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12.25.14

Links 26/12/2014: Devuan in the News, New PCLinuxOS

Posted in News Roundup at 7:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Sinofsky, The Creator Of That Other OS, Sees The Light

    He sees the end of the old ways and the arrival of newer software with less baggage on ARM and the cloud giving us all a fresh start. GNU/Linux gives a fresh start too. Yes, refreshing. Why can’t the trolls be as forthcoming?

  • Enterprise Advances Brought Linux Success in 2014

    For Linux, 2014 could easily be labeled the year enterprise really and truly embraced Linux. It could just as easily be labeled the year that nearly forgot Linux on the desktop. If you weren’t Docker, containers, OpenStack, or big data ─ chances are the spotlight didn’t brighten your day much. If, however, you (or your product) fell into one of those categories, that spotlight shined so brightly, it was almost blinding.

    Let’s glance back into our own wayback machine and see where Linux succeeded and where it did not. The conclusions should be fairly simple to draw and are incredibly significant to the state of Linux as a whole.

  • Christmas Quiz

    Forget the fancy graphics of Valve’s latest offering – the only computer game a Linux user needs this year is a good quiz on all things Linux-y. Here are eight rounds of fiendish questions on everything from the Kernel to hardware to see if you know your Tux from your Beastie.

  • ​Linux and open source 2014: It was the best of years, it was the worst of years

    There was great news and there was awful news in the world of Linux and open-source software during 2014.

  • Desktop

    • Welcome to the Pre-Post-PC Era

      Today’s float on the parade of the PC-is-dead prognostications comes from The Register, which says, “At the very moment that Linux desktops seem to be reaching new levels of sophistication, polish and ‘just works’ ease-of-use, the entire future of the desktop computer (by which I also mean laptop) feels in doubt.”

      The only thing that’s in doubt is whether that sentence is anywhere near remotely accurate. But let’s put that aside for a moment and assume we can see the future of how we deal with our digital lives.

    • Windows and Linux: The same, but different

      I use Windows 8.1 and Linux Mint 17.1 a lot nowadays, to do things like write, surf the web, check twitter and other web-based things.

      Sometimes I boot into Windows, sometimes Mint, but who cares which? I am just going to Chrome anyway. It’s all the same thing.

    • UNIX Industry Banks on Linux Strategies

      Struggling UNIX server makers are strengthening their Linux strategy in line with the open-source application environment. The move is aimed at maintaining remaining customers, since users are increasingly abandoning UNIX servers. However, it is receiving a lukewarm response from the market.

      According to industry sources on Dec. 22, server vendors such as IBM and HP are concentrating on the development of products so that the Linux operating system and related applications can be used as UNIX servers.

  • Kernel Space

    • Updating the Linux Kernel Without Restart Could Arrive Soon for Users

      A new development cycle has been started for the Linux kernel, 3.19, but it looks like the 3.20 branch is about to receive a very interesting patch that should really shake things up if it’s going to get accepted, that is.

    • The winning Linux kernel live patch: All of the above

      Life’s choices often amount to one of two options: Linux or Windows? Android or iOS? Kgraft or Kpatch?

      That last pair consists of the two major contenders for the technology Linux could use for live kernel patches. Now a winner is in, and it amounts to all of the above.

      According to a post on the official Linux kernel developer’s mailing list, a kernel patching system that works with both Kgraft and Kpatch and uses “core functionality abstracted out of [those] already existing implementations” has been proposed as an addition to the Linux 3.20 kernel.

    • Eudyptula Challenge: superfast Linux kernel booting

      One of the first tasks of this quite interesting challenge is to compile and boot your own kernel

    • Linux Kernel Developers Consider Live Kernel Patching Solution

      kPatch and kGraph may soon enable live kernel updates on all Linux distributions, making it possible to apply security and other patches on the open source operating system without rebooting.

    • OPNFV Plans Next Steps for Open Source NFV, SDN

      OPNFV, the open source software-defined networking and network-functions virtualization project, said development of both code and community will be its focus for 2015.

    • Does Linux suffer from bloat?

      Linux has long been known as an operating system that would run well even on older hardware. But has Linux become bloated in recent releases and how does it compare to Windows 8 in terms of system requirements?

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Linux Lite 2.2

        It’s been quite a while since I last looked at Linux Lite, the last version I reviewed being 1.0.6. Much has changed in Linux Lite since that release and now it’s reached version 2.2. If you aren’t familiar with it, you should know that Linux Lite is a distribution geared toward helping current Windows users transition to the Linux desktop.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2014.12 released

        PCLinuxOS has been updated to version 2014.12, and you can download it in a variety of flavors including the super-humongous 4.8 GB Full Monty version that comes with tons of additional software.

      • Santa Claus has Linux in his sack — PCLinuxOS 2014.12 is here
      • Happy Holidays from PCLinuxOS

        PCLinuxOS 2014.12 isos have been released for Full Monty, KDE, MATE and LXDE. Highlights include kernel 3.18.1, ffmpeg 2.5.1, mesa 10.4.0, SysVinit (no systemd) and all popular applications such as Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice and VLC have been updated to their latest versions. Please note if you have been keeping up with your PCLinuxOS software updates then there is NO NEED to install fresh from a 2014.12 iso. These ISOS are final releases based on legacy technology. Future releases will default to grub2 and support uefi and gpt partition formats.

      • Christmas rest for the braves

        We planned initially to release Mageia 5 beta 2 around the 16th of December. We still have some work left to complete to release a proper beta 2 that would drive us through to the final release.

        Releasing development ISOs is a good way to test all the functions of the installer with the largest possible scope of use cases and variety of hardware. We still have some issues left with EFI integration and some tricky bugs in the installer. So in order to allow some time to fix them and also to still enjoy the Christmas period with friends and family, it has been decided to delay beta 2 until the 6th of January 2015, the initial date of the RC, and then postpone the final release.

      • Mageia 5 Has Been Delayed
      • Mageia Beta Delayed, Christmas Quiz, and 7 Best Alternatives

        Today in Linux news the Mageia project announced another delay in version 5 Beta 2. The Linux Voice is running a Linux quiz for Christmas and Gary Newell offers up his list of the seven best alternative Linux distributions of the year. The Register says 2015 will be the year of Linux – on mobile. Three reviews need to be highlighted and, finally today, Matt Hartley says everyone should switch to Ubuntu MATE.

      • ROSA Fresh R5 is out

        The ROSA company is happy to finally present ROSA Desktop Fresh R5, the number 5 in the “R” lineup of the free ROSA distros with the KDE desktop as a main graphical environment.

      • Hands-on with PCLinuxOS: A terrific release

        I had been thinking that a new PCLinuxOS release was due any time now, based on their quarterly release schedule. Sure enough, it has now arrived, just in time for Christmas – PCLinuxOS 2014.12.

    • Ballnux/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Stock: 3 Pros, 3 Cons

        Red Hat Inc (RHT) is ending the year with a flourish, as the stock has hit a 52-week high of $70. This puts the market cap at nearly $13 billion. In the past year, RHT stock has gained about 23%.

      • Fedora

        • Trying on Fedora 21

          I think it is arguable the Fedora project has done just that, created a small “core” base that products (such as Workstation, Server and Cloud) can be built on. And I applaud Mr Miller for working successfully toward his vision. Still, I am disappointed the result appears to be a smaller, less interesting Fedora. It is a more, to borrow Mr Miller’s term, “boring” foundation distribution, rather than a powerful desktop or server distribution. It is not a solution that brings more functionality to the table, something that would approach Mint’s level of “just works”, Ubuntu’s task oriented work flow or openSUSE’s level of integration. As a core platform we can use as a base to install Docker containers and run services, Fedora 21 can be considered a success. As a workstation operating system I would use to develop code or a desktop distribution I would install for friends & family, I do not think Fedora is a good match for those roles.

    • Debian Family

      • Devuan rebels hope to deliver Debian fork in 2015

        Devuan, the Debian spin-off that will not include systemd has posted its first progress report.

        The missive says things are going well, as the project now has a GitLab repository and has built the first devuan-baseconf package.

      • Linux Bloat, Linux Lite, and Devuan Update
      • Don’t panic and keep forking Debian™! :^) Once upon a time there was a Debian fork

        This is an update on the progress of the Devuan.org project, born out of the Debianfork.org declaration to defend our growing community from the systemd avalanche.

      • Is Devuan really a good idea?

        I was idly looking through the press releases and news stories when I came across this article which talks about the new Debian fork called Devuan.

        Devuan is a complete fork of the Debian system minus systemd.

        I know that there are lots of people who aren’t happy with the inclusion of systemd as part of the next release of Debian but to make such a radical decision to clone the entire thing and start your own project could be deemed overkill.

        I can understand a single developer or a handful of developers taking a Debian or Ubuntu base and then creating a new distribution with a specific purpose in mind. I actually think smaller distributions are a good thing because they come up with and implement ideas that might not reach the light of day in one of the base distributions.

        Many people are of the opinion however that it is better to pool resources and have just a few distributions where everybody works together to make those distributions as good as they can possibly be.

      • Devuan Is Still Moving Along As A Debian Fork Without Systemd

        The Devuan fork of Debian is progressing as Debian GNU/Linux without systemd present on the system.

      • Bonus: More from the deepest depths of Debian

        And not just Debian this time, since I have one or two here that elude me and are from the Arch corpus only. By and large the relevant theme here is a consistent lack of required hardware, although I’m throwing in an oddball application or two that I just can’t seem to get working, for more traditional reasons. Like extensive or esoteric setups. Or my own thick-headedness.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • NTP Vulnerabilities Closed in Supported Ubuntu OSes

            Canonical has announced that a number of NTP vulnerabilities have been corrected for Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS operating systems.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” Cinnamon Review: As always, Impressive!

              I am very happy with Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon. It looks great with very polished interface, hundreds of attractive wallpapers, easy customization options and awesome collection of themes. The distro offers really good performance and excellent battery life. If you are looking for a functional distro which offers attractive looks and impressive performance, I definitely feel you should try out Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • 2014: A Banner Year for Open Source

    Open source was initially adopted for low cost and lack of vendor lock-in, but customers have found that it also results in better innovation and more flexibility. Now it is pervasive, and it is challenging proprietary incumbents across technology categories. It is not only mainstream, open source is truly leading innovation in areas like cloud, mobile, big data, the Internet of Things, and beyond.

    As we embark on a new year, I cannot help but reflect on the speed with which technology is changing. Rapidly delivering technology is about much more than just the technology – it is about people and culture. More than ever, this is why executives are looking at key technology companies – including Red Hat – as their partner instead of as a vendor.

  • IsoHunt releases roll-your-own Pirate Bay

    Torrent site ISOhunt has created a roll-your-own, open source, version of infamous file-sharing site The Pirate Bay.

    IsoHunt’s motive for the release seems to be a belief that big targets like The Pirate Bay will inevitably be picked off by law enforcement agencies. Lots of sites, however, present a tougher target. Open-sourcing what it’s calling “OpenBay” means there’ll be more targets for law enforcers to consider.

    “History of torrent sites such as Isohunt and The Pirate Bay gives us a lesson that would be a crime not to learn,” says the new OpenBay site. “The era of individual torrent sites is over.”

  • The Pirate Bay’s Site Goes Back Online (With a Giant, Waving Flag For Now)
  • There Are Gonna Be 9280928 Pirate Bays Because Anyone Can Make a New One
  • Pirate Bay Site Is Back Online, But Pirate Booty Is Hidden Behind Encryption
  • Facebook’s 2014 Open-Source Highlights
  • A real-time editing tool for Wikipedia

    Wikipedia is one of the most frequently visited websites in the world. The vast online encyclopedia, editable by anyone, has become the go-to source for general information on any subject. However, the “crowdsourcing” used by Wikipedia opens their doors to spin and whitewashing–edits that may be less than factual in nature. To help journalists, citizens, and activists track these edits, TWG (The Working Group) partnered with Metro News and the Center for Investigative Reporting to build WikiWash.

  • Open Source Meritocracy Is More Than a Joke

    In January 2014, Github removed the rug in its office’s waiting room in response to criticism of its slogan, “United Meritocracy of Github.” Since then, the criticism of the idea of meritocracy has spread in free software circles. “Meritocracy is a joke,” has become a slogan seen on T-shirts and constantly proclaimed, especially by feminists.

    Such commentary is true — so far as it goes, but it ignores the potential benefits of meritocracy as an ethos.

    Anyone who bothers to look can see that meritocracy is more of an ideal than a standard practice in free software. The idea that people should be valued for their contributions may seem to be a way to promote fairness, but the practice is frequently more complicated.

  • Unmanagement and unleadership

    Luis Ibanez is a senior software developer at Google. In this short talk he explains what he means by “unmanagement” and “unleadership” and how they can change the course of a project.

  • Using Your Open Source Work to Get a Job

    So you’ve worked on an open-source project, and you want to place that experience on your resume in order to move your career forward. Fantastic! In theory, there’s no reason an employer should shun your experience, just because you did the project from home on your own time. But how can you actually leverage that project work to obtain a full-time job?

  • Events

    • Help improve diverse accessibility for PDX’s Open Source Bridge conference

      Sumana writes, “Open Source Bridge is already a leader among tech conferences in diversity-friendliness — OSB featured a strong code of conduct, accessibility, well-labelled food for all needs, and cheap & free admissions before they became de rigeur, and in 2014 boasted a gender-balanced slate of speakers.”

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Symantec Brings Security Savvy as OpenStack Gold Member

      If you ask many enterprises considering doing an OpenStack deployment why they aren’t pulling the trigger, lots of them will cite security concerns as the primary obstruction. As I covered recently, IDG Enterprise came out with results from a new survey it did involving 1,672 IT decision-makers who report that they are very focused on cloud computing, including open cloud platforms such as OpenStack. The survey clearly showed that security and protection from disaster were among IT managers’ chief concerns in implementing cloud deployments.

    • Banks and other institutions leverage the Tor network as a security layer.

      Now that many enterprises are actually moving forward with OpenStack deployments, they are also wrestling with the complexities of putting applications and appropriate services on their cloud platforms. The last days of 2014 have brought news of some interesting choices becoming available for OpenStack deployments.

    • Mirantis, Tesora Partner on OpenStack Cloud Interoperability

      Tesora and Mirantis have partnered to certify the interoperability of their respective OpenStack open source cloud computing distributions and tools.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Foundation Newsletter, December 22, 2014

      In this issue, you’ll get a summary of all the FreeBSD development work we’ve supported; highlights of all the conferences that we sponsored and attended; plans for the FreeBSD Journal in 2015; another great testimonial from a commercial user; and our Q1-Q3 financial reports. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my favorite part of our semi-annual newsletter, the insightful and always inspirational letter from our president and founder, Justin Gibbs.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Turing Church and Open Source Religion: Ben Goertzel Interviews Giulio Prisco

      In 2011 I — Ben Goertzel – interviewed physicist and futurist Giulio Prisco on his notion of Technological Transcendence. Since that time Giulio has been very active in developing these ideas further – and quite recently he has taken the initiative to start a “Turing Church” with an open-source spirit. So it seemed time to have another conversation with Giulio on his Turing Church concept and plans, and what it may mean for the future of humanity, transhumanism and spirituality.

    • RichRap Unveils The Open Source, 3D Printed Universal Pellet Extruder

      If you are like me, you can’t help but see dollar signs every time you run your 3D printer. “How much filament is this using?” “What if the printer screws up just as the project is nearing completion?” Those are thoughts that run through my head as I watch the spool of filament slowly unravel and my finances follow right behind.

    • Sifteo’s intelligent cubes go open-source after disappointing commercial run

      Sifteo, a system of intelligent gaming cubes launched with significant fanfare in 2011, has gone open-source.

    • Mars Express images and videos for everyone

      As of December 19, the European Space Agency (ESA) is now sharing all of its images and videos from the Mars Express mission under CC BY-SA. ESA is using the intergovernmental organization (IGO) port of CC BY-SA 3.0. ESA is one of several intergovernmental organizations to use the IGO port since we introduced it last year.

    • Open Data

      • The year in local open data

        It was another year full of encouraging news on the open data front in states and municipalities across the country. New open data policies were approved in municipalities of all sizes from coast to coast, existing open data programs matured and sparked new innovations, and there were numerous other open government wins as a result of advocacy efforts.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Science

  • Security

    • VeriSign Warns of DNS Security Risks

      The CSO of VeriSign discusses his concerns about domain collisions and the risks they entail.

    • 12 Million Home Routers Vulnerable to Takeover

      More than 12 million devices running an embedded webserver called RomPager are vulnerable to a simple attack that could give a hacker man-in-the-middle position on traffic going to and from home routers from just about every leading manufacturer.

    • Apple pushes first ever automated security update to Mac users

      Apple Inc has pushed out its first-ever automated security update to Macintosh computers to help defend against newly identified bugs that security researchers have warned could enable hackers to gain remote control of machines.

      The company pushed out the software on Monday to fix critical security vulnerabilities in a component of its OS X operating system called the network time protocol, or NTP, according to Apple spokesman Bill Evans.NTP is used for synchronizing clocks on computer systems.

    • Thunderbolt devices can infect MacBooks with persistent rootkits

      Attackers can infect MacBook computers with highly persistent boot rootkits by connecting malicious devices to them over the Thunderbolt interface.

      The attack, dubbed Thunderstrike, installs malicious code in a MacBook’s boot ROM (read-only memory), which is stored in a chip on the motherboard. It was devised by a security researcher named Trammell Hudson based on a two-year old vulnerability and will be demonstrated next week at the 31st Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg.

    • NTP The Latest Open Source Security Problem

      The problem was discovered by the Google Security Team which seems to be responsible recently for more than its fair share of vulnerabilities detected. Some of the vulnerabilities are in older versions of the NTP code and have been fixed. So as long as you have been keeping up-to-date there is nothing to worry about.

    • NTP Is The Latest Project Struck By Security Issues

      Now public via the ICS-CERT after the discoveries were made by the Google Security Team are multiple vulnerabilities with the widely-used NTP. These vulnerabilities could lead to arbitrary code execution with the same privileges as the NTP daemon. These vulnerabilities can be exploited remotely and the ICS-CERT characterizes them as requiring low skills to exploit.

    • Why the Sony hack is unlikely to be the work of North Korea.

      Everyone seems to be eager to pin the blame for the Sony hack on North Korea. However, I think it’s unlikely. Here’s why:1. The broken English looks deliberately bad and doesn’t exhibit any of the classic comprehension mistakes you actually expect to see in “Konglish”. i.e it reads to me like an English speaker pretending to be bad at writing English.

    • Sony Pictures hackers say they want ‘equality,’ worked with staff to break in

      The hackers who took down Sony Pictures’ computer systems yesterday say that they are working for “equality” and suggest that their attack was assisted or carried out by Sony employees. In an email responding to inquiries from The Verge, a person identifying as one of the hackers writes, “We Want equality [sic]. Sony doesn’t. It’s an upward battle.” The hackers’ goals remain unclear, but they used the attack yesterday to specifically call out Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, referring to him as a “criminal” in a tweet.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Delta employee charged with helping smuggle guns onto plane

      The FBI and New York police held a news conference to discuss the latest on an airline security breach involving a Delta employee facing federal charges.

      Police say more than 150 guns were illegally smuggled from Atlanta to New York on more than a dozen trips. Channel 2′s Rachel Stockman broke the news Monday that a former Delta employee at Hartsfield-Jackson is accused of using his clearance to help smuggle the guns.

    • Leaked CIA docs teach operatives how to infiltrate EU

      Wikileaks has released two classified documents instructing CIA operatives how best to circumvent global security systems in international airports, including those of the EU, while on undercover missions.

      The first of the documents, dated September 2011, advises undercover operatives how to act during a secondary airport screening. Secondary screenings pose a risk to an agent’s cover by focusing “significant scrutiny” on an operative via thorough searches and detailed questioning.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Flaw in open-source PDF viewer could put WikiLeaks users, others at risk

      An open-source component used to display PDF files on WikiLeaks.org and other websites contains vulnerabilities that could be exploited to launch cross-site scripting (XSS) and content spoofing attacks against visitors.

      The vulnerable component is called FlexPaper and is developed by a company called Devaldi, based in New Zealand. The company confirmed the issues, which were first reported Thursday on the WikiLeaks supporters forum, and released FlexPaper 2.3.0 to address them.

  • Finance

    • The Cost of US Wars Since 9/11: $1.6 Trillion

      The cost of US war-making in the 13 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks reached a whopping $1.6 trillion in 2014, according to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

    • Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street

      Sheeta Leung Hui-kwan, a spokeswoman for G4S Hong Kong, said an internal investigation was underway, but initial findings suggest a broken door sparked the incident.

      Armed police were quick to arrive at the scene, and closed off two lanes of the road.

      According to reports, witnesses to the accident were seen running onto Gloucester Road and grabbing HK$500 notes. One person allegedly filled their arms with wrapped bundles of cash, a witness told the SCMP.

    • Why Won’t Warren Quit Worrying and Learn to Love Wall Street?

      Illustrating that nothing rattles corporate media like progressive populism, the Washington Post’s David Ignatius (12/24/14) is the latest establishment journalist to launch a salvo against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and “her jihad against Wall Street.”

      Echoing the New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin (FAIR Blog, 11/26/14), Ignatius goes after Warren for opposing the nomination of Antonio Weiss to be the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for domestic finance. He makes the same extraneous points Sorkin did about Weiss (He’s a Democrat! He publishes the Paris Review!) and similarly misrepresents Warren’s primary reason for opposing him, which is, as she wrote in the Huffington Post (11/19/14), that “Weiss has spent most of his career working on international transactions,” so “neither his background nor his professional experience makes him qualified to oversee consumer protection and domestic regulatory functions at the Treasury.”

      Ignatius also criticizes Warren for including on her “enemies list” Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers, despite the fact that they “had never worked as private bankers.” Summers may not have been a private banker, but he was a managing director of the hedge fund D.E. Shaw, which paid him $5.2 million; he also got $2.7 million in “speaking fees” from financial firms, including major banks like Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase (Salon, 4/4/09). But he wasn’t a private banker!

  • Censorship

    • Amy Adams: ‘Confused’ by ‘Today’ show treatment

      Amy Adams says she is still “really confused” about having her live interview on The Today Show dramatically pulled minutes before it was due to take place Monday morning.

      Adams told USA TODAY on Tuesday night that she was “surprised” that the segment was unceremoniously canceled after she expressed misgivings over discussing aspects of the Sony hacking scandal on live television.

  • Privacy

    • ‘Citizenfour’ Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks (Exclusive)

      Horace Edwards, who identifies himself as a retired naval officer and the former secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation, has filed a lawsuit in Kansas federal court that seeks a constructive trust over monies derived from the distribution of Citizenfour. Edwards, who says he has “Q” security clearance and was the chief executive of the ARCO Pipeline Company, seeks to hold Snowden, director Laura Poitras, The Weinstein Co., Participant Media and others responsible for “obligations owed to the American people” and “misuse purloined information disclosed to foreign enemies.”

      It’s an unusual lawsuit, one that the plaintiff likens to “a derivative action on behalf of the American Public,” and is primarily based upon Snowden’s agreement with the United States to keep confidentiality.

    • 8 Free Privacy Programs Worth Your Year-End Donations

      Free software isn’t free. Someone’s got to shell out for the expensive development, maintenance, bug fixes and updates for programs that so many of us who live online have come to see as almost natural resources. And increasingly, those taken-for-granted tools have become vital for the privacy and security of millions of people.

    • Tor Project Leaders Warn of Possibly Imminent Network Attack

      In the world of online anonymity, the Tor network is a silent king. Millions of users depend on Tor to keep their tracks untraceable online, and not just individual users. Banks and other institutions leverage the Tor network as a security layer. In the U.S. last year, when NSA snooping was in the news, usage of the Tor network doubled within a matter of days.

    • Facebook: Colonialism 2.0

      The Western media has attempted to portray Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitious plan to get every human being online as altruistic at first, but later revealed as simply what could be called “profitable empathy.” In reality however, the truth is much more sinister, with Facebook already revealed to be much more than a mere corporation run by Zuckerberg and his “ideas”

  • Civil Rights

    • Obama Should Prosecute the Torturers

      The New York Times has a blistering editorial calling on President Obama to prosecute those who committed torture…

    • Iraq: Yezidi women and girls face harrowing sexual violence

      Torture, including rape and other forms of sexual violence, suffered by women and girls from Iraq’s Yezidi minority who were abducted by the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS), highlights the savagery of IS rule, said Amnesty International in a new briefing today.

    • Oakland PD Body Cams Help Cut Police-Involved Shootings From 8 A Year To Zero In The Last 18 Months.

      A body camera system is nothing without solid policies backing them up. Anyone can instruct an officer to wear a camera, but only a department solidly behind the program will hold them accountable if they fail to do so. According to public records obtained by Ars Technica, the Oakland PD is making a genuine effort to ensure devices are on and recording.

    • EXCLUSIVE – Ryan Ferguson on his first year of freedom: Man wrongly jailed for TEN YEARS reveals how the girlfriend he met in prison is helping him cope with life outside and tells of the hell of solitary confinement

      A review of the trial later revealed that police coerced and coached key witnesses

    • 2015 – Looking Forward

      But still, mainstream politicians still don’t think that issues like civil liberties, mass surveillance, digital rights and freedom of speech will move people’s votes at a general election. That is why so many MPs simply ignored their constituents when it came to crackdowns like the DRIP vote. They count that once election will be run in exactly the same way as previous decades.

    • Secret Torture versus Open Source Intelligence

      The DNI, USDI, and CIA went over the cliff when they confused technology with thinking, secrets with intelligence, and spending money with progress. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the world of intelligence as decision-support, Big Data is noise. The best intelligence — precision intelligence — is from a human source with direct access, and that is not something we can do today despite millions of such sources being available. We have no penetrations of ISIS, the clandestine service refuses to deal with “overt” human experts, while the diplomats and attaches have no money for commercial sourcing and modest performance fees. In consequence we have no human assets of any import across the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, or the Americas at the same time that our analysts are children lacking in real-world experience — who in addition rarely speak the target language and have no grasp of the culture or history of the target population.

    • A Majority of Cop Killers Have Been White

      As officials continue to investigate Saturday’s tragic killing of two NYPD officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, details have surfaced about the suspect, 28 year old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who allegedly shot a woman in Baltimore before traveling to New York. Anti-police posts he appears to have published on social media sites prior to the killings have lead many to connect his crime to protests that occurred in previous weeks, and some commenters have cast blame on officials including New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Attorney General Eric Holder, and President Obama, all of whom have condemned the violence.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net Neutrality Takes a Wild Ride: 2014 in Review

      If you’ve been watching the issue of net neutrality this year, you know it’s been quite a ride. The year started with the D.C. Circuit overturning the majority of the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet rules, explaining that the FCC can’t impose “common carrier”-type rules on ISPs without actually classifying them as “common carriers.” Having chosen to classify them instead as “information services” back in 2004, the ruling meant the FCC had to go back to the drawing board. That led to a new proposal in May by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that many believed would actively undermine the open Internet in the name of protecting it.

    • It’s Almost Christmas. Is Anyone Still on the Internet?

      Offices everywhere are emptying as people head home for a few days of light dining and constructive political conversations with relatives. But is the Internet as much of a ghost town as your workplace over the holiday season? Nope. Internet usage is likely to be higher than usual for the rest of the week, according to Sandvine, a firm that tracks Internet traffic. The only exception: a few hours on Christmas Eve, when people have no choice but to put away devices and talk to one another.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA Secretly Settled With Hotfile for $4 Million, Not $80 Million

        Last December the MPAA announced one of its biggest victories to date. The Hollywood group won its case against file-hosting site Hotfile, who agreed to a $80 million settlement. However, this figure mostly served to impress and scare the public, as we can now reveal that Hotfile agreed to pay ‘only’ $4 million.

      • Raid on Kim Dotcom’s Mansion Was Legal, Supreme Court Rules

        A high-profile police raid carried out on Kim Dotcom’s New Zealand mansion has been declared legal by the country’s Supreme Court. The Court acknowledged that the search warrants used against Dotcom were ‘deficient’ in detail, but this did not result in a miscarriage of justice.

      • UK Cinema Calls Police on Kids With iPhones Over Piracy Concerns

        A group of 12-year-old girls had the police called on them after they decided to bring their iPhones and iPads to a showing of The Hunger Games at a local cinema. The police officers who rushed to the scene were unable to find any recorded footage, but by then the children were too distressed to watch the rest of the film.

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