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10.07.15

Links 8/10/2015: KDE Plasma 5.4.2 Released, Linux Drama Queens

Posted in News Roundup at 6:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • 5 Popular Safety Measures That Don’t Make You Any Safer

    Thus the no fly list was established. It is estimated to have around 1 million names but nobody knows for sure. Keeping the list secret is a matter of national security, so the only way to find out if you’re on it is to be detained in the airport. Or in the air. For instance, in 2005 a 747 flight from Amsterdam to Mexico was turned back before it could reach its destination. The reason? Two of the plane’s passengers were on the no fly list and the flight crossed over US airspace. Well, better safe than sorry, right?

  • Stephen King’s practical advice for tech writers

    Even if you don’t enjoy writing and have no intentions of becoming a professional tech writer, chances are you’ll have to draft reports, mailing list updates, or technical articles at some point in your career. With a few practical tips in mind—along with solid writing advice from Stephen King—you can improve your writing before you start writing. And, with proper planning, you can easily repurpose your content for multiple audiences.

  • Avoiding tap water has become a way of life in Flint

    Outside a taco shop on Flint’s Fifth Street, Estella Walker balances a gallon jug of water on top of the stroller that holds her 3-month-old son, DeWayne. She’s mixing bottles of formula for DeWayne and his 19-month-old sister Vanessa.

    Nadene Strickland sits outside her home on the city’s north side, watching her grandsons play basketball. She still drinks the water. She can’t afford bottled.

    Shopping at the local farmers market with five of her seven children, Tena Fransioli says she hasn’t used tap water in a long time.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • LinuxCon 2015 Report: Shrinking the Security Holes in OSS

      Dublin native James Joyce famously wrote that “mistakes are the portals of discovery.” LinuxCon 2015 keynote speaker Leigh Honeywell grabbed hold of the same theme here in Dublin, reminding hundreds of open source professionals that “you’re going to make mistakes; you’re going to introduce security bugs.” The goal, said Honeywell, who works as a senior security engineer at Slack Technologies, shouldn’t be the all-out elimination of these mistakes. Instead, security engineers should strive to make different mistakes next time around.

    • The perils of free digital certificates

      The current certificate is not cross-signed, so loading the page over HTTPS will give visitors an untrusted warning. The warning goes away once the ISRG root is added to the trust store. ISRG expects the certificate to be cross-signed by IdenTrusts’s root in about a month, at which point the certificates will work nearly anywhere. The project also submitted initial applications to the root programs for Mozilla, Google, Microsoft, and Apple so that Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Safari would recognize Let’s Encrypt certificates.

    • Get Simplified Web Encrytion For Your Website With Let’s Encrypt
    • InvizBox Go Offers Open Source Online Privacy And Security (video)

      Team InvizBox have unveiled a new pocket sized device which has been created to provide an open source solution to online privacy and security.

      The small InvizBox box is capable of offering users a broad range of privacy options, allowing secure connectivity to the Internet from both desktop and mobile devices.

    • New programmer pow-wow for coders paranoid about Android

      DevSecCon is a newly formed, non-profit conference for DevOps and SecOps practitioners, run by practitioners. By creating a neutral platform, it will exchange and create new ideas on how to leverage the best of both worlds and adopt a new mind-set of inclusiveness and collaboration.

    • Cisco disrupts $30 million browser plug-in hacking operation
    • ​Cisco: notorious hackers using Linux cloak earn $30m a year

      Cisco notes that Linux servers were being managed remotely via SSH using root, adding that they were likely compromised systems in Europe and Asia.

    • Linux.Wifatch: The Wireless Router Malware that Increases IoT Security
    • Vigilante Malware
    • Creators of the Benevolent Linux.Wifatch Malware Reveal Themselves

      The Linux.Wifatch malware, also dubbed as the “vigilante malware” has been going around the Internet, infecting IoT devices, cleaning out malware infections, and boosting the devices’ security.

    • Linux.Wifatch Is Protecting Unpatched Routers, Devices

      Today’s topics include how vigilante malware is protecting unpatched routers, HP launches its Open-Source Network OS, Twitter locks in Jack Dorsey as its permanent CEO, and Cisco is driving its investments in network chip startup Aquantia.

      Countless numbers of routers and Internet-connected devices around the world are not properly updated, leaving the devices, their owners and the Internet at large at risk. A new code infection, however, dubbed Linux.Wifatch, is taking unpatched routers and devices a different route, protecting them, rather than exploiting them.

    • Microsoft OWA falls victim to password-pinching APT attack

      SECURITY RESEARCHERS FROM Cybereason have sounded a klaxon over a problem with the Microsoft Outlook Web Application (OWA) that could let attackers swoop in and tag and bag data and documents through the use of APT techniques.

      Cybereason discovered the bug when a customer with some 19,000 endpoints suspected that it was the victim of infection.

    • New Outlook mailserver attack steals massive number of passwords

      Backdoor in Outlook Web Application operates inside target’s firewall.

    • Vint Cerf: The Headline I Fear Is ’100,000 Fridges Hack Bank of America’

      When the ILOVEYOU worm struck on May 4, 2000, it thrust the reality of computer vulnerabilities into the public consciousness in a very big way.

      Sure, computer worms had spread before, but some estimates pegged this particular worm as causing billions of dollars in damage. Entire government departments were crippled. The nature of its spread was unprecedented in scale.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • US Denies WikiLeaks Claims of Plot To Topple Bolivian President

      Bolivia says it is launching a thorough investigation into revelations made public by a WikiLeaks report.

      The U.S. has refuted reports that it planned to topple the government of Bolivia.

      The controversy started after a report surfaced on WikiLeaks that the U.S. government had plotted an assassination attempt against President Evo Morales in 2008.

      A representative described the WikiLeaks accusations as “absolutely false and absurd.”

    • NYT Continues to Obscure Responsibility in US’s Bombing of Hospital

      The New York Times followed up its euphemistic and equivocal coverage (FAIR Blog, 10/5/15) of the US bombing of the Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, with an article (10/6/15) that continued to downplay the US’s responsibility for the deaths of 12 hospital staffers and 10 patients.

    • Down the Memory Hole: NYT Erases CIA’s Efforts to Overthrow Syria’s Government

      FAIR has noted before how America’s well-documented clandestine activities in Syria have been routinely ignored when the corporate media discuss the Obama administration’s “hands-off” approach to the four-and-a-half-year-long conflict. This past week, two pieces—one in the New York Times detailing the “finger pointing” over Obama’s “failed” Syria policy, and a Vox “explainer” of the Syrian civil war—did one better: They didn’t just omit the fact that the CIA has been arming, training and funding rebels since 2012, they heavily implied they had never done so.

      First, let’s establish what we do know. Based on multiple reports over the past three-and-a-half years, we know that the Central Intelligence Agency set up a secret program of arming, funding and training anti-Assad forces. This has been reported by major outlets, including the New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel and, most recently, the Washington Post, which—partly thanks to the Snowden revelations—detailed a program that trained approximately 10,000 rebel fighters at a cost of $1 billion a year, or roughly 1/15th of the CIA’s official annual budget.

    • ‘Military Intervention in the Middle East Started This Crisis in the First Place’ – CounterSpin interview with Raed Jarrar on the refugee crisis

      Janine Jackson: A recent CNN report said that the worsening Syrian refugee crisis highlights the differences among countries that welcome what they called “desperate migrants” and those that don’t; but if US audiences think that the crisis, some 11 million people now displaced, reflects only on the action or inaction of countries “over there,” they’re misunderstanding the situation. What more do we need to know about this crisis, its roots and possible ways forward? Raed Jarrar is government relations manager at the American Friends Service Committee. He joins us now by phone from Washington, DC. Welcome back to CounterSpin, Raed Jarrar.

    • 9/11 and the Rise of Neoconservative Foreign Policy

      9/11 and the Rise of Neoconservative Foreign Policy. For this 14th anniversary 9/11 special program, co-hosts Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips speak with Media Roots journalist and filmmaker Robbie Martin about his new film “A Very Heavy Agenda.” The film looks in depth at the Kagan family and the rise of neoconservative foreign policy prior to and since the events of 9/11. Tune in for a detailed discussion about the development of the US policy driving American Empire.

  • Finance

    • TPP Negotiations Conclude: What Next for the Trade Deal Without a Public Text?

      The Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations concluded early this morning in Atlanta with the 12 countries reaching agreement on the remaining outstanding issues. The U.S. quickly posted a summary of the TPP and the Canadian government has followed with its own package on the deal. At a just-concluded ministerial press conference, the ministers noted that this is one step in a longer process. The text itself must still be finalized and then each country will have its own rules before signing onto it. In the U.S., there is a review period with the full text, so this will be a 2016 issue. In Canada, new treaties must be tabled for review in the House of Commons, so there will be a Parliamentary review.

    • 12 countries strike Pacific Rim trade accord

      Trade ministers from the Asia-Pacific region have reached a deal on the Pacific trade pact that is intended to cut trade barriers and establish common standards for 12 countries, This is the largest trade pact in 20 years and has been a long-term goal of the Obama administration.

    • Users Have Been Betrayed in the Final TPP Deal—Help Us Tell Washington How You Feel

      Trade negotiators from the U.S. and its 11 Pacific Rim partners announced their agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) today, concluding the final round of closed negotiations in Atlanta and marking the culmination of seven years of secrecy. Throughout all that time, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has acted as a de facto representative of the Hollywood big media lobbies in pushing other countries to adopt the most punitive aspects of U.S. copyright policies—such as our over-the-top civil and criminal penalties—while at best giving lip service to pro-user aspects such as fair use.

    • ‘Massive’ Media Hype for TPP

      It is amazing how the elite media can be dragged along by their noses into accepting that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) can have a big impact on trade and growth. If I had a dollar for every time the deal was described as “massive,” or that we were told what share of world trade will be covered by the TPP, I would be richer than Bill Gates.

    • A Solution To Bitcoin’s Governance Problem

      A key aspect of Bitcoin’s value proposition is that it’s an open source protocol independent of any particular corporation or government.

      Similar to other open source initiatives, the software that runs the Bitcoin network is managed and improved upon by a group of volunteer developers.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • State Court Says University Can’t Punish Student For Off-Campus Tweets

      The Appeals Court of Kansas has upheld a lower court’s decision finding it beyond the reach of a university to expel a student for off-campus behavior.

      Beneath this logical conclusion are some not-so-pretty facts. The origin of the lawsuit is a “bad breakup” that resulted in criminal charges for the former boyfriend, Navid Yeasin.

    • Motherboard’s Version Of ‘Valuing Discussion’ Involves No Longer Letting You Comment

      Add Motherboard to the quickly growing list of news websites killing their comment section because they’re so breathlessly in love with reader interaction and visitor conversation. Like The Verge, Recode, Popular Science, The Daily Beast and numerous other websites before it, Motherboard has decided that there’s simply no value whatsoever to having a healthy, on-site local community.

    • Why are students now cheering about the massacre at Charlie Hebdo?

      I witnessed something genuinely disturbing at Trinity College Dublin last night: trendy, middle-class, liberal students cheering and whooping a man who had just given the closest thing I have yet heard to a justification for the massacre at Charlie Hebdo.

      It was as part of a debate on the right to offend. I was on the side of people having the right to say whatever the hell they want, no matter whose panties it bunches. The man on the other side who implied that Charlie Hebdo got what it deserved, and that the right to offend is a poisonous, dangerous notion, was one Asghar Bukhari of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee.

    • Scholarship, Security, and ‘Spillage’ on Campus

      On September 24 I gave a keynote presentation at Purdue University about the NSA, Edward Snowden, and national security journalism in the age of surveillance. It was part of the excellent Dawn or Doom colloquium, which I greatly enjoyed. The organizers live-streamed my talk and promised to provide me with a permalink to share.

      After unexplained delays, I received a terse email from the university last week. Upon advice of counsel, it said, Purdue “will not be able to publish your particular video” and will not be sending me a copy. The conference hosts, once warm and hospitable, stopped replying to my emails and telephone calls. I don’t hold it against them. Very likely they are under lockdown by spokesmen and lawyers.

  • Privacy

    • Landmark EU ruling says US privacy protections are inadequate

      Europe’s highest court today ruled that Facebook cannot send personal information on European users to data centers in the US, invalidating a 15-year trans-Atlantic data transfer agreement. In a decision that could have far-reaching implications for many US tech companies, the European Court of Justice said that the EU’s Safe Harbor agreement with the US is “invalid” because the country does not guarantee adequate privacy protections. The agreement allows technology companies to transfer data from Europe to the US, provided that certain privacy requirements are met. According to The Wall Street Journal, today’s ruling could impact around 4,500 companies that currently rely on the laws to transfer data to the US.

    • EU-US Safe Harbour For Personal Data Eliminated

      The European Court of Justice (CJEU) handed down a decision declaring EU-US safe harbour for personal data invalid this morning. It has far-reaching implications for cloud services in particular and may presage increased opportunity for open source solutions from non-US suppliers. Looks like a real gift to companies like Kolab.

    • Interview with Kirsten Johnson, Director of “The Above”

      Kirsten Johnson talks with Eric Hynes about her new film, which documents a military surveillance blimp over Kabul and its impact on the Afghans living beneath it.

    • Adblock Plus to appoint whitelist watchdog

      The company behind the internet’s most popular advert-blocking plug-in has pledged to open up its controversial “whitelist” to outside scrutiny.

    • Data Transfer Pact Between U.S. and Europe Is Ruled Invalid
    • Verizon’s Sneaky Zombie Cookies Now Being Used Across The Entire AOL Ad Empire

      Poor Verizon. Telco executives for years have sat in their board rooms bored by the billions to be made on telecom and transit, jealously eyeing Facebook and Google ad revenue, and desperately dreaming of being seen as more than just a dull old phone company. That’s why the telecom giant recently paid $4.4 billion to acquire AOL, and is now throwing tens of millions at a new Internet video service aimed squarely at Millennials (hey kids, why get Internet video right from the source or a disruptive content company when you can get it from the phone company?).

    • Facebook can be blocked from passing data to US after treaty ruled invalid

      Facebook, Google and thousands of other US companies can be barred from transferring private information about European citizens across the Atlantic after Europe’s highest court struck down a 15-year-old data sharing treaty.

      The European Court of Justice has declared that the “Safe Harbour” agreement, which gives more than 4,400 US businesses free reign to send data about Europeans to American servers, is invalid.

    • Ireland, Facebook’s European base, pushed to act on ‘safe harbour’ ruling

      Ireland has said it plans to investigate the transfer of data on Facebook users in Europe to the United States after an EU court invalidated the “safe harbour” provisions under which it took place.

      It follows a request by Austrian citizen Max Schrems to the Irish data protection commissioner to investigate if there was adequate protection of his data transferred to the US by Facebook, which has its European headquarters in Dublin.

    • EU ruling means Facebook and Google can’t send data to the US

      If you live in Europe, your online life changed this morning. The European Union’s highest court, the EU Court of Justice, has invalidated the legal agreement by which personal data can be moved from the EU to the US for processing.

      The ruling against the 15-year-old law, known as Safe Harbour, threatens the business models of more than 3000 companies that use it to ship data to the US, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook.

    • No Safe Harbor: How NSA Spying Undermined U.S. Tech and Europeans’ Privacy
    • Microsoft sites expose visitors’ profile info in plain text

      If you think using secure HTTP would be enough to protect your privacy when checking webmail, think again. When users connect to their Microsoft user account page, Outlook.com, or OneDrive.com even when using HTTPS, the connection leaks a unique identifier that can be used to retrieve their name and profile photo in plaintext.

      A unique identifier called a CID is exposed because it’s sent as part of a Domain Name Service lookup for the address of the storage server containing profile data and as part of the initiation of an encrypted connection. As a result, it could be used to track users when they connect to services from both computers and mobile devices, possibly even identifying users as their requests leave the Tor anonymizing network.

    • EFF joins Nameless Coalition and demands that Facebook kills its real names policy

      Facebook has come under heavy criticism for its real names (or ‘authentic identities’ as they are known to the social network) policy. Over the last year, all manner of rights groups and advocates have tried to convince Facebook to allow users to drop their real name in favor of a pseudonym if they want.

      Now the Electronic Frontier Foundation is part of the 74-member strong Nameless Coalition and has written to Facebook demanding a rethink on the ground of safety, privacy, and equality. This is far from being the first time Facebook has been called on to allow the use of ‘fake names’, and the latest letter is signed by LGBT groups, freedom advocates, privacy supporters, and feminist organizations.

    • Thousands of “Spies” Are Watching Trackerless Torrents

      BitTorrent is a very efficient way to share large files, but not a very private one. It’s commonly known that anti-piracy outfits monitor users through public trackers. However, new research reveals that BitTorrent’s DHT is also full of “spies” who actively harvest IP-addresses.

      [...]

      Through DHT, BitTorrent users share IP-addresses with other peers. Thus far, little was known about the volume of monitoring through DHT, but research from Peersm’s Aymeric Vitte shows that it’s rampant.

      Through various experiments Vitte consistently ran into hundreds of thousands of IP-addresses that show clear signs of spying behavior.

      The spies are not hard to find and many monitor pretty much all torrents hashes they can find. Blocking them is not straightforward though, as they frequently rotate IP-addresses and pollute swarms.

    • Open Rights Group welcomes CJEU Safe Harbor ruling

      Open Rights Group welcomes today’s decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that the Safe Harbor agreement is invalid.

    • Why the CJEU ruling on #SafeHarbor is a landmark victory for privacy rights

      In 2013, Austrian law student, Max Schrems brought a case against Facebook in Ireland, where the company has its European headquarters. He argued that revelations by NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, showed that the NSA were accessing data held by companies like Facebook. As US law did not offer enough protection against this surveillance, his privacy was being violated.

      The Irish Data Protection Commissioner rejected Schrems’ case because the Safe Harbor agreement governed the transfer of data. The case was then referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

      [...]

      The ruling places greater obligations on data protection authorities – such as the UK’s Information Commissioner – as it says that they must ensure that fundamental rights are respected in data transfer arrangements to the US by private companies. It also limits the ability of the Commission to claim everything is OK and persuade European regulators to look away.

    • Safe harbor: abusive data collection and mass surveillance repealed by the European Court of Justice!

      By a decision published this morning, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the highest European jurisdiction, repealed the Safe Harbor agreement. This agreement in effect since 2000, allows data transfers between Europe and the United States under different versions, authorised the processing of European citizens’ data by US companies, with fewer guarantees than those existing in Europe. Max Schrems, an Austrian citizen, has put Facebook on trial since the monitoring by the NSA of his data hosted by Facebook had an impact on his freedom and privacy. The CJEU today confirmed his viewpoint by invalidating the Safe Harbor and held that the European Commission abused its power by approving it. The CJEU also affirmed that a local data protection authority may dissent a European agreement if guarantees granted to citizens were modified.

  • Civil Rights

    • Valencia Woman Files Suit Alleging She Was Punched By Police In Front Of Her Kids

      A Valencia woman has sued the city of Carlsbad and several of its officers over allegations that she was pinned to the ground and punched by police in 2013.

      Cindy Hahn said the incident on July 31 – a day she calls the worst one of her life – was caught on cellphone video.

    • Google drops ‘Don’t be evil’ mantra as it becomes Alphabet

      EVIL-DOING HAS HAD A BOOST. Google is no longer opposing it in its official company code of conduct for new and improved big brother company Alphabet, where employees will be expected to ‘do the right thing’.

    • Second Saudi Juvenile Faces Beheading As Cameron Tries To Justify “Squalid” Deal

      According to the campaign group Reprieve, “Dawoud al-Marhoon was 17 when he was arrested without a warrant by Saudi security forces in May 2012, at the height of protests in the country’s Eastern Province.”

      The campaign group claims that al-Marhoon signed a “confession”, which was used to convict him, after he was tortured. In a press release the group said: “He has been held in solitary confinement, and has been barred from speaking to his lawyer.

    • David Cameron attacks Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating ideology’ – live [Ed: opposition compared to terrorism]
    • Leon Brittan vs Julian Assange

      Indeed, the BBC has decided that, given the accusations against Assange are so risible, it would be wrong for any detail at all of the accusations to be given out. Therefore the BBC has never reported the fact that the allegation they describe as “rape” is that, during the act of consensual sex, Assange allegedly tore a condom with his fingers whilst wearing it (of which I doubt the physical possibility). The second sexual molestation accusation is that again consensual sex took place, but after they fell asleep in each others arms, Assange awoke and initiated a repeat of the sex act without requesting permission again.

      Despite the fact that Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen have given press conferences in Sweden promoting their allegations, the BBC has made no attempt to interview them. The BBC has not reported that, the day after the condom splitting “rape”, Anna Ardin hosted a crayfish party for Assange and tweeted her friends from it that she was with the coolest man in the world. The BBC has not reported that Anna Ardin had invited Assange to share her flat and her bed. The BBC has not reported that Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen only made accusations after the two of them got together and cooked up the story. The BBC has not reported that Stockholm’s chief prosecutor dismissed it as no case to answer, and that Ardin then took it, as Swedish law allows, to another prosecutor, Marianne Ny who has a campaigning feminist agenda.

      The BBC has not reported any of that because it would be quite wrong to doubt the word of victims of sexual abuse. It would be wrong to put them under pressure, or look sceptically at the evidence for their stories, both direct and circumstantial. It would be quite wrong to prejudice possible legal proceedings.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Hey, Remember How Net Neutrality Was Supposed To Destroy The Internet?

      Before and after the FCC imposed new net neutrality rules, you’ll recall there was no limit of hand-wringing from major ISPs and net neutrality opponents about how these “draconian regulations from a bygone era” would utterly decimate the Internet. We were told investment would freeze, innovation would dry up like dehydrated jerky, and in no time at all net neutrality would have us all collectively crying over our busted, congested, tubes.

      And, of course, shockingly, absolutely none of that is happening. Because what the ISPs feared about net neutrality rules wasn’t that it would senselessly hurt their ability to invest, but that it would harm their ability to take aggressive and punitive advantage of the lack of competition in last mile broadband networks. Obviously ISPs can’t just come out and admit that, so what we get instead is oodles of nonsense, including bogus claims that net neutrality violates ISPs’ First Amendment rights.

    • Facebook Will Beam the Internet to Africa Using this Satellite [iophk: "zero-rating"]

      Africa’s current state of Internet access is stark: the lowest levels of broadband connectivity, according to the United Nation’s State of Broadband report, are mostly found in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the UN, Internet availability reaches less than 2% of the populations in Guinea, Somalia, Burundi and Eritrea.

  • DRM

    • FCC clarifies third-party router firmware is allowed — but with restrictions

      A few weeks ago, we covered news that the FCC was considering rules that could ban the use of third-party router firmware. The FCC has issued new draft rules that would prevent customers from making changes to certain radio settings that would allow for operation outside of certain parameters. Typically these restrictions are designed to prevent multiple devices in the same geographical area from overlapping and conflicting with each other.

      The FCC has now revealed more details on these new policies, which could theoretically be read to prevent the installation of all third-party router firmware. The FCC’s initial order specifies, for example, that programs like DD-WRT should not be allowed, which is part of why people have been concerned about new restrictions in the first place. According to the FCC, manufacturers don’t need to lock out third-party firmware — they just need to prevent the third party firmware from changing settings the FCC doesn’t allow consumers to modify.

    • The Stagnation Of eBooks Due To Closed Platforms And DRM

      Craig Mod has a fascinating article for Aeon, talking about the unfortunate stagnation in digital books. He spent years reading books almost exclusively in ebook form, but has gradually moved back to physical books, and the article is a long and detailed exploration into the limits of ebooks today — nearly all of which are not due to actual limitations of the medium, but deliberate choices by the platform providers (mainly Amazon, obviously) to create closed, limited, DRM-laden platforms for ebooks.

    • Sorry, Unix fans: OS X El Capitan kills root

      If you haven’t heard, Apple has locked out root from various file system paths and core functions in Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan. The new sheriff here is System Integrity Protection (SIP), which reduces root privileges in an attempt to increase security.

      The gist is that no user — not even root — can write to /usr, /bin, /System, and /sbin or debug protected processes. Apple has also removed the ability to use unsigned kernel extensions through boot-time flags. It’s important to note that SIP can be disabled, through the recovery partition, but this will typically be done only for development and testing purposes.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Megaupload prosecutor wraps up arguments to extradite Kim Dotcom to the US

        For two weeks, Kim Dotcom and three other former Megaupload staffers accused of criminal copyright infringement were bombarded by accusations from New Zealand prosecutors.

        To hear prosecutors tell it, Dotcom is the Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman of illegal file sharing. The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) alleges that the defendants operated Megaupload as a criminal enterprise designed to profit from the illegal swapping of movies, music and software by users. A hearing is underway to determine whether New Zealand will extradite Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk, and Finn Batato to the US. Much is at stake for the four, who may eventually face lengthy prison sentences.

      • Megaupload Accuses U.S. of Unfair Tactics, Seeks Stay

        After the United States were given several days to state their case against Kim Dotcom and his former business associates, this morning lawyers for the Megaupload four stated why their clients should not be extradited to the United States. The U.S. has used unfair tactics to gain an advantage so the hearing should be brought to an end, the Court heard.

      • Google Must Expose eBook Pirate, Court Rules

        Google has to hand over the personal details of a user who published pirated eBooks online, a Dutch court has ruled. The information was requested by anti-piracy group BREIN, working on behalf of a local book publishers’ organization.

      • Happy Birthday And The Problem With The Copyright Office’s ‘Orphan Works’ Plan

        A few weeks ago, we wrote about the big ruling by Judge George King in a district court in California that Warner/Chappell does not hold a valid copyright in the song “Happy Birthday.” The press ran with the story, with nearly all of the coverage falsely stating that the judge had declared Happy Birthday to be in the public domain. As we noted in our post, however, that was not the case. While the plaintiffs had urged just such a finding, Judge King noted that there were issues related to this that a jury would need to answer, and he would not go that far. Instead, he merely stated that Warner did not hold a valid copyright. Many people assume that this is good enough. The likelihood of some third party magically showing up after all of these years and not just claiming the copyright, but having enough evidence to prove it seems very slim. Glenn Fleishman has done a nice job writing up a detailed explanation of this copyright mess for Fast Company, in which he notes the “uncertainty is maddening.”

      • Bat-tastic – Batmobile Protected by Copyright in the US

        Amongst the very old school and traditionalist judgments here in the UK, it is always refreshing to read ones that step outside of that dusty judicial demeanor, and often our friends across the pond in the US show us that even judges remember their youth with fondness.

        [...]

        In applying the test judge Ikuta quickly saw that, as the Batmobile has appeared in many renditions in a variety of forms, it has conceptual and physical qualities. The vehicle has also maintained a sufficient amount of distinct features over the years, even with minor (or more major) difference in some iterations, along with its specific characteristics and features in equipment and technology, making it sufficiently delineated to be recognizable as the same vehicle. Finally, judge Ikuta saw that the vehicle was especially distinctive, containing unique elements of expression through its status as a key part of Batman’s crime-fighting repertoire, along with its very distinctive name. The Batmobile therefore was deemed to be protectable under copyright.

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    It would be madness to allow EPO-granted patents to become 'unitary' (bypassing sovereignty of nations that actually still value patent quality); it seems clear that rogue EPO management has, in effect, not only doomed UPC ambitions but also European Patents (or their perceived legitimacy, presumption of validity)



  5. António Campinos -- Unlike His Father -- Engages in Imperialism (Using Invalid Patents)

    Despite some similarities to his father (not positive similarities), António Campinos is actively engaged in imperialistic agenda that defies even European law; the EPO not only illegally grants patents but also urges other patent offices to do the same



  6. António Campinos Takes EPO Waste and Corruption to Unprecedented Levels and Scale

    The “B” word (billions) is thrown around at Europe’s second-largest institution because a mischievous former EUIPO chief (not Archambeau) is ‘partying’ with about half of the EPO’s all-time savings, which are supposed to be reserved for pensions and other vital programmes, not presidential palaces and gambling



  7. Links 15/6/2019: Astra Linux in Russia, FreeBSD 11.3 RC

    Links for the day



  8. Code of Conduct Explained: Partial Transcript - August 10th, 2018 - Episode 80, The Truth About Southeast Linuxfest

    "Ask Noah" and the debate on how a 'Code of Conduct' is forcibly imposed on events



  9. Links 14/6/2019: Xfce-Related Releases, PHP 7.4.0 Alpha

    Links for the day



  10. The EPO is a Patent Troll's Wet Dream

    The makers of software and games in Europe will have to spend a lot of money just keeping patent trolls off their backs — a fact that seems to never bother EPO management because it profits from it



  11. EPO Spreading Patent Extremists' Ideology to the Whole World, Now to South Korea

    The EPO’s footprint around the world's patent systems is an exceptionally dangerous one; The EPO amplifies the most zealous voices of the patents and litigation ‘industry’ while totally ignoring the views and interests of the European public, rendering the EPO an ‘agent of corporate occupation’



  12. Guest Post: Notes on Free Speech, and a Line in the Sand

    We received this anonymous letter and have published it as a follow-up to "Reader's Claim That Rules Similar to the Code of Conduct (CoC) Were 'Imposed' on LibrePlanet and the FSF"



  13. Links 13/6/2019: CERN Dumps Microsoft, GIMP 2.10.12 Released

    Links for the day



  14. Links 12/6/2019: Mesa 19.1.0, KDE neon 5.16, Endless OS 3.6.0 and BackBox Linux 6

    Links for the day



  15. Leaked Financial 'Study' Document Shows EPO Management and Mercer Engaging in an Elaborate “Hoax”

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) lies to its own staff to harm that staff; thankfully, the staff isn't easily fooled and this whole affair will merely obliterate any remnants of "benefit of the doubt" the President thus far enjoyed



  16. Measuring Patent Quality and Employer Quality in Europe

    Comparing the once-famous and respected EPO to today's joke of an office, which grants loads of bogus patents on just about anything including fruit and mathematics



  17. Granting More Fundamentally Wrong Patents Will Mean Reduced Certainty, Not Increased Certainty

    Law firms that are accustomed to making money from low-quality and abstract patents try to overcome barriers by bribing politicians; this will backfire because they show sheer disregard for the patent system's integrity and merely lower the legal certainty associated with granted (by greedy offices) patents



  18. Links 11/6/2019: Wine 4.10, Plasma 5.16

    Links for the day



  19. Chapter 10: Moving Forward -- Getting the Best Results From Open Source With Your Monopoly

    “the gradual shift in public consciousness from their branding towards our own, is the next best thing to owning them outright.”



  20. Chapter 9: Ownership Through Branding -- Change the Names, and Change the World

    The goal for those fighting against Open source, against the true openness (let's call it the yet unexploited opportunities) of Open source, has to be first to figuratively own the Linux brand, then literally own or destroy the brand, then to move the public awareness of the Linux brand to something like Azure, or whatever IBM is going to do with Red Hat.



  21. Links 10/6/2019: VLC 3.0.7, KDE Future Plans

    Links for the day



  22. Patent Quality Continues to Slip in Europe and We Know Who Will Profit From That (and Distract From It)

    The corporate media and large companies don't speak about it (like Red Hat did before entering a relationship with IBM), but Europe is being littered and saturated with a lot of bogus software patents -- abstract patents that European courts would almost certainly throw out; this utter failure of the media to do journalism gets exploited by the "big litigation" lobby and EPO management that's granting loads of invalid European Patents (whose invalidation goes underreported or unreported in the media)



  23. Corporate Front Groups Like OIN and the Linux Foundation Need to Combat Software Patents If They Really Care About Linux

    The absurdity of having groups that claim to defend Linux but in practice defend software patents, if not actively then passively (by refusing to comment on this matter)



  24. Links 9/6/2019: Arrest of Microsoft Peter, Linux 5.2 RC4, Ubuntu Touch Update

    Links for the day



  25. Chapter 8: A Foot in the Door -- How to Train Sympathetic Developers and Infiltrate Other Projects

    How to train sympathetic developers and infiltrate other projects



  26. Chapter 7: Patent War -- Use Low-Quality Patents to Prove That All Software Rips Off Your Company

    Patents in the United States last for 20 years from the time of filing. Prior to 1994, the patent term was 17 years from when the patent was issued.



  27. The Linux Foundation in 2019: Over 100 Million Dollars in Income, But Cannot Maintain Linux.com?

    Today’s Linux Foundation gets about 0.1 billion dollars per year (as explained in our previous post), so why can’t it spend about 0.1% of that money on people who write for and maintain a site that actually promotes GNU/Linux?



  28. Microsoft and Proprietary Software Vendors a Financial Boon for the Linux Foundation, But at What Cost?

    The Linux Foundation is thriving financially, but the sources of income are diversified to the point where the Linux Foundation is actually funded by foes of Linux, defeating the very purpose or direction of such a nonprofit foundation (led by self-serving millionaires who don't use GNU/Linux)



  29. The Linux Foundation as a Facilitator of Microsoft's Abduction of Developers (for GitHub, Azure, Visual Studio and Windows)

    There’s a profoundly disturbing pattern; in a rush for influence and money the Linux Foundation inadvertently (or worse — consciously and deliberately) paved the way to Microsoft’s more modern version of Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (EEE)



  30. Links 8/6/2019: FreeBSD 11.3 Beta 3, Git 2.22.0 and IPFire 2.23

    Links for the day


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