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02.05.15

Links 5/2/2015: KDevelop 4.7.1, Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 RC3

Posted in News Roundup at 4:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux, Windows, Mac, and You

    David Both recently discussed how the Linux philosophy empowers users and yesterday he demonstrated. Elsewhere Silviu Stahie said Windows 10 won’t kill Linux because it’s a failed OS model and Jim Lynch discusses why some Mac owners choose to run Linux. Red Hat’s Eric Christensen today blogged on the life-cycle of security vulnerabilities and users are reporting on the good, bad, and ugly of Dell XPS 13 Linux support.

  • US Navy Builds a Stealth and Linux-Powered Zumwalt Class Destroyer

    People usually hear about Linux being found in all sorts of devices and rather peaceful enterprises, but there are exceptions. DDG-1000 Zumwalt Class Destroyer is one of those.

  • Desktop

    • Review: 2015 Dell XPS 13 (9343) Running Linux

      When and if Eric reads this he’s just going to shake his head. For two years in a row now I’ve been lured by the wonders of new laptops announced at CES, and in both years I’ve been disappointed. He tells me I’m stupid for ordering the “new shiny” and expecting it to work, but I refuse to give up my dream.

      Luckily this isn’t a huge issue for me since my main machines are desktops, but my second generation Dell XPS 13 “sputnik” is getting a little old. I am really looking forward to a slightly larger screen. The pixel density isn’t great on my laptop, especially compared to what is out now, and I am finding myself a little cramped for screen real estate.

    • Linux support for the Dell XPS 13 9343 (2015 model)
  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Intel386 psABI Version 1.0 Released

      As the first update to supplement the System V ABI in nearly two decades, version 1.0 of the Intel386 psABI was announced today.

      The Intel386 psABI effort is a processor-specific ABI to supplement the System V ABI with changes relevant to newer processors like SSE4 and Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX). The Intel386 psABI release is based on the x86_64 psABI and is designed for modern x86 architectures and current compiler tool-chains.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Windows Fans Will Find That Q4OS Is the Perfect Replacement, For Windows XP

      Q4OS, a Linux distribution built to offer a similar desktop experience as Windows OSes, has been upgraded once again and it looks like the developers are getting real close to the mythic 1.0 release.

    • Why Evolve OS could win you over to Linux and me away from Ubuntu

      There are so many Linux distributions, each one claiming that they are the one flavor best designed for the new user in mind. Ubuntu, Linux Mint, PCLinuxOS — all outstanding distributions and very much ready for users who want a platform built on the premise that Linux isn’t nearly as challenging as many people assume.

      In 2014, a new distribution appeared out of nowhere, one that cut straight to the heart of the matter and promised to deliver a Linux distribution like no other. That distribution is Evolve OS. For the longest time, the distribution was in a state of limbo, and the best you could do was download an alpha and hoped it would run. I tried a number of times and finally opted to just install the Budgie desktop on a Ubuntu distribution. That attempt gave me an idea of how Evolve OS would look, but not much more.

    • Black Lab BriQ rev4 Is a “Mac Mini” type PC That Runs Black Lab Linux

      Black Lab BriQ rev4 is a new mini PC put together by the same guys who are also working on the Black Lab Linux distro. This is not their first attempt, as the version number shows, and it’s actually a pretty powerful solution.

    • Reviews

      • HandBrake Video Transcoder Gets a Grip on Linux

        HandBrake’s Linux version is not perfect. But it is getting there. The audio and subtitle controls now support default behaviors, which you can store in presets. This simplifies the workflow for many batch encoding scenarios. Two other nice refinements are the improvements to the Auto-Naming feature and the ability to batch add to queue by list selection.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • FESCo Election Results

          The elections for FESCo – January 2015 have concluded, and the results are shown below…

        • Major Hayden: How do you Fedora?

          We recently interviewed Fedora user and contributor Major Hayden on how he uses Fedora. This is the first installment of a new series here on the Fedora Magazine where we will profile Fedora users and how they use Fedora to get things done. If you are interested in being interviewed for a further installment of this series you can contact us on the feedback form.

    • Debian Family

      • News of the package mime-support. (100%)

        The package mime-support is installed by default on Debian systems. It has two roles: first to provide the file /etc/mime.types that associates media types (formerly called MIME types) to suffixes of file names, and second to provide the mailcap system that associates media types with programs. I adopted this package at the end of the development cycle of Wheezy.

      • OTRS 4 in Debian!
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Developers Can Publish Apps in Ubuntu Touch Store in Less than a Minute

            Ubuntu Touch has quite a few interesting features that you won’t find on another platform, but one of those features really stands out. It’s actually the publishing speed of a new app in the Ubuntu Store, which is probably under a minute.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Gets Important Linux Kernel Update

            Canonical revealed that several security issues have been discovered fixed in the Linux kernel affecting the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) operating system.

          • Unzip Exploit Closed in All Supported Ubuntu OSes

            Canonical revealed details about an unzip exploit in Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS operating systems that has been found and corrected. It might not seem like a big issue and it’ not, but it doesn’t mean that an upgrade is not welcomed.

          • Ubuntu 15.04 to Launch with Linux Kernel 3.19, Most Likely

            Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) is scheduled to launch in April and just a few weeks of development are left, which means that Linux Kernel 3.19 is the most likely candidate for implementation in the distro.

          • It’s Easy To Switch Between Upstart & Systemd Right Now On Ubuntu 15.04

            For those that haven’t yet tried out recent builds of Ubuntu 15.04, it’s very easy to try out systemd and switch between that and Upstart. On Ubuntu 14.10 it was possible to experiment with systemd by installing its packages but now with the Vivid Vervet it’s installed by default. Until making the default switch, Ubuntu 15.04′s GRUB2 configuration has a kernel option for the stock boot parameters (using Upstart) and then an alternative one using systemd. So from GRUB2′s menu you can simply switch between Upstart and systemd. The systemd option just appends init=/lib/systemd/systemd to the kernel command-line.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 to Be Out Soon, Features a Cool and Light Enlightenment Desktop

              Bodhi is a Linux operating system based on Ubuntu that has a minimalist approach and really low system requirements. A second Release Candidate has been released by Jeff Hoogland, the leader of the project.

            • Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 RC3 Release

              A little over two weeks ago I announced my return to the Bodhi project and shared our 3.0.0 RC2 “Reloaded” discs. Today I would like to share a set of discs that is our third release candidate. All of the minor issues that were reported in the second release candidate have been corrected in this release and I consider these discs a very polished product.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Fanless Pico-ITX SBC rocks Bay Trail up to 2.4GHz

      Data Modul’s fanless, Pico-ITX “eDM-pITX-BT” SBC runs Linux on Intel’s Bay Trail SoCs, ranging from a single-core 1.5GHz Atom to a quad-core 2.4GHz Celeron.

    • Linux-friendly i.MX6 SBC offers dual-GbE, PoE, HDMI

      Gateworks unveiled a compact “Ventana GW5520″ SBC with Linux and Android BSPs, HDMI, dual PoE-ready GbE, dual mini-PCIe, and industrial temperature range.

    • Pi Glass interview
    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android Users Still Have Sweet Tooth For KitKat But Lollipop Is Gaining Ground

          Google has updated the company’s Platform Versions page for its Android mobile operating system, revealing that Android 5.0 Lollipop is gaining a bit of ground among users compared to last month.

        • Android 5.1 (!) spotted running on Android One devices headed for Indonesia

          Now here’s something you don’t see every day: a new version of Android spotted in the wild with nary a word from Google.

          Google announced a few hours ago the upcoming availability of the Android One program in Indonesia. Following India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, this is the fifth country where Google is rolling out its affordable smartphone program. So far, nothing special… except Android 5.1 is mentioned multiple times on the Indonesian Android One landing page, and there’s even a subtle reference to it in the press image (above), where time is set to 5:10.

        • Apple is making its first Android app

          Apple plans to use the streaming service it acquired from Beats Music several months ago, but the app itself will be designed by Apple, Gurman reports. The price could be around $7.99 per month, but it’s not confirmed. This would make it cheaper than Spotify, which is $9.99 per month.

        • Google’s next Lollipop update shows up on an Android One phone

          This whole thing started when Google updated its Indonesian Android One landing page earlier today, complete with a tidbit claiming that such low-cost devices would run “the latest and fastest version of Android (5.1 Lollipop)”. Given that one of Android One’s major selling points is to bring the latest and greatest software updates to people in emerging markets, it’s a little curious that none of the other international landing pages (think India, Bangladesh and Nepal) have gotten similar updates. Then again, it’s not like we haven’t seen a company representatives prematurely pull a trigger before. Tacit, purposeful confirmation? Human error? It doesn’t matter — this cat isn’t going back in the bag.

        • Replicant As A Truly Free, Blob-Less Android OS Is Still Facing A Huge Uphill Battle

          While Replicant OS is promoted by the FSF as a binary-free Android distribution and a truly open alternative to Apple products, the state of Replicant OS in terms of end-user readiness or being as a viable alternative to iOS and Android leaves much to be desired.

        • Good and Samsung Partner to Harden Android Security

          The two biggest issues regarding Android’s security are the size of the Android market and fragmentation of the Android ecosystem. Those issues impact all mobile platforms, not just Android, according to Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. “The former point is an issue since, as Microsoft learned to its sorrow with Windows,” King remarked.

        • Android Lollipop 5.1 is ready, but you can’t have it yet

          Seemingly out of nowhere Android is jumping up to version 5.1 and heading out the door—if you’re in Indonesia.

          Google’s Indonesian Android One page lists the “latest and fastest” version of Android at 5.1 and touted the update via Twitter. Indonesia is the latest launch country for Google’s Android One effort, which is already underway in India.

        • This Mechanical Keyboard Is Secretly An Android Computer

          Your keyboard is boring—it doesn’t do anything special or unique. You could change that: some crazy bastards in China have built a keyboard that’s secretly a quad-core Android PC.

        • Five tweaks to make Android Lollipop even better

          Android Lollipop is an excellent leap forward for Google’s mobile operating system, but it isn’t perfect. Even with the Material Design overhaul and improved methods for working through tasks, it has a few annoyances that could use attention. So after some tinkering, here are five areas I think that it could use a touch up to make Android that much better.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Save boring software from the brink

    Consider this scenario: Your organization bought a software license or subscription of a Content Relationship Management (CRM) tool for internal use. You start using the tool enthusiastically. But, with time, the enthusiasm dies, you get bored with the software, and the usage levels drop. Even though the software works fine, you fall back to excel sheets to manage customers, and conditions across the organization go back to the same. Continuous reminders for how to use the tool don’t bring you back, and finally it is decided that the current software is not sufficient for your organization’s needs. A new tool is needed.

  • Which Light Weight, Open Source Web Server is Right for You?

    If you use Linux, most likely Apache is your web server of choice. Apache is a great choice. It’s incredibly powerful, very reliable, and secure. There may, however, be certain deployments that either do not need all of the features found in Apache, do not have the resources to support Apache (such as in the case of an embedded system), or need something easier to manage. If that’s the case, fear not ─ there are plenty of light weight, open source, web servers out there ready to meet and exceed your needs.

  • ownCloud Hooks Up Global Mesh Cloud for Universities, Researchers

    ownCloud, Inc., the company behind the popular ownCloud open source file sync and share software, has announced a project that for the first time ties together researchers and universities in the Americas, Europe and Asia via a series of interconnected, secure private clouds. It’s yet another example of the momentum that ownCloud has. As I covered in a post yesterday, survey results from LinuxQuestions.org showed experts at the site to be very interested in the ownCloud platform.

  • OPNFV Project Boasts Korea Telecom, SK Telecom, Spirent & Xilinx, Enea as New Members

    Korea Telecom, SK Telecom, Enea, Spirent and Xilinx have joined the OPNFV Project, a community-led industry supported open source reference platform for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) to advance the development of open source NFV platform. The OPNFV has a growing member base with a total 49 members now and a community gearing up for its first software release.

  • Events

    • Under the SCALE Big Top

      As we get closer to the Southern California Linux Expo — SCALE 13x for those of you keeping score at home — it bears mentioning that the largest community-run Linux/FOSS show in North America has grown to host a lot of other sub-events during the course of the four-day expo.

    • Open Source Containerization Focus of New ContainerCon Event

      In case there was any doubt about the surging popularity of containerized virtualization and app delivery, the Linux Foundation has announced plans to inaugurate an event, called ContainerCon, dedicated precisely to that topic. The first ContainerCon will take place this August with representatives from Docker, Red Hat (RHT), Twitter, Parallels and Canonical, among others.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Mirantis Expands OpenStack Offerings to Japan Market

      Open source cloud computing vendor Mirantis has extended its reach into Japan, where it has already secured one channel partnership for its “pure-play” OpenStack distribution.

      The growth comes in the form of a subsidiary, called Mirantis Japan GK, which will distribute Mirantis’s OpenStack distribution and other cloud computing services and products in Japan. The subsidiary will be based in Tokyo.

    • The Linux Foundation Announces Guide to Building and Deploying to the Open Cloud

      The 2015 “Guide to the Open Cloud: Open Cloud Projects Profiled” is The Linux Foundation’s second publication on the open cloud, which was first published in October 2013. The updated guide adds new projects and technology categories that have gained importance in the past year. The report covers well-known projects like Cloud Foundry, OpenStack, Docker and Xen Project, and up-and-comers such as Apache Mesos, CoreOS and Kubernetes.

    • Report Shows Apache Spark Gaining Momentum

      Folks in the Big Data and Hadoop communities have been getting increasingly interested in Apache Spark, an open source data analytics cluster computing framework originally developed in the AMPLab at UC Berkeley. According to Apache, Spark can run programs up to 100 times faster than Hadoop MapReduce in memory, and ten times faster on disk. When crunching large data sets, those are big performance differences.

    • OpenStack Development: Getting Easier All the Time
    • Tesora Plans a Course for Database Updates in OpenStack Kilo [VIDEO]

      The open-source OpenStack cloud platform includes multiple projects that can be used to enable different capabilities in the cloud. In the OpenStack Icehouse milestone release, which debuted in April 2014, a key addition was the Trove database project, which enables the use of multiple databases in an OpenStack cloud deployment.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Linux Now Hosted on the Docker Hub Registry

      News Summary Oracle Linux images are now available on the Docker Hub Registry, a repository for Docker-based components, including applications and operating systems (OSs). Oracle Linux joins MySQL, which is already extremely popular on Docker Hub and has been downloaded millions of times. Additionally, Oracle plans to provide a new Oracle-maintained MySQL image for the official repos on Docker Hub in late February further enabling developers to rapidly benefit from the latest MySQL innovations.

    • Oracle Adds Oracle Linux Images to Docker Hun Registry

      Looking to take advantage of the growing enthusiasm for Docker containers among application developers, Oracle today announced that images of Oracle Linux are now available on the Docker Hun Registry.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Guix Continues Advancing As A Package Manager & Linux DIstribution

      GNU Guix continues to be one of the most interesting new package management initiatives going on in the past few years. Guix also continues evolving into its own Linux distribution filled with GNU software.

      Ludovic Courtès, the maintainer of GNU Guix and co-maintainer of GNU Guile, presented at FOSDEM last weekend about the progress being made on Guix. Ludovic refers to Guix as “The Emacs of Distros” and that Guix attempts to empower its users in a similar manner to Emacs. GNU Guix became an installable operating system just last year and in the months since it’s picked up an ARMv7 port, many bug fixes, and as of a few days ago became FSDG-compliant. FSDG is short for the Free System Distribution Guidelines as established by the Free Software Foundation.

    • The World’s Email Encryption Software Relies on One Guy, Who is Going Broke

      The man who built the free email encryption software used by whistleblower Edward Snowden, as well as hundreds of thousands of journalists, dissidents and security-minded people around the world, is running out of money to keep his project alive.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Community open sources medical diagrams and animations

        OPENPediatrics (OP), a free online education and best practice sharing community for pediatric clinicians worldwide, has launched a new library of openly licensed medical animations and illustrations, making them available for non-commercial educational use.

        The new multimedia library draws on the extensive collection of animations and illustrations developed for didactic and procedural videos created for the OP clinician community site.

    • Open Hardware

      • Rapid open hardware innovation to redefine wireless

        Hardware design and development traditionally have been shrouded in secrecy, with companies desperate to keep their designs for internal use only. But in a world where sharing and transparency have become the norm, and global collaborative development is no longer just a phrase used by marketers—at least in software engineering—it’s time for things to change.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Fox Airs ISIS Execution After Previously Blasting Media Outlets For Airing “Terrorist Propaganda”

      Fox News’ Special Report aired images of the execution from the terrorists’ video on February 3. Host Bret Baier explained the network’s reasoning for showing the graphic images, warning viewers, “The images are brutal. They are graphic. They are upsetting,” but, “The reason we are showing you this is to bring you the reality of Islamic terrorism and to label it as such. We feel you need to see it.” After displaying the images, Baier added, “Having seen the whole video, it is something you cannot unsee. Horrific and barbaric, as well as calculating and skilled at high-tech propaganda.” FoxNews.com later uploaded the full-length, 22-minute video on its site.

    • Fox Media Critic: “I Disagree With The Fox Decision” To Air ISIS Propaganda

      HOWARD KURTZ: Megyn, I see the arguments on both sides. I understand the case that we ought to show the pure evil that is ISIS, and I thought our colleague Bret Baier handled it judiciously by just showing a couple of still images. But I disagree with the Fox decision and here’s why. ISIS — I fear that many of the us in the media are helping ISIS spread its propaganda, using its fear tactics. And I felt the same way with the beheading video, still images of which became almost like wallpaper for every story about ISIS. And when that tactic became so familiar, these terrorists, these butchers, went to the even more sick and depraved and barbaric method of burning a man to death. And I just have a concern that we are helping spread the fear that ISIS so badly wants to spread.

    • Burning Victims to Death: Still a Common Practice

      Unlike ISIS, the U.S. usually (though not always) tries to suppress (rather than gleefully publish) evidence showing the victims of its violence. Indeed, concealing stories about the victims of American militarism is a critical part of the U.S. government’s strategy for maintaining support for its sustained aggression. That is why, in general, the U.S. media has a policy of systematically excluding and ignoring such victims (although disappearing them this way does not actually render them nonexistent).

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Julian Assange policing costs reach £10 million

      Scotland Yard confirms latest costs of mounting round-the-clock operation outside the Ecuadorian embassy in central London, where Julian Assange has claimed asylum since 2012

    • UK Spent More on ‘Guarding’ Assange than Iraq War Inquiry

      The price tag for the United Kingdom’s siege of the Ecuadorian embassy in London hit £10 million (US$15 million) Thursday.

      A Wikileaks spokesperson pointed out the cost of the controversial police operation has now exceeded the budget of the Iraq War inquiry. The inquiry was established in 2009 to critique the U.K.’s role in the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq. The broad public inquiry is expected to have a final cost of roughly £10 million.

    • Julian Assange asylum: UK taxpayer bill passes £10m for policing WikiLeaks founder

      The cost to the UK taxpayer for policing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during his asylum stay at the Ecuadorian embassy has passed £10m, figures show.

      Assange has sought asylum in the embassy since June 2012 in order to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he has been accused of sexually assaulting two women in Stockholm in 2010.

    • Julian Assange ‘Detention’ Costs
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • We Could Keep Government Small if Only the Old Weren’t Getting So Much Healthcare

      It’s not that the United States can’t afford to keep supporting its elderly in the not-particularly-generous manner that it does today; the big debt projection numbers Hall throws at us turn out to be not so big when you look at them as a percentage of the projected economy. He wants us to be alarmed that Obama’s budget plan would move the federal government’s share of the economy from 20.9 percent today to 22.2 percent in 2024–”higher than post-World War II averages,” he points out, but a trivial redistribution of what is expected to be a much larger economic pie.

  • Censorship

    • Twitter CEO takes stance against abuse, vows to eliminate trolls from the platform

      In an internal memo sent out to employees, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo acknowledged the platform’s ongoing problems with harassment and abuse as well as its inability to combat trolls. Costolo admitted that this behavior was a key factor in driving away core users from the platform, and that he would be taking an aggressive stance against trolls on Twitter.

  • Privacy

    • Facebook to prompt all UK users to register to vote in general election

      The social network will encourage users to register to vote on Thursday, in conjunction with the Electoral Commission

    • British Army To Create 1500-Strong Social Media Propaganda Force

      When an army as traditional as the UK’s is putting these kinds of resources behind online propaganda units, you know it’s entered the mainstream. Expect many others to follow suit, and for the digital fog of war to become considerably thicker.

    • PSA: Your crypto apps are useless unless you check them for backdoors

      At the beginning of the year, I did something I’ve never done before: I made a new year’s resolution. From here on out, I pledged, I would install only digitally signed software I could verify hadn’t been tampered with by someone sitting between me and the website that made it available for download.

      It seemed like a modest undertaking, but in practice, it has already cost me a few hours of lost time. With practice, it’s no longer the productivity killer it was. Still, the experience left me smarting. In some cases, the extra time I spent verifying signatures did little or nothing to make me more secure. And too many times, the sites that took the time to provide digital signatures gave little guidance on how to use them. Even worse, in one case, subpar security practices of some software providers undercut the protection that’s supposed to be provided with digitally signed code. And in one extreme case, I installed the Adium instant messaging program with no assurance at all, effectively crossing my fingers that it hadn’t been maliciously modified by state-sponsored spies or criminally motivated hackers. More about those deficiencies later—let’s begin first with an explanation of why digital signatures are necessary and how to go about verifying them.

    • The Gaping Hole In Obama’s FBI Surveillance Reform

      The federal government this week announced a reform to an investigative tool that gives the FBI sweeping surveillance power. But a target of that surveillance said the change appears to leave investigators with vast power to snoop — in secret.

      The FBI uses national security letters to force business owners to hand over records on their customers, as long as the records are related to a national security investigation. No court approval is needed, and the FBI can impose a gag order on recipients, forbidding them from revealing even the existence of a letter.

    • Examining the Stasi, Seeing the NSA

      For many years, the East German Stasi was viewed as the most totalitarian of intelligence services, relentlessly spying on its citizens during the Cold War. But the Stasi’s capabilities pale in comparison to what the NSA can now do, notes former U.S. intelligence analyst Elizabeth Murray.

    • The government’s cyberterrorism ‘concerns’ are a pretext for their own hacking operations

      The US has always been the world leader of cyberwar, hacking damn near everyone without any repercussions. And, for years, US intelligence officials and private contractors have been milking hacks to secure billions in cyber security programs: all you need is an enemy, and they will sell you the cure.

      Their blatant hypocrisy, threat inflation and militaristic rhetoric must be challenged if we are to have a free and equal internet.

    • Australian government wants to quickly push through strict metadata laws

      The Australian government has renewed its push to get the controversial data retention bill through parliament as soon as possible, despite pleas from privacy advocates and security experts for the government to substantially rewrite the proposed laws.

    • Obama’s Attempts To Rein In NSA ‘An Insult’ To 96 Per Cent Of World’s Population

      President Obama’s administration has finally offered some more detail on how its promises to curb the National Security Agency’s blanket surveillance of the global internet have been implemented. But it’s apparent the measures have offered little in the way of change, according to critics, especially for the majority of those affected: non-Americans.

      A report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence noted that if non-Americans’ conversations are hoovered up by the NSA their messages will remain on NSA servers for five years “unless the information has been determined to be relevant to, among other things, an authorized foreign intelligence requirement”, or if the Director of National Intelligence decides the information is worthy of retention.

    • Western Spy Agencies Secretly Rely on Hackers for Intel and Expertise

      The U.S., U.K. and Canadian governments characterize hackers as a criminal menace, warn of the threats they allegedly pose to critical infrastructure, and aggressively prosecute them, but they are also secretly exploiting their information and expertise, according to top secret documents.

      In some cases, the surveillance agencies are obtaining the content of emails by monitoring hackers as they breach email accounts, often without notifying the hacking victims of these breaches. “Hackers are stealing the emails of some of our targets… by collecting the hackers’ ‘take,’ we . . . get access to the emails themselves,” reads one top secret 2010 National Security Agency document.

  • Civil Rights

    • Sami Al-Arian, Professor Who Defeated Controversial Terrorism Charges, is Deported from U.S.

      In 2003, Sami Al-Arian was a professor at the University of South Florida, a legal resident of the U.S. since 1975, and one of the most prominent Palestinian civil rights activists in the U.S. That year, the course of his life was altered irrevocably when he was indicted on highly controversial terrorism charges by then Attorney General John Ashcroft. These charges commenced a decade-long campaign of government persecution in which Al-Arian was systematically denied his freedom and saw his personal and professional life effectively destroyed.

    • Things In Politico That Make Me Want To Guzzle Antifreeze, Part The Infinity

      OK, so consorting with murderous war criminals has been a common go-to move for Republican candidates since Dick Cheney appointed himself vice-president and puppet master back in Aught-Aught. But even TBOTP has to admit there are certain large brown spots on the apple these guys are polishing. Watch how deftly these areas of rot get mentioned and then dismissed.

    • Will Anyone Pay for Abu Ghraib?

      What happened at the Abu Ghraib prison during the early days of the Iraq war is no secret: The whole world has seen the appalling photos.

      Detainees under American control were raped, beaten, shocked, stripped, starved of food and sleep, hung by their wrists, threatened with death and, in at least one case, murdered. These are war crimes, punishable under both American and international law.

    • Obama Administration Frustrates Inspectors General on Records Access

      A little-noticed passage in President Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget is combining with delays by FBI records managers to frustrate inspectors general and their congressional allies in their efforts to clarify the watchdogs’ authority to gain full access to agency documents.

    • CIA Mission: Destroy the Whistleblower and Perfume the Stench of ‘Operation Merlin’

      The leak trial of CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling never got near a smoking gun, but the entire circumstantial case was a smokescreen. Prosecutors were hell-bent on torching the defendant to vindicate Operation Merlin, nine years after a book by James Risen reported that it “may have been one of the most reckless operations in the modern history of the CIA.”

      That bestselling book, State of War, seemed to leave an indelible stain on Operation Merlin while soiling the CIA’s image as a reasonably competent outfit. The prosecution of Sterling was a cleansing service for the Central Intelligence Agency, which joined with the Justice Department to depict the author and the whistleblower as scurrilous mud-throwers.

    • Judge rules woman with learning disabilities can be sterilised by force

      Health and social services have been given permission to force entry into the woman’s home, use ”necessary restraint” and sterilise her, at a hearing in the Court of Protection in London.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Is Net Neutrality Now a Done Deal?
    • Victory for Net Neutrality — Let’s Take It Across The Finish Line

      Today, we heard that we’ve won a stunning victory in the fight to protect net neutrality. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has put forward a draft proposal for strong, enforceable net neutrality rules based on classifying broadband as a Title II communications service.

    • Don’t call them “utility” rules: The FCC’s net neutrality regime, explained

      Within a few weeks we’ll have a huge document full of legalese on the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules, to replace the near-200-page order from 2010 that was mostly overturned by a court ruling last year.

    • Verizon is mad that its huge net neutrality gamble backfired

      Verizon sued to block the FCC’s 2010 net neutrality order, leading to a court ruling that threw out rules against blocking and discrimination. The court said the FCC erred by imposing per se common carrier rules—the kind of rules applied to the old telephone network—onto broadband without first classifying broadband providers as common carriers. Now, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is proposing to reclassify broadband as a common carriage service, an even worse outcome for Verizon and fellow ISPs.

    • Tom Wheeler makes history with full-on Net neutrality proposal

      Internet freedom at last! FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal is for full Title II reclassification for ISPs, defining ISPs as utilities and preventing fast-lane profiteering

    • Net neutrality rules: Six key points

      The Internet rules the Federal Communications Commission proposed Wednesday would apply to fixed and wireless broadband, regulate interconnection deals, and ban fast lanes.

      To cut through the jargon of telecommunications policy, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler called the proposal the “strongest open Internet protections ever proposed by the FCC.”

      Wheeler’s proposal would reclassify broadband Internet like a utility, similar to traditional telephones. The stronger authority, recommended by President Obama, would ban service providers from blocking or slowing Internet traffic, while also blocking companies from negotiating deals for faster service.

    • The Biggest Hole in the FCC’s New Internet Rules

      Zero-rating won’t be blocked by the FCC’s Open Internet proposals—and it could a major challenge to net neutrality

    • This is huge: FCC chairman’s strong net neutrality proposal turns the Internet into a public utility

      U.S. Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler just pulled out the big gun in the net neutrality battle: In an op-ed published on Wired, Wheeler announced a proposal to invoke the agency’s Title II authority, which would allow the FCC to regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility, similar to phone service.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Should the views of a three-person tribunal take precedence over society’s wishes?

      In the last TTIP update I wrote about two important leaks, both dealing with regulatory matters. One of those came from the Greens MEP Michel Reimon, and he’s released another important document, this time concerning dispute settlement [.pdf]. Once more, it has been re-typed from the actual leaked document in order to minimise risk for the source (to whom thanks….)

    • VIDEO: Robert Reich Explains the Worst Trade Deal You’ve Never Heard Of

      The Trans-Pacific Partnership, now headed to Congress, is a product of big corporations and Wall Street, seeking to circumvent regulations protecting workers, consumers, and the environment. Watch this video, and say “no” to fast-tracking this bad deal for the vast majority of Americans.

    • Copyrights

      • Anti-Piracy Outfit Sends Porn ‘Fines’ to University

        An anti-piracy outfit working on behalf of porn studios has surprised ‘pirate’ students with demands for cash. The University of California passed on the $300 threats from CEG TEK alongside suggestions to pay up, but advice given by a campus computer science professor could put even more people at risk.

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