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11.17.16

Links 17/11/2016: OpenSUSE Leap 42.2, Microsoft E.E.E. on Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 8:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • What’s important in open source today

    Jono mentioned that it’s his goal in life to “understand every nuance of how we build predicable, productive, and accessible communities.” He says we are surrounded by communities. We have Wikipedia, the maker movement, and the public becoming the VC for crowdfunding. The data backs up this trend. Community growth participation is growing across industries. Using a commercial software methodology, it would cost over $10 billion to build Wikipedia and/or Fedora. Open source is not just a passing phase.

  • How to Avoid Burnout Managing an Open Source Project

    Regardless of where you work in the stack, if you work with open source software, there’s likely been a time when you faced burnout and other unhealthy side effects related to your work on open source projects. A few of the talks at OSCON Europe addressed this darker side of working in open source head-on.

  • Netflix’s Chaos Monkey Open Cloud Utility is Worth A Look

    Not many organizations have the cloud expertise that Netflix has, and it may come as a surprise to some people to learn that Netflix regularly open sources key, tested and hardened cloud tools that it has used for years. We’ve reported on Netflix open sourcing a series of interesting “Monkey” cloud tools as part of its “simian army,” which it has deployed as a series satellite utilities orbiting its central cloud platform.

    Netflix previously released Chaos Monkey, a utility that improves the resiliency of Software as a Service by randomly choosing to turn off servers and containers at optimized times. Then, Netflix announced the upgrade of Chaos Monkey, and Chaos Monkey 2.0 is now on github. Now, in an interview with infoQ, Netflix Engineer Lorin Hochstein weighs in on what you can get out of this tool.

  • Google Collects Open Artificial Intelligence Demos, Invites You to Contribute
  • Why design and marketing matter and what to do about it

    Rachel Nabors started off the second morning of All Things Open with a great talk about the need for designers in open source.

  • How to make your own ‘unexpected’ number generator

    I don’t generally use word processors or WYSIWYG applications, because they all tend to assume that you’re designing for a single output. However, for this project I was designing for a specific output; I wanted to produce a file that would be printable on a single US Letter and A4 sheet of paper, which would then be folded into a PocketMod, and carried in one’s wallet, or used as a bookmark in a gaming book. Having used it for professional print work at a former job and for some community conferences, I knew that Scribus was the tool for the job.

  • ARK Announces Official Open Source Release of ARK Blockchain Code on GitHub

    This is a paid press relase. CoinTelegraph does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. Readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company. CoinTelegraph is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

  • An introduction to open source GIS – Part I

    Geospatial information system (GIS) solutions make sense of location-aware data, turning it into usable insights in industries as diverse as energy, agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, finance, and all levels of government

  • ReactOS 0.4.3 Released

    The ReactOS Project is pleased to announce the release of another incremental update, version 0.4.3. This would be fourth such release the project has made this year, an indication we hope of the steady progress that we have made. Approximately 342 issues were resolved since the release of 0.4.2, with the oldest dating all the way back to 2006 involving text alignment.

  • ReactOS 0.4.3 Released, Fixes Over 300 Issues

    ReactOS 0.4.3 is now available as the newest version of this open-source OS that seeks to re-implement the interfaces of Windows.

    As described earlier, ReactOS 0.4.3 has a ton of changes. ReactOS 0.4.3 has many fixes/improvements to its kernel, less crashes in the Win32 subsystem, file-system fixes, a USB audio driver has been started, a basic filter driver added, TCP/IP fixes, improvements to kernel-mode DLLs, a rewritten WinSock 2 DLL, and much more.

  • ReactOS 0.4.3 Officially Released with New Winsock Library, over 340 Bug Fixes

    Today, November 16, 2016, the development team behind the ReactOS free and open-source computer operating system designed to be compatible with Windows applications and drivers, announced the release of ReactOS 0.4.3.

  • How to Choose Between Closed-Source and Open-Source Software

    When it comes to commercial and open source tools (i.e., paid and free software) the debate as to which category of software is better continues, leaving egos, careers, and forums in ruins. I personally think that it’s impossible to definitively prove that one class of software is the best for every situation. The best source code scanning tool in the world may not do a thing for you if it doesn’t run against your code.

  • Events

    • Blender enthusiasts gather for the 15th annual conference

      This year marks the 15th Blender Conference, held in Amsterdam around the last weekend of October every year. I’ve attended quite a few of these conferences, and each year feels better than the one before. If you’ve never attended the Blender Conference, allow me to set things up for you: By open source conference standards, it’s a pretty small event. But for events focused on a single open source program, the Blender Conference is pretty impressive. I think attendance this year clocked in right around 300 people, and tickets were sold out more than a month in advance.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Has Linux got OpenStack licked? The Vanilla ‘Plus’ strategy

      No man is an island, nor is OpenStack removed from the fates of two of its – until recently – best-known names.

      Hewlett-Packard Enterprise was once the largest single contributor to OpenStack. Now, HPE is getting rid of its OpenStack engineers as it turns over responsibility for its OpenStack work to MicroFocus under a deal announced in September.

      The ascent of OpenStack-consulting wunderkind Mirantis experienced a hiccup with its decision to unload 100 OpenStackers and reallocate another 100. Mirantis is understood to have let go devs working on the Solum platform-as-a-service and Savanna Hadoop-as-a-service projects it started in 2013.

  • Education

    • Moodle: An Open Source Community To Protect, Improve And Sustainably Benefit From

      Open Source communities are as vibrant as the participants within them – as with any community, your return is proportional to your investment. An example of someone who is intuitively aware of this is Bas Brands. In an interview for Moodlerooms’ E-Learn Magazine, he tells his experience of sustaining a lifelong relationship with Moodle’s Open Source community, while makes a name for himself and a learning company with alluring prospects.

  • Funding

    • Sauce Labs Raises $70M for Application Testing

      Open-source based testing vendor looks to accelerate its business with new funding.

      Before any company deploys any web or mobile app, it needs to test, and that’s where Sauce Labs fits in. Sauce Labs announced on November 15 that it has raised a $70 million series E round of funding. The new capital will be used to help Sauce Labs expands its go-to-market and engineering efforts.

      The new round of funding was led by Centerview Capital Technology, IVP and Adams Street Partners. Total funding to date for Sauce Labs now stands at $101 million.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • NVIDIA GCC Backend Gets Ready For OpenMP Offloading

      While GCC 7 feature development is officially over, one of the late patches to land for GCC 7.1 in trunk are improvements to the NVIDIA NVPTX back-end.

      The big code that landed today in GCC are all of the prerequisites for supporting OpenMP offloading with the NVPTX back-end. PTX is the IR used in NVIDIA’s CUDA that is then consumed by the proprietary graphics driver for converting this representation into the actual GPU machine code. The NVPTX back-end has been part of GCC for a while now as part of OpenACC offloading and now the recent focus on OpenMP offloading.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing/Legal

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Data

      • EFSA models transparency with open source ‘Knowledge Junction’

        The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has made all its models from the last 15 years available on an open source platform called the Knowledge Junction, which also encourages external submissions of data, images and videos that could go on to be used by EFSA in its risk assessments.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Editorial: Groups make Strides with open source textbooks

        With college being as expensive as it is, the high price of textbooks has always been a problem for students. Books can increase the cost of college by thousands of dollars, which can be troublesome for those already struggling to make ends meet. However, groups on campus are making efforts to alleviate this problem and make affordable textbooks a reality. The UConn bookstore recently donated $30,000 towards addressing this concern. In addition, the Undergraduate Student Government has been working along with UConnPIRG to provide open source textbooks for the student body.

        The first major initiative was undertaken with chemistry professor Dr. Edward Neth, who teaches CHEM 1124, 1125 and 1126. Working with a $20,000 donation from the student government, Neth edited an existing open access textbook and adapted it for his classes. Other chemistry professors have begun using open source textbooks as well, and this has already saved students thousands of dollars.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Cypress Has Begun Publishing Broadcom Datasheets

        Earlier this summer Cypress semiconductor acquired Broadcom’s wireless “Internet of Things” business. With that associated IP, Cypress has begun making public NDA-free data-sheets on associated chipsets.

  • Programming/Development

    • Farewell to Rob Collins

      We would like to share with you the sad news, that Rob Collins has passed away earlier this month, on November 2nd, after a short but intense illness.

      Many of you may know Rob from the sponsored massage sessions he regularly ran at EuroPython in recent years and which he continued to develop, taking them from a single man setup (single threaded process) to a group of people setup by giving workshops (multiprocessing) and later on by passing on his skills to more leaders (removing the GIL) to spread wellness and kindness throughout our conference series.

    • Examining ValueObjects

      When programming, I often find it’s useful to represent things as a compound. A 2D coordinate consists of an x value and y value. An amount of money consists of a number and a currency. A date range consists of start and end dates, which themselves can be compounds of year, month, and day.

      As I do this, I run into the question of whether two compound objects are the same. If I have two point objects that both represent the Cartesian coordinates of (2,3), it makes sense to treat them as equal. Objects that are equal due to the value of their properties, in this case their x and y coordinates, are called value objects.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Touch Bar MacBook Pro teardown finds some unpleasant surprises [Updated]

      Apple is selling two new computers that it’s calling MacBook Pros: one model without the new Touch Bar and one model with a Touch Bar. But according to a teardown of the Touch Bar model by iFixit, the differences don’t stop there. The Touch Bar has an entirely different motherboard, cooling system, and internal layout. Unfortunately some of those changes make it even more difficult to repair than its cousin.

      The Touch Bar MacBook Pro has a much larger cooling system than the non-Touch Bar model—it uses two fans instead of one, and the symmetrical and vaguely mustache-shaped logic board wraps around both of them. The odd layout (plus the need to make additional room for extra chips like the Apple T1 and the second Thunderbolt 3 controller) leaves less room for other things, and as a result Apple has soldered the SSD to the motherboard in the Touch Bar MacBook Pros, much as it has in the 12-inch MacBook.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Panel Explores Relation Between Plant Breeders’ Convention And Plant Treaty

      When countries belong to several international instruments, some aspects of those instruments may run contradictory to one another. A symposium held recently by the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) sought to explore the interrelations between the convention and the international treaty on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Farmers’ rights lie at the intersection of the two treaties and while some find the treaties complementary, some others view them as contradictory on farmers’ rights. Meanwhile, farmers themselves have been blocked from participating in deliberations.

  • Security

    • Evolution of the SSL and TLS protocols

      The Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol is undoubtedly the most widely used protocol on the Internet today. If you have ever done an online banking transaction, visited a social networking website, or checked your email, you have most likely used TLS. Apart from wrapping the plain text HTTP protocol with cryptographic goodness, other lower level protocols like SMTP and FTP can also use TLS to ensure that all the data between client and server is inaccessible to attackers in between. This article takes a brief look at the evolution of the protocol and discusses why it was necessary to make changes to it.

    • Press the Enter Key For 70 Seconds To Bypass Linux Disk Encryption Authentication
    • How to fix the Cryptsetup vulnerability in Linux

      Linux enjoys a level of security that most platforms cannot touch. That does not, in any way, mean it is perfect. In fact, over the last couple of years a number of really ugly vulnerabilities have been found — and very quickly patched. Enough time has passed since Heartbleed for those that do to find yet another security issue.

    • Get root on Linux: learn the secret password
    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • The Web-Shaking Mirai Botnet Is Splintering—But Also Evolving

      Over the last few weeks, a series of powerful hacker attacks powered by the malware known as Mirai have used botnets created of internet-connected devices to clobber targets ranging from the internet backbone company Dyn to the French internet service provider OVH. And just when it seemed that Mirai might be losing steam, new evidence shows that it’s still dangerous—and even evolving.

      Researchers following Mirai say that while the number of daily assaults dipped briefly, they’re now observing development in the Mirai malware itself that seems designed to allow it to infect more of the vulnerable routers, DVRs and other internet-of-things (IoT) gadgets it’s hijacked to power its streams of malicious traffic. That progression could actually increase the total population available to the botnet, they warn, potentially giving it more total compute power to draw on.

      “There was an idea that maybe the bots would die off or darken over time, but I think what we are seeing is Mirai evolve,” says John Costello, a senior analyst at the security intelligence firm Flashpoint. “People are really being creative and finding new ways to infect devices that weren’t susceptible previously. Mirai is not going away.”

    • This $5 Device Can Hack Your Locked Computer In One Minute

      Next time you go out for lunch and leave your computer unattended at the office, be careful. A new tool makes it almost trivial for criminals to log onto websites as if they were you, and get access to your network router, allowing them to launch other types of attacks.

      Hackers and security researchers have long found ways to hack into computers left alone. But the new $5 tool called PoisonTap, created by the well-known hacker and developer Samy Kamkar, can even break into password-protected computers, as long as there’s a browser open in the background.Kamkar explained how it works in a blog post published on Wednesday.

    • Wickedly Clever USB Stick Installs a Backdoor on Locked PCs

      You probably know by now that plugging a random USB into your PC is the digital equivalent of swallowing a pill handed to you by a stranger on the New York subway. But serial hacker Samy Kamkar‘s latest invention may make you think of your computer’s USB ports themselves as unpatchable vulnerabilities—ones that open your network to any hacker who can get momentary access to them, even when your computer is locked.

    • How does your encrypted Linux system respond to the Cryptsetup bug?

      In all three case, the encrypted system partition is still encrypted, so you data is still save. However, as detailed in the bug report, unencrypted partitions, like ones mounted at /boot and /boot/efi (on UEFI systems) might still be open for exploitation. But how far can an attacker go on such system, when the system partition is still encrypted? Not far, I hope.

      A bug always has a solution, and in this case, the authors provided an easy-to-apply workaround. I’ve expanded on it a bit in the code block below. If after applying the workaround you discover that it does not work, welcome to the club. It didn’t work on all the encrypted systems I applied it on – Ubuntu 16.10, Manjaro 16.10, and Fedora Rawhide. By the way, all three distributions were running either Cryptsetup 1.7.2 or 1.7.3.

    • Holding down the Enter key can smash through Linux’s defenses
    • 7 open source security predictions for 2017

      Everyone uses open source. It’s found in around 95 per cent of applications and it’s easy to understand why. Open source’s value in reducing development costs, in freeing internal developers to work on higher-order tasks, and in accelerating time to market is undeniable.

      The rapid adoption of open source has outpaced the implementation of effective open source management and security practices. In the annual ‘Future of Open Source Survey’ conducted earlier this year by Black Duck, nearly half of respondents said they had no formal processes to track their open source, and half reported that no one has responsibility for identifying known vulnerabilities and tracking remediation.

      The flip side of the open source coin is that if you’re using open source, the chances are good that you’re also including vulnerabilities known to the world at large. Since 2014, the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) has reported over 8,000 new vulnerabilities in open source software.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Vladimir Putin orders Russia to withdraw support for International Court amid calls for Syria air strikes investigation

      Vladimir Putin has signed an order to have Russia withdrawn from the International Criminal Court (ICC) amid calls for his military to be referred over air strikes backing President Bashar al-Assad in Syria and the annexation of Crimea.

      The President instructed Russia’s foreign ministry to notify the United Nations of the country’s refusal to be subject to the body’s activity on Wednesday, following the same move by Gambia, South Africa and Burundi.

    • Anifah to attend emergency OIC meeting on Saudi Arabia missile attacks

      A Malaysian delegation led by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman will be attending the Emergency Meeting of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers to be held in Makkah, Saudi Arabia tomorrow (Nov 17).

      The Foreign Ministry said the Yemeni Houthi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia on Oct 9 and 27 was up for discussion in the Emergency Meeting.

      “Malaysia’s participation at this meeting is an affirmation of its solidarity with Saudi Arabia in the wake of the missile attacks.

      “Malaysia hopes that the ongoing conflict in the region will be resolved through peaceful means,” the ministry said in a statement today.

    • Netanyahu Advances Submarine Deal – and His Lawyer Represents the Germans Behind It
    • Damn the torpedoes
    • Report: Netanyahu’s personal lawyer said to be behind German submarine deal
    • NSA undoes media spin on submarines
    • Iran deal critics to Trump: Please don’t rip it up

      President-elect Donald Trump spent much of his campaign railing against the Iran nuclear deal, even raising the possibility of scrapping the agreement immediately upon taking office.

      But many of the deal’s most ardent critics are now saying: “Slow down.”

      As the reality of Donald Trump’s White House win sinks in among nuclear deal opponents, some are insisting that pulling out of the agreement is unwise. Instead, they say, Trump should step up enforcement of the deal, look for ways to renegotiate it, and pursue measures to punish Iran for its non-nuclear misbehavior. Such a multi-pronged, get-tough approach may even give Trump cover to fend off any criticism he may get for keeping the deal.

    • Trump could face a nuclear decision soon

      I was the former nuclear missile launch officer who in October appeared in a TV advertisement for Hillary Clinton, saying: “The thought of Donald Trump with nuclear weapons scares me to death. It should scare everyone.” The ad featured various quotes from Trump’s campaign rallies and interviews, in which he says, among other things: “I would bomb the shit out of ’em,” “I wanna be unpredictable,” and “I love war.” As I walked through a nuclear missile launch center in the ad, I explained that “self-control may be all that keeps these missiles from firing.”

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Guy FOIAs NSA for Area 51 Docs, Finds Diner

      Area 51 will probably always be a part of science folklore, even if the truth about the legendary site is probably much more boring than many anticipate.

      Turns out, when the intelligence community is talking about Area 51, it’s actually referring to a military dining facility, according to years long Freedom of Information Act request with the NSA.

      “3 years to declassify Area 51 Intellipedia entry—and I discover it’s a dining hall at [Fort] Bliss?” the owner of The Black Vault, an online depository of FOIA requests, tweeted on Tuesday.

    • WIPO To Use Creative Commons Licences For All Of Its Publications

      The UN World Intellectual Property Organization, the foremost international body for intellectual property rights, today announced that it will make all of its publications available under Creative Commons licences – which said it helped to develop along with other organisations. The move, made along with a wide range of other major international organisations, is an effort to make its publications as widely accessible as possible, an indirect nod to the limiting nature of copyright.

    • WIPO study shows growth of women inventors [Ed: way to distract from WIPO’s horrible abuse of women and men]
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Opponents of Dakota oil pipeline protest across USA

      Opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline protested in Canada and cities around the USA on Tuesday, from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.

      Tuesday was recognized as a “Day of Action” by opponents of the 1,172-mile, 30-inch diameter underground pipeline planned to deliver crude oil from production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Ill. The pipeline would cross through land considered sacred by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and environmentalists worry about how the pipeline might affect water quality.

      Former Democratic presidential candidate and independent Vermont senator Bernie Sanders joined demonstrators outside the White House on Tuesday evening. In a tweet, he encouraged President Obama to “stop this pipeline anyway you can. Declare Standing Rock a national monument.”

    • Trump Has Declared Climate War. But My Generation Will Win.

      Donald J. Trump’s positions on climate change amount to a declaration of war on young people like me. But millennials have a stronger position in this fight than it may first appear.

      There is no way to sugarcoat the consequences of what happened on Election Day. Mr. Trump is a disaster for the planet. His plan to “cancel” America’s adherence to the Paris climate agreement and accelerate fossil fuel production threatens to destroy global momentum on climate change. At the international climate talks now taking place in Marrakesh, Morocco, American environmentalists cried upon learning of Mr. Trump’s victory.

      “Without U.S. action to reduce emissions and U.S. diplomatic leadership, implementation of Paris will surely slow,” Michael Oppenheimer, a climate scientist at Princeton, told The Associated Press. Keeping the increase in global warming to below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), which most scientists believe is the tipping point for catastrophic changes to the earth’s natural systems, “would become impossible,” Professor Oppenheimer said.

    • Are We All Screwed If the US Leaves the Paris Climate Agreement?

      The Paris climate agreement, a historic international treaty to curb global greenhouse gas emissions, has only been in effect for 12 days. But if President-elect Donald Trump follows through on his campaign promise to “cancel” the agreement, America’s participation in the pact could be halted before it begins.

      In the wake of the election, there’s been a lot of speculation as to what could happen if the US reneges on their promise. Like all presidents before him, not everything Trump promised on the campaign trail will come to pass. But when a man who has said climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese government (a comment he later said was a joke) is elected to the White House, you might want to take his stated intentions on a major climate agreement seriously.

    • Saudi Arabia And Russia To Meet Ahead Of OPEC Meeting

      Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak are said to be heading to Qatar later this week for an unscheduled meeting, according to industry sources quoted by Reuters. The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) is meeting in Doha, and though OPEC’s de factor leader Saudi Arabia is not a member of the gas forum, OPEC’s Algeria, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, the UAE, and Venezuela are.

      According to Reuters sources who had spoken on the condition of anonymity, the Saudi minister was expected to meet other OPEC ministers, and maybe Russia’s Novak, this coming Friday.

    • Saudi Arabia Warns Trump Not To Block Oil Imports

      Saudi Arabia has had a bad week: the kingdom, having spent tens of millions in “donations” to fund not only the Clinton Foundation which is now irrelevant, but also allegedly to sponsor 20% of Hillary’s presidential campaign, has suddenly found itself with no “influence” to request in exchange for its “generosity.” Instead, it is forced to engage in something it loathes: open diplomacy.

      As a result, its first attempt at engaging with the US president-elect, amounts to what is effectively a thinly veiled threat wrapped as a warning. As the FT reports, “Saudi Arabia has warned Donald Trump that the incoming US president will risk the health of his country’s economy if he acts on his election promises to block oil imports.”

    • Oil Fades After Iraq, Iran And Nigeria Oil Ministers All Decide To Skip OPEC Doha Meeting

      In yet another sign that behind the frequently blasted OPEC headlines meant to suggest a sense of OPEC unity yet which do nothing more than incite a short squeeze (as even Morgan Stanley has now admitted), there is far less cohesion, moments ago we learned that Nigeria’s Oil minister Emmanuel Kachikwu is the latest to skip this week’s Doha meeting scheduled for November 17 and 18. Earlier today we found that Iraq’s oil minister would likewise bypass the energy talks this week in Qatar, where rival producer Saudi Arabia plans to hold talks with Russia on possible collective action to limit production. Earlier today Bloomberg reported that his Iranian counterpart is also said to be giving the meeting a miss.

      Iraq and Iran both want exemptions from any OPEC cuts in output, putting pressure on Saudi Arabia, the producer group’s biggest member, to bear the brunt of a possible reduction. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has yet to find a way to finalize a preliminary deal it reached in September to curtail supply, ending a two-year policy of pumping without limits.

    • Climate change a Chinese hoax? Beijing gives Donald Trump a lesson in history

      China has rejected Donald Trump’s claims that climate change is a Chinese hoax, urging the US president-elect to take a “smart decision” over his country’s commitment to the fight against global warming.

      Trump, who is the first self-declared climate change denier to lead one of the world’s top emitters, has dismissed global warming as “very expensive … bullshit” and claimed the concept “was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”.

      But speaking at UN climate talks in Marrakech on Wednesday, China’s vice foreign minister, Liu Zhenmin, pointed out that it was in fact the billionaire’s Republican predecessors who launched climate negotiations almost three decades ago.

      “If you look at the history of climate change negotiations, actually it was initiated by the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] with the support of the Republicans during the Reagan and senior Bush administration during the late 1980s,” Liu was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.

      The IPCC was set up by the UN Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in 1988 in a bid to better understand and respond to the risks of climate change. It received the 2007 Nobel peace prize for helping build “an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming”.

  • Finance

    • Snapchat Parent Files for $25 Billion IPO

      Snap Inc. has confidentially filed paperwork for an initial public offering that may value the popular messaging platform at as much as $25 billion, a major step toward what would be one of the highest-profile stock debuts in recent years.

    • The great CETA swindle

      On both sides of the Atlantic, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada is hugely controversial. A record 3.3 million people across Europe signed a petition against CETA and its twin agreement TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). European and Canadian trade unions, as well as consumer, environmental and public health groups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) reject the agreement. Constitutional challenges against CETA have been filed in Germany and Canada and the compatibility of CETA’s controversial privileges for foreign investors with EU law is likely to be judged by the European Court of Justice.

      The controversy has also reached governments and parliaments. Across Europe, more than 2,100 local and regional governments have declared themselves TTIP/CETA free zones, often in cross-party resolutions. National and regional parliaments, too, worry about CETA, for example in Belgium, France, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Ireland, and the Netherlands. In October 2016, concerns in four sub-federal Belgian governments (led by Wallonia) over the agreement’s negative impacts, and in particular its dangerous privileges for foreign investors, nearly stopped the federal government from approving the signing of CETA.

    • Lessons from the Barroso affair: How to reform Commission ethics

      Following the revelation that former Commission President Barroso would join Goldman Sachs International, Juncker had to be prodded long and hard before passing the case on for assessment at the Commission’s ad-hoc ethics committee. At the start of November, the committee published its opinion, criticising Barroso’s lack of judgment regarding his new roles as chairman and adviser at the bank.

      And yet, the committee failed to find sufficient evidence that a breach of the ethics requirements in the European Treaty had occurred.

      Juncker is now proposing an extension of the cooling-off period for outgoing presidents from 18 months to three years. Anticipating that this may not sit well with other Commissioners, he has insisted he would still subject himself to this longer period of abstinence, even if his colleagues were to object to the change of rules for ex-presidents.

      It is, of course, positive to see the Commission finally accepting that there is a problem with its ethics rules. But Juncker’s proposal is yet another example of the Commission’s highest level insisting on regulating itself, and, after months of ignoring the public outcry over Commissioners’ scandals, it does too little to prevent future cases.

    • ‘Monster’ at the Berlaymont

      Martin Selmayr is admired, despised and feared. What’s clear: He’s the most powerful EU chief of staff ever.

    • Obama calls for ‘course correction’ to share spoils of globalisation

      Barack Obama has given a rousing defence of the virtues of democracy and warned that a backlash against globalisation is boosting populist movements around the world, in what was billed as his last public address abroad.

      Speaking near the Acropolis of Athens, the outgoing US president said that democracy – like the version invented by the ancient Greeks “in this small, great world” – might still be imperfect, yet for all its flaws it fostered hope over fear.

      “Even if progress follows a winding path – sometimes forward, sometimes back – democracy is still the most effective form of government ever devised by man,” Obama said.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The Clinton Campaign Was Undone By Its Own Neglect And A Touch Of Arrogance, Staffers Say

      In the closing weeks of the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton’s staff in key Midwest states sent out alarms to their headquarters in Brooklyn. They were facing a problematic shortage of paid canvassers to help turn out the vote.

      For months, the Clinton campaign had banked on a wide army of volunteer organizers to help corral independents and Democratic leaners and re-energize a base not particularly enthused about the election. But they were volunteers. And as anecdotal data came back to offices in key battlegrounds, concern mounted that leadership had skimped on a critical campaign function.

      “It was arrogance, arrogance that they were going to win. That this was all wrapped up,” a senior battleground state operative told The Huffington Post.

      Several theories have been proffered to explain just what went wrong for the Clinton campaign in an election that virtually everyone expected the Democratic nominee to win. But lost in the discussion is a simple explanation, one that was re-emphasized to HuffPost in interviews with several high-ranking officials and state-based organizers: The Clinton campaign was harmed by its own neglect.

    • Americans Throw Their Support Behind The Free Press

      Donald Trump railed against the “failing” New York Times throughout the 2016 election, and days after winning the presidency claimed the paper was “losing thousands of subscribers” for its “very poor and inaccurate” election coverage.

      Not so, says the Times. The paper has picked up new subscribers to both its print and digital editions at four times the normal rate, according to spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades-Ha.

      The Times is one of several publications to tout increased paid readership or donations in the aftermath of Trump’s victory. The uptick in subscriptions is a bright spot amid a flurry of unflattering post-mortems on the media’s role in propelling Trump to become the Republican nominee and general uncertainty about the industry’s influence going forward.

    • Republicans Stole the Supreme Court

      We are already hearing from Republicans and Democrats in leadership positions that it is incumbent on Americans to normalize and legitimize the new Trump presidency. We are told to give him a chance, to reach across the aisle, and that we must all work hard, in President Obama’s formulation, to make sure that Trump succeeds. But before you decide to take Obama’s advice, I would implore you to stand firm and even angry on this one point at least: The current Supreme Court vacancy is not Trump’s to fill. This was President Obama’s vacancy and President Obama’s nomination. Please don’t tacitly give up on it because it was stolen by unprecedented obstruction and contempt. Instead, do to them what they have done to us. Sometimes, when they go low, we need to go lower, to protect a thing of great value.

    • FBI Director Comey’s credibility issues go beyond presidential politics to 9/11 panel

      FBI Director James Comey’s credibility is under heavy fire due to his headline-making public statements about the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton that have entangled the bureau in presidential politics.

      Republicans howled in July when Comey publicly declared he wouldn’t recommend criminal charges against Clinton for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. Over the weekend, Democrat Clinton reportedly told supporters she blames her surprising loss to President-elect Donald Trump on Comey’s announcement 11 days before the election that he had restarted the email probe, as well as his announcement two days before the election that an examination of newly discovered emails had not changed his July findings.

    • Federal prosecutors launch probe of law firm over donations

      Federal prosecutors in Boston have opened a grand jury investigation into potentially illegal campaign contributions from lawyers at the Thornton Law Firm, a leading donor to Democrats around the country, according to two people familiar with the probe.

      The US attorney’s office is one of three agencies now looking into the Boston-based personal injury firm’s practice of reimbursing its partners for millions of dollars in political donations, according to the two people. The law firm has insisted that the donations were legal, but, soon after the Globe revealed the firm’s practice, politicians began returning hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations.

    • Apocalypse Then, and Now, Cracker Revolution Edition

      These things have been ongoing for the past 15 years. Obama prosecuted more dissidents, er, “whistleblowers,” than all previous presidents combined, and he did by calling them spies under the 1917 Espionage Act. The NSA as state security has been monitoring you under two administrations.

      Militarized police forces received their tanks and other weapons from two presidents. All of the terrible events that lead to Black Lives Matter took place before the election, and the killers were for the most part left unpunished by both the judiciary for criminal murders, and by the Federal-level Department of Justice for violation of civil rights. Unlike during the 1960s when the Feds stepped in and filed civil rights charges to bust up racism among local and state governments, the last two administration have not.

      When people do bad things and know they’ll get away with them, that is “normalization,” not just some hate words we have sadly all heard before.

      As for war and fracking, um, the U.S. has been engaged in global wars for 15 years, and set the Middle East on fire. Fracking has been destroying our nation for years, and oil dumped into the Gulf back in 2010.

      Fascism did not start on November 8. We have been living in a police state of sorts for some time before you all discovered it will start next year.

    • Carl Icahn Confirms 2 Trump Cabinet Contenders on Twitter

      Longtime Donald Trump supporter and activist investor Carl Icahn confirmed on Tuesday that the president-elect is looking at Wall Street veteran Steven Mnuchin as his choice for treasury secretary and billionaire Wilbur Ross for commerce secretary.

    • Trump’s vast web of conflicts: A user’s guide

      Donald Trump’s new hires should brace themselves for a full immersion in government ethics school.

      They’re going to need it given the president-elect’s sprawling business empire and his lack of interest in selling off his companies and properties outright.

      The Republican’s appointees will be running departments and agencies with direct ties to their boss’ businesses and wider political interests, from an IRS audit into his tax records to National Labor Relations Board enforcement of cases involving his hotel workers to the FBI’s investigation into the suspected Russian cyberespionage aimed at influencing an election that Trump just won.

      Unlike past presidents who took office with considerable wealth, from George H.W. Bush to John F. Kennedy, the setup Trump is creating for his financial assets — leaving his three oldest adult children and a “team of highly skilled executives” in charge while he’s in the Oval Office — appears likely to expose large numbers of people the president hires to an unprecedented set of conflicts spanning his entire federal government.

    • Jesse Jackson: Obama should pardon Hillary Clinton

      Speaking at President Gerald Ford’s alma mater, The Rev. Jesse Jackson called for President Obama to issue a blanket pardon to Hillary Clinton before he leaves office, just like Ford did for Richard Nixon.

      Stopping short of saying Clinton did anything wrong, Jackson told a large crowd of University of Michigan students, faculty and administrators gathered at daylong celebration of his career that Obama should short-circuit President-elect Donald Trump’s promised attempt to prosecute Hillary Clinton for use of a private e-mail server.

      “It would be a monumental moral mistake to pursue the indictment of Hillary Clinton,” Jackson said. He said issuing the pardon could help heal the nation, like Ford’s pardon of Nixon did.

    • It’s Worse Than You Think

      Widespread social unrest will ignite when Donald Trump’s base realizes it has been betrayed. I do not know when this will happen. But that it will happen is certain. Investments in the stocks of the war industry, internal security and the prison-industrial complex have skyrocketed since Trump won the presidency. There is a lot of money to be made from a militarized police state.

      Our capitalist democracy ceased to function more than two decades ago. We underwent a corporate coup carried out by the Democratic and Republican parties. There are no institutions left that can authentically be called democratic. Trump and Hillary Clinton in a functioning democracy would have never been presidential nominees. The long and ruthless corporate assault on the working class, the legal system, electoral politics, the mass media, social services, the ecosystem, education and civil liberties in the name of neoliberalism has disemboweled the country. It has left the nation a decayed wreck. We celebrate ignorance. We have replaced political discourse, news, culture and intellectual inquiry with celebrity worship and spectacle

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Megyn Kelly’s Cautionary Tale of Crossing Donald Trump

      The Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly has spent the better part of the last year living in the main gladiator pit of 2016, becoming as much a target for Donald J. Trump as any of his opponents and emerging as a pivotal figure in the forced resignation of the Fox News Channel chairman Roger Ailes, whom she accused of sexual harassment.

      On Tuesday, she was in her office at the Fox News headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, taking stock, preparing for the next phase — a Trump presidency — and warning fellow journalists to look at her experience during the campaign as a potential cautionary tale.

      “The relentless campaign that Trump unleashed on me and Fox News to try to get coverage the way he liked it was unprecedented and potentially very dangerous,” she said, casual but animated behind her translucent desk. If he were to repeat the same behavior from the White House, she said, “it would be quite chilling for many reporters.”

    • Twitter suspends American far-right activists’ accounts

      Twitter has suspended the accounts of a number of American “alt-right” activists hours after announcing a renewed push to crack down on hate speech.

      Among the accounts removed were those of the self-described white-nationalist National Policy Institute, its magazine, Radix, and its head Richard Spencer, as well as other prominent alt-right figures including Pax Dickinson and Paul Town.

      Spencer, who according to anti-hate group SPLC “calls for ‘peaceful ethnic cleansing’ to halt the ‘deconstruction’ of European culture”, decried the bans as “corporate Stalinism” to right-wing news outlet Daily Caller.

      “Twitter is trying to airbrush the alt right out of existence,” Spencer said. “They’re clearly afraid. They will fail!” Members of the Reddit forum r/altright called the move a “purge”.

    • Booming e-business and tight censorship: China wants to have the internet both ways

      Liu Yunshan, the No. 5 in the Politburo Standing Committee and in charge of ideological control, doesn’t look like an internet guru or a man who can influence the future of one of humanity’s great inventions.

      Yet the 69-year-old senior cadre will be the keynote speaker at the third World Internet Conference, an event organised by the Chinese government.

    • China holds ‘World Internet Conference’ as censorship intensifies

      As China hosts execs from global tech companies at its World Internet Conference, human rights advocates are warning that online censorship in the country is only getting worse.

    • Satan, sex and censorship: 17 banned album sleeves

      As so often, The Beatles led the way. Barely a month before Lennon’s “bigger than Jesus” comments got their records burned in America, The Beatles almost pole-axed their “lovable Moptops” image with the sleeve for a US-only album, Yesterday… And Today. Satirising their US label’s latest mincing of their UK records into an extra LP, the Fabs kitted themselves up as butchers for the cover, chopping up dolls with gleeful grins. The Beatles as a premonition of Alice Cooper was all too much, and quickly recalled copies had an innocuous publicity pic glued over the grisly bloodbath.

    • AZERBAIJAN: Raids, fines enforce state religious censorship

      Police and officials of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organisations have raided at least 26 shops and six homes in October and early November across Azerbaijan to seize religious literature being distributed without the compulsory state permission. Some book sellers have already been punished. All the literature seized from shops appears to have been Muslim.

      Not one State Committee official in Baku or in branches around the country, police officer or court would discuss these raids, literature seizures or punishments with Forum 18.

      The “Expertise” Department at the State Committee in Baku – which implements the state censorship – told Forum 18 on 16 November its head Nahid Mammadov was out of the office and no-one else could speak for the department. Asked about the many raids, the man simply said that everything done was “in the law”. The man who answered the phone of State Committee official Aliheydar Zulfuqarov – who participated in raids on shops in the southern town of Masalli (see below) – put the phone down when Forum 18 introduced itself. The State Committee press office told Forum 18 its head, Yaqut Aliyeva, was away until 18 November and no-one else could speak to the press.

    • TUSC vindicated in censorship protest

      As the democratic credentials of ‘official politics’ are being increasingly questioned, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) recently chalked up a modest victory against establishment efforts to prevent alternative voices from being heard.

    • Southampton Labour must bin Tory cuts!
    • Professor compiles list of fake, misleading ‘news’ websites

      An assistant professor’s list of fake and misleading websites, many of which have driven the dialogue of politics this election season, is going viral after being published this week.

    • Trump Supporters Warn of Censorship, Suggest Alternatives, In Battle Over Fake News Sites

      On Tuesday Twitter announced it was rolling out new tools for reporting abuse on its network and later that day it suspended numerous “alt-right” accounts. Then Facebook came under fire after a report exposed it knew how to combat fake news articles, but did not tackle the problem for fear of conservative backlash. Facebook has since removed ads from fake news sites and a “rogue” team allegedly been put in place to take on fake news. Google, who was criticized for fake news filtering onto its front page, is also taking action to ensure more real reporting from credible outlets is highlighted. On the surface this news seems positive, but to some Donald Trump supporters this news means one thing: censorship.

    • Breitbart and Private Eye among websites accused of false, misleading, clickbait or satirical ‘news’

      The spread of fake online news has itself been hitting headlines in recent weeks, with accusations flying that such content may have helped sweep Donald Trump into the White House.

      Melissa Zimdars, an assistant professor of communications and media at Massachusetts’s Merrimack College, has created a list of websites as a teaching resource for her students, which categorises websites and organisations that publish “false, misleading, clickbait-y, and/or satirical ‘news’ sources.”

    • Here are all the fake ‘news’ sites to watch out for on Facebook
    • Fed up with phony news? College professor creates list of ‘false, misleading, clickbait-y’ sites
    • How to break it to your friends and family that they’re sharing fake news
    • Fed up with fake news, Facebook users are solving the problem with a simple list
    • This List of Fake News Websites Proliferating on Facebook Is Staggering
    • Twitter’s Misbegotten Censorship
    • Could alt-right account bans spell the end of Twitter?
    • Twitter suspends prominent alt-right accounts
    • Twitter Suspends Accounts Affiliated With Alt-Right
    • Twitter Suspends Alt-Right Accounts, Promises Tools To Fight Abuse
    • Q&A: The science of online censorship

      Information doesn’t flow through the internet as freely as it seems. Depending on which country you live in, you may see different content on a webpage—or no content at all. As the internet has become the most important public space for everything from protest movements to pornography, governments around the world have started locking it down. And that has given rise to a new field of research: the science of censorship. ScienceInsider caught up with Phillipa Gill, a computer scientist at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, to find out what’s cooking in this online cat and mouse game. She spoke to us yesterday from the Internet Measurement Conference in Santa Monica, California, which she co-chaired. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

    • Chief Censor says his office’s work is now more important than ever

      A century ago, viewing a picture of a woman’s exposed decolletage was considered a “grave danger” to the average person’s moral health.

      “Suggestive” or violent images – laughably tame by today’s standards – were quickly sliced from incoming films by New Zealand Government censors. They were the moral guardians of what the country viewed.

      Today, as censorship in this country celebrates its centenary, critics are asking – is there even any point?

    • Pressure grows on Facebook over censorship

      Palestine Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, Color of Change, 18MillionRising and Dream Defenders also signed the letter, which specifically points to the disabling of Palestinian journalists’ accounts and the removal of Black activists’ content as examples of Facebook’s censorship.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Liberals need to stop carping about Saudi Arabia. In a dangerous world, our allies cannot be saints

      Among the many conflicts marked during this year’s Remembrance Day commemorations, the ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the First Gulf War provided a timely reminder of what can be achieved when nations work together.

      In an age when the very notion of military intervention has become anathema for political elites on both sides of the Atlantic, the highly successful 1991 campaign to liberate the Gulf state of Kuwait from Saddam Hussein’s illegal annexation marked a high point in relations between the West and its Arab allies.

      Western forces, it is true, were responsible for conducting most of the operation. But the supporting role provided by Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, which actively facilitated the formation of a 500,000-strong foreign army on its soil, was invaluable.

    • Indonesia Says Jakarta’s Christian Governor Is Suspected of Blasphemy

      Indonesia was thrown into turmoil on Wednesday after the National Police named the Christian governor of the country’s capital a suspect in a blasphemy investigation over comments he made about the Quran. Outrage over those remarks set off bloody street protests this month.

      The governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, Jakarta’s popular leader, has been barred from leaving the country as the authorities continue their investigation of him, Tito Karnavian, the national police chief, said at a televised news conference.

      Mr. Basuki, who is known as Ahok and is running for re-election in February, has been a political target of radical Islamic organizations since taking office in 2014. Some of those groups seized on comments he made in September to a group of fishermen, in which he lightheartedly cited a Quran verse that warns against taking Christians and Jews as friends.

    • UK woman ‘gang-raped’ in Dubai now faces jail for ‘extra-marital affair’ in Sharia arrest

      The 25-year-old is not allowed to leave the country after claiming she was attacked by two UK men last month.

      The situation is not uncommon in the middle-eastern country that prohibits women from being alone with men who they are not married or directly related to.

      Under Sharia law, adultery can be substantiated through a confession or if four people witnessed the offence and testified before the court.

      The men are understood to have flown back to the UK.

    • British woman who says she was gang raped arrested on ‘extra-marital sex’ charges in Dubai as attackers go free

      A British tourist has been arrested and charged with illegal “extra-marital sex” in Dubai after telling police she had been gang raped.

      The 25-year-old woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was on holiday in the United Arab Emirates when she was allegedly attacked by two British men last month.

      When she reported the rape at a police station, she was allegedly arrested for breaking Emirati laws against extra-marital sex, while her attackers have since flown home to the UK.

    • Here are the devastating capabilities of the weapons Obama will leave behind for Trump

      Even the extreme legal theories of the George W Bush administration were mild compared to some of the “compromise” positions Obama’s DoJ argued for, and now Donald J Trump gets to use those positions to further its own terrifying agenda of mass deportations, reprisals against the press, torture and assassination, and surveillance based on religious affiliation or ethnic origin.

      When it came to things like closing Guantanamo, Obama argued for limits on establishing offshore black-sites and military tribunals, but refused to shut the door on them. So maybe Trump won’t be able to use Gitmo to house the people he has kidnapped by his CIA, but he can use the legal authority that Obama argued for to set up lots of other Guantanamos wherever he likes.

      Likewise torture: Obama decided that it was better to move and and bury the CIA torture report, and had his DoJ block any attempt to have torture declared illegal, which would have given people opposing Trump’s torture agenda with a potent legal weapon that is now unavailable to them.

      Obama argued that the president should be able to create kill lists of Americans and foreigners who could be assassinated with impunity, and argued against even judicial review of these lists.

    • A Message to President-Elect Trump About Upholding Freedom in the Muslim World

      President-elect Donald Trump, the American people voted you as the future 45th President of the United States and entrusted you with many missions and responsibilities. As head of a great democracy you will be the defender of what the forefathers of the American nation cherished the most: liberty and freedom of speech for all the citizens irrespective of their origin, religion, wealth or social status.

    • Rutgers Lecturer Forcibly Sent For Psych Evaluation By NYPD For Some Tweets About The Election

      As you may have noticed, a lot of people have opinions on the election that just happened. And, many people are using social media to express those opinions, for good or for bad. Some people are excited, some people are angry. And no matter which side you fall on, you should recognize that expressing opinions on social media is protected (and should be encouraged as part of a healthy political process involving public discussion and debate). Kevin Allred, a lecturer at Rutgers University, is definitely on the side of folks who aren’t happy with the results of the election. And, like many, he’s been tweeting about his opinions on the matter. Having read through his Twitter feed, it doesn’t seem all that out of the ordinary from stuff that I’ve seen from others. In fact, I’d argue that it actually seems fairly tame.

      Either way, last night he Tweeted that the NYPD had come to his house because the police at Rutgers believed he was “a threat” based on some of his tweets. There were two tweets in particular. One was about burning a flag in protest and the other was a rhetorical question about the 2nd Amendment.

      [...]

      Allred blames Trump for this — and while we’ve made it clear that we’ve got lots of concerns about Trump’s views on free speech, Trump isn’t exactly directing police to pick up people for various tweets. But the whole situation is extremely disturbing nonetheless. It’s frightening how little law enforcement seems to recognize or care about the First Amendment.

    • Chelsea Manning Petitions Obama for Clemency Before Leaving Office

      Imprisoned Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning is petitioning President Obama to grant her clemency before he leaves office. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence in the disciplinary barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, after being convicted of passing hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks. She has been subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement and for years was denied gender-affirming surgery.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • FCC abides by GOP request, deletes everything from meeting agenda

      The Federal Communications Commission has deleted every major item from the agenda of its monthly meeting, apparently submitting to a request from Republicans to halt major rulemakings until Donald Trump is inaugurated as president.

      Republicans from the House and Senate sent letters to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler yesterday urging him to stand down in his final months as chairman. The GOP pointed out that the FCC halted major rulemakings eight years ago after the election of Barack Obama when prompted by a similar request by Democrats.

    • GOP tells FCC to just stop what it’s doing until Trump is inaugurated

      Republicans in Congress have urged the Federal Communications Commission to avoid passing any controversial regulations between now and Donald Trump’s inauguration as president. If FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler complies with the request, it could prevent passage of rules designed to help cable customers avoid set-top box rental fees—and any other controversial changes.

      “Leadership of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will soon change,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, wrote to Wheeler yesterday. “Congressional oversight of the execution of our nation’s communications policies will continue. Any action taken by the FCC following November 8, 2016, will receive particular scrutiny. I strongly urge the FCC to avoid directing its attention and resources in the coming months to complex, partisan, or otherwise controversial items that the new Congress and new Administration will have an interest in reviewing.”

  • DRM

    • Bug Related To HDCP DRM Is Giving New Playstation PS4 Pro Owners Headaches

      Sony recently released the slightly-more powerful Playstation 4 Pro console, a beefier version of its existing PS4 console that brings 4K and HDR functionality to customers with 4K sets. 4K was already proving to be a bit of a headache for early adopters, many of whom didn’t realize that in order to get a 4K device to work, every device in the chain (particularly their audio receiver) not only needs to support 4K and the updated HDMI 2.0a standard for HDR (high dynamic range), but HDCP 2.2 — an updated version of the copy protection standard used to try and lock down video content.

      HDCP has always been a bit of a headache, like so much DRM usually causing consumers more trouble than it’s worth, and then being ultimately useless in trying to prevent piracy that occurs anyway. The latest incarnation of this issue appears to be plaguing PS4 Pro owners, who are plugging their $400 console into their expensive new receiver and 4KTV only to find that the unit doesn’t work as advertised.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The CJEU decision in Soulier: what does it mean for laws other than the French one on out-of-print books?

        As reported by this blog through a breaking news post, yesterday the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued its decision in Soulier and Doke, C-301/15.

        This was a reference for a preliminary ruling from the French Conseil d’État (Council of State) and concerned the compatibility with EU law [read: the InfoSoc Directive] of the 2012 French law to allow and regulate the digital exploitation of out-of-print 20th century books.

      • Police Raid Pirate Site & Seize 60 Servers Following MPAA Complaint

        A complaint from the MPAA has led the cyber-crime division of Ukraine’s National Police to raid FS.to, one of the country’s most popular pirate sites. Thus far 60 servers have been seized and 19 people have been arrested, but police fear the site could reappear since some individuals are on the run and a mirror site may be standing by in Russia.

      • “Anti-Piracy Outfit Impersonates Competitor, Steals its Clients”

        Two employees of anti-piracy outfit MarkScan have been arrested by Indian police. The men are accused of masquerading as competing anti-piracy firm Aiplex, informing its clients via a fake website that the company was shutting down, and suggesting MarkScan as an alternative. The CEO of the company was allegedly in on the scam, which is still under investivation.

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