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10.28.16

Links 28/10/2016: NetBSD 7.0.2, Linux Mint 18.1 Will be “Serena”

Posted in News Roundup at 6:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Voice / Linux Magazine Merge

    Issue 32 is the last issue of Linux Voice as a stand-alone magazine as we have joined Linux Magazine. This newly merged magazine will bring the best bits of Linux Voice and Linux Magazine together into a single volume. All four of us Linux Voice founders will still be here contributing to the newly merged magazine – you’ll find us in the aptly named Linux Voice section. We’ll continue to write about the things that excite us in the world of open source software and we’ll continue making our popular podcast.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Managing OpenStack with Open Source Tools

      Day 2 operations are still dominated by manual and custom individual scripts devised by system administrators. Automation is needed by enterprises. Based on the above analysis, Ansible is a leading open source project with a high number contributions and a diverse community of contributions. Thus Ansible is a well supported and popular open source tool to orchestrate and manage OpenStack.

    • Databricks Weaves Deep Learning into Cloud-Based Spark Platform

      Databricks, a company founded by the creators of the popular open-source Big Data processing engine Apache Spark, is a firm that we’ve been paying close attention to here at OStatic. We’re fans of the company’s online courses on Spark, and we recently caught up with Kavitha Mariappan, who is Vice President of Marketing at the company, for a guest post on open source tools and data science.

      Now, Databricks has announced the addition of deep learning support to its cloud-based Apache Spark platform. The company says this enhancement adds GPU support and integrates popular deep learning libraries to the Databricks’ big data platform, extending its capabilities to enable the rapid development of deep learning models. “Data scientists looking to combine deep learning with big data — whether it’s recognizing handwriting, translating speech between languages, or distinguishing between malignant and benign tumors — can now utilize Databricks for every stage of their workflow, from data wrangling to model tuning,” the company reports, adding “Databricks is the first to integrate these diverse workloads in a fast, secure, and easy-to-use Apache Spark platform in the cloud.”

    • OpenStack Building the Cloud for the Next 50 Years (and Beyond)

      Two OpenStack Foundation executives talk about what has gone wrong, what has gone right and what’s next for the open-source cloud.
      BARCELONA, Spain—When OpenStack got started in 2010, it was a relatively small effort with only two companies involved. Over the last six years, that situation has changed dramatically with OpenStack now powering telecom, retail and scientific cloud computing platforms for some of the largest organizations in the world.

    • The Myth of the Root Cause: How Complex Web Systems Fail

      Complex systems are intrinsically hazardous systems. While most web systems fortunately don’t put our lives at risk, failures can have serious consequences. Thus, we put countermeasures in place — backup systems, monitoring, DDoS protection, playbooks, GameDay exercises, etc. These measures are intended to provide a series of overlapping protections. Most failure trajectories are successfully blocked by these defenses, or by the system operators themselves.

    • How to assess the benefits of SDN in your network

      Software-defined networking has matured from a science experiment into deployable, enterprise-ready technology in the last several years, with vendors from Big Switch Networks and Pica8 to Hewlett Packard Enterprise and VMware offering services for different use cases. Still, Nemertes Research’s 2016 Cloud and Data Center Benchmark survey found a little more than 9% of organizations now deploying SDN in production.

  • Kernel Space

    • Applying the Linus Torvalds “Good Taste” Coding Requirement

      In a recent interview with Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, at approximately 14:20 in the interview, he made a quick point about coding with “good taste”. Good taste? The interviewer prodded him for details and Linus came prepared with illustrations.

      He presented a code snippet. But this wasn’t “good taste” code. This snippet was an example of poor taste in order to provide some initial contrast.

    • DTrace for Linux 2016

      With the final major capability for BPF tracing (timed sampling) merging in Linux 4.9-rc1, the Linux kernel now has raw capabilities similar to those provided by DTrace, the advanced tracer from Solaris. As a long time DTrace user and expert, this is an exciting milestone! On Linux, you can now analyze the performance of applications and the kernel using production-safe low-overhead custom tracing, with latency histograms, frequency counts, and more.

    • The initial bus1 patch posting
    • Linux 4.8.5

      I’m announcing the release of the 4.8.5 kernel.

      All users of the 4.8 kernel series must upgrade.

      The updated 4.8.y git tree can be found at:
      git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.8.y
      and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

      http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st…

    • Linux 4.4.28
    • BFQ I/O Scheduler Patches Revised, Aiming To Be Extra Scheduler In The Kernel

      FQ developers had hoped to replace CFQ in the mainline Linux kernel with Budget Fair Queueing for a variety of reasons but it hadn’t ended up making it mainline. Now the developers are hoping to introduce BFQ back to mainline as an extra available scheduler.

      Paolo Valente on Wednesday published the latest patches dubbed “BFQ-v0″ for adding it as an extra scheduler. He began by saying, “this new patch series turns back to the initial approach, i.e., it adds BFQ as an extra scheduler, instead of replacing CFQ with BFQ. This patch series also contains all the improvements and bug fixes recommended by Tejun, plus new features of BFQ-v8r5…On average CPUs, the current version of BFQ can handle devices performing at most ~30K IOPS; at most ~50 KIOPS on faster CPUs. These are about the same limits as CFQ. There may be room for noticeable improvements regarding these limits, but, given the overall limitations of blk itself, I thought it was not the case to further delay this new submission.”

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • Power Consumption & Efficiency Of The Linux Kernel For The Last Three Years

        Earlier this week I published Linux 3.9 through Linux 4.9 kernel benchmarks looking at the raw performance of various subsystems when testing each of the major kernel releases as far back as this Core i7 Haswell system was supported. From that same system, today is a look at testing the kernels going back to Linux 3.11 when Haswell graphics support was first in good shape for this Core i7 4790K box while looking at the raw power consumption and performance-per-Watt for these 19 major kernel releases.

      • The Idle Power Use Of The Past 19 Linux Kernel Releases

        This morning I published the Power Consumption and Efficiency Of The Linux Kernel For The Last Three Years article containing power consumption data for an Intel Haswell system going back to the Linux 3.11 kernel through Linux 4.9 Git. Those were some interesting power consumption numbers under load while here are the idle numbers.

        The idle tests were still running this morning so I opted to post them later since they’re interested in their own right. The same i7-4790K system was used for benchmarking all of these kernels from Linux 3.11 to Linux 4.9 (25 October Git). No other changes were made during the testing process. Each kernel was freshly booted to the Unity desktop and then launched the idle power consumption test for a period of three minutes while monitoring the AC power draw as reported by the WattsUp Power meter. Automating this with the Phoronix Test Suite: MONITOR=sys.power phoronix-test-suite benchmark idle.

      • Phoronix Test Suite 6.8 Milestone 1 Released
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • 6 Best Linux Desktop Environments [Part - 2]

      Linux has been developing at a good pace through this last years and with development comes better support for different hardware regarding support for proprietary drivers for video cards, better file systems, more choices in what operating system to use and one of the things that has it importance is distros graphical environment.

    • More Details On Enlightenment’s Ecore_Drm2 Atomic Modesetting

      Back in September the Enlightenment project’s EFL library added atomic mode-setting and nuclear page-flipping support to provide a “perfect rendering” and a “buttery smooth” experience. Earlier this month was then an update on the Ecore_Drm2 state while coming out this week is a Samsung OSG blog post explaining more about the atomic mode-setting details.

    • Ecore_Drm2: How to Use Atomic Modesetting

      In a previous article, I briefly discussed how the Ecore_Drm2 library came into being. This article will expand on that article and provide a brief introduction to the Atomic Modesetting and Nuclear Pageflip features inside the new Ecore_Drm2 library.

    • Papirus Icon Theme Scores Big October Update
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt Creator 4.2 Beta released

        Qt SCXML is a new module in Qt that allows you to create state machines from State Chart XML and embed them into Qt C++ and Qt Quick applications (Overview). It was released as Technical Preview in Qt 5.7 and will be released fully supported with Qt 5.8.

        Qt Creator 4.2 now supplements the module by offering a graphical editor for SCXML (experimental). It features editing states and sub-states, transitions, events, and all kinds of properties. The editor is experimental and the plugin is not loaded by default. Turn it on in Help > About Plugins (Qt Creator > About Plugins on macOS) to try it.

      • Qt Creator 4.2 Beta Released
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GObject and SVG

        GSVG is a project to provide a GObject API, using Vala. It has almost all, with some complementary, interfaces from W3C SVG 1.1 specification.

        GSVG is LGPL library. It will use GXml as XML engine. SVG 1.1 DOM interfaces relays on W3C DOM, then using GXml is a natural choice.

        SVG is XML and its DOM interfaces, requires to use Object’s properties and be able to add child DOM Elements; then, we need a new set of classes.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Chapeau Is Exactly What the Linux Desktop Needs

        That is where Chapeau comes in. Chapeau is a cutting-edge Linux distribution, built from Fedora Workstation, using the GNOME desktop environment, and intended to be an incredibly intuitive and easy to use, out-of-the box experience.

        Trust me when I say Chapeau is exactly that.

        Part of the Chapeau marketing states that it is “Fedora without the work.” I could not have said it better. With Chapeau, you get a desktop distribution in which everything works—in every way—out of the box.

    • New Releases

      • Maui 2 “Blue Tang” released

        The Maui team is happy to announce the release of Maui 2 – 64bit version.

        This is our second version of Maui which comes with plenty new features and fixes based on Plasma 5.8.2, KF 5.27 and Qt 5.7.0.
        We also provide the latest LTS Linux Kernel 4.4 together with an updated Ubuntu 16.04 LTS base system.
        Firefox was updated to version 49 and Thunderbird to version 45.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • New KNOPPIX Release, LibreOffice 5.1.6, Rosa Down

        In Linux news today KNOPPIX 7.7.1 was released to the public based on Debian with GNOME 3.22, KDE 5.7.2, and “Everything 3D.” The Rosa project is experiencing network issues and folks may experience problems trying to connect to their services the next few days. LibreOffice 5.1.6 was announced today by The Document Foundation, the sixth update to the Still branch for stable users, and a new vulnerability was disclosed in GNU Tar.

      • Network shutdown

        From our part we will try our best to make the migrating process as smooth and seamless as possible for our partners.
        Note that the most possible period for unavailability of our resources is this weekend, but there is some probability it may also occur on Friday 10/28/16.
        In the first place, this process is aimed to improve the quality of our services, so please be patient and cooperative.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the Week 2016/43

        The magic number this week is 6: that’s how many snapshots have been published since the last weekly review (1020, 1022, 1023, 1024, 1025 and 1026). Some of them were a bit larger than average (1026 – a big rebuild due to bash 4.4).

      • Identify constraint problems

        Until now it was not possible to easily identify if the constraints are the reaseon for your job to hang in state scheduled and not switching to building. That caused a lot of confusion for it was not clear what the problem is and if the state would change.

    • Red Hat Family

      • ESDS Teams Up With Red Hat On Managed Cloud Hosting Services

        ESDS Software Solution has announced that it has joined hands with Red Hat to bring together the benefits of cloud solutions to legacy applications and enterprise databases. Customers can now avail managed data and cloud hosting services on ESDS eNlight Cloud platform that allows vertical auto scaling of virtual machines. ESDS can now offer needed agility to enterprises that may not otherwise reap the benefits of cloud, given the architecture of their systems.

        eNlight Cloud is a state-of-the-art cloud hosting solution with a built-in ability to automatically scale CPU and RAM on-the fly. Customers can now access the benefits of automatic load sensing and scaling, pay-per-consumption metered billing, root access to enterprise databases and managed OS, database and network services by using Red Hat Enterprise Linux on patented eNlight Cloud. This solution is targeted at customers across several verticals including aviation, banking, manufacturing, oil & gas, shipping and telecommunications.

      • Swisscom, UKCloud Adopt Red Hat OpenStack Platform

        Red Hat announced today that both Swisscom and UKCloud will be leveraging its OpenStack platform as the companies transition toward cloud computing. Swisscom will use the platform to develop its own cloud platform, and UKCloud will provide its customers with the ability to deliver digital services directly to UK citizens.

      • Red Hat named as visionary in Gartner’s 2016 Magic Quadrant

        Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, on Thursday announced that Gartner, Inc. has positioned Red Hat in the “Visionaries” quadrant of Gartner’s October 2016 Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Systems and Object Storage for Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage.

      • CentOS 6 Linux Servers Receive Important Kernel Security Patch, Update Now

        We reported a couple of days ago that Johnny Hughes from the CentOS Linux team published an important kernel security advisory for users of the CentOS 7 operating system.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Bodhi 2.3.0 released

          Bodhi 2.3.0 is a feature and bug fix release.

        • Fedora at Ohio Linuxfest 2016

          We arrived at the our hotel around 1PM on Friday. After checking in we headed over to find the new site in the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The first things we noticed was the Columbus Convention Center is doing a major renovation and one of those renovations was they removed the escalators from the food court to the second floor. At first we thought this may be a issue to move the event stuff in but there was an elevator close by. Also no signage for OLF in the Food Court area. After getting off the elevator on the second floor there was a sign pointing around the corner to the Ohio Linuxfest registration table. This year Ohio Linuxfest charged $10 for general attendees (free to students with student ID). We checked in and out our badges (yes insert favorite Blazing Saddles joke here). We walked down to the Vendor Expo hall which this year had a grand total of 28 exhibitors (see website for vendor lists). While the Expo was setup ready for Vendors to move in but the Vendor Expo was not open to the public on Friday.

        • The Bugs So Far Potentially Blocking The Fedora 25 Release

          Adam Williamson of the Fedora QA team has sent out a list of the bugs currently outstanding that could block the Fedora 25 release from happening on its current schedule should they not be fixed in time.

        • Updated Fedora 24 ISO Respins Now Available with Dirty COW-Patched Linux Kernel

          It looks like a new set of updated Live ISO images for the Fedora 24 GNU/Linux operating system were published by Ben Williams, founder of the Fedora Unity Project and a Fedora Ambassador.

          Dubbed F24-20161023, the updated Live ISOs a few days ago and include up-to-date components from the official Fedora 24 Linux software repositories, with which was fully syncronized as of October 23, 2016. Of course, this means that they also include the latest Linux kernel update fully patched against the “Dirty COW” bug.

        • PHP version 5.6.28RC1 and 7.0.13RC1
        • Flock Stories 2016, Episode 1: Redon Skikuli

          Flock Stories by Chris WardIf you were wondering where Flock 2018 might be, today’s guest Redon Skikuli might just have your answer! Redon is not just a Fedora community contributor, he’s a Fedora community creator. I ask Redon what he’s up to these days and why he thinks we should also consider joining future Flocks.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Security-minded µQseven COM taps Allwinner A64

      Theobroma’s µQseven form factor “A64-µQ7”COM runs Linux 4.x on a quad-core -A53 Allwinner A64, and adds a security module.

      Austria-based Theobroma has released its second Allwinner-based computer-on-module using the half-size, 70 x 40mm µQseven form-factor. The A64-µQ7 follows the A31 µQ7, based on the quad-core, Cortex-A7 Allwinner A31. This time around the company has opted for the 64-bit, quad-core Cortex-A53 Allwinner A64.

    • Latest 96Boards SBC ships with GbE/PCIe add-on

      Fujitsu’s 96Boards CE compatible “F-Cue” SBC runs Linux on a quad-core Cortex-A15/A7 Socionext MB86S71 SoC, and offers a PCIe/GbE expansion board.

      The Fujitsu Electronics F-Cue is the latest Linux-driven 96Boards CE form factor SBC, following others like the uCRobotics Bubblegum-96 and Qualcomm DragonBoard 410c. The open-spec board uses the same 85 x 54mm CE spec, featuring standard 40- and 60-pin mezzanine expansion connectors. The board is pricier than most 96Boards entries, selling for $286, plus another for $48 an optional PCIe/GbE expansion board.

    • Rugged Qseven module runs Linux on Apollo Lake

      Seco unveiled a “Q7-B03” Qseven COM with Intel’s new Atom E3900 “Apollo Lake” SoC and optional onboard SATA flash and -40 to 85°C support.

    • 96Boards SBC adds “Giga” expansion and optional GbE card
    • Rugged Bay Trail boardset offers dual GbE and dual mini-PCIe

      The device supports Linux, Windows, Windows Embedded, and VxWorks, and offers five-year availability.

    • Tiny, open spec SBC offers wireless and 8GB eMMC

      FriendlyElec’s $45, 75 x 40mm “NanoPi S2” SBC runs Debian or Android on a quad-core A9 SoC, and offers RPi expansion, WiFi, Bluetooth, and 8GB eMMC.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Video: Introducing Samsung ARTIK Cloud with Samsung Gear S2

          Samsung Electronics have previously announced SAMSUNG ARTIK Cloud™, which is an open data exchange platform designed to connect devices and applications. One of the goals of the SAMSUNG ARTIK Cloud is to provide developers the tools they need to securely connect to Internet of Things (IoT) devices, collect data and react to it accordingly.

          Companies can benefit from using open APIs and tools in order to accelerate their “time to market” and ultimately start monetizing their Investment. SAMSUNG ARTIK Cloud has a tiered pricing model, but the great thing is that you can actually start using it for FREE.

        • Game: Group Play Drag Racing in Tizen Store for Samsung Z1, Z2 and Z3

          Remember the World Cricket Championship 2 game? The most rated cricket game in the Tizen Store by Nextwave Multimedia Pvt. Ltd. Today they have added a new game named “Group Play Drag Racing“. It’s a Racing game against 6 racers, and you have to use your gears to the best of your ability in order to be fast fast fast !

      • Android

        • NVIDIA rolling out Shield Android TV upgrade 3.3 with improved audio, updated Vulkan API, and more
        • Software Upgrade 3.3 Available For NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV
        • PlayStation Vue launches on Android TV
        • Google Assistant channel launches on IFTTT
        • Google Allo Update 2.0 Brings Android 7.0 Nougat Features To The Table: Split-Screen, Quick Reply Support
        • Android 7.0 Nougat OTA download for OnePlus 3, OnePlus 2, OnePlus X happening this December
        • In Tech News: Apple iPhone Quarterly Results Signal Yet Another Year of 15% Flat Market Share

          If you look at the above picture, you really need to come to grips, that there is not, and will never be, a global take-over of the smartphone space by Apple’s iPhone. It has a VERY steady slice of the market. A healthy, profitable and loyal slice, but it is not growing nor is it shrinking. Apple finds one in seven smartphone owners eager to own their devices, and six in seven smartphone buyers will not buy an iPhone, either they don’t want it, or can’t afford it. Deal with this reality. 15%. That is not the world

        • How I Use Android: EvolveSMS and Talon developer Luke Klinker

          Luke Klinker knows his way around app development.

          Klinker started building his Android app empire when he was a student at the University of Iowa. He embraced Google’s Material Design standard and worked with his brother to create clean and intuitive apps that were packed with features and yet easy to use.

        • LG V20 Review: For spec-hungry Android enthusiasts, it’s the best Android phablet you can buy [Video]

          2016 has been a tough year for the Android market. In previous years we couldn’t count on one hand the number of awesome devices, but this year there have only been a few to choose from. The Galaxy S7, specifically the Edge has stood out as a clear winner, despite the praise given to competing devices like the HTC 10. On the other hand, no one really cared about LG this year. The G5 was a flop by every definition.

          Now in late 2016, there still isn’t much to pick from. The Galaxy Note 7 was close to perfection, and then it literally exploded in Samsung’s face. Google’s Pixel aims to fill the void, and redefine what an Android smartphone can and should be. However, if you’re not looking to get a Pixel, the LG V20 is 100% what you should be looking at, especially if you’re aiming for a big phone. Let’s take a closer look.

        • Android 7.0 Nougat: 15 hidden tips and tricks

          WE’VE RAIDED THE release notes in pieces past, but this time around (and with Google’s Pixel XL in tow) we’re running through some of the more useful additions to have found their way into the latest Android build.

          And for those of you who’ve skipped to the end, cats and hamburgers both have their uses…

        • Why Apple-to-Android upgrade comparisons are utterly meaningless

          Android upgrades are a contentious topic. Bring ‘em up in any way, and you’re bound to see some riled up people.

          I should know: I’ve observed and analyzed Android upgrades for years now — all the way back to the now-ancient-seeming Android 2.2 Froyo era, when widespread rollouts for the platform were still an untested concept. And in all of that time, one thing has stayed pretty much the same: By and large, Android manufacturers suck at delivering timely and reliable OS updates.

          But hang on: Not everything about the Android upgrade situation has remained constant over these past several years. In fact, one very significant area has evolved considerably — and it’s an area that’s almost always overlooked as part of the Android upgrade discussion, particularly when iOS comparisons come into the picture.

          As we think about Google’s new Pixel phone and its unique position as the sole current handset guaranteed to get quick and regular Android updates, it’s important to step back and put the situation in perspective — because there really is much more to it than what we see on the surface. And while iPhone-to-Android upgrade comparisons are an inevitable side effect of the discussion (and one I’ve already heard brought up plenty in the context of the Pixel, especially when it comes to its short-seeming two-year window for support), the truth is that upgrades on iOS and Android are drastically different beasts.

        • BlackBerry reveals its LAST ever Android smartphone

          Marking BlackBerry’s third foray into Android devices, the DTEK60 has been designed to take on the likes of Samsung and HTC with a polished look and powerful hardware.

          The device features a 5.5-inch QuadHD display with a resolution of 2,560×1,440-pixels and a pixel density of 538ppi, which BlackBerry says can display up to 16 million colours.

          Inside, there’s a speedy quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor from Qualcomm, backed up by 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, which can be boosted up to 2TB via a microSD card.

        • Latest Strategy Analytics data shows Chinese Android manufacturers eating at Apple’s marketshare

          Apple just reported its latest earnings yesterday evening, and now Strategy Analytics is out with its latest report concerning the smartphone industry. The latest data shows the entire smartphone industry saw shipments rise 6 percent year over year to hit 375 million worldwide during Q3 2016.

          Shipment rose from 345.2 million units in Q3 2015 to 375.4 million in Q3 2016, which is the industry’s fastest growth rate for a year. Strategy Analytics attributes much of this growth to new product launches from Apple.

          Individually for Apple, though, the numbers weren’t as bright. The company saw its shipments fall from 48 million to 45.5 million, just as it reported during its earnings call. This fall pushed Apple’s marketshare from 13.6 percent to 12.1 percent, though Apple is holding strong to its #2 spot.

        • Android, Samsung Improve in Third Quarter

          Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) released analysis of the results of its research on mobile phone operating systems and brands for the calendar quarter that ended September 30, 2016. This analysis features findings about market share trends in mobile phone operating systems and brands in the US from July-September 2016.

          CIRP research shows that the two major mobile operating systems, Google Android and Apple iOS, controlled about 97% of US customer mobile phone activations in the third quarter (Chart 1). In the September 2016 quarter, Android accounted for 71% of US activations, the same share as the year-ago September 2015 quarter, and up from 63% in the June 2016 quarter. iOS accounted for 26% of activations, about the same as its 27% share in the year-ago September 2015 quarter, but down from its 32% share in the June 2016 quarter.

        • This Android keyboard trick fixes bad autocorrect suggestions
        • 11 things Android phone makers should copy from the Pixe
        • Review: 7 PDF editing tools for iOS and Android
        • Qualcomm acquires NXP Semiconductors for $47 billion
        • Moto M with metal body and Snapdragon 625 leaks

Free Software/Open Source

  • Pitt, partners create open source software for cancer genome data

    Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, UPMC and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center have created software to help investigators more easily navigate genomic cancer data.

    The free, open-source software, profiled Thursday in the journal PLOS ONE, processes data generated by The Cancer Genome Atlas project. Funding for the new software was provided by the Institute of Precision Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

  • Starting a Career as an Open Source Developer

    “Disney, John Deere and Walmart. Any idea what these three companies have in common?”

    The question was asked on Wednesday by Brandon Keepers, GitHub’s head of open source. He was about three minutes into a session he was conducting called “Contributing to Your Career” at the All Things Open conference.

    “All three of these companies are actually software companies,” he answered after taking a moment to tease the audience. “They do other things. They build tractors, protect trademarks and build amusement parks, and sell groceraies and things that you need everyday. But they’ve also become software companies and they’ve become really active in open source — and they’re not alone.”

  • A look at how retail giant Walmart is becoming open source first

    It’s rare that we speak to large, global enterprises that are redesigning their technology stack and culture around an open source first policy. More often than not companies stick to their legacy vendors of choice, or they shift to ‘reliable’ cloud/digital vendors where similar buying rules apply.

    However, that’s exactly what Walmart is doing. Since acquiring performance lifecycle management start-up OneOps four years ago, in order to implement a DevOps approach to its e-commerce environment, the retailer is also prioritising open source over everything else – with it having made a big investment in OpenStack for its infrastructure.

  • Open source no longer scares the enterprise

    Open source breaks the rules on corporate procurement, but developers never play by the rules and now open source has sneaked in through the back door

    A study by Vanson Bourne for Rackspace reports that businesses are making big savings by using open source.

    In the survey of 300 organisations, three out of five respondents cited cost savings as the top benefit, reducing average cost per project by £30,146.

  • Defining MANO: Open Source vs. Standards

    As service providers are working to deploy NFV-based services, they are finding that management and orchestration (MANO) is a pain point. One of the big questions about MANO is how we go from a high-level architecture diagram to interoperable implementations. Do we take the traditional telco path and work through standards bodies? Or do we take a cloud-centric path and focus on open source development projects?

  • Eclipse Kapua IoT Project Gets Code from Eurotech and Red Hat

    The nascent Eclipse Kapua project got a big boost this week from its chief sponsors, open source solutions provider Red Hat and M2M/IoT platform provider Eurotech. The two companies announced their first official code contributions to the recently approved project, through which they are developing a modular, cloud-based platform for managing IoT gateways and smart edge devices. Red Hat and Eurotech collaborated to propose the project last June.

  • APIStrat Boston to highlight link between APIs and open source projects

    This year’s API Strategy and Practice (known as APIStrat)—to be held in Boston on November 2-4—has a strong open source component running throughout the event, and with little wonder. Successful API strategies more often than not either contribute new open source projects, or draw on the rich source of tools already built by the open source community.

    The API mindset has always lent itself to an open source ethos. APIs are all about opening up internal assets, data, and systems in order to connect and collaborate with a wider ecosystem of partners and end users. Amongst leadership businesses that have a strong API strategy, seeing so many contribute and use open source projects is not surprising, and this is reflected throughout this year’s APIStrat program. After all, two of the key specifications formats that are used across the industry to describe APIs—the Open API Initiative and RAML—are both open source projects. Projects like Mashape’s Kong and Tyk’s API Gateway are both open source and gaining greater recognition and uptake.

  • Phil Shapiro: Open Source and Social Justice Advocate

    If you visit the public library in Tacoma Park, Maryland, you might run into Phil Shapiro, who is in charge of their computer lab. Or if you visit Foss Force (you’ve heard of that website, right?) you’ll see his byline here, here, here, and many other places.

    According to my thesaurus, “Phil Shapiro” is a synonym for “prolific.” And then there’s Twitter, where Phil holds forth on many topics, often many times daily.

    For a change, this video is a story that’s not by Phil, but about Phil. How did he get into Linux? How well is Linux accepted by library patrons? How do the Open Source and Social Justice movements complement each other, and how they they work together better? All good questions for Phil, so they’re questions we asked him. And his answers are enlightening — but also light-hearted, because Phil is a light-hearted guy.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Our Role in Protecting the Internet — With Your Help

        Protecting the security of the Internet requires everyone. We talked about this theme in a recent post, and in this post we’ll expand on the role Mozilla plays, and how our work supports and relies on the work of the other participants in the Web.

      • Mozilla Hosts Seventh Annual MozFest in London this weekend

        Now in its seventh year, MozFest is the world’s go-to event for the free and open Internet movement. Part meeting place for like-minded individuals keen to share ideas; part playground for Web enthusiasts, hobbyist netizens and seasoned open source technonauts alike, part hack-a-thon; part living breathing creative brainstorm; part speaker-series; MozFest is a buzzy hive of activity. It attracts thousands of visitors each year (1,800 in 2015) from as many as 50 countries around the world, making it the biggest unconference of its kind.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.1.6 Office Suite Released for Enterprise Deployments with 68 Fixes

      Today, October 27, 2016, we’ve been informed by The Document Foundation about the general availability of the sixth maintenance update to the LibreOffice 5.1 open-source and cross-platform office suite.

      You’re reading that right, LibreOffice 5.1 got a new update not the current stable LibreOffice 5.2 branch, as The Document Foundation is known to maintain at least to versions of its popular office suite, one that is very well tested and can be used for enterprise deployments and another one that offers the latest technologies.

    • LibreOffice 5.1.6 available for download

      The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 5.1.6, the sixth minor release of the LibreOffice 5.1 family launched in January 2016, targeted at individual users and enterprise deployments. Users of previous LibreOffice releases should start planning the update to the new version.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF announces change in general counsel

      On Thursday, October 27, 2016, Eben Moglen stepped down as general counsel to the Free Software Foundation (FSF). Moglen, who in addition to being a professor of law and legal history at Columbia University, is the founder, president, and executive director of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), and a former FSF board member, has generously served as the FSF’s pro bono general counsel for the last 23 years.

    • Licensing resource series: How to choose a license for your own work

      We provide plenty of resources when it comes to picking a license. From our list of licenses to essays on copyleft, if you are looking to figure out what license is right for you there is plenty of information to rely upon. But this month’s resource helps to pull that information together in one place to make selecting a license simple.

      Our guide, “How to choose a license for your work” is one stop browsing for answering many of the questions you may have when it comes to finding the right license. It provides recommendations based on the state of the work, but also based on the type of work that it is. While the Affero GNU General Public License version 3 works great for server software, documentation would probably be better served with a license directed at such, like the GNU Free Documentation License version 1.3. Smaller works can often get away without a strong copyleft, but still need to address patents, and so Apache License version 2.0 might be appropriate. The guide explains the reasoning behind the different recommendation for these and more. It also links to all those other resources mentioned above in case you need to dive in deeper when picking out a license.

    • Friday ‘Frankenstein’ Directory IRC meetup: October 28th starting at 1pm EDT/17:00 UTC
    • Free Software Directory meeting recap for October 21st, 2016
  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Conservancy’s First GPL Enforcement Feedback Session

      As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I had the privilege of attending Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELC EU) and the OpenWrt Summit in Berlin, Germany earlier this month. I gave a talk (for which the video is available below) at the OpenWrt Summit. I also had the opportunity to host the first of many conference sessions seeking feedback and input from the Linux developer community about Conservancy’s GPL Compliance Project for Linux Developers.

      ELC EU has no “BoF Board” where you can post informal sessions. So, we scheduled the session by word of mouth over a lunch hour. We nevertheless got an good turnout (given that our session’s main competition was eating food :) of about 15 people.

      Most notably and excitingly, Harald Welte, well-known Netfilter developer and leader of gpl-violations.org, was able to attend. Harald talked about his work with gpl-violations.org enforcing his own copyrights in Linux, and explained why this was important work for users of the violating devices. He also pointed out that some of the companies that were sued during his most active period of gpl-violations.org are now regular upstream contributors.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Chemistry project raises up the next generation of researchers

      In 2007 I took part in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) developing the Avogadro application. As we were developing Avogadro, we founded The Open Chemistry project as an umbrella project to develop related tools for chemistry and materials science. Our goal is to bring high quality open source tools to research communities working in these areas, and to develop other tools to complement the Avogadro molecular editor.

      This year we were very pleased to be selected as a mentoring organization for GSoC; a few of our mentors are Geoff Hutchison, Adam Tenderholt, David Koes, and Karol Langner, who are all long-time contributors in related projects. And, we were lucky to get three slots for student projects. To get started, we lined up a number of mentors from related communities, and developed an ideas page.

  • Programming/Development

    • Getting Groovy with data

      Groovy is an almost perfect complement to Java, providing a compact, highly expressive and compatible scripting environment for my use. Of course, Groovy isn’t totally perfect; as with any programming language, its design is based on a series of trade-offs that need to be understood in order to produce quality results. But for me, Groovy’s advantages far outweigh its disadvantages, making it an indispensable part of my data analysis toolkit. In a series of articles, I’ll explain how and why.

Leftovers

  • Spreadsheets have ruled Earth for too long. Business must embrace the cloud [iophk: “the pie chart has already done untold damage, how much more when coupled with clown computing?”]

    The one certainty in business software and services is that there will always be more acronyms. At the moment, though, there’s more to the sector than just another jargon explosion: we’re moving towards a new way of looking at IT, one that applies best-practice business processes to any company—however small it may be, and however fast it may grow.

    This sounds good, but wading through websites full of perky lists of generic benefits can leave many IT managers still wondering exactly what they’re being sold.

  • Finland ranks in top 3 travel destinations for 2017

    In its annual ranking, independent-travel publisher Lonely Planet names Canada, Colombia and Finland as prime destinations for 2017.

  • 13 IT leaders confess their scary stories and deep, dark fears

    Today’s IT leaders are facing a world of unknowns and underlying fears on a daily basis – from the ransomware that could take down their organizations, to the emergence of new digital disruptors that could render their business obsolete, to the absence of quality IT talent they need to stay ahead of these and other threats. Although scary, it is comforting to know that you are not alone.

    We asked 13 IT leaders to share their stories of unexpected or frightening events in their career, or the threats on the horizon making them nervous for the future of IT. Read on for their tales from the IT crypt.

  • Science

    • Google’s neural networks invent their own encryption

      Computers are keeping secrets. A team from Google Brain, Google’s deep learning project, has shown that machines can learn how to protect their messages from prying eyes.

      Researchers Martín Abadi and David Andersen demonstrate that neural networks, or “neural nets” – computing systems that are loosely based on artificial neurons – can work out how to use a simple encryption technique.

      In their experiment, computers were able to make their own form of encryption using machine learning, without being taught specific cryptographic algorithms. The encryption was very basic, especially compared to our current human-designed systems. Even so, it is still an interesting step for neural nets, which the authors state “are generally not meant to be great at cryptography”.

  • Hardware

    • 2001: An Apple Odyssey

      A lot about Apple has changed since 2001, but one thing that hasn’t are the haters.

      Exactly 15 years ago this week, Apple released the iPod, a device that was met with a famously harsh one-line review from Slashdot founder Rob Malda: “No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.”

      If you’re an Apple fan, you know that quote inside and out, because it was a great example of the haters being wrong and a nice quote to pull out of your hat.

    • The question about ‘grand strategy’ that made Tim Cook unhappy on Apple’s earning call was based on a Harvard professor’s theory that makes uncomfortable reading for Apple

      Last night, Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a terse, unhappy answer to this question from UBS analyst Steven Milunovich: “Does Apple today have a grand strategy for what you want to do?”

      Milunovich asked the question two different ways, and Cook gave only non-answers, one of which was “as usual, we’re not going to talk about what’s ahead.”

      There is a reason Milunovich asked that question. It’s not merely about Cook’s tradition of not giving clues about what Apple will do next. Rather, Milunovich’s question was based on a theory by Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen. The theory makes uncomfortable reading for observers of Apple, and perhaps for insiders too.

  • Security

    • Thursday’s security updates
    • Mirai will be dwarfed by future Android botnet DDoS attacks, Lookout warns

      THE MIRAI BOTNET will seem like nothing compared to the havoc that is caused when hackers turn their attention to hijacking Android smartphones, Lookout’s security research chief has warned.

      Speaking to the INQUIRER, Mike Murray said it would be easy for cyber crooks to take over millions of smartphones, noting how often the Android requires patching.

    • Deal Seeks to Limit Open-Source Bugs

      Seeking to spot potential security vulnerabilities in systems that increasingly rely on open source software, software license optimization vendor Flexera Software has acquired a specialist in identifying potentially vulnerable software components.

      Flexera, Itasca, Ill., said Thursday (Oct. 27) it is acquiring San Francisco-based Palamida Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

    • Senator Wants to Classify Insecure Internet of Things Devices As ‘Harmful’

      A massive attack carried out with a zombie army of hacked internet-connected devices caused intermittent outages on Friday, preventing tens of thousands of people from accessing popular sites such as Twitter, Reddit, and Netflix.

      For many security experts, an attack like that one, which leveraged thousands of easy-to-hack Internet of Things such as DVRs and surveillance cameras—weaponized thanks to a mediocre but effective malware known as Mirai—is just a sign of things to come.

      That’s why Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) wants the US government to do something about it.

    • Senator Prods Federal Agencies on IoT Mess

      The co-founder of the newly launched Senate Cybersecurity Caucus is pushing federal agencies for possible solutions and responses to the security threat from insecure “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices, such as the network of hacked security cameras and digital video recorders that were reportedly used to help bring about last Friday’s major Internet outages.

      In letters to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Virginia Senator Mark Warner (D) called the proliferation of insecure IoT devices a threat to resiliency of the Internet.

    • European Parliament increases budget for EU-Fossa

      On Wednesday, the European Parliament agreed to a follow-up to the European Commission’s ‘EU Free and Open Source Software Auditing’ project (EU-Fossa). The plan for the next phase is included in the EU 2017 budget that was agreed upon by the European Parliament.

    • European Parliament votes to extend Free Software security audits

      Remember how I raised €1 million to demonstrate security and freedom aren’t opposites? Well here’s what happened next and how we are going to move forward with this.

      In 2014, two major security vulnerabilities, Heartbleed and Shellshock, were discovered. Both concerned Free Software projects that are widely used throughout the Internet, on computers, tablets, and smartphones alike. My colleague Max Andersson from the Swedish Greens and I proposed a so-called “pilot project”, the Free and Open Source Software Audit (FOSSA).

    • Princeton Upskills U on Open Source Security

      During Wednesday’s Upskill U course, lecturer Gary Sockrider, principal security technologist for Arbor Networks , explained the history of DDoS attacks, case studies of recent attacks, and the business impact of these security threats. DDoS attacks not only raise operational expenses, but can also negatively affect an organization’s brand, and result in loss of revenue and customers. (Listen to Security: Tackling DDoS.)

      “Having visibility is key, you can’t stop something you can’t see. Having good visibility across your own network is vital in finding and stopping these attacks,” said Sockrider. “You can leverage common tools and technology that are already available on the network equipment you own today such as flow technologies, looking at SIP logs … Obviously you’ll want to get to some specific intelligent DDoS mitigation in the end.”

    • GNU Tar “Pointy Feather” Vulnerability Disclosed (CVE-2016-6321)

      Last week was the disclosure of the Linux kernel’s Dirty COW vulnerability while the latest high-profile open-source project going public with a new security CVE is GNU’s Tar. Tar CVE-2016-6321 is also called POINTYFEATHER according to the security researchers.

      The GNU Pointy Feather vulnerability comes down to a pathname bypass on the Tar extraction process. Regardless of the path-name(s) specified on the command-line, the attack allows for file and directory overwrite attacks using specially crafted tar archives.

    • Let’s Encrypt and The Ford Foundation Aim To Create a More Inclusive Web

      Let’s Encrypt was awarded a grant from The Ford Foundation as part of its efforts to financially support its growing operations. This is the first grant that has been awarded to the young nonprofit, a Linux Foundation project which provides free, automated and open SSL certificates to more than 13 million fully-qualified domain names (FQDNs).

      The grant will help Let’s Encrypt make several improvements, including increased capacity to issue and manage certificates. It also covers costs of work recently done to add support for Internationalized Domain Name certificates.

      “The people and organizations that Ford Foundation serves often find themselves on the short end of the stick when fighting for change using systems we take for granted, like the Internet,” Michael Brennan, Internet Freedom Program Officer at Ford Foundation, said. “Initiatives like Let’s Encrypt help ensure that all people have the opportunity to leverage the Internet as a force for change.”

    • How security flaws work: SQL injection

      Thirty-one-year-old Laurie Love is currently staring down the possibility of 99 years in prison. After being extradited to the US recently, he stands accused of attacking systems belonging to the US government. The attack was allegedly part of the #OpLastResort hack in 2013, which targeted the US Army, the US Federal Reserve, the FBI, NASA, and the Missile Defense Agency in retaliation over the tragic suicide of Aaron Swartz as the hacktivist infamously awaited trial.

    • How To Build A Strong Security Awareness Program

      At the Security Awareness Summit this August in San Francisco, a video clip was shown that highlights the need to develop holistic security awareness. The segment showed an employee being interviewed as a subject matter expert in his office cubicle. Unfortunately, all his usernames and passwords were on sticky notes behind him, facing the camera and audience for all to see.

      I bring this story up not to pick on this poor chap but to highlight the fact that security awareness is about human behavior, first and foremost. Understand that point and you are well on your way to building a more secure culture and organization.

      My work as director of the Security Awareness Training program at the SANS Institute affords me a view across hundreds of organizations and hundreds of thousands of employees trying to build a more secure workforce and society. As we near the end of this year’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month, here are two tips to incorporate robust security awareness training into your organization and daily work.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Britain, U.S. sending planes, troops to deter Russia in the east

      Britain said on Wednesday it will send fighter jets to Romania next year and the United States promised troops, tanks and artillery to Poland in NATO’s biggest military build-up on Russia’s borders since the Cold War.

      Germany, Canada and other NATO allies also pledged forces at a defense ministers meeting in Brussels on the same day two Russian warships armed with cruise missiles entered the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Denmark, underscoring East-West tensions.

      In Madrid, the foreign ministry said Russia had withdrawn a request to refuel three warships in Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta after NATO allies said they could be used to target civilians in Syria.

      The ships were part of an eight-ship carrier battle group – including Russia’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov – that is expected to join around 10 other Russian vessels already off the Syrian coast, diplomats said.

    • Yazidi women who escaped from Isis win EU human rights prize

      Two Yazidi women who survived sexual enslavement by Islamic State before escaping and becoming “inspirational” advocates for their community in Iraq have won the EU’s prestigious Sakharov human rights prize.

      Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar were abducted with other Yazidi women in August 2014 when their home village of Kocho in Sinjar, northern Iraq, was attacked by Isis jihadis. It was one of the darkest episodes Iraq has suffered at the hands of the terrorist group.

      The annual Sakharov prize for freedom of thought, established in 1988, is named after the Soviet physicist and outspoken dissident Andrei Sakharov and is awarded to “individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the fight for human rights across the globe”. It has previously been awarded to the likes of Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela.

      The EU described Murad and Aji Bashar as “public advocates for the Yazidi community in Iraq, a religious minority that has been the subject of a genocidal campaign by IS militants”.

    • Assyrian Woman: ISIS Murdered My Son Because He Refused to Convert

      An Assyrian Christian woman has shared how members of the Islamic State terrorist group brutally murdered her son because he refused to deny his faith in Jesus Christ.

      During an interview with the Southern California-based human rights group Roads of Success, Syrian mother Alice Assaf recalled how ISIS overtook her hometown, the Damascus suburb of Adra al-Ummaliya, in 2014, and immediately began killing Christians.

      “Members of 200 different families were killed right before our eyes,” Assaf said, according to an English translation provided by Roads of Success in a YouTube video. “They shot them. We witnessed the shooting of so many. So I told my children [and thought] it was better for us to die in our own home so that our other family members would know our fate. When we got home, one person said to me, … ‘ISIS is killing Christians.’”

      Assaf shared how militants killed indiscriminately, massacring at least six men and about 250 children – all under four years old – at a nearby bakery.

    • ‘The day I killed my rapist’

      A young Tunisian woman was photographed naked by a friend of her father’s. He then used the images to silence her – until one day she snapped and took a bloody revenge.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • The strange tale of a dating site’s attacks on WikiLeaks founder Assange

      For an online dating site, toddandclare.com seems really good at cloak-and-dagger stuff. Disconnected phones. Mystery websites. Actions that ricochet around the globe.

      But the attention grabber is the Houston-based company’s target: Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, whose steady dumps of leaked emails from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign have given supporters of Donald Trump the only cheering news of the last few weeks.

      In some ways, toddandclare.com’s campaign against Assange is as revelatory as the leaked emails themselves, illustrating the powerful, sometimes unseen, forces that oppose WikiLeaks.

      Whoever is behind the dating site has marshaled significant resources to target Assange, enough to gain entry into a United Nations body, operate in countries in Europe, North America and the Caribbean, conduct surveillance on Assange’s lawyer in London, obtain the fax number of Canada’s prime minister and seek to prod a police inquiry in the Bahamas.

      And they’ve done it at a time when WikiLeaks has become a routine target of Democratic politicians who portray Assange as a stooge of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his reported efforts to disrupt the U.S. election.

      One part of toddandclare’s two-pronged campaign put a megaphone to unproven charges that Assange made contact with a young Canadian girl in the Bahamas through the internet with the intention of molesting her. The second part sought to entangle him in a plan to receive $1 million from the Russian government.

    • Hillary, Wikileaks, Russia – theater of absurd goes viral

      Can people STOP referring to Wikileaks as a news organization. They are a foreign agent, supported by Russia, publishing stolen data,” tweeted Michael McFall, who is considered among the most controversial former US ambassador in Russia. During his tenure in Moscow, McFall was surrounded by controversies and continues to air bombastic tweets.

      On the other hand, Wikileaks, which was launched 10 years ago, has turned out to be a unique phenomenon. It is redefining modern media by attempting to expose even media outlets, tabloids, and successful channels alongside their big bosses. The website has been publishing leaked documents to bring truth out in the open.

      The sad state of affairs of our times is that truth has to find its way to the public through questionable ways and instruments. In case of Wikileaks, most of their documents are accessed either via hacking or are supplied by whistleblowers.

      All these years Wikileaks has been revealing a lot of classified information on numerous subjects related to foreign and domestic policies of countries. Wikileaks publisher and journalists have won many awards. In 2015, it was nominated for the UN Mandela Prize and was nominated for six years in a row, from 2010 to 2015, for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    • Aide Said He Was Running ‘Bill Clinton Inc.’ in New WikiLeaks Dump

      A 12-page memo written by a former aide to President Bill Clinton illustrates how he and other advisers raised millions of dollars for the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons after they left the White House, according to a new batch of emails released by WikiLeaks.

      The purported memo from Doug Band details how he and his team locked in lucrative speaking deals for Bill Clinton and how Band leveraged his work at his global consulting firm, Teneo Strategies, to persuade clients to contribute to the Clinton Foundation. Band described his work as running “Bill Clinton Inc.”

      “We also have solicited and obtained, as appropriate, in-kind services for the president and his family – for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like,” Band allegedly said in the document.

    • The strange tale of a dating site’s attacks on WikiLeaks founder Assange

      For an online dating site, toddandclare.com seems really good at cloak-and-dagger stuff. Disconnected phones. Mystery websites. Actions that ricochet around the globe.

      But the attention grabber is the Houston-based company’s target: Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, whose steady dumps of leaked emails from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign have given supporters of Donald Trump the only cheering news of the last few weeks.

      In some ways, toddandclare.com’s campaign against Assange is as revelatory as the leaked emails themselves, illustrating the powerful, sometimes unseen, forces that oppose WikiLeaks.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • World wildlife ‘falls by 58% in 40 years’

      The Living Planet assessment, by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and WWF, suggests that if the trend continues that decline could reach two-thirds among vertebrates by 2020.

      The figures suggest that animals living in lakes, rivers and wetlands are suffering the biggest losses.

      Human activity, including habitat loss, wildlife trade, pollution and climate change contributed to the declines.

      Dr Mike Barrett. head of science and policy at WWF, said: “It’s pretty clear under ‘business as usual’ we will see continued declines in these wildlife populations. But I think now we’ve reached a point where there isn’t really any excuse to let this carry on.

    • World facing biggest mass extinction since dinosaurs – with two thirds of animals wiped out in 50 years

      The world is facing the biggest extinction since the dinosaurs, with seven in 10 mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles wiped out in just 50 years, a new report warns.

      The latest Living Planet report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) estimates that by 2020 populations of vertebrates will have fallen by 67 per cent since 1970.

      Extinction rates are now running at 100 times their natural level because of deforestation, hunting, pollution, overfishing and climate change.

    • World on track to lose two-thirds of wild animals by 2020, major report warns

      The number of wild animals living on Earth is set to fall by two-thirds by 2020, according to a new report, part of a mass extinction that is destroying the natural world upon which humanity depends.

      The analysis, the most comprehensive to date, indicates that animal populations plummeted by 58% between 1970 and 2012, with losses on track to reach 67% by 2020. Researchers from WWF and the Zoological Society of London compiled the report from scientific data and found that the destruction of wild habitats, hunting and pollution were to blame.

      The creatures being lost range from mountains to forests to rivers and the seas and include well-known endangered species such as elephants and gorillas and lesser known creatures such as vultures and salamanders.

    • Hectare by hectare, an indigenous man reforested a jungle in Indonesia’s burned-out heartland

      The road from this inland provincial capital in southern Borneo to the delta city of Banjarmasin is littered with degraded forests and peat swamps, hallmarks of a region at the epicenter of last year’s nationwide fire and haze crisis.

      Amid this arid landscape, however, lies an oasis: the peat forest of Jumpun Pambelom, whose name means “life source” in the local Dayak Ngaju language.

      The jungle here is largely the work of a Ngaju man named Januminro. Since 1998, when Indonesia experienced one of the worst episodes of uncontrolled burning in recorded history, the 54-year-old has bought up and reforested degraded land in the area — a hectare here, a few there.

      Today Jumpun Pambelom spans 18 hectares (44 acres) and bustles with with plant and animal life, from rare ulin trees (Eusideroxylon) and towering ramins (Gonystylus) to endangered Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) and sun bears (Helarctos malayanus), not to mention plenty of swamp fish and game.

    • Two-Thirds of Wild Animal Populations Could Be in Decline by 2020

      Around the world, more than two-thirds of wildlife populations could be in decline by the year 2020 because of human activity on the planet, says a new report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London, a conservation charity.

      The Living Planet Report, which the WWF puts out every two years, says that populations of vertebrates (including mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles) dropped by 58 percent between 1970 and 2012. Of course, quantifying biodiversity loss around the planet is no easy task, and there are long-raging debates about how much species loss spells disaster. The picture will get even worse if we don’t take steps now, the WWF says.

      “Within one generation, we’ve seen drastic declines in global wildlife populations,” James Snider, vice-president of science, research and innovation at WWF-Canada, told me. “One of the more troubling facts is that it seems, based on reporting [every two years], that the decline is worsening.” The 2014 report showed a 52 percent decline over the same period, he noted. “Based on that, we expect that by 2020, If no significant action is taken, it could be as much as two-thirds of populations that have declined since the 1970s.”

    • What the elk is that? Animal in SC for 1st time in centuries

      A wild elk has been spotted roaming the woodlands of South Carolina for the first time in more than 200 years.

      News outlets report that wildlife biologists are warning Upstate residents and tourists to stay away from a young bull elk that was seen in several places in Pickens County over the weekend.

      In response to social media posts showing people feeding the animal, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission biologist Justin McVey warned the public that the animal can cause serious injuries.

    • Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere Has Passed a Worrying Threshold

      The World Meteorological Organization’s greenhouse-gas bulletin shows that 2015 was the first year in which levels of carbon dioxide reached 400 parts per million on average across the globe. Part of what pushed the planet over this threshold was El Niño, which, according to the WMO, “reduced the capacity of ‘sinks’ like forests, vegetation and the oceans to absorb CO2.”

      But even when those sinks regain their ability to absorb carbon dioxide, warns the WMO secretary-general, Petteri Taalas, emissions will still need to be cut. “The El Niño event has disappeared. Climate change has not,” he explained. “Without tackling CO2 emissions, we cannot tackle climate change and keep temperature increases to below 2 °C above the preindustrial era.”

    • Officials say no drinking water impacted by Sunoco pipeline rupture

      The state Department of Environmental Protection and the EPA continue to sample water downstream from a gasoline pipeline break in Lycoming County, and say so far no levels of petroleum have been detected that would risk public health. Terry Maenza, a spokesman for American Water, which serves about 12,000 customers in the area near the accident says their sampling has also found no traces of the contaminant. American Water had shut down its intake valves and asked customers to conserve water on Friday after an estimated 55,000 gallons of gasoline spilled into a tributary of the Loyalsock Creek. The Loyalsock runs into the Susquehanna River. Officials speculate that the flood waters that likely caused the pipeline rupture were so heavy, that the leaked fuel was quickly diluted as it flowed downstream.

      “Everything is back to normal,” said Maenza. He says the company lifted it’s conservation request and resumed operations on Sunday.

      The flood waters have receded and Sunoco has removed the broken section of pipe, which was about 10 feet downstream from a bridge washed out by heavy rains. Sunoco officials say the bridge washed into the exposed pipe, which had been buried 5 feet below the creek.

      “Given the position of the pipe and the location of the bridge before and after the event, it’s clear that the bridge was responsible for the damage to the pipe,” said David R. Chalson, Sunoco Logistics senior vice-president for operations.

    • Clinton campaign declines to support Dakota pipeline protesters

      Hillary Clinton’s silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline has not gone unnoticed.

      On Thursday morning, young water protectors from Oceti Sakowin, the Seven Council Fires, and the Standing Rock Sioux Nation traveled to the Democratic presidential nominee’s campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, demanding that she speak out against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

      The Hillary Clinton campaign has thus far remained silent about the 1,172-mile pipeline, which would cross both the Missouri River and the Ogallala Aquifer, threatening sacred indigenous land and water supplies. The group also called for solidarity actions at Clinton campaign offices across the country.

  • Finance

    • Twitter Failing? 5 Signs The Company Is In Trouble

      Twitter Inc. announced its quarterly results Thursday, which showed the company’s growth has slowed for the second consecutive quarter. The social network company has struggled to maintain a positive outlook as it faces competition from apps such as Instagram and Snapchat.

    • Twitter slashes jobs, Vine as it seeks profits

      Twitter appeased Wall Street by restructuring to chart a course to profitability and by showing early signs its business is perking up.

      User growth and revenue climbed more than analysts expected as the struggling social media company announced 350 job cuts, or about 9% of its workforce. It also said it would shutter mobile video app Vine.

      “The current quarter results were ahead of expectations and user figures provided some promising elements as well,” said Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser, who is maintaining his price target of $26 and a buy recommendation on the stock.

      The effort to right the company comes as potential buyers such as Google, Salesforce and Walt Disney declined to pursue an acquisition. The lack of interest has cranked up pressure on Twitter’s embattled management.

      Jack Dorsey, the Twitter chief executive who returned to the helm last year to reinvigorate growth, declined to comment on the takeover discussions, saying only that Twitter’s board is committed to “maximizing long-term shareholder value.”

    • Twitter to Cut 9% of Workforce as Q3 Earnings Top Expectations

      Twitter will lay off 9% of its employees as the company struggles to achieve profitability, while the social-media company’s third-quarter 2016 revenue and earnings exceeded Wall Street expectations.

      Twitter said the job cuts will focus primarily on reorganizing its sales, partnerships and marketing operations. The company had 3,910 employees as of the end of September, meaning Twitter is pink-slipping about 350 staffers.

      The layoffs come as Twitter showed some slight improvement in financial performance for Q3. The company posted quarterly revenue of $616 million, up 8% year-over-year, and adjusted net income of $92 million, or 13 cents per share. Wall Street expected Twitter to post revenue of $606 million and adjusted EPS of 9 cents. Factoring in stock-based compensation and other items, Twitter’s net loss in the quarter was $103 million, an improvement from a net loss of $132 million in the year-earlier period.

    • [Old] CETA: The Canadian TTIP nobody noticed until it was (almost) too late

      Since Ars wrote about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) last year, it has gradually moved up the UK’s political agenda, culminating in the recent pledge by Jeremy Corbyn to scrap it if he is elected as prime minister before it is completed, and to fight it if he is not. But while many people are increasingly worried about what might happen with TTIP, there’s another trade agreement, one which has already been signed, which is about to bring in many of the same controversial measures almost unnoticed.

    • Here’s Why Amazon Stock Just Collapsed

      Shares fell over 6% in after-market trading Thursday

      Amazon.com Inc reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as expenses rose and the company provided a disappointing fourth-quarter revenue forecast.

      Amazon, whose shares were down 6.8 percent in after-hours trading, said its net income rose to $252 million, or 52 cents per share, from $79 million, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier. It was company’s sixth straight profitable quarter.

    • ‘We’re Not Helping Our Kids by Keeping the Deficit Down’ – CounterSpin interview with Dean Baker on the debt boogeyman

      The announcement that one agenda item for the final presidential debate would be “debt and entitlements” was not surprising. “Debt and entitlements,” linked together that way, are always on corporate media’s agenda, but though the terms are tossed around a lot, they’re rarely unpacked or explained. In place of facts, we get fear. The Chicago Tribune said if they could inject one debate question, it would be: “Secretary Clinton, Mr. Trump, you have children. Why aren’t you scared?”

      Well, Americans face many serious challenges. Are runaway national “debt and entitlements” one of them? We’re joined now by Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, where you’ll find his blog, Beat the Press, and he’s the author of, most recently, Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer. Welcome back to CounterSpin, Dean Baker.

    • UN rights expert urges States not to sign the ‘flawed’ CETA treaty and put it to referendum

      The trade deal set to be signed by the European Union and Canada is a corporate-driven, fundamentally flawed treaty which should not be signed or ratified without a referendum in each country concerned, a United Nations human rights expert says.

      Alfred de Zayas, the UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, deplored the pressures brought on the Belgian regional parliament of Wallonia, which initially said it would not approve the treaty but later said its concerns had been met. “A culture of bullying and intimidation becomes apparent when it comes to trade agreements that currently get priority over human rights,” the expert said.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Jill Stein: The Best Way to Boost the Economy Is by Saving the Planet

      I believe the U.S. economy needs a Green New Deal: an ambitious yet secure economic and environmental program that will revive the economy, turn the tide on climate change, and make wars for oil obsolete—allowing us to cut our bloated, dangerous military budget in half. Building on the concept of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Green New Deal calls on communities, government, and ordinary people on the scale of World War II to transition our energy system and economy to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030.

      The author of the best-known series of studies on transitioning to 100% clean energy, Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson, asserts that it is technologically and economically feasible. Bill Nye and others note that we have the technology to make this transition possible—and the science shows that we must. The only missing ingredient is political will.

    • Be A Realist – Vote Jill Stein

      It cracks me up whenever I see pawns of the Democratic Party like Robert Reich try to argue that supporting Hillary Clinton is the “realistic and practical” way to forward the progressive agenda. It always makes me wonder what reality they’re referring to when they call such creative fabrications “realistic.” Does Mr. Reich hail from Narnia, perhaps? Some magical gumdrop fantasy land where everyone walks backward and M. Night Shyamalan’s movies keep getting better and better?

    • ‘Ethical deficit’: New concerns over foundation

      Hillary Clinton’s top aides worried about foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation ahead of 2016, according to a NYT report based on a new Wikileaks release.

    • Memo shows Bill Clinton’s wealth was tied to Clinton Foundation

      In a 2011 memo, an aide to Bill Clinton laid out the messy relationship between the Clinton Foundation and the former president’s personal interests, detailing how some foundation donors also paid Clinton to speak and provide consulting services.

      The memo was released on Wednesday as part of a Wikileaks dump of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails.

      Doug Band, a long-time aide to Bill Clinton, wrote the 2011 memo as part of an internal audit at the Clinton Foundation. In trying to explain his role in the Foundation, Band also brought up a series of instances he and his consulting company, Teneo Holdings, helped Bill Clinton secure for-profit contracts.

      The memo, which was being circulated to some in Clinton’s inner circle including Podesta, reinforces Republican criticisms of the blurred lines between the foundation and professional interests of the Clintons and their associates.

      “Independent of our fundraising and decision-making activities on behalf of the Foundation, we have dedicated ourselves to helping the President secure and engage in for-profit activities — including speeches, books, and advisory service engagements,” Band wrote. “In that context, we have in effect served as agents, lawyers, managers and implementers to secure speaking, business and advisory service deals. In support of the President’s for-profit activity, we also have solicited and obtained, as appropriate, in-kind services for the President and his family — for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like.”

      At one point, Band even referred to the former president’s money-making enterprises as “Bill Clinton, Inc.”

      Band said and Justin Cooper, another long-time aide, weren’t separately compensated for helping Bill Clinton profit.

    • Wikileaks: Damaging analysis of Sanders’s single payer plan was likely a coordinated Clinton hit

      A search through Wikileaks’s database reveals that a week before a damaging, highly critical analysis of Bernie Sanders’s single payer healthcare plan was released by healthcare expert Kenneth Thorpe, with no disclosure of any affiliation with any campaign, the Clinton campaign was floating Thorpe’s name out as a vehicle to attack the Senator’s Medicare-for-all plan.

      Thorpe’s analysis was reported by Vox on January 28th, in an article titled “Study: Bernie Sanders’s single-payer plan is almost twice as expensive as he says.” A flurry of articles and editorials touting the study followed — for example, Paul Krugman’s January 28th editorial “Single Payer Trouble,” or the New York Time’s report “Left-Leaning Economists Question Cost of Bernie Sanders’s Plans.” These articles all fed the notion that Sanders was a pie-in-the-sky, puppies and rainbow dreamer, with no real grasp on reality.

      Others, however, such as single payer advocates David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, (“On Kenneth Thorpe’s Analysis of Senator Sanders’s Single-Payer Reform Plan”), claimed convincingly that Thorpe’s analysis rested on highly questionable, or flatly incorrect, assumptions and that it also contradicted previous studies that Thorpe himself had done. Sanders’s campaign, meanwhile, called the analysis “a total hatchet job.”

      As it turns out, a week before Thorpe’s analysis was released, in a January 19th thread discussing the merits of attacking Sanders on healthcare, Jake Sullivan, a top Clinton advisor, floated the idea of using Thorpe to attack Sanders on healthcare…

    • Eric Garner’s Daughter Slams Clinton Campaign Over Emails Confusing Police Brutality And Gun Violence

      Erica Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner, a black man who was killed by a NYPD officer in 2014, is slamming Hillary Clinton’s campaign over leaked emails from the server of John Podesta, the campaign’s chairman.

      “I know we have Erica Garner issues but we don’t want to mention Eric at all? I can see her coming after us for leaving him out of the piece,” wrote Nick Merrill, a spokesman for the campaign, in the email leaked from Podesta’s private server and posted on WikiLeaks.

      The email correspondence was a discussion about whether the death of Garner’s father should be used in a Clinton opinion piece for New York Daily News on gun violence.

      “It was obvious that the two white men that were on the email chain didn’t even know that my dad wasn’t shot,” Garner told The Huffington Post via Twitter direct message. “It was clear that he was just a dead body for them to manipulate for their use. White liberals have been trying to cram racism into the box of gun violence for a while now.”

    • Erica Garner Slams Clinton Campaign, Staffers for ‘Exploiting’ Father’s Death in Wikileaks Emails
    • Why would you want to “use” my dad?’: Eric Garner’s daughter slams Clinton campaign over WikiLeaks emails

      Erica Garner, whose father died in a chokehold by a New York City police officer in 2014, scolded the Clinton campaign in a series of tweets Thursday over hacked internal emails published by WikiLeaks that mentioned her and her father.

      The emails, exchanged between several Clinton staffers, had discussed a draft of a Clinton op-ed on gun violence that was eventually published in the New York Daily News in late March.

    • Neo-McCarthyism masks the US’s real problems

      AMID a tense stand-off in the Middle East between Russia and the United States, it is not surprising that tensions are rising by the day. Rhetoric coming out of the White House and the Kremlin is increasingly antagonistic, which has had damaging implications for the battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

      This election can be characterised by the blatant red scare tactics by Clinton and the Democrats, largely aimed at insinuating that Trump, WikiLeaks, and even Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein are de-facto Kremlin agents.

      It feels like we are in the 1960 election rather than 2016.

      The neo-McCarthyism adopted by the Clinton campaign to deflect any reasonable criticisms one may have of her flawed candidacy is unnecessary and paranoid.

      Not only this, but it draws attention away from the real issues and problems that the US faces as a nation — many of which Clinton and fellow centrists have been the root cause of.

    • Hacker-founded Pirate Party could win Iceland election

      Iceland’s radical Pirate Party, run by a former WikiLeaks worker who wants to be a political “Robin Hood,” could lead the Nordic nation’s next government after Saturday’s election.

      The Pirate Party, started four years ago, is part of a wave of populist groups gaining ground in Europe, from Austria to Italy, amid discontent with political scandals and a stalled economic recovery. Iceland’s economy collapsed after the 2008 financial crisis, and in April the prime minister resigned after being named in the Panama Papers scandal.

      “We stand for enacting changes that have to do with reforming the systems, rather than changing minor things that might easily be changed back,” said Birgitta Jónsdóttir, 49, the party’s leader and self-described “poetician.” “We do not define ourselves as left or right but rather as a party that focuses on the systems. In other words, we consider ourselves hackers.”

      Formed in 2012 to lobby for Internet copyright reform, the Pirate Party has broadened its platform to include advocating for direct democracy, total government transparency, decriminalizing drugs and even offering asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

    • Iceland’s ‘Pirate’ Jonsdottir: an accidental politician

      The public face of the Icelandic Pirate Party, Birgitta Jonsdottir is a hacker, cyberspace anarchist, poet — and a rather reluctant politician.

      However, she could find herself strutting the corridors of power if the Pirate Party emerges as expected as the strongest group in Saturday’s election in the North Atlantic island nation.

    • The Truth About Donald Trump’s Hair
    • The Greens are a movement party

      The Greens have elected hundreds of people to office at the local level, and Greens win about 34 percent of the time that we run in local elections. So please do not allow Pacifica to repeat a myth that the corporate media creates.

    • National Geographic Rebrands, Drops ‘Channel’ From Its Name

      NatGeo is finally dropping “Channel” from its name. A year after bringing all the other National Geographic entities — the magazine, the National Geographic Society — under the 20th Century Fox corporate umbrella, National Geographic Partners is going to start acting like one big adventurous family, and it’s giving itself a new tagline to boot: “Further.”

      “[‘Channel’] suggests this linear television destinations and increasingly that’s not the way people are consuming us,” explained National Geographic Global Networks CEO Courtney Monroe. “We are one, and we are working more closely together.” Monroe put forth the upcoming NatGeo series “Mars”, premiering Nov. 14, as an example: Yes, it’s a big event series, a hybrid of documentary-style interviews interwoven with a fictional narrative about the mission to colonize the Red Planet. But, she pointed out, it’s also the cover story of the November issue of the National Geographic magazine, as well as the topic of two books — one for kids, and one for adults.

    • WikiLeaks drops another tranche of #PodestaEmails from Clinton campaign chair

      There will be a total of 50,000 emails released in the lead up to November 8, according to WikiLeaks. So far, 35,594 have been published.

    • WikiLeaks Releases 21st Batch of Clinton Campaign Chair Podesta’s Emails

      WikiLeaks uploaded on Friday the 21st batch of emails of the US Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.

    • Clinton’s camp feared Joe Biden run, worked hard to kill it

      Biden would have sailed away from Trump much earlier and faster than Hillary Clinton did. But beyond the easy victory she’s likely to win anyway all told, he doesn’t have much to recommend him over her, and lacks many of her — yes, I know! — her scruples.

    • Why 5% for the Green Party is a win for America

      In 1854, a few thousand people gathered in Jackson, Michigan to launch an independent challenge to a national political system dominated by two parties. “Of strange, discordant, and even hostile elements,” a party leader later recalled, “we gathered from the four winds…[with] every external circumstance against us.” This challenge was fueled by the radical abolitionist movement that united white workers and formerly enslaved Africans against the criminal institution of slavery, as a response to the political crisis caused by the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

      In just two years, this insurgent third party — created by movement activists — had gained ground across the Northern states, challenging the Whig Party. In short order this insurgent “third party” had become a major opposition party. By 1858 they had won an influential foothold in Congress, and by 1860, that party leader — Abraham Lincoln — was elected President of the United States.

      It’s painfully obvious that the Republican Party has strayed dramatically from its early radical roots in abolitionism, equality, and peace. But it’s also quite fitting that, in 2016, as that party is declining into dangerous reactionary know-nothingism, the opening for a new party rooted in radical equality, environmental justice, and peace to rise up is bigger than ever. Amid the raging flames of austerity, endless war, impending climate change, and the most polarized election in modern memory, a record 57 percent of Americans are yearning for another choice, and for an independent political party that will truly represent their interests, according to a recent Gallup poll.

      [...]

      Our grassroots, people-powered campaign has achieved incredible gains in this election cycle, despite having had a fraction of the media coverage and an even smaller fraction of the vast resources of the two major parties. With the material benefits that come with 5 percent of the popular vote, we will have unprecedented resources to continue building this movement for progressive change, shoring up power from below, and paving the way for a new, sorely needed politics of integrity and transformation.

    • The Best Ballot Plan Now? ‘Strategic’ Voting for the Stein-Baraka Green Party Ticket

      Donald Trump is campaigning to win 40 percent of the vote for president—and he’s close, with recent polls showing him in the high 30s. But his final performance will not help.

      Trump is focusing on topics that will prevent him from broadening his base, such as the women he accuses of lying about his alleged sexual assaults, and what he calls the rigged election. He is fighting with other Republicans, like Paul Ryan, and with Republican state leaders, most notably in Ohio. His refusal to say he will accept the outcome of the election is creating more conflict with Republicans and raising doubts with voters.

      Outlets predicting the results of the election say Clinton will be the next president, with astoundingly lopsided odds. The Huffington Post gives Trump only a 3.1 percent chance of winning and puts Clinton’s likelihood at 96.8 percent. The New York Times gives Clinton a 93 percent chance.

    • Podesta relative earned six-figure fees lobbying Clinton’s State Dept. during his tenure there
    • Eric Garner’s daughter blasts Clinton campaign after WikiLeaks emails

      The daughter of a New York City man who died after he was put in a police chokehold blasted Hillary Clinton’s campaign Thursday when WikiLeaks revealed email conversations about using her father’s death to protest gun violence.

      “I’m troubled by the revelation that you and this campaign actually discussed ‘using’ Eric Garner … Why would you want to ‘use’ my dad,” tweeted Erica Garner, who endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.

    • Goodlatte Statement on the FBI’s Decision to Reopen the Clinton Investigation
    • WikiLeaks Dumps Mean Hillary’s Presidency Would Be Tainted from Day One
    • How Neera Tanden Works

      Emails released by WikiLeaks reveal the maneuverings of a liberal think-tank president and member of Hillary Clinton’s inner circle.

    • Hillary headache: Even Chelsea ripped ‘hustling’ at lucrative family foundation

      Did the Clinton Foundation, for all its good works, serve as a giant slush fund?

      That question has surged to the forefront of the campaign in the wake of another Wikileaks dump, and one of the biggest accusers turns out to be Chelsea Clinton.

      The Chelsea criticism is a bombshell, one that exploded with enough force that it propelled the lead story in both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and an above-the-fold piece in the Washington Post.

    • State Dept Told ‘Friendly’ AP Reporters About Missing Hillary Emails Before Congress

      Department of State officials told Hillary Clinton campaign staffers they would leak a story about missing Benghazi investigation emails to a “friendly” Associated Press reporter before Congress “has a chance to realize what they have.”

      “Just spoke to State a little more about this,” Clinton’s travelling press secretary Nick Merrill wrote to campaign staffers on June 24, 2015, regarding emails sent between the former secretary of state and her longtime confidant Sidney Blumenthal.

      The Department of State told Merrill they would be tipping off AP reporters that at least 15 emails between Clinton and Blumenthal were missing from 55,000 pages of emails handed over to a House committee investigating the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

    • If Clinton Campaign Believes WikiLeaks Emails Are Forged, Why Don’t They Prove It?

      Top Democrats have repeatedly waved off substantial questions arising from their hacked emails by falsely implying that some of them are forgeries created by Russian hackers.

      The problem with that is that no one has found a single case of anything forged among the information released from hacks of either Clinton campaign or Democratic Party officials.

      The strategy dates all the way back to a conference call with Democratic lawmakers in August. Politico reported that a number of Democratic strategists suggested that Russian hackers — who have been blamed by U.S. intelligence agencies for supplying the emails to Wikileaks and other web sites — could sprinkle false data among the real information.

      Since then, despite the complete lack of evidence to support such a claim, it’s become a common dodge among leading Democrats and the Clinton campaign when asked questions about the substance of the emails.

    • WikiLeaks shows Clinton hid email scandal from her own staff

      Hillary Clinton’s closest aides hid the private email scandal from her campaign team in the months before the official launch of her presidential campaign, emails made public by WikiLeaks show.

      Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chair, and Neera Tanden, co-chair of Clinton’s transition team, each expressed shock at the revelations about her private server as they emerged in early March 2015.

      Although Clinton’s team had performed research on her in 2014 as staff prepared for her campaign, Clinton’s inner circle apparently steered Mook and others away from the issue until it was too late.

      When Podesta asked Mook if he had “any idea of the depth of this story,” Mook answered simply, “Nope.”

    • Is there a deeper network behind the ‘Catholic Spring’?

      Washington D.C., Oct 27, 2016 / 12:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A reputed “Catholic Spring” is in the news after hacked emails from John Podesta, now Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, indicated plans for an effort to sow revolution within the Church.

      But grants to the think tank Podesta founded also suggest links to other efforts targeting religion. The Center for American Progress appears to be part of an influence network that advocates restrictions on religious freedom while promoting dissent within Christianity on sexual morality, especially LGBT issues.

      Podesta co-founded the Center for American Progress in 2003 after serving as White House Chief of Staff in President Bill Clinton’s final term. He served as the center’s CEO until 2011. He became a special adviser to President Barack Obama in 2013, and joined the Hillary Clinton campaign in early 2015.

    • Propaganda Alert! Misleading Article About Jill Stein in the Daily Beast

      A particularly misleading article, titled “Jill Stein’s Ideology Says One Thing — Her Investment Portfolio Says Another,” is being peddled by the Daily Beast, which accuses the Green Party’s presidential candidate, Jill Stein, of being a hypocrite for investing in certain mutual funds which hold assets with energy, tobacco, & pharmaceutical companies. The accusation is, like much of what the Clinton-controlled Daily Beast spews from it’s slimy propaganda-machines, a poorly-constructed pile of journalistic garbage.

      I shall provide a link to the article at the bottom of this page but I’d like to discourage my readers from clicking it because I hate the thought that these jerks will get any amount of ad-money from web-traffic out of my site. I’d also like to note that the Daily Beast is owned by IAC, a media corporation whose board of directors includes — [drumroll, please…] Chealsea Clinton! So — please click sparingly!

    • New Emails in Clinton Case Came From Anthony Weiner’s Electronic Devices

      Federal law enforcement officials said Friday that the new emails uncovered in the closed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server were discovered after the F.B.I. seized electronic devices belonging to Huma Abedin, a top aide to Mrs. Clinton, and her husband, Anthony D. Weiner.

      The F.B.I. is investigating illicit text messages that Mr. Weiner sent to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. The bureau told Congress on Friday that it had uncovered new emails related to the Clinton case — one federal official said they numbered in the thousands — potentially reigniting an issue that has weighed on the presidential campaign and offering a lifeline to Donald J. Trump less than two weeks before the election.

      In a letter to Congress, the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said that emails had surfaced in an unrelated case, and that they “appear to be pertinent to the investigation.”

      Mr. Comey said the F.B.I. was taking steps to “determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.” He said he did not know how long it would take to review the emails, or whether the new information was significant.

    • October surprise: FBI reviewing new emails in Clinton server case

      The FBI on Friday said it is assessing new emails “pertinent” to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, a stunning and unexpected move that comes more than a week before the presidential election.

      In a letter sent to lawmakers on Friday, FBI Director James Comey said the bureau has learned of the existence of more emails “that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.” The messages were found “in connection with an unrelated case,” Comey wrote without further explanation.

      Law enforcement officials told The New York Times that the emails were uncovered after the FBI seized devices belonging to longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her husband, Anthony Weiner, who is under investigation for allegedly sending sexually explicit messages to an underage girl.

      After being briefed by his team, Comey “agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps” to determine whether the emails “contain classified information, as well as to asses their importance to our investigation.”

      Comey said he could not predict how long it would take the bureau to assess whether the new emails are “significant,” meaning the investigation could hang over Clinton’s head through the election.

    • Advocating a ‘Split Ticket,’ WaPo Columnist Parts Ways With Reality

      I’m glad, truly I am, that Samuelson (7/9/97) is no longer writing in regards to climate change, “It’s politically incorrect to question whether this is a serious problem that serious people ought to take seriously.” But if he’s not in denial about climate change, he’s in denial about denialism: Ryan says “I don’t know” whether humans are warming the Earth’s climate, “and I don’t think science does either.” He does know whether the federal government can do anything about climate change, though: “I would argue the federal government, with all its tax and regulatory schemes, can’t.”

      As for McConnell, he says that “for everybody who thinks [the planet is] warming, I can find somebody who thinks it isn’t.” His own position? “I’m not a scientist, I am interested in protecting Kentucky’s economy, I’m interested in having low-cost electricity.”

      These are the people that Samuelson suggests will do something about the climate catastrophe if you make sure they don’t lose control of Congress.

      Finally, a historical note: Setting up his argument, Samuelson notes, “At its peak in 1972, ticket splitters represented 30 percent of voters.” Hmm—why do you suppose that 1972 was the peak of ticket-splitting? While the parties on the presidential level had definitively switched sides on civil rights by 1972, with Democrat George McGovern an ardent advocate and Republican Richard Nixon pursuing his “Southern strategy,” congressional representatives throughout the South were still overwhelmingly Democratic—mostly the same people who had been fighting civil rights for years.

    • Why It All Matters for Hillary

      The arguments of “everybody does it” and “well, it wasn’t illegal” in regards to the email server, the Clinton Foundation, pay-for-play, donor access, dirty tricks against Sanders, the many well-timed coincidences of Trump revelations, and more, are strawman logic.

      Leaving aside the idea that people usually say “everybody does it” and “well, it wasn’t illegal” only when their own candidate gets caught doing something, what was done matters.

    • Anthony Weiner Investigation Leads FBI Back To Clinton Email Server Case

      Newly discovered emails being examined by the FBI in relation to Hillary Clinton’s email server came to light in the course of an unrelated criminal investigation of Anthony Weiner, a source familiar with the matter tells NPR’s Carrie Johnson.

      Weiner is the estranged husband of close Clinton aide Huma Abedin; he has been under scrutiny for sending illicit text messages to an underage girl.

      Earlier Friday FBI Director James Comey notified members of Congress that the FBI had reopened its investigation into the handling of classified information in connection with the Democratic presidential candidate’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.

      In a letter to the leaders of congressional oversight committees, Comey wrote: “In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”

    • Clinton Campaign Worried About Bill Cosby Clinton Foundation Ties

      Hillary Clinton’s campaign worried that she would face scrutiny over the thousands of dollars the Clinton Foundation accepted from accused rapist Bill Cosby, a newly leaked memo reveals.

      The memo, dated July 16, 2015, also reveals that Hillary was instructed to give a non-answer if pressed over whether the foundation would return Cosby’s donations.

    • Limbaugh: FBI wants focus off WikiLeaks

      Rush Limbaugh says the FBI is starting a new review of Hillary Clinton’s emails to distract voters from WikiLeaks’s revelations about her.

      “[FBI Director James] Comey is just doing this to take everybody’s attention off of the WikiLeaks email dump,” Limbaugh said on his radio broadcast Friday.

      “The cynical view is that Comey is still carrying water for Clinton and is trying to get everybody to stop paying attention on the WikiLeaks dump because it’s starting to have an impact,” he continued.

      “So you announce you’re opening the inquiry, get everybody all hot and bothered and focused on it, and after three or four or five days, you announce it’s a false alarm, nothing to see her, investigation now officially over, and meanwhile, in that five day period, everybody’s forgotten about WikiLeaks.”

      Limbaugh said WikiLeaks emails are exposing the Democratic presidential nominee’s secrets and damaging her White House bid.

    • ‘Bill Clinton, Inc.’ Memo Reveals Tangled Business, Charitable Ties

      A 2011 memo made public Wednesday by Wikileaks revealed new details of how former President Bill Clinton made tens of millions of dollars for himself and his wife, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, through an opaque, ethically messy amalgam of philanthropic, business and personal activities.

      The memo was written by Bill Clinton’s longtime aide, Doug Band, and is among tens of thousands of emails apparently stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief, John Podesta, in what U.S. officials believe is part of a massive Russian-backed attempt to disrupt the U.S. election.

      The Band memo came in response to an investigation undertaken by a law firm, Simpson Thatcher, into the activities of the Clinton Foundation at the behest of its board. The board was concerned that some of the activities undertaken by Band and others on behalf of the President could threaten the Foundation’s IRS status as a charity, according to Band’s memo. Chelsea Clinton had also reported concerns to Podesta and other Clinton advisors that Band and his recently-launched consulting firm, Teneo, were using her father’s name without his knowledge to contact British lawmakers for clients, including Dow Chemical.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Comedy writer has exactly the right response to his kid’s Fahrenheit 451 permission slip

      Daily Show writer Daniel Radosh’s son came home from school with a permission slip that he’d have to sign before the kid could read Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451, which is widely believed to be an anti-censorship book (Bradbury himself insisted that this was wrong, and that the book was actually about the evils of television).

      Fahrenheit 451 has been the frequent subject of parental challenges on the flimsiest of grounds, as when fundamentalist Christian Alton Verne, of Conroe, Texas, demanded to have the book removed from the curriculum because the characters occasionally blaspheme and say “damn” (“If they can’t find a book that uses clean words, they shouldn’t have a book at all”).

      Radosh responded to the permission slip — which mentioned these parental challenges — with a wry note congratulating the teacher for using permission slips to convey the awfulness of heavy-handed attempts to control peoples’ access to information.

    • Copyright conundrum: Tweeting this may cost you

      Be careful if you tweet this story: It might cost you.

      The European Commission created a legal minefield for billions of internet users with a well-intentioned but poorly worded proposed law to help struggling publishers guard against digital attrition by Google and other news aggregators.

      As people read the fine print in plans released last month to strengthen publishers’ rights over their articles, they discovered the Commission may have accidentally exposed tweeters, facebookers and even LinkedIn users to the whims of the world’s most powerful media organizations.

      Under the Commission’s proposal, copyright lawyers could chase down citizens for sharing sentences or snippets of articles on social media.

      “Users would be breaking the law if they use snippets of articles whether it is enforced or not,” said Julia Reda, a Member of the European Parliament. The law is intended to help traditional publishers survive the digital age but, she said, “it applies to everyone, and if we pass this legislation, it will be in the hands of the publishers to decide whether they want to enforce it.”

    • Clinton Campaign Scrambled To Kill NYT Report She Flipped On Gay Marriage, WikiLeaks Shows

      Members of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign sought to discredit reports over her shifting stance on same sex marriage, the latest batch of WikiLeaks emails show.

      On April 15, 2015, press secretary Nick Merrill started an email chain with policy spokesman Jesse Lehrich over a New York Times article written by Alan Rappeport titled, “Shifting Position, Clinton Says Gay Marriage Should Be A Constitutional Right.”

    • Milo speech at U-Md. canceled because security fee was too high; supporters call it censorship

      A scheduled speech by conservative writer Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of Maryland was canceled because a student group was unable to raise enough money to cover fees the university required shortly before the event, including more than $2,000 for security.

      The costs led to complaints from students and others that the university was silencing a potentially contentious speech rather than encouraging free and open debate. But a spokeswoman for the school countered that the security fee included the speaker’s request to have officers present, and that university officials had worked to help the students.

    • Colleges Cancel Milo Yiannopoulos Appearances
    • Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos’ U. of Md. appearance canceled due to security costs
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Privacy Shield legal spat puts EU-US data flows at risk again

      Europe’s Privacy Shield faces a legal challenge from an Irish civil liberties group.

      Digital Rights Ireland (DRI) has brought a complaint against the Safe Harbour successor that governs the transfer of personal data between the European Union and the US.

    • AT&T is (allegedly) making millions of dollars selling your data to cops
    • Big data grab: Now they want your car’s telemetry

      This isn’t simply a market for one Uber to dominate, suggests McKinsey in its new report, “Monetizing Car Data.” As the report authors conclude, the opportunity to monetize car data could be worth $450 billion to $750 billion within the next 13 years.

    • We’re seeing yet another election cycle where privacy is of no concern to candidates

      Yet another election campaign is passing without privacy and other fundamental rights being discussed. While candidates certainly have different stances, judging on public discourse, they’re not what makes or breaks the election. The conclusion remains that in absence of political importance, technical measures are necessary to maintain privacy at the individual level.

      When I founded the Swedish Pirate Party in 2006, which would go on to win seats in the European Parliament, it was on a key insight: nothing political happens unless it’s positive for a politician’s career. This can either take the form of looking good in media, when they take a rare initiative of their own, or of not being fired, when their job is under threat from challengers.

    • Search Risk – How Google Almost Killed ProtonMail

      In the past two months, many of you have reached out to us to ask about the mysterious tweets we sent to Google in August. At ProtonMail, transparency is a core value, and we try to be as transparent with our community as possible. As many people have continued to point out to us, we need to be more transparent here to avoid continued confusion and speculation. Thus, we are telling the full story today to clarify what happened.

    • Why did ProtonMail vanish from Google search results for months?

      If you’re the maker of a popular, zero access encrypted webmail product and suddenly discover your product is no longer featuring in Google search results for queries such as “secure email” and “encrypted email,” what do you conclude?

      That something is amiss, for sure.

      But the rather more pertinent question is whether your product’s disappearance is accidental or intentional — given that Google also offers a popular webmail product, Gmail, albeit one that does not offer zero access because users “pay” the company with their personal data, which feeds into Alphabet’s user profiling and ad targeting engines.

      So, in other words, Google is not an entirely disinterested bystander when it comes to a rival email product’s success.

    • Encryption no bar to giving govt data, Apple told Democrats

      A senior Apple official reassured the chairman of the Clinton presidential campaign that the tech giant would co-operate with the US government when it came to handing over “meta-data or any of a number of other very useful categories of data”, as “strong encryption does not eliminate Apple’s ability to give law enforcement” such data.

      Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice-president for environment, policy and social initiatives, sent an email to John Podesta on 20 December 2015, thanking him for “the principled and nuanced stance the Secretary took last night on encryption and the tech sector. Leadership at Apple certainly noticed and I am sure that is true throughout the Valley”.

      Her comments about handing over data to the government are in marked contrast to the strong pro-customer statement on encryption made by Apple chief executive Tim Cook earlier this year when the FBI demanded that Apple hand over data on an Apple iPhone 5C belonging to one of the two people who participated in a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California.

    • AT&T actually sells leads to DEA and local law enforcement using Project Hemisphere

      AT&T has been running a for-profit mass surveillance program, called Project Hemisphere, since 2007. Everybody already knows about AT&T cooperation with NSA mass surveillance metadata database… This is a separate program that allows law enforcement to access all of AT&T’s data at will, even though the information is never handled by law enforcement, which apparently makes it legal. The Project Hemisphere mass surveillance program was created by AT&T and specifically marketed to law enforcement as an easy-to-use system

      If you’re wondering what information that AT&T could possibly have on you if you’ve never been an AT&T customer, AT&T has compiled all the relevant phone metadata that passed through their hardware that they possibly could since the 1980s. AT&T has a metadata record of everything from Skype calls to text messages to phone calls on LTE, not just the ones that were made to or from AT&T networks; either, but all of them that ever touched an AT&T owned switch. If you’re wondering what percentage of American switches are owned by AT&T, the answer is over 75%.

    • AT&T reportedly spies on its customers for government cash

      AT&T controls a big chunk of America’s cellular infrastructure, and it turns out that it’s been using that power for super-creepy purposes. The Daily Beast is reporting that the telco has essentially turned itself into a spy-for-hire in the pay of the government. According to the piece, the company’s Project Hemisphere is providing warrantless surveillance, thanks to some legal gray areas, that score it millions of dollars from taxpayers.

      The existence of Project Hemisphere has been known since the New York Times reported on it way back in 2013. Back then, it was presented as a minor tool that was only employed in a handful of states for specialized anti-drug operations. If these new revelations are accurate, then Hemisphere’s being used for a wide variety of crimes all across the country ranging from murder all the way through to Medicaid fraud. AT&T’s information is good enough that it can tell investigators where someone was when they made a call, who they were speaking to and, as we know from the EFF, it’s easy to divine intention just from those two pieces of information.

    • Beijing threatens legal action over webcam claims

      The Chinese Ministry of Justice has threatened legal action against “organisations and individuals” making “false claims” about the security of Chinese-made devices.

      It follows a product recall from the Chinese electronics firm Hangzhou after its web cameras were used in a massive web attack last week.

      The attack knocked out sites such as Reddit, Twitter, Paypal and Spotify.

      The Chinese government blamed customers for not changing their passwords.

      Its legal warning was added to an online statement from the company Xiongmai, in which the firm said that it would recall products, mainly webcams, following the attack but denied that its devices made up the majority of the botnet used to launch it.

      The firm later told Reuters that the recall would effect “less than 10,000″ devices.

      It also noted that users not changing their default passwords were contributing to weak security.

      This was reiterated by the Ministry of Justice which said Xiongmai’s products “cannot be manipulated by criminals”, again blaming users who “do not change the initial password”.

    • AI-powered body scanners could soon be inspecting you in public places

      A startup bankrolled by Bill Gates is about to conduct the first public trials of high-speed body scanners powered by artificial intelligence (AI), the Guardian can reveal.

      According to documents filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Boston-based Evolv Technology is planning to test its system at Union Station in Washington DC, in Los Angeles’s Union Station metro and at Denver international airport.

      Evolv uses the same millimetre-wave radio frequencies as the controversial, and painfully slow, body scanners now found at many airport security checkpoints. However, the new device can complete its scan in a fraction of second, using computer vision and machine learning to spot guns and bombs.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Fury over Bosnian town built by Middle East investors which has Arabic as its ‘official’ language – and locals can only enter if they work as servants

      Angry locals are protesting about a Bosnian town built by Middle Eastern investors which has Arabic as its ‘official’ language – and where locals can only enter if they work as servants.

      The 160 homes have been constructed in a luxury enclave near Tarcin, five miles west of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

      But furious locals say that their only way of accessing the area is through being hired as servants or cleaners – and claim most of the homes contain the wives of wealthy businessmen.

    • Sex Before Marriage: Indonesia Proposed Islamic Law Would Put Sexually Active People In Prison

      Anyone engaging in sex outside of marriage in the world’s third-largest democracy could soon face up to five years in prison. Indonesia’s highest court is deliberating whether to broaden existing law to make all casual sex illegal in the latest bid by conservative Islamists in the country to revise a relatively secular legal code.

      A decision by the Constitutional Court is expected in December or early next year, with indications that the court is leaning toward enacting the tougher legislation. While adultery is currently punishable by up to nine months in prison, if the new law goes through it would make gay sexual relations illegal in Indonesia for the first time. It has already received backlash from human rights organizations.

    • Jaipur: After losing bet, man forces ex-wife to sleep with friend

      A 42-year-old mother-of-two from Jaipur filed a rape complaint after her former husband tricked her into sleeping with his friend. She claimed that her ex-husband drugged her and took her to his friend’s house after losing a bet.

      The man, however, claims it was all for Nikah Halala, a Sharia law that requires the divorced woman to marry and consummate with another man before she can remarry her former husband.

      A Hindustan Times report says he has a fake nikahnama with the stamp of the Jaipur city qazi, which states his ex-wife and the friend were married.

    • The Mayor of London’s “My Side”

      Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, addressed the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (CCGA) on September 15. Although his topic was “The Breakdown of Social Integration – The Challenge of Our Age,” some crucial components of that challenge were notably absent from his presentation.

      Even though Mayor Khan said he believes that, “London is the powerhouse” for his country and is “proud that London was the only region in England to vote to remain in the European Union” (some boroughs voted 80% “Remain”), when it came to the United Kingdom as a whole, he said that “my side” lost the referendum.

      That strikes one as an odd way for the mayor of any city to talk. Isn’t he the Mayor of all of London? Aren’t the Londoners who voted for Brexit included on his “side”?

    • Email To Podesta: Germany Imported Its Own Immigrant Crime Wave

      Nobody tells it like it is like they do when they don’t know the world will be tweeting their emails. Here’s a Wikileaked February 2016 email to Hillary Clinton presidential campaign chairman John Podesta.

    • 36-year-old Pennsylvania man gets 18 months for phishing nude celebrity pics

      A 36-year-old Ryan Collins from Pennsylvania was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to hacking the Apple and Google accounts of more than 100 celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Aubrey Plaza, Rihanna, and Avril Lavigne. Collins stole personal information, including nude photos, from the celebrities.

      The photos were famously posted on 4Chan and Reddit in 2014. Collins pleaded guilty to hacking the celebrities’ accounts in May, but he did not plead guilty to posting the images on the Internet. “Investigators have not uncovered any evidence linking Collins to the actual leaks or that Collins shared or uploaded the information he obtained,” the Department of Justice (DOJ) noted.

      According to The Guardian, Collins ran a phishing scheme from November 2012 to September 2014, sending celebrities e-mails that appeared to be from Apple and Google, requesting their user names and passwords.

    • Dakota Access Pipeline protesters arrested and pepper sprayed

      Authorities began arresting people at a Dakota Access Pipeline protest site in Morton County, North Dakota today, according to the Associated Press and the Guardian. Protesters report being pepper sprayed by authorities on a live stream hosted by Cempoalli Twenny on his Facebook page. There have also been reports that authorities are using beanbag guns. Protesters could be heard calling for a medic in the live stream.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • The City That Was Saved by the Internet

      The “Chattanooga Choo Choo” sign over the old terminal station is purely decorative, a throwback. Since the Southern Railroad left town in the early 1970s, the southeastern Tennessee city has been looking for an identity that has nothing to do with a bygone big band song or an abandoned train. It’s finally found one in another huge infrastructure project: The Gig.

      The first thing you see at the Chattanooga airport is a giant sign that says “Welcome to Gig City.” There are advertisements and flyers and billboards for the Gig in the city’s public parks. The city’s largest building is dedicated to the Gig. Years before Google Fiber, Chattanooga was the first city in the United States to have a citywide gigabit-per-second fiber internet network. And the city’s government built it itself.

      At a time when small cities, towns, and rural areas are seeing an exodus of young people to large cities and a precipitous decline in solidly middle class jobs, the Gig has helped Chattanooga thrive and create a new identity for itself.

    • This Guy Has the Fastest Home Internet in the United States

      For reference, the Federal Communications Commission officially classifies “broadband” as 25 Mbps. His connection is 400 times faster than that.

  • DRM

    • Apple’s new MacBook Pro kills off most of the ports you probably need

      Apple just introduced a shiny, super thin new MacBook Pro. But for what was birthed, a lot of widely-held standards had to die.

      Today, Apple removed the MagSafe 2 charging port type, they stripped away the HDMI port, they ripped out the SD card slot, they shuttered the Thunderbolt 2 ports (which you probably used like three times) and they most notably killed the standard USB port. All these ports, which power data transfer and charging for most everything you likely use, have been replaced by four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports. Surprisingly the folks at Apple saw it fit to give the headphone jack a stay of execution on the new model.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • “MPAA and RIAA’s Anti-Piracy Plans Harm The Internet”

        The Internet Infrastructure Coalition is urging the U.S. Government not to blindly follow the RIAA and MPAA’s input regarding online piracy threats. The group, which represents tech firms including Google, Amazon and Verisign, warns that the future of the Internet is at stake.

      • Repeat Infringers Can Be Mere Downloaders, Court Rules

        A 10-year-old copyright case has prompted an interesting opinion from a US appeals court. In determining the nature of a “repeat infringer” (which service providers must terminate to retain safe harbor), the court found these could be people who simply download infringing content for personal use.

      • When the FCC asked about unlocking set-top boxes, the Copyright Office ran to the MPAA

        It’s been more than 20 years since Congress told the FCC that it should do something about the cable and satellite companies’ monopolies over set-top boxes (American households spend more than $200/year to rent these cheap, power-hungry, insecure, badly designed, trailing edge, feature-starved boxes), but it wasn’t until this year that the FCC announced its Unlock the Box order and asked for comments.

        The US Copyright Office is a branch of the US government, and its job is to help regulate the entertainment industry. That industry is one of the principle advocates for keeping the set-top box dumpster fire burning without any changes, because the lack of competition lets them call the shots with the cable/satellite companies (some entertainment companies are also major satellite/cable companies — Comcast/Universal, Time-Warner Cable, etc).

        But newly released internal documents from the Copyright Office reveal that literally the first thing it did when it learned that the FCC was seeking comments on unlocking set-top boxes was to call on the MPAA and its member companies — and shortly thereafter, it released a highly controversial comment stating that movie companies should have the right to dictate the features of these devices and exercise a veto over the them.

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