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12.15.16

Links 15/12/2016: Qt Creator 4.2, Kubernetes 1.5

Posted in News Roundup at 7:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux 2017 – Looking Ahead

    2016 started full of hope for Linux fans but those hopes were dashed when the much anticipated Ubuntu 16.04 and Fedora 24 landed chocked full of bugs and driver issues. Some of us who follow these things closely expressed dismay over the problems encountered by users. A few bug-a-boos are to be expected in new releases, but these were big Vietnamese Hissing Cockroach-sized bugs that turned out to be show stoppers for some users.

    Canonical, the keepers of Ubuntu, seemed to spend more time worrying about phones and integrating Bash into Windows 10 than putting out a stable Long Term Support (LTS) desktop release. Canonical’s Ubuntu team did fix many of those issues and it is now almost as stable as the much-lauded 14.04 release. Most are happy with Ubuntu now or have moved on to greener pastures. ‘Nuff said.

  • How to make Linux more trustworthy

    While the fight against government-mandated software backdoors raged for most of 2016—including the showdown between Apple and the FBI over the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, and the UK’s new Investigatory Powers Act, which gives the government the power to demand UK companies backdoor their software to enable mass surveillance—the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) has been quietly working to prevent an even more insidious form of backdoor: malicious code inserted during the software build process without a developer’s knowledge or consent.

  • Desktop

    • This might be the first fully open source notebook

      Open source hardware is still atypical for the technology world. However, you can now enthusiastically opt for a fully open source notebook PC to work on your next projects without looking at a proprietary solution.

      Called Libreboot C201, the latest offering is a dream come true for the open source community. It features a 1.8GHz ARM Rockchip RK3288 processor coupled with 4B RAM and 16GB eMMC storage and sports an 11-inch HD display. On the connectivity front, the laptop lacks a built-in Wi-Fi chip but does come with an Atheros Wi-Fi dongle that works with open source drivers.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • 9 lessons from 25 years of Linux kernel development

      Because the Linux kernel community celebrated a quarter-century of development in 2016, many people have asked us the secret to the project’s longevity and success. I usually laugh and joke that we really have no idea how we got here. The project has faced many disagreements and challenges along the way. But seriously, the reason we’ve made it this far has a lot to do with the community’s capacity for introspection and change.

      About 16 years ago, most of the kernel developers had never met each other in person—we’d only ever interacted over email—and so Ted T’so came up with the idea of a Kernel Summit. Now every year kernel developers make a point to gather in person to work out technical issues and, crucially, to review what we did right and what we did wrong over the past year. Developers can openly and honestly discuss how they interact with each other and how the development process works. And then we make changes that improve the process. We make new tools, like Git, and constantly change how we work together.

      Over time, this evolution has created a resiliency that has allowed the project to go from one strength to the next while avoiding the forks that have split the resources of competing projects. It may be many years before we fully understand the keys to the Linux kernel’s success, but there are a few lessons that stand out even now.

    • Blythe Masters Talks ‘Tipping Point’ for Business Blockchain Adoption

      Blythe Masters may be helping to lead an industry-wide shift in the development of blockchain tech, but that doesn’t mean her startup isn’t experiencing its own changes as well.

    • IBM helps developers speed up the creation of blockchain networks

      IBM is actively trying to lure developers into the blockchain world. The giant believes that blockchain “has the potential to transform the way industries conduct business transactions” but that can only happen if industry players work together and allow businesses to benefit from the network effect of this technology.

    • Explain Yourself! Documentation for Better Code by Chris Ward, Crate.IO

      In this talk from LinuxCon Europe, Chris Ward provided a crash course on ways to make documentation for your projects better.

    • Explain Yourself! Documentation for Better Code
    • Linux 4.10 Gets Microsoft Surface 3/4 Input, Wacom MobileStudio Pro

      The HID changes for the Linux 4.10 kernel have been submitted and includes new hardware support

    • MD In Linux 4.10 Adds RAID5 Writeback Cache Feature, FAILFAST

      The Linux MD/RAID code was updated today in Git for the Linux 4.10 kernel with new functionality.

      One of the new MD additions for Linux 4.10 is a RAID5 write-back cache feature. This aggregates writes to make a full stripe write and reduce read-modify-writes. MD maintainer Shaohua Li reported this feature should be good for workloads doing sequential writes followed by fsync. For now though this RAID5 cache feature is considered experimental and disabled by default. The r5c_journal_mode sysfs entry is used for setting the write-back or write-through cache mode.

    • VFIO In Linux 4.10 Adds Mediated Device Interface: Used For Intel KVM-GT, NVIDIA vGPU

      VFIO, the Virtual Function I/O framework for exposing direct device access to user-space in a secure manner with IOMMU protection, has an important new interface with Linux 4.10.

      VFIO in Linux 4.10 adds a Mediated Device Interface. This Mediated Device Interface is used for allowing software-defined devices to be exposed through VFIO while the host driver manages access to the interface.

    • EXT4 In Linux 4.10 Gains DAX iomap, Encryption Improvements

      The EXT4 file-system is seeing some new feature work with the in-development Linux 4.10 merge window.

      The EXT4 feature pull request for the Linux 4.10 merge window queues the dax-4.0-iomap-pmd branch, which includes changes to use the new iomap framework for DAX. This makes the EXT4 DAX I/O code-paths utilize the iomap framework rather than their older DAX functionality, which then allows for more efficient block mapping, PMD page fault support, minor bug fixes, and improvements. DAX is the direct access support in the Linux kernel for file-systems to have more efficient, direct read/write access to persistent memory storage devices. This DAX iomap code being added via the EXT4 pull will also be shared with the XFS DAX code.

    • Is Linux Kernel Growth Sustainable?

      An interesting factoid caught my eye in an article published by Opensource.com this morning. The article was one of those interesting and easy-to-read listicles that many websites — even FOSS Force — likes to run occasionally called 9 Lessons from 25 Years of Linux Kernel Development, and the item that caught my attention was eighth on the list, under the heading, “The kernel shows that major developments can spring from small beginnings.”

    • Collabora Contributions to Linux Kernel 4.9

      Linux Kernel 4.9 was released this week and once more Collabora developers took part on the kernel development cycle. This time we contributed 37 patches by 11 different developers, our highest number of single contributors in a kernel release ever. Remember that in the previous release we had our highest number total contributions. The numbers shows how Collabora have been increasing its commitment in contributing to the upstream kernel community.

      For those who want to see an overall report of what was happened in the 4.9 kernel take a look on the always good LWN articles: part 1, 2 and 3.

      As for Collabora contributions most of our work was in the DRM and DMABUF subsystems. Andrew Shadura and Daniel Stone added to fixes to the AMD and i915 drivers respectively. Emilio López added the missing install of sync_file.h uapi.

    • Linux 4.8.15

      I’m announcing the release of the 4.8.15 kernel.

      All users of the 4.8 kernel series must upgrade.

      The updated 4.8.y git tree can be found at:
      git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.8.y
      and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

      http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st…

    • Linux 4.4.39
    • Hardening the Kernel to Protect Against Attackers

      The task of securing Linux systems is so mind-bogglingly complex and involves so many layers of technology that it can easily overwhelm developers. However, there are some fairly straightforward protections you can use at the very core: the kernel. These hardening techniques help developers guard against the bugs that haven’t yet been detected.

      “Hardening is about making bugs more difficult to exploit,” explained Mark Rutland, a kernel developer at ARM Ltd, at the recent Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2016 in Berlin. There will always be dangerous bugs that manage to evade the notice of kernel developers, he added. “We do not yet know which particular bugs exist in the next kernel, and we probably won’t for five years,” he said, referring to Kees Cook’s recent analysis of kernel bug lifetimes.

    • OpenRISC Has New Maintainer For The Linux Kernel

      OpenRISC continues progressing as an open-source ISA derived from RISC. While still waiting for more hardware to appear, the OpenRISC continues moving along for the Linux kernel.

    • XFS In Linux 4.10 Contains DAX iomap Support, Other Updates

      Dave Chinner sent in the XFS file-system changes for the Linux 4.10 kernel.

      The XFS feature updates for Linux 4.10 include making use of the iomap infrastructure that landed with the EXT4 pull. So XFS now has a new direct I/O implementation making use of iomap, which should be “simpler, faster, and has lower IO latency.”

    • UBIFS With Linux 4.10 Implements Fscrypt-Based File Encryption

      The main feature addition to UBIFS with Linux 4.10 is native file encryption support.

      UBIFS, the Unsorted Block Image File System for raw flash memory media, has file encryption via fscrypt with Linux 4.10. This fscrypt file-system encryption support is what powers EXT4′s file encryption and F2FS per-file encryption while now UBIFS has wired it up for offering optional file encryption.

    • Doky Becomes Linux Foundation Gold Member

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration, announces Doky has become a Gold member of The Linux Foundation. Doky is an online-based operating system, providing unique features such as a seamless cloud collaboration and storage solution and a quickly growing, fully integrated set of virtual desktop apps. Doky calls its service “fluid computing.”

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • Looking At GNU/Linux’s Performance Over 2016 With Intel’s Clear Linux

        If you have been curious how the performance of the GNU/Linux stack has evolved over 2016, I ran some benchmarks of the rolling-release Clear Linux from the start of 2016 compared to this week to see how gains in the upstream software have evolved as well as their aggressive out-of-the-box optimizations for this operating system out of Intel’s Open-Source Technology Center.

        Clear Linux was used for this 2016 before/after comparison due to Intel’s aggressive performance optimizations made this year and that it’s a rolling-release distribution but with publishing new installer images for each release, which is on a near-daily basis, it’s easy to get the system back to its state far back in the past. This makes it much easier to run fresh benchmarks on an older state of Clear Linux compared to today, rather than using Arch Linux or another rolling-release where it’s less easy to get the system to a prior state long ago.

      • VisionTek 240GB SATA 3.0 SSD Benchmarks On Linux
      • Samsung 960 EVO NVMe SSD Benchmarks On Linux

        As of this week the Samsung 960 EVO NVMe M.2 SSDs have begun shipping for those interested in high-performance solid-state storage. For our benchmarking fun today I am looking at the Samsung 960 EVO 250GB NVM Express M.2 SSD (MZ-V6E25) with tests under Ubuntu 16.04 while using the Linux 4.9 kernel.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Krita 3.1 Released!

        Today the Krita team releases Krita 3.1.0 ! Krita 3.1 is the first release that is fully supported on OSX (10.9 and later)! Krita 3.1 is the result of half a year of intense work and contains many new features, performance improvement and bug fixes. It’s now possible to use render animations (using ffmpeg) to gif or various video formats. You can use a curve editor to animate properties. Soft-proofing was added for seeing how your artwork will look in print. A new color picker that allows selecting wide-gamut colors. There is also a new brush engine that paints fast on large canvases, a stop-based gradient editor.

      • KDE’s Krita 3.1 Released With Speedups & Improvements

        After the big Krita 3.0 release earlier this year, the crew responsible for this open-source digital painting software aligned with KDE has released Krita 3.1.

      • Krita 3.1 Digital Painting App Officially Released with Many Cool New Features

        A few moments ago, the development team behind the powerful, open-source, free, and cross-platform Krita digital painting software proudly announced the final release of Krita 3.1.

        After being in development for the past few months, Krita 3.1 is now that most advanced version of the application, bringing cool new features like full support for Apple’s Mac OS X operating system, as well as the ability to render an animation to MKV, GIF, MP4, or OGG files using the FFmpeg multimedia framework.

      • Qt 5.7.1 Released

        Qt 5.7.1 has been released today. It contains all the latest bug fixes and improvements, including everything from Qt 5.6.2 patch release as well as additional improvements and functionality not available in the Qt 5.6 branch.

        The brand new Qt Creator 4.2.0 is also included in the Qt 5.7.1 offline installer packages as well as the online installer.

      • Qt Creator 4.2 released

        Qt SCXML is a new module in Qt that allows you to create state machines from State Chart XML and embed them into Qt C++ and Qt Quick applications (Overview). It was released as Technical Preview in Qt 5.7 and will be released fully supported with Qt 5.8.

      • Qt 5.7.1 & Qt Creator 4.2 Released

        The Qt Company has announced the first point release to Qt 5.7 as well as putting out the Qt Creator 4.2 upgrade to their integrated development environment.

        Qt 5.7.1 includes all of the latest bug fixes and minor improvements, including some work not currently found on the Qt 5.6 branch. More details on Qt 5.7.1 changes via this blog post.

      • Qt Creator 4.2 Launches with New Qt SCXML Editor Module, Better CMake Support

        Today, December 14, 2016, the Qt Company was pleased to announce the final release of the open-source, free, and cross-platform Qt Creator 4.2 IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows platforms.

      • KDE Ships KDE Applications 16.12.0

        December 15, 2016. Today, KDE introduces KDE Applications 16.12, with an impressive array of upgrades when it comes to better ease of access, the introduction of highly useful functionalities and getting rid of some minor issues, bringing KDE Applications one step closer to offering you the perfect setup for your device.

      • KDE Applications 16.12 Released: KWave Added, Konqueror Ported To KF5

        The KDE community banded together today to issue their big KDE Applications 16.12 update.

        Among the changes to KDE Applications 16.12 is adding the KWave sound editor to the bundle, Marble adds a wallpaper and widget mode, KCharSelect now handles Unicode emoticons, Cantor supports a Julia back-end, Ark archiving improvements, and many other changes.

      • KDE Applications 16.12 Released with Kwave Sound Editor, Advanced Archiving

        Today, December 15, 2016, as expected, KDE announced the general availability of the KDE Applications 16.12 software suite for the KDE Plasma 5 desktop environments on various Linux-based operating systems.

        KDE Applications 16.12 had a short development cycle, since November 10, 2016, when it entered Dependency Freeze stage. A Beta was announced one week later, on November 17, and the Release Candidate build landed two weeks later, on the first day of December. And now, you the final release is here with numerous goodies.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • ValaCAT application current status

        During last weeks I have been working on the application interns and the user interface. I don’t publish anything last week because I was in a festival (Festival Internacional do Mundo Celta de Ortigueira) and I have no internet connection.

        I have create a more Gnome-Shell like UI than the one I show you on the previous mockups and I think that it’s quite cool. I have also created modules to treat with languages, filters and more. You can view and critize the code on the GitHub Repository.

  • Distributions

    • Dedoimedo interviews: MX Linux team

      Behold, for this has never been done before on Dedoimedo. Several readers suggested that I perhaps expand my critique of all things open-source into a more personal dimension. Interviews, babe, interviews. I listened, I agreed, and here we are!

      This is the first such interview attempt on Dedoimedo. First of many to come. Today, we will be conducting a written Q&A session with a member of the MX Linux team. Now, for those wondering who or what this distribution slash project might be, quote: “MX Linux is a cooperative venture between the antiX and former MEPIS communities, using the best tools and talents from each distro. It is a midweight OS designed to combine an elegant and efficient desktop with simple configuration, high stability, solid performance and medium-sized footprint.” MX Linux caught the attention and high praise of Dedoimedo recently, with a very solid MX-15 release, and I had recently titled it as one of the top Xfce releases of 2016. Let us expand, shall we.

    • Reviews

      • Zorin 12 Core: unpolished diamond

        One of the most anxiously awaited distributions in the Linux world this autumn was Zorin OS. The anxiety was intense, since the last release of Zorin OS 11 stopped receiving any updates long ago because it was based on the non-LTS version of Ubuntu. Zorin OS 12 was finally released on the 18th of November 2016 with the additional release of an updated ISO image on the 20th of November. There were no reports on the official blog about the reasons for the re-release.

      • Best Xfce distro of 2016

        Let us continue where we started with the KDE/Plasma nominations. It is time to vector our all-seeing eye toward another desktop environment – Xfce. Once upon a time, it used to be a bland, boring offering that could not stand up to the likes of Gnome 2 and KDE 3.5. But then, slowly, it emerged from the ashes like a Phoenix, and persistently, steadily earned its place among the big ones, standing tall, stable, sturdy, and just plain good.

        In a way, Xfce now fills the void that was created when Gnome 3 came to life, and many years later, it is still there. But then, Xfce has also left its austerity behind, and it is trying to cater to the modern-era users with all the goodies people expect, without sacrificing its simple approach to fast, no-nonsense computing. So let us see what Year 2016 has blessed us with. To wit, our candidates.

    • New Releases

      • SemiCode OS — New Linux Distro For Programmers And Web Developers

        Very often Linux enthusiasts complain regarding the fragmentation due to hundreds of distributions. Each distribution has its own libraries, kernel configuration, pre-installed software, etc. However, the same variety makes Linux unique. Every person can create his/her own Linux distro and customize it.

        If we take a look at the vast list of various Linux distributions, there are specialized solutions for hackers, power users, artists, and gamers. But, there’s a dearth of distros that claim to serve the unique needs of programmers, probably, because most Linux-based operating systems are customizable and a developers can install all the useful tools in no time.

      • Lumina Desktop moved to Sparky repos

        The latest version of Lumina Desktop 1.1.0 patch1 is available straight from Sparky repos.

      • Proxmox Virtual Environment 4.4 Linux OS Released with New Ceph Dashboard, More

        Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH, the company behind the Debian-based Proxmox Virtual Environment and Proxmox Mail Gateway products, announced the release of the Proxmox VE 4.4 operating system.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • New Tumbleweed snapshot 20161213 released!
      • GNOME, Notmuch update in Tumbleweed

        To state that not much has been happening in openSUSE Tumbleweed is an understatement as there were seven snapshot this week.

        Life, however, is full of surprises and irony and this article just might end with a little.

        The beginning of the week started with snapshot 20161208 that had a change that affects Python users. The update of python3-setuptools to version 30.2.0 dropped support for Python 3.2, which was released in February of 2011. The snapshot also provided an update to Kernel firmware 20161130 with patches affecting Intel Bluetooth.

      • openSUSE:Leap:42.3 started
    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian vs. Fedora, MX Linux Team, 2016 Top Searches

        Today in Linux news Bruce Byfield compared and contrasted two of “the most influential Linux distributions of all time.” While more alike than one imagines, Byfield outlined the differences as why to “pick one over another.” Elsewhere, Dedoimedo interviewed the MX Linux team and discussed Xfce distributions in other posts. Michael Larabel reported today that the FBDEV maintainer has quit and Google blogged of the year’s top searches.

      • Derivatives

        • Debian-Based antiX MX-16 “Metamorphosis” Released, Ships Without Systemd

          The development team behind the Debian-based antiX MX GNU/Linux distribution was pleased to announce the final release of antiX MX-16 “Metamorphosis.”

          Based on the latest stable Debian release, namely Debian GNU/Linux 8.6 “Jessie,” the antiX MX-16 operating system is a major release that comes approximately one year after the previous version, antiX MX-15, and promises to offer users a collection of the latest and greatest GNU/Linux technologies and Open Source software applications.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Exodus, Tumbleweed a Day, Open Source Notebook

            Two long-time Ubuntu developers have given their notice. It’s probably just a coincidence, but if more leave it could only be bad news. Elsewhere, Tumbleweed has seen five releases in as many days and CoreOS has changed its name. Bash got a new logo and blogger DarkDuck said Zorin OS 12 is a diamond in the rough.

          • Taking a break

            It’s a bit strange to write this blog post in the same week as Martin Pitt is announcing moving on from Canonical. I remember many moments of Martin’s post very vividly and he was one of the first I ran into on my flight to Sydney for Ubuntu Down Under in 2005.

          • The alphabet and pitti end here: Last day at Canonical
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Microsoft quietly emits patch to undo its earlier patch that broke Windows 10 networking

      Microsoft has sneaked out a patch to get Windows 10 PCs back online after an earlier update broke networking for people’s computers around the globe.

      Since the end of last week or so, systems in the UK, US, Europe and beyond automatically installed software from Microsoft via Windows Update that broke DHCP. That meant some computers couldn’t obtain their LAN-side IP addresses from their broadband routers, effectively randomly kicking them off the internet and their own local network. That confused the hell out of a lot of netizens.

    • Dec. 2016 Patch Tuesday: Microsoft releases 12 security bulletins, 6 rated critical

      Congrats for making it through another year of patching Windows! There are 12 this month, 6 rated critical and some which had been publicly disclosed.

    • Researchers Find Vulnerability That Enables Accounting Fraud, PwC Decides The Best Response Is A Legal Threat

      For years now, we’ve noted that some companies apparently think it’s a good idea to punish security researchers that expose vulnerabilities in their products, even when the researchers use the proper channels to report their findings. This kind of absurdity runs hand-in-hand with international attempts to criminalize security research — or the tools researchers use — to do their jobs. Obviously, this kind of behavior has one tangible end result: it makes all of us less secure.

      The latest chapter in this saga of myopic bumbling comes courtesy of PwC, which for whatever reason decided that the best response to a major security flaw found in one of the company’s products was to to fire off a cease and desist letter aimed at the researchers. More specifically, Munich-based ESNC published a security advisory earlier this month documenting how a remotely exploitable bug in a PwC security tool could allow an attacker to gain unauthorized access to an impacted SAP system.

    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • Things That Make You Go “Hmmm” From Adobe
    • Flaws Found in Security Software, Unlicensed Code

      A flurry of industry surveys have flagged open source and unlicensed software as growing security threats. Moreover, a review released by Flexera Software also found that the very security products designed to protect IT infrastructure are themselves riddled with vulnerabilities embedded in open source software.

      While agreeing that malware is a growing threat, other observers counter that the culprit is the growing use of unlicensed software.

      The Flexera security software survey conducted between August and October found that 11 security software products from vendors such as IBM (NYSE: IBM), McAfee and Splunk showed up on its list of 20 products with the most security vulnerabilities. Hence, the survey emphasizes that software developers need greater visibility into open source components so they can identify vulnerabilities and quickly issue security patches. Those patches are generally available as soon as vulnerabilities are announced.

    • Another Yahoo Security Breach Affects a Billion Accounts

      If you’re a Yahoo user, you should strongly consider closing your account. If you decide to keep your account open, you might as well post your username and password to Facebook and send them out in a tweet, for all the good Yahoo’s security precautions will do for you.

    • ‘Refer a Friend’ Ransomware Program

      If you need any proof that malware is a business much like any other — with the big exception that it’s illegal — all you have to do is look at the latest ploy being used by the currently-in-development ransomware called Popcorn Time that was discovered December 7 by MalwareHunterTeam. The folks behind the malware are incorporating a scheme to drum up business that’s directly from a Marketing 101 textbook.

      If Popcorn Time grabs a computer and encrypts it’s files, the hapless victim is offered two choices to get the data returned to its pristine state. One is the traditional method — the authors of the malware call it “the fast and easy way” — of paying a ransom of a Bitcoin, which is about $773 at the current rate. If the price is too steep for the victim’s pocketbook, there’s another option that the malware authors call “the nasty way,” which is a new twist on the tried and true “refer a friend” promotions that have been used by legitimate businesses forever.

    • ‘Stop using your Netgear router’ says CERT after major vulnerability found

      NETGEAR HAS confirmed that a number of its routers have a security vulnerability which can be triggered by a malicious weblink from one machine on the network allowing a code injection allowing access to every attached device.

      The discovery, VU #582384, which came to light late on Friday, has been validated by the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) as affecting models including the R6250, R6400, R6700, R7000, R7100LG, R7300, R7900, and R8000.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Saudi Arabia and Gulf states ‘support Islamic extremism in Germany,’ intelligence report finds

      Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar are supporting extremist Islamic groups in Germany, according to a leaked intelligence report.

      A brief seen by the Süddeutsche Zeitung and broadcasters NDR and WDR raised concern over a reported increase in support for fundamentalist Salafism in Germany, warning that the ideology already has 10,000 followers and is growing.

      The report, by Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency and Federal Intelligence Service (BND) reportedly accused Gulf groups of funding mosques, religious schools, hardline preachers and conversion or “dawah” groups to spread the ideology.

    • EgyptAir crash: Explosives found on victims, say investigators

      Traces of explosives have been found on victims of the EgyptAir plane that crashed into the Mediterranean in May, Egyptian investigators say.

      A criminal investigation would now begin into the crash of the Airbus A320, the civil aviation ministry said.

      Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo plunged into the sea on 19 May killing all 66 people on board.

      A source close to the French investigation says they have doubts about Egypt’s latest findings.

      They told the BBC there had been “difficulties” working with the Egyptian authorities and that their main concern was to see the remains of the French victims returned to France.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Researchers must convince Trump that science matters, interior secretary says

      Scientists will need to speak up about their research and the importance of scientific integrity — or risk not being heard by the incoming administration, said the U.S. interior secretary Sally Jewell at the meeting of the American Geophysical Union today.

      Her talk was a carefully worded call to arms for scientists to become part of the political process. “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu,” she said. Part of that will require learning how to talk about science not only in the kind of language a layperson can understand, but also in the language of dollars and cents. Communicating science’s value will be critical in order to appeal to an increasingly business-oriented administration.

      “When you have a President-elect of the United States that’s in the real estate development business, your science matters,” she said. “Nobody wants to build a building in harm’s way if they’ve got good data that tells them where they can build it out of harm’s way.”

    • 15,000 mosques are going green

      Morocco is looking ahead to a bright future. Literally.

      The government is installing energy-efficient lights and solar technology in more than 100 mosques in 2016 and plans to expand the program over the next five years to include 15,000 state-funded mosques. That represents nearly 30% of all mosques in the country.

      The so-called “green mosques” initiative is part of Morocco’s ambitious push into renewable energy. It’s spending billions of dollars to wean itself off imported fuel and reduce emissions by ramping up the use of energy efficient technology and renewables.

      As it stands now, nearly 95% of energy in Morocco comes from abroad, according to the International Energy Agency‌.

  • Finance

    • How Donald Trump May Actually Widen the U.S. Trade Deficit

      Donald Trump says his platform for reviving economic growth is designed to slash the nation’s trade deficit, restoring the country’s exports to past glory.

      Instead, he could be about to expand the U.S. trade deficit to levels not seen since the financial crisis. That could fan flames of trade conflict in an increasingly protectionist world.

      Mr. Trump’s plans to boost government spending on infrastructure and cut taxes have spurred a rise in the dollar. If the president-elect delivers on his promised policies, argues William Cline, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the dollar’s likely to strengthen further.

    • Uber appeals against ruling that its UK drivers are workers

      Uber has launched an appeal against a landmark employment tribunal ruling that its minicab drivers should be classed as workers with access to the minimum wage, sick pay and paid holidays.

      The taxi-app company filed papers with the appeal tribunal on Tuesday in an attempt to overturn the October judgment that, if it stands, could affect tens of thousands of workers in the gig economy.

    • Uber ordered to stop self-driving vehicle service in San Francisco

      Uber has been ordered by state regulators to stop using self-driving cars in California, according to the Associated Press, at least until it secures the necessary permit issued by the state to allow companies to test autonomous vehicles on public roads. The California Department of Motor Vehicles issued a statement saying Uber was expected to secure such a permit, but Uber maintained that it did not require this clearance because its vehicles were not fully self-driving and have a driver onboard at all times.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • What Jill Stein’s Recount Effort Actually Accomplished

      Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein’s attempts to recount the election results in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania are now over.

      Although Stein only secured a complete recount in Wisconsin, she is claiming to have won a victory for voters by exposing weaknesses in the voting system.

      In fact, Stein’s greatest service may have been to validate the Wisconsin results ― and thus demonstrate that voting irregularities did not tip the election in Donald Trump’s favor.

    • Ronna Romney McDaniel tapped to lead RNC

      Ronna Romney McDaniel is President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to become the Republican National Committee chair next year, the RNC said Wednesday.

      Romney McDaniel, who is currently the chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party and the niece of 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney, will succeed current RNC chair Reince Priebus, who has been tapped to be Trump’s chief of staff.

    • The Russian Bear Uses a Keyboard

      I am about twenty four hours behind on debunking the “evidence” of Russian hacking of the DNC because I have only just stopped laughing. I was sent last night the “crowdstrike” report, paid for by the Democratic National Committee, which is supposed to convince us. The New York Times today made this “evidence” its front page story.

      It appears from this document that, despite himself being a former extremely competent KGB chief, Vladimir Putin has put Inspector Clouseau in charge of Russian security and left him to get on with it. The Russian Bear has been the symbol of the country since the 16th century. So we have to believe that the Russian security services set up top secret hacking groups identifying themselves as “Cozy Bear” and “Fancy Bear”. Whereas no doubt the NSA fronts its hacking operations by a group brilliantly disguised as “The Flaming Bald Eagles”, GCHQ doubtless hides behind “Three Lions on a Keyboard” and the French use “Marianne Snoops”.

      [...]

      Of course there were hacking and phishing attacks on the DNC. Such attacks happen every day to pretty well all of us. There were over 1,050 attacks on my own server two days ago, and many of them often appear to originate in Russia – though more appear to originate in the USA. I attach a cloudfare threat map. It happens to be from a while ago as I don’t have a more up to date one to hand from my technical people. Of course in many cases the computers attacking have been activated as proxies by computers in another country entirely. Crowdstrike apparently expect us to believe that Putin’s security services have not heard of this or of the idea of disguising which time zone you operate from.

    • EXCLUSIVE: Ex-British ambassador who is now a WikiLeaks operative claims Russia did NOT provide Clinton emails – they were handed over to him at a D.C. park by an intermediary for ‘disgusted’ Democratic whistleblowers

      Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and a close associate of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, told Dailymail.com that he flew to Washington, D.C. for a clandestine hand-off with one of the email sources in September.

      ‘Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,’ said Murray in an interview with Dailymail.com on Tuesday. ‘The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.’

    • Former NSA Officer William Binney: CIA Lying About Russians Hacking DNC

      Whistleblower William Binney, a former National Security Agency official, is speaking out against the Central Intelligence Agency’s claims that Russia hacked the Democratic Party.

    • Ray McGovern: Russia Election Interference Allegations Don’t Add Up

      in order to help Donald Trump become the next president, but does the evidence back up the accusations? More than a month after his victory, why is the anti-Russia hysteria still being ramped up by the establishment and Democratic Party?

    • US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims

      All signs point to leaking, not hacking. If hacking were involved, the National Security Agency would know it – and know both sender and recipient.

      In short, since leaking requires physically removing data – on a thumb drive, for example – the only way such data can be copied and removed, with no electronic trace of what has left the server, is via a physical storage device.

    • Anti-Trump groups to protest Electoral College, urging it to change the vote

      A coalition of groups opposed to Donald Trump are planning demonstrations in all 50 state capitals on Monday, targeting the meetings of a historic and much-disputed organization: the Electoral College.

      Their goal is a long shot: persuading enough electors to abandon commitments to vote for Trump, somehow denying him the majority he needs to claim the presidency.

      “Electors were given the responsibility by our Founders to vote for whoever will be the best person for the job as President,” said Democracy Spring organizer Tania Maduro. “Electoral College, only you can save us.”

      Under the U.S. Constitution, voters do not vote directly for presidents; they vote for members of the Electoral College who vote for presidents during post-election meetings in each state. In most cases, candidates who win statewide votes claim all the electors in those states.

    • Michael Moore warns Electoral College that it’s “too dangerous” to vote for Trump

      Michael Moore hopes that the Electoral College will have what he describes as a “Profiles in Courage moment” and deny Donald Trump the White House.

      After saying that Bush was “asleep at the wheel the month before 9/11,” Moore claimed that now “we have a president-elect who doesn’t even want to get behind the wheel. This is actually worse. He’s putting all of us in danger,” during his interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell on Tuesday.

      Moore, who took Trump seriously often, also expressed concern that Trump could “take away our constitutional rights” should some crisis break out early in his administration.

      “I want my fellow Americans, regardless of if they’re Democrats, Republicans, whatever you are, we have to come together and say, ‘This man cannot be at the helm of this ship,’” Moore urged his fellow Americans in the event that that happened.

    • Harvard law professor says ’30′ Republican electors ready to block Donald Trump win

      As many as 30 Republican members of the Electoral College are willing to break their pledge and vote against Donald Trump in order to block him from becoming the US President, according to a Harvard University law professor.

      Larry Lessig, who was himself briefly a candidate for the 2016 Democratic nomination, has been offering legal support to electors on their right to “vote their conscience” – that is, to reject the mandate given to them by the winner of the popular vote in their specific state.

      Most states bind their electors to the popular vote by state law, but Mr Lessig said there was precedent to say these are federal officials, granted powers by the federal constitution, who should “be able to exercise their independent and nonpartisan judgement about who to vote for”.

    • 40 Electoral College members demand briefing on Russian interference

      Forty members of the Electoral College on Tuesday signed a letter demanding an intelligence briefing on Russian interference in the election ahead of their Dec. 19 vote.

      Ten electors originally signed the letter when it was published Monday, and 30 more have since added their names.

      The open letter — led by Christine Pelosi, the daughter of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) — urged Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to give a detailed briefing on President-elect Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.

    • Silicon Valley ready to play defense on Trump

      Addressing some of tech industry’s top leaders on Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump vowed to make their companies soar.

      “I’m here to help you folks do well,” he said.

      When it comes to Silicon Valley’s wish list for immigration reform, however, many voices in the industry aren’t so sure.

      Trump’s unexpected win has shaken up the immigration battle in the tech community, deflating the high hopes of reformers and forcing them to ready a defense.

    • Trump: ‘We’re going to start saying Merry Christmas again’

      In the days leading up to his inauguration, President-elect Donald Trump is making a lot of promises to voters.

      The latest: “We’re going to start saying Merry Christmas again.”

      At a stop in Grand Rapids, Mich., on his victory tour around the U.S., Trump heralded the Christian holiday and commented that around the holidays department stores put up decorations such as bells, red walls and fake snow and but “They don’t have have Merry Christmas.’”

    • Monica Crowley, Fox News Personality, to Join Trump’s National Security Council

      Monica Crowley, a conservative radio host and Fox News analyst, is expected to be tapped by the Trump administration to be a deputy national security advisor, two sources familiar with the pick said.

      The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the choice. Crowley did not immediately return a request for comment.

      Crowley, a self-described “happy warrior,” a loyal Trump supporter and advocate, had also been floated as a possible pick for White House press secretary.

    • Recounts Are Only as Good as They Are Allowed to Be

      The existence of paper ballots is generally touted as the ultimate backstop guaranteeing the integrity of American elections, because “if there is a problem or any doubts, those ballots can always be recounted.”

      They can be — but will they be?

      Now we have seen three “recounts” up close and learned that, in practice, this amounts to a false and dangerous assurance. The effort to recount these ballots, where they do exist, has been blocked, subverted, and turned into a sham in each of the three states in which it has been attempted this month.

    • The oil and gas industry is quickly amassing power in Trump’s Washington

      After eight years of being banished and sometimes vilified by the Obama administration, the fossil fuel industry is enjoying a remarkable resurgence as its executives and lobbyists shape President-elect Donald Trump’s policy agenda and staff his administration.

      The oil, gas and coal industries are amassing power throughout Washington — from Foggy Bottom, where ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson is Trump’s nominee to be secretary of state, to domestic regulatory agencies including the departments of Energy and Interior as well as the Environmental Protection Agency.

      “It feels like the grizzly bear in ‘The Revenant’ has been suddenly pulled off our chest,” said Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association.

    • The ticking time bomb in Pennsylvania’s election system

      Whether it happens this month or not, the electronic voting systems in our state must undergo a full forensic evaluation by independent computer security experts. Without that evaluation and subsequent changes both in the machines and the procedures for using them, votes cast for our local, state and federal government will always be at risk for error or manipulation, and we can never be fully certain that the outcomes of our elections reflect the will of the voters.

      A number of years ago, I acquired two different electronic voting machines (known as DREs) from government surplus sales – the type used in Philadelphia County and the type used in Montgomery County – and, with Lehigh students, dismantled and examined them. In my assessment, none of the DREs used in Pennsylvania are capable of retaining a permanent physical record of each vote cast, which is required by the Pennsylvania Election Code. Many of the voting machines used in Pennsylvania, including those used in Philadelphia, create no permanent, physical record of each vote cast – in other words, these machines leave no paper trail.

    • Why Are the Media Taking the CIA’s Hacking Claims at Face Value?

      In 1977, Carl Bernstein published an exposé of a CIA program known as Operation Mockingbird, a covert program involving, according to Bernstein, “more than 400 American journalists who in the past 25 years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency.” Bernstein found that in “many instances” CIA documents revealed that “journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.”

      Fast-forward to December 2016, and one can see that there isn’t much need for a covert government program these days. The recent raft of unverified, anonymously sourced and circumstantial stories alleging that the Russian government interfered in the US presidential election with the aim of electing Republican Donald J. Trump shows that today too much of the media is all too happy to do overtly what the CIA had it once paid it to do covertly: regurgitate the claims of the spy agency and attack the credibility of those who question it.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Self-censorship is worst form of censorship: Taslima Nasreen

      For noted Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, who has faced the ire of fundamentalists on several ocassions, self-censorship is the worst form of censorship.

      With attacks against writers, minority religious leaders, and atheist bloggers on the rise in Bangladesh, Nasreen says many authors have now been forced to resort to self-censorship to avoid facing fatal consequences.

      “In our part of the world we have problems regarding freedom of expression. Many people do not speak what they want to. And, most writers in Bangladesh now self-censor themselves. Otherwise they will be hacked to death. But, for me it is the worst form of censorship,” she said.

    • Ethiopia Offline: Evidence of Social Media Blocking and Internet Censorship in Ethiopia

      Waves of protests against the government have taken place across various parts of Ethiopia since November 2015. These protests have consistently been quashed by Ethiopian security forces using excessive, sometimes lethal, force, which led to scores of injuries and deaths. The crackdown on protests was accompanied by increasingly severe restrictions on access to information and communications in large parts of the country by cutting off internet access, slowing down connections and blocking social media websites.

    • Ethiopia: Evidence of social media blocking and internet censorship

      Recently we published a post about what appeared to be a possible internet shutdown in Ethiopia during a wave of ongoing protests by ethnic groups. Today, in collaboration with Amnesty International we are releasing a report that includes evidence of recent censorship events during Ethiopia’s political upheaval.

    • Two Yle journalists resign citing limits on freedom of speech

      Two Yle journalists have resigned from the company over what they say are restrictions on their freedom of speech and a working culture hostile to journalistic practices. The two had published stories about Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s family links to a subcontractor of the state-owned and state-subsidised ex-Talvivaara mine, but disputed editorial decisions to shelve follow-up stories.

    • Anglophone journalists hit back against Cameroon government ‘censorship’

      Anglophone journalists in Cameroon have condemned a government order banning all radio and television discussions on the political situation in the English-speaking South-West Region.

      The order signed by the South-West Regional Delegate of Communication, Muma Rosette Bih, called on private media owners to respect the government’s “social communication and editorial policy.”

    • The League Against Silence wants to overcome self-censorship in Colombia

      “We are going to make a confession: in Colombia, journalists publish much less than what they know.” Thus begins the promotion video of the newly-formed network of journalists called The League Against Silence, which, through its first activity, is seeking resources to cover the most self-censored issues in the country.

      The confession from the journalists does not seek controversy. What the league wants is to generate debate and solutions for one of the most serious problems facing Colombian journalists, especially those in the interior of the country: self-censorship.

    • It is time to talk about film censorship in India

      The rules that are followed by the censorship committee are those which have been presented to us by the government. Nothing has changed, and it is certainly not arbitrary. It is a myth that the film Befikre went without any cuts. Our job is to suggest edits to the producers and they can make the changes and send the film back for reconsideration. 82 per cent of the films (Bollywood or otherwise) have been passed without any cuts, so we are very fair. Also I don’t make the decision alone. The film is put up for review to a committee where every member gets a say. Only unanimous decisions based on conscience are passed. Otherwise they film is sent to a review committee. Our job is not to look into the implications of Freedom of Expression — only to review objectionable content.

    • Censors are becoming celebrities

      If there were a rogues’ gallery for all those who have made significant contributions to the recent decline in global democracy, it would prominently feature Dmitry Kiselyov and Lu Wei.

      As Vladimir Putin’s chief propagandist, Mr. Kiselyov bears considerable responsibility for ushering in what some call the post-truth era, in which lies, fabrications and fake news increasingly shape the political debate in dictatorships and democracies alike. And until recently, Mr. Lu was the field marshal of China’s ambitious system of internet censorship. As the boss of a vast thought-control bureaucracy, he is credited with perfecting an Orwellian structure of information regulation of unprecedented scope and complexity.

      A free press and access to information are the crown jewels of modern democracy. Honest elections, fair trials, equality before the law — all are vulnerable without dedicated and ethical journalists and laws that protect the press from dangerous laws proposed by people of bad faith.

      Censorship and propaganda were once regarded as sources of shame, even in authoritarian settings, and the officials who carried out these shabby projects were shadowy figures unknown to the outside world. In the 21st century, however, things have changed.

    • YouTube Censorship 2016: North Korea Channel KCTV Blocked For Violating Community Guidelines
    • YouTube blocks North Korea’s state-run propaganda channel
    • YouTube blocks North Korean channel to avoid breaching sanctions
    • Miss World’s obscene pro-China censorship
    • Attempts to Silence Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin Give More Attention to Her Message
    • This Beauty Queen Is Being Silenced by Miss World and It’s Shady AF
    • Amazon Prime Video Is Censoring Content in India, and Badly
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Shadow Brokers may be selling NSA cyber tools on new underground site

      The Shadow Brokers hacker group, believed to be behind the high-profile cyber theft of NSA cyber tools, now appears to have put up the stolen cyber weapons for direct sale on an underground site, according to a report. A newly uncovered site reportedly contains a file with the cryptographic signature of the Shadow Brokers, indicating that the hacker group has abandoned its auction and is now moving to directly sell the NSA hacking tools.

    • Vehicle-to-vehicle communication rule finally proposed by the government

      Nearly three years after it was first mooted, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Tuesday that will mandate vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication systems in all new cars and trucks. Once the rule is finalized, car makers will have two model years to begin including V2V systems, with some added leeway for product cycles. V2V-equipped cars will communicate with each other at short ranges to prevent the kinds of accidents where current advanced driver assistance systems, most of which depend on line of sight, aren’t effective.

    • AWS: the first rule of the new data centre is don’t talk about the new data centre

      YOU MIGHT HAVE thought that Amazon Web Services (AWS) would be delighted to tell the nation all about its newly announced UK data centre on BBC Radio 4′s flagship Today news programme. Not a bit of it.

      “So, where’s it going to be?” asked the interviewer, Dominic O’Connell.

      “I’d love to tell you where it is but I’d have to kill you,” chortled Gavin Jackson managing director of AWS UK and Ireland, clearly enjoying himself.

      “Our customers’ security is our top priority so we don’t want to describe where it is or anything like that.”

      So how big is it, asked the interviewer, lamely.

    • Starting next year, Evernote employees could access your unencrypted notes

      Evernote has published an update to its Privacy Policy, revealing that as of 23 January 2017, employees will be able to access unencrypted notes. The change is being wheeled in because of the apparent failings of machine learning.

      Perhaps more worrying is the fact that Evernote says that it is not possible to opt out of having employees possibly accessing your unencrypted notes. The only way to fully protect your privacy is to delete all your notes and close your Evernote account.

      The update to the Privacy Policy starts off sounding fairly innocuous: “The latest update to the Privacy Policy allows some Evernote employees to exercise oversight of machine learning technologies applied to account content, subject to the limits described below, for the purposes of developing and improving the Evernote service”.

    • 150 Filmmakers Ask Nikon and Canon to Sell Encrypted Cameras

      In the summer of 2013, when documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras was shooting a still-secret NSA leaker named Edward Snowden in a Hong Kong hotel room, she took security seriously. She’d periodically transfer her footage to encrypted hard drives, and would later go so far as to destroy the SD cards onto which her camera recorded. But as she watched Snowden through her lens, she was haunted by the possibility that security agents might barge through the door at any moment to seize her camera. And the memory card inside of it remained dangerously unencrypted, full of unedited confessions of a whistleblower who hadn’t yet gotten his secrets out to the world.

    • Over 150 filmmakers and photojournalists call on major camera manufacturers to build encryption into their cameras

      Today, Freedom of the Press Foundation is publishing an open letter to the world’s leading camera manufacturers—including Nikon, Sony, Canon, Olympus, and Fuji—urging them to build encryption into their still photo and video cameras to help protect the filmmakers and photojournalists who use them.

      The letter is signed by over 150 documentary filmmakers and photojournalists from around the world, including fifteen Academy Award nominees and winners, such as Laura Poitras, Alex Gibney, Joshua Oppenheimer, and many more. You can read the full text below.

    • Edward Snowden says “the central problem of the future” is control of user data

      Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey interviewed Edward Snowden today, and the big topic was technology.

      During the Q&A (which was broadcast live from the Pardon Snowden Periscope account) Snowden discussed the data that many online companies continue to collect about their users, creating a “quantified world” — and more opportunities for government surveillance.

      “If you are being tracked, this is something you should agree to, this is something you should understand, this is something you should be aware of and can change at any time,” he said.

    • Django debates privacy concern

      In recent years, privacy issues have become a growing concern among free-software projects and users. As more and more software tasks become web-based, surveillance and tracking of users is also on the rise. While some software may use advertising as a source of revenue, which has the side effect of monitoring users, the Django community recently got into an interesting debate surrounding a proposal to add user tracking—actually developer tracking—to the popular Python web framework.

    • Pardon Edward Snowden
    • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden sends strong anti-surveillance message to Donald Trump

      In a clear message to US President-elect Donald Trump, the famed National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden has said that government surveillance programmes will create “vulnerabilities” for social media users.

      “The same technologies that are being used to connect us, to tie us together, to let you listen to this right now, are also being used to make records about your activity. Recording the activities of someone creates vulnerabilities for them,” Snowden said during a question-and-answer session with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey CEO on the live video app Periscope owned by the micro-blogging site.

    • Snowden ‘not worried’ about fate under Trump

      Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden says he is not worried about his fate and future under US President-elect Donald Trump, who assumes office in January.

      “I’m not worried,” Snowden said in an interview with Twitter on Tuesday, when asked if he is worried a Trump presidency could lead to his imprisonment. “I’m comfortable with the decisions that I made. I believe that I did the right thing.”

    • Snowden Says Accepts Possibility of Extradition to US

      Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden said he was “not OK” with the possibility of being extradited to the United States but had to accept it.

    • Snowden: Donald Trump could get pal Putin to kick me out of Russia

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has warned Donald Trump, as US President, could do a deal with Russian leader Vladimir Putin to extradite or imprison the whistleblower.

      In an hour-long live-streamed video interview on Periscope with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey today, Snowden argued the US had trapped him in Russia when it cancelled his passport. The ex-NSA IT nerd added the incoming White House administration – which seemingly has better relations with the Russian government than the Obama regime – may be able to get him kicked out of the country and delivered into the hands of Uncle Sam, or otherwise imprisoned.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • French State of Emergency: same player, play again

      The French National Assembly and Senate are about to extend the state of emergency established in France one year ago, on 13 November 2015, for the fith consecutive time. PM Bernard Cazeneuve’s administration is requesting a renewal until 15 July 2017 with no guarantee that this state of emergency will end. France is settling into a permanent state of Human Rights suspension and in limitations of civil liberties that become more difficult to block everyday. La Quadrature du Net is calling on MPs to deny this renewal and return to the Rule of Law and the respect of rights and liberties, in this period of crucial elections.

    • Women fight back after being BANNED from streets by Muslim men

      FRENCH women have launched a fightback to reclaim areas of the country turned into no go zones by Muslim men as a shocking report lays bare the state of social segregation caused by mass migration.

    • Devastating New Evidence on Sharia Courts
    • Sharia courts have no place in UK family law. Listen to women who know
    • The Sharia debate in the UK: who will listen to our voices?
    • Jakarta’s Governor Ahok hears blasphemy indictment as court guarded by hundreds of police

      In the indictment read to the North Jakarta District Court, prosecutors argued the Christian and ethnic Chinese Basuki Tjahaja Purnama deliberately committed an action that was hateful, abusive and blasphemous.

      The crime carries a maximum five years in prison.

      The Governor, better known as Ahok, is facing a local governors election in February next year.

      After the indictment was read, Ahok, who is represented by a team of 80 lawyers, told the court he could not understand why he was charged with blasphemy.

      “I beg your honour to consider my defence note and consider whether charges by the prosecutor can be accepted or if you reject it so I can go back to serve Jakarta and build the city,” Ahok, told the court.

      “I had no intention to interpret Al-Maidah or commit blasphemy against Islam or insult the clerics,” he said, referring to the fifth chapter of the Koran.

      “My intention was solely for the rogue politicians who use the verse incorrectly during the election.”

    • German Defense Minister Refusing to Wear Hijab Causes Saudi Outrage

      Controversy arose after German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and her entourage refused to wear hijab head coverings or the full length abaya garment while visiting Riyadh last week.

      Von der Leyen said that she “respect[s] the customs and traditions of the country,” but added that, “No woman in my delegation will be required to wear the abaya, as the [right] to choose one’s attire is a right shared by men and women equally,” according to Iran Front Page.

    • Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, and the Modern Whistle-Blower

      In the summer of 1967, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara commissioned a group of thirty-six scholars to write a secret history of the Vietnam War. The project took a year and a half, ran to seven thousand pages, and filled forty-seven volumes. Only a handful of copies were made, and most were kept under lock and key in and around the Beltway. One set, however, ended up at the RAND Corporation, in Santa Monica, where it was read, from start to finish, by a young analyst there named Daniel Ellsberg.

    • NSA Watchdog Removed for Whistleblower Retaliation

      Until just a few months ago, George Ellard occupied a position of trust as top watchdog of the National Security Agency, America’s principal collector of signals intelligence. Ellard was not only NSA’s Inspector General, but an outspoken critic of Edward Snowden, the former contract employee who leaked hundreds of thousands of classified emails to publicly expose the agency’s domestic surveillance program. Snowden claimed, among other things, that his concerns about NSA’s domestic eavesdropping were ignored by the agency, and that he feared retaliation. Ellard publicly argued in 2014 that Snowden could have safely reported the allegations of NSA’s domestic surveillance directly to him.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Things Heat Up In WIPO Debate On Patents And Health

      The World Intellectual Property Organization patent law committee this week became the latest venue for the global debate over the system to provide incentives to the pharmaceutical industry to find new medicines while ensuring all patients have access to those medicines. Most developing countries want the committee to discuss the recommendations of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, while most developed countries disagree. The tone is rising, and the issue could come as a hurdle as countries decide the future work of the committee.

    • Group Finds Discrepancies In Implementation Of Nagoya Protocol Between EU, Providers

      A new report by two civil society groups explores what they say are discrepancies between European Union and provider country laws implementing the Nagoya Protocol on genetic resources, which they say could lead to legal uncertainties for users and providers.

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • CEIPI/EAO Conference–”Copyright Enforcement in the Online World”

        The conference ended with the panel discussion on future perspectives on copyright enforcement online with the participation of Julia Reda, MEP for the Pirate Party, Rüdiger Dossow, Secretary to PACE Committee of Culture, Science, Education and Media,ilvia Grundmann, Head of Media and Internet Governance Division of the Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe, Cécile Despringre, Executive Director of the Society of Audiovisual Authors, and Giancarlo Frosio and Prof Sean O’Connor from the CEIPI.”

      • Music Industry Pressures Trump on Piracy Ahead of Silicon Valley Meeting

        Donald Trump will meet with some of the biggest technology companies during a round-table discussion in New York this afternoon. Ahead of the meeting the RIAA and an A to Z of music groups have written an open letter to the president-elect, pressing him over piracy and the protection of intellectual property rights.

      • Court Protects BitTorrent Pirate From Overaggressive Filmmakers

        Filmmakers and other rightsholders should not be allowed to aggressively exploit copyright law for financial gain. In a recent court order, an Oregon Judge denied the makers of The Cobbler a request for more than $17,000 in attorney fees, arguing that individual downloaders don’t have to pay for more than their fair share of the piracy problem.

      • US Government Publishes New Plan to Target Pirate Sites

        The US Government has just released its new Joint Strategic Plan for Intellectual Property Enforcement. There’s a strong “follow the money” emphasis alongside cracking down on pirate advertising, domain hopping, search engine results, and abuse of social media.

      • Court orders ISPs to block rights-infringing websites

        Foxtel and Village Roadshow have succeeded in their bid in the Federal Court to force ISPs to block a number of sites they say are infringing their copyright.

        The court handed down its judgement this afternoon in the case which was filed by Foxtel and Village Roadshow in February.

        ISPs were required to block The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, TorrentHound, IsoHunt and SolarMovie, according to the court ruling.

        But Federal Court Judge John Nicholas did not grant the copyright holders leave to issue out-of-court orders to carriers to block any other sites.

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    The creeping threat of patent extortion (litigation from companies that are empty shells with nothing but patents) does not worry IAM; instead, this is the vision IAM wants to actualise, having been paid by stakeholders in such a nefarious outcome



  11. The EPO Has Found 'Creative' New Ways to Bribe the Media and Promote Software Patents

    From Computer-Implemented Inventions (CII) and "Industry 4.0" the EPO is moving to creative new misnomers for carriers of software patents, SEP (patents-encumbered 'standards'), so-called 'FRAND' etc.



  12. EPO Busy Distracting From Miscarriage/Abuse of Justice at the EPO (Both Office and Organisation)

    The European Patent Organisation continues to be a vassal of the Office (Christoph Ernst is defending Battistelli) and justice is not being honoured; it's being discarded in the darkness (in secret meetings)



  13. Bristows LLP/IP Kat Carrying on With Dead UPC Jingoism

    The same old tune from Bristows not only gets played in Bristows' 'alternate reality' blog but also in other blogs where Bristows staff is 'contributing' (to confusion and misconceptions)



  14. Links 16/12/2017: Mesa 17.2.7, Wine 3.0 RC2, Kdenlive 17.12.0, Mir 0.29

    Links for the day



  15. Patrick Corcoran is Innocent, Yet Battistelli Will/May Have the Power to Sack Him Next Month (in DG1)

    The EPO's Administrative Council does not want to even mention Patrick Corcoran, as merely bringing that up might lead to the suggestion that Benoît Battistelli should be fired (yes, they can fire him), but to set the record straight, at the EPO truth-tellers are punished and those whom they expose are shielded by the Administrative Council



  16. Patent Trolls Are Going Bust in the United States (Along With the 'Protection' Racket Conglomerates)

    RPX continues its gradual collapse and patent trolls fail to find leverage now that software patents are kaput and patent opportunists struggle to access Texan courts



  17. IBM's Manny Schecter is Wrong Again and He is Attempting to Justify Patent Trolling

    In yet another dodgy effort to undermine the US Supreme Court and bring back software patents, IBM's "chief patent counsel" (his current job title) expresses views that are bunk or "alternative facts"



  18. EPO Administrative Council Disallows Discussion About Violations of the Law by Benoît Battistelli

    The EPO crisis is not ending for the Administrative Council does not want to tackle any of the obvious problems; Patrick Corcoran is a taboo subject and Ernst is coming across as another protector of Benoît Battistelli, based on today's meeting (the second meeting he chairs)



  19. Links 13/12/2017: GIMP 2.9.8, Fedora 25 End Of Life, AltOS 1.8.3

    Links for the day



  20. Judge Corcoran Got His User ID/Desk Back (as ILO Asked), But Cannot Perform Actual Work

    The latest update regarding Patrick Corcoran, whose 3-year ordeal is far from over in spite of ILO's unambiguous rulings in his favour



  21. The End of Software Patents and PTAB's Role in Enforcing That End

    Software patents are fast becoming a dying breed and the appeal board (PTAB) of the USPTO accelerates this trend, irrespective of patent immunity attempts



  22. No, China Isn't Most Innovative, It's Just Granting a Lot of Low-Quality Patents

    Patent extremists are trying to make China look like a role model or a success story because China grants far too many patents, spurring an explosion in litigation



  23. Battistelli-Campinos Transition Will Be a Smooth One as the Administrative Council Remains the Same and the Boards Still Besieged

    A rather pessimistic (albeit likely realistic) expectation from tomorrow's meeting of the Administrative Council, which continues to show that no lessons were learned and no strategy will be altered to avoid doom (low-quality patents and stocks running out)



  24. Links 12/12/2017: New BlackArch ISO and Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  25. German Media Helps Cover Up -- Not Cover -- the Latest EPO Scandal

    EPO-Handelsblatt attention diversion tricks may be effective as German media barely shows interest in one of the EPO's biggest scandals to date



  26. PTAB Haters Fail to Guard Bogus Patents, But They Still Try

    Three Affiliated Tribes probably won't enjoy sovereign immunity from PTAB, Dennis Crouch won't manage to slow down PTAB, and patent litigation will stagnate as bad patents perish before they even land in a lawsuit



  27. Team UPC's Tilmann Defends Rogue Vote at 1 AM in the Morning With Just 5% of Politicians (Those With Vested Interests) Attending

    Just when German democracy is being stolen by a legislative coup (in the dead of night when 95% of politicians are absent/asleep) there's someone 'courageous' enough to rear his ugly head and attempt to justify that coup



  28. The Mask Falls: Lobbyist David Kappos Now Composes Pieces for the Patent Trolls' Lobby (IAM)

    David Kappos, a former USPTO Director who is now lobbying for large corporations that derive revenue from patent extortion, is writing for IAM even if his views are significantly biased by his aggressive paymasters (just like IAM's)



  29. The EPO Protest Tomorrow Isn't Just About Judge Corcoran But About the EPO as a Whole

    PO staff is about to protest against the employer, pointing out that "Battistelli is still showing a total and utter lack of respect not only for his staff and their rights but also for the Administrative Council and for the Tribunal"



  30. Claim: Judge Corcoran to Be Put Under Benoît Battistelli's Control in DG1

    Benoît Battistelli, who openly disregards and refuses to obey judges (while intervening in trials and delivering 'royal decrees' whenever it suits him), may soon gain direct control over the judge he hates most


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