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02.10.15

Links 10/2/2015: Linux 3.19, LXQt 0.9

Posted in News Roundup at 7:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • How About a Chromebook on Steroids?

      There’s been a lot of interesting Linux news of late. Not just GNU/Linux, but all types of Linux, Android, Chrome OS, Firefox OS, embedded (IoT), cloud computing, cars, TVs, just about anything you can think of. But truth be told, I’d like to see more Linux on the desktop — just as Linus Torvalds said he would like to see that.

      The recent purchase of a Chromebook for my son got me thinking about a new opportunity for Linux on the desktop. This is not an idea for getting a standard GNU/Linux desktop to automagically replace all existing Windows desktops, but to leverage the cloud computing paradigm with a bulked­-up Chromebook-­like system that would be workable for 80 to 90 percent of personal, school, and business needs.

  • Kernel Space

    • VLC Gains Support For Systemd’s Journal

      The latest open-source desktop program making optional use of systemd is the popular VLC media player.

      As of this morning, there’s now a native logger module for the systemd journal within VLC.

    • The Best Changes & Features Of The Linux 3.19 Kernel

      Last Sunday when releasing Linux 3.19-rc7, Linus Torvalds mentioned he was looking at doing the official 3.19 release in one week. It seems to have been a relatively calm week to end out 3.19 development with no nasty regressions turning up, so chances are in a few hours he’ll have the new release out the door.

    • Linux 3.19 Kernel Released

      The Linux 3.19 kernel was tagged in Git close to an hour ago now. Surprisingly, as of writing this news post, Linus Torvalds has yet to issue any Linux 3.19 release announcement but things went according to plan as per last week with the plans for 3.19 final.

    • Linux 3.19 released for your computing pleasure

      News of the release emerged in a typically economical Sunday evening post to the Linux Kernel Mailing List, in which Torvalds noted there are still a couple of bugs in this release but they were pretty obscure so “… while I was tempted a couple of times to do an rc8, there really wasn’t any reason for it.”

    • Linux Kernel 3.19 Officially Released, Merge Window for Linux Kernel 3.20 Now Open

      Good news for all users of a GNU/Linux operating system, as Linus Torvalds announced the immediate availability for download of the Linux 3.19 kernel, which brings interesting features, the usual bugfixes, and general performance improvements.

    • The AllSeen Alliance’s Philip DesAutels on the Internet of Things

      As the AllSeen Alliance’s senior director of IoT, Philip DesAutels (shown) works with Alliance members to advance the Internet of Everything by building out an open source software framework, AllJoyn, to seamlessly connect a range of objects and devices in homes, cars and businesses. He oversees and guides all aspects of the Alliance, from governance and technology, to the developer community and marketing efforts.

    • Live Kernel Patching Support Called For Linux 3.20 Kernel

      It looks like the infrastructure to facilitate live kernel patching will be added to the Linux 3.20 kernel, the result of collaboration for SUSE’s kGraft and Red Hat’s Kpatch.

      Last year SUSE and Red Hat introduced their own live kernel patching mechanisms after not knowing each company was independently working on a solution for patching running versions of the Linux kernel against basic security/bug fixes. In the months since the unveiling of kGraft and Kpatch, the kernel developers have been working together to come up with a common base that addresses the needs of each implementation. That common work for supporting Kpatch and kGraft is now what’s ready for merging into Linux 3.20.

    • Linux Kernel 3.19 stable released, Install/Upgrade in Ubuntu/Linux Mint
    • Best Software Ever isn’t systemd

      Today in the Linuxsphere the systemd controversy doesn’t seem to be subsiding as the main reason for it is no more. Jim Zemlin blogged about The Linux Foundation’s efforts to save small but key projects from starving to death as well as contributing to the security process. Speaking of security, a new trojan has been identified that can open backdoors on Linux servers that can, among other things, participate in DDoS attacks. Matt Hartley shares his list of the best software ever for Linux and Leif Lodahl declares LibreOffice better than the competitors.

    • Linux 3.20 To Support New HID Hardware, Improve Logitech HID++ Support

      The HID subsystem work for Linux 3.20 includes improvements to the Logitech HID++ protocol implementation, support for composite RMI devices, a new driver for the BETOP force feedback controller, new hardware support in the Wacom driver, and various fixes. The fixes and new device ID additions are “all over the place” for HID drivers.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Core i3 5010U NUC5i3RYB Broadwell Benchmarks On Ubuntu Linux

        While my full Linux review of the NUC5i3RYH / Core i3 5010U will come in the days ahead on Phoronix, this weekend I uploaded some preliminary benchmark data for those curious. The Intel Core i3 5010U features a dual-core processor with Hyper Threading and is clocked at 2.1GHz for its frequency without Hyper Threading. The i3-5010U has a 15 Watt TDP, 3MB cache, and supports DDR3L/LPDDR3 1600/1333MHz memory. The graphics processor is Intel HD Graphics 5500 with a maximum frequency of 900MHz.

      • Intel Iris Graphics Performance On Linux 3.19 Shows Some Regressions

        For any Intel Haswell Linux users with Iris Graphics thinking of switching to the Linux 3.19 kernel when it’s released in what might just be a few hours, be forewarned as testing this weekend revealed there looks to be an OpenGL performance regression attributed to this new kernel.

  • Applications

    • MKVToolnix 7.6.0 Out Now, Helps You Split, Convert and Merge MKV (Matroska) Files

      Version 7.6.0 of the powerful MKVToolNix software is now available for download, still providing computer users with one of the best collection of tools for analyzing, converting, merging, and splitting Matroska (popularly known as MKV) files on GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

    • CUPS (Common UNIX Printing System) 2.0 .2 Now Available for Download

      For hardcore geeks, Common UNIX Printing System or simply CUPS is an open-source printing layer for UNIX-like operating systems, including GNU/Linux, BSD (FreeBSD, OpenBSD), Solaris, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows. For end users, CUPS is that piece of software that lets them add printers, manage printers, as well as print documents on their computers.

    • Graphical profiling under Linux

      The Oyranos library became quite slower during the last development cycle for 0.9.6 . That is pretty normal, as new features were added and more ideas waited for implementation letting not much room for all details as wanted. The last two weeks, I took a break and mainly searched for bottlenecks inside the code base and wanted to bring performance back to satisfactory levels. One good starting point for optimisations in Oyranos are the speed tests inside the test suite. But that gives only help on starting a few points. What I wished to be easy, is seeing where code paths spend lots of time and perhaps, which line inside the source file takes much computation time.

    • Best Linux Software of All Time

      Over the years, there have been a number of claims that the Linux desktop is lacking in terms of good, highly useful software. Today, I’m aiming to put this myth to bed once and for all. Continue reading for my list of the top ten best applications for Linux.

    • Icemon 3.0 release

      It is my pleasure to finally release Icemon 3.0 to the public. If you don’t know it — Icemon is a GUI monitor for Icecream, a distributed compiler system.

    • regexProgram: Add to your education
    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Distributing games and applications

        Within a short period, two people showed up with proposals for games for inclusion with GNOME 3.16. One is a 2048 clone, the other is a revival of Atomix (last maintenance was GNOME 2.14). Both proposals seem to be maintained by just one person.

      • You Only Live Once: But you share many lives

        As a story-based adventure it’s a decent attempt, even if it has some omissions or streamlining that work against its overall purpose. It’s not the finest thing ever to grace the screen of my lowly Pentium 4, but I wouldn’t mind trying it again, just for fun.

      • Dead Island Patch Released For Linux, Finally Playable (Updated)

        Dead Island has been patched to fix multiple issues in the Linux version, so it looks like it’s properly playable now months after release. It may have taken over 3 months for the game to get these fixed, but it’s good to see the port wasn’t forgotten about as we thought previously.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • LXQt 0.9.0 released with new theme

      LXQt 0.9.0 has been released, dropping compatibility with Qt 4 and setting the minimum version required to be Qt 5.3. This release features lots of internal cleanups and refactorings which should make it faster. The release also utilise KDE Frameworks for the first time, KWindowSystem replaces the XFitMan library, KGuiAddons replaces a dependency on xlib in lxqt-panel.

    • LXQt 0.9 Released, Now Requires Qt5 & KDE Frameworks 5

      Version 0.9 of the lightweight LXQt desktop environment was released this Sunday. LXQt is the next-generation, lightweight desktop derived in part from the LXDE and Razor-Qt desktops. LXQt 0.9 is the release that begins to enforce Qt5.

      LXQt 0.9 abandons Qt4 compatibility and now requires Qt 5.3 or newer. LXQt 0.8 that was released last October had full Qt5 support while maintaining Qt4 compatibility, but this new version focuses exclusively on modern Qt5 library support.

    • Manjaro Linux LXQt 0.8.12 Is Now Available for Download – Screenshot Tour

      Three days after the official announcement of Manjaro Linux 0.8.12, a point release that brings only a couple of changes, such as out-of-the-box support for Microsoft’s exFAT filesystem and Pacman 4.2 package manager, the Manjaro community released today the LXQt edition of the acclaimed Arch Linux-based computer operating system. At the moment of writing this article, only the 32-bit Live image was available for download, but that’s more than enough for us to take a quick screenshot tour of the release.

    • EFL 1.13 is Out

      After three months of development work we are proud to announce the release of version 1.13 of EFL, Elementary, Evas Generic Loaders and Emotion Generic Players.
      In this 12 weeks we got over 700 commits from 68 authors in EFL alone. Doing 111275 line insertions and 28292 line deletions. Elementary has another 370 commits by 48 authors.

    • Enlightenment EFL 1.13 Released
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Season of KDE 2014 Post #3: Mission Accomplished!

        I started off my Project under Season of KDE 2014 with a motive to design and revamp KDE’s own blog aggregator, PlanetKDE. Initiated by my mentor Jonathan Riddell, back in 2008, this website did an amazing job of scraping off content from KDE’s bloggers.

      • Plasma 5.2 review – Fire all weapons!

        Plasma 5 has the potential to revitalize the Linux world, it’s that important and meaningful. Of course, we must not forget that applications play their critical role, but if you need to sell your product, the first look, the very first impression is important. And in that regard, Plasma has everything to gain and lose. After what happened with Gnome, it’s the one remaining bastion of sanity in the Linux desktop world. And so we begin.

      • A Masterpiece In The Making

        A 15 minute review of the forthcoming Plasma 5 distro

      • What I can say about KDE Plasma 5 that I can’t say about Windows 8

        I’ve never really had the time to explore KDE Plasma 5 since it was released back in July 2014. I’ve played with it a bit, but not much.

        Now that it’s at version 5.2 and at that stage when its deemed almost ready for primetime, that is, ready to replace all aspects of KDE Plasma 4, I decided to kick the tires a little bit harder.

        To do that, I had to download and install an ISO image of a release candidate of KaOS – KaOS-kf5 ISO 2015.01.25.

        KaOS is a KDE-centric Linux distribution that uses a rolling release development model. It was inspired by Arch Linux and uses that distribution’s package manager. Tt also makes use of the Calamares graphical installer, which I wrote about recently (see Calamares will be the graphical installer on the next OpenMandriva edition).

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Bugzilla upgraded to 4.4.

        Dear GNOME community, you all owe Krzesimir Nowak, Andrea Veri, and Olav Vitters some icecream and drinks: The Bugzilla software running on bugzilla.gnome.org has been upgraded to the latest stable version available.

  • Distributions

    • When Linux Distros Are Abandoned

      We’ve had some fairly high profile Linux distros fold up their tents and move along. Whether due to a lack of financial support or the project growing larger than a one man dev team can manage, distros do go away. It’s never for a good reason but the fact remains: When a distro ceases to exist, a lot of people get left in the lurch.

    • Reviews

      • Review: Manjaro Linux 0.8.12 “Ascella” Xfce

        It has been a while since I reviewed Manjaro Linux. In fact, my last review of it was almost 2 years ago. Since then, I have seen a lot of news about how much it has grown and how good it has gotten. I figured I should give it another review.

        For those who don’t remember, Manjaro is a distribution that based on Arch Linux. It maintains a rolling-release base, and it is compatible with most Arch repositories, though some of its repositories are its own. It officially supports KDE and Xfce, though community editions exist for other DEs as well.

      • First impressions of ArchBSD 2014.09.04

        From a practical point of view, I’m sure most people will stick with running either Arch Linux or vanilla FreeBSD. However, as an experiment into what is possible, ArchBSD does provide us with something interesting, something a little different. With some work to flesh out the documentation and more volunteers to keep the base operating system up to date, I think ArchBSD could be a viable server operating system.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Calamares will be the graphical installer on the next OpenMandriva edition

        News from OpenMandriva has it that the next release of the distribution will feature the Calamares graphical installer.

        Calamares is a “distribution independent installer framework” that features a modular design with 25 modules already implemented. It has plugin interfaces for C++, Python and a generic process, and an advanced partitioning tool with support for DOS and GPT partition tables.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • systemd Or Poettering, Name Your Poison

        The issue is the same as I have with the boot-times for my desktop PC, systemd makes assumptions that break Debian systems. In my case, systemd insists on every other service starting and running before attempting to start X, the thing I want up ASAP. In the case of the bug reported above, how the system time was handled over a reboot is changed with systemd. The old behaviour was that the clock was stored and retrieved so things survived reboots nicely. No more. Poettering et al have decided that time should be set by NTP or other means and systemd should not have anything to do with that although systemd is replacing the old init that did… BREAKAGE!!! Now I know why Linus swears so much! If a change to systemd breaks user’s systems, it’s a bug in systemd, not that the world needs to change to be the way Poettering wants. Putting folks who break things in charge of millions of systems is a tragedy of huge proportions. People should not have to rewrite init scripts to switch to systemd. Otherwise, systemd should get the Hell out of our way… or go away…

      • Has modern Linux lost its way? (Some thoughts on jessie)

        For years, I used to run Debian sid (unstable) on all my personal machines. Laptops, workstations, sometimes even my personal servers years ago ran sid. Sid was, as its name implies, unstable. Sometimes things broke. But it wasn’t a big deal, because I could always get in there and fix it fairly quickly, whatever it was. It was the price I paid for the latest and greatest.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • High end dev board taps Allwinner’s octa-core A80 SoC

      Merrii announced a high end, Android- and Linux-ready “H88 Hummingbird” SBC based on the octa-core Cortex-A15/-A7 Allwinner A80 SoC.

      The second-generation Raspberry Pi 2 managed to maintain its $35 price despite moving to a quad-core Cortex-A7 system-on-chip, but faster, pricier quad- and octa-core ARM SoCs haven’t seen as much traction in the single board computer scene. Yet, just as we’ve seen a lot of SBCs based on the Cortex-A7 based Allwinner A20 or Cortex–A9 based Allwinner A31, several companies and community projects are now trying out the octa-core Allwinner A80. The A80 combines four Cortex-A15 and four Cortex-A7 cores in a Big.Little configuration.

    • February Exeter Linux user group write up and prevew of the Feb Torbay Pi jam
    • Linaro launches open ARM SBC spec, and an octa-core SBC

      Linaro has launched an open-source spec for ARM SBCs called “96Boards,” first available in a $129 “Hikey” SBC, featuring a Huawei octa-core Cortex-A53 SoC.

      Linaro, the ARM-backed not-for-profit engineering organization that has aimed to standardize open source Linux and Android software for Cortex-A processors, is now trying to do the same thing for hardware.f Linaro, which is owned by ARM and many of its top system-on-chip licensees, has launched 96Boards.org, a cross between a single board computer hacker community and an x86-style hardware standards organization.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Netflix airs its developers’ Dirty Laundry

    Netflix has developed a platform, using soon-to-be open source tools, that probes for vulnerabilities and monitor data leakage.

    One initiative dubbed the “Dirty Laundry Project” monitors for Netflix assets unintentionally exposed by its staff.

  • 4 open-source monitoring tools that deserve a look

    Network monitoring is a key component in making sure your network is running smoothly. However, it is important to distinguish between network monitoring and network management. For the most part, network monitoring tools report issues and findings, but as a rule provide no way to take action to solve reported issues.

  • Best open source monitoring tools

    We found all four products to be capable network monitoring tools that performed well in our basic tasks such as checking for host availability and measuring bandwidth usage. Beyond the basics, there were quite a few differences in terms of features, granularity and configuration options.

  • Building a better matching solution with Mensa

    I’ve been designing and developing commercial software for more than 30 years, and I’m pleased to announce that for the first time, some of my software has been released as a new open source project. For open source at Dell, it’s a Java project called Mensa.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack’s inflection point, developer tools, and more
    • ownCloud Server 8 Officially Released, a Self-Hosted Dropbox Alternative

      ownCloud reached version 8 today, February 9, 2015. We’re talking about the ownCloud Server, a powerful, open-source, free, and self-hosted file sharing solution that offers easier and faster file syncing and sharing functionality, along with numerous other attractive features. ownCloud Server is considered by many a Dropbox replacement and it is distributed in two editions, ownCloud Community Edition and ownCloud Enterprise Edition.

    • With version 8, ownCloud becomes a viable Google Drive replacement

      When you put your data in the public cloud — whether it be Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, iCloud, or other services. It’s dictated by the terms and services of the service provider and is subject to laws that may give the government full access to your data without giving you the slightest hint of any compromise.

    • VMware Builds a Cloud Bridge Between Open Source, Proprietary Tools

      VMware has remained in the news cycle since its announcements on the cloud computing front last week. In a blog post, the company announced the launch of VMware Integrated OpenStack, which, notably, is available for use, free of charge, with VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus, vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus and all editions of vCloud Suite. The company is also pushing its vision of “one cloud, any app, any device.”

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Continues Moving Along With C++11 Adoption

      With the recent release of LibreOffice 4.4 there was a significant bump in compiler requirements in order to begin allowing LibreOffice developers to use basic C++11 functionality. Going forward, the compiler requirements will continue to rise as the developers of this open-source office suite seek to utilize more modern C++ features.

    • Is LibreOffice better than the competitor?

      Let’s have a look at some of the areas where LibreOffice is actually BETTER than the competitor Microsoft Office.

  • CMS

    • What’s New in February for Open Source CMS

      It goes without saying that WordPress is big — the Goliath of free and open source content management systems (CMS). WordPress is the number 1 CMS system currently in use, and increased its usage on more than 2 million domains since June 2014.

  • Funding

    • Answering the Call for Werner Koch’s Everywhere

      This past week the person who manages one of the world’s most important cryptography projects, Werner Koch, went from going broke to raising more than $100,000 for his project, GNU Privacy Guard. This is in addition to the $60,000 The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) dedicated to Werner last month. GnuPG is used not just to encrypt and authenticate email but provides the confirmation that software packages and releases are what they claim to be. Facebook, Stripe and others are answering the calls to support the individuals who are developing the world’s most critical digital infrastructure.

    • Mission: ​Funding all those small but important open-source projects

      In 2014, OpenSSL had a gigantic security problem: Heartbleed. Its root cause? A combination of blind trust in the open-source programming method and a shoe-string budget. Less than a year later Werner Koch, author and sole maintainer of the popular Gnu Privacy Guard (GnuPG) email encryption program, revealed he was going broke supporting GnuPG.

      Koch’s story had a happy ending. First, The Linux Foundation, via its Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII), donated $60,000 to GnuPG. Then, e-payments vendor Stripe and Facebook agreed to sponsor the program’s development to the tune of $50,000 a year.

    • To avert another Heartbleed, group narrows list of projects in need of support
    • Linux Foundation’s CII Continues to Fund Open-Source Security Efforts
  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • Google Drive for Linux may be coming soon
    • Postfix 3.0 Released With SMTP UTF8 & Other New Mail Server Features

      The Postfix open-source mail server software reached the big 3.0 milestone on Sunday with various improvements to this Sendmail alternative.

      The release of Postfix 3.0.0 stable brings SMTP UTF8 support for internationalized domain names and address local parts, support for Postfix dynamically-linked libraries and database plug-ins, support for operations on multiple look-up tables, support for pseudo-tables, table-driven transformations of DNS lookup results, an improved configuration file syntax, and per-session command profiles.

      More details on Postfix 3.0 can be discovered from Postfix.org.

    • RPushbullet 0.2.0

      A new releases of the RPushbullet package (interfacing the neat Pushbullet service) arrived on CRAN today.

      It brings several weeks of extensions, corrections and cleanups—with key contributions by Mike Birdgeneau and Henrik Bengtsson.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Athens region considers switch to open source

      The Greek region of Attica, encompassing Athens, is considering a switch to free and open source solutions. Representatives of the regional authority discussed the move with the Greek Free/Open Source Software society. GFOSS has offered to help modernise Attica’s ICT policies.

    • DISA rolling out new open source, online collaboration tool for DoD employees across globe

      A new open source, online collaboration tool will allow Defense Department employees to easily and securely web conference and instantly chat from anywhere around the world.

      The Defense Information Systems Agency is expanding the capability called Defense Collaboration Services, or DCS, across the department, according to a Feb. 6 press release from the Air Force.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Measuring the value of open hardware design

        With the rise of distributed manufacturing of 3D printing, hardware designs released under open source licenses are increasing exponentially. These designs—for everything from phone cases to prosthetic hands for children—can have an enormous value for those who need and want them.

        [...]

        The results of Pearce’s case study analysis were shocking. “Millions of dollars of value can be created by designers if they share their work under open licenses, says Pearce. “For individuals or funding organizations interested in doing the most good and maximizing value for the public it is clear that supporting open designs should be a top priority.”

      • ONetSwitch Networking Open Source Hardware (video)

        Makers, developers and hobbyists looking to add networking functionality to their projects in the form of NAS, VPN and Firewall features may be interested in a new piece of open source hardware called the ONetSwitch developed by MeshSr.

Leftovers

  • Fire department called after robot vacuum “attacks” sleeping owner

    One day the robots may rebel against humans, taking control of the world and turning us into a relatively green source of energy. But today is not that day, even if one such robot did “attack” its owner in South Korea.

  • Behind RadioShack’s Collapse Is a Tiny Distressed Lender

    To most outside observers, the collapse of RadioShack Corp. was set in motion years, if not decades, ago.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Isis is cruel but so are bombs and drones

      • If the video of a prisoner being burned to death displays “a level of brutality shocking even by the standards” of Islamic State, how should we describe the actions of the US and UK around the world? According to a 2012 joint report from the NYU and Stanford University law schools on US drone strikes in Pakistan, “the missiles fired from drones kill or injure in several ways, including through incineration”. Similarly barbaric, in 2008 the Sunday Times reported British forces were using Hellfire missiles in Afghanistan, creating “a pressure wave which sucks the air out of victims, shreds their internal organs and crushes their bodies”.

    • Amid New Claims, Calls Intensify to Declassify Saudi Chapter of 9/11 Report

      ‘I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia,’ says former senator and commission member

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Whistleblower? Thief? Hero? Introducing the Source of the Data that Shook HSBC

      Hervé Falciani’s long, strange journey from bank computer expert to jailed fugitive to candidate for office to spokesman for whistleblowers

      They almost had him.

      On December 22, 2008, Swiss federal police handcuffed 36-year-old Hervé Falciani, a systems specialist they suspected of stealing data from HSBC Private Bank (Suisse), his employer, and trying to sell it to banks in Lebanon. They seized his computer, searched his Geneva home and interrogated him for hours.

      Then – on the condition that he return the next day for more questioning – they let him go.

    • HSBC helped clients ‘avoid taxes and hide millions’

      According to a report released on Sunday, files analyzed by 140 reporters in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) have revealed that British banking giant HSBC provided accounts to international criminals, corrupt businessmen, politicians and celebrities.

      “HSBC profited from doing business with arms dealers who channeled mortar bombs to child soldiers in Africa, bag men for Third World dictators, traffickers in blood diamonds and other international outlaws,” ICIJ reported.

    • HSBC bank ‘helped clients dodge millions in tax’

      Britain’s biggest bank helped wealthy clients cheat the UK out of millions of pounds in tax, the BBC has learned.

      Panorama has seen thousands of accounts from HSBC’s private bank in Switzerland leaked by a whistleblower in 2007.

      They show bankers helped clients evade tax and offered deals to help tax dodgers stay ahead of the law.

      HSBC admitted that some individuals took advantage of bank secrecy to hold undeclared accounts. But it said it has now “fundamentally changed”.

    • HSBC sheltered murky cash linked to dictators, arms dealers

      Secret documents reveal that global banking giant HSBC profited from doing business with arms dealers who channelled mortar bombs to child soldiers in Africa, bag-men for Third World dictators, traffickers in blood diamonds and other international outlaws.

    • New Claims That HSBC Aided Tax Evaders

      HSBC found itself under fire again on Monday after news reports over the weekend provided more details about long-running accusations that its Swiss private banking arm helped clients hide billions of dollars in assets from international tax authorities before 2007.

      In a report released on Sunday, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, an organization based in Washington, said that secret documents revealed that bank employees had reassured clients that HSBC would not disclose details of their accounts to tax authorities in their home countries and discussed options to avoid paying taxes on those assets. Also contributing to the report were the newspaper Le Monde in France, The Guardian in Britain, the BBC program “Panorama” and CBS News’s “60 Minutes.”

    • US government faces pressure after biggest leak in banking history

      The US government will come under intense pressure this week to explain what action it took after receiving a massive cache of leaked data that revealed how the Swiss banking arm of HSBC, the world’s second-largest bank, helped wealthy customers conceal billions of dollars of assets.

      The leaked files, which reveal how HSBC advised some clients on how to circumvent domestic tax authorities, were obtained through an international collaboration of news outlets, including the Guardian, the French daily Le Monde, CBS 60 Minutes and the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

      The files reveal how HSBC’s Swiss private bank colluded with some clients to conceal undeclared “black” accounts from domestic tax authorities across the world and provided services to international criminals and other high-risk individuals.

    • HSBC Swiss files: leading Australian figures held offshore bank accounts

      Prominent Australian political and business figures are among thousands of people identified as Swiss bank account holders, a cache of leaked documents from the Swiss arm of the HSBC bank shows.

      They include the late media mogul Kerry Packer and the former ANZ Bank chairman Charles Goode.

      The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and the Guardian has accessed data on the accounts, which reveal unprecedented insights into offshore banking with the Swiss arm of the bank.

    • HSBC sheltered murky cash linked to dictators, arms dealers

      Secret documents reveal that global banking giant HSBC profited from doing business with arms dealers who channelled mortar bombs to child soldiers in Africa, bag-men for Third World dictators, traffickers in blood diamonds and other international outlaws.

    • Banking Giant HSBC Sheltered Murky Cash Linked to Dictators and Arms Dealers

      Team of journalists from 45 countries unearths secret bank accounts maintained for criminals, traffickers, tax dodgers, politicians and celebrities

      Secret documents reveal that global banking giant HSBC profited from doing business with arms dealers who channeled mortar bombs to child soldiers in Africa, bag men for Third World dictators, traffickers in blood diamonds and other international outlaws.

      The leaked files, based on the inner workings of HSBC’s Swiss private banking arm, relate to accounts holding more than $100 billion. They provide a rare glimpse inside the super-secret Swiss banking system — one the public has never seen before.

    • HSBC files show how Swiss bank helped clients dodge taxes and hide millions

      HSBC’s Swiss banking arm helped wealthy customers dodge taxes and conceal millions of dollars of assets, doling out bundles of untraceable cash and advising clients on how to circumvent domestic tax authorities, according to a huge cache of leaked secret bank account files.

    • Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: “TTIP will lead to Contraction of GDP, Personal Incomes, Employment, Increase in Financial Instability”

      Some projections endorsed by the European Commission point to positive, though negligible, gains in terms of GDP and personal incomes. Others make greater claims, asserting that the deal will add over £100 billion to the UK and European economies every year.

    • TTIP talks – Africa remains left out

      The EU and the US are negotiating their proposed free trade agreement behind closed doors. Third countries, for instance in Africa, have no say in these talks, although the deal could have a far-reaching impact on them.

    • HSBC list: Switzerland says it’s ‘stolen data’, may not share info with India

      With a new ‘HSBC list’ of Swiss bank accounts revealing over 1,000 Indian names, Switzerland today said these are from “stolen data” — an assertion that might make it difficult for India to get details on these accounts without any additional evidence.

    • The Breaking HSBC Scandal Reveals UK Govt Is Chief Henchman Of The Mafia Banking System

      An international collaboration of media outlets have leaked HSBC files which prove the Bank has actively sought to undermine domestic tax laws and keep millions of pounds from reaching the UK Treasury – but what is truly remarkable, it the complicity of the UK government in helping the 1% avoid paying their dues.

    • Israelis held $10 billion in secret Swiss bank accounts

      The only countries that held more money in the HSBC branch were 11,235 Swiss with $31 billion, 8,844 Britons with $21.7 billion, 1,138 Venezuelans with $14.7 billion, 4,193 Americans with $13.4 billion and 9,187 French with $12.5 billion.

    • R23bn stashed in Swiss banks

      Hundreds of South Africans have stashed more than $2-billion (about R23-billion) in accounts at Swiss banking group HSBC, details of which have now emerged in a leak that shines a new spotlight on the secretive world of Swiss banking.

    • 200,000 people were prosecuted for not having a TV licence last year but HMRC won’t prosecute Swiss tax cheats

      Last year more than 200,000 people were prosecuted for not having a TV licence.

      More than fifty – many of them women – went to prison for it.

      But HMRC say it is not in the public interest to prosecute tax criminals and the bankers and accountants who set arrangements for them.

  • Censorship

    • KickassTorrents Taken Down By Domain Name Seizure

      KickassTorrents has lost access to its Kickass.so domain name and is currently offline. The Somalian domain of the most-visited torrent site on the Internet is now listed as “banned” by the .SO registry, forcing the site’s operators to find a new home.

  • Privacy

    • Samsung: watch what you say in front of our TVs, they’re sending your words to third parties

      Part of the Samsung Smarttv EULA: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition.”

    • Guest Post: The Library Freedom Project: Bringing privacy and anonymity to libraries

      My name is Alison, and I’m the founder of the Library Freedom Project, an initiative that aims to make real the promise of intellectual freedom in libraries. It’s a partnership among librarians, technologists, attorneys, and privacy advocates to teach librarians about surveillance threats, privacy rights, and privacy-protecting technology tools. So far, we’ve been all over Massachusetts and parts of New England, and we have been awarded a generous grant from the Knight Foundation to bring privacy training to libraries across the United States.

      We teach librarians three things. Kade Crockford of the ACLU of Massachusetts teaches the current state of digital surveillance. Jessie Rossman, an attorney and surveillance law expert also from the ACLU of Massachusetts, offers a privacy-focused “know your rights” training. I teach technology tools – like Tor and Tails .

    • We’ll ask GCHQ to DELETE records of ‘MILLIONS’ of people – Privacy International

      Campaigning group Privacy International is preparing to help “potentially millions” of people request that their GCHQ records be deleted, following a landmark ruling by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal on Friday.

      The IPT ruled that the intelligence-sharing relationship between the US and UK had been unlawful prior to December 2014, because the rules governing the UK’s access to the National Security Agency’s PRISM and UPSTREAM programmes had been kept secret.

    • GCHQ snooping ruling does not go far enough, says Open Rights Group

      The recent ruling that mass surveillance of UK citizens’ internet communications by the UK intelligence services was unlawful until the end of 2014 does not go far enough, according to Open Rights Group.

      The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) ruled that UK intelligence agency GCHQ had breached the Human Rights Act by using intelligence on UK residents from the US National Security Agency (NSA).

    • Osgerby: Iowa’s important attempts to block the NSA

      For the state of Iowa to step forward, alongside others, in mitigating the powers of the NSA comes as a pleasant surprise. The federal agency has shown that it has no intention of reining in their surveillance.

    • Shy, retiring British spies come out as MEGA HACKERS

      The UK government slipped out consultation documents on “equipment interference” and “interception of communications” (read: computer hacking by police and g-men) on Friday.

      They were made public on the same day that the Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruled that the spying revelations exposed by master blabbermouth Edward Snowden had accidentally made British spooks’ data-sharing love-in with the NSA legal.

    • Snowden documentary CitizenFour wins DGA award for director Laura Poitras

      A documentary about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has won the prestigious Directors Guild Award as best movie in the category. Laura Poitras, the director of Citizenfour, received her award at a ceremony in Los Angeles on Saturday.

    • Professor Big Brother and his radical students – who should we fear most?

      The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill 2014-15, having been rushed through the House of Commons with alarming speed and ease, has passed its second reading in the House of Lords. It is now in the final committee stages and on course to become law within a matter of weeks.

    • U.S.-German Spy Spat Unresolved as Merkel Visits Obama

      The unresolved fallout between the U.S. and Germany over espionage and mass surveillance has slid to the background ahead of a visit today by Chancellor Angela Merkel to Washington, according to her top aide.

    • Merkel, Obama ponder Ukraine and security in Washington

      As Chancellor Merkel visits President Obama on Monday, the US sees Europe as a continent in crisis. Two experts take on the roles of Germany and the US to tease out the countries’ views on key international issues.

    • Merkel, Obama to Meet During Trying Times for U.S.-German Relations

      Polarizing divisions will color President Barack Obama’s discussions with German Chancellor Angela Merkel when the supposedly staunch allies meet at the White House on Monday for talks expected to primarily address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

      The meeting comes after a year of lingering tensions in a relationship that, at least publicly, was tested by reports of CIA spying and National Security Agency surveillance of the phone calls of Merkel and other European leaders.

    • Firm that vetted Snowden files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

      Altegrity Inc, owner of the company that carried out background checks on former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday as it implements a restructuring deal with its lenders.

      Altegrity, which owns USIS Investigations Services, listed assets and liabilities of more than $1 billion, according to court documents.

      The company said some of its lenders, including funds managed by Third Avenue Management, Litespeed Management LLC and Mudrick Capital Management LP, have committed to provide $90 million in debtor-in-possession financing.

    • DNI Report on Implementation of Signals Intelligence Reforms: Some Highlights

      These enhanced minimization procedures collectively represent a response to heavy criticism that Section 702 constitutes a “backdoor” that would allow the intelligence community to monitor the communications of American citizens, without a warrant, if these communications were incidentally collected as a result of surveillance on foreign persons.

    • WATCH OUT, it’s WATCHING YOU as you WATCH IT! (Your Samsung TV that is)

      Let’s go to another room so that the telly can’t hear us! Samsung’s smart TVs don’t just respond to your spoken commands any more – they also tell unspecified third parties what you’re saying while you sit in from of them.

    • Millions of Facebook users have no idea they’re using the internet

      Indonesians surveyed by Galpaya told her that they didn’t use the internet. But in focus groups, they would talk enthusiastically about how much time they spent on Facebook. Galpaya, a researcher (and now CEO) with LIRNEasia, a think tank, called Rohan Samarajiva, her boss at the time, to tell him what she had discovered. “It seemed that in their minds, the Internet did not exist; only Facebook,” he concluded.

    • How to Create an Anonymous Email Account

      Not long ago, the sharing economy seemed to have taken over. Privacy was dead, and no one cared. But that was until revelations about government spying and worse came to light. Today, it seems just as many people are sharing…but many do so with more caution.

      For some of us, the need to go truly anonymous is more important than ever. But when you go to a service online and its first three choices for signup are to use your existing Google, Facebook, or Twitter account credentials, it’s almost like a subtle background check. Other services—like Google—expect you to share a phone number and older email address—to sign up (and if not at initial signup, you’ll need them for activations later). So you’re not exactly hiding your tracks.

    • Inside the Strange Fight Over Mark Zuckerberg’s Bedroom

      The e-mail was blunt: Mark Zuckerberg had no interest in playing nice with the guy from next door.

      “How do we make this go away?” a Zuckerberg adviser wrote to his real estate agent. “MZ is not going to take a meeting with him … ever.”

      Now that 2013 e-mail, and others like it, are at the center of property war gone rogue. On one side is Zuckerberg, the billionaire founder of Facebook Inc. On the other is the businessman from next door, a real estate developer who hoped to profit from Zuckerberg’s desire for privacy.

    • Samsung’s Smart TVs Are Collecting And Storing Your Private Conversations

      Guess who’s eavesdropping on you now? It’s not some nefarious government agency (although, rest assured, there has been no downturn in surveillance). Nope, it’s that smart TV you paid good money for and invited into your home.

    • Samsung smart TV policy allows company to listen in on users

      The new privacy policy for Samsung’s smart TVs allows the company and its partners to listen in on everything their users say.

      The policy has drawn the ire of internet users, who compared it with George Orwell’s dystopian fiction 1984.

    • How to lose a job BEFORE you even start: Teen fired after complaining on Twitter about starting ‘f*** a** job’ at pizza parlor

      A Texas teenager has been fired from her job at a pizza parlor before she even started after she sent out a tweet complaining about the gig and her new boss saw it.

    • There are other funding options than the USG

      Some folks have taken issue with this, going so far as to call Tor employees “government contractors.” On the one hand, this is pretty sensational talk: In much of Europe, for example, public funding of advocacy isn’t uncommon. On the other hand, there are real issues with implicitly supporting what is ultimately an imperialist agenda by taking US government funds.

    • California Introduces Bill To Ban Warrantless Spying

      Backed by a number of tech companies, California is eyeing state legislation to protect its citizens from warrantless government surveillance of e-mails, text messages and cellphone communications. The proposed legislation is being backed by state senators Mark Leno, a Democrat, and Joel Anderson, a Republican.

    • Tor: the last bastion of online anonymity, but is it still secure after Silk Road?

      The Silk Road trial has concluded, with Ross Ulbricht found guilty of running the anonymous online marketplace for illegal goods. But questions remain over how the FBI found its way through Tor, the software that allows anonymous, untraceable use of the web, to gather the evidence against him.

      The development of anonymising software such as Tor and Bitcoin has forced law enforcement to develop the expertise needed to identify those using them. But if anything, what we know about the FBI’s case suggests it was tip-offs, inside men, confessions, and Ulbricht’s own errors that were responsible for his conviction.

      This is the main problem with these systems: breaking or circumventing anonymity software is hard, but it’s easy to build up evidence against an individual once you can target surveillance, and wait for them to slip up.

    • Advanced German Technology: How a German-Arab Shell Corporation Tries to Sell a New State Trojan “Made in Germany”

      A German-Arab web of companies advertises a new government spyware “made in Germany” at international surveillance industry trade shows. In a lengthy investigation, we gathered background information on companies and actors involved. It remains unclear, whether the company even has a finished product for sale, nevertheless they continue to promote the product – directly to law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

  • Civil Rights

    • The NYPD’s chief supports harsher penalties for resisting arrest. That’s a horrifying idea.

      During widespread protests in New York last summer after the killing of Eric Garner by police officer Daniel Pantaleo (who was not charged in Garner’s killing), New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton had this message for protesters: “You must submit to arrest, you cannot resist …The place to argue your case is in the courts, not in the streets.”

    • Surviving the Nazis, Only to Be Jailed by America
    • One dead in police shooting

      A 74-year-old man is dead and an officer is on administrative leave pending an investigation into the fatal shooting. Police say Officer Josh Lefevers shot and killed James Howard Allen after Allen pointed a gun at the officer in his home and refused to drop the weapon.

    • Case Dismissed Against Man Aggressively Arrested on Video for Drinking Iced Tea in Public

      It took nearly two years, but a North Carolina judge dismissed a case against a man who was arrested for drinking a can of Arizona Iced Tea in a parking lot of a liquor store.

      And only because it was captured on video.

      Otherwise, the cop’s word would have been treated as gospel, resulting in a conviction of trespassing and resisting arrest against Christopher Lamont Beatty, a former soldier who is also a hip hop musician known as Xstravagant.

      But even despite the video evidence, prosecutors along with his own lawyer, tried to get him to agree to a plea deal where he would accept probation and community service.

      In other words, they wanted him to admit to a crime he did not commit without even having the chance to be tried for that crime.

    • CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou: Prosecute CIA Case Officers Who Flouted the Law & Tortured Detainees

      CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, who was released from a federal prison in Loretto, Pennsylvania, last week, after serving about 23 months in jail, called for CIA case officers to be prosecuted for “flouting” the law when they tortured detainees.

      In an interview for “Democracy Now!”, Kiriakou addressed the shocking details in the executive summary of the Senate intelligence committee report on the CIA’s torture program. He said he understood that President Barack Obama was not going to pursue the prosecution of CIA officials who carried out torture. Obama was not going to prosecute officers who carried out the “day-to-day torture program.” Lawyers at the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department were going to get a pass too. However, there are officers, who clearly violated the law, when they carried out interrogations.

    • Exclusive: Freed CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou Says “I Would Do It All Again” to Expose Torture

      In a broadcast exclusive interview, we spend the hour with John Kiriakou, a retired CIA agent who has just been released from prison after blowing the whistle on the George W. Bush administration’s torture program. In 2007, Kiriakou became the first CIA official to publicly confirm and detail the agency’s use of waterboarding. In January 2013, he was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. Under a plea deal, Kiriakou admitted to a single count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act by revealing the identity of a covert officer involved in the torture program to a freelance reporter, who did not publish it. In return, prosecutors dropped charges brought under the Espionage Act. Kiriakou is the only official to be jailed for any reason relating to CIA torture. Supporters say he was unfairly targeted in the Obama administration’s crackdown on government whistleblowers. A father of five, Kiriakou spent 14 years at the CIA as an analyst and case officer, leading the team that found high-ranking al-Qaeda member Abu Zubaydah in 2002. He joins us from his home in Virginia, where he remains under house arrest for three months while completing his sentence. In a wide-ranging interview, Kiriakou says, “I would do it all over again,” after seeing the outlawing of torture after he came forward. Kiriakou also responds to the details of the partially released Senate Committee Report on the CIA’s use of torture; argues NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden did a “great national service,” but will not get a fair trial if he returns to the United States; and describes the conditions inside FCI Loretto, the federal prison where he served his sentence and saw prisoners die with “terrifying frequency” from lack of proper medical care.

    • Thousands of Secret Torture Photos
    • ‘A Line in the Sand’ in Fight to Release Thousands of Prisoner Abuse Photos

      A federal judge is demanding that the government explain, photo-by-photo, why it can’t release hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of pictures showing detainee abuse by U.S. forces at military prison sites in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      In a courtroom in the Southern District of New York yesterday, Judge Alvin Hellerstein appeared skeptical of the government’s argument, which asserted that the threat of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda exploiting the images for propaganda should override the public’s right to see any of the photos.

    • Is Your Child a Terrorist? U.S. Government Questionnaire Rates Families at Risk for Extremism

      Are you, your family or your community at risk of turning to violent extremism? That’s the premise behind a rating system devised by the National Counterterrorism Center, according to a document marked For Official Use Only and obtained by The Intercept.

      The document–and the rating system–is part of a wider strategy for Countering Violent Extremism, which calls for local community and religious leaders to work together with law enforcement and other government agencies. The White House has made this approach a centerpiece of its response to terrorist attacks around the world and in the wake of the Paris attacks, announced plans to host an international summit on Countering Violent Extremism on February 18th.

    • New Jeb Bush Chief Technology Officer Deleting Old Tweets About “Sluts”

      Ethan Czahor’s tweets began disappearing today after news broke that he had been hired by Jeb Bush. A spokesperson for Bush told BuzzFeed News: “Governor Bush believes the comments were inappropriate. They have been deleted at our request. Ethan is a great talent in the tech world and we are very excited to have him on board the Right to Rise PAC.” Czahor also apologized in a tweet on Monday.

    • Guantánamo hearing halted by supposed CIA ‘black site’ worker serving as war court linguist

      The 9/11 trial judge abruptly recessed the first hearing in the case since August on Monday after some of the alleged Sept. 11 plotters said they recognized a war court linguist as a former secret CIA prison worker.

      Alleged plot deputy Ramzi bin al Shibh, 42, made the revelation just moments into the hearing by informing the judge he had a problem with his courtroom translator. The interpreter, Bin al Shibh claimed, worked for the CIA during his 2002 through 2006 detention at a so-called “Black Site.”

    • The Reporter Resists His Government

      In early 2003, James Risen, an investigative reporter in the Washington bureau of The New York Times, prepared a story about a covert CIA effort to undermine Iran’s nuclear program. Before publishing it, he informed the CIA of his findings and asked for comment. On April 30, 2003, according to a subsequent Justice Department court filing, CIA Director George Tenet and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice met with Risen and Jill Abramson, then the Times’s Washington bureau chief. Tenet and Rice urged the Times to hold Risen’s story because, they said, it would “compromise national security” and endanger the life of a particular CIA recruit. (The agent is referred to in the Justice filing as “Human Asset No. 1.”) Eventually, the Times informed the CIA that it would not publish Risen’s story. Abramson said recently that she regrets the decision.

    • US contractor wants Abu Ghraib lawsuit scrapped

      A US defense contractor that provided interrogators to Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq sought to have a federal judge dismiss a lawsuit because its employees were working under military control in wartime.

      Four former inmates of the notorious prison, where horrific abuses took place during the Iraq war that damaged US credibility, have sued CACI International Inc. for torturing them ahead of interrogations.

    • Greenwald: Shedding Light on the Exercise of Power in the Dark

      I do think there have been some very significant changes as a result of [our] reporting. There hasn’t been a lot of legislation passed. But I never thought that the place to look for restrictions on the power of the U.S. government would be the U.S. government itself, because human beings generally don’t walk around thinking about ways to restrict their own power.

      I think the much more significant changes are the changes in consciousness that people have, not just about surveillance but about privacy, the role of government, their relationship to it, the dangers of exercising power in the dark and the role of journalism as well.

      There are all kinds of ways that surveillance is now being curbed, from other governments acting in coalition to impede U.S. hegemony over the Internet to technology companies like Facebook, Yahoo and Google knowing that, unless they make a real commitment to protecting their users’ privacy, they’re going to lose a generation of users to other countries’ companies.

    • Waterboarding Whistleblower Released From Prison, Two Months After Torture Report’s Release Vindicated His Actions

      It wasn’t former director Leon Panetta, who was ultimately responsible for the actions of his agency. It wasn’t any number of agents, officials or supervisors who directly or indirectly participated in the ultimately useless torture of detainees. It wasn’t the private contractors who profited from these horrendous acts committed in the name of “national security.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • One small step for the FCC …

      In the excitement following FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s announcement that he would propose Title II classification for Internet service providers, it’s important that we understand a few things. First, this is not a done deal yet, though it looks likely to pass. Second, this is only the first step in a long and arduous journey.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Why We Should Rename TAFTA/TTIP As The ‘Atlantic Car Trade Agreement’

      Since the gains for this industry are expected to be so large, and those for other industries so small, why not drop all the contentious stuff that threatens to derail the whole deal, and concentrate on cars? In any case, it would be more honest to rename the TTIP proposal as the “Atlantic Car Trade Agreement,” since that’s what it is really about. We could even call it “ACTA” for short.

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