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Links 10/8/2016: digiKam 5.1.0 Released, GigaSpaces Liberates Code

Posted in News Roundup at 5:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux subsystem could cause Windows 10 Anniversary Update to eat itself [Ed: CrowdStrike is somewhat of a Microsoft proxy; now badmouths Linux, as usual. Lots of negative press for GNU/Linux at Black Hat because of them. CrowdStrike is the same bunch of propagandists who baselessly spread anti-Russia rhetoric for DNC after the embarrassing leaks. It’s only them which the media cited as “experts” and there was no evidence to support that. More people need to realise that there is agenda to sell and firms like CrowdStrike sell agenda.]

    Security company CrowdStrike said that this has increased the chessboard of possible attacks to a ruddy great Go board.

  • Linux Trojan Mines for Cryptocurrency Using Misconfigured Redis Database Servers [Ed: Misconfigured Redis database servers are now being used to blame GNU/Linux. Blaming GNU/Linux for an improperly set up third-party component is like blaming Windows for Apache flaws or worse: misconfiguration due to human error.]

    Security researchers have discovered a new self-propagating trojan targeting Linux systems, which uses unsecured Redis database servers to spread from system to system.

    Discovered by Russia-based antivirus maker Dr.Web, the trojan, named Linux.Lady, is one of the few weaponized Go-based malware families.

    Researchers say that Linux.Lady is written using Google’s Go programming language and mostly relies on open source Go libraries hosted on GitHub.

  • Why a Linux Kernel Update Is Good News for Microsoft Users [Ed: A lot of the corporate press span the release of Linux 4.8 RC1 as a Microsoft 'thing'. Microsoft boosters in particular did it by selective coverage, maybe so as to generate eye-catching headlines.]

    An update that will be made to the Linux kernel will bring a long series of improvements that will include support for Microsoft Surface 3’s touchscreen, thus making it possible to benefit from the full power of Linux on a Microsoft device.

  • Linux Kernel 4.8 Is Adding Microsoft Surface 3 Support [Ed: No, Linux does not love Microsoft (see picture); that's just another big lie. Support for a device is another matter. To replace Windows.]
  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • 4 Linux Torrent Clients That You Should Try Out

      Having recently made the switch from Ubuntu to Arch Linux, I’m in the process of building my Arch system up to the full desired functionality. One important tool in any Linux user’s system is a torrent client, which is becoming a more preferred method for downloading, as the decentralised download sources spread resource use among the users, rather than having all of the burdens lay on a server somewhere. For example, when downloading new Linux .iso files to test out, I tend to prefer to download them via torrent rather than directly from my web browser.

    • Audacious 3.8 to Finally Add Support for Running Multiple Instances, Beta Is Out

      The popular Audacious music player is again in development, and it looks like the next major release will be version 3.8, for which a Beta milestone has been made available for public testing.

    • ownCloud Desktop Client 2.2.3 Adds HiDPI Improvements, Linux Minimal Mode

      A new update of the popular ownCloud Desktop Client has been released bringing numerous improvements and fixes for some of the most annoying bugs reported by users since the previous release.

      ownCloud Desktop Client 2.2.3 is now the latest and most advanced version of the graphical application for ownCloud users who want to quickly access their files from an ownCloud server. The application was made available for all supported platforms, including Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows.

    • FFmpeg 3.1.2 “Laplace” Open-Source Multimedia Framework Updates Components

      Today, August 9, 2016, the FFmpeg development team proudly announced the general availability of the second maintenance update for the FFmpeg 3.1 “Laplace” series of the widely-used open-source and cross-platform multimedia framework.

      Released a few weeks back, FFmpeg 3.1 “Laplace” was a massive release introducing numerous new features and improvements to the popular multimedia backend used by dozens of open-source and commercial software products. FFmpeg 3.1.2 is now the latest stable and most advanced version.

      Already available in the software repositories of the most used GNU/Linux distributions, including the powerful Arch Linux, the second maintenance update to the FFmpeg 3.1 “Laplace” series is here to update several of its core libraries, as well as to fix the most annoying bugs reported by users since the FFmpeg 3.1.1 release.

    • Claws Mail 3.14 Email Client Lets You Secure Passwords with a Master Passphrase

      A new major release of the user-friendly, lightweight, open-source, cross-platform and fast Claws Mail GTK+ email client has been announced for GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows operating systems with new features and countless bug fixes.

      Claws Mail 3.14.0 is now available as the latest and most advanced version, bringing support for securing passwords for your email accounts by using a Master Passphrase. Additionally, the password storage method has been changed and it looks like all passwords are now stored in a separate file under ~/.claws-mail/passwordstorerc, and a stronger encryption method will be used to secure them.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Godot Engine 2.1 Released, Focuses On Usability Improvements

        Version 2.1 of the Godot Engine, a cross-platform 2D/3D game engine that was opened up back in 2014, is now available.

        Godot 2.1 development was focused around usability improvements in large part. The project’s release announcement explained, “This release marks the conclusion of a series focusing on usability improvements. We have listened to and worked with our awesome community to make Godot one of the easiest game development environments to use. Our goal is and will always be to aim for the top in the ease of use vs power ratio.”

      • Godot reaches 2.1 stable!

        After almost six months of hard work, we are proudly presenting you the marvellous Godot Engine 2.1. Just like 2.0, this version focuses almost exclusively on further improving usability and the editor interface.

        This release marks the conclusion of a series focusing on usability improvements. We have listened to and worked with our awesome community to make Godot one of the easiest game development environments to use. Our goal is and will always be to aim for the top in the ease of use vs power ratio.

      • Vendetta Online 1.8.384 Adds New Voice Chat Commands, VR Improvements

        Guild Software announced a new maintenance update for their popular Vendetta Online MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) title, version 1.8.384, for all supported platforms.

        According to the release notes, Vendetta Online 1.8.384 is a small update that only introduces a /voicegroup set of commands designed to allow players to create random Voice Chat channels supporting up to 32 users. The /voicegroup command set is similar to the /group command set, and to learn how to use it simply type /voicegroup.

      • Arma 3 Linux beta has been updated

        This is version 1.58, so it’s not currently as up to date as the Windows version. This means you won’t be able to play online with your Windows pals just yet unless they are using the same version.

        It looks like this version now has BattlEye anti-cheat enabled for Linux gamers, so at least we can play on servers using it now.

      • How to fix bodies not showing in Shadow of Mordor with Nvidia drivers temp fix
      • Super Crate Box, GUN GODZ & Serious Sam: The Random Encounter to come to Linux

        Vlambeer have written up a blog post detailing what they have been up to recently and the news is good for us. Super Crate Box (freeware), GUN GODZ (freeware) & Serious Sam: The Random Encounter (Steam) will all get updates which include Linux support.

      • The Great Whale Road developers are looking for a small amount of Linux testers

        The Great Whale Road developers posted on their forum that they are looking for a small group of testers to help with dependencies and troubleshooting.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • digiKam 5.1.0 is published…

        After a first release 5.0.0 published one month ago, the digiKam team is proud to announce the new release 5.1.0 of digiKam Software Collection. This version introduces a new huge bugs triage and some fixes following first feedback from end-users.

      • KDE DigiKam 5.1 Released With Bug Fixes, New RAW Camera Support

        The first update following the major digiKam 5.0 release is now available.

      • digiKam 5.1.0 RAW Image Editor Brings Support for Samsung Galaxy S7, New Cameras

        The development team behind digiKam, a popular open-source and cross-platform RAW image editor, viewer and organizer for KDE and Qt-based desktop environments and operating systems, announced today, August 9, 2016, the release of digiKam 5.1.0.

        digiKam 5.1.0 is the first maintenance update since the release of the major digiKam 5.0.0 milestone that brought numerous new features and dozens of improvements to the open-source image editor software used by many GNU/Linux users around the world on their KDE desktop environments.

      • Arc Theme for KDE Plasma? Yup, It Exists

        We’re big fans of Arc GTK theme here on OMG! Ubuntu! — but I’m going to guess you already know that. Over the past few months we’ve shown you how to install the Arc theme on Ubuntu (and how it’ll be available on Ubuntu 16.10); how to make use of a stylish Arc VLC skin…

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Internal compression

        My project continues with support for internal compression in Nautilus. The operation comes with integrated progress feedback and support for undoing and redoing. Also, the new archive will be automatically selected once the operation is complete. The feature is available from the context menu, where the menu item from file-roller’s extension would normally be:

      • GNOME Music is fast again

        Yo GNOMErs! It’s been a while, huh?

        Yesterday I was with a very strong headache, and I couldn’t sleep. So I decided to listen to some classical music and see if I could relax a little bit. What a great chance to try GNOME Music again!

        Well, it wasn’t such a please. My music collection is large, literally over 9000, and Music took a f*cking minute to be ready. No. No no no no.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • New Version of GParted

        Life on Linux has been much less stressful. The modern filesystems have made endless defragging a thing of the past for me, and partitioning is much simpler too. There are many options when it comes to disk maintenance, but GParted is one of my favorites. I use it on all my machines.

        GParted is a nice tool for managing disk partitions in Linux. It’s very powerful, but the interface is simplicity itself. The live version is OS-independent. You can use it on most computers that can boot from a USB drive or CD—just plug the USB or CD in to the machine and reboot. Instead of loading the operating system, you get GParted, all by itself.

      • Vine Linux 6.5 Enters Beta, Adopts Linux Kernel 4.4 LTS, Glibc 2.23 & GCC 4.9.3

        After one and a half years of hard work, the Vine Linux developers are happy to announce that the next major release of the GNU/Linux operating system is now in development.

      • BakAndImgCD 19.0 Data Backup and Disk Imaging Live CD Officially Released

        4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki informs Softpedia today, August 9, 2016, about the immediate availability of download of the BakAndImgCD 19.0 data backup and disk imaging Live CD.

        Based on 4MLinux Backup Scripts 19.0, and implicitly on the 4MLinux 19.0 operating system, BakAndImgCD 19.0 is here in its final and production-ready state to help you backup your data from any possible Linux, Microsoft Windows, or Mac OS X file system, including Btrfs, EXT2, EXT3, EXT4, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, HFS, and HFS+.

    • Slackware Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Manage Your Red Hat Systems With the New Satellite 6.2

        Red Hat has announced the general availability of Red Hat Satellite 6.2, a systems lifecycle management tool across physical, virtual, and private and public cloud environments. Red Hat Satellite 6.2 now enables users to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host as a compute resource, as well as directly deploy containers to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host. The latest release of Red Hat Satellite also introduces remote execution and extends capabilities for container management and security.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Report Flock 2016 – Kraków, Poland
        • Fedora Presentation Backgrounds

          I have been asked to do a presentation in September for a local Linux user group. I always make my own slid backgrounds and typically make a new one for each presentation. I made this set based on the Fedora Marketing advice on the Logo Usage Guidelines wiki page.

          I like how these came out and thought I would share them with the community. All of the images here is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

        • F24-20160808 updated lives

          Using the updated isos will save about 500M of updates after install YMMV (Gold MATE install updates as of 20160808 is 577M)

          I would like to thank the community and the seeders for their dedication to this project.

        • How to deal with your Fedora distro and Windows 10 using usb stick.
        • Fedora Linux Account System Patched for Serious Flaw

          Fedora Linux and Red Hat are investigating the potential impact of a major vulnerability that was first disclosed Aug. 8. The Fedora Account System (FAS), which provides user information management for Fedora, had a vulnerability identified as CVE-2016-1000038, which could have enabled an unauthorized user to make changes to the system. Fedora is Red Hat’s community Linux effort.

          “This flaw would allow a specifically formatted HTTP request to be authenticated as any requested user,” Paul Frields, engineering manager at Red Hat, wrote in a mailing list message. “If the authenticated user had appropriate privileges, the attacker would then be able to add, edit, or remove user or group information.”

        • FlocktoFedora learnings for Diversity

          I cannot express the happiness of having a team of so wonderful people, who despite the timing (12h difference) managed to help me being informed about everything that happened surrounding the Diversity efforts we are building towards Fedora at Flock. Endless IRC and Telegram chats have made it possible. So here are my list of thoughts, tasks and inputs about what we accomplished at Flock Krakow:

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Univention Corporate Server 4.1-3 Released with Active Directory Enhancements

          Univention is pleased to announce the release of Univention Corporate Server 4.1-3 server-oriented Linux operating system based on the latest Debian GNU/Linux technologies.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical makes subscribing to Ubuntu Advantage professional Linux support easier

            Many people think the big selling point of Linux is that it doesn’t cost money. Yeah, operating systems based on the open source kernel are largely free up front, but that isn’t the whole story. True, home users can probably get by without paid support, but businesses can’t always rely on Google searches and forum posts for help.

            Enter Ubuntu Advantage. If you are a small, medium, or large business that is transitioning to the Ubuntu operating system, going it alone is not always wise. UA is a paid subscription offering from Canonical, which provides professional-level support. Today, the company makes it even easier for users to subscribe.

          • Canonical Makes Its Ubuntu Linux Professional Support More Accessible to Anyone

            Today, August 9, 2016, Canonical, through Ellen Arnold, announced that the professional support subscription, namely Ubuntu Advantage (UA), is now even more accessible and easier to purchase.

          • UbuntuBSD 16.04 “A New Hope” Beta 1 Now Available Based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

            UbuntuBSD developer Jon Boden was extremely proud to announce today, August 9, 2016, the release and immediate availability of the first Beta development milestone towards the upcoming UbuntuBSD 16.04 operating system.

          • Canonical Makes It Easy to Port Native iOS and Android Apps to Ubuntu Mobile OS

            Today, August 9, 2016, Canonical, through Richard Collins, was proud to announce the availability of the React Native web development framework for its popular Ubuntu Linux operating system.

            It appears that Canonical love web developers, and they always keep them in the loop with all the tools needed for the perfect job. After introducing support for the Cordova framework, which is very well supported on Ubuntu Linux and has received a lot of attention from web developers, today Canonical promise to offer full support for another great framework, namely React Native.

          • UbuntuBSD 16.04 Beta Pairs Ubuntu Xenial With FreeBSD 10.3

            The first 16.04 beta is now publicly available of UbuntuBSD, the unofficial Ubuntu derivative that pairs the Ubuntu user-space with the FreeBSD kernel.

          • 5 Simple Ways To Free Up Space on Ubuntu

            When you need to free up space on Ubuntu here are 5 simple things you can do – from cleaning the apt cache to removing old kernels.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 18: Fresher Than Ever

              There is no urgency in updating to Linux Mint 18 — the changes it brings are subtle. However, the collection of tweaks and additions and UI improvements will give you a more pleasant computing experience.

              Linux Mint 18 is a solid improvement. This distro continues to get better with age. You have nothing to lose with installing the upgrade sooner rather than later.

              You have everything to gain by taking Linux mint 18 for a spin if you are not already a committed user. A few other distros offer the Cinnamon desktop, but Linux Mint has much more in its favor than Cinnamon.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Build a $20 Computer with PINE64

      I love my Raspberry Pi, which I use for many different projects. But when I saw Kickstarter campaign for 64-bit PINE64 I could not resist, so I pre-ordered one for myself.

      I wanted to play with the board and see whether I could do some home automation kind of stuff or make my Traxxas X-maxx smart. There are three editions of PINE64: 512MB, 1GB, and 2GB RAM, and I ordered the 512MB version.

      The PINE64 is almost twice as big as the Raspberry Pi 2 (Figure 1), so it’s not as compact as I expected. Still, it’s a good size for a whole range of projects.

    • This Open Source Modular PC Might Solve The E-Waste Problem

      What do you think about this open source modular PC? A yay or a nay? Would you support this campaign?

    • Change Cometh

      I did finally kill off the last theme-related problem. I installed gtk-theme-config. It’s sad to think such a tool is needed to fix black on black as a default configuration… but it worked very well instantly. I picked light coloured backgrounds for default, panel and menu and dark foregrounds, mostly black. Done.

    • Embedded oriented Mini-ITX board packs serious Skylake-S heat

      With its 14nm-fabricated 6th Generation Core based INS8349A Mini-ITX board, Perfectron has leapfrogged several generations of Intel Core chips since its previous 3rd Gen “Ivy Bridge” INS8346B. The upgrade over Ivy Bridge gives you a 35 percent faster CPU and up to 49 percent faster GPU, says the company.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Business of Open Source Software

    Although open source software (OSS) has been around for decades, only within the past several years has there been a surge in its acceptance within the business world. Today, open source is perceived as a viable business alternative to commercial solutions, and is used by 64 percent of companies. Several factors have led to this shift in perception of OSS, including an evolving culture of software developers, undeniable business advantages, and, perhaps most importantly, the success of Linux—the leading open source operating system. The background of how and why the open source model has matured is also a key to understanding why organizations of all sizes continue to not only adopt OSS but to also actively support and contribute to open source projects.

  • GigaSpaces Launches Open Source In-Memory Data Grid Project

    One of the more profound developments with enterprise IT as of late has been the rise of in-memory data grids. As a technology, in-memory data grids have been around for a while. But as the cost of memory has gone down, the feasibility of deploying in-memory data grids has correspondingly increased. To help spur that adoption further, GigaSpaces announced today it has made its core XAP 12 data grid offering available as an open source project.

    Data grids that run in memory are becoming more relevant because they enable distributed applications to access data residing in-memory in real time. As the usage of data grids running in memory increases, the actual place where the data ultimately winds up residing becomes less relevant. For example, organizations that employ a data grid running in memory are not necessarily going to need a database that also resides in memory. Many of those organizations will just rely on some form of Flash storage or even traditional magnetic drives to provide applications with access persistent data directly via a data grid.

    Ali Hodroj, vice president of product and strategy for GigaSpaces, says this interest in data grids is already quite high in vertical industries where there are a significant number of distributed applications that now have access to almost 3TB of memory on a server platform.

  • GigaSpaces Empowers Developers with Open Source In-Memory Computing Platform
  • GigaSpaces opens up its in-memory data grid
  • Defining the ‘open’ in open source

    Frankly I have no issue with using open source as a way of getting more software users, letting them experiment with it before buying. I don’t even have much trouble sifting through the marketing BS behind a vendor’s altruistic motives. It’s all fine. We’re a sophisticated enough bunch to get it after all.

  • Google Launches a Slew of Open Source Parsers, to Work with 40 Languages

    Artificial intelligence and machine learning are going through a mini-renaissance right now, and some of the biggest tech companies are helping to drive the trend. Recently, I covered Google’s decistion to open source a program called TensorFlow. It’s based on the same internal toolset that Google has spent years developing to support its AI software and other predictive and analytics programs.

  • Events

    • Upskill U on Open Source With OpenDaylight

      On Friday, Jim Fagan, director of cloud practice at Telstra, will continue the series by addressing the impact of open source on NFV platforms in the course “The Role of Open Source in NFV.” Next week, speakers from Heavy Reading and LinkedIn will round out the Open Source series with a look into how open source can be used in data centers and cloud services, and how open source is impacting the white box transformation.

  • Education

    • Moodle App Could Be a Game Changer for Community Organizations

      Moodle is a very popular free and open source learning management system, like Blackboard, used extensively around the world. Back in 2004, a very smart friend of mine, Gina Russell Stevens, explained to me that Moodle is so useful it could be used for many purposes beyond education. Her comment stuck with me. When I noticed that Moodle now has a free mobile app available for Android and iOS, it occurred to me that this app could be customized for many civic communication purposes.

    • Pythian, Willis College team up to launch new diploma program

      An Ottawa-based tech company has formed a new partnership with a local career college in an effort to train more open source database specialists.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • MapR Closes $50 Million in Funding, Looks Ahead to an IPO

      MapR Technologies, one of the fastest moving players in the Big Data arena, is marking new milestones and may be headed for an IPO very soon. The company announced an equity financing of $50 million. The additional funding accompanies yet another consecutive record quarter, according to the company, which reported more than a 100 percent increase in bookings over the prior year. MapR is particularly well-known for its focus on Hadoop.

      Here are more details on where this company is headed.

      MapR’s $50 million equity financing was led by Future Fund, with participation from all existing investors, including: Google Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, New Enterprise Associates, Qualcomm Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures. With this financing, MapR has raised a total of $194 million in equity to date. And, the company is being direct about its intent to go public.

  • BSD


    • diffutils-3.4 released
    • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: August 12th
    • Licensing resource series: h-node hardware directory

      This is the second installment in the Free Software Foundation’s Licensing & Compliance Lab’s series highlighting licensing resources.

      While our Respects Your Freedom hardware certification program gets lots of attention from all the new fully free hardware being certified, the FSF has actually had more resources on hardware for quite some time. In the past, we maintained a list of hardware that worked well with free software. But a few years back we made this into a community run project, h-node.

      Hardware listed on h-node doesn’t come with FSF certification, but it does come with the information users need to find out the extent to which the hardware is supported by fully free GNU/Linux distros. Members of the community can submit entries to h-node whenever they get a chance to test it against one of these free operating systems. By sharing this information, everyone can help more users to make the switch to a fully free system by making it easier to know what hardware already works perfectly with a free system. Hackers looking to help increase support can also find hardware with some remaining issues and direct their efforts there.

    • GNU dico Version 2.3

      Version 2.3 is available for download from the Main GNU site as well as from its home. Mirrors worldwide are also available.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Christoph Hellwig’s case against VMware dismissed

      The GPL-infringement case brought against VMware by Christoph Hellwig in Germany has been dismissed by the court; the ruling is available in German and English. The decision seems to be based entirely on uncertainty over where his copyrights actually lie and not on the infringement claims.

    • Hellwig To Appeal VMware Ruling After Evidentiary Set Back in Lower Court [Phipps (OSI): “VMWare gets away with it on a technicality without even having to defend their alleged abuse”]

      Christoph Hellwig announces today that he will appeal the ruling of the Hamburg District Court, which dismissed his case against VMware. The ruling concerned German evidence law; the Court did not rule on the merits of the case, i.e. the question whether or not VMware has to license the kernel of its product vSphere ESXi 5.5.0 under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 2.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Data

      • POSM, OSM without the Internet

        The Portable OpenStreetMap, or POSM, device is a small server that hosts all the tools needed to compile, edit, and publish collected mapping data without Internet connectivity. The project was discussed at the US State of the Map (2016) and the video is a must-watch.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Stand Up for Open Access. Stand Up for Diego.

        Diego Gomez is a recent biology graduate from the University of Quindío, a small university in Colombia. His research interests are reptiles and amphibians. Since the university where he studied didn’t have a large budget for access to academic databases, he did what any other science grad student would do: he found the resources he needed online. Sometimes he shared the research he discovered, so that others could benefit as well.

        In 2011, Diego shared another student’s Master’s thesis with colleagues over the Internet. That simple act—something that many people all over the world do every day—put Diego at risk of spending years in prison. In Colombia, copying and distribution of copyrighted works without permission can lead to criminal charges of up to eight years if the prosecution can show it hurt the commercial rights of the author (derechos patrimoniales).

  • Programming/Development


  • What happens when the carnival moves on: Incredible photos show the decaying former Olympic sites across the world – from Germany in 1936 to Beijing in 2008
  • Science

    • Beyond Pokémon Go: augmented reality is set to transform gaming

      Daniel Bartlett thinks nothing of driving halfway across the UK to visit places that aren’t really there. Most of the time he’s out to scupper enemy plans. A couple of months ago, he made a 500-kilometre round-trip from London to defend an alien portal at the lifeboat station on Cromer Pier, on the east coast of England.

      In between scoffing a portion of chips and an ice cream, he coordinated with around 50 people at other key coastal positions from Scotland across to the Netherlands. Over the course of an afternoon, they took control of the North Sea, turning it from blue to green.

      Barlett has been playing Ingress for two and a half years. Released in 2012 by San Francisco studio Niantic, the game layers a sci-fi world navigated by smartphone over the actual one. Players join one of two factions – green or blue – and compete in a global tussle for territory by taking control of virtual portals hidden in plain sight. Cromer’s lifeboat station is one of thousands.

      The North Sea operation was a small stage in a six-week event called Aegis Nova, which involved nearly 10,000 players in dozens of countries. The finale, an epic showdown between factions in Tokyo on 21 July, was the biggest augmented reality event ever.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • No, A New Study Does Not Say Uber Has No Effect On Drunk Driving

      The first rule of science journalism is to read the study before you write about it. Alas, that hasn’t stopped media outlets from routinely misreporting, exaggerating or exercising insufficient skepticism about scientific research, particularly in the service of clickbait headlines and extra views.

      A recent study from the American Journal of Epidemiology on whether the introduction of ridesharing has had an effect on alcohol-related crash fatalities was the latest victim of this kind of sloppy reporting. The Washington Post announced: “Is Uber reducing drunk driving? New study says no.” CNN declared: “Uber doesn’t decrease drunk driving, study says.” Fortune writes: “A New Study Says Uber Has Had No Impact on Drunk Driving.” Other outlets published similar stories.

      But alcohol-related fatalities are not the same thing as drunk driving rates. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 10,000 Americans die each year in crashes involving a drunken driver; about two-thirds of that total are the drunken drivers themselves. But according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, there are annually about 1.1 million arrests for driving under the influence, which itself is just a fraction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s estimate of 121 million incidents each year in which intoxicated drivers aren’t caught. Astoundingly, according to one analysis, drunk drivers average just one arrest per 27,000 miles driven while intoxicated.

    • Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock: Why Even the Insured Are Waiting Too Long for Care

      Though a strong majority of all Americans support adopting a single-payer, Medicare for all model of healthcare policy, their political candidates and elected officials have failed to move confidently and clearly in that direction. Most of us know it is not rational to allow our healthcare system to be grounded in the same inhumane, cold-hearted and economically unsustainable way as it has been in the past many decades. The American public is funding ever increasing profits for the insurance giants, the pharmaceutical giants and the provider giants of the healthcare industry, and we are paying for those profits with our premium dollars, our co-pays/deductibles/out-of-pocket expenses, and with our own public tax dollars that pay huge amounts for the ACA subsidies to private insurance companies and that offer massive windfalls to insurance companies gaming the Medicare Advantage programs.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Tuesday
    • Reproducible builds: Finishing the final variations
    • Reproducible builds: week 67 in Stretch cycle
    • Easily Improving Linux Security with Two-Factor Authentication

      2-Factor Authentication (2FA) is a simple way to help improve the security of your systems. It restricts the scope of damage if a machine is compromised. If, for instance, you have a security token or authenticator app on your phone that is required for ssh to a remote machine, then even if every laptop you use to connect to the remote is totally owned, an attacker cannot establish a new ssh session on their own.

    • GnuTLS 3.5.3

      Released GnuTLS 3.5.3, a minor enhancement and bug fix release in next stable branch.

    • No, 900 million Android devices are not at risk from the ‘Quadrooter’ monster

      Guys, gals, aardvarks, fishes: I’m running out of ways to say this. Your Android device is not in any immediate danger of being taken over a super-scary malware monster.

      It’s a silly thing to say, I realize, but we go through this same song and dance every few months: Some company comes out with a sensational headline about how millions upon millions of Android users are in danger (DANGER!) of being infected (HOLY HELL!) by a Big, Bad Virus™ (A WHAT?!) any second now. Countless media outlets (cough, cough) pick up the story and run with it, latching onto that same sensational language without actually understanding a lick about Android security or the context that surrounds it.

      To wit: As you’ve no doubt seen by now, our latest Android malware scare du jour is something an antivirus software company called Check Point has smartly dubbed “Quadrooter” (a name worthy of Batman villain status if I’ve ever heard one). The company is shouting from the rooftops that 900 million (MILLION!) users are at risk of data loss, privacy loss, and presumably also loss of all bladder control — all because of this hell-raising “Quadrooter” demon and its presence on Qualcomm’s mobile processors.

    • 900 Million Androids Could Be Easy Prey for QuadRooter Exploits
    • Annoying “Open PDF in Edge” Default Option Puts Windows 10 Users at Risk

      Microsoft released today its monthly security patch, and one of the five security bulletins labeled as critical was a remote code execution (RCE) flaw in its standard PDF rendering library that could be exploited when opening PDF files.

    • Linux TCP flaw enables remote attacks

      Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, say they have found a weakness in the transmission control protocol (TCP) used by Linux since late 2012 which allows the remote hijacking of Internet communications.

    • Serious security threat to many Internet users highlighted
    • Your ‘Smart’ Thermostat Is Now Vulnerable To Ransomware

      We’ve noted time and time again how the much ballyhooed “internet of things” is a privacy and security dumpster fire, and the check is about to come due. Countless companies and “IoT” evangelists jumped head first into the profit party, few bothering to cast even a worried look over at the reality that basic security and privacy standards hadn’t come along for the ride. The result has been an endless parade of not-so-smart devices and appliances that are busy either leaking your personal details or potentially putting your life at risk.

      Of course, the Internet of Things hype machine began with smart thermostats and the sexy, Apple-esque advertising of Nest. The fun and games didn’t last however, especially after several botched firmware updates resulted in people being unable to heat or cool their homes (relatively essential for a thermostat).

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Emails Show Hillary Clinton Aides Celebrating F-15 Sales to Saudi Arabia: “Good News”

      The shockingly brutal Saudi air campaign in Yemen has been led by American-made F-15 jet fighters.

      The indiscriminate bombing of civilians and rescuers from the air has prompted human rights organizations to claim that some Saudi-led strikes on Yemen may amount to war crimes. At least 2,800 civilians have been killed in the conflict so far, according to the United Nations — mostly by airstrikes. The strikes have killed journalists and ambulance drivers.

      The planes, made by Boeing, have been implicated in the bombing of three facilities supported by Doctors Without Borders (Médicins Sans Frontières). The U.N. Secretary General has decried “intense airstrikes in residential areas and on civilian buildings in Sanaa, including the chamber of commerce, a wedding hall, and a center for the blind,” and has warned that reports of cluster bombs being used in populated areas “may amount to a war crime due to their indiscriminate nature.”

    • Are There Any Limits on Obama’s Drone War, Really?

      Early in his second term, President Obama set out to create a Rule Book that would provide some semblance of legal oversight over his administration’s drone program, which in the previous four years had become the administration’s preferred method of targeting suspected terrorists in remote regions of Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere. Sometimes dubbed the “Disposition Matrix,” news articles about the Rule Book offered tidy flow charts of how a suspected terrorist would go from “suspect” to “dead”—or, less realistically, “captured.” The book was intended to bring new order to the war on terror, there being “a broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade,” as The Washington Post reported in the fall of 2012.

      Obama announced the formalization of the Rule Book—now dubbed the Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG)—in May 2013. It was partly a response to critics who said the administration was essentially conducting extrajudicial killings, with no rubric by which to judge whether it was staying within the bounds of international law. Obama explained that after four years of drone war without such formal rules, he was now “insisting upon clear guidelines, oversight, and accountability that is now codified in Presidential Policy Guidance.”

    • Yes, the Drone Rule Book Is a One-Off
    • Is America Any Safer?

      Since 9/11, the United States has spent $1 trillion to defend against al-Qaeda and ISIL, dirty bombs and lone wolves, bioterror and cyberterror. Has it worked?


      However, the president has failed to finish the job of securing radiological material in hospitals and industrial facilities, or to crack down on the threats from bioweapons and toxic chemicals. Second, with his revised EPA guidelines on dirty-bomb damage, Obama has taken a tentative but insufficient step toward leveling with the public in a way that deprives terrorists of their ability to spread hysteria. That mirrors what he has tried to do more generally: tentatively steer Americans toward the realistic view that while terrorism is inevitable, it is not an existential or apocalyptic threat—unless we treat it like the apocalypse.

      This is a politically perilous path—which may explain why the administration proceeded so quietly when announcing the revised radiological-contamination guidelines.

      In fact, this may be a path only a lame duck could risk. The politically easier path is to promise “never again.” As Trump’s hard-line rhetoric about the president being weak on terrorism demonstrates, Obama and anyone who follows him and tries to continue on that path will be an easy target for opponents who will claim that transforming homeland security from the fantasy of never-again prevention to a combination of prevention and mitigation and recovery is throwing in the towel.

      That this is still a debate in an election season 15 years after the 9/11 attacks is evidence that although we’ve made progress, we’re still a long way from adjusting—politically and psychically—to this new normal, where, unlike during the Cold War, there is no relying on deterrence for protection.

    • The Just Right Fear Industry, in 18,000 Words

      Steven Brill thinks we’re not worried enough about bioterrorism and dirty bombs. He makes that argument even while acknowledging that a dirty bomb attack launched in Washington DC would result in just 50 additional cancer deaths. And curiously, his extensive discussion about germ threats (inspired by a Scooter Libby report, no less!) doesn’t mention that the Russian military is currently struggling to contain an anthrax attack launched by a thawing reindeer.

      That’s the problem with Brill’s opus: anthrax attacks only matter if they’re launched by Islamic extremist reindeers, not reindeers weaponized by climate change. (And if you were wondering, although he discusses it at length, Brill doesn’t mention that the 2001 anthrax attack, which was done with anthrax derived from a US lab, has never been solved.)

      He makes a similar error when he spends 18 paragraphs focusing on what he (or his editors) dub “cyberterrorism” only to focus on OPM as proof the threat exists and includes this paragraph from Jim Comey admitting terrorists don’t yet have the capabilities to hurt us our Chinese and Russian adversaries do.

    • ISIS Intel Was Cooked, House Panel Finds

      A leading U.S. general pressured his intelligence analysts into playing down the ISIS and al Qaeda threats, according to a Congressional task force.

      A House Republican task force has found that officials from the U.S. military’s Central Command altered intelligence reports to portray the U.S. fight against ISIS and al Qaeda in a more positive light than lower-level analysts believed was warranted by the facts on the ground, three officials familiar with the task force’s findings told The Daily Beast.

      A roughly 10-page report on the controversy is expected to be released by the end of next week, two officials said. While it contains no definitive evidence that senior Obama administration officials ordered the reports to be doctored, the five-month investigation did corroborate earlier reports that analysts felt the leaders of CENTCOM’s intelligence directorate pressured them to conclude that the threat from ISIS was not as ominous as the analysts believed, the officials said.

    • Christianity and the Nagasaki Bomb

      Though Christianity began as a religion of peace, it soon became a cloak for genocidal violence, such as the incineration of defenseless civilians in Nagasaki, including many Japanese Christians, 71 years ago, writes Gary G. Kohls.


      And, if those Christians had never seen, heard or smelled the suffering humanity that the bomb caused on the ground, most of them would not have experienced any remorse for their participation in the atrocity – especially if they had been blindly treated as heroes in the aftermath.

    • Nagasaki Mayor: ‘Come Find Out What Happened Under the Mushroom Cloud’

      To mark the grim anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima 71 years ago, the mayor of Nagasaki on Tuesday urged leaders of nuclear powers to visit the cities and see what their weapons are capable of.

      “I appeal to the leaders of states which possess nuclear weapons and other countries, and to the people of the world: Please come and visit Nagasaki and Hiroshima,” Mayor Tomihisa Taue said during a ceremony for the occasion.

      “Find out for yourselves what happened to human beings beneath the mushroom cloud,” Taue said. “Knowing the facts becomes the starting point for thinking about a future free of nuclear weapons.”

      The mayor also delivered a Peace Declaration calling for global communities to use their “collective wisdom” to work for disarmament.

    • Nagasaki mayor tells world: Visit to see how nukes affect humans

      The Nagasaki mayor on Aug. 9 urged leaders of nuclear powers to follow the example of U.S. President Barack Obama and learn for themselves the horrific effects wrought by nuclear weapons.

      “I appeal to the leaders of states which possess nuclear weapons and other countries, and to the people of the world: Please come and visit Nagasaki and Hiroshima,” Mayor Tomihisa Taue said in the ceremony marking the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing on this city. “Find out for yourselves what happened to human beings beneath the mushroom cloud. Knowing the facts becomes the starting point for thinking about a future free of nuclear weapons.”

      Referring to Obama’s visit to Hiroshima in May, the first by a sitting U.S. president, Taue said Obama “showed the rest of the world the importance of seeing, listening and feeling things for oneself.”

      The ceremony was held at Nagasaki Peace Park in the city’s Matsuyama district, the area surrounding ground zero of the second atomic bomb dropped on Japan.

      A minute of silence was observed at 11:02 a.m., the time the atomic bomb exploded over this city on Aug. 9, 1945, three days after the Hiroshima blast.

      The ceremony was attended by government officials, atomic bomb survivors and ambassadors and other dignitaries of 53 nations, including eight nuclear powers.

    • How US Hiroshima Mythology Insults Veterans

      With President Obama’s May 27 visit to Hiroshima, reporters, columnists and editors generally adhered to the official story that “the atomic bomb…ultimately spared more Japanese civilians from a final invasion,” as Kaimay Yuen Terry wrote for the Minneapolis StarTribune, or that, “Without it, more Japanese would have died in a US assault on the islands, as would have tens of thousands of Americans,” as Mike Hashimoto wrote for the Dallas Morning News.


      Obama — uttering not a word about the historical controversy roiling since 1945 — perpetuated the rationalization, cover-up, and nostalgia that guarantees the US will never apologize for the needless and experimental massacre of 200,000 Japanese civilians. As Hashimoto wrote, “No apology [is] needed for sparing lives on both sides…”

      The New York Times reported vaguely that, “Many historians believe the bombings on Hiroshima and then Nagasaki, which together took the lives of more than 200,000 people, saved lives on balance, since an invasion of the islands would have led to far greater bloodshed.”

      While “many” historians may still believe this, the majority do not. As noted by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s chief historian J. Samuel Walker: “The consensus among scholars is that the bomb was not needed to avoid an invasion of Japan and to end the war within a relatively short time. It is clear that alternatives to the bomb existed and that Truman and his advisers knew it,” Walker wrote in the winter 1990 issue of Diplomatic History.

      Five years earlier, historian Gar Alperovitz wrote in Atomic Diplomacy, “[P]resently available evidence shows the atomic bomb was not needed to end the war or to save lives — and that this was understood by American leaders at the time.” Further declassification made his lengthy history, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of An American Myth (Knopf, 1995) even stronger on this point.

    • Dirty War Files Show How Clinton Ally Kissinger Backed Regime of Terror

      Newly declassified papers on the U.S. government’s role in Argentina’s 1976-83 “Dirty War” have been released, detailing—among other things—how former secretary of state Henry Kissinger stymied attempts to end mass killings of dissidents.

      The files were published just after Politico reported that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is courting Kissinger’s support, among other Republican elites.

      Kissinger lauded Argentina’s military dictatorship for its “campaign against terrorism,” which included the imprisonment, torture, and killings of tens of thousands of leftist activists and students, the files reveal.

      “His praise for the Argentine government in its campaign against terrorism was the music the Argentine government was longing to hear,” one document states.

      During a private meeting with the conservative diplomat group Argentinian Council of International Relations (CARI), Kissinger said that “in his opinion the government of Argentina had done an outstanding job in wiping out terrorist forces.”

      U.S. ambassador to Buenos Aires, Raúl Castro warned that Kissinger’s praise for the military dictatorship “may have gone to some considerable extent to his hosts’ heads.”

      “There is some danger that Argentines may use Kissinger’s laudatory statements as justification for hardening their human rights stance,” Castro said.

    • Hillary Clinton’s Turn to McCarthyism

      The irony of Hillary Clinton’s campaign impugning the patriotism of Donald Trump and others who object to a new Cold War with Russia is that President George H.W. Bush employed similar smear tactics against Bill Clinton in 1992 by suggesting that the Arkansas governor was a Kremlin mole.

      Back then, Bill Clinton countered that smear by accusing the elder President Bush of stooping to tactics reminiscent of Sen. Joe McCarthy, the infamous Red-baiter from the 1950s. But today’s Democrats apparently feel little shame in whipping up an anti-Russian hysteria and then using it to discredit Trump and other Americans who won’t join this latest “group think.”


      As the 1992 campaign entered its final weeks, Bush – a much more ruthless political operative than his elder-statesman image of today would suggest – unleashed his subordinates to dig up whatever dirt they could to impugn Bill Clinton’s loyalty to his country.

      Some of Bush’s political appointees rifled through Clinton’s passport file looking for an apocryphal letter from his student days in which Clinton supposedly sought to renounce his citizenship. They also looked for derogatory information about his student trips to the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia.

    • Ex-CIA Director Who Endorsed Clinton Calls for Killing Iranians and Russians in Syria

      Former acting CIA Director Michael Morell said in an interview Monday that U.S. policy in Syria should be to make Iran and Russia “pay a price” by arming local groups and instructing them to kill Iranian and Russian personnel in the country.

      Morell was appearing on the Charlie Rose show on PBS in the wake of his publicly endorsing Hillary Clinton on the New York Times opinion pages.

      Clinton has expressed support for increased military intervention in Syria against Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government. Iran and Russia are backing Assad.

      “What they need is to have the Russians and Iranians pay a little price,” Morell said. “When we were in Iraq, the Iranians were giving weapons to the Shia militia, who were killing American soldiers, right? The Iranians were making us pay a price. We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price.”

      Morell said the killing of Russians and Iranians should be undertaken “covertly, so you don’t tell the world about it, you don’t stand up at the Pentagon and say ‘we did this.’ But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.”

    • Trump and the Bomb

      Donald Trump has nukes on the brain. During the course of a one hour foreign policy briefing the Republican Presidential candidate asked the same question three times: “If we have nukes, why can’t we use them?”

      Joe Scarborough broke the story on August 3 on his MSNBC Morning Joe program. Scarborough did not name his source.

      Scarborough said that the briefing was “several months ago.” Scarborough did not say why he waited until now to tell us about it.


      John Noonan agrees that nukes must never be used. Noonan, a Jeb! Bush foreign policy adviser, has first-hand knowledge of nuclear deterrence. As a U.S. Air Force officer, Noonan served in a nuclear missile silo 100 feet beneath Wyoming. The same day as Scarborough’s revelation, Noonan launched a barrage of twenty tweets. Noonan tweeted: “[T]he whole idea behind nuclear deterrence is that you don’t use the damn things.” Noonan said that a President Trump “would be undoing 6 decades of proven deterrence theory. The purpose of nukes is that they are never used. Trump disagrees?”

    • Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen food factory kill at least 14 people

      More than a dozen people have been killed in Yemen after the Saudi-led coalition resumed airstrikes on the capital Sana’a, following the collapse of UN-brokered peace talks.

      In the first such attacks since 11 April – when an often-violated ceasefire was put in place – coalition jets bombed a potato factory in the capital’s Nahda district on Tuesday, killing at least 14 people working there, mostly women.

      The airstrikes came days after the suspension of inconclusive peace talks in Kuwait .

      The factory targeted was situated inside an army maintenance camp. Firefighters scrambled to control the resulting blaze but were unable to rescue people inside the building. More than half of those killed are believed to be women. Abdullah al-Aqel, the factory director, said the death toll stood at 16, with more than 10 people injured.

    • Amid Uptick in Bombings and Civilian Deaths, US Sells More Arms to Saudis

      The Saudi-led, U.S.-backed military coalition has resumed bombing in Yemen as an uneasy, five-month-long ceasefire gives way to an escalation in fighting that puts besieged civilians at even greater risk.

      According to news outlets, there were “immediate reports of civilian deaths” after coalition airstrikes in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a on Tuesday.

      Citing medics at the scene, Reuters reports that the death toll hit 13 and that “[m]ost of the casualties were women working at the al-Aqel potato chip factory in the Nahda district of the capital.”

    • 500 days of fighting in Yemen: Humanitarian crisis is ‘untenable’

      A prominent refugee agency has warned that Yemen faces an “untenable” humanitarian situation, as the war-torn nation on Sunday marked 500 days since Saudi Arabia began its bombing campaign.

      Figures released by the Norwegian Refugee Council set out the humanitarian situation in Yemen, where 21 million people – 80 percent of the population – require some form of aid amid an ongoing war.

      The NRC said at least 6,500 people have been killed – more than half of them civilians – and 32,000 injured since Saudi Arabia formed a military coalition aimed at reinstating the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

      Riyadh launched their bombing campaign in March 2015 to push back Houthi rebels who the Saudis say are backed by regional rival Iran. The Houthis seized control of the capital Sanaa in September 2014, forcing Hadi into exile in Riyadh.

    • US Dramatically Escalates Role Supporting Saudi Bombing of Yemen

      Between the year and a half Saudi war against Yemen not achieving the expected quick victory, and the growing talk of war crimes as the civilian death toll from Saudi airstrikes soars, a lot of nations would be looking to distance themselves from the disastrous failure. Not the US, however, as they brag up their escalating support for the Saudi air war.

    • Pakistan Mourns After Bombing at Hospital Kills At Least 74, Including Dozens of Lawyers

      Lawyers in Pakistan have begun a nationwide strike after dozens of attorneys were slain in a suicide bombing outside a hospital in the city of Quetta in Balochistan, the country’s poorest province. Authorities said at least 70 people died in the attack, including as many as 60 attorneys; 120 were injured. The suicide bombing targeted lawyers who had assembled outside the hospital to mourn the assassination of Bilal Kasi, the president of the Balochistan Bar Association, who was killed earlier on Monday as he headed to court. Kasi had strongly condemned recent attacks in the province and had announced a two-day boycott of court sessions in protest of the killing of a colleague last week. A faction of the Pakistan Taliban, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack and for the murder of Bilal Kasi. ISIS also claimed responsibility.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • ‘Clexit’: New Fears for UK as Brexit Planners Push to Withdraw from COP21

      The same architects of Britain’s exit from the European Union are now pushing for the United Kingdom to withdraw from the global climate treaty negotiated in Paris last December—a movement called Clexit (for “Climate Exit”).

      The post-Brexit development confirms what many climate advocates feared might happen. Environmental group Friends of the Earth warned after the June referendum that the U.K.’s vote to leave the EU “is a huge challenge to decades of progress on improving the environment and tackling climate change.”

      As Graham Readfearn reported for DeSmog Blog last week, the Clexit movement—launched “enthusiastically” by climate deniers—is backed by a “blitzkrieg of conspiracy theories and pseudo-science.”

    • After Brexit, Climate Science Denialists Form New Group to Call for a Clexit

      In the wake of the political tsunami caused by the UK’s decision to leave the EU, a group of climate science denialists has formed to jump enthusiastically onto the Brexit bandwagon.

      Backed by a blitzkrieg of conspiracy theories and pseudo-science, a rapidly convened new group called Clexit has been formed.

      The group claims to have “60 well-informed science, business and economic leaders from 16 countries” signing on to a founding statement that is chock-full of long-debunked climate change myths, together with attacks on renewable energy and the United Nations.

      In a not unambitious founding statement, Clexit says: “The world must abandon this suicidal Global Warming crusade. Man does not and cannot control the climate.”

    • Hundreds sickened in Indonesia’s Aceh as peat fires burn

      Since August 3, peat fires in Indonesia’s westernmost Aceh province have blanketed some areas in a choking haze, sickening hundreds of people and forcing at least one school to close.

      Fires have appeared as far south as Subulussalam, which borders neighboring North Sumatra province, and as far north as Aceh Besar, the province’s northernmost tip.

      In West Aceh, 150 military and police officers are helping the disaster mitigation agency fight the fires. Hundreds of people there have developed acute respiratory infections. Two students have had to be hospitalized.

      “Our son began to have trouble breathing at school, they immediately rushed him to the local clinic,” said Darmawan, a relative of the boy.

    • Trump’s Speech Was Riddled With Lies and Inaccuracies About Fossil Fuels

      On Monday, presidential candidate and climate change denier, Donald Trump, laid out his proposed economic reforms in a speech at the Detroit Economic Club. As part of his destructive manifesto, Trump threatened to demolish “job-killing energy restrictions” enacted during the Obama administration.

      “The Obama-Clinton Administration has blocked and destroyed millions of jobs through their anti-energy regulations, while raising the price of electricity for both families and businesses. As a result of recent Obama EPA actions coal-fired power plants across Michigan have either shut down entirely or undergone expensive conversions.”

      In classic Trump form, not a single policy was ever named during the address, but the sentiment was self-evident: more drilling means more jobs. However, point by point, Trump’s promises and allegations about an energy revolution were riddled with inaccuracies and bunk data. What he calls an “America first energy plan” is no more than a strawman propped up by xenophobia, limited government, and the idealization of a dying coal industry.

    • We’re trashing the oceans — and they’re returning the favor by making us sick

      Six years ago, in a bracing TED talk, coral reef scientist Jeremy Jackson laid out “how we wrecked the ocean.” In the talk, he detailed not only how overfishing, global warming, and various forms of pollution are damaging ocean ecosystems — but also, strikingly, how these human-driven injuries to the oceans can be harmful to those who live on land.

      Toxic algal blooms, for instance, can actually damage air quality near the coast. “The coast, instead of being paradise, is harmful to your health,” he said.

    • Humans are Poisoning the Ocean—and It’s Poisoning Us Back

      It’s no secret that we have trashed, poisoned, and warmed oceans at an unprecedented rate via human-caused climate change and pollution.

      It seems that oceans may be paying us back in kind, according to a new study that found levels of bacteria responsible for life-threatening illnesses spiking in the North Atlantic region.

      The study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) discovered that a deadly variety of bacteria known as vibrio is spreading rapidly throughout the Atlantic as a result of hotter ocean temperatures.

    • Colorado Readies for ‘All Out War’ as Anti-Fracking Measures Advance to Ballot

      The government of Colorado has so far managed to quash efforts to halt the spread of fracking in that state, but come November, residents will finally have the chance to overpower the will of politicians and Big Oil and Gas.

      Petitioners on Monday submitted more than 200,000 signatures backing two separate initiatives to amend the Colorado constitution, specifically in regards to the controversial drilling method.

      “This is a good day for Colorado, and it’s a good day for democracy,” said Lauren Petrie, Rocky Mountain Region director of Food and Water Watch. “These initiatives will give communities political tools to fend off the oil and gas industry’s effort to convert our neighborhoods to industrial sites. This is a significant moment in the national movement to stem the tide of fracking and natural gas.”

      Initiative 78 would establish a 2,500-foot buffer zone protecting homes, hospitals and schools, as well as sensitive areas like playgrounds and drinking water sources, from new oil and gas development. This expands the current mandate of a 500-foot setback from homes and, according to Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development (CREED), is based upon health studies that show increased risks within a half mile of fracked wells and the perimeters of real-life explosion, evacuation, and burn zones.

      Colorado regulators say that, if passed, Initiative 78 could effectively halt new oil and gas exploration and production in as much of 90 percent of the state.

      Initiative 75 would establish local government control of oil and gas development, authorizing local municipalities “to pass a broad range of more protective regulations, prohibitions, limits or moratoriums on oil and gas development—or not,” according to the grassroots group.

      This measure challenges a May ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court which said that state law overrides local fracking bans.

      Various moratoriums or anti-fracking measures bans have been passed by the communities of Lafeyette, Boulder, Fort Collins, Broomfield, El Paso County, and Longmont—though many of these efforts were quashed by the Supreme Court ruling. Campaigners are hopeful that the initiatives would lay the foundation for many more.

    • Latin America ‘Most Dangerous Region in the World’ for Land and Rights Defenders: Report

      Human rights and land defenders face unprecedented levels of violence, torture, abductions, and murder across Latin America, according to a report published Tuesday by the Center for International and Environmental Law (CIEL)—and the situation is even worse for Indigenous people.

    • Ecuador Foreign Minister: $3B in Tax Havens Could Fund Earthquake Reconstruction

      Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa recently announced a national referendum that would bar any politician from having assets in tax havens.

      This is part of a concerted effort by the Ecuadorean government against their use. This has seen President Correa become the only world leader to sign Oxfam’s recent petition calling for a ban on tax havens. Ecuador will also be taking a proposal to the U.N. in September to launch a global initiative against tax havens.

    • Cashing in on Cellulosic Ethanol: Subsidy Loophole Set to Rescue Corn Biofuel Profits

      Subsidies intended for next-generation cellulosic ethanol production are to be applied to a trivial improvement to corn ethanol refining technologies. Since cellulosic ethanol qualifies for much higher subsidies, this will significantly increase corn refinery profits and boost the demand for corn but will do nothing to combat climate change or promote energy independence. This is all thanks to an EPA policy to boost the previously (almost) non-existing cellulosic biofuel production in the US by widening and watering down the definition of that term. Thanks to this policy, cellulosic ethanol subsidies can now go towards biofuels made from the same corn kernels as conventional corn ethanol.

  • Finance

    • Norway may block UK return to European Free Trade Association

      Norway could block the UK if it tries to rejoin the European Free Trade Association, the small club of nations that has access to the EU single market without joining the EU itself.

      Senior Norwegian government members are to hold talks with David Davis, the UK minister responsible for overseeing the UK exit from the EU, in the next few weeks.

      Some Brexit supporters have suggested the EFTA would be a way of retaining access to the EU single market while honouring the referendum mandate to leave the EU.

      Norway is not a member of the European Union but has access to Europe’s lucrative single market via its membership in the European Economic Area (EEA), which groups all EU members and three of the four EFTA members (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, but not Switzerland).

    • As the nation’s capital booms, poor tenants face eviction over as little as $25

      Her mother told her to always maintain poise, no matter the indignity, so she awoke early to prepare for a day she thought would be full of it. She put on a purple blouse — her favorite color — dabbed her face with makeup, then sprayed herself with a $10 perfume called Winter Candy Apple. She stepped across an apartment bereft of furniture, unsure if it would be her last morning there. Any day now, the U.S. Marshals Service could arrive, deposit her few possessions on the street and leave her homeless.

      “I’m worried,” Brittany Gray told a reporter, taking a deep breath as she left Brookland Manor, a labyrinthine, Depression-era development perched along Rhode Island Avenue NE. She had arisen that morning feeling ill and didn’t know what to expect when she got to where she was going. “Do I go in there and ask for a lawyer or something?”

      It was half past 9 when she reached the District’s landlord and tenant court, the city’s busiest chambers, where tens of thousands of cases are churned through every year. In a metropolis of surging rents and posh condominiums, the debts cited can easily soar into five figures.

    • Sorry you lost your home: Americans deserve more than an apology for the foreclosure fraud epidemic

      “I lost my home of 30 years to fraudclosure.”

      “I have been fighting this bank for over five years now. I am finally losing everything to their fraud.”

      “We feel captive in our own home.”

      This is a sampling of what I have awakened to practically every day for the past few months, since my book “Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud” came out. Hundreds of people have emailed me, sent me letters, attended my public events, to relate their personal horror stories of foreclosure and dispossession. They come from across America, from different social and economic backgrounds. Some lost everything, and some haven’t given up.

      They contact me, a non-lawyer who has only written about and not participated in their struggle, because they have been abandoned, by a government that chose sides against them after the crash of 2008. They seek answers that I mostly don’t have and support I mostly cannot provide. Outside of referring them to legal aid, I cannot solve their foreclosure problems. I cannot convince a judge disinclined to rule in their favor, or a bank disinclined to see them as anything but a financial asset to be plucked, to change their minds. I can only note in sorrow that the massive netting of fraud laid by the mortgage industry over a decade ago continues to capture people like them.

    • Looming Brexit headache for Nissan’s Sunderland plant

      Nissan’s car manufacturing plant in Sunderland is the UK’s largest, producing 500,000 vehicles a year. But it could face a crunch point for investment as soon as next year, sources tell BBC Newsnight, as a result of the uncertainty following the vote to leave the European Union.

      The question is how Sunderland, which employs nearly 7,000 people, stacks up against other plants in the Renault-Nissan Alliance while the details of the UK’s future trading and customs arrangements with Europe remain unclear.

      The Franco-Japanese group makes its plants bid against each other to win significant new production contracts, with Sunderland facing stiff competition from Renault plants in continental Europe.

    • How the Dutch could derail CETA

      Free trade and investment treaties will be a key topic of discussion for the tens of thousands of activists gathering in Montreal this week for the World Social Forum. Resistance to trade deals, once the domain of anti-globalization activists, is now widespread. Large demonstrations are taking place against deals such as the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Facing such public pressure it is becoming ever more likely that a proposed Trade and investment treaty between Canada and the EU, CETA, will be blocked by a referendum vote in the Netherlands.

    • New Jersey Senate Examines Controversial Student Loan Agency

      Almost a dozen people with harrowing experiences with New Jersey’s controversial student loan program testified on Monday before state lawmakers, detailing its aggressive collection tactics and onerous terms that some said had ruined them financially.

      “Hesaa destroyed my family,” Tracey Timony, referring to the state’s Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, said at a hearing before the Higher Education and Legislative Oversight Committees of the New Jersey State Senate.

    • The Shell Game of the Economic Elite’s Hamilton Project

      Take Barack Obama, who hopes to burnish his legacy by securing final congressional passage of the arch-global-corporatist Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). If achieved, this measure will be a fitting capstone to what Robert Reich calls “one of the most pro-business administrations in America history.” Obama has continued the cringing, Wall Street-directed corporatism of Bill Clinton, helping bring the United States to a new Gilded Age in which (as Bernie Sanders said repeatedly during his presidential campaign) the top 1/10th of the United States’ top 1 percent has nearly as much wealth as the nation’s bottom 90 percent—this while more than a fifth of the nation’s children (including nearly four of every 10 black children) are growing up beneath the federal government’s notoriously inadequate poverty level. Thanks in no small part to Obama’s chillingly fake-progressive presidency, fully 95 percent of new national income generated during his first term went to the nation’s top 0.1 percent. Corporate profits (primarily now financial sector profits) have risen to their greatest state in the U.S. economy since 1929.

    • Scotland would not be independent inside the EU

      On July 8, former Permanent UK Treasury Secretary Sir Nicholas Macpherson wrote an article in the Financial Times titled “The case for Scottish independence looks stronger post-Brexit.” The ex- civil servant, who advised Scots to vote ‘No’ in 2014, joins growing numbers of Scottish voters whose support for independence appears to be growing in the aftermath of the EU referendum.

    • The Sanders movement is only just beginning

      Last week, Pramila Jayapal, one of the rising stars of the Bernie Sanders movement, won a decisive victory in the primary race for Washington’s 7th Congressional District. She will advance to the November general election, where she is favored to win. She is not alone. Jamie Raskin, a progressive state legislator and leading constitutional authority on civil rights and voting rights, won his primary to fill an open Democratic seat in Maryland. Zephyr Teachout, who literally wrote the book on political corruption and challenged New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) in the gubernatorial race two years ago, is running a brilliant campaign in an uphill battle for a Republican-held seat in New York.

    • The Incredible Shrinking Populist: Donald Trump’s Tiny Economic Vision

      On Monday, Donald Trump talked about the economy on television for an hour. That may have exceeded the graduate-level curriculum at Trump University. But the biggest lesson I learned is that Trump contradicts himself more, and becomes more typically Republican, with every passing day.

      It’s rare to see Trump put much effort into anything, so it was almost likable to watch him work so hard to read his speech from a Teleprompter. All that concentration! It was like watching a child learn to draw.


      Trump embraced the House GOP’s three-tiered income tax rate, with deep cuts in the highest bracket. He proposed a steep reduction in the top corporate tax rate and suggested eliminating the estate tax, which is only levied on the wealthiest heirs and heiresses, altogether.

    • New Rules Needed to Vanquish Legacy of Inequality and Growing Wealth Gap

      Reforming the U.S. tax code to help low-income Americans build wealth and savings while reducing wealth concentration at the top would go a long way toward narrowing an “ever-growing gap” between white households and households of color, according to a new study released this week.

      The report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), entitled The Ever-Growing Gap: Failing to Address the Status Quo Will Drive the Racial Wealth Divide for Centuries to Come (pdf), reveals a stark and widening chasm that—absent significant reforms to large-scale public policies—will only continue to grow.

    • When Systems Crumble: Looking Beyond Global Capitalism

      As global capitalism staggers painfully, unevenly and dangerously in the wake of its 2008 collapse, its critics divide into two broad camps. One commits to fixing or reforming a capitalism that has somehow lost its way. The other finds capitalism irreparably inadequate and seeks transition to a new and different system. The two camps see many of the same faults: how capitalism relentlessly deepens inequalities of income, wealth, power and access to culture; capitalism’s instability (those socially costly cycles it never managed to prevent); and its consequent injustices. Sometimes the two camps can ally and work together. However, at other times — such as now — the camps become more wary of, disaffected from, and competitive with one another. Adding complexity these days, the critics favoring system change are also redefining — for potential recruits and for themselves — the new system they seek.

    • Stop Being Partisan on So-Called “Free Trade”

      It’s been just over 30 years since Reagan proclaimed that, and every president since then has followed the religious belief that so-called “free trade” will save us all. And 30 years later, it’s pretty clear that Reagan was dead wrong about trade, and so are the Democrats today who are saying the same thing.

      The fact is, sweeping trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the TPP and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) only benefit the CEOs of the corporations that are at the negotiating table.

    • “Capitalism Is a Lot More Important Than Democracy,” Says Donald Trump’s Economic Adviser

      But of course Trump won’t pay any price for choosing Moore as an adviser, since their mutual distaste for democracy and affection for general chicanery are shared by many other people at the top of the U.S. political system.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Corporate sponsorships of Olympics make political investments look like a very good deal

      If you thought there was a lot of corporate money in politics, you haven’t seen the amount of cash that goes into sponsoring the U.S. Olympic games.

      Eleven multinational corporations each paid the International Olympic Committee an estimated $100 million for a four-year partnership that gives them coveted advertising rights during the global sporting competition. (International Olympics Committee reps won’t say how much a top sponsorship deal costs, but on p. 114 of the IOC’s 2014 annual report, revenue for 2013-2016 is forecast to be $5.5 billion. Sponsorship deals account for 19 percent of that.)

    • Jill Stein: U.S. Voter Revolt Is Well in the Making

      Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, discusses her economic plan and the election with Bloomberg’s David Gura and Vonnie Quinn on “Bloomberg Markets.”

    • Jeremy Corbyn team accuses Tom Watson in Trotsky row

      Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson has been accused of “peddling baseless conspiracy theories” by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign.

      It came after Mr Watson told the Guardian Labour was being infiltrated by “Trotsky entryists” who had “come back” to bolster Mr Corbyn.

      Mr Corbyn’s campaign team said he should be trying to “unite” the party, rather than “patronising” members.

      The Labour leader is embroiled in a contest with challenger Owen Smith.

    • FBI probe of Clinton’s emails prompted by espionage fears, secret letters say

      Two secret letters the FBI sent to the State Department have revealed for the first time that the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and the classified emails sent through it, stemmed from a so-called “Section 811″ referral from the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General (ICIG). The ICIG determined that classified, national security information in Clinton’s emails may have been “compromised” and shared with “a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power.”

      Section 811 of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 1995 “is the statutory authority that governs the coordination of counterespionage investigations between Executive Branch departments or agencies and the FBI.” A Section 811 referral is a report to the FBI about any unauthorized information that may have been disclosed to a foreign power.

    • Election 2016: The Greatest Show on Earth

      Yep, it finally happened. In early May, after a long, long run, the elephants of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus were ushered into retirement in Florida where they will finish their days aiding cancer research. The Greatest Show on Earth was done with its pachyderms. The same might be said about the Republicans after Donald Trump’s version of a GOP convention. Many of them had also been sent, far less gracefully than those circus elephants, into a kind of enforced retirement (without even cancer research as an excuse). Their former party remained in the none-too-gentle hands of the eternally aggrieved Trump, while the Democrats were left to happily chant “USA! USA!,” march a barking retired four-star general and a former CIA director on stage to invoke the indispensable “greatness” of America, and otherwise exhibit the kind of super-patriotism and worship of the military usually associated with … no question about it … the GOP (whose delegates instead spent their time chanting “lock her up!”).

      And that’s just to take the tiniest of peeks at a passing moment in what continues to be, without the slightest doubt, the Greatest Show on Earth in 2016.

      My small suggestion: don’t even try to think your way through all this. It’s the media equivalent of entering King Minos’s labyrinth. You’ll never get out. I’m talking about — what else? — the phenomenon we still call an “election campaign,” though it bears remarkably little resemblance to anything Americans might once have bestowed that label on.

      Still, look on the bright side: the Republican and Democratic conventions are in the rearview mirror and a mere three months of endless yakking are left until Election Day.

    • WikiLeaks Offers $20K Reward for Information in Murder of DNC Staffer

      WikiLeaks is offering a reward for information in the murder of a Democratic National Committee staffer.

      WikiLeaks said in a tweet Tuesday that the group is issuing a $20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the death of Seth Conrad Rich.

    • Black Pastors Are Breaking the Law to Get Hillary Clinton Elected

      It is illegal for clergy to support or oppose political candidates from the pulpit. Houses of worship can host candidate forums and voter-registration drives; pastors and rabbis and imams can even bend the rules a little to advocate “as individuals” at conventions or other events. But for more than 60 years, religious groups have been forbidden from electioneering.

      Apparently, a lot of pastors don’t pay attention to this rule. According to a new survey from Pew Research Center, roughly 9 percent of people who have attended religious services in the last few months have heard clergy speak out in favor of a political candidate, and roughly 11 percent have heard clergy speak in opposition. What’s remarkable, though, is how much this is apparently happening at one particular kind of church: those run by black Protestants.

    • Can Jill Carry Bernie’s Baton? A Look at the Green Candidate’s Radical Funding Solution

      Bernie Sanders supporters are flocking to Jill Stein, the presumptive Green Party presidential candidate, with donations to her campaign exploding nearly 1000% after he endorsed Hillary Clinton. Stein salutes Sanders for the progressive populist movement he began and says it is up to her to carry the baton. Can she do it? Critics say her radical policies will not hold up to scrutiny. But supporters say they are just the medicine the economy needs.

      Stein goes even further than Sanders on several key issues, and one of them is her economic platform. She has proposed a “Power to the People Plan” that guarantees basic economic human rights, including access to food, water, housing, and utilities; living-wage jobs for every American who needs to work; an improved “Medicare for All” single-payer public health insurance program; tuition-free public education through university level; and the abolition of student debt. She also supports the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall, separating depository banking from speculative investment banking; the breakup of megabanks into smaller banks; federal postal banks to service the unbanked and under-banked; and the formation of publicly-owned banks at the state and local level.

    • Ex-NSA Head: Others Would Be Detained Over Trump’s ’2nd Amendment’ Line
    • Donald Trump ‘hints that Hillary Clinton could be shot’ by gun rights supporters
    • Donald Trump seems to suggest ‘Second Amendment folks’ could assassinate Hillary Clinton if she becomes President
    • Trump’s remarks on gun rights, Clinton unleash torrent of criticism
    • Trump raises Second Amendment as option to block Clinton justices
    • Trump criticized for offhand gun rights slap at Clinton
    • Did Trump Just Suggest Gun Nuts Should Shoot Hillary Clinton?

      During a campaign rally in North Carolina on Tuesday, Republican presidential nominee casually suggested that “Second Amendment people” could take care of Hillary Clinton, which many interpreted as a thinly veiled indication that those concerned about their right to bear arms could actually shoot Clinton if they wanted.

    • Trump Makes Apparent Threat To Clinton’s Life. Would He Do The Same To Energy Protesters?
    • MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki Makes Absurd Defense of Donald Trump’s 2nd Amendment Remark

      After his remark that only “Second Amendment people” might be able to stop Hillary Clinton once she has made her picks for the Supreme Court, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump didn’t seem to have a friend in the world, not a single Republican, Democrat, or other homo sapien who failed to take the plain meaning of his quote, or who would entertain his campaign’s absurd attempts to spin the remark. Then, an MSNBC liberal tried to help him out.

    • Are Think Tanks as Independent as We Think?

      Are think tanks “blurring the line between researchers and lobbyists”? Eric Lipton and Brooke Williams of The New York Times certainly think so. In a long report published Sunday, Lipton and Williams come to the conclusion that some of the world’s most renowned think tanks “have frequently become vehicles for corporate influence and branding campaigns.”

    • Revolution at a Crossroad [Ed: Bad advice from Brad Blog: vote Clinton because “Not Trump”]
    • The Election From Hell

      Yep, it finally happened. In early May, after a long, long run, the elephants of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus were ushered into retirement in Florida where they will finish their days aiding cancer research. The Greatest Show on Earth was done with its pachyderms. The same might be said about the Republicans after Donald Trump’s version of a GOP convention. Many of them had also been sent, far less gracefully than those circus elephants, into a kind of enforced retirement (without even cancer research as an excuse). Their former party remained in the none-too-gentle hands of the eternally aggrieved Trump, while the Democrats were left to happily chant “USA! USA!,” march a barking retired four-star general and a former CIA director on stage to invoke the indispensable “greatness” of America, and otherwise exhibit the kind of super-patriotism and worship of the military usually associated with… no question about it… the GOP (whose delegates instead spent their time chanting “lock her up!”).

    • Hillary Clinton is raking in millions from GOP donors

      A surprising number of people who donated to former Republican primary candidates are jumping ship to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton rather than giving money to her rival, Donald Trump.

      Donors who contributed $200 or more to the campaigns of Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Chris Christie, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are overwhelmingly more likely to also have donated to Clinton than Trump, according to a New York Times report.

      In some cases, the disparity is pronounced. Of the 397 donors to Jeb Bush, who switched to another candidate, 303 of them donated to Clinton.

    • Survey of Our Readers: 41.7% for Hillary Clinton, 33.4% for Jill Stein, 13.4% Would Write-In Bernie

      Hillary Clinton has just an 8-point lead over Jill Stein in an Aug. 3-5 survey of Common Dreams’ US readers who are likely to vote in the November election. While the Democratic Party nominee is favored by 41.7 percent, support for the Green Party candidate sits at 33.4 percent. And, 13.4 percent would still write-in Bernie Sanders name.

      The survey also found that while over 80 percent of the 11,449 respondents were Bernie Sanders supporters during the primary, the majority of them are not yet ready to support Clinton in the general election. Only 40.7 percent say they are now planning to vote for Clinton; 32.2 percent for Stein; 16.6 percent will write-in Sanders and 8.1 percent are undecided.

    • 5 Ways To Make Sure Trump Loses

      Still feeling giddy about all the bad news surrounding Trump this week? Here’s another bucket of cold water: Trump can actually lose Florida, Virginia, Colorado and New Mexico — and STILL WIN! All he has to do is carry the rust belt “Brexit States” of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Hillary lost three of these four in the primaries. Nothing can be taken for granted. Once more: This is all about who shows up November 8th — not who’s ahead in the popularity polls right now. On the morning of the Michigan Primary, Hillary was ahead of Bernie in a WJBK/TV2-Detroit poll by 22 points. Twelve hours later, she lost. Leave your bubble now!

    • G.O.P. “Never Trumpers” Get Their Spoiler Candidate: An Ex-Goldman Banker and Former CIA Spook

      A former congressional wonk, covert CIA agent and Goldman Sachs investment banker has emerged as an eleventh hour Republican challenger to Donald Trump.

      Evan McMullin announced Monday that he would run as an independent conservative candidate for President. Until revealing his campaign, he was a senior policy staffer for House Republicans.

      A virtually-unknown figure that has already missed his chance to even vie for an electoral college majority, McMullin, at this point, can only play the role of a spoiler. He appears intent on it.

      “Republicans are deeply divided by a man who is perilously close to gaining the most powerful position in the world, and many rightly see him as a real threat to our Republic,” he said in a statement on a newly-established campaign website.

      McMullin could impact the race in a few improbable swing states. Reliably-Republican states that have either come into play for Hillary Clinton or show signs of being within reach for her this November include: Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi and Utah. Of the four, the deadline for independent candidates to apply to get on the ballot has only passed in Georgia.

    • The Movement and Elections: It’s What We Do That Matters

      Participatory democracy is the key to the revival and reconstruction of representative democracy.

    • Is Debbie Wasserman Schultz ‘Dodging Debates’ With Progressive Challenger?

      On the same day he filed a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint against former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, congressional candidate Tim Canova questioned whether the incumbent congresswoman indeed plans to debate him as promised before the August 30 Democratic primary.

      Six-term U.S. Rep. Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said last week she would debate her progressive challenger, a law professor who is backed by Sen. Bernie Sanders and—as of Monday—the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Privacy Scandal Haunts Pokemon Go’s CEO

      Before Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke was the man behind an unfathomably popular smartphone goldmine, he ran Google’s Geo division, responsible for nearly everything locational at a time when the search company was turning into much more, expanding away from cataloging the web and towards cataloging every city block on the planet. Hanke landed at Google after his wildly popular (and admittedly very neat) CIA-funded company Keyhole, which collected geographic imagery, was acquired in 2004 and relaunched as Google Earth in 2005. By 2007, Hanke was running basically everything at Google that involved a map. In a 2007 Wired profile, (“Google Maps Is Changing the Way We See the World”) Hanke was lauded as a pioneer (“Led by John Hanke, Google Earth and Google Maps are delivering cartography tools to the masses”) and deified, appearing in photo with an enormous globe across his shoulders.


      Hanke, through a spokesperson, denied any knowledge of the Wi-Fi collection at the time it was happening, pinning blame on Google’s mobile division. But a unit within his division, not mobile, was the focus of the largest investigation into the matter by U.S. regulators, and it was his division whose vehicles did the actual collection. The way Wi-Fi traffic was intercepted under Hanke’s nose should alarm people who use, or whose children use, Pokemon Go.

    • Encryption and privacy: La Quadrature du Net Welcomes the Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor

      In its opinion on the draft revision to the ePrivacy directive, published on 25 July 2016, the EDPS (European Data Protection Supervisor) took a stand for stronger regulation in favour of privacy. La Quadrature du Net approves the main propositions of this opinion and encourages European legislators to follow them.

    • Census website attacked by hackers, ABS claims

      But the government has contradicted the country’s chief statistician with a semantic denial that the census was neither “hacked” or “attacked”.

      The privacy commissioner is investigating the ABS over the reported cyber attacks that forced the Bureau to close down its site on census night on Tuesday.

    • Why online privacy matters — and how to protect yours

      Christopher Soghoian of the ACLU talks privacy, security and why you should put a sticker on your webcam right now, in conversation with investigative journalist Will Potter.

      As the principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union, Christopher Soghoian (TED talk: How to avoid surveillance … with the phone in your pocket) spends much of his time thinking about privacy and surveillance and how individuals can protect themselves from spying. Recently, he recorded a Facebook Live conversation with his fellow TED Fellow, Will Potter (TED Talk: The secret US prisons you’ve never heard of before), a reporter and author who specializes in covering dissident politics and culture and whose first question to Christopher was: If I don’t have anything to hide, why should I be concerned about privacy or security, anyway? With that, they were off.

      Christopher Soghoian: I hear this all the time from people, and you know, I think many of us do have something to hide. We may not all be worried about the government, but there are things we may not want our employers or members of our families to know. We have curtains in front of our windows, we wear clothes, we get prescription medications, and we have components to our lives that we don’t reveal to everyone we know. Children may not be worried about the government, but they may not want the principal at their school to know what they’re interested in or who they’re talking to.

    • Why It Matters That Facebook Is Taking on Ad Blockers [iophk: "malware not mentioned"]

      Facebook has a message for the roughly 200 million people who use ad-blocking software around the world: Your plugin’s no good here.

    • Facebook Will Force Advertising on Ad-Blocking Users [iophk: "needs those back doors delivered in-browser"]

      Facebook is going to start forcing ads to appear for all users of its desktop website, even if they use ad-blocking software.

      The social network said on Tuesday that it will change the way advertising is loaded into its desktop website to make its ad units considerably more difficult for ad blockers to detect.

      “Facebook is ad-supported. Ads are a part of the Facebook experience; they’re not a tack on,” said Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, vice president of Facebook’s ads and business platform.

      User adoption of ad-blocking software has grown rapidly in recent years, particularly outside of the U.S. According to estimates by online advertising trade body the Interactive Advertising Bureau, 26% of U.S. internet users now use ad blockers on their desktop devices. Facebook declined to comment when asked on what portion of its desktop users have ad-blocking software installed.

    • EFF Announces 2016 Pioneer Award Winners: Malkia Cyril of the Center for Media Justice, Data Protection Activist Max Schrems, the Authors of ‘Keys Under Doormats,’ and the Lawmakers Behind CalECPA

      Max Schrems is a data protection activist, lawyer, and author whose lawsuits over U.S. companies’ handling of European Union citizens’ personal information have changed the face of international data privacy. Since 2011 he has worked on the enforcement of EU data protection law, arguing that untargeted wholesale spying by the U.S. government on Internet communications undermines the EU’s strict data protection standards. One lawsuit that reached the European Court of Justice led to the invalidation of the “Safe Harbor” agreement between the U.S. and the EU, forcing governments around the world to grapple with the conflict between U.S. government surveillance practices and the privacy rights of citizens around the world. Another legal challenge is a class action lawsuit with more than 25,000 members currently pending at the Austrian Supreme Court. Schrems is also the founder of “Europe v Facebook,” a group that pushes for social media privacy reform at Facebook and other companies, calling for data collection minimization, opt-in policies instead of opt-outs, and transparency in data collection.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Julian Assange files appeal on UN ruling

      WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange has filed an appeal in a Swedish court over the ruling by a United Nations working group that his confinement inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London amounted to arbitrary detention.

      The UN panel called on the Swedish and British authorities earlier this year to end the Australian’s “deprivation of liberty”, respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement, and afford him the right to compensation.

      In May, a Stockholm district court upheld an arrest warrant against Assange, who is wanted for questioning in Sweden over a sex allegation, which he denies.

    • Handcuffed While Dying: Police Killing of Black Teenager Paul O’Neal Sparks Protests in Chicago
    • Chicago Police Officers Allegedly Caught High-Fiving After ‘Execution’ of Paul O’Neal

      Chicago police officers were caught double-checking to make sure their body cameras were off and reportedly giving each other “high-fives” after the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Paul O’Neal in video released Friday by Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority, reports CBS Chicago’s Charlie De Mar.

      As previously reported by The Root, O’Neal was shot and killed by Chicago police officers July 28 after allegedly crashing a stolen Jaguar into two police officers and then attempting to flee. Officers pursued O’Neal, shooting at him at least “five times,” according to a police officer. That turned out to be a severe underestimate. The video proved that at least 15 shots were fired.

      The police officer who fired the shots allegedly believed that he had no choice but to shoot O’Neal, shouting at him on the video, “Get down! Hands behind your back! You shot at us, motherf–ker!” Other officers on the scene were not so sure, asking whether the teen really opened fire on them.

      It was later proved that O’Neal was unarmed.

    • Court: Feds must get warrant to search e-mail, even if cops find child porn

      A federal appeals court in Denver has ruled that e-mailed images obtained by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children constituted a warrantless search and therefore must be suppressed as part of a child pornography case.

      The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last Friday in favor of a Kansas man who sent an e-mail in April 2013 with four attachments that included suspected child porn via his AOL account. AOL immediately flagged the message via its hash value matching algorithm, believing one of the attached images was suspect, and sent them all on to NCMEC. (Providers have a “duty to report” to the NCMEC if their users access, transmit, or store child pornography.) The agency then opened his message and confirmed that Walter Ackerman had indeed attempted to transmit not just one, but four illegal images.

      The following month, a Homeland Security Investigations special agent got the tip through the NCMEC system, and he sought and received a warrant to search Ackerman’s home in Lebanon, Kansas. Under questioning, Ackerman admitted to distributing child pornography via e-mail. Months later, Ackerman was formally indicted on two counts of child pornography. His lawyers filed a motion to suppress in February 2014, arguing that his e-mail was searched illegally. Ackerman eventually accepted a plea deal in September 2014. Although he was sentenced to 170 months in prison, he was kept out of custody pending an appeal on the Fourth Amendment question.

    • Court Says Child Porn Clearinghouse Acts As A Government Entity, Cannot Perform ‘Private Searches’

      A recent decision by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reaches two conclusions: one obvious, and one not quite so obvious.

      The defendant, Walter Ackerman, appealed the district court’s denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained through a warrantless search of his email. Unsurprisingly, the court finds [PDF] that the content of his emails are subject to Fourth Amendment protections. More surprisingly (and apparently to the government’s complete surprise), it finds a private entity to be a government entity — one unable to perform “private searches.” (via FourthAmendment.com)

      First, some background. Ackerman’s AOL email account was flagged by the service provider when messages containing hashes known to be related to child porn images were discovered. AOL turned over the flagged email to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) as it is required to do by federal statute. NCMEC is the clearinghouse for any suspected child porn discovered by ISPs and works directly with law enforcement to locate suspects.

    • Sanders Condemns Efforts to Remove Brazil’s Democratically Elected President

      U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday issued the following statement calling on the United States to take a definitive stand against efforts to remove Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff from office:

      “I am deeply concerned by the current effort to remove Brazil’s democratically elected president, Dilma Rousseff. To many Brazilians and observers the controversial impeachment process more closely resembles a coup d’état.

      “After suspending Brazil’s first female president on dubious grounds, without a mandate to govern, the new interim government abolished the ministry of women, racial equality and human rights. They immediately replaced a diverse and representative administration with a cabinet made up entirely of white men. The new, unelected administration quickly announced plans to impose austerity, increase privatization and install a far right-wing social agenda.

    • Bernie Sanders Calls on U.S. to Stand Against Brazilian Attempt to Oust President Dilma Rousseff
    • Behind the Rio games lies a calamity on an olympic scale

      As the Olympics gets underway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilians and foreigners alike will almost certainly have a great time. Despite the delays, the protests and the Zica virus (now apparently under control), there is a lot going for these Olympics: no other people in the world are as good as the Brazilians at organising spontaneous street parties; the weather is warm but not sweltering; and Rio de Janeiro is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

      But this should not mask the disturbing political changes that are happening in Brazil at this very moment.

      At a press conference in Rio on Thursday (4 August) leaders from Brazil’s three leading fronts, representing the main social movements, expressed their profound apprehension.

      Edson Carneiro, a leader from Intersindical, a radical trade union body, said: “There are 10,000 journalists in the city and we must get our message across to them – that there is a coup underway. Information isn’t getting out, as all the powerful media groups in Brazil support it. We must break through the information blockade.”

      He is referring to the current process to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, from the Workers’ Party, the PT. The proceedings are already advanced and are expected to start drawing to an end on 26 August, just after the Olympics have ended (but before the Paralympics), when Senate is due to begin voting.

    • Bernie Sanders Denounces Brazil’s Impeachment as Undemocratic, Calls for New Elections

      Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders yesterday denounced in harsh terms the impeachment of Brazil’s democratically elected president. As the Brazilian Senate heads toward a final vote later this month, Sanders described his position, set forth in a statement posted on his Senate site, as “calling on the United States to take a definitive stand against efforts to remove Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff from office.” He added: “To many Brazilians and observers the controversial impeachment process more closely resembles a coup d’état.”

    • Brazilians Can Protest Against Temer Inside Olympic Venues, Court Rules

      A federal judge in Rio de Janeiro issued an injunction late Tuesday night barring the police from ejecting spectators from Olympic venues simply for protesting against Brazil’s unpopular interim president, Michel Temer, by wearing T-shirts, waving signs or chanting slogans against him.

    • ‘Travesty of Democracy’ as Canada’s Closed Borders Mar Opening of World Social Forum

      This year’s World Social Forum (WSF), which is being held in Montreal this week, is off to a rocky start as hundreds of international activists were denied entry due to Canada’s restrictive visa policies.

      Aminata Traoré, who is one of the candidates to replace United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, was among those barred from attending. Traoré, an anti-globalization activist and a former minister of tourism and culture in Mali, called Canada’s closed-border policy a “dreadful lesson in democracy.”

      This year marks the first time the annual summit, which aims to bring together civil society, organizations, and social movements who want to build a sustainable and inclusive world, is being held in North America and in a G7 nation.

    • Tuesday: En Garde

      Another example of crappy coverage comes from BBC — can’t imagine why the UK became so white nationalist, can you? Let’s not note the countries or the individual competitors, let’s point out their attire and hint at religious and political positions at the same time. What garbage.

    • FBI Agent Goaded Garland Shooter to “Tear Up Texas,” Raising New Alarms About Bureau’s Methods

      The revelation that an undercover FBI agent encouraged a would-be terrorist to “Tear up Texas” shortly before he opened fire on a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, last year raises new concerns about FBI counterterrorism efforts that were already under fire for manufacturing terrorism cases rather than halting them.

      According to an affidavit filed in a related case last week, Elton Simpson — one of two men who donned body armor and fired assault weapons before being shot dead by a Garland police officer — had been corresponding with an undercover FBI agent. And in a text message roughly a week before the attack, as they discussed the cartoon contest, the agent had exhorted Simpson to “Tear up Texas.”

    • Fighting For the People Six Feet Under

      FYI, this is still happening: Chicago police have released video of their latest atrocity, wherein a swarm of panicked cops chased and wildly fired at a stolen vehicle before shooting in the back and killing its fleeing driver Paul O’Neal, who was black, 18 and unarmed. O’Neal was killed July 28 after allegedly crashing a stolen Jaguar into two officers and running away on foot. The video, including dash-cam and body-camera footage, was released by Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority. It shows a chaotic scene: Cursing officers randomly shooting at a distant car down the street where other cops stand, thus putting them in harm’s way and violating policy; over 15 shots fired though officers said it was about five; cops lumbering after the suspect with guns drawn and no idea where he is. The cop who took the fatal shot is alternately belligerent and confused, handcuffing and shouting at the bleeding O’Neal already lying on the ground, “Get down! Hands behind your back! You shot at us, motherf–ker!” even as other cops suggest actually he didn’t; the shooter cop worries, “Fuck, I’m going to be on desk duty now” and “I’m going to be fucking crucified, bro,” while one of his brothers in blue reassures him, “Relax, he was in a hot car. Nothing to worry about.” Because, duh, the punishment for stealing a car is death.

    • ‘What the Hell Is Going on in Ferguson?!’ How #MikeMike Changed Our World

      It’s hard to believe it’s been one year since then-Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson’s bullets plowed through the body of 19-year-old Michael Brown Jr.

      One year since the teen’s slain body was left lying in the middle of Canfield Drive in the sweltering heat for four hours, his warm blood trickling down the pavement, the responding rage exploding in the air.

    • Vowing to Fight On, Activists Honor Legacy of Ferguson’s Mike Brown
    • The Post-Convention Crash: Cleveland Gets Back to Work on Policing and Race Relations

      Three weeks after the Republican National Convention, Cleveland officials and residents are back to work on a task more daunting than hosting that event: reforming the city’s troubled police department.

      When delegates and visitors left Cleveland last month, city officials sighed in relief. The massive street protests many had predicted failed to materialize, and the military equipment the city had acquired was left untouched. In total, 24 people were arrested — too many, according to both Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams and legal observers — but significantly fewer than everyone expected.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Ad board to Comcast: Stop claiming you have the “fastest Internet”

      Comcast should discontinue its claim that Xfinity service “delivers the fastest Internet in America,” the National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended today. Comcast should also discontinue certain ads where it claims to have the “fastest in-home Wi-Fi,” the group said.

      For its fastest Internet claim, Comcast relied on crowdsourced data from the Ookla Speedtest application. An “award” provided by Ookla to Comcast relied only on the top 10 percent of each ISP’s download results.

      “Although Xfinity offers a variety of speeds at a range of prices and tiers, Comcast’s advertising does not limit its claims to a particular tier,” the NAD’s announcement said. “NAD determined that the claims at issue in both print and broadcast advertising reasonably conveyed a message of overall superiority—that regardless of which speed tier purchased by a consumer, in a head-to-head comparison, Xfinity would deliver faster speeds.”

    • Why I’m finally leaving cable TV

      I’m a millennial and I still pay for cable. I feel like I should apologize.

      Cable isn’t cheap — plenty of beat reporters have explained as much, including The Verge’s own — but it is easy. With cable, I can watch whatever I’d like when it airs, on-demand, or recorded onto DVR. All of my favorite shows are in one place, not spread across a handful of apps. Cable never buffers.

      For years I figured that when I scrapped my cable plan, it would be because an even easier option appeared. But this week, I’ve considered finally cutting the cord for a different reason: subscriptions services better respect my time.

    • AT&T Fined For Turning A Blind Eye As Drug Dealers Ripped Off Its Customers

      While Comcast gets the lion’s share of the public’s loathing, there’s an argument to be made for AT&T actually being a worse company. Think Comcast, but with slower broadband speeds, more dubious executive ethics, and an even greater disdain for its paying customers. In just the last few years AT&T has been: fined $18.6 million for helping rip off programs for the hearing impaired; fined $10.4 million for ripping off a program for low-income families; and fined $105 million for helping “crammers” by intentionally making such bogus charges more difficult to see on customer bills.

      In every instance AT&T was either busy ripping off customers directly, or turning a blind eye to fraud aimed directly at AT&T customers — because in most instances AT&T got a cut of the profits.

    • Building Large-Scale Mesh Networks Using Ubiquitous Software-Defined Radios

      A couple of years ago, we noted that one lesson from Snowden’s leaks was that the NSA and GCHQ were listening in to all the major pipes and nodes that go to make up the Internet. Mesh networks seemed one way to make things harder for the snoopers, but they have been slow to develop on a scale large enough to make a difference. A fascinating article on the Wireless Week site offers tantalizing glimpses of a new generation of wireless technologies that could make meshes easy to set up and hard to monitor.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Donald Trump On Intellectual Property: China Is Bad

      As you may have heard, in an effort to refocus his Presidential campaign, this week, Donald Trump erased his original economic plan (literally, it just disappeared from his website) and launched a brand new plan with a speech in Detroit. The speech came across as a mishmash of semi-random ideas, pulled from whatever that crazy list of folks he’s calling his advisors are these days. However, for the folks around here, what may be interesting is that this is really the first time I can recall Trump even mentioning intellectual property, and his entire summary of it is basically “China bad, we need more protection.”

    • Copyrights

      • Kickass Torrents Asks Justice Department To Drop Case

        Last month, we looked at the criminal complaint against the alleged operator of the torrent search engine Kickass Torrents (KAT) and raised a number of questions about the complaint. We noted that it appeared that the alleged operator, Arten Vaulin, was getting the “Megaupload treatment,” as there were a number of similarities between the two cases and the legal leaps of logic employed by the Justice Department in making their case. Thus, it was little surprise that Ira Rothken, who has managed the legal efforts for Kim Dotcom/Megaupload, has now signed on to represent Vaulin as well. His first move, last week, was to send the DOJ a letter, asking it to drop the case. While I would imagine that the request resulted in some hearty laughter among DOJ lawyers, it does lay out some of the key arguments that Vaulin will likely make as the case moves forward.

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