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06.02.16

Links 2/6/2016: Nextcloud, Arch Linux 2016.06.01

Posted in News Roundup at 3:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 7 Linux Misconceptions Debunked

    I’ll admit, it’s hard to gauge how many users exist. Linux is free to download, and no single company has control. There are no sales figures to go by. TV and print ads aren’t shaping your perception.

    Yet even if most of the people you know may not use Linux, there may be one who does. And many more will have no idea they interact with Linux every single day.

    As it turns out, Linux has millions of users. Know what else it has? Other misconceptions that continue to give people a false idea of what Linux is like.

    Let’s debunk a few, one by one.

  • Voyager Offers a Mostly Smooth-Sailing Linux Adventure

    Voyager’s integration of elements makes it a novel alternative to Xubuntu.

    Branding problems and French language intrusions aside, Voyager Live performs well and offers a look and feel that complements its stellar performance.

  • How to fix any Linux problem

    Everyone has a problem with Linux at some point. The important thing is how quickly that problem gets solved. An amazing element of the open source and computing community is the vast network of help available online in the form of blogs, websites and forums.

    Without doubt this is of huge importance in getting issues known and fixed, and it’s wonderful to see how willing the community is to help out complete strangers and beginners alike. That being said, there’s nothing that beats a bit of prior knowledge.

    To help arm you with the knowledge you need to keep your Linux systems cheerfully ticking over, we’ve taken our years of experience answering all manner of reader questions and distilled this into a rich brew of condensed Linux knowledge, which will target the top issues that Linux users regularly run into.

  • Windows 10 nagware: You can’t click X. Make a date OR ELSE

    Microsoft’s Windows 10 nagware campaign has entered a new phase, with all options to evade or escape an upgrade finally blocked.

    Recently, Microsoft’s policy had been to throw up a dialogue box asking you whether you wanted to install Windows 10.

    If you clicked the red “X” to close the box – the tried-and-tested way to make dialogue boxes vanish without agreeing to do anything – Microsoft began taking that as permission for the upgrade to go ahead.

  • Samsung: “Don’t Install Windows 10 Because We Suck At Making Drivers”
  • Server

    • New CoreOS open source storage system Torus fails to impress

      CoreOS has released a prototype version of Torus, an open source distributed storage system primarily intended for providing storage to container clusters.

    • Containers 101: Docker fundamentals

      Docker started out in 2012 as an open source project, originally named dotcloud, to build single-application Linux containers. Since then, Docker has become an immensely popular development tool, increasingly used as a runtime environment. Few — if any — technologies have caught on with developers as quickly as Docker.

      One reason Docker is so popular is that it delivers the promise of “develop once, run anywhere.” Docker offers a simple way to package an application and its runtime dependencies into a single container; it also provides a runtime abstraction that enables the container to run across different versions of the Linux kernel.

    • Infographic: Companies want flexibility and faster production time from software defined networking. And they get it.

      Results from the latest Tech Pro Research survey reveal why companies are choosing to implement SDN, why they’re choosing not to, and what happens after the implementation is done.

    • The rise of SDDC and the future of enterprise IT

      If you’ve worked in enterprise IT over the last few years, you’ll undoubtedly have heard the phrase ‘software defined’ being bandied around. Whereas software once merely played a support role to the hardware on which it was running, cloud and virtualization technologies have now moved software into the spotlight, with hardware now playing second fiddle.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel 4.6 Gets Its First Point Release, Brings F2FS, x86 and ARM64 Fixes

      Today, June 1, 2016, renowned Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman has had the great pleasure of releasing the first maintenance version of the Linux 4.6 kernel.

    • Linux 4.6.1
    • Linux 4.5.6

      I’m announcing the release of the 4.5.6 kernel.

      All users of the 4.5 kernel series must upgrade.

      The updated 4.5.y git tree can be found at:
      git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.5.y
      and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

      http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st…

      thanks,

      greg k-h

    • Linux 4.4.12
    • Linux 3.14.71
    • Computex 2016: Linux cannot yet use Intel’s Turbo Boost Max 3.0 mode

      Beyond the sheer number of cores on offer in the new Intel Extreme Edition chips announced earlier this week at Computex, one of the other selling points for the processors is an improved Turbo Boost mode.

    • Linux Kernel 4.4.12 LTS Has ARM64, x86, and CIFS Improvements, Updated Drivers

      Immediately after informing the Linux community about the availability of Linux kernel 4.6.1 and Linux kernel 4.5.6, Greg Kroah-Hartman published details about the release of Linux kernel 4.4.12 LTS.

    • Linux Kernel 4.5.6 Arrives for Stable Distros with AArch64 and CIFS Improvements

      After announcing the release of the first update of the Linux 4.6 kernel series, Greg Kroah-Hartman informed the community about the availability of the sixth maintenance build in the Linux 4.5 kernel branch.

      Linux kernel 4.5.6 is now available for select GNU/Linux operating systems that have already adopted a kernel from the Linux 4.5 series, which many popular distributions did, including, but not limited to Arch Linux, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Gentoo Linux, Birds Linux, Webconverger, Sabayon, Fedora, Slackware, and Debian.

    • Ask SN: Help Write it — What do you Want in an Init System?

      Hi, I’m Subsentient, the original author of the Epoch Init System. It’s been around a while, and it does the job I gave it well enough for me, but Epoch has failed to reach its ultimate goal of becoming a viable alternative to systemd. This is for a few reasons, among them being a total lack of parallelism, difficulty for package maintainers to easily set up services, and a codebase even I myself am ashamed to admit I wrote. I got some things right too, like good documentation, powerful service management, lack of dependencies, and unintrusiveness, but it seems it wasn’t quite enough, because the most commonly requested features were true dependency support and parallelism.

      I’m doing a near-complete rewrite of Epoch, save for the few parts of code that were well-written, and it will be called Epoch-ng (next generation). While dependencies, parallelism and easy package manager support are the big things, I think I’d like to get feedback on what Linux users actually want from an init system, and I’ll try to write an init system that does its best to meet everyone’s desires.

    • HPE’s OpenSwitch project gets Linux Foundation backing

      OpenSwitch is an open-source operating system for data center network switches that was first built by Hewlett-Packard Enterprise before being launched last year. The Linux-based OS is designed to power network switches from various hardware vendors. The purpose is to allow enterprises to rapidly build out their data center networks while customizing them for their specific needs. To date, the project has picked up dozens of heavyweight backers, including Arista Networks, Intel Corp., Broadcom Corp., VMware Inc., and Accton Technology Corp., among others.

    • OpenSwitch is now a Linux Foundation project

      The Linux Foundation once again expanded its slate of open source networking projects.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

    • Emacspeak, an audible interface for Linux

      Screen readers such as Orca work by describing the graphical environment to the user. They deconstruct an arbitrary visual environment that’s built on top of an inherently text-based system. On some systems, this is necessary because there’s no access—at least pragmatically—to the OS by any other means than the graphical interface. As most Linux users know, however, a graphical interface on a good Unix system is entirely optional in the first place, so there’s no need to generate one, deconstruct it, and describe it; the computer can just spit out text.

      I am aware of two efforts forging this path: Emacspeak and ADRIANE (on Knoppix). In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the former.

      Emacspeak is an audible interface that allows non-sighted users to interact independently and efficiently with a computer, entirely by way of text input and output. Emacspeak uses “audio formatting” and W3C’s Aural CSS to produce a full audio representation of input and output.

    • FreeFileSync 8.2 Released

      If you have large number of files that you want to compare to find duplicate files or replace or update old files with latest ones then FreeFileSync is a great tool to perform that. FreeFileSync compares two folders and based on what you want it can add, update, mirror files of two folders. FreeFileSync recently released 8.2 which fixes couple of bugs.

    • Nightly builds are now for TESTING only
    • Ardour 5.0 Digital Audio Workstation Makes A Step Closer To Reality

      This Ardoir 5.0-pre0 marking comes as the developers merged two of their development branches and their plans to do this major release to succeed the current Ardour 4.7 stable series. The current nightly builds of Ardour 5.0 are said to be for test-only and should be used with just “throw-away material” as it’s not yet vetted compared to Ardour 4.x versions.

    • Phoronix Test Suite 6.4 Released With Latest Improvements For Open-Source Benchmarking
    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

    • Games

      • Ecotone Linux Version Released

        Developed by Sundae Factory, Ecotone is a platform game with an evolving gameplay which allows brainwork and/or skill phases. The game’s primary focus is to invite the gamer into a new kind of world, and features a unique, dreamlike and mysterious atmosphere. In the strange Ecotone’s world, you will embody a weird little character lacking a real identity. As this character passes each level, he will earn some new skills. But beware, the environment is full of strange creatures and monsters, and some of them may be dangerous.

      • Valve announce over half a million Steam Controllers have been sold

        An awesome milestone for such an interesting device! Valve have stated in an update that the Steam Controller has sold over half a million units!

      • Steam Machines are dead in the water according to Ars, not quite

        Another problem is that the mainstream gaming press has almost never been fond of the idea anyway, and the amount of articles out looking down it probably wouldn’t have helped things. Ars hasn’t exactly been kind about it at all in previous articles. Hell, even certain Linux websites like to use sensationalist article titles talking down Linux popularity on Steam. When actually, it’s doing pretty well all things considered.

      • At Just $35, Now Is A Great Time To Try Out Valve’s ARM-Linux-Powered Steam Link

        Steam Link is Valve’s game streaming solution where when paired with a controller makes for easy gaming from a living room TV. The Steam Link is Linux-based and it does support game streaming from Steam running on SteamOS or any Linux distribution.

      • Steam’s latest Hardware Survey is out, shows Linux at 0.84%

        The key thing to remember is Steam overall is always growing, so a lower overall percentage of Linux users doesn’t necessarily mean there are less Linux users on Steam (it could actually be more, but dwarfed by also having even more Windows users on Steam).

        [...]

        You can make it appear by simply having different hardware or a different operating system. It seems to detect when you change things, as if it knows it needs to check on you again. This is by design of course, as the entire point of it is to show what people are currently using, so if you’ve changed something it wants to know about it and send it along. This is one reason why people keep saying they see it when they boot into Windows after not using it for a while, of course you will, that’s a change in your setup. This is another reason why I dislike it, as that can create an unintentional bias in the results. This bias isn’t against Linux though, as it would work the same the opposite way around of course. This is why I feel the results were actually a lot higher for Linux initially, as it did a survey for a big bunch of Windows/Mac users trying it and submitting it on Linux before moving back to Windows/Mac.

        A good bit of reading was a recent editorial titled “A different approach to calculating the popularity of Linux gaming on Steam” which will help put your mind at ease.

      • Unreal Engine 4.12 Released with Hundreds of Updates, Many New Features

        Today, June 1, 2016, Epic Games has had the enormous pleasure of announcing the release of Unreal Engine 4.12, a massive update it the 4.x stable series of the cross-platform and highly acclaimed game engine.

        Unreal Engine 4.12 comes exactly two months after the release of Unreal Engine 4.11, bringing hundreds of updates, countless bug fixes across all platforms, a multitude of new features, and the initial implementation of some brand-new technologies, such as the Vulkan Mobile Renderer.

      • DOOM 2016 can now be Played on Linux systems: See how
  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Enlightenment DR 0.21.0-rc Release
    • Enlightenment 0.21 Up To RC State With Better Wayland Support

      Mike Blumenkrantz has tagged the release candidate of the upcoming Enlightenment 0.21 release.

      This newest annual update to the Enlightenment desktop features much better Wayland support, a new gadget infrastructure, wizard improvements, and support for video backgrounds.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Transit routing starting to show some life-signs

        Here the departure time was set at approximately the same time as the local time here when I took the screenshots, which then would give you a trip at that time (21:50) in Portland’s timezone (and as can be seen, the gondola lift seems to have ended service for the day).

        Oh, and another thing. I added an option to override the (for now hardcoded to using localhost) URL of the OpenTripPlanner instance. This could be used if you know of some publicly available server, or would like to run your own to test with on another machine (or in a VM).

      • To Polari 3.22 and beyond

        This summer I am co-mentoring Rares Visalom and Kunaal Jain for a Google Summer of Code internship in Polari.

        Kunaal Jain is working on search and Rares Visalom is working on various user experience improvements. In this relation I’ve had the chance to be involved with designing some of the new features.

  • Distributions

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • CENX, Brocade, Red Hat, RIFT.io collaborate to set up SDNFV Innovation Lab

        Canada-based CENX, the global leader of orchestrated service assurance and management solutions for physical and virtualized networks, is collaborating with Brocade, Red Hat, and RIFT.io to showcase end-to-end service management capabilities over hybrid network infrastructure in its SDNFV innovation lab.

      • Cambridge to contribute to cloud computing

        Computer scientists at the University of Cambridge (UK) will contribute to the development of Openstack, an open source cloud computing platform, according to a press release by open source ICT services provider Red Hat.

        The University of Cambridge will contribute high performance computing capabilities to the upstream OpenStack community, Red Hat says in a press release on 29 April.

      • Red Hat’s Release of Ansible 2.1 Supports Network Automation

        Red Hat has announced the general availability of Ansible 2.1, the latest version of the company’s agentless open source IT automation framework. Ansible provides developers with the ability to deploy IT applications and environments by automating routine activities such as network configuration, cloud deployments, and creation of development environments.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Pagure CI

          As my GSoC project one of the first goals is getting CI to Pagure. In my previous post I have been blogging about getting Fedmsg to work, Configuring Jenkins and my favorite Poor Man’s CI. Well, Poor Man’s CI evolved into Slightly Richer Man’s CI and now Pagure CI.

        • Fedora CommBlog Keeps it 100

          Shout-out to all the Fedora CommBlog Contributors who have helped us surpass the 💯 posts milestone!

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 7 Wheezy LTS now supporting armel and armhf

        Debian Long Term Support (LTS) is a project created to extend the life of all Debian stable releases to (at least) 5 years.

        Thanks to the LTS sponsors, Debian’s buildd maintainers and the Debian FTP Team are excited to announce that two new architectures, armel and armhf, are going to be supported in Debian 7 Wheezy LTS. These architectures along with i386 and amd64 will receive two additional years of extended security support.

      • GSoC 2016 Week 1: Reproducible Builds in Debian

        I started working from 28 May as the exams ended. This report is bit late. I started work on –hide=profiles flag.

      • My Free Software Activities in May 2016

        My monthly report covers a large part of what I have been doing in the free software world. I write it for my donators (thanks to them!) but also for the wider Debian community because it can give ideas to newcomers and it’s one of the best ways to find volunteers to work with me on projects that matter to me.

      • My Debian Activities in May 2016

        This month I marked 286 packages for accept and rejected 35. I also sent 13 emails to maintainers asking questions. Apart from this nothing unusual happened this month.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) Switches to a Universal Local DNS Resolver Service

            As you might know by now, Ubuntu 16.10 is currently in heavy development these days, and it is getting all sorts of new GNU/Linux technologies and improvements.

          • Creating a Snap is Not Difficult, Here’s How to Package Your Apps for Ubuntu

            Canonical’s Jamie Bennett talks in his latest blog post about how hard is to package your applications for various GNU/Linux operating systems, as well as how easy it to distribute them on Ubuntu via a Snap package.

            Snap is a new secure, isolated technology designed by Canonical for its Snappy Ubuntu Core operating system, which relies on snapd, the snap-based runtime environment, and Snapcraft, the tool anyone can use to package their applications into a Snap for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) and later.

          • QNAP to Use Ubuntu and Snaps for Distributing IoT Apps to Its NAS Solutions

            QNAP Systems, Inc., a Taiwanese corporation known for creating NAS solutions for storage management, file sharing, surveillance, and virtualization applications, announced recently that they are moving to offering IoT apps.

            It’s a bold move, but even if we don’t realize it yet IoT (Internet of Things) is the future, and like any other corporation out there that wants to survive today’s economy and fast-changing technology landscape it keep up with the latest trends.

          • Ubuntu Touch now supports Convergence over wireless display

            Canonical has just released the latest major update to the Ubuntu Touch mobile OS and it is really a major one, especially for owners of Ubuntu Touch smartphones. While those, particularly the Meizu PRO 5 Ubuntu Edition, is more than capable of offering Convergence, it was blocked by the lack of a HDMI out port. With this latest OTA-11 update, that is no longer an issue as Ubuntu Touch now supports connecting to an external display wirelessly, which means smartphone users can even more conveniently use Convergence with no wires in sight.

            As a quick recap, Convergence is a feature of Ubuntu Touch that truly lets your transform your smartphone or tablet into a portable desktop. Unlike Microsoft’s Continuum, users aren’t limited to only a specific subset of apps. As Ubuntu Touch can run both touch-friendly mobile apps as well as regular Linux desktop apps, that theoretically means everything.

          • Verdict and 10 things to know about Ubuntu bq Aquaris M10

            Mobile devices, especially smartphones, are becoming more powerful every year and are practically taking over our computing lives. Instead of bemoaning the death of the desktop, Ubuntu Touch takes the bull by the horns and creates a convergence of both worlds in a single device. It is a future that many other companies and tech pundits have pointed to. We’re definitely not yet there, but the bq Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Touch is definitely a nice first step.

          • Latest Ubuntu OS update brings in Continuum-like functionality

            The latest OTA-11 update for Ubuntu Phone and Tablet saw the light of the day today, bringing in a new convergence experience for Ubuntu device users.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Chitu Okoli on FOSS Business Models

    At the turn of the century, generating positive interest in free and open source software was an uphill battle. These days FOSS practically runs the enterprise and is the subject of many academic studies, including one by Concordia University’s Chitu Okoli.

  • VMware launches Liota, an open source SDK to fight gateway problem in IoT

    VMware recently announced Liota, an open source developer kit for building secure IoT apps that can work across multiple gateways.

  • We are Nextcloud – the future of private file sync and share

    You should have full control over your data. We help you achieve that: a safe home for all your data. Secure, under your control and developed in an open, transparent and trustworthy way. We are Nextcloud.

  • ​OwnCloud founder forks popular open-source cloud

    OwnCloud, a very popular, open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud program, has been forked by its founder Frank Karlitschek. The fork, Nextcloud, will be available in early July.

  • You are Nextcloud, too – what we will do for contributors

    January 2015, I ran a contributor survey to see what the ownCloud community thought about the processes, development focus and our work at the company. I shared the results by the end of April and pushed internally for the feedback to be taken serious. Some of the changes were implemented but many others were left for a future project to push forward. And Nextcloud will.

  • Nextcloud is replacing ownCloud

    So today is the day: we announce that we’re forking ownCloud. We includes project founder Frank and the core ownCloud contributors who publicly quit ownCloud, Inc. over the last weeks – Lukas, Arthur, Morris, Bjoern, Jan-Christoph and quite a few others as well who can’t talk about that yet. As of now, 9 of the 10 top contributors to ownCloud core are joining and of course, we’re very busy hiring and aim to leave no (wo)man behind.

  • OwnCloud Has Been Forked By Former Developers, Founder
  • Coreboot Gains A Hybrid Graphics Driver For Lenovo ThinkPads

    Landing in Coreboot Git this week is a “hybrid graphics driver” that benefits seemingly all Lenovo laptops (except the mux-less models) with dual GPUs.

    This hybrid graphics driver in the Coreboot realm simply allows connecting the display panel to either the integrated GPU or discrete graphics processor. This hybrid driver basically comes down to setting the GPIO pins for the panel LVDS signal so you can route the display to whichever GPU you want from Coreboot.

  • How will open source AI change the tech industry?

    After years in the labs, artificial intelligence (AI) is being unleashed at last. Google, Microsoft and Facebook have all made their own AI APIs open source in recent months, while IBM has opened Watson (pictured above) for business and Amazon has purchased AI startup Orbeus. These announcements have not drawn much media attention, but are hugely significant.

    “In the long run, I think we will evolve in computing from a mobile-first world to an AI-first world,” says Google CEO Sundar Pichai. What does the appearance of AI bots and machine learning on the open market mean for business, IT, big data, and for sellers of physical hardware?

  • Events

    • The Future of Open Source

      Last week in New York, the venture firm Accel held a ninety minute lunch for an audience of financial analysts and equity professionals, a reporter or two and at least a few industry analysts. The ostensible subject for the event was Accel’s Open Adoption Software (OAS) model, but the wider focus was what the future held for open source in general. Accel’s view on this subject, as well as that of the panelists at the event from Cloudera, Cockroach Labs and Sysdig, was that open source essentially has gone mainstream. As Jake Flomenberg, an Accel partner put it, “There is a massive shift going on in the ways technology is bought. Open source has gone from the exception to the rule.”

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.2 Beta Now Available as a Flatpak for Common Linux Distributions

      The upcoming LibreOffice 5.2 open-source and cross-platform office suite has entered Beta stages of development, and a first Beta release is now available for download on supported platforms.

    • LibreOffice Is Now One Of The First Major Linux Desktop Apps With A Flatpak
    • LibreOffice Flatpak’d, Linux Misconceptions, Windows 10 or Else

      Today in Linux news Stephan Bergmann announced LibreOffice’s availability in a Flatpak bundle, bringing convenience and security to distributors. In other news, Microsoft has begun practically forcing Windows 10 upgrades upon their loyal customers while Samsung has advised its customers against upgrading. Martin Gräßlin announced virtual framebuffer support for KWayland and Bertel King, Jr. dispelled some common Linux misconceptions.

    • LibreOffice 5.2 Beta Flatpak

      Flatpak (formerly known under its working title “xdg-app”) is a cool new way of distributing images of Linux applications that run on a wide range of different distros, and run there in a secure way. I have blogged and spoken about making LibreOffice available in this format before in various places (see, e.g., these two previous blog posts and this conference talk).

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • Why I Run OpenBSD

      This post is about my journey down the OS rabbit hole and how it landed me in OpenBSD land as a happy and productive user.

      It contains information that is highly opinionated, wildly inaccurate, mostly speculation. It is, after all, on the internet!

    • bsdtalk265 – Sunset on BSD

      A brief description of playing around with SunOS 4.1.4, which was the last version of SunOS to be based on BSD.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Is GIMP the best open source alternative to Photoshop?

      It will be eighteen years this weekend since GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Program, hit version 1.0 on June 5, 1996, and over twenty since the open source project first became generally available to the public. In that time, it has come a long way in both the expansion of features and in usability, and for many users across Linux, Windows, and Mac machines alike it has become their preferred image editor.

      But is GIMP really a full replacement for Photoshop? It probably depends on both what you need it for, and how rigid you are in your workflow. In many educational programs, designers and artists are often taught a single proprietary option from day one of their training; they aren’t taught design so much as how to use a specific application. Industry completes the cycle by advertising job requirements around a specific tool, and building a whole design workflow around it, making it harder to break in with an open source alternative.

  • Public Services/Government

    • European Parliament continues to promote open source

      The European Parliament continues to emphasise the importance of free and open source software. In resolutions adopted in March and April, on ‘a thriving data-driven economy’ and on ‘gender equality and empowering women in the digital age’ respectively, the EC stresses there is a role for free and open source software.

    • ‘Open source values match municipal public services’

      The values ​​of free and open source software closely match those of municipal public service, says Nicolas Vivant the CIO of the French town of Fontaine, a suburb of Grenoble. Virtues include working with the community, in the public interest, openness and fair pricing, according to the IT director. “The economic benefits are a beneficial side effect,” he says.

    • Fontaine Walks The Talk

      Yet another example of a local government gradually adopting FLOSS on servers and desktops, Fontaine, France, took a decade, saving a bundle and taking full control of their IT. That’s the right way to do IT, GNU/Linux and FLOSS everywhere.

    • Majority of companies in Galicia use open source

      The majority of companies in Galicia, one of Spain’s autonomous regions, uses free and open source software solutions, reports Osimga, the region’s observatory for information society and modernisation. To overcome the remaining barriers, the agency recommends that the government continues to promote the use of this type of software – combining workshops, trainings and advise. The government should also increase its own use of such solutions.

    • FLOSS, Naturally
    • Estonian town of Koigi latest to switch to Delta

      The village of Koigi (Estonia) will start to use Delta, the document management system made available as open source software by the country’s Ministry of the Interior. The village is the most-recent public administration to switch to the open source DMS.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Transforming food service in Singapore with an open culture model

      Darwin Gosal is a visionary technopreneur in Singapore who believes in societal value creation. His company, CryoWerx, developed a smart fridge that allows users to conveniently purchase fresh food. Gosal says the company contributes to open source software projects as part of its work.

      To flatten its structure and maintain agility as it grows, CryoWerx has adopted holacracy as its approach to management. I chatted with Gosal about the impact this had on CryoWerx’s organizational dynamics.

    • Open Access/Content

      • E.U. Pushes for Open Access by 2020

        Europe is adopting a bold new roadmap toward open science: make all publications open access by 2020. Though the goal is ambitious, some European science ministers and open-access advocates are hailing the move as revolutionary. The proclamation came out of a two-day meeting of the Competitiveness Council, which comprises European business, science, and trade leaders, in Brussels. The effort has been spearheaded by the Dutch government, which holds the rotating EU presidency at the moment. “We probably don’t realize it yet, but what the Dutch presidency has achieved is just unique and huge, European science chief Carlos Moedas said during a press conference last week. “The commission is totally committed to help move this forward.”

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • MIT researchers develop xPrint, an open-source modular bio and smart material ready printer

        Shortly after becoming interested in filament based 3D printing someone mentioned to me the similarity between pen-plotters from the 1980s. While I am a product of that decade, this plotting technology – which ultimately became obsolete thanks to laser and bubblejet printers – was initially foreign but ultimately an appropriate comparison upon brief investigation.

  • Programming/Development

    • Van Rossum promises Python 3.6 will move to GitHub

      With the planned Python 3.6 release, the popular scripting language is due for improvements in readability and cryptography. Also on the agenda: Moving the project to GitHub to help contributors participate in the language’s development.

      Code freeze for version 3.6 happens in September with the final release set for Christmastime, said Python founder Guido van Rossum at the PyCon 2016 conference in Portland this week. Version 3.6 currently is an alpha stage of development.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Putting Free Speech out to Pasture: Cartoonist Lost His Job for Poking Fun at Monsanto

      Hard experience teaches that biotech companies, chemical corporations, and other agribusiness giants have no sense of respect for Mother Nature. Now, Rick Friday has learned they have no sense of humor either.

      Friday, a lifelong Iowa farmer, also happens to be a talented, self-taught cartoonist. For 21 years, he supplemented his cattle-raising income by drawing cartoons each week in an Iowa publication called Farm News.

    • Darjeeling Goes Digital

      For more than a century, buyers and sellers shouted out orders for Darjeeling tea at auctions in India before they were shipped to high-end purveyors in Europe, Japan and the U.S.

      Now, the prized black tea is poised to enter the digital age, with Darjeeling trade moving online from June. India harvested 1.19 billion kilograms of leaves in 2015—and less than 1 percent of that was Darjeeling, which is only grown in selected areas, similar to the rules on famed French wines.

  • Security

    • LibreSSL 2.4 Released
    • Security advisories for Thursday
    • Hertz: Abusing privileged and unprivileged Linux containers
    • How LinkedIn’s password sloppiness hurts us all

      Me: “The full dump from the 2012 LinkedIn breach just dropped, so you’re probably not going to see much of me over the next week.”

      Wife: “Again?”

      Yes, again. If you’re just waking up from a coma you would be forgiven for thinking that it’s still 2012. But no, it’s 2016 and the LinkedIn breach is back from the dead—on its four-year anniversary, no less. If you had a LinkedIn account in 2012, there’s a 98 percent chance your password has been cracked.

      Back in 2012, fellow professional password cracker d3ad0ne (who regretfully passed away in 2013) and I made short work out of the first LinkedIn password dump, cracking more than 90 percent of the 6.4 million password hashes in just under one week. Following that effort, I did a short write-up ironically titled The Final Word on the LinkedIn Leak.

    • The Internet of Things

      A common question is whether or not IoT is something new and revolutionary or a buzzword for old ideas? The answer is “yes”…

      Much of the foundation of IoT has been around for quite a while. SCADA systems, or Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition has been around since the 1950’s managing electrical power grids, railroads, and factories. Machine communications over telephone lines and microwave links has been around since the 1960’s. Machine control systems, starting on mainframes and minicomputers, have also been around since the 1960’s.

      The big changes are economics, software, and integration. Microsensors and SoC (System on a Chip) technology for CPUs and networking are driving the cost of devices down – in some cases by a factor of a thousand! Advances in networking – both networking technology as well as the availability of pervasive networking – are changing the ground rules and economics for machine to machine communication.

    • Signal and Google Cloud Services

      I just installed Signal on my Android phone.

      It wasn’t an easy decision. I have been running Cyanogenmod, a Google-free version of Android, and installing apps from F-Droid, a repository of free software android apps, for several years now. This setup allows me to run all the applications I need without Google accessing any of my cell phone data. It has been a remarkably successful experiment leaving me with all the phone software I need. And it’s consistent with my belief that Google’s size, reach and goals are a menace to the left’s ability to develop the autonomous communications systems on the Internet that we need to achieve any meaningful political change.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Launch Nuclear Attack? Insert Disk Seven

      It turns out the DoD systems dedicated to the operational functions of U.S. nuclear forces run on computers that still rely on eight-inch floppy disks. In fact, an IBM Series/1 computer provides the technological brainpower behind this infrastructure. That computer debuted in 1976.

    • DOD, NSA Enter A New World Order: U.S. Is Now Dependent On Foreign Companies For Its Most Sensitive Electronics

      Washington legislators have re-awakened to concerns over the Defense Department’s inability to plan for and deal with what is now the final stage in the shift of American microelectronics production offshore. Congress wants the Pentagon to figure out how it is going to deal with issues associated with purchasing “trusted” electronics for military weapons and national security surveillance systems from foreign and foreign-owned producers.

    • Police monitored Brussels terror suspect’s home months before bombings: media report

      Belgian police began monitoring terror suspect Mohamed Abrini months before he is alleged to have helped carry out the Brussels terror attacks, newspaper Le Parisien reported Wednesday.

      Federal police started investigating Abrini on July 13 last year and his home would have been under camera surveillance due to fears he was radicalized and on his way to Syria, according to the newspaper.

    • UCLA murder-suicide shooting leaves two dead on campus

      Shooter opened fire in engineering building, triggering a campus lockdown and citywide tactical alert by police who responded with helicopters and Swat teams

    • An End to Impunity for Dictators—and Their Backers—Makes the World Safer

      It was a bad week for dictators, and a good one for international justice. Two brutal, U.S.-backed dictators who ruled decades ago were convicted for crimes they committed while in power. Hissene Habre took control of the northern African nation of Chad in 1982, and unleashed a reign of terror against his own people, killing at least 40,000 of them, until he was deposed in 1990. Reynaldo Bignone was a general in the Argentinian military, and was the last dictator of the military junta that ruled that country from 1976 to 1983, the period known as “The Dirty War,” when an estimated 30,000 dissidents were “disappeared,” i.e., killed. Both men will most likely spend the rest of their lives in prison. These verdicts won’t bring back the tens of thousands they tortured and killed, but, hopefully, they will hasten the end of the modern era of impunity for human-rights abusers and their allies.

    • David French and the Cult of the Soldier

      The larger point, however, is that it is not only politicians who deserve scorn and backlash. We needn’t wait for a person with dreadful opinions to win power before expressing horror that they are even considering trying to gain it. The empire’s most ardent fans are not clean, simply because they haven’t signed any drone strike orders personally. Kristol’s first dream of an anti-Trump ticket was Dick Cheney and Tom Cotton, which literally could not be more social conservative and hawkish. So if someone comes Kristol-endorsed, run the other way.

    • The Fanatic and the Opportunist

      Wayne LaPierre is the executive vice president of the NRA and Chris Cox is its executive director for Legislative Action. LaPierre and Cox are typical of NRA stalwarts and we can see them as representative of a good percentage of the organization’s members. On 20 May 2016 both men gave speeches before the NRA convention in Kentucky announcing the association’s endorsement of Donald Trump for president. In his speech Cox spent a lot of time painting a picture of the United States as a place about to lose its “freedoms” if Hillary Clinton gets elected. Here is how he put it: the present political environment in the U.S. is mired in “dishonesty, corruption and contempt for everyday Americans” and the only thing that stands between those “everyday Americans” and “the end of individual freedom in this country” are “gun owners,” who must turn out to vote “in droves this fall.”

      Wayne LaPierre painted a similar crisis picture, again emphasizing that it is only the country’s gun owners who stand in the way of catastrophe. Here is how he put it: “We in this room, we are America’s best hope, and this is our moment. In all of history, there’s always been a time and a place when patriots stand up and rise up against the decree of the elites and shout, ‘No more! Get your hands off my freedom!’… That time and place is now. … The revolution to take America back starts here.”

      Hillary Clinton was characterized as a “corrupt politician” whose “policies and Supreme Court picks would destroy individual freedoms, and therefore destroy the America we all love.” According to Cox, Clinton’s vision of the U.S. is a place “where only law enforcement has guns and everything is free: free meals, free health care, free education.” It seems Cox has a real distaste for free access to anything that does not have lethal potential. He likens a society that provides no-cost availability to the items he lists to a prison.

    • Susan Rice: Too Many Smart White Guys on National Security Team Putting America at Risk

      Actual Black Person and National Security Advisor Susan Rice told graduates at Florida International University in a commencement speech a week or three ago that the presence of too many “white, male, and Yale” personnel in America’s national security agencies she helps staff and run is posing a threat to the very security of the United States.

    • What music are British special forces playing at ISIS to freak them out?

      British special forces troops are “freaking out” Islamic State fighters by blasting Bollywood music at them.

      The psychological warfare strategy is aimed at discrediting the extremists who claim the music is “apostasy” or un-Islamic.

      They came up with the idea after a Pakistani-born army intelligence officer with the British Army told troops Bollywood tunes would annoy ISIS.

      Bollwyood tunes are often referred to as Hindi film songs as they come from northern India and are also followed in neighbouring Pakistan.

      Ultra-conservative parts of predominantly Muslim Pakistan have banned it for being frivolous and un-religious.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Hillary on the Ropes

      Late last week, the inspector general of the State Department completed a yearlong investigation into the use by Hillary Clinton of a private email server for all of her official government email as secretary of state. The investigation was launched when information technology officials at the State Department under Secretary of State John Kerry learned that Clinton paid an aide to migrate her public and secret State Department email streams away from their secured government venues and onto her own, non-secure server, which was stored in her home.

      The migration of the secret email stream most likely constituted the crime of espionage – the failure to secure and preserve the secrecy of confidential, secret or top-secret materials.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Horse Racing’s Shame — And Ours

      One horse was already dead as Pramedya saddled up for the fourth undercard race of the 2016 Preakness Stakes, an annual Triple Crown race held in Baltimore. Unlike Homeboykris, who died of apparent heart failure after winning the first contest of the day, she wouldn’t even reach the finish line.

    • ‘Illegitimate’ Request Denied: GOP Gets Middle Finger for #ExxonKnew Ploy

      Environmental groups that have become targets of a Republican-led effort to insulate ExxonMobil against accusations of fraud and climate science suppression dug in a bit deeper on Wednesday by refusing to submit to a Congressional inquiry on the matter.

      As Common Dreams previously reported, House Republicans with the Committee on Space, Science and Technology sent a letter (pdf) on May 18th to 17 attorneys general and eight environmental organizations—including 350.org, Greenpeace, and the Union of Concerned Scientists—claiming their #ExxonKnew effort amounted to a violation of climate deniers’ First Amendment rights and demanding that they submit communications related to state investigations into Exxon Mobil.

    • They spy on us because they recognise our power, and fear it

      The climate movement has learnt from the Spy Cops scandal; we won’t let it stop us.

    • Led By Solar And Wind, Renewable Energy Grew Like Never Before Last Year

      The world added more renewable energy capacity than ever before last year, despite tumbling prices for fossil fuels, a new report has found.

      An estimated 147 gigawatts of renewable capacity was added in 2015, the largest annual increase ever, the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) said in its most recent report, unveiled Tuesday. For perspective, one gigawatt is enough energy to power Walt Disney World for nearly 17 days.

    • The Trial of Heather Doyle: Md. County Drops the Hammer on Anti-LNG Activist

      Anne Meador: Cove Point LNG isn’t just a huge profit-generator for one corporation. It will have enormous ramifications for the gas industry in the Marcellus Shale. Even though the gas reserves in the Marcellus have been overestimated, probably purposefully, the gas fracked in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia is like a cork ready to pop. Frackers need to get their product to markets where they can get the best price, and that means international markets. The situation has changed since prices plummeted, but it will come back. Dominion Cove Point is the linchpin, the exit point best situated geographically for all this fracked gas to get out of the country where it can make billions in profit for these companies. A lot rides on it.

      And of course for those people opposed to all the terrible effects of fracking — earthquakes, ruined health, poisoned wells and aquifers — and to all the buildout that comes from fracking — pipelines, compressor stations and gas storage — there is a lot riding on Cove Point too. Stop Cove Point, and you can cut off the profit incentive for a lot of fracking and gas infrastructure.

  • Finance

    • Verizon Unions Deliver For American Middle Class

      Verizon is an extremely profitable company. But even with massive, astonishing profits the company was demanding that its workers provide givebacks, allow employees to be separated from families for months at a time and on top of that allow the company to send more and more call center jobs out of the country. The workers are lucky enough to have unions to fight this – The Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). They voted to strike, it was a long, hard struggle, and in the end they won.

    • Thinking He Owed $25,000, A Man Spent 5 Months In Rikers. He Only Owed $2.

      Unable to pay $25,000 to bail himself out, a Queens resident languished in New York City’s notoriously overcrowded and abusive Rikers Island jail for approximately five months. According to court documents, he should’ve only paid $2 for bail and been released after one week.

      Aitabdel Salem, an immigrant from Algeria, was detained in November 2014 for fighting a cop who arrested him for theft at a clothing store. He was locked away at Rikers because he was unable to pay the $25,000 bail amount. After his first week behind bars, however, prosecutors on the case were unable to indict him and he no longer owed thousands of dollars. To be released, Salem only had to chalk up two, $1 bail payments for unrelated mischief and tampering charges.

    • “Network” 40 Years Later: Capitalism in Retrospect and Prospect and Elite Politics Today

      It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today!

    • We took a stand against corporate power

      The strike by 39,000 Verizon workers–members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)–ended after 45 days with a tentative agreement announced late last week. Only partial details are available as union members prepare for a ratification vote. But strikers believe they’ve won a victory on balance–one made all the more significant by Verizon’s pre-walkout arrogance in its demand for drastic concessions, and also by the widespread support for the strike that clearly put pressure on the company to fold on key demands.

    • Union Membership Is Declining, and More
    • Dodgin’ Donald’s Hiding Something in Those Unreleased Tax Returns

      Donald Trump scorns traditional presidential candidate standards. The Donald doesn’t do what’s expected. And he certainly doesn’t do what he tells other candidates they must do.

      If Donald doesn’t feel like debating, he stiffs his opponents and grabs attention doing something different. If he finally realizes there’s no way to force Mexico to pay for that “big, beautiful wall” he promised ad nauseam, he converts it to a virtual barrier, a mere video-game blockade.

      And when he pledges to release his tax returns, then changes his mind, he simply comes up with an excuse not to do it. That’s Dodgin’ Donald. Donald Trump is a rich guy, a billionaire 10 times over, or so he claims. And rich guys in America don’t follow the rules that working guys must. In fact, fat cats like Donald celebrate breaking the rules. And that’s why he won’t release his income tax returns. What Dodgin’ Donald doesn’t want workers to find out from those forms is that while they paid the IRS every week, he paid nothing. Or next to nothing.

    • It’s Official: US International Trade Commission Predicts Negligible Economic Benefits From TPP

      Techdirt has written hundreds of stories about TPP over the years. So many of those have revealed troubling aspects of the deal that it’s hard to single out the worst. But there can be no doubt that one of the most extraordinary facts is that the US and the other TPP nations were negotiating for eight years the biggest so-called trade deal in history with only the sketchiest idea about its likely benefits. Instead, politicians and supporters simply assured the public that it would all be great, honest. And yet when the rigorous econometric studies began to appear, they consistently showed that TPP would produce almost no benefits whatsoever.

      Upon hearing that a planned course of action designed to bring financial gains would do nothing of the kind, most rational people in ordinary life would try something else. But not the politicians and TPP negotiators, who carried on despite these clear signs that TPP was simply not worth the effort. They either ignored these studies completely, or at most said that the only reliable predictions worth considering were the official ones, which would come from the US International Trade Commission (USITC) once TPP’s text had been finalised.

    • Jeremy Corbyn and Labour comes out against TTIP

      Today Jeremy Corbyn announced that the Labour Party will oppose the EU-US trade deal TTIP “in it’s current form” at a rally in central London.

    • TTIP and the NHS

      The proposed EU-US trade deal known as TTIP might have implications for public services, but EU officials want to include wording designed to keep governments free to run services like the NHS. This should stop the NHS from having to be opened up to US companies, although it may still mean that undoing NHS privatisation in future is more expensive. That would depend on what an international court makes of the agreement, which is still being negotiated.

    • Western Financial System Looting Greece
    • How the Big Banks Can Be Beaten

      One of these loopholes lets private equity and hedge fund managers pay a 20 percent capital gains rate on the bulk of their income — just half of the nearly 40 percent top rate the wealthiest Americans normally owe. As a result, billionaire financiers pay a lower tax rate than millions of our country’s teachers, firefighters, and nurses.

    • Uber’s Drive-By Politics

      Until earlier this month, Karl G. was an avid driver for Uber and Lyft in Austin. After the companies failed to leverage popular support against a new law requiring their drivers to pass fingerprint-based background checks in a vote on May 7th, they followed through on their promises and ceased operations in the city, claiming the requirement was too onerous. That left Karl and roughly 10,000 drivers upended. “It wasn’t necessary,” he said.

      But for the global e-hail companies, an exit was, clearly, necessary. The companies have argued that fingerprinting-based background checks are flawed, time-consuming, and antithetical to their business model: scaling massively requires an aggressive minimization of on-boarding costs, including time, to ensure access to the largest possible pool of drivers.

    • What Uber’s Massive New Investment Really Means
    • Now that’s surge pricing: Saudi Arabia invests $3.5bn in Uber
    • Saudi Arabia just invested a historic amount of cash in Uber
  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The Lazy Pundit’s Guide to Which Candidate’s Lies You Shouldn’t Care About

      The Donald Trump portion of the column mainly illustrates the laziness of a wealthy pundit looking forward to beach season. Friedman explains to Trump why “we can’t carpet-bomb the terrorists without killing all the civilians around them”—forgetting, or not caring, that carpet-bombing terrorists was Ted Cruz’s line, not Trump’s.

      He demands an explanation from Trump: “On Mexico, please tell me why it would pay for a multibillion-dollar wall on our border and how we would compel our neighbor to do so.” Trump has been claiming since last year, at least, that he could force Mexico to pay for the wall by blocking immigrant workers from sending home money—but Friedman seems not to have heard about it.

    • In California, Hillary Clinton’s Strategy Depends on Black Voters

      The mall on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is in the heart of Los Angeles’ African-American community. Its most influential leaders were at a rally there on Saturday to stir up support for Hillary Clinton in the June 7 California presidential primary. But their task extended far beyond Los Angeles, to the suburbs east of the city, now home to thousands of black families.

      “We have to go to San Bernardino, to Riverside, to Perris,” Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters told the several dozen men and women in front of the Clinton campaign’s South Los Angeles headquarters. The communities she mentioned are part of the vast area known as the Inland Empire. “Many folks have moved out,” she said. “They’re not connected. We’re going to connect them.”

      Motivating turnout for Clinton to defeat Sen. Bernie Sanders in the primary is the challenge Waters faces. At 76, she is on the campaign trail, where she has been since the mid-’70s when she was elected to the California State Assembly. She has represented her South L.A. district in the House since 1991. In that long tenure, she has become Los Angeles’ most influential African-American political leader with a network of allies that extends throughout the state and nation.

    • Former Bill Clinton Adviser Thinks Hillary Won’t Be the Democratic Nominee

      He then goes on to say that at the Democratic National Convention, Sanders will most likely introduce a rule change “requiring superdelegates to vote for the candidate who won their state’s primary or caucus.” This too, he argues, would hurt Clinton’s chances.

      He also covers the new polling numbers that show Sanders as a stronger competitor against Trump than Clinton, and he brings up the mounting legal issues Clinton faces. He ends by pondering potential new nominations. “John Kerry, the 2004 nominee, is one possibility. But the most likely scenario is that Vice President Joe Biden—who has said that he regrets ‘every day’ his decision not to run—enters the race.”

    • Clinton Might Not Be the Nominee

      There is now more than a theoretical chance that Hillary Clinton may not be the Democratic nominee for president.

    • Green Party’s Jill Stein on the Feminist Case Against Hillary Clinton

      Hillary Clinton’s plan to win the White House relies heavily on winning the support of women voters. And she shouldn’t have much problem doing that: Not only does she have the endorsements of many marquee women’s organizations — EMILY’s List, NOW and Planned Parenthood, for example — she’ll likely face Donald Trump, a candidate who is despised by women at historic rates. (A recent poll found seven out of ten women voters have unfavorable views of him.)

    • Jill Stein Believes the Green Party Is Better for Women Than a Hillary Clinton Presidency

      A piece by Tessa Stuart published last week by Rolling Stone explains how the Green Party’s platform is better for women in many (perhaps unexpected) ways.

    • ‘Victory for Voting Rights’: Illinois Poised to Pass Automatic Voter Registration

      In a development heralded as a win for democracy, Illinois lawmakers on Tuesday passed legislation to enact automatic voter registration.

      It marks “a landmark victory for voting rights,” according to the Brennan Center for Justice’s Jonathan Brater, who adds that the move “in the nation’s fifth most populous state is a big deal in a year when the media spotlight is focused on new burdens voters will face at the polls in 2016.”

    • Donald Trump Actually Does Not Know What Brexit Is

      In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter published Wednesday morning, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump appeared to be flummoxed by a question about the United Kingdom’s upcoming vote on a potential split from the European Union.

      The Reporter’s Michael Wolff asked Trump about Brexit, the shorthand term referring to the UK leaving the European Union, but the candidate had no idea what that was.

    • Sanders Urges ‘Revolutionaries’ to Join Him as California Democratic Primary Vote Nears

      Bernie Sanders and his California supporters not only expect to win big in next Tuesday’s primary, but say Democrats will not pick their nominee until July’s national convention.

    • AUDIO: Robert Scheer Speaks With Nomi Prins About the Connection Between Washington and Wall Street

      In this week’s “Scheer Intelligence”—the Truthdig editor-in-chief’s podcast on KCRW—author, journalist and former investment banker Nomi Prins explains the culture of Wall Street and its influence on government.

      Prins worked as a managing director at Bear Stearns and Goldman Sachs for several years before leaving the financial sector around the time of the Enron crisis to become one of its sharpest critics. She has written several books about the relationship between Washington and Wall Street, including “All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power” and “Other Peoples’ Money: The Corporate Mugging of America.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Dreams of Control: Israel, Global Censorship, and the Internet

      While Israel’s central justification for its often reactionary policies is couched in hyper-exceptionalist rhetoric, current interest in censoring the Internet is far from exceptional.

      Like a machine of justification against its critics and its enemies, Israel enlists various projects under the banner of the remarkable and precious, when it is simply accomplishing what other states have done before or since: the banal and ordinary. All states want to limit expression, control criticism and marginalise the sceptics. Some do it more savagely, and roughly, than others.

    • Shahid Kapoor on Udta Punjab’s censorship issues: It’s time we allowed content that the audience wants to see

      Having lived with and survived the reputation of a ‘limited actor’, Shahid Kapoor has come a very long way. The actor is matured and evolved; well, his recent choice of films is a big testimony to that. And his next, ‘Udta Punjab’ is no exception. The actor, who is ready to welcome fatherhood soon, chats with Timesofindia.com and bares his heart about his colourful, obnoxious character in the film, difficulties in becoming Tommy Singh, why he was scared to take up the role of a drug addict, controversies about the film and issues with censorship.

    • Periscope trolls to face ‘instant jury’

      Periscope is to put its users in charge of policing offensive comments with a crowd-sourced post moderation system.

      Comments flagged as inappropriate by one person will be instantly sent to others for review, and could result in a ban for the original poster.

      The Twitter-owned video streaming app said “people in a broadcast are best suited to determine what’s okay and what’s not”.

    • Free speech has met social media, with revolutionary results

      “IT’S confusing the public, it’s impoverishing political debate…the public are thoroughly fed up with it.” That was the verdict last week by the chairman of the UK’s Treasury Select Committee on the war being waged over the country’s European Union membership, which he says has become an “arms race of ever more lurid claims and counterclaims”.

      As in any war, the first casualty has been truth. Much dissembling of information has taken the form of “mathswash”, presenting vague estimates as firm predictions with nary a caveat or error bar in sight. Other claims are misleading but catchy – designed to spread faster than efforts to debunk them.

      The net result is that the UK’s forthcoming vote on “Brexit” probably won’t be decided on the basis of level-headed arguments, but by the cognitive shortcuts we turn to when we’re clueless about the right thing to do (see “Brexitology: What science says about the UK’s EU referendum“).

    • EFF fights to end prior restraint against MuckRock

      EFF on Wednesday asked a Washington state trial court to lift its order that forced the public records website MuckRock to take down documents one of its users had lawfully obtained.

      The motion EFF filed on behalf of MuckRock and its co-founder, Michael Morisy, argues that the court order requiring the site to de-publish these public records was an unconstitutional prior restraint.

    • ADL’s Challenge to Pro-Peace & Justice Groups

      On Monday morning NPR’s Tom Gjelten reported the Anti-Defamation League’s recent challenges interfacing with peace and justice groups in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson and Black Lives Matter movement. According to Gjelten, the Anti-Defamation League arose in 1913 to “put an end forever to unfair and unjust discrimination against…any sect or body of citizens.” ADL stood alongside the NAACP to end discrimination against African Americans in the South, which was the focus of NPR’s story. The ADL’s new President, Jonathan Greenblatt, a former special assistant to President Obama, wants to rekindle the spirit of solidarity encapsulated in a photo he frequently shows of Dr. Martin Luther King, Robert F. Kennedy and the heads of the ADL and NAACP in a Rose Garden snapshot with LBJ just before the famous March on Washington.

    • BDS a Bigger Issue After Israel’s Rightward Shift

      40 years after the US formally criminalized the participation of US citizens in economic boycotts of the state of Israel, Americans remain strongly divided on the question of the BDS movement, which seeks to protest Israeli behavior in the occupied territories through boycotts, divestment, and sanctions.

      While there were some ad-hoc boycotts against Israel even in the years before its formal founding, including a 1945 Arab League call to boycott anything that might lead to the realization of the Zionist ambition, the BDS movement began growing in earnest around the 1967 war, and 1973 Yom Kippur War.

    • Nikki Sloane: Dark Erotica vs Corporate Censorship

      Nikki Sloane’s Latest Novel, Sordid, Has Been Banned By Corporate Giant Amazon.

    • ‘I Am Cait’ Removed From Nigerian Cable Network After Customers Revolt
    • Caitlyn Jenner’s Reality Show Pulled From The Air Across Africa
    • I Am Censored: Caitlyn Jenner yanked off the air in Africa
    • Motion Pictures with Chidumga: Should there be censorship on TV?
    • LGBT Censorship by South African Broadcaster Complicit in Nigerian Bigotry
    • Uganda’s Covert Censorship
    • South African minister supports decision
    • Motsoeneng defends #SABCcensorship
    • Motsoeneng: SA media ‘censors’ good news
    • SABC urges investors to come to 90% local content party
    • Icasa says parties are allowed to buy airtime with broadcasters
    • LETTER: Free speech cuts both ways, liberals

      I have no patience with many so-called liberals in the media in particular who, when it suits them, will denounce the SABC’s latest stunt, the speaker ruling opposition MPs out of order for making statements about the governing party and so on, but, in a politically correct witch-hunt, see no contradiction in shutting down free speech with unfair and intemperate racism accusations.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • You Don’t Need JavaScript for That!

      Tooltips are great for showing helpful information that isn’t necessary to a user’s experience. There are a few JavaScript plugins that give us this behavior, but if you don’t feel like adding that weight to your site, we can take care of it with plain ol’ CSS.

    • Study of 1 million sites shows just how closely we’re watched

      THE web is watching you. Chunks of code hide inside every website, tracking your online behaviour.

      Now, a pair of computer scientists have published their attempt to spy back. They audited 1 million of the most popular websites for tracking behaviours – more than anyone has looked at before. Their investigation gives new insight not only into what sites might know about you, but how they’re figuring it out.

      Studying a million websites is hard. To do it, Arvind Narayanan – who heads the Web Transparency and Accountability Project at Princeton University – built a tool called OpenWPM with graduate student Steven Englehardt. OpenWPM can visit and log in to websites automatically, taking more than a dozen measurements of each one. It took two weeks to crawl through the top million websites, as ranked by web traffic firm Alexa.

      Narayanan and Englehardt discovered that many trackers are sharing the information they gather with at least one other party, sometimes dozens of times. The audit also revealed several previously unknown “fingerprinting” techniques that sites are using. Here, the website asks the browser to perform a task that is hidden from the user. The site then fingerprints individual machines based on slight differences in their performance. Trackers used to do this by watching how the browser draws a graphic; now, they check what fonts are installed or how the browser processes audio. A couple of trackers even gathered the device’s battery level.

    • Prisoners’ code word caught by software that eavesdrops on calls

      SAY it out loud and the machines will know. Search engines are moving beyond the web and into the messy real world. And they’re finding some odd things.

      Every call into or out of US prisons is recorded. It can be important to know what’s being said, because some inmates use phones to conduct illegal business on the outside. But the recordings generate huge quantities of audio that are prohibitively expensive to monitor with human ears.

      To help, one jail in the Midwest recently used a machine-learning system developed by London firm Intelligent Voice to listen in on the thousands of hours of recordings generated every month.

    • ​The UK Is Using Bulk Interception to Catch Criminals—And Not Telling Them

      UK authorities are collecting and analysing data in bulk to identify suspected child exploitation offenders on the dark web, but are not informing defendants of how they were caught.

      The practice starkly highlights the UK government’s stance on not including intercept as evidence in court. This, according to Eric King, a surveillance expert and director of activist group Don’t Spy On Us, leaves suspects “totally in the dark.”

      “The right to a fair trial relies on the fact that material being used against the defendant is shown to them, so they can answer to it and explain it,” King said.

    • GCHQ ‘routinely’ intercepting MP emails

      Emails of members of the UK Parliament, as well as their peers, have been ‘routinely’ intercepted and accessed by the GCHQ intelligence agency, as well as the American National Security Agency (NSA), Computer Weekly discovered recently.

      GCHQ managed to intercept and read who’s sending an email, to whom and with which subject line, Computer Weekly said in a long and detailed post about the matter.

    • GCHQ and NSA routinely spy on UK politicians’ e-mails—report

      GCHQ and the NSA have reportedly been spying on e-mail exchanges between MPs and their constituents as a matter of course for the last few years.

      Documents released by spook whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013 revealed details of the top secret Tempora scheme, which allowed the British intelligence agency to intercept data travelling on backbone Internet cables crossing the Irish Sea and English Channel. Bulk storage of this data by the UK’s eavesdropping nerve centre GCHQ is allowed under current law.

      According to a Computer Weekly report, co-written by acclaimed investigative journalist Duncan Campbell, parliament’s switch to Microsoft e-mail cloud services (Office 365) in 2014 means that even UK-to-UK communications often travel via Redmond’s data centres in Ireland and the Netherlands. That’s the conclusion of a study carried out by the IT publication. It tracked the path of hundreds of MPs’ e-mails, and found that 65 percent of those messages were routed overseas.

    • Whistleblower Protections

      Former US Attorney General, Eric Holder, has softened his stance on the Edward Snowden case and has tacitly admitted there should at least be a public interest legal defence for intelligence whistleblowers.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • STOP BULLYING AMOS YEE: WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU S’POREANS – MUST EVERYONE LOVE & ADULATE LKY?

      His pleas went unheard as the crowd simply looked on. The person filming the video even said, “Just a regular day at Jurong Point” before sniggering.

    • This Egyptian Author’s Dystopian Novel Has Become Reality

      When Basma Abdel Aziz wrote her latest novel The Queue, Egypt had just experienced the first phase of a revolution that overthrew the three decade rule of dictator Hosni Mubarak and resulted in the first democratically elected president in Egypt’s modern history. The country was riding a wave of democratic euphoria, but where Egyptians saw prosperity, Abdel Aziz noticed that the country’s powerful military was still lurking in the background — exactly as it had during the Mubarak era.

    • The Evidence About Prostitution That The New York Times Ignored

      On May 5, Emily Bazelon, staff writer for The New York Times, published an article— “Should Prostitution be a Crime”—that had been months in the making. I know this because Bazelon interviewed me for it during an hour-long phone call and an exchange of more than 30 emails.

      What strikes me now is her reaction when I mentioned that the women in my movement often have to deal with journalists who come to the issue of prostitution with their biases intact and their objectivity fragmented.

      “I am not biased,” she snapped.

      “I am not suggesting you are,” I replied. It occurred to me, however, that she probably had a reason for being defensive, and, sure as night follows day, it turned out she did.

    • In Wake of Coup, Should Brazil’s Olympics Be Moved or Become a Site of Protest?

      In early August, more than 10,000 athletes across the world will convene in Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic City for one of the most widely watched sporting events of the year. This comes as Brazil is battling an economic recession, a massive Zika outbreak and its worst political crisis in over two decades. Protesters have vowed to flood the streets during the Olympics, using the global spotlight to highlight a raft of domestic grievances including threats to social services, police violence, forced displacement and the recent ouster of democratically elected President Dilma Rousseff. We speak to Dave Zirin, author of the book “Brazil’s Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy,” and Jules Boykoff, author of “Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics.”

    • DOJ Says Judge Can’t Order Its Lying Lawyers To Attend Ethics Classes

      Federal judge Andrew Hanen recently benchslapped the DOJ for lying about the central element in an ongoing lawsuit between twenty-six states and the US government over changes to immigration policies. The strongly-worded order (which, despite its accusations, never once used the word “lie”) chastised DOJ lawyers for hiding information about the processing of certain immigrants — something that happened over 100,000 times even as (a) the DOJ said no such processing would take place until February 2015, and (b) the states had obtained a temporary restraining order against this processing until the courts could sort it out.

    • Appeals Court Doubles Down On Dangerous Ruling: Says Website Can Be Blamed For Failing To Warn Of Rapists

      Back in late 2014, we wrote about a case where the somewhat horrifying details were likely leading to a bad result that would undermine Section 230 of the CDA (the most important law on the internet). Again, the details here are appalling. It involves two guys who would use other people’s accounts on a website called “Model Mayhem” to reach out to aspiring models, then lure them to their location in South Florida, drug them, and then film themselves having sex with the drugged women to then offer as online porn. Yes, absolutely everything about this is horrifying and disgusting. But here’s where the case went weird. A victim of this awful crime decided to sue the large company Internet Brands, who had purchased Model Mayhem, arguing that it knew about these creeps and had failed to warn users of the service. Internet Brands had argued that under Section 230 it was not liable and the appeals court said no. The case was then reheard en banc (with a large slate of 9th Circuit judges) and they’ve now, once again, said that Section 230 does not apply.

      This case has been a favorite of those looking to undermine Section 230, so those folks will be thrilled by the results, but for everyone who supports an open internet, we should be worried. The rule here is basically that sites are protected from being held liable of actions of their users… unless those users do something really horrible. Then things change. It’s further important to note that the two sick creeps who pulled off this scam, Lavont Flanders and Emerson Callum, weren’t actually members of the Model Mayhem site. They would just use the accounts of others to reach out to people, so the site had even less control.

    • The Dalai Lama says ‘too many’ refugees are going to Germany

      Speaking to German reporters in the de facto capital of Tibet’s exiled government, the Dalai Lama apparently said that “too many” refugees are seeking asylum in Europe.

      “Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country,” he said with a laugh, according to AFP, which quoted from an interview the spiritual leader gave to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a German newspaper. “Germany is Germany. There are so many that in practice it becomes difficult.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T Falsely Blames The FCC For Company’s Failure To Block Annoying Robocalls

      Caring about the customer in this way just isn’t in AT&T’s corporate DNA. Remember, this is a company in the last few years that has been fined for ripping off programs for low-income families, settled a lawsuit for helping scammers rip off IP relay services for the hearing impaired, and paid an $18 million settlement to the government after it was found to be making bills intentionally harder to understand to help crammers. This isn’t the kind of company to give a damn whether robocall blocking technology is blocking legitimate calls, unless there’s some undisclosed financial and marketing/robocall relationships at play that benefit AT&T.

    • Breaking Up Is Hard—Especially With Your Cable Company

      Over the last few years, the cost of cable has gone through the roof. As a result, people are looking for cable TV alternatives, and cord cutting is on the rise. But as with most relationships, the breakup isn’t as simple as saying “I’m done” and walking away.

      When you finally make up your mind that it’s time to end it, you have to get up the nerve to make the call (sorry, no texting Comcast). But don’t expect it to be a quick one.

      “I called them to cancel, and they transferred me to the retention department where I went in circles with the agent for 30 or so minutes,” Joseph Teegardin told Motherboard. And that seems to be the best case scenario, as others experience trouble even getting that far.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Caribou Coffee Learns That Even When You Win As A Trademark Bully, You Can Still Lose

        Whenever we talk about trademark bullies, especially those aggressively pursuing smaller businesses on shaky claims of brand confusion, a common question arises: what can we do to make this kind of thing stop? There are potentially several answers to this question, but one of the most simple is to behave in a way that makes trademark bullying a bad business decision.

        [...]

        So, the question is whether this trademark bullying was worth it for Caribou Coffee. We can dispense with any debate over the validity of the company’s legal action, I think. Pimping some kind of customer confusion between the massive retailer and a local coffee shop and diner is beyond silly. The company trotted out the tired excuse claiming that trademark law required them to do all of this, which isn’t true. So, in light of all that, and in light of what has been a pretty clear public backlash from the very people whom it claimed would be confused, was the bullying worth it for Caribou Coffee?

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