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01.06.16

Links 6/1/2016: CES Focus, Firefox OS in Panasonic UHD TVs

Posted in News Roundup at 6:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru get on board with Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation began a new initiative in 2012 called Automotive Grade Linux as an open-source project to develop common Linux-based software cores for connected cars. Now major automakers like Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru have joined AGL alongside existing members Toyota, Nissan, and Jaguar Land Rover.

    • High schooler awarded Linux Foundation scholarship

      RJ Murdok spends his days studying Linux and contributing to bug reports, and he’s only 15 years old.

      Recently, he received a Teens-in-Training scholarship from the Linux Foundation. In the past five years, the Foundation’s Training Scholarship Program has awarded 34 scholarships totaling more than US$100,000 in free training to students and professionals.

      Murdok, who is legally blind, started studying Linux in 2012. He became interested in it when his older brother introduced him to the system. And a year year ago he started using openSUSE Tumbleweed.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kubuntu 15.10 Gets Plasma 5.4.3 and Applications 15.08.3

        Even if Ubuntu and its flavors don’t usually receive big updates after an official release, Kubuntu doesn’t subscribe to this policy and get big updates for the Plasma desktop and other KDE components.

      • KDE Plasma 5.6 to Land on March 22, 2016, Will Have Five Point Releases

        We reported earlier today, January 6, 2016, the availability of the third maintenance release for the KDE Plasma 5.5 desktop environment, and we’ve promised to share some details about the release schedule of the next major version, KDE Plasma 5.6.

      • KDE Plasma 5.5.3 Desktop Environment Brings the First Plasma 5 Bugfixes for 2016

        The third maintenance release of the KDE Plasma 5 open source desktop environment for GNU/Linux operating systems was supposed to be released on Tuesday, January 5, 2016, according to the official release schedule.

      • Plasma 5.4.3 and Applications 15.08.3 for Kubuntu 15.10

        In the last months after the 15.10 release, developers have been very busy updating and improving our workflows and documentation which left little time for packaging. But we’re getting back on track, so here’s the missing announcement for Plasma 5.4.3 and KDE Applications 15.08.3.

        Many of you have been asking for Plasma 5.5. We are working on it and are close to finishing the packages for the development release, 15.10 packages will follow soon after.

      • conf.kde.in 2016

        Building on the success of conf.kde.in 2014 at Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Community Technology (DA-IICT) in the land of Gujarat and 2015 at Amritapuri in Kerala, India, the horizon of the KDE Community is broadening and shifting to north India. conf.kde.in 2016 takes place on the 5th and 6th of March at Jaipur in Rajasthan, India. As in previous years of the conference, conf.kde.in 2016 will promote the spirit of free and open source software (FOSS) and offer ideas to build awareness about FOSS culture at the college level, when most technology students have their first experience with Open Source. The emphasis will be on KDE technology and Qt, the popular cross-platform application framework.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Maps Will Allow Users to Add POIs on OpenStreetMap

        The GNOME Maps developers continued to provide really interesting updates for the application, and now they are working on a new feature that will allow users to add POIs on OpenStreetMap.

      • Add your local joint to the map
      • More NX & Chrome Books

        The most recent end point offering is using a ChromeBook. This is not yet in production, and being tested mostly by me at this point. We purchased a HP 14 inch ChromeBook with 4GB memory for around $250. It boots immediately. After opening the Chrome browser, you just put in the right URL and credentials and after a few seconds the GNOME desktop appears. The experience is then the same as the other platforms and this platform will resume sessions started on other types of devices. This ChromeBook is full 1920×1080 and provides an excellent canvas space for running software.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • The January 2016 Issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine

        The PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is pleased to announce the release of the January 2016 issue. With the exception of a brief period in 2009, The PCLinuxOS Magazine has been published on a monthly basis since September, 2006. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor, and Assistant Editor Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license, and some rights are reserved.

    • Arch Family

      • Manjaro Update 2016-01-05 (stable)

        We are happy to announce our second update for Manjaro 15.12 (Capella)!

        Packages of the new major version of PHP have been released into all our repositories. Besides the new PHP 7 features there are the following packaging changes. In general the package configuration is now closer to what was intended by the PHP project. Also refer to the PHP 7 migration guide for upstream improvements.

        Read more

      • PHP 7 and Linux Kernel 4.4 RC8 are Now Available in Manjaro Linux 15.12 (Capella)

        On January 5, the Manjaro development team, through Philip Müller, announced the general availability of the second stable update for the Manjaro Linux 15.12 (Capella) computer operating system.

        The “Manjaro Update 2016-01-05″ update is here to upgrade all the PHP packages to the latest stable and most advanced version of the world’s most popular server-side programming language, PHP 7. With this occasion, the Manjaro devs made a few adjustments for better integration of PHP 7 in Manjaro Linux, such as to remove the php-pear, php-mssql, php-ldap, php-mongo, php-xcache, and graphviz packages.

    • Ballnux/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Updates CloudForms Hybrid Cloud Management Platform; Adds Support for Microsoft Azure, Containerization

        Red Hat’s latest upgrade to its CloudForms hybrid cloud management platform expands its collection of managed platforms to include Microsoft Azure, following the recent Red Hat / Microsoft partnership. CloudForms 4 also adds management support for container architectures and even self-service features.

      • JPMorgan Chase & Co. Reiterates Overweight Rating for Red Hat Inc (RHT)

        Red Hat Inc (NYSE:RHT)‘s stock had its “overweight” rating restated by equities research analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday, MarketBeat reports. They currently have a $89.00 price objective on the open-source software company’s stock, up from their previous price objective of $85.00. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s target price indicates a potential upside of 8.66% from the company’s previous close.

      • Top Stocks of the day: Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT)
      • Fedora

        • Sylvia Sanchez: How do you Fedora

          Sylvia Sanchez is a Fedora user and contributor living in Uruguay. She started using Linux ten years ago when she bought her first computer. Sanchez recalls, “My first computer came with Guadalinex, an Ubuntu-based distribution, promoted by the government of Andalusia, Spain.” In an odd twist, Sylvia was converted to Fedora at an Ubuntu release party. She has been a Fedora user since Fedora 16. Her childhood heroes are Wonder Woman and Spiderman. Milanesas with salad and fried potatoes is her favorite food. She is an aviation enthusiast who loves airplanes and studying history. She recently started a personal blog called Crossing the Air.

        • Does Fedora Linux need to be more stable?

          Fedora Linux is one of the best known Linux distributions, and it’s proven to be quite popular with some users. But is Fedora stable enough or does it need some additional improvement in that area?

          A developer at Red Hat recently shared his thoughts about Fedora Workstation and the ongoing work of improving its stability.

        • Fedora 23 on Tegra K1 Chromebook

          Last year during Flock I got myself an Acer CB5 311 Chromebook with Nvidia Tegra K1 ARM board, and 2 GB ram. It is a very nice machine to run ChromeOS, but my goal behind getting the hardware was all about running Fedora on it. With the great help from Jon Disnard (IRC: masta) on #fedora-arm channel, I finally managed to do that this morning.

    • Debian Family

      • The birth of Debian, in the words of Ian Murdock himself

        Fast forward to 2016 and we now know just how prescient Murdock’s words were: a recent family tree of GNU/Linux distributions (pictured above) makes clear the absolutely key role played by the Debian project in the world of free software, and the enduring contribution of the man who created it.

      • Derivatives

        • TeX Live security improvements

          Today I committed a set of changes to the TeX Live subversion repository that should pave the way for better security handling in the future. Work is underway to use strong cryptographic signatures to verify that packages downloaded and installed into a TeX Live installation have not been tinkered with.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Dueling Raspberry Pi drone autopilots ship in Q1

      Erle Robotics unveiled a Dronecode-ready “PXFmini” drone autopilot for the Raspberry Pi, and Emlid updated its Pi autopilot to a HAT-ready “Navio2.”

      In 2014, Emlid launched a Navio drone autopilot shield for the Raspberry Pi. Last month, the company unveiled a Navio2 update with HAT compatibility, and now Spanish drone firm Erle Robotics has launched a competitor called the PXFmini. The shield works with any Raspberry Pi, but is optimized for the Raspberry Pi Zero.

    • The Rokos Core OS Turns Your Raspberry Pi Into A Bitcoin Node

      The Rokos Core, now in its fourth version, is a disk image for Raspberry Pis that can turn your single-board computer into a full bitcoin node. The system will allow you to hold a bitcoin wallet and mine, send, and receive bitcoin over the network.

      Understand that without specialized hardware this thing is essentially the way to actively waste electricity and/or hold bitcoin. However, because it is a full BTC node, you’ll be doing the bitcoin world a favor while learning a bit about mining.

    • Raspberry Pi Raspbian Cross Compiler Toolchains on 64-bit Linux

      It might be obvious if you’re more familiar with gcc and cross compiler toolchains, but in the Raspberry Pi tools project there’s 32 bit and 64 bit versions of the tools. Trying to use the 32 bit versions on 64 bit Linux does not work. Rather than some useful error though, trying to execute any of the 32 bit versions from a shell gives a rather un-useful “No such file or directory” error.

    • Raspberry Pi Closes December on Up Note

      With the holidays and all, the month of December wasn’t as action packed as some of the past months have been concerning the Raspberry Pi, but there were still some interesting stories that occurred. Let’s take a minute to reflect back on the Raspberry Pi and December.

    • Intel, Qualcomm stake claims in Linux drones

      In Linux-related drone news at CES: Intel acquires AscTec, ZeroTech tips a Snapdragon Flight based “Ying” UAV, and DJI and Ford launch a $100K app contest.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android N switches to OpenJDK, Google tells Oracle it is protected by the GPL

          The Oracle v. Google legal battle over the use of Java in Android keeps on going, but this week Google made a change to Android that it hopes will let the company better navigate its current legal trouble.

          Google told VentureBeat that it in “Android N,” the next major version of Android, it is swapping Android’s Java libraries from its own Apache Harmony-based implementation to one based on Oracle’s OpenJDK—yes that Oracle, the same company suing Google. OpenJDK is the “official” open source version of the Java Platform, and Oracle makes it available under the GPL with a linking exception.

        • 2016 Technology of the Year Finalist: Android Auto

          Ever wonder why the tiny little Android-powered computer constantly riding around with you in your car is subjected to a life as a dust collector while you struggle to comprehend the terribly designed infotainment system that resides in the center of your car’s dashboard? We feel your pain. Which is why we’re so excited by the promise offered up by Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

        • Android has a serious bug that looks a lot like Stagefright
        • Casio’s first smartwatch brings Android Wear outdoors

          For all the talk of smartwatches over the past year-plus, it’s been difficult to convince most people that it’s worth wearing one every day. Casio thinks it has a solution, though — while you definitely won’t want to wear its first smartwatch seven days a week, you might find it genuinely useful for one or two.

        • Huawei made a 10-inch Android tablet with a stylus

          Huawei didn’t spend too much time talking about this one at its CES press conference today, but the Chinese smartphone maker revealed a new 10-inch Android tablet called the MediaPad M2, a larger version of the 8-inch M2 it shipped last year.

        • New Balance is making an Android Wear smartwatch, and Intel is putting chips in its shoes

          New Balance is now a gadget company. The athletics giant has created a Digital Sport division that will focus on devices, embedded technology (e.g. sensors in New Balance shoes and apparel), and performance sport (e.g. sensors in sports equipment).

          Its first product? An Android Wear-powered smartwatch that will “track runners’ routes via GPS and also enable them to run with music” without the need to bring along a smartphone. Unfortunately that’s about all we know at the moment. New Balance’s smartwatch launches this holiday season.

        • Haier Launches New 9.7-inch Android Tablet

          Haier might not be a brand many are familiar with, but if you have been keeping up with the tech scene for a while, you might have heard their name pop up once or twice. The company has launched a variety of products in the past, like smartwatches for kids, and just last year during CES, they even unveiled a 105-inch TV.

        • Google Announces New Chromecast Audio And Android TV Hardware Partners

          You could be forgiven if you had already forgotten about Android TV, but Google’s one-year-old Android-based successor to its ill-fated Google TV project is still around and kicking. Today, Google announced a number of new hardware partners for Android TV, as well as a number of new partners who plan to build Chromecast Audio — it’s recently launched audio version of Chromecast — directly into their speakers.

          Soon, you will find Android TV on screens from brands like Arcelik, Vestel, RCA, Hisense, TCL and Bang & Olufsen. Google is also working with Indonesian cable and broadband provider Linknet to offer an Android TV-based set-top box. Previously, the only Android TV sets were available from Sony, Sharp and Philips.

        • Casio launches Android Wear smartwatch that lasts a month per charge

          Casio has launched the G-shock of smartwatches with its first Android Wear device that can last a month between charges.

          The Smart Outdoor Watch, which was launched at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, is the first true smartwatch aimed at the outdoors that can run apps but is waterproof and shockproof to US military MIL-STD-810 standards. That means the watch will be fine in water up to 50m deep – most smartwatches can manage up to 1.5m – and will probably survive a tumble down a rocky outcrop.

        • The excellent Remix OS is bringing Android to every old x86 PC (and Mac) for free

          When I first tested the Remix Mini at the end of last year, I was blown away. Sure, the hardware is interesting and portable, but it’s the fork of Android adapted to make the Remix Mini into something resembling a desktop system that really took me by surprise.

          It’s what Chrome OS should be, in some ways: productivity-focused and instantly familiar, with full support for Android apps from the Google Play store.

        • Nvidia’s Shield Android TV gets a little more customizable with Marshmallow upgrade

          Android 6.0 Marshmallow is coming to the Nvidia Shield Android TV, bringing with it a handful of small and useful updates. Nvidia hasn’t said exactly when the upgrade will be available, but released a video yesterday outlining the new features. These include more customization for the home screen, greater control over external storage, and a hands-free, first time setup process that lets you add your Google account to the Shield just by telling your smartphone: “OK Google, set up my device.”

        • Android’s latest version is still hard to come by
        • More than 4x as many people are running Gingerbread than Marshmallow

          Do you remember when Gingerbread came out? This would have been December 2010: more than five years ago. Do you remember your excitement and anticipation as you waited for Android 2.3 to finally arrive on your device? You might be feeling the same way about Marshmallow now, eagerly awaiting its eventual appearance.

        • Android needs a bit of growing up for productivity

          Tablets were initially designed for consuming content, like web pages, videos, and ebooks. They were, to some extent, larger but somewhat dumber cousins of smartphones. Advancements in mobile technology as well as the pervasiveness of the Internet, however, eventually introduced tablets to new use cases. People now compose documents, make great arc, and even compose music or edit videos on their tablets. In other words, tablets have become devices for productivity aside from entertainment.

        • Android is ousting Windows from its last mobile bastion

          They’re everywhere, but you rarely notice them: the millions of handheld devices — often equipped with scanners — that delivery people, store clerks, and hospital staff responders often carry to manage inventory, process orders, and verify delivery.

          Nearly all of these supply chain-oriented devices run a version of the Windows Embedded operating system, which has had many names over the last decade. But within five years, the companies using these devices will have ditched Windows and moved to Android in one of the biggest industry platform shifts ever.

        • Android Set Top Box Lets You Stream and Record via HDMI Input

          While on the hunt for some hardware that would let him stream video throughout his LAN [danman] got a tip to try the €69 Tronsmart Pavo M9 (which he points out is a re-branded Zidoo X9). With some handy Linux terminal work and a few key pieces of software [danman] was able to get this going.

        • Sun, Oracle, Android, Google and JDK Copyleft FUD

          I have probably spent more time dealing with the implications and real-world scenarios of copyleft in the embedded device space than anyone. I’m one of a very few people charged with the task of enforcing the GPL for Linux, and it’s been well-known for a decade that GPL violations on Linux occur most often in embedded devices such as mobile hand-held computers (aka “phones”) and other such devices.

        • ZTE launches two inexpensive Android phones at CES 2016

          If you’re tuned into our CES coverage, these new ZTE smartphones might not be your first choice for a handset. But they’re aimed at a critical market for phone makers; consumers who don’t want to spend flagship prices or get pulled into a monthly financing plan with US carriers. First is the $129.99 Grand X3, an Android 5.1.1 Lollipop handset with a 5.5-inch HD (720p) display, 1.3GHz Qualcomm quad-core processor, and 16GB of storage, which can be expanded up to 64GB with microSD cards. It’s got an 8-megapixel camera, with a 2MP sensor on the front. It’s not going to win any performance awards, and at this size, 720p is noticeably less crisp than 1080p. It’s not a terrible looking display though, and the amount of bloatware is minimal. That’s nice to see. This one’s headed for Cricket.

        • New Balance announces Android Wear smartwatch for running smartphone-free

          Smartwatches can be hugely convenient tools when it comes to tracking runs and workouts. But the vast majority require that you also bring your smartphone along for the run or ride which, for some, limits the appeal of a wrist-mounted tracker.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenSSL’s teachable moment: Secure Shell key management in light of open source vulnerabilities

    Imagine an Internet without encryption. Credit card numbers would flow in the clear from point to point. Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information would be sitting ducks for any cyber criminal to make off with. And government secrets wouldn’t stay secret for long.

  • Events

    • FOSDEM and Devconf.cz trip

      As two years and year ago I plan to make conference combo: FOSDEM in Brussels and then Devconf.cz in Brno. Weekend after weekend. But this time I want to make it different.

      First I thought that will skip devconf.cz one. But this is quite important Fedora conference so checked how to make it cheaper that in previous years. And found out few deals and setup a trip which should be interesting.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox OS will Power New Panasonic UHD TVs Unveiled at CES

        Panasonic announced that Firefox OS will power the new Panasonic DX900 UHD TVs, the first LED LCD TVs in the world with Ultra HD Premium specification, unveiled today at CES 2016.

        Panasonic TVs powered by Firefox OS are already available globally, enabling consumers to find their favorite channels, apps, videos, websites and content quickly and pin content and apps to their TV’s home screen.

      • CES 2016: Firefox OS Still Alive, Powering New Panasonic UHD TV

        The open source Firefox OS will be used to power new Panasonic DX900 UHD TVs, Mozilla and Panasonic have announced.

  • Databases

    • UK spies publish NoSQL database system as open source

      Last month, the British intelligence agency GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) published its first public project under the Apache 2 open source license.

    • Oracle fends off open source to stay top rated database

      Oracle is maintaining its place at the top of the database software rankings, according to new data that has been released by website DB-engines.

      The numbers show that the company is still successfully managing to hold off open source challengers, and ranks higher than MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server, despite its rating being slightly down from last month.

  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Christopher Allan Webber: Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

      The reduced time spent coding on MediaGoblin proper has been deceptive, since most of the projects I’ve worked on have spun out of work I believe is essential for MediaGoblin’s long-term success. I took a sabbatical from MediaGoblin proper mid-year to focus on two goals: advancing federation standards (and my own understanding of them), and advancing the state of free software deployment. (I’m aware of a whiff of yak fumes here, though for each I can’t see how MediaGoblin can succeed in their present state.) I believe I have made a lot of progress in both areas. As for federation, I’ve worked hard in participating in the W3C Social Working Group, I have done some test implementations, and recently I became co-editor on ActivityPump. On deployment, much work has been done on the UserOps side, both in speaking and in actual work. After initially starting to try to use Salt/Ansible as a base and hitting limitations, then trying to build my own Salt/Ansible’esque system in Hy and then Guile and hitting limitations there too, I eventually came to look into (after much prodding) Guix. At the moment, I think it’s the only foundation solid enough on which to build the tooling to get us out of this mess. I’ve made some contributions, albeit mostly minor, have begun promoting the project more heavily, and am trying to work towards getting more deployment tooling done for it (so little time though!). I’m also now dual booting between GuixSD and Debian, and that’s nice.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Mayor Bowser Just Made DC’s Economic Data Open-Source
    • How the Open Source Car Could Change the Auto Industry

      Show-stopping rims, subwoofers that make your license plate rattle, razor-sharp decals — custom car modifications that regular people can still do themselves are getting fewer and farther between, and even updates like these take considerable effort and skill and might be beyond the reach of most car owners. In the not-so-distant past, car owners who were so inclined could make all sorts of changes to their cars. Open an engine on a current model, though, and you have to practically be a technology expert to do anything. But what if all the technology, all the blueprints and patents, were readily available to everyone? What if, instead of purchasing a pre-made car manufactured by an industry veteran, you could set up a microfactory and actually build your own car? And, what if car manufacturers, rather than spending years and years and untold sums racing to be the first to discover and perfect the latest technologies, instead shared their findings, encouraging rapid development, the likes of which we can now only imagine?

    • Open Hardware

      • How to build an open hardware amplifier in 5 steps

        ElectroSmash just released an open hardware guitar amplifier called the 1Wamp. Designed as a small and portable 1 watt amplifier loaded with all the features of big amps, the project was fully developed using only open source tools—like KiCAD, a design suite to create schematics and layouts in any platform.

  • Programming

    • Build a web browser with 20 lines of Python

      The Qt graphical toolkit has been at the heart of the KDE desktop since its inception, and it’s used by many other cross-platform applications. It’s a great because it does so much of the hard work for you, even at a low level. There’s a Qt class for dealing with string manipulation, for example, or sorting lists. There’s exceptional networking support and transparency, file handling, native XML and image handling. Using Qt to perform all these tasks means you don’t have to re-invent the wheel or import yet another library into your project. But Qt is still best known for it’s high level user-interface design, where you can quickly construct an application from buttons, sliders, forms and images and tie them all together from your code.

    • PHP 5 Support Timeline

      With the new year starting the PHP project is being asked to decide about the PHP 5 support timeline.

      While Aligning PHP 5.6 support timeline with the release date of PHP 7.0 seems like common sense to keep the support schedule continuous, there’s a big question whether to extend it further to an additional one year of security support till the end of 2018. This would make PHP 5.6, the last of the PHP 5 branch, to have 2 years of security support and de facto getting the same life span as PHP 7.0 would (ending support of both in Dec 2018).

    • Java loses no luster in popularity index

      Java is coming off a banner year in language popularity indexes, and it looks to continue its momentum in 2016.

      Named the Programming Language of the Year on the Tiobe index and scoring the largest increase in popularity, Java remains in the top spot for the first month of this year as well. Tiobe’s index is calculated based on a formula assessing searches on languages in a variety of different search engines.

Leftovers

  • Bulgaria reports eGovernment progress

    The Bulgarian government is making good progress in offering electronic government services. The country’s Ministry for ICT in December reported on progress in providing online validation of documents, and making these documents available online.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • These 19 Big-Name Toothpastes and Face Scrubs Will Be Forced to Ditch Tiny Bits of Plastic

      Just before Christmas, Congress passed a law banning microbeads—those tiny pieces of plastic that act as exfoliants in face washes, toothpastes, and other personal-care products.

    • As If Slavery Weren’t Enough, 6 Other Reasons to Avoid Shrimp

      Ah, shrimp. Americans can’t get enough of it: Per capita consumption has doubled since the early ’80s, and we now eat on average about four pounds per year of the briny crustacean. Not even tuna and salmon (about 2.3 pounds each) outshine the shrimp on the US dinner table.

      But the all-you-can-eat specials and fish counter fire sales ride on a massive shrimp-farming boom in the developing world, mainly in South Asia. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, global farmed shrimp production leapt from 154,00 metric tons in 2000 to 3.3 million metric tons in 2013. Imports now account for 90 percent of the shrimp we eat.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • Third try is no charm for failed Linux ransomware creators

      Getting cryptographic implementations right is difficult. A group of malware creators is currently experiencing that hard truth, to the amusement of security researchers.

      For the past several months, a group of cybercriminals have been infecting Linux systems — primarily Web servers — with a file-encrypting ransomware program that the security industry has dubbed Linux.Encoder.

    • Indian Hackers Attack Pakistani Websites In Response To Pathankot Terror Attack

      An Indian hacking collective named Indian Black Hats has defaced multiple Pakistani websites. This Kerala-based group has dedicated the attack to the little daughter of a Pathankot terror attack martyr. The group told fossBytes, “Harming is not our aim..but if anyone pick their eyes on our mother India..we stand for it”.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Saudi Coalition Just Bombed a Center for the Blind in Yemen

      THE NEW YEAR seems to have brought little change for civilians living under bombs in Yemen. Early Tuesday morning, missiles reportedly fired by aircraft supporting the Saudi-led and U.S.-backed coalition damaged a center for the blind in the capital city of Sanaa, as well as the city’s chamber of commerce, a wedding hall, and at least one residential area.

      Multiple outlets reported that the attacks caused no casualties, though one local report, citing an unidentified security official, claimed “at least three people” were wounded at the al Noor Center for Care and Rehabilitation of the Blind in Sanaa. Footage from the capital, published by the International Business Times, showed images of crumbled buildings, collapsed rooftops, and a young man weeping in the street. A spokesperson for UNICEF in Sanaa told Vice News that the al Noor Center offers classes for visually impaired students.

      In an email to The Intercept Tuesday, Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, confirmed that his office had received reports of airstrikes in Yemen indeed hitting the al Noor Center, as well as the other reported sites. The Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Central Command, which oversees operations in the region, did not respond to requests for comment.

    • The 18-Minute Gap

      Frankly, I’m more interested in why the FBI doesn’t have cell phone tracking data from this period, especially given that they clearly have it from after the 18 minute gap. I asked on Twitter today but none of the journalists who covered this presser seem to have asked that obvious question (though there seems to be a map indicating some kind of cell tracking).

      If they shut off their phones or otherwise hid their tracks, it would suggest some importance to whatever they were doing in that 18 minute gap.

      One thing the FBI didn’t say, nor any of the crack reports I saw covering the press conference, is that the 18 minute gap — from 12:59 p.m. to 1:17 — happens to coincide with a period when Farook’s now arrested buddy, Enrique Marquez, was not captured on his employers’ closed circuit video.

    • New Hillary Emails Reveal Propaganda, Executions, Coveting Libyan Oil and Gold

      The New Year’s Eve release of over 3000 new Hillary Clinton emails from the State Department has CNN abuzz over gossipy text messages, the “who gets to ride with Hillary” selection process set up by her staff, and how a “cute” Hillary photo fared on Facebook.

    • For a Return to Normalcy

      The economic “emergency” required that we surrender the very concept of economic freedom, the foreign “crisis” meant we had to mobilize the nation, impose conscription, institute rationing, and turn industry over to the cartels. The social and economic life of the country was militarized, and dissent was crushed, along with the Constitution: hundreds of thousands of Japanese-Americans were interned, antiwar activists were prosecuted for “sedition,” and the Supreme Court itself was besieged by the enemies of liberty.

    • Saudi-Iran Crisis Spells a Long Syrian War

      The Saudi decision to start the new year with mass executions bore the hallmarks of a calculated move. Riyadh doubtless anticipated that the Basij would do to Saudi diplomats what had been done to previous representatives of governments who had incurred the Ayatollah’s wrath. The Saudis were prepared to cut diplomatic relations, and ensure that other Arab states followed suit.

      Not for the first time in recent months, an Iran which prided itself on anticipating the next step of its enemies and on outsmarting them, found itself wrong-footed by the Saudi move. Just as it was when Riyadh announced its military offensive against the Houthi takeover of Yemen, Iran still worked on old assumptions that Saudi Arabia moved cautiously and behind a bead curtain.

    • North Korea Claims It Just Detonated a Hydrogen Bomb For the First Time

      This doesn’t mean that North Korea has actually detonated a real hydrogen bomb, however, and experts are already suggesting that it’s unlikely the country has done what it claims. At least one U.S. official has already told ABC News that the U.S. does not believe North Korea has developed hydrogen bomb tech yet.

    • There’s No Evidence North Korea Has an H-Bomb–but NYT Knows Fear Sells Papers

      Fusion-based hydrogen bombs have more explosive power than nuclear fission bombs that rely on uranium or plutonium. “If the North Korean claim about a hydrogen bomb is true, this test was of a different, and significantly more threatening, nature,” the Times reports. It’s not made clear, though, what if anything North Korea could achieve by having a bomb that could destroy a city and its suburbs rather than just a city, or how the response by the US and its allies to such a threat would be in any way different.

    • Wednesday Morning: Otherwise Known as Mike-Mike-Mike Day

      NK’s Kim Jong Un later confirmed a “miniaturized hydrogen nuclear device” had been successfully tested. Governments and NGOs are now studying the event to validate this announcement. The explosion’s size calls the type of bomb into question — was this a hydrogen or an atomic weapon?

    • When Will China Finally Abandon the Loons in North Korea?

      There’s something a little hard to understand about China’s continued sponsorship of North Korea. Historically it’s easy enough to understand, but for the past couple of decades it’s surely been nothing but a huge millstone around their necks. Are they really that worried about problems on the border with North Korea? Would they really lose that much face if they abandoned North Korea for good? And surely that would be more than made up for by the goodwill it would generate with the West.

    • The Deceptive Debate Over What Causes Terrorism Against the West

      Ever since members of the U.K. Labour Party in September elected Jeremy Corbyn as party leader by a landslide, British political and media elites have acted as though their stately manors have been invaded by hordes of gauche, marauding serfs. They have waged a relentless and undisguised war to undermine Corbyn in every way possible, and that includes — first and foremost — the Blairite wing of his party, who have viciously maligned him in ways they would never dare do for David Cameron and his Tory followers.

      [...]

      Beyond such studies, those who have sought to bring violence to Western cities have made explicitly clear that they were doing so out of fury and a sense of helplessness over Western violence that continuously kills innocent Muslims. “The drone hits in Afghanistan and Iraq, they don’t see children, they don’t see anybody. They kill women, children, they kill everybody,” Faisal Shahzad, the attempted Times Square bomber, told his sentencing judge when she expressed bafflement over how he could try to kill innocent people. And then there’s just common sense about human nature: if you spend years bombing, invading, occupying, and imposing tyranny on other people, some of them will want to bring violence back to you.

    • New ‘Jihadi John?’ ISIS Video Features English-Speaker

      For those who still don’t get why the War of Terror continues to fail after 14+ years, here is another lesson.

      We all remember “Jihadi John,” who of course was never called that except in the western media. John (real name: Mohammed Emwazi) was a British citizen who became radicalized, joined ISIS and went on to do horrible things, including beheadings. The media, in hand with the White House and Downing Street, fluffed this one loser guy up into an international super villain. So, when eventually the world’s most powerful nation finally killed him in November 2015 with million-dollars air sorties and drones, we were all supposed to go full-out-bin-Laden-celebration, on the road to victory over Islamic State, with a little old fashioned Wild West vengeance thrown in for the feel good.

      And so now guess what?

      There’s a new guy to replace Jihadi John. He doesn’t have a stupid nickname yet, so let’s be the first and call him Haji Hank. He executed five persons claimed to be British spies, creating the video you see above in the process.

    • Does the media say too much when reporting on terrorism?

      efore committing their heinous acts, terrorist-minded individuals will be sure to wipe out all the information on their cell phones after learning in the media how the damaged handsets found near the San Bernardino shootings in early December helped the FBI track a confidante. They may also decide not to use phone communication altogether after reading precise media reports on how, in January last year, Belgian police were able to kill two jihadists after intercepting suspicious calls originating in Athens. The same ill-intentioned individuals will tear to pieces their receipts after finding out in the mass media how French police linked one of the terrorists of the Paris bloodbath to Brussels, thanks to parking tickets issued in Molenbeek, a district in the Belgian capital.

    • ISIL/ Daesh Threatens to attack Saudi Arabia after Executions
  • Transparency Reporting

    • UK Government Spends Three Years And Large Sums Of Money To Avoid Revealing The Number ’13′

      Nothing very threatening there, you might think, but the UK government refused on the basis that disclosing this magic number would “impinge on cabinet collective decision-making”. So Buchanan appealed — first, to the Cabinet Office, the department he had made the request to, where he was turned down, and then to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which oversees this whole area of government transparency.

    • Red tape and a three year FOI battle with Cabinet Office

      Journalism is, at least in part, the art of delivering new information in a timely manner.

      In which case, I have to admit a failure.

      It’s important to point out that I wasn’t wholly to blame, what with the government taking me to court and all that.

      Nonetheless what I’ve finally learned isn’t a story now – and probably wouldn’t have been when I thought it might have been.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Tensions flare over environmental threat of Canadian gold mine in Kyrgyzstan

      The remote Issyk Kul province in eastern Kyrgyzstan, on the border with China, is home to some of the most stunning vistas of the rugged Tian Shan mountain range that cuts through much of Central Asia. Mountain goats and endangered snow leopards roam the rocky slopes, while rare species of dandelion and wild tulip bloom in alpine meadows.

    • VW Lawyer
    • Here’s what David Cameron’s Flood Resilience Review must do

      This is starting to feel a bit like Groundhog Day. Two years ago, the UK experienced horrendous floods during its wettest winter ever. Back then, David Cameron charged Oliver Letwin with reviewing our flood defences. But his report was never published.

      Two years on, and the Met Office have just confirmed that December 2015 was the wettest month on record, ever. Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank broke new rainfall records and have devastated the North of England and Scotland with floods. And David Cameron has… ordered another flooding review, led by Oliver Letwin.

      This time, if the Government’s Flood Resilience Review is to be at all meaningful, it needs to tackle four crucial issues: climate change, land management, budgets and governance.

    • America’s Food System Could Be More Vulnerable to Climate Change Than We Thought

      For billions of people around the world, the most immediate threat posed by climate change is at the dinner table, as staple crops face a steadily worsening onslaught of drought, heat waves, and other extreme weather events. The United States certainly isn’t immune to these challenges; for proof, just look at California, where an unprecedented drought has cost the state’s agriculture industry billions.

      Still, the conventional thinking among many scientists is that developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia—where people are typically hit harder by food price spikes and generally more reliant on agriculture as a primary source of income—are the most vulnerable to food-related climate impacts.

      A paper published today in Nature may add a wrinkle to that assumption. Scientists often track the impact that an individual weather disaster has on crops (again, see California), but the new research takes it a step further.

    • Energy boost for Russia and neighbours

      Renewable energy could supply Russia and Central Asian countries with all the electricity they need by 2030 − and cut costs significantly at the same time.

    • Midwest Flooding Damage Assessment Imagery

      NOS’s National Geodetic Survey (NGS) continues to collect damage assessment imagery of flooding along the Mississippi and Arkansas River. A team of NOAA aviators began collecting the photographs on January 2, flying above the area at around 7,500 feet aboard NOAA’s King Air aircraft equipped with specialized remote-sensing cameras. Imagery is available online to view and download.

    • If Obama is a Climate Leader, Why Is US Oil Industry Booming?

      Despite President Barack Obama’s claims of climate leadership, the U.S. oil industry is booming under his watch.

      Bloomberg Business journalist Jennifer Dlouhy reported on Tuesday that “U.S. oil production has surged 82 percent to near-record levels in the past seven years and natural gas is up by nearly one-quarter.”

      The domestic fracking surge—a pillar of Obama’s “all of the above” energy policy—is key to this trend.

    • VP Kalla Slams Neighboring Countries Over Haze Complaints

      Vice President Jusuf Kalla has denounced neighboring Singapore and Malaysia for complaining about the severe haze caused every year by Indonesian forest fires. He said he took note of the way the neighboring countries had kept complaining when toxic haze from adjacent areas in Indonesia, Riau in particular, fouled their air.

      “For 11 months, they enjoyed nice air from Indonesia and they never thanked us. They have suffered because of the haze for one month and they get upset,” Kalla said on Tuesday.

      Environmental group Greenpeace Indonesia reported forest fires in Riau have worsened from 6,644 hotspots in 2011 to 15,112 hotspots in 2013.

    • Oklahoma Is Now the Earthquake Capital of America

      Earthquakes in Oklahoma increased by 50 percent in 2015, surpassing the previous year’s record and sounding new alarms over the risks of oil and gas operations like hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

    • EPA Releases the First of Four Preliminary Risk Assessments for Insecticides Potentially Harmful to Bees

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a preliminary pollinator risk assessment for the neonicotinoid insecticide, imidacloprid, which shows a threat to some pollinators. EPA’s assessment, prepared in collaboration with California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation, indicates that imidacloprid potentially poses risk to hives when the pesticide comes in contact with certain crops that attract pollinators.

  • Finance

    • VIDEO: Bernie Sanders Inveighs Against Wall Street in Major Address on Economic Policy Proposals

      We need a banking system that is part of the productive economy – making loans at affordable rates to small- and medium-sized businesses so that we create decent-paying jobs. Wall Street cannot continue to be an island unto itself, gambling trillions in risky financial instruments, making huge profits and assured that, if their schemes fail, the taxpayers will be there to bail them out.

    • Work less, play more

      Time is perhaps the most precious commodity of all. While we can buy more possessions and work new jobs, we can never make more time or recapture what has already been spent. But considering how much work dominates our lives, we question concepts around working and time relatively little.

      While paid employment can provide security, for many, jobs are a means of putting “food on the table” within a work culture that feels more enslaving than natural or joyful. But now there is growing recognition that traditional working patterns no longer serve us. More and more people are searching for freedom from bosses, wages, commuting and consuming, seeking instead the lives we truly want to lead.

    • Thomas Piketty Ran The Numbers On Income Inequality. Here’s What He Found.

      Some of the top experts on income inequality released a study of new, more accurate data this week, revealing that Americans in the top 1 percent have done far better than everyone else for the last half century — and why they’ve gotten so far ahead.

      At the American Economic Association conference this week, economists Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman, and Thomas Piketty released their preliminary research that uses a new analysis of tax, survey, and national accounts data. That’s more accurate, they say, than just looking at tax data, which misses huge chunks of the actual income people bring home.

    • The cracks begin to show: a review of the UK economy in 2015 (part one)
    • The cracks begin to show: a review of the UK economy in 2015 (part two)

      Thus, the ultra-flexible UK labour market (“with employers in the driving seat”, in the government’s own charming words) – to be enhanced by the repressive new Trade Union Act – has had the effect of causing productivity to fall.

    • Convincing the Young to Blame the Old, Not the Rich

      First, Rampell’s comparison is misleading, since there are few married couples with single breadwinners turning age 65. Most women have been in the workforce for the last four decades. If we look to the same study referenced by Rampell, and take the more typical case of a couple with an average earner and low earner, we find that the value of the Medicare benefit is roughly four times (rather than six) times the taxes paid.

      Most of the reason the value of Medicare benefits exceeds the value of the taxes paid is not the generosity of the benefits received by our seniors. The main cause is the fact that we pay our doctors twice as much as doctors in Canada, Germany and other wealthy countries. We also pay twice as much for our drugs and medical equipment. This is a case of upward redistribution from the rest of us to members of the 1 Percent. (Almost all doctors are in the richest 1 or 2 percent of the income distribution.) But rather than talking about how the rich raise the cost of our healthcare, Rampell wants us to be upset at seniors.

    • Surprise! Corporate America Is Throwing Down for the TPP

      American big business has now officially endorsed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), giving many all the proof they need that the 12-nation deal—poised to be the largest ever—is bad news for people and the planet.

      An association of Chief Executive Officers known as the Business Roundtable (BRT) announced its formal backing on Tuesday, indicating that it plans to use its muscle to press Congress to approve the deal this year. In fact, BRT president John Engler told The Hill that the association wants the TPP to pass as quickly as possible—before the summer.

    • Ben Carson Has a Tax Plan!

      This is great! At a guess, your average zillionaire would have an effective tax rate of about 8 percent compared to about 20 percent today. Ka-ching!

    • Lots of Rich People Seem to Be in Tough Financial Straits

      I’m not sure what to make of this. Either there are a whole lot of rich people who manage their money really badly, or else this is some kind of statistical artifact. Or maybe rich people consider separate summer and winter getaway homes to be among the things they “need.” It’s a headscratcher.

    • How Bernie Sanders And Hillary Clinton Differ On Wall Street

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) unveiled a comprehensive financial reform plan in a speech Tuesday just a few miles from Wall Street itself, vowing to break up large financial institutions that pose a threat to the economy and complete the “unfinished business” of reform which began under President Obama.

    • Greece’s Varoufakis to Launch Pan-European Progressive Movement

      Hoping to show Europeans they have an alternative to the prevailing system of “authoritarianism” and austerity, former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has announced a new cross-continent movement with a “simple, common agenda:” To democratize Europe.

      The movement, known as the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (or DiEM 25), will be launched on February 9 at Berlin’s Volksbühne theater.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Ted Cruz Knows What His Followers Want

      The president is the one on the right, of course. He’s the menacing one who looks more like a stormtrooper than the actual Nazi, but still retains plausible deniability in case someone like me happens to point out the entirely coincidental resemblance. It comes to us courtesy of the Ted Cruz campaign, which is apparently fully adopting Trumpism as its guiding vision.

    • Ted Cruz: Obama Is Putting On Commando Gear And Coming For Your Guns
    • 2016 Will Be a Test for Super PACs

      What do Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have in common? Pause for requisite awful hair joke. No really. From a campaign finance perspective, they have one distinctive thing in common: they have no Super PACs propping up their candidacies.

    • Would a privatised Channel 4 still be a serial risk-taker?

      Why do we care so much about Channel Four? After all, as a supplier (I’ve worked for Channel Four on and off since 1984, that’s, scarily, more than three decades) it can be truly infuriating. And, every few years, there’ll be an article in the broadsheets, or a session at Edinburgh, about how Channel Four ‘isn’t what it used to be’. But, isn’t that the point? It keeps changing and it’s always the same. It’s as much part of Britain and its media landscape as the BBC – and that’s saying something. It is the place where most of the new stuff happens – formats, styles of documentary, new shapes of different types of content. It’s one of the reasons networks all around the world see Britain as a player.

    • The Most Chilling Political Appointment That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg

      But why should any of us take relationship advice from you? Because you founded Facebook? That isn’t a qualification. Because you run a massively popular website and can broadcast such advice to millions (even through third-party news outlets)? That doesn’t automatically make it good advice. Our relationships, on any level, are not for you to judge. In this case, your so-called “advice” is worthy only of contempt. And so, in reponse I say:

      Piss off, you sexist hypocrite.

    • NSA hacked two key encryption chips

      None of the documents in the Snowden archive identify all or even most of the encryption standards that had been targeted, and there was a concern that if an attempt were made to identify one or two of them, it could mislead the public into believing that the others were safe. There also seemed to be a concern among some editors that any attempt to identify specific encryption standards would enable terrorists to know which ones to avoid.

    • UK mass surveillance ‘totalitarian’ and will ‘cost lives’, warns ex-NSA tech boss

      Planned surveillance laws in the UK are “totalitarian” and the bulk collection of people’s data makes people “more vulnerable” to terrorist attacks, a National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower has said.

    • GCHQ mass spying will ‘cost lives in Britain,’ warns ex-NSA tech chief

      Plans by the UK’s Conservative government to legitimize the mass surveillance of Brits won’t work, and will cause lives to be lost to terrorism.

      That’s the view of a former senior US National Security Agency (NSA) staffer, who will sound off on blanket snooping at a parliamentary hearing this afternoon (Wednesday).

      William Binney, the former technical director of the NSA’s Analytic Services Office, will give evidence before the Investigatory Powers Bill committee, which is scrutinizing proposals to grant fresh spying powers to British agencies.

    • Neocons Protest US Spying on Israel

      U.S. neocons are livid over a report that U.S. intelligence spied on Israeli efforts to sabotage the Iran nuclear talks, though they are curiously silent on evidence that Israel spies on the U.S. Ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says it would be a mistake to let this pressure blind U.S. leaders on what Israel is up to.

    • The FBI’s ‘Unprecedented’ Hacking Campaign Targeted Over a Thousand Computers

      In the summer of 2015, two men from New York were charged with online child pornography crimes. The site the men allegedly visited was a Tor hidden service, which supposedly would protect the identity of its users and server location. What made the case stand out was that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had used a hacking tool to identify the IP addresses of the individuals.

      The case received some media attention, and snippets of information about other, related arrests started to spring up as the year went on. But only now is the true extent of the FBI’s bulk hacking campaign coming to light.

    • Selective outrage at NSA snooping

      The U.S. has been caught spying on foreign heads of state – again. And just as with the tapping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone, revealed in 2013 by the Edward Snowden documents, the target was the leader of a supposed ally: in this case, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

      Despite President Barack Obama’s promise two years ago to limit spying on heads of state of friendly nations, a Wall Street Journal report last week described National Security Agency spying on Mr. Netanyahu and other Israeli officials while the U.S. was negotiating a nuclear arms agreement with Iran and trying to sell the resultant agreement to a fairly skeptical Congress.

    • Why privacy is important, and having “nothing to hide” is irrelevant

      The governments of Australia, Germany, the UK and the US are destroying your privacy. Some people don’t see the problem…
      “I have nothing to hide, so why should I care?”

      It doesn’t matter if you have “nothing to hide”. Privacy is a right granted to individuals that underpins the freedoms of expression, association and assembly; all of which are essential for a free, democratic society.

    • UK Legislators Want To Toss Tech Company Officials In Jail If They Inform Users About Government Surveillance Efforts

      Default mode at tech companies these days is to inform users of government surveillance. Unless explicitly forbidden to do so, multiple companies have stated they will inform users of requests for data or suspected state-sponsored hacking attempts.

      The mechanisms inherent in US law usually prevent notification. Requests made by foreign governments, however, operate in a much grayer area. UK legislators are trying to close perceived loopholes with new legislation that would make it illegal to notify users of UK agencies’ requests for data.

    • UK government wants to send tech execs to jail for disclosing surveillance

      Ministers are lobbying to make it a criminal offense for a tech company to inform a user that the UK government is spying on them.

  • Civil Rights

    • New Zealand’s Raid On Investigatory Journalist Was Illegal

      This reminds me of the raids on Kim Dotcom’s house as well, which involved a bogus warrant. Though, in that case, the High Court, after admitting that the warrants were not drafted properly, decided they were “good enough.” Either way, those are the only two law enforcement raids in New Zealand, and both came under sketchy circumstances, where the police couldn’t be bothered to actually follow the rules. What’s going on down there?

    • Fox Host On Obama’s Emotional Response To Child Victims Of Gun Violence: “Check That Podium For A Raw Onion”
    • As Obama Issues Executive Orders, Gun Stocks Explode

      Stocks for two major gunmakers skyrocketed as President Obama unveiled a long-awaited series of executive orders intended to reduce gun violence.

      Gunmaker Smith & Wesson’s stock price closed at $25.86, higher than at any point in 2015. A year ago, on January 7th, 2015, it closed at just $9.93.

    • The Many Hypocrisies of the Oregon Standoff

      The militia members purportedly are “defending” father and son ranchers sentenced for two separate arsons of public lands. The corporate media has been portraying these arsons as some unfortunate accident, when the reality is quite different.

      [...]

      The grandson, a ThinkProgress article reports, had good reason to “keep his mouth shut” out of fear of his family. He later told a sheriff’s deputy that he had been abused multiple times, being punished by blows, forced to eat cans full of chewing tobacco, being driven 10 miles away and forced to walk home, and after carving two letters into himself with a paper clip having the letters removed with sandpaper.

    • Hundreds rally against sexual violence after NYE attacks in Cologne

      Protesters held aloft a sign reading, “Arm Cologne” as up to 500 people rallied against attacks by members of the migrant community during the city’s New Year celebrations, and the authorities’ failure to stop dozens of sexual assaults which took place.

    • Why It’s Scary That the Mall of America Can Crush Dissent

      ON DECEMBER 23, the day before Christmas Eve, the United States’ largest mall moved to shut down a potentially landmark Black Lives Matter demonstration before it even really began.

      Management at the shopping center, Mall of America, located just outside Minneapolis, had stores lower their metal security gates about half an hour before the protest started, part of a “lockdown” that cleared shoppers from that wing of the mall. Only moments after Black Lives Matter organizers entered the mall’s east rotunda, the cousin of Jamar Clark, whose death at the hands of police was the center of the protest, was led away by a throng of police. Organizers directed demonstrators to exit the mall toward the light-rail station. As protesters walked out, the mall broadcast a looping announcement in a friendly Midwestern voice: “Mall of America is now going into lockdown. Seek shelter in the nearest store, and follow employee instructions.”

    • From Waco to Burns: Chicken Wings and Militiamen

      Nearly 25 years ago, on Feb. 28, 1993, preacher David Koresh and his 125 live-in congregants, the “Branch Davidians,” exchanged fire outside Waco with agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Six of their number and four ATFers were felled. After encircling it for 51 days, the FBI assaulted the Davidian compound, Mt. Carmel, with volatile CS gas and Army tanks, leading to a fire that took more than 80 lives, including those of two dozen children. In retribution for their deaths, thinking that his action would spark a revolution, “patriot” Timothy McVeigh on April 19, 1995 planted a fertilizer bomb at the curbside of the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168; again, some of the victims were toddlers. In anybody’s book, all of that was tragedy.

      But today’s standoff by armed “patriots,” “Constitutionalists” and “sovereign citizens” outside Burns, Ore., will most likely be in accord with Marx’s dictum that history first presents itself as tragedy—and then as farce.

      The practices and preconditions for another bloodbath are simply not present at the Malhueur National Wildlife Refuge, where a dozen buildings have been seized by a group that calls itself a militia.

      The apparent organizers of the occupation are Ammon and Ryan Bundy, sons of Cliven Bundy, who with a little help from his friends held federal forces at bay in Nevada in April, 2014. Ammon Bundy has proclaimed that “I know the Lord is involved” in the Oregon occupation, but neither he nor his brother, like Koresh, is a guru of a passionate church. Their accomplices are not in agreement about God, without whose blessing, it seems, few members of our species are today prepared to face martyrdom.

    • Judge Helps Ensure That The More Ignorant Law Enforcement Officers Are, The More They’ll Be Able To Get Away With

      Why? Because probable cause is whatever a cop says it is. This is an ongoing issue in states where marijuana has been partially legalized. In California, medical marijuana is legal. The cops can’t seem to deal with this new reality. So, they find bogus reasons to raid houses, relying on multiple law enforcement-friendly exceptions to the Fourth Amendment to keep their busts intact… or at least minimize the number of times judges will find them culpable for violations. Cops say “upon information and belief” and magistrate judges nod in approval.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • HTTP/2.0 — The IETF is Phoning It In

      A very long time ago —in 1989 —Ronald Reagan was president, albeit only for the final 19½ days of his term. And before 1989 was over Taylor Swift had been born, and Andrei Sakharov and Samuel Beckett had died.

      In the long run, the most memorable event of 1989 will probably be that Tim Berners-Lee hacked up the HTTP protocol and named the result the “World Wide Web.” (One remarkable property of this name is that the abbreviation “WWW” has twice as many syllables and takes longer to pronounce.)

      Tim’s HTTP protocol ran on 10Mbit/s, Ethernet, and coax cables, and his computer was a NeXT Cube with a 25-MHz clock frequency. Twenty-six years later, my laptop CPU is a hundred times faster and has a thousand times as much RAM as Tim’s machine had, but the HTTP protocol is still the same.

    • IPv6 non-alternatives: DJB’s article, 13 years later

      With the world passing 10% IPv6 penetration over the weekend, we see the same old debates coming up again; people claiming IPv6 will never happen (despite several years now of exponential growth!), and that if they had only designed it differently, it would have been all over by now.

      In particular, people like to point to a 2002–3 article by D. J. Bernstein, complete with rants about how Google would never set up “useless IPv6 addresses” (and then they did that in 2007—I was involved). It’s difficult to understand exactly what the article proposes since it’s heavy on calling people idiots and light on actual implementation details (as opposed to when DJB’s gotten involved in other fields; e.g. thanks to him we now have elliptical curve crypto that doesn’t suck, even if the reference implementation was sort of a pain to build), but I will try to go through it nevertheless and show how I cannot find any way it would work well in practice.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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  13. Links 29/5/2016: NetBSD 7.0.1, Genode OS 16.05

    Links for the day



  14. [ES] La Gerencia de la EPO Bajo Creciénte Estres por las Autoridades Legales Croatas, Políticas Alemanas, y los Medios Italianos

    Las cosas no son color rosa como la calma relativa sugiere, y esperamos en las próximas semanas mayores eventos otros que la protesta en todas las sedes de la EPO a través de Europa



  15. [ES] Los Medios de Comunicación Comienzan a Informar al Público Europeo Acercas de las Desventájas de la UPC Mientras que la EPO Acelera su Cabildeo por Ratificación

    La vergonzósa promoción de la UPC por parte de la EPO da otro paso adelánte mientras que venues de la prensa Europea (incluso canales de televisión) comienzan a explorar el arreglo secreto que es negociado por los abogados de patentes (con clientes corpórativos) y las oficinas de patentes, no el público o cualquier grupo que represente los intereses del público en general



  16. [ES] Algunos Detalles Acerca de ¿Cómo el Presidente de la EPO Es Rumoreado Estar Comprando Votos, y el Porqué es Suficientemente Base Para un Despido Inmediato?

    Algo de información tras las cortinas y una detallada explicación de la dependencia finánciera sistemática, creada por Battistelli a un costode €13 millónes o más, la cuál evita una efectiva supervisión de Battistelli



  17. Mishi Choudhary and Mike Masnick Explain Why India Should Reject Software Patents

    Both an Indian activist-lawyer and a widely-recognised author from the US explain to Indians why over-reliance on patents -- and acceptance of patents on software in particular -- is a very bad idea



  18. Microsoft Boosters Pretend Microsoft Fights for Privacy While the Company Uses Malware Tactics to Put Keyloggers on Everyone's Computers

    In spite of malware-inspired tactics that should land Microsoft in courts of law all around the world (as a defendant), Microsoft-friendly circles pretend that the company fights for people's rights like privacy -- all this when Microsoft installs keyloggers on people's PCs without their consent and obviously against their will



  19. Battistelli's Assault on EPO Staff's Right to Strike in Relation to French Politics and That 'Bicycle' Pretext for Crackdowns

    The latest bicycle 'gossip' and how it's being used, based on expectations from EPO staff, to introduce further crackdowns on human/labour rights



  20. Vice-President of the EPO Under Investigation: Treason, Abuse, Violations, Giving and Receiving Bribes

    An English translation of documents involving the Organised Crime Section of the Criminal Police Department in Zagreb, where the Vice-President of the EPO faces criminal charges



  21. EPO Management Warns People About Scams When the EPO's Management is Itself Falling for Scams

    Jesper Kongstad, the Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, helps demonstrate that not even the EPO is intelligent enough to spot an obvious scam



  22. Links 28/5/2016: Wine 1.9.11, New Gentoo

    Links for the day



  23. Links 27/5/2016: Android for Raspberry Pi, Google Beats Oracle in Court

    Links for the day



  24. Warning: EPO Surveillance May Have Just Gotten Even More Intrusive

    BlueCoat, which the EPO uses to enable oppression inside its European premises, has just gotten even nastier and staff may be at risk



  25. Victim Card Ends up in Another Blunder for Battistelli and His Six Bodyguards

    Battistelli is wrecking what's left of the EPO's reputation (after decades it took the Office to earn it) as the media continues to scrutinise his appalling regime



  26. Italian Report About EPO Now Available in English

    An English translation of a TV program which earlier this month documented some of the glaring problems at the EPO



  27. The EPO is Doing Great, Says EPO-Connected 'News' Site

    IAM 'magazine', a longtime ally of the EPO, gives people the impression that all is fine and dandy at the EPO even though that's clearly not the case



  28. Microsoft Has Killed Nokia (and Its Own Mobile Ambitions), But Watch What it Does With Patents

    Microsoft announces many more layoffs, having already caused tremendous damage to the Finnish economy, and patents are left astray for Microsoft's favourite patent trolls to pick



  29. EPO Management Under Growing Stress From Croatian Law Enforcement Authorities, German Politicians, Italian Media

    Things are not as rosy as the relative calm may suggest, and in the coming weeks we expect some major events other than the protest at all EPO sites across Europe



  30. Microsoft, a Dead Company Walking, Resorts to Malware Tactics, Now Truly Indistinguishable From Crackers

    Microsoft is essentially taking over people's PCs and installing on them a large piece of malware, complete with keyloggers, against the will of these PCs' owners


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