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12.11.14

Links 11/12/2014: systemd 218, Empire Total War

Posted in News Roundup at 12:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Review: 6 business-class Chromebooks test their mettle

      I’ve spent the last three weeks taking six business-oriented Chromebooks through their paces. I started out as a skeptical Windows-rules-them-all kind of guy: I’ve been using Windows since the early days, and I’ve rarely strayed from the ghosts of my Windows masters. By the end of my Chromebook experiment, however, my old biases were shaken.

  • Kernel Space

    • F2FS On Linux 3.19 To Support Faster Boot Times

      The Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) will see another round of improvements with the now in-development Linux 3.19 kernel.

      The F2FS file-system this time around features several bug-fixes and other changes. The noteworthy work for this kernel cycle is less than previous cycles but includes better memory and I/O control when under memory pressure, support for the dirsync mount option, and a fastboot mount option to yield reduced boot times.

    • AMDKFD — AMD HSA On Linux — Will Not Support 32-Bit Linux

      This really shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, but AMD won’t support HSA on 32-bit Linux.

    • Hardkernel Launches $35 Development Board That Can Smash The RPi

      Hardkernel has announced the latest ODROID ARM development board. The ODROID-C1 is a $35 single-board computer that is similar in size to the Raspberry Pi but with much greater hardware specifications.

    • systemd 218 Released With More Additions

      The latest Linux excitement of today, which earlier seemed like an early Christmas, is the release of systemd 218.

    • Multi-Layer Support Coming To OverlayFS In Linux 3.19

      OverlayFS was finally merged in Linux 3.18 and now for the Linux 3.19 merge window it’s picking up another feature.

    • Linux 3.19 Kernel Adds Intel MPX Support For Skylake

      We’ve been talking about Intel MPX support in the kernel for one year and with the upcoming Linux 3.19 kernel that support is finally being realized.

    • Optimizations & Performance Improvements For DM In Linux 3.19

      Another one of the interesting early pull requests for the Linux 3.19 kernel is the Device Mapper changes.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • 6-Way Winter 2014 Linux Distribution Comparison

        With this week’s launch of Fedora 21, here’s a performance comparison of the new Fedora Linux release compared to the Arch-based Antergos rolling-release distribution, Debian GNU/Linux Jessie, openSUSE Tumbleweed, CentOS Linux 7, and Ubuntu 14.10.

        These six Linux distributions were all tested with the same hardware that came down to an MSI X99S SLI PLUS motherboard with Intel Xeon E5-2687W v3 ten-core processor plus Hyper Threading. The system also had 16GB of quad-channel DDR4 memory, 80GB Intel SSD, and Radeon HD 7850 graphics.

        All six Linux distributions were tested with their default installation settings and packages.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt 5.4 released

        I am happy to announce that Qt 5.4 has been released today and is available for download from qt.io. Together with Qt 5.4, we have also released Qt Creator 3.3 and an update to Qt for device creation on embedded Linux and embedded Android.

        But let’s start with Qt 5.4. One of the main focus areas of this Qt release has been around Web technologies and we have a lot of cool new things to offer there.

      • Qt 5.4 Officially Released
      • Meeting C++ and fantastic people

        I got back from Meeting C++ and I must say I loved every second of it. At first, it was a bit strange – I’m accustomed to KDE/Qt conferences where I know a lot of people. Here, it was not the case. It is a bit sad to see that barely anyone from the Qt community was there (apart from a few KDAB people), but that is a separate topic.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Linux Distros: What’s in a Name?

      Yesterday, the Fedora Project released Fedora 21, and with it the tech media got on its proverbial horse and started reports and reviews of the latest release. While it’s a good release and we won’t be reviewing it here — I already gave it a shakedown during the alpha and found it to be fantastic and completely worth the wait — there’s one thing that’s missing from Fedora 21 that I find rather disheartening.

    • New Releases

      • Alpine 3.1.0 released

        We are pleased to announce Alpine Linux 3.1.0, the first release in v3.1 stable series.

        This release is built with musl libc and is not compatible with v2.x and earlier, so special care needs to be taken when upgrading.

      • OpenELEC 5.0 RC2 Is Out, It’s an Awesome OS for Embedded Devices Already

        The embedded operating system built specifically to run the famous KODI (XBMC) media player solution, OpenELEC, has been upgraded to version 5.0 RC2 and a new image is now ready for testing and download.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Lamborghini Tauri 88: The $6,000 Android phone

        Times are tough for a lot of us but apparently not for everybody according to Android Authority. They reported today on a new Android phone called the Lamborghini Tauri 88 that will be made by…you guessed it…the same folks that make Lamborghini cars. And it will sell for a measly $6000!

    • Red Hat Family

      • Analysis of the CVE-2013-6435 Flaw in RPM

        The RPM Package Manager (RPM) is a powerful command-line driven package management system capable of installing, uninstalling, verifying, querying, and updating software packages. RPM was originally written in 1997 by Erik Troan and Marc Ewing. Since then RPM has been successfully used in all versions of Red Hat Linux and currently in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

      • Breaking down the Red Hat QA process

        Quality assurance (QA) is a critical aspect of software development, and Red Hat shares its best practices for testing Linux, KVM and OpenShift.

      • Fedora

        • Upgrading to Fedora 21 Workstation from Fedora 20

          Fedora 21 was released yesterday, and if you are running Fedora 20 as a desktop, you will probably want to upgrade to the latest and greatest version of Fedora. Luckily, there is a tool called FedUp that is the most simple way to upgrade to Fedora 21 Workstation.

        • Cubietruck: QEMU, KVM and Fedora

          Rich Jones previoulsy wrote here on how he got KVM working on Cubietruck — it was Fedora-19 timeframe. It wasn’t quite straight forwad then: you had to build a custom Kernel, custom U-Boot (Universal-Boot), etc.

        • Fedora 21 released…and websites too!
        • A Big Fedora Server SIG Welcome

          At today’s Fedora Server SIG Meeting, the present Fedora Server Working Group members elected to fill the seat recently-vacated by David Strauss. As of today, Dan Mossor (danofsatx on IRC) becomes a full member of the Fedora Server Working Group.

        • 11 Things to Do After You Install Fedora 21

          Fedora 21 was announced yesterday and it turned out to be a great release. Fedora comes pre-installed with a lot of applications. Users can start working as soon as they boot into Fedora. However, like most operating systems Fedora also needs some work to prepare it to handle your workload.

        • Fedora 21 KDE Screenshot Tour
        • Fedora 21 LXDE Screenshot Tour
        • Fedora Infrastructure release day retrospective

          Then, release day: proxy02 (a server in england) started being unable to cope with load and we removed it from DNS. Then, proxy01 started having problems. Since most services were slow in any case, we updated our status page that it was release day and to expect slowdowns. Most services (aside bodhi) were actually up and fine, just slower than normal. Some folks took this to mean we were completely down, but this was not the case. Next release we probibly will make a special banner telling people it’s release day and to expect things to be slow, but up and all working.

        • Fedora 21 MATE Screenshot Tour
        • Fedora 21 Linux Distro Tuned for Desktop, Server, Cloud

          The open-source Fedora 21 Linux distribution, launched Dec. 9, provides the first new edition of Red Hat’s community Linux distribution since the release of Fedora 20 in December 2013. Much has happened in the Fedora Linux community in the past year, and the Fedora 21 release marks a departure for the project from the way releases were built over the past decade. Instead of a single monolithic release that can be tailored for multiple use cases, Fedora 21 offers three distinct products intended for specific deployments. A Fedora Workstation release, intended for use as a desktop, includes a new set of tools to help developers use Fedora to build applications.

        • Fedora 21 greatest hits: non-Server non-live installs, fedup product behaviour

          So here’s a couple of things I’ve seen popping up multiple times with the Fedora 21 release. I thought I’d note them down here for my readers, Planet Fedora, and also as a handy link target for answering them in future.

        • Fedora 21 has Been Released!

          Here is the good news for you. The most anticipated Fedora 21 final is now made available for download.

        • Congratulations to the Fedora community on F21.

          This release has been a long time coming. It has been about a year since F20 release, and the pause we took as a community to embark upon the first steps of Fedora.next. I know many people have been anxious for the pause to be over. Finally the day has come and gone, and the release seems to be hitting on all cylinders!

        • Want to give BPG / libbpg a try? Here’s a repo for you.

          By now, most people will have heard about libbpg. Or maybe rather about the new BPG (better portable graphics) image format that was created by Fabrice Bellard, creator of qemu and ffmpeg, to possibly hopefully replace JPEG (and maybe even PNG) image formats one day.

        • Fedora 21 is here — Linux fans get an early Christmas gift
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Core to bring Snappy and transactional updates to the Cloud

            Mark Shuttleworth has announced a beta release of Ubuntu Core, a version of Ubuntu server for the Cloud that does not use debs or apt-get for system and software management.

          • Ubuntu Core Targets Container Deployment
          • Ubuntu Wants To Run Containers, Too

            Snappy, a lean Linux Ubuntu optimized for container operation, promises stronger security for Linux containers.

          • Ubuntu Team Launches Snappy Ubuntu Core for Container, Cloud Deployments

            The team at Canonical is even going so far as to call Snappy the “biggest revolution in Ubuntu since we launched our mobile initiative.” You can try the snappy Ubuntu Core alpha today, first on the Microsoft Azure cloud. Linux users can also try the snappy Ubuntu Core locally with KVM.

          • Can your computer run Ubuntu Core?

            Ubuntu Core beta, a version of Ubuntu for Cloud deployment that comes with snappy a system and application management utility with support for transaction updates, was released just a few hours ago.

            Though it was made available for testing on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud platform, Mark Shuttleworth said in a blog post that you can download a KVM image of Ubuntu Core that “you can run on any Linux machine.”

          • This Modular Smartphone Wants to Offer Ubuntu, SailfishOS

            Google’s Project Ara may soon have some competition in the modular smartphone stakes, with a Finnish startup — co-founded by a former Nokia Android X employee — pitching in.

          • Future Modular Phone Might Be Powered by Ubuntu Touch

            Everyone is talking about Ubuntu Touch on Meizu phones and that will happen in the next few months, but other less conventional hardware makers might be interested in the Ubuntu experience. At least, this is what the newly formed company Vsenn says it wants.

          • Ubuntu says it will make cloud server updates as simple as phone updates

            Canonical yesterday unveiled a new version of Ubuntu that’s designed for the cloud, saying it ditches the traditional apt-get system in favor of “transactional updates” that mimic the simplicity of phone updates.

            Ubuntu Core, the new version, “is a minimal server image with the same libraries as today’s Ubuntu, but applications are provided through a simpler mechanism,” Canonical said. Applications are more secure because they’re isolated from each other within containers, the company explained. Ubuntu Core is in beta on Microsoft Azure and can be run locally on the KVM hypervisor. It’s optimized to run in conjunction with Docker, software that automates the deployment of applications within containers.

          • Canonical Announces Snappy Ubuntu Core, A Transactionally Updated Flavor For The Cloud
          • Ubuntu 15.04 Gets Linux Kernel 3.18

            Ubuntu 15.04 (Vidid Vervet) is now under development and this is a time when new features and components are added to the distribution. The same is true for the Linux kernel, which has been updated to version 3.18.

          • Ubuntu 15.04 To Soon Land The Linux 3.18 Kernel

            Now that the Linux 3.18 kernel has been officially released, the Ubuntu kernel team will soon be landing the update inside the Ubuntu 15.04 archive.

          • Ubuntu Developer Tools Center Gets Renamed To Ubuntu Make

            Ubuntu Developer Tools Center / Ubuntu Make is a way to easily setup common developer tools on an Ubuntu Linux desktop installation. Right now this utility is just designed about easing Android application development but Ubuntu developers have plans for allowing Ubuntu Make to provide the tooling for other languages and environments.

          • Snappy Ubuntu Core Announced
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Top 10 Semi-Autonomous Robots That Run Linux
    • Top 10 Semi-Autonomous Robots That Run Linux (With Slideshow)

      many Linux-based robots for under $1,000, except for a handful of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), but we’re definitely heading in that direction. Like last year’s robot slide show, this year’s top 10 list is not a definitive compendium or a shopping guide. However, it may help show how Linux is enabling new capabilities in terrestrial robots, as well UAVs and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), which are essentially robots that fly or swim. (Click on Gallery to see the robot slide show.)

    • Intel extends its Internet-of-Things ecosystem

      Intel introduced a new IoT “end-to-end reference model” that includes a Linux-ready edge management platform, security, services, and ecosystem partners.

      The new reference platform, called the “Intel IoT Platform,” helps fill in the gaps in Intel’s growing ecosystem of Internet of Things gateways, cloud-based services, and endpoint devices like the Linux-based Intel Galileo SBC and Intel Edison module.

    • ODROID-C1 is a $35 quad-core, single-board Android/Linux PC

      When the Raspberry Pi team launched a tiny, low power computer priced at just $35, it was pretty remarkable. But that was 2 years ago, and while the Raspberry Pi has seen a few updates in that time, it’s still powered by the same single-core 700 MHz Broadcomm BCM2835 ARM11 processor.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • GENIVI Lifecycle Subsystem – Webinar Session 2 @ 9AM PST

          The Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) is a collaborative open source project developing a common Linux-based software stack for the connected car. GENIVI Alliance is a non-profit industry alliance committed to driving the broad adoption of an In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) open-source development platform. If you are interested in these two organisations work then there is a webinar on the GENIVI Lifecycle Subsystem, taking place at 9am PST.

        • MinnowBoard MAX Unboxing and Booting of Tizen:Common

          MinnowBoard MAX is an excellent open source embedded hardware platform based on Intel Atom E38xx 64-Bit Bay Trail System on Chips (SoC), which is quite versatile to our Tizen developer community. Our friend Leon Anavi got a MinnowBoard MAX board during the recent Tizen Developer Summit in Shanghai earlier this year and the first thing he did was port Tizen over to it !!!!

        • Tizen OS For Smart Life, Carsten Heitzler, Samsung #Slush2014

          Carsten Heitzler, who is the Principal Engineer at Samsung was onstage at Slush 2014 presenting Tizen OS for Smart Life. Slush is one of the biggest startup events of the year with over 13,000 attendees. Carsten discusses what is an Operating System and how Tizen is similar to other Linux distributions that are typically designed for server or the desktop environment, but in the case of Tizen it is much much more, with having the flexibility of being able to be used in things like Smart watches, Smart Cameras, TVs, Mobile Phones, Cars, IoT and anything that you can or want to fit an Operating System into, we have Tizen.

        • No release for the Tizen Samsung Z1 today, but over $1.7m worth of SM-Z130H parts imported to India

          All eyes have been looking towards the east for Samsung to launch the first Tizen based Smartphone, the Samsung Z1 (SM-Z130H), but the Smartphone failed to materialise. We are disappointed and saddened that their is an Information vacuum that will now be filled with speculation. Insiders close to the situation still feel there should be a release soon, but can not stipulate when that exactly could be.

        • Application Big Neon Clock for Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Neo
      • Android

        • A first look at Google’s Android Studio 1.0: Climbing out of the Eclipse kitchen sink

          Google has released version 1.0 of Android Studio, now the official IDE for Android.

          The development tool has been in preview since its announcement at the Google I/O conference in May 2013, and in beta since June this year. There are a variety of Android development tools available, but until now the official bundle has been based on the open source Eclipse project.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source for sensitive email

    We often discuss the many benefits of open source software. The single most important factor, the one that all benefits emerge from, is open. This is actually at the heart of what the software is, a community-driven software package with full transparency into the code base. Governments care about open source because it provides three powerful benefits: monetary savings, improved quality, and better security and privacy. This last benefit is often less-than-obvious, but equally important.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla and Telenor Announce WebRTC Competency Center to Advance WebRTC and Help Standardization

        Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) is changing the way people communicate over the Web by enabling developers to more easily integrate real-time communications on websites, mobile Web apps or video conferencing systems. WebRTC makes complex real-time communications technology available to everyone, driving a wave of new communications services that significantly improves user choice.

      • Mozilla Developer Experimenting With Firefox UI In HTML

        Paul Rouget of Mozilla has gone public with his experimental, proof-of-concept work to rebuild the Firefox user-interface within HTML.

        Rouget is hoping to one day replace the Firefox UI currently written in XUL with an HTML implementation. However, first the HTML needs to be made faster and enriched for constructing the entire Firefox UI. This would also allow for the Firefox UI to be eventually rendered by their next-generation Servo Engine rather than Gecko.

      • Firefox 35 Beta Arrives with Conference Call Features for Hello

        Mozilla has just released the Beta branch of the upcoming Firefox 35.x and it looks that they don’t plan anything out of the ordinary for it, although there are some improvements and various other changes ready.

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD Laptop

      I have been meaning to give OpenBSD a try for a while now. What has been attracting me to this operating system was: the big emphasis on security while still being functional, the urge to try another unix-like operating system that is not Linux, and of course Puffy. Here I will be going through the steps I took towards learning about OpenBSD and getting it running on my laptop. I hope that you can take bits and pieces out of this post to help you with your learning experience when you decide it is your time to venture off into the BSD world.

  • Project Releases

    • QEMU 2.2 Released With Its Many Changes

      Today is certainly a very exciting day for nearly all Linux users as covered in the Phoronix articles today. The latest good news is for server and virtualization users with the release of the slightly delayed QEMU 2.2.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Europe Softens on GM Crops

      A new agreement in the European Union allows genetically engineered crops to be approved without member-state votes, likely allowing several GMO foods to enter the market.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Magical thinking on terrorism

      But who’s doing the sloppy thinking here? Where is the evidence that more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan has brought us any closer to political solutions that can be sustained beyond the departure of U.S. forces? After spending over $1 trillion and deploying over 100,000 troops, are we any safer now?

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Web founder: Europe’s ‘right to be forgotten’ rule is dangerous

      Tim Berners-Lee thinks scrubbing false information off the Web is fine, but the truth should be preserved for reasons of free speech and history. Also: the robots are already here.

    • Russia’s Creeping Descent Into Internet Censorship

      When staffers at GitHub first saw the email from a Russian agency claiming dominion over the internet last month, they didn’t take it seriously. GitHub operates an enormously popular site where computer programmers share and collaborate on code, and to the Silicon Valley startup, an email requesting the removal of a list of suicide techniques from the site just didn’t seem believable.

  • Privacy

    • Let’s Encrypt – and Fix HTTPS While We’re At It

      A few weeks ago I wrote about the need for encryption – and the growing attacks against it by surveillance agencies worried about its efficacity. But how exactly can we implement that?

      One way is to adopt it at a personal level. That means using things likes PGP with Thunderbird, say. There are also a range of new email services that are aiming to offer easy-to-use encrypted email – something that cannot, alas, be claimed for the PGP+Thunderbird combo.

    • GCHQ Follows NSA Into Paranoia — Just As Julian Assange Predicted

      One of the knock-on effects of Snowden’s leaks is that the NSA is terrified there might be more whistleblowers, and has taken extreme action in an attempt to reduce the risk of that happening by stripping 100,000 people of their security clearances.

    • GCHQ sponsors ways to catch disgruntled ‘insiders about to go rogue’

      GCHQ is sponsoring ways of identifying disgruntled employees and those who might go on to be a security threat through their use of language in things like office emails.

      The Signals Intelligence organisation based on the outskirts of Cheltenham is financing a PhD research post, to the tune of £22,000 a year, at Lancaster University.

    • Facebook’s ‘emotional experiment’ is most shared academic research

      A paper revealing Facebook’s secret experiments on users received more online attention than any other scientific paper published this year, a new study finds.

    • Facebook is making employees read Chinese propaganda to impress Beijing

      To say Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is on a China charm offensive would be a bit of an understatement. After speaking decent Mandarin during a thirty-minute Q&A in October and opening an office in Beijing (despite being blocked in China) in May, Zuckerberg is not only reading president Xi Jinping’s recently-released book, “The Governance of China,” he is reportedly buying it for Facebook employees.

    • Ho ho no! While you shop this season, beacons will spam you

      Marketers have found a new channel to abuse, but it doesn’t have to be this way

    • NSA Hacking of Cell Phone Networks

      For example, the US company Verint sells cell phone tracking systems to both corporations and governments worldwide. The company’s website says that it’s “a global leader in Actionable Intelligence solutions for customer engagement optimization, security intelligence, and fraud, risk and compliance,” with clients in “more than 10,000 organizations in over 180 countries.” The UK company Cobham sells a system that allows someone to send a “blind” call to a phone — one that doesn’t ring, and isn’t detectable. The blind call forces the phone to transmit on a certain frequency, allowing the sender to track that phone to within one meter. The company boasts government customers in Algeria, Brunei, Ghana, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the United States. Defentek, a company mysteriously registered in Panama, sells a system that can “locate and track any phone number in the world…undetected and unknown by the network, carrier, or the target.” It’s not an idle boast; telecommunications researcher Tobias Engel demonstrated the same capability at a hacker conference in 2008. Criminals can purchase illicit products to let them do the same today.

    • No One Has Privacy Now, Thanks to Super Cookies

      Our private information is being catalogued and used by government and private industry, both with and without our knowledge. There was no consequence, fine or penalty, for example, following the revelation late in 2011 that Carrier IQ collected massive amounts of data from millions of cell users. Why? Probably because cell users allowed that information to be collected.

  • Civil Rights

    • Savaged By Rotting Sheep

      It is quite a feat by the Scotsman, on the day when CIA torture is the headline news of the entire world, that the Scotsman runs a story about me that leaves out the fact I was sacked as Ambassador for being the first whistleblower on CIA torture and extraordinary rendition. Particularly given that I pointed that out to them when they called me.

    • Ex-ambassador Craig Murray to be SNP candidate

      Craig Murray was withdrawn as UK ambassador to Uzbekistan after the Foreign Office lost patience with his criticism of human rights abuses.

      [...]

      He was withdrawn as the UK ambassador to Uzbekistan in 2004 after the Foreign Office became frustrated with his vociferous criticism of human rights abuses in the former Soviet country.

    • Jack Straw – The Guilty Man Lies

      …Jack Straw is lying about his personal complicity in torture.

    • Equal Time for Torturers?

      But then NBC aired a long interview–nearly as long as the report on the Senate’s findings–with former CIA (and NSA) director Michael Hayden, who even disputes that the tactics in the report were torture. Anchor Brian Williams told viewers that Hayden was “accused in today’s report of providing misleading information in the past.”

      That’s a mild characterization; in fact, as the Washington Post (12/9/14) showed, Hayden’s 2007 Senate testimony about CIA torture was revealed to be full of distortions and evasions–from the number of prisoners held by the CIA to his claims that “punches and kicks…have never been employed” and that the “most serious injury” was bruising.

    • The man who did the most to fight CIA torture is still in prison

      The Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on CIA torture today, and the news is as bad as it could be. Of the 119 prisoners detained by the CIA, more than one in five were wrongfully imprisoned, while CIA interrogators ran through a host of barbaric tactics including Russian roulette, shoving hummus up a detainee’s rectum, and simply leaving targets to freeze to death in an unheated cell. And while all of it was happening, many officials within the agency harbored real doubts about whether the program was working at all.

    • How the CIA tortured its detainees

      A detainee at Guantanamo Bay in 2009. A detainee at Guantanamo Bay in 2009. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

      The CIA, and the Senate intelligence committee, would rather avoid the word “torture,” preferring euphemisms like “enhanced interrogation techniques” and “rendition, detention and interrogation program”. Many of the techniques employed by the CIA after capturing high-value targets have been documented in CIA memos released by the Obama administration, and in numerous leaks, including a report written by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

    • CIA Program Tortured Dozens To Produce Nearly Nothing In The Way Of Useful Intelligence

      Perhaps the most disheartening aspect of the Torture Report [pdf link] is the fact that the CIA clearly knew the methods weren’t producing usable intelligence but continued to use them anyway, all the while hiding the extent of its abuses from the rest of the goverment.

    • 5 Telling Dick Cheney Appearances in the CIA Torture Report

      It may come as little surprise that former Vice President Dick Cheney’s name crops up 41 times in the Senate report on the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation.”

    • Broken Windows And Broken Lives

      Apparently we’ve decided that we won’t tolerate broken windows any more. But we haven’t found the fortitude to do something about broken people. To put it plainly: just as neighborhood thugs could once break windows with impunity, police officers can generally kill with impunity. They can shoot unarmed men and lie about it. They can roll up and execute a child with a toy as casually as one might in Grand Theft Auto. They can bumble around opening doors with their gun hand and kill bystanders, like a character in a dark farce, with little fear of serious consequences. They can choke you to death for getting a little mouthy about selling loose cigarettes. They can shoot you because they aren’t clear on who the bad guy is, and they can shoot you because they’re terrible shots, and they can shoot you because they saw something that might be a weapon in your hand — something that can be, frankly, any fucking thing at all, including nothing.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The Broadband Industry Pretends To Be Worried About Your Soaring Bill In Attempt To Undermine Net Neutrality

      On the heels of Obama’s surprise support of Title II-based net neutrality rules last month, we noted that the broadband industry’s anti-Title II talking points (primarily that it will kill network investment and sector innovation) not only were just plain wrong, they were getting more than a little stale. That’s a problem for the industry given the increasingly bi-partisan support of real net neutrality rules and the groundswell of SOPA-esque activism in support of Title II. As such, the industry’s vast think tank apparatus quickly got to work on new talking points to combat net neutrality rules that actually might do something.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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    Links for the day



  12. South Korea's Government Will Show If Microsoft Loves Linux or Just Attacks It Very Viciously Like It Did in Munich

    Microsoft's hatred of all things GNU/Linux is always put to the test when someone 'dares' use it outside Microsoft's control and cash cows (e.g. Azure and Vista 10/WSL); will Microsoft combat its longstanding urge to corrupt or oust officials with the courage to say "no" to Microsoft?



  13. Links 19/5/2019: KDE Applications 19.04.1 in FlatHub and GNU/Linux Adoption

    Links for the day



  14. The War on Patent Quality

    A look at the EPO's reluctance to admit errors and resistance to the EPC, which is its very founding document



  15. Watchtroll, Composed by Patent Trolls, Calls the American Patent System “Corrupt”

    Another very fine piece from Watchtroll comes from very fine patent trolls who cheer for Donald Trump as if he's the one who tackles corruption rather than spreading it



  16. Unified Patent Court Won't Happen Just Because the Litigation Microcosm Wants It

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) hopefuls are quote-mining and cherry-picking to manufacture the false impression that the UPC is just around the corner when in reality the UPC is pretty much dead (but not buried yet)



  17. Links 17/5/2019: South Korea's GNU/Linux Pivot, Linux 5.1.3

    Links for the day



  18. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 4: Happy Birthday to the Kötter Group?

    This year the Kötter Group commemorates the 85th anniversary of its existence. But is it really a cause for celebration or would a less self-congratulatory approach be more fitting? And does it create the risk that a routine tendering exercise at the EPO will turn into Operation Charlie Foxtrot?



  19. Links 16/5/2019: Cockpit 194, VMware Acquires Bitnami, Another Wine Announcement and Krita 4.2.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  20. The EPO's Key Function -- Like the UPC's Vision -- Has Virtually Collapsed

    The EPO no longer issues good patents and staff is extremely unhappy; but the Office tries to create an alternate (false) reality and issues intentionally misleading statements



  21. Stanford's NPE Litigation Database Makes a Nice Addition in the Fight Against Software Patent Trolls

    As the United States of America becomes less trolls- and software patents-friendly (often conflated with plaintiff (un)friendliness) it's important to have accurate data which documents the numbers and motivates better policy; The NPE (troll) Litigation Database is a move towards that and it's free to access/use



  22. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 3: “Ein kritikwürdiges Unternehmen”

    A brief account of some further controversies in which the Kötter Group has been involved and its strained relations with German trade unions such as Verdi



  23. EPO Had a Leakage Problem and Privacy of Stakeholders Was Compromised, Affecting at Least 100 Cases

    The confidentiality principle was compromised at the EPO and stakeholders weren't told about it (there was a coverup)



  24. Links 15/5/2019: More Linux Patches and More Known Intel Bugs

    Links for the day



  25. False Hope for Patent Maximalists and Litigation Zealots

    Patent litigation predators in the United States, along with Team UPC in Europe, are trying to manufacture optimistic predictions; a quick and rather shallow critical analysis reveals their lies and distortions



  26. The Race to the Bottom of Patent Quality at the EPO

    The EPO has become more like a rubber-stamper than a patent office — a fact that worries senior staff who witnessed this gradual and troublesome transition (from quality to raw quantity)



  27. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 2: Meet the Kötters

    An introduction to the Kötter Group, the private security conglomerate which is lined up for the award of a juicy EUR 30 million contract for the provision of security services at the EPO



  28. Links 14/5/2019: Red Hat Satellite 6.5, NVIDIA 430.14 Linux Driver and New Security Bug (MDS)

    Links for the day



  29. Links 14/5/2019: GNU/Linux in Kerala, DXVK 1.2, KDE Frameworks 5.58.0 Released

    Links for the day



  30. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 1: Urgent Shitstorm Alert

    Experts at the European Patent Office's (EPO) weather observation station have just issued an urgent alert warning about a major shitstorm looming on the horizon


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