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12.29.16

Links 29/12/2016: OpenELEC 7.0, Android Wear 2.0 Smartwatches Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 3:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Microsoft Finally Admits Its Malware-Style Windows 10 Upgrade Sales Pitch Went Too Far

      We’ve talked a lot about how Microsoft managed to shoot Windows 10 (and consumer goodwill) squarely in the foot by refusing to seriously address OS privacy concerns, and by using malware-style tactics to try and force users on older versions of Windows to upgrade. While Microsoft’s decision to offer Windows 10 as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 made sense on its surface, the company repeatedly bungled the promotion by making the multi-gigabyte upgrade impossible to avoid, which was a huge problem for those on capped and metered broadband connections.

      But at times Microsoft made things even worse by engaging in behavior that would make even the lowest scumware peddlers proud. Like that time the Redmond-giant began pushing Windows 10 upgrade popups that pretended to let users close the popup dialogue by pressing X, only to have that begin the upgrade anyway against the user’s wishes.

    • The Best Linux Desktop Environments for HiDPI Displays

      In the age of Apple’s Retina technology and 4k displays, HiDPI support is becoming more of a mainstream thing. This means that modern operating systems have started tweaking their UI so it looks good on bigger, denser displays. Big players like macOS and Windows 10 have been enabling pretty good HiDPI support to combat this. How has Linux been handling this new trend?

      For the most part, it varies. Most modern desktops on the Linux platform will have HiDPI support, but which are the best? Here we have compiled a list of the best desktop environments to use with HiDPI displays.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Details On The PS4′s Radeon GPU With Linux Driver Modifications

      At this week’s Chaos Communication Congress (33C3) one of the talks interesting us is on console hacking, due to the PlayStation 4 making use of a Radeon GPU and the work done to modify the open-source Radeon Linux GPU driver to run on the PS4.

      Hector Martin was the presenter for Console Hacking 2016 where he talked about his PlayStation 4 hacking and going from Sony’s FreeBSD-based operating system to the lengthy process of getting Linux running on the PS4 and being able to make use of the Radeon APU.

    • Console Hacking 2016 – PS4: PC Master Race
    • How Facebook Uses Linux and Btrfs: An Interview with Chris Mason

      Chris Mason is the principal author of Btrfs, the open source file system that’s seen as the default file system for SUSE Enterprise Linux. Mason started working on Btrfs at Oracle and then moved to Facebook where he continued to work on the file system as a member of the company’s Linux kernel team. When Facebook has new kernels that need to go out, Mason helps make sure that everything’s been properly tested and meets performance needs.

    • 2017′s Big Question: Who Pays for the Blockchain?

      Not since the heady dotcom days have we seen so many experts hyping a new technology. But, amid the hype, little attention has been paid to an important question. Who pays for the blockchain?

      This consideration is especially important to anyone evaluating blockchain technology for their organization.

      The blockchain buzz began in 2015. Bitcoin’s association with illegal activities earned it a bad reputation. This led startups to brand themselves as blockchain companies. They promised to deliver the benefits of the “technology behind bitcoin” without the undesirable baggage. Most didn’t understand that the technology behind bitcoin has existed for years.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Running The Intel NUC6i7KYK On Linux With Skylake Iris Pro Graphics

        I’ve managed to get my hands on an Intel NUC6i7KYK “Skull Canyon” NUC featuring the Core i7 6770HQ Skylake CPU with Iris Pro Graphics 580. When paired with 32GB of RAM and a Samsung 950 PRO 500GB NVMe SSD, it makes for a very speedy, small form factor Linux-friendly PC.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Builder 3.24 Promises Big Features, 3.22.4 Improves Flatpak Support

        The developers behind the open-source and free GNOME Builder IDE (Integrated Development Environment) app released the fourth maintenance update to the 3.22 stable series.

        That’s right, we’re talking about GNOME Builder 3.22.4, which comes approximately three weeks after the third point release in the series and promises to improve various components and features of the application, but also to address many of those nasty issues reported by users since GNOME Builder 3.22.3.

      • GTK+ 4 Development Continues with Vulkan Implementation and More Deprecated APIs

        A new development build of the upcoming GTK+ 4 GUI (Graphical User Interface) toolkit used to create those beautiful GTK apps everyone adores arrived last week with a lot of new features and bug fixes.

        GTK+ 3.89.2 comes just one month after the first development snapshot, versioned 3.89.1, and it looks like it comes with a new Vulkan implementation that was added in parallel to the OpenGL one, CSS border-spacing support for the GtkBox and GtkGrid widgets, as well as the gadgets, and a working gtk4-icon-browser.

      • GNOME’s GTK Vulkan Renderer Faster Than OpenGL, Now Working On Windows

        GNOME’s GTK Vulkan renderer continues advancing in Git for GTK+ 4.0. This Vulkan renderer for the GTK Scene Kit is forming into a nice alternative to its OpenGL renderer.

        With the latest Git, there is now support for Vulkan context creation under Windows. So now their Vulkan code should work for GTK Windows users too and just not Linux.

  • Distributions

    • LXLE: A Linux Distribution Light on Resources But Heavy on Function

      Most lightweight Linux distributions are fairly standard: They use a window manager with a small footprint and install a minimal amount of apps to continue with the small size metaphor. In the end, many of those distributions function well…at a cost of functionality. Typically, to get a lightweight distro to do what you want, you wind up having to install numerous other apps, which basically defeats the purpose.

      Then there are distributions like LXLE. This particular take on the small footprint Linux feels more like it belongs in the good old regular footprint Linux. It’s stuck squarely in the middle and can stake the claim that it can truly revive your old hardware without doing so at the cost of productivity. And, with the latest release (Eclectica, based on Ubuntu 16.04.01), that distribution is better and more capable than you’d imagine.

    • New Releases

      • OpenELEC 7.0 Linux OS Out Now with OpenVPN & Bluetooth Audio, Based on Kodi 16.1

        Today, December 29, 2016, the OpenELEC development team proudly announced the release of a new stable build of their HTPC (Home Theater PC) Linux-based operating system for embedded devices.

        OpenELEC 7.0.0 is now the latest stable version of the GNU/Linux distribution built around the well-known, open-source, and cross-platform Kodi 16.1 (formerly XBMC) media center. It’s powered by the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel and comes with support for Bluetooth Audio and VPN (Virtual Private Network) through OpenVPN.

      • [Stable] OpenELEC 7.0 released
      • OpenELEC 7.0 Kodi HTPC Linux Distribution Released

        The folks behind the OpenELEC Linux distribution that’s designed around the Kodi HTPC/multimedia software have pushed out their big “7″ release to end out 2016.

      • 64bit ISO images only for OMV3 [OpenMediaVault]

        Starting today there will be only 64bit ISO images for OMV3 to download. If you still need a 32bit installation, then use the Debian 32bit netinstall ISO image and install OMV3 manually.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva Lx 3.01 Released with KDE Plasma 5.8.4 LTS and Linux Kernel 4.9

        Softpedia was informed by the OpenMandriva team about the release and general availability of the OpenMandriva Lx 3.01 GNU/Linux operating system for personal computers.

        OpenMandriva Lx 3.01 is the first maintenance update to the Lx 3 stable series, bringing us all the latest and greatest KDE technologies and Open Source software projects. The biggest change being the rebased of the operating system on the recently released Linux 4.9 kernel, which was injected with BFQ as default CPU scheduler.

      • Random Musings on the New Year and Changes

        Come Mageia 6 and I will have to wave farewell to KDE 4. OpenMandriva has been training me on the ways of Plasma 5, so I will only have to forget about the wallpapers, just like I had to forget about GRUB when GRUB 2 came along. Who knows, maybe a new secret feature of Plasma 5 will make me love the DE, just like when I grew to love the ROSA SimpleWelcome screen in Mandriva 2011…

        Mageia 6 Sta1 has been on my laptop since September (for testing). When Mageia 6 is finally released, I will have an additional partition on my HD if I replace my current Mageia 5 install.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Out of the comfort zone: OpenSuSE support for an ordinary user – f*ck my morals

        A friend of mine choose for $reasons to install the latest OpenSuSE 42.2 release as his new laptop operating system. It’s been a while that I had contact with the SuSE Linux distribution. Must be around 12 years or so. The unsual part here is that I’ve to support a somewhat eccentric, but mostly ordinary user of computers. And to my surprise it’s still hard to just plug in your existing stuff and expect it work. I’ve done so many dirty things to this installation in the last three days, my system egineering heart is bleeding.

    • Slackware Family

      • Linux Kernel 4.9 Now Unofficially Available for Slackware 14.2 and Derivatives

        After announcing the availability of a remix of Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Raspbian PIXEL Linux OS that features Refracta Tools, GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton informed us about the availability of a custom Linux 4.9 kernel build for Slackware 14.2, Zenwalk, Slax, SlackEX, or other distro based on them.

        Linux kernel 4.9 was officially unveiled more than two weeks ago, on December 11, 2016, by Linus Torvalds himself, and it brought many cool new features. We recommend reading our report if you want to familiarize yourself with its changes, but if you’ve dreamed of using it on Slackware 14.2 or its derivatives, now you can.

    • Red Hat Family

      • NethServer: Linux without All That Linux Stuff

        Okay, that title really isn’t fair. NethServer has all the Linux stuff, it’s just that you don’t have to interact with it in the traditional way in order to reap the benefits. NethServer is a web-based management software package built on top of CentOS. You can download it as a separate distribution, but truly, it’s just software on top of CentOS. In fact, the installationmethods are either “install the NethServer distro” or “add the NethServer repository to your existing CentOS install”. I really like that.

        The concept behind NethServer isn’t a new one. Lots of distributions are designed to simplify managing a server. I’ve written about ClearOS, Untangle and several others in the past. Plus, you always can just install Webmin on your server and get a “roll your own” web-administered system. The thing I like about NethServer is how well it allows you to configure services while not doing anything proprietary underneath. I think the interface is simple and intuitive as well.

      • Finance

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • You Can Now Create Your Own Remix of Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Raspbian PIXEL OS

          GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton announced recently that he managed to create a remix of Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Raspbian with PIXEL desktop operating system for PC and Mac.

          If you’re reading the news lately, you should be aware of the fact that Raspberry Pi Foundation modified their widely-used, Debian-based Raspbian GNU/Linux distribution for Raspberry Pi single-board computers, with the new PIXEL desktop environment, to work on x86 computers and Macs.

          When we said “modified” above, we actually meant to say that there’s a new spin of Raspbian PIXEL, which you can use on your PC or Mac, but there’s a catch. It appears that there’s currently no installer including in this image to deploy the Linux-based operating system on your personal computer or laptop.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Here’s Ubuntu Budgie 16.10 Linux Operating System Running on an Onda Tablet PC

            According to a tweet posted by user Beto Sanchez, it would appear that the Ubuntu Budgie 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) operating system is running on an Onda Tablet PC device, which usually ships with either Windows 10 or Android, or even both.

            It’s a known fact that anyone can install Ubuntu or any other GNU/Linux distribution on Intel Atom Bay Trail tablets, and there are a bunch of tutorials on how to achieve that all over the Internet, so this news shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. We’re just happy to see more users installing Linux on their devices.

            At the moment of writing, we have no details about how well Ubuntu Budgie runs, or which model that Onda Tablet device is. All we know is what you see in the photo attached, which shows budgie-remix 16.10 running live from a USB thumb drive with its beautiful customized Budgie desktop environment.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Whatever happened to Open Source in 2016?

    Open source was all the rage in the NHS in 2015, but it’s barely rated in the past 12 months. Jon Hoeksma examines the drivers behind the quiet pivot and whether there is still place for open source in the NHS.

  • Commercial open-source: Sentry

    Commercial open-source software is usually based around some kind of asymmetry: the owner possesses something that you as a user do not, allowing them to make money off of it.

    This asymmetry can take on a number of forms. One popular option is to have dual licensing: the product is open-source (usually GPL), but if you want to deviate from that, there’s the option to buy a commercial license. These projects are recognizable by the fact that they generally require you to sign a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) in which you transfer all your rights to the code over to the project owners. A very bad deal for you as a contributor (you work but get nothing in return) so I recommend against participating in those projects. But that’s a subject for a different day.

  • Software Freedom After Trump

    I’ll say it: it’s been rough since the election. Like so many other people, I was thrown into a state of reflection about my country, the world and my role in it. I’ve struggled with understanding how I can live in a world where it seems facts don’t matter. It’s been reassuring to see so many of my friends, family and colleagues (many of them lawyers!) become invigorated to work in the public good. This has all left me with some real self-reflection. I’ve been passionate about software freedom for a long time, and while I think it has really baffled many of my loved ones, I’ve been advocating for the public good in that context somewhat doggedly. But is this issue worth so much of my time? Is it the most impactful way I can spend my time?

    I think I was on some level anticipating something like this. I started down this road in my OSCON EU keynote entitled “Is Software Freedom A Social Justice Issue,” in which I talked about software freedom ideology and its place relative to social justice issues.

  • Facebook open-sources Atom in Orbit, a web-based IDE

    Facebook developers have crafted a version of the Atom open-source text editor that can be deployed in a web browser. Atom in Orbit, as the new technology is called, is now available on GitHub under a BSD-3 Clause open-source license, and a demo app lets you take the tool for a spin.

    The new tool builds on Facebook’s Nuclide IDE, which itself runs on top of Atom. Atom has a user base and plenty of extensions to choose from, and people are familiar with its keyboard shortcuts. Now it can just run in a browser, which has certain advantages.

  • Best of Opensource.com: Business
  • From Apache to Google: Notable Open Source Offerings from Tech Titans

    Each year, we at OStatic round up our ongoing collections of open source resources, tutorials, and tools. We regularly collect the best developer tools, free online books on open source topics, and newly open sourced projects.

    In this post, you’ll find some of the best new tools from 2016.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome will soon mark some HTTP pages as ‘non-secure’

        Beginning next month, the company will tag web pages that include login or credit card fields with the message “Not Secure” if the page is not served using HTTPS, the secure version of the internet protocol.

        The company on Tuesday began sending messages through its Google Search Console, a tool for webmasters, warning them of the changes that take place starting in January 2017.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Foundation Announces New Uranium Level Donation

      We are thrilled to announce we have received a $500,000 donation from an anonymous donor. We are incredibly grateful for this donation and want to extend a heartfelt thank you to this donor for recognizing the value we provide by supporting the FreeBSD Project and community worldwide. We are indebted to to donors like this, who are investing in FreeBSD and the Foundation to make FreeBSD the best platform for education, research, computing, product development, and gaining real-world skills. Thank you to everyone who has supported us this year!

    • FreeBSD Foundation Receives Another $500,000 USD Gift

      FreeBSD is ending 2016 on a high note by receiving another “Uranium Level” donation, marking it as an additional $500,000 USD for their foundation.

      Earlier this month the FreeBSD Foundation received a $500,000 donation from the founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum. That’s on top of Koum giving one million dollars to FreeBSD back in 2014.

    • The Top BSD News This Year: Ubuntu Atop BSD, FreeBSD 11.0, DragonFly’s HAMMER2
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • A Chip to Protect the Internet of Things

      The Internet of Things offers the promise of all sorts of nifty gadgets, but each connected device is also a tempting target for hackers. As recent cybersecurity incidents have shown, IoT devices can be harnessed to wreak havoc or compromise the privacy of their owners. So Microchip Technology and Amazon.com have collaborated to create an add-on chip that’s designed to make it easier to combat certain types of attack—and, of course, encourage developers to use Amazon’s cloud-based infrastructure for the Internet of Things.

    • Reproducible Builds: week 87 in Stretch cycle

      100% Of The 289 Coreboot Images Are Now Built Reproducibly by Phoronix, with more details in German by Pro-Linux.de.

      We have further reports on our Reproducible Builds World summit #2 in Berlin from Rok Garbas of NixOS as well as Clemens Lang of MacPorts

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Catholic church targeted in Christmas Eve blast in Philippines

      Sixteen people have been wounded in a grenade explosion outside a Catholic church during a Christmas Eve mass on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, according to local police and a priest.

      Bernardo Tayong, Midsayap town police chief, said most of the injured had been standing outside the Sto Nino parish church in Midsayap town, North Cotabato.

    • Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte denies throwing person off a helicopter

      Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte denied reports that he threw a person off a helicopter in an interview with CNN Philippines Thursday, contradicting a statement he made on live television earlier this week.

      “We had no helicopter. We don’t use that,” he said. He described the incident as “just the creative imagination of this Tulfo.”

      Duterte did not clarify who Tulfo was, but he could have been referring to a number of journalists with the same surname.

    • Rodrigo Duterte of Philippines Calls U.N. Human Rights Chief an ‘Idiot’

      President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines called the United Nations’ human rights chief an “idiot” on Thursday, days after the diplomat suggested that Mr. Duterte be investigated for murder.

      “You there in the United Nations, you do not know diplomacy,” Mr. Duterte said. “You do not know how to behave, to be an employee of the United Nations. You do not talk to me like that, you son of a bitch.”

    • Syrian government and rebels have signed ceasefire deal, says Putin

      The Assad government and armed Syrian opposition have signed a ceasefire agreement and agreed to begin a new round of negotiations to find a political solution to the country’s civil war, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has said.

      The ceasefire, which was confirmed by a rebel official, the Syrian army and the Turkish foreign ministry, is to come into force at midnight on Thursday (22.00 GMT).

    • US expels Russian diplomats over cyber attack allegations

      The US has expelled 35 Russian diplomats as punishment for alleged interference into the presidential election.

      It will also close two Russian compounds used for intelligence-gathering, in Maryland and New York, as part of a raft of retaliatory measures.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • CIA Admits It Hasn’t Touched FOIA Request In Six Years… Says It Will Close Case If Requestor Doesn’t Reply

      Back in 2011, MuckRock user Jason Smathers filed a FOIA with the CIA for all responses they had sent to requesters containing the term “record systems.” This was a reference to two earlier rejections he had received from the Agency, which cited the inability to perform a search in the system based on the terms Smathers had provided.

    • The Guardian’s Summary of Julian Assange’s Interview Went Viral and Was Completely False

      Julian Assange is a deeply polarizing figure. Many admire him and many despise him (into which category one falls in any given year typically depends on one’s feelings about the subject of his most recent publication of leaked documents).

      But one’s views of Assange are completely irrelevant to this article, which is not about Assange. This article, instead, is about a report published this week by the Guardian which recklessly attributed to Assange comments that he did not make. This article is about how those false claims – fabrications, really – were spread all over the internet by journalists, causing hundreds of thousands of people (if not millions) to consume false news. The purpose of this article is to underscore, yet again, that those who most flamboyantly denounce Fake News, and want Facebook and other tech giants to suppress content in the name of combatting it, are often the most aggressive and self-serving perpetrators of it.

      One’s views of Assange are completely irrelevant to this article because, presumably, everyone agrees that publication of false claims by a media outlet is very bad even when it’s designed to malign someone you hate. Journalistic recklessness does not become noble or tolerable if it serves the right agenda or cause. The only way one’s views of Assange are relevant to this article is if one finds journalistic falsehoods and Fake News objectionable only when deployed against figures one likes.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The 2016 Election Wasn’t Hacked, But the 2020 Election Could Be

      After partial vote recounts in certain states, US election officials found no evidence that votes had been manipulated by a cyberattack on voting machines, security researchers told an audience at the Chaos Communication Congress hacking festival on Wednesday. But, the researchers called for a vast overhaul in voting machine security and related legislation, warning that an attack is still possible in a future election.

      “We need this because even if the 2016 election wasn’t hacked, the 2020 election might well be,” said J. Alex Halderman, a professor of computer science at the University of Michigan, during a presentation with Matt Bernhard, a computer science PhD student.

    • Donald Trump Says ‘Nobody Knows Exactly What’s Going On’ Because of Computers

      Anyone who’s ever tried using “the Google” or “the Internets” might agree

      Asked whether the U.S. should sanction Russia over computer hacking on Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump cast doubt on the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies and said, “We ought to get on with our lives.”

      But it was his next lines that had an oddly familiar ring to them: “I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly,” Trump told reporters in Florida, according to multiple media reports. “The whole age of [the] computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what’s going on.”

      It isn’t the first time a U.S. leader has appeared uncomfortable with technology.

      When George W. Bush discussed “the Internets” in a 2000 presidential debate against democratic opponent Al Gore, it quickly became a “Bushism” — a neologism for folksy colloquialisms attributed to the then President.

    • Column: Verifying vote should be norm

      From the moment that Jill Stein requested a presidential recount in Michigan, Donald Trump and his Republican cronies have tried to thwart it at every turn. Despite their obstructionism, the recount began earlier this month but was stopped a few days later.

      The recount opponents prevailed after an onslaught of political maneuvers and lawsuits that finally found favor in the Republican bench of the Michigan Court of Appeals.

      It’s a sad day for our democracy when politicking prevails over ensuring the integrity of our election system. And in the media’s coverage of the political play-by-play, we missed the forest for the trees.

    • Voter ID proposal could disenfranchise millions, Labour warns

      Millions of people may be disenfranchised by the government’s plans to trial asking for ID in order to vote, Labour has said.

      Cat Smith, Labour’s shadow minister for voter engagement, raised concerns that 7.5% of the electorate may not have the right kind of identification in order to exercise their right to vote.

      “Labour supports measures to tackle electoral fraud and will be backing a number of the reasonable proposals planned by the government,” she said on Tuesday. “However, requiring voters to produce specific forms of photo ID risks denying millions of electors a vote.

      “A year ago the Electoral Commission reported that 3.5 million electors – 7.5% of the electorate – would have no acceptable piece of photo ID. Under the government’s proposals, these voters would either be denied a vote entirely, or in other trial areas, required to produce multiple pieces of ID, ‘one from group A, one from group B’.

    • Obama Administration Looking To Expand Definition Of ‘Critical Infrastructure’ To Hit Back At Russians

      One of the ridiculous parts of all of the discussions around “cybersecurity” concerns what should be considered “critical infrastructure.” That’s because, thanks to various executive orders, what the President declares as “critical infrastructure” leads to different cybersecurity requirements. There have been concerns that this will result in broadly classifying the internet as “critical infrastructure” in a manner that will lead to easier surveillance. But, as we noted nearly a decade ago, broadly classifying the internet as critical infrastructure would be silly, when the use of that designation should be narrowly focused on things like voting and banking (not to mention things like energy grids and water supplies).

      Apparently, however, as the Obama administration is looking to respond to what it believes was Russian “interference” in the 2016 Presidential election, it is realizing that none of it targeted “critical infrastructure.” And thus… it now wants to change the definition of what’s covered. That should be concerning.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • South Korean envoy to France grilled over Park censorship

      South Korea`s ambassador to France was grilled by investigators Thursday over allegations that the government blacklisted thousands of cultural figures deemed critical of impeached President Park Geun-Hye.

      Ambassador Mo Chul-Min, who served as senior presidential secretary for education and culture from 2013 to 2014, returned home Wednesday following a summons from a special prosecutor probing a corruption scandal that led to Park`s impeachment.

    • Amos Yee awaits appearance before immigration judge

      There will be no ‘credible fear interview’ for Amos Yee after all, and it’s still up in the air whether the Singaporean teenage blogger will be paroled into the United States while applying for political asylum.

      The 18-year-old first became a household name in Singapore when he was arrested in March 2015 for an expletive-laden video entitled ‘Lee Kuan Yew is finally dead!’, released shortly after the death of the elder statesman. In the midst of a week-long period of national mourning, Yee lambasted the late Lee, comparing him to Jesus and describing them both as “power hungry and malicious”. He was held in remand for over 50 days before a judge found him guilty of wounding religious feelings and handed him a backdated sentence of four weeks’ imprisonment.

      In 2016, Yee was once again found guilty of wounding religious feelings for blog and social media posts on Islam and Christianity, and sentenced to six weeks’ imprisonment. He was also given a S$2,000 fine (US$1,379) for failing to present himself to the police for questioning despite being issued a notice.

    • South Korea President Park Geun-hye accused of blacklisting 9000 artists for political reasons

      The list purportedly included one of South Korea’s most influential figures, film director Park Chan-wook. Sofia Lotto Persio. By Sofia Lotto Persio.

    • Who’s behind blacklist of artists?
    • South Korea investigators look into alleged artist blacklist
    • Prosecutors probe South Korean cultural ‘blacklist’
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Top-Secret Snowden Document Reveals What the NSA Knew About Previous Russian Hacking

      To date, the only public evidence that the Russian government was responsible for hacks of the DNC and key Democratic figures has been circumstantial and far short of conclusive, courtesy of private research firms with a financial stake in such claims. Multiple federal agencies now claim certainty about the Kremlin connection, but they have yet to make public the basis for their beliefs.

      Now, a never-before-published top-secret document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden suggests the NSA has a way of collecting evidence of Russian hacks, because the agency tracked a similar hack before in the case of a prominent Russian journalist, who was also a U.S. citizen.

    • South Carolina Legislators Introduce Three Bills Targeting Police Stingray Use

      At this point, use of these devices by South Carolina law enforcement is unconfirmed. If, indeed, no agencies are in possession of IMSI catchers, this bill would maintain the status quo. If agencies are already in possession of the devices, the bill would require these agencies to discontinue use and… ask Harris Corp. for a refund, I guess. This wouldn’t prevent state agencies from asking for federal assistance and borrowing their devices, but it’s still the most restrictive Stingray-related legislation proposed yet.

      As such, it will probably never become law. The other proposals have a much better chance of reaching the governor’s desk. Rutherford’s backup proposal would prevent agencies purchasing cell tower spoofers from entering into nondisclosure agreements with manufacturers.

      The third bill being introduced should be pushed in concert with Rutherford’s second bill. Rep. Cezar McKnight’s proposal would prevent state law enforcement agencies from signing nondisclosure agreements with the FBI, which has been standard procedure since the modified military tech began making its way to police departments around the nation. This would help ensure any evidence obtained with these devices will be properly presented in court, rather than obscured behind parallel construction. Or it could, theoretically. The bill ties this to warrant usage, so nondisclosure agreements would be allowed if the agreement doesn’t stipulate the devices should be deployed without securing a warrant first. This ties it to the DOJ’s current Stingray guidelines, which is better than continuing to obscure device deployment behind pen register orders.

    • Telegram Now Being Targeted By Politicians Because Terrorists (Also) Use It

      Victims of terrorist attacks are busy suing Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for supposedly providing material support for terrorism by not shutting down ISIS-related accounts fast enough. Twitter has gathered more negative attention than most, thanks to its inconsistent application of the “Twitter Rules.” Not only has it fielded lots of complaints from so-called “alt-right” figureheads, but non alt-righter Senator John McCain tends to use the service as a national security punching bag during periodic bitchfests hearings on phone encryption.

      End-to-end encryption is also the bane of several governments’ existence, but even all this concern about unintercepted criminal communications has yet to tip the scale towards mandated backdoors. Instead, pressure is being applied in other ways. Twitter recently killed off a few hundred thousand terrorist-linked accounts, so those looking for a new terrorist support network d/b/a a social media service have begun sniping at secure messaging service Telegram.

      Telegram has been the recipient of periodic signup surges, thanks to government action around the globe. WhatsApp, which recently added end-to-end encryption, has been routinely blocked by a handful of national governments, with Brazil denying access to its citizens most frequently. Every time WhatsApp is blocked, other encrypted messaging services see their user bases grow.

    • Breast implants, fake hips and medication to have barcodes put on them in new trial
    • Barcodes stamped on breast implants and medical equipment
    • Barcoding breast implants and hip replacements ‘could save NHS £1bn’
    • Breast implants are being given barcodes by the NHS in an attempt to ‘revolutionise’ patient safety by being able to track them in case they are faulty
    • NHS trials barcode system to reduce mistakes during treatments
    • Breast implants and other medical items get safety barcodes
    • Police ask: “Alexa, did you witness a murder?”

      In November of 2015, former Georgia police officer Victor Collins was found dead in a backyard hot tub at the Bentonville, Arkansas, home of acquaintance James Andrew Bates. Bates claimed it was an accidental drowning when he contacted police at 9:30am, claiming he had gone to bed and left Collins and another man behind in the tub. But Bentonville Police investigators determined that Collins had died after a fight, while being strangled and held underwater—and that Bates was the only person at the scene at the time. Now investigators have reportedly served a search warrant to Amazon in hopes of getting testimony from a possible witness: the Amazon Echo that was streaming music near the hot tub when they arrived at the scene.

      The police were immediately suspicious when they found that the water of the hot tub was tinted red and that Collins had injuries suggesting a struggle—including cuts on an eyelid, a bloodied nose, and swollen lips. There were signs of blood on the sides of the hot tub and on the patio around it and evidence that the tub and the patio had been hosed down to remove the blood. A water meter record from the city’s utility department showed that 140 gallons of water had been used between 1:00am and 3:00am on the night of the incident.

    • Comcast still uses MITM javascript injection to serve unwanted ads and messages

      For years, Comcast and other large telecommunication companies around the world have injected javascript into your web browsing experience to serve advertisements and account notices. Their ability to do this stems from their upstream position as your Internet Service Provider (ISP). While Comcast is only currently using their javascript injection ability to serve customer account related information, the same message sending vector could be used to serve phishing expeditions, or other types of attacks. Not to mention that whoever your ISP is has access to your browsing history, your search history, your entire internet history unless you use a VPN. Some, like AT&T, even brazenly sold parts of this information for advertising profit unless you explicitly paid them not to – a pay-for-privacy scheme.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • I Thought Piracy Was Killing Entertainment? New Record In Scripted Shows In 2016

        Remember how piracy was supposed to be killing the entertainment industry and no one would make anything any more? Of course, almost exactly five years ago, we showed this wasn’t true at all, and the actual output of creative content was way, way up. Obviously, some of that was “amateur” creations, but it was true of professional creative content as well. One area that we pointed out was that the internet had made it possible to create much more new content and release it in new ways — and that certainly has held true in the realm of scripted TV shows. A new report from FX Research shows that the amount of scripted TV shows has absolutely exploded over the past few years. Since just 2010 the number of scripted series available has more than doubled.

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