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03.26.16

Links 26/3/2016: Docker Reaches Out to Proprietary, Slacklive

Posted in News Roundup at 12:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 18F pushes for an even more open ‘open source’ rule

    The government startup that develops all of its code in the open wants the rest of government to follow suit.

    Following the March 10 publication of a new draft Federal Source Code policy, the General Services Administration’s 18F penned a response to one of federal CIO Tony Scott’s questions.

  • Events

    • FOSSASIA 2016
    • Containers Microconference Accepted into 2016 Linux Plumbers Conference

      The level of Containers excitement has increased even further this year, with much interplay between Docker, Kubernetes, Rkt, CoreOS, Mesos, LXC, LXD, OpenVZ, systemd, and much else besides. This excitement has led to some interesting new use cases, including even the use of containers on Android.

      Some of these use cases in turn require some interesting new changes to the Linux plumbing, including mounts in unprivileged containers, improvements to cgroups resource management, ever-present security concerns, and interoperability between various sets of tools.

  • Databases

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • ignuit 2.24.1 released

      Mostly a maintenance release to keep the package in decent order. A “Category Properties” dialog has also been added to the program.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Toonz goes open source, Apple open sources CareKit, and more news
    • Open Hardware

      • Promising use of 3d printing

        A team in China, saved a 9 month old baby with a 3d printed Heart. My first thought was how many poor cancer and kidney / liver sufferers could benefit IF (hopefully only when not if) this becomes something that is the new medical norm, and then the reality of cloning and using this to revive less than desireable individuals (like violent offenders) also came to the forefront. I can only hope a reasonable and sane minded (if that can truly be quantified and agreed on) body can regulate this in a way where everyone wins.

  • Programming

    • NPM fiasco even caught Brendan Eich off guard

      The managers of the popular NPM registry, which houses JavaScript packages, want to assure the community that everything is OK, despite the calamity caused this week by the removal of a small package. NPM’s predicament, though, brought criticism from JavaScript founder Brendan Eich, who stressed a need to improve the module system.

      Upset over a naming issue, a developer decided to unpublish his modules on the registry, including left-pad, and as a consequence shut down several dependent programs, such as the Babel compiler. The module itself consists of only 17 lines of code, but modules that relied on left-pad could no longer be installed.

    • Apple’s Swift Programming Language Comes To Linux

      Apple has finally brought its Swift programming language to Linux. At this moment, this open source programming language supports Ubuntu 14.04 and 15.10. This port is relatively new and the Swift Core Libraries will be included later in Swift 3 release.

    • GitLab upgrade takes aim at Kubernetes

      GitLab claims to have smoothed deployment to Kubernetes and introduced “confidential issues” in the latest release of its code management platform, 8.6.

      Top of the list of features in the latest rev is deployment from GitLab CI direct to Kubernetes, with the integration of Redspread’s CLI tool Spread. GitLab said this will allow deployment to Kubernetes without the need for additional scripts – although you will need to use GitLab Runner 1.1 which should be “released as stable” tomorrow.

      The vendor has also put limits on exactly how open it wants to be, in the shape of “confidential issues”. These means the “issue” will only be visible to the project members and the issue raiser.

Leftovers

  • 6 Things Only A Sewage Treatment Plant Knows About Your Town

    The magic of the modern world is that you don’t have to see where your shit goes after you flush it. But your excrement isn’t immediately whisked away by gnomes or teleported directly into deep space — it heads to the wastewater treatment plant, where actual human beings have to deal with it. This is even harder than it sounds.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • ‘You Wouldn’t Use It for a Purely Humanitarian Drop’

      The expert explains that “for high-altitude, high-accuracy drops, the US military uses a technology known as the Joint Precision Airdrop System,” which includes “a sort of probe that’s dropped prior to the cargo to take readings of wind speed and direction.” That’s important, because something dropped from 20,000 feet takes five or six minutes to reach the ground, and is blown by the wind during that time.

    • After Brussels, ISIS’s strategy

      There are three reasons for the change in strategy, two of them straightforward. First, attacks such as those in Paris and Brussels are designed to have a maximum impact, especially via the media, across the world. This demonstrates its potential as a movement with global impact and also incites further military action against it from the west. The latter point highlights ISIS’s long-term aim from the start: to provoke war in order to present itself as the true guardian of Islam under attack from the pernicious “far enemy” of the west.

    • Erik Prince in the Hot Seat

      Blackwater’s Founder Is Under Investigation for Money Laundering, Ties to Chinese Intel, and Brokering Mercenary Services

    • Brussels attacks preventable as Turkey shared intelligence, NSA whistleblower Snowden says

      The United States National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden said on Friday that the Brussels attacks were preventable as the information on terrorists was shared with the Belgian authorities by Turkey.

      Speaking at a panel on privacy via video conference, published by The Intercept, Snowden said that the attack was preventable through traditional means, not mass surveillance. Snowden’s comments came about as he was criticizing the western governments’ mass surveillance programs on citizens.

      An allied intelligence services, in this case Turkey, warned Belgium that this individual was a criminal that they were involved in terrorist activities, Snowden said.

    • Whistleblower Edward Snowden claims Belgian spies could have stopped Brussels attacks
    • Snowden: ‘The Brussels Attack Was Preventable’
    • Snowden: US Government ‘Completely Unrestrained’
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Action shuts down Newcastle coal exports

      Community members have taken direct action to interrupt coal exports from Whitehaven’s Maules Creek mine this morning. One woman has occupied a coal line, stopping trains from entering the coal export terminal at Kooragang Island in Newcastle.They have taken a stand to preserve the remaining ecosystems & Aboriginal Sacred Sites in the Leard State Forest where the Maules Creek mine is situated.

      Front Line Action on Coal is calling for an end to the coal industry and a shift into renewable energy sources stating that the coal industry and the Maules creek mine are detrimental to the environment, the Aboriginal cultural heritage of the local Gomeroi nation, native wildlife, ecology, water resources & community health.

  • Finance

    • Teachers claim wide opposition to forced academy plan

      The government could be forced to retreat on plans to compel every school in England to become an academy because of an emerging broad-based opposition, the National Union of Teachers claims.

      The union’s leader Christine Blower said there could be a rapid reversal, as happened with disability payments.

      The NUT’s conference is to vote on industrial action against the plans.

      But Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has told another union there is no “reverse gear” on the reforms.

      “I want to be clear, there will be no pulling back,” the education secretary told the NASUWT teachers’ union, which is also holding its annual conference this weekend.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship

    • Amos Yee Said to be Missing for at Least Three Months

      On Facebook a public account identifying as Mary Toh, mother of Singaporean blogger Amos Yee, stated that Amos Yee has been missing for at least three months.

    • Amos Yee’s mother: Amos Yee has disappeared

      We all know that Amos was arrested not because he offended religious groups, but for political reasons, making fun of Lee Kuan Yew when he had just died. After Amos was released from jail, he continued to make videos which became very popular, condemning the PAP government, and saying that Amos had offended Islam was just another excuse to arrest and silence him. Although he wasn’t charged and was only asked to show up for an investigation, he knew that if the investigation continued, he would definitely be charged and sentenced, and this time since it was a repeated offence, probably sent to 3 years of RTC, which is why he chose to run away from home.

    • Ignorant Bigot Arrested In UK For Tweeting About Being An Obnoxious Ignorant Bigot

      Matthew Doyle appears to be not just an ignorant bigot, but a proud ignorant bigot. But… it still should be concerning that he’s been arrested for the crime of saying ignorant bigoted stuff on Twitter. Doyle is apparently a PR guy in the UK, who claimed on Twitter that he had “confronted” a Muslim woman on the street demanding that she “explain” the attacks in Brussels. She allegedly told him “nothing to do with me,” which, frankly, is a much more polite response than he deserved…

      [...]

      Still, even if he is a clueless, ignorant bigot, it should be very concerning that he’s been arrested for posting on Twitter. And, yes, I know the UK doesn’t respect free speech in the same way that the US does. And I know that the UK has a history of arresting people for tweets. But, still… really?

    • Church-State Group Sues Connecticut Town For Censorship
    • Pro-Bible district ‘reconsidering’ religion-in-schools policy after being forced to distribute books on Satan and atheism
    • Atheist group calls Greene County Commission’s prayer policy unconstitutional
    • FFRF Continues Objecting To Commission’s Prayer, Hints At Potential Lawsuit
    • Conn. City Sued After Banning Anti-Religion Banner From Park
    • Espousing freedom of speech, and practising censorship
    • France Still Thinks It Regulates Entire Internet, Fines Google For Not Making Right To Be Forgotten Global

      This isn’t necessarily surprising, but it is incredibly stupid. As you hopefully recall, in the summer of 2014 the EU Court of Justice came out with a dangerous ruling saying that a “right to be forgotten” applied to search engines and that Google needed to “de-link” certain search results from the names of individuals. We’ve discussed at great length the problems with this ruling, but it continues to be a mess.

      Last summer, French regulators began to whine about Google’s implementation of the right to be forgotten, saying that it should apply worldwide. Google, instead, had only applied it to its EU domainspace. That is, if you were on Google.fr, you wouldn’t see those results, but Google.com you would. Since Google tries to default you to the right top level domain for your country, that would mean that most people in the EU would not see the results that people wanted censored. But French regulators still demanded more. Google responded, telling the French regulators that this was crazy, because it would be a threat to free speech globally. If Google had to moderate content globally based on the speech laws of a single country, we’d have the lowest common denominator of speech online, and a ton of ridiculous censorship. Furthermore, Google pointed out that 97% of French users were on the Google.fr domain, so demanding global censorship was pointless.

  • Privacy

    • Italy’s Council of State mars launch of new eID

      Italy’s Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, has spoiled the launch of SPID, the country’s new eID solution, launched on 15 March. Nine days later, the court upheld an earlier ruling that a EUR 5 million capital requirement for eID service providers is an unreasonable impediment to small and medium-sized service providers.

    • On the Impending Crypto Monoculture

      A number of IETF standards groups are currently in the process of applying the second-system effect to redesigning their crypto protocols. A major feature of these changes includes the dropping of traditional encryption algorithms and mechanisms like RSA, DH, ECDH/ECDSA, SHA-2, and AES, for a completely different set of mechanisms, including Curve25519 (designed by Dan Bernstein et al), EdDSA (Bernstein and colleagues), Poly1305 (Bernstein again) and ChaCha20 (by, you guessed it, Bernstein).

    • How the US Military Fails to Protect Its Soldiers’ Emails

      Many government agencies, including the US military, are leaving the emails of soldiers and government employees potentially in danger of being intercepted by spies and hackers by failing to implement a commonly used encryption technology.

      In the wake of the revelations of mass surveillance brought forth by Edward Snowden, the movement to promote the use of encryption technology across the internet has been seemingly unstoppable. Even the White House jumped on the “encrypt all the things” bandwagon this year, asking all government websites to use HTTPS web encryption to improve the security and privacy of their users.

    • Apple Asks Judge Overseeing NY iPhone Case To Wait Until More Is Known About FBI’s New Magic Unlocking Trick
    • FBI Denies It Lied About Ability To Crack iPhone, Also Suggests Cellebrite Rumor Is Wrong

      It’s difficult to take much of that at face value — especially as the government continues to push for similar court orders in other cases. And especially as Comey has been whining on and on about “going dark” for well over a year and a half now. At the very least, it does seem clear that the FBI failed to truly explore all possible options. As some iPhone forensics folks have noted, if this were truly a brand new solution, the FBI would need a hell of a lot more than two weeks of testing to make sure it really worked.

      In the meantime, I’d heard from a few folks, and now others are reporting as well, that the assumptions that many had made about the Israeli company Cellebrite providing the solution are simply not true — along with the idea that the solution involves reflashing the chip. The FBI itself now says it’s a “software-based” solution.

    • A Conversation on Privacy

      The balance between national security and government intrusion on the rights of private citizens will be the topic of a panel discussion featuring renowned linguist and MIT professor Noam Chomsky, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, and Intercept co-founding editor Glenn Greenwald. Nuala O’Connor, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, will act as moderator.

    • Why are there no brothels in Cheltenham? Because of GCHQ blackmail fears, says Jeremy Clarkson

      GCHQ is the reason that Cheltenham has no brothels according to an article in the Spectator by former Top Ger host Jeremy Clarkson.

      The presenter and journalist spent some time at the Cheltenham Festival last week, and in the right-wing political magazine he writes that in a taxi journey to a dinner party in an outlying village he learned that brothels were quickly shut down by police.

    • NSA Will Spy for Local Cops Under New Obama Administration Rules

      New rules under development by the Obama administration will take data collected by the NSA, supposedly for “counter-terrorism” and put it into the hands of other federal agencies and even your local law enforcement for everyday use.

      Proponents of federal spying inevitably defend any objection to mass warrantless surveillance by playing the terrorism card.

      The NSA must be able to sweep up virtually everybody’s electronic data to protect America from terrorist attacks, so the argument goes. This carries a great deal of weight, especially in the wake of tragic bombings in Paris and Brussels. Many Americans brush off the constitutional violations and invasion of privacy inherent in NSA spy programs because they honestly believe they only target terrorists.

    • NSA must end planned expansion of domestic spying, lawmakers say

      Two members of the House Oversight Committee, a Democrat and a Republican, have asked the director of the National Security Agency to halt a plan to expand the list of agencies that the NSA shares information with.

      Representatives Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) and Ted Lieu (D-California) wrote in a letter to NSA Director Michael Rogers on Monday that the reported plan would violate privacy protections in the Fourth Amendment, since domestic law enforcement wouldn’t need a warrant to use the data acquired from the agency.

    • Think the NSA Can’t Hack an iPhone Without Apple’s Help? Think Again.

      We speak with Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept, which has obtained a secret, internal U.S. government catalog of dozens of cellphone surveillance devices used by the military and by intelligence agencies that offers rare insight into the spying capabilities of federal law enforcement and local police across the country. The catalog includes details on the Stingray, a well-known brand of surveillance gear, and other devices, some of which have never been described in public before. Scahill says the catalog represents a trove of details on surveillance devices developed for military and intelligence purposes but increasingly used by law enforcement agencies to spy on people and convict them of crimes.

    • Former NSA head to FBI: ‘Get over’ Apple dispute

      A former head of two intelligence agencies had a clear message on Friday for the government as it tries to get Apple to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

      “Get over it,” said Gen. Michael Hayden, a former head of the National Security Agency and the CIA under President George W. Bush. “Understand that no matter what we do with Apple, it’s going to get harder and harder to get content.”

      Apple is currently defying a court order directing the tech giant to create software that would let FBI investigators unlock an iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the two terrorists who killed 14 people in California last year.

    • Once Again, The Brussels Attacks Were An Intelligence Community Failure, Not An ‘Encryption’ Problem

      After the Paris attacks late last year, we noted that it was clear that they were evidence of an intelligence community failure, rather than an “encryption” problem — which kind of explained why the intelligence community quickly tried to blame encryption. But, as we noted, most of the attackers were already known to the intelligence community and law enforcement — and there’s still little evidence that they used any encryption.

      It’s looking like the Brussels attacks are showing the same pattern. First, there were reports that Belgian law enforcement was well aware of the attackers and their connections.

    • A new bill seeks to kill anonymous ‘burner’ phones by requiring registration

      A bill proposed in congress this week would require that all users provide identification and register prepaid ‘burner’ phones upon purchase.

      Earlier this week we reported that burner phones are what kept Islamic extremists a step head of law enforcement in the days and weeks leading up to the Paris attack. While it’s not clear this bill is related to that revelation, it is a sign of the times and the US government’s clear-cut mission to put a stop to privacy anonymity as it relates to mobile devices.

  • Civil Rights

    • Senator Wyden Warns That The Justice Department Is Lying To The Courts; Also Still Worried About Secret Law

      We’ve been noting for years: when Senator Ron Wyden says that (1) there’s a secret interpretation of a law that is at odds with the public’s understanding of it, or (2) that government officials are lying, you should pay attention. It may take a while, but it always comes out eventually that he’s absolutely correct. For at least five years now, we’ve been posting semi-regular updates to Wyden calling out the government for its secret interpretations of the law, and some of that was proven entirely accurate thanks to the Snowden revelations concerning how the PATRIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act had been interpreted. However, since the Snowden revelations, Wyden has made it clear that that’s not all. In particular, he’s spoken about a Justice Department legal opinion, written by John Yoo, that Wyden insists is important and should be revealed.

    • Some Thoughts On What, Exactly, The DOJ’s ‘Inaccurate Assertion’ Might Be Concerning Secret Legal Opinion

      Back in November, ACLU sued to get that memo. The government recently moved for summary judgment based on the claim that a judge in DC rejected another ACLU effort to FOIA the document, which is a referral to ACLU’s 2006 FOIA lawsuit for documents underlying what was then called the “Terrorist Surveillance Program” and which we now know as Stellar Wind. Here’s the key passage of that argument.

    • Egyptian Student Deported for Threatening Donald Trump on Facebook

      A 23-year-old Egyptian aviation student in California has agreed to self-deportation the U.S. after a Facebook post threatening Donald Trump was turned over to the FBI, leading to a Secret Service investigation of the student, and ultimately his detention by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE).

      On February 3, Emadeldin Elsayed posted an article about Trump on Facebook along with the comment: “I literally don’t mind taking a lifetime sentence in jail for killing this guy, I would actually be doing the whole world a favor.” The Secret Service interviewed Elsayed the following day, according to his lawyer. Looks like someone spends a lot of time monitoring posts on Facebook for freedom.

    • Aviva Chomsky on Obama in Cuba, Mark Weisbrot on Argentina’s Right Turn

      This week on CounterSpin: Cuba is not so much a country for elite US media as a cartoon; but Barack Obama’s visit—the first by a sitting US president since Calvin Coolidge—offered a chance to revisit some of the conventional wisdom on Cuba and what media blanded out as years of “historical baggage.” We talk about what would really need to change to “normalize” US/Cuba relations with historian and activist Aviva Chomsky, author of The Cuba Reader, among other titles.

    • Court stops FCC’s latest attempt to lower prison phone rates

      The first stay was issued March 7 and prevented the FCC from implementing new rate caps of 11¢ to 22¢ per minute on both interstate and intrastate calls from prisons. But the stay—which remains in place while the prison phone companies’ lawsuit against the FCC is still pending—did not disturb an earlier “interim” cap of 21¢ to 25¢ per minute that applied only to interstate calls, those that cross state lines. The order also didn’t specifically object to the FCC changing its definition of “inmate calling service” to include both interstate and intrastate calls.

    • Long lines at airports a terror target, experts say

      The Brussels bombings have highlighted an inherent problem in airline security, say anti-terrorism experts: the crowds of waiting passengers caused by the need to check for weapons and bombs inadvertently creates its own terrorism target.

      “Airport security is front-loaded as much as possible towards prevention of an event taking place on an airplane,” said Bill Jenkins, a terrorism policy expert with the Rand Corporation. But making it impossible for terrorists to get on a plane doesn’t prevent them from trying a different attack. They then look for other “mass casualty” targets, such as the airport terminal.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Netflix Reveals It Throttles AT&T, Verizon Customers To Save Them From Usage Caps, Overage Fees

      So to be clear: Netflix should have been more transparent about what it was doing and provide users with better controls (desktop users can adjust streaming quality rather easily), especially if it’s going to lecture ISPs on transparency. That said, given Netflix’s positions on net neutrality and usage caps, you’re sure to see the story blown up into more than it is by ISPs and their various mouthpieces, who’ll likely either call this a net neutrality violation itself (it’s not; throttling yourself isn’t like throttling a competitor, and users have a choice of streaming services) or continue the industry claim that Netflix is a shady villain that treats giant, lumbering telecom duopolies unfairly.

      But the crux of the problem here remains usage caps, not Netflix. Sure, Netflix isn’t being entirely altruistic. Annoyed customers banging their heads against usage caps watch less streaming video, which for many fixed-line ISPs like Comcast is the entire point. For wireless carriers it’s obviously different, with the goal being to drive consumption however possible. But the fact that a company was forced to offer a lower quality service — instead of competing to provide the best stream possible — shows how arbitrary usage caps by their very nature distort and damage markets. And that’s before you even get to the anti-competitive implications of zero rating.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • EU consultation on IP enforcement; FFII submission

      Indeed! EDRi has prepared a very helpful answering tool. The deadline to submit responses using this tool is 7 April. However, you can use the Commission’s tool to respond until 15 April 2016.

    • Namespaces, Intellectual Property, Dependencies And A Big Giant Mess

      There’s been a bit of a mess in the programming world, the past few days, that you may have missed if you don’t pay close attention to certain circles of the internet, but it’s fascinating on a number of different levels. The mess began when people at the messenger app Kik, realized that someone else, a guy named Azer Koculu, had a module on NPM named “kik.” Some background: NPM stands for Node Package Manager — and that’s exactly what it is: a package manager/repository for programmers to share and reuse javascript code, useful for folks using node.js (a server side javascript environment). This is a good thing as it allows for fairly easy opportunities to share code and build on the work of others without having to reinvent the wheel.

    • Copyrights

      • Police Raid Usenet Service, Arrest Operator, Seize Data

        A France-based Usenet provider says that his service has been raided and shutdown by the police. The 5,000 user ‘Newsoo’ service appears to have been a labor of love for its owner, but all data is now in the hands of authorities after he was arrested. A long-standing complaint by anti-piracy outfit SACEM appears to have been the trigger.

      • Time Warner, Defenders Of Copyright, Forced To Pay Up For Copyright Infringement

        You can almost set your watch that any company or group that comes out vehemently in favor of restrictive copyright protection under the guise of protecting artists will be found to be in violation of copyrights and acting in a manner demonstrating clearly that zero care is given to the well-being of artists. The most recent example of this is Time Warner. Recall in the past that the massive media company has regularly sued music startup groups, pimped the six-strikes agreement with Hollywood, worked with Rightscorp to milk money out of accused infringers, and back a ways waged a war unpopular with its signed musical artists against YouTube. This, all done by Time Warner in the name of advocating for artists and creators, was done even as we learned just to what lengths Warner Music has gone to make sure it paid artists as little as possible.

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    The unwanted elements of the patent system (as it stands at present) illuminated by very recent news and patent court cases



  26. With or Without the UPC (Which Will Probably Never Happen) Battistelli is Crushing the EPO and Ejects Experienced Staff, a Future Without Examination Possible

    A pessimistic but probably realistic take on what is happening at the European Patent Office (EPO), which is undergoing a silent transformation so wide-ranging that stakeholders deserve to know about it



  27. When EPO Liar-in-Chief Benoît Battistelli Defamed His Staff in Parliament, Comparing Them to Nazis and Criminals

    A reminder of the audacity of Benoît Battistelli, who in his capacity as a politician -- a problem in its own right -- slanders EPO staff



  28. After McRO v Namco Case (at CAFC) the Patent Microcosm Works Overtime to Produce Pro-Software Patents Propaganda, Smear the Supreme Court

    Increasingly desperate to convince people to pursue software patents and/or use their software patents to initiate growingly risky lawsuits (high risk of losing), the patent microcosm hugs McRO v Namco while distorting the complete record of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) on this subject



  29. Poor Quality Control at the US Patent Office Gives Birth to 'Unpatent' and Gives a Voice to Critics

    The USPTO must up its game on patent quality (not relying on PTAB and the courts correcting its errors after the grants) or face growing backlash that tarnishes its public image



  30. Patent Trial and Appeal Board Under Attack by Law Firms, Which Will Soon Infiltrate It in the Form of 'Bar Association'

    The vultures that are patent law firms keep circling around PTAB and hoping to destroy it, if not from the outside then from the inside, potentially regressing and ruining great progress for US patent quality since Mayo and Alice


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