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11.18.16

Links 18/11/2016: Apache at 17 (Years), GNU Octave 4.2

Posted in News Roundup at 6:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Jim Zemlin: Why Open Source is Professionalizing, and How to Stay Ahead

    If it is true that software is eating the world then it is also true that open source is eating software. The very fabric of our digital society increasingly runs on software built and supported collectively by hundreds of thousands of people around the globe. And not just traditional technology companies. As we move towards a world defined by digital experiences carmakers, retailers, banks, hospitals, movie studios and so many more are becoming involved in building and underwriting this work—in reality they are becoming software companies themselves.

  • How Open Source and InnerSource are changing the IT Landscape
  • The Tragedy of Open Source
  • Open Source and Trends shaping it
  • Managing the Opportunities and Challenges of Open Source Innovation
  • Open Source is all about Community
  • Open Source Development at the UK Government

    New code developed for the UK government is open by default. Coding in the open enables reuse and increases transparency, which results in better digital services, said Anna Shipman, technical architect at Government Digital Service (GDS). She spoke about open sourcing government at GOTO Berlin 2016.

    Our job is to change the way the government works, said Shipman. The UK government wants to provide digital services which are so good that people want to use them; services which are leading to better interaction between the government and citizen.

    Software development at the UK government used to be done with yearly big bang releases. Over the years this has changed with many teams doing several code updates every day.

  • ‘Podling’ Apache projects are spending longer in the incubator

    Stewards of the Apache Software Foundation are mildly concerned that many nascent projects are spending longer in the incubator, putting pressure on limited mentoring resources.

    In the 12 months up to November 2016, ASF oversaw 30 new “podling” incubator projects, of which four were retired and just seven graduated. Jim Jagielski, director and co-founder at ASF, said the graduation rate has fallen compared to previous years, causing him to ponder why so many projects were apparently stuck.

  • Apache: 17 years on in the open source community

    Apache is a public charity based in the US that facilitates the development of open source projects for the public good in a vendor neutral environment.

    This week the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) hosted ApacheCon in Seville, Spain to celebrate not only it’s 17 year old ‘birthday’ but to further instill this open source community’s core principles that have been with it since the beginning: the ‘Apache Way’.

  • AT&T’s Chris Rice Upskills on SDN & Open Source

    One key advantage SDN provides is the ability to directly program the network by rapidly adding on-demand applications on top of the SDN controller. Service providers are increasingly turning to open source software as a viable alternative to proprietary automation tools, but concerns such as cost, security, standards and whether the software is “carrier-grade” remain front of mind.

  • Transforming scientific research with OpenStack

    A cloud-based approach is often heralded as the natural way forward when it comes to improving agility. And whilst many traditional enterprises have turned to the technology, other types of organizations are seeing the benefits too.

  • Open Source vs Proprietary Cloud: Choose Wisely
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 51 To Enable WebGL 2 By Default, FLAC Audio, Skia Content Rendering On Linux
      • Introducing Firefox Focus – a free, fast and easy to use private browser for iOS
      • Privacy made simple with Firefox Focus

        Today we launched Firefox Focus, a brand new iOS browser that puts user privacy first. More than ever before, we believe that everyone on the Internet has a right to protect their privacy. By launching Firefox Focus, we are putting that belief into practice in a big way.

        How big? If you download Firefox Focus and start to browse, you will notice a prominent “Erase” button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. If you tap that button, the Firefox Focus app erases all browsing information including cookies, website history or passwords. Of course, you can erase this on any other browser but we are making it simple here – just one tap away.

        Out of sight too often means out of mind. Burying the tools to clear browsing history and data behind clicks or taps means that fewer people will do it. By putting the “Erase” button front and center, we offer users a simple path to healthy online behaviors — protecting their online freedom and taking greater control of their personal data. To further enhance user privacy, Firefox Focus also by default blocks advertising, social and analytics tracking. So, on Firefox Focus, “private” browsing is actually automatic, and erasing your history is incredibly simple.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • AtScale Takes its BI Platform Beyond Hadoop

      As it began to develop, the Big Data trend–sorting and sifting large data sets with new tools in pursuit of surfacing meaningful angles on stored information–remained an enterprise-only story, but now businesses of all sizes are evaluating tools that can help them glean meaningful insights from the data they store. As we’ve noted, the open source Hadoop project has been one of the big drivers of this trend, and has given rise to commercial companies that offer custom Hadoop distributions, support, training and more.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Conference 2016: First videos online

      Here at The Document Foundation we’ve been really busy since the LibreOffice Conference in September, running our Community Weeks and the Month of LibreOffice. But finally we’ve started putting videos online from presentations at the conference.

      Don’t miss this opening presentation, the State of the Project, and then scroll down for more talks and demos.

  • Funding

    • Kubernetes founders launch Heptio with $8.5M in funding to help bring containers to the enterprise

      For years, the public face of Kubernetes was one of the project’s founders: Google group product manager Craig McLuckie. He started the open-source container-management project together with Joe Beda, Brendan Burns and a few other engineers inside of Google, which has since brought it under the guidance of the newly formed Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

      Beda became an entrepreneur-in-residence at Accel Partners in late 2015, Burns left Google for Microsoft earlier this year and McLuckie quietly left Google to start a new venture a few weeks ago. McLuckie and Beda have now teamed up again to launch Heptio, a new pure-play Kubernetes company.

  • BSD

    • openbsd changes of note

      mcl2k2 pools and the em conversion. The details are in the commits, but the short story is that due to hardware limitations, a number of tradeoffs need to be made between performance and memory usage. The em chip can (mostly) only be programmed to write to 2k buffers. However, ethernet payloads are not nicely aligned. They’re two bytes off. Leading to a costly choice. Provide a 2k buffer, and then copy all the data after the fact, which is slow. Or allocate a larger than 2k buffer, and provide em with a pointer that’s 2 bytes offset. Previously, the next size up from 2k was 4k, which is quite wasteful. The new 2k2 buffer size still wastes a bit of memory, but much less.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Faster unified capabilities and open source code on DISA’s plate for 2017

      The Defense Information Systems Agency is trying to speed up the delivery of its voice, video and data services to Defense Department and military employees.

      DISA currently has its Unified Capabilities (UC) contract award date set for the fourth quarter of 2018, but the IT agency thinks it can push the award to the left and have it finished by the first quarter. The contract, called Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS), would integrate things like voice, video, email, content management and other communication devices into one seamless, unified client.

      However, DISA’s Enterprise-wide Services Division Chief Brian Hermann, thinks DISA can award and set up UC faster.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • 4 tips for DIY makers

      First, I take a picture of the postcard and upload it to Wikimedia Commons under a free license, usually Creative Commons Share-Alike 4.0 or CC BY-SA 4.0 International. These two licenses allow anyone to use the image of my artwork for both non-commercial and commercial purposes, modify and remix them. And uploading to Wikimedia Commons puts my artwork in a place where many people will see it.

  • Programming/Development

    • LLVM’s LLD Linker Looking At Enabling Multi-Threading By Default
    • You Are Not Paid to Write Code

      “Taco Bell Programming” is the idea that we can solve many of the problems we face as software engineers with clever reconfigurations of the same basic Unix tools. The name comes from the fact that every item on the menu at Taco Bell, a company which generates almost $2 billion in revenue annually, is simply a different configuration of roughly eight ingredients.

      Many people grumble or reject the notion of using proven tools or techniques. It’s boring. It requires investing time to learn at the expense of shipping code. It doesn’t do this one thing that we need it to do. It won’t work for us. For some reason—and I continue to be completely baffled by this—everyone sees their situation as a unique snowflake despite the fact that a million other people have probably done the same thing. It’s a weird form of tunnel vision, and I see it at every level in the organization. I catch myself doing it on occasion too. I think it’s just human nature.

    • Eclipse Che cloud IDE joins Docker revolution

      Eclipse Che 5.0 is making accommodations for Docker containers and Language Server Protocol across multiple IDEs. The newest version of the Eclipse Foundation’s cloud-based IDE and workspace server will be available by the end of the year.

      The update offers Docker Compose Workspaces, in which a workspace can run multiple developer machines with support for Docker Compose files and standard Dockerfiles. In the popular Docker software container platform, a Compose file is a Yet Another Markup Language (YAML) file defining services, networks, and volumes; a Docker file is a text document with commands to assemble an image. Che also has been certified for Docker Store, which features enterprise-ready containers. In addition, Docker is joining the Eclipse Foundation and will work directly with Che.

Leftovers

  • Are Office Depot workers pushing unnecessary computer fixes?

    1116-ctm-officedepotinvestigation-jones-1181439-640×360.jpg
    KIRO-TV

    The retailer says it helps about 6,000 customers per week with its free PC health checks, and that it does not condone any of the alleged conduct we uncovered. But CBS affiliate KIRO-TV’s undercover cameras showed how employees used the service to sell customers expensive computer repairs that weren’t there, reports KIRO’s Jesse Jones.

    Office Depot’s technicians repeatedly told us our computers were infected.

    “It’s got malware symptoms in there,” one said.

    They said they could fix them — for a hefty fee.

    “It actually looks like it’s $180 right now,” the technician estimated.

    The only problem? All the PC’s were brand new and fresh out of the box. The computer security firm IOActive also gave them a clean bill of health.

    “We found no symptoms of malware on these computers when we operated them,” said Will Longman, IOActive VP of Information Technology and Security.

    We even purchased one of the new computers at Office Depot. But when we brought it to technicians at a different store, a technician said, “Malware symptoms were found in the machine.”

  • Science

    • Blast Off With the Amateur Rocketeers of the Mojave Desert

      An event called “Large, Dangerous Rocket Ships” doesn’t bring to mind a day of peace and quiet. If nothing else, a field packed with amateur rocketeers blasting things toward the heavens is raucous to say the least. But Sean Lemoine found it all very … zen. “It’s very serene out there, just watching the rockets,” he says.

      Large, Dangerous Rocket Ships is among the world’s biggest amateur rocketry events. Some 250 rocketeers from as away as the UK and Argentina gathered on a cracked lakebed in the Mojave Desert, where the Federal Aviation Administration cleared the airspace for miles around. That’s essential, because these folks launch rockets capable of reaching 17,000 feet and making Elon Musk smile.

  • Hardware

    • Hard Drive Stats for Q3 2016: Less is More

      In our last report for Q2 2016, we counted 68,813 spinning hard drives in operation. For Q3 2016 we have 67,642 drives, or 1,171 fewer hard drives. Stop, put down that Twitter account, Backblaze is not shrinking. In fact, we’re growing very nicely and are approaching 300 petabytes of data under our management. We have fewer drives because over the last quarter we swapped out more than 3,500 2 terabyte (TB) HGST and WDC hard drives for 2,400 8 TB Seagate drives. So we have fewer drives, but more data. Lots more data! We’ll get into the specifics a little later on, but first, let’s take a look at our Q3 2016 drive stats.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Reproducible Builds: week 81 in Stretch cycle
    • Security-hardened Android, bounties for Tcl coders, and more open source news

      In a blog post yesterday, the Tor project announced a refresh of a prototype of a Tor-enabled Android phone aimed at reducing vulnerability to security and privacy issues. Combining several existing software packages together, the effort has created an installation tool for hardening your phone. While designed for a Nexus 6P reference device, the project hopes to expand to provide greater hardware choice.

    • Linux flaw exposed in a minute by pressing enter key

      Researchers have discovered a major vulnerability in the Cryptesetup utility that can impact many GNU/Linux systems, which is activated by pressing the enter key for about 70 seconds.

    • Chinese IoT Firm Siphoned Text Messages, Call Records

      A Chinese technology firm has been siphoning text messages and call records from cheap Android-based mobile smart phones and secretly sending the data to servers in China, researchers revealed this week. The revelations came the same day the White House and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued sweeping guidelines aimed at building security into Internet-connected devices, and just hours before a key congressional panel sought recommendations from industry in regulating basic security standards for so-called “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices.

    • Google security engineer slams antivirus software, cites better security methods

      Google senior security engineer Darren Bilby isn’t a fan of antivirus software, telling a conference in New Zealand that more time should be spent on more meaningful defenses such as whitelisting applications.

      Speaking at the Kiwicon hacking conference, Bilby said that antivirus apps are simply ineffective and the security world should concentrate its efforts on things that can make a difference.

      “Please no more magic,” Bilby told the conference, according to The Register. “We need to stop investing in those things we have shown do not work. Sure, you are going to have to spend some time on things like intrusion detection systems because that’s what the industry has decided is the plan, but allocate some time to working on things that actually genuinely help.”

      Antivirus software does some useful things, he said, “but in reality it is more like a canary in the coal mine. It is worse than that. It’s like we are standing around the dead canary saying, ‘Thank god it inhaled all the poisonous gas.’”

    • Dutch government wants to keep “zero days” available for exploitation

      The Dutch government is very clear about at least one thing: unknown software vulnerabilities, also known as “zero days”, may be left open by the government, in order to be exploited by secret services and the police.

      We all benefit from a secure and reliable digital infrastructure. It ensures the protection of sensitive personal data, security, company secrets and the national interest. It is essential for the protection of free communication and privacy. As a consequence, any vulnerability should be patched immediately. This is obviously only possible when unknown vulnerabilities are disclosed responsibly. Keeping a vulnerability under wraps is patently irresponsible: it may be found simultaneously by others who abuse it, for example to steal sensitive information or to attack other devices.

    • How To ‘PoisonTap’ A Locked Computer Using A $5 Raspberry Pi

      White hat hacker Samy Kamkar has come up with a way of to hijack Internet traffics from a password-protected computer.

      Serial white hat hacker Samy Kamkar has developed a new exploit for breaking into a locked computer and installing a persistent web-based backdoor on it for accessing the victim’s online accounts.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • David Petraeus in the running to be Trump’s secretary of state

      David Petraeus – the former US army general and CIA director who was prosecuted for mishandling classified information – has entered the race to become Donald Trump’s secretary of state, diplomatic sources said on Thursday.

      Petraeus resigned in November 2012 after the FBI discovered he had had an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, and had shared classified information with her. He eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for mishandling the information. People who have seen him recently say he is anxious to return to public life and has privately refused to rule out serving in a Trump administration.

    • You say pro-NATO, I say pro-peace

      So the NATO Secretary General’s second justification of the organisation’s continued existence is not exactly what one would call compelling. But I suppose he had to try, when Juncker’s threatened folie de grandeur that is the EU army is even less inspiring.

      So, back to President-elect Donald Trump. What will he do, faced with this mess of competing western military/security interests and Euro-bureaucrat careerists? Perhaps his US isolationist position is not so mad, bad and dangerous to know as the wailings of the western liberal press would have us believe?

      American “exceptionalism” and NATO interventionism have not exactly benefited much of the world since the end of the Cold War. Perhaps the time has indeed come for an American Commander-in-Chief who can cut deals, cut through the sabre-rattling rhetoric and, even unintentionally, make a significant contribution to world peace.

      Stranger things have happened. After all, outgoing President Obama won the Nobel Prize for Peace a mere eight months after his inauguration….

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Assange ends testimony to prosecutors

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has “co-operated fully” with prosecutors questioning him over a Swedish rape allegation and hopes the case against him will now be dropped, his lawyer Jennifer Robinson says.

      But she told reporters outside Assange’s refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on Tuesday that even if Swedish authorities drop the case he will still have to stay inside the embassy while a US investigation into WikiLeaks’ release of secret US government documents continues.

      In the embassy where he’s been holed up since mid-2016, the 45-year-old Australian on Tuesday finished two days of giving testimony on an allegation he raped a woman in Stockholm in 2010.

    • Why the World Needs WikiLeaks

      My organization, WikiLeaks, took a lot of heat during the run-up to the recent presidential election. We have been accused of abetting the candidacy of Donald J. Trump by publishing cryptographically authenticated information about Hillary Clinton’s campaign and its influence over the Democratic National Committee, the implication being that a news organization should have withheld accurate, newsworthy information from the public.

      The Obama Justice Department continues to pursue its six-year criminal investigation of WikiLeaks, the largest known of its kind, into the publishing of classified documents and articles about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay and Mrs. Clinton’s first year as secretary of state. According to the trial testimony of one F.B.I. agent, the investigation includes several of WikiLeaks founders, owners and managers. And last month our editor, Julian Assange, who has asylum at Ecuador’s London embassy, had his internet connection severed.

    • What Will Be the Costs of Whistleblowing in Trump’s America When They Were Already Extreme Under Obama?

      It was around four in the morning when I received the phone call. “I was raided by the FBI,” said a trembling voice on the other end. “I need help.”

      I was immediately alarmed. I was in the middle of production of a highly risky investigation into the U.S. drone war, and I had gained exclusive access to film with two whistleblowers who wanted to go on the record about their experiences in the drone program. The voice on the phone belonged to one of them, and my research would later become the documentary film “National Bird.”

      When I answered the phone, I was at a veterans’ convention near Denver and had just established contact with a third whistleblower.

    • How Will Trump Deal with FOIA?

      President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on the idea that the media is incompetent, biased, and vindictive. He was also the first candidate in modern US history to refuse to release his tax returns.

      Taken together, the inbound Trump administration doesn’t look like it’s going to be particularly forthcoming or transparent with reporters. But how will his administration deal with the Freedom of Information Act, one of the most powerful tools reporters, activists, and researchers have to gain insight into the inner workings of government?

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Indonesian fires exposed 69 million to ‘killer haze’

      Wildfires in Indonesia and Borneo exposed 69 million people to unhealthy air pollution and are responsible for thousands of premature deaths, new research has shown.

      The study, published today in Scientific Reports, gives the most accurate picture yet of the impact on human health of the wildfires which ripped through forest and peatland in Equatorial Asia during the autumn of 2015.

      The study used detailed observations of the haze from Singapore and Indonesia. Analysing hourly air quality data from a model at a resolution of 10km – where all previous studies have looked at daily levels at a much lower resolution – the team was able to show that a quarter of the population of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia was exposed to unhealthy air quality conditions between September and October 2015.

    • Britain ratifies Paris climate agreement

      Britain said on Thursday it had ratified the Paris Agreement, the global deal to combat climate change.

      The Paris Agreement came into force on Nov. 4 when more than 55 countries representing more than 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions ratified the deal.

      “The UK is ratifying the historic Paris Agreement so that we can help to accelerate global action on climate change and deliver on our commitments to create a safer, more prosperous future for us all,” Nick Hurd, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, said.

    • Largest bank in Norway pulls its assets in Dakota Access pipeline

      A press release from Greenpeace Thursday says the largest bank in Norway, DNB, sold its assets in the Dakota Access pipeline. They say this decision was the result of 120,000 signatures from Greenpeace Norway and others to DNB, urging the bank and other financial institutions to pull finances from the project.

  • Finance

    • EU set to ask Ukip group to repay almost £150,000 in ‘misspent funds’

      Ukip is likely to be asked to repay tens of thousands of euros by European parliament finance chiefs who have accused the party of misspending EU funds on party workers and Nigel Farage’s failed bid to win a seat in Westminster.

      The Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe, a Ukip-dominated political vehicle, will be asked to repay €173,000 (£148,000) in misspent funds and denied a further €501,000 in EU grants for breaking European rules that ban spending EU money on national election campaigns and referendums.

    • We must rethink globalization, or Trumpism will prevail

      Let it be said at once: Trump’s victory is primarily due to the explosion in economic and geographic inequality in the United States over several decades and the inability of successive governments to deal with this.

      Both the Clinton and the Obama administrations frequently went along with the market liberalization launched under Reagan and both Bush presidencies. At times they even outdid them: the financial and commercial deregulation carried out under Clinton is an example. What sealed the deal, though, was the suspicion that the Democrats were too close to Wall Street – and the inability of the Democratic media elite to learn the lessons from the Sanders vote.

    • Angela Merkel suggests TTIP trade deal won’t be concluded under Barack Obama’s presidency

      Angela Merkel has said the TTIP trade deal will not be completed now Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States.

      Speaking at a joint press conference with US President Barack Obama, the German Chancellor said the United States represents an important trading partner for both Germany and the European Union.

      “I’ve always come out strongly in favour of concluding a trade agreement with the United States of America,” Ms Merkel said.

      She added: “We have made progress, quite a lot of progress, but they will not be concluded now.

      “But we will keep what we have achieved so far, and I’m absolutely certain one day we will come back to what we have achieved and build on it.”

    • Goodbye, American neoliberalism. A new era is here

      The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians.

      The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities. The monumental election of Trump was a desperate and xenophobic cry of human hearts for a way out from under the devastation of a disintegrating neoliberal order – a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness.

      White working- and middle-class fellow citizens – out of anger and anguish – rejected the economic neglect of neoliberal policies and the self-righteous arrogance of elites. Yet these same citizens also supported a candidate who appeared to blame their social misery on minorities, and who alienated Mexican immigrants, Muslims, black people, Jews, gay people, women and China in the process.

      This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Daily Report: The Increasingly Tectonic Force of Social Media

      Social media has been in the glare since the election for its perceived harmful qualities, such as the spreading of hate speech and the false information.

      But the effect of social media on world affairs is much larger than just misinformation and mean tweets, Farhad Manjoo writes. In his new State of the Art column, he argues that social media — now collectively used by billions of people worldwide through services like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, WeChat and Weibo — has grown to a point where it is increasingly influencing the course of global events.

    • Facebook fake-news writer: ‘I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me’

      What do the Amish lobby, gay wedding vans and the ban of the national anthem have in common? For starters, they’re all make-believe — and invented by the same man.

      Paul Horner, the 38-year-old impresario of a Facebook fake-news empire, has made his living off viral news hoaxes for several years. He has twice convinced the Internet that he’s British graffiti artist Banksy; he also published the very viral, very fake news of a Yelp vs. “South Park” lawsuit last year.

      But in recent months, Horner has found the fake-news ecosystem growing more crowded, more political and vastly more influential: In March, Donald Trump’s son Eric and his then-campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, even tweeted links to one of Horner’s faux-articles. His stories have also appeared as news on Google.

    • The fact fake news ‘outperformed’ real news on Facebook proves the problem is wildly out of control

      BuzzFeed is reporting that at the end of the US presidential election, the top malicious fake news stories actually outperformed the most popular legitimate news stories shared by media companies.

      According to data from a Facebook-monitoring tool, the top 20 fake news stories collectively got more engagements – shares, likes, comments – than the top 20 factually accurate news stories shared by mainstream news outlets.

    • [Older] Did Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald Use Threats and Bribery to Silence a Young Journalist?

      In retrospect, it sounds preposterous: A nationally recognized journalist publishes an article alleging a conspiracy between the Republican candidate for President of the United States and Russia, and, when his hyperbole is exposed in an email from a young journalist, allegedly attempts to intimidate and bribe that journalist in exchange for his silence. Nevertheless, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

    • Here’s Your 2016 Election Explained from 2013

      Here’s an excerpt from my book Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent. I wrote the passage below in 2013. Nobody wanted to read it then, nobody thought it meant anything. Well, maybe it makes more sense now. And, yeah, I’m a little bitter about that.

      “Yep. Thirty years on the big bucket, pouring out two hundred tons of steel a day. Lookit my right arm—muscle’s twice as thick as on the left ’cause of that lever I pulled every day. I got that job right after Korea in fact. My old man sent me to see the foreman while I was still wearing my uniform.”

      “How’s it up there now? I heard the president say he’s creating more jobs, so I was considering moving up.”

      “Moving on isn’t a bad idea. I wished I had done it at your age. Hell, I wished I’d done it last month.”

      “So there’s work where you’re from?”

      “Same there as it was four years ago and four years before that. Every four years the president comes back into western Pennsylvania like a dog looking for a place to pee. He reminds us that his wife’s cousin is from some town near to ours, gets photographed at the diner if it’s still in business, and then makes those promises to us while winking at the big business donors who feed him bribes they call campaign contributions. I’m tempted to cut out the middleman and just write in ‘Goldman Sachs’ on my ballot next election.”

    • ‘Yesterday We Were Stunned, Today We Organize’ – CounterSpin special report on what comes next after Trump’s election

      So, much to come, but for this week, what now for electoral reform and congressional diversity, for the environment, for Muslim-Americans and others made vulnerable by the so-called War on Terror in its domestic and international fronts? We’ll hear from Rob Richie and Cynthia Terrell from FairVote, from author and professor Deepa Kumar, from Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies, and from Patty Lovera from Food and Water Watch. They’re all coming up, but first a brief look back at recent press

    • How Trump’s ‘Chief Strategist’ Provided a ‘Platform for the Alt-Right’

      Stephen Bannon, the Trump campaign chief executive and the announced “Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the President” in the Trump administration, has declared of Breitbart, the website he still heads, “We’re the platform for the alt-right.” What did he mean by that?

      Well, the alt-right, by Breitbart‘s own description, is a coalition of advocates of “scientific race differences”; people interested in “the preservation of their own tribe and its culture” who “believe that some degree of separation between peoples is necessary for a culture to be preserved”; online traffickers in racist and antisemitic stereotypes who “feel a mischievous urge to blaspheme”; and a significant fringe of hardcore, pro-Hitler neo-Nazis.

    • Neo-Liberalism Under Cover of Racism

      The first, and highly successful method is to convince people that it is not the massive appropriation of resources by the ultra-wealthy which causes their poverty, it is rather competition for the scraps with outsiders. This approach employs pandering to racism and xenophobia, and is characteristic of UKIP and Trump.

      The second approach employs the antithesis to the same end. It is to co-opt the forces marginalised by the first approach and rally them behind an “alternative” approach which is still neo-liberalism. This is identity politics which reached its apotheosis in the Clinton campaign. The Wikileaks releases of DNC and Podesta emails revealed the extreme cynicism of Clinton manipulation of ethnic group votes. Still more blatant was the promotion of the idea that Hillary being a corrupt neo-con warmonger was outweighed by the fact she was female. The notion that elevating extremely rich and privileged women already within the 1% to top positions, breaks a glass ceiling and benefits all women, is the precise feminist equivalent of trickledown theory.

      That the xenophobic strand rather than the identity politics strand won will, I predict, prove to have no impact on continued neo-liberal policies.

    • You Are Still Crying Wolf

      Trump made gains among blacks. He made gains among Latinos. He made gains among Asians. The only major racial group where he didn’t get a gain of greater than 5% was white people. I want to repeat that: the group where Trump’s message resonated least over what we would predict from a generic Republican was the white population.

      Nor was there some surge in white turnout. I don’t think we have official numbers yet, but by eyeballing what data we have it looks very much like whites turned out in equal or lesser numbers this year than in 2012, 2008, and so on.

    • Barack Obama on fake news: ‘We have problems’ if we can’t tell the difference

      “If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not, if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems,” he said during a press conference in Germany.

      Since the surprise election of Donald Trump as president-elect, Facebook has battled accusations that it has failed to stem the flow of misinformation on its network and that its business model leads to users becoming divided into polarized political echo chambers.

      Obama said that we live in an age with “so much active misinformation” that is “packaged very well” and looks the same whether it’s on Facebook or on TV.

    • The Electoral College Was Created to Stop Demagogues Like Trump

      Trump promises to bring to the presidency precisely the ‘tumult and disorder’ that Hamilton warned against

      Since Nov. 9, Donald Trump has been described as our “President-elect.” But many would be shocked to learn that this term is actually legally meaningless. The Constitution sets out a specific hurdle for Trump to ascend to the presidency. And that will not happen until Dec. 19 when the members of the Electoral College meet in their respective states to vote for the President.

    • Senator Boxer Introduces Bill to Eliminate Electoral College
  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • From Hate Speech To Fake News: The Content Crisis Facing Mark Zuckerberg

      Mark Zuckerberg — one of the most insightful, adept leaders in the business world — has a problem. It’s a problem he has been slow to acknowledge, even though it’s become more apparent by the day.

      Several current and former Facebook employees tell NPR there is a lot of internal turmoil about how the platform does and doesn’t censor content that users find offensive. And outside Facebook, the public is regularly confounded by the company’s decisions — around controversial posts and around fake news.

      (Did Pope Francis really endorse Donald Trump? Does Hillary Clinton really have a body double?)

    • Facebook’s Problem Is More Complicated Than Fake News

      In the wake of Donald Trump’s unexpected victory, many questions have been raised about Facebook’s role in the promotion of inaccurate and highly partisan information during the presidential race and whether this fake news influenced the election’s outcome.

      A few have downplayed Facebook’s impact, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who said that it is “extremely unlikely” that fake news could have swayed the election. But questions about the social network’s political significance merit more than passing attention.

    • Six Monarchs, 140 Dissidents, One Rule: Keep Your Mouth Shut

      Bahraini human rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja, known to her 47, 900 Twitter followers as @angryarabiya, faced trial in a courtroom in Manama in October 2014. The charges related to an incident two years earlier when she had ripped up a photo of Bahrain’s King Hamad in an act of protest. If the judge was expecting contrition, he was in for a shock. Al-Khawaja proceeded to pull out another photo of the king, ripped it up, and placed it in front of a bemused judge, who promptly adjourned the hearing and stomped off.

    • Why Twitter’s Alt-Right Banning Campaign Will Become The Alt-Right’s Best Recruitment Tool

      If there are two points worth hammering home on matters of free speech, they are that defenders of free speech must be willing to defend speech they don’t like and that the solution to bad speech is more good speech. I would argue that Western democracy as a whole can be defined as a political version of the Socratic Method, by which the electorate engages in public debate, constantly questioning the other side, in order to produce the most optimal thoughts. For those that value this method of discourse, it’s instantly recognized that it only works if you have opposing views. To that end, it’s imperative that we not only allow, but feverishly welcome, different points of view.

      But this kind of thinking is currently under assault in America, and from both sides. The latest example of this is Twitter’s recent decision to carpet-ban an entire slew of accounts linked to the so-called “alt-right” movement.

    • Mark Zuckerberg Continues to Miss the Point on Facebook as a Media Entity

      Zuckerberg says he “cares deeply” about the company’s fake news problem

      As critics slam Facebook for the role they believe it—and in particular its penchant for fake news stories—played in the election of Donald Trump, CEO Mark Zuckerberg continues to resist any attempt to pin some of the blame on his company. But in doing so, he misses the point.

      Over the weekend, the Facebook co-founder took to the site to respond to some of those criticisms. He said he “cares deeply” about the fake news problem and wants to get it right. But he also said that he doesn’t believe fake news contributed to the election’s outcome.

    • Kim Jong Un Gets New Mean Nickname After Chinese Censors Block Fat Jokes
    • China censors search reuslts for Kim Jong Un’s ‘Fatty’ nickname
    • China clamps down on Kim Jong-un ‘fatty’ jokes
    • China Really Doesn’t Want Anyone to Call Kim Jong-Un a ‘Fatty’
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • UK Joins Russia And China In Legalizing Bulk Surveillance

      The highly-intrusive Investigatory Powers Bill has been passed by the UK’s House of Lords, and will come into force within weeks.

      The move gives the British government the power to spy on its citizens to an extent that’s virtually unprecedented anywhere in the world – only Russia and China have comparable regimes.

      It legalizes activities that the GCHQ spy agency had been illegally carrying out for years, including the bulk collection of personal communications data. It also allows both the security services and the police the power to hack into and bug electronic devices from smartphones to baby monitors.

      Meanwhile, internet and phone providers will be required to record and store for a year their customers’ phone and web activity. This will include the websites they’ve visited and the communications software they’ve used, along with every mobile app and more.

    • Your mobile phone records and home address for sale

      Corrupt insiders at offshore call centres are offering the private details of Australian customers of Optus, Telstra and Vodafone for sale to anyone prepared to pay.

      A Fairfax Media investigation can reveal Mumbai-based security firm AI Solutions is asking between $350 and $1000 in exchange for the private information, but even more if the target is an Australian “VIP, politician, police, [or] celebrity”.

    • Chinese tourist town uses face recognition as an entry pass

      Who needs tickets when you have a face? From today, the ticketed tourist town of Wuzhen in China is using face-recognition technology to identify people staying in its hotels and to act as their entry pass through the gates of the attraction.

      The system, which is expected to process 5000 visitors a day, has been created by web giant Baidu – often referred to as the “Chinese Google”.

      Wuzhen is a historic town that has been turned into a tourist attraction with museums, tours and traditional crafts. When people check in to hotels in the tourist area, they will now have their pictures taken and uploaded to a central database. If they leave and re-enter the town, the face-recognition software will check that they are actually a guest of a hotel there before allowing them back in.

    • UN privacy chief: UK surveillance bill is ‘worse than scary’

      Joseph Cannataci, the UN’s special rapporteur on privacy, attacked the government’s draft Investigatory Powers Bill, saying he had never seen evidence that mass surveillance works. He also accused MPs of leading an “absolute offensive” and an “orchestrated” media campaign to distort the debate and take hold of new powers.

      The comments came during a live streamed keynote presentation at the Internet Governance Forum in Brazil, where leading experts from around the world have gathered to discuss the future of the internet and web policy.

      In a wide-ranging presentation and discussion panel Cannataci — who has previously said the UK’s digital surveillance is similar to George Orwell’s 1984 — discussed the state of surveillance and privacy around the world. Pausing to briefly talk about the Home Office’s new bill, but without going deeply into detail, Cannataci said: “The snoopers’ charter in the UK is just a bit worse than scary, isn’t it.”

    • Google Unleashes its Machine Learning Group [Ed: Human learning at Google (spying, dossiers, classification, surveillance etc.) as “Machine Learning” ‘group’]
    • Companies Keep Asking Us To Track You; We’d Rather You Be Protected From Tracking
    • James Clapper, who led America’s digital mass surveillance efforts, has resigned
    • Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Resigns
    • James Clapper, the US intelligence chief, resigns
    • James Clapper, of NSA-scandal fame, is stepping down
    • America’s Top Spy Talks Snowden Leaks and Our Ominous Future

      Public appearances don’t come easily to James Clapper, the United States director of national intelligence. America’s top spy is a 75-year-old self-described geezer who speaks in a low, guttural growl; his physical appearance—muscular and bald—recalls an aging biker who has reluctantly accepted life in a suit. Clapper especially hates appearing on Capitol Hill, where members of Congress wait to ambush him and play what he calls “stump the chump.” As he says, “I rank testimony—particularly in the open—right up there with root canals and folding fitted sheets.”

    • Lawmakers Want To Halt Changes That Would Allow Trump Wider Hacking Abilities

      A group of senators are making a last-ditch effort to delay proposed changes to a federal rule that would greatly expand the government current hacking powers.

      The Review the Rule Act would delay the proposed changes to Rule 41, officially known as the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41, from going into effect until July 1, 2017. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court approved proposed changes to Rule 41, giving Congress until Dec. 1 to modify, reject, or postpone the changes established by the court before they become law.

      Broadly speaking, Rule 41 deals with circumstances in which the government is allowed to tap into citizen’s computers.

      The bipartisan group backing the bill includes Democratic Senators Chris Coons, Steve Daines, Ron Wyden, and Al Franken and Republican Senator Mike Lee, together with Representatives John Conyers Jr., and Ted Poe, a Democrat and Republican respectively.

    • Britain has passed the ‘most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy’

      The new law, dubbed the “snoopers’ charter”, was introduced by then-home secretary Theresa May in 2012, and took two attempts to get passed into law following breakdowns in the previous coalition government.

      Four years and a general election later — May is now prime minister — the bill was finalized and passed on Wednesday by both parliamentary houses.

      But civil liberties groups have long criticized the bill, with some arguing that the law will let the UK government “document everything we do online”.

      It’s no wonder, because it basically does.

      The law will force internet providers to record every internet customer’s top-level web history in real-time for up to a year, which can be accessed by numerous government departments; force companies to decrypt data on demand — though the government has never been that clear on exactly how it forces foreign firms to do that that; and even disclose any new security features in products before they launch.

    • Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden threatens to filibuster if Trump goes after encryption

      Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, who was re-elected last week, told VICE News in an exclusive interview that he is willing to cross the aisle to work with President-elect Donald Trump, but that he is also poised for battle on civil liberties.

      Wyden is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and has gone up against the NSA and the CIA. He thinks national security will play a prominent role in the Trump administration. And even though his party is in the minority in Congress, he intends to hold Trump accountable should the president try to weaken protections surrounding encryption.

    • Privacy is the only working antidote against echo chambers

      Echo chambers are causing real harm to developing a coherent discourse in any subject, but those echo chambers all depend on identity. Replace the identity with privacy, and the echo chamber cannot function, instead allowing for a diverse range of unidentified opinions and viewpoints.

      The term “echo chamber” has gotten a revival lately, and especially after the recent US presidential election: the dangers of only speaking to, and hearing, likeminded people – being in an “echo chamber” where your own opinions are echoed back at you. Facebook is cited as one of the worst echo-chamber environments, and for good reason.

      Wall Street Journal’s “Blue Feed, Red Feed” demonstration really highlights how bad the phenomenon is: you only see news stories that reinforce your existing opinions. (If you haven’t seen the demo, it’s worth seeing.) Since Facebook is a for-profit company, it tries to keep us happy, and part of keeping us happy is confirming that we’re right about basically everything we believe.

    • Why the Investigatory Powers Act is a privacy disaster waiting to happen

      On Thursday, the Investigatory Powers Bill, colloquially known as the Snoopers’ Charter, completed its final stage and is set to become law. The legislative process began in March of this year, and has been rather overshadowed by the Brexit referendum and its shambolic aftermath. As a result, the UK government has had a comparatively easy ride over what are some of the most extreme surveillance powers in the world.

    • Snooper’s Charter is set to become law: how the Investigatory Powers Bill will affect you

      After more than 12 months of debate, jostling and a healthy dose of criticism, the United Kingdom’s new surveillance regime is set to become law.

      Both the House of Lords and House of Commons have now passed the Investigatory Powers Bill – the biggest overhaul of surveillance powers for more than a decade.

      Now the bill has been passed by both of these official bodies, it is almost law. Before it officially is adopted, however, it will need to receive Royal Assent, which is likely to be given before the end of 2016 (to match the government’s intentions and ahead of existing surveillance laws expiring).

    • Burner Phones and Email Encryption: Protecting Documentary Sources in a Surveillance State

      I bought a burner phone in cash and felt like a criminal. Earlier, as I was spreading the dollar bills on the counter, I asked myself, “Am I completely paranoid?” It was not the first time during the production of my drone warfare documentary, National Bird, that this thought crossed my mind, and it was certainly not the last.

      But I was not paranoid – and neither were the protagonists of my film, three whistleblowers who had worked in the U.S. drone program with top-secret clearances. Less than 24 hours prior to my phone purchase, one of them had had their home raided by the FBI and was now being investigated for espionage. I needed to contact my lawyer, an expert on First Amendment rights, and given the recent turn of events, using my own phone did not seem like a good idea.

      When I started my research for National Bird, I knew I was entering dangerous territory loaded with sensitive information. My goal for the film was to speak to the people directly impacted by the drone war, not to some pundits in suits in front of bookshelves. I wanted to gain access to the people on the inside who were fighting this high-tech war, and to the victims and survivors in the target countries. This was a risky project from the outset and it became necessary to work with lawyers to reduce the risks for everyone involved.

    • iPhone call history can be extracted from an iCloud account

      APPLE USERS are having their call records stored in the company’s iCloud servers in a way that can be extracted by third parties.

      Russian software house ElcomSoft has revealed that it has found a way to extract the data in near real time, for anyone targeting a phone with iOS 9 or above.

      The company has released an app called ElcomSoft Phone Breaker 6.20, capable of performing its nefarious mischief even on a locked, PIN-protected phone.

    • Apple logs iPhone, iMessage and FaceTime calls in iCloud

      Despite Apples’ apparent strong stance on security, its user’s iCloud Drives are frequently accessed by legal authorities.

      Even in the now famous case of the case of the San Bernardino shooter, Apple revealed it had already handed over access to the shooters iCloud. That data includes email logs and content, text messages, photos, documents, contacts, calendars, bookmarks and iOS device backups.

    • Apple Uploading Call Data, Including From Third-Party Call Apps, To Users’ iCloud Accounts

      Plain vanilla call records aren’t that difficult to obtain. They’ve long been considered third-party records and can be obtained without a warrant. The Intercept quotes a former FBI agent as saying this is a “boon” for law enforcement because the four-month retention period is longer than most service providers’.

      That doesn’t seem to be correct at all. The EFF’s Nate Cardozo points out that most service providers retain call logs for at least a year, with some retaining records for as long as a decade. Kim Zetter, who wrote the piece for The Intercept, believes it might be a misunderstanding. Providers may retain content (messages, etc.) for a shorter time frame than the four months of records Apple automatically uploads, but former agent Robert Osgood (quoted in The Intercept’s piece) clearly states he’s referring to call logs.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Christians sentenced to 80 lashes by Sharia court for drinking communion wine

      Yaser Mosibzadeh, Saheb Fadayee and Mohammed Reza Omidi will be flogged in public after being arrested at a house church gathering in Rasht, Iran, earlier this year.

      The trio spent weeks in prison before finally being released on bail, but will now be subjected to the cruel and degrading punishment after being found guilty by Islamist judges.

      Security agents also raided the home of their pastor Yousef Nadarkhani and his wife Fatemeh Pasandideh and arrested them at the same time, but they were not detained.

    • Amnesty criticises Indonesia for blasphemy probe against Governor Ahok

      Amnesty International has asked Indonesia to drop the blasphemy probe against Jakarta’s Chinese Christian Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama.

      Ahok was in the limelight in the last few weeks after hardline Islamist organisations demanded his ouster and held a rally in capital Jakarta that turned violent.

    • Briton who reported rape in Dubai could face jail for extramarital sex

      A British woman who reported being raped by two men is “petrified” after being told she faces jail in Dubai for extramarital sex.

      The 25-year-old tourist claimed she was attacked by two men while on holiday in the United Arab Emirates and reported the incident to police.

      But officers then charged the professional from Cheshire with extramarital sex and, despite being bailed, she is not allowed to leave the country. Her passport has been confiscated and UK-based UAE legal experts Detained in Dubai said she could face a prison sentence if found guilty.

      The family of the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have set up fundraising pages online to raise money to cover her legal costs. She is currently residing in a safe house.

      The woman’s father wrote online that his daughter had met the two men in her hotel who raped her. He claims the alleged attack was filmed. He added: “She is stranded, is not allowed to leave the country, and is alone scared, and in a dreadful situation, as you can imagine.”

    • Turnkey Tyranny: Jamming the Lock on the Way Out

      For six years—from 2006 to 2013—I worked inside the intelligence community to enforce laws and policies that protect privacy and civil liberties. My tenure spanned the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The surveillance policies of both administrations enlarged the powers of the National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence agencies and put considerable strain on privacy.

      Edward Snowden’s disclosures of mass surveillance programs, beginning in 2013, led to a course correction in the late Obama years. Changes included a substantial transparency drive, limits on signals intelligence collection that apply to foreigners, and reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that include the end of bulk collection of metadata under that law. I have argued that the Snowden reforms forced the NSA to become “more transparent, more accountable, more protective of privacy—and more effective.”

      Still, we delude ourselves if we think they have made the NSA tyrant-proof. In Snowden’s first interview from Hong Kong, warned against “turnkey tyranny.” One day, he said, “a new leader will be elected” and “they’ll find the switch.” With Donald Trump’s election, it is important that this warning not be proved prophetic. While the United States has a robust system of intelligence oversight—the strongest in the world—it still largely depends on the good faith of Executive Branch officials.

    • Trump’s Torture Promise Hits A Deep Nerve For The People Who Worked To Ban It

      President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to bring back enhanced interrogation techniques — including waterboarding and “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding” — is rattling the tight-knit community of government officials and activists who have worked for a decade to forbid it.

      “I cannot believe we are honestly having this convo,” one anti-torture advocate, who has helped shape interrogation policy during Obama’s tenure, wrote to BuzzFeed News in an email. “This is so fucking depressing.”

      Trump first promised back in February, months before he won the Republican nomination, that he would revive the use of Bush-era interrogation tactics — like waterboarding, sleep deprivation and rectal feeding — that have since been outlawed and labeled torture. After his win, Republican lawmakers are coming out of the woodwork and endorsing his plan. Sen. Tom Cotton said Wednesday night that he had faith in Mr. Trump to “make those tough calls” to bring back waterboarding.

      For this small community — made up of a smattering of human rights groups, activists and former national security officials — that rhetoric threatens to invalidate nearly a decade of anti-torture efforts and void the marginal, but significant, successes under the Obama administration. While Obama has been fiercely criticized for failing to prosecute Bush-era officials for the CIA’s now-defunct torture program and for aiding the CIA’s obfuscation on the issue, there has been slow, but significant effort to close off pathways for the US to torture in the future, including policies that have passed through Congress.

    • Chelsea Manning Formally Petitions Obama to Commute Her Sentence

      Last week, Chelsea Manning formally petitioned President Obama for clemency, asking him to reduce the remainder of her 35-year sentence to time served. According to the New York Times, Manning, who pleaded guilty in 2010, has been imprisoned for longer than any other whistleblower in American history.

      In a statement accompanying the petition, a copy of which was provided to Jezebel, Manning said she took “full and complete responsibility” for leaking the secret military and diplomatic documents. “I have never made any excuses for what I did. I pleaded guilty without the protection of a plea agreement because I believed the military justice system would understand my motivation for the disclosure and sentence me fairly. I was wrong.”

    • The United Kingdom is a Malign Entity that Must Be Broken – Indefensible Chagos Decision

      I have no doubt the majority of people in the UK would be horrified by the deportation of the Chagos Islanders. But the entire political and economic structure of the UK state is such that it is inevitably a satrap to United states Crimes, be it in Diego Garcia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya or elsewhere. The only remedy is for the United Kingdom and its worldwide imperial pretensions to be ended as a state. I express this view succinctly here:

    • UK Home Secretary Agrees To Turn Over Accused Hacker Lauri Love To US Government

      Accused hacker Lauri Love is headed to the United States to face prosecution, thanks to an order signed by UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd. The Home Office felt that — after “all things” were “considered” — the best place for an Asberger’s sufferer with suicidal tendencies is the US prison system, most likely segregated from the general population.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Music torrent site What.cd has been shut down

        What.cd, an invite-only music torrent website first launched in 2007, has been shut down after a raid by French authorities. The private tracker offered free (and often illegal) access to a massive, deeply thorough collection of music and was popular among audiophiles for its strict rules around quality and file formats. The site was created after the shutdown of another well-known torrent website, Oink, which operated between 2004 and 2007. Though its primary focus was music sharing, What.cd also permitted torrents of computer software, ebooks, and other content.

      • World’s largest music torrent site goes dark, disputes report about server seizure

        It took nearly 10 years, but authorities have finally targeted and taken down What.cd, which had risen to become the Internet’s largest invite-only, music-trading torrent site.

        The news was confirmed by the tracker’s official Twitter account on Thursday via two posts: “We are not likely to return any time soon in our current form. All site and user data has been destroyed. So long, and thanks for all the fish.”

      • BREIN’s New Torrent Piracy Crackdown Results in First Settlement

        Last year, Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN announced a broad crackdown on torrent pirates, which resulted in the first settlement this week. The person in question paid 4,800 euros for sharing 12 TV-show episodes. According to BREIN, hundreds of thousands of pirates are now at risk of receiving similar treatment.

      • Mega Compromised by Hackers (Updated)

        Mega, the cloud storage site originally founded by Kim Dotcom, was compromised by hackers this week. Outsiders gained access to part of the site’s infrastructure and released some source code, claiming to have user details as well. Mega confirmed the hack of their seperate blog/help centre system but says that no user data was compromised

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