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09.23.17

Links 23/9/2017: Mesa 17.1.10 RC, Samba 4.7.0, KStars 2.8.4

Posted in News Roundup at 5:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Roughing it, with Linux

    I have been traveling for about two weeks now, spending 10 days camping in Iceland and now a few days on the ferry to get back. For this trip I brought along my Samsung N150 Plus (a very old netbook), loaded with openSUSE Linux 42.3.

  • Server

    • Finding the Mainframers of the Future Through Open Source Ecosystem Development

      Speak the word “mainframe” to many millennial techies, and the first things that likely come to mind are in the form of grainy sepia photos of floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall computers with big spinning tapes. But that’s far from the reality of the modern mainframe.

      Imagine instead up to 240 10-core, 5.2ghz processors, 32TB of RAIM (redundant array of independent memory), hardware-based encryption, and fully hot-swappable hardware components. Those are the specs of the newly released IBM z14 – a single machine that could replace the computing resources of an average corporate data center with room to spare.

    • Hybrid datacenter is Docker’s latest open source goal

      Docker, Docker, Docker — everyone’s talking about Docker. A surprising fact is that Docker wasn’t on anyone’s roadmap in 2014, but was on everyone’s roadmap just a year later. A lot of people are calling it the most phenomenal, amazing, and speedy adoption of technology that they’ve witnessed during their careers. But this sudden rise to fame hasn’t been a lonely one. Docker has shared this amazing growth spurt with an entire ecosystem of tools and services.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Open Source Summit in Los Angeles: Day 1 in 5 Minutes

      Open Source Summit North America in Los Angeles was packed with keynotes, technical sessions, and special presentations, including a conversation with Linux creator Linus Torvalds. In case you couldn’t make it, CodePop.com’s Gregg Pollack has put together some short videos recapping highlights of the event.

    • Heterogeneous Memory Management Made It For Linux 4.14

      Heterogeneous Memory Management is the long-time work-in-progress functionality by Jerome Glisse of Red Hat for allowing a process address space to be mirrored and for system memory to be transparently used by any device process.

    • A Set Of BFQ Improvements Ready For Testing

      Recently I wrote about a BFQ regression fix that should take care of a problem spotted in our recent I/O scheduler Linux 4.13 benchmarks while now that work has yielded a set of four patches working to improve this recently-merged scheduler.

    • A different approach to kernel configuration

      The kernel’s configuration system can be challenging to deal with; Linus Torvalds recently called it “one of the worst parts of the whole project”. Thus, anything that might help users with the process of configuring a kernel build would be welcome. A talk by Junghwan Kang at the 2017 Open-Source Summit demonstrated an interesting approach, even if it’s not quite ready for prime time yet.

      Kang is working on a Debian-based, cloud-oriented distribution; he wanted to tweak the kernel configuration to minimize the size of the kernel and, especially, to reduce its attack surface by removing features that were not needed. The problem is that the kernel is huge, and there are a lot of features that are controlled by configuration options. There are over 300 feature groups and over 20,000 configuration options in current kernels. Many of these options have complicated dependencies between them, adding to the challenge of configuring them properly.

    • The first half of the 4.14 merge window

      September 8, 2017 As of this writing, just over 8,000 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline kernel repository for the 4.14 development cycle. In other words, it looks like the pace is not slowing down for this cycle either. The merge window is not yet done, but quite a few significant changes have been merged so far. Read on for a summary of the most interesting changes entering the mainline in the first half of this merge window.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 17.1.10 release candidate

        The candidate for the Mesa 17.1.10 is now available. Currently we have:
        – 41 queued
        – 0 nominated (outstanding)
        – and 5 rejected patches

        This is the last release for the 17.1 series.

      • Mesa 17.1.10 Is Being Prepped As The Final 17.1 Update

        J.A. Suarez Romero of Igalia is preparing Mesa 17.1.10 as the final point release for the Mesa 17.1 release stream.

        The release candidate is out today while Romero is planning to issue this final update to Mesa 17.1 by next week Monday, 25 September. Following that, users are encouraged to upgrade to the stable Mesa 17.2 series.

      • Running Android on a mainline graphics stack

        The Android system may be based on the Linux kernel, but its developers have famously gone their own way for many other parts of the system. That includes the graphics subsystem, which avoids user-space components like X or Wayland and has special (often binary-only) kernel drivers as well. But that picture may be about to change. As Robert Foss described in his Open Source Summit North America presentation, running Android on the mainline graphics subsystem is becoming possible and brings a number of potential benefits.
        He started the talk by addressing the question of why one might want to use mainline graphics with Android. The core of the answer was simple enough: we use open-source software because it’s better, and running mainline graphics takes us toward a fully open system. With mainline graphics, there are no proprietary blobs to deal with. That, in turn, makes it easy to run current versions of the kernel and higher-level graphics software like Mesa.

      • RADV Vulkan vs. RadeonSI OpenGL Performance With Linux 4.13 + Mesa 17.3-dev

        It’s been a few weeks since last delivering any large RADV/RadeonSI open-source AMD Linux graphics benchmark results due to being busy with testing other hardware as well as battling some regressions / stability problems within the AMDGPU DRM code and Mesa Git. But with Linux 4.13 stable and the newest Mesa 17.3-dev code, things are playing well so here are some fresh OpenGL vs. Vulkan benchmarks on three Radeon graphics cards.

      • Open-Source OpenCL Adoption Is Sadly An Issue In 2017

        While most of the talks that take place at the annual X.Org Developers’ Conference are around the exciting progress being made across the Linux graphics landscape, at XDC2017 taking place this week at Google, the open-source GPGPU / compute talk is rather the let down due to the less than desirable state of the open-source OpenCL ecosystem.

        Tom Stellard who formerly worked for AMD on their LLVM compiler stack and compute initiatives who recently joined Red Hat provided a “Current state of Open Source GPGPU” talk. It’s not too much of a surprise if you are up-to-date in your daily Phoronix reading and our close coverage of all things Linux GPU. But if you’re not a devoted reader or looking for an hour synopsis, check out his presentation embedded in this article.

      • VIA Graphics & Other Vintage GPUs Still Interest At Least One Developer In 2017

        Kevin Brace, the sole active developer left working on the OpenChrome driver stack for VIA x86 graphics, presented yesterday at XDC2017 about his work on this driver and how in the years to come he still hopes to work on other vintage GPU support.

        Brace’s work mostly covered his personal motivations, a brief history of Via Unichrome and the Linux driver options, and then his recent work on trying to get the OpenChrome DDX and DRM drivers into shape.

      • libinput and the HUION PenTablet devices

        HUION PenTablet devices are graphics tablet devices aimed at artists. These tablets tend to aim for the lower end of the market, driver support is often somewhere between meh and disappointing. The DIGImend project used to take care of them, but with that out of the picture, the bugs bubble up to userspace more often.

    • Benchmarks

      • AKiTiO Node: Testing NVIDIA eGPU Support in Ubuntu 17.10

        Ever since the announcement of Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 technology there has been external graphics card (eGPU) support. Unfortunately for most of last year, including with Intel’s own Skull Canyon NUC, putting this solution to use was challenging at best. Most motherboards didn’t fully support the technology and those that did typically required a system that was far more expensive. For example, the Skull Canyon NUC at release was $700, unconfigured. Adding SSDs and RAM usually bumped that up well over $1000.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Randa news, release update

        Last week, from wednesday to saturday I attended KDE’s annual Randa sprint organized by wonderful people. This was an occasion to work fulltime on Kdenlive.

      • Beautify Your KDE Plasma 5 Desktop Environment with Freshly Ported Adapta Theme

        Good morning! It’s time to beautify your KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment, and we have just the perfect theme for that as it looks like the popular Adapta GTK theme was recently ported to Plasma 5.

      • KDE Plasma 5.11 Desktop Will Be Coming to Kubuntu 17.10 Soon After Its Release

        KDE kicked off the development of the KDE Plasma 5.11 desktop environment a few months ago, and they’ve already published the Beta release, allowing users to get a first glimpse of what’s coming in the final release next month.

        Canonical’s Ubuntu Desktop team did a great job bringing the latest GNOME 3.26 desktop environment to the upcoming Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) operating system, and it looks like the Kubuntu team also want to rebase the official flavor on the forthcoming KDE Plasma 5.11 desktop environment.

      • Krita 3.3 Digital Painting App Promises Better HiDPI Support on Linux & Windows

        Work on the next Krita 3.x point release has started, and a first Release Candidate (RC) milestone of the upcoming Krita 3.3 version is now ready for public testing, giving us a glimpse of what’s coming in the new release.

        In the release announcement, Krita devs reveal the fact that they were forced to bump the version number from 3.2.x to 3.3.x because the upcoming Krita 3.3 release will be introducing some important changes for Windows platforms, such as support for the Windows 8 event API, thus supporting the n-trig pen in Surface laptops.

      • Randa-progress post-hoc

        So, back in Randa I was splitting my energies and attentions in many pieces. Some attention went to making pancakes and running the kitchen in the morning — which is stuff I take credit for, but it is really Grace, and Scarlett, and Thomas who did the heavy lifting, and Christian and Mario who make sure the whole thing can happen. And the attendees of the Randa meeting who pitch in for the dishes after lunch and dinner. The Randa meetings are more like a campground than a 5-star hotel, and we work together to make the experience enjoyable. So thanks to everyone who pitched in.

        Part of a good sprint is keeping the attendees healthy and attentive — otherwise those 16-hour hacking days really get to you, in spite of the fresh Swiss air.

        [...]

        You can read more of what the attendees in Randa achieved on planet KDE (e.g. kdenlive, snappy, kmymoney, marble, kube, Plasma mobile, kdepim, and kwin). I’d like to give a special shout out to Manuel, who taught me one gesture in Italian Sign Langauage — which is different from American or Dutch Sign Language, reminding me that there’s localization everywhere.

      • The Evolution of Plasma Mobile

        Back around 2006, when the Plasma project was started by Aaron Seigo and a group of brave hackers (among which, yours truly) we wanted to create a user interface that is future-proof. We didn’t want to create something that would only run on desktop devices (or laptops), but a code-base that grows with us into whatever the future would bring. Mobile devices were already getting more powerful, but would usually run entirely different software than desktop devices. We wondered why. The Linux kernel served as a wonderful example. Linux runs on a wide range of devices, from super computers to embedded systems, you would set it up for the target system and it would run largely without code changes. Linux architecture is in fact convergent. Could we do something similar at the user interface level?

      • KStars 2.8.4 aka Juli is released!

        Less than two weeks after the release of KStars 2.8.3 comes another minor bugfix release. Download KStars 2.8.4 for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Visual revamp of GNOME To Do

        I’m a fan of productivity. It is not a coincidence that I’m the maintainer of Calendar and To Do. And even though I’m not a power user, I’m a heavy user of productivity applications.

        For some time now, I’m finding the overall experience of GNOME To Do clumsy and far from ideal. Recently, I received a thank you email from a fellow user, and I asked they what they think that could be improved.

        It was not a surprise when they said To Do’s interface is clumsy too.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Endless OS 3.2 Review – The Offline Distro

        Endless OS is a free, easy-to-use operating system preloaded with over 100 apps, making it useful from the moment you turn it on. Endless takes Linux to a whole different dimension. It is intuitive and quite different. The developers have come out with a distro that targets mainly developing countries and also computers with no or limited internet access. So even without internet, you will have access to stuff like Wikipedia. The aim is to provide an operating system that comes with everything you will need. Intrigued? Let us take a look at what makes Endless OS different, intuitive, and so powerful in its own right. Endless OS uses OSTree to manage a read-only file system and uses Flatpaks for application delivery and updates.

    • Arch Family

      • Manjaro Linux Discontinues 32-bit Support

        You might already know that I love Manjaro Linux. And as an ardent Manjaro Linux fan, I have a bad news for you.

        Recently, Philip, the lead developer of Manjaro Linux, announced that the project would be dropping support for the 32-bit architecture. He said that the reason for the move was “due to the decreasing popularity of i686 among the developers and the community”.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat pledges patent protection for 99 per cent of FOSS-ware [Ed: And when Red Hat gets taken over (like Sun and Oracle) this promise will be worthless]

        Red Hat says it has amassed over 2,000 patents and won’t enforce them if the technologies they describe are used in properly-licensed open source software.

        The company’s made more or less the same offer since the year 2002, when it first made a “Patent Promise” in order to “to discourage patent aggression in free and open source software.” In 2002 the company didn’t own many patents and claimed its non-enforcement promise covered per cent of open source software.

        The Promise was revised in order to reflect the company’s growing patent trove and to spruce up the language it uses to make it more relevant.

        The revised promise “applies to all software meeting the free software or open source definitions of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) or the Open Source Initiative (OSI)”. That verbiage translates into any software licensed on terms the OSI approves on this list, or which meet the Initiative’s definition of open source offered here. Licenses listed by the Free Software Foundation as a free software license at https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#SoftwareLicenses also come under the Promise’s purview, as do those here as of the date this edition of Our Promise is published.

      • Red Hat Open Source Day rewards with proprietary hardware. For the fourth time

        The above is an excerpt of the 2017 event announcement. Which, as you can see below, will be at least the fourth consecutive one in which Red Hat Italia will award participants with some of the most proprietary devices around. Please note the absence of anything like, e.g. Matchstick, “100% Linux compatible laptop, with Linux preinstalled”, or a Fairphone, in the screenshots…

      • Red Hat’s automation solution spreading among APAC enterprises

        Red Hat recently shared revealed its agentless automation platform is spreading among enterprises in APAC countries like Australia, China, India and Singapore.

        The company asserts its Ansible Tower helps enterprises cut through the complexities of modern IT environments with powerful automation capabilities that improve productivity and reduce downtime.

        “Today’s business demands can mean even greater complexity for many organisations. Such dynamic environments can necessitate a new approach to automation that can improve speed, scale and stability across IT environments,” says head of APAC office of technology at Red Hat, Frank Feldmann.

      • Red Hat broadens patent pledge to most open-source software

        Red Hat, the world’s biggest open source company, has expanded its commitment on patents, which had originally been not to enforce its patents against free and open source software.

      • Red Hat expands Patent Promise

        Open-source software provider Red Hat has revised its Patent Promise, which was initially intended to discourage patent aggression against free and open-source software.

        The expanded version of the defensive patent aggregation scheme extends the zone of non-enforcement to all of Red Hat’s patents and all software under “well-recognised” open-source licenses.

        In its original Patent Promise in 2002, Red Hat said software patents are “inconsistent with open-source and free software”.

      • Red Hat Enlarges Its Open Source Patent Promise Umbrella

        Red Hat on Thursday announced major enhancements to the Patent Promise it first published 15 years ago, with the intention of providing new protections to innovation in the open source community. In its 2002 Patent Promise, Red Hat vowed not to pursue patent infringement actions against parties that used its covered Free and Open Source Software, or FOSS, subject to certain limitations. The current Patent Promise reaffirms the 2002 pledge and extends the zone of non-enforcement.

      • Red Hat breaks new ground with open source Patent Promise

        Red Hat has decided to revise its 2002 Patent Promise that originally signalled the company’s intention not to enforce its patents against free and open source software.

        The company, which is famed for its open source approach, had laid out in its original promise that it was designed to discourage patent aggression against free and open source software. The updated version not only reaffirms this but “extends the zone of non-enforcement.”

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 27 Beta Hit By A Second Delay

          Last week it was decided to delay the Fedora 27 beta due to bugs while this week they’ve been forced to delay the release a second time.

          The first beta delay wasn’t too bad as the F27 schedule already had a built-in “rain date”, in acknowledging Fedora’s frequent release delays. But today a second unplanned delay is pushing back F27 Beta by at least one more week. This will now also push back the Fedora 27 final release by at least one week.

        • Fedora 27 Beta status is NO-GO
        • News: The new Krita 3.3.0
        • Two Docs Workshops at Flock 2017
        • Documentation and Modularity at Flock 2017
        • Join the Magazine team

          The recent Flock conference of Fedora contributors included a Fedora Magazine workshop. Current editorial board members Ryan Lerch, Justin W. Flory, and Paul W. Frields covered how to join and get started as an author. Here are some highlights of the workshop and discussion that took place.

    • Debian Family

      • Retiring the Debian-Administration.org site

        So previously I’ve documented the setup of the Debian-Administration website, and now I’m going to retire it I’m planning how that will work.

      • Derivatives

        • Tails 3.2 Anonymous OS to Work Better on Nvidia Maxwell GPUs, Add PPPoE Support

          Tails, the amnesic incognito live system, also known as the Anonymous Live CD, will soon get a new version that promises to introduce several new features and updated components, along with an improved installer.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 17.10 “Artful Aardvark” Preview Part 6: The New Tweaks

            Artful will have a new GNOME Tweak Tool, version 3.26, which is called Tweaks now. This tool provides you capability to alter your desktop, such as moving control buttons from left to right, adjusting options, or disabling/enabling Shell extensions. Take a look to its new stuffs below.

          • You’ll Soon Be Able to Run GNOME 3.26 Apps on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS via Snaps

            Don’t know if you recall, but we told you that Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system, is working on a packaging more GNOME apps as Snaps for Ubuntu and other Snappy-enabled distros.

            Well, it turns out that they’ve been working on a Platform Snap for the recently released GNOME 3.26 desktop environment, which should allow users of the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system to run the latest apps from the GNOME 3.26 Stack as Snaps, as well as developers to package their apps as Snaps.

            “We’ve been working on a Platform Snap for GNOME 3.26 to allow you to run the latest GNOME apps on Xenial as well as making Snaps for the new apps,” reveals Will Cooke, Ubuntu Desktop Director at Canonical, in his latest weekly report. “This should be ready for testing soon and we’d appreciate some feedback.”

          • Ubuntu Desktop Weekly Update: September 22, 2017

            We’re less than a week away from Final Beta! It seems to have come round very quickly this cycle. Next week we’re at the Ubuntu Rally in New York City where we will be putting the finishing touches to the beta. In the meantime, here’s a quick rundown on what happened this week:

          • Canonical Distribution of Kubernetes: Development Summary 2017.38

            In our current sprint we’ve started testing 1.8.0 in anticipation of the upstream release at the end of this month. We’re also testing with docker 1.13.1, which will soon become the default in CDK.

          • Ubuntu Community Council 2017 election under way!

            The Ubuntu Community Council election has begun and ballots sent out to all Ubuntu Members. Voting closes September 27th at end of day UTC.

            The following candidates are standing for 7 seats on the council:

            Anis El Achèche – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/elacheche
            Leo Arias – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/elopio
            Danial Behzadi – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/danialbehzadi
            (incumbent) Marco Ceppi – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/marco-ceppi
            Aaron Honeycutt – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/AaronHoneycutt
            Walter Lapchynksi – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/wxl
            Marius Quabeck – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/marius.quabeck
            José Antonio Rey – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/jose
            Larry Tavin – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/wildmanne39
            Iulian Udrea – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/IulianUdrea
            Martin Wimpress – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MartinWimpress
            Naeil Zoueidi – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/nzoueidi

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Puppet Acquires Distelli, Boosting Its Cloud Automation Offerings

    Puppet, the open source company that markets cloud-native software management tools, has acquired startup Distelli. Based in Seattle, Distelli offers a software as a service platform used by developers to build, test, and deploy code written in any language to any server, including cloud platforms. This is an obvious good match, as both platforms enable developers to manage infrastructure and applications across the entire software delivery process to make app development quicker.

    “Today, a company’s success is predicated on how quickly and successfully it can deliver new experiences to customers through software,” Puppet’s CEO, Sanjay Mirchandani, said in a statement. “Automation makes world-class application delivery straightforward for every enterprise, not just for companies born in the cloud. Together with Distelli, we are bringing a comprehensive solution for orchestrating and automating the entire software delivery lifecycle, from infrastructure, all the way up through containers.”

  • The Meteoric Rise Of Open Source And Why Investors Should Care

    The adoption and integration of open-source technologies have rapidly usurped the closed-source incumbents, so much so that investors are pouring record amounts of money into open-source software investments.

  • Events

    • Introducing The Linux Foundation’s Open Source Networking Days

      One of my primary goals at The Linux Foundation is to foster innovation across the entire open source networking ecosystem. This involves coordinating across multiple open source projects and initiatives and identifying key areas for collaboration to create an open source networking stack.

      We are working across the entire ecosystem with industry-leading partners — from developers to service providers to vendors — to unify various open source components and create solutions that will accelerate network transformation. As part of this journey, I am pleased to introduce Open Source Networking Days (OSN Days), a series of free events that are hosted and organized by local user groups and The Linux Foundation members, with support from our projects, including DPDK, FD.io, ONAP, OpenDaylight, OPNFV, PNDA, and others.

  • Web Browsers

    • Vivaldi 1.12 Web Browser Debuts with Highly Requested Features, Improvements

      Vivaldi, the Chromium-based web browser designed with the power user in mind, has been recently updated to version 1.12, a release that introduces highly requested features and a whole lot of under-the-hood improvements.

      There are three big new features implemented in Vivaldi 1.12. The first is a built-in Image Properties feature that works when you right-click on an image on the Web, showing you a bunch of useful information, such as camera model, depth of field, ISO sensitivity, focal length, exposure, histogram, time and date, and white balance.

    • Chromium Will Soon Let You Browse the Web in VR with a Daydream View Headset

      Chromium evangelist François Beaufort posted today on his Google+ profile information regarding the VR (Virtual Reality) capabilities of the open-source web browser, which is the base of Chrome OS and Google Chrome.

      It would appear that the Chromium team is working on a set of new virtual reality features for the web browser, which means that more VR goodies are coming to popular Chromium-based web browsers like Opera, Vivaldi, and Google Chrome.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Adds Tracking Protection to Firefox for iOS, Focus Gets Multitasking

        Mozilla released on Thursday new updates for its Firefox for iOS and Firefox Focus for Android apps adding new features like tracking protection and multi-tasking, along with various other improvements.

        Firefox for iOS has been updated today to version 9.0, a release that’s available on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices running iOS 10.3 or later. It comes with support for Apple’s recently launched iOS 11 operating system, as well as tracking protection, which is enabled by default in the private browsing mode to automatically block third-party trackers in an attempt to increase browsing speed.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Document Liberation Project: New releases

      LibreOffice’s native file format is the fully standardised OpenDocument Format. This is ideal for long-term storage of data, but many of us have to work with other file formats as well, including those generated by proprietary software.

    • Coming up on 28th September: Reddit “Ask us Anything” (and a birthday)

      Thursday, 28th September 2017 will be a special day – not only is it the seventh birthday of The Document Foundation, but we will also be running an “Ask me (us) Anything” session on Reddit – specifically, the /r/linux subreddit.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

  • Public Services/Government

    • FSFE: ‘German public sector a digital laggard’

      With their lacklustre approach to free software, German public services remain behind other European member states, says the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). When asked, the current governing parties’ say they support free software, but their statements are contradicted by the lack of action, the advocacy group says.

      In early September, the FSFE published its analysis of the free software policies put forward by the main political parties on the ballot, in preparation for Germany’s parliamentary elections on 24 September. This analysis (in German) is far more detailed than an earlier report generated by the Digital-O-Mat, a web portal set up to focus on political parties’ positions on 12 digital topics.

    • New release: ISA² interoperability test bed software v1.1.0
  • Licensing/Legal

    • Cloud Native Open Source License Choices

      One of the most common questions regarding open source licensing today concerns trajectories. Specifically, what are the current directions of travel both for specific licenses as well as license types more broadly. Or put more simply, what licenses are projects using today, and how is that changing?

      We’ve examined this data several times, most recently in this January look at the state of licensing based on Black Duck’s dataset. That data suggested major growth for permissive licenses, primarily at the expense of reciprocal alternatives. The Apache and MIT licenses, for example, were up 10% and 21% respectively, while the GPL was down 27%. All of this is on a relative share basis, of course: the “drop” doesn’t reflect relicensing of existing projects, but less usage relative to its peers.

      [...]

      One such community with enough of a sample size to be relevant is the one currently forming around the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Founded in 2015 with the Kubernetes project as its first asset, the Foundation has added eleven more open source projects, all of which are licensed under the same Apache 2 license. But as a successful Foundation is only a part of the broader ecosystem, the real question is what are the licensing preferences of the Cloud Native projects and products outside of the CNCF itself.

      [...]
      Unsurprisingly, perhaps, given the influence of the CNCF itself, Apache strongly outperforms all other licenses, showing far greater relative adoption than it has in more generalized datasets such as the Black Duck survey. Overall in this dataset, approximately 64% of projects are covered by the Apache license. No other project has greater than a 12% share. The only other licenses above 10%, in fact, are the GPL at 12% and MIT at 11%. After that, the other projects are all 5% or less.

    • Facebook relicenses several projects [Ed: About time [1, 2]]

      Facebook has announced that the React, Jest, Flow, and Immutable.js projects will be moving to the MIT license. This is, of course, a somewhat delayed reaction to the controversy over the “BSD+patent” license previously applied to those projects.

    • Relicensing React, Jest, Flow, and Immutable.js

      Next week, we are going to relicense our open source projects React, Jest, Flow, and Immutable.js under the MIT license. We’re relicensing these projects because React is the foundation of a broad ecosystem of open source software for the web, and we don’t want to hold back forward progress for nontechnical reasons.

      This decision comes after several weeks of disappointment and uncertainty for our community. Although we still believe our BSD + Patents license provides some benefits to users of our projects, we acknowledge that we failed to decisively convince this community.

    • Facebook U-turn: React, other libraries freed from unloved patent license

      Faced with growing dissatisfaction about licensing requirements for some of its open-source projects, Facebook today said it will move React, Jest, Flow, and Immutable.js under the MIT license next week.

      “We’re relicensing these projects because React is the foundation of a broad ecosystem of open source software for the web, and we don’t want to hold back forward progress for nontechnical reasons,” said Facebook engineering director Adam Wolff in a blog post on Friday.

      Wolff said while Facebook continues to believe its BSD + Patents license has benefits, “we acknowledge that we failed to decisively convince this community.”

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • New Collaboration To Deliver Open-Source Submission And Peer-Review Platform

      This week, eLife and Collaborative Knowledge Foundation announced a partnership “to build a user-driven, open-source submission and peer-review platform” aimed at improving on existing industry models.

      Working together, the two organisations “hope to accelerate progress in delivering a modern, fast and user-driven system,” they said in a press release. “The project will be designed to help streamline communications between authors, editors and reviewers at all stages of the submission and review process.”

    • Open Data

      • Slovenia publishes statistics on open data portal

        As of this month, the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia is making available 3374 data collections on the country’s open data portal, making it by far the portal’s biggest contributor. The Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities comes second, with 62 datasets.

  • Programming/Development

    • Java JDK 9 Finally Reaches General Availability

      Java 9 (JDK 9) has finally reached general availability! Following setbacks, Java 9 is officially available as well as Java EE 8.

    • 10 Open Source Skills That Can Lead to Higher Pay

      Last month, The Linux Foundation and the online job board Dice released the results of a survey about open source hiring. It found that 67 percent of managers expected their hiring of open source professionals to increase more than their hiring of other types of IT workers.

      In addition, 42 percent of managers surveyed said they need to hire more open source talent because they were increasing their use of open source technologies, and 30 said open source was becoming core to their business. A vast majority — 89 percent — of hiring managers said that they were finding it difficult to find the open source talent they need to fill positions.

    • If you want to upgrade your data analysis skills, which programming language should you learn?

      For a growing number of people, data analysis is a central part of their job. Increased data availability, more powerful computing, and an emphasis on analytics-driven decision in business has made it a heyday for data science. According to a report from IBM, in 2015 there were 2.35 million openings for data analytics jobs in the US. It estimates that number will rise to 2.72 million by 2020.

      A significant share of people who crunch numbers for a living use Microsoft Excel or other spreadsheet programs like Google Sheets. Others use proprietary statistical software like SAS, Stata, or SPSS that they often first learned in school.

    • std::bind

      In digging through the ASIO C++ library examples, I came across an actual use of std::bind. Its entry in cppreference seemed like buzzword salad, so I never previously had paid it any attention.

Leftovers

  • Take a trip through music history with the Great 78 Project

    A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a link to the Great 78 Project, “a community project for the preservation, research, and discovery of 78 rpm records.” The project is supported by the Internet Archive, George Blood, and the Archive of Contemporary Music. Its purpose, first and foremost, is to convert old recordings into digital audio to preserve those historic performances for future listeners. Currently it’s working to digitize the 200,000 or so 78 rpm records it has collected, and it’s actively looking for contributions to add to its collection.

    I think this is an exciting project that should be of interest to anyone who enjoys exploring music—and especially those involved in the open community. In this article, I’ll look at a few things you may want to know about the project.

  • You Might Be Evil

    The M-Word · It’s “Monopoly” of course. If you fol­low the links above and read, the au­thors come at the tech gi­ants from ev­ery which di­rec­tion, but al­ways end­ing up bang­ing out the monopoly melody. Some­times they say “corporate concentration” or an­oth­er eu­phemis­m, be­cause be­ing anti-monopoly sounds kind of old-fashioned; and any­how, shouldn’t you be talk­ing about Com­cast or Unit­ed?

    Not any more. A lot of smart peo­ple think it’s good eco­nomic­s, good pol­i­cy, and good pol­i­tics to aim the anti-trust gun at the tech sec­tor. I’m not say­ing they’re wrong. I’m al­so not pre­dict­ing that they’ll get any trac­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the Amer­i­ca where the short-term fo­cus has to be on com­bat­ing Nazis and pussy-grabbers.

  • Science

    • Snopes and the Search for Facts in a Post-Fact World
    • Artificial intelligence pioneer calls for the breakup of Big Tech

      Yoshua Bengio, the artificial intelligence pioneer, says the centralization of wealth, power and capability in Big Tech is “dangerous for democracy” and that the companies should be broken up.

      Why it matters: Bengio is a professor at the University of Montreal and a member of the three-man “Canadian Mafia” that pioneered machine learning, the leading method used in AI. His remarks are notable because of his influence in the AI community and because he or his peers all either directly lead or consult for Big Tech’s AI programs. Says Bengio: “Concentration of wealth leads to concentration of power. That’s one reason why monopoly is dangerous. It’s dangerous for democracy.”

      The AI pioneers: Bengio consults for IBM and his colleagues Geoffrey Hinton consults for Google and Yann LeCun for Facebook. Ruslan Salakhutdinov, a protege of Hinton’s, runs Apple’s AI research effort.

    • There cannot be two kinds of medicine: EU scientists shred homeopathy, alt med

      An organization representing scientific academies throughout Europe released a statement Wednesday that squarely bashed homeopathy as nonsense and warned that the “promotion and use of homeopathic products risks significant harms.”

      The statement by the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC)—an umbrella organization representing 29 national and international scientific academies in Europe, including the Royal Society (UK) and Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences—is intended to influence policy and regulations across the European Union. The EASAC emphasized the need to “reinforce criticisms” by scientists as the markets for homeopathy in the EU and US continue to grow.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Study: Flint water killed unborn babies; many moms who drank it couldn’t get pregnant

      The city of Flint saw fewer pregnancies, and a higher number of fetal deaths, during the period women and their fetuses were exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water, according to a new research study that reviewed health records from Flint and the state.

      Fertility rates decreased by 12% among Flint women, and fetal death rates increased by 58%, after April 2014, according to research by assistant professors and health economists David Slusky at Kansas University and Daniel Grossman at West Virginia University. The pair examined vital statistics data for Flint and the rest of the state of Michigan from 2008 to 2015, zoomed down to the census-tract level.

  • Security

    • iOS 11 Muddies WiFi and Bluetooth Controls

      Turning WiFi and Bluetooth off is often viewed as a good security practice. Apple did not rationalize these changes in behavior.

    • How To Hack A Turned-Off Computer, Or Running Unsigned Code In Intel Management Engine

      Intel Management Engine is a proprietary technology that consists of a microcontroller integrated into the Platform Controller Hub (PCH) microchip with a set of built-in peripherals. The PCH carries almost all communication between the processor and external devices; therefore Intel ME has access to almost all data on the computer, and the ability to execute third-party code allows compromising the platform completely. Researchers have been long interested in such “God mode” capabilities, but recently we have seen a surge of interest in Intel ME. One of the reasons is the transition of this subsystem to a new hardware (x86) and software (modified MINIX as an operating system) architecture. The x86 platform allows researchers to bring to bear all the power of binary code analysis tools.

    • Optionsbleed: Don’t get your panties in a wad

      To be honest, this isn’t the first security concern you’ve run in to, and it isn’t the first security issue you’re vulnerable to, that will remain exploitable for quite some time, until after someone you rely on fixed the issue for you, meanwhile compromising your customers.

      [...]

      Is it a small part of the SSL public key? A small part of the web request response? A chunk of the path to the index.php? Or is it a chunk of the database password used? Nobody knows until you get enough data to analyse the results of all data. If you can’t appreciate the maths behind analysing multiple readings of 8 arbitrary bytes, choose another career. Not that I know what to do and how to do it, by the way.

    • SEC discloses hackers [sic] penetrated EDGAR, profited in trading

      Hackers [sic] made their way into the Security and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR electronic filing system last year, retrieving private data that appear to have resulted in “an illicit gain through trading,” the agency reported Wednesday.

    • US Securities and Exchange Commission confesses to hacker [sic] access
    • Zone Walking (Zone Enumeration via DNSSEC NSEC Records)

      An important capability of DNSSEC is the ability to authoritatively assert that a given domain name does NOT exist, as per Authenticated Denial of Existence in the DNS.

    • New FinFisher surveillance campaigns: Internet providers involved?

      New surveillance campaigns utilizing FinFisher, infamous spyware known also as FinSpy and sold to governments and their agencies worldwide, are in the wild. Besides featuring technical improvements, some of these variants have been using a cunning, previously-unseen infection vector with strong indicators of major internet service provider (ISP) involvement.

    • FinFisher spyware variant returns with a vengeance

      A variant of the FinFisher spyware is being spread in seven countries through legitimate applications like WhatsApp, Skype, Avast, WinRAR and VLC Player, the security company ESET says.

    • The CCleaner Malware Fiasco Targeted at Least 18 Specific Tech Firms

      Earlier this week, security firms Morphisec and Cisco revealed that CCleaner, a piece of security software distributed by Czech company Avast, had been hijacked by hackers and loaded with a backdoor that evaded the company’s security checks. It wound up installed on more than 700,000 computers. On Wednesday, researchers at Cisco’s Talos security division revealed that they’ve now analyzed the hackers’ “command-and-control” server to which those malicious versions of CCleaner connected.

    • CCleaner hacked [sic] with malware: What you need to know

      It seems that CCleaner, one of PCWorld’s recommendations for the best free software for new PCs, might not have been keeping your PC so clean after all. In an in-depth probe of the popular optimization and scrubbing software, Cisco Talos has discovered a malicious bit of code injected by hackers that could have affected more than 2 million users who downloaded the most recent update.

    • Reminder: the CIA has been able to hack your WiFi router for years
    • Antipatterns in IoT security

      Security for Internet of Things (IoT) devices is something of a hot topic over the last year or more. Marti Bolivar presented an overview of some of the antipatterns that are leading to the lack of security for these devices at a session at the 2017 Open Source Summit North America in Los Angeles. He also had some specific recommendations for IoT developers on how to think about these problems and where to turn for help in making security a part of the normal development process.

      A big portion of the talk was about antipatterns that he has seen—and even fallen prey to—in security engineering, he said. It was intended to help engineers develop more secure products on a schedule. It was not meant to be a detailed look at security technologies like cryptography, nor even a guide to what technical solutions to use. Instead, it targeted how to think about security with regard to developing IoT products.

    • Signing programs for Linux

      At his 2017 Open Source Summit North America talk, Matthew Garrett looked at the state of cryptographic signing and verification of programs for Linux. Allowing policies that would restrict Linux from executing programs that are not signed would provide a measure of security for those systems, but there is work to be done to get there. Garrett started by talking about “binaries”, but programs come in other forms (e.g. scripts) so any solution must look beyond simply binary executables.

      There are a few different reasons to sign programs. The first is to provide an indication of the provenance of a program; whoever controls the key actually did sign it at some point. So if something is signed by a Debian or Red Hat key, it is strong evidence that it came from those organizations (assuming the keys have been securely handled). A signed program might be given different privileges based on the trust you place in a particular organization, as well.

    • A Guide to Common Types of Two-Factor Authentication on the Web

      Two-factor authentication (or 2FA) is one of the biggest-bang-for-your-buck ways to improve the security of your online accounts. Luckily, it’s becoming much more common across the web. With often just a few clicks in a given account’s settings, 2FA adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts on top of your password.

      In addition to requesting something you know to log in (in this case, your password), an account protected with 2FA will also request information from something you have (usually your phone or a special USB security key). Once you put in your password, you’ll grab a code from a text or app on your phone or plug in your security key before you are allowed to log in. Some platforms call 2FA different things—Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), Two Step Verification (2SV), or Login Approvals—but no matter the name, the idea is the same: Even if someone gets your password, they won’t be able to access your accounts unless they also have your phone or security key.

      There are four main types of 2FA in common use by consumer websites, and it’s useful to know the differences. Some sites offer only one option; other sites offer a few different options. We recommend checking twofactorauth.org to find out which sites support 2FA and how, and turning on 2FA for as many of your online accounts as possible. For more visual learners, this infographic from Access Now offers additional information.

      Finally, the extra layer of protection from 2FA doesn’t mean you should use a weak password. Always make unique, strong passwords for each of your accounts, and then put 2FA on top of those for even better log-in security.

    • Security updates for Friday
    • SEC Chairman reveals financial reporting system was hacked
    • CCleaner malware outbreak is much worse than it first appeared
    • CCleaner Hack May Have Been A State-Sponsored Attack On 18 Major Tech Companies

      At the beginning of this week, reports emerged that Avast, owner of the popular CCleaner software, had been hacked. Initial investigations by security researchers at Cisco Talos discovered that the intruder not only compromised Avast’s servers, but managed to embed both a backdoor and “a multi-stage malware payload” that rode on top of the installation of CCleaner. That infected software — traditionally designed to help scrub PCs of cookies and other tracking software and malware — was subsequently distributed by Avast to 700,000 customers (initially, that number was thought to be 2.27 million).

      And while that’s all notably terrible, it appears initial reports dramatically under-stated both the scope and the damage done by the hack. Initially, news reports and statements by Avast insisted that the hackers weren’t able to “do any harm” because the second, multi-stage malware payload was never effectively delivered. But subsequent reports by both Avast and Cisco Talos researchers indicate this payload was effectively delivered — with the express goal of gaining access to the servers and networks of at least 18 technology giants, including Intel, Google, Microsoft, Akamai, Samsung, Sony, VMware, HTC, Linksys, D-Link and Cisco itself.

    • IoT botnet Linux.ProxyM turns its grubby claws to spam rather than DDoS

      An IoT botnet is making a nuisance of itself online after becoming a conduit for spam distribution.

      Linux.ProxyM has the capability to engage in email spam campaigns with marked difference to other IoT botnets, such as Mirai, that infamously offered a potent platform for running distributed-denial-of-service attacks (DDoSing). Other IoT botnets have been used as proxies to offer online anonymity.

    • Linux IoT botnet retooled to send spam email

      An IoT botnet has set its hooks in about 4,500 – 5,000 proxy devices to send spam emails which each device capable of sending 400 messages or a total of 1.8 million messages per day.

    • Mini-Heartbleed info leak bug strikes Apache, airborne malware, NSA algo U-turn, and more

      As ever, it’s been a doozy of a week for cybersecurity, or lack thereof. The Equifax saga just keeps giving, the SEC admitted it was thoroughly pwned, and Slack doesn’t bother to sign its Linux versions. We do spoil you so, Reg readers. And that was only yesterday. Here’s the rest of the week’s shenanigans we didn’t get round to.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Rouhani says Iran will strengthen its missile capabilities: state TV

      Iran will strengthen its missile capabilities and will not seek permission from any country to do so, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Friday in an address to a parade of armed forces in the capital Tehran.

      “We will increase our military power as a deterrent. We will strengthen our missile capabilities … We will not seek permission from anyone to defend our country,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast on state television.

    • ‘The World May Conclude the US Is No Longer Capable of Diplomacy’

      Americans don’t really need to be enjoined to “never forget” September 11, 2001. But what about February 5, 2003, when Colin Powell presented the UN Security Council with some blurry pictures and mistranslated intercepts he said proved that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that the US should go to war over? Today, media acknowledge that George W. Bush just wanted to invade Iraq, and concocted a scenario that would make it seem justifiable.

      Donald Trump hasn’t troubled to veil his hostile intentions toward Iran and his desire to undo the 2015 deal, in which Iran agreed to give up enriched uranium, destroy thousands of centrifuges, and allow for UN inspections, among other things, in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Some say it’s a desire to please Saudi Arabia and Israel. Some say it’s just a desire to destroy whatever Barack Obama did. But whatever the causes, undoing the deal could have major negative consequence, and not just in Iran. Here to talk about the situation is Murtaza Hussain, a journalist for The Intercept. He joins us by phone from here in town. Welcome back to CounterSpin, Murtaza Hussain.

    • The Killing of History

      One of the most hyped “events” of American television, “The Vietnam War,” has started on the PBS network. The directors are Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Acclaimed for his documentaries on the Civil War, the Great Depression and the history of jazz, Burns says of his Vietnam films, “They will inspire our country to begin to talk and think about the Vietnam War in an entirely new way.”

      In a society often bereft of historical memory and in thrall to the propaganda of its “exceptionalism,” Burns’s “entirely new” Vietnam War is presented as an “epic, historic work.” Its lavish advertising campaign promotes its biggest backer, Bank of America, which in 1971 was burned down by students in Santa Barbara, California, as a symbol of the hated war in Vietnam.

      Burns says he is grateful to “the entire Bank of America family” which “has long supported our country’s veterans.” Bank of America was a corporate prop to an invasion that killed perhaps as many as four million Vietnamese and ravaged and poisoned a once bountiful land. More than 58,000 American soldiers were killed, and around the same number are estimated to have taken their own lives.

      I watched the first episode in New York. It leaves you in no doubt of its intentions right from the start. The narrator says the war “was begun in good faith by decent people out of fateful misunderstandings, American overconfidence and Cold War misunderstandings.”

    • Civil Society Rises to Confront Disasters

      Scores of survivors have already been pulled out of the rubble of various disaster sites all over the sprawling city. The quake has taken the lives of over 230 people with thousands more injured.

      First responders and volunteers dug through the rubble of a collapsed school in the southern part of the city for children buried in the fallen books and bricks. Reuters reported early Thursday that “eleven other children were rescued from the Enrique Rebsamen School, where students are aged roughly six to 15. Twenty-one children and four adults there were killed.”

    • Trump’s Warped View of World War II

      Phew. Well, let’s kick off with the one country Trump left alone in the UN: Russia. It was Russia which bore the brunt of Hitler’s Wehrmacht; it was Russia’s destruction of Hitler’s military power that broke the Nazis; and it was Russia which – with the approval of both Churchill and Roosevelt (and later Truman, whom Trump quotes at some length) – dominated eastern Europe with a series of vicious “socialist” dictatorships for decades after the war was over. When Trump referred to “our allies” in the Second World War, he surely – though I’m not certain of this – knew that the most powerful of them in Europe was the Soviet Union.

      There’s no problem with D-Day (“the beaches of Europe”), and the landings in Italy and southern France, although they came a bit late for Stalin who’d been pleading for a Second Front for two years. Besides, the Western Allies feared that if they didn’t launch D-Day soon, then the advancing Russian army would be sunbathing on the beaches of Spain.

      But the reference to the “deserts of the Middle East” went way beyond reality. US Middle East policy after the Second World War was based on oil resources – and the propping up of dictators and kings who would ensure the flow of oil in the future – and total and uncritical support for Israel, whose occupation and theft of Palestinian land in the West Bank would have produced a froth of economic sanctions from the Trumps of this world had it been any other country.

    • Presidential Bomb Threats at the UN

      Donald Trump denounced North Korea and its president Kim Jong-un as “depraved” before the United Nations Sept. 19, saying the nation “threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of life.” Of course, North Korea can barely feed itself, and yet has to defend itself against an onslaught of Western hostility, UN sanctions, and ongoing US/South Korean war games which are rehearsals for an invasion of the North. It tests rockets and bombs to be sure, just as the US and its allies and adversaries do all year round. It’s big business.

      Trump’s claim that North Korea is threatening is preposterous since it has no deliverable nuclear weapons at all. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said last week that North Korea is no danger to the United States. In June 2016, the Institute for Science and International Security reported that Pyongyang may have between 13 and 21 warheads. The CIA, whose job it is to find hostile weapons (even where they don’t exist) says Pyongyang has at most about 21. US intelligence agencies’ combined estimates are that while it may have miniaturized a nuclear warhead, North Korea has no missile that can drop them on the United States. The Federation of American Scientists is more skeptical and estimates it has “potentially produce[d] 10-20 nuclear warheads.”

    • Trump at the UN: Nuremberg Redux

      The time for equivocation and satire where Donald Trump is concerned has passed. Indeed if the current US President’s address to the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York confirms anything, it is that satire must now give way to a sober and serious appreciation of the clear and present danger his administration poses to the world.

      When Trump arrived at the podium at the UN to deliver his address to the world leaders and diplomats in attendance, it was impossible to resist pondering how it is that a man with zero political experience, whose dysfunctional relationship with the English language you would imagine would disqualify him from political office of any kind, could possibly find himself thrust onto the world stage in command of the largest economy and military, including nuclear weapons, ever known.

      Some have attempted to posit Trump’s election to the highest political office in the United States as confirmation of the unyielding magic of the American dream, the power it has to make the seemingly impossible eminently possible, carrying with it the source of America’s promise.

      However those of us who refuse to succumb to such illusions understand Trump’s election as evidence not of America’s greatness but of its weakness and decline. To put it another way, if Obama was our Emperor Augustus, a president who managed to succeed in cloaking the snarling beast of US imperialism and hegemony with the patina of peace and stability – a Pax Americana if you will – Trump is our Nero, a leader whose departure from reality knows no bounds.

    • The Trump Administration Is Looking to Make It Easier to Kill More People in More Places

      President Trump may relax Obama-era limits on drone and special forces’ kill missions. More civilians will die.

      The Trump administration is reportedly poised to kill more people in more countries around the world, from Nigeria to the Philippines.

      According to the New York Times, the administration is considering loosening Obama administration policy on drone killings and other lethal operations in places where the United States is not at war. The changes will result in more unlawful and secret killings, alienate our allies, and make the world less safe.

      To understand what these changes would mean, it helps to remember what the Obama administration did. Soon after coming to office, President Obama began to expand and normalize what had been a Bush administration aberration: a policy of invoking war-based legal rationales to kill terrorism suspects in places where the U.S. was not at war, usually through CIA drone strikes.

      In the early years, Obama’s killing rules were largely secret, even as a range of Obama officials gave speeches claiming — but not explaining how — they were lawful, necessary, and wise. Those government claims were repeatedly undercut by the facts.

    • What Are the Rights of an American Captured Fighting for ISIS?

      The Constitution is clear. Any American fighting for ISIS should be transferred to federal court for prosecution.

      Media outlets are reporting that the U.S. military is currently detaining an American citizen captured allegedly fighting on behalf of ISIS in Syria. The Trump administration has not released the citizen’s name or location, nor has it indicated whether the suspect will face criminal charges in federal court or be subjected to continued military detention.

      But the right choice here is plain: It would be a grave error for the administration to resurrect the failed and illegal Bush-era policy of enemy combatant detentions. If, in fact, the U.S. citizen was fighting for ISIS, the surest way to safeguard both our Constitution and security is to transfer the suspect promptly to federal court to face criminal charges.

      Even without knowing all the facts, the basic legal requirements for the suspect’s treatment, rights in detention, and prosecution are clear.

    • North Korea could test hydrogen bomb over Pacific Ocean, says foreign minister

      North Korea could test a powerful nuclear weapon over the Pacific Ocean in response to US President Donald Trump’s threats of military action, the country’s foreign minister has warned.
      Ri Yong Ho spoke to reporters in New York shortly after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made an unprecedented televised statement, accusing Trump of being “mentally deranged.”

    • Trump And Kim Playing With Fire

      The only thing that’s different is now we have two nut-cases leading USA and North Korea. Both “leaders” are erratic and unpredictable. They inspire fear and worry rather than confidence.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Sebastian Gorka Gave A Classified “Tirade” About Radical Islam

      A couple of weeks before he was ousted as deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, Sebastian Gorka gave an explosive two-and-a-half hour speech at to the army’s special operations school, which an officer who was present characterized as a “tirade” about the war in Afghanistan, Sharia law, radical Islamic terrorism, and the Trump administration’s aggressive policies to counter and “defeat it all.”

      It was “classic Gorka,” said another U.S. Army special operations officer.

      BuzzFeed News learned about the speech, which was classified, through documents obtained in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • At 50 tons and 700 kilowatt-hours, this truck is the biggest EV in the world

      When it comes to bench-racing electric vehicles, the kilowatt-hour is king. And over in Switzerland, there’s an EV that will make Tesla’s P100Ds look positively puny. But this is no carbon-fiber hypercar, and it’s never going set any records for 0-60 times or the standing quarter. No, this is an altogether more practical creation that’s meant to work for a living. It’s a Komatsu quarry truck that’s being modified by Kuhn Schweiz and Lithium Storage, weighing in at almost 50 tons (45 tonnes) and powered by a whopping 700kWh battery pack.

      The e-Dumper has been in the works for a couple of years now, during which time its battery capacity has grown from the original 600kWh to what is now the equivalent of seven top-of-the-line Teslas. The cells in question are nickel-manganese-cobalt, 1,440 of them in total, weighing almost 10,000lbs (4.5 tonnes). And once the team has found space in the chassis for all of that energy storage, the idea is for the e-Dumper to spend the next decade trundling between a Swiss cement quarry and the Ciments Vigier works near Biel.

    • Groups: Harvey Recovery Must Serve Vulnerable Victims, Not Corporate Polluters

      Prompted in part by the appointment of former Shell CEO Marvin Odum to lead Texas recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a coalition of over 130 organizations released a joint statement directed at elected officials in Texas and Louisiana on Thursday demanding that hurricane relief funds be delivered to communities in need, not to big polluters—”the same corporate actors that caused or contributed to many of these problems in the first place.”

    • How Exxon Mobil May Soon Have Greater Sway Over Science Used in EPA Policies

      Exxon Mobil may soon have a greater hand in shaping the science used to develop major environmental regulations.

      The published list of potential names for the Science Advisory Board and the EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee includes many industry representatives and consultants. The panels are typically composed primarily of independent academics and researchers charged with reviewing agency science and advising the Environmental Protection Agency on major policy decisions.

      While industry has always had a voice on those panels, comments from the Trump administration and the potential new appointees suggest the balance may soon change in favor of greater power for regulated companies, particularly the oil and gas industries.

      The long list of potential new advisory board members includes officials from Exxon Mobil, Phillips 66, Alcoa, Noble Energy, Total, and the American Chemistry Council, a lobbying group for the chemical industry. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will make the final determination to select the members of the panels.

    • Florida Utilities Lobbied To Make It Illegal For Solar Users To Use Panels In Wake Of Hurricanes, Outages

      You may have noticed that the shift to solar is happening whether traditional utilities like it or not, and attempting to stop solar’s forward momentum is akin to believing you can thwart the Mississippi with a fork and a few copies of Mad Magazine. Said futility clearly hasn’t discouraged Florida utilities, who have gone to numerous, highly-creative lengths to try and hinder or curtail solar use. When last we checked in with legacy Florida utilities, they were busy using entirely fake consumer groups to push a law that professed to help the solar industry while actually undermining it.

      Fortunately Florida consumers ultimately saw through this effort, though this was just one of a steady stream of similar bills aimed at stalling progress. Many Florida Power and Light customers obviously lost power in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, despite promises by the company that endless rate hikes would help harden the utilities’ lines. But customers thinking they could use the solar panels on their roofs to help keep themselves afloat until traditional power was restored were in for a rude awakening.

    • Oil companies sued to pay for cost of rising sea levels, climate change

      At least five California municipalities are suing five major oil companies, claiming in public nuisance lawsuits that the firms should pay for the infrastructure costs associated with rising sea levels due to climate change.

      The latest suits announced Wednesday by Oakland and San Francisco name BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell. The cities claim the oil companies knew of the dangers of fossil-fuel-driven climate change but kept mum. The cities claim that global warming, which they say has melted ice sheets and heated sea water, has contributed to rising seas by about eight inches in California over the past decade. They say it could rise 10 feet by the year 2100.

      “The bill has come due,” San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said. “It’s time for these companies to take responsibility.”

  • Finance

    • Uber really doesn’t want its drivers to be considered employees

      A three-judge panel at the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals appeared to lean in favor of Uber in a case that could have a profound impact on the future of employment and gig economy startups.

      On Wednesday, the court heard a consolidated appeal of 11 pending cases that essentially boil down to the same issue: should drivers be considered employees? If so, can they sue as part of a class-action lawsuit? If Uber prevails, drivers will be considered contractors—and they won’t, as is currently the case, receive numerous benefits.

    • London regulator announces Uber ban

      London’s taxi regulator is revoking Uber’s license to operate in the city, the agency announced on its Twitter feed on Friday morning. “Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility,” Transport for London wrote.

      The agency cited Uber’s “approach to reporting serious criminal offenses” as one problem with the company’s conduct. It also pointed to Greyball, a controversial software program Uber allegedly used to mislead regulators about the locations of its cars, making it more difficult for regulators to ticket Uber vehicles.

      Uber’s license expires on September 30. However, it has 21 days to appeal the agency’s ruling, and it can continue operating in the city during the appeal process.

      London’s Licensed Taxi Drivers Association praised the decision. “Since it first came onto our streets Uber has broken the law, exploited its drivers and refused to take responsibility for the safety of passengers,” a spokesman told the Independent.

    • Tech’s push to teach coding isn’t about kids’ success – it’s about cutting wages

      Computer science courses for children have proliferated rapidly in the past few years. A 2016 Gallup report found that 40% of American schools now offer coding classes – up from only 25% a few years ago. New York, with the largest public school system in the country, has pledged to offer computer science to all 1.1 million students by 2025. Los Angeles, with the second largest, plans to do the same by 2020. And Chicago, the fourth largest, has gone further, promising to make computer science a high school graduation requirement by 2018.

    • Theresa May’s Florentine gambit

      Theresa May arrives in Florence on Friday with the political realities of Brexit closing in around her.

      To begin negotiations on a future trade deal or even a transition period, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier must be able to advise EU leaders at the European Council summit in October that “sufficient progress” has been made on what it defines as “divorce issues,” including the so-called Brexit bill and citizens’ rights.

      Back in London, concern is building about the lack of time before the U.K. crashes out of the EU, with or without a deal, on March 29, 2019, when the two-year negotiation period allowed for under Article 50 expires.

      In a special two-and-a-half hour cabinet meeting Thursday, Chancellor Philip Hammond intervened to urge more haste. “’We need to keep the pace up’ was his message,” said one government official. Hammond believes the time has come to make a decision about what kind of relationship Britain wants with the EU post Brexit and argued the decision-making process needs to be speeded up considerably over the fall.

    • Brexit: Majority of British people believe UK should stay in the EU, finds latest poll

      British people have turned their backs on Brexit, according to a new poll released just as Theresa May prepares to give a make-or-break speech on her plans for EU withdrawal.

      The exclusive survey for The Independent by BMG Research shows a majority now believe the country should remain in the EU, after weeks in which deadlocked Brussels talks and cabinet splits exposed the sheer complexity of withdrawal.

      Ms May goes to Florence in the hope of convincing EU leaders of the “importance of negotiations making further progress” with time running out before Britain falls out of the bloc without terms.

    • The City of London: Capital of an Invisible Empire

      In July 2017 director Michael Oswald’s latest film, The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire was premiered at the Frontline Club in London. It has since had several screenings in London and public screenings can be organised from November onwards. This fascinating interview just published in Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten explores what inspired co-producers Michael Oswald and John Christensen to make a film documentary about London’s role as the world’s pre-eminent tax haven. Oswald and Christensen also talk about how London might develop once Brexit kicks in, exploring the possibility of deepening the City’s tax haven role through further tax cuts for the rich and more rolling back of financial market regulation and other social protections.

    • Uber stripped of London licence due to lack of corporate responsibility

      Uber’s application for a new licence in London has been rejected on the basis that the company is not a “fit and proper” private car hire operator.

      Uber said it planned to challenge the ruling by London’s transport authority in the courts immediately.

      The current licence expires on 30 September but Uber has 21 days to appeal and can continue to operate until that process expires.

    • WTO Market Access Committee Debates China, India Restrictions On IT, Russia’s GIs On Wine

      In the World Trade Organization Market Access Committee today, a range of member countries raised concern over China’s tariffs on semiconductors and India’s duties on a range of information technology products. In addition, the European Union raised concern over uneven application of lower tariffs for geographically indicated wines, favouring local producers.

      According to a Geneva trade official, at the 22 September meeting, six WTO members expressed concern over tariff increases by China that took effect at the start of the year, arguing that they violate China’s commitments under the WTO Information Technology Agreement (ITA).

      Complaints came from the United States, European Union, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and Singapore. The EU said some duty rates rose from 0 percent to 3.4 percent.

    • Who Was Behind the Move to Halt Reporting Rules on Equal Pay?

      The Trump administration’s decision was reached behind closed doors, without public input or sound justification.

      In its aggressive campaign to roll back efforts advanced in recent years to close the gender wage gap, the Trump administration now is politicizing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency that was created more than 50 years ago by Congress to enforce the nation’s laws against discrimination in employment.

      On Wednesday, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the EEOC seeking records concerning the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) recent decision directing the civil rights agency to halt implementation of its new pay data collection initiative. Set to go into effect in March 2018, the initiative updated the EEO-1, a form used by the government to collect information from certain employers about the gender, race, and ethnicity of their employees by job category. The updated EEO-1 would have required these employers to also provide information about the wages they pay their employees. Separately on Wednesday, the National Women’s Law Center and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights also filed several FOIA requests with OMB about the decision to stay the new EEO-1 data collection.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The Media Has A Probability Problem

      You won’t be surprised to learn that I see a lot of similarities between hurricane forecasting and election forecasting — and between the media’s coverage of Irma and its coverage of the 2016 campaign. In recent elections, the media has often overestimated the precision of polling, cherry-picked data and portrayed elections as sure things when that conclusion very much wasn’t supported by polls or other empirical evidence.

    • Twitter Will Meet With Senate Intelligence Committee on Russia

      Twitter has confirmed it will meet with the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. The company tells WIRED that it will speak with Senators next Wednesday about the prevalence of bot accounts, as well as the widespread dissemination of fake news and misinformation, on its platform.

    • Facebook revamps political-ad rules after discovering Russian ad buys

      Two weeks ago, Facebook admitted that a “shadowy Russian company” spent $100,000 on political ads targeting US Facebook users during the 2016 election campaign. At the time, Facebook turned in information about these ad buys to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the election.

      Today, Facebook announced that it would also be turning the information over to Congressional investigators. And Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be stepping up its efforts to prevent foreign election interference in the future.

      “The integrity of our elections is fundamental to democracy around the world,” Zuckerberg said in a video posted to Facebook. “We can’t prevent all governments from all interference. But we can make it harder.”

    • Instagram accidentally advertises itself on Facebook with rape threat photo
    • Instagram uses ‘I will rape you’ post as Facebook ad in latest algorithm mishap

      When Guardian reporter Olivia Solon was sent a rape threat, she posted a screenshot on Instagram. Then the Facebook-owned company made it an ad

    • Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will end untraceable political ads
    • Islamophobic U.S. Mega-Donor Fuels German Far-Right Party With Viral Fake News

      THE RISE OF Alternative for Germany, the new far-right political party competing in the upcoming federal election, has unsettled the consensus-driven, moderate politics of postwar Germany with its rabid anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric, unabashed nationalism, and winking gestures embracing the country’s Nazi past.

      Election-watchers expected a flood of fake news and inflammatory social media aiding Alternative for Germany, known by its German initials, AfD, to come from Russia. But one of the major publishers of online content friendly to the far-right party is an American website financed in large part and lead by Jewish philanthropist Nina Rosenwald.

      Rosenwald’s site, the Gatestone Institute, publishes a steady flow of inflammatory content about the German election, focused on stoking fears about immigrants and Muslims. In one of the most recent posts, the website warns of the construction of mosques in Germany and claims that Christianity is becoming “extinct.”

      [...]

      Local German press, however, condemned the Gatestone story as false. A single house in Hamburg went into temporary trusteeship after several apartments at the home remained vacant. “Refugees did not play a role in the district’s decision,” fact-checking website Correctiv noted.

      The story was typical of Gatestone’s approach. The website’s Germany-related coverage includes story after story about migrants raping German women, claims that migrants are bringing “highly infectious diseases” to Germany, and Muslims are transforming entire German neighborhoods into “no-go zones” where local police have lost control. Many of the claims about Muslims in Europe have been debunked as false or sensationalized.

      Gatestone articles in the past have notably elevated Björn Höcke, an AfD leader who represents the party’s far-right faction. Höcke has since sparked controversy in January with a firebrand speech denouncing German guilt over its Nazi past and criticizing the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, claiming that Germans suffer from a “mentality of a totally vanquished people.”

      [...]

      Rosenwald, the president and funder of Gatestone, did not respond to a request for comment. She is the daughter of the late William Rosenwald, a famous Jewish philanthropist who used his share of the Sears, Roebuck & Co. department store fortune to settle Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi terror in Europe. Nina, however, has emerged as one of the most generous donors to campaigns against Muslim refugee in the U.S. and Europe.

    • Trump Says Frederick Douglass Is Doing An Amazing Job Making All His Friends Rich In Nambia

      With death lurking daily – either from our impending un-health care and the mountain of lies being told about it or from an understandably pissed North Korea threatening to take revenge on our “deranged” leader by setting off a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean – we’re thinking about moving to Nambia. It actually doesn’t exist – though Namibia does – but that didn’t stop the ever-well-informed Trump from praising its health care to African leaders at the U.N., painstakingly reading its name aloud twice among all the other foreign-type countries he’d clearly never heard of before.

      Cue a particularly riotous online response on the wonders of Nambia – where everyone has an Emmy and large hands, where the three to five million illegal immigrants who gave Hillary the popular vote win came from, where the climate’s between Narnia and Middle Earth, where Frederick Douglass is organizing refugees from the Bowling Green Massacre, where the government’s so broke they’re selling off letters from their name, where Trump U plans to open a campus offering a degree in Colonial Profiteering. And don’t forget their great covfefe.

      Still, Nambia was the fun part. Things got more weird and venal when Trump did his best mindless imitation of King Leopold, brutal colonizer and “Butcher of Congo” during whose reign of profit-seeking terror he killed, enslaved and cut off the hands of thousands of Africans. Trump got as far in his script as citing Africa’s “tremendous business potential” before veering disastrously off-course into one of his surreal ad-libs.

    • What We Do and Don’t Know About Facebook’s New Political Ad Transparency Initiative

      On Thursday, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced several steps to make political ads on the world’s largest social network more transparent. The changes follow Facebook’s acknowledgment earlier this month that $100,000 worth of political ads were placed during the 2016 election cycle by “inauthentic accounts” linked to Russia.

      The changes also follow ProPublica’s launch of a crowdsourcing effort earlier this month to collect political advertising from Facebook. Our goal was to ensure that political ads on Facebook, which until now have largely avoided scrutiny, receive the same level of fact-checking by journalists, advocacy groups and political opponents as do print, broadcast and radio political ads. We hope to have some results to share soon.

    • Bernie Sanders To Democrats: This Is What a Radical Foreign Policy Looks Like

      During the Democratic presidential primaries, politicians and pundits alike agreed that Sanders had a foreign policy deficit. “Foreign policy,” wrote David Ignatius, the Washington Post’s foreign affairs doyen, “is the hole in Sanders’s political doughnut.” Patrick Leahy, Sanders’s fellow senator from Vermont, was only a tad more diplomatic in an interview with the New York Times. “It’s not the subject he gravitates to, that’s fair to say,” acknowledged Leahy.

      A long-promised set piece speech on foreign policy during the campaign never came, and the Sanders campaign website lacked a foreign policy page for the first few months of his candidacy. Some of the figures identified by the senator as outside advisers on national security issues later claimed to hardly know him.

      His discomfort with the topic is palpable, but the truth is that the 76-year-old Sanders is far from a foreign policy neophyte. In the 1980s, as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, he was an outspoken critic of U.S. interventions in Latin America, becoming the highest-ranking elected U.S. official to visit Nicaragua and meet with President Daniel Ortega (which earned him the soubriquet “Sandernista”). He even went on honeymoon to the Soviet Union in 1988, as part of his effort to establish a sister city program between Burlington and Yaroslavl.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Silicon Valley Should Just Say No to Saudi

      American companies face a difficult tradeoff when dealing with government requests, but they should just say no to Saudi Arabia, which is using social media companies to do its dirty work in censoring Qatari media. Over the past few weeks, both Medium and Snap have caved to Saudi demands to geoblock journalistic content in the kingdom.

      The history of Silicon Valley companies’ compliance with requests from foreign governments is a sad one, and one that has undoubtedly led to more censorship around the world. While groups like EFF have been successful at pushing companies toward more transparency and at pushing back against domestic censorship in the United States, it seems that companies are unwilling or unable to see why protecting freedom of expression on their platforms abroad is important.

      After Yahoo’s compliance with a user data request from the Chinese government in the early 2000s resulted in the imprisonment of two Chinese citizens, the digital rights community began to pressure companies to use more scrutiny when dealing with orders from foreign governments. The early work of scholars such as Rebecca MacKinnon led to widespread awareness amongst civil society groups and the eventual creation of the Global Network Initiative, which created standards guiding companies’ compliance with foreign requests. A push from advocacy groups resulted in Google issuing its first transparency report in 2010, with other companies following the Silicon Valley giant’s lead. Today—thanks to tireless advocacy and projects like EFF’s Who Has Your Back report—dozens of companies issue their own reports.

      Transparency is vital. It helps users to understand who the censors are, and to make informed decisions about what platforms they use. But, as it turns out, transparency does not necessarily lead to less censorship.

    • Foxborough Exhibit On Media Censorship Gets Censored

      A photo exhibit at the Boyden Library about the dangers of news censorship and the threats reporters face around the world has itself been censored following a complaint.

      During September, the library played host to a photo exhibit showing posting dedicated to freedom of the press. Recently, some photos, including one that showed a beaten Ethopian journalist and another featuring an Iranian government official giving an pointed order to the media, were taken down, according to the Sun Chronicle.

    • In Foxboro, library exhibit on censorship is censored

      A publicly funded poster exhibit extolling press freedom has been removed from the Boyden Public Library following complaints over what some regarded as “graphic” and “inappropriate” content.

      Stephen Lewis, a collector and former union official, had produced the display, which consisted of more than 20 posters protesting threats to freedom or describing dangers faced by news-gatherers around the world in reporting on terrorism, war and corruption.

    • NU-Qatar Study Shows More Tolerance for Censorship of Mideast Media

      It’s well-established that trust in the U.S. media is at an all-time low, but that may be a sign that the press is doing its job.

      In the Middle East, trust in the media is twice that – 66 percent. But higher levels of trust may actually be because Middle Eastern media is less critical and less controversial, according to Everette Dennis, the dean and CEO Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Qatar).

    • Pahlaj Nihalani: India needs censorship rating between ‘U/A’ and ‘A’

      There are “two cracks” that need to be fixed in the Indian film censorship system, says controversial former chief of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Pahlaj Nihalani, who believes introducing a new rating slab could be a solution.

      During his term as CBFC chief, Nihalani faced a lot of flak for refusing certificates to films or demanding cuts and beeps. He says the problem will never get sorted until the rules of the rating system are improved.

    • British PM Wants More Internet Censorship: Delete ‘Extremist Content’ In 2 Hours
    • After Milo Accuses D.C. Coffeehouse Of Censorship, It Faces Barrage Of Harassment [Ed: Racist sexist provocateur/troll paints himself as the victim]
    • Spain and Catalonia Wrestle Over .Cat Internet Domain
    • Censorship – 1984 dot now

      Truth initiatives are a horrible idea, because they imply there is just one truth and that it should somehow be accepted blindly. What this is going to do is make smart people even more suspicious of the nonsense the media tosses at them, and the stupid people even stupider. Maybe that’s the goal?

      I do not need pseudo-liberals to be my tranquility police. I do not subscribe to arbitrary values of goodness, because such a thing does not exist. The walled-garden mentality is a horrible thing, and it’s been done before, throughout history, in countries, societies and regimes that do not resonate well with the so-called democratic process.

      The greatest human trait is curiosity. The need to learn and challenge conventions. We got where we are by fighting the established truths, by coping with the unknown and uncertain, by not accepting the reality at face value. This is just the digital version of going to the middle ages and following the party dogma or some similar nonsense. One truth to bring them all and in the stupidity bind them. In the land of idiots where the data lies.

    • Bogus Lawsuit-Slinging Rep Management Firm Sued By Pissed Consumer

      Solvera — a reputation management firm allegedly engaging in legal fraud to delist criticism — is facing multiple legal problems as a result of its highly-questionable services. In late August, the Texas Attorney General filed a complaint against the company, alleging it defrauded courts by filing bogus defamation lawsuits on behalf of possibly-unaware clients, utilizing duped lawyers with bogus statements from fake defendants.

      This sort of behavior has been uncovered in recent months through investigations by Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen and lawprof/blogger Eugene Volokh. It has also been revealed through independent research by Pissed Consumer, an obvious target of these unsavory (and illegal) reputation management tactics.

    • Comey convocation address derailed by angry protesters at Howard University

      Comey was unable to speak at first due to the disruption. After several minutes, Comey tried to begin. “I hope you’ll stay and listen to what I have to say. … I listened to you for five minutes,” he said, before pausing again.

      After several more minutes of protests, Comey launched into his prepared speech – which, ironically, was about how the rest of the world is often “too noisy” to take time to reflect, whereas Howard University represents an “island.”

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • NSA General Counsel Glenn Gerstell Remarks on Section 702 Oversight [Ed: No, they have zero oversight. A department that always says "yes" is just 'legal theatre']
    • NSA cryptography proposal rejected by allies

      Distrust of the US National Security Agency has caused experts from allied nations to reject its proposals for new cryptography standards.

      A “track record of subverting the standardisation process” has led to the intelligence agency losing much of the respect it once held, according to Dr Steven J Murdoch, a security researcher at University College London.

    • US allies accuse NSA of manipulating encryption standards

      The US National Security Agency (NSA) is in the global bad books again after allegations surfaced suggesting it was trying to manipulate international encryption standards. Reuters reports that it has seen interviews and emails from experts in countries including Germany, Japan and Israel expressing concern that the NSA has been pushing two particular encryption techniques not because they are secure, but because the agency knows how to break them.

    • NSA Tried to Push Global Encryption Standards “Because It Knew How to Break Them”

      The cybersecurity world continues to mistrust the National Security Agency of the United States. According to a latest Reuters report, an international group of cryptography experts from the country’s closest allies has forced the NSA to back down over two encryption techniques that the agency wanted to turn into global industry standards.

    • ‘Subversive’ NSA forced to back down over cyber encryption techniques

      US allies, distrustful of the NSA, have forced the agency to abandon some data encryption techniques it sought to set as the global standard, over fears the spy agency already knew how to bypass the security.

      Trust in the NSA is at an all-time low following whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations that, among other things, it had previously promoted technology it could penetrate and had plotted to manipulate international standards.

      This mistrust has manifested itself in a series of closed-door meetings, held around the world over the last three years, Reuters reports. The NSA was trying to push through two encryption techniques, Simon and Speck, that it said were needed for defensive purposes.

    • Friend Request film review: Another Facebook horror film? Yes—and it’s solid

      Friend Request is the second “Facebook horror film” to receive wide release in the past two years. That number may either seem too high or too low to you, but it’s certainly fertile pop-culture territory: young, hip kids live their lives online and die for it, mwahaha.

    • WhatsApp Reportedly Rejected UK Government Demand For Encryption Backdoor [Ed: Misleading PR stunt from Facebook. Facebook still can (and does) intercept everything. Government then asks for access. Stop telling people that things which are not secure can guard their privacy. Advice like that is doing far more harm than good. Can kill people.]
    • Nest adds new cameras and a wireless alarm system to its product suite [Ed: What kind of a fool does it take to install a CCTV for Google in one’s own home? And pay for it?]

      Alphabet-owned Nest announced several new products today, all of them focused on home security. Two new cameras have been introduced—the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor and Nest Hello—along with Nest Secure, a multi-device home alarm system powered by motion sensors.

    • Another court tells police: Want to use a stingray? Get a warrant

      The District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled that the warrantless use of a cell-site simulator violated the Constitution when a man suspected of sexual assault and robbery was located by local police.

      In a 2-1 opinion issued Thursday, the DC Court of Appeals—effectively the equivalent of a state supreme court—agreed with the lower court’s ruling that the use of the device, also known as a stingray, was unconstitutional. In addition, however, the judges went further: they found that the violation was so egregious that any evidence derived from the stingray should be excluded from the case, which overturned the conviction.

      The case, Prince Jones v. United States, joins a recent string of judgements from around the country that concluded that stingrays are a “search” under the Fourth Amendment. That means they require a warrant, barring exigent circumstances or other known exceptions.

    • Appeals Court Rules Against Warrantless Cell-site Simulator Surveillance

      Law enforcement officers in Washington, D.C. violated the Fourth Amendment when they used a cell site simulator to locate a suspect without a warrant, a D.C. appeals court ruled on Thursday. The court thus found that the resulting evidence should have been excluded from trial and overturned the defendant’s convictions.

      EFF joined the ACLU in filing an amicus brief, arguing that the use of a cell-site simulator without a warrant constituted an illegal search. We applaud the court’s decision in applying long-established Fourth Amendment principles to the digital age.

    • ISO Rejects NSA Encryption Algorithms

      The ISO has decided not to approve two NSA-designed block encryption algorithms: Speck and Simon. It’s because the NSA is not trusted to put security ahead of surveillance:

    • ISO decides not to approve two NSA encryption algorithms, citing trust issues

      The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) decided not to approve the NSA encryption algorithms Speck and Simon after expressing concerns that the NSA was able to crack the encryption techniques and would thus gain a back door into coded transmissions.

      The decision follows a three year dispute behind closed doors around the world between academic and industry experts from countries including Germany, Japan and Israel about whether or not the two data encryption techniques would be set as global encryption standards, according to Reuters.

    • This Former GCHQ Head Took A Private Sector Role Without Asking For Government Approval – And Got Away With It

      A former head of the UK spy agency GCHQ has been criticised by the panel that advises on new jobs for former ministers and senior civil servants for taking a new role without seeking its permission – but was then immediately approved for a second role.

      Robert Hannigan, who earlier this year stepped down as the director of GCHQ, has launched a consultancy company and accepted a commission as head of the European advisory board for a new US cybersecurity firm, BlueteamGlobal.

      However, he did not seek approval from the Advisory Commission for Business Appointments (Acoba) before this role was announced. The move contradicts the committee’s rules for civil servants in the first two years after they leave public service.

    • UK banks to check 70m bank accounts in search for illegal immigrants

      Banks and building societies are to carry out immigration checks on 70m current accounts from January in the biggest extension of Theresa May’s plans to create a “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants in Britain, the Guardian has learned.

      The Home Office expects to identify 6,000 visa overstayers, failed asylum seekers and foreign national offenders facing deportation in the first year of the checks, which are to be carried out quarterly.

    • I Have Nothing to Hide – Really? Here’s why privacy matters to all of us

      The statement “I have nothing to hide” is very popular. But recently reversing this statement has also become very popular: “Give me your bank account login, your email login, your Facebook login.” Most people refuse this instantly, and for a good reason: Everybody has something to hide. To convince everybody – once and for all – let’s take a deep dive into why privacy matters and how everybody can protect their private data easily.

    • Parrot mimics owner to make purchases using Amazon Echo
  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Opening the black boxes: algorithmic bias and the need for accountability

      If this position is allowed to stand, we run the risk of turning algorithms into black boxes whose results we are forced to accept, but whose workings we may not query. In particular, we won’t know what personal information has been used in the decision-making process, and thus how our privacy is being affected.

    • Norway under fire for deporting woman who was whipped in Iran

      Social media is subjecting Norway’s ultra-strict attitude with asylum seekers to public trial after an Iranian woman was deported and given 80 lashes for allegedly consuming alcohol.

      Thirty-six-year-old Leila Bayat had lived in Norway for eight years, but was expelled in March this year, separating her from her 13-year-old son. Her punishment in Iran was on Tuesday. A friend in Norway contacted her.

      “Morning, Leila, how are you?”

      “Not at all well. It’s is very, very painful. I was whipped 80 times, I can hardly talk abut it”.

      Norway’s Immigration Ministry did not believe Leila’s reasons for demanding asylum. Now she intends to take it to court, and she has allies.

    • Anti-Fascist Heroines Then and Now

      The torchlit procession and violent rally of neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan members in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month, and President Donald Trump’s repeated defense of the racist gathering, mark a turning point in modern America. Trump doubled down last week when he blamed both sides again, denouncing some anti-racist and anti-fascist protesters as “bad dudes,” a day after meeting with the Senate’s lone black Republican, Sen. Tim Scott, whom the White House called “Tom” Scott.

      To recap: Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old activist, was killed, and at least 19 more were injured, when a neo-Nazi rammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters on Aug. 12. Hate groups and white supremacists, on the rise since Barack Obama became the first African-American president, are emboldened by Trump.

      The history of resistance to fascism is worth recalling at this critical moment in U.S. politics, and also at this time of the Jewish High Holy Days, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. The stories of Anne Frank and Sophie Scholl — two young German women, one a Jew, another a Christian — should guide and inspire us in this darkening time.

    • Is the West complicit in the Rohingya crisis?

      Britain and other Western countries have provided support to the Burmese military despite repeated reports of ethnic cleansing. Steve Shaw reports.

      Over 370,000 people have fled Burma’s Rakhine State, in the west of the country, since 25 August. They cross the border to Bangladesh with accounts of atrocities, torture and death, after what appears to be the latest and most horrific case of the Rohingya minority’s persecution by the country’s military.

      It is not known how many have been killed, and as many as 10,000 homes may have been destroyed. Entire villages have been torched, food and water supplies cut off and aid agencies shut out.

    • Abu Ghraib civil lawsuit returns to federal courthouse
    • Getty photographer arrested while covering protest in St. Louis

      Getty photographer Scott Olson was arrested while covering a protest in St. Louis on September 17, 2017.

      That night, hundreds of people gathered in downtown St. Louis to protest the acquittal of Jason Stockley, a white former St. Louis police officer who in 2011 fatally shot Anthony Lamar Smith, a black man.

      Olson told the Freedom of the Press Foundation that more than a hundred St. Louis police officers converged from all sides on the intersection of Washington Street and Tucker Boulevard, where a crowd of people had gathered. He described the crowd as a mix of a few activists, some journalists and many bystanders. He said that the police ordered everyone to disperse while simultaneously cutting off their exits and then ordered everyone to lie down on the ground and started to arrest them.

    • Home Office wrongly denying people bank accounts in 10% of cases

      As many as one in 10 people refused a new account because they failed an immigration status check were wrongly denied access to Britain’s banking system because of mistakes in Home Office records, according to an official watchdog.

      An examination of Theresa May’s existing “hostile environment” measures against illegal immigrants by the chief inspector of borders also found that hundreds of driving licences had been wrongly revoked after Home Office mistakes in identifying people as remaining in Britain unlawfully.

      David Bolt, the chief inspector of borders and immigration, said – after uncovering the 10% error rate in refusing new bank accounts in his 2016 report – that the Home Office “failed to appreciate the potential impact of such wrong decisions on those affected”.

    • White people are really confident that things are getting better for black people
    • The Breakthrough: A Reporter Finds a Man Proven Innocent, But Still Guilty in Eyes of the Law

      For five days, ProPublica reporter Megan Rose hunkered down in a very small, very hot conference room in Las Vegas, surrounded by boxes brimming with legal records. She took notes and scanned documents one page at a time. The grind of investigative reporting, personified.

      But in those pages lay a big payoff: a story of murder, misadventure and injustice.

    • Dedrick Asante-Muhammad on the Widening Racial Wealth Gap

      This week on CounterSpin: Virtually every newscast will contain some item about “the economy.” It’s always been a very inexact way to talk: The economy encompasses many factors and many actors. But as a new report underscores, even if we’re just talking about people’s economic well-being, speaking in broad terms doesn’t just miss a lot, it’s anti-explanatory; it obscures more than it reveals. The report is called The Road to Zero Wealth: How the Racial Wealth Divide Is Hollowing Out America’s Middle Class. It explores why that wealth gap exists, and how we might intervene to turn it around. Because if we don’t, we are driving the country toward what authors describe in no uncertain times as a “racial and economic apartheid state.”

    • People Power Launches 50-State Voting Rights Campaign to Reenergize Our Democracy

      Freedom Cities victories show how citizens can come together and bring change to their communities.

      While Donald Trump and Kris Kobach look for ways to disenfranchise Americans, People Power is launching the Let People Vote campaign to uphold, protect, and expand the right to vote.

      We have witnessed the impact of People Power activists in the ACLU’s ongoing Freedom Cities campaign, where volunteers have advocated that their communities adopt nine “model” rules to ensure that local police aren’t used to target and discriminate against immigrant communities.

      Just look at how a group of concerned citizens can make a difference in a city like Phoenix.

    • ‘Legislators Criminalize Practices That Led to Wrongdoings Being Exposed’

      Simply put, if an industry goes after people who seek to investigate it, it’s a pretty good indication that they’re doing something they don’t want you to know. This is certainly the case with the animal agriculture industry. The term “ag-gag,” introduced by New York Times food writer Mark Bittman, describes the slew of laws introduced to target undercover investigations and whistleblowing about the industry. Because, it turns out, when people don’t just hear about but see piglets having their heads bashed against cement floors, or cows too sick to walk being picked up by forklifts, it affects how they feel—and how they act.

    • Syrian Military Police defector “Caesar” Passes Key Evidence to German Federal Prosecutor

      Thousands of photos of corpses in Syrian government detention facilities, in high definition, many containing metadata – key evidence for the ongoing investigations into human rights abuses under Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
      “Caesar-File Support Group” files criminal complaint in Germany against senior officials from the Syrian intelligence services and the military police

      On 21 September 2017, the group around the former Syrian military police employee “Caesar” took for the first legal action by filing together with ECCHR a criminal complaint with the German Federal Prosecutor in Karlsruhe against senior officials from the Syrian intelligence services and the military police concerning crimes against humanity and war crimes. A representative of the “Caesar-File Support Group” also provided the Federal Prosecutor with a set of high-resolution images and metadata. The metadata can be used to verify the photographs and provide further information about them. This adds to the evidentiary value of the images and paves the way for further investigatory steps.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Report: T-Mobile, Sprint finally figuring out this merger thing

      T-Mobile USA and Sprint are getting further along in merger talks and are “close to agreeing [to] tentative terms on a deal,” Reuters reported today, citing anonymous sources.

      A merger would join the third and fourth largest wireless carriers in the US, leaving the country with three major nationwide carriers including Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

    • Verizon Hangs Up On Tens Of Thousands Of ‘Unlimited’ Wireless Customers For Using Too Much Data

      Over the last few years, you may have noticed that Verizon is attempting a pivot from stodgy old telco to sexy new advertising juggernaut. Part of that effort has involved refusing to upgrade its lagging DSL infrastructure in countless towns and cities as it shifts its focus toward wireless and using its AOL and Yahoo acquisitions to sling videos and advertisements at Millennials. To justify its failure to upgrade its fixed-line network during this period (something it’s being sued for by cities like New York), Verizon has long proclaimed that wireless is a “good enough” replacement for fixed-line alternatives.

    • Verizon kicking people off network for using just a few gigabytes a month

      When Verizon Wireless started disconnecting rural customers for using too much data, the nation’s largest wireless carrier described them as extremely heavy data users who were costing the company money. When the disconnections began in June, Verizon told Ars the customers “are using vast amounts of data—some as much as a terabyte or more a month—outside of our network footprint.”

      But it’s now become clear that Verizon’s disconnection notices also went to people using just a few gigabytes a month. As we’ve previously reported, the affected customers are supported by Verizon’s LTE in Rural America (LRA) program, which relies on a partnership between Verizon and small rural carriers who lease Verizon spectrum in order to build their own networks.

    • Email delivery is stuck on IPv4

      One of those things that I’ve always wondered was that now that we have IPv6 in the world would it be possible to run an email server only on IPv6. Given that most service providers have IPv6 now surely they would be able to deliver email on v6?

  • DRM

    • With the World Wide Web Consortium captured by the copyright industry, who will step up to lead web development next?

      The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which used to develop standards for the Web, has been captured by the copyright industry. In a doubly controversial vote, the W3C decided that media companies and not the user should be in control, ending their longstanding commitment to openness and the Internet’s core values. The open question is what new body web developers will choose to follow for future generations of standards.

    • Boring, complex and important: the deadly mix that blew up the open web

      I spent years working to get people to pay attention to the ramifications of the effort, but was stymied by the deadly combination of an issue that was super-technical and complicated, as well as kind of boring (standards-making is a slow-moving, legalistic process).

    • Boring, complex and important: a recipe for the web’s dire future

      Standards are boring, complicated and important. Reasonable people can debate at length the optimal gauge for a railroad track or voltage for a mains socket, but in the absence of an agreement at the end, your trains will go off the rails as your kettle will burst into flames.

    • Netflix, Microsoft, and Google just quietly changed how the web works

      There is no consensus on how bad EME will actually be for users. But what’s potentially more concerning is the perception that the organization that architects the world wide web has been colonized by big business. The World Wide Web Consortium was started at MIT in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the web, in collaboration with the CERN science center in Geneva with support from DARPA and the European Commission. It has always maintained that it is a “neutral forum.” From early press releases: “The Consortium is neutral forum, and no member has a priori a greater say than another.” “The Consortium is vendor-neutral.” Now, the passage of EME is fueling the perception that the consortium is in the pocket of its large corporate members. The consortium’s press release announcing EME included laudatory statements from the MPAA, the RIAA, and the cable industry.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • What Netflix’s Congenial Trademark ‘Threat Letter’ Says About Everyone’s Tolerance For Trademark Bullying

        Readers of this site will be well-versed in trademark threat letters. With the sorts of trademark stories we cover here, our discussion about threat letters typically take the form of trademark holders going out of their way either to overstate their rights or to act as aggressive and threatening as possible. Or, of course, both of those things at the same time. But not every company goes full bully when sending out trademark cease and desist notices, as exemplified by Netflix this week, when it sent out a notice to a Chicago popup bar called The Upside Down, an obvious reference to Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things.

        [...]

        What is most interesting to me about this story isn’t Netflix’s letter itself, although it was certainly nice to see a company get this so right. More interesting was both the media’s and public’s reactions to the letter, which seems to indicate that on some level the media and general public are waking up to trademark bullying and the fact that there are other ways to handle trademark issues beyond being a jerk. While I cover trademark issues all the time, I don’t expect the everyman to have an understanding of ways to protect trademarks that goes beyond, “Company X has a trademark, so of course their lawyers sent out a threat.” The reaction to this story seems to indicate that the public is beginning to understand that enforcing trademark law doesn’t have to equal acting like a jerk. And that’s a good thing.

      • “Super classy” Netflix cease-and-desist letter shows how to boost goodwill while tackling infringement

        The letter was sent to The Upside Down, a Chicago pop-up bar themed on the popular Netflix series Stranger Things. Having opened in August with the initial intention of operating for six weeks, the venue planned to extend its lifespan until after the show’s second season premieres in October. However, it had not sought or received Netflix’s permission to use its protected branding.

    • Copyrights

      • The Soaring Cost Of Sports Programming Is Simply Not Sustainable

        One of the biggest reasons for soaring cable rates is the bloated and soaring cost of sports programming. Similarly, one of the biggest causes for the unprecedented rise in cord cutting (ditching cable and going with a streaming alternative) is the cost of sports programming. Surveys have shown that 56% of ESPN viewers would dump the channel just to save the $8 per month it costs each subscriber. Once streaming alternatives emerged for the sports-bloated traditional cable bundles that let them do just that, users began flooding to the exits at a historic rate.

        The reality is millions upon millions of customers don’t give a shit about sports, yet are forced to pay $120 or more per month for cable bundles filled with content they don’t watch, and didn’t want. And when some cable companies initially tried to offer “skinny bundles” without ESPN or other sports networks, they were sued by ESPN for trying to give consumers what they wanted. And while that has slowly started to change with the rise of live TV streaming alternatives, for traditional cable providers something in this cycle of dysfunction needs to change. Quickly.

      • European Commission spent 360,000€ on a piracy study, then buried it because they didn’t like what it said

        Estimating displacement rates of copyrighted content in the EU is a 360,000€ study commissioned by the European Commission from the Dutch consulting firm Ecorys, whose mandate was to “research the effect piracy had on sales of copyrighted content” — the report was completed in 2015, but never made public.

        That’s because the report concluded that “the results do not show robust statistical evidence of displacement of sales by online copyright infringements” with the exception of “recent top films.”

        The European Commission has gone on to institute and recommend a series of brutal, repressive systems of censorship and surveillance in the name of preventing copyright infringement, stating all along that this was necessary to preserve the arts in the EU.

      • EC DIAGNOSED WITH © ‘OSTRICH SYNDROME’: MISSING STUDY ON PIRACY

        German MEP Julia Reda (Greens/EFA) published a ‘new’ copyright study [PDF] from the European Commission (EC) titled “Estimating displacement rates of copyrighted content in the EU”.

        Yes, you’re reading the 1st paragraph correctly, an MEP published a study from the EC. If this sounds weird to you, that’s about right, and we know the feeling. So, before we dive into sharing some of the study’s findings, let’s first give you some insights on why this study is not so ‘breaking’ as one would assume, and how and why MEP Reda needed to dig it from under the sand and publish it online herself.

      • Joy, Are you Happy about This Lawsuit?

        Depending upon your mood, this case might make you happy, sad, angry, or afraid — perhaps even fill you with love.

        Daniels is known for creating the Moodsters – five anthropomorphic color-coded, gendered characters each representing a single abstract emotion that live in an world inside a child’s mind.

      • German Court: Thumbnail Images In Search Engines Not A Copyright Violation

        In a noteworthy ruling, the German Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe today decided that the use of picture search engines and the publishing of the resulting thumbnails and reference links does not violate German copyright law (I ZR 11/16 – Vorschaubilder III) . The case that had been brought by US adult content provider Perfect 10 against AOL Germany turned out favourable to Google in the end, whose picture search engine had been the tool in question.

      • German Federal Court of Justice rules that GS Media presumption of knowledge does not apply to Google Images

        Is Google responsible for the lawfulness of the images displayed through its Images search service?

        According to the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof – BGH), the answer is NO.

        In a judgment delivered yesterday (I ZR 11/16 – Preview III) the BGH relied on the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in GS Media, C-160/15 [Katposts here]and dismissed the action that the operator of a photography website had brought against Google and its search engine.

      • What the Commission found out about copyright infringement but ‘forgot’ to tell us

        The study’s conclusion: With the exception of recently released blockbusters, there is no evidence to support the idea that online copyright infringement displaces sales. While this result is not unique, but consistent with previous studies [...]

      • More concerns over the Copyright Directive: Germany questions Council Legal Service on Article 13
      • Are Cryptocurrency Miners The Future for Pirate Sites?

        Following in the footsteps of The Pirate Bay, pirate streaming link site Alluc has also added a cryptocurrency miner, hoping to generate some extra revenue through its visitors. This begs the question: Are these cryptocurrency miners the future for pirate sites?

      • Google Signs Agreement to Tackle YouTube Piracy

        Google has signed a deal with the audio-visual industry in France to more effectively target piracy on YouTube. The agreement, reached with anti-piracy outfit ALPA with government oversight, will see rightsholders gaining direct access to takedown mechanisms. Google will also provide financial support and training.

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