samsung. Today, Sony’s completely reversing that stance with the introduction of SmartWatch 3, its fifth-generation smartwatch, which has completely embraced Google’s Android Wear platform. Sony intends to add a Walkman app for music playback via a Bluetooth headset along with a remote control app for stuff you’re playing on another device. Don’t look for much more to distinguish this device on the software front.

        • Five must-have apps for Android Wear

          Android Wear devices are getting lots of attention in the media these days, and that’s definitely a good thing. But what about the software for Google’s newest mobile platform? Which apps do you need to get started using your Android Wear device? Android Police takes a look at five essential apps for Android Wear.

        • Top 5 Essential Android Wear Apps

          So you’ve just picked up an Android Wear device, but what the heck can you do with this tiny wrist computer? Sure, it pulls in notification from your phone and shows you Google Now cards, but you need some apps too. It can be a challenge to navigate the Play Store in search of the best watch apps, but we’ve been keeping a close eye on things. Here are the five apps every Android Wear device needs to have installed.

        • Android Wear will get smarter says Google

          It is hard to argue against 2014 being the year of the ‘wearables’. So far we have seen smartwatches launched by Samsung and LG which first highlighted what we can expect from the new technology.

          ASUS is also entering the smartwatch landscape with their Xen Watch which they claim to be the most good looking sub $200 watch.

        • HTC’s Nexus tablet to come with folio style case

          Over the last few months there has been massive speculation in regard to the future of the Nexus range. Some rumours highly suggest Motorola will be making the Nexus 6 (codename Shamu) while other rumours highly anticipate the Nexus 8 will be manufactured by HTC (codenames Flounder/Volantis). Of the two rumours it would seem that HTC and the Nexus 8 are a likely pairing and this was further suggested by the leaked information of the accessories to come with the Nexus 8.

        • Asus ZenWatch flaunts its stylish metal body and curved screen (pictures)

          The Asus ZenWatch is the first smartwatch using Android Wear — Google’s operating system designed specifically for watches.

        • Asus adds Zen to the Android Wear smartwatch
        • This Amazingly secure Android phone was able to discover fake cell phone towers

          We’ve always been suspicious of folks being able to snoop in on phone conversations or intercept data, but there isn’t much we can do to prove that happening or to prevent the foul act. One secure phone seems to have changed that, however.

        • Why Do Android Apps Want So Much Access to My Data?

          This week, reader Maureen noted that these apps seemed to be overreaching just a tad. Why, for example, would The Weather Channel app need access to your Device and Call information? Why would it need to know if WiFi is enabled and the names of all nearby WiFi devices?

        • With Galaxy Note 4 launch, Samsung aims to pre-empt Apple, claim innovation mantle

          Samsung on Wednesday launched its Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, a curved screen phablet, and Gear VR, a virtual reality headset, but the larger mission for the electronics giant was to claim ownership of large screen mobile devices and to position itself as an innovation leader.

          The timing of the launch event, held at the IFA conference in Berlin and New York, was hard to ignore with Apple’s iPhone 6 debut next week. Samsung was clearly trying to claim the innovation mantle as Apple finally gets around to offering a larger screen iPhone.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • webOS rises from the ashes (again) as LuneOS: open source operating system for phones and tablets

        The operating system that once powered devices like the Palm Pre and the HP TouchPad is getting another crack at life. A group of developers have taken the source code HP released a few years ago and turned it into something new(ish) called LuneOS.

        While the software is still very much a work in progress, you can now download and install the operating system on a handful of devices including the HP TouchPad tablet and Google Nexus 4 smartphone.

      • webOS Lives On As LuneOS With New Release

        Formerly known as webOS Ports, LuneOS was officially released today for letting the HP TouchPad and select Google Nexus devices re-live what’s best about webOS.

      • Open WebOS reborn in new LuneOS release

        The Open WebOS mobile Linux operating system has been renamed “LuneOS,” and is available in an “Affogato” release supporting HP’s TouchPad and LG’s Nexus 4.

        WebOS is back — yet again — in an open source “LuneOS” respin of the Open WebOS project, itself a spinoff of the proprietary WebOS. The WebOS Ports backed project, which was officially called “WebOS Ports Open WebOS,” released an Alpha 2 version in June 2013, and a year later announced its new project name based on the platform’s LunaSysMgr UI. The goal of LuneOS is “not to reach feature comparison with Android or iOS but rather building a system to satisfy basic needs in the mobile environment,” says the project.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Keep (developers) calm and carry on: How Puppet maintains open source civility

    Above all the company also has a “3 Strikes” rule for any bad actors and states that certain violations like “threatening, abusive, destructive or illegal nature will be addressed immediately and are not subject to 3 strikes.”

  • Meet The Open-Source Startup That Wants To Automate Your Next App

    This places Hashicorp right at the nexus of so-called DevOps, in which developers take on more responsibility for managing the infrastructure that hosts their applications and puts them in the hands of users. Some people view DevOps as heralding the eventual extinction of IT operations as a specialized function; Hashimoto isn’t one of them, although he does think IT suffers from a fatal lack of automation. And that’s a problem he’s trying to fix.

  • Tox aims to be an open source and secure alternative to Skype

    A group of developers have been working to make an app like Skype that isn’t owned by a large corporation and can avoid surveillance from organizations like the NSA. It’s called Tox, and while it’s still in development– its security is far from guaranteed at the moment– you can already download and try the app for Windows, OS X and Linux.

  • Tox: Open-source, P2P Skype alternative

    If you like the convenience of Skype, but you are worried about government surveillance and don’t trust Microsoft to keep you safe against it, Tox might be just the thing for you.

  • What Is Tox? Hackers Develop Secure, Private Skype Alternative

    Since Edward Snowden revealed the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs last summer, developers and tech companies like Google have been rushing to create tools that restore some semblance of security and privacy for Internet users. Tox, a Skype alternative that features instant messaging, call and video features, is the latest entry in that field.

  • The Open Source Tool That Lets You Send Encrypted Emails to Anyone

    In the wake of the mass NSA surveillance scandal sparked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, all sorts of hackers, academics, startups, and major corporations are working to build tools that let us more easily secure our email messages and other online communications.

  • Out in the Open: Take Back Your Privacy With This Open Source WhatsApp

    Private messaging apps like SnapChat and WhatsApp aren’t as private as you might think.

  • Application Awareness goes open source: Snort OpenAppID

    Cisco Sourcefire recently announced that their Snort open source IDS/IPS 2.9.7 will now support free application visibility and control, called OpenAppID. It will be fully integrated into the current Snort framework and offers a new application preprocessor and keyword ‘appid’ that can be used in any Snort rule. OpenAppID will launch with detection for over 1400+ applications, providing Snort admins with much needed awareness of the applications on their networks. The Snort application information can also be sent to 3rd party analytics or SIEM tools.

  • Events

    • Celebrate Software Freedom Day on September 20

      I am very glad to share with you that registration of the eleventh edition of Software Freedom Day has been opened since early August and you can see from our SFD event map, we already have 129 events from more than 50 countries shown in our map. As usual registration happens after you have created your event page on the wiki. We have a detail guide here for newcomers and for the others who need help, the SFD-Discuss mailing would be the best place to get prompt support.

    • Wikimania 2014 Notes – very miscellaneous
    • Learn more about open source at Software Freedom Day 2014

      The days of open source software being something that only pasty white guys living in their moms’ basements cared about are long gone. Today, the open source movement is absolutely huge, with even big companies buying into the concept thanks to the cost savings and beneficial functionality offered by increasingly competitive and polished open source options.

    • Nine Reasons to Attend Xen Project User Summit

      Some claim that the age of virtualization is now past. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. And this year’s Xen Project User Summit will highlight many of the newest advances in virtualization. If you use the Xen Project Hypervisor — or if you are simply evaluating your virtualization alternatives — join us in New York on September 15!

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 32 Debuts With Improved SSL Security

        The new open-source Mozilla browser release supports public-key pinning and fixes half a dozen vulnerabilities.

        Mozilla is out today with its Firefox 32 release, providing users of the open-source Web browser with new security fixes and features. Firefox 32 now provides support for public-key pinning, which enables enhanced security for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate authenticity.

      • Firefox 32 With New HTTP Cache Released for Android, Linux, Mac, Windows

        Mozilla has rolled out an update for its Firefox browser’s desktop and mobile platforms. The Firefox 32 for Android, Linux, Mac and Windows brings a number of additions, while fixing some major bugs and updating other features.

        As a part of the Firefox update, Mozilla introduced a new HTTP cache for both platforms. According to the company, the new cache system will deliver improved performance and easy recovery when facing crash issues.

      • Firefox 32 gets a facelift, speedboost and more security

        Firefox 32 was released the past few days and it comes with some new perspectives from a user interface standpoint, it does more caching to speed up your browsing experience(if you switch from another browser to try this release let the cache build to see improvements) and improved security regards certificates.

      • Firefox 32 Delivers Ramped-Up Security, New HTTP Cache

        Mozilla has built a notable security system into the new Firefox version 32 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The new security scheme is targeted to keep hackers from intercepting data, including data aimed at online services. The browser incorporates public key pinning, which can ensure that users are connecting to the sites they mean to connect with. Pinning allows greater control over which site certificates are deemed valid.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Mirantis Counters VMware OpenStack’s Openness

      How open is the OpenStack cloud computing distribution that VMware (VMW) recently launched? Not very, according to OpenStack vendor Mirantis, which is loudly touting its own ability to integrate its “pure-play” OpenStack distribution with VMware infrastructure while keeping the cloud open.

    • How Elizabeth Joseph Became a SysAdmin on HP’s OpenStack Infrastructure Team

      Before Elizabeth Joseph began her career as a system administrator, she was a hobbyist who attended a lot of Linux Users Group meetings in her hometown near Philadelphia. Now she’s an automation and tools engineer at HP, working on the OpenStack infrastructure team and recently co-authored the latest revision of The Official Ubuntu Book.

  • Databases

    • Oracle’s MySQL buy a ‘fiasco’ says Dovecot man Mikko Linnanmäki

      A co-founder of the widely-used IMAP server Dovecot has outlined his three rules for open source success, in terms Larry Ellison may not enjoy.

      “The first rule is don’t sell your company to Oracle if you want to keep your product alive,” he told World Hosting Day in Singapore yesterday.

      “The second rule is also don’t sell sell your company to Oracle.”

      Linnanmäki’s remarks were, of course, made in reference to Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL, a transaction he feels was a “fiasco” but has turned out “not that bad because the only one suffering is Oracle.”

  • Education

    • Open-source programming: Project initiated to help IT students

      Open source software development is a very well-coordinated and properly engineered practice on a larger scale as typically, an individual or a small group of people start work on a project. After reaching a certain maturity level, the project is floated as open-source and volunteers are invited to participate in the development effort.

  • Business

  • BSD

    • The Features To Find With The Imminent Release Of LLVM/Clang 3.5

      LLVM 3.5 is tentatively scheduled to be released tomorrow as the latest bi-annual update to the open-source compiler infrastructure along with its sub-projects like the Clang C/C++ front-end. If you haven’t been following its development closely or trying out the pre-releases, here’s a recap of some of the changes you can find with this newest release.

    • LLVM Clang 3.5 Brings Some Compiler Performance Improvements

      If all goes well, LLVM 3.5 will be released today. While we have already delivered some LLVM/Clang benchmarks of the 3.5 SVN code, over the days ahead we will be delivering more benchmarks of the updated compiler stack — including looking at its performance against the in-development GCC 5.0. For getting this latest series of compiler benchmarking at Phoronix started, here’s some fresh numbers of LLVM Clang 3.4 compared to a recent release candidate of LLVM Clang 3.5.

    • GCC 5.0 Adds DragonFlyBSD Support

      The latest addition to GCC 5′s growing list of features is official support for DragonFlyBSD on i386 and x86_64 architectures.

      Up to now a DragonFlyBSD developer had been maintaining his own out-of-tree patches that add support for the DragonFlyBSD target and complete ADA front-end support to all four major BSDs. A few months ago John Marino, the developer maintaining the patches, began working to mainline them to provide out-of-the-box support for C, C++, Objective-C, and Fortran.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • California, Texas serve as testing grounds for open-source voting technology

      “We spend $1.8 million annually on maintenance for our systems, and we can’t find another firm to do the work that’s cheaper,” he said. Los Angeles County is hoping to release an RFP for its open-source system in the next few months.

    • Open source as a philosophy for life

      Washington DC based educator and FOSS evangelist Phil Shapiro thinks that open source could be a route to a more balanced mind if mental energies are attuned correctly.

      Open source is as much a philosophy of living as it is a method of creating software argues Shapiro.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • KlearGear Apparently Healthier Than Ever, Announces Plans To Start F**cking Customers Through Amazon Fulfillment

    A new phone number appears at the bottom of the press release [(646) 810-9268] which traces back to New York City, but it’s as useless as any other phone number the company has provided. Callers are greeted with an opening spiel in French before being spoken to in English. Callers inquiring about Descoteaux’s retail holdings (Gift World, KlearGear) are asked to press “1.” Doing so results in the message “Invalid selection. Please try again.”

  • AnandTech founder Anand Shimpi retires from journalism to work at Apple

    In case you missed it over the long weekend, Anand Shimpi, founder and editor-in-chief of hardware site AnandTech, retired from his position on Saturday evening. His farewell post doesn’t mention what his next project will be, but Re/code later reported that he had been hired by Apple, a fact that Apple confirmed without divulging more specifics.

  • Orange March IS Illegal

    What is at question here is not whether it ought to be illegal to march in uniform for political objects. The fact is that plainly it is illegal. The law is not moribund – it was applied for example against Irish republicans in London in the 1980s.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Guatemala Resists ‘Monsanto Law’ Required As Part Of Trade Agreement With US

      One of the less well-known projects of the West is to convince developing countries that they need to convert traditional approaches to agriculture, which have functioned well for hundreds of years, into a system of intellectual monopolies for seeds — the implicit and patronizing message being that this is the “modern” way to do things. Last year we wrote about how this was happening in Africa, and an article on bilaterals.org reports on similar moves in Guatemala…

    • Guatemala: People reject “Monsanto Law” for threatening food security

      The controversial “Law for the Protection of New Plant Varieties,” also known as the “Monsanto Law”, has been widely rejected by Guatemalan civil society. Groups say the rules will jeopardise food security and affect the farm economy.

      On 10 June, the Congress of Guatemala approved Decree 19-2014 or the “Law for the Protection of New Plant Varieties” which led to an outpouring of criticism from various sectors of civil society.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Does the Public Want More War?

      The paper’s August 29 edition boasted the front-page headline “More Want US to Flex Muscle.” As if that militaristic tone wasn’t obvious enough, right next to it is a graphic labeled “Is Obama Tough Enough?”

    • After Project Fear, Expect Project Terror

      But I also have no doubt the establishment are not going to accept this lightly. They are not simply going to let Scotland’s people walk away with Scotland’s resources. They have yet to make serious use of their most frequent instrument of population control – the “War on Terror”.

      The scene has already been set. Cameron has already told parliament that ISIS, or the Caliphate as it calls itself (I always think it is better to call people what they call themselves, rather than some made-up name) poses a major and imminent threat to the UK. Jack Straw is back on Radio 4 saying that Britain must bomb Iraq, as though the very cause of the Caliphate was not the last time he invaded Iraq. Saudi Arabia, which funded and still funds the Caliphate, is giving warnings to the security services of planned attacks in the UK.

      The truth is that everybody who has ever carried out an actual Islamic terror attack in the UK (of which there have been very few indeed) has stated that they did so because of British bombings and invasions of Muslim countries – a fact which is very plainly true. The notion that the way to stop this is to bomb or invade Muslim countries is quite incredible.

    • The Pentagon’s Strategy for World Domination: Full Spectrum Dominance, from Asia to Africa

      In May 2000 the Washington Post published an article called “For Pentagon, Asia Moving to Forefront.” The article stated that, “The Pentagon is looking at Asia as the most likely arena for future military conflict, or at least competition.” The article said the US would double its military presence in the region and essentially attempt to manage China.

      The Pentagon has become the primary resource extraction service for corporate capital. Whether it is Caspian Sea oil and natural gas, rare earth minerals found in Africa, Libya’s oil deposits, or Venezuelan oil, the US’s increasingly high-tech military is on the case.

    • The Case for Kill Switches in Military Weaponry

      This summer the insurgent group ISIS captured the Iraqi city of Mosul—and along with it, three army divisions’ worth of U.S.-supplied equipment from the Iraqi army, including Humvees, helicopters, antiaircraft cannons and M1 Abrams tanks. ISIS staged a parade with its new weapons and then deployed them to capture the strategic Mosul Dam from outgunned Kurdish defenders. The U.S. began conducting air strikes and rearming the Kurds to even the score against its own weaponry. As a result, even more weapons have been added to the conflict, and local arms bazaars have reportedly seen an influx of supply.

    • Midday Roundup: Deconstructing Putin’s scary statement on Kiev

      Look out, Kiev. Russian President Vladimir Putin is so misunderstood. A Kremlin spokesman said today that EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso took Putin’s recent comments about the fighting in Ukraine out of context. According to Barroso, as quoted in an Italian newspaper, Putin told him, “If I want to, I can take Kiev in two weeks.” The Kremlin says those comments had a completely different meaning when Putin said them. Russian officials also accuse Barroso of a breach of confidentiality for sharing the contents of a private conversation. Did Putin really expect him to stay quiet about the possible expansion of the Russian “incursion” into Ukraine? Despite what appears to be a direct threat, European leaders remain flummoxed about what to do with Putin. They can’t live with him, but they just can’t live without his natural gas.

    • US hopes to reduce EU gas dependence on Russia

      The U.S. hopes, by including energy in a trade agreement, to reduce European dependence on Russian gas just as relations between Russia and the West are more fraught than since the days of the Cold War, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

    • Russia and NATO square off over Ukraine

      Moscow’s surprise declaration of a shift in its military doctrine over Ukraine has come just ahead of a NATO summit in Wales.

    • Obama’s Paralyzed Presidency

      The U.S. super rich are outraged by Obama’s hesitancy to wage war overseas.

    • Saudi arrests 88 in ‘anti-terrorism’ drive

      Saudi Arabia said yesterday it had arrested 88 men suspected of being parts of an Al Qaeda cell that was plotting attacks inside and outside the kingdom.

      The interior ministry did not give any details about the alleged plots, but said 59 of the men arrested had previously served prison sentences for similar offences.

    • Israel shows evidence Hamas used Gaza schools for rocket fire

      The Israeli military has provided its most detailed assessment yet of the conduct and impact of the Gaza war, including photographs indicating that militants stored and fired rockets from schools and a breakdown of the toll inflicted on Hamas.

      In a briefing at its headquarters in Tel Aviv, the Israel Defense Forces presented a minute picture of the structure and capability of Hamas and other militant groups operating in Gaza, an effort to explain the severity of the threat Israel faced and justify Israel’s heavy tank shelling and air strikes during the 50-day conflict — tactics that drew international criticism.

    • US drones strike 390 times since ’04

      The London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism has reported that with only one CIA drone attack in Pakistan in August 2014 the drone strike casualty rate for August was less than half that of July’s casualty rate.

    • First US drone strike in seven months hits Somalia

      A US drone strike hit Somalia, the first in seven months, in an attack aimed at killing al Shabaab leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane (below).

      The attack killed “six al Shabaab officers” but it is not clear if Godane was among them, said Abdullahi Abukar, executive director of the Somali Human Rights Association (SOHRA).

    • The arrogance of warmongers: Pacifism for the 21st century

      Much of what we today see as reasons to wage wars is in fact caused by wars. The atrocities of the Islamic State, a phenomenon that would not be possible without the Syrian Civil War and the American invasion of Iraq, is of course the prime contemporary example of this. A good runner-up is the reasons given for assassinating people with drones. Generating a worse situation than the status quo by engaging in an activity that is bad in itself is the risk. Improving the status quo is the potential gain. If we assume that the sizes of how much worse the situation can get and of how much better they can get are the same, the probability that we will see the gains must be commensurate with the evils of the war. In all other cases, waging a war cannot be justified on consequentialist grounds.

    • Ahmed Godane Survives Drone Attack-source

      Mareeg.com-According to media reports, the overall leader of Alshabaab Ahmed Godane survived the drone attack of last night.

    • US Kills Several in Strike on Somalia: Unknown if Target Was Hit

      The Pentagon confirmed an attack on Somalia yesterday, but offered no details until this morning, confirming it was a drone attack with several Hellfire missiles fired along the southern Somali coast. Perhaps even more interesting, President Obama is said not to have given specific authorization for the attack.

    • Somalia: Shabaab leader’s fate remains unclear

      US forces have carried out air strikes against senior members of Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab rebels, with casualties reported but uncertainty hanging over the fate of the group’s leader, officials said on Tuesday.

      Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby confirmed that the attack was aimed at the group’s leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, also referred to as Abu-Zubayr, and that the bombs definitely hit the meeting of Shabaab chiefs.

    • Al Shabaab denies leader killed in US drone strike

      Al Shabaab militant group has denied that its leader Abu Zubeyr, whose real name is Ahmed Abdi Godane, was killed in the convoy hit by US drone strike on Tuesday but confirmed that their convoy come under attack.

    • U.S. ‘80% sure’ it killed Al Shabab’s top leader in an air strike
    • US Bombs Somalia In Drone Attack

      Pentagon admits US airstrikes took place, but says details on operations will only be released to public “as and when appropriate”.

    • AFRICOM Conducts Operation In Somalia
    • Details scarce on US operation in Somalia

      A member of al-Shabaab said its leader was traveling in one of two vehicles hit by the strike but would not say if the leader was among those who were killed.

    • US set to open 2nd drone base in Niger, expand operations in Africa

      The Pentagon is preparing to open a drone base in one of the remotest places on Earth: an ancient caravan crossroads in the middle of the Sahara.

      After months of negotiations, the government of Niger, a landlocked West African nation, has authorized the U.S. military to fly unarmed drones from the mud-walled desert city of Agadez, according to Nigerien and U.S. officials.

    • Drone stricken families hit by PTSD

      There is no end in sight for the drone strikes carried out in Marib, Abyan, Shabwa, Al-Bayda, Hadramout, and Dhamar governorates. In fact, it is said that the number of civilian casualties is still on the rise. In most cases the repercussions to families affected by the unmanned planes go beyond the loss of lives, often leaving them clueless, traumatized, and desperate for answers.

      Meqdad Toiaman’s father was killed in a drone strike in Marib governorate in 2011. His death was a big blow to the family, both emotionally and economically. Toiaman, 18, found himself in a peculiar situation, suddenly having to bear the burden of financial responsibilities.

      Although the attack took place three years ago, the psychological damage it fraught on Toiaman and his family exceeds their personal loss.

    • The Zero-Sum Game of Perpetual War

      Readers with a morbid sense of curiosity can visit a web site called NukeMap that allows visitors to witness the devastation caused by nuclear weapons of varying yields on a city of their choosing[i]. Herman Kahn, who was an armchair theorist from RAND during the Cold War, insisted that nuclear war was winnable[ii]. But a few hours with NukeMap will disprove Kahn’s folly and the baleful smiley face that he tried to slap over human extinction.

      [...]

      Such men often go unnoticed because they tend to exercise power discreetly, standing behind a veil of propaganda[ix]. For instance Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Steve Coll has called ExxonMobil an “invisible company” thanks to a disciplined and well-funded public relations division[x]. This underscores the fact that the narratives put forth by the press are under the influence of an extensive subversion apparatus that CIA officer Frank Wisner referred to as the Mighty Wurlitzer[xi]. Powerful groups build consensus behind closed doors and then, as Chomsky and Herman explain, coax the rest of society along by manufacturing consent[xii]. Thus enabling what’s known as democratic elitism.

    • HRW: ISIL Using Cluster Bombs

      The New York-based group, citing reports from local Kurdish officials and photographic evidence, said ISIL fighters had used cluster bombs on July 12 and August 14, AFP reported.

      They were deployed in fighting around the town of Ayn al-Arab in Aleppo province, near the border with Turkey, in clashes between the Takfiri group and local Kurdish fighters.

    • ISIS is America’s New Terror Brand

      Endless Propaganda Fuels “War on Terror”

    • Obama pledges to send more aircraft and military to Estonia

      After Estonia’s request, Barack Obama said the US would send more air force units and aircraft to the country, as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization continues to amass on Russia’s border.

      The American leader, in a one-day visit to Estonia, emphasized NATO’s commitment to a rapid-response force, as well as enlarging the military bloc’s footprint at Estonia’s Amari Air Base.

    • NATO now versus then

      In the mid-1980s, Western Europe had good reason to fear the military might of the Soviet Union and its allies in the Warsaw Pact.

    • The Invasions That Dare Not Speak Their Name

      Last week, I wrote about the rhetorical contortions the Russian government and its rebel allies have employed to discuss the increasingly obvious and blatant presence of Russian troops in eastern Ukraine. While the Ukrainian government is describing Russia’s actions as “undisguised aggression,” the Kremlin still hasn’t publicly acknowledged any Russian military presence across the border. President Vladimir Putin, though, may be a bit more brazen in private. According to a leaked report today, he told the president of the European commission that his forces could easily conquer Kiev if he wanted them to.

    • Warning to the World: Washington and its NATO & EU Vassals are Insane — Paul Craig Roberts

      Herbert E. Meyer, a nutcase who was a special assistant to the CIA director for a period during the Reagan administration, has penned an article calling for Russian President Putin’s assassination. If we have “ to get him out of the Kremlin feet-first with a bullet hole in the back of his head, that would be okay with us.” http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/08/how_to_solve_the_putin_problem.html

      As the crazed Meyer illiustrates, the insanity that Washington has released upon the world knows no restraint. Jose Manual Barroso, installed as Washington’s puppet as European Commission President, misrepresented his recent confidential telephone conversation with Russia’s President Putin by telling the media that Putin issued a threat: “If I want to, I can take Kiev in two weeks.”

      Clearly, Putin did not issue a threat. A threat would be inconsistent with Putin’s entire unprovocative approach to the strategic threat that Washington and its NATO puppets have brought to Russia in Ukraine. Russia’s permanent representative to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, said that if Barroso’s lie stands, Russia will make public the full recording of the conversation

    • U.S. troops are (probably) already in Iraq fighting ISIS

      I don’t care for the phrase. Never did. Wearing boots is what combat forces do in certain circumstances. Using it as synecdoche for “troops in harm’s way” warps the scope of what the U.S. military does. It may also give the Pentagon an easy out, because certain forces wear sneakers, not boots.

    • 11 Tripoli Planes Still Missing, Sparks 9/11 Concerns

      Over the last month, Libya has been spiraling out of control, as terrorist gains and attacks have intensified. As of August, the US embassy in Tripoli was overrun. The Inquisitr reported that a local militia group stormed the compound and took control.

    • Bring back the draft to make clear the cost of war

      When the draft was ended in 1973, it became all too easy for American presidents to intervene militarily anywhere without the kind of public scrutiny and opposition that developed after the Vietnam War destroyed thousands of young lives in an endless, unwinnable conflict.

    • North Korea threatens Britain over ‘mud-slinging’ Channel 4 thriller focusing on Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons programme

      North Korea has threatened to cut diplomatic ties if a forthcoming Channel 4 drama focusing on their nuclear weapons programme is allowed to air.

      The country has branded political thriller Opposite Number a “slanderous, conspiratorial charade based on a sheer lie” and insisted through its state media that the British government ensure it is “dumped without delay”.

      London’s Foreign and Commonwealth office remains unbothered by the demand, explaining that Channel 4 is responsible for its own programming schedule.

    • North Korean military warns UK over Channel 4 drama
    • North Korea Drama a “Slanderous Farce” Says… North Korea

      A forthcoming drama about North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme has been criticised by the regime before it’s even been broadcast, with an NK spokesman saying that “hooligans and rogues under the guise of artistes” are disrespecting the country.

    • North Korea Slams New UK TV Series About Nuclear Program
    • N. Korea slams UK TV show on its nukes as ‘hideous farce’
    • “At this point, no plan for war is a good plan for America.”

      One man thinks Americans should have had enough by now of hawks and chicken hawks drum beating for President Obama to get America into yet another war, this time against Isis or the Russians in the Ukraine or perhaps invading Syria.

    • America’s War Hawks Back in Flight

      With America’s government-and-media war hawks back in full flight – preparing to swoop down on Syria as well as Iraq – wiser heads might reflect on the chaos that previous adventures have caused, as Danny Schechter recalls.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The Annual Slaughter Begins in Taiji, but the Japanese Are Shunning Dolphin Meat

      The annual dolphin hunt at the cove in Taiji, Japan, began on Monday. For the next six months, hundreds of dolphins will be rounded up and killed, their meat sold in stores and restaurants in Japan and other countries. But butchered dolphins are becoming scarcer on the Japanese market, which is good not only for the dolphins but for public health.

  • Finance

    • Participation: Of Whom, By Whom, For Whom?

      2.1 Spooky Business: Corporate Espionage against Nonprofit Organizations, a report by Washington DC-based Center for Corporate Policy (CCP), reveals the “amazing” world of corporate espionage on a global-scale: Giant corporations engaging private spy agencies to smash activism. Like a public-private partnership (P-P-P), the catchword in vogue, government intelligence agencies are collaborating in the surveillance-espionage “enterprise” that targets activists and organizations active in the areas of social justice, public interests, safe food, environment, consumer rights, animal rights, insecticide-pesticide reform, opposition to war, nursing home reform, gun and arms control. With extensive evidence collected from sources that include government documents the report exposes a “mine” of chilling facts:

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Why Is Huffington Post Running A Multi-Part Series To Promote The Lies Of A Guy Who Pretended To Invent Email?

      I thought this story had ended a few years ago. Back in 2012, we wrote about how The Washington Post and some other big name media outlets were claiming that a guy named V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai had “invented email” in 1978. The problem was that it wasn’t even close to true and relied on a number of total misconceptions about email, software and copyright law. Ayyadurai and some of his friends have continued to play up the claim that he “invented” email, but it simply was never true, and it’s reaching a level that seems truly bizarre. Ayyadurai may have done some interesting things, but his continued false insistence that he invented email is reaching really questionable levels. And, now it’s gone absolutely nutty, with the Huffington Post running a multi-part series (up to five separate articles so far — all done in the past 10 days) all playing up misleading claims saying that Ayyadurai invented email, even though even a basic understanding of the history shows he did not.

    • The Wash. Post’s Resident Scott Walker Cheerleader

      Former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen, who has a financial relationship with Gov. Scott Walker, is using his Washington Post column to lavish praise on the Wisconsin Republican and help position him for a 2016 presidential run.

    • Leaked Audio Suggests Koch’s AFP Violated Law During Walker Recall

      Leaked audio from an invite-only Koch donor summit highlighted the role of the billionaire brothers in boosting Scott Walker in Wisconsin — and suggests that David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity Foundation may have violated its charitable status during the state’s 2012 recall elections.

    • Chuck Todd’s Theory of Politics

      The upshot was that being in the middle is what wins, and that Obama has had trouble when he’s leaned too far to the left. So that’s good politics, then–when Democrats move further to the right to meet Republicans in some mythical, pundit-approved “center.” But there’s a real chance that some people aren’t confused–they actually don’t like politics, or at least they don’t care much for politicians. And some critics of political journalism actually think that it should hold powerful people to account. That is very much at odds with viewing politics as a sport where the athletes just aren’t performing particularly well. That’s where Chuck Todd is coming from.

  • Censorship

    • Netizens call out Turkey for prosecuting Twitter users while hosting UN net forum

      Twitter users are questioning Turkey’s hosting of this year’s Internet Governance Forum (link is external) despite its controversial internet policies.

      Amnesty International highlighted the country’s prosecution (link is external) of more than 20 Turkish citizens for social media posts. They’re standing trial for allegedly “inciting riots” (link is external) by retweeting information about the 2013 Gezi protests. “It’s astounding to see Turkish authorities plough on with the prosecution of Twitter critics, even as they host a discussion on internet governance where human rights are a key theme,” said (link is external) Amnesty’s Deputy Director of Global Issues.

    • Ares Rights Wants Ecuador Journalists To Stop Talking About Ares Rights’ Censorious Abuse of Copyright

      The Ares Rights saga is… bizarre. So, they’ve summoned Barbra Streisand to sing their song. After substantial attention to the firm’s abuse of copyright law to censor political dissidents (and, er, international oil conglomerates), Ares Rights has deployed a DMCA (copyright) takedown notice against an Ecuadorian news outlet targeting their coverage of Ares Rights’ censorious abuse of copyright.

    • Ares Rights, Notorious DMCA Abusers For The Ecuadorian Gov’t, Now Sending DMCA Notices On Stories About Ares Rights

      We still hear from copyright system supporters who insist that copyright is never used as a censorship tool. And yet… we’ve written a few times about a Spanish firm named Ares Rights that works with the Ecuadorian government and others to seek to censor critical content by totally abusing the DMCA process. However, it appears to have stepped things up a notch in the ridiculous category, now seeking to abuse the DMCA even further to censor stories about its own censorship-by-DMCA. It gets a bit recursive.

    • UK Culture Secretary: Search Engines Must Magically Stop Piracy Or Else!

      You’d think that after years and years of pointless banter along these lines that people in power would understand just how ridiculous they sound when they try to blame search engines for infringement. TorrentFreak points out that the UK’s Culture Secretary Sajid Javid gave a barn raising speech to folks from the British recording industry. It starts out with the usual political fluff about just how important the recording industry is and how much money the government is forking over to the industry in questionable subsidies. And, apparently Javid has no qualms directly admitting to accepting favors (bribes?) from the industry. Specifically he tells a “joke” about now his kids thing he’s cool, because he can get hot concert tickets (“my new-found ability to get tickets for the Capital FM Summertime Ball, or Sam Smith at Somerset House!”), whereas in his previous job no one was rushing to give him such favors. It’s a joke, but it’s pretty telling.

    • UK Govt. Warns Google, Microsoft & Yahoo Over Piracy

      UK Culture Secretary Sajid Javid says that the government has warned Google, Microsoft and Yahoo over the issue of online piracy. In an address to the BPI’s AGM in London yesterday, Javid said that if the search engines don’t stop referring people to pirate sites, the government will take a legislative approach.

    • Iranian Grand Ayatollah Issues Fatwa Against ‘Immoral’ High-Speed Internet Connections

      Iran continues to battle the Internet, recognizing the fact that an unfiltered exchange of ideas (some of them admittedly often horrifically bad) tends to undermine repressive regimes. While the President and the Minister of Communications have stressed that higher-speed connections (and less censorship) are useful to Iran’s citizens, many others in the government feel that increasing speeds means giving up lots and lots of control.

    • Grand Ayatollah Issues Fatwa Stating High Speed Internet is against Sharia

      A Grand Ayatollah in Iran has determined that access to high-speed and 3G Internet is “against Sharia” and “against moral standards.” In answer to a question published on his website, Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi, one of the country’s highest clerical authorities, issued a fatwa, stating “All third generation [3G] and high-speed internet services, prior to realization of the required conditions for the National Information Network [Iran’s government-controlled and censored Internet which is under development], is against Sharia [and] against moral and human standards.”

    • Google just banned our new Android app before it even launched

      This post is about more than our new app, Disconnect Mobile, being arbitrarily removed by Google from the Play Store Tuesday, five days after it went live and prior to doing any PR announcement. This post is really about Google’s disregard for user privacy and security, their ability to arbitrarily and unilaterally ban any app from the world’s dominant mobile operating system (78% of total smartphones run Android), and the importance of alternative Android distribution platforms that support privacy and security.

    • Google Bans Disconnect.me App From Play Store Based On Vague Guidelines

      So it’s quite disappointing that Google has chosen to pull Disconnect.me’s new app from the Android store based only on a very vague and broad “prohibition” in its terms of service, saying that you can’t offer an app that “interferes with” other services. The email Google sent doesn’t provide many details, other than saying that the Disconnect.me app “interferes with or accesses another service or product in an unauthorized manner.”

    • In The Fappening’s Wake, 4chan Intros DMCA Policy

      After doing without an element needed for safe harbor protection, 4chan has just introduced an official DMCA policy. The decision comes in the wake of the celebrity photo leak known as The Fappening and 4chan users’ connections to it. In the meantime, the leaked image library has clocked a million torrent downloads.

  • Privacy

    • Apple Is Totally Screwed

      But a much larger crisis looms – everyone, and I mean everyone, now knows that everything private they’ve done with their iPhone, if they use iCloud, is not only vulnerable, but extremely vulnerable.

      The Next Web says that a tool that allows brute force attacks against the Find My iPhone service gives hackers a way in to iCloud.

      That may or may not be what’s actually going on. Hacker Nik Cubrilovic, for example, says it isn’t slowing people down from accessing new accounts…

    • You Can’t Be Fired For ‘Liking’ A Colleague Calling Your Bosses ‘Assholes’ On Facebook

      A couple of years ago, we wrote about a rather troubling legal ruling in which a court declared that Facebook “likes” aren’t a First Amendment protected expression. The ruling made little sense. It involved some employees of a local sheriff getting fired after “liking” the Facebook profile of the sheriff’s opponent in the next election. Thankfully, that key part was overturned on appeal, with the 4th Circuit appeals court ruling that Facebook likes absolutely could be protected speech. Now, facing a somewhat similar issue, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has similarly concluded that a Facebook like can be a form of “concerted protected activity” for which you cannot be fired.

    • Protecting And Sharing Linked Data With Virtuoso

      Last time we saw how to share files and folders stored in the Virtuoso DAV system. Today we will protect and share data stored in Virtuoso’s Triple Store – we will share RDF data.

    • Download MEGAsync For Linux Desktops (MEGA.co.nz Linux Sync Client)
    • Law Enforcement Agencies Scramble For Pricey Cell Tower Spoofer Upgrades As Older Networks Are Shut Down
    • How Hackable Are Your Security Questions?

      All kinds of ways? I was intrigued. So I clicked on the Gizmodo link and found….two suggestions. The first is two-step authentication, which is a fine idea for anyone with a cell phone. The second is encrypting all your data. But like it or not, this is much too hard for most people to implement. There’s just no way it’s going to become widespread anytime in the near future.

    • Decrypting Google’s HTTPS Security Carrot

      In the meantime, SEOs are left to ponder the consequences of Google’s adding HTTPS encryption to its approximately 200 search ranking signals. It’s eerily reminiscent of the company’s move a while back to add the speed at which web pages load to its algorithmic bag of tricks. After all, how do security and speed relate to content authority and relevance.

    • NSA Surveillance: Supreme Court Could Debate Data Collection Program After ACLU Lawsuit

      The U.S. Supreme Court could soon be asked to decide the constitutionality of the federal government’s massive data collection of phone records after two lawsuits challenging the National Security Agency’s controversial surveillance program have begun to inch forward in federal circuit court for the first time. The American Civil Liberties Union and other privacy rights groups have denounced the NSA’s data collection program, first revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden last summer.

    • NSA Spying News: Federal Court To Rule For First Time On NSA Surveillance Program In ACLU Lawsuit
    • Appeals Court Hears Arguments on NSA Tracking Program
    • Federal appeals court questions NSA surveillance efforts
    • Debate on NSA’s Collection of Americans’ Phone Records

      In July 2013, the program was publicized after NSA’s contractor Edward Snowden leaked the NSA documents. As soon as the program was revealed, the ACLU challenged its legality and constitutionality.

    • Who is putting up ‘interceptor’ cell towers? The mystery deepens

      Mysterious “interceptor” cell towers in the USA are grabbing phone calls — but they’re not part of the phone networks. And, two experts told VentureBeat today, the towers don’t appear to be projects of the National Security Agency (NSA).

    • Mystery fake cellphone towers discovered across America

      Fake mobile phone ‘towers’ dotted across the US could be listening in on unsuspecting smartphone users according to recent reports. And — tin foil hats on, everyone — nobody knows who’s behind them.

    • Mystery of fake US mobile phone towers capable of tapping smartphones
    • The American Delusion: Distracted, Diverted and Insulated from the Grim Reality of the Police State

      Caught up in the uproar over this year’s latest hullabaloo—militarized police in Ferguson, tanks on Main Street and ISIS—Americans have not only largely forgotten last year’s hullabaloo over the NSA and government surveillance but are generally foggy about everything that has happened in between.

    • Truland trustee seeks to relinquish claim to massive NSA data center project

      The trustee overseeing Reston-based Truland Group Inc.’s bankruptcy wants to abandon its claim to millions of dollars it might be owed for building a massive data center in Utah, a mostly unpaid project that appears to have led in large measure to the firm’s abrupt shutdown and subsequent Chapter 7 filing in July.

    • Can You Trust the Car of the Future?

      Big Brother is watching just about everywhere you go and soon you won’t be able to drive away from the electronic surveillance. GM says it’s about to launch cars that detect distracted driving.

      KTRH Car Pro Show host Jerry Reynolds agrees it’s the next step toward the driverless car of the future.

      “As long as they don’t store the information somewhere like currently they do with the black boxes it’s probably okay.”

      We can trust the NSA, right? Reynolds says it’s great technology, but he doesn’t need it.

    • NO ALLY SPY AGENCY, BRITISH EXPERTS SAY

      Richard Aldrich, an academic at Warwick University’s Politics and International Relations Department, echoed an official’s remark from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that there is no allied intelligence, only intelligence on allied countries.Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) regarding the latest allegations that the U.S. intelligence service NSA and the U.K. intelligence agency GCHQ are keeping tabs on Turkey, Alrich said, “Your closest ally may not share your political and economic interests.

    • Gerhard Schindler: Germany’s Spymaster

      Schindler wants an agency befitting Germany’s position.

    • No regrets from Germany for spying claims

      Germany shows no sign of regret over the electronic spying claims, with a senior German official saying it would not be surprising if they learn that Germany is also being spied on by the Turkish government in a similar way.

    • Spying Among Allies Now Normal, German Experts Say

      The recent revelations of US, British and German surveillance of NATO ally Turkey sparks debate about relations among friendly nations.

    • EDITORIAL: When a fed trolls for trouble online

      A court convicts a cybersecurity director for child pornography

    • Google’s upcoming trans-Pacific cable ripe for NSA intercepts

      The National Security Agency is no doubt licking their lips over the potential intelligence trove of Google’s proposed fiber optic cable, which will span the Pacific Ocean from the U.S. to Japan.

      As a former NSA official told VentureBeat, “Easy to tap for sure. If its US to JP, then no need to tap in the middle obviously, just look behind the big red door :)… if its a win would depend on what its replacing, if anything.”

    • Brandis warns against future Snowdens and Mannings

      Australian government agencies will be required to implement stringent new security policies, to monitor public servants in order to protect the government against the ‘insidious enemy’ of the ‘trusted insiders’ leaking sensitive information to the public.

    • Two Privacy Bills Move as Congress Returns From Vacation

      After all its hard work this year Congress is almost done with its summer recess. Lawmakers are due back Sept. 8 and have much to tackle. Two bills are of paramount importance to EFF: one—the USA FREEDOM Act—must be passed by Congress, while the other—the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA)—must be killed.

    • Well, was it the US intercepting the official crypto phones?

      I think the interception of these crypto phones is the biggest security scandal of the republic; but we are blatantly forgetting and are being forced to forget about it.

    • Stuff That Matters

      We do have some degree of privacy on our computers and hard drives when they are disconnected from the Net and through public key cryptography when we communicate with each other through the Net. But both are primitive stuff—the cyber equivalents of cave dwellings and sneaking about at night wearing bear skins.

    • US Cold War Covert Civilian Agent Program Targeting Soviet Union Exposed

      During the Cold War, the United States recruited and trained civilian Alaskans as part of a covert network designed to collect intelligence in preparation for a Russian invasion, the AP reported.

      “The military believes that it would be an airborne invasion involving bombing and the dropping of paratroopers,” one FBI memo said of the expected Russian attack, according to the AP. Expected targets were the cities of Nome, Fairbanks, Anchorage and Seward.

    • Despite billions spent on intelligence, we know very little

      The U.S. spends billions on intelligence, yet we always seem to be surprised by events in the world. George W. Bush told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and CIA Director George Tenet backed up this assessment. In fact, Iraq had no such weapons.

    • Short-term pragmatism in Bali

      Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa and his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop have signed a long awaited document entitled, “Code of Conduct on Espionage”.

    • Resisting the Surveillance State in Germany

      On Saturday, August 30, more than 6000 people took to the streets of Berlin, Germany to protest against intelligence agencies’ mass surveillance produced by Weltnetz.tv

    • Secret surveillance weapons don’t belong in police arsenals

      Law enforcement ought to be using state-of-the-art digital and communications tools: The more traps for catching crooks, the better. But it shouldn’t shroud its weapons in multiple layers of secrecy.

      The Tacoma Police Department has been far too secretive in deploying Stingray, a powerful electronic surveillance and tracking device frequently used in federal investigations.

      The technology – broadly known as cell site simulators – could be described as a microcosm of the National Security Agency’s continental-scale data-mining. It tracks cell phones, which normally exchange signals with commercial towers. Stingray diverts those transmissions into the device, allowing police to capture and analyze them.

    • Are Phony Cell Towers Intercepting Your Calls? (Video)

      Les Goldsmith, the CEO of ESD America, recently claimed that his CryptoPhone 500 found 17 different fake cell towers known as “interceptors” in the U.S. during July.

      According to Popular Science, these “interceptors” can trick cell phones into connecting and then eavesdrop on calls or texts, and add spyware to phones.

      “Interceptor use in the U.S. is much higher than people had anticipated,” Goldsmith told Popular Science. “One of our customers took a road trip from Florida to North Carolina and he found 8 different interceptors on that trip. We even found one at South Point Casino in Las Vegas.”

    • Don’t excuse NSA’s wrongdoing [Letter]

      Gary Sullivan’s commentary defending the actions of the National Security Agency is full of faulty arguments (“Too much of a good thing,” Aug. 27). First of all, the Fourth Amendment is the law and was established at the time of this country’s founding. No one needs to “get out and vote” in order to be protected by it from government spying.

    • NSA Docs Reveal US Hand In Tracking And Killing Kurdish Separatists

      Turkish government is ‘both partner and target’ for US spying, Der Spiegel and Intercept jointly report.

    • NSA Provided Turkey With Intelligence To Kill Kurdish Rebels
    • Remember Iraq? Former US intel officers warn Merkel against NATO images of Ukraine
    • Has the U.S. Targeted Nuclear-Armed Russia with Regime Change?

      In 1957, the U.S. and British governments planned regime change in Syria … because it was drifting too close to the Soviet Union.

      20 years ago, influential U.S. government officials decided to effect regime change throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The countries targeted were “old Soviet regimes”.

    • Ex US Intel Warn Merkel: Careful with Kiev & NATO’s Dubious ‘Evidence’ on Russia

      Alarmed at the anti-Russian hysteria sweeping Washington, and the specter of a new Cold War, U.S. intelligence veterans one of whom is none other than William Binney, the former senior NSA crypto-mathematician who back in March 2012 blew the whistle on the NSA’s spying programs more than a year before Edward Snowden, took the unusual step of sending the following memo dated August 30 to German Chancellor Merkel challenging the reliability of Ukrainian and U.S. media claims about a Russian “invasion.”

    • Group of Former US Intel Officials Urge Merkel to Reject Politicized Intelligence

      A group of former U.S. Intelligence officials including William Binny, the first whistleblower to report on the NSA’s mass surveillance, has sent an open letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, warning her of the risks of Ukrainian NATO membership and of the dangers of faulty intelligence resulting in an escalation of the conflict, as published on the website Antiwar.org

    • EU Taking Harder Look At $19B Facebook-WhatsApp Deal

      There’s also the more general underlying concern about US tech companies’ dominance of European consumer services, against the backdrop of the NSA spying scandal. All these things could mean mean a rocky road ahead for the $19 billion deal. The US Federal Trade Commission approved the acquisition earlier this year with some privacy caveats and warnings.

    • US refuses to comment on alleged spying on Turkey

      The United States government has refused to respond to claims that it spied on Turkey made based on documents from the archive of US whistleblower Edward Snowden seen by German magazine Der Spiegel.

    • Why We Should Encrypt Everyone’s Email

      Ladar Levison is the owner of the encrypted email startup Lavabit. After Edward Snowden’s NSA document leaks last summer, Levison rebuffed government demands to hand over the email service’s private encryption keys—opting to shut it down instead. He spoke with Popular Mechanics about his new project Dark Mail, online privacy, and how encrypting our email helps disassemble today’s unconstitutional surveillance networks.

  • Civil Rights

    • Government vs. Constitution

      The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups recently filed a lawsuit accusing the federal government of, among other lapses, denying due process to mothers with children detained at the border and interfering with their efforts to get legal advice to guide them in appearances before immigration judges.

    • Saudi Arabia beheads 3 Syrian drug traffickers

      Three Syrians convicted of drug trafficking were executed by the sword in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, the interior ministry announced.

    • A Shared Culture of Conflict of Interest

      Elite media don’t see Human Rights Watch’s closeness to power as a problem

      [...]

      Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth arrived at the function, which also hosted the leaders of Microsoft, Boeing, Goldman Sachs, JP-Morgan Chase and Disney. (The administration also aimed to “press China to open its markets to goods made by American companies,” reported the Times.)

    • Ferguson Debacle Results In Armored Vehicles Being Removed From Two California Police Departments

      Today’s militarized policeman often feels naked without the protection of mine-resistant vehicles, despite very little evidence that such vehicles are necessary to handle the deadly (or is it?) rigors of police work. Citizens, however, aren’t so sure they like seeing their law enforcement officers rolling out like they’re keeping the peace in the middle of Baghdad.

    • Citing unsettling Ferguson images, Davis to return armored vehicle

      Davis, Calif., city officials have directed the police department to return a surplus U.S. military armored vehicle to the federal government after residents, citing images seen during protests in Ferguson, Mo., expressed fears of militarization.

    • Digby on Tasers, Guns and the Next Wave of Police Militarization

      Ten days after a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, killed Michael Brown another young African-American man was shot dead a few miles away in St. Louis.

      The circumstances around the death of Kajieme Powell were markedly different from those in Ferguson. Powell, who may have suffered from mental health issues, had a knife, and shouted, “Shoot me now… kill me now,” at responding officers.

    • House Democrats To Obama: ‘Secret Law Is A Threat To Democracy’

      Joining forces with a group of privacy organizations and former White House officials, four House Democrats sent a letter to President Barack Obama over the weekend urging him to declassify all legal opinions and interpretations involving a controversial executive order used to justify government surveillance.

    • Obama Faces Calls to Reform Reagan-Era Mass Surveillance Order
    • ‘Secret law is a threat to democracy,’ Dems warn in letter to Obama
    • Why the Deep State always Wins

      Against this backdrop it’s no wonder that recent developments in the Ukraine have been known to cause night terrors. Your author can vouch for this. Last week there was an earthquake in the Bay Area and at the outset I woke up mistaking it for a shock wave from sub-megaton warhead hitting Silicon Valley.

      One could posit that what’s happening in Eastern Europe offers a look-see into the nature of the groups that are calling the shots in the United States. Do they care that their destabilization program in Ukraine provokes a nuclear-armed country or enables neo-Nazis to assume vital positions in government?3 So far almost 2,600 civilians have been killed in the ongoing humanitarian crisis.4 While the corporate press does its best to create the impression of a “shining city upon a hill” which aims to “spread democracy” and conduct “humanitarian intervention,”5 a different sort of world power is clearly visible to those who look carefully.

    • Senate Torture Report Will Be Public in 2 to 4 Weeks, Says Feinstein

      Senate intelligence committee chair Dianne Feinstein expects the executive summary of her staff’s long-awaited report on the torture of American detainees to be ready for public release before the end of September, she said in an unaired segment of her “Meet the Press” interview this weekend (starts at 10:25 of the video).

      The torture report, which was five years in the making, was sent to the White House for declassification in April. But the exhaustive redactions that Obama administration officials sent back in early August included such things as the elimination of pseudonyms, apparently to make the report too confusing to follow, and the blacking out of copious supporting evidence, such as proof that information derived from torture actually came from other intelligence sources.

    • Nerves fray over timing of CIA interrogation report’s release
    • US military lawyer resigns from Army over Guantanamo show trial

      On August 26, Wright, a US military lawyer also resigned from the Army in protest at what he called the “show trial” of Mohammed being held by the US at Guantanamo Bay. Wright also accused the US of not providing due process and of “abhorrent leadership” on human rights at the Guantanamo facility.

      Wright has been in the US army since 2005 and served over a year in Iraq. He has been on Mohammed’s defense team for three years. Wright resigned after he was given a choice between leaving the army and leaving the defense team in order to complete a graduate course so he would qualify for promotion from Captain to Major. Wright claims it would be unethical to follow the order.

    • Army Lawyer for Alleged 9/11 Mastermind Resigns

      An Army lawyer assigned to defend Khalid Sheikh Mohammed at Guantanamo Bay has resigned his commission after being told he was being pulled from the case to attend a graduate program required for promotion.

      Maj. Jason Wright, one of a team of lawyers defending Mohammed, resigned Aug. 26 from the Army, National Public Radio and others have reported.

      Wright joined the Army in 2005, and for almost three years, he served on Mohammed’s defense team.

      The Army had instructed him to leave the team in order to complete the course. He refused, saying it would have been unethical for him to leave the team.

    • There is no free pass for a free press

      New York Times reporter James Risen may soon have to decide whether to testify in a criminal trial or go to jail for contempt of court.

    • Saudi Arabia faces big challenges

      The kingdom’s many critics argue that Saudi Arabia itself helped spread the toxic virus by bankrolling Islamist rebels and their extremist Salafist Muslim ideology.

    • Angolan Solidarity Association Denounces Anti-Cuba Subversion

      The Angola-Cuba Friendship Association (ASAC) today denounced the U.S. government”s plans to promote subversion and destabilize the revolutionary process in Cuba.

    • Did Brennan dodge a bullet?

      CIA Director John Brennan might have dodged a bullet over his agency’s potentially unconstitutional snooping on the Senate, but critics insist his reprieve is only temporary.

      Calls for the spy leader to resign after the CIA admitted that officials spied on the Senate have lost steam in recent weeks, since lawmakers left town for a five-week summer recess.

      November’s midterm elections and crises from Syria to Ukraine could distract Congress from forcing the director to offer a public mea culpa in the short term.

    • Need to rein in CIA

      Dysfunction in Congress can damage the country in many ways, but none may be as serious as a failure to fill its role in the system of checks and balances set up by the U.S. Constitution. When Congress heads back to Washington after the August recess, members of the Senate face a serious test on whether they can assert control over the U.S. intelligence agencies.

    • United States’ shameful behavior: Suppresses release of torture photographs

      Under the Protected National Security Document Act, enacted by the Obama administration in 2009 to cover the period September 2001 through January 2009, the United States Government has prohibited the release of photographs depicting ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ – Torture – administered on enemy combatants taken into custody abroad by the U.S. military and/or its allied forces.

    • The CIA Spies on the U.S. Senate – is no one safe from spying?

      The CIA’s admission that they lied for several months when accused of doing what they did, as well as their apology to the senators to whom they had spied on, does not make their actions acceptable.

    • David Sarasohn: Senate has had enough of CIA snooping

      Unlike his close ally in pursuing intelligence abuses, Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, Ron Wyden has not yet called for CIA Director John Brennan to quit or be fired. But speaking about the agency in Oregon this month, the senior senator from Oregon used the D.C. magic words:

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Most comments warned FCC against ‘fast lanes’

      About two-thirds of people commenting on potential new rules for the Internet warned regulators not to allow “fast lanes” online, according to an analysis of hundreds of thousands of the filings.

    • What can we learn from 800,000 public comments on the FCC’s net neutrality plan?

      At least 200 comments came from law firms, on behalf of themselves or their clients.

    • ‘U.S. monopoly over Internet must go’

      Today, China and Russia are capable of challenging U.S. dominance. Despite being a strong commercial power, China has not deployed Internet technology across the world. The Chinese have good infrastructure but they use U.S. Domain Naming System, which is a basic component of the functioning of the Internet. One good thing is because they use the Chinese language for domain registration, it limits access to outsiders in some way.

      India too is a big country. It helps that it is not an authoritarian country and has many languages. It should make the most of its regional languages, but with regard to technology itself, India has to tread more carefully in developing independent capabilities in this area.

  • DRM

    • Ferrari ‘DRM:’ Don’t Screw With Our Logos And We’ll Let You Know If It’s OK To Sell Your Car

      We’ve covered a lot of stories dealing with the Right of First Sale being undermined by digital goods being sold as licenses, rather than products. It’s much more rare to find the Right of First Sale being yanked away from paying customers who have purchased physical products. But it happens. You’d think shelling out a quarter-million dollars would allow you to do what you please with your purchase.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Prosecution presents case in hacker trial

        The trial of Pirate Bay co-founder Gottrid Svartholm Warg and his Danish co-defendant began with an almost immediate delay followed by the surprise showing of a hitherto unseen video of the hacker known as anakata.

      • Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

        The largest hacking case in Danish history began in confusion on Tuesday, after lawyers representing Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg accused the prosecution of “unreasonable” tactics.

      • Blunders By Convicted ‘Fast And Furious 6′ Cammer Made It Easy To Track Him Down

        In other words, these high-profile wins for the copyright industry are not the result of the police making use of surveillance powers, or of clever sleuthing by organizations like FACT. Rather, they are the direct and largely predictable result of the arrogance and stupidity displayed by those breaking the law.

      • City Of London Police Issue Vague, Idiotic Warning To Registrars That They’re Engaged In Criminal Behavior Because It Says So

        This was mentioned briefly in our recent post about EasyDNS changing how it deals with online pharmacies, but it’s still dealing with bizarre requests from the City of London Police. As we’ve been detailing, the City of London Police seem to think that (1) their job is to protect the business model of the legacy entertainment industry and (2) that they can do this globally, despite actually just representing one-square mile and (3) that they can do this entirely based on their own say so, rather than any actual court ruling. It started last year when the City of London Police started ordering registrars to transfer domains to the police based entirely on their say so, rather than any sort of due process/trial that found the sites guilty of violating a law. The police wanted the domains to point to sites that the legacy entertainment industry approved of, which makes you wonder why the police are working on behalf of one particular industry and acting as an ad campaign for them.

Linus Torvalds DebConf Talk

Posted in Kernel, Videos at 2:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Torvalds’ latest talk which got media attention earlier this month


Microsoft Should Not be Considered Too Big to Jail

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 10:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jailed cats

Summary: Microsoft continues to use dumping as a strategy which revolves around starving the competition, not beating the competition

OVER THE years we have covered very many examples of Microsoft crimes; it was rare to see Microsoft executives going to prison and when they were sent to prison — which did occasionally happen — it usually wasn’t for their activities inside Microsoft. It is abundantly clear that the company attracts anti-social people who are knowingly and consciously applying for a job in a company that's widely recognised for crimes and abuses.

Techrights is not unique with its views regarding Microsoft. We often agree with people like Robert Pogson who now says that “Admits Defeat” and shows that, based on this report, “Microsoft has recently reduced the number of chassis suppliers for its Surface tablets and is now outsourcing all the orders to Ju Teng. Microsoft stopped placing chassis orders with its China-based supplier in August, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.”

These products have been an utter failure in the market. Microsoft loses a lot of money on them. Microsoft would even sell them at a loss just to ensure that it can somehow impede the competition’s growth. Known as negative pricing, this strategy is illegal, especially for monopolists. Microsoft even resorted to bribes and technical sabotage, licensing restrictions (anti-competitive) and other means. Microsoft is more focused on destroying the competition itself than actually producing decent products.

We are saddened to see that a lot of the corporate press, which is often funded by Microsoft one way or another, continues blaming GNU/Linux for lack of growth (or for very slow growth) on the desktop. This biased media would conveniently ignore explosive leaks about Microsoft’s abuses — leaks which are publicly available. The corporate press likes blaming GNU/Linux itself, pretending that Free software has inherent technical issues or usability issues. As GNU/Linux does not have a vast marketing budget like Apple’s, the media can actually get away with it, too. Repetition leads almost to a complete acceptance, even by the victimised (learned hopelessness). It becomes challenging to challenge. Journalists in corporate press will therefore carry on bashing GNU/Linux rather than discussing all the sabotage directed against its adoption, including the latest in Munich.

Pogson has just put together a compact list of Microsoft’s abuses against GNU/Linux adoption and the adoption of competition in general, starting with:

M[icrosoft] has deliberately violated the laws of competition in USA and elsewhere repeatedly, systematically and with malice. They are out to get us. At first they got an exclusive deal with IBM to get their foot in the door, piggybacking on IBM’s branding with business, then they demanded exclusive deals with ISVs and manufacturers, then they punished any manufacturer who stepped out of line and installed competing products, then they created an endless chain of incompatible file-format changes and created whole industries based on the existence of overly complex secret protocols and finally forced the world to accept a closed standard as an open standard… That whole burden has served to render IT more expensive to own and to operate and much more fragile than it should be just on technical merits.

Based on this new article by Swapnil Bhartiya, dumping (selling at a loss) continues to be somewhat of a strategy at Microsoft. As he puts it: “Microsoft is taking a page from its history to counter Chromebooks, an increasing threat to Microsoft’s PC market. They are getting their hardware partners to flood the market with ‘cheap‘ netbooks to combat Google’s Chromebooks. We earlier reported HP’s plans to bring really cheap netbook and now ASUS is also joining the rag-race.”

The funny thing is that Microsoft spent so much time and money on negative advertising, slinging mud at Chromebooks for being too cheap to be workable. Here we have Microsoft putting itself in the same cage it used to rattle, as if it chalked around some carcass and is now laying itself right within the chalk’s boundaries.

One day, one can only hope, Microsoft will get sued severely for its anti-Google tactics and its anti-GNU/Linux tactics. For now it still seems like Microsoft has greased up (i.e. bribed) enough politicians to make itself immune to much-deserved prosecution.

Pro-Software Patents Voices Finally Acknowledge the Demise of Software Patents in the United States

Posted in America, Patents at 9:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bulb

Summary: A milestone is reached as even the most zealous supporters of patents on algorithms (or computer-implemented inventions, or software patents) are admitting that the era of software patents may be over

PATENT layers are running scared and trying to figure out how to still patent software in the United States (this is just the latest of many such articles).

After the decision from SCOTUS (a decision against many software patents) law firms tried to fight this decision using words and using corrupt courts like CAFC. On the face of it, patent lawyers are not really succeeding. They can’t overturn what was decided.

Looking at the plutocrats’ press, it seems evident that the consequences are already being realised:

Last month, Apple and Samsung called off all their non-U.S. legal jousting over smartphone patents. With up to 40 different Apple-v.-Samsung cases being contended around the world, this was no small matter. Apple had already settled most of its smartphone fights with Google and Motorola. Then last week Intellectual Ventures, the litigious patent holding company founded and run by Nathan Myhrvold, said it would lay off nearly one-fifth of its 700 employees. Is the accumulate-and-sue patent strategy wearing thin?

Even CAFC seems to be giving up on its pro-software patents Jihad. A pro-software patents site cites the corrupt judge Rader (pro-software patents for years) to explain the demise of software patents in the United States. To quote some bits: “Former Federal Circuit chief judge Randall Rader has claimed that the prospects for software patent protection have fundamentally shifted following the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v CLS Bank. In an exclusive interview with IAM, Rader, who stood down as the head of the CAFC in May and then left the court in June, admitted that he had hoped for more clarity.”

Funny how they neglect to say why he ‘left’. That’s what one ought to expect from a pro-software patents site.

Yet another pro-software patents site cites USPTO‘s new rules to acknowledge that software patents are now in trouble in the US. Quoting a relevant portion:

Just six days following the Alice opinion, on June 25, the PTO issued the USPTO Preliminary Examination Instructions In View Of The Supreme Court Decision in Alice Corporation Pty Ltd v CLS Bank International, et al. These Preliminary Instructions interpreted Alice to suggest that all claims directed to laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas, regardless of the technology or the category of invention, should be analysed for patent eligibility using the two-step Mayo analysis. Some public commentary asserted to the PTO following the Preliminary Instructions report that many pending business method and software claims, which under the previous USPTO guidance may have been patent eligible, are now being rejected as patent ineligible.

The significance of the above items should be clear; even the most ardent supporters of software patents are gradually weakening and are willing to admit that software patents are in trouble. They may not say much about corruption in courts that supported software patents, but they do spot the trend.

Techrights is going to provide exclusive coverage with some major leaks about the EPO later this month. There is corruption here in the European patent system as well. We intend to expose it.

New Lies About Microsoft ‘Privacy’ and New FUD Against the GPL Comes From ‘Former’ Microsoft Staff at Black Duck

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 9:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: More AstroTurfing by sites that are run by Microsoft MVPs and firms which were created by people from Microsoft

Microsoft is a propaganda and lobbying company. It is highly reliant on AstroTurfing through numerous proxies and this week is no exception.

A few days ago we saw Microsoft propaganda seeking to portray Microsoft as a privacy proponent; a lot of this came from familiar people. We studied where it came from and we were not alone. A lot of this recent propaganda about Microsoft privacy comes from ‘former’ Microsoft staff (now working as ‘journalists’) and ‘news’ sites run by Microsoft MVPs. They were manipulating the media into lying for Microsoft and acting like a PR machine, inadvertently or not. Everyone should know by now that the simple truth is that Microsoft is in bed with the NSA (too much evidence for one to dismiss this) but as TechDirt pointed out: “A site called WindowsITPro wrote up that Microsoft was now “defying” a court order and this somehow proved it was a heroic company, fighting for its customers…”

The title of TechDirt‘s post is “No, Microsoft Is Not Suddenly ‘Defying’ A Court Order To Turn Over Emails”. If only it pointed out that WindowsITPro is not a news site but a Microsoft propaganda site…

WindowsITPro is not the only site which is run by Microsoft MVPs and other allies of Microsoft; we exposed other such sites over the years and many were also involved in spreading the familiar Munich FUD. Microsoft does this every year and it did it again last month.

Our second example of Microsoft-linked propaganda comes from Phil Johnson at IDG. He cites ‘former’ Microsoft staff (Ohloh) and their latest boss which was created by Microsoft marketing man and continues to smear GPL (and by association GNU). Usually they try to claim that the GPL is dying (self-fulfilling prophecy) using their dubious proprietary/secret data but now they try another approach by alleging that GPL is killing participation and impedes success of FOSS projects. To understand why this is likely wrong one need to remember what Ohloh is; it came from Microsoft (like Black Duck) and it has an incomplete database stuffed with Microsoft data (since 2009 when Black Duck made a pact/partnership with Microsoft).

Black Duck claims to have just netted more funds. Not bad for a proprietary software-wielding, software patent-hoarding propaganda apparatus, eh? The sad thing is that Microsoft has successfully infiltrated the media and all sorts of “think tanks” that Black Duck and others organise. It is a form of AstroTurfing. This is chronic and systemic.

“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

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