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01.20.15

Links 20/1/2015: Linux 3.19 RC5, 30 Years of FSF

Posted in News Roundup at 6:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Microsoft Can’t Sell Laptops or Phones

    To make matters worse, Microsoft finds itself competing in mobile with companies it thought it had eliminated from the market — like Nokia for instance.

    Microsoft may have bought the Finnish company’s mobile division back in 2011, but that hasn’t kept the “old” Nokia from keeping a hand in the mobile game, where it had once excelled.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • Watch Videos From Linux.Conf.Au 2015 (LCA2015 Auckland)

      For those interested in the annual Linux.Conf.Au conference that’s filled with tons of Linux/open-source technical talks but weren’t down in New Zealand last week for the event, the videos are available.

    • Buggy? Angry? LET IT ALL OUT says Linus Torvalds
    • Fake Linux fork pokes fun at feminism and diversity

      Open source has come under fire by some recently for lacking enough diversity. Now some jokesters have responded by creating a fake Linux fork that pokes fun at feminism and diversity in software development.

    • On Linus Torvalds and communities

      Not being a jerk doesn’t just mean tolerating noobs, though. Communities should have an established code of conduct which addresses both annoying and mean actors. When the code of contact is being repeatedly breached, the violator needs to be nudged in the right direction. When a community is welcoming and actively works to remain that way, it thrives. That’s how it can get the diversity of ideas and grow the technical competency that Linus Torvalds so desires.

    • Linux 3.19-rc5 Kernel Released
    • Linux 3.19-rc5

      Another week, another -rc.

      Fairly normal release, although I’d wish that by rc5 we’d have calmed down even further. But no, with some of the driver tree merges in particular, this is actually larger than rc4 was.

    • Audio in Linux becomes annoying again (continued)

      Despite sounding fine when played by SMPlayer, the audio clips that sounded distorted/scratchy and too loud when played by Thunderbird also sounded that way when played by VLC. Then I discovered several other .wav files on various Web sites that sounded distorted when played by the browser’s Windows Media Player plug-in (Gecko Media Player). So the problem clearly was not caused by Thunderbird itself. I began to wonder if PulseAudio was the cause. So I adjusted PulseAudio’s sampling frequency, number of fragments and fragment size, and all the clips that previously sounded distorted and too loud now play fine. Here is what I did to fix the problem…

    • What you missed in tech last week: BlackBerry blunder, Linux bug terror

      The Paris Observatory has confirmed that, on the appointed day, atomic clocks will be programmed to add in 11:59:60 to compensate for the idiosyncratic nature of the Earth’s orbit. Linux- and Unix-based systems are expected to go tits up.

    • Security problems need to be made public: Linus Torvalds

      People are less willing sometimes to brush the problem under the mat, and leave it up to vendors that have disclosures, like infinity long disclosure times,” he said. “I’m a huge believer in just disclosing, still somewhat responsibly, but security problems need to be made public — and there are people who argue, and have argued for decades, that you never want to talk about security problems because that only helps the black hats — and the fact is that I think you absolutely need to report them, and you need to report them in a reasonable time frame.

    • Linus Torvalds Releases Linux Kernel 3.19 RC5, Says Go Forth and Test

      Linus Torvalds has released yet another update for the Linux kernel 3.19 branch and this is the fifth Release Candidate in the series. The development cycle is getting closer to its end and that can be observed from the changelog.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • Many Linux Desktop 2D Benchmarks Of NVIDIA vs. AMD Drivers

        Like the reasoning for the mass OpenCL Linux comparison, the 2D benchmarks were done since having all of these graphics cards out and testing them on the latest proprietary drivers for the Unreal Engine 4 / Metro Redux game comparison. With not having done any big 2D performance comparison in a while, I ran these few extra tests to look at the 2D performance with the NVIDIA 346.22 driver compared to Catalyst 14.12 for the many different graphics cards.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Python3 Backend has been finished
      • Interview with Andreas Antoniadis

        Around 1999 I discovered an SUSE Linux live CD and I was fascinated with the open source communities who were behind this operating system and the different applications. But I was young and inexperienced. I thought that I had to use the industry standard tools to be competitive. As I grew up, I realised that they were just tools and I was the artist. These days I think that open source communities are more important than ever! They are like a torch in the dark.

      • Notes From the PIM Sprint: A Vision for the KDE PIM Framework

        I know I know, the PIM sprint has already been last November, but in my defence (@David: !!!), the VDG and KDE as a whole has been so buzzing with activity in the meantime that I didn’t find the time to write the blog post I had meant to write about it. So here it is, better late than never.

      • Adobe’s Photoshop Ditched for Krita at French University Due to Lack of Support

        Krita is considered to be a digital painting application, but it’s best described as a raster graphics editor. No matter what you call it, the Paris 8 University has decided to drop Adobe’s Photoshop and to adopt Krita instead.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 16th November 2014
      • Theme ‘Stationery’ added to ‘KDE – Pairs’

        As a part of my ongoing project “Adding new themes for KDE Pairs game”, a new theme ‘Stationery’ is added. The motivation behind selecting the particular theme lies on its simplicity. Stationery objects are very much familiar with pre-school children rather than other objects. Hence these stationery items can be used in the ‘Pairs’ game to develop their logical skills, rather than worrying about their familiarity with the domain.

      • Notes From the PIM Sprint: A Vision for the KDE PIM Framework
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Developers Close GTK+ Bug in Ubuntu That Allowed Users to Bypass the Lock Screen

        The Ubuntu developers have corrected a small issue with GTK+, which would allow users to bypass the lock screen in certain conditions. It might be a trivial matter, but it had to be fixed nonetheless.

        According to the security notice, “Clemens Fries discovered that GTK+ allowed bypassing certain screen locks by using the menu key. An attacker with physical access could possibly use this flaw to gain access to a locked session.”

      • Cinnamon 2.6 to Get Systemd Support

        The Linux Mint developers are not only working on the next iteration of the operating system, they are also trying to improve upon the Cinnamon desktop environment, which is also built by them.

  • Distributions

    • Analysis Of The Top 10 Linux Distributions Of 2014

      For the average desktop computer user I would recommend Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Zorin, Elementary and openSUSE as first choices with Debian, Fedora, Mageia and CentOS as secondary options. I would only choose Arch if you really want to control every aspect of your computer from top to bottom or you have an interest in learning more about the underpinnings of using Linux.

    • Manjaro Xfce 0.9.0 Pre1 Shows How Open Source Collaboration Works

      Manjaro Xfce 0.9.0 Pre1, a Linux distribution based on well-tested snapshots of the Arch Linux repositories and 100% compatible with Arch, is now ready for testing and download.

    • Reviews

      • Manjaro 0.8.11 – The lonely goatherd

        How shall I put it? Let there be no doubt. Manjaro 0.8.11 is a better version than 0.8.5 that I tested a while back. But calling it the best and most awesomest KDE around, as I’ve seen here and there in various forums and social media sites is literally pushing it. Now, it does deserve a lot of praise, A LOT, regarding its visual appearance. However, that is not enough to distract from or reduce the impact of the underlying system bugs.

        Desktop effects, printing, broken Steam packages, weird menu entries, misbehaving media player, an identity-confused collection of software, installation issues, missing swap use and very high memory consumption, all of these are big problems that the Manjaro dev team needs to address. But overall, the important thing here is progress.

        But if you’re asking me, the distro needs to simplify its mission statement, and focus on the core message of practicality. Hopefully, we will see that happen soon. Let’s call it the emergence of Manjaro into its own rightful place. At the moment, it’s trying to do so much, at the same time, it’s like a juggler with one ball too many. Grade wise? Hmmm, well, something like 7.5-8/10, and I am being generous. However, if all else fails, it so damn beautiful. Definitely one of the top three. Imagine Plasma 5 there. Looking forward to the next version.

      • The Mir display server and ReactOS

        I downloaded the most recent development snapshot of Ubuntu 15.04 “Vivid” which is said to feature Unity 8 running on Mir. I then tried running the technology preview in VirtualBox and on a desktop machine. When running in VirtualBox, at first Ubuntu with Unity 8 seemed quite similar to Ubuntu running the classic Unity desktop. The system booted, asked if I would like to try running the desktop in live mode or if I would like to install the operating system. Attempting to try the live desktop mode brought me to a login screen. I was unable to login or reach a terminal from the login page and so I rebooted my VirtualBox instance and tried installing Ubuntu’s Vivid preview.

      • Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” KDE Review: The Best KDE spin I have used!

        If you are looking for a trouble free KDE distro for long term use, look no further than Linux Mint. The Linux Mint 17.1 KDE is perhaps the best KDE distro I’ve used in quite sometime. Though it presents the stock KDE DE but it irons out a lot of bugs and presents a really stable, smooth to use and super efficient distro. The RAM and CPU consumption is one of the lowest I have noted among KDE spins, the boot time is decent and the battery life is simply the best among Linux operating systems. It symbolizes the amazing work done by the developers before releasing a distro. I wish all other distros were like Linux Mint.

        So, by now you have understood that Mint 17.1 KDE is definitely recommended from my side for all users looking for a good KDE distro devoid of bloat and is very efficient. I go with the highest score I ever gave to a KDE distro for Linux Mint 17.1 KDE.

    • New Releases

      • Manjaro XFCE 0.9.0-pre1 edition released

        Some of you might already noticed that some of our developers started in September last year to work on our next release series we call Bellatrix (0.9.0). With this series we switch over to a more modern graphical installer framework called Calamares.

      • Makulu Cinnamon 2.0 is Live !

        MakuluLinux Cinnamon Edition 2.0 [MCDE] is now live, Read the release notes and grab your copy by clicking here, or via the Cinnamon section in menu above. Please take a minute to read the release notes, they give vital information about the release.

    • Screenshots

    • Ballnux/SUSE

      • What’s new in SUSE LINUX 12?

        It’s been more than five years since SUSE delivered its last full release, and a lot has happened to the company during that time. In our testing we find that SUSE Linux 12 has been worth the wait. SUSE 12 is a broad set of Linux distributions ranging from desktop through enterprise level. We tested several instances and found them quite ready for enterprise use. All in all, SUSE 12 is a worthy competitor to Red Hat and Ubuntu in the enterprise Linux market.

      • SUSE Linux 12 challenges Red Hat
    • Red Hat Family

      • Submissions Open for 2015 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year Award
      • A Proposal To Go 64-bit Only With Fedora 23

        An ambitious proposal is seeking to make Fedora 23 — the Linux distribution release due out around October — 64-bit-only for both x86 and ARM architectures.

      • Fedora

        • Playing with plymouth themes
        • PLANNING FOR FEDORA WORKSTATION 22

          So Fedora Workstation 21 is done and out and I am extremely pleased to see the positive reception and great reviews. But we are not resting on our laurels here and are already busy planning for the Fedora Workstation 22 release. As many of you might know Fedora Workstation 22 is going to come up relatively fast, so we only have about 6 more weeks of development on it feature the freezes starts to kick inn. Luckily we have a relatively long list of items that we started working on during the Fedora Workstation 21 cycle that is nearing completing and thus should make the next release. We are of course also working on bigger long term developments that you should maybe see the first outline of in Fedora 22, but not the final version. I thought it would be nice to summarize some of the bigger items we expect to land and link to the relevant blogs and announcements for each one.

        • Fedora 21: problems with offline updates, other PackageKit stuff

          Since the middle of last week we’ve been aware of some bugs with the PackageKit stack. The initial bug report was for offline updates failing, but during testing of the fix for that, various other bugs were identified which could potentially cause problems with many PackageKit transactions – that’s mostly documented in this report. Mostly, though, folks only seem to have been noticing issues since libhif 0.1.7 came out as an update in late December.

        • Fedora Infrastructure DB dumps

          In Fedora Infrastructure, all our applications are Free software. It’s one of our base requirements, allowing anyone out there to examine source, improve or modify things. Sometimes, just having the source of an application isn’t enough, you need the raw data to figure out some issue or generate some metric or support a theory.

        • Fedora 23 Likely To Pursue Wayland By Default

          While Wayland by default replacing the X.Org Server as the default display environment has been talked about for a while within the next-generation Fedora world, it looks like Fedora 23 could finally be the time that the switch happens.

          Fedora 23 already has ambitious possibilities like only supporting 64-bit software while one of the more likely proposals is enabling Wayland by default. With Fedora 21, Wayland is shipped with Fedora Workstation as a log-in-time switch for GNOME, but the X.Org Server is still depended upon. With Fedora 22, the Wayland experience will be even better and then for Fedora 23 is when there might be the switch.

        • Fedora 22 Schedule (3×), Elections, and the state of Schrödinger’s Cat

          Fedora is a big project, and it’s hard to keep up with everything that goes on. This series highlights interesting events in five different areas every week. Here are the five events for January 16th, 2015:

    • Debian Family

      • Spamassassin Updates

        Spamassassin hasn’t been providing rules as part of the upstream package for some time. In Debian, we include a snapshot of the ruleset from an essentially arbitrary point in time in our packages. We do this so Spamassassin will work “out of the box” on Debian systems. People who install spamassassin from source must download rules using spamassassin’s updates channel. The typical way to use this service is to use cron or something similar to periodically check for rule changes via this service. This allows the anti-spam community to quickly adapt to changes in spammer tactics, and for you to actually benefit from their work by taking advantage of their newer, presumably more accurate, rules. It also allows for quick reaction to issues such as the one described in bug 738872 and 774768.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Could Be the First OS on Planet Mars
          • Unzip Vulnerability Closed in Ubuntu OSes

            Canonical has announced that an unzip exploit has been found and fixed for Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS operating systems.

          • Microsoft Azure Update Brings Docker Image on Ubuntu Server
          • Ubuntu Could Be the First OS on Planet Mars

            Mars One is a project that aims to put people on planet Mars by 2025, before NASA and everyone else. The kicker is that it’s designed as a one-way trip for the colonists. The good news, if you can call it that, is that they seem to be favoring Linux.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 18 Could Adopt Systemd

              The Linux Mint project is using Ubuntu as its base and there is even a branch that’s using Debian, but it looks that for the moment it won’t be using systemd as the default init system.

            • Bodhi Founder Returning as Ubuntu Heads to Mars

              Bodhi Linux founder, who recently resigned from the project, has announced that he’s decided to return. Accompanying that news was also the announcement for Bodhi Linux 3.0 RC2. Elsewhere, Gary Newell briefly recaps the top 10 distributions of 2014 and Phoronix.com is reporting that Fedora 23 is likely to default to Wayland. Adam Williamson introduces Updatrex™ in response to PackageKit bug and Softpedia.com said today that Ubuntu will probably be the first operating system on Mars.

            • Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 RC2 Reloaded

              Just over four months ago I announced that I was stepping down from the active role I had maintained in the Bodhi Linux project since it started a little over four years ago. Today I am happy to share that I am returning in my full capacity as project manager/lead developer and I come bearing gifts!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The TrackingPoint 338TP, the Linux Rifle that’s accurate up to a mile

      First, the 338TP uses the .338 Lapua Magnum long-range rifle for its base. This rifle started as a design for a US Marine sniper rifle. Then, to acquire the target, the rifle uses a laser to enable you to “tag” your target. More than just a laser-targeting system, its sensors also track wind speed, direction, temperature, and barometric pressure. As serious shooters know, all of these factors must be taken into account for an accurate shot at great ranges.

    • BeagleBone SBC beefs up Lego Mindstorms EV3

      An “EVB” Kickstarter project replaces the Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot’s ARM9 brick with a BeagleBone Black, adding performance, expandability, and sensors.

    • Samsung set to sell 30 Million Tizen TVs in 2015

      Samsung Electronics Co. have revealed that they plan to sell 30 million Tizen TVs in 2015, according to an Industry source. Samsung aim to ship an estimated 60 million TVs in 2015 with Tizen TVs expected to be over 50% of that figure. These will be using the new quantum-dot display technology which has the capability of showing 1 billion colours, which is 64 times more than what current TV models can perform.

    • CompuLab aims to put a Mint in your pocket

      Israel’s maker of small fanless computers CompuLab has revealed a tiny computer for Linux lovers, the MintBox Mini. A fifth of the size of the original MintBox, which was based on the company’s fit-PC3 and launched in 2012, the silent, fanless Mini will come with a quad-core processor, solid state storage and be available in the second quarter of 2015 for US$295.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Interview: Mesosphere’s Ben Hindman on the Need for a Data Center OS

    One of the most interesting new companies leveraging an open source Apache project has to be Mesosphere, which OStatic covered in a recent post. The company offers a “data center operating system” (DCOS) built on the open source Apache Mesos project, and has announced a recent round of $36M in Series B funding. New investor Khosla Ventures led the round, with additional investments from Andreessen Horowitz, Fuel Capital, SV Angel and others.

    According to Mesosphere’s leaders, the tech industry now needs a new type of operating system to automate the various tools used in the agile IT era. They argure that developers and operators don’t need to focus on individual virtual or physical machines but can easily build and deploy applications and services that span entire datacenters.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Fix Add-ons not working in Firefox 35

        Firefox 35 has been pushed to the Stable channel recently by Mozilla and while the majority of users did not notice any incompatibilities or issues, some users noticed that one or multiple of installed browser add-ons stopped working suddenly.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack as a social contract, what’s new in Nova, and more

      Interested in keeping track of what’s happening in the open source cloud? Opensource.com is your source for what’s happening right now in OpenStack, the open source cloud infrastructure project.

    • Big data, big growth

      Open source NoSQL companies are making headlines for investment figures, but they’re offering knowledge and building communities too

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Saying Goodbye to Java the Hard Way

      Google is rapidly becoming our Internet overlords, if they aren’t already. Gmail and Chrome are not Google products…we are the products. We are the marketable items. Gmail and Chrome are simply the useful playgrounds given to us in order for them to collect our data. Why does the choice between a red pill and a blue pill come to mind?

  • BSD

    • Snippets: Io.js, FreeBSD in the Cloud and 6502 Basic

      FreeBSD hasn’t been out in the clouds that much but that may be changing. DigitalOcean has announced FreeBSD on their cloud and thats a company who has till now only done Linux as their OS. Someone quickly posted the Dmesg output to show it was a real thing too. This could be a very special year for FreeBSD.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • whatmaps 0.0.9

      This release fixes the integration with recent systemd (as in Debian Jessie), makes logging more consistent and eases integration into downstream distributions. It’s available in Debian Sid and Jessie and will show up in Wheezy-backports soon.

    • QEMU 2.3 To Bring An Ivy Bridge CPU Model, New MIPS CPUs

      QEMU 2.2 was just released last month while already for QEMU 2.3 is a long list of changes.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Carl Turner Architects designs open source Floating House
    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware

      • 5 favorite Raspberry Pi and Arduino projects

        First, what do I mean by open hardware? I mean that the components that make up a device are available for the user to see. No secret formulas. The ingredients are completely transparent, and if you chose, you can source the raw parts and assemble them yourself. You can also learn from the process of assembly and with a team spirit share any problems encountered, then improving the formula of the device. For example, you could suggest better parts or improve the code to make it run faster.

  • Programming

    • A Launchpad Module for Ruby

      At some point last year I started to write a Launchpad API client in Ruby, for the very simple reason that Kubuntu CI tooling is almost entirely written in Ruby and I wanted to avoid round tripping into Python to use launchpadlib for trivial things such as querying the version of a package in a PPA. Not only would that be slightly slower it also raises the ever so unfortunate problem of how to exchange data between Ruby and Python.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • N.S.A. Drilled Into North Korean Networks Before Sony Attack, Officials Say

      The trail that led American officials to blame North Korea for the destructive cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in November winds back to 2010, when the National Security Agency scrambled to break into the computer systems of a country considered one of the most impenetrable targets on earth.

    • L3A My impromptu speech about what went wrong at the NSA

      To do the controlling the NSA has to replicate the total world in realtime in their computer model!! The whistleblowers I read about and spoke to had in fact suggested to only filter the massive incoming flow of surveillance data, to extract certain patterns, and NOT STORE IT or keep files updated about all individual citizens. The generals decided to do that total storage We already see the first symptoms by USA and the five eyes countries of ‘simplification’ by law enforcement and legal system that perform arrests, judgement and jailing based on secret info provided by the NSA. Many other things are already going wrong in conflict with the Constitution and Human Rights. Civilisation is only a thin layer, can be gone in minutes.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • January 17, 1961: President Eisenhower Warns of the ‘Military-Industrial Complex’ in His Farewell Address

      When Dwight D. Eisenhower left office in January 1961 he warned against the growing menace to democracy of “the military-industrial complex,” to which The Nation devoted an entire issue in October of 1961 authored by Fred Cook, who more or less single-handedly revived the muckraking tradition in the United States with his issue-length investigations in the 1950s of the CIA, the FBI and the culture of political corruption in New York City. Here, in “Juggernaut: The Warfare State,” Cook investigated and expanded on Eisenhower’s warning, which had, up to that point, received relatively little attention in the mainstream press.

    • Scahill: Cable News ‘Terror Analysts’ Profit from Fear

      On Sunday morning’s Reliable Sources, The Intercept co-founder Jeremy Scahill reiterated his critique of cable news’ habit of hosting “terror experts” who have financial stakes in prolonged and expanded military conflicts.

      The concept of terror experts/analysts was heightened in the past couple weeks following the Paris attack, and some outlandish statements by the likes of “terror expert” Steve Emerson.

      “CNN has some great reporters on the ground,” Scahill said. “When you get into this kind of fear-generating territory is when you have these so-called ‘terror analysts’ on the air, many of whom also work for risk consultancy firms that benefit from the idea of making us afraid.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Putin’s Unreported Genius On Ukraine: Currency Warfare

      Putin did not invade Ukraine to invade Ukraine, but as a genius invasion against the U.S. Dollar. Almost all media have missed the high-level geopolitical chess at play and focused so narrowly on the individual moves, that they’re completely missing the big picture. There’s currently a war about what reserve currency the world should use – and the U.S. is poised to lose.

    • Wikileaks collectors demand bankruptcy for Valitor

      Two companies, handling the collection of the funding for Wikileaks, have demanded that Valitor, which handles VISA in Iceland, should be made bankrupt due to an unpaid claim for damages, amounting to about 10 billion kronas (approx: 75 million dollars) with interests.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Opinion: Raoul Wallenberg Day is a time to remember the power of an individual to confront evil

      Prior to Wallenberg’s arrival as a Swedish diplomat in Budapest in July 1944, some 430,000 Hungarian Jews had been deported to Auschwitz in only 10 weeks — the fastest, cruelest, and most efficient mass murders of the Nazi genocide. Yet Wallenberg rescued more Hungarian Jews than any single government, notably saving 20,000 by issuing Schutzpasses, documents conferring diplomatic immunity. He even went to the trains as mass deportations were underway, distributing Schutzpasses to people otherwise consigned to death.

      Wallenberg saved an additional 32,000 by establishing dozens of safe houses in a diplomatic zone protected by neutral legations. He organized hospitals, soup kitchens and childcare centres, and when thousands of Jews were sent on a 200-kilometre death march in November 1944, he followed alongside, distributing improvised Schutzpasses, as well as food and medical supplies.

    • Perpetuating Guantánamo’s Travesty

      “Guantánamo is a betrayal of American values,” the former military officers wrote. “The prison is a symbol of torture and justice delayed. More than a decade after it opened, Guantánamo remains a recruiting poster for terrorists, which makes us all less safe.”

    • Doxing victim Zoe Quinn launches online “anti-harassment task force”

      On Friday, Depression Quest developer and doxing victim Zoe Quinn launched an online “anti-harassment task force” toolset, staffed by volunteers familiar with such attacks, to assist victims of a recent swell of “doxing” and “swatting” attacks.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • White House Leaves FTC To Decide Net Neutrality Laws

      The new rules triggered a lively debate by the US public, with users leaving four million online comments on the FCC website.

    • The Biggest Foes of Obama’s High Speed Internet Plan

      ​President Obama’s strong support for community internet networks drew sharp criticism on Wednesday from cable and telecom industry groups, as well as Republican lawmakers who called the White House’s plan to boost local internet coverage and speeds an unacceptable breach of “states’ rights.”

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Party Delivers on Copyright

        EU copyright rules simply aren’t suited to cope with the increase of cross-border cultural exchange facilitated by the Internet…

      • Pirate Bay’s Fredrik Neij Wants You to Write Him a Letter

        Former Pirate Bay operator Fredrik Neij is currently the last person serving his sentence for his involvement with the notorious torrent site. To make his stay in prison a little easier he’s hoping to receive letters, cards and other goodies from people around the world.

      • Why Kim Dotcom hasn’t been extradited 3 years after the US smashed Megaupload

        Kim Dotcom has never been shy. And in December 2011, roughly a month before things for Dotcom were set to drastically change, he still oozed with bravado: Dotcom released a song (“The Megaupload Song”) in conjunction with producer Printz Board. It featured a number of major pop stars—including the likes of Kanye West, Jamie Foxx, and Serena Williams—all singing that they “love Megaupload.” If the star power wasn’t enough, Dotcom placed an exclamation point at the end. In the lyrics, he claimed that Megaupload comprised four percent of all Internet traffic. He rapped that the site received 50 million hits daily.

      • MPAA Wants to Censor OpenCulture’s Public Domain Movies

        With a rather peculiar takedown request Hollywood is going after OpenCulture.com, one of the largest collections of cultural and educational media online. According to a takedown notices the MPAA sent to Google, Open Culture’s list of 700 free public domain movies contains copyright infringing material.

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  9. Microsoft Redefining Ownership and Identity of GNU/Linux

    The idea that “Microsoft loves Linux” is as insane as it gets; but the lie which is “Microsoft loves Linux” is a powerful enabler of Microsoft entryism, e.g. if Greg steps down, does a Microsoft employee become the deputy of Linus Torvalds?



  10. Things That Cannot Be Said

    The limits on what we can say are mostly defined by what sources permit us to say publicly (for the sake of source protection)



  11. Fake European Patents (on Algorithms) Leading to Fake Embargoes

    Law firms have gotten their way in Germany; instead of supporting the productive workers the patent system is nowadays promoting the litigation 'industry' and it ought to be corrected



  12. From Moderate Advice to FUD and Misinformation: The Case of a VPN Vulnerability (CVE-2019-14899)

    What should have been a trivial bugfix in a variety of operating systems and bits of software — both proprietary and Free software — somehow became anti-Linux FUD, clickbait and worse



  13. Dangerous Thinker

    Society oughtn't be alarmed by people who say unusual things; it should be wary and sceptical of those corporations ever so eager to silence such people



  14. Unitary Patent (UPC) Died Along With the Credibility of Managing IP and the Rest of the UPC Lobby

    It is pretty astounding that Team UPC (collective term for people who crafted and lobby for this illegal construct) is still telling us lies, even in the absence of underlying supportive facts, and pressure groups disguised as "news sites" latch onto anything to perpetuate an illusion of progress (even in the face of a growing number of major barriers)



  15. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 06, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, December 06, 2019



  16. Links 7/12/2019: Fedora 31 Elections Results, Lots of Media Drama Over VPN Bug

    Links for the day



  17. Links 6/12/2019: DRM in GNU/Linux and Sparky Bonsai

    Links for the day



  18. The EPO Rejects Innovation

    The EPO ceased caring about the needs of scientists whose work involves invention; instead, EPO management crafts increasingly lenient guidelines that yield illegal European Patents (not compatible with the EPC) that heavily-besieged EPO judges are unable to stop



  19. Startpage CEO Robert Beens in 'Damage Control' Mode, Trying to Get Startpage Relisted After Selling to a Massive Surveillance Company

    PrivacytoolsIO is being lobbied by the CEO of Startpage to relist Startpage, based on no actual refutations at all



  20. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 05, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 05, 2019



  21. Links 5/12/2019: qBittorrent 4.2.0, Expensive Librem 5 and OpenBSD Bugs

    Links for the day



  22. Microsoft Staff Repeatedly Refuses to Tell How Many People Use WSL, Defends Patent Extortion and Blackmail of Linux Instead

    The people who develop WSL (mostly Microsoft employees) get easily irritated when asked how many people actually use this thing; but more interestingly, however, they reveal their disdain for GNU/Linux and support for Microsoft blackmail (for 'Linux patent tax')



  23. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 04, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 04, 2019



  24. Links 4/12/2019: Tails 4.1, UCS 4.4-3 and Proxmox VE 6.1

    Links for the day



  25. Google Tightens Its Noose

    Now it’s official! Google is just a bunch of shareholders looking to appease the Pentagon at all costs



  26. Europeans Still Need to Save the European Patent Office From Those Who Attack Its Patent Quality

    Patent quality is of utmost interest; without it, as we're seeing at the EPO and have already seen at the USPTO for a number of years, legal disputes will arise where neither side wins (only the lawyers win) and small, impoverished inventors or businesses will be forced to settle outside the courts over baseless allegations, often made by parasitic patent trolls (possessing low-quality patents they don't want scrutinised by courts)



  27. We Never Accepted and Will Never Accept Corporate Money

    Corporate money is a unique problem because of its magnitude and the fact that it's impersonal; shareholders can only ever accept its supposed justifications if they're receiving something in return (of proportional worth to the payment/transaction)



  28. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 03, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 03, 2019



  29. Links 3/12/2019: elementary OS 5.1 Hera, Plasma 5.17.4, Firefox 71

    Links for the day



  30. Laundering the Reputation of Criminals: That's an Actual Job

    An important reminder that the manufactured, paid-for (media is being bribed) image of Bill Gates is the product of the PR industry he enlisted to distract from his endless crimes


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