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09.28.16

Links 28/9/2016: Alpine Linux 3.4.4, Endless OS 3.0

Posted in News Roundup at 7:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source is not to blame for a lack of industry standards

    Carol Wilson wrings her hands over the “boring” nature of open source standardization, declaring that “Open source processes can take the fun out of everything, particularly technology wars.” Putting aside for a minute the irony of expecting standards to ever be anything more than mind-numbingly dull, Wilson’s larger argument misses the point.

    The problem with open source standards aren’t that they’re boring; it’s that they’re largely the same as the proprietary standards that preceded them. In practice, this presents no problem at all.

  • Down the rabbit hole, part 2: To ensure security and privacy, open source is required

    If my goal is to secure all of my computing devices, I need access to the source code in order to do a complete and effective security appraisal of the software I am running.

    It really is that simple. The need for open source software, in this case, has nothing to do with any ethical implications of software freedom—nor do the benefits of open source to software developers enter into this discussion. But having access to the source code is an undeniable benefit in ensuring the security of a piece of software.

  • Linaro organisation, with ARM, aims for end-end open source IoT code
  • Linaro start open-source development for IoT on ARM Cortex-M
  • ARM open source group address IoT software confusion

    Linaro has worked with ARM, Canonical, Huawei, NXP, RDA, Red Hat, Spreadtrum, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and ZTE on the new IoT software, as part of what it calls the Linaro IoT and Embedded (LITE) Segment Group.

    Group says it wants to address the design problems created by the proliferation of choices for IoT device operating systems, security infrastructure, identification, communication, device management and cloud interfaces.

    It hopes to be able to reduce fragmentation in operating systems, middleware and cloud connectivity software, through the creation of open source device reference platforms.

    Initial technical work will be focused on delivering an end to end, cross­vendor solution for secure IoT devices using the ARM Cortex-­M architecture.

  • Open Source Community Continues Fight Against Cybercrime with Apache Spot (incubating)
  • Apache Spot Aims to Fetch Open Network Insights

    The project formerly known as Open Network Insights moves to the Apache Software Foundation and gets a new name—Apache Spot. It now includes support for DNS and Proxy in addition to Netflow.

    The Open Network Insight (ONI) project, backed by Cloudera, Intel and others and focused on helping organizations use big data for security insights, became generally available earlier this year. The ONI project is now being donated to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF)—home to Hadoop and many big data efforts—and is now getting a new life as the Apache Spot project.

  • Meet Apache Spot, a new open source project for cybersecurity

    Hard on the heels of the discovery of the largest known data breach in history, Cloudera and Intel on Wednesday announced that they’ve donated a new open source project to the Apache Software Foundation with a focus on using big data analytics and machine learning for cybersecurity.

    Originally created by Intel and launched as the Open Network Insight (ONI) project in February, the effort is now called Apache Spot and has been accepted into the ASF Incubator.

    “The idea is, let’s create a common data model that any application developer can take advantage of to bring new analytic capabilities to bear on cybersecurity problems,” Mike Olson, Cloudera co-founder and chief strategy officer, told an audience at the Strata+Hadoop World show in New York. “This is a big deal, and could have a huge impact around the world.”

  • Meet Apache Spot, a new open-source project for cybersecurity
  • Strata + Hadoop World: Apache Spot looks to tackle cybersecurity
  • Cloudera Approves First Grant Applications for Precision Medicine Initiative
  • Cloudera Broadens its Collaboration with Thorn to Include Software and Services to Fight Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Open source storage hits the mainstream

    Open source storage has gained mainstream acceptance in high performance computing, analytics, object storage, cloud (OpenStack) and NAS use, but can it crack the enterprise?

  • Rogue Wave Improves Support for Open Source Software with IBM
  • Rogue Wave Software to improve open-source software support with IBM

    Rogue Wave Software announces it is working with IBM to help make open source software (OSS) support more available. This will help provide comprehensive, enterprise-grade technical support for OSS packages.

  • Vendors and Customers Gettin’ Open Sourcey With It

    Basically, “open source enablement” seems to be about teaching customers how to embrace open source principles, both in terms of internal processes as well as external communities and ecosystems. As I’ve worked with many engineering and product teams over the years, I’ve seen many open source initiatives fail to reach their potential because of ingrained cultural obstacles that usually manifest in the form of corporate inertia that blocks forward progress.

  • Digium Announces Asterisk 14 Open Source Communications Software

    Digium®, Inc., the Asterisk® Company, today at its annual AstriCon users and developers conference, announced Asterisk 14, the next major release of the world’s most popular open source communications platform. Asterisk 14 continues the track of previous major releases, such as Asterisk 12 and Asterisk 13, by offering developer- and administrator-focused features and capabilities to simplify the scaling and deployment of Asterisk within large, service-based ecosystems.

  • Announcing the open source release of MORI, from Chalkbeat

    In 2014, Chalkbeat developed and started using a WordPress plugin for tracking impact. We called it MORI — Measures of Our Reporting’s Influence. As we wrote then, MORI grew out of one of our key beliefs: Journalists can make a difference, but the ability to measure the difference we make can multiply our impact over time. If we can document how, why, when, and where we made a difference, we are more likely to repeat our success.

    The quantitative data we track in MORI lets us see the big picture of how our work affects the world, beyond raw readership analytics; the qualitative narrative we record helps us tell the story. Our editorial teams can put important impacts in the hands of our fundraising team and others to turn around and share with the broader education community.

  • ODL: Open Source Hastens Software Usability

    Open Daylight Summit — Open source is connecting users and developers more intimately, and that’s a good thing, OpenDaylight Executive Director Neela Jacques said here today.

    In kicking off the OpenDaylight Summit, Jacques said the ability of users and developers to work side-by-side is evolving, and helping drive the faster pace at which open source can bring solutions to the industry.

    “Users can sit next to the developers of the code they use, and the interaction doesn’t go one way,” he said. “The real difference is the way users interact with developers. This is why we are able to get production-grade solutions so much faster than you ever would in proprietary world.”

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla has “stopped all commercial development of Firefox OS”

        Remember when Mozilla said it was ceasing development of Firefox OS for smartphones, but that it wasn’t giving up on the browser-based operating system altogether? Yeah, now the organization has pretty much thrown in the towel.

        After shifting the focus from phones to smart TVs and other Internet of Things products for a while, Mozilla senior engineering program manager Julie McCracken says development of the operating system was “gradually wound down” and that as of the end of July Mozilla has “stopped all commercial development of Firefox OS.

      • Firefox’s Test Pilot Program Launches Three New Experimental Features

        Earlier this year we launched our first set of experiments for Test Pilot, a program designed to give you access to experimental Firefox features that are in the early stages of development. We’ve been delighted to see so many of you participating in the experiments and providing feedback, which ultimately, will help us determine which features end up in Firefox for all to enjoy.

        Since our launch, we’ve been hard at work on new innovations, and today we’re excited to announce the release of three new Test Pilot experiments. These features will help you share and manage screenshots; keep streaming video front and center; and protect your online privacy.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Tools Cauldron 2016, ARMv8 multi-arch edition

      That is what my England trip for the GNU Tools Cauldron was, but that only seemed to add to the pleasure of meeting friends again. I flewin to Heathrow and started on an almost long train journey to Halifax,with two train changes from Reading. I forgot my phone on the trainbut the friendly station manager at Halifax helped track it down andgot it back to me. That was the first of the many times I forgotstuff in a variety of places during this trip. Like I discovered thatI forgot to carry a jacket or an umbrella. Or shorts. Or full lengthpants for that matter. Like I purchased an umbrella from Sainsbury’s but forgot to carry it out. I guess you got the drift of it.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • FAQ: What’s so special about 802.11ad Wi-Fi?

      Here are the broad strokes about 802.11ad, the wireless technology that’s just starting to hit the market.

    • 2.5 and 5 Gigabit Ethernet Now Official Standards

      In 2014, multiple groups started efforts to create new mid-tier Ethernet speeds with the NBASE-T Alliance starting in October 2014 and MGBASE-T Alliance getting started a few months later in December 2014. While those groups started out on different paths, the final 802.3bz standard represents a unified protocol that is interoperable across multiple vendors.

      The promise of 2.5 and 5 Gbps Ethernet is that they can work over existing Cat5 cabling, which to date has only been able to support 1 Gbps. Now with the 802.3bz standard, organizations do not need to rip and replace cabling to get Ethernet that is up to five times faster.

      “Now, the 1000BASE-T uplink from the wireless to wired network is no longer sufficient, and users are searching for ways to tap into higher data rates without having to overhaul the 70 billion meters of Cat5e / Cat6 wiring already sold,” David Chalupsky, board of directors of the Ethernet Alliance and Intel principal engineer, said in a statement. “IEEE 802.3bz is an elegant solution that not only addresses the demand for faster access to rapidly rising data volumes, but also capitalizes on previous infrastructure investments, thereby extending their life and maximizing value.”

Leftovers

  • Yahoo Mail is down for some across the UK and Europe

    POOR OLD Yahoo can’t catch a break after users reported that its webmail service appears to be down.

    Some here at the INQUIRER are unable to access Yahoo Mail, while others have flocked to Twitter to moan that it’s not currently accessible.

  • Science

    • Never forget a face? You might be a super recogniser

      Your recognition skills are supported by a complex network of brain regions that rapidly develop during infancy and childhood, finally peaking at the age of 30.

    • Google swallows 11,000 novels to improve AI’s conversation

      When the writer Rebecca Forster first heard how Google was using her work, it felt like she was trapped in a science fiction novel.

      “Is this any different than someone using one of my books to start a fire? I have no idea,” she says. “I have no idea what their objective is. Certainly it is not to bring me readers.”

      After a 25-year writing career, during which she has published 29 novels ranging from contemporary romance to police procedurals, the first instalment of her Josie Bates series, Hostile Witness, has found a new reader: Google’s artificial intelligence.

      “My imagination just didn’t go as far as it being used for something like this,” Forster says. “Perhaps that’s my failure.”

    • The Power Paradox: The Surprising Science of How We Gain and Lose Influence

      What causes us to mishandle the power paradox, Keltner argues, is our culture’s traditional understanding of power — a sort of time-capsule that no longer serves us. Predicated on force, ruthlessness, and strategic coercion, it was shaped by Niccolò Machiavelli’s sixteenth-century book The Prince — but it is as antiquated today as the geocentric model of the universe that dominated Machiavelli’s day. What governs the modern world, Keltner demonstrates through two decades of revelatory studies, is a different kind of power — softer, more relational, predicated on reputation rather than force, measured by one’s ability to affect the lives of others positively and shift the course of the world, however slightly, toward the common good.

    • How a Pythagoras Cup works

      His YouTube channel is packed with similarly excellent videos wherein lab assistant Neil is persuaded to execute unnerving experiments. (previously.)

  • Health/Nutrition

    • CDC whistleblower claims agency has been using wrong Zika test

      In the midst of the fight to control Zika, the top public health agency in the United States has been engaged in an intense internal debate about the best way to test whether someone has been infected with the mosquito-borne virus.

      At the center of the debate at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is one of the leading experts on Zika virus. Robert Lanciotti is chief of the CDC lab responsible for developing tests to diagnose viral diseases such as Zika that are transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • Facebook, Uber, Slack, and Pandora Pros Praise Free Security Tools

      Proponents of open source software argue that by letting passionate developers get involved and tweak underlying code, the tools they create are stronger and more reliable. Plus, for companies looking to bolster their digital defenses, the software has the added benefit of being free.

    • LibreSSL 2.5
    • LibreSSL 2.5 Released With New Features, iOS Support

      LibreSSL 2.5.0 is available today as the newest version of this growing fork of OpenSSL led by the OpenBSD project.

      LibreSSL 2.5′s libtls implementation now supports ALPN and SNI while handling four cipher suite groups, there is tightened error handling in some areas, support for OCSP intermediate certificates, initial support for Apple’s iOS platform, and a variety of other fixes and functionality improvements.

    • A quick fix for stupid password reset questions

      It didn’t take 500 million hacked Yahoo accounts to make me hate, hate, hate password reset questions (otherwise known as knowledge-based authentication or KBA). It didn’t help when I heard that password reset questions and answers — which are often identical, required, and reused on other websites — were compromised in that massive hack, too.

      Is there any security person or respected security guidance that likes them? They are so last century. What is your mother’s maiden name? What is your favorite color? What was your first pet’s name?

    • French hosting provider hit by DDoS close to 1TBps

      A hosting provider in France has been hit by a distributed denial of service attack that went close to one terabyte per second.

      Concurrent attacks against OVH clocked in at 990GBps.

      The attack vector is said to be the same Internet-of-Things botnet of 152,464 devices that brought down the website of security expert Brian Krebs.

      OVH chief technology officer Octave Klaba tweeted that the network was capable of attacks up to 1.5TBps.

    • Latest IoT DDoS Attack Dwarfs Krebs Takedown At Nearly 1Tbps Driven By 150K Devices

      If you thought that the massive DDoS attack earlier this month on Brian Krebs’ security blog was record-breaking, take a look at what just happened to France-based hosting provider OVH. OVH was the victim of a wide-scale DDoS attack that was carried via network of over 152,000 IoT devices.

      According to OVH founder and CTO Octave Klaba, the DDoS attack reached nearly 1 Tbps at its peak. Of those IoT devices participating in the DDoS attack, they were primarily comprised of CCTV cameras and DVRs. Many of these types devices’ network settings are improperly configured, which leaves them ripe for the picking for hackers that would love to use them to carry our destructive attacks.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Senate Votes to Override Obama Veto on 9/11 Victims Bill

      A sweeping bipartisan majority in the Senate on Wednesday rejected President Obama’s veto of legislation that would allow families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot, all but assuring that Mr. Obama would suffer the first override vote of his presidency.

      The vote was 97 to 1, with only Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, siding with the president.

      With the House nearly certain to follow the Senate later on Wednesday, the 9/11 bill will become law in a remarkable yet complicated bipartisan rebuke. Still, the measure itself remains contentious, and even some of those who cast a vote against Mr. Obama conceded that they did not fully support it.

      Mr. Obama’s greatest allies on Capitol Hill, who have labored for nearly eight years to stop most bills he opposes from even crossing his desk, turned against him, joining Republicans in the remonstrance.

    • Orlando Terror Attack ‘Triggered’ by Pentagon Drone Strike

      The domestic terrorist behind the Orlando nightclub massacre was motivated by a Pentagon drone strike in Iraq a month before the shooting, according to police transcripts made public last week.

      Conversations between Omar Mateen and an Orlando police negotiator on June 12 were kept secret by FBI and local police until Friday. The secrecy contributed to misleading media accounts of the terrorist’s motives in the days after the killings.

      The transcripts were released by Orlando police Friday after a Florida court hearing held in response to a lawsuit filed by several news organizations.

      Mateen killed 49 people during the attack on the Pulse, a gay nightclub, and wounded 53 others. Police eventually stormed the club and killed Mateen in a shootout after talks aimed at convincing him to surrender failed.

    • Senate overwhelmingly votes to override Obama veto on 9/11 bill

      The Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to override President Obama’s veto of legislation allowing lawsuits against foreign sponsors of terrorism, setting up an almost certain and historic defeat for the White House on the bill.

      The House is expected to follow suit within hours, making it the first veto of Obama’s presidency that has been overturned by Congress.

      Obama vetoed the legislation Friday because he said the bill — known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA — would infringe on the president’s ability to conduct foreign policy. It was the 12th veto of his presidency.

    • After 9/11 Bill, Could Saudi Arabia Really Sell All Its U.S. Assets?

      It’s easier to make a $750 billion threat than carry it out.

      The Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill that would allow families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged connection to the attacks, pushing the kingdom one step closer to having to follow through on its pledge to sell hundreds of billions of dollars of United States assets that could be frozen by the courts. Carrying out that divestment pledge will be a long, difficult, complicated and likely costly process.

      “The idea that they could just flip a switch and sell them all, it just doesn’t compute,” George Pearkes of Bespoke Investment Group, an independent research firm, told HuffPost. “It’s just too much. No one’s going to be able to take that risk off your book,” Pearkes said, using the industry term for a portfolio.

      “You’re going to lose money doing it because everyone knows you’re going to do it, and … it immediately has an impact on your currency and balance of payments,” he added, noting that the Saudi currency is pegged to the U.S. dollar and the kingdom continually receives dollars for its oil exports.

    • US Senate Overrides Obama’s Veto – Chaos Imminent

      The Saudis have promised to pull their assets out of USA, hundreds of $billions in treasury bills and many other investments. 2016 could undo the tidy recovery USA has made in Obama’s term. Even a gradual withdrawal could lower the value of the dollar, raise interest rates, ding the stock-market, possibly trigger a nuclear arms race in the region and raise the price of gold.

    • Armed Forces personnel suspected of IS ties comprise just 1pct of militants detected

      Armed Forces personnel suspected to be involved with Islamic State (IS) make up just one per cent of militants detected by authorities so far.

      Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said despite the low number, the Ministry takes the matter seriously and has ordered that comprehensive action be taken to curtail the terrorist group’s ideology from spreading to security personnel.

      He said the Armed Forces Religious Corps and Royal Intelligence Corps have been tasked to detect soldiers who show interest in extremist groups, and warn members of the security forces against terrorism.

      The initiative includes educating soldiers on the true meaning of Islam and jihad.

      Hishammuddin, who spoke to reporters after launching the 40th Pacific Armies Management Seminar at a hotel here earlier today, however, did not reveal the exact number of soldiers who have been detected to be influenced by IS.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Journalists must fork over $200 for Wi-Fi at presidential debate

      News organizations attending Monday evening’s presidential debate must pay $200 for a “Secure Wireless Internet Connection” at Hofstra University in New York state. The debate is set to begin at 9pm Eastern.

      While profiteering during a high-profile occasion such as this is not unheard of—$15 for a patch cable?—what’s worse is that event staff at Hofstra University are reportedly using a $2,000 device to actively scan for hotspots and other ad-hoc Wi-Fi networks.

    • FCC official: “Something’s not right” with Wi-Fi at Monday’s debate

      One of the members of the Federal Communications Commission, Jessica Rosenworcel, has asked the agency to investigate the Monday evening ban on journalists’ Wi-Fi personal hotspots at the presidential debate held at Hofstra University.

      As Ars reported on Monday evening, the host venue demanded that journalists pay $200 to access the event’s Wi-Fi and were told to shut down their own hotspots or leave the debate. At least one photo, taken by Kenneth Vogel of Politico, showed a handheld device that was being used to scan for and locate “rogue” Wi-Fi networks.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • The world passes 400ppm carbon dioxide threshold. Permanently

      Because carbon pollution has been increasing since the start of the industrial revolution and has shown no signs of abating, it was more a question of “when” rather than “if” we would cross this threshold. The inevitability doesn’t make it any less significant, though.

      September is usually the month when carbon dioxide is at its lowest after a summer of plants growing and sucking it up in the northern hemisphere. As fall wears on, those plants lose their leaves, which in turn decompose, releasing the stored carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. At Mauna Loa Observatory, the world’s marquee site for monitoring carbon dioxide, there are signs that the process has begun but levels have remained above 400 ppm.

      Since the industrial revolution, humans have been altering this process by adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than plants can take up. That’s driven carbon dioxide levels higher and with it, global temperatures, along with a host of other climate change impacts.

  • Finance

    • BEANO: Brexit Existing As Name Only

      This speech follows the recent statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that EU funding will be guaranteed until 2020.

      Could it be that the United Kingdom is not heading for a Hard Brexit or a Soft Brexit, but a Brexit existing as a name only?

      Could there be a BEANO Brexit?

    • Greece asks for suspension of TTIP negotiations

      Temporary suspension of negotiations on the Transatlantic Partnership Trade and Investment (TTIP) asked the Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism, George Stathakis, the Council of Foreign Affairs Ministers for Trade, held today in Bratislava.

      The Minister stressed that in the negotiations on the TTIP «has not seen any progress in sensitive European issues” regarding reciprocity in the liberalization of public procurement, the shipping issues, farm products with a geographical indication, the protection of consumers against genetically modified products, and complex environmental protection issues.

      It acknowledged that the TTIP is a major political issue for the European Union and that this time there are a number of important issues pending. Closed the placement of saying “need a new framework for negotiations, a new start on a new basis and at the appropriate time.”

    • Saudi Arabia’s monarch cuts ministers’ pay by 20%

      Saudi Arabia cancelled bonus payments for state employees and cut ministers’ salaries by 20 per cent, steps that further spread the burden of shoring up public finances to a population accustomed to years of government largesse.

      The government also decided to suspend wage increases for the lunar year starting next month and curbed allowances for public-sector employees, according to royal decrees and a cabinet statement published by state media.

      The salaries of members of a legislative body that advises the monarchy were cut by 15 per cent.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Clinton campaign in ‘panic mode’ over Florida black voters

      To kill Donald Trump’s chances of capturing the White House, Hillary Clinton needs to win Florida. And to do that, she needs a big minority turnout.

      But Democrats are beginning to worry that too many African-American voters are uninspired by Clinton’s candidacy, leading her campaign to hit the panic button this week and launch an all-out blitz to juice-up voter enthusiasm.

      Bill Clinton, once nicknamed the “first black president,” embarks on a North Florida bus tour Friday in an attempt to draw African-American crowds. At the same time, Clinton herself will host events in Broward and St. Lucie counties, which have black populations higher than the statewide average.

    • 5 Conspiracy Theories That PROVE This Election Is The Worst

      The 2016 presidential election is well on its way to cementing its place in history’s annals of crazy. But do you know who finds it even crazier? Crazy people! Conspiracy nutjobs and other tinfoil hat cases follow political news too, and just as is the case with everyone else, there are candidates they do and don’t like. As such, the dark, sticky underbelly of the internet is inundated with madcap election theories that are somehow even more far-fetched than the accusations the actual candidates have been throwing around.

    • Michael Moore to Clinton supporters: Trump ‘won’

      Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore is telling Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s supporters to treat the first presidential debate of 2016 as a Donald Trump victory and to not get complacent.

      Moore took to Twitter Tuesday, arguing that Clinton had “too much preparation, too much class,” and he wished she had gone “full throttle” on Trump, the Republican presidential nominee.

    • FBI silent on pending Clinton perjury probe

      FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday refused to provide the House Judiciary Committee with any clue about whether the bureau will comply with a request to investigate Hillary Clinton for perjury.

      “You cannot tell us whether you are indeed investigating?” Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) asked during a hearing on FBI oversight.

      Comey said he would not comment on a pending referral.

      “When do you expect you will be able to tell us?” Goodlatte asked.

      “I don’t know,” Comey said.

      Goodlatte, along with Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), in July issued a criminal referral to U.S. District Attorney Channing Phillips, asking him to investigate whether Clinton lied to Congress during her marathon 11-hour testimony before the Select Committee on Benghazi.

    • I sold Trump $100,000 worth of pianos. Then he stiffed me.

      At Monday night’s debate, Donald Trump was called out for stiffing the people who work for him. Trump has been accused of failing to pay hundreds of contractors. And so far, he hasn’t seemed very sorry. When asked about failing to pay someone by Hillary Clinton this week, Trump replied, “Maybe he didn’t do a good job and I was unsatisfied with his work.”

      I take that attack personally. I’m one of the many small business owners who’ve been used by Trump, exploited and forced to suffer a loss because of his corporation’s shady practices.

      My relationship with Trump began in 1989, when he asked me to supply several grand and upright pianos to his then-new Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. I’d been running a music store for more than 30 years at that point, selling instruments to local schools and residents. My business was very much a family affair (my grandsons still run the store). And I had a great relationship with my customers — no one had ever failed to pay.

    • Jill Stein EXCLUSIVE: The debate through the Green Party lens

      Despite the efforts to silence the competition for the two establishment parties by excluding us from the televised presidential debates, we were able to reach millions of voters with our message using the open Internet and a cutting edge social media campaign.

      The debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), a front group created by the Democratic and Republican parties to fool the American public, are anti-democratic. The two parties should not have the power to decide that their opponents cannot debate. That is not what democracy looks like.

      When the CPD was founded by former chairs of the Democratic and Republican National Committees, both made it clear their goal was to keep challengers out of the debate. Republican Frank Fahrenkopf, who remains a co-chair, indicated at the news conference that the CPD was “not likely to look with favor on including third-party candidates in the debates.”

      The NY Times quoted Democrat Paul Kirk, who was more blunt: “As a party chairman, it’s my responsibility to strengthen the two-party system.” Kirk’s successor as co-chair is Michael McCurry, former press secretary for Bill Clinton. The arbitrary criteria set by the secretive CPD are not designed to exclude “non-viable candidates”, but rather to prevent any candidate outside the Democratic-Republican duopoly from becoming viable in the eyes of the public.

    • Bernie Sanders’s brother to fight David Cameron’s seat for Green party

      Larry Sanders, the older brother of Democrat politician Bernie Sanders, is hoping to emulate his sibling’s success by standing for the Green party in David Cameron’s Oxfordshire seat.

      Bernie Sanders gave Hillary Clinton an unexpectedly tough fight in the Democratic presidential primaries, riding a wave of idealism among a predominantly young voter base.

      Now his brother Larry, 82, a retired social worker and former Green party councillor, plans to attempt a similar feat for the Greens in the byelection for the rock-solid Conservative constituency of Witney.

      It will be a tall order. “It hasn’t always been the richest turf for the Green party,” a party spokesman said. To become MP for Witney, he would have to overturn Cameron’s 22,700-vote majority in a seat where the last Green candidate won just 5.1% of the vote.

    • The Great Debate That Never Was

      If the Green Party’s Jill Stein had been allowed in this week’s presidential debate, it would have transformed the discussion and altered the race. That’s why Democrats and Republicans kept it a duopoly-only affair. “The only circumstances in which either Trump or Clinton can muster a minimally compelling argument, is against each other.” Thanks to Democracy Now!, we got a glimpse at what a real debate might be like. Clinton and Trump would lose.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • AP: Across US, police officers abuse confidential databases

      No single agency tracks how often the abuse happens nationwide, and record-keeping inconsistencies make it impossible to know how many violations occur.

      But the AP, through records requests to state agencies and big-city police departments, found law enforcement officers and employees who misused databases were fired, suspended or resigned more than 325 times between 2013 and 2015. They received reprimands, counseling or lesser discipline in more than 250 instances, the review found.

      Unspecified discipline was imposed in more than 90 instances reviewed by AP. In many other cases, it wasn’t clear from the records if punishment was given at all. The number of violations was surely far higher since records provided were spotty at best, and many cases go unnoticed.

    • Justice Department Is Fighting Fired FBI Agent’s Use of Whistleblower Defense

      John Parkinson, an Iraq War veteran who led a special operations unit in FBI’s Sacramento field office, first filed whistleblower complaints almost a decade ago when he became concerned with his coworkers’ behavior. He identified a colleague as having “a career-long pattern of soliciting prostitutes,” who used an FBI’s surveillance plane to travel to Reno to pay for sex. He alleged another colleague had a porn habit, even viewing explicit material at work. At one point, Parkinson removed furniture from an FBI office to keep it from getting soiled by the colleague, according to court documents.

      After filing his complaint, Parkinson found himself the subject of what he says was a retaliatory investigation, and was eventually fired. He has been fighting that decision for the past four years through a Kafkaesque maze of courts and internal appeals.

      On Monday, his attorneys filed a brief to the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals arguing for his right to raise a whistleblower retaliation defense.

    • Letter From CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling Details Federal Prison’s Scandalous Treatment

      Dear Jeffrey,

      I have followed your case closely, and I have also read recent updates from John Kiriakou, whose case I also covered extensively. I published his prison letters from FCI Loretto. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions I have about your current struggle to obtain proper medical treatment for your heart condition.

      As of September 26, what is your current condition? What symptoms do you continue to endure? How critical do you believe it is that FCI Englewood take your symptoms seriously and grant you access to proper medical treatment? In other words, what do you need FCI Englewood to do for you now?

      How has your condition changed over the past months, and how responsive are officers within FCI Loretto to your insistence or requests for medical treatment? When you complain about pain, how long does it take until you finally see a doctor or medical professional?

      I understand you are expected to exhaust the administrative process before going outside this system to force the prison to give you proper medical treatment. What do you think of this process?

      I also recognize you, and your wife, Holly, have attempted other actions to convince the prison to take care of your urgent medical needs. What have you tried and what effect do you believe these actions have had?

      John Kiriakou reported on August 28 that Warden Deborah Denham had reversed her decision and would put a request into the “Bureau of Prisons Regional Office in Denver” that you “be taken to an outside cardiologist for testing.” Did you get to see a cardiologist? Is that how you found out you had high levels of Troponin?

    • The Proper Channels For Whistleblowing Still Mostly A Good Way For Messengers To Get Shot

      Whistleblower protections offered by the federal government are great in theory. In practice, they’re a mess. This administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined. The proper channels for reporting concerns are designed to deter complaints. Those that do use the proper channels are frequently exposed by those handling the complaints, leading to retaliatory actions that built-in protections don’t offer an adequate remedy for.

      Perhaps the ultimate insult is that the proper channels lead directly to two committees that have — for the most part — staunchly defended agencies like the NSA against criticism and any legislative attempts to scale back domestic surveillance programs. The House and Senate Intelligence Committees are the “proper channels,” whose offered protections can only be seen as the hollowest of promises, especially after the House Intelligence Committee’s lie-packed response to calls for Snowden’s pardon.

      What the federal government offers to whistleblowers is a damned if you do/don’t proposition. Bypass the proper channels and brace yourself for prosecution. Stay within the defined lanes and expect nothing to change — except maybe your security clearance, pay grade, or chances of advancement within the government.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • ISP Feebly Tries To Defend Usage Caps By Comparing Them To…Oreos

      Earlier this month, we noted how Netflix had complained to the FCC about broadband usage caps, quite-correctly noting they’re little more than price hikes on uncompetitive markets. Netflix also was quick to highlight how caps can be used anti-competitively against streaming video providers, something the FCC opened the door to when it decided to turn a blind eye to the practice of zero rating (or exempting your own or a paid partners’ content from counting against the cap). As such, Netflix urged the FCC to finally crack down on usage caps using its authority under Section 706 of the Telecom Act.

    • AT&T Sues Nashville To Keep Google Fiber At Bay

      We’ve been talking about how the latest front in the battle for better broadband competition is the boring old utility pole. As Susan Crawford highlighted last month, getting permission from an ISP that owns a city’s utility poles can be a slow, bureaucratic nightmare, since the incumbent ISP has every incentive to stall would-be competitors. As such, Google has been pushing for “one touch make ready” proposals that use an insured, third-party contractor agreed to by all ISPs to move any ISP’s gear during fiber installs (often a matter of inches).

      But again, because this would speed up Google Fiber’s time to market, incumbent ISPs like Comcast, AT&T, Frontier and Time Warner Cable have all been fighting these reform efforts. Excuses provided by the ISPs range from claims that such reform violates their Constitutional rights, to unsubstantiated claims that such a policy would result in massive new internet service outages. AT&T has taken things one step further, and has been suing cities like Louisville for passing such reform laws.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • 10 highlights from the MARQUES Annual Conference in Villaitana

      Indigenous rights, EU trade mark reforms, geographical indications, design rights and much more were discussed at the recent MARQUES Annual Conference.

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • BBC iPlayer: New TV licence rules come into force

        All viewers who use the iPlayer to watch any BBC programmes must now be covered by a TV licence after new rules came into force on Thursday.

        Previously, iPlayer users only needed a licence if they were using the service to watch live broadcasts.

        That meant it was legal to watch programmes after broadcast on catch-up without paying the annual £145.50 fee.

        But the TV licence requirements have now been extended to include catch-up, online premieres and online-only shows.

      • Cloudflare: We Can’t Shut Down Pirate Sites

        As one of the leading CDN and DDoS protection services, Cloudflare is used by millions of websites across the globe.

        This includes thousands of “pirate” sites, including The Pirate Bay, who rely on the U.S. based company to keep server loads down.

        Copyright holders are generally not happy that Cloudflare is doing business with these sites. While most stop at complaining, adult entertainment outfit ALS Scan took the matter to court.

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