10.28.15

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Links 28/10/2015: Xiaomi’s GNU/Linux Laptops and OpenStack’s Massive Expansion

Posted in News Roundup at 5:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Iconic Linux debate sparks an open source career

    In 1997 I left Tandem (Compaq) and found an ISP. Two years later, I was heading the IT department of Univates, a university center in the South of Brasil. There we developed several free software systems, such as SAGU (an academic ERP) and GNUteca (a library loan and administrative system). In 2003, I helped found Solis, the first free software co-op in the world. I told the Solis story in Linux Journal in 2004, and the co-op is still very active and has generated several spin-offs.

  • Mycroft AI Already Working on Linux Desktops, Integration Has Started

    The Mycroft developers have been working to adapt the speech recognition system for the Linux desktop, and they have already taken the first steps.

  • Desktop

    • Confirmed: Two Xiaomi Linux Laptops All Set For Mass Production In 2016

      According to a press release by Inventec, it is currently collaborating with Xiaomi to produce two laptops, which would be introduced under the Xiaomi brand. The laptops are reportedly scheduled for an early 2016 release.

    • Xiaomi preps Linux laptops for the post Christmas sales rush

      Pumped up by a (claimed) $1bn in profit in 2015, Chinese phone-maker Xiaomi will start selling Linux laptops early next year, according to a report.

      DigiTimes suggests that two models will be built by contract manufacturers, Inventec and Compal, and feature 12.5 inch and 13.3 inch displays.

      According to the trade paper, Xiaomi has been tapping up Lenovo executives “aggressively” to manage the new laptop venture.

    • Old iMac Ubuntu Studio Installation

      I definitely think you’re on the right path for getting more life out of the old Mac. I recently did some testing with a 2010 Macbook Pro (6,2 version) and Ubuntu MATE. It’s more involved than simply installing Linux onto a PC, but it’s totally possible. Unlike Macbook Pro laptops however, the process should be a bit easier with the iMac.

  • Server

    • Poof! You’re also a Linux administrator. Now what?

      Running Linux in the enterprise often meant little more than an experiment that was sequestered in a lab environment, far away from the production side. But this former interloper is now inching across networks, as it has matured and has become more accepted due to its prominence in established cloud platforms and emerging container technologies. Even Microsoft has dropped its campaign against the open source operating system and has gone so far as to develop its own version of Linux to run part of the Azure cloud platform.

    • HP Creates Open Source Network Operating System

      The digital nature of our world has created a need for more adaptable network operating systems (NOS’s). Networks handle large amounts of data every day, which has created a need for on-demand scalability. As such, HP has teamed up with a variety of supporters, including Arista, Broadcom and Intel, to address this problem and create OpenSwitch, an open source NOS. With OpenSwitch, developers can now collaborate, test new theories and innovate to develop higher-quality networks for organizations. Furthermore, these networks can be customized to accommodate specific business needs.

    • A day in the life of a cloud architect

      OpenStack can be an enigma. We have open source purists who profess by the virtues of OpenStack, even as a multitude of enterprise aficionados wonder if OpenStack is right for them. Fortunately we have cloud practice leader Vijay Chebolu and cloud architect Vinny Valdez to cut the clutter. In their roles at Red Hat Cloud Innovation Practice, Vijay and Vinny deliver Open Stack solutions to customers.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Cinnamon 2.8 Gets Its First Point Release, Several Bugs Were Fixed

      We reported a few days ago on the Cinnamon 2.8 desktop environment and the massive amount of features it includes, but it looks like the first point release is already available for download.

    • The Beauty of the i3 Tiling Window Manager

      If you don’t have much need for a full desktop environment, i3 is a great option. And the beauty of Linux is that if I do need something more robust, desktop-wise, Unity is just a login session a way. But aside from going into it for screenshots and for some odd trackpad configurations I couldn’t figure out in i3 (I’ve since discovered the joy of gsynaptics, which works just fine from i3), it’s really been a pleasure to use.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Chakra GNU/Linux to Use KDE Plasma 5 as Default Desktop Environment

      Neofytos Kolokotronis was more than happy to announce that his Arch Linux-based Chakra GNU/Linux distribution will finally make the switch from the old-school KDE4 desktop environment to KDE Plasma 5.

    • Reviews

      • Xfce Smooth: the smooth variations

        Xfce Smooth is an interesting distribution. It shows you what you can do yourself using the [very] good distribution as a start and playing with themes, icon sets and fonts. You can change your system’s look very much to your own taste.

        The question is still whether you need to download a distribution that someone has already created for you, or start it yourself from scratch. The benefit of using of Xfce Smooth in this case is that it already has a lot of icon sets, fonts, themes to choose from. You do not need to search, download and install them. Just start playing with your selection!

        In terms of performance, I had almost no issues with Xfce Smooth at all. It felt very snappy, fast, responsive and… really smooth! The only small issue was with the Keyring password request that appeared several times.

        Would I use this distribution myself? Probably not. I am not a fancier of different fonts, icon and mouse pointer styles to play with them. I would rather stick to something more classic.

      • First Look at Ubuntu Gnome 15.10

        Okay, so that wasn’t the final note. While I doubt any of my three readers work for major laptop vendors, I really want to see a push for physical kill switches on things like the camera and the microphone, such as on the Librem 15. I considered getting one of those but they are a little sketchy on what “PureOS” actually is, and so I’ll wait to see what others think of it first.

      • Linux cousins Part 2: Reviewing ReactOS, the Open Source version of Windows [Ed: not Linux]

        ReactOS is built with the primary purpose of providing full binary compatibility with applications (and device drivers) written for Windows Server 2003. That means you can literally take a piece of software built for Windows and run it on ReactOS, without too much trouble

    • New Releases

      • Black Lab NEXT 2015.10 RC4 Released

        Today we are releasing RC4. Release Candidate 4 is a major bug and application fix that plagued users of the RC2 and RC3 series. With that we also have some changes that came along and landed in RC4. Some visual changes and some application changes.

      • IPFire 2.17 – Core Update 94 released

        This is the official release announcement for IPFire 2.17 – Core Update 94 which is a release with smaller security fixes and a maintenance release in general.

      • IPFire 2.17 Open-Source Firewall Gets Internal Mail Agent

        Michael Tremer, one of the developers for the ipfire.org team, has just announced that IPFire 2.17 Core 94, a new build of the popular Linux-based firewall distribution, is now available for download.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva Forums

        I also gave the OpenMandriva Games page a try and found the proposal interesting despite that the games there are not the ones I play. I guess it would be great to be able to play Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation again, but Steam is doing a wonderful job to satisfy my occasional gaming needs.

    • Ballnux/SUSE

      • SUSE: Rolling Awesome of the Day

        If you’re a Tumbleweed and KDE aficionado, this is a good day. You’ll see some major updates:

        Plasma 5.4.2
        Frameworks 5.15
        Applications 15.08.2
        Qt 5.5.1

        Now, yes, that’s all minor versions but stability is a big deal!

      • OpenSUSE Tumbleweed Lands Many KDE-Related Updates

        The rolling-release openSUSE Tumblewed distribution has landed a number of significant KDE package updates.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat opens up Ceph storage to other cloud leaders

        Red Hat’s Ceph is a popular software-defined object and file cloud storage stack. While the code is open source, Red Hat has directed the project’s strategic direction. Until now. At the Toyko OpenStack Summit, Red Hat announced Ceph’s overall direction will be put into the hands of the newly formed Ceph Advisory Board.

      • Red Hat CIO: Business advice on IT value

        To be truly successful as an IT organization, you must bring new ideas to drive revenue or reduce cost for the business as a whole. If you don’t, they’ll do it without you where there is a critical need and they have a budget. Then, you’ll end up with a non-integrated set of solutions and potentially security exposures.

      • Darcy on the future of storage

        We’ve been at this dance before with Linux. People have been asking if Red Hat was going to be like Microsoft, and I told everyone: nope. We’re transfering the wealth that the proprietary lock-in vendors were collecting back to the users. That was the whole idea. In the process, we’re collecting less – a more reasonable amount, necessary to put stuff together and make it run. Therefore, we’re not going to be as wealthy off users’ backs. But the society as a whole benefits.

      • Analysts Anticipate Red Hat to Announce $0.31 Earnings Per Share (NYSE:RHT)

        Wall Street brokerages predict that Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) will report earnings per share (EPS) of $0.31 for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Nine analysts have provided estimates for Red Hat’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.30 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.32. Red Hat reported earnings per share of $0.30 during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 3.3%. The business is expected to issue its next earnings results on Thursday, December 17th.

      • Red Hat Incorporated (NYSE:RHT) rated: Will Analysts Continue to rate Red Hat Incorporated a 1.59 on ratings scale?

        The overall rating for the company is 1.59. The rating is an average of the various different ratings given by analysts and brokers to Red Hat Incorporated, and then averaged into one rating by a team of analysts at Zacks in Chicago, Illinois.

      • Short Interest Update on Red Hat, Inc.
      • Lenovo and Red Hat Expand Trusted Portfolio of Cloud Offerings

        Lenovo on October 27 announced an extended strategic collaboration with Red Hat to deliver powerful IT infrastructure, automation and management capabilities including Red Hat Enterprise Linux Openstack Platform and CloudForms.

      • Citrix collaborates with Red Hat
      • College partners with Dell and Red Hat — embraces open source and Linux solutions

        While not all open source solutions are better than the closed source alternatives, opting for the former for underlying infrastructure is generally a good idea. This will provide a business with flexibility and stability while sometimes saving money too.

        A Singapore school, the Yale-NUS College, had some needs revolving around the cloud, so it wisely chose two open source friendly companies to help — Dell and Red Hat. The OpenStack cloud solution, a product that was co-created by the two aforementioned companies, has been a huge success for the college.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora summer 2016 internships.

          There are three USA internship positions open at Red Hat on the Fedora Engineering team. These internships are all available this coming summer (2016).

        • Is that the right mailing list? Is that the right audience?

          All too often, I see people opting to go for the least-public list when opening discussions. Part of this, I think, is just human laziness. You get into a routine, and stick with it. This is doubly hard to overcome when an initiative starts “behind the firewall” and then moves into the public.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 7 things to do after installing Ubuntu

            The Ubuntu project recently announced the release of Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily Werewolf) and its official flavors such as Kubuntu, Ubuntu Mate, etc. Different ‘Ubuntus’ come with different desktop environments that have different sets of applications pre-packaged. But there are certain things that any Ubuntu user should do to get most out of the distro, regardless of the flavor. Here are a few of things I recommend you do after installing Ubuntu… any Ubuntu, for that matter.

          • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) Daily Builds Now Available for Download

            With Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily Werewolf) out the door, the Ubuntu developers are not wasting any time, and they’ve already started to work on the upcoming Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus).

          • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) Will Be Released on April 21, 2016
          • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) to Be Powered Soon by Linux Kernel 4.3 RC7

            The development of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) has started, and we even know the launch date for it. We can now begin to track the Linux kernels that will be implemented in the daily builds.

          • Ubuntu Touch to Get the Major OTA-8 Update in Two Weeks, Feature Freeze in Effect

            Ubuntu developers have been busy with the next OTA update that is planned for Ubuntu Touch, and it looks like they are now clearing the way for the next release. A feature freeze is now in effect for the new OTA update.

          • Ubuntu in talks to make handsets in India

            The government’s open source policy has given a tremendous push to Microsoft Windows alternatives. Canonical, maker of popular Linux-based operating system Ubuntu, has been piggybacking on this opportunity to penetrate into the government and education sector in the country.

            Ubuntu is now eyeing the mobile and Internet of Things markets in India as its next growth driver. The company recently launched its two smartphones in India through Snapdeal. The two handsets, which are available globally, are manufactured by Spanish manufacturer Aquaris. However, Ubuntu is in talks with local handset makers for possible ‘Make in India’ deal.

          • Canonical Announces OpenStack Cloud App Store for Ubuntu Linux

            Canonical is launching yet another app store for Ubuntu Linux. Unlike its great, late desktop-oriented predecessor, however, this one is focused on the OpenStack cloud, with apps delivered via Juju.

            Ubuntu founder and former CEO Mark Shuttleworth announced the new app store at the OpenStack Summit this week in Tokyo. The platform will provide a way for people running Ubuntu-based OpenStack clouds to install cloud applications via Juju and Horizon, the web-based management interface for OpenStack.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • New Opera, Chakra Plasma 5, Riddell Responds

              A new Opera Web browser has landed for Linux users bring new features and improved multimedia support. Jonathan Riddell posted a short response to Ubuntu’s statement on the community councils and a couple of reviews deserve mentioning. For Chakra users, a switch to Plasma 5 was announced.

            • Kubuntu’s founder resigns, accuses Canonical of defrauding donors and violating copyright

              Jonathan Riddell—who founded Kubuntu a decade ago—has stepped down as release manager and will be headed upstream to KDE. This comes after a lengthy period of spats between Riddell and the Ubuntu Community Council. On Reddit, Riddell punctuated his resignation by once again accusing Canonical—the company behind Ubuntu—of defrauding donors and violating copyrights.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • France and Germany to promote eInvoicing

    France and Germany are to encourage companies to use eInvoicing an the two countries will continue to work together on the development of common technical standards to facilitate this, according to a joint statement made at the “Accelerate the digital transformation of our economies” conference in Paris on 27 October.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Cutting Sugar Improves Children’s Health in Just 10 Days

      Obese children who cut back on their sugar intake see improvements in their blood pressure, cholesterol readings and other markers of health after just 10 days, a rigorous new study found.

      The new research may help shed light on a question scientists have long debated: Is sugar itself harming health, or is the weight gain that comes from consuming sugary drinks and foods mainly what contributes to illness over the long term?

    • Will Everyone Please Eat Gluten? Please? Because You Are Literally Killing Me, Kind Of

      A new study by the NPD group shows that 29% of Americans are now trying to cut gluten out of their diets, most of them just cause. Every time another person makes this foolish decision, my life gets harder.

    • Buckraking on the Food Beat: When Is It a Conflict of Interest?

      In an age of shrinking newspaper budgets, it’s common for editors to rely on freelance writers–and for freelancers to add to their incomes with side projects. But is it a conflict of interest for a columnist who covers food and agriculture to take money from agrichemical industry interest groups?

  • Security

    • Mac OS X applications are leading the PC vulnerability war

      GENTLEMEN ADJUST YOUR PC threat league tables. Apple has usurped Oracle as the top blight, according to security firm Secunia.

      The picture is bleak across the board, and the firm found that a huge whack of PCs are are running old, beleaguered, unpatched and end-of-life versions of software. This presents a problem to the user and computers in general.

    • U.S. military cyber security fails to make the grade

      The United States Department of Defense is still issuing SHA-1 signed certificates for use by military agencies, despite this practice being banned by NIST for security reasons nearly two years ago. These certificates are used to protect sensitive communication across the public internet, keeping the transmitted information secret from eavesdroppers and impersonators. The security level provided by these DoD certificates is now below the standard Google considers acceptable for consumer use on the web.

      The Missile Defense Agency, the eventual successor to the “Star Wars” programme, uses one of these SHA-1 certificates on a Juniper Networks remote access device. The SHA-1 certificate was issued by the Department of Defense in February 2015, long after NIST declared this practice to be unacceptable.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • MEP: Transparency negotiations on trade agreements must be a priority

      Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66) wants furthering transparency around trade negotiations to be a priority for the EU. Today the European Parliament voted in favour of a proposal by Schaake to make more money available to make information about EU trade policy more accessible and to bring it to the attention of people, the proposal would cover 300,000 euros. Schaake: “I am glad that the Parliament has supported this initiative, even if it concerns a relatively small amount of money. It is clear that people increasingly want more explanation about EU trade policy, in the first place in the context of negotiations with the United States, but also more broadly. I want to make sure that the Commission does not only put texts online, which is already being done, but also actively engages with citizens and stakeholders, for example by organising meetings and information sharing events, European member states and the Trade ministers must play a much larger role here, too.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate Activists Want A Public Editor For Murdoch-Owned National Geographic

      Climate activists are calling on National Geographic to hire a public editor to keep tabs on its editorial approach following the magazine’s purchase by a division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Murdoch has repeatedly made scientifically inaccurate comments about climate change, and recently lamented “alarmist nonsense” on the issue.

      The National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox announced last month an expansion of their current partnership to include National Geographic’s cable channels, its flagship magazine, and other digital and social media.

      As National Geographic explained, “Under the $725-million deal, Fox, which currently holds a majority stake in National Geographic’s cable channels, will own 73 percent of the new media company, called National Geographic Partners. The National Geographic Society will own 27 percent.”

      “We will now have the scale and reach to fulfill our mission long into the future,” National Geographic Society CEO Gary E. Knell said at the time. “The Society’s work will be the engine that feeds our content creation efforts, enabling us to share that work with even larger audiences and achieve more impact. It’s a virtuous cycle.”

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Fake News Food Chain

      It’s a problem when presidential candidates from a major political party are getting their information about the world from a news outlet that evidently can’t tell the difference between a sub-Onion hoax site and actual news. It’s an even bigger problem when those candidates bring those bogus claims onto supposedly reputable network TV—and the real journalists aren’t able to recognize that the politicians they’re interviewing are parroting garbage factoids from Fox‘s land of make-believe.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Apple unlock: Judge compares request to execution order
    • Tech Companies and Civil Liberties Groups Force Obama To Weigh In On Encryption Debate

      President Obama will now be forced to publicly describe the extent of his commitment to protecting strong encryption, after nearly 50 major technology companies, human rights groups, and civil liberties collectives—including Twitter, the ACLU, and Reddit — succeeded in getting over 100,000 signatures on a White House petition on Tuesday.

      The government’s “We the People” platform, created in 2011, was designed as “a clear and easy way for the American people to petition their government.” Once a petition gains 100,000 signatures, it is guaranteed a response.

      The savecrypto.org petition demands that Obama “publicly affirm your support for strong encryption” and “reject any law, policy, or mandate that would undermine our security.”

    • CISA data-sharing bill passes Senate with no privacy protections

      CISA, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (S. 754), will allow private companies to share cyber-threat data with the federal government, including personal user data, in an effort to prevent cyberattacks, such as those on the scale of Target, Home Depot, and Sony. Companies that share data with federal agencies, including the National Security Agency (NSA), will be given legal and liability protections from lawsuits relating to data sharing.

    • Senate passes controversial cybersecurity bill Cisa 74 to 21

      The US Senate overwhelmingly passed a controversial cybersecurity bill critics say will allow the government to collect sensitive personal data unchecked, over the objections of civil liberties groups and many of the biggest names in the tech sector.

      The vote on Tuesday was 74 to 21 in support of the legislation. Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders voted against the bill. None of the Republican presidential candidates (except Lindsey Graham, who voted in favor) were present to cast a vote, including Rand Paul, who has made privacy from surveillance a major plank of his campaign platform.

      Ahead of the vote a group of university professors specializing in tech law, many from the Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy, sent an open letter to the Senate, urging them not to pass the bill. The bill, they wrote, would fatally undermine the Freedom of Information Act (Foia).

    • Senate Passes CISA, The Surveillance Bill Masquerading As A Cybersecurity Bill; Here’s Who Sold Out Your Privacy

      After rejecting all the good privacy amendments to CISA, the Senate has now officially passed the legislation by a 74 to 21 vote. About the only “good” news is that the vote is lower than the 83 Senators who voted for cloture on it last week. Either way, the Senate basically just passed a bill that will almost certainly be used mainly for warrantless domestic surveillance, rather than any actual cybersecurity concern.

    • Will New Cybersecurity Bill Lock Down Security or Invade Our Privacy?

      The problem, of course, is that with immunity protection, companies may feel no qualms about revealing far more personal information about customers and partners than they ever did before. Immunity has powerful consequences.

    • EFF Disappointed as CISA Passes Senate

      CISA passed the Senate today in a 74-21 vote. The bill is fundamentally flawed due to its broad immunity clauses, vague definitions, and aggressive spying authorities. The bill now moves to a conference committee despite its inability to address problems that caused recent highly publicized computer data breaches, like unencrypted files, poor computer architecture, un-updated servers, and employees (or contractors) clicking malware links.

      The conference committee between the House of Representatives and the Senate will determine the bill’s final language. But no amount of changes in conference could fix the fact that CISA doesn’t address the real cybersecurity problems that caused computer data breaches like Target and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

    • Oracle now keeps all EU data within EU borders to avoid Safe Harbour problems

      Oracle has revealed that it is now keeping all data regarding EU citizens within the European Union. This allows it to comply in a straightforward way with the ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that is likely to result in EU-US data transfers made using the Safe Harbour framework being deemed illegal.

      According to The Irish Times, Thomas Kurian, president of product development at Oracle, said at Oracle’s annual OpenWorld conference in San Francisco: “All of our data centres in Europe have European operators. They have local production and, within the same European legislative region, disaster recovery. No data is sent across the geographical boundaries to any other legislative boundary.” As a result, Kurian added: “we are very comfortable with where we are with our cloud offerings and the new regulatory framework around data governance.”

    • Call 911 If You See This Huge-Ass Blimp on the Loose Today

      Here’s a metaphor: a remote-controlled, tremendously expensive, basically useless JLENS aerial surveillance blimp has detached from its tether at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. If you see it, call the authorities. Do NOT try to get it down yourself.

    • Open Source Center (OSC) Becomes Open Source Enterprise (OSE)

      The DNI Open Source Center has been redesignated the Open Source Enterprise and incorporated in CIA’s new Directorate of Digital Innovation.

      The Open Source Center, established in 2005, was tasked to collect and analyze open source information of intelligence value across all media – – print, broadcast and online. The OSC was the successor to the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), which gathered and translated world news coverage and other open source information for half a century.

    • The IRS Has Stingrays … But We Knew Stingrays Have Been Used to Chase Tax Fraud

      Indeed, much of what we know about Stingrays comes from Rigmaiden’s years-long effort to demand details of how they used the Stingray to find him, and since he got released for time served, he has continued his efforts to uncover how they’ve been used.

      What’s interesting about the Guardian report, then, is that the IRS itself owned a Stingray, which they were updating in 2009 and 2012, even as the government was being exposed for improperly using Stingrays without a warrant to prosecute tax fraud. Reports on Rigmaiden had suggested an FBI Stingray was used to catch him — and that may well be the case — but we now learn that they owned one before 2009 (so early enough to capture him with, presumably).

      In Rigmaiden’s case, IRS was clearly partnering with FBI, so could have (and may have) used their Stingray. That would seem to be the case for all proper uses of the technology. So, among all the other things we should demand on Stingray use, one of them should be to limit their use to the FBI, which will increase the likelihood they’ll get properly noticed in any prosecution.

    • IRS possessed Stingray cellphone surveillance gear, documents reveal

      The Internal Revenue Service is the latest in a growing list of US federal agencies known to have possessed the sophisticated cellphone dragnet equipment known as Stingray, according to documents obtained by the Guardian.

      Invoices obtained following a request under the Freedom of Information Act show purchases made in 2009 and 2012 by the federal tax agency with Harris Corporation, one of a number of companies that manufacture the devices. Privacy advocates said the revelation “shows the wide proliferation of this very invasive surveillance technology”.

    • Surveillance law: France carefully listening to the world! (at last…)

      French Senate has approved last night the bill on international surveillance (fr), legalising mass surveillance beyond French borders, incidentally affecting numerous French people. La Quadrature Du Net salutes French consistency in terms of serious violations of Human Rights.

  • Civil Rights

    • Obama Finds Unlikely Policy Allies At Police Gathering

      In highly anticipated remarks Tuesday, President Barack Obama took his push for gun control and criminal justice overhauls to a room full of the country’s top police brass — who enthusiastically backed his calls for comprehensive background checks, assault weapons bans, and reductions in the incarceration rate.

    • Senior Defense Dept. officials decry Guantánamo judge’s female guard ban

      Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, criticized the ban in response to a question from New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in Washington, D.C. Ayotte and two other GOP senators visited the prison Friday, and said they met with female guards upset by the restriction.

    • Is investor-state dispute settlement legal? A plea for EU judges to check

      Last month, the European Commission proposed reforms to the controversial investor-state dispute mechanism (ISDS), part of the EU-US trade deal known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). ISDS mechanisms, including the Commission’s ‘reformed’ ISDS proposal, let foreign investors sue the EU and Member State governments. These cases take place in front of specialised courts only open to foreign investors, where claims for compensation can run to billions of euros.

      ISDS has important implications for the daily lives of people in the EU. ISDS, for example, can be used by foreign investors to challenge the revocation of a fracking permit following protests and new environmental studies. This is a disconcerting development, especially because a US trade agreement containing ISDS would expose Europe to law suits from the country that uses ISDS the most.

    • Fox’s Mark Fuhrman Defends The Actions Of School Officer Who Dragged And Threw A Student Across The Floor
    • Defense lawyer to Guantánamo judge: Secret program may be depriving 9/11 defendant of sleep

      An attorney for the accused 9/11 plotter who has complained about strange overnight noises and vibrations in his prison cell for years told a military judge Sunday that the problem was back, and that it may be caused by a covert Pentagon program disclosed to the court just last week.

    • The Most Controversial Hacking Cases of the Past Decade

      The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the law that’s been at the heart of almost every controversial hacking case of the past decade, is in the news again this month.

      Prosecutors recently used the law to convict journalist Matthew Keys on felony hacking charges, drawing rounds of condemnation on the web. Edward Snowden, for one, derided the harsh penalty Keys now faces—a maximum possible sentence of 25 years.

      But charging Keys with felonies for his role in a crime that critics say should have been considered a misdemeanor—the minor defacement of a Los Angeles Times article—is not an anomaly for the feds. It’s just one among a growing list of contentious cases that critics say illustrate how prosecutors have been overstepping in their use of the CFAA.

    • Race and Discipline in Spotlight After South Carolina Officer Drags Student

      Videos of a white sheriff’s deputy throwing a black high school girl to the floor of a classroom thrust this community into an unsettling national discussion Tuesday about whether black students are disproportionately punished.

    • Obama Calls for Less Prison in Overhauling Sentencing Laws

      President Obama made his case on Tuesday for an overhaul of the nation’s sentencing laws, telling a gathering of top law enforcement officials here that putting large numbers of nonviolent drug offenders in prison was neither fair nor an effective way of combating crime.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • US government says it’s now okay to jailbreak your tablet and smart TV

      The US Library of Congress today issued a set of exemptions to an infamous provision in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), establishing a victory for consumers who like to tinker with devices without running afoul of copyright law. The exemptions were far-reaching, extending from movie and television files used in an educational context for criticism to installing third-party software — in other words jailbreaking — tablets and smart TVs.They will however only last for three years.

    • Free At Last: New DMCA Rules Might Make the Web a Better Place

      Another positive from the change is that smartphone users will be able to jailbreak their phone and finally enjoy running operating systems and applications from any source, not just those approved by the manufacturer.

    • Victory for Users: Librarian of Congress Renews and Expands Protections for Fair Uses

      The new rules for exemptions to copyright’s DRM-circumvention laws were issued today, and the Librarian of Congress has granted much of what EFF asked for over the course of months of extensive briefs and hearings. The exemptions we requested—ripping DVDs and Blurays for making fair use remixes and analysis; preserving video games and running multiplayer servers after publishers have abandoned them; jailbreaking cell phones, tablets, and other portable computing devices to run third party software; and security research and modification and repairs on cars—have each been accepted, subject to some important caveats.

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  1. [Meme] Meanwhile in Austria...

    With lobbyists-led leadership one might be led to believe that a treaty strictly requiring ratification by the UK is somehow feasible (even if technically and legally it's moot already)



  2. The EPO's Web Site is a Parade of Endless Lies and Celebration of Gross Violations of the Law

    The EPO's noise site (formerly it had a "news" section, but it has not been honest for about a decade) is a torrent of lies, cover-up, and promotion of crimes; maybe the lies are obvious for everybody to see (at least EPO insiders), but nevertheless a rebuttal seems necessary



  3. The Letter EPO Management Does Not Want Applicants to See (or Respond to)

    A letter from the Munich Staff Committee at the EPO highlights the worrying extent of neglect of patent quality under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; the management of the EPO did not even bother replying to that letter (instead it was busy outsourcing the EPO to Microsoft)



  4. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 04, 2021



  5. EPO-Bribed IAM 'Media' Has Praised Quality, Which Even EPO Staff (Examiners) Does Not Praise

    It's easy to see something is terribly wrong when the people who do the actual work do not agree with the media's praise of their work (a praise motivated by a nefarious, alternate agenda)



  6. Tux Machines is 17.5 Years Old Today

    Tux Machines -- our 'sister site' for GNU/Linux news -- started in 2004. We're soon entering 2022.



  7. Approaching 100

    We'll soon have 100 files in Git; if that matters at all...



  8. Improving Gemini by Posting IRC Logs (and Scrollback) as GemText

    Our adoption of Gemini and of GemText increases; with nearly 100,000 page requests in the first 3 days of Decembe (over gemini://) it’s clear that the growing potential of the protocol is realised, hence the rapid growth too; Gemini is great for self-hosting, which is in turn essential when publishing suppressed and controversial information (subject to censorship through blackmail and other ‘creative’ means)



  9. Links 4/12/2021: IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 and Genode OS Framework 21.11

    Links for the day



  10. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

    Links for the day



  11. Links 4/12/2021: Turnip Becomes Vulkan 1.1 Conformant

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, December 03, 2021



  13. Links 4/12/2021: EndeavourOS Atlantis, Krita 5.0.0 Beta 5, Istio 1.11.5, and Wine 6.23; International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on December 10th

    Links for the day



  14. Another Gemini Milestone: 1,500 Active Capsules

    This page from Balázs Botond plots a graph, based on these statistics that now (as of minutes ago) say: “We successfully connected recently to 1500 of them.” Less than a fortnight ago more than 1,800 capsules overall were registered by Lupa, almost quadrupling in a single year



  15. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be



  16. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them



  17. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing



  18. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 02, 2021



  20. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day



  21. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day



  22. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  23. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021



  24. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  25. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same



  26. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day



  27. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below



  28. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation



  29. EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

    The EPO's management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains



  30. Links 1/12/2021: LibreOffice 7.3 Beta, Krita 5.0, Julia 1.7

    Links for the day


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