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06.15.16

Links 15/6/2016: Git 2.9, Habitat

Posted in News Roundup at 3:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 7 Free Operating Systems Not Based on Linux, Windows or OS X

    Microsoft’s recent decision to offer FreeBSD images in the Azure cloud is a reminder that GNU/Linux is not the only game in town when it comes to alternative operating systems.

    Here’s a look at lesser-known operating systems. Some are serious, production-quality systems. Others are whimsical or half-baked platforms. All present alternative options for people who want to experiment with something other than Windows, Mac OS X or Linux.

  • The new world order for open-source and commercial software

    We have been living through another cold war. Not geo-political — digital. Open-source software versus commercial software has long been on the brink of going nuclear, fought in the shadows with enormous stakes and conflicting ideologies. But suddenly… perestroika! The wall quietly fell. It did not end in absolute victory, or a stalemate; convergence is a more apt term.

  • Open Source Wins: Now What?

    Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is inviting open source developers to write and contribute code to The Machine project, an effort to juice up its ambitious plan to reinvent computing. During my reporting on that news I had the opportunity to talk with a real veteran of the Open Source Wars. (Not officially a thing, I know, but it should be.)

  • Nextcloud 9 Available, Enterprise Functionality to be Open Source

    Well ahead of the early July promise, today Nextcloud makes available Nextcloud 9. With this release we also announce to release all enterprise functionality as open source. Building on top of the open source ownCloud core and adding functionality and fixes, this release provides a solid base for users to migrate to. All enterprise functionality users and customers need will be made available over the coming weeks, fully developed in the open and under the AGPL license.

  • Jos Poortvliet: On Open Source, forking and collaboration: Nextcloud 9 is here!
  • Nextcloud releases ownCloud fork ahead of schedule

    When Frank Karlitschek, co-founder and former CTO of ownCloud, forked ownCloud into Nextcloud , I expected it to do well. I didn’t expect it to have its first major release less than two weeks after the company opened its doors. Well, the first Nextcloud release is out now.

  • Nextcloud 9 Released, All Enterprise Features To Be Opened Up

    Less than two weeks after ownCloud was forked into Nextcloud, the project today did their version 9 release.

  • Open Source SLA Printer Software Slices from the Browser

    Resin-based SLA printers need a different slicing algorithm from “normal” melted-plastic printers. Following their latest hackathon, [Matt Keeter] and [Martin Galese] from Formlabs have polished off an open source slicer, and this one runs in your browser. It’s Javascript, so you can go test it out on their webpage.

    Figuring out whether or not the voxel is inside or outside the model at every layer is harder for SLA printers, which have to take explicit account of the interior “empty” space inside the model. [Matt] and [Martin]’s software calculates this on the fly as the software is slicing. To do this, [Matt] devised a clever algorithm that leverages existing hardware to quickly accumulate the inside-or-out state of voxels during the slicing.

  • Capital One Taps Open-Source, Cloud, Big Data for Advantage in Banking

    Capital One is one of the nation’s largest banks. It started as a credit card company, really as a startup in the late 1980s. Its founder, Richard Fairbank, is still its CEO today. Fairbank’s idea was to build a better financial services company by using information and data to make better decisions and build better products and services for customers—making Capital One an early “big data” company. The company launched around the notion of an information-based strategy, which in that era was a pretty novel concept.

  • Scality launches single-server open source software for S3-compliant storage

    News this morning from storage vendor Scality that the company is announcing the general availability of its S3 Server Software. The offering is an open source version of Scality’s S3 API and allows developers to code to Amazon Web Services’ S3 storage API on a local machine.

    Packaged as a Docker container (what else!) the idea is that developers can local build applications that thereafter can be deployed on premises, on AWS or some combination of the above.

  • Scality Announces the S3 Server Open Source Software
  • Scality unveils open source Scality S3 Server
  • For Scality’s RING, ’6′ is magic number
  • 21 Inc. Creates Open Source Library For Machine-Payable Web

    21 Inc. has made its software free, ‘turning any computer into a bitcoin computer’, the company announced on Medium. Once a computer has installed the software, the user can get bitcoin using any device nearly anywhere without a bank account or credit cards.

  • Events

    • Seattle GNU/Linux Conference 2016 to Take Place November 11-12 in Seattle, USA

      There’s an upcoming GNU/Linux conference for those living in the Seattle area, and it promises to be a starting point for anyone interested in switching to a free and open source operating system for their personal computers.

    • Flow is a mental state of intense focus for programming

      Open Source Bridge is an annual conference focused on building open source community and citizenship through four days of technical talks, hacking sessions, and collaboration opportunities. Prior to this year’s event, I caught up with one of the speakers, Lindsey Bieda, who will give a talk called Hardware, Hula Hoops, and Flow.

    • LFNW – wrapup

      The conference overall drew nearly 2,000 open-source enthusiasts, setting yet another record for the event! All the openSUSE sessions were well attended, and that gave our team some excellent feedback for future sessions. We were pleasantly suprised to find that “Q&A with openSUSE board members (plus another guy)” was a standing-room-only event, with the audience providing plenty of thoughtful questions for us to answer. “Make the Leap from Dev to Production with openSUSE Leap“, co-presented by Richard Brown and James Mason, provided a thoughtful developer-oriented talk to another full room. Richard also showed some cross-distribution love for openSUSE tooling, co-presenting “openQA – Avoiding Disasters of Biblical Proportions” with Fedora’s Adam Williamson.

    • Forum – GNU Hackers’ Meeting (Rennes, France)
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Expanding Mozilla’s Boards

        In a post earlier this month, I mentioned the importance of building a network of people who can help us identify and recruit potential Board level contributors and senior advisors. We are also currently working to expand both the Mozilla Foundation and Mozilla Corporation Boards.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Tesora and Mirantis Partner on Easily Deployed DBaaS Solution

      As the OpenStack cloud computing arena grows, a whole ecosystem of tools is growing along with it. Tesora, familiar to many as the leading contributor to the OpenStack Trove open source project, has focused very heavily on Database-as-a-Service tools for OpenStack deployments.

      Now, Tesora has announced a promising partnership with OpenStack heavy-hitter Miranti

    • Tesora Positions OpenStack Trove Database-as-a-Service for the Future

      Ken Rugg, CEO of Tesora, discusses the latest innovations in the OpenStack Trove project and what’s coming in the Newton release cycle.

      The OpenStack Mitaka release debuted back in April of this year and with it came a series of updated open source projects, including the Trove database-as-a-service effort.

  • Habitat

  • Cost

    • The cost of free software

      The change from using a dedicated build server to running builds in a virtual machine probably will not change much for Slax users, but the post does highlight a common thread I have been seeing in recent years. Many open source projects are regularly in need of funding. Back in 2009, the OpenBSD project reported it was in “dire need” of infrastructure upgrades and needed funds. This call for donations was echoed by the OpenBSD team again around the end of 2013 which resulted in a lot of public attention and, ultimately, more money flowing into the project. More recently, the HardenedBSD project has asked for help maintaining the infrastructure of the security-oriented project. Last year the NTPD project, a critical piece of software for most Internet-connected computers, was almost abandoned due to a lack of funding. The previous year, OpenSSL’s Heartbleed bug highlighted how little support the critical security software had been receiving from its many users.

  • Healthcare

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • LLVM’s Clang Begins Better Supporting Musl Libc

      Patches are landing in LLVM Clang to improve the compiler’s support for musl libc as an alternative to glibc on Linux-based systems.

      LLVM has added Musl to the triple and work in Clang to enable the compiler to support targets such as x86_64-pc-linux-musl for building binaries against this alternative libc implementation. The later patch explains, “This make it easy for clang to work on some musl-based systems like Alpine Linux and certain flavors of Gentoo.”

  • Public Services/Government

    • Gains of government software repositories are many

      Repositories for software and services developed by and for public administrations have multiple advantages, emphasises Elena Muñoz Salinero, head of Spain’s technology transfer centre (Centro de Transferencia de Technologica, CTT). Repositories make it easier to find suitable solutions, reduce costs, and let users share best practices.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Source Bionics Promise: Affordably Make Lives Better

      We already know that open source gives us better and more secure software. But with the advent of 3D printing, the open source model shows even more meaningful promise in areas like open source bionics.

    • Make things ’til you make it at the Blowing Things Up Lab

      Recently while reading a tweet from the Blowing Things Up Lab, I learned about Emily Daub, a maker and college student who designed a running shirt that helps runners be more visible to motorists—my daughter is a runner so this sounds like a great idea to me.

      The shirt is photosensitive which cause the light intensity of the fabric to change in ambient light. According to Emily Daub, “If you run at night, this is for you. This lights up as it gets darker outside on two independent photocells and no microcontroller!” In this interview, I ask Emily more about this fantastic invention.

      Fun fact: Blowing Things Up (BTU) lab is located at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where Emily is a student of Alicia Gibb’s, the executive director of the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA), who I wrote about last year and contributed to our 2015 Open Source Yearbook.

    • Open Data

      • Government commits to Open Contracting Data Standard

        New Open Government National Action Plan includes Crown Commercial Service in lead role and further developments of GOV.UK

        The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is to implement a standard for open data in contracting later this year as a first step towards its wider use in government.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Razer unveils new Open Source Virtual Reality headset

        Gaming hardware and peripheral maker Razer Inc has announced the new HDK2, a VR device that is part of its Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) initiative, whose goal is “to create a universal open source VR ecosystem for technologies across different brands and companies.”

        The new headset is still considered a developer kit that is not ready for mass production, but at $400, it offers a number of high end features that put it on par with its much more expensive competition, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. HDK2 offers a 2160 x 1200 dual display resolution, which is 1080 X 1200 for each eye. It also offers a frame rate or 90 frames per second, as well as a front-facing infrared camera and a number of other features.

  • Programming/Development

    • The Python Kids Club

      An 11-year-old asks her grandfather how computer games are made and he tells her they’re created by programmers “using complex mathematical code.” The next thing he knows, she’s learning Python on her own, and getting her chums involved too.

    • The Quest to Make Code Work Like Biology Just Took A Big Step

      In the early 1970s, at Silicon Valley’s Xerox PARC, Alan Kay envisioned computer software as something akin to a biological system, a vast collection of small cells that could communicate via simple messages. Each cell would perform its own discrete task. But in communicating with the rest, it would form a more complex whole. “This is an almost foolproof way of operating,” Kay once told me. Computer programmers could build something large by focusing on something small. That’s a simpler task, and in the end, the thing you build is stronger and more efficient.

Leftovers

  • EU referendum: The Sun urges readers to vote Leave as Rupert Murdoch applies pressure

    Political commentator Robert Peston sums up reaction: ‘Rupert Murdoch does not typically back the loser – and this is his call’

    [...]

    Both the latter two papers – owned respectively by Mr Murdoch and billionaire brothers Sir David and Frederick Barclay – have arguably shown support for the Leave campaigns as led by right-wingers Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, John Whittingdale and others.

  • Amazon faces $350K fine for shipping dangerous goods

    Amazon faces a $350,000 fine from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration after shipping a corrosive chemical by air, in violation of federal law. It’s the 25th time the company has been found to violate hazardous chemical shipping regulations in two and a half years.

  • Reuters to scale down Chinese language news site, editorial staff to be redeployed

    News wire Thomson Reuters is to scale down its Chinese-language news site, according to an internal email obtained by HKFP on Tuesday.

    “We are reorganizing our Beijing editorial consumer operation to deploy more translation and editing resources to our professional news products from Reuters.cn,” the email from Digital Executive Editor Dan Colarusso said.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Survey: In Locking Down Security, Applications May Be the Biggest Concern

      Security is likely to rise to the top for many enterprises, and these concerns could have an impact on which kinds of applications enterprises end up trusting. All the data rolling in points to the fact that application security concerns are significantly rising at enterprises, not falling.

    • Clueless s’kiddies using exploit kits are behind ransomware surge

      Releases of new ransomware grew 24 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q1 2016 as relatively low-skilled criminals continued to harness exploit kits for slinging file-encrypting malware at their marks.

      The latest quarterly study by Intel Security also revealed that Mac OS malware grew quickly in Q1, primarily due to an increase in VSearch adware. Mobile malware also increased 17 per cent quarter-over-quarter in Q1 2016.

    • New report shows the NSA used Word Macros, considered a security risk

      Two new reports out by The Hill and Vice are both showing that the NSA used programmable Word Macro shortcuts, which are considered a potential security risk by Microsoft.

    • Russia mulls bug bounty to harden govt software

      Local media report deputy Communications Minister Aleksei Sokolov is discussing a possible bug bounty with the Russian tech sector.

      The implications of such a bounty are being considered including staffing requirements for bug triage and validation, and the need to find a way to force developers to develop and apply patches for affected software.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Man ‘claiming allegiance to IS group’ stabs French policeman to death

      A man who claimed allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group stabbed a senior French police officer to death on Monday night before he was killed in a dramatic police operation, officials have said.

    • Ex-NSA Official: Orlando Attack Part of Wave of Mass Killings

      The slaughter of 49 people in a night club in Orlando in the US state of Florida is another expression of the growing problem of mass violence in American society that cannot solely be attributed to Islamic extremism, NSA whistleblower Mark Klein told Sputnik.

    • We Talked To ISIS Citizens: What You Won’t Hear In The News
    • Masked Russian hooligans attack England and Wales fans as more violence flares in Lille

      The ugly scenes came just hours after Uefa bosses warned Russia would be kicked out of the tournament if the violence continued.

      England fans came under attack following the 1-1 draw at the Stade Velodrome, with images showing Russian thugs chasing supporters inside the stadium.

      Uefa said Russia have been given a suspended disqualification from the tournament and a 150,000 euro (£120,000) fine after the crowd disorder.

    • Given Orlando, Has the US Government Been Adequately Protecting the Public?

      Going back in time, the U.S. government inadvertently created al Qaeda by encouraging, funding, and arming radical Islamist fighters against the Soviet Union in faraway Afghanistan during the 1980s. After the 9/11 attacks by that group, the U.S. government, by conducting an unrelated invasion of Iraq, then unintentionally created an even more brutal group called al Qaeda in Iraq, which pledged allegiance to the main al Qaeda group in Pakistan, and eventually morphed into the even more vicious ISIS. ISIS then took over large parts of Iraq and Syria, but began to attack Western targets only after a U.S.-led coalition began bombing the group in those countries.

    • Commenting on Orlando, NPR Terrorism Reporter Reverses Political Lesson of Madrid Blast

      Shortly before noon on Sunday (6/12/16), during NPR’s national coverage of the horrific shooting in Orlando, NPR “counter-terrorism correspondent” Dina Temple-Raston made a critical false claim that deserves an on-air correction.

    • MH-17 Probe Trusts Torture-Implicated Ukraine

      The floundering inquiry into who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014 has relied heavily on a Ukrainian intelligence agency that recently stopped U.N. investigators from probing its alleged role in torture, reports Robert Parry.

    • Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Call for Bombing ISIS After Orlando Shooting That ISIS Didn’t Direct

      Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump reacted to the Orlando shooting with evidence that they can agree on at least one thing: bombing people. Both candidates called for an escalation of the U.S.-led bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

      “We have generals that feel we can win this thing so fast and so strong, but we have to be furious for a short period of time, and we’re not doing it!” Trump complained on Fox & Friends Monday morning.

    • What Did FBI Do with Evidence that Mateen Was a Closeted Gay Man?
    • Orlando Killer Worked Inside the Global Security System

      The Orlando mass murderer, Omar Mateen, worked for G4S, one of the largest private security employers in the world. G4S has some 625,000 employees spanning five continents in more than 120 countries. As a private security company it provides services for both governments as well as corporations. Some of its well-known contractors are with the British Government, the United States, Israel, Australia and many more. G4S providers a range of services in the areas of corrections, policing, and security of important facilities. In the corporate sector it has worked with such well-known companies such as Chrysler, Amtrak, Apple, and the Bank of America.

    • Wikileaks will publish ‘enough evidence’ to indict Hillary Clinton, warns Assange

      Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange warns more information will be published about Hillary Clinton, enough to indict her if the US government is courageous enough to do so, in what he predicts will be “a very big year” for the whistleblowing website.

      Expressing concerns in an ITV interview about the Democratic presidential candidate, who he claims is monitoring him, Assange described Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump as an “unpredictable phenomenon”, but predictably, given their divergent political views, didn’t say if he preferred the billionaire to be president.

      He was not asked if he supported Green Party candidate Jill Stein, even though she said she would immediately pardon Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning if elected.

    • Pushing the Doomsday Clock to Midnight

      As the U.S. and NATO mount provocative military maneuvers on Russia’s border, the West is oblivious to how these threatening gestures ratchet up prospects of thermonuclear war that could extinguish civilization, says Gilbert Doctorow.

    • Clinton Discussed Top Secret CIA Drone Info, Approved Drone Strikes, Via Her Blackberry

      A new report in the Wall Street Journal reveals emails in which then-Secretary of State Clinton approved CIA drone assassinations in Pakistan from her unsecured Blackberry.

    • Emails in Clinton Probe Dealt With Planned Drone Strikes

      Some vaguely worded messages from U.S. diplomats in Pakistan and Washington used a less-secure communications system

    • AQ to CIA: You Are the Empire, and We Are Luke and Han

      The Force Awakens didn’t deal with the fact that the US has become (if it wasn’t already, in 1977) The Empire; the movie shied away from contemplating that fact.

    • Alligator drags away toddler into water at Disney hotel, police say

      A search is on to find a 2-year-old boy who was attacked by an alligator and dragged away at a Disney hotel near Orlando, authorities said.

      The incident happened while the family relaxed at a sandy area near the Seven Seas Lagoon on the property.

      The child was “wading just in the water along the lake’s edge at the time that the alligator attacked,” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said.

    • Alligator drags two-year-old boy into lagoon at Disney World resort in Florida

      The boy’s father saw the animal – reportedly between 4-7ft long – take his son, and entered the water to wrestle him from its jaws.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Finance

    • Corporate Sovereignty Finally Enters The Political Mainstream

      Techdirt has been writing about investor-state-dispute settlement (ISDS), aka corporate sovereignty, for more than three years now. During that time, we’ve published well over a hundred articles on the topic. Increasing numbers of people have become aware of the threat that ISDS represents to democracy because of the privileged access it grants companies to a parallel legal system. Now, it seems, it’s beginning to enter the political mainstream around the world.

      [...]

      In other words, this is yet another “ratchet” clause that ensures changes only ever move in one direction — to the benefit of companies, and against the interests of the public. It’s yet another reason never to include corporate sovereignty chapters in these so-called trade deals.

    • Labor pledges to review trade deals that let companies sue Australia

      Labor is promising to review three of the major free trade agreements signed by the Abbott and Turnbull governments in the hope of removing a controversial clause that allows foreign corporations to sue the Australian government.

    • Hundreds of jobs at risk as Stockmann announces further cuts

      The department store chain announced it is beginning negotiations with unions over plans to cut 380 non-sales jobs from its payroll. Although profits grew this year, acting CEO Lauri Veijalainen said the group’s sales performance has not met expectations.

    • Seven reasons blockchain isn’t ready for mainstream deployment

      A lead analyst at Forrester shares her views on blockchain technology, the risks it poses to enterprise customers and how they can eventually reap the rewards of the distributed ledger technology.

      As more and more companies invest in the much-hyped blockchain technology, outside observers could be forgiven for thinking that the technology has arrived. The potential for the distributed ledger to transform key business processes has been spoken about but, like any cutting edge technology, blockchain comes with risks for businesses.

    • We Must Understand Corporate Power to Fight It

      The aims of the corporate state are, given the looming collapse of the ecosystem, as deadly, maybe more so, as the acts of mass genocide carried out by the Nazis and Stalin’s Soviet Union.

      The reach and effectiveness of corporate propaganda dwarfs even the huge effort undertaken by Adolf Hitler and Stalin. The layers of deception are sophisticated and effective. News is state propaganda. Elaborate spectacles and forms of entertainment, all of which ignore reality or pretend the fiction of liberty and progress is real, distract the masses.

      Education is indoctrination. Ersatz intellectuals, along with technocrats and specialists, who are obedient to neoliberal and imperial state doctrine, use their academic credentials and erudition to deceive the public.

    • Hillary Clinton’s Paperback Memoir Deletes Inconvenient Support Of TPP That Was In The Hard Cover Version

      I’ve seen plenty of nonfiction books that add some amount of content in the process from the original hard cover release to the eventual paperback release. But apparently Hillary Clinton went the other direction and conveniently excised all of the stuff about her support of the TPP. It’s no secret that, while facing a considerable challenge from Bernie Sanders in the primary contest, Clinton’s views of the TPP flip flopped from supporting it to being against it. She did try to explain away the flip flop by saying that it was about the details, but still, if you’re going to actually change your position, you should own it. Instead, it looks like Clinton and her campaign are simply trying to rewrite history. The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) first noticed a series of big changes in the paperback edition of Clinton’s book, including excising the support of the TPP — such as two full pages about a conference in El Salvador where she spoke in favor of the agreement.

    • Cracks emerging in plurilateral talks for TiSA

      Cracks are finally emerging in the grossly imbalanced, plurilateral talks on a Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) being pursued by 23 countries, after the European Union and several other members voiced concern about the overall quality of the latest revised offers and the exclusion of Mode 4, maritime transport, and sub-federal categories among other sectors, several trade envoys told the SUNS.

    • Unmasked: Corporate rights in the renewed Mexico-EU FTA

      The EU and Mexico launch negotiations for a ‘modernised’ Free Trade Agreement. A key feature is the investment protection chapter which grants major multinational companies in Mexico and the EU the exclusive right to challenge democratic decisions taken by States, even when they were taken in the public interest. The report outlines six reasons of major concern.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Sanders’ Success: Democratic Socialism Goes Mainstream

      A January 2016 poll of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa found that 43 percent described themselves as “socialist.” Fully 56 percent of registered Democrats, including 52 percent of Clinton supporters, view socialism favorably according to a recent NY Times/CBS News poll.

    • Trump Implicitly Suggests That His DOJ Would Take Down Amazon For Antitrust

      There was a fair bit of coverage on Monday of the news that the Donald Trump campaign had removed the press credentials from the Washington Post because the campaign was upset with the Washington Post’s coverage of the campaign. While it got a lot of attention, it was quickly pointed out that Trump has revoked or barred at least six other news outlets from receiving press passes, including Politico, the Huffington Post, the National Review, Buzzfeed and the Daily Beast. This issue is being discussed in lots of media circles. But what interested me much more was buried deeper in the full two paragraph statement that the Trump campaign later released. It included a weird and basically confused attack on Jeff Bezos, that again raises some serious questions about how Trump may use the Presidency to “settle scores.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Court Tells Cops They Can’t Seize Luggage And Send It Hundreds Of Miles Away In Hopes Of Generating Probable Cause

      There’s no universal law enforcement “best practices” for searches and seizures, but simply respecting the Fourth Amendment would seem to be a good base guideline. However, that baseline is rarely used. Far too often, searches and seizures seem to be officers seeing what they can get away with — and expecting the legal system to assist in applying “good faith” to unconstitutional searches after the fact.

      Ethan Moore landed at the Dillingham, Alaska airport, where he was met by two police officers. According to the officers, informants claimed Moore was transporting marijuana. They seized his luggage and took it to the local police station while they sought a search warrant.

    • Turkey plans to release MILLIONS of migrants if the EU doesn’t grant it visa-free travel

      TURKEY is threatening to release “millions” more migrants from refugee camps if Britain does not grant more than one million Turks visa-free travel, leaked documents have sensationally claimed.

    • The Real Reason Why Oakland’s Police Chief Was Fired

      At this morning’s press conference announcing the departure of Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent, Mayor Libby Schaaf and City Administrator Sabrina Landreth told a room full of reporters that Whent was resigning for “personal reasons.” The mayor said it had nothing to do with a scandal involving rookie police officers who sexually exploited a minor, or the suspicious death of a police officer’s wife and his subsequent suicide.

    • Home Office refuses to reveal whether women in Yarl’s Wood have been raped in case it ‘damages the commercial interests’ of companies

      The Home Office is refusing to reveal how many detainees have been sexually assaulted or raped inside Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire in case the information becoming public knowledge harms the “commercial interests” of private companies that are involved in running it, The Independent can reveal.

    • When cybersecurity research leads to jail time

      At 6:30am on Tuesday, May 24, someone began banging on the front door of Justin Shafer’s home in North Richland Hills, Texas. When Shafer and his wife answered the door, they found a dozen FBI agents with guns drawn. Shafer, 36, still in his boxer shorts, was allegedly handcuffed, according to a Daily Dot report. The agents seized all of Shafer’s computers and digital devices, and pushed him into a car.

    • CAIR Responds To Pulse Massacre By Ejecting Reporter From Press Conference

      The most prominent advocacy group for orthodox radical Islam in the United States threatened Friday to have a Breitbart reporter arrested if he did not leave its soon-to-start public press conference about the bloody Pulse massacre of at least 50 gay Americans by an American Muslim.

    • HIPAA Privacy Regulations Didn’t Need to Be Waived After Orlando. Here’s Why They Were Anyway

      Update: On Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services said it had not waived HIPAA in Orlando after all because it was not necessary—the mayor’s original remarks were the result of some miscommunication. WIRED’s original story, about why a HIPAA waiver would not have been necessary, is below.

    • Apple fights bids to make product repairs cheaper

      But the Cupertino giant does not always come down on the side of those who use its products as is evident from its attempts to block bids by US states to make repair of Apple devices cheaper.

      According to a published report, Apple is fighting “right to repair” amendments being considered by the US states of Minnesota, Nebraska, Massachusetts and New York.

      Given the difficulty in gaining access to the innards of most current Apple devices, these amendments would make it mandatory for Apple to provide unofficial repair shops with the necessary information needed to fix broken devices.

    • Saudi Arabia, UN Black Lists and Manipulating Human Rights

      It is such cases that give the United Nations a bad name. And if heads and decay say something about the rest of the body, Ban Ki-Moon says all too much in his role as UN Secretary General. Always inconspicuous, barely visible in the global media, his presence scarcely warrants a footnote. This has been a point of much relief for various powers who have tended to see the UN as a parking space for ceremony and manipulation rather than concrete policy.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • House Attacks Net Neutrality, Cable Box Reform With Sneaky Budget Rider

      As we’ve noted a few times, there’s really only two ways the telecom sector can successfully destroy U.S. net neutrality rules. Broadband providers could prevail on part or all of their multi-headed lawsuit against the FCC, a decision on which is expected any day now. Or the rules could be dismantled by the next President, who could repopulate the FCC with the usual assortment of revolving-door sector sycophants, reverting the agency back to its more consistent, historical role as a dumbly nodding enabler of broadband sector dysfunction.

      Every other attempt to kill the rules is just politicians barking loudly for their campaign contribution dinners — though that’s not to say the barking doesn’t get very loud from time to time.

      The latest example is the House Appropriations Committee’s 29-17 vote to approve an FCC appropriations bill (pdf), part of a larger Financial Services Bill determining the 2017 budgets for multiple agencies. The bill was passed last week with amendment language intended to hobble the FCC’s net neutrality rules — and its quest to bring competition to the cable set top box. More specifically, the bill prohibits the FCC from enforcing its net neutrality rules until the ongoing court case is settled. But it also would relegate the FCC’s attempt to bring competition to the cable box to committee purgatory.

    • Appeals Court Fully Upholds FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules

      After months of anticipation on all sides, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has upheld the FCC’s Open Internet Order, a notably huge win for net neutrality advocates. The full court ruling (pdf) supports the FCC’s arguments across the board, including the FCC’s decision to classify internet providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act. That’s not only big for net neutrality, but it solidifies the FCC’s authority as it looks to move forward on other pro-consumer initiatives such as the exploration of some relatively basic new privacy protections for broadband users.

      Historically the DC Appeals court has been a mixed bag for the FCC, but in this instance the court declared the FCC’s neutrality protections rest on solid legal ground from beginning to end, dismantling arguments by the likes of US Telecom, AT&T, and advocacy groups like TechFreedom from stem to stern. That includes industry attempts to prevent the rules from being applied to wireless networks (a split decision whereby fixed-line services were covered by wireless was not was something that had worried many telecom sector consumer advocates).

    • Cable Industry Proclaims More Competition ‘Hurts Consumers’ & ‘Damages Economic Efficiency’

      As part of the conditions attached to Charter’s $79 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, the FCC imposed a requirement that Charter expand broadband service to another two million locations, one million of which must already be served by an ISP delivering speeds of 25 Mbps or greater. Unfortunately these kinds of conditions historically don’t mean much; merger broadband expansion promises are almost always volunteered by the ISPs themselves, who already planned the expansion regardless of their merger plans.

    • Hypermedia: How the WWW fell short

      The web we have works incredibly well. Its feature set has enabled users to write billions of web pages. The technology is standardised and there are many mature implementations.

      HTML is still a medium where some things are easy and some things are not. We should not lose sight of how HTML will affect how we communicate. Instead, we should pillage the ideas of the past to make the best use of our content today.

    • Do We Need a More Open, Private, “Decentralized” Internet?

      Is it time to rebuild the Web? That’s what Tim Berners-Lee and other Internet pioneers are now saying in response to concerns about censorship, electronic spying and excessive centralization on the Web.

      Last week, Berners-Lee, the guy who played a leading role in creating the Web in 1989, held a conference with other computer scientists in San Francisco at the Decentralized Web Summit. Attendees also included the likes of Mitchell Baker, head of Mozilla, and Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Concussion Protocol: Can You Tell The Difference Between Soda And One Half Of A Football Team?

        There are a surprising number of really dumb trademark disputes involving professional sports, what with athletes jumping at the chance to trademark their nicknames and phrases, and that really dumb 12th Man thing. But even this cynical writer was taken aback at the news that Dr. Pepper had stepped in to block the Denver Broncos from trademarking the term “Orange Crush”, the nickname for the team’s defensive squad spanning nearly half a century.

      • Company opposes Broncos’ bid to trademark ‘Orange Crush’

        The Denver Broncos might have had the Orange Crush defense, but the team shouldn’t be allowed to trademark the term, at least according to Dr Pepper Snapple Group, which owns the Crush soda brand, whose most popular flavor is orange.

    • Copyrights

      • Europe Is About To Create A Link Tax: Time To Speak Out Against It

        We’ve written plenty of times about ridiculous European plans to create a so-called “snippet tax” which is more officially referred to as “ancillary rights” (and is really just about creating a tax on Google). The basic concept is that some old school newspapers are so lazy and have so failed to adapt to the internet — and so want to blame Google for their own failures — that they want to tax any aggregator (e.g., Google) that links to their works with a snippet, that doesn’t pay for the privilege of sending those publishers traffic. As you may remember, Germany has been pushing for such a thing for many, many years, and Austria has been exploring it as well. But perhaps the most attention grabbing move was the one in Spain, which not only included a snippet tax, but made it mandatory. That is, even if you wanted Google News to link to you for free, you couldn’t get that. In response, Google took the nuclear option and shut down Google News in Spain. A study showed that this law has actually done much to harm Spanish publishers, but the EU pushes on, ridiculously.

      • Film Producer Wants ISPs Prosecuted Over Widespread Piracy

        Dutch film producer Klaas de Jong has filed a police report against four local ISPs, holding them accountable for tens of millions of euros in piracy related losses. The producer says that the ISPs are responsible for the actions of pirating subscribers, since they fail to block torrent sites and other download portals.

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