01.20.17

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 20/1/2017: Docker 1.13, Linux 4.4.44 LTS

Posted in News Roundup at 8:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • What is Linux?
  • Anatomy of a Linux distribution
  • Anatomy of a Linux distribution 1
  • Anatomy of a Linux distribution 2
  • Anatomy of a Linux distribution 3
  • Desktop

    • Desktop environments in my computer

      I started my Linux journey with Gnome, as it was the default desktop environment in RHL. I took some time to find out about KDE. I guess I found out accidentally during re-installation. It used to be fun to have a desktop that looks different, behaves differently than the normal. During the earlier years in college while I was trying to find out more about Linux, using KDE marked me as a Linux expert. I was powered with the right syntax of mount command to mount the windows partitions and the xmms-mp3 rpm. I spent most of my time in the terminal.

  • Server

    • Distributed Fabric: A New Architecture for Container-Based Applications

      There’s a palpable sense of excitement in the application development world around container technology. Containers bring a new level of agility and speed to app development, giving developers the ability to break large monolithic apps into small, manageable microservices that can talk to one another, be more easily tested and deployed, and operate more efficiently as a full application. However, containers also demand a new architecture for the application services managing these microservices and apps, particularly in regards to service discovery — locating and consuming the services of those microservices.

    • DevOps trends emerging for 2017 and beyond

      Finally, one of the biggest trends for 2017 will not be just a focus on engaging and implementing some of these DevOps best practices into your enterprise, but a sweeping adoption of the DevOps/agile culture. This is because one of the most important – if not the absolute most key –tenets to a successful DevOps organization is culture. The enterprises that most espouse the shared responsibility, the empowered autonomous teams, the can-do attitudes, and the continuous learning environment in which DevOps thrives will see the biggest benefits.

    • Introducing Docker 1.13

      Today we’re releasing Docker 1.13 with lots of new features, improvements and fixes to help Docker users with New Year’s resolutions to build more and better container apps. Docker 1.13 builds on and improves Docker swarm mode introduced in Docker 1.12 and has lots of other fixes. Read on for Docker 1.13 highlights.

    • Docker 1.13 Officially Released, Docker for AWS and Azure Ready for Production

      Docker announced today the general availability of Docker 1.13, the third major update of the open-source application container engine for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

      Docker 1.13 has been in development for the past couple of months, during which it received no less than seven RC (Release Candidate) versions that implemented numerous improvements for the new Swarm Mode introduced in Docker 1.12, a few security features, as well as a new Remote API (version 1.25) and Client.

    • Docker 1.13 Prunes Containers, Improves Security

      The Docker 1.13 release introduces multiple new commands including prune and squash, which can help containers to use disk space more efficiently.

      Docker officially announced its 1.13 release on Jan. 19, with new capabilities to help build, manage and secure containers.

    • Who’s cashing in on containers? Look to the cloud

      Docker-style containers are so hot they’ve broken the scale ETR uses to measure CIO intent to purchase enterprise technology, registering “the strongest buying intention score ever recorded in [its] six-year history.”

      While that data is more than a year old, more recent analyses peg Docker adoption up by a factor of 2.6 in 2016 over 2015, yielding a market worth $762 million in 2016, projected to bloat to $2.7 billion by 2020, according to 451 Research.

    • Serverless Computing Is the Stack Reimagined [Ed: Serverless=you have less control over the computer you use. Cloud=you have no ownership of the computer you use. Serverless Cloud=suicide.]

      In Ho’s own words, “Serverless computing is the code execution model that the cloud provider abstracts the complexity of managing individual servers.” This basically means the provider worries about the servers. You just run your code on them.

  • Kernel Space

    • Optimizing Linux for Slow Computers

      It’s interesting, to consider what constitutes a power user of an operating system. For most people in the wider world a power user is someone who knows their way around Windows and Microsoft Office a lot, and can help them get their print jobs to come out right. For those of us in our community, and in particular Linux users though it’s a more difficult thing to nail down. If you’re a LibreOffice power user like your Windows counterpart, you’ve only really scratched the surface. Even if you’ve made your Raspberry Pi do all sorts of tricks in Python from the command line, or spent a career shepherding websites onto virtual Linux machines loaded with Apache and MySQL, are you then a power user compared to the person who knows their way around the system at the lower level and has an understanding of the kernel? Probably not. It’s like climbing a mountain with false summits, there are so many layers to power usership.

      So while some of you readers will be au fait with your OS at its very lowest level, most of us will be somewhere intermediate. We’ll know our way around our OS in terms of the things we do with it, and while those things might be quite advanced we’ll rely on our distribution packager to take care of the vast majority of the hard work.

    • Long-Term Maintenance, or How to (Mis-)Manage Embedded Systems for 10+ Years

      In this presentation, kernel hacker Jan Lübbe will explain why apparently reasonable approaches to long-term maintenance fail and how to establish a sustainable workflow instead.

    • Linux 4.9 Is the Next Long-Term Supported Kernel Branch, Says Greg Kroah-Hartman

      Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman confirmed today, January 19, 2017, in a short message, on his Google+ page, that the Linux 4.9 branch is now marked as “longterm,” or as some of you know as LTS (Long-Term Support).

      The story behind Linux kernel 4.9 becoming the next long-term supported series dates from way before it’s launch last month, on December 11, when Linus Torvalds officially announced the new branch. It all started back on August 12, 2016, when Greg Kroah-Hartman dropped a quick Google+ post to say “4.9 == next LTS kernel.”

    • Maintainers Don’t Scale

      First let’s look at how the kernel community works, and how a change gets merged into Linus Torvalds’ repository. Changes are submitted as patches to mailing list, then get some review and eventually get applied by a maintainer to that maintainer’s git tree. Each maintainer then sends pull request, often directly to Linus. With a few big subsystems (networking, graphics and ARM-SoC are the major ones) there’s a second or third level of sub-maintainers in. 80% of the patches get merged this way, only 20% are committed by a maintainer directly.

      Most maintainers are just that, a single person, and often responsible for a bunch of different areas in the kernel with corresponding different git branches and repositories. To my knowledge there are only three subsystems that have embraced group maintainership models of different kinds: TIP (x86 and core kernel), ARM-SoC and the graphics subsystem (DRM).

    • Linux Kernel 4.9.5 Released with Updated Radeon Drivers, KVM and PPC Fixes

      A new maintenance update of the Linux 4.9 kernel series was announced today by renowned Linux kernel maintainer and developer Greg Kroah-Hartman, versioned 4.9.5.

      Coming only five days after the previous point release, Linux kernel 4.9.5 appears to be a big milestone that changes a total of 132 files, with 1515 insertions and 821 deletions. There are numerous improvements implemented in this fifth Linux 4.9 maintenance update, but first we’d like to remind you that Greg Kroah-Hartman recently marked this kernel branch as long-term supported (LTS), yet this is not apparent from kernel.org.

    • Linux Kernel 4.4.44 LTS Brings Some x86 Improvements, Various Updated Drivers

      After informing us about the availability of the fifth maintenance update of the Linux 4.9 kernel series, which has recently become a long-term supported branch, Greg Kroah-Hartman is today announcing the availability of Linux 4.4.44 LTS.

      If you’re reading our regular reports on the Linux kernel, you should be aware of the fact that the Linux 4.4 kernel branch is a long-term support (LTS) one that should get security patches for one more year, until February 2018. This branch is currently available in several popular GNU/Linux distributions, including Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, Alpine Linux, and Arch Linux, and Linux 4.4.44 LTS is now the most advanced release.

    • Linux 4.9 Confirmed As The New Long-Term Supported Kernel
    • Graphics Stack

      • RADV Vulkan Driver Has Geometry Shader Support For Testing

        David Airlie has published a set of 31 patches for testing that provide initial support for geometry shaders within the RADV Radeon Vulkan driver.

        While RadeonSI has long supported geometry shaders, it’s been a bigger work item bringing it to this open-source Radeon Vulkan driver within Mesa. The patches are enough for Vulkan geometry shaders to get working on RADV, but Airlie explains that the support isn’t gold: “This is a first pass at geometry shader support on radv, all the code should be here in reviewable pieces, it seems to mostly pass CTS tests but triggers some llvm 3.9 bugs around kill, and there might still be a GPU hang in here, but this should still be a good place to start reviewing.”

      • libinput 1.6.0

        This release fixes the slow touchpad acceleration on touchpads with less than 1000dpi, a missing call to normalized the deltas was the source of the issue.

      • Libinput 1.6 Released With New Touchpad Acceleration

        Libinput 1.6.0 was announced a short time ago on wayland-devel.

      • Mesa 17 Gets a First Release Candidate, Final Planned for Early February 2017

        Collabora’s Emil Velikov announced today, January 19, 2017, the availability of the first of many Release Candidate (RC) development versions of the upcoming and highly anticipated Mesa 17.0.0 3D Graphics Library.

        Mesa 17 is shaping up to be a huge milestone that should dramatically improve the performance of the bundled open-source graphics drivers for Intel, AMD Radeon, Nvidia graphics cards on a Linux-based operating system. Just the other day it enabled OpenGL 4.5 support for Intel Haswell GPUs, which is already a big achievement.

      • More Radeon & AMDGPU Fixes Line-Up For Linux 4.10

        Alex Deucher has sent in another batch of fixes for the Radeon and AMDGPU DRM drivers for the Linux 4.10 kernel.

        These fixes include support for a few peculiar Southern Islands graphics processors in AMDGPU and Radeon drivers. The affected SI GPUs now supported are those needing the “si58″ memory controller microcode. Unfortunately, haven’t been able to find much other details on the particular SI chips affected.

      • Mesa 17.0 Saw Less Code Changes Than Earlier Releases, But More Notable Features

        With Mesa 17.0 up to its release candidates and being under a feature freeze, I explored this morning how the size of the changes for Mesa 17.0 compare to earlier Mesa milestones.

        Mesa 17.0 ships with many exciting end-user changes such as OpenGL 4.5 for RadeonSI, OpenGL 4.5 for Haswell, many RADV and ANV Vulkan driver improvements, improved OpenGL 4.x Nouveau support, and many other features I’ll recap shortly in a Mesa 17.0 feature overview article.

      • The open source Vulkan driver ‘radv’ for AMD on Linux has patches for geometry shader support

        Dave Airlie sent in a massive patch-set of 31 patches for ‘radv’, the open source AMD Vulkan driver, to support geometry shaders.

      • ARB_transform_feedback_overflow_query For Intel’s Mesa Driver
      • Mesa’s Libdrm Gets USB DRM/KMS Device Detection

        Libdrm has some new patches this morning from a NVIDIA developer.

        Thierry Reding of NVIDIA landed xf86drm USB support so that DRM/KMS devices hosted via USB can be detected via Mesa’s DRM device infrastructure.

      • Mesa 13.0.3 Headed to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

        Mesa 13.0.3 will shortly be available to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS users to install, without needing to add any additional PPAs.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Kabylake: Windows 10 vs. Linux OpenGL Performance

        For those curious about the current Kabylake graphics performance between Windows 10 and Linux, here are some OpenGL benchmark results under each operating system. Windows 10 Pro x64 was tested and the Linux distributions for comparison were Ubuntu 16.10, Clear Linux, Antergos, Fedora 25 Xfce, and openSUSE Tumbleweed.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt Speech (Text to Speech) is here

        I’m happy that with Qt 5.8.0 we’ll have Qt Speech added as a new tech preview module. It took a while to get it in shape since the poor thing sometimes did not get the attention it deserved. We had trouble with some Android builds before that backend received proper care. Luckily there’s always the great Qt community to help out.

      • Text To Speech Goes In As A Tech Preview For Qt 5.8

        With Qt 5.8 that’s due to be released next week there is the new Qt Speech as a “tech preview” of text-to-speech for this tool-kit.

      • 5 Linux Desktop Environments on the Rise for 2017

        With each passing year, the Linux desktop ecosystem shifts and morphs from one darling to the next. Although it’s sometimes challenging to tell, from month to month, which desktop will reign as the fan favorite, there are always signs that a particular desktop is going to rise in market share.

        Three trends I always examine are evolution, usability, and modernity. I prefer my desktops to have evolved along with the needs of current trends and users, to be easily used, and have a modern design aesthetic. Bonus points are generally awarded for a high range of flexibility.

        Currently, the Linux desktop environment is dominated by Cinnamon, Xfce, GNOME, and Ubuntu Unity. Of those four, I believe only one will see a sharp rise in market share in 2017. Which one? Let’s dive in and see which five desktops, I think will climb the rank and file.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.23.4 released

        The fourth snapshot of GNOME 3.23 is now available!

        Probably one of the most important features of this release is the inclusion of a pre-release of GTK+4 for the first time.

      • GNOME 3.23.4 Released

        The latest development release is now available of the work leading up to the GNOME 3.24 desktop in March.

        GNOME 3.23.4 is today’s new development. Core changes to GNOME 3.23.4 include memory leak fixes for EOG, Epiphany browser improvements, GJS now supports JavaScript ES6 Promises, GNOME Calendar now supports online calendars being downloaded offline and synchronized, Librsvg begins making use of Rust, Mutter Wayland fixes, and various other fixes throughout the core GNOME components.

      • Revamped Cinnamon Desktop Add-ons Website Is Now Live

        A revamped version of the Cinnamon Spices website is now live, showcasing the latest and most popular add-ons for the Linux Mint desktop.

      • Emoji Picker GNOME Extension

        You folks must think that I’m obsessed with Emoji, but you’d be …No, you’d be absolutely right about that. Actually, I don’t overuse the popular pictorial glyphs that dominate daily communication. But I do appreciate being able to find the one I want to use in a timely manner.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • ISS Federal Lead Rob Rogers on Agencies’ Open Source Moves & ‘Information Advantage’ Efforts

    ExecutiveBiz recently caught up with ISS Federal Systems Vice President Rob Rogers for this interview to discuss ongoing data-related trends in government and where he sees agencies prioritizing efforts in that arena, plus his ideas for how the government should approach open source methodology.

    [...]

    We have seen a significant shift in the past five years around agencies adopting and embracing open source methods. For one, open source technology is the primary catalyst behind some of the most significant progress related to the evolution of “big data” and analytic capabilities, which is used pervasively in the intelligence community.

    Certain agencies have contributed major projects to the open source community, which further solidifies their position on supporting open source. One notable example is NSA’s contribution of NiFi and Accumulo to the Apache Software Foundation in 2014. If these types of actions are an indicator of the direction that the IC agencies are heading in their support of open source, then the future is bright.

  • Davos 2017: China unites 25 countries to establish Global Blockchain Business Council

    On January 17, the governmental and industrial representatives from China and 25 other countries gathered in Davos, Switzerland for the Davos Forum.

    According to the latest update provided by Tai Cloud Corporation to EconoTimes, Jamie Elizabeth Smith, the former spokesperson and special assistant of the U.S. president Obama, announced that the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) is formally established. The first national team members include senior executives of World Bank Mariana Dahan, former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, former Prime Minister of Haidi Laurent Lamont, former Economy Minister of Ukraine Aivaras Abromavičius.

  • Intel’s BigDL deep learning framework snubs GPUs for CPUs

    Last week Intel unveiled BigDL, a Spark-powered framework for distributed deep learning, available as an open source project. With most major IT vendors releasing machine learning frameworks, why not the CPU giant, too?

    What matters most about Intel’s project may not be what it offers people building deep learning solutions on Spark clusters, but what it says about Intel’s ambitions to promote hardware that competes with GPUs for those applications.

  • How is your community promoting diversity?

    Open source software is a great enabler for technology innovation. Diversity unlocks innovation and drives market growth. Open source and diversity seem like the ultimate winning combination, yet ironically open source communities are among the least diverse tech communities. This is especially true when it comes to inherent diversity: traits such as gender, age, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.

  • Walmart’s Contributions to Open Source

    You might first think about open source in the context of outstanding tools for lean startup companies, but open source also finds a welcome home in behemoth, established companies, such as Walmart. In this O’Reilly OSCON video interview with Walmart Lab’s Alex Grigoryan, learn how Walmart both benefits from and contributes back to open source. The key takeaway? Open source allows you to reuse software components in labor saving ways.

  • Librecore: Aiming To Be A Better Libre Spin Of Coreboot

    Librecore is a new project aiming to be a new Coreboot downstream with a focus remaining on providing fully-free system firmware. Separately, Minifree/Libreboot has been accused (and admitted by Leah Rowe) to not paying a vendor for a completed contract.

    Librecore was formed due to “[Libreboot lead developer Leah Rowe] alienating large portions of the community, plus the stagnant and hard to use libreboot firmware and build system.” With Librecore, they are aiming to use industry-standard tools and build environments. Another different design decision is pursuing Petitboot as the payload for a more modern and useful interface over GRUB as a payload.

  • Use of open source software growing across telecom

    Open source software may still be a new model for the telecommunications industry, but it’s rapidly gaining traction as operators look to mimic computing world.

    While the open source community has quickly gaining ground in the computing space, the traditional telecommunications industry has a history of hardening its siloed approach to networking technology. This was especially apparent at a time when most mobile telecom networks were 2G-based, with 3G technology just coming online in more advanced markets.

  • Options for Open Source Support

    If you’ve been following the work we’re doing around open source at Rogue Wave Software, you’ve probably heard us say that open source software (OSS) has “crossed the chasm” or is “eating the enterprise.” Although the open source enterprise landscape is still truly nascent, there is no question that open source development principles and the products themselves have “won.” That begs the question: “Now what do we do?”

    You’re leveraging free software, perhaps even without knowing it! Your developers are seeking out open source libraries to meet your business demands before writing the code themselves. You’re using an open source application server, middleware solution, or operating system instead of an expensive and locked-in commercial alternative. You’ve shortened your development cycles, you’re releasing things faster, and you’ve gained a competitive edge by embracing community developed solutions in your enterprise.

  • Google’s VR art app is open source and ready to get weird

    Google’s Tilt Brush is capable of some pretty impressive results. But what if those 3D paintings and projects you made while strapped into virtual reality could escape into the real world?

  • Google’s open-source Tilt Brush: Now you can create 3D movies in VR
  • Google Is Quietly Turning VR Into A Real Creative Tool
  • ‘Tilt Brush’ Toolkit Turns Artists Into Animators With Unity Integration
  • Tilt Brush creations can now be exported to other projects
  • Tilt Brush Toolkit helps artists make their VR paintings interactive
  • Google creates Tilt Brush Toolkit to help 2D artists work better in 3D
  • Google Open Sources More Virtual Reality Tools
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Back End

    • EIT Digital begins work on Hadoop open source product and start-up to take innovation to market
    • EIT Digital to Launch Hadoop-Based Software Framework, and a Startup

      While not everyone in the U.S. is familiar with it, EIT Digital is a leading European open innovation organization, and it has just launched a new innovation program called HopsWorks to work on a next-generation Hadoop open-source software framework for distributed storage and processing of very large data sets.

      The idea is to leverage Hadoop’s Big Data strengths in a new type of software framework, and a whole new startup comany will be created to take it to market.

      Dr. Jim Dowling, Senior Researcher at the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS Swedish ICT) and the leader of EIT Digital HopsWorks Innovation Activity, said: “Hadoop is an open-source software framework for storing data and running applications on clusters of commodity hardware. Our product, dubbed ‘Hops’, will provide the first truly multi-tenant, elastic Hadoop distribution service with unified batch and streaming.”

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • What Do You Do? ‘I Run An Open Source Learning System Used By Millions’

      I’m CEO of Moodle, a learning management system. It’s a piece of software that is like an operating system for education. You can add and remove tools, and you can build an environment for learning. The teacher usually controls it. The students are usually going through activities set by the teacher, although that’s not always the case. It doesn’t just have to be like that. It’s ultimately a place where you’ll collaborate and work together and learn from each other.

      I started off making up this job because I was solving problems, bit by bit. There’s a lot of things involved in that, but ultimately, it’s glueing together a lot of different skills that I learned from a lot of different people, and solving problems in a bigger way.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Licensing/Legal

    • The GPL in Layman’s Terms – Free as in What?

      Through the glazed-over eyes of friends and family, past that painful look of well-intended but feigned interest, I can clearly see a fundamental lack of understanding about this free software I’m constantly going on about.

    • Open Source Software: What Every In-House Counsel Should Know

      Open source software (OSS) is ubiquitous in software development today, enabling technical innovation, productivity gains, and touching everything from big data and cloud to mobile and embedded. Control modules on the market today commonly include OSS components such as real-time operating systems, libraries, data interfaces, firmware, and display software.

    • 4 Common Open Source License Compliance Failures and How to Avoid Them

      Companies or organizations that don’t have a strong open source compliance program often suffer from errors and limitations in processes throughout the software development cycle that can lead to open source compliance failures.

      The previous article in this series covered common intellectual property failures. This time, we’ll discuss the four common open source license compliance failures and how to avoid them.

  • Programming/Development

    • GCC 7 Moves Onto Only Regression/Doc Fixes, But Will Accept RISC-V & HSA’s BRIG

      The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is entering its “stage four” development for GCC 7 with the stable GCC 7.1 release expected in March or April.

      Richard Biener announced today that GCC 7 is under stage four, meaning only regression and documentation fixes will be permitted until the GCC 7.1.0 stable release happens (yep, as per their peculiar versioning system, GCC 7.1 is the first stable release in the GCC 7 series).

    • 5 ways to expand your project’s contributor base

      So many free and open source software projects were started to solve a problem, and people began to contribute to them because they too wanted a fix to what they encountered. End users of the project find it useful for their needs, and the project grows. And that shared purpose and focus attracts people to a project’s community.

    • Weblate 2.10.1

      This is first security bugfix release for Weblate. This has to come at some point, fortunately the issue is not really severe. But Weblate got it’s first CVE ID today, so it’s time to address it in a bugfix release.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • EU MEPs Call Again For ‘Robot Rules’ To Get Ahead Of The AI Revolution

      Questions about how we approach our new robotic friends once the artificial intelligence revolution really kicks off are not new, nor are calls for developing some sort of legal framework that will govern how humanity and robots ought to interact with one another. For the better part of this decade, in fact, there have been some advocating that robots and AI be granted certain rights along the lines of what humanity, or at least animals, enjoy. And, while some of its ideas haven’t been stellar, such as a call for robots to be afforded copyright for anything they might create, the EU has been talking for some time about developing policy around the rights and obligations of artificial intelligence and its creators.

      With AI being something of a hot topic, as predictions of its eventual widespread emergence mount, it seems EU MEPs are attempting to get out ahead of the revolution.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • ProPublica Files Lawsuit Seeking VA Correspondence Related to Agent Orange

      ProPublica and the Virginian-Pilot filed a lawsuit today in federal court against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, accusing the agency of stonewalling requests for documents under the Freedom of Information Act.

      The lawsuit, ProPublica’s second against the VA in two months, seeks a preliminary injunction compelling the government to immediately release correspondence about Agent Orange, an herbicide used to kill vegetation during the Vietnam War, including documents sent to and received by Dr. David Shulkin, the VA’s undersecretary for health. Shulkin has been nominated to be VA secretary by President-elect Donald Trump.

      ProPublica and the Pilot have been reporting about Agent Orange for 18 months, documenting ongoing effects on veterans and their families. The FOIA requests at issue in today’s lawsuit date back to May and September 2015.

    • When a Study Cast Doubt on a Heart Pill, the Drug Company Turned to Tom Price

      The $3 pill known as BiDil was already a difficult sell when a Georgia-based pharmaceutical company bought the marketing rights a few years ago. A treatment for African Americans suffering from heart failure, BiDil had never really caught on, forcing the drug company that developed it to take a buyout offer. One strike against the drug was a 2009 study that raised questions about its safety and effectiveness.

      So last summer, the new owner of the drug, Arbor Pharmaceuticals LLC of Atlanta, sought to get the study taken down from a government website. For help, the company turned to the office of a congressman to whom the CEO had given the maximum $2,700 campaign donation — Rep. Tom Price, the Georgia Republican nominated by Donald Trump to become head of the Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Security

    • After MongoDB Debacle, Expect More Ransomware, Open Source Attacks in 2017 [Ed: Black Duck is at it again]

      “Black Duck’s Open Source Security Audit Report found that, on average, vulnerabilities in open source components used in commercial application were over 5 years old,” Pittenger said. “The Linux kernel vulnerability discovered 8/16 (CVE-2016-5195) had been in the Linux code base since 2012. Most organizations don’t know about the open source vulnerabilities in their code because they don’t track the open source components they use, and don’t actively monitor open source vulnerability information.”

    • Mirai: Student behind IoT malware used it in Minecraft server protection racket, claims Krebs

      SECURITY BLOGGER BRIAN KREBS has suggested that “Anna Senpai”, the reprobate behind the Mirai Internet-of-shonky-Things (IoT) botnet, is a student studying at Rutgers University in the US.

      Krebs made his disclosure after conducting an in-depth investigation and finding out that Mirai had been developed and deployed over the past three years or so – it didn’t suddenly emerge last year.

      Krebs believes that Mirai has been used a number of times in connection with what looks suspiciously likes an online protection racket: companies running, for example, Minecraft servers being offered distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection, on the one hand, just before being taken offline in massive DDoS attacks on the other.

    • Gmail phishing scam has everyone reaching for 2FA

      STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING, unless you don’t have a Gmail account. Carry on if that is the case.

      If you do use Gmail you apparently really, really, need to be aware of a crafty phishing scam that will have you hooked, lined, sinkered, gutted, covered in batter and served with curry sauce before you have a chance to realise that anything is happening.

      The scam that has everyone in a lather uses a deceptive URL, and quite a sneaky one. People probably won’t even notice it because, for the most part, it looks fine. It is only once it is clicked and the bastard gateway is broken through that the phishing and the stealing begins.

    • Sonatype: 1 in 15 open source app components has at least one security vulnerability
    • Friday’s security updates
    • The flatpak security model – part 2: Who needs sandboxing anyway?

      The ability to run an application sandboxed is a very important feature of flatpak. However, its is not the only reason you might want to use flatpak. In fact, since currently very few applications work in a fully sandboxed environment, most of the apps you’d run are not sandboxed.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Supreme Court Weighs Whether Bush Officials Can Be Sued Over Post-9/11 Abuse

      The federal government’s frantic response to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, sparked renewed debate Wednesday at the Supreme Court, as justices considered whether top officials in the George W. Bush administration could be held responsible for abuses against Muslim immigrants and others rounded up after the attacks.

      Conservatives on the court, citing the extraordinary peril of that time, appeared willing to give the officials legal protection from lawsuits arising from the detention policies they approved after the attacks.

      But some of the more liberal justices did not appear so forgiving.

      Even in a time of national emergency, government officials sometimes “can go too far,” Justice Stephen G. Breyer said. “And if they have gone too far, it is our job to say that.”

    • Obama files parting appeal to protect drone secrecy

      President Barack Obama has pulled back the curtain on aspects of the U.S. drone killing program, but as he prepared to leave office this week his administration made a legal move to prevent a judge from pulling the curtain back even further.

      Last July, a federal judge in New York issued a 191-page legal opinion resolving an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit demanding dozens of Justice Department, Defense Department and CIA documents relating to the use of armed drones to kill individuals abroad. U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon’s ruling appears to have largely favored the government’s right to keep the records under wraps.

      However, McMahon seemed to accept the ACLU’s arguments for disclosure in a few areas and she accused the government of “chutzpah” over some of its contentions. Because the government declared much of her opinion “top secret,” it’s difficult to assess.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Chicago Mayor Promises To Turn Over Emails From His Private Accounts Following Courtroom Losses

      Not only is the use of private email accounts to route around public records requests a common practice, it’s also an accepted practice. Politicians aren’t going to sell out their own in the name of transparency, so there’s likely as many private email accounts handling official business as there are government employees. Everyone from former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to Gen. Colin Powell has used private email accounts to handle government communications they’d rather not be made public.

      The same goes for Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. For years, journalists and government transparency groups have been trying (and suing) to get the mayor to turn over city-related emails contained in his personal accounts. To date, the city of Chicago hasn’t budged.

      But we’re living in a “new” era of Chicago-brand transparency — the aftermath of the city’s concerted cover-up of police recordings of the Laquan McDonald shooting. The mayor pledged the city would be more open and forthcoming in the future — not a difficult promise to make considering there was nowhere to go but up.

    • Wikileaks’ founder Assange says stands by U.S. extradition offer

      WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up at Ecuador’s London embassy since 2012, said on Thursday he stood by his offer to be extradited to the United States providing his rights were protected.

      Assange said last week he would accept extradition if former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning were freed and on Wednesday U.S. President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s 35-year sentence, meaning she will be released in May.

  • Finance

    • Mark Zuckerberg sues over 100 Hawaiians to force them to sell them their ancestral land

      In 2015, Mark Zuckerberg (who insists that privacy is dead) bought 100 acres of land around his vacation home in Hawaii to ensure that no one could get close enough to spy on him.

      The Zuckerberg estate on Kauai North Shore engulfs several smaller pieces of land deeded in the 1800s — kuleana lands that were granted to native Hawaiians. The owners of this land are entitled to easements through Zuckerberg’s property, so they can reach their own.

      Zuckerberg has filed “quiet” lawsuits to force the owners of more than 100 of these parcels to sell to him. His lawyer says it’s the easiest way to figure out who has title to these family lands so he can make them an offer. Hey, when I want to find out who someone is, I always sue ‘em.

    • Mark Zuckerberg sues hundreds of Hawaii families to force them to sell their land

      Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly suing Hawaiian families who have ancestral rights to land within his $100 million (£81.2 million) property in a bid to force them to sell their plots.

      The Facebook founder has launched the legal action in an attempt to make his 700-acre beachfront estate on the Island of Kuai more private.

      Under legislation dating back to 1850 known as the Kuleana Act, almost a dozen native families currently have the right to live on small sections of land within the billionaire’s property on the island, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

    • Democrats Missed an Opportunity to Expose Steve Mnuchin as a Predator

      Treasury-secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin came to the Senate Finance Committee hearing room prepared to fight a war about foreclosures issued by OneWest Bank when he served as CEO. His only weapons were half-truths and outright lies. But you go to war with what you have.

      A funny thing happened on his way to the hearing room, however. Democrats got distracted by information uncovered by their staff that Mnuchin left off his financial disclosure, that he was director of investment funds incorporated in tax havens like the Cayman Islands and Anguilla. Mnuchin called it an oversight, and that the forms are hard work. To quote Cristina Clifford, a OneWest homeowner subject to wrongful foreclosure, “Paperwork can be hard. It’s really hard when someone like Steve Mnuchin is foreclosing on your home. OneWest repeatedly lost my paperwork, and they foreclosed on me anyway.”

      But instead of taking up this line of argument, Democratic committee members pummeled him over the tax haven, asking again and again about why he would have to incorporate the fund overseas and whether he personally benefited from tax evasion.

      Mnuchin’s answer on this was a little weak. He admitted that he didn’t have an office, employees, or customers in these tax havens, but he seemingly argued that he incorporated in the Caymans only to benefit other groups like nonprofits and pension funds, as if that makes it all better. But it got bogged down into an arcane discussion of hedge-fund rules and tax law, when there were literally thousands of human stories, of people who lost everything they had at the hands of Steve Mnuchin’s bank, waiting to be discussed. Too few Democrats took the opportunity. And this is a familiar pattern, because of the troubling failures of the Obama administration to deal with foreclosures. Yesterday’s unofficial forum with foreclosure victims was the first appearance of homeowners on the Hill in years.

    • Treasury Pick Steve Mnuchin Denies It, But Victims Describe His Bank as a Foreclosure Machine

      Treasury Secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin kicked off his confirmation hearing Thursday with a defiant opening statement, mostly defending his record as CEO of OneWest Bank. He cast himself as a tireless savior for homeowners after scooping up failed lender IndyMac. “It has been said that I ran a ‘foreclosure machine,’” he said. “I ran a loan modification machine.”

      But in stark contrast to his fuzzy statistics about attempted loan modifications, the victims of OneWest’s foreclosure practices have been real and ubiquitous.

      A TV advertising campaign that’s been running in Nevada, Arizona, and Iowa features Lisa Fraser, a widow who says OneWest “lied to us and took our home” of 25 years, right after her husband’s funeral.

    • Trump’s 10 Troubling Deals with Foreign Power-Players

      Incoming President Donald Trump’s business deals span the globe. Trump-branded skyscrapers, golf courses and hotels stretch from Dubai to Azerbaijan to the Philippines.

      Government ethics experts have strongly criticized Trump’s refusal to divest ownership of any of his businesses. But they point to his ongoing foreign deals with those connected to power as the most troubling.

      “These foreign deals are fertile ground for corruption,” Norman Eisen, the White House chief ethics lawyer under President Obama, told ProPublica. “When there’s a pre-existing relationship, there can be wink, wink, nod, nod, or even a private whisper that turns into a quid pro quo.”

      “He has to get rid of his foreign deals,” said Matthew T. Sanderson, an attorney at Caplin & Drysdale who has served as legal counsel on three Republican presidential campaigns.

    • Obama Leaves U.S.A $9,335,000,000,000 Deeper in Debt

      President Barack Obama will leave the federal government approximately $9,335,000,000,000 deeper in debt than it was when he took office eight years ago, according to data released today by the U.S. Treasury.

      The increased debt incurred under Obama equals approximately $75,129 for every person in the United States who had a full-time job in December.

      The $9,334,590,089,060.56 that the debt had increased under Obama as of the close of business on Wednesday is far more debt than was accumulated by any previous president. It equals nearly twice as much as the $4,889,100,310,609.44 in additional debt that piled up during the eight years George W. Bush served as president.

    • US Government To Start Working On NAFTA 2.0 Immediately; What Will It Do On Corporate Sovereignty?

      There’s plenty of sound logic to be found in this analysis. However, if we have learned anything over the last few months, it is that old-fashioned logic is relatively unimportant in the new political landscape. Since it looks like moves to renegotiate NAFTA are going to be made quickly, we should find out soon enough what the Trump administration’s new line on ISDS will be.

    • Chinese investors gobble up owner of PCWorld, Macworld etc

      Two Chinese investors are buying the owner of PCWorld magazine and the IDC market research outfit – International Data Group (IDG) – but IDC’s high-performance computing research businesses are not included in the sale.

      The two Chinese investors are China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co, Ltd and the confusingly named IDG Capital. They were apparently bidding separately several months ago, but joined forces under the encouragement of Goldman Sachs, IGC’s banker.

      They are paying a sum estimated between $500m and $1bn. The American Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has cleared the sale, which should complete by April.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • For Donald Trump, faith has become the perfect alibi for greed

      You may have paused over it at the airport and wondered if it might be worth a guilty read on a long flight. After all, it has sold over 5m copies and spent 186 weeks in the New York Times bestseller list. Maybe you then thought better of it, suspecting there is something a little bit overly needy about people who go in for self-help books. Wise choice; it’s a terrible book. Nonetheless, if you want to understand the psychology of Donald Trump, it might be worth steeling yourself for an hour. For Normal Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking was one of the formative influences on the young Trump. And Peale’s philosophy of positive thinking explains much about the internal workings of Trump’s maddening self-belief.

      Norman Vincent Peale was for over half a century the minister of Marble Collegiate church on New York’s Fifth Avenue, and he made it one of the most influential pulpits in the country, railing against communism and un-American activities. It was to there in the 1960s that Fred C Trump took his family, moving over from the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, where they lived, drawn by Peale’s theology of how to be winner. Donald Trump says he attended Marble church for decades and that he was much influenced by Peale’s sermons. Norman Peale married Donald to his first wife, Ivana, at Marble in 1977.

    • Michael Moore leads massive anti-Trump protest in NYC

      Documentary director Michael Moore held a massive protest Thursday night outside Trump’s New York City International Hotel featuring speeches from public figures including actors Robert De Niro and Mark Ruffalo.

      The protest started at 6 p.m. with De Niro poking fun at Trump by reading imagined tweets from the president-elect. It was followed by speeches from Moore, Alec Baldwin, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, Ruffalo and the Rev. Al Sharpton, and others.

    • Trump team wanted tanks, missile launchers in parade: report

      Donald Trump’s inauguration team wanted to show off the U.S. military during inauguration weekend and even suggested including tanks and missile launchers in his inaugural parade, The Huffington Post reported Thursday.

      “They were legit thinking Red Square/North Korea-style parade,” an inauguration team source told The Huffington Post, referring to massive military parades in Moscow and Pyongyang that are often interpreted as displays of aggression.

      According to the report, the military shot down the request because of concerns about how it would look to have tanks and missile launchers in the parade, as well as the possible damage the tanks, which can weigh over 100,000 pounds, would do to the roads.

      “I could absolutely see structural support being a reason [not to use tanks],” a Department of Defense official told The Huffington Post. “D.C. is built on a swamp to begin with.”

    • The idea of girls growing up in a world where a leader can talk about groping women turns my stomach

      We do know, however, what a Trump Presidency will mean for the campaign to end violence against women and girls – and it’s not positive.

      The most powerful man in the world has repeatedly and deliberately demeaned women. “When you’re a star” he said, “they let you do it. You can do anything …Grab them by the p***y … You can do anything.” He has gloated about sexual assault and argued that objectifying 50 per cent of the human race is exactly what the other 50 per cent do privately. even if they pretend otherwise in public.

      Trump’s election campaign and professional track record are distinguished by sexism and misogyny. There is very little he could say or do now to reverse the damage he has already caused, the consequences of which resonate beyond the US and beyond women and girls.

    • NYT Ignored Reality at 2001 Bush Inauguration; Now Ignorance Is History

      The link in that passage goes back to the Times‘ 2001 coverage of the inauguration—coverage that was critiqued by FAIR at the time under the headline “Ignoring Reality at the Inauguration”…

    • Who’s Paying for Inauguration Parties? Companies and Lobbyists With a Lot at Stake

      Corporate interests that were largely reluctant to embrace Donald Trump during the presidential campaign last year are finally opening their checkbooks to underwrite the festivities sweeping Washington, D.C., to welcome his incoming administration.

      Firms with a great deal riding on the major policy agenda items of the next four years have lined up to sponsor the endless parade of hors d’oeuvres and open bars at parties across the city.

      Topping the list are firms with interests in pharmaceuticals, oil, and defense contracting — highly regulated industries that have much at stake with ongoing policy discussions over drug pricing, environmental regulations, and the defense sequester.

      Several events list ride-sharing companies Lyft or Uber as special transportation partners. Both firms face regulatory hurdles to accessing municipal markets and in terms of gaining approval for the next generation self-driving car technologies.

    • Major Fake News Operation Tracked Back to Republican Operative

      Cam Harris, a recent college graduate hoping to build a career as a political consultant, received an unwelcome email from a New York Times reporter this month. As the reporter, Scott Shane, recounted on the front page of Thursday’s Times, he had discovered that Harris was the publisher of a fake news site dedicated to smearing Hillary Clinton.

      So Harris did what came naturally. He started to spin. First, he admitted that he had written the hoax news articles casting Clinton as a criminal on his site, ChristianTimesNewspaper.com. Eight of his stories attracted enough attention on social networks to merit debunking by Snopes, the fact-checking site, and one of them, published a month before the election, attracted six million readers with the headline, “BREAKING: ‘Tens of thousands’ of fraudulent Clinton votes found in Ohio warehouse.”

      But when he was asked about his motives for posting elaborate disinformation about Clinton online over the course of 11 months, Harris was a little more economical with the truth. Even though he had attacked Clinton relentlessly on Twitter during the campaign, and voted for Donald Trump, Harris told The Times that his goals were purely financial. He had focused on potentially damaging fabrications about Clinton, he claimed, simply because those pieces generated more clicks and so more ad revenue than attacks on Trump.

    • Donald Trump has assembled the worst Cabinet in American history

      Any time a new administration comes into office, there will be some complaining about the new president’s cabinet picks. But we’re seeing something extraordinary happening now. Donald Trump’s cabinet brings with it a combination of ethical problems, inexperience, hostility to the missions of the departments its members are being called to lead, and plain old ignorance that is simply unprecedented.

      This is shaping up to be nothing less than the worst cabinet in American history.

    • Welcome to the Wipe House: President Trump shreds climate change, privacy, LGBT policies from WhiteHouse.gov

      With Donald Trump taking over the presidency Friday morning, a different type of transition has also taken place: a digital transition.

      A novel approach was taken with respect to the Twitter accounts of the president, vice-president and first lady: the accounts were both retained and cloned to new accounts – if you followed @POTUS, you will continue to do so but will also be added as a follower to @POTUS44 (Obama was the 44th president of the United States). The same goes with @VP and @FLOTUS.

    • A morning with ‘adorable deplorables’: why Trump supporters are optimistic

      On the bus, in the morning darkness, Steph and Brandi put on their makeup, using a phone as a mirror.

      Stephanie Friess and Brandi Tillman have been friends since high school, and now they were on their way from Wilmington, Delaware, to Washington to celebrate the man who had given them a brand new country.

      On election night, Steph stayed up past 3am to see Trump’s victory being announced. The next morning, remembering the night before while driving her car, the 24-year-old felt jubilant to be living in Trump’s America.

      The two women made matching Trump caps – blue and black – decorated with sequins and the slogan “Adorable Deplorable” in honor of the inauguration. Hillary Clinton had tried to attack Trump for lifting up the most “deplorable” among his followers: “the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic – you name it”. Trump’s followers had proudly reclaimed the term, and now Brandi and Steph bedazzled it.

    • Bowe Bergdahl’s lawyers say new president’s criticism threatens fair trial

      Donald Trump’s scathing criticism of Army Sgt Bowe Bergdahl will prevent the soldier from getting a fair trial on charges he endangered comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan, Bergdahl’s attorneys said on Friday.

      In a motion filed shortly after Trump was sworn in, defense lawyers asked a military judge to dismiss the charges against Bergdahl and argued the Republican violated his due process rights and military law against unlawful command influence.

      Trump’s negative comments about Bergdahl, including calling him a traitor, take on new importance now that he is commander-in-chief. Defense attorneys argue that potential military jurors may feel obligated to agree with their new leader. They prepared a video exhibit of Trump’s criticism.

    • Trump’s ‘cyber tsar’ Giuliani among creds leaked in mass hacks

      Passwords used by Donald Trump’s incoming cybersecurity advisor Rudy Giuliani and 13 other top staffers have been leaked in mass hacks, according to a Channel 4 investigation.

      Giuliani, incoming national security advisor Lt Gen Michael Flynn and various cabinet members of Trump’s administration had their details included in website mega breaches… like millions upon millions of others. This doesn’t mean that we (or they) have been hacked and there’s no indication that it’s their current credentials that have been compromised. They may have changed their passwords since, for instance, the LinkedIn breach.

      “The passwords of the appointees were hacked in mass breaches of websites like LinkedIn, MySpace, and others between 2012 and 2016,” as Channel 4 puts it.

      An appearance of someone’s records in Have I Been Pwned? should not imply that they have been hacked, contrary to Channel 4′s breathless headline.

    • Nigel Farage hired by Fox News as a political analyst

      Nigel Farage has been hired as a commentator for American TV network Fox News, the broadcaster has announced.

      The former UKIP leader will provide political analysis for the main channel, and the Fox Business Network’s daytime and primetime programmes.

    • At His Inauguration, Trump Signals No Break From His Politics of Fear and Loathing

      Today, as of noon, the president of the United States is a man who boasted of sexually assaulting women. The nation’s leader is a purveyor of fake news and conspiracy theories who led the racist birther campaign. The commander in chief in charge of the US nuclear arsenal is a fellow who was unfamiliar with the nuclear triad but who is obsessed with revenge. The head of the federal government is a businessman who vowed to “drain the swamp” but who has taken office loaded with troubling conflicts of interest and flouting multiple ethics norms. The defender of the Constitution is a record-setting prevaricator and fabulist who has repeatedly attacked journalists who challenge his false assertions. The guy who oversees national law enforcement is a dishonest developer who was sued for racially based housing discrimination and who lied about his mob ties. The person in charge of US national security is a foreign policy novice who has called for enhancing relations with a foreign power that covertly worked to subvert American democracy in order to benefit him and whose associates are under investigation by agencies he now oversees for possible contacts with that foreign power. The most powerful man in the world is a thin-skinned, arrogant, name-calling, bullying, narcissistic hotelier.

    • Donald Trump Really Believes All Those Things He Said During the Campaign

      There was no recognition, and probably beneath it no awareness, that America’s security and prosperity have rested all these years on the liberal international order, which our wiser leaders created in the wake of World War II and which Trump now deprecates.

      Quite apart from the ignorance of history and economics that leads him to say, and probably believe, that protectionism will make America stronger and richer, this speech is likely to set off a cascade of consequences around the world. (Give the new president this: He penned a truly historic inaugural address—just not in the way that word is usually meant.)

    • Trump’s Speech Gave Us America the Ugly. Don’t Let It Become Prophesy.
    • The Government Secrets Trump Is About to Discover
  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Brits don’t trust Donald Trump with the surveillance powers President Obama left him

      BRITS DON’T TRUST incoming US president Donald Trump to be able to resist using state surveillance powers, handily expanded by outoing President Obama, for personal gain.

      That’s according to a survey by Privacy International, which seems to suggest that Brits will be up all night with worry over what, exactly, Trump will do after he’s sworn in.

      According to the survey, four-fifths expect Trump to use his surveillance powers in some way for personal gain, while half claimed that they have “no trust” in Trump only using the US government’s surveillance and information-gathering powers for “legitimate purposes”.

    • Android apps, IMEIs and privacy

      There’s been a sudden wave of people concerned about the Meitu selfie app’s use of unique phone IDs. Here’s what we know: the app will transmit your phone’s IMEI (a unique per-phone identifier that can’t be altered under normal circumstances) to servers in China. It’s able to obtain this value because it asks for a permission called READ_PHONE_STATE, which (if granted) means that the app can obtain various bits of information about your phone including those unique IDs and whether you’re currently on a call.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • New Jersey court upholds firing of corrections officer who wore hijab to work

      Hijab, burqas and other religious symbols have been a controversial subject. Last year a Canadian Superior Court justice ruled that a decision to deny a woman’s case in court because she refused to remove her hijab went against [JURIST report] the fundamental principles of Canadian law. In 2013 a Quebec official proposed a bill [JURIST report] banning religious headwear for public workers. Belgium officially banned [JURIST report] burqas in July 2011. France’s ban on burqas took effect [JURIST report] in April 2011. Some commentators have suggested that the rationales behind the European burqa bans are weak [JURIST op-ed] and that the true purpose of the bills is societal discomfort.

    • Judge bluntly warns of contempt if he doesn’t get ‘torture report’

      A judge has bluntly rejected the Obama administration’s effort to avoid giving the court an unabridged copy of the Senate report on CIA war-on-terror interrogation tactics — a compendium better known as the “torture report.”

      In late December, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth granted a request from lawyers for Guantánamo prisoner and alleged Al Qaeda mastermind Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri to have the highly classified report preserved in court files.

      Earlier this month, the Justice Department asked Lamberth to reconsider, noting that President Barack Obama decided to make the report part of his presidential records and that a military judge ordered the Defense Department to preserve a copy of the review.

    • Turkish parliament approves more constitutional reform articles

      Turkey’s parliament approved the first seven articles in a second round of voting overnight on a constitutional bill that will extend President Tayyip Erdogan’s powers, keeping the reform on course for a spring referendum.

      The two largest opposition parties in parliament say the 18-article bill, which could enable Erdogan to rule until 2029, will fuel authoritarianism in the NATO member and European Union candidate country.

      The ruling AK Party, backed by the nationalist MHP, says it will bring the strong executive leadership needed to prevent a return to the fragile coalition governments of the past.

    • Graphic CCTV footage appears to shows blind and mentally ill man being shot dead by California police

      A video appearing to show police cornering a mentally ill and blind man before he was shot dead has been released by the victim’s family.

      The CCTV footage purportedly shows James Hall surrounded by heavily armed officers in a petrol station and then collapsing to the ground as he is gunned down.

      The clip was released after his family announced it was suing the police department in California for using “excessive force”.

      “James was not observed by family, friends, or those who knew him as having violent tendencies because of his mental illness,’ said attorney Ben Meiselas, of Geragos & Geragos in Los Angeles.

    • In parting letter, Obama asks Congress one last time to shutter Guantanamo

      On his last day in office, President Obama repeated an eight-year request to Congress: Close the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

      “There is simply no justification beyond politics for the Congress’ insistence on keeping the facility open,” Obama wrote in a letter to Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan that was released by the White House on Thursday. “Members of Congress who obstruct efforts to close the facility, given the stakes involved for our security, have abdicated their responsibility to the American people.”

    • Why Chelsea Manning’s Release Will Make Us All Safer

      As one of his final acts, President Barack Obama responded to widespread public outcry and commuted the bulk of Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence. Instead of serving 35 years in a military prison, she will be released on May 17, after nearly seven years behind bars, including months in conditions that the United Nations considers to be torture.

      Pardons and commutations are often controversial. But on balance, this decision should be seen as major victory for free speech and human rights—a move that will make all of us safer, and strengthen our democracy.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Netflix is so big that it doesn’t need net neutrality rules anymore

      Netflix has long been an outspoken supporter of net neutrality rules, but the streaming video provider says it is now so popular with consumers that it wouldn’t be harmed if the rules were repealed.

      The potential of reversing net neutrality rules increased the moment Donald Trump became president-elect, as Republicans in the Federal Communications Commission and Congress want to get rid of the rules. But in a letter to shareholders yesterday, Netflix reassured investors that this won’t affect the company’s financial performance or service quality.

      “Weakening of US net neutrality laws, should that occur, is unlikely to materially affect our domestic margins or service quality because we are now popular enough with consumers to keep our relationships with ISPs stable,” Netflix wrote.

      The FCC’s rules prohibit ISPs from blocking or throttling traffic or giving priority to Web services in exchange for payment. Because of the rules, small video providers that aren’t as popular as Netflix don’t have to worry about being blocked or throttled by ISPs or having to pay ISPs for faster access to customers. ISPs would prefer that customers subscribe to the ISPs’ own video services, and thus have incentive to shut out competitors who need access to their broadband networks.

    • Through Price Hikes And Annoyance, AT&T Still Waging War On Unlimited Data Users

      Back in 2011 AT&T and Verizon killed off their unlimited wireless data plans, instead replacing them with usage caps and steep (up to $15 per gigabyte) over fees. And while these companies grandfathered the existing unlimited data users at the time, they’ve spent the lion’s share of the last six years waging a not-so-subtle war on these users in an attempt to get them to switch to metered plans. This ranged from AT&T’s decision to block Facetime completely for users on unlimited plans, to covertly throttling these users only after a few gigabytes of usage, then lying about it. Repeatedly.

      Of course AT&T has also used vanilla rate hikes on these unlimited data plans to drive users to metered options.

    • Report: President Trump Picks Former Verizon Lawyer Ajit Pai To Head FCC

      As many expected, Donald Trump has chosen former Verizon lawyer and current FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai to head the FCC, according to a report by Politico. According to two anonymous insiders “familiar with the decision,” Pai, who met with Trump on Monday, should be formally announced as FCC boss in short order. Pai recently proclaimed that net neutrality’s “days are numbered” under Trump, while stating that the reformed FCC would be taking a “weed whacker” to “unnecessary regulations” like the FCC’s net neutrality rules and its new consumer broadband privacy protections.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Red Cross Claims Makers Of ‘Prison Architect’ Violated The Geneva Conventions By Using A Red Cross

      Let’s start this off by stipulating that the Red Cross is an organization well known for doing very real humanitarian work. While some have raised questions as to exactly how ethically it spends donor money, the organization is still on the front lines in helping those suffering from natural and man-made disasters. All that being said, the Red Cross has also shown itself to wander over the line of sense when it comes to both video games and policing some of its iconography. Recall that the Red Cross insisted, for instance, that games that allowed players to commit what would constitute war crimes also be required to include virtual punishments for those actions. On policing the use of its icons, the organization has suggested in the past that the use of its red cross symbol on theatre costumes constitutes a violation of The Geneva Conventions.

      These two realms in which the Red Cross likes to play crazy have now converged, with Mark Morris and Chris Delay, makers of the notorious video game Prison Architects, having received notice that the game’s inclusion of an ambulance emblazoned with a red cross constituted a violation of The Geneva Conventions.

    • Trademarks

      • Supreme Court Delves Into Question Of Whether Or Not You Can Trademark ‘Disparaging’ Terms

        A little over a year ago, we wrote about an appeals court ruling saying that the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) could not reject a trademark based on the fact that it was “disparaging” towards an individual or group. The case focused around whether or not a Portland band named “The Slants” could trademark its name. The band, which is fronted by an Asian American named Simon Tam, had its trademark rejected by the PTO on the claim that it was disparaging to Asians.

        As I noted at the time, I had struggled with my own opinion on this question as well — initially arguing that this shouldn’t be a First Amendment issue, because refusing to grant a trademark registration in no way interfered with anyone’s freedom of expression. Instead, it did the opposite, and made it clear that anyone could make use of the content without restriction or fear of infringing on someone’s registered mark (though, a common law trademark may still be an issue). Over time, and after lots of discussions with lots of people on all sides of this issue, I eventually came down on the other side. The key issue was not whether or not speech was blocked, but rather that there’s a law that determines something based on the content of speech, and it’s that point that makes it a First Amendment issue.

    • Copyrights

      • Struggling Canadian News Agencies Ask Government For A ‘Google Tax’

        It never fails (although the proposed solution often does): when faced with the struggles of operating news organizations in the internet era, far too many industry leaders suggest someone else should pay for their failing business models.

        The favorite target is Google. Google has somehow destroyed the profitability of news media companies by creating an incredibly successful search engine. Even though its search engine directs users to news agencies’ websites, there are those in the industry that believe incoming traffic isn’t enough to offset their perception that the search engine somehow piggybacks off their success, rather than the other way around.

        So-called “Google taxes” have been passed into law in countries around the world. In every case, they’ve been a disaster. In Spain, new agencies begged to have the law rolled back after losing traffic from Google searches. Having seen what didn’t work in Spain, Austrian lawmakers floated the same idea, proposing a tax on SINGLE WORDS in search results. The latest bad idea is an EU-wide “snippet tax,” because it worked so well in Spain, Spanish newspapers begged the EU to step in and block Google from killing its news article search results in Spain in response to the proposed tax.

      • Is A ‘Fattened’ Version Of A Famous Jorge Luis Borges Story Artistic Re-Creation, Or Copyright Infringement?

        As the Guardian reports, the legal action has been brought by the widow of Borges, María Kodama. Theoretically the case could lead to a six-year jail sentence for Katchadjian, although nobody seriously expects him to end up in prison if he loses. Kodama’s lawyer is unimpressed with the argument that “The Fattened Aleph” is just another of Katchadjian’s literary experiments. Previously, the author rewrote an epic 19th-century poem about gauchos called “Martín Fierro,” by placing the poem’s lines in alphabetical order. “Martín Fierro” is also the name of a 1920s Argentinian literary magazine that published work by Borges, amongst others.

      • What the Five Year Anniversary of the SOPA/PIPA Blackout Can Teach Congress About Tech

        Five years ago this week, Americans opened their internet browsers and saw darkness.

        Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and other major websites had banded together and gone dark to make a then-obscure piece of legislation infamous. Wikipedia shut down completely for 24 hours and a black band masked the Google logo.

        These internet giants and other online sites joined millions of Americans in protesting the 2012 Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) legislation in a historic grassroots movement. More than four million people signed Google’s online petition linked to the blacked-out homepage. Eight million people looked up how to contact their representative when prompted to by Wikipedia. Tumblr alone produced 87,000 calls to representatives. The vast numbers led most congressional sponsors to rescind their support of the bill.

        SOPA and PIPA were well intended but ill-advised attempts on the part of Congress to protect the American copyright industry. But the legislation was so broad that it had the potential to harm or eradicate entire websites or online services, instead of specifically targeting individuals who uploaded illegal content.

        The New York Times called the SOPA/PIPA protests a “coming of age for the tech industry,” and at CTA, we were proud to help lead this vital growth. It was a bipartisan and cross industry effort: venture capitalists and law professors, computer scientists and human rights advocates, progressives and tea partiers teamed together to fight the bills. Still, the bills progressed through Congress and appeared to have the momentum necessary to become law.

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Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. [Meme] 70 Days of Non-Compliance

    António Campinos would rather fall on his sword than correct the errors or work to undo the damage caused by Team Battistelli, which is still at the EPO



  2. EPO “Board 28” Meeting: Imaginary Dialogue Between EPO President Campinos and the Chair of the Administrative Council, Josef Kratochvíl

    The EPO‘s chaotic state, which persists after Benoît Battistelli‘s departure, is a state of lawlessness and cover-up



  3. Links 16/9/2021: Linux Mint Has New Web Site, LibreOffice 7.2.1, KDE Plasma 5.23 Beta, and Sailfish OS Verla

    Links for the day



  4. If Git Can be Done Over the Command Line and E-mail, It Can Also be Done Over Gemini (Instead of Bloated Web Browsers)

    In order to keep Git lean and mean whilst at the same time enabling mouse (mousing and clicking) navigation we encourage people everywhere to explore gemini://



  5. Techrights Examines a Wide Array/Range of Gemini Clients/Browsers

    After spending many months examining an array of different types of software for Gemini (including but not limited to clients/browsers) we take stock of what exists, what's supported (it varies a bit), and which one might be suitable for use by geeks and non-geeks



  6. Links 16/9/2021: KStars 3.5.5 and Chafa 1.8

    Links for the day



  7. Trusting Microsoft With Security is a Clown Show

    A quick and spontaneous video about this morning's post regarding a major new revelation that reaffirms a longstanding trend; Microsoft conflates national security (back doors) with security



  8. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, September 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, September 15, 2021



  9. Microsoft Azure and Back/Bug Doors in GNU/Linux: Fool Me Once (Shame on You) / Fool Me Twice (Shame on Me)

    "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me," goes the old saying...



  10. Deleted Post: “LibreOffice is Becoming Dominated by a Bunch of Corporates, and Has no Place for the Enthusiastic Amateur.”

    Chris Sherlock, an insider of LibreOffice, cautions about the direction of this very important and widely used project



  11. Links 16/9/2021: Unifont 14.0.01, LibreOffice on ODF 1.3, Mozilla Pushing Ads (Sponsored 'Firefox Suggest'), and Microsoft Pushes Proprietary Direct3D via Mesa

    Links for the day



  12. Links 15/9/2021: Another Azure Catastrophe and Darktable 3.6.1

    Links for the day



  13. Open Invention Network (OIN) Recognises a Risk Posed to Cryptocurrencies (Danger From Software Patents), But OIN Still Proposes the Wrong Solutions

    Square is joining OIN, but it's another example of banking/financial institutions choosing to coexist with software patents instead of putting an end to them



  14. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, September 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, September 14, 2021



  15. (Super)Free Software As a Right – The Manifesto

    "Software text has long been recognized as “speech”, and is covered under the very same copyright laws as conventional printed matter."



  16. Links 15/9/2021: Java 17 / JDK 17 Released and ExpressVPN Sold

    Links for the day



  17. Latest Public Talk (Over BigBlueButton) by Richard Stallman is Now Online

    This video has been released; it starts with an old talk and then proceeds to a new discussion (14 minutes from the start)



  18. Richard Stallman Is Not Surrendering His Free Speech

    The homepage of Dr. Stallman looked like this on Saturday, 20 years since the September 11 attacks in the US, noting that “[t]oday we commemorate the September 11 attacks, which killed President Allende of Chile and installed Pinochet’s murderous military dictatorship. More than 3,000 dissidents were killed or “disappeared” by the Pinochet regime. The USA operated a destabilization campaign in Chile, and the September 11, 1973, attacks were part of that campaign.”



  19. Twitter -- Like Google's YouTube -- is 'Hiding' Tweets From People Who Follow You

    So-called 'entertainment' platforms disguised as 'social' aren't the future of media; they need to be rejected



  20. How to Track the Development or Construction of the Techrights Web Site and Gemini Capsule

    Following some busy publication schedule (heavy lifting for weeks) we're stopping a bit or slowing down for the purpose of site (or capsule) 'construction'; here's a status update



  21. Links 14/9/2021: Libinput 1.19, Kali Linux 2021.3, and ExTiX Deepin 21.9

    Links for the day



  22. [Meme] [Teaser] EPO Management, Always Right

    The only permissible and allowable/exercise-able “Right” at the EPO is “Shut up and work”; if you strike, the dictator du jour will authorise a drone strike



  23. Recent Focus on Git, Gemini, and Upcoming Series About EPO Abuses

    Some updates about this past weekend's (and Monday's) work, which improves transparency and resilience ahead of the next 'blockbusters'



  24. Links 14/9/2021: Ubuntu 21.10 Kernel Freeze Thursday and Mailchimp (Spam) Bought

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Monday, September 13, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, September 13, 2021



  26. Links 13/9/2021: Zink's Completion and 72% of Top 50 Steam Games Can Run on GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  27. This Coming Saturday Richard Stallman Will Give His First Public Talk Since May

    Cordial headsup to Free/libre software aficionados; “Richard Stallman will be giving a talk in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Saturday, September, 18, titled Free Software and the GNU General Public License,” his Web site says. It’s noted here.



  28. Links 13/9/2021: GDB 11.1, Only 2 New Debian Developers in 2 Months

    Links for the day



  29. The Register Cannot Stop Trolling Linus Torvalds (It Recently Corrected Falsehoods in the Headlines, But No Lessons Have Been Learned)

    The media coverage about “Linux 5.15-rc1″ says a lot about the general agenda of many publications, such as The Register with Microsoft operatives inside it



  30. Links 13/9/2021: First Linux 5.15 Release Candidate and Fedora 35 Beta Tomorrow

    Links for the day


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