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10.30.14

Links 30/10/2014: GNOME 3.15.1, Red Hat Software Collections 1.2

Posted in News Roundup at 5:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • China will upgrade all PCs to Linux by 2020

      China have announced a new time frame in which they will move to a new operating system. It will consist of 15% of government computers being switched to Linux per year. The report by Ni Guangnan outlining the transition won government approval and by 2020 the Chinese Government’s transition to Linux should be complete.

    • Things I Do in Windows When I Forget It’s Not Linux

      Many Linux users out there dual-boot with a Windows system, or they just use the two operating systems separately. An interesting thing happens when you’re in Windows and you try to do something that you think is normal, but that feature doesn’t exist.

  • Server

    • Weapons of MaaS Deployment

      I’ve been researching OpenStack deployment methods lately and so when I got an email from Canonical inviting me to check out how they deploy OpenStack using their Metal as a Service (MaaS) software on their fantastic Orange Box demo platform I jumped at the opportunity. While I was already somewhat familiar with MaaS and Juju from research for my Official Ubuntu Server Book, I’d never seen it in action at this scale. Plus a chance to see the Orange Box–a ten-server computing cluster and network stack that fits in a box about the size of a old desktop computer–was not something I could pass up.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel Finally Being Optimized For SSHDs

      The Linux kernel is finally being optimized for use of solid-state hybrid drives (SSHDs) that follow the ATA 3.2 standard.

    • Video: KvmGT – GPU Virtualization for KVM

      Here is a video I’ve been waiting for by Jike Song from Intel. The KVM Forum 2014 was held in conjunction with the recent LinuxCon Europe and someone (from the Linux Foundation or the KVM Forum) has been processing and posting presentation videos to YouTube in a staggered fashion. About 13 hours ago this video appeared. When I noticed the topic on the KVM Forum schedule (along with the slide deck [PDF]) a week or two before the event, I was really looking forward to learning more.

    • Conspirationist Website Wants People to Boycott Linux and Use Minix

      This is not the first initiative of its kind. In fact, a similar website was released just a couple of weeks ago, asking users to support forking Debian because it adopted systemd. Now, the Linux kernel is the target and the website claims to be the work of multiple users (developers?).

    • Ease your kernel tracing struggle with LTTng Addons

      If you are new to Linux tracing and/or LTTng, go no further. Head on to the new and awesome LTTng Docs to know what this stuff is all about. I wrote an article on basics of LTTng and then followed it up with some more stuff a few month back too.

    • Graphics Stack

      • GLAMOR Acceleration Continues To Be Cleaned Up

        Now that X.Org Server 1.17 RC1 has been released with a focus on improving GLAMOR and integrating the xf86-video-intel DDX, Keith Packard has written a blog post about the work that has gone on so far since GLAMOR’s inception for optimizing and cleaning up this 2D-over-OpenGL acceleration method.

    • Benchmarks

      • Windows 8.1 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 With Intel HD Graphics

        For those curious how the latest open-source Intel Linux graphics driver is performing against Intel’s newest closed-source Windows OpenGL driver, we’ve put Ubuntu 14.10 (including a second run with the latest Linux kernel / Mesa) against Microsoft Windows 8.1 with the newest Intel GPU driver released earlier this month.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Ubuntu & SUSE & CentOS, Oh My!

      It’s Halloween week, and the big names in Linux are determined not to disappoint the trick-or-treaters. No less than three mainline distributions have released new versions this week, led by perennially-loved-and-hated crowd favourite Ubuntu.

      Ubuntu 14.10, better-known by its nom de womb “Utopic Unicorn”, hit the streets last Thursday. It appears to be a mostly update release, with more of the release announcement’s ink devoted to parent-company Canonical’s “Canonical Distribution of Ubuntu Openstack” than to Utopic’s “latest and greatest open source technologies”. Among those, the v3.16 kernel has been included, as well as updated versions of GTK, Qt, Firefox, LibreOffice, Juju, Docker, MAAS, and of course, Unity. Full details can be found in the official release notes.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Ballnux/SUSE

      • SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Is Released

        Enterprise users who rely on SUSE Linux now have access to a new and updated version of the platform: SUSE Linux Enterprise 12, announced Monday. SUSE says the key benefits this update offers to customers are increased uptime, improved operational efficiency and accelerated innovation.

      • Suse enterprise Linux can take your system back in time

        The newest enterprise edition of the Suse Linux distribution allows administrators to go back in time, for instance, to immediately before they made that fatal system-crippling mistake.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Software Collections 1.2 Adds GCC 4.9, Nginx 1.6

        Red Hat has released their third update to their “Software Collections” that provide updated development tools/packages to RHEL6/RHEL7 users as an alternative to their default packages.

      • Red Hat Offers Startups a Free Cloud Platform

        Application testing and development has traditionally been one of the chief drivers of public cloud usage, as it presents extremely little real risk to a company. Because critical information — customer data, credit card numbers and so on — isn’t being stored, the benefits of cloud computing are more apparent and immediate. Now, Red Hat Inc. wants to make it’s even easier, by offering a version of its OpenShift platform specifically for software startups.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ARM unveils toolkit for students learning how to program

      ARM has unveiled a toolkit for university students who wish to learn embedded systems design and programming.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Cool Devices and Demos at Tizen Developer Summit Shanghai

          All around it was a great event, with additional keynotes from luminaries in the Chinese government and industry, sessions from Intel, Samsung, and the community, and a well-attended DevLab where attendees learned how to write and deploy their first wearable Tizen app. I spoke to one person who had written a complete sketchpad app in the 1.5 hour session, who had never used the Tizen wearable platform before. All around, we were very pleased with the event and the attendees were as well.

        • Samsung’s Gear S smartwatch coming to the US on November 7th

          Samsung’s Gear S smartwatch will launch in the United States on November 7th, the company announced today. All four major US carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) will carry the device, and you’ll also be able to purchase it from Samsung’s store-in-a-store shops at Best Buy locations across the US. The Gear S will be available in black or white, but Samsung’s not revealing any pricing details; it’s leaving that task to the carriers. Just don’t expect the Gear S, with its built-in cellular radio and curved OLED screen, to come cheap.

        • Samsung values your need for security and your input to Samsung KNOX

          Samsung as a company is not the most open at times, but they are trying to change their ways with Open Source initiatives within the company, and also them trying to take onboard Open Source projects like Tizen. It looks like the Samsung KNOX team also wants their customers, partners, and basically anyone to know that they value the quality of Samsung KNOX that they are offering, and welcome you to contact them regarding any concerns you might have or information you want to contact to share publicly or privately.

      • Android

        • Google’s new open source project lets developers add live YouTube streaming to their Android apps

          With the new YouTube WatchMe for Android project, developers can now integrate live streaming into their apps. Thanks to this new open source project, more third-party devs will be able to offer video streaming features similar to Sony’s Live on YouTube by – Xperia and HTC’s upcoming RE camera.

        • 35 Essential Android Apps for Daily Use

          This list of essential Android apps are the ones you must have apps you need every day. They help with email, weather, music, and handful of other essential tasks.

        • Windows Phone Shrinks In Android-Dominated Europe, As New iPhones Boost iOS’ Share

          Spare a thought for Microsoft, a relative newcomer to the mobile making business, after Redmond completed its $7.2BN+ acquisition of former European mobile making powerhouse Nokia earlier this year. If Microsoft was hoping to see quick marketshare wins in Europe once its hands were fully on the levers of production that has not come to pass.

        • Puppy Linux 6.0 Tahrpup CE released

          Puppy Linux has long been one of the more prominent lightweight Linux distributions. This time around it’s up to version 6.0 and it has been dubbed “Tahrpup” by the Puppy Linux developers. Puppy Linux 6.0 is based on Ubuntu 14.04 and uses Linux kernel 3.14.20.

        • KDBUS Submitted For Review To The Mainline Linux Kernel

          It looks like KDBUS, the Linux kernel D-Bus implementation, is posed to be added to the next kernel release after Greg Kroah-Hartman sent out its patches today.

        • Three great Android tools for Linux and Windows sysadmin

          Systems administration isn’t a simple job — and being able to respond to issues quickly is a definite plus. Not long ago, server problems meant receiving a phone alert followed by a trip to the data center to fix whatever was wrong. Today, having full-powered computers such as smartphones or tablets literally in your hand is a tremendous help when doing sysadmin. Load Android with a few key applications and you can remotely monitor servers and services, get alerts and warnings as they occur, and solve problems without any travel at all.

        • Android’s dominance in Europe crushes Windows Phone

          In today’s Android roundup: Windows Phone is in deep trouble in Europe as Android reigns supreme. Plus: LG sells 16.8 million Android phones, and Android 5.0 Lollipop’s security features

        • Watch a working Project Ara prototype demonstrated ahead of Spiral 2 reveal

          The engineers behind Project Ara are trying to make the last smartphone you’ll ever need. Their design for a modular device has users slotting components — a camera, extra storage space, a Wi-Fi connector — into their phones, as and when they need them. It’s an ambitious scheme, but engineers working at NK Labs in Boston have already produced a working prototype, which they showed off to modular smartphone evangelist Dave Hakkens during a recent visit.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Has the time come to rebrand open source?

    I wonder how many other businesses are experiencing the same problem. I’m keen to start a conversation about how others fair when selling FOSS solutions and whether its time to get together again and think again about a re-branding that will have my prospective customers asking, “OK tell us more” rather than “open sounds insecure”. To that end I would like to nominate a brand new name that I have seen used in FOSS communities as a suitable candidate… Community Software.

  • Elastix seeks LatAm open-source VoIP community
  • Vast majority of software developers now use open source, Forrester reports

    Both developers and organizations are adopting open-source software based on merit rather than ideology, according to the findings of the report. A full 80 percent of the more than 1,200 coders from tech firms and traditional companies that participated in the survey said they use free tools because they’re functionally superior to commercial alternatives in the same category, while 72 percent said the broad participation in open-source projects can make the code more secure.

  • This time it’s SO REAL: Overcoming the open-source orgasm myth with TODO

    What can the world learn from Google, Twitter and Facebook – apart from how to make millions through ads flinging? How to run a successful open-source project.

    The trio in September announced TODO, to make open-source project “easier.” Joining them are Dropbox and Box and code-site GitHub, payment providers Square and Stripe, US retailer WalMart Labs and a body called the Khan Academy.

  • Facebook, Google, and the Rise of Open Source Security Software

    Arpaia is a security engineer, but he’s not the kind who spends his days trying to break into computer software, hoping he can beat miscreants to the punch. As Sullivan describes him, he’s a “builder”—someone who creates new tools capable of better protecting our computer software—and that’s unusual. “You go to the security conferences, and it’s all about breaking things,” Sullivan says. “It’s not about building things.”

  • Facebook Builds Open-Source Osquery for Security Insight

    The tool is designed to expose what’s going on inside an OS. Osquery, Facebook’s new open-source framework, could give enterprises new security insight.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • GPU Profiling Support Lands In Mozilla Firefox

        The built-in profiler for Mozilla’s Firefox web browser now has the ability to provide GPU profiling information.

        Mozilla graphics team has added GPU profiling support that so far will show how much GPU time is spent when compositing. The GPU profiling support has already proven useful for debugging issues and optimizing Firefox’s GPU usage.

      • Introducing SIMD.js

        SIMD.js will accelerate a wide range of demanding applications today, including games, video and audio manipulation, scientific simulations, and more, on the web. Applications will be able to use the SIMD.js API directly, libraries will be able to use SIMD.js to expose higher-level interfaces that applications can use, and Emscripten will compile C++ with popular SIMD idioms onto optimized SIMD.js code.

      • SIMD For JavaScript Continues Coming Along

        SIMD for JavaScript continues to be worked on by Mozilla, Google, Intel, and others for better accelerating particular workloads in the web.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Contributing effectively to OpenStack’s Neutron project

      Earlier this year, Kyle Mestery posted an article on his blog outlining some common misconceptions about contributing to the Neutron project and how to contribute effectively upstream. Kyle is a Principal Engineer at Cisco Systems where he works on OpenStack, OpenDaylight, and Open vSwitch. He is also Program Technical Lead (PTL) for the OpenStack Neutron project, the networking component of OpenStack handling the complex task of connecting machines in a virtual environment.

    • DreamHost Takes its OpenStack IaaS Platform Out of Beta Tests

      DreamHost has now taken its DreamCompute infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) OpenStack cloud platorm out of private beta testing. The company, with a platform that comes from the creators of Ceph, is set to compete with Amazon and other players in the cloud game.

    • This Polish startup aims to “do to open source what DigitalOcean did to SaaS”

      With almost 80,000 followers on Twitter and series A funding of $37.2 million in the bank, cloud hosting firm DigitalOcean is a suitable company to look up to for VirtKick.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice based document editor comes to the iPad

      LibreOffice is enjoying some serious adoption. CloudOn, a US-based company has launched a document editor for Apple’s iPad which is based of free and open source LibreOffice. The company says in a press statement that the app offers a, “…new experience for creating and editing mobile documents with a gesture-first doc editor that removes all the clutter, overload and lag of yesterday’s tools. Now people can intuitively create and collaborate on thoughts, ideas and information in ways that fits with the way they work.”

    • LibreOffice 4.3.3 Released with 62 Bug Fixes

      A new minor release of the hugely popular open-source office suite LibreOffice has been made available for immediate download.

  • Healthcare

    • PwC pitches open-source electronic health records

      According to PWC’s Dan Garrett, who heads the firm’s Health IT practice, the VistA solution makes sense in the short term because of existing interoperability between DOD and VA, and in the long term because the open architecture of VistA gives DOD the ability to modernize at its own pace.

  • Business

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Paris extends smart city open source tools to region

      The French capital is pushing for the use of free and open source software solutions to extend its smart city project to the city region. Making databases and applications interoperable and creating smart city grids requires tools to be as open as possible, and the use of open source provides many advantages over proprietary tools, says the city’s Deputy Mayor Jean-Louis Missika.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Job No. 1 In Open Source: Making Sure Others Can Understand Your Code

      While I’ve pointed out the importance of hiring exceptional writers to help craft and articulate meaningful stories about why a product matters, the reality is that strong writing skills matter just as much for developers as for marketers. In part this is a matter of developers doing a better job of marketing their projects to rally contributors, but it’s actually much more fundamental.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The Failed Promise of HTML5

      The W3C announced this week that the HTML5 specification is now an official recommendation. While I was an avid supporter of the HTML5 effort in the early days, seven years ago, you can count me among those that aren’t all that excited by the W3Cs announcement.

      [...]

      As I see it, web standards are now evolving every six to eight weeks and the W3C is merely a bystander in the process.

Leftovers

  • Windows 7: Officially Dead This Week

    With no funeral, retrospectives, accolades, or notes of sadness, the Windows 7 era has come to an end.

  • Freedom Reaches Retail Shelves On Friday

    Perhaps freedom won’t turn on like the flick of a light-switch. It will be a gradual process that’s been going on for a while but it will be faster now. People I meet are still wondering what to do about XP. “7” or “8*” or Wintel are not on their radar any longer. They are thinking that if Android/Linux is what I like, why do retailers only offer Wintel on retail shelves? They are thinking that something must be available and they are finding GNU/Linux. On their own. That’s the game-changer. That’s the shift in mind-share.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Thursday
    • Hackers breach some White House computers

      Hackers thought to be working for the Russian government breached the unclassified White House computer networks in recent weeks, sources said, resulting in temporary disruptions to some services while cybersecurity teams worked to contain the intrusion.

    • LAX flight delayed after WiFi hotspot name prompts concerns

      An American Airlines flight from Los Angeles International Airport to London was delayed Sunday after concerns over the name of a WiFi hotspot.

      A passenger saw the WiFi connection, named “Al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork,” and expressed concern to a flight attendant.

    • Stupid WiFi Hotspot Name Gets American Airlines Flight Grounded

      America: land of the ass coverage policy and home of “better safe than sorry.” Free and brave? Not so much. If anyone wants to know if the terrorists have won, here’s another one to file under “Exhibit A: Yes, At Least A Sizable Partial Victory.”

    • Hackers Are Using Gmail Drafts to Update Their Malware and Steal Data

      In his career-ending extramarital affair that came to light in 2012, General David Petraeus used a stealthy technique to communicate with his lover Paula Broadwell: the pair left messages for each other in the drafts folder of a shared Gmail account. Now hackers have learned the same trick. Only instead of a mistress, they’re sharing their love letters with data-stealing malware buried deep on a victim’s computer.

    • Security Specifications

      There are many potential sources for security specifications. Some of them are government standards. For example, in the United States, HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, specifies requirements for administrative safeguards, physical safeguards, and technical safeguards of medical records and personally identifiable information. Anyone dealing with Protected Health Information must comply with HIPAA.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Drones posing global security issues

      To date, only the US, Britain and Israel have used armed drones in an overt, operational environment in which they killed opponents. But the reason why other nations have not used drones is political, not technological, for almost every government is developing an offensive UAV capability.

    • Bill to ban armed drones from N.J. skies advances in Legislature

      A bill that would criminalize the outfitting of drones with weapons was advanced by a state Assembly committee today.

      The bill, introduced in January, primarily limits the use of the unmanned aerial vehicles by law enforcement and fire departments to certain situations where search warrants have been obtained, or where there is a clear emergency, such as an Amber Alert or an active fire, according to the legislation.

    • DoD, Lockheed Shake On 29 F-35s; Price Drops 3.6%

      The eighth Low Rate Initial Production contract includes 19 F-35As, six F-35Bs and four F-35Cs. “It also provides for the production of the first two F-35As for Israel, the first four F-35As for Japan along with two F-35As for Norway and two F-35As for Italy. The United Kingdom will receive four F-35Bs. The contract also funds manufacturing-support equipment as well as ancillary mission equipment.”

    • Killer robots are here and we must stop them, expert says

      From “The Terminator” to the Avengers’ upcoming battle with Ultron, pop culture’s parade of killer robots has long expressed fears that modern technology’s marvels might turn against us.

      In fact, the killer robots are already here – in the form of military drones and missiles, for now – and so is a movement to ban them by such organizations as the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. So says physicist Mark Gubrud, who appears tonight at a Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition meeting to speak about the “robot arms race” and the growing possibility of “robot armies fighting a war and humans playing no role.”

    • Elon Musk: ‘We are summoning the demon’ with artificial intelligence

      Elon Musk, a chief advocate of cars smart enough to park and drive themselves, continues to escalate his spooky speech when it comes to the next level of computation — the malicious potential of artificial intelligence continues to freak him out.

    • Rethinking a Negative Perception of Drones | Commentary

      We hear a lot about the nasty realities of modern drone usage — the targeted strikes that kill indiscriminately and the surveillance operations that concern privacy advocates. The side of the story we hear far less often is that of the large, military aircraft’s smaller brethren: the UAVs that have demonstrated significant advantages with disaster relief, search and rescue, conservation, forest fire detection and scientific research efforts. Unfortunately, myths persist publicly and in Congress there is no middle ground between libertarian-leaning privacy advocates who oppose drones and those who are in favor of them.

    • Drone deliberately flown at plane above Essex sparking terror fears

      A passenger plane was just 75ft from a mid-air crash with an unmanned drone, an official report has revealed.

      The quadcopter drone was deliberately flown towards the turbo-prop plane as it came into land, according to the co-pilot. He feared there was a high risk of a collision with the plane, which holds up to 74 passengers.

    • US drone strike kills five people in Pakistani tribal region

      A suspected US drone strike killed at least five militants in a Pakistani tribal region today, with local villagers saying the dead included a senior Arab commander.

    • What’s the cause of endless wars?

      Todd Chretien argues that the imperial state doesn’t just defend oil industry thieves, but the system of competitive capitalism worldwide–the so-called “free market.”

    • Students protest BAE’s ‘careers in killing’

      The Lancaster University Careers Fair was again the venue for a protest against the inclusion of BAE Systems. A Group of Lancaster University Students and activists staged a “die-in” at the careers fair in the university’s Great Hall this afternoon. The group lay on the floor to symbolise the death and destruction caused by arms manufacturer BAE Systems, who were represented at the fair.

    • Obama’s Hypocritical Crusade Against Extremism
    • US urges battle against IS to be waged online

      The US-led coalition has carried out fresh air strikes against jihadists in Syria and Iraq as Washington called for the battle against the Islamic State group to be taken to the Internet.

    • Video – Thales Watchkeeper UAV deployed to Afghanistan

      Since 25th September, the Thales Watchkeeper has been cutting its teeth in Afghanistan. From the British Army base in Helmand province, in the south of the country, the tactical UAV has conducted regular monitoring and reconnaissance missions to protect the estimated 10,000 British soldiers stationed there since 2001 as part of the International Security Assistance Force.

    • A sky full of drones

      Western enthusiasm for Malala Yousafzai overshadows the fact that western policies deny children in Pakistan their most basic rights. The short-term memory of the media cycle, coupled with political self-interest and selective attention continue to marginalise the trauma of CIA drones.

    • The Malala that they ignore

      The press pick and choose which of Malala’s messages are amplified ― and which are silenced. They can hardly get enough of her insistence on the importance of “the philosophy of nonviolence I have learned from Gandhi, Bacha Khan and Mother Teresa”.

      [...]

      In March last year, Malala sent this message to a congress of Pakistani Marxists: “First of all, I’d like to thank The Struggle and the IMT [International Marxist Tendency] for giving me a chance to speak last year at their Summer Marxist School in Swat and also for introducing me to Marxism and socialism.

      [...]

      When the courageous activist speaks of the importance of education and non-violence, the West shouts her words loudly from the mountain tops. When that same activist criticises predator drones and, that most sacrosanct entity of all, capitalism, the silence is deafening.

    • Naming the Dead: visualised

      The database of names is built on over two years of research in and outside Pakistan, using a multitude of sources. These include both Pakistani government records leaked to the Bureau, and hundreds of open source reports in English, Pashtun and Urdu.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Swedish officials weigh up option to question Assange ahead of court ruling

      Sweden’s chief prosecutor said on Tuesday she was seriously considering an invitation by the British government to question Julian Assange in London, before a court ruling in Sweden on whether to lift the warrant for his arrest.

      The Foreign Office said on Tuesday it would welcome a request by the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny to question Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy and would be happy to facilitate such a move, which is seen by Assange’s lawyers as an important step towards breaking the deadlock surrounding the case.

    • Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • IRS Also More Than Willing To Steal Money Under The Pretense Of Crime Fighting

      The Department of Justice and its underlings (the FBI and nearyl every law enforcement agency in the nation) have turned the ideal of asset forfeiture (defund drug dealers; return money to the defrauded, etc.) into a free-roaming, many-tentacled opportunistic beast, one that “liberates” any amount of “suspicious” cash from tourists, legitimate business owners or anyone else who just happens to have “too much” cash in their possession.

    • Detroit man fights $30k child support bill for kid that is not his

      The State of Michigan is ordering a Detroit man to pay tens of thousands of dollars, or go to prison. The reason? He owes back child support for a child that everyone agrees is not his.

      “I feel like I’m standing in front of a brick wall with nowhere to go,” said Carnell Alexander.

      He says he learned about the paternity case against him during a traffic stop in Detroit in the early 90s. The officer told him he is a deadbeat dad, there was a warrant out for his arrest.

  • Censorship

    • Hungary Internet-Tax Protest Swells Into Anti-Orban Demo

      A rally to block a planned tax on Internet use in Hungary swelled into one of the largest anti-government demonstrations since Prime Minister Viktor Orban came to power in 2010.

    • Street Demonstrations Against Hungary’s Plan To Tax Internet Data Lead To A Partial Climbdown By Government
    • FDA Is Angry That ICANN Won’t Just Censor Websites On Its Say So

      It’s not just the City of London Police demanding that websites be taken offline without any due process. It appears that the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is getting in on the game as well. The Wall Street Journal recently published a detailed article about how angry the FDA is with ICANN (there’s also a corresponding blog post which may not face the same paywall restrictions) for not simply killing domains that the FDA deems “rogue pharmacies.” That’s not to say that there aren’t reasonable concerns about rogue pharmacies. There are clearly some concerns about those sites, but it seems like there are better ways to deal with those than just barging in and saying that ICANN and registrars need to take down sites based solely on their say so.

  • Privacy

    • You Can’t Vote Out National Security Bureaucrats: And They, Not Elected Officials, Really Run The Show

      A year ago, we noted a rather odd statement from President Obama, concerning some of the Snowden leaks. He more or less admitted that with each new report in the press, he then had to go ask the NSA what it was up to.

    • Documents Show FBI Impersonated Newspaper’s Website To Deliver Spyware To Suspect’s Computer

      The court documents didn’t detail how the FBI managed to install the weaponized payload on Glazebook’s computer. The emails obtained by the EFF, however, expose the electronic paper trail.

    • During Cold War, CIA And FBI Hired Over 1,000 Nazis As Spies, Limited Investigations Of Those Nazis

      A new book by Eric Lichtblau, The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men, apparently details how the FBI and CIA hired over 1,000 Nazis during the height of the cold war, forgiving them their past sins, so long as they might help spy on the Soviet Union.

    • Entirely Coincidentally, NSA Signals Intelligence Director Moved To New Position After Conflicts Of Interest Were Exposed By Buzzfeed

      The NSA’s newly-developed concern for “optics” is being tested by employees both former and current. Keith Alexander, the NSA’s longtime leading man, took his snooping show on the road, offering his expertise to banks for $1 million/month. But he couldn’t leave it all behind, attempting to drag the current NSA CTO along with him by offering him an interesting — but conflicting — part-time position with IronNet Security. The NSA said, “That’s fine.” Then it said, “We’re looking into it.” Then it said nothing while Keith Alexander pulled the plug on the deal while simultaneously denying any sort of impropriety.

    • UK’s GCHQ Can Get Warrantless Access To Bulk NSA Data
    • Secret policy reveals GCHQ can get warrantless access to bulk NSA data
    • Verizon is launching a tech news site that bans stories on U.S. spying

      The most-valuable, second-richest telecommunications company in the world is bankrolling a technology news site called SugarString.com. The publication, which is now hiring its first full-time editors and reporters, is meant to rival major tech websites like Wired and the Verge while bringing in a potentially giant mainstream audience to beat those competitors at their own game.

    • FBI Raids House Of ‘Second Leaker’ Who Provided Terrorist Watchlist Documents To The Intercept

      The government appears to have located the “second leaker.” Snowden obviously still remains out of reach in Russia, but the other leaker — one hinted at over the past few months and confirmed in Laura Poitras’ Snowden documentary “Citizenfour” — seems to have been identified by the FBI. Michael Isikoff at Yahoo News breaks the news.

    • More Surveillance Punishes Canadians, Not Terrorists

      The potential destruction of terrorism is infinitesimally smaller than the damage done to our rights by a disproportionate attempt to prevent it.

      Please. Please remember this. It’s even more important now, when that fact is so easily forgotten in the wake of the attack on our Parliament and the tragic deaths of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.

    • White House Says Obama Doesn’t Think Netanyahu Is a ‘Chickenshit’

      On Tuesday, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg wrote that “The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here,” and it begins with an anonymous senior administration official calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickenshit.”

      Now, White House damage control is officially in effect. Press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday afternoon that the Obama administration does not think that Netanyahu, as Goldberg reported, is in fact a “chickenshit.”

    • Islamophobia TV

      THE THURSDAY before Homeland’s season premiere, I wrote an article for the Washington Post calling Homeland “the most bigoted show on television.” While I am not the first person to present many of the arguments I laid out in the article, the moment was right and the article went viral.

      [...]

      The only male Muslim character who’s allowed to be something other than a terrorist–an innocent victim–is Issa, Abu Nazir’s young son, who’s killed in a drone strike that mistakenly targeted his school.

    • Twitter Might Be In Worse Shape Than You Think

      For Twitter, old news is bad news. On Monday, the company once again had to tell investors that its strenuous efforts to attract new users met with only middling results in the third quarter. The market reacted much as it did upon receiving similar news in February and May, lopping more than 10% off Twitter’s share price upon the open of trading Tuesday amid a handful of analyst downgrades.

    • The 7 Privacy Tools Essential to Making Snowden Documentary CITIZENFOUR

      What needs to be in your tool belt if you plan to report on a massively funded and ultra-secret organization like the NSA? In the credits of her newly released CITIZENFOUR, director Laura Poitras gives thanks to a list of important security resources that are all free software. We’ve previously written about CITIZENFOUR and Edward Snowden’s discussion of his motivation to release closely guarded information about the NSA. Here’s a closer look at the seven tools she names as helping to enable her to communicate with Snowden and her collaborators in making the film.

    • More Apple privacy concerns: Yosemite uploads unsaved TextEdit docs to iCloud

      If you’re using Apple’s latest desktop OS, Yosemite, you might want to adjust your iCloud settings to avoid unsaved documents ending up on Apple’s servers.

      Apple’s latest desktop OS, OS X Yosemite, and its latest mobile update, iOS 8.1 are designed to make work across multiple Apple devices a lot more convenient, courtesy of syncing features rooted in iCloud Drive (Apple’s answer to Dropbox) and “continuity”.

    • Apple’s OS X Yosemite slurps UNSAVED docs into iCloud

      Apple’s OSX 10.10 – aka Yosemite – is silently uploading users’ unsaved documents and the email addresses of their contacts to Apple’s iCloud, according to security researcher Jeffrey Paul.

    • Apple Mac OS X Yosemite ‘Secretly’ Uploading Private Data to iCloud Servers

      A security researcher claims that Apple’s latest desktop software secretly and silently uploads unsaved documents and email addresses to the company’s servers without a user’s knowledge.

      According to Berlin-based hacker and security researcher Jeffrey Paul, changes made in Mac OS X Yosemite causes sensitive and private data to be automatically uploaded to Apple’s servers.

  • Civil Rights

    • 12 Nobel Peace Prize Winners Ask Nobel Peace Prize Winning President Obama To Release CIA Torture Report

      The signatories of the letter are Desmond Tutu, Jose Ramos-Horta, Mohammad ElBaradei, Leymah Gbowee, Muhammad Yunis, Oscar Arias Sanchez, John Hume, F.W. De Klerk, Jody Williams, Carlos X. Belo, Betty Williams and Adolfo Perez Esquivel. One hopes that this would help drive things forward on actually releasing the report, except that the CIA seems dead set against it.

    • An End to Torture

      Twelve Nobel Peace Prize laureates have written to President Barack Obama asking the US to close the dark chapter on torture once and for all. Please add your voice in support of their message below. It will be forwarded to the President. And please share widely.

    • We Hardly Knew Ye: Judge Dismisses Manuel Noriega’s Publicity Rights Suit Against Activision

      Sometimes it’s difficult to maintain any faith in our legal system, particularly when it comes to intellectual property, and perhaps even more particularly when it comes to publicity rights. Then, some former drug-running dictator comes along to sue a video game and the system actually manages to do right. Yes, the case brought by Manuel Noriega against Activision over the game’s depiction of the dictator in the Call of Duty franchise has been tossed out by the judge.

    • Manuel Noriega case against Call of Duty is dismissed

      Noriega did work as a CIA informant before the agency broke ties with him.

    • More Cops Investigate More Teens ‘Sexting.’ Now What?

      The reason for police involvement — beyond the slim chance that it could net them some cheap child porn busts, thanks to existing laws being applied badly — is left unstated. Apparently, the discovery of suggestive and/or explicit photos couldn’t be left up to the students and their parents to handle. Instead, somebody will need to be punished for something that appears to be incredibly common and often wholly voluntary.

    • The TSA Stole My Belt Buckle… For Safety.

      On my flight out to LA, I dealt with the same issue with an imperious and stupid TSA supervisor who tried to take the buckle under the same pretenses at DCA until I protested long enough for her to get the top level supervisor in the terminal.

    • Footage shows homeless black man Milton Hall being shot at 46 times by police in the US

      Graphic footage has emerged showing a homeless man being shot and killed by police in the US who fired a barrage of 46 bullets as he held a penknife.

      Milton Hall, who was mentally ill, was surrounded by eight officers training their guns in a shopping centre car park in Saginaw, Michigan, in July 2012.

      The 49-year-old had been arguing with police after an alleged altercation with a shop assistant for several minutes and the video shows him refusing an officer’s demand to put down the knife.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Gottfrid Svartholm Found Guilty in Hacking Trial

        Gottfrid Svartholm has today been found guilty of hacking crimes by a Danish court. The Swedish Pirate Bay founder and his 21-year-old accomplice were found to have been involved in illegally accessing systems operated by IT company CSC. It was the biggest hacking case ever conducted in Denmark.

      • Pirate Bay founder guilty in historic hacker case

        Gottrid Svartholm Warg and his 21-year-old Danish co-defendant were found guilty on Thursday morning, with the Dane released on time served and Warg to be sentenced on Friday.

      • Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark

        Sweden’s Pirate Bay Founder Gottrid Svartholm Warg was found guilty of hacking crimes in a Danish court on Thursday.

      • Dotcom Tries To Reclaim Millions Seized in Hong Kong

        It was a place where Kim Dotcom loved doing business but it took just 13 minutes for a Hong Kong court to authorize the seizure of $42 million of his assets in 2012. Now the tycoon wants his cash back, with his legal team arguing that justice officials misled the courts.

      • EFF Ranks Service Providers For Who Stands Up To Copyright/Trademark Bullies

        We’ve written in the past about the EFF’s Who Has Your Back rankings, in which it looks at various internet companies to see who protects your privacy against governments and lawsuits. Now, the EFF has come out with an offshoot chart, looking at who has your back when it comes to bogus copyright and trademark demands. The only two companies that get a perfect score are Automattic/WordPress and NameCheap, as you can see on the full chart. The worst, somewhat surprisingly, is Tumblr, which scored a big fat zero out of the five listed items.

      • Crooner in Rights Spat
      • When Even The New Yorker Is Doing Long Features On The Ridiculous State Of Copyright Law…

        This article has been out for a few weeks now, but I’ve finally had a chance to read through the whole thing. Louis Menard, over at the New Yorker, has a long piece on just how messed up copyright laws are today, going over many of the same grounds we have (for nearly two decades). The piece itself is a sort of book review of Peter Baldwin’s new The Copyright Wars: Three Centuries of Trans-Atlantic Battle, but basically repeats the main point: copyright law as it is today really doesn’t make much sense. The first half of the article is a great look at the problems of copyright law, but unfortunately, the second half of the article goes off the rails by leaping on familiar and misleading tropes about why people feel the way they do about copyright. Still, the first half covers a number of copyright’s problems quite well.

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