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11.20.16

Links 20/11/2016: Linux Bug Fixes, GNUnet of Autonomous Things

Posted in News Roundup at 8:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • GNU/Linux – portrait

    Here is a personal ‘portrait’ artwork. A bit unusual compare to my previous portraits and probably a bit more ‘digital’ than ‘painting’ this time. But it’s a concept I had in mind since a long time and wanted to paint it on this rainy Sunday afternoon at home.

  • Desktop

    • System76 brings 4K display Ubuntu Linux laptop for Pro users

      Finally, some good news for Apple fans who crashed System76 website a few days back. Apple makes a good laptop. However, they lack the option to add additional RAM or ports or graphics card. The new System76 Oryx laptop has a 4K HiDPI display. If you are a sysadmin, DevOps, or developer, give it a try to System76.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Portable system services

      In the refereed track of the 2016 Linux Plumbers Conference, Lennart Poettering presented a new type of service for systemd that he calls a “portable system service”. It is a relatively new idea that he had not talked about publicly until the systemd.conf in late September. Portable system services borrow some ideas from various container managers and projects like Docker, but are targeting a more secure environment than most services (and containers) run in today.

      There is no real agreement on what a “container” is, Poettering said, but most accept that they combine a way to bundle up resources and to isolate the programs in the bundle from the rest of the system. There is also typically a delivery mechanism for getting those bundles running in various locations. There may be wildly different implementations, but they generally share those traits.

    • Kernel 4.8.7 fixes Realtek card disconnects!

      Ladies and gentlemen, this is the day worth remembering. The long outstanding problem with the disconnects on a variety of Realtek Wireless devices, my RTL8723BE included, which has shown problems time and again in pretty much every single distro out there, has been finally resolved. Word.

      A reader emailed me a few days back and said the new kernel 4.8.7 fixes the issue. I decided to test this, and completed a long and arduous set of checks in Manjaro 16.10, which has the kernel 4.8.7 available in its repos. One of the perks of bleeding-edge Arch-based distros. The Manjaro review is still a few weeks away, but we can at least focus on this burning issue. Let me proudly and happily elaborate.

    • Making WiFi fast

      The result of all this work is WiFi latencies that are less than 40ms, down from a peak of 1-2 seconds before they started, and much better handling of multiple stations running at full rate. Before the changes, a test involving 100 flows all starting together collapsed entirely, with at most five flows getting going; all the rest failed due to TCP timeouts caused by excessive buffering latency. Afterward, all 100 could start and run with reasonable latency and bandwidth. All this work, in the end, comes down to a patch that removes a net 200 lines of code.

      There are some open issues, of course. The elimination of the queuing discipline layer took away a number of useful network statistics. Some of these have been replaced with information in the debugfs filesystem. There is, he said, some sort of unfortunate interaction with TCP small queues; Eric Dumazet has some ideas for fixing this problem, which only arises in single-station tests. There is an opportunity to add better air-time fairness to keep slow stations from using too much transmission time. Some future improvements, he said, might come at a cost: latency improvements might reduce the peak bandwidth slightly. But latency is what almost all users actually care about, so that bandwidth will not be missed — except by Ham the monkey.

    • Enhanced File Stats Being Worked On For The Linux Kernel

      Red Hat has been working on a new statx system call for the Linux kernel to provide “enhanced” file information.

      This new statx() system call would be able to return the file’s creation time, data version number, and other new attributes not currently provided. These new attributes wouldn’t work for all file-systems, but would work for a subset of them such as CIFS, NFS, and others that track such information.

    • Btrfs Heatmap – visualize your filesystem
    • RAID5/6 scrub race fix
    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Vulkan Linux Driver Now Has Patches For Fast Clears

        Building off the input attachments work earlier this week for the Intel open-source Vulkan driver (covered in More Intel ANV Vulkan Code Hits Mesa Git, Other Patches Pending), there are now patches up for review to implement support for fast clears.

        Jason Ekstrand at the Intel Open-Source Technology Center who has been leading the “ANV” Vulkan driver effort wrote this Saturday, “This little series builds on top of the input attachment series I sent out earlier this week and adds support for fast clears in Vulkan. I’ve tested it on both Sky Lake and Haswell and it has no regressions over the input attachments series.”

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak – Cautiously good?

        Let us draw the verdict. It’s a strange one. Oddly, this is probably the best Kubuntu that I’ve tested in a long time. Sadly, that’s like saying losing one finger in a freak chainsaw accident is better than losing two fingers. Not the best measure stick. Not something to be proud of. There are many, many problems in Yakkety Yak Plasma, including but not limited to the application stack, stability, performance, package management, and the ability to customize. That’s not a happy list.

        Brave face on, we also have a lot of goodies to focus on. A very decent – and FIRST for Plasma – smartphone support stack and multimedia playback as they should be. Lots of old bugs have been fixed. If only we had Samba printing support out of the box, and the network card driver was given a little bit of love, this might be a reasonable distro.

        Kubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak is nothing to be proud of, but it is an okay Plasma release that has redeemed a whole generation of failed distributions in the past year or so. It’s funny how it’s gone from being my favorite to a pariah, and now it’s slowly recovering. Such a waste of effort. And why? There was really no need for this whole regression saga. Anyhow, the road to success is still a long and perilous one. It will take a lot more before Kubuntu becomes a recommended household item again. But at the very least, 16.10 is showing a little of that promise. 7/10, if I’m being generous, more like 6/10, but you might want to give it a spin and see what gives. QED.

      • fill bug reports!

        Everything starts with a good idea or a bug report. Someone asked for an app icon for claws mail (https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=371914) and Jens Reuterberg make one. As I don’t think that every application need an breeze specific app icon, I’m look more for a consistent look of the applications so I made an claws breeze icon theme. You can download the icon pack from the claws webpage and dont’t forget to give me feedback cause I don’t use claws.

      • Cutelyst benchmarks on TechEmpower round 13

        Right on my first blog post about Cutelyst users asked me about more “realistic” benchmarks and mentioned TechEmpower benchmarks. Though it was a sort of easy task to build the tests at that time it didn’t seem to be useful to waste time as Cutelyst was moving target.

      • KDE Applications 16.12 branches created
      • KSyntaxHighlighting – A new Syntax Highlighting Framework

        This year, on March 31st, KDE’s advanced text editor Kate had its 15th birthday. 15 years are a long time in the software world, and during this time Kate won the hearts of many users and developers. As text editing component, Kate uses the KTextEditor framework, which is used also by applications such as KDevelop or Kile.

        The KTextEditor framework essentially is an embeddable text editing component. It ships everything from painting the line numbers, the background color, the text lines with syntax highlighting, the blinking cursor to code completion and many more features. One major feature is its very powerful syntax highlighting engine, enabling us to properly highlight around 275 languages.

        Each syntax highlighting is defined in terms of an xml file (many examples), as described in Kate’s documentation. These xml files are read by KTextEditor and the context based highlighting rules in these files are then used to highlight the file contents.

      • KStars 2.7.2 for Windows is released

        Less than a month from the release 2.7.0, KStars v2.7.2 for Windows 64bit is now available for download on KStars website! Get it now and give it a go.

      • Multiple notifications across multiple monitors in KDE Plasma 5?

        I have 3 monitors, and on each monitor, I have a Plasma panel at the bottom. When any notification pops up, I get 3 notifications on each monitor. I have a full fledged panel on each monitor with everything including task bar and system tray.

      • Interview with Katharina

        I love the professionality of Krita. It really does not need to hide behind the big guys in business. You can use your photoshop or whatever brushes and formats and many more, there is no “Meh, that brush is not made by us, you can’t use it!“. The user interface is smart and chic, the brushes work smooth and I never had any problems with my hardware. It simply combines everything I need, without the need to check a manual too often. It feels effortless to use it! And also it is nice to find other Krita artists randomly on the internet, it is always a nice way to start a conversation.

      • Wiki(1.0), what’s going on? (Part17)
      • Minuet in KDE Applications 16.12: code convergence, tablet UX and Windows release

        Yesterday was the feature freeze for KDE Applications 16.12 and that’s the time where you look forward for all the new awesome features will land at users devices at 15th December. As for the Minuet land, I’d like to disappointingly let you know no new features are coming but that doesn’t mean things are not progressing. After some days of quite intense work ‒ trying to find some spare time between daily job, my fluffy 10 month old baby love, and the work on the KDE e.V. board ‒ I’m right now enjoying some booze while writing these words about recent advances in Minuet.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • This week in GTK+ – 24

        In this last week, the master branch of GTK+ has seen 46 commits, with 1541 lines added and 3471 lines removed.

  • Distributions

    • This Week In Solus – Install #39

      We recently announced our partnership with Unixstickers to provide high-quality Solus stickers for our community and fans. If you have yet to read about it, click here.

    • Solus Announces Partnership With Unixstickers

      The Solus project is happy to announce a partnership with Unixstickers, providers of high quality apparel and accessories for operating systems, programming languages, and software. This quality craftsmanship and their continuous support of the open source community made it the obvious choice for us while determining the best provider for Solus-related merchandise.

    • Reviews

      • Storing files with NAS4Free 10.3.0.3

        A phrase I find myself repeating over and over, to family, friends and clients is “Make backups of your data.” If a file is not backed up then it is one electrical storm, hardware failure or accidental key press away from no longer existing. This naturally leads people to wonder where copies of their data should be stored. There are any number of solutions from optical media to external hard drives, cloud storage to backup tapes. This week I want to talk about a network attached storage (NAS) solution which uses the NAS4Free operating system to manage disks.

        [...]

        Most of the NAS operating systems I have used in the past were built around useful features. Some focused on making storage easy to set up and manage, others focused on services, such as making files available over multiple protocols or managing torrents. Some strive to be very easy to set up. NAS4Free does pretty well in each of the above categories. It may not be the easiest platform to set up, but it’s probably a close second. It may not have the prettiest interface for managing settings, but it is quite easy to navigate. NAS4Free may not have the most add-on services and access protocols, but I suspect there are more than enough of both for most people.

        Where NAS4Free does better than most other solutions I have looked at is security. I don’t think the project’s website or documentation particularly focuses on security as a feature, but there are plenty of little security features that I liked. NAS4Free makes it very easy to lock the text console, which is good because we do not all keep our NAS boxes behind locked doors. The system is fairly easy to upgrade and appears to publish regular security updates in the form of new firmware. NAS4Free makes it fairly easy to set up user accounts, handle permissions and manage home directories. It’s also pretty straight forward to switch from HTTP to HTTPS and to block people not on the local network from accessing the NAS’s web interface.

        All in all, I like NAS4Free. It’s a good, general purpose NAS operating system. While I did not feel the project did anything really amazing in any one category, nor did I run into any serious issues. The NAS ran as expected, was fairly straight forward to set up and easy to manage. This strikes me as an especially good platform for home or small business users who want an easy set up, some basic security and a solid collection of features.

    • Arch Family

      • [manjaro] [Stable Update] 2016-11-19 – Mesa, LibDRM, Kernels, KDE Framework, Grub, Firefox

        With KDE Freamework 5.28.0 for example syntax-highlighting got introduced. Also the Wayland support got enhanced with this framework update. For our xorg-stack we updated libdrm and pushed some more updated haskell packages out. Since we are on the move to use alpm hooks also for our kernels, we updated grub to do the same. Additionally we have a lot of rebuilds, some newer kernels, updated Mesa, php and Eric plus the latest Firefox to check out.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Slackware Family

      • [Slackware] Java 7 (openjdk) gets a security update

        Many people who have a need for Java, will already have switched to Java 8. Nevertheless there are still many places where Java 7 is preferred or even required. So, I am riding on the Q4 security updates for OpenJDK and used the recently released icedtea 2.6.8 to compile OpenJDK 7u121_b00 or “Java 7 Update 121 Build 00”. As always, there is a JDK and a JRE package.

    • Red Hat Family

      • RHEL 7.3 Firewalld new features.
      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora – retiring xorg-x11-drv-synaptics

          The Fedora Change to retire the synaptics driver was approved by FESCO. This will apply to Fedora 26 and is part of a cleanup to, ironically, make the synaptics driver easier to install.

          Since Fedora 22, xorg-x11-drv-libinput is the preferred input driver. For historical reasons, almost all users have the xorg-x11-drv-synaptics package installed. But to actually use the synaptics driver over xorg-x11-drv-libinput requires a manually dropped xorg.conf.d snippet. And that’s just not ideal. Unfortunately, in DNF/RPM we cannot just say “replace the xorg-x11-drv-synaptics package with xorg-x11-drv-libinput on update but still allow users to install xorg-x11-drv-synaptics after that”.

        • OCaml 4.04, RISC-V, S/390, POWER and more …

          And talking about Fedora/RISC-V, it took a month, but the mass-rebuild of all Fedora packages completed, and now we’ve got about ⅔rds of all Fedora packages available for RISC-V. That’s quite a lot:

        • FUDCon 2016 Phnom Penh, Cambodia

          FUDCon (Fedora Users and Developers Conference) is an important event in the world of free software that is held in different parts of the world organized by Fedora Organization. The FUDCon comprised of sessions, talks, workshops and hackfest in which project participants worked on specific initiatives. FUDCon Phnom Penh was conducted at Norton University, Phnom Penh along Barcamp ASEAN. Around 50 speakers from around the world gave talks related to entrepreneurship and open source software. I was traveling with one my friends, Abhinand N, who also got selected to deliver a talk on Mediawiki. Looked like, we were the only two undergrads who were invited to deliver talks.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • N900: 2016 Week 47

          On November 8, 2016, the proto_v2 schematics were updated to the current version. We finished the last few improvements and our layouter is scheduling the layout to start in one week. We repeat our invitation to give the schematics a peer review: it’s your last chance to peel your eyes on these schematics and be picky about details that our engineering team might have missed.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Unity 8 snap rev 178
          • Get A Live Preview Of A Window From Another Workspace With WindowSpy (Unity)

            WindowSpy is a new Unity AppIndicator that allows displaying a small live (well, almost) preview of a window on another workspace.

          • Recent Notifications Indicator Lets You Access Missed Desktop Notifications

            Recent Notifications is an Ubuntu Indicator that collects desktop notifications, displaying them in its menu. This is useful if you missed some important notification for various reasons, like being away from the computer, etc.

          • Making your snaps available to the store using snapcraft

            Now that Ubuntu Core has been officially released, it might be a good time to get your snaps into the Store!

          • MacBuntu 16.10 Transformation Pack for Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety

            MacBuntu (Macbuntu Yosemite/El Capitan) transformation pack is ready to take off and land on your Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak. It offers two themes for GTK (which supports: Unity, Gnome, Cinnamon, Mate and Xfce), one theme for Gnome Shell, one for Cinnamon, two icon packs, and cursors. Unlike last time we are not sharing boot/splash for macbuntu and theme for lightdm-webkit because there are some issues within the Ubuntu 16.10. Slingscold which is known as launchpad, it does work on some desktops but it may don’t work for some users and you may see blank launcher. We are using and recommending Plank dock with this pack because it is lightweight and works with all desktops without any issues. Also credit goes to Jared for helping us with this transformation pack. By following these instructions you can change look of your Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety to look like Mac. In previous packs we used LightDM webkit theme which looks quite similar to Mac OS X login screen, this time we aren’t offering, because we experienced a lot of issues after installing it (like: not able to login/blank screen). Also Bootscreen has some issues.

          • Adding Sega Genesis to EmulationStation on Ubuntu
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Busting Major Myths Around elementary OS

              The open source desktop landscape is complicated. There are many distros, many desktop environments, and so many things to know about each of them. We often see folks fall into some of the same pieces of misinformation when reporting on or commenting about elementary OS. So here’s a look at some of the major myths around elementary OS and what the actual facts are.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Minoca OS — An Interview With One Of The Engineers Of Open Source Operating System

    Everyone benefits in some way when a new operating system comes out, especially when that operating system is open source. Minoca OS is a case of just that, and what’s more is that it has been written entirely from the ground up, further contributing to the software landscape.

    Evan Green is the CEO of Minoca Corp, the organization currently maintaining Minoca OS, as well as a co-founder and engineer of Minoca OS. Evan has was kind enough to answer some questions about Minoca OS for us.

  • Open source and the problem of pure maintenance

    One of the things that people using open source often wish loudly for (via) is software that’s stable and only gets bug fixes, including security updates, with no other changes at all. Oh, and they want this for free as part of an open source project.

    As you may have guessed, there is a fundamental problem with this. Indeed it is a classical fundamental problem in software development in general, namely that doing only maintenance is boring and very few people want to do it (especially for free, such as with open source software). This is why it’s really quite hard to find anyone who does a good job of maintenance, especially over the long term and most especially for free. There are people who will provide you with well maintained systems that stay carefully stable for years, but generally they want money (often a fair amount of it).

  • List of RSS Feeds of GNU/Linux & Free Software/Open Source Related Websites

    There are so many websites, planets, or blogs related to Free Software/Open Source (FLOSS) and GNU/Linux in English. It is difficult for someone to grabs many of their RSS feeds one by one. To solve this, I try to collect many URL of RSS feeds of them here. This is not complete by now (November 15th 2016) but I planned to complete the missing links below as soon as possible. I hope this list helps anyone in free software community worldwide.

  • Databases

    • 8 Major Advantages of Using MySQL

      MySQL is a free-to-use, open-source database that facilitates effective management of databases by connecting them to the software. It is a stable, reliable and powerful solution with advanced features like the following…

  • Microsoft ‘Loves’ Linux

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Programming/Development

    • Under the (Linux) Hood

      We’ve often heard that you don’t need to know how an engine works to drive a car, but you can bet that professional race car drivers know. By analogy, you can build lots of systems with off-the-shelf boards like Raspberry Pis and program that using Python or some other high-level abstraction. The most competent hackers, though, know what’s going on inside that Pi and what Python is doing under the hood down to some low level.

      If you’ve been using Linux “under the hood” often means understanding what happens inside the kernel–the heart of the Linux OS that manages and controls everything. It can be a bit daunting; the kernel is simple in concept, but has grown over the years and is now a big chunk of software to approach.

    • How to contribute to an open source project on GitHub

      A step by step guide that will show you how to contribute to an open source project on GitHub, one of the most popular and used git repository hosting services.

      GitHub is the home of many popular open source projects like Ruby on Rails, jQuery, Docker, Go and many others.

      The way people (usually) contribute to an open source project on GitHub is using pull requests. A pull request is basically a patch which includes more information and allows members to discuss it on the website.

      This tutorial will guide you through the whole process to generate a pull request for a project.

    • The code I’m still ashamed of

      The more software continues to take over every aspect of our lives, the more important it will be for us to take a stand and ensure that our ethics are ever-present in our code.

      Since that day, I always try to think twice about the effects of my code before I write it. I hope that you will too.

    • Not only coders are hard to recruit

      The problem with technical positions such as programmers or system administrators is that there is an actual difference between knowing an algorithm/programming language/software and actually implementing it. For instance, Johnny found it hard to differentiate between someone who said he knows about Apache web server and someone who can actually administer it. Johnny said ( this later became our headline):

    • PHP 7, LessPass, addrwatch, tmux, bash, PackPack & more!
  • Standards/Consortia

    • Is SVG 2 really on life support?

      Between SVG 1.1 W3C Recommendation and SVG 2 in its current form, people have raised kids and sent them off to the college. And yet SVG 2 might arrive sometime in the future without quite a few useful features that have been already developed and tested. What’s up with that?

Leftovers

  • Danish high court declares Uber an illegal service

    The ruling upheld a previous decision by the Copenhagen City Court that was thought to be a death blow to the popular ride-sharing service.

    The Danish courts have ruled that that Uber’s profit motive means it is not a true ridesharing programme but instead is akin to an illegal taxi service.

    Six Uber drivers were found guilt by Copenhagen City Court in July and Friday marked the first decision against divers who appealed against the initial ruling.

    The High Court’s decision against the 28-year-old male driver now paves the way for the Copenhagen Public Prosecutor Office (Statsadvokaten) to bring a case against the San Francisco based company.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Government quietly privatises the NHS’s in-house agency staff provider

      The Government is to privatise the NHS’s in-house, publicly-owned provider of agency staff, ministers have announced.

      NHS Professionals, the health service’s main staffing agency, provides 90,000 health workers to around a quarter of NHS trusts, covering two million shifts a year.

      In a written statement issued on Thursday as most MPs headed back to their constituencies, the Government announced it would sell off a majority stake in the orgnaisation to the private sector with the aim of “creating a profitable business model”.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Fear of Putin and a Baltic War Intensifies With Trump’s Victory

      War has been a buzzword for some time on both sides of the frontier between Russia and the Baltic states. Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania are all members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union, and as relations between Moscow and Washington deteriorated—over the annexation of Crimea, the war in eastern Ukraine, the catastrophe in Syria, and charges the Kremlin tried to influence the U.S. election—these three small countries found themselves caught in the middle.

      But now there’s a different reason for worry. Campaign proclamations by Donald Trump that NATO states must pay more for defense, his ambivalence about Crimea, and allusions to how America may not defend members against Russian military action had already unnerved many before Nov. 8. Now that this self-professed fan of Vladimir Putin is headed for the White House, the wonder on both sides of the border is what happens next.

    • How the Iranian-Saudi Proxy Struggle Tore Apart the Middle East

      Behind much of the Middle East’s chaos — the wars in Syria and Yemen, the political upheaval in Iraq and Lebanon and Bahrain — there is another conflict.

      Saudi Arabia and Iran are waging a struggle for dominance that has turned much of the Middle East into their battlefield. Rather than fighting directly, they wield and in that way worsen the region’s direst problems: dictatorship, militia violence and religious extremism.

      The history of their rivalry tracks — and helps to explain — the Middle East’s disintegration, particularly the Sunni-Shiite sectarianism both powers have found useful to cultivate. It is a story in which the United States has been a supporting but constant player, most recently by backing the Saudi war in Yemen, which kills hundreds of civilians. These dynamics, scholars warn, point toward a future of civil wars, divided societies and unstable governments.

  • Finance

    • Brexit and Trump have exposed the left’s crucial flaw: playing by the rules

      I know which I’d bet on. Next, imagine what would have happened if, as a result of that narrow win for remain, a gaping hole in the public finances had opened up as the economy reeled, and even leading remainers admitted the machinery of state could barely cope. Farage and the rest would have denounced the chaos, boasting that this proved they had been right all along, that the voters had been misled and therefore must be given another say.

      As we all know, reality did not work out this way. Next week the chancellor will deliver an autumn statement anchored in the admission that, as the Financial Times put it, “the UK faces a £100bn bill for Brexit within five years”. Thanks to the 23 June vote, the forecast is for “slower growth and lower-than-expected investment”.

    • TPP nations eye a future without the US with Trump in the White House

      Leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership nations are openly considering going it alone, without the United States, in a so-called ‘TPP minus one’ in the wake of Donald Trump’s election.

      The 12 countries are meeting on the margins of the 21-strong Apec meeting in Lima, Peru.

      Talking to reporters shortly after arriving in the Peruvian capital, Prime Minister John Key made it clear the grouping faced a critical crossroads with Trump’s election.

    • Facebook approves $6 billion stock buyback

      The social network’s board has approved a plan to buyback as much as $6 billion of its stock starting in the first quarter of next year, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

      “The timing and actual number of shares repurchased will depend on a variety of factors, including price, general business and market conditions, and alternative investment opportunities,” the company said in its filing.

    • Facebook to Buy Back Shares for the First Time

      Facebook Inc. said it will buy back as much as $6 billion in shares, its first repurchase program, in a bid to appease shareholders awaiting the results of big investments in potentially risky new growth areas.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Wasserman Schultz: ‘If I was trying to rig the outcome of the primary, trust me, I could have’

      Wasserman Schultz stepped down as party leader during the Democratic National Convention, where she was booed by angry Sanders supporters. She was replaced by Donna Brazile, who is serving on an interim basis, until March, when an election for a new party chairman will take place.

    • Breitbart wants to fuel another Trump-like upset in France

      During the 2016 presidential campaign, Breitbart News emerged as a haven for far-right factions that actively pushed for the election of Donald Trump. Its executive editor, Steve Bannon, played an instrumental role as CEO of the Trump campaign, and was recently appointed chief strategist for the president-elect’s administration. Now, the controversial news site is turning its attention to France, where the far-right politician Marine Le Pen hopes to pull off a Trump-like upset in next year’s presidential election.

    • Neoliberalism’s epic fail: The reaction to Hillary Clinton’s loss exposed the impotent elitism of liberalism

      By the time last week’s presidential election was finally called for Donald Trump during the wee hours of Wednesday morning, the initial disbelief felt by the millions of Americans who had been assured of a Clinton victory by the media had turned into shock and panic — if not yet full-blown despair. As pollsters collectively changed their predictions and news pundits started to resemble confused and dejected children, the fight-or-flight response kicked in for countless viewers. Hearts pounded, stomachs turned and some of the more privileged liberals started seriously considering whether to flee the country in the face of a national nightmare that had just become a reality (privileged, because the average American doesn’t have the resources to just pack up and run at will).

      The surreal night concluded with Canada’s immigration website crashing from too much traffic, as if every alt-right Twitter troll’s fantasy had come true.

      Although the instinct to flee from a Trump presidency is understandable, it reveals a great deal about the impotence of modern liberalism and its monumental failure to stop an unhinged and thoroughly unqualified demagogue like Trump.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • How Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, restricted advertising for Trump’s campaign

      We had an “upfront deal” with Twitter, which is a common setup where we commit to spending a certain amount on advertising and in exchange receive discounts, perks, and custom solutions.

    • Facebook announces new push against fake news after Obama comments

      Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced new steps to counter fake news on the platform on Saturday, marking a departure from his skepticism that online misinformation is, as Barack Obama said this week, a threat to democratic institutions.

      “We take misinformation seriously,” Zuckerberg wrote in a post on Saturday. “We know people want accurate information. We’ve been working on this problem for a long time and we take this responsibility seriously.”

      Zuckerberg said that the company has “relied on our community to help us understand what is fake and what is not”, citing a tool to report false links and shared material from fact-checking sites. “Similar to clickbait, spam and scams, we penalize [misinformation] in News Feed so it’s much less likely to spread,” he wrote.

    • Mark Zuckerberg Outlines Plans for Fake News Controls on Facebook

      Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook will develop “stronger detection” for fake news

      In a post late Friday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined a bevy of new initiatives to crack down on fake or misleading news. Facebook has faced intense criticism in the wake of the November 9th election, primarily from left-leaning critics arguing that huge volumes of false news spread on the site influenced the electorate, perhaps contributing to Donald Trump’s victory.

    • Facebook fake news row: Mark Zuckerberg is a politician now

      I’ve long suspected that Mark Zuckerberg, who often refers to himself as the “leader” of Facebook, has dreams of high office.

      This week, a taster of what that might be like has been knocking at his door in the wake of the US election result.

      While Donald Trump’s visit to the White House was an apparently sobering experience about the level of responsibility he’d soon inherit, Zuckerberg has had a brutal political awakening of his own.

      Facebook’s “fake news” crisis has had the normally stoic 32-year-old visibly irritated, and that’s because for the first time he is being treated like a politician, rather than just a tech CEO.

    • When students at the country’s top university for journalism start banning newspapers we know we’ve hit peak censorship

      I am a self-identified feminist, liberal, pro-immigration left-leaning alumna of City University’s journalism department.

      And today, I read the news that City University’s student union – an institution renowned for its media courses – voted to ban certain right-wing newspapers with frustration and dismay.

      Let me say right off the bat – when those students argue that papers like the Daily Mail, the Daily Express and the Sun demonise refugees and minorities, or fan a frenzy of Islamophobia, or are “inherently sexist”, I agree.

      But because I believe this, I take those papers very, very seriously. I would advise all other City journalists in the making to do the same.

    • China says terrorism, fake news impel greater global internet curbs
    • Facebook Fake News Stories: China Calls For More Censorship On Internet Following Social Media’s Alleged Role In US Election
    • World Internet Conference closes in E China
    • Alibaba, Tencent back Chinese cyber law facing overseas critics
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • The Snooper’s Charter passed into law this week – say goodbye to your privacy

      This week a law was passed that silently rips privacy from the modern world. It’s called the Investigatory Powers Act.

      Under the guise of counter-terrorism, the British state has achieved totalitarian-style surveillance powers – the most intrusive system of any democracy in history. It now has the ability to indiscriminately hack, intercept, record, and monitor the communications and internet use of the entire population.

      The hundreds of chilling mass surveillance programmes revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013 were – we assumed – the result of a failure of the democratic process. Snowden’s bravery finally gave Parliament and the public the opportunity to scrutinise this industrial-scale spying and bring the state back into check.

      But, in an environment of devastatingly poor political opposition, the Government has actually extended state spying powers beyond those exposed by Snowden – setting a “world-leading” precedent.

    • Manhattan D.A. reopens encryption battle with Apple

      A top law enforcement official wants to turn back the clock on iPhone security.

      Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said Thursday that he wants Apple’s encryption to go back to how it was in early 2014. Back then, police could basically extract any information they wanted after getting a warrant.

      “Doing nothing about this problem will perpetuate an untenable arms race between private industry and law enforcement,” Vance said on Thursday. “Federal legislation is our only chance to lay these arms aside.”

    • Canadians want judicial oversight of any new digital snooping powers for police: Poll

      Most Canadians feel strongly about their right to privacy online, but a new poll shows the vast majority are willing to grant police new powers to track suspects in the digital realm — so long as the courts oversee the cops.

      Nearly half of the respondents to an Abacus Data survey of 2,500 Canadians agreed that citizens should have a right to complete digital privacy. But many appeared to change their mind when asked if an individual suspected of committing a serious crime should have the same right to keep their identity hidden from police.

    • Senior U.S. officials recommend removal of NSA director – sources

      The heads of the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community have recommended to President Barack Obama that the director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Michael Rogers, be removed from his position, sources familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

      The recommendation by Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, first reported by The Washington Post, was delivered to the White House last month.

      [...]

      U.S. Representative Devin Nunes, chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee and a Republican, said later on Saturday he had written to Carter and Clapper asking them to testify to the committee about the matter.

      The Obama administration wants to split leadership at the National Security Agency and Cyber Command, arguing that the job of leading two agencies with differing missions is too much for one person.

      But some members of Congress, led by Republican Senator John McCain, the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, oppose that plan, saying that Cyber Command needs access to the NSA’s resources to do its job effectively.

    • NSA turmoil could threaten chief’s job – and expand Trump’s power

      A potential structural change to the US surveillance apparatus has thrown the tenure of the National Security Agency director, Michael Rogers, into doubt and increased the likelihood that Donald Trump will have a chance to substantially reshape the US intelligence agencies.

      Even before Trump’s presidential victory, which Rogers last week said followed efforts by “a nation-state” to influence the electoral outcome, US intelligence was roiled by FBI director James Comey’s unprecedented interference in the election. US intelligence is experiencing internal turmoil just as Trump is placing hardliners in key national security roles.

    • NSA director Rogers is top candidate for DNI under Trump: WSJ

      U.S. National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers is the leading candidate to become President-elect Donald Trump’s next director of national intelligence, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing two unnamed people familiar with the matter.

    • Pentagon and intelligence community chiefs have urged Obama to remove the head of the NSA

      The heads of the Pentagon and the nation’s intelligence community have recommended to President Obama that the director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, be removed.

      The recommendation, delivered to the White House last month, was made by Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., according to several U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Barack Obama will not pardon Edward Snowden unless he goes to court – while Trump’s CIA pick wants him executed

      There is very little chance President Barack Obama will pardon Edward Snowden before his final term is up – leaving his fate to an unforgiving Trump administration and an incoming CIA director who had called for his execution.

      Mr Snowden has lived in Russia since he leaked documents revealing a secret surveillance programme helmed by the National Security Agency in cooperation with major telecommunications companies. The Department of Justice charged Mr Snowden with two counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917.

    • Turkey: Thousands protest against proposed child sex law

      Thousands have protested in Istanbul in Turkey against a bill that would let off men who assaulted underage girls if they marry their victims.

      The government insists the legislation is aimed at dealing with the widespread custom of child marriage, but critics say that it will legitimise child rape.

      Protesters clapped and chanted: “We will not shut up. We will not obey. Withdraw the bill immediately!”

    • Turkish bill clears men of statutory rape if they marry

      A bill which would allow men accused of raping underage girls to be cleared if they marry the girl has been preliminarily backed by Turkish MPs.

      The bill would pardon men only if they had sex without “force or threat” and if they married the victim.

      Critics say it legitimises rape and child marriage, and lets off men who are aware of their crime.

      Violence against women in Turkey has increased in the past decade – 40% of women report sexual or physical abuse.

    • When is rape not a crime? Turkey considers proposal for controversial sexual abuse law

      Turkey’s ruling AK Party has been widely condemned for a proposal that would, critics say, legalise rape in some cases.

      The suggested law would see people who have been convicted on charges of sexual abuse against girls have their sentences indefinitely postponed if they agree to marry the victim.

    • Appeals Court To Cops: If You ‘Don’t Have Time’ For ‘Constitutional Bullshit,’ You Don’t Get Immunity

      A disabled vet with PTSD accidentally called a suicide prevention hotline when intending to dial the Veterans Crisis Line. Within hours, he was dealing with DC Metro’s finest, dispatched to handle an attempted suicide. This brief quote from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals opinion [PDF] — part of veteran Matthew Corrigan’s first conversation with responding officers — sets the tone for the next several hours of Constitutional violations.

    • ‘Extreme surveillance’ becomes UK law with barely a whimper

      A bill giving the UK intelligence agencies and police the most sweeping surveillance powers in the western world has passed into law with barely a whimper, meeting only token resistance over the past 12 months from inside parliament and barely any from outside.

      The Investigatory Powers Act, passed on Thursday, legalises a whole range of tools for snooping and hacking by the security services unmatched by any other country in western Europe or even the US.

      The security agencies and police began the year braced for at least some opposition, rehearsing arguments for the debate. In the end, faced with public apathy and an opposition in disarray, the government did not have to make a single substantial concession to the privacy lobby.

      US whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted: “The UK has just legalised the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy. It goes further than many autocracies.”

      Snowden in 2013 revealed the scale of mass surveillance – or bulk data collection as the security agencies prefer to describe it – by the US National Security Agency and the UK’s GCHQ, which work in tandem.

    • British woman arrested after reporting alleged gang rape in Dubai tells of ‘nightmare’ ordeal

      Ms Stirling added that she personally would not report a rape in the UAE, saying: “There’s so much manipulation when it comes to criminal accusations over there – I wouldn’t report a rape there if I were raped myself.”

      After posting an online appeal for help, the woman’s mother wrote: “Please help my daughter. She was raped while on holiday. She reported this to the police and now she is being held on the grounds of sexual activity outside marriage.

      “We are not a rich family and cannot afford to pay for the defense she so desperately needs. I am going out of my mind with worry.”

      A Foreign Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said: “We are supporting a British woman in relation to this case and will remain in contact with her family.”

    • US-bound passengers travelling via Stockholm may soon be subject to pre-clearance formalities

      Travellers from Finland heading to the US via Stockholm may experience delays in the future owing to a new agreement between Sweden and US that will see US Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance operations at Arlanda Airport. As for Finnish airport authority Finavia, it says that after previewing pre-clearance formalities, it’s not keen on introducing the system at Helsinki Airport.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate App Store Operator Convicted for Criminal Copyright Infringement

        Four years ago the FBI took down several pirate Android app ‘stores’ and later arrested several people connected to the sites. This week one of the SnappzMarket operators, Joshua Taylor, was found guilty. During a bench trial, Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr. convicted Taylor for conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. .

      • Rightscorp Only Has Enough Cash to Last Until December

        Rightscorp’s dream of turning piracy into profit continues to be a nightmare. In its latest quarterly filing the anti-piracy outfit reports revenue down 35% over the same period last year, alongside a loss of $385,433. Year to date, the company has lost almost $1.4m and only has enough money to last until December.

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