01.07.15

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 7/1/2015: Unity 8 and Mir, Sony’s LinuxWalkman

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Intel Compute Stick runs Windows and Linux, fits in your pocket

    A few months back, I got a breathless email from an Intel PR rep due to some confusion over a little Chinese-made HDMI PC. Now we know why: Intel was stealthily getting ready to launch one of their own.

    This tiny black stick emblazoned with the “Intel inside” logo is Intel’s Compute Stick. This device isn’t like the Dell Cloud Connect dongle that they took to CES last year, nor is it a copy of Microsoft’s Wireless Display Adapter. It’s a full PC, capable of running both Linux and Windows, and it’s set to go on sale in the very near future.

  • Server

    • 3 Ways Enterprise IT Will Change in 2015

      Much the way the end of a year invites reflection upon what changed over the preceding 12 months, there’s nothing like the start of a new one for looking ahead and predicting what’s to come. So it is in enterprise IT, where market researchers have been busy studying their proverbial crystal balls for that very purpose.

      Late last month, for instance, IDC released not just one but three new prediction-filled reports focusing on three key areas of enterprise technology. Bottom line? Things will look pretty different a year or two from now.

  • Kernel Space

    • The Linux Foundation Extends the AllSeen Alliance, Sets Summit Speaker Agenda

      The Linux Foundation is out with a slew of announcements this week to kick off 2015. The AllSeen Alliance, which operates as a Linux Foundation Collaboration project, has announced a number of new initiatives. Most notably, it is expanding its platform framework with an AllJoyn Gateway Agent that extends the Internet of Things footprint beyond any user’s local environment, over to the cloud.

    • ​CES 2015: AllSeen Alliance to bring order to the Internet of Things

      Lost among the 4K TVs, 3D printers, and smart baby-bottles at CES, the AllSeen Alliance, a cross-industry group advancing the Internet of Everything (IoT) via the AllJoyn open-source software project, announced the first release of the AllJoyn Gateway Agent. That’s a pity, because this announcement may be the most important one of the show.

    • Linux Foundation Adds SDN, Storage and Managed Hosting Members

      The Linux Foundation’s membership continues to expand. This week, three new companies joined the open source consortium, bringing strengths in software-defined networking, storage and managed hosting to the organization.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Part Two Of KDAB’s Qt3D 2.0 Overview
      • Overview of Qt3D 2.0 – Part 2

        In the previous article we learned about the requirements and high-level architecture of Qt3D 2.0. In order to put some of this into context and to give you a concrete example of how it looks to draw something in Qt3D using the QML API, we will now briefly show the important parts of one of the simple examples that will ship with Qt3D. We will start off simple and just draw a single entity (a trefoil knot) but to make it slightly more interesting we will use a custom set of shaders to implement a single-pass wireframe rendering method. This is what we will draw:

      • GCompris is now released on Android

        One year ago I took the hard decision to fully rewrite GCompris in Qt Quick in order to address tablet users while keeping PC compatibility. As you imagine it’s a daunting task and something for sure I could not do alone. Thanks to the help of the many contributors who joined the project we have been able to port 86 activities of the 140 of the legacy version in a year. You can look at this page to see the status of the port. We can hope to complete the port in one more year. The new version is far from perfect and we continue to polish it everyday but we already provide a better user experience than the legacy version.

      • Thinking about working on KDE 5 again (frameworks, plasma, applications)

        In my “preview” of KDE 5, I was able to offer the KDE 5 packages as co-installable to KDE 4 because it was not yet more than Frameworks and Plasma packages – it needed the presence of KDE 4.x in order to provide a meaningfull Plasma 5 workspace. That meant, you could install KDE 5, play around with it for a bit, and then un-install the packages if you had seen enough, without this process touching or destroying the configuration of your KDE 4 environment. That was a good thing, because Plasma 5 was quite unstable at that time, and the whole exercise was not meant to probide an actual day-to-day work environment.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • D-Link floats a raft of Linux-based home automation gizmos

      D-Link expanded its home automation line with a wireless hub, water leak sensor, siren, security cameras, and 802.11ac routers, all running embedded Linux.

    • Raspberry Pi B+ gets its Grove on

      Raspberry Pi’s are great little Linux devices but they have plenty of limitations when it comes to comes to wiring up to the analog world or just behaving like a micro-controller. There’s been various attempts to weld Pi and Arduino together (I have some) like the Dexter Industries’ BrickPi that plugs you into the Lego bricosystem or their Arduberry which brings Arduino shield connectors out the top of the board.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Take two ‘medtech’ apps & call me in the morning

          We want medtech on open platforms of course — and so now we have the free Medelinked app available for Android smartphones and tablets in the Android Market on Google Play.

        • Sony’s $1200 Walkman ZX2 runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

          Remember Sony’s Walkman from back in the 80s? Sony never stopped making them but they were eclipsed in later years first by iPods then by mobile phones. Now it looks like the Walkman is about to be reborn in a big and rather expensive way. Sony showed off its new Walkman ZX2 at CES 2015, and it’s going to cost $1200.

        • Fuhu’s behemoth Android tablet has a 65-inch, 4K display

          In its suite here, Fuhu mounted the display on the wall, like a television, but also embedded it inside a wooden table, as well as a poker table. Fuhu senior vice-president Lisa Lee said the company plans to sell furniture designed around the larger tablets, so they can serve as electronic play spaces.

        • ​Samsung releases mid-range Galaxy E5 and E7 with Android KitKat

          Samsung has released two new mid-tier members of the Galaxy family, the Galaxy E5 and Galaxy E7. The duo will make their debut in India alongside the full-metal-bodied Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Panasonic’s smart TVs go open-source with Firefox OS

        One of the buzzier and least-understood technology announcements made at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show deals with smart televisions. A smart television is a good-old-fashioned television set that comes with a built-in Wi-Fi connection and an operating system that allows the consumer to not only view over-the-air, cable, and satellite programming, but also connect to the Internet to increase their programming options.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • 12 highlights from the OpenStack roadmap

      OpenStack, due to its sheer size and complexity, can be difficult to keep track of. Each constituent part is managed and developed separately, and sometimes there’s just too much going on to be up on everything. Combine the distributed nature of the project with a fast release cycle and even seasoned cloud operators can have trouble keeping up with features and components as they move through the development process.

    • Enterprises, and the Market, Love Big Data for 2015

      As we’ve been reporting, several barometers, including a new KPGM study on cloud computing trends at enterprises shows that executives are very focused on extracting business metrics from their cloud computing and data analytics platforms. These baromters suggest that we’re going to continue to see the cloud and the Big Data trend evolve together this year. In fact, Big Data is now a big market force.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Open Source Databases Keep Chipping Away at Oracle’s Empire

      The three fastest growing databases of 2014 were all open source, according to a new report from DB-Engines, a site that tracks popularity in the rapidly changing database marketplace.

      The ever popular new-age database MongoDB topped the list again this year, with Redis, a tool for managing data, and ElasticSearch, which provides the foundations for building your own search engine, as runners up.

  • Healthcare

    • NHS refused to pull ‘unfit for purpose’ Care.data leaflet

      The mishandling of the controversial Care.data scheme – intended to extract data from GP records and effectively share it with world+dog – was in part due to the refusal of NHS England to recall an ill-informed public leaflet from the printers, an independent oversight body has revealed.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Crowdsourcing a new edition of a Bach masterpiece

      New works of art usually enter the public domain through a process involving death and patience. It is a rarer occasion that living people set about to make a resource public domain, and even rarer so when that effort involves thousands of people collaborating and pooling their time, energy, and money. That’s what’s happening on MuseScore.com with the first public review of the Open Well-Tempered Clavier score, a new edition of J.S. Bach’s musical masterpiece (BWV 846-869).

  • Programming

    • How GitHub uses GitHub to document GitHub

      Providing well-written documentation helps people understand, make use of, and contribute back to your project, but it’s only half of the documentation equation. The underlying system used to serve documentation can make life easier for the people writing it—whether that’s just you or the team you work with.

Leftovers

  • Haiku OS Mail Support Significantly Reworked

    For fans of the Haiku operating system inspired by BeOS, its mail service has been reworked.

  • Security

    • Attributing the Sony Attack

      No one has admitted taking down North Korea’s Internet. It could have been an act of retaliation by the US government, but it could just as well have been an ordinary DDoS attack. The follow-on attack against Sony PlayStation definitely seems to be the work of hackers unaffiliated with a government.

    • Jon Stewart Mocks The US Response To North Korea After ‘The Interview’ Fiasco

      “But I guess our anger is no surprise, these hackers violated our privacy. They read our emails, what kind of a country does that?” Stewart said sarcastically before showing news clips about Edward Snowden’s revelation that the NSA can read emails, chats and personal conversations.

    • Jon Stewart mocks Sony hack: NSA doesn’t leak ‘mean sh*t’ about Angelina Jolie
    • US Social Surveillance Abuse Puts Civil Liberties in Jeopardy

      The NSA’s secret project codenamed Boundless Informant seeks to establish control over “information space.” According to The Guardian it has been able to collect the data on 97 billion phone calls worldwide since March 2013.

    • The Government Must Show Us the Evidence That North Korea Attacked Sony

      American history is littered with examples of classified information pointing us towards aggression against other countries—think WMDs—only to later learn that the evidence was wrong

    • FBI Director: Sony’s ‘Sloppy’ North Korean Hackers Revealed Their IP Addresses

      The Obama administration has been tightlipped about its controversial naming of the North Korean government as the definitive source of the hack that eviscerated Sony Pictures Entertainment late last year. But FBI director James Comey is standing by the bureau’s conclusion, and has offered up a few tiny breadcrumbs of the evidence that led to it. Those crumbs include the claim that Sony hackers sometimes failed to use the proxy servers that masked the origin of their attack, revealing IP addresses that the FBI says were used exclusively by North Korea.

      [...]

      Comey’s brief and cryptic remarks—with no opportunity for followup questions from reporters—respond to skepticism and calls for more evidence from cybersecurity experts unsatisfied with the FBI’s vague statements tying the hack to North Korean government. In a previous public announcement the FBI had said only that it found “similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks,” as well as IP addresses that matched prior attacks it knows to have originated in North Korea. At that time, the FBI also said it had further evidence matching the tools used in the attack to a North Korean hacking attack that hit South Korean banks and media outlets.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • In shift, U.S. military says it is investigating credible civilian casualty reports in Iraq and Syria

      The U.S. military is investigating credible reports of civilian casualties in its campaign against Islamic State militants, the Pentagon press secretary said Tuesday, a shift after months in which defense officials said they were aware of none.

    • The real American Sniper was a hate-filled killer. Why are simplistic patriots treating him as a hero?

      I have to confess: I was suckered by the trailer for American Sniper. It’s a masterpiece of short-form tension – a confluence of sound and image so viscerally evocative it feels almost domineering. You cannot resist. You will be stressed out. You will feel. Or, as I believe I put it in a blog about the trailer, “Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper trailer will ruin your pants.”

      But however effective it is as a piece of cinema, even a cursory look into the film’s backstory – and particularly the public reaction to its release – raises disturbing questions about which stories we choose to codify into truth, and whose, and why, and the messy social costs of transmogrifying real life into entertainment.

    • NSA agent: Israel attacked USS Liberty to hide the truth from Washington

      However, according to a former signals intelligence analyst of the US National Security Agency (NSA), the Israeli combined air and sea attack on the USS Liberty, which took place on 8 June 1967, was a premeditated act carried out because the Israelis “didn’t want the US to know what they were up to in the Sinai before they invaded Egypt”.

    • Abolishing Nuclear Weapons – Useful and Not-So-Useful First Steps

      Also in December, the Marshall Islands, subjected to 67 nuclear tests by the United States in the 1940s and 1950s, put forward written arguments in the World Court, taking the eight declared nuclear weapon states – and Israel – to task. The Pacific state (with a population of less than 70,000) wants the World Court to order the nuclear weapon state signatories to the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to live up to their promise in the NPT to end the arms race ‘at an early date’ and to negotiate a treaty on ‘complete disarmament’.

      In December, India marked two major developments in its ground-based nuclear weapons capability, with the first successful test of the 2,500-mile-range Agni-IV, the first Indian ballistic missile able to deliver nuclear warheads deep inside China; and testing of the delivery platform for the Agni-V, with its range of up to 3,400 miles, bringing the whole of China within range. (In 2016, as well as deploying the Agni-V, India plans to bring its first nuclear missile-carrying submarines into service, completing its nuclear air-land-sea ‘triad’.)

      As is well-known, India has fought several wars with its neighbours (Pakistan and China) since its birth as an independent nation in 1947, and war with Pakistan remains an ever-present threat.

    • Obama Has Killed More People with Drones than Died On 9/11
    • Somali Militants Execute Alleged U.S. Intelligence Agency Spy

      Somalia Islamist militant group al-Shabaab said a man accused of working with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to kill a senior rebel commander for a $1 million reward was one of four people it executed for spying.

    • JFK Nephew Claims CIA Worked to Prevent Normalization with Cuba

      Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the nephew of the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy, claims that the CIA actively worked to obstruct President Kennedy’s effort to reconcile relations with Cuba, saying the countries would have eventually reconciled if not for the 1963 assassination of the former president.

    • It’s time for full disclosure of CIA records on JFK’s assassination

      It is ironic that two events coincide at this time, with the opening of diplomatic relations with Cuba by President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate debating the need for increased oversight of the CIA given its out-of-control torture of individuals at Guantanamo.

    • Why Jeffrey Sterling Deserves Support as a CIA Whistleblower
    • In Defense of a CIA Whistleblower

      The mainstream U.S. news media sometimes rallies to the defense of a reporter who is pressured to reveal a source but not so much for the brave whistleblower who is the target of government retaliation. Such is the case for ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, writes Norman Solomon.

    • CIA Whistleblower Faces Decades in Prison for Exposing Botched CIA Plan

      Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction.org, says Jeffrey Sterling and other whistleblowers have leaked classified information against the interests of the ruling elite, but in the interest of democracy

    • NYT reporter refuses to reveal sources on failed CIA effort against Ira

      James Risen refuses to answer prosecutor’s questions in case against former CIA agent, charged with leaking information about CIA operation against Iran’s nuclear program.

    • Burr: No intention to rewrite CIA torture report

      Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, the incoming chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday that he won’t try to rewrite the report issued last month cataloging brutal interrogation tactics used by the CIA operatives on suspected terrorists although he strongly disputes portions of the report.

    • Bolivian President Alleges CIA Interference

      President Evo Morales suspects the U.S. is working to sow disunity within his political party.

    • Idea of CIA ‘secret’ war illogical

      If we have already had a “secret” war and the Register’s headline writers know about it, it isn’t a secret anymore.

      If it is still secret, then no one knows about it, so we cannot have a “next.”

      If the Register’s headline writers believe that the CIA can declare war against some hapless nation all by itself, I submit that the headline writers have watched too many “Get Smart” TV sitcoms to have come to that conclusion.

      I don’t think the CIA operates this way.

    • Obama 2015 Pakistan drone strikes

      The events detailed here occurred in 2015. These have been reported by US or Pakistani government, military and intelligence officials, and by credible media, academic and other sources, including on occasion Bureau researchers. Below is a summary of CIA drone strikes and casualty estimates for 2015. Please note that our data changes according to our current understanding of particular strikes. Below represents our present best estimate.

    • North Korean defector kills four people after crossing into China

      Beijing has lodged a formal diplomatic complaint with Pyongyang after a fleeing North Korean soldier killed four people when he crossed the border into China.

    • After “Charlie Hebdo” Attack in Paris, Senators Rush to Undermine Defense Reforms

      American lawmakers took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to express sympathy with the victims of the grisly attack on a satirical Parisian publication. But some rushed to use the “Charlie Hebdo” tragedy to criticize efforts to reform draconian national security policies. .

      “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, the families, and the French people in the wake of this horrendous attack,” said Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) in the first of a series of tweets on the issue. “Here at home, we must use this horrific attack as an opportunity to reevaluate our own national security posture,” he pivoted.

      Graham eventually took aim at efforts to reform the National Security Agency.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Republicans to Push Keystone XL Pipeline as New Congress Convenes

      The new U.S. Congress convenes today with Republicans in control of both houses for the first time in eight years. Republicans now have 246 seats in the House, their largest majority in nearly 70 years. The new Congress is also more diverse than ever before, with a record 104 women, including Utah Representative-elect Mia Love, the first black Republican woman in Congress. Women still make up only 20 percent of lawmakers, while people of color make up only about 18 percent. At the top of the Republican agenda is a push to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, with lawmakers in both houses expected to file measures in favor of the project today.

    • Chicago Tribune Lets CEO Push Business Interests Without Disclosure

      The Chicago Tribune published an op-ed by the CEO of Caterpillar, a manufacturer of large construction equipment, which advocated for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline but failed to disclose Caterpillar’s significant financial stake in the pipeline’s construction.

  • Finance

    • New GOP Congress Fires Shot At Social Security On Day One

      With a little-noticed proposal, Republicans took aim at Social Security on the very first day of the 114th Congress.

      The incoming GOP majority approved late Tuesday a new rule that experts say could provoke an unprecedented crisis that conservatives could use as leverage in upcoming debates over entitlement reform.

    • How The Media Is Carrying Water For GOP’s “Jobs” Agenda

      Media outlets have uncritically promoted House Speaker John Boehner’s latest attempt to frame the Republican Congress’ harmful agenda as a set of “jobs bills.” But the Republican plan offers negligible hiring incentives, will cost over a million workers their health care coverage, and will increase the budget deficit by billions.

    • CIA financial threat adviser: US facing a 25-year ‘Great Depression’

      The Apocalypse-like scenario painted by “Currency Wars” best-selling author James Rickards about the US facing the prospect of a 25-year Great Depression is certainly depressing for many people. According to Rickards, who calls himself an “economic historian” and is a financial threat adviser to the CIA and the Pentagon, America’s “dangerous level of debt” and the Federal Reserve’s reckless printing of trillions of dollars should serve as bright red signals that a major financial crash is coming.

      Known as an investment banker and hedge fund manager who reportedly helped uncover terrorist insider trading after the 9/11 tragedy, Rickards says a key signal is the way the Fed has reportedly been changing Misery Index calculations to hide the true state of the US economy. The Misery Index is an economic indicator wherein figures are arrived at by adding the true unemployment rate with the true inflation rate.

    • The Growth Projections for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Pact Are a Joke

      Bob Kuttner has a column in the Huffington Post warning of the dangers of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP). Kuttner correctly points out that the deal is not really about reducing trade barriers, which are already minimal, but rather about locking in place a business-friendly structure of regulation (wrongly described as “deregulation”).

    • Cutting Subsidies and Closing Loopholes in the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Coal Program

      In 2002, the Powder River Basin, or PRB, in Wyoming and Montana surged past the Appalachian coalfields that stretch from Pennsylvania to Tennessee to become the nation’s largest coal-producing region. Today, the PRB occupies a 40 percent share of the U.S. coal market. Although market forces, mechanization, and technological changes help explain some of the coal industry’s decision to shift more production from privately owned lands in the East to federal lands in the American West, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s, or DOI’s, coal policies have played an equally important—though largely unnoticed—role in this transition.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Hollywood’s idealized view of CIA officers is no substitute for reality

      Among the many compelling aspects of “Zero Dark Thirty,” the 2013 film about the capture of Osama bin Laden, was the notion (much touted by the film’s creators) that its characters were based on real people. This included the heroine, a brilliant and tenacious red-haired CIA analyst named Maya, played by Jessica Chastain.

    • Former U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers joins CNN as National Security Commentator

      Former U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI) joins CNN as a national security commentator offering expert analysis on a wide range of political, counterterrorism, and national security topics. Rogers was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000 and served seven terms representing Michigan’s 8th District. During his last two terms in office he was Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. Rogers’ career began with service as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army; later he was a Special Agent with the FBI. In addition to his new role at CNN, Rogers is also a host of the daily Westwood One radio talk segments, Something to Think About with Mike Rogers.

  • Censorship

    • AP pulls ‘Piss Christ’ after Paris attack

      The Associated Press has removed an image of Andres Serrano’s 1987 photograph “Piss Christ” from its image library following Wednesday’s attack against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

      “It’s been our policy for years that we refrain from moving deliberately provocative images. It is fair to say we have revised and reviewed our policies since 1989,” AP spokesperson Erin Madigan told POLITICO, referring to the year the AP first posted the photograph.

    • Terrorists Can’t Kill Charlie Hebdo’s Ideas
    • News Outlets Are Censoring Images of Cartoons That May Have Incited Charlie Hebdo Attack

      The French magazine Charlie Hebdo was attacked this morning by gunmen, possibly al-Qaida members, who were apparently upset by its history of printing cartoons mocking radical Islam. While much of the response to the attack has celebrated the notion of freedom of speech and freedom of the press, some news outlets have chosen to self-censor images of controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

    • Terror does not kill freedom

      The terrorist has already lost if you stand up for your freedom and for the truth.

    • Some Outlets Are Censoring Charlie Hebdo’s Satirical Cartoons After Attack

      News organizations around the world are facing a dilemma about how to portray cartoons of Muhammad by the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo after a deadly attack on its offices Wednesday — and some are choosing to respond by censoring or cropping out photos of the cartoons themselves.

    • Charlie Hebdo: The media doesn’t have to publish their most controversial cartoons to show its support

      Today’s terrorist atrocity in Paris was, at its most basic level, an attack on innocent men and women designed to cause widespread panic and fear. Yet it appears also to have been motivated by a desire to defy Europe’s entrenched media freedoms and to denounce, in the most bloody way, one of the central tenets of western liberalism – the right to offend.

    • 15 powerful responses from cartoonists to the Charlie Hebdo attack

      POLITICAL CARTOONISTS around the world are tweeting powerful cartoons in response to today’s massacre at French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people were killed.

      Three masked gunmen entered the offices of the publication in Paris this morning – two police officers and ten staff were killed, including three of the magazine’s cartoonists and its editor, Stephane Charbonnier (known as ‘Charb’).

    • Freedom of expression? It’s a thing of the past: Editorial

      Writers the world over are working with the government these days – with the government looking over their shoulders, that is.

      In the contemporary surveillance state, you don’t need to be particularly paranoid to fear that you are being watched. In the contemporary surveillance state, the line between paranoia and reality isn’t always so bold.

    • CIA restores Dokdo in its map of Korea
    • CIA torn between allies Japan and South Korea

      The U.S.’s Central Intelligence Agency has found itself caught up in a row between allies South Korea and Japan over a small group of rocky islands, local media reported Monday.

      South Korea’s foreign ministry is attempting to get the CIA to amend entries in its World Factbook that refer to the islands, known as the Dokdo islands by Koreans and as the Takeshima isles in Japan, national news agency Yonhap said.

    • CIA World Factbook leaves Dokdo Island off Korean version of map

      Speaking of the territorial tensions the CIA World Factbook isn’t helping matters.

    • Seoul seeking to rectify CIA factbook’s deletion of Dokdo

      South Korea said Monday it is making efforts to lead the United States to restore its reference to Seoul’s easternmost islets of Dokdo as the Liancourt Rocks in the World Factbook published by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

    • Reference to Dokdo restored in CIA World Factbook map

      The United States restored a neutral name for South Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo in the CIA’s World Factbook map on Monday, a day after removing its usual reference to the islets in its latest edition.

  • Privacy

    • Spies do ‘happy dance’ after encryption cracked

      When you’re happy and you know it (and you really want to show it) what do you do if you’re a spy at the United States National Security Agency successfully cracking encryption? You draw a stick figure doing a happy dance.

    • NSA efforts to crack VPN encryption are not the end of the world

      Companies such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook also view encryption and VPNs as a way to protect customers, and have worked to encrypt data passing through their systems since the PRISM scandal broke.

      However, Benjamin Ali, a dark web specialist at security firm Centient, noted that the Der Spiegel report does not spell disaster for digital privacy as many newer encryption technologies are not listed as vulnerable.

      “From the report it would appear that not all VPNs are vulnerable to this attack, which seems to apply to PPTP/IPsec and not OpenVPN,” he told V3.

      “OpenVPN uses AES encryption standard which, according to this article, has not been broken. However, as this report is from a while back, this might not be the case now.”

    • Tutanota releases iOS encrypted email app after notifying NSA

      The German encrypted email service Tutanota has released its iOS app, weeks after its Android app came out. The delay in the release of the iOS app was apparently due to the need for those publishing open-source apps of this kind to first notify the NSA and the U.S. Commerce Department of their existence — it seems Apple is more strict about making sure this measure has been taken.

    • Obstacles Loom for States’ Proposed “Fourth Amendment Protection” Laws

      Legislators in several states have proposed bills over the past year intended to hamper the NSA’s efforts to collect signals intelligence. In Utah, the site of a large NSA data center, a proposed bill would prevent the state, its cities, and its agencies from providing “material support or assistance in any form to any federal data collection and surveillance agency.” The bill is plainly targeted at crippling the data center, which currently relies on a contract with a nearby city for its water supply. The bill would allow the continued performance of the ongoing contract, for which the city borrowed substantial funds, but would prohibit the renewal of the contract or any new contracts with the NSA data center. Furthermore, the bill also imposes a penalty on private corporations that provide support to surveillance agencies by precluding such corporations from subsequently contracting with the state or its agencies.

    • Utah governor won’t support proposal that would cut off the NSA’s water supply

      Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signaled his opposition to a proposed bill that would cut off water to the NSA’s facility south of Salt Lake City.

    • Utah Gov. Opposes Cutting Off Water Supply to NSA Facility

      Utah Gov. Gary Herbert told reporters on Tuesday that while he recognizes the “frustration” some have with the activities of the National Security Agency (NSA), he is not likely to support a measure to cut off the water supply to an NSA facility in the state.

    • Zoho email difficult to crack for National Security Agency

      City-based Zoho Corp’s email and chat services are one of the handful of services, which the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has found it difficult to crack under its mass surveillance programme.

      According to a report by German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, NSA has classified the encryption and security-breaking problems it encountered on a scale of 1 to 5, from ‘trivial’ to ‘catastrophic.’ Facebook chat, for example, was considered ‘trivial.’ The report was based on the documents obtained from former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • Abolish the Intelligence-Industrial Complex

      The Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency should be abolished. The two spy agencies cause more problems than they solve and have become menaces to our open society. The CIA was created in 1947 at the dawn of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and the NSA was born in 1952 to consolidate code-breaking and electronic communications spying capabilities. Today, thanks to the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden, we now know that the “black budget” requests from America’s 16 different intelligence agencies amounted to $52.6 billion in 2013. Of that sum, the CIA sought $14.7 billion and the NSA wanted $10.5 billion. Total intelligence spending since the 9/11 terror attacks amounts to more than $500 billion.

    • Australian writers increasingly concerned about mass government surveillance

      Novelists, editors, poets and journalists are becoming increasingly concerned about mass surveillance and its impact on freedom of expression in countries like Australia, the United States and Britain, a new survey has found.

      It shows levels of concern among writers about official surveillance are nearly as high in democratic countries as they are in non-democratic countries that have long legacies of state surveillance.

      The human rights organisation PEN International asked more than 770 writers, from 50 countries, about the ways in which government surveillance was influencing their thinking, research and writing.

      The survey ran between August 28 and October 15 last year and followed a similar survey of US writers in 2013.

    • Government Out of Control
    • Slideware is not a good place to start asessing an intelligence program says OMG Cyber! author Thomas Rid

      In conversation with Vulture South, Rid said one reason hype takes over is that journalists are prone to ignoring the complex context in which each document leaked by Snowden exists.

    • Going down the wrong road

      International whistleblower Edward Snowden could have been talking about T&T last week when he warned an Internet conference in Vancouver that “absolutely more revelations are to come. Some of the most important reporting to be done is yet to come”.
      Speaking from his hideout in Russia Snowden urged the world’s “adversarial press to continue to challenge their governments to ignite debates,” but without putting national security at risk.

    • China police inadvertently admit to buying malware to spy on citizens

      Don’t click on links sent by strangers, the police in one Chinese district warned last year, because malware known as Trojan horses use all sort of tricks to burrow into people’s phones and computers.

      “Curiosity hurts,” the Public Security Bureau in the city of Wenzhou in southeastern China posted on its social media account.

      Yet a few months after posting that warning, a lower level police department in Wenzhou was left red-faced when it emerged that officers had spent 149,000 yuan ($24,000) buying a device and software designed to plant Trojans into phones to monitor its own citizens.

    • Developers Say Privacy Network Tor Was Not Compromised During Silk Road Takedown

      In response to these sorts of concerns, which were quite prevalent in 2014, Jacob Appelbaum and Roger Dingledine from the Tor Project decided to dispel some myths at their recent State of the Onion talk at this year’s Chaos Communication Congress, an annual four-day conference “on technology, society and utopia,” sponsored by the association claiming to be Europe’s largest community of hackers, the Chaos Computer Club.

    • Proposed Prince William data center prompts protest letter to Jeff Bezos

      It is widely assumed by residents and elected officials, however, that the user is Amazon.com, which has been quickly expanding its Amazon Web Services cloud computing business in the area in recent years, including a contract with the CIA. One possible hint: This online job posting.

    • The Surveillance State has arrived

      British philosopher Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon placed inmates under surveillance during every moment of time.

      President Obama’s National Security Agency (NSA) is the digital equivalent of the Panopticon but spies on the entire U.S. population.

      The surveillance state in America is a fact. It is no longer a suspicion.

  • Civil Rights

    • David Miranda and the Human-Rights Black Hole

      But one thing Miranda is not is a terrorist. The 29-year-old has never been accused of being a terrorist. He has never been observed associating with terrorists or traveling in terrorist circles. Yet on August 18, 2013, Miranda was detained under Schedule 7 of the United Kingdom’s Terrorism Act 2000, at London Heathrow Airport, and questioned by British authorities for nearly nine hours—the legal limit. Just like a terrorist.

    • If 2014 was a sad year for liberty in Australia, 2015 will be no better

      The Abbott government struggled to gain passage of anything worthwhile in its first full year. Most of its economic reforms were stymied, with higher education the most notable failure. It’s fair to say the deficit problem is still far from resolved.

    • Feinstein presents anti-torture agenda despite GOP opposition

      President Obama has already strictly prohibited torture, but he’s otherwise reluctant to look back at his predecessor’s misdeeds. The Obama White House is satisfied that the United States is now following a just, responsible course, and there’s no need to put the country through prosecutions of officials from the Bush/Cheney administration.

    • Outing Torture Queen Bikowsky

      It’s not easy to be exposed as a war criminal.

    • CIA inspector general David Buckley’s exit ‘unrelated to politics’
    • After Hacking Controversy, CIA Watchdog Resigns

      The CIA’s inspector general will resign this month but U.S. officials said Monday his departure is not related to his finding last year that the spy agency hacked into computers used by Senate aides.

      The agency’s internal watchdog, David Buckley, will be stepping down on January 31, and his move “has been in the works for months,” CIA spokesman Christopher White told Agence France Presse.

    • CIA Watchdog: I Quit

      CIA Inspector General David Buckley will resign at the end of January, the CIA announced Monday. Buckley served as the internal watchdog for the intelligence agency for more than four years, investigating disputes between Congress and the CIA. During his tenure, he oversaw the battle over the agency’s unwillingness to hand over documents on torture and interrogation practices to Congress. The CIA said in a statement that Buckley is leaving to “pursue an opportunity in the private sector.” Neither congressional nor CIA officials say his resignation was politically related, but civil-liberties advocates were irked by his exit. Buckley “raised some serious concerns about the conduct of the CIA in trying to thwart the Senate Intelligence Committee,” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight. “The lack of repercussions is very troubling and his departure so soon afterward is troublesome.”

    • CIA Inspector General David Buckley to Resign

      Buckley has served as the intelligence agency’s internal watchdog for more than four years

    • CIA General Inspector Resigns Under Intriguing Conditions

      The 31 st of January is the last day at the CIA for general inspector David Buckley, who investigated a disagreement between the CIA and the Congress regarding the handling of the records of the agency’s interrogation and detention procedures. Officials from CIA have mentioned that his departure has nothing to do with politics or any of the cases he investigated.

    • CIA Watchdog to Step Down

      The CIA announced this morning that its top watchdog is stepping down at the end of the month.

      The agency’s Inspector General, David Buckley, will leave to “pursue an opportunity in the private sector,” a CIA spokesman said in a statement.

    • Stalled Probe Into CIA Prisons in Lithuania Needs US Info to Progress

      Investigation into the secret CIA prisons in Lithuania will not make any progress, until the United States provides Lithuania with information, according to Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite.

    • Will The Release Of C.I.A. Torture Photos Actually Threaten National Security?

      It’s been nearly a month since a Senate report revealed the gruesome torture techniques used by C.I.A. operatives following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and the controversy surrounding whether or not to publish more information continues to stir debate.

      In 2004, the ACLU sued the U.S. government for the release of more than 2,000 photos from Abu Ghraib after some of the disturbing photos were leaked that year. According to Mother Jones, a federal judge forced the Obama administration to release the photos or provide detailed information explaining how the release of each picture could threaten national security. The government chose the second option, and now, a hearing has been set for Jan. 20.

    • British and Dutch researchers develop new form of lie-detector test

      But the invention could soon be defunct. Researchers in Britain and the Netherlands have made a breakthrough, developing a method with a success rate in tests of over 70% that could be in use in police stations around the world within a decade. Rather than relying on facial tics, talking too much or waving of arms – all seen as tell-tale signs of lying – the new method involves monitoring full-body motions to provide an indicator of signs of guilty feelings.

    • Torture Advocates Outnumbered Critics 2-to-1

      A new FAIR study finds that torture defenders outnumbered critics of torture by nearly 2 to 1 in TV news coverage of the Senate Intelligence Committee report released on December 9.

      FAIR surveyed the guests of nine news programs for the week of December 7 to December 14, when discussion of the torture report’s findings was most prominent. The programs included the Sunday talk shows (NBC’s Meet the Press, CBS’s Face the Nation, ABC’s This Week, Fox News Sunday and CNN’s State of the Union) along with four weekday news shows (MSNBC’s Hardball, Fox’s Special Report, the first hour of CNN’s Situation Room and the PBS NewsHour).

      Of the 104 guests discussing the topic on these shows, 53 expressed a discernible opinion either for or against the use of torture. Thirty-five of those who took a position, or 66 percent, were supportive of torture. This included a few individuals who claimed to be against “torture,” but defended interrogation methods such as waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” that are recognized as torture under US and international law.

    • Fox News Exploits Tragedy In France To Attack NYC Mayor De Blasio

      Fox’s National Security Expert Blames Attack In Part On France’s “Really Strict Gun Control Policy”

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DecorWhat Else is New


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