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03.20.16

Links 20/3/2016: Clair 1.0, UbuntuBSD

Posted in News Roundup at 5:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Developers, Open Source Software Changing the Face of Networking

    It’s been five years since Marc Andreessen wrote an essay published in the Wall Street Journal that proclaimed “software is eating the world.” By now, we can consider networking just about chewed and swallowed.

    We are beginning to realize how much software-defined networking is changing everything. As ON.Lab Executive Director Guru Parulkar puts it, the “softwarization” of networking is not only changing how users manage networks, but everything the network touches.

  • Digital Video and Dwango “Create” OpenToonz
  • The animation software behind Futurama and Studio Ghibli’s films is going open source
  • Animation Production Software “OpenToonz” To Be Released on March 26
  • Toonz Software Used by Studio Ghibli and ‘Futurama’ Being Made Free and Open Source
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Memory Usage of Firefox with e10s Enabled
      • A WebAssembly Milestone: Experimental Support in Multiple Browsers

        WebAssembly is an emerging standard whose goal is to define a safe, portable, size- and load-time efficient binary compiler target which offers near-native performance—a virtual CPU for the Web. WebAssembly is being developed in a W3C Community Group (CG) whose members include Mozilla, Microsoft, Google and Apple.

      • Advantages of WebExtensions for Developers

        Presently, Firefox supports two main kinds of add-ons. First were XUL or XPCOM add-ons, which interface directly with the browser’s internals. They are fabulously powerful, as powerful as the browser itself. However, with that power comes security risk and the likelihood that extensions will break as the browser changes.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Mitaka RC 1 Milestones Debut

      The first out of the gate is the Glance image project, which released its Mitaka RC1 milestone on March 16. Glance was quickly followed the same day by Heat, Neutron and Nova.

  • Databases

    • Oracle’s letter to Russian IT companies

      It says that Oracle Corp. sent a special Postgres-related letter to at least several big Russian IT companies. In the letter Oracle is suggesting the ways to protect Oracle DBMS from migration to Postgres in government organizations and big Russian companies where many years Oracle was the default DBMS choice.

    • Firebird project repository was migrated to GitHub

      SVN repository is still accessible, but new contributions are expected to be provided as pull requests at GitHub.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LTO’ing LibreOffice With GCC 6

      Upstream GCC developer Jan Hubička has written about his experience compiling LibreOffice with GCC6 — while also making use of Link-Time Optimizations (LTO) — and comparing various criteria against that of other GCC and LLVM/Clang compiler versions.

  • BSD

    • Dutch BSD Desktop Dev Beer Day

      There’s a handful of BSD-oriented, desktop-oriented, developers in the Netherlands that I know of. Koos. Raphael. Perhaps some remnants of KDE-NL, or a wandering GNOME developer. Or other desktop systems. Anyway, I’m launching the idea to have some kind of get-together around mid-april (when the weather is nice) somewhere central(-ish) like Zwolle or Amersfoort. The Dutch BSD Desktop Dev Beer Day, or (DBD)2. The plan would be to occupy a cafe somewhere and talk about BSD on the desktop, and in particular porting and keeping the desktop stack up-to-date on all fronts.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • [GRUB] F2FS support
    • GNU Hurd/ news/ 2016-03-18-gsoc

      The Google Summer of Code 2016 is on! If you’re a student, consider applying for a GNU Hurd project — details to be found on our GSoC and project ideas pages.

    • What you need to know for LibrePlanet 2016, wherever you are

      This year’s program is bursting with something for everyone in the free software movement, from inquisitive newcomers to hardcore developers.

      Keynotes talks will include NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in conversation with the ACLU’s Daniel Kahn Gillmor; Open Source Initiative board president Allison Randal; Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman; and Software Freedom Conservancy executive director Karen Sandler.

    • Guix at LibrePlanet 2016

      GNU hackers Christopher Allan Webber (whom you may know from the GNU MediaGoblin project) and David Thompson will be co-presenting “Solving the Deployment Crisis with Guix” at LibrePlanet 2016 this Saturday, March 19th. Chris and David will be focusing on the hardships and obstacles that users face when trying to exercise their software freedom by self-hosting web applications, offering Guix as a solution. The presentation will be held from 10:55 AM to 11:40 AM in room 32-141 of the MIT Stata Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    • 10 Years of Conservancy!

      This April marks the 10 year anniversary of Software Freedom Conservancy’s formation. Formed in New York in 2006, Conservancy’s initial Member Projects included BusyBox, SurveyOS, uClibc and Wine. To celebrate this milestone and thank our Supporters, we will be hosting an exclusive cocktail hour in Cambridge, MA during LibrePlanet on Saturday March 19, 2016. Supporters must rsvp to rsvp-10-years@sfconservancy.org.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Europe is going to kill free software! Have you contacted your state’s rep?

      These rules are bad and already hindering user freedom. The FCC has pulled a fast one and we need to fight back. This is a major security and privacy threat which will lead to even buggier and more insecure wireless hardware. A legal campaign to end this nonsense will require significantly more funding and criticism. Unfortunately the major players on fighting this are burning out. Christopher Waid, of ThinkPenguin, Dave Taht, of BufferBloat, Eric Schultz, Josh Gay of the FSF, and others just don’t have the time or resources to keep fighting this. Don’t let this be the end.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • New open source load balancer, US source code policy draft published, and more news
    • Open Access/Content

      • The Sci-Hubbub

        Sci-Hub is a free, online repository of 48 million academic papers. It was launched by Kazakhstani graduate student Alexandra Elbakyan. Unlike most graduate students, Elbakyan is not pondering Foucauldian discourse and beer prices, but hiding out in Russia. According to a recent New York Times article, Elbakyan’s struggles to access research papers inspired her to set up the site so that other students and researchers would have the same access to knowledge as researchers at well-funded universities. The repository is generated by downloading papers from publisher’s paywalled websites using anonymous ‘donated’ subscription credentials.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Ideas For Change To Global Health And IP System Proliferate

      Public health advocates, academics, patients, governments and others this week presented further ideas to the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines on ways to break the longstanding pattern of expensive medical products around the world as a way to pay for research and development.

      The second public dialogue of the High-Level Panel took place in Johannesburg, South Africa on 17 March, a day after closed-door meetings with a range of experts who submitted written comments to the panel. A first public dialogue was held in London last week (IPW, Public Health, 11 March 2016).

    • This is what the public thinks about genome editing

      At a time when genome-editing technology is still in its infancy, and its uses are yet to be determined, the voices of patients and patients’ carers, and those with disabilities, need to be heard.

    • We Are All Flint

      How America’s moms are leading the battle for clean drinking water

    • Rick Snyder Testified Before Congress On The Flint Crisis. It Didn’t Go So Well.

      Keri Webber got on a plane to fly from her home city of Flint, Michigan to Washington, DC this week in the hopes of finally being able to meet with her governor. “We’ve tried to meet with him in Lansing, we tried to meet with him in Flint,” she said of Rick Snyder. “We came to DC [to] meet on neutral ground. We never got a response.”

      Webber’s family has been through a lot over the last year and a half. One daughter showed lead lines in her bones last July, a sign of lead poisoning, while the other has Legionnaires disease. Her husband has lost half the vision in one eye after an artery exploded, causing permanent damage, and he also has extremely high blood pressure, both of which Webber attributes to the water contamination. He’s had to have a battery of tests and is now taking eight pills a day; his medical costs alone come to $8,000, yet the both of them rely on meager Social Security disability checks to get by. “We are going bankrupt over his medical bills, period,” she said.

  • Security

    • Leopard Flower firewall – Protect your bytes

      Several months ago, I decided to explore a somewhat obscure topic of outbound per-application firewall control in Linux. A concept that Windows users are well familiar with, it’s been around for ages, providing Windows folks with a heightened sense of – if not practical factual – protection against rogues residing in their system and trying to phone home.

      In Linux, things are a little different, but with the growing flux of Windows converts arriving at the sandy shores of open-source, the notion of need for outbound control of applications has also risen, giving birth to software designed to allay fears if not resolve problems. My first attempt to play with Leopard Flower and Douane was somewhat frustrating. Now, I’m going to revisit the test, focusing only on the former.

      [...]

      Leopard Flower firewall is an interesting concept. Misplaced, though, for most parts. It caters to a Windows need that does not exist on Linux, and to be frank, has no place in the Microsoft world either. Then, it also tries to resolve a problem of control and knowledge by requiring the user to exercise the necessary control and knowledge. But if they had those to begin with, they wouldn’t need to dabble in per-application firewalls. Furthermore, the software is still fairly immature. There are at least half a dozen little things and changes that can be implemented to make lpfw more elegant, starting with installation and followed by service and GUI model, prompts, robustness, and a few others.

    • Critical bug in libotr could open users of ChatSecure, Adium, Pidgin to compromise
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Sheldon Adelson’s Israeli Newspaper Has a Crush on Donald Trump

      While Sheldon Adelson has yet to endorse a candidate for president, and refused to let reporters peek at his ballot at last month’s caucus in Nevada, it’s starting to look like the conservative rebellion against Donald Trump will not be bankrolled by the casino operator and Republican donor known for his far-right views.

    • Scott Shane on “Objective Troy: A Terrorist, a President, and the Rise of the Drone”

      In this web exclusive interview, New York Times reporter Scott Shane discusses his new book, “Objective Troy: A Terrorist, a President, and the Rise of the Drone.” It just won the 2016 Lionel Gelber Prize. The book tells the story of the first American deliberately killed in a drone strike, Anwar al-Awlaki, and examines why U.S. counterterrorism efforts since 9/11 seem to have backfired.

    • Drone Warfare’s Ethical Dilemmas Are Focus of Film “Eye in the Sky”

      EYE IN THE SKY is a drone war primer in the form of a thriller. I’m not spoiling anything by laying out the premise, which is quickly established at the start of the film: The British have identified known members of al Shabaab, among them British and American citizens, in the act of preparing a suicide attack from a house in a mostly Somali neighborhood in Nairobi. Taking out the house with a Hellfire missile should be simple enough, but it risks the lives of civilians, including a young girl in the house next door. Then there are the political ramifications: In a war room back in London, an official asks, “Has there ever been a British-led drone attack in a city in a friendly country that is not at war?”

      What follows are two hours of legal, tactical, and political wrangling around the decision to pull the trigger. The film, which is currently in theaters, shifts rapidly between the Nairobi streets; a bunker commanded by a hawkish British colonel (Helen Mirren); a London situation room where politicians, military officers (among them the late Alan Rickman), and lawyers ask ever-higher authorities to approve the strike; and a U.S. drone base in Nevada, where a young pilot and sensor operator gear up for their first kill operation.

    • To Cuba with Hate

      The CIA’s motto might well be: “Proudly overthrowing the Cuban government since 1959.” Now what? Did you think that the United States had finally grown up and come to the realization that they could in fact share the same hemisphere as the people of Cuba, accepting Cuban society as unquestioningly as they do that of Canada?

    • The Murder That Exposed Hillary Clinton’s Grim Legacy in Honduras

      Who murdered Honduran environmental activist Berta Cáceres?

      While the identities of the killers remain unknown, activists, media observers, and members of the Cáceres family are blaming the increasingly reactionary and violent Honduran government.

      The authorities had frequently clashed with Cáceres over her high-profile campaign to stop land grabbing and mining while defending the rights of indigenous peoples.

    • Hillary’s Link to Honduran Violence

      Little mentioned in the Democratic campaign is Hillary Clinton’s role in supporting a 2009 coup in Honduras that contributed to a human rights crisis, including the recent murder of a renowned environmental activist, writes Marjorie Cohn.

    • My Terrorist, Your Terrorist

      So is Hezbollah a terrorist organization?

      Of course not.

      So why has the Arab League decided that they are?

      Because most of the league’s member states are Sunni Muslims, while Hezbollah is a Shiite organization supporting Shiite Iran and Alawite (quasi-Shiite) Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

      So were Israel’s Arab parties right when they condemned the league’s resolution?

      Right, yes. Wise, no.

      Let’s start with Hezbollah. Surprisingly enough, it is in a way an Israeli creation.

      [...]

      Originally, terrorism just meant a strategy of striking fear to achieve a political end. In this sense, every war is terrorism. But the term is more precisely applied to individual acts of violence, the aim of which is to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy population.

    • One Year On, No Justice for Italian Hostage Killed in U.S. Drone Strike

      This week, the Lo Porto family’s lawyers filed briefs with the Italian state prosecutor investigating Giovanni’s kidnapping and death, arguing that strikes like the one that killed him are illegal under international law, and requesting that the prosecutor ask the U.S. government to hand over information about the operation.

    • The Crazy GOP Establishment

      The Republican establishment likes to pretend that it is the responsible alternative to Donald Trump, but that self-image doesn’t match reality, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship describe.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Americans’ Concern About Climate Change Is Growing

      If you are concerned about global warming, you are part of a growing majority that hadn’t been this large since 2008, a new Gallup poll has found.

      In fact, 64 percent of adults say they are worried a “great deal” or “fair amount” about global warming, up from 55 percent at this time last year. According to the poll, concerns about global warming have increased among all party groups since 2015, though concerns remain much higher among Democrats than Republicans and Independents.

  • Finance

    • Brazil Is Engulfed by Ruling Class Corruption — and a Dangerous Subversion of Democracy

      THE MULTIPLE, REMARKABLE crises subsuming Brazil are now garnering substantial Western media attention. That’s understandable given that Brazil is the world’s fifth most populous country and eighth-largest economy; its second-largest city, Rio de Janeiro, is the host of this year’s Summer Olympics. But much of this Western media coverage mimics the propaganda coming from Brazil’s homogenized, oligarch-owned, anti-democracy media outlets and, as such, is misleading, inaccurate, and incomplete, particularly when coming from those with little familiarity with the country (there are numerous Brazil-based Western reporters doing outstanding work).

    • Who’s Funding Super PACs This Election Season? Good Question

      Campaign finance reform advocates have rallied against super PACs’ ability to influence elections since their creation in 2010, and new reporting by the Washington Post puts a spotlight on how “ghost corporations” are pumping money into these committees, with their big money contributors hiding behind a veil of secrecy.

      As the Center for Responsive Politics explains: “super PACs may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates,” though they “are prohibited from donating money directly to political candidates.” They report their donors to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) monthly during an election year.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Sanders Must Build a Progressive Movement All the Way to the Convention and Beyond

      According to mainstream Democrats and pundits, Sanders’ demise is imminent. His downfall and Clinton’s triumph is now an inevitability. It is a matter of if not when. Sanders has called these political obituaries “absurd” and has vowed to keep fighting all the way to the convention.

    • Bernie Sanders’ Wife Wants to Help Native American Voices Be Heard if She’s First Lady (Video)

      Jane Sanders is the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and her influence on his campaign is increasing. This week in Arizona, she visited a number of Native American communities, supporting Apache protests against mining interests and engaging with the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe, the Indian Country Today Media Network reports. She also sat down for a discussion with Simon Moya-Smith, a journalist from Indian County Today Media Network.

    • CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves Finds New Way to Cheer for Donald Trump

      CBS chief Les Moonves famously cheered “Go Donald!” during an investor call in December, and in February said Donald Trump’s campaign “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”

      Now he’s found a new way to celebrate the Trump run.

      Countering concerns in the media industry that Trump may not spend as much campaign money on TV commercials as a traditional major-party nominee, Moonves is pointing with delight to all the money down-ballot Republicans will spend to distance themselves from their party’s standard-bearer.

    • Noam Chomsky: What Bernie Sanders Should Do Next (VIDEO)

      Noam Chomsky sees a lot more in the Bernie Sanders campaign than just a presidential run. “Bernie Sanders is doing courageous things and organizing a lot of people,” Chomsky told Abby Martin on Telesur’s “The Empire Files.”

      “That campaign ought to be directed to sustaining a popular movement which will use the election as an incentive,” said Chomsky. “And unfortunately, it’s not. When the election’s over, the movements will die. The only thing that’ll ever bring about meaningful change is ongoing, dedicated popular movements which don’t pay attention to the election cycle. It’s an extravaganza every four years but then we go on.”

    • Sanders Stands Alone as Only Candidate Skipping AIPAC

      Announcement follows campaign that urged Sanders to not attend meeting by group that promotes ‘racist, militaristic, and anti-democratic policies’

    • AIPAC Rejects Sanders Offer to Speak via Video, as Romney and Gingrich Did in 2012

      Bernie Sanders confirmed on Friday that he will not attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington next week, and his campaign revealed that the candidate’s offer to address the gathering by video link was turned down by the organizers.

      In a letter to Robert Cohen, the group’s president, released on Friday afternoon, Sanders wrote that while he “would very much have enjoyed speaking at the AIPAC conference,” like all of the remaining presidential candidates, his campaign schedule made it impossible for him to attend in person.

      [...]

      Although Sanders promised to send AIPAC a copy of the speech he would have made, it seems possible the group did not really want to hear from him, given that he promised recently to seek a “level playing field” in his approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict if elected president.

    • Donald Trump Welcomed at #AIPAC2016, but Many Journalists and Activists Denied Access

      Donald Trump will be giving an address at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference in the nation’s capital on Monday, a move that has set off promises of protests and boycotts targeting the real estate mogul. But while AIPAC has rolled out the red carpet for the GOP frontrunner, it has moved to block activists from attending the conference and shut down planned protests.

      Immediately following the decision to host Trump, a group of expected AIPAC attendees started a Facebook group called “Come Together Against Hate” to plan protests against his speech. On March 14, a number of the planned attendees involved in organizing the protests received an email from an AIPAC staffer warning them about the ramifications of engaging in a protest against Trump. Among other consequences, the staffer said they’d be barred from the organization’s future events.

    • Will We Miss President Obama?

      President Obama doesn’t take on Official Washington’s powerful neocons head-on, but he does drag his heels on some of their crazy schemes, which is better than America can expect from Hillary Clinton, writes Robert Parry.

    • Could Hillary Clinton be Worse Than Trump?

      Or maybe the explanation is just that corporate media’s malign neglect of the Bernie Sanders campaign is paying off for Hillary. FAIR and other organizations that monitor the press have established beyond a reasonable doubt that The Washington Post and The New York Times might as well be Team Hillary’s Ministry of Propaganda. And, as anyone who can bear to watch MSNBC and CNN can attest, “liberal” cable news outlets are no better. National Public Radio may be the worst of all. Remember that at pledge time!

    • Critics of Israel Boycott Warn of Harm to U.S. Corporate Interests

      Lawmakers this week hosted business groups in a briefing that sought to reframe the movement to boycott Israeli-owned companies as a threat to the American economy.

      At Tuesday’s briefing, organized by the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado opened the event by saying that since the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement was signed in 1985 trade between the countries has “multiplied tenfold to over $40 billion annually.”

      The boycott movement would not only impact the Israeli economy, but also the U.S. economy and “should be confronted by all means,” he said.

      The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is a global campaign calling on Israel to end its occupation of internationally recognized Palestinian territory and restore full equality to its Arab and Palestinian citizens.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Internet privacy rules: What you need to know

      The Federal Communications Commission will vote in less than two weeks on whether to consider proposed new privacy rules for broadband providers like Comcast or Time Warner Cable.

      The unveiling of the proposal earlier this month marked the start of an unofficial media tour by Chairman Tom Wheeler to sell the draft rules to the public. Meanwhile, industry groups are doing everything they can to keep harsh regulations at bay.

      If the rules come to fruition, they would create a massive change in the way privacy is policed at broadband providers.

      Here’s what you need to know about the proposal that could, within a year, be coming to an Internet service provider near you.

    • Redaction error reveals FBI did target Lavabit to spy on Edward Snowden

      A redaction oversight by the US government has finally confirmed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s targeting of secure email service Lavabit was used specifically to spy on Edward Snowden.

      Ladar Levison, creator of the email service, which was founded on a basis of private communications secured by encryption and had 410,000 users, was served a sealed order in 2013 forcing him to aid the FBI in its surveillance of Snowden.

      Levison was ordered to install a surveillance package on his company’s servers and later to turn over Lavabit’s encryption keys so that it would give the FBI the ability to read the most secure messages that the company offered. He was also ordered not to disclose the fact to third-parties.

      After 38 days of legal fighting, a court appearance, subpoena, appeals and being found in contempt of court, Levison abruptly shuttered Lavabit citing government interference and stating that he would not become “complicit in crimes against the American people”.

    • It’s official: Lavabit fell on its sword protecting Edward Snowden

      IT’S BEEN a mystery akin to the plot of The Prisoner. Who was it that the feds were after when they served Lavabit with notice that it wanted access to its servers? Information. We want information.

      We know that whoever it was, Lavabit decided it would sooner fall on its own sword than give up the encryption key, very similarly to Apple’s stance on the matter, and folded.

      We all knew it was Edward Snowden. It was fairly obviously Edward Snowden, and now, tickle our snickers, it turns out it was Edward Snowden.

      Even though a gagging order has prevented Ladar Levison who owned Lavabit, or any of his team from spilling, it now appears that the Feds have done it themselves.

      Some recently released federal papers which had been redacted showed that the marker pen had failed to redact a single email address.

    • The FBI Wants Teachers To Go Stasi On American Kids

      While Apple and the federal government duke it out over the encrypted phone of a dead terrorist, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is keeping things old school by advocating that educators start paying close attention to any radical leanings among their students.

      In January, the FBI’s Office of Partner Engagement – a liaison between the FBI, other feds, and local and school law enforcement – released an unclassified paper detailing a plan to keep an eye on any latent anti-American activity in high school youths.

    • SilverPush ‘Redefining TV advertising’ is simply spying on users – FTC.

      SilverPush is called a ‘cross-mapping’ platform that unifies data points from the billions of digital devices around the globe. In the company’s words, “Redefining TV Advertising.”

      Why is the US Federal Trade Commission so worried that is it sending letters to some Android developers?

    • Edward Snowden: Privacy can’t depend on corporations standing up to the government

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden opened the Free Software Foundation’s LibrePlanet 2016 conference on Saturday with a discussion of free software, privacy and security, speaking via video conference from Russia.

      Snowden credited free software for his ability to help disclose the U.S. government’s far-reaching surveillance projects – drawing one of several enthusiastic rounds of applause from the crowd in an MIT lecture hall.

    • The Man J. Edgar Hoover Blamed for Pearl Harbor

      Even after National Security Agency (NSA) warrantless spying was revealed publicly in 2005, and even after Edward Snowden exposed massive governmental surveillance programs in 2013, the instructive example of Fly’s battles with Hoover never registered in public debate. The consensus history skips almost directly from the Supreme Court’s 1928 Olmstead decision legalizing warrantless wiretapping to the FBI’s abuses in the 1960s and the Supreme Court’s 1967 Katz decision, which reversed Olmstead by establishing that wiretapping violated a “reasonable expectation of privacy” standard. Paul Starr’s widely lauded 2004 book The Creation of the Media: The Political Origins of Modern Communications, published shortly before the NSA wiretapping story broke, reads back American legal guarantees of private communication to the Post Office Act of 1792. “Lack of popular trust in the privacy of communications,” Starr argues, is a hallmark of “closed or restricted regimes” that should be contrasted with America’s more restrained and successful libertarian model.

    • No, you backoff on backdoors or else

      No, Mr. President, it works the other way around. You’d better backoff on your encryption demands, or else the tech community will revolt, That’s what’s already happen with Apple’s encryption efforts, as well as app developers like Signal and Wickr. Every time you turn the screws, we techies increase the encryption.

      It’s not a battle you can win without going full police-state. Sure, you can force Apple to backdoor its stuff, but then what about the encrypted apps? You’d have to lock them down as well. But what about encrypted apps developed in foreign countries? What about software I write myself? You aren’t going to solve the “going dark” problem until you control all crypto.

      If you succeed in achieving your nightmare Orwellian scenario, I promise you this: I’ll emigrate to an extradition-free country, to continue the fight against the American government.

    • That One Privacy VPN Comparison Chart

      VPN comparison tables can be a great way to find out information about VPNs in a more efficient manner. We’ve created this to be “that one privacy VPN comparison chart” you rely on–a HUGE list of the most important information that you will need.

    • This Massive VPN Comparison Spreadsheet Helps You Choose the Best for You
    • NSA chief: Foreign governments use criminals to hack U.S. systems [Ed: NSA shows its sheer hypocrisy as it does the same thing]
    • Foreign governments use criminals to hack U.S. systems
    • China’s Xi breaks word, continues cyber attacks against U.S. networks
    • CYBERCOM Head: Working More With Private Sector Goal for Command [Ed: destroying trust in US technology firm by saying they should serve the military]
    • Getting Cybercom ready
    • Cybercom Commander: Other Nations’ Cyberspace Ops Intensified
    • Rogers: CYBERCOM staffing more than 90% on track
    • Investments in Cyber Command reflect evolving nature of threats
    • DOD seeks to strengthen cybersecurity
    • Growth in cyber threats reflected in budget
    • YouTube shows Adblock Plus users an error message instead of ads
    • Once Again, Arguments Supporting Warrantless Surveillance Wither When Exposed to Sunlight
  • Civil Rights

    • Student Busted for Saying ‘ISIS’ During Pledge of Allegiance

      Ho, ho, another brainiac goes down as stupidity is mistaken for a real threat, apparently our national pastime.

    • City Employee Fired After Posting ‘Tamir Rice Should Have Been Shot’ On Facebook

      A Cleveland city employee has been fired after posting inflammatory comments about the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice on his Facebook page, lamenting that he didn’t kill the “little criminal” himself.

      “Tamir Rice should have been shot and I am glad he is dead,” wrote Jamie Marquardt, a supervisor for Cleveland’s Emergency Medical Service, according to Cleveland’s Fox 8 TV station. “I am upset I did not get the chance to kill the little criminal.”

      A spokesperson for the city denounced the post and called Marquadt’s comments “egregious.”

    • US Secretly Acting Like China Does in Public

      Contrary to popular belief, the FISA Court does not operate in complete isolation from traditional courts. On several known issues — notably, the access to location data and the collection of Post Cut Through Direct Dial numbers — FISC has taken notice of public magistrate’s opinions and used that to inform, though not necessary dictate, FISC practice. As I have noted, at least until 2014, the FISC used the highest common denominator from criminal case law with respect to location data, meaning it requires the equivalent of a probable cause warrant for prospective (though not historic) data. And FISC first seemed to start tracking such orders during the magistrate’s revolt of 2005-6. That’s an area where FISC seems to have followed criminal case law. By contrast, FISC permits the government to collect, then minimize, PCTDD, though it appears to have revisited whether the government’s current minimization procedures meet the law, the most recent known moment of which was 2009.

    • Hillary’s Double-Standard on Protests

      The protester, Ray McGovern, a retired Army officer and CIA analyst, was wearing a black “Veterans for Peace” T-shirt, when he was set upon within sight of Secretary of State Clinton, who ironically was delivering a speech about the importance of foreign leaders respecting dissent. The assault on McGovern left him bruised and bloodied but it didn’t cause Clinton to pause as she coolly continued on, not missing a beat.

    • Where Is Bassel? Four Years On, We Still Need to Know.

      Bassel Khartabil, open source developer, Wikipedian, and free culture advocate, was taken from his friends and family he loves four years ago this week. On March 15, 2012, Bassel was kidnapped from the streets of Damascus by Syrian military intelligence. Since then, we know that he has suffered torture, solitary confinement, arbitrary detention, dangerously overcrowded prison conditions, and even the bombing of his prison’s neighbourhood by Syrian opposition forces.

      What we don’t know right now is his current location, the state of his health, or even whether he is still alive. Bassel was taken from his civilian prison cell in Adra jail four months ago and was swallowed up by the country’s military field courts. No news of him has emerged since then, though rumors of a death sentence have caused anguish for his many supporters.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Ban Rate Regulation or Attack On Net Neutrality Protections? Congress Seems Confused

      The House Energy and Commerce Committee recently approved H.R. 2666, the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act. The legislation attempts to codify Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Wheeler’s pledge not to use the Open Internet Order to regulate broadband rates. This seems like a straightforward task and technically it is a straightforward task. However, some members of Congress want to use this bill to fundamentally undermine the central purpose of the Order itself.

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  1. Links 29/7/2016: More Microsoft Problems and Layoffs, Bodhi Linux 4.0.0 Alpha Released

    Links for the day



  2. Links 28/7/2016: CORD as Linux Foundation Project, Wine 1.9.15 Released

    Links for the day



  3. EPO Loses More Than 80% of Cases at the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

    The International Labour Organisation (or Organization) helps show just to what degree the European Patent Office (EPO) violates the rights of workers



  4. To Understand What Battistelli Has Turned the EPO Into Look at Turkey and China

    Battistelli and his notorious Vice-President from SIPO (Croatia) turn the European Patent Office, once the pride of Europe, into a human rights cesspool with SIPO (China) connections



  5. Patent Lawyers Move Closer to Battistelli's Rubber-stamping Office While the Appeal Boards Pushed Away as Collective Punishment Which Masks Decline in Patent Quality

    Urgently sending appeal boards away and urgently granting applicants patents without proper examination will be Battistelli's sorrow legacy at the European Patent Office



  6. Software Patents a Dying Breed, But Patent Lawyers in Denial Over it and Notorious Judge Rodney Gilstrap Ignores Alice (Supreme Court)

    A look at what law and practice are saying about software patents, contrasted or contradicted by the patent industry and trolls-friendly courts (which make business out of or together with patent aggressors)



  7. CAFC Meddling in PTAB Affairs; Unified Patents Fights a Good Fight by Invalidating Software Patents

    A look at how the AIA's Patent Trial and Appeal Board is invalidating software patents post-Alice, with or without involvement of patent courts



  8. Early Certainty That Benoît Battistelli is Dangerously Clueless and a Major Risk to the EPO

    The chaos which Team Battistelli is assured to deliver if it doesn't treat scientists like scientists, instead viewing them as a production line with rubber-stamping duties



  9. OIN Makes Claims About “Open Source Innovation”, But It Produces Nothing and Protects Virtually Nobody

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) reports growth, but in practical terms it does little or nothing to help developers of Free/Open Source software



  10. Links 27/7/2016: New CrossOver, Blackmagic for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  11. The Death of Software Patents and Microsoft's Coup Against Yahoo! Made the Company Worthless

    A look at what happens to companies whose value is a house of software patents rather than code and a broad base of users/customers



  12. Munich Attack Mentioned by EPO But Not Ansbach

    The EPO does the usual right-wing thing (exploiting disaster/emergency for domestic crackdowns), but some bemoan the omission of the explosion at Ansbach (also in Germany)



  13. Kluwer Thinks People Are Clueless About the Unitary Patent System and Pretends It's Business as Usual

    Flogging the dead UPC horse at times of great uncertainty (enough to bring the UPC to a standstill)



  14. Almost Everything That the Government Accountability Office Says is Applicable to the EPO

    The Government Accountability Office in the United States produces reports which can serve as a timely warning sign to the European Patent Office, where patent quality is rapidly declining in order to meet 'production' goals



  15. Microsoft Says It Loves Linux, But Its Anti-Linux Patent Trolls Are Still Around and Active

    Highlighting just two of the many entities that Microsoft (and partners) use in order to induce additional costs on Free (as in freedom) software



  16. Links 26/7/2016: Microsoft Growing Desperate, Linux 4.8 Visions

    Links for the day



  17. Links 25/7/2016: Linux 4.7 Final, PostgreSQL 9.6 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  18. Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face 'Exile' or 'Extradition' in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

    A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli's successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli's totalitarian powers



  19. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comes Across as Against Software Patents, Relates to the EPO as Well

    Some analysis of the input from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with focus on the EPO and software patents



  20. In the US, Patent Trolls Engage in Patent Wars and Shakedowns, Whereas in China/Korea Large Android OEMs Sue One Another

    Highlighting some of the differences between the US patent system and other patent systems



  21. Links 24/7/2016: Elive 2.7.1 Beta, New Flatpaks and Snaps

    Links for the day



  22. Links 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  23. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  24. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  25. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  26. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  27. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays



  28. Glimpse at Patent Systems Across the World: Better Quality Control at the USPTO Post-America Invents Act (2011), Unlike the EPO Post-Battistelli (2010)

    While the EPO reportedly strives to eliminate pendency and appeal windows altogether (rubberstamping being optimal performance as per the yardstick du jour), the USPTO introduces changes that would strengthen the system and shield innovation, not protect the business model of serial litigants



  29. Blockstream Has No Patents, But Pledges Not to Sue Using Patents

    Blockstream says that it comes in peace when it comes to software patents, which triggers speculations about coming Blockchain patent wars



  30. Links 21/7/2016: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Xfce Beta

    Links for the day


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