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09.26.16

Links 26/9/2016: Linux 4.8 RC8, SuperTux 0.5

Posted in News Roundup at 6:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Letter to the Federal Trade Commission regarding Lenovo blocking Linux and other operating system installations on Yoga PCs.

      Lenovo just updated the BIOS for the Yoga 710, another system that doesn’t allow Linux installs. Wanna know what they changed? Update to TPM (secret encryption module used for Digital Restrictions Management) and an update to the Intel Management Engine, which is essentially a backdoor rootkit built into all recent Intel processors (but AMD has their version too, so what do you do?). No Linux support. Priorities…

    • Microsoft told to compensate customers for Windows 10 breaking computers

      Microsoft has been urged to pay compensation to customers that have suffered computer malfunctions when upgrading to its new software Windows 10.

      Since the company released the software last year it has been plagued by complaints, with customers claiming their computers upgraded without their permission and, in some cases, completely stopped working.

      Which?, the consumer watchdog, has told Microsoft to “honour consumers’ rights” and compensate those who have suffered from problems, including lost files, email accounts no longer syncing and failed WiFi connection.

      It said Microsoft customers had also complained that their webcams suddenly stopped working, as did speakers and printers in the wake of the upgrade.

    • Veteran Windows journo slams Microsoft over Surface Pro issues

      Microsoft’s tardiness and lack of communication in relation to battery issues affecting its Surface Pro PC/tablet hybrid has been slammed by well-known journalist Ed Bott who has been writing about the company for 25 years.

      In a column titled “Shame on Microsoft for leaving Surface Pro customers in the dark”, Bott wrote that Microsoft had not shown any appreciation of the users who had helped put its Surface business on a solid footing.

      He wrote that after the Surface Pro 3 had been in the market for more than a year, users began noticing a steady drop in battery capacity.

      In March 2016, the company’s support lines began fielding calls about the issue, with complaints that batteries that should have held a charge for five or more hours were going dead in 20 or 30 minutes and refusing to charge fully.

  • Server

    • IBM Preaches Cognitive, Cloud, And IT Consumption

      They say it’s not just about the technology. It’s really about the business. But that brings to mind an old adage from the car industry: You sell the sizzle not the steak. Right now the sizzle is cognitive computing. It has edged out big data and analytics in the one-upsmanship match of IT leadership and the next big thing. At the Edge conference last week, when IBM executives talked strategy and road maps, cognitive computing was on the tip of tongues.

      Cognitive is a differentiator, an upper hand for IBM. Big Blue has not let the world forget about Watson, its game show champion that’s evolved into a must-have business advantage in the making. Watson’s augmented intelligence, a term IBM prefers over artificial intelligence, has been applied to healthcare, finance, commerce, education, and security. According to IBM, it has thousands of scientists and engineers working on cognitive projects, which also extend to clients, academics, and external experts.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel 4.8 Lands October 2 as Linus Torvalds Outs Last Release Candidate

      It’s still Sunday in U.S. so Linus Torvalds has just published his weekly announcement to inform us all about the availability of the eighth and last RC (Release Candidate) development snapshot of the upcoming Linux 4.8 kernel.

    • Linux 4.8-rc8 Released: Linux 4.8 Next Weekend
    • Linux 4.8 gets rc8

      Chill, penguin-fanciers: Linux lord Linus Torvalds is sitting on the egg that is Linux 4.8 for another week.

      As Torvalds indicated last week, this version of the kernel still needs work and therefore earned itself an eighth release candidate.

    • Linux Kernel 4.7.5 Released with Numerous ARM and Networking Improvements

      The fifth maintenance update to the Linux 4.7 kernel series, which is currently the most advanced, secure and stable kernel branch you can get for your GNU/Linux operating system, has been announced by Greg Kroah-Hartman.

      Linux kernel 4.7.5 is here only ten days after the release of the previous maintenance version, namely Linux kernel 4.7.4, and it’s a big update that changes a total of 213 files, with 1774 insertions and 971 deletions, which tells us that the kernel developers and hackers had a pretty busy week patching all sorts of bugs and security issues, as well as to add various, much-needed improvements.

    • Blockchain Summit Day Two: End-Of-Conference Highlights From Shanghai

      Financial services firms and startups looking to be the bridge to blockchain ledgers continued to dominate presentations on the second and final day of the Blockchain Summit, ending International Blockchain Week in Shanghai that also saw Devcon2 and a startup demo competition.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The RADV Radeon Vulkan Linux Driver Continues Picking Up Features
      • OpenChrome Maintainer Making Some Progress On VIA DRM Driver

        Independent developer Kevin Brace took over maintaining the OpenChrome DDX driver earlier this year to improve the open-source VIA Linux graphics support while over the summer he’s slowly been getting up to speed on development of the OpenChrome DRM driver.

        The OpenChrome DRM driver was making progress while James Simmons was developing it a few years back, but since he left the project, it’s been left to bit rot. It will take a lot of work even to get this previously “good” code back to working on the latest Linux 4.x mainline kernels given how DRM core interfaces have evolved in recent times.

      • My talk about Mainline Explicit Fencing at XDC 2016!

        Last week I was at XDC in Helsinki where I presented about the Explicit Fencing work we’ve been doing on the Mainline Linux Kernel in the lastest few months. There was a livestream of all presentations during the conference and recorded sections are available. You can check the video of my presentation. Check out the slides too.

    • Benchmarks

      • Testing Various HDDs & SSDs On Ubuntu With The Linux 4.8 Kernel

        Here are some fresh benchmarks of various solid-state drives (SATA 3.0 SSDs plus two NVMe M.2 SSDs) as well as two HDDs for getting a fresh look at how they are performing using the Linux 4.8 Git kernel.

        After publishing Friday’s Intel 600P Series NVME SSD tests of this lower-cost NVM Express storage line-up, I continued testing a few other SSDs and HDDs. These additional reference points are available for your viewing pleasure today. The additional data is also going to be used for reference in a Linux 4.8-based BCache SSD+HDD comparison being published next week. Stay tuned for those fresh BCache numbers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • LXQt 0.11.0 Desktop Environment Arrives After Almost One Year of Development

      After being in development for the past eleven months, the next major release of the lightweight, Qt-based LXQt desktop environment has been officially released and it’s available for download.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Great first year at LAS GNOME!

        This was the first year of the Libre Application Summit, hosted by GNOME (aka “LAS GNOME”). Congratulations to the LAS GNOME team for a successful launch of this new conference! I hope to see more of them.

        In case you missed LAS GNOME, the conference was in Portland, Oregon. I thoroughly enjoyed this very walkable city. Portland is a great place for a conference venue. When I booked my hotel, I found lots of hotel options within easy walking distance to the LAS GNOME location. I walked every day, but you could also take any of the many light rail or bus or trolley options running throughout the city.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Ghost Minitaur Robot Opens Doors & Climbs Fences & Stairs!

      Give this little droid a compatible brain, like a Raspberry Pi 3, which can display images via a built-in HDMI port and runs Linux at 1.2 Gigahertz, and is more akin to an actual computer than a microcontroller, and let programming of a robotic brain function shatter the ceiling on possibilities.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google could be about to reveal its Android and Chrome OS merger

          If you’ve been following Google for a while you’ll know that speculation around the company merging Android and Chrome OS into one single whole isn’t anything new, but the rumours have gained fresh impetus over the weekend.

          Sources speaking to the usually reliable Android Police say Google is preparing to combine the two OSes into something codenamed Andromeda inside the company – that’s also the name of the nearest galaxy to the Milky Way or the daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia in Greek mythology, depending on which meaning you want to take.

        • Google’s Oct. 4th Event May Reveal Merged Android/Chrome OS
        • Oct 4th rumors: Google to show off merged Android/Chrome OS preview, $69 Chromecast Ultra and $129 Google Home

          Google is holding an event on October 4th, where the company is expected to officially launches its new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. But that’s not all we’re expecting to see on October 4th.

          According to several reports from Android Police, we could also see the launch of Google Home, a Chromecast Ultra, and a new wireless router called Google WiFi.

          Google may also show off a preview of an operating system that merges Chrome OS and Android, although it’s unlikely to be available to the public before 2017.

        • Android Users Replace Phones Faster Than iPhone Fans

          Every time a new Apple iPhone gets released, it seems like everyone who has chosen iOS over Alphabet ‘s Android immediately orders one.

          In reality, however, not every consumer trades in his or her phone just because a new model comes out. They may want to, but leasing cycles, payment plans and other factors influence whether people swap out their iPhone or Android phone after a new model is released.

          On the Apple side, consumers are actually holding onto their phones slightly longer, while with Android, the replacement cycle has been steady for the past three years, according to data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP).

        • Sony Xperia X Performance users can register for Android 7.0 Nougat beta program (but not everywhere)
        • Leaked Presentation Slide Reveals Sony’s Android 7.0 Roadmap

          If you own an Android device that isn’t a Nexus, chances are you’re probably wondering when your phone will be updated to the latest version of Android, Android 7.0 Nougat. OEMs don’t usually reveal their update plans so early on, but the good news for Sony users is that we now have an idea of when the update will be released.

          This is thanks to an alleged leaked presentation slide as reported by Mojandroid.sk (via Xperia Blog) from Sony Slovakia. As you can see in the photo above, it shows the company’s plans for the Android 7.0 Nougat update. Assuming the timing is applicable for all markets they operate in, the Xperia X Performance and Xperia XZ should get their update in October.

        • Umi Plus International Giveaway [3 Phones]

Free Software/Open Source

  • How to throw a tarball over the wall

    It costs a lot of money to open source a mature piece of commercial software, even if all you are doing is “throwing a tarball over the wall.” That’s why companies abandoning software they no longer care about so rarely make it open source, and those abandoning open source projects rarely move them to new homes that benefit others.

    If all you have thought about is the eventual outcome, you may be surprised how expensive it is to get there.

    Read more

  • Desktop virtualisation kit-calculator goes open source

    The tool has gone through a number of iterations over the years, extending its capabilities to assess the infrastructure requirements of ever-more virtual desktops along the way while also keeping up with changes to VMware’s Horizon and Citrix’s XenDesktop.

    But Leibovici says he’s now sufficiently busy that “Unfortunately I find myself without time to maintain the VDI calculator, therefore I decided that the best outcome would be to open-source the app and let the community drive maintenance and innovation.”

    Hence its publication under an Apache 2.0 licence here on GitHub.

  • Attributes of Effective Project Managers

    Volunteers often work for both philanthropic and selfish reasons. For example, contributing to FreeBSD and having your code approved can translate to a career-building resume bullet (nearly ⅓ of the world’s internet traffic runs on FreeBSD). While not every contribution translates into a resume bullet, volunteers generally contribute more of their talents when their contributions are recognized. Martin takes great pride in publicly sharing information about how he gives back to his volunteers in the form of reasonably-sized monetary gifts. He remarked to me how one gift bought a programmer a new chair. While it may not seem like much, the contribution made a significant difference to that person’s sense of value to the project. Martin noticed that since the chair arrived the change requests for Ubuntu MATE that come from that programmer with the happy hind quarters seem to become his highest priority and Martin generally gets the changes in short order.

  • Show And Tell: Google Open Sources Its Image Captioning AI In TensorFlow

    Google has open sourced its Show and Tell system which will now be available in TensorFlow machine learning library. The Show and Tell system can analyze an image and provide a relevant caption describing the situation of the image. The code of the system is available on GitHub.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 9.6 Preparing To Release Next Week With Its Parallel Queries Support

      PostgreSQL 9.6 is being prepared for release on 29 September as the database system’s latest major update.

      Arguably the biggest feature of the upcoming PostgreSQL 9.6 release is the parallel query support for scans, joins, and aggregates that should speed up the performance of SELECTs by a lot. There are also other improvements like synchronous replication on multiple standby servers, full-text search for phrases, and more.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Developing a GIMP Deblur Plugin

      The original assignment was to implement Cho’s algorithm for deblurring [Cho et al 2013] as a GIMP plugin. The previous bachelor thesis had found this algorithm as the best deblurring algorithm for recovering text. However, time marches on. During the literature review phase, the team came across some advances in deblurring. Moreover, the algorithm’s description in the paper was incomplete, and patented. (Interestingly enough, the patent did not clarify the incompleteness.) There was a new algorithm by Pan et al [Pan et al 2014] that was simpler, faster, and: open source. However, the original was coded in Matlab, which is (1) proprietary, (2) not freely available, and (3) not in much use by people who want to edit pictures.

      So, the team investigated both algorithms in great (and hairy) detail, and implemented Pan et al’s algo as an open source GIMP plugin. This required a working understanding of the maths involved (which is not explicitly taught in the Bachelor programme). Moreover, the end result is a sleek piece of work, showcasing the team’s CS creds as well.

      Below, a tiny bit about how blurring works, and how to deblur. I’ll skip most of the maths, promised.

  • Public Services/Government

    • North American Cities Slow to Adopt Open Source Software

      Most politicians who are setting the IT budgets do not have a clue what IT is doing. They demand more and more from them as technology changes. But unlike a crumbling road or rusting bridge that can be seen by all, they really do not see or understand what is happening in the IT department. As long as they can get access to their applications and data, everything is fine. This lack of knowledge leads to a lack of political willpower to make change happen or to even recognize that change is needed and that money can be saved by doing things differently.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Microsoft ends Tuesday patches

      Yesterday was a big day for Patch Tuesday. It was the last traditional Windows Patch Tuesday as Microsoft is moving to a new patching release model. In the future, patches will be bundled together and users will no longer be able to pick and choose which updates to install. Furthermore, these new ‘monthly update packs’ will be combined, so for instance, the November update will include all the patches from October as well.

    • The best way to develop software with effective security

      Regardless of the level at which you’re doing your programming, security is going to get in the way. No amount of application abstraction or modern development process seems capable of shielding developers from the barriers raised by security. It’s pretty hard not to hate security when it doesn’t seem to add any intrinsic value, and often gets in the way of providing a delightful user experience. To top it off products can get hacked anyway, in spite of any and all work you do to make your products secure.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • WPost Wants a Bigger War in Syria

      The neocon Washington Post wants an even bigger U.S. military intervention in Syria, ignoring the tenets of international law and assuming that more bombing will somehow make things better, observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Obama Promises to Shield Saudis on 9/11

      Back in 2008, when people said Barack Obama was “the one,” I didn’t realize they meant that he would be “the one” person standing, blocking the path to justice for the 9/11 victims’ families. Mr. Obama, please get out of our way and let us have some justice and peace 15 years after the brutal murder of our 3,000 loved ones.

      JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, S.2040) is a well-thought out, powerful piece of anti-terrorism legislation. It does exactly what it says — it brings all those who fund terrorism to justice.

    • Obama Vetoes 9/11-Saudi Legislation Setting Up Potential Override

      As expected, President Barack Obama has vetoed legislation that would allow families of 9/11 victims to sue nations, including Saudi Arabia, for any role their government may have played in the terrorist attacks.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Dangerous Denial of Global Warming

      President Obama calls it “terrifying” and the greatest long-term threat facing the world. Three hundred seventy-five of the world’s top experts just warned of “severe and long-lasting consequences” for the planet if America’s next president drops the ball. Yet only 19 percent of registered voters say it’s a top issue; Hillary Clinton increasingly ducks the topic, and Donald Trump characteristically dismisses it all as a “hoax.”

      The issue, of course, is global warming. While reporters offer endless stories about Clinton’s emails and fainting spells, and Trump makes up new lies faster than fact-checkers can swat them down, few people in politics or the media are talking about the accelerating effects of climate change.

    • Fifty elephants killed each day for last decade, study says amid key talks on ivory trade

      The number of elephants across Africa has dropped by 111,000 in just 10 years to only 415,000 today, according to a study published on Sunday as global experts met in Johannesburg to discuss whether to lift the ban on the ivory trade.

      The Pan-African survey, by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, found that 50 elephants were killed each day since 2006 and laid the blame squarely on poachers seeking their precious tusks for sale mainly to Asian markets.

  • Finance

    • Calling the SEC

      Chris DiIorio suspected major broker-dealer Knight Capital of tanking penny stocks on purpose and racking up massive, unsustainable balance-sheet liabilities based on all the stocks it “sold” that it never really had.

      It had taken him five years to reach these conclusions — five years of digging through reams of financial data in search of answers to how and why his particular penny stock investment was so brutally crushed. Knight never answered DiIorio’s questions, nor, during the reporting of this story, any of The Intercept’s.

    • Monarch Airlines denies rumours it is going bust amid passenger fears

      The UK budget airline Monarch has denied rumours it is going bust, amid growing concerns among passengers that their bookings may be at risk.

      Speculation began to circulate on Sunday afternoon that the airline, a 48-year-old British aviation icon, was set to close.

      The airline continued to advertise holiday deals and take bookings for flights late into Sunday evening.

    • The many hurdles of Brexit – a short summary post

      This is a short summary blogpost of what appear to be the main issues which need to be addressed for a Brexit to take place. I set out below the issues as questions, though they could just as easily be framed as statements.

      I call each of these a “hurdle” – because it is possible that each one of these can be negotiated and jumped over; but it is also possible that each one can be an obstruction.

      [...]

      Hurdle One: Which domestic legal form? Act of Parliament or exercise of the Royal Prerogative (or something else?)

      Hurdle Two: What if the Scottish government is resolute in its opposition to Brexit?

      Hurdle Three: What if the Northern Ireland government is resolute in its opposition to Brexit?

      Hurdle Four: How is the border with the Republic of Ireland dealt with? What impact will there be (if any) on the Good Friday Agreement?

      Hurdle Five: What if Gibraltar is resolute in its opposition to Brexit?

      Hurdle Six: What if the government is defeated in the House of Commons on Brexit?

      Hurdle Seven: What if the government is defeated in the House of Lords on Brexit?

      Hurdle Eight: How is any Brexit to be reconciled with the 2015 Conservative manifesto pledge that the UK’s position in the Single Market will be “safeguarded”? How will that pledge affect the passage of Brexit legislation under the Salisbury Convention (that only legislation which fulfill manifesto pledges will not be subject to Lords’ delay)?

    • TTIP on its deathbed, but CETA moves forward despite growing concerns

      At a key meeting in Bratislava last Friday, EU ministers effectively put the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations on hold, perhaps forever. Even the perennially upbeat EU commissioner responsible for trade, Cecilia Malmström, admitted: “All ministers expressed their doubts about being able to conclude this before the end of the Obama presidency, and indeed, it looks increasingly unlikely.” Since both candidates for the US presidency have said they are dissatisfied with current trade negotiations, that makes TTIP’s long-term fate extremely uncertain.

      According to a report in Politico.eu, Austria’s economy minister made the suggestion to “relaunch [the TTIP negotiations] after the U.S. elections, with a new name, better transparency and also clearer goals.” However, another, unnamed minister said: “I don’t think there will be less demonstrations if we call it ‘John’.”

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Who is Gennifer Flowers? 10 facts about Bill Clinton’s former mistress and Donald Trump’s new friend
    • In Election, Russians Rallied Around Putin

      What is most important here is the fallacious link between low turnout and higher returns for United Russia. On the contrary, I believe low turnout as a general phenomenon, not linked to some openly declared boycott, makes it doubly difficult to get results in the ballot box that reflect the public opinion polls taken before the election.

      A well-documented example of this was the September 2013 mayoral election in Moscow when the turnout was surprisingly low, at 32 percent and the heavy favorite, Acting Mayor Sergey Sobyanin from United Russia, polled just 51 percent of the vote (46 percent according to the Opposition) and the fiercely anti-Kremlin candidate Alexei Navalny received 27 percent (35 percent according to his partisans). If anti-Kremlin voters in Moscow and St. Petersburg stayed home or at their dachas this past Sunday, you have to look deeper into their motivation.

    • Jeremy Corbyn Easily Re-Elected Labour Party Leader

      Jeremy Corbyn scored a “monumental victory” on Saturday, easily being reelected leader of Britain’s Labour Party.

      Corbyn got 61.8 percent of the vote to opponent Owen Smith’s 38.2. The Guardian reports that the 67-year-old “won a majority over Smith in every category—members, registered supporters, and trades union affiliates. He won the support of 59 percent of voting members, 70 percent of registered supporters, and 60 percent of affiliated supporters.”

      Cory Doctorow writes at BoingBoing that his reelection came despite sabotage from his own party and the UK press’s efforts to “to sideline, belittle and dismiss him.” As such, Doctorow argues, “it is nothing short of a miracle that Corbyn has won the leadership race, and that, moreover, he has increased his lead, beyond last year’s landslide, with a higher voter turnout than ever.”

      In fact the Bristol Post writes, it was “one of the most one-sided contests in the history of the party.”

    • Top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills granted partial immunity in email investigation

      Top Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills received an immunity deal from the Justice Department in the FBI’s investigation into the former secretary of state’s private email server, records shown to Congress revealed Friday, re-injecting the email controversy into the presidential campaign just days before her first debate with Donald Trump.

      In addition to Mills, Clinton’s former chief of staff at State, grants of partial immunity were also extended to former Clinton aide Heather Samuelson, who worked as State’s White House liaison and later as a private attorney for Clinton and to John Bentel, who was director of the the Information Resources Management section in the secretary of state’s office, lawmakers said.

    • Former NSA analyst: FBI may reopen investigation if Clinton loses

      The FBI could reopen its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information if she fails to win the November election, according to a former National Security Agency analyst, especially in light of revelations made public in a Friday document dump by the agency.

      “The FBI completely ignored the appearance of highly classified signals intelligence in Hillary’s email, including information lifted verbatim from above-Top Secret NSA reports back in 2011,” John Schindler, a security expert and former analyst for the agency, wrote in a Sunday column for the Observer, noting the agency revealed on Friday that it never questioned Clinton about the issue.

    • Fresh Proof The FBI’s Hillary Email Probe Was A Joke

      Yet another surprise revelation suggests strongly that the FBI’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail mess was anything but a by-the-book investigation.

      House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said he learned only Friday that the Justice Department gave immunity deals to Clinton’s former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and two other aides. That brings to five the number of Clintonistas who got a pass in exchange for testimony and/or information.

      But what makes it especially significant in Mills’ case is that she was allowed to sit in on Clinton’s FBI interview, asserting attorney-client privilege on Hillary’s behalf. This, even though Mills was herself a witness, even a potential subject of, the investigation.

    • Obama Reportedly Used Pseudonym in Emails With Clinton, FBI Notes Reveal

      One of the more fascinating revelations from the additional FBI notes released about the Hillary Clinton email investigation is the revelation of a potential pseudonym used by President Obama in emails with Clinton.

      The relevant passage of the FBI interview notes how Huma Abedin said when Clinton changed her primary email address, “they had to notify the White House so that Clinton’s emails would not be rejected by the server.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Privacy Commissioner warns of ‘hidden risks’ of the IoT

      The Australian Privacy Commissioner has warned that Australian businesses assessed as part of a global sweep of Internet of Things products and services generally lack clear information for customers about how their personal information is being managed.

      And, more than half of Aussie businesses have failed to adequately explain how personal information was collected, used and disclosed, according to the Privacy Commissioner.

      The sweep of IoT devices, just released by the Australian Privacy Commissioner, and fellow international regulators, through the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN), reveals that 71% of the IoT devices and services, and how information is managed, were not adequately explained by Australian businesses.

    • A Week In, the Pardon Snowden Debate Keeps Heating Up

      Since then, people worldwide have turned their attention back to the most famous whistleblower of our generation. Dozens of news and opinion pieces have considered his role in exposing the contours of U.S. mass surveillance, and moviegoers have watched Joseph Gordon-Levitt portray him in an Oliver Stone-directed filmbased on his life.

      The ACLU, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch launched the Pardon Snowden campaign with a press conference last Wednesday, with Ed himself appearing via live video. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined, three years ago, such an outpouring of solidarity,” he said in profuse thanks to his supporters.

    • Gary Johnson: I would pardon Edward Snowden
    • Gary Johnson: I would pardon Snowden
    • Gary Johnson Supports Pardoning Edward Snowden
    • Edward Snowden should come home
    • Hong Kong campaigners, asylum seekers to demand US presidential pardon for Edward Snowden
    • Hongkongers Take to Streets in Support of U.S. Whistleblower Snowden
    • Rally for US whistleblower Edward Snowden brings Hong Kong’s refugees to the fore
    • Hong Kong refugees protest to call for Snowden pardon

      Activists and refugees staged a protest in Hong Kong on Sunday calling on Washington to pardon fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden, with protesters describing refugees in the city as “heroes” for helping him evade authorities in 2013.

    • Snowden Receives German Citizen’s Award ‘Glass of Reason’

      Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden received the Glass of Reason, award of the citizens of the German city of Kassel worth 10,000 euro ($11,230).

    • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden gets German award for ‘courage and conscience’ after spilling US secrets

      Edward Snowden has received an award from a German city for the ‘courage and conscience’ he showed in spilling US secrets.

      He received the Glass of Reason, award from the citizens of the German city of Kassel worth 10,000 euros (£7,000).

      The award’s organizers reportedly said that they made this choice because the whistleblower “with courage, competence and reason has taken a conscience decision and put his past life and safety at stake for a bigger thing.”

    • ChIPs Global Summit Report 4: Facebook, Apple and the DoJ discuss the tension between privacy and security

      1. The privacy v security fallacy. National security and personal privacy are not at odds with each other. It is a false choice – it is really security v security. As Noreen highlighted 17.5 million people were victims of direct hacks which violated their personal privacy, but importantly they were also victims of crime. Privacy is a security issue and security is a privacy issue. People who put products into the marketplace want to stop crime at the onset and law enforcement want to stop it once it happens. The argument is that that you cannot undermine encryption to protect customer’s security and privacy in the interests of law enforcement because in doing so you will inevitably create back doors which allow “the bad guys” in resulting in crime (and, therefore, threats to security).

      2. Security and privacy have taken center stage. The FBI’s order against Apple was ex parte. There was no opportunity for Apple to be heard. The manner in which the FBI obtained the order (after months of working whit Apple and not under seal, so that it was public) therefore generated controversy and ignited fights between various factions on the public stage. Noreen explained that Apple was and had been cooperating with law enforcement for months until the February ex parte order. The FBI’s order asked Apple to write a new operating system so that they could gain access to the iPhone 5c at issue which was running on iOS 9 (reportedly known internally at Apple as GovtOS). If Apple complied with the order they would risk the security of other Apple customers. The panel recommended this TIME article interview with Tim Cook to the audience for background reading. The panel appreciated FBI Director Comey’s efforts to keep the issue in the forefront of public discussion, but some panellists stated that his comment that an “adult conversation” was needed in the wake of the controversy was probably an unfortunate choice of words as the insinuation was that if you did not agree with the FBI, you were not an adult. Now that the “fervor” has died down, many panellists felt it was time to reignite the conversation.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Jordanian Writer Shot Dead In Front Of Court Before Trial Over Cartoon

      A gunman on Sunday killed prominent Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar outside a court where he was facing charges for sharing a cartoon deemed offensive to Islam, state news agency Petra reported.

      Hattar was struck by three bullets before the assailant was arrested, said Petra. Witnesses told AFP that a man had opened fire in front of the court in Amman’s Abdali district.

      The 56-year-old Christian was arrested on August 13 after posting a cartoon mocking jihadists on his Facebook account.

    • Nahed Hattar shot dead: Prominent Jordanian writer charged with offensive Facebook post killed

      A Jordanian writer who was arrested for posting a cartoon deemed offensive to Islam has been shot dead.

      Nahed Hattar was assassinated in front the Supreme Court in Amman with local media reporting he was shot three times in the head.

      The shooter has reportedly been arrested by security forces.

    • Palace to look into WikiLeaks report saying Duterte permitted Davao killings

      Malacañang on Sunday said it will look into “leaked information” that President Rodrigo R. Duterte knew and permitted vigilante killings in Davao during his term as mayor of the city.

      “We will look into [it] first,” Communications Secretary Martin M. Andanar said in a text message.

      “Commission on Human Rights Regional Director Alberto Sipaco (strictly protect) at a private meeting affirmed that Mayor Duterte knows about the killings and permits them,” read cable 09MANILA1002_a, one of the diplomatic cables released on the internet by self-described “multi-national media organization and associated library” WikiLeaks.

      “Recounting a conversation he once had with Duterte, who is his close friend and former fraternity brother, Sipaco said he pleaded with the Mayor to stop vigilante killings and support other methods to reduce crime, like rehabilitation programs for offenders,” it added.

    • A Digital Rumor Should Never Lead to a Police Raid

      If police raided a home based only on an anonymous phone call claiming residents broke the law, it would be clearly unconstitutional.

      Yet EFF has found that police and courts are regularly conducting and approving raids based on the similar type of unreliable digital evidence: Internet Protocol (IP) address information.

      In a whitepaper released today, EFF challenges law enforcement and courts’ reliance on IP addresses, without more, to identify the location of crimes and the individuals responsible. While IP addresses can be a useful piece of an investigation, authorities need to properly evaluate the information, and more importantly, corroborate it, before IP address information can be used to support police raids, arrests, and other dangerous police operations.

      IP address information was designed to route traffic on the Internet, not serve as an identifier for other purposes. As the paper explains, IP addresses information isn’t the same as physical addresses or license plates that can pinpoint an exact location or identify a particular person. Put simply: there is no uniform way to systematically map physical locations based on IP addresses or create a phone book to lookup users of particular IP addresses.

    • Far-Right Runs With ‘Outside Agitator’ Lie Spread by CNN

      This case offers a perfect example of why uncritically allowing police union officials to make unsourced assertions on national TV, and then repeating them as facts, is not a good idea.

      First, it’s important to note that Burnett even muffs her sourcing; by citing a “Charlotte police sergeant,” she ignores the fact that he’s a union representative, and that union representatives are not operating in their capacity as police officers or spokespeople for the department. By conflating the two, she treated what was effectively advocacy on behalf of an individual officer as an official statement by a police department; while police departments are of course capable of being deceptive themselves, they are at least in theory accountable to a city council and mayor.

    • Charlotte Police Video of Keith Scott’s Killing Released

      The same clip then shows another officer, in a red shirt, approach Scott just after the shooting and there is the sound of something skittering across the pavement as he crouches down by the dying man’s right side. There has been some speculation that the officer could have been sliding a gun away from Scott’s hand towards the curb behind him.

      Putney said that more footage was recorded on other police cameras, and all of the material would likely be released later, after the completion of an independent inquiry into the fatal shooting now being carried out by North Carolina’s State Bureau of Investigation. “The footage itself,” he added, “will not create in anyone’s mind absolutely certainty as to what this case represents and what the outcome should be.”

      The partial release of video failed to satisfy protesters, who rallied in Charlotte on Saturday night, chanting “Release the whole video!” according to DaShawn Brown of WSOC-TV.

    • Police Arrest 32 Child Traffickers, Uncover 6 Baby Factories

      Delta State Police Commissioner, Mr. Zanna Ibrahim yesterday said thirty-two child traffickers were arrested in the last two months, adding that six baby factories were uncovered in Asaba and its environs.

      Emphasizing his determination to synergize with the State Ministry of Women Affairs to fight against crime and other social vices in the state, the police boss said: “We have reduced drastically child trafficking in the state, and baby factories uncovered by men and officers of the police force, we will ensure efforts are put together to bring to book those in their hideouts”, pointing out that the suspects arrested currently being detained would be charged to court on completion of investigation.

      Mr. Zanna Ibrahim who spoke to journalists on efforts made so far since he assumed office in Asaba, said he was ready to collaborate and co-operative with Women Affairs department in the state, especially when the crime involves children and women who are target of traffickers.

    • VIDEO: Charlotte Police Killed Keith Lamont Scott In Under 10 Seconds, Withheld Audio Recordings Too

      Charlotte police finally respected the will of Keith Lamont Scott’s family and released two official videos of his last moments in a police killing that touched off peaceful protests, deployment of riot police and eventually violent protests and looting.

      But audio is redacted.

      Dash cam video reveals that Keith Lamont Scott only lived ten seconds after exiting his car.

      There’s definitely not an immediate threat by Scott to the four police officers with arms drawn, even slightly noticeable in the dash cam video.

      No gun is visible at any time.

      Part of the Charlotte police’s initial unproven claim to justify the shooting of Scott – for which no probable cause has yet been given – is that they gave “clear warning” audio in the body camera video below, nor in the dash camera video which illustrates what commands or verbalizing happened by the three officers on the scene, one of whom is clearly uniformed as seen in the dash camera video.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • ISP explains data caps to FCC: Using the Internet is like eating Oreos

      If you were worried that the debate over Internet data caps would get bogged down in technical mumbo-jumbo, fear no more—it’s actually much simpler than you think.

      Mediacom, a US cable company with a little over 1.1 million Internet subscribers in 22 states, has put the matter to rest by explaining to the Federal Communications Commission that its customers shouldn’t get unlimited data because using the Internet is just like eating Oreos.

      “You have to pay extra for double-stuffed,” Mediacom Senior VP and General Counsel Joseph Young wrote in a filing with the FCC last week.

    • Vint Cerf’s dream do-over: 2 ways he’d make the internet different

      Vint Cerf is considered a father of the internet, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things he would do differently if given a fresh chance to create it all over again.

      “If I could have justified it, putting in a 128-bit address space would have been nice so we wouldn’t have to go through this painful, 20-year process of going from IPv4 to IPv6,” Cerf told an audience of journalists Thursday during a press conference at the Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Germany.

      IPv4, the first publicly used version of the Internet Protocol, included an addressing system that used 32-bit numerical identifiers. It soon became apparent that it would lead to an exhaustion of addresses, however, spurring the creation of IPv6 as a replacement. Roughly a year ago, North America officially ran out of new addresses based on IPv4.

      For security, public key cryptography is another thing Cerf would like to have added, had it been feasible.

  • DRM

    • HTML standardization group calls on W3C to protect security researchers from DRM

      The World Wide Web Consortium has embarked upon an ill-advised project to standardize Digital Rights Management (DRM) for video at the behest of companies like Netflix; in so doing, they are, for the first time, making a standard whose implementations will be covered under anti-circumvention laws like Section 1201 of the DMCA, which makes it a potential felony to reveal defects in products without the manufacturer’s permission.

      This is especially worrisome because the W3C’s aspiration for the new version of HTML is that it will replace apps as the user-interface for the Internet of Things, making all sorts of potentially compromising (and even lethal) bugs difficult to report without serious legal liability.

      The EFF has proposed that W3C members should be required to promise not to use the DMCA and laws like it this way; this has had support from other multistakeholder groups, like the Open Source Initiative, which has said that the W3C work will not qualify as an “open standard” if it doesn’t do something to prevent DMCA abuse.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • A song of Ice and Ice

        Iceland, a country famous for the northern lights, skyr yoghurt, and their recent performance in the Euros, has made headlines this week for threatening the trade mark rights of a major UK supermarket. The cause of this ire is unclear, as some sources report that Icelandic tourist board, ‘Promote Iceland’ was faced with opposition proceedings when they attempted to register an EU trade mark ‘Inspired by Iceland’. Other reports state that Icelandic companies are being prevented from trading under their country name due to Iceland Foods’ earlier right.

      • Eye ‘should’ve’ done that! – Specsavers nears approval to trade mark single word “should’ve” & “shouldve”

        Despite the legal and commercial concerns, Specsavers’s decision to register single words SHOULD’VE and SHOULDVE should be recognised as intelligent business strategy, considering the proliferation and potential of social media. The use of hashtags has become a significant vehicle of marketing for businesses. Hashtags have the power not only to categorise content but also to form trends and thus generate interest. Therefore, registering a specific word will be integral for Specsavers in expanding their marketing activities and driving future campaigns. For example, the hashtag ‘#should’ve recently accompanied the full Specsavers catchphrase. It is thus apparent that registration will help Specsavers to control use in the full spectrum of social media.

    • Copyrights

      • Man Likely to Sacrifice Himself Testing Streaming Piracy Limits

        A man is preparing a legal battle to find out where the boundaries lie when it comes to offering “fully loaded” Kodi TV devices in the UK. Brian Thompson, who is being taken to court by his local council, says he expects to lose the case. And barring a miracle that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

      • Copyright Loophole Could Undermine Important Consumer Protection Bill

        The Consumer Review Fairness Act Is a Noble Bill but Could Leave the Door Open for Copyright Abuse

        There’s a bill making its way through Congress that would protect consumers’ freedom of speech by limiting unfair form contracts. The Consumer Review Fairness Act (H.R. 5111), introduced by Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and cosponsored by several representatives, would address two shameful practices: contracts that bar customers from sharing negative reviews of products and services online, and contracts that attempt to assign the copyright in customers’ reviews to the businesses themselves (who then file copyright takedown notices to have negative reviews removed). The CRFA is an important bill, and it addresses a major problem, but it contains one loophole that could undermine its ability to protect people who write online reviews.

        An earlier version of the bill was introduced in both houses of Congress last year under the name Consumer Review Freedom Act (S. 2044, H.R. 2110). EFF applauded the bill when it was introduced. As we argued then, when a customer has no reasonable opportunity to negotiate a contract and its terms are overwhelmingly stacked against the customer, the contract shouldn’t be enforceable. We noted that these contracts usually fail in court, but that that hasn’t stopped businesses from using them. We also pointed out a few problems with the CRFA. Most of them have been addressed in the new bill, but the most disconcerting one remains.

        If a company claims that a review is not “otherwise lawful” (for example, because it allegedly defames the company), then the law may permit the company to claim that it owns the copyright in the review and have it removed as copyright infringement, thus creating a shortcut for having speech removed. We don’t think this is what Congress intended, and we hope it’s not too late to remove the two offending words.

        Imagine that I’m a vendor offering you a contract for a service. My contract includes a clause saying that you assign me the copyright in any review you write of my service. Under the CRFA, that clause would be invalid and my including it in the contract would be against the law. But if my contract says you assign me the copyright in any unlawful review you write, I could argue that that contract is valid under the CRFA.

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