06.28.16

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Links 28/6/2016: Red Hat Summit 2016, Hadoop Events

Posted in News Roundup at 6:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • The gift and curse of CEO ego

    After a leader effectively keeps her or his ego in check, where does he or she begin delegating decisions and problem solving? To find the answer to that question, one must simply explore where value is created. The people involved in creating value are the people who should be most involved in the decision-making process. Having maturity, curiosity and determination, our newly-open CEO should be willing to open up that decision-making process and give decision making power and trust to those individuals, whether within the company or outside. The leader’s role should be to support those people and groups, and to create an environment in which they can come up with the solutions that best suit their immediate situations, and the company as a whole—not an environment that lets the CEOs ego spiral out of control.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • WHO Names New Head Of Health Emergencies

      The World Health Organization has named veteran health crisis expert Peter Salama of Australia the next head of the Health Emergencies Programme, a high-profile position for the UN agency’s leadership against outbreaks and disasters.

  • Security

    • Libarchive Security Flaw Discovered

      When it comes to security, everyone knows you shouldn’t run executable files from an untrustworthy source. Back in the late 1990s, when web users were a little more naive, it was quite common to receive infected email messages with fake attachments.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The Glorious Dictatorship of Uzbekistan

      A very curious puff piece has turned up in the Guardian for holidays in Uzbekistan, which fails entirely to mention that it is one of the world’s least free countries and most repressive dictatorships. Nor is this irrelevant to tourism, as there could well be serious problems for visiting religious muslims or gays, and it very definitely impinges on everybody’s freedom to move around.

    • Trading Places: Neocons and Cockroaches

      Neocons want a new Cold War – all the better to pick the U.S. taxpayers’ pockets – but this reckless talk and war profiteering could spark a nuclear war and leave the world to the cockroaches, writes Robert Parry.

  • Finance/Brexit

    • EU referendum: MEPs discuss Brexit negotiations
    • Nigel Farage jeered and booed as he tells MEPs they are ‘in denial’ over Brexit

      Ukip leader Nigel Farage was jeered by the European Parliament after he told MEPs that they were “in denial” about Brexit and that they had “never had a proper job before”.

      His astonishing speech at a special meeting of the European Parliament today ended with boos echoing through the Brussels chamber.

    • The Calm Stroll to Independence

      Scottish nationals have two supra-national citizenships. One is UK citizenship, the second is EU citizenship. In democratic referenda over the past two years, Scots have voted clearly to retain both citizenships.

    • The EU may drop English as their official language

      English, the world’s second language and the main working tongue of EU institutions, may no longer be an official language of the European Union once Britain leaves the bloc, a senior EU lawmaker said on Monday.

    • Romanians for Remainians: an ‘adoption’ offer for bewildered Brits

      If the Brexit fallout has left you reeling and combing your family tree for alternative passport options, it might be time to consider adoption by a Romanian family.

      A daily newspaper in Bucharest has launched a “Romanians for Remanians” campaign, offering a new home to the 48% of Britons who voted to stay in the European Union.

      The Gandul website tells Brits who believe in a united Europe to “leave the Brexiters, the quarrelling and the weather behind” and “start brand new life” in Romania.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Kuenssberg Goes Into Overdrive

      170,000 Labour members voted against Jeremy Corbyn in the last leadership election. Any of them can expect to be made briefly famous by Laura Kuenssberg as she deliriously seeks to promote her “Labour members turn against Corbyn” message.

      She broadcasts that Andy Slaughter’s resignation from an obscure shadow junior ministerial post is “different”, because he uses the word “comrade”, and is a sign that even Corbyn’s supporters are turning against him.

      Let’s consider that a moment. Slaughter’s voting record shows that he is a strong supporter of nuclear missiles and Trident replacement, and voted consistently against an inquiry into the Iraq war. So Kuenssberg’s characterisation of Slaughter is false.

      And did Slaughter support Corbyn for leader last time? No. Andy Slaughter actually nominated Yvette Cooper for leader.

      But worry not. Kuenssberg has another, killing example that Corbyn has lost it. The former leader of Dudley Council, councillor Dave Sparks, is going to vote against him! Kuenssberg evidently expects this bombshell to move financial markets. And did Bob Sparks vote for Corbyn the first time? Er, no. But, Kuenssberg announces, some other Labour councillors will vote against Corbyn too! Amazing!

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Web content blocking plan for EU’s draft anti-terrorism law hits stumbling block

      A controversial vote over planned Web blocking rules—recently squeezed into the EU’s draft anti-terrorism law—has been postponed by a week.

      It was due to take place on Tuesday in the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee, but the vote has now been pushed back to Monday June 27.

      The latest draft of the directive on combating terrorism contains proposals on blocking websites that promote or incite terror attacks. Member states “may take all necessary measures to remove or to block access to webpages publicly inciting to commit terrorist offences,” says text submitted by German MEP and rapporteur Monika Hohlmeier.

    • Vanuatu Daily Digest condemns ‘blanket state censorship’ of social media

      Vanuatu’s Public Service Commission is forbidding government workers from accessing social media, Radio Vanuatu News reports today.

    • Arab Atheists Decry Facebook Censorship on Posts Critical of Islam

      Atheist groups in the Middle East and North Africa region are demanding that Facebook, which has deleted numerous pages with more than 100,000 members for criticizing Islam, change the way it addresses violation claims so that members’ freedom of speech is preserved.

      In April, Facebook removed more than six Arabic-speaking atheist pages due to “violations” of Community Standards, after deactivating 10 of the largest Arabic-speaking atheist groups with a total of about 100,000 members, in February, according to The News Hub.

      The censorship is a result of organized efforts by “cyber jihadist” groups to get anti-Islamic groups or pages removed, atheist groups say.

    • Chaos escalates and CEO quits at SABC headquarters over censorship

      According to Tech Central, veteran journalist and SABC acting CEO Jimi Matthews has quit, saying in his resignation letter that what is happening at the state-owned broadcaster is “wrong” and that he can “no longer be a part of it.”

    • I don’t even know what censorship is – Hlaudi Motsoeneng

      SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has scoffed at suggestions that the public broadcaster is engaging in censorship, saying censorship is an English concept, so he “doesn’t know it”.

      Speaking at a media briefing at the SABC’s Johannesburg head office in Auckland Park, Motsoeneng took to the microphone to deliver a customary diatribe against his detractors.

      “I don’t even know what censorship is,” an exasperated Hlaudi Motsoeneng said.

      “What is this censorship thing? It is English so I don’t know it. There is no censorship here,” he declared.

    • Journalists take a stand against SABC censorship

      An online petition aimed at freeing the SABC from censorship and political interference has been started.

      It is calling for the public broadcaster to stop intimidating and purging staff with opposing views.

      The petition, initiated by worker union Bemawu, is asking for the independence of journalists to be guaranteed and for the SABC board to be replaced.

      It also wants the newscaster to comply with its own charter, the constitution and the Broadcasting Act.

      The petition calls for the withdrawal of the alleged financial reward of R100,000 to anyone who informs on staffers leaking information to the media.

    • Journalists under fire and under pressure: summer magazine 2016
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • NSA advises White House, federal agencies on cybersecurity

      One of the National Security Agency’s most important roles in government cybersecurity is advising the White House and other federal agencies about potential risks and opportunities. Philip Quade, special assistant for cybersecurity to the NSA director, leads that effort.

    • German government proposes shorter leash for intelligence agency
    • Germany puts a (long) leash on its spooks
    • German cabinet agrees to tighten control over spy agency
    • German Cabinet agrees upon new controls for spy agency
    • Germany to further curb activities of spy agency in wake of NSA scandal
    • He Was a Hacker for the NSA and He Was Willing to Talk. I Was Willing to Listen.

      The message arrived at night and consisted of three words: “Good evening sir!”

      The sender was a hacker who had written a series of provocative memos at the National Security Agency. His secret memos had explained — with an earthy use of slang and emojis that was unusual for an operative of the largest eavesdropping organization in the world — how the NSA breaks into the digital accounts of people who manage computer networks, and how it tries to unmask people who use Tor to browse the web anonymously. Outlining some of the NSA’s most sensitive activities, the memos were leaked by Edward Snowden, and I had written about a few of them for The Intercept.

    • What Price Security Surveillance Now?

      A couple of weeks ago I attended a meeting of the Manchester branch of the Open Rights Group to discuss the proposed Investigatory Powers Bill known as the IPBill and currently about to be discussed and voted on by the House of Lords.

      [...]

      One important additional question is “how did we get here?” It seems likely that we have boxed our politicians into a corner: when there is a bad news story (such as a terrorist attack), we, or the Press supposedly on our behalves, demand to know why it wasn’t prevented. The politicians, therefore, go to the security services and police and ask what tools they want in order to ensure it doesn’t happen again. And, of course, this puts the spies and law enforcers in a tight spot because now they will be held responsible, so they obviously ask for strong powers. Pervasive bulk surveillance is just one of the arrows they demand for their quiver.

    • Russian ISPs will need to store content and metadata, open backdoors

      Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, has approved a series of new online surveillance measures as part of a wide-ranging anti-terrorism law. In a tweet, Edward Snowden, currently living in Russia, wrote: “Russia’s new Big Brother law is an unworkable, unjustifiable violation of rights that should never be signed.”

      As well as being able to demand access to encrypted services, the authorities will require Russia’s telecom companies to store not just metadata, but the actual content of messages too, for a period of six months. Metadata alone must then be held for a total of three years, according to a summary of the new law on the Meduza site. Authorities will be able to access the stored content and metadata information on demand.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Appeals Court Rejects Revenge Pornster’s Appeal; Another Bad Section 230 Ruling

      We’ve noted in the last month or so a series of court rulings in California all seem to be chipping away at Section 230. And now we’ve got another one. As we noted last month, revenge porn extortion creep Kevin Bollaert had appealed his 18-year sentence and that appeal raised some key issues about Section 230. As we noted, it seemed clear that the State of California was misrepresenting a bunch of things in dangerous ways.

      Unfortunately, the appeals court has now sided with the state, and that means we’ve got more chipping away at Section 230. No one disagrees that Bollaert was a creep. He was getting naked pictures of people posted to his site, along with the person’s info, and then had set up a separate site (which pretended to be independent) where people could pay to take those pages down. But there are questions about whether or not Bollaert could be held liable for actions of his users in posting content. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA 230) is pretty damn clear that he should not be held liable — but the court has twisted itself in a knot to find otherwise, basically arguing that Bollaert is, in part, responsible for the creation of the content. This is going to set a bad precedent for internet platforms in California and elsewhere.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Airbnb Goes To Court To Stop San Francisco’s New Anti-Airbnb Law

      Back in May, we noted that large cities around the country were rushing to put in place anti-Airbnb laws designed to protect large hotel companies. In that post, we noted that many of the bills almost certainly violated Section 230 of the CDA by making the platform provider, Airbnb, liable for users failing to “register” with the city. Section 230, again, says that a platform cannot be held liable for the actions (or inactions) of its users. San Francisco was the first city to get this kind of legislation pushed through. And while the city’s legislators insisted that Section 230 didn’t apply, they’re now going to have to test that theory in court. Airbnb has asked a court for a preliminary injunction blocking the law, based mainly on Section 230, but also mentioning the Stored Communications Act and tossing in a First Amendment argument just in case.

    • Senate Hearing Shows Cable Companies Routinely Overbill Customers, Do Little To Correct Errors

      If you’ve been distracted by something like a coma, you may have noticed that the cable industry has developed an atrocious reputation for poor customer service, built over a generation of regulatory capture, prioritizing growth over customer service, and just generally not giving much of a damn. By and large, a Congress slathered in telecom and cable campaign contributions has ensured that nothing much changes on that front, with most politicians taking every opportunity to in fact defend this dysfunctional status quo from innovation, competition, or change.

  • DRM

    • Xbox Fitness users will soon lose access to workout videos they bought

      Xbox users who purchased training videos through the Xbox Fitness app probably thought they were buying a workout program they’d be able to use regularly for the life of the Xbox One, at the very least. Instead, those videos will soon be completely unavailable to those who paid for them up front, according to a “sunset” plan announced by Microsoft yesterday evening.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • National Parliaments Not Needed For CETA Approval, European Commission President Juncker Says

      European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said today that the European Union would not include national parliaments of EU member states in the final decision on the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA). Juncker’s CETA statement was made during the post-Brexit meeting of EU heads of state in Brussels today (28 June), several German newspapers reported quoting the German News Agency (DPA).

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Another Dumb Idea Out Of The EU: Giving Robots & Computers Copyright

        It’s a good thing to think about the technology of the future. Especially if you’re politicians and the future may have a big impact. Considering how frequently we see politicians ignore future technological change, it might be encouraging that the EU Parliament is at least considering what happens when our new robot overlords enslave us. Except that the report that the EU Parliament has come out with… is ridiculous. Most of the headlines are focusing on the ideas raised around making robots “electronic persons” for the purposes of paying social security or taxes, but the part that gets me is the plan to give them access to copyright as well.

      • This Song Belongs To You And Me: Lawsuit Filed To Declare Woodie Guthrie’s Classic In The Public Domain

        And yet, his most famous song, “This Land,” keeps coming up in copyright disputes. Over a decade ago, we wrote about how the organizations claiming to hold the copyright on that song went after the company JibJab, which had made a clear parody of the song during the 2004 Presidential election. In that case, once the EFF got involved, the case was settled out of court.

      • US Courts Split On Legality Of Music Sampling
      • Stairway to Heaven copyright decision is music to Led Zeppelin’s ears

        The Central District of California’s June 23 verdict in Skidmore v Zeppelin will ease fears raised after last year’s Blurred Lines case that juries are more likely to find infringement in copyright cases involving songs

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