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05.23.15

Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

Posted in News Roundup at 4:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why Wal-Mart’s E-Commerce Group Embraces Open Source
  • Why Do People Contribute to Open Source Projects?

    Open source development is the future of software. It’s great for users like you and me because open source software is usually free (not always) and often safer to use because malicious code is less likely to be implemented.

  • Automatic Goes Open Source to Make an App Store for Your Car
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome 44 Dev Gets Better Page Capture Resolution

        Google developers have released a new development version of the Google Chrome browser, and the latest version is now at 44.0.2403.9. It’s not a big update, but it does bring some interesting changes.

      • Chrome for Android goes almost “entirely open source”

        Launched in September 2008, Google’s Chrome browser is now dominant in its share of the desktop web browser market, with approximately 1 in 4 Internet users interfacing with the web using the browser. What many Chrome users probably don’t know, however, is that it’s actually based off the open source Chromium browser, also developed by Google. Up until today Chrome for Android differed from its desktop counterpart in that it’s codebase wasn’t open source – meaning, the code for the app wasn’t publicly available for other developers to view, modify, and build upon. That changed today.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Tesora’s TroveSpeed Program Aimed at Speeding OpenStack Trove Deployments

      As the OpenStack cloud computing scene evolves, an ecosystem of tools is growing along with it. Tesora, the leading contributor to the OpenStack Trove open source project, cam out a few months ago with what it billed as the first enterprise-ready, commercial implementation of OpenStack Trove database as a service (DBaaS). The company also announced that it had open sourced its Tesora Database Virtualization Engine.

    • IBM Centralizing its Cloud Strategy Around OpenStack

      Concentrating on the hybrid clioud during a time when it is seriously reshaping its whole business around cloud computing, IBM has announced that it will make OpenStack the central platform for its portfolio of cloud services. Dubbed IBM Cloud OpenStack Services, the new program will deliver a collection of OpenStack-based services for hybrid cloud customers.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Malware is not only about viruses – companies preinstall it all the time

      In 1983, when I started the free software movement, malware was so rare that each case was shocking and scandalous. Now it’s normal.

      To be sure, I am not talking about viruses. Malware is the name for a program designed to mistreat its users. Viruses typically are malicious, but software products and software preinstalled in products can also be malicious – and often are, when not free/libre.

      In 1983, the software field had become dominated by proprietary (ie nonfree) programs, and users were forbidden to change or redistribute them. I developed the GNU operating system, which is often called Linux, to escape and end that injustice. But proprietary developers in the 1980s still had some ethical standards: they sincerely tried to make programs serve their users, even while denying users control over how they would be served.

    • Asking Obama to protect encryption, and why that’s not enough

      This week the FSF added our signature to a coalition letter addressed to Barack Obama, calling on him to reject any proposal to systematically undermine the encryption used to secure digital devices and software made in the US.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Dutch seminars on PSI Directive implementation
    • Rust 1.0.0, NASA Software Catalog, and more open source news
    • Open-source plant breeding: new freedom for farmers

      Software developers—and even consumers—are familiar with the open-source movement. Open-source projects, like the popular Firefox web browser, are generally developed in a public, cooperative effort. The copyright holder “opens” the consumer’s right to modify the “source” product and distribute it to others as long as the result is also “open” for others to do the same.

    • OpthalmicDocs Releases Open Source Files for Portable Retinal Scanning Technology

      We hear enough about how so many third world diseases are preventable, but people just lack the resources; preventable diseases can too easily become severely crippling, or even deadly, due to the condition of poverty. We also hear enough good stories about people who are using their medical and technical knowledge to change this fact.

    • Open Data

    • Open Hardware

      • Tessel 2, A $35 Linux Computer That’s Truly Open Source

        We’ve seen the first version of the Tessel a few years ago, and it’s still an interesting board: an ARM Cortex-M3 running at 180MHz, WiFi, 32 Megs of both Flash and RAM, and something that can be programmed entirely in JavaScript or Node.js. Since then, the company behind Tessel, Technical Machines, has started work on the Tessel 2, a board that’s continuing in the long tradition of taking chips from WiFi routers and making a dev board out of them. The Tessel 2 features a MediaTek MT7620 running Linux built on OpenWRT, Ethernet, 802.11bgn WiFi, an Atmel SAMD21 serving as a real-time I/O coprocessor, two USB ports, and everything can still be controlled through JavaScript, Node, with support for Rust and other languages in the works.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • 12 reasons Manchester is better than London
  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • BRICS trample US in South America

      It started in April with a rash of deals between Argentina and Russia during President Cristina Kirchner’s visit to Moscow.

      And it continues with a $53 billion investment bang as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits Brazil during the first stop of yet another South American commercial offensive – complete with a sweet metaphor: Li riding on a made in China subway train that will ply a new metro line in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the 2016 Olympics.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • The Trident Whistleblower

      Today it was reported that McNeilly turned himself in to the police at Edinburgh airport and is currently in military custody.

    • Seymour Hersh Stands by His bin Laden Story, and His Sources

      With the Obama administration having prosecuted more national security leakers than any other, anonymous sources are the only way Americans can find out how their government is waging its secret war on terror. That’s why journalist Seymour Hersh deserves congratulations rather than condemnation for his story on the killing of al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden.

      There’s been criticism of Hersh, much of it centering on his use of anonymous sources. But if you read Hersh’s story closely and check what others have written, you’ll see that his account holds up. The report was published in the May 21 edition of the London Review of Books.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • The Guardian view on Theresa May’s censorship plan: pointless and unprincipled

      If Theresa May has a reputation as a safe pair of hands, one has to wonder what she would have to do to lose it. The home secretary invented a human right to a pet cat in a conference speech, and allowed “go home” immigration vans to be wheeled out in diverse communities, before conceding that the vans themselves had to go home to the garage. Now we learn, courtesy of a leaked letter from her cabinet colleague Sajid Javid, about a wild scheme to censor broadcasters.

    • State censorship: Tory minister slams Home Sec’s plan to sanitize UK TV shows

      UK Home Secretary Theresa May has been accused of trying to introduce state censorship of TV broadcasters by a senior Conservative minister in a leaked letter.

    • Cameron slaps down Business Secretary Sajid Javid in Cabinet row with Theresa May over TV censorship
    • Theresa May accused of seeking to introduce state censorship of the media by Cabinet colleague Sajid Javid

      In a letter to David Cameron written before the general election, then Culture Secretary Sajid Javid attacked Ms May’s plan to use regulator Ofcom to vet programmes before they were broadcast in the strongest terms, saying it posed a threat to freedom of speech.

      Mr Javid, now Business Secretary, also said Ofcom would be turned from a regulator into a state “censor” by the proposal and lead to comparisons with “regimes” with dubious human rights records, according to the letter which was leaked to The Guardian newspaper.

    • Theresa May TV censorship plan attacked by Sajid Javid

      Home Secretary Theresa May has been accused of attempting to introduce government censorship of British television programming by one of her Cabinet colleagues, a leaked letter has shown.

    • Why government censorship [in no way at all] carries greater risks than benefits

      The phenomenon of the Streisand Effect, where high-profile attempts to censor or prevent people from seeing something result in massively increased attention for the something, is a brilliant example of psychological reactance, the tendency of people to strongly object when a freedom is being taken from them [even though they weren’t using it] and do whatever they can to restore it [which will get them arrested if they’re not careful].

    • Wikipedia Disturbed Over Fresh China Censorship

      Wikipedia is yet again being censored by China’s Great Firewall.

    • Cuba’s Clandestine Press Thumb Their Noses at Street Censorship

      Español
      On Thursday, May 21, the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU) — an illegal opposition party created in 2011 — uploaded a YouTube video of activists in the southern city of Palma Soriano sharing DVDs filled with news and other hard-to-access information with the public.

    • Jimmy Kimmel Presents ‘The Week In Unnecessary Censorship’

      Uh oh… We’re not sure Taylor Swift said “eff you” on stage at the Billboard Music Awards, a Fox News anchor definitely didn’t talk about the prospect of free “cock” across the nation and we’re pretty sure a little boy didn’t beg his mother to get nasty with a homeless man.

    • When A Benefit Against Censorship Gets Censored

      A New York benefit show for the National Coalition Against Censorship cancelled last week over allegedly offensive material will go on at a new venue — though without the Mohammed-themed play that first started the controversy.

    • Anti-Censorship Event Canceled over Concerns About Muhammad Play

      An anti-censorship benefit event at New York City’s Sheen Center was canceled recently over concerns about some of the scheduled speeches and Neil LaBute‘s play Muhammad Gets a Boner.

    • EFF calls FPB’s new Internet censorship law ‘worst in Africa’

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has proclaimed the Film and Publication Board’s (FPB) Draft Online Regulation Policy “Africa’s worst new Internet censorship law”.

    • Africa’s Worst New Internet Censorship Law Could be Coming to South Africa
    • In this game, censorship does not mean ‘deleting your spiteful internet comments’

      As a woman who writes articles about video games, I hear the word “censorship” a lot these days. To hear certain corners of the internet tell it, “censorship” supposedly means having discussions on the images we see in media, asking people to think about the language they use and the effect it achieves, doing any kind of media criticism, or moderating comments so that nobody can shit them up with frantic sealioning about how other people are being too sensitive to criticism.

    • Kanye West Slams ‘Unwarranted Censorship’ by Billboard Music Awards

      “Kanye West was grossly over-censored at the Billboard Music Awards,” the statement reads. “Non-profane lyrics such as ‘with my leather black jeans on’ were muted for over 30-second intervals. As a result, his voice and performance were seriously misrepresented.

    • Kanye West issues statement about ‘ridiculous’ censorship at Billboard Music Awards

      Kanye West was all ready and amped to close out the 2015 Billboard Music Awards with “All Day” and “Black Skinhead.” But home viewers weren’t able to fully enjoy Yeezy’s performance, as the broadcast heavily muted parts of the show, including words that don’t even anger the FCC or violate its regulations.

    • Writer Prosecuted for Facebook Posts Critical of State Censorship

      Authorities in Iran are prosecuting another writer on national security charges for signing statements and writing posts that criticized state censorship on the Facebook page of the Iranian Writers’ Association.

    • Egypt Court Orders Censorship of Pornographic Websites

      An administrative court in Egypt ordered the prime minster to take the necessary and immediate action to censor pornographic websites on Wednesday. While the court specifically calls for immediate action, the order can still be appealed at the Supreme Administrative Court.

    • Egypt Court Bans Pornography

      An Egyptian court has ordered Egypt’s Prime Minister take immediate action to ban pornography websites in Egypt, reported state media Al-Ahram.

      The decision by Egypt’s Administrative Court on Wednesday contradicts the same court’s decision two years ago in which it decided not to ban pornography websites, stated Ahram Online.

    • Religious Israeli website censors women ministers from cabinet portrait

      Country’s new gender equality minister among those blurred from photograph on grounds that pictures of women offend conservative religious mores

    • Just say no to the censorship of culture in Israel

      When it was announced that Miri Regev was to be the culture and sports minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fourth government, some people made jibes about her suitability for the position, based on her reputation as a loud and inflammatory politician who sees the world in clear terms of good and pure (us) and evil and impure (the entire world, including groups in Israel that don’t think “as we do.”)

    • Africa’s Worst New Internet Censorship Law Could be Coming to South Africa

      Only once in a while does an Internet censorship law or regulation come along that is so audacious in its scope, so misguided in its premises, and so poorly thought out in its execution, that you have to check your calendar to make sure April 1 hasn’t come around again. The Draft Online Regulation Policy recently issued by the Film and Publication Board (FPB) of South Africa is such a regulation. It’s as if the fabled prude Mrs. Grundy had been brought forward from the 18th century, stumbled across hustler.com on her first excursion online, and promptly cobbled together a law to shut the Internet down. Yes, it’s that bad.

    • Federal Court of Appeals Blocks Use of Trademark for Censorship

      Today, in an important First Amendment decision, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked an attempt by the NAACP to use trademark as a tool to censor unwanted online criticism—a result we had urged in an amicus brief filed with the court back in October. The Fourth Circuit overruled a federal district court in Virginia, which had previously ruled that the Radiance Foundation’s use of the moniker “NAACP” infringed on the organization’s trademark.

    • Rockstar sues BBC over Grand Theft Auto game violence censorship film

      Rockstar Games and parent company Take-Two Interactive have filed a lawsuit against the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) over the latter’s in-production TV drama film Game Changer (working title).

      The BBC revealed the project last month, confirming earlier reports. The film traces the conflict between Rockstar Games lawyer Jack Thompson over Rockstar’s controversial Grand Theft Auto series, with Bill Paxton playing Thompson and Daniel Radcliffe starring as Rockstar Games co-founder Same Houser.

  • Privacy

    • How we’re fighting back against the UK surveillance state—and winning

      In October 2014, the IPT hearings produced another unexpected admission from the UK government. As Privacy International reported: “Details of previously unknown internal policies, which GCHQ was forced to reveal during legal proceedings challenging their surveillance practices in the wake of the Snowden revelations, reveal that intelligence agencies can gain access to bulk data collected from US cables or through US corporate partnerships without having to obtain a warrant from the Secretary of State.” The safeguards on how this material can be used are minimal: “On the face of the descriptions provided to the claimants, the British intelligence agencies can trawl through foreign intelligence material without meaningful restrictions and can keep such material, which includes both communications content and metadata, for up to two years.”

      In December 2014, the IPT ruled against the Privacy International group of human rights organisations, and “accepted the security services’ position that they may in principle carry out mass surveillance of all fibre optic cables entering or leaving the UK and that vast intelligence sharing with the NSA does not contravene the right to privacy because of the existence of secret policies.”

    • There’s an app for that: How NSA, allies exploit mobile app stores

      In 2011 and 2012, the NSA and the communications intelligence agencies of its “Five Eyes” allies developed and tested a set of add-ons to their shared Internet surveillance capability that could identify and target communications between mobile devices and popular mobile app stores—including those of Google and Samsung. According to an NSA document published by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the targeting capability could have been used to launch “man-in-the-middle” attacks on mobile app downloads, allowing the NSA and other agencies to install code on targeted devices and gather intelligence on their users.

    • Edward Snowden: NSA reform in the US is only the beginning

      Edward Snowden has hailed landmark shifts in Congress and the US courts on NSA surveillance but cautioned that much more needs to be done to restore the balance in favour of privacy.

    • NSA pranksters plant ‘listening’ devices in New York and take snooping abroad

      The conversations are, mainly, pretty mundane: one man at East Village restaurant Cafe Orlin, talks about publishing photographs. A woman at Crunch is talking to her personal trainer about how much she enjoys watching House of Cards. A guy in a cafe is telling a story about getting evicted from an apartment with “a bathtub the size of a racquetball court”.

    • Anti-NSA Pranksters Planted Tape Recorders Across New York and Published Your Conversations
    • ‘We Are Always Listening’ Project Skewers NSA Spying And Will Make You Paranoid About Having A Conversation In Public
    • Are anti-NSA pranksters invading people’s privacy?

      Over the past year, they’ve hidden dozens of mini tape recorders under tables and benches around New York City, secretly taping people’s conversations. This week, they launched a website where they’ve posted some of their recordings. They range from the mundane, like a woman at a gym talking about her plans for the evening, to the intimate, like a man at a restaurant talking about his lover’s fetishes.

    • Top spy admits: We’re ‘dependent’ on NSA

      The head of the German Intelligence Agency (BND) told a special parliamentary committee on Thursday that his agency is ‘dependent on’ the American National Security Agency (NSA).

    • More NSA keywords detected in German spy agency’s computers

      More than 400,000 new keywords have been found in German spy agency BND’s computers, a German media report says. The findings would further undermine the organization, accused of helping the NSA with surveillance.

    • The NSA Plan to Find Bin Laden by Hiding Tracking Devices in Medical Supplies

      The scheme is laid out in a top-secret NSA presentation dated June 2010 and titled “Medical Pattern of Life: Targeting High Value Individual #1,” which was among the files provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

      [...]

      Once the compound was located, the U.S. government also wanted DNA evidence that bin Laden was inside. Not long after the raid, it was reported that the CIA had set up a hepatitis vaccine drive in Abbottabad as a front to obtain DNA samples. The doctor working for the CIA, Shakil Afridi, was arrested by Pakistani intelligence and eventually sentenced to decades in prison — not for allegedly working for the CIA, but on charges of aiding a militant group.

    • Big sales growth nothing to do with NSA fears – Huawei top brass

      Chinese kit-maker Huawei isn’t apportioning swelling sales outside the Middle Kingdom to NSA snooping fears, more that double digit growth in Europe is related to brand recognition a decade after it up shop there.

    • Surveillance diehards in the Senate will do anything to stop NSA reform

      The NSA and its surveillance state supporters in the Senate are making a last ditch effort to prevent Congress from taking away any of the spy agency’s authority to snoop on innocent Americans, despite the fact that there is now broad support for NSA reform in Congress.

    • Fox News Pundit Paid by NSA Contractor Reacts to Rand Paul: “Trust the NSA”
    • Two Senate Republicans Predict Short Extension of NSA Spying

      Two U.S. Senate Republicans predicted Friday that their chamber will have enough votes to pass a short extension of three U.S. spy programs until Congress and the White House can come up with a final plan.

    • Chris Christie accused of ‘political pornography’ over NSA remarks

      “You can’t enjoy your civil liberties if you’re in a coffin,” Christie — a likely presidential candidate — said earlier this week.

    • Bush, Christie defend NSA surveillance programs

      As Congress ponders the fate of the PATRIOT Act — and the counterterrorism surveillance programs it authorizes — two potential Republican presidential candidates stuck up for those programs Friday at a conference of Republican activists.

    • Chris Christie backs NSA snooping in hawkish foreign policy speech
    • NSA Whistleblower: No Real NSA Reforms Being Considered by Senate

      Kirk Wiebe says the Senate is not challenging the authority that allows bulk collection of phone records

    • Russian enterprises unconcerned by NSA network hack allegations

      Russian companies are taking no drastic steps to replace US-made equipment.

    • Death Threat Over Public NSA Database

      The creator of a searchable database of 27,000 National Security Agency (NSA) contractors says his team has received a death threat as well as legal threats.

    • Aiming to Scare Congress into Authorization, NSA Claims Surveillance Program ‘Winding Down’

      The news that the NSA is preparing to begin winding down their bulk surveillance program against Americans would be welcome to the general public, but it’s probably not true, and the claim is certainly not directed at us.

    • The NSA’s mass surveillance program: illegal and opaque

      After Congress passed the PATRIOT Act in the panic following the 9/11 and anthrax attacks, officials described it as a way of breaking down a wall that had kept the CIA and FBI from sharing information. They argued that international terrorism investigators needed the same powerful tools that a grand jury gives law enforcement agents to conduct broad criminal inquiries.

      Section 215 was already law, but it was expanded by the PATRIOT Act to allow federal agents to obtain not only “business records,” but also “any tangible things.”

      Librarians were among the first to sound the alarm, and they were ridiculed for it. Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft accused them of spreading “hysteria” that FBI agents were tracking what people were reading and “how far you have gotten on the latest Tom Clancy novel.”

    • Researchers design new Tor client resistant to NSA attacks

      Internet anonymity has become difficult to procure as the NSA is doing everything in its power to keep tabs on Internet activity. One way that people have been protecting their anonymity is by using the anonymizing network, Tor. It was popularly used to access dark web sites like Silk Road, but it can also be used for good. For example, people in certain countries without free speech protections could be jailed or worse for disparaging online claims against the government; Tor provides a way to prevent those users’ web activity from being tracked. As it turns out, Tor isn’t as safe from the prying eyes of big government surveillance as we once thought.

    • Researchers build new Tor client called ‘Astoria’ to evade NSA snooping

      It has become very hard to keep internet anonymous, as the NSA is doing everything in its ability to keep a check on internet activity. The hackers which have the full force and backing of Beijing, London, and Washington, D.C. are anonymity’s toughest opponents. People have been using the anonymizing network, Tor to protect their anonymity. Tor was generally used to enter dark web sites like Silk Road, but it can also be used for good.

    • NSA data collection divides Republican presidential hopefuls

      This week, Paul tried to recapture that spirit, inveighing for 10.5 hours against the National Security Agency’s data collection program — an effort that also attempted to boost his presidential campaign.

    • One third of Germans feel deceived by Merkel on NSA

      One in three Germans have said their trust in the government is shaken. Regardless of the media outrage over the allegations that German intelligence helped the NSA, Angela Merkel wasn’t rushing to offer an explanation.

    • Angela Merkel under pressure to reveal extent of German help for US spying

      The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, is coming under increasing pressure to divulge a list of targets, including the IP addresses of individual computers, that German intelligence tracked on behalf of the US National Security Agency (NSA).

    • As Future of NSA Surveillance Grows Murky, New Report Shows Section 215 Not Exactly Vital

      Among the many arguments presented in opposition to allowing the federal government collecting mass amounts of data from people who aren’t even suspected of terrorism (besides the Fourth Amendment violations) is that: one, it hasn’t actually helped stop any terrorist plots; and two, we can’t trust a massive federal bureaucracy to subsequently dispose of information it gathers unrelated to any cases its working on.

    • Quiz: Just how Kafkaesque is the court that oversees NSA spying?

      “The court” in Franz Kafka’s novel The Trial is a shadowy tribunal that tries (and executes) Josef K., the story’s protagonist, without informing him of the crime he’s charged with, the witnesses against him, or how he can defend himself. (Worth noting: The FISA court doesn’t “try” anyone. Also, it doesn’t kill people.)

    • NSA: Too Much Data, Not Much Information

      There’s a reason why gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins. According to whistleblower former NSA official William Binney, the NSA has too much data to sift through, that it hampers the agency’s effectiveness in detecting threats before they happen with potentially deadly results. Basically, the NSA is no longer as effective in preventing any attacks. What it’s good for now is forensic investigation to trace the perpetrators of any terrorist attack—after it happens. The Boston Marathon gets bombed, the government finds the Tsarnaevs quickly enough, (through a lot of security videos and much later their transmissions) but the agency still failed to prevent the bombing from happening. So all the data the NSA has collected is actually slowing the agency down. Imagine a cop so pumped up with donuts he can’t catch up to a purse snatcher on foot.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Imagine the web without hyperlinks

        Such a plan would affect over 500 million citizens’ ability to use the Internet. Imagine using Twitter and not being able to link to a news article without paying a fee. It would shut down the spread of news. This is just one way copyright is being twisted to censor the Web – but it’s far from the only way. That’s why we are part of a huge network of individuals and organizations committed to stopping these censorship plans, wherever they emerge.

      • Pirate Domain Seizures Are Easy in the United States

        It’s taken more than two years for Swedish authorities to seize two key Pirate Bay domains but over in the United States the process is dramatically quicker. A TV company has just achieved similar aims against 11 ‘pirate’ streaming domains after being granted a comprehensive ex parte restraining order by a Florida court.

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  29. Banning Former Microsoft Employees Who Complain About Microsoft Lies, Abuses and Crimes

    The official account of Windows Insider is banning people whom it never even spoke to; this seems like a way of 'punishing' people who are not 'true believers' in Microsoft



  30. Wikileaks: Thierry Breton May Have Misused Regulatory/Government Positions to Attack His Competition (in the Market)

    Thierry 'revolving doors' Breton as seen by the United States government


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