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02.23.15

Links 23/2/2015: Ubuntu Kylin 14.04.2 LTS, Cinnamon 2.6 Previews

Posted in News Roundup at 6:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • My Four-Year-Old Daughter Rejected Windows 10

      Eimi, my four year old daughter, has interacted with Linux-powered computers since she was born. I still remember those nights in which I would pace up and down in my office, holding her and rocking her on my arms while the Linux desktop played music.

      Then, Eimi grew and started enjoying her own room and, rather precociously, discovered how to use desktops and laptops. I will never forget her first encounter with PicarOS, the Linux distro for children!

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Xfce 4.12 One Week Away, Xubuntu Technical Lead Says

      According to this blog entry by Sean Davis, Xfce contributor and Xubuntu Technical Lead, Xfce 4.12 is to be released in about one week, this being quite an important announcement, since it comes after almost three years in which no new releases have occurred.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • What’s coming to Green Island: part 2
      • Libinput support added to Touchpad KCM

        As an aftermath of the discussion in Fedora, libinput maintainer Peter Hutter contacted KDE developers, including yours truly who is guilty of porting the kcm-touchpad to KDE Frameworks 5. As I know nothing about input stack or touchpads in general (phew), Peter was kind enough to step up, clone the kcm-touchpad and add support for libinput in addition to (existing) synaptics driver. All I had to do then, is to port it again to Frameworks 5.

      • KDE Touchpad Configuration Now Supports Libinput

        With Libinput support being important not only for Wayland input but also is starting to be used for X11/X.Org input too, the KDE input configuration module now supports configuring libinput devices.

      • Plasma Sprint in Barcelona

        We want to get KInfoCenter out of this “nerdy corner” by augmenting it with rich and beautiful modules and encourage users to check it out. The energy information module is the first step in that direction, other developers have also expressed their interest for that, for instance, it could show much more detailed information about what Baloo is doing at the moment.

      • Kronometer 1.6 released

        Kronometer 1.6 is now available for download. This new release brings an improved UI in the Settings dialog, as well as a couple of annoying bugs fixed.

      • TEA 40.0.0 Released – Qt Text Editor with Many Functions

        TEA is a Qt-based text editor with support for tabs, syntax highlighting, spell-checking, editing support for Wikipedia or LaTex, as well as many configuration options. The latest release, 40.0.0, has been put out earlier today and it represents a major milestone.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME’s Log-In Screen Will Still Work Without Wayland

        With the just-released GNOME 3.16 Beta there’s a switch to use Wayland by default for the GDM log-in screen. For those wondering what this means to those using binary blob graphics drivers on your systems or in cases where Wayland isn’t working, fear not.

      • GNOME Maps App Can Now Display Contacts with Geocodable Addresses

        The first beta of the upcoming GNOME Maps 3.16 app of the GNOME desktop environment has been announced as part of the GNOME 3.16 Beta 1 release of the controversial desktop environment. In this beta, GNOME Maps received several improvements and bug fixes that we’ve detailed below for your general information.

      • GNOME 3.16 Beta Brings Wayland-Based Log-in Screen

        Matthias Clasen has announced the release of GNOME 3.15.90, the GNOME 3.16 Beta, that’s coming out slightly delayed but still in time for some weekend testing.

        The saturday afternoon release of this first beta in the GNOME 3.15 series brings several more “big features” that have been a priority for the GNOME 3.16 development cycle.

      • Cinnamon 2.6 to Be a Massive Update, Panel Support for Multiple Monitors Incoming

        Cinnamon, a Linux desktop environment developed by the same guys who are also responsible for Linux Mint, will be getting some very important new features with the next 2.6 version that will be out soon.

      • Cinnamon 2.6 brings panels to multiple monitors

        Cinnamon is one of my favorite open source projects because it actually listens to what users ‘need’ and then works on features to fulfill those needs.

        Despite being a full time KDE Plasma user, Cinnamon is one DE that I would be very comfortable with. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Gnome or Unity; I do. It’s just that Plasma and Cinnamon are more suited for my needs – they both are extremely customization and allow me to give a personalized touch to my PC.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • AntiX Linux: A Brief Review

        Certain factors like systemd are polarizing the Linux community. It seems that either you like it or you hate it. Some of the Debian developers are getting nervous and so a fork of Debian called Devuan has been announced.

        I’m always looking at other distros that emphasize compactness and the ability to run on old hardware. I was also intrigued by the Debian controversy with systemd so when I saw AntiX 13.2 was based on Debian Wheezy I had to give it a try. AntiX comes on a single CD so installing it was easy enough.

      • Running Bodhi 3.0.0 Legacy on Older Hardware

        There are many reasons why people use Bodhi Linux. Some use it because they really like the Enlightenment desktop, and Bodhi has pioneered the integration of Enlightenment to create a distro that is both beautiful, elegant and functional. Others use it because they want an operating system that stays out of their way. Again, although Enlightenment offers plenty of whistles and bells for those who need or want them, it can also be configured to be highly minimalist and use a very small amount of system resources.

    • New Releases

      • 7.5-TEST-1 Release Notes

        Parsix GNU/Linux 7.5 (code name Rinaldo) brings the latest stable GNOME desktop environment, a new kernel built using our modernized kernel build system, updated installer, a new version of systemd and an upgraded X.Org Server. This version has been synchronized with Debian Wheezy repositories as of February 20, 2015. Thanks to the upgraded X.Org server, there is a noticable desktop performance improvement. Parsix Rinaldo ships with GNOME 3.14 and LibreOffice productivity suit by default. Highlights: GNOME Shell 3.14.3, X.Org 1.16.4, GRUB 2, GNU Iceweasel (Firefox) 35.0.1, GParted 0.12.1, Empathy 3.12.7, LibreOffice 3.5.4, VirtualBox 4.3.18 and a kernel based on Linux 3.14.32 with TuxOnIce 3.3, BFS and other extra patches. Live DVD has been compressed using SquashFS and XZ.

      • Q4OS 0.5.26 version released

        The main purpose of this release is to fix ‘unetbootin’ weighty issue. Some Q4OS USB installation media created with unetbootin utility didn’t correctly extract all the archives and packages. It is now fixed as well as several other bugs. Packages updates and fine tuning of Q4OS Setup utility has been made as well.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Mir Now Depends Upon C++14

            While many open-source projects are still transitioning over to a C++11 code-base, Ubuntu’s Mir display server is already moving onto C++14.

            C++14 was officially released last December as a small update over C++11. While it’s officially just a few months old, GCC and LLVM/Clang have been working on supporting the C++14 changes for some time.

          • Kadu 2.0 Instant Messenger Client Released with Better Ubuntu Unity Support

            After two alphas, one beta, and three RC (Release Candidate) versions, the final release of the anticipated Kadu 2.0 IM client is now available for download. Kadu is an open-source, user-friendly, flexible, and stable Instant Messenger client that supports the Jabber, XMPP, and Gadu-Gadu protocols. Kadu 2.0 is a major release that brings a number of new features and improvements over previous versions.

          • I wrote some more apps for Ubuntu Phone

            As before, all these apps are GPL 3 licensed and available on Launchpad. What’s new is now you can browse them online due to a great unofficial web appstore made by Brian Douglass. This solves one of my previous gripes about not being able to find new applications.

          • Writing Ubuntu Phone Apps Seem Fairly Easy

            Robert Ancell of Canonical posted a new blog post this morning about writing some more apps for Ubuntu Phone. He shows off a simple dice roller app written in just over 400 lines of QML, a morse sender example in less than 600 lines of code, and a yatzy game in less than 1k lines of code all with QML. He’s put out the source to these example Ubuntu Phone apps under the GNU GPLv3.

          • Ubuntu 15.04 to Get Locally Integrated Menus by Default

            Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) will implement Locally Integrated Menus by default, making this a very important change for Unity and the operating system.

          • Canonical targets IoT for critical infrastructure

            The increase in hacking attacks that are aligned to geo-political issues is on the increase. Over the last decade, conflicts on the ground have often spilled over to groups of hackers, some state sponsored and some claiming to act independent of the state. The majority of these hackers have chosen to deface government websites or launch DDoS style attacks to force websites offline.

          • Canonical announces new partnership
          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • SCALE 13x, Day 2: Knock on Wood

      The day Saturday started with Monty Taylor’s Flying Circus. HP’s Monty Taylor, accompanied by his rubber duck, gave an insightful talk on the direction of Open Source and how media-fabricated one-liners — akin to the misconception that lemmings jump off cliffs — affect the tech industry and, more importantly, what can be done about it.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • OpenStack at Walmart, project reform status, and more
    • Open Data

      • 3 ways open data is revolutionizing product development

        Somewhere between these two factors — what people really need and don’t have on one end, and what technologies can make a meaningful impact on the other — lies the sweet spot where the next breakthrough product is waiting. And as some leading companies have started to discover, open source data can lead you straight to it. Most recently I witnessed this play out with a company in medical device development — although the learnings from their experience are applicable across industries. Here’s why:

Leftovers

  • American Airlines Strands Luggage From Multiple Flights In Miami; Blames ‘Technical Issue’

    MIA may be the airport code for Miami International Airport, but it’s also the state of luggage for hundreds — if not thousands — of passengers flying on American Airlines out of Miami on Friday: missing in action.

    An apparent “technical issue” with its baggage conveyor belts at Miami International Airport prevented American Airlines from loading any planes with checked luggage on Friday. For eight hours, the airline let its flights depart sans bags, but did not notify passengers of the issue. Instead, most passengers discovered when they reached their destinations that their luggage hadn’t.

  • Science

    • Google boss warns of ‘forgotten century’ with email and photos at risk

      Humanity’s first steps into the digital world could be lost to future historians, Vint Cerf told the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in San Jose, California, warning that we faced a “forgotten generation, or even a forgotten century” through what he called “bit rot”, where old computer files become useless junk.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Owen Paterson gets his facts wrong in pro-GMO push

      An emotive press release hypes the visit to South Africa by the discredited former UK environment secretary Owen Paterson. The press release, sent from the right-wing think-tank that Paterson founded, UK2020, accuses the European Union and Greenpeace of “condemning millions of people in developing countries to starvation and death by their stubborn refusal to accept the benefits of genetically modified crops and other potentially life-saving advances in plant sciences.”

  • Security

    • Lenovo: Avoid!

      As for me, I will not be buying a Lenovo computer, ever.

    • A Bit Late, But Lenovo CTO Admits The Company Screwed Up

      We’ve had a bunch of posts today (and yesterday) about the “Superfish” debacle, with a few of them focusing on Lenovo failing to recognize what a problem it was — first denying any serious security problem, and then calling it “theoretical.” It appears that Lenovo has now realized it totally screwed up and is finally saying so.

    • Dear Lenovo, it’s not me, it’s you.

      I’ve been a mostly happy Thinkpad owner for almost 15 years. My first Thinkpad was a 570, followed by an X40, an X61s, and an X220. There might have been one more in there, my archives only go back a decade. Although it’s lately gotten harder to buy Thinkpads at UNB as Dell gets better contracts with our purchasing people, I’ve persevered, mainly because I’m used to the Trackpoint, and I like the availability of hardware service manuals. Overall I’ve been pleased with the engineering of the X series.

    • Superfish means its time to replace your Lenovo computer

      Lenovo is all over the media recently, and not for a good reason. The revelation that it corrupted its computers with the vile Superfish adware has shocked many people in the computing world. It’s almost impossible to believe that a company could be so incredibly stupid and so unbelievably uncaring about the security of its customers.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • What Would Malcolm X Think?

      FIFTY years ago today my father, Malcolm X, was assassinated…

    • Australia rules out Sweden for $39 billion submarine contract

      Australia will not partner with Sweden to build its next-generation submarine fleet, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Friday, narrowing the list of potential partners for the A$50 billion ($39 billion) program to Germany, France and Japan.

      Swedish defense firm Saab, France’s state-controlled naval contractor DCNS and Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems have expressed interest in the project.

    • Pakistan Army increasing cooperation with CIA on drone strikes after Peshawar massacre, expert says

      The Pakistan Army is once again cooperating with the US on drone strikes, a renowned expert on the country’s military tells the Bureau in the latest edition of Drone News.

    • CIA-planted ‘evidence’ may force IAEA review of Iran’s alleged nuke arms program – report

      Doctored blueprints for nuclear weapon components supplied to Iran by the CIA 15 years ago could force the IAEA to review its conclusions on Iran’s atomic program, which was potentially based on misleading intelligence, Bloomberg reports.

      The details of the Central Intelligence Agency operation back in 2000 were made public as part of a judicial hearing into a case involving Jeffrey Sterling, an agent convicted of leaking classified information on CIA spying against Iran.

    • CIA’s Nuclear-Bomb Sting Said to Spur Review in Iran Arms Case

      Details of a 15-year-old Central Intelligence Agency sting emerging from a court case in the U.S. may prompt United Nations monitors to reassess some evidence related to Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons work, two western diplomats said.

      International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors in Vienna will probably review intelligence they received about Iran as a result of the revelations, said the two diplomats who are familiar with the IAEA’s Iran file and asked not to be named because the details are confidential. The CIA passed doctored blueprints for nuclear-weapon components to Iran in February 2000, trial documents have shown.

    • The CIA Once Ran Brothels And Dosed Unsuspecting Customers With LSD

      For ten years during the Cold War, the CIA conducted mind-control experiments on unsuspecting San Franciscans. Dubbed Operation Midnight Climax, the program was packed with salacious details: a power-mad narcotics agent, a brothel equipped with two-way mirrors, and gallons of LSD.

    • Christian War Crimes Prize

      After destroying Hiroshima, President Truman offered thanks to God for the power to kill indiscriminately…

    • The Israeli agent behind enemy lines

      “The Israeli intelligence services paid me to complete certain missions, such as secret missions in Syria under the cover of a reporter. These missions were at times very dangerous, and I risked the worst, including death in the case of failure. I traveled to Damascus a number of time in order to make contact with the local elite, doctors, researchers and others – all of whom wanted to emigrate to the United States. Every time I would get the equivalent to a month’s wage.”

    • David Swanson – Not Very Funny

      More broadly, Jeb pushed the idea that the Middle East is a disaster because it hasn’t been bombed enough, and that the U.S. is disliked because it hasn’t attacked enough countries. There are two problems with this. One, it’s a disgusting and ridiculous lie that has been getting people killed for many years. A Gallup poll early last year of 65 countries found the U.S. to be considered far and away the biggest threat to peace in the world. The nations in the worst shape are the ones the U.S. has bombed. U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Powers has actually argued that we should stop paying attention to what bombing Libya did to Libya in order to be sufficiently willing to bomb Iraq and Syria. ISIS actually produced a 60-minute movie begging the United States to go to war against it because recruitment would soar. The U.S. obliged. Recruitment soared. This is how disliked the United States has made itself: organizations are willing to be bombed if it will show them to be the leading opponents of the United States — a country that, by the way, puts over a trillion dollars a year into war when tens of billions could address world hunger, clean water, and other basic needs. For a fraction of war spending, the U.S. could address climate chaos, agriculture, education, etc., and become the most loved government on earth. But would that feel as good as screaming threats at ISIS?

    • Russia Bashing Big Lies Persist

      They report nothing about Washington supplying Kiev with heavy weapons since the conflict began last year.

    • O’Reilly’s “Combat Situation” Reporting Problem Just Got Worse

      Seven of Bill O’Reilly’s former CBS News colleagues who were with the Fox host in Buenos Aires have challenged his account of the riot he has recently come under fire for describing as a “combat situation.” As contradictions to O’Reilly’s account of his 1982 reporting on the Falklands War build, O’Reilly has responded to critics with personal attacks.

    • On CNN’s Reliable Sources, Media Critics Dissect O’Reilly’s Politicization Of Criticism Of His Falklands War Reporting
    • Former CBS News Colleague Contradicts O’Reilly’s Story About Argentina Protest After Falkland Islands War
    • Bill O’Reilly: Former CBS News Correspondent Eric Engberg “Is A Coward” For Criticizing His Falklands War Reporting
    • Turkish Forces Attack Syrian Troops

      Former US ambassador to Syria Robert Ford admits moderates don’t exist in numbers and motivation enough to matter.

    • Argentina charges US interference in crisis over prosecutor’s death

      The political crisis precipitated by the mysterious January 18 death of Alberto Nisman has continued to deepen after a mass march called by fellow prosecutors and backed by the government’s right-wing opponents drew large crowds into the streets of Buenos Aires Wednesday to mark one month since the Argentine federal prosecutor was found with a fatal bullet wound to his head.

    • Failing Tonkin Gulf Test on Ukraine

      For instance, Congress could investigate the role of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in orchestrating the political crisis that led to a violent coup overthrowing Ukraine’s constitutionally elected President Viktor Yanukovych a year ago.

    • RABBLE ROUSER: Peace activists give food for thought

      He reminded us that in Nazi Germany, many people had to look the other way to allow for the horrendous atrocities while others risked their lives and paid a high price. He also pointed to the historical reality of the FBI illegally spying on both blacks and Peace Groups during the Vietnam era.

    • Gallup: Americans’ Fear of Russia Soars

      Gallup headlined on February 16th, “Americans Increasingly See Russia as Threat, Top U.S. Enemy,” and reported that whereas back in 2011 only 3% of Americans answered “Russia” when asked “What country anywhere in the world do you consider to be the United States’ greatest enemy?” 18% cite “Russia” today, which is 3% more than the #2-cited threat, “North Korea,” cited now by 15% (which had been 16% back in 2011, when the top-cited threat of all was then Iran, at 25%, which is now cited by only 9% of Americans, as being America’s “greatest enemy.”

    • America Threatens to Wage War on Russia: “US public is being Prepped to Hate Russians and to Fear Russia”

      Gallup headlined on February 16th, “Americans Increasingly See Russia as Threat, Top U.S. Enemy,” and reported that whereas back in 2011 only 3% of Americans answered “Russia” when asked “What country anywhere in the world do you consider to be the United States’ greatest enemy?” 18% cite “Russia” today, which is 3% more than the #2-cited threat, “North Korea,” cited now by 15% (which had been 16% back in 2011, when the top-cited threat of all was then Iran, at 25%, which is now cited by only 9% of Americans, as being America’s “greatest enemy.”

    • Swedish migrant aides ‘were Isis recruiters’

      Sweden’s national job agency has sacked its whole network of immigrant resettlement assistants after suspicion that some of them may have tried to recruit newly arrived immigrants to jihadist-style militant groups, such as Isis.

    • US Backing for ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels: Long Reported, Continually Forgotten

      The Guardian story cited the Pentagon in acknowledging that “a small group of US special forces and military planners had been to Jordan during the summer to help…train selected rebel fighters.”

    • America loves its war porn: “American Sniper” and the Hollywood propaganda machine

      In the age of the all-volunteer military and an endless stream of war zone losses and ties, it can be hard to keep Homeland enthusiasm up for perpetual war. After all, you don’t get a 9/11 every year to refresh those images of the barbarians at the airport departure gates. In the meantime, Americans are clearly finding it difficult to remain emotionally roiled up about our confusing wars in Syria and Iraq, the sputtering one in Afghanistan, and various raids, drone attacks, and minor conflicts elsewhere.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • World Bank Refuses to Consider Haitian Communities’ Complaint about New Mining Law

      Last week, the World Bank Inspection Panel refused to consider a complaint from Haitian communities about the Bank’s support for development of the mining sector in Haiti. Communities affected by mining activity and the Justice in Mining Collective, a group of six Haitian civil society organizations, submitted the complaint in early January, alleging violations of their rights to information and participation and threats of human rights abuses and environmental harms. The Inspection Panel—an office established to address complaints from people affected by World Bank-sponsored projects—recognized that the complaint raised “serious and legitimate” concerns and that the mining industry presents significant risks. The office nevertheless denied the complaint on narrow, technical grounds. The complainants expect to receive a copy of the decision in French today.[1]

  • Finance

    • In Remarks on Obama, Rudy Giuliani to the Core

      It has been years since he disclosed his assets, but Mr. Giuliani revealed as a presidential candidate that his personal wealth had ballooned from a modest sum when he left City Hall to more than $30 million in 2007.

    • Straw and Rifkind deny ‘cash for access’ wrongdoing

      Two former foreign secretaries have been secretly filmed apparently offering their services to a private company for thousands of pounds.

    • Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind face ‘cash for access’ allegations

      Two former foreign secretaries are facing accusations of being involved in a new “cash for access” scandal by offering to use their political influence in return for payment.

    • ‘Cash for access’ scandal: How to buy a politician

      The Telegraph looks at how to buy a politician, including Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind

    • Hillary Clinton’s Complex Corporate Ties

      Among recent secretaries of state, Hillary Clinton was one of the most aggressive global cheerleaders for American companies, pushing governments to sign deals and change policies to the advantage of corporate giants such as General Electric Co., Exxon Mobil Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Boeing Co.

    • Hillary, Jeb and $$$$$$

      This was on top of another $4 million that he reportedly netted the previous week in one evening alone at the Manhattan home of a private equity bigwig. After Manhattan came the Washington, D.C., area, where he racked up $1 million at two events, according to Politico. An atlas of cities, an avalanche of dough: It’s what successful campaigns are made of, and his is expected to raise between $50 million and $100 million over a span of three months.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Denying History: Cuba in the German Liberal Press

      The U.S.-Cuban negotiations were extensively discussed in the liberal German press. A closer reading of the news indicated a slant in coverage: Cuba was depicted as a terror state and a nefarious actor. The USA, on the other hand, was described as a benign actor with noble aims such as to bring democracy and reforms to Cuba.

    • Reel life is often significantly different than real life — even for Academy Award winners

      Reel life is often significantly different than real life — even for Academy Award winners. Here are eight movies that got their facts wrong.

    • So who is the Biggest Prevaricator: Brian Williams or Bill O’Reilly?

      According to David Corn’s February 19, 2015 article “Bill O’Reilly Has His Own Brian Williams Problem” in Mother Jones–the Fox News host stands accused of making false claims of stolen valor, similar in nature to those made by NBC News anchor Brian Williams. This despite O’Reilly’s feigned outrage at the hypocrisy of Mr. Williams. The article cited several instances of O’Reilly’s own historic, documented duplicity, but there was another one which went unreported that came from his own words as written within one of O’Reilly’s own books.

    • Erick Erickson Follows Scott Walker In Questioning Obama’s Christianity

      Fox contributor Erick Erickson parroted Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) to cast doubt on President Obama’s Christianity, alleging he is not a Christian “in any meaningful way,” despite the fact that right-wing attempts to call Obama’s faith into question have long been discredited.

    • The Sexist Attacks On Women For Saying The Same Thing As Men

      The National Review’s Ian Tuttle called the two women an incapable “hapless duo” with a “Lucy and Ethel routine” (Harf is blonde, Psaki a red head) who were trying to create a version of the comedy film Legally Blonde at the US Department of State. In a separate piece, the conservative journal of record’s Kevin Williamson called Harf “cretinous” and a “misfit who plays Messy Marvin to Jen Psaki’s feckless Pippi Longstocking.”

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Laura Poitras’ CITIZENFOUR Awarded Oscar for Best Documentary in 2014

      CITIZENFOUR, Laura Poitras’ riveting documentary about Edward Snowden’s efforts to shed light on gross surveillance abuses by the United States government and its partners, just won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Tonight’s Oscar win recognizes not only the incredible cinematography of Poitras, but also her daring work with a high-stakes whistleblower and the journalism that kick-started a worldwide debate about surveillance and government transparency. We suspect this award was also, as the New York Times pointed out, “a way for Academy members to make something of a political statement, without having to put their own reputations on the line.”

    • Citizenfour: Inside Story of NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Captured in New Film by Laura Poitras

      “At this stage I can offer nothing more than my word. I am a senior government employee in the intelligence community. I hope you understand that contacting you is extremely high risk … This will not be a waste of your time.” This was one of the first messages Edward Snowden wrote to filmmaker Laura Poitras beginning an exchange that helped expose the massive surveillance apparatus set up by the National Security Agency. Months later, Poitras would meet Snowden for the first time in a Hong Kong hotel room. Poitras filmed more than 20 hours of footage as Snowden debriefed reporters Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill. That footage — most unseen until now — forms the backbone of Poitras’ new film, “Citizenfour.” She joins us to talk about the film and her own experience with government surveillance. The film is the third installment of her 9/11 trilogy that also includes “My Country, My Country” about the Iraq War and “The Oath” about the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Poitras’ NSA reporting contributed to a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service awarded to The Guardian and The Washington Post. We also speak with Jeremy Scahill, who appears in the film reporting on recent disclosures about NSA surveillance from a new, anonymous government source. Scahill, along with Poitras and Greenwald, founded The Intercept, a new media venture to continue investigating whistleblower leaks.

    • Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald on Government Surveillance

      Laura Poitras, nominated for best documentary for “Citizenfour,” said she had seen some changes as a result of her film, about the whistleblower Edward Snowden and his revelations of government surveillance.

    • Laura Poitras on Her Oscar-Nominated Snowden Doc Citizenfour

      When we sit down in her New York office on the evening of February 14, I wish Laura Poitras a happy Valentine’s Day. “Oh, is that today?” she replies. The filmmaker has ample reasons to be unaware of ordinary reality. It has been two years since, while making a documentary about government surveillance of citizens, she received an encrypted email from a correspondent who identified himself only as “citizenfour.” The anonymous emailer turned out, of course, to be Edward Snowden. Since Citizenfour was released to great acclaim last October, she has been in constant motion, mostly outside the U.S. Two nights before we meet, she and Glenn Greenwald were joined, via satellite link from Moscow, by a smiling, relaxed Snowden for discussions at New York’s IFC Center and the New School. The current week contains two more milestones in the film’s remarkable career: It is the odds-on favorite to win Best Documentary at the Oscars this Sunday; the following night, it will have its first telecast on HBO.

    • Edward Snowden Congratulates Laura Poitras for Winning Best Documentary Oscar for Citizenfour

      The following is a statement from Edward Snowden provided to the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents him…

    • Why Kaspersky was right to reveal NSA secrets

      This means that the NSA likely had help from the corporations that build the hard drives and USB devices in question, because they’d have no access to the source code otherwise, according to Reuters. It opens up the possibility that the NSA used an American company’s cooperation with a foreign company on projects as an invitation to steal the American company’s proprietary information, too, even though U.S. law explicitly prohibits this type of covert operation.

    • Wanda Sykes on Working at the NSA, Coming Out, & Shooing the FLOTUS Away

      Before her career in comedy, Sykes got, as she called it, “a good government job.” She worked for the NSA and, when prompted, confessed that “yes, she learned some things that were surprising.” She did not elaborate, maybe because it was long ago, or maybe because none of us had the proper clearance.

    • Jeb Bush: ‘I don’t understand’ why anyone is upset about the NSA
    • Jeb Bush Backs NSA Powers
    • Find out if the UK used NSA data to spy on you

      While it’s sadly likely that your communications have passed through an intelligence agency at some point, it’s usually difficult to know just who got your data. However, you now have a rare opportunity to find out.

    • Kaspersky Lab Cannot Confirm NSA Behind Espionage Program on 30 Countries

      Ealier this week, the Moscow-based internet security company published a report saying that spying software operated by a hacker group had infected over 500 computers in over 30 countries including Iran, Russia, China and Syria. The revelations triggered media reports about the US NSA being behind the espionage.

    • Hard-drive spy malware linked to NSA

      A powerful cyberspying tool can tap into millions of computers worldwide through secretly installed malware, security researchers say, with many signs pointing to a US-led effort.

    • NSA spied through Seagate, Micron, Western Digital gear, Russian researchers say (Correction)

      The NSA’s spy programs can function in disk drives sold by more than a dozen companies, which means just about every computer on the market vulnerable to eavesdropping. Kaspersky Lab, a Moscow-based security software maker, discovered that implants could be placed by what it called the “Equation Group,” a reference to the NSA. The finding was confirmed by Reuters via a former NSA employee.

    • Vermont Legislation Goes Head-to-Head with NSA Spying

      A bill filed in the Vermont House last week represents a transpartisan effort taking on the surveillance state. The legislation would not only support efforts to turn off NSA’s water in Utah, but would have practical effects on federal surveillance programs if passed.

      Vermont Rep. Teo Zagar (D-Barnard) introduced H.204 on Feb. 12. His three cosponsors literally span the political spectrum, including a Republican, an Independent and a member of the Progressive Party.

    • FBI surveillance tactics jeopardized by fight over NSA phone snooping program
    • NSA Spy Hacking Undermines US Credibility Over Outlawing Cyberattacks

      The United States is planning to create a new agency dedicated to cybersecurity in light of the growing number of hacking attacks and identity theft in the past year.

    • Fresh Insights into the NSA’s Cyber Capabilities

      It is widely known that the National Security Agency houses an impressive cyber force with the capacity to bypass the digital defenses of private individuals, enterprises, and even foreign governments – a force powerful enough to draw criticism from the American public and American allies. A recent report from Russian researchers has provided more specific information vis-à-vis the technical capabilities of NSA.

    • Citizenfour: meet NSA whistleblower Snowden

      Last year, Attorney-General George Brandis introduced legislation to Parliament which, if passed, would require telecom companies to retain metadata for two years. Last week, in the 100-seat Parliament House theatre located just next door, politicians and journalists gathered to watch an advance screening of documentary Citizenfour. The film follows whistleblower Edward Snowden as he reveals the extent of the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program. It is a must-see: a poignant reminder of the dangers posed to individual privacy and security by data collection.

    • The NSA’s Snooping Reaches Insane New Levels. You Can’t Do A Thing About It.

      Apparently, the United States National Security Agency has been spying on computers used in several countries through software buried within hard drives manufactured by big companies such as Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital.

      Security researchers at Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab discovered personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs. The most infections were found in Iran, along with computers in Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria.

    • Russia Improving Electronic Security in Response to NSA Spyware – Lawmaker

      The remark follows an announcement made on Monday by Kaspersky Lab, a Moscow-based Internet security software company, on a broad surveillance program that was tracking data on computer hard disks worldwide. The company said a cyberattack team known as the Equation Group had infected the computers of 500 organizations worldwide with spying software, most of them in Iran and Russia.

    • ​Criminally insane irresponsibility led to modern ‘hacker’s paradise’

      The US government has been irresponsible about cyber security for the past 25 years, essentially allowing the NSA to create a ‘hackers paradise’ through numerous infantile backdoors they planted, former US intelligence officer Robert Steele told RT.

    • Find Out if You’ve Been Spied on—and Join the Fight for Privacy

      Want to know if GCHQ spied on you? Now you can find out. Privacy International (PI) has just launched a website that lets anyone find out if their communications were intercepted by the NSA and then shared with GCHQ.

    • Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden film set for Christmas release

      Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone’s big-screen dramatisation of Edward Snowden’s mass surveillance revelations will be released on 25 December, distributor Open Road Films said on Friday.

      Snowden will star Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the NSA whistleblower who leaked details of US and British surveillance and electronic monitoring programs.

      Filming has begun in Munich and will move to other locations before its expected completion in May.

      Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto and Tom Wilkinson will also star in the film, adapted from two books, The Snowden Files, by Guardian journalist Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden’s lawyer.

    • Timothy Olyphant Joins Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden Movie
    • Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden biopic to open on Christmas Day

      Stone is also adapting the screenplay with Kieran Fitzgerald, from Luke Harding’s The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man and Anatoly Kucherena’s Time of the Octopus.

    • You can now find out if GCHQ spied on you

      People from around the world can join a campaign to find out if British intelligence agency GCHQ illegally spied on them — and force it to delete the data.

      The move follows a ruling by the UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) that GCHQ’s use of data gathered by the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US was unlawful prior to December 2014.

    • Snowden Documentary Earns Ridenhour Film Prize

      The Ridenhour Prizes announced Friday its documentary prize will go to “Citizenfour,” the film about Edward Snowden’s leaks of classified NSA documents, directed by Laura Poitras.

    • Director Laura Poitras accepts the award for best documentary for her film “Citizenfour” at the 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica
    • SA’s securocrats serious about cyberwarfare

      Shortly after 9/11, the South African government introduced measures to fight terrorism in the country, including a bill allowing the monitoring and interception of communications. It became the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (Rica) of 2002. It replaced the Interception and Monitoring Prohibition Act of 1992, which did not deal adequately with technological advances.

    • Loopholes exist in our laws covering interception of communications, and the state is abusing them.

      Shortly after 9/11, the South African government introduced measures to fight terrorism in the country, including a Bill allowing the monitoring and interception of communications. It became the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (Rica) of 2002. It replaced the Interception and Monitoring Prohibition Act of 1992, which did not deal adequately with technological advances.

    • The Spy Cables: A glimpse into the world of espionage

      A digital leak to Al Jazeera of hundreds of secret intelligence documents from the world’s spy agencies has offered an unprecedented insight into operational dealings of the shadowy and highly politicised realm of global espionage.

      Over the coming days, Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit is publishing The Spy Cables, in collaboration with The Guardian newspaper.

      Spanning a period from 2006 until December 2014, they include detailed briefings and internal analyses written by operatives of South Africa’s State Security Agency (SSA). They also reveal the South Africans’ secret correspondence with the US intelligence agency, the CIA, Britain’s MI6, Israel’s Mossad, Russia’s FSB and Iran’s operatives, as well as dozens of other services from Asia to the Middle East and Africa.

      The files unveil details of how, as the post-apartheid South African state grappled with the challenges of forging new security services, the country became vulnerable to foreign espionage and inundated with warnings related to the US “War on Terror”.

    • ‘Overnight, everything I loved was gone’: the internet shaming of Lindsey Stone

      When a friend posted a photograph of charity worker Lindsey Stone on Facebook, she never dreamed she would lose her job and her reputation. Two years on, could she get her life back?

    • Why The USA Hacks

      The U.S. government views cyberspace as just another theater of war akin to air, land and sea…

    • Alleged NSA Computer Hardware Espionage Not Surprising – Former CIA Officer

      A former CIA and State Department counterterrorism expert says a report by Russia-based Kaspersky Lab that the NSA could have infiltrated computer hardware to spy on foreign entities is not surprising.

    • Investigation looks at possible CIA malware plant

      A new report from Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab said its researchers identified a new family of malicious programs or worms that infected computers in multiple countries, primarily overseas. Targets appeared to be specifically selected and included military, Islamic activists, energy companies and other businesses, as well as government personnel.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Infamous Oscar Speech Heard Around the World

      Can we all just agree on that point? I’m not saying we owe Michael Moore an apology for the way he was derided for his speech after winning the Academy Award for Bowling for Columbine, 10 years ago, but on this momentous anniversary, I think we can at least acknowledge that much.

      On March 23, 2003, Moore made the Oscar speech heard around the world, in which he condemned George Bush for going to war in Iraq, which had just begun four days prior. And Moore was booed, stalked and threatened for it. He had to get a security detail to protect him from the death threats (some of which were encouraged by the media), and he claims that Homeland Security scratched up his Oscar at the airport on the way home.

    • Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud during his one meeting with THE General Body

      THE General Body’s website shows they are connecting with other anti-corporatization student groups, such as those at Colgate University and the University of California.

    • Poland to Pay $262,000 to Inmates Held at Secret C.I.A. Prison
    • Poland agrees to pay 2 victims of CIA rendition

      Poland will be the first country to pay damages for participating in the US Central Intelligence Agency’s secret rendition programme after its was found to have hosted a facility used for illegal rendition and interrogation.

    • CIA terror suspects get pay from Poland

      Poland will pay $262,000 in compensation to two terror suspects who say they were tortured at a CIA secret prison that Poland hosted from 2002-2003, a government minister said Wednesday.

      Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna spoke after the European Court of Human Rights in France rejected Poland’s appeal of its earlier ruling.

    • 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.

    • Poland to Pay €230,000 to Two CIA Detainees Previously Held on Its Soil
    • Will the U.S. prosecute torture?

      When America Tonight approached the Justice Department for this report, its press office responded in an email in bold type: “We are not doing interviews.” But in a statement, the agency said that it reviewed the cases of several detainees “alleged to have been mistreated” back in 2009. In the two criminal investigations that resulted, it said it did not find sufficient evidence to “obtain and sustain” convictions.

    • Did the Torture Report Give the C.I.A. a Bum Rap?

      IN December, when the Senate Intelligence Committee issued its long-awaited report on the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program, it seemed to confirm what I and many human-rights advocates had argued for a decade: The C.I.A. had started and run a fundamentally abusive and counterproductive torture program. What’s more, the report found that the C.I.A. had lied repeatedly about the program’s efficacy, and that it had neither disrupted terror plots nor saved lives.

    • Former CIA officer suing agency for wrongful termination

      A former CIA officer who operated under shadowy “non-official cover” status is suing the spy agency in federal court, claiming he was wrongly fired after a senior manager fabricated allegations of misconduct.

      The officer filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under a pseudonym, Mack L. Charles. The CIA declined to comment, but did not dispute the plaintiff’s former association with the agency.

    • Fired CIA Worker’s Suit Stymied by State Secrets

      A former CIA operations officer with narcolepsy cannot pursue discrimination charges against the agency because his claims violate state secrets privilege, a federal judge ruled.

      The plaintiff, under the pseudonym Jacob Abilt, claims he divulged his disability to the CIA upon employment when he was hired by the agency in 2008.

      “The parties agreed that as an accommodation of Plaintiff’s disability he could take brief naps at his desk, provided that he make-up the time either by foregoing a lunch break and/or working beyond his scheduled tour of duty,” the complaint says.

    • How the CIA gets away with it: Our democracy is their real enemy

      The inside, untold story of CIA’s efforts to mislead Congress — and the people — about torture will horrify you

    • He blew the whistle on CIA torture, and now he’s finally home from jail — and talking

      After serving almost two years in a federal prison in Pennsylvania, former CIA officer John Kiriakou, the first agency official to publicly confirm and detail the agency’s use of waterboarding, is back at home in Virginia to complete the rest of his sentence under house arrest.

    • CIA Torture Whistleblower: US Government Lacks “the Guts” to Face Its Crimes

      Out of prison and living at home under house arrest for the remainder of a suspended prison sentence, former CIA operative John Kiriakou, convicted and sent to jail for blowing the whistle on agency torture under the Bush administration, has been speaking to major medi outlets this week about the brutal tactics and depraved abuse administered by the U.S. government in the name fighting terrorism as well as his prosecution and conviction under the Espionage Act for speaking out against such crimes.

    • The dark comedy of the Senate torture report

      Nevertheless, civic duty spurred me and a lawyer colleague to write the preface. So I read the report — all 500 or so pages of it — first in English and then in French. To my great surprise I learned that the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture moves right along, with an authorial voice, lots of irony and plenty of gruesome detail that wasn’t in the newspapers. The principal writer, a former FBI analyst named Daniel Jones, renders the story of the CIA’s gratuitous brutality with a rhythmic repetition that approaches literature. Again and again, we’re told, detainees were grabbed by the CIA or its proxies, transported to secret prisons, subjected to ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’, and eventually dropped because they didn’t reveal anything useful, or they invented stories, or, as in the case of the suspected Afghan militant Gul Rahman, died. Then, after ploughing through many pages of CIA boasting about success in foiling terrorist plots, we find out that the agency’s ‘representations were almost entirely inaccurate’ and that torture foiled not a single plot. The former FBI man has fun hanging his CIA rivals with their own words, such as when then CIA director Porter Goss briefs senators about how ‘professionally operated’ CIA detention techniques are compared with the Abu Ghraib variety: ‘We are not talking military, and I’m not talking about anything that a contractor might have done… in a prison somewhere or beat somebody or hit somebody with a stick or something.’ No, we’re talking about chaining a prisoner to the ceiling, making him wear a nappy, and letting him soil himself. After slamming him into a wall.

    • How Britain’s treatment of ‘The Hooded Men’ during the Troubles became the benchmark for US ‘torture’ in the Middle East

      When Amal Clooney flies into Belfast shortly to meet a group of former Irish prisoners known as ‘The Hooded Men’ it will be the latest chapter of an extraordinary story concerning a quest for justice that has lasted almost half a century.

    • Judge who wrote ‘torture memos’ speaks at University of Utah

      One man held a sign reading “Torture Is a War Crime.”

    • Torture, terrorism, and paranoia

      Director Adeara Maurice said Why Torture is Wrong highlights the “fear-based culture” surrounding terrorism and homeland security in post-9/11 America.

    • Selma Director Ava DuVernay on Hollywood’s Lack of Diversity, Oscar Snub and #OscarsSoWhite Hashtag

      Today we spend the hour with Ava DuVernay, the director of the acclaimed new civil rights film “Selma,” which tells the story of the campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to draw the nation’s attention to the struggle for equal voting rights by marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in March of 1965. While the film has been nominated for an Oscar for best picture, to the shock of many, DuVernay was not nominated. She would have made history as the first African-American woman nominated for best director. At the Sundance Film Festival, DuVernay joins us to discuss the making of the film and the Academy Award nominations. “The question is why was ‘Selma’ the only film that was in the running with people of color for the award?” she asks.

    • Verdict expected in trial of 25 Egyptian activists, including Alaa Abdel-Fattah

      An Egyptian court is expected to issue a verdict on Monday in a case which leading activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and 24 others stand a retrial on a variety of charges, including taking part in an unauthorised protest in 2013.

    • David Cole Turns in His Torture Homework Late, Gets a C

      Here, Cole misrepresents the conclusion of the Torture Report, which leads him to a conclusion of limited value. It is not just that CIA lied about whether torture worked.

    • Even as Many Eyes Watch, Brutality at Rikers Island Persists

      The brutal confrontations were among 62 cases identified by The New York Times in which inmates were seriously injured by correction officers between last August and January, a period when city and federal officials had become increasingly focused on reining in violence at Rikers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The World’s Most Idiotic Copyright Complaint

        If you can bear to read it the full notice can be found here. Worryingly Total Wipes Music are currently filing notices almost every day. Google rejects many of them but it’s only a matter of time before some sneak through.

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