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02.22.17

Links 22/2/2017: Wine-Staging 2.2, Nautilus 3.24

Posted in News Roundup at 1:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Austrian Schools

      Here it is 2017 and Austrian schools are using GNU/Linux and folks are still having problems with That Other OS in schools. I was in a similar situation back in 2000 when I first installed GNU/Linux in my classroom. TOOS didn’t work for me then and it still doesn’t work for schools today. Any time you have a monopolist telling you what you can and can’t do in your classroom, you’re going to have problems, especially if that monopolist isn’t particularly supportive of your objectives. In my case, M$ was celebrating its monopoly and didn’t even care if the software crashed hourly. I later discovered there were all kinds of evil consequences of the EULA from Hell, like limiting the size of networks without a server running their software and fat licensing fees.

    • How to build the fastest Linux PC possible on a budget

      There’s nothing more satisfying than watching a system boot up almost instantaneously when the power switch is hit. Long gone are the days of going to make yourself a brew while those spinning platters buzz and the display kicks into life, lazily dragging you into the GUI you call home.

      But surely that luxury of speed is reserved for those who are willing to drop £1,000+ on a new system? Fortunately, this is not the case anymore. With advancements in technology over the last six years, and Intel’s aggressive push to keep reinvigorating its chipsets each and every generation, we’re starting to see more and more affordable budget, speed-oriented components finally making it to market.

      The SSD has succeeded the hard drive with sub 10-second boot times and lightning quick file transfers. However, three years on and we’ve seen both the rise and fall of the SATA III bus. This was a standard that was supposed to last us until 2020, but now lies completely saturated, with only the ever enduring HDD still making good use of the connectivity.

    • How to communicate from a Linux shell: Email, instant messaging

      I get a lot of questions on how to perform various tasks from a Linux shell/terminal. In the interest of making a simple cheat sheet—something I can point people to that will help them get rolling with terminal powers—what follows are my recommendations for how to perform various types of communication from your shell.

      I’m talking about the normal sort of communication most people perform via a web browser (or a handful of graphical applications) nowadays: Email, instant messaging, that sort of thing. Except, you know, running them entirely in a terminal—which you can run just about anywhere: in an SSH session on a remote server, on a handheld device, or even on your Android phone/tablet.

    • 5 signs that you are a Linux geek

      Linux users are a passionate bunch, and some are downright proud of their of their geekiness. But if you’re not sure about your status, a writer at MakeUseOf has a list of 5 signs that show you are a Linux geek.

    • The Year Of Linux On Everything But The Desktop

      The War on Linux goes back to Bill Gates, then CEO of Microsoft, in an “open letter to hobbyists” published in a newsletter in 1976. Even though Linux wouldn’t be born until 1991, Gates’ burgeoning software company – itself years away from releasing its first operating system – already felt the threat of open source software. We know Gates today as a kindly billionaire who’s joining us in the fight against everything from disease to income inequality, but there was a time when Gates was the bad guy of the computing world.

      Microsoft released its Windows operating system in 1985. At the time, its main competition was Apple and Unix-like systems. BSD was the dominant open source Unix clone then – it marks its 40th birthday this year, in fact – and Microsoft fired barrages of legal challenges to BSD just like it eventually would against Linux. Meanwhile Apple sued Microsoft over its interface, in the infamous “Look and Feel” lawsuit, and Microsoft’s reign would forever be challenged. Eventually Microsoft would be tried in both the US and the UK for antitrust, which is a government regulation against corporate monopolies. Even though it lost both suits, Microsoft simply paid the fine out of its bottomless pockets and kept right at it.

    • EU privacy watchdogs say Windows 10 settings still raise concerns

      European Union data protection watchdogs said on Monday they were still concerned about the privacy settings of Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system despite the U.S. company announcing changes to the installation process.

      The watchdogs, a group made up of the EU’s 28 authorities responsible for enforcing data protection law, wrote to Microsoft last year expressing concerns about the default installation settings of Windows 10 and users’ apparent lack of control over the company’s processing of their data.

      The group – referred to as the Article 29 Working Party -asked for more explanation of Microsoft’s processing of personal data for various purposes, including advertising.

    • Microsoft Faces European Privacy Probes Over Windows 10

      Microsoft Corp. faces a coordinated investigation by European privacy regulators after it failed to do enough to address their concerns about the collection and processing of user data with a series of changes to Windows 10 last month.

      European Union data-protection officials sent a letter to Microsoft saying they remain “concerned about the level of protection of users’ personal data,” according to a copy of the document posted by the Dutch watchdog Tuesday. Regulators from seven countries are concerned that even after the announced changes, “Microsoft does not comply with fundamental privacy rules.”

  • Server

    • Of Pies and Platforms: Platform-as-a-Service vs. Containers-as-a-Service

      I’m often asked about the difference between using a platform as a service (PaaS) vs. a containers-as-a-service (CaaS) approach to developing cloud applications. When does it makes sense to choose one or the other? One way to describe the difference and how it affects your development time and resources is to look at it like the process of baking a pie.

    • Understanding OpenStack’s Success

      At the time I got into the data storage industry, I was working with and developing RAID and JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) controllers for 2 Gbit Fibre Channel Storage Area Networks (SAN). This was a time before “The Cloud”. Things were different—so were our users. There was comfort in buying from a single source or single vendor. In an ideal world, it should all work together, harmoniously, right? And when things go awry, that single vendor should be able to solve every problem within that entire deployment.

    • Open source docks with mainstream vendors

      Open source and mainstream are joining forces this week as the Docker software containerisation platform comes under the spotlight at technology-focused network and information sessions in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

      “The diversity of our partners at the event − Docker, Microsoft Azure, Atlassian, SUSE and HPE – is a clear indication of the excitement around the Docker platform,” says Muggie van Staden, MD of Obsidian Systems.

  • Kernel Space

    • New Media Drivers Queued For Linux 4.11

      Another pull request worth mentioning for the Linux 4.11 kernel is the media subsystem updates.

    • A Big Networking Update For Linux 4.11

      David Miller has mailed out the rather big set of updates to the networking subsystem for the Linux 4.11 kernel.

    • Linux 4.11 Adds EFI Memory Attributes Table Support

      The (U)EFI support continues to evolve within the Linux kernel and with the 4.11 release will be new and improved functionality.

    • Security Changes Bring Major AppArmor Update, Better TPM 2.0 To Linux 4.11

      James Morris has filed the security subsystem feature updates targeting the Linux 4.11 merge window.

      Changes to the security-related components in the kernel include a major AppArmor update with policy namespaces support and many fixes, /sys/kernel/security/lsm now makes it easy to show loaded Linux Security Modules, SELinux updates, and improved TPM 2.0 support.

    • Linux 4.10 arrives

      With more than 13,000 commits, the release of Linux 4.10 was not as small at Linus Torvalds was expecting. Nonetheless, it arrived over the weekend, bringing with it significant changes, such as the introduction of support for virtual GPUs.

    • Linux Kernel 4.10 Released — Happy Anniversary!

      Kernel 4.10 has the honor of being christened the “Anniversary Edition” by Linus Torvalds. I’m guessing this is because of the recent 25th anniversary of the release of Linux 0.01. Admittedly, it is a bit late for that (the anniversary was back in September); however, Linus had not named any of the recent releases for the occasion, opting instead for naming them after several deranged animals.

    • Collabora Contributions to Linux Kernel 4.10

      Linux Kernel v4.10 is out and this time Collabora contributed a total of 39 patches by 10 different developers. You can read more about the v4.10 merge window on LWN.net: part 1, part 2 and part 3.

      Now here is a look at the changes made by Collaborans. To begin with Daniel Stone fixed an issue when waiting for fences on the i915 driver, while Emil Velikov added support to read the PCI revision for sysfs to improve the starting time in some applications.

    • Mesos Is to the Datacenter as the Kernel Is to Linux

      Necessity is the mother of invention. We needed our datacenters to be more automated, so we invented tools like Puppet and Chef. We needed easier application deployment, so we invented Docker. Of course it didn’t stop there. Ben Hindman, the founder and chief architect of Mesosphere, co-created Apache Mesos. In his keynote at MesosCon Asia 2016, Hindman relates how failures and elasticity led to the development of Mesos.

    • Power Management Sees More P-State Tweaking, Other Changes For Linux 4.11

      Rafael Wysocki has submitted the ACPI and power management feature updates for the Linux 4.11 kernel.

      The work in the power management space this cycle includes improvements to Operating Performance Points (OPP), CPUFreq core clean-ups, new CPUFreq drivers for Broadcom BMIPS and TI SoCs and Qoriq.

    • Linux 4.10 Released as First New Kernel of 2017

      After a one week delay, Linus Torvalds released the first new Linux kernel of 2017 on Feb. 19, with the debut of Linux 4.10. The Linux 4.9 kernel (aka ‘Roaring Lionus” was released back on Dec. 11. There was some talk in 2016 that seemed to indicate that Linux 4.10 would in fact be re-numbered as Linux 5.0 but that didn’t end up happening.

      “On the whole, 4.10 didn’t end up as small as it initially looked,” Torvalds wrote in his release announcement. “After the huge release that was 4.9, I expected things to be pretty quiet, but it ended up very much a fairly average release by modern kernel standards.”

      “So we have about 13,000 commits (not counting merges- that would be another 1200+ commits if you count those),” Torvalds added.

    • The Companies That Support Linux and Open Source: Mender.io

      IoT is largely transitioning from hype to implementation with the growth of smart and connected devices spanning across all industries including building automation, energy, healthcare and manufacturing. The automotive industry has given some of the most tangible examples of both the promise and risk of IoT, with Tesla’s ability to deploy over-the-air software updates a prime example of forward-thinking efficiency. On the other side, the Jeep Cherokee hack in July 2015 displayed the urgent need for security to be a top priority for embedded devices as several security lapses made it vulnerable and gave hackers the ability to remotely control the vehicle. One of the security lapses included the firmware update of the head unit (V850) not having the proper authenticity checks.

    • Open Source Networking: Disruptive Innovation Ready for Prime Time

      Innovations are much more interesting than inventions. The “laser” is a classic invention and “FedEx” is a classic innovation. Successful innovation disrupts entire industries and ecosystems as we’ve seen with Uber, AirBnB, and Amazon to name just a few. The entire global telecommunication industry is at the dawn of a new era of innovation. Innovations should be the rising tide in which everybody wins except what’s referred to as “laggards.” Who are the laggards going to be in this new era of open communications? You don’t want to be one.

      [...]

      It’s clear from this presentation that The Linux Foundation and its Open Source Networking and Orchestration portfolio of projects is driving real innovation in the networking ecosystem. Successful and impactful innovations take time as the disruptive forces ripple throughout the ecosystem. The Linux Foundation is taking on the complex task of coordinating multiple open source initiatives with the goal to eliminate barriers to adoption. Providing end-to-end testing and harmonization will reduce many deployment barriers and accelerate the time required for production deployments. Those interested in the future of open source networking should attend ONS 2017. No one wants to be a “laggard.”

    • XFS Changes Filed For The Linux 4.11 Kernel

      The XFS file-system updates have been submitted for the Linux 4.11 merge window.

    • Xen Changes For Linux 4.11: Lands PVHv2 Guest Support

      The latest pull request worth mentioning for the Linux 4.11 merge window are the Xen virtualization feature updates.

    • Linux Kernel 4.10 Lands in SparkyLinux’s Unstable Repo, Here’s How to Install It

      The trend of offering users the most recent Linux kernel release continues today with SparkyLinux, an open-source, Debian-based distribution that always ships with the latest GNU/Linux technologies and software versions.

      SparkyLinux appears to be the third distro to offer its users the ability to install the recently released Linux 4.10 kernel, after Linux Lite and Ubuntu, as the developers announced earlier that the Linux kernel 4.10 packages are now available from the unstable repository.

    • Graphics Stack

      • RADV Vulkan Driver’s PRIME Code Rewritten

        Red Hat’s David Airlie keeps to work on improving the open-source Radeon Vulkan driver.

      • Intel Sandy Bridge Picks Up transform_feedback2, Should Allow WebGL 2.0 Support
      • Radeon Pro Software 17.Q1 Released For Linux Professionals

        AMD today released the Radeon Pro Software 17.Q1 driver for Windows and Linux users running FirePro / RadeonPro workstation graphics cards.

      • Wayland 1.13 Released

        Wayland 1.13 is now available thanks to release management by Samsung OSG’s Bryce Harrington.

      • wayland 1.13.0

        This is the official release of Wayland 1.13. There have been no changes since beta and RC1.

        In addition to a range of bug fixes, changes since wayland 1.12 have added some API for controlling the visibility of globals and numerous documentation and other improvements.

      • Wayland 1.13.0 Display Server Officially Released, Wayland 1.14 Lands in June

        Bryce Harrington, a Senior Open Source Developer at Samsung, announced today the release and general availability of the Wayland 1.13.0 for GNU/Linux distributions that already adopted the next-generation display server.next-generation display server.

        Wayland 1.13.0 has entered development in the first days of the year, but the first Alpha build arrived at the end of January, along with the Alpha version of the Weston 2.0 compositor, including most of the new features that are present in this final release that you’ll be able to install on your Linux-based operating systems in the coming days.

      • Weston 2.0 RC2 Wayland Compositor Arrives With Last Minute Fixes

        While Wayland 1.13 was released today, Bryce Harrington today opted against releasing the Weston 2.0 reference compositor and instead issue a second release candidate.

        Weston 2.0 is the next version of this “playground” for Wayland compositor technologies since the new output configuration API had broke the ABI, necessitating a break from the same versioning as Wayland.

      • [ANNOUNCE] weston 1.99.94
      • The Vulkan Differences Between AMDGPU-PRO, RADV & SteamVR’s RADV Drivers

        With Valve having published a binary-only RADV Radeon Vulkan driver build for their beta of SteamVR on Linux, I did some poking out of curiosity to see the differences to the mainline RADV driver in Mesa. Out of curiosity I also did a comparison to see how the Vulkan capabilities compare to the proprietary AMDGPU-PRO Vulkan driver.

    • Benchmarks

      • NVIDIA/Radeon Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux Relative Gaming Performance

        Last week I published some Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux Radeon benchmarks and Windows vs. Linux NVIDIA Pascal tests. Those results were published by themselves while for this article are the AMD and NVIDIA numbers merged together and normalized to get a look at the relative Windows vs. Linux gaming performance.

        With the tests last week we tested Company of Heroes 2, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, GRID Autosport, Metro Last Light Redux, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Civilization VI, Tomb Raider, Total War: WARHAMMER, and The Talos Principle, among others.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Plasma 5.8.6 Released for LTS Users with over 80 Improvements, Bug Fixes

        Today, February 21, 2017, KDE announced the availability of the sixth maintenance update to the long-term supported KDE Plasma 5.8 desktop environment for Linux-based operating systems.

      • Plasma in a Snap?

        Shortly before FOSDEM, Aleix Pol asked if I had ever put Plasma in a Snap. While I was a bit perplexed by the notion itself, I also found this a rather interesting idea.

        So, the past couple of weeks I spent a bit of time here and there on trying to see if it is possible.

      • QStringView Diaries: Advances in QStringLiteral

        This is the first in a series of blog posts on QStringView, the std::u16string_view equivalent for Qt. You can read about QStringView in my original post to the Qt development mailing-list, follow its status by tracking the “qstringview” topic on Gerrit and learn about string views in general in Marshall Clow’s CppCon 2015 talk, aptly named “string_view”.

      • Making Movies with QML

        One of the interesting things about working with Qt is seeing all the unexpected ways our users use the APIs we create. Last year I got a bug report requesting an API to set a custom frame rate for QML animations when using QQuickRenderControl. The reason was that the user was using QQuickRenderControl as an engine to render video output from Qt Quick, and if your target was say 24 frames per second, the animations were not smooth because of how the default animation driver behaves. So inspired by this use case I decided to take a stab at creating such an example myself.

      • KDE Talks at FOSDEM

        The continuation of the original talk from Dirk Hohndel and Linus Torvalds about the port of Subsurface from Gtk to Qt, now with mobile in mind.

      • How to Create a Look and Feel Theme
      • United Desktop Theme for KDE Plasma 5.9
      • How to create a look and feel theme
      • Qt Roadmap for 2017

        With Qt 5.7 and 5.8 released we have a completely new baseline for Qt 5 based applications and devices. In this blog, I want to provide a roadmap update on what we are currently working on in the Qt R&D and what the future directions are.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME hackaton in Brno

        Last week, we had a presentation on Google Summer of Code and Outreachy at Brno University of Technology. Around 80 students attended which was a pretty good success considering it was not part of any course. It was a surprise for the uni people as well because the room they booked was only for 60 ppl.

      • Nautilus 3.24 – The changes

        Since Nautilus was created, if a user wanted to open a folder where the user didn’t have permissions, for example a system folder where only root has access, it was required to start Nautilus with sudo.

        However running UI apps under root is strongly discouraged, and to be honest, quite inconvenient. Running any UI app with sudo is actually not even supported in Wayland by design due to the security issues that that conveys.

      • Nautilus 3.24 to Bring Desktop Support for Wayland Sessions, Easy Root Browsing

        The GNOME 3.24 desktop environment is coming in only one month from today, on March 22, and it will bring with it a lot of new features for many of its core components and applications, including the Nautilus (Files) file manager.

        GNOME developer Carlos Soriano is sharing with us today the upcoming features of Nautilus 3.24, as well all the improvements and bug fixes that landed so far, and what didn’t make it in the release, which will be available for all users as part of the GNOME 3.24 Stack.

  • Distributions

    • [elementaryOS] AppCenter: Funded

      A few moments ago, we hit 100% funded for our AppCenter campaign on Indiegogo. Thank you, backers! More than 300 people backed us over just two weeks to help bring our pay-what-you-want indie app store to life.

    • New Releases

      • Meet Flint OS, a Chromium OS Fork for Raspberry Pi & PCs That Runs Android Apps

        Will Smith from Flint Innovations Limited is informing Softpedia today about their up and coming Linux-based operating system for PCs and Raspberry Pi devices, Flint OS, based on the open-source Chromium OS project.

        These days, we see more and more developers and entrepreneurs launching new operating systems based on Chromium OS, which Google uses with much success for its Chrome OS on many Chromebooks that you can purchase today. But Flint OS is somehow a bit special, not only because it provides support for both Raspberry Pi SBCs and x86 computers with either Intel or Nvidia GPUs, but because it uses Android apps.

      • Zorin OS 12 Business Edition Launches with macOS, Unity, and GNOME 2 Layouts

        Three months after launching the biggest release ever of the Ubuntu-based operating system, the Zorin OS team is today announcing the availability of Zorin OS 12 Business Edition.

        Based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) and powered by the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel, Zorin OS 12 Business Edition ships with the innovative Zorin Desktop 2.0 desktop environment that offers multiple layouts for all tastes. These means that you can make your Zorin OS 12 desktop look like macOS, GNOME 2, or Unity with a click.

      • Rebellin Linux v3.5 released!
      • Rebellin Linux 3.5 Rolls Out as the Best GNU/Linux Distro Based on Debian Sid

        The developers of the Debian-based Rebellin Linux operating system have announced today the release and general availability of version 3.5, a major build that introduces exciting new features and up-to-date components.

        Rebellin Linux 3.5 rolls out as the best GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian Sid, according to the developers, because it comes with out-of-the-box email support. We don’t know what to say about that, but we can’t help but notice that this release includes the latest GNOME 3.22.2 and MATE 1.16.1 desktop environments.

        “Rebellin Linux v3.5 is out! Built on the goodness of Debian and the previous Rebellin, it’s the best Debian Sid based distribution you can get. Know why? Cos it comes with email support,” reads today’s announcement. “Download Rebellin now and end your search for the perfect Linux distro.”

      • KaOS 2017.02

        KaOS is proud to announce the availability of the February release of a new stable ISO.

        The policy is, once a first pacman -Syu becomes a major update, it is time for a new ISO so new users are not faced with a difficult first update. With the exceptional large amounts of updates the last four to five weeks a new ISO is needed a bit sooner than usual.

        As always with this rolling distribution, you will find the very latest packages for the Plasma Desktop, this includes Frameworks 5.31.0, Plasma 5.9.2, KDE Applications 16.12.2 & not yet released ports of KDE Applications. All built on Qt 5.8.0.

      • KaOS 2017.02 Is Out with Linux 4.9.10, KDE Plasma 5.9.2, and X.Org Server 1.19.1

        KaOS 2017.02, the February release of the ISO image of KaOS, an open-source GNU/Linux distribution that offers a rolling model and it’s inspired by Arch Linux, has been announced today.

        As its name suggests, KaOS is built around the KDE desktop environment, so it’s targeted mainly at KDE fans. The new ISO image, KaOS 2017.02, ships with all the latest KDE technologies and applications, including KDE Plasma 5.9.2, KDE Applications 16.12.2, KDE Frameworks 5.31.0, and Qt 5.8.0.

      • Linux Lite To Have These New Features In The Next Release Linux Lite 3.4

        …we contacted the creator of the Linux Lite “Jerry Bezencon” and enquired the upcoming new features in the latest version of the Linux Lite. We have also done a review of the latest available distro i.e. 3.2 (32 bit) so that the readers can understand easily where are the new features headed towards.

    • Slackware Family

      • Thoughts on Slackware 14.2

        All in all I’m quite happy with slackware 14.2 on my quasi-modern computer. Old school linux and openbsd types will no doubt feel at home with slack. There’s no systemd to worry about. A full install takes about 9 gigs of drive space. The slackware folks have obviously put a ton of work into this new release. A word of warning to linux newbies, this isn’t the easiest distro to install and is probably best suited to linux intermediates or experts.

    • Red Hat Family

      • JBoss Fuse 6.3 integration services for Red Hat OpenShift released

        Red Hat announced the latest update to the Red Hat JBoss Fuse-based integration service on Red Hat OpenShift. With the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud-based SaaS systems, and new data streams, organizations can face increasing pressure to more quickly deliver innovative new services. Traditional centralized, monolithic ESB-style integration approaches are often ill-suited to support the business in responding to this pressure.

      • Huawei, Red Hat expand cloud cooperation to include public and NFV clouds

        Huawei and Red Hat are expanding their cooperation to include public and network functions virtualization (NFV) clouds.

        The announcement expands upon previously announced collaborations between the two companies to deliver OpenStack-based solutions and carrier-grade software-defined networking (SDN) solutions.

      • Why upstream contributions matter when developing open source NFV solutions.

        When software is developed using open source methods, an upstream repository of the code is accessible to all members of the project. Members contribute to the code, test it, write documentation and can create a solution from that code to use or distribute under license. If an organization follows the main stream or branch of the upstream code their solution will receive all the changes and updates created in the upstream repository. Those changes simply “flow down” to the member’s solution. However, if a member organization forks the code — if they create a solution that strays from the main stream — their solution no longer receives updates, fixes and changes from the upstream repository. This organization is now solely responsible for maintaining their solution without the benefit of the upstream community, much like the baby salmon that took a tributary and then have to fend for themselves rather than remain in the main stream and receive the benefit and guidance of the other salmon making their way to the ocean.

      • HPE and Red Hat Join Forces to Give Customers Greater Choice for NFV Deployments

        Hewlett Packard Enterprise ( NYSE : HPE ) and Red Hat, Inc. ( NYSE : RHT ) announced today they are working together to accelerate the deployment of network functions virtualization (NFV) solutions based on fully open, production-ready, standards-based infrastructures. HPE plans to offer ready-to-use, pre-integrated HPE NFV System solutions and HPE Validated Configurations incorporating Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat Ceph Storage for communications service providers (CSPs).

      • Red Hat Joins the OpenPower Foundation

        As part of our commitment to delivering open technologies across many computing architectures, Red Hat has joined the OpenPOWER Foundation, an open development community based on the POWER microprocessor architecture, at the Platinum level. While we already do build and support open technologies for the POWER architecture, the OpenPOWER Foundation is committed to an open, community-driven technology-creation process – something that we feel is critical to the continued growth of open collaboration around POWER.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 25: The perf linux tool.
        • Fedora 25 KDE: disappointing experience

          Fedora is not a frequent guest on the review deck of Linux notes from DarkDuck blog. The most recent review was of Fedora 22 back in July 2015. That was a review of the GNOME version, the most native for Fedora.

          You are probably aware of the tight link between the GNOME project and RedHat, the Fedora Project main sponsor.

        • F25-20170221 Updated ISOs available!!

          It is with great pleasure to announce that the Community run respin team has yet another Updated ISO round. This round carries the 4.9.10-200 kernel along with over 780 MB of updates (avg, some Desktop Environments more, some less) since the Gold release.

        • F25-20170221 Updated Lives Released

          I am happy to announce new F25-20170221 Updated Lives.

        • Our Bootloader Problem

          GRUB, it is time we broke up. It’s not you, it’s me. Okay, it’s you. The last 15+ years have some great (read: painful) memories. But it is time to call it quits.

          Red Hat Linux (not RHEL) deprecated LILO for version 9 (PDF; hat tip: Spot). This means that Fedora has used GRUB as its bootloader since the very first release: Fedora Core 1.

          GRUB was designed for a world where bootloaders had to locate a Linux kernel on a filesystem. This meant it needed support for all the filesystems anyone might conceivably use. It was also built for a world where dual-booting meant having a bootloader implemented menu to choose between operating systems.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • SF’s Elections Commission asks mayor to put $4M toward open source voting system [Ed: Microsoft a threat]

    While the Elections Commission may be among the least followed city bodies, the seven members are playing a critical role in determining whether San Francisco will begin to use an open-source voting system.

    For years, open-source voting advocates have called on San Francisco officials to part ways with traditional voting machine companies.

    Open-source voting is widely considered the best defense to voter fraud with the added benefits of cost savings and flexibility.

    Much to chagrin of these advocates, The City has continued to sign contracts with nonopen-source voting companies. While no open-source voting system has been deployed elsewhere, other jurisdictions are currently working on it, such as Travis County, Texas.

    After The City allocated $300,000 in the current fiscal year to move San Francisco toward an open-source voting system, the effort has gotten off to a slower-than-expected start. Advocates worry if funding isn’t committed to building out such a system, the effort will face further delays.

  • Radisys Contributes Its LTE RAN Software to M-CORD

    Radisys announced today that its open source LTE radio access network (RAN) software will be available under the Apache 2.0 license for On.Lab’s Mobile Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (M-CORD) 5G architecture. The software will be available to the open source group in March.

    M-CORD, one of a few CORD projects at On.Lab, aims to set the stage for 5G with a disaggregated virtual evolved packet core (vEPC), a programmable RAN, mobile edge computing, and mobile network slicing. The goal is to help bring the CORD framework to the mobile edge of the network for 5G services.

  • Radisys Announces Open Source LTE Radio Access Network (RAN) Software for the Mobile-CORD (M-CORD) Project
  • Radisys and China Unicom Collaborate on Mobile CORD (M-CORD) Implementation for 5G Services
  • Singapore IT bosses turn to open source

    In order to successfully compete in the age of the customer and continue to deliver world-class operational capabilities, senior IT decision makers from Singapore plan to focus on three IT and business priorities in the next 12 months.

    These include reducing cost and improving operational efficiency (78%); improving their organization’s ability to innovate (46%); and improving customer experience (46%).

    These three priorities have been reflected in respondents’ strategic IT initiatives in the next 12 months to transform both internal and customer facing technologies.

    Three-fourths (76%) identified integration of back-end systems-of-record with customer-facing mobile and web systems-of-engagement as a high or critical priority.

    More than half (56%) identified modernization of key legacy applications as a high or critical priority.

  • An AI Hedge Fund Created a New Currency to Make Wall Street Work Like Open Source

    Wall Street is a competition, a Darwinian battle for the almighty dollar. Gordon Gekko said that greed is good, that it captures “the essence of the evolutionary spirit.” A hedge fund hunts for an edge and then maniacally guards it, locking down its trading data and barring its traders from joining the company next door. The big bucks lie in finding market inefficiencies no one else can, succeeding at the expense of others. But Richard Craib wants to change that. He wants to transform Wall Street from a cutthroat competition into a harmonious collaboration.

  • This Is The World’s First Cryptocurrency Issued By A Hedge Fund
  • Hedge Fund Numerai Launches its Own Cryptocurrency
  • Ubuntu Developer to Unveil Crypto Micropayments Concept [Ed: Article may have been removed]
  • Meet the chap open-sourcing US govt code – Paul, an ex-Microsoft anti-piracy engineer [Ed: Used to work for Microsoft and now spreads the GPL ("cancer" according to Microsoft) in the US government]

    The manager of the project, Berg said, really wanted to release MOOSE as open source, but didn’t know how to do so. As a result it took 18 months to traverse government bureaucracy and to obtain the necessary permissions. It’s now available under the GPL 2.1 license.

  • Another option for file sharing

    Existing mechanisms for file sharing are so fragmented that people waste time on multi-step copying and repackaging. With the new project Upspin, we aim to improve the situation by providing a global name space to name all your files. Given an Upspin name, a file can be shared securely, copied efficiently without “download” and “upload”, and accessed by anyone with permission from anywhere with a network connection.

  • Google Developing “Upspin” Framework For Naming/Sharing Files

    Google today announced an experimental project called Upspin that’s aiming for next-generation file-sharing in a secure manner.

  • Google releases open source file sharing project ‘Upspin’ on GitHub

    Believe it or not, in 2017, file-sharing between individuals is not a particularly easy affair. Quite frankly, I had a better experience more than a decade ago sending things to friends and family using AOL Instant Messenger. Nowadays, everything is so fragmented, that it can be hard to share.

    Today, Google unveils yet another way to share files. Called “Upspin,” the open source project aims to make sharing easier for home users. With that said, the project does not seem particularly easy to set up or maintain. For example, it uses Unix-like directories and email addresses for permissions. While it may make sense to Google engineers, I am dubious that it will ever be widely used.

  • Google devs try to create new global namespace

    Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a universal and consistent way to give names to files stored on the Internet, so they were easy to find? A universal resource locator, if you like?

    The problem is that URLs have been clunkified, so Upspin, an experimental project from some Google engineers, offers an easier model: identifying files to users and paths, and letting the creator set access privileges.

  • Netflix treats security ills with Stethoscope: Open-source self-probing tool

    Netflix has released the source code of a web application called Stethoscope for evaluating the security of mobile and desktop computing devices.

    The software, covered by the Apache 2.0 license, intended for employees of organizations that use a device management service. Netflix hopes that employees using the toolkit will learn from it and apply the app’s recommendations to personal devices that are not under active management.

  • ReactOS 0.5 Open Source Windows-Compatible OS to Offer Windows Vista-Like Style

    ReactOS 0.4.4 arrived last week as the latest maintenance update to the stable 0.4 series of the open source Windows-compatible operating system, bringing better rendering for many applications and initial printing support.

  • 6 open source tools I use on my Windows machine

    In most of the places I have worked there has been a centralized computer and application standard that was more or less mandatory for all employees. There are benefits of such an environment, which I will not go into in this piece, but for me, as an open source and Linux enthusiast, I try to use the tools I’m used to and like.

    So, I immediately install my favorite applications when I receive a new standardized Windows-based work computer, something I have been lucky enough to be allowed to do.

  • Events

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Basic Rules to Streamline Open Source Compliance For Software Development

      Companies will almost certainly face challenges establishing their open source compliance program. In this series of articles, based on The Linux Foundation’s e-book, Open Source Compliance in the Enterprise, we discuss some of the most common challenges, and offer recommendations on how to overcome them.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Building an Open Source Eco-Village

      People involved in the maker movement are coming up with all sorts ideas to both help the planet and improves people’s lives — such as this idea for an open source village.

  • Programming/Development

    • Best practices for guiding new coders

      As the new year progresses, many free and open source projects are turning their attention to various formalized mentoring programs, such as Mozilla’s Winter of Security, Outreachy, and (the program with my favorite name) the X.Org Endless Vacation of Code. Patterned after the success of Google’s Summer of Code, these programs give many new programmers a chance to gain firsthand experience working within successful FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) projects and the projects themselves access to fresh talent.

    • Developing an nrf51822 based embedded device with Qt Creator and Debian

      I’m currently developing an nRF51822-based embedded device. Being one the Qt/Qt Creator maintainers in Debian I would of course try to use it for the development. Turns out it works pretty good… with some caveats.

    • Qt’s Roadmap For 2017: Graphics, An Exciting Qt 5.9/5.10

      Tuukka Turunen of The Qt Company has shared some of the project’s goals for the 2017 calendar year in delivering Qt 5.9 and Qt 5.10 along with more point releases.

      Qt developers hope to make 2017 exciting by shipping Qt 5.9 in May and their hope is to ship Qt 5.10 this November.

    • Intend to retire perl-Log-Any-Adapter-Dispatch

Leftovers

  • Why I Don’t Talk to Google Recruiters

    This is a real story, and it’s not only about Google. I’m getting emails from recruiters at Amazon, Facebook, and smaller Silicon Valley startups. They find me somehow, most likely through this blog, my books, or my GitHub account. They always start with “We’re so impressed by your profile” and finish with “Let’s schedule an interview.” I always reply with the same text, and they always disappear, only to come back in a few months under a different name. Let me explain my reasons; maybe you will do the same and we can change this situation in the industry.

  • On Killers and Bullshitters*

    We’re living in a very weird and convoluted moment in the annals of truth and bullshit. For some reason Americans saddled themselves with a rich and obnoxious reality TV star significantly unmoored from reality. A George W. Bush aide famously told a reporter: We’re an empire now and we make our own reality. Maybe it’s an axiom of our age: The wealthy and powerful have the right to make their own reality. As for the poor and the powerless, the same condition of being unmoored from reality is generally linked with what we call “mental illness,” which leads to marginalization, institutionalization or incarceration.

    The same corrupt double standard works in the realm of violence. I‘ve been writing for decades about the killing our government has officially undertaken in places like Vietnam and Iraq and in smaller venues. I’ve always liked the bumper sticker that says: Kill One Person It’s Murder; Kill 100,000 It’s Foreign Policy. In my thinking, it isn’t a joke; it’s more like the Rules Of Engagement.

    For me, the exemplary culprit in this equation is Henry Kissinger and the cold-blooded slaughter of millions of Vietnamese in a war that really makes no sense at all. (I challenge anyone to tell me what the Vietnamese ever did to us other than work as our ally against the Japanese in World War Two.) The most truthful narrative is that the Vietnamese were betrayed and attacked by the United States, one, to support French re-colonization after WWII, and, two, because US leaders felt compelled to dominate the wrecked post-WWII world. To recognize Vietnamese nationalism and the Vietnamese urge for freedom was too complicated for our fearful and reductive Cold War mindset. Rich and powerful, we ended up killing millions of Vietnamese in an ultimately failed effort to impose our reality — although in the end the Vietnamese developed excellent capitalistic instincts.

  • Science

    • Separation from your phone ‘makes you stressed within minutes’

      Psychologists have found that the answer is probably only a few minutes – at least among people aged 18 to 26.

      In a study, people whose phones were taken away from them were more likely to show “stress behaviour” than those who had their phones on them.

      Participants who were given another mobile showed less signs of stress too, even though it wasn’t their own phone.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • European Commission Public Consultation On Plan To Fight Antimicrobial Resistance

      The European Commission has launched a call for comments on its proposed plan to help EU members fight antimicrobial resistance.

      In mid-2017, the European Commission is launching a Commission Communication on a One Health Action Plan to support Member States in the fight against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

      The communication will be directed towards European Parliament and European Council. Public consultation from any citizens or organisations is welcome through 28 April, and is available through a questionnaire assessing the opinions of individuals on activities related to the European Commission’s action plan, according to a Commission announcement.

    • We must punish those guilty of Female Genital Mutilation

      There are four types of FGM, all four types are barbaric and there are no health benefits in forcing young girls and women to go through with this. The ages at which girls are mutilated can range from babies to young women, and an elder, ‘the cutter,’ in their communities, with no painkillers to numb the pain, will cut them with a rusty blade.

      The reasons given are always ‘social and cultural’ with little or no focus on religion. Religion is the common denominator in all 30 countries where FGM is concentrated. The three top countries are Indonesia, Egypt and Ethiopia and while their cultural and social norms will differ vastly, the religion will be the same.

      It is at this point that many will argue, ‘Yes but Christians also cut their girls.’ Even though there is no demand from Christian countries to do this nor is there any biblical call for FGM.

    • Mysterious radiation spreading across Europe after authorities keep it secret

      Mysterious radioactive spikes are being found across Europe – and nobody quite knows why.

      Iodine-131, a man-made radioactive material, is being found in small amounts across the continent. It was found in northern Norway early in January, according to officials, but has been gradually moving across the rest of Europe ever since.

      But despite finding the material in January, authorities didn’t announce that it had been found until recent days. That might be because it isn’t at all clear where it has come from or how it got to be spread out.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Reproducible Builds: week 95 in Stretch cycle
    • Kaspersky: No whiff of Linux in our OS because we need new start to secure IoT [Ed: Kaspersky repeats the same anti-Linux rhetoric he used years ago to market itself, anti-Linux Liam Tung recycles]

      Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, says its new KasperskyOS for securing industrial IoT devices does not contain “even the slightest smell of Linux”, differentiating it from many other IoT products that have the open-source OS at the core.

    • Russian security company to compete with Microsoft via new OS
    • KasperskyOS “11-11” Released After 14 Years Of Development — Here Are Best Features
    • KasperskyOS aims to secure the billions of forgotten network devices
    • Intent-Based Security Gains Momentum at RSA

      It isn’t a buzzphrase on par with “artificial intelligence” yet, but intent-based security has been gathering steam, as evidenced at this week’s RSA Conference.

      Startups such as Illumio, Twistlock, and vArmour have staked their plans on intent-based security, and at least one established player, Fortinet, is steering its portfolio in that direction.

    • 5 open source security tools too good to ignore

      Open source is a wonderful thing. A significant chunk of today’s enterprise IT and personal technology depends on open source software. But even while open source software is widely used in networking, operating systems, and virtualization, enterprise security platforms still tend to be proprietary and vendor-locked. Fortunately, that’s changing.

      If you haven’t been looking to open source to help address your security needs, it’s a shame—you’re missing out on a growing number of freely available tools for protecting your networks, hosts, and data. The best part is, many of these tools come from active projects backed by well-known sources you can trust, such as leading security companies and major cloud operators. And many have been tested in the biggest and most challenging environments you can imagine.

    • What’s the best Linux firewall distro of 2017?

      You don’t have to manage a large corporate network to use a dedicated firewall. While your Linux distro will have an impressive firewall – and an equally impressive arsenal of tools to manage it – the advantages don’t extend to the other devices on your network. A typical network has more devices connected to the internet than the total number of computers and laptops in your SOHO. With the onslaught of IoT, it won’t be long before your router doles out IP addresses to your washing machine and microwave as well.

      The one thing you wouldn’t want in this Jetsonian future is having to rely on your router’s limited firewall capabilities to shield your house – and everyone in it – from the malicious bits and bytes floating about on the internet.

      A dedicated firewall stands between the internet and internal network, sanitising the traffic flowing into the latter. Setting one up is an involved process both in terms of assembling the hardware and configuring the software. However, there are quite a few distros that help you set up a dedicated firewall with ease, and we’re going to look at the ones that have the best protective open source software and roll them into a convenient and easy to use package.

    • Java and Python FTP attacks can punch holes through firewalls

      The Java and Python runtimes fail to properly validate FTP URLs, which can potentially allow attackers to punch holes through firewalls to access local networks.

      On Saturday, security researcher Alexander Klink disclosed an interesting attack where exploiting an XXE (XML External Entity) vulnerability in a Java application can be used to send emails.

    • Microsoft: no plans to patch known bugs before March [Ed: Microsoft is keeping open ‘back doors’ that are publicly known about, not just secret ones]

      Microsoft has no plans to issue updates for two vulnerabilities, one a zero-day and the other being one publicised by Google, before the scheduled date for its next round of updates rolls around in March.

      The company did not issue any updates in February, even though it had been scheduled to switch to a new system from this month onwards.

      It gave no reason for this, apart from saying: “This month, we discovered a last minute issue that could impact some customers and was not resolved in time for our planned updates today.

      “After considering all options, we made the decision to delay this month’s updates. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this change to the existing plan.”

      The Google-disclosed bug was made public last week, and is said to be a flaw in the Windows graphic device interface library that can be exploited both locally and remotely to read the contents of a user’s memory.

    • Microsoft issues critical security patches, but leaves zero-day flaws at risk

      Microsoft has patched “critical” security vulnerabilities in its browsers, but has left at least two zero-day flaws with public exploit code.

      The software giant released numerous patches late on Tuesday to fix flaws in Adobe Flash for customers using Internet Explorer on Windows 8.1 and later, as well as Edge for Windows 10.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Michigan, where did our winter wonderland go?

      About a half-dozen plows moved snow around on the frozen surface of Whitmore Lake in early February, forming the borders for 20 ice rinks.

      Temperatures rose steadily over the next few days, going from about 30 degrees to the high 30s, then into the 40s and 50s. It rained.

      The organizers of the Michigan Pond Hockey Classic, a charity tournament that brings up to 7,000 people to Whitmore Lake every year, postponed the event over concerns about thin ice but eventually had to cancel it all together, another casualty of an unusually warm winter in the Mitten State.

      From ice hockey to ice fishing and snowmobiling, many beloved outdoor wintertime activities have taken a hit this year, especially in the lower half of the Lower Peninsula.

    • Alarm as haze from Indonesian fires spreads in Southeast Asia News DW.COM

      Smoke over swathes of Indonesia and Singapore was “tracking close to 1997” with forecasts pointing to a longer dry season, NASA’s Robert Field said on Friday. For weeks, residents in the region, including Malaysians, have sought treatment for respiratory problems, with Indonesia again facing pressure from its neighbors to tackle illegal burn-offs by plantation firms and small farmers. The smog has disrupted aviation and forced school closures across the region. Southeast Asia is currently in the grip of a so-called El Nino weather phenomenon, which makes conditions drier than usual. Everything under control? On Thursday, Indonesia’s disaster chief, Willem Rampangilei, turned down a Singaporean offer to help by saying “everything was under control” and that he believed rains would arrive by early November.

  • Finance

    • Apple to Europe: It’s our job to design Ireland’s tax system, not yours

      Stop terraforming taxation, says Cupertino, and let us get on with it Apple has filed its defence against the European Commission’s claim it owes €13bn in back taxes in Ireland.

      Apple on Monday filed a defence in which it dismissed the very idea of the US$13.75/£11bn bill, calling for the total or partial annulment of the European Commission decision that set the case in motion and suggesting the Commission pay Apple’s costs into the bargain.

      Cupertino’s argument offers 14 pleas in law that collectively assert that the EU just doesn’t understand how Apple operates and thoroughly misunderstands the way it gets stuff done in Ireland.

      We therefore get familiar arguments suggesting Apple need not pay tax in Ireland because the real profit-generating work happens elsewhere. Apple Ireland “carried out only routine functions and were not involved in the development and commercialisation of Apple IP which drove profits,” says Plea 4.

    • Irish Union on European Agendas

      I was speaking with a Polish friend who is a Member of the European Parliament. He confirmed that Brexit had led to very wide support for Scottish Independence in the Parliament, across many political and national divides. He also made the interesting point that the cause of Irish reunification was again mentioned in the bars of Brussels.

      This of course makes perfect sense. With the personal and economic freedoms and common rights of EU citizenship, a sense of both the Republic and the North being inside a much wider union took the edge off some of the grievances of Irish nationalists, at least to the degree that this was a contributing argument for ceasing to pursue reunification by violence. It is a commonplace that Brexit undermines the intellectual and emotional basis of the Good Friday agreement – it certainly does. I hope Brexit will not result in renewed violence, but that it will result in a strongly renewed demand for Irish reunification I do not doubt – and I will support that demand.

    • Uber’s self-driving cars are now picking up passengers in Arizona [Ed: Uber operated at a loss to drive taxi drivers out of business. Now it gets rid of its own drivers.]

      Almost two months to the day after Uber loaded its fleet of self-driving SUVs into the trailer of a self-driving truck and stormed off to Arizona in a self-driving huff, the company is preparing to launch its second experiment (if you don’t count the aborted San Francisco pilot) in autonomous ride-hailing.

      What’s different is that this time, Uber has the blessing from Arizona’s top politician, Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, who is expected to be “Rider Zero” on an autonomous trip along with Anthony Levandowski, VP of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group. The Arizona pilot comes after California’s Department of Motor Vehicles revoked the registration of Uber’s 16 self-driving cars because the company refused to apply for the appropriate permits for testing autonomous cars.

    • Government grants new powers to stop foreign human rights abusers buying London homes to launder their wealth

      The Government has bowed to pressure to act on evidence that London has become “a haven for the blood money of the world’s nastiest despots”.

      New powers will be given to the authorities to seize the assets of foreign human rights abusers who buy homes in Britain to funnel their ill-gotten wealth.

      However, the Home Office denied the move amounted to a US-style ‘Magnitsky Act’ – introduced after a corruption whistleblower who died in a Russian prison in suspicious circumstances.

    • Blockchain: A new hope, or just hype?

      Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin may have captured the public’s fancy – and also engendered a healthy dose of skepticism — but it is their underlying technology that is proving to be of practical benefit to organizations: the blockchain. Many industries are exploring its benefits and testing its limitations, with financial services leading the way as firms eye potential windfalls in the blockchain’s ability to improve efficiency in such things as the trading and settlement of securities. The real estate industry also sees potential in the blockchain to make homes — even portions of homes — and other illiquid assets trade and transfer more easily. The blockchain is seen as disrupting global supply chains as well, by boosting transaction speed across borders and improving transparency.

    • Leftist French lawmakers take CETA to Constitutional Council

      More than 100 French MPs decided yesterday (21 February) to appeal to the country’s Constitutional Council to block a contentious free trade deal between the European Union and Canada.

      Supporters of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) say it will boost economic growth and jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. But opponents say it will lead to a race to the bottom in labour and environmental standards and allow multinational corporations to dictate public policy.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • If Zuckerberg wants to rule the world, does he even need to be president?

      It is not normal for a technology chief executive to announce a new product roadmap in the form of a 5,700 word blogpost that begins with a unified theory of history and ends by quoting Abraham Lincoln. But that’s exactly what Mark Zuckerberg has done in his letter to the “Facebook community”, published on Thursday.

      The unusual aspects of the letter don’t stop at its length. Zuckerberg rapidly alternates between lofty statements of social principle and minor product updates. One minute, he is discussing the necessity for a strong civil society existing between the government and the people, implicitly rebutting Margaret Thatcher; the next, he is discussing the need for the administrators of Facebook groups to be able to support “sub-communities”, so that, for example, a Facebook group for a university can contain within it a sub-group for a particular accommodation block.

      If an attentive reader overcomes the whiplash induced by the shifts in tone, they’ll find a founder clearly concerned by the growing discontent many are feeling about Facebook’s effect on the world. Zuckerberg proposes solutions to such varied problems as Facebook’s history of heavy-handed censorship, the social network’s role in enabling and promoting fake news, and the need to prevent terrorist groups from using Facebook’s tools to recruit and co-ordinate.

    • We Could Have Had Biden

      Joe Biden would have beaten him.

      Think about why Trump won. He was by sheer accident the more or less least worst choice. Despite his behavior, he kept failing upward, right into the White House.

      A large portion of this election was about income disparity, cultural and economic displacement, a sense that the country had abandoned too much of its center. I don’t know how many of those people voted for Trump per se, but some percentage voted against for Hillary Clinton (spare me the popular vote bit, we’re dealing with the reality of the system which was here in 2016 and will be here in 2020.)

    • Are Liberals Helping Trump? Not Much, Apparently

      The article mostly talks to Trump supporters; it’s another entry in the Trump-supporters-support-Trump genre, with the twist that the supporters blame opponents for the fact that they still support Trump. Tavernise does cite some polling data well into the article, noting that Trump “has high marks among moderates who lean Republican: 70 percent approve, while 20 percent disapprove.”

    • Why the Flynn-Russia Controversy Isn’t Over Yet
    • Why the Flynn-Russia Affair Is So Troubling for Donald Trump
    • Cost of Trump family security vexes New York and Florida officials

      Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, inserted himself into the debate on Sunday, saying it costs $500,000 per day for nearly 200 police officers to protect Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, which houses the Trump family business headquarters and serves as the home of the first lady, Melania Trump, and the couple’s son, Barron. The senator estimated the cost could rise to as much as $183m annually.

      At current estimates, even a four-year Trump administration could be heading for a billion dollars in taxpayer-borne costs – an eight-fold increase of the $97m Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, estimates it cost to protect Barack Obama over the two terms of his administration.

    • Defending Our Borders From Hell-Demons From Another Dimension

      “Only Trump can make Americans safe again!”

    • Socialism’s Return

      For the American left, 2016 proved to be a year with a cruel twist ending. In the first few months, a self-
described democratic socialist by the name of Bernie Sanders mounted a surprisingly successful primary challenge to the Democratic Party’s presumed and eventual presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. By the end of 2016, however, not only had Sanders lost the primary race, but Clinton had been defeated in the general election by a billionaire who dressed his xenophobic and plutocratic ambitions in the garb of class resentment.

      But the apparent strength of the left wasn’t entirely an illusion. Even as late as November, the Sanders campaign had racked up a set of important victories. The Cold War had helped to entrench the idea of socialism as antithetical to the American political tradition, and Sanders had gone a long way toward smashing that ideological consensus. By identifying himself explicitly as a democratic socialist from the outset of his campaign, he helped give renewed meaning and salience to it as a political identity firmly rooted in the American tradition.

      In addition to helping end the stigma around socialism, the Sanders campaign provided a blueprint for a new generation of leftists and progressives. By running in the Democratic primary and showing that he could draw large crowds, Sanders revealed an emerging left-leaning constituency. It seemed in those early autumn months that even in defeat, Sanders had opened up the path for a more progressive Democratic Party: “Sanders Democrats” could continue to work within the party and not only protest outside it. The way forward seemed clear: After Clinton won the general election, a strengthened social-democratic left could work toward the universal provision of various social services and push for criminal-justice reforms and other key priorities.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Thiel company helped support NSA spy program: report

      Billionaire Peter Thiel’s company Palantir helped support the National Security Agency’s controversial spy program XKeyscore, according to a report in The Intercept citing previously undisclosed documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      Palantir helped build software to accelerate and increase the NSA’s use of XKeyscore, according to the documents.

      The program, first revealed by The Guardian in 2013, lets analysts search through databases of emails, online chats and browsing histories without authorization.

    • How Peter Thiel’s Palantir Helped the NSA Spy on the Whole World

      Donald Trump has inherited the most powerful machine for spying ever devised. How this petty, vengeful man might wield and expand the sprawling American spy apparatus, already vulnerable to abuse, is disturbing enough on its own. But the outlook is even worse considering Trump’s vast preference for private sector expertise and new strategic friendship with Silicon Valley billionaire investor Peter Thiel, whose controversial (and opaque) company Palantir has long sought to sell governments an unmatched power to sift and exploit information of any kind. Thiel represents a perfect nexus of government clout with the kind of corporate swagger Trump loves. The Intercept can now reveal that Palantir has worked for years to boost the global dragnet of the NSA and its international partners, and was in fact co-created with American spies.

    • Legislation to stop U.S. border agents from demanding passwords and logins is on the way

      Privacy advocates aren’t happy with proposals for enhanced digital prying at U.S. borders, and now that issue could be taken up in the Senate.

      In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden called for accountability around reports that U.S. Customs and Border agents are obtaining the passwords to locked devices that belong to detainees at the border. Invoking the Fourth Amendment, Wyden dismissed such practices as extralegal, lacking probable cause and a warrant required for such searches.

      “There are well-established legal rules governing how law enforcement agencies may obtain data from social media companies and email providers,” Wyden wrote. “The process typically requires that the government obtain a search warrant or other court order, and then ask the service provider to turn over the user’s data.”

    • Pressure Mounts For FBI To Disclose How Much It Paid To Unlock iPhone

      The Associated Press and two other news organizations asked a judge Monday to force the federal government to reveal how much it paid for a tool to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, California, shooters.

      The news organizations said in a court filing there was “no adequate justification” for the FBI to continue to withhold information on the cost of the tool or the identity of the vendor that sold it. They said their requests were narrowly tailored and, contrary to the arguments of the FBI and Justice Department, did not seek information that would jeopardize national security or be exploited by America’s enemies.

      “While it is undisputed that the vendor developed the iPhone access tool, the government has identified no rational reason why knowing the vendor’s identity is linked in any way to the substance of the tool, much less how such knowledge would reveal any information about the tool’s application,” lawyers for the news organizations wrote in the filing to the U.S. District Court in Washington.

    • London Internet Exchange members vote to block UK Snoopers’ Charter gagging order

      Members of LINX, the London Internet Exchange – the UK’s largest net “peering” point – have rejected proposals that would reshape the company’s constitution and could block members from being consulted about government tapping instructions.

      The vote, on Tuesday, followed a Reg report revealing that members had been given less than two weeks notice of a proposed change which would allow LINX’s chairman to “override” directors’ wishes and prevent members learning about controversial actions, including, according to LINX, “secret orders from the government”

      Directors of the company had urged the 740 members of LINX, mostly Internet providers from overseas, to vote for the plans without any debate or considering alternatives, during a 10-minute “Extraordinary General Meeting” (EGM) held on Tuesday.

    • NSA and CIA is the Enemy of the People

      Astute students of history understand that government agencies often further their own interests and not the administration they are designated to serve. Seldom is the genuine national security advanced when bureaucrats pledge their loyalty to their respective fiefdoms of projecting influence and power. Absent in this supremacy struggle equation is the abstract notion that state legitimacy is founded upon the will and consent of the people. Such a quaint concept does not reflect a chapter in the training manual that breeds the spooks who operate as above the law and unaccountable super spies.

      Guarding signals traffic or capturing foreign communication is a logical task to protect national secrets, while gathering information on intentions and operations from advocacies. Once upon a time the National Security Agency directed the ECHELON project as a cold war network. Over the decades the functions of electronic surveillance broadened into collection on all forms of data, no matter the source or the national origin of the subject.

    • NSA Contractors Join Privacy Shield

      Did you really think that the European Union would protect your privacy? Don’t be so naive.

      The US-EU Privacy Shield program is supposed to give EU citizens greater data protections. As I wrote previously, the Privacy Shield program has several legal loopholes, which makes it look a bit like a block of Swiss cheese.

    • Software vulnerability disclosures by NSA will continue under Trump, officials say [Ed: Relaying fake news and NSA propaganda/puff pieces. it's also a loaded headline; they harvested/weaponised zero-days, so this boils down to stenography and reputation laundering. Why is it a very big deal that the NSA sat on zero-days and did nothing? Because adversaries too could exploit these. Even if one naively believes that it's desirable for one's government to snoop on innocents, it still leaves adversaries empowered (e.g. control by blackmail)]
  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Rep. Sensenbrenner Thinks We Can Pay For The Border Wall With More Asset Forfeiture

      President Trump appears to have thrown his support behind asset forfeiture, even as the issue has begun reaching critical mass in the mainstream media. (It’s been thoroughly covered by more libertarian publications like Reason for years.) In addition to not being able to “see anything wrong with it,” Trump jokingly suggested he’d ruin the careers of politicians mounting reform efforts.

      His recent executive orders appear to back this “gloves off” approach to criminal justice. In addition to singling out immigrants as troublemakers, the orders ask law enforcement officials to take a look around and see if they’re being constrained by any state or federal laws. Presumably, any recent forfeiture reform legislation would fall under this heading as it prevents law enforcement agencies from acting in the way they’ve become accustomed: seize first, convict later… if at all.

    • Appeals Court Says Filming The Police Is Protected By The First Amendment

      In news that will surprise no one, police officers decided they must do something about someone filming the police department building from across the street. That’s where this Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision begins: with a completely avoidable and completely unnecessary assertion of government power.

    • Boris Johnson – an Ethics Free Zone

      The total absence of even a shadow of an ethical dimension to UK foreign policy is nowhere better illustrated than its continued relationship with the appalling Uzbek dictatorship. There is competition of course for the role of most unconscionable British policy. The support for the vicious tyrant of Bahrain and the suppression of the Bahraini Shia majority, the secret British military presence on the ground in Saudi Arabia assisting the bombing campaign that has killed thousands of children, these are sickening examples of Britain’s true role in the world.

    • Court To Cop: You Took 80 Days Away From A Person’s Life With A Baseless Warrant, So We’re Taking Your Immunity

      In 2009, April Yvette Smith was arrested on drug dealing charges and spent 80 days in jail. The charges were ultimately dropped by the district attorney, but by the time it happened, Smith had already lost her job. The same can’t be said for the officer who obtained her arrest warrant. His job was always secure. The only thing he’s lost — seven years after the fact — is his immunity from Smith’s civil rights lawsuit.

      The chain of events leading to Smith’s wrongful arrest are as horrible as they are stupid. Somewhere between Barney Fife and the banal evil of law enforcement ineptitude lies Officer Jason Munday. It starts with a “wired” confidential informant and ends in an indifferent “investigation” that sounds as though Munday just got bored sitting around the office.

    • UK Schools Experiment With Police-Style Body Cameras To Tackle ‘Low-level Background Disorder’

      Although only two UK schools are currently involved, a survey carried out by the Times Educational Supplement revealed that a third of the teachers who were asked said they would be willing to try wearing a body camera; two thirds said they would feel safer wearing it; and a tenth even thought it would eventually become compulsory for all UK teachers to use them.

    • The far-right panic: a distraction from jihadism

      But is this really the case? Youths have always aired obnoxious views to wind up adults, and this could well account for part of these figures. In any case, mouthing off is still a world away from actively organising and campaigning on far-right issues. That kind of mobilisation is completely absent today. The British National Party has disintegrated, its local council presence all but wiped out. Street-based protest groups such as the English Defense League and Britain First can barely mobilise a few hundred people for their rallies in car parks. We’re not witnessing a return to 1970s levels of far-right activity, let alone the 1930s, as one commentator recently claimed.

      [...]

      Even before Brexit, warnings of a far-right resurgence have routinely appeared in the press in recent years. Whenever there has been a terrorist atrocity carried out by jihadists, the elite response has been to raise concerns about a ‘far-right backlash’, even though none has emerged. In this way, obsessing about the far-right has become a displacement activity, a refusal to recognise that a significant minority of young Muslims are estranged from British society.

    • Iran Bans Teen Chess Siblings Over Head Scarf, Match Against Israeli

      ranian chess officials have barred two teen siblings from domestic chess tournaments and the national team for crossing some of the religious establishment’s so-called red lines at an international chess event.

      The Iranian National Chess Team dismissed 18-year-old Dorsa Derakhshani for appearing at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival 2017, which ran from January 23 to February 2, without the Islamic head scarf that became compulsory in Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

      Her 15-year-old brother, Borna Derakhshani, was banned for playing against an Israeli opponent at the same event.

      Iran does not recognize the state of Israel and forbids Iranian athletes from competing against Israeli athletes at international sports events. Iranians in the past have cited injury or illness to avoid facing Israeli rivals.

    • Bangladesh catches Islamist convicted of blogger murder

      Bangladesh police on Monday (Feb 20) detained an Islamist who had been sentenced to death in his absence in 2015 for planning the gruesome murder of a secular blogger.

      Police said they had caught Rezwanul Azad Rana, a 34-year-old former student at one of the country’s top universities, and one other man when they raided a house in a suburb of Dhaka.

      Rana had been on the run since the start of his trial for the murder of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider, who was hacked to death with machetes in February 2013 in the first of a string of attacks targeting secular writers in Bangladesh.

      “The counter-terrorism and transnational crime unit of police has arrested Rana along with an assistant militant named Ashraf during a raid from a house at Uttara suburb in the capital Dhaka,” said a statement on the Dhaka police website.

    • Convicted hairdresser argues ruling should be overturned as Muslim woman takes off hijab

      Merete Hodne was initially given an £800 fine by police in October, 2015, after she refused to serve Malika Bayan in her establishment in Bryne, southwest Norway, because she was wearing a hijab.

      However the 47-year-old businessman, who said she was fully within her rights to not colour Ms Bayan’s hair, refused to pay the fine and was taken to court.

      The case has already been heard twice, as Ms Hodne appealed the ruling in September which initially found she had discriminated against the 24-year-old.

    • Speaking in Detroit, Farrakhan slams both Democrats and Trump

      Speaking to thousands gathered in Detroit on Sunday, Minister Louis Farrakhan said African-Americans shouldn’t place their faith in Democrats or Republicans, criticizing both parties for neglecting the black community.

      “Most of you are so hurt because Queen Hillary lost,” Farrakhan said at Joe Louis Arena during the final day of the annual convention of the Nation of Islam. “And some of you have cussed me out because I didn’t vote for her. I didn’t vote for Trump. I knew both of them is the same. You ain’t going to get nothing from either one, but more deceit from Hillary, but more straight talk from Trump.

      “He told you, you didn’t have nothing to lose. You’ve been a Democrat all your life and don’t have a damn thing to show for it.”

    • Clashes in Stockholm Suburb Draw Attention to Trump’s Remarks

      Residents in a northwestern suburb predominantly inhabited by immigrants have clashed with police officers, two days after President Trump unleashed a vague but pointed critique of Sweden’s migration policies.

      About 20 to 30 masked men threw stones and other objects at police officers in the suburb, Rinkeby, after the police arrested a man on suspicion of dealing drugs. A police officer fired a warning shot, but the disturbances continued for several more hours, stretching into early Tuesday morning. A photojournalist was injured in the clashes.

      The episode drew scrutiny worldwide because of Mr. Trump’s assertions — based on a Fox News segment — that Sweden had experienced a surge in crime and violence as a result of taking in large numbers of refugees. Mr. Trump’s comments were greeted with anger in Sweden, the latest example of strong criticism by the American president antagonizing friendly countries, including neighbors like Mexico and allies like Australia and the European Union.

    • Police forced to shoot at protesters as violence erupts – yet PM is in denial

      Stockholm police were forced to fire a shot into the crowd in the hard-hit suburb of Rinkeby, after a mob of around 30 began attacking officers with rocks.

      Violence erupted after the police had tried to arrest a wanted person on the subway.

    • 4 Ways To Make Sure Your Protest Really Makes A Difference

      The country is a garbage nest of rage. And no matter which side of the political pop you’re licking, the situation sure feels helpless. Too often protests devolve into dumb hostility, like the Oregon standoff or the more-recent UC Berkeley shitshow.

      But what if I told you that if you follow the rules history has laid out, protests and boycotts absolutely can work? For when you look down the annals of successful civil disobedience, a clear pattern emerges. One that I will now express to you in the following four easy steps. Grab a beer, you pitchfork-shining renegade. This is your handy guide to nut-punching The Man!

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • After Losing 10,000 Viewers Per Day, ESPN Finally Buckles To Offering Standalone Streaming Video Service

      For years now, ESPN has been the perfect personification of the cable and broadcast industry’s denial regarding cord cutting. Long propped up by a system that forces consumers to buy massive bundles of largely-unwatched channels, ESPN has struggled with the rise of streaming alternatives and sleeker, “skinny” channel bundles. The sports network, which has lost 7 million viewers in just a few years, has been trying to argue that these losses (which caused Disney stock to lose $22 billion in value in just two days at one point) are simply part of some kind of overblown, mass hallucination.

    • Ajit Pai is making the FCC more transparent — but only when it suits him

      FCC chairman Ajit Pai has had a whirlwind first month, taking immediate action to scale back net neutrality, slow broadband subsidies for low-income households, and block efforts to reform the exorbitant calling rates to prisons.

      But in the background of all of this, Pai has also made a series of changes at the commission in the name of transparency. He’s explored publishing FCC orders a month before they’re voted on, alongside a one-page summary (instead of close to one month after they’re voted on); limited the extent to which the commission can edit orders after a vote; and given commissioners more oversight of enforcement actions (fines, mostly) that punish companies for violating FCC rules

    • If New FCC Boss Ajit Pai Is So ‘Pro Consumer,’ Why Does The Telecom Industry Need To Pay People To Say So?

      On his first day new FCC Boss Ajit Pai repeatedly and breathlessly insisted that consumers and the digital divide would be his top priority. The problem: that dedication was directly contradicted by not only Pai’s past voting record at the agency, but his first actions as agency head. Out of the gate Pai undermined an FCC legal case against prison phone telecom monopolies, scrapped an FCC plan to bring competition to the cable box, killed all ongoing zero rating inquiries and began laying the ground work for killing net neutrality, and prevented nine already-approved ISPs from helping the poor via the agency’s Lifeline program.

      Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take particularly long for some news outlets to realize that Pai’s words weren’t supported by his actions. Both The Washington Post and the New York Times penned editorials blasting Pai, most notably for his ongoing disdain for net neutrality, which has broad, bipartisan support.

      Driven to defend Pai’s selection as FCC boss for obvious reasons, ISPs got right to work fighting back via their traditional weapon of choice: bullshitters for hire. Shortly after the Post and Times pieces surfaced, contrasting op-eds quickly popped up in newspapers and websites nationwide claiming Pai is actually an incredible boon to consumers, competition and innovation. Most of these op-eds failed to adequately disclose the authors’ financial ties to large broadband providers, or the fact they take money while pretending to be objective analysts — often including Congressional testimony.

  • DRM

    • Apple Says Nebraska Will Become A ‘Mecca For Hackers’ If Right To Repair Bill Passes

      Apple probably expected its heavy-handed (and stupid — more on that in a bit) “suggestion” to be taken more seriously by podunk legislators in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately for Apple, Brasch isn’t just a legislator in a state mainly known for corn and football-as-religion.

      Brasch is not only an Apple customer, but she’s a farmer who has had to deal with plenty of repair-blocking BS from companies like John Deere. She also has a background in computer science and an apparent tendency to not let corporate lawyers talk down to her.

      Not only did Apple pick the wrong legislator to threaten, its threat is incoherent. I’ve spent most of the last 15 years in the Midwest and, trust me, it would take far more than a right-to-repair bill’s passage to make Nebraska a mecca of anything. (Beyond college football, he said to head off the Cornhusker faithful most likely already demanding a retraction…)

      Then there’s the thing about “hackers.” There’s more than one type of hacker, but Apple dropped it as a pejorative term in hopes of conjuring images of hoodied figures sitting in dark rooms with the local SWAT team on speed dial and deploying some sort of encryption… you know, the evil kind.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • ARIPO, OAPI To Harmonise Practices On Intellectual Property In Africa

      The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and its sister organisation, Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle [African Intellectual Property Organization] (OAPI) have signed a memorandum of understanding to harmonise the intellectual property systems of the two institutions.

    • Book Review: The Informal Economy in Developing Nations – Hidden Edge of Innovation?

      Shamnad Basheer, of SpicyIP, picks up on two main themes. He cautions against, “the simplistic tendency to superimpose an existing “formal” IP appropriation regime onto the informal economy,” and, “it is foolhardy to assume that the informal sector simply needs to learn from the formal sector and formalise as quickly as possible. On the contrary, the informal economy may have important lessons for the informal economy…” Supporting innovation is important, but a formal approach to IP may not always be the answer.

    • Kenyan Regulator Cancels Leading Collective Management Licence To Streamline Music Royalties

      In a move meant streamline the collection of music royalties in Kenya, the government regulator declined to renew a 2017 licence for a leading collective organisation over unmet standards.

    • Momentum-Building: An Interview With Ruth Dreifuss On High-Level Panel On Access To Medicines

      I chaired the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Public Health, which delivered a report to the World Health Organization in 2006. At that time I saw real momentum on the issue of access to medicines, an awareness, and a will to go further.

      However this momentum had been diminishing over the last years and the report of the High Level Panel acted as a strong push to put the issue back on the international agenda. This is the case at the World Health Organization, it cannot be ignored. We will have an opportunity to discuss the report at a side event at the World Trade Organization, and will present it at the United Nations Human Rights Council. It is very important that others take ownership of the report now.

    • Copyrights

      • European News Publishers Still Believe They Have The Right To Make Google Pay For Sending Traffic Their Way

        The European Commission is still (slowly) moving forward with its plan to dump a link tax on service providers like Google, Facebook, etc. in hopes of propping up local news outfits. The plan has been in the works for a couple of years now and it’s looking like the longer the planning goes on, the less likely it is to result in something that makes its advocates happy.

        A long report from Politico details the current state of this doomed venture. And it is doomed. Even if implemented in a way that makes news outlets happiest, the end result will be less incoming traffic from some of the most-used sites in the world. Some news agencies aren’t so sure this is the way forward.

      • Online Piracy Can Boost Comic Book Sales, Research Finds

        A new academic study shows that piracy can have a positive effect on comic book sales under some conditions. The empirical research, which zooms in on Japanese Manga comics, suggests that sales of ongoing comics dip when pirated versions are more readily available, while those for completed series go up.

      • Court: Hosting A Pirate Site Doesn’t Equal Copyright Infringement [Ed: What authorities mean these days by "pirate site" is "site that people can upload copyright-infringing material to"]

        A Federal Court in California ruled that Steadfast is not automatically liable for hosting an alleged pirate website. In a tentative order favoring the Chicago-based hosting provider, Judge Wu fails to see sufficient evidence to support a secondary liability claim.

      • Why you should care about the Kafkaesque abomination that is the legal case against Kim Dotcom

        And the madness that is this Kafkaesque case against Kim Dotcom continues, this time the Court rules that the Police had no cause to have arrested Kim on the charges of Copyright infringement, but have given our legal sovereignty over to the United States by instead finding trumped up fraud charges as the excuse to trigger extradition.

        [...]

        The Moment of Truth had Assange, Greenwald and Edward Snowden prove without a shadow of a doubt that John Key had lied through his teeth about mass surveillance. It showed the NSA and CIA have staff here, it showed they planned to spike the sea cable and steal data directly from that feed and it showed that our GCSB went and met with the NSA to assure them the law Key had just pushed through allowed for mass surveillance despite Key telling the NZ public that it didn’t.

        But what did NZ focus on? Kim not proving Key knew he existed before he claimed to have known.

      • New Zealand Court Says Kim Dotcom Still Eligible For Extradition… But Not Over Copyright

        After quite some time, a New Zealand court has said that Kim Dotcom is eligible for extradition to the US — something he’s been fighting for over five years. But there’s a weird twist to the story. A key part of the argument that Dotcom’s lawyers have been making is that for extradition to the US, there needs to be “dual criminality” (you can hear Dotcom’s lawyer, Ira Rothken, discuss this on our podcast a few months back). And, the key “crime” that Dotcom is charged with involves secondary copyright infringement (i.e., creating a platform that others use to infringe). But, that’s a problem, as there’s no criminal secondary copyright infringement under New Zealand law (nor US law, but that’s a separate issue). So, here’s the twist. The court actually agreed that there’s no such thing under New Zealand law — and said that Dotcom can’t be extradited for copyright infringement. However, the court said that he can be extradited for “fraud” because there’s dual criminality there.

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