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10.22.15

Links 22/10/2015: *buntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf, Free Software in UK and French Government

Posted in News Roundup at 8:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • When my open source intern project went global

    Sure, I may have only contributed a couple hundred lines of code. In the long run, however, I know that my CI efforts will soon pull together better software that’s tested thoroughly, beginning with the community of developers themselves. I see that as indirectly contributing millions of lines of better code. I had an idea on how to do something better and took action on it, a freedom you won’t find in other types of organizations.

  • Why Southeast Asia should embrace the open source movement

    In the last five years, Southeast Asia has grown to become a big consumer of modern web technologies to create digital products and services. More and more tech companies from the US are opening offices here and many with the goal to build engineering and development offices for their regional needs.

  • How open source took me from a beginner coder to a credited contributor

    I’d like to share my experiences with Free Software Melbourne, its free software workshop, and, more importantly, what has happened since then because it’s kinda cool—it’s not what I expected.

    I consider myself a beginner programmer. Most of the time I have no idea what I am doing and no idea what the documentation is trying to convey. Lost is perhaps my most common emotion.

  • Orbbec Releases Open Source SDK to GitHub for Their Astra 3D Camera Technology

    The Orbbec Persee is basically a less expensive XBox Kinect on steroids, and the developers are committed to making sure that their technology is available for everyone to develop and improve. They say that they want to foster a culture of open source innovation where the developers and the creative coding community play an irreplaceable role in the evolution of gesture controls and the Persee hardware. To that end they have released an open source software development kit (SDK) on GitHub so anyone can download and develop software using the versatile and powerful smart 3D camera-computer.

  • Going Gonzo at ‘All Things Open’

    “Footballs in a basketball state,” I said wryly, looking down on a guy who was sitting across the table, absently playing with some small swag footballs imprinted with a company logo.

  • LookingGlass Simplifies Threat Intel with Contribution to Open Source Community
  • LookingGlass Open-Sources Threat Intel Engine

    LookingGlass Cyber Solutions has announced OpenTPX, a contribution to the open-source community to enable threat intelligence providers and security operations to integrate full context across their security portfolios.

  • SA firms wins international BOSSIE open source award

    Dev2, a software developer based in Hillcrest, has been awarded the prestigious 2015 BOSSIE open source aware.

  • Introducing TastyIgniter – Open source Restaurant Ordering & Reservation System

    I’m looking to release a stable version sometime this month after adding new features from user feedback. I’ve recently completed the user acceptance testing.

  • Coinprism releases an open source ‘transaction chain’

    The open source system is now used by companies such as NASDAQ…

  • Open Standards developer Coinprism releases enterprise blockchain
  • Coinprism Launches Open-Source Permissioned Ledger With Bitcoin ‘Anchors’
  • Coinprism Launches OpenChain, an Open-Source Distributed Ledger
  • Orbbec Releases SDK to GitHub for Open Sourced 3D Application Development
  • Orbbec Releases Open Source Version Of Astra SDK For Persee 3D Camera
  • Open source opens world of growth for startup companies

    The open source community holds dear the concepts of open exchange, participation, rapid prototyping, meritocracy, transparency, participation and collaboration, values emphasized among startups.

  • Open source leads the future of Cloud

    When looking to provide Cloud deployments, channel players are faced with a vast array of offerings from vendors all claiming to offer the ideal solution to a client’s needs. Being spoilt for choice, it has become increasingly difficult for partners to differentiate from competitors.

    As the model for Cloud providers expands to include private Cloud build-outs, container-based infrastructure and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions, partners need additional flexibility to better meet customer needs for Cloud-based technologies.

    As such, a complete set of unique Cloud services can help partners plan, build and manage a private or hybrid Cloud while still using a multi-vendor infrastructure.

  • Oceanography for Everyone: Empowering researchers, educators, and citizen scientists through open-source hardware

    Three years ago, Kersey Sturdivant and myself launched an ambitious crowdfunding project–the OpenCTD–with the plan to produce a low-cost, open-source CTD for thousands of dollars less than the commercial alternative. That campaign fizzled, bringing in barely 60% of our target goal. After taxes and fees, that amounted to about $3500 available to us to play around with. The OpenCTD wasn’t dead, but it was on life support.

  • Zepheira Upgrades Its Open Source Tools

    Zepheira updated Linksmith and Scribe, its open source linked data management tools, to have better scalability, linkability, and internal and external linking. Scribe is publicly available on GitHub. Students and alumni of the Zepheira Practical Practitioner Training class have exclusive access to Linksmith, but the results of their work with the tool may be publicly shared.

  • How do we keep track of ephemeral containers?

    Cloud-native computing relies on ephemeral containers instead of pinned servers. Executing applications within ephemeral containers solves resource scarcity challenges, but also creates a dynamic environment that requires new practices and tooling. To address these concerns, Ian Lewis of Google is giving a talk at this month’s OpenStack Summit in Tokyo, Japan entitled “In a world of ephemeral containers, how do we keep track of things?”

  • Freescale and KDDI R&D Labs Join Open Source NFV Project

    The OPNFV Project, a carrier-grade, integrated, open source flexible platform intended to accelerate the introduction of new products and services using Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), today announced that Freescale and KDDI R&D Labs have joined as Silver members while Morgan Richomme of Orange has been appointed to the Board of Directors as the first technical community representative. Launched just one year ago, the OPNFV project is supported by 19 Platinum and 36 Silver member companies committed to advancing the creation of a flexible, open source framework for NFV.

  • How Trade Agreements Harm Open Access and Open Source

    Mistakes like these are inevitable in a negotiation process that is closed to public review and which structurally excludes input from all affected stakeholders. We should therefore hardly be surprised that trade agreements are bad news for open access and open source. But neither should we accept it. These captured, undemocratic negotiations are a relic of a pre-Internet age, that no longer have any legitimate place in public policy making for the 21st century.

  • Rogue Wave releases open-source support survey

    As for making decisions about using open-source packages, availability of support, licensing flexibility and code security were the top three factors. Among reasons cited for seeking support were a lack of expertise regarding particular open-source packages, as well as integration and performance issues.

  • Deep into Drupal, Cisco starts to give back to open source community

    Cisco’s Jamal Haider acknowledged during a presentation this week that his team that works on the company’s open source-based customer support portal hasn’t given much back to the wider Drupal community yet, but he said this talk at the sold-out Acquia Engage conference in Boston is part of an effort to change that.

    And why not? Cisco has plenty of reasons – more than $400 million of them, in fact – to be grateful for Drupal since migrating its Support Community portal to the open source content management system early last year. Cisco started working on project requirements in 2013 with Acquia, a SaaS provider that has commercialized Drupal offerings.

  • Saying Goodbye to ‘All Things Open’ Until Next Year

    We knew going in there would be a record number of speakers this year — 131 according to a count on the ATO website — and we learned on our way out — at the closing ceremonies — that this year’s attendance topped 1,700, much more than last year and nearly doubling the attendance from the first ATO in 2013. Todd Lewis, the master of ceremonies for the event — his official title, chairperson, doesn’t begin to describe what he does — said that next year they’re aiming for 2,500, a number they probably have a good chance of hitting.

  • Walmart goes to war with Amazon over open source

    Sigh. Another day, another useless open source project.

    This time it’s Walmart, open sourcing its cloud technology to compete with Amazon Web Services (AWS). But, as David Linthicum writes, it’s open source for all the wrong reasons.

    More pertinently, it’s open source in all the wrong ways.

  • Bringing open source to Pentaho

    In any end-to-end proprietary platform, there’s fear in the community about support, accessibility and cost. However, thanks to acquisitions, Pentaho Corp. has showed it is ready to embrace a more open world.

  • Rogue Wave Software releases 2015 Open Source Support Report

    Rogue Wave Software released their 2015 Open Source Support Report, solidifying the company as a leader in the open source software (OSS) community and providing information on OSS package use that could only be gathered from their own database. Taking data from over 8,000 OSS packages, surveys, experiences, and experts from across different industries, this report brings a new level of visibility into OSS support reporting that has been lacking until now.

  • Non-free software can mean unexpected surprises

    I went to a night sky photography talk on Tuesday. The presenter talked a bit about tips on camera lenses, exposures; then showed a raw image and prepared to demonstrate how to process it to bring out the details.

    His slides disappeared, the screen went blank, and then … nothing. He wrestled with his laptop for a while. Finally he said “Looks like I’m going to need a network connection”, left the podium and headed out the door to find someone to help him with that.

    I’m not sure what the networking issue was: the nature center has open wi-fi, but you know how it is during talks: if anything can possibly go wrong with networking, it will, which is why a good speaker tries not to rely on it. And I’m not blaming this speaker, who had clearly done plenty of preparation and thought he had everything lined up.

    Eventually they got the network connection, and he connected to Adobe. It turns out the problem was that Adobe Photoshop is now cloud-based. Even if you have a local copy of the software, it insists on checking in with Adobe at least every 30 days. At least, that’s the theory. But he had used the software on that laptop earlier that same day, and thought he was safe. But that wasn’t good enough, and Photoshop picked the worst possible time — a talk in front of a large audience — to decide it needed to check in before letting him do anything.

  • Neo4j’s graph query language launches under standalone open-source license

    Neo Technology Inc. made a lot of new friends in the open-source ecosystem this morning after releasing the query language powering its hugely popular graph store under an open-source license. The move officially clears the way for other vendors to implement the syntax in their own systems.

    The openCypher project, as the startup refers to the free standalone implementation, already has several big-name supporters lined up on launch. The list includes providers such as Tableau Inc. and Tom Sawyer Software Inc. that have offered connectors for Neo4j long before the announcement of initiative as well as newcomers hoping to secure a seat on the graph bandwagon.

  • Notes from Flink Forward

    I was in Berlin last week for Flink Forward, the inaugural Apache Flink conference. I’m still learning about Flink, and Flink Forward was a great place to learn more. In this post, I’ll share some of what I consider its coolest features and highlight some of the talks I especially enjoyed. Videos of the talks should all be online soon, so you’ll be able to check them out as well.

  • IoT

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Lands GTK3 Touch Event Support In Firefox

        Mozilla developers continue moving along with their support for the GTK3 tool-kit inside the Firefox web-browser.

        Firefox Nightlies/Aurora are built with GTK3+ on Linux. While there’s been the basic GTK+ 3 support, other items relating to this new tool-kit support still need to be finished up. One of the items now complete is handling touch events of this latest GTK+ version.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Celebrating diversity in the OpenStack community

      Egle Sigler, Kavit Munshi, and Carol Barrett are organizers and active members of OpenStack’s Diversity Working Group. The OpenStack Foundation has a deep commitment to fostering the diversity and inclusivity of the OpenStack community. The foundation’s Board of Directors created the group to formulate, deliver, and monitor programs to help increase the diversity of the community.

    • Oracle offers second release of OpenStack
    • Oracle offers up new OpenStack release as Docker instances

      Oracle has updated its Oracle OpenStack platform, almost a year to the day after it first released its own flavor of the open-source cloud-building fabric.

    • How the Big Tent conversation changed OpenStack

      Because “cloud” means different things to different people, and because OpenStack tries to be all those things, individual OpenStack deployments can look very different from one another depending on many criteria. The “big tent” conversation, which has been ongoing in the OpenStack community for some time, strives to provide all of the answers for all of OpenStack’s large audience.

    • How the hybrid cloud and open-source tech are changing IT

      The cloud is well on its way to becoming the standard model for IT, just sixteen years after it first formed. It couples flexibility, scale, and reliability to user-friendliness and ubiquity. It has created some of the world’s largest companies, as well as empowering some of the smallest. The cloud has changed the economics of providing and using services, bringing many new opportunities—and also a few teething problems, of course.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice, Leaping Lizards, and Liquid Lemurs

      Personal reports from the recent LibreOffice conference were few, but today Rajesh Ranjan shared his experience. Bruce Byfield today said, “Sometimes, losing a Linux desktop is the best way to appreciate it” as he muddles through the absence of KDE. Ubuntu celebrates its 11 year path to convergence as eWeek.com looks at upcoming 15.10 features. Elsewhere, Scott Gilbertson reviews openSUSE 42.1 and Jack Germain said Liquid Lemur Linux has promise.

    • Celebrating the success of LibreOffice in Denmark

      In late September, I attended my first LibreOffice Conference in Aarhus, Denmark. There were 150 participants from more than 30 countries present, and it was an incredible experience.

      Though the conference didn’t officially start until September 23, my work started the day before at what we called the “Community Day.” After a general get together, Native Language Project (NLP) community members met to discuss relevant processes, tools, resources, development, and marketing. In the evening, we rejoined the rest of the contributors for dinner.

  • Business

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • Open Source Software and Regulatory Compliance

      The argument for open source in both cases rests on the belief that exposing the code to millions of eyeballs will ultimately make it more secure and just plain better overall. In the VW case, anti-copyright groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation are pushing for open source and an end to DMCA anti-circumvention provisions.

    • Still waiting on you, Apple…

      Back in July Apple promised to open source Swift. :) Well, Apple? What’s going on? Is this still the plan, Apple?

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Puri touts open-source innovation in the workplace

      Puri’s open approach to evolving her career has led her to report for Fortune, serve as an assistant solicitor general for the New York State Attorney General, work as a senior advisor to the president of the Empire State Development Corporation, run the nonprofit Scientists Without Borders, and help lead the Nike Foundation as its executive director for global innovation.

    • Thomson Reuters raises stakes in financial desktop software

      The firm suggests that the financial industry is increasingly turning to open technology standards to spur the innovation and flexibility institutions need to remain competitive in an increasingly complex business landscape.

    • Open Data

      • Christopher Allan Webber: Hitchhiker’s guide to data formats

        Of course, there’s more data formats than that. Heck, even on top of these data formats there’s a lot more out there (these days I spend a lot of time working on ActivityStreams 2.0 related tooling, which is just JSON with a specific structure, until you want to get fancier, add extensions, or jump into linked data land, in which case you can process it as json-ld).

    • Open Access/Content

      • Letter: Open source textbooks can combat rising prices

        My name is Meghan Healey. I’m an undeclared freshman. Being on this exploratory track, most of my textbooks were relatively cheap, but they were still more expensive than they should be. If all textbooks were as “cheap” as my American Politics class, students would still have to pay at least $150 in order to have a proper education. This $150 could have been spent toward my tuition, my meal plan, or a plentiful amount of other academic expenses. Geology Textbook: $50. Environmental Science Packet: $30. Sustainability Book: $10. Freshman Seminar: $20. iClicker 2 for American Politics: $60. American Politics Textbook: $90 My total? $260. What should it be? Priceless.

      • Affordable College Textbook Act Provides Major Impact on Future of America’s Higher Education

        new Congress legislation is advancing to seek the cost-effective reduction of university textbooks through appropriate grant programs that aim to promote the utilization of Open Education Resources (OER).

      • A Change to Textbooks Could Mark a Shift in America’s Future

        Two ideas are being proposed by Democratic Senators this week that if instituted would have a major impact on America.

        Democratic Senator Al Franken of Minnesota and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois are co-sponsoring the Affordable College Textbook Act. This act would have college institutions apply for government cash to fund the creation of a textbook that could be shareable online.

      • Survey: ND college professors know ‘open source materials,’ but some have questions

        A survey of North Dakota faculty shows most have heard of “open source educational materials” – textbooks and other things available on line at little or no charge.

        “Open source” could save students a lot of money in textbooks.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Source Toolkit: Hardware

        PLOS Collections joined forces with Andre Maia Chagas and Tom Baden of University of Tübingen, TReND in Africa and Openeuroscience to create a collection of Open Source Hardware projects with application in a laboratory setting. Open Source Toolkit: Hardware will be updated on a regular basis.

      • Open Source Organelle Synthesiser Unveiled By Critter & Guitari

        The Organelle is equipped with a 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor and a range of intuitive controls together with a powerful and flexible sound engine that provides a limitless music machine that is capable of creating a huge variety of different sounds and tunes.

        [...]

        The entire system runs open source software and may be customized at every level.

      • Ultimaker releases open-source files for Ultimaker 2 Go and 2 Extended 3D printers

        The rise of 3D printing technology owes a lot to the open-source movement, whereby the source code for software and hardware blueprints are made available to be used or modified at absolutely no cost. It’s a movement that recognizes the power of the people, of collective minds working towards diverse goals, yet all with the same intentions of technological advancement, innovation and improvement. Honouring their commitment to the open-source movement as well as their long-standing tradition of releasing the blueprints for their 3D printers six months after going to market, Ultimaker today released the open-source files for their Ultimaker 2 Go and Ultimaker 2 Extended 3D printers. Files for the Ultimaker 2, Ultimaker Original, Original + and Heated Bed Upgrade as well as their Cura software are already available on their GitHub repository completely free of cost.

      • Latest Ultimaker 3D Printer Designs Released As Open Source Files
      • Ultimaker Releases Open-Source Files ff Their 3D Printers
      • Ultimaker releases open-source files for Ultimaker 2 GO and Extended 3D printers
  • Programming

    • Highlights of CppCon 2015
    • Top 4 Java web frameworks built for scalability

      If you’re writing a web application from scratch, you’ll want to select a framework to make your life easier and reduce development time. Java, one of the most popular programming languages out there, offers plenty of options.

      Traditional Java applications, particularly web-facing apps, are built on top of a Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework, which follows the MVC software architectural pattern. Starting with Apache Struts, MVC frameworks have been a staple of Java development including such popular frameworks as WebWork, Spring MVC, Wicket, and GWT. Typically these applications host the view code on the server, where it is rendered and delivered to the client (web browser). Click a link or submit a form in your browser and it submits a request to the server, which does the requested work and builds a new view, refreshing the entire display in your client.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Happy 30th Birthday, NES!

      The Nintendo Entertainment System or NES is one of the most famous video game consoles ever made, and it has just turned 30. Why are we celebrating NES 30 years later? The answer is simple: because it’s still relevant.

    • Western Digital to acquire SanDisk for $19 billion

      If Dell-EMC merger was not enough for the tech world to digest, Western Digital shook the world with the largest acquisition in the storage space. The hard drive major is acquiring flash-based storage device player SanDisk for $19 billion.

    • Michael Dell berates Microsoft’s Nadella about high price of Surface tablet

      MICHAEL DELL has taken a sly dig at Microsoft, saying to CEO Satya Nadella that the prices of its hardware, such as the Surface, are “pretty high”.

      Speaking on stage during an interview with Nadella at Dell World 2015, Dell’s comments came in response to a question regarding whether Microsoft and Dell now see one another as rivals as both have expanded to offer products that they were not first renowned for.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Private Military Companies in Service to the Transnational Capitalist Class

      Globalization of trade and central banking has propelled private corporations to positions of power and control never before seen in human history. Under advanced capitalism, the structural demands for a return on investment require an unending expansion of centralized capital in the hands of fewer and fewer people. The financial center of global capitalism is so highly concentrated that less than a few thousand people dominate and control $100 trillion of wealth.

    • Assad flies to Moscow to thank Putin for Syria air strikes

      Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flew to Moscow on Tuesday evening to thank Russia’s Vladimir Putin personally for his military support, in a surprise visit that underlined how Russia has become a major player in the Middle East.

      It was Assad’s first foreign visit since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011, and came three weeks after Russia launched a campaign of air strikes against Islamist militants in Syria that has also bolstered Assad’s forces.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Diesel cars emit up to four times more toxic pollution than a bus, data reveals

      A modern diesel car pumps out more toxic pollution than a bus or heavy truck, according to new data, a situation described as a “disgrace” by one MEP.

      The revelation shows that effective technology to cut nitrogen oxides (NOx) pollution exists, but that car manufacturers are not implementing it in realistic driving conditions.

      Diesel cars tested in Norway produced quadruple the NOx emissions of large buses and lorries in city driving conditions, according to a report from the Norwegian Centre for Transport Research. A separate study for Transport for London showed that a small car in the “supermini” class emitted several times more NOx than most HGVs and the same amount as a 40-tonne vehicle.

    • The Great Kowtow

      The Chinese are the imperial masters now. Cameron begs them to build a nuclear power station for which the British state guarantees it will pay double the market price for electricity produced, for twenty years. And a government which has just announced the extension of thought crime to the expression of non-violent or anti-violent thought deemed “extreme”, has no locus to talk about human rights, a concept at least as alien to Teresa May as it is to the Chinese Communist Party. Britain has its own war criminals like Blair and Straw running around, immune and very wealthy.

  • Finance

    • Fox Guest Pushes Back Against Bill O’Reilly’s Shaming Of Poor Parents

      JOHNSON-HUSTON: You are confusing an economic status of someone with their character, and people make mistakes in life, but you know what? My mother loved me and what you put forth was that people who are in these situations, that they’re abusing their children. I know people who have been abused. I was not abused and my mother did the right thing by me which was to put me in a more stable environment–

    • Wall Street Journal Column Pushes Myth That Tax Cuts Pay For Themselves To Attack Bernie Sanders

      Wall Street Journal editorial board member Jason Riley attacked Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for supporting progressive income tax rates to fund government investments, falsely claiming that additional tax cuts for the wealthy are a better method of increasing tax revenue.

    • The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Stephen Harper’s legacy for trade lawyers

      According to Boscariol, Canada has been signing a “spaghetti bowl of trade agreements” and joining trading blocks for the simple reason that lots of other countries seem to be doing it. “If we don’t, we will lose preferential market access that other countries are getting by way of these deals. So we’ve got to be at the party,” Boscariol says.

    • Hypocrisy Alert: Speaker Vos and Rep. Craig Use Private Email, Too

      Wisconsin Republicans have been caught in the spin cycle with their latest attack on the state’s independent, nonpartisan Government Accountability Board (GAB), which oversees elections and ethics.

      The GAB, which is led by a board of retired judges appointed by the governor, has been widely regarded as a national model for nonpartisan election administration. But this week the Republican-led legislature seeks to dismantle it as payback for investigating Governor Scott Walker.

      “Political payback” doesn’t poll well, so Republicans have tried advancing a series of disingenuous arguments to justify the attack on the GAB: they say the GAB accepted “Mickey Mouse” on recall petitions (it didn’t), that the Walker probe had no legal basis (it did), that the board wasn’t informed of the staff’s work on the John Doe (it was), and an array of other false assertions.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Fox’s Bill O’Reilly Instructs The Benghazi Committee On How To Question Hillary Clinton
    • George Will’s Freedom to Be Unequal Depends a Lot on Government Coercion

      Got that? Bill Gates is incredibly rich because of his aptitude and attitude; the government’s willingness to arrest anyone who infringes on the patent and copyright monopolies it gave him has nothing to do with his wealth. We’re supposed to also ignore all the other millionaires and billionaires whose wealth depends on these government-granted monopolies.

      And we should ignore the Wall Street boys who depend on their banks’ too-big-to-fail insurance, or on the fact that the financial sector largely escapes the sort of taxation applied to the rest of the economy. And we shouldn’t be bothered by the fact that Jeff Bezos got very rich in large part from avoiding the requirement to collect sales taxes that was imposed on his brick-and-mortar competitors. And we need not pay attention to the tax scams that allow for much of the wealth of the private-equity crew.

    • The Kochs Want to End WI’s Era of Clean Government

      Following the bipartisan “John Doe” investigation into campaign finance violations by Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin Republicans are out for revenge. And the Kochs have their back.

      This week, the Wisconsin state legislature will take up a trifecta of bills that will undermine the state’s long traditions of clean and transparent government.

      One bill will gut the state’s campaign finance laws and retroactively decriminalize the secretive campaign finance schemes that Walker engaged in during the recall elections, opening the doors to new levels of dark money in state elections.

      Another bill will cripple the the state’s nonpartisan Government Accountability Board–considered a model for other states–and turn it into a toothless, partisan agency. The board of nonpartisan retired judges will be replaced with partisan appointees that are guaranteed to gridlock (like the broken Federal Elections Commission), and gives the legislature power to cut funding for an investigation that it doesn’t like.

    • Voters in WI Want Money Out of Politics; Politicians Don’t Care

      Sixty one communities in Wisconsin, including some in the most conservative pockets of the state, have passed referendums expressing opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United and declaring money is not speech. Poll after poll has shown that both Republican and Democratic voters want less money in elections and stronger donor disclosure laws.

      Wisconsin politicians, though, are opening the floodgates to an unlimited flow of secret money.

    • Fox, Daily Beast Stories on Cubans in Syria Lack One Thing: Evidence of Cubans in Syria

      Fox News (10/14/15) reported last week that Cuba has sent Gen. Leopoldo Cintra Frias and hundreds of troops to Syria to assist the Russian and Assad governments in “operating Russian tanks.” This explosive claim was soon echoed by James Bloodworth in the Daily Beast (10/16/15) and subsequently spread widely on social media.

      A Cuban troop presence in Syria would be a blockbuster story indeed—undermining the easing of tensions between Cuba and the United States while serving as a huge embarrassment for the Obama administration, which has spent much political capital restoring relations with the socialist island nation. There’s only one problem: The story is looking increasingly bunk.

  • Censorship

    • Letter to MEPs of LIBE Committee: Do Not Jeopardize Our Freedom of Speech!

      On Monday afternoon, members of the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee will vote on the Dati report on the “prevention of radicalisation and recruitment of European citizens by terrorist organisations”. This report contains dangerous provisions, which aim to make online platforms and hosts responsible for the distribution of messages glorifying terrorism, creating a high risk of pre-emptive censorship. Such provisions severely threaten European citizens’ freedom of speech.

  • Civil Rights

    • A Nazi Welcomed by the British Establishment

      This is the party symbol of Paribiy’s Social National Party, in case anybody doubts me. It is perfectly clear what Mr Paribiy stands for. That the Royal United Services Institute invites him to spread his views in the heart of Whitehall, says a great deal about the position of the right wing British establishment. Today, the British government proposes new legislation to close down mosques and bookshops deemed extreme, even if they advocate against violence and do not break the law. These are dangerous times – and the danger is from the right.

    • British activist Jacky Sutton found dead in Istanbul airport

      A British woman who was working as the Iraq director for the Institute of War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) has died in an Istanbul airport, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

      Former BBC journalist Jacky Sutton, 50, is understood to have been found dead in a toilet at the city’s main airport. The circumstances of her death are as yet unknown. Local media reported it appeared that Sutton, who was travelling to Irbil, northern Iraq, had killed herself after missing a flight connection, a claim colleagues said was unlikely.

    • IWPR

      The fact that IWPR accesses direct first hand knowledge of what really happens during conflicts, almost certainly holds the key to the death of Jackie Sutton. She was killed for something she knew. The official Turkish story that she killed herself in the airport in despair at missing a connecting flight, is risible.

    • The NRA Is Promoting An Article Suggesting “Radical” Democrats Will Be Hanged After Starting A Civil War Over Gun Rights

      The National Rifle Association is promoting an article that suggested “radical” Democrats will attempt to confiscate firearms in the United States and trigger a civil war where “the survivors of the Democrat rebellion” are ultimately hanged.

      In an October 17 post, conservative gun blogger Bob Owens claimed that if the “radical left” attempts to “impose their ideas on the American people” — which Owens claims includes gun confiscation — “it would end poorly and quickly” for them after they are confronted by “armed free citizens.”

    • Two Weeks After It Sued the CIA, Data Is Stolen from the University of Washington’s Center for Human Rights

      Earlier this month, I wrote about a landmark lawsuit filed by the University of Washington’s Center for Human Rights (UWCHR) against the Central Intelligence Agency seeking information about possible war crimes committed in El Salvador during that country’s civil war. Over the weekend, someone broke into the office of Angelina Godoy, the center’s director.

      “Her desktop computer was stolen, as well as a hard drive containing about 90 percent of the information relating to our research in El Salvador,” the center said in a statement today.

    • ‘There’s a Conversation Happening About the Inequities of the Criminal Justice System’

      JJ: I think it’s interesting that California law enforcement, who will now have to record race/ ethnicity data on stops and what happens after that, are sort of complaining–well, some of them, anyway–“This will cause us to racially profile. We didn’t do it in the past, but now if we have to actually report race and ethnicity of the people we arrest, that will lead us to think about it in a way we weren’t thinking about it before.” There’s always a kind of push back on the collection of information, but it seems to me that from reporters’ perspective, and policy advocates’ perspective, more information ought to be non-controversial, in a way. We ought to all be able to be behind more sunlight.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net Neutrality in Europe: Now or Never!

      The European Parliament will vote next Tuesday the text on Net Neutrality. Following months of trialogue negotiations, during which the Council has sought to undermine all the provisions in favour of Net neutrality, an unsatisfying compromise has been reached. The final vote on 27 October during the plenary session shall set out the rules that will be applied in France and in all other Member States. In April 2014, the European Parliament had voted a text with very strong provisions in favour of Net Neutrality. Such a vote had been possible only thanks to the important mobilisation of European citizens.

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