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Links 11/1/2016: Red Hat Upgraded, Tails 1.8.2

Posted in News Roundup at 12:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Copyright Industry Rhetoric Ignores The Existence Of Linux And Wikipedia

    Linux and Wikipedia (as well as other, less known achievements) show unambiguously that the idea of requiring any kind of payment for great tools, culture, or knowledge to come into being is an utter falsehood. It may be true in some cases. But the cases where it hasn’t been true have all shown that the basic premise, that the copyright monopoly is any kind of necessary, is the purest oxen fecalia.

    And these projects, free in all aspects as they are, now underpin the Android operating system which powers three billion smartphones and well over half of the world’s servers in various incarnations of the GNU/Linux operating system. They support every lower- and higher-level education on the planet.

    According to the copyright industry, these projects do not and cannot exist, as the authors weren’t paid.

  • How to set up a Linux-based music server at home

    In this article, I am going to focus on the hardware, software, and configuration issues that we need to resolve to set up a Linux-based music server as part of the home music system. Specifically, I’ll look at the Raspberry Pi, Cubox-i, and Fit-PC as options for hosting your digital home music system.

    Some of the material in this article can equally be applied to my previous article on the Linux laptop as a high-quality music player.

  • Ford, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Toyota: all driving more Linux into cars

    The Ford Motor Company has for some time now been developing its open source Smart Device Link (SDL) middleware framework.

    The firm is now enjoying support from rival automotive manufacturer Toyota for this still-emerging technology.

  • My Linux wish list for 2016 is just one item long

    We’re past the point of predictions for 2016, so let’s talk about the one thing I really want to happen in the Linux world this year: desktop Linux on tablets.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.4

      Nothing untoward happened this week, so Linux-4.4 is out in all the usual places.

      The changes since rc8 aren’t big. There’s about one third arch updates, one third drivers, and one third “misc” (mainly some core kernel and networking), But it’s all small. Notable might be unbreaking the x86-32 “sysenter” ABI, when somebody (*cough*android-x86*cough*) misused it by not using the vdso and instead using the instruction directly.

      Full shortlog appended for people who care or are just curious.

      And with this, the merge window for 4.5 is obv

    • Rejoice, Penguinistas, Linux 4.4 is upon us

      Version 4.4 of the Linux kernel has been finalised and released into the wild.

      Emperor Penguin Linus Torvalds announced the release on Sunday evening, US time.

      What’s new this time around? Support for GPUs seem the headline item, with plenty of new drivers and hooks for AMD kit. Perhaps most notable is the adoption of the Virgil 3D project which makes it possible to parcel up virtual GPUs. With virtual Linux desktops now on offer from Citrix and VMware, those who want to deliver virtual desktops with workstation-esque graphics capabilities have their on-ramp to Penguin heaven.

      Raspberry Pi owners also have better graphics to look forward to, thanks to a new Pi KMS driver that will be updated with acceleration code in future releases.

    • Linux kernel 4.4 released
    • Linux 4.4 Kernel Officially Released
    • Linux Kernel 4.4 LTS Officially Released, Adds 3D Support in the Virtual GPU Driver

      Today, January 10, 2016, will enter in the Linux history books as the day when the Linux kernel 4.4 LTS (Long-Term Support) has been officially released by Linus Torvalds and his team of hard working kernel developers.

    • Nouveau Gets Some Improvements For Linux 4.5

      While it was looking like Nouveau might not have any big updates for Linux 4.5, a last-minute pull request was honored for DRM-Next that will provide some new/improved functionality to this open-source NVIDIA Linux kernel driver.

      David Airlie pulled the Nouveau DRM feature update into DRM-Next last night for the Nouveau DRM driver. This pull includes some fixes/improvements for the NVIDIA Tegra K1′s GK20A graphics processor, better support for high frequency HDMI modes, the Nouveau pstate control interfaces were moved from sysfs to debugfs, there is now support for PCI Express link speed changes, and various other fixes.

    • New AMD CPUs To Support Power Monitoring With Linux 4.5

      With the Linux 4.5 merge window’s hwmon subsystem pull request is an update for new AMD Family 15h processors to support power monitoring.

      With the hwmon update, the Family 15h Model 70h-7fh processors now support monitoring their power usage (in Watts) via the fam15h_power driver. I haven’t been able to find any concrete information for what APU/CPUs technically cover this Family 15h 70h series, but anticipate it being either the rumored desktop Carrizo APUs or Zen. If anyone knows for sure, please let us know in the forums.

    • Linux-Based XanMod Kernel Tests

      Following yesterday’s tests of the Liquorix 4.3 kernel, a Phoronix reader pointed out another customized kernel I previously hadn’t heard of: XanMod.

      XanMod is a Linux-based kernel with custom modifications aiming to “take full advantage in high-performance workstations, gaming desktops, media centers and others.” XanMod is primarily geared for Debian/Ubuntu systems but obviously could work elsewhere.

    • Linux 4.4 Ushers In 2016

      After 8 release candidates, the Linus Torvalds officially released the Linux 4.4 kernel on January 10, marking the first new Linux release of 2016. The first kernel release of 2016 is coming faster in the new year than 2015, with the first kernel release of 2015 not out until February 9.

      “Nothing untoward happened this week, so Linux-4.4 is out in all the usual places,” Linus Torvalds wrote in in his release announcement.

      Last week Torvalds explained that having an 8th release candidate for a Linux kernel release is typically a cause for concern to deal with unresolved issues, but that wasn’t the case with Linux 4.4 rc8.

    • Blob-Free GNU Linux-libre 4.4 Kernel Released

      The latest Linux-libre kernel is now available for those wanting a fully de-blobbed Linux kernel that doesn’t support drivers depending upon proprietary firmware/microcode or other non-free code.

      Alexandre Oliva announced the GNU Linux-libre 4.4-gnu kernel a short time ago, derived from last night’s release of the Linux 4.4 kernel.

    • Linux 4.4 kernel emerges with better support for Intel Skylake and Raspberry Pi

      The release has gone ahead as planned, despite some problems in mid-December. Linux kernel releases are based around a schedule rather than any specific features, but that hasn’t stopped a number of big additions to the code base provided by the community.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Missteps Of The X.Org Foundation

        With the recent news of X.Org possibly losing its valuable domain, many have commented in our forums and elsewhere how this could have possibly happened… However, in reality, it is sadly not much of a surprise.

        The X.Org domain issue is not new and they ran into a similar set of challenges ten years ago when having to renew the domain. However, there have also been other fumbles too, which doesn’t make it all that surprising.

      • X servers and dangerous aircraft

        Airbus A320 has two sidesticks, with no force feedback, and no physical link. So you are trying to recover from stall, you are pushing the sidestick fully and your first officer pulls the stick fully — result is you remain stalled. You don’t even know your first officer fights with you… That’s what happened to PK-AXC, report is here. (How did they get to stall? Computers spuriously adjusted their rudder trim when they lost power. No, you should not reset flight computers like that.)

  • Applications

    • MKVToolNix v8.8.0 released

      A new year, a new release – v8.8.0. Only ten days since 8.7.0, but a lot of users are hitting a regression in 8.7.0 that makes mkvmerge crash. The user-visible result is that the GUI (wrongfully) claims that the mkvmerge executable couldn’t be found. The underlying cause is a bug in the TrueHD detection code wrongfully thinking a file is indeed a TrueHD file while it actually isn’t – e.g. it’s happened with MPEG 2 video files, DTS files, h.264/AVC files etc.

    • OpenShot 2.0 Beta Finally Released

      What a surprise waking up to find that at long-last the OpenShot 2.0 beta is now available to early-backers of this open-source video editor’s Kickstarter project.

      It was just a few days ago mentioning it was one of the letdowns of 2015 — and non-linear Linux video editors in general. Fortunately, there’s some progress to report already for 2016 with the release of their long-awaited beta.

    • Rcpp 0.12.2: Keep rollin’

      The third update in the 0.12.* series of Rcpp arrived on the CRAN network for GNU R earlier today, and has been pushed to Debian. It follows the 0.12.0 release from late July, the 0.12.1 release in September, and the 0.12.2 release in November making it the seventh release at the steady bi-montly release frequency. This release is somewhat more of a maintenance release addressing a number of small bugs and nuisances without adding any new features.

    • MKVToolNix 8.8.0 Open Source MKV Manipulation Tool Has TrueHD Fixes, More

      MKVToolNix 8.8.0 has been released today, January 10, and it comes after only one week from the release of MKVToolNix 8.7.0, as Moritz Bunkus announced earlier on the project’s website.

    • Latex2MediaWiki and Google Code-In

      I have to admit that before Google Code-In 2015 I had never heard of Wikitolearn although I had used plasma and other KDE software and also read planetkde. In order to create “a free and user-friendly computing experience” it makes sense to also support projects aiming to create free content. Latex2MediaWiki is used to convert latex documents to the MediaWiki format which is used to contribute to Wikitolearn. However, it is not limited to Wikitolearn as Wikipedia and its sister projects also use MediaWiki.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Solus Linux Operating System to Be Soon Separated from the GNOME Stack

      A few minutes ago, January 10, 2016, Josh Strobl from the Solus Project published the seventeen installation of the weekly “This Week in Solus” newsletter, informing users of the Solus Linux operating system about the latest developments.

    • New Releases

      • 4MLinux 16.0 Enters Beta, Core Edition Uses GCC 5.3.0 and Linux Kernel 4.1.13 LTS

        A few minutes ago, January 10, we received an email from Zbigniew Konojacki, the creator of the 4MLinux project, where he informs us about the immediate availability for download of the Beta release of the upcoming 4MLinux 16.0 operating system.

      • Solus Devs Promise to Fix All Bugs in 4 Weeks, Solus 2.0 to Split OS from Regular Apps

        The Solus 1.0 operating system seems to have had a pretty good start, but developers have some really interesting plans for the 2.0 branch.

        One of the biggest problems, with any Linux distribution, is the number of problems at any given time. There are no perfect OSes, and they all have known issues. It might be something hardware related, or it may be something related directly to the Linux distro, but there is always something. In fact, most projects also list the known issues, not just features and changes.

    • Arch Family

      • Manjaro Linux Cinnamon 16.01 Now in Development, Ships with Arc and Nitrux Themes

        This past weekend, Ringo de Kroon, the maintainer of the Cinnamon desktop environment for Manjaro Linux, as well as the Manjaro Linux Cinnamon Community Edition, released for testing the first development build from the upcoming Manjaro Linux Cinnamon 16.01 series.

      • Manjaro Linux GNOME 16.01 Community Edition Gets a First Release Candidate

        The Manjaro Linux community was proud to announce the availability of the first RC (Release Candidate) build of the upcoming Manjaro Linux GNOME 16.01 Community Edition operating system.

        We reported earlier the release of the Manjaro Linux Cinnamon 16.01 distribution, which also entered development, both being based on the newly released Manjaro Linux 16.01 Dev series about which we wrote last week. As expected, Manjaro Linux GNOME 16.01 Release Candidate 1 inherits all of Manjaro Linux 16.01′s GNU/Linux technologies, despite the fact that the maintainer didn’t reveal any juicy details about the features implemented.

    • Ballnux/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT): Analysts Take

        Wall Street research analysts are predicting that Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) will post earnings per share of $0.31 when the firm next issues their quarterly results. According to the latest information, the firm should release the report on or around 2016-03-23. This is according to data compliled by Zack’s Research. Analysts and investors will be paying close attention to how the actual numbers compare with the estimates. A large surprise factor in either direction typically can lead to a significant swing in the stock price in the hours and days after the report. For the most recent quarter Red Hat, Inc. recorded a surprise factor of 3.33% as the actual EPS number was $0.01 off from the consensus estimate.

      • Red Hat Inc (RHT) Earns Buy Rating from SunTrust

        Red Hat Inc (NYSE:RHT)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by investment analysts at SunTrust in a research note issued to investors on Monday, Analyst Ratings Net reports. They currently have a $73.00 target price on the open-source software company’s stock. SunTrust’s price target suggests a potential downside of 7.77% from the company’s previous close.

      • Fedora

        • Archived-At Email Header From Mailman 3 Lists

          By now most Fedora email lists have been migrated to Mailman3. One little (but killer) new feature that I recently discovered was that Mailman3 includes the RFC 5064 Archived-At header in the emails.

          This is a feature I have wanted for a really long time; to be able to find an email in your Inbox and copy and paste a link to anyone without having to find the message in the online archive is going to save a lot of time and decrease some latency when chatting on IRC or some other form of real time communication.

        • Plan for 24 Fedora Design Suite
    • Debian Family

      • Debian Installer Stretch Alpha 5 Now Uses i686 Kernel Over i586, SPARC64 Support

        The fifth alpha release of the Debian Installer being prepared for the 9.0 “Stretch” release is now available.

        Debian Installer Stretch Alpha 5 for its i386 configuration now uses the i686 kernel rather than i586, has initial debian-installer support for SPARC64, support for NVMe devices, various ARM device updates, accessibility support for all desktops, the Linux 4.3 kernel is now used, and a variety of other changes made to this Stretch Installer.

      • Debian GNU/Linux 9.0 “Stretch” Alpha 5 Installer Supports NVMe Devices, SPARC64

        The Debian Installer team, through Cyril Brulebois, has been proud to announce earlier, January 10, that the fifth Alpha release of the upcoming installer for Debian GNU/Linux 9.0 “Stretch” is now available for testing.

      • Ian Murdock, Debian Linux Founder Dies Aged 42

        The cause of Murdock’s death is still unclear, but tweets from his now deleted Twitter account stated his intention to take his own life. Reports have since surfaced that Ian Murdock had been involved in a police investigation, and that he had also been charged with assaulting an officer.

      • How To Talk About Mental Illness Online?

        Shortly after the death of Debian founder Ian Murdock, Bruce Perens, who succeeded Murdock as Debian Project Leader in 1996 and was also Murdock’s employer for a period of time, claimed very publicly that Murdock died of mental illness, although no evidence has been provided. Without referencing Murdock or Perens, another prominent Debian Developer, Daniel Pocock, has asserted that discussion about who has or had a mental illness is a step too far.

      • Derivatives

        • Tails 1.8.2 OS Leaves No Trace Online or Offline

          Tails, a live operating system that aims to preserve users’ privacy and that helps people use the Internet anonymously, has been upgraded to version 18.2 and is now ready for download.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical: One Billion People “Benefit from” Ubuntu Linux

            Ubuntu Linux has more than one billion users — or at least people who “benefit” from it, whether they know it or not — according to a recent statement from a Canonical executive about how many people actually run its open source operating system.

            Dustin Kirkland, who works on Ubuntu Product and Strategy for Canonical, said in a blog post that “more people use Ubuntu than anyone actually knows.” That language seems to be an admission that Canonical actually has relatively little idea how many people run Ubuntu, and Kirkland offered few hard statistics.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 17.3 “Rosa” Xfce Screenshot Tour

              Linux Mint 17.3 “Rosa” Xfce arrived with its KDE counterpart and it’s the last one in the 17.x branch of the famous operating system.

            • What’s New In Linux Mint 17.3 “Rosa” KDE

              Linux Mint is one of the most popular Linux distributions. It’s known for its simplicity, stability and ease of use. Linux Mint recently released Linux Mint 17.3 ‘Rosa’ with many improvements, new features and updated software that make it more stable and reliable. In this article you’ll know what’s new in this release and how you can get it.

            • Linux Mint 17.3 “Rosa” KDE Screenshot Tour

              Linux Mint 17.3 “Rosa” KDE was released over the weekend, and it brings a ton of updates and various other changes for the operating system. We now take a closer look at the OS in a quick screenshot tour.

              Linux Mint 17.3 “Rosa” KDE is still based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, which means that it still uses the old KDE SC implementation, and it’s one of the few distros that still do. This was to be expected and the new Linux Mint 18.x that will launch in a few months’ time will get the latest one, but for the time being, we can get to enjoy and say goodbye to the old KDE.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source


  • David Bowie, musical legend behind Ziggy Stardust, dies aged 69 from cancer

    David Bowie, a music legend who used daringly androgynous displays of sexuality and glittering costumes to frame legendary rock hits “Ziggy Stardust” and “Space Oddity”, has died of cancer.

  • Hardware

    • Panasonic’s Invisible TV Is The Coolest TV Tech Of CES 2016

      This world has seen a lot of advancements in terms of TV designing and the introduction of newer generations of TV. From flat-screen to curved screen, HD to UHD and much more. Recently at CES 2016, Panasonic unveiled its transparent TV screen also being called as invisible TV. The TV screen was a thin LCD panel with adjustable dimensions. The adjustable dimensions make it easier for the user to hang the TV across two living room shelves.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Will the New Dietary Guidelines Make School Food Healthier?

      Here’s what the Obama Administration’s new food rules will mean for the nation’s cafeterias.

    • Medical Marijuana Seller Faces Prison in Washington, Where Pot Is Legal

      In a recent Forbes column, I described the limitations of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, a spending rider aimed at preventing the Justice Department from interfering with the implementation of state medical marijuana laws. A trial that continues today at the federal courthouse in Tacoma illustrates one of those limitations: U.S. attorneys may claim the medical marijuana suppliers they choose to prosecute are not complying with state law, and that claim can be difficult to refute when the law is hazy, as it is in Washington.

    • My Right to Die: Assisted Suicide, My Family, and Me

      Harry’s cancer was caught early, and it progressed slowly. By 2007, however, it had taken over his body. When my wife saw him in early 2008, she remarked that he looked like someone in a lot of pain but trying not to show it—despite the fact that he was taking oxycodone, a powerful opiate.

      During a career that lasted more than three decades, he had watched all too many of his patients struggle with their final months, and this experience had persuaded him that he would take his own life if he found himself dying of an agonizing and clearly terminal illness. Now he was. Finally, on the evening of January 29, he stumbled and fell during the night, and decided his time had come: He was afraid if he delayed any longer he’d become physically unable to remain in control of his own destiny.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Syrian Army lets food Aid into Starving Madaya

      France24 Arabic reports that the Syrian government agreed Thursday to allow humanitarian aid into Madaya and two other besieged towns near the Lebanese border northwest of Damascus. The step was praised by the United Nations.

      The siege of Madaya, pop 40,000, has been going on for two years. It and Zabadani are Sunni Arab population areas that joined the rebellion against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. However, as the struggle turned into civil war, the fighters were radicalized. The towns became divided into quarters, some of which supported the Nusra Front (Syrian al-Qaeda) while others supported the Syrian Freemen (Ahrar al-Sham). The two hard line Salafi jihadi groups have a visceral hate for Shiites. Fear that they would make incursions into Lebanon brought Hizbullah across the border to join the siege. The location of the towns also makes them a threat to the capital.

    • Obama’s Crocodile Tears

      After seven years of mass murder, dirty tricks destroying countless lives and destabilizing many peaceful lands, thousands of extrajudicial killings conducted by young thugs from basement computer-games rooms at CIA, and unblinking acceptance of such brutal savageries as we’ve seen from Israel or Saudi Arabia or Turkey, his tears truly mean nothing, except perhaps somewhere in the back of his own dark and terrible mind.

    • Why the War Party Dominates the Media

      Indeed, the War Party dominates the three major media outlets in the English-speaking print world, and on television as well. As far as the former is concerned, the War Street Journal is dominated by the neocons. At the New York Times, liberal internationalists – Thomas Friedman, Nicholas Kristof, and Roger Cohen – reign unchallenged. The Washington Post is the worst: there the editorial director, Fred Hiatt, is an unabashed warmonger, with the rest of the crew – Charles Krauthammer, Robert Kagan, Jackson Diehl, Marc Thiessen, Michael Gerson, Jennifer Rubin – dyed-in-the-wool neocons.

    • Tomgram: Rick Shenkman, How We Learned to Stop Worrying About People and Love the Bombing

      Torturers, rapists, murderers: for more than a decade as I researched my history of the Vietnam War, Kill Anything That Moves, I spent a good deal of time talking to them, thinking about them, reading about them, writing about them. They all had much in common. At a relatively young age, these men had traveled thousands of miles to kill people they didn’t know on the say-so of men they didn’t know, and for a mere pittance — all of it done in the name of America.

      I also spent time talking to another group of men, a much larger contingent who stood by and watched as those beside them tortured or raped or murdered. Some heartily endorsed these acts, some seemed ambivalent about them, some were appalled by them, but none did much of anything about them.

    • Will the Middle East Crisis Worsen in the New Year?

      The US war in Afghanistan has lasted 14 years and four months and is expected to continue for more years. The cost to US taxpayers so far is over $1 trillion, according to the Financial Times, and the final cost will be much higher. The only American victory in this war will be that of the US armaments industry.

    • Send Obama to Gitmo

      In his last year in office, President Obama must right two wrongs that would help salvage his legacy: close the US military prison and announce the willingness to close the U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo and return the land to the Cuban people.

    • Turkey’s Idiotic War on the Kurds

      Erdogan believes that he can ride the tiger of the anti-Kurdish war.

    • God as the Original Terrorist: How the Bible Condones Atrocious Acts of Terror

      Last fall, Dutch pranksters put a cover from a Quran over a Bible and then asked passersby to read aloud homophobic, violent or sexist passages that violate modern moral sensibilities. The texts shocked people who had never immersed themselves in the Iron Age world of the Bible writers, a world in which daughters can be sold as sexual slaves and most of us deserve the death penalty: you included.

      By one count, the Quran has only 532 cruel or violent passages, while the Bible has 1,321. Christians respond that the Bible is longer and so the cruel, violent passages make up a smaller percent of the whole.

      ISIS terrorists claim that their scripts for jihad, executions, sexual slavery and theocracy come straight from the Quran, and they cite chapter and verse to back up their claim. But Christians who find ISIS horrifying might be even more horrified to learn that similar scripts can be found in their own Good Book, including endorsements of terrorism that rival the most vile atrocities committed in the name of Allah.

    • MPs resume scrutiny of arms exports to Saudi Arabia

      British defence exports to Saudi Arabia are set to come under parliamentary scrutiny this month with the revival of a cross-party committee on international arms sales.

      The Committee on Arms Exports Controls has lain dormant since the general election, but MPs have told House of Commons clerks to set it up again in the wake of the executions in Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

      Saudi has been a lucrative market for the UK – BAE Systems courted controversy with the £10bn sale of Typhoon jets to the repressive state.

    • Four Killed as Saudi Strike Kills Yemen Doctors Without Borders Hospital

      A new statement from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) reported a Saudi rocket strike, likely an airstrike, hit one of their hospitals in the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa, killing four people and wounding 10 others, including three MSF staff members.

    • MI5 offered ‘new Jihadi John’ double agent job before he joined ISIS in Syria – reports

      British security services unsuccessfully tried to recruit terror suspect Abu Rumaysah, dubbed the ‘new Jihadi John,’ before he skipped bail and fled to Syria to join Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) with his pregnant wife and four children.

      Officers from MI5 approached Rumaysah, a Muslim-convert born Siddhartha Dhar to a Hindu family in London, on two separate occasions, the Sunday Times reports.

      A security source told the paper MI5 officers offered Rumaysah a role as an agent, and told him he would likely be killed if he went to Syria.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Emissions Cuts Boost Health and Wealth

      Going green by switching to renewable sources of electricity could be good business for the US, according to new research.

      A report by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California says that cutting greenhouse gas emissions meant that the US as a whole was $2.2 billion better off in 2013.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • How Sean Penn Got the Most Wanted Drug Kingpin in the World Captured

      A Mexican law enforcement official confirmed on Saturday that Penn’s interview with Guzmán led them directly to El Chapo’s compound.

    • Sean Penn Reveals Interview With Fugitive Drug Baron El Chapo

      Hollywood actor met Mexican kingpin, now sought by US for extradition, while he was on the run following prison escape.

    • Sean Penn, Intelligence Dangle

      What curious grammar describing Penn’s source’s remarkable knowledge. “A source familiar with the cartel informed me on October 3rd that the initial siege had begun.” Did his source inform him on October 3rd, as this passage literally claims? (The second facilitator in the story, whom Penn calls El Alto, stuck around after they emerged from the jungle on October 3.) The muddled structure of this passage would certainly allow for that, or it might mean his source informed him that on October 3 the siege began.

      Curiously, when Penn provided his bona fides to Chapo — which for the cartel boss, largely rested on the actor’s relationship with Hugo Chávez — he didn’t mention that he had a relationship with people who would be privy to otherwise unavailable information about what really went down in October, though he did admit he has “many relationships inside the United States government.”

    • A US Media Lost in Propaganda

      Vulgar, crude, racist and ultra-sexist though he is, Donald Trump can still see how awful the American mainstream media is.

      I think one of the main reasons for Donald Trump’s popularity is that he says what’s on his mind and he means what he says, something rather rare amongst American politicians, or politicians perhaps anywhere in the world. The American public is sick and tired of the phony, hypocritical answers given by office-holders of all kinds.

      When I read that Trump had said that Sen. John McCain was not a hero because McCain had been captured in Vietnam, I had to pause for reflection. Wow! Next the man will be saying that not every American soldier who was in the military in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq was a shining hero worthy of constant media honor and adulation.

      When Trump was interviewed by ABC-TV host George Stephanopoulos, former aide to President Bill Clinton, he was asked: “When you were pressed about [Russian president Vladimir Putin’s] killing of journalists, you said, ‘I think our country does plenty of killing too.’ What were you thinking about there? What killing sanctioned by the U.S. government is like killing journalists?”

    • Sanders and Clinton Neck-and-Neck in Iowa and New Hampshire

      In Iowa, Clinton has 48 percent, compared to 45 percent for Sanders.

    • Bernie Sanders Is Right About Clinton and Big Banks—and Here Are the Numbers to Prove It

      The Vermont senator recently pointed to how Hillary Clinton’s relationship with Wall Street becomes clear when you look at how much she’s charged for speeches to Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and big banks. As an Intercept article puts it in a headline, her fees for just 12 speeches amounted to “more than most of us earn in a lifetime.”

    • White Man’s Pathology: Deep Inside the Popularity of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders

      You feel your whiteness properly at the American border. Most of the time being white is an absence of problems. The police don’t bother you so you don’t notice the police not bothering you. You get the job so you don’t notice not getting it. Your children are not confused with criminals. I live in downtown Toronto, in one of the most liberal neighborhoods in one of the most open cities in the world, where multiculturalism is the dominant civic value and the inert virtue of tolerance is the most prominent inheritance of the British empire, so if you squint you can pretend the ancient categories are dissipating into a haze of enlightenment and intermarriage.

    • Donald Trump talks at a fourth-grade level. Maybe that’s why the Fox News audience loves him

      It’s a cliché to say that democratic states can’t function properly without an informed electorate. But it’s absolutely true. And this is why, heading into the 2016 election year, I’m nervous about the future. With Donald Trump leading the Republican presidential contenders, even many Republican die-hards are shaking in their boots.

      But Trump isn’t the cause, just the symptom. The deeper cause is a strain of anti-intellectualism that runs through the roots of American culture. And while this strain is found on both sides of the political spectrum (see some liberals on vaccines and chemtrails), it’s mostly concentrated among religious conservatives on the political right. For those who espouse anti-intellectualism, conspiracy theories have the same clout as legitimate science, the opinions of non-experts are just as credible as those of the experts, and ideology takes precedence over the cold hard facts.

    • Vegas billionaire donor keeps GOP candidates guessing

      But the truth, more than half a dozen sources close to Adelson say, is more complicated. The casino owner, who together with his wife spent nearly $100 million in the 2012 campaign cycle, is still weighing his options.

    • Flaunting Our Ignorance: We’re Looking at You, GOP Candidates

      It’s more than good ole American anti-intellectualism — we celebrate our ignorance and wear it as a badge of pride.

    • Jimmy Carter’s Blood Drenched Legacy

      Carter’s actions consistently prioritized economic and security interests over humanitarian concerns.

    • Making the news or breaking it: a unique problem for the BBC

      The argument over whether the BBC ‘orchestrated’ the resignation of a Labour shadow minister for political effect is more than it seems.

      It’s a storm in a tea-cup, they say. It’s just a bunch of barmy Corbynistas blaming the failures of their hero on some massive right-wing media conspiracy. Move on. Grow up. This is how the media work.

      The ‘on air’ resignation of a relatively unknown shadow business minister, Stephen Doughty, on the BBC’s Daily Politics last Tuesday may not rate very highly on the political agenda, but the brief searchlight it shone into the nation’s public broadcaster at a time of parliamentary turmoil and institutional crisis is instructive.

      First full disclosure: I know and like the BBC’s Political Editor, Laura Kuenssberg, who replaced Nick Robinson after the general election. I think Andrew Neil does an admirable job as an impartial questioner and presenter, making both the BBC’s Daily and Sunday Politics programmes entertaining and informative to watch. (It should also go without saying I do not support any ludicrous petitions demanding that either of them resign.)

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Beyond survival: moving to end domestic labour trafficking

      We are building a movement anchored on the belief that culture and economy should honour and value all human life equally. As we continue to draw national attention to cases of trafficked domestic workers, we hope to expand the number of survivor leaders and affiliates anchoring the Beyond Survival campaign and push for comprehensive federal legislation to address the trafficking of domestic workers.

      Domestic workers who have survived human trafficking are more than victims. Women like Karmo, Jing, and Shanti live at the edge of our globalised economy and at the centre of our future. Their experiences tell a critical story of our world’s new economic reality: extreme global inequality and unprecedented migration across borders, with women of colour in some of the most vulnerable positions. As organisers and activists, their voices and leadership in news headlines and public policy can transform the cycles of victimisation and hold our institutions accountable. Governments and policymakers alike need to recognise survivors, and work together in a movement to end human trafficking.

    • Campaign To Restore College Coursework Behind Bars Gets Big Boost In New York

      According to the New York Times, the governor announced on Sunday his intention to use $7.5 million in criminal forfeiture funds — along with another $7.5 million in private matching funds — to pay for a new program that offers an “integrated curriculum” to about 1,000 inmates statewide over the next five years. Cuomo made his announcement while speaking from the pulpit of Mount Neboh Baptist Church, a predominantly black congregation in Harlem, New York.

    • Marco Rubio’s claim that Obama wants to ‘take away our guns’

      Some of the claims he makes are not readily fact-checkable. For example, it’s true the military budget has decreased under Obama (partly because he pulled troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq) and that Obama has vowed to veto bills that strip federal funds from Planned Parenthood – but the two points aren’t comparable. The Israel-Iran comparison doesn’t make much sense; virtually no foreign government is off limits for the National Security Agency’s surveillance — including Israel and Iran — and security and military ties between Israel and the United States have grown closer than ever during the Obama administration.

      Instead, we will focus on two claims that stood out as the most curious: that Obama released terrorists from Guantanamo who are “plotting to attack” America, and that Obama’s plan after the shooting at San Bernardino was to “take away our guns.”

      What evidence supports these claims?

    • ICE-Free NYC protests raids on immigrant families and communities

      Eight protesters wearing cement-sleeves were arrested on Friday outside a New York City immigration court for blocking a busy intersection, as part of a protest against recent raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

      “In light of the national news that immigrant communities are again being terrorized, with people being woken up in the middle of the night and families being torn apart in states across the country, we felt it was imperative that, here in New York City, we have an action and call attention to this,” said Nastaran Mohit, an organizer with the pro-immigrant rights coalition ICE-Free NYC. “This is a crisis, and it demands action.”

    • Immigrant advocates take action following deportation raids in the South

      The first week of the new year brought hope and cheer for some. But for many Southern immigrant communities, it brought fear.

      News of the Department of Homeland Security’s plans to conduct immigrant deportation raids at the outset of 2016 circulated just before the Christmas holiday, and the first raids got underway this past weekend. They are part of the Obama administration’s efforts to stem a wave of women and children who have arrived in the U.S. since 2014, many fleeing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and other Latin American countries. Officials said the raids target those whose asylum claims have been denied and who now face deportation orders.

    • When does the violation of women’s bodies become a “red line”?

      War is trauma. And it is the lack of mental health care that accompanies it.

      War is rape. And the silence and suffering that surrounds this stigmatized act.

      War is the acknowledgement that soldiers are worthy of reparations when they’re injured but that civilians who have been sexually violated or born children out of these acts—such as a whole generation of kids now living in Rwanda—are not. It took 20 years to bring reparations to any victims of wartime rape in Bosnia, and it’s worth noting that the men who’ve been ordered to pay say they can’t afford the $15,000.

    • The Great Forgetting

      Trump and Clinton, along with fellow candidate Bernie Sanders, refuse to admit what they know: Our most basic civil and political rights have been taken from us, the corporate oligarchy will remain entrenched in power no matter who wins the presidency, and elections are a carnival act. The downward spiral of lost jobs and declining incomes, of shredded civil liberties, of endless war, is unstoppable as long as we use the traditional mechanisms of reform, including elections, to try to cope with the existential threat we face. A vote for Clinton, in essence, is a vote for Trump or someone as bad as Trump. Right-wing populism, here and in Europe, is not the product of an individual but the disenfranchisement, rage and despair stemming from the damage caused by globalization. And until we wrest back control of our destiny by breaking corporate power, demagogues like Trump, and his repugnant doppelgangers in Europe, will proliferate.

    • How Tamir Rice Made It Impossible to Joke About Cleveland Anymore

      I still think Mike Polk Jr. deserves the key to the city for putting Cleveland on the map with his “Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video” and “Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video, 2nd Attempt.” I get the appeal of “Rust Belt Chic” and the self-deprecating humor of living in “The Mistake by the Lake,” telling stories about the Cuyahoga River catching fire reveling in the defiant blue-collar anthem “Cleveland Rocks” by Ian Hunter.

      But more and more it seems to me that joking about this shit is missing the point—and often it’s a deliberate missing of the point, joking about the stuff it’s fun and safe to joke about so we don’t confront the stuff that isn’t.

      See if you can make a joke out of this: A police officer (who came to work for the city of Cleveland after leaving the Cleveland suburb Independence after a “dismal” performance in firearms qualification training) shot and killed a 12-year-old boy holding a pellet gun two seconds after pulling up in his squad car. The grand jury declined to indict, saying Officer Loehmann was not guilty, and that his actions didn’t even merit a trial.

    • Locating ‘The Black Body’ in Class & in History: What Ta-Nehisi Coates took from Richard Wright

      In this sense, contemplating the corpses of black victims of state-sanctioned violence becomes a lesson in not just localized corruption or individual cop racism, but in the very nature of the American political-economic system. The site of “the thing” stumbled upon becomes a privileged site of study, the particular horror from which the general history can be extrapolated. It is the singular site from which son Samori can and must begin to grasp the nature of American society.

    • Merkel’s Refugee Woes Unbroken as Sexual-Assault Reports Rise

      Merkel’s open-door refugee policy has blown open with the revelation of the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults, feeding opposition to migrants and widening the risks the chancellor faces at the start of 2016. With the number of women filing complaints soaring to more than 500 and the police seeking suspects, the latest stage in the crisis is still unfolding.

    • New video: A different story of James Barker’s death at the hands of police?

      A newly discovered video purportedly shows James Dudley Barker facedown with his hands behind him near the intersection of I Street and Second Avenue when a Salt Lake City police officer shoots him three times in the back.

      Officer Matthew Taylor was exonerated in the shooting after his body camera caught Barker swinging a snow shovel at the lawman. The body cam then stopped working. Police said a scuffle had ensued and Taylor, injured and fearing for his life, shot Barker.

    • Ayaan Hirsi Ali: female genital mutilation and Islam (WARNING: graphic content)

      Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s beautiful and inspiring memoir is titled Infidel. Born in Somalia, she escaped to the Netherlands from an arranged marriage; became a member of parliament; worked with Theo Van Gogh on a film critical of Islam; he was murdered by a Muslim fanatic; and she wound up in America, at a think tank. Along the way she freed herself from religion.

      Hirsi Ali had lived in Kenya and Saudi Arabia as well as Somalia, her father usually absent on revolutionary organizing. As a young woman she tried to be the perfect Muslim. But the Koran’s fulsome verbiage about Allah’s justness jarred with how unjustly she saw women treated.

    • 26-year-old Hacker Sent To Jail For 334 Years, Highest Ever For A Cybercriminal

      A 26-year-old hacker, Onur Kopçak, from Turkey, was sentenced to 135 years in prison on Sunday for stealing 11 people’s credit card information. This new prison sentence is served on top of his previous 199-year sentence from 2013. As a result, Kopçak will now serve a record 334 years in prison.

      This new sentence hs been approved by Mersin third Criminal Court of General Jurisdiction where he was accused of selling the stolen credit card records to other cyber criminals. He is already convicted for running a phishing scam that used fake bank websites to steal online banking credentials of 43 bank customers.

    • Louisiana Cop Targeted Hispanic Drivers In Traffic Thefts: Police

      Police say Laquinton Banks stole more than $1,600 from motorists who didn’t speak English.

    • Black Homes Matter: San Francisco’s Vanishing Black Population

      In a nutshell, as prominent San Francisco historian and veteran community activist Calvin Welch described to me, the city’s vast construction boom is designed to increase the value of property and to boost the profits of private developers instead of improving the lives of people and communities, especially those living on the sidelines of this great prosperous city.

    • Why some human rights groups avoid public opinion research—and why they’re wrong

      It is easy to understand that people are inclined to favor local human rights groups when they or their communities benefit directly from such activities. But human rights activities are often directed at minorities and marginalized populations—homosexuals in a conservative culture, an ethnic minority, refugees or immigrants, criminals, or an enemy in a conflict. Majority groups may find it hard to relate to those populations, driving negative attitudes towards both the organizations and even human rights as a principle. Whatever the reason, it is not uncommon to see human rights groups disliked or even vilified at home.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • FCC Study: We Still Suck At Bringing Quality Broadband To All Americans

      The FCC is required by Congress to annually “determine whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion,” something the FCC’s latest broadband status report (pdf) suggests we’re still doing a relatively crappy job at.

      According to the FCC, 34 million Americans, or roughly 10% of the country, “still lack access to fixed broadband at the FCC’s benchmark speed of 25 Mbps for downloads, 3 Mbps for uploads.” Two thirds of the country still lacks the choice of more than one broadband provider at speeds of 25 Mbps, and 41% of schools have yet to hit the FCC’s goals of providing speeds of 100 Mbps to students. The FCC also notes the United States is 16th out of the top 34 developed countries when it comes to uniform broadband penetration, thanks in large part to our size.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • In 2016, let’s hope for better trade agreements – and the death of TPP

      Last year was a memorable one for the global economy. Not only was overall performance disappointing, but profound changes – both for better and for worse – occurred in the global economic system.

    • TPP, India Top Most-Read IP-Watch Stories Of 2015

      The most-read stories of 2015 on the Intellectual Property Watch website fairly reflected the trends of the year, with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, India’s evolving intellectual property rights policies, European Patent Office patents on conventional vegetables, biologics, 3D printing, and some pop culture issues leading the way.

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