EPO Ally IAM Magazine Calls Battistelli’s Dismissal of EPO Staff Representative Laurent Prunier “a Needless Own Goal.”

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: IAM ‘magazine’, one of the most pro-EPO publications out there, seems to have reached somewhat of a tipping point as it too is getting fed up with the misguided President who drives away all the valuable staff and rejects patent quality in favour of quantity

IAM, Battistelli's favourite source of misinformation, seems to have been rather quiet about the EPO. It’s not as though there’s a lack of stuff to cover.

The Register, by contrast, continues to do a good job covering key events, even though unlike IAM it’s not a site about patents. There are some more new comments in The Register, which attracted a lot of attention, including from Mark Summerfield who wrote: Every time I think things can’t sink any lower at @EPOorg, Battistellius Rex finds a way!”

“Roland Grossenbacher too has begun distancing himself from Battistelli.”IAM responded with: “If the reports are accurate – and that is not certain given all the agendas – this does look like a needless own goal.”

So even allies of Battistelli (like IAM) are increasingly cautious now; they don’t wish to look gullible, or like fools who are blindly loyal to Battistelli with his chronic lies. They’re more like, “I’m not so sure about this one…”

Roland Grossenbacher too has begun distancing himself from Battistelli.

Some take the approach of silence, i.e. don’t cover, don’t mention anything. Pretending not to know doesn’t make it OK. It’s almost like complicity by passivity, especially when one’s job is to report the news.

An EPO insider responded to IAM by saying: “What a nonsense, there are no different agendas except one, respecting the rule of law & respect towards staff!” The person was later adding this remark that “TheRegister report is 100 % accurate, no distortion of facts found, check.”

“A lot of staff can understand our frustration because having followed this for a number of years, it seems perfectly clear that it’s Battistelli who should be dismissed, not those who say the truth about his incompetence and/or his terrible policies.”Yes, it’s accurate. SUEPO has in fact just linked to it in its front page, editing that page for the first time in quite a long while. People who know the facts and are close to the action seem to confirm what we wrote in our previous three articles about the dismissal (plus parody video) [1, 2, 3, 4]. There’s no misreporting in it, maybe some partisan language, but that is all. A lot of staff can understand our frustration because having followed this for a number of years, it seems perfectly clear that it’s Battistelli who should be dismissed, not those who say the truth about his incompetence and/or his terrible policies. These people love the EPO much more than he ever did.

Regarding the judge that Battistelli tries to dismiss even though it’s outside his scope of authority (so he leans on his Chinchillas at the Administrative Council), a comment has just been published to say:

Blundering forward says…

AC [Administrative Council]: “Of course, BB [Battistelli] and his VP’s always look forward to the day when they can do a big courtroom case!”

SR [Staff Representation/tive]: ” Each in the BB team seem to have two perfectly good legs but, however, they have never learned to walk forward”

PwC [context here]: ” If we can’t begin to agree on fundamentals such as the elimination of the most abusive forms of staff reps, then we are not ready to march forward into the future.”

BoA [Board of Appeal]: ” Dismissal is never the way forward on our shared path to free speech and justice”

How many more people (or families, or spouses in the judge’s case) will be emotionally exhausted if not destroyed before the crazed President is removed from his position? Does anyone still genuinely support this maniac or does everyone feel as though pretense of support is essential? The video below is for those who missed/overlooked it last night.

YouTube version

Microsoft Grossly Exaggerates the Value of its Hiring Program for People with Autism, by Yuval Levental

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 5:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Starting in 2015, Microsoft has announced a hiring program for Autistic individuals. Mary Ellen Smith, the Vice President of Worldwide Operations at Microsoft, portrayed autism as an advantage by talking at a United Nations event where the theme was “Autism, The Employment Advantage.” The announcement later talked about how “diversity” is all-important and that people with autism all bring strengths to Microsoft, writing that “some have amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in math or code.” (Source: http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2015/04/03/microsoft-announces-pilot-program-to-hire-people-with-autism/)

It is true that some autistics do have significant talents in those areas, but contrary to the media myth of the socially inept computer programmer (Source: http://www.washington.edu/news/2015/02/11/how-to-interest-girls-in-computer-science-and-engineering-shift-the-stereotypes/), the vast majority of autistics are unemployed or need structured employment.

Autistics that do have those talents are usually very close to functioning normally already. Interestingly enough, a follow-up article by Microsoft about the program cites an unemployment rate of 80% for autistics. It is very unlikely that special hiring programs can help most of those autistics (Source: https://news.microsoft.com/stories/people/kyle-schwaneke.html).

Additionally, from what is understood, the only legitimate difference is the hiring process. The demands of the jobs that the autistics are looking for are the same as most equivalent jobs (Source: https://news.microsoft.com/stories/people/kyle-schwaneke.html). Even for some autistics that do have talents in mathematical calculations or can “engage in an endless acquisition of facts”, they need to be flexible and to be productive to work in technical fields, abilities which most autistic individuals lack, according to Fred Volkmar, an psychiatrist at Yale and an expert on Autism (Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/09/health/cases-a-disorder-far-beyond-eccentricity.html).

Out of 700 resumes submitted to this program application, only 10 applicants were accepted. This hiring process — not an employment program — can only help a very small percentage of autistic people, but Microsoft tries to portray it as a norm, talking about hidden talents and “breaking down the stereotypes” (which still apply most of the time unfortunately) and referencing the hiring company Specialisterne which claims without much evidence “many people with autism… could not only hold down a full-time job, but use their particular talents as a competitive advantage.” (Source: https://news.microsoft.com/stories/people/kyle-schwaneke.html)

While this program will help some people with autism, it is more a way for Microsoft to gain attention for glorifying autism as being an advantage than to find a genuine way to resolve the problems of most autistic individuals.

Update to the Microsoft Autism Hiring Program:

Microsoft profiled an autistic individual named Kyle Schwaneke where they claimed that he had performed better than a regular programmer in helping port Cortana, Microsoft’s voice assistant, to the Xbox. At least on Reddit, however, many users seem to be really frustrated with Cortana for Xbox, so maybe autism wasn’t an advantage in this case like Microsoft claimed.

Links 6/11/2016: Vista 10 Plagued With Ads, Linux 4.9 Now in RC4

Posted in News Roundup at 4:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Women-Focused Networking Events Can Make a Big Difference, Says Twitter’s Vinu Charanya

    During LinuxCon North America in Toronto, The Linux Foundation organized a women’s networking summit that included more than 100 women from different walks of life. What’s most exciting about this event was that instead of having one speaker, or a panel of speakers delivering speeches, each attendee was allowed to introduce herself, which turned all those 100 attendees into speakers and audiences.

  • Difference Between Freeware and Open Source Software

    The word ‘ware’ means an article of merchandise (among other things, but those aren’t the relevant meanings). The word is often combined with another word to describe the product, like in the word silverware. The fact that the word software has the suffix ‘-ware’, shows that it was intended to be sold. We all know how computer people love puns and other jokes in the technical terminology, so now we have software, hardware, firmware, freeware, shareware, malware, spyware, and the list goes on. But the funny thing is, there are a few of them that are oxymoronic, or self-contradictory, like freeware and shareware.

  • Foreseeing an Open Source Future With FOLIO

    Libraries have always been spaces where members of a community can gather to gain knowledge, whether through books or through events and activities. But where can library staffers go to do their own learning? They need designated spaces too, which is why the Open Library Foundation is so important. This new organization encourages everyone in the library and library services communities to share their ideas for an open source future.

    The Open Library Foundation was created “as an unbiased, independent not-for-profit organization designed to ensure the availability, accessibility and sustainability of open source and open access projects for and by libraries,” according to its About page. It provides the infrastructure that allows librarians, technologists, designers, service providers, and vendors to work together to develop resources for the library community.

  • ToaruOS With Kernel Written From Scratch Is Still In Development

    Two years ago to the day the most-viewed article was about A Hobby Kernel and User-Space, Runs Mesa and GCC. That hobbyist OS written from scratch seemed promising back then but hadn’t heard anything at all since. When deciding to check on the project today I was anticipating that it had died off, but surprisingly, it’s still under development.

    ToaruOS remains under development and has been since late 2011. The most recent Git commits were from 11 days ago according to their GitHub site. For those that don’t remember the article from two years ago, the Toaru kernel provides a Unix-like environment with some similarities to Linux but is written from scratch.

  • Netrounds Joins the Open Source MANO Initiative

    Netrounds has joined the Open Source MANO (OSM) Community, which is focused on delivering an open source management and orchestration (MANO) stack aligned with ETSI NFV.

    OSM was launched on 22 February 2016 and has been created under the umbrella of ETSI. It is an operator-led community collaborating to meet the requirements of production NFV networks. Founding members include Telefónica, BT, Canonical, Intel, Mirantis, RIFT.io, Telekom Austria Group, and Telenor, among others.

    Open Source MANO’s charter consists of working with the OSM community to deliver a production-quality open source. MANO stack. OSM Release ONE was announced on 4 October 2016 and is available with full documentation today. The initial Release 0 of OSM code was already capable of orchestrating complex NFV use cases using vendor-neutral Information Models capable of capturing all of the significant features of an E2E service and the requirements of its individual Virtual Network Function (VNF) components.

  • Equinix VP: New Power Models Make Open Source Necessary

    The 100 Gbps router and transponder device called Voyager, announced last Tuesday, may be recorded in history as the first such device ever to have been created by a social network and a colocation provider. Facebook’s and Equinix’ joint laboratory are data centers SV3 and SV8 in Silicon Valley, in two of Equinix’ prime locations.

    In an exclusive interview with Data Center Knowledge, Dr. Kaladhar Voruganti, Equinix’ vice president for technology innovation and formerly an IBM researcher, told us his company’s participation in Facebook’s Open Compute Project, and its networking offshoot Telecom Infra Project (TIP), is not some little experiment on the side. It’s a campaign necessitated by a perfect storm of conditions: the status of the cloud services market, the architecture of servers, and the laws of physics.

  • Build Strong Real-Time Streaming Apps with Apache Calcite

    The Apache Calcite data management framework contains many pieces of a typical database management system but omits others, such as storage of data and algorithms to process data. In his talk at the upcoming Apache: Big Data conference in Seville, Spain, Atri Sharma, a Software Engineer for Azure Data Lake at Microsoft, will talk about developing applications using Apache Calcite’s advanced query planning capabilities. We spoke with Sharma to learn more about Calcite and how existing applications can take advantage of its functionality.

  • The Community and Software Development

    Central to the development of open source software is the community. This is partly because many open source projects depend on contributions from unpaid volunteers, which makes community ties important. But even large enterprise projects must pay attention to community needs. Large scale projects like Hadoop, OpenStack, Hyperledger, and even Linux, all transcend corporate boundaries, which necessitates communities that span individual corporate cultures.

    It’s not surprising, then, that successful open source enterprises take on experts to help them develop, manage and nurture their communities.

    Jono Bacon is one of the most visible open source community managers. For nearly eight years he was the community manager for Ubuntu. After that he spent time as the senior director of community at XPRIZE and as GitHub’s community director. These days he heads his own consulting firm, with clients that have included IBM, Deutsche Bank, Intel and SAP.

  • Events

    • Aaron Swartz Day and International Hackathon: Scheduled Speakers

      In San Francisco, we have a hackathon going on, with an upstairs, where speakers are going on, and a downstairs, where code and society are being “hacked” on.

    • Keynote: Collaboration Beyond Code by Jilayne Lovejoy, Principal Open Source Counsel, ARM
    • Ten dozen Embedded Linux Conference and IoT Summit videos

      Videos of ten dozen talks and keynotes from last month’s Embedded Linux Conference and IoT Summit in Berlin are now available for free streaming on YouTube.

      The videos span a wide range of topics relating to developing, deploying, and maintaining embedded devices and Internet-of-things gizmos that incorporate various forms of embedded Linux, Android. and other open source software. ELCE 2016 and the colocated IoT Summit featured more than 150 conference sessions, and offered “an extended scope to include user-space developers, the people building applications on embedded Linux,” says the Linux Foundation. The LF promotes the annual event as “the preeminent space for kernel, systems and user space developers to collaborate and learn.”

  • Web Browsers

    • Another 40 million people bolt from Microsoft’s browsers as mass exodus continues [iophk: "can only truly leave the browser by leaving that so-called OS, because it is tied into the system"]

      Microsoft’s browsers hemorrhaged another 40 million users last month, according to analytics vendor Net Applications, pushing the year’s total number of deserters near the one third of a billion mark.

      Net Applications pegged the combined user share of Internet Explorer (IE) and Edge at 28.4% for October, a fall of 2.3 percentage points. The month’s decline was the second-largest ever for Microsoft’s browsers, behind only May’s plummet of 2.7 points.

      Unlike in most previous months, Microsoft’s bane was not Google’s boon, but instead Mozilla’s. Firefox’s user share jumped nearly 2 percentage points, to 11.1%. Atop an almost-as-large increase in September, Mozilla’s Firefox has stepped away from a precipice, and in two months recovered almost all the losses it incurred during the past year.

      IE has shed 20.2 percentage points in 2016, and the fall shows no sign of stopping, or even slowing. In the last six months, four have recorded declines of 2 points or more, twice the number of the six months before that.

    • Microsoft loses about 40 million Internet Explorer users in one month

      Despite continued updates and improvements to its Edge browser, Microsoft can’t seem to hold on to users as they transition from various versions of Internet Explorer. The latest figures suggest that in October alone, Microsoft shed some 40 million users, with the likes of Chrome and Firefox scooping them up.

      Looking at the latest data from NetMarketShare, Chrome is still the undisputed king of the hill, boasting the kind of percentages Microsoft used to enjoy — with a 55 percent market share at the end of October. It found an extra 0.58 percent from the likes of Internet Explorer, which dropped a surprising 2.5 percent — equivalent to about 40 million users, per ComputerWorld.

    • Chrome

      • Chrome/Chromium Now Enabling WebGL 2 By Default On The Desktop

        With the very latest open-source Chromium web-browser development code, WebGL 2.0 support is now being turned on by default for desktop (non-Android) builds.

        With the latest Chromium Git as of yesterday, WebGL 2 is turned on by default for the desktop but isn’t yet ready to be turned on for the Android builds. The WebGL 2 support can be toggled via about:flags.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox disables loophole that allows sites to track users via battery status

        Mozilla Firefox is dropping a feature that lets websites see how much battery life a visitor has left, following research showing that it could be used to track browsers.

        The feature, called the battery status API, allows websites to request information about the capacity of a visitor’s device, such as whether or not it’s plugged in and charging, how long it will last until it is empty, and the percentage of charge remaining.

        It was intended to allow websites to offer less energy-intensive versions of their sites to visitors with little battery power left: for instance, a mapping site could download less information, or a social network could disable autoplaying video.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • OpenStack Puts Interoperability to the Challenge at OpenStack Summit

      Among the major highlights of the OpenStack Summit last week was the live on-stage interoperability challenge. 16 different vendors participated in the challenge, including AT&T, Canonical, Cisco, DreamHost, Deutsche Telekom, Fujitsu, HPE, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Linaro, Mirantis, OSIC, OVH, Rackspace, Red Hat, SUSE and VMware.

      As part of the on-stage interoperability challenge, participants used Ansible to orchestrate an architecture including network, storage and security groups. Jonathan Bryce, Executive Director of the OpenStack Foundation, said that vendors have been testing different workloads over the last several month in advance of the challenge.

    • Hortonworks’ Q3 Results Reflect Ongoing Welcome for Hadoop

      Hortonworks, which focuses on the open source Big Data platform Hadoop, has steadily been cementing its reputation as a leader in the Hadoop arena. The company’s third quarter results are now reported, and they provide a window on the momentum that Hortonworks now has.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The November 2016 Month of LibreOffice begins!

      Back in May we had a Month of LibreOffice, crediting contributions to the software across the entire project. It was fantastic, with hundreds of badges and barnstars awarded to developers, translators, bug reporters, and also to people who help with documentation, the Ask.LibreOffice site and social media.

  • CMS

    • The future of Drupal could be cooking in this lab

      Acquia Labs has no illusions of making self-driving cars or shooting things into space like Google X, but the budding applied research arm of enterprise open-source Drupal provider Acquia does have designs on a slew of new applications for what it anticipates will be an increasingly browserless world.

      Preston So, development manager at Acquia Labs and a 9-year veteran of the Drupal community, shared his vision for Acquia’s skunkworks-plus outfit at the company’s annual Engage event for customers held in Boston this week.

    • Newly Redesigned Boston.gov Just Went Open Source

      Boston is open sourcing its municipal website, three months after redesigning Boston.gov.

      Taking the source code public, a move overseen by the city’s Digital Team, will speed the rate at which the site evolves through the addition of new features developed by local software designers, academic institutions and organizations.

    • WordPress attacks Wix, and Wix strikes back
    • The WordPress-Wix Dispute
    • The Price Of GPL [Ed: hatred of the GPL]

      Wix’s CEO, Avishai Abrahami, responded with a round of non-sequiturs that carefully evade the point that his product is built from source code for which they have not paid. One of his engineers equally misses the point, focusing on the circumstances surrounding the violation, rather than taking responsibility for the theft.

      Some will take issue with the use of strong words like “stolen code,” and “theft,” with respect to a GPL violation. But that’s exactly what it is: software has been taken and deployed in Wix’s product, but the price for doing so has not been paid.


      Many developers understand, and view the price of GPL as perfectly justified, while others (myself included) find it unacceptable. So what am I supposed to do? Not use any GPL source code at all in any of my proprietary products? Exactly. Because the price of GPL is too much for me, and I don’t steal source code.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)


    • Ring Joins The GNU, Aims For Decentralized, Multi-Device Communication

      Ring is now the newest GNU software project. Ring aims to be a universal communication software platform respecting user’s freedoms and privacy. GNU Ring doesn’t rely upon a centralized server and is based upon SFLPhone SIP/IAX2-compatible softphone for communication, far different from Skype.

    • ARM Cortex M23 & M33 Now Supported By GCC

      Landing in the GNU Compiler Collection development code yesterday for next year’s GCC 7 release is support for some new ARM processor targets.

      The Cortex-M23 is now formally supported by the latest development code. Similarly, the Cortex-M33 is now also supported.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Conservancy Promotes Transparency by Publishing Template Agreements for Linux Compliance Program

      Today at the Linux Plumbers Conference, Software Freedom Conservancy hosts its second feedback session on the GPL Compliance Program for Linux Developers. These sessions, which Conservancy is hosting at relevant events over the next year and summarizing for public review, will seek input and ideas from the Linux community about GPL enforcement, answer questions, and plan strategies to deal with GPL enforcement actions that do not follow Conservancy and FSF’s Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement.

    • Eben Moglen on GPL Compliance and Building Communities: What Works

      Software Freedom Law Center, the pro-bono law firm led by Eben Moglen, Professor of law at Columbia Law School and the world’s foremost authority on Free and Open Source Software law held its annual fall conference at Columbia Law School, New York on Oct. 28. The full-day program featured technical and legal presentations on Blockchain, FinTech, Automotive FOSS and GPL Compliance by industry and community stalwarts.

      The program culminated in remarks by Moglen that highlighted the roles of engagement and education in building effective, ever-lasting communities. While expressing his gratitude to his colleague, friend and comrade Richard M. Stallman, Moglen emphasized the positive message relayed by Greg Kroah-Hartman and Theodore Ts’o –earlier in the day– for creating win-win solutions and spreading users’ freedom.

    • Freedom In Moderation [Ed: Freedom insistence (in software) equated with “extremism”, worse a term than “purism”]

      I must define some terminology in case readers are unfamiliar. Free software is defined by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as software that carries four fundamental freedoms: the freedom to run the program for any purpose, the to study and change it, to redistribute unmodified copies, and to redistribute modified copies. The “free” refers not to price but to freedom, and is sometimes called “libre”, from the same Latin root as “liberate”.

      The Free Software Foundation has been campaigning for “users’ freedom” since 1985. They advocate for the release of software under licenses they approve that give users those freedoms. Some of their notable successes include the GNU project, which develops various low-level and mid-level system tools, and their Defective By Design campaign to oppose digital rights management (DRM).

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open-source plastic recycling machine plans allow anyone to convert waste into new products

      Within just a few generations, plastic has already taken over the world, and while this material enabled a revolution in manufacturing and design, plastic has also managed to become one of the biggest menaces on the planet, thanks to its convenience and ease of production. And although commercial collection and recycling of plastics is getting better and more accessible, in many areas plastics end up in the dump instead of the recycling facility, essentially burying this resource, which could be used to great effect if only the machinery were available to do so.

    • Germany to create an open education portal

      Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research has earmarkes EUR 1.2 million to finance the creation, over the next two years, of a portal to aggregate open educational resources, the ministry announced this week. The OER portal is to support schools and universities, and will be managed by the country’s Bildungsserver (Education Server).

      The OER was announced by the ministry on Wednesday. “This is a major step towards a pedagogically meaningful and copyrighted use of open educational resources in all fields of education”, Cornelia Quennet-Thielen, Secretary of State is quoted as saying.

    • Norway: Communities should share eGovernment services
    • Open Data

      • Spain promotes sharing of public sector information

        The Agencia Española de Protección de Dato (AEPD), Spain’s agency for data protection, is encouraging the country’s public administrations to share their information. In October, the agency published a manual intended for managers at public administrations on how to facilitate information sharing, while keeping sensitive data safe.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • My own self balancing Lego Segway

        A while back I received a Gyro sensor for the NXT Mindstorms controller as a birthday present. It had been on my wishlist for a while, because I wanted to build a Segway like balancing lego robot. I had already built a simple balancing robot with the kids, using the light/color sensor included in the NXT kit as the balance sensor, but it was not working very well. It could balance for a while, but was very sensitive to the light condition in the room and the reflective properties of the surface and would fall over after a short while. I wanted something more robust, and had the gyro sensor from HiTechnic I believed would solve it on my wishlist for some years before it suddenly showed up as a gift from my loved ones.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Our proposal to get the CC logo and icons into Unicode

      We’ve submitted a proposal to get the Creative Commons logo, license, and public domain icons into Unicode (more specifically, the Universal Coded Character Set or UCS). Unicode is the industry standard for encoding characters into text, which means that virtually all text-based editors, or tools with text-based editors, enable those characters and symbols that have been encoded into the standard. Examples of encoded characters range from ancient Greek letters to the current day ©, @, and universal ♲ symbols.

    • HTTP-SS: “A New Faster Internet Protocol”

      A German company is promising a new protocol dubbed “HTTP-SS” that “should be able to double Internet speed, decrease data volume almost by 90% and get rid of the other general issues” compared to HTTP/HTTPS, at least that’s what they claim.

      The HTTP-SS is short for HTTP Single Stream and this protocol aims to be faster, implements the Delta Data Algorithm, allow faster downloads, and other benefits. They claim this is a “revolutionary development” with the usual PR garbage mailed over this weekend.


  • Hardware

    • OpenPOWER Summit Europe 2016 Recap

      I was in Barcelona last week for two big events: the OpenStack Summit and the OpenPOWER Summit. Luckily, the events were separated only by a five minute walk. Many of the slides from the OpenPOWER Summit are already available online.

      One of my favorite talks was from Prof. Mateo Valero, the director of the Barcelona Supercomputer Center (Centro Nacional de Supercomputación). He was a great speaker and he talked a lot about how OpenPOWER has given them a new edge. It’s part of what helps them stay on the forefront of supercomputer technology.

    • Apple temporarily cuts prices on all USB-C cables and accessories

      Apple is offering an olive branch to new MacBook and MacBook Pro buyers annoyed that their old stuff won’t work with their new laptops. The company is discounting most of the USB-C cables, dongles, and accessories it sells in its online and retail stores. The downside? The discounts only last from now until the end of the year, and prices will presumably go back up after that.

      The USB-C to USB adapter goes from $19 to $9; the Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter drops from $49 to $29; the USB-C to Lightning cable goes from $25 to $19 for one-meter cables and from $35 to $29 for two-meter cables; both the HDMI and VGA versions of Apple’s multi-port dongles drop from $69 to $49; and SanDisk’s Extreme Pro SD card reader drops from $49 to $29. All other third-party USB-C cables and peripherals will be discounted by about 25 percent. The only excluded products are Apple’s USB-C power adapters and the USB-C charge cables sold for use with those power adapters.

    • Is a Thinkpad Still Like a Rolls-Royce

      My first Thinkpad was quite underpowered when compared to desktop PCs, it had 32M of RAM and could only be expanded to 96M at a time when desktop PCs could be expanded to 128M easily and 256M with some expense. It had a 800*600 display when my desktop display was 1280*1024 (37% of the pixels). Nowadays laptops usually start at about 8G of RAM (with a small minority that have 4G) and laptop displays start at about 1366*768 resolution (51% of the pixels in a FullHD display). That compares well to desktop systems and also is capable of running most things well. My current Thinkpad is a T420 with 8G of RAM and a 1600*900 display (69% of FullHD), it would be nice to have higher resolution but this works well and it was going cheap when I needed a new laptop.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Studying marijuana remains a drag

      Whatever happens November 8, marijuana won. It’s hit an all time high in popularity—60 percent of Americans now support legalization. That handily beats both major-party candidates in favorability. Twenty-five states and Washington, DC have already legalized it for medical use. And come election day, nine states will decide whether to loosen laws further (five voting on legalization, four more on medical use).

      The psychoactive plant is no longer the gateway drug of deadbeats and loafers; it’s becoming acceptable socially and politically. And with the public opinion that it’s largely harmless, users have stoked hopes that it can safely and effectively treat a range of medical ailments, from chronic pain and migraines to epilepsy and autism

      Marijuana advocates are delighted by these shifts, of course. But as voters, lawmakers, patients, and doctors look to make informed decisions on legislation and usage, they’re coming up with questions—and some are pretty simple. Are there long term effects? What diseases or symptoms can it really treat? In which patients? And how? What strains and products are best? Is it OK to mix it with prescription meds? What all does marijuana’s 60 or so active cannabinoids do in our brains exactly?

    • Flint Michigan Water Crisis Is Still A Crisis

      If you think the water crisis in Flint Michigan has gone away or has improved and been fixed you are sadly mistaken. Unfortunately, they are still using bottled water and water filters to get “clean” water to cook & drink with according to the Washington Post.

      The residents of Flint Michigan who have suffered tremendously through this crisis are now able to file a lawsuit against the state of Michigan and city officials. A judge in the Michigan Court of Claims ruled that Flint residents have the right to sue for negligent decisions made leading to the contamination of the water supply.

      To read more on that story click TheRoot.com.

      Meanwhile, there is another story coming out of Michigan that involves the worlds largest food supply company Nestle. Apparently, the food company asked for more groundwater (from 150 gallons per min. to 400 gallons per min.) to be pumped from Michigan to supply it’s $36 million Ice Mountain bottling plant expansion project.

      All for the cost of a $200 annual paperwork fee. So basically, because Nestle owns the “private property” they get to pump ALL of that water out for FREE.

    • Is Flint the Tip of the Iceberg?

      The Flint water crisis has aroused public concern over the quality of our nation’s water infrastructure, leaving many to wonder when and where the next tragedy will occur. After temporarily relying on the Flint River while seeking a lower-cost water provider, locals immediately found themselves in murky waters.[1] Even though the state Department of Environmental Quality knew about the river’s highly corrosive properties, the agency failed to treat the water, in violation of federal law.[2] The untreated water caused service lines to leach lead into public waterlines,[3] exposing thousands to toxic levels of polluted water. Despite obvious warning signs, Flint Mayor Dayne Walling attempted the “come on in, the water’s fine” approach, even drinking Flint water on local TV to encourage citizens to follow suit.[4] Ultimately, Flint residents did just that, filing a class action lawsuit against the State of Michigan and others last November.[5]

      Let’s turn the clock back and examine the evolution of federal standards for the lead content of drinking water. Congress promulgated the Safe Drinking Water Act[6] in 1974 in response to the discovery of contamination in public drinking water and the lack of enforceable national standards. The Act prohibits the use of certain non-lead-free (by statutory standards) materials in potable water systems and the introduction of such materials into commerce.[7] The Act was amended in 2011 with the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act.[8] The amendment redefined the term “lead-free,” previously a weighted lead content of 8 percent or less, as a weighted average of not more than 0.25 percent.[9] In addition to congressional efforts to purify public drinking water, the EPA promulgated the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) in 1991,[10] requiring local water systems to undertake corrective action where lead concentrations exceed federal standards.

    • [Older] EU drops law to limit cancer-linked chemical in food after industry complaint

      The European commission has dropped plans to legally limit a pervasive but naturally occurring chemical found in food, that is linked to cancer, just days after lobbying by industry, the Guardian has learned.

      Campaigners say that leaked documents revealing the legislative retreat show “undue influence” by the food industry over EU law-making and a “permanent scandal”, although the issue is complex.

      Acrylamide is a hazardous substance found in the browned and burned parts of common starchy foods that have been fried, roasted or oven-cooked at temperatures higher than 248C (478F).

      Crisps, potato chips, breakfast cereals and instant coffee all contain high levels of the substance, as do baby foods, biscuits and rusks.

      Scientists are still trying to quantify the health risks posed, but acrylamide has been judged an “extremely hazardous substance” by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Friday
    • Netherlands to trial Internet voting [Ed: terrible idea, for many reasons.]

      The Dutch government will this year test the possibilities of voting via the Internet. The test will include citizens abroad: the pilot, by the Ministry of the Interior, will involve the city of The Hague, which manages the registration of citizens abroad.

      The city recently invited citizens to take part in the tests – a simulated election. Participants will be able to vote for fictitious political parties and candidates. The pilot is intended to test security measures, and to check if Internet voting reliable.

    • U.S. boosting cyber defenses, but not police presence, for election

      Federal and state authorities are beefing up cyber defenses against potential electronic attacks on voting systems ahead of U.S. elections on November 8, but taking few new steps to guard against possible civil unrest or violence.

      The threat of computer hacking and the potential for violent clashes is darkening an already rancorous presidential race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, amid fears that Russia or other actors could spread political misinformation online or perhaps tamper with voting.

    • 10 ways to make sure your remote workers are being safe

      With an ever-expanding mobile workforce, infosec teams are increasingly tasked with extending cybersecurity safeguards beyond the physical and virtual walls of their organizations. With endpoints not only increasing but on the move, the challenge is real. In addition to implementing the appropriate technical defenses, there is an important aspect to protecting corporate data and systems: Asking end-users to get involved.

    • Did the Mirai Botnet Really Take Liberia Offline?

      KrebsOnSecurity received many a missive over the past 24 hours from readers who wanted to know why I’d not written about widespread media reports that Mirai — a malware strain made from hacked “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices such as poorly secured routers and IP cameras — was used to knock the entire country of Liberia offline. The trouble is, as far as I can tell no such nationwide outage actually occurred.

      First, a quick recap on Mirai: This blog was taken offline in September following a record 620 Gpbs attack launched by a Mirai botnet. The source code for Mirai was leaked online at the end of September. Since then, the code has been forked several times, resulting in the emergence of several large Mirai-based botnets. In late October, many of the Internet’s top destinations went offline for the better part of a day when Mirai was used to attack Internet infrastructure firm Dyn.

    • Admins, update your databases to avoid the MySQL bug

      MySQL, MariaDB, and PerconaDB administrators need to check their database versions, as attackers can chain two critical vulnerabilities and completely take over the server hosting the database.

      The two critical vulnerabilities, which can lead to arbitrary code execution, root privilege escalation, and server compromise, affect MySQL and forks like Percona Server, Percona XtraDB Cluster, and MariaDB, according to security researcher Dawid Golunski, who provided details of the vulnerability on LegalHackers. Administrators should install the latest updates as soon as possible, or in cases where the patches cannot be applied, they should disable symbolic link support within the database server configuration by setting symbolic-links=0 in my.cnf.

    • OOPS! MySQL Falls Down…

      While programming, it’s easy to get tunnel-vision or to accept some “tiny” risk that things could go wrong at some point but write the code that way anyway. That’s what happened with MySQL and MariaDB. Creating a database should not create a vulnerability but it does, because a repair operation allows changing permissions of a file with a particular name which a bad guy could substitute with malicious code…

    • Talk Recap: Holistic Security for OpenStack Clouds

      Thanks to everyone who attended my talk at the OpenStack Summit in Barcelona! I really enjoyed sharing some tips with the audience and it was great to meet some attendees in person afterwards.

      If you weren’t able to make it, don’t fret! This post will cover some of the main points of the talk and link to the video and slides.

    • [Older, out of paywall now] Dirty COW and clean commit messages
    • Book Review: PAM Mastery

      Linux, FreeBSD, and Unix-like systems are multi-user and need some way of authenticating individual users. Back in the old days, this was done in different ways. You need to change each Unix application to use different authentication scheme. Also, authentication schemes differed between a variant of Unix systems. Porting was a nightmare. For example to use Windows Server (Active Directory) or LDAP for authentication you need to make changes to an application. Each application had its way of authenticating users. So Open Group lead to the development of PAM for the Unix-like system. Today Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS X and many other Unix-like systems are configured to use a centralized authentication mechanism called Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM). The book “PAM Mastery” deals with the black magic of PAM.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • [Older] Leaked Hillary Clinton emails show U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar supported ISIS

      A recently leaked 2014 email from Hillary Clinton acknowledges, citing Western intelligence sources, that the U.S.-backed regimes in Saudi Arabia and Qatar have supported ISIS.

      “We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region,” the document states.

      This adds to a growing body of evidence that theocratic Gulf monarchies have helped fuel the surge of extremist groups throughout the Middle East.

    • Somali militants intensify attacks, death count doubles: experts

      Islamist rebels have intensified their attacks in Somalia, detonating larger, more sophisticated devices, bringing in more foreign expertise and doubling the death toll from last year, experts said.

      The surge in violence threatens an upcoming presidential vote and the reconstruction of a nation whose population is already leaving in droves, swelling a global migrant crisis, analysts and academics told Reuters.

      The findings, some of them also outlined in a coming U.N. report, reveal the challenge facing Somalia’s Western-backed government as it battles militants who want to overthrow it and impose their harsh version of sharia, or Islamic law.

    • Indonesian President cancels Australia trip after violent protests

      Indonesian President Joko Widodo has postponed his trip to Australia following the violent protest that erupted Friday in Jakarta.
      Widodo informed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of his decision Saturday and instructed his Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to reschedule his visit, according to a statement released from the palace.

      Violent clashes erupted in Jakarta on Friday as protesters demanding the ouster of the city’s governor, who has been accused of blasphemy against Muslims, clashed with police, CNN Indonesia reported.
      Gov. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly known as Ahok, is alleged to have insulted Islam by criticizing his opponents’ use of a Quranic verse in a stump speech. Ahok is a member of Indonesia’s Christian minority.

    • Indonesia’s Blasphemy Protest Prompts President to Postpone Australia Visit

      President Joko Widodo postponed a state visit to Australia, citing unrest at home after a rally called by hard-line Muslims drew 200,000 people protesting against the capital’s Christian governor.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Clinton Campaign Responds to DAPL Face-Off

      Charlie Galbraith, serving as a Clinton advisor, shared the campaign’s official statement in an e-mail to ICTMN: “We received a letter today from representatives of the tribes protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. From the beginning of this campaign, Secretary Clinton has been clear that she thinks all voices should be heard and all views considered in federal infrastructure projects. Now, all of the parties involved—including the federal government, the pipeline company and contractors, the state of North Dakota, and the tribes—need to find a path forward that serves the broadest public interest. As that happens, it’s important that on the ground in North Dakota, everyone respects demonstrators’ rights to protest peacefully, and workers’ rights to do their jobs safely.”

      As ICTMN contributor Sarah Sunshine Manning reported this afternoon from the Treaty Camp, the newest camp set up by the water protectors directly in the pipeline’s path along Highway 1806. The police massed and pressed the protectors south, using piercing sirens, armored cars, and ATVs, while low flying planes and helicopters circled above. “Within minutes,” Manning said, “a large force of police arrived on both sides of the camp and surrounded about 400 to 500 water protectors.”

    • Presidential Race a Choice Between Levels of Climate Catastrophe

      The definition of ‘climate denier’ should include the states and institutions that are not taking necessary steps to avoid dangerous climate change, says professor Chris Williams

    • Trump just proposed ending all federal clean energy development

      In the last week, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly vowed to zero out all federal spending on clean energy research and development. And the plan he released would also zero out all other spending on anything to do with climate change, including the government’s entire climate science effort.

      You may have missed this bombshell because team Trump did not spell out these cuts overtly. In a campaign where the media has “utterly failed to convey the policy stakes in the election,” as Vox’s Matt Yglesias explained recently, it appears only Bloomberg BNA bothered to follow up with the campaign to get at the truth of Trump’s radical proposal.

      Polling guru Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com fame gives Trump a one in three chance of becoming president. So I agree with Yglesias that we ought to seriously look at the implications of Trump’s proposals — especially since if Trump wins, he’s all but certain to have a GOP-controlled Congress to back him.

    • The Election Will Decide if Obama’s Clean Power Plan Lives or Dies

      In February of 2009, during his second month in office, President Barack Obama stepped up to the lectern to deliver his first speech to a joint session of Congress. In it, he lobbied members of the House and Senate to come up with a mandatory cap on carbon emissions, a key tenant of his campaign stump. “I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America. That’s what we need,” he said. Not surprisingly, that didn’t happen.

      Five years later, with Congress wallowing in its own motion-stopping muck, he took a different approach. He used existing federal laws to create climate legislation without needing the consent of Congress. The resulting mandate, known as the Clean Power Plan, requires States to significantly cut their carbon emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants within the next 14 years. It was a major victory for environmentalists and gave serious credence to the U.S.’s role in the Paris Climate Agreement.

    • Real friends of the Earth vote Green

      In a recent blog, Erich Pica, head of Friends of the Earth, argues against voting for Jill Stein and the Green Party, and tells environmentalists to vote for Hillary Clinton in order to defeat Donald Trump. The call of liberals like Pica to embrace a lesser-of-two-evils strategy is not going to save the planet or humanity.

      Pica admits that Clinton has been bad on key environmental and climate justice issues and recognizes that the Green Party has a much better agenda. Stein’s agenda is in fact much stronger than that of FOE. The Green New Deal, for instance, calls for a transition to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030, a halt to the build-out of fossil fuels, and a full employment program.

  • Finance

    • How A Feeble Joke At A Party Derailed Japan’s Ratification Of TPP At The Last Moment

      Given the government majority, it seems likely that the TPP bill will finally pass at some point in the near future. But the fact that a rather unfunny joke was able to throw a spanner in the works even at this late stage shows that when it comes to trade deals, things aren’t over until they are over, as the recent CETA saga also indicates.

    • And you thought the TPP was secret. The RCEP is even worse

      There’s another massive deal you’ve never heard of. The Trans-Pacific Partnership – negotiated in secret between Australia and 11 other nations over 10 years – appears to be dead.

      It would have allowed US corporations to sue Australian governments in offshore tribunals, as they have long wanted to do, effectively trumping our own High Court. Donald Trump himself opposes it (bless him) as does Hillary Clinton, although she once helped to draw it up.

    • Black Lives Matter declares its opposition to TPP

      In that year, TPP went from a fringe issue to a central election battle, with Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump (and later, Hillary Clinton), all agreeing that it’s not a “trade deal” — it’s a kind of wishlist from multinational corporations that will allow them to subvert environmental, consumer, labor and safety laws to ensure maximum profits — and uniting in their opposition to it.

      Now, add another name to the list of TPP’s strange bedfellows opponents: Black Lives Matter, who have found a signature plank in Donald Trump’s platform that they can endorse wholeheartedly, as improbable as that may sound. It’s pitting the Congressional black caucus against Obama, who sees TPP as his legacy.

    • Democracy needs to know how sausage is made: NO Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki

      Think about the 7 million euros yearly which will be the running price paid by taxes from Helsinki. This means that every one of us who pays taxes in the capital will be paying a membership fee for this museum without having been asked for it. A membership fee of over 30 euros for each one of us every year. On top of that, the museum will charge entrance fees for us, as well as the tourists. By comparison, we have the Amos Anderson [2] museum, which is privately funding its new museum in the city center.

      On top of that comes the construction of the building, which is another 80 million from our taxes (some 200 euros from each one of us for that) and handed over a top land piece just in the heart of Helsinki.

      If approved, I suggest we then have a new optional tax clause for the citizens of Helsinki as we have for religious taxes; we should call it THE STATUS TAX. Whoever wishes to pay for the Guggenheim Museum from their taxes can click on it. If this goes ahead without these providences, I can see the start of a new business model where everyone asks for such a helping hand on the pretext of tourism and prestige! I know I will.
      I suggest that universities apply for such a business model to compensate for the recent budget cuts. For example, the Aalto University with its Alvar Aalto designed buildings, which attracts many tourists to Helsinki, should apply for an equal sum on terms of a fair opportunity clause.

      If Guggenheim wants to open a museum in Helsinki or anywhere else, they should do so at their own costs.

    • Accuracy of employees’ overtime records in question

      After yet another long day at work, Matsuri Takahashi was at the end of her rope.

      “It is already 4 a.m. now, and my body is trembling,” an employee of advertising giant Dentsu Inc. wrote on a social media site. “I am dying. It is too much. I am exhausted.”

      Her words were posted on Oct. 21, 2015, after she spent nearly 19 hours–from 8:56 a.m. the previous day to 3:38 a.m.–at work, according to data kept by a flap barrier gate at the Dentsu head office in Tokyo’s Shiodome district.

    • Corporate culture fixated on ‘Devil’s 10 principles’

      A Supreme Court ruling in 2000 is described as the “bible” on preventing “karoshi,” or death from overwork.

      The decision, concerning the death of a young and overworked male employee at Dentsu Inc., was supposed to have been a wake-up call for the advertising agency on taking care of its workers’ health.

      However, inside sources say the mind-set at Dentsu remains faithful not to the “bible” ruling, but instead to the “Oni-jussoku” (Devil’s 10 principles) set by a former president.

      One of those principles urges employees to reach their goals, even if it kills them.

      The court case stemmed from the suicide of a second-year employee at Dentsu’s radio division in August 1991, when Japan was nearing the end of its asset-inflated “bubble” economy. He was 24.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Clinton and Cybersecurity: Has She Learned From Hacks and Wikileaks Dumps?

      Surrounded by desert marigold and prickly pear at the Ritz-Carlton’s Dove Mountain resort in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton revealed her greatest fears when facing cyberattacks. “It’s not only what others do to us and what we do to them and how many people are involved in it,” she said, recounting how the U.S State Department was attacked hundreds of times each day while she was secretary of state. “It’s what’s the purpose of it? What is being collected, and how it can be used?”

      It was October 2013, and she was speaking at a private summit of Silicon Valley executives convened by Goldman Sachs, the audience peppered with such high-fliers as Anne Wojcicki, CEO of genomics firm 23andme and former wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson, among other luminaries. Cyberattacks, Clinton told them, whether perpetrated by state-sponsored groups or lone hackers, all tended to be for the same reason: “People were trying to steal information, use it for their own purposes.”

    • #PodestaEmails30: Wikileaks releases the second batch of the day

      Included in WikiLeaks’ 30th release of Podesta Emails was a message sent Sunday, December 20, 2015, by Lisa Jackson. She is vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives for Apple and reports directly to CEO Tim Cook.

    • Jill Stein: Don’t ‘Throw Your Vote Away’ On Clinton Or Trump

      The Green Party candidate for president is pushing back against those who see her as a spoiler in the race.

      Jill Stein, who is up to 4 percent in the latest CBS News poll, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 that every vote counts.

      “We encourage people not to throw your vote away on more of a two-party failed political system, but to invest your vote in a real movement for change that our party alone represents,” she said.

    • Stop Hoping For a Hillary Landslide

      Will pro-Hillary progressives go along with a belligerent Clinton White House? It’s a fair question, given how quickly the last decade’s anti-war movement fell nearly silent after Barack Obama’s victory in 2008.

      In an Oct. 25 essay, former U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich warned readers of The Nation about the influence of a “bipartisan foreign-policy elite [that] recommends the next president show less restraint than President Obama… As this year’s presidential election comes to a conclusion, the Washington ideologues are regurgitating the same bipartisan consensus that has kept America at war since 9/11 and made the world a decidedly more dangerous place.”

      Ms. Clinton’s own record and the endorsements she has received from Bush-Cheney neocons suggest we’ll see a shift from President Obama’s recent caution back to the war-machine polices of the last decade and even the last century. In 2017, that’ll mean a renewed Cold War with Russia with a possible standoff over Syria, deeper U.S. military involvement in Muslim nations in which civilians will suffer most (including more aid for Saudi Arabia’s assault on Yemen), and unconditional support for Israel’s violent suppression of Palestinian human rights.

    • WikiLeaks Founder Assange Refutes Clinton Russia Claims – Feels Sorry For Her

      Julian Assange counters the claims of Hillary Clinton and her media propagandists stating unequivocally that the source of the leaks that WikiLeaks has made a campaign fixture over the last few weeks is not, contrary to her deflective claims, the Russians.

      The Clinton camp picked an impressive, overwhelmingly large and credible sounding number of 17 as the number of agencies that have supported their claims. No evidence has been provided, but we can trust Hillary. She’s not the kind of person to say something if it isn’t true, we all know that. Having 17 intelligence agencies backing up your allegations is the kind of support that would make the claims of Russian interference nearly irrefutable if they are true. “If and true,” here we go again. She could have chosen any number and been equally dishonest, as Mr. Assange explains.

    • Julian Assange: Isis and Clinton Foundation are both funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar

      Wealthy officials from Qatar and Saudi Arabia who donated money to Hillary Clinton’s charitable foundation also provided financial support to Isis, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has claimed.

      In an extended interview at the Ecuadorian embassy in London with documentary maker John Pilger for RT, Mr Assange said the same Saudi and Qatari officials could be seen to be supporting both the Clinton Foundation – founded by Mrs Clinton’s husband Bill – and funding the activities of Isis.

      Mr Pilger asked if Mr Assange believed that “this notorious jihadist group, called Isil or Isis, is created largely with money from people who are giving money to the Clinton Foundation”

    • Majority of voters think Clinton acted illegally, new poll finds

      A majority of voters believe Hillary Clinton has done something illegal, according to a new McClatchy-Marist Poll days before the presidential election.

      A total of 83 percent of likely voters believe that Clinton did something wrong – 51 percent saying she did something illegal and 32 percent saying she something unethical but not illegal. Just 14 percent said she’s done nothing wrong.

      By comparison, 79 percent think Donald Trump did something wrong, though not nearly as many think he did something illegal. Just 26 percent think he’s done something illegal, while 53 percent think he’s dome something unethical but not illegal. Just 17 percent think he’s done nothing wrong.

    • WIKILEAKS: Clinton pal praises Hillary: ‘Eventually she will sound like a human’

      Hillary Clinton is dishonest and robotic, her friend Neera Tanden wrote in an email to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in August 2015.

      In the email exchange, published by WikiLeaks on Friday, Tanden wrote that Hillary “often says she absolutely won’t do something and then does it.” It is not clear from the context of the email what specifically Tanden was referring to.

      Tanden, president of the left-wing think tank Center for American Progress, urged Podesta to “stay on her” and “lock her in,” because if he did, “eventually [Hillary] will sound like a human.”

    • WikiLeaks impact: Clinton Foundation accepts it received $1mn gift from Qatar

      The Clinton Foundation has confirmed it accepted a $1 million gift from Qatar while Hillary Clinton was US secretary of state without informing the State Department, even though she had promised to let the agency review new or significantly increased support from foreign governments.

      Qatari officials pledged the money in 2011 to mark the 65th birthday of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s husband, and sought to meet the former US president in person the following year to present him the check, according to an email from a foundation official to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta. The email, among thousands hacked from Podesta’s account, was published last month by WikiLeaks.

      Clinton signed an ethics agreement governing her family’s globe-straddling foundation in order to become secretary of state in 2009. The agreement was designed to increase transparency to avoid appearances that US foreign policy could be swayed by wealthy donors.

    • Clinton’s charity confirms Qatar’s $1 million gift while she was at State Dept

      The Clinton Foundation has confirmed it accepted a $1 million gift from Qatar while Hillary Clinton was U.S. secretary of state without informing the State Department, even though she had promised to let the agency review new or significantly increased support from foreign governments.

      Qatari officials pledged the money in 2011 to mark the 65th birthday of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s husband, and sought to meet the former U.S. president in person the following year to present him the check, according to an email from a foundation official to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta. The email, among thousands hacked from Podesta’s account, was published last month by WikiLeaks.

      Clinton signed an ethics agreement governing her family’s globe-straddling foundation in order to become secretary of state in 2009. The agreement was designed to increase transparency to avoid appearances that U.S. foreign policy could be swayed by wealthy donors.

    • Hillary Deleted Email Showing She Forwarded Classified Information To Her Daughter

      Hillary Clinton deleted a 2009 email in which she forwarded classified information to her daughter, Chelsea.

      The email was released on Friday by the State Department. It is one of thousands of documents recovered by the FBI from Clinton’s private email server.

    • Mid East ‘not all bad’ : Bill Clinton’s speeches revealed in WikiLeaks’ #PodestaEmails31

      WikiLeaks has released more emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta, with only four days until the presidential election.

      The latest release contains more than 2500 emails, bringing the total number to over 50,000. WikiLeaks has said it would publish 50,000 emails before election day.

      On Friday, there were two releases of Podesta emails. They revealed further examples of the campaign’s disdain for former Clinton rival Bernie Sanders, and shed light on Bill Clinton’s paid speeches when Clinton was secretary of state. The emails also revealed the campaign’s relationship with Apple and its influential donors.

    • Hillary Clinton Email Investigation: Alleged NYPD Source Reportedly Says Clintons Involved In Sex Slavery, Child Sex Crimes, Child Exploitation And More

      The Hillary Clinton email investigation has rocked this year’s election with its timing, but it’s about to be rocked even more, that is if a report by online news source True Pundit is legitimate.

      The right-wing publication claim the new emails have exposed the Clintons for being involved in such atrocities as child sex crimes, child exploitation, sexual slavery, money laundering, perjury and obstruction of justice to name a few.

    • How Jill Stein Could Force the Enforcement of Election Laws and Save Us All

      CTR has long been criticized for its announcement that it would engage in coordination with the Clinton Campaign. Citing a legal loophole, CTR enraged campaign finance reformers with what they considered to be illegal activity, announcing AstroTurf efforts over social media to assist Hillary Clinton. In June I wrote a piece about this supposed loophole.

      Under the Code of Federal Regulations, activity is coordinated with a candidate, campaign or committee when it satisfies what is known as the three-pronged analysis: Payment, content, and conduct. When that happens, unless exempted, it is treated as an in-kind contribution or coordinated expenditure. We can spare ourselves the nitty gritty of each of these prongs because CTR has openly acknowledged that its activities meet the requirements to be considered coordinated.

    • Jill Stein is polling at four percent. But she says she’s staying in the race

      We met Jill Stein, the Green Candidate for president, outside Hillary Clinton’s campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, a two fingers-up at her opponent.

      A week ago this would have been an interesting interview, but it might have felt a bit peripheral to the main election story. Hillary was comfortably ahead in most polls, and no one was discussing Jill Stein and libertarian Gary Johnson as much.

      Then the Great Tightening happened, and the polls narrowed. And suddenly the number of votes accrued by third party candidates feels very relevant indeed.

      Averages have had Jill at about two percent recently, but the latest New York Times/CBS News poll released this week has her at four percent. That’s more than the gap separating Trump and Clinton in the same poll.

      I asked her if she is willing to instruct her voters to back Hillary in key swing states. She said no.

      “It is a race to the bottom with the greater and lesser evil,” she begins. “I urge people not to throw their vote away on the same political system that has thrown you under the bus. It’s very important to invest your vote in a real movement for change.”

    • Susan Sarandon: ‘DNC is completely corrupt’

      Actress Susan Sarandon on Thursday tore into the Democratic National Committee (DNC), calling it “completely corrupt.”

      “After my experience in the primary, it’s very clear to me the DNC is gone,” she told CNN’s Carol Costello.

      “Every superdelegate is a lobbyist. The way that the system is set up in terms of trying of having superdelegates — you could win a state and not get the delegates. It’s crazy.”

      Sarandon backed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for the Democratic nomination. She said she still respects Sanders even though he endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

    • Confused Reporter Doubles Down On Bogus Trump/Russian Server Story With ‘I’m Just Asking Questions’ Non-Apology
    • WikiLeaks Emails: Podesta Threatened To Quit Campaign Last Year

      John Podesta threatened to quit his position as Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman late last year over an issue involving campaign contributions from his brother, superlobbyist Tony Podesta.

      Podesta appears to have made the threat in order to protect Tony, who is the elder Podesta, from pressure that the campaign’s finance team gave over donations to the Hillary Victory Fund (HVF), a controversial joint fundraising committee coordinated between the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and 32 state party committees.

    • WikiLeaks: Top Clinton Aides Bemoan Campaign ‘All Tactics,’ No Vision

      A hacked email released Saturday by WikiLeaks provided fresh evidence that top aides were frustrated that Hillary Clinton’s campaign lacked a vision or principles beyond simply acquiring power.

      In the email, sent on Jan. 22, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta responded glumly to a question from Morgan Stanley executive Tom Nides about how things were going.

    • ‘Rahmemail.com’: Wikileaks shows Emanuel’s use of personal domain

      The mayor also received an email from Podesta on a separate personal Gmail account that was included in the hacked emails posted by WikiLeaks.

    • Clinton Foundation ‘More Like a Political Operation’ Than Charity

      The Clinton Foundation operated “more like a political operation” than a traditional charity, a lawyer warned in a memo marked “confidential” in 2008.

      Bruce Lindsey, chairman of the foundation’s board of directors, sent the memo — an earlier draft of the final report — to Clinton family consiglieri Cheryl Mills in 2011. WikiLeaks released that email Saturday in its latest batch of communications hacked from the Gmail account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

    • “The DNC is gone”: Susan Sarandon defends vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein

      Actress, activist, and former Bern-feeler Susan Sarandon is now going Green in support of Jill Stein.

      Sarandon appeared on CNN Thursday to discuss the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, and the corruption of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. She also condemned the DNC.

      “The DNC is gone and we need a progressive party,” Sarandon said in defense of her support for Jill Stein.

      Sarandon talked to CNN’s Carol Costello as a representative on the side of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe pipeline protesters. She explained that the issue has been largely ignored because neither presidential nominee wants to talk about it.

      “You’re not going to hear anything from her,” Saradon said about Clinton and the pipeline. “Because if you look at who supports their campaign and who’s contributed to Hillary’s campaign, it’s every single one of these corporations and banks.”

    • The Left Is Under No Obligation To Support Hillary Clinton

      But if we want to move beyond the cycle of mobilization and retreat that dominates left electoral activity in the US, we have no choice but to build our own political formations, as difficult as that will be. They will have to do what all parties do—run candidates for office, particularly in states and localities where competition between Democrats and Republicans is low. Considering the many institutional barriers to effective independent politics, they will also have to launch fights to change ballot access laws and other measures aimed at maintaining the two-party duopoly.

      Beyond that, they should also focus on building the intellectual and organizational capacities of their base between elections, and raise people’s expectations of what is possible instead of managing them downward. And perhaps most importantly, they must resist the tendency of unions and other social movement organizations to prioritize short-term interests and goals above all other concerns.

      The Sanders campaign and the mini-revival of protest activity shows us that millions of people are fed up with the political order and want an alternative to it. Instead of accepting and working within the limitations of the system they despise, why not begin the hard work of offering one to them?

    • Ohio judge warns Trump campaign as voter advocates score court wins

      A U.S. judge in Ohio ordered Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign on Friday not to intimidate voters as voting-rights advocates scored a string of last-minute victories in several politically competitive states.

      The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge James Gwin creates the possibility of fines or jail time for Trump allies who harass voters, a significant victory for Democrats who had worried the real-estate mogul was encouraging supporters to cause mayhem at the polls on Nov. 8.

      The ruling also deals a blow to a Trump-aligned “exit poll” that seeks to mobilize thousands of supporters.

      The Trump campaign appealed the decision.

    • Data Wars: Trump Bought Battery-Powered Toy Car for Toddlers; Hillary Runs Up-Engined Race Car (and a TEAM to run it). Perhaps the Biggest Lopsided Advantage of 2016

      The two are night-and-day. The Obama system is 4.5 TIMES BETTER. Not 4.5 PERCENT better (in a year when the election was decided by 5%). It was not 45% better. the Obama machine is 4.5 TIMES BETTER. 350% better. Understand. One side has something that is not 100% better or 200% better than your system. Its something that is 350% better than yours. When you spend a million dollars on a TV ad campaign that boosts your voter turnout by 10,000 votes. And the other side uses their system to run a better TV ad campaign – that also costs 1 million dollars, but they get 45,000 votes!!! 4.5 time better! 350% better!.

      That is what Obama built in 2012. That is what was called ‘Narwhal’. That was using the bleeding-edge tech called Big Data. I wrote several blogs about it then and did a total analysis of the two systems compared head-to-head, written for MARKETING people, in other industries than politics, that I published here in early 2015. This is THE DEFINITIVE article about what is Big Data and why its the new era in databases. Why it makes psychographics like used by Romney (and now Trump) obsolete.

    • Southern states have closed down at least 868 polling places for the 2016 election

      Next week, Americans will hold the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act.

      It’s a terrifying fact. The Voting Rights Act targeted policies that purposely kept black voters from the polls. But the US Supreme Court struck down part of the law in 2013, limiting the federal government’s oversight of states with long histories of suppressing minority voters.

      As a result, states have passed more voting restrictions over the past several years — including controversial voter ID laws and cutbacks on early voting days and hours.

    • WikiLeaks releases latest batch of emails from Clinton campaign chair

      The whistleblowing site has published more than 50,000 emails in the lead up to the presidential election on Tuesday. Today’s trache contains 2074 new emails.

      Saturday’s release contained transcripts from Bill Clinton’s fundraising speeches, which included the former president attacking UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and discussing the need for a tough leader to “enforce the trigger that will re-impose sanctions” should Iran violate the nuclear deal.

    • Paul Ryan: The choice facing America

      This is how Clinton can so casually classify whole groups of people as “deplorables.” And it is how the Clintons can treat transparency like it’s something for other people, not for them.

    • Clinton directed her maid to print out classified materials

      As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton routinely asked her maid to print out sensitive government e-mails and documents — including ones containing classified information — from her house in Washington, DC, e-mails and FBI memos show. But the housekeeper lacked the security clearance to handle such material.

      In fact, Marina Santos was called on so frequently to receive e-mails that she may hold the secrets to E-mailgate — if only the FBI and Congress would subpoena her and the equipment she used.

      Clinton entrusted far more than the care of her DC residence, known as Whitehaven, to Santos. She expected the Filipino immigrant to handle state secrets, further opening the Democratic presidential nominee to criticism that she played fast and loose with national security.

    • Will the Media Reset After the Election or Are We Stuck With This Tabloid Stuff?

      The venerable New York Times ran a story saying Donald Trump lies about the height of his buildings.

      For no apparent reason, the Times resurrected some information from 1979 saying Trump insisted on counting the basement levels of his signature Trump Tower in the overall count of how many floors the building has. The Times compares this lie to “reports” that Trump adds an inch to his actual body height in his bio materials, and also repeated the gag line that he boasted about how long his penis is (no word on whether it is or is not actually longer than expected.)

      You have to wade down to paragraph 12 to learn other New York developers use the same count-the-basements levels gimmick to be able to advertise their buildings as taller. There is absolutely no news.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Munich court to try Facebook’s Zuckerberg for inciting hatred

      A Munich court has opened a lawsuit against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, German media reported on Friday. News outlet “der Spiegel” wrote on its website, before the main weekly magazine’s Saturday release, that it had obtained court documents charging the social media mogul with incitement to hatred.

      Zuckerberg is reportedly being charged alongside Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg, chief Europe lobbyist Richard Allan, and his Berlin counterpart Eva-Maria Kirschsieper.

      According to Spiegel, the complaint comes from the Würzburg-based attorney Chan-jo Jun. In the suit, he accuses Facebook of tolerating appeals for murder, threats of violence, and Holocaust denial, among other things.

      Laws regulating hate speech in Germany are extremely tight, with most Nazi symbolism and racist propaganda strictly forbidden, a legacy of Germany’s role in World War II. Although Facebook is obliged to remove illegal content from its site, it has repeatedly garnered hefty criticism for the time it takes to do so.

    • Israeli Lawmakers Pushing Mandatory, Default ISP Porn Filtering Because That Always Works So Well

      So, because internet porn is easier to access than ice cream, ISPs may be forced to stop allowing ice cream to flow uninterrupted through its lines unless customers of age specifically ask to be “exposed to” ice cream. If customers want porn to burst from every digital orifice connected to their ISP, they would need to opt-in via phone call, letter, or through the ISP’s website.

      Other people, who would just like to have their access to websites less effed up will also have to do the same, considering website filtering/blocking is far from perfect and tends to net a bunch of false positives. Critics of the bill only have to point to all the other times this has happened to provide examples of why this is a bad idea.

      In addition, a list of opt-in users would be created because there’s no way an opt-in “service” doesn’t. I can’t imagine why the government might be interested in the contents of such a list, but the fact that it’s there means it could be obtained without too much paperwork if “needed.” Then there are other outside forces, like malicious hackers, who might find it entertaining to plaster lists of “porn, please!” users all over the internet.

    • Bare-chest activist plans to show up on Md. beaches

      This coming summer, Chelsea Covington plans to hit the beach topless.

      She’s is not an exhibitionist or a nudist. Instead, she believes in normalizing the female body and has traveled throughout the mid-Atlantic, blogging about her interactions with people along the way.

      She has taken photos at the Washington Monument, biked along trails in Philadelphia and visited beaches in New Hampshire, Assateague Island and Ocean City.

      The 27-year-old from Maryland’s Eastern Shore advocates for “topfreedom,” the belief that women have the same rights as men to not be obligated by laws cover their chests.

      Covington believes that this type of gender shaming can be associated with “lifelong health concerns.” She uses the term “bare chested,” because she said topless is a gendered term that wouldn’t be used to describe a man.

    • Turkey blocks WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter all over again

      THE ANTI-FRIENDLY Turkish government has once again blocked local access to commonly used social networks including WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.

      We have been here before. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan squats on communications every time anyone starts talking about him, his party, his family, and probably Turkey, in a less than positive way.

      Today it is because some political opposition is getting the spotlight, so the move makes sense if you are someone like Erdogan who shuts down communications at the drop of a hat.

      “The TurkeyBlocks monitoring network has detected restrictions on access to multiple social media services Facebook, Twitter and YouTube throughout Turkey beginning Friday Nov 04 2016 1:20AM local time, ongoing as of Friday noon,” reported Turkey watcher TurkeyBlocks.

    • Turkey Doubles Down on Censorship With Block on VPNs, Tor

      In what’s a significant escalation in its censorship efforts, the Turkish government now wants to block the very same tools that tech-savvy citizens use to get around the government-imposed social media blocks.

      On Friday, the Turkish information technologies and communications authority, or BTK, ordered internet providers in the country to block Tor and several other censorship-circumvention Virtual Private Networks or VPNs, such as VPN Master, Hotspot Shield, Psiphon, Zenmate, TunnelBear, Zero, Vypr, Express, according to multiple local reports.

      Earlier in the day, the government had already blocked Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and restrictions on messaging apps like WhatsApp and Skype were also reported. The independent monitoring organization TurkeyBlocks also reported throttling and other forms of censorship on Friday, linking the disruptions and blocks to the arrests of pro-Kurdish party leaders.

    • Tired of people circumventing social media blocks, Turkey calls for VPN ban

      As of a few hours ago, there’s a new VPN ban in Turkey. Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority has issued an order to Turkish Internet service providers (ISPs) telling them to institute a VPN ban. Many Turkish internet users were using VPNs to access social media platforms after Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube were blocked last night amid ongoing military operations and political unrest, according to Turkey Blocks. In addition to attempting to ban connections to VPN services, Turkish ISPs are also blocking access to VPN homepages as well as the Tor project homepage.

    • Turkey blocks access to Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook

      Ban is reportedly related to 11 arrests of opposition party politicians

      Turkey has blocked Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube, according to censorship monitoring site, Turkey Blocks.

      The group broke the news today around 1am local time, saying the government was throttling these services. This is a method of slowing down websites to the extent that they become difficult to use or unusable.

    • Chinese Police Dub Censorship Circumvention Tools As ‘Terrorist Software’

      The Great Firewall of China is pretty well-known these days, as is the fact that it is by no means impenetrable. The Chinese authorities aren’t exactly happy about that, and we have seen a variety of attempts to stop its citizens from using tools to circumvent the national firewall. These have included Chinese ISPs trying to spot and block the use of VPNs; deploying China’s Great Cannon to take out anti-censorship sites using massive DDoS attacks; forcing developers of circumvention tools to shut down their repositories; and pressuring Content Delivery Networks to remove all illegal circumvention, proxy and VPN services hosted on their servers.

      Despite years of clampdown, anti-censorship tools are still being used widely in China — one estimate is that 1-3% of China’s Internet users do so, which would equate to millions of people. However, Global Voices has a report of police action in the Chinese region of Xinjiang, whose indigenous population is Turkic-speaking and Muslim, that may be the harbinger of even tougher measures against circumvention tools.

    • Scottish film explores censorship in the GDR
    • Deputy Justice Minister slams FB ‘censorship’ of Polish nationalists

      Twitter banner for 5 November protest outside Facebook’s Warsaw HQ reads: Freedom of Speech for Nationalists – Stop Censorship. Photo: Twitter.com/Marsz Niepodległości @StowMarszN

      Deputy Justice Minister Patryk Jaki accused the social media giant of censorship, which he said was “outrageous”.

      Facebook’s reported decision to block the pages comes ahead of Poland’s Independence Day, which falls on 11 November and is typically marked by marches organised by nationalist organizations and others in the country’s capital.

      Tens of thousands annually take to the streets on the day, which has in recent years ended in outbreaks of violence and clashes with police.

      Nationalists are planning a 5 November protest outside the social media site’s Warsaw offices.

    • Nielsen Forced To Pull Report Offline After It Shows ESPN Losing More Subscribers Than Ever

      ESPN has been losing hand over fist as consumers shift to streaming alternatives and new “skinny” TV bundles of smaller channels. The company is estimated to have lost roughly 7 million subscribers in just a few years, and a recent survey found that 56% of consumers would drop ESPN in a heartbeat if it meant saving $8 a month on their cable bill (the estimate of how much ESPN costs each subscriber). The losses are largely thanks to ESPN executives failing to see the cord-cutting threat coming. Apparently it’s difficult to identify shifting viewership trends with your head buried squarely in the sand.

      Fast forward to this week, when viewer-monitoring firm Nielsen released a report stating that ESPN lost more subscribers than ever last quarter. According to the original Nielsen report, ESPN lost 621,000 homes in a single month, as well as losing 607,000 ESPN2 households, and 674,000 ESPNU homes.

    • Adobe Asked Google To Censor Techdirt’s Story On How Adobe’s DRM Got Cracked

      Another day, another example of copyright being a tool for censorship. MarkMonitor is one of the largest companies out there in the “IP protection” business — and they also have a decently long history of filing bogus DMCA notices. And in one of its recent ones… they targeted a Techdirt news story. You see, three years ago, our own Tim Cushing wrote a little story about how Adobe launched its Creative Cloud subscription offering and had the DRM on it cracked within 24 hours. It was a fun (yet all too predictable) story.

    • Govt to block more websites, raising censorship specter

      The government says it will intensify its crackdown on websites accused of spreading hatred based on issues of ethnicity, religion and race (SARA) after receiving more requests to do so, raising the specter of online censorship.

      The move came as religious sentiments over the upcoming Jakarta gubernatorial election escalated and spread online, mainly after Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama was accused of disrespecting Al-Maidah 51, a verse in the Quran.

      The Communications and Information Ministry claimed that since Oct. 31 it had received more requests to block websites allegedly spreading SARA-based hatred from several authorities, including the National Police, the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) and the State Intelligence Agency (BIN)

    • Mapplethorpe complaint at Westmount library brings censorship into focus

      In 1990, a Robert Mapplethorpe photography exhibit opened at the Contemporary Arts Centre in Cincinnati, Ohio. Both the centre and its director, Dennis Barrie, were charged with obscenity. The public outcry against censorship was remarkable. Later, the charges were dropped.

      In 2016, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts opens an interesting, if not entirely satisfactory, exhibit of the same Robert Mapplethorpe’s work, this one called Focus: Perfection.

    • Comic artists in Vietnam face the tight grip of censorship

      A young generation of Vietnamese comic artists is struggling to get its work published as local publishers hesitate to give the nod to comics targeting older age groups.

      The third volume of popular Vietnamese comic Meo Moc (Musty Mew) by rising 24-year-old artist Dang Quang Dung was recently recalled by publishers after a one month run in local bookstores.

      The artist attributes the recall to a scene featuring the comic’s feline protagonist on the toilet and the word ‘poop’ appearing later in the volume, both of which were deemed ‘offensive’ by book censors.

    • CENSORED: 100 years of film censorship in New Zealand

      One hundred years ago, film censorship was introduced to New Zealand, making it illegal to show any film without it first being passed by the Censor.

      The 1916 Cinematograph Film Censorship Act was the government’s first attempt to restrict what New Zealanders could watch and hear in audiovisual media.

    • Turkey Doubles Down on Censorship With Block on VPNs, Tor

      In what’s a significant escalation in its censorship efforts, the Turkish government now wants to block the very same tools that tech-savvy citizens use to get around the government-imposed social media blocks.

      On Friday, the Turkish information technologies and communications authority, or BTK, ordered internet providers in the country to block Tor and several other censorship-circumvention Virtual Private Networks or VPNs, such as VPN Master, Hotspot Shield, Psiphon, Zenmate, TunnelBear, Zero, Vypr, Express, according to multiple local reports.

      Earlier in the day, the government had already blocked Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and restrictions on messaging apps like WhatsApp and Skype were also reported. The independent monitoring organization TurkeyBlocks also reported throttling and other forms of censorship on Friday, linking the disruptions and blocks to the arrests of pro-Kurdish party leaders.

    • Ilya Troyanov: ‘Against censorship, for an open discussion’

      There needs to be an open discussion against simplifying the past, says the award-winning author. Troyanov speaks to DW about the dangers of glorifying Communist dictatorship in Eastern European countries.

    • YouTube blocks a video…on left wing censorship: Site’s algorithm blacklists educational footage

      Last month, YouTube was accused of censorship after it emerged it has been removing the ability for users to make money from their videos if they express politically incorrect or offensive views.

      And the latest video to fall victim to the site’s new censorship rules is, ironically, one on left wing censorship.

      The video, titled ‘The Dark Art of Political Intimidation’, was placed in ‘restricted mode’, making it inaccessible to schools, libraries and those with a YouTube filter.

    • China demands live-streaming censorship
    • China Moves to Regulate Live Streaming
    • Chinese internet authorities to crack down on ‘threatening’ live-streaming
    • China to Censor Online Streaming from December 1st
    • Cyberspace Admin Issues New Live-streaming Rules
    • China to regulate live streaming
    • China rules on live video streaming
    • China Censors Online Video Streaming
    • China Issues New Rule Requiring Licence for People Live-Streaming News, Entertainment Content
    • China formalizes its live-streaming industry rules
    • China to regulate online live streaming services
    • China tightens screws on live-streaming firms
    • China cracks down on growing live streaming industry
    • New Chinese Law to Tighten Grip on Live Streaming Services Online
    • China to Enforce Stricter Regulations on Chinese Live-Streaming Sites
    • China demands live-streaming censorship
    • Open Rights Groups slams porn censorship proposal
    • Hong Kong lawmakers-elect who called for independence threatened China’s security -state TV
    • Hong Kong lawmakers-elect who called for independence threatened China’s security
    • If China Meant to Chill Hong Kong Speech, Booksellers’ Case Did the Job
    • Report: China Censorship Machine Not the Monolith It Appears to Be
    • Researchers reverse-engineer Chinese streaming services to learn how they’re censored
    • Researchers uncover hidden censorship on Chinese live-streaming apps
    • No censorship at UAE book fairs — NMC [Ed: Puff piece from government media, trying to obscure a culture of overt censorship at UAE]
    • DirecTV blackout of Fox News, CNN spurs allegations of censorship plot
    • Demystifying Social Media Censorship — in Arabic, Spanish and English
    • Here’s The Truth: Shiva Ayyadurai Didn’t Invent Email
    • Censorship Kills: Remembering Sattar Behesthi
    • Harsh Censorship Like In Emergency: Editors Guild On Action Against NDTV
    • Editors Guild Slams Ban on NDTV India, Says it Violates Freedom of Media
    • Anger at ‘harsh censorship’ as Indian network silenced
    • Indian editors accuse govt of imposing censorship
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Why I won’t recommend Signal anymore

      One of the things I do is cryptography and infosec training for investigative journalists who have a need to keep either their sources and communications confidential so they can more safely do their work in the public interest. Often they work in places which are heavily surveilled, like Europe, or the United States. Ed Snowden’s documents explain a thing or two about how the US intelligence apparatus goes about its day-to-day business. They sometimes also work in places in the world where rubber hose cryptanalysis is more common than in say the U.S. or Europe. Which is why crypto tools alone are not the Alpha and the Omega of (personal) security. This requires careful consideration of what to use when, and in what situation. One of the things I have recommended in the past for various cases is the OpenWhisperSystems’ app called Signal, available for Android and iOS. In this article, I want to explain my reasons why I won’t be recommending Signal in the future.

    • GCHQ wants internet providers to rewrite systems to block hackers [Ed: GCHQ wants more mass “surveillance” because “HACKERS” (they use to say “TERROR”). The latest routers from BT (not the older ones) already block/break VPNs. This was noticed by the media. Nobody knows why?]

      GCHQ is urging internet providers to change long-standing protocols to stop computers from being used to set off large-scale cyber attacks.

      The Government’s cyber-defence arm said it plans to work with networks such as BT and Virgin Media to rewrite internet standards to restrict “spoofing” – a technique that allows hackers to impersonate other computers and manipulate them to carry out anonymous attacks.

    • How to block the ultrasonic signals you didn’t know were tracking you

      Dystopian corporate surveillance threats today come at us from all directions. Companies offer “always-on” devices that listen for our voice commands, and marketers follow us around the web to create personalized user profiles so they can (maybe) show us ads we’ll actually click. Now marketers have been experimenting with combining those web-based and audio approaches to track consumers in another disturbingly science fictional way: with audio signals your phone can hear, but you can’t. And though you probably have no idea that dog whistle marketing is going on, researchers are already offering ways to protect yourself.

      The technology, called ultrasonic cross-device tracking, embeds high-frequency tones that are inaudible to humans in advertisements, web pages, and even physical locations like retail stores. These ultrasound “beacons” emit their audio sequences with speakers, and almost any device microphone—like those accessed by an app on a smartphone or tablet—can detect the signal and start to put together a picture of what ads you’ve seen, what sites you’ve perused, and even where you’ve been. Now that you’re sufficiently concerned, the good news is that at the Black Hat Europe security conference on Thursday, a group based at University of California, Santa Barbara will present an Android patch and a Chrome extension that give consumers more control over the transmission and receipt of ultrasonic pitches on their devices.

    • Why do diplomats use this alien WhatsApp emoji for Vladimir Putin? [iophk: "corporate surveillance"]

      When the world’s nations sit down to talk nowadays, there is a distinct difference to the way diplomacy is done. Influence is no longer defined only by special relationships and old alliances, but which WhatsApp group you are invited into.

      The rise of WhatsApp diplomacy is transforming the negotiating chamber. There are countless groups of allies and virtual huddles, exchanges over policy statements and fine print, and fair amounts of banter and even emojis (Vladimir Putin is referred to by widespread use of a grey alien avatar).

      “You can form small groups of like-minded allies, take photos of annotated documents, ask people what they think without the whole room knowing,” a senior western diplomat said.

      The tool is useful for communicating with allies who might not be sitting close to them, diplomats say, as well as for agreeing negotiating tactics during difficult sessions and for organising break-out huddles in a way that avoids offending those left out.

    • How Bureaucrats and Spies Turned Canada Into a Surveillance State

      This week, Canadians received a shock to the system when a spate of news items revealed how police and spy agencies flout the law and moral conventions to spy on citizens and journalists, in some cases dating back for many years.

      The largest blow to Canada’s often rosy image came on Thursday when a federal court ruling revealed that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has been operating a secret metadata collection program since 2006, and retained citizens’ identifying information illegally. The question on every Canadian’s mind now is: how, in our supposedly sleepy liberal democracy, did this happen?

      In establishing the domestic spy agency with the CSIS Act, legislators largely left it up to CSIS itself to decide how the law should be interpreted. “It appears that CSIS got their own legal advice that gave them the most favourable spin or interpretation of the law that one could possibly take,” said privacy lawyer David Fraser in an interview. “Really, stretching it almost to the breaking point.”

    • Oliver Stone’s Snowden puts the spotlight back on the NSA

      The US election is imminent. It pits a dangerous demagogue in Donald Trump against an establishment candidate in Hillary Clinton. The list of those victimised by Trump is dwarfed only by his detractors.

      On the campaign trail, Trump has managed to insult women, Hispanics and Muslims just to name a few groups. Yet Clinton hardly arouses the enthusiasm of voters. Many feel she has been co-opted by Wall Street and that she is a foreign policy hawk.

      The Wikileaks revelations confirmed that the leadership of the Democratic National Committee worked against Bernie Sanders in order to secure Clinton the nomination. I am wondering what Oliver Stone makes of it all. But, getting hold of Stone, at several removes, proves to be difficult. You could say he is almost as elusive as the subject of his latest movie – Snowden.

    • Don’t cyber-mess with Britain, warns UK Chancellor

      Britain’s adversaries want to damage its economy and society and their new weapon of choice is the Internet.

      Thirty years ago this sentence would have read like science fiction. Twenty years ago it would have sounded like technobabble. By 10 years ago it would merely have been dismissed as a bit far-fetched.

      And yet this is what Philip Hammond, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, suggested yesterday in a speech outlining an ambitious UK cyber-security strategy that has been emerging gradually since 2010.

    • Inside the NSA’s For-Sale Spy Town

      Operations around Sugar Grove have also been tied to the NSA’s controversial ECHELON surveillance program, according to National Security Archive researchers. The top-secret program was created during the Cold War to monitor Soviet and Eastern Bloc communications, but later evolved into a global interception and data harvesting system.

      After being shut down last year, the spy town can now be yours—for a couple of million dollars.

      Once home to some 400 government employees and their families, Sugar Grove Station’s only residents a year after it was decommissioned appear to be spiders and a particularly brazen groundhog. The spying activities have moved on, some of them to a related nearby base that’s still operational.

    • We Can’t Trust Trump With Today’s NSA

      Donald Trump has shown he’ll stop at nothing to humiliate and intimidate his critics. He published Sen. Lindsey Graham’s personal cellphone number so Trump supporters could harass him. He encouraged the Russian government to hack Hillary Clinton (though he later claimed he was joking) and promised to imprison her. He has tweeted false and embarrassing accusations against Sen. Ted Cruz, former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, and many others.

    • ‘UK’s censorship & harassment are no solution’: European journalists’ union speaks up for RT

      The General Secretary of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has chastised the UK government for its treatment of RT, in relation to state-owned British bank NatWest’s decision to close its accounts.

    • GCHQ recruiting for elite cyber force… but past experience not required
    • Big Brotherism, by platform
    • Lost in the splinternet
    • Britain’s cybersecurity policy needs common sense, not just cash
    • Identifying Your Company’s Edward Snowden
    • Here’s what happened at the Edward Snowden talk you couldn’t get into
    • Edward Snowden speaks on privacy and surveillance at McGill University
    • What Snowden Had to Say at the McGill Videoconference
    • McGill University: Progress Report on the Strike by Casual Employees
    • Edward Snowden gives a virtual conference at McGill University
    • Edward Snowden Calls Out Canadian Police for Spying
    • Three New Scandals Show How Pervasive and Dangerous Mass Surveillance is in the West, Vindicating Snowden
    • Edward Snowden Update: NSA Whistleblower Says Security Agencies Use Your Smartphones To Listen In

      Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden warned that phones can be compromised by security agencies to listen in on the user’s activities even when the device is not programmed to do so.

      Snowden spoke about the surveillance state in an interview with Digits, a series on privacy during the age of the internet. The 33-year-old whistleblower rose to prominence when he leaked classified documents that revealed the NSA spying on U.S. citizens.

      “The TV is a medium that you watch. The internet is a medium that watches you as you watch it,” Snowden reportedly said in the interview. ”Everywhere you go, even when you’re not actively using your phone, it’s still listening.”

    • Police surveillance scandal: Quebec minister calls for new probe

      The police spying crisis has gone from bad to worse, with Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux ordering an administrative investigation into the practises of the Sûreté du Québec dating back to 2013.

      Coiteux made the announcement within hours of the provincial police force revealing it had tracked the calls and movements of six journalists that year after news reports based on leaks revealed Michel Arsenault, then president of Quebec’s largest labour federation, had his phone tapped.

      The controversy began Monday after Montreal media outlet La Presse reported that police had tracked columnist Patrick Lagacé’s cellphone to find out if he was being leaked information from police officers.

    • Hackers Say They’re Revealing More from Trove of NSA Data
    • The US Government and Zero-Day Vulnerabilities: From Pre-Heartbleed to Shadow Brokers
    • What we can (and can’t) learn from the latest shadow brokers dump
  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Why Non-Immigrant Visas are Unconstitutional (H-1B, L-1, etc.)
    • Chelsea Manning Tried Committing Suicide a Second Time in October

      Chelsea Manning tried to commit suicide last month at the start of a week of solitary confinement at the prison barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., that was imposed on her as punishment for a previous attempt to end her life in July.

      Ms. Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst who is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking archives of secret documents to WikiLeaks, disclosed the attempted suicide, which took place Oct. 4, in a statement she dictated over the phone to a member of her volunteer support network. She asked that it be sent this week to The New York Times, according to members of the network who want to keep their identities private.

      Chase Strangio, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer representing Ms. Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, said, “I can confirm there was a second suicide attempt.”

      “She asked me to confirm that,” he added.

    • ‘There’s So Much Money On The Table’: Hillary Aide Reacts To SCOTUS Ruling

      Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook was only too pleased after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down aggregate limits on individual donations to political candidates, parties, and political action committees (PACs), according to new emails released by WikiLeaks in connection with its dump of campaign chairman John Podesta’s server.

      “Gotta have the state parties in the joint — so much money on the table,” he wrote to colleagues April 3, 2014, shortly after the Court’s ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC. McCutcheon is the spawn of the controversial Citizens United ruling, which authorized independent political expenditures by corporations or labor unions. Clinton denounces the decision regularly and says she will apply Citizens United as a litmus test against her judicial nominees.

    • Apple Offers Anti-Trump App Allowing Voters To Trade Votes

      At a time rife with speculation that the presidential vote on Tuesday may be rigged or tampered, we find it troubling – not to mention illegal – that Tim Cook has allowed the Apple store to distribute an app called #NeverTrump created by Trimian, whose mission statement is “Red or Blue, we must all unite to defeat Trump this election. Let’s ensure Hillary wins in swing states, and make sure third-party votes count.”

      The app allows potential voters to trade votes, boosting Hillary’s support in swing or battleground states, while 3rd party candidates get more (meaningless) support in blue states.

    • Erik Prince: NYPD Ready to Make Arrests in Anthony Weiner Case

      Blackwater founder and former Navy SEAL Erik Prince told Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM that according to one of his “well-placed sources” in the New York Police Department, “The NYPD wanted to do a press conference announcing the warrants and the additional arrests they were making” in the Anthony Weiner investigation, but received “huge pushback” from the Justice Department.

    • Support Whistleblowers at the Aaron Swartz Hackathon This Weekend

      This weekend you have the chance to add to Aaron Swartz’s legacy by boosting tools for whistleblowers.

      The 2016 Aaron Swartz International Hackathon—held in honor of the late Internet and political activist—will take place during the day Saturday and Sunday at the Internet Archive in San Francisco. The hackathon will focus on whistleblower submission system SecureDrop, which was created by Swartz and Kevin Poulsen to connect media organizations and anonymous sources and is managed by the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

      This weekend’s events—timed to what would have been his 30th birthday on Nov. 8—will also feature a series of speakers on Saturday night, including SecureDrop’s Conor Schaefer, Fight for the Future Co-founder Tiffiniy Cheng, and EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn, as well as a special statement from Chelsea Manning.

    • Remember, remember: Liberties are like muscles

      In the spirit of commemoration, I thought we could mark this November the Fifth by taking some time out of our daily lives and consider again where society is going. Where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. It may not be much, yet, but it is there. How did this happen?

    • Protest Against Corruption, Censorship Leads to Arrests in London

      British police arrested nearly 50 people in London Saturday during a protest they described as “anti-capitalist,” organized by the computer hacking group known as Anonymous.

      A similar demonstration in Washington, said to be “anti-corruption,” resulted in two arrests for defacing or damaging public property.

    • What is the Million Mask March and when is it taking place? Date, map and how to watch

      The marches, which are organised through Facebook groups, call for people to protest against mass government surveillance, internet censorship and ‘corrupt politicians who put capitalism before the people’.

      A post about the marches on the Anonymous website states: “2016 has arguably seen little, to absolutely no improvements, and in fact many situations have worsened tremendously in various regions of the world.

      “It is crucial we stand together now to show our increasing numbers to those who call themselves the ‘elite’ and their political puppets.

      “Join us in November to spread the message to the masses that our worldwide revolution is at hand.

      “Stand with the Anonymous Movement, and together in one voice let us remind our world-dictators that we do not forgive and we do not forgot.

      “They should have expected us.”

    • Thousands join Million Mask March in London amid rigorous police restrictions

      Thousands of protesters have descend on central London for the Million Masked March, despite Scotland Yard imposing strict restrictions on the event.

      Supporters of the hacking collective Anonymous began marching on Trafalgar Square on Saturday with scores of police officers maintaining a tight perimeter.

      The group’s agenda is broadly anti-capitalist and pro-civil liberty, with many of the demonstrators wearing Guy Fawkes masks in an effort to recreate the final scene of cult film V For Vendetta. It is one of many similar marches held worldwide on 5 November.

    • Million Mask March: police curb protests amid fears of violence

      Thousands of masked protesters have gathered in central London for the annual Million Mask March.

      Wearing trademark Guy Fawkes masks, supporters of the hacking collective Anonymous met in Trafalgar Square in Westminster accompanied by scores of police officers.

      Scotland Yard has imposed stringent restrictions on protesters after clashes with police, incidents of criminal damage and attempts to invade official buildings at previous years’ events.

    • Million Mask March ends with dozens arrested in central London

      Thousands of masked protesters descended on central London on Saturday night for the Million Mask March, an annual global anti-capitalism and pro-civil liberties demonstration.

      Wearing characteristic Guy Fawkes masks, supporters of hacking collective Anonymous crowded into Trafalgar Square with scores of police on hand to keep order. The protest passed off without major incident, though by 10.45pm police had made 47 arrests, the majority for drug offences and obstruction of officers.

    • Remember, remember, the Fifth of November

      In the spirit of commemoration, I thought we could mark this November the Fifth by taking some time out of our daily lives and consider again where society is going. Where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. It may not be much, yet, but it is there. How did this happen?

    • Rolling Stone and journalist found guilty over false Virginia rape story

      Rolling Stone magazine and a journalist have been found guilty of defamation over a false article about a gang rape at the University of Virginia.

      The $7.5m (£6m) lawsuit was brought by Nicole Eramo, an associate dean from the university, who said the article had cast her as the “chief villain”.

      The 2014 article, written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, included the rape claim of an unidentified female student.

      The magazine retracted the article in April 2015, citing inconsistencies.

      The 9,000-word article, entitled A Rape on Campus, centred on the testimony of a student, referred to as “Jackie”, who claimed to have been gang raped at a party held at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity’s house in 2012.

    • Pope: “It is inhumane to shut our doors to refugees but prudence is needed to integrate them properly”

      During the press conference on the flight from Malmö to Rome, Francis said “there is a political price to pay when imprudent calculations are made” regarding the numbers a country is able to host, resulting in it being unable to offer housing, schooling and jobs. The Pope also praised oratories and volunteers in Italy, that were born “from the apostolic zeal of parish priests” and he once again rejected the possibility of female priests in the Catholic Church

    • Why travelling to the US from Sweden is about to get easier

      Travelling to the US from Swedish capital Stockholm is about get much easier, with the two countries signing a ‘preclearance’ agreement on Friday that will allow American customs procedures to take place in Sweden’s Arlanda international airport before passengers board their flight.

      The Swedish government said it hopes the increased ease of travel will have positive consequences like for example making Sweden a more attractive place for international companies to base their headquarters in.

    • ERDOGAN THREAT: Give Turkey VISAS BY CHRISTMAS or it will open EU borders to migrants

      Under the current EU agreement, Turkey takes back migrants who have travelled illegally through the country to Greece, but the warning could spark a new wave of migrants trying to use Turkey as a way in to Europe.

      The deal was agreed last year when more than a million people arrived in Europe, most reaching Greek islands by boat and continuing by land to Germany.

      The number of migrants arriving in Greece has fallen dramatically since the agreement, with 2,970 crossing the Aegean from Turkey in October compared with 211,663 in the same month last year.

    • Yet another young woman is seen being publicly caned ‘for standing too close to her boyfriend’ as Indonesia becomes the latest country to embrace radical Islamic law

      ANOTHER young woman has been publicly caned in Indonesia after falling foul of the country’s strict Islamic laws.

      The 20-year-old “criminal” was put through the harrowing ordeal after being caught standing too close to her boyfriend in Banda Aceh – the capital of Aceh province.

    • Fears over violence in Jakarta as hardline Islamists protest governor’s ‘blasphemy’

      Security forces in the Indonesian capital Jakarta are on high alert in preparation for a Friday rally by hardline Islamist groups against the city’s non-Muslim governor.

      Thousands of people are due to move into the capital to protest against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese and Christian nicknamed ‘Ahok’, who has governed the city since 2014.

      They accuse him of blasphemy after he criticised his opponents for referencing a verse in the Koran that warns against allying with Christians and Jews.

      In September, Ahok suggested those who used the passage against him were “lying”, leading to outrage from some hardliners who interpreted his comments as criticism of the Islamic holy text. He later apologised.

    • Myanmar police to arm, train non-Muslims in conflict-torn region

      Myanmar police will begin arming and training non-Muslim residents in the troubled north of Rakhine State, where officials say militants from the Rohingya Muslim group pose a growing security threat, police and civilian officials said.

      Human rights monitors and a leader of the mostly stateless Rohingya told Reuters the move risked sharpening intercommunal tensions in a region that has just seen its bloodiest month since 2012, when hundreds of people were killed in clashes between Muslims and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists.

      Soldiers have poured into the Maungdaw area along Myanmar’s frontier with Bangladesh, responding to coordinated attacks on three border posts on Oct. 9 in which nine police officers were killed.

      Security forces have locked down the area – shutting out aid workers and independent observers – and conducted sweeps of villages in Maungdaw, where the vast majority are Rohingyas. Official reports say five soldiers and 33 alleged insurgents have been killed.

    • Judge orders closure of low-cost Bridge International schools in Uganda [Ed: Articles about Bill Gates in The Guardian are now literally sponsored by Bill Gates. And this is not corrupt journalism? Classic. It's still a mouthpiece for Gates after he paid them millions.]

      Uganda’s high court has ordered the closure of a chain of low-cost private schools backed by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, respectively the founders of Microsoft and Facebook.

    • Dakota Access pipeline protests: UN group investigates human rights abuses

      Native American protesters have reported excessive force, unlawful arrests and mistreatment in jail where activists describe being held in cages

    • Speaking from prison, incarcerated reporter maintains innocence

      After having served nearly three months in a federal prison camp in central California, Matthew Keys is making the best of it.

      In August 2016, the 29-year-old journalist began his two-year sentence in Atwater, California, about 120 miles east of San Francisco. Earlier this year, Keys was convicted at trial under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the notorious anti-hacking federal law that dates back to the 1980s. An effort to reform that law has languished in Congress.

      Keys told Ars that, even post-conviction, he did not hand over any login information that led to the 40-minute alteration of a Los Angeles Times headline in 2010.

      Hours before Keys’ sentencing hearing in April 2016, Ars received a letter from someone under the pseudonym “Sam Snow,” who claimed that he, and not Keys, was the one who actually handed over the login details. This new claim by Snow will likely have no impact on Keys’ appeal, which is pending at the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals.

      Ars has been periodically corresponding with Keys by e-mail through CORRLINKS, the monitored e-mail system set up for federal inmates, and the following interview has been edited for clarity. We hope to be able to visit him in person in the coming months.

    • Tunisian PM sacks minister over criticism of Saudi Arabian Islam

      Tunisia’s prime minister sacked the minister of religious affairs on Friday after he accused Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi brand of Islam of being behind “terrorism and extremism”.

      “Prime Minister Youssef Chahed decided to dismiss Salem Abd El Jalil, minister of religious affairs, from his duties due to the lack of respect for government work and his statements that touched principles of Tunisian diplomacy,” the premier’s office said in a statement.

      Tunisian media on Thursday quoted Abd El Jalil as saying in parliament: “I told the Saudi ambassador in Tunisia that terrorism and extremism historically came from you … You should reform your (religious) school.”

      He could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • How the Soviets invented the internet and why it didn’t work

      Consonant with Glushkov’s greater life-work commitments, the network plans reflected a deliberately decentralised design. This meant that, while Moscow could specify who received which authorisations, any authorised user could contact any other user across the pyramid network – without direct permission from the mother node. Glushkov intimately understood the advantages of leveraging local knowledge in network designs, having spent so much of his career working on related mathematical problems while ferrying between his home and the central capital (he jokingly called the Kiev-Moscow train his ‘second home’).

      The OGAS project appeared to many state officials and economic planners, especially in the late 1960s, to be the next best response to an old conundrum: the Soviets were agreed that communism was the way of the future, but no one since Marx and Engels knew how best to get there. For Glushkov, networked computing might just inch the country toward an age of what the author Francis Spufford later called ‘red plenty’. It was the means by which the sluggish pulp-based lifeblood of the command economy – quotas, plans and wrist-bending compendiums of industry standards – would transform into the nation’s neural firings, moving at the sublime speed of electricity. The project signified no less than the ushering in of ‘electronic socialism’.

      Such ambitions require brilliant, committed people willing to throw off the old ways of thinking. In the 1960s, those people could be found in Kiev – a couple of blocks from where the Strugatsky brothers wrote their science fiction by night and worked as physicists by day. There, on the outskirts of Kiev, Glushkov ran the Institute of Cybernetics for 20 years, beginning in 1962. He filled his institute with ambitious young men and women; the average age of researchers was about 25. Glushkov and his youthful staff dedicated themselves to developing the OGAS and other cybernetic projects in the service of the Soviet state, such as a system of electronic receipts for virtualising hard currency into an online ledger of accounts – this in the early 1960s. Glushkov, who was known to talk down Communist Party ideologues by quoting paragraphs of Marx from memory, described his innovation as a faithful fulfilment of Marxist prophecy of a moneyless socialist future. Unfortunately for Glushkov, the idea of Soviet e-currency stirred up unhelpful anxieties and did not receive committee approval in 1962. Fortunately, his grand economic network project did live to see another day.

    • Senator Wyden Warns That AT&T’s New Merger Poses A Massive Threat To Net Neutrality

      As AT&T fires up its lobbyists and various policy tendrils to sell the company’s $100 billion (including debt) acquisition of Time Warner, the focus of the conversation has very quickly shifted to net neutrality and zero rating. AT&T already exempts its own content from the company’s usage caps, and its DirecTV Now streaming service, launching later this month, is expected to follow suit. Once AT&T acquires Time Warner and its various properties (HBO, CNN), the worry is that this content will also get a leg up by being cap-exempt, creating an unlevel playing field for competing content and streaming services.

    • DOJ Sues DirecTV, Calling It A ‘Ringleader’ of Collusion Over Regional Sports Programming

      Back in 2013, Time Warner Cable (now Charter Communications) struck an $8.35 billion deal with the LA Dodgers to create LA SportsNet, the exclusive home of LA Dodgers games. To recoup that money, Time Warner Cable began demanding exorbitant prices from competing cable providers if they wanted access to the channel. Unsurprisingly, all of Time Warner Cable’s competitors in the region balked at the $5 per subscriber asking price for the channel. As a result, for three years now a massive portion of Los Angeles hasn’t been able to watch their favorite baseball team, since Time Warner Cable’s asking price not only kept competing cable operators from delivering the channel, but prohibited over-the-air broadcasts of the games.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Finally Come The Calls In Major Media To Rethink Canada’s ‘Notice And Notice’ Copyright System

        To be fair to our neighbors to the north, Canada really tried. Amidst calls to implement something like the “notice and takedown” system for copyright infringement claims that we have in the States, Canada instead did what Canada does and tried to implement a nicer version of this, called “notice and notice.” The idea was that ISPs and service providers, rather than simply taking down content or banning people from the internet over copyright violations, would instead notify users that their behavior had been reported as infringing. More specifically, it allowed copyright holders to pass along these messages, with ISPs acting as the go-between. The theory was that when internet users — or in many cases family members of those internet users, such as parents — learned that potentially infringing activity was occurring, the notifications would cause the behavior to cease.

        As our own Karl Bode noted in 2014, this theory was backed by the ISPs, who claimed these notices helped curb a majority of piracy. We also noted in that post that the “notice and notice” system appeared to be preferable to our “notice and takedown” system because it appeared to be a less likely avenue for abuse by copyright holders and trolls. Sadly, that was immediately disproven by Rightscorp, with abuse of the system continuing up to the present. When eighty-year-old women are getting settlement shakedown threats from copyright trolls over video games, the aims of educating the public have clearly been subverted.

      • TED Accused of Using the DMCA to Silence Talk Criticism

        TED, a series of popular conferences, has the motto Ideas Worth Spreading. However, when a YouTuber made a video criticising and featuring content from a recent TED talk, the non-profit filed a DMCA notice with YouTube. Speaking with TorrentFreak, TED says that regardless of content, YouTube videos which violate its usage policy will be removed.

      • Anti-Piracy Group Uses ‘Pirated’ Code on its Website

        The Business Software Alliance, a trade group representing Adobe, Apple and Microsoft, is well known for its aggressive anti-piracy campaigns. The organization actively encourages people to snitch on software pirates, luring them with big cash rewards. Amusingly, however, the page where people can report unlicensed software is using ‘unlicensed’ jQuery code.

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