11.25.16

Links 25/11/2016: Pinebook, Games Sales

Posted in News Roundup at 10:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Groovy, an Open Source Success Story

    Apache Groovy is a multi-faceted general purpose programming language for the Java platform. While primarily an object-oriented language with many dynamic language features, it also supports functional programming, static type checking and static compilation. This article looks at some interesting aspects of Groovy’s history and some of the significant guiding principles which help keep it a vibrant open source project.

  • The Conventions of Contributing to Open Source

    We all love using open source, right? I have done my fair share of contributing to open source, mainly through small contributions here and there. I’ve tried to open source some libraries in the past, with varying levels of success and failure. I would say I am somewhere in the middle on the Contributor’s Spectrum. There are those that do much more and those that do much less.

  • How Open Sourcing Bootstrap Made It Huge

    Teaching and learning from each other and building awesome stuff as a result of open communication and collaboration lie at the heart of the open source philosophy. Bootstrap certainly stands out as one of the most successful instances of the open source approach, which has made it what it is today.

  • Love the Amazon Echo? Meet these 3 open source projects

    But where does open source fit into the picture? Is voice-controlled, connected future destined to be forever dominated by a few proprietary choices of custom-built hardware/software combinations that are essentially black boxes to their users? We hope not!

    In fact, there are a few open source tools for voice control out there already, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the field grows as the technology becomes more pervasive. Looking for a weekend project? Check out a few of these options.

  • FreeDOS 1.2 Release Candidate 2

    We started FreeDOS in 1994 to create a free and open source version of DOS that anyone could use. We’ve been slow to make new releases, but DOS isn’t exactly a moving target anymore. New versions of FreeDOS are mostly about updating the software and making FreeDOS more modern. We made our first Alpha release in 1994, and our first Beta in 1998. In 2006, we finally released FreeDOS 1.0, and updated to FreeDOS 1.1 in 2012. And all these years later, it’s exciting to see so many people using FreeDOS in 2016.

  • FreeDOS 1.2 RC2 Arrives, Still Evolving After 22 Years

    The second release candidate of FreeDOS 1.2 is now available, approximately one month after FreeDOS 1.2-RC1 and twenty-two years after the FreeDOS open-source project began.

  • 10 holiday gift ideas for open source enthusiasts

    It’s that time of year again! Our amazing community members shared some of their favorite open-source-related products and gifts with us, and we’ve pulled together some of the best for our annual holiday gift guide.

    Kick off the holiday shopping season by checking out these 10 great gifts for open source enthusiasts. While you’re at it, don’t forget to enter our Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway for a chance to win your very own LulzBot Mini 3D printer.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice contributor interview: Leif Lodahl

      Until September 1st I was working as project manager and business developer in the company Magenta. From September 1st I’m working as IT architect at City of Ballerup (Ballerup Municipality). My work for (and with) LibreOffice has, until recently, been both professional and in my spare time.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

Leftovers

  • Huge fire hits Manchester’s Chinatown

    Fire has ripped through a building in Manchester’s Chinatown, yards from the quarter’s imperial arch.

    The huge blaze began at about 2.15am and threatened to cause disruption as shoppers head out to grab Black Friday deals.

    A fleet of fire engines sent to tackle the flames illuminated the decorative gateway at the peak of the blaze and blocked city centre roads.

  • Fire breaks out in Manchester Chinatown

    The blaze began at about 02:15 GMT at a building on Nicholas Street and lit up the Chinatown arch at its peak, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue said.

  • Security

    • Hackers attack European Commission

      The European Commission was the victim of a “large scale” cyberattack Thursday, a spokesperson said.

      “The attack has so far been successfully stopped with no interruption of service, although connection speeds have been affected for a time. No data breach has occurred,” the spokesperson said.

    • 8 Books Security Pros Should Read

      Calling all infosec pros: What are the best books in your security library?

      On a second thought, let’s take a step back. A better question may be: Do you have a security library at all? If not, why?

      Security professionals have countless blogs, videos, and podcasts to stay updated on rapidly changing news and trends. Books, on the other hand, are valuable resources for diving into a specific area of security to build knowledge and broaden your expertise.

      Because the security industry is so complex, it’s impossible to cram everything there is to know in a single tome. Authors generally focus their works on single topics including cryptography, network security modeling, and security assessment.

      Consider one of the reads on this list of recommendations, Threat Modeling: Designing for Security. This book is based on the idea that while all security pros model threats, few have developed expertise in the area.

    • DoD Opens .Mil to Legal Hacking, Within Limits

      Security researchers are often reluctant to report programming flaws or security holes they’ve stumbled upon for fear that the vulnerable organization might instead decide to shoot the messenger and pursue hacking charges.

      But on Nov. 21, the DoD sought to clear up any ambiguity on that front for the military’s substantial online presence, creating both a centralized place to report cybersecurity flaws across the dot-mil space as well as a legal safe harbor (and the prospect of public recognition) for researchers who abide by a few ground rules.

    • Data breach law ‘will create corporate awareness’

      The introduction of a data breach law requiring disclosure of consumer data leaks is important because it will make big corporates aware they need to be transparent about their state of security, the head of a big cyber-security firm says.

      Guy Eilon, the country manager of Forcepoint, was commenting on the speech made by Dan Tehan, the minister assisting the prime minister on cyber security, on Wednesday.

    • US Navy breach: 130,000 soldiers at risk after HPE contractor hacked [iophk: "MS, possibly MS sharepoint?"]

      The Navy has acknowledged the breach and said it was made aware of the incident after being notified that a laptop belonging to an employee of Navy contractor Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) was compromised by hackers.

    • US Navy warns 134,000 sailors of data breach after HPE laptop is compromised

      Sailors whose details have been compromised are being notified by phone, letter, and e-mail, the Navy said. “For those affected by this incident, the Navy is working to provide further details on what happened, and is reviewing credit monitoring service options for affected sailors.”

    • Personal data for more than 130,000 sailors stolen, admits US Navy

      A spokesman for Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services, said: “This event has been reported to the Navy and because this is an ongoing investigation, HPE will not be commenting further out of respect for the privacy of our Navy personnel.”

    • Riseup’s Canary Has Died

      Popular provider of web tools for activists and anarchists and backbone of much infrastructure for internet freedom, Riseup.net has almost certainly been issued a gag order by the US government.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Haifa fires: Tens of thousands of Israelis flee city

      Tens of thousands of Israelis have been fleeing wildfires in the northern city of Haifa, with the prime minister warning that any proof of arson would be treated as “terrorism”.

    • Israel fires: Tens of thousands flee as fires hit Haifa

      “Every fire that was the result of arson or incitement to arson is terror in every way and we’ll treat it as such,” he was quoted by Haaretz newspaper as saying.

      “Anyone who tries to burn parts of the state of Israel will be severely punished.”

      Police chief Roni Alsheich said that if fires had been started deliberately it was “safe to assume… it is politically-motivated”.

    • Haifa fire overcome but others rage elsewhere in Israel

      Israeli firefighters on Friday reined in a blaze that had spread across the country’s third-largest city of Haifa and forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes, but continued to battle more than a dozen other fires around the country for the fourth day in a row.

      Some 60,000 have yet to return to their homes as police forces and firefighting units were still heavily deployed in the Haifa area for fear that the fire could be reignited due to the rare dry, windy weather.

      Though no serious injuries were caused, several dozen people were hospitalized for smoke inhalation. Hundreds of homes were damaged and in a rare move, Israel on Thursday called up military reservists to join overstretched police and firefighters and made use of an international fleet of firefighting aircraft sent by several countries.
      Firefighters work in Haifa, Israel, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. A raging wildfire ripped through parts of Israel’s third-largest city on Thursday, forcing tens …

    • One by One, ISIS Social Media Experts Are Killed as Result of F.B.I. Program

      In the summer of 2015, armed American drones over eastern Syria stalked Junaid Hussain, an influential hacker and recruiter for the Islamic State.

      For weeks, Mr. Hussain was careful to keep his young stepson by his side, and the drones held their fire. But late one night, Mr. Hussain left an internet cafe alone, and minutes later a Hellfire missile killed him as he walked between two buildings in Raqqa, Syria, the Islamic State’s de facto capital.

    • Arms Sales To Saudi Arabia: The Kingdom Hires A Powerful Former Lawmaker To Lobby Trump White House And Congress

      Saudi Arabia just added another heavyweight to its already formidable team of lobbyists: former California Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon. The longtime GOP lawmaker isn’t any ordinary lobbyist. Between 2011 and 2015, he was the chair of the powerful House Armed Services Committee, which oversees the Department of Defense and its multibillion dollar foreign-military sales program to Saudi Arabia. According to data from the Center for Responsive politics, McKeon was among the top five recipients of defense contractor money in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    • UK rejects MPs’ calls to stop arms sales to Saudis

      The UK government has rejected calls by lawmakers to temporarily stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia over the Kingdom’s war crimes in Yemen.

      Britain has signed off £3.3 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia since March 26, 2015, when it launched a war in Yemen in order to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and restore power to Saudi-backed former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • London Calling: When Sweden Finally Questioned Assange

      On Tuesday 15 Sweden undertook questioning of Assange, the session lasting until the late afternoon. With a new statement provided by Assange and Sweden developing their enquiries based on the information Julian has given, in full cooperation, it is unclear at this point if the Preliminary Investigation has concluded or whether further visits from Sweden are planned. Pressure should be applied to the Swedish prosecutors to act swiftly in either scenario. It should be remembered the the initial investigation of the allegation against Assange was closed by the Stockholm area prosecutor in just 5 days on the basis “that evidence did not disclose any offence”. It is imperative that Ny either makes a formal charge or closes the investigation without further delay.

    • WikiLeaks releases The Yemen Files.

      The Yemen Files are a collection of over 500 documents from the United States embassy in Sana’a, Yemen. Comprising of over 200 emails and 300 PDFs, the collection details official documents and correspondence pertaining to the Office for Military Cooperation (OMC) located at the US embassy. The collection spans the period from 2009 until just before the war in Yemen broke out in earnest during March 2015. This time covers both Hillary Clinton’s term as Secretary of State (2009-2013) and the first two years of Secretary John Kerry.

    • WikiLeaks Releases Documents Evidencing US Arming Yemeni Forces Ahead of War

      WikiLeaks released on Friday more than 500 documents from the United States embassy in Yemen, offering documentary evidence of Washington arming, training and funding of Yemeni forces ahead of the war.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Finland set to become first country to ban coal use for energy

      Finland could become the first country to ditch coal for good. As part of a new energy and climate strategy due to be announced tomorrow, the government is considering banning the burning of coal for energy by 2030.

      “Basically, coal would disappear from the Finnish market,” says Peter Lund, a researcher at Aalto University, and chair of the energy programme at the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council.

      The groundwork for the ban already seems to be in place. Coal use has been steadily declining in Finland since 2011, and the nation heavily invested in renewable energy in 2012, leading to a near doubling of wind power capacity the following year. It also poured a further €80 million into renewable power this past February.

    • Arctic ice melt could trigger uncontrollable climate change at global level

      Arctic scientists have warned that the increasingly rapid melting of the ice cap risks triggering 19 “tipping points” in the region that could have catastrophic consequences around the globe.

      The Arctic Resilience Report found that the effects of Arctic warming could be felt as far away as the Indian Ocean, in a stark warning that changes in the region could cause uncontrollable climate change at a global level.

      Temperatures in the Arctic are currently about 20C above what would be expected for the time of year, which scientists describe as “off the charts”. Sea ice is at the lowest extent ever recorded for the time of year.

      “The warning signals are getting louder,” said Marcus Carson of the Stockholm Environment Institute and one of the lead authors of the report. “[These developments] also make the potential for triggering [tipping points] and feedback loops much larger.”

  • Finance

    • Kela’s outgoing director general voices support for basic income

      Liisa Hyssälä, the director general at the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela), has reiterated her concerns about the sustainability of the country’s social security system.

      “Our basic social security system is a patchwork and we cannot afford the constantly rising social security costs. Various benefits should be brought together into larger wholes both for the sake of customers and for the sake of sensible administration and the public economy,” she writes in a blog on Sosiaalivakuutus.fi.

    • 5 Things to Know about Billionaire Betsy DeVos, Trump Education Choice

      Billionaire Betsy DeVos, a major GOP funder and party activist from Michigan, has been tapped by Donald Trump to become the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education next year.

      Many have decried the choice as a looming disaster for public schools in America, with NEA president Lily Eskelsen Garcia observing that DeVos’ “efforts over the years have done more to undermine public education than support students. She has lobbied for failed schemes, like vouchers–which take away funding and local control from our public schools–to fund private schools at taxpayers’ expense.”

      Randi Weingarten, the president of AFT, stated that “Betsy DeVos is everything Donald Trump said is wrong in America–an ultra-wealthy heiress who uses her money to game the system and push a special-interest agenda that is opposed by the majority of voters. Installing her in the Department of Education is the opposite of Trump’s promise to drain the swamp.”

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Emails: CIA Official Reviewed Parts of Times Reporter’s Book Before Publication

      New York Times reporter David Sanger worked extensively with former deputy CIA director Michael Morell during the reporting of his book Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power—even arranging to provide Morell with access to an entire unpublished chapter for his review—according to documents obtained by Gizmodo.

      The records, consisting of internal emails from the CIA press office, show that Sanger met with Morell on more than one occasion in 2012 to discuss his then-forthcoming book, promising to bring with him a full chapter for Morell to read in case “he has issues” with the reporting. The emails, which we received under the Freedom of Information Act, are redacted in a manner suggesting that Morell and Sanger discussed sensitive national security information, and show that on at least one occasion, a CIA public affairs officer sent Sanger an encrypted message via email.

      While the notion of a national security reporter meeting with a senior CIA official is obviously not unusual—such transactions are in the reporter’s job description, and Sanger’s book acknowledges that he withheld information at the request of government officials—the extent of Sanger’s collaboration with Morell and the fact that the men apparently discussed sensitive information is noteworthy in light of the Obama administration’s unprecedented campaign against government leakers.

    • How long before the white working class realizes Trump was just scamming them?

      While we’re still analyzing the election results and debating the importance of different factors to the final outcome, everyone agrees that white working class voters played a key part in Donald Trump’s victory, in some cases by switching their votes and in some cases by turning out when they had been nonvoters before.

    • Washington Republican proposes charging protestors with ‘economic terrorism’

      The proposed bill would make protesting a class C felony should it cause any sort of “economic disruption” or “jeopardize human life and property.” Such a proposal would mean violators could face five years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both.

      Any group who organizes a protest that is considered disruptive would also be charged with “economic terrorism.” The law would not apply to strikes or picketing.

      The bill is aimed at protests in the Pacific Northwest, often by environmental activists, that are aimed at shutting down commerce and transportation.

      Protesters in Olympia, Wash., recently camped out for more than a week on railway tracks to stop a shipment of sand used for fracking.

      The bill is also being proposed at a time when anti-Trump protests are taking place across the country, including in Washington. Protests in Seattle have been reported to be peaceful and nonviolent so far.

    • Australia ceases multimillion-dollar donations to controversial Clinton family charities

      AUSTRALIA has finally ceased pouring millions of dollars into accounts linked to Hillary Clinton’s charities.

      Which begs the question: Why were we donating to them in the first place?

      The federal government confirmed to news.com.au it has not renewed any of its partnerships with the scandal-plagued Clinton Foundation, effectively ending 10 years of taxpayer-funded contributions worth more than $88 million.

      The Clinton Foundation has a rocky past. It was described as “a slush fund”, is still at the centre of an FBI investigation and was revealed to have spent more than $50 million on travel.

      Despite that, the official website for the charity shows contributions from both AUSAID and the Commonwealth of Australia, each worth between $10 million and $25 million.

    • By the Numbers: The Recount Scenarios (It is a Long Shot)

      Green Party candidate Jill Stein (Disclosure: I voted for Stein) is calling for a recount in key states, and has raised some $3 million for that purpose. Her funding page estimates the total cost, including lawyers, will be $6-7 million.

    • Trump’s team of gazillionaires

      Donald Trump campaigned as a champion of the “forgotten man” and won the White House on the strength of his support among the white working class.

      So far, he’s stacking his administration with masters of the universe.

      Beyond Trump himself, who claims a net worth of more than $10 billion, the president-elect has tapped businesswoman Betsy DeVos, whose family is worth $5.1 billion, and is said to be considering oil mogul Harold Hamm ($15.3 billion), investor Wilbur Ross ($2.9 billion), private equity investor Mitt Romney ($250 million at last count), hedge fund magnate Steve Mnuchin (at least $46 million), and super-lawyer Rudy Giuliani (estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars) to round out his administration. And Trump’s likely choice for deputy commerce secretary, Todd Ricketts, comes from the billionaire family that owns the Chicago Cubs.

      Even retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who’s up for the job of secretary of housing and urban development, has an estimated fortune of $26 million, while White House adviser Steve Bannon has likely earned millions off his stake in the show “Seinfeld” alone. Andrew Puzder, a possible labor secretary, is no slouch, either — he made more than $4.4 million in 2012 as CEO of the holding company that owns restaurant chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.

    • Jill Stein raises over $4.5m to request US election recounts in battleground states

      Jill Stein, the Green party’s presidential candidate, is preparing to request recounts of the election result in several key battleground states.

      Stein launched an online fundraising page seeking donations toward a multimillion-dollar fund she said was needed to request reviews of the results in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

      The drive has already raised more than $4.5m, which the campaign said would enable it to file for recounts in Wisconsin on Friday and Pennsylvania on Monday.
      Hillary Clinton urged to call for election vote recount in battleground states
      Read more

      The fundraising page said it expected to need around $6m-7m to challenge the results in all three states.

    • Jill Stein asks for another $2.5 million after reaching goal to fund election recounts in two states

      Jill Stein has now crowdfunded more than $4.5 million to cover the costs of election recounts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The Green Party presidential candidate has since upped her requested total to $7 million, a figure that she says would also cover a recount in Michigan, a hotly contested battleground state where “statistical anomalies” in voting were identified.

    • Campaign: Stein raises millions for recount effort

      Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein raised more than $4 million over two days to fund recount efforts in three states.

      Donations had nearly reached her campaign’s $4.5 million goal by late Thanksgiving evening, according to a fundraising page on her web site.

      “Congratulations on meeting the recount costs for Wisconsin. Raising money to pay for the first round so quickly is a miraculous feat and a tribute to the power of grassroots organizing,” her campaign said.

      “Now that we have nearly completed funding Wisconsin’s recount (which is due on Friday), we can begin to tackle the funding for Michigan’s recount (due Monday) and Pennsylvania’s recount (due Wednesday).”

      Stein said Wednesday that many Americans are wondering if the election results were reliable after a “divisive and painful” race and reported hacks into voter and party databases and individual email accounts.

      [...]

      The total cost of the effort in the three states could be as high as $7 million, her campaign said, including attorney fees and recount observers.

      A group of election lawyers and researchers are urging Hillary Clinton to ask for a recount in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, claiming that they found evidence that voting machines had been tampered with.

    • Jill Stein campaign to recount key states in US election reaches $2.5m target

      A campaign launched by the Green Party candidate Jill Stein to recount key states in the US election has reached its initial funding target of $2.5m (£2m) in just a matter of hours.

      The money will allow Ms Stein to review the results in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, where concerns have been raised about irregularities with electronic voting results.

      Each of the states voted narrowly in favour of Donald Trump (though the final Michigan count is still to be confirmed), and carry enough electoral college votes between them to change the result of the election if all were redeclared for Hillary Clinton.

    • Donald Trump’s Argentinian tower suddenly gets the green light to proceed

      Only three days after Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri called President-elect Donald Trump to congratulate him on his upset victory, it was announced that construction on a long held-up project for a Trump tower in Buenos Aires would proceed.

      As Quartz reported on Wednesday, Trump’s associates at YY Development Group in Buenos Aires told La Nacion, one of Argentina’s most influential conservative newspapers, that construction on the tower would be going ahead. La Nacion also reported that the initial call between Trump and Macri (who have been friends since the 1980s) was arranged due to efforts made by foreign minister Susanna Malcorra to get in touch with Trump’s son Eric through Felipe Yaryura, an Argentine businessman who is friends with Trump and was present to celebrate when he discovered that Trump had been elected. Eric Trump reportedly then put Malcorra in touch with Trump’s foreign affairs team.

      As Quartz also notes, Malcorra avoided answering a question posed by a reporter about whether she knew Yaryura and used him to get Macri in touch with Trump. Similarly, a spokeswoman from YY Development refused to comment to Quartz about any of these questions because “they have already had too much media exposure.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • The CEO of Reddit confessed to modifying posts from Trump supporters after they wouldn’t stop sending him expletives

      Reddit CEO Steve Huffman has confessed to modifying the posts of some users on the most visible Donald Trump-supporting “subreddit” community after they repeatedly slung verbal abuse in his direction.

      The story begins earlier this week, when The New York Times published a report on Comet Ping Pong, a Washington DC pizza place that a false news item on social media had pegged as the center of a child-abuse ring run by Hillary Clinton and her campaign head John Podesta, despite a lack of any evidence.

      Following that report, Reddit took steps to shut down the “r/Pizzagate” subreddit community, which had the stated goal of proving the existence of a conspiracy centering on Comet Ping Pong. “We don’t want witchhunts on our site,” says the warning that replaced the Pizzagate page on Reddit.

    • Reddit CEO admits to editing user comments amid Pizzagate malarkey

      Steve Huffman, CEO of Reddit, today admitted to editing several comments that criticised him on the site.

      He made the admission on Reddit, where he posts under the username Spez.

      Huffman got a lot of flak from members of the The_Donald, a subreddit for supporters of President-elect Donald Trump, after Reddit banned the Pizzagate subreddit. Pizzagate was dedicated to a debunked conspiracy theory linking Hillary Clinton to a paedophile ring.

      In response, he edited comments reading “fuck Spez” to instead be directed at moderators of the The_Donald subreddit.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Bill Binney: New UK spying law is going to kill people, ex-NSA technical director and whistleblower warns

      Britain’s new spying laws could kill people, the ex-technical director of the NSA has warned.

      Pursuing a strategy of allowing spies to look in on everything that everyone says “costs lives, and has cost lives in Britain because it inundates analysts with too much data”, Bill Binney has warned UK MPs who are scrutinising the Investigatory Powers Bill.

      The bill, also known as the Snoopers’ Charter, is set to be passed by parliament early this year and will bring with it huge and unprecedented spying powers for UK intelligence agencies and the government. But it has been criticised by privacy campaigners and technology companies who argue that it will put lives in danger.

      “It is 99 per cent useless,” Mr Binney said in a letter sent to MPs. “Who wants to know everyone who has ever looked at Google or the BBC? We have known for decades that that swamps analysts.”

    • Microsoft Shares Telemetry Data Collected from Windows 10 Users with 3rd-Party
    • Microsoft is reportedly sharing Windows 10 telemetry data with third-parties

      MICROSOFT HAS REPORTEDLY signed a deal with FireEye that will see it share telemetry data from Windows 10 with the third-party security outfit.

      So says Australian website ARN, which reports that Microsoft and FireEye’s partnership, which will see the security firm’s iSIGHT Intelligence tools baked into Windows Defender, will also see FireEye “gain access to telemetry from every device running Windows 10.”

      Microsoft uses telemetry data from Windows 10 to help identify security issues, to fix problems and to help improve the quality of its operating system, which sounds like a good thing. However, with the company previously admitting that it’s latest OS is harvesting more data than any version before it, Microsoft’s mega data-slurp also raised some privacy concerns.

    • The opportunity cost of mass surveillance is lost innovation and jobs

      Surveillance kills jobs and drives investment and innovation elsewhere. Lost among the common talking points of liberty, human rights, and Big Brother, there’s a much more economic effect when you force people to conform to a gray mass: you lose the radicals and the free thinkers, those who innovate and build the next generation of industries and jobs. Politicians care a lot more about that than about a theoretic concept of liberty.

      An opportunity cost is the cost you pay for not realizing the alternative you didn’t choose. When you choose a pizza, your opportunity cost is not having the hamburger. When you choose a bus ride because it’s cheaper, the opportunity cost is the time you’d save by taking a taxi. When you choose a cheap supplier of goods, your opportunity cost is low quality and more maintenance. And so on.

    • NSA Head Meets With Trump Team But Doesn’t Give Obama A Heads Up

      David Greene talks to Foreign Policy columnist James Bamford about the future of NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers, whose tenure has been rocked by cyber-security breaches of classified material.

    • Lawmakers decry possible removal of NSA director, call for hearings

      Several key GOP members of Congress began to weigh in this weekend with strong disapproval over suggestions that Adm. Michael Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, may be fired during the final weeks of the Obama administration.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Dutch race hate row engulfs presenter Sylvana Simons

      The images of a black Dutch TV presenter’s face super-imposed on the hanged bodies of victims of a lynching are too nauseating to look at. And yet a video featuring the mocked-up pictures has been widely circulated online here.

      Sylvana Simons has for years been a familiar presence on Dutch TV and radio, and the attack on her has highlighted a debate bubbling inside the Netherlands far removed from its reputation as a liberal tolerant nation.

      A former presenter on talent show Dancing with the Stars, she recently joined the political party “Denk” (Think) and is running in the next election.

    • Bad Santa: German town sacks Father Christmas over alleged far-right support

      A town in Germany has sacked Santa Claus over alleged links to a far-Right movement.

      Peter Mück has dressed as Santa and distributed sweets to children at the annual Christmas market in the Bavarian town of Mühldorf for 30 years.

      But this year the Christmas market opened without him after the mayor of Mühldorf announced that he had been fired.

      Mr Mück was dismissed over comments he wrote on Facebook in support of a post by the far-Right “Identitarian Movement”, which campaigns against immigration and Islam, and has been accused of open racism.

    • Two Saudi Women Sentenced to 20 Lashes for Using ‘Obscene Words’ on WhatsApp

      One of the young women came to the Criminal Court in Jeddah and accused the other of using abusive expressions during their WhatsApp conversation. She then showed her phone at the Court’s request to prove her words.

      During the next session, the court confirmed that the woman had indeed sent obscene messages to the other, but the defendant said she was not the first to start the hassle and showed a message which she received from her counterpart two months ago.

    • #NoLove4USGov – An extradition too far

      Amber Rudd has signed Lauri Love’s extradition order despite huge public uproar, opposition both inside and outside her own party, inside and outside of government and a previous home secretary, now Prime Minister blocking an extradition with almost exactly the same conditions. Lauri is unlikely to meet justice in America, in his case the most likely outcome is jail without a trial.

      Naomi Colvin of Courage Foundation has previously said:

      “Judge Tempia’s ruling on Friday shows that the legal changes Theresa May introduced after she blocked Gary McKinnon’s extradition are not fit for purpose.”

      David A Elston Pirate Party Spokesperson said:

      “Clearly the US is not interested in justice and our own government is unwilling to stand up for our civil liberties.

      “Instead through extradition the USA is seeking to silence and lock up Love. Knowing this was blocked before, this clear failure of our government is a chosen path. The forum bar does not work as this is precisely the kind of scenario it was meant to prevent. More importantly they have failed Lauri and through the ruling on him, our civil liberties and our rights, our right to a fair trial has taken a heavy hit.

    • All residents in China’s restive Xinjiang region must hand in passports to police: media

      All residents in China’s restive region of Xinjiang must hand in their passports to local police stations for “examination and management”, the Global Times newspaper said on Thursday.

      “Anyone who needs the passport must apply to the police station,” an anonymous police officer in Aksu prefecture told the paper, adding that the policy had been implemented throughout Xinjiang.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Forget Net Neutrality, Trump FCC Advisor Wants to Kill the FCC Itself

      Under President Donald Trump, the US government’s policy protecting net neutrality, the principle that all internet content should be equally accessible to consumers, is likely to be rolled back, according to tech policy experts.

      But that shift, as important as it would be, may be just the beginning of the changes in store for the Federal Communications Commission under Trump’s administration. In fact, the nation’s top communications regulator itself may look very different than it does today.

      Like, very different. As in, practically non-existent.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Iceland (the country) is actually suing Iceland (the shop)

        The island nation of Iceland has said it is taking legal action against British frozen-food chain Iceland over the right to use their shared name.

        Iceland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it has challenged Iceland Foods at the European Union Intellectual Property Office. It says it is acting because the retail chain “aggressively pursued” Icelandic companies using the word Iceland in their branding.

        Iceland Foods holds a Europe-wide trademark registration for the word “Iceland,” and the Nordic country’s government said it was “exceptionally broad and ambiguous in definition.”

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