01.17.15

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Links 17/1/2015: Lennart Poettering in Headlines, Mageia 5 Beta 2

Posted in News Roundup at 12:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • ‘IN DOG WE TRUST,’ Says New Sheriff’s Rugs

    The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in Florida has gone to the dogs. Well, at least its rugs have.

    Department spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda said Wednesday that a new, $500 rug at the sheriff’s administration building said “In Dog We Trust” instead of “In God We Trust.”

  • Science

  • Security

    • Friday’s security updates
    • OpenSSL: trust and purpose

      Those following me on various Intarweb Media may have noticed I’ve spent half the week staring at openssl source code and weeping. Here’s one of the results of that.

      OpenSSL has two somewhat different mechanisms for deciding what uses a certificate is good for: trust and purpose. This is quite subtle and not terribly well documented, so I thought I’d write it up here.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Worried about Russia? Lithuania says ‘Keep calm and read the war manual’

      Lithuania is publishing a manual to advise its citizens on how to survive a war on its soil as concerns grow that Russia’s intervention in Ukraine heralds increased assertiveness in its tiny Baltic neighbors.

      “Keep a sound mind, don’t panic and don’t lose clear thinking,” the manual explains. “Gunshots just outside your window are not the end of the world.”

      The manual, which the Defence Ministry will send to libraries next week and also distribute at army events, says Lithuanians should resist foreign occupation with demonstrations and strikes, “or at least doing your job worse than usual”.

    • Satellite Images Show Ruin Left by Boko Haram, Groups Say

      Thousands of buildings were burned, damaged or destroyed in northern Nigerian towns in recent days when Boko Haram militants stormed through, using scorched-earth tactics against civilians, according to a new analysis of satellite images by human rights groups.

      In a succession of attacks, fighters from Boko Haram, an Islamist insurgent group that has gripped northern Nigeria and battled the government for years, have swept through a cluster of villages along the shores of Lake Chad in a “systematic campaign of arson directed against the civilian population in the area,” according to Human Rights Watch.

    • Musharraf Indicted Over Bugti Murder

      An anti-terror court on Wednesday indicted Pervez Musharraf over the 2006 killing of a separatist leader, the latest legal hurdle facing the former military ruler since his return from self-imposed exile two years ago.

      The charges by the court in Quetta are unlikely to cause any immediate problems for the 71-year-old, who has not attended a single hearing in the case since it began in 2013. He was previously indicted for treason in March last year over his imposition of emergency rule in 2007, but proceedings have stalled since then as the country’s civil authorities and judiciary appear to lack the will to take on the military.

      “The anti-terrorist court has indicted Musharraf along with former interior minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao and former home minister [of] Balochistan province Shoaib Nosherwani in Nawab Akbar Bugti’s murder case,” said public prosecutor Taimur Shah. He added the court would resume hearings in the case on Feb. 4.

      Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed in a military operation in 2006, sparking deadly nationwide protests and inflaming a separatist insurgency in resource-rich but impoverished Balochistan.

    • Saudi Arabia Publicly Beheads Burmese Woman by Sword; Woman Shouts ‘I Did Not Kill, I Did Not Kill’

      Reports that emerged on Thursday evening that a Burmese woman was publicly beheaded in Mecca by Saudi authorities for allegedly killing her step-daughter has outraged social media users.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • And Now, a Word From Our Climate Denier…

      Is this the right way or the wrong way to cover the news of the record heat? That depends. Is the purpose of an article like this to convey how open-minded the New York Times is? If so, then the piece is a success, managing to give one-third of its quotes to a proponent of a fringe theory without giving any indication that his eccentric views are virtually absent from peer-reviewed science.

    • There is less than a 1-in-27 million chance that Earth’s record hot streak is natural

      Although it may not have been warm where you live, scientists announced Friday that 2014 was the Earth’s hottest year since record-keeping began in 1880. The climate milestone was made possible in large part by exceptionally mild ocean temperatures and above-average temperatures on most continents.

      Remarkably, the warmth came without the assistance of an El Niño event in the tropical Pacific Ocean. These events are naturally occurring ocean and atmospheric cycles that tend to boost global temperatures. Previous El Niños have been responsible in part for the prior warmest years, such as 1998 and 2005, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    • Record! 2014 was Earth’s warmest year

      The planet’s warmest year on record was 2014, federal scientists announced Friday.

      “Humans are literally cooking their planet,” said Jonathan Overpeck, an atmospheric scientist from the University of Arizona.

      The global temperature from 2014 broke the previous record warmest years of 2005 and 2010 since record-keeping began in 1880.

      Two separate data sets of global temperature — from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — confirmed the record. Another data set released last week by the Japan Meteorological Agency also found 2014 was the planet’s warmest.

  • Finance

    • Apple, Google give high tech workers an extra $90 million in “no-poach” suit

      On Thursday afternoon Apple, Google, Adobe, and Intel filed a settlement in a class-action lawsuit [PDF] involving former employees of the companies, agreeing to pay them $415 million. The 64,000 employees and former employees who made up the class alleged that their employers had agreed not to cold call or poach each others’ employees, creating artificially low wages for the employees for years.

    • Richard Wolff on the Greek Crisis, Austerity and a Post-Capitalist Future

      In the following interview, New School professor and economist Richard Wolff provides his analysis of the causes of the economic crisis in Greece and in the eurozone, debunks claims that the Greek economy is recovering and offers his proposal for what a post-capitalist future could look like for Greece and the world.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Turkey Tells Twitter To Block Turkish Newspaper’s Feed; Twitter Plans To Push Back

      The Turkish government has been battling with Twitter for quite some time. It’s gone after citizens for comments on Twitter, blamed Twitter for social unrest and even tried (temporarily) banning Twitter entirely in the country. There was even a lawsuit by the Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, filed with the Constitutional Court, over his own government’s “failure” to implement rules for removing content on Twitter.

    • Alabama Legislators Say You Must Be A Salaried Employee Of Old School Media To Get Approved For Press Credentials

      The only people who still feel they can clearly define who is and isn’t a journalist are legislators. They’re almost always wrong. Journalism isn’t a career. It’s an activity. Anyone can do it and, thanks to the internet, anyone can find a publishing platform and readers. But, according to many politicians, it ain’t the press unless it involves one.

    • Wrong Responses to Charlie Hebdo

      Leaders in Europe are justifiably trying to figure out what they should be doing to prevent terrorist attacks like the recent massacre at the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Regrettably, some politicians are proposing the kind of Internet censorship and surveillance that would do little to protect their citizens but do a lot to infringe on civil liberties.

      In Paris, a dozen interior ministers from European Union countries including France, Britain and Germany issued a statement earlier this week calling on Internet service providers to identify and take down online content “that aims to incite hatred and terror.” The ministers also want the European Union to start monitoring and storing information about the itineraries of air travelers. And in Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron suggested the country should ban Internet services that did not give the government the ability to monitor all encrypted chats and calls.

    • French Rein In Speech Backing Acts of Terror

      The French authorities are moving aggressively to rein in speech supporting terrorism, employing a new law to mete out tough prison sentences in a crackdown that is stoking a free-speech debate after last week’s attacks in Paris.

    • Why porn is exploding in the Middle East

      More recently, the Saudi Arabian government announced that it had hacked and disabled about 9,000 Twitter accounts associated with the publication of pornography and arrested many of the handles’ owners. The move was organized by the Commission for the Promotion and Prevention of Vice, also known as Haia, the Saudi religious police.

    • Saudi Arabia, Free Raif Badawi

      Raif Badawi was flogged in public 50 times last week. He has 950 lashes and nearly a decade in prison left to serve – simply for blogging about free speech.

    • Governments Around the World are Cracking Down on the Latest Charlie Hebdo Cover

      The latest issue of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has ignited controversy in the Middle East and elsewhere due to a caricature of the prophet Muhammad depicted on its cover.

      Brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi stormed the journal’s central Paris headquarters last week and murdered 12 people, they said to avenge the publication’s regular lampooning of Muhammad. Many Muslims regard depictions of the Prophet as blasphemous and the decision to again publish a cartoon of Muhammed has caused widespread debate.

      The cartoon itself depicts the Prophet shedding a tear while holding a sign that says “Je suis Charlie” — the slogan which has become popular around the world as a declaration of solidarity with the victims of the attack — under a headline that reads “All is forgiven.” It was drawn by the weekly’s cartoonist Luz, who escaped the massacre because he was late arriving for work.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Republican net neutrality bill allows ‘reasonable’ network management

      Draft net neutrality legislation released Friday by Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress would prohibit broadband providers from blocking or selectively slowing legal Web content, but it would allow them to engage in “reasonable” network management.

      The proposal would give broadband providers wide latitude to engage in network management, with a management practice deemed reasonable “if it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose.”

      The draft legislation would also prohibit the U.S. Federal Communications Commission from reclassifying broadband as a regulated public utility, and it would stop the agency from creating any new net neutrality rules.

    • Republican net neutrality bill would gut FCC’s authority over broadband

      Net neutrality legislation unveiled by Republicans today would gut the ability of the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the broadband industry.

      As expected, the bill forbids the FCC from reclassifying broadband as a common carrier service, preventing the commission from using authority it has under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. This is the statute the FCC uses to regulate landline telephone providers.

    • Netflix “refused” to answer encryption allegation, FCC commissioner says

      Ajit Pai, part of the commission’s Republican minority, has clashed with Netflix over its use of technology that is not compatible with “open caching software” used by Internet service providers. Netflix says that it “obscured certain URL structures to protect our members from deep packet inspection tools deployed to gather data about what they watch online,” which apparently had the side effect of forcing ISPs to use different caching systems. Netflix does offer caching appliances to Internet service providers, but the bigger carriers have refused, demanding payment for connections to their networks.

    • Tucows Hopes To Kickstart U.S. Broadband Competition One Town At A Time

      Last month I noted how longtime domain registrar Tucows had decided to try and kick-start stagnant broadband competition by buying a small Virginia ISP by the name of Blue Ridge InternetWorks (BRI). Operating under the Ting brand name, the company said the goal was to bring a “shockingly human experience and fair, honest pricing” to a fixed-line residential broadband market all-too-often dominated by just one or two giant, apathetic players. Ting promised to offer 1 Gbps speeds at a sub-$100 price point, while at the same time promising to respect net neutrality.

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