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Links 9/8/2016: Kaltura Pulls in $50 , White House Has New Free Software Policy

Posted in News Roundup at 11:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Innuendo, From Me, Just Like Trump

    Come on, Delta. If what you’ve been doing doesn’t work, stop beating your head against the wall. Switch to GNU/Linux like the stock-exchanges. They wanted stock-trades to take flight smoothly and reliably. GNU/Linux helps them do that. I wanted PCs to run reliably in schools. GNU/Linux helped that happen. PCs in my home have been running pretty well since we went completely GNU/Linux several years ago. This year we plan to get rid of Intel too for complete independence from Wintel. Try it. Make Delta great again by migrating to GNU/Linux. You and your passengers will like it.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Applications 16.08 Up to Release Candidate State, Testers Are Needed

        The development of the next major release of KDE Applications 16.08, a software suite designed for the KDE Plasma 5.7 desktop environment, continues with the Release Candidate build.

      • GCompris release 0.61 and reoganization

        Some of you are aware that I (Bruno) have a new “day” job and I don’t have time anymore to be active on GCompris. I created this project in 2000 and maintain it since then. So this release note is important to me because it will also be my last one. From now on, the releases will be handled by Johnny Jazeix.

  • Distributions

    • Five Favorite Linux Distros

      I’ve never been a distro hopper. Not at all. I started out with Mandrake back around 2002, and stuck with Mandrake/Mandriva until 2010. When it became obvious that the distro was in serious financial dodo and wasn’t likely to be around much longer, I moved to PCLinuxOS. This move was made partly because the distro had started life as a fork of Mandrake/Mandriva, keeping me in familiar territory, but mostly because it was one of two distros I could find that supported the Wi-Fi on an old Dell laptop I was using at the time. In 2012 I moved to Bodhi Linux after falling in love with the simple elegance of the Enlightenment 17 desktop, and the next year switched over to Linux Mint Xfce edition when we finally got around to setting up a full time office for FOSS Force.

    • Bedrock Linux gathers disparate distros under one umbrella

      Want the power of Gentoo but the packages of Arch and the display manager of Ubuntu, all in one distribution? An experimental distro could make that possible, if not exactly easy

    • AI Linux

      AI Linux is a Linux distribution that comes complete with artificial intelligence libraries, tool and languages. A proof of concept alpha version is now available, suitable for test-driving in a virtual environment such as VirtualBox.

    • Solus Upgraded to the GNOME 3.20 Stack, Now Powered by Linux Kernel 4.7

      Solus developer Joshua Strobl proudly announced the 33rd installation of Solus Project’s This Week in Solus weekly newsletter to inform the community about the latest technologies and software releases implemented in the OS.

    • This Week in Solus – Install #33

      Our development and bug tracking oriented infrastructure moved from Bugzilla to Phabricator a few days ago. Bugzilla simply didn’t offer us the flexibility we needed and has long been a bit of a sore tooth for us.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) 6 Now Enabled by Default in Debian Unstable

        Debian developer Emilio Pozuelo Monfort announced this past weekend the enablement of the GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) 6 compiler tools by default for Debian Unstable.

      • Debian Code Search: improving client-side latency (2016-08-08)
      • Derivatives

        • Parsix GNU/Linux 8.5 “Atticus” Has Reached End of Life, Upgrade to 8.10 Now

          The Parsix GNU/Linux developers are informing us today, August 8, 2016, about the end-of-life development status of the Parsix GNU/Linux 8.5 “Atticus” operating system, urging users to upgrade to the most recent release.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Snapcraft 2.13 and Snapd 2.11 Land with Support for Downgrading Installed Snaps

            Canonical, through David Callé, has had the great pleasure of announcing new maintenance releases of the Snappy tools Snapcraft and Snapd, which bring new features and several enhancements.

          • Ubuntu Designers Show Off New Look ‘Scopes Toolkit Cards’
          • Ubuntu Shifting The Overton Window

            We’ve talked for years about the killer app that will take the Linux desktop to the mainstream. For some the killer app is a particular game. To illustrate, I’m still playing Civilization IV. I’ve spent about thirty minutes trying to get it working under Wine to no avail. I’m sure I just haven’t found the right tutorial yet. Until that happens, I can’t fully commit.

            The next category of killer app usually comes from the productivity side of things. For some, it’s a video editor with the capacity and polish of Final Cut Pro X. For others, it’s a Microsoft product such as Visio or Project. For many, it’s Adobe’s Photoshop or, more accurately, their Creative Cloud suite of applications.


            Ubuntu may have a great project on its hands from a technical level, but if it fails to continue the momentum of positive press, it’ll fail to get the widespread adoption it needs to make it successful. I’d expect for the next Snappy Sprint for Ubuntu to not only invite a wide spectrum of Open Source enthusiasts, but also the Linux press. Which outlets should be invited, should absolutely be a high priority topic for those planning the next event. Assuming the next sprint is already being planned, who would you like to see cover the event?

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Review

              Now it has been approximately a month since I’m using Linux Mint 18 “Sarah”. There is not doubt this distro is solid and newbie friendly. I always suggest Linux newbies start with Linux Mint as it makes easier for them to move around and learn Linux system. Sarah takes the same legacy forward with better look and user experience.

            • Firefox 48 update on Linux Mint nukes search functionality

              On August 2, 2016, Mozilla deployed the latest version of Firefox, version 48. As is usual, updates take a few days to roll out to all Linux distributions as maintainers may need to do testing or alterations.

            • How to upgrade to Linux Mint 18
  • Devices/Embedded

    • New options added to EOMA68 PC card crowdfunding campaign

      It’s been a little over a month since Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton launched a crowdfunding campaign to build a free and open source modular PC system which includes an EOMA68 PC card (with a processor, memory, and storage) and a series of accessories including desktop and laptop docks.

      The campaign has raised over $60,000 so far, which is less than half way to the goal of $150,000. But Leighton tells me that if he raises around $100,000 he expects to be able to begin production of the items people are ordering: the higher dollar amount was chosen under the assumption that more people would be making pledges for higher-priced items.

    • Here’s an open source PC that can be a laptop, desktop or even tablet

      Would-be backers of the open-source, modular EOMA68 PC card can now support the crowdfunding campaign by purchasing several new gadgets that work with the system.

      Fund-raising for the ‘Easy-on-Mother-Earth’ EOMA68 PC began in July and have now reached $66,000, or just under half of the $150,000 targeted by the end of August.

      The concept, from UK firm Rhombus Tech, is designed to demonstrate that computers can be easy and cheap to fix or upgrade with a standardized PC board and 3D printable housing and components. It also hopes the modular design can cut the mountains of e-waste produced by the tech industry.

    • Kernel.org Is Knocking On The Door Of My Odroid-C2

      If this ~$100 CDN tiny box pleases TLW, it’s Good Enough. When a proper video driver gets into Linus’ mainline, say, with Wayland, and distros have all the usual applications working, these things will take over. It surely blows away her old VIA box with 8 core-gHz CPU, gigabit/s networking and 2gB RAM compared to 0.4 core-gHz, 100 mbits/s, and 0.25gB RAM. We’re using files over NFS so TLW will be able to use her old desktop environment on Beast III if she wants. Otherwise, she can use the Odroid-C2 as a thick client well enough. Cost for the old ones was ~$150 CDN delivered a decade ago, with real money, not this inflated stuff. Life is good.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source


  • Science

    • Google Self-Driving Car Director Chris Urmson Hits Exit Ramp To Pursue Other Projects

      When it comes to fully autonomous vehicles, no other company comes close to Google’s prowess or its commendable safety record (after millions of miles of driving, only one accident has been proven to be the fault of a Google car, and even that was a relatively minor incident). Unfortunately for Google, it has lost a person that has been instrumental in the ongoing success and spectacular achievements of the company’s AI-driven autonomous car initiative.

      That person is Chris Urmson, a Carnegie Mellon University researcher that decided to jump aboard the fast-moving Google train back in 2009.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Big alcohol is working to undermine marijuana legalization, Wikileaks confirms

      A deeper look into Wikileaks’ dump of Democratic National Committee emails may prove an agenda against both Bernie Sanders and marijuana legalization.

      While many major news outlets jumped on the obvious fact that DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and other officials were chained in an email questioning Bernie Sanders’ religion to undermine his support among voters, Marijuana.com’s Tom Angell dug deeper to find a daily e-newsletter sent to Capitol Hill insiders that included included a paid advertisement from the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) warning against the dangers of marijuana.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Afghan Maintenance Program You Pay For Wastes $423 Million

      So, Afghanistan. America’s longest and wackiest war will soon enter its 16th year, and is scheduled to run through the next administration, as no one can remember why the U.S. is fighting there anymore and so no one knows when this thing is over. Did we win yet? How would we know?

      None of that matters of course, because plenty of American contractors are in their 16th year of getting filthy rich, thanks to extraordinary amounts of money being spent with no effective oversight by the Department of Defense. Let’s have the latest example.

      Our friends at the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) are the poor b*stards charging with keeping track of all this waste. Once upon a time the point of an Inspector General was to point things out to upper management, like generals or Congress, so problems could be addressed. In 2016, the point of the Inspector General is to be ignored because no one in Washington actually care to fix anything.

      Nonetheless, SIGAR has its job, and so has published an audit of America’s Afghan National Army Technical Equipment Maintenance Program, designed to maintain Afghan army vehicles at our expense and develop a vehicle maintenance capacity within the army.

    • Russia, Syria and the US: Hillary’s Foreign Policy Priority

      Hillary Clinton as of 2009 was praising Assad as a “reformer,” but in 2011 was ordering him out. In 2013 Obama was on the verge of a massive missile assault on Syria, to punish Assad for supposedly using sarin gas against his people (an unlikely prospect, since he was winning the war through conventional means). But Lavrov told Kerry that Russia believed that opposition forces were responsible. By some reports Obama soon became persuaded that Turkish intelligence in collusion with some opposition faction contrived a false flag incident hoping to induce the U.S. to topple Assad.

    • Iran executes nuclear scientist for spying for U.S.

      Iran has executed an Iranian nuclear scientist detained in 2010 when he returned home from the United States, after a court convicted him of spying for Washington, a spokesman for the judiciary said on Sunday.

      “Through his connection with the United States, (Shahram) Amiri gave vital information about the country to the enemy,” Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei told a weekly news conference, state news agency IRNA reported.

      Mohseni Ejei said a court had sentenced Amiri to death and the sentence had been upheld by Iran’s Supreme court, IRNA said.

      Amiri, a university researcher working for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, disappeared during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in 2009, and later surfaced in the United States. But he returned to Iran in 2010 and received a hero’s welcome before being arrested.

      A U.S. official said in 2010 that Washington had received “useful information” from Amiri.

    • Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson Is the Star of Bizarre New Extreme Right-Wing Movie Featuring ISIS Beheadings

      “Torchbearer” stars Phil Robertson, the Duck Dynasty patriarch who became a folk hero in the right-wing war on “political correctness” when the show was temporarily suspended by A&E amid controversy over Robertson’s inflammatory remarks about homosexuality and black people in the pre-civil-rights-movement Louisiana. The movie was shown to distributors in Cannes and will be released in theaters in August.

      The hour-long film is a collaboration between well-known right-wing groups. Bannon is executive chairman of Breitbart News; the script was written by a Breitbart editor, Rebecca Mansour. It was produced by Citizens United, the organization whose movie attacking Hillary Clinton was used by conservatives on the Supreme Court to gut regulation of political money in Citizens United the court ruling. Religious Right political operative Ralph Reed attended the premiere, and at a reception following the screening, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., took the opportunity to slam Clinton and praise the work of Citizens United.

    • U.S. Air Force refueling missions over Yemen grow by 60 percent

      The U.S. has executed a handful of air kills against extremist groups like al-Qaida in Yemen since February, but the Saudi-led air war against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels also has U.S. assets contributing to a much quieter mission.

      U.S. Air Force KC-135s and KC-10s are and have been prepositioned within the Central Command theater ready to “support partner nations and theater refueling requirements,” said Air Forces Central Command spokeswoman Kiley Dougherty.

  • Finance

    • Is It Too Simplistic to Say America Should Imitate the Nordic Economies?

      Canada and the United States have taken a lot of flak from critics who’d like them to be more like the social democracies collectively known as the “Nordics”: Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland. Now a naturalized American from Finland has made the strongest case yet that the U.S. (and by implication Canada) really need to go Nordic.

    • EXPLAINER: What’s the Deal with the TPP?

      If you watched any part of the Democratic National Convention this week, you probably noticed a small but visible group of attendees protesting something called the “TPP.” Some held signs and banners. Some even heckled during various speeches, including President Obama’s address Wednesday night.

      The focus of discontent is a massive trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a plan spearheaded by the Obama Administration that would set new trade rules between the United States and other eleven Pacific Rim nations. It has yet to be approved by Congress, and both major party nominees say they oppose the deal. The issue nevertheless has become a flashpoint in this year’s presidential campaign, particularly among some ardent supporters of former candidate Bernie Sanders, who remain suspicious of Hillary Clinton’s intentions.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Donald Trump Says Media ‘Going Crazy’ Following Week of Press Speculation About His Mental Health

      As a reality television star, Donald Trump has to know that what goes up in the realm of fame must eventually be torn down. Last week, several voices from the mass media achieved a rare consensus and made it clear that the laws of celebrity gravity were no longer operating in his favor.

      In brief, Trump’s fortunes began to turn as some kind of critical mass was reached with regard to the press’ collective take on Donald Trump’s mental state. In the process, Trump’s insistence that “all press is good press” was also tested.

      To review, a quick Google search—using the term “Donald Trump crazy”—of news articles published over the last seven or so days yielded pages of results. The stories typically referred to a heavily cited chain of events, including Trump’s protracted and relentlessly televised feud with the Khan family, his breezy appropriation of a supportive veteran’s Purple Heart and his confusing exchange with a disruptive baby.

    • To Beat Trump, Clinton Resurrects Triangulation and the Politics of Fear

      The enduring cliche of the 2016 election is a comment by Trump that provokes outrage, rebukes, and the declaration, “He’s gone too far.” This happened the moment Trump declared his presidential bid by denigrating Mexicans, then when he attacked veterans, women, the disabled, Muslims, and the judiciary among others, and most recently with his vendetta against Khizr and Ghazala Khan.

      Trump’s attack on the Khans seems curious as he had nothing to gain. The couple grabbed the moral high ground at the Democratic National Convention by pointedly telling Trump, “You have sacrificed nothing and no one,” in reference to the death of their son as a U.S. Army officer in Iraq in 2004.

      The self-inflicted wounds are unlikely to cause Trump permanent harm, however. The New York Times found his attacks on military members and families mainly affected the opinion of undecided veterans, a sliver of voters. Trump also recovered after a similar racist tirade against a U.S.-born judge overseeing lawsuits against the defunct Trump University. Republicans inside the Beltway freaked out in private over Trump’s antics, but in public they are loathe to break with him when polls show 81 percent of the party supports him along with 41 percent of the public overall.

    • Jill Stein: Clinton is not the solution to Trump

      Though voters are told to see Hillary Clinton as the “lesser of two evils,” Jill Stein said voting that way is the “losing strategy.”

      “Hillary Clinton is the problem, she is not the solution to Donald Trump,” Stein said Saturday in accepting the Green Party nomination at the party’s nominating convention in Houston, Texas. “We are the solution. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

    • DNC’s failing Common Core exposed by WikiLeaks

      After obtaining a recent data dump of hacked emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), WikiLeaks exposed the extreme unpopularity of the federal government’s Common Core State Standards … and how the average American voter sides with local — and not federal — control of education.

      The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLSA) argues that the latest series of leaked communications between DNC strategists surfaces something that should have already been plain to see for the American public for some time — that the only champions of the Common Core is the federal government and others under its payroll who personally benefit from its implementation.

    • Wikileaks Reveals Mainstream Media’s Coziness With Clinton

      Over the last few weeks, FiveThirtyEight’s forecasts for who will win the presidential election transitioned from a virtual tie between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, to Clinton now taking an 81.7 percent chance of victory compared to 18.3 percent for Trump. At the end of July, polls were bouncing back and forth between Clinton and Trump, but recent polls show Clinton with leads as high as 14 points.

      No policy stances have changed in either the Trump or Clinton campaigns during the past two weeks. Trump has provoked negative publicity with boorish comments, but given his entire presidential campaign so far, this isn’t out of the ordinary. The seemingly impressionable voter base that falls in line behind mainstream reporting is alarming. The media’s impact on elections shouldn’t be underestimated. It does, however, illuminates the importance of objectivity and balance from the mainstream press, which has been particularly lacking this campaign season.

      The July Wikileaks release of nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails validated the concerns of Bernie Sanders supporters that the DNC helped rig the primary election for Clinton. These emails provided a glimpse into how the DNC and the mainstream media work together in providing public relations support for the Democratic establishment.

    • ECUADOR PRESSURED to Censor Julian Assange After DNC Leaks and Criticism of Hillary Clinton

      Global Elites want Assange and Wikileaks Silenced…
      Wikileaks threw the DNC Convention into turmoil last month after the release of hacked DNC emails that revealed the Democrat Party rigged their primary in favor of Hillary Clinton.

    • Trump, fascism, Putin and Wikileaks: the anatomy of a liberal nervous breakdown

      Most presidential election cycles are dispiriting for the Left. As the official campaign begins, however, the hangover of a Sanders-induced optimism has added to this despair.

      America is about to choose a president from the two most unpopular politicians in modern history. The Democrats have chided the Left and the ‘Bernie or Bust’ crowd for still not being ‘with her’ in the existential struggle against fascism. But it is worth considering how liberalism’s anti-fascism covers a libidinal lack. That is, an inability to define or, in Lacanian terms, ‘enjoy’ their political identity but through this fascist threat. Liberals are clearly not principled anti-fascists, the geopolitical compromises are too numerous to count, and there is an obvious cynical PR/fundraising logic to the fascist threat: ‘Can you spare $5 to defeat fascism?’ However, liberals are emotionally invested in the idea that they are the ones who can beat back the scourge of fascism. They construct anti-fascism as a class project but self-identify as the class of elites and experts that fascism uses to obfuscate actual class struggle.

      Trump’s fascism may lack the militancy of brown- and blackshirts organised against socialist forces but he masters its rhetorical indeterminacy. His acceptance howl at the Republican National Convention was interspersed with appeals to the working class, denunciations of corporate political influence, free-trade deals, and interventionist foreign policy in Iraq and Libya. With Trump opportunistically left-flanking Hillary on trade and militarism, the liberal media and political class has been oscillating between catching the vapours and declaring American liberalism an unbridled success. In the face of a volatile populist electorate the Democrats have chosen Reagan-esque optimism and the refrain that ‘America is already great’, the liberal equivalent of ‘Jeb!’

    • Can we trust Alex Gibney and the New York Times?

      The release of a cache of emails from the Democratic National Committee by WikiLeaks last month has raised a great many questions- so writes the New York Times in a piece penned by Alex Gibney.

      The questions raised are however not what it means for US democracy that the democratic party elections were rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton, or what it says about the journalistic integrity of The New York Times that Bernie Sanders was so easily dismissed and laughed at when he first complained of the fraud.

      No, the questions posed to the readers of The New York Times are why they should collectively despise Assange, WikiLeak and myself. And don´t get me wrong, there may be many legitimate reasons for why both Alex Gibney and the New York Times despise us.

      One good reason could be that we exposed (in the documentary film Mediastan) how The New York Times worked hand in glove with the State Department in censoring its own journalists and setting the news agenda to fit the presidential administration.

      Another good reason could be that we exposed how the US State Department places orders for propaganda films in Hollywood, and taking these orders is incidentally what Alex Gibney does for a living. So yes, there are many reasons for why Gibney and the New York Times do not like us, but unfortunately they will not tell this to their audiences as they do not trust that they will reach the same conclusions, so instead they have resorted to lying.

      Oh, and for the record, regarding Gibneys freshly invented and baseless allegation against myself- the only vilification campaign that I have ever engineered is against corrupt propagandists masquerading as journalists.

    • Democrats’ Tactic of Accusing Critics of Kremlin Allegiance Has Long, Ugly History in U.S.

      A frequent weapon for Democrats in the 2016 election is to publicly malign those they regard as critics and adversaries as Russia sympathizers, Putin stooges, or outright agents of the Kremlin. To put it mildly, this is not a new tactic in U.S. political discourse, and it’s worth placing it in historical context. That’s particularly true given how many people have now been targeted with this attack.

      Strongly insinuating that the GOP nominee, Donald Trump, has nefarious, possibly treasonous allegiances to Moscow has migrated from Clinton-loyal pundits into the principal theme of the Clinton campaign itself. “The depth of Trump’s relationship with the Kremlin is revealing itself by the day,” her website announced yesterday, and vital “questions” must be answered “about Trump’s cozy relationship with Russia.” The Clinton campaign this weekend released a 1-minute video that, over and over, insinuates Trump’s disloyalty in the form of “questions” – complete with menacing pictures of Red Square. Democrats cheered wildly, and really have not stopped cheering, ever since the ex-Acting CIA Director (who, undisclosed by the NYT, now works for a Clinton operative) went to The New York Times to claim “that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”


      This tweet is, to state it plainly, a lie. Stein simply did not “gush over Russian support for human rights.” To the contrary, in this very video, she criticized Russia for diverting scarce resources into military spending while its people suffered, and merely praised her fellow participants from around the world who attended an RT-sponsored conference. But no matter: Democratic operatives and journalists widely hailed it as proof that she, too, is some sort of Russia dupe or worse.

    • Green Party Convention 2016: In First 100 Days, Pres. Jill Stein Would Cancel Student Debt, End Middle East Wars

      Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential candidate, has ambitious plans for her first 100 days in office.

      “First thing we do is cancel student debt, working with the Fed,” Stein told MintPress News in an exclusive interview. “We will be fighting for that from day one.”

      Stein would also immediately begin to implement her “Green New Deal” to redirect resources from the military-industrial complex into an economy based on renewable energy. She hopes her plan would put a stop to America’s endless energy wars.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • A Racist Mecca, a Black Architect and Odious Politics That Refuse to Die

      He was a rarity in 1940: a successful African-American architect in Los Angeles. Paul Revere Williams built some of the city’s most famous structures—the Superior Court building downtown, the futuristic Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport—as well as private homes for celebrities including Lucille Ball, Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Sinatra.

      Despite his success, he battled racism throughout his career, growing used to the surprised expression of new clients whose enthusiastic embrace became less so after finally meeting him face to face—clients like Clara Taylor, the right-winger at the center of “Blueprint for Paradise,” a play getting its world premiere at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood.

      Based on one of the oddest chapters in Williams’ career—the time when he designed and built a compound for the Silver Legion of America, a Nazi group also known as the Silver Shirts—the play, by playwright Laurel M. Wetzork and director Laura Steinroeder, shrewdly incorporates real-life fascist movements with ideological components espoused by major public figures of the time. Based on fact and local legend, “Blueprint” is set in Rustic Canyon in Pacific Palisades, where, it was recently announced, the final remains of the 55-acre Murphy Ranch, including a power station, a buckled fuel tank, a collapsed shed and garden bed foundations, are to be demolished.

    • Voices from the supply chain: an interview with the Labour, Education and Research Network in the Philippines

      BTS speaks with Tony Salvador on the perils of short-term contracts in the Philippines.


      Employers hire and fire the same worker again and again, or they seek employees provided by labour contractors, in order to avoid any of the responsibilities and costs that come with long-term formal employment.

    • Women BANNED from Dunkin’ Donuts in Saudi Arabia – unless they are accompanied by a man

      Signs have been daubed on doors to the shops in the capital Riyadh saying “unescorted women” are not allowed inside.

      Dunkin’ Donuts is famous for its sugary treats and the American chain has outlets across the world.

      Saudi Arabia has strict rules in place to separate men and women, many of whom wear full face veils.

    • ‘Bwisit ako dyan!’ Duterte takes swipe at US envoy [Ed: Bastos mass-murdering anti-journalism tax-evading Dutetre continues to act like Mafia Don, not President]

      MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has taken a swipe at United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg, calling the diplomat “bakla” during a speech before soldiers in Camp Lapu Lapu in Cebu City Friday night.

      “Kaya nga sabi ko nung si Kerry, kasama kami ni Secretary, si Delfin (Lorenzana), kausap namin si (U.S. Secretary of State John) Kerry. Okay naman siya kasi, nag-away kami ng ambassador niya (Philip Goldberg). ‘Yung ambassador niyang bakla, p*****i**, buwisit ako diyan. Nakikisali doon sa election, giving [a] statement. You’re not supposed to do that,” Duterte said.

      ["Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and I talked to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. He was okay. I had a rift with his ambassador (Philip Goldberg), his gay ambassador. He meddled during the elections, giving statements. You're not supposed to do that."]

      Goldberg is the outgoing U.S. ambassador to Manila. He is set to leave his post in October.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Net Neutrality: High quality connectivity and net neutrality go hand in hand

      Today, a coalition of more than 30 NGOs and civil liberties organisations from around the world sent an open letter to lawmakers in charge of telecoms regulation encouraging them to support the development and implementation of robust net neutrality rules alongside the deployment of high quality broadband and next-generation networks.

      The letter is a response to the recently published “5G Manifesto” in which telecoms operators threaten to withhold 5G investment unless regulators water down European Union rules on net neutrality and other rules, including provisions on network access and privacy. This attack comes at a time when the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) is currently developing guidelines for the implementation of the adopted net neutrality rules.

    • Comcast/NBC Ignores Lessons From The Cord Cutting Age, Buries Olympics Under An Ocean Of Annoying Advertising

      In 2011, Comcast agreed to pay $4.4 billion for exclusive US broadcast rights to air the Olympics through 2020. It shelled out another $7.75 billion for the rights for the games until 2032. To begin recouping the costs of this deal, Comcast/NBC was quick to brag about how it nabbed $1.2 billion in national advertising in the games. But lost in this conversation, as usual, was what paying customers actually wanted. What consumers repeatedly told NBC they wanted was less blathering, more live events, and a live broadcast of the opening ceremonies. They got none of those things.

  • DRM

    • EFF Asks FTC To Demand ‘Truth In Labeling’ For DRM

      Interesting move by Cory Doctorow and the EFF in sending some letters to the FTC making a strong case that DRM requires some “truth in labeling” details in order to make sure people know what they’re buying. We’ve been pointing out for years, that DRM often means that you don’t really own what you think you bought.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Primatologist Tells Court That Macaque Monkeys Are, Like, Super Smart, So They Should Totally Get Copyrights

        The case of the monkey selfie keeps getting weirder and weirder. I’m not going to rehash the whole damn story again — just click the monkey selfie link above and scroll through the posts. Here’s the super short version though: A British photographer named David Slater left his camera on the ground in an Indonesian jungle, where a macaque monkey (which we’re now, much later, told is named Naruto, though there’s some dispute over this) approached the camera and took a selfie. There were all sorts of debates online about whether or not there was any copyright in the photo and, if so, who owned it, with Slater repeatedly insisting that he did (and occasionally having representatives threaten us). A few years later, out of the blue came PETA, claiming that it represented the monkey (Naruto) and was suing Slater for copyright infringement for publishing a book with the photos. A judge, rightly, tossed out the lawsuit, pointing out (as we had argued from the very beginning) that a monkey has no right to a copyright, and the law only applies to human persons. PETA and its actually well-known and until now mostly respected law firm, Irell & Manella, have appealed the ruling.

        And, now, believe it or not, PETA has gotten a primatologist and apparent “macaque expert” named Agustin Fuentes to file an amicus brief supporting the idea that a macaque monkey taking a selfie should hold the copyright in the image. Fuentes may be a macaque expert, but he’s not much of a copyright expert… and it shows. The brief mainly focuses on how smart macaque monkeys are, as evidence that being smart somehow means it deserves the copyright.

      • The Ridiculous Concept Of The ‘Value Gap’ In Music Services… And How It Could Harm Both The Tech Industry And The Music Industry

        Over the past few months, the legacy recording industry has coalesced around a new talking point — a so-called “value gap” between different kinds of music services. In particular, the phrase is used to attack YouTube and to claim that it’s somehow unfair that the ad rates and money made from the ad supported YouTube is much lower than purely subscription services. This has lead to the repeated false claim from the RIAA and others that revenue from vinyl records is more than from ad supported streaming.

        Unfortunately, this value gap phrase has caught on in certain circles — including over in Europe where the European Commission has mentioned it as it puts in place plans for copyright reform. Tragically, and incorrectly, EU officials have started referring to reasonable intermediary liability protections and other things as a “loophole” within copyright law that somehow allows platforms to “unfairly benefit.” It allows them to claim that they’re just trying to “level the playing field” when that actually means tilting the playing field heavily in one direction.

      • UK copyright extension on designed objects is “direct assault” on 3D printing

        A recent extension of UK copyright for industrially manufactured artistic works represents “a direct assault on the 3D printing revolution,” says Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge. The UK government last month extended copyright for designs from 25 years to the life of the designer plus 70 years. In practice, this is likely to mean a copyright term of over 100 years for furniture and other designed objects.

      • KickassTorrents Domain Goes Up For Sale For A Minimum Bid of $230

        KickAss.cr, one of the main domains of KickassTorrents, has gone up for sale. Available via the SEDO marketplace for a minimum bid of $230, this domain name is registered with the Costa Rican registry, hence, away from the U.S. Government’s reach. If you are planning to buy this domain, don’t expect this sale to be a smooth one

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