03.18.15

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Links 18/2/2015: Bioshock Infinite for GNU/Linux, Makulu Unity Alphas

Posted in News Roundup at 12:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Hardware

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • FBI Pins ‘Terrorist’ Nametag On ‘Retarded Fool’ Without A ‘Pot To Piss In’

      The FBI’s preference for easily-investigated terrorism is well-documented. We’re routinely assured that all sorts of domestic surveillance tech and agency opacity is necessary to protect us from a whole host of threats, but for the most part, the terrorists “apprehended” by the FBI seem to be people who’ve had the misfortune of being “befriended” by undercover agents and/or confidential informants.

      When over 90% of the funding, idea generation, transportation and motivation comes from those saving us from terrorism, we have reason to be worried. While the FBI performs its predatory handcrafting of “extremists,” the real terrorists — who don’t need someone else to provide weapons, money and motivation — are still going about the business of terrorism.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Obama Just Officially Decided White House Emails Aren’t Subject to the Freedom of Information Act

      Civil liberties advocates are adding another strike to the Obama administration’s record on transparency: on Monday, the White House announced that it is officially ending the Freedom of Information Act obligations of its Office of Administration. That office provides broad administrative support to the White House—including the archiving of emails—and had been subject to FOIA for much of its nearly four-decade history.

    • Swedish Prosecutor in Julian Assange’s Case Retreats; US Continues Espionage Investigation

      Michael Ratner says the real threat to Assange is the continuing espionage investigation against him and Wikileaks – March 17, 2015

    • After Swedish Prosecutors Back Down, Is WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Close to Freedom?

      Today marks the 1,000th day WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has spent in political asylum inside Ecuador’s London embassy. For the first time, Swedish prosecutors have opened the door to Assange’s departure with a request to question him in London. Assange has never been charged over allegations of sexual assault, but has been holed up in the embassy since 2012, fearing a Swedish arrest warrant could lead to his extradition to the United States. We speak with Assange attorney, Michael Ratner, who says an interview with the prosecutor may result in no charges, and even if Assange were convicted of these allegations, “he has done all the time he would have to do… so the whole case is essentially a bogus way of keeping him in that embassy.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • ‘Reawakened’ faults could trigger big Okla. earthquakes

      They’ve been asleep since before the dinosaurs roamed Earth and now we’re waking them up.

      Long-dormant, 300-million-year-old fault lines across Oklahoma are being “reawakened” by recent small earthquakes that have been previously linked to fracking, scientists reported in a new study out this week.

  • Finance

    • If You Own a Pitchfork, You Will Grab It When You See This Chart

      This statistic provides a pretty compelling snapshot of the severity of our income gap: In 2014, Wall Street’s bonus pool was roughly double the combined earnings of all Americans working full-time jobs at minimum wage.

      That sobering tidbit came from a new Institute for Policy Studies report by Sarah Anderson, who looked at new figures from the New York State Comptroller and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average bonus for one of New York City’s 167,800 employees in the securities industry came out to $172,860—on top of an average salary of nearly $200,000. On the other side of the equation were about one million people working full time at the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

    • Protesters, police clash near new European bank HQ in Frankfurt

      Anti-capitalist protesters clashed with riot police near the new headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt on Wednesday and set fire to barricades and cars, casting a pall over the ceremonial opening of the billion-euro skyscraper.

      Nearly 90 police were injured by stones and unidentified liquids hurled by a violent minority from within the thousands-strong protest, police said. Some protesters said they were injured when police used pepper spray.

    • Germany riot targets new ECB headquarters in Frankfurt
    • George Osborne has presided over the slowest recovery in history

      “Britain is walking tall again” claimed George Osborne today, as he argued the British economy is now growing “faster than any other major advanced economy in the world”.

      However, while the pace of economic recovery has finally picked up, figures released by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) today confirmed that overall Osborne has presided over the slowest economic recovery in British history.

    • The Most Dangerous Woman in America

      Kshama Sawant, the socialist on the City Council, is up for re-election this year. Since joining the council in January of 2014 she has helped push through a gradual raising of the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Seattle. She has expanded funding for social services and blocked, along with housing advocates, an attempt by the Seattle Housing Authority to allow a rent increase of up to 400 percent. She has successfully lobbied for city money to support tent encampments and is fighting for an excise tax on millionaires. And for this she has become the bête noire of the Establishment, especially the Democratic Party.

      The corporate powers, from Seattle’s mayor to the Chamber of Commerce and the area’s Democratic Party, are determined she be defeated, and these local corporate elites have the national elites behind them. This will be one of the most important elections in the country this year. It will pit a socialist, who refuses all corporate donations—not that she would get many—and who has fearlessly championed the rights of workingmen and workingwomen, rights that are being eviscerated by the corporate machine. The elites cannot let the Sawants of the world proliferate. Corporate power is throwing everything at its disposal—including sponsorship of a rival woman candidate of color—into this election in the city’s 3rd District.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Intelligence Reform & The French Government’s Disastrous Drift on Surveillance

      The information shared today by Le Figaro regarding the upcoming French Bill on Intelligence, ahead of its presentation before the Council of ministers on Thursday 19 March, only confirms earlier concerns. While this new law was announced as an important overhaul aimed at protecting fundamental rights, the securitarian instrumentalisation of the deadly events of January is bound to lead to an incredible drift in state surveillance practices. La Quadrature du Net calls on citizens and their elected representatives to oppose this bill.

    • Why can the NSA do what it does?

      Like most technical people, I’m not impressed but very worried about the erosion of our civil rights, through the NSA spying and in other ways. And I am sure I share with others the impression that if only politicians and the general public knew more about the problem, we wouldn’t make such bad decisions.

    • Tutanota, An Open Source Encrypted Gmail Alternative, Heads Out Of Beta

      Germany based encrypted email startup, Tutanota, is taking its service out a beta next week — after a year of testing and almost 100,000 users signed up to send and receive secure email.

  • Civil Rights

    • JUSTICE FOR SALE – PART 5: Rebellious Action in a Corrupt Time

      The series collectively argues that corporate media and political rhetoric have made Americans acquiescent toward corruption in the US legal system. This piece examines the corporate media’s coverage of citizen’s resistance to corruption and abuse in the US legal system.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Lawmakers Say TPP Meetings Classified To Keep Americans in the Dark

      Democratic lawmaker says tightly-controlled briefings on Trans-Pacific Partnership deal are aimed at keeping US constituents ignorant about what’s at stake

    • What’s Going On In Obama’s Trade Meeting With Democrats? That’s Classified.

      As the Obama administration gives House Democrats a hard sell on a major controversial trade pact this week, it will be doing so under severe conditions: Any member of Congress who shares information with the public from a Wednesday briefing could be prosecuted for a crime.

    • House Democrats angry over Obama’s classified trade meeting

      House Democrats are criticizing President Obama’s administration for holding a classified briefing on trade with top administration officials, saying it’s an attempt to push a trade program in secret.

    • Copyrights

      • Parliament copyright working group too close to business say activists

        With the Digital Agenda being a key part of the Juncker commission’s drive for jobs and growth and Commissioner Oettinger promising copyright reform and an end of geo-blocking, a group of business and foundations have written to Jean-Marie Cavada MEP (ALDE, FR), the chair of the European Parliament’s Copyright Working Group demanding that he open up consultations to a wider range of stakeholders.

        New Europe has seen the letter.

        The French MEP is at odds with many parliamentarians and the European Commission, being supportive of the current scheme, which has come under sustained criticism from many quarters.

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