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03.20.17

Links 20/3/2017: Linux 4.11 RC3, OpenSSH 7.5 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux, not Microsoft, the real winner of Windows Server on ARM

    Cutting to the heart of it, it doesn’t actually matter if Microsoft releases Windows Server for ARM. Windows isn’t the future and even Microsoft knows it. The upcoming availability of SQL server on Linux is all the proof we need that the game is over and, in the data centre at least, Microsoft didn’t win.

    Quite frankly, there’s nothing wrong with that. Legacy x86 Windows applications have been a millstone around the neck of the entire industry for ages now and its long past time they were relegated to a niche and left to quietly slip away into the night. What’s interesting here isn’t that Microsoft managed to take its existing code base, strip out some of the cruft and compile it on ARM. What’s interesting is what Microsoft’s experiment unlocks outside the Windows ecosystem.

  • Desktop

    • Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 ad annoys Chrome users with taskbar pop-ups

      Microsoft’s aggressive advertising push inside Windows 10 is going beyond pop-ups for Microsoft Edge.

      Myce recently spotted yet another pop-up ad on the taskbar in Windows 10. This time around Microsoft was advertising its extension for Chrome dubbed the Personal Shopping Assistant (Beta). The extension is a Microsoft Garage project that lets you compare prices across shopping sites.

      Prior to the Chrome extension pop-up, Microsoft was advertising its rewards program for Microsoft Edge, which we spotted in early November. The earlier ad appeared to be targeted at people who didn’t use Edge that frequently.

  • Server

    • Docker to Donate its Container Runtime, containerd, to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation

      Docker plans to donate its containerd container runtime to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to organizing a set of open source container-based cloud-native technologies.

      In December, Docker released as open source the code for containerd, which provides a runtime environment for Docker containers. By open sourcing this component of the Docker stack, the company wanted to assure users, partners, and other actors in the container ecosystem that the core container component would remain stable, and that the community would have a say in its advancement.

    • Docker at 4: The Container Revolution Continues

      The open-source Docker container project held events around the globe last week as it celebrated its fourth birthday. Docker is more popular than ever as the standard bearer for the container microservices DevOps movement, though Docker Inc. as a company now faces more challenges than ever before as well.

      Three years ago, I wrote about the first anniversary of Docker, predicting significant growth in 2014. As it turned out, I was right about the growth, though I was wrong about Docker Inc. Back in 2014, I had predicted that Docker Inc. would likely be acquired, but to date that hasn’t happened—though there has been no shortage of speculation over the last three years.

      Docker Inc. and the open-source container ecosystem that Docker helped create have evolved significantly since 2014, and over the course of the project’s four-year existence. This past year has arguably been the most significant yet for Docker Inc., both as a business and an open-source project.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.10.4

      I’m announcing the release of the 4.10.4 kernel.

      All users of the 4.10 kernel series must upgrade.

      The updated 4.10.y git tree can be found at:
      git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.10.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 4.9.16
    • Linux 4.4.55
    • Linux Kernel 4.4.55 LTS Arrives with Various MIPS Changes, Updated USB Drivers
    • Linux Kernel 4.10.4 Released with MIPS Improvements, Updated USB Drivers

      The fourth maintenance update to the Linux 4.10 kernel series arrived this weekend with various improvements to some of the supported filesystems and architectures, as well as updated drivers.

    • Linux Kernel 4.9.16 LTS Has Various MIPS and PowerPC Changes, Updated Drivers

      Immediately after announcing the release of the Linux 4.10.4 kernel, Greg Kroah-Hartman informed the community about the availability of the sixteenth maintenance update to the long-term supported Linux 4.9 kernel series.

    • Standards for ARM computers and Linaro

      It looks like someone else figured it out, ergo Linaro. Unfortunately, they do not seem to be eager to create a real platform, but rather slap a veneer of something OpenFirmware-like on top of exising systems. Also, they are buddying with Ubuntu. So, a half-hearted effort and a top-down deal. But it’s a step in the right direction.

    • Linux 4.11-rc3

      Another week, another rc.

      As is our usual pattern after the merge window, rc3 is larger than
      rc2, but this is hopefully the point where things start to shrink and
      calm down. We had a late typo in rc2 that affected arm and powerpc
      (the prep code for the 5-level page tables), and hopefully there are
      no similar brown-paper-bugs now in rc3.

      On the whole rc3 looks pretty normal, with two thirds being driver
      updates (late qla2xxx scsi driver updates stand out, but ethernet
      drivers for broadcom and cavium aren’t that far behind, and there are
      updates for gpu, md, cpufreq, x86 platform drivers etc).

      Outside of drivers, the rest is a mix of arch updates (parisc,
      powerpc, x86), filesystems (afs, nfs, xfs) and “misc” (mainly core
      kernel and general networking updates).

      Shortlog appended for those who want to see some overview of the
      details, but what we really want is testing. Please.

      Linus

    • Linus Torvalds Announces the Third Release Candidate of the Linux 4.11 Kernel

      It’s still Sunday in the US, and that means Linus Torvalds has prepared yet another Release Candidate (RC) milestone for the upcoming Linux 4.11 kernel for GNU/Linux distros.

      That’s right, Linux kernel 4.11 Release Candidate 3 is now ready for public testing, and, according to Linus Torvalds, it appears to be a fairly normal patch that’s just a bit larger than last week’s Release Candidate because of a typo that affected the PowerPC (PPC) and ARM architectures.

    • Linux 4.11-rc3 Released
    • Raspberry Pi VC4 HDMI Audio Support Coming To Linux 4.12

      The ongoing work for HDMI audio support with the VC4 DRM driver is being wrapped up and will be working in the Linux 4.12 kernel.

      HDMI audio will work in conjunction with the open-source VC4 driver when the Linux 4.12 kernel rolls out. This was among the changes queued today in drm-misc-next and in turn called for landing into DRM-Next, which will be merged next month into the Linux 4.12 mainline code-base.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • Benchmarks Of Many ARM Boards From The Raspberry Pi To NVIDIA Jetson TX2

        For some weekend benchmarking fun, I compared the Jetson TX2 that NVIDIA released this weekend with their ARM 64-bit “Denver 2″ CPU cores paired with four Cortex-A57 cores to various other ARM single board computers I have access to. This is looking at the CPU performance in different benchmarks ranging from cheap ~$10 ARM SBCs to the Raspberry Pi to the Jetson TX1 and Jetson TX2.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma Team Discusses Web-browser integration, Bundled Apps and new Features

        In February, KDE’s Plasma team came together in for their yearly in-person meeting. The meeting was kindly hosted by von Affenfels GmbH, a webdesign agency in Stuttgart, Germany. The team discussed a wide variety of topics, such as design, features new and old, bugs and sore points in the current implementation, app distribution, also project management, internal and outward-facing communication and Wayland.

      • KDE Plasma Planning Browser Integration, Possible Touchpad Gestures

        Key developers of KDE’s Plasma team met last month in Stuttgart. More details on this Plasma developer meeting have now come to light.

        KDE Plasma developers continue eyeing Flatpak, Snap, and AppImage for possible next-generation packaging solutions. The developers also discussed better browser integration within Plasma to have native notifications and download progress, better multimedia handling, and more. Another new feature discussed was touchpad gestures support to control the window manager.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • WebKitGTK+ 2.16

        The Igalia WebKit team is happy to announce WebKitGTK+ 2.16. This new release drastically improves the memory consumption, adds new API as required by applications, includes new debugging tools, and of course fixes a lot of bugs.

      • 6 Features You’ll Love in GNOME 3.24

        We look at 6 of the best new GNOME 3.24 features, including the ‘night light’ blue light filter, a pair of ace new apps, and integrated weather forecasts.

      • Builder 3.24

        I’m excited to announce that Builder 3.24 is here and ready for you to play with!

        It should look familiar because most of the work this cycle was underneath the hood. I’m pretty happy with all the stabilization efforts from the past couple of weeks. I’d like to give a special thanks to everyone who took the time to file bugs, some of whom also filed patches.

      • Gnome Encfs Manager – An Ease way to Create a Encrypted Directory in Linux

        Gnome Encfs Manager (short name is GEncfsM) is a tool to manage EncFS filesystems in Linux whihc is best alternative for Cryptkeeper and has lots of unique features. It’s very useful when you use EncFS with cloud sync / storage services such as Dropbox, etc.,

      • Blender Constraints

        So what are they and how are they useful in the context of a GNOME designer? We make quite a few prototypes and one of the things to decide whether a behavior is clear and comprehensible is motion design, particularly transitions. And while we do not use tools directly linked to out stack, it helps to build simple rigs to lower the manual labout required to make sometimes similar motion designs and limit the number of mistakes that can be done. Even simple animations usually consist of many keyframes (defined, non-computed states in time). Defining relationships between objects and createing setups, “rigs”, is a way to create of a sort of working model of the object we are trying to mock up.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi Surges To 3rd Best Selling Computer Of All Time Surpassing The Commodore 64

      In many regards, the Raspberry Pi family of computers is quite modest, which is of course by design. For a relatively small price, you can pick up a fully-functional RPi single board computer that can be used for many purposes, whether it is for learning, creating homemade bots, or cobbling together your own purpose-built media player or server solution. Given RPi’s flexibility, it should come as no surprise that the open source Linux-power min PC has proven to be such a popular computing platform for scores of consumers, businesses and educational institutions.

    • How to secure your Raspberry Pi

      The Raspberry Pi and many other inexpensive computer boards like it have become part of the “Internet of Things” or IoT revolution. Internet-connected computing devices have emerged beyond traditional servers, desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. Now your TV, DVR (digital video recorder), thermostat, refrigerator, Internet radio, Raspberry Pi, and other devices are on the network too.

      IoT has been huge for experimentation and innovation. But as projects get rushed to completion, there have been severe consequences for ignoring security. And this applies both to commercial products and hobby projects. I’ll talk about the Raspberry Pi specifically in this article, so this post is oriented more toward do-it-yourself projects.

    • Pico-ITX board gives you Rockchip RK3288 and optional wireless

      Aaeon’s RICO-3288 Pico-ITX SBC runs Android 6.0 on a quad Cortex-A17 RK3288, and offers up to 4Kx2K resolution and optional wireless, CAN, and -20 to 70°C.

      The RICO-3288 is the first Aaeon product we can recall featuring a Rockchip SoC, and one of the relatively few Rockchip RK3288 based SBCs we’ve seen outside of Firefly’s open-spec Firefly boards, such as the sandwich-style Firefly-RK3288 Reload. The other main exception is the recent, maker oriented Tinker Board from Aaeon’s owner, Asus.

    • Jetson TX2 module gains third party carrier boards

      Connect Tech released three carriers for the Jetson TX2 and TX1: Cogswell with GigE Vision, Spacely for cam-intensive Pixhawk drones, and a $99 Sprocket.

      Last April, Connect Tech announced an Astro carrier board for Nvidia’s Tegra X1-driven Jetson TX1 COM, and then followed up with the Orbitty and Elroy boards in May. Now, following Nvidia’s release of the Jetson TX2 earlier this month, Connect Tech has launched three new carriers that support both the TX2 and TX1 modules.

    • The Intel Edison: Linux Maker Machine in a Matchbox

      The console is a great place to start to see if the Edison is up and running. Connect the micro USB labeled console on the Base Block breakout to your desktop Linux machine and check dmesg to see something like the below to discover where the console is. The Base Block has power, TX, and RX LEDs on board so you can get some feedback from the hardware if things are working. If things go as they should, you will be presented with a root console to the Edison. There is no default password, you should just get right onto the console.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • 10 BEST OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE IN 2017

    When we talk about open source software, we are talking about software program which has been created with the idea of being shared. Open source software is developed, tested, and improved through public collaboration. The main objective is that in future the collaboration is maintained i.e. the user is able to make changes to the program and tailor it to suit their own needs.

    In the past years, the world of open source software has changed tremendously. No longer are the old programs used and each year, you will find a new innovation in the field. On year, you will find a particular program leading the market, while the other year, you will find the same program in the pits of obsolescence. That’s how innovations move through this field.

  • Open source seen as door to digital innovation by decision-makers in Malaysia, survey finds

    According to a new Forrester Consulting survey in the Asia Pacific region, 76 percent of survey respondents in Malaysia view open source as computing as a door to business innovation, cost-saving and the forming of deeper customer experience.

    Damien Wong (pic below), vice president and general manager, ASEAN, Red Hat, said, “It is encouraging to see IT decision makers in Malaysia thinking beyond the traditional approaches and taking a cue from the companies championing digital innovation through open source.”

  • Software And Choice

    Some projects, whether intentionally (e.g., LLVM) or by accident (e.g., Linux) will grow beyond this scope (in those cases, vastly so). The question then becomes murkier. The two projects I’ve chosen for example here are both, I would say, “fork-proof” – LLVM has a very lenient code acceptance policy (see: all of the ghc-specific portions of the backend), while Linux has an extremely powerful module interface against which things can be built that do not merit inclusion into mainline. A user could fork LLVM, or Linux, but their version is extremely unlikely to become authoritative. Even if one does become authoritative, or close to it, that decision may also revert if the new fork does not live up to the quality standards of the old (I’m thinking about ffmpeg/libav here).

  • Giessen Public Works using open source for energy supply

    The German City of Giessen is using open source software for IT Service Management (ITSM) functions in its municipal energy supply. The most visible part of the setup is openITCOCKPIT, a web-based front-end for the Nagios and Naemon packages for IT infrastructure monitoring.

  • OpenSSH 7.5 released

    OpenSSH 7.5 has just been released. It will be available from the
    mirrors listed at http://www.openssh.com/ shortly.

    OpenSSH is a 100% complete SSH protocol 2.0 implementation and
    includes sftp client and server support. OpenSSH also includes
    transitional support for the legacy SSH 1.3 and 1.5 protocols
    that may be enabled at compile-time.

  • OpenSSH 7.5 Released, Legacy Crypto Functions Still Heading For Retirement
  • IBM unveils Blockchain as a Service based on open source Hyperledger Fabric technology

    IBM unveiled its “Blockchain as a Service” today, which is based on the open source Hyperledger Fabric, version 1.0 from The Linux Foundation.

    IBM Blockchain is a public cloud service that customers can use to build secure blockchain networks. The company introduced the idea last year, but this is the first ready-for-primetime implementation built using that technology.

  • IBM launches blockchain tool on Linux Hyperledger Fabric

    IBM unveiled a cloud-based Blockchain offering on Monday along with governance and developer tools.

    Calling it the first enterprise-ready blockchain service, the company said that the technology makes it possible for developers to build and host production of blockchain networks on the IBM Cloud in a secure environment.

  • IBM launches enterprise-ready blockchain service

    The U.S. technology company said on Monday its new product called IBM Blockchain was the first service for developers to build enterprise-grade technology using Hyperledger Fabric, the first code set to be released by the open source group.

  • IBM Launches Enterprise-Ready Blockchain Services for Hyperledger Fabric v 1.0 on IBM Cloud

    IBM today announced the new release of IBM Blockchain, the first enterprise-ready blockchain service based on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0. The service enables developers to quickly build and host security-rich production blockchain networks on the IBM Cloud, and is underpinned by IBM LinuxONE, the industry’s most secure Linux server.

  • How One Service Provider Developed On Demand Network Services with SDN and NFV

    IT virtualization has radically changed the face of compute, storage, and network services in data centers and beyond. In response, Colt — a network and communications service provider — back in 2015 began developing a program that has transformed the way the company offers network services to customers, says Javier Benitez, Senior Network Architect, Colt Technology Services, who will be speaking at Open Networking Summit.

    According to Benitez, the aim was to move away from a traditional consumption model to one where network services are consumed through an on-demand model based on software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) technologies. Here, Benitez explains more about Colt’s SDN and NFV solutions, focusing on current development efforts and future plans.

  • Open Source at the Heart of IoT Revolution

    Internet of Things (IoT) can be transformative for businesses, by opening up novel ways to connect with customers, creating new avenues and converting data into insights. Several organizations have already moved beyond the experimental phase to actual deployments of IoT. Government, healthcare, retail, transportation and many more industries have come up with innovative applications for improved customer experience and competitive differentiation.

    However, considering its vast scope, IoT has currently not achieved its full potential. Enterprises are grappling with multiple issues. Nevertheless, IoT enthusiasts believe that open source plays a key role in ensuring that the technology moves past the hype cycle to become a disruptive trend for enterprises.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • There’s Now an Arc Theme for Thunderbird

        If you use both the Arc GTK theme and Mozilla Thunderbird as your e-mail app, we’ve found a theme you’ll want to use.

      • WebVR and AFrame Bringing VR to Web at the Virtuleap Hackathon

        Imagine an online application that lets city planners walk through three-dimensional virtual versions of proposed projects, or a math program that helps students understand complex concepts by visualizing them in three dimensions. Both CityViewR & MathworldVR are amazing applications experiences that bring to life the possibilities of virtual reality (VR).

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Community leadership charts course for OpenStack

      Last week, about 40 people from the OpenStack Technical Committee, User Committee, Board of Directors and Foundation Staff convened in Boston to talk about the future of OpenStack. We candidly discussed the challenges we face as a community, but also why our mission to deliver open infrastructure is more important than ever.

      To kick things off, Mark Collier opened with a state of the union address, talking about the strength of our community, the number of users running OpenStack at scale across various industries and the progress we’ve made working across adjacent open source projects. OpenStack is one of the largest, global open source communities. In 2016 alone, we had 3,479 unique developers from dozens of countries and hundreds of organizations contribute to OpenStack, and the number of merged changes increased 26 percent year-over-year. The size and diversity of the OpenStack community is a huge strength, but like any large organization, scale presents its own set of challenges.

    • OpenStack® Board Elects Huawei as Platinum Member and H3C as Gold Member of the Foundation
    • Community leadership planning, new board members, and more OpenStack news
  • Education

    • Open project collaboration from elementary to university classrooms

      In this article, we share our experiences: two examples of fostering creative collaboration among students from elementary school to higher education. Aria F. Chernik, an open educator and director of OSPRI (Open Source Pedagogy, Research + Innovation) at Duke University, introduces an open-by-design, learning innovation project at Duke. Anna Engelke, a tinkering and technology educator, speaks about using open pedagogy to design a Scratch-based maker club at a local elementary school.

  • BSD

    • MIT-Stanford project uses LLVM to break big data bottlenecks

      The more cores you can use, the better — especially with big data. But the easier a big data framework is to work with, the harder it is for the resulting pipelines, such as TensorFlow plus Apache Spark, to run in parallel as a single unit.

      Researchers from MIT CSAIL, the home of envelope-pushing big data acceleration projects like Milk and Tapir, have paired with the Stanford InfoLab to create a possible solution. Written in the Rust language, Weld generates code for an entire data analysis workflow that runs efficiently in parallel using the LLVM compiler framework.

  • Public Services/Government

    • EC study recommends that policies emphasise open source

      Europe’s public administrations should support the use of open source in all sectors of the economy and in public administration, a study for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology recommends. The report by German and French ICT researchers, concludes that “open source is important for the future of the European software industry.”

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Why viral licensing is a ghost

      A brief analysing of the distinction between weak and strong copyleft (sometimes called viral licensing – a pejorative name for copyleft licences) based on the European Directive on the legal protection of computer programs.

  • Programming/Development

    • Rcpp 0.12.10: Some small fixes

      The tenth update in the 0.12.* series of Rcpp just made it to the main CRAN repository providing GNU R with by now over 10,000 packages. Windows binaries for Rcpp, as well as updated Debian packages will follow in due course. This 0.12.10 release follows the 0.12.0 release from late July, the 0.12.1 release in September, the 0.12.2 release in November, the 0.12.3 release in January, the 0.12.4 release in March, the 0.12.5 release in May, the 0.12.6 release in July, the 0.12.7 release in September, the 0.12.8 release in November, and the 0.12.9 release in January — making it the fourteenth release at the steady and predictable bi-montly release frequency.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Ancient Giant Penguin Unearthed in New Zealand

      The fossil was found by amateur fossil collector Leigh Love in the Waipara Greensand at Waipara River, Canterbury Province, New Zealand.

      It was analyzed by a team of paleontologists from Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany.

      According to the researchers, the new find is one of the oldest penguin fossils in the world.

      “Together with the fossils of the recently discovered penguin-like bird Waimanu manneringi, the new specimens are the earliest published penguin remains,” they said.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Record numbers of EU nurses quit NHS

      The number of EU nationals registering as nurses in England has dropped by 92% since the Brexit referendum in June, and a record number are quitting the NHS, it can be revealed.

  • Security

    • Hire a DDoS service to take down your enemies

      According to Neustar, almost three quarters of all global brands, organizations and companies have been victims of a DDoS attack. And more than 3,700 DDoS attacks occur each day.

    • Apollo Lake 3.5-incher doubles down on security

      Kontron’s Linux-friendly, Intel Apollo Lake based “3.5″-SBC-APL” SBC features triple display support, a TPM 2.0 chip, and optional security services.

    • Leading Linux distros dawdle as kernel flaw persists

      A local privilege esclation flaw has been fixed in the Linux kernel, but several upstream distributions have yet to release updates. Administrators should plan on mitigating the vulnerability on Linux servers and workstations themselves and monitor the distributions for their update plans.

    • More than 300 Cisco switch models vulnerable to CIA hack

      A cache of CIA documents was dropped on the internet two weeks ago via WikiLeaks. It was a huge volume of data, some of which detailed CIA tools for breaking into smartphones and even smart TVs. Now, Cisco has said its examination of the documents points to a gaping security hole in more than 300 models of its switches. There’s no patch for this critical vulnerability, but it’s possible to mitigate the risk with some settings changes.

      Cisco’s security arm sent out an advisory on Friday alerting customers that the IOS and IOS XE Software Cluster were vulnerable to hacks based on the leaked documents. The 318 affected switch models are mostly in the Catalyst series, but there are also some embedded systems and IE-series switches on the list. These are enterprise devices that cost a few thousand dollars at least. So, nothing in your house is affected by this particular attack.

    • Assange chastises companies who haven’t responded to CIA vulnerability offers

      Wikileaks head Julian Assange slammed companies not taking the site up on the sites offer to share security flaws the CIA had exploited in their products.

      In a screen-shot statement tweeted on Saturday, Wikileaks noted that “Organizations such as Mozilla” had responded to the site’s emails offering unreleased security vulnerabilities from leaked CIA files. “Google and other companies” had not.

      “Most of these lagging companies have conflicts of interest due to their classified work with US government agencies. In practice such associations limit industry staff with US security clearances from fixing holes based on leaked information from the CIA. Should such companies choose to not secure their users against CIA or NSA attacks users may prefer organizations such as Mozilla or European companies that prioritize their users over government contracts,” the statement read.

      Wikileaks recently published a trove of files leaked from the CIA, including descriptions of hacking techniques. The site made an effort to redact source code showing how to actually accomplish the techniques, although enough code slipped through the cracks for researchers to reverse engineer at least one of the security flaws.

    • Gentoo: 201703-02 Adobe Flash Player: Multiple vulnerabilities
  • Defence/Aggression

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • As CIA Director, George Bush waffled on promise to not destroy records of Agency’s illegal activities

      Declassified records recently unearthed in CREST show the CIA waffled on a promise to obey the law in destroying records of Agency’s illegal activities and wrongdoing

      In 1976, Congresswoman Bella Abzug wrote to CIA Director George H.W. Bush about the existing moratorium on the destruction of CIA files. As the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Government Information and Individual Rights, which had jurisdiction over government information policy including FOIA and the Privacy Act, she wanted the moratorium extended – specifically, she wanted to ensure that Congress had time to enact legislation in response to the Church, Pike, and Rockefeller hearings and the resulting reports.

    • The Assange case – coming to a close, or not?

      In the Assange case, Swedish prosecutors seem to be running out of excuses for dragging their feet.

      [..]

      And this goes all the way back to the Prosecutors Special Unit for »Advancement« of Sex Crimes re-opening this case after it had been closed by the regular branch of the Prosecutors’ Office.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • As Trump Slashes EPA, Worry Over the Fate of an Agency Doing Similar Work

      It has little name recognition, a budget less than 10 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s, and is part of a government institute embraced by both of the nation’s major political parties.

      Still, those concerned about the future of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences are wary of what’s to come.

      “In light of what President Trump wants to do to the EPA, I don’t think any agency that deals with issues unpopular with the current government is going to escape,” said Tracey Woodruff, a professor at University of California, San Francisco’s School of Medicine.

    • Bald eagles: scientists decry overturn of ban that would save American symbol

      “The short answer is that no level of lead is acceptable for living things – eagles, condors and people,” said raptor biologist Glenn Stewart.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Said to Have Been Investigating HHS Secretary Tom Price

      Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was removed from his post by the Trump administration last week, was overseeing an investigation into stock trades made by the president’s health secretary, according to a person familiar with the office.

      Tom Price, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, came under scrutiny during his confirmation hearings for investments he made while serving in Congress. The Georgia lawmaker traded hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shares in health-related companies, even as he voted on and sponsored legislation affecting the industry.

      Price testified at the time that his trades were lawful and transparent. Democrats accused him of potentially using his office to enrich himself. One lawmaker called for an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, citing concerns Price could have violated the STOCK Act, a 2012 law signed by President Obama that clarified that members of Congress cannot use nonpublic information for profit and requires them to promptly disclose their trades.

    • Angela Merkel is now the leader of the free world, not Donald Trump

      The US President isn’t motivated by protecting liberal democracy or freedom, his sole ideology is Trumpism: corporate autocracy with a populist facade. And he surrounds himself with white nationalists even more hostile to liberal democracy than he is

    • No evidence of Trump/Russia Collusion
    • Donna Brazile Finally Admits Giving Hillary Clinton Debate Questions. Democrats Still Demand Unity

      Democrats and progressives too frightened of Trump to demand major DNC reforms must review the following timeline.

      First, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other DNC officials were forced to resign for cheating Bernie Sanders.

      In a twist of fate, POLITICO stated “With just three months until Election Day and the Democrats’ official party apparatus struggling to right itself from months of dysfunction and the scandal caused by the WikiLeaks email hack, interim Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile cleaned house Tuesday with the ouster of three top officials.”

      Yes, Donna Brazile forced others to resign for cheating Bernie.

      Welcome to Democratic politics.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Former CIA Director Blame Millennials Lack Of Loyalty For All The Government Leaks

      That’s Hayden’s response to the CIA leak, which exposed the agency’s exploits and device-targeting tactics. Hayden’s saying people used to trust the government more. That’s what this breaks down to, even if couched in Hayden’s implicit demand youngsters remove themselves from his lawn, but leave any and all government documents behind.

      “Transparency” should mean what it’s always meant. But “transparency” is defined by government agencies and officials harboring zero desire to engage in it. We spent years listening to Obama pat himself on the back for increased government obfuscation and secrecy, something he referred to as the “most transparent administration.” The word “transparency” is meaningless in the government’s hands. That’s why almost anything of significance is revealed by leakers/whistleblowers routing around the “official channels.”

      “Secrecy” means the same thing it always has as well. The government likes it. Citizens are not quite as enthralled with government secrecy, especially considering more and more of their lives are open books. An example: anyone shot by a police officer will have their criminal record immediately delivered to the press while EMTs are still checking for a pulse. Weeks or months will pass before law enforcement agencies release the name of the officer whose gun “discharged,” much less their disciplinary record.

      People of all ages are likely tiring of the government’s insistence on keeping secrets, even as it engages in mass surveillance, reinterprets privacy-shielding laws on the fly, builds massive biometric databases, and declares the Constitution invalid within 100 miles of the border. It’s not just millennials. It’s everyone.

    • US Court Decides Name Search Makes You a Suspect

      This case also highlights the usefulness of privacy-focused search engines such as StartPage. The editor of Tech Rights, Dr. Roy S. Schestowitz, told me that he believes Google is far too invasive, but he also implies that people who use Google may be opening up their data to this sort of invasion:

      “The core of the problem is that Google maintains logs about people who search, what they search for, and even compiles this information (for purposes of advertising or customized results) in a fashion that facilitates such warrants. No search engine ought to collect this much information. People who choose to use search engines that do, put themselves at risk of wrongful accusations, i.e. a potential legal Hell even if they are entirely innocent.”

      It is also yet another fantastic example of why everyone should use a virtual private network (VPN) for even the most mundane tasks. VPN subscribers don’t have to worry that their data might get hoovered up in cases like these. Using a VPN and a private search engine is something everyone should consider for protecting their digital footprint.

    • Leading NSA officials deny claims of “blanket” surveillance at 2002 Winter Olympics

      Senior officials of the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) have denied claims that the intelligence organisation conducted a “blanket” surveillance programme of Salt Lake City-area residents during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

      The Salt Lake Tribune reports that current NSA director of operations Wayne Murphy and former NSA director Michael Hayden have rejected allegations made in a lawsuit against the Agency.

    • How Facebook, fake news and friends are warping your memory

      Memory is notoriously fallible, but some experts worry that a new phenomenon is emerging. “Memories are shared among groups in novel ways through sites such as Facebook and Instagram, blurring the line between individual and collective memories,” says psychologist Daniel Schacter, who studies memory at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “The development of Internet-based misinformation, such as recently well-publicized fake news sites, has the potential to distort individual and collective memories in disturbing ways.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • The Hardening of Society and the Rise of Cultures of Cruelty in Neo-Fascist America

      What does the culture of cruelty look like under a neo-fascist regime?

      First, language is emptied of any sense of ethics and compassion.

      Second, a survival of the fittest discourse provides a breeding ground for racial and social sorting.

      Third, references to justice are viewed as treasonous or, as at the present moment, labelled dismissively as “fake news.”

    • Useless Eaters and Ethnic Purity: the Trump/Bannon War for Biological Nationhood

      The Trump regime has defended its plan to cut the “Meals on Wheels” program by saying it “doesn’t show any results.” What kind of “results” are they talking about? The program delivers meals to shut-ins; the shut-ins eat the meal; they don’t starve to death. That is the result, and it happens all day every day. It is one of the most “resultful” programs in existence. But notice that the Trumpists aren’t saying we can’t afford the program; they are clearly saying it’s not delivering the results they want to see. And what are the only “results” produced by not delivering meals to the sick and shut-in who can’t provide for themselves? THEY WILL DIE.

      Therefore, we can only conclude that the “result” Donald Trump and his ideological Svengali, Stephen Banon, are looking for is a higher death count for the sick and elderly. We know that throughout his public life, Trump has often expressed his belief in genetic superiority, that the right genes, the right blood are responsible for success in life. (Particularly his succes!) The flipside, of course, is that those who haven’t “succeeded” according to his lights, the people who are “weak” and “losers” (to quote two of his favorite epithets), are therefore genetically inferior. We know this is his belief from his own statements.

    • Tamil Nadu man hacked to death over atheistic FB posts
    • Muslims will be majority in India by 2050 and they will be majority in the world by 2070.
    • Appeals Court Says Prior Restraint Is Perfectly Fine, Refuses To Rehear 3D-Printed Guns Case

      It looks as though the Supreme Court may have to step in and settle a particularly thorny question involving the First Amendment, Second Amendment, national security interests, and 3D-printed weapons. Cody Wilson and his company, Defense Distributed, sued the State Department over its demands he cease distributing instructions for the creation of weapons and weapons parts.

      The State Department came along too late to make much of a difference. It claimed Wilson’s instructions violated international arms distribution laws, but by the time it noticed what Defense Distributed was doing, the instructions were all over the web. They still are, and no amount of litigation or government orders is going to change that.

    • CIA’s first ‘Black Site’ prisoner to take stand in Guantánamo court

      The judge in the Sept. 11 war crimes case has agreed to hear testimony next week from forever prisoner Abu Zubaydah, the guinea pig in the CIA’s post- 9/11 interrogation program who has never been charged with a crime and never been allowed to speak in public.

      At issue is a claim by accused 9/11 plot deputy Ramzi bin al Shibh that someone is intentionally disrupting his sleep at the clandestine Camp 7 prison. Bin al Shibh, 44, blames the CIA or troops doing its bidding for noises and vibrations that interfere with his ability to prepare for his death-penalty trial, which has no start date.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • Encrypted Media Extensions

      The DRM proposal is now in final consideration to become an official Web standard. We have until April 13th to stop it. Act now and spread the word!

      [...]

      Decision-making about the standard lies with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The standards body is under heavy pressure from Microsoft, Netflix, Apple, Google, and others to enshrine DRM in Web standards. But through in-person protests and online activism, we push back. Along with allied organizations, we have already significantly slowed the progress of Encrypted Media Extensions.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Things Looking Even Worse For Prenda’s Paul Hansmeier: Bankruptcy Fraud On Deck

        So, let’s just say that things probably haven’t been looking very good for Prenda’s Paul Hansmeier lately. Obviously, there was a long series of legal losses in the Prenda and Prenda-related cases, but those are in the distant past now. Back in September, he lost his law license for some of the Prenda copyright trolling activities (if you haven’t been playing along, Prenda set up their own honeypots with their own films –which they pretended were some other company’s, filed bogus CFAA charges to try to get IP addresses, demanded cash from people to drop lawsuits, lied in court multiple times and more…). Then, in December, the two main players: John Steele and Hansmeier were finally indicted and arrested. Then, just a couple weeks ago, Steele took a guilty plea, making it clear he’s thrown Hansmeier under the bus and will testify against him (given the history of Steele throwing many others under rapidly approaching buses, this is no surprise).

        [...]

        Ouch. The document below, in which Hansmeier reveals the bankruptcy fraud investigation, is actually part of his effort to have the bankruptcy court to hold off on these proceedings while all this other stuff gets taken care of. But, even if he weren’t facing criminal charges where his partner in crime has already admitted everything and agreed to testify against him, and even if he weren’t also facing separate investigations over bankruptcy fraud and ADA trolling, it appears that Hansmeier’s bankruptcy case is getting even worse than it was before. This is beyond big leagues. This is beyond the All-Star game. This is truly Hall of Fame material.

      • Google Gets More WordPress.com Takedown Requests Than WordPress Itself

        WordPress has published new data on the number of piracy takedown notices the company receives. Of all the DMCA requests copyright holders sent, roughly 40% were rejected due to inaccuracies or abuse. Most interesting, perhaps, is that Google processes more WordPress.com takedowns than WordPress itself.

      • EU High Court Ruling’s Implications For Content Streaming In Europe And Worldwide

        A recent Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling relating to TV internet broadcasts from the UK underscores tight restrictions in place for content streaming in the European Union (EU), legal scholars say.

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