02.02.15

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Links 2/2/2015: Linux 3.19 RC7, Kodi 14.1

Posted in News Roundup at 2:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Welcome the New Breed of Linux Users

    Some people don’t like any changes made to Linux user space which makes the operating system easier to use or configure for casual users. They would rather the user be befuddled and helpless, because according to them, people who don’t know how to open a terminal and edit a configuration file in Emacs have no business sitting at a computer keyboard for any purpose.

  • Videos: 10 Interesting Technical Talks from LinuxConf.Au 2015

    Many Linux and open source leaders gave presentations at LinuxConf.Au 2015 a few weeks ago, including Linux Creator Linus Torvalds. All of the conference videos are available on YouTube, and there were many excellent presentations — so many it would be impossible to watch them all. The range of topics covered everything from open source governance and community management, to inspiring uses of Linux and open source technologies, to technical talks and tutorials. Here are ten interesting technical talks focused on Linux and the kernel. (Disclaimer: I have not watched every single minute of all of these videos. I’ll leave it to you to decide how captivating they are.)

  • Which Linux Desktop is Right For You?

    Over the years, the debate over the best Linux desktop environment has raged on. KDE, Gnome, one of the lighter weight Linux desktops – there are so many options to choose from. In this article, I’ll examine the variety of desktops available and compare them accordingly.

  • February 2015 Issue of Linux Journal: Web Development

    I think it was in the late 1990s, possibly into the 2000s, when it was common to put a cutesy graphic on the bottom of your Web page letting everyone know your site wasn’t finished. Generally the graphic was an animated GIF file of a little construction guy shoveling a pile of gravel. Mind you, this was before animated GIF files were the most annoying thing on the Internet, and long before they started getting cool again. The thing that makes me smile isn’t how clever we were to make such graphics, it’s the naiveté of the concept that a Web site might ever be truly finished.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel 3.19 RC7 Is Out, Last One Before Stable

      Linux kernel 3.19 RC7 was announced by Linus Torvalds and it’s probably the last release in this development cycle before the branch becomes stable, most likely next week.

    • Linux 3.19-rc7 Kernel Released: Linux 3.19 Final Coming Soon

      The seventh and likely last release candidate to the Linux 3.19 kernel is now available.

    • 4 Useful Cron Alternatives For Linux

      For those who are familiar with the Unix system, you will also be familiar with the cron application that allows you to schedule and automate tasks to run on their own. We even have tutorials that show you how to get started with cron and crontabs. However, cron is not perfect, as it requires your system to be running 24 hours a day. If you have a habit of turning off your computer at night, and a cron job is scheduled in the sleeping hours, the task won’t be executed. Luckily, there are several cron alternatives that can do a better job than cron. Let’s check them out.

    • Gummiboot UEFI Boot Loader To Be Added To Systemd

      The newest feature being worked on for systemd? A boot loader, of course! It was revealed this weekend that systemd developers are looking at integrating Gummiboot into systemd.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Interview with Lucas Falcão

        I think Krita is doing great and I really like the direction it’s going, the software it seems to be made for artists, at least I have this impression when I use the tools to work on the creation and painting of textures. I don’t hate anything in Krita, and I don’t use all the tools, but I think usability could always be improved.

      • digiKam Quick Tip: Using Album Categories

        Did you know that you can assign categories to albums in digiKam? To do this, right-click on an album, choose Properties from the context menu, and the desired category from the Category drop-down list.

      • SoK Final Report – Theme Designing for Pairs

        Theme designing for pairs is my Season of KDE project, mentored by Heena Mahour. In this project i created new themes for KDE-Edu project “Game Pairs”.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • I Messed Up GRUB2… What a Happy Mistake!

        Yesterday, I was using my daughter’s desktop computer, which is a Mageia 4/PicarOS dual-boot, when I noticed something that has happended before: after running an update of packages, Mageia changes GRUB2 and erases the entry to boot PicarOS.

        I am not very GRUB2 literate. Last time that it happened, I solved the problem with GRUB Customizer, but it wouldn’t help this time.

        I tried the Mageia GRUB tool in the Control Center to no avail.

        Then I installed the KDE package that lets one configure GRUB2… and that’s when I messed up: trying to recover the PicarOS boot entry, I seemed to have installed a useless boot entry on the MBR and the computer, logically, could neither boot PicarOS not Mageia.

        I looked for the Mageia 4 install DVD to run the rescue tool but, since I could not find it, I ran the rescue tools from the Mageia 3 install DVD instead. It did not work; GRUB2 could not be rescued.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Tried to boot my laptop from a cafe…

        Today I tried to boot it in a cafe, off-line and without the extra disk. It was not possible. Systemd would just wait indefinitely for some start-up jobs (it was waiting for the missing disk to come on-line among some other things). Fortunately, I had the extra disk with me, so I attached it and tried again. Still for no use. Systemd now waited for the network interfaces. So I had to actually connect an ethernet cable to a router just to get the crap to boot, and then unplug it and walk back to my table.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Why can Ubuntu dethrone Android and iOS?

            Next week we will finally get to see the first commercially available Ubuntu smartphone when the BQ Aquaris e4.5 rolls out of its incubation unit. It feels like years since the Ubuntu Edge’s doomed for failure crowdfunding campaign…failed, yet there is still a whole lotta love for the mobile OS that some genuinely think has a chance at rivalling Android. Why is it so popular though?

            Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu OS, has spent a couple of years stripping down Android to the bare bones and replacing it with technology that allows it to keep the OS constantly updated at a level not enjoyed by Android users. The OS back end is divided into a trio of partitions that are comprised of three separate sections of code: one each for the device, manufacturer or carrier, and Ubuntu. It means that each one can deliver bug fixes as-and-when they are needed, and customisation specific to the carrier or manufacturer will be far easier to implement. Basically if you’re an Android user constantly bemoaning the time it takes for your update to arrive, we think you’ll have a lot of joy here.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Should You Upgrade From Windows 7 To Windows 8.1 Or Linux Mint?

              Upgrading your computer from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 is not guaranteed to be a seamless experience whereby you click a few buttons and hey presto it works.

              To prove this point I took a Windows 7 computer and installed Windows 8.1 in two different ways to see what would happen. In both cases the result was the same.

              The computer that I used for this experiment was a Dell Inspiron 3521. After upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 the video drivers were lost and I was left with a fuzzy low resolution screen. The network drivers were also a bit ropey. The same thing happened when I installed Windows 8.1 straight from disk as a clean installation.

              To fix the problems all I had to do was download the correct drivers and install them but that meant navigating the Dell website (which isn’t a particularly easy affair) and download the correct drivers and install them in the correct order.

              Whilst the task in hand was fairly straight forward it clearly shows that Windows doesn’t just work in the same way that when you install Linux for the first time you might have to install extra drivers and codecs as well.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • The Driver’s Licence on the Mobile Phone? Its Now Live. Not in the country you thought: it happened first in Dubai

        Its part of the Police App that they have here, which will for example let you do an accident report if you had a fender-bender type accident, and post it in 3 minutes, so for example for insurance claims etc. You take a few pictures of the car and register the accident report with your Driver’s Licence number and your car licence plate, plus the other car’s licence plate, and thats it. The police will review both sides of the story, the pictures from both cars, and issue the official police report for your insurance agency. If the police department has to send an officer to come see the accident, that costs about 2,000 dollars per visit in the time the police have to allocate. Now everything is done electronically and you get your official police accident report by the next day – straight to your mobile phone haha. Brilliant.

      • Delaware aims to be 1st with digital driver’s licenses

        Delaware is aiming to be the first state to offer virtual driver’s licenses accessed through a secure smartphone app.

      • Android

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop Update For Galaxy Note 4 Delayed Further

          The Android 5.0 Lollipop update for Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has been delayed by Oculus. Samsung already started rolling out the software update for various handsets such as the Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4. However, the Android 5.0 Lollipop is yet to arrive on the South Korean tech giant’s latest phablets, the Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy Note Edge.

        • Applications? Yes, The Applications Set Android/Linux On Fire

          Remember when folks were telling us that GNU/Linux wouldn’t fly because it lacked applications? Consider Android/Linux. It had zero applications a while back but now it’s on fire. 2 billion applications downloaded a day. Amazing.

        • Taiwan amid top-5 Google Play markets globally, says Google Play executive

          There have been more than one million free and chargeable applications at Google Play, with two billion downloads a day on average from about 190 countries. Google paid a total of US$5 billion to developers of Google Play applications during June 2013-June 2014.

        • Lollipop-based Paranoid Android 5 Alpha 1 is here!

          The Paranoid Android team just announced the release of the first alpha version of the Lollipop-based Paranoid Android 5.

        • Android just achieved something it will take Apple years to do

          It’s easy to be negative about Android’s outlook these days. Apple just posted the most profitable quarter of any company ever, largely on the back of runaway iPhone sales. And Google faces an unprecedented threat from “forked” versions of Android — independently developed offshoots out of Google’s control.

        • Android 5.1 Lollipop to release next month?

          Amidst the problems and issues surrounding the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop OS, its alleged major update Android 5.1 is finally taking shape. Latest whispers say that the OS update will be rolled out near the end of February.

Free Software/Open Source

  • How Pivotal cracked the one-billion-dollar code

    Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry, an open source Platform-as-a-Service offering, just clocked the largest first-year financial bonanza in open source history: spun out of EMC and VMware in 2013 and trading since February 2014 Pivotal pulled in $40m during three quarters of active selling it said last week. As good as this is for Pivotal, it’s perhaps even better for would-be open source entrepreneurs, who may finally have a blueprint for large-scale financial success.

  • Four open source networking projects explained

    Open source projects and protocols have huge potential for networking. Initiatives such as OpenStack and OpenDaylight have attracted the attention both of end-users, as evidenced by the Open Networking User Group (ONUG), major vendors participating in OpenDaylight, OpenFlow and OpenStack, and telecoms creating their own open source efforts like the Open Networking Lab.

  • Zimbra gets back to open source roots

    The open source market landscape is growing by leaps and bounds, and it’s at a time like this that it’s important for Zimbra, a provider of collaboration software, to reinvigorate its open source roots. Here’s how we plan to encourage increased participation in community open source projects in 2015.

  • Good design matters for open source projects

    The design of everyday things is an important cultural movement. Of that, most of us have no doubt. We want our tools to work flawlessly and naturally. And open source projects are catching up on this too.

    Like, Elementary OS, an open source operating system that hopes to make the Linux desktop accessible for everyone. And many other open source web applications, like Ghost, Taiga, and the upcoming Flarum. Also, BeautifulOpen is a collection of open source projects with great websites and a great source for inspiration. They all have designers on their core team.

  • Events

    • Does open source power your entertainment media center?

      Open source media center solutions have really taken off in the past few years, and there are now many more approaches to using both open source software and open hardware to power entertainment on your television. If you’re consuming media with the help of open source, we’re curious: how are you doing it? Are you running Kodi (formerly XBMC), MythTV, MediaPortal, or something similar on a custom-built machine? Or are you going slim and using a specialized Linux build on top of the Raspberry Pi? Or are you doing something else entirely?

    • FOSDEM 2015

      I had a chat with the Diaspora folks at the booth next to us and greatly look forward to the upcoming release. They had a nice flyer-y paper which also included some development stats with the number of active contributors and such, a very useful thing to have so you can quickly see how a project is doing. Diaspora had a hard time since the crazy start, but things are picking up again and 66 people contributed to this important project over the last year.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Report: Companies are Investing in Big Data, But Not All Succeed With It

      Capgemini, a consulting and technology services company, has announced the findings of a global survey into the use of Big Data in corporate decision-making. An Economist Intelligence Unit report “The Deciding Factor: Big Data & Decision making”, commissioned by Capgemini, shows that nine out of ten business leaders believe data is now the fourth factor of production, as fundamental to business as land, labor and capital.

    • Eucalyptus Cloud Originator Rich Wolski on the Cloud and Big Data

      All the way back in early 2008, OStatic broke the news about Eucalyptus, an open source infrastructure for cloud computing on clusters that duplicated the functionality of Amazon’s EC2, using the Amazon command-line tools. The project resided at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and was driven and overseen by Rich Wolski, a professer there (shown here).

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Perl 6.0 Might Finally Be Released This Year

      It was revealed this weekend at FOSDEM in Brussels that the plan is to hopefully release Perl 6.0 by this Christmas.

      Larry Wall is hoping to finally see the Perl 6.0 release out this year, with version 1.0 of Perl 6.0 by Christmas. It’s not yet certain Perl 6.0 will make it out this year but that’s the goal.

      Perl 6 has been in development since 2000 as a big update over Perl 5. Perl 6 seeks to significantly improve the programming language and will break compatibility with Perl 5 though a compatibility mode is expected. Going back a while now have been multiple Perl 6 implementations albeit none complete; a basic overview of Perl 6 can be found via Wikipedia.

    • A peculiar development setup, again

      I never have enough screen real-estate. I sometimes keep six files open at the same time in split-screens, but that requires my Vim windows to be maximized, and then I don’t see the terminal. So I can not see the results of auto-tests (for example), and the relevant code at the same time.

    • 9 Best IDEs and Code Editors for JavaScript Users

      Web designing and developing is one of the trending sectors in the recent times, where more and more peoples started to search for their career opportunities. But, Getting the right opportunity as a web developer or graphic designer is not just a piece of cake for everyone, It certainly requires a strong mind presence as well as right skills to find the find the right job. There are a lot of websites available today which can help you to get the right job description according to your knowledge. But still if you want to achieve something in this sector you must have some excellent skills like working with different platforms, IDEs and various other tools too.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Norway finds first case of mad cow disease, says food safe

      Norway reported its first ever case of mad cow disease on Thursday, saying the instance was an isolated one and telling consumers it was still safe to eat beef and drink milk.

      Tests at a British laboratory confirmed the disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), in a 15-year-old cow, which had been slaughtered, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority said.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • New Mexico toddler shoots both parents with one bullet after finding gun

      A toddler in Albuquerque, New Mexico, shot both his parents with just one bullet on Saturday, after apparently reaching in to his mother’s handbag to get her iPad and coming across a loaded gun instead.

      The 3-year-old and his 2-year-old sister were taken into the care of local authorities.

    • ‘There was no snowball fight’: Video showing New Rochelle police officer pulling gun on teens not what it seems: cops

      A video that appears to catch a New Rochelle police officer pointing a gun at a group of teenagers who were having a snowball fight — and went viral on the Internet — is not what it appears to be, cops said.

      “There was no snowball fight,” New Rochelle Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Murphy told the Daily News, calling the video a piece of “clever mischief.”

      He said police were responding to a 911 call around 4 p.m. Friday that a teenager standing in a group of six near the Heritage Houses had pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it at another person.

    • UK government feared terrorists would weaponise Ebola

      British military experts were asked to draw up guidance at the height of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa late last year on the feasibility and potential impact of terrorists ‘weaponising’ the virus.

      The Ministry of Defence has released a heavily redacted report, prepared in October, that identified three different scenarios regarding the exploitation of Ebola for bioterrorism.

    • Drone wars: the gamers recruited to kill – video

      In tiny bunkers in the United States, young pilots are operating unmanned drones targeting ‘bad people’ in Pakistan. Recruited at video game fairs by military leaders who know the value of games that glamourise ‘militainment’, drone pilots are left traumatised by the civilian casualties – or ‘collateral damage’ – their strikes cause. Psychologically distanced from the enemy, are drones the future of warfare?

    • US rethinks arming Ukraine’s troops

      With Russia-backed separatists pressing their attacks in Ukraine, NATO’s military commander, General Philip M. Breedlove, now supports providing defensive weapons and equipment to Kiev’s beleaguered forces, and an array of administration and military officials appear to be edging toward that position, US officials said Sunday.

    • U.S. considering giving arms to Ukraine forces, NYT reports

      Separatist leader says rebels plan to boost fighting force to 100,000 men; shells continue to fall in Donetsk, killing 15 over the weekend; Russian official: If U.S. government decides to go forward, it will lead to irreversible results.

    • Ukraine Conflict: US Mulls Giving Fresh Arms to Kiev Forces as Tensions Escalate Post Failure of Peace Talks

      The United States is mulling over supplying Ukrainian forces with defensive weapons and equipment as tensions have escalated in the region after peace talks aimed at ending the fight in eastern Ukraine failed on Saturday.

    • ‘Censored Voices’ film tears apart Israel’s heroic narrative of Six-Day War

      In the wake of Israel’s seemingly miraculous triumph in the Six-Day War in 1967, the country’s victorious soldiers were lionized as heroes.

      But in private, even just one week after the conflict, many of them didn’t feel that way. One describes feeling sick to his stomach in battle and collapsing into a trench.

      “I wanted to be left alone,” he says. “I didn’t think of the war.”

      Another talks about watching an old Arab man evacuated from his house.

      “I had an abysmal feeling that I was evil,” the soldier says.

    • Michael Jansen: Netanyahu the manipulator

      Binyamin Netanyahu’s latest scrap with Hizbollah has given his Likud bloc a boost in Israeli opinion polls, placing the Likud at the top of the line-up for the first time since the Labour and Hatnua parties merged on December 10 to form the Zionist Union.

    • Marwan’s calls tapped

      SUSPENDED national police chief Alan Purisima and US troops used Marwan’s wife as a “tracer” to pinpoint the precise location of the world’s most wanted terrorist, a police general privy to the ongoing probe of the Mamasapano massacre said Sunday.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Another Kind of Isolation

      In 2006 and 2008, the Bureau of Prisons quietly created new restrictive units for terrorists or other inmates they feared might coordinate crimes from behind bars. The Communication Management Units (CMUs) were designed to more tightly monitor and restrict inmates’ communication with the outside world. The units, at Terre Haute, Indiana and Marion, Illinois, operated largely in secret, without any formal policies or procedures in place — until last week.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The British Army is Creating a Battalion of “Facebook Warriors”

      Warfare is a constantly changing landscape, from the weapons that are used to the battlefields they’re fought on. Amidst mountains of Snowden leaks from the NSA and GCHQ, it’s no longer a mystery that the digital warfare is advancing quickly, and the British Army just upped its digital artillery.

  • Privacy

    • Verizon Will Now Let Users Kill Previously Indestructible Tracking Code

      Verizon says it will soon offer customers a way to opt out from having their smartphone and tablet browsing tracked via a hidden un-killable tracking identifier.

      The decision came after a ProPublica article revealed that an online advertiser, Turn, was exploiting the Verizon identifier to respawn tracking cookies that users had deleted.

    • Without broadband under Title II, Verizon will get off scot-free for ‘supercookies’

      Revelations this week that Verizon Wireless secretly used “supercookies” to track customers’ browsing habits underlines a less-talked about benefit of the FCC’s potential reclassification of broadband as a Title II public utility — consumer privacy protection.

    • New e-mail shows feds considered snooping on cars parked at gun shows

      Nearly six years ago, two federal law enforcement agencies considered using license plate readers (LPRs) at gun shows—at least in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

      LPRs scan plates at a very high speed—often 60 plates per second—and record the date, time, and precise location that a given plate was seen. Typically, on a patrol car, that plate is then immediately compared to a list of wanted or stolen cars, and if a match is found, the software alerts the officer. But all scans are routinely kept by various law enforcement agencies for long periods of time, sometimes as long as years or more.

    • The FBI’s plan to collect everyone’s DNA just got a huge boost from congress

      In 2011, 1 in 25 Americans was arrested. In a few years, if the FBI has its way, the federal government will possess the DNA of all of those people and more. Under the radar of most lawmakers and journalists, the Bureau—with private industry and congress’ help—is pushing the most massive expansion of biometric state surveillance since the invention of the fingerprint.

    • Attorney General Nominee: NSA Surveillance is “Constitutional and Effective”

      On Capitol Hill, attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch will return today for day two of her confirmation hearing. If confirmed, Lynch will become the first African-American woman to serve as attorney general. During Wednesday’s hearing, Lynch described the National Security Agency’s spying programs as “constitutional and effective” and defended the government’s surveillance operations.

    • Watchdog: White House has done little on surveillance reform

      A federal privacy watchdog tasked with reviewing the National Security Agency’s controversial spy programs said Thursday the White House has agreed to many of its suggested reforms but taken little action.

    • Privacy Board Says NSA Doesn’t Know How Effective Its Collection Programs Are, Doesn’t Much Care Either

      The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) has just released its assessment [pdf link] of the NSA’s ability to follow instructions. One year ago, it assessed the Section 215 bulk records collection. Six months later, it assessed the Section 702 program, which hoovers up email communications. Now, it has followed up on its recommendations and found the NSA surprisingly cooperative.

    • PGP creator Phil Zimmermann: ‘Intelligence agencies have never had it so good’

      The recent hack against Sony Pictures is likely to have made companies of all sizes consider upping their cybersecurity measures. Perhaps, though, it’s also a different kind of wake-up call: a reason to think less about security, and more about privacy.

      That’s the belief of Phil Zimmermann – the creator of email encryption software Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), and now president and co-founder of secure communications company Silent Circle – initially expressed in a blog post, and expanded on in an interview with the Guardian.

      “Sony had all kinds of things: intrusion detection, firewalls, antivirus … But they got hacked anyway. The security measures that enterprises do frequently get breached. People break in anyway: they overcome them,” says Zimmermann.

    • Hackers Use Old Lure on Web to Help Syrian Government

      Mr. Assad was also the victim of cyberattacks, but of a far more advanced nature.

      A National Security Agency document dated June 2010, written by the agency’s chief of “Access and Target Development,” describes how the shipment of “computer network devices (servers, routers, etc.) being delivered to our targets throughout the world are intercepted” by the agency. The document, published recently by Der Spiegel, the German magazine, came from the huge trove taken by Edward J. Snowden; this one shows a photograph of N.S.A. workers slicing open a box of equipment from Cisco Systems, a major manufacturer of network equipment.

    • ‘Anonymized’ Credit Card Data Not So Anonymous

      Credit card data Relevant Products/Services isn’t quite as anonymous as promised, a new study says. Scientists showed they can identify you with more than 90 percent accuracy by looking at just four purchases, three if the price is included — and this is after companies “anonymized” the transaction records, saying they wiped away names and other personal details. The study out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, published Thursday in the journal Science, examined three months of credit card records for 1.1 million people.

    • Nullification Season: 200 State Bills and Counting

      It’s less than one month into the 2015 state legislative season and the Tenth Amendment Center counts more than 200 bills seeking to block or limit federal power.

    • “Prism” Exhibit and SSMU Art & Expression mixer

      Ever feel like you’re being watched? Well, chances are, you’re probably right. If you’ve ever wondered about modern surveillance but have been too creeped out to pursue your curiosity, it might be time to face your fears and check out the “PRISM” exhibit this week. A solo exhibition by Vancouver-based David Spriggs, “PRISM” is a series of works that explore modern surveillance and its uncanny omnipresence in our daily lives. The name of the exhibit alludes in part to the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) program, which was exposed by Edward Snowden in 2009. Looking at different modes of surveillance, from cameras to digital scanners, Spriggs’ large-scale works are bound to inform and probably also intimidate. If you really want to know how closely Big Brother is watching, “PRISM” may offer some creative insight.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Swedish Schindler who disappeared

      During World War Two, a young Swedish diplomat saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazis. But in January 1945 Soviet troops arrested him – he was never seen in public again.

    • China is world’s worst jailer of the press; global tally second worst on record

      More than 200 journalists are imprisoned for their work for the third consecutive year, reflecting a global surge in authoritarianism. China is the world’s worst jailer of journalists in 2014.

    • Greste family joy at journalist son’s release

      The family of Australian journalist Peter Greste has thanked everyone who helped secure his release from an Egyptian jail after 400 days.

      ‘Peter Greste is a free man,’ brother Andrew Greste said, with his delighted parents Lois and Juris by his side, in Brisbane on Monday.

    • Peter Greste: Australian journalist on his way home after being released and deported from Egypt

      Australian journalist Peter Greste has been deported from Egypt after 400 days behind bars, and has flown to Cyprus on his way home to Australia.

      Greste was set free by order of Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi under a new law allowing foreign prisoners to be deported.

    • Glimmer of Hope for Assange

      There is a window of hope, thanks to a U.N. human rights body, for a solution to the diplomatic asylum of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, holed up in the embassy of Ecuador in London for the past two and a half years.

    • John B. Geer had hands up when shot by police, four officers say in documents

      John B. Geer stood with his hands on top of the storm door of his Springfield, Va., townhouse and calmly said to four Fairfax County police officers with guns pointed at him: “I don’t want anybody to get shot . . . . And I don’t wanna get shot, ’cause I don’t want to die today.”

    • The controversial punishment of Barrett Brown: A deep dive

      I’ve read a lot of criticism recently about the sentencing of Barrett Brown. The online commentary mostly portrays Brown’s sentence as a disturbing example of prosecutorial abuse, in which the Obama Administration’s war on journalists and war on hackers came together to shred First Amendment freedoms. I wondered, is that true? What really happened in the case, and was Brown’s sentence troublesome or not?

    • Fox Host Tells Caller Her Bipolar Disorder Is “Made Up” And “The Latest Fad” For Money

      Fox News Radio host Tom Sullivan told a caller who said she suffered from bipolar disorder that her illness is “something made up by the mental health business” and just “the latest fad.” When the caller told Sullivan that she “would not be alive today” if she hadn’t received mental health treatment, Sullivan wondered if “maybe somebody’s talked you into feeling and thinking this way.”

    • The Coming Biological Infowar: US Proposes DNA Database

      While precision medicine is indeed a powerful tool in fighting disease and repairing injury – in fact, truly the future of medicine – those appointing themselves as its arbiter in the US have already demonstrated they cannot be trusted with such a responsibility.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Time Warner Cable’s 97% Profit Margin on High-Speed Internet Service Exposed.

      In our Petition for Investigation of Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Comcast, we point out that TWC’s High-Speed Internet service has a 97% profit margin and a number of people asked how that statistic was derived. Simple. Time Warner Cable provides the information, (with some caveats).

      Below is the actual financial information excerpted from the Time Warner Cable, 2013 SEC-filed annual report. (Please note that this same mathematics is also used by Comcast and probably Verizon and AT&T, though they do not explicitly detail their financials in this way.)

      Moreover, we need to put this financial information in context to what customers are paying, and more specifically with the Time Warner Cable Triple Play bill that’s been featured in previous articles.

    • Before Net Neutrality: The Surprising 1940s Battle for Radio Freedom

      As we again set policies that define core power relationships for a new medium, we might look to our past to discern lessons for charting our future. For the media system we’ve inherited—one dominated by a small number of corporations, lightly regulated in terms of public interest protections, and offset by weak public alternatives—was not inevitable or natural; it resulted from the outcomes of specific policy battles, and from specific logics and values triumphing over others.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Downloading Fatwa Issued By Turkish Religious Leaders

        Turkey’s top religious body has handed down a fatwa in response to a question raised on the issue of illegal downloading. Obtaining content without permission from creators is forbidden, the Diyanet said. Meanwhile, a Catholic Church debate on the same topic raised an interesting dilemma.

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  1. Links 1/12/2021: NixOS 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 30, 2021



  3. Links 1/12/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and WordPress 5.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  4. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  5. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."



  6. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline



  7. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day



  8. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers



  9. Freenode.net Becomes a 'Reddit Clone' and Freenode IRC is Back to Old Configurations After Flushing Down Decades' Worth of User/Channel Data and Locking/Shutting Out Longtime Users

    Freenode is having another go; after “chits” and “jobs” (among many other ideas) have clearly failed, and following the change of daemon (resulting in massive loss of data and even security issues associated with impersonation) as well as pointless rebrand as “Joseon”, the domain Freenode.net becomes something completely different and the IRC network reopens to all



  10. Jack Dorsey's Decision is a Wake-up Call: Social Control Media is Just a Toxic Bubble

    The state of the World Wide Web (reliability, preservation, accessibility, compatibility etc.) was worsened a lot more than a decade ago; with social control media that’s nowadays just a pile of JavaScript programs we’re basically seeing the Web gradually turning into another Adobe Flash (but this time they tell us it’s a “standard”), exacerbating an already-oversized ‘bubble economy’ where companies operate at a loss while claiming to be worth hundreds of billions (USD) and generally serve imperialistic objectives by means of manipulation like surveillance, selective curation, and censorship



  11. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 29, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, November 29, 2021



  12. Links 29/11/2021: NuTyX 21.10.5 and CrossOver 21.1.0

    Links for the day



  13. This Apt Has Super Dumbass Powers. Linus Sebastian and Pop_OS!

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  14. [Meme] Trying to Appease Provocateurs and Borderline Trolls

    GNU/Linux isn’t just a clone of Microsoft Windows and it oughtn’t be a clone of Microsoft Windows, either; some people set themselves up for failure, maybe by intention



  15. Centralised Git Hosting Has a Business Model Which is Hostile Towards Developers' Interests (in Microsoft's Case, It's an Attack on Reciprocal Licensing and Persistent Manipulation)

    Spying, censoring, and abusing projects/developers/users are among the perks Microsoft found in GitHub; the E.E.E.-styled takeover is being misused for perception manipulation and even racism, so projects really need to take control of their hosting (outsourcing is risky and very expensive in the long run)



  16. Links 29/11/2021: FWUPD's 'Best Known Configuration' and Glimpse at OpenZFS 3.0

    Links for the day



  17. President Biden Wants to Put Microsofter in Charge of the Patent Office, Soon to Penalise Patent Applicants Who Don't Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats

    The tradition of GAFAM or GIAFAM inside the USPTO carries on (e.g. Kappos and Lee; Kappos lobbies for Microsoft and IBM, whereas Lee now works for Amazon/Bezos after a career at Google); it's hard to believe anymore that the USPTO exists to serve innovators rather than aggressive monopolists, shielding their territory by patent threats (lawsuits or worse aggression) and cross-licensing that's akin to a cartel



  18. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley's Long Career Serving Microsoft's Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub's GPL Violations Machine)

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley was promoting .NET (or Mono) since his young days; his current job at Microsoft is consistent with past harms to GNU/Linux, basically pushing undesirable (except to Microsoft) things to GNU/Linux users; Tomboy used to be the main reason for distro ISOs to include Mono



  19. Dr. Andy Farnell on Teaching Cybersecurity in an Age of 'Fake Security'

    By Dr. Andy Farnell



  20. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 28, 2021



  21. Links 29/11/2021: Linux 5.16 RC3 and Lots of Patent Catch-up

    Links for the day



  22. By 2022 0% of 'News' Coverage About Patents Will Be Actual Journalism (Patent Litigation Sector Has Hijacked the World Wide Web to Disseminate Self-Promotional Misinformation)

    Finding news about the EPO is almost impossible because today’s so-called ‘news’ sites are in the pockets of Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cohorts who turned the EPO into a hub of litigation, not science; this is part of an international (worldwide) problem because financial resources for journalism have run out, and so the vacuum is filled/replaced almost entirely by Public Relations (PR) and marketing



  23. Trying to Appease Those Who Never Liked Free Software or Those Who Blindly Loved All Patent Monopolies to Begin With

    It’s crystal clear that trying to appease everyone, all the time, is impossible; in the case of the EPO, for example, we hope that exposing Team Battistelli/Campinos helps raise awareness of the harms of patent maximalism, and when speaking about Free software — whilst occasionally bashing the alternatives (proprietary) — we hope to convince more people to join the “Good Fight”



  24. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



  26. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

    Links for the day



  27. [Meme] Linus Gabriel Sebastian Takes GNU/Linux for a (Tail)'Spin'

    If you’re trying to prove that GNU/Linux is NOT Windows, then “haha! Well done…”



  28. GNU/Linux is for Freedom and It'll Gain Many Users When (or Where) People Understand What Software (or Computing) Freedom Means

    Software that respects people's freedom (and by extension privacy as well) is an alluring proposition; those who choose to try GNU/Linux for the wrong reasons are likely the wrong target audience for advocates



  29. Amid Reports of Microsoft's Competition Crimes in Europe...

    European companies are complaining, but they seem to overlook the principal aspect of an imperialistic system with bottomless pockets (almost 30 trillion dollars in debt already; US national debt soared again last month); Microsoft is shielded by a political system with military (“defence”) as bailout budget to help cushion international expansion for data grab and technical leverage, as we've seen in the case of EPO (this is all political, not technical, and should thus be treated as a political/corruption issue)



  30. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying


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