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08.11.16

Links 11/8/2016: New Chromebooks, Features in Linux 4.8

Posted in News Roundup at 6:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Won. So, Now What?

    The government is now a little more open. This week, the White House released its first official federal source code policy, detailing a pilot program that requires government agencies to release 20 percent of any new code they commission as open source software, meaning the code will be available for anyone to examine, modify, and reuse in their own projects. The government agencies will also share more code with each other, essentially adopting open source practices within their own governmental universe.

    It’s the latest in a long line of high-profile victories for the open source movement. As recently as a decade ago, the worlds of both government and business worried that using open source software would open them up to bugs, security holes, and countless lawsuits. But despite these early fears, open source came to dominate the digital landscape. Today, practically every major piece of technology you interact with on a day-to-day basis—from the web to your phone to your car—was built using at least some form of freely available code.

  • Professional media production with Linux and free, open source software

    Building a professional media production toolkit on Linux is a viable course of action whether you want to create digital or physical products. More importantly, there are a number of excellent project management and team collaboration tools available to keep your production organized and on track. Are you using Linux and FOSS applications for professional media production? We’d love to hear about your projects: info@dototot.com

  • Call Public Blockchain Developers What They Are: Open Source Coders Not Fiduciaries

    Angela Walch, Associate Professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law, has written a thought-provoking editorial where she argues that developers are in a position of trust, therefore, they must be burdened with responsibilities – including, perhaps, outright licensing requirements to ensure a certain standard.

    Although the professor has many good points, the open source system is designed in such a way as to adequately minimize any negligence or oversight to a point where one can say that users do not need to trust any one developer, but all developers which can include anyone who can code.

  • How open source platform Ghost solves security and productivity for bloggers

    Finding a blogging platform that suits your needs can be a difficult endeavor. The incumbent favorite, WordPress, is a frequent victim of hacks, either from the core WordPress code itself, or due to insecure plugins. Hosted options such as Blogger are problematic, due to incidents of blogs being unilaterally deleted without recourse.

    Ghost, a blog platform that leverages node.js and ember.js, is not just a more secure option, but one that eases the process of composition by offering a more tightly focused product.

  • How FOSS Influences All Aspects of Our Culture

    In this fascinating interview, UNC’s professor Paul Jones explains that the concept of “free and open source” was a part of our culture long before there were computers, or even electronic technology, and that it’s actually a rich part of our heritage. As for FOSS, he makes the case that it’s now an ingrained part of the digital infrastructure.

  • Braving the new data frontier: How to create a strategic open source contribution

    Open source has changed the way we process, stream and analyze data while helping tech giants and startups alike solve massive computing issues. However, integrating open source into a business strategy can be a challenge—both for organizations looking to contribute to the ecosystem and those hoping to reap the benefit from open source products and services. Only with the right strategies can enterprises execute a rewarding long-term open source plan.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Hortonworks DataFlow Leverages Open Apache Tools for Streaming Analytics

      Hortonworks, which focuses on the open source Big Data platform Hadoop, has steadily been shifting gears in response to the trend toward streaming data analytics. And now, the company has announced the next generation of Hortonworks DataFlow (HDF) version 2.0 for enterprise productivity and streaming analytics.

      “HDF is an integrated system for dataflow management and streaming analytics to quickly collect, curate, analyze and deliver insights in real-time, on-premises or in the cloud,” the compay reports. “With HDF, customers get an easy to use and enterprise ready platform to manage data in motion anywhere and in any environment.”

      DataFlow wraps in several cutting-edge open source technologies from Apache. It has new graphical user experience and integration of Apache NiFi, Apache Kafka and Apache Storm into Apache Ambari for accelerated deployment and real-time operations.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Inside How Microsoft Views Open Source [Ed: So that how it works. Microsoft pays the Linux Foundation and now the Linux Foundation needs to print Microsoft propaganda. Sadly, Linux OEMs that Microsoft is now paying have to play along with Big Lies like “Microsoft Loves Linux”. Money talks? Screams? It’s also a well established fact that Microsoft demands speaking positions in FOSS/Linux events that it ‘sponsors’. “I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?” -Microsoft's chief evangelist]

      Editor’s Note: This article is paid for by Microsoft as a Diamond-level sponsor of LinuxCon North America, to be held Aug. 22-24, 2016, and was written by Linux.com.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Tools Cauldron

      We are pleased to announce another gathering of GNU tools developers. The basic format of this meeting will be similar to the previous meetings. However this year the meeting will be immediately preceded by the first ever LLVM Cauldron.

      The purpose of this workshop is to gather all GNU tools developers, discuss current/future work, coordinate efforts, exchange reports on ongoing efforts, discuss development plans for the next 12 months, developer tutorials and any other related discussions.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing/Legal

    • GPL enforcement action in Hellwig v. VMware dismissed, with an appeal expected

      A decision in the GPL enforcement case in Germany between Christoph Hellwig (supported by the Software Freedom Conservancy) and VMware recently became public. The court dismissed the case after concluding that Hellwig failed to identify in the VMware product the specific lines of code for which he owned copyright. The GPL interpretation question was not addressed. Hellwig has indicated that he will appeal the court’s decision.

  • Programming/Development

    • Indian Government To Launch Its Own Open Source Collaboration Platform Like GitHub

      In a step that will boost open source adoption in India in a big manner, the Indian government plans to launch its own open source collaboration platform. Just like GitHub and SourceForge, people would be able to visit this platform and share their code with others. The government also plans to use it for open sourcing the code of software used in its offices.

    • Government to launch India’s own open source collaboration platform

      Months after rolling out a policy to support open source software development, the Indian government is now all set to launch its own collaboration platform for hosting open source projects. The new move is apparently aimed to encourage software developers and various government bodies to let them start sharing codes of their major projects under one roof.

      The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) released a policy related to the adoption of open source software in April 2015. Called “Collaborative Application Development by Opening the Source Code of Government Applications”, the policy is targeted to provide a comprehensive framework for archiving government source code in repositories. The framework is primarily designed to open software repositories to enable reuse, sharing and remixing of new and existing codes.

      “While the policy is in place, it needs to be supported by appropriate technology infrastructure to create and grow a thriving open source community around Indian e-governance,” a source told Open Source For You, suggesting the launch of the open source platform.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • ‘Politics Above Science’: Obama Administration Keeps Marijuana Restrictions

      The Obama administration has rejected efforts to reschedule marijuana to a less restrictive drug category, keeping it classified as a Schedule 1 substance—illegal for any purpose.

      That means states that allow marijuana for medical or recreational use will remain in violation of federal law.

      The decision, announced by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Thursday, follows efforts by lawmakers and activists to reschedule marijuana to a category in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) that would loosen restrictions on its use. In a letter to the petitioners—Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, and New Mexico nurse practitioner Bryan Krumm—DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg wrote, “Simply put, evaluating the safety and effectiveness of drugs is a highly specialized endeavor.”

    • Why the DEA just said ‘no’ to loosening marijuana restrictions

      For the fourth consecutive time, the Drug Enforcement Administration has denied a petition to lessen federal restrictions on the use of marijuana.

      While recreational marijuana use is legal in four states and D.C., and medical applications of the drug have been approved in many more, under federal law, it remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which means it’s considered to have “no currently accepted medical use” and a “high potential for abuse.”

      The gap between permissive state laws and a restrictive federal policy has become increasingly untenable in the minds of many doctors, patients, researchers, business owners and legislators.

    • Farmer Forced By USDA Board To Dump Cherry Crop On Ground

      Uncle Sam is forcing American farmers to dump thousands of pounds of the nation’s tart cherry crop on the ground this year, and one particular farmer wants everyone to know about it.

      The Michigan farmer, Marc Santucci, posted a picture to Facebook July 26 showing thousands of cherries on the ground, hours from rotting, because of an order from a board that is overseen by the US Department of Agriculture. He said he was forced to dump 14 percent of his crop, and other farmers as much as 30 percent.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Police hunting drone operator after ‘near miss’ with plane at Newquay Airport with 62 people on board
    • Here’s why Amazon’s drone delivery idea isn’t a gimmick [Ed: creepy stuff, can hijack and fly them into planes]

      It is n0t just secretive, the way Apple is, but in a deeper sense, Jeff Bezos’ ecommerce and cloud-storage giant is opaque. Amazon rarely explains either its near-term tactical aims or its long-term strategic vision. It values surprise. To understand Amazon, then, is necessarily to engage in a kind of Kremlinology. That is especially true of the story behind one of its most important business areas: the logistics by which it ships orders to its customers.

    • Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart

      This is a story unlike any we have previously published. It is much longer than the typical New York Times Magazine feature story; in print, it occupies an entire issue. The product of some 18 months of reporting, it tells the story of the catastrophe that has fractured the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq 13 years ago, leading to the rise of ISIS and the global refugee crisis. The geography of this catastrophe is broad and its causes are many, but its consequences — war and uncertainty throughout the world — are familiar to us all. Scott Anderson’s story gives the reader a visceral sense of how it all unfolded, through the eyes of six characters in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan. Accompanying Anderson’s text are 10 portfolios by the photographer Paolo Pellegrin, drawn from his extensive travels across the region over the last 14 years, as well as a landmark virtual-reality experience that embeds the viewer with the Iraqi fighting forces during the battle to retake Falluja.

      It is unprecedented for us to focus so much energy and attention on a single story, and to ask our readers to do the same. We would not do so were we not convinced that what follows is one of the most clear-eyed, powerful and human explanations of what has gone wrong in this region that you will ever read.

    • How Media Distorted Syrian Ceasefire’s Breakdown

      Coverage of the breakdown of the partial ceasefire in Syria illustrated the main way corporate news media distort public understanding of a major foreign policy story. The problem is not that the key events in the story are entirely unreported, but that they were downplayed and quickly forgotten in the media’s embrace of themes with which they were more comfortable.

      In this case, the one key event was the major offensive launched in early April by Al Nusra Front—the Al Qaeda franchise in Syria—alongside US-backed armed opposition groups. This offensive was mentioned in at least two “quality” US newspapers. Their readers, however, would not have read that it was that offensive that broke the back of the partial ceasefire. On the contrary, they would have gotten the clear impression from following the major newspapers’ coverage that systematic violations by the Assad government doomed the ceasefire from the beginning.

      [...]

      But the relationship between the CIA-backed armed opposition to Assad and the jihadist Nusra Front was an issue that major US newspapers had already found very difficult to cover (FAIR.org, 3/21/16). US Syria policy has been dependent on the military potential of the Nusra Front (and its close ally, Ahrar al Sham) for leverage on the Syrian regime, since the “moderate” opposition was unable to operate in northwest Syria without jihadist support. This central element in US Syria policy, which both the government and the media were unwilling to acknowledge, was a central obstacle to accurate coverage of what happened to the Syrian ceasefire.

      This problem began shaping the story as soon as the ceasefire agreement was announced. On February 23, New York Times correspondent Neil MacFarquhar wrote a news analysis on the wider tensions between the Obama administration and Russia that pointed to “a gaping loophole” in the Syria ceasefire agreement: the fact that “it permits attacks against the Islamic State and the Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda affiliate, to continue.”

      MacFarquhar asserted that exempting Nusra from the ceasefire “could work in Moscow’s favor, since many of the anti-Assad groups aligned with the United States fight alongside the Nusra Front.” That meant that Russia could “continue to strike United States-backed rebel groups without fear…of Washington’s doing anything to stop them,” he wrote.

      [...]

      The lesson of the Syrian ceasefire episode is clear: The most influential news media have virtually complete freedom to shape the narrative surrounding a given issue simply by erasing inconvenient facts from the storyline. They can do that even when the events or facts have been reported by one or more of those very news media. In the world of personal access and power inhabited by those who determine what will be published and what won’t, even the most obviously central facts are disposable in the service of a narrative that maintains necessary relationships.

    • ‘Extremist & absurd’: Lawmakers blast ex-CIA official’s call to ‘covertly’ kill Russians

      Several Russian lawmakers have expressed extreme indignation over the statements by former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell, who proposed in a TV interview that US agents should “covertly” kill Russians and Iranians in Syria.

      Deputy head of the State Duma Security Committee Dmitry Gorovtsov told RIA Novosti that Morel’s words could be described as extremism. “In essence, this is akin to Nazi ideology. Retired officials who allow such statements should be brought to court,” the Russian lawmaker said.

      “Instead of trying to establish cooperation with our country and fight terrorism, Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISL] and other banned groups, the American hawks make statements that pursue only one goal – to aggravate the international situation and to worsen the mutual relations between Russia and the United States.,” Gorovtsov noted

    • ‘Sage’ Advice That’s Nuttier Than Trump

      An intelligence professional, regardless of his or her personal political views, has a responsibility to tell the truth and offer unvarnished, bias-free analysis. By this standard Morell is an utter disgrace. My wrath is not just inspired by his reckless and vapid recent comments on the Charlie Rose Show. Even before this latest debacle, Morell demonstrated in his actions to help Hillary Clinton lie about Benghazi that he would shade the truth and hide the facts in service of a politician whose ass he desperately wanted to kiss.

      During a Tuesday night appearance on Charlie Rose, Morell said the following: “What they need is to have the Russians and Iranians pay a little price. … 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 . . . .[and] you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.”

    • Donald Trump, the Nuclear Arsenal, and Insanity
    • ‘High Alert’: Ukraine and Russia Building Up Military at Crimean Border

      Both Ukraine and Russia are escalating military activity along the Crimean border, as tensions between the two nations—largely stoked by the West—mount once again.

      On Thursday, a Ukrainian spokesman said that in recent days, there has been “a strengthening of the [Russian] units that are at the border.”

      Meanwhile, in response to Russian claims that the Ukrainian government was plotting terrorist attacks inside Crimea, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday ordered “all military units near Crimea and the eastern Ukrainian Donbas region to be at the highest level of combat readiness,” RT reports.

    • The Olympics Are Back and Tensions Between Russia and Ukraine Are Heating Up

      On August 8, 2008, shortly after the opening ceremonies for the Beijing Summer Olympics, Russia and Georgia kicked off a five-day war. More than five years later, following the conclusion of the Sochi Winter Olympics and ouster of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in late February 2014, soldiers without insignia — later confirmed to be Russian special forces — appeared in Crimea, sparking a chain of events that ended with Moscow annexing the peninsula from Ukraine less than a month later.

      Now, with the Rio Summer Games in full swing, tensions on Russia’s periphery are once again rising — this time with Kiev, along Crimea’s de-facto border with Ukraine.

    • Putin Accuses Ukraine of Terrorist Tactics in Crimea

      Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Ukraine was using terrorist tactics instead of trying to work towards peace in the region Wednesday following an announcement from Russia’s security agency that they had thwarted Ukrainian attacks in Crimea.

    • What Really Led to the Killing of Osama bin Laden?

      It’s been four years since a group of US Navy SEALS assassinated Osama bin Laden in a night raid on a high-walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The killing was the high point of Obama’s first term, and a major factor in his re-election. The White House still maintains that the mission was an all-American affair, and that the senior generals of Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) were not told of the raid in advance. This is false, as are many other elements of the Obama administration’s account. The White House’s story might have been written by Lewis Carroll: would bin Laden, target of a massive international manhunt, really decide that a resort town forty miles from Islamabad would be the safest place to live and command al-Qaida’s operations? He was hiding in the open. So America said.

    • Military Dissent Is Not an Oxymoron: Freeing Democracy from Perpetual War

      The United States is now engaged in perpetual war with victory nowhere in sight. Iraq is chaotic and scarred. So, too, is Libya. Syria barely exists. After 15 years, “progress” in Afghanistan has proven eminently reversible as efforts to rollback recent Taliban gains continue to falter. The Islamic State may be fracturing, but its various franchises are finding new and horrifying ways to replicate themselves and lash out. Having spent trillions of dollars on war with such sorry results, it’s a wonder that key figures in the U.S. military or officials in any other part of America’s colossal national security state and the military-industrial complex (“the Complex” for short) haven’t spoken out forcefully and critically about the disasters on their watch.

      Yet they have remained remarkably mum when it comes to the obvious. Such a blanket silence can’t simply be attributed to the war-loving nature of the U.S. military. Sure, its warriors and warfighters always define themselves as battle-ready, but the troops themselves don’t pick the fights. Nor is it simply attributable to the Complex’s love of power and profit, though its members are hardly eager to push back against government decisions that feed the bottom line. To understand the silence of the military in particular in the face of a visible crisis of war-making, you shouldn’t assume that, from private to general, its members don’t have complicated, often highly critical feelings about what’s going on. The real question is: Why they don’t ever express them publicly?

      To understand that silence means grasping all the intertwined personal, emotional, and institutional reasons why few in the military or the rest of the national security state ever speak out critically on policies that may disturb them and with which they may privately disagree. I should know, because like so many others I learned to silence my doubts during my career in the military.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Climate science: revolution is here

      A host of innovations in energy technology is transforming the climate-change outlook – one of the world’s three required paradigm shifts.

    • ExxonMobil Takes The Olympic Gold In Deceitful Advertising

      ExxonMobil wants you to know that it has a long “to-do” list.

      In an ad it debuted during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics on Friday night, the world’s largest oil company presented itself as nothing more than a merry band of do-gooders who were “mapping the oceans,” “turning algae into biofuel,” and “defeating malaria.”

      “And you thought we just made the gas,” joked a woman at the end, giving us a knowing smile.

    • A 400-year-old shark? Greenland shark could be Earth’s longest-lived vertebrate

      In the frigid waters of the sub-Arctic ocean lurks a mysterious and slow-moving beast known as the Greenland shark. It’s a massive animal that can grow up to 20 feet in length. Now, new research suggests it may have a massive lifespan as well.

      According to a paper published Thursday in Science, the Greenland shark could live for well over 250 years, making it the longest-living known vertebrate on Earth.

      “I am 95% certain that the oldest of these sharks is between 272 and 512 years old,” said lead author Julius Nielsen, a marine biologist at the University of Copenhagen. “That’s a big range, but even the age estimate of at least 272 years makes it the oldest vertebrate animal in the world.”

    • 272-Year-Old Shark Is Longest-Lived Vertebrate on Earth

      It’s no fish tale: The Greenland shark is the longest-lived vertebrate on the planet, a new study says.

      The animal, native to the cold, deep waters of the North Atlantic, can live to at least 272 years—and possibly to the ripe old age of 500. (Related: “Meet the Animal That Lives for 11,000 Years.”)

      “We had an expectation that they would be very long-lived animals, but I was surprised that they turned out to be as old as they did,” says study leader Julius Nielsen, a biologist at the University of Copenhagen.

  • Finance

    • Post-Brexit Sunderland: ‘If this money doesn’t go to the NHS, I will go mad’

      Early morning on the quay at the mouth of the Wear in Sunderland and two middle-aged men wearing flak jackets descend on a dwindling band of seafarers. Their nets lie idle, as the quotas for fish have been used up or sold off. Half the fishing boats here won’t be used to fish again. The trade has been forced into other catches. The “quota cops”, with their body-mounted cameras recording everything, oblige the men to account for the crabs and lobsters caught in pots deposited on the sea bed just outside the harbour. As the crustaceans are counted into a leather-bound register, the exasperated fishermen complain of harassment. These may be the men from the British government ministry, but in post-Brexit Britain, perception is everything. In the eyes of Arthur Mole, the inspectors are as much a product of Brussels as a fruit beer or a sprout. The EU is to blame. “We’ve been like this for 30 years now. On a downward decline. Now we can see a future,” he says.

      Taking back control can rarely appear so tangible as in the interaction between Brexit-supporting fishermen and the quota police. For Mole, it is the mere possibility of accountability from anyone on the same island.

    • Brexiting Through the Media

      In the end, Brexit has very clear winners. While David Cameron personally lost his job (a collateral damage), Theresa May – with Boris Johnson (the clown) as foreign secretary – continues to be in power which, after all, is the only game in town. But having shaped public opinion on Europe and migration for decades, David Cameron was able to claim that the British people have spoken and that we (the Torries) carry out the democratic volonté générale of the British people. For many, it was the Torries that defended Britain against the foreign take-over through migrants and European rule. Now post-Brexit British neo-liberalism is even freer from the EU’s regulatory regime. It can further de-regulate the few remnants of the once British welfare state. And it can better prevent European regulation of tax havens impacting on British capitalism – a small but not insignificant win for David Cameron’s personal monetary affairs.

    • The Battle over Trump’s Taj Mahal Is a Battle for Us All

      In Atlantic City right now workers at the Trump Taj Mahal casino hotel, members of UNITE HERE Local 54, are waging a struggle that should make it one of those crystallizing flashpoints that garner national attention and mobilize support from the entire labor movement, progressives, and working people at large.

      Such flashpoints arise only occasionally in workers’ struggles for justice. In living memory, for example, Eastern Airlines, PATCO, Pittston, the Decatur wars, UPS, and most recently Verizon are among those that have attained that status. Those flashpoints of national concern and mobilization occur when what particular groups of workers are fighting for and against connects with broader tendencies and concerns in workplaces and the society in general. Downsizing, speedup, outsourcing, privatization, capital flight, unsafe working conditions, profitable employers’ demands for concessions that imperil workers’ standard of living are all among conditions that have triggered those moments. The striking Trump Taj Mahal workers are involved in precisely such a fundamental struggle now, one that should resonate far and wide among American workers and their unions.

    • Donald Trump Has Some Explaining to Do

      First things first, Donald Trump: Release. Your. Tax. Returns.

      No excuses.

    • Trump’s Economic Agenda: Mostly, More of the Same

      Currently, high-income taxpayers pay a 39.6% tax rate on income over $415,000 for a single individual. If a high-level executive or Wall Street trader makes $2.4 million a year (roughly the average for the richest 1%), they would save $120,000 from their tax bill just on the reduction in the top tax bracket. For the richest 0.1%, the savings would average almost $700,000 a year.

    • The Average Black Family Would Need 228 Years to Build the Wealth of a White Family Today

      If those trends persist for another 30 years, the average white family’s net worth will grow by $18,000 per year, but black and Hispanic households would only see theirs grow by $750 and $2,250 per year, respectively.

    • Donald Trump Economic Adviser John Paulson Took Billions in Auto Industry Bailout

      Hedge fund manager and Donald Trump adviser John Paulson made billions in the mortgage market collapse of 2007 and by holding the auto industry hostage for taxpayer money, investigative reporter Greg Palast told The Real News Network.

      Paulson “is the guy who made more money than anyone on the planet in a single year, $5 billion,” Palast said. “They say he got that $5 billion by betting against the mortgage market when the mortgage market collapsed. That’s really the wrong way of putting it. He kicked the mortgage market over the cliff and bet that it would crash when it hit the bottom.”

      “Most people thought he was going to end up in prison… but now I guess he’s Donald Trump’s economic advisor.”

      “And the Times of London,” Palast continued, “hardly a Marxist rag — it’s owned by Murdoch and very right-wing — the Times of London said that JP, John Paulson, should be paraded through the streets of London naked while people throw rotten fruit at him for what he’s done. Just in England. And that was nothing compared to what he’s done in the U.S.”

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • How To Spot A Shill In Eight Easy Steps

      Julian Assange warned Jill Stein voters that Hillary’s online paid shills will be relentless in their attacks in the coming weeks…

    • Trump Revealed As Racist Bastard And Nut-case

      Yes, Trump wants to make USA Great Again just like USA was great in the 1930s when it fought trade wars that ruined the world’s economy. The very arguments Trump makes about USA versus Mexico are much more applicable to Canada. Why then does Trump not go after Canada?

    • America’s NAFTA nemesis: Canada, not Mexico
    • The Cynicism of Hillary

      Hillary Clinton’s completely unfounded claim that Russia was behind the passing to WikiLeaks of Democratic National Committee documents was breathtakingly cynical. It was a successful ploy in that it gave her supporters, particularly those dominating mainstream media, something else to focus on other than the fact that the DNC had been busily fixing the primaries for Hillary.

      It was however grossly irresponsible – an accusation that a US Secretary of State would hesitate to make in public even at the height of the Cold War. It raises further the tensions between the World’s two largest nuclear armed powers, and plays into the mood of rampant Russophobia which we are seeing whipped up daily in the press. With the Ukraine and Syria as points of major tension, to throw such an accusation wildly in defence of her own political ambitions, shows precisely why Hillary should never be US President.

    • Leftists Against Clintonism: It’s Not Just About the Lies, It’s About the Record

      Speaking at Georgetown University in October of 1991, shortly after he announced that he would be pursuing the presidency, Bill Clinton put forward what he called “A New Covenant,” an agenda that proposed an alternative to both “small government” conservatism and “big government” liberalism.

      He spoke of a “third way to approach the American family,” one that would do away, once and for all, with “the old big-government notion that there is a program for every social problem.” Most famously, Clinton promised to “end welfare as we know it.”

      While these proposals were nominally centrist, in practice they relied on insidious right-wing rhetoric that decried “dependency” and lauded “personal responsibility.”

      Indeed, years into his presidency, when Clinton finally achieved his professed goal, the legislation he signed was a major plank of the reactionary Contract with America, a platform written in part by Newt Gingrich, who became Speaker of the House in 1995.

    • Clinton Should Tell Obama To Withdraw TPP To Save Her Presidency

      Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says she opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) but is having trouble convincing people to believe her. Imagine the trouble Hillary Clinton will have trying to build support for her effort to govern the country if TPP is ratified before her inauguration.

    • Clinton Must More Forcefully Reject TPP or Risk Losing Election: Groups

      Following in Donald Trump’s always-controversial footsteps, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will give a much-anticipated speech on her economic policy plans in Michigan Thursday—and progressives nationwide are demanding Clinton use the opportunity to roundly reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

    • Donald Trump’s Implied Assassination Threat, Fox News and the NRA

      Donald Trump is giving new meaning to “bully pulpit,” ratcheting his irrational campaign rhetoric to new and dangerous lows. In North Carolina Tuesday, he said: “Hillary wants to abolish—essentially, abolish—the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick—if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is.” Trump’s suggestion that his supporters could assassinate Hillary Clinton or the judges she might appoint provoked outrage, not only nationally, but around the globe. His virulent, demagogic language did not alienate everyone, though; as more and more Republicans denounce Trump, he still enjoys fervid support from some personalities at Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel and the National Rifle Association. This unholy trinity of Trump, Fox and the NRA could easily provoke political violence during this campaign season.

      Hours after his remarks, Trump made his first news appearance on Fox’s “Hannity” show. Sean Hannity pre-empted Trump, offering his own twisted logic to help blunt the deepening catastrophe: “So, obviously you are saying that there’s a strong political movement within the Second Amendment and if people mobilize and vote they can stop Hillary from having this impact on the court.” Trump obligingly concurred with that revisionist version of his call to arms. But the ploy fails on its face. Trump was not advocating for a political movement to stop Hillary Clinton from gaining office; he was suggesting that “Second Amendment people” could take action after the fact, if she wins.

    • Hillary Clinton’s Assassination Comment
    • Trump threatens Sec. Clinton with Gun Nuts, imitates Tinpot 3rd World Regimes

      Donald Trump said Tuesday there was nothing that his supporters could do if Hillary Clinton won and got “to pick her judges.” Then he “thought” a moment and amended his pessimism: “Though the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

      Former CIA director Michael Hayden suggested that the remark, which implied that an NRA member should assassinate Sec. Clinton, was a criminal offense and that the Department of Justice should look into it: “if anybody else had said this, they’d be out in the parking lot in a police wagon being questioned by the Secret Service.”

    • Country First: Why John McCain Must Dump Trump

      “Country first” requires McCain to repudiate Trump, tell the truth about what he represents, and accept the political consequences. By refusing to make that choice, he is betraying himself, and us. He can still repeat those two words, but their meaning is gone.

    • Donald Trump and the Plague of Atomization in a Neoliberal Age

      Under such circumstances, the foundations for stability are being destroyed, with jobs being shipped overseas, social provisions destroyed, the social state hollowed out, public servants and workers under a relentless attack, students burdened with the rise of a neoliberal debt machine, and many groups considered disposable. At the same time, these acts of permanent repression are coupled with new configurations of power and militarization normalized by a neoliberal regime in which an ideology of mercilessness has become normalized; under such conditions, one dispenses with any notion of compassion and holds others responsible for problems they face, problems over which they have no control. In this case, shared responsibilities and hopes have been replaced by the isolating logic of individual responsibility, a false notion of resiliency, and a growing resentment toward those viewed as strangers.

    • Jill Stein Accepting Green Party Presidential Nomination: ‘We Are Saying No to the Lesser Evil’

      The Green Party’s convention in Houston culminated last weekend with the official nomination of Jill Stein for president. In her acceptance speech, Stein talked about the drastic impact of climate change but also focused on giving political power back to the people.

      Notes of positivity were threaded throughout Stein’s speech. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” Stein said. “This is our moment. Together, we do have the power to create an America and a world that works for all of us.”

    • Has Trump Been Reading Kissinger?

      Responsible for illegal bombing campaigns that caused millions of deaths throughout Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, Kissinger also fomented genocide in East Timor, and Bangladesh. In addition to abetting murder in southern Africa, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Argentina, he also notoriously enabled and supported the Pinochet regime in Chile, which seized power in a military coup – a coup that led to the deaths of thousands, including the democratically-elected president Salvador Allende in the presidential palace.

    • Everything Burns: Gotham in the Age of Trump

      Consider Trump in the context of the old, terrible ’60s Batman TV series. Here’s a villain with gross orange facepaint, a truly stupid live-ocelot-on-his-head hairdo, an astonishingly outsized sense of self-importance. It would not at all surprise me if, not long from now, Trump went off on one of his blundering rants and the cartooned words BAM! PHIZ! GOMP! TWEE! started appearing after he drops his silly little verbal bricks. Trump and Adam West would have made boon foes in the age of bell bottoms and Nixon.

    • Beyond a Protest Party: What Will It Take for the Green Party to Start Winning?

      There wasn’t fancy catering, blaring music or the release of thousands of balloons at the Green Party’s presidential nominating convention in Houston, Texas. Nor was there the presence of thousands of cops from dozens of state and federal agencies, or hundreds of cameras snapping photos as mainstream television reporters prepared outside for live standups.

      Rather, one bored-looking campus security officer stood outside the University of Houston’s (UH) multipurpose room as the party’s media coordinators handwrote my press credentials and handed me the weekend’s schedule of events. One might not even know a convention for a political party was happening at the campus at all — many UH students I spoke to over the weekend didn’t.

    • Fox News Now Just Openly Mocking Donald Trump and His ‘Unfair Media’ Rants

      After weeks of controversies and tanking poll numbers, it’s no wonder Donald Trump doesn’t want to debate Hillary Clinton. But now he’s pivoting from his earlier statements regarding “a letter from the NFL” (proven false) to focus on a different excuse for failing to commit to the presidential debate schedule: the media.

      Trump has frequently blasted the media for “unfair coverage,” despite the fact that the nonstop coverage he has gotten has propelled his campaign. Now he is using the allegedly unfair media to attempt to wriggle out of debating Hillary Clinton.

    • Left’s Labour’s Lost

      Corbyn’s stewardship of Labour is of a piece with the history of the Labour party in the 20th Century. The Labour party, historically, ends up doing some right-wing things when it achieves power. This was the case with Atlee and the arguably inevitable post-war imposition of austerity, with Harold Wilson and Barbara Castle’s effort to impose draconian Union controls, with James Callaghan acknowledging the realities of global finance with the management of inflation as the new standard for managing political economy. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, prior to achieving office, signed up to Conservative spending plans. The distinguishing feature of the Corbyn leadership is that it has managed to do this in opposition. Prior to Corbyn’s ascension to leadership he ran on a moderately soft-left platform of anti-austerity, rail nationalisation, people’s quantitative easing, a National Education Service, and international anti-militarism; basically things which social democrats can set their clocks by. His current Leadership selection platform pledges £500 billion in economic investment. However, in opposition, these policies have been either shelved, watered down, forgotten or U-turned. Notwithstanding opposition to cuts in working tax credits, itself a Blair/Brown policy, there are several examples of this rightward drift in UK Labour’s policy platform under Corbyn. The immediate call to trigger Article 50 without delay after the Brexit referendum, not voting on Trident at the party conference in September 2015, and above all John McDonnell’s affirming the role of the Office of Budget Responsibility (effective acquiescence to the imposition of austerity). The Corbyn/McDonnell duopoly at the head of Labour is really nothing more than Milibandism with bells on and better spin; more Little Blue Book than The Communist Manifesto. It is in the tradition of attempting to stymie and put the brakes on capitalism in the interests of some of the working class.

    • Why the Libertarians Should Dump Bill Weld

      Libertarians support gun rights. Libertarians support due process, not presumed forfeiture of rights due to inclusion on secret enemies lists. These items are in our platform, and they’re not negotiable.

    • Naked Cynicism—Can I Be Bribed to Vote for a Phony, Hedge-Fund Loving Warmonger?

      Back in 2000, when the evangelical, chicken hawk, smirking frat boy—another rich kid, spoiled brat—grabbed the presidency, the Democrats blamed (and never forgave) Ralph Nader and the Green Party. If Trump wins, a similar scapegoating will not work, not if we remember the unequivocal realities of the polls.

      Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party establishment, and now heavy-hitter progressives—including Elizabeth Warren, Robert Reich, and Bernie Sanders himself—are begging those of us repulsed by Donald Trump but cynical of Hillary Clinton, “Please. Fear Trump so much that you can transcend your contempt for Hillary Clinton and vote for her.”

      Those of us repulsed and distrustful of both Trump and Clinton are in the overwhelming majority. Both Trump and Clinton have historic unfavorable ratings, with Trump’s July 2016 unfavorable polls average at 57% (favorable at 36%) and Clinton’s July 2016 unfavorable polls average at 56% (favorable at 38%).

    • “U.S.A.” Chant: Hegemonic Unity in Global Domination

      What have America’s major political parties become but agents of pacification, canceling out political change while the exercise of power is funneled into an elitist system of Upper Capital in which the military is welcomed with open arms. Trump vies with Clinton in extolling the virtues of strength and National Greatness, which boil down to self-accredited authority to define and regulate international politics to achieve, among other things, global ideological purification. It is as though imperialism, centered on market penetration, has given way to domination for its own sake. And complementing that, we find an arousal of anger to divert attention from the failings of capitalism, thereby disarming criticism and at the same time tightening the screws of a discrepant framework of wealth-and-income distribution.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Australia’s Census Fail Goes Into Overdrive — A Complete And Utter Debacle

      Earlier this week, we wrote about how the Australian census was looking like a complete mess, with the government deciding that it was going to retain all the personal info that it was collecting, including linkages to other data, rather than destroying it after it got the aggregate census numbers. There were lots of concerns about privacy and security — and we highlighted some ridiculous statements from people in the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) who are running the census, insisting their security was “the best security” while at the same time they were storing passwords as plaintext.

      Little did we know that the disaster that many expected was underestimating the actual disaster. You see, once the census website launched on Tuesday, the site immediately got hit by a series of denial of service attacks which took the entire system offline. In fact, it ended up remaining entirely offline for nearly 48 hours, and while the ABS says it’s back, many people are still reporting problems. Perhaps that’s because the ABS seems to be taking extreme and ridiculous measures to try to block more denial of service attacks, including blocking anyone who’s using a VPN or a third-party DNS provider such as Google’s DNS offering. For a system that talks up how secure and private it is — to then push people to drop their use of VPNs and/or more secure DNS providers raises all sorts of questions — none of them very good.

    • NSA spied on global medical non-profits, newly released documents from leaked Snowden archive reveal

      Newly released documents from the Edward Snowden archive, made public on 10 August, reveal that the NSA, in collaboration with the military-focused Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) intercepted communications from various non-profit organisations across the world, in efforts to gather “medical intelligence”. The previously unseen top-secret documents also reveal that the initiative was launched in the early 2000′s.

      According to the documents, the scope of information surveilled by the NSA included that relating to outbreak of diseases, the ability of foreign nations to respond to biological, chemical and nuclear attacks, the proficiency of pharmaceutical companies abroad, medical research and advancements in medical technology and more, the Intercept reported.

      The documents reveal that such information is gathered and used in efforts to protect US forces, identify facilities manufacturing bio-weapons, find chemical weapons programmes and study the process by which diseases spread, among others. The NSA specifically brought in an infectious disease expert from the DIA to help its NGO spying wing – the International Organisations Branch – to collect information on outbreaks. Among others, the topics looked into were “Sars in China, cholera in Liberia, and dysentery, polio, and cholera in Iraq”.

    • France says fight against messaging encryption needs worldwide initiative [Ed: but French terrorists used no encryption]

      Messaging encryption, widely used by Islamist extremists to plan attacks, needs to be fought at international level, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Thursday, and he wants Germany to help him promote a global initiative.

      He meets his German counterpart, Thomas de Maiziere, on Aug. 23 in Paris and they will discuss a European initiative with a view to launching an international action plan, Cazeneuve said.

      French intelligence services are struggling to intercept messages from Islamist extremists who increasingly switch from mainstream social media to encrypted messaging services, with Islamic State being a big user of such apps, including Telegram.

      “Many messages relating to the execution of terror attacks are sent using encryption; it is a central issue in the fight against terrorism,” Cazeneuve told reporters after a government meeting on security.

    • 48 hours later, Adblock Plus beats Facebook’s adblocker-blocker

      On August 9, Facebook announced that it had defeated adblockers; on August 11, Adblock Plus announced that it had defeated Facebook.

      ABP’s Ben Williams explained that the countermeasure originated with the Adblock Plus community, one of whom wrote a filter extension that would disable Facebook ads without a hitch (“facebook.com##DIV[id^="substream_"] ._5jmm[data-dedupekey][data-cursor][data-xt][data-xt-vimpr="1"][data-ftr="1"][data-fte="1"]“).

      The question is, will Facebook really dedicate engineers to inserting features that its users are going to extraordinary lengths to defeat, or will they try to woo, cajole, or trick their users into disabling their adblockers?

    • Crisis Engulfs Fox News as Roger Ailes Sexual Harassment & Spying Scandal Grows

      Further revelations about former Fox News chief Roger Ailes are surfacing, raising questions about how much the company was aware of his transgressions. Ailes has now been accused of sexual harassment by more than 20 women, including Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and former anchor Gretchen Carlson. Earlier this week, another former Fox News host also accused Ailes of sexual harassment. Andrea Tantaros says she repeatedly reported Ailes’s harassment to senior Fox executives last year. She says she was demoted and then taken off air as a result. To talk more about these revelations, we’re joined by Sarah Ellison, Vanity Fair contributing editor. Her most recent piece is an exclusive headlined “Inside the Fox News Bunker.” It exposes the existence of explosive audiotapes recorded by multiple women in conversation with Ailes. Sarah Ellison is also the author of “War at The Wall Street Journal: Inside the Struggle to Control an American Business Empire.”

    • Head of UK oversight body to join GCHQ ‘tech help desk’ [Ed: revolving doors andcronyism in the UK]

      Joanna Cavan OBE, a champion for transparency as the head of the UK’s oversight body for communications interception, is set to take the top job at GCHQ’s National Technical Assistance Centre (NTAC).

      After five of the “the most challenging and rewarding years with [the Interception of Communications Commissioner's Office]” Cavan stated she was proud to have worked towards “building public trust through education, transparency and accountability.”

      Widely admired for her public role as the head of IOCCO, The Register understands Cavan has been encouraged to continue such work in championing transparency at NTAC.

      IOCCO stated that the office was “sad” to announce that Cavan was leaving, adding: “During her tenure Joanna has made a significant contribution to improving compliance within the intelligence agencies and law enforcement” and listing her key achievements as “building relationships with industry and NGOs, and transforming IOCCO into a dynamic public facing body.”

      “We’re really going to miss her, but wish her the very best with her move,” the office continued, adding that “there will be a recruitment campaign in due course.”

      Speaking to The Register, Javier Ruiz of the Open Rights Group added the NGO’s positive impression of Cavan, stating “She has been a very welcome presence at IOCCO and we hope her advocacy for transparency will continue.”

    • Two ViaSat network encryptors now NSA-certified[Ed: ViaSat is working with the enemy (of democracy)]

      Two ViaSat network encryptors recently received U.S. National Security Agency certification, the company announced Wednesday.

    • ViaSat Pushes the Boundaries of Secure Networking at the Battlespace Edge with Two New NSA-Certified Network Encryptors
    • ViaSat’s New Network Encryptors to Boost Secure Networking
    • NSA Awards Students at Science Fair [Ed: because “think about the children!”]
    • Cybersecurity paper on government backdoors earns 2016 EFF award

      A team from CSAIL has been awarded the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) 2016 Pioneer Award for their paper “Keys Under Doormats” on government backdoors and data security. EFF instituted the award in 1992 to spotlight those dedicated to expanding freedom and creativity in the technology sector.

      The CSAIL team’s report argues that allowing law-enforcement agencies to be able to access encrypted data to help them solve crimes poses major security risks to people’s information.

      The authors of the report were noted for bringing technical and scientific clarity to the encryption debate as a part of the global narrative on security.

      “[The report] both reviews the underlying technical considerations of the earlier encryption debate of the 1990s and examines the modern systems realities in the 21st century, creating a
compelling, comprehensive, and scientifically grounded argument to protect and extend the availability of encrypted digital information and communications,” the EFF announced in a related news story. “The authors of the report are all security experts, building the case that no
knowledgeable encryption researchers believe that weakening encryption for surveillance purposes could allow for any truly secure digital transactions.”

      The award is chosen by EFF staff and focuses on innovative contributions in accessibility, health, growth, or freedom of computer-based communications in ways that are technical, academic, legal, social, economic, or cultural. The team is joining a list of inventive individuals and groups including Representative Zoe Lofgren, Senator Ron Wyden, activist Aaron Swartz, Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia, the Tor Project, Citizen Lab, and many more.

    • Until at Least 2014, NSA Was Having Troubles Preventing Back Door Searches of Upstream Searches

      That explicit violation of the rules set by Bates in 2011 was part of a larger trend of back door search violations, including analysts not obtaining approval to query Americans’ identifiers.

    • [Joke] CIA still laughing at Zuckerberg for thinking he came up with Facebook [Remark: “I was stood next to Zuckerberg when the CIA were showing him how to write Facebook. @schestowitz Don’t know how he forgot that.”]

      CIA AGENTS are still chuckling to themselves about how Mark Zuckerberg actually thinks he created Facebook.

      Zuckerberg is credited as devising the social media site, and believes he did it without being covertly manipulated by the secret services, who would obviously have no interest in such a mass communication tool.

      CIA Agent Tom Booker said: “I mean come on, I’ve got shoes older than him and he thinks he invented this incredibly huge communication system and spying tool.

      “This all began when he ‘accidentally’ overhead some sexy girls talking about it at college, then was introduced to some computer experts at a frat party who just happened to be 10 years older than everyone else and wearing suits.

      “We only chose him because he seemed astonishingly gullible.”

      He added: “He thinks because he wears the same clothes every day that makes him a genius. I’ve got an uncle who wears the same clothes everyday and believe me, he’s no genius.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Daniel Ellsberg: Manning should not face charges related to suicide attempt

      Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg has joined calls for Chelsea Manning to face no charges or punishment related to her suicide attempt in jail last month.

      Army employees told Manning – who is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks – she was being investigated on multiple charges stemming from her 5 July suicide attempt, according to her lawyers. If convicted, the US army soldier could be placed in solitary confinement or be subjected to other punishment.

      “These new charges … seem designed to cause her to break down, basically to break her down as a human being,” said Ellsberg, a former US military analyst whose Pentagon Papers leak in 1971 revealed the full scope of the US government’s action during the Vietnam war.

      Ellsberg and other supporters spoke to reporters after a group of organizations delivered a petition demanding that Manning not be punished. The petition, which organizers said had more than 115,000 signatures, was submitted Wednesday morning to the secretary of the army, according to multiple activist groups supporting Manning. The petition also demanded that Manning receive adequate treatment for “both her gender dysphoria and her suicide attempt”.

    • If Police Officials Won’t Hold Officers Accountable, More Cameras Will Never Mean More Recordings

      Cameras have been referred to as “unblinking eyes.” When operated by law enforcement, however, they’re eyes that never open.

      Dash cams were supposed to provide better documentation of traffic stops and other interactions. So were lapel microphones, which gave the images a soundtrack. Officers who weren’t interested in having stops documented switched off cameras, “forgot” to turn them back on, or flat out sabotaged the equipment.

      Body cameras were the next step in documentation, ensuring that footage wasn’t limited solely to what was in front of a police cruiser. Cautiously heralded as a step forward in accountability, body cameras have proven to be just as “unreliable” as dash cams. While some footage is being obtained that previously wouldn’t have been available, the fact that officers still control the on/off switch means footage routinely goes missing during controversial interactions with the public.

      The on/off switch problem could be tempered with strict disciplinary policies for officers who fail to record critical footage. Or any disciplinary procedures, actually.

    • Judge Who Signed ‘Criminal Defamation’ Warrant For Sheriff’s Raid Of Blogger’s House Says Warrant Perfectly Fine

      Nothing’s going to stop Louisiana sheriff Jerry Larpenter from defending his good name. If you “print lies” about the sheriff, he’ll “come after you.” He’ll have to use a criminal complaint filed by someone else (insurance agent Tony Alford) and an unconstitutional law to do it… but he’s still coming after you.

      The “you” in this case is a local police officer who allegedly runs a blog that allegedly made defamatory comments with claims of corruption involving the sheriff, his wife, and the insurance agency she works for.

      Defamation isn’t normally a criminal offense. Louisiana, for some reason, still has a criminal defamation statute on the books, but it only applies to non-public figures, which the sheriff — and the parish’s insurance agent, Tony Alford — are not. Alford, who filed the complaint, not only holds two government positions but his agency also secured a no-bid contract to provide insurance services to the parish.

      Never mind all that, though. Sheriff Larpenter found an off-duty judge to sign a search warrant and raided Officer Wayne Anderson’s home, seeking evidence that he was the author of the posts. Anderson denies having anything to do with the blog posts, not that it matters. Larpenter’s deputies have already made off with five electronic devices, including a laptop belonging to the officer’s kids.

    • Will Jeffrey Sterling’s Trumped-Up Espionage Conviction Be a Death Sentence?

      CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling is in trouble. He’s not in trouble with prison authorities or with the government, at least not any new trouble. His health is failing, and prison officials are doing nothing about it. Jeffrey has collapsed twice in the past few weeks. He has a history of atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat, and is a candidate for a pacemaker. He has repeatedly sought medical attention in the prison’s medical unit. And each time he’s been brushed off.

    • President Macri’s perilous gambit

      It is time not to open the Pandora Box of the “war on drugs” in Argentina. It is crucial that the United States avoid any signal in favor of such a strategy.

    • New NYPD Commissioner’s Focus on Community Policing Is a Distraction, Not a Solution

      When New York Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced incoming Police Commissioner James O’Neill last week, he praised him as the “architect” of neighborhood policing — the city’s version of the “community policing” approach being implemented across the country as a solution to the increasingly contentious relationship between law enforcement and people of color.

      “When New Yorkers know their local officers and trust their local officers, we are all safe as a city,” the mayor said following the announcement that Commissioner William Bratton would be resigning. “In times like these, we have a responsibility to provide our nation with a model for respectful and compassionate neighborhood policing. … If we want to keep all New Yorkers safe, policing must be of, and for, and by the people.”

      But members of these communities say that knowing their local cops won’t stop them from getting killed by the police. Trust must be earned through accountability, they say, not optics. Advocates for radical change to the country’s policing culture have become increasingly critical of community policing as a meaningless, politically expedient catchphrase that is used to deflect attention from deeper problems within police departments.

      The New York Police Department first introduced its Neighborhood Coordination Program in May 2015 — and it’s now expanding the initiative to about half the city’s precincts. O’Neill, who spearheaded the effort, said last week that it aims to establish “closer relationships and mutual understanding.”

      “It’s all about our communities personally knowing their local cops, and trusting those cops to help them and their neighbors lead better lives,” O’Neill said.

    • U.S. Government Using Gang Databases to Deport Undocumented Immigrants

      The “M” and the “S” Carlos had etched in his arms with a homemade tattoo gun when he was a teenager in Guatemala City were part of a different life. During his adolescence in the mid-1990s, Carlos, who asked that his real name not be used, hung out with deportees from Los Angeles who had been subsumed into Southern California’s gang culture and brought 18th Street and Mara Salvatrucha from Los Angeles to Central America. Carlos and his brother joined the Normandie Locos clique of Mara Salvatrucha, also known in the United States as MS-13, and got tattoos marking their membership in the gang. They joined because it made them popular with girls, Carlos said, and most of his childhood friends were part of the clique as well.

      Guatemalan law enforcement took a hard-edged approach in the late 1990s, and Carlos was shot in three separate incidents by police officers in Guatemala City. His brother was killed by police in September 2000, according to a sworn declaration Carlos later submitted to the Los Angeles city attorney’s office.

    • At Swanky Federal Reserve Retreat, “Computer Glitch” Cancels Minority Protesters’ Hotel Reservations

      The Kansas City Federal Reserve’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, attracts central bankers, economists and the global elite. The past two years, some new faces came to Jackson Hole: low-wage workers who object to the Fed raising interest rates when too many at the bottom rungs of the economic ladder still struggle.

      This year, somebody appears to be ensuring that ordinary people won’t disrupt the party.

      The Fed Up campaign, a coalition that brought the workers to Jackson Hole in 2014 and 2015, has filed a formal complaint with the departments of Justice and the Interior, along with the National Park Service, because their hotel reservations for this year’s conference were mysteriously canceled.

    • A South Carolina Student Was Arrested for ‘Disturbing a School’ When She Challenged Police Abuse, So We Sued

      One day last fall, Niya Kenny was sitting in her math class at Spring Valley High School in Richland County, South Carolina, when a police officer came into the classroom. A girl in her class had refused to put away her cell phone, and the teacher had summoned an administrator, who called on the officer assigned to the school.

      Niya thought the officer’s appearance was bad news — his name was Ben Fields, but he was so aggressive that students knew him as Officer Slam. As soon as he entered the room, she called out for other students to record him.

      Three different students made cell phone videos of what happened next. Fields picked the girl up, flipped her in her desk, and then grabbed an arm and a leg to throw her across the room. Niya stood up and called out, she recalled later. “Isn’t anyone going to help her?” she asked. “Ya’ll cannot do this!”

    • How the Pentagon Became Walmart

      Our armed services have become the one-stop shop for America’s policymakers. But asking warriors to do everything poses great dangers for our country — and the military.

      [...]

      Today, American military personnel operate in nearly every country on Earth — and do nearly every job on the planet. They launch raids and agricultural reform projects, plan airstrikes and small-business development initiatives, train parliamentarians and produce TV soap operas. They patrol for pirates, vaccinate cows, monitor global email communications, and design programs to prevent human trafficking.

      Many years ago, when I was in law school, I applied for a management consulting job at McKinsey & Co. During one of the interviews, I was given a hypothetical business scenario: “Imagine you run a small family-owned general store. Business is good, but one day you learn that Walmart is about to open a store a block away. What do you do?”

      [...]

      Like Walmart, today’s military can marshal vast resources and exploit economies of scale in ways impossible for small mom-and-pop operations. And like Walmart, the tempting one-stop-shopping convenience it offers has a devastating effect on smaller, more traditional enterprises — in this case, the State Department and other U.S. civilian foreign-policy agencies, which are steadily shrinking into irrelevance in our ever-more militarized world. The Pentagon isn’t as good at promoting agricultural or economic reform as the State Department or the U.S. Agency for International Development — but unlike our civilian government agencies, the Pentagon has millions of employees willing to work insane hours in terrible conditions, and it’s open 24/7.

    • Federal Investigation Lays Bare How Baltimore Police Systematically Abuse the Civil Rights of the City’s Mostly Black Residents

      Yet, as in Ferguson, Missouri, it was the sustained mobilization to Baltimore’s streets that forced the world to see the systemic racism of the city’s police department, and forced Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to ask the Department of Justice to launch an investigation. Poor black residents of the deeply segregated city described a police department that behaved like an occupying force, brutalizing and disproportionately targeting them with unnecessary stops and deadly force.

    • We Will Create Our Freedom: The Importance of the Movement for Black Lives Platform

      There is a movement rumbling through the streets of this country. There is sustained organizing, national and local collaborations that are enduring the grueling work of refusing to allow extrajudicial Black death to continue to be hushed up, accepted as normal.

    • Why Did a University Quarter Police and Soldiers in Its Dorms?

      Black lives matter at Case Western Reserve University. That’s why several Black Case Western students, including myself, drafted an online petition demanding answers for Case Western President Barbara R. Snyder’s quartering of 1,700 out-of-state police officers and 200 members of the National Guard in the university’s dormitories during the Republican National Convention (RNC). A whistleblower had alerted us to her unilateral agreement with Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson to house hundreds of police officers, which she had made without students’ knowledge or consent. Within a week of posting our petition on Change.org, we had more than 330 signatures.

    • Yes, Black Lives Matter in the UK too

      Last Friday, traffic on main roads across England was disrupted by activists calling for an end to global structural racism. Motorways leading to Birmingham, London’s Heathrow airports, and tram tracks in Nottingham were blocked as part of a ‘day of rage’ organised by Black Lives Matter UK.

      The actions got a lot of media attention and the general opinion voiced by mainstream media was that the deliberate targeting of ‘innocent people’ was wrong and that while the Black Lives Matter movement is relevant to the USA, British campaigners were just jumping on a bandwagon. Both of these responses show a lack of understanding (or a deliberate ignorance) of the state of racism in the today’s Britain.

    • Judge On Whether Twitter Is Legally Liable For ISIS Attacks: Hahahahahaha, Nope.

      This is not a surprise, but the judge overseeing the case where Twitter was sued by a woman because her husband was killed in an ISIS attack has tossed out the case. We fully expected this when the lawsuit was first filed, and the judge was clearly skeptical of the case during a hearing on it back in June. The order dismissing the case comes in at slightly longer than 140 characters, but you get the feeling that was really about all that was needed to point out how ridiculous this case was. As we expected,

    • NY Daily News Admits It Got It All Wrong When Declaring Crime Increases Would Follow Stop-And-Frisk Decision

      When federal judge Shira Scheindlin ordered a number of stop-and-frisk reforms three years ago, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Chief Ray Kelly both predicted a drop in unconstitutional stops would result in a dramatic rise in criminal activity.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Speed Up Your Access or Optimize Your WAN?

      Early this year, researchers from the University College London Optical Networks Group set a record for the fastest-ever data rate for digital information — 1.125 Tb/s. That’s terabits. With that data rate, you could download the entire Games of Thrones series, in HD, within one second!

      To achieve their record-breaking date rate, researchers built an optical communications system with multiple transmitting channels and a single receiver using techniques from information theory and digital signal processing. They then applied coding techniques commonly used in wireless communications, but not yet widely used in optical communications, to ensure the transmitted signals adapt to distortions in the system electronics.

    • How To Find Free Wi-Fi Hotspots Anywhere In The World — 6 Ways

      If you are looking for ways to find free Wi-Fi hotspots, then you are at the right place…

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • No Inspiration Without Payment: Ed Sheeran Sued For Two Songs Sounding Too Similar To Old Songs

        There’s a fairly long history of lawsuits over songs sounding too “similar” — from the lawsuit over George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” sounding too much like “He’s So Fine” to the Verve getting sued by The Rolling Stones for the hit “Bittersweet Symphony” sounding similar to the Stones’ “The Last Time.” But after last year’s verdict in favor of Marvin Gaye’s estate in the “Blurred Lines” case, the floodgates seem to have opened, with a bunch of similar lawsuits over songs that sound vaguely similar, but not much more. A couple of months ago, in a bit of a surprise, Led Zeppelin actually won its case over whether or not it had infringed on someone’s copyright in “Stairway to Heaven,” so there’s at least some hope that not every “similar sounding” song will face a copyright lawsuit — but even then the arbitrariness of these decisions seems problematic.

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    We need to have more articles tackling the passage of all power — especially when it comes to software — to few large monopolies that disregard human rights or actively participate in their abolishment in the digital realm



  3. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free as in Speech

    "While a new breed of so-called anarchists campaign against expression that even the state allows, people are also foolishly overplaying the relevance of the state to free speech issues -- as if it's not a freedom issue when a project is increasingly thought-policed, because the thought-policing isn't on a state level."



  4. Toxic Culture at Microsoft

    Racism, intolerance, sexism and bullying are rampant at Microsoft; but Microsoft would rather deflect/divert/sidetrack to Google and so-called 'GAFA'



  5. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Introduction

    "The FSF isn't just threatened, it will hit a large iceberg in the future that changes it permanently."



  6. Linux Journal and Linux.com Should Have Been Kept Going

    There's apparently no good explanation for the effective shutdown of Linux Journal and Linux.com; London Trust Media Holdings (LTMH), owner of Linux Journal, saw numbers improving and the Linux Foundation, steward of Linux.com, is loaded with money



  7. 2019 Microsoft Glossary

    How Microsoft internally interprets words that it is saying to the public and to the press



  8. 2019 Surveillance Glossary

    Distortion of technical and nontechnical terms in this day and age of '1984'



  9. Openwashing Report: It's Getting Worse, Fast. Everything is Apparently 'Open' Now Even Though It's Actually Proprietary.

    The latest examples (this past week's) of openwashing in the media, ranging from 5G to surveillance



  10. GitHub is a Dagger Inside Free/Open Source Software (FOSS); This is Why Microsoft Bought It

    A year later it seems pretty evident that Microsoft doesn’t like FOSS but is merely trying to control it, e.g. by buying millions of FOSS projects/repositories at the platform level (the above is what the Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin said to Microsoft at their event while antitrust regulators were still assessing the proposed takeover)



  11. Microsoft Grows Within and Eats You From the Inside

    Microsoft entryism and other subversive tactics continue to threaten and sometimes successfully undermine the competition; Microsoft is nowadays doing that to core projects in the Free/Open Source software world



  12. Links 18/8/2019: New KNOPPIX and Emmabuntus Released

    Links for the day



  13. Links 17/8/2019: Unigine 2.9 and Git 2.23

    Links for the day



  14. Computer-Generated Patent Applications Show That Patents and Innovations Are Very Different Things

    The 'cheapening' of the concept of 'inventor' (or 'invention') undermines the whole foundation/basis of the patent system and deep inside patent law firms know it



  15. Concerns About IBM's Commitment to OpenSource.com After the Fall of Linux.com and Linux Journal

    The Web site OpenSource.com is over two decades old; in its current form it's about a decade old and it contains plenty of good articles, but will IBM think so too and, if so, will investment in the site carry on?



  16. Electronic Frontier Foundation Makes a Mistake by Giving Award to Microsoft Surveillance Person

    At age 30 (almost) the Electronic Frontier Foundation still campaigns for privacy; so why does it grant awards to enemies of privacy?



  17. Caturdays and Sundays at Techrights Will Get Busier

    Our plan to spend the weekends writing more articles about Software Freedom; it seems like a high-priority issue



  18. Why Techrights Doesn't Do Social Control Media

    Being managed and censored by platform owners (sometimes their shareholders) isn’t an alluring proposition when a site challenges conformist norms and the status quo; Techrights belongs in a platform of its own



  19. Patent Prosecution Highways and Examination Highways Are Dooming the EPO

    Speed is not a measure of quality; but today's EPO is just trying to get as much money as possible, as fast as possible (before the whole thing implodes)



  20. Software Patents Won't Come Back Just Because They're (Re)Framed/Branded as "HEY HI" (AI)

    The pattern we've been observing in recent years is, patent applicants and law firms simply rewrite applications to make these seem patent-eligible on the surface (owing to deliberate deception) and patent offices facilitate these loopholes in order to fake 'growth'



  21. IP Kat Pays the Price for Being a Megaphone of Team UPC

    The typical or the usual suspects speak out about the so-called 'prospects' (with delusions of inevitability) of the Unified Patent Court Agreement, neglecting to account for their own longterm credibility



  22. Links 17/8/2019: Wine 4.14 is Out, Debian Celebrates 26 years

    Links for the day



  23. Nothing Says 'New' Microsoft Like Microsoft Component Firmware Update (More Hardware Lock-in)

    Vicious old Microsoft is still trying to make life very hard for GNU/Linux, especially in the OEM channel/s, but we're somehow supposed to think that "Microsoft loves Linux"



  24. Bill Gates and His Special Relationship With Jeffrey Epstein Still Stirring Speculations

    Love of the "children" has long been a controversial subject for Microsoft; can Bill Gates and his connections to Jeffrey Epstein unearth some unsavoury secrets?



  25. Links 16/8/2019: Kdevops and QEMU 4.1

    Links for the day



  26. The EPO's War on the Convention on the Grant of European Patents 2000 (EPC 2000), Not Just Brexit, Kills the Unitary Patent (UP/UPC) and Dooms Justice

    Team UPC continues to ignore the utter failures that have led to lawlessness at the EPO, attributing the demise of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) to Brexit alone and pretending that it's not even a problem



  27. Links 15/8/2019: GNOME's Birthday, LLVM 9.0 RC2

    Links for the day



  28. 'Foundation' Hype Spreads in China

    Nonprofits seem to have become more of a business loophole than a charitable endeavour; the problem is, this erodes confidence in legitimate Free software and good causes



  29. Links Are Not Endorsements

    If the only alternative is to say nothing and link to nothing, then we have a problem; a lot of people still assume that because someone links to something it therefore implies agreement and consent



  30. The Myth of 'Professionalism'

    Perception of professionalism, a vehicle or a motivation for making Linux more 'corporate-friendly' (i.e. owned by corporations), is a growing threat to Software Freedom inside Linux, as well as freedom of speech and many other things


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