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05.02.16

Links 2/5/2016: Linux 4.6 RC6, DragonBox Pyra

Posted in News Roundup at 6:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Download Linux Voice issue 18
  • Desktop

    • Windows desktop share falls below 90% [Ed: based on Microsoft-connected firm]

      The desktop share of Windows computers worldwide fell below 90 per cent for the first time since it established the mark, according to figures from the web analytics company Net Applications.

      While there were encouraging figures for Microsoft among the various Windows versions, the overall share fell to 89.23 per cent.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.6-rc6

      Things continue to be fairly calm, although I’m pretty sure I’ll still
      do an rc7 in this series.

      There’s nothing particularly scary in here – there’s a fix for a
      long-standing infiniband interface problem, but since you actually
      have to have the hardware for that, it’s not like that is going to
      affect all that many people, and the workaround was pretty
      straightforward. The bulk of the rest is really just the normal random
      noise. Drivers (sound, gpu, ethernet being the bulk of it),
      architectures (arm, s390, x86), networking is the bulk of it.

      Shortlog appended for your edification,

      Linus

    • Linux 4.6-rc6 Kernel Released, Codenamed “Charred Weasel”
    • Linus Torvalds Announces Linux Kernel 4.6 RC6, Dubbed “Charred Weasel”

      It’s Sunday night, so Linus Torvalds has announced the release of a new RC build for the upcoming Linux 4.6 kernel series, which has been dubbed “Charred Weasel.”

      According to Linus Torvalds, things continue to remain fairly calm in the development cycle of Linux kernel 4.6, which might very well get one more Release Candidate (RC), version RC7, next week, on May 8, 2016. Then, one week later, on May 15, we should be able to get our hands on the final release of Linux kernel 4.6, which will hit the stable repositories of various distributions most probably around June 2016.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Akonadi Support For Microsoft Exchange
      • Akonadi Resource for Microsoft Exchange Web Services (EWS)

        Whether you are a Microsoft hater or a lover, when you have ever had a chance to work for a medium or large corporation, you have probably stumbled upon Microsoft Exchange mail server. While it can be made to talk to regular e-mail clients using standards such as IMAP, POP3 and SMTP, some corporate admins choose not to enable any of the standard mail protocols leaving the user with no choice other than to use Microsoft Outlook. Even if it is possible to use regular e-mail clients they will not be able to explore the full potential of Exchange, as it is not only a mail server but rather a groupware server which includes support for calendar, tasks, contacts and many more.

      • Evaluation of the Qt Quick Scene Graph Performance

        QPainter, which is the base of drawing in KStars, uses an imperative way whereas QtQuick Scene Graph utilizes declarative paradigm. In Scene Graph you add some set of “nodes” (classes with prefix QSG) to the root node that is returned by calling QQuickItem::updatePaintNode() whenever you want to render QQuickItem and manipulate them during the runtime (change position, geometry, material, etc.) This gives possibilities to perform some optimization like batching the nodes to draw them in fewer calls to OpenGL, which can be of tremendous help for us in drawing stars, for example.

      • Hello World!

        As the title suggests it is a lite version for mobile/tablets, slow machines like budget laptops, netbooks, single-board computers like Raspberry Pi, etc. One of the main differences between desktop and lite versions is that the graphics of the latter is based on QML/QtQuick. KStars Lite is built bearing in mind the differences between mouse/touch interfaces and the graphical frontend will be designed according to touch interfaces of mobile platforms.

      • Plasma Mobile : New base system

        Last Akademy, the Plasma team revealed the first prototype of the new Plasma Mobile.

        [...]

        Our initial Ubuntu Touch base was Ubuntu 15.04. Eventually, our image started to diverge from the Ubuntu Touch base. For example, we upgraded libhybris to upstream version because libhybris available in Ubuntu archive diverged too much from upstream to be useful in our context. We also had to upgrade to a newer Qt version, and we also needed to upgrade the base system to Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) because we did not have the resources for managing different branches for packaging the latest git KF5/Plasma for 15.04.

      • Converging Kubes

        Kube, our PIM-Client in the making, is supposed to run on a variety of platforms and form-factors. We aim to provide a consistent look and feel across them all. If you know how to use Kube on your desktop machine, you will know how to use it on your Android phone or tablet as well. So what we are going to do, is building a UI for the phone, allowing it to display multiple pages on the tablet and in the end serving it on the desktop as well. Good idea, right?

  • Distributions

    • 4MLinux 17.0 OS Hits the Stable Channel, Brings Firefox 46.0 & Thunderbird 45.0

      Softpedia has been informed by 4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki about the general availability of his 4MLinux 17.0 independent, desktop-oriented GNU/Linux distribution.

    • Third OpenELEC 7.0 Beta Is Out, Built Around the Kodi 16.1 “Jarvis” Media Center

      On May 1, 2016, the OpenELEC devs have had the pleasure of announcing the release of the third Beta build of the forthcoming OpenELEC 7.0 Linux kernel-based operating system for embedded devices.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Arch Family

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE announces first round of accepted proposals

        The first round of proposals for the openSUSE Conference have been accepted and people who submitted a call for papers should log-in to events.opensuse.org and check to see if their talk has been accepted as part of the first round of proposals.

        For proposals that have been accepted, users should confirm their proposal as soon as possible and also register for the conference if they had not done so already.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Backporting of PHP security fixes

        Next step would be to start doing the same for PHP 5.3 (back porting from PHP 5.4, and later on also from PHP 5.5). This can be in use for RHEL 6.x (as LTS support for Debian Squeeze was recently finished).

      • Trusting, Trusting Trust

        A long time ago Ken Thompson wrote something called Reflections on Trusting Trust. If you’ve never read this, go read it right now. It’s short and it’s something everyone needs to understand. The paper basically explains how Ken backdoored the compiler on a UNIX system in such a way it was extremely hard to get rid of the backdoors (yes, more than one). His conclusion was you can only trust code you wrote. Given the nature of the world today, that’s no longer an option.

        Every now and then I have someone ask me about Debian’s Reproducible Builds. There are other groups working on similar things, but these guys seem to be the furthest along. I want to make clear right away that this work being done is really cool and super important, but not exactly for the reasons people assume. The Debian page is good about explaining what’s gong on but I think it’s easy to jump to some false conclusions on this one.

      • OMG Maven 3.0.4 on stretch
      • My Debian Activities in April 2016

        This month I marked 171 packages for accept and rejected 42. I also sent 3 emails to maintainers asking questions. It seems to be that another quiet month is behind us. Nevertheless the flood of strange things in NEW continued this month. Hmm, weird world ..

      • Derivatives

        • Debian-Based GParted Live 0.26.0 Is Out with Linux Kernel 4.5 and GParted 0.26.0

          Last week, we reported news on the release of the GParted 0.26.0 open-source partition editor software, and now Curtis Gedak informs us about the availability of GParted Live 0.26.0-1.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Installing Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

            In the good tradition of our Ubuntu installation tutorials, as well as at the request of several of our readers, we’ve decided to publish a new guide that will teach you who to boot and install the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS operating system.

          • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (aka Xenial Xerus) What’s In The Bits and Bytes?
          • Gorgeous Live Voyager 16.04 Linux OS Comes Hot on the Heels of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

            The team of developers behind the Live Voyager desktop-oriented operating system have announced today, May 1, 2016, the release and immediate availability for download of Voyager 16.04 LTS.

            Coming hot on the heels of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), the Voyager 16.04 LTS GNU/Linux distribution is in fact based on the Xubuntu 16.04 LTS flavor, featuring a highly customized Xfce 4.12 desktop environment and a huge collection of open-source tools.

          • Entroware Ubuntu Laptop Launches For $650

            If you are in search of an affordable Ubuntu laptop that comes pre-installed with the Linux-based operating system you might be interested in a new Linux laptop system created by the UK-based company Entroware.

            The new Entroware Orion Ubuntu laptop is equipped with a 14 inch screen offering users a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, and comes with a variety of specification options that include the ability to install a choice of Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 Skylake processors that can be supported by up to 16GB of RAM.

          • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

            It is always a big deal when Canonical releases a new long-term support version of Ubuntu. Despite Ubuntu’s important place in the Linux distribution ecosystem, I should admit right off the bat that I am not a regular user of Ubuntu. I try out each new release of the desktop version Ubuntu and occasionally use Ubuntu Server, but I tend to use Fedora and CentOS for almost all of my daily desktop and server needs. Still, I’ve always been fascinated by what Canonical is doing with Ubuntu and their Unity desktop environment. Below, I take a look at Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and share my thoughts on the Unity desktop environment and the distribution as a whole.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • The Thunderbird hypothesis

        Let the contributors speak first

        It sounds either like something obvious or someting that should have been already asked. To my knowledge, however, nobody has asked the community of contributors of Thunderbird if they have a clear opinion on the path to a (brighter) future. There’s more. Whatever the final choice of entity that will be made, Thunderbird should actually agree to that choice. And at least in the case of the Document Foundation, I believe it would only be logical that the members of the Document Foundation decide on whether it is a good idea for themselves.

        One implied matter here is that the Thunderbird project should have a precise idea on who his actual contributors are, and from that data extract some notion on who can work on what, for how long and with what capability. What I’m trying to suggest here is that it is important to know where you’re starting from so that you can also tell what’s the more urgent tasks, technical or logistical.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Databases

  • CMS

    • The intersection of Drupal, IoT, and open hardware

      Back in the day, I was working at a large nonprofit in the “webmaster’s office” of the marketing department and was churning out custom PHP/MySQL forms like nobody’s business. I finally got weary of that and starting hunting around the web for a better way. I found Drupal 6 and starting diving in on my own. Years later, after a career shift and a move, I discovered the Portland Drupal User Group and landed a job as a full-time Drupal developer. I continued to regularly attend the meetups in Portland, which I found to be a great source of community, friendships, and professional development. Eventually, I landed a job with Lullabot as a trainer creating content for Drupalize.Me. Now, I’m managing the Drupalize.Me content pipeline, creating Drupal 8 content, and am very much involved in the Portland Drupal community. I’m this year’s coordinator, finding and scheduling speakers.

  • Education

    • 6 colleges turning out open source talent

      Most IT departments have project road maps that will require open-source skills, but finding recent college grads with open source talent can be challenging.

      Whether your company is planning an open-source-based big data implementation, installing an open-platform file manager, or adopting an open approach to customer relationship management, experts say traditional computer science departments might not be turning out students you need.

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 10.3 to Add ZFS and UDF Support, Will Be Based on FreeBSD 10.3

      The development cycle of the GhostBSD 10.3 has started, and a first Alpha build is now ready for public testing, bringing various new features, several improvements, as well as bug fixes.

      Based on the recently released FreeBSD 10.3 operating system, GhostBSD 10.3 should arrive later this year with support for the ZFS (Z File System) and UFS (Unix File System) filesystems, ZFS encryption support in the installer, as well as quarterly updates to the GhostBSD Software applications, adding more stability to the OS.

    • bsdtalk264 – Down the Gopher Hole

      Playing around with the gopher protocol. Description of gopher from the 1995 book “Student’s Guide to the Internet” by David Clark.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NZ Government open source software licensing consultation

      Open and transparent: NZ Government open source software licensing consultation a success

      A consultation to develop a framework for consistent licensing of New Zealand Government open source software has been carried out successfully in an open and transparent manner, says Paul Stone, Programme Leader Open Government Data at Land Information NZ.

      The consultation considered proposals for consistent policy and guidelines that would extend the NZ Government Open Access and Licensing (NZGOAL) framework to cover open source software as well as government content and data.

    • “Hugely useful” Loomio powers consultation on open source software

      A consultation to develop a framework for consistent licensing of New Zealand Government open source software has been carried out successfully in an open and transparent manner, says Paul Stone, Programme Leader Open Government Data at Land Information NZ.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • Smarthistory: No grand strategies needed, just openness

        For many, open initiatives within higher education may have begun when The New York Times declared 2012 as “The Year of the MOOC.” According to the article, “Traditional online courses charge tuition, carry credit and limit enrollment to a few dozen to ensure interaction with instructors. The MOOC, on the other hand, is usually free, credit-less and, well, massive.” Today MOOCs may not be living up to the hopes (or hype) of many of their original proponents, but the concept of developing and delivering educational content online is now certainly common practice.

        Perhaps your history with open educational resources is a bit longer? Before MOOCs, increasing awareness of the costs associated with college texts spawned the open textbook movement. Founded in 1999 at Rice University, OpenStax (then Connexions) began its mission to create open textbooks as freely available educational resources with nonrestrictive licenses, where faculty, researchers, and even students could share and freely adapt educational materials such as courses, books, and reports. While the open textbook movement never really enjoyed the flare of popularity of MOOCs, they too have found advocates and an audience within higher education.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

  • Programming/Development

    • Three Cheers for Monotasking!

      Anyone who has coded—or worked with coders—knows all about this. They complain constantly about interruptions, and with good reason. When they’re deep into a problem, switching their attention is costly. They’ve lost their train of thought, and it can take several minutes to get it back. That’s not much of a problem if it happens a few times a day, but it’s a real killer if it happens a few times an hour.

Leftovers

  • Publishers ‘feeding on scraps from Facebook’, says Bloomberg Media boss

    Newspapers, magazines and other publishers are “feeding on the scraps” of Facebook’s multibillion-dollar ad business despite playing a central role in keeping the social network’s users happy, according to the boss of Bloomberg Media.

    Justin Smith, chief executive of the financial information company’s publishing arm, told the Guardian that even though Facebook was sending traffic to publisher websites, it was making far more from ads in its news feed which was filled with publisher content.

  • Science

    • Science Says This Centuries-Old Discovery Will Save the Planet

      That might sound strange, given that electricity production is the number-one source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Coal- and gas-burning power plants are still our main sources of electricity, and in some parts of the country the power grid is so dirty that electric vehicles might actually cause more pollution than traditional gas-guzzlers.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • A Potent Side Effect to the Flint Water Crisis: Mental Health Problems

      Health care workers are scrambling to help the people here cope with what many fear will be chronic consequences of the city’s water contamination crisis: profound stress, worry, depression and guilt.

      ….Diane Breckenridge, Genesee Health’s liaison to local hospitals, said she had seen “people come into the hospitals directly related to breakdowns, nervous breakdowns, if you will….Most of it’s been depression or suicidal ideation directly linked to what’s going on with their children,” she added. “They just feel like they can’t even let their children take a bath.” Children, too, are traumatized, said Dexter Clarke, a supervisor at Genesee Health, not least because they constantly hear frightening things on television about the lead crisis, including breathless advertisements by personal injury lawyers seeking clients.

      ….Too often now, Nicole Lewis cannot sleep….To help her nerves, she recently installed a home water filtration system, paying $42.50 a month for the service on her main water supply line. She also bought a blender to make her sons smoothies with lead-leaching vegetables, like spinach and kale.

      But still her mind races, especially late at night. Her 7-year-old was just found to have attention deficit disorder, she said. Her 2-year-old is already showing athletic promise, but she wonders whether lead exposure will affect his ability to play sports.

    • War on Drugs has failed – ENCOD Article

      I have had the honour of serving as the European Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) for the last four years, and have been thrilled to oversee the establishment of thriving national groups in the UK and Germany, with the possibility of more on the horizon. In my view, law enforcement offers a unique and critical voice to the international drug policy reform debate.

      LEAP, founded in 2002, today has over 150,000 supporters and speakers in 20 countries. We consist of police officers, lawyers, judges, prison governors, probation officers, intelligence and military personnel, and even international drug czars. What unites us is a shared professional knowledge, experienced across the full spectrum of law enforcement, that drug prohibition has egregiously failed.

    • Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?

      In 1996, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated that Chernobyl was “the foremost nuclear catastrophe in human history”.

    • If Obama Visits Hiroshima

      It is remarkable that it required a wait of over 60 years until John Kerry became the first high American official to make such a visit, which he termed ‘gut-wrenching,’ while at the same time purposely refraining from offering any kind of apology to the Japanese people for one of the worse acts of state terror against a defenseless population in all of human history.

  • Security

    • Pirate Bay visitors infected with crypto-ransomware via bad ads [Ed: Windows]

      Although malvertising attackers have hit a number of torrent sites over the past month, as noted by TorrentFreak, this weekend’s premier of the sixth season of Games of Thrones triggered a huge spike in BitTorrent activity. The attackers may have been trying to cash in on a surge in traffic to The Pirate Bay.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • D.C. Elite Hated Larry Wilmore’s Drone Joke Last Night, But Loved Obama’s in 2010

      Last night at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore compared President Barack Obama to Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry because they both “like raining down bombs on people from long distances.”

      The audience of Washington, D.C. journalists, politicians and celebrities reacted with pained “oooooooh’s,” as did Obama himself (before grinning widely).

    • Pentagon Won’t Prosecute Troops Involved in Deadly Strike on Afghan Doctors Without Borders Hospital

      The incident, in which a US aircraft bombed a Doctors Without Borders medical facility continuously for at least 30 minutes, left 42 civilians dead—including medical staff and patients. The attack destroyed the main building, including the emergency room and intensive care unit. Some patients were burned alive in their hospital beds.

    • A Week of Slaughter in Aleppo Also Destroyed One Of Its Hospitals

      This week’s increased attacks on Aleppo come amid what was supposed to be a partial ceasefire in Syria, but which has all but collapsed. Staffan de Mistura, the UN envoy for Syria, characterized the talks as “barely alive,” the Guardian reports. “How can you have substantial talks when you have only news about bombing and shelling?” he asked.

      Meanwhile, many believe the situation in Aleppo will only get worse in coming weeks, with reports of a military buildup around Aleppo that some fear will result in the government’s attempt to embark on a complete siege of the city’s civilian neighborhoods.

    • Tailor hacked to death in Bangladesh; ISIS claims responsibility

      Police in Bangladesh say they have detained three people in relation to the killing of a Hindu tailor, who was hacked to death in the central Bangladeshi district of Tangail.

      Those detained for questioning include two party members, one from the opposition BNP party and a local leader of the Jamaat e Islami Islamist party.

      The tailor, Nikhil Joarder, is the latest victim in a series of similar attacks in this South Asian nation.
      Police said Joarder was inside his tailoring shop in Tangail on Saturday when at least two assailants drove up on motorbikes and attacked him with machetes. He died immediately, according to Tangail Police Superintendent Mohammed Tanvir.

    • ISIS Says It Killed Bangladesh Tailor Once Jailed for Blasphemy

      A Hindu tailor who had been briefly jailed several years ago over accusations that he made an unfavorable comment about the Prophet Muhammad was hacked to death on Saturday near his shop in central Bangladesh, the police said.

      Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the killing, citing the accusations of blasphemy against the tailor, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist websites.

      Mohammad Abdul Jalil, the officer in charge of the Gopalpur police station in the Tangail district, a central region where the attack occurred, said in a telephone interview that it was too early to determine the motivation of the assailants or whether they were Islamist militants.

      Similar attacks claimed by the militants seem to be accelerating, with five people hacked to death in the past nine days.

    • Rediscovering nonviolence in the Vatican

      Is the Catholic Church ready to abandon ‘just war’ theory and recommit to pacifism?

    • Drop the Just War Theory

      Laity and religious meeting in Rome appeal to Pope Francis to share with the world an encyclical on nonviolence and just peace and for the church to no longer use or teach ‘Just War theory’

    • Remembering the Rev. Daniel Berrigan, Jesuit Priest and Peace Activist

      He was a Jesuit priest, a man of the cloth and a man of letters—but most of all, the Rev. Daniel Berrigan was a man of peace. He was also, as it happened, the man whom Kurt Vonnegut went so far as to call “Jesus as a poet.”

      Berrigan died Saturday at age 94, leaving as his legacy his poetry and prose, along with his life story, which reads as an object lesson on how to follow the Gospels to the letter without bending to the political tides that all too often have pressed his Catholic cohorts into submissive poses. Not so with Berrigan, who was known for his steadfastness and forcefulness, particularly with regard to his anti-war and anti-nuclear activism.

    • Remembering Daniel Berrigan, with Gratitude

      Daniel Berrigan has died, and so we have lost our great teacher who, flinty and generous and relentlessly persistent, taught us how to live in a culture of death and madness:

    • Drafting Women Means Equality in Slavery

      Last week the House Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act requiring women to register with Selective Service. This means that if Congress ever brings back the draft, women will be forcibly sent to war.

      The amendment is a response to the Pentagon’s decision to allow women to serve in combat. Supporters of drafting women point out that the ban on women in combat was the reason the Supreme Court upheld a male-only draft. Therefore, they argue, it is only logical to now force women to register for Selective Service. Besides, supporters of extending the draft point out, not all draftees are sent into combat.

    • Israel Wants More from US

      The Obama administration and Israel are locked in a curious negotiation over how many billions of dollars the U.S. will send to Tel Aviv, a demonstration of Israel’s political clout, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • The EU – A CIA Covert Operation

      The upcoming British referendum on whether to stay in the European Union (EU) represents the culmination of a long term project by the United States to destroy the concept of national sovereignty in the Old World and replace it with a supranational entity with ironclad links to Washington.. Whether that longstanding ambition has succeeded will be decided on June 23 – which is why President Barack Obama made a special trip to the Mother Country to give them a little lecture on the alleged evils of nationalism and the goodness of the EU.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Feds Rely On Industry-Funded Study To Push For More Offshore Oil Exploitation

      Less than one day after President Obama tweeted out that message on climate change, David Sirota and Ned Resnikoff from the International Business Times aimed a spotlight at the Obama administration’s hypocrisy in an investigative piece that exposed again the fossil fuel industry’s influence over our government. Prior to that, the Public Accountability Initiative had revealed the massive influence that the industry had over the government’s assessment of the economic impacts of offshore drilling.

      According to the IB Times report, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s recent analysis of the economic benefits of increased offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and on the Pacific Coast near Alaska was funded partly by the fossil fuel industry. The analysis is currently being used by the administration to sell the project to the American public.

    • Humans Care More About Climate Change if They Know They’re Responsible

      Climate change denial is still a huge problem among elected representatives, to say nothing of the general populace, and even when our elected leaders do try to act to combat climate change, their efforts often leave much to be desired. While it’s easy to blame the problem on scientific illiteracy, a lot of research has shown that even when individuals are educated about climate change and its effects, this knowledge does little to change their concern about the problem—they are still more likely to stick to political narratives than scientific ones.

      However, a new study coming out of the University of Michigan suggests that what people know about climate change can make a difference. Namely, people who understand that climate change is largely caused by human activity are more likely to be concerned about climate change and its effects.

    • Assassinated Activist Berta Caceres Took on the Entire Oligarchy in Her Home Country

      On March 3, assassins entered the home of Berta Caceres, leader of Honduras’ environmental and indigenous movement. They shot her friend Gustavo Castro Soto, the director of Friends of the Earth Mexico. He pretended to be dead, and so is the only witness of what came next. The assassins found Berta Caceres in another room and shot her in the chest, the stomach and the arms. When the assassins left the house, Castro went to Berta Caceres, who died in his arms.

      Investigation into the death of Berta Caceres is unlikely to be conducted with seriousness. The Honduran government suggested swiftly that it was likely that Castro had killed Berta Caceres and made false statements about assassins. That he had no motive to kill his friend and political ally seemed irrelevant. Castro has taken refuge in the Mexican embassy in Honduras’ capital, Tegucigalpa. He continues to fear for his life.

  • Finance

    • #TTIPleaks: confidential TTIP papers unveil US position

      Greenpeace Netherlands has obtained 248 pages of leaked Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiating texts [1], which will be published on Monday 2 May at 11:00 CET. The documents unveil for the first time the US position and deliberate attempts to change the EU democratic legislative process.

    • Leaked TTIP documents cast doubt on EU-US trade deal

      Talks for a free trade deal between Europe and the US face a serious impasse with “irreconcilable” differences in some areas, according to leaked negotiating texts.

      The two sides are also at odds over US demands that would require the EU to break promises it has made on environmental protection.

      President Obama said last week he was confident a deal could be reached. But the leaked negotiating drafts and internal positions, which were obtained by Greenpeace and seen by the Guardian, paint a very different picture.

    • A Simple Solution to Boost Workers Across the Planet

      In the competition for jobs between U.S. workers and developing world workers, American workers are losing, and the TPP, which the Obama administration touts as being pro-labor, is, like NAFTA, anything but. Under the TPP, signatories will be required “to have laws governing minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health,” but the level of the minimum wage and any other standard is left entirely to each country to determine on its own.

    • Why the People Picking California’s Tomatoes Can’t Afford to Eat Them

      Given the success of the agricultural industry in California, says Gail Wadsworth, co-executive director of CIRS and one of the authors of the report, there’s no reason why farm workers should get the short end of the stick. CIRS has advised the Yolo Food Bank to encourage more farms to contribute fresh food to the food bank or directly to their workers. Says Wadsworth: “I don’t see any rational reason why farm workers, who are essential to every American’s well-being, should be so poorly paid.”

    • The Socialist Alternative

      The disintegration of the ruling political parties, along with the discrediting of the established political and economic elites, presage radical change. This change may come from the right. It may result in a frightening proto-fascism. If it is to come from the left it must be pushed forward by dogged activists and citizens who are willing to accept that stepping outside the system will mean surrendering all hope of power for perhaps a decade. To continue to engage in establishment politics, especially attempting to work within the Democratic Party, will further empower corporate capitalism and extinguish what remains of our democracy.

    • Wall Street Has Taken Over the Economy and is Draining It
  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Call for ‘Revolution’ Still Reverberating as Sanders, Clinton Head Neck and Neck Into Indiana

      Days ahead of Indiana’s May 3 primary, a new poll shows Democratic presidential rivals Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton neck and neck while observers foresee the Vermont senator’s impact being felt long after the nomination is secured.

      According to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll, Clinton leads among likely Indiana primary goers 50 percent to Sanders’ 46 percent. But that lead is within the poll’s margin of error of 4.6 percentage points for Democrats.

    • Political Revolutionists: Does an Inside-Outside Strategy Have a Chance?

      As the presidential candidates for 2016 go kicking and sliding toward the final primaries — and most especially into California, an increasing number of pundits with a knack for the writing and rewriting of history will offer their best guesses about Bernie’s next steps. Many groups with thousands of Bernie volunteers will feel the pressure from those Bernie loyalists to never give up or give in. And many thousands more are also clamoring now about how they might be able to influence those next steps.

      Though many Bernie supporters know it in their minds, few like to acknowledge that the people’s movement Bernie has ignited will not be led by Bernie in the post-primary season, the general election campaign season, or even when the next president is inaugurated in January 2017. Even if Bernie is elected as our president, his role has changed too. The movement to bring about the kind of transformational change Bernie has adopted as his campaign platform is a “marathon not a sprint” to November. This people’s movement requires a longer term commitment to the slogging, uncomfortable, underfunded and rarely appreciated work of getting and keeping people organized to fight the good fight.

      [...]

      Keep working for Bernie. Keep working to get out the vote in the remaining primary states.

    • Trump’s Toxic Culture: How His Mix of Threats and Fear Is Closing People’s Minds From Reality

      For the past 10 months, Donald Trump has been a political enigma. Against the predictions of journalists, policy wonks and odds makers, a tabloid darling with no political experience and few coherent policies is now poised to be the Republican nominee for president.

    • Hilarious: Trump Jumps Over Wall to Get to California GOP Convention as Protesters Block Entrance

      Apparently, Old Bayshore Road was blocked by anti-Trump protesters, demonstrating against Trump’s southern border proposal, among other policies.

    • Keeping Wall Street Speeches Secret Speaks Volumes About Hillary Clinton

      It’s been roughly three months since Hillary Clinton promised, during her Feb. 4 debate with Bernie Sanders on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, to “look into” releasing the transcripts of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street investment houses.

      If you’re a stickler for details and would like to know precisely how long Clinton has delayed on fulfilling her pledge or exactly how much cash she has raked in for her speaking gigs and from whom, you don’t have to spend hours scouring the Internet. You can simply log onto two sites created by a 40-year-old Sanders supporter and web developer named Jed McChesney of Olathe, Kan.

    • Donald Trump’s Policy Feast of Incoherence

      Contradictory promises abound, with no explanation of how any of it could work.

    • This Is Why Hillary Clinton Can’t Tell Bernie Sanders to Drop Out

      Eight years ago this month, Clinton was trailing hopelessly behind then-Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. On May 1, 2008, Clinton loaned her bankrupt campaign $1 million (following at least $10 million in earlier loans). Before the end of that week, pundits were calling the contest for Obama, whose May 6 win in the North Carolina primary, by 14 points, had made his delegate lead essentially insurmountable. “We now know who the Democratic nominee will be,” Tim Russert said on MSNBC after the results came in. Less than a week later, Obama surpassed Clinton in the super-delegate count, signaling that the party establishment was shifting behind the presumptive nominee.

    • Why Hillary Clinton’s Promise of a Gender-Equal Cabinet Is So Shrewd

      Internationally, pre-election pledges for gender equality in the most powerful offices of state have become increasingly common. In 2004, Spanish prime ministerial hopeful Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero made this pledge before his election and went on to appoint Spain’s first gender-parity cabinet. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau famously pledged in 2015 that half of his cabinet would be female. He made good on that pledge, and when asked why, simply replied: “Because it’s 2015.”

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • TOR And VPN Users — Government’s Hacking Targets Under New Spying Rule

      According to the updated rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, law enforcement agencies can target people who either use privacy tools or those who are a victim of the same. This small amendment might bring a big change in the way we see the law enforcement.

    • GCHQ has disclosed more than 20 vulnerabilities in 2016

      This came to light after it emerged that GCHQ was instrumental in discovering vulnerabilities in Mozilla Firefox thanks to its info-sec arm Communications Electronics Security Group (CESG).

    • Snowden: Without encryption, everything stops

      Edward Snowden defended the importance of encryption, calling it the “backbone of computer security.”

      “Encryption saves lives. Encryption protects property,” the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor said during a debate with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that aired Sunday.

      “Without it, our economy stops. Our government stops. Everything stops.”

      Snowden, who previously leaked documents revealing the extent of the NSA’s surveillance program, said we are in the midst of the “greatest crisis in computer security in history.”

    • NSA pins another badge of honor on Snowden

      If the Director of National Intelligence “’blames” you for something, is that bad, or is it a badge of honor?

      That would be the latter for Edward Snowden… again.

      This time, he’s not getting the blame for a massive data dump proving that nefarious governments have been using computer technology to invade individuals’ privacy.

    • How Mark Zuckerberg became the internet’s most powerful man

      Can anyone stop Mark Zuckerberg? Most of Silicon Valley would be happy to forget the last couple of weeks – Apple’s revenue has declined for the first time in a decade, Google has become embroiled in a new stand-off with the European Commission that will almost certainly be long and painful, and the less said about Twitter at the moment the better – but Facebook can do no wrong.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Smearing Three Dead Teenagers

      In classic style, the police seem to believe that by playing up the alleged criminal pasts of these young Black girls, the public will be led to believe that they alone are responsible for their deaths and stop asking questions about the role of police.

    • Why we can’t reform our cops: Race, guns and the failure to police the police

      We learn more about the problem of police violence and how it can persist and might be covered up when a video only surfaces after some significant delay. That allows time for the police to provide their account of the incident before the video evidence is available, and possibly before they even know that any video recording exists. In the case of Walter Scott’s death, it took more than two days before the video became available to authorities. Feidin Santana, who captured the shooting on his cellphone camera, initially kept quiet about the video, fearing retribution, but was angered when he heard the police account of the incident and made the recording available to Scott’s family and to the media.

    • Stop Calling Them Conservatives! The New GOP of Trump & Cruz Is the Party of Nihilism

      In a candid and often funny interview currently making the rounds, the recently retired Speaker of the House John Boehner let’s everyone know how he truly feels about the state of his own party, and what he thinks about some of the more extreme characters that exist within it. Not surprisingly, Boehner’s amusing assessment of Ted Cruz, whom he called a “miserable son of a bitch” and “Lucifer in the flesh,” made all of the media headlines.

    • Kid Criminals

      Forcing kids as young as 9 years old to register as sex offenders has enormous costs to society.

    • Will you be punished for revealing classified info? Depends who you are

      So said President Obama in a recent interview when asked about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Essentially, the president was saying it was no big deal, despite the findings that classified information was involved.

      Yet, the Obama administration has brought more charges under the Espionage Act against officials for allegedly mishandling classified information than all other administrations combined since it was signed into law 99 years ago.

      Consider Thomas Drake, a former top NSA official who faced prosecution in 2011 for the “willful retention of national defense information” after communicating unclassified information to The Baltimore Sun regarding illegal surveillance programs at the agency. Eventually, Drake pled guilty to a misdemeanor and the government dropped the espionage charges against him.

    • TSA bosses are called ‘some of the biggest bullies in government’

      The Transportation Security Administration on Wednesday was caught in a crossfire by three of its executives who said the agency’s managers punish employees when they point out security lapses at the nation’s airports.

      “These leaders are some of the biggest bullies in government,” Jay Brainard, a TSA security director in Kansas, told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “While the new administrator of TSA has made security a much-needed priority once again, make no mistake about it, we remain an agency in crisis.”

      As airports anticipate what may be a record crush of passengers this summer, the three men testified that morale was near rock bottom among TSA security workers.

    • 5 Government-Sanctioned Ways America Still Honors the Confederacy
    • May Day Rallies Worldwide Demand Workers’ Rights

      In U.S. ” there’s manufactured ignorance that prevents us from knowing about May Day,” says historian

    • Lunchroom Lunacy: Cops investigate $2 bill spent on school lunch

      When you think of felony forgery your thoughts might turn to Al Capone or Bonnie and Clyde shooting it out with the Texas Rangers.

      Not for some local school cops. For one day, public enemy number one when it came to forgery was 13-year-old eighth grader Danesiah Neal at Fort Bend Independent School District’s Christa McAuliffe Middle School.

      Now 14, Daneisha was hoping to eat that day’s lunch of chicken tenders with her classmates using a $2 bill given to her by her grandmother when she was stopped by the long arm of the law.

      “I went to the lunch line and they said my $2 bill was fake,” Danesiah told Ted Oberg Investigates. “They gave it to the police. Then they sent me to the police office. A police officer said I could be in big trouble.”

      Not just big trouble. Third-degree felony trouble.

    • This 28-Year-Old Is Running For Congress To Try To Destroy U.S.-Saudi Relations

      Earlier this month, a political newcomer named Alex Beinstein picked up enough delegates to pose a credible primary challenge to three-term congressman Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.).

      That means voters in Colorado’s 3rd district will have a new name to consider when they gather on June 28 to choose their Republican standard-bearer — along with a lot of new ideas.

      Beinstein, a 28-year-old libertarian, wants to use the district’s House seat to place Saudi Arabia on the list of state sponsors of terror. He believes the longtime U.S. partner is responsible for the 9/11 attacks and the growth of violent extremist groups, including the self-described Islamic State, in Syria.

      The only reason Saudi leaders haven’t been held accountable yet, Beinstein says, is because Saudi money has corrupted everyone from President Barack Obama and CNN’s Anderson Cooper to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Fox News leadership. He told The Huffington Post that Bill Gates, Apple Inc., The Plaza Hotel in New York and the Four Seasons hotel chain are among other alleged lackeys of the kingdom. (Let’s not even get started on Hillary Clinton.)

    • How Body Cameras Help Prevent Tragic Police Shootings

      Fourteen-year-old Dedric Colvin was shot on Wednesday when Baltimore Police mistkook his BB gun for a semi-automatic pistol.

  • DRM

    • Tuesday Is ‘International Day Against DRM’

      Tuesday May 3 is International Day Against DRM, which for ten years has been an annual even to protest and build awareness about digital rights management. The event is sponsored by the organization Defective by Design, the anti-DRM initiative of the Free Software Foundation.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay Gets a ‘Massive’ $9 in Donations, Per Day

        When The Pirate Bay and other torrent sites started accepting Bitcoin donations a few years ago, copyright holders voiced concerns about this new ‘unseizable’ revenue stream. Thus far, this fear seems unwarranted with TPB raking in an average of $9 per day in Bitcoin donations over the past year. While hardly a windfall, it’s a fortune compared to the donations received by the leading torrent site KickassTorrents.

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