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04.28.16

Links 28/4/2016: Tomb Raider for GNU/Linux, Proxmox VE 4.2

Posted in News Roundup at 6:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Where did we all go wrong? And why doesn’t anyone remember?

    But we didn’t pursue them. We replaced them with something cheaper — with Unix machines, an OS only a nerd could love. And then we replaced the Unix machines with something cheaper still — the IBM PC, a machine so poor that the £125 ZX Spectrum had better graphics and sound.

    And now, we all use descendants of that. Generally acknowledged as one of the poorest, most-compromised machines, based on descendants of one of the poorest, most-compromised CPUs.

    Yes, over the 40 years since then, most of rough edges have been polished out. The machines are now small, fast, power-frugal with tons of memory and storage, with great graphics and sound. But it’s taken decades to get here.

    And the OSes have developed. Now they’re feature-rich, fairly friendly, really very robust considering the stone-age stuff they’re built from.

    But if we hadn’t spent 3 or 4 decades making a pig’s ear into silk purse — if we’d started with a silk purse instead — where might we have got to by now?

  • Your Beard Doesn’t Intimidate Me Anymore!
  • Server

    • Understanding Your HPC Application Needs

      Many HPC applications began as single processor (single core) programs. If these applications take too long on a single core or need more memory than is available, they need to be modified so they can run on scalable systems. Fortunately, many of the important (and most used) HPC applications are already available for scalable systems. Not all applications require large numbers of cores for effective performance, while others are highly scalable.

    • 5 Container as a Service Tools You Should Know About

      In a previous article on next-generation cloud technologies, I mentioned Containers as a Service (CaaS), which provides a framework to manage container and application deployment.

    • Don’t Worry About IBM’s Mainframe Sales Collapse

      For those who know little about International Business Machines , the company’s hulking System Z mainframe computers may seem like little more than a relic. The 42% year-over-year decline in System Z sales during IBM’s first quarter would appear to offer proof that the mainframe business is struggling.

      But investors shouldn’t worry about this mainframe sales collapse. It’s happened before, and it will happen again. IBM’s System Z product cycle, which sees new models introduced every few years, induces an extreme amount of sales volatility as clients rush to upgrade. While IBM doesn’t report System Z sales numbers directly, the company does report year-over-year performance, and that allows us to see that the big drop in sales during the first quarter is nothing out of the ordinary.

  • Kernel Space

    • PulseAudio Adds Memfd Transport Support

      PulseAudio gained support for utilizing the Linux kernel’s memfd as a transport mechanism as spearheaded by the systemd/KDBUS crew.

    • Linux Kernel 3.12.59 LTS Out Now with Crypto & Networking Fixes, Updated Drivers

      Linux kernel developer Jiri Slaby today announced the availability of the fifty-ninth maintenance release of the long-term supported Linux 3.12 kernel series, urging all users to update as soon as possible.

      Looking at the appended shortlog, we can notice that Linux kernel 3.12.59 LTS is here to patch various security issues that have been discovered since the previous point release, version 3.12.58, which has been announced two weeks ago by Mr. Jiri Slaby, along with an important piece of information, that the Linux 3.12 series will be supported until 2017 because it is used in SUSE Linux Enterprise 12.

    • Linux infosec outfit does a Torvalds, rageblocks innocent vuln spotter

      An open source security firm has blocked a security researcher who reported flaws in a recently issued patch in an apparent fit of pique.

      Hector Martin took to Twitter on Tuesday to note a trivial crashing vulnerability in a recently issued patch by Grsecurity.

      “I literally crashed my box by pasting a bunch of text into a terminal, due to a really sad bug in the patch,” Martin said.

      In response, Grsecurity acknowledged the issue, which it said would be fixed in the next release. At the same time it blocked Martin on both Twitter and by IP address.

    • Why Linux Creator Linus Torvalds Thinks That C++ Programming Language Sucks?

      This morning, I was reading some news about Linux creator Linus Torvalds and I came across a decade-old note from him. You might have heard about Linus Torvald’s opinion of programming language C++ and this note was about the same.

    • Open Source: Thinking Big by Jim Zemlin

      Zemlin’s career spans three of the largest technology trends to rise over the last decade: mobile computing, cloud computing and open source software. Today, as executive director of The Linux Foundation, he uses this experience to accelerate the adoption of Linux and support the future of computing.

    • Graphics Stack

      • See How Your Linux GPU Compares To Various GeForce GPUs With NVIDIA 364.19

        While waiting for today’s release of Tomb Raider on Linux, for which I just posted various NVIDIA Tomb Raider benchmarks on Ubuntu, I was running some other OpenGL benchmarks.

        One of the benchmark runs I did with various graphics cards this morning while waiting for Tomb Raider was the well known and demanding Unigine Valley demo. Tests were done with various Kepler and Maxwell GeForce graphics cards while using the brand new NVIDIA 364.19 driver on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS x86_64.

      • X.Org Foundation Election Results

        Two questions were up for voting, 4 seats on the Board of Directors and approval of the amended By-Laws to join SPI.

        Congratulations to our reelected and new board members Egbert Eich, Alex Deucher, Keith Packard and Bryce Harrington. Thanks a lot to Lucas Stach for running. And also big thanks to our outgoing board member Matt Dew, who stepped down for personal reasons.

      • X.Org Members Approve Becoming Part Of The SPI Organization

        The results just are in of the 2016 X.Org Foundation elections and the members have voted to become part of the SPI. The foundation thus is basically becoming dissolved to become part of Software in the Public Interest.

        After last year’s vote failed for the X.Org Foundation to merge with the SPI due to not reaching the two-thirds quorum to change the by-laws, this year was a success: 61 of the 65 members voted.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Proxmox VE 4.2 Officially Released with Let’s Encrypt Support, ZFS Improvements

        Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH, a renowned company developing the Proxmox VE (Virtual Environment) server virtualization operating system based on the Linux kernel, announced the release of Proxmox VE 4.2.

      • Proxmox VE 4.2 Released

        Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH, the company developing the server virtualization platform Proxmox Virtual Environment (VE), today announced the general availability of version 4.2. The open source virtualization platform Proxmox VE is a hyper-converged solution enabling users to create and manage LXC containers and KVM virtual machines on the same host, and makes it easy to set up highly available clusters, as well as to manage network and storage via an integrated web-based management interface.

      • antiX 16 Linux OS Gets a Second Beta Build with Kernel 4.4.8 LTS, Many Changes

        It’s been a little over two weeks since the first Beta build of the upcoming antiX 16 Linux operating system was announced, and now we can get our hands on the second Beta release.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva Adds F2FS Support

        It’s been a while since last having anything to report on with the OpenMandriva Linux distribution, but they wrote in today with news about adding Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) support.

        Within their OpenMandriva “Cooker” development repository is the most interesting support with F2FS support being part of their kernel, shipping f2fs-tools by default, and their Calamares installer allowing F2FS for SSD disks. They’ve also added a F2FS patch for GRUB2. With that work in OpenMandriva Cooker, users can be running F2FS as their root file-system with ease!

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Entroware’s Orion Laptops Now Ship with Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS and Skylake CPUs

            Entroware, one of the few hardware companies to offer laptops with Ubuntu MATE Linux operating system pre-installed, today announced a refresh of its Orion series of laptops.

            The new Orion laptop is now in stock, and it looks like it comes with the next-generation of Intel Skylake processors, as well as the latest and greatest version of the Ubuntu MATE distro, Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus).

          • my Shuttleworth Foundation flash grant

            More important than features is making Propellor prevent more classes of mistakes, by creative use of the type system. The biggest improvement in this area was type checking the OSes of Propellor properties, so Propellor can reject host configurations that combine eg, Linux-only and FreeBSD-only properties.

          • Wolfram Research turns your Ubuntu phone into an IoT sensor
          • Ubuntu 16.04′s support for the ZFS file system may violate the General Public License

            Ubuntu 16.04′s support for the ZFS file system is one of many useful enterprise features on top of all the Linux desktop polish in the new OS. But Linux distributions have avoided shipping ZFS support in the past due to licensing issues, and Ubuntu 16.04’s ZFS support sits smack-dab in the middle of a controversial legal gray area.

          • Ubuntu’s $70 computing stick could fit nicely behind your TV

            Want to turn a TV into a Ubuntu computer? The very orange MeLE PCG02U just might be what you’re looking for. This tiny stick computer costs only $70, meaning you can add a desktop to any TV for very little money. It’s the first Ubuntu device from Mele, a Chinese manufacturer that until now has focused on Android and Windows devices.

          • This $70 computer stick is designed for Ubuntu

            Ubuntu is starting to show up in lot more places lately: tablets, phones, and this neat little computer-on-a-stick created by MeLE called the PGC02U. It’s $70, with an Intel BayTrail processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. It also comes in Ubuntu orange and has a wee little antenna to help with wireless reception. Liliputing points out that you might want to go ahead and install this build of Ubuntu created by Ian Morrison, as it’s designed specifically for stick computers.

          • Mele PCG02U is a $70 Ubuntu PC stick

            Chinese computer maker Mele has been offering small Android and Windows computers for a few years. Now the company is selling a PC-on-a-stick that runs Ubuntu Linux.

          • Mele PCG02U Ubuntu PC Stick Launches For $70
          • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS video review

            Ubuntu 16.04 LTS was recently released, and many Linux users have been wondering what it has to offer and if it’s worth installing or upgrading from a previous release of Ubuntu.

            Not to worry, a YouTuber by the name of Quidsup has a full video review of Ubuntu 16.04 that will walk you through the latest changes to Canonical’s popular desktop distribution.

          • [Older] Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Released, This Is What’s New
          • uNav 0.59 GPS Navigation App for Ubuntu Phones Brings Pinch-Zoom, a Refreshed UI

            uNav developer Nekhelesh Ramananthan announced the release of version 0.59 of the default GPS navigation app for the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system for Ubuntu Phones.

            According to the announcement, uNav 0.59, which has been dubbed “Beauty and the Beast,” comes with exciting new features, among which we can mention a brand-new navigation structure, giving users the possibility of searching for locations, favorites or coordinates directly from the menubar, as well as a refresh of the UI (details below).

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • YouTube will soon roll out six-second ads that you can’t skip

    YouTube’s adding a new option to help advertisers get their message to consumers — but in a much shorter amount of time than normal. Today the company announced that beginning next month, it’ll offer six-second “Bumper” ads that are designed to be a better companion to the shorter video clips that millions of YouTube users are watching on smartphones. “We like to think of Bumper ads as little haikus of video ads — and we’re excited to see what the creative community will do with them,” YouTube’s Zach Lupei wrote in a blog post. You can see a sample of one below, which was an early test by Atlantic Records.

  • YouTube just announced plans to steal six seconds of your life

    PEOPLE FALLING over and cat fanciers hangout YouTube is planning to make people sit through six seconds of un-skippable advertising in the sort of move that makes sense to businesses but makes people go cray cray.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • German nuclear plant infected with computer viruses, operator says

      A nuclear power plant in Germany has been found to be infected with computer viruses, but they appear not to have posed a threat to the facility’s operations because it is isolated from the Internet, the station’s operator said on Tuesday.

      The Gundremmingen plant, located about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Munich, is run by the German utility RWE (RWEG.DE).

      The viruses, which include “W32.Ramnit” and “Conficker”, were discovered at Gundremmingen’s B unit in a computer system retrofitted in 2008 with data visualization software associated with equipment for moving nuclear fuel rods, RWE said.

      Malware was also found on 18 removable data drives, mainly USB sticks, in office computers maintained separately from the plant’s operating systems. RWE said it had increased cyber-security measures as a result.

    • Death of the enterprise VPN – if remote access is not secure what comes next? [iophk: "Spam. Besides, if an app cannot be put on the net without a VPN then it does not belong on the net in the first place."]

      VPNs are the backbone of enterprise remote access and yet their security limitations are starting to pile up. The problem is that the very thing that once made them so useful, network access, is now their biggest weakness. As the 2014 attacks on retailers Target and Home Depot painfully illustrate, this architecture can easily be exploited by attackers armed with stolen credentials to move around networks from within in ways that are difficult to spot until it’s too late.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The classified ’28 pages’: A diversion from real US-Saudi issues

      The US government has known that Saudi financing of madrassas all over the world has been a major source of jihadist activism. The Saudi regime’s extremist Wahhabi perspective on Shia Islam is the basis for its paranoid stance on the rest of the region and the destabilisation of Syria and Yemen. The 28 pages should be released, but at a time when the contradictions between US and Saudi interests are finally beginning to be openly acknowledged, the issue is just another diversion from the real debate on Saudi Arabia that is urgently needed.

    • Is This What’s in Those 28 Pages? And Does it Matter?

      Did the CIA meet with some of the 9/11 hijackers ahead of the attacks on New York? Did the Saudi government help finance those hijackers? Someone knows the answers, and soon, you might know as well.

    • Rio Sees A ‘Surge’ In Police Killings Ahead Of The Summer Olympics

      Since the beginning of April, 11 people have been killed by the police in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the Summer Olympics are scheduled to begin in just 100 days. One of the victims was a five-year-old boy.

    • Censored, Surveilled, Watch Listed and Jailed: The Absurdity of Being a Citizen in the American Police State

      April 26, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – “Ron Paul Institute”- In the American police state, the price to be paid for speaking truth to power (also increasingly viewed as an act of treason) is surveillance, censorship, jail and ultimately death.

      However, where many Americans go wrong is in assuming that you have to be doing something illegal or challenging the government’s authority in order to be flagged as a suspicious character, labeled an enemy of the state and locked up like a dangerous criminal.

    • Nuclear Escalation in Europe

      The United States feigned surprise during the simulation of an attack by the Russian aviation against the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea. And yet, as we have reported, Russia already has the capacity to block the ship’s Communications & Commands, and did so, observes Manlio Dinucci, because the ship was in the process of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Furthermore, the US nuclear deployment occurred as China is developing hypersonic launchers, a part of whose trajectory will be in glide mode, inspiring new research by DARPA. As from now, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin are participating in the Tactical Boost Glide Program.

    • Ukraine’s Rightists Return to Odessa

      For two years, Ukraine’s U.S.-backed regime has balked at investigating dozens of arson deaths in Odessa and now is doing little as far-right nationalists rally for another confrontation, writes Nicolai N. Petro.

    • Can We Feel the Heat?

      I am travelling as a peace witness in Iraqi Kurdistan. We visited a sheikh whom I had met in Fallujah in 2012. He and his family were forced to flee to Kurdistan about two years ago. Fallujah iis being held by ISIS. None of the residents are allowed to leave. People are dying of starvation.

    • Has The American Age of Decline Begun?

      “Low-energy Jeb.” “Little Marco.” “Lyin’ Ted.” “Crooked Hillary.” Give Donald Trump credit. He has a memorable way with insults. His have a way of etching themselves on the brain. And they’ve garnered media coverage, analysis, and commentary almost beyond imagining. Memorable as they might be, however, they won’t be what last of Trump’s 2016 election run. That’s surely reserved for a single slogan that will sum up his candidacy when it’s all over (no matter how it ends). He arrived with it on that Trump Tower escalator in the first moments of his campaign and it now headlines his website, where it’s also emblazoned on an array of products from hats to t-shirts.

      You already know which line I mean: “Make America Great Again!” With that exclamation point ensuring that you won’t miss the hyperbolic, Trumpian nature of its promise to return the country to its former glory days. In it lies the essence of his campaign, of what he’s promising his followers and Americans generally — and yet, strangely enough, of all his lines, it’s the one most taken for granted, the one that’s been given the least thought and analysis. And that’s a shame, because it represents something new in our American age. The problem, I suspect, is that what first catches the eye is the phrase “Make America Great” and then, of course, the exclamation point, while the single most important word in the slogan, historically speaking, is barely noted: “again.”

      With that “again,” Donald Trump crossed a line in American politics that, until his escalator moment, represented a kind of psychological taboo for politicians of any stripe, of either party, including presidents and potential candidates for that position. He is the first American leader or potential leader of recent times not to feel the need or obligation to insist that the United States, the “sole” superpower of Planet Earth, is an “exceptional” nation, an “indispensable” country, or even in an unqualified sense a “great” one. His claim is the opposite. That, at present, America is anything but exceptional, indispensable, or great, though he alone could make it “great again.” In that claim lies a curiosity that, in a court of law, might be considered an admission of guilt. Yes, it says, if one man is allowed to enter the White House in January 2017, this could be a different country, but — and in this lies the originality of the slogan — it is not great now, and in that admission-that-hasn’t-been-seen-as-an-admission lies something new on the American landscape.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Harmful Algal Bloom Reddit “Ask Us Anything”

      With harmful algal bloom (HAB) season beginning over the next few months in several areas of the U.S., this is your chance to talk with two NOAA scientists who study the impacts of harmful algal blooms and forecast bloom conditions for various U.S. coastal regions.

    • Climate Change Is Taking The Spotlight In Australia’s Election

      Australia hasn’t exactly been seen as a leader on climate policy in recent years: Former prime minister Tony Abbott once called climate change “absolute crap,” and current Prime Minister Malcolm Turbull hasn’t delivered the about-face on climate that many environmentalists had hoped for. But that could change with this year’s election.

      On Wednesday, Australia’s Labor Party, the main opposition to the country’s current Turbull-led coalition government, announced a plan to tackle climate change that’s more ambitious than the country’s current approach. Under the Labor Party, Australia would work to decrease emissions 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, compared with the current pledge to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels. A ruling Labor party would also implement a country-wide emissions trading scheme and would set a goal of getting 50 percent of the country’s electricity from renewables by 2030.

    • Climate Change Action Emerges As Winning Wedge Issue In 2016

      A new public opinion survey finds that “Americans across political lines, except conservative Republicans, would support a presidential candidate who strongly supports taking action to reduce global warming.”

      The survey of 1,004 registered voters by the Climate Change Communication programs at Yale and George Mason University yielded a number of important findings consistent with earlier polling this year by Gallup.

    • Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative

      Oyster beds stabilize the shoreline and filter contaminants from the water, which, in turn, promotes seagrass growth, providing habitat for numerous fish and shellfish species. Oysters are an important food source for animals and people alike, and they are fundamental to the region’s economy. A February 2014 report from NOAA Fisheries estimated that in 2012, the oyster harvest garnered $331 million in revenue in Louisiana alone.

    • ‘Neutral is Not Acceptable’: Nationwide Protests Demand Colleges Go Fossil Free

      A series of sit-ins and protests urging universities to divest their endowments from fossil fuels gained new strength this week, as students at the University of Montana, Vassar College, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison launched their own actions to combat climate change.

      Two nights in a row, on Monday and Tuesday multiple students at Northern Arizona University (NAU) were arrested for taking part in a nonviolent action demanding their school divest from oil and gas companies.

      “Our administration would rather arrest students then take serious action on climate change,” lamented Fossil Free NAU on its Facebook page.

      “We believe that it is morally unjust to be investing in a dying industry,” said NAU senior Michaela Mujica-Steiner, one of the coordinators of the school sit-in. “We would like to see the school step up and lead with students who are currently demonstrating leadership.”

    • Hanford Seeks Possible Leak in 2nd Double-Walled Tank
    • Michigan Official Tried to Manipulate Lead Tests—Eight Years Ago

      A newly resurfaced email demonstrates that in 2008 an official from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) tried to game lead tests by suggesting that technicians collect extra water samples to make the average lead count for a community appear artificially low.

      The email was sent in response to a test result that showed one home’s lead levels were ten times the federal action level of 15 parts per billion, and urged the lead test technician to take an additional set of water samples to “bump out” the high result so that the MDEQ wouldn’t be required to notify the community of the high levels of lead in its water.

      “Otherwise we’re back to water quality parameters and lead public notice,” complained Adam Rosenthal of the MDEQ’s Drinking Water office in the email.

    • Michael Moore Blasts Obama in an Open Letter About the Flint Water Crisis

      Political documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has been extremely active in advocating for his hometown of Flint, Mich., since the news of the water crisis there broke months ago.

      He has repeatedly posted about Flint on his website, even going so far as demanding Gov. Rick Snyder’s arrest. And, like other activists in Flint, he’s been urging President Obama to pay a visit to the desperate town.

    • Locals In Peru Force US Company To Scrap $5 Billion Mining Project

      Activists in Peru have forced the second-largest gold mining corporation in the world, Newmont, to abandon its $5 billion Conga copper and gold mining project.

      Indigenous Peruvians say the conga mine project, which was intended to replace the nearly-depleted Yanacocha gold mine nearby, threatens the local environment

  • Finance

    • Luxembourg Puts Journalist and Whistleblowers On Trial for Ruining Its “Magical Fairyland” of Tax Avoidance

      LUXEMBOURG IS TRYING to throw two French whistleblowers and a journalist in prison for their role in the “LuxLeaks” exposé that revealed the tiny country’s outsized role in enabling corporate tax avoidance.

      The trial of Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet, two former employees of the international accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, and journalist Edouard Perrin began Tuesday.

      Deltour and Halet were charged in connection with theft of PwC documents. Perrin is charged as an accomplice for steering Halet toward documents that he considered of particular interest.

    • Former Tax Lobbyists Are Writing the Rules on Tax Dodging

      The secret tax-dodging strategies of the global elite in China, Russia, Brazil, the U.K., and beyond were exposed in speculator fashion by the recent Panama Papers investigation, fueling a worldwide demand for a crackdown on tax avoidance.

      But there is little appetite in Congress for taking on powerful tax dodgers in the U.S., where the practice has become commonplace.

    • Reinventing Saudi Arabia after Oil: The Prince’s $2 Trillion Gamble

      Saudi Arabia’s citizen population is probably only about 20 million, so it is a small country without a big domestic market. It is surrounded in the general region by huge countries like Egypt (pop. 85 million), Iran (pop. 75 mn.) and Turkey (75 mn.), not to mention Ethiopia (pop. 90 mn.) Without petroleum, it is difficult to see what would be distinctive about Saudi Arabia economically.

      The excruciatingly young prince, who was born in 1985, has a BA in Law from a local Saudi university and his way of speaking about the elements of the economy is not reassuring. Take his emphasis on the maritime trade routes that flow around the Arabian Peninsula. How exactly does Saudi Arabia derive a dime from them? The only tolls I can think of are collected by Egypt for passage through the Suez Canal. By far the most important container port in the region is Jebel Ali in the UAE, which dwarfs Jedda. His estimate of 30% of world trade going through these bodies of water strikes me as exaggerated. Only about 10% of world trade goes through the Suez Canal.

    • Letter from Oxford

      The future independence of universities is in doubt, especially those dependent on alumni support. Old grads are turned off by the erasure of what they remember. Recent grads are not experiencing the same success. A university degree no longer brings the same economic success that it did in the 20th century. A financialized and offshored capitalism has heavily redistributed income and wealth to the One Percent. One consequence is that the alumni donor base will shrink.

    • A majority of millennials now reject capitalism, poll shows
  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Hillary Clinton is DINO-mite to the Billionaires

      Now that Charlie Koch has admitted that his money could ride on Clinton would she just tweak a few of her ideas here or there, I can only presume he may have paid for the Yahoo! ad, which can’t be cheap.

      I’m kidding. Hillary has plenty of money.

      But it would be an expression of his devotion, would it not? Koch likes her for good reason. She’s as much about the money as he is, but not everyone admires Madam.

      The dislike of Clinton is borne out in some polls. People are going to hold their noses and vote for Hillary all the way to the convention. Many dislike her, but it’s in their best interest to keep things the way they are. Not just for the Kochs, but for the majority.

      Bernie and The Donald would mess something up. This election is ultimately about pragmatism once you exit the powder room.

    • Vox’s Puff Piece on Goldman Sachs Doesn’t Reveal Goldman Sponsors Vox

      Matthew Yglesias (4/25/16) gave a generous write-up to Goldman Sachs’ new commercial banking subsidiary, GS Bank, without noting that Goldman Sachs is a sponsor of Vox.

      Despite the obligatory “to be sure” paragraph, where Yglesias ran through some of the downsides (“they don’t have a checking account and there’s no ATM access”), the post mostly served to promote a new product “for the masses” from Goldman Sachs, a company worth roughly $87 billion.

    • Amy Goodman on How the Media Is Ruining the 2016 Election by Focusing on ‘Trump-land’

      If you’ve been near a television, computer or newspaper over the past six months, you know it’s impossible to escape media coverage of Donald Trump. Beyond mere annoyance, this avalanche of attention has created a serious problem in media accountability.

      Amy Goodman, host of “Democracy Now!”, argues that the 24/7 Trump coverage is ruining the election. “We need a media that covers power, not covers for power,” she says, noting the imbalance in election coverage among the candidates in this year’s presidential race.

    • Amy Goodman on AJ+: How the Media Ruins Elections
    • Money Couldn’t Buy Love for Maryland Congressional Candidate David Trone

      David Trone entered Maryland’s 8th Congressional District race in late January, but his late start didn’t hinder his campaign spending. Trone broke the record for self-funding a House campaign by spending more than $12 million of his own money, breaking New Mexico Democrat Phil Maloof’s 1998 record of $6.3 million.

      Despite this significant lump of cash, Trone lost Tuesday’s primary race.

      Throughout the campaign, Trone never labeled himself a front-runner—quite the opposite. “There is no question that I am the underdog,” Trone told Bethesda Magazine in January. The “wine superstore owner” faced seven other opponents for the seat, including Kathleen Matthews, wife of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews; State Sen. Jamie Raskin; and two of Barack Obama’s former aides.

    • Exclusive: Half of Americans think presidential nominating system ‘rigged’ – poll

      More than half of American voters believe that the system U.S. political parties use to pick their candidates for the White House is “rigged” and more than two-thirds want to see the process changed, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

      The results echo complaints from Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders that the system is stacked against them in favor of candidates with close ties to their parties – a critique that has triggered a nationwide debate over whether the process is fair.

      The United States is one of just a handful of countries that gives regular voters any say in who should make it onto the presidential ballot. But the state-by-state system of primaries, caucuses and conventions is complex. The contests historically were always party events, and while the popular vote has grown in influence since the mid-20th century, the parties still have considerable sway.

    • Cracked Distills Idiocy, Mendacity of American Politics (Video)

      This Cracked video provides a humorous overview of the presidential election process and explains why candidates can’t be honest.

    • Offshore Democracy, or Argentina through the looking glass

      Exclude the poor from politics on the grounds that they are tempted to misappropriate public funds, and replace them with the rich: this is the project.

    • Noam Chomsky: Bernie Sanders is Not a Radical, He Has Mass Support for Positions on Healthcare & Taxes

      During an event Tuesday night, Noam Chomsky was asked about Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and said he considered him more of a “New Deal Democrat” than a radical extremist, as some have portrayed him. Chomsky said Sanders’ positions on taxes and healthcare are supported by a majority of the American public, and have been for a long time. He added that Sanders has “mobilized a large number of young people who are saying, ‘Look, we’re not going to consent anymore.’ If that turns into a continuing, organized, mobilized force, that could change the country—maybe not for this election, but in the longer term.”

    • Fourteen to Go: Sanders Set on ‘Transforming Nation’

      That’s how many Democratic presidential nominating contests remain. From Indiana next week to the District of Columbia on June 14—with delegate prizes as large as 546 in California and small as 12 in Guam to be won in between—14 states and territories have yet to hold their respective caucus or primary.

      “That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast,” said Bernie Sanders on Tuesday night, following a win in Rhode Island and losses to rival Hillary Clinton in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

    • Why Bernie Will, Should and Must Stay in the Race

      Bernie has substantively—even profoundly—changed American politics for the better, which is why he’s gaining more and more support and keeps winning delegates. From the start, he said, “This campaign is not about me”—it’s a chance for voters who have been disregarded and discarded to forge a new political revolution that will continue to grow beyond this election and create a true people’s government.

    • Why Sanders Supporters Should Not Let Democratic Primary Demoralize Them

      Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was expected to do very well in the five primaries on April 26, but after the results, Bernie Sanders and his supporters face a critical moment in the election as the campaign fights for every possible delegate on the way to the convention.

      Clinton won Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware decisively. She also eked out a win in Connecticut. She lost in Rhode Island, which was the only state with an open primary that allowed independents to vote for Sanders without affiliating with the Democratic Party.

      Numerous dedicated Sanders volunteers, who have put thousands of hours into the campaign, now face low morale. Sanders supporters lost a lot of hope after New York, and much of that had to do with the establishment news media aggressively promoting the Clinton campaign’s talking points that there was no way Sanders could achieve victory (which was not accurate).

    • The Best Reason for Bernie Sanders to Fight On: Hawkish, Neoliberal Clintons Need a Watchful Eye From Progressives

      Hillary Clinton’s victory language last night showed that she has picked up some of Sanders’ language, and her effort to fold Sanders’ vision into her party’s sounded compelling. But let me mention and rebut some of the Clinton camp’s most convincing points before … ah, elephant in the argument that could end up embarrassing Democrats and actually worsening conditions in the United States even (perhaps especially!) if Clinton wins the White House.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Rhode Island Attorney General Pushing For A State-Level CFAA That Will Turn Researchers, Whistleblowers Into Criminals

      We recently wrote about the Rhode Island attorney general’s “cybercrime” bill — a legislative proposal that seeks to address cyberbullying, revenge porn, etc. with a bunch of broadly — and poorly — written clauses. Two negative comments written months apart could be viewed as “cyber-harassment” under the law, separating it from the sustained pattern of abuse that one normally considers “harassment.”

      In addition, the proposed law would criminalize “non-consensual communications.” If the sender does not obtain the recipient’s permission to send a message, it’s a criminal act if the recipient finds the message to be distressing — which could mean anything from emailing explicit threats to posting a negative comment on someone’s Facebook page.

      But that’s not Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin’s only bad idea. It appears he’s behind another legislative proposal — one that would amend the state’s computer crime laws into something more closely resembling the catastrophic federal equivalent: the CFAA.

    • Jeremy Corbyn hasn’t got an ‘antisemitism problem’. His opponents do.

      These are extraordinary claims to level against the UK’s principal party of opposition, and they have generated an extraordinary amount of media coverage, albeit no serious investigation. The common premise underlying this torrent of articles, think-pieces and polemics – that antisemitism is a growing problem within the Labour party – is rapidly congealing into conventional wisdom. Yet this basic claim is devoid of factual basis. The allegations against Corbyn and the Labour party are underpinned by an almost comical paucity of evidence, while what evidence does exist not only fails to justify the claims being made, but has itself been systematically misrepresented. There is no grounds for supposing either that antisemitism is significant within the Labour party, or that its prevalence is increasing. But, under mounting pressure, the Labour leadership’s response to the accusations has regressed from dismissive to defensive, to the point where policy interventions from such noted antisemitism experts as Richard Angell of Progress are reportedly being treated as serious, good-faith contributions.

    • Egypt’s Dangerous Turn

      Egypt’s military regime is suppressing political opposition even more ferociously than the longtime Mubarak dictatorship while also collaborating in the strangulation of Gaza, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • FDA to Massachusetts Group Home: Stop Shocking Disabled Residents

      The government questions whether The Judge Rotenberg Center has been straight with families about the risks of its electrical shock devices and alternative treatments.

    • Bill Clinton’s Shameful Legacy on Immigration: ‘Terrible’ Laws He Signed ‘Rip Apart’ Families and Authorize Unjust Detention, Human Rights Watch Says

      Clinton-era immigration laws “have subjected hundreds of thousands of people to arbitrary detention, fast-track deportations and family separation,” Human Rights Watch says in a new report.

    • Longest-Serving GOP Speaker In History Is A Liar And Serial Child Molester, Federal Judge Says

      Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was sentenced in federal court today to 15 months in prison and a $250,000 fine, in addition to two years of supervised release, on the condition that he get treatment as a sex offender. Last year, Hastert pled guilty to breaking banking laws by making illegal withdrawals — which he then lied about to the FBI.

      Hastert took out $1.7 million in small amounts to avoid suspicion, according to the indictment, which he then used as hush money to prevent a victim of sexual abuse from going public. The victim, identified only as “Individual A” in the court papers, was a 14-year-old on Hastert’s wrestling team when Hastert was a teacher and wrestling coach at Yorkville High school in Illinois. When the allegations become public, three other victims came forward and said that they had been molested by Hastert while he was their wrestling coach. While the statute of limitations on the sexual crimes ran out long ago, the judge can take any behavior surrounding the banking crimes into account when sentencing.

    • Notorious Louisiana Prison Accuses Inmate Of ‘Defiance’ For Speaking With Reporters

      Officials at one of the United States’ most notorious prisons have reportedly punished an outspoken inmate for daring to correspond with reporters about conditions inside the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.

      William Kissinger was abruptly relocated from Angola to the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center some 70 miles south in early February, after emailing with a reporter from the New Orleans Advocate for some weeks. Prison officials say he was moved as a disciplinary action because he was guilty of “defiance” and “general prohibited behavior,” the Advocate reports — two broad and vague rules of prisoner conduct that allow officials to punish inmates for anything they decide insults staff or impedes the prison’s function.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Roku CEO Kisses Up To Comcast, Supports Opposition To Cable Set Top Box Competition

      As we’ve been discussing, the FCC is cooking up a plan to open up the closed cable set top box to third party competition. As we’ve also been pointing out, the cable industry has been throwing an absolutely epic hissy fit about this plan, given it would destroy the $21 billion in annual revenues cable operators make off of cable box rental fees. Since it can’t just admit this is all about protecting set top rental fees, the cable industry has been pushing an endless wave of editorials in newspapers and websites nationwide, claiming more set top box competition will hurt consumer privacy, increase piracy, harm diversity, and rip the very planet from its orbital axis.

    • As Broadband Usage Caps Expand, Complaints To The FCC Skyrocket

      For several years now, broadband providers have been taking full advantage of the lack of competition in the broadband market by expanding usage caps and overage fees. More recently, companies like AT&T, Comcast and Suddenlink have taken this practice one step further by charging users a $10 to $35 per month surcharge if consumers want to avoid usage caps. In other words, consumers are paying more money than ever for a service that costs less and less to provide, thanks again to limited competition in the broader broadband market.

      And while companies like Comcast have used the same approach seen in the boiling frog metaphor to slowly expand its usage cap “trials” and hope nobody notices, people are definitely noticing the rising temperatures.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Drawn Out Battle Over Genetic Resources Dampens Africa’s Hopes

      The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is the world’s most authoritative legal instrument on intellectual property. It falls under the World Trade Organisation, which sets the rules for trade between countries. The United Nations also has an agency specialising in intellectual property rights, the World Intellectual Property Organisation. The two bodies signed a cooperation agreement in 1996.

      But the trade agreement doesn’t mention traditional knowledge, let alone its association with genetic resources. The UN body, meanwhile, has been trying – unsuccessfully – to negotiate a new framework over the past 16 years. These gaps show how conventional intellectual property frameworks have neglected the knowledge that indigenous communities produce.

      [...]

      All of these examples have attracted international interest. This has prompted indigenous and local communities to spar with foreigners over the benefits that are due to them.

      In the absence of clear rules, a process called “biopiracy” has emerged. Biopirates appropriate genetic resources and their associated traditional knowledge by using patents. Sometimes these are turned into blockbuster products. Local communities don’t benefit at all.

    • Magic Leap lampoons Google Glass in patent filing

      Patent drawings are not generally a source of amusement, as artistic as they may sometimes be. Magic Leap, the fabled and secretive augmented reality start-up valued at USD 4.5 billion, however, snuck a first class nerd joke in its application US2016/0109707 published 21 April 2016 with the memorable title “combining at least one variable focus element with a plurality of stacked waveguides for augmented or virtual reality display” (and containing no less than 152 patent drawings).

    • BREAKING: House passes Defend Trade Secrets Act, next stop President Obama

      The US Senate only just unanimously passed S.1890 (see AmeriKat report here) three weeks ago. Following the Senate vote, the Obama administration called the DTSA “important protection” for American business and industries. Why is the DTSA so important? It provides trade secrets owners with the possibility of filing civil claims for trade secrets misappropriation within the federal court system (necessary given the ease and speed with which misappropriated trade secrets can cross state borders). The DTSA also provides for a seizure order to prevent the destruction or dissemination of misappropriated trade secrets. See the recent post by trade secrets expert, James Pooley.

    • US House passes trade secrets bill
    • Implementing and Interpreting the Defend Trade Secrets Act [iophk: “Microsoft, for example, defines just about everything as a trade secret, especially contracts with public entities.” Has Microsoft (along with other corporations that bought the US government) just criminalised revealing Microsoft contracts? Has Microsoft just criminalised revealing its patent racketeering deals?]

      With today’s 410-2 House vote, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) has now passed both the House and Senate and is headed to President Obama for his expected signature.[1] The DTSA amends the Economic Espionage Act to create a private civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation based upon the Congressional sense that trade secret theft exists and is harmful.[2] Trade secret misappropriation (as a civil matter) has previously been purely a matter of state law. Although there is substantial uniformity between the states,[3] there are also a number of differences and perceived procedural weaknesses.[4] The DTSA would not eliminate or preempt the various state trade secret rights but rather would operate as an additional layer of potential protection.[5] The law is designed to go into effect on its day of enactment and apply to any misappropriation that occurs on or after that date.

    • Transparency of patents on medicines and other technologies

      The Beall/Attaran paper deals specifically with the WHO Essential Medicines List (EML), and the authors might make the argument that not much is known about the patent landscape of the entire EML, per se, but that really misses the point. There are many studies and commentaries on the patent landscape for medicines that are essential, including both those on and off the WHO EML. Much of the work in publishing patent landscapes in recent years has been done by MSF, I-Mak, and the Medicines Patent Pool, as well as several academics and health NGOs. NGOs, including but not limited to KEI, have also addressed policy issues related to the transparency of patent landscapes, not only for medicines, but also in other areas, including clean energy, climate change, and standards essential patents on mobile computing devices, for example.

    • On IP Protection, USTR Finds Fault With China, India … And Switzerland? [Ed: see what else it did, bullying nations that don’t obey the demands of US corporations]

      The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) does not hesitate to add even its closest friends to its annual list of concerns about possible inadequate protection of US intellectual property rights. So this year, along with perennial listees China, India and dozens of others, vigorous IP-rights defender Switzerland makes an appearance. The annual Special 301 report was issued today, and in its press release this year, USTR also included its primary client in publishing the list – the rightsholder industry.

    • Trademarks

      • Priceline Throws A Fit And Sues USPTO For Not Granting Them Booking.com Trademark

        The Priceline Group has something of a history with intellectual property. Several years back, Jay Walker, Priceline’s founder, appeared to have transitioned to becoming a full-blown patent troll. In the year’s since, the company he once founded has been in something of a tussle with the USPTO over its attempt to register a trademark for “booking.com.” The USPTO had initially approved of the mark, before reversing its own decision only weeks later due to “booking.com” being essentially descriptive. The Priceline Group appealed, but the appeals board upheld the rejection of the mark, affirming it as being descriptive.

    • Copyrights

      • Judge: RIAA and MPAA Can’t Copy Megaupload’s Servers, Yet

        The legal battles between the RIAA, MPAA and Kim Dotcom’s Megaupload have been put on hold for another six months. Virginia District Court Judge Liam O’Grady agreed to stay the cases, but did not grant a request from the industry groups to allow them to copy Megaupload’s data which remains stored at its former hosting provider.

      • US Supreme Court debates copyright case attorneys’ fees in Kirtsaeng

        The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Susap Kirtsaeng v John Wiley, with justices appearing sceptical that prevailing defendants should be awarded fees in close cases

      • International report – Google Books project gets green light

        On April 18 2016 the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in Authors Guild v Google, thus leaving in place a lower court ruling that Google did not infringe authors’ copyrights in its project to create a searchable library of the world’s books. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit had held that Google’s project was a protected ‘fair use’ of copyrighted works.

      • Rep. Goodlatte Promises ‘Consensus’ Copyright Reform Proposals Soon

        Congress has mostly stayed away from any attempt at copyright reform since the great SOPA blackout of 2012, afraid that anything will set off the public again. However, in 2013, Copyright Register Maria Pallante called on Congress to create the “next great copyright act” designed to update copyright for the 21st century. The House Judiciary Committee has been holding hearings and roundtables every few months since then, some of which have been more encouraging than others.

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