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10.24.14

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

Posted in News Roundup at 6:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • oVirt Node: hosted-engine

      oVirt Node 3.5 contain ovirt-node-plugin-hosted-engine available which make possible setup oVirt Node run oVirt Engine as virtual machine with HA (more then one node required).

    • Cumulus Linux 2.5 adds mainstream L2 features to bare-metal switching

      As Cumulus Networks attempts to expand beyond the early adopters of its Cumulus Linux bare-metal switch operating system, it is adding Layer 2 networking features aimed at making it easier for enterprises to make the transition from legacy environments to the IP fabrics that most cloud computing customers operate.

  • Kernel Space

    • MSI X99S SLI PLUS On Linux

      For Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E Linux testing I originally bought an MSI X99S SLI PLUS motherboard as it was one of the most interesting, lowest-priced boards available at the time of the Intel X99 chipset debut. While I initially ran into some problems, those issues have now been confirmed to be isolated, and with a replacement X99S SLI PLUS motherboard I have been stressing it constantly for the past few weeks on Fedora and Ubuntu. The X99S SLI PLUS has now proven itself to be a reliable motherboard that’s still among the least expensive X99 ATX motherboards on the market.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The Linux desktop-a-week review: LXDE

      Over the last two weeks I’ve run nothing but LXDE as my primary Linux Desktop Environment (other than a few excursions into Android land). Been using LXDE. Been enjoying LXDE.

      But I have practically nothing to really say about LXDE. I feel like, after all this time, I should have something interesting to talk about. But I just plain don’t.

      It’s fast, blisteringly fast. And it’s damned lightweight too. After that, things get pretty boring.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kubuntu Shirts are Back

        Kubuntu T-shirts and Polo Shirts are available again. This time our supplier is HelloTux who are working with the Hungarian Ubuntu LoCo. $3 from each shirt goes to Kubuntu and $1.5 to the Hungarian LoCo team.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Introducing Gthree

        I’ve recently been working on OpenGL support in Gtk+, and last week it landed in master. However, the demos we have are pretty lame and are not very good to show off or even test the OpenGL support. I’ve looked around for some open source demos that used modern GL that we could use, but I didn’t find anything that we could easily use.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Neptune OS 4.2 Features a Refreshing KDE Desktop

        ZevenOS-Neptune 4.x branch is called “It’s all about you” and it was initially made available back in June. This is the second update for the distribution and the devs have refined some of the features and have added some new packages into the mix.

        The system is based on KDE, but don’t expect to find a regular stock version implemented. It’s clear that the devs have put a lot of effort into making the DE experiences unique. Users can immediately recognize what distribution they are looking at just with a glance, and that’s always a good sign.

    • Arch Family

      • Diary of a new Arch user, week two

        So, I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and installed Arch Linux. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. For those of you who haven’t come across this distro before, it’s built on the idea that the user should have full control of their system. This means that the basic install is just the Linux kernel and a few essential utilities. In order to create a fully working system, you need to choose what bits you want to install on top of that yourself. There’s no installer to guide you (but there is a package manager and a wiki to help you).

    • Red Hat Family

      • Video: Getting Ready for systemd (in RHEL7)

        I found the link to this video (Getting Ready for systemd) on the systemd documentation page. It is a Red Hat “Customer Portal Exclusive” and “Not for Distribution” but it is ok for me to provide a picture that links to it… that looks like a video-ready-to-play.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 22 Could Get the Desktop from elementary OS

          The Fedora Linux distro is an operating system with a very rich history and it comes with all sorts of desktop environments. A proposition has been made now to give users a new desktop environment to play with, Pantheon.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Make Your Own Wireless Printer With A Raspberry Pi

      Wireless technology is perhaps the best improvement to home printing for years. Fewer cables, flexibility about where you can put your printer – it’s win-win. Unless you have an older printer.

    • Google’s Nest buys Linux automation firm, adds five partners

      Google’s Nest Labs acquired Revolv, a maker of Linux-based home automation devices, and announced five new Nest-compatible devices. including the Pebble.

      After Google acquired Nest Labs in January $3.2 billion, placing a stake in the fast-growing home automation business, Nest acquired home surveillance camera maker Dropcam in June for $555 million. Now Nest announced it has acquired another major home automation company in its purchase of Revolv. The acquisition, which was announced with no dollar amount, came shortly after the Boulder, Colo. based company announced compatibility with the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect CO/smoke detector.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Tizen Developer Summit Shanghai 2014 #TDS14SH

          At the Tizen Developer Summit shanghai 2014, Brian Warner kicked off the Keynote sessions to a packed Chinese crowd, which was a great sight to see. He drew attention to the fact that there have been releases several Tizen products this year, which hasn’t been the case in recent times.

        • Is the Tizen Samsung Z Alive and running Tizen 2.3 SM-Z910F ? #TDS14SH

          At the Tizen Developer Summit 2014 Shanghai, Samsung were showing off the Gear S, and also the Samsung Z Smartphone. Taking a further glimpse at the settings we can see that it is listed as running Tizen 2.3, which recently saw the release of the Tizen 2.3 Beta SDK. As a recap, the Samsung Z was the Tizen flagship Smartphone that Samsung were due to release at the Tizen developer summit in Russia, but cancelled the launch with only 48 hours to spare.

      • Android

        • How to Get Open Source Android

          Android is an astonishing commercial success, and is often touted as a Linux success. In some ways it is; Google was able to leverage Linux and free/open source software to get Android to market in record time, and to offer a feature set that quickly outstripped the old champion iOS.

          But it’s not Linux as we know it. Most Android devices are locked-down, and we can’t freely download and install whatever operating systems we want like we can with our Linux PCs, or install whatever apps we want without jailbreaking our own devices that we own. We can’t set up a business to sell Google Android devices without jumping through a lot of expensive hoops (see The hidden costs of building an Android device and Secret Ties in Google’s “Open” Android.) We can’t even respin Google Android however we want to and redistribute it, because Google requires bundling a set of Google apps.

        • Another Tor router crowdfunding project nixed by Kickstarter

          Kickstarter is apparently not the place to go if you’re trying to crowdfund privacy hardware. Just days after the Anonabox project, a highly criticized effort to package the Tor privacy protection service into a portable miniature Wi-Fi router, was suspended by the crowdfunding site, another similar project has met its demise—and its founder’s account has been deleted.

        • LG’s first SoC debuts on 5.9-inch G3 Screen phone

          LG announced its first SoC, a Cortex-15 and –A7 octa-core “Nuclun” with LTE-A Cat.6 tech that debuts this week in a Korea-bound LG G3 Screen Android phone.

        • Google CEO Page appoints Sundar Pichai as product boss

          Google Inc. CEO is handing over responsibility for the company’s products to a key lieutenant, Sundar Pichai, putting him in charge of research, search, maps, Google+, commerce, ads and infrastructure, Re/code reported.

Free Software/Open Source

  • LinkedIn and Twitter Contribute Machine Learning Libraries to Open Source

    Twitter’s engineering group, known for various contributions to open source from streaming MapReduce to front-end framework Bootstrap recently announced open sourcing an algorithm that can efficiently recommend content. This is a really important problem for Twitter as it helps promoting the right ads to the right users and recommending which users to follow. The algorithm, named DIMSUM, can pre-process similarity data and feed the actual recommendation algorithm with a subset of users that are calculated to be above a similarity threshold.

  • Why Open Source Is Becoming A Big Developer-Recruiting Tool

    Most companies are just coming around to the idea that open source can help lower costs and boost innovation within their organizations. But Web companies like Netflix, Twitter and Facebook understand that open source can be more: a powerful weapon for recruiting and retaining top engineering talent.

  • SimplyTapp launches open source tokenization project

    “We don’t want to put any hindrance in the way of a bank launching cloud-based payments because they have to buy or rely on another ecosystem player for new technology and so we thought it was a perfect use case for an open source project. Open source allows a perfect line of audit where you can actually see the source code, modify the source code and make updates to the source code for your environment before you’re running it.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • MozFest 2014 begins today

        More than 1,600 participants from countries around the globe will gather at Ravensbourne in East London for a weekend of collaborating, building prototypes, designing innovative web literacy curricula and discussing how the ethos of the open web can contribute to the fields of science, journalism, advocacy and more.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Apache CloudStack Arrives in New Version, Stays Popular

      The Apache CloudStack project has released version 4.4.1, the new version of its private, public and hybrid cloud software. The latest revision of the open source CloudStack platform has “dozens of new features and improvements,” as noted in an Apache Software Foundation release.

    • HP Launches Helion OpenStack Build/Services, to Take on AWS

      HP has steadily been making a lot of noise about its commitment to cloud computing overall, and the OpenStack platform in particular. And, back in May, HP chief Meg Whitman announced the cloud-focused Helion brand, and pledged to commit $1 billion over the next two years on products and services surrounding OpenStack.

  • Databases

    • eBay open sources a big, fast SQL-on-Hadoop database

      eBay has open sourced a database technology, called Kylin, that takes advantage of distributed processing and the HBase data store in order to return faster results for SQL queries over Hadoop data.

    • What you missed in Big Data: Oracle, eBay join Hadoop open-source party

      The past week has seen not one but two technology giants take on a bigger role in the open-source community’s efforts to bring modern analytics within the grasp of the traditional enterprise. Online retail giant eBay Inc. led the charge with the contribution of a homegrown OLAP engine that it said makes querying Hadoop both easier and significantly faster.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Swiss crowdfund pays for signed PDFs LibreOffice

      In just three days, the Swiss open source community Wilhelm Tux reached its crowdfunding target of 10,000 CHF (about 8000 euro) to add support for digital signatures in PDF documents. The feature will be added to LibreOffice, a free and open source suite of office productivity tools. The project is awarded to Collabora, an open source IT service provider, which will deliver the new functionality in April.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Guardian launches open-source data journalism tool

        Collaborative data journalism platform Swarmize has launched today to offer editors and journalists better tools for the use of data, including real-time visualisation.

        Swarmize, now in alpha, won funding through the Knight News Challenge in June, and has been built at the Guardian over the last four months.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • America, The Defensive: Wars, Terrorism And Thirty Years Of Perpetual ‘States Of Emergencies’

      If there’s anything our government can do well, it’s take a word loaded with tension and abuse it to the point of abstraction. First, we had “war.” The word described the hellish events of the First and Second World War, along with armed, bloody conflicts dating back to the rebellious creation of the nation itself. Now, it’s simply a term applied to any conflict with the weight of a self-serving bureaucracy propelling it. A “war” on drugs. A “war” on illiteracy. And so on.

    • Canada’s war on terror: Fear runs high, but evidence often lacking

      Homegrown. Lone wolf. High-risk traveller. These words are now part of the lexicon of a renewed war on terrorism, a vocabulary Ottawa officials use as they grapple with extremism inside Canada’s borders.

    • Canada’s Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame

      Anchored by the unflappable Peter Mansbridge, news of the shootings in Ottawa unfolded live on the CBC much like they do here in the United States: lots of sketchy details, conflicting reports, unreliable witnesses, and a thick fog of confusion. All of that was familiar. What was less familiar was how Mansbridge and his team managed that confusion, conveying a concise and fact-based version of fast-moving events to viewers across Canada and the world.

    • Valerie Plame on the New Age of National Security

      In 2002, the CIA asked Plame’s husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, to investigate claims that Iraq was trying to buy uranium ore for weapons of mass destruction. Wilson told the agency that the claims were “highly unlikely.”

      Nevertheless, in his 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush reiterated the claim that Saddam Hussein was attempting to buy uranium from contacts in Africa. Wilson accused the Bush Administration of lying to the American people to drum up support for the invasion of Iraq.

      A few months later, Plame’s name—and her secret identity as a CIA officer—appeared in a column by Bush supporter Robert Novak. Plame and Wilson believe Novak leaked Plame’s identity in retaliation, though a special prosecutor declined to prosecute federal officials for the crime, apart from charging Lewis Libby with obstruction of justice.

      In an interview with The Takeaway’s John Hockenberry, Plame reflects on the state of Iraq today. “Certainly, if we had not invaded Iraq on intelligence that was clearly manipulated and cherry picked, we would be in a different position today,” she says.

      “There is no question that what we are seeing—the horrible advance of ISIS—goes back, if you will, to the original sin of the invasion of Iraq,” Plame continues. “I think the Bush Administration was bound and determined on regime change, and we will be paying the price of that for some time to come.”

    • Special report: America’s perpetual state of emergency

      The United States is in a perpetual state of national emergency.

      Thirty separate emergencies, in fact.

      An emergency declared by President Jimmy Carter on the 10th day of the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979 remains in effect almost 35 years later.

    • Jury returns guilty verdicts for all 4 former Blackwater guards charged in Iraq shootings
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Rick S. Piltz, whistleblower on federal climate policy, dies at 71

      Rick S. Piltz, a longtime climate policy analyst who exposed how top-level George W. Bush administration officials edited scientific reports to minimize the link between human activity and climate change, died Oct. 18 at a hospice center in Washington. He was 71.

  • Finance

    • OMB Director Sets a Low Bar for Deficit Reform

      The national debt, which was about $5.7 trillion when George W. Bush entered office and $11 trillion when he turned the White House over to Barack Obama, is now at just a shade under $18 trillion. And the director of the Office of Management and Budget declares that a “return to fiscal normalcy.” Where is Warren Harding now that we need him?

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Big Problem With Time’s Teacher-Bashing Cover Story

      Time reports that Welch and his ilk were able to find “a flood of new academic research on teacher quality ” to back up their hunch that bad teachers are the problem. One research team relied on a “a controversial tool called value-added measures (VAM)” to measure teacher effectiveness, and they “found that replacing a poorly performing teacher with an excellent one could increase students’ lifetime earnings by $250,000 per classroom.”

      So there’s a technique that supposedly measures teacher quality, and you can sue public schools that fail to adopt it. Does anyone have a problem with this approach? Of course. Teachers, for example, and their unions–who are, shockingly, never quoted in Time’s piece.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Support the right for journalists to protect their sources

      Today we have also released a report on how police forces are using ‘directed surveillance’ powers permitted under RIPA, calling on the government to introduce judicial authorisation for all use of surveillance powers, increased transparency around how the powers are being used, and for the right of redress for those who have been spied on.

    • Former NSA Official: Anyone Who ‘Justified’ Snowden’s Leaks Shouldn’t Be Allowed A Gov’t Job

      A few days ago, the FTC announced that it had appointed Ashkan Soltani as its chief technology officer. Soltani is a well-known (and often outspoken) security researcher who has worked at the FTC in the past. Nothing about this appointment should be all that surprising or even remotely controversial. However, recently, Soltani had been doing a lot of journalism work, as a media consultant at the Washington Post helping Barton Gellman and other reporters really understand the technical and security aspects of the Snowden documents. His name has appeared as a byline in a number of stories about the documents, detailing what is really in those documents, and how they can impact your privacy.

    • FTC hires new CTO with deep links to Snowden documents
    • Federal Trade Commission Appoints Ashkan Soltani as Chief Technologist
    • MI5 spied on leading British historians for decades, secret files reveal

      MI5 amassed hundreds of records on Eric Hobsbawm and Christopher Hill, two of Britain’s leading historians who were both once members of the Communist party, secret files have revealed.

      The scholars were subjected to persistent surveillance for decades as MI5 and police special branch officers tapped and recorded their telephone calls, intercepted their private correspondence and monitored their contacts, the files show. Some of the surveillance gave MI5 more details about their targets’ personal lives than any threat to national security.

    • Exclusive: Shakeup At NSA After BuzzFeed News Reports On Potential Conflict Of Interest

      Top National Security Agency official Teresa Shea is leaving her position after BuzzFeed News reported on her and her husband’s financial interests. The move comes as the NSA faces more questions about the business dealings of its former director Keith Alexander, and potential ethics conflicts. This post has been updated to include a response from the NSA.

    • US Government Moves to Dismiss Lawsuit Against ‘Suspicious Activity’ Program Which Keeps Files on Innocent People

      The United States government has moved to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of five US citizens who say they were victims of a domestic surveillance program, which involves the collection of “suspicious activity reports” on individuals.

    • How Congress supports the NSA by doing nothing

      It’s been almost a year and a half since whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk and warrantless surveillance programs were first brought to light. Since then, we’ve learned more disturbing details about the NSA’s programs: The NSA has collected emails and other Internet data directly from companies’ fiber optic cables, built backdoors into encryption software, and partnered with other intelligence services around the world to collect and share private information.

  • Civil Rights

    • Roca Labs Story Gets More Bizarre: Senator Threatens Bogus Defamation Lawsuit, While Nevada Quickly Rejects Bogus Bribery Charge

      If you thought the Roca Labs story couldn’t get any more bizarre, well, then you haven’t been paying much attention, because no matter how bizarre the story was the last time you looked, it seems to get even more bizarre with the next step. We’ve already gone through the Roca gag order, lawsuit against PissedConsumer, lawsuit against unhappy customer, threats against witnesses, and weak attempts to use the fame of Alfonso Ribeiro and Tommy Chong in implied endorsements. Oh, and also the threat against us and the fact that a main “doctor” backing their product was a pediatrician who lost his license due to child porn claims.

    • Homeland Security confiscates Royals underwear in Kansas City

      Peregrine Honig says she just wanted to help celebrate the hometown team when she designed Lucky Royals boyshorts.

      The panties, with “Take the Crown” and “KC” across the bottom, were set to be sold in Honig’s Birdies Panties shop Tuesday. But Homeland Security agents visited the Crossroads store and confiscated the few dozen pairs of underwear, printed in Kansas City by Lindquist Press.

    • DHS Agents Raid Lingerie Shop, Save America From Unlicensed Underwear
    • Attorney General Holder ‘exasperated’ by Ferguson grand jury leaks, source says

      Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has told Justice Department lawyers that he is “exasperated” with leaks emerging from the grand jury involved in investigating the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, according to a Justice official.

    • In a federal trial examining a classified military deal, don’t mention the Navy SEALs

      Witnesses, attorneys and even the judge took special care not to let the phrase “Navy SEALs” pass their lips during a federal criminal trial in Alexandria this week, further cloaking an already mysterious case involving the purchase of hundreds of unmarked rifle silencers for the military.

    • Justice Department Rejects Key Reforms to FBI Whistleblower Regulations

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation is considering an array of new procedures that may modestly improve protections for whistleblowers, however, the Justice Department rejected a number of key reforms that “whistleblower advocates” have urged the agency to adopt.

      Under a presidential policy directive President Barack Obama issued in October 2012, which applied to whistleblowers with “access to classified information,” Attorney General Eric Holder was required to deliver a report within 180 days that assessed the “efficacy” of the FBI’s regulations. But it was not until June 2, 2014, that Holder delivered this report that was long overdue.

    • Senator Blasts CIA for Censoring ‘Torture’ Report

      Sen. Ron Wyden says the CIA is trying to blunt the impact of an upcoming Senate report examining the harsh treatment of al-Qaida detainees by insisting on censoring the pseudonyms used for agency officers mentioned in the document.

      “The intelligence leadership doing everything they can to bury the facts,” said Wyden, D-Ore., a Senate Intelligence Committee member who has been a frequent critic of the spy agency.

      The Senate, the CIA and the White House are negotiating over what should be blacked out for national security reasons in the 600-page summary of the report that is set for public release sometime after the November elections.

      President Barack Obama and other senior officials have said the CIA’s use of waterboarding, stress positions, sleep deprivation and other harsh techniques on some detainees constituted torture. Many current and former CIA officers dispute that.

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

Posted in News Roundup at 9:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Taiga, a new open source project management tool with focus on usability

    Whether you are a developer, project manager, or a stakeholder of any level—you’d like to have a clear view of where the project is headed. Are the deadlines being continuously achieved? How is the load on developers? How much of the project is complete? What is next for you in the project? And so on.

    A project management tool generally answers all these questions. Ideally, you can just login to the system and check the project status. But as with other things in life—it’s very difficult to achieve an ideal scenario here. People may be too busy (or even just outright lazy) to update their status in a project management tool. So, it’s almost always the case that the project management tool doesn’t reflect the actual project scenario. One solution to this is using a tool that is intuitive and fits alongside the developer’s normal workflow. Additionally, a tool that is quick to update and attracts users to use it.

  • [Mac Asay] Open source has won — let the infighting begin!

    For years, the open source world has taken comfort in a bit of Gandhi wisdom: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Red Hat went so far as to emblazon the phrase on the walls of its lobby, a reminder to open sourcers everywhere to take courage against the proprietary software machine.

  • Brocade Wants to Be Red Hat of OpenDaylight

    Brocade wants to have the same relationship with OpenDaylight as Red Hat has with Linux.

  • broadwell: add new intel SOC
  • Coreboot Now Has Support For Intel Broadwell Hardware

    It appears that Google engineers are getting ready Intel Broadwell support for future Chromebooks/Chromeboxes. Broadwell support is now present within Coreboot.

  • eBay joins open-source community with ultra-fast OLAP engine for Hadoop

    Like arch-rival Amazon.com, the soon-to-split eBay Inc. is something of an oddity in that it hasn’t historically been a big contributor to the open-source community. But the e-commerce pioneer hopes to change that with the release of the source-code for a homegrown online analytics processing (OLAP) engine that promises to speed up Hadoop while also making it more accessible to everyday enterprise users.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack for humanity’s fast moving technology

      OpenStack has presented a huge opportunity for technologists at many levels. Niki Acosta is one of those technologists who strives to pull together all aspects of the OpenStack community for the betterment of everyone.

      Niki is the Director of Cloud Evangelism at Metacloud, now a part of Cisco. Metacloud delivers private infrastructure as a service based on the popular and open source cloud platform, OpenStack. As an active OpenStack participant, tweeter, and blogger, she has become a recognized name in the cloud industry.

    • 2014′s most significant cloud deals have OpenStack at heart

      2014′s slate of cloud deals reflect a few important trends in the market for the open source cloud software. One is that traditional enterprise vendors continue to see potential in OpenStack and they’re willing to shell out the cash to buy the expertise and technology they need to pursue the market.

  • CMS

    • Jeffrey McGuire From Acquia Explains Drupal 8, the GPL, and Much More

      Tux Machines has run using Drupal for nearly a decade (the site is older than a decade) and we recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jeffrey A. “jam” McGuire, Open Source Evangelist at Acquia, the key company behind Drupal (which the founder of Drupal is a part of). The questions and answers below are relevant to many whose Web sites depend on Drupal.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 10.1 RC3 Has ZFS, UDPLite Fixes

      FreeBSD 10.1 RC3 was a few days late but it’s out there this Thursday afternoon. FreeBSD 10.3 takes care of an API incompatibility between 10.0-RELEASE and the earlier 10.1-RC2 state (due to the libopie library) and aside from that this third release candidate has a lot of other fixes.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Quick PHP patch beats slow research reveal

      Patches have been flung out to cover vulnerabilities in PHP that led to remote code execution and buffer overflows.

      The flaws were detailed this week by Swiss researchers High-Tech Bridge in versions 5.4.33, 5.5.17 and 5.6.1 on a machine running Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS and the Radamsa fuzzer.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Unifont 7.0.06 Now Available

      This release adds coverage for the following Supplemental Multilingual Plane scripts: Old Permic, Ornamental Dingbats, Geometric Shapes Extended, and Supplemental Arrows-C. The SMP now contains over 5700 glyphs.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • SecTor: Why DevOps Is the Key to Security

      For many organizations, the typical approach to implementing security is as a bolt-on feature after development. At the SecTor security conference in Toronto, Securosis CEO and analyst Rich Mogull explained why the emerging world of DevOps can radically remake how security is built into the software development and deployment process.

      “The problem is that by nature, security is often reactive,” Mogull said. “We don’t control our destiny and we have to secure new stuff all the time.”

    • SecTor Speaker Shows How Credit Card Thieves Get Caught

      Credit card theft continues to be among the most common and widespread forms of digital crime. Speaking at the SecTor security conference here Oct. 22, Grayson Lenik, principal security consultant at Nuix, outlined how these credit card thieves—known as “carders”—operate and how they eventually get caught.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Pentagon warns the US military of climate change

      Climate change does not respect borders and we must work together to fight its threats. These are not the words of a tree-hugger, but the US Department of Defense.

      A report published on Monday says that extreme weather, rising temperatures, unpredictable rainfall and rising oceans could fuel armed insurgency and heighten the impact of a pandemic, through their effects on political instability, poverty, migration and resource disputes.

  • Finance

    • WSJ Stumbles in Latest Attack on Campaign Finance Law

      The Wall Street Journal editorial board’s crusade against the enforcement of Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws has gone off the rails.

    • Big Money Bankrolls Opposition to Movement to Overturn Citizens United

      An historic vote in the U.S. Senate earlier this year to amend the constitution to reverse Citizens United and stem the flood of money into our elections – expected to top $1 billion this election cycle – has the Koch brothers spooked.

      If passed by Congress and approved by two-thirds of the states, the amendment could put a brake on outside spending from groups like the Koch brothers’ political network, which spent over $400 million on the 2012 elections and is reportedly planning to drop another $300 million on the 2014 midterms.

  • Privacy

    • With Launch of Germany Region, AWS Strives to Quell Privacy Concerns

      Amazon Web Services this morning announced it has launched a new region, this time in Germany, and the company worked hard to assure European businesses that its services are totally secure, even from U.S. government snooping.

    • Off The Record: How the police use surveillance powers

      The research focuses on the use of ‘directed surveillance’ contained in the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) by police forces; a form of covert surveillance conducted in places other than residential premises or private vehicles which is deemed to be non-intrusive, but is still likely to result in personal information about the individual being obtained.

    • GCHQ chief: Internet has become refuge for plotters

      Sir Iain Lobban, the outgoing head of GCHQ, says that the idea the internet doesn’t need policing is a flawed ‘Utopian dream’ as he argues the security services need ‘strong capabilities’ to stop those who want to harm Britain

    • Departing GCHQ Boss Insists GCHQ Isn’t Engaged In Mass Surveillance… If You Define ‘Mass’ And ‘Surveillance’ The Way He Does

      With the UN declaring mass surveillance a violation of human rights, the proper thing for the world’s biggest intelligence agencies — who regularly engage in mass surveillance — to do, might be to cut back on the practice and go back to targeted surveillance projects that most people find acceptable. Or, you know, they can do what the outgoing head of the GCHQ (the UK’s equivalent of the NSA), Sir Iain Lobban, did and just redefine the English language. That’s easier.

    • California woman charged with possessing cellphone spyware and using it to intercept law enforcement communications (UPDATED)

      San Jose — Kristin Nyunt was charged by information today with two counts of illegal wiretapping and the possession of illegal interception devices, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson.

    • Woman Faces Criminal Wiretapping Charges For Deploying Spyware On Her Husband’s Phone

      A woman deploys spyware on her soon-to-be ex-husband’s phone, an act that is probably more common than anyone wants to admit, but one that rarely results in criminal charges. In this case, however, her husband happened to be employed by the Pacific Grove (CA) Police Department. If not for that simple fact, would there have been an investigation, much less charges brought? This story deals with multiple layers of official privilege — the extra attention those labeled “law enforcement” receive as victims of criminal activity, as well as the extra access law enforcement officers have, and how easily it can be abused.

    • Research Shows Mass Surveillance Fails ‘Drastically’ In Striking Balance Between Costs And Benefits To Society

      One of the many problems with the debate on mass surveillance is that it is largely driven by emotions, on both sides. Facts are few and far between — much is secret, for obvious reasons — which makes objective discussion hard. What is needed is some rigorous research into this area. Surprisingly, it turns out the European Union has been funding just such a project, called “Surveille,” a name derived from “Surveillance: Ethical Issues, Legal Limitations, and Efficiency.”

    • FBI Director Says Congress Will Fix Phone Encryption ‘Problem;’ Congress Says ‘Bite Us’

      James Comey’s pleas that something must be done for the [potentially-molested] children of the United States seem to be falling on mostly deaf ears. Mostly. After realizing that there’s nothing in current laws that compels Google and Apple to punch law enforcement-sized holes in their default encryption, Comey has decided to be the change he wishes to force in others.

    • Congress to the FBI: There’s ‘Zero Chance’ We’ll Force Apple to Decrypt Phones
    • People unknowingly add to ever-growing mountain of available personal data

      What do a philosopher, a law school dean, a technologist and a private investigator named Emery Goad all have in common?

      This:

      They say we humans are creating huge databases about our personal information, our tastes, our flirtations, our finances.

      We’re doing this with nearly every phone call, text, keystroke, Facebook posting and store purchase. We’re unwittingly sketching out glimpses of our virtues, vices, sins and souls.

    • Stock Symbol: KILL

      Last year, a propaganda campaign for attacking Syria was evidently stopped in its tracks by an overwhelmingly war-weary U.S. citizenry. But in recent months, the “drums of war” have been beating fiercely yet again. Retired generals, allegedly experts on war “policy,” predictably advocated another military intervention in the Middle East (this time to stop the menacing advance of ISIS, an “enemy” virtually unheard of as recently as several months ago). It is, of course, a well-known but rarely mentioned fact that such retired military generals and admirals generally hold considerable stock in these “defense” behemoths. With new military “engagements,” product-demand is ramped up (the profit-margin already exorbitant on contracts), as Congress invariably approves increases for such costly weapons as Apache attack helicopters, Tomahawk cruise missiles (Raytheon), and Hellfire air-to-ground missiles (Boeing/Martin)—the latter “delivered” by Predator/Reaper drones (General Atomics).

    • The illegal drones flying above London… and the chair of the government’s drones committee who was “horrified” to discover Google Maps

      Drone footage can be breathtaking, capturing aerial views that you just can’t get any other way.

    • More U.S. Citizens Have Been Killed by a Drone Strike Than by Ebola

      It’s an epidemic—killing hundreds of thousands of people and leaving many others hospitalized. It’s present in over 148 countries and has expanded out of control. I’m talking not about Ebola, but the U.S. government. The very entity that many turn to for protection has been responsible for wars, police shootings, withholding of drugs that could save lives, and many other acts of violence and negligence that have resulted in far more deaths than Ebola.

    • Drone protestors make a stand at the air base

      Normally it’s retired military rallying support for the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station drone program but on Thursday veterans joined anti-drone protestors at the base’s entrance to publicize their opposition.

      The air base is the site of the home of the 107th Airlift Wing which is converting from flying C-130 cargo planes to the remotely operated MQ-9 Reaper. No drones will launch from Niagara Falls but pilots who operate them will be stationed at the base.

      [...]

      “When people lose family members to drones,” Ross said, “the blowback is incredible. We are recruiting people for terrorist organization from our use of drones.”

    • Pakistan calls for ban on LAWS

      Pakistan has called for a pre-emptive ban on the development of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS), also known as the ‘killer robots’ that are capable of making their own combat decisions without human intervention, saying such devices would undermine world peace.

    • Blackwater, torture and US imperialism

      On Wednesday, a jury of eight women and four men in a federal district court in Washington, DC convicted four Blackwater mercenaries for their role in the 2007 Nisour Square massacre. The jurors found one of the contractors guilty of murder and another three guilty of manslaughter for firing hundreds of rounds of ammunition and grenades at Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in a brutal operation that left 17 dead and another 20 wounded.

    • Religious Community Skeptical of Lethal Drones

      For more than a year, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace studied the use of drones and targeted killings. In May 2013, Bishop Richard Pates, chair of the International Justice and Peace Committee, wrote to National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, raising moral questions about the use of drones for targeted killings. He asked that the U.S. be more transparent in its policies and exercise leadership in advancing international agreements on their use.

  • Civil Rights

    • Decade of Dissent

      I do not think there is a single person in public life or social media nowadays who would not accept that the FCO were simply lying. Jack Straw was blatantly to lie about it to parliament. But ten years ago the public and media knew much less than they know now. Nobody outside secret circles had ever heard the words extraordinary rendition. It was a year later – May 2005 – before the New York Times revealed the CIA was sending people to Uzbekistan to be tortured, precisely as I had stated.

      [...]

      After going on the Today programme I went on the run, in fear for my life. I am not paranoid, remember David Kelly. I first stayed with my old friend Andy Myles in Edinburgh, then I think Chief Executive of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. He was phoned the next morning by the FCO. When he denied knowledge of my whereabouts, they not only said they knew I was staying with him, they said which bedroom I was sleeping in. Ten years ago today I was hiding in Aviemore in the house of my old friend Dominic.

      That was the start of a decade as a dissident where I have devoted my life to exposing, and trying to counter, the evil of the neo-conservative policy pursued by our political class at the behest of the corporations who fund them. I have suffered a huge loss in money, status and most of the other normal aspirations. But what I have gained is invaluable. I have respect and love, while Blair and Straw will forever be despised.

    • Occupy protesters forced to hand over pizza boxes and tarpaulin

      When is a pizza box a pillow? Or an umbrella a ‘structure’? In Parliament Square Occupy Democracy protesters have spent their seventh night sleeping on the ground on top of piles of newspapers. According to the 2011 Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, the local authority for the City of Westminster has the power to confiscate items that count as sleeping equipment or a structure, so mattresses and tents are forbidden.

      But protesters say the police are getting creative with their interpretation of the bylaw, confiscating backpacks and pizza boxes, claiming that they count as sleeping equipment. Umbrellas have similarly been confiscated because they count as a structure. Some have been told that sleeping bags are allowed to keep them warm while they’re awake, but not when they’re asleep.

    • Law Enforcement–Related Deaths in the US

      For over a decade and a half, Project Censored researchers at Sonoma State University have been monitoring law enforcement–related deaths in the United States. In the most recent phase of this research, we interviewed members of fourteen families who had lost a loved one in a law enforcement incident. In this study, we let the families tell their stories in their own voices, and we report the commonalities in their trauma and mistreatment by law enforcement and the corpo- rate media after the death of their loved ones.

    • New Blog Details The Unfortunate Experience Of Being On Homeland Security’s Terrorist Watchlist

      Kashmir Hill at Forbes has a great profile of (not-very-anonymous-after-all) blogger Peter Young, who has received the dreaded SSSS designation from the TSA. Ringing up 4 S’s means every TSA agent thinks you’re a terrorist and every visit to the airport means extra patdowns and questioning. Young has been detailing the humdrum existence of your everyday terrorist over at his blog, “Jetsetting Terrorist,” where he notes that his decidedly non-terroristic appearance causes the consternation and confusion at smaller airports where 4-S designations are few and far between. Not that being a jetsetting terrorist doesn’t have its upsides…

    • A Tale of Two Riots: ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Vs. ‘Bring Out The BearCat’

      There was another large riot recently, one that resulted in a large police presence. Maybe you heard something about it. Maybe you didn’t. Maybe the media portrayed this riot as “rowdiness” fueled by alcohol that just “got out of hand.” Maybe it didn’t. The annual Pumpkin Festival in Keene, New Hampshire, somehow devolved into overturned cars, smashed windows and lit fires, but there’s been no extensive handwringing about the police response to that situation — one composed mostly of white, college-age males. [h/t to Techdirt reader WulfTheSaxon for the NBC News link]

    • UN Torture Treaty does not apply to US actions in foreign lands – says US

      Last week, the investigative journalistic world got a severe shock: the United States strongly consider that the United Nations Convention Against Torture which universally ban “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” does not apply to C.I.A. and the U.S. military operations abroad – which includes US-run prisons – and that the Obama administration is considering reaffirming the previous Bush administration’s position that the (UN) treaty imposes no legal obligation on the United States to bar cruelty outside its borders.

    • Charlie Rangel: ISIS Is Not A Threat To Our National Security

      “We are seeing a battle in Kobani. We’re seeing Baghdad being surrounded. We’re seeing threats on the Green Zone in Baghdad by ISIS. What do you think that we as a government should be doing, and are we doing enough?” asked MSNBC host Jose Diaz-Balart Thursday.

    • Law forum tackles Mideast drone strikes

      And stretching those principles, Rogers said, increases the risk that other nations will do likewise. “Other countries can justify the use of force using the same arguments,” he said. “When the United States weakens these principles, other states will use them and it weakens the international order.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Anti-Piracy Police PIPCU Secure Govt. Funding Until 2017

        The City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has received substantial new funding which secures its future until at least 2017. The £3 million cash boost, announced this morning by Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Neville-Rolfe, will come from public funds. It’s being billed as good news for the economy and bad news for pirates.

      • City Of London Police Fail And Censor Their Way To A Lot More UK Taxpayer Money

        We’ve written plenty about the City of London Police and its Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), which despite an official jurisdiction covering a square mile of London, has made it clear that it considers itself Hollywood’s private police force worldwide when it comes to stopping copyright infringement online. PIPCU has basically been a bumbling, censoring mess from the beginning. A year ago, it started ordering domain registrars to kill off websites with no court order and no legal basis — demands that actually violated ICANN’s policies. For registrars that ignored those baseless, bogus censorship demands, PIPCU started sending ridiculous threats claiming that they were engaged in criminal behavior. Of course, PIPCU’s understanding of both the internet and “criminal” laws is suspect. The head of the unit, Adrian Leppard, claims that “the Tor” is “90% of the internet” and “is a risk to society.” Another top officer, Andy Fyfe, somehow believes that if PIPCU isn’t running around censoring sites there would be anarchy online.

      • German Publishers Grant Google A ‘Free License’ Google Never Needed To Post News Snippets

        Remember earlier this year when German newspaper publishers, led by rights management firm VG Media, demanded Google pay them a massive amount of money (11% of all ad revenue on any page linking to their works) for having the gall to send those publishers traffic via Google News? VG Media insisted that Google’s use of “snippets” was illegal. German regulators rejected this demand, but VG Media was still pursuing legal efforts to force Google to pay. Given that, Google did what made the most sense and removed the snippets for VG Media associated publishers. You’d think that this would make VG Media happy. Instead, it claimed that Google was engaged in “blackmail.”

      • German Publishers Cave, Grant Google Free Permission to Use Snippets in Search Results

        Google’s 4-month-long fight with German news publishers over license fees for search result snippets came to a close today when the publishers threw in the towel.

      • Judge: The Supreme Court Has Said Aereo Must Die, So Go Die

        This isn’t a huge surprise, given Judge Alison Nathan’s recent comments during the Aereo hearing, but Judge Nathan has now basically granted the networks what they want — a pretty broad injunction (pdf) against Aereo.

      • Marvel Goes DMCA Crazy Over Leaked Avengers 2 Trailer, Then Puts It On Its Own YouTube Page

        As the saying goes, death and taxes are both certainties — as is the fact that politicians lie. But another near universal certainty is that Marvel will totally freak out whenever it gets the slightest inkling that its intellectual property is threatened. The latest head-scratching example of this was yesterday’s leak of a trailer for The Avengers 2, which Marvel promptly DMCA’d.

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