04.14.15

Links 14/4/2015: 3DR Dronecode, Z1/Z2 Tizen

Posted in News Roundup at 7:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Dramatic Takeoff of GNU/Linux On The Desktop In Malta

      Malta is one of those places where the small size allows one to see significant migrations to GNU/Linux desktop in their full glory. Notice the ascendance of GNU/Linux in the same week that school started that year.

    • Desktop Linux Made Easy

      Ask any casual Linux enthusiast whether Linux is easy to use and they’ll tell you once installed, it’s very simple to navigate. The problem with the Linux desktop in 2015 isn’t how easy the desktop environment(s) are to work with, but whether the applications provided are easy enough for the average user at a workstation.

  • Server

    • IBM Deepens its Cloud Services Entrenchment with the U.S. Government

      IBM is making further inroads into getting its cloud computing tools and infrastructure solidified with the U.S. government. Big Blue recently announced that the U.S. Army is using IBM Hybrid Cloud to power one of the biggest logistics systems in the federal government. The new hybrid cloud system will be part of an ambitious Army data center designed to connect the IBM Cloud to the Army’s on-premise environment to enable use of data analytics. The Army foresees cost savings of 50 percent over its current cost structure, based on migrations to IBM’s cloud tools.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • EFL 1.14 Beta Brings Ecore-DRM Improvements

      Just one week after the EFL 1.14 Alpha 1 release marks the availability of Enlightenment Foundation Libraries’ 1.14 Beta 1 debut.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • You can come to the Randa Meetings 2015 – Please register now

        The dates for the sixth edition of the Randa Meetings are set: Sunday, 6th to Sunday 13th of September 2015. The first Sunday will be the day of arrival and the last Sunday accordingly the day of departure.

      • Some Skrooge news

        I’ve been alerted a few weeks ago that the Skrooge web site had been hacked, using some URL Injection. After attempting some enquiry and cleanup, I gave up : I couldn’t find the compromised code, and was not able to fix it. This is how I realized that sysadmin is a real job, and I am not one ! After asking some help on kde-www, Albert quickly prompted me to kde-sysadmins, and Ben Cooksley offered to clean the website and host it on kde servers.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • The 5 best distros for the Gnome desktop

        Gnome 3.16 was released recently and I considered it to be one of the best Gnome releases ever. A few weeks ago we did an extremely popular story on some of the best distros which offer great Plasma experience. So I decided to check out which distros offer a similar kind of Gnome experience.

        I have been using Gnome 3.16 on several machines and I am extremely impressed with the improvements, though I think there is still a lot to be improved. From among all the distros that I used, I picked those that offered the best Gnome experience out of the box.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Exploring SuperX 3.0

        Version 3.0 of SuperX can be downloaded as a 1.6GB ISO file. There are two builds available, one for 32-bit and another for 64-bit machines. Booting from the live media brings up the KDE desktop environment. The desktop’s wallpaper is soft blue. On the desktop we find a single icon for launching the distribution’s system installer. At the bottom of the screen we find the application menu, task switcher and system tray. Clicking the application menu button brings up a full screen application menu with large, colourful icons. I want to talk about the application menu more, but first let’s briefly talk about SuperX’s system installer.

      • Linux Mint Debian Edition 2 Cinnamon review

        Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) is a desktop distribution that’s based on Debian. It’s from the same folks responsible for Linux Mint, which is based on Ubuntu Desktop.

        The latest edition, Linux Mint Debian Edition 2 (LMDE 2), code-named Betsy, was released on April 10 (2015). Upgrading from LMDE 1 to 2 is not yet supported, but that should change soon. If you’re using Linux Mint 17, do not attempt to upgrade because the distributions are not compatible.

        Installation images for the Cinnamon and MATE desktop environments were made available for download. This article offers a very cursory review of LMDE 2 Cinnamon.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Review: Sabayon 15.02 KDE

        This weekend has been a little slower than usual for work, so I have a little more time to do a review. Several weeks ago, I downloaded the latest version of Sabayon and kept it for a time (as now) when I’d be free to do a review. Moreover, looking through the archives of this blog, I realized that it’s been almost 3 years since I’ve looked at Sabayon, so a fresh review is long overdue.

    • Arch Family

      • Latest Antergos Live CD Includes GNOME 3.16, Based on Arch Linux

        On April 12, the Antergos development team, through Dustin Falgout, announced the immediate availability for download of an updated installation media for their Antergos Linux distribution based on the upstream Arch Linux operating system and featuring the latest GNOME 3.16 desktop environment.

    • Red Hat Family

      • RDO OpenStack Promises Easy, Free Open Source Cloud Computing

        RDO is a version of OpenStack designed for use on CentOS, a Linux distribution based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Actually, “based on” is a bit of a stretch, because CentOS is basically the RHEL source code recompiled by third parties—which is totally legal and kosher with Red Hat, of course, since the source is open. The only difference between CentOS and RHEL is that the former comes with no enterprise-class support or ecosystem integration.

      • Update: Short Interest of Red Hat, Inc. Drops by -6.6%
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 22 Virt Test Day is Thu Apr 16!

          It’s a great time to make sure your virt workflow is still working correctly with the latest packages in Fedora 22. No requirement to run through test cases on the wiki, just show up and let us know what works (or breaks).

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • 9 ways Android Wear is better than the Apple Watch

      Right off the bat, you have many more Android Wear options because a bunch of different companies have taken their own shot at an Android-powered smartwatch, including Motorola, LG, Huawei, Samsung, and Sony. There are 8 different designs so far.

    • 3DR’s Solo Drone Boasts Dual Linux Computers Running Dronecode

      3DRobotics today announced its first Linux-based drone, a Solo quadcopter touted as the first Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to support full control of GoPro cameras and deliver live-streaming HD video to mobile devices. The ground controller, as well as the drone’s Pixhawk 2 autopilot, integrates a 1GHz Cortex-A9 computer running Linux. The Solo is available for pre-sale at $1,000, or $1,400 with a GoPro gimbal, with units shipping via 2,000 locations starting May 29.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

      • Android

        • Why is Android so different from Linux distros?

          Android is based on Linux, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the same as your average Linux distribution. A redditor wanted to know why Android is so different from the desktop distributions that we all know and love.

        • Verizon’s LG G3 Is Finally Getting Its Android 5.0 Update

          The wait for Android 5.0 to arrive on the LG G3 has varied widely based on carrier—AT&T managed to get it released rather quickly and T-Mobile just rolled it out a week or two ago. Now it’s Verizon’s turn to get the Lollipop update done.

        • ICYMI: You Can Soon Unlock Your Android Phone With Just Your Voice
        • Trusted Voice unlock is rolling out to some Android users

          When the latest version of Google’s Android app arrived last week, there was a hint that a new method for unlocking a device was on the way. Well, it seems the wait is over… for some.

        • LG G4 leaks: ‘Gorgeous’ Android flagship in real leather (and fake carbon fiber)

          If you’re waiting to see what the next LG flagship phone looks like, wait no longer. Here’s the LG G4, in all its leather-clad glory. It’s no clone.

          The secret site the images were snarfed from didn’t give much of a clue about the hardware specs — what was there were clearly placeholders — but if you like stitched leather, you’ll love the G4.

        • 4 ways your Android device is tracking you (and how to stop it)

          So there I was, poking around some of the more arcane settings on my Moto G, when I stumbled across something that took me aback: an archive of every voice command I’d ever spoken to my phone.

          Turns out that each time you say something to the Google Now search box, Android saves a copy of what you said in your “Voice & Audio” history. Your voice history can go back months or even years, and it includes a transcript of what you said plus a playback button, so you can relive the moment.

        • Motorola’s 5-incher finds the G-spot: Moto G 4G budget Android smartie

          Back in December 2013, I hailed the first generation Motorola Moto G as the best affordable smartphone on the market. If you want a reasonably compact 4.5-inch device, then, arguably, it still is the best, thanks to a midlife facelift that added a microSD slot and 4G reception.

        • Sony delivers Android 5.0 to Xperia Z3 Dual, Z1 and more

          Android 5.0 Lollipop is ready to roll on half a dozen Sony smartphones.

        • Deal alert: Get $100 off one of the world’s best Android Wear watches
        • Buy an Android smartphone and Moto 360 from Best Buy, get $100 off the total purchase

          Even though the successor to Motorola’s Android Wear smartwatch, the Moto 360, seems to be right around the corner, the original is still considered one of the better smartwatches currently available. Through Best Buy’s newest promotion, that purchase just became much more easygoing on your wallet.

        • Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Update: Is It Worth Installing Right Now?

          We’ve been using the Nexus 5 Android 5.1 Lollipop update for a number of weeks. And now that the update is rolling out in full force, Nexus 5 users are faced with a decision about whether to install Google’s latest firmware. With some experience under our belts, we want to help with your decision. This is our Nexus 5 Android 5.1 review at the three week mark.

        • Best new apps for Android and iOS (April 7th – April 13th 2015)

          Hey there, app hunters! As we do each week, we’ve combed through the Android and iOS stores once again to look for something interesting for you to download and play around with. Keeping track of the new apps that come out for the lighthearted, so should you desire to have a look at some fresh offerings each week, yet feel daunted by the heap of information you’d have to dig through, feel free to check back regularly.

        • Watch HBO Now on Android and Roku right now

          Think an iDevice is the only way to get HBO’s new streaming service? Think again. For $9.99 you can sling it just about anywhere — for three months.

        • 5 Things to Know About the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Update

          Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop update is missing for a number of Nexus devices though it looks like we can finally take the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 update off of the list. With an OTA in sight, we take a look at what users need to know, right now, about the Nexus 4 Android 5.1 Lollipop update.

        • These E3 Android Wear Watch Bands are Really, Really Nice

          Last week, Google announced a set of official partnerships with a handful of companies willing to make watch bands for Android Wear devices. One of those companies is E3 Motocycles, a shop out of Brooklyn, NY, who specializes in hand-made products that use quality materials like Horween leather. Out of the group that was announced by Google, the E3 watch bands were the closest to our personal tastes in watch bands, so we picked a few up. Man, these are incredible.

        • Android 5.0.2 pushed out for Sony Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1 Compact and Xperia Z Ultra

          Android 5.0.2 is now reaching the Sony Xperia Z1, Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. The update is being disseminated to certain regions only, and offers build number 14.5.A.0.242. The update includes the new Material Design, Lock Screen notifications, the new 64-bit ART runtime compiler that will open apps faster, new “Recent Apps” screen, Project Volta for extended battery life, and more.

        • Some Nexus 5 Owners Afflicted By Camera Crashes Following Android 5.1 Update

          Updates get us excited, especially when they involve making the leap to the latest version of Android. But for some Nexus 5 users, the transition has come at the expense of their camera. Following the release of Android 5.1, they’ve been unable to reliably activate the camera without getting hit by crashes.

        • No, not that Cloud: Final Fantasy XIII now streaming to iOS, Android devices

          Square Enix games are hardly missing from mobile devices, but most of what you’ll see from the company are ports of its older games. Dragon Quest VIII, which originally launched on the PlayStation 2, was about as recent as it gets. At least it was until now.

        • Android 5.1 Lollipop OTA now available for the Nexus 4

          When Google announced Android 5.1 Lollipop last month, the new version of Android quickly began rolling out to multiple Nexus family devices. There are still a few Nexus handsets that have yet to see the update, but today we can check one more off the list – the Nexus 4. The OTA, which is available now, weighs in at only 174MB and will bring your device from build number LRX22C to LMY47O.

        • HTC One M8 Will Skip Android 5.0.2 And Go Straight To Android 5.1, HTC One M7 May Get 5.1 Too

          A new report indicates that HTC will skip Android 5.0.2 for the HTC One M8, which will go straight to 5.1 Lollipop at some time in the future. The older HTC One M7 may get 5.1 as well, despite a recent announcement that it will not.

        • Opera Launches Redesigned Opera Mini For Android

          Opera Mini, the little brother to Opera’s regular mobile browser, is getting a major makeover on Android today. The company says the new design, which is pretty much in line with the regular Opera mobile browser, is meant to give the browser a more native look and feel.

        • Samsung Galaxy S6 Review: The Best Android Phone Of All Time

          There has been something very surprising about the levels of interest I’ve seen with the S6 and S6 Edge, namely that the interest seems to be focused now, as the phone goes on sale, on the S6 instead of the Edge.

          This is the reverse of what I noticed when I published my initial hands-on reviews of the device from a pre-brief held in London ahead of their launch at Mobile World Congress. And indeed, I was at MWC – I was a guest of Samsung, covering the show for one of my British publishers – and the buzz there was all about the Edge.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Pivotal Open-Sources In-Memory Database Geode

    Geode and GemFire compete directly and indirectly in the market with SAP HANA, Teradata and Oracle products.

    Pivotal, EMC’s big data development platform-as-a-service (PaaS) division, on April 13 released Geode, a distributed in-memory database, to the open-source community as a key part of the eventual release of its entire big data platform to the community.

  • Pivotal Gets Open Sourcier

    You can’t help but wonder if EMC Federation boss Joe Tucci is reaching for his stress ball today. His company’s spawn, Pivotal Software, is open sourcing the core of GemFire, its distributed in-memory database.

    We asked Tucci to comment, but he hasn’t gotten back to us yet. And though his press spokesperson told us “we’re for it,” when it comes to open source, we suspect that it might feel a bit like watching your teenager turn your mansion into a commune.

  • PARCC Selects Open Source Platform for Non-Summative Assessments

    “Open source was a key requirement of the PARCC non-summative assessment tools delivery system because it allows us to more easily integrate the platform with other partners and opportunities in the future, as well as leverage the collective open source community contributions to the platform development,” said Jeff Cuff, director of technology at Parcc Inc., the nonprofit organization that manages the assessment system on behalf of the PARCC states, in a prepared statement. “Even more importantly, it is a highly economical approach for the states participating in the consortium, providing significant savings for maintenance compared to other options.”

  • Curoverse Begins Trial Run for Open Source Genomics Tool

    The move is the latest step for Curoverse, a startup that emerged from George Church’s Personal Genome Project at Harvard. The PGP was a plan led by Church to sequence more than 100,000 genomes in the U.S. and link them to individuals’ health information. (The same kind of aggregation, but of 1 million people’s genomic and other health information, is a goal of the Obama administration’s Precision Medicine Initiative.) Church needed a massive database to house all that information, and that’s what led to the creation of Arvados. It’s a database capable of storing giant amounts of genomic information, it’s shareable, it can run on both public and private cloud services, and it’s an open source platform, so anyone can use or modify the source code.

  • Hello Geode: Pivotal GemFire is now open source

    Making good on its promise from earlier in the year, Pivotal has released as open source the distributed in-memory database that powers GemFire, a featured part of Pivotal’s Big Data Suite Hadoop product.

    It’s another step on Pivotal’s road toward building an open source base for its Big Data Suite rather than keeping them on a proprietary leash. However, Pivotal still sees ways it could monetize its Hadoop products — even as advances in open source squeeze companies with proprietary offerings.

  • The Culture of Freedom: Free Software, Free Speech

    For the concluding part of may talk, I explored how this open source methodology manifested itself in the world of open publishing. The fact that it is net-based is hugely important, because it means that the barrier to publishing has been lowered almost to the point of disappearing. That matters, because as A. J. Liebling famously said: “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one”. Today, thanks to the Internet, we have all the advantages of owning a press without any of the massive costs or organisational issues.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Start Drafting Plans To Deprecate Insecure HTTP

        Barnes is hoping for more people to move to HTTPS by limiting new browser features from becoming available over insecure HTTP, in the name of security. He wrote in a mailing list post, “In order to encourage web developers to move from HTTP to HTTPS, I would like to propose establishing a deprecation plan for HTTP without security. Broadly speaking, this plan would entail limiting new features to secure contexts, followed by gradually removing legacy features from insecure contexts. Having an overall program for HTTP deprecation makes a clear statement to the web community that the time for plaintext is over — it tells the world that the new web uses HTTPS, so if you want to use new things, you need to provide security.”

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • HP: We’re not leaving the public cloud

      Several days after HP seemed to announce that it was going to stop offering public cloud services, the company is now stating that it will continue to offer its OpenStack-powered Helion public cloud.

    • Comcast has contributed 36K lines of code to a massive open source project called OpenStack

      Philly became the center of the action for those who use a massive open source project called OpenStack last month.

      Comcast hosted one of the OpenStack community’s regular meetups, drawing more than 150 developers from companies like Rackspace, Time Warner and Red Hat to The Hub in Rittenhouse Square for the two-day event.

  • CMS

  • BSD

  • Openness/Sharing

    • An Open Source Pinewood Derby Track

      There are a lot of reasons to consider reproducing. Tax breaks are near the top of the list, and a bizarre obligation to ensure the survival of the species following closely behind. The pinewood derby, though… Where else are you going to get a chance to spend hours polishing axles and weighing down bits of wood so they can roll faster?

    • The makerspace is the next open source frontier

      In this brave new world of heterogeneous projects that combine hardware, software, printed, cloud, and other pieces, we are going to see an cacophony of different tools for building these different parts of an idea and project. We have GitHub for collaborating around code, Thingiverse for 3D models, Trello for project management and coordination, Moqups and Balsamiq for user interface design, specific toolkits for building drivers and integrating with sensors, and more.

    • Open-source streetlamps from old soda bottles are making streets safer for women

      In the tiny barrio of San Luis, perched precipitously on the hills above Bogotá, a hundred university students are hard at work. Split into 10 groups, they glue, drill and screw things together to make 50 low-cost street lights.

      The lights’ beauty lies in their simplicity: A 3-watt LED lamp is connected to a controller and a battery pack, which is powered by a small solar panel. The light fixture’s protective casing is an old plastic soda bottle. Each lamp costs around 176,000 Colombian pesos ($70) to build, and nothing to run. Parts are sourced locally and the battery can power the lamp for three consecutive nights without charging. Once completed, the students install the lights throughout the neighbourhood, brightening dimly lit alleyways and dark clearings.

    • Open Data

  • Programming

    • Git Success Stories and Tips from Ceph Creator Sage Weil

      Git has changed the way that software is built — including the Ceph open source distributed storage platform, says Ceph Creator Sage Weil. Ceph has used the Git revision control system for seven years, since it switched from SVN. It has changed the project’s work flow and how they think about code.

      “Instead of thinking in files and lines, you think in flow of changes. Instead of having a single repository that everyone feeds from and into, everyone now has their own repository, their own branches. The meaning of branch changed,” said Weil, Ceph principal architect at Red Hat. “Everything just fell in place, as if the people who designed it really knew software development at scale.”

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • 32-Bit Integers and Why Old Computers Matter

      The number 256 is what broke the original arcade version of Pac-Man. As a game with no proper exit condition, Pac-Man relied on faith that players would eventually get tired of it before the 256th level. This was reasonable given that every single level after the 20th was just a repeat of level 20. But video games lend themselves to obsession like few things, even in 1980, so of course some players took it as a challenge—a test of endurance and concentration. Those that made it to 256 were in for a strange sight, what computer scientists would call “undefined behavior.” This was the result: ​

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Dear Apple: Your upgrade policy sucks

      While changes in technology are generally a mark of progress, they are not always immediately for the better. Certain hardware and software vendors would do well to understand that reality — Apple, for instance.

      Apple has long enjoyed a unique position in the marketplace in that it controls both the hardware and software running on its various platforms. This tight integration has allowed the company to produce some of the most stable and functional computer hardware ever made. This has also allowed Apple to make dramatic changes in both hardware and software without appearing to care a whit for its users, often condemning them to vast frustrations for no logical reason.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • In the Middle East, Bet on a Winner (Iran!)

      Think of it as the American half-century in the Middle East: from August 17, 1953, when a CIA oil coup brought down democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed the Shah as Washington’s man in Tehran, to May 1, 2003, when George W. Bush landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of southern California. (The planes from that aircraft carrier had only recently dropped 1.6 million pounds of ordnance on Iraq.) There, standing under a White House-produced banner that read “Mission Accomplished,” the president dramatically announced that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended” and hailed “the arrival of a new era.”

    • Emails Reveal Discord Over Blackwater Charges

      WASHINGTON — As prosecutors put the finishing touches on the 2008 indictment of Blackwater security contractors for a deadly shooting in Iraq, the F.B.I. agents leading the investigation became convinced that political appointees in the Justice Department were intentionally undermining the case, internal emails show.

    • Former Blackwater guards sentenced in ‘staggering’ massacre of unarmed Iraqis

      Three former employees of the US private military contractor once known as Blackwater were sentenced to 30 years in prison on Monday and a fourth received a life sentence, closing a sordid chapter of the Iraq conflict relating to the 2007 Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad.

    • Ex-Blackwater Guards Sentenced to Long Prison Terms in 2007 Killings of Iraqi Civilians

      One by one, four former Blackwater security contractors wearing blue jumpsuits and leg irons stood before a federal judge on Monday and spoke publicly for the first time since a deadly 2007 shooting in Iraq.

    • Florida Ex-Senator Pursues Claims of Saudi Ties to Sept. 11 Attacks

      The episode could have been a chapter from the thriller written by former Senator Bob Graham of Florida about a shadowy Saudi role in the Sept. 11 attacks.

      A top F.B.I. official unexpectedly arranges a meeting at Dulles International Airport outside Washington with Mr. Graham, the former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, after he has pressed for information on a bureau terrorism inquiry. Mr. Graham, a Democrat, is then hustled off to a clandestine location, where he hopes for a breakthrough in his long pursuit of ties between leading Saudis and the Sept. 11 hijackers.

    • Frustrated with US meddling, Latin America seeks its own path

      President Obama is in Panama this weekend for the Summit of the Americas, where he’ll meet with regional leaders who have grown increasingly determined to assert autonomy from the US.

    • Why the details of the Iran deal don’t matter

      At heart, this is a fight over what to do about Iran’s challenge to U.S. leadership in the Middle East and the threat that Iranian geopolitical ambitions pose to U.S. allies, particularly Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    • Terrorism Case Renews Debate Over Drone Hits

      A Texas-born man suspected of being an operative for Al Qaeda stood before a federal judge in Brooklyn this month. Two years earlier, his government debated whether he should be killed by a drone strike in Pakistan.

      The denouement in the hunt for the man, Mohanad Mahmoud Al Farekh, who was arrested last year in Pakistan based on intelligence provided by the United States, came after a yearslong debate inside the government about whether to kill an American citizen overseas without trial — an extraordinary step taken only once before, when the Central Intelligence Agency killed the radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen in 2011.

    • The world of threats to the US is an illusion

      When Americans look out at the world, we see a swarm of threats. China seems resurgent and ambitious. Russia is aggressive. Iran menaces our allies. Middle East nations we once relied on are collapsing in flames. Latin American leaders sound steadily more anti-Yankee. Terror groups capture territory and commit horrific atrocities. We fight Ebola with one hand while fending off Central American children with the other.

      In fact, this world of threats is an illusion. The United States has no potent enemies. We are not only safe, but safer than any big power has been in all of modern history.

      Geography is our greatest protector. Wide oceans separate us from potential aggressors. Our vast homeland is rich and productive. No other power on earth is blessed with this security.

    • Drone Victims Take Germany to Court for Abetting U.S. Murders

      Andreas Schüller is an attorney on the staff of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights. He is the lead attorney on a suit being brought by ECCHR and Reprieve against the German government on behalf of three Yemeni survivors of a U.S. drone strike. The case will be heard May 27th in Cologne.

      Their suit argues that it is illegal under German law for the German government to allow the U.S. air base at Ramstein to be used for drone murders abroad. The suit comes after the passage of a resolution in the European Parliament in February 2014 urging European nations to “oppose and ban the practice of extrajudicial targeted killings” and to “ensure that the Member States, in conformity with their legal obligations, do not perpetrate unlawful targeted killings or facilitate such killings by other states.”

      I’ve always thought of drone murders as illegal under the laws of the countries where the murders happen, as well as under the UN Charter and the Kellogg Briand Pact. I asked Schüller: Is your suit seeking prosecution for murder where (or in one of the places where) the act is committed from a distance?

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • A Lot Of Bottled Water Comes From Drought-Stricken California

      California’s in the middle of an epic drought — but that hasn’t stopped bottled water production in the state. Even as residents face mandatory cutbacks and fields lie fallow, companies continue pumping hundreds of millions of gallons of water every year into plastic bottles — sometimes straight from a municipal water supply.

    • Watch: Amid Drought, California Water Virtually Draining Away

      In California, alfalfa production has been scrutinized at a time when both exports of the crop and public awareness of the drought are growing. The expanding global dairy industry, particularly in China, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates, is driving demand for alfalfa as animal feed. Much of the alfalfa that the U.S. exports is grown in water-scarce western states.

  • Finance

    • Occupation at University of Amsterdam Challenges the Logic of Market-Driven Education

      When students kicked in the door of the main administrative building, the Maagdenuis, at the University of Amsterdam on February 25, the “New University” – or “De Nieuwe Universiteit” – movement introduced a new aesthetic dimension of protest.

      The Maagdenhuis occupation, a protest against the financialization of higher education and against the concentration of decision-making power at the university, disrupted the everyday flow of doing, changing the normal organization of human sense experience on campus. By taking a building and reorganizing human activity inside, with emphasis on dialogue, deliberation and shared decision-making, occupiers created new aesthetic conditions necessary for a new politics, as philosopher Jacques Rancière, who recently visited the Maagdenhuis to show solidarity with UvA students, suggests.

  • Privacy

    • Even if the Patriot Act expires, the worst surveillance will carry on
    • Amnesty International takes UK government to European Court of Human Rights over mass surveillance

      Amnesty International, Liberty and Privacy International have announced today they are taking the UK Government to the European Court of Human Rights over its indiscriminate mass surveillance practices.

    • A New Era at the Tor Project

      Andrew Lewman, our current Executive Director, is leaving The Tor Project to take a position at an Internet services company. While at Tor, Andrew was passionate about using our tools to help people from diverse backgrounds and points of view benefit from online privacy. We thank Andrew for his contributions and wish him well.

    • Police want to keep surveillance tech secret

      Time for law enforcement to come clean on how stingrays spy on Americans’ cellphones

    • Forget spying, now the NSA wants your password list

      The NSA isn’t interested in a sneaky back door into your smartphone or computer any more, it just wants you to leave the front door wide open. While arguments continue around just what the National Security Agency can and can’t get access to – dragging more than one big tech name into the controversy – the spy organization’s chief is suggesting a far more blunt approach: in effect, handing over the keys to encryption upfront.

    • CISPA Is Back With A Vengeance

      First introduced in the House of Representatives in 2011, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is once again back in play and is being considered for legislative action this month. Much of the same concerns that accompanied its introduction in 2011 remain specifically that it is a blank check for cybersurveillance dressed up as a bill to promote cybersecurity.

      The earlier version of both SOPA and CISPA were defeated due in part to staunch opposition from numerous corners of the internet. CISPA initially contained language that included intellectual property issues as falling under the act making it essentially SOPA-light.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Power of Lies

      Lincoln did not think blacks were the equals of whites.

    • The Boston Marathon Show Trial

      Tsarnaev’s attorney knew that evidence would play no role in the case and focused on trying to save Dzhokhar from a death sentence by blaming the older brother who was killed by police. Perhaps Dzhokhar’s attorney remembered what happened to attorney Lynne Stewart who was sentenced to prison for representing a client for whom the government only wanted a pro forma representation.

    • The Nasty Blowback from America’s Wars

      Rowley warned Mueller that launching unjustified war would prove counterproductive in various ways. One blowback she highlighted was that the rationale being applied to allow preemptive strikes abroad could migrate back home, “fostering a more permissive attitude toward shootings by law enforcement officers in this country.” Tragically, the recent spate of murders by police has proved Rowley right.

    • My Labia Will Send Logan Airport TSA Thug Melendy A Postcard

      TSA thug Melendy got all up the side between my thigh and my labia — four times.

    • Autistic 11-year-old arrested for leaving class early: “He slammed me down, and then he handcuffed me”s

      An autistic sixth grader in Lynchburg, Virginia was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, PRI’s Susan Ferriss reports.

    • The Real Arab Spring Is Happening in Israel

      The success of the Joint List is an example for the wider Arab world, says Ayman Odeh, its leader. Odeh, a 40-year-old lawyer from Haifa, is now one of the country’s best-known politicians. He won widespread accolades for his calm, reasoned response to being verbally abused on television by Avigdor Lieberman, a former foreign minister. “We live in the Middle East, in an era when people are being killed because they have a different ethnicity, religion or ideology. We have a different message: to accept differences, and work side by side to achieve our goals. We hope our example will affect all the Arab world,” he said.

      [...]

      The model is Martin Luther King, says Odeh. King and his supporters marched to Washington in 1963, demanding jobs and freedom. Odeh has prepared a 10-year plan to close the civic and economic gap between Israel’s Jewish and Arab population. “We intend to march to Jerusalem, to raise awareness for our 10-year plan and to demand democracy and justice for all.”

    • Why Does WaPo Protect Identities of Cops Who Tased a Shackled, Mentally Ill Woman Until She Died?

      The Washington Post knows who gave Natasha McKenna repeated high-voltage shocks just before she suffered a fatal heart attack–but it isn’t telling its readers.

      The Washington Post (4/11/15) ran a troubling story about an African-American woman who died after Fairfax County, Virginia, sheriff’s deputies repeatedly used a taser on her while she was already in shackles. The deputies administered four 50,000-volt shocks to Natasha McKenna, a prisoner at the Fairfax County jail who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, in an effort to force her into a chair for transport; minutes later, her heart stopped.

    • UAE Gave $1 Million to NYC Police Foundation; Money Aided ‘Investigations’

      The New York City Police Foundation received a $1 million donation from the government of the United Arab Emirates, according to 2012 tax records, the same amount the foundation transferred to the NYPD Intelligence Division’s International Liaison Program that year, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.

      A 2012 Schedule A document filed by the New York City Police Foundation showed a list of its largest donors, which included several major financial institutions such as JPMorgan Chase and Barclays Capital — but also a line item for the “Embassy of the United Arab Emirates.” The Intercept obtained a copy of the Schedule A document, which is not intended for public disclosure and only shows donors above the threshold of donating $1 million over four years.

    • John Legend launches campaign to end mass incarceration

      John Legend has launched a campaign to end mass incarceration.

      The Grammy-winning singer announced the multiyear initiative, FREE AMERICA, on Monday. He will visit and perform at a correctional facility on Thursday in Austin, Texas, where he also will be part of a press conference with state legislators to discuss Texas’ criminal justice system.

    • The Abuse of Satire

      My career—I guess I can officially call it that now—was not my idea. When my editor, Jim Andrews, recruited me out during my junior year in college and gave me the job I still hold, it wasn’t clear to me what he was up to. Inexplicably, he didn’t seem concerned that I was short on the technical skills normally associated with creating a comic strip—it was my perspective he was interested in, my generational identity. He saw the sloppy draftsmanship as a kind of cartoon vérité, dispatches from the front, raw and subversive.

      Why were they so subversive? Well, mostly because I didn’t know any better. My years in college had given me the completely false impression that there were no constraints, that it was safe for an artist to comment on volatile cultural and political issues in public. In college, there’s no down side. In the real world, there is, but in the euphoria of being recognized for anything, you don’t notice it at first. Indeed, one of the nicer things about youthful cluelessness is that it’s so frequently confused with courage.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Legal Responses May Be Imminent in Net Neutrality Face-off

      Back in March, the FCC’s 400-page net neutrality order arrived, and made waves because of the agency’s vote to reclassify broadband as a regulated telecommunications service. The FCC argued that it created “clear and enforceable rules” to protect consumers, but broadband providers and others bristled at the regulation proposals.

      Over this past weekend, the net neutrality rule was published in the Federal Register, the daily journal of U.S. government initiatives, and legal action from those opposing it could be imminent.

    • FCC fires the starting gun on net neutrality legal tussles

      The move follows the historic decision by the FCC to impose more stringent net neutrality rules than anyone had expected in a vote at the end of February which saw the motion pass by three votes to two.

    • Hollywood Seeks Net Neutrality Exceptions to Block Pirates

      The Motion Picture Association has written to Brazil’s Justice Minister seeking exceptions to the country’s fledgling “Internet Constitution”. In a submission to the government the MPA says that the Marco Civil’s current wording on net neutrality deprives courts of the opportunity to order the blocking of ‘pirate’ sites.

    • 6 Stupid Reasons Actual People Are Scared Of Net Neutrality

      According to the most popular British talk show host on American premium cable, net neutrality is one of the most important regulations for the future of telecommunications (and, by extension, all of humanity under the age of 50). Net neutrality is about making sure your ISP can’t control what you view on the Internet and how fast you view it — or, as the aforementioned talk show host put it, “Preventing Cable Company Fuckery.” How could anyone possibly be against something as basic as that? The answer, as the following reactions to net neutrality prove, is “by being hilariously stupid.”

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