EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.23.17

Links 23/11/2017: Lumina and Qt Quick

Posted in News Roundup at 4:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Recommended Privacy Tools (Apps, Add-Ons, Search Engines) for Ubuntu Users

      This is an user-friendly list of tools to protect user’s internet privacy for Ubuntu users. The tools including search engine (StartPagec.com), add-ons (HTTPS Everywhere, Disconnect), and programs (DNSCrypt Proxy, OpenVPN) that are easy for beginners to install on Ubuntu. This list introduces the importance of privacy for all of you (yes, please read PrivacyTools.io) and that protecting your privacy is not difficult. This list is kept short so you can learn one by one and exercise them on many computers you have. I wish this helps you a lot!

    • From Linux to Windows 10: Why did Munich switch and why does it matter?

      Most notable is perhaps the French Gendarmerie, the country’s police force, which has switched 70,000 PCs to Gendbuntu, a custom version of the Linux-based OS Ubuntu. In the same country 15 French ministries have made the switch to using LibreOffice, as has the Dutch Ministry of Defence, while the Italian Ministry of Defence will switch more than 100,000 desktops from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice by 2020 and 25,000 PCs at hospitals in Copenhagen will move from Office to LibreOffice.

      Matthias Kirschner, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), says this list continues to grow, and that “almost every two weeks you have a new example of free software being used in a public administration”.

    • How a Linux stronghold turned back to Windows: Key dates in Munich’s LiMux project [Ed: This explains the progression of Microsoft's war on GNU/Linux, typically using proxies]

      The project is temporarily put on hold while a study investigates whether it could be derailed by software patents.

    • End of an open source era: Linux pioneer Munich confirms switch to Windows 10 [Ed: Microsoft paid (bribed) all the right people, got a Microsoft fan -- by his own admission -- in power, gifted him for this]

      Mayor Dieter Reiter said there’s never been a unified Linux landscape in the city. “We always had mixed systems and what we have here is the possibility of going over to a single system. Having two operating systems is completely uneconomic.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.15 Will Treat The HTC Vive VR Headset As “Non-Desktop”

      Currently if plugging in the HTC Vive for a virtual reality experience on Linux, the head-mounted display (HMD) is treated just as a conventional display. But now with a new set of changes for Linux 4.15, the kernel will know it’s a “non-desktop” display.

      Besides the DRM leasing support that has already landed during the Linux 4.15 merge window with the main DRM pull request, David Airlie has sent in another pull today for further benefiting SteamVR with Linux 4.15. (And among other benefits, also the AMDGPU priority scheduling landed too for 4.15 as another benefit for VR Linux gaming when using AMD graphics.)

    • Linux Foundation

      • Open Source Cloud Skills and Certification Are Key for SysAdmins

        System administrator is one of the most common positions employers are looking to fill among 53 percent of respondents to the 2017 Open Source Jobs Report. Consequently, sysadmins with skills in engineering can command higher salaries, as these positions are among the hardest to fill, the report finds.

        Sysadmins are generally responsible for installing, supporting, and maintaining servers or other computer systems, and planning for and responding to service outages and other problems.

      • How Cloud Foundry Helps Developers Embrace Flexibility While Balancing Security

        The intersection of software development, security, and operations can be difficult for some businesses to traverse. Platforms such as Cloud Foundry aim to help organizations bridge the gap, while still focusing on security.

        Snyk CEO and co-founder Guy Podjarny addressed the announcement of the architectural decisions seen by Cloud Foundry in the Cloud Foundry Container Runtime and Cloud Foundry’s continued focus on the BOSH platform in a discussion with TNS founder Alex Williams on today’s episode of The New Stack Makers.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Greenfield: An In-Browser HTML5 Wayland Compositor

        Earlier this year we covered the Westfield project as Wayland for HTML5/JavaScript by providing a Wayland protocol parser and generator for JavaScript. Now that code has morphed into Greenfield to provide a working, in-browser HTML5 Wayland compositor.

      • New Polaris Firmware Blobs Hit Linux-Firmware.Git

        Updated firmware files for the command processor (CP) on AMD Polaris graphics cards have landed in linux-firmware.git.

        These updated firmware files for Polaris GPUs are light on details besides being for the CP and from their internal 577de7b1 Git state.

      • Report: Ryzen “Raven Ridge” APU Not Using HBM2 Memory

        Instead of the Vega graphics on Raven Ridge using HBM2 memory, it appears at least for some models they are just using onboard DDR4 memory. FUDZilla is reporting today that there is just 256MB of onboard DDR4 memory being used by the new APU, at least for the Ryzen 5 APU found on the HP Envy x360 that was the first Raven APU system to market.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • How to emulate Plasma Mobile on your machine with qemu

        If you want to develop for Plasma Mobile, but you don’t have a Mobile device, it is useful to emulate a Plasma Mobile on your desktop or laptop. Earlier this was not documented and has been asked multiple times on how to achieve this.

        This blog post is intended to help install a Plasma Mobile on the qemu-x86.

      • Qt Quick Controls 2: Imagine Style

        Back in April we wrote about image-based styling for Qt Quick Controls 2. Since then, we have made good progress and nailed down some aspects that were still under consideration. We call the new style “Imagine”.

      • Are you ready for Qt Quick Controls 2.3?

        This blog post takes a brief look at some of the new features in Qt Quick Controls 2.3 released as part of Qt 5.10. See also New Features in Qt 5.10 for a more detailed list.

      • Say hello to Qt Quick Pointer Handlers

        We’ve known for several years that our multi-touch support in Qt Quick has been inadequate for many use cases. We have PinchArea, to handle two-finger scaling, rotation and dragging; and MultiPointTouchArea, which can at least be used to show some sort of interactive feedback for the touchpoints, or maybe you could write a little state machine in JavaScript to recognize some kind of gesture. As for the rest of Qt Quick though, the main problems are 1) support for mouse events came first; 2) Qt assumes there is only one mouse (the “core pointer”); 3) QMouseEvent and QTouchEvent (and a few more) have no suitable intermediate base class, so they end up being delivered independently; 4) that being hard, shortcuts were taken early on, to treat touch events as mouse events and deliver them the same way. So the result is that you cannot interact with two MouseAreas or Flickables at the same time, for example. This means you cannot press two Buttons at the same time, or drag two Sliders at the same time, if they are implemented with MouseArea.

        At first I hoped to fix that by making MouseArea and Flickable both handle touch events separately. The patches to do that were quite complex, adding a lot of duplicated logic for the full parallel delivery path: a QMouseEvent would take one path and a QTouchEvent would take another, in the hope that the interaction would work as much the same as possible. It was months of work, and at the end it mostly worked… but it was hard to keep all the existing autotests passing, and colleagues worried about it being a behavior change. MouseArea proclaims by its name that it handles mouse events, so as soon as it begins to handle touch events separately, it becomes a misnomer. Suddenly you would be able to press two Buttons or Tabs or Radio Buttons at the same time, in applications and sets of controls which weren’t designed for it. (So we tried adding a bool property to opt in, but needing to set that in every MouseArea would be ugly.) MouseArea and Flickable also need to cooperate a lot, so the changes would have to be done together to keep everything working. It was possible, but narrowly missed shipping in Qt 5.5 due to uncertainty.

      • Big thanks to KDE!

        It has been over a week now that I attended Grace Hopper Celebration India 2017 in Bangalore from 16-17 November, yet the excitement still flows in me! I attended GHCI 2017 as a KDE Developer and student attendee. Big thanks to KDE Community for funding me!

        The Grace Hopper Celebration India (GHCI) is the largest and most influential event for women pursuing technical careers in computing and technology in the country. The conference was held at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre(BIEC), a premier exhibition center in Bangalore. The place was vibrant and energetic with close to 2000+ attendees.

        The conference began early morning around 7:30 with registrations. There was a warm welcome and a presentation session followed by keynote session by Pankajam Sridevi, MD at ANZ Bengaluru. Even on the second day, the event started early and there was a keynote by Dr. Rebecca Parsons, CTO at ThoughtWorks. Both the days, the event continued till evening till 5 pm with many interesting tracks based on Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Open Source, Machine Learning and several speed-mentoring sessions.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • gThumb 3.6 GNOME Image Viewer Released with Better Wayland and HiDPI Support

        gThumb, the open-source image viewer for the GNOME desktop environment, has been updated this week to version 3.6, a new stable branch that introduces numerous new features and improvements.

        gThumb 3.6 comes with better support for the next-generation Wayland display server as the built-in video player, color profiles, and application icon received Wayland support. The video player component received a “Loop” button to allow you to loop videos, and there’s now support for HiDPI displays.

        The app also ships with a color picker, a new option to open files in full-screen, a zoom popover that offers different zoom commands and a zoom slider, support for double-click activation, faster image loading, aspect ratio filtering, and the ability to display the description of the color profile in the property view.

      • Many Broadway HTML5 Backend Improvements Land In GTK4

        Earlier today I wrote about the experimental HTML5 Wayland compositor. While that may be more like an experimental toy at this point, for those wanting to run GTK3/GTK4 applications within a web-browser, there’s the longstanding Broadway HTML5 back-end to the GTK tool-kit. Broadway received a number of significant improvements for GTK4 today.

        It’s been a while since last having anything new to report on this Broadway HTML5 back-end for GTK and even looking like it might be dropped from GTK4, but Red Hat’s Alexander Larsson today submitted a number of improvements to this back-end for streaming GTK+ programs into a web-browser via the HTML5 canvas capabilities.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Nine free and open source Microsoft Excel alternatives business-users should consider
  • 9 Excellent Open Source Configuration Management Applications

    End users at public and private sector organizations sometimes perceive IT teams a barrier to the development of the business. When the business demands new services and applications, it may take months before progress is made. Why is that? It’s too common for IT teams to spend too much time fighting fires; after all they can come from so many different sources.

    An IT team’s main responsibility is to maintain, secure, and operate an organization’s systems and networks. This, in itself, carries a huge responsibility. IT teams that maintain technology infrastructure, deploy applications, and provisioning environments with many manual tasks are inefficient. In modern environments, services are rarely deployed in isolation. Simple applications may need several services to run – such as a web server and a database. Deploying more complex systems, many services may need installing, configuring, and linked together.

    Streamlining system administration must therefore be part of an IT solution. And one of the most time-consuming activity for IT teams is the management of the business’s infrastructure. Automation minimizes manual work, reducing the risk of human mistakes, and offering the ability to quickly deploy new services and applications without risking reliability. Whether it involves container orchestration, real-time big data, deep learning, or stream processing, large software demands operations to be automated.

    Here’s where configuration management system software steps in. This software automates the configuration of machines to a particular state. Like any other tools, they are designed to solve specific problems in certain ways. The goal is to get a system from whatever state it is in, into the desired state. Configuration management software are the tools of choice for many system administrators and devops professionals.

    Cloud platforms enable teams to deploy and maintain applications serving thousands of users, and the leading open source configuration management tools offer ways to automate the various processes.

  • ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’ Easter egg in man breaks automated tests at 00:30

    The maintainer of the Linux manual program man has scrapped an “Easter egg” after it broke a user’s automatic code tests.

    On Tuesday, Unix systems administrator Jeff Schaller wrote in a Stack Exchange post: “We’ve noticed that some of our automatic tests fail when they run at 00:30 but work fine the rest of the day. They fail with the message ‘gimme gimme gimme’ in stderr, which wasn’t expected.”

  • Open source and standards – The path towards 5G and the Internet of Things

    Following the success of last year’s event, the 2nd workshop “Open Source and Standards – The Path Towards 5G and the Internet of Things”, jointly organised by NGMN and the ITU, took place on 1st November 2017 in Bellevue (Seattle), Washington, USA. The workshop was hosted by Microsoft and co-organised by the IPR Plenary of the NGMN Alliance and the International Telecommunication Union.

    Bringing together key representatives of a wide range of industry, including standards bodies, open source communities and academia, the discussions focused on how best standard-setting organisations and open source communities can capitalise upon each other’s deliverables and expertise for building a consistent and coherent 5G eco-system. With more than 100 participants, the workshop discussed how diverse stakeholders can rely on the respective strengths and development models to place a broad range of industries in a strong position to achieve the common vision for 5G and beyond.

  • Sponsored development is a win-win for users and developers

    There is a myth that simply by making a software platform open source, qualified people will give up their nights and weekends to contribute to its development. With rare exceptions, that’s not how the open source world works. Building a community of contributors takes time, and complex applications often have a steep learning curve before a developer becomes comfortable working with the code.

    Open source software companies are the fuel behind a lot of software development, forming the communities and providing the financial backing that support it. And, like any other type of business, open source software companies need to earn money to stay in business.

  • Events

    • VR Hackathon at FIXME, Lausanne (1-3 December 2017)
    • #PeruRumboGSoC2018 – Session 2

      Four more sessions are waiting for us, the effort of the participant who has finished and passed the program successfully (based on git, posts, quizzes) will be prized, thanks to the Linux Foundation scholarship and a nice black sweatshirt of the program. Best luck guys!

    • 10 things I learned about making LEGO bricks glow

      By day, Jen Krieger is chief agile architect at Red Hat, but by night she architects stunning LEGO creations, including a Parisian café she demonstrated in her All Things Open 2017 Lightning Talk, “10 Things I Learned About Making LEGO Bricks Glow.”

      Jen wanted to add lighting to her LEGO model, but in the open source maker tradition, she wanted to do it herself instead of simply ordering a pre-fab LEGO lighting kit.

  • BSD

    • Lumina 1.4 Desktop Environment Debuts with New Theme Engine and ZFS Integrations

      Lumina 1.4.0 is a major release that introduces several new core components, such as the Lumina Theme Engine to provide enhanced theming capabilities for the desktop environment and apps written in the Qt 5 application framework. The Lumina Theme Engine comes with a configuration utility and makes the previous desktop theme system obsolete, though it’s possible to migrate your current settings to the new engine.

      “The backend of this engine is a standardized theme plugin for the Qt5 toolkit, so that all Qt5 applications will now present a unified appearance (if the application does not enforce a specific appearance/theme of it’s own),” said the developer in today’s announcement. “Users of the Lumina desktop will automatically have this plugin enabled: no special action is required.”

    • Lumina 1.4 Desktop Environment Released

      The TrueOS BSD folks working on their Qt5-powered Lumina Desktop Environment have issued a new feature update of their open-source desktop.

    • Lumina Desktop 1.4.0 Released

      Lumina 1.4.0 carries a number of changes, optimisations, and feature improvements.

      Lumina is the default desktop of TrueOS, a BSD-based operating system. The desktop itself is lightweight, modular, built using Qt, and uses Fluxbox for window management.

      Although Lumina is mostly aimed at BSD users it also runs on Linux, including Fedora, Arch and — *mario coin sfx* — Ubuntu.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Am I willing to pay the price to support ethical hardware?

        The planned obsolescence is even worse with tablets and smartphones, whose components are all soldered down. The last tablet with a removable battery was the Dell Venue 11 Pro (Haswell version) announced in October 2013, but it was an expensive Windows device that cost as much as a mid-range laptop. The last Android tablet with a removable battery was the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (GT-N8000 series), released in August 2012. It is still possible to find mid-range smartphones with removable batteries. Last year the only high end phones with removable batteries were the LG G5 and V20, but even LG has given up on the idea of making phones that will last longer than 2 years once the battery starts to degrade after roughly 500 full charge and discharge cycles. Every flagship phone introduced in 2017 now has its battery sealed in the case. According to the gmsarena.com database, the number of new smartphone models with non-replaceable batteries grew from 1.9% in 2011 to 26.7% in 2014, and now to 90.3% in 2017. It is highly likely that not a single model of smartphone introduced next year will have a replaceable battery.

Leftovers

  • EU rules British cities cannot be capitals of culture

    The EU will not allow a British city to become European capital of culture in 2023 after Brexit, dashing the hopes of Dundee, Leeds and others who were preparing bids costing hundreds of thousands of pounds.

    The European commission said it would not be possible because only countries that were in the EU, the European Economic Area or in the process of becoming members were eligible for inclusion.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Turkeys Are Twice as Big as They Were in 1960

      A turkey today is not the turkey of yesteryear.

      For decades, animal breeders have been transforming the genomes of turkeys to make them grow larger. Since 1960, the weight of turkeys has gone up about a quarter of a pound each year. The average weight of a turkey has gone from 15.1 pounds in 1960 to 31.1 pounds in 2017.

    • Decades later, Vietnam vets may be silently fighting cancer-causing parasite

      A small pilot study hints that a startling number of Vietnam veterans may be infected with a liver parasite that can induce a rare type of cancer, the Associated Press reports.

      The study, conducted by the Northport VA Medical Center in New York, involved blood samples from 50 Vietnam veterans. Testing performed at Seoul National University in South Korea found that more than 20 percent of those samples were positive or borderline positive for antibodies against the parasite, a liver fluke.

      The results are preliminary and require follow-up research. It’s also unclear how the 50 blood samples were chosen. That said, the results hint that many veterans may have the cancer-inducing infection and not yet know. The study follows a report last year by the AP, which raised questions about the rate of that otherwise rare type of cancer in veterans.

    • Sir Robin Jacob calls for System 2 thinking for patent law

      Earlier this week Sir Robin Jacob delivered a thought-provoking lecture at the University of Hong Kong. The topic? Patents and medicine.

      [...]

      In short: using System 2 thinking in patent law is a matter of life and death.

  • Security

    • Key Dem calls for FTC to investigate Uber data breach

      A key Democrat is calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate a massive Uber breach that released data on 57 million people, as well as the company’s delay in reporting the cyber incident.

    • Multiple states launch probes into massive Uber breach
    • Replacing x86 firmware with Linux and Go

      The problem, Minnich said, is that Linux has lost its control of the hardware. Back in the 1990s, when many of us started working with Linux, it controlled everything in the x86 platform. But today there are at least two and a half kernels between Linux and the hardware. Those kernels are proprietary and, not surprisingly, exploit friendly. They run at a higher privilege level than Linux and can manipulate both the hardware and the operating system in various ways. Worse yet, exploits can be written into the flash of the system so that they persist and are difficult or impossible to remove—shredding the motherboard is likely the only way out.

    • Connected sex-toy allows for code-injection attacks on a robot you wrap around your genitals

      However, the links included base-64 encoded versions of the entire blowjob file, making it vulnerable to code-injection attacks. As Lewis notes, “I will leave you to ponder the consequences of having an XSS vulnerability on a page with no framebusting and preauthed connection to a robot wrapped around or inside someones genitals…”

    • Chromebook exploit earns researcher second $100k bounty

      For Google’s bug bounty accountants, lightning just struck twice.

      In September 2016, an anonymous hacker called Gzob Qq earned $100,000 (£75,000) for reporting a critical “persistent compromise” exploit of Google’s Chrome OS, used by Chromebooks.

      Twelve months on and the same researcher was wired an identical pay out for reporting – yes! – a second critical persistent compromise of Google’s Chrome OS.

      By this point you might think Google was regretting its 2014 boast that it could confidently double its maximum payout for Chrome OS hacks to $100,000 because “since we introduced the $50,000 reward, we haven’t had a successful submission.”

      More likely, it wasn’t regretting it at all because isn’t being told about nasty vulnerabilities the whole point of bug bounties?

    • Why microservices are a security issue

      And why is that? Well, for those of us with a systems security bent, the world is an interesting place at the moment. We’re seeing a growth in distributed systems, as bandwidth is cheap and latency low. Add to this the ease of deploying to the cloud, and more architects are beginning to realise that they can break up applications, not just into multiple layers, but also into multiple components within the layer. Load balancers, of course, help with this when the various components in a layer are performing the same job, but the ability to expose different services as small components has led to a growth in the design, implementation, and deployment of microservices.

    • The PC BIOS will be killed off by 2020 as Intel plans move to pure UEFI [Ed: UEFI/BIOS, as even the NSA acknowledged a few years back, is a component that can be used for remote access. For Intel to maintain worldwide dominance it isn’t unthinkable it would spread ME back doors (and more) everywhere. Digital imperialism.]
    • Security updates for (US) Thanksgiving Day
    • Uber Paid Hackers $100,000 To “Protect” 57 Million Users’ Data

      On Tuesday, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowashahi revealed in a blog post what the ride-hailing company was hiding from the public since October 2016, i.e., for almost a year. No, it’s not their dream of flying taxis.

    • Uber Hid Security Breach Impacting 57 Million People, Paid Off Hackers

      It’s no secret that Uber’s management over the years has been pretty sketchy, if not downright nefarious. At some point I may write a longer post about this, but it appears that the company culture took the idea of reasonably pushing back on bad laws (such as those that restricted competition in the taxi space) and took it to mean that it could just ignore all sorts of rules. And it appears that a company culture was created that celebrated rulebreaking in all sorts of ways — most of which were bad. The company has a new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, who comes in with a strong reputation and has indicated his intent to change the culture. On Tuesday, the company admitted that it had covered up that data on 57 million users had been leaked. While the data didn’t include credit card info or trip data, it did include drivers’ license info for 7 million drivers, and the email addresses and phone numbers of 50 million riders.

    • Uber data breach “raises huge concerns”, says UK watchdog
    • Uber data breach: Information Commissioner’s Office expresses ‘huge concern’ about cover-up
    • Uber hack: The UK’s top cyber crime and data authorities are investigating the massive data breach
    • Uber scandal: Britain’s spy chiefs begin investigating cover-up of data hack of 57 million customers
    • Uber hit with 2 lawsuits over gigantic 2016 data breach

      In the 48 hours since the explosive revelations that Uber sustained a massive data breach in 2016, two separate proposed class-action lawsuits have been filed in different federal courts across California.

      The cases allege substantial negligence on Uber’s part: plaintiffs say the company failed to keep safe the data of the affected 50 million customers and 7 million drivers. Uber reportedly paid $100,000 to delete the stolen data and keep news of the breach quiet.

      On Tuesday, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote: “None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it.”

    • Intel Releases Linux-Compatible Tool For Confirming ME Vulnerabilities [Ed: ‘Damage control’ strategy is to make it look like just a bug.]

      While Intel ME security issues have been talked about for months, confirming fears that have been present about it for years, this week Intel published the SA-00086 security advisory following their own internal review of ME/TXE/SPS components. The impact is someone could crash or cause instability issues, load and execute arbitrary code outside the visibility of the user and operating system, and other possible issues.

    • Open source’s big weak spot? Flawed libraries lurking in key apps [Ed: Linux basher Liam Tung entertains FUD firm Snyk and Microsoft because it suits the employer's agenda]
    • SSD Advisory – Linux Kernel XFRM Privilege Escalation
  • Defence/Aggression

    • Accused Nazi War Criminal Is a ‘Lifelong Republican’ Who Gave Thousands to GOP

      A Minnesota man accused of committing war crimes when he commanded a Nazi-led unit during World War II contributed thousands of dollars to the Republican National Committee, a Daily Beast review of federal campaign records found.

      Michael Karkoc is wanted for arrest in Poland after the country’s war crimes prosecutors said they are “100 percent” certain that Karkoc commanded a SS company and that there was “no doubt” that his men razed two Polish villages, killing 40 civilians. In July, Poland requested Karkoc’s extradition from the U.S. and is waiting for a decision. (The Justice Department said it does not comment on extradition requests.)

    • Iraq: Suicide Bomber Kills 23 at Marketplace in Tuz Khurmatu

      In Iraq, at least 23 people were killed and scores more injured after a suicide bomber in a truck set off a massive explosion in a crowded marketplace in the northern town of Tuz Khurmatu. There’s been no claim of responsibility for the attack, which occurred as Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on state television that his military had ended ISIS’s presence in Iraq.

    • How US Tries to Link Iran to Al Qaeda

      For many years, major U.S. institutions ranging from the Pentagon to the 9/11 Commission have been pushing the line that Iran secretly cooperated with Al Qaeda both before and after the 9/11 terror attacks. But the evidence for those claims remained either secret or sketchy, and always highly questionable.

      [...]

      There was a time when Iran did view Al Qaeda as an ally. It was during and immediately after the war of the mujahedin against Soviet troops in Afghanistan. That, of course, was the period when the CIA was backing bin Laden’s efforts as well. But after the Taliban seized power in Kabul in 1996 — and especially after Taliban troops killed 11 Iranian diplomats in Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998 — the Iranian view of Al Qaeda changed fundamentally. Since then, Iran has clearly regarded it as an extreme sectarian terrorist organization and its sworn enemy. What has not changed is the determination of the U.S. national security state and the supporters of Israel to maintain the myth of an enduring Iranian support for Al Qaeda.

  • Finance

    • Finnish regulator warns investors about dangers of Bitcoin

      The value of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin has risen by an unprecedented 700 percent this year alone. Bitcoin’s value is expected to grow even further, but some say cryptocurrencies’ bubbles could burst at any time, leaving hopeful investors out in the cold.

    • Not a fan of Black Friday sales? Try making it Buy Nothing Day
    • A report shows the Senate GOP tax bill ultimately raises taxes on 50 percent of people. That’s a problem.

      Republicans are losing the public relations battle on their tax-cut bills. While a tax bill cleared the House last week, several Senate Republicans appear skeptical of their chamber’s version. And polls show that Americans are much more opposed to the GOP’s tax effort than supportive — a fact that has to be weighing on those same wavering Senate Republicans.

      A new report should make it even more difficult for these GOP senators to get to yes.

    • Gibraltar heading for​ abrupt exit from single market, says Spain

      Gibraltar is heading for an abrupt exit from the single market without the benefit of any transition deal, according to senior Spanish government sources, who revealed that the British government had failed to offer any proposals on the future of the Rock.

      The EU shocked Downing Street in April when it effectively backed Spain in the centuries-old territorial dispute. In guidelines outlining their approach to the Brexit negotiations, the 27 member states insisted Gibraltar would be outside any future trade deal with the UK unless an agreement was reached in advance with Madrid over its future status.

    • UMich Consumer Confidence Slides In November As Faith In Stocks Falters

      Expewctations for inflation dipped. Consumers saw inflation rate in the next year at 2.5 percent after 2.4 percent the prior month. Inflation rate over next five to 10 years seen at 2.4 percent, lowest since May, after 2.5 percent in October

    • How Brexit looms over the Irish border: ‘It’s the Berlin Wall approaching us’

      Mervyn Johnston sips his tea while sizing up the pristine-looking 1957 Mini Cooper that has come in for repairs from across the border. As the UK’s historic decision to quit the EU plays out, it doesn’t take much for the softly spoken 78-year-old and five-times rally-driving champion to cast his mind back to the days when customs posts and army checkpoints brought life in the picturesque village of Pettigo to a halt.

      “We had about half a dozen incendiary bombs before the big one,” he says, tilting his chin to the other classic-cars garage across the road, now run by his son. “That blew the garage right into the river.”

      Pettigo is unique in Ireland as it is the only village divided by the border after Ireland gained independence from Britain in 1922. The river that runs beneath his workshop window places Johnston’s Protestant family in Northern Ireland and his largely Catholic neighbours on the other side of the 1820s cut-stone bridge in the republic of Ireland.

    • We gave May clear evidence of tax avoidance. Why won’t she act?

      In the three weeks since the unveiling of the Paradise Papers, the government has clung to familiar arguments. These arguments have not been to do with the Panama Papers – the forerunner investigation into tax havens and offshore empires that the Guardian published last year. Instead, the echoes have come from another remarkable, though unrelated, case: the Edward Snowden intelligence leaks.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Facebook will soon let you check if you followed and ‘liked’ Russian troll [sic] farm propaganda

      Facebook has announced the creation of a new portal that will allow users to see what dubious pages created by Russian operatives they may have followed, liked or interacted with during the 2016 US presidential election. The new tool will be available via its “Help Center” by the end of the year.

    • By year’s end, you’ll know if you liked a Kremlin-created Facebook page

      On Wednesday, Facebook announced that it would create a “portal to enable people on Facebook to learn which of the Internet Research Agency Facebook Pages or Instagram accounts they may have liked or followed between January 2015 and August 2017.”

      The Internet Research Agency (which the New York Times Magazine extensively profiled in 2014) is believed to be a pro-Kremlin troll farm that helped create false politically themed pages.

    • Don’t Let the Koch Brothers Buy ‘Time’ Magazine

      Can you imagine what it would be like to see your life’s work suddenly go down the drain? I can—right now. As a former Time editor who spent 13 years editing the magazine’s coverage of environmental issues, I am in despair over reports that Time Inc. will soon sell itself to Meredith Corp. in a deal that includes a $600 million investment from Charles and David Koch, whose Koch Industries is a big player in the oil and gas business and whose philanthropy has long funded climate denial.

    • Trump Fans Are Owning Libs by Losing All Their Friends

      The evidence of this is (of course) on social media. On Tuesday, popular pro-Trump Twitter account @Education4Libs tweeted out, “I just saved a bunch of money on Christmas presents by sharing my political views on Facebook,” a sentiment that subsequently went viral, with more than 2,700 retweets. Obviously the original post was meant to be (at least partially) satirical, but as beloved cool guy of online @RandyGDub pointed out, it precipitated thousands of replies from @Education4Libs’s fellow Trumpers, many of whom seemed gleeful that their breathless support of America’s big wet leader has alienated them from their loved ones…

    • We’ll Be Paying For Mark Halperin’s Sins For Years To Come

      The Note purported to reveal Washington’s secrets. In fact, its purpose was the exact opposite: to make the city, and US politics, appear impossible to understand. It replaced normal words with jargon. It coined the phrase “Gang of 500,” the clubby network of lobbyists, aides, pols, and hangers-on who supposedly, like the Vatican’s cardinals, secretly ran DC. That wasn’t true — power is so diffuse. But Halperin claimed he knew so much more than we did, and we began to believe it.

      Once you believe that, it’s not hard to be convinced that politics is only comprehensible, like nuclear science, to a select few. There were those chosen ones — the people who’d flattered Halperin to get a friendly mention in his newsletter, the ones he declared to be in the know — and the rest of us. Halperin wrote about Washington like it was an intriguing game, the kind that masked aristocrats played to entertain themselves at 19th-century parties: Everyone was both pawn and player, engaged in a set of arcane maneuvers to win an empty jackpot that ultimately meant nothing of true importance.

      At the same time, The Note made it seem that tiny events — a cough at a press conference, a hush-hush convo between Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell in a corridor — held apocalyptic importance. Cloaked in seriousness, with the imprimatur of Peter Jennings’ ABC News, in reality The Note was not news but simple gossip.

      Gossip: The word comes from the old English for “baptismal sponsor” — a godparent — and Halperin positioned himself as the priest who stood between the layman and the sacred mysteries of Washington, only letting a person through in exchange for the corrupting coin of accepting your own personal idiocy. It required acknowledging, like a cult initiate, that you had to learn the Master’s arcane knowledge before claiming to know anything at all.

      The Note was a cult. Between bits of knowledge in each mailer, Halperin inserted birthday wishes to his gang, cementing the impression of Washington as a place where people are much more interested in buttering each other up than they are in the lives of the kind of Americans whose names Mark Halperin did not know.

    • A President Accused of Sexual Misconduct by 16 Women Endorses a Senate Candidate Accused of Sexual Misconduct by 9

      Why is anyone surprised?

      Donald Trump finished one last bit of work as he left for a Mar-a-Lago Thanksgiving, effectively endorsing disgraced former judge Roy Moore, the Alabama GOP Senate nominee, because “we don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat.” Trump continued attacking Democrat Doug Jones: “I’ve looked at his record. It’s terrible on crime. It’s terrible on the border. It’s terrible on the military.”

      But Jones isn’t “terrible on crime.” The former US Attorney successfully prosecuted two of the men accused of the Birmingham church bombing that killed four little black girls in September 1963. It must also be observed: Moore himself is credibly accused of committing a crime, when he brought 14-year-old Leigh Corfman to his home and sexually molested her. It seems as though Corfman refused to consent to Moore’s pushing the boundaries, but it doesn’t matter: She was 14, too young to consent. Roy Moore is an accused child molester. Trump endorsed him nonetheless.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Your Kids Could be Seeing too Much Adult Content on YouTube, and It’s Cracking Down

      The streaming video service removed more than 50 user channels in the last week and stopped running ads on over 3.5 million videos since June, YouTube vice president Johanna Wright wrote in a blog post.

    • EU to end consumer ‘geoblocking’ by end of 2018

      What the new rules don’t cover, however, is shipping of those products – if the online retailer doesn’t offer international shipping, the onus is on the buyer to arrange collection of the item within the shipping terms that are offered.

    • EU agrees to end country-specific limits for online retailers

      The agreement late on Monday between the European Parliament, the EU’s 28 member states and the Commission will allow EU consumers to buy products and services online from any EU country. The agreement applies to e-commerce sites including Amazon and eBay.

    • China blocks debate about downfall of internet censor Lu Wei

      China has moved to censor discussion of its censor-in-chief’s censure, apparently fearful the country’s 750 million internet users might use his downfall to assail the Communist party’s draconian online controls.

      One week after China was re-crowned the world’s worst contravener of internet freedoms, a leaked censorship directive indicated online publishers had received orders to extinguish debate over the toppling of former internet tsar Lu Wei.

      On Tuesday it emerged that Lu, who ran China’s cyberspace administration from 2014 until last year, had fallen victim to Xi Jinping’s high-profile war on corruption.

    • China’s internet regulator denounces ex-boss facing graft probe

      China’s internet regulator has denounced its former boss, Lu Wei, who is under investigation for alleged corruption.

      The Cyberspace Administration of China said in a statement that Lu had damaged its image and jeopardised the Communist Party’s efforts to manage the internet.

      Lu, who headed the organisation for three years until June 2016, was widely seen as the public face of China’s draconian control over the internet.

      He was uncharacteristicly outspoken and straightforward among Chinese officials, according to analysts, regularly defending the ever-increasing censorship the cyberspace administration carried out on his watch.

    • European Law Claims to Protect Consumers… By Blocking the Web

      Last week the European Parliament passed a new Consumer Protection Regulation [PDF] that allows national consumer authorities to order ISPs, web hosts and domain registries to block or delete websites… all without a court order. The websites targeted are those that allegedly infringe European consumer law. But European consumer law has some perplexing provisions that have drawn ridicule, including a compulsory warning against children blowing up balloons unsupervised and a restriction on abnormally curved bananas. Because of these, the range of websites that could be censored is both vast and uncertain.

    • Apple drops hundreds of VPN apps at Beijing’s request
    • Google’s Eric Schmidt admits political censorship of search results
    • Eric Schmidt Says Google News Will ‘Engineer’ Russian Propaganda Out of the Feed
    • Moscow Slams Google’s Bid to Derank RT, Sputnik: Violation of Freedom of Speech

      Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, announced last week that the company would “engineer” algorithms that would make it harder for articles from Sputnik and RT to appear on the Google News service. The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman has commented on the announcement.

      “We would like to draw your attention to the fact that such an artificial ranking of search results is a direct censorship and violation of the fundamental principles of freedom of speech,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has stated, commenting on Google’s intention to derank Sputnik and RT.

    • Russia says Google down-ranking Sputnik, RT would be censorship

      Russia’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that moves by Alphabet Inc.’s Google to place articles from Russian news outlets Sputnik and Russia Today lower in search results would amount to censorship.

      Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, speaking on stage at an international forum last Saturday, responded to a question about Sputnik articles appearing on Google by saying the company was working to give less prominence to “those kinds of websites” as opposed to delisting them.

    • Google to ‘derank’ Russia Today and Sputnik
    • ‘Modern censorship: Google decides RT is propaganda, yet millions disagree’
    • Censorship Comes to Google
    • Google’s plan to “de-rank” Russian media equals censorship, Moscow says

      Google’s intention to “de-rank” Russian media outlets RT and Sputnik is equal to censorship, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday.

      It is a violation of freedom of speech and censorship at the technological level, she told a weekly news briefing.

      Eric Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, said last week that RT and Sputnik could be de-ranked on the popular Google News service, which ranks various media outlets depending on their reach, article length and veracity.

    • Russia Threatens To Go To War With Google Over Stupid Comments By Eric Schmidt

      To be clear: I have no doubt that RT and Sputnik have engaged in attempts to push anti-US propaganda in the US. That seems fairly obvious at this point. My concern is twofold: first of all, saying that “it’s basically RT and Sputnik” suggests Schmidt thinks that the issue is just those two sites and merely downranking them will solve problems related to propaganda. That’s both wrong and naive. Second, having the executive chair of Google’s parent company directly announce that Google is working on ways to downrank two specific sites is bad. Part of Google’s longstanding position has always been that they don’t interfere to go after specific sites, in part because that creates a massive slippery slope. Of course, Google gave up on part of that position five years ago when it caved in to Hollywood and agreed to start downranking sites based on accusations (not actual convictions) of copyright infringement.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Google Is Tracking Your Android Phone’s Location Even With Location Turned Off
    • Former ‘Economic Hit Man’ Reveals to Sputnik How CIA, NSA Conceal Activities

      In the second part of an exclusive interview with Sputnik Germany, former “economic hit man” John Perkins tells about the cooperation between his employer and American intelligence agencies, their role in the global economic system and, finally, his decision to quit and write his revealing book, “The Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.”

    • Exclusive: Years after jolting Snowden leaks, NSA battles to regain edge

      Several years after contractor Edward Snowden abruptly left the U.S. in 2013 with a trove of highly classified secrets, the National Security Agency and its counterparts in the U.S. intelligence community continue to struggle under the crushing impact of his actions.

      “It should be pretty obvious to everyone that what Snowden did was a jolt to our system. Not only did he endanger what we’ve spent years developing, but he endangered the lives of the people we try to protect,” NSA Deputy Director George C. Barnes told WTOP in an exclusive interview.

      Although Snowden revealed specific sources and methods, which may now be obsolete, the principal damage is that he provided global insight into the NSA’s thought process, Barnes said. More egregiously, Barnes added, Snowden made the agency’s secrets the stuff of dangerous global gossip.

    • Give us the right to defend the elderly and children’s privacy, say campaigners

      Campaigners asked for the right for organisations to seek redress directly, when personal data is abused, without having to seek out individual complainants.

      This could be hard when the victims are young, old, or simply not aware of the problem.

      As the Bill stands, individuals will be able to take up their own cases but in many cases that might require more time or technical knowledge than most people possess. The current system does not allow organisations, such as consumer protection agency Which?, to follow up on flaws it uncovers.

      The option for consumer organisations to be allowed to make independent complaints exists under Article 80(2) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

    • DHS Deploying Stingrays Hundreds Of Times A Year

      It’s no secret most law enforcement agencies own or have access to Stingray devices. But some deployment totals can still raise eyebrows. The Baltimore PD, for example, deployed Stingrays 4,300 times over an 8-year period — more than once per day. And it hid these behind pen register orders, so that judges, defendants, and defense lawyers had no idea exactly how the PD located suspects.

    • Vulnerability Found In Amazon Key, Again Showing How Dumber Tech Is Often The Smarter Option

      As with most things in the internet of things space, secure, smart door locks have traditionally been frequently shown to be neither. In fact, a recent study that looked at 16 different smart locks found twelve of them to be easily compromised. And again, many of these vulnerabilities were of the vanilla stupid variety, with passwords being transmitted unencrypted, letting anybody with a modicum of technical skill and a Bluetooth sniffer to pluck your front door access code out of thin air. Like most things in the IOT space, companies have been so eager to make a buck they’ve left common sense standing on the front porch.

    • NSA Internet Surveillance Under Section 702 Violates the First Amendment

      The First Amendment is too often overlooked in discussions of the National Security Agency’s vast surveillance authorities. But as Congress considers whether to reauthorize Section 702 of FISA this winter, we must remember that it’s not just our Fourth Amendment rights to privacy that are in the crosshairs, but also our First Amendment rights. These rights to anonymously speak, associate, access information, and engage in political activism are the bedrock of our democracy, and they’re endangered by the NSA’s pervasive surveillance.

      The NSA uses Section 702 to justify ongoing programs to siphon off copies of vast amounts of our communications directly from the Internet backbone as well as require system-wide searches across the information collected by major Internet companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple.

    • Federal Judge Throws Out Lawsuits Over NSA’s Bulk Collection

      A federal judge threw out two long-running lawsuits challenging the National Security Agency’s collection of phone records under a surveillance program that Congress curbed in 2015.

    • Judge who once ruled against NSA metadata program tosses lawsuit

      A federal judge in Washington, DC has dismissed two long-running lawsuits that aimed to shed light on the often secretive surveillance state. As the National Security Agency’s metadata program no longer exists, the cases are now moot.

    • Has Web Advertising Jumped The Shark?

      There are at least three major, and one so far minor, business opportunities for the bad guys in Web advertising:

      Fraud
      Malvertising
      Domain spoofing
      Cryptojacking

      They’re all enabled by the fact that, as blissex wrote in this comment, we are living:

      In an age in which every browser gifts a free-to-use, unlimited-usage, fast VM to every visited web site, and these VMs can boot and run quite responsive 3D games or Linux distributions

    • Websites Use Session-Replay Scripts to Eavesdrop on Every Keystroke and Mouse Movement
    • Data release: list of websites that have third-party “session replay” scripts

      Methodology for detecting evidence of session recording is given below

    • ‘Online censorship’: Several apps including Microsoft’s Skype disappear from app stores in China
    • Goodbye Skype. China’s internet censorship juggernaut rolls on without its former cyber tsar

      Beijing is continuing to tighten its grip on cyberspace with the removal of internet phone services, including Microsoft’s popular Skype application, from China’s app stores.

      The app’s disappearance came as the Communist Party’s watchdog announced that former internet tsar Lu Wei had been detained on suspicion of “serious violations of party discipline”, a euphemism for graft.

    • Skype Vanishes From App Stores in China, Including Apple’s

      For almost a month, Skype, the internet phone call and messaging service, has been unavailable on a number of sites where apps are downloaded in China, including Apple’s app store in the country.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Behold! The astonishing mental gymnastics of TSA apologists explaining why rich people don’t need to be screened

      Fletcher and Abbas find that, more than anything, fliers value skipping the TSA checkpoints and will do almost anything to avoid them. Given that TSA checkpoints have no nexus with safety — that they exist solely to perform a security theater dumbshow that satisfies the security syllogism (“something must be done; there, I’ve done something”), this is OK, because letting everyone skip the TSA checkpoints would have no meaningful impact on aviation safety.

    • Facebook (Still) Letting Housing Advertisers Exclude
    • Facebook Lets Advertisers Exclude Users by Race

      Imagine if, during the Jim Crow era, a newspaper offered advertisers the option of placing ads only in copies that went to white readers.

      That’s basically what Facebook is doing nowadays.

      The ubiquitous social network not only allows advertisers to target users by their interests or background, it also gives advertisers the ability to exclude specific groups it calls “Ethnic Affinities.” Ads that exclude people based on race, gender and other sensitive factors are prohibited by federal law in housing and employment.

    • St. Louis Police Are Now Under Federal Investigation for Violating Protesters’ Civil Rights

      The federal investigation centers on allegations of civil rights violations by law enforcement officers when the community expressed its outrage, pain, and grief in protests after the September acquittal of police officer Jason Stockley in the killing of Anthony Lamar Smith. Police pepper-sprayed protestors and bystanders without warning, even spraying some people in the face when they were sitting on the ground with their hands zip-tied. Officers interfered with people recording police activities in photos and on video. Police also unlawfully detained people during a kettling incident in downtown St. Louis.

    • Historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz on Thanksgiving: “It Has Never Been About Honoring Native Americans”

      As much of the United States prepares to mark Thanksgiving this weekend, many Native Americans will gather in Plymouth to commemorate the 47th National Day of Mourning. This year is dedicated to water protectors at Standing Rock and to the struggle for recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. To discuss this and more, we speak with indigenous historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. She is the author of “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States” and co-author of “All the Real Indians Died Off: And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Breitbart is too dumb to survive the net neutrality apocalypse

      What Breitbart doesn’t realize is that the weapon they fashion for Trump and his FCC will remain locked and loaded for the administrations that come next: once you erode the principle of net neutrality, then a 2018 Democratic Congress or a 2020 Democratic President could simply turn Breitbart off.

    • FCC ignored fraudulent net neutrality comments, New York attorney general says

      New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is openly calling out the Federal Communications Commission for not caring that thousands of people were submitting fraudulent comments regarding the potential repeal of net neutrality, something he compared to “identity theft on a massive scale.”

    • Senator Schatz on net neutrality: “This has to be a real political movement”
    • FCC releases final proposal to end net neutrality

      The FCC has released the final draft of its proposal to destroy net neutrality. The order removes nearly every net neutrality rule on the books — internet providers will be free to experiment with fast and slow lanes, prioritize their own traffic, and block apps and services. There’s really only one rule left here: that ISPs have to publicly disclose when they’re doing these things.

    • Reddit’s diverse subreddits in an uproar over FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposed net neutrality repeal

      American internet users are facing a dire situation: The FCC has officially started its net neutrality repeal. The FCC’s move would end strong net neutrality protections and additionally stop states from enacting their own net neutrality rules. The telecom lobby has successfully pushed for that last caveat – likely because they saw the uproar of state level internet privacy activism after their repeal of internet privacy protections earlier this year. Several states and even some cities, proposed local laws that would maintain the stricken federal protections. The new proposed destruction of net neutrality will be revealed for all to see today. Each time that net neutrality, and the financial censorship that results, has come up in the past (like with SOPA and PIPA)- the internet has banded together to defeat the challenge.

    • Seven Things You Can Do Right Now to Save the Internet

      1. Sign up to volunteer with Team Internet, a grassroots group of connected Net Neutrality supporters run by Demand Progress, Fight for the Future and Free Press Action Fund. It takes five minutes to sign up for a special volunteer text-team shift to message other open-internet supporters about the news and invite them to take action. Get texting from the comfort of your own home!

      2. Call Congress and tell your lawmakers to save Net Neutrality. We need to do all we can to get as many members of Congress as possible to speak out against FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to gut the open internet. But we’re hearing from lawmakers who are on the fence that they need to hear from more constituents in order to act on this. Make their phones ring off the hook.

      3. Attend a protest at a Verizon store near you on Dec 7. On that day — exactly a week before the FCC votes on Pai’s terrible plan — internet users will gather to highlight Verizon’s role in locking down and controlling our internet. (Did we mention Pai used to work for Verizon?)

    • An Open Letter to the FCC:

      Specifically, for six months my office has been investigating who perpetrated a massive scheme to corrupt the FCC’s notice and comment process through the misuse of enormous numbers of real New Yorkers’ and other Americans’ identities. Such conduct likely violates state law — yet the FCC has refused multiple requests for crucial evidence in its sole possession that is vital to permit that law enforcement investigation to proceed.

    • Trump’s FCC Chief Unveils Plan to End Obama-Era Net Neutrality Rules

      The attempt to repeal net neutrality has triggered protests from consumer groups and internet companies. More than 22 million comments have been filed with the FCC about whether net neutrality should be rolled back.

      The Internet Association, a group whose members include major internet companies such as Google and Amazon, vowed to continue to fight to keep the current net neutrality rules intact.

    • FCC ignored your net neutrality comment, unless you made a ‘serious’ legal argument

      Americans by and large aren’t lawyers capable of putting together cogent legal analysis of telecommunications law, and prewritten form letters were widely offered to net neutrality supporters and opponents as a way to make their voice heard by the commission. The commission is required to accept and review public input. But if you were hoping that input would make a difference in the end, the FCC is now making it very clear that most letters it received didn’t change a thing.

    • Net neutrality: why are Americans so worried about it being scrapped?

      On the other side of the battle are companies relying on the internet to connect to customers. Their fear is that in an unregulated internet, ISPs may charge customers extra to visit certain websites, demand fees from the sites themselves to be delivered at full-speed, or privilege their own services over those of competitors.

      The fear is well-founded. Outside the US, where net neutrality laws are weaker and rarely enforced, ISPs have been experimenting with the sorts of favouritism that a low-regulation environment permits.

    • WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange warns Trump that his tweets will ‘load slowly’ without ‘some’ net neutrality

      In response to another Twitter user’s comment, Assange said net neutrality rules “should be reformed and extended to prevent hyper dominant intermediaries like Google from engaging in political censorship, slowing down and re-ranking and let smaller players do whatever they like”.

    • FCC explains why public support for net neutrality won’t stop repeal

      Net neutrality rules are popular with Americans who use the Internet. When the Federal Communications Commission deliberated on possible net neutrality rules in 2014 and 2015, millions of comments poured in to support strict regulation of Internet service providers.

      Public opinion helped push the FCC to adopt rules that prevent ISPs from blocking or throttling Internet content and from charging websites or other online services for priority treatment on the network.

      Public opinion hasn’t changed much in the two-plus years that the rules have been on the books. The cable lobby surveyed registered voters this year and found that most of them continue to support bans on blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization. Multiple polls have found that net neutrality rules are popular with both Democratic and Republican voters.

    • GAME OF PHONES: HOW VERIZON IS PLAYING THE FCC AND ITS CUSTOMERS

      Tomorrow, the FCC starts deciding the future of the internet. It’s an emotional, controversial, drawn-out battle that has been building for years, pitting some of the biggest internet providers in the world against the government, American citizens, and virtually every denizen of the web.

      At issue is how (or if) the FCC will protect the internet’s openness, free of special treatment and data “fast lanes” offered to the highest bidders. And while Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, and others have been clamoring to prevent heavy regulation from being considered this week, it turns out that communications providers have actually been working the system for years, using exactly this kind of regulation to their advantage. In fact, strict FCC rules have helped Verizon build a largely unregulated network — a network that’s valued in the tens of billions of dollars.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Sci-Hub Loses Domain Names, But Remains Resilient

        While Sci-Hub is praised by thousands of researchers and academics around the world, copyright holders are doing everything in their power to wipe the site from the web.

      • Google Wipes 786 Pirate Sites From Search Results

        Google and several leading Russian search engines have completely wiped 786 ‘pirate’ sites from their search results. That’s according to telecoms watch Rozcomnadzor, which reports that the search providers delisted the sites after ISPs were ordered by a Moscow court to permanently block them.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Judge Corcoran Got His User ID/Desk Back (as ILO Asked), But Cannot Perform Actual Work

    The latest update regarding Patrick Corcoran, whose 3-year ordeal is far from over in spite of ILO's unambiguous rulings in his favour



  2. The End of Software Patents and PTAB's Role in Enforcing That End

    Software patents are fast becoming a dying breed and the appeal board (PTAB) of the USPTO accelerates this trend, irrespective of patent immunity attempts



  3. No, China Isn't Most Innovative, It's Just Granting a Lot of Low-Quality Patents

    Patent extremists are trying to make China look like a role model or a success story because China grants far too many patents, spurring an explosion in litigation



  4. Battistelli-Campinos Transition Will Be a Smooth One as the Administrative Council Remains the Same and the Boards Still Besieged

    A rather pessimistic (albeit likely realistic) expectation from tomorrow's meeting of the Administrative Council, which continues to show that no lessons were learned and no strategy will be altered to avoid doom (low-quality patents and stocks running out)



  5. Links 12/12/2017: New BlackArch ISO and Stable Kernels

    Links for the day



  6. German Media Helps Cover Up -- Not Cover -- the Latest EPO Scandal

    EPO-Handelsblatt attention diversion tricks may be effective as German media barely shows interest in one of the EPO's biggest scandals to date



  7. PTAB Haters Fail to Guard Bogus Patents, But They Still Try

    Three Affiliated Tribes probably won't enjoy sovereign immunity from PTAB, Dennis Crouch won't manage to slow down PTAB, and patent litigation will stagnate as bad patents perish before they even land in a lawsuit



  8. Team UPC's Tilmann Defends Rogue Vote at 1 AM in the Morning With Just 5% of Politicians (Those With Vested Interests) Attending

    Just when German democracy is being stolen by a legislative coup (in the dead of night when 95% of politicians are absent/asleep) there's someone 'courageous' enough to rear his ugly head and attempt to justify that coup



  9. The Mask Falls: Lobbyist David Kappos Now Composes Pieces for the Patent Trolls' Lobby (IAM)

    David Kappos, a former USPTO Director who is now lobbying for large corporations that derive revenue from patent extortion, is writing for IAM even if his views are significantly biased by his aggressive paymasters (just like IAM's)



  10. The EPO Protest Tomorrow Isn't Just About Judge Corcoran But About the EPO as a Whole

    PO staff is about to protest against the employer, pointing out that "Battistelli is still showing a total and utter lack of respect not only for his staff and their rights but also for the Administrative Council and for the Tribunal"



  11. Claim: Judge Corcoran to Be Put Under Benoît Battistelli's Control in DG1

    Benoît Battistelli, who openly disregards and refuses to obey judges (while intervening in trials and delivering 'royal decrees' whenever it suits him), may soon gain direct control over the judge he hates most



  12. The European Patent Organisation Refrains (For Nearly a Week) From Speaking About Battistelli's Abuses as Judged by ILO Tribunal

    The EPO's silence on the matter of Patrick Corcoran is deafening; to make matters worse, the EPO continues to pollute media and academia with money of stakeholders, with the sole intention of lobbying and misleading news coverage (clearly a disservice to these stakeholders)



  13. Carl Josefsson Lets Judge Patrick Corcoran Come Back to Work at the EPO

    After initial reluctance to obey/respect the rulings from the ILO (security staff declining access) there is official permission for Patrick Corcoran to enter and resume work (following 3 years of injustice against him)



  14. Bristows is Being Hammered With Negative Comments For Its Unitary Patent (UPC) Lies

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is practically dead in the UK and Ireland; Bristows, nevertheless, continues with its desperate spin



  15. Links 11/12/2017: Linux 4.15 RC3, Debian 8.10 and Debian 9.3

    Links for the day



  16. Judge Corcoran Turns to His Government for Help and EPO 'House Ban' is Finally Lifted

    Sources that are very reliable say that Patrick Corcoran is coming back to work, however it's now clear when and how long for



  17. Raw: Battistelli's Control/Domination Over the Boards of Appeal

    An old EPO document internally voicing concerns about the lack of independence at the Boards of Appeal



  18. Raw: Conflicts of Interest of EPO Vice-President

    An old EPO concern regarding structural collisions and mixed loyalties



  19. Microsoft-Connected Patent Trolls Are Increasingly Active and Microsoft is Selling 'Protection' (Azure Subscriptions)

    There are several indications that Microsoft-connected shells, which produce no products and are threatening a large number of companies, are inadvertently if not intentionally helping Microsoft sell "indemnification" ("Azure IP Advantage," which echoes the Microsoft/Novell strategy for collecting what they called "patent royalties" one decade ago)



  20. Yes, RPost is Definitely a Patent Troll and Its Software Patents Are at Risk Thanks to Alice

    The latest whitewashing (or reputation-laundering) pieces from Watchtroll, which tries to justify patent-trolling activities with software patents, typically in the Eastern District of Texas



  21. The Latest Scams in the Patent World

    Examples of 'dirty laundry' of the patent microcosm, which it understandably does not like covering (as it harms confidence in their services/advice)



  22. Patents Are Becoming a Welfare System for the Rich and Powerful

    A culture of litigation and more recently the patenting of broad industry standards may mean that multi-billion dollar corporations are cashing in without lifting a finger



  23. Unlike the Mobile Domain, When it Comes to Cars Patent Lawsuits Remain Rare

    An optimistic note regarding the relatively low-temperature legal landscape surrounding advanced automobiles, even though patents are being amassed on software in that domain



  24. The Federal Circuit Rules (Again) in Favour of Section 101/Alice, Koch-Funded CPIP Tries to Overturn Alice at the Supreme Court

    The US Supreme Court's decision on Alice continues to have a profoundly positive impact (except for trolls) and Koch-funded academics try hard to compel the US Supreme Court to reverse/override Alice (so far to no avail)



  25. Next Director of the USPTO Parrots Talking Points of Patent Extremists and Their Lobbyists

    The next USPTO boss (still subject to official confirmation) may be little more than a power grab by the litigation and patenting 'industry', which prioritises not science and technology but its own bottom line



  26. Raw: Three Years for 'Justice' (to be Disregarded by Benoît Battistelli) at ILO and Over a Decade at the EPO

    The delays associated with ‘justice’ at the EPO (usually neither justice nor compliance with rulings) have become so extraordinary that immunity should long ago have been stripped off and Battistelli et al been held accountable



  27. Raw: Scuttling of the General Advisory Committee and Battistelli Stacking the Deck to Have 'Yes Men' as Representatives

    How the EPO broke down resistance to Battistelli’s oppressive policies not only at the Council, disciplinary committees and auditory divisions but also staff representation (symptomatic of Battistelli’s notion of justice)



  28. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board Will Endure Supreme Court Test and Overcome the Tribal Immunity “Scam”

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), based on the latest news, is still winning the argument and justifying its existence/importance



  29. Phones/Mobility (Trillion-Dollar Market) May Have Become Infested and Encumbered by Aggressive, Dying Companies

    The tough reality that new entrants/entrepreneurs are facing now that a few dying giants look to "monetise" their patents rather than create anything



  30. Links 9/12/2017: Mesa 17.3, Wine 3.0 RC1, New Debian Builds

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts