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02.16.16

Links 16/2/2016: FOSS Search Engine of Wikipedia, Street Fighter V on GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 6:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Year of Linux Depends on How You Define Linux

    It didn’t happen slowly. On the contrary, it was a thunderbolt…a deep, thrumming, resounding sense of being right, of being at the right place at the right time. A sense of finding something that you knew without doubt would be important in your life. There wasn’t any need to “think it through” or “evaluate the situation.” The moment I realized the power under my fingertips, even my self-identity changed. With that moment growing like a supernova inside of me, I fully took on that new identity. As that blazing power exploded from within me, I knew who I was. I was now a firebrand. It was six years ago this month that I knew who I was.

  • LXer Suffering From Scattered Outages

    If you’ve been trying to get on LXer and having no luck, it’s not just you. Today the site is unreachable for at least much of the U.S.

    The popular Linux and FOSS website LXer seems to be unreachable in many parts of the U.S. today. In the areas affected, users trying to reach the site are taken to a Network Solutions holding page instead.

    We first became aware of the problem at about 7 a.m. EST when an attempt to access the site took us to a Network Solutions landing page. We had visited the site several times in the previous hour without difficulty. At about 8 a.m., access to the site returned briefly, but by 9 a.m. the site was again unreachable. We haven’t been able to access the site since.

  • Desktop

    • If you’re a developer and not using Linux, I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but Linux ain’t one.

      It was sometime in late 2014 during my internship where I finally made the decision to switch to doing all my personal development projects on a Linux distro. I had been using a Ubuntu virtual machine while working as an intern and after a couple of weeks of using it properly and not like the way I was taught at University I began understanding why exactly so many people prefer Unix based systems over Windows for development.

    • Full Migration from Windows to Linux – Report #2 Software

      But I’ve made a move and started using Kdenlive on Linux Mint 17.3 to edit videos of my sister and I playing video games (not original sure, but we have fun doing it). The first thing I tried was to simply load in the recorded video plus audio from the mic and dive face first into editing it and attempting to do all the same things I do with my editing style with Premiere. This includes just simple stuff as fading from and to black, audio dips in keyframe moments (when coughing) splicing the video when cuts are needed and fading into other video (example on a video here) and laying video over other video in a lower corner. Simple things sure but I found all of these things and more within Kdenlive, even a few things I wish Premiere had but I guess that isn’t a problem any more! As for diving in face first you’ll just waste time, find someone who has put up a tutorial (I found this guy who goes into some nice detail but do look at several videos). Even if you know how non-linear video editing works in practice the software is an entirely different tool even if it’s doing the same thing.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • GSoC 2016 Project Survey, help me make Dolphin a better File Manager!

        I am a first year computer science undergraduate from BITS Pilani, Hyderabad Campus. I am looking forward to working for KDE for the GSoC.

      • Interview with Wes Nunes

        What I love about Krita? Just everything. Tools, brushes, it does not weigh on my computer, it was extremely easy to learn how to work on and it is a well-organized program. Not to mention that it has a beautiful interface. What else could I want in software?

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • distribution specific details

      To state the obvious: my personal preference is to run Debian GNU/Linux. My current workplace is a CentOS shop and usually I’m the first to claim that it doesn’t matter at all, and distribution specific implementation details are irrelevant for what we do (running a JVM).

    • Reviews

      • More distro tests on Lenovo G50

        How are we doing here? Well, okay. Not stellar, but not bad either. New technology will always take time getting adopted and implemented properly. For instance, UEFI is no longer an issue. But I am more worried about in-between-release inconsistency in the quality of drivers for the network and power management rather than the fact something works or not. Things that suddenly break are far more serious.

        Provided they work in the first place. Of the three major distro families, Red Hat is out of the picture. Ubuntu suffers from Wireless hiccups. Well, all of them really, to be honest. Bluetooth remains unreliable. And there are some other issues and problems. I won’t be comparing to Windows, because it really makes no sense. In fact, early on, Windows 10 had some major difficulties with the hardware, too.

        All in all, if you are keen on using Linux, statistically, your initial boot luck stands at about 75%, the probability of failing when it comes to networking is about 0.3, and if you need strong smartphone or Bluetooth support, you will be disappointed. Ubuntu clearly leads overall, which is kind of expected, haters be hating. Anyhow, this is where we stand, end of 2015 early 2016, a laptop that is less than one year old. If you are looking for the latest and greatest, hardware and Linux wise, the initial ride could be a little rough and tough. But definitely quite doable and fun. Provided you choose Ubuntu. Hard facts, 30+ distros tested. Hint: This is not the end of it. Far from it. We’ll get some more funky distros under our belt, or my name isn’t Sam. Maybe even Fedora. Who knows. Hint. See you around, fellas.

      • XStream Desktop 153

        Launching XStream’s system installer brings up a series of text screens. Each screen displays a group of fields or menus we a can navigate with the page up/down keys and the function keys. The installer begins by asking us on which hard disk we want to install XStream. We are then given the option of using the entire disk or installing XStream on a specific partition. Once we have selected a free partition, we are asked to provide a hostname for our computer. We are then given the option of automatically setting up networking using DHCP or we can set up our network card by manually providing network settings. We then select our time zone from a list and confirm the system clock has the correct time. The following screen gets us to create a password for the root account and set up a new user account for ourselves. The installer copies its files to our hard drive and then gives us the option to either view the installation log or quit. Taking the latter option returns us to the menu where we can run the installer, access a command line shell or reboot.

    • New Releases

      • Emmabuntüs Linux Debian Edition Announced, Dedicated to the Memory of Ian Murdock

        Patrick Emmabuntus informs Softpedia today about the immediate availability for download of the first Beta release of his future Emmabuntüs Debian Edition Linux operating system.

        Dedicated to the memory of Ian Murdock, the founder of the Debian Project, and based on the latest Debian GNU/Linux 8.3 operating system, Emmabuntüs Debian Edition 8 Beta is built around the lightweight Xfce desktop environment and includes all the latest software packages for educational use.

      • Black Lab Linux 7.0.3 GNOME Edition Officially Released with LibreOffice 5.1

        Softpedia has been informed today, February 16, by Roberto J. Dohnert, CEO of Black Lab Software, about the immediate availability for download of the Black Lab Linux 7.0.3 GNOME Edition computer operating system.

      • Linux Top 3: Clonezilla, Raspbian and LPS

        Raspbian is often considered to be the *default* distro for the Raspberry Pi (though of course the Pi has no true default as it’s just hardware..). Raspbian is based on Debian, optimized for the ARM chipset and small memory of the Raspberry Pi. The Raspbian 2016-02-03 milestone update is the latest release and according to Rapsbian developer Simon Long, “For most people, this is primarily updates and bug fixes to the existing Jessie image .”

        [...]

        The Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) distribution is intended to be used as a live CD to help users remain private. While the idea of a privacy focused distro is not unique (think Tails), LPS is developed by the U.S. Department of Defense.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Playing on OpenMandriva LX 2014.2

        I reinstalled OpenMandriva LX 2014.2 today. Last time I did, I had some problems updating: many packages were not found but, even so, I proceeded with the upgrading.

        The OS was working perfectly except for the performance of games on Steam.

        Today, I followed what I learned yesterday and, when I hit the first problem, I stopped the update and deleted all the repos. Then, I retrieved them again (they were marked as phosphorous 2014.0, which I believe was the previous version), but the update went on smoothly and I got the most recent packages, like Firefox 44.

      • Is PCLinuxOS Is the Best Rolling Release Distro?

        I realize the title of this article has already set some of you into a state of confusion. How dare I suggest that anything besides Arch could be the “best” rolling release distro, right?

        Well I’d counter with this: Arch is indeed awesome, it has dizzying fast performance and documentation that is second to none…however it’s modeled around the “Arch Way.” Meaning, if you want to learn more about Linux and its underpinnings, Arch is for you.

        On the other hand if you simply want an operating system that you install once and it’s ready for you right out of the box, then perhaps Arch isn’t for you. This is where I believe PCLinuxOS comes in.

      • LibreOffice 5.0.5, Distro Wars, PCLOS’s the Best

        LibreOffice 5.0.5 was released today for conservative users and larger organizations bring code clean-up as well as bug and security fixes. Elsewhere, Andrew Powell said no one distribution is any better than another – it’s all Linux. Matt Hartley declared PCLinuxOS the best rolling release distribution and Bruce Byfield said maybe free software is too good.

    • Slackware Family

      • Security update for Chromium 48

        Google released an update for Chrome/Chromium – their version 48 of the browser is now at “48.0.2564.109“. The chromium sources are still not available six days after the announcement, even though the official Chrome binary distributions were available right from the start. I think that this is inexcusable for a big company like Google, but this is not the first time that their autobots falter and no one cares enough to fix the release process. Notwithstanding some complaints by fellow application packagers.

    • Red Hat Family

      • NethServer 7 alpha2 released

        After a few months of hard work I’m proud to announce that NethServer 7 alpha2 has been released and is publicly available.

        Alpha2 is a big step forward on the path of innovation, now we can finally take full advantage of the power of Centos 7. At long last, many modules have been updated to last release available and some small features that were requested often have been added.

        We’re thrilled to share it with you and hear your feedback. We’ve got a lot of news to share with you, so let’s jump right into it.

      • NethServer 7 Linux Server OS Enters Development, Finally Based on CentOS 7

        Alessio Fattorini today, February 15, 2016, informs Softpedia about the availability for download and testing of the second Alpha builds of the upcoming NethServer 7 Linux-based, server-oriented operating system.

        Finally based on the stable and reliable CentOS 7 series of operating systems, NethServer 7 Alpha 2 comes today with over 100 rebuilt packages, as well as some of the latest server-oriented software, including, but not limited to, ownCloud 8.2, Roundcube Webmail 1.1.4, and Snort 2.9.8, which includes OpenAppID support.

      • Red Hat Inc (RHT) Stock Rating Lowered by TheStreet

        Red Hat Inc (NYSE:RHT) was downgraded by research analysts at TheStreet from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Thursday, MarketBeat.Com reports.

      • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) Pops 3.45% for February 15

        One of the S&P 500’s big winners for Monday February 15 was Red Hat Inc. (RHT) as the company’s stock climbed 3.45% to $64.11 on volume of 1.8 million shares.

      • Red Hat Certifies Rackspace to manage Their OpenStack deployments

        This development will invigorate Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform (RHEL OSP), to a certified option that enables customer organizations to automate the testing and deployment of in-house applications using a variety of languages. The distinction of RHEL OSP comes from the services that Red hat provides. In the recent move, the entire software deployment program was reinforced by Red Hat, around Docker containers and Google’s Kubernetes orchestration system in order to make their services more efficient.

      • Theater group finds success by acting like an open organization
      • Red Hat Inc (NYSE:RHT) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Buy” from Analysts

        Shares of Red Hat Inc (NYSE:RHT) have been given an average rating of “Buy” by the thirty-six research firms that are presently covering the stock, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, eight have issued a hold recommendation and twenty-five have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12-month price objective among analysts that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $89.33.

      • Fedora

        • Contribute! Get your wallpaper into Fedora 24

          The development of Fedora continues, nearly each 6 months a new release. With a new release of Fedora just on the horizon, it also means it’s time to start submitting and voting on new supplemental wallpapers for Fedora 24.

        • Pungi 4: the new generation of the Fedora compose tools, and what it means for QA

          Currently we have three distinct types of Fedora composes. Probably everyone knows about ‘nightly composes’ and TCs/RCs. You may not know about the post-release nightly Cloud composes. (I’m not counting the live respins, which are demi-semi-official and not produced by releng).

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 6.0 about to take flying leap off long term support cliff

        2016 is a leap year so we’re all blessed with an extra day to use. And the folks behind Debian Linux are using it to end support for the sixth version of the distro.

        The outfit’s announcement reminds users that Debian 6.0 debuted back on February 6th, 2011. That little piece of history means the project’s Long Term Support goal “ to extend the lifetime of all Debian stable releases to (at least) 5 years” can and will be invoked.

      • Derivatives

        • Debian-Based Elive 2.6.14 Linux Distro Is a Special Valentine’s Day Beta Release

          While Valentine’s Day is passed us now, it looks like some are a little bit late to the party, as the developers of the Debian-based Elive Linux distribution announced today, February 15, 2016, the release of yet another Beta build.

        • Debian/TeX Live 2015.20160215-1

          About one month has passed and here is the usual updated of TeX Live packages for Debian. While I am not really calling for testers at the moment, building of preliminary packages for TeX Live 2016 has begone. The binaries are already uploaded to experimental, and arch=all packages for experimental will follow soon.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch Devs Work on OTA-10 and OTA-9.1 Updates, Ubuntu Tablet Enablement

            Łukasz Zemczak of Canonical has sent in his daily email report today, February 15, 2016, informing us all about the latest work done in the Ubuntu Touch world in preparation for the upcoming OTA updates and devices.

          • Ubuntu Phone To Gain Biometric Security Features

            Canonical has partnered with ConsenSYS and BlockApps to provide “web wallet and biometric identity tools on Ubuntu devices” using Ethereum, the decentralized public blockchain protocol.

            As part of the collaboration BlockApps’ Nimbus uPort Biometric Digital Identity tool have been ported to run on Ubuntu phones and tablets.

          • Ubuntu’s Convergence and What it Means for Linux

            A device that essentially merges two operating systems while running both effectively without any fail has for long been a sorted technology – it existed however, in a somewhat mediocre fashion that is well, very unimpressive but still appealed to those that fancied it – to the extent necessary.

          • Meizu New Ubuntu Phone To Launch on February 22

            For quite some time now, the phone manufacturer has been building up suspense about its latest offering. The device is said to be the upgrade of its previous device, the MX4. A teaser regarding its latest device is posted on Weibo and with has the date Feb. 22; confirming the launch will happen at the MWC 2016 event in Barcelona, reports Phones Review.

          • Meizu PRO 5 Mini Leaks And Gets Compared To Meizu PRO 5
          • Rumor: Meizu MX6 To Sport A 4,000mAh Battery & Cost $276
          • Ubuntu Leadership Team Is Now Apart Of Ubuntu Community Team

            I few weeks ago, I tried to reboot the Ubuntu Leadership team but quickly found out that there is no one or anyone in the mood to do it. I have decided to merge the Leadership Team’s efforts with the Ubuntu Community Team because of the reason above and also for the reason that Ubuntu Community is an organic community with no hard lines. The Ubuntu Leadership team’s Lauchpad page, wiki pages, and mailing-list will stay but I stated that, “Ubuntu Leadership Team has merged with Ubuntu Community Team in order to keep resources focused on leadership”.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • FAO Symposium On Agricultural Biotech Raises Lobbying Concerns

      At issue, according to a joint press release (Via Campesina, Grain, and ETC Group), is the agenda, which they find unbalanced as it includes speakers from industry such as, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, CropLife International, and CEVA among others, which they say are promoting GMOs, while they found only one speaker openly critical of GMOs.

    • Jeremy Hunt launches doctor morale inquiry – here’s a sneak preview of its findings…

      Before a politician can ride off into the multimillion pound corporate sunset, he or she has to be ruthless – but also astute enough to convince the public that mangling public services is NOT about corporate capture.

      As the Junior Doctors stood up to protect patients and expose the government’s latest NHS misadventures, one could almost see the beads of sweat flow on Jeremy Hunt’s brow.

    • Chair Of WIPO Committee On Genetic Resources Issues Draft Plan For The Week

      The World Intellectual Property Organization committee working on policy solutions to protect genetic resources and traditional knowledge from misuse and misappropriation resumed its work today after a year hiatus. The newly elected chair, from Australia, issued an indicative methodology and programme for the week.

    • 7-Day NHS

      This drive for changing the way the NHS operates has been frequently used by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt as the reason why a change to junior doctor and consultant contracts is needed. But what does it actually mean? John Ware explores what a seven-day NHS would look like, what evidence there is that it’s needed, and, crucially, whether we can afford it.

    • Seven-day NHS may not cut death rates, say Hunt’s own officials

      Jeremy Hunt’s key argument in his demands for a seven-day service in NHS hospitals has been called into question by his own department, in a leaked report which says it is not able to prove that fuller staffing would lower the numbers of weekend-admitted patients dying.

      The report also admits it will be “challenging” to meet the government’s promise to recruit 5,000 more GPs by 2020, a Conservative pledge during the election campaign, and that 11,000 new staff will be needed to run a seven-day service in hospitals.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • GOP Frontrunner: ‘Bush Lied, People Died’

      Pardon me while I sit back and enjoy the panic of the Republican – and media – elites as the GOP frontrunner takes up that old left-wing antiwar slogan: “Bush lied – people died!” That’s the essence of what Donald Trump said at Saturday’s South Carolina GOP presidential debate when moderator John Dickerson – who smirked his way through the entire debate – asked Trump if he still thought George W. Bush should be impeached as he supposedly said in a long ago interview…

    • [Russian media] Time for Washington to Admit ‘Russia Is Right on Syria’

      Moscow warned the US about the consequences of interfering in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and happened to be right. In the Syrian conflict, Russia also turned out more clear-sighted. Washington has to admit that both countries will benefit from cooperation and start supporting Moscow’s strategy in Syria, a US analyst wrote.

    • Assad Explains Why He is Not Ruling Out Turkish, Saudi Invasion of Syria

      Syrian president Bashar al-Assad spoke to AFP news agency in an exclusive interview on the developments in Syria and the region.

    • Pro-War GOP Boos Donald Trump

      His bigoted comments about Mexicans and Muslims aside, billionaire Donald Trump actually makes some common sense when he talks about working with Russia, Iran and other powers to bring the Mideast wars to an end, rather than pushing for endless “regime change,” Sam Husseini notes.

    • Hillary Clinton and the Syrian Bloodbath

      This is the kind of compulsive misrepresentation that makes Clinton unfit to be President. Clinton’s role in Syria has been to help instigate and prolong the Syrian bloodbath, not to bring it to a close.

    • Just Say No to Draft Registration for Women – and Men

      Testifying before the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee in early February, Generals Mark A. Milley (the US Army’s chief of staff) and Robert B. Neller (commandant of the US Marine Corps) endorsed extending mandatory Selective Service registration to women. Because, you know, equality.

      I have a better idea. It’s time to end draft registration for everyone. Because, you know, freedom.

      The US hasn’t involuntarily inducted men into military service since 1973, but reinstated mandatory registration in 1980. Ever since, the shadow of legal slavery has loomed over the lives of American males aged 18 through 26.

    • Obama Proposes Removing Human Rights Conditions on Aid to Egypt

      The budget proposal released by the Obama administration Tuesday seeks to roll back restrictions Congress has placed on foreign aid to Egypt’s military regime and the sale of crowd control weapons to “emerging democracies.”

      Under current law, 15 percent of aid to Egypt is subject to being withheld based on human rights conditions — although even that can be waived if it is deemed to be in the national security interest of the United States, as it was last year.

    • Are British values really Islamic values?

      The critic and commentator Ziauddin Sardar has been addressing such issues since the 1980s. He has been an outspoken proponent of the view that it is the English who must compromise to make room for others. For him, Muslims can live compatibly in Britain because what is good and civilised in British values is indebted to Islam. I concentrate on his comments in the introduction to his recent book, Muslims in Britain, which he co-authored with Waqar Ahmad.

    • Four Hospitals Bombed In One Day In Syria, Including Doctors Without Borders Facility

      Airstrikes hit a hospital in northern Syria Monday, leaving seven dead and at least eight missing, according to Doctors Without Borders, which manages the hospital located in Maarat al-Noaman.

      No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. According to the New York Times, both Russian and Syrian planes operate in the area where it took place.

      A second hospital in Maarat al-Noaman was also hit by airstrikes on Monday, killing three and wounding six. And in Azaz, located in the northwestern province of Aleppo, two more hospitals and a school building housing displaced people were also hit by airstrikes on Monday. Those attacks killed 15 people, and wounded up to 40 others.

    • Trump is Right About Iraq, and That Should Stick to Clinton

      Last night, he screamed an anti-war stance to the boos of Bush’s and Rubio’s and Kasich’s one percent donors. It’s only half of what needed to be said, but it was a measure of reality that’s desperately needed.

    • Erdogan uses ISIS to suppress Kurds, West stays silent – Turkish MP

      President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been using ISIS to advance his Middle East policy and suppress the Kurds, and Ankara’s elite maintains vibrant economic ties with the terror group and harbors its militants, a Turkish MP has told Russian media.

    • Turkey Uses the Islamic State as Strategic Resource

      Ankara, Feb 15 (Prensa Latina) Turkish deputy Selma Irmak said today that the president of his country, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, used the terrorist group Islamic State against the Kurds in Syria and as a resource for strategic purposes in the Middle East.
      The People’s Democratic Party legislator told media that the Turkish president has a great Ottoman Empire in his head and uses the IS as a tool for such purposes.

      Irmak also said that Erdogan cannot send the Turkish army directly into Syrian territory and that is why he uses the IS as a weapon against the Kurds on the grounds that the Kurdish advance threatens national security because it strengthens the pro-independence purposes of Turkish Kurdistan.

    • Erdogan’s Cruel Calculus: Killing Kurds at Home and in Syria Means Votes

      Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has attacked Kurds in neighboring Syria in order to win popular support at home and because he was wary about the gains they had been making against anti-government groups, according to Selma Irmak, a Turkish parliament deputy from the Democratic Party of Peoples (DPN).

    • Erdogan’s Domestic War for a Presidential System in Turkey

      The current war against the Kurds and oppositional voices is being waged to push an autocratic presidential system.

      The surprising electoral success of the pro-Kurdish HDP in last year’s June 7 elections denied the ruling AKP a majority for the first time since 2002 – a majority the AKP needs in order to make President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s dream of regime change come true. Early elections were set for Nov. 1, 2015. In the lead up, the Turkish state stepped up repressions against the HDP and its supporters, violently imposed military curfews in predominantly Kurdish cities, while ending the peace process with the PKK had ended.

    • Over 500, Including Children, Killed in Turkey’s Kurdistan Since Sept 2015

      Over 500 people, including 50 children and 120 women, have been killed in armed clashes between the Kurds and the Turkish military over the past six months, Selma Irmak, a co-chair of the Pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Congress (DTK) and a lawmaker from the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), said.

    • The NSA’s SKYNET program may be killing thousands of innocent people

      In 2014, the former director of both the CIA and NSA proclaimed that “we kill people based on metadata.” Now, a new examination of previously published Snowden documents suggests that many of those people may have been innocent.

      Last year, The Intercept published documents detailing the NSA’s SKYNET programme. According to the documents, SKYNET engages in mass surveillance of Pakistan’s mobile phone network, and then uses a machine learning algorithm on the cellular network metadata of 55 million people to try and rate each person’s likelihood of being a terrorist.

      Patrick Ball—a data scientist and the executive director at the Human Rights Data Analysis Group—who has previously given expert testimony before war crimes tribunals, described the NSA’s methods as “ridiculously optimistic” and “completely bullshit.” A flaw in how the NSA trains SKYNET’s machine learning algorithm to analyse cellular metadata, Ball told Ars, makes the results scientifically unsound.

    • Trump Booed For Saying Bush ‘Lied’ About WMD In Iraq
    • Obama’s Most Momentous Decision

      President Obama must decide if he will let the Syrian civil war come to an end with Russian-backed President Assad still in power or if he will escalate by supporting a Turkish-Saudi invasion, which could push the world to the brink of nuclear war, writes Joe Lauria.

    • Indonesia’s Jihadi Extremist Group Is Rebounding, Experts and Members Say

      Since last month, when supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) launched an attack with guns and bombs at a bustling Jakarta intersection, attention has returned to the jihadist threat in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country. JI was for many years the face of extremism in the nation, responsible for a series of bombings in the early 2000s that killed hundreds and prompted a crackdown that successfully jailed many of the group’s leaders.

    • REVEALED: Mark Zuckerberg now has 16 bodyguards working at his $7million Palo Alto home after ‘death threats’ from unstable users

      When Mark Zuckerberg got his first bodyguard in 2011, it made headlines. But those days must seem quaint to the Facebook founder, who is now reported to have no less than 16 people protecting him at his $7million home in Palo Alto, California.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Fossil fuels are now a bad bet, investors told

      Investors in fossil fuels are being warned that they may risk losing their money, because the markets for coal and liquefied natural gas are disappearing.

      In both cases it is competition from renewables, principally wind and solar power, that is being blamed for the threat. The cost of electricity from renewables continues to fall in Europe and Asia as the numbers of wind and solar installations grow in both continents, cutting demand for imported gas and coal.

      Two separate reports on coal and gas were published at the same time as a round of annual financial reports from oil companies showed that this third fossil fuel could be in serious trouble too.

      Despite massive cutbacks on exploration and development, companies like Shell and BP still need a price of US$60 a barrel by the end of this year if they are to break even on many of their current projects – almost double the current market price.

    • Water Scarcity Crisis Even Worse than Previously Thought

      When the World Economic Forum, a Swiss non-profit dedicated to “improving the state of the world,” released its annual Global Risks Report last year it cited “water crises” as the number one global risk in terms of impact. This is significant because for the past 8 years, the number one global risk in terms of impact had been financial in nature (either asset price collapse, fiscal crises, or major systemic financial failure), but 2015 was the first year that saw a climate related issue top the list of risks.

    • Don’t drink the water: Flint is just the latest in a long line of disposable communities. It’s time to act

      To explain why fossil fuels are both a health issue and a justice issue, let’s start with coal. Whole communities have been destroyed in Appalachia, where they literally blow up mountaintops to extract hard-to-reach coal. The process, called mountaintop removal, poisons area streams, causing high rates of cancer and birth defects among the people who live nearby.

      [...]

      There are many, many more examples of water being poisoned as a result of fossil fuels, whether in the production, transportation or disposal of the waste. There have been devastating oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and the Kalamazoo River. There’s water so polluted it’s flammable in Pennsylvania, where natural gas is extracted through hydraulic fracturing, a process that injects chemical-laden water deep into the earth. Afterward the toxic brew has to be disposed of somewhere. A new study of fracking waste water wells in south Texas shows that they are most likely to be in communities of color, most frequently Hispanic.

    • Impact of forest fires on Papua on climate change agenda

      Avenues for recourse against so-called climate crimes by Indonesia are limited, a speaker at a climate change conference at New Zealand’s Victoria University says.

  • Finance

    • Decentralized Media: Devon Read on Alexandria

      Ever feel bogged down by ads when trying to access media? Ever get upset that content has been censored by governments or businesses? Ever wish people had more power in regards to how content is monetized? These problems may be solved with this new decentralized media project.

    • UK inflation rises to 0.3% in January

      UK inflation edged up to a 12 month high in January, as a fall in petrol prices eased.

      Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, rose by 0.3%. It was helped by smaller falls in food and fuel prices than a year ago.

      Annual inflation has been below the Bank of England’s 2% target for two years, and last year it was zero.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Latest 60 Minutes Propaganda: We Need a Crypto Back Door because ISIS Is “Coming Here” with WMD

      It has been clear for several years now that 60 Minutes has become a propaganda vehicle for the intelligence community (post, post, post). So it was unsurprising that John Brennan was given an opportunity to fearmonger last night without pesky people like Ron Wyden around pointing out that CIA itself poses a threat, even according to the terms laid out by the Intelligence Community.

      I find the timing and content of John Brennan’s appearance of note.

    • Bernie Sanders’ Phantom Movement

      Bernie Sanders, who has attracted numerous young, white, college-educated supporters in his bid for the presidency, says he is creating a movement and promises a political revolution. This rhetoric is an updated version of the “change” promised by the 2008 campaign of Barack Obama and by Jesse Jackson’s earlier National Rainbow Coalition. Such Democratic electoral campaigns, at best, raise political consciousness. But they do not become movements or engender revolutions. They exist as long as election campaigns endure and then they vanish. Sanders’ campaign will be no different.

      No movement or political revolution will ever be built within the confines of the Democratic Party. And the repeated failure of the American left to grasp the duplicitous game being played by the political elites has effectively neutered it as a political force. History, after all, should count for something.

    • Playing the Victim Card, Hillary Clinton Betrays Women

      Meanwhile, the popular trivialization of Sanders’ supporters as “Bernie bros” and “Bernie-splainers” perpetuates Steinem’s misrepresentation of Sanders’ supporters as “boys” followed by brainless female groupies. Both Albright and Steinem accuse young women of treachery and abandonment for having their own political opinions, encouraging them to reverse their position out of a sense of shame and guilt.

    • Trump and Sanders Offer Illusions of Solutions

      Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are the antithesis of the conventional politician. They are not programmed, their lines are not focus-group tested, and they take positions far outside the mainstream. But the victory speeches they gave in New Hampshire Tuesday night showed they have mastered the oldest political trick of all: promising things they can’t deliver.

  • Censorship

    • Russian Purge: Putin Doesn’t Need to Censor Books. Publishers Do It for Him.

      Really, he insists. Danishevsky has an I’m-on-top-of-the-world demeanor that is rapidly going out of style in Moscow. He wears a hipster beard and a most daring combination of stripes in his shirts and jackets, and he schedules his meetings at an ostentatiously overpriced central Moscow cafe frequented by celebrities of the vaguely oppositional ilk. At 25, he may be forgiven for being a little slow to realize that the era of fabulous flaunting is ending: The oil boom in Vladimir Putin’s Russia is the only life he has known. This makes him all the more remarkable — at his age, he is editor of his own imprint at one of the country’s publishing conglomerates, and he takes more literary and political risks than all of his mainstream colleagues combined. He says that this is because no one tells him what to do.

    • Legislator calls for movie censorship

      Movies should be reviewed for discriminatory and offensive comments toward Aborigines before being approved for release, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩) said yesterday, following controversy over the new film David Loman 2 (大尾鱸鰻2).

      “If there is any discriminatory wording, it should be revised or deleted before the film is allowed to be released,” said Chen, who is a Puyuma community representative for Plains Aborigines.

    • A letter to our readers: On censorship

      From military censorship to the government deciding who is and isn’t a journalist, Israeli authorities use various tools to interfere with the press. An important disclosure to our readers.

    • Portugal: Waves of layoffs hollow out press

      If there was any room left for doubt, the closing months of 2015 were enough to prove that Portuguese journalism is facing a serious challenge from which it probably won’t emerge the same. From October to December 2015, four media groups announced that they preparing to lay off workers, including journalists.

      These recent cuts are a continuation of the long-term trend: between 2007 and 2014, more than 1,200 journalists — about 20 per cent of the total number of media professionals — have lost their jobs in Portugal, according to a study by Observatório da Comunicação.

    • The tech industry’s greater responsibility

      Today, Internet censorship is becoming a growing concern among dozens of developing countries. In the mid-1990s, China began blocking foreign websites and saw successful results, proving to other authoritarian countries wishing to control their constituents that these types of regulations are well worth the effort. Since then, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Azerbaijan, Syria and others have followed China’s footsteps and began implementing regulations censoring Internet activity.

      This means that the people living within these countries are unable to access information from the outside world. Thus, they are fed filtered information that praises their leadership and government, and because they are not exposed to varying and contrary opinions, are susceptible to believing and accepting their government’s authoritarian policies. In western countries we often take our first amendment right for granted. We are allowed to say, write, and scream whatever we’d like about our government without the risk of being jailed or beaten. We’re allowed, even encouraged, to question policies and think differently. If only this were the case worldwide.

    • Censorship has no place among college administration

      At the start of the Fall 2015 semester, freshmen arrived at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland hoping to receive a top-notch education. As a part of their orientation, students were given a survey in an effort to help them discover more about themselves. This survey would later become the center of huge controversy involving the university’s president, faculty terminations and censorship.

      When the university’s president Simon Newman came into office in December 2014, he promised to “start the university on a more aggressive growth trajectory,” according to the Baltimore Sun. In light of recent events, this statement is probably truer than intended—or at least the aggressive bit.

    • Standing Against Henrico County’s Censorship of Multicultural Education

      The African American Policy Forum (AAPF) and the National Association for Ethnic Studies (NAES) express grave concerns about the recent decision of the Board of Education in Henrico County, Virginia to censor educational material pertaining to racial inequality. The actions of the Board represent a troubling trend in public education that undermines the goals of promoting a healthy democratic society.

    • Racial inequality cartoon banned after parents complain, Washington Post reports
    • Online movement against film censorship

      The indiscriminate cuts introduced by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in the recent Hollywood superhero film Deadpool have prompted an online movement against film censorship inspired by and modelled on the SaveTheInternet.in coalition’s recent successful campaign for Net neutrality.

      Not long ago, after the latest Bond film was badly “mutilated” by the censors, ‘Sanskari James Bond’ had became a buzzword online. When the Deadpool censoring news broke, it prompted a discussion on the online forum Reddit on the cruel butchering of the film. One of the participants in that discussion, Sharath C.George, who describes himself as a regular corporate guy working in social media analytics in Bangalore, happened to see a web page on which the CBFC revamp committee, headed by filmmaker Shyam Benegal, was soliciting public opinion and comments on censorship.

    • Pro-Israel Fraternity Scandal Erupts at U of Chicago, Where Authorities Have Long Ignored Its Culture of Racism

      Exposed by an anonymous whistleblower and published by Buzzfeed, the emails were sent on a listserv of the AEPi fraternity between 2011 and 2015. The communications contained racist rants trashing Martin Luther King Jr., referred to an abandoned lot as “Palestine,” and maligned a Muslim student activist as a “terrorist.”

    • Turkish Journalists Make a Stand Against Erdogan’s Censorship

      A group of journalists from Istanbul are confronting the propaganda of the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan by forcing their way to the unofficial Kurdish capital of Turkey, Diyarbakir, in an attempt to tell the truth about what’s happening on the battlefield.

    • Google Really Messes Up: From “Muslims Support Terrorism” To “Islam Does Not Support Terrorism”

      After the Google search suggestion issue of ‘Muslims Support Terrorism’ was first raised by Hind Makki, it looks like Google has seriously worked on its search algorithm. Now, the search engine recommends ‘Islam does not support Terrorism’ after that incident.

    • Why Is Facebook Taking Down Marijuana Dispensary Pages?

      The social network is going after what it claims are violations of its “Community Standards”

  • Privacy

    • New Survey Suggests U.S. Encryption Ban Would Just Send Market Overseas

      If the U.S. government tries to strong-arm American companies into ending the sale of products or applications with unbreakable encryption, the technology won’t disappear, a group of researchers conclude in a new report. It would still be widely available elsewhere.

      Some U.S. law enforcement officials argue that unbreakable encryption is interfering with legal surveillance of suspected criminals and terrorists. And some members of Congress are pushing for a nationwide requirement that encryption allow for law-enforcement access.

    • The real colonialism of Silicon Valley

      When the Indian government decided to say “thanks but no thanks” to Facebook’s Free Basics service, some folks associated with the company seemed upset by the very, well, freedom of such a decision.

      Free Basics, aka Internet.org, is Facebook’s attempt to give free Internet to people in developing countries, with the slight catch that Facebook decides which parts of that Internet they can have.

      How dare a government tell its people what they can or can’t have? That’s Facebook’s job.

      Indeed, Facebook board member Marc Andreessen was so upset that he called the decision “morally wrong.”

    • Why Internet Advertising Needs to Be Regulated

      Back in the late 1980s, cigarette smoking was permitted in supermarkets where I live, but there was a move afoot — a ballot issue I believe — to put an end to that. At the time I was doing a four hour daily stint at the local newstalk radio station, and the proposed ban was, of course, a major topic of on-air conversation with our listeners. Pretty much, most of our audience was against the ban, as we have a sizable and vocal minority — maybe a majority — of folks here in North Carolina who think they should be able to do whatever they like, whenever they like, without much regulation. There was something of a consensus among our listeners that smoking or no should be up to the store owners.

      [...]

      We’re all tired of being followed around as we travel on the web. Advertisers know this, and some might even agree with us. Even if they do, however, there’s not much they can do about it. If a large ad network were to act on some better instinct and quit placing tracking cookies for the targeting of ads, their earnings would tank and they’d lose their shirts because they’d no longer be offering what the industry thinks it needs. Ad buyers would abandon them, and those who stay would demand greatly reduced rates for what is perceived as a less effective product.

    • Access to Connection Data: French Council of State Flees EU Debate

      The French Council of State has released an eagerly awaited decision (fr) on the validity of administrative access to connection data. La Quadrature du Net, French Data Network and the FDN Federation have been calling into question the Military Programmation Law (LPM) and its application decree that enables the administration to access connection data without requiring any judicial control. By refusing to repeal the decree and to transmit the question to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for a preliminary ruling, the Council of State avoids any judicial debate and isolates French vis-à-vis EU case law.

    • Self Hosting – The good and the bad.

      When it comes to website hosting, the need for a stable site is crucial so picking the right hosting company to go for is something you need to think long and hard about. In my case I’ve been very lucky and when funds dictate, i’ll go with UK based company Memset. When funds are an issue I’ll self host. This for me is a good and bad thing, here let me explain.

      I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked in the web hosting industry for a while, so being able to setup my own server and webhosting system, is a godsend, but it also has it’s own problems.

    • GCHQ phone and computer hacking is legal and fine

      Privacy International, which was behind the challenge, is understandably disappointed at the ruling that surveillance is A-OK, and will challenge it again.

      “The IPT today held that GCHQ hacking of computers, mobile devices and networks is lawful, wherever it occurs around the world. We are disappointed that the IPT has not upheld our complaint and we will challenge its findings,” said Scarlet Kim, legal officer at Privacy International, in a statement.

      “Our complaint is the first UK legal challenge to state-sponsored hacking, an exceptionally intrusive form of surveillance. We contended that GCHQ hacking operations were incompatible with democratic principles and human rights standards.

      “We further argued that GCHQ, which until these proceedings was hacking in secret, had no clear authority under UK law to deploy these capabilities.”

      Privacy International has plenty to challenge, and will invoke European human rights as it pushes this forward through other, hopefully, more receptive, courts.

    • NSA: National Security, Art

      “Artists work within political realities, no matter what the content or focus of the work,” says artist Laura Poitras, whose exhibition, “Astro Noise,” opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art on February 5. “Art is alive. It’s vital.”

      Poitras made headlines with her 2014 documentary, Citizenfour, which details her trip to Hong Kong to speak to NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden. “Astro Noise” explores many of the issues in Poitras’s films: surveillance, the American response to 9/11, the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, and the drone wars. She denies that her work takes a “stance” and is hesitant to claim that her work is any more political than other artists’. When “Astro Noise” opened, the Whitney was hosting a Frank Stella retrospective on its fifth floor, filled with large abstract works. Certainly, Stella lived within a political reality, but it’s hard to tell from what’s mounted on the walls. For Poitras to deny that she’s working in a particularly political mode seems querulous and evasive. Some works are certainly more politically and socially engaged than others. To deny that just seems silly.

    • GCHQ information security arm CESG awards six firms Certified Cyber Security Consultancy status

      CESG, the Information Security arm of GCHQ, has announced the first group of firms to be certified under its new Certified Cyber Security Consultancy scheme.

  • Civil Rights

    • What has happened to the West and its men? The hypnotic dance of death

      In my correspondence regarding the events in Cologne, an editor of a Russian newspaper asked me a natural, but discouraging question; “Where were the German men?”, he inquired of me, perplexed.

      Indeed, for us who grew up in Soviet Russia, it would be inconceivable that some drunk young people could publicly mock and harass girls on New Year’s Eve in the very center of Moscow or Saint Petersburg. If they dared to do this, they wouldn’t survive until the morning, they would become “martyrs” and would have their way with 72 virgins in a completely different realm.

    • ‘Preserving the Balance’ by Maintaining a Conservative Supreme Court

      On CNN‘s State of the Union today (2/14/16), Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward laid out the “potential minefield” posed by a liberal Supreme Court appointment to “everyone, including Hillary Clinton and the Obama White House.”

    • Elizabeth Warren Rips Into Republicans For Pledging To Block Supreme Court Process
    • Supreme Court Contention: It Didn’t Start With Bork

      It’s true that there was an era when the Senate almost always gave near-complete deference to presidents’ judgment in naming Supreme Court justices; from William McKinley through John F. Kennedy, almost all nominees were confirmed, generally by voice vote. When there was a recorded vote, margins of confirmation were typically wide, as with FDR’s William Douglas (confirmed 62–4) or Eisenhower’s John Harlan (71–11). The only nominee to be rejected during this seven-decade era was Herbert Hoover’s choice of Judge John Parker in 1930, whom the NAACP lobbied against because of his opposition to African-American suffrage. (Parker was also seen as anti-labor.)

    • How America Was Lost

      Once upon a time, the death of a Supreme Court justice wouldn’t have brought America to the edge of constitutional crisis. But that was a different country, with a very different Republican Party. In today’s America, with today’s G.O.P., the passing of Antonin Scalia has opened the doors to chaos.

      In principle, losing a justice should cause at most a mild disturbance in the national scene. After all, the court is supposed to be above politics. So when a vacancy appears, the president should simply nominate, and the Senate approve, someone highly qualified and respected by all.

    • El Nino Scalia

      Antonin Scalia is dead. Say what you will, there is no rejoicing from me. Was Nino a malefactor in Supreme Court jurisprudence over the decades since his confirmation on September 26, 1986? Yes, and an irascible one as well. Once Bork got Borked, Scalia was the whipping post for all liberals, on the continuity of the spectrum. Did he earn that status? Yes, and maybe then some.

    • Ted Cruz’s Definition of Torture Is So Extreme, His Father’s Torture Might Not Even Qualify

      Ted Cruz, who has long been an outspoken opponent of torture, reversed himself during Saturday’s Republican presidential debate when he endorsed an extreme and discredited definition of torture: that anything that inflicts less pain than losing an organ doesn’t count.

      That definition, which Cruz said was “generally recognized,” is anything but. It comes from a 2003 Justice Department memo that the department later rescinded, acknowledging that it was full of slipshod legal arguments, clouded by ideology, and written under pressure from CIA officials who had already begun to torture terror suspects.

    • British Bill of Rights: Today at the Ministry of Justice

      There is speculation that the long-awaited proposals for a British Bill of Rights will be published this week.

    • Israel boycott ban: Shunning Israeli goods to become criminal offence for public bodies and student unions

      Local councils, public bodies and even some university student unions are to be banned by law from boycotting “unethical” companies, as part of a controversial crackdown being announced by the Government.

      Under the plan all publicly funded institutions will lose the freedom to refuse to buy goods and services from companies involved in the arms trade, fossil fuels, tobacco products or Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

      Any public bodies that continue to pursue boycotts will face “severe penalties”, ministers said.

    • After Seven Long Years, the Question Remains: Who Killed Rafael Solis in a Texas Jail?

      In 2009, Rafael Solis, a 38-year-old father of two, was taken into custody in Webb County, Texas, for falling behind on child support payments. Within days, he died in jail in Laredo after suffering extensive physical injuries, and the Webb County coroner ruled the death a homicide. After seven years with no prosecutions, Solis’ mother is crying out for justice.

      Maria Escamilla says she learned of her son’s death after the Webb County jail phoned and asked her to go to a gas station. It was there that two deputies gave her the news. They would say only that “[h]e was just lying on the [jail] floor,” according to Escamilla.

    • The Islamic extremists taking over UK prisons: Muslims make up just one in 20 Britons – but one in SEVEN inmates. As Levi Bellfield embraces Islam, we reveal how fanatics recruit behind bars in ‘jihadi jails’

      Friday morning in Wakefield Prison and Yusuf Rahim joins 60 other Muslim prisoners as they head to the jail’s gym to say their prayers. If nothing else, it is a chance to get out of his cell and take a break from the normal routine.

      The same goes for the halal food the 47-year-old is served every mealtime — Rahim is particularly partial to the spicy vegetable curry — an improvement on the normal prison fare.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The surprising truth about Facebook’s Internet.org

      You may have heard that Internet.org is a nonprofit organization launched by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and dedicated to bringing Internet access to people who can’t access it, or can’t afford it.

      But this isn’t true — not any of it.

      The realities of Internet.org came into question last week when India banned it from the country. If the Internet is good, and Internet.org simply exists to get people on it, why was it banned?

      Let’s start with a basic question.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • UN Panel On Access To Medicines Extends Deadline For Contributions

      The panel is calling for contributions from “all related stakeholders in, but not limited to, government, the private sector, research institutions, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, legal experts and patient groups that address the policy incoherence between international human rights law, trade rules and public health objectives.”

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Openclipart: a library of public domain images

        In the past five years, I’ve contributed more than 300 clip art graphics to Openclipart.org. There were some works I liked more than others, of course, but I believe sticking with it is important.

        All of the clip art on the site is public domain, so there are no rights reserved. And, you can use the images however you want—even for commercial purposes—with no need to acknowledge the original creator (though I always appreciate it when someone does that for me).

        Openclipart’s site encourages remixing with features like commenting, collections, and links to derivative works and original material. It’s exciting to see another person latch on to an idea from one of my clips and make it their own.

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