04.17.15

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 17/4/2015: Wipro and the Netherlands Want FOSS

Posted in News Roundup at 5:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Opening Up Performance with OpenSpeedShop an Open Source Profiler

    Performance analysis to optimize HPC applications is challenging at many levels, not the least of which is the availability of adequate performance analysis and measurement tools. Underappreciated at best, most organizations rely on vendor-supplied tools included as part of a machine procurement. While generally good for analysis on a single node, such performance analysis tools typically do not provide the capabilities needed to analyze heterogeneous systems containing accelerators and/or distributed applications running across large numbers of nodes. As a result, most programmers are stuck having to guess at performance issues. The patchwork nature and lack of consistency amongst performance tools available across various HPC centers also means that many programmers lack proficiency in using the performance tool(s) provided at a new site or installed on a new machine.

  • Veyron Danger & Brain Motherboards Now In Coreboot

    As a quick update to the initial Veyron motherboards being added to Coreboot, Google has now added more Veyron boards to mainline Coreboot.

  • At Birth, Open Source Was About Saving Money, Not Sharing Code

    A similar line of reasoning predates Raymond’s rise to prominence, and even the introduction of Linux. As far back as the early 1980s, Richard Stallman, the founder of the GNU project and the man some authorities have called the “last true hacker,” declared that the source code of software should be freely shared because “the Golden Rule requires that if I like a program I must share it with other people who like it.”

    So, from an early date, advocates of open source development argued that open code is essential for two reasons: First, it’s simply a superior way to program; and second, there’s a moral imperative to share.

    That all sounds grand. And it’s certainly true that both the functional and moral dimensions of open code are key motivations for many open source programmers today.

  • When to choose closed or open source

    Catalyst IT founder Don Christie says one argument in favour of open source is that coding isn’t difficult.

    Most of the time that means others can quickly replicate closed software. He says: “They are going to replicate it anyway. It can be better to make it open source and get the benefits of better code.”

  • AT&T Makes Case for Open Source Sharing

    In a blog post this week and in an interview with Light Reading, Rice says there are several reasons being an active contributor is beneficial. But he admits with a laugh that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) doesn’t have the same methods to make money on open source as software vendors, who can release a “free” version of their open source software for customers but then sell upgrades or back-end support.

  • Six things that make open source a no-brainer for your company

    So, you’re about to start a new company and you want to make open-source software the driving force behind all technology decisions. Outside of it being an incredibly noble and honorable cause, what are the key data points you need to fully understand before implementing this strategy?

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome 42 Brings The Push API & Extras

        Google today announced the Chrome/Chromium 42 web-browser reaching the stable channel and with it comes many improvements.

      • Chrome 43 Beta Brings Web MIDI & Permissions API

        Today’s Chrome 43 Beta release brings Web MIDI support for connecting to MIDI devices like synthesizers, DJ decks, and drum machines from the web browser. Aside from supporting the Web MIDI API, thre’s also now a Permissions API to let developers query permissions for Geolocation, Push, Notification, and Web MIDI APIs.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Pepperdata Nabs $15 Million to Scale its Enterprise Hadoop Biz

      This week, immediately following startup company AtScale coming out of stealth mode to show its tools for making data stored in Hadoop’s file system accessible within Business Intelligence (BI) applications, Think Big launched its Dashboard Engine for Hadoop, designed to make it easy for business users to cull insights from Hadoop data stores. And now, Pepperdata, which develops Hadoop cluster optimization software, announced that it has secured more than $15 million in strategic and venture financing to scale to serve enterprises who rely on Hadoop in production.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.5 Bumped To Become LibreOffice 5.0

      While we’ve been looking forward to the new features of LibreOffice 4.5 as the leading open-source office suite, version 4.5 is no more. The next version of LO is now going to be LibreOffice 5.0.

      To some surprise, this morning in Git, the version was bumped to 5.0 (5.0.0.0.alpha0+). There was no branching of LibreOffice 4.5 as it seems LibreOffice 4.5 is itself being renamed to LibreOffice 5.0.

  • CMS

    • How and why BackBee CMS went open source

      Our Parisian web agency and software company, Lp Digital, is open sourcing its content management system, BackBee CMS. In this article, I’ll explain the tools that helped us release BackBee as open source software and measure the results.

    • govCMS to release its own Drupal distribution

      The government’s govCMS project will make its own Drupal distribution publicly available for download, it announced today.

      The distribution will be a fork of the aGov distribution, which was developed by local development shop PreviousNext and is the building block for govCMS sites.

      aGov was released in 2013 after a beta period involving a number of federal and state government agencies. High profile end users include the NSW government’s ‘one stop shop’ for services, Service NSW.

  • Education

    • Higher Education Sees The Light

      This will also pave the way for other FLOSS like GNU/Linux on the desktop instead of That Other OS. Altogether this could save half the cost of desktop IT or permit more/better IT for the same money in Hungarian universities. What about your local university? This is yet another indication that this is the Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop. Hungary as a whole is not doing badly on GNU/Linux desktops (1.48%). It’s time the universities pulled their share up.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Chef aims to create the secret recipe for DevOps success

        Released at the beginning of the month, Chef Delivery is already getting some purchase in the fast growing DevOps market with the help of some blue-chip IT companies like HP. With Chef Delivery, the company says it “has captured success patterns of its most innovative customers and distilled them into a product”.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Hurd 0.6 Released

      The GNU Hurd, the free open source replacement for the Unix kernel, has a new release that is still not suitable for production environments. There are also new releases of GNU Mach and GNU Mig, both of which have reached version 1.5.

    • Latest TPP leak shows systemic threat to software freedom

      Key congressional leaders have just agreed on a deal to fast track the fast-tracking of TPP. While the threat of TPP has persisted for years, now is the time to fight back!

    • GNU Hurd 0.6 Released Brings Clean-Ups & Fixes

      Version 0.6 of GNU Hurd was released today. Before getting too excited about GNU Hurd, it’s still bound to x86 32-bit and doesn’t offer any compelling new features.

  • Project Releases

    • Wine Announcement

      The Wine development release 1.7.41 is now available.

      What’s new in this release (see below for details):
      - More Known Folders supported in the shell.
      - Some more support for kernel job objects.
      - More MSI patches improvements.
      - Some theming fixes.
      - Various bug fixes.

    • Wine 1.7.41 Officially Released, Fixes an Adobe Photoshop CS6 Crash

      Alexandre Julliard announced the immediate availability for download and testing of a new maintenance release of Wine 1.7.41, which brings better support for kernel job objects, improves MSI patches, enhanced support for Known Folders in the shell, and fixes theming issues.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Would You Open-Source Your Body?

      As you may have noticed, this column is pretty keen on opening things up – whether that’s open source, open access or open government. But what about open-sourcing your body – releasing as open data the most intimate aspects of your physical existence? That’s what the Open Humans Network is asking.

    • Apple’s ResearchKit, npm private modules, and more open source news
    • This Week in Linux News: New Linux-GoPro Drone, Linux 4.0, and More
    • Open Hardware

      • Expanding access to open source hardware

        I didn’t pay anything for the USB keyboard and USB optical mouse that I use with this tiny computer, because they were donated to the public library where I work. Two weeks ago someone dropped of 10 new USB keyboards and 10 new USB mice; they were surplus from a computer upgrade cycle at a nearby office. To be sure, the value of the $35 USD Raspberry Pi 2 computer is extended when free USB keyboards and mice are available. There is a role, then, for schools, libraries, and makerspaces to collect these donated items in order to redistribute them to those who need them.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • ODF Plus Ten Years

      So what’s new? Well, basically one thing: we now have a related standard for formulas in ODF spreadsheets! This is something that obviously occurred 5-10 years too late, but better late than never. The Wikipedia article on OpenFormula is a fairly amusing example of the need to justify and rationalize mistakes that seems to surround the OpenDocument standard.

Leftovers

  • Nigel Farage On BBC Election Debate Is A Good Example Of How Not To Treat An Audience
  • Who won BBC leaders debate according to the data?

    Nicola Sturgeon was ahead of the Labour leader by 7 points in the question of who had the best personality: 30% of the liked her over Nigel Farage (23%), Ed Miliband (21%) and the Leader of Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood (16%).

  • Science

    • TechCrunch Speaker Combines Every Possible Startup Cliche

      Change the world. Power. Influence. Innovation. Hand gestures. Literal self-comparisons to royalty. Slides. Rosenstein’s keynote at this week’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference has it all. There’s a banal, pseudo-do-gooder theme (“Do great things”). There are several venn diagrams. There are repeated tone deaf calls to “have your cake and eat it too,” an exhortation for all techies to embrace their Stanford dropout privilege and remake the world as they desire.

  • Hardware

    • ARM Dives into Low-Power IoT Communications

      ARM, the leading designer of mobile processors, announced the launch of ARM Cordio, a portfolio of low-power wireless communications technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT).

      ARM Cordio is comprised of the intellectual property (IP) from two acquisitions, Sunrise Micro Devices and Wicentric, also announced on April 16. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

      The Cordio name originates from Sunrise Micro Devices’ sub-volt Bluetooth wireless radio technology. A year ago, Sunrise Micro Devices and Wicentric, a maker of Bluetooth Smart software, announced an alliance to develop software for the Cordio BT4 radio core for IoT sensors and devices.

    • Moore’s Law turns 50: What’s next for this tale of incredible shrinking chips

      When you’re strapping on the latest smart watch or ogling an iPhone, you probably aren’t thinking of Moore’s Law, which for 50 years has been used as a blueprint to make computers smaller, cheaper and faster.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Why Is WalMart Mysteriously Shuttering Stores Nationwide For “Plumbing Issues”?

      Earlier this year, WalMart became one of several corporate heavyweights to lift wages for its meagerly compensated workers, around 500,000 of which are now set to receive at least $9/hour and $10/hour by Q1 2016 (that of course assumes they make it on $9 an hour for another 12 months and don’t seek out other employment by sheer necessity).

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Yes, militaries are working on drone swarms

      That the battlefield of tomorrow will be abuzz with death is clear. Say hi to America’s drone cannons.

    • LOCUST: Autonomous, Swarming UAVs Fly into the Future

      A new era in autonomy and unmanned systems for naval operations is on the horizon, as officials at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced April 14 recent technology demonstrations of swarming unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – part of the Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) program.

    • ‘Price tag’ settler argues in court that revenge isn’t a crime

      Were people’s lives and livelihoods not at stake, it would have been an almost sublime piece of parody. During the trial of four teenage Israeli settlers who set fire to a Palestinian-owned cafe in the West Bank town of Dura, which concluded on Monday, the defendants’ attorneys – as reported by Ynet – brought forth the claim that because the arson was an act of revenge, their clients were not guilty of breaking the law.

    • Lockheed Hopes Talk of Iran Getting S-300 Will Sell More F-35 Planes

      Earlier this week, Russia announced it was ending its five year ban on selling S-300 defensive missiles to Iran. There’s no indication yet Iran is even going to buy any, but Israel was immediately furious, predicting doom and gloom over the possibility.

    • Saudi Coalition Preventing Food Ships From Reaching Yemen

      One of the first measures taken by Saudi Arabia, when announcing its war against Yemen, was a full-scale naval blockade. For a nation that imports over 90% of its food, that was a devastating move, and one Saudi officials assured wouldn’t keep the food out of the country.

    • The Killing Initiative

      The world of private defence contractors, the modern version of the fabled Condottiere without the flags and the city-state veneration, received a blow with the handing down of stiff sentences on four former Blackwater operatives. Last year, the four in question, part of Blackwater’s Support Team Raven 23, were convicted in the Washington, D.C. federal court for killing 17 Iraqis in Baghdad’s Nisour square in 2007.

    • Religious Fanaticism is a Huge Factor in Americans’ Support for Israel

      Almost half of all Americans want to support Israel even if its interests diverge from the interests of their own country. Only a minority of Americans (47 percent) say that their country should pursue their own interests over supporting Israel’s when the two choices collide. It’s the ultimate violation of George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address warning that “nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded. … The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave.”

    • Kill > Capture

      The Obama administration’s explicit policy is to capture suspected terrorists, not drone them. So why is there so much droning and so little capturing?

    • Father of Blackwater Victim: ‘Too Late’ for Apologies

      More than seven years after his nine-year-old son, Ali, was killed by contractors working for the American security firm Blackwater Worldwide, Mohammed Kinani says he’s finished his mission “to push these people to the law.”

      Four former Blackwater employees were given long sentences yesterday for killing 14 unarmed Iraqis, including Kinani’s son, and wounding many others, when in 2007 they shot at a crowd in Baghdad’s Nisour Square with machine guns and grenade launchers.

    • John Kerry Thanks Russia for Rescuing US Citizens From Yemen Air Strikes

      The US Secretary of State expressed appreciation for Russia’s action in evacuating Americans from Yemen, after the United States refused to engage in evacuation efforts for its citizens.

    • The Lies Still Killing Gulf War Vets

      Some cover-ups are scandalous. Others, like those surrounding the First Gulf War, suggest an official callousness that shocks and awes.

      During and immediately after the war, 200,000 of 700,000 U.S. troops were exposed to nerve gas and other chemical agents. The Department of Defense (DOD), fully aware of the chemical hazards and the troop exposure, deployed a litany of lies. After this, it concocted a cover-up. That cover-up continues to this day.

      Don Riegle, the senator who presided over Senate committee hearings in 1993-1994 about the veterans’ illnesses, recently told me: “Every effort was made for years to hide the truth and deny the medical research needed to fully treat the U.S. troops suffering from Gulf War Syndrome.”

    • NY Times (Again) Carries Water for Government’s Post Hoc Drone Assassination Justifications

      American Anwar al-Awlaki has been dead for over four years now, but The New York Times is still giving substantial ink to the U.S. government’s self-serving meme that Awlaki was an “operational” terrorist,” even though we still don’t know whether ISIS or AQAP is responsible for the recent attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris.

      I called out New York Times reporter Scott Shane for carrying the government’s water by pimping the “Awlaki was operational” narrative last year. Yesterday, Shane penned another lengthy article rehashing the U.S. government’s post hoc justification for targeting and assassinating Awlaki without due process.

    • Blackwater’s Legacy Goes Beyond Public View

      By the time four former Blackwater security guards were sentenced this week to long prison terms for the 2007 fatal shooting of 14 civilians in Iraq, the man who sent the contractors there had long since moved on from the country and the company he made notorious.

      Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, a former member of the Navy SEALs and heir to a Michigan auto parts fortune, has spent the last few years searching for new missions, new fields of fire and new customers.

      He has worked in Abu Dhabi and now focuses his efforts on Africa, with ties to the Chinese government, which is eager for access to some of the continent’s natural resources. Mr. Prince’s current firm, Frontier Services Group, provides what it describes as “expeditionary logistics” for mining, oil and natural gas operations in Africa, and has the backing of Citic Group, a large state-owned Chinese investment company.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Saudi Oil Production Hits All Time High, Surges By ‘Half A Bakken’

      As hopeful US investors buy everything oil-related on the back of a lower than expected crude build this week (after the biggest build in 30 years the week before), The Kingdom has stepped up overnight and ruined the dream of supply-restrained price recovery as it announced a surge in production output in March to yet another record high. The nation boosted crude output by 658,800 barrels a day in March to an average of 10.294 million a day, which as Bloomberg notes, is about half the daily production from the Bakken formation. WTI Crude prices have slipped by around 2% from yesterday’s NYMEX Close ramp highs as it appears Saudi Arabia is not willing to just let this effort to squeeze Shale stall.

    • As Drought Grips California, Networks Come Up Dry on Climate Science

      California is in its fourth year of an unprecedented drought, with no end in sight and water reserves dwindling. It’s exactly the type of scenario climate scientists have warned about, and new research sees global warming’s fingerprints on the drought. But a new FAIR study shows that, rather than investigating this connection, network news is largely ignoring it.

  • Finance and Politics

    • Politicians Bragging About Exports While Ignoring Imports? That’s Just Gross

      That probably should have been the headline of a Politico article (sorry, behind paywall) on a letter signed by 13 former Democratic governors urging Congress to approve fast-track trade authority to facilitate the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP). The most newsworthy aspect of the letter is that the governors apparently do not understand the basic economics of trade.

    • Debate: Hillary Clinton Sounds Populist Tone, But Are Progressives Ready to Back Her in 2016?

      Former secretary of state, senator and first lady Hillary Clinton has formally entered the 2016 race for the White House in a second bid to become the first woman U.S. president. We host a roundtable discussion with four guests: Joe Conason, editor-in-chief of The National Memo, co-editor of The Investigative Fund, and author of “The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton”; Michelle Goldberg, senior contributing writer at The Nation; longtime journalist Robert Scheer, editor of Truthdig.com and author of many books; and Kshama Sawant, a Socialist city councilmember in Seattle and member of Socialist Alternative, a nationwide organization of social and economic justice activists.

    • Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street backers: We get it

      It’s “just politics,” said one major Democratic donor on Wall Street, explaining that some of Clinton’s Wall Street supporters doubt she would push hard for closing the carried-interest loophole as president, a policy she promoted when she last ran in 2008.

      “The question is not going to be whether or not hedge fund managers or CEOs make too much money,” said a separate Clinton supporter who manages a hedge fund. “The question is, how do you solve the problem of inequality. Nobody takes it like she is going after them personally.”

      Indeed, many of the financial-sector donors supporting her just-declared presidential campaign say they’ve been expecting all along the moment when Clinton would start calling out hedge fund managers and decrying executive pay — right down to the complaints from critics that such arguments are rich coming from someone who recently made north of $200,000 per speech and who has been close to Wall Street since her days representing it as a senator from New York.

    • Sanders: American people ‘don’t know’ what Hillary is running on

      “Why don’t you tell me what Hillary Clinton is campaigning on, do you know?” he said on MSNBC’s “Live with Thomas Roberts,” when asked if he believed her campaign message that she’s running to represent the “little guy.”

    • [Old] Kshama Sawant: 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.

    • Jeb Bush’s Administration Steered Florida Pension Money to George W. Bush’s Fundraisers

      Four years before the financial collapse, Goldman Sachs executive George Herbert Walker IV had much to be thankful for. “I’ve been fortunate to be a small part of teams leading U.S. restructurings, European privatizations, global pension management and now hedge fund and private equity investing,” he said in the annual report of a banking colossus that would soon be known as the “great vampire squid” of Wall Street.

      “The world,” said Walker, “just keeps getting more interesting.”

      As the head of Goldman Sachs’ alternative investment unit, Walker’s ebullience was understandable. At the same time he was raising $100,000 for his cousin George W. Bush’s successful presidential re-election effort, the administration of another cousin, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, returned the family favor, delivering $150 million of Florida pension money to an alternative investment fund run by Walker’s firm. Like other executives whose companies received Florida pension money, Walker is now renewing the cycle, reportedly attending in February a high-dollar fundraiser for Jeb Bush’s political committee.

    • Severing ties with foundation won’t insulate Clinton from controversy

      Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she’s stepping down from her family foundation’s board of directors while running for president was well received, but that won’t shield her from the roiling controversy over the foundation’s acceptance of tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments.

      The boards of the Clinton Foundation and the affiliated Clinton Health Access Initiative are scheduled to meet this week to consider additional actions as a result of her candidacy, possibly including new curbs on foreign donations.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • An Article by Any Other Name May Smell Sweeter to Search Engines

      Among the bottomfeeders of the Internet ecosystem are “news scrapers”–websites that automatically harvest posts from actual news sites and repackage them in hopes of snagging some search engine hits and the accompanying online ad revenue.

    • Agency Overseeing Obama Trade Deals Filled With Former Trade Lobbyists

      The Office of the United States Trade Representative, the agency responsible for negotiating two massive upcoming trade deals, is being led by former lobbyists for corporations that stand to benefit from the deals, according to disclosure forms obtained by The Intercept.

      The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed free trade accord between the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim countries; the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a similar agreement between the U.S. and the E.U.

    • NBC’s Conduct in Engel Kidnapping Story is More Troubling than the Brian Williams Scandal

      Throughout 2012, numerous American factions were pushing for U.S. intervention in Syria to bring down the regime of Bashar Assad, who throughout the War on Terror had helped the U.S. in all sorts of ways, including torturing people for them. But by then, Assad was viewed mostly as an ally of Iran, and deposing him would weaken Tehran, the overarching regional strategy of the U.S. and its allies. The prevailing narrative was thus created that those fighting against Assad were “moderate” and even pro-western groups, with the leading one dubbed “the Free Syrian Army.”

      Whether to intervene in Syria in alliance with or on behalf of the “Free Syrian Army” was a major debate in the west through the end of that year. Then-Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry was openly discussing ways for the U.S. to aid the rebels to bring about regime change. Senator Joe Lieberman was saying: “I hope the international community and the U.S. will provide assistance to the Syrian Free Army in the various ways we can.” Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while ruling out direct military intervention, said: “[W]e have to redouble our efforts outside of the United Nations with those allies and partners who support the Syrian people’s right to have a better future.”

    • NBC’s Richard Engel Re-Reporting His Kidnapping In Syria Following Questions Over Captors’ Identity

      NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel is re-reporting a key detail of his December 2012 kidnapping in Syria after new information surfaced suggesting he may have been misled about the identities of his captors, according to sources familiar with the matter.

    • They Have ‘Propaganda,’ US Has ‘Public Diplomacy’–and a Servile Private Sector

      But wait a second–isn’t Voice of America itself a propaganda outlet? Not in the New York Times stylebook, apparently. The piece, by Ron Nixon, describes VOA as “the government agency that is charged with presenting America’s viewpoint to the world.” Later on, the Times refers to what it calls “America’s public diplomacy.”

      The US’s enemies, on the other hand, have “sophisticated propaganda machines that have expanded the influence of countries like China and Russia and terrorist groups like the Islamic State.” The difference between “propaganda machines” and “public diplomacy” is never explained in the article, but the former appears to be what “they” do while the latter is what “we” do.

      The only source quoted in the article who’s not directly connected to the government is Glen Howard, president of the Jamestown Foundation, described as “a Washington think tank.” (“We are getting our butts kicked…. Countries like Russia are running circles around us,” Howard says.) Not mentioned is the fact that Jamestown was founded with the help of then-CIA Director William Casey to provide financial support for the Agency’s spies (Washington Post, 1/10/05).

  • Censorship

    • Copyright claims asserted in viral video of cop shooting fleeing suspect

      The April 4 viral video of a South Carolina police officer shooting a fleeing suspect has cost the cop his job and his freedom. But there’s now another cost attached to the video, perhaps in the $10,000 range or more. A publicist for the man who captured the footage—which led to homicide charges against North Charleston officer Michael Slager— says news outlets must pay a licensing fee to carry the footage.

      Australian publicist Max Markson, the chief executive of celebrity management firm Markson Sparks, told The New York Times that “I think that the people who might be put off by this are the media outlets that had it for free. Now they will have to pay.” Markson did not respond to Ars’ requests for comment.

  • Privacy

    • Open Rights Group files amicus brief in Hungarian data retention case

      Open Rights Group, Privacy International and a group of internationally acknowledged experts have filed amicus curiae briefs with the Hungarian Constitutional Court. The case has been brought by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) against two major service providers, in an attempt to force the Hungarian Constitutional Court to repeal the Hungarian Electronic Communications Act.

    • NSA and FBI fight to retain spy powers as surveillance law nears expiration

      With about 45 days remaining before a major post-9/11 surveillance authorization expires, representatives of the National Security Agency and the FBI are taking to Capitol Hill to convince legislators to preserve their sweeping spy powers.

    • Booz Allen Wolves Offer Advice on Protecting NSA Henhouse

      The report dutifully examines how hard it is for the federal government to hire and keep top cybersecurity talent when the private sector pays so much more.

      Its very sensible recommendations include modernizing the creaky civil service hiring system and making compensation more competitive.

      But in a eye-popping bit of irony — even by Washington standards — the report was written by Booz Allen Hamilton, the giant “Beltway Bandit” government contractor known for regularly raiding the National Security Agency and other government organizations for its best and brightest cyber talents, especially after they’ve gotten valuable government training and security clearances.

    • Yes voters ‘right to suspect MI5 of spying on them’

      WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange believes SNP supporters were not being “paranoid” that their communications were being spied on during the independence referendum.

      Speaking via videolink at the Commonwealth Law Conference in Glasgow on Wednesday, Mr Assange said the “full capacities” of the British intelligence services were deployed during in the run-up to last year’s vote.

    • Assange: Yes Campaign “not paranoid” to think they were spied on during referendum

      The Australian expert in espionage believes independence amounted to a “national security threat” to the UK, justifying the mobilisation of the “full capacities” of the British state’s surveillance network.

    • Assange to discuss spying and privacy at key Glasgow conference

      In a rare public appearance, the Wikileaks founder, who has spent the past 34 months in the building after claiming asylum, will discuss how intelligence gathering abuses privacy in the internet age.

    • Suspicious lawyer finds malware on external hard drive supplied by police lawyer in discovery

      An Arkansas lawyer is seeking sanctions after his computer expert found malware on an external hard drive supplied in response to a discovery request.

      Lawyer Matthew Campbell of North Little Rock says he became suspicious when he received the hard drive by Federal Express in June 2014 from a lawyer for the Fort Smith Police Department, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports. Previous evidence in the police whistleblower case had been provided by email or a cloud-based Internet storage service, or had been shipped through the U.S. Postal Service.

      “I thought, ‘I’m not plugging that into my computer,’ ” Campbell told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “Something didn’t add up in the way they approached it, so I sent it to my software guy first.”

      The technology expert found four Trojans on the hard drive. “These Trojans were designed to steal passwords, install malicious software and give someone else command and control of the infected computer,” Campbell says in a brief supporting his motion for sanctions (PDF).

      The security expert said in an affidavit that the Trojans were in a subfolder rather than the root directory, indicating they were “more likely placed in that folder intentionally with the goal of taking command of Mr. Campbell’s computer while also stealing passwords to his account.”

    • Lawyer representing whistle blowers finds malware on drive supplied by cops

      An Arkansas lawyer representing current and former police officers in a contentious whistle-blower lawsuit is crying foul after finding three distinct pieces of malware on an external hard drive supplied by police department officials.

    • This simple game shows why metadata laws won’t protect whistleblowers

      Australia has passed data retention laws that force telecommunications companies to retain some types of phone and web metadata. This data can be requested by government agencies and has been used to investigate leaks of government information to journalists.

      It now takes a warrant to access a journalist’s metadata to identify a source, but this offers limited protection. Government agencies can still seek data from suspected sources without a warrant. This game shows how a whistleblower can still be identified.

    • Classified Department: We Unveil the New Unit of the German Domestic Secret Service to Extend Internet Surveillance

      The German domestic secret service is setting up a new department to improve and extend its internet surveillance capabilities, investing several million Euros. We hereby publish the secret description for the new unit named „Extended Specialist Support Internet“. More than 75 spies are designated to monitor online chats and Facebook, create movement patterns and social network graphs and covertly „collect hidden information.“

    • Hassanshahi Bids to Undermine the DEA Dragnet … and All Dragnets

      Often forgotten in the new reporting on the DEA dragnet is the story of Shantia Hassanshahi, the Iranian-American accused of sanctions violations who was first IDed using the DEA dragnet. That’s a shame, because his case may present real problems not just for the allegedly defunct DEA dragnet, but for the theory behind dragnets generally.

      As I laid out in December, as Hassanshahi tried to understand the provenance of his arrest, the story the Homeland Security affiant gave about the database(s) he used to discover Hassanshahi’s ties to Iran in the case changed materially, so Hassanshahi challenged the use of the database and everything derivative of it. The government, which had not yet explained what the database was, asked Judge Rudolph Contreras to assume the database was not constitutional, but to upheld its use and the derivative evidence anyway, which he did. At the same time, however, Contreras required the government to submit an explanation of what the database was, which was subsequently unsealed in January.

    • Unacceptable Surveillance of French Citizens soon to be Adopted!

      The examination of French Intelligence Bill ended this Thursday at the National Assembly. After 4 days of debate, very few enhancements were made to a text that was denounced by an incredibly large number of groups for its dangerous, intrusive and liberty-infringing nature and whose control dispositions are totally inadequate. La Quadrature du Net calls on French representatives to listen to the citizens’ demands to reject this text during the final vote on 5 May.

    • Getting out of Facebook like trying to escape from Alcatraz

      Last week, Facebook was forced to admit that it tracked the online activity of people who do not even have an account with the social network, which is a pretty egregious violation of most people’s assumptions of online privacy. After all, the people who are not on Facebook in 2015 have most likely made a very explicit decision not to be on Facebook.

      The admission came in response to a report commissioned by the Belgian data protection authority, which found Facebook in breach of European data privacy laws, but the social networking giant claimed the tracking only happened because of a bug that is now being fixed, while disputing many of the details of the report.

    • TV Companies Will Sue VPN Providers “In Days”

      A pair of Internet providers who defied TV company demands to switch off their VPN services will be sued in the coming days. CallPlus and Bypass Network Services face legal action from media giants including Sky and TVNZ for allowing their customers to use a VPN to buy geo-restricted content.

    • Surveillance in the General Election Manifestos

      Nearly all of the main parties at this General Election have now published their manifestos. Where do the parties’ manifestos stand on surveillance?

    • New Zealand Spy Data Shared With Bangladeshi Human Rights Abusers

      Secret documents reveal New Zealand’s electronic eavesdropping agency shared intelligence with state security agents in Bangladesh, despite authorities in the South Asian nation being implicated in torture, extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses.

      Government Communications Security Bureau, or GCSB, has conducted spying operations in Bangladesh over the past decade, according to the documents. The surveillance has been carried out in support of the U.S. government’s global counterterrorism strategy, primarily from a spy post in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, and apparently facilitated by the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Public Interest to Protect Powerful Paedophiles

      The Director of Public Prosecutions has decided that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute serial paedophile Greville Janner, for many years the leader of the Zionist lobby in the UK. I presume that his convenient senility is the reason for non-prosecution.

      But the facts of Janner’s activities in Leicester care homes have been known for decades, and there was overwhelming evidence in one particular case. The failure of the state to act against Janner when he was a Labour MP and Chairman of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, is another example of the disgraceful impunity of the powerful in this country. In a pattern that has become familiar to us, police investigating the case were in 1989 warned off by their superiors.

    • Lord Janner will not face trial over abuse claims

      CPS says evidence against Labour peer would have warranted trial but the severity of his dementia means he is not fit to take part in any proceedings

    • DPP Labour Lord Janner Should Have Been Prosecuted on 22 Counts

      The Jewish institutions in the UK are acting precisely like the Catholic Church of twenty years ago on this issue. Where is the openness? Where is the angst? Where is the admission? Above all, where is the apology?

    • Werritty’s Chum Matthew Gould Took Janner to Kindergarten

      Adam Werritty’s friend and long term contact, the British Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, accompanied Greville Janner to visit a kindergarten in Israel in 2012, which was named in Janner’s honour. I wonder if the government of Israel will now change the name?

    • The FBI Informant Who Mounted a Sting Operation Against the FBI

      Torres isn’t an all-American guy. He’s an FBI informant, one of more than 15,000 domestic spies who make up the largest surveillance network ever created in the United States. During J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO operations, the bureau had just 1,500 informants. The drug war brought that number up to about 6,000. After 9/11, the bureau recruited so many new informants — many of them crooks and convicts, desperate for money or leniency on previous crimes — that the government had to develop software to help agents track their spies.

    • Government May Now Tell You Why You’re On ‘No Fly’ List, But Not Always

      Since the “no fly” list was formalized in 2001, the only way to know if the U.S. government would allow you to get on a plane was to show up at the airport and try to board a flight. The government would generally neither confirm nor deny that you were on the list, let alone tell you why.

      On April 14, the government announced a new procedure for blacklisted travelers to try to clear themselves. Passengers who are denied boarding can lodge a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security, which will provide confirmation of their “No Fly List status,” and an unclassified summary of the reason why — unless providing that information would go against “national security and law enforcement interests.” The passengers can then appeal their status.

    • Lord Gill the Flouncing Fool

      The Lord President of Scotland’s judges, Lord Gill, has made a complete fool of himself by leading British judges in a walk-out from the Commonwealth Law Conference. The action is in protest against Julian Assange’s participation by video-link in a panel discussion on surveillance and the role of the security services.

      The walk-out happened after Julian’s talk, not before it, which rather gives the impression that what Lord Gill and his fellow judges objected to was the content of Assange’s talk, rather than the fact of it. Assange stated among other points that nationalists were right to believe that MI5 were active against them in the referendum campaign.

    • Why confidential tips to the government may not be confidential after all

      Got a hot tip about federal waste, fraud or corruption? You should think twice about using the government’s own online systems for collecting such complaints.

      Many of them promise confidentiality but for years have sent sensitive data – including names, addresses and phone numbers of whistleblowers, as well as the details of their allegations – across the Internet in a way that could be intercepted by hackers or snoops. Or, perhaps worse still, by the agencies named in the complaints.

    • ACLU Study: Federal Agencies Fail to Protect Whistleblower Communications, Terrorist Tip Line

      This week, the ACLU submitted a letter to the U.S. Chief Information Officer at the White House alerting him to serious cybersecurity lapses by numerous federal agencies. We identified dozens of inspectors general, including those at the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, who do not use encryption to protect online whistleblower complaints of waste, fraud, and abuse. The State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” online terrorism tip line also does not use encryption.

    • A Decade After Blowing The Whistle On The FBI, Vindication

      The Justice Department eventually determined that the FBI had retaliated against Kobus for reporting misconduct.

    • Pirate Bay’s Fredrik Neij Can’t Play Nintendo Classics In Prison

      Former Pirate Bay operator Fredrik Neij can’t play games on his Nintendo 8-bit console in prison. The prison denied the request because there’s no way to open the box to check it for concealed items, a decision the Pirate Bay operator is now appealing before the administrative court.

    • Roommates hospitalized after stabbing one another during heated iPhone vs. Android debate

      Local Tulsa station KTUL reports that police responded to reports of an altercation at the Evergreen Apartments complex at 1 a.m. on Friday morning. Police learned that two roommates who lived in one of the apartments had been drinking and arguing over which popular smartphone platform was superior. Eventually they smashed their beer bottles and began stabbing one another with them. One roommate also smashed a beer bottle across the back of the other man’s head.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net neutrality wars: Telcos battle back

      Why are we still talking about Net neutrality — didn’t that fight end in a victory dance for advocates?

      Perhaps in a parallel universe ISPs graciously conceded defeat and an open Internet was secured for the ages, but in this reality, it’s not over until telecom companies have unleashed a full fury of lawyers. Gear up for another summer sequel, Net Neutrality Wars: The Lawyers Strike Back.

    • Net Neutrality and the Death of Distance

      The advent of smartphones and the mobile Internet has lead to a collision of both these worlds. In a world where bandwidth is abundant and cheap, the concept of metering based on distance will fade away. This is the reason that telcos are mortally scared of services like Skype, Whatsapp and others that take away their voice and SMS revenues. The death of distance is a consumer friendly evolution that the telcos will keep resisting till their last breath.

  • DRM

    • Netflix Sets Pricing Based on Local Piracy Rates

      Netflix says that the company is pushing down piracy in countries where illegal sharing is prevalent. Part of its strategy is to determine the price of its service based on local piracy rates, so it can better compete in places where piracy is rampant.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights/Sony

      • Sony referred to “WIPO treaty for blind as “stalking horse” to “denigrate the rights of copyright owners”

        In the new Wikileaks archives of leaked Sony documents (Link here), there is a memo (https://wikileaks.org/sony/docs/05/docs/DECE/DECE%20CP1%20-%20ss.doc.pdf), which describes Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) concern over the proposed WIPO treaty for copyright exceptions for persons who are blind or have other disabilities.

      • Sony

        Today, 16 April 2015, WikiLeaks publishes an analysis and search system for The Sony Archives: 30,287 documents from Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) and 173,132 emails, to and from more than 2,200 SPE email addresses. SPE is a US subsidiary of the Japanese multinational technology and media corporation Sony, handling their film and TV production and distribution operations. It is a multi-billion dollar US business running many popular networks, TV shows and film franchises such as Spider-Man, Men in Black and Resident Evil.

      • The US Government Asked Sony to Help Counter ISIS Propaganda

        Today, WikiLeaks published a new searchable archive containing the leaked email inboxes of top Sony executives. Disturbingly, it shows that months after the hack, we’ve still only just begun investigating the close ties between Sony and the US government.

        “This archive shows the inner workings of an influential multinational corporation,” WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange said in a statement. “It is newsworthy and at the centre of a geopolitical conflict. It belongs in the public domain. WikiLeaks will ensure it stays there.”

        A search through the WikiLeaks Sony archive for “state.gov” email addresses—WikiLeaks reports that there are nearly 100 government email addresses in the archive—reveals an exceedingly cozy relationship between Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton and US government officials including the State Department, various international ambassadors, and the president.

      • Hollywood recruited to help fight IS, hacked emails show

        Top Hollywood executives including James Murdoch have been recruited to help the United States counter Islamic extremist propaganda, according to hacked Sony Pictures emails published by WikiLeaks.

      • WikiLeaks Publishes Over 30,000 Documents From Sony Hack

        The searchable archive shows employees at the studio discussing new releases and arranging meetings with top politicians

      • Sony Pictures Blindsided by WikiLeaks Document Dump

        Just when Sony Pictures thought it was done with the devastating hacking attack that brought the studio to its knees last winter, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks published thousands of internal documents and correspondence — totally blindsiding the studio and its public relations team early Thursday.

      • WikiLeaks republishes all documents from Sony hacking scandal

        WikiLeaks has republished the Sony data from last year’s hacking scandal, making all the documents and emails “fully searchable” with a Google-style search engine.

        The move provides much easier access to the stolen information. Searching the name of, for example, former Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal, whose controversial comments were revealed by the hack, immediately yields nearly 5,700 results.

      • WikiLeaks Publishes Sony Documents

        WikiLeaks published more than 200,000 internal Sony Pictures Entertainment documents and e-mails, opening a new chapter in the hacking saga that enveloped Sony Corp.’s Hollywood studio late last year.

        The release includes 30,287 documents and 173,132 e-mails, sent from or received by more than 2,200 Sony Pictures e-mail addresses, according to a WikiLeaks statement Thursday. The material is searchable, giving legions of journalists and Sony competitors access to the information that was quickly taken down after it was first posted by hackers tied to North Korea.

      • WikiLeaks Creates Online Archive of Hacked Sony Documents

        Whistleblower site WikiLeaks on Thursday put hundreds of thousands of emails and documents from last year’s crippling cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment into a searchable online archive. It’s the latest blow for the entertainment and technology company struggling to get past the attack, which the company estimates caused millions in damage.

        The website founded by Julian Assange said that its database includes more than 170,000 emails from Sony Pictures and a subsidiary, plus more than 30,000 other documents.

        Sony Pictures blasted WikiLeaks for creating the archive, saying the website was helping the hackers disseminate stolen information.

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