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02.17.15

Links 17/2/2015: TripleO, Pivotal

Posted in News Roundup at 7:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Vivaldi Browser Devs Add 32bit Linux Builds [Quick Update]
    • Vivaldi Web Browser Now Has 32-bit Builds for Linux

      Vivaldi, a new web browser based on Chromium, built by an Opera founder and his team, has just received an upgrade and 32-bit versions for the application, among other things.

    • First fully sandboxed Linux desktop app

      Its not a secret that I’ve been working on sandboxed desktop applications recently. In fact, I recently gave a talk at devconf.cz about it. However, up until now I’ve mainly been focusing on the bundling and deployment aspects of the problem. I’ve been running applications in their own environment, but having pretty open access to the system.

      Now that the basics are working it’s time to start looking at how to create a real sandbox. This is going to require a lot of changes to the Linux stack. For instance, we have to use Wayland instead of X11, because X11 is impossible to secure. We also need to use kdbus to allow desktop integration that is properly filtered at the kernel level.

    • The Beat Goes On In India – Desktop Growth At Home And Office

      Clearly, GNU/Linux is growing as rapidly at work as at home. Thanks to Dell, Canonical, the government of India and others who laid the groundwork for this growth. May it continue for years to come and accelerate.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KRecipes Gardening Day: Saturday 21 February

        It’s clear the current KRecipes gardening effort is not having much traction, but before moving on to different applications, let’s try a different format, the Gardening Day.

      • Big Data Suite Goes Open Source

        Last spring, Pivotal unveiled its Pivotal Big Data Suite, a subscription-based software, support and maintenance package that bundled its big data components into a single, simple licensing structure. The Big Data Suite was responsible for $40 million of the $100 million in total business Pivotal did in 2014. Today, the company took the unprecedented step of open sourcing all those components.

      • Why should you consider using a Linux-based system for music making?

        Linux has a reputation for being geeky, esoteric, hard to get into and limited in terms of available software. But does the increasingly popular free OS and its ecosystem deserve such criticism, or are musicians missing out by not considering making the switch from Windows or OS X?

  • Distributions

    • The Top 11 Best Linux Distros for 2015

      Linux is omnipresent, even if you don’t realize it. I have been using Linux as my only OS since 2005 and with every passing year I come to realize that it has much more to offer than I initially, back in 2005, understood. There is something for everyone. In this article, I have picked some of the best Linux distros to help you get the job done.

    • New Releases

    • Ballnux/SUSE

      • SUSE Unveils Open Source Enterprise Storage Based on Ceph

        Open source vendor SUSE jumped into the distributed storage market this week with the launch of SUSE Enterprise Storage. Based on Ceph, the new offering positions the company to compete more strongly in the software-defined, scale-out storage market.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack 6 Previews TripleO

        Red Hat Feb. 17 announced the general availability of release 6.0 of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform (OSP), providing an enterprise-grade cloud platform based on the OpenStack Juno milestone release. Red Hat is also going a step beyond what was in the OpenStack Juno release by providing its users with a technology preview of the TripleO OpenStack-on-OpenStack project. Red Hat is one of the leading code contributors to the open-source OpenStack cloud platform, and has both a community distribution called RDO and an enterprise-supported release with OSP that it makes available to users. RDO, much like Red Hat’s community Fedora project, closely tracks and follows the upstream open-source community, while OSP is a more stable release that benefits from additional enterprise hardening. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6.0 release follows the upstream OpenStack Juno release, which debuted on Oct. 16, 2014.

      • Red Hat Takes Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform to the Next Level

        Red Hat remains very focused on advancing its OpenStack-focused cloud business initiatives. The company has now released an update of its OpenStack distribution, marrying its Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL) platform with the latest OpenStack release: Juno. “Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform sets a new standard for OpenStack deployments, with customers in production in every region, spanning industry verticals and enterprises of various sizes in education, financial services, government, healthcare, retail, and telecommunications,” claims the company’s announcement.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Hands-On with the Raspberry Pi 2

      I’ve had my lovely new Raspberry Pi 2 for a few days now – it was shipped from the Swiss Pi-Shop less than a week after the announcement, so thanks once again to them for their prompt and courteous service. I’ve been trying it out since then, mostly comparing it to my original Models B and B+. The results have been interesting, generally what I expected, but with one or two surprises.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Samsung SUHD Tizen TVs coming to the Philippines in April 2015

          Samsung unveiled their new 2015 Smart TV Lineup at CES 2015, which are Smart TVs that run Tizen, as well as offering Sony’s PlayStation Now service combined with Samsung’s latest screen technologies. The SUHD Re-Mastering Engine uses a colour grading tool to offer a high dynamic range and wider colour gamut, which is 64 times the colour expression thanks to quantum technology and 2.5 times the brightness when compared to conventional TVs.

      • Android

        • Android 5.1 Lollipop Hitting Nexus Devices Soon Ahead of Motorola’s Smartphones!

          Contrary to initial reports last week that it would be Motorola devices which shall be first receiving the Android 5.1 Lollipop, the major update to the problematic Android 5.0 Lollipop, it seems that Google Nexus devices will beat everyone else to the draw.

        • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop Update Now Available on Sony Xperia Z1

          Are you a Sony Xperia Z1 Compact owner? If you are, you have reason to rejoice: the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update is now available for your smartphone, according to reports.

        • Hey, Samsung, LG And HTC—Shunning Android Wear Is A Huge Mistake
        • Sony SmartEyeglass Developer Edition On Sale Now
        • Sony jumps down the Google Glass rabbit hole with ugly glasses

          Sometimes companies do the stupidest things, and Sony is one of the latest examples. The company has decided to take on Google Glass with its own version of ugly glasses that no one will want to wear.

        • ​Google launches Android One in the Philippines

          Google has extended its Android One push to the Philippines, offering low-cost devices running the latest version of Android out of the box.

          Google has partnered with local operators Cherry Mobile and MyPhone for Android One’s launch into the Philippines, following the scheme’s debut in India last year. Both operators will release one Android One handset each.

        • The four best lock screens for your Android phone

          If you’re getting bored with your phone’s lock screen, maybe it’s time to try another. This is Android after all, so you’re not locked in to what came with your device—there are a ton of options to put impressive images, better notification controls, and a steady stream of news and updates right in front of you.

        • Battery Life on Android 5.0 Lolliipop: Benchmarks Show Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, Nexus 5, LG G3 Results

          One of the slick, new features touted by Google about Android Lollipop before its release in November is Project Volta, a collection of optimization settings that promise to offer better battery consumption for devices upgrading to Android Lollipop. Aside from a power-saving mode native to the platform, Project Volta allows developers to specify when their apps need to connect to data or Wi-Fi in order to save up on juice.

        • Any app that works with Android Wear now works on your Pebble

          It’s been splashing around in beta for a little while, but now your Pebble can respond to notifications directly from that monochrome screen — kind of like Android Wear, sans touchscreen. You’ll need to update your Pebble smartwatch firmware as well as download the very latest edition of of the companion Android app to get rolling. But given Pebble’s popularity and price, it should mean far more people are making wrist-based responses to messages. Aside from the ability to set multiple custom notification responses (available to you whenever a compatible app offers a reply option), you can toss money around with Square Cash. The update also adds support for Android 4.0 and over devices, as well as automatic app and watch face updates, even when your Kickstarted smartwatch is idle. Oh and you can reply with emoji. Hopefully, that will be enough to keep the Pebble on your wrist on until that fancy new interface arrives in the near future.

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop vs iOS 8 Features Review: Specs Comparison of Top Operating Systems

          Within the past six months, the mobile phone operating system battle seems to have come to a head with the release of Apple’s iOS 8 and Android’s 5.0 Lollipop. A report on Mashable on how both operating systems fare when compared with each other says that “iOS 8 has as many features as Android” while on the design side, which was historically Apple’s edge, the Android 5.0 Lollipop “has an almost iOS-level of fit polish and finish.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • Facebook and Open Source: A Technological Love Affair

    Facebook is among the most recognizable and advanced social media enterprises today. A major part of its success story is its professed love for open source software, which the company uses as means of augmenting innovation across multiple projects. In fact, open source is a key resource among Facebook’s web developers due to its flexibility in providing immediate security patches and collaboration across platforms.

  • Open Source Enters The Classroom

    A growing number of educational institutions are adding classes or programs that focus on open source. There are some channel executives, however, who worry these initiatives are inadequate to meet business needs and are concerned their companies will continue to carry most of the technology’s training burden.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • BSD

    • Hostkey rotation, redux

      A couple of weeks ago I described the host key rotation support forthcoming in OpenSSH 6.8. Almost immediately after smugly declaring “mission accomplished”, the bug reports started rolling in. First Mike Larkin noticed an interaction with ssh’s CheckHostIP option that would cause host key warnings, then Theo de Raadt complained about the new code unnecessarily rewriting known_hosts when no changes needed to be made, finally Philipp Kern and Jann Horn pointed out a way for a hostile server to abuse the extension.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Portugal Gets FLOSS

      If you have the right to use, examine, modify and distribute the software, your costs go down, just as they go down for everyone who uses FLOSS. It’s about sharing. If everyone shares in the cost of producing and distributing software, everyone pays less because folks like M$ are not siphoning off $billions and imposing software slavery to keep you coming back for more abuse.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Routing on OpenStreetMap.org

        Good news for OpenStreetMap: the main website now has A-to-B routing (directions) built in to the homepage! This will be huge for the OSM project. Kudos to Richard Fairhurst and everyone who helped get this up and running.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • HP adds scale to open-source R in latest big data platform

      HP says that while R is an open-source language used by millions of data scientists, it has been, up to this point, inherently limited. It’s that increased scale that HP stresses as providing a new level of predictive analytics capabilities.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The CIA asked me about controlling the climate – this is why we should worry

      I told them that I thought we could, because if a cloud in the stratosphere were created (the most commonly proposed method of control) that was thick enough, large enough, and long-lasting enough to change the amount of energy reaching Earth, we could certainly see it with the same ground-based and satellite instruments we use to measure stratospheric clouds from volcanic eruptions. If, on the other hand, low clouds were being brightened over the ocean (another suggested means of cooling the climate), we could see telltale patterns in the tops of the clouds with satellite photos. And it would also be easy to observe aeroplanes or ships injecting gases or particles into the atmosphere.

    • Can the CIA weaponise the weather?

      A leading climate-change scientist has warned that the US secret service’s interest in geoengineering technology may not be benign. But it’s not the first time a government has tried to control weather patterns

    • Is the CIA trying to weaponise weather?

      Weaponising the weather is nothing new. U.K. government documents showed that, 99 years ago, one of six trials at the experimental military station of Orford Ness in Suffolk sought to produce artificial clouds, which, it was hoped would bamboozle German flying machines during the first world war. Like so many military experiments, these trials failed but cloud seeding became a reality in 1967/8 when the U.S.’s Operation Popeye increased rainfall by an estimated 30 per cent over parts of Vietnam in an attempt to reduce the movement of soldiers and resources into South Vietnam.

    • During Iraq Occupation, CIA Bought Looted Chemical Munitions

      Decades-old weapons long past their expiration date, most of the chemical arms recovered in Iraq were not close to usable in the traditional sense. Officials did say they were surprised, however, at the potency of some of the chemicals despite many years in storage.

    • “I no longer love blue skies”: What life is like under the constant threat of a drone attack

      Mohammed Saleh Tauiman was just 13 years old in 2014 when the Guardian newspaper gave him a camera so he could record life under the drones that flew over Marib province, Yemen.

      His father and teenage brother had been killed in a US drone attack in 2011 while they were herding the family’s camels. Afterward, he lived in constant fear of what he called the “death machines” that circled above him in the sky.

    • U.S. to allow wider export of armed drones

      The Obama administration will permit the widespread export of armed drones for the first time, a step toward providing allied nations with weapons that have become a cornerstone of U.S. counterterrorism strategy but whose remotely controlled power to kill is intensely controversial.

    • US to Allow Export of Armed Military Drones
    • Israeli-owned drone manufacturer shut down by pro-Palestine protesters
    • Second UK-based Israeli drone factory shut down by occupation
    • Activist groups shut down Israeli arms factory in Kent
    • ‘Complicit in Gaza’s misery’: Pro-Palestine activists shut down UK arms factory
    • The Front Page Rule

      As drone warfare proliferates, the stings of the drone become more lethal and terrifying.

    • Drones, Pakistan & international law

      The conference was informed that 364 of the 415 drone strikes (until early February 2015) on targets inside Pakistani territory had killed nearly 4,000, including over 1000 civilians, mostly women and children. A case study of 24 such strikes by the Centre for Research and Security Studies, too, had exposed the extremely disproportionate civilian harm caused by these attacks which increased seven-fold under the Obama Administration.

    • DFA might be invited to Mamasapano probe to explain cooperation with US
    • Militants want US envoy Goldberg expelled from PHL for alleged US role in Mamasapano

      An alliance of militant organizations has called for the expulsion of United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg in light of reports that the US government was heavily involved in the planning and implementation of the Jan. 25 covert police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

      In a statement issued Monday, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. accused the US government of “blatantly interven[ing]” in the Philippines’ domestic affairs in pursuit of high-profile terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Abdul Basit Usman.

    • 8 Americans sighted monitoring Oplan Exodus

      Eight Americans were monitoring from the Special Action Force (SAF) command post the operation against a Malaysian terrorist in the marshland 11.8 kilometers away that went wrong and left 44 police commandos dead on Jan. 25, the Inquirer has learned.

      A US drone located trapped SAF commandos as they were battling their way out after killing their target, Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” according to three sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    • With ISIS, give peace a chance

      U.S. bombings and drone attacks have killed thousands of innocent people. This has resulted in hatred toward America. How about making a serious effort at diplomacy instead?

    • Islamic State expanding beyond base, intelligence officials warn

      The Islamic State group is expanding beyond its base in Syria and Iraq to establish militant affiliates in Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt and Libya, U.S. intelligence officials assert, raising the prospect of a new global war on terror.

    • Fall of Yemen’s Government Surprised U.S. Intelligence Community

      The collapse of the American-backed government in Yemen took the U.S. intelligence community by surprise, the Obama administration’s senior counterterrorism official admitted on Thursday as he testified before Congress, according to The Associated Press.

    • Donetsk International Airport Reduced To Twisted, Burned-Out Shell By Months Of Artillery Fire

      The international airport in Donetsk was opened to facilitate the thousand of football fans flooding the country for the 2012 European Championships – a $1 billion dollar symbol of Ukraine’s modernity. It now sits as rubble, destroyed by the conflict in which Russian-backed separatists have waged a bloody civil war with forces loyal to Kiev.

  • Finance

    • We Need Syriza in Illinois

      The new governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, is a hedge fund manager whose salary last year was $60 million. He spent $65.9 million—including $27.6 million of his own money—buying his last election, and he’s about to introduce an austerity program that will make most folks in Illinois think they are living in austerity-wracked Greece, with less idyllic weather. While he’s generating national headlines by trash talking unions, he is quietly taking a scalpel to every important social program in the state, starting with an Illinois program that subsidizes high-quality childcare for 160,000 low-income kids. Instead of extending a small tax increase that passed the Illinois legislature in 2011, staving off a crisis, he’s letting the increases expire. Rauner is methodically manufacturing an economic crisis for his state, one that will let him do what he has long been set on doing: shrink the government and squeeze the 99 percent.

    • Icelandic Bankers Sentenced to Prison

      The Supreme Court of Iceland today upheld prison sentences issued by Reykjavík District Court in December 2013 on four former key executives and majority owners of Kaupþing Bank in the so-called Al-Thani case in what is the heaviest sentence ever given in Iceland for economic fraud, ruv.is reports. The four were charged with market manipulation in relation to Sheik Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al-Thani of Qatar’s acquisition of more than five percent of shares (worth ISK 25.7 billion) in Kaupþing Bank shortly before it collapsed in autumn 2008.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Why I have resigned from the Telegraph

      The coverage of HSBC in Britain’s Daily Telegraph is a fraud on its readers. If major newspapers allow corporations to influence their content for fear of losing advertising revenue, democracy itself is in peril.

      [...]

      No one has ever expressed quite as well as Utley the quiet decency and pragmatism of British conservatism. The Mail is raucous and populist, while the Times is proud to swing with the wind as the voice of the official class. The Telegraph stood in a different tradition. It is read by the nation as a whole, not just by the City and Westminster. It is confident of its own values. It has long been famous for the accuracy of its news reporting. I imagine its readers to be country solicitors, struggling small businessmen, harassed second secretaries in foreign embassies, schoolteachers, military folk, farmers—decent people with a stake in the country.

      [...]

      With the collapse in standards has come a most sinister development. It has long been axiomatic in quality British journalism that the advertising department and editorial should be kept rigorously apart. There is a great deal of evidence that, at the Telegraph, this distinction has collapsed.

      Late last year I set to work on a story about the international banking giant HSBC. Well-known British Muslims had received letters out of the blue from HSBC informing them that their accounts had been closed. No reason was given, and it was made plain that there was no possibility of appeal. “It’s like having your water cut off,” one victim told me.

      When I submitted it for publication on the Telegraph website, I was at first told there would be no problem. When it was not published I made enquiries. I was fobbed off with excuses, then told there was a legal problem. When I asked the legal department, the lawyers were unaware of any difficulty. When I pushed the point, an executive took me aside and said that “there is a bit of an issue” with HSBC. Eventually I gave up in despair and offered the article to openDemocracy.

  • Censorship

    • Manufacturing Silence: On Jordan’s ISIS War, Arab Authoritarianism, and US Empire

      Media outlets and Middle East analysts have expended considerable energy assessing whether and how Jordan’s war on ISIS in the aftermath of the Kassasbeh capture and death represents a game changer. It is difficult to find a sustained critique of this war on ISIS in the local Jordanian media, whether in the mainstream or the more critical online venues. This is not surprising. After all, Jordan is an authoritarian state. Both historically and in the contemporary moment, the regime has carefully drawn red lines around public speech and political opposition.

    • Tumblr Panics as Site Gets Tough on Music Piracy

      Tumblr users say they are witnessing a tougher response to music piracy by the blogging platform. A wave of complaints suggest that increased anti-piracy activity by the music industry is resulting in Tumblr more readily banning users as part of a “three strikes” policy.

  • Privacy

    • Your HDDs were RIDDLED with NSA SPYWARE for YEARS

      The US National Security Agency (NSA) has infected hard disk firmware with spyware in a campaign valued as highly as Stuxnet that dates back at least 14 years and possibly up to two decades, according to an analysis by Kaspersky Labs.

    • NSA planted surveillance software on hard drives, report says

      In a new report, Kaspersky revealed the existence of a group dubbed The Equation Group capable of directly accessing the firmware of hard drives from Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, IBM, Micron, Samsung and other drive makers. As such, the group has been able to implant spyware on hard drives to conduct surveillance on computers around the world.

    • NSA Has Planted Surveillance Software Deep Within Hard Drives Since 2001: Kaspersky
    • How to Here’s How to Find Out if the GCHQ Used NSA Data to Spy on You

      A few weeks back, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruled that GCHQ had been spying unlawfully on British citizens, using the NSA’s Prism and Upstream tools to gain access to private communications. Anyone may have fallen foul of GCHQ’s secret snooping. But it doesn’t have to remain secret. Here’s how to go about finding out if you’ve been spied on by the GCHQ and, hopefully, have the data acquired destroyed.

    • Here’s How You Can Find Out If The NSA Shared Your Data With British Spies

      Once the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal has determined whom was affected, it has to inform them. Though participants should find out whether their data were unlawfully obtained by GCHQ from the millions of private communications hoovered up by the NSA up until December 2014, it won’t be anytime soon. Privacy International warned in its FAQs: “Count on it being many months, and likely years before this action is completed.”

    • Equation = NSA? Researchers Uncloak Huge ‘American Cyber Arsenal’

      Security researchers have uncovered a trove of highly-sophisticated hacking tools used over the last 15 to 20 years to break into thousands of targets’ computers. There’s little doubt the malware and exploits used belonged to the National Security Agency, according to security experts.

      [...]

      The GRAYFISH tool, which works with almost all versions of Windows, including 8, was another of the more impressive malware types. It sat in the Microsoft MSFT -1.13% Windows registry, which stores information on most activities and settings on a PC. GRAYFISH used a bootkit, a malware that resides at a low level of the operation system so it can execute every time a computer starts up. That was the most complex bootkit Kaspersky had ever seen. GRAYFISH also stole files and stored them in its own encrypted Virtual File System (VFS).

    • ‘Equation Group’ hackers attacked 30+ nations with NSA-style tech

      Russian security experts say that an advanced persistent threat team has infected thousands of computers in more than 30 countries using tools and tactics not unlike what’s already been attributed to the National Security Agency.

      Kaspersky Labs of Moscow declined to specifically implicate the United States and its spy office in a report published by the security firm on Monday this week. The researchers, however, say that it’s been monitoring a group of computer hackers that have waged attacks since 2001 and that share similarities with operations of the NSA.

    • Destroying your hard drive is the only way to stop this super-advanced malware

      A cyberespionage group with a toolset similar to ones used by U.S. intelligence agencies has infiltrated key institutions in countries including Iran and Russia, utilizing a startlingly advanced form of malware that is impossible to remove once it’s infected your PC.

      Kaspersky Lab released a report Monday that said the tools were created by the “Equation” group, which it stopped short of linking to the U.S. National Security Agency.

      The tools, exploits and malware used by the group—named after its penchant for encryption—have strong similarities with NSA techniques described in top-secret documents leaked in 2013.

    • An NSA spy, a Fed and a sysadmin walk into a bar – that’s Prez Obama’s new cyber-security order

      President Barack Obama has signed an executive order that will attempt to protect America’s crucial computer networks by sharing knowhow between g-men and techies.

    • Creepy, Calculating and Controlling: All the Ways Big Brother Is Watching You

      License plate readers can record up to 1,800 license plates per minute. However, it seems these surveillance cameras can also photograph those inside a moving car. The Drug Enforcement Agency has been using the cameras in conjunction with facial recognition software to build a “vehicle surveillance database” of the nation’s cars, drivers and passengers.

    • AT&T charges $29 more for gigabit fiber that doesn’t watch your Web browsing

      Just as it did when launching its “GigaPower” service in Austin, Texas in late 2013, AT&T offers different prices based on how jealously users guard their privacy. AT&T’s $70 per-month pricing for gigabit service is the same price as Google Fiber, but AT&T charges an additional $29 a month to customers who opt out of AT&T’s “Internet Preferences” program.

    • AT&T Says It Will Match Google Fiber’s Speed & Pricing, But Only If You Allow AT&T To Spy On You

      To counter the PR hit from Google Fiber, AT&T has recently been proclaiming that it too is now offering 1 Gbps services under the company’s “Gigapower” brand — but pretending that Google has nothing to do with it. On the surface, it looks like AT&T is taking on Google blow for blow, and that this is a wonderful example of how competition works. And while that’s true up to a point, as we’ve discussed previously, AT&T’s offering is highly theatrical in nature. AT&T’s actually been slashing its fixed-line CAPEX each quarter, but is offering 1 Gbps speeds to a few, scattered high-end developments where fiber is already in the ground.

  • Civil Rights

    • Poland’s complicity in CIA torture programme confirmed

      The European Court of Human Rights today confirmed that the Polish government was complicit in the CIA’s secretive programme of rendition, detention and interrogation.

      The Court in Strasbourg today rejected a challenge from the Polish government to a landmark ruling from last July, a decision which now makes that original judgement final.

    • European court rejects Polish appeal in CIA jail case

      The European Court of Human Rights refused on Tuesday to reconsider its ruling that Poland hosted a secret CIA jail, a decision that will now oblige Warsaw to swiftly hold to account Polish officials who allowed the jail to operate.

      The court’s decision will add to pressure on other European countries to end years of secrecy about their involvement in the CIA’s global programme of secret detention after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

    • CIA whistleblower calls for prosecution of officials responsible for torture

      John Kiriakou, the former CIA agent who helped reveal the agency’s use of waterboarding in a 2007 interview, was released from prison on February 3 after serving a two-year sentence.

    • CIA Torture Program was “Dick Cheney’s Baby” – John Kiriakou

      “Hypocritical” is how CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou describes his arrest and imprisonment for exposing the spy agency’s use of torture while those who actually committed the heinous acts go unpunished.

    • North Korea Slams US Human Rights Conference, Citing CIA Torture Crimes

      North Korea’s mission to the United Nations has criticized the upcoming human rights conference to be held in Washington, pointing to torture crimes committed by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

      “The United States and South Korea are going to convene so-called ‘Conference on North Korean Human Rights: the Road Ahead’ on 17 February in Washington…The Permanent Mission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [DPRK] to the United Nations condemns the convening of such human rights gathering as a political human rights plot against the DPRK,” the mission said in a statement on Sunday.

    • UC student leaders wrong about rights abusers

      That’s right, America. While the resolution makes some fair points about crowded U.S. prison systems and the questionable ethics of using drones to kill suspected enemies, lumping the U.S. – and Israel – in with nations that routinely violate fundamental rights, while failing to mention far more egregious violators, like much of the Arab world, is certainly a sophomoric stretch.

    • Engelhardt: Walking Back the American Twenty-First Century?

      Machine Guns, MRAPs, Surveillance, Drones, Permanent War, and a Permanent Election Campaign

      [...]

      Keep in mind that New York City already has a police force of more than 34,000 — bigger, that is, than the active militaries of Austria, Bulgaria, Chad, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kenya, Laos, Switzerland, or Zimbabwe — as well as its own “navy,” including six submersible drones.

    • Arab and Muslim blood is cheap

      All the pillars of the earth would shake if a Christian or a Jew is killed or if a Buddhist statue is destroyed or comes to any harm. International forces wherever they may be join together to condemn the killing of an individual so long as he or she is not of Arab or Muslim background. These same leaders do not hesitate to condemn any infliction that comes to a Buddhist statue in Afghanistan.

    • APNewsbreak: Suspect in Halifax mall plot confessed

      Police and Canadian Justice Minister Peter MacKay said the plot was not related to terrorism.

    • Charlie Hebdo: Imperialism’s new 9/11?

      We have heard of no measures taken to protect the beleaguered Muslim communities—the “banlieues” that surround Paris, largely populated by impoverished African and Middle Eastern immigrants—where unemployment ranks highest in the nation and social services rank lowest. Unemployment among Muslim youth approaches 40 percent. Close to half of the residents of Muslim communities lack a high school diploma. As in the U.S., police harassment and profiling—stop and frisk, French style—are taken for granted. There has been little mention of the 50 recorded post-Charlie Hebdo fire bombings or of the racist graffiti-tagged and bullet-ridden mosques; such atrocities meant to terrorize the Muslim population are ongoing and proceed with impunity. France’s Central Council of Muslims reported 21 shootings that targeted Muslim buildings.

    • Government to introduce legislation Monday to end rail strike: source

      The bill, titled “An Act to provide for the resumption of rail service operations,” will be presented by Labour Minister Kellie Leitch, who took part in the talks. In a statement issued Saturday night after negotiations broke down, Leitch made it clear that the government was prepared to act quickly.

    • Virginia Action Alert: Help Stop NDAA Indefinite Detention, Support HB2144

      Virginia House Bill 2144 (HB2144) expands on the state’s current anti-indefinite detention law by setting the stage for ending some state-federal partnerships. (read about the bill here). It passed successfully through the state house on Feb. 10 by a 96-4 vote. The bill now must pass successfully through the Senate Committee for Courts of Justice before it can receive a full vote in the state senate. Follow the action steps below to support this important bill.

    • Police dash cam shows part of contested arrest – until St. Louis officer turns camera off

      As video cameras begin to sweep post-Ferguson policing — and policymakers grapple with whether to bar the public from watching the images — one such recording sits at the heart of a new lawsuit.

      It shows St. Louis police making an arrest that would later be called abusive, and catches an apparently surprised officer yelling, in part, “Everybody hold up. We’re red right now!” before she abruptly shuts off the camera.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net neutrality advocates identify holes in FCC’s net neutrality plan

      Attorney Matt Wood, the policy director for advocacy group Free Press, told the FCC last week that it faces “legal obstacles” in how it intends to regulate Internet service providers. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposes to reclassify Internet service providers as common carriers in two parts. ISPs will be common carriers in their relationships with home Internet consumers. They will also be common carriers in their business relationships with “edge providers,” companies that offer services, applications, and content over the Internet.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Links 17/2/2015: SystemD 219, Frugalware 2.0 (Rigel) Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Is Linux A Labour Of Love?

    So is Linux a labour of love? I think that there is money to be made but not in the traditional sense of just making a single product and selling it. If distributions are out to generate income then they have to be a bit creative about how they do that. Multiple revenue streams are definitely going to be important.

    I think charging for a download may help to generate income in the short term but it will ultimately mean missing out on possible revenue streams later on.

    The debate is much like the newspaper paywalls. Would you really pay to read a newspaper online when the BBC provide similar or sometimes better information for free? Therein lies the problem for Elementary.

  • How to Hire Open Source Talent: Focus on the Community, Says Linux Foundation

    Soaring demand for professionals with expertise in Linux and open source is great for people with the requisite skills. But it makes finding the right employees more difficult for companies. That’s why the Linux Foundation recently outlined tips for attracting open source talent, which is about much more than the hiring process itself.

  • Desktop

    • Spelling in Malawi

      The inquiry from Malawi was passed to our local expert, Esben Aaberg, who after a few hours of work got the dictionary to work. Unfortunately dictionaries can not be registered without the language been known by LibreOffice. Instead, Esben “cheated” by using a language code from another language. Of course we need the language Chichewa registered, but here and now, it works after all.

    • Ask LH: Can I Get A Refund Because Presto Doesn’t Work On Linux?

      Dear Lifehacker, I was recently in hospital and wanted to try out some streaming services in Australia. I have a Linux laptop. I tried out Stan on the free 30-day trial but then realised it uses Silverlight so I cancelled that straight away. Then I wanted to try Presto which has no free trial.

      I signed up because it was only 10 bucks and on the supported devices it lists PCs and Macs, with no qualification, but much to my dismay the service doesn’t work on Linux machines. Foxtel refuses to give me a refund. Is this false advertising, and is there any way to submit a complaint about them? Thanks, No Light At The End Of The Tunnel

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.20 Likely to be Renumbered as Linux 4.0

      Back in November of 2013, when the Linux 3.12 kernel was released, Linus Torvalds first began to talk about about Linux 4.0

      Linux 4.0, much like Linux 3.0 isn’t about any major milestone or API compatibility feature in the Linux kernel, but rather is just an arbitrary number.

    • Systemd 219 Released With A Huge Amount Of New Features

      Lennart Poettering announced the release of systemd 219 today and it comes with a very large number of new features and changes.

    • systemd 219

      Many many improvements, in particular in the area of containers, btrfs hookup, and networkd. Also, many bugfixes. Enjoy!

    • systemd 219 Officially Released, Introduces a New API

      Lennart Poettering, the creator of systemd, has announced the immediate availability of systemd 219, a release that includes numerous improvements, specifically for Btrfs hookup, networkd, and containers. Many bugs have also been fixed in this release.

    • Torvalds turns to Sir Mix-A-Lot for Linux versioning debate

      Linus Torvalds is “running out of fingers and toes” and therefore wonders if it might be a good time to tip the Linux Kernel over into version 4.0.

    • Kernel 3.19 development – the kernel column

      Linus Torvalds, freshly returned from speaking at Linux Conf AU (LCA) 2015, announced 3.19- rc5 saying “[a]nother week, another -rc”. His announcement mail included his usual opening about his desire for less churn late in the development cycle (Linux kernels typically have up to 8 RCs – or Release Candidates – in the two months of the average release). Overall, Linux 3.19 is shaping up to be a normal sized release – though there’s still well over 10,000 individual commits or patches, each with many lines, which isn’t bad when you consider how the development largely aligned with the end of year holiday period. The new kernel will add a few exciting features, including support for Intel’s MPX processor extensions, and the nios2 embedded system microprocessor architecture from Altera.

    • Graphics Stack

      • wayland 1.7.0

        The 1.7 release of Wayland is now available for download. Thanks to all who have contributed, and especially to the desktop environments and client applications that now converse using Wayland.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Final Report : Season of KDE

        This project is primarily for school children.It helps them to get acquainted with different parts of computer both internal and external and also to know about their functionality.

      • 2+ years with network management in KDE

        It has been more than 2 years when I was an intern in Red Hat and Lukáš Tinkl, my leader that time, told me that I should take a look what needs to be done around network management in KDE. I started with contribution to libnm-qt (networkmanager-qt now), because there was a plan to have a separated library for NetworkManager and port the applet to use it later. It took me a few months to get familiar with NetworkManager DBus API and implement all missing stuff and I was ready to start porting the applet. Problem was that the old NM applet was not ready at all, its architecture had been done with more network daemons in mind (like wicd) and the code base became really complicated. I still remember that discussion we had about starting from scratch, it was quite tough decision, because we had to drop such huge code base and years of work. Anyway, we decided to go for it and start from scratch and one of the best journeys of my life had begun. It went quite good, we were able to reuse some existing parts from the old applet and we had first release like half year later. Well, quality of first releases is questionable, not everyone liked them we did, but we have learned from mistakes and now I daresay that the version we have after 2 years currently in Plasma 5 is really great and we enjoyed doing it.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • The Usability of GNOME

        I recently spoke at GUADEC, the GNOME Users And Developers European Conference, and I opened my presentation with a reminder that GNOME is competing for mind share with other systems that are fairly easy for most people to use: Mac, iPad, Windows and Chromebook. So for GNOME to continue to be successful, it needs to be easy for everyone to use—experts and newcomers alike. And, that’s where usability comes in.

      • Using OpenGL with GTK+

        let’s say you are on a bleeding edge distribution, or have access to bleeding edge GTK+.

      • How-To Use OpenGL With GTK3 In Upcoming GNOME 3.16

        With the upcoming GNOME 3.16 release and its GTK+ 3.16 tool-kit there is native OpenGL support and a new GTKGLArea widget.

  • Distributions

    • The Dangers of Boutique Linux Distros

      Every time a new boutique Linux distro rolls out into the limelight it seems the same two thoughts cross my mind. First, the distro’s developer must be excited to present their vision to potential uses and work hard to provide the best distro possible. Second, this also means that if something happens to the developer the project can instantly end in its tracks.

      In this article, we’ll examine the risks of relying on a boutique Linux distro and what to do when you’re forced to switch due to a distro ending its development.

    • New Project Points to Danger of Boutique Distros
    • Reviews

      • Elementary OS: A good looking cheap Apple lookalike

        So after spending the not-so-bad-after all-valentine watching “romantic” movies I decided to go on a cleanse and get back in my geek groove. What better way to do this than testing a Linux Distro Beta? So I remembered how one reader once requested a review of Apple lookalike Linux distros and decided to take the latest Beta of Elementary OS nicknamed Freya which is due for release “when it is ready!”

      • MakuluLinux 2.0 Cinnamon

        I think it is easy to get excited about Makulu as the distribution offers a lot. Users are given a modern, feature rich desktop (Cinnamon), a lot of useful software, including VLC, the WPS suite, a rich settings panel and easy to use backup utility. Multimedia is well supported and the operating system (when run on a physical machine) performed well. Plus users have access to a huge supply of software in the Debian repositories. I was a little surprised at some of the choices offered. For example, offering us WPS over LibreOffice is an unusual choice for an open source operating system. It’s not a bad choice necessarily, just uncommon. Likewise, the focus on gaming (providing Steam and PlayOnLinux) is an interesting choice. The theme, with its focus on rich, 3-D icons, is also strange, but a welcome breath of fresh air when compared against the stark utility of GNOME or the flat, washed out look of recent KDE releases.

        I suppose what really stands out about Makulu is it is an open source operating system that does not shy away from including proprietary applications when the developers feel those are the right tools for the job. It is a philosophy that may disappoint proponents of free software, but I have to admit it seems a practical path, one which is likely to attract people transitioning from Windows to Linux.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enhances Certification Program for Open Source Experts

        Red Hat (RHT) has beefed up its certification and training programs for open source software. Now, the company is offering new Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) concentrations focused on clouds, data centers and applications related to its Linux-based solutions.

      • Fedora

        • DNF 0.6.4 and DNF-PLUGINS-CORE 0.1.5 Released

          New version of DNF and DNF-PLUGINS-CORE is available for F21 and F22. The update fixes over 25 bugs, exposes more API and enhances plugin options. Read more in release notes of DNF and plugins.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open source robot kit taps Raspberry Pi 2

      On Indiegogo, CoroWare launched a 4WD “CoroBot Spark,” open robot platform for STEM education, based on a Raspberry Pi SBC and a CoroWare controller board.

      CoroWare Robotics Solutions’s CoroBot Spark is the latest of several open source robot kits that have used the Raspberry Pi single board computer. Recent examples include iRobot’s Create 2, a hackable version of its Roomba robot, as well as Frindo.org’s RPi-ready Frindo robot. Other Linux-based robot controller boards designed to integrate the Raspberry Pi include the Roboteq RIO, Mikronaut’s RoboPi, and the Calao Systems’s PinBall SBC.

      The open source CoroBot Spark differs from the Create 2 or Frindo in that it’s a larger four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicle. Like the Create 2, the Spark is designed for middle school and high school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, as well as university research and education.

    • 3.5-inch Haswell SBC has powered serial ports

      Axiomtek’s “CAPA881″ SBC taps Intel’s 4th Gen Core chips, supports extended temperatures, and has powered COM ports, plus SATA, CFast, and mini-PCIe.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Best new Android and iPhone games (February 9th – 15th)

          Let’s start off the week with some fun! In our weekly round up of the best new Android and iPhone games we introduce you to everything new and worthy with no limits to the genre, platform, or price. We can’t guarantee that you’d love the genre of the game we’ve picked, but if you do, chances are you’d spend hours playing one of these games.

        • Android 5.1 Lollipop makes another appearance, this time in the Philippines

          Google is still keeping mum on Android 5.1 Lollipop, the seemingly-newest version of its OS, albeit it’s already been spotted on some Android One devices that got recently launched in Indonesia.

        • Google’s Android One debuts in PHL, priced below P5k

          Google Philippines, together with local phone brands Cherry Mobile and MyPhone, announced on Tuesday, February 17, that it is finally bringing the much-anticipated Android One smartphone into the country at a retail price of under P5,000.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-source software aims to change game for smart facades

    Where outcomes don’t meet thermal performance standards, variations mean innovation often becomes a casualty. InEnergy, a new open-source software tool engineered by Inhabit Group, aims to prevent the dumbing down of designs and assist clients and designers to achieve higher performance outcomes without adding to costs.

  • 17 years of defending open source: Join the OSI today

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI) serves as an international nexus of trust, protecting and promoting open source software as well as the communities that develop and depend on it. Primarily known for our work in certifing open source software licenses, the OSI’s work today has grown—just as open source has—to include a vaeirty of member-driven working groups and incubator projects that help practitioners and communities create and share resourcs, furthering the open source movement. For 17 years, the OSI has brought together open source developers, organizers, contributors, advocates, and businesses toward the common goal of creation through collaboration. Our membership campaign is dedicated to furthering this vivsion.

  • Now Open Source Firmware Enters the Equation

    It seems that running free software programs that will allow (in theory, at least) backdoors to be spotted in code, is not enough. The Kaspersky discovery shows that we must go even further, and demand open source firmware for hard drives (and presumably everything else), so that these too can be audited by independent researchers. It’s a salutary reminder that while there is any element of the software and hardware stack that is not open, there is always the danger the system can be compromised and turned against you.

  • Events

    • Vote for Presentations: OpenStack Summit Vancouver 2015

      This year I’ve submitted, together with Sage Weil, a talk to the “Cloud Security” track with the title: “Storage security in a critical enterprise OpenStack environment”. The talk will provide insight into requirements for a secure setup and potential issues, pitfalls, and attack vectors against storage technologies used with an enterprise OpenStack cloud. We will present what Deutsche Telekom and Red Hat/Inktank, together with the community, are working on to build a security critical cloud with OpenStack and Ceph.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Compare Office 365 vs. Office 2013 before going open source

      The best part about OpenOffice and LibreOffice is that they’re totally free. Even if they can’t compete with Office 2013 on a feature-by-feature basis, they still have plenty to offer. They’re simple to install and provide benefits not available with Office 2013, such as the ability to run on Linux.

      Plus, the editions available to Windows, Mac OS and Linux are comparable, unlike Office, which lets the Mac version lag behind its Windows counterpart. In fact, OpenOffice and LibreOffice will run on Windows XP and Vista, something even Office 2013 can’t do.

      In my next article, we’ll look at how open source suites compare with Office 365 and how OpenOffice stacks up against LibreOffice.

  • Healthcare

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Where do we stand after 30 years after the founding of the Free Software Foundation?

      There is a growing concern about government surveillance. At the same time, those of us who live and breathe technology do so because it provides us with a service and freedom to share our lives with others.

      There is a tacit assumption that once we leave the store, the device we have in our pocket, backpack, or desk is ours. We buy a computer, a tablet, a smartphone, and we use applications and apps without even thinking about who really owns the tools and whether we truly own any of it. You purchase a device, yet you are not free to modify it or the software on it in any way. It begs the question of who really owns the device and the software?

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom and defend the rights of all free software users. FSF proudly promotes the idea of free software—not “free” as in “free beer,” but “free” as in “free to modify the code, share the code, and distribute it freely.”

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Rationalising ICT takes Portugal to open source

      The government of Portugal is expanding its use of free and open source software solutions, to modernise the country’s ICT and to “target an effective expenditure”, says Pedro Viana, a ICT specialist working for the country’s Agency for Administrative Modernisation (AMA). Open source has been implemented since 2013, he says, “whenever a rigorous and objective evaluation analysis of maturity and total cost of ownership shows that it is advantageous.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Tesla Open Source EV Patents Let Apple Jump in as Competitor [Ed: misleading FUD piece, not about Open Source]

      On June 12, 2014, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on the company’s web site that “All Our Patent Belong to You.” In adopting an “open source” policy to allow others to use the company’s patented intellectual property for free, Tesla’s stock (NASDAQ-TSLA) went up and the company got lots of publicity. But the statement preserved patent rights by requiring “good faith”, which is definitely not “open source.”

    • Open Data

      • Italian Open Budgets portal showcases open data analytics

        The Italian web portal www.openbilanci.it (Open Budgets) showcases the value of open data. The site provides financial statements from all Italian municipalities for the last ten years, and information on their mayors. Visitors can freely download and re-use all the raw data. The portal itself provides additional functions, such as the dynamic generation of charts and maps, and the ability to make comparisons between municipalities. The latter allows you to compare taxes and investments in culture and public transport, for example.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • 5 March Will Be A Very Exciting Day For Next-Gen OpenGL

      Earlier this month a GDC 2015 session was listed for showing off “glNext”, the next-generation OpenGL. This major advancement for a cross-platform, multi-purpose graphics API is going to be presented by Valve, Epic Games, Unity, and the Khronos Group, among others. Besides the GDC session for glNext, on the same day they’ll be having a separate event about this new API.

Leftovers

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • MPs’ pension fund at risk from fossil fuel investments, Caroline Lucas warns

      The £487m MPs’ pension pot is in danger of taking a financial hit due to the failure of its trustees to acknowledge the economic risk posed by fossil fuel investments, a group of 11 MPs and two Lords have warned.

      The trustees of the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund were challenged last year by the group, which include Green party MP Caroline Lucas, to shift its investments from oil and coal companies because of widespread fears that they are overvalued.

  • Finance

    • “The Game is Rigged”

      ACLU SoCal, L.A. Progressive and Occidental College hosted Prof. Wolff for a discussion on economic rights and reform…

    • Class, Change and Revolution
    • Feel Trapped in Your Job? That’s Because You Are

      The eight-hour-day movement, which itself grew out of the ten-hour-day movement, was a central demand of the labor movement in its pre–New Deal phase, before the National Labor Relations Act and Fair Labor Standards Act locked in a system that many of us would recognize even if we don’t work under its actual conditions. The five-day work week, the eight-hour day—the “nine to five” (thanks, Dolly Parton).

  • Privacy

    • Russian researchers expose breakthrough U.S. spying program

      The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world’s computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.

    • How “omnipotent” hackers tied to NSA hid for 14 years—and were found at last

      In 2009, one or more prestigious researchers received a CD by mail that contained pictures and other materials from a recent scientific conference they attended in Houston. The scientists didn’t know it then, but the disc also delivered a malicious payload developed by a highly advanced hacking operation that had been active since at least 2001. The CD, it seems, was tampered with on its way through the mail.

      It wasn’t the first time the operators—dubbed the “Equation Group” by researchers from Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab—had secretly intercepted a package in transit, booby-trapped its contents, and sent it to its intended destination. In 2002 or 2003, Equation Group members did something similar with an Oracle database installation CD in order to infect a different target with malware from the group’s extensive library. (Kaspersky settled on the name Equation Group because of members’ strong affinity for encryption algorithms, advanced obfuscation methods, and sophisticated techniques.)

    • Obama’s War on Leaks Skirts the Constitution

      The Obama administration is gloating over the recent conviction of Jeffrey Sterling in an Alexandria, Va. federal court for allegedly leaking details of a secret government program called Operation Merlin that was intended to damage Iran’s nuclear program. Attorney General Eric Holder described the verdict as “…a just and appropriate outcome. The defendant’s unauthorized disclosures of classified information compromised operations undertaken in defense of America’s national security. The disclosures placed lives at risk.”

    • U.S. Embedded Spyware Overseas, Report Claims

      The United States has found a way to permanently embed surveillance and sabotage tools in computers and networks it has targeted in Iran, Russia, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and other countries closely watched by American intelligence agencies, according to a Russian cybersecurity firm.

      In a presentation of its findings at a conference in Mexico on Monday, Kaspersky Lab, the Russian firm, said that the implants had been placed by what it called the “Equation Group,” which appears to be a veiled reference to the National Security Agency and its military counterpart, United States Cyber Command.

    • The NSA hides surveillance software in hard drives

      It’s been known for a while that the NSA will intercept and bug equipment to spy on its soon-to-be owners, but the intellgency agency’s techniques are apparently more clever than first thought. Security researchers at Kaspersky Lab have discovered apparently state-created spyware buried in the firmware of hard drives from big names like Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital. When present, the code lets snoops collect data and map networks that would otherwise be inaccessible — all they need to retrieve info is for an unwitting user to insert infected storage (such as a CD or USB drive) into an internet-connected PC. The malware also isn’t sitting in regular storage, so you can’t easily get rid of it or even detect it.

  • Civil Rights

    • Jeb Bush in ‘95: We need more for-profit prisons

      Jeb Bush began his political career as a firebrand soldier of the Republican Revolution.

      Although he’s now widely known as the moderate Republican choice for 2016, Bush ran multiple campaigns for Florida governor while promoting the “deinvention of government” through broad privatization and the rapid shrinking of the public sector—including the transformation of the state’s prison system into a for-profit industry.

    • Guantanamo Whistleblower: Guards Rehearsed for Reporter Visits Weeks in Advance

      SN interviewed Joseph Hickman, a former Guantanamo staff sergeant and author of the recently published book, “Murder at Camp Delta: A Staff Sergeant’s Pursuit of the Truth About Guantanamo Bay.” In the book, Hickman alleges that three Guantanamo detainees were murdered at a CIA black site, and that this was later covered up, the deaths portrayed as suicides.

    • Why can’t media describe Chapel Hill murders as terrorism?
    • The everyday terror we all live with

      I realize that terrorism is scary and I certainly hope that the US doesn’t suffer any more attacks from Islamic extremists any time soon.

    • Islamic School of Rhode Island vandalized

      Hilmy Bakri, president of the school’s Board of Trustees, said Sunday that racial slurs were spray-painted on the school, at 840 Rear Providence St.

    • U. Mass. Will Not Admit Iranian Students to Schools of Engineering and Natural Sciences (Updated)

      1. Turns out that Kaplan, which is a US-based educational company, is implementing an even more draconian version of the policy over in Britain. For similar reasons as U. Mass. And it’s caused some problems.

      Kaplan, a US-owned education provider in the UK, is refusing students who are residents of Iran enrolment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) subjects as well as any of its post-graduate courses, citing US sanctions.

      Applications for more than a dozen Iranians students have been withdrawn since autumn 2013 because the company felt it had to comply with the US regulations and sanctions policy regarding the country.

      Critics say sanctions were put in place to punish Iranian authorities, not ordinary people, and that such interpretations were based on a misreading of the policy.

      Iranian students studying in Britain’s public universities can generally take such courses.

    • DOJ Doesn’t Want You To Think CIA Doctored Evidence in the Sterling Trial

      Indeed, it is an agency with a long and storied history of serially destroying evidence. The Eastern District of VA US Attorney’s Office knows this, too, because they have so much experience reviewing cases where CIA has destroyed evidence and then deciding they can’t charge anyone for doing so.

      And while I don’t expect Judge Leonie Brinkema of CIA’s own judicial district to therefore deny the CIA the presumption of regularity, I confess DOJ’s concern that Sterling might suggest CIA had doctored or destroyed evidence makes me pretty interested in what evidence they might have worried he would claim CIA doctored or destroyed, because with the CIA, I’ve learned, it’s usually a safer bet to assume they have doctored or destroyed evidence.

      Especially given the two enormous evidentiary holes in the government’s case:

      The letter to the Iranians Merlin included with his newspaper-wrapped nuclear blueprints
      A report of Merlin’s activities in Vienna

      As I lay out below, CIA’s story about the letter to the Iranians is sketchy enough, though the government’s ultimate story about it is at least plausible. But their story about Merlin’s non-existent trip report is sketchier still. I think the evidence suggests the latter, at least, once did exist. But when it became inconvenient — perhaps because it provided proof that Bob S lied in the cables he wrote boasting of Mission Accomplished — it disappeared.

Željko Peratović Slammed for Whitewashing Željko Topić After Publishing Important Piece on Behalf of Key Sources

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 12:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ivan Kabalin
Photograph of Ivan Kabalin, one of Topić’s alleged victims

Summary: Response from Ivan Kabalin to Zeljko Peratovic’s so-called “apology” which is both mysterious and seemingly inadequate as it does nothing to actually explain what was wrong (if anything)

NOT TOO long ago a man known as Željko Peratović, relying on key sources, published an important exposé about EPO Vice-President Željko Topić. Peratović later removed that piece, letting down not only his sources but also many Croatian people. Techrights has already covered this in length, e.g. here, here, here, and here.

We lay out the following text for readers’ information (see original [PDF]), highlighting once again the suspicious and controversial nature of the so-called “apology”:

Ivan Kabalin, dipl. ing.
Nartska 11
10000 Zagreb
E-mail: kabalin42@gmail.com

FOR THE ATTENTION OF
THE EDITOR 45LINES.COM
ZAGREB

Subject
In response to the published article “Apology to Željko Topić: Review of the deleted text on the EPO” (http://45lines.com/isprika-zeljku-topicu-osvrt-na-obrisani-tekst-o-epo-u/) on the website of the portal 45lines.com on 16 December 2014 by Željko Peratović.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

For the common good, and for the people from the union of employees of the EPO as well as many others, I have been trying to shed some light on “the person and work of Mr. Zeljko Topić, M.Sc”. Unfortunately, in this context a media person also happened to appear on the scene who may well have some serious mental health problems as he seems to be under the delusion that he has attained “enlightenment” and that he is
obliged to publicly say all the best about Željko Topić (without the need to provide any arguments, of course).

I have explained to the local and international public who Željko Topić is and have described his actions in the Croatian Intellectual Property Office over a number of years in the interview available at:

http://tjedno.hr/cijeli-dziv-treba-u-remetinec/

[Headline: “The whole of the DZIV should be sent to Remetinec (i.e. the main state penitentiary in Zagreb)”]

So, the former Director of the State Intellectual Office, Mr. Željko Topić, should not and cannot be protected from criminal prosecution because he inflicted far greater damage on the Republic of Croatia than the corrupt and convicted former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, about which OLAF will soon have the final say under the case number OF/2005/ 0390.

Since the domain of patents and intellectual property is the field where significant values are decided upon, it is very important that the positions of responsibility in the media are occupied by impeccable persons. Therefore, I feel the need to point out that in this case, a so-called investigative journalist Željko Peratović appeared who is now publicly repenting and apologizing for the revelation of some new details about Željko Topić and who is now praising him to the heavens.

In conclusion, a public question need to be asked:
Why and what are the motives for the mocking and attempt silencing of credible sources and
whistleblowers by the journalist Zeljko Peratovic in the “Topić affair”?
In particular, it should be taken into account that the aforementioned person ran for the prestigious position of the President of Croatian Journalists’ Association several years ago.

Zagreb, 15 January 2015.

Ivan Kabalin

Some of our readers went as far as insinuating that the EPO could have gone as far as paying Peratović. The EPO might be good at compensating staff financially, but the same can be said about the NSA, yet this does not excuse the NSA and the likes of it. The EPO used the so-called ‘apology’ from Peratović for PR. It tries to give Topić the ‘von Braun treatment’. This apology is being challenged right now from several directions that suspect collusion, coercion, or even worse things (Topić intimidates critics, costing them a fortune using SLAPP). Peratović ought to speak out and explain his motives.

Benoît Battistelli Has Made Oversight of European Patent Office Absolutely Impossible

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Benoît Battistelli

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) is officially above the law, as neither its own overseers (whom Battistelli is rapidly crushing) nor the European Parliament itself are able to carry out an investigation

Benoît Battistelli is shredding the law, tearing apart oversight mechanisms, and effectively surrounds himself with ‘loyal’ people while ousting those who are not carrying water for him. His tyranny has come under fire from more directions than we’re able to keep track of, but we keep trying to get hold of what’s publicly available. The case of Rikard Frgacic and the case of Ivan Kabalin (which we shall elaborate on later this week) help show that Battistelli surround himself with corrupt folks so as to possibly better mask his own corruption (it sure serves to distract from his own abuses).

A couple of months ago a petition was rejected by the European Parliament not because there is lack of basis/merit/substance but because nobody seems to want to touch Battistelli’s dirty laundry. These people in the PEO’s management are sworn bullies and a new petition ought to be filed, bolstering the previous one. It needs to address those who are bureaucratically powerful enough not to be intimidated by Battistelli and his thugs (who are themselves well connected in their home countries, as we demonstrated in the past, e.g. Battistelli in Ecole Nationale d’Administration).

“Benoît Battistelli is shredding the law, tearing apart oversight mechanisms, and effectively surrounds himself with ‘loyal’ people while ousting those who are not carrying water for him.”We have just learned about the previous petition going astray. A source passed us a copy of a letter that was recently sent from the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal to some folks in Croatia [PDF]. For those who haven’t been following it closely enough, Battistelli and his minions are now plotting to send the EPO’s Boards of Appeal into exile in Berlin, having already ousted (against the law) people whom Battistelli et al. deemed “enemies” for just daring to ask questions.

To paraphrase our source, the letter is undated but we understand that it was sent some time during the last few days. Our regular readers may recall that these people from Croatia filed a Petition with the European Parliament.

“The Petitions Committee of the European Parliament,” as our source explains, “dismissed the Petition and suggested that the petitioners contact the EPO’s Boards of Appeal in the matter. It now turns out that the Enlarged Board of Appeal doesn’t have any competence to look into the matter either. The conclusion here seems to be that there is nobody competent to investigate questionable senior management appointments at the EPO. How reassuring.”

Here is the body of the letter in question (the PDF has more text):

Dear Ms Stilian and Mr Zeljko,

I refer to your e-mail of 24 January 2015 to the Chairman and the members of the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Organisation.

I regret to inform you that pursuant to the European Patent Convention and notably Article 22 thereof, the Enlarged Board of Appeal has not been given authority to take the question formulated in your e-m ail and the annexes thereto.

Yours sincerely,

W. van der Eijk
Chairman

This is truly disturbing because it shows that the EPO has indeed ascended above the law. It’s a country within a country within a continent, managing without scrutiny the law of the entire continent and bringing software patents into Europe without veto rights. This is as undemocratic as it can get and if Battistelli gets his way, Europe will be doomed not only by so-called ‘trade’ agreements but also a patent (monopolies) regime from abroad and from the richest 1% (or less). It’s an attack by globalists — the likes of those whom Battistelli went to school with and goes dining with (Battistelli is now protected by bodyguards). As one comment from IP Kat put it the other day: “Readers, when using the words “overlook” and “oversee” just bear in mind that, for many of those who have English as a foreign language, when they read “oversee” they think “overlook”.”

To which the response was: “That is why nobody can really complain if you say that the the Administrative Council is doing a great job “overseeing” the actions of the President.”

The Administrative Council, led by a Dane, is very much complicit. It’s like a sad movie plot. It’s a coup d’état by few very rich people who exploit the transition to a European union to fill their own pockets (and their friends’).

The software patents problem continues to get worse according to this one source and unless Battistelli and his minions can be stopped, this too will come to haunt Europe’s industry:

Figure 1: January 2015 had 36% more District Court cases initiated than last year and 3% more than last month.

[...]

Figure 3: NPE litigation made up 56% of January 2015 initiated District Court cases, compared to 48% in January 2014 and 65% in December 2014.

The EPO is out of control and it needs to be scrapped. Battistelli made it a laughing stock, symptomatic of the rogue ‘IP’ elements we find in ACTA, TPP, and so on.

Microsoft Already Killed Nokia, Don’t Let It Kill Android Players Too

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Microsoft at 6:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft’s strategy against Android mirrors the company’s evil strategy that derailed MeeGo and Nokia

THERE remains a small crowd in the Free software world that is easily fooled by Microsoft’s claims that it’s warming up to Free software (though Microsoft won’t use the “F” word, it just wants to kill Freedom). It’s a harmful façade which facilitates infiltration and today we are going to remind readers of what Microsoft is really up to. It’s a moles strategy.

“Patent extortion is not “pro-competitive”, it is anti-competitive, but that’s just what happens when Microsoft lobbyists speak out.”Microsoft's attack on Android through Cyanogen is easy for all to see. Cyanogen hates freedom; it hardly makes any pretenses about it. It’s not about choice, it’s not about privacy, and it is definitely not about freedom. It’s likely to become all about Microsoft. But not only Cyanogen is part of this subversive strategy. Samsung too seems to have been pressured into it. Florian Müller, who was paid by Microsoft (specifically the patent exotortion part of the company), wrote this ludicrous thing the other day: “Congratulations to @MicrosoftIP and @Samsung on settling their Android patent royalty dispute. This is good news bc it’s pro-competitive.”

Patent extortion is not “pro-competitive”, it is anti-competitive, but that’s just what happens when Microsoft lobbyists speak out. Well, perhaps that’s Microsoft’s money talking. Müller openly admitted to me last month that Microsoft had paid him more than once.

Well, the upcoming S series (Galaxy) is not infested with Microsoft apps based on reports we have posted in recent days in our daily links. Perhaps this is only the “embrace” stage, not yet the “extend”. Microsoft’s criminal track record and series of dead products (including Windows Mobile) ought to serve as a warning here. Nokia is pretty much dead to the bone and almost exactly one year ago Motley Fool (Microsoft-affiliated) published some ugly revisionism about it, flattering Microsoft and hailing it as some kind of rescuer rather than a killer/assassin of Nokia, which had only begun seriously adopting Linux, quickly becoming one of the top contributors to Linux.

What Microsoft did to Nokia was an utter failure, but not according to a Microsoft spinner who wrote:

Nokia’s 2011 decision to collaborate with Microsoft by swapping out Symbian with Windows Phone was a good one, but by the time it was made, the sun was already setting.

This is completely untrue as a lot of evidence suggests. Nokia had released devices with MeeGo and they did quite well despite the fact that Microsoft quickly buried them. Windows was always a dud and people did not want another Windows/Office on their phone. This whole idea was rejected by the market, whereas Android as an option for Nokia would have worked quite well (many apps, virtually no security issues, low cost). Motley Fool, which is associated with MSN (Microsoft), did at least conclude correctly:

So no, these latest results aren’t quite the final chapter for Microsoft/Nokia phones…but that unit’s best days are clearly far behind it, and it doesn’t look like it has much of a future to speak of.

Don’t let the Android leaders (like Samsung) become another Nokia. There is already a lot of distortion of history, exploiting people’s short memory span. We are being assaulted by media ownership and control, as exercised by Bill Gates under disguise of ‘charity’ in order for him to hoard more money while the media keeps people dumb about it (thinking he is giving money). Vis-a-vis Gates, Microsoft executives are lobbying China to adopt Microsoft’s back doors that the NSA uses for espionage purposes (with Microsoft’s help). As China bans Microsoft software (rightly so for security reasons) Bill Gates reportedly goes lobbying China’s technology minister. China has by far the biggest mobile market. How insidious an opportunist Gates has become. How many companies does he need to kill before the world wakes up and takes defensive/reactionary steps?

Intel Continues to Attack Software Freedom Through UEFI

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Hardware at 5:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UEFI logo with monopoly

Summary: The Trojan horse that Microsoft uses to cement its monopoly on desktops and laptops (making it hard or impossible to install and run GNU/Linux) is also being misused to block Coreboot

LAST WEEK we saw numerous reports about UEFI being used to attack, impede — or whatever one wishes to call it — Coreboot. It’s an attack on computing freedom at the very core, but given the long history of Intel crimes, we were hardly shocked by it. We included relevant links in our daily links, but citing [1], the biggest UEFI apologist writes [2] that this is justified in the name of ‘security’, erroneously assuming that it was ever about security rather than domination and control over the user. We have already shown, on numerous occasions in fact (even earlier this year), that UEFI achieves the very opposite of security, enabling even remote bricking of entire motherboards (Intel seems more interested in intel’ agencies than in actual purchasers of hardware). As the apologist is cited by FOSS sites we just thought it is worth pointing out again. People whose job is to write code for UEFI (and a lot of money is being paid for this) have a bit of an undeclared conflict of interest when writing about UEFI.

One solution, as we have pointed out before, is to avoid UEFI, which still helps Microsoft attack GNU/Linux. One effective way to achieve this is to boycott Intel, which deserves a boycott for many other reasons (much bigger and more compelling reasons than this).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. How Intel and PC makers prevent you from modifying your laptop’s firmware

    Even if you’re rocking the most open of open-source operating systems, chances are your laptop isn’t really that “free,” betrayed by closed firmware binaries lurking deep within the hardware itself.

    Modern UEFI firmware is a closed-source, proprietary blob of software baked into your PC’s hardware. This binary blob even includes remote management and monitoring features, which make it a potential security and privacy threat.

    You might want to replace the UEFI firmware and get complete control over your PC’s hardware with Coreboot, a free software BIOS alternative—but you can’t in PCs with modern Intel processors, thanks to Intel’s Boot Guard and the “Verified Boot” mode PC manufacturers choose.

  2. Intel Boot Guard, Coreboot and user freedom

    PC World wrote an article on how the use of Intel Boot Guard by PC manufacturers is making it impossible for end-users to install replacement firmware such as Coreboot on their hardware. It’s easy to interpret this as Intel acting to restrict competition in the firmware market, but the reality is actually a little more subtle than that.

    UEFI Secure Boot as a specification is still unbroken, which makes attacking the underlying firmware much more attractive. We’ve seen several presentations at security conferences lately that have demonstrated vulnerabilities that permit modification of the firmware itself. Once you can insert arbitrary code in the firmware, Secure Boot doesn’t do a great deal to protect you – the firmware could be modified to boot unsigned code, or even to modify your signed bootloader such that it backdoors the kernel on the fly.

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