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Links 11/7/2016: PCLinuxOS 64 LXDE 2016.07, Unity On Vista 10

Posted in News Roundup at 2:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source

  • The code that took America to the moon was just published to GitHub, and it’s like a 1960s time capsule

    When programmers at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory set out to develop the flight software for the Apollo 11 space program in the mid-1960s, the necessary technology did not exist. They had to invent it.

    They came up with a new way to store computer programs, called “rope memory,” and created a special version of the assembly programming language. Assembly itself is obscure to many of today’s programmers—it’s very difficult to read, intended to be easily understood by computers, not humans. For the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC), MIT programmers wrote thousands of lines of that esoteric code.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

  • Licensing/Legal

    • How Facebook Live became our new global distress signal [iophk: "FB censors and throttles"]

      It did not respond to a request for comment from The Verge today, but later posted a statement about its standards for live video. “Just as it gives us a window into the best moments in people’s lives, it can also let us bear witness to the worst,” the company wrote. “Live video can be a powerful tool in a crisis — to document events or ask for help.”

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Open Source Solar

        What’s the size of a standard euro-palette, goes together in 15 minutes, and can charge 120 mobile phones at one time? At least one correct answer is Sunzilla, the open source solar power generator. The device does use some proprietary components, but the entire design is open source. It contains solar panels, of course, as well as storage capacity and an inverter.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Defence/Aggression

    • Iraq War, Based on Lies, Rages On

      A devastating report on the U.K.’s eager participation in the invasion and occupation of Iraq was released this week, as corpses are still being pulled from the rubble in the aftermath of Baghdad’s largest suicide truck bombing since that ill-fated 2003 invasion began. The document is known as “The Chilcot Report,” after its principal investigator and author, Sir John Chilcot. The inquiry was commissioned in 2009 by Britain’s then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Chilcot released the 6,000-page report Wednesday morning, seven years after the work began. It offers a litany of critiques against former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Cabinet, exposing the exaggeration of the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and Blair’s unwavering fealty to President George W. Bush. “It is now clear that policy on Iraq was made on the basis of flawed intelligence and assessments. … They were not challenged,” Chilcot writes in his statement that accompanied the report’s release.

    • The Iraq War, Brexit and Imperial Blowback

      Brexit is a disaster we can only understand in the context of Britain’s imperial exploits. A Bullingdon boy (Oxford frat boy) gamble has thrown Britain into the deepest political and economic crisis since the second world war and has made minority groups across the UK vulnerable to racist and xenophobic hatred and violence.

      People of color, in particular those in the global South, know all too well what it is to be at the receiving end of the British establishment’s divisive top-down interventions. Scapegoating migrants is a divisive tool favored by successive governments, but the British establishment’s divide and rule tactic was honed much further afield in the course of its colonial exploits. Britain has a long history of invading, exploiting, enslaving and murdering vast numbers of people, crimes for which it has never been held accountable.

    • US Still Ducks Iraq Accountability

      With the Chilcot report, Great Britain somewhat came to grips with its role in the criminal invasion of Iraq, but neocon-controlled Washington still refuses to give the American people any honest accounting, explains ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Russia Pushes Back on NATO Expansion

      As NATO presses up to Russia’s borders – with secret schemes to influence and absorb unwilling populations – Russia has begun to push back, explaining the origins of the new Cold War, as Natylie Baldwin describes.

    • Newt Gingrich Pals Around With Terrorists Saddam Hussein Once Armed

      Newt Gingrich, who is being vetted to be Donald Trump’s running mate and appeared with the candidate in Cincinnati on Wednesday, left the campaign trail this weekend for an unusual reason. The former Speaker of the House had to fly to Paris to appear at a gala celebration for the Mojahedin-e Khalq, or People’s Mujahedin, an Iranian exile group that wants Washington’s backing for regime change in Iran.

      In his remarks, Gingrich heaped praise on the MEK’s efforts, and congratulated them on the presence of another dignitary, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a senior member of the Saudi royal family and a former head of that nation’s intelligence service.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Clinton’s Disregard of Secrecy Laws

      While admitting a “mistake,” Hillary Clinton was largely unrepentant about the FBI calling her “extremely careless” in safeguarding national security data, another sign of a troubling double standard, says ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • To Stop Oil Trains, I Spent My Honeymoon in Jail

      It was a few days after my wedding. I was supposed to be honeymooning at a nearby winery with my newly minted husband, celebrating our unlikely marriage at age 55.

      Instead, I was sitting on the railroad tracks in the pouring rain. Along with 20 other brave souls, some weeping, some singing, I was facing down a locomotive in a town — Vancouver, Washington — that many fear will be forced to accept the largest oil-by-rail terminal in the country.

      Why would anyone do something like that?

      Because a few short days before, we’d watched in horror as a mile-long train filled with Bakken crude derailed in Mosier, Oregon and burst into towering flames.

  • Finance

    • CETA: Ripe For Provisional Implementation In January 2018?

      The European Commission on 8 July published the finalized Comprehensive Economic Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA) and formally proposed to Council to sign the agreement, pushing for provisional implementation amidst ongoing discussions over competency issues with EU member states. After finalising CETA in August 2014, the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system was renegotiated last year.

    • If You Eat Fish, You’re Probably Getting Ripped Off

      It’s common in the food industry to boost profits by misleading customers about an animal’s origins, but this kind of fraud is especially rampant when it comes to seafood. From 2010 to 2012, the conservation agency Oceana conducted DNA tests on seafood in 21 states and found that one-third of the samples had been mislabeled. A whopping 87 percent of the “red snapper” samples were bogus, swapped in for cheaper fish like tilapia or rockfish. Florida’s prized grouper is also often replaced with tilapia or even farmed Asian catfish. Most customers can’t tell the difference, but mislabeling hurts people at both ends of the supply chain: Tilapia mislabeled as grouper can cost the consumer $4 more per eight-ounce fillet at the grocery store, and $12 extra per fillet at a restaurant. And fishermen who respect conservation quotas wind up selling true grouper at a deflated price.

    • Brazil will join the TiSA negotiations

      Yesterday, during an event at the Brazilian Industry Confederation (CNI), the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Trade, Mr. Marcos Pereira, has announced that the Brazilian participation in the negotiations of the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) was recently authorised by the President, Mr. Michel Temer.

      The TISA is an international treaty to improve and expand commercial exchange of services. The agreement, under negotiation since 2013 for more than 23 countries, including the United States and the European Union, aims to set a new threshold on market access and universal rules regarding the trade of services.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Hillary Clinton’s Platform Follies

      There has been close coordination between the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, and those representing her on the committee shaping the party’s platform. It is here that a battle was waged with reformers representing Bernie Sanders over party positions on a large number of important issues. The positions and behavior of those acting as Clinton proxies can therefore provide a window into her attitude toward the movement Sanders has launched.

    • ‘We Have Just Written Half of the GOP Platform’: Progressives Dismayed by Dem Party Platform

      As the contentious Democratic Party platform drafting committee negotiations come to an end, many Bernie Sanders surrogates have watched in disbelief as core progressive principles have been waylaid—largely by Hillary Clinton supporters.

    • How Corbyn could be left off the ballot – and why he shouldn’t be.

      These are just a couple of thoughts about whether Jeremy Corbyn should be excluded from the ballot for Labour leadership if he is unable to obtain a certain amount of nominations.

      The first thought is a legal one, the second thought is a political one.

      On the legal side, it seems to me that the Labour NEC could lawfully exclude the current leader from the ballot if he does not have sufficient nominations.

      I know this argument goes against what has been contended elsewhere (that Corbyn should automatically be on the ballot as leader), but law is sometimes like that. Lawyers and legal pundits can have different views.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • From GCHQ to Google: the battle to outpace hackers in the cyber race

      On the afternoon of October 26 last year the Metropolitan Police arrived at a house in County Antrim in Northern Ireland to arrest a 15-year-old boy for hacking into the TalkTalk computer network and stealing the personal details of 157,000 customers, including bank account and credit card details. In the days that followed, three more teenagers and a 20-year-old man were arrested in relation to the attack.

    • NSA labels Linux Journal readers and Tor and Tails users as extremists

      Fans of Tails (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) Linux operating system use it because of the well-documented security and anonymity features it provides. The system utilizes a Tor browser, which also affords more anonymity to users while browsing sites on the web. The Linux Journal is a monthly technology magazine and news site that focuses on topics related to Linux and open source programs.

    • How Uber secretly investigated its legal foes — and got caught

      When a young labor lawyer named Andrew Schmidt first filed suit against Uber in December of last year, he couldn’t have predicted it would make him a target. Schmidt’s suit was a legal longshot, alleging that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick coordinated surge pricing in violation of anti-trust laws — but those legal arguments would soon be overshadowed by something much stranger.

      A few weeks after the case was filed, Schmidt found out he was being investigated. According to a court declaration made by Schmidt and his colleagues, someone had called one of Schmidt’s lawyer friends in Colorado to ask some strange questions, claiming it was for a project “profiling up-and-coming labor lawyers in the US.” What was the nature of his relationship with the plaintiff? Who was the driving force behind the lawsuit? Calls were also allegedly made to acquaintances of Schmidt’s client, Spencer Meyer, with a similar proposal to profile “up-and-coming researchers in environmental conservation.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • The Bahamas Just Issued A Travel Warning To The United States

      The Bahamas issued a travel warning to the United States on Friday, cautioning its citizens about police violence in the country.

      “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration has taken a note of the recent tensions in some American cities over shootings of young black males by police officers,” the statement read. “We wish to advise all Bahamians traveling to the US but especially to the affected cities to exercise appropriate caution generally. In particular young males are asked to exercise extreme caution in affected cities in their interactions with the police. Do not be confrontational and cooperate.”

      The statement follows the tragic deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling at the hands of police earlier this week, as well as five officers in Dallas in a sniper attack on Thursday.

    • Pundits Didn’t Waste Any Time Attacking Black Lives Matter As Dallas Tragedy Unfolded

      Despite the charged rhetoric, Black Lives Matter demonstrators were far from adversarial toward the Dallas police, even as they peacefully protested police shootings and racist policing. In the hours before the officers were attacked, the police force Twitter account was tweeting pictures of officers posing and smiling with demonstrators.

    • Man Wrongly Accused in Dallas: ‘It Was Persecution’

      Last night, Mark Hughes was the most wanted man in America. As the suspected shooter at a Dallas Black Lives Matter protest in which five police officers were killed, Hughes’ face was plastered across network news and social media before he even knew.

      “We were here just for a peaceful protest. He was allowing himself to carry a firearm, but that’s his constitutional right,” said Cory Hughes, one of the Dallas protest organizers and the wrongly accused’s brother.

      “I don’t know what to say,” the misidentified suspect Hughes said. “I could have easily been shot.”

      At the time he was accused, Hughes hadn’t even checked his social media feeds.

    • Why Alton Sterling and Philando Castile Are Dead

      We have too much law enforcement, too deeply enmeshed in our lives, and that fact is making us less, not more safe.

    • Rep. Richmond Calls on DOJ to Investigate Alton Sterling Killing

      A congressman is calling on the Justice Department to investigate the fatal shooting by Baton Rouge, La. police of a black man who was on the ground, in the process of being arrested.

      Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) made the request, after a video of the slaying went viral Tuesday night, sparking outrage on social media and protests in Baton Rouge. Alton Sterling, 37, was killed by two cops early Tuesday morning, after they were called to a convenience store, having received an anonymous report about a man with a gun.

    • Activist DeRay Mckesson, Reporters Arrested In Baton Rouge Protest

      Police arrested Deray Mckesson, one of the leaders of Black Lives Matter, and two journalists during a protest against police violence in Baton Rouge Saturday night.

      Mckesson was taken into custody as he live streamed the encounter on Perisope.

      The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office said that 101 people were being held in the parish jail, the Associated Press reported.

    • Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson arrested by Baton Rouge police

      DeRay McKesson, one of the most prominent activists associated with the police reform protest movement, was arrested in Baton Rouge, where he traveled earlier Saturday to demonstrate in solidarity with residents angered by the recent death of Alton Sterling after an officer-involved shooting that was captured on video.

      McKesson was taken into custody around 11 p.m. in what two fellow activists who witnessed it described as a physically violent arrest.

    • Three years after taking off Guy Fawkes mask, Kentucky Anon indicted

      Federal prosecutors in Kentucky have formally indicted the man who revealed himself as “KYAnonymous” more than three years ago.

      Deric Lostutter was charged Thursday under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the notorious anti-hacking statute that dates back to the 1980s.

      The case stretches back several years, to 2012. After The New York Times published an account late that year of a horrific rape against a teenage girl in Steubenville, Ohio, an online vigilante campaign was started. Spearheaded by someone calling himself “KYAnonymous,” the campaign targeted local officials whom the vigilantes felt weren’t prosecuting the rape investigation seriously because the alleged perpetrators were high school football players.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • NBC Universal Scores Patent to Detect and Target Pirates

        NBC Universal has patented a new technology that can detect high volume file-sharing swarms, including those using BitTorrent. The system is set up to detect popular pirated files and gathers data that can be used for anti-piracy purposes, business intelligence, and to help ISPs relieve strain on their networks.

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