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08.25.14

Links 24/8/2014: GNU/Linux Specialisation and Benchmarks

Posted in News Roundup at 4:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • China Developing Its Own OS To Take On Apple, Microsoft, and Google

    If it hasn’t been made clear enough in recent months that China would love nothing more than to cut down on its reliance to American technology companies, its just-announced decision to create its own operating system should remedy that. At first, this OS will target the desktop, but eventually, it’ll make its way to smartphones and other mobile devices.

  • Desktop

    • Specialization and the Linux Desktop

      Our benevolent dictator for life recently claimed that he was still aiming at Linux being as prevalent on the desktop as it is in the datacenter or in the cloud. The statement was meant with roaring applause from the crowd, and a few healthy, and a few not so healthy, doses of skepticism from the press. Recently, IT World asked “Does it still make sense for Linus to want the desktop for Linux?”, and Matt Asay from Tech Repubic asked “Can we please stop talking about the Linux desktop?”. Both publishers are critical of the claim that there is still room for Linux on Personal Computers, and point to Android as a Linux success story. What both articles miss though is that the flexibility of Linux, and the permissiveness of it’s open source license may be the thing that saves Linux on the desktop, just not in the way we were expecting.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linus Torvalds is my hero, says 13 year old Zachary DuPont

      Zachary DuPon is a 6th grader who will turn 13 years old soon. He used to be an Arch Linux user and is looking forward to installing Gentoo Linux soon.

      The story of Zach goes like this – his school organized a project where students were asked to write a letter to their heroes, while most kids wrote to celebrities, Zach wrote to the ‘real’ hero of the modern technology world – Linus Torvalds.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Preview Of AMD Radeon R9 290 Hawaii Open-Source Performance

        Coming up next week is a comparison of the Radeon R9 290 graphics card against various other graphics cards on the latest open-source driver. Additionally, there will be a RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst driver comparison for the Radeon R9 290 graphics card. Unfortunately there will be no Radeon R9 290X graphics tests for lacking that GPU and having bought the R9 290 myself. For those that are anxious to see how the R9 290 performs on the open-source driver, I uploaded some initial standalone results this weekend for you to facilitate your own comparisons.

      • Open-Source AMD HSA Should Come To Fruition This Year

        AMD’s open-source OpenCL support has been lagging behind the proprietary drivers, but Bridgman says they’re trying to improve upon that too. In particular, it seems they may try to open-source more of their proprietary OpenCL driver implementation. Bridgman said, “For OpenCL not sure yet — we’re trying to get more people working on it and open up more code from our proprietary implementation, so rate of progress should improve but I don’t know how much yet.”

      • Preview Of AMD Radeon R9 290 Hawaii Open-Source Performance

        Coming up next week is a comparison of the Radeon R9 290 graphics card against various other graphics cards on the latest open-source driver. Additionally, there will be a RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst driver comparison for the Radeon R9 290 graphics card. Unfortunately there will be no Radeon R9 290X graphics tests for lacking that GPU and having bought the R9 290 myself. For those that are anxious to see how the R9 290 performs on the open-source driver, I uploaded some initial standalone results this weekend for you to facilitate your own comparisons.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Bay Trail Performance With Linux 3.16/3.17 & Mesa 10.3

        The Bay Trail HD Graphics tests for this article came down to:

        - Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS with all available stable release updates.

        - The updated Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS state with then enabling the Oibaf PPA for Mesa 10.3-devel.

        - The Oibaf’ed Ubuntu LTS configuration with then installing the Linux 3.16 stable kernel.

        - The above configuration but then upgrading to the experimental Linux 3.17 kernel in Git form.

      • Radeon Graphics Yield Mixed Results With Linux 3.17 Kernel

        This article serves as a comparison of the stable Linux 3.16 kernel against the latest Linux 3.17 Git kernel when testing a range of graphics cards from the Radeon HD 5770 through the Radeon R9 270X. The system setup was maintained the same through testing and Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS was used as a host but with upgrading to the Mesa 10.3-devel and xf86-video-ati 7.4.99 Git using the Oibaf PPA. With Linux 3.16.0 and Linux 3.17 Git, the following AMD graphics cards were tested on the Intel Core i7 4790K rig:

        - Radeon HD 5770
        - Radeon HD 6870
        - Radeon HD 6950
        - Radeon HD 7850
        - Radeon HD 7950
        - Radeon R9 270X

      • Preview: OS X 10.10 Yosemite vs. Ubuntu Linux GPU Performance

        At the request of many Phoronix readers, here’s our first tests of Apple’s OS X 10.10 “Yosemite” operating system as we see how the OpenGL performance compares between it and Ubuntu Linux with an updated kernel and Mesa.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Releases in the Future

        Long post about releases ahead, brace yourselves!

        Last week we released KDE Applications and KDE Platform 4.14.

        KDE Applications, KDE Platform and KDE Workspaces were sometimes collectively referred as the “KDE Software Compilation” or “KDE SC” in short form, which is arguably a bad name, but it is what it is.

      • My TODO List for LaKademy 2014
      • Release of libmygpo-qt 1.0.8 (Qt5 support inside :) )

        I’m happy to announce the release of a new version of my project libmygpo-qt. It again has been a while, over one year since the last release. And although it took so long, this release doesn’t include many new features, except one: support for building the library with Qt5.

      • How to contribute to the KDE Frameworks Cookbook

        Im a way, the book will partly provide an alternative way to consume the content provided by KDE TechBase. Because of that, the HTML version of the book will integrate and cross-link with TechBase. The preferences of what kind of documentation should be in the book or on TechBase are not yet written in stone, and will probably develop over time. The beauty of Free Software is that it also does not matter much – the content is there and may be mixed and remixed as needed.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • gnome 3 followup

        A quick followup from my previous post about using gnome shell for a week from a sysadmin view. I got a number of responses on irc and via email. Some of them providing handy hints and solutions or at least work arounds to some of the issues I ran into. I am happy to report that everyone who offered me suggestions/workarounds/tips were very polite and many were in agreement that some of these were issues that should get fixed or implemented.

  • Distributions

    • Why I don’t distro-hop: Because work. And pain.

      In any Linux distribution I use, I’d love to have full functionality with the open Radeon graphics driver. I’d also love a packaged Catalyst driver that works with GNOME 3. I can’t get the former with anything just yet, and I can’t get the latter in Fedora due to Wayland code in GNOME 3 that doesn’t yet play with Catalyst. Since I tend to run Xfce instead of GNOME, this isn’t a deal-breaker.

    • Manjaro 0.8.10 Receives New Update Pack and New Kernels

      Manjaro 0.8.10, a Linux distribution based on well-tested snapshots of the Arch Linux repositories and 100% compatible with Arch, has received a new update pack that brings some very important updates and changes.

    • Slackware Family

      • Salix Fluxbox 14.1 Beta 1 Is Light Distro Based on Slackware

        “It’s time to revive our Fluxbox edition! Here is a first beta that is mostly untested for now, so feel free to try it out and post your findings.The Fluxbox edition is designed to bring a minimalist environment to your desktop. The default desktop layout is comprised only from the Fluxbox panel and the right click menu will bring up the Fluxbox menu, so it should be really light on resources. The file manager that is used is PCManFM.”

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • The Ubuntu Touch Image #203 Is Quite Fast And Stable

            The developers have started the work for the RTM (release to manufacturing) version of Ubuntu Touch, which will get only bug-fixes.

            Ubuntu Touch is developed on three branches: Utopic, which is the “stable” branch, the development branch utopic-devel and the RTM branch, which, unlike the two others, is not available for public yet.

            So, if you want an Ubuntu Touch version that receives all the new features in time, got for the “stable” branch. And for an Ubuntu Touch with less bugs and crashes, try the Ubuntu RTM.

          • Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn Now Uses Kernel 3.16.1

            Due to the fact that the Kernel Freeze will arrive in seven weeks, most likely, Ubuntu 14.10 will not ship with the newest version of Kernel 3.16.

          • Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) Hits Feature Freeze

            Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) is going to pass through several development stages and the Feature Freeze is just one of them. This means that developers can no longer get new features and major changes into the system, unless it’s important enough to get an exemption.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Is Open Source Becoming the De Facto Standard in the Data Center?

    Is open source positioned to become the next mode of standardization in the virtualization world?

  • Islamic State militant group used less restrictive social network

    The Islamic State extremist group began using a social networking website with less restrictions on users after other social media sites, Twitter and YouTube in particular, removed content related to the group.

    The social network called Diaspora lets users control their own personal data rather than storing the information itself, and it allows users to designate their own servers to host their data.

  • Events

    • ownCloud to organize Developer Conference in Berlin

      ownCloud is one of the most important free software projects around because we all are moving to the cloud for easy access to our data anywhere, anytime. The ‘so-called’ cloud has it’s own advantages, but it also compromises one’s ownership and control of the data. The moment you put your data on someone else’s cloud you lose the control and ownership over your own data.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Did Brendan Eich Contribute to Firefox’s Decline?

        This may sound like analyzing yesterday’s news, but I think it’s important, and more than that I need to put this here as a resource to point certain people to.

        As we probably all know Brendan Eich [co-]creator of the JavaScript scripting language, co-founder of the Mozilla project, the Mozilla Foundation and the Mozilla Corporation, and ex-chief technical officer of Mozilla Corporation was promoted to chief executive officer (CEO) of Mozilla on March 24, 2014 only to resign on April 3, 2014 due to controversy over his $1,000 donation to the unconstitutional California Proposition 8 in 2008.

  • Freedom

    • on the Dark Ages of Free Software: a “Free Service Definition”?

      Free Software community is winning a war that is becoming increasingly pointless: yes, users have 100% Free Software thin client at their fingertips [or are really a few steps from there]. But all their relevant computations happen elsewhere, on remote systems they do not control, in the Cloud.

  • Misc.

Leftovers

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • 9-year-old trains to be ‘caliphate’ jihadi

      In Raqqah, heavily-armed jihadists are seen celebrating on US armoured vehicles seized during their advances in Iraq, while sharia police patrol streets and markets with rifles over their shoulders. Patrol chief Abu Obida orders traders to remove a poster showing “infidels,” then blithely tells a man to change the fabric on his wife’s veil.

    • US weighs direct military action against ISIS in Syria

      The Obama administration is debating a more robust intervention in Syria, including possible American air strikes, in a significant escalation of its weeks-long military assault on the Islamic extremist group that has destabilized neighbouring Iraq and killed an American journalist US, officials said.

    • The Republican Embrace of ISIL-Type Violence

      Remember when two cops were shot by homegrown white conservative terrorists in Las Vegas and Paul Waldman at the Washington Post, wrote, “It’s long past time for prominent conservatives and Republicans to do some introspection and ask whether they’re contributing to outbreaks of right-wing violence”?

      Remember when Republicans rejected the idea that their rhetoric could incite violence, let alone that it is violent?

      And think again about how Muslims should get a bullet in the head and pro-immigration Republicans should be shot and hanged.

      Remember these instances of violent right-wing rhetoric?

    • British, American special forces forming hunter killer unit ‘Task Force Black’ to smash Islamic State

      Britain’s elite special forces along with US special forces are forming a unit called Task Force Black to hunt down the killer of James Foley and smash the Islamic State.

      According to the Mirror and as reported by the Sunday People, the undercover unit’s aim will be to “cut the head off the snake” by hitting the command structure of the Islamist terror group responsible for a trail of atrocities across Iraq and Syria.

    • Op-Ed: Mystery plane bombs Tripoli again for a second night

      Most reports do not mention Haftar’s links to the CIA nor do the most recent reports I have read mention Haftar’s own remarks to the effect that these bombings are a joint effort with the international community.

    • What’s the truth behind Malaysian Flight 17 downing?: CIA Analysts Won’t Back White House Claims of Russian Culpability

      With the US continuing to push its submissive European “allies” towards an ever more confrontational stance towards Russia over the crisis in Ukraine (a crisis initially provoked by the US itself through CIA and State Department actions that led to the overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government), the world appears headed towards a dangerous renewed Cold War between the world’s two nuclear superpowers.

      A central part of that campaign by Washington has been the effort to blame the downing of Malaysian Flight 17, which killed all 298 passengers and crew, on Russia, or failing that, on pro-Russian separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. This campaign has used innuendo, falsified evidence and, weirdly, spurious and sometimes absurd “evidence” circulating in various social media — all of which which people like Secretary of State John Kerry and president Obama himself have tried to say “prove” that Russia, or at least a Russian-provided high-altitude BUK anti-aircraft missile, was responsible for the downing.

    • Here’s How The Kremlin’s English-Language Propaganda Organs Are Spinning Russia’s Incursion Into Ukraine

      The current situation in Ukraine is reaching a head as Russian armour and aid trucks are freely flowing over the boarder, an act that Ukraine has called a “direct invasion.”

      For the first time in months of crisis, NATO accused Russia of directly intervening in Ukraine’s restive east, where Kiev has been fighting Russian-supported separatists.

    • Reports Of ISIS Beheadings Are Horrifyingly Common

      During the first two weeks of August, Islamic State fighters killed 700 members of the al-Sheitaat tribe in Syria’s Deir al-Zor province, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Many of them were beheaded, the organization said. Islamic State militants had been battling the tribe since seizing two oil fields in Syria in July.

    • Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Hamas

      “Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Sexton explained. “It was founded by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a cleric and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood himself.”

      Sexton said Yassin founded in Hamas in 1987, during the first intifada.

      “In 1988, Hamas established a charter, a mission statement,” Sexton continued. “It said that its goal is to raise the flag of Allah over every inch of Palestine. Well, that’s a problem, because when they say Palestine, they mean Israel.”

    • How Snowden Complicates the Prevention of Future Leaks

      George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and the most prominent members of their teams feel differently, of course, which helps explain why Snowden became a whistleblower in the first place. The national-security state is its own worst enemy, doing more to undermine its own legitimacy than its critics ever could.

    • The truth about Iraq’s liberation

      US air strikes on Iraq are part of a criminal scheme to safeguard western control of the country’s oil, writes Dahlia Wasfi

    • US must consider partnering with Assad to defeat IS: former CIA agent

      The Obama administration is still weighing up how to respond to the Islamic State terrorist group after the beheading of American journalist James Foley. Pressure is growing on president Obama to do more than the current strategy of airstrikes on IS targets in Iraq. Chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Martin Dempsey said IS can only be defeated by countering Sunni militancy in Syria. The World Today spoke to former CIA counter-terrorist officer Patrick Skinner.

    • Why Washington’s War on Terror Failed

      There are extraordinary elements in the present U.S. policy in Iraq and Syria that are attracting surprisingly little attention. In Iraq, the U.S. is carrying out air strikes and sending in advisers and trainers to help beat back the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (better known as ISIS) on the Kurdish capital, Erbil. The U.S. would presumably do the same if ISIS surrounds or attacks Baghdad. But in Syria, Washington’s policy is the exact opposite: there the main opponent of ISIS is the Syrian government and the Syrian Kurds in their northern enclaves. Both are under attack from ISIS, which has taken about a third of the country, including most of its oil and gas production facilities.

    • ‘Germans fed up with NATO allies & US wars’ – Frmr Defense Secretary
  • Transparency Reporting

    • When Google Met WikiLeaks Note

      A pungent account by Assange of the banality of corporate evil, as he terms Google. Assange says the exchange with Eric Schmidt and colleagues may be his best interview — which composes about half the volume.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • FRACK TO FRONT

      Earlier in the summer, SchNEWS broke the story of the infamous Infrastructure Bill. The new law, still winding its way through parliament, will allow for any public land to be ‘transferred’ via a Government body to private developers.The Infrastructure Bill is still very much happening, and it’s got even uglier. We’re talking compulsory fracking uglier.

  • Finance

    • In Detroit, Water Crisis Symbolizes Decline, and Hope

      Nearly 19,500 Detroiters have had their water service interrupted since March 1. The Water and Sewerage Department, under pressure to reduce more than $90 million in bad debt, ordered shutoffs for customers who owed at least $150 or had fallen at least two months behind on their bills. The decision to take such drastic measures, done with little warning, ignited a controversy that prompted protests and arrests, more bad publicity for the struggling city, global dismay, and a warning from the United Nations.

    • How a degree from Duke University dashed my dreams of buying a home

      I didn’t realize just how much of an impact student loan debt would have until I attempted to buy a house

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • BBC’s long struggle to present the facts without fear or favour

      Under such circumstances, it is no wonder that the BBC can appear like a damaged, bullied child, defensive and afraid. The stakes for BBC News are immeasurably high. If we believe in the BBC as a positive and beneficial ideological intervention in our lives, if we believe in it as the greatest, and best loved, signifier of Britain there is, then things have to change – outside the BBC as well as inside it. The bullies need to lay off. The whole culture that surrounds it needs to become less vituperative, more mature.

  • Censorship

    • Europe: A Union of Common Censorship

      Freedom is fundamental to prosperity. Those who cherish freedom most are often those who have not always enjoyed it. Thus the souls whose lives were blighted by Communist totalitarianism often rejoice at the simplest pleasures, even 25 years after the evils of the system were unraveled across Europe. Their joy in being able to travel has been hugely enhanced by that core Western value – freedom. Unfortunately, just as the European Union appears to have forgotten how to create prosperity, so, too, it seems to have gone somewhat patchy on the notion of freedom.

    • India sacks movie censor chief over bribery charge

      MUMBAI: India has removed the chief executive of its film censorship board after he was arrested on accusations he took a bribe to clear a movie for screening.

    • Gavin McInnes Makes a Great Argument Against Censorship

      Last week, performance artist, professional agitator, and Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes took to Thought Catalog—a publication known for particularly vapid and terrible millennial musings—to speculate about how “transphobia is perfectly natural.” People were outraged. People demanded the piece be removed. Thought Catalog responded by slapping on a big old trigger warning—if you go to the McInnes article page now, you’ll get a notice that “the article you are trying to read has been reported by the community as hateful or abusive content” before being allowed to proceed—but like hell it was going to take down such spectacular clickbait.

    • Canada’s despicable climate censorship: Government scientists need permission to tweet basic facts

      New documents reveal the extent of the government’s maddening policy of “suppression through bureaucracy”

    • Twitter’s busy week: Censorship rules and changing timelines
    • ‘Recovered Voices’ initiative studies grim history of Nazi censorship

      The Nazis, of course, had their terrible guidelines based on religion, race or modernist “decadence.”

  • Privacy

    • Corporate hack attack fears drive flash of cash

      Mr Snowden’s exposé revealed that the NSA had gained access to large internet companies’ servers stored in clouds, and inserted “back doors” into encryption software. In the immediate aftermath there were fears that distrust in US cloud-storage providers could cost such companies dearly, with the highest estimates forecasting a 25 per cent hit to overall IT service provider revenues globally.

    • White Paper: Identifying back doors, attack points, and surveillance mechanisms in iOS devices

      I received word from the editor-in-chief that the author of an accepted paper has permission to publish it on his website, and so I am now making my research available to anyone who wishes to read it. The following paper, “Identifying back doors, attack points, and surveillance mechanisms in iOS devices” first appeared published in The International Journal of Digital Forensics and Incident Response in March 2014′s publication. The Editor-in-Chief is Eoghan Casey, with the Information Security Institute, John Hopkins University, Maryland. The editorial board consists of researchers from Google, Microsoft, LG, The Mitre Corporation, and a number of universities. This paper was the basis for my talk at the HOPE/X conference in NYC in July 2014. Please enjoy.

    • THE WEST IS LOSING TURKEY

      The announcements were both as expected and made one smile. Evidently, the main reason is the ambiguity of the policies implemented by the Erdoğan government, which shows an unbounded character according to them. Aside from wiretapping some politicians and bureaucrats of Turkey, the BND also probably used other communication tools such as the Internet. Former BND chief Wieck stated that such authority could only be granted by the German government, while intelligence experts underlined that such an operation could only be conducted by using some intermediaries in Turkey.

    • Germany spies on Albania to monitor ‘organised crime’: report

      Germany’s secret service has been spying on Albania for years to keep tabs on “organised crime”, Der Spiegel claimed on Saturday, days after it was revealed that Berlin had been eavesdropping on Turkey.

  • Civil Rights

    • Ferguson: officer relieved of duty after video of racist remarks surfaces

      A police officer involved in the protests over Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, has been relieved of his duty after video surfaced of him making racist and derogatory remarks.

      Dan Page was recorded in April giving a speech in which he described President Barack Obama as an illegal immigrant, and railed against Muslims and gay people. “I’m into diversity – I kill everybody,” he said.

    • High school student arrested for writing story about shooting dinosaur

      When a South Carolina student was given an assignment by his teacher to create a Facebook-type status report telling something interesting about himself, he allegedly wrote “I killed my neighbor’s pet dinosaur. I bought the gun to take care of the business.”

    • John Yoo and The Senate Torture Report

      John Choon Yoo, aka John Yoo, authored the Torture Memos used to justify torture of human beings by the Bush Administration.

      [...]

      The SSCI Torture report has been approved for public release. However, the SSCI and the CIA are fighting over the CIA’s substantial redactions to the torture report summary. The torture report is 6,000 pages, adopted by the SSCI in December 2012; it is the most comprehensive report on the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” a euphemism for torture.

    • This guy accepted a ‘water-boarding challenge’

      Some sheep have been bold enough to show their bravery by accepting the Ice Bucket Challenge. Others demand a greater feat, such as proving one’s capability to read on a fifth-grade level. But some motherfuckers? Some motherfuckers just don’t know when to quit. Some motherfuckers decidedly accepted a means of CIA-endorsed torture–not so much for the ALS children–but, like Bill Burr has already professed, for their own two and a half seconds of fame.

    • Journalist James Risen: will he be jailed for not revealing source?

      While President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder have asked this week for law enforcement in Ferguson, Mo., to not jail reporters for doing their jobs, press advocates are asking the administration and the Justice Department to stop prosecuting a New York Times national security correspondent for doing his. As Ashley Westerman reports from Washington, DC, the years-­long case of James Risen has had a chilling effect on journalists and whistleblowers.

    • The administration should not press reporter James Risen to reveal a source

      LAST WEEK President Obama offered some lofty words about journalism and democracy. Commenting on the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., he declared, “Here, in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground.”

    • Obama Admits ‘We Tortured Some Folks,’ But Is the Bush Era Over?

      As Taguba noted in his piece for the Times, he knows “from experience that oversight will help the C.I.A. — as it helped the United States military.” He wrote: “Ten years ago, I was directed by Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the senior officer in Iraq, to investigate allegations of detainee abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. My report’s findings, which prompted a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, documented a systemic problem: military personnel had perpetrated ‘numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses.’” He believes that the reason American’s support for terrorism has increased in recent years only because there has been no honest accounting. He cited a 2012 YouGov poll and research conducted by Amy Zegart of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Although several years old, that survey showed that 41 percent of Americans supported torturing prisoners, a 14-percentage point increase from 2007. “It turns out that Americans don’t just like the general idea of torture more now,” Zegart wrote for Foreign Policy in September 2012. “They like specific torture techniques more too.”

    • Saudi Arabia executes 19 in one half of August in ‘disturbing surge of beheadings’

      Saudi Arabia has beheaded at least 19 people since the beginning of August in a surge of executions, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said.

    • ‘Comprehensive’ CIA Torture Report Won’t Even Name Well-Known Architects of Torture Program

      Some familiar names will be missing from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s long-awaited report on the CIA’s torture program, VICE News has learned.

      Notably, two retired Air Force psychologists, Dr. Bruce Jessen and Dr. James Mitchell, who have been credited with being the architects of the CIA’s so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques,” have their names redacted in the 480-page executive summary of the report, according to current and former US officials knowledgeable about the contents of the document.

    • The killer on the (Saudi) king’s highway

      The House of Saud, directly and indirectly, and the proverbial wealthy Gulf Cooperation Council donors are the Mom and Dad of ISIS. All duly vetted/approved by the industrial-military-Orwellian-Panopticon complex.

    • Leaks, Whistleblowers, and the Media’s Right to Report

      Their stories are not new. What Spione brought to the screen was the humanity of the whistleblowers and the patriotic idealism that compelled them to work in government agencies like the NSA and the CIA and then to speak out against the excesses they saw there. If anything, Silenced dramatizes how the landscape of government secrecy has changed dramatically since 9/11 and the war on terror. It makes the argument that whistleblowers play an essential role: Leaks are a necessary prophylactic, especially when they reveal the abuse of public authority and the harm done to the rights of citizens.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Police: Finding Pirate Bay Documents is Too Expensive

        City of London Police have denied a Freedom of Information request for access to correspondence relating to The Pirate Bay. According to the police it would take more than 18 hours to locate the requested information and would therefore cost too much money.

08.23.14

Links 23/8/2014: GNU/Linux Growth

Posted in News Roundup at 7:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • The whale that swallowed New Zealand’s election campaign

    A spectacular exposé alleging prime minister John Key and his National party colleagues were involved in dirty tricks campaigns has created the most significant political maelstrom in nearly six years in office and blown the government’s re-election strategy dramatically off course, writes Toby Manhire

  • Women significantly outnumber teenage boys in gamer demographics

    Adult female gamers have unseated boys under the age of 18 as the largest video game-playing demographic in the U.S., according to a recently published study from the Entertainment Software Association, a trade group focused the U.S. gaming industry.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • ASIO explains why Australians can fight for some terrorists and not others

      In the past week, the Abbott government has revealed a new package of anti-terrorism laws targeting Australian jihadists returning from Iraq and Syria that aroused the resentment of several Islamic community representatives. Recently, ASIO chief David Irvine decided to meet with a team of Arab-speaking journalists in Sydney in an attempt to communicate his message, which centred on the distinction between a War on Terror and a War on Islam.

    • Events in Ferguson show why we read the news: entertainment

      When the hysteria began following the revelations about NSA surveillance, I predicted that we’d have an enjoyable hissy fit — then nothing would change (details here). And 14 months later little has changed (perhaps nothing). Now the events in Ferguson MO have sparked a new cycle of outrage over the militarization of police. My prediction is that again little or nothing will change. Here we consider why public outrage has so little effect: news is just entertainment.

    • Indian Army seals cross-border tunnel that sneaks in terrorists

      After Modi ministry came to power, violations per day by Pakistan army has escalated. The reason being that cross border infiltration by terrorists has been stopped by Indian Army. The combined efforts of Indian Army acting on NSA’s advise based in IM, RAW and IB is making J&K becoming hot for jihadis. The tunnel was discovered two weeks back and since then Pakistan has not stopped attack on Indian Army outposts. The Pak Army has admitted that two civilians were dead and soldiers injured on their side.

    • Demand Swells for Straight Answers on the Downing of Malaysian Airlines’ MH17 in Ukraine

      A long list of prominent individuals has signed, a number of organizations will be promoting next week, and you can be one of the first to sign right now, a petition titled “Call For Independent Inquiry of the Airplane Crash in Ukraine and its Catastrophic Aftermath.”

    • ISIS a Jewish Plot? Propaganda and Islamic Jihad

      The combination of events – first, the anti-Semitism expressed by IS supporters and, then, the anti-Semitism by calling IS itself a Jewish plot – is more than simply dizzying. It is treacherous. And it can lead only to the creation of more widespread Jew hate, and thorough confusion among politicians, security agencies, and the police.

    • A pleasant surprise for Washington

      Germany’s announcement that it was ready to arm Iraqi Kurdish fighters against IS was neither expected nor demanded by the US. And yet it’s a welcome boost for the Obama administration – and also helps Berlin.

    • Did an Israeli Sniper Kill an Unarmed Man in Gaza?

      An Israeli activist has told Channel 4 News that he has gathered testimony from three Israeli soldiers who said they witnessed Shamaly’s killing. “They were completely convinced that what they did was wrong,” the Israeli activist, Eran Efrati, said. “They were guilty. The man in the green shirt was not any threat to their lives.”

    • Assassin’s Creed: Taking Out Individuals as a War Strategy

      Israel was the first country to incorporate targeted assassination into its law books, followed by America, which since the September 11, 2001, attacks has perfected the use of sophisticated drones to target terrorist leaders in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    • How many Palestinian civilians is a single militant worth?

      As of Thursday, 76.8 percent of the 2,090 fatalities documented by the Gazan human rights organization Mizan have been civilians.

    • Drone strike kills 6 Pakistani militants, including senior commander in Kunar

      At least six members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were killed following a drone strike in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan.

      Provincial police chief for Kunar province, Gen. Abdul Habib Syed Khel, confirmed that six Pakistani militants were killed following a drone strike by coalition forces.

    • Hamas executes 18 alleged spies for Israel

      Gaza gunmen executed 18 Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel Friday, including seven who were lined up behind a mosque with bags over their heads and shot in front of hundreds of people.

      The killings came in response to Israel’s deadly airstrike against three top Hamas military commanders.The incident occurred after more than six weeks of heavy fighting between Israel and Hamas.

    • US debates more robust Syria intervention

      The Obama administration is debating a more robust intervention in Syria, including possible US airstrikes, in a significant escalation of its weeks-long military assault on the Islamic extremist group that has destabilised neighbouring Iraq and killed a US journalist, officials said on Friday.

    • Hamas executes ‘collaborators’
    • Hamas admits its men abducted Israeli teens, says its leaders didn’t know

      A Hamas official admitted Friday that militants from his group abducted three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June, but the official said the kidnappers did not tell their leaders about the action.

    • Gaza mortar fire kills child in southern Israel

      An Israeli child was killed by mortar fire from Gaza on Friday, the army said, bringing the number of civilians killed in Israel during the 46-day conflict with Hamas to four.

    • Israel says boy killed by Gaza mortar bomb
    • Jury acquits anti-drone protester

      A six-person jury acquitted anti-drone protester Russell Brown on July 31 in an East Syracuse, N.Y., court of all charges after he testified about how current U.S. murderous drone strikes are like the U.S. war crimes committed during the ­Vietnam War.

      Brown was on trial for an April 2013 protest at Hancock National Guard Airbase in Syracuse. He smeared himself with red dye to represent the death of drone victims and lay down in a roadway in front of the base. He was arrested and faced charges carrying a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

    • Egypt Army Bombs Weapons Facility Allegedly Linked To Hamas
    • Families of Victims of One Drone Strike in Yemen Paid more than an Entire Year’s Worth of Victims in Afghanistan

      In the twisted world of compensation for errant drone attacks, an attempt at making up for killing innocent civilians in one country has proven far more valuable than a year’s worth of slaughter in another nation.

    • Yemen: Victims of U.S. Drone Strike on Wedding Party Got $1 Million Payout

      The family members of 12 people killed and others injured in a U.S. drone strike on a wedding party in Yemen last year have received condolence payments totaling more than $1 million. Documents provided by the group Reprieve to The Washington Post show the payment ostensibly came from the Yemeni government, but the high amount suggests the U.S. government is providing reimbursement. The documents also show the identities of those killed. They include a 29-year-old man identified as an associate of a Yemeni group working against Islamist militancy.

    • OPINION: Violations of International Law Denigrate U.N.
    • Civilian Victims Of U.S. Drone Strike In Yemen Reportedly Receive Over $1 Million
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Rupert Murdoch, the man who put the ‘twit’ into Twitter

      It’s a time when PR outfits have to bat on through the dog days of summer with very little of any substance to rely on. So they pump out a welter of verbiage in the hope that equally desperate journalists will discern a gleaming nugget lurking in the dross, pick it up,and give it a polish. Indeed, it is so bad I actually came very close to writing a piece about a GPS service that tracks the whereabouts of cats on their nocturnal peregrinations. In the end though I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Dignity, you know, always dignity.

      That said, I couldn’t resist this one. The Foxy one himself, for it is he, Rupert Murdoch, an occasional user of Twitter after discovering social media in the halcyon years of his mid-dotage, has taken to the medium again to express the opinion that Google is worse than America’s NSA!

      Here’s the twit’s deathless Twitter in full, “NSA privacy invasion bad but nothing compared to Google”. Now that has to be enough to make the aforementioned tabby chortle it’s little furry bootees off.

  • Censorship

    • The Military Is Banning Soldiers from Reading Documents Everyone Else Can See

      The government isn’t just keeping track of what civilians are looking at online. They’re also concerned with the browsing habits of their own soldiers.

    • Islamic State joins Diaspora, let’s debunk some myths

      Diaspora, an open source, distributed social network, has come under fire recently for not being able to censor members of Islamic State in the same fashion that Facebook and Twitter have.

      Recent articles in the mainstream press explain how Diaspora doesn’t have a central body with the ability to remove users or their posts because of the distributed nature of the network, however these claims seem ill-considered as they aren’t correct.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Gabbard calls for demilitarizing police

      Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has called for demilitarizing of American police.

    • Green Party: Demilitarize the police, end racial disparities and bring justice to the criminal justice system

      Greens speak out in the wake of the police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., warn about the emergence of a police state

    • Godwin’s Law

      Keep the sentiment of Godwin’s Law in mind as you read, listen, write and speak here and elsewhere. Hyperbole exists, can be sneaky or unintended, and actually can ruin the importance of what you have to say. The legitimacy of your point could be threatened by such dire comparisons. If you don’t even bother trying to catch it, well then truly, you are worse than Hitler.

    • Militarization of our police threatens democracy

      The killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the heavy-handed police tactics that have followed point to a growing problem in this country: the threat of a police state that endangers not only public safety, but democracy itself.

      After the fatal shooting of the unarmed Brown by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, local law enforcement descended upon the city like an occupying force, complete with military weapons, tear gas, rubber bullets and armored personnel carriers.

    • Cop-Tech: The Inevitable Future of Policing

      By now, we’ve heard much about the militarization of police forces, but not so much about other advances in cop-tech that could be as consequential. With national attention lingering on the issue of police brutality — some 400 police killings take place per year, according to USA Today — questions around new policing technologies are pressing. Some of the new gadgets, like Taser’s officer cam, are meant to foster accountability. But others aim to keep pace with increasingly connected and tech-savvy criminals. The civil libertarians are fretting.

    • The Same Hashish They Give Out

      As the public release of the Senate’s report on a four-year investigation into the CIA’s torture program approaches, John Brennan, the agency’s director, is in an uncomfortable spotlight. The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is responsible for overseeing the CIA, has accused the agency of abusing its power. See Brave New Films’ short video below.

    • White House Touts Petition Site But Many Await Replies

      The White House could hardly contain itself earlier this month when President Barack Obama signed a bill allowing American consumers to unlock their cell phones. The bill was driven in part by the White House’s own petition website, “We The People,” and touted as an example of a new model of citizen advocacy influencing change in Washington.

    • Police officer suspended after branding Ferguson protesters ‘rabid dogs’

      St Louis police say it has suspended one of its officers expressed contempt for the protesters on his Facebook account

    • Elderly Hackney pastor has heart attack after ‘botched police raid’

      A police spokesman confirmed officers had obtained a warrant for the raid, but admitted no drugs were found or arrests made. She added: “We are aware an official complaint is being lodged. Under these circumstances it would be inappropriate for us to comment at this time.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • DeMaio Campaign Says Peters Waffles on Net Neutrality

      The Carl DeMaio campaign on Thursday accused Rep. Scott Peters of siding with the cable industry in efforts to undermine net neutrality.

      Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers should treat all data on the Internet equally. Cable industry leaders argue that providers of data-intensive services such as movie delivery should be given preferential treatment if they pay more.

Microsoft-Funded Attacks on Android Security and Patent/Copyright

Posted in FUD, Google, Microsoft at 5:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A look back at examples of people who smear Android and are receiving (or received) money from Microsoft

OVER THE years we have demonstrated that payments from Microsoft have a strong correlation to Android and/or Google FUD. Examples included Ben Edelman, Microsoft Florian, and Edward Naughton. Microsoft either pays people to publicly smear the biggest competition or rewards people for smearing Microsoft’s biggest competition. Sometimes the source of the smear is a Microsoft-connected company; we gave some examples of these over the years. These connections are a lot more transparent.

There were many cases where Xuxian Jiang, who had worked for Microsoft, slammed Android, making that his hobby/academic goal. Now we are seeing yet another guy from Microsoft (see his resume that he makes available in his Web site) making a career out of Android FUD. His name is Zhiyun Qian. He worked for Microsoft 4 years ago. Suffice to say, not every criticism of Android and not every Chinese/Taiwanese critic of Android is Microsoft-connected (consider the complaint of Chih-Wei Huang for example), but the point we are making is that when one criticises Android it is worth checking if there have been payments from Microsoft because it very often turns out to be the case.

Blowback in Chile and Munich After Microsoft Intervention

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OpenDocument at 4:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft’s attacks on the digital sovereignty of countries involves lobbying, corruption, an attack on standards (e.g. ODF), an attack on FOSS policies, and even an attack on accurate reporting (truth itself)

Microsoft’s attempts to corrupt Chile seem to have brought nothing but blowback. Microsoft and its minion got shamed and the FOSS policy will soon get even stronger. Moreover, Microsoft is making Chile’s anti-lobbying laws stronger by basically trying to lobby and to write legislation by proxy. It shows that this wholly malicious strategy from Microsoft is finally not paying off, thanks in part to reporters who exposed what had happened. Well done, Chile!

We can safely assume that what Microsoft is doing in Chile right now it also tried to do in the UK e.g. pressuring the Cabinet Office regarding its pro-ODF policy. Microsoft, by all indications, is not a scapegoat; it’s not hated because of “jealousy” or because of its size. It is not hated for being incompetent or for being shoddy (which its software is). The company is corrupt. It’s a criminal enterprise with a long track record to show it. Thankfully, however, we keep seeing new stories that show us just how corrupt Microsoft really is. People who deny this are simply ignoring reality.

Today we have several updates from Chile and from Munich, Germany. Citing this article from Miguel Parada, Softpedia writes:

Fresh on the heels of the entire Munich and Linux debacle, another story involving Microsoft and free software has popped up across the world, in Chile. A prolific magazine from the South American country says that the powerful Microsoft lobby managed to turn around a law that would allow the authorities to use free software.

Towards the end it is also connected to what’s happening in Munich. To quote: “Microsoft has been in the news in the last few days because the German city of Munich that adopted Linux and dropped Windows system from its administration was considering, supposedly, returning to proprietary software.

“This new situation in Chile give us a sample of the kind of pull a company like Microsoft has and it shows us just how fragile laws really are. This is not the first time a company tries to bend the laws in a country to maximize the profits, but the advent of free software and the clear financial advantages that it offers are really making a dent.

“Five years ago, few people or governments would have considered adopting free software, but the quality of that software has risen dramatically and it has become a real competition for the likes of Microsoft.”

Richard Stallman is visiting Chile right now (coinciding with a Microsoft scandal over there). Here is a new article about Stallman’s reaction to what Microsoft is doing in Chile. He was there at the right time and he will hopefully raise issues like privacy, digital autonomy, and economic benefits of using FOSS (local engineers being in charge), and so on. Ernesto Manríquez told us that “MS lobby [is] in a 65 million dollar market, and how Vlado Mirosevic lost his innocence,” based on this new article in Spanish (we won’t provide automated translations as anyone is able to do so upon desire). Manríquez also told us that “Chilean Chamber of Deputies to harden anti-lobby law after Microsoft scandal,” based on this article in Spanish.

This is very relevant to the Microsoft propaganda against Munich for its successful migration to GNU/Linux. In the wake of revelations about NSA surveillance in Latin America and Germany (for espionage, not antiterrorism) this should matter a lot. Microsoft and the NSA are in bed together and this means that Chile would be worse than foolish to embrace anything at all from Microsoft (even some random application). This is why Munich did the right thing. It went to FOSS all the way. It’s not difficult for the NSA to crack.

Simon Sharwood has not yet caught up with the latest news from Chile, but he did cover (in English) what Microsoft had done there:

Microsoft successfully lobbied against a law that would have seen Chile’s government adopt open-source software, says Elmostrador, a newspaper in the South American nation.

The publication’s report tells the tale of Vlado Mirosevic, a left-leaning politician who is the leader of the Chilean Liberal Party and its only representative in the national parliament.

In April this year, Mirosevic proposed a bill that would have compelled Chile’s government agencies to at least consider open-source software. Buying proprietary software would still be possible, once an agency justified the decision.

Manríquez is meanwhile showing us articles like this one (in Spanish) about what he calls “The long arm of Microsoft lobby and political connections” (familiar issue).

Microsoft is not a company but more like a political movement or a secret society/sect that infiltrates governments. We have already given many examples of Microsoft’s use of connections in government for corruption, including massive tax evasion (worth billions of dollars). See examples from Europe, from the US, and from India. The relationships often work like bribery in terms of money rolling back to politicians’ pockets when they give public money to Microsoft through contracts. Sometimes Microsoft veterans move to politics (where they use their newly-acquired power to help Microsoft) — or conversely — politicians being promised a salary from Microsoft in the future. This is the “Revolving doors” type of bribery. Classic! We already saw how one Microsoft veteran facilitated Microsoft’s massive tax evasion in the United States after he had infiltrated government.

A follower from Argentina told us last night we would be interested in this new report about Microsoft admitting that it avoids $29 billion in US taxes (just US). If that’s not enough to show just how corrupt Microsoft is, what will be?

Going back to Munich, the Microsoft boosters who distorted the story didn’t actually stick to facts. Munich complains about misreporting. As Jim Lynch put it the other day:

I saw that story floating around many sites yesterday and decided to hold off commenting about it. There was just something about it that rubbed me the wrong way, and I’m glad I waited before including it in a roundup.

Frankly though, it doesn’t surprise me that some sites would jump the gun and use it as an opportunity to belittle or bash Linux. We’ve seen this kind of thing before where a tempest in a teacup gets blown all out of proportion and suddenly Linux is doomed or whatever.

Unfortunately, even after the current wave of stories about Munich fades away, we’ll see the same sort of journalistic shenanigans about Linux happen again at some point. It’s just too easy and too tempting for some sites to gain traffic and ad revenue by jumping on the anti-Linux bandwagon.

After systematic lying about Munich how many people out there are still misled by Microsoft MVPs and partners pretending to be journalists? This is a war on perceptions after all.

As Susan Linton put it, “Monday we reported that Munich was throwing in the Linux towel, but today we find that may not be exactly the case.”

This other report makes it clear that Microsoft OOXML — not FOSS or GNU/Linux — is the problem. To quote: “Hauf also confirms that council staff have, and do, complain about LiMux, but that the majority of issues stem from compatibility issues in OpenOffice, something a potential switch to LibreOffice could solve.”

This is a Microsoft issue, not a FOSS issue, and this is why the UK is now moving to ODF (OOXML not allowed) in the public sector. Remember what Microsoft did in Chile for OOXML.

Microsoft is a criminal company. Even after Ballmer’s departure nothing has changed. As Microsoft is inherently and deeply connected with governments (moles and former staff), don’t expect Microsoft executives to be sent to prison, not even when it’s caught bribing officials around the world (which happens).

OOXML is fraud

The End of Microsoft is Nigh

Posted in Microsoft at 3:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A look back at a tough year for Microsoft and a not-so-promising future

A lot of layoffs at Microsoft, including the latest massive round of layoffs, teach us that Microsoft is rapidly collapsing. Many products and divisions are being shut down. That’s just the reality of the ‘new’ Microsoft. Its Web browser is so bad that the company now integrates a competitor's product — Opera — into its products/OS. When it comes to the latest Windows, Vista 8, its small userbase is so contemptible that there is poor/insufficient testing leading to chronic issues (“Microsoft releases another broken patch that is causing blue screens of death,” says Ryan in our IRC channels) and the previous CEO jumps ship completely (except in stock ownership). I recently learned from an insider that there is a bit of panic even inside the company. Employees of Microsoft too are quickly realising that there is not much of a future and their managers are jumping ship. Anyone who pretends that Microsoft is invincible and will always be there to support its products must be thinking of bailout strategies.

08.22.14

Links 22/8/2014: Linux Foundation LFCS, LFCE

Posted in News Roundup at 5:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Changing times, busy times and why Google will save Usenet.

      Linux however has succeeded by way of form factors diversifying. Be it Android phones or tablets there is a big shift with the mainstream consumer in terms of what devices they want and here Linux has excelled.

      In 2008 my decision remove my Microsoft dependency was for reasons of the control they had on the desktop, the practices alleged against them and the dubious tactics some of their advocates used to promote the products. I also wholeheartedly agree with the ethos of FOSS which was another contributory factor. Today, my feelings about FOSS have not changed, there are caveats to my opinions of FOSS (especially in gaming) but I’ve covered that before in other articles.

      Today I avoid Microsoft not because I feel the need to make a stand against its behaviour, its because I don’t need them. I support Microsoft being a “choice” in the market as I support user freedom, but as for what Microsoft can offer me (regardless of its past) there is nothing.

    • 5 Linux distributions for very old computers

      This is part 4 in a series of articles designed to help you choose the right Linux distribution for your circumstances.

    • Citrix and Google partner to bring native enterprise features to Chromebooks

      Chromebooks are making inroads into the education sector, and a push is coming for the enterprise with new native Chrome capabilities from Citrix. Google and Citrix have announced Citrix Receiver for Chrome, a native app for the Chromebook which has direct access to the system resources, including printing, audio, and video.

      To provide the security needed for the enterprise, the new Citrix app assigns a unique Receiver ID to each device for monitoring, seamless Clipboard integration across remote and local applications, end user experience monitoring with HDX Insight, and direct SSL connections.

    • Can we please stop talking about the Linux desktop?

      Linus Torvalds may still want a Linux desktop, but no one else does. And even if they did, by the time the requisite ecosystem could be developed, the need for a desktop — Linux or otherwise — will largely be gone.

  • Server

    • What is Docker, Really? Founder Solomon Hykes Explains

      Docker has quickly become one of the most popular open source projects in cloud computing. With millions of Docker Engine downloads, hundreds of meetup groups in 40 countries and dozens upon dozens of companies announcing Docker integration, it’s no wonder the less-than-two-year-old project ranked No. 2 overall behind OpenStack in Linux.com and The New Stack’s top open cloud project survey.

      This meteoric rise is still puzzling, and somewhat problematic, however, for Docker, which is “just trying to keep up” with all of the attention and contributions it’s receiving, said founder Solomon Hykes in his keynote at LinuxCon and CloudOpen on Thursday. Most people today who are aware of Docker don’t necessarily understand how it works or even why it exists, he said, because they haven’t actually used it.

      “Docker is very popular, it became popular very fast, and we’re not really sure why,” Hykes said. “My personal theory … is that it was in the right place at the right time for a trend that’s much bigger than Docker, and that is very important for all of us, that has to do with how applications are built.”

    • Founder Explains What Docker Is All About

      Just over a year ago, Solomon Hykes created the open-source Docker project. Since then Docker has exploded in both popularity and hype. In a keynote session at the LinuxCon conference, Hykes explained why the hype is both a blessing and a curse.

    • What Docker does right and what it doesn’t do right… yet

      Docker founder Solomon Hykes, opened his keynote at LinuxCon by saying he knows two things about Docker: “It uses Linux containers and the Internet won’t shut up about it.” He knows more than that. He told the audience what Docker is, what it does right today, and what it still needs to do to be better than it is today.

    • IBM Taps Global Network of Innovation Centers to Fuel Linux on Power Systems for Big Data and Cloud Computing

      At the LinuxCon North America conference today, IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced it is tapping into its global network of over 50 IBM Innovation Centers and IBM Client Centers to help IBM Business Partners, IT professionals, academics, and entrepreneurs develop and deliver new Big Data and cloud computing software applications for clients using Linux on IBM Power Systems servers.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • LXQt 0.8 Is Almost Ready For Release. How To Install LXQt On Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

      It uses PCManFM-Qt, a version of PCManFM, re-written in Qt, as the default file manager and Openbox as window manager and has support for both Qt5 and Wayland, Red Hat’s new display server.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Learning to git

        A few years ago, I learned from Myriam’s fine blog how to build Amarok from source, which is kept in git. It sounds mysterious, but once all the dependencies are installed, PATH is defined and the environment is properly set up, it is extremely easy to refresh the source (git pull) and rebuild. In fact, I usually use the up-arrow in the konsole, which finds the previous commands, so I rarely have to even type anything! Just hit return when the proper command is in place.

        Now we’re using git for the KDE Frameworks book, so I learned how to not only pull the new or changed source files, but also to commit my own few or edited files locally, then push those commits to git, so others can see and use them.

      • An update on Plasma Addons

        Since my last blog post on plasma addons there has been a lot of activity, existing contributors are active on their own plasmoids, and there are many new faces coming on to take up the challenge of maintaining their own small part of Plasma.

      • Baloo Natural Query Parser ported to KF5

        In 2013, My GSoC project was about implementing a natural (or “human”) query parser for what was then Nepomuk. The parser is able to recognize simple Google-like keyword searches in which sentences like “videos accessed last week” can also be used. Sample queries include “KDE Baloo, size > 2M” and “files modified two months ago, Holidays, tagged as Important”. An explanation of how the parser can extract the advanced information and of which queries are possible can be found here.

      • Intermediate results of the icon tests: Faenza

        The introduction of the new Breeze icon set in KDE let us again wonder, what aspects of an icon set actually takes what impact on the usability of it. We investigated Oxygen and Tango Icons for the LibreOffice project before, but our focus then was on checking all icons of the standard tool bar. This time we focus on different icon sets and will use 13 common actions to compare them.

      • Qt Creator 3.2 Officially Released

        Qt Creator 3.2, a cross-platform IDE (integrated development environment) tailored to the needs of Qt developers and part of the Qt Project, is now available for download.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME DOCUMENTATION VIDEO IS OUT

        The GNOME Documentation Video has now been released on youtube and as a download (Ogg Theora + Vorbis). This is something I have been waiting for since I finished working on it a few weeks ago. A big thanks to Karen for providing a great voice-over for the second time! Translated subtitles are not online just yet for the video, but should come within the next few days (thanks to pmkovar and claude for setting this up!).

      • Emulator brings x86 Linux apps to ARM devices

        Eltechs announced a virtual machine that runs 32-bit x86 Linux applications on ARMv7 SBCs and mini-PCs, and is claimed to be 4.5 times faster than QEMU.

        The open source QEMU emulator has long been the go-to app for providing virtual machines (VMs) that mimic target hardware during development or otherwise run software in alien territory. Every now and then, someone comes up with software that claims to perform all or part of QEMU’s feature-set more effectively. In this case, Eltechs has launched its Eltechs “ExaGear Desktop,” a VM that implements a virtual x86 Linux container on ARMv7 computers and is claimed to be 4.5 times faster than QEMU. Despite its “desktop” naming, we can imagine many non-desktop possibilities fpr ExaGear in embedded and IoT applications.

  • Distributions

    • Backup Your PC with Clonezilla Live 2.2.4-1

      Clonezilla Live, a Linux distribution based on DRBL, Partclone, and udpcast that allows users to do bare metal backup and recovery, is now at version 2.2.4-1 and is ready for testing.

    • Operating System U

      Are you tired of being forced to upgrade your Operating System regularly? What about the unnecessary changes that end up being made, changes that you don’t even want, much less need? How would you like to pick and choose what aspects of your operating system you want upgraded, and leave the ones you know, love, and are accustomed to how they are?

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Another great experience in Fedora bug reporting: Wine font fix solves my web-browsing problem

          Fedora‘s motto is “Freedom. Friends. Features. First.” I’m here to tell you Fedora lives up to that billing. Why do I say this now? I’ve just had another positive experience with Fedora, this time in finding a bug in my system, adding my information to an existing bug report and now seeing updated packages pushed to the Fedora 20 stable repositories and onto my system, where the problem has been fixed.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • VMware Certifies Ubuntu Linux LTS for vCloud Air Cloud Computing

            Canonical and VMware (VMW) forged a closer bond this week with the announcement of certified Ubuntu Linux images in vCloud Air, VMware’s new enterprise cloud-computing platform.

          • Ubuntu Touch Gets Major Update and the OS Is Now Crazy Fast – Screenshot Tour

            Ubuntu Touch has just received a new major update and the developers have made some serious changes to the operating system, which now feels a lot faster and the experience is a lot smoother.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • It’s Elementary, with Sparks, and Unity

              In today’s Linux news Jack Wallen review Elementary OS and says it’s not just the poor man’s Apple. Jack Germain reviewed SparkyLinux GameOver yesterday and said it’s a win-win. Linux Tycoon Bryan Lunduke testdrives Ubuntu’s Unity today in the latest entry in his desktop-a-week series. And finally tonight, just what the heck is this Docker thing everybody keeps talking about?

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android-on-ARM mini-PC draws less than 7W

      The DSA2LS runs a pre-installed Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) with integrated online or offline update functionality on a dual-core, 1GHz Freescale i.MX6 DualLite system-on-chip. The SoC has a Vivante GC880 GPU that’s not as powerful as the Vivante GC2000 GPU found on the Dual and Quad i.MX6 models, but it still plays back 1080p video and offers 3D graphics acceleration. The power-sipping DualLite enables the fanless computer to run at a modest 6.26W active and 1.42W standby, according to Shuttle’s AnTuTu benchmarks.

    • IoT tinkerers get new Linux hub & open platforms

      Cloud Media, the maker of entertainment box Popcorn Hour, launched a project on Kickstarter, Inc. that will add to the growing number of smart hubs for people to connect and control smart devices. Called the STACK Box, it features a Cavium ARM11 core processor, 256MB DDR3 RAM, 512MB flash, SD slot, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth LE 4.0, Z-Wave, standard 10/100 Ethernet port, optional X10 wired communication, 5 USB 2.0 ports, RS-232 port, 2 optocoupler I/O, Xbee Bus, Raspberry Pi-compatible 26-pin bus and runs Linus Kernel 3.10. IT also features optional wireless communications for Dust Networks and Insteon with RF433/315, EnOcean, ZigBee, XBee, DCLink, RFID, IR coming soon.

    • mini Duino+ Open Source Ardunio Board Based On ATmega 1284p (video)
    • Phones

      • Android

        • The top 14 hidden features in Windows, iOS, and Android

          You may think you’re a high-tech power user who knows all the nooks and crannies of Windows, iOS, and Android, but let’s be realistic: There could be at least a few undocumented (or poorly documented) commands, control panels, and apps that have slipped by you—maybe more than a few.

          We’ve dived deep into each OS to uncover the best hidden tips and tricks that can make you more productive—or make common tasks easier. Got a favorite undocumented tip to share with readers? Add them in the comments section at the end of the article.

        • Motorola frenzy with up to 9 devices possibly launching at ‘Moto Launch Exprience’

          We have seen a number of sources revealing upcoming releases and device-launches set for September. However today, we are hearing seriously scary reports that Motorola are set to release EIGHT devices before Christmas. Yes folks, Motorola are about to get extremely serious in terms of the market releasing no less than eight devices over the next few months.

        • OnePlus phones will soon come to India

          Last month we reported on how OnePlus were making clear indications they do intend to sell the One in India. Today it is fair to say that the speculation is certainly over and OnePlus will certainly be selling in India soon.

          On the OnePlus website the company is now advertising for a General Manager for its ‘India Operations’. As the company does not currently sell or deliver to India there is no clearly message the company could have sent to indicate this will soon change in the near future.

        • [Mono warning] Unity adds native Android support for x86
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Notebook Reality

        Meanwhile Android/Linux increases an order of magnitude more than that. Smartphones are shipping more units than desktops ever did and tablets are becoming a mature market. The Wintel PC is becoming a niche market, only thriving with businesses who resist change and need keyboards, large screens and pointers.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source software: The question of security

    The logic is understandable – how can a software with source code that can easily be viewed, accessed and changed have even a modicum of security?

  • Is Open Source an Open Invitation to Hack Webmail Encryption?

    While the open source approach to software development has proven its value over and over again, the idea of opening up the code for security features to anyone with eyeballs still creates anxiety in some circles. Such worries are ill-founded, though.

    One concern about opening up security code to anyone is that anyone will include the NSA, which has a habit of discovering vulnerabilities and sitting on them so it can exploit them at a later time. Such discoveries shouldn’t be a cause of concern, argued Phil Zimmermann, creator of PGP, the encryption scheme Yahoo and Google will be using for their webmail.

  • Islamic State Migrates to Open-Source Social Network After Twitter and YouTube Bans

    After being banned from Twitter and YouTube due to its video of James Foley’s murder, the Islamic State (Isis) migrated to another social network called Diaspora

  • Open-Source Social Network Diaspora Grapples With Use by Terror Group

    Even before its current challenges, Diaspora has had a difficult history (highlighted in this Vice Motherboard feature). Started in 2010 with the promise of creating a decentralized open-source replacement for Twitter and Facebook, the network drew positive press at first and more than $200,000 in Kickstarter funding. But when it was released to the public, it failed to build the audience to match its lofty ambitions.

  • 35 Open Source Tools for the Internet of Things

    In a nutshell, IoT is about using smart devices to collect data that is transmitted via the Internet to other devices. It’s closely related to machine-to-machine (M2M) technology. While the concept had been around for some time, the term “Internet of Things” was first used in 1999 by Kevin Ashton, who was a Procter & Gamble employee at the time.

  • Walmart’s investment in open source isn’t cheap

    This is not done for the love of humanity. Walmart takes the effort to work in the open because there is a return to be had from that investment. When other companies adopt Hapi, Walmart expects their internal implementations will lead them to improve the code to better suit their needs. Since the majority of these improvements are likely to be integral to the code in the commons, any rational actor will make pull requests attempting to have their work integrated in the project trunk.

    Of course — otherwise, the team making the changes would be eternally burdened with the need to refactor and test their changes each time the trunk is updated. Successful pull requests lead to merges that bring the whole community together for the upkeep of the code, not just the developers who originally wrote it.

  • Most popular open-source cloud projects of 2014

    At CloudOpen, a Linux Foundation tradeshow held in conjunction with LinuxCon, the Foundation announced that an online survey of open-source cloud professionals found OpenStack to be the most popular overall project.

  • Tunapanda brings digital literacy to Africa

    The ultimate goal was to bring low-income communities to technological literacy in the most rapid and cost-efficient way possible. Initially, we loaded the hard drive with tons of educational content and FOSS software, intending to allow anyone anywhere to duplicate the contents and set up a learning center. Using these tools, we’ve launched computer learning centers (“hubs”) in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda—in both rural and urban settings.

  • Open source leaders take the ice bucket challenge
  • Apache Tomcat 8.0.0 RC11 Now Available for Download and Testing

    Apache Tomcat, an open source software implementation of the Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages technologies, developed under the Java Community Process, is now at version 8.0.0 RC11.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • With New Funding, Adatao Focuses on Bringing Hadoop to the Masses

      Recently, news broke that a small startup called Adatao has secured $13 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz with investment partners from Lightspeed Ventures and Bloomberg Beta. Marc Andreessen is a board advisor to the company, which is run by CEO Christopher Nguyen, a former director of engineering for Google Apps.

      Of course, Nguyen knows his way around Google Docs, and his company Adatao is working on ways to make Hadoop as easy to work with as Google Docs. It’s part of a trend to bring Hadoop’s Big Data-crunching prowess to average users through easier to use tools.

    • Survey Finds OpenStack, KVM Riding High Among Cloud Professionals

      In conjunction with CloudOpen, a sidebar tradeshow held along with LinuxCon, The Linux Foundation has announced that a survey of open source cloud pros established that OpenStack is easily the most popular project. The survey gathered information from more than 550 participants, and the findings came out at CloudOpen in Chicago this week.

    • Survey says: OpenStack and Docker top cloud projects

      When it comes to open source cloud projects, everybody has an opinion. A new survey attempts to take a broad look at those opinions and learn something about the state of the state of the open cloud and where it is headed.

      Conducted in partnership between Linux.com and the New Stack, the survey gathered information from more than 550 participants, and the results were released at the CloudOpen North America event taking place this week in Chicago.

  • Databases

    • Eltechs Debuts x86 Crossover Platform for ARM Tablets, Mini-PCs

      The product, called ExaGear Desktop, runs x86 operating systems on top of hardware devices using ARMv7 CPUs. That’s significant because x86 software, which is the kind that runs natively on most computing platforms today, does not generally work on ARM hardware unless software developers undertake the considerable effort of porting it. Since few are likely to do that, having a way to run x86 applications on ARM devices is likely to become increasingly important as more ARM-based tablets and portable computers come to market.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Video: TedX talk – Richard Stallman

      Well, vp9/opus in a webm container have been supported by both Firefox and Google Chrome for several releases now… so enjoy it in your web browser.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NASA sails to the cloud with AWS, open source, migration

      NASA has migrated 110 websites and applications to the cloud in a cost-cutting technology overhaul that also introduced the Drupal content management system and other open source components to the agency’s enterprise tool chest.NASA has migrated 110 websites and applications to the cloud in a cost-cutting technology overhaul that also introduced the Drupal content management system and other open source components to the agency’s enterprise tool chest.

    • US Military To Launch Open Source Academy

      Open source software, which has become increasingly common throughout the US military from unmanned drones to desktops, has now been enlisted as a career option for military personnel. In September, Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center will open a Linux certification academy, marking the first time such a training program has been hosted on a military base.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Building Cars With Crowdsourced Intelligence

      When Jay Rogers left the U.S. Marine Corps in 2004, he made a promise to his fallen soldier friends that he would go out into the world and make a difference. Speaking at the LinuxCon conference here, Rogers detailed how he has delivered on that promise with Local Motors, a startup that is set to enable a new era of automobiles.

      Local Motors is a platform for designing, building and selling automobiles and automotive products. Rogers said it’s a platform for co-creation and micro-manufacturing of vehicles that completely rethinks the way that cars can and should be built.

    • Linux Foundation offers new certification, Mesos comes to Google, and more

      In this week’s edition of our open source news roundup, we share news on virtual certifications from the Linux Foundation, Mesosphere partnering with Google, government and GitHub, and more!

    • Open Access/Content

      • Why the Future of Education Is Open

        Anant Agarwal, the CEO of online education platform edX, is on a mission to change the way that people learn. In a keynote address at the LinuxCon conference here, Agarwal explained how open source and big data techniques are being used at edX to help educate millions of people.

        The edX platform was founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with the promise of redefining the future of education. The edX platform has 2.7 million students around the world. One of edX’s most popular classes is an introduction to Linux course from the Linux Foundation, which has more than 250,000 students.

Leftovers

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Two SuperPACs Focused On Ending SuperPACs Release New TV Commercials

      We’ve been writing up some of the new political efforts to try to put some limits on money in politics, including Larry Lessig’s Mayday SuperPAC, Represent.us’ satirical campaign for the “most honest politician,” Gil Fulbright, and also CounterPAC, a SuperPAC that tries to get politicians to take a pledge not to accept dark money.

  • Censorship

    • Attacks On Anonymity Conflate Anonymous Speech With Trollish Behavior

      Every so often this sort of thing pops up where people suddenly think it’s a good idea to “end anonymity” online. We’ve discussed this in the past, and it’s always the same basic argument — one that conflates anonymity with “bad things” that people say online. There are all sorts of problems with this, but it starts with this: anonymity also allows people to reveal all sorts of good things online as well and plenty of people say and do horrible things with their names attached. And yet… the arguments keep on coming.

    • Military Prefers To Keep Its Head In The Sand: Bans All Employees From Visiting The Intercept

      Not this again. A few years ago, the US military blocked access to a bunch of news sites, including the NY Times and The Guardian, in an attempt to block military members from reading the news because some of the news included the leaked State Department cables that Wikileaks had released in conjunction with those news sites. Last year, the Defense Department blocked all access to the Guardian after it started reporting on the Ed Snowden leaks. And now, The Intercept reports, the military has also banned access to The Intercept. Of course, no one in the military will know that the public knows about this, because they’re apparently not allowed to read about it.

  • Privacy

    • The Government Uses the Dragnets for Detainee Proceedings

      First, NSA can disseminate this information without declaring the information is related to counterterrorism (that’s the primary dissemination limitation discussed in this section), and of course, without masking US person information. That would at least permit the possibility this data gets used for non-counterterrorism purposes, but only when it should least be permitted to, for criminal prosecutions of Americans!

      Remember, too, the government has explicitly said it uses the phone dragnet to identify potential informants. Having non-counterterrorism data available to coerce cooperation would make that easier.

    • Researchers create privacy wrapper for Android Web apps
  • Civil Rights

    • “Negro Spring”: Ferguson Residents, Friends of Michael Brown Speak Out for Human Rights

      As peaceful protests continued Wednesday in Ferguson, Missouri, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder arrived in the city to meet with residents and FBI agents investigating the police shooting of Michael Brown. Democracy Now! traveled to Ferguson this week and visited the site where the 18-year-old Brown was killed. We spoke to young people who live nearby, including some who knew him personally. “He fell on his knees. Like, ’Don’t shoot.’ [The police officer] shot him anyway in the eye, the head, and four times down here,” said one local resident Rico Like. “Hands up, don’t shoot is all I got to say. RIP Mike Brown.”

    • A Fox News Tantrum And A Split-Screen: A Metaphor for The Decline Of White America
    • Cop in Ferguson Tweets Lies to Justify Tear-Gassing Protesters in Their Own Back Yard

      A Velda City police officer who has been part of the militarized police apparatus holding down operations on West Florissant Avenue is spreading lies about Ferguson protesters online.

      Sergeant Mike Weston, going by the handle “officeranon2″ on Twitter, engaged with users of the social-media network about a tear-gas attack by St. Louis County police on protesters in their own back yard on Monday, August 11. In the conversation, a Twitter user wanted to know why police would fire tear gas at people on their own property. Weston tells them it’s because protesters were firing guns from their back yard. But that’s not true…

    • NYT Responds on Torture

      Responding to messages inspired by the alert, Sullivan went to Times foreign editor Joseph Kahn, who said the paper’s Kabul bureau “decided it did not add much to what we have already, on many occasions, reported. Much of it appeared to be recycled from United Nations reports and other news coverage, including our own.”

    • In Ferguson, Cops Hand Out 3 Warrants Per Household Every Year

      We’ve all seen a number of stories like this recently, and it prompts a question: why are police departments allowed to fund themselves with ticket revenue in the first place? Or red light camera revenue. Or civil asset forfeiture revenue. Or any other kind of revenue that provides them with an incentive to be as hardass as possible. Am I missing something when I think that this makes no sense at all?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Why we sued Getty Images

        On August 20, 2014, our firm filed a lawsuit on our own behalf against Getty Images, Inc. Why did we do it? Here is why.

        On July 1, 2014, our firm received an unsigned letter from Getty Images Inc. that claimed unauthorized copying and display of a Getty photograph on this website and demanded immediate payment of a $380 licensing fee or legal action would follow.

        There was a problem, however. We never copied or displayed the Getty image referred to in Getty’s letter.

        We looked more closely at what Getty was doing and were shocked to discover what was really going on.

        You see, Getty is apparently using an image recognition system to generate its letters to accused infringers. Getty’s system identified a thumbnail image on our website here. Getty matched the thumbnail to an image more than six times the size on Getty’s site.

      • Getty Threatens The Wrong IP Law Firm In Its Copyright Trolling Efforts

        Image licensing giant Getty Images has quite a reputation for being something of a copyright maximalist and occasional copyright troll. The company has been known to blast out threat letters and lawsuits not unlike some more notorious copyright trolls. And that’s true even as the company just recently lost a copyright infringement suit in which Getty helped in the infringement. A few months ago, we had told you about Getty starting a new program in which it was making many of its images free to embed, saying that it was “better to compete” that way on the internet, rather than trying to license everything. We actually just tried embedding some Getty images ourselves recently.

      • New Zealand Court Freezes Kim Dotcom’s Assets, Again

        The Internet entrepreneur accused of running a massive global piracy ring suffered a rare setback in his adopted country today. The New Zealand Court of Appeal extended for another year the restraining orders over some of the assets and property belonging to Kim Dotcom. The ruling “means millions of dollars, several luxury cars, jewelry and other property remain frozen,” the New Zealand Herald reported. The original 2012 orders were scheduled to expire in April after a lower court ruled in favor of Dotcom. Now they will extend to April, 2015.

UPS Burned by Microsoft Windows, Gives Away Massive Number of Credit Card Details

Posted in FUD, Microsoft, Security at 4:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TJ Maxx all over again?

Boycott against UPS

Summary: UPS is the latest victim of Microsoft’s shoddy back door with software on top of it (Windows); attempts to blame FOSS for data compromise actually divert attention from the real culprit, which is proprietary software

A boycott against UPS, based on my bitter experiences, is nothing too prejudiced. Their system does not work well. That’s an understatement actually. It’s dysfunctional. In fact, it’s an utter mess. I wasn’t the only one who was utterly screwed, reputedly, and made deeply upset by them. I tried to accomplish something so simple and spent a huge amount of time achieving nearly nothing. They are badly coordinated and their system is crap. They’re using an utterly flawed system, especially when it comes to exchanges with clients, including financial exchanges. Last year I was upset enough to produce some memes like the following:

UPS

Now it turns out that UPS was foolish enough to be using Microsoft Windows. Consequently, in many countries (not just one) it got “infected with credit card stealing malware” and customers are going to pay dearly (customers, not UPS):

Grocery shoppers nationwide probably had credit card data stolen

Coast-to-coast: Albertsons, Acme Markets, Jewel-Osco and more were hit.
Dozens of UPS stores across 24 states, including California, Georgia, New York, and Nebraska, have been hit by malware designed to suck up credit card details. The UPS Store, Inc., is a subsidiary of UPS, but each store is independently owned and operated as a licensed franchisee.

“Windows, again,” says our reader. “See the annotations in the update…”

Notice how the Microsoft-friendly Condé Nast fails to even name Microsoft. Total cover-up, maybe misreporting. Disgusting. It’s like naming an issue in some car model, stating that it is chronic, dangerous and widespread, but still not naming the car maker or the model. Recall also the biggest credit card-stealing incidents in recent history; it is almost always due to Microsoft and Windows.

There is a bunch of reports circulating right now which blame an OpenSSL bug (that Microsoft likes to hype up) for patients’ data compromise.

A reader of ours who lectures on computer security explains: “The real problem was that, as seen in other articles, they used a VPN in place of real security. Oh, and the VPN was closed source, not OpenVPN.”

“This is no surprise as when given internal access to any computer network, it is virtually a 100% success rate at breaking into systems and furthering access,” says one report.

“They admit to having no security for their services and relying on a VPN to provide the illusion of security,” our reader explains. “They also misuse the marketing term ’0-day’.”

Anything to keep the term “Heartbleed” in headlines, creating a FOSS scare…

You can count on the likes of Condé Nast covering Microsoft-induced disaster without mentioning Mirosoft at all while at the same time shouting “Heartbleed” from the rooftops, as Condé Nast so regularly does.

Microsoft’s Funding of ALEC and Other Systemic Corruption

Posted in Fraud, Microsoft at 3:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Koch

Summary: Microsoft role in writing of laws by proxy, via groups such as ALEC

Several years we saw ALEC getting exposed, thanks in part to activists around the Web. We then saw the faces of people and corporations that were attacking the people of the world by corrupting politicians and writing laws by proxy.

Bill Gates was funding ALEC, one of the most notorious lobby groups in the US. It turns out now that Microsoft too has been funding ALEC, but no more. Microsoft “is no longer a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and has stopped funding the group.”

ALEC has been incredibly notorious for a number of years. What drove Microsoft to ALEC’s arms and why did it take Microsoft so much time to stop funneling money into this systemic corruption? The negative publicity was probably outweighed by benefits that Microsoft got (tomorrow we will provide an example of massive tax evasion by Microsoft). This is not an exception by the way; Microsoft has funded other ugly groups that even help deny climate change, so this whole thing is no reason for surprise or even a cause for shock. Two crooks get along.

In other news, Opera steps into bed with the crook. “Opera Mini will become the default web browser for Microsoft’s existing feature phones and Asha phones portfolio, as part of a new deal announced today,” says a report. While it means MSIE is dying, this also means that the company which once complained about Microsoft’s abuses to European authorities is now selling out. Why? Money.

Corruption is systemic and those with the money typically manage to get away with everything, including crimes. If the rich write our laws (sometimes by proxy), then it’s expected that they will almost never be sent to prison. Impunity is attained this way.

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