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02.09.17

Links 9/2/2017: Atom 1.14, Wine-Staging 2.1, Sailfish OS 2.1.0

Posted in News Roundup at 7:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Back Yard Linux

    My how times have changed.

    It wasn’t long ago that Linux users couldn’t get any respect. People on the street had absolutely never even heard of Linux, and if you needed the services of technical support, like from your ISP, you might as well forget it. Back in the day, the help desk’s favorite thing to say was “we don’t support Linux.”

    What they meant, of course, was that they had no clue on how to do anything in Linux. They were skilled at guiding users through arcane parts of Windows to determine whether the problem was with the company’s servers or with the customer’s computer. If the truth be known, they didn’t really know anything about Windows either, but they had a script.

  • Desktop

    • Fwupd Updated With New Support, Developer Endorses Dell For Linux

      Longtime GNOME developer Richard Hughes has announced a new release of fwupd, the open-source utility for updating firmware on Linux in a safe, automatic, and reliable manner.

      Fwupd continues advancing for making it much easier to upgrade firmware for many systems from the Linux desktop. Fwupd supports UEFI capsule updates and other interfaces while for end-users it can be run from the command-line or via front-ends like with GNOME Software integration. With today’s first new release on their fwupd-0.8 branch, there are not only fixes but also new features.

    • New fwupd release, and why you should buy a Dell
  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.18.48

      I’m announcing the release of the 3.18.48 kernel.

      Wait, what? Yeah, 3.18.48, you read that right.

      Turns out there was a bug in 3.18.47 in one of the backports. And a bug
      in 3.18.27 as well, with one of the backports there. And a very minor
      issue in the 3.18.28 release, but no one cares about the debug messages
      for a specific scsi driver, so you can just ignore that issue…

    • Open Source MANO Interoperates with 10 NFV Infrastructures

      At NFV Plugtests hosted by ETSI last week, the Open Source MANO (OSM) group tested its code for interoperability with various network function virtualization (NFV) infrastructures and virtual network functions (VNFs).

      Participants at the Plugtests were provided with different combinations of VNFs, NFV infrastructures, and orchestrators, and they were given about an hour-and-a-half to make it all interoperate. OSM’s orchestrator software interoperated successfully with all 10 of the NFV infrastructures and all of the 15 “official” VNFs (5 additional VNFs were considered “test” VNFs).

    • Blockchain: The Invisible Technology That’s Changing the World

      Blockchain isn’t a household buzzword, like the cloud or the Internet of Things. It’s not an in-your-face innovation you can see and touch as easily as a smartphone or a package from Amazon. But when it comes to our digital lives—every digital transaction; exchange of value, goods and services; or private data —blockchain is the answer to a question we’ve been asking since the dawn of the internet age: How can we collectively trust what happens online?

      Every year we run more of our lives—more core functions of our governments, economies, and societies—on the internet. We do our banking online. We shop online. We log into apps and services that make up our digital selves and send information back and forth. Think of blockchain as a historical fabric underneath recording everything that happens exactly as it occurs. Then the chain stitches that data into encrypted blocks that can never be modified and scatters the pieces across a worldwide network.

    • Linux 4.9.9

      I’m announcing the release of the 4.9.9 kernel.

      All users of the 4.9 kernel series must upgrade.

      The updated 4.9.y git tree can be found at:
      git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.9.y
      and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

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

    • Linux 4.4.48
    • Linux Kernel 3.18 Reaches End of Life, Users Urged to Move to Linux 4.9 or 4.4

      Today, February 8, 2017, renowned Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman put an end to the release cycle of the long-term supported (LTS) Linux 3.18 kernel series by releasing what appears to be the last hotfix.

      Linux kernel 3.18.48 LTS is here and is the last in the series, which was marked for a January 2017 extinction since mid-April last year. According to the appended shortlog, the new patch changes a total of 50 files, with 159 insertions and 351 deletions.

    • Inside Real-Time Linux

      Real-time Linux (RTL), a form of mainline Linux enabled with PREEMPT_RT, has come a long way in the past decade. Some 80 percent of the deterministic PREEMPT_RT patch is now available in the mainline kernel itself. Yet, backers of the strongest alternative to the single-kernel RTL on Linux — the dual-kernel Xenomai — continue to claim a vast superiority in reduced latency. In an Embedded Linux Conference Europe presentation in October, Jan Altenberg rebutted these claims while offering an overview of the real-time topic.

    • Introduction to Realtime Linux
    • Graphics Stack

      • Threaded GL Dispatch Code For Mesa Sent Out For Review

        Marek Olšák volleyed the 26 patches needed for Mesa supporting threaded OpenGL dispatch onto the Mesa mailing list for some additional public review.

        For the background to the story, read Mesa Threaded OpenGL Dispatch Finally Landing, Big Perf Win For Some Games. Long story short, the RadeonSI developers are interested in merging the OpenGL threaded dispatch support into core Mesa. The code has been floating around for a few years un-merged but has the potential for affecting some Linux games with greater performance, such as Borderlands 2 as one example where it can be as much as 70% faster.

      • Samsung Exynos DRM Changes Queued For Linux 4.11

        Inki Dae has submitted the Exynos DRM driver changes to DRM-Next as material for the upcoming Linux 4.11 cycle.

      • RadeonSI Patches Emerge For ARB_sparse_buffer
      • GDC sounds like it will be fun this year with AMD, NVIDIA, Khronos, Unity & Croteam all talking Vulkan

        This year’s GDC sounds like it might be quite interesting! AMD, NVIDIA, Khronos, Unity, Croteam and more have announced they will be doing a bunch of talks and some of them will be about Vulkan.

      • Watch this video of David Airlie (Redhat) talking about Vulkan and other bits

        Something that sadly got buried in my inbox is this video of David Airlie (Redhat) talking about the Vulkan Graphics API.

      • Another Potential CPU Optimization For Mesa: Quadratic Probing

        Mesa developer Thomas Helland is looking at reviving an old set of Mesa patches that could help out in some CPU-bound scenarios.

        Helland re-discovered some old Mesa patches from April 2015 for implementing quadratic probing in hash tables for being faster rather than the linear re-probing hash table as is used currently. Helland explained further in the patch, “This will allow us to remove the large static table and use a power of two hash table size that we can compute on the fly. We can use bitmasking instead of modulo to fit our hash in the table, and it’s less code. By using the algorithm hash = sh + i/2 + i*i/2 we are guaranteed that all retries from the quad probing are distinct, and so we should be able to completely fill the table.”

      • Libinput X.Org Driver Updated With New Capabilities

        Libinput is the input handling library that originated with Wayland but has since been adopted by Mir as well as X.Org when using the xf86-input-libinput handling driver. This xf86-input-libinput adaptation for X.Org Servers has seen a new release today.

        Last month marked the libinput 1.6 release with new features to the input library. Now xf86-input-libinput has been upgraded for improving the support for this generic input handling implementation on xorg-server systems.

      • RadeonSI Working Toward Better Rocket League Performance

        Marek Olšák has posted a set of patches today to the Mesa mailing list and they should help some Linux games, at least Rocket League.

      • Wayland’s Weston 2.0 Beta Released

        One day after the Wayland 1.13 Beta, the reference Weston compositor is updated to its 2.0 beta state.

        Wayland’s reference compositor, Weston, is moving to version 2.0 rather than version 1.13 since its new output configuration ABI has broken Weston’s ABI. In addition to the new output handling API, Weston 2.0 has seen work on DRM compositor improvements, support for using EGL_KHR_swap_buffers_with_damage, initial window positioning for XWayland apps, desktop shell refinements, and other improvements.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Celeron/Pentium/Core i3/i5/i7 – NVIDIA vs. AMD Linux Gaming Performance

        Five AMD/NVIDIA graphics cards tested on five different Intel Kabylake processors from a low-end $40 Celeron CPU to a high-end Core i7 7700K is the focus of today’s Linux benchmarking. Various OpenGL and Vulkan Linux gaming benchmarks were run to see how the RadeonSI and NVIDIA Linux performance evolves from a Celeron G3930 to Pentium G4600 to Core i3 7100 to Core i5 7600K to Core i7 7700K.

      • Mesa 13.0 vs. 17.0 Performance For RADV/RadeonSI: Big Gains For Vulkan, OpenGL Boosts

        With Mesa 17.0 due to be released in the days ahead, I’ve been running fresh benchmarks of this latest user-space 3D driver stack on Intel, Radeon, and Nouveau. For your viewing pleasure this Thursday are the RadeonSI benchmarks comparing the Mesa 17.0 Git code to that of the latest Mesa 13.0 branch with a few different AMD graphics cards. There are also some tests of the RADV Vulkan driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Plasma Leaning Towards Focusing On Flatpak Over AppImage/Snaps

        Veteran KDE developer Sebastian Kügler has written a blog post following the Plasma Sprint that just happened recently in Stuttgart. A few interesting details were shared.

        While right now we’ve seen some KDE efforts around Flatpak (formerly XDG-App) and Snaps along with some in the AppImage space, KDE developers are looking to center their efforts around one next-gen packaging solution moving forward. With focusing around one app bundling solution, they hope to be able to deliver their software to more end-users directly across the distribution spectrum.

      • Plasma Meeting: Web, browsers and app bundles

        This year’s Plasma Sprint is kindly being hosted by von Affenfels, a software company in Stuttgart, Germany, focusing on mobile apps. Let me try to give you an idea of what we’re working on this week.

      • Finally, a Linux laptop worthy of KDE

        These are Macbook Air-like machines that are (as the name would imply) slim, light, and modern. The weight of Slimbook with an installed 120GB SSD, and 4GB of RAM, comes in at 1.39 kg (3.06 pounds). Considering my Chromebook Pixel 2 weighs in at 3.4 pounds, I would happily accept that encumbrance.

      • KDE Plasma 5.9.1 – Here is the First Bugfix Release

        Today, the Kde team announced the first minor release for Kde Plasma 5.9 including various little but important bugfixes and translation updates. Certainly, this first small bugfix release will improve the stability and usability of the desktop environment.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Top 9 GNOME shell extensions to customize your desktop Linux experience

        Everyone has a list of customizations that they absolutely must make when they first set up a new computer. Maybe it’s switching desktop environment, installing a different terminal shell, or something as simple as installing a favorite browser or picking out the perfect desktop wallpaper.

        For me, towards the top of my list when setting up a new Linux machine is installing a few extensions to the GNOME desktop environment to fix a few quirks and allow it to better serve my daily use. I was originally a slow and reluctant GNOME 3 convert, but once I found the right combination of extensions to meet my needs, and found the GNOME Tweak Tool settings that changed a few other basic behaviors, I’ve been a happy GNOME 3 user for a few years now.

  • Distributions

    • 6 Best Linux Distributions For Programming

      Do you need a Linux distro for programming? For starters, there aren’t any distros that are specifically targeting programmers per se. It doesn’t really matter, as a Linux distribution is mostly the same as the next one in regards to what software you’ll be able to use on it. But then again, there are a few distros available that will be preferable due to the way they have been built up. You should also consider the kind of programming you’re into, whether web-based or system or application programming.

    • 10 of the best lightweight Linux distros

      Modern Linux distros are designed to appeal to a large number of users who run modern hardware. As a result, they have become too bloated for older machines, even if cut down by hand – if you don’t have several gigs of RAM to spare and an extra core or two, these distros may not deliver the best performance for you. Thankfully, there are many lightweight distros, trimmed and tweaked by expert hands, which can be used to breathe new life into older hardware.

    • Reviews

      • Hands-On: Solus Linux and the Budgie desktop

        I have heard from a number of people recently suggesting that I take a look at Solus Linux. Since I have not tried a completely new distribution in a while, and I don’t want to get bored or stale, I decided this would be a good time to give it a try.

        A quick perusal of the Solus web page seems promising. I like the fact that Solus is built from scratch, not just another Ubuntu (or whatever) derivative. I am also impressed by the fact that the Solaris team has developed the Budgie Desktop to suit their own needs and preferences. I think that says a lot about their competence and ambition.

      • Remix OS: Is This the Droid You Were Looking For?

        Ever wanted to try Android on your PC but there weren’t any really usable projects? Now you can. Remix OS is an Android based operating system that’s designed to offer a full-fledged desktop PC-like experience. The developers have done a lot of work to implement many desktop-centric features such as multi-window multi-tasking. It offers a very familiar interface inspired by Windows, so the learning curve is not that steep. If you have used Android before, you will find yourself at home.

        Remix OS is being developed by Jide Technologies, a company founded by three ex-Googlers, “with a mission to unlock the potential of Android in order to accelerate a new age of computing,” reads the “about us” page.

    • Arch Family

      • Arch Linux pulls the plug on 32-bit

        If you’re reading this article on a PC, it’s quite likely the processor under the hood is 64-bit. Most computers these days run 64-bit CPUs, and most computers run 64-bit operating systems. Arch Linux is acknowledging that fact by making February the last month the distribution will include an i686 (32-bit) download option.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed Users Get Linux 4.9.7, GCC 6.3.1, Wine 2.1, and New Vulkan

        If you’re using the openSUSE Tumbleweed operating system on your personal computer, we’d like to inform you today about the latest software updates that arrived in the distro’s repositories during last week and the first days of this one.

      • Tumbleweed Snapshots Bring Users New Vulkan, 4.9.7 Kernel

        Six Tumbleweed snapshots this week brought users newer versions of GStreamer, Wine, Vulkan, and a new Linux Kernel.

        The new 4.9.7 kernel arrived over the weekend with the 20170204 snapshot.

        The new kernel sources updated config files and fixed a build failure specific to DWARF (Debugging with Attributed Records Format). The snapshot added support for the Perl client ddclient to version 3.8.3 and yast2-installation 3.2.20 added an all-in-one installation overview for SUSE’s new Container as a Service Platform product. More information about CaaSP and transactional updates can be found in a video presented by Thorsten Kukuk at FOSDEM.

      • OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 Gnome – Better but not really

        It is time to give Leap a second chance. Let me be extra corny. Give leap a chance. Yes. Well, several weeks ago, I reviewed the Plasma edition of the latest openSUSE release, and while it was busy firing all cannon, like a typical Stormtrooper, most of the beams did not hit the target. It was a fairly mediocre distro, delivering everything but then stopping just short of the goodness mark.

        I will now conduct a Gnome experiment. Load the distro with a fresh new desktop environment, and see how it behaves. We did something rather similar with CentOS recently, with some rather surprising results. Hint. Maybe we will get lucky. Let’s do it.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • UBports Community Successfully Ports Canonical’s Ubuntu OS to the Fairphone 2

            We were informed by Canonical a few moments ago that the UBports community initiative lead by Marius Gripsgard has sucessfully launched the Ubuntu mobile OS for Fairphone 2 devices.

            The UBports project is well known among members of the Ubuntu Phone community, as they are porting Canonical’s Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system on a bunch of devices that are a lot more popular than what Canonical currently offers.

          • Ubuntu to support ethical smartphone Fairphone 2

            The Ubuntu Community UBports aims to see open source software Ubuntu on every device, starting with smartphones, through developers’ collaborative development. During Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February UBports will show a very special combination: Ubuntu on the Fairphone 2, combining sustainability and open source.

          • Here’s Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) Running on Microsoft Surface Pro 4

            Guess we’ve missed this last year, but YouTube user John Cuppi has made a demo video to showcase the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system running on a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 tablet and laptop device.

          • Turns Out Ubuntu 16.04.2 Is Shipping with Mesa 12.0.6, Here’s How to Use Mesa 13

            After it has been delayed twice, the highly anticipated Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS update is finally launching today, February 9, 2017, but it will include an older version of the Mesa 3D Graphics Library.

          • Open source smart home platform gains Ubuntu snap packages

            Canonical has released a Snap package mechanism for running Ubuntu apps under the openHAB smart home stack, complete with Azul’s Zulu Embedded Java Runtime.

            Canonical’s snap package management mechanism can now run on the open source, Java-driven openHAB home automation framework, enabling easier deployment and secure updating of Ubuntu apps. Last June, Canonical spun off the secure Ubuntu snap format from its container-like Snappy Ubuntu Core IoT distribution, proposing it as an open source, universal package management solution for all Linux distributions. For now, however, it essentially provides an easy, secure way to download, run, and maintain Ubuntu apps packaged under snap.

          • Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS Has Been Delayed Once Again, Should Land on Monday Now

            Canonical announced today that they are not ready to release the long-anticipated Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system because there are still some minor issues that need to be addressed.

          • Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS Struck By A Last-Minute Delay
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Do you know where that open source came from?

    Last year, while speaking at RSA, a reporter asked me about container provenance. This wasn’t the easiest question to answer because there is a lot of nuance around containers and what’s inside them. In response, I asked him if he would eat a sandwich he found on the ground. The look of disgust I got was priceless, but it opened up a great conversation.

    Think about it this way: If there was a ham sandwich on the ground that looked mostly OK, would you eat it? You can clearly see it’s a ham sandwich. The dirt all brushed off. You do prefer wheat bread to white. So what’s stopping you? It was on the ground. Unless you’re incredibly hungry and without any resources, you won’t eat that sandwich. You’ll visit the sandwich shop across the street.

  • Open source users: It’s time for extreme vetting

    Open source software is the norm these days rather than the exception. The code is being written in high volumes and turning up in critical applications. While having this code available can offer big benefits, users also must be wary of issues the code can present and implement proper vetting.

    Josh Bressers, cybersecurity strategist at Red Hat, emphasized this point during a recent talk with InfoWorld Editor at Large Paul Krill.

  • Hazelcast release Jet, open-source stream processing engine

    Hazelcast are primarily known for their open-source in-memory data grid (usually referred to as Hazelcast IMDG, or just Hazelcast). However, over the last 2 years, they have been working on a major new open-source project, called Hazelcast Jet, and this week have announced a release of this new technology.

  • Keymetrics is a Node.js monitoring tool for your server infrastructure

    French startup Keymetrics just raised $2 million from Alven Capital and Runa Capital to build the best monitoring tool for your Node.js infrastructure. The startup’s founder and CEO Alexandre Strzelewicz also created the popular open source Node.js process manager PM2.

    How do you turn a popular open source project into a successful startup? This question has so many different answers that sometimes it’s hard to find the right one from the first try, and Keymetrics is no exception.

    A few years ago, when Strzelewicz developed PM2 while living in Shanghai, he was just trying to create a better process manager for Node.js because existing solutions were lacking. He didn’t expect that his open source release would take off on Hacker News, attracting contributors working from Google and living in Brazil and Japan.

  • Ranger Joins Many Big Data Projects Graduating at Apache

    Over the past couple of years, we’ve steadily taken note of the many projects that the Apache Software Foundation has been elevating to Top-Level Status. The organization incubates more than 350 open source projects and initiatives, and has recently squarely turned its focus to Big Data and developer-focused tools. As Apache moves Big Data projects to Top-Level Status, they gain valuable community support. Recently, the foundation announced that Apache Kudu had graduated as a Top-Level project. Then, the news came that Apache Geode had graduated from the Apache Incubator as well. It is a very interesting open source in-memory data grid that provides transactional data management for scale-out applications needing low latency response times during high concurrent processing.

  • Udacity open sources its self-driving car simulator for anyone to use

    Self-driving cars require self-driving car software, and Udacity’s helping to feed that need with its nanodegree program in the field. Now, the online education company is also making available its self-driving car simulator via open source license, allowing anyone with a working knowledge of Unity to gab the assets, load its preexisting scenes and create their own tracks for virtual testing.

    If you weren’t already aware, a lot of the ‘education’ of self-driving vehicle software happens in virtual environments, since it’s still relatively expensive to build an actual self-driving test vehicle, and a bit complicated on the regulatory side to find somewhere willing to let you test in real-world conditions – plus you have to prove you can do so with a reasonable expectation of safety. That’s a steep hurdle for tinkerers working independently, and for companies just starting out.

  • Open source vs. COTS: 8 integration considerations

    Nothing is moving faster to the top of IT wish lists than hybrid integration platforms. They offer agencies the ability to use application programming interfaces to integrate on-premises, cloud and mobile applications. However, IT managers face a critical decision when it comes to choosing between an open-source or commercial-off-the-shelf enterprise service bus (ESB) for integration to support that hybrid environment. Below are eight considerations for deciding which digital initiative to implement.

  • 2016 Open Source Yearbook: Print edition now available
  • The benefits of tracking issues publicly

    A public issue tracker is a vital communication tool for an open organization, because there’s no better way to be transparent and inclusive than to conduct your work in public channels. So let’s explore some best practices for using an issue tracker in an open organization.

    Before we start, though, let’s define what we mean by “issue tracker.” Simply put, an issue tracker is a shared to-do list. Think of scribbling a quick list of errands to run: buy bread, mail package, drop off library books. As you drive around town, it feels good to cross each item off your list. Now scale that up to the work you have to do in your organization, and add in a healthy dose of software-enabled collaboration. You’ve got an issue tracker!

  • 4 must-read books for open source career seekers

    Finding a good job can be stressful and finding your dream job even more so. Even in the open source world, with its many opportunities for making a name for yourself by volunteering, it takes effort to make the connection between what you have to offer as a job seeker and what employers are looking for in an employee. One thing that can help set you apart from other applicants is having a solid understanding of yourself and what you bring to the table.

  • The most popular JavaScript front-end tools

    Choosing a development tool based on its popularity isn’t a bad idea. Popular tools are usually more stable, and they often have more resources and community support than less popular tools. Developer satisfaction is another key indicator of a good tool, and for the JavaScript ecosystem, I’m going to show you some significant research on both of these criteria.

    The list that follows contains all of the main tooling categories for a modern JavaScript developer. It includes the most popular tools for each category according to developer popularity and user satisfaction.

  • Netflix Open Sources a Slack Bot for Tracking GitHub Repositories

    Not many organizations have the technology expertise that Netflix has, and it may come as a surprise to some people to learn that the company regularly open sources key, tested and hardened tools that it has used for years. We’ve reported on Netflix open sourcing a series of interesting “Monkey” cloud tools as part of its “simian army,” which it has deployed as a series of satellite utilities orbiting its central cloud platform.

  • Events

    • ACLU Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Director Kade Crockford at LibrePlanet 2017

      Kade Crockford is the Director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts. Kade works to protect and expand core First and Fourth Amendment rights and civil liberties in the digital 21st century, focusing on how systems of surveillance and control impact not just society in general but their primary targets — people of color, Muslims, immigrants, and dissidents.

      The Information Age produces conditions facilitating mass communication and democratization, as well as dystopian monitoring and centralized control. The Technology for Liberty Program aims to use the unprecedented access to information and communication to protect and enrich open society and individual rights by implementing basic reforms to ensure new tools do not create inescapable digital cages limiting what people see, hear, think, and do. Towards that end, Kade researches, strategizes, writes, lobbies, and educates the public on issues ranging from the wars on drugs and terror to warrantless electronic surveillance. Kade has written for The Nation, The Guardian, The Boston Globe, WBUR, and many other publications, and regularly appears in local, regional, and national media as an expert on issues related to technology, policing, and surveillance.

    • Watch Camille Fournier, Donna Dillenberger, William ‘whurley’ Hurley Live at Open Source Leadership Summit Next Week
    • Open Networking Summit to Hold Private “Think Tank” Event for Industry Leaders

      Joshipura: No. It is closed to press to allow for open discussions specifically as several enterprise verticals like FinTech, healthcare, travel and hospitality, retail and of course communications will be sharing use cases, best practices, and lessons learned.

    • FOSDEM 2017: People, RISC-V and ChaosKey

      Apart from that, I have witnessed a shady cash transaction in a bus from the city centre to FOSDEM in exchange for hardware, not very unlike what I had read about only days before.

      So I could not help but to get involved in a subsequent transaction myself, to get my hands laid upon a ChaosKey.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla binds Firefox’s fate to the Rust language

        Mozilla always intended for Rust to be used in building key parts of the Firefox browser. Now the company is committing to that vision in a significant manner.

        After version 53, Firefox will require Rust to compile successfully, due to the presence of Firefox components built with the language. But this decision may restrict the number of platforms that Firefox can be ported to—for now.

      • Launching an Independent OpenNews Program

        At Mozilla, one of our essential roles is convener: working to identify, connect and support like-minded people who are building a healthier Internet.

        An early — and strong — example of that work is the OpenNews program. Six years ago, Mozilla and Knight Foundation created an initiative to combine open-source practices with journalism. Our aim: strengthen journalism on the open web, and empower newsroom developers, designers and data reporters across the globe.

        The program flourished. Since 2011, OpenNews has placed 33 fellows in 19 newsrooms, from BBC and NPR to La Nacion and the New York Times. It built a global community of more than 1,100 developers and reporters. It spawned the annual SRCCON conference, bolstered newsroom diversity and gave way to innovative newsgathering tools like Tabula. OpenNews has also played a key role in building the annual MozFest in London and Mozilla’s nascent leadership network initiative.

        Mozilla is immensely proud of OpenNews — and immensely grateful to the team behind its success. And today, we’re announcing that OpenNews is spinning out as an independent organization. Going forward, OpenNews — with the support of nonprofit fiscal partner Community Partners — will build on the success it achieved when incubated at Mozilla. OpenNews will continue to play an active role in MozFest and Mozilla’s leadership network.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Understand Your Distributed Apps with the OpenTracing Standard

      Microservices and services-oriented architecture are here to stay, but this kind of distributed system destroys the traditional type of process monitoring. Nonetheless, companies still need to understand just what’s happening inside the flow of an application. Ben Sigelman, Co-founder of LightStep, said at his keynote at CloudNativeCon that by adopting a new standard for distributed applications called OpenTracing can tell those stories without building complex instrumentation, or fundamentally changing the code of your application.

    • Keynote: OpenTracing and Containers: Depth, Breadth, and the Future of Tracing – Ben Sigelman
    • State of Application Delivery Survey Finds the Cloud Driving IT Plans

      How influential has the rise of cloud computing been on the state of application delivery? Hugely influential, according to a new survey of of 2,197 IT executives and technologists on topics including DevOps and security application services and standards.

    • What’s next for open-source Spark?

      A conference focused on a single open source project sounds like the sort of event that will feature a lone keynote speaker speaking to maybe 100 interested parties in a lecture hall at a local college. Spark Summit East was very much the opposite.

      A total of 1,503 people watched the five keynote speakers in a cavernous ballroom at the Hynes Convention Center lay out the future of Spark, the big data processing engine originally developed at the University of California – Berkeley by Matei Zaharia. Spark underlies huge data-driven applications being used by major players like Salesforce, Facebook, IBM and many others, helping organize, analyze, and surface specific grains of sand from beach-sized databases.

    • Cloudera and Intel Team on Accelerating Machine Learning Workloads

      In recent months, countless new machine learning tools have been open sourced, including tools from tech giants such as Google. Both machine learning and AI tools tend to place tough demands on hardware resources, though. With that in mind, Cloudera has announced a jointly tested solution with Intel to advance capabilities for machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) workloads.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Public Services/Government

    • Experts: ‘Swedish govt. cloud should use open source’

      The key IT principles for Sweden’s government cloud services should be vendor-independence, open standards and open source, experts recommend. On Tuesday, the government shared service centre (Statens servicecenter, SSC) published an advisory report, containing the opinions of management at government data centres. Sweden’s public administrations would profit immensely from national, reliable and secure cloud services, these experts agree.

    • CLARITY project- enhancing take-up of open eGovernment services in Europe

      The CLARITY project is a two year project, funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 framework. Grant Agreement number: 693881. The project will support European Member States in their pursuit for greater trust, transparency and efficiency within their open eGovernment initiatives and highlight best practice within this field.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • The 7 Elements of an Open Source Management Program: Teams and Tools

      A successful open source management program has seven essential elements that provide a structure around all aspects of open source software. In the previous article, we gave an overview of the strategy and process behind open source management. This time we’ll discuss two more essential elements: staffing on the open source compliance team and the tools they use to automate and audit open source code.

  • Kodi

Leftovers

  • Merriam Webster updates tech word list—and you will believe which ones were added

    The announcement is paired with a promotion that wants to pair the database’s newest words with animated GIFs, but Merriam-Webster did not take that opportunity to draw an important line in the sand. The dictionary still lists two pronunciations for the word, which it spells out as “gif” and “jif”—a fact that itself is confusing, considering a phonetic approximation for the hard-G sound is better typed as “ghif.” My incredibly educated guess is that Merriam and Webster must be two real people who cannot agree on this point. Pick a side, people.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Records show how Air Force nominee skirted lobbying restriction

      Former Rep. Heather Wilson, President Donald Trump’s nominee to be Air Force secretary, advised defense giant Lockheed Martin after she left Congress on how to nab a new multibillion-dollar deal from the Department of Energy without participating in a routine competition with other firms, according to recently obtained emails from her time as a contracting consultant.

      Wilson, who left Congress in 2009 and went to work the same month for Lockheed subsidiary Sandia Corp., says she didn’t lobby herself.

    • Yemen Withdraws Permission for U.S. Antiterror Ground Missions

      Angry at the civilian casualties incurred last month in the first commando raid authorized by President Trump, Yemen has withdrawn permission for the United States to run Special Operations ground missions against suspected terrorist groups in the country, according to American officials.

      Grisly photographs of children apparently killed in the crossfire of a 50-minute firefight during the raid caused outrage in Yemen. A member of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, Chief Petty Officer William Owens, was also killed in the operation.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • The BBC just tried to call out WikiLeaks. It did not end well.

      Alexander then interviewed the four “expert witnesses”. The first was Suelette Dreyfus, the co-author of a book with Assange. Ex-WikiLeaks volunteer Daniel Domscheit-Berg‘s interview followed. Then Alexander spoke to journalist James Ball, who also worked with WikiLeaks. And finally Foreign News Desk Editor at The Age Chris Zappone featured.

      Of these four ‘experts’, three have had documented fallouts with WikiLeaks and/or Assange. So while Dreyfus highlighted Assange’s “strong innate sense of the importance of justice”, Domscheit-Berg asserted that “sometimes there was basically no fact checking [of the leaked documents] at all apart a plausibility check”. While Ball cast Assange as a difficult person.

      Yet Domscheit-Berg did say that WikiLeaks has “a very good record” for not making mistakes. And Ball acknowledged that Assange’s stated
      motivation in publishing “what he gets” is “transparency”. So, even these largely hostile “experts” could not put WikiLeaks’ authenticity – or ‘believability’ – in doubt.

    • Britain eyes up its own Espionage Act

      The United Kingdom already has some of the strictest rules on official secrecy in the world. As Ian Cobain details in his recent book The History Thieves, Britain’s strong secrecy culture has ben used to keep information about colonial policy and foreign policy, and even entire military campaigns from the British public. Large archives held by UK government departments in contravention of public records laws, containing some information that is centuries-old, have come to light in the past few years.

      Proposals announced in the Telegraph last week are now suggesting broadening of the scope, and increasing the severity of the penalties for those who disclose government information under a new “Espionage Act” to a potential 14 years imprisonment. Given the increasing use of the 1917 Espionage Act in the United States to enforce a blanket official-secrets-like prohibition of information disclosures, even when done in the public interest, the proposed name change should not be taken as a coincidence.

    • Ecuador’s FM calls on compliance with UN ruling on WikiLeaks founder

      “A year since the UN working group on arbitrary detention ruled (WikiLeaks founder Julian) Assange was a victim of arbitrary detention … certain countries say they will not comply, that it is not binding,” Ecuador’s Foreign Affairs Minister Guillaume Long said in his twitter post Tuesday.

      Though Long did not specifically name the countries, British and Swedish authorities have prevented Assange from taking advantage of political asylum offered by Ecuador, effectively trapping him inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the past five years.

    • Anti-Whistleblower Provision Buried In Germany’s New Data Retention Law Challenged In The Courts

      Back in 2015, we noted that there was a global move to strengthen laws governing trade secrets. Enhanced protection was something that was included in the mercifully dead TPP agreement, and may well crop up again in the bilateral trade deals that the US administration says it now wants to pursue in TPP’s stead. One of the many problems with enhanced trade secret protection is that it can make whistleblowing more risky, since companies might try to claim that their right to preserve embarrassing secrets outweighs any public interest in revealing their dubious activities.

    • FBI Changes FOIA Policies, Tries To Route More Requesters To Fax Machines, Mailboxes

      The FBI’s relationship with the FOIA is, at the very least, contentious. The agency clearly would rather follow the letter of the law than its spirit… but only the letters it likes. It will technically release documents — sometimes years after the request is made — even if said documents are nothing more than a mostly blank paper telling the requester that all 509 pages have been withheld.

      To the FBI — and to its official FOIA stats — this release of nothing counts as a “response.” Even cutting itself this much slack on “responses” hasn’t helped the FBI’s FOIA stats. This has led to it preemptively declaring any response that may include more than 50 pages as “complex,” in hopes of massaging its clearly awful response times.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Not scared: The end of climate self-censorship

      Reducing carbon emissions within the United States is far more important than the little bit of money that Washington provides for international climate finance.

      The big bad wolf will come—for so long, this threat has dictated the global narrative about climate change. The world has tiptoed around curtailing carbon emissions at the necessary speed and scale. Global agreements have been bent out of shape to appease climate deniers. In Paris, nations negotiated a weak, unambitious agreement for the sake of reaching any agreement at all. All this—because the world believed that attempting more would rile up those, particularly in the United States, who oppose climate action.

    • ‘This is not over’: Dakota Access pipeline work restarts amid tribe’s legal challenge

      Dakota Access pipeline workers have begun the final phase of drilling across the Missouri river despite massive international protests and a legal challenge from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

      The restarting of the drilling operation, which a pipeline spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday morning, began soon after after the US government gave the oil corporation the green light to proceed on Wednesday. The controversial pipeline could be transporting crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois within three months.

    • Australia weather: heat threatens power outages and ‘catastrophic’ fire danger – live

      Parts of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria at risk as heatwave pushes temperatures into the mid-40s. Energy firms are warning of potential blackouts in NSW.

  • Finance

    • The Number Of Hungry And Homeless Students Rises Along With College Costs

      There’s no way to avoid it. As the cost of college grows, research shows that so does the number of hungry and homeless students at colleges and universities across the country.

      Still, many say the problem is invisible to the public.

      “It’s invisible even to me and I’m looking,” says Wick Sloan. He came to Bunker Hill Community College in Boston more than a decade ago to teach English full time. He says it felt like he quickly became a part-time social worker, too.

      “When I first got here, I was always told that we should never miss a chance to give students food,” he says. “I foolishly thought at the time they meant Doritos and cookies. It’s protein that they’re after. It’s crazy.”

      Bunker Hill is home to one of 25 food assistance programs on Massachusetts’ public college campuses. That leaves just four public campuses across the state without one.

    • Brexit, inequality and Ken Clarke’s legacy

      Ken Clarke is right to suggest that economic inequality contributed to the Brexit vote (Report, 6 February). Indeed, by convincing millions that the bogeyman of Europe was responsible for the loss of jobs, erosion of our overstretched public services and a housing crisis, the hard right achieved one of the most successful of political coups. It was their ideology that led to the loss of 1 million well-paid public sector jobs, and now their Brexit threatens to increase poverty and inequality by reducing regional aid.

      Clarke is wrong that no politicians have ideas on how to address inequality though. I can only assume he has never read a Green party manifesto. Greens have a range of policies to redistribute wealth, including a wealth tax on those with assets of more than £3m; a maximum pay ratio of 10:1 between the highest paid and lowest paid in every organisation, and raising corporation tax on large firms to at least 28%. Greens were also the first party to support a policy that has now become positively trendy: a basic income for all – guaranteed and non-means-tested. This is currently being trialled in Finland and is central to France’s Socialist presidential campaign.

    • Concerns raised over Brexit impact on free movement of horses

      Usually, when it comes up in the Brexit debate, freedom of movement relates to the passage of human beings. Usually, but not always.

      Britain’s decision to leave the EU also threatens the free movement of horses, potentially dealing a blow to the racing community in the UK and Ireland, industry experts and an MEP have said.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Donald Trump: a man so obnoxious that karma may see him reincarnated as himself

      America has gone from the Obama Years to the Trump Years, like going from the West Wing to a sitcom where the incidental music involves a tuba. I actually think Donald Trump is going to prove a lot of people wrong, but sadly not George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, or whoever wrote the Book of Revelation. It says a lot about the man that building a giant wall isn’t even in the top five most Game of Thrones things about him. Of course, presidents always enter office with something to prove, it’s just rarely their sanity.

      You look into Trump’s eyes and you see the fear and confusion of a man who has just been told he’s got stage-four cervical cancer. He is a super-villain in a world without heroes, a man so obnoxious and unhappy that karma may see him reincarnated as himself. You kind of wish he’d get therapy, but at this stage it’s like hiring a window cleaner for a burning building. It’s still difficult to classify him exactly: he’s not a classic Nazi, but would burn books if his supporters knew how to read. Hillary Clinton was obviously the preferred establishment candidate, and whoever was on the rota for this election cycle at the Illuminati really dropped the ball, but Trump is still very much someone that the permanent powers have assessed they can work with.

    • Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch says Trump’s attacks on judiciary are ‘demoralizing’

      President Trump’s escalating attacks on the federal judiciary drew denunciation Wednesday from his Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, who told a senator that the criticism was “disheartening” and “demoralizing” to independent federal courts.

      Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Gorsuch made the comments during their private meeting Wednesday, and the account was confirmed by Ron Bonjean, a member of the group guiding the judge through his confirmation process.

      Trump on Wednesday morning declared that an appeals court’s hearing Tuesday night regarding his controversial immigration executive order was “disgraceful” and that judges were more concerned about politics than following the law.

    • Trump blasts retailer Nordstrom, raising new concern on business ties

      President Donald Trump blasted department store chain Nordstrom Inc (JWN.N) on Wednesday for dropping his daughter Ivanka’s clothing line, prompting critics to accuse him of misusing public office to benefit his family’s sprawling business empire.

      After Trump’s highly unusual move to use a White House platform to intervene in a commercial matter involving his daughter, Nordstrom reiterated that its action last week was based on declining sales of the Ivanka Trump products. But White House spokesman Sean Spicer characterized the move as a “direct attack” on the president’s policies.

      “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person – always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” Trump wrote on Wednesday on both his personal and official presidential Twitter accounts.

    • The Biggest Advocates For An Imperial Executive Branch Are Suddenly Freaking Out Over Trump

      For many, many years, we’ve pointed out why there are problems with an executive branch that is too powerful. As we noted, laws should be designed as if the people you trust the least are in power. Of course, in an era of partisan red team/blue team politics, very few people seem to care or listen. Or, worse, their positions on executive power seem to shift based on whether “their guy” is in power or “the other guy” is in power. But in a situation that would be amusing if it weren’t quite so terrifying, some of the biggest advocates for expanded executive power are suddenly freaking out about the very thing they helped bring about now that there’s a President Trump.

      Ryan Lizza, over at the New Yorker, has a post detailing the ways in which Trump could seize more power following a terrorist attack. And there are lots of ways. That, by itself, may be interesting, but what strikes me as even more interesting is that the people who he quotes are some of the very people who helped create this kind of world where the President has almost unlimited power in certain areas.

      First up, he quotes Jack Goldsmith. Goldsmith worked for George W. B

    • Trump vows law and order crackdown to combat ‘menace’ of crime

      President signs orders that include focus on protecting police and promises ‘new era of justice’ despite violent crime rates that remain near historic lows

    • President Trump’s Unlikely Effect on the U.S.-EU Tech Relationship

      The contrast between the early days of the Trump and Obama administrations could not be greater. President Obama started with record high approval ratings around the world, including in Europe. President Trump began by cozying up to the anti-establishment nationalist Nigel Farage and set the United States on a course toward greater nationalism and protectionism. “America first” will rattle the transatlantic relationship and blunt the ability of United States and Europe to jointly lead in setting global rules based on universal values of open societies, rules-based trade, and human rights.

      But those looking back to the Obama years as a high point of value-based cooperation are viewing history through rose-colored glasses. The U.S.-EU relationship was rocky, especially with respect to tech policy and ensuring that the rule of law is respected and transposed to online life. Whereas Europeans tend to consider privacy rights as non-negotiable, Americans are often quick to dismiss European concerns as over-regulation not in their economic interest.

    • Trump’s immigration ban cost business-travel industry $185M: report

      President Trump’s immigration ban — which was put on hold after one week — may have cost $185 million in business-travel bookings, according to a new report from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

      Using industry data, the GBTA compared business-travel transaction levels in the week before and the week after Trump signed the executive order on immigration and refugees.

      The research found that travel bookings increased 1.2 percent the week before the travel ban, but decreased by 2.2 percent the week after, for a net decrease of 3.4 percent. That amounts to an estimated $185 million loss for the business-travel industry, the report says.

      The countries targeted in the temporary travel ban — Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen — make up a small fraction of incoming travel to the U.S. and don’t crack the top 20 travel markets to the country, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Australian Guy Demands Techdirt Story Be Blocked In Australia Over Comments

      I will admit that Australia’s defamation law is fairly baffling, in that it seems to repeatedly allow individuals who have had mean stuff said about them to demand all sorts of content be completely blocked from existence — based solely on the claims of the aggrieved, and prior to any court ruling. It’s a “right to be forgotten” gone mad. The latest such example of this… involves us. We recently discovered that an Australian guy by the name of Michael Roberts is demanding that an entire Techdirt page be removed from Google’s index. Having not recalled ever writing about anyone named Michael Roberts, I went to look at the article and discovered… it doesn’t mention anyone named Michael Roberts and doesn’t seem to involve him at all.

      Instead, it’s an article from about a year and a half ago about a preemptive lawsuit filed by Ripoff Report against a prosecutor in Iowa who has been aggressively pursuing Ripoff Report for quite some time. As we noted in the article, the judge in the case found no one to like and spends plenty of time pointing out the problems of everyone who is a party to the lawsuit. As the judge noted, the prosecutor pursing Ripoff Report, Ben Smith, appeared to focus on investigating Ripoff Report for “retaliatory reasons.” Meanwhile, Ripoff Report was clearly no angel as well, potentially trying to stretch Section 230 of the CDA to cover content written by someone hired by the company (CDA 230 is clearly limited to user generated content, and not to works directed by the company).

    • GOP Senate Streisands Elizabeth Warren And Coretta King In Attempt To Silence Her

      We’ll get to that last bit in just a moment, but let’s not fail to point out how silly the application of this rule is and what it means for the prospect of sitting Senators filling cabinet positions. If Senate rules prohibit another Senator form impugning a cabinet appointee during the debate over that appointee’s cabinet nomination, what would be the point of the debate? And keep in mind that Warren was not going on some self-authored tirade. She was reading a letter from the widow of the single most recognized civil rights leader, which was sent to Congress in the past — though Senator Strom Thurmond refused to put it into the Congressional record. That letter still had a hand in defeating a previous nomination of Sessions to judgeship. In February, which is Black History Month. This is banal as it gets.

      Separately, Senators complained about Warren quoting former Senator Ted Kennedy on his opposition to Sessions back in 1986. So, apparently the rule is that even if you’re quoting former Senators and people closely associated with the civil rights movement, you can’t say anything that might upset a sitting Senator, even if it was discussed previously in the Senate and now as part of the debate over his own nomination to be Attorney General.

      Of course, by invoking this rarely used Senate rule, one which has previously been ignored, Senator Warren and King’s letter is splashing headlines all over the place. On top of that, Warren and others rushed to social media circles to make sure the letter was heard by everyone who would listen. Which, given the way all of this is trending on social media, was a great many people.

    • Self-censorship and security reports

      Several instances abound where self-censorship, through systematic collaboration between the media and security agencies contributed to the success of military operations in Nigeria. Such restrictions serve common interest, especially in promoting best practices, moral standards as well as protecting life and property. For instance, when Nigerian troops had misunderstanding with their GOC in Maimalari Barracks on May 14, 2015, intelligence officers privately appealed to the media to be mindful of the danger of using the strong word ‘Mutiny’ as against a lighter word ‘Protest.’ Mutiny, according to them, is punishable by long jail-terms or death. At least a section of the media was considerate enough to substitute the word in an attempt to save the career and lives of the soldiers.

    • Kannywood: Censorship board frowns at rising immorality in hausa music
    • Violent censorship: Banned on Facebook – defending free speech.

      I’ve been drawing cartoons professionally for 11 years. I’ve drawn somewhere between 5 000 and 7 000 published cartoons, a large chunk of which has been political.

      Every label imaginable has been slapped onto me, from ‘racist’ to sexist’ to ‘Islamophobe’ to a vast array of boring adjectives, all of which come with zero supporting evidence. (Not that evidence matters, since narratives matter more.) One or two of South Africa’s biggest newspapers refuse to publish anything containing my signature, despite their editors knowing nothing about me and having never spoken to me. That I am able to yield such emotive responses from people who have never met me, is pretty amazing.

      All because of a drawing on a piece of paper.

      Or, perhaps, a one-liner on Facebook.

    • Censorship and the government blacklist sends shock waves through South Korean artists

      When a documentary opened on the deep sea divers who retrieved around 300 bodies, mostly schoolchildren, from a South Korean ferry disaster, tickets sold out – but it played to half-empty cinemas.

    • Former South Korea’s culture minister charged over artist blacklist
    • Spectre of censorship haunts S. Korea artists
    • Australian Scientists Who Faced Censorship Have Advice for Dealing With Trump

      Australian scientists are rallying behind their counterparts in the United States amid fears that President Donald Trump could ram through a damaging anti-science agenda over the next four years.

      Trump’s moves to censor federal government scientific departments and undermine the integrity of climate research have triggered sympathy and anger in Australia, where many scientists believe the country’s conservative government has conducted a similar assault on science over the past few years.

      “My sense is that morale among the science fraternity in the U.S. is extremely low at the moment,” said Associate Professor Stuart Khan, a water researcher at the University of New South Wales and one of the organizers of the Australian March for Science. “We want to show that we understand what is going on and we stand in solidarity.”

    • Science activism is on the rise – here’s what you can do to help

      Scientific activism is on the rise. Whether the result of the recent U.S. election, or fatigue from constantly fighting against science censorship, it is becoming increasingly obvious how important discourse between the scientific community, citizens, and politicians is.

      Certainly, this rise in rebellion is not unfounded – for example, during Stephen Harper’s time as prime minister, several procedures were put into place that made it increasingly difficult for scientists to be transparent with the media and general public about their work. Furthermore, critical research centres were shut down and defunded. While many of the procedures set by Harper’s government have since been rescinded, Canadians are not unfamiliar with control, suppression, and censorship of the science community.

    • Landmark Court Decision Means Canada Has Now Joined The ‘Right To Be Forgotten Globally’ Club

      The details of the case are rather unusual. They involve a website in Romania that obtained and posted Canadian judicial and tribunal decisions. These were all public documents, but they were not previously indexed by Google, which meant their contents were effectively hidden. The Romanian site allowed its copies to be indexed by Google, which made the decisions and the Canadian citizens involved visible for the first time — something the people affected were not happy about. They complained to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, who ruled that the Romanian site violated Canadian privacy law. The case then moved to Canada’s federal court, which ruled that it had jurisdiction over the website in Romania, since it had strong connections with Canada through its holdings.

    • Fear cited behind self-censorship in the north

      Journalists on Wednesday cited fear, self-censorship and lack of resources as major hurdles to investigative journalism in the country’s north.

      They said threats from powerful individuals forced journalists into self-censorship and kept them away from conducting investigative reports.

    • Twitter still hasn’t learnt to tread that fine line between censorship and freedom of speech
    • Twitter Moves Again To Clamp Down on Abuse, Hate Speech
    • Twitter Announces Censoring Search Results, ‘Low-Quality Tweets’ to Combat ‘Abuse and Harassment’
    • Censorship in China “immoral”, says the Dalai Lama
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Iowa Appeals Court Doubles Down On Curbing Police Abuse Of ‘Inventory Search’ Warrant Exceptions

      As we’re well aware, the minute you get behind the wheel of your vehicle, your Fourth Amendment protections take a nosedive. Having a vehicle on a public street makes everything viewed through the windows a perfectly acceptable warrantless search. Add to that the number of traffic violations — real or imagined — that can act as a pretense for an investigative stop, and driving becomes a warrantless search waiting to happen.

      While the Supreme Court did scale back some extracurricular law enforcement exploration with its Rodriguez decision, all it takes is an unconfirmable “smells like marijuana” or some other indicator of suspicion (talking too much, talking too little, making eye contact, not making eye contact, interstate travel, etc.) to turn a stop that shouldn’t have been prolonged past the point of issuing a ticket into a full-fledged search of a vehicle.

      Then there’s this wrinkle. If you’re arrested or otherwise told to leave your vehicle, law enforcement is allowed to take the vehicle into custody (so to speak). At some point, the officer having the vehicle moved performs an inventory of the vehicle’s contents. This is to make sure that when the vehicle is returned to the driver, there’s no dispute as to whether or not your Creedence tapes and “business papers” went missing while in the hands of law enforcement.

    • NSA Executive Explains Logistics of Possible Cyber Command Split

      If the National Security Agency and Cyber Command were to split, NSA Executive Director Corin Stone explained that any disagreements between the agencies would be decided by the secretary of defense and the director of national intelligence, to ensure fair judgment.

    • UK government’s huge citizen data grab is go—where are the legal safeguards?

      The government’s long-awaited digital strategy that knits together plans for the opening up of vast quantities of citizen data across the public sector and beyond with promises—once again—to improve online public services for Brits landed with a thud on Thursday morning.

    • Former NSA Director to Join Japan’s Cybersecurity Agency

      According to the NHK television channel, Alexander will share his professional experience in preventing data leakage from Japanese companies and agencies.

      The former NSA director is expected to train 100 employees of Japanese companies to counteract cybercriminals through a special system, which imitates cyberattacks, the broadcaster reported.

    • Former NSA contractor may have stolen 75% of TAO’s elite hacking tools
    • Report: NSA contractor allegedly stole armory of elite hacking tools
    • Former NSA contractor followed in Snowden’s footsteps?
    • US Visa Applicants Could Be Required To Hand Over Social Media Passwords

      US visa applicants could be required to hand over their social media passwords before being allowed into the country.

      Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on Tuesday that the measure was being considered as part of an effort to screen people who could pose a security threat.

      Like Donald Trump’s travel ban, the move would primarily be under consideration for visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

      These include Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

    • U.S. Visitors May Have to Hand Over Social Media Passwords: DHS

      People who want to visit the United States could be asked to hand over their social-media passwords to officials as part of enhanced security checks, the country’s top domestic security chief said.

      Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told Congress on Tuesday the measure was one of several being considered to vet refugees and visa applicants from seven Muslim-majority countries.

      “We want to get on their social media, with passwords: What do you do, what do you say?” he told the House Homeland Security Committee. “If they don’t want to cooperate then you don’t come in.”

      His comments came the same day judges heard arguments over President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily barring entry to most refugees and travelers from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Barrett Brown’s Donors Sue DOJ/FBI For Monitoring Their Donations

      We’ve written numerous stories about Barrett Brown, the reporter who was sentenced to 63 months in jail after being pressured into signing a plea deal. If you don’t recall, Brown’s “crime” was trying to get a bunch of people together to crowdsource an investigation into the famous Stratfor email hack. The feds went after him for posting a link (yes, posting a link) to a group to investigate, and because some of the Stratfor info included credit card data, the feds argued that Brown was trafficking in stolen credit cards. Really. And while the feds eventually dismissed the specific charges related to the links, the judge justified the long sentence against him because he copy/pasted that link.

      The whole thing was a travesty. Brown is thankfully out of jail now, but earlier this week, Kevin Gallagher, who helped organize a legal defense fund for Brown, sued the Justice Department over claims that the DOJ illegally tracked and monitored everyone who donated to support Brown. Gallagher is looking to make this a class action lawsuit. You can read the full complaint here.

    • Dark Threads of Immigration in America

      For those who say “This is not who we are,” well, look again. It all seems to be exactly who we are and have been.

      President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travelers, immigrants and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries is only the latest twist of dark threads that have always been present in America and its immigration policy. The executive order is not unprecedented. It is evolutionary, predictable, nearly an inevitable step.

    • ‘Informal’ network helping refuge seekers get to Manitoba, U.S. officials say

      The rising number of people illegally crossing the U.S. border into Manitoba has not escaped the notice of the Department of Homeland Security.

      Officials in the U.S. say that “informal” networks of family members and friends, rather than criminal profiteers, are helping refuge seekers get to the border.

      “What we’ve seen hasn’t fit the profile of hardened criminals or organized crime types,” says Eric Kuhn, a U.S. border patrol officer in Pembina, N.D.

    • Court Refuses to Reinstate Travel Ban, Dealing Trump Another Legal Loss

      A three-judge federal appeals panel on Thursday unanimously refused to reinstate President Trump’s targeted travel ban, delivering the latest and most stinging judicial rebuke to his effort to make good on a campaign promise and tighten the standards for entry into the United States.

      The ruling was the first from an appeals court on the travel ban, and it was focused on the narrow question of whether it should be blocked while courts consider its lawfulness. The decision is likely to be quickly appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

      That court remains short-handed and could deadlock. A 4-to-4 tie in the Supreme Court would leave the appeals court’s ruling in place.

    • Trump Executive Order Sets Agenda For Police To Further Criminalize Protesters

      Executive orders signed by President Donald Trump set in motion an agenda for escalating the criminalization of citizens, who engage in protest. This agenda will likely have a disproportionate impact on Black Lives Matter activists, immigrant rights activists, and Native Americans engaged in protest against pipeline projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline.

      The executive order aimed at “preventing violence” against police officers calls for a review of existing laws. Following the review, recommendations are to be made to Trump for legislation to protect the safety of police.

      “If warranted,” the review may propose “legislation defining new crimes of violence and establishing new mandatory minimum sentences for existing crimes of violence against federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement officers, as well as for related crimes.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • New FCC Boss Decides It’s Cool If Phone Monopolies Want To Rip Off Inmate Families

      For decades, inmate calling service (ICS) telcos have charged inmates and their families upwards of $14 per minute for phone calls without anybody giving much of a damn. Because these folks are in prison, and as we all know everybody in prison is always guilty, drumming up sympathy to convert into political momentum had proven difficult. But after decades of activism, the FCC intervened in 2013 and again in 2015, voting to cap the amount companies can charge the incarcerated for intrastate phone calls. This resulted in a firestorm of complaints from these companies, which not only get to rip off inmates, but have all too cozy and often not particularly legal relationships with law enforcement.

      One of the more vocal ICS outfits, Securus, quickly sued the FCC, going so far at one point as to claim that inmates would riot if the company wasn’t allowed to continue overcharging inmates and their families. Securus, Global Tel*Link and other providers challenged the FCC’s intrastate rate caps in the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, claiming the agency lacked the adequate authority to set caps and that the rates were too low. And for the last several years, the FCC had been working to defend its actions in court.

    • Tom Wheeler: Trump Plan To ‘Modernize’ The FCC A ‘Fraud’

      So we’ve noted a few times how former FCC boss Tom Wheeler surprised many of us (myself included) simply for basing his telecom policy decisions on actual facts. That doesn’t sound like much, but for more than fifteen years, both parties had stocked the agency with a rotating crop of either sector apologists like Michael Powell (now the cable industry’s top lobbyist) — utterly incapable of even admitting the broadband industry had competition problems — or wishy-washy folks like Julius Genachowski, who basically just told everybody what they wanted to hear, and just hoped things worked out for the best.

      Wheeler wound up being a notably different animal for the FCC. He based many of his policy decisions on real-world data collected from actual customers (shocking!), repeatedly highlighted the lack of real broadband competition in many markets (blasphemy!), and, as evident on his shift toward Title II reclassification and net neutrality, actually changed his mind when confronted with evidence that challenged his world view (what insolence!).

  • DRM

    • Funcom Responds Well To Mixup Over Denuvo DRM Resulting In Piracy Of Conan Exiles Game

      With the way the past couple of weeks have gone for Denuvo, the DRM that was supposed to end piracy but instead only ended the industry’s brief resurgence in faith in DRM, you would be forgiven if you thought this was going to be yet another post about another Denuvo-protected game being cracked and released to the pirating masses. This isn’t that kind of story. Instead, it’s the story of game publisher Funcom accidentally stripping Denuvo out of the latest build of its early access game, Conan Exiles, and having that be released to the pirating masses.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Leadership Rotation For Fight The Fakes Campaign [Ed: What happens when you call your competition, e.g. generics, "fakes" (like Trump's "fake news" about CNN)? You collapse.]

      The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (IFPW) took over the secretariat of Fight the Fakes, which in little over 3 years has grown to include over 30 organisations, including healthcare professionals, academia, NGOs, the generic and research-based pharmaceutical industry, healthcare distributors, and consumer protection organisations, according to a release.

    • Copyrights

      • BREAKING: AG Szpunar advises CJEU to rule that The Pirate Bay makes acts of communication to the public

        Is there a communication to the public within the meaning of Article 3(1) of the InfoSoc Directive by the operator of a website [The Pirate Bay, TPB], if no protected works are available on that website, but a system exist by means of which metadata on protected works which is present on the users’ computers is indexed and categorised for users, so that the users can trace and upload and download the protected works on the basis thereof?

        This is the principal question that the Dutch Supreme Court (Hoge Raad der Nederlanden) referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Stichting Brein, C-610/15.

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